GIVEAWAY – Fierce Marriage

✨✨ GIVEAWAY ✨✨

I’m excited to announce I’m doing my very first giveaway, this book that I’ve just reviewed on my blog! To read what it’s about and what I thought about it, head to my blog. I’ve also rated it and posted reviews on goodreads and amazon.

✨ To enter the drawing for the chance to win this book, simply leave me a comment either on Facebook, on my blog, a DM on Instagram or an email saying you would like to be entered in the drawing. Simple as that! ✨

✨Note: I know this sucks but the contest is only open to contestants with a mailing address in the contiguous United States and Canada. Also note: private messages on Facebook messenger will be ignored.

✨ Random winner will be chosen this Saturday, May 26. If the winner will not respond by Monday, I’ll choose another one so I can get this book mailed out right away.

✨ For extra entries, leave me a comment on all those aforementioned options and I’ll “throw your name in the hat” for every time you comment.

To read my review of this book, click here.

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Book Review – Fierce Marriage

RADICALLY PURSUING EACH OTHER IN LIGHT OF CHRIST’S RELENTLESS LOVE

Title: Fierce Marriage

Authors: Ryan and Selena Frederick

Genre: Marriage

Publisher: Baker Books

About the book

When Ryan and Selena Frederick were newlyweds, neither of them knew that Ryan would soon need major surgery that would either save his life or result in his death on the operating table. By God’s grace, Ryan survived. But the near loss changed the way they saw all that would lie ahead. They would live and love fiercely, fighting for each other every step of the way. And they would dedicate themselves to helping others do the same.

Fierce Marriage is a call to put Christ at the center of your marriage, measuring everything you do and say to each other against what Christ did for you. With passionate personal stories and practical, gospel-centered advice, the Fredericks help you handle five key areas of marriage: priorities, communication, money, sex, and conflict. Their hopeful approach will help you to see marriage as not just a relationship you should try to keep healthy but also one worth fighting for – in every situation.

About the Authors:

Ryan and Selena Frederick created FierceMarriage.com in 2013 when they felt God calling them to share, with brutal transparency, the struggles God helped them overcome. Since then, Fierce Marriage has grown into a thriving online community with hundreds of thousands of readers each month. Ryan and Selena have two daughters and live in Tacoma, Washington.

My Review

In the introduction of the book, it explains how there are so many valuable resources about marriage in modern Christendom. It goes on to say though how most books are either hopeful or helpful, both of which leave you lacking. Hopeful book offer encouragement and insight to what you’re experiencing, but are void of advice of what to do next. Helpful books are chock full of advice with little explanation or reasoning of why.

This book, they say, meets at the intersection of Hopeful and Helpful. They had wanted it all, so this book is an attempt at both.

That’s what I kept in mind while reading.

One thing that was extremely clear to me while reading was that this book doesn’t help you to view your marriage from your partner’s point of view, as some books teach/encourage. It also doesn’t make it about you and what you can do to improve your marriage. This book looks at marriage from the Gospel’s point of view, which kind of brings marriage to light in a non-popular way. All in all, this book didn’t have many “aha!” moments for me, and neither “yes, this!” moments. It was just kind of a “okay” book.

But don’t let the fact that I called it okay get you disappointed. It was still worth reading; in fact, it was one of the better books I’ve read! It was full of personal stories, lessons, and examples. It also had a few funny instances that cracked me up.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher for the purpose of this review. Photos are downloaded from the publisher’s website.

From Commoner to Royalty

For a long time now, I’ve followed the Royal Family on social media. I have to admit, I’m somewhat fascinated by the royals. I mean, who wouldn’t like to be married in grand chapels and live in huge mansions? Ever since Prince William married commoner Kate Middleton and their photos were splashed on the front covers of tabloids everywhere, I’ve been interested in the The House of Windsor.

