Tag Archives: Terri Blackstock

Happy Holy Week! You’re Invited to Our Last Book Club Meeting of the Season, Cliffhanger and All, Next Monday, 4/22 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. (Don’t miss the Rx for Anxiety near the end…)

Friends! Come one, come all to what promises to be a super fun finale for our season. Terri Blackstock’s If I Run is not only suspenseful, it’s a cliffhanger and will provide you with two more books you’ll want to read to find out what happens. Yes, it’s #1 of 3 in a series!

Nancy Tinnell was most gracious to write a teaser for us. (If you’ve not read the book yet, you’re going to want to!). Here’s Nancy:

”Terri Blackstock’s suspenseful novel, If I Run, is our final book club selection this year. We will be discussing it on Monday, April 22nd, and you are invited to join us! I apologized in advance to the group last month for the cliffhanger ending in this story. It provides an automatic summer reading suggestion for us: books two and three of the If I Run Series. Those titles are If I’m Found and If I Live.


Casey Cox, the anxious young woman at the heart of the story, is in a desperate situation. She has discovered a crime scene, knows that DNA evidence will point to her, even though she is innocent, but she doesn’t have much faith in the local authorities. She feels they let her down at the time of her father’s death thirteen years earlier. Casey is so wounded in her spirit and feels so alone in this dilemma that she chooses to run.

In this story, we follow her as she constantly changes her location, her appearance, and her identity, so she can buy time to think through the situation and decide what to do. There is a lot of suspense involved here, so be prepared to feel a bit anxious yourself.

Enter the love interest! Well, Dylan is not a love interest yet. He’s one of the authorities trying to track her. But we can see it coming. I just know it! He has a knack for analysis and can see that the details don’t add up to her guilt, even if the DNA evidence does implicate her. Also, Dylan’s back story makes him a sympathetic character.

At book club, we’ll be discussing these characters and several others, in addition to probing Casey’s suspicions about this crime and the circumstances surrounding her father’s death.

Since Casey has to live on fast food on the road, our suggested snack theme for our April meeting is “food on the run.” What do you fix when you have to fix something super-fast? Or what do you “drive through the drive-through” to pick up when you are in a hurry? Or what leftovers in the fridge can you pull together quickly? Food on the run, lots of fun! See you on the 22nd, book lovers.”

Thank you, Nancy! We will also announce our selections for our 2019-2020 season. We had a meeting last week and chose four fiction and three non-fiction books, all of which look wonderful!

The Living Word Bookstore in Southeast Christian Church is partnering with us to carry our selections for our new season. You may call them at (502) 253-8220. (Their website is: www.livingword.org ) They’ll be happy to order your books for you.

Gather up a carload of your friends! We hope to see you Monday, April 22nd, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Middletown United Methodist Church. Please RSVP to Nancy at (502) 245-8839.

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243 http://www.middletownumc.org

 

Finally, since this week is Holy Week, here’s a reprise from last year should any of you have any anxiety about anything at all…our friend Max Lucado has just the help we need:

Anyone lugging around worries that are making you anxious? (I’m just realizing lug is in luggage.) Luggage denotes “inconveniently heavy baggage.” Well, take heart, I’m bringing you good news to lighten your load and bless us this Holy Week!

Many of you know how often I quote author Max Lucado. His book, Anxious for Nothing—Finding Calm in a Chaotic World, is a current favorite, its’ many pages already highlighted and dog-eared.

I’ll share a few of many favorite quotes which I pray will ease our anxiety, perhaps even erase it altogether, blessing us with a peaceful Holy Week. In the meantime, you may wish to grab this book as it’s a resource you would return to time and time again.

Max begins with, “Anxiety is a meteor shower of what-ifs…
Anxiety is trepidation.
It’s a suspicion,
An apprehension.
Life in a minor key with major concerns…
You’re part Chicken Little and part Eeyore. The sky is falling and it’s falling disproportionately on you.” Anyone?!!! Max not only cracks me up, he often perfectly depicts my own moods.

Flip on the news or grab a newspaper and “anxiety disorders” are usually the front runners. Epidemic proportions.Max states what we think, yet fear to admit:

One would think Christians would be exempt from worry. But we are not. We have been taught that the Christian life is a life of peace, and when we don’t have peace, we assume the problem lies within us. Not only do we feel anxious, but we also feel guilty about our anxiety! The result is a downward spiral of worry, guilt, worry, guilt.”

What’s a person to do? Thankfully, Max gifts us with the solution straight from Scripture. Philippians 4:4-8 says:

Max shows us that these five verses include, “four admonitions that lead to ONE WONDERFUL PROMISE: ‘the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds.’” (v. 7)

Additionally, this book blesses us throughout by equipping us with a simple acronym, the word “CALM”. Put this in your anxiety arsenal and you will have a peaceful Holy Week:

The concept of “CALM” is introduced in Chapter One, and expounded on throughout the book. You’ll never look at it again in the same way! (See page 10 for starters!)

