Last week, I was up to my eyeballs in edits for DIGITALIS (Discarded Heroes #2, January 2011). After twenty-eight hours of editing, I was still itching to get back to the read I've been looking forward to for months--DANGER CLOSE by William Boykin by FIDELIS Books.
Blurb for DANGER CLOSE:
Barely into his twenties and already a highly decorated military hero, Army Special Forces veteran Blake Kershaw is now going to college, studying while recuperating from wounds received in Afghanistan, and planning to re-enter the Army as an officer after graduation.
But life tosses Blake a curve when his country approaches him about using his special skills to avert a terrorist plot to detonate a nuclear device in a major eastern U.S. city. To do that, he would need to become an operative deep within Al-Qaeda’s innermost circles—changing his entire identity, even his face. A true patriot, Blake makes the journey into a shadow world that leaves friends, family and, seemingly, even God far behind. But when things go terribly wrong, and his country looks set to destroy him, it is God and God’s people who intervene.
About the Author:
LTG (Ret.) William G. "Jerry" Boykin, author of Danger Close, spent thirty-six years in the United States Army, some of them as an original member of Delta Force, the worldÕs premier Special Operations unit. His life reads like an action-adventure film; Boykin helped capture Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, hunted notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, served in Vietnam, Iran, Mogadishu, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and worked with the CIA.
Ronie's Rating: FIVE STARS
Premise - I adored the premise of DANGER CLOSE. As a writer of military and espionage stories, this was the perfect blend of military and covert operations. Brilliant concept and development. I'm not one of those readers who enjoys figuring out stories--I like to read and enjoy the stage the author has set, and I completely enjoyed what Boykin/Morrisey developed in DANGER CLOSE. Faith and family were carefully--and realistically--woven in. Very well done!
Pacing: For me, an action junkie, there was a solid dose of action and adventure in this story of incredible sacrifice for a war-time hero. There were times I felt the story was told rather than experienced during important elements, but detracted very little from the story itself. There was so much involved, several layers, my mind stayed busy regardless--and happy!
Particulars: As mentioned earlier, the faith thread was wholly organic and very well done, not contrived or over done. There's always someone out there who wants to make our soldiers (airmen, sailors, etc.) into bloodthirsty monsters, but DANGER CLOSE even has the character consider and weigh his actions--but gets the job done. It's a delicate balance but handle with grace and skill in this book.
Placement: This book takes a top shelf in my bookcase--a definite keeper. Again, I absolutely adored the concept, and the execution kept me reading!
My husband has already snatched up this book from my shelf--and that says alot!!
So, I've been thinking lately that due to childhood abuses, I've pretty much been the type of person who just tucks their head and forges onward in the storm. I feel deeply, but I also bury deeply. As a child, the gift to forget hurts and painful experiences kept me sane and mentally intact. LOL But now...as a mom...a wife...a child of God...want to FEEL.
In the last few months, I've come to embrace my sensitive side. It's a gift. I can easily identify and imagine what others think/feel. Empathetic. Taht's me. But sometimes, the depth of feelings overwhelms me, and I shut down. Get to where I can't take it anymore. So, I again...duck/cover and keep moving.
But that's just it. I'm rushing...rushing through life, trying to get to the next goal. My eldest daughter is seventeen. HOW ON EARTH DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!? I've been there. I remember her elated expression and near-bursting expression when she met Cinderella at DisneyWorld when she was three years old. I remember ... many years of wonderfulness.
Yet, where have the years gone? Did I blink and it got ripped out from under me?
In CRAZY LOVE (still in chapter one), Chan urges us to STOP and THINK! Think about this amazing world around us. About creation. How it worships Him. I love the verse related on page 28:
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world. ~~Psalm 19:1-4Wow! Incredible. Think about the Creator God. Think about Him sending His Son to die for us. Chan put it in an example that caught me by the throat: imagine your child, or the person you love the most--stretched out on the cross.
Can you imagine that without falling on your knees? Sacrificing a child/person you love. I'd never really allowed myself to go to that dark place of thinking through what God allowed, sending His Son to redeem us.
All I can say is...I need to STOP and THINK more often.
Well, I've really been itching to get back to the REAL reason I started this blog--the whole "more of God, less of me" saying. In the last few months, I've really been aching for more of Him in my life because things have been pretty rough on me. After the release of my first book and many things that happened along the journey, I wanted to walk away. I was hurt--no, crushed. Disillusioned. Felt abandoned. And I knew--KNEW I could not continue on like that.
And in that time, God has been teaching me to rely on Him for my affirmation. To stop looking to family, friends, "fans," or even my dogs (fuzzy and cute as they may be). So when I was in a local Christian bookstore recently, I spotted a little red book on the Bestseller wall. I'd seen it online and remembered it talking about being in love with God, about His passionate love and pursuit of us.
So, I picked it up. Fanned through the pages. It stopped on a chapter titled "Profile of the Lukewarm." When I felt a thump in my chest, I knew I had to buy it. I don't want to be lukewarm, I told my daughters on the way home after buying it. I don't want Jesus to spew me from his mouth.
Today, I read through the preface and chapter one. And BAWLED!! You have to go here and watch this video: CRAZY LOVE: AWE FACTOR After I watched it, I couldn't move. In fact, I closed the door to my office, got on my knees, and bawled.
"Who am I, God, that you love me?"
I hope the video touches you. I've determined that I'm going to blog this journey with you. As Chan says in the preface, "We need to stop giving people excuses not to believe in God." I want a passionate love and pursuit to consume me--to compel me to search for God with all that I am.
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About the book:
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Author: Francis Chan
Buy at Christianbook.com
But at Amazon: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Buy at: BarnesAndNoble
Hey, everyone--today is the DAY!! NIGHTSHADE has officially released!
Find out what some reviewers are saying:
International Thriller Writers' BIG THRILL ezine interview:
RELZ REVIEWZ Rel Mollet is doing a give away that ends July 4th. She said: Ronie's ability to capture the male perspective is mind blowing as Max struggles to assimilate after his tours of duty in Afghanistan, finding safety and acceptance only in returning to high risk black ops missions.
STEELERGIRL Renee Chaw posted a wonderful review! From the very first chapter you want to know what happens next. Not only are Max and Sydney wonderful characters but the team members of the black ops group, Nightshade are awesome! Fearless, handsome and yet troubled I'm sure they will all have some interesting stories and I can't wait to read how everything plays out for them, especially Colton "Cowboy" Neeley (hubba hubba). :-P