Ransomed Dreams

Ransomed Dreams

4.1 15
by Amy N. Wallace

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Chained To Yesterday

When tragedy struck and Gracie Lang lost everything, her faith crumbled, and nothing but the drive for justice propelled her forward. But after two years of dead-end searching, the truth Gracie seeks is the very thing her stalker will stop at nothing to hide.

Forgiveness Unlocks the Future

An FBI agent in the

…  See more details below


Chained To Yesterday

When tragedy struck and Gracie Lang lost everything, her faith crumbled, and nothing but the drive for justice propelled her forward. But after two years of dead-end searching, the truth Gracie seeks is the very thing her stalker will stop at nothing to hide.

Forgiveness Unlocks the Future

An FBI agent in the Crimes Against Children Unit, Steven Kessler spends his days rescuing other people’s children and nights caring for his son. He’s through with God, embittered by his ex-wife who abandoned them both, and definitely doesn’t expect what’s coming next.

The Past Is the Key

A plot to kidnap a British ambassador’s daughter dangerously intersects Steven and Gracie’s worlds–a collision that demands a decision. But are they willing to pay the high ransom required to redeem dreams and reignite hope?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Steeped in police intrigue and rich characters, Ransomed Dreams entertains, educates, and captivates. Amy Wallace is a fresh, vibrant voice in the Christian market.”
- Mark Mynheir, homicide detective and author of The Void.

Ransomed Dreams had me hooked from the start and didn’t let go until the deeply satisfying ending.”
- Kristin Billerbeck, author of What a Girl Wants

Product Details

The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Publication date:
Defenders of Hope Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.15(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.90(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Gracie’s night overflowed with promise. Uncharacteristic Georgia snow glistened in the front yard, and a cozy fire warmed her living room. She hummed “Silent Night,” even though the memory of Christmas grew to the week-old mark. Cider sloshed in her hands as she dodged two-year-old Joshua to find her corner of the couch.

“Mommy, me like da fire truck.” Joshua circled the coffee table, making siren noises, as Jake, their golden retriever, beat a quick retreat to his new bed in the corner.

“Come here, little man.” Mark flopped down on the floor and tickled the toy away from Joshua.

Gracie smiled at the scene near her feet and caught Mark looking her over. He winked. They’d soon enjoy a private celebration of their seventh anniversary, complete with chocolate, a bubble bath, and massages–after the kiddos were tucked in bed at their grandparents’ house a short drive away.

Christmas tree lights twinkled, and candles filled the air with the aromas of vanilla and peppermint. Gracie listened for the oven’s beep, indicating her famous chocolate pound cake was finished, but heard nothing except Jake’s tail thumping against his pallet.

Elizabeth snuggled up with a book and her pink blanket in the rocking chair across the room. Gracie smiled. “You going to join us, sweetie?”

Her blond curls bounced as she hurried past her daddy’s extended hand. Elizabeth preferred books to tickles any day. “I readin’ the book you gaved me.” She hopped into Gracie’s lap. “See the princess? I wanna be like her when I growed up.”

“You already are a princess.” Mark rose to his knees and pretended to bow. Elizabeth rewarded him with little giggles before she disappeared into the book again.

Gracie set her empty mug down and poked at Mark’s long, muscular legs with her toes. Tonight couldn’t come soon enough.

“Penny for your thoughts, beautiful.” He slipped up on the couch and drew her close.

“It’ll cost you more than that.”

“How ’bout a kiss or two?”

Mark’s kisses would buy him anything he wanted. It was a wonder they didn’t have more than two children. “I’ll tell you, and then we’ve got to run. Kisses come later.” Heat filled her cheeks at the memory of their almost seven years. Guess God knew two little ones were about all she could manage and retain some semblance of sanity. “I don’t want to keep my parents waiting, but we can hurry home after.”

“No kisses first?” Mark stuck out his bottom lip. His blond, blue-eyed, six-foot frame shrank into the back of the couch with arms folded over his chest. He looked adorable with a pout.

“Don’t start, mister. I’ll collect my payment later.”

His little-boy expression slid into a lazy grin. He planted a kiss on her forehead. “We’d better hustle then.”

“You gonna bing da chock-it, Mommy?” Joshua zoomed his fire truck across the table again.

The cake.

She hightailed it into the kitchen. The oven remained cold and dark. No aroma of baking cake. “I don’t believe it. I forgot to turn on the oven.”

