Rizzoli & Isles, The Surgeon, Thrills and Chills


If you haven’t watched Rizzoli & Isles, you’re missing a great show!

Angie Harmon’s tomboy and witty character mixed with Sasha Alexander’s no-nonsense, no humor’s makes for a great crime show set in Boston.

As a suspense writer, I love all things that thrill and chill. This show is excellent! My friend Tiffany White has a really cool blog and one of my favorite days is Tele Tuesday, where she talks all things TV! Check out her blurb on Rizzoli & Isles, here.

Also, the show is based off the book, The Surgeon–the first in the Rizzoli & Isles series–written by Tess Gerritsen.

The Surgeon is not an ABA book. It’s graphic, disturbing in subject matter, and colorful (not just the tons of splashed blood red)–the language.

Right now you’re asking, “Why do you read such things?”
My answer:  I don’t know. I love thrillers. And I love when evil is triumphed by good. Which it was, but not without danger on every page.

Books are always better than movies…or shows, so I wanted to know. I picked a great time to read The Surgeon, during a week when my husband was out of town. Every tiny pop or creak had my attention. It was that night, I realized I’d given my business card to a server at a restaraunt I didn’t know, and it had my phone number and address on it. (I’ll tell that story another day) It was hair raising, heart pounding, eyes wide open all night, kind of reading.

Turns out, Rizzoli isn’t the main character in this book.  Thomas Moore is, and he was great. I enjoyed his soft, compassionate character. He respected the victims and was good at his job. He was honest, loyal and protective.

I also loved the female main character–Dr. Cordell. She was a victim, but she wasn’t weak. She had overcome, and fought with her head high all the way through. I cheered her on, respected and admired her. Tess Gerritzen did a great job writing about such a tender subject matter. This wasn’t a light bathtub read.

You know who I didn’t like?

Jane Rizzoli. (Maura Isles wasn’t in this book)

She wasn’t a likable character at all, and I hardly if ever say that. Now that wouldn’t be a big deal, if she was only a minor character in this one book, or even the series, but I’m expecting her to become the main character as the series goes on. I don’t want to dislike the main character!

Rizzoli was overbearing, grouchy, inconsiderate and lacked compassion. In fact, she pushed victims to answer questions they weren’t ready to. Yeah, she was fighting for survival as the only female detective, and yeah, the guys gave her a hard time, but dang!

She never showed any softness. When she wasn’t pouting, ranting, or getting jealous over Moore’s romantic relationship, she was whining about her lack of good looks and outcussing every other character.

Now, having said that, I’m going to read on and maybe, over the series, her character will evolve as she takes on more of a lead role. I hope so. If not, I’ll just keep watching the awesome show. Here’s a peek at The Surgeon:

“He slips into their homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, unaware of the horrors they soon will endure. The precision of the killer’s methods suggests he is a deranged man of medicine, propelling the Boston newspapers and the frightened public to name him “The Surgeon.”

The cops’ only clue rests with another surgeon, the victim of a nearly identical crime. Two years ago, Dr. Catherine Cordell fought back and killed her attacker before he could complete his assault. Now she hides her fears of intimacy behind a cool and elegant exterior and well-earned reputation as a top trauma surgeon.

Cordell’s careful façade is about to crack as this new killer re-creates, with chilling accuracy, the details of Cordell’s own ordeal. With every new murder he seems to be taunting her, cutting ever closer, from her hospital to her home. Her only comfort comes from Thomas Moore, the detective assigned to the case. But even Moore cannot protect Cordell from a brilliant hunter who somehow understands-and savors-the secret fears of every woman he kills.”

Question: Do you watch Rizzoli & Isles? Do you read Thrillers?

Back to School, Already? and…A Moment with Myles

First off, I’m guest blogging over at David N. Walker’s blog. Come by and let’s talk memories!

My kids have gone back to school. Already!

Bailey was indifferent, only excited about her dry erase board and mirror. So rolling my eyes right now.

Myles was pumped. He had his new Transformers backback and “fresh” markers. 🙂 His teacher is new this year. I told him to try and abstain from breaking her in too soon.

I dropped Bailey off. 7th grade. I pulled away and teared up. When did my baby become a jr. high student?

As I drove to Myles’s school he asked, “So is 2nd grade going to be hard? Will I know everything?” Same thing he asked about 1st grade.

“Not everything, sweetie. But that’s what you have a teacher for–to help you learn new things. Not everything will be easy, but that’s why you do your best and study–“

He cuts me off with his deadpan tone. “Mom, is this a speech?”

Well, there went that. “No, I was encouraging you.”

“Sounds like a speech.”

I turned the volume up on the radio and the rest of the ride we listened to Jesus Culture. Love me some Kim Walker.

He refused to let me walk him up. “I’m 7, Mom.”

“Okay. Have a good day. Try to listen and–” I smiled. “Have fun.” That last statement could be dangerous.

But man, I loved going back to school!

I loved new clothes, shoes, and supplies. I loved seeing all my friends again…because the day before had been too long. School was enjoyable for me. A new year, new teacher/s, new adventures. I’ve only been kicked off the bus twice and detention once!

I’m thankful my son doesn’t ride the bus. Eventually, detention will be inevitable. I’m preparing now. 

 I’m leaving you with a clip from one of my favorite movies. Billy Madison. I’m sorry, I can’t get enough of Adam Sandler.

Did you like going back to school? What did you love most?

Ssshhh….Wait For It!

One of my favorite things to do as a child, was to catch lightning bugs (fireflies) at night. I would pull the light out and put it on my ring finger, pretending I was engaged. Now, I realize I was just putting bug guts on my finger. Not quite as magical.
I haven’t chased down lightning bugs in a very long time. In fact, I haven’t even thought of them in years.
Last week Melissa Tagg asked a question on her blog, Tag(g)lines: “How has God wow-ed you this week?” She had a beautiful, exciting post about her nephew, Ollie, with an amazing video of him before his surgery. I encourage