As I’m also a Canadian citizen, I’ve also recently read more about the British monarchy and history, especially since Canada is part of the British Commonwealth. I love monarchy systems, in the romantic sense. After watching Blair marry a Monacan prince in Gossip Girl, I realized that there are more modern day monarchies still in existence than I realized.

Miss Meghan Markle was considered a “commoner” until she married Prince Harry. Now, she is styled as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. She is also the Countess of Dumbarton in Scotland and the Baroness of Kilkeel in Ireland. Sounds like a Victorian novel, doesn’t it?

Kate Middleton was also considered a commoner before her marriage to Prince William. And while Kate and Meghan do come from the working class and don’t have noble ranks, I would not classify them as commoners. Kate comes from a wealthy and highly esteemed family with ties to the British aristocracy. And Meghan, well, she grew up in Hollywood. Her mother is a social worker and a yoga instructor. Her father is a two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner and a retired lighting director. He’s known for his work on General Hospital and Married… With Children.

Miss Meghan was educated in private schools. She graduated college with a bachelor’s degree and a double major. She studied a semester in Spain, and served an internship in Argentina before starting her acting career.

When she was 11, she watched a commercial for dishwashing soap, one that included the tag line “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans”. She was upset about this, viewing the commercial as having a sexist message. She then wrote letters to then First Lady Hillary Clinton, powerhouse lawyer Gloria Allred, and Nick News host Linda Ellerbee, and to the fish detergent’s manufacturer Proctor & Gamble.

And guess what, shortly after she received letters of encouragement back from all those women, and P&G changed the commercial.

That isn’t what I’d call “commoners”. It’s not like Prince Harry met Meghan in a community college where she worked part time as a waitress to make ends meet and her dad was a high school dropout truck driver and her mom a lunch lady. You get what I mean?

And yet, I’m pretty sure Meghan never thought she’d marry a prince one day. Most girls don’t expect to, even though they might dream about that.

Meghan is biracial, making her the first woman of colour entering the House of Windsor, something people would’ve thought impossible up until a few years ago. She was also an American citizen, another reason for her not to expect ever to marry a British prince (although it has happened before).

And yet, she did it.

I first got to know Meghan Markle as Rachel in her role as paralegal in the legal drama Suits. When I saw the news of hers and Prince Harry’s relationship exploding all over the internet, I was so happy. It’s weird to feel so excited about something I know basically nothing about.

All day long today, after watching the Royal Wedding and looking at so many pictures on Instagram, I’ve wondered what the people that knew Rachel before are thinking. I wonder if there are any girls from her high school class thinking, “I went to high school with her. We took biology together. I hardly acknowledged her. Now I’m a receptionist at a dental clinic and she’s a British Duchess.”

Her ex-husband certainly has issues with her new royalty. He said. “Divorce is hard … sharing custody with the British royal family when your wife marries a prince, in the unforgiving spotlight of London’s tabloid media, is next level.”

Meghan’s mom probably looked at her infant daughter and wondered who she’d become one day, who she’d marry, but did she ever think her daughter would marry a prince?

And I’m sure Meghan never expected to meet Prince Harry of all people while filming a show in Canada. But she did. Everything happened the way it was supposed to.

And to us “true commoners” I would like to say, there’s hope for us as well. Maybe not hope for becoming royalty, but hope for success. There’s a still chance we can fulfill our dreams, and if not our own, then work towards helping our children fulfill theirs. There’s no limit to the things we could achieve, to the things we could help our children achieve, as long as we’re hardworking and ambitious.

*Featured image is not my own.

About Praying Even When You Can’t

We made a very spontaneous road trip recently. I’ll spare you the details, but it involved my husband, his sister, and myself getting in our little Canyon truck at 7 pm and taking turns with driving shifts through the night towards Mexico.

My turn at the wheel started at 11 pm. My husband and sister in law wasted no time in getting comfy and falling asleep.