“No chocolate?” Elizabeth hugged her leg. “It’ll be okay.”

“Elizabeth’s right.” Mark picked up their pint-sized princess and tickled her tummy. “We’ll survive this one New Year’s Eve without the cake.”

“Hode me too, Daddy.” Joshua’s lobster claw hands snapping open and shut, begging to be picked up, made Gracie smile.

She checked the creamy brown batter and turned on the oven. “I really don’t want to waste all this good chocolate. Besides, it’s tradition. So why don’t you all head out, and I’ll bring the cake in time for dessert.” She rubbed Jake’s neck as he nudged closer to what he must have hoped would be dinner.

“I’d rather go without the cake than have you miss dinner.” Elizabeth and Joshua nodded.

“I’ll just straighten up around here a little and come over as soon as the oven beeps.” Gracie tickled Elizabeth’s side. “It won’t be too long.”

Mark hoisted their two kiddos higher on his hips. “Can we survive without Mommy for a few short minutes, my little man and little princess?”

They giggled.

“I’ll make sure everything is ready for when we get home.” Gracie wiggled her eyebrows.

That made Mark haul the kids out of the kitchen and toward the front door. He wrapped two squirming, laughing children into coats and hats as Jake danced around them, barking.

She adjusted the greenery on the banister. “I’ll see you soon.”

Mark hustled Elizabeth and Joshua through the kitchen again and out the door to the garage. He turned back toward her. “I’m thinking about a long night in front of the fire.”

She walked into his arms and adjusted his scarf. “You are the most wonderful husband in all the world, Mark Lang. I love you–to infinity and beyond.”

“Buzz Lightyear you are not, and I’m glad.” He wrapped his strong hands around hers and drew her close. When he placed a kiss on each one, she couldn’t stop the shiver that trailed up her spine.

Gracie stepped back. “But you’d better go before I decide not to let you out of my sight.”

“Come with us then. Turn off the oven and forget the cake.”

“Daddy, help peese!” Joshua’s voice came through the open door.

Gracie tilted her head to the side and put her hands on her hips.

Mark held up his palms in surrender. “I know. I know. I’m going and I’ll be careful. Don’t be too long, okay? I love you.”

She tipped her chin up and closed her eyes. His lips met hers and deepened the kiss while his arms lifted her off the ground.

With a playful nudge, she pulled back. “Soon.”

He set her down, slow and steady. His lingering smile sent a silent promise that warmed her from the inside out.

She couldn’t help but giggle when he turned up his jacket collar and winked.

She tossed him the keys and then flipped on the outside light as he buckled two little ones into their old blue minivan and closed the door. “Nice view,” she whispered.

Mark backed out of their driveway and into the white-dusted road.

One last wave and he was gone.

Gracie put books and all manner of toys back under the tree. They’d clean up later. Tonight was for fun. And romance.

Then she noticed a little pink teddy bear blanket flopping over the edge of Elizabeth’s tiny rocking chair. Elizabeth wouldn’t sleep without it.

The grandfather clock in the foyer showed that only three minutes had passed.

“If I know my girl, she’s probably asking for it now.” Gracie smiled. If she hurried, she’d catch up to Mark’s careful un-Atlanta-like driving. Cake or not, she’d rather be with her family.

Then it hit her. She could have her cake and her family too. She turned off the oven, loaded the still-cold cake into a carrier, and left Jake settled down for a long winter’s nap. She hustled into Mark’s restored Mustang–pink bear blanket and yummy chocolate in tow.

Within ten minutes, she spotted their van not too far off Highway 316. A few more turns and she’d have to slow down. The country landscape in the dark with snow falling wasn’t a good place to make up time.

Suddenly a fast-moving black truck flashed its brights.

Then everything blurred. Screeching tires. Crunching metal.
The truck plowed into the front of their minivan and sent it spinning off the road.

A scream filled the Mustang.

She slammed the brakes and swerved as the black monster barreled toward her. Look! Her mind willed her head to turn away from where the van had disappeared. She caught sight of a young man’s wild eyes as the truck sped past.

She pulled over to the shoulder and kicked open the door.
As she ran to the edge of the road, her pulse hammered against her temples. The van’s engine made the solitary noise at the bottom of a long, steep hill.

“Mark! My babies!”

Police. Ambulance. Phone.

She ran back to the car and fumbled through her purse. Phone shaking in her frozen hands, she called for help.

