Thriller Thursday: Netflix’s Stranger Things

The Stranger Things crew filmed a scene for season 4 in my hometown in July 2021.

Happy #thrillerthursday!

If you enjoy reading thrillers, you might follow the Netflix show Stranger Things as I do.

My favorite character is Gaten Matarazzo. In the first season, he was such a cute little kid, beaming with confidence that I couldn’t help but feel drawn to him. In an early episode of season one, Dustin fends off some classmates who are taunting him. “I told you a million times my teeth are coming in. It’s called cleidocranial dysplasia.”

I’d never heard of this birth defect. I got curious and Googled it. Cleidocranial dysplasia is a rare genetic disorder that affects the growth of teeth and bones.

Matarazzo has said that because of the condition he was born without collar bones and has more teeth than the average person, although they don’t grow properly.

 

I suppose the second reason he is my favorite is the courageous and positive attitude with which he approaches life, considering the condition he deals with.

Last week, the Stranger Things crew filmed a scene for season four in my hometown. Gaten Matarazzo stopped by Schroeder’s New Deli in downtown Rome, Ga. The folks there described him as “a super cool, super nice dude.”

The location of the scene was a beautiful, historic Victorian home. What you will see when the episode airs will not seem so beautiful. Here’s what it looked like during their filming.

If you’d like to see pictures of Gaten at Schroeder’s, click the button below.

Sharing stories with each other…

 

As promised, here’s a list of books you might enjoy.

 

1. Trial & Tribulations: Windy Ridge Legal Thriller Series, Book 1, by Rachel Dylan.

 

If you like Frank Peretti’s supernatural style then you’ll love Rachel’s series.

 

High-powered attorney Olivia Murray faces the biggest test of her career when she is assigned to represent Astral Tech, a New Age tech company, in a lawsuit filed by its biggest competitor. While Olivia is accustomed to hard fights in the courtroom, she arrives in Windy Ridge and discovers there is much more to this case than the legal claims—forces of darkness are at work.

Windy Ridge quickly turns from a quiet Chicago suburb to a spiritual battleground, and Olivia must rely on her faith to defend against legal and spiritual attacks. Although they are enemies in the courtroom, Olivia finds a friend and unlikely ally in opposing counsel, Grant Baxter. Once a skeptic about faith, he ultimately comes to her aid when she needs it most.

The battle between evil forces heats up in and out of the courtroom, pushing Olivia to the breaking point. Will she be able to help good triumph over evil, or will the town of Windy Ridge be torn apart?

 

2. Dangerous Illusions (Code of Honor Book #1), by Irene Hannon.

 

I loved this story. She kept me guessing until the very end.

 

Trish Bailey is on overload, trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death—and puts Trish under police scrutiny—her world is once again thrown into turmoil.

 

Detective Colin Flynn isn’t certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information emerges—and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn’t just dangerous . . . it’s deadly.

 

Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon also writes in the romance genre.

 

3. Pelican Point: A Hope Harbor Novel, by Irene Hannon

 

A crumbling lighthouse is not part of the inheritance Army doctor Ben Garrison expects to claim when he journeys to Hope Harbor. Fresh out of the service, he wants only to unload the tower of bricks, decompress from years of treating battlefield trauma, and prepare to launch his civilian career.

 

Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber has other ideas. She may not be a Hope Harbor native, but the small Oregon seaside town has become home—and she’s determined to save the Pelican Point landmark.

 

Sparks fly as the two go head to head over the fate of the lighthouse. But when they start to cooperate, a different kind of fire ignites. And as they work together, might Hope Harbor heal the hearts of these two romance-wary souls?

 

Irene Hannon is the featured author this week on Author Review. Click the button to read more about Irene.

Until next time, as the story unfolds,

 

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Author Review: Irene Hannon

Author Review:

Irene Hannon

     Irene Hannon is a bestselling, award-winning author who took the publishing world by storm at the tender age of ten with a sparkling piece of fiction that received national attention.

Okay…maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But she was one of the honorees in a complete-the-story contest conducted by a national children’s magazine. And she likes to think of that as her “official” fiction-writing debut!

Since then, she has written more than 50 romantic suspense and contemporary romance/women’s fiction novels. She is a seven-time finalist for and three-time winner of the RITA award—the “Oscar” of romance fiction—and a member of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She has also received a Career Achievement award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work. In addition, her books have won a Daphne du Maurier award, two Carol awards, three HOLT Medallions, a National Readers’ Choice award, a Retailers Choice award, three Booksellers’ Best awards, and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews. She is also a two-time Christy award finalist.

