Not All Superheroes Wear Capes
Smoke Screen by Terri Blackstock is a marvellous Christian contemporary suspense that will have you glued from the start.
The novel revolves around old and new crimes as characters try to prove their innocence. As their worlds come tumbling down, it feels like even God is absent. “The best I could do was hang on and pray like mad. But I doubted God was listening to me anymore.” God never leaves us. He hears our prayers and He always answers them but in His way and in His timing. God sees our end from our beginning. It is only when we look back that we can see His hand on our lives.
Crises will either draw you towards God or propel you away as you feel abandoned. “I wanted to pray but I was still mad at God.” God can handle our emotions. He wants us to be truthful and to be real. “Where are You?… Why didn’t He fight for me?” God fights battles we may be unaware of.
When we know God, we can experience a peace no matter what life throws at us. “Mama ran on… a power that gave her a peace I couldn’t fathom.”
We all need our church family. In times of crisis they will lift us up and intercede for us even when we have no words. We need the support of prayer warriors. “Church. It was where I needed to be.”
There are the themes of revenge and forgiveness. Feelings of revenge will drag us down. Feelings of forgiveness lift us up and free us from our prisons.
There is the subject of alcoholism. When we lose ourselves in the bottom of a bottle, we will still have problems to face. We need to admit we have a problem and get help to beat our addiction. In times of crisis, it is far better to turn to God in prayer. Our circumstances may not change but our perspective will.
The tale is written in the first person from two alternating points of view. The reader becomes acquainted with the lead characters who are both realistic and easy to empathise with. I felt the novel was reminiscent of Romeo And Juliette at times.
Terri Blackstock has written another cracking suspense that consumed my every waking moment. It is a novel that is impossible to put down.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
About the Book
Book: Smoke Screen
Author: Terri Blackstock
Genre: Christian Suspense
Release Date: November 5, 2019
One father was murdered, and another convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.
Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado home town. His mother begs him to come to Carlisle now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.
Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna had defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down, people assumed it was Nate getting even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left Carlisle without looking back.
Now, Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and she’s dealing with a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. She’s barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.
As they deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—their past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.
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About the Author
Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY 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. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com; Facebook: tblackstock; Twitter: @terriblackstock
Excerpt from Smoke Screen
I woke up in a blinding bright room, my clothes off and something clamped to my face. I tried to reach it, but I couldn’t bend my right arm, and my hand stung. An IV was taped to my other hand, but I moved carefully and touched the thing over my face.
An oxygen mask. I tried to sit up. “What happened?”
T-bird came to my bedside, a sheen of smoky sweat still soiling his face. “Nate, lie back, man.”
“The fire,” I said. “Need to get back. My men.”
“They’re still there. Making progress. But you’re not going anywhere near a fire for a month or so.”
I took the mask off and coughed a little, but managed to catch my breath. “A month?”
“Yep. Second degree burns on 20 percent of your body. Some of the burns are deep.”
It came back to me, the event that had gotten me here.
“The family. Were they injured?”
“Not a scratch or burn. Turns out it was a U.S. Senator from Kansas. He says you’re a hero.”
“You know I had no choice. They were in the path—”
“Take the praise where you can get it, man. We don’t get that much.”
I looked at my right side. My right arm was bandaged, and so was my side and down my right leg to the point where my boots had stopped the flames. Second degree wasn’t so bad, I told myself. Third degree would have been brutal. I’d be able to leave the hospital soon. I’d heal.
“I won’t need a month,” I said.
“Yes, you will. They can’t let you go back. Doctor’s orders. You’re grounded until he releases you.”
I managed to sit up, but it was a bad idea. The burns pulling on my skin reminded me why I shouldn’t. “I can’t be grounded during fire season. Are you crazy? I need to be there. You don’t have enough men as it is.”
“Sorry, Nate. It is what it is. Why don’t you go home to Carlisle for a while? Take it easy.”
Go home? Pop had just been pardoned, and he and my mom were trying to navigate the reunion. Though she would love to have me home, I didn’t know if I was up to it. My father could be challenging, and fourteen years of prison hadn’t done him any favors.
Taken from “Smoke Screen” by Terri Blackstock. Copyright © 2019 by Terri Blackstock. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.
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