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Posted August 29, 2011
Shadows on the Sand, by Gayle Roper.
As someone who doesn't usually read mystery stories, I've got to say, I enjoyed this thoroughly! It has just the right mix of mystery, romance, tragedy and recovery. The Christian characteristics are powerful, yet meld into the story very nicely. I've no doubt non-Christians could enjoy this book as much as I did.
I enjoyed getting to know the primary characters, and the secondary characters were introduced just enough to keep things rolling smoothly. I cared about what happened and was satisfied with how the story closed.
At a very young age, Carrie Carter had seen enough abuse, neglect, and ugliness in the world to last a lifetime. She finally gains the courage (and means) to escape, taking her little sister, Lindsay, in tow. They start a new life in Seaside, New Jersey, working at, and eventually owning, a successful café.
The regular café patrons are both charming and flawed, many of them reminding me of people I know. Whether willing participants or not - their lives become entangled by mystery, murder, loss, and love.
I can't really say if the romance or the mystery played the biggest part of this story, but they were both equally developed and kept me interested to the very last page. If there was a sequel to this book I'd certainly read it. I'd label this book as an easy read, a compelling storyline, and a satisfying end!
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Posted March 13, 2012
Author Gayle Roper returns to the New Jersey barrier island town of Seaside for “Shadows on the Sand.” Readers soon learn there are things happening here that sound more like major metropolis than sleepy little resort town in the off-season.
Carrie Carter runs Carrie’s Café, one of the town’s year-round businesses. Her sister Lindsay, the talented cook of the restaurant, shares a comfortable life with Carrie. There’s only one little problem: Carrie loves former police officer Greg Barnes. He hasn’t got a clue that she is anything more someone to pour coffee. He’s too withdrawn to notice her as a woman. He’s still aching from the death of his wife and children and blaming himself for it.
Carrie’s young dishwasher fails to report for work and starts an avalanche of events. When his body turns up, the evidence points to murder. Teen waitress Andi takes his death hard, even though she claims to love another young man. Her guardian Clooney (a supporting character in previous Seaside books) wants to protect her from the mistakes of young hormones, but she may be in danger from other sources. Can he protect her from those?
While there are strong elements of romance in “Shadows on the Sand,” the book centers on a deep mystery. Roper has woven a tight thriller that includes cults, greed, child abuse, drug addiction, alcoholism and posttraumatic stress disorder. The town’s colorful characters aren’t above using Twitter to share suspicions and rumors.
Roper is a Christian author, but don’t mistake that for “wimpy.” Her characters face gritty problems and dangerous situations. They just don’t face them alone. Roper lets her cast demonstrate their faith in small but meaningful ways throughout the riveting book.
I was deeply engaged by “Shadows on the Sand.” Roper’s use of multiple voices makes the narrative compelling and she carries the strategy off in style. This book will appeal to mystery lovers, fans of Christian fiction and those who like romance that takes the high ground.
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Posted January 28, 2013
Posted September 16, 2012
Posted February 20, 2012
Gayle Roper is a truely fine writer, she will keep your interest from start to finnish. An About the time you think you have the story all figured out as to who killed whom and who did what they did, for whatever reason, she sends you in another direction and you have to finish the book only to findout it wasn't who you thought it was or why. Not a hard read but will keep your interest. I've read several of her books and always enjoy looking forward to a new book. You will too.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 19, 2012
Shadows on the Sand: A Seaside Mystery is a compelling book that draws the reader into the lives of its characters. Author Gayle Roper weaves the lives of hurting people together with masterful skill in a dynamic story line. God's healing touch mends the lives of abandoned children, an alcoholic parent, a guilt-ridden widower, former cult members and more; all in one well-written story. I look forward to reading more of Gayle Roper's mysteries.
