19 November 2015

Diana's Review Of 'Rising Darkness' By Nancy Mehl


Rising Darkness By Nancy Mehl
Bethany House Publishers, Oct. 27, 2015

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 stars!~
(No Spoilers!)

Menacing Mennonite Suspense!

Once again, author Nancy Mehl has crafted a suspenseful page-turner set against the peaceful backdrop of the quaint, small town of Sanctuary—a predominantly Mennonite community with only two churches, two charming cafes, cozy picturesque houses, and is as safe as its name suggests—or is it?

Sophie Wittenbauer dreads going to Sanctuary as memories of an abusive, shameful past in her strict Mennonite hometown of Kingdom still haunt her. However, when she learns a suspect from a crime committed years earlier may be hiding in Sanctuary, she sees it as an opportunity to further her career at the newspaper. Although Sophie assumes a false identity so that she can investigate, she begins to receive threatening notes and fears her cover has somehow been blown. Then to her shock she runs into the very person she has loved her whole life—a man she could never be good enough for because of her degrading past. What is he doing in Sanctuary and who wants to stop her...perhaps permanently? As darkness envelopes Sophie and seeks to destroy her, will she begin to put her trust in the God she feels has forsaken her since childhood? Will she ever learn to love herself as God loves her and open herself up to romance?

Nancy Mehl's Rising Darkness is one of her best novels to date in my opinion! I pride myself in figuring out whodunits, but although I racked my brain I still had no clue who the bad guy was! The author compassionately and discreetly dealt with the subject of adult victims of child abuse and low self-esteem issues resulting from it. Sophie was so dear to my heart that I just wanted to hug her seemingly tough little independent self and tell her I went through the same battle and there is light at the end of the tunnel! God will turn our mourning into dancing and clothe us with gladness if we'll let Him! With just the right peppering of romance, realistic multifaceted characters, and a wonderful message of redemption—all interwoven with an intricate and suspenseful, heart-racing plot—what more could you ask for in a book? Not a thing!...so be sure to order your copy today!

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Mennonite Women Dress Quite Differently Than The Amish


This book may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, BAM, and your local bookstore.

GIVEAWAY: Nancy Mehl is generously giving away a  paperback copy of Rising Darkness to one blessed commenter. To be eligible be sure to leave your email address using (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers.

45 comments:

  1. Wow, once again you've outdone yourself on writing a stunning review Diana!! I'm always trying to figure out the 'bad guy' in movies or books, and this one sounds like it'll give me a great challenge! Not to mention an entertaining story. I've been wanting to read one of Nancy's books for a while now and it's only for lack of time that I haven't. I'm going to have to create some extra time to read this one though.. :-)

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    1. Thank you so much, my dear Aussie cohort! I love Nancy's suspense books with the small town element, and I believe you would really enjoy this one!

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  2. Oh wow! A whodunit that really IS a whodunit! :-) I always dislike figuring out that kind of stuff early on. Suspense to the end, that's my mantra!

    So glad you shared this fabulous review, Diana. I'm collecting winter reading, so I would love to get my name in the hat, er random number generator, for this one.

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    1. I read a suspense book by a well known author one time, ANNE, and I knew whodunit in the very 1st chapter. Needless to say I skipped to the end and sure enough. :/ You'll never figure this one out. hehe Tossed your name in my cyberhat!

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  3. DIANA, thank you for your INTRIGUING review! A suspenseful and heart-racing plot sounds great! I can't wait to read this one.

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    1. It's one of Nancy's best books IMO, CARYL! I just know you'll love it!

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  4. Diana - What an awesome review. Thank you so much. You're such an encouragement and a blessing to all the writers you support. God bless you, lovely lady. :)

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    1. Nancy, the pleasure is all mine! I'm the one that gets to feast on all of these wonderful books! Please keep writing them. God bless you!

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  5. Wow, Diana, great interview! I completely feel the suspense of this novel and love a good redemption story. The themes of past abused resulting in lost of confidence does add to overall picture behind. I would love to win a copy and start reading Nancy's book. Thanks! justcommonly (at)gmail (dot)com

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    1. Thank you, ANNIE! Victims of abuse tend to come across as toughies sometimes when they are really just the opposite and need healing. A wonderful novel!

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    2. Thanks Diana. Most definitely and a story of with God's healing can be so encouraging as well! Definitely on my TBR list! Thanks

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    3. You're so welcome!! Maybe you'll win it here! :)

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  6. Great review Diana. Like you, I try to figure out who the bad guy/gal is and like it when the book keeps me guessing to the end.
    Blessings,Tina
    tfrice(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. Thanks, TINA! I also love the fact that this book has alot of substance in between the suspense, but is still a quick read bc you just can't put it down!

