HOPE IS A DANGEROUS PLACE by Jim Baton ~ a review

Hope is a Dangerous Place

Christian Suspense, Christian mystery

 

This novel has a mystery at it’s core and there’s no shortage of suspense. It could even be said to span genres and slip into Christian Young Adult Suspense.

Hope, Colorado has secrets, more than one. There are the ‘haves’ who’ve got all the power and the ‘wannabees’ as high school jock Jordy so crassly calls them. Harmonie Seymour’s family had been in Hope for generations on the black side of town where folks live in run-down houses. The Latino residents practically live in shacks. Bigotry is rampant. Kelsey is the new kid in town. She arrived with her widower pastor dad, Bret Axel. Both girls are outsiders in the high school and soon become fast friends. Pastor Bret Axel has the gift of prayer. He is a mighty prayer warrior, but he’s also bound by anxiety and fear since the untimely death of his wife…so much so that he pops Valerian to calm his nerves.

Enter the new high school teacher Olivia Montez, who has her own baggage. She assigns the three students in her journalism class an assignment  and has no idea will blow up in all their faces. She wants Kelsey, Harmonie, and an angry young Latino student named Miguel to interview elderly residents about the town’s name change. It was once named Purgatory. However in the mid-1940s the name was changed to Hope. There are powerful people, perhaps those in the original families, who don’t want anyone looking into the past and they will go further to stop the investigation than these three students can ever imagine.

This novel is a very good example of redemptive Christian fiction…and yet the author keeps it real, very real. Bad and/or worldly guys act and talk like bad and worldly guys. I’d recommend this novel to anyone from ages 17 to 117 who enjoys suspense and a story where the characters grow in their Christian walk.

 

LAND LORD by Cheryl Colwell ~ a review

Land Lord

There is no end to big surprises in this espionage thriller. The one at the end, I didn’t see coming. In fact, I didn’t see quite a few of them coming. It’s a story about an attempt to overthrow the United States government from within. The reader will have to remember not only the novel’s characters but also their code names. But it’s worth it. So much is not what it seems. So much is clandestine.

Secret Service Agent Dain Ryder is loyal to the president at a precarious time when not all the men sworn to protect POTUS are trustworthy. Dain’s family were missionaries in China where his grandfather was murdered and his father blinded. Thus, he has long lived with bigotry and hatred in his heart toward the Chinese people. So, he’s thrown a curve ball when President Robert Bradley gives him a special assignment to work with a beautiful Chinese spy to find out who is behind the plot to bring down his administration.

Lian Chen is not only gorgeous, she’s a biochemist, a superb classical Chinese dancer, martial arts expert, a crack shot, and proficient with explosives. Dain begins to doubt her loyalty to America and to the president. She could be on the wrong side. She’s hiding something big. As he fights his attraction to her, he fears she may have a secret relationship with Robert Bradley?

This story goes from the Oval Office, to the halls of George Washington University, to the streets of D.C.’s Chinatown and back again. It’s quite a thrilling journey.

 

The Insanity In Charlottesville, VA ~ LOVE is the only Christian response.

Love Is

Violence and hate erupted in Charlottesville this weekend. This type of bigotry and viscous enmity is evil at its core. Christians must stand against this type ugliness wherever it appears. If it comes from the KKK, white supremacist and white nationalist groups, ISIS and radical Islamic terror, North Korea, Venezuela, the Castro regime and other despots, or students who don’t allow others to speak and destroy their own campuses. Christians must stand against all types of hate and violence. That said, we are called to love by the Master Himself. We are to love with the God type of love in all circumstances.

Matthew 5:45-47 [NASB] ~ 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

By all accounts, the white nationalists gathered Saturday in Charlottesville for a “Unite the Right” protest came filled with racial hate and were armed and ready to rumble. There is nothing good, or commendable in this. In fact, it ended horrifically with one death. Those who broke the law should be prosecuted according to their crime to the full extent of the law. Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. And yet, in every circumstance Christians must look to Jesus and point to Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:15 [NASB] ~ 15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

The type of love that can heal this situation and can heal our nation is the God kind of love. Christians must lead the way with love and by lifting Jesus up.

Matthew 11: 28-30 [NASB] ~ 28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is ]easy and My burden is light.”

Galatians 3:28 [NASB] ~ 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.