You’d think I’d be used to driving by now. I am, kind of. But when I sat behind the wheel, being the only one conscious, the driving made me feel incredibly lonely. Or maybe it was the dark, or the rain, or the continuous lightning in the middle of the night that brought that effect; I don’t know. And I can’t exactly explain it. All I know is that I felt a deep kind of unexpected and unfamiliar grief as I was speeding along the interstate.

As I drove, I thought of my older sister, how she lives near us and hasn’t been able to go to Mexico in almost a year. I knew how much she’d love to go back where we grew up, sleep in her old room, marvel at the changes in my parents restaurant since she last worked there. I hated knowing that I’d be able to do those things very soon, and she’d have to console herself with mere pictures. It didn’t seem fair. Normally, or any other time, I would’ve told myself that she’d get her chance someday soon too, that it was okay to leave her at home. But alone in the middle of the road in the middle of the night, it didn’t feel okay.

Then I thought of my youngest sister, how she still lives in that big house that is now half empty, goes to school, hangs out at the restaurant, and I couldn’t wait to see her again and spend some time with her. I was so excited to get there.

These feelings were a strange sort of combination that made no sense and are so difficult to describe. My heart was being pulled in two directions – from one direction I felt excitement; the other, regret. It hurt, but not in a “broken” kind of way. More in a “bleeding” kind of way. I’m the big sister; I want all the best things in life for my little sisters. I want all the money in the world for them, I want all the shoes and makeup in the world for them (or dogs and guns, whatever floats their boat). I want them to be happy every second of their life. I want them to not even know what heartbreak is. But I can’t give them any of that. Normally, those are just thoughts and wishes in my heart, but that night, it felt more like a deep sorrow.

I know they might run into financial problems someday, or experience heartbreak. I mean, they already have, and I’m the one who married my first boyfriend and am now happily married. I’m the one whose husband has a good paying job with financial security. (Well, as secure as money is, I guess.)

When I was a little girl, probably in second grade or something, one day on the bus ride home from school, a big upper class guy accidentally whacked me on my chest with his hand. He made his way to the front of the bus to get off, his arms flailing in the air to maintain his balance as the bus was still moving. As he walked past me, his hand hurled against my chest just below my neck. I don’t think he ever noticed. If he even thought twice, he probably just thought it was the seat he had whacked against. But my chest hurt. Badly. Like nothing I’d ever felt before nor after.

And please don’t be alarmed when I say this – as I’m okay now – but the inside of my chest hurt for days after that. My physical heart felt like it was bleeding. The pain was on my mind every second for the next few days, as I kept wondering when it’d stop hurting, when I’d be okay again.

Anyway, that’s the incident that I was reminded of that night, as that’s kind of what I felt then, driving alone through the night. Intense pain that I couldn’t take my mind off. I felt regret. Regret that I haven’t done more to help my sisters when we all lived in the same house and I would’ve had the chance. I felt selfish that I had taken my life and moved on, leaving them behind. I felt torn, wishing so desperately I could guarantee my sisters a carefree life, yet at the same time knowing they’d have to make their own decisions. It’s hard sometimes, trusting that they’ll make the kind of choices that’ll bring them the kind of life they deserve.

If being a big sister is this stressful, I can’t imagine being a parent! Ha.

I’m normally a happy, carefree person. Sure, I have problems, but I don’t let them get to me. Not consciously, at least. I never have problems with not being able to sleep or eat. I don’t have issues with problems taking over my mind. But that night all the difficult things that have happened the last couple of months came to the surface of my heart till it felt like my chest would burst. I got this thought that since I’ve never experienced a big loss in my life, that with each passing minute I’m coming closer to losing someone I love, because that’s an inevitable part of life. I can’t bear the thought.

I thought about all the hard times I know that others are going through. I kept driving, wishing there was something I could do to make life easier for all the wonderful people in my life who I know are struggling with difficulties.

There wasn’t, of course. Nothing, unless you count prayer. I didn’t exactly pray, though. I couldn’t.

