If you go back far enough on this blog - as in years ago - you will see how I objected to writing reviews. It felt too much like the school experience, I said. Among other things. Those of you who read my blog have become used to my reviews. Admittedly, some are better than others.
Over the years, writing reviews has become an interesting experience. Some of the books are mandatory reviews - the trade-off for receiving a free copy of the story. Those mandatory reviews can be some of the toughest to write because, if I don't care for the books, I don't want to savage them for several reasons. Perhaps the story wasn't the kind I enjoy reading even though its description made me think otherwise. I'm just one opinion. Most of you who read a lot understand one person's hated novel is another's joy.
Some stories I'm almost crazy about but they have a few things that just don't work for me. I try to be fair. Sometimes I will recount for readers why certain characters or instances bother me, and sometimes I will give a general overview instead of specifics. I make a real effort not to blow the story and critical plot points for other readers. That can be difficult when some stories use every element to contribute to the plot.
Some novels I've read I chose not to review. My opinion of them is too negative.
Bottom line, some of you have enjoyed my reviews and for that I'm most grateful. I'll keep doing it as long as I feel I'm being useful or helpful or passing along valid opinions of novels. And I'll hope you continue to find them worthy of your time.
Father, thank you for giving me the opportunities to experience multiple authors. Thank you for the experience of seeing your creativity vastly distributed. May I always write what's pleasing to you. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
There is no character like Mitch Rapp. He's the ultimate hero. Vince Flynn left us with a one of a kind character, and Kyle Mills takes on his legacy. I wish Kyle all the best because it's a formidable task. I'll be reading, and I can't wait.
Lord, please bless all of Kyle Mills' efforts to continue Vince's work. A noble task. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Hawaii Five-0 begins tonight at 9 PM on CBS. Looking forward to an interesting season.
Right behind Five-0 is Blue Bloods at 10 PM. Would like to see the Commissioner return to a more sympathetic character.
After 15 seasons, CSI is leaving with a 2-hour finale on Sunday at 9 PM. This series survived multiple cast changes and never let down. Truly good acting, some great writing, and fascinating forensics. It's been an amazing run, and television loses an exceptional program with its final episode.
Lord, as always, may they know who's given them their incredible talent. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Returning Thursday nights in early November, Elementary resumes after a stunning series finale in May. Leaving viewers with a desolate feeling following the finale, it will be intriguing to see how the writers continue the storyline. Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are superbly cast for this unique interpretation of the Sherlock Holmes and Watson characters.
Father, I always ask you to reach these talented individuals. They're as desperate for you as the rest of us - whether any of us realize it or not. Thank you for your benevolence, grace, and forgiveness. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Some readers are aware of the Italian book known as The Comedy, The Divine Comedy, and/or Dante's Infernowritten by Dante Alighieri. If you follow the link, you'll get all the information you need that isn't provided in Casey Hill's second book in the CSI Reilly Steel Thriller Series. (It should be noted that Torn is the Irish title with a different cover used for this novel.)
Reilly Steel, the American CSI in Ireland, must solve some gory murders with little to no evidence left behind. What do some spicy food remnants and some horse feed found in a footprint plus a strong definitive smell lingering at each scene indicate? There is a drowning in a septic tank to start things off and it only gets murkier from there.
The two homicide detectives Reilly works with feel stymied and frustrated as their boss continues to apply pressure to their investigation. The Dublin media nicknames the killer "The Punisher", and it isn't until the flamboyant London profiler arrives to set off the insults to the detectives while applying a meaningful method to the killer's madness that Reilly begins to piece together a few nuances to the search. One of her lab techs takes the investigation to a new level but is reprimanded and thanked at the same time.
Chris, the detective who helped Reilly in the first book, is again experiencing severe symptoms from a mysterious "disease". They're becoming more debilitating to the point where his job is affected. Reilly suspects they've come back, but there's also something else plaguing the detective and giving him a sharp edge to this investigation once they realize the defining reason for all the killings.
Although the Kindle copy of Inferno/Torn is fairly riddled with typos, namely missing or repeated words, it's a good story with unique subplots and plenty of forensic yuck and cool examination - if you like that sort of thing. I enjoy Reilly's personality which inhabits bold and vulnerable in equal doses. The reader senses and appreciates her commitment and determination to go beyond the borders of each case, to not give in to doubts or failures, and her attempts to keep peace in conflict. The writing duo of "Casey Hill" keeps peripheral characters interesting and brings compelling suspicions to the mystery along the way.
I recommend this series for those readers who enjoy good mysteries with forensic emphasis. Some profanity.
Father, please continue to bless Kevin and Melissa Hill for their efforts and may they know the source of all creativity. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Some of you might have watched the twofold Republican debate last night and evaluated 15 Republican candidates using qualifications as one of the criteria for judging how they performed in the debate format.
Some jobs and/or occupations require stiff qualifications and requirements while others will gladly offer on the job training. So what qualifies any of us who determine to become writers?
My answer to that question is a big and solid: Nothing. You can be educated to the hilt, understand the language of choice, nuances of grammar, sentence structure, trends in fiction or non, and have achieved honors status in every class you've ever taken on literature and writing, but it won't matter if putting words together effectively for what you want to write doesn't work.
Since we talk mainly fiction here, nothing qualifies you to be able to write a story. Some professionals have little to no formal education while others have accomplished their Masters in the art of writing. Some bestsellers are written with basic storytelling skills but their stories caught fire with readers. Others treat the creation of a story like a lump of clay, mesmerized with shaping and texturing and definition before putting it into the firing kiln, paying more attention to the intent of the words than perhaps the story itself.
Whatever kind of writer you are or have become, the skills which make you one are God-given. Acknowledged or not, He is the Creator with the capital C. He infuses people with all kinds of skills and talents and allows them to develop their natural gifts. He urges and indicates in subtle and pointed ways the paths each one should follow because He's built blessings into people. Whether or not they use them appropriately remains their choice.
So in the end, the only qualification for being or becoming a writer is the direction received from the Divine, the One True God who lavishes His creation with the abilities to create and develop the innate talents He's provided. Without His infusion for a particular talent, all the worldly qualifications won't ultimately matter.
Father, thank you for all you give us, do for us, provide for us, and show us. We're all desperate for you whether we know it or not. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.