Monthly Archives: May 2016
Don’t you love a book that draws you in and doesn’t let you go? That’s how I felt reading Kim Vogel Sawyer’s new book Through the Deep Waters. I picked it up because I am interested in the Harvey House girls. While Dinah Hubley isn’t old enough to work as a server, she does work in Clifton Hotel as a chambermaid and has ambitions to join the ranks as a Harvey House girl as soon as she turns eighteen.
When a handsome local chicken farmer, Amos Ackerman, takes notice of her, she has to make some difficult decisions about her future. Above all else, is making sure nobody finds out about her past and the terrible thing she did.
Kim Sawyer has a gift of weaving a tale set in history and drawing the reader into it. I hated when I had to put the book down to do things that had to get accomplished. Instead I wanted to slip into Dinah and Amos’ world until I came to the final page…then I didn’t want to leave. 🙂
What are you reading?
Jodie Wolfe loves to stroll through history with the characters she creates. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading and walking.
Gray Fowler, star NFL tight end, is being pursued by a stalker, so his team hires a protection agency to keep Gray under the watch of a bodyguard at all times. When Gray meets Dru Porter, an agent assigned to him, he’s indignant. How can an attractive young female half his size possibly protect him? But Dru’s a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt. She’s also ferociously determined to uncover the identity of Gray’s stalker. And she’s just as determined to avoid any kind of romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past. But the closer they get to finding the stalker, the closer they grow to each other. As the danger rises, can Dru and Gray entrust their hearts–and their lives–to one another?
“Dru’s my girlfriend,” Gray stated.
“Oh? How nice.” Ashley’s smile didn’t budge. It stuck there, like a sticker to a kid’s shirt, even as some of the life drained out of it. How cotton-pickin’ predictable. Gray’s housekeeper had a thing for him and wasn’t delighted to be introduced to the newest of Gray’s long parade of girlfriends. “How did you two meet?” Ashley asked.
“I’ll let you tell the story,” Dru said, giving Gray a direct look full of challenge. He’s the one who’d insisted she pose as his girlfriend.
Idly, she picked up a tomato mozzarella basil skewer. Ashley had put together a seriously impressive tray of appetizers. In addition to the skewers, she’d set out veggies, dip, cheese, and rosemary-flecked nuts.
“Dru teaches preschool,” Gray told Ashley. “We met when I went by her school for this…thing the Mustangs were doing.” He angled a small handful of nuts into his mouth.
“And?” Ashley prompted, clearly full of curiosity.
Gray finished chewing. “And Dru’s a saint. She lives to teach ABCs and how to use a potty.”
“I live for the potty training, especially,” Dru said to him, deadpan.
“When I first saw Dru,” Gray said, “she had five kids hanging off of her and she was wearing a Thanksgiving sweatshirt and one of those little”–he made a motion above his head–“headbands that has, you know, holiday stuff sticking up out of it?”
“Sure!” Ashley said.
Dru pursed her lips.
She’d had a few clients in the past who’d asked for low-profile surveillance, so this wasn’t the first time she’d operated under a cover story. She didn’t blame him for answering Ashley’s questions in a way that maintained the cover story. But she did blame him for taking so much enjoyment in it at her expense, and for overdoing what could otherwise have been straightforward answers.
Her One and Only is the fourth book in the Porter Family Series, featuring Dru, the only girl and the youngest in the Porter clan.
Dru, a black belt, former Marine, and keen bodyguard is hired by NFL team Mustang’s management to protect their beloved star-player Gray Fowler from his stalker. Gray has no qualms about stating his displeasure. However, Dru is an attractive, spunky challenge in heels, and Gray never turns down a challenge. Why not have some fun while they investigate his threats? Gray uses his charming, six-foot-four powers of persuasion to convince Dru to pose as his girlfriend. Though the idea helps him save face with his teammates and loyal fans, it further enrages his stalker. As Dru and her security team piece together clues, her reluctant friendship with Gray morphs into something stronger.
With punchy prose that will make you cheer, cry, and literally laugh out loud, Her One and Only will no doubt be a contemporary romance favorite. I give this book 5 stars!