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  7. I would love to win. angelachesnut246(AT)gmail(DOT) com

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    1. Hi, ANGELA! Good luck in the drawing! :)

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  8. I love suspense novels and one set in the Mennonite community sounds like a winner to me. They usually have more of a story than just a romance novel. Great Interview. spotts06(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. This one is awesome with a little something for everyone, STELLA! Way more than just romance, but we have to have some of that, too! lol

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  9. Sounds like a great book to read. Thanks for the giveaway. mommystuck1(at)optonline(dot)net.

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    1. I hope you get a chance to read Nancy's new one ASAP, TAMMY! Thx so much for stopping by!

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  10. I can never figure out whodunits, but fun to try. A great review thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Thank you, MARY! I have figured out quite a few but this one? Forget it! lol Good luck in the drawing!

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  11. Truly enjoyed the first in the series, Gathering Shadows, so appreciate the chance to win this one! Need to get the second one read first though. :)
    Dawn dot nicol at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi, DAWN! I loved those two as well! This can be read as a stand alone, but it's nice to read the others first if possible to become better acquainted with the secondary characters. Not necessary though, as Nancy does a wonderful job of recapping!

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  12. Thanks so much for this wonderful review, Diana. This book sounds excellent! I love suspense and I love reading about the Amish and the Mennonite communities as well. I sure am going to hope to win this one!
    Mary Lou flowersmarylou85(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. MARY LOU, it's so great to "see" you here! I just know you'll love this one! Let's hope random number loves you as much as I do. :)

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  13. Wow - what a review! I certainly would love to win this book!
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Thank you, BETTI! Tossing your name in the hat!

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  14. I read the second book in this series and really liked it. Nancy graciously met with my book club a few years ago when we discussed one of her earlier books. Besides being an author of wonderful books, she is a very nice lady. Thanks for the review and giveaway.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Nancy in person, but she's also gracious on FB! I love her funny posts! I'm so glad you were able to meet her. Thx so much for sharing, PAM!

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  15. I've been wanting to read a Nancy Mehl book & this just seals the deal for me! It's the kind of book I love. Thanks for your review Diana & for the chance to win a copy of "Rising Darkness". It's been a long day & I'm on the tired side, so my comment is a bit bland tonight....lol!! :-)

    Blessings.....
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. TRIXI, your comments are never bland! But it's 11 pm here so I can identify, girlfriend! lol I hope you get the chance to read one of Nancy's books ASAP! You'll love them!!

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  16. The book cover is fantastic, I love it! It is very engaging that makes one person to really really it- me!!!! I really like the book ☺ Thanks for the giveaway! benipayomaryrose(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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    1. Thx for coming by and sharing your enthusiasm, MARY ROSE! You're welcome and lotsa luck in the drawing! :)

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  17. Sounds like a good read. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom.

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    1. One of those one more chapter, just one more chapter reads, KIM. lol Thx so much for coming by!

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  18. A fabulous review, Diana - thank you!! I agree - it certainly sounds as if 'Rising Darkness' has elements to suit all readers. Some of my favorite books are those which deal with issues of dysfunctional characters and their redemption- the romance and suspense are the "icing on the cake". What an intriguing book!!

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    1. I just loved this heroine, BONNIE! She had so much hurt inside and did the best she could, but tried to do it all on her own. I agree with you about the icing on the cake! Thank you, BONNIE!

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  19. You have written a perfect description of Nancy's book, Rising Darkness. I, too, can usually figure out who the "bad guy" is, but more than once Nancy has left me scratching my head, muttering, "I dunno know." LOL I have yet to be disappointed in one of Nancy's books.

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    1. MARY, have you already read it? If not and would like to enter, please leave an email addy where I can contact you should you win! Thx for your kind words and for sharing your support of Nancy's books! :)

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  20. Great review. I'm waiting for the whole series before I start reading them. I have Rising Darkness on my wish list. I love the picture of the Mennonite Women. It reminds me of the time I was in Walmart and saw a Mennonite woman. I was wondering where she was from because I knew they were not in my area. Finally, I got up the courage to walk up to her and ask her. She was very friendly and we talked for about 30 minutes. She said she was from Vermont (I live in NY about 1 hour from the Vermont border) and they come into NY to shop every now and then.
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, KAREN! My Weight Watcher leader who does the morning class is Mennonite. She is so much fun and such an inspiration. She drives a car and wears print dresses as those above and nice skirts and short jackets with pretty scarves! I am not sure where their church is, though. They are a real joyous people!

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  21. Diana - I love your charming reviews. This one captured my heart and draws me in to the book. I am looking forward to a story about the Mennonites and a mystery to make it even more of a fun read. We had a large Mennonite community near Spokane, WA when I lived there, so I saw many of them in nearby grocery stores and bought bags of delicious potatoes that my employer got from them.

    It sounds like Nancy Mehl has created a charming character in Sophie - this goes on my "must read" list. Joyce - Heart"wings" joyce1510(dot)jrg(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you so much, JOYCE! I believe you'll love Sophie and the small town atmosphere as much as I did. Nancy outdid herself on this one, but then she always does.

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  22. Congrats to ANNE PAYNE who won a copy of Rising Darkness per random.org. Thanks to all who came by!

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