Monday, April 27, 2015

Discovering a New-To-Me Romantic Suspense Author -- Buried Secrets Book Review #FCBlogger

{This post is sponsored by Family Christian. All opinions are honest and my own.}

Few things in life are as exhilarating as having a new book to read. People within the pages are waiting for me to get to know them, settings are ready to be explored whether it be a leisurely stroll or a race against time, and the questions of what-comes-next challenge me.

But I confess to you today that even though I write romantic suspense, I have never read a book by Irene Hannon, bestselling author of more than forty-five novels. {I know, go ahead and gasp. 
J} I was happy to fill my coffee mug, curl up on the sofa, and get to know Chief of Police Lisa Grant and detective Mac McGregor within the pages of the book Buried Secrets.



Lisa was a homicide detective in Chicago, but a health issue plus a desire for a slower life filled with family motivated her to take the Chief of Police position in a small suburb in Missouri. Mac is an ex-Navy SEAL who also wanted to get out of the line of danger and live a quieter life as a detective. They meet over a shallow grave unearthed by a construction project.

I loved the attention to detail. Irene Hannon has done her research, and it tells in the story. The archeology and forensics of unearthing a 24-year old skeleton and then finding clues to the identity of the poor soul are fascinating to me. I would have gladly spent more time with the forensic anthropologist, but the story needed to move on.

Unfortunately, I didn't think the story moved on enough in the beginning. The suspense was slow enough in coming that by page 130, the suspense was mostly just the wondering of where the suspense was. However, once the story got moving, that lack in the first half of the book was more than made up for in the second half.

In the meantime, I got to know the characters. They were rich and developed, and I particularly appreciated the family interactions. Lisa's well-intentioned mother teases her about the handsome county detective. And Mac's two brothers, both in the military, come for a visit with plenty of good-natured banter and ribbing. {This is the first in a series called Men of Valor, and I suspect the next two books will be about Mac's two brothers.}

The villain was particularly interesting to me, her motivations and the level of preparation and attention to detail. I found myself grieving for the skewed vision of the world by the villain. What a contribution to the culture she could make if she would just accept Jesus Christ!
J









Have you read Irene Hannon? Who is your favorite romantic suspense author?



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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle {With a Twist} for Earth Day

Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22.

I'm not here to discuss the philosophies, celebrations, and revelries of the Earth Day proponents. I'm all for taking care of the creation as long as we acknowledge and worship the Creator.

The mantra to reduce, reuse, and recycle used to bother me because it seems to give humans complete power over Creation. As if God had stepped back or disappeared completely and we were on the fast track to ruining his divine creation.

But then I realized that I could find faith and the Bible just about anywhere, like when I look at a telephone pole and see a cross, the emblem of suffering and shame.

So, this Earth Day, and every day, I want to encourage you to reduce, reuse, and recycle.




Reduce...your attachment to and your involvement with the world and its entanglements, including time commitments that draw you away from God and family relationships. Children’s activities, adult activities, television and movies, music, choice of friends, options at work. The list is endless. The question is simple. Does it grow your relationship with God? “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” {Romans 12:2}

Reuse...your Bible. Read it every day. Don’t let it get dusty. Meditate on its truths every day. Memorize, even just the next word of the verse you’re working on, every day. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” {2 Timothy 3:16-17}

Recycle...God's love for you. Turn it into love that you show to others. Your husband. Your children. Your parents. The new family at church. The cashier at the grocery store. The telemarketer who calls in the evening. {Yes, even him. J} “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” {John 13:34}

Why not begin your earth day with Genesis 1, the account of creation? Then go plant that tree, and while you’re down on your knees, tamping down the earth, pray for the spiritual health of your family. Finally, put your recyclables out at the curb, and then tell the trash truck driver what a wonderful job he does.


“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” ~ Psalm 24:1








Do you reduce, reuse, and recycle?


{This post has been updated from a post that originally appeared on this blog on April 17, 2013.}


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Friday, April 17, 2015

Can I Join the Amish? ~ The Love Letters Book Review #FCBlogger

{This post is sponsored by Family Christian. All opinions are honest and my own.}

Confession: I have dreamed of running away to join the Amish. They seem to lead such simple lives (Jah?) without the concern of what to wear and what others will think, plenty of community, a lack of technology, and tons of gut food like homemade bread with homemade jam, sticky buns, and vegetables fresh from the garden. Not sure I’d want all that celery, but I do like my electricity. J

Of course, most of my knowledge of the Amish comes from carefully researched and crafted novels like The Love Letters by Beverly Lewis.




It’s a wonderful-gut story of a young Old Order Amish woman whose family is changing, yet she insists on remaining the same. Through the death of her grandfather and going to stay the summer with her Mennonite mother, the car accident of her Englisch sister and taking care of her little five-month-old niece, and her parents change to New Order Amish, she becomes confused of her faith and begins to seek the Lord in a way the Old Order frown upon. It’s the sweet story of a young woman finding her way in the world and receiving love letters from her Old Order beau back home. I’ve never thought of the Amish as having much disagreement when it comes to denominations. I mean, plain is plain, ain’t so? But ach, much conflict exists in every walk of life.

But it’s also a touching story of a disabled fourteen-year-old boy whose father struggles with accepting him as a working member of the farm. He befriends an Englischer who can’t remember exactly who he is or where he lives, an older man who lives nearly every moment to moment ferhoodled. As the boy and then his family take him in, his music and the love letters he carries in a satchel begin to affect all around him.

And the end? Well, I didn’t see that love letter coming. J

I’ve been struggling to find time to read recently, but I’ve been able to sip slowly from this novel, and the characters carried me through until the next time I could pick it up. I haven’t been disappointed by Beverly Lewis yet, and I’m happy to add this one to my Amish collection.








Would you like to be Amish with me? J



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