I’m not a parent, but I have done a little babysitting back in my day. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about when a little kid has hurt himself by falling and comes towards you, crying, wailing, all blubbery and tearful. What happens next? The child doesn’t stop crying. He looks to you for comfort. And he doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t use any words to try to explain why he’s hurting. He may try, but it’ll come out in some form of unrecognizable mumbling. He’s just a crying, snott-bubbly mess. And yet – you know exactly why he’s crying. Why he’s hurting. He doesn’t need to use words so you’ll know what he needs. You just know.

That’s what I imagine God is like. When I’m hurting so bad I can’t find the words to pray, to pour out my heart, I talk to him in unrecognizable murmurs and he knows exactly what I need. Often this talking in unrecognizable murmurs doesn’t even happen out loud – just in my head. But somehow I know that God understands. The Spirit brings my incomprehensible mumblings before God and translates them so God understands.

In 1. Corinthians 14:2 it says For the one speaking in a tongue does not speak to people but to God, for no one understands; he is speaking mysteries by the Spirit.

The subject of speaking in tongues is a touchy one which I do not wish to start a discussion or disagreement on, but I do believe in it. I believe that it’s another measure that God prepared for his children because he knew that sometimes the intense sorrow they’d feel on Earth would be too much for words – that’s why he created another “option”, another way so they’d always be able to communicate with him.

My blog doesn’t have a lot of spiritual posts. My instagram doesn’t either. I’m sure sometimes people wonder if I even have any faith because of the “shallow” stuff I like to post and write about. For me, my faith is incredibly personal. It’s not something I enjoy explaining how it works in my life. Because trying to do justice in words what the Spirit can do and what God does for his children is incredibly hard. But sometimes I feel so inspired by reading other blogs where someone has written bluntly, honestly, and candidly about real life struggles, and then I think that if at least one person will feel less alone if they read this, it’ll have been worth it.

Trucklife and Stuff

It is almost 11:30 PM currently. My husband and I just started our work day now. Hashtag truckerlife, right?

People often ask to know more details and stories of our job, and I’m often encouraged to post more trucking stories on my blog. So, with the whole night looming ahead of me, and this having been an extra weird trip, I decided to go for it.

Besides, my husband is currently on the phone chatting with two other truck buddies. And let me tell ya, a phone call with other truck guys can take hours. Hours. I should ask my husband what he thought his record for longest call ever was, but I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if it came close to 5 hours. 5 hours is not the norm though; but 2-3 hours is the norm. When a phone call has lasted only 30 minutes and it’s over, I have to ask what happened, why it was over before it had a chance to start. Ha ha.

What never ceases to amaze me is the number of topics those guys can burn through on the phone. And by number of topics I mean they have 1 topic. Trucks. One can’t imagine that “truck” could be so fascinating a subject as to garner conversation for hours, but somehow they do it. They tell each other stories of everything that has happened to everyone on the road, stories that have happened today and yesterday all the way till 30 years ago. They discuss mechanical issues. And logbook habits and mistakes. Different trucking companies. And the kinds of loads they have. DEF systems and reefer models. I’ve heard them talk about Espar heaters for 45 minutes straight. I’m sure you get the picture.

Sure, sometimes they digress a little. A few times I’ve heard my husband explain in great detail how a certain dish was cooked. He mentioned the recipe, the ingredients, the steps, the whole process. It was like listening to a cooking show. I loved it ;). Or sometimes they talk about grilling and summer outings.

I hope he doesn’t get mad at me for telling y’all this. But sometimes I catch him saying something about me on the phone (maybe something I’ve said) and when I look at him he says to the other guy “this will get me in trouble later yet”. Haha. Truth is, I feel honoured my husband thinks some things I’ve done or said are worth mentioning to other people. (Still not sure how he’ll feel about this post though, even though he is extremely supportive of my blog, :))

My husband has this incredible brain for remembering things. He knows hundreds of stories. He knows all the best routes for traveling all over the United States. His mind astounds me every day. Here’s an example:

*A few weeks ago, one of his friends called him and asked for a bit of advice for planning a road trip. Darren says something along the lines of: “if you want to drive along lots of greenery and scenic views, take the I-10 till Riverton and from there take the 310 till Kentucky. From there go east till Shreveport and get on the I-40 till Stuttgart. Then you can either take the 70 north or the 79 till the Canadian border. If you want to see less green scenery and more national parks, take the I-10 till Batesville and then the 54 till Mayfield. If you want to see this certain park, take the I-90 and if you want to see this certain park, take the 85 west. From there you’ll want to be sure to go to Shelby….”

It’s like he’s a living map. Ask him about a road or town or whatever, even small ones, he’ll be able to talk about it. It’s just one of the things that makes him such a good driver.

Anyway, considering all the stories he hears, sees, remembers, I sometimes think that I’m the wrong person to write this blog. If he had a blog, it’d be a hoot. When he tells other people stories, he uses the most unexpected expressions and crazy descriptions to make it memorable and hilarious. He’ll be a wonderful grandpa one day 😉

So about a week ago was his birthday. We took another couple along and went out for dinner and bowling. We got back pretty late and exhausted. The next day we got up super early (like before 5) and went to our boss’ yard to get our truck and leave on another trip. Needless to say, so early in the morning, as exhausted as I still was, I went to bed, pulled the curtains, and conked out. My poor husband was tired too but he started driving. He drove for a few hours and loaded the trailer. The whole time I was sleeping and didn’t notice a thing.

A few hours later, I woke up and we stopped for a bathroom break. At that point I was feeling rested and bright, so I took a turn behind the wheel because he was feeling tired and drowsy.

“Taking a turn behind the wheel” sounds casual enough but it’s kind of a big deal for us. I don’t have a full truck license yet, but I do have class 1 learners with airbrake endorsement, which means that I can drive in Canada if there’s a full class 1 holder along. In the states I can’t drive at all, so because we mostly just drive in the states, I don’t get a lot of “turns behind the wheel”, ha. But I felt super important and helpful to be able to give my husband a break when he was so tired. I think I drove for about 6-7 hours that day.

I’ve noticed that always the first day of each trip is more tiring than the other days. We need more breaks, keeping awake is harder, and by the time we can finally go to sleep, we pretty much pass out right away. I don’t know why this is. I guess it always takes a little bit of time to get in working mode after having been home for a few days.

But I remember the very first trip we ever made together. We only drove to south Texas and back, so it can’t have been more than a week long trip. But after that week we got home and we slept. And slept. And slept. We were exhausted.

Sometimes people are amazed when we say we’re tired. “You’re tired??! From what?? All you did was drive all day.”

Yes, we get tired from driving, believe it or not. Dead tired, sometimes. Even though I sit and “don’t do anything all day”, I get extremely tired too. By the end of the day, we’re just as tired as if we’d worked all day. And the fact is, my husband has worked all day. Really hard.

Guiding a 53 foot trailer along the road, keeping it between the lines, sometimes in strong winds that threaten to blow the trailer into the other lane, sometimes in pouring rain, and in all kinds of weather and road conditions, looking well ahead to keep an eye out for hazards the whole time, is hard work. Heavy loads can’t break suddenly. It’s somewhat stressful to keep it safe.

After that first trip, we got more used to the whole make your living with driving thing. The second trip was easier. I at least don’t remember needing to sleep so much after after we got home that time. It’s the same as with any other job; the first few days/weeks are always more tiring than usual. After you get used to doing that particular kind of work, you just get less tired.

The first several months of our trucking career, we just went to Texas and back. I thought those trips were super long. After a while, we started out on our first Calgary trip. Meaning we left Manitoba, drove south to the Texas/Mexican border, and then North towards Calgary, Alberta and then home. Yowza that was a long trip at the time. Now? When we get a Calgary trip I think “wow we’re gonna be back home in no time”. Calgary trips feel short at this point. Now we’re used to California and British Columbia trips. We’re usually gone for about two weeks, give or take.

