Janet Sketchley's debut novel, Heaven's Prey, is a story of suspense and redemption. You'll find her Christian living articles and book reviews at janetsketchley.ca, plus a true-life story in the award-winning anthology, A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider.
Janet is a Canadian author who loves stories with strong characters, adventure and hope. She’s also a wife, mom, daughter, friend, neighbor… balancing relationships and responsibilities, and learning how faith applies to real life. Add that to her quirky imagination and love of fiction, and you get novels about everyday women in suspenseful situations discovering more strength than they would have imagined.
Where to find Janet Sketchley online
Where to buy in print
Despite her husband's objections, 40-something Ruth Warner finds healing through prayer for Harry Silver, the racing star turned serial killer who brutally raped and murdered her niece. When a kidnapping-gone-wrong pegs her as his next victim, Harry claims that by destroying the one person who d pray for him, he proves God can t or won t look after His own. Can Ruth's faith sustain her to the end?
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Smashwords book reviews by Janet Sketchley
- The Hockey Bag
on June 13, 2011
Linda Hall really nails this young guy's voice. And makes readers care about him and his family. It's a general-market mystery, not like her recent Christian fiction.
- Abundant Rain
on Aug. 29, 2011
Writers, like any other group of people following a particular passion, are a misunderstood lot. It takes one of our own to know which words will encourage us. Abundant Rain is a book designed to bless writers. It’s one to read and then read again, in small sections, as needed.
The subtitle of this ebook is “Inspiring words for writers of faith.” It’s an 110-page collection of short pieces designed to encourage and sustain writers (and perhaps to help their loved ones understand them).
Topics cover perseverance, pride, writing about life’s ugly bits and hard questions, self-promotion versus bragging, art and perfectionism, praising God, and what happens when we compare ourselves with other writers.
Check out the free ebook, “A Small Patch of Blue,” on Marcia Lee Laycock’s Smashwords profile page if you’d like to preview an excerpt from Abundant Rain.
Marcia Lee Laycock is an award-winning Canadian author of non-fiction and fiction. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies (most recently in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider) and she has written two devotional compilations, Spur of the Moment and Focused Reflections, as well as the novel One Smooth Stone.
on Sep. 26, 2011
Vanished is book one in the Wilton-Strait Murder Mystery series from Canadian author Barbara Ann Derksen. The novel opens with the abduction of Trent and Diane Michner and their young son, Jeffrey.
Andrea Wilton and Brian Strait, each a good friend of the Michners but not well-acquainted with one another despite attending the same church, discover the empty house and the signs of struggle, and become the newest targets of their friends’ enemies.
A dying man warns them not to trust the police, and launches them on an investigation that leads from the US to Haiti. This is pre-2010-earthquake Haiti, and the author’s knowledge of the island and of diving add a feel of authenticity.
The story is intriguing, and will especially appeal to readers who prefer a gentler mystery.
The search for the missing family is the main plot, with subplots following Andrea and Brian’s developing relationship and their friendship with a young Haitian orphan girl. Readers interested in orphanages that care for Haitian children will also find the book interesting.
Canadian author Barbara Ann Derksen is a multi-published author of fiction and non-fiction, including a series of devotional books for bikers. Book two in the Wilton-Strait series, Presumed Dead, delves into the biker world. You can learn more about the author, including her books and speaking ministry, at her website.
[Electronic review copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair review.]
- SciendaQ Spring 2012
on Jan. 17, 2012
Well-written, with something to appeal to everyone. I'm still intrigued by the mix of "literary" and "swashbuckling" in the anthology's description. My favourite selections are P.A. Barnes' Are You a Superhero? and Marc Schooley's On Atheism.
Thanks, SciendaQ, and I'll watch for the next installment.
- Organized Grime
on Jan. 18, 2012
Clean enough crime scenes, and if you’re the inquisitive type you’re bound to find some clues and get drawn into a mystery or two. Gabby St. Clair is feisty, quick-witted and funny, and by this, the third novel in the Squeaky Clean Mystery series, she’s developed a reputation for investigating where she shouldn’t, endangering her life, and catching villains.
This time the mystery comes to her door, in the form of FBI agents hunting her animal-rights activist friend, Sierra, who’s suspected of arson and bombing a building. Sierra has tried rescuing crabs from restaurants before, but Gabby’s sure she’d never commit acts of eco-terrorism.
