Book Break: Check out Deceived by Irene Hannon

In the last few months, I have found myself with a little more free time than usual, so I have been taking my own advice about enjoying some rest and relaxation. For me, this includes one of my favorite activities: reading. And, I’m excited to share that I have signed up with Revell, a division of the Baker Publishing Group to read and review some of their books. Now, I’m not getting paid for this, but I do get the books for free, and I get to choose what I want to read and what I have time for; that’s good enough for me. So, on to my first review (I will have more books to share with you in the days ahead).

An Enjoyable Read That Will Have You
Thinking About the Characters and Pondering
the Plot Throughout the Day

Deceived

If you enjoy suspense stories with well-developed characters that are easy to relate to, and an intriguing plot line peppered with a bit of romance and just the right amount of danger and deception, you will want to pick up Irene Hannon’s book Deceived and read it for yourself.

Unfortunately, I must admit that I have never read any of this author’s works before, but after devouring this book in only a few days, I have a feeling I will be adding more of her works to my list. Deceived is the third book in the Private Justice series. However, not having read the prior two books—Vanished and Trapped—was not an issue for me. Although there were stories behind some of the characters from the private investigator’s office that were alluded to in this book, the story within these pages stood on its own from start to finish.

This is the description you will find on the back cover: For three years, Kate Marshall has been grieving the loss of her husband and their four-year-old son in a boating accident. But when she spots a familiar-looking child on an escalator in the mall, she is convinced it is the son she thought was dead. With police skeptical of her story, she turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan. The former Secret Service agent is dubious but agrees to investigate. Digging into the case he discovers that the incident may have been no accident at all. But if Kate’s son is alive, someone is intent on keeping him hidden—and may be willing to go to lethal lengths to protect a sinister secret.

As Irene Hannon’s many fans have come to expect, Deceived is filled with complex characters, unexpected twists, and a riveting plot line that accelerates to an explosive finish

*****

I loved the banter between the members of Phoenix, Inc., the private investigators who took on Kate’s case. And even though the interaction and attraction between Kate and Connor, the ex-Secret Service man who agreed to help her, was somewhat predictable, it was still fun to follow along as they found themselves drawn together while the story unraveled.

The “villain” or antagonist in Deceived is quite complex. In fact, he has some very likeable traits, which make it very disturbing to discover the role he played in the event that happened three years earlier in Kate’s life. However, I think it’s a good thing; it shows that even people who have good qualities can snap and do crazy things under extreme circumstances.  I liked that the mystery or suspense was more about the why and how rather than the who.

I was pleased that the book contained a spiritual aspect with mentions of God, prayer, and faith that did not seem to be forced or in-your-face but was naturally woven into the story and through the characters. In fact, I found some of the references to be somewhat inspirational and applicable to my own life; for example: One character says, “That’s God for you. He likes to throw us a few curves now and then, turn things upside down. At least he’s giving us a sign of what’s coming today…” and from Connor we get, “I learned … to take every story seriously until it was proven otherwise. As for coincidences—I like that old saying about them being small miracles in which God chooses to remain anonymous.”

Coincidences

I would describe this book to others as a Christian romantic suspense novel with no graphic violence or language … a very enjoyable read that will have you thinking about the characters and pondering the plot throughout the day until you can once again pick the book back up and immerse yourself in following this intriguing story to its conclusion.

*****

Thank you to the publisher, Revell, for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy for my personal review and my honest opinion of the book.

 

Day 8: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

If you’ve been following my blog lately, you know that I have been spending a lot of time with the book Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest by Bonnie Gray. Today, Bonnie’s day 8 post (of her 21 Days of Rest) gives some guidelines for “5 Ways to Pray When You’re Too Stressed.” I think this is something many of us will be able to relate to. We’ve prayed for patience; we’ve prayed for an end to our stressful situation; we’ve prayed for answers; we’ve prayed for our sad, wounded, angry, or fearful feelings to go away. Perhaps, at this point, we should consider praying for rest or maybe we could try resting in prayer.

Bonnie shares, “God is showing me prayer is an intimate soul conversation to be loved and known, rather than a spiritual transaction to be made better.” When she began having panic attacks, she said she “knew how to pray to be competent and strong. But I didn’t know there were deeper, [more] beautiful prayers for broken me.” On her journey to healing, Bonnie began making room for rest rather than ignoring her wounded and exhausted self. When you think you cannot go on another step as is, remember these words from Jesus:

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

1. When you are overwhelmed, simply whisper His name.

Jesus

2. When you don’t have words to pray, rest knowing Jesus is praying for you.

Silence

3. When you are too stressed to pray, take care of you.

Refreshing Our Souls

4. When you are numb and don’t want to pray, invite Jesus into your world.

The Innermost You

5. When you’re too exhausted to pray, stop, and rest.

Jesus Whispers

There is no situation you are in or no place where you find yourself where Jesus’ presence cannot reach you.

I hope one of these soulful ways to pray speaks to you where you are today. If you’d like to read more on these methods, check out an extension of Bonnie’s post, which appears on Margaret Feinberg’s blog. She is giving away three free copies of Finding Spiritual Whitespace. For a chance to win, leave a comment on her blog post. You’ll also find links to other articles on prayer by various blog writers there.

I encourage you to stay with me on the journey to finding your own spiritual whitespace.
21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace