Repeat Offender – Book Review

When you hear the name Las Vegas, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?  Elvis? Jerry Lewis? CSI? Long-running shows with BIG names, like Wayne Newton or Celine Dion? Lavish shows with half-naked dancing girls? The Strip with all those fantastic bright lights and flashing marquees?

Yes, there is that, but everyone’s first thought is G.A.M.B.L.I.N.G. Am I right? High-rollers with millions of dollars exchanging hands 24/7.  In his debut novel, Repeat Offender, Det. Bradley Nickell, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police [LVMPD] will introduce you to a different kind of high-roller.

REPEATOFFENDER_KindleCover_2-24-2015

*This is a spoiler free post*

Basic Info: 434 pages, released April 4, 2015, from WildBlue Press. The book has 76 customer reviews, 91% of which are 5 Stars, and the rest have 4 Stars! Impressive. Read on to see what this reviewer thinks.

From the Back Cover:

Las Vegas Police Detective Bradley Nickell brings you the inside scoop of his harrowing investigation to catch the most prolific criminal Las Vegas has ever known. Daimon Monroe looked like an average guy raising a family with his schoolteacher girlfriend, but just below the surface he was an accomplished thief and sex offender with an uncontrollable lust for excess. REPEAT OFFENDER gives an insider’s view of the intense crusade to stop Monroe, set against the bright lights, colorful personalities, and seamy underbelly of America’s Sin City. It’s an epic battle between a driven cop and the remorseless criminal who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted, including a plot to kill his pursuer and others.

~

My rating: 5 STARS! (5/5)

“Early one evening, I left the Detective Bureau and soon noticed the same compact car had been in my mirror for a few blocks. A silver-colored Toyota, beat-up looking with no front license plate, driven by two Hispanic-looking men. I wasn’t sure if they were following me, but I didn’t want to take a chance. My nerves were shot. I’d been dreading this exact thing for weeks.”

Whoa, how’s that for an attention-grabbing opening paragraph?! It sure pulled me right in. The next paragraph shows that Detective Nickell was prepared for what he expected might happen…with a shotgun across his lap.

Nickell, as the narrator, obviously writing in first person, is, of course, the main character. But master-thief Daimon Monroe is always present in one form or another, along with his partners-in-crime. Monroe is as narcissistic as they come. A man with neither conscience nor remorse. He delighted in thumbing his nose at the law, playing a  ‘Catch me if you can…I’ll deny everything’ game. But the overly self-confident, egotistical Daimon hadn’t counted on the bulldog tenacity of one Las Vegas Police Detective named Bradley Nickell.

REPEAT OFFENDER is a True Crime novel that takes the reader through the years-long–even life-threatening–pursuit to take this habitual criminal down.

I guess, in a way, this could be called a legal thriller. The author takes us step-by-step through his investigation. The long grueling, endless hours spent listening to recorded phone calls from inmates to the outside, for example. These guys know they’re being recorded but they need that outside communication. So they invent a special code when they discuss ‘’’business,’ and it’s up to our detective to decipher them. Along with Det. Nickell, we sit in court rooms listening to testimonies for both defense and prosecution. We read his own testimony when called on. We wait, along with him, biting our nails, for the juries to return with their verdicts. Yes, I used plurals. Our man Daimon, so self-assured, loves litigation.

I like court room scenes. It’s fascinating to me to ‘watch’ each attorney try to one-up the other with their arguments, examination and cross-exam, opening and closing statements.

Would I recommend this book? Oh, yes. We have the privilege of seeing behind the scene police work. Their tenacious pursuit for justice to protect you and me, our loved ones, our neighborhoods, communities, and cities from predators like Daimon Monroe.

~

IMG_1665About Bradley Nickell:

Out of high school, Bradley Nickell spent almost four years in the United States Air Force, working on the super-secret SR-71 and U2 spy planes. In the last two years of his military service, Bradley also worked as a Reserve Police Officer in Marysville, California.

In 1992, Bradley joined the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and was promoted to detective in 1999. For the past sixteen years, Bradley has been assigned to the Repeat Offender Program, specializing in identifying, catching, and helping convict career criminals who prey on the citizens of Southern Nevada.

Although still a police detective, Bradley is a credentialed member of the press and has written several law enforcement-themed features for both American COP Magazine and POLICE Magazine.

Bradley has been interviewed on TruTV (formerly Court TV) as a subject matter expert and was a key speaker at the Fifth Annual LeadsOnline ® Law Enforcement Leadership Conference (2012).

Links:

What others have to say:

“This will be the ride-along of your life…Fasten your seat belts!” ~Anne Bremmer, attorney and television legal analyst

“If you like mayhem, madness, and suspense, Repeat Offender is the book to read. It’s a provocative journey into a world one rarely uncovers, with shocking twists and turns that will keep you riveted!” ~Aphrodite Jones, New York Times bestselling author

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“ONE”

Flowers-2

One song can spark a moment,

One flower can wake the dream.

One tree can start a forest,

One bird can herald spring.

~

One smile begins a friendship,

One hand clasp lifts the soul.

One star can guide a ship at sea,

One word can frame the goal.

~

One vote can change a nation,

One sunbeam lights a room.

One candle wipes out darkness,

One laugh will conquer gloom.

                                                                                                                                     Author Unknown.  “One”

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“In Firefly Valley” Takes the Crown!

A NOTE TO PUBLISHED AUTHORS:

If you had a novel release any time in 2014, you’re invited to submit to Clash of the Titles’ Laurel Award.

SUBMISSION DATES: June 1-July 3, 2015

Novels participating in the Laurel are judged by their audience—readers who are well-versed in Christian fiction yet not a part of the CBA industry. The Laurel judges the first two chapters (or 3,500 words) of published novels. Any genre of Christian novel (30,000 words or more) is eligible, including indie.

Subscribers to our quarterly newsletter will be entered into a drawing to receive a refund of their $15.00 submission fee! Subscribe HERE. Learn more about the Laurel Awards HERE.

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And now for our latest Clash winner…!
I know, technically Summer just started, but…

Thank you all for participating in our special May releases Clash of the Titles. We appreciate the efforts of all of our fans, and particularly our authors this month: 

Rachel JamesJennifer RodewaldHeather Day Gilbert, and Sarah Loudin Thomas

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Some of the very encouraging words from our readers include:

–Love reading your books. Can’t put them down.

–Great looking reads. All new authors to me. So, looks like I have great TBR pile for the rest of the summer.

–Love all of Amanda Cabot’s books. I have Firefly Valley here ready to read.

–I love Heather Gilbert’s books. She writes in such a fresh and wonderful way, I feel I’m right there with her characters. I especially love Tess’s character!

–Sarah Loudin Thomas, I have loved both of your books! Keep ’em comin’!

–Trial by Twelve is a masterful suspense novel. I love that it is set in West Virginia and has a married couple as main characters. I hope there is a sequel! Bravo, Heather Gilbert!

–Blue Columbine is a favorite and can’t wait for more of Jen’s books to come out.

–Rachel James is an exciting new author of engaging historical characters.

And the champ of this clash is…

Amanda Cabot, In Firefly Valley

 

She’s lost her dream job—but has she found the man of her dreams?

Devastated by a downsizing, Marisa St. George has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it means a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow’s End resort. The only silver lining: Blake Kendall, a new guest who might make her believe in love at first sight. But will Marisa’s dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers Blake’s real identity?

This warm and witty story of dreams deferred and mistaken identity will have you believing in second chances.

Buy the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble

A NOTE FROM AMANDA

My heartfelt thanks go to everyone who helped make In Firefly Valley the winner of this month’s Clash of the Titles. Your support means so much to me! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you’re the reason I write. Thank you for your belief in me and my writing.

