Matthew 13:44 by Scott Coren

I thought I'd really enjoy this book because I know personally how God works and orchestrates all those terrible things that happen into something wonderful for those who love Him and are called according to his purpose. In fact, the first part of this book is incredibly depressing.

I am not a fan of novels that come from several different directions like a shot from a shot gun in reverse. While real life is rarely situated for one to handle one problem at a time, novels do not have to be like that to make a huge impact on the reader. So much happened in the first several chapters that overwhelms the storyline. It's similar to a storyflow dam, or a congested head. You can't breathe.

[Caution Spoiler Alert]
I did like the tactic [caution spoiler alert] used for the one person that became Lucy's friend. The way it was written, and all that happened before, you just think this is one more tangled snarl that will drag Lucy even farther down into the quagmire. Only after that do things start looking up for her, but by that time you are incredibly tired of trying to untangle all the storylines. Reading this book is work, not pleasure.

The writing is good, not much head jumping and that made me like it even more. I give it 4 of 5 stars.

Lucy and Steve Sinclair move into their dream home in Washington DC. They’re young, successful and expecting their first child. But within one month their world will implode. Steve becomes sick, disappears and is found dead and Lucy’s baby will be born needing life-saving cardiac surgery. Lucy is then falsely accused of killing her husband in the most public of forums by her very own Judas - a man who she once called her very best friend. And all because of a chance find, hidden in the darkest and deepest recess of their attic.

Why has life suddenly turned so sour? Lucy’s only clue is a torn and scribbled note, citing ‘Matthew 13:44,’ which she finds on her husband’s desk. Given he’s a non-believer, like her, this makes no sense. He’s never even held a Bible in his life.
Soon condemned by the very people who should be supporting her, Lucy must discover and expose the real perpetrators. In doing so, it becomes hard to know who she can trust.

Alone and in the midst of this chaos, a chance lifeline is thrown, tethered to a stranger; a man she has never met but feels blissfully familiar with, who helps her discover her true purpose in life, and how - like the very Passion itself - ultimate good can come from the very worst of circumstances.

In an ever more secular world where divine fate is passed off as chance, Matthew 13:44 is a gripping account of one woman’s struggle to discover her faith, her purpose and her plan; a divine plan.


Review: A Daughter's Inheritance

A Daughter's Inheritance
A Daughter's Inheritance by Tracie Peterson

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Don't waste your time or your money. I have no idea why so many gave this book more than 1 star. It's the first in a series, so I'd steer clear of anymore that might come out. Unless something drastically changes, the others will be just as disappointing. In my experience, a book never gets better the farther you read into it. It just doesn't.

The characters are really flat, 2-dimensional obviously contrived automatons except for the villainous uncle.

There is tremendous build-up, but nothing happens and then the book just ends. This is not the way to get readers to buy more books! Have a conclusion. Cliffhangers don't work anymore, and soap operas that go on and on don't work anymore either... and there's plenty of soft soap here.

It is quite obvious that the editor of this book did not do her/his job well at all. It is also obvious that Traci Peterson needs to rest her brain awhile and maybe something creative might seep into it... but, wait! This really was a creative premise. But, really, it was way too close to Titanic which was just as unbelievable.

Now I get it, those that gave it more than 1 star must live to watch soap operas.

View all my reviews

A Daughter's Inheritance by Traci Peterson and Judith Miller

Don't waste your time or you money. Build up with flat characters and nothing happens.


Hawk by Ronie Kendig

Kendig has done a very good job for getting that feel for being in the middle of military conflict. Her characterizations are very good. I rarely like it when a female tries to get into the head of a male character or when a male tries to get into the head of a female character. Usuawhy he has anger issues.

The story line is a trifle farfetched for me, though. I cannot fathom how a young woman in Afghanistan or Iraq (never clear on exactly where the training was taking place or exactly which army) could possibly pull the wool over her relatives' eyes like this. Being in military training takes enormous time, so family (especially a close-as-a-sister cousin) won't notice she's out of pocket??? No, I don't think so. It is not plausible, much less believable.

Kendig is a good writer, which is why I keep trying to like her books, but this one was really too far from believable.
lly it never works, but Kendig seems to make it work fine. She pegs Brian (Hawk) well, and his anger issues are described well, but she doesn't make it plain

She gets 4 of 5 stars for the writing, but only 1 of 5 stars for storyline.


Brickmaker's Bride by Judity Miller

Here we have an interesting background. Brickmaking. Quite fascinating how they made bricks back in the late 1800s. The story line is very believable and very well told. Descriptions are good. You can almost feel the heat of the brick ovens, and smell the mud. The love story has just the right touch of sweetness and awkward nervousness.

A good mix with the Irish and the Americans. Excellent research in how marketing, buying, selling of bricks was done. Just an excellent flavor of the period. In fact the research for the time period is spot on. Really good job.

Characterization and character development is very good. You'll be drawn into the story quickly, and the dialogue is so believable that you'll think your right there in the conversations. You've got the villains and the good guys, those that act stupidly, and those that have well-used thinking caps, and one or two that you want to pinch some sense into. The mix is very entertaining, and quite real-to-life.

This is just an excellent read. I recommend it with 5 of 5 stars.

Review: A Most Inconvenient Marriage

A Most Inconvenient Marriage
A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Seriously, Jennings is the most improved author of the decade. Her first novel was poorly researched, but was interesting. There is much good to say about this novel, though. Jennings takes a hard look at prejudice after the Civil War. I'm quite impressed with the research. She includes some sweet romance, quite a bit of levity, and a hard look at some medical practices in the mid-nineteenth century.

She also has a flare for some interesting situations that explode like a released spring, or into some hilarity. Very well written in those parts.

However, there is one part at the very beginning that reads like it was puffed to add more pages. After about the 2nd chapter there's no need for it because it adds no suspense, romance, or clarity to the story. I'd seriously consider skipping the part at the beginning that tells about a certain man's discovery. I was half way through the book before I realized that he wasn't who I thought he was, which caused considerable confusion and no tension.

Aside from that, I will definitely be looking for more from Regina Jennings! A worthy read.
5 of 5 stars!