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Posted February 8, 2012
Posted February 2, 2012
Synopsis: She serves him breakfast at her café every morning…but he never seems to notice her. About: Carrie Carter, the owner of a hopping small cafe in Seaside, New Jersey, is in for more than just taking care of her amusing and yet hair brained cafe patrons, serving tons of coffee and watching out for her little sister Lindsay. Her story becomes entangled with Greg Barnes, a widower and ex cop, the one who makes her heart do a fierce snoopy dance at the sight of him in her cafe. Alongside Carrie's pitter pattering heart, a very much so pieced together family, and an interesting past there is a deep mystery ready to be uncovered. When Carrie finds out that her dishwasher has been murdered and that her young waitress, named Andi, has disappeared she finds that Greg is ready and willing to be on-the-case alongside her. But Carrie will have to deal with her own past, with a little help from Greg and God of course, before they can solve anything, mystery or otherwise. Final Thoughts: I might have just been converted to Suspense Literature by Ms. Roper. I've never been one who's enjoyed Suspense or Mystery novels all that much, but this book changed my mind about halfway through it's 309 pages. While the constant drum of the word Tweet/Twitter was sprinkled about throughout the story a little more often than I would have liked, and the snoopy dance analogy that was used to describe Carrie's fluttering feelings for Greg Barnes drove me a little batty at times, these things all ended up helping the story and aided in tying things up nicely in the very end, to my shock. (I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review of my own words and freely expressed opinions.)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2012
I haven’t read any of Gayle Roper’s other novels but I truly enjoyed reading this one; this book has it all: mystery, cults, suspense, murder, and romance. I enjoy reading mystery books by authors such as James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell, but often have a hard time reading them because of the language and sexual content these novels sometimes contain. It’s always nice to find a mystery novel that tells the story without the use of such things. In Shadows on the Sand, Gayle Roper does a great job of telling an intriguing, captivating story that kept me guessing and turning pages. Just when I thought I had figured out the story, there was a twist that threw me for a loop and had me guessing again. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery story wrapped up with a little romance.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.
Posted January 17, 2012
Carrie ran away from home as a teenager. Carrie was a child but took on the responsibility of bringing her younger sister and raising her. Their mother was an alcoholic and her "boyfriends" were just a little too interested in Carrie. Fortunately, Carrie arrived at Seaside and was taken under the wing of some caring and loving people. She was given a job as a waitress in a local café and provided an apartment. Now Carrie owns the café and operates it with the help of her sister.
Greg used to be a police officer but quit after his family was killed. Now he manages a local Seaside apartment complex and is simply taking life day by day. He has become a regular at Carrie's café but he isn't involved in life until one of Carrie's employees is murdered. Carrie is persuasive and entreats him to help figure out what is going on in their little town, especially after her waitress disappears shortly after the murder.
If the drama of a murdered employee and a waitress that has vanished isn't enough to deal with, Carrie also has to deal with facing her mother for the first time in years. Greg is battling his own problems -- namely guilt over his family's deaths, but finds himself wanting to get closer to Carrie as they become more involved in the seemingly mysterious disappearance and murder.
Shadows on the Sand is a light suspense story with a hint of romance and an overabundance of the inspirational aspect found in Carrie's thoughts, prayers, and scripture inclusions. The romance isn't front-and-center in the story but seems to hover in the background. The action is believable for the most part, but I had difficulty swallowing the inclusion of a cult and twisted cult leader. The characters are reasonably well-developed and the dialogue is realistic. Sorry but this story just didn't do anything for me as there was very little mystery or suspense to be found and the action, although believable, was a bit clichéd.
Posted December 13, 2011
Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper was a wonderfully written book. I enjoyed every minute of it! The setting of this book takes place near a beach/ocean, which is my kind of perfect lifestyle! The characters are very believable and have significant backgrounds. Carrie, the main character owns a café. She and her sister ran away from their mother at young ages, because her mother was a drunk and brought home men who were less than ideal. However, they made a life for themselves and really turned things around. It is interesting to note that the man Carrie has fallen in love with is a widow and has baggage himself. In fact, he barely says two words and while Carrie is madly in love with him, it appears he has absolutely no interest or idea she is even alive, besides going to her café everyday. There is also a mystery involved with this story. You think and the characters think it is going to go one way, but it turns out to go completely different. However, about 2/3¿s or even ¾¿s of the way through, you start to figure it out. The only part I did not care for was the reference to the polygamist lifestyle. However, scripture and prayer was interwoven seamlessly to show that they author did not condone this, it simply added to the plot of the entire story.
