The Discerning Reader…

What’s On The Discerning Reader’s Book Shelf???

A More Elite Soldier, a nonfiction work by Chuck Holton, believes every Christian is standing on the battlefield of life. The author, a former US Army Ranger, now a CBN reporter, is calling believers to become a well trained, well equipped elite soldier in God’s army. Holton maintains, even the most elite soldier is not privy to the entire battle plan, doesn’t see the big picture, but he/she is committed to his/her mission, purpose, and performs with perseverance and skill, trusting in his/her Commander. Holton points to the model of the US Army Ranger, who when not in battle is training for the next encounter with the enemy. I highly recommend this book.

Hard Evidence by Roxanne Rustand opens when Janna McAllister has come home to her family’s Wyoming ranch to care for her verbally abusive mother who now has Alzheimer’s. The author’s created a feisty character in Janna with backbone who must face the ghosts of the past and the strong willed woman who gave birth to her, who may love her, but certainly doesn’t like her feminine ways, and who has always favored her other daughter who can ride, rope, and fix a fence. But Janna’s seen someone lurking around the ranch, so when the new “movie star” type sheriff arrives on the ranch to rent one of her cabins, she feels relieved. Then human remains are found near one of her cabins, and she starts to become the victim of accidents. [Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense]

There are many Harry Bosh police procedurals, but Echo Park the first one I’m reading and secular author Michael Connolley did not disappoint me. It certainly won’t be the last Harry Bosh thriller I read. Detective Bosh (of Open Cold Cases) is a complex hero, mostly good, but also able to twist the rules if he thinks the system is favoring the bad guy. When a delightful young woman, Marie Gesto, disappeared in 1993 Bosh, then a Homicide detective, caught the case, as everyone knew she was dead even though they could not find her body or her killer. For thirteen years he could not get this case out of his mind, periodically reviewing the files and keeping in touch with Marie’s parents. Now many years later, a serial killer about to go to trial for the brutal murder of two other women is making a deal with the brass. The killer wants assurances he won’t get lethal injection and in return he will lead them to Marie Gesto’s body so they can close the case, but Bosh is not certain they have the real killer and feels someone in the LAPD has set this whole thing up.

I read the first three books in the fabulous Gayle Roper Seaside series quite a while ago, but neglected to read the last one, Winter Windsw. I just remedied that, and feel the last was the best in the series. All four books are set in fictitious Seaside, on the New Jersey Shore. The first one in the series was great. In my opinion the next two, while really good, didn’t meet the level of the first book. So, I put off reading the last one. I have to say, the last book is the best of the bunch. Dori McAllister lost her parents to a drunk driver and was taken in by Pop and Honey Trevelyan when their two grandsons were left orphans by the same accident. One drunk driver; two sets of parents lost. As Dori, Phil and Paul grow into their teen years, Dori and Paul realize they are in love. However, Pop admonishes them he will have no folderol in his house and if they pursue their feelings, he will send one away. In college they get married, but after only one weekend, Dori is convinced Paul has broken his marriage vows. She runs as far as she can, to San Diego and will not answer his letters or his emails. Now Pop is deathly ill (or is he?) and Dori must come home to Seaside where she will have to face Paul, only as she disembarks from her airplane, she picks up a suitcase that looks exactly like hers but belongs to a criminal.

I’m Wondering If I’m Normal???

As an aspiring writer of Christian romantic suspense (with its heart in crime fiction), I spend a lot of time alone (or I pretend to be alone as my eleven and ten year old scream, “Mom!”). I’m on my computer doing yet another draft, or dibbing and dabbing in a draft that I’m not quite satisfied with. Then I run and “network” with other writers who spend just as much time alone as I do. I’m not quite sure that’s normal???

But as there always seems to be more to learn and more to share in the craft of writing, I hustle off once again to read this Christian fiction writer’s latest blog entry and to answer my ShoutLife mail thinking perhaps some gem will be there.

Perhaps the most valuable thing is critiquing. I have a non-literary critique partner who’s been cheering me on and catching my manuscript mistakes since I started this journey, about two years ago. I don’t know what I’d ever do without him. I’ve also sent a certain chapter dealing in a particular subject to a person I though had expertise in that subject, just to see if it all rang true. These, I find are invaluable things to do.

Then, I duuno, I say to myself, “Self, hanging out with writers is fine, but I need something deeper.” And that’s when I have to get with God and often He isn’t interested in what I’m writing. Surprisingly, many times He’s very interested in what I’m writing and has something to say about it.

So, does all of this make any sense, I wonder…