View all my reviews


Seek and Hide by Amanda Stevens


The story grips you from the first sentence. That is very rare. Then the tension slacks off a bit and you wonder where you are and what's going on. I think there is just a tad too much backstory, but then this is what a lot of writers do. They try to prolong the mystery in order to keep a reader turning pages, when all they need do is raise questions and answer questions that lead to more questions. THAT is the sign of a well designed, well told story.

However, there are great characters that are very well developed. It doesn't take too long to get the feel for each one and their personality. Although one policeman turns out to be really evil, which is part of the storyline.

A really disappointing romance is underway when the tale opens, only you don't find it until well into the book. You basically start in the middle of it. While that could work, it really doesn't work well here. There is absolutely zero reason for the "hero" to love his broken girl. I do mean zero. Then about 3/4s of the way in, you "get it". However, the big question is: Is it really true love?

All that said, I really did like the story. The flow is good, the transitions from head to head are well done (that is very rare these days, too). And above all the characters don't jump out of their skin and do something out of character. For me that is crucial for a story to work well. The collage of characters work well, too. They abrade each other to fine points, but the abrasion only works to make one character grow. I guess we'll have to wait for Book 2 to see if the stubbornness of two characters will wear away enough for their souls to stretch.

It is very much a page turner, and a read that will keep you up at night. A word to the wise, don't start this book at 10:00 PM thinking you'll just read til you get sleepy. You won't. Then when you finish the book, you realize there is much more to the story. It really leaves you hanging with a LOT of holes left empty and gaping.


 Six years ago, the government took control of the church. Only re-translated Bibles are legal, and a specialized agency called the Constabulary enforces this and other regulations. Marcus Brenner, a new Christian, will do anything to protect his church family from imprisonment—including risk his own freedom to gain the trust of a government agent.

Aubrey Weston recanted her faith when the Constabulary threatened her baby. Now released, she just wants to provide for her son and avoid government notice. But she’s targeted again, and this time, her baby is taken into custody. If only she’d never denied Him, maybe God would hear her pleas for help.

When Aubrey and Marcus's lives collide, they are forced to confront the lies they believe about themselves. And God is about to grab hold of Marcus’s life in a way he’d never expect, turning a loner into a leader.


Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McInerney

I was happily reading thinking this book is going to be good. We have a nice mix of characters, some a little whacky. We have one point of view, which I love! I just hate head jumping, different from head hopping. Head jumping is when the reader is jerked about willy-nilly to get the BIG picture, regardless of how it affects the story flow.

McInerney was doing a fine job pouring out the heart of Angela. It drifted very close to depressing, but still excellent writing. You could almost feel her muscles clinching, and hear her thunderous sighs. Great writing.

Then it happened. A head jump, then another, and another. Admittedly, this was done rather well because the transitions took you quite smoothly from one point of view to another. I was impressed. Okay, so we have some head jumping. I'll get over that. Maybe...

Then here comes the gratuitous sex. It really did not make much sense at that particular point in the story, then I got it, the character had zero self-control which was flagrantly exhibited in how she lost her job. Not a spoiler alert because the back cover tells you the whole family comes together, and this daughter is in New York, so somehow she has to get to Australia to a ranch, which they call stations.

No foul language so far, but we have head jumping and we have sex scenes, not graphic, but still... then we find out what's going on in the husbands head with another head jump and I gave up. Who wants to read a book that has no anticipation? In the back of your mind, you are worrying with Angela. "He can't be having an affair... can he? Surely, not. But if he is..." Then boom, you know the answer and are completely deflated. I did not read anymore.

There has to be a little drama to keep the pages turning. The build up in the first few pages of this book promised plenty of drama, and some really good writing. But, for me, it fell flat on story planning. Good character development for all the characters. Nicely done, but still fell flat on story flow.

I give it 2 stars. Good writing, bad story planning and flow. Loses this reader's interest on page 122.


For the past thirty-three years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled “Hello from the Gillespies.” It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself—she tells the truth....

The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be. Her husband is coping badly with retirement. Her thirty-two-year-old twins are having career meltdowns. Her third daughter, badly in debt, can’t stop crying. And her ten-year-old son spends more time talking to his imaginary friend than to real ones.

Without Angela, the family would fall apart. But when Angela is taken away from them in a most unexpected manner, the Gillespies pull together—and pull themselves together—in wonderfully surprising ways…


A matter of heart by tracie peterson

This novel has such great possibilities, and lived up to the promises on the back cover. Tracie Peterson usually does live up to her promises!

I'm not sure that someone can be so convicted of selfishness like depicted in this book without somehow knowing/feeling the Holy Spirit's conviction. Then again, maybe Jessica was feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit and I somehow missed that connection. She definitely has a heart change before inviting Jesus in, and that could be a theological problem for some.

At any rate the story is a good one, but has too many characters for there to be solid character development of them all.  The two main characters are well-developed. They most definitely have reasons for falling in love with each other. They also have definitely characteristics, and they do not behave contrary to those characteristics. For some readers that doesn't seem to be a problem, but for me it is a reading deal breaker. I especially like the way consequences for actions are interwoven into the storyline. That kind of detail is rarely used to advantage in telling a tale, and Peterson does well with that.

 The secondary characters such as Jessica's mother and father have sort of wishy-washy development. However, you do see some character growth towards the end of the book. It is a bit start-stop so it isn't as smooth as it could have been. Sometimes it is best to have secondary characters have a firm foundation so you can measure the growth of the primary characters. This start-stop doesn't hurt the storyline too much. All in all it is a fairly good read.

Texas born and raised Jessica Atherton is a wealthy young woman whose heart was broken when the man she intended to marry wedded another. But her world is upended when two new men come into her life, and both manage to stir her heart.

Harrison Gable is a successful young lawyer with ambitions that match Jessica's dreams. His warm, attentive manner and thoughtful gifts make her feel special.

Austin Todd, a former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But after learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he's drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes.

If Jessica follows her heart, where will it lead?

Tracie's website

In the Heart of the Dark Woods by Billy Coffey


First, I think a 12-year old is too young to have to face some of the things Allie has to face. But then, there are numerous children younger than her who face things far worse.

Also, I seriously doubt that a man could possibly understand how incredibly awful and uncomfortable it is to have one's first menstruation, but Billy gives it a good try. Although, I do not understand why that had to be described in such vivid, living color right at the beginning of this book. Perhaps if I had read the first one, it might have made more sense. In fact, the whole book probably would have made more sense to me, so reader beware. I really think you need to read the first one.

I have loved Billy Coffey's writing since I first discovered his blog. He is so poignant, and on target with his writing about ordinary things. He makes the inanimate animate, emotions take on a life of their own and stir the soul when he is talking about real life things. His fiction has a different depth, and is slightly more on the dark side than the light. I have a hard time understanding that this comes from such a word-weaver. I'm thinking that is why God made us all so unique and or souls so deep.

Check out his blog and check out his books. You'll be glad you did.


A motherless girl hungry for hope . . . and the dream that could be leading her astray.

Almost two years have passed since twelve year-old Allie Granderson’s beloved mother Mary disappeared into the wild tornado winds. Her body has never been found. God may have spilled out his vengeance on all of Mattingly that day—but it was Allie’s momma who got swept away.

Allie clings to memories of her mother, just as she clings to the broken compass she left behind, the makeshift Nativity scene assembled in Allie’s front yard, and to her best friend, Zach. But even with Zach at her side, the compass tied to her wrist, and the Nativity characters just a glimpse out the window, Allie cannot help but feel lost in all the growing up that must get done.

When the Holy Mother disappears from the yard one morning, Allie's bewilderment is checked only by the sudden movement of her mother's compass. Yet the compass isn't pointing north but east . . . into the inky forest on the outskirts of Mattingly.

Following the needle, Allie and Zach leave the city pavement behind and push into the line of trees edging on the Virginia hill country. For Allie, the journey is more than a ghost hunt: she is rejoining the mother she lost—and finding herself with each step deeper into the heart of the darkest woods she's ever seen.

Brimming with lyrical prose and unexpected discoveries, In the Heart of the Dark Wood illustrates the steep transition we all must undergo—the moment we shed our child-like selves and step into the strange territory of adulthood.

"The Devil Walks in Mattingly . . . recalls Flannery O'Conner with its glimpses of the grotesque and supernatural. The story unwinds slowly and with a convincing voice that draws the reader deep into the unexplainable." —BookPage

“Billy Coffey is one of the most lyrical writers of our time . . . we leave his imaginary world hungry for more, eager for another serving of Coffey’s tremendous talent.” —Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Into the Free and When Mountains Move (on The Devil Walks in Mattingly)


Playing by Heart by Ann Mateer

 An engaging and charming novel. I love the premise: Local girl coaches a basketball team, and teaches music. She is also a award winning math scholar. She thinks she wants one thing, but finds out she's quite happy with another thing.

How often we have goals and motivations that seem to be our own devise, but actually turn out to be thrust gently upon us by someone else. Sometimes we find out before it's too late, and other times we never find out until we wonder why we're not happy with our goal met. That has happened to me before. I've worked hard to get to a certain place, and when God yanked the rug out from under me, I found out that I would never have been happy on that particular rug.

This story is extremely well written. The time is after the turn of the century, and everything is on target. There's no modern day jargon, nothing out of sync with 1910 or so. There is such smooth transitions from one point of view to another you don't realize the view has switched. There's not stop start jerk at all. Story flow is very good, you have the calm deep waters and the white water excitement. The pages almost turn themselves. You will probably find yourself thinking of the storyline if you can tear yourself away from it long enough to do something mundane like go to work (or school). The plot is a bit predictable, but then what romance isn't?

The character development is extraordinary. I would have liked for the music teaching aspect to have been developed a bit more, but all in all there were no disappointments. The character descriptions were in the proper place so you weren't jerked out of the story because you had pictured one character one way only to find out half way through the story that character didn't look that way at all. (Something that happens far more often than it should!) Lula slowly comes to realize her goals may have been a bit skewed. Chet slowly understands why Lula is so fascinating (and it is not because she seems aloof to him.) The love develops with plenty of reasons for them to fall in love. Perfect!

ABOUT THE BOOK: When Chet, a local coach, agrees to help Lula with her new teaching responsibilities, she'll learn more than she ever expected about life and love

Dear Leader by Jang Jin-Sung

Riveting. Exciting. Nail-biting. Thought provoking. Eye-opening. Heart wrenching.

I believe every American should read this book.It gives you an up close and personal, insider point of view of North Korea, and one man's desperate escape. I had no idea that North Koreans had such foul-mouth habits. However, the foul language is not overpowering, more like pepper than salt.

Jang (not his real name) has a tremendous writing talent. He has an excellent grasp for suspense, timing, and even uses the flashback (which I really, really hate) to good advantage in the least annoying way.

Go buy this book! You will be so glad you did. Just know that after you read the last page, you will most likely be thinking about it for weeks afterwards.

In this rare insider’s view into contemporary North Korea, a high-ranking counterintelligence agent describes his life as a former poet laureate to Kim Jong-il and his breathtaking escape to freedom.

“The General will now enter the room.”

Everyone turns to stone. Not moving my head, I direct my eyes to a point halfway up the archway where Kim Jong-il’s face will soon appear…

As North Korea’s State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life.

Never before has a member of the elite described the inner workings of this totalitarian state and its propaganda machine. An astonishing exposé told through the heart-stopping story of Jang Jin-sung’s escape to South Korea, Dear Leader is a rare and unprecedented insight into the world’s most secretive and repressive regime.

The Name Quest by John Avery


The Name Quest is an excellent study book and reference book. I found it intriguing as well as enlightening. Avery offers an in depth study of the names of God with a lot of background and history to go with it. It is not the kind of book you'd sit down and read while drinking tea. It is a great reference book, and would be good for a Bible study group to study together.

I do highly recommend this book, it is well worth the money. You'll be pleased that this one is in your library, especially if you study the Bible deeply. Hats off to John Avery.

5 of 5 stars

John Avery has more than 30 years experience teaching the Bible as a pastor, small group leader, and as a missionary. He and his wife live in Oregon. He writes a regular Bible devotional at and maintains a website for the names of God at

Take Back the Morning by Evan Howard


I found this story totally off the wall, and too on the edge of Christian for my taste. To me, it smacks of New Age junk rather than a life changing or thought process changing experience.

For example, God wants His children to lean on Him for everything, and to pray to Him without ceasing. It is too unlike God for some physical object to be the focus of near worship because it helps a person to say the right words, and because it gives "comfort". What a crock. I could not set aside my credulity because this teetered over the edge.

