Friday, October 12, 2007

The Lost Sheep

Have you ever had one of those weeks? No, not one of those weeks. Mine's been unusually great. Last Friday I won a board game and two tickets to a Packer tailgate party on the radio. On Tuesday, I won an T-shirt autographed by two of the Green Bay Packers from a different radio station. Yesterday I got an email letting me know that I had won an autographed copy of Laurie R. King's To Play the Fool! I've gotten several very kind messages and emails from authors this week about reviews that I've done on their work. Overall, it's been an uplifting week; one of those where I can't help but feel that God's letting me know that I'm on the right path. Here's hoping for some more wins. I submitted a couple of poems to the Wisconsin Poetry Contest, but I won't hear about that until February.

In other big news: Doogie has a date tonight! I can't say much more without him becoming angry with me (more so than he is already from this mention), but let's just say that we're all so happy for him, Molly picked out his outfit, I gave him $20 to take her out to eat, and his dad gave him another $10. Today's picture is of Molly with her date Andrew at Homecoming. Ah, the burden of having a mother who blogs: your pictures get published for the world to see.

The Lost Sheep by Brandt Dodson is the fourth in the Colton Parker mystery series. Parker is back and his 15-year old daughter Callie is missing. She called and left him a message on the answering machine asking him to not to try and find her, but as any father can relate, there's no way that he can honor her request. The police are limited in their search, so Parker uses his skills as a former cop, ex-FBI, and current private investigator to trace her path all the way from Indianapolis to Las Vegas and into the clutches of a Satanic cult. In his search, he recruits his friend (almost something more) Mary, an FBI agent, and a former brothel owner named Marty. Dodson's dialog zips across the page with chemistry and bristles with Parker's anger and frustration. I really enjoy this mystery series because while there is a Christian undercurrent, Parker isn't a believer and has a hard time dealing with those who do have faith. He's relaxed his stance slowly over the course of the previous three books, and this entry continues that trend. Parker's struggle to maintain control over an unmanageable situation brings emotion to this taut story, and his actions to rescue Callie bring him to the very edge. He discovers that sometimes the only way to be strong is by being weak. It's a profound discovery for Parker and readers. Dodson's writing reminds me of Chandler and Hammett, and there were moments that made me gasp with shock. Terrific dialog and taut suspense make this a must read.

Jesse is only 10 weeks away from his Associate's degree in Business. He's been working at this for a long time, and the hard work is only half done. After the new year, he starts working toward his Bachelor's.

Don't forget to come back on Monday; I'll be starting a contest to win one of THREE copies of Amy Grant's new book Mosaic.