Wednesday, May 2, 2018

"Beneath the Surface" by Lynn H. Blackburn Blog Hop (JustRead Tours) ... a review, recipe, and a GIVEAWAY!

Title: Beneath the Surface
Series: Dive Team Investigations, Book 1
Author: Lynn H. Blackburn
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

What Lies Beneath the Surface Could Be Deadly

Ada, Mich.—Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new romantic suspense novel, Beneath the Surface. This gripping tale from award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn will capture readers from the first page and won’t let them go until the final, heart-pounding scene.

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston moves home to Carrington, North Carolina, to leave behind her troubled past. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present.

Homicide investigator Ryan Parker finds fulfillment in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer—one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all. 


My review:

Blackburn’s latest is an engaging suspense with a number of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. She grabs the reader’s attention from the start with a dead body. The pace is steady throughout, though some parts are a bit far-fetched, even for fiction, and it’s occasionally hard to feel connected to the characters. The romance occasionally overshadows the mystery, and there’s not as much focus on diving as I anticipated (based on the fact that the series is about a dive team). The suspense is solid, so it is certainly worth reading this book. There are a few unanswered questions at the end which will hopefully be answered in the next book, and a sneak peak is included.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher as part of the JustReads blog tour. I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.

My post:

You wouldn’t necessarily know it from the title, but food is a big part of this book, and it doesn’t take long to figure that out! For instance, Ryan is already indulging in his third piece of cake at the beginning of Chapter 3! So, I wanted to spice up this post and do something a bit different: include a recipe I enjoy sharing with friends and family.

I’ve always had a sweet tooth, and I love chocolate and lemon. So, I really like this cookie recipe I found a number of years ago. Depending on the size of the cookies, you get about four dozen cookies from one batch, so it works for office parties, birthday parties, or even keeping freezing to enjoy at a later date. I wanted to share it with my readers.

Lemon Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour                                                          1 ½ teaspoons lemon extract
½ teaspoon baking soda                                                         9 ounces mini chocolate chips
1 teaspoon ground coriander                                                              (about 1 ½ cups)
1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) salted butter, softened                            1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

·       Preheat oven to 300°F.
·       In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and coriander with a wire whisk. Set aside.
·       In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed to form a grainy paste. Add eggs and lemon extract. Beat well. Scrape down sides of bowl.
·       Add the flour mixture and the chocolate chips, and blend at low speed until combined. It’s important that you don’t overmix this.
·       Drop the dough by teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet, about 1 ½ inches apart.
·       Bake ~14-15 minutes (This could vary based on your oven. Check on them during the process to be sure they do not burn.) on the center rack. Don’t let them brown.
·       Transfer the cookies to a flat surface to cool.

(makes about four dozen cookies)

Do you have a recipe you like to share with friends and family? If so, feel free to share it in the comments so others can enjoy it. And if you should try the recipe I posted, let me know how you like them.

About the author:

Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Hidden Legacy (Love Inspired, June 2017) and Covert Justice, winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.


(3) Winners will win:
  • (1) print copy of Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn
  • Surprise Bookish Treat
(US/Canada mailing addresses only) Full terms & conditions noted on Rafflecopter form.


April 23
Create Explore Read - Author Interview
A Baker's Perspective - A Day with Special Agent ___

April 24 
Savings in Seconds - Quote Hightlight
Grace in Our Moments - Guest Post from Author 

April 25
Christen Krumm - Guest Post from Author
Among the Reads - Beneath the Surface & the Power of Prayer

April 26
Blooming with Books - Character Profile
Fiction Aficionado - Did you know this about diving investigators?

April 27
Remembrancy - Photo Tour of Carrington
Stories by Gina - Quote Highlight

April 30
The Christian Fiction Girl - Quote Hightlight
Daysong Reflections - Underwater Investigations & Evidence

May 1 
Worthy 2 Read - Quote Hightlight
Kat's Corner Books - Beneath the Surface with International Adoption

May 2
All of a Kind Mom - A Character Like Me
Robin's Nest - Quote Hightlight
Edits & Reviews by Leslie - Food Beneath the Surface 

May 3
By the Book - Quote Hightlight
Cafinated Reads - Quote Highlight

May 4
Book by Book - Playlist
Pacific Northwest Bookworm - Cookies Beneath the Surface

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. YUMMY! Thank you for joining the tour. I really do love the food aspect in the story. It brings a light moment into a bit of suspense! LOL. Thank you.

    1. You're very welcome. Yes, the food aspect is a fun addition to the story :)

  2. Thank you for the review and information on "Beneath the Surface" by Lynn H. Blackburn as well as being part of the Blog Hop.

    I'd very much love the opportunity to read this book. The more I read about it the stronger the desire to do so.

    Oh my goodness, the recipe for Lemon Chocolate Chip Cookies sounds to die for. I will have to try them soon.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. You're very welcome. Thanks for stopping. If you try the cookies, you'll have to let me know what you think.

      Good luck!

  3. Thank you for sharing Beneath the Surface. Sounds like my kind of book.

    1. You're welcome. I hope you enjoy it. Good luck!


    This is my all time favorite cookie I bake all year round!

    1. These sound good. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to try them.