While I have never been in a coma, nor do I know anyone who was in a coma, I seriously doubt that a person can have a "near death experience" while in a coma. There is nothing about "near death" in a coma except that physical activity has ceased. All the vital signs are regular and everything is working properly except for the consciousness to speak out loud.

This gets zero stars. Nothing believable about it.




The answer has been kept secret.

Until now.

A corrupt stockbroker on the run…

An economy in turmoil…

And a mysterious pendant sought by the richest woman on Wall Street.

Terrified of going to jail, Justin Connelly faked his death and fled the seductions of Manhattan for the quiet corners of Providence, Rhode Island. His only keepsake was an antique pendant engraved with strange markings.

But then a sailing accident almost kills him for real. In his near-death state, Justin is taken into the darkness of hell itself, where he sees things that drive him out of hiding and back to his abandoned wife in New York.

But Tori has moved on, and his old enemies on Wall Street are not happy to see him. They want the pendant, which, in the wrong hands, could destroy humanity—and Justin’s former boss definitely has the wrong hands.

The only way out is to swallow his pride, and his doubt, and work with Tori and her new fiancé to expose the truth.

As world economies—and his own soul—hang in the balance, Justin must decide whether to sacrifice everything for the light he has found.

A spiritual thriller for the crises of our time

A Message To Deliver by Jeremiah Peters


There are many who love this book. Love the characters, love the premise, love the plot line and its simplicity. Love the interactions between good (Melissa) and evil (demon/co-worker).

I had trouble getting into the story because naiveté does not have to be dumb or ADHD, which is how Melissa's character reads to me.

I think this would be an excellent book for younger readers, especially because of the way the sensitive subject (abortion) was handled. However, I was frustrated with the Melissa at first, and was too grateful that she "wised up" quickly. She is not stupid because she has great reasoning skills.

I have a problem with the theology that a human can come back to earth to give a message, which is an angel's job. If this had been an angel on a mission to deliver the message, then I would have enjoyed it a lot more, I think. I could have set aside the adjustments to earthly life from Heavenly life as good reading instead of frustration. There was no explanation for the human coming instead of an angel. One little sentence of explanation would have settled my discomfort. Maybe, I'm being too picky, and maybe you won't be that picky. But to each his own, and I prefer my fiction be a bit more theologically correct even if it is spec fiction.

 2 stars of 5 stars because of those things I've listed above.


Melissa is on a mission from God. With no memories of her life on Earth, she is immersed in a foreign world, far different from her home in the paradise of Heaven. As Melissa struggles to discover the intended recipient of God's message, she simply tells everyone she meets the good news of God's love.
Her new friend Todd Simmons blames abortion providers for the death of his mother. When an abortion clinic opens in the neighborhood, Todd starts down the path of vigilante revenge.
As Melissa battles the influence of demonic forces, will she be able to save Todd and deliver God's message or will the dark truth of her past lead her to abandon her mission?

The Healer's Touch by Lori Copeland


Normally I can really get into a Lori Copeland novel. She is such a great writer, and does fantastic research. You get a good feel for the era of the novel, and her characters are very well developed.

This novel is no exception. Except... I had a lot of trouble with the characters. I really have no patience for stupidity. Not that the characters were stupid, but the way the two sister were developed made me want to scream with frustration. It was giving me so much stress, I had to quit reading the book.

I did love Ian a.k.a. Joseph. The patience he exhibited is extraordinary. I would not have had such patience... did not have it because I had to quit reading it.

Giving Copeland credit, she absolutely did give excellent reasons for the silly thought processes of her characters. The build up to a confrontation is quite humorous, too. This is a great study of how prejudice infiltrates and spreads through gossip and intolerant bull-headedness.

It is well-written, with good, quality premise, and believable characters. Just because I had no patience for Lyric and Lark, doesn't mean you won't enjoy the story.

I give it 4 of 5 stars. I liked the premise very much, and I liked one character very much. I had great sympathy for the loneliness that Lyric felt. The plot unfolded at a good pace. It was just the tactics for character development that I had no patience for.


Lyric Bolton doesn’t ask for much—just friendship and acceptance from her rural Missouri community. But her family is regarded with suspicion and fear because of her mother’s sickness—a sickness of the mind that grows worse by the day. Lyric is resigned to a life of isolation and doesn’t see any way out…but that’s before Ian Cawley bolts into her life on a runaway stallion.
As she opens her heart to Ian, Lyric dares to imagine a different life. But what will happen when he discovers the secret she holds closest of all?


The City by Dean Koontz


I can hear a lot of you saying, "But Koontz is not a Christian fiction writer!"

You are correct. But I really like the way Koontz writes so I asked to review this book and the publisher graciously gave me permission.

This is not typical Koontz. You know everything will be okay in the end because the beginning is actually the end. The City reminds me a lot of The Prayer of Owen Meany. I really liked that novel, too. 

You are quickly whisked back to last century (around the 60s) to the life of one nine-year-old boy called Jonah Kirk who has eight or nine names of famous black musicians between the Jonah and the Kirk. Add a good-for-nothing father and a wonderful Christian mother set in an apartment house in the middle of a big city (Chicago, I think, it really is not important which city). Then stir in some truly evil people that have zero feeling for the sanctity of life, a wonderful Japanese neighbor who is struggling with his own demon, and you have the perfect mix for a great literature reading experience.

[Spoiler Alert!] There are numerous religious connotations in this novel. I was a tad disappointed in Miss Pearl at the end. I think Koontz tried to bring in some whiffs of his old time novels with how this character acted in the climax. There could have been some truly remarkable insights that Jonah could have shared during this part, but that opportunity was sadly missed. I hope Koontz gains a lot more courage in his later works. It is not wimpy or craven to own up to one's Christian beliefs... then, again, maybe he did own up and he really believes all that about Miss Pearl being The City. If so, I missed the allegory's true meaning. [End Spoiler Alert!]

Pay attention to that key word: literary. This is very similar to the old timey novels of yesteryear where the reader gets a lot of description that makes you feel the heat, the chilling rain, the taste of the ice cream and hot dogs. You are taken for an in depth tour of some of the most chilling villains, but it is not like a jerky head jumping ride. The transitions are smooth and extremely expert. This is more a psychological thriller than one of Koontz's monster fear factors of his early career. Unlike a lot of today's fair, you actually want to read to the very last word. The ride is very satisfying.