Gabby needs to find Sierra before the authorities—or the real criminals—do. A string of murders is good for her business, but each crime scene turns up evidence of Sierra’s presence. As Gabby follows leads, danger follows her.
Organized Grime is a fine wrap-up to a fun series that I didn’t want to see end. The mystery itself is fast-paced, and I enjoy Gabby’s sense of humour. At the same time she’s finishing her forensic pathologist training, discovering what her new faith means to how she lives life, and resolving relationship issues with her family and her cute neighbour.
If you haven’t read the first two novels in the series, Hazardous Duty and Suspicious Minds, you can jump in with book 3. But the first two are good reading too.
Christy Barritt is also the author of the non-fiction book Changed: True Stories of Finding God Through Christian Music and the romantic suspense novels Keeping Guard and The Last Target. She has three new books releasing this year: Suburban Sleuth Mysteries #1 Death of the Couch Potato’s Wife (May 2012), and two romantic suspenses: Race Against Time (April 2012) and Ricochet (September 2012).
[Review copy provided by the author.]
- Murder on the Ol' Bunions
on Sep. 24, 2012
LaTisha Barnhart and her husband, Hardy, are a middle-aged black couple living in the fictional town of Maple Gap, Colorado. They’re still very much in love after almost 40 years, and the amount of sass they fling at one another to cover it up is funny.
Hardy has retired from the workforce, but as the series opens, LaTisha is fighting empty-nest syndrome by taking an online degree in police science. She quit her last job—or was she fired?—and when she finds her ex-boss murdered, she’s afraid she’ll be suspect number one. That’s book 1, Murder on the Ol’ Bunions.
Book 2, Polly Dent Loses Grip, takes place in a nearby town as the Barnharts try to get Hardy’s elderly mother settled into a retirement residence. Management dismisses an on-site death as accidental, but LaTisha sees murder in the mix. As well as Polly Dent (whose hands may have slipped on some powder), there are other amusing names in this book: Sue Mie is an angry young woman with attitude, and Thomas Philcher is rumoured to be a bank robber.
Your Goose is Cooked is book 3. LaTisha and Hardy are back in Maple Gap and they’re the new owners of a restaurant called “Your Goose is Cooked.” Their cook overhears a threat on the mayor’s life but is afraid to go to the police, leaving LaTisha to investigate. Add a murder and an attempted hit-and-run on LaTisha herself, throw in small-town rumours and an election campaign, and things get a bit wild.
This is a fun, light-hearted mystery series, and I recommend starting with book 1. The stories build on one another, from Murder on the Ol’ Bunions to Polly Dent Loses Grip to Your Goose is Cooked. They’re 99¢ each at Smashwords, so why not collect all three?
I won an e-copy of Your Goose is Cooked at Lena Nelson Dooley’s blog, A Christian Writer’s World, and liked it so much I bought books 1 and 2.
[Book 3 provided by S. Dionne Moore and Lena Nelson Dooley, with no strings attached. Books 1 and 2 purchased from Smashwords. The choice to write a review was mine.]
- Duke the Chihuahua Writes!
on Jan. 12, 2013
Duke is indeed a Chihuahua. He’s, shall we say, mature in years. Bee is an adolescent German Shepherd. Donna Fawcett is an award-winning author of fiction (under the name Donna Dawson) and non-fiction, and a former writing instructor. She’s also a speaker and a singer-songwriter.
When Donna began chronicling Duke’s writing misadventures on her blog, they were so well-received that Duke the Chihuahua Writes! was born. As an eager novice, Duke gets himself into some “teachable moments” on his writing journey. Between them, he and Bee encounter just about everything a new writer needs to learn. Duke even tries his paw at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
In 67 short chapters, the book covers the basics that beginners need to know: research, queries, self-editing, managing submissions, handling critiques and rejections, genres, characters, and more.
Duke and Bee make great company through the book, and readers will have more fun learning vicariously than reading a traditional “do this, don’t do that” instructional approach. The humour is appealing, and some of the author’s word choices are great. For example, Duke is a gentlepooch who, although he drinks cap-pup-chinos, leaves the pawdicures to Bee.