I think I’ve rambled on long enough. So yeah, this whole trip was a bit different than our usual trips. My husband had to get up around 5 am every morning, which meant that we had to stop driving really early in the evenings. Which is not ideal for us but, logbook rules. I’ll not get into it, but basically we can only drive so and so many hours per day until we have to stop so and so many hours for the night.

That’s the same reason it’s now 1 am and we’re on the road at this ungodly hour. Logbooks are weird and extremely confusing and have the power to mess up your comfort.

Besides that, my husband and I actually endorse the logbook. The whole thing is designed to make sure professional drivers don’t overdo it and get enough rest, which is extremely important for safety reasons, obviously.

If anyone asks us if we love this job, the answer is a non hesitant yes. We do. We love it. Even if we have to drive all night and sleep all day every now and then.

Some people are genuinely amazed my husband and I like each other so much that we can be together all the time. A while ago one man told me literally that he and his wife could never do this. Some other people say that “I love my partner, but gahhh we’d kill each other.” I don’t know what to tell ya. My husband and I don’t have a perfect marriage (sometimes I’m hard to live with) but we do like each other. I can’t imagine any other life for us right now.

*This wasn’t at all accurate because I forgot the exact words he said so don’t try to follow those directions. You’ll get nowhere.

The photo of the truck is not a stockphoto for once. It’s the 2014 Peterbilt we drive right now. Our home away from home.

Book Review – Paul Apostle of Christ

Title – Paul Apostle of Christ

Author – Angela Hunt, Based on the screenplay by Andrew Hyatt

Genre – Biblical Fiction

Publisher – Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

About the book

HIS STORY WILL CHANGE THE WORLD. BUT ONLY IF SHARED IN TIME

Paul, Apostle of Christ, is the story of two men. Luke, as a friend and physician, risks his life every time he ventures into the city of Rome to visit Paul, who is held captive in Nero’s bleakest prison cell. Before Paul’s execution, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of “the Way” and the birth of what will come to be known as the church. But Nero is determined to rid Rome of Christians.

Paul has survived so much – floggings, shipwreck, starvation, stoning, hunger and thirst, cold and exposure – yet as he waits for is appointment with death, he is haunted by the shadows of his past. He wonders if he has been forgotten… and if he as the strength to finish well.

Two men struggle against a determined emperor and the frailties of the human spirit in order to be bequeath the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

My review

I’m sure we have all heard horrifying accounts of how Nero burned hundreds (thousands?) of Christians alive, and how they were called Roman candles. But what I never stopped to think about was the details of what could have transpired. I never thought about how some Christians will have walked the streets of Rome with their heads down, minding their own business, only to look up at a clamouring crowd to realize that their friends, their brothers and sisters, were being led captive through the city in order to serve as human lights in Nero’s circus that night. How their hearts must have hurt to think that their friends and family were going to be burned that night, and how gruesome it must have been to look over at the orange glow in the night sky, knowing that the glow was Christians going to meet their Creator.

That’s what this book will do to you. You’ll stop and consider details in well-known Biblical stories that you’ve never thought about. You’ll learn about execution methods you’ve probably never heard about. (Unless you’ve read all the martyr stories, in which case I won’t say for sure.) You’ll read about how hard it really was to be a Christian in those days.

This book was a slower read for me than most books are, even though it is beautifully written. Some of the scenes described were a little hard to wrap my mind around. Maybe it would’ve been easier if I had watched the movie. The scenes were descriptive – it wasn’t that – just that maybe I don’t read a lot of biblical fiction and am unfamiliar with the setting (and the genre in general).