Dangerous Illusions

SUMMARY

Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death–and puts Trish under police scrutiny–her world is once again thrown into turmoil.

Detective Colin Flynn isn’t certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge–and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn’t just dangerous . . . it’s deadly.

Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon captures readers with a mind-bending story that will have them doubling back to retrace their steps–and figure out what they missed!

WHAT I LIKED

The first scene captured me. Irene Hannon is a master of twists and turns that keep me reading. I love that about her writing!

She delivered on her title Dangerous Illusions all the way to the very end.

Well worth a second or third reading.

What people are saying about Irene’s books…

“Romantic suspense that pounds your pulse.”

USA Today

“Nail-biting suspense.”

Booklist

“Hannon is a master at character development.”

Library Journal

Thrillers & Truth Thursday

Happy #thrillerthursday!

This month has been interesting, to say the least. I wrote to you last week about the adventure of having my grandchildren here for a couple of weeks. While I miss them being here, it’s been a delightful week getting things back to normal. On the home front, I’m not sure if I told you we got a puppy in February. He gives the best hugs, all 60 pounds of himself. His name is Tobin and we love him! He’s kind, has a gentle heart, and is a bit of a clown sometimes.

 

What I’m working on…

Writing the first drafts of my novel was a pleasure. Capturing my imagination wherever it led was an exhilarating experience.

I also enjoyed organizing everything that ended up on the page.

Now, I’m revising so I can bring the story into sharp focus so that it will be enjoyable for you to read.

Getting into the nitty-gritty is fun in a new way, and thanks to my editor, I’m learning so much under her tutelage.

For now, I can’t give you a reliable estimate or even a close guestimate when you can expect to see preorders go on sale, but as soon as I have that date, I will let you know.

If you are one of those beautiful people who love helping authors spread the word about their books, then please join my influencer team and get a copy of my book before it goes on sale.

Sharing stories with each other…

When a friend recommends a book to me, I’m pretty sure I will enjoy the story. So, I thought it would be nice for us to share books with each other. Hit reply to this email and share the name of a book you love. Include the author’s name and I’ll compile a list to share with everyone next week.

On my bookshelf

Here’s a book that I enjoyed last week.

The Sentinels, by Angela Hunt. More on that story below. If you want to learn about Angela and her books click here.

The Sentinel is episode three of the Harbingers series. The episodes are not as long as a novel, more like novellas, written by different authors, but well connected. Here’s what I know so far…

In book one, The Call, by Bill Meyers, Brenda, a tattoo artist, sees images of the future and paints what she sees. Three other strangers with special abilities join Brenda to help a young student at the mysterious Institute for Advanced Psychic Studies. Daniel’s gifts are supposedly being honed to assist world leaders, but it turns out there are some very disturbing strings attached. 

In episode two, The Haunted, by Frank Peretti,  a professor who is an atheist and ex-priest, teams up with the four Harbingers to confront a supernatural mystery, a case of murder, and an exploration into the darkness of the human heart, all centering on a mysterious house that can appear and disappear at certain times.

 

In episode three, The Sentinels, by Angela Hunt, Andi, the professor’s brilliant, but geeky assistant, has troubled dreams of thousands of animals around the world mysteriously dying. When her dreams become a reality, Andi discovers a pattern among the deaths. But her theory doesn’t bode well for humankind—and the team could soon face an even greater disaster.

 

I started episode four last night, The Girl, by Alton Gansky. Nothing to report yet. Here’s a link where you can check out all twenty episodes.

Have you read any of the Harbingers episodes? What did you think?

 

Happy Reading!

See you next time as the story unfolds,

 

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Author Review: Angela Hunt

Author Review: 
Angela Hunt

     Last week I read The Sentinels, episode three of the Harbingers series, and fell in love with Angela’s writing style. This may sound weird but it’s like she is so gentle as she strings her sentences together that I forget I’m reading and the experience is more like I’m watching a movie. If you haven’t read one of her books I recommend you give her a try. I added a link to her website below the bio I added below.

You can check out The Sentinels here, but you may want to start with episode one. If so, here’s a link to the whole series.

About The Sentinels, episode three of the Harbingers series

Andi, the professor’s brilliant-but-geeky assistant, begins to have troubling dreams of thousands of animals around the world mysteriously dying. When her dreams become a reality, Andi discovers a pattern in the mass deaths. But her theory doesn’t bode well for humankind–and the team could soon face an even greater disaster.