“Nine-one-one. What’s your emergency?”

“Car accident. My family is trapped at the bottom of a hill. Off Highway 316. Past Harbins Road. I need to go help them.”

“Ma’am, if you could stay on the line–”

She dropped the phone and ran back to the tire-streaked pavement where the van had disappeared. “Oh, Lord, please let them get here fast.”

She fell to the ground and started to slide down into the ravine. Cold seeped into her coat as she pushed heavy branches out of her path, slowing the descent.

Minutes later, sirens split her desperate prayers. The once-quiet scene filled with red and blue lights, voices yelling. Police cars and fire trucks. Men in uniform pulling her back up to the road. Back to Mark’s car. Away from her family.


Gracie spun around at the slight touch to her elbow.

“Did you see the accident?” An older police officer stood with his notepad and pen motioning toward the hill where firefighters swarmed.

“Yes, they’re my…”

“Can you describe in as much detail as possible what you saw?”

Gracie blinked and turned back to the hill. “My husband and two kids are down there. Are they going to be okay? Please tell me they’re going to be okay.”

“That’s your family?” The officer’s pen froze. He surveyed the scene and shrugged his black coat closer to his neck. “They’re doing all they can, ma’am. We’ll hear something soon.”

“I was following them. A black truck hit our van and sent it down the hill.” Bright white lights and screeching metal filled her mind. Air burned her lungs. Short gulps didn’t satisfy, and forcing more words out felt impossible. Within seconds a female officer placed a scratchy blanket around her shoulders.

“Did you see the driver?”

“He was young, had a chubby face. A college student, maybe? I…I’m not sure.”

Firefighters started hauling stretchers up the hill. Two of them. The female officer stepped into her view.

Beyond the officer, a heavyset medic clambered up the hill toward a group of uniformed men. “They’re gonna be DOA, man. No need to break your neck getting down there.”

Her knees buckled. “Oh no. Please. No.”

The older officer took her arm and steadied her. “Ma’am, is there anyone we can call to be with you? To bring you to the hospital?”

Tears stung her eyes. She searched the ground for her phone until the female officer placed it in her hand. “My parents…were expecting us.” She covered her mouth and tried to get a breath.
“Thompson. My daddy.” She handed the phone back. “In the contacts.”

The last stretcher came up the hill, and Gracie thought she saw a bloody foot move. She fought against the female officer who held her near Mark’s Mustang while the firefighters loaded the stretcher into a second ambulance. “It’s best that you stay here, ma’am.”

“My husband and babies…”

Minutes passed in a haze as other police officers arrived and left. Then her parents pulled into the chaos. Her father took her in his arms and nodded to the remaining officers.

“Daddy, you have to hurry. I saw Elizabeth move. I need to get to them.”

All the way to Gwinnett Medical, no one spoke a word.

They’re okay. They have to be okay.
Over and over the words raced through Gracie’s head. Another part of her mind heard DOA.

She jumped from the car as soon as her dad pulled up to the ER doors. She rushed straight to the reception desk. “Please, my family. They were brought here. A car accident. I have to see them. My name is Gracie Lang.”

The woman forced a smile. “Just a moment.”

Police officers milled around just beyond the desk. One of them stepped away from the others. The older officer from the side of the road. “Mrs. Lang?”


Her mother’s arms tightened around her waist.

The officer motioned for her to follow him as he walked through the ER doors. “They’re in trauma room one.”

“Is my family okay? Please tell me they are…”

He stopped just outside the door. His stiff posture softened, and he shifted from one foot to the other. “I’m really sorry, ma’am. The EMTs did everything they could.”

“No! This has to be a mistake. I saw my daughter move. They have to be alive.” She pushed her mother’s arms away. “I need to see them.”

The officer stepped away from the door.

“Gracie, I’ll go.” Her dad’s strong hands held her rooted in place. “You stay here with your mother.”

“No. I have to see for myself.” She forced her legs to walk through the cold metal door. All around, the ER buzzed with voices, clanging metal, and electronic rhythms. An acrid smell assaulted her senses, and she focused on the center of the room.

Three white sheets.

I can’t do this.

Every thought of how to survive this moment froze like the December ice outside. Useless muscles refused to move. Warring emotions unraveled the last thread of peace holding her heart together.

Nothing remained.

Gracie fixed her eyes on the lifeless covered bodies. A mistake. This was all a mistake. A different van. Not her family.

