Thursday, August 14, 2014

Words of Conviction by Linda White

     There’s nothing as convicting as words that threaten your daughter’s life. You want your kid back? Do just as I say. You do not know who I am. But I’ve studied you, you and your family. I’ve been watching you. You’ve been using people. Because you’re greedy. Now, it’s payback time. Terrifying for any parent, these words are especially grim for Senator Bruce Grable, whose guilt may be the reason his five-year-old daughter, Zoe, has disappeared. Or is it because of his wife, whose words make her sound more the victim than their daughter? Or their nanny, whose silence harbors her own secrets? One thing is for sure: The words hold the clues to finding Zoe alive. And it’s up to Special Agent Mackenzie Graham, a forensic psycholinguist, and FBI agent John Crowfeather to decode the messages in time.

     Have you ever eaten something at a restaurant that’s touted as “for a limited time only”?  They’ve offered McRib sandwiches at McDonalds on a limited basis, and the pretzel burger at Wendys has been for a limited time.  Isn’t it exciting when you hear that one of these items are “back”?  Back in 2005, I picked up a book for the church library called “Bloody Point”.  I devoured it.  I couldn’t wait until the author came out with a new book……… It took 8 years for that to happen.  Last year Linda White was back with her first book in 8 years called “Seeds of Evidence” and she was just as exciting as ever.  Now, I have “Words of Conviction” to pour through.  This is one happy guy right here J

     Special Agent MacKenzie (Kenzie) Graham has just finished taking down Senator Grable in a sting to catch him taking bribes.  A successful win for the system and a chance to wind down from all of the intense work is interrupted with the notification that the Senator’s daughter has just been kidnapped.  Kenzie must now work side by side with Senator Grable as they track down the clues to where his daughter may be and who may have kidnapped her.  Using her expertise in linguistics, Kenzie works on baiting the kidnapper through an online bulletin board system.  Late word from the family doctor that his daughter has diabetes ratchets the situation up several notches.  Who is behind this kidnapping and what do they want? Can Kenzie read into the messages to convince the kidnapper to keep the girl safe? Do they find the girl before her diabetes takes over? Put away the dictionary and go BUY THIS BOOK!!!

     To say that this book is a great book is like saying the Eiffel Tower is a great landmark.  This book does what I enjoy most in a great work of fiction, it teaches me at the same time that it entertains me.  I’ve always been fascinated by words and word usage, guess that’s why I’ve always been a voracious reader.  In the character of Kenzie, we see some of the inner workings of wordsmithing and how what we say really can tell more than just what’s on the surface.  The characters in this book aren’t all Christians, but they have a regular interaction with someone that is.  The story is very fast-paced, even considering that a lot of what the book is about it the waiting game concerning a kidnapping.  There is enough going on in the side stories that tie everything together to keep it moving.  I will say that I didn’t really like Kenzie, she seemed a bit aloof, but in the end I found out that her traits were a result of who she was and the environment she was raised in, but that with the right motivation everyone can overcome their past. 

     Is this a "guy's book"?  If you consider a book concerning bribery stings, kidnappings, motorcycles and more to be books that guys would enjoy, then yes, this is definitely a guy’s book.  Throw in suspense and intrigue and murder, oh my!  You’ve got the makings of a great work of Christian fiction.

Linda was nice enough to sit down with us a minute and answer a couple of questions:

What is your favorite bible verse and why?

Jeremiah 29:11—“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (ESV)
  Over thirty years ago, when I was just barely a believer, I was in a really dark spot. Discouraged and disheartened, I despaired of ever feeling happy again. Uncharacteristically one day I was watching a TV evangelist, and he quoted that verse.  That promise sounded so good to me! But I could not have told you where Jeremiah was for the life of me, nor could I remember the verse number! My huge, thin-page Laymen’s Parallel Bible lay nearby. I walked over to it and flipped it open … straight to Jeremiah 29:11. I felt like God was speaking to me and encouraging me. I’ve clung to Jeremiah 29:11 ever since.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?

My mission statement is “spreading a passion for Christ through White-knuckle fiction.” I want my readers to enjoy a great story in which they see the grace of God infusing our fallen world. Why? Because that’s real life. We live in a dark, dark world, but God is present, working out his purposes, and his glory is evident if we just look for it.

Besides writing, what are some of your favorite hobbies? 

I love the beach, and I also love training dogs. Right now, I have a Sheltie with whom I working in Rally Obedience. She’s also almost a certified therapy dog.

What advice would you give to a beginning writer?

Persist, and keep your priorities straight. Persistence is key—it isn’t easy to break into this industry. But don’t let publication become an idol: the goal is to know Christ, and sometimes setbacks are a better way to do that. So “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

Favorite memory from childhood?

Walking home from elementary school and embarrassing my older sister: I had read and re-read Albert Payson Terhune’s books about his Sunnybank collies, and I wanted to learn to whistle really loudly so I could call my collies some day. (Our dad was allergic so we couldn’t have dogs.) Learning to whistle that way takes a lot of blubbering and Karen was mortified! Today, she and I joke about it—and I use that whistle to call my Sheltie!

Favorite comfort food?

Oh, goodness: Chocolate anything!

About The Author

     Linda J. White writes "white-knuckle fiction," FBI thrillers with a twist of faith (shaken, not stirred). Her goal in life is to keep readers up all night turning pages. Born in Washington, D.C., her great aunt dated J. Edgar Hoover. A national-award winning journalist, Linda lives in rural Virginia now, near the FBI Academy where her husband worked for 27 years. They have three grown kids, two grandkids, two cats, and a Sheltie who tries to keep everyone moving in the same direction. When she's not writing, Linda loves being with her family, at the beach, or doing something (anything) with dogs.

You Can Connect with Linda Here:
Linda's Webpage

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