The book will hit bookstores on July 1st. Get in line!

Five of five stars. I was tempted to give it four stars because of one segment in the climax, but the book overall deserves five stars. You'll pay a lot of money for the hardback version, but it is worth every penny. The book is a keeper.


The city changed my life and showed me that the world is deeply mysterious. I need to tell you about her and some terrible things and wonderful things and amazing things that happened . . . and how I am still haunted by them. Including one night when I died and woke and lived again.

Here is the riveting, soul-stirring story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable “piano man,” a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts when he crosses a group of extremely dangerous people, with shattering consequences. Set in a more innocent time not so long ago, The City encompasses a lifetime but unfolds over three extraordinary, heart-racing years of tribulation and triumph, in which Jonah first grasps the electrifying power of music and art, of enduring friendship, of everyday heroes.

The unforgettable saga of a young man coming of age within a remarkable family, and a shimmering portrait of the world that shaped him, The City is a novel that speaks to everyone, a dazzling realization of the evergreen dreams we all share. Brilliantly illumined by magic dark and light, it’s a place where enchantment and malice entwine, courage and honor are found in the most unexpected quarters, and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart.

Acclaim for Dean Koontz

“A rarity among bestselling writers, Koontz continues to pursue new ways of telling stories, never content with repeating himself.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“Tumbling, hallucinogenic prose. ‘Serious’ writers . . . might do well to examine his technique.”—The New York Times Book Review

“[Koontz] has always had near-Dickensian powers of description, and an ability to yank us from one page to the next that few novelists can match.”—Los Angeles Times

“Koontz is a superb plotter and wordsmith. He chronicles the hopes and fears of our time in broad strokes and fine detail, using popular fiction to explore the human condition.”—USA Today


Review: The Grand Sophy

The Grand Sophy
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of my favorite Heyer novels.

I fell in love with Georgette Heyer's novels when I was a teenager when I was spending my entire allowance (except for my tithe) on books. Heyer is well known for her humorous scenes in her books, and this one is no exception.

You can never go wrong with a Heyer novel except one and that was Charity Girl.

If you are looking for an excellent premise, a good plot line and story flow with well-developed characters, then read this book. Light, entertaining, and excellent escape from mundane life material.

View all my reviews


Deliver Us From Evil by Don Basham


I disagree that demons can actually inhabit a Christian, which Basham seems to be saying. However, I do know that demons can oppress true believers because of sin, because they allow that kind of persecution from the demonic realm. Satan will take and use any means to ruin a believer's witness. When a Christian allows such inroads, then trouble follows.

This book should be a must read for any church body. Basham gently, but inexorably outlines how Christians deceive themselves and other members of the body. Then he exposes how Satan uses such to encroach upon our peace of mind that is our right because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Just as God deals with each of us individually, so does Satan and his minions. This book unlocks those so called secrets, and shines a bright light upon the workings of the demonic realm.

Buy the book, read it, pass it along to your sisters and brothers in Christ, teach a class on it. The body of Christ is sick with unbelief, and we need this kind of knowledge to make her well, and strong, and flourishing within the power of God so that others will see the light and come to Christ. Amen!

5 of 5 stars.


Are Christians at risk of demonic invasion?
Absolutely not, thought Pastor Don Basham when another pastor suggested evil influences might be causing turmoil in his church and failures in his ministry. But after more troubling and perplexing problems, Basham began to discover he was wrong.
In this page-turning account, Basham chronicles his reluctant journey from disbelief to acceptance in the existence of demonic spirits. More than a story, he imparts what he discovered about demons, the difference between infestation and possession, and how to engage in spiritual warfare. He also describes the biblical tools that bring about deliverance from demonic influence.
Through this moving story, you will learn how to recognize the presence of evil spirits, pray for deliverance and protect against demonic invasion. It’s never too late. You can find the freedom and healing you need—and be an agent of deliverance to others.

Plots and Pans by Kelly Eileen Hake


This is a really cute premise. A father sends his daughter to England for Lady Training, and she returns just as full of vinegar as when she left.

The character development is good, you get an excellent feel for each personality. However, I think the episodes in England with Jessie are a tad overdone because you do not need all that to understand her personality. Get on with the story already.

Story flow is good, very little choppiness. The head hopping is a bit annoying. I think a story flows much better when you stick with one character or two characters rather than jumping all over the place, especially when you are given a real reason to jump into another person's head.

I like the additional plot twist of the negro aunt. I think that part is done rather well, although prejudice was much more black and white back then (pun unintended). The whole story could have revolved around that one aspect and been incredibly interesting. That part was sadly missed. As a whole, though, it is an enjoyable novel.

3 out of five stars.

Order dictates Tucker Carmichael’s life—his orders. On a cattle drive, a moment’s hesitation can mean death. The Chisholm Trail is dirty, dangerous, and no place for women. After years at school, Jessalyn Culpepper has come home and is determined to show everyone that a woman can manage everything from cooking to cattle—whether they like it or not! Tucker tries to manage his partner’s headstrong sister, horrified when she wants to join the cattle drive. But when they need a chuck wagon cook, Jessalyn seems the only solution. Will God stir up love along a trail filled with their Plots and Pans?

A Mile Apart by Sarah Jae Foster


The title really says it all. The two most unlikely characters are thrown together and fall in love. Of course he gets sick and she has to nurse him back to health. His little boy is thrown into the mix, and the boy tugs at her heartstrings.

This is a fairly well written novel, but the premise is really unbelievable. Why would a woman whose husband has died stay in a crude, rude place like a mining town? No reason is given. Also, it is clear the author did zero research about mining towns and how men treated women in the Old West. Men had respect even for prostitutes!
A good woman commanded even more respect. Those men would never have treated her like is depicted in this story. I started to lose interest after that.

The general rule that the first man the woman comes in contact with and has conflict with is the man she falls in love with is broken in this book. The reader is not told the male friend (and protector) is too old to be the love interest until much later in the book.

Because the characters are so well developed, the storyline falls apart about the middle of the book when you suddenly realize [spoiler alert...maybe] who she's falling for and who is falling for her. Makes no sense, because there are really no reasons given for falling in love that I could tell.

The story starts to get boring about 1/3 of the way into the book, so I might have missed the reasons given because I started to skip around a bit. In my experience in reading thousands of books (no exaggeration) when a book falls apart, it just doesn't get better as you go along.

