Friday, November 29, 2013

*Blog Blitz! From now 'til Cyber Monday* Firestorm!






FIRE STORM

BLACK FRIDAY BLOG

BLITZ


Hi! Thanks for stoppin’ by to participate in our “Black Friday Blog Blizt!”

Today only, get your copy of “FIRE STORM” for 60% off the retail price by following this “Special sale link”!




My Review: 

 Fire Storm has the perfect setting for a mystery: an idyllic farming town in Illinois, where the corn grows tall and shelters the roads, stretching into giant fields with farmhouses and tractors being common sights, and where people still ride horses almost as naturally as they drive cars.

Jim grew up in this town, and loves it with all of his heart. At 24 years old, Jim has a great life here: a few acres of land with a farmhouse hayfields and a barn for his horses, a young bride Jessica waiting for him with their baby in her arms, a fulfilling job as a firefighter at the small local station. Jim also gets to work with his old friend Wade, and Wade's wife Mellissa is best friends with Jessica. Mellissa is expecting her first baby and Jessica's Morgan is a just a newborn. They are blessed and content, and they rely on their Mighty God who has loved, guarded and guided them all their days.

The only thing that has shattered the peace in recent years is Jim's ocasional lead-foot habit when he is driving his red pickup truck on their gravel roads, and Wade's poisonous cooking when it is his turn to make dinner at the firehouse. {The cooking scenes, by the way, were hilarious. Laughing out loud, I was. Ask my family. They heard me laughing several times. Nothing like good humor.}

The first attempt on Jessica's life seems to come out of nowhere, with no reasonable motive behind it. Someone soaked the barn with flammable fluid and lit it while Jess was up in the loft stacking hay. Jim dismisses this as teens out for trouble, more prank than anything, not intended to harm anyone, and certainly not intended to harm Jess.
Then the second incident happens. And the third. And then more.
Who wants to hurt them?
Who wants them to die?
And will they live through this?

Jim and Wade have one man whom they would easily suspect of being behind these frightening events: Derrick, who works at the fire station in town.
Derrick is a true loner who has made few friends and has shared even fewer details of his past.
A brooding one, he has a wall up that keeps everyone out.
He is a crack paramedic, though, and he has no competition on the job. He has shown up quite a few of the older men with his skill and his willingness to risk his life. He is characterized by refusal to give up or give in, but beneath all of this is something disturbing. 
Why would he hate Jim and Jess?
Does he want them killed?

This is the setting, the conflict, and some of the characters that make up the novel Fire Storm.
This book captivated me from scene one where I met Jim driving to work along a country road.
Shortly thereafter, Fire Storm explodes into twists and turns that leave you wondering what will happen next. Putting this book down is not an option.
The suspense builds and we learn that things are not what they seem... as a little game called "survival" is played.
I shouldn't post spoilers, but I want to tell you that my favorite scene involves a cabin, way out in the woods, and grenades, and rifles and..... Well, let me just say Mackenzie Dare knows how to write action scenes.
This book earned its title.

I can't wait to read the sequel Mackenzie is working on! Thank you so very much for sending me Fire Storm to review!





And here is an Author Interview, from another blog Mackenzie visited. :-) 
I love her answers to these questions! 


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

I don’t remember a conscious decision. I think that’s just the way the Lord made me. I’ve always loved writing and making stories up in my head for as long as I can remember.  Every once in a while, I’ll find a page of an ancient second or third grade short story and chuckle as I read it and try to decipher the context.


What is your work schedule like when you're writing? 
Right now, I’m self-employed, so I can just flip flop my schedule around to what works best.


What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Like I have any writing quirks…. ;)  Probably my most interesting one is the fact that my characters refuse to ever conform to my outline. Sure, I start out with a neat and detailed plan, but by mid-story, sometimes before, my characters are all running every which-a-way in their own directions. Sometimes the “good guys” turn into bad guys. Sometimes scenes from the end move up to the middle. Sometimes the wrong people fall in love, and even other times a deep, dark secret that I didn’t even know about will just pop up from somebody’s past. Surprises… that’s what makes writing so fun!

