Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Season of Heartbreak by Mark Gregory Karris - REVIEWED

About the Book:
After a devastating breakup, many people--Christians included--are left heartbroken, lonely, confused, even devoid of hope. The grief of losing a romantic partner is often similar to that experienced after the death of a loved one. Yet, too often, friends, family, and the church see these breakups as trivial events.

As a therapist, Mark Karris sees the devastation in the wake of this loss every day. He knows that the pain isn't inconsequential. He also knows that insights and principles are not enough to help heal the shattered hearts of those who are grieving. Moving past platitudes and into action, Season of Heartbreak pulls from a variety of spiritual practices:
Contemplative prayer
Being loved by others
An original four-step transformational practice

Readers can learn to progress gracefully through the journey of heartbreak, and will pick up the emotional equipment to confront and move through loss in other areas of their life to come.

My Thoughts:
God desires that you be confident and free to shout from the rooftops – whether to your ex, to your circumstances, or to your own inner critic – the truth of Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”  (p. 206) 

Mark Gregory Karris writes from a healed place.  He has walked through heartache and learned how to trust God with his heart despite what circumstances tell his heart.  This sounds pretty simple, right?  Something that a lot of other people have written about.  I think what sets Karris’ book apart is that throughout this book he pauses to identify the difficulty of the journey through the season of heartbreak.  He recognizes that it takes time.  He acknowledges the hard work required to move through heartbreak to healing.  He does this in a way that feels personal and makes the reader feel as though they are listening to the heart of a dear friend.
Unlike many authors, Karris talks about the choice to remain single in light of the freedom to pursue God without any of the hindrances presented by relationships.  That is honest.  He chose to marry, and wrote from his place of brokenness – more than seven years past his season of heartbreak.  It takes time to heal, but you can trust God with your healing.  We must be as faithful to pursue His heart as He is to pursue ours!

I chose to read this book, because my season of heartbreak came at the end of 23 years of marriage.  In some ways, I’m still healing.  But I can say without hesitation that Karris’ book brings healing.  He trusts God’s word and His promises to the exclusion of his circumstances.  I am happy to recommend this book to anyone walking through a season of heartbreak – whatever the source of the heartbreak.  There is healing to be found in the pages of this book.

About the Author:
Mark Gregory Karris is a family advocacy and support specialist for the United States Navy. He is also an ordained pastor, licensed marriage and family therapist, and worship leader. He and his wife live in Yokosuka, Japan. Visit him at markgregorykarris.com.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Dark Deception by Nancy Mehl - REVEIEWED

About the Book:
Kate O'Brien's quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas is shaken when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and she's been in witness protection ever since.

When new evidence arises to suggest the convicted man wasn't the murderer, she's subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Afraid to go back into that world, Kate only agrees if Tony DeLuca, the deputy Marshal who protected her during the original trial, escorts her to St. Louis. 

Tony readily takes on the assignment; Kate's beauty and inner strength made more of an impression on him than he expected. But when Kate's safety is threatened, Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.

My Thoughts:
Playing dead was harder than she could have ever imagined. “  (p. 7)

From the opening line of Nancy Mehl’s latest book, Dark Deception, to the closing line…

It was time to get back to business as usual.”  (p. 305)

The reader has embarked on quite the thrill ride!  Suffice it to say that Mehl gives a new definition to the word deception in this novel!!  Good grief!!  I guess serial killers possess an unusual type of brilliance, because the Blue Eyed Killer puts so many layers between himself and his victims that at some point, you almost find yourself needed to open your own case file to keep up with the ever-changing twists and turns!

I am certain that Kate O’Brien will spend the rest of her life seeing a good psychiatrist on a regular basis before she will be able to function as a healthy adult in society again.  She has seen and experienced and lost so much in a short amount of time, that she will remain emotionally fragile for the foreseeable future. (despite the fact that she has the heart of one U.S. marshal in her back pocket) 

Suffice it to say, this was an intense read.  If you enjoy legal/police thrillers, don’t wait another moment to dive into this series!  You will be completely swept away and thoroughly entertained!  The characters are well developed and very likable – with believable flaws as well as strengths.  There is a good balance between all of the arms of law enforcement represented, and the end result is believable.  This is an excellent read and one I am happy to recommend!

About the Author:

Nancy Mehl (www.nancymehl.com) is the author of twenty-seven books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.