I’ve been delighted with the response to this book. A number of you have told me you think it’s even better than the first of the Texas Crossroads stories, At Bluebonnet Lake. Since I hope that my writing improves with each book, hearing that has been the encouragement I need to work even harder on the next book.

I’ve also been pleased with the praise reviewers have given In Firefly Valley. RT BookReviews rated it a page turner and said, “Cabot’s heartfelt storytelling rings true as she addresses the pains of bitterness and resentment, as well as the hard fight to love again and forgive all hurts. …Charming secondary characters and the beautiful Texas Hill Country setting cap off a story that is a delight to read.”

Blogger Trudy Shiroma Koeffler had the following to say: “To say I have a new favorite author is an understatement! This book was absolutely fantastic on so many levels! First of all it brought deep spiritual truths into the story naturally and realistically. The love story was the sweetest one I’ve read in a long time, but it was not a predictable love story at all. It had twists and turns, and nail biting episodes that had me guessing till the end. I was impressed with the mature way love was displayed in this story on all fronts with the various characters. This book is not some fairytale romance but rather a tale of characters with real issues, fears, heartaches and hang-ups. The author deals with each issue in a detailed, emotionally healthy and spiritual rich way. The description of landscape, cabins, cooking and friendships will make you wish you could take a little trip to Dupree and visit Firefly Valley yourself!”

Thank you again for your support. I’m excited, overwhelmed and more pleased than I can ever say at having In Firefly Valley win this award. And, for those of you who’ve asked “what’s next?” the third of the Texas Crossroads books, On Lone Star Trail, will be released in February 2016. If you’d like to learn more about that and my other books, I invite you to sign up for my online newsletter. It’s simple: just send me an email. You’ll find the address on my web page. I look forward to hearing from you.

About Amanda: Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages. Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming.

Visit her website and Facebook page Twitter  Blog

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What Floats Sally Chambers’ Boat? Oh, a Giveaway, too.

I AM SO DELIGHTED TO HAVE AS MY GUEST TODAY, DEBUT AUTHOR SALLY CHAMBERS, A LONGTIME (ONLINE) FRIEND. I was trying to remember when we first connected, but I think–correct me if I’m wrong, Sally–in 1995 through Sandy Brooks on AOL and her Christian Writers Fellowship International [CWFI] organization.

Anyway, I shot her some interview questions and she graciously answered them, though she said I make her work!. So sit back to learn more about Sally Chambers. Oh, we’ll talk about her debut book, The Stonekeepers, too. (See below for giveaway details.)

Sally Chambers 70 percent

So, Sally, let’s chat.

When people find out we’re writers, someone will inevitably say ‘I’ve always wanted to write a book’ or, ‘I’d like to write a book someday,’ and you’re probably no exception. What is/would be your response?

My blog title speaks to that! A year ago, I named it, Everyone Has a Story, because I believe everyone does. I think God has tucked the bud of a thought into our hearts that’s hungry to bloom—that each of us have stories to tell about a time/s in our lives we think others will enjoy hearing or profit from reading about. But! If you’re serious, learn the craft of writing well and since writing is a lonely business, join writing organizations and a critique group. Find someone who shares your passion and write your heart out! Literally.

Where is your favorite writing place?

On the southeast corner of the house, away from the living areas, there’s sunshiny, airy room that’s my haven. With large windows facing south and east, when the weather permits, they are wide open. I hear the water splashing from the small fountain in the front pond, hear the birds, and feel the breeze. The area is calm, peaceful, and conducive to putting words to work.

I’m always curious about other writer’s habits, quirks, and the like background music, or complete silence? Share some of yours.

I enjoy the serenity of silence or the sounds of nature – birds, wind through the trees, splashing water, in the background as I write. In reality though, the sounds of life happen. Like the air conditioning cycling on and off or my husband working on a noisy project or mowing the yard. And I can usually tune those out.

