Book Review and Giveaway: The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer

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It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today’s Wild Card author is:



and the book:


The Canary List

WaterBrook Press (June 21, 2011)

***Special thanks to Lynette Kittle, Senior Publicist, WaterBrook Multnomah, a Division of Random House for sending me a review copy.***


Sigmund Brouwer is the bestselling author of Broken Angel and nineteen other novels, with close to three million books in print. His work has appeared in Time, The Tennessean, on Good Morning America and other media. Sigmund is married to recording artist Cindy Morgan and has two young daughters.

Visit the author’s website.


Best-selling author Sigmund Brouwer of Broken Angel, releases another suspense thriller in The Canary List (WaterBrook Press, June 21, 2011).

Jaimie is just a twelve year-old girl, bumped around between foster homes and relegated to school classes for challenged kids, those lagging in their test scores or with behavioral issues. But her real problem is that she can sense something the other kids can’t—something dark. Something compelling her to run for her life.

And all Crockett Grey wants is to mark the anniversary of his daughter’s death alone.

But when his student Jaimie comes to him terrified, her need for protection collides with his grief, initiating a tangled web of bizarre events that sends them both spiraling toward destruction.

Crockett’s one hope of getting his life back is to uncover the mysterious secrets of Jaimie’s past and her strange gift. It isn’t long before his discoveries lead him to a darker conspiracy, secrets guarded by the highest seat of power in the world—the Vatican.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (June 21, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307446468
ISBN-13: 978-0307446466



She knew that they hurt the boy, because he told her, always, the mornings after he was returned.

She was the only one the boy trusted. She was five and he was four. Each time he was returned to the house, it seemed he had grown smaller.

Black walls and candles, he said. Hoods and robes, like the scary people in Scooby Doo cartoons. Except it wasn’t a cartoon. He couldn’t describe what the people in hoods and robes did to him because he would start shaking and sobbing as he made the attempt.

He told her it must be something they ate that made them so mean to him. Hales.

She didn’t know what hales were and neither did he. But he told her about two pieces of wood crossed, and how they trampled it and kept repeating about the hales they had ate in, but he never knew what they ate the hales in, because they never finished explaining. They just said ‘hales ate in’ and left it at that.

On the last night she saw the boy, she was in his bedroom at the foster home. They heard the car drive up and looked out the window and saw it was
them again. She had his toy bow and arrow set, and she vowed to the boy that she wouldn’t let them take him again.

She was ready when the man in the mask came into the bedroom. She aimed the arrow at the eyes of the tall man, and the rubber suction cup of the
toy arrow hit him squarely in his left eye. He cursed and lifted the mask and rubbed his eye before he realized that she was the one who had fired the arrow,
not the boy. He dropped the mask into place and, with a snort of rage, stepped forward and swept her away with a blow across her face.

“I am The Prince,” he said, as she struggled to her knees. He moved to stand over her. “Bow to me.”

His face. She had seen it before. He was someone she saw at church on Sundays. In a robe at the front, handing out bread to people as they bowed
down in front of him.

She did not want to bow.

Instead she rose in defiance and spit on his leg. He lashed out again, hitting her across the cheek. She tried to scream, but the pain was too great.

Another man in another mask stepped into the bedroom and pulled him away. Then they took the boy.

She never saw the boy again. He went to live at another house, the people at the house said.

But the man with the mask came back. He wore the mask while he hurt her again. In horrible ways. He promised if she told anyone, he could come
back and kill her and then kill the people of the house.

So she didn’t tell anyone. She tried to believe it was a dream. A very bad dream.

But some nights she would wake up and shiver and cry and wonder where the boy was. And she would wonder, too, what hales were and what they ate the hales in and how it was that hales could make people so horrible.

Chapter 1

Evil hunted her.

It had driven her toward the beach, where, protected by the dark of night, Jaimie Piper crept toward the front window of a small bungalow a few
blocks off the ocean in Santa Monica.

She knew it was wrong, sneaking up on her schoolteacher like this, but she couldn’t help herself. She was afraid—really afraid—and she wanted his help.

First she had to make sure he was alone. If he was with someone else, she wouldn’t bother him.

The sound of night bugs was louder than the traffic on the main boulevard that intersected this quiet street. It was June, and the air was warm and
had the tangy smell of ocean. The grass was cool and wet. She felt the dew soaking through her canvas high-top Converse sneakers. Jaimie wasn’t one to
worry about fashion. She just liked the way the sneakers felt and looked. Okay, maybe she liked them too because none of the other kids her age wore them.

