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Saturday, January 29, 2011

No Safe Haven by Kimberly & Kayla Woodhouse

If the last name Woodhouse sounds familiar, it’s because authors Kimberly and Kayla Woodhouse first found fame on the popular television show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. 

The mother and daughter duo teamed up to write their first novel and came up with No Safe Haven, an action packed suspense story.  Kayla Woodhouse also incorporated her real life struggle with HSAN, (Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy) and included the illness in the book.  HSAN is a rare nerve disorder which prevents those affected from feeling pain, unless it’s many times worse than what a “normal” person would feel. Patients also do not sweat meaning their body temperature has to be closely monitored to prevent overheating, which could result in brain damage.  Including HSAN in this story added even more suspense, because there was an extreme sense of urgency when the main characters were involved in a plane crash, ending up stranded in snowy Alaska.

I found it amazing how well the characters in this story “meshed” considering that Kimberly and Kayla wrote their characters separately.  Kim wrote the adult point of view and Kayla wrote the 12 year old’s point of view and it all came together in a fantastic first novel.  The chapters flow back and forth from Jenna (the mom’s) perspective to Andi (the daughter’s) perspective.   This fluctuation gives readers good insight as to what both characters are thinking and feeling. 

No Safe Haven is the story of a mother and daughter trying to start their lives over after the devastating loss of their husband / father to a car accident.  Twelve-year old Andi has HSAN and life is enough of a struggle without the added grief of losing her father. She and her mother find themselves the victims of sabotage as the small plane they are flying in is purposely crashed.  Not only do they face the brutal elements of weather, but also the man who is trying to kill them.  This is a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page!

Kayla Woodhouse is a beautiful example of not allowing physical challenges to hold you back from pursuing (and reaching) your dreams.  I have no doubt that this book will be an amazing seller when it hits the bookstores in March.

Thanks to Julie Gwinn at B&H Publishing who provided me with a free Advanced Reader copy of this book.

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