Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including in Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.
But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a sermon and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.
Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.
In the small Puritan community of Stoneybrooke, Massachusetts, Susannah Phillips stands out both for her character and beauty. She wants only a simple life but soon finds herself pursued by the town’s wealthiest bachelor and by a roguish military captain sent to protect them. One is not what he seems and one is more than he seems.
In trying to discover true love’s path, Susannah is helped by the most unlikely of allies, a wounded woman who lives invisible and ignored in their town. As the depth, passion, and sacrifice of love is revealed to Susannah, she begins to question the rules and regulations of her childhood faith. In a community where grace is unknown, what price will she pay for embracing love?
I have always enjoyed historical fiction and Love’s Pursuit met all my requirements. Not only did it contain plenty of pertinent facts about it’s time frame and setting, but it also had emotional depth, suspense, romance and tragedy. I found details about the Puritan life and mindset to be of particular interest. Based on reactions of characters in this novel, it was easy to see how the hysteria surrounding the Salem witch hunt could develop even though it was not a subject covered in this particular book.
I would definitely recommend Love’s Pursuit to lovers of historical romance with the caution to be prepared for some surprises – not all of them pleasant.
I have to be honest about this book – I finally finished it but never could get at all involved with the characters. Sometimes a Light Surprises is primarily about a self-absorbed man who essentially ignored his four children for over twenty years after his wife’s unsolved murder. Although the focus was on events and people who influenced Ben’s slow journey toward emotional healing, in my opinion he still remained apathetic and self-centered. His attempts to reconnect with his children were half-hearted at best. At least he did realize what a poor father he had been.
Several other characters in the spotlight included Ben’s daughter Erin, his secretary Caroline, and Kelly, the daughter of his wife’s friend. Each of these women had struggles of her own yet nothing was ever resolved for them. This would leave ample opportunity for a sequel but I can’t say I care enough to find out what happens to them. All things considered, I found the lack of resolution to be somewhat disappointing.
One positive thing I can say is that through dialogue and events the author presented the Lord’s caring involvement in the daily lives of people. However the portrayal of Christians included Shelley and her husband who wanted everyone to know about all their good deeds; Macon Mahoney, a vendor who was portrayed as eccentric; and Kelly, timid and afraid to share her faith. Yes, I know this is realistic – I have known people like each of them – but somehow I felt like an opportunity was missed, especially with Macon Mahoney.
If you like a fast moving, exciting novel, you should probably pass this one by. On the other hand, if you like thought provoking, analytical books, Sometimes a Light Surprises just might be for you.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Ben Buckley has never gotten over the loss of his wife. More bewildering than the mystery surrounding her death is the radical change that occurred in her shortly beforehand–a “conversion,” she had called it. Baffled, angry, and still feeling guilty for the way he’d withdrawn from her during those final weeks, Ben now lives behind the protective walls of severed relationships and rigid routines.
An unlikely young woman knocks on the door of his narrow world. Her simple honesty and childlike faith are incomprehensible to him, but in spite of his misgivings Ben finds himself on a journey he never would have begun on his own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jamie Langston Turner, author of six novels and winner of a Christy Award, has been a teacher for more than thirty years. Currently a professor of creative writing and poetry at Bob Jones University, she lives with her husband in Greenville, South Carolina. Visit www.jamielangstonturner.com
Wanda Dyson lives with her severely autistic teenager on a busy farm with horses, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits, and the occasional fox, deer, groundhog, and snake. She could seriously live without the snakes, but that’s life in the country.
After writing three critically acclaimed suspense novels, she was asked to write the true story of Tina Zahn (Why I Jumped), which was featured on Oprah. Readers characterize her books as “riviting” and “Packed with twists and turns.”
Wanda serves on the board of several writers conferences across the country including the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.
Wanda has finished the second in this series called Shepherd’s Run, that will come out in 2010. And she’s hard at work on the third and final installment of the Prodigal Recovery Series – Marti’s story — tentatively called Shepherd’s Quest.
Learn more about Wanda and her books on her Website.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Bounty hunter Nick Shepherd is fearless when it comes to chasing down criminals. It’s his difficult ex-wife, rebellious teenage daughter, and dysfunctional siblings that keep him awake at night. In charge of the family business, the Prodigal Recovery Agency, he thinks of himself as a shepherd of sorts. When his “flock” is out of his control, Nick’s well-ordered universe falls into chaos.
Prodigal Recovery’s search for Zeena, a prostitute on the run, leads to a faulty arrest, complicating Nick’s business. He is thrown together with Zeena’s twin, the beautiful Annie, and the two find themselves on a desperate search. The stakes significantly increase when Nick’s daughter is kidnapped. Now, to save someone he loves, Nick must risk everything, but will it be enough?
The first book in Dyson’s new Prodigal Recovery Series, Shepherd’s Fall focuses on Nick the oldest Shepherd whose father left him in charge of the family bounty hunter agency. Nick’s life is complicated by a business that needs financial help, a brother who doesn’t meet his expections, a missing sister, tension with his exwife, and a teenage daughter who is acting out. What he doesn’t need is more stress but that is just what he gets (and more) when a man he helped put away is determined to follow through on his threat of revenge.
Well crafted characters and a plot with enough twists and turns to keep most readers guessing makes Shepherd’s Fall a book to keep you turning pages until the very end. One thing for certain, nothing in this narrative is quite what it seems – there are surprises around every corner! Shepherd’s Fall is filled with danger and suspense but also holds some serious lessons in relationships. I would recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good mystery and am looking forward to the next installment myself.
When I first began reading Words Unspoken I was unsure if I would be able to stick with it long enough to finish it. The storyline shifted to numerous characters with apparently no connections. However, my persistence was rewarded when all the loose ends began to come together and by the end were all neatly joined. Was it all just coincidence or was there a master plan that brought them all together?
The characterizations and dialogue in Words Unspoken were superb. These characters were real! Each one of them had real life issues and the author expertly revealed the motivations of each one.
Words Unspokenis ultimately about words – the words in our heads that constantly blame and berate, the words we imagine from others , the words we misinterpret, and the words that soothe and heal. It is also about how one person who follows their divine call can positively change the lives of others. It is an emotional ride filled with nuggets of wisdom, hope, and redemption.
I definitely recommend Words Unspoken. Why don’t you check it out for yourself?
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Lissa Randall’s future was bright with academic promise until the tragic accident that took her mother’s life–and brought her own plans to a screeching halt. Eighteen months later, she still can’t get back behind the wheel. A casual recommendation to Ev MacAllister’s driving school sets in motion a cascade of events… until Lissa begins to wonder if maybe, just maybe, life isn’t as random as she has always thought. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, Words Unspoken weaves together a vibrant cast of characters whose intertwining stories of courage, choice, heartbreak, and hope will hold readers captive until the final page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Elizabeth Musser, an Atlanta native, lives in southern France with her husband and their two sons. Her acclaimed novel, The Swan House, was a Book Sense bestseller list in the Southeast and was selected as one of the top Christian books for 2001 by Amazon’s editors. Words Unspoken is her seventh novel. Visit Elizabeth’s Web site at www.elizabethmusser.com