Do you snack when you write?

It’s probably a good thing I’m not much of a snacker, especially around my keyboard! It’s been blessed with a coffee bath (and I like honey in my coffee—a keyboard killer) as well as water and it somehow survived, so I’ve learned to head for the kitchen if I get thirsty or crave something chocolate.☺

Ooh, that must have been a sticky mess. How much of yourself goes into your characters?

I think my younger self was much like the main character in The Stonekeepers, Lexi. But, at eighteen, Lexi’s smarter, savvier, and a lot more gutsy. We’re both very loyal to our friends and family, our faith and growth as Christians is a work-in-progress, pray (still working on our trusting), and we do a lot of self-talk. Like Lexi, I’m still working on training my impulse gene. She’s impatient—it makes her crazy when her friends are late. I’m much more laid back. We share an innate curiosity about everything, love to research, and are pretty much perfectionists in many areas of our lives.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I’m fascinated with names and titles. They get prayed over and chosen with a lot of care. I comb through the baby-namer sites, listen for unusual names and look up their meanings, go through the Bible for names, and more. They have to fit and feel right to me and sometimes they get changed. Each part of the character’s name has significance to me.

What genres do you like to read?

Variety! I enjoy spiritual/inspirational fiction and nonfiction, techno-thriller, mystery, spy fiction, action-adventure, thriller-suspense, historical, and romance, many of the newer light inspirational romance novels.

And what are you reading right now?

I’m finishing Terri Tiffany’s debut novel, The Mulligan, and it’s good . . . nice twists, and has me emotionally involved. I’m also a quarter of the way through Baldacci’s King and Maxwell, but I’m able to put it down much too easily.

Let’s say you’re planning a writing retreat and there’s only space/room enough for four other authors. Who would they be, and why? Where would it be? Why there?

Well, since you didn’t hem me in with the caveat that they must all be living authors, I’ll invite, Catherine Marshall, Mark Twain, Anna Sewell, and Billy Graham. I’d invite these four because I’d like to learn why they were/are so beloved as writers. I’d invite them to be my guest for a week at the historic Baker House  1650 in the Hamptons. (Since expense is not an issue when the imagination is playing!) I opted for renting the entire Baker House because it has a reputation for having luxurious accommodations, lovely gardens, spacious, and access to nearby beaches. Amidst impeccable English gardens with sweeping lawns, is an elegant landscape with matured, natural beauty. We’d meet and walk beside vine-covered garden walls and a 200 year-old wisteria, that evokes the perfection of the English countryside.

Ah, that was my mistake. But I like your choices. What is your favorite food?

Parmesan crusted chicken or pepperoni-pineapple pizza

That sounds yummy, except the pineapple part. Fun question: If you’d been born into the animal kingdom instead of the human race, what would you be, and why?

A German shepherd trained to search and rescue. I’d be on call to go all over the world to search and rescue those lost. I’d be physically fit, smart, obedient, and agile!

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not family) who would it be, and, of course, why?

JK Rowling. why? Aside from doing so much good with her wealth and her volunteering, since her last book was published, she said openly that she was a Christian. I’d like to listen and learn how large a part her faith played as she wrote her books.

Okay, now let’s talk about your debut book. How did you come to write it?

The Stonekeepers Cover 2First, a name that leapt from the page of a magazine and sparked my imagination. Then ideas that caught fire as I mentored junior high school girls to help lower the school dropout numbers in my area. I’d been writing for children and the desire grew to write for the older girls—a novel, but nothing like what they were used to reading. Through story, I wanted them to get to know a girl a little older than they were, someone they could relate to, learn from, and look up to. But . . . someone who faced the things of life from a background of faith. A girl similar to the teenaged Christian girls I was teaching in a Sunday school class, who had plenty of problems, but chose to pray about them. Girls who read the Bible and learned from it, and who loved the Lord, all just as naturally as breathing.