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 
I love life! One of my favorite things to do is to run outside, especially on a dew-glistening, bird-singing, apple-blossomed, spring morning… just to run toward a painted sunrise and feel absorbed in the beauty of God’s creation! I love riding my horse down the gravel road or through the cornfields. I love chilly fall days… a cool breeze floating in a slightly open window and feeling the warm apple-scented  steam as you slide a crusty, golden, apple pie out of the oven just as a drip of cinnamon syrup bubbles out and sizzles. I like a crisp, breezy walk through a pumpkin patch or a swim in a Wisconsin lake. I like camping in the North Woods or browsing souvenir shops. I’ve enjoyed climbing cliffs in the Blue Ridge and drivin’ by buffalo in Yellowstone. I love findin’ deals at garage sales and hangin’ out with my family… cookout style or pizza and popcorn movie nights. My favorite time is Christmas… It’s A Wonderful Life in the DVD player, a fire crackling in the corner, the pop of popcorn, and the sweet aroma of hot chocolate as we hang ornaments and wrap lights around our Christmas tree and nativity scene. I love seeing the Lord work in my life and teach me new things. I love Him because He first loved me. He’s shown me this sooo many times in my life! One of my favorite verses is “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” He’s the giver of life, the one who makes daffodils smile and the thunderclouds clap. I love life, love, loyalty, and laughter.


What does your family think of your writing? 
They are all very supportive and encouraging! I loved giving them my new book and hearing what they thought of it. I really appreciated their suggestions before I was satisfied with my final copy.

Do you have any suggestions to help readers interested in writing become better? 
If so, what are they? 
Always pray about your writing. You couldn’t get a better teacher. 
Just keep writing. Progress can be amazing if you just keep practicing until you get the hang of it. 
Make it fun, and keep it fun. If you get bored with it or lose track of where you’re going, you’ll likely stop. 
Start with an outline for structure, but then add some surprises to keep yourself guessing. 


What do you think makes a good story? 
Action, a good plot, likeable and admirable characters, emotion, human interaction, purity of relationships, cleanness in language, mystery… but most of all, it needs to honor God. I loved writing this book, but it would always feel empty and useless to me if there wasn’t a higher purpose in writing it than making money. If you pray about it and are truly writing for Him, I believe He will cause everything else to fall into place


As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?  
Be a teacher…or a vet...a nurse… or a fireman… a restaurant owner… or a mom with 12 kids…. 


For viewers who have not read, but are interested in your book, can you describe it please? 
Fire Storm is about a couple of young families living excessively normal lives in a small-town, farming community in Northern Illinois. Wade is a paramedic. His wife, Mellissa, works in a lawyer’s office, and they are expecting a baby very soon. Their best friends, Jim and Jessica, live on a small horse farm out in the country. Jim is a fireman. Jess is a stay-at-home mom with her recently born little girl. Life is fun and carefree till… Jess starts running into threats at every turn. Are they even threats or just accidents? The thought of a killer being after Jess just seems so ridiculous… though not so much… when she comes eye to eye with murder! Who and Why? What about Wade ‘n Mellissa? Will they remain safe in their young existence as they embark in the beginnings of life’s journey, or will the epidemic of murder spread? How far does it reach? What are the secrets?


How and when did you become a Christian? 
When I was five, I prayed with my mom after hearing a Christian radio testimony, then I prayed the same prayer quite a few times after that whenever doubts arose after a salvation message. I got complete assurance of my salvation when I was eight and started growing in the Lord. I know I was saved before that. That is just when the Lord removed all doubt. So, I can’t honestly point to an exact date, but I’m 100% sure that I’m in God’s family, that He watches over me, protecting me many times, that He loves me, blessing me with countless surprises that are much more then luck, that He teaches me, not only spiritual but also physical things, and that He’s always there whenever I need Him.


What was the hardest part to write in the book? 


The Salvation message. It carries the greatest responsibility.

How does God affect your writing? 
He gave me the talent to write. He gave me an imagination and a love for stories. He put me in a strongly Christian home where I received wisdom about spiritual things and knowledge of true love, sacrifice, and care. He saved me and gave me a reason to write. Fire Storm was written for Him and dedicated to Him, and by His grace, I pray that every book I write will always point heavenward and never downward toward worldly lusts.

Who is your favorite character in your book? 
That’s hard to say. I like all my characters. They are all different and unique.  I like variety. The world needs rich and poor, plain and fancy, strong and weak, dream-chasers and content daily laborers, business women and stay-at-home moms, flippant and flighty and rigid work-a-holics. If there was one “right” type of person or one perfect race, the world would be sooo dull. Everyone fiction or real has their very own story.  


I can't wait for Mackenzie's sequel! 

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