This was the first book that I have read by Gayle Roper and I would be very interested in reading more by her!
Posted December 12, 2011
My Synopsis: A disappearance has upset the small town of Seaside, New Jersey, after a fight breaks out at a party, and everyone fears the worst. Jase, an escapee from a religious cult, is later found in the bay. Carrie Carter (owner of the restaurant Jase works for), and Greg Barnes (an ex-cop and daily customer at the restuarant) suspect the boyfriend of another employee, Andi, who picked the fight with Jase just days before. Andi and Jase were in the same cult's compound, and Andi has reason to believe the cult's leader (who claims to be the archangel Michael) and his right-hand man Harl is behind Jase's disappearance. Worse, she believes she may be next because of the secret she holds.
My Reactions: Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper was hard to get into for the first few chapters. I had to trudge my way through it. But after those few chapters, I could NOT put the book down! This story has a lot of suspense and action (and a bit of romance) that left me curious for more. My only complaint was that some chapters were dedicated to the backstory of the characters. But some of that backstory was needed to move the story along.
Overall, I would give this novel 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5.
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. That in no way sways my opinion of this book. All opinions expressed in this review are honest and mine alone.
Posted November 30, 2011
Shadows on the Sand is a sweet romance laced with mystery written by Gayle Roper and published by Waterbrook Multnomah. The author's ease of character development quickly drew me into the developing story-line. This book includes a variety of well developed characters that add to the drama and suspense of the book. The detailed scene descriptions draw the reader into the story's seaside setting. I found this book to be a work of fiction with a hint of reality as the budding romance strives to overcome many obstacles both past and present. The mystery part of this story-line is laced with various forms of crime and cult activity. While nothing is described explicitly, readers sensitive to such topics may not find it enjoyable. This is the first of Gayle Roper's many books that I have read. This book was not quite the emotional roller-coaster ride that I often find myself on while reading books from some of my favorite authors such as Kristen Heitzmann or Nicholas Sparks. Even without the dramatic emotional swings I found it to be an enjoyable, pleasant, clean and easy read. It kept me awake and turning the pages throughout the book. I will consider reading other Gayle Roper books in the future. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 24, 2011
I've read and enjoyed other books by Gayle Roper, and I'm happy to say 'Shadows on the Sand' was no exception! Once I actually started to read this book, I found it interesting almost from the beginning.
Some of the character's stories in 'Shadows on the Sand' I found sad. Carrie Carter and her sister Lindsay ran away from home seventeen years ago because of horrible circumstances, and Greg Barnes' wife and kids are dead because of something that was meant to kill him!
I, personally, really liked 'Shadows on the Sand'. While I normally prefer books that have a LOT of suspense, this book had a really great story and a nice amount of romance that, I found it very enjoyable.
There are a couple of things that may not be suitable for young readers. One of them is there is a cult called 'The Pathway' that practices polygamy.
Overall, 4 stars and I recommend 'Shadows on the Sand' if you enjoy a nice, cozy mystery with romance.
*I received a complimentary copy for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion.*
Posted October 15, 2011
"Shadows on the Sand" by Gayle Roper is set in the small resort community of Seaside, New Jersey. Our hero, Greg Barnes, is an ex-cop who has gone through a traumatic three years since his family was brutally killed. Our heroine, Carrie Carter, runs the local café and has issues involving her own past to work through. When one of Carrie's dishwashers is killed, the two work together to save another employee and solve the crime.
Greg, Carrie, and the other main characters have some of the best-drawn, in-depth characterizations that I've read in a long time. These are three-dimensional people with problems and emotions that I can relate to. Nothing is simple in their world, but they come together to help each other cope with their problems and grow in faith.
This novel has the subtitle "A Seaside Mystery". I'm not sure if this book is a romantic mystery or a contemporary romance with mysterious twists, but regardless of which genre you prefer, this book is a quick, enjoyable read. Don't start it before bedtime, or you may be up all night reading.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Posted October 15, 2011
This book starts out like a fun beachy book with romance brewing between two very damaged people and a fun supporting cast of secondary characters that all congregate at "Carrie's Cafe" in the mornings. Then an employee of the Cafe turns up missing and is then found dead, then while that is being investigated another young employee turns up missing. Carrie and Greg find themselves in the middle of it all but can the duplicity of the people around them be found out before anyone else dies? It turns out that Carrie and Greg aren't the only people in Seaside with baggage from their pasts and some people have enough baggage to get them (and those they love) killed.