Fascinating! What kind of research did you have to do?

Since I wanted my protagonist to face a variety of challenges, I threw mountains at Lexi to deal with, like suddenly secretive and overly protective parents, finding herself involved with something priceless, having her life threatened, and more. That meant every time I imagined and wrote about one of those challenges, I had to make sure it was believable. That took me into researching things like airline schedules, early 19th century door handles, paparazzi, night vision goggles, papyrus, the strength of gold, and the effects of ether, Israeli Intelligence and Special Operations, shaay,—endless and fascinating research.

What’s on the back cover (the ‘blurb’)?

For the past eighteen years, Lexi Christensen has been sheltered from the truth by a soft-cushioned life of normalcy, until the contents of an envelope link her to an ancient vow. All Lexi wants is to get out from between the vise grips of her suddenly protective parents, rescue an historic mansion before she leaves for college, and stop herself from falling in love with the man her best friend claims to love. But finding the envelope thrusts her into difficult and dangerous choices. Someone knows more about Lexi’s heritage than she does, wants what she’s found, and threatens her life to get it.

As her future twists into an incredible mission that propels her from her sand-ringed island home to a foreign mountaintop, Lexi is in a race against both time and danger. Her faith may be strong, but is God asking too much?

Great teaser. That’s usually the first thing I check when I’m looking for a new book to read.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY:

Sally is giving away one free paperback copy of The Stonekeepers to one of you readers. Sorry, Lower 48 States only. TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with your name and contact information, like this, zippity (at) doodah (dot) com, replacing the red words with your info. so we can notify you in case you win.

Giveaway ends at Midnight, Tuesday, July 7 Central Time. To make it fair, I require  a minimum of 5 (five) entries. So, if you want to win, tell your friends to enter. Hey, one chance out of five or more, is better than no chance at all. Right?

Winner will be determined through Random.org

Many thanks to Sally for sharing herself and her time with Whispers in Purple, and to YOU READERS who visit. Be sure to come back on July 15 for an interview with Sally’s character Lexi Christensen. 

God Bless!

TWEETABLES:

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A Message from my Father

Daddy_smWilliam (Bill) Blann, July 6, 1914 / April 7, 2002

In honor of Father’s Day, the below is a copy of an email I received from Daddy dated January 30, 2002, just four months before he entered the Gates of Heaven.

On March 24 of this year I posted a blog titled Found Treasure about memories and treasured things from the past.

This post is one of my favorite treasures. In my dad’s words.

 

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  • Each time I pick up one of my Bibles, the section I need opens up an additional concept that had not occurred to me previously. That’s an amazing experience!
  • My Bibles are the best reference library, dictionary, glossary, encyclopedia and concordance–to support what might have escaped from memory.
  • The Bible is the record of who God is, what God has done and to whom, and what God is doing now and will be doing soon.

“Behold, I shew you a mystery…”

MYSTERY!

What is the meaning of this word…in the Bible?

“I have always been interested in this word and what it means as used in the Bible. My brother, John, a retired missionary, sent me this biblical definition:

It denotes, not the mysterious (as with the English word), but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by Divine revelation, and is known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those who are illumined by His Spirit. In the ordinary sense, a mystery implies knowledge withheld; its Scriptural significance is–truth revealed. [by E.W. Vine]

So, my own interest in this word sent me to the Internet and a site called The Bible Gateway, which is the Internet Bible used in the Verse of Today, which comes to me each day via Email. My search for the word mystery, using the New American Standard Version [NASB] found 28 references where it is used.

The first is found in the Book of Daniel and the disturbing dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had one night. It was troubling to him because he couldn’t remember it to tell his officials. That was indeed a mystery, but he didn’t use that word.

Even the Chaldean wise men knew that only gods knew the answers to man’s dreams. They answered the king and said:

There is not a man on earth who could declare the matter for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any magician, conjurer of Chaldean. Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh. [Daniel 2:10-11.]

I can imagine Daniel and his friends spending a considerable length of time praying to God to give them the answer to the actual dream that the king had dreamed, as well as the interpretation! What a challenge to have to interpret someone else’s dream. I wonder how long that prayer session was? For the answer was given to Daniel in another dream, together with its answer!

Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; Daniel said, ‘Let the name of God be blesses forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes Kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for You have given me wisdom and power; even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, for You have made known to us the king’s matter.’ [Daniel 2:10-23] 

Notice how Daniel takes no credit for himself when he is received by King Nebuchadnezzar:

The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, ‘Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?” Daniel answered before the king and said. ‘As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days.’ [Daniel 2:26-28]

It is now plain that the basic meaning of the word MYSTERY in the Bible is—TRUTH REVEALED!

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Peg here:

I hope you have enjoyed this study from my Dad. He was a true Bible scholar. I have one of his Bibles which is the NEW SCHOFIELD REFERENCE EDITION from Oxford University Press, 1967. The spine is taped together at the bottom, some pages are also taped, but the biggest blessings are the notes and highlights throughout. Truly another Found Treasure.

Posted in PURpleSpectives, Whispers | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

COTT’s Sizzling Summer Reading Clash

 
Looking for some awesome take-me-away Summer Reading?
Check out these new releases and I dare you to tell me which one you’d put on the top of your reading list. We offer contemporary and historical romance, a little fantasy, danger, mystery, suspense!
Vote for your next most likely read, and leave the author a word of encouragement, then share with your friends. 


Scroll down, vote in the survey box, and come back next week for the Reveal!
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Fantasy
Rachel A. James
To unite the kingdoms and bring peace, Princess Alena must enter into a royal marital alliance, but when the handsome physician, Sherwin, befalls her, matters become complicated. Torn between obligations to her young son and country, she faces a difficult decision, will Alena obey the king’s orders, or choose to follow her heart?
*****
Romance
Jennifer Rodewald
Friendship, love, and then betrayal…for Jamie Carson one thing becomes clear: Andrew needs a savior, and she cannot be it. Will Andrew allow the hand of grace to redeem his legacy of addiction, or will he and Jamie remain the casualties of heartbreak?
*****
Suspense
Heather Day Gilbert
Tess Spencer loves her low-key job at the Crystal Mountain Spa, which allows her plenty of down-time with her one-year old daughter and lawyer husband, Thomas. But when a pool installation turns up eight skeletons in the spa’s back yard, Tess becomes entangled in a sleuthing job destined to go awry…even as she sifts through layers of deceit, Tess realizes too late that a serial killer’s sights have zeroed in on her.
*****
Contemporary Romance
Amanda Cabot
Marisa St. George has lost her dream job and come home to manage the struggling Rainbow’s End resort in the small Texas town where she grew up. The only silver lining is Blake Kendall, a new guest who is making her believe in love at first sight. But is he really who she thinks he is?
*****
Historical Romance
Sarah Loudin Thomas
When family tragedy derails Henry Phillips’s college studies, he consoles himself with his fiddle and the family farm. His grandmother’s helper, Margaret Hoffman, is always around, ready to push his buttons, and it seems she doesn’t care about his troubles. But Margaret has her own problems. Henry and Margaret soon find themselves relying on each other as they face potential loss and find healing in the most surprising places.
*****

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New Hope Sweetheart: Author Patty Smith Hall

Whispers in Purple is pleased to welcome multi-published author PATTY SMITH HALL, who will share an article…AND an Interview with her character today.

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Patty’s Bio:

Patty Smith-Hall is a multi-published, award-winning author with Love Inspired Historical/Heartsong and currently serves as president of the ACFW-Atlanta chapter. She currently lives in North Georgia with her husband of 30+ years, Danny; two gorgeous daughters and a future son-in-love. Her next release, New Hope Sweethearts will be available July 2 on Amazon.