We readers are reminded to consult the Apostle Paul’s words and actions. Max says, “Paul believed in the steady hand of a good God. He was protected by God’s strength, preserved by God’s love. He lived beneath the shadow of God’s wings.”

What does that look like for us? It translates into savoring God’s sovereignty. Clinging to His sovereignty and reminding ourselves daily that God is still on the throne. Always occupied. Always interceding for you and for me…

This Holy Week as we march toward Good Friday and Easter, may we remember the acronym “Calm”, and hear Max’ reminder: “God took the crucifixion of Friday and turned it into the celebration of Sunday.”

Max’ book also includes a Study Guide which would be great for anyone, but also super for a Small Group to work thru’.

Have a blessed Easter.

‘Til next time!

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Surprise Pregnancy, Drug Ring, Murder, Love Stories, AND Redemption all-in-one??? Grab “Twisted Innocence” by Terri Blackstock and Come Discuss at Book Club, March 28th!

Friends! Wow, I’ve not read a novel with so many suspenseful twists and turns in eons. If you’ve got a mere couple of days, you can finish this page-turner, no problemo. Plenty of time before our next Book Club meeting!

Mark your calendar and bring a friend to Branches Book Club at Middletown United Methodist Church on Monday, March 28th from 6:30-8:00 p.m.! We’ll be discussing Twisted Innocence (Moonlighters Series)by Terri Blackstock. This is guaranteed lively discussion!!!

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While I’ve seen Terri’s books over the years in bookstores, I’d not picked one up before. Not sure why, and after reading this one, you can bet I’ll grab another one! The good news/bad news is she generally writes her books in series.

Series spell cessation/seclusion from one’s chores—a lesson I learned the hard way, no thanks to Karen Kingsbury. Hubster couldn’t find me for days. You think I’m kidding…

I also learned Twisted Innocence is Book Three in The Moonlighting Series which makes me want to fetch Books One and Two.

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Terri’s writing tethers you so tightly to the characters you don’t want the book to end. You’ll meet Holly Cramer whose life looks like a version of Murphy’s Law. She just can’t quite come up for air.

She winds up pregnant, has the baby, names her Lily, deciding not to tell the father. Never mind he just happens to be wanted for murder from a drug bust.

Holly lives with one of her sister’s, Juliet, who’s widowed and has three children. She and Holly work hard, juggling babies and trying to make ends meet.

Holly’s other sister, Cathy, is engaged to a guy named Michael who is currently in jail. Makes one think neither Cathy nor Holly know how to pick their men (!!!), oh but just wait while the plot thickens! This is a big order of “don’t judge a book by its’ cover…”

Convict prisoner jailbird is counting days in jail

One of my favorite parts of this novel is how Terri sprinkles truths about God throughout the characters’ dialogue. Here are a few:

When Holly’s daughter, Lily, looks up at her:

“Holly would never get used to that unconditional adoration. That gaze had the feel of God in it, and it calmed her spirit more than anything ever had.”

When Holly talks to a co-worker who researches her daughter’s father, he tells her, “I’m not judging you…everybody makes mistakes. You’re no different.”

When Holly’s sister, Juliet, hosts a baby shower for her, she panics a little about Juliet’s friends coming, fearing judgment for having a baby out of wedlock. Juliet says, “Stop looking at yourself as inferior. God doesn’t do that….He knows where you started and how you got here. He’s not disgusted, and neither are my friends. When they get to know you, they will delight in you like God does.”

These noteworthy quotes are just a few of many! Terri also uses Scripture throughout the story, my favorite of which is Philippians 4:6-7. Juliet reminds Holly their Dad had them memorize it:

Phillippians 4 6-7

Finally, the character who plays Lily’s father, Creed, wonders if he can truly be forgiven citing some of the mistakes he’s made. Holly tells him, “…Redemption comes from what Christ did on the cross. Taking our punishment for all the messes we’ve made. That the blood He shed for us was enough to wash us clean…”

She tells Creed she truly believes this to be true. She adds, “It’s like…once I trusted that Jesus’ death for me was enough…well, then I stopped hating myself and wallowing in guilt, and I started over, like someone who was fresh and clean. Someone who had a shot at life. And God….He’s sent me a trail of bread crumbs to guide me, you know? And trust me, I needed a lot of crumbs….”

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Friends, how Terri weaves Jesus’ redemption for us all in her novel and for these characters you think are beyond grace is beautiful. You don’t want to miss Twisted Innocence!!! You may need to keep a few Kleenex handy!

Please join us Monday, March 28th from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Branches Book Club meeting, at Middletown United Methodist Church. Bring a friend, or two or ten!

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243 www.middletownumc.org

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243 http://www.middletownumc.org

‘Til next time!

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