"Shadows on the Sand" have a couple really great veins in it - there is a whole thread about social networking that I got a total kick out of and one on cults that was pretty eye-opening. This was a really good book and I look forward to seeing where Gayle might take this series from here.
Posted October 12, 2011
A Fiction/ Suspense Novel witten by Gayle Roper in which Carrie Carter and her sister Lindsey had ran away to SeaSide NJ to get away from abuse. Carrie first worked at the cafe and later owned it. Carrie had a crush on an ex-cop Greg who had lost his family a few years before to an explosion and came into the cafe daily.
When the dishwasher got killed and a waitress disappeared Carrie and Greg try to figure it all out.
I enjoyed this book. I received the book free from Waterbrook multomah to read and review. The opinion expressed are my own.
Posted September 21, 2011
SHADOWS ON THE SAND by Gale Roper is a interesting suspense set in Seaside,New Jersey. It is "A Seaside Mystery". It has faith, love, romance,mystery,some suspense,family connections,sadness,tragedy,murder,forgiveness,second chances,secrets and love. This is a heart warming story with an emotional ride that will stay with you long after the last page. A great story. Received for review from Library Thing and the publisher.Details can be found at Waterbrook Multnomah and My Book Addiciton Reviews.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 16, 2011
I had a bit of trouble getting into this book, I found there to be way too much dialog in the beginning. Talking and discussions in the café really brought the flow to a halt. Once the characters moved away from the café the conversations were less and the book flowed better and the story started to take shape.
I like the characters and the little seaside village they live in. The residence of the village are sweet and each have their own little quirks. The main characters are flawed and need help from each other to find their way and I think that is the way with everyone on the planet. We all need someone to help gets us through the day and love us for us. Greg had lost everything and Carrie had never had anything, the two were meant for each other.
The pacing improved after the first few chapter, and the book calls itself a Seaside Mystery, but it really is a Christian romance with scripture verses and loads of pray. I liked the story and I think the author went a bit over board in God portions. Yes he leads our lives and his time is his.but enoughs enough. I have read several Christian romances and this one pushed it a bit more than the others I have really enjoyed, not to mention it said it was a mystery and there was not much in the mystery department. A religious cult gone bad, really? Which ones are good? The mystery was pushed to the far side of the story and it is mainly a romance with Christian under tones.
The story was sweet and fast to read. The stuff about Twitter and other Social Media Sites was funny and I enjoyed that bit quite a lot. If you enjoy Christian romance then you will enjoy this book.
Posted September 9, 2011
Sometimes a book will very appealing from the outside, and then you begin to read and find that the story is very flat. That is what happened with Shadows on the Sand. I had read several other reviews and was expecting the book to be interesting, but instead it turned out otherwise.
Carrie works in a diner in the city of, Seaside, and she has a crush on a frequent visitor, Greg. He is still grieving the loss of the family, but after a string of missing locals they begin to grow closer as they investigate.
I want to mention the two leads have absolutely no chemistry, and the dialogue is very cheesy between them sometimes. The minor characters were slightly stronger, but the people who were victims were difficult to feel anything for because they weren't well developed. Another thing I thought was terrible were the villains. They seemed like stereotypical dunces you would see in a movie.
This book also included social networking more than any other book I've read in the plot, and it was not well included atall. If someone isn't familiar with Twitter, they will have no idea what the author is referring to when she says "tweeter" to describe someone. She had to use Twitter to advance her plot, but in reality the networking site is not nearly popularized as it is in her book, and for someone her lack of knowledge about the site seemed obvious.
Why was there reason to like this book? The story still kept my interest, though it was difficult for me to continue reading because of the bad character development. Depending on what your favorite part about reading is you might like the story. There are some interesting scenarios explored, which had potential to be more interesting than they were.
This book had potential to be better than it was, but it was lacking in how it read, and the characters. They didn't feel very deep, and sometimes the way they acted was tacky.
This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for a review.