The nurse stood next to a large form covered in sterile white. She waited patiently, eyes filled with compassion.

A traitor to her inner scream to flee, she moved forward. The nurse began folding the sheet down. Gracie closed her eyes.

Maybe it won’t be Mark. This is all a mix-up.

She drew in a few shallow breaths and opened her eyes. The blond hair and defined jawline belonged to her husband. No mistake.

An icy hand wrapped around her heart and it exploded.

Oh, Father, why can’t this be a mistake?

She reached out quivering fingers and then recoiled at the chill of Mark’s cheek. Beneath the bruises and lacerations was the face she had kissed good morning for the past seven years.

The nurse stepped away, but Gracie knew she waited with the police officer, just beyond her view. If she could get through the officer’s questions. Beyond her parents’ heart-wrenching sobs. Past her front door at home. She would turn the lock and…

Gracie looked at the ceiling. “Please, God. Please let this be a dream.”

When she looked back down, nothing had changed.

The nurse had removed the sheet to reveal Mark’s face, but Gracie needed to see his hands. She moved the white cotton material away from his side. The sheet felt as cold as his rigid limbs. She’d give anything for one more touch of his gentle hands as they caressed her. Held her together. Lent her courage.

Gracie forced her fingers to move. Her knees quivered as if she’d run a marathon, and she could barely see for the flood of tears that splattered as drops of gray all over the bloodied sheet. She turned away to keep from falling, only to face a sight no mother could bear.

My babies.

Leaden hands muffled the scream that fought its way through her lips. Gracie shut her eyes against the two small covered forms in front of her.

Her burning eyes held no more tears. She didn’t want to move. Didn’t want to breathe. Didn’t want to remember anything from this day. The only life she wanted existed before this room.

The joy of Mark’s proposal.

The first time she saw Elizabeth and Joshua, red and squalling.

The sweet scent of her newborn babies, or the brush of a kiss on her cheek.

A young nurse pressed two items into Gracie’s hands. The pungent odor of blood and hospital antiseptic stung her eyes and nose. The woman whispered something about them being ready to take home.

Home. Gracie stared at the things in her arms. Joshua’s fire truck and Goodnight Moon, Elizabeth’s favorite book, felt like shadows in her arms. They were all she had left.

Gracie turned for one final look before she stepped out to the bustling world whirling without her. Three white sheets.

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Meet the Author

Amy Wallace is the author of Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises, a homeschool mom, and self-confessed chocoholic. She is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and a contributing author of several books including God Answers Moms’ Prayers and Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