You might like it. I did not because things didn't seem believable, and I get really tired when an author tries too hard to make two people fall in love for no reason.

She was guided by prayer…and a little boy

Eden Montgomery arrived in the lawless territory of Whistle Creek as a newlywed, but she quickly lost her husband to his mistress…gold, and the claim he called The Golden Angel. When a premature blast at the cave killed her husband, and took the life of her unborn baby, Eden closed the mine…for good. Now she runs the local supply store, and in her bitterness, looks down on the men who shirk familial responsibilities in pursuit of something as meaningless as gold.

Joseph Benton knows the crime, filth and disease of a mining camp is no place for a child. So when his young son Christopher suddenly arrives at his tent, he turns to Eden Montgomery to care for the boy. But the uppity and righteous Eden refuses. Joseph is shocked at what he thinks is her lack of maternal instinct. Now he’s torn between his need to strike gold…and his desire to be a father.

When a ruthless speculator encroaches on the camp, threatening Joseph and the other miners, Eden knows she must do the one thing she vowed never to do…for the one man she vowed never to love.

Creating characters

Photo by Gina Burgess

Creating a truly good story is not only an art, it is a skilled art. There are certain skills in writing that do come naturally. Some people have a way with words that are incredibly interesting, while others have to work to get the same effect. However, character development is something that no one can just sit down and do unless they are a scholar of human nature.

Georgette Heyer was such a scholar. Her mastery of character development was so powerful you did not have to read a name to know who was talking in the dialogue. She had distinct personalities similar to Jane Austin's, although not quite as striking. For example, in The Black Moth the evil character Devil Andover is actually the same person as as Satanas the Duke of Avon in These Old Shades. Same characteristics, same mannerisms, same syntax of speech, the same man. What is so interesting about this character is that Devil in The Black Moth is the person you wish to die because he is so evil, while in These Old Shades you soon develop a great empathy for him and hope for his salvation.

Some good tips for character development come from The Creative Writer (Addison-Wesley, 1998).

1. Give physical details about the character within prose. Don't just list long, black hair, ruby red lips, curvaceous body, wearing sneakers and an evening dress. Do it creatively.
Her raven black hair shimmered under each street light as she ran up the street. Her lips looked dark red in the dim light, and were parted as she panted for air. The tail of her evening dress was tucked into her belt, showcasing each of her delicious curves. The slap of her sneakers echoed down the empty street, and was accompanied by screeching tires and manly shouts to stop. She ignored them all.

2. Describe the physical environment surrounding your character. (See #1). You get the feel that it is night, urban, and in a part of town that might be industrial because it is deserted, but lighted.

3. People the character associates with. (See #1). She's being chased by men who have at least one motor vehicle. You know they want something from her, or want her for something.

4. The things the character does. We don't know this from the first paragraph, but we know she's planned for this run because she's wearing sneakers with an evening dress. We know she is in shape or she would have planned a different kind of exit from wherever she was. She knew she'd be followed, she knows her enemy. She has a lot of growth to do. She didn't plan very well because she's running down an empty street. Is there safety up that street?

5. The things the character thinks and says. Keeping this consistent is not as hard as it seems. You can picture a person you know (in fact, I recommend this) and follow the same kind of syntax this person uses, same kind of whacky word (when I say Crikey, who do you think of?), same kind of mannerisms. Make your character as human as possible. Emphasize a frailty. But don't make your character a caricature (unless, of course, you are writing humorously). Especially, do not force your character to do something that is uncharacteristic unless you talk about it as uncharacteristic. Forcing characters into action that they ordinarily would not do is a classic story flow dam. I know one author who fills out a personality test on each character. Her characters breathe on the pages. They are vibrant and alive. You feel their fear and joy. It's powerful.


Creative tactics in writing -- story flow

I've been an editor for a long time, both in newspaper and various
other industries. I learned a lot about editing then and while earning my Master's, but most of what I have learned is through reading (fiction and non-fiction) since I was a little girl. Since I've been reviewing books, I've had to analyze what works and what doesn't work in a novel.

I've learned more about what not to do than what to do simply because when what I'm reading is working, all the tactics, intricacies, ploys, and tricks are never noticed. The story flow is so smooth and exciting nothing gets to the brain except the story.

Why do authors of today want readers to have any other kind of experience? Don't they want readers to remember what a great roller coaster ride they had when turning pages (or thumbing their Kindle, Nook, whatever)?

First, let's talk about story flow dams.

Flashbacks should be avoided like the plague, especially in the first page or even chapter of any work of fiction. If you must flashback in the first chapter, then you've started your novel or short story in the wrong place/time. Back up, regroup, and decide where is the best place/time to begin. You should always begin in such a way that the reader wonders "Why?" or "How?" so he or she will keep reading and turning those pages. When you answer that question then you want another one to pop up in its place so you've got a smooth Q&A for your reader. That is what keeps those pages flipping.

Empathy Poorly developed characters creates reader apathy for your fictional world. After the first few pages, your book is tossed to the floor or in the donation pile without being read. Of course, no more of your books will be purchased. You want to help your readers to develop a sense of empathy for your main character. That is if you want your readers to finish your novel and buy more of your books. Who wants to read about someone you couldn't care less about? Whether it is a villain or hero or heroine, creating that sense of caring what happens to a character is not hard to do when writing like it is real life. Make me want the villain to receive just desserts, and I'll read to the last page. Make me anticipate that first kiss, and I'll read to the last page just to reward that anticipation.

Head Jumping Like Randy Ingermanson, I do not like head jumping, which is switching the point of view from one character to another character within the same scene. This dams up the story flow because the reader first has to figure out why we're jumping from one character to another. There are so many ways this can go wrong. For instance, if the whole story is told from one character's (main character) point of view, then how can the main character know what is going on in another character's head? This creates a quandary on the reader's part because the story flow is suddenly not making any sense.

Review: While Love Stirs

While Love Stirs
While Love Stirs by Lorna Seilstad

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Truly unique premise about a young woman who studied nutrition. She's a bit misguided about what she really wants. It seems her real passion is to make sure people in hospitals have good nutrition, but she says out loud that she deeply desires to be a chef or to have her own restaurant.

