Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Distortion by Terri Blackstock

A husband's lies can have deadly consequences.  When Juliet Cole's husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her boys. But a threatening voicemail takes this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack.  Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too, unless she meets the killers' demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband's dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more of her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal?

Think about it.  Just for a minute.  Go back in time to that one book, that one author that has made the most impact in your reading life.  For me, that’s Terri Blackstock.  I can’t remember any book that she has written that I haven’t devoured.  And after reading Distortion, there still isn’t one.  This is the second in her “Moonlighters” series of books.

Helping her sister, Holly, move into a new home wasn’t Juliet’s idea of a great way to spend the day, but it was done and she was family.  All that was left was to drive with her husband to drop off the rental truck and call it a day.  After pulling into the lot and watching him lock up the truck, she’s horrified to see someone drive up and shoot him.  As she frantically tries to stop the bleeding, the killer takes off.  As Juliet deals with the death of her husband, a different side of him begins to emerge.  Secret bank accounts, other houses, unknown vacations, drugs, another woman!  None of this makes sense and she is set to find out the truth.  With her family again by her side, can Juliet uncover the truth without getting herself or her family killed?  Was her husband the man she always thought he was or did he have a dark side she didn’t know about? Was this a random killing or was there more involved?  Gotcha!  Now go BUY YOUR OWN COPY!

As much as I would love to gloat about always figuring things out from the start, I will confess this one had me going.  The plot line was such that it kept you thinking, “Ok, this couldn’t get much worse” and then it did.  The strength of character that Ms. Blackstock pours into her characters is what always fascinates me, and this one doesn’t disappoint.  Her main character, Juliet, has been through it all but continues to take more.  And as she takes more, it appears that he character continues to build rather than weaken.  The message to me on that is that when we lean on His strength, there isn’t anything that we can’t endure.  That’s one of the traits of her characters that always connects with me, in all of her books.  The outcome of this book is nowhere near predictable, but it is one that will melt your heart.

Is this a "guy's book"?  From the start, this book has suspense that doesn’t end.  As the characters search towards a solution, there are all kinds of obstacles in their way.  Drugs, intrigue, police interaction, all fine hallmarks of what any guy would enjoy in a book.

A Moment with Terri Blackstock

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV): For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
I want them to realize that their faith shouldn’t rest in their circumstances—because Jesus promised that in this world we would have trouble—but it should rest in the God who created them. He has an eternal perspective, and the problems of this life are just temporary. Sometimes our crises turn out to be our greatest blessings, and sometimes they deepen our faith and make us stronger and more able to comfort others. Some are just difficult to make sense of … but what if God is building up muscles to prepare us for some greater work in heaven? All these are recurring themes in my novels.

Besides writing, what are some of your favorite hobbies? 
I love being with my grandchildren. We had three 2013 babies born, plus a precious two year old. They bring me tremendous joy and are a huge distraction. I also love going to movies. There’s a real shortage of great, clean movies, but if there were more, we’d be at the movies every weekend.

What advice would you give to a beginning writer?
With all the new options for self publishing, I would advise them not to rush to publication before their work has been vetted and edited by professionals. Self-publishing can be a great thing, but it does skip some of the steps that authors have traditionally taken before getting their work into print. Those steps often helped us learn our craft and make our books the best they could be. You can still get that in self-publishing if you hire editors to be honest with you, and if you don’t go for instant gratification. Anyone can publish a book these days, but only those with patience and perseverance can publish great
books. I still think the traditional publishing process is the best way for a first-time author to know for sure that their book is ready for print. I personally like getting an advance up front and knowing that my book is available in physical stores, but I may not always feel this way.

Favorite memory from childhood?
Coming back to the US at the age of nine, after living in the Netherlands for four years. I liked it there and had made good Dutch friends, but it was wonderful coming back to my home country. I remember being fascinated with American TV and all the commercials. (We hadn’t had those in Holland.) Remember the Alka Seltzer commercials? “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” That just cracked us up.

Favorite comfort food?
French fries or almost any form of potatoes. I think I must have some Irish in me.

About The Author
Terri Blackstock has sold over six million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. www.terriblackstock.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

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