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
~Review by Candice Sue Patterson
About the Author: Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, Undeniably Yours, Meant to Be Mine, A Love Like Ours, and Her One and Only. For more, visit her website at www.beckywade.com.
About a month ago, I blogged about finding contentment on earth. My conclusion: It’s impossible. That blog, as well as the one from two weeks ago about how I react when I read great novels, both stemmed from a general feeling of unease I’ve had lately, the fear that I’m on the wrong track in my career—or my life.
Last week, I decided to seek the Lord’s guidance. Rather than spend my usual two hours every morning writing, I spent that time with the Lord. Each morning included worship, prayer, and Scripture readings. Most mornings also included a walk through a nearby park. I would enjoy the pretty weather and the wildlife that happened across my path. (Aside from the usual birds and squirrels, I also caught sight of a blue heron, two rabbits, and a turtle. I like to think God brought them just for me.)
I wish I could tell you the hours were all glorious and amazing, but the truth is, often I felt awkward and silly. The first day, I posed a number of questions to God, and he responded with a whole pile of things he wanted me to confess and repent of. That was great fun.
The second day, I never got to all my questions, because the Lord brought to mind all the people in my life who are struggling, and I spent the morning praying for them.
The third day, I was swept away in prayer for my family, which morphed into prayers for our nation, then our world, the words being lifted almost before I knew them.
The week continued like that, me praying about whatever came to mind, mostly about nothing that had to do with the questions that had led me there. It was awkward sometimes, amazing at others. I knew the Lord was with me, and by the end of the week, the questions that had kept me awake at night for weeks seemed unimportant. God had it, and He would lead me.
And somewhere along the way, he did. By Friday, I realized that I knew what God wanted me to do. There’d been no audible voice, no neon sign, but the direction suddenly seemed so obvious, I wondered if I hadn’t known it all along. I’d asked him what story I should work on next. During the week, he gave me a general plot for one, answering the question. I’d asked him about another project, and by the end of the week, I had a first step.
Turns out, the week of praying wasn’t about finding answers at all. It was about seeking God’s face and trusting that the leading would come. I wish I had a blueprint for the next five years. But now I know the next few steps. Beyond that, I’ll trust him to lead.
Isaiah 30:15 reads, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” The Israelites ignored God’s advice—we know this, because the next line says, “But you would have none of it.”
But God encouraged them. Just a few verses later read:
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore, he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help… Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:18, 19, 21).
The week I spent with God was about repentance and rest, quietness and trust. I shouldn’t be surprised that he responded by giving me directions for my life. Doesn’t he always keep his promises?
What do you do when you need direction from the Lord?
Do you have any similar stories to share?
Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, released in April, and its prequel, Chasing Amanda, released in July. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.
Writing is a solitary occupation so … who needs people?
Thankfully, I realized that early on in my writing journey. I joined the ACFW and as a part of that, discovered the Scribes critique group. It opened my eyes to the absolute necessity of having others read and critique my writing. But while Scribes was a great place to start, I knew I needed a tighter-knit group. I needed my own peeps. People who would have my back, hold my feet to the fire, give me a shoulder to cry on, kick me in the rear, and most of all, pray for me and my writing.
The desire to find that led to what we now call the Quid Pro Quills. So how do they help me and my writing? I’ll take them in the order I met them.
Robin Patchen keeps my participles from dangling, my tenses from tangling, and my fears from strangling me.
Jericha Kingston gives me hope, cheers me on, points out my story’s inconsistencies, and is a master brain-stormer when I get stuck.
Kara Hunt finds all my almost-right words (I keep her busy with that), challenges me to add more tension, and cuts all sorts of fluff from my stories.
Candice Patterson makes me see my writing with all my senses, she rounds my stories into a fullness they otherwise would lack.
Jodie Wolfe joined us just a couple of months ago and already she’s proven invaluable for me to bounce ideas off of and share a laugh with.
Without this group of exceptional writers, I would have given up my quest to write a book years ago. I need my peeps! Their individual gifts to encourage and support, to bully and bluster, have shaped me into the writer I am. (So it’s all their fault!) And thanks to them, I’ve sold my first novella to Barbour Publishing. I can’t tell you how much my peeps mean to me.