Connect with Patty:

 

Hi, Patty, welcome! As they say on Facebook: What’s on your mind?

 

Last week, during my Bible time, I came across a devotional that punched me in the heart. It was from 1 John, chapter 4, verse 1:

Dear Friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

The author of the devotional goes on to talk about how we should be discerning, that we can not believe every spirit. To quote her, “just because someone claims to be a Christian preacher, speaker, or author doesn’t mean we should automatically accept everything he or she teaches without weighing it against the truth of God’s Word.”

As a Christian, I know that and have at times, put down a Bible study or stopped listening to a preacher because what was being taught was so far from the ultimate authority of Scripture. Once, I listened to a speaker teach that Christian fiction was an abomination and that storytellers were basically liars who needed to be publicly corrected by the church.

The rest of her message lost traction with me after that.

No, what struck me about this devotion is the grave responsibility I have as an author of Christian fiction. It’s not like I haven’t thought of this before; as a writer, I know the difference one word can make—hope, redemption, forgiveness. I try to bath my work in prayer and Bible study. I start my writing day committing my work to Him.

And if I fail. If I became a ‘false prophet?’ Just the thought of letting God down makes me want to try harder, to bury myself deeper into His Word, to keep a constant prayer on my lips, asking, pleading for Him the be the focus of my heart and for that to pour out in my stories.

My daddy use to tell me when I was growing up that I needed to walk the walk rather than talk the talk. Nevermore is that true for me than now. Words have purpose, and I can only pray that my words point others to focus on Him.

 

New Hope SweetheartsAnd now: Hero Interview with Dr. Jefferson Muster from New Hope Sweethearts

1) A doctor, huh? What made you go into medicine?

I’m really not a medical doctor in the sense that I don’t have an office or patients. Not sure I’d like that. No, my degree is in microbiology and infectious diseases. My work focuses on what makes a person sick rather than helping them get well. As far as why I went into that field, I guess it goes back to my mother. When I was about nine, she had a really bad case of the flu which damaged the mitral valve in her heart. She had surgery but she died a year later.

2) I’m so sorry. That had to be tough.

It was, particularly on my dad. He was crazy about Mom, and all of a sudden, he’s left alone to care for me and my sister. I don’t think he’ll ever get over losing her like that.

3) So, tell me the most interesting thing about yourself?

I don’t know. I’m not sure there is anything interesting about me. I’ve always been kind of a nerd. I love anything involving science. Growing up, I never missed Bill Nye, the Science Guy on TV. Oh, I collect John Wayne memorabilia —last week, I bought the spurs he used in True Grit at an online auction.

4) Is that what you do for fun? Collect things?

Yeah, that and gardening. I like to work in my yard, you know, cut grass, trim back the hedges. I’ve also got a little vegetable garden out back that I mess around in on the weekends. Nothing beats a fresh tomato sandwich.

5) What are you afraid of?

Nothing I can think of, except maybe not making a difference in this world. I don’t want to go to my grave without accomplishing SOMETHING.

6) Is that what you want out of life? To make a difference?

Doesn’t everyone want to know that they’ve spent their time on this earth doing something that will matter? I got into microbiology and infectious diseases because I’ve seen first hand how one tiny organism can wreck someone’s entire life. If I can keep someone else from going through that pain, then my work has been worth it.

7) What do you put off because you just dread the thought of doing it?

Visiting patients. Which is why I’m not a medical doctor. People are just trouble any way you look at it.

8) That’s a very cynical view.

Maybe, but it’s true. Either they want something from you or they’re passing their mistakes off on you. And if you do get close, that’s when they have the power to hurt you the most.

9) Do you have any pets? Dog or cat person?

No, my life is too busy with work right now to have a pet. I did have a dog when I first got out of college, a rat terrier called Barney. But he died several years ago and I just haven’t felt like committing to another animal yet. Maybe after I retire.

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