Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Giveaway, Interview, and Review of Don't Close Your Eyes (Texas Justice #1) by Christie Craig

Coming to a bookstore near you August 28, 2018 : 

'Don’t Close Your Eyes' by Christie Craig 

In this dark and dangerous Texas small town, Annie Lakes’ nightmares come alive when a cold case from her past reveals family secrets that put her life in jeopardy.

Annie Lakes has had the same recurring nightmare for years. Her heart pounding in her chest. A panicked voice, begging her to run faster. Her own bloodcurdling scream. But now Annie is starting to realize it’s more than just a bad dream. She’s starting to remember things about the night her cousin Jenny disappeared all those years ago. Things that make her believe her family was involved—and what they’re hiding is much worse than she ever imagined. But she can’t unravel this alone. She needs someone she can trust, someone like sexy Detective Mark Sutton ….

Mark has seen enough—too much—to assume that Annie’s story is a dead end. It turns out that her family is hiding some killer secrets. A long time ago, Annie was just an innocent little girl who saw something she shouldn’t. Now she’s a target, and Mark’s running out of time to protect the woman he’s starting to fall for. But how does Mark face off against a murderer who just may be someone Annie loves?

Christie Craig

Christie Craig is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-nine books. She is an Alabama native, a motivational speaker, and a writing teacher, who currently hangs her hat in Texas. When she’s not writing romance, she’s traveling, sipping wine, or penning bestselling young adult novels as C.C. Hunter. For more info on Christie and her books, please visit

Forever Summer Reading Q&A with Christie Craig

What was the last romance series that you binge read?

C.C.: Lori Wilde’s Cupid Texas series.

What's your favorite summer drink?

C.C.: Lemonade if it’s early. Red wine or a frozen margarita with a salted rim if it’s after five.   And it’s always after five somewhere, right?

Where do you and your family like to travel to during the summer?

C.C.: I’m a beach person. I love being close to the sand and waves. Almost every year we plan a beach escape. Some years, it just to Galveston or one of the Texas Gulf Coast places. But whenever possible, we like heading to California. We love Ventura. There’s a hotel that we’ve been going to for years. They have balconies that overlook the ocean. We always sleep with the doors open so I can hear the waves all night long. Then we can walk to their little downtown area, or right down the beach and have dinner at one of the many nice restaurants there.

What's your go-to accessory in the warm weather?

C.C.: A hat. I’ll admit I’m a baseball cap wearer. It keeps the sun out of my eyes and it’s easy to tuck my hair up inside if it gets too hot or windy.

If the main characters in your newest book booked a trip, where would they go?

C.C.: A fishing trip. Mark my character in Don’t Close Your Eyes, loves to fish. It’s sort of his yoga.  He loves being outside, the sun reflecting off of the water, and forgetting some of the painful cases he’s worked. And I’ll admit it, I love to fish, too. My hubby says when I fish, I fish hard. You’ll never see me put my pole down. Nope I’ve got it in my hands waiting for that tug on the fishing line. I can see Mark taking Annie fishing. I’m not sure she’d bait her own hook, but I’m sure Mark would do it for her. He’s just that kind of guy.

Title: Don't Close Your Eyes (Texas Justice)
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Series: Texas Justice (Book 1)
Format: Paperback; 480 pages
Publisher: Forever (August 28, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1538711591
ISBN-13: 978-1538711590
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Annie Lakes had the same recurring nightmare for years. She's seen psychiatrists about it. She's asked her mom a million times if what she'd dreamt had ever happened, but her answer is no. Yet when Annie goes to the funeral of her uncle from her mom's side, a memory sparks making her believe her dream is, in fact, a partially suppressed memory. She can't let go of the feeling that she may have witnessed a murder....

Mark Sutton is a homicide detective who takes his job seriously. His specialty is solving missing children cases, and he's very good at it. Whether a new or cold case, he has the uncanny ability to zero in on the important little details that others have missed and solve the crime. With each case, however, he feels he loses a little piece of his soul. When Annie Lakes seeks him out and reveals she believes she may have witnessed a murder as a child, he's not sure what to think. Could she be a few fries short of a happy meal or did she actually witness something? After doing a little digging, he's determined to find out.
This is the first book of the Texas Justice series by Christie Craig, and, I believe, Ms. Craig's first venture into the foray of romantic suspense. Her previous books were lighthearted romances heavy  on the humor. While the element of humor still permeates the essence of this novel, it takes a back seat to the suspense. While I adore her other romances, I very much enjoyed this change of writing style and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Annie is a teacher whose life has been haunted by a tragedy that may or may not have actually happened. While at first glance her story may seem a little out there, she actually is looking at everything very logically and with a level head. She seeks Mark out because she needs answers and she knows he can find them. She's admired the handsome young detective for some time, never having gotten up the courage to introduce herself. Being on the Anniston police force, Mark's well known in town, but Annie has observed him over the past several months at the coffee shop that both he and she frequent. She knows he has a good heart and cares.

Mark has some emotional baggage of his own which stems from the tragic death of his sister. It's her death that inspired him to become a detective, and he's made it his mission to try to save and/or avenge as many missing children as he can. It's his way of doing penance for failing to protect his own sister years ago. There are two disappearances that detective Mark Sutton needs to solve in this book, and he'll need to sift through all the information that's been collected to solve them.

What I loved about this story is that Mark and Annie evolve as individuals as the story unfolds. They both are haunted by their past and each helps the other work through them. While their relationship starts out rather bumpy, it slowly turns into something neither expected nor can deny.

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. It was a nice blend of romance, suspense, and mystery. The chemistry between Mark and Annie was intense and unmistakable. There were plenty of unexpected twists and turns to keep one's interest. I liked watching the mystery of it all unfurl while seeing these two get to know one another. While I had hoped for a connection between the two cases, I liked the parallels between them. They were so similar, yet so different at the same time.  On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. I eagerly await the next book, and look forward to seeing what Ms Craig has in store for the next installment.

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