In the beginning of the story it is revealed that Paul is in prison, having been sentenced to death but the date of his execution hasn’t been set yet. Soon, however, Paul is called outside and they tell him that his execution has been planned for three weeks from then.

So with three weeks of time, Luke starts visiting Paul in his cell every night, as his physician, and he writes the last account of Paul’s life as Paul dictates. This becomes basically the story that we find in the book of Acts. It includes stories of likely events that could’ve happened in those days, even though they’re not recorded in the Bible.

It inspired to me read the book of Acts again, with new images to picture in my mind.

Like mentioned above, this book is based on the screenplay of the same title, and it features several pages of photos from the movie in the middle of book, which I liked. The pictures made me wish I had accepted the offer of reviewing the movie after all.

This was a harder book to review than my usual ones. I always read critically, but for some reason it felt wrong to read this book critically. It felt like I was looking for mistakes in the Bible, haha. Anyway, I enjoyed this book. I’d recommend it for every Christian.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

Book Review – Beneath the Surface

Title – Beneath the Surface

Author – Lynn H. Blackburn

Genre – Romantic Suspense

Publisher – Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Photo downloaded from the Publisher’s website

About the Author

Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Hidden Legacy and Covert Justice and winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.

About the Book

She thought she’d be safe when she moved back home. She was dead wrong.

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she’d left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her down and reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer – one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

My review

This book is the first book in the Dive Team Investigation Series. And while it does focus on the Dive Team, there’s significantly less “diving investigations” than what I would have expected, having read the back cover and all. But I do understand why this is, seeing as the hero was only a volunteer on the Dive Team and it wasn’t his actual job. Also, the rest of the story forces him to investigate multiple homicide cases and so he doesn’t have time for more diving. The homicide cases are covered in secrets and mysteries; it’s thrilling to join the investigator team, the forensic agents, and other police officers as they uncover bit by bit of this murder series.

One reason I chose this book was because I read that the main character (protagonist) is working in a hospital. I love all stories hospital. I think hospitals are intriguing and the perfect place to cover and uncover secrets.

From the back cover of the book, I knew I could expect a car crash in the story at some point. Normally, with little smidgens of informations like this I’d totally be able to tell when this would happen, but not in this book. The crash came at a totally unexpected time, and I appreciated that. There were some other things that I knew were obviously bound to happen, but they always happened when I least expected it. I guess that’s one (good) difference between suspense and straight up romance fiction.

Minor facets I enjoyed:

• While the plot focuses on multiple homicide attempts and discovery of dead bodies, it’s not “scary” in a horror film kind of way. The plot fits the genre 100%; it’s “I have to know what happens next”, but not “I’ll have nightmares tonight” which is perfect for the suspense genre.

• The romantic part wasn’t a major part; it was skillfully entwined into the plot and it was an important role, but it didn’t overshadow the mission part of the story.

• The story felt even more real when the protagonist questioned why God was allowing this to happen to her life. I mean, if you found yourself in recurring situations where it was obvious you were the target to kill, you’d also question why, I’m sure.

• There was a minor character, Rebecca, that appeared only a handful of times in short scenes, but yet had a major impact on the plot. I loved this. (I just got the feeling that Rebecca’s story could make a whole book on its own.)

• Frankly, I found the secondary main character’s (who is also the hero in this story) name amusing, because it’s the same name I sometimes used when I wrote short stories.

One thing that I could not relate to was that the protagonist refused to go to a hotel or another safe place when it became clear her life was in danger. She did abstain from attending her yoga class, not wanting to endanger the lives of others, but refused to take higher measure for her own protection. Fortunately I’ve never found myself in a situation like this, or even a remotely similar one, but if I imagine myself in one, I know I’d flee the country if I knew someone was out there trying to take my life.

It was interesting to learn more about investigator departments and nurse practitioner lives. I thought I knew stuff already from watching cop shows but when reading, there are always details I notice that I might not have caught on film.

All in all, great book. Very entertaining, descriptive, clear, and easy to read.