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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

LSBBT BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: A Firm Place to Stand by Lori Altebaumer (Romantic Suspense)


A FIRM PLACE TO STAND
by
LORI ALTEBAUMER


Genre: Christian / Romantic Suspense 
Independently published
Date of Publication: January 25, 2020
Number of Pages: 321



SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY!






She’s either being stalked or losing her mind.

A job at a camp in the rustic and often rugged landscape of West Texas offers Maribel Montgomery a chance to escape both, especially if she makes sure no one knows she’s there. But when the body of a woman washes up in the river on her first morning, her hopes of a safe place to start over are swept away.

The suspicion that she’s being watched follows her to her new home, and Maribel is forced to take a stand or keep running. Does she have the courage to face the danger stirring at the Pool of Siloam Camp? If she doesn’t, another girl might die. If she tries and fails, it could be her.

Circumstances force her into the acquaintance of Conner Pierce—a man with secrets of his own. Can Maribel risk working with him in order to save the next victim and find a missing girl? Or is he the killer?

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While I have to say that I was definitely intrigued by the cover, the synopsis really hooked me with its darker mystery elements. I also really enjoy second chance stories, and as its Christian themes of redemption began to make their presence known within the narrative, this book certainly did not disappoint.

From the beginning, readers are very attune to the fact that Maribel is carrying around A LOT of emotional baggage that has severely impacted her confidence when interacting with other people. While we have some ideas about what has completely derailed her life, the full ramifications of the decisions she has made are not made clear until the story begins to reach its dramatic climax. From a spiritual and/or religious perspective, this is an emotionally engaging read that will provide readers with many moments for personal reflection as we follow along from her point of view.

We spend a great deal of time with Maribel in her thoughts as she works through her own insecurities and misgivings, including guilt for reasons that are not made clear for much of the story. A vast majority of her internal strife centers on coming to terms with a troubling romantic relationship that makes it seemingly impossible for her to even entertain the notion of another love interest. She is overwhelmed with a sense of distrust for everyone, and as we come to slowly see, many other characters are burdened with this feeling as well. At its core, the story centers on choice and the positive or negative connotations we attribute to the consequences. Obviously, good results are what we all strive for, yet this found family helps one another to realize that even in our darkest moments, forgiveness can be attained by the gifts of grace and mercy. We are most often harder on ourselves than anyone else could ever be, so the redemption that each character works toward is quite beautiful to witness. The sprinkling of scripture spotlights the tenderness in their quest for absolution.

This story is not short on action or suspense, as Maribel finds herself in the midst of one extremely dangerous situation after another. While the character development is quite slow-burning, the plot keeps the pages turning and the momentum moving. As a police procedural aficionado, I would have loved more time with Sheriff Rock Griger and the principal investigations featured in the story. He had quite the personality that may have worked well with Maribel as she came to terms with both her personal and professional problems. Maribel is an investigative reporter, albeit a disgraced one, so watching these two fields working together or bantering back and forth would have aided in not only our understanding of how the cases were solved, but could have provided Maribel with the redemptive arc needed to rebuild her career. Ultimately, this isn't that story, but personal preference aside however, I can fully appreciate it for what it is. This is not a mystery in the traditional sense of the genre, but the mounting tension brings the story full circle to a satisfying conclusion that is believable.

Overall, this was a fast paced, intense, and easy read that will absolutely resonate a hopeful message that we could all use a little more of especially during these unprecedented times.

Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog tours and the author for providing me with a free copy of the book. This is my honest and thoughtful opinion.







A life-long Texan, Lori lives in a small community not far from the rugged West Texas landscape she loves to write about. The mother of now-grown twins, she has learned that the secret to survival is a well-developed sense of humor and an active prayer life. After years spent working in the insurance business, Lori now uses her time to educate, inspire, encourage, and entertain through the written word.

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THREE WINNERS!
1ST PRIZE Signed Copy of A Firm Place to Stand + $25 Gift Card to the Texas Indie Bookstore of Choice
2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy of A Firm Place to Stand
3RD PRIZE: eBook of A Firm Place to Stand APRIL 30-MAY 10, 2020
(US ONLY)



a Rafflecopter giveaway   Best of luck!

Many thanks again to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the author! It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions!

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1 comment:

  1. Excellent review. The book sounds like it really forces the reader to reflect while Maribel goes on her faith journey. Thanks for the post.

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