Jaimie was twelve. Slender and tall, she had long, fine hair that she tended to wear in a ponytail with a ball cap. If she let it hang loose, it softened her appearance to the point where others viewed her as girlie, something she hated.

The alternative was to cut it herself, because her foster parents didn’t like wasting money by sending her to a beauty salon, but cutting it herself would just remind her that she was nothing but a foster kid, so she just let it grow. And wore Converse sneakers that looked anything but girlie.

Not only was it wrong to be sneaking up on her teacher’s house, but it was wrong even to know where he lived. Jaimie knew that. But his wallet had been open on his desk once, with his driver’s license showing behind a clear plastic window, and she’d read it upside down while she was talking to him and had memorized his address.

Although this was the first time she’d stopped, she had ridden her bike past his house plenty of times, wondering what it would be like if she lived in
the little house near the beach.

It wasn’t the house that drew her. It was dreaming about what it would be like to have a family, and it seemed the perfect house for a family with a mom and a dad and a couple of girls.

A real family. A house that they had lived in for years and years, with a yard and a couple of dogs. Beagles. She loved beagles.

Her mom would be a little pudgy but someone who laughed all the time. Jaimie didn’t like the moms she saw who were cool and hip and trying to outdo their daughters in skinniness and tight-fitting jeans.

Her dad would not have perfect hair and drive a BMW. Jaimie didn’t have friends, because Jaimie wasn’t a friend kind of person, but she knew girls at
school with dads like that, and those girls didn’t seem happy. If Jaimie had a dad, he’d be the kind of guy who went to barbers, not stylists, and had hair that
was always a couple of weeks past needing a barber, who wore jeans and didn’t tuck in his shirt and always dropped everything to listen to whatever story his
girl wanted to tell him.

A dad like Mr. G, her teacher. He drove an old Jeep, the kind with canvas top and roll bars. Sometimes she’d see a surfboard strapped to the top of it, canvas top gone. Mr. G had that kind of surfer-dude look, with the long hair and a long nose bent a little. Not perfect kind of handsome, but a face you still
looked at twice. Some of the girls in her class had a crush on him.

Not Jaimie.

She just wished she could have a dad like him and a house like the house he lived in. Sometimes when she was really lonely, she would ride her bike in the neighborhood, pretending it was her home and that when she got there, she’d be able to wheel up the sidewalk and drop her bike on the grass and leave
it there, because if it really was her family, no one would get upset about little things like that.

It wasn’t that she just had a good feeling about him. It was that Jaimie knew Mr. G could be trusted. Jaimie had a sense about people, a sense that sometimes haunted her.

Like earlier tonight, when she’d met a guy who had come to her house to talk to her foster parents. She’d watched his eyes as he checked the layout of the
house, standing in the kitchen, saying that he was from Social Services. She had taken her bracelet off to hand wash some dishes, and without it on her
wrist, she’d felt the Evil that radiated from him. Evil that hunted her.

So while the man with Evil was talking to her foster parents, she’d grabbed her bracelet and snuck out of the house and jumped on her bike. Dusk was just turning black when she began the twenty-minute ride from the large old house toward the ocean, where she often snuck at night anyway to walk the beach.

But the feeling of Evil was still so real she couldn’t shake it. She wanted—no, needed—to talk to someone about it. Wanted—no, needed—to feel safe. Somehow.

The one person who had promised to help wasn’t answering her phone. That only left Mr. G. The only other person in the world she could trust.
She made it to the side of the window at his house. She inched her head up to peek through the glass.

She saw a single candle.

And Mr. G on the couch. Holding a big book open in his lap.

She watched, knowing she shouldn’t watch.

It looked like he was talking to the book.

And then he glanced up, and for that split second, it seemed like he was staring right into her eyes.


Wow.  This is an excellent read.  If you like reading the books of Dan Brown or Dean Koontz, you will love Canary List.  Sigmund Brouwer is a master of storytelling.  He gives the reader just enough to keep you turning those pages as quickly as you can, wanting to find out more.  There is conspiracy, mystery, and good vs evil, at the highest level.  It isn’t until well into the book that you find out what the title, “Canary List” means, but when you do, it explains so many of the threads dangling in this mystery.
I read it in one reading – I literally couldn’t put it down and I guarantee you will be fascinated as well.  The novel debuts June 21, 2011 and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see this one on a bestseller list.

Enter here to win your own copy of Sigmund Brouwer’s, The Canary List.

