With a plethora of writing under her belt and a variety of genres, Barbara Ann Derksen receives encouragement from 4 and 5 star reviews, the eager anticipation by readers for the next book, and a new reader discovering her existence.
Born in Canada, Barbara lived in the US for 12 years. There her writing surfaced as she worked under contract as a journalist for six years with over 2500 articles published in newspapers and magazines during that time. She began attending Colorado Christian Writer's Conferences and each year, under the tutelage of great Christian writer's like James Scott Bell, Angela Hunt, and others, she honed her skills and then published her first book in 2003.
With 19 books to her credit, one currently inactive and awaiting revision, each one surpasses the last, according to her readers. The new series has given them something to think about as she delves into the world…
on Sep. 03, 2012 :
"Their lives are changed forever when murder and kidnapping take Brian Strait and Andrea Wilton to Haiti, the land of voodoo and street children. Vanished tells the story of their search for their friends, Trent and Diane Michner, but before they ever get started, a neighbor is murdered on Andrea’s doorstep and then her house is burned to the ground. Two men in a black Mustang shadow the couple."
All they had to say in the description was that this book was considered a mystery and I was hooked. It was an easy quick read and the story kept my attention fairly well. There were a few plot twists and surprises but it wasn't one of those "Oh My Goodness, I didn't see that coming" type of books.
There is some easy banter between friends with a blossoming relationship that you know is coming. The two main characters decide to save their friends and have many obstacles to face including their house being burned down. There is a great side story that will really warm your heart as they show compassion to a little girl in Haiti. I enjoyed the fact that Andrea came into her own and became an independent and strong woman by the end of the story.
This is a great weekend of vacation read, the type of book that you don't have to think to much about as you go along. It is the first part in a series and I have the second book so stay tuned for that review.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on Aug. 04, 2012 :
You've heard the saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover." Well, Vanished is a book I had to apply this saying to. Honestly, I didn't LOVE the cover. Even after having read the book, I don't love the cover, BUT the book is a different story. I really enjoyed this book!!
Derksen has done a wonderful job in writing Vanished. She kept me on the edge of my seat and reading late into the night. Andrea and Brian worked well together even though they really didn't know each other in the beginning. They work hard and learn to trust each other and God more and more as they go along in this adventure. In the meantime, God uses them to find their friends and to change the life of a little girl. He also changes their lives in the process.
Vanished shows up that God can change our lives and direction in life if we are willing to trust Him and do what He wants us to do.
This was a great book if you like a little adventure and mystery as well as Spiritual content. I would also say this book is good for teens and up as there are some dark and serious situations covered in this book.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)
on July 31, 2012 :
Vanished is the first book in the series of 'mysteries' starring Andrea Wilton and Brian Strait. This particular book is a little bit mystery and a little bit thriller. I was not surprised or shocked by anything that happened in the book, though some readers may be surprised. Andrea and Brian are enjoyable characters that I think anyone can relate to. They do make some mistakes, but they mean well. The banter back and forth is amusing and definitely something I would engage in with my friends. I realize I'm not saying a lot about the plot or what happens, but I don't want to give anything away.
The only thing that I just can't get out of my mind is the SCUBA diving. The little details drove me nuts, because some of them were wrong. I've been a certified diver for over 25 yrs and not once have I heard a driver call fins "flippers," for example. None of these details would be picked up on by the average person, and I know it shouldn't bug me, but it does.
Overall, I'd give this book 4 1/2 stars (out of 5). I'm interested and invested enough in the characters that I've already read the second book in the series.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
on July 30, 2012 :
From the very first moment you start reading this book you are thrust into a nightmare - one where intruders have entered a family's home. To make matters even worse, the intruders take them captive with no idea if they will live or die. They vanish.
This first scene in the book had my heart pounding wondering if these were random intruders or ones with a specific purpose. Wondering if they would let this family live or if this was the last I would read of them.
When their closest friends discover the house empty and in disarray, they report it to the police and their deepest fears are confirmed when it is declared a crime scene. This is the beginning of their search for their friends where they learn to rely on God's strength and courage...and each other.
I couldn't wait to see where these friends were going to go next in the search. I won't ruin the ending for you, but I will say that I LOVE that this is the beginning of a series.
Vanished is a fast paced, faith filled, keep you on the edge of your seat mystery you don't want to miss.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
on June 19, 2012 :
Vanished is a suspense-filled mystery thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the book. The book is clean even though there is some violence. The faith of the characters flows naturally in the story, so it never feels fake or forced. (In some books, the “Christian” element feels like it’s just thrown in to call the book Christian, but that is not the case in this book.) I was drawn into the story as the characters and storyline naturally developed. I did not want to put it down once I started to read.
If you’re looking for a good Christian mystery novel with a few unexpected twists, you’ll want to check out Vanished.
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)
on June 16, 2012 :
“Vanished” is definitely a suspense novel in my book. From the very first page, where a young family is forced to leave their little home and go with kidnappers at gun point, I was hooked.
Brian Strait and Andrea Wilton both arrive at their friend’s house around the same time, and are very concerned at the disheveled look of the ordinarily tidy little house and the very apparent absence of it’s occupants.When a neighbor is murdered, a house burns to the ground and the police seem to be of no help, Brian and Andrea take matters into their own hands.
Following a clue from the murdered neighbor, they pack up and head to Haiti. A land of voodoo and the absence of a savior. The discovery that people are disappearing from there as well, tell them they are on the right track. How will Brian and Andrea find their friends? Are they even still alive? How about the fact that Brian and Andrea themselves are being watched constantly?
Both Brian and Andrea try to live by WWJD -What Would Jesus Do? and are convinced that He would not carry a fire arm or any sort of dangerous weapon, and yet their own lives are in danger. As they search for clues and struggle to make sense of what they are learning, Brian and Andrea find themselves relying more than ever on the Lord for strength and protection. While their relationship with each other goes from years of mutual dislike to a new-found respect and friendship.
I was certainly sorry to reach the last page, as I felt the story wasn’t complete and there were parts that I felt weren’t wrapped up quite the way I wanted them to be. However, the good news is book two, Presumed Dead is available and I am looking forward to it.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
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.]
(reviewed 35 days after purchase)