Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Writerly Wednesday: 'Blood Ransom' & a Giveaway!

I received a copy of Lisa Harris’ new book “Blood Ransom” in the mail several weeks ago.

At first I thought someone was playing a joke on me.

Days earlier, I’d run across Harris’ name (no relation, by the way) and a mention of her new book someplace on the Web. Intrigued by the title, I searched for more information and found the synopsis on the publisher’s (Zondervan) Web site:

“Natalie Sinclair is working to eradicate the diseases decimating whole villages in the Republic of Dhambizao when she meets Dr. Chad Talcott, a surgeon on sabbatical from a lucrative medical practice now volunteering at a small clinic.Meanwhile, things are unraveling in Dhambizao.

Joseph Komboli returns to his village to discover rebel soldiers abducting his family and friends.

Those that were too old or weak to work lay motionless in the African soil. When Chad and Natalie decide to help Joseph expose this modern-day slave trade—and a high-ranking political figure involved in it—disaster nips at their heels.

Where is God in the chaos? Will Chad, Natalie, and Joseph win their race against time?”

It seemed like a good story.

But I’m not the kind of person who usually goes for Christian romantic suspense set in Africa. So it didn’t pique my interest enough to pre-order it. (Hmm...that sounds an awful lot like a rejection letter, doesn't it?)

Oddly enough, I received an advance-review copy of “Blood Ransom” two days later in the mail at the Daily News.

Whoa! Wasn’t I just looking at this book?

After fighting off the dizzying aura of deja vu, I decided to give the story a whirl. I figured if book was going to pursue me in such a way, I’d better pay attention.

I’m glad I did.

This book kept me up into the wee hours of the morning, hooking me with a heart-hastening prologue, as young Joseph Komboli gets a firsthand glimpse of the legendary Ghost Soldiers and the brutality of which they are capable.

Harris’ descriptive prose and ability to ramp up tension kept me on the line throughout the story. And the suspense reeled me in to the very end – at about 1:15 a.m.

I found the characters – especially Joseph – easy to like, and I routed continuously for the good guys throughout the story.

The author – Lisa Harris – currently lives in Mozambique, Africa, where she works as a missionary, and her clear description of the landscape and culture have inspired me to be more open about reading books with more exotic settings.

The problems I had with the story were small. Although it is a tale of romantic suspense, I never quite felt convinced of the romantic attraction between Chad and Natalie. And I felt a small lull in the story’s pace at the beginning.

But I never once considered putting the story down, and I would recommend it for anyone looking for a non-threatening Christian tale of suspense.

“Blood Ransom” is being released today by Zondervan Books, but you can WIN MY COPY!

There are several ways to get in the drawing:

1. Become a follower (those already following are automatically entered once).

2. Leave me a comment.

3. Encourage your friends (I don't care how you do it -- Facebook, Twitter, Blogger) to become a follower.

Be sure to come back Friday when I announce the winner.

And check back next Thursday for another chance to win.


Lydia Kang said...

First to comment, woohoo! sounds like an interesting read that I would normally not have picked up either. cool.

Crimey said...

Kat, sounds like an interesting book. Sounds part thriller too, just down my alley. Thanks for the review. There's so many books on my 'want to read list' that I don't know where to start.

Doreen McGettigan said...

I always play nice and enjoyed your blog very much..

Lisa Harris said...

As the author of Blood Ransom and a fellow "Harris" I really enjoyed your post!

And, of course, I'm thrilled you ended up reading the book and enjoying it. :-)

Michelle McLean said...

Hmmm sounds interesting. Not a genre I would normally pick up either, but I'm willing to try anything once :D