Main entry

1. Leave a comment with a guess about the meaning of the title, The Canary List.

Additional entries

2. Follow Kelly’s Lucky You with Google Friend Connect.

3. Follow Kelly’s Lucky You on twitter.

4. Tweet this giveaway (RT 1x per day). Feel free to use this sample:

Enter to win the conspiracy/mystery, The Canary List, by author, Sigmund Brouwer @KellysLuckyYou

5. Subscribe to Kelly’s Lucky You by Email

6. Like Kelly’s Lucky You on Facebook.

7. Add the KLY button to your blog sidebar – Kelly’s Lucky You (right sidebar under “Grab My Button”)

8. Add this giveaway to any giveaway linky (unlimited entries). You can use this list!

Leave one comment for each entry. Contest ends June 25th at midnight EST. The winner will be chosen by and notified by email to the email address provided in the winning comment. The winner must respond within 48 hours of the notification email, or another winner will be chosen. See my Giveaway Rules page for further information. Sorry, this contest is open to residents of the US only.

Disclosure: All opinions included in this post are my own, unless otherwise stated. In accordance with FTC guidelines, I am disclosing a material connection because I received an advanced reading copy of this book for review purposes.


  1. 1
    Julie Witt says:

    I have no idea what it means! The only thing I can think of is the saying “sing like a canary,” so maybe something about a snitch? Probably not, but that’s all I got!

  2. 3
    Julie Witt says:

    I am a GFC follower.

  3. 4
    Julie Witt says:

    I follow KLY on Twitter: @jwitt33

  4. 5
    Julie Witt says:

    I tweeted about the giveaway: @jwitt33

  5. 6
    Julie Witt says:

    I subscribe to KLY by email.

  6. 7
    Julie Witt says:

    I like KLY on Facebook.

  7. 8
    mamabunny13 says:

    The only guess I have is the canary list is the names of the foster children.

  8. 9
    mamabunny13 says:

    I follow via gfc (mamabunny13)

  9. 10
    mamabunny13 says:

    I follow on twitter @mamabunny13

  10. 11
    mamabunny13 says:

    email subscriber

  11. 12
    mamabunny13 says:

    I like you on facebook-mamabunny shelor

  12. 13
    mamabunny13 says:
  13. 14
    Linda Kish says:

    I think it has something to do with the children.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  14. 15
    Linda Kish says:

    I am a GFC follower

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  15. 16

    I have no idea. Maybe a song list.

  16. 17

    email subscriber

  17. 18

    gfc follower

  18. 19

    Okay here’s my guess- canary list is the children that Jaimie knows have been kidnapped and caged?

  19. 20

    email subscriber

  20. 21

    follow gfc-missdeb1

  21. 22

    like you on facebook-debbie coyle

  22. 23

    follow you on twitter-missdeb1

  23. 24
  24. 25

    I don’t know what it means but I thought that they sent canaries into mines to see if there was oxygen so maybe it has to do with Jamie knowing dark secrets.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  25. 27

    I follow on GFC
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  26. 28

    I am an e-mail subscriber
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  27. 29

    I am a facebook fan
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  28. 30
    Vicki Wurgler says:

    not sure-a list of the men or children

  29. 31
    Vicki Wurgler says:

    e-mail subscriber

  30. 32
    Charity L. says:

    I think the canary list refers to caged animals, but in this case, people.

  31. 33
    Charity L. says:

    I follow you on GFC as charity and john.

  32. 34
    Charity L. says:

    I like you on facebook as charity l.

  33. 35
    Terri S. says:

    I can’t come up with a guess for the meaning of the title, The Canary List. Could it have to do with the inference to secrets at the Vatican? Do Catholic priests wear golden vestments – is it a list of priests who abused children?

  34. 36
    Terri S. says:

    Follower via GFC – Terri

  35. 37
    Terri S. says:

    Email subscriber

  36. 38
    Raven In A Blue Room says:

    oddly the title reminded me of “The Pelican Brief”

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

  37. 39
    Raven In A Blue Room says:

    Google Friends Connect – following your blog publicly as Louis

    schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

  38. 40
    Raven In A Blue Room says:

    I like your blog on facebook (Louis Here)

    schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

  39. 41
    Raven In A Blue Room says:

    following you on twitter @left_the_stars

    schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

  40. 42
    Raven In A Blue Room says:

    I tweeted your giveaway

    schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

  41. 43

    I know canaries are used to go into mines to detect poison. So maybe something about sending people into ‘darkness’ etc…

  42. 44

    gfc follower

  43. 45

    email subscriber

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