Seilstad does a good job in developing the main character, and a fairly good job in developing the doctor although she uses a bit of a heavy hand there. On the other hand, men of that day had that same kind of mentality so maybe not so heavy a hand.

She sidetracks the entire story while she builds some back story for the 3rd Gregory sister. Why? The necessity of that is not clear at all. There are too many points of view here to tell this story well.

Head hopping from scene to scene gives the story flow a jerky feel. There are no, or very few transitions that would make the flow much more even. When hopping from one character to another there is no reason given to make the reader want to jump into the head of the next character. That gives the story a forced feeling.

I think Seilstad did her research well, and the historical part of the novel is good. I did not notice any out of place, modern slang or unduly modern motives of the character so the feel of the times comes through very well. Job well done on that score.

If she had stuck with one or two points of view, this novel would have received 4 stars from me. As it is, I rate it with 3 stars.

View all my reviews

Review: One Perfect Spring

One Perfect Spring
One Perfect Spring by Irene Hannon

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Novels are funny things because when I pick one up, I expect a story about someone growing, stretching, becoming better for all the experiences in the novel.

That happens in this story... er, stories for there are more than one. Love stories, living with cancer story, little girl with compassion story, burned in love story, depressingly tight on money story, and the list goes on and on.

Far too much happens in this one novel to get a real grip or really care deeply about any one character except the little girl.

Conflict is better than depressing circumstances for reader interest. I got so depressed reading about the terrible condition the house was in when the woman bought it I might add that I shut down my Kindle and turned the light out. I have zero desire to pick up this book again. Harping for 7 pages on the cosmetically bad shape the house is in detracts from a real reason to fall in love and get married.

The truly bright spot is the little girl, and for her I give the book 2 stars.

View all my reviews


Fair Play by Deeanne Gist

I have been an avid reader of Gist's books ever since her novel debut. She has always been teetering on the edge of edgy. This one topples over that edge. I have to say as well that Gist usually does her homework when it comes to research. This one, not so much.

I am by no means a prude. I realized more than two decades ago that steamy romance was erotica and just as much pornography as Playboy. When I get uncomfortable reading a romance novel, that raises all sorts of red flags for me. I took a lot of hard work to remove the foul language from my mind so I would not spew it out of my mouth, and it took a lot of hard work to shake myself of the steamy romance habit as well.

I love well-written Christian novels. I know that they can be better than most classics if authors and editors work hard at their craft. This one starts out definitely humorous, with really good references to actual events. It not only strikes true, but rings true. Then Gist falls apart. Using the guise of the female being a doctor, and the male being the patient with a bowel movement problem, this novel goes downhill from there.

I get enough garbage from TV commercials without having to read it in a Christian novel. This was the worst of Gist's efforts. Why go there? What was the purpose? The examination scene was written as nothing short of erotica. I balk at that. If Gist want's to write that kind of junk then she needs to move away from the Christian label.

The major problem most authors have is they think readers have no imagination. Why are we reading if we do not exercise our imagination to the fullest? I do not need an author to spell out that a female hand is on the abdomen of the male character and then have the male think something erotic even while he is in severe pain and has fainted in the elevator.

I read Christian books so that I can be assured of a clean imagination ride.

I give this book one star (I may be selling this one short just a bit, but going over the edge of edgy takes away that second star.)

From the bestselling author of It Happened at the Fair comes a historical love story about a lady doctor and a Texas Ranger who meet at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Saddled with a man’s name, the captivating Billy Jack Tate makes no apologies for taking on a man’s profession. As a doctor at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, she is one step closer to having her very own medical practice—until Hunter Scott asks her to give it all up to become his wife.

Hunter is one of the elite. A Texas Ranger and World’s Fair guard specifically chosen for his height, physique, character, and skill. Hailed as the toughest man west of any place east, he has no patience for big cities and women who think they belong anywhere but home…

Despite their difference of opinion on the role of women, Hunter and Billy find a growing attraction between them—until Hunter discovers an abandoned baby in the corner of a White City exhibit. He and Billy team up to make sure this foundling isn’t left in the slums of Chicago with only the flea-riddled, garbage-infested streets for a playground. As they fight for the underprivileged children in the Nineteenth Ward, an entire Playground Movement is birthed. But when the Fair comes to an end, one of them will have to give up their dream.

Will Billy exchange her doctor’s shingle for the domesticated role of a southern wife, or will Hunter abandon the wide open spaces of home for a life in the “gray city,” a woman who insists on being the wage earner, and a group of ragamuffins who need more than a playground for breathing space?

Review: How Sweet The Sound by Amy Sorrells

This is touted as a coming of age in the 1980s story. I remember that decade very well. I have lived in the South for my whole life. This must take place in a different South than I know. But then, the author is from Indiana, so we have to give her some leeway.

I found this book annoying for the most part. It is not even close to Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Of course, not every coming of ag story that takes place in the South can come close this this classic, at least some could come close. Why do authors think that if they study a region deep enough, they can write about it and truly get the heart of it? It just doesn't happen.

 The story is written from several points of view that make it difficult to follow the story flow. You hardly have a chance to get to know one character before you are yanked into the head of another character. When the ***spoiler alert*** shooting/killing takes place, you are not sure who shot who and who the two are who died. I quit reading after that because I was aggravated at having to go back several pages to understand which was the brother and who the other guy was, the father of the girl? The boyfriend?

This book had the potential to be a truly great modern classic. It fell sadly short in that respect.

 I just could not get past the head jumping. There were no transition except for the name of the character talking at the beginning of the chapter. When will editors AND authors finally get it that to do this kind of writing you MUST have good transitions? You MUST give the reader a desire to get into the head of the character that you jump to. It is imperative in order to maintain that level of trust between author and reader. I don't think it is entirely Sorrells' fault. The editor of this book shares the blame, and should have caught this at the beginning of the editing process. One place it was well done. When the little girl put the basket of goodies at the door of the bereaved aunt, you really wanted to know why the aunt had locked herself into the guest house. Grief is one thing, but removing yourself completely from all society of family is something different, almost troubling.

I have to give it 1 star. It just wasn't good enough to hold my interest.

Amy K. Sorrells writes about broken places...and the hope of healing. Her debut novel is a Southern coming-of-age tale set in Alabama in the summer of 1980 - where three generations of the well-to-do Harlan family must finally face their dark secrets.

