Review & Giveaway: A Firm Place to Stand by Lori Altebaumer

Genre: Christian / Romantic Suspense
Independently published
Date of Publication: January 25, 2020
Number of Pages: 321

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She’s either being stalked or losing her mind.

A job at a camp in the rustic and often rugged landscape of West Texas offers Maribel Montgomery a chance to escape both, especially if she makes sure no one knows she’s there. But when the body of a woman washes up in the river on her first morning, her hopes of a safe place to start over are swept away.

The suspicion that she’s being watched follows her to her new home, and Maribel is forced to take a stand or keep running. Does she have the courage to face the danger stirring at the Pool of Siloam Camp? If she doesn’t, another girl might die. If she tries and fails, it could be her.

Circumstances force her into the acquaintance of Conner Pierce—a man with secrets of his own. Can Maribel risk working with him in order to save the next victim and find a missing girl? Or is he the killer?

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A Firm Place to Stand by Lori Altebaumer makes you ask questions immediately from page one. And I could sense a sly grin as Altebaumer pulls you into the story, only causing the questions to multiply. Sort of like how dodgy people will answer your questions with more questions. Which would all be rather intriguing in any suspense book, but for some reason this surprised me even more coming from a book classified as a Christian, romantic suspense novel. My usual experience with the genre is that the protagonist struggles with their personal relationship with God and/or the act of forgiving a person who has hurt them terribly, all while wearing their heart on their sleeve.

Maribel Montgomery certainly has that struggle with the Almighty, but she does not face the obstacle of forgiving another person nor does she wear her heart on her sleeve. It’s refreshing to see a Christian author write about a character that is not already almost squeaky clean, nor are all the people around them unrealistically wholesome either. The characters, both the good and the bad ones, are people you have encountered in the real world. And she has developed each one so well that if you pulled a quote at random, chances are you could guess which character said it. That being said, it isn’t too difficult to figure out who is out to get Maribel.

You can pretty easily point out who is behind all the terrible happenings, but Altebaumer holds the answers as to why very close to her chest. Much like it takes a long time to draw out why Maribel has a shadow hanging over her, Altebaumer doesn’t reveal the motive until the very end of the book. And when I say the very end, I don’t mean the last few chapters or so. I mean you have like 5 or 6 pages remaining in your right hand, and you’re hoping that the last 3 pages aren’t book club discussion questions and an advertisement for the next book. To say that I was hooked and eager to reach the conclusion would be an understatement. I can’t remember the last time that I read a book so quickly and with such intense concentration.

Coming down from the high of finishing the book, I took the time to reflect on what I had just read. Forgiveness was a big theme in it, much like most Christian novels, but this was definitely one of those books that didn’t bash you over the head with scripture. The characters were realistic people with real world issues, no gloss or fluff to hide or soften the imperfections. The only thing that bugged me was that Maribel’s backstory felt like I missed out on reading a previous book. While Altebaumer does a wonderful job of exposition, the backstory was a little too interesting for there to not have been a book about Maribel’s previous life. If the author doesn’t have another book in the works already, I hope she considers the idea of writing a prequel to this one.

So who is this book for? Anyone who loves a good suspense novel, I’d say. Remember the name Lori Altebaumer. I have a feeling that she has so many books already mapped out in her head and I am eager to read the next one.

A life-long Texan, Lori lives in a small community not far from the rugged West Texas landscape she loves to write about. The mother of now-grown twins, she has learned that the secret to survival is a well-developed sense of humor and an active prayer life. After years spent working in the insurance business, Lori now uses her time to educate, inspire, encourage, and entertain through the written word.


Signed Copy of A Firm Place to Stand + $25 Gift Card to the Texas Indie Bookstore of Choice
2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy of A Firm Place to Stand
3RD PRIZE: eBook of A Firm Place to Stand
APRIL 30-MAY 10, 2020


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1 Comment

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One response to “Review & Giveaway: A Firm Place to Stand by Lori Altebaumer

  1. Lori Altebaumer

    Well you certainly started my day off with a bang… and a tissue for a few tears that might have visited my eyes as I read. Your impression of this book makes me believe that I had accomplished what I set out to do, which was to write a book from a Christian worldview that would have appeal beyond just the readers of Christian fiction. Thank you for reading and reviewing A Firm Place to Stand. FYI… you aren’t the only one to mention the desire to see a prequel. It wasn’t in the plans but I’ll definitely keep thinking about it as a possibility.

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