Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill [Review & Giveaway]

About the book: All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?

Convicted of a crime she didn't commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish---time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.

But Allie's return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie's claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already fragile bond with family.

As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret---one that holds the key to Allie's freedom.

My thoughts: I have very mixed feelings about the book, Sister Dear. It is a very interesting read and the story and characters are well developed. The writing is excellent. Following timelines ten years apart and written from the perspective or the main characters, it weaves an intriguing story that captivates the reader.

While the story is essentially a clean read by secular standards, I did not care for the scene where two characters met for a sexual encounter. While not graphic, it was too intense.

Populated with jealousy, greed, betrayal, revenge, murder and the highly competitive sports world. Also, there is a high level of deception and hatred. While this is true in many life situations, I found it dark and foreboding.

Again, the story is well written. There is nothing overtly sexual or violent but there is violence. It is a dark psychological suspense story but doesn't deal with evil spirits or darkness of that type.

I did not sense any degree of Christian association on behalf of the characters. The publisher is Thomas Nelson Publishing and they have long been considered to be one of the top Christian publishing houses. Interesting.

Do I recommend it? Yes, because it is a good read, well done, and essentially clean. I do not recommend it for youth under age 16 or 17 simply because it is not the type book I would want to place in their hands - other parents and adult leaders might feel differently.
Begins April 27
ENDS May 14 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. 
 Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Meet the Author: After six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Laura moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to raise her family. Her accolades in broadcasting include awards from the Associated Press, including Best News Anchor and Best Specialized Reporter.

She holds a master's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and a bachelor's degree in English from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing a second master's degree in interactive technology from the University of Alabama.

Purchase a copy        More reviews & information

DISCLOSURE: I received a copy from Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the publiher and/or author to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.


  1. That certain family member you know is a trouble-making, two-faced liar as sure as the sun shines in the sky? I have to deal with THAT person on an almost daily basis. It helps to remember though, that family is a gift that can be taken away at any moment, and just to take everything that is said with a grain of salt.

  2. I learned from Laura's website that she lives in Birmingham, Alabama but she is going to be doing events and book signings this month in several places just a hop, skip, and a jump from where I live in GA. I also learned her pen name is Laura Clark from time to time.

  3. I had a person deny certain actions and they were very believable but they did deceive me. As a Christian, I must forgive but I don't have to associate with them except as needed.

  4. I visited Laura's website and discovered that after six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Laura moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to raise her family. 

    She wrote Center of Gravity and it was published in July 2015. Sister Dear will be released April 19, 2016 by HarperCollins.
    I visited Laura's blog and
    I learned that Laura has been a fan of listening to books for a long time (especially in the car on long trips) and her recent favorites include The Life We Bury, In a Dark, Dark Wood,and Most Wanted.

    Thanks for this giveaway.

  5. Deception is hard to deal with. I ignored the person who deceived me.


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