Christian Fiction Book reviews by me ASC (Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a) + some songs I have paired with the books I read! Thank you for stopping by! "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Revelations 22:21
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
***Special thanks to Ginger Chen of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of fifty novels with almost two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad and nominations including a Career Achievement Award, Reader’s Choice Awards, Romantic Times Book of the Year, and several Romantic Times Top Picks. A proud military wife and tenth-generation Texan, she now cheers on her beloved Aggies from north of the Red River.
Visit the author's website.
SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
Sadie Callum is a master of disguise. Undercover agent William Jefferson Tucker is not looking for marriage—pretend or otherwise—but he needs the cover of a wife to clear his name and solve the art forgery case that has eluded him for years. But what will happen to his heart?
Series: The Secret Lives of Will Tucker (Book 3)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2014)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
William Jefferson Tucker of the Criminal Investigations Division,
London Metropolitan Police, stepped across the threshold of the sewer
pit known as the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola with one
purpose in mind. To see his brother, also named William.
His polar opposite.
first order of business being an explanation of exactly what John had
done this time, he turned toward Major Samuel James’s office. When
in doubt, go to the top, that was his motto. And Major James was the
top dog around here.
there,” someone called. Jefferson turned to see a uniformed guard
coming toward him, one hand on his holster and the other pointing in
paying a visit to the warden,” he said with all the charm his
mother had taught him. “Nothing to get upset about.”
just see about that,” the guard said as he nodded toward the other
end of the dimly lit hall. “Just come on back here and sign in, and
then we will see if the warden’s interested in visiting today.”
head, Jefferson tried not to show amusement at the man’s pompous
behavior. While he had seen the other side of a jail cell on many
occasions, it had always been in the position of arresting officer
and not prison guard. To spend day after day in this place would
cause anyone to own an ill temper.
papers were produced, Jefferson signed them. “Anything else you
need?” he asked as politely as he could manage.
of proof you are who you say you are would be appreciated,” he said
in a tone that just barely toed the line between polite and
will be needing your weapon.”
procedure in prisons, and yet Jefferson hated it. Reluctantly, he
removed his revolver and handed it to the guard.
you got?” He gave Jefferson a sweeping look. “Nothing else you
can hurt anybody with?”
that over too.”
offered up his knife and then reached for his identification,
carefully selecting the papers that would not give away his current
undercover role in London. Placing what he had on the rough slab of
wood that served as a desk between them, he stood back and waited
while the guard examined the documents.
brings you here?” The guard took in an exaggerated breath and then
pretended to cough. “Sure can’t be the fresh air and sunshine.”
played along, pretending to find the gag amusing. “I am here to see
brother?” The guard clutched the papers as he looked up at
Jefferson. “And just who would your brother be?”
Tucker,” the guard echoed as he opened an oversized leather book
that sent a cloud of dust into the already rancid air.
idea that this process was beginning to feel very much like checking
into a hotel occurred. Jefferson decided he would keep that thought
see any John…”
John,” he amended, irritated not for the first time that his father
had insisted on giving both his sons the same first name and then
calling them by their middle name.
grimy finger paused below a line of scribbling. “Tucker. Well, here
we go. William J. Tucker.” He looked up at Jefferson, his face now
unreadable. “Wait here.”
another word of explanation, he hurried off down the hall,
Jefferson’s credentials still clutched in his hand. A door shut
somewhere off in the distance and then opened again.
for your property here,” he said when he returned.
noted the date and the items he had just surrendered and then placed
his initials on the line beside them to indicate agreement.
right. Come with me, Mr. Tucker,” the guard said, not quite making
he almost said. Instead, Jefferson kept silent. Better not to make
enemies of anyone in this place. “Yes, of course.” He followed
the guard past the warden’s office and around the corner, stopping
at an unmarked door.
there,” the guard said as he used a key from his vest pocket to
open the door.
was dark, but a lamp in the passageway sent a weak shaft of light
across what appeared to be a table and a bench. “I would be much
obliged if you would turn on a light in here,” Jefferson said, the
last of his patience with the ridiculous situation disappearing fast.
on in and a light will come on.”
about to protest when the guard shoved him inside and turned the
this door!” Jefferson demanded. “This is not funny. I demand to
see either my brother or the warden immediately.”
wait right there, Tucker. You will see the warden for sure.”
felt along the edge of the wall, his fingers sliding across a
combination of dirt and slime held together by something so foul
smelling he refused to contemplate its source. A moment later he
found the bench and managed to sit.
door footsteps approached and then halted. He heard voices arguing,
their words indistinguishable through the thick walls.
the door opened and a man whose attire told Jefferson he might be the
warden stepped inside. The guard shadowed Major James, as did another
underling of some sort.
Jefferson said, “all I wanted was to see my brother. Is this how
you treat all your visitors, Major?”
major isn’t here today, but I am the man in charge. You can call me
Butler. Won’t need any name other than that. And as to your
question, no. This is the way we treat those who belong inside a
cell? What are you talking about?”
thumped Jefferson’s credentials with his free hand. “These here
papers say you are Jefferson Tucker. Is that correct?”
He gave the
man a curt nod. “It is.”
you’re saying is that you are indeed the man whose name you have
given to the guard?”
he said, this time with far less respect.
you have a brother currently incarcerated in our fine facility.”
When Jefferson nodded, he continued. “And what is that inmate’s
is John Tucker,” Jefferson snapped as he sensed a shakedown of some
sort in the offing. It was time to tell them who he really was.
“William John Tucker. Look, I know how these things work, and I am
not someone you can play around with. I have credentials that prove I
am a detective with the London Metropolitan Police.”
eyes narrowed. “I’m not sure I would believe that. You certainly
don’t sound like no foreigner, so I suggest you change your tune
and own up to the truth.”
the truth for you. Either let me see my brother or the warden, or you
can give me the reason why.”
chuckled. “Oh, we will do better than that.” He nodded to the two
men, who approached Jefferson. Though he tried to resist, they
slapped handcuffs on him. “We are going to put you in his cell.”
you doing?” he demanded as the two men jerked him out into the
you to where you belong, Jefferson Tucker,” said the guard who was
still in possession of his revolver and the folding knife.
“I do not
belong in a cell!” Jefferson protested even as he was being dragged
through the doors into a cellblock that smelled worse than it looked.
And that was saying something.
deafening noise began as prisoners shouted and banged whatever they
could grab against the iron cell bars. The guard took out his pistol
and fired one shot.
Up ahead a
door swung open. “Looky here, Tucker,” the other guard sneered.
“Your room is ready. Welcome home.”
the man in charge said. “Let’s let these boys say their howdys
stepped out of the cell. He was dressed in clothing so dirty that
Jefferson could not discern a color or what kept it from shredding
into rags. Legs shackled, the prisoner shuffled toward them. And then
Jefferson knew him.
heaved himself against Jefferson. Though the smell caused Jefferson’s
eyes to water, he stood his ground as John held him tight.
have you done, John?” he said to the man who, under different
circumstances, would be nearly a mirror image of him.
what I had to,” was John’s quiet reply. “I hope someday you
will forgive me, Jeff, but I wasn’t built for a place like this.”
of us were. And rest assured Mother has no idea her boy’s in
trouble. It would kill her if she knew.”
always did see the good in me,” John said.
though she never could see to give me Father’s gold pocket watch
when I asked for it first.” John looked down at Jefferson’s vest.
“I see you’re wearing it now.”
over at the man calling the shots. It took Butler only a moment to
reach down and rip the watch from Jefferson’s pocket.
of you’ll get it now.”
major will hear about this,” Jefferson said, earning him a punch in
the gut that took his breath away.
warden’s underling fixed John with a glare that shut him up quick.
“All right, Will Tucker,” he said to Jefferson. “Are you
verifying that this man is your brother, John Tucker? And that he is
Jefferson said through the pain in his gut as he took in the sight of
his always well-groomed brother with streaks of dirt on his face, his
hair coated with grease and, from the look of this place, thick with
believe that is proof enough for me.” Butler tapped John on the
shoulder. “You were right in saying you were not Will Tucker, John.
On behalf of the state of Louisiana, I hereby declare you to be a
grinned like a fool and then nudged the bully. “Does that mean I
get the watch that is rightfully mine?”
press your luck, son. Just get yourself out of here while I am still
in a mood to let you. Major James might insist on a trial to settle
the facts, and you know how long those things take.”
when I’ve been bested, so you can keep the watch.” John shuffled
off behind the guards without so much as a backward glance.
later, the cell door clanged shut behind Detective Jefferson Tucker
of the London Metropolitan Police, leaving him once again in the
middle of a mess his brother had created.