My thoughts

I’m a fan of novellas and short stories so I love that aspect of this series. In book one, Brenda, the tattoo artist, is an interesting character. Here, in book three, we see her heart grow three sizes. Tank, in book one, has a supernatural mystery about him that becomes clearer in The Sentinels. So, the way the characters are growing and changing from one book to the next appeals to me. I’m looking forward to how the team continues to become more than they were in the beginning.

I definitely recommend giving the series a try. 

About Angela

Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over five million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 150 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children are grown, Angie and her youth-pastor husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards—one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City. Afterward, the dog gave out paw-tographs at the airport.

When she’s not home writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course.

Readers may visit her website at www.angelahuntbooks.com.

What people are saying about Angela’s books…

“Riveting, had to find out the ending. Love the Biblical truths like gold nuggets throughout the book. Good reading. I commend the author!”

The Deadly Chase

“Loved these books. It is amazing what people can do when they have to and this story is very interesting and enjoyable.”

The Colonial Captives

Another wonderful inspiring story.

For those who like Biblical fiction, this author is an expert in writing.”

Daughter of Cana

the-OneThing: Life as a writer —a break to practice the-OneThing with my extended family, and planning —a most helpful tool during times of change

Seeking acute awareness of Christ’s immediate presence — the-OneThing.

At the end of this writing life update, look for a link to join my reader support group. I need folks like you who enjoy reading Christian Suspense and Thrillers to join the team. 

 

I took a few weeks off in July so my husband and I could enjoy some of our family who lives halfway across the country. Our seven grandchildren, ages three to thirteen, their mother, and a friend, came for a visit the first two weeks in July. My daughter and her children have been through a rough patch over the last few years. They are hurting. Dealing with their pain in various ways. My husband and I can’t fix their pain, even though we wish we could. We can’t change their situation. But we can love them. We prayed God’s Spirit would minister love into their hearts while they were here, and multiply it after they left.

 

We needed a plan to set ourselves up in the best possible position to make their time here memorable.

 

“The duty of planning tomorrow’s work is today’s duty; though its material is borrowed from the future, the duty, like all duties, is in the Present.”—CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 

I started my plan with a reality check:

  • I’m older than when I used to cook and manage my little army of 6.
  • My home isn’t set up for children the way it was when I still had children in the home.
  • These seven darlings with broken hearts would be out of their normal routine, which could invite a little chaos. Or maybe a lot.

 

Next, I set my expectations and hopes in order.

At the recommendation of a friend, I asked the Lord for one tiny moment of connection with each person. As faithful as he is good, he gave me more than a tiny moment with each person. As he did, I recorded the moments in my journal as thanksgiving entries. These brief moments were windows into their hearts. Whatever I learned about their hearts now translated into specific prayers for each person. This step of planning was my BIGGEST win.

 

Then, I thought through the practicality of serving eleven people three meals a day for a week.

I planned meal options, more than we needed, before they arrived, printing the recipes and labeling each with the day of the week and the mealtime I could serve it. The printed recipes with corresponding grocery lists made it super easy to switch things around as our daily activities shifted. A well thought out plan makes space for change. And it did!

 

After that, I considered how to keep myself physically strong.

  • My digestion has been messed up since I had COVID in February. I’ve been working on an eating plan to heal my gut. It’s working. So, I planned to keep healthy ingredients on hand for an “eating clean” diet.
  • Planned to walk many steps.
  • Planned to go to bed each night between nine and ten.

 

Last, I thought about potential hiccups or trouble spots that might arise.

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations if you live near one.”—J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

 

I loved having my family here. Getting to know their hearts in new ways filled me with joy and gave me helpful insights to fuel my prayer life.

They left a week ago. Life is almost back to normal. Next week I’ll get busy on my revisions for Dangerous Exposure.

 

What’s next?

For my family, we’re praying for God to multiply any good he flowed through us into our grandchildren’s hearts.

For my writing career, I need to build a team of readers who enjoy reading Christian Suspense and Thrillers.

What does that mean for you?

  • Add your email address to a special list of readers.
  • Until the book goes on sale, I need your prayers.
  • When I have a readable copy of the story, I’ll send you an advanced reader (ARC) copy of my book before it goes on sale to the public.
  • Then, on launch day you can leave an honest review of the book.

An advanced reader team makes all the difference in the world to a writer’s success. I’d love to have you on the team. If you enjoy reading in the Christian Suspense and Thrillers genre, then please click here to let me know you want to join the team.

 

See you next time, as the story unfolds,

 

 

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