 Amy K. Sorrells writes words of hope for a hurting world. Winner of the 2012 Women of Faith Writing Contest, and two-time ACFW Genesis Award Semi-Finalist, Amy got her start in journalism writing for medical publications, and enjoyed a three year stint as a weekly op-ed columnist for her town newspaper. Her passion for healing is also reflected in her role as a registered nurse for a large hospital. When she's not writing or reading, she can be found bare-handed in garden dirt, or covered in paint while refurbishing antiques. A graduate of DePauw University, Amy lives with her husband, three sons, and a gaggle of golden retrievers in central Indiana.


Writing a powerful scene

You have seen several of Randy Ingermanson's newsletter articles on this blog. I have full permission to copy/paste them here, and I do so because he makes a whole lot of sense.

In the numerous books that I've read in my reading career since I learned to read, I see common mistakes that authors (and editors) make. My goal is to thwart those mistakes, and help you become a better writer if you so desire. One huge mistake I see all too often is the poor construction of scenes.

Randy talks about Dwight Swain’s book, Techniques of the Selling Writer.
image credit:
It makes so much sense, I wanted to share it here. This can be modified for non-fiction, but I'll get to that later. Here is what Ingermanson says:

Large-Scale Structure of a Scene

The large-scale structure of a scene is extremely simple. Actually, there are two possible choices you can make for your scene structure. Dwight Swain calls these two choices “scenes” and “sequels”. This is horrendously confusing, since both of these are what most ordinary people call scenes. In what follows, I’m going to capitalize these terms, calling them Scenes and Sequels. That is your signal that I’m using Swain’s language. When I use the word “scene” in the ordinary non-Swain sense, I’ll leave it uncapitalized. Since you are exceptionally brilliant and perceptive, you will not find this a problem. Let me give you the high points on Scenes and Sequels right up front.
Scene has the following three-part pattern:
  1. Goal
  2. Conflict
  3. Disaster
Sequel has the following three-part pattern:
  1. Reaction
  2. Dilemma
  3. Decision
You may think these patterns are too simple. You may think this is reducing writing to Paint-by-Numbers. Well, no. This is reducing fiction to the two patterns that have been proven by thousands of novelists to actually work. There are plenty of other patterns people use. They typically work less well. It may well be that there are other patterns that work better. If you can find one that works better, please tell me. But for now, let’s pretend that Dwight Swain is right. Let’s pretend these are absolutely the best possible patterns for writing fiction. Let’s pretend these are the keys to writing the perfect scene. Let’s move on and look at each of these in turn.
As we said, the Scene has the three parts Goal, Conflict, and Disaster. Each of these is supremely important. I am going to define each of these pieces and then explain why each is critical to the structure of the Scene. I assume that you have selected one character to be your Point Of View character. In what follows, I’ll refer to this character as your POV character. Your goal is to convincingly show your POV character experiencing the scene. You must do this so powerfully that your reader experiences the scene as if she were the POV character.
  1. Goal: A Goal is what your POV character wants at the beginning of the Scene. The Goal must be specific and it must be clearly definable. The reason your POV character must have a Goal is that it makes your character proactive. Your character is not passively waiting for the universe to deal him Great Good. Your character is going after what he wants, just as your reader wishes he could do. It’s a simple fact that any character who wants something desperately is an interesting character. Even if he’s not nice, he’s interesting. And your reader will identify with him. That’s what you want as a writer.
  2. Conflict: Conflict is the series of obstacles your POV character faces on the way to reaching his Goal. You must have Conflict in your Scene! If your POV character reaches his Goal with no Conflict, then the reader is bored. Your reader wants to struggle! No victory has any value if it comes too easy. So make your POV character struggle and your reader will live out that struggle too.
  3. Disaster: A Disaster is a failure to let your POV character reach his Goal. Don’t give him the Goal! Winning is boring! When a Scene ends in victory, your reader feels no reason to turn the page. If things are going well, your reader might as well go to bed. No! Make something awful happen. Hang your POV character off a cliff and your reader will turn the page to see what happens next.
That’s all! There is literally nothing more you need to know about Scenes. Now let’s look at Sequels . . .
The Sequel has the three parts Reaction, Dilemma, and Decision. Again, each of these is critical to a successful Sequel. Remove any of them and the Sequel fails to work. Let me add one important point here. The purpose of a Sequel is to follow after a Scene. A Scene ends on a Disaster, and you can’t immediately follow that up with a new Scene, which begins with a Goal. Why? Because when you’ve just been slugged with a serious setback, you can’t just rush out and try something new. You’ve got to recover. That’s basic psychology.
  1. Reaction: A Reaction is the emotional follow-through to a Disaster. When something awful happens, you’re staggering for awhile, off-balance, out of kilter. You can’t help it. So show your POV character reacting viscerally to his Disaster. Show him hurting. Give your reader a chance to hurt with your characters. You may need to show some passage of time. This is not a time for action, it’s a time for re-action. A time to weep. But you can’t stagger around in pain forever. In real life, if people do that they lose their friends. In fiction, if you do it, you lose your readers. Eventually, your POV character needs to get a grip. To take stock. To look for options. And the problem is that there aren’t any . . .
  2. Dilemma: A Dilemma is a situation with no good options. If your Disaster was a real Disaster, there aren’t any good choices. Your POV character must have a real dilemma. This gives your reader a chance to worry, which is good. Your reader must be wondering what can possibly happen next. Let your POV character work through the choices. Let him sort things out. Eventually, let him come to the least-bad option . . .
  3. Decision: A Decision is the act of making a choice among several options. This is important, because it lets your POV character become proactive again. People who never make decisions are boring people. They wait around for somebody else to decide. And nobody wants to read about somebody like that. So make your character decide, and make it a good decision. Make it one your reader can respect. Make it risky, but make it have a chance of working. Do that, and your reader will have to turn the page, because now your POV character has a new Goal.
And now you’ve come full circle. You’ve gone from Scene to Sequel and back to the Goal for a new Scene. This is why the Scene-Sequel pattern is so powerful. Read more here.

If you think this is too hard or doesn't make sense, then open your Bible to your favorite Bible story and compare this to how the story unfolds in the Bible. It is the same. No kidding.

Later we'll analyze a story using these "rules". Hopefully, you'll be able to see how it all packs together.

Get widget