Book Review: The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh

July 30, 2012

When I first realized this book had something to do with a ship in 1857, somehow Robinson Crusoe came to mind, albeit that story was set in the mid 1600’s, and I thought, well…..I dunno. But, since I’d already read The Discovery by Dan Walsh and loved it, I decided there’s a good chance I’ll like it. Like it?  Oh, my word, a total understatement. It is awesome.

 Dan Walsh is an multi-award-winning author, and is a finalist this year for yet another Carol award for this very book.  I won’t be the least bit surprised if he wins. One thing is for sure, you won’t be disappointed you read The Deepest Waters.

 Inspired by actual historical events in the mid 1800’s, The Deepest Waters is riveting and difficult from which to disengage. The plot is suspenseful and intense. The message is compelling and spiritual. Once again, Dan Walsh does an exemplary job of word-painting to the point of feeling you’re actually there in the center of it all.  Rather than provide an outline or highlights of the plot, I’ve chosen to focus on some of the characters with a few clues and let you discover the story for yourself, which incidentally has some great twists toward the end.

 Laura, the newlywed who’s lost her husband at sea after a horrific hurricane that sunk the SSVandevere, is more concerned about others than she is herself. She has spunk and compassion, faith and determination.

 Captain Meade, Christian commander of the Cutlass, demonstrates dignity, fairness, and compassion to everyone, passengers, crew, and even his slave.

 Melissa is ecstatic about meeting Tom, her betrothed, in New York. But her empathy toward Laura and the pain Melissa knows she must be feeling from her loss prompts her to assure her new friend has food and lodging when they arrive in the city about which Laura knows nothing, not even whether her in-laws will accept her.

 Joel, is transformed from a cold, money-focused business man to a loving and compassionate brother.

 John’s, deep love for his new bride and his faith in God carried him through the most terrifying ordeal of his life.  His selflessness allowed him to put himself in more danger in an effort to help others.

 The elder Mrs. Foster, who although very rich and attuned to proper appearances, used her position and energies to help people less fortunate, including former slaves.

 My favorite character in this book is Micah, the  ship captain’s slave, whose unwavering faith in God carries him through the most trying circumstances and events. Even after an undeserved beating, not the first of which he’s endured, he rebounds singing praises to the Lord.  Then of course there’s Crabby, the lovable canine companion of Micah.

 Sure there aren’t more than five stars? This book definitely deserves a ten. It is a definite MUST READ for all historical fiction enthusiasts. Congratulations, Dan. You knocked this one out of the park.

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Meeting Amazing People on Social Media Sites

July 19, 2012

Duke

Social networking has brought people into my life with whom I’d never dreamed I’d become acquainted. Granted, it’s not the same thing as face-to-face meeting. Nor is it likely that we’ll become bosom buddies. But—it has allowed this introvert to broaden her horizons and make some very interesting and talented acquaintances. I’ve become “friends” with hundreds of very talented Christian writers with whom I love to communicate.

A few weeks ago, I received a Twitter request from a gentleman in Littleton, Colorado.  As usual, I checked out his profile and decided to “follow” him. This is good. I like artsy types, having a wee bit of creativity in me.  Then I got a message saying he’d give me a great deal on a sketch from a photograph. Okay. Sounds good. So I found a good snapshot of hubby and sent it to him.

I was so impressed, I wanted to share it with you. His name is Frank Pryor, and I hope you’ll check out his website: www.pryorsportraits.com and see more examples of  his awesome work. He does such a wonderful job on the sketches, I can only imagine the portraits are truly amazing. A sketch, caricature, or portrait would make an amazing gift for a loved one or friend. (If you mention that I referred you, he’ll give you a 30% discount. How cool is that?)


Book Review: Saving Hope by Margaret Daley

July 11, 2012

Author Margaret Daley is a prolific writer, having written more than seventy-five books and has won many awards including the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year, Golden Quill, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice awards. She is the current president of American Christian Fiction Writers. Before she retired, Margaret taught special needs children and volunteered with the Special Olympics. She is active in her church and her community.

Book Review

When one of Beacon of Hope School’s students and the school van disappear, Kate Winslow knows something is very wrong. Rose would never go back to the life she’d left. After a young woman is found dead and the school’s white van is found abandoned, Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan of the Child Rescue Task Force is called in. If the dead girl wasn’t Rose, what happened to her? And why did she leave the school in the middle of the night?

Leads to the disappearance of Rose turn up dead ends. When more bodies are found, and the urgency of the case escalates. Meanwhile, Wyatt is getting too close and his mother and rebellious daughter are targeted by the prostitution ring.  Will the Texas Ranger be able to stop them in time?

 The author portrays realistic characters facing believable situations in a suspenseful story that will grab your emotions and keep you reading. The story is perfectly paced with lots of action and a thread of romance.

 Ms. Daley utilizes her gift of storytelling in Book #1 of her Men of the Texas Rangers series to make people aware of a growing  atrocity,  not only in other countries, but right here in the USA. This romantic suspense fiction book calls attention the fact that human trafficking can affect not only someone else’s child far away, but the child next door—or yours.  If you’ve ever been under the impression, as I was, that prostitution is a lifestyle that is chosen, or at least girls turned to it as a last resort for survival or to support their drug habit, you need to read this book. If you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or friends with children, it is a must read.

Margaret Daley’s books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. If you’d like to learn more about Margaret and her works, please visit her blog at www.margaretdaley.com.


Those Pesky Little Chores

July 10, 2012

I love it when company comes, especially people I don’t get to see often. In this case, my cousin and his wife, whom I’ve seen only four times in the last forty or more years are heading to the Sunshine State next weekend.

They’ve never seen our home. Never. Oh, my! Don’t want to make a bad impression on them. That means I must get busy and do all those pesky little chores that tend to accumulate over time.  The ones to which you become “blind” so you don’t have to admit that they exist. You know what I mean. A screen on the porch that the dog has plowed through needs to be replaced. The kitchen sink should be recaulked. When was the last time I dusted my china cabinet or cleaned out my bottom cupboards?

Dog hair? Oh, don’t talk to me about dog hair; those short blonde hairs that are nearly impossible to see against my beige tile floors until they form a blanket and you go sliding across the room in your stocking feet. And we won’t mention the accumulation on the air conditioning intake filter and the vacuum cleaner.

The third  bedroom? Yeah, the one that’s become a storage closet with boxes of stuff all over the bed. Ah! Guess I’m going to have to do something with that, too. Need to provide a better-than-a-hotel place to rest.

Reminds me of times when my kids were little. With three young boys in a house of only about a thousand square feet, it was a challenge to keep things tidy. When this mom insisted that the house be perfectly clean and neat, the automatic response from the boys was “Who’s coming?” Guilt pangs. Do my kids really think the only time I ever clean anything is when company’s coming?

I would never win a Good Housekeeping award, I can assure you. But I’ve at least managed to keep the top layer of dirt off, the dishes from becoming moldy,  and the laundry mostly done. My motto was: If they’re coming to see me, fine. If they’re coming to see my dirt, they needn’t bother.

So why stress over it now? I no longer have young children at home, don’t work a full-time job anymore,  no more justification of why I couldn’t pass the “white glove test.” Oh! They’ll be here in four days? Guess it’s time to stop procrastinating. If you’ll excuse me, I’d best get to work.


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