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Ransomed Dreams 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
KLBCHOICES More than 1 year ago
Gracie Lang is a happily married woman and the mother of two. But then tragedy strikes and she loses her family because of a drunk driver. She's determined to find the man who killed her precious loved ones so that he will be made to pay for his senseless crime. Time goes by, but she does not give up even when others feel her quest for justice is a waste of time. She's angry at God for what happened but despite what she feels she does her best to keep trusting in Him... one day at a time. When it seems she's losing faith - in herself, in hopes of a future, in God - a friend or family member knows just the right thing to say to help Gracie hold onto her beliefs. Steven Kessler is a federal agent; a Crimes Against Children investigator responsible for bringing kids back to their families. He's also a divorcee and a devoted father. He's been single for five years and he's not too interested in starting a new relationship. And the relationship he had with the heavenly Father, that weakened the day his ex-wife left him. Making the world a safer place for his son, James - that is what Steven cares about most. But Steven's friend, Clint, has been praying that Steven will fall in love again, praying for James to have a mother, and he believes Gracie Lang is the answer to his prayers. Will Steven give love a second chance? Will he renew his relationship with God? Every now and then I read a book that makes me feel as if I'm watching a television movie. Ransomed Dreams is one of them, and I had a feeling it would be when I read the description. I really liked this book! Parts of it reminded me of the television show Flashpoint, which I really like watching, and near the end - I think it was around chapter 36 - I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I love the author's way with words, and what I loved most was the way she made sure the truth was not left out when a character said something that contradicted the Word of God. This is the first book I've read by Amy Wallace and I am really looking forward to reading the remaining books in the Defenders of Hope Series. I am so glad I discovered this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to start this review with my disclaimer as I do for many.. I just do not really like the 'real' contemporary fiction books, they are not my 'escape'. With that said, when I started this book it was just so real and heart wrenching that I was going to put it back and not even try to read it. But, I couldn't. No matter how bad I was feeling and the facts of the storyline depressing, I just had to know what happened. I couldn't put it down and had to find out what would happen to Gracie and her life. So, obviously, Amy's writing hooked me. I'd say that the type of story is much like that Justice series of Karen Ball. They are similar in that they touch many aspects of life and a very true to reality. I did enjoy the overall story, with getting to the end. The message of Christ's love and forgiveness throughout is very refreshing and great to see in a 'real' environment, since so often in life it appears to be only quietly present. Now for my rant. Parts that I did not like was that it seemed nobody was in their original marriage. Maybe it's just because of the way that I am, but that bothered me. I'm a marriage is for life person, there is no second, but I know many people disagree with that. In this story there was a widower remarried, a wife who abandoned her husband and remarried her adulterous partner, a woman living out of wed-lock with her children's father, and then hints at other remarriages. I do not know why it bothered me so, but it did that just one couple it seemed was married to their original spouse. Overall, the message is great, and I do think this book would appeal to the reader who enjoys the edgy storyline. There are cops and criminals, death and life, some romance and Christ's love and a great message. This is a book that would probably appeal also to those outside of the normal 'Christian Fiction' genre, because it is not the flowery and overly preachy sort, but it is still present.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gracie Lang is shaken when she watches her husband and children killed by a drunk driver right in front of her eyes. She spends her time trying to track the killer down to what ends in something she would have preferred never happen. She was working right beside the killer all the time and did not know it. But not knowing her killed her family holds her hostage. Steven Kessler is reeling from his wife leaving him when his son was born and trying to juggle home and a job at the same time as a single Dad. He has a lot of bitterness he doesn't want to let go of. A British Ambassador's daughter is kidnapped and lines up with the killer of Gracie's family thus causing all the events to weave together. Steven is an FBI Agent so you get a look into the life of an Agent and find they have problems in real life same as you do. Interesting how several characters involved in different problems all come together to affect each others lives forever. Forgiveness has to come for Steven and Gracie before they can move on with their lives. It is interesting the questions asked concerning God and if we were all honest, we ask the same questions. This is a book that is hard to lay down - you just got to keep reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gracie Long¿s triple tragedy has left her shaken and spiritually bereft even two years after the fatal car accident that claimed the lives of her husband and two young children. To find purpose and a will to go on, Gracie has vowed to find the young man responsible for the crime. So little to go on other than Gracie being certain the driver had been intoxicated. Still craving the justice that has eluded her, she takes a position as a school teacher at a private school near the nation¿s capital. Steven Kessler, an FBI agent in the Crimes Against Children¿s Unit, carries his own bitterness against an ex-wife who abandoned him and their infant son. He finds himself attracted to his son¿s teacher. Neither he nor Gracie is seeking a relationship at this time. Steven¿s life becomes even more complicated when his ex-wife returns wanting custody of their son. Gracie doubts she can handle her own baggage in addition to Steven¿s harried life as an agent and divorced father. When a British ambassador¿s daughter is kidnapped, Gracie and Stephen¿s lives become enmeshed with intrigue and suspense and they are thrown together as their pasts collide. Amy Wallace¿s personal law enforcement experience lends credibility to the description of procedures and police procedures. Ransomed Dreams is the first of Ms. Wallace¿s Defenders of Hope Series. If this book is a foretaste of things to come, readers are in for a treat with future novels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Her quest to see him pay, the anger that still simmered below the surface, gave her more strength than crumpling in her sadness¿She wasn¿t ready to give that up.¿ (p. 256) When people face tragedy, they look for someone to blame. Gracie Lang didn¿t have to look far, because she witnessed the hit and run that changed her life. Now she¿s obsessed with finding the man who took everything from her. She rebuilds parts of her life, but her heart is far from healed. Her path keeps crossing with FBI agent Steve Kessler who has his own past horrors to deal with. Their struggle toward wholeness is set against a tense kidnap and murder plot. Ransomed Dreams grabbed me by the throat in the first few pages, and kept me entertained with a complex interweaving plot. I was especially impressed with the authentic feel of the FBI interactions. But beyond the external storyline, Ransomed Dreams also whispered themes of healing and hope. The characters wrestle with honest questions and face the limits of their own attempts to deal with pain. The author¿s core focus of ¿heart healing¿ is portrayed with compassion and power.
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
Ransomed Dreams has a gut-wrenching beginning. I cried when Gracie's family was wiped out in a tragic car accident. In fact, I needed a breather from the story because it made me so sad. Then I picked up the story again and the action pulled me right back in. Gracie's quest to determine who killed her family intersected with Steven's case--the plot to kidnap the British ambassador's daughter. Several points of view showed a variety of perspectives, all of which increased the tension in the story because you knew what certain people were thinking. The 'bad guys' were twisted, yet believable in their perspectives. The author did a great job creating further intrigue that way. And the romantic element between Gracie and Steve was delectable. Steven's ex and the subplot involving his son really grabbed my heart and my attention. I felt the hopelessness that both Steven and Gracie experienced at times, ultimately resulting in them having to do some soul-searching in regards to their relationship with God and His will for their lives. The theme of forgiveness was also very well done and believable. The reader will wrestle the characters' pain right along with them. There are no quick fixes and this story doesn't offer any, but it does give you a glimpse into the pain and struggles of the characters, and it shows the tender love and firm grip that God had on their lives, and has on the lives of all of His children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Grab a box of tissues before you sit down to read the debut romantic suspense novel, Ransomed Dreams by Amy Wallace. By page sixteen I had a tissue in one hand and the book in the other, my eyes riveted to the pages. In the opening chapters Wallace touches that tender place that parents hope never to tread. As Gracie Lang watches, her husband and two darling little children are killed in an automobile accident. We then pick up the story two years later where Gracie has healed as much as a parent could from that kind of loss. She is ready to move forward, which includes following a romantic interest in FBI agent Steven Kessler who heads up the Crimes Against Children Unit. But before Gracie can heal as God would have us all do in our pain, she has to fully let go of the past. She thinks finding the hit and run driver who killed her family will do that for her. She hires a private investigator to dig into the accident and bring the killer to justice. Only then does Gracie think she¿ll find closure. The PI¿s sleuthing resurfaces all of Gracie¿s dormant emotions and propels her into a run for her own life. Still, she must move toward, forgiving the driver if she hopes to be whole again. Agent Kessler fights a similar struggle with forgiveness. His demons, an ex-wife who has a devilish agenda of her own and his failure to save the lives of abducted children, keep Stephen from pursuing the relationship he desires with Gracie. Ransomed Dreams shows us his and Gracie¿s clear struggle to love again through forgiving those who have hurt them, a process only possible through God¿s forgiveness. This romantic suspense moves along well. Wallace provides a good balance between action, romance, and personal growth. From page one, Gracie gains our love and sympathy from the loss of her children, but as we read on, she gains our respect for courage in the face of a seemingly insurmountable loss. We can apply her struggle to our everyday fight to let God take over our lives and heal our hurts. If you love romantic suspense, Ransomed Dreams is a must read. And be sure to watch for the coming sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time putting this book down. I¿m new to the Romantic Suspense genre, so I didn¿t know what to expect when I agreed to join Amy¿s blog tour. What a way to be broken into this particular area of Christian Fiction! Amy¿s characters are rich and believable and there's nothing cheesy about this story. I found myself cheering them on and as they took steps on their journeys of Faith, I saw my own steps towards understanding how and why God works the way He does. As they learned the hard lessons, sometimes very painful ones, I cringed and sunk down lower in my chair feeling the weight of their hearts. As the beautiful gestures of family and love were displayed for the reader 'me' I was drawn into the importance of the roles our families play in our lives, both the challenging and uplifting. Sometimes we¿re the giver and sometimes we¿re the receiver of such gestures. The well-crafted mystery the characters are intimately woven into keeps you guessing. I didn¿t have everything figured out by the end of the third chapter, and the little surprises along the way were entertaining and sometimes shocking. Amy is amazing at pulling you into experiencing the emotions and life dramas the characters are working through. I loved that Amy included a reader¿s guide to encourage further exploration into the Truths 'Capital T' God has for each of us. Gracie and Steven had the same struggles I¿ve had ¿ and I know you¿ve had them as well. Things like feeling helpless and trying to prove we¿re not powerless, and believing the lie that we¿re not good enough. But the most common question and struggle ¿ one that is asked every day by many believers and unbelievers alike ¿ is WHY? Why does God allow bad things to happen even when people pray? While she readily admits sometimes we won¿t find or understand the answers to our ¿why¿ questions, Amy does an incredible job of weaving a tale of hope and forgiveness that will send you to your knees to talk to the only One who knows and can answer ALL of your deepest questions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ransomed Dreams is a truly captivating story. I simply have to say that I loved the book!! It was so refreshing to find myself only halfway through the book and wondering where the rest of the story would lead! And I absolutely enjoyed being so engrossed in the characters that I had to re-read several passages to fully appreciate their feelings and experiences. I commonly find myself bored at some point with characters or plot lines in novels, but I was on the edge of my seat during the entire read of Ransomed Dreams!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amy Wallace takes you on a wild ride in her new book Ransomed Dreams. It held my attention from page one to the closing of the book!!!! The story centers around Gracie Lang, who experiences what a person might call their worst nightmear ... watching her family killed right in front of her. As Gracie tries to heal she moves to a different place and begins working as a teacher at a special school. It's at this special school she meets the father of one of her students. FBI agent Steven Kessler works in the Crimes Against Children Unit and struggles with many heart issues, such as, how could God let terrible things happen to children as well as resentment toward an ex-wife who walked out on him and their infant son several years earlier and guilt for the times he didn't solve a case in time which resulted in a victim rather than a victory. As Gracie continues to seek justice for her family's death and Steven tries to solve a major case, their paths come dangereously close. This story is their journey through some very painful issues. Steven and Gracie felt very real. They were not saints but very much struggled with things you and I struggle with. Their feelings and emotions were completely realistic. The secondary characters were ones you want to know better. Clint and Sara were a great couple. Clint makes a great partner and best friend for Steven. I highly recommend this page turning novel. It will be a tough wait for book two 'Clint and Sara's Story'... due out April 2008. Get the book...you won't be sorry. Thanks Amy! Great work!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the debut release by new author Amy Wallace. In it, Amy mixes romance and suspense liberally with the trick of letting you know who the bad guys are almost from the beginning. Hence, it's not a thriller, but rather the race to see who is going to win. Gracie and Steven first intersect over Steven's son James, who reminds Gracie a lot of the son she lost. As a teacher at a private school in a DC suburb that caters to the wealthy and influential, she's used to secret service agents being around. However, she's not prepared for the calls that take Steven away or cancel their first few dates. Or the threats to her students. The spiritual threads are strongly woven into the book. And somehow Amy finds the right balance the prevents that thread from becoming too preachy or those passages becoming the ones I skip. The book¿s timeline is leisurely, allowing for more development in the characters, and the author¿s writing style was straightforward. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of the author's books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I know a book is good when I am not able to put it down and Ransom Dreams was just that. A very moving book...It touched on all my fears, but showed so well God's love and forgiveness
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the Atlanta area, Mark and Gracie Ann Lang and their two preadolescent children Elizabeth and Joshua are going to spend New Year¿s at her parents¿ home. However, Gracie Ann forgot to turn on her oven so sends her three loved ones ahead. After they leave, Gracie Ann realizes she can bake the cake in her mom¿s oven she leaves also. On the highway she is behind her family when an out of control pick-up truck rams into their minivan. The truck driver keeps going while Gracie Ann sees three sheets.-------------- Two years later in DC, FBI Crimes Against Children Coordinator Steven Kessler is assigned the abductions of seventeen years old Olivia Kensington daughter of the British ambassador Sir Walter, and her best friend Jordan. Sir Walter hides information from Steven making the case increasingly likely to result in murder. Steven meets still grieving Gracie Ann when he goes to pick up his son James at the Hope Ridge Academy where she teaches (having left Georgia). He arranges with a private sleuth friend to investigate her obsession to bring to justice her family¿s killer even while someone watches every move she makes to insure she cannot get to close to the killer driver.--------------- Though the DC link between Gracie Ann and the vehicular homicide ¿watcher¿ seems too great a coincidence and her meeting the Fed at the school seems doubtful but not as stretched, RANSOMED DREAMS is an exciting romantic suspense thriller due to the caring personalities of the lead couple. Whereas Steven personalizes when he or his team fail to save the life of a child from a human predator, Gracie Ann obsesses over an eye for an eye justice for her late family. Fans will root for this couple who need one another to move past recent traumas (hers is obvious his is a kid ¿saved¿ too late). Amy Wallace writes a strong character study as grief is personal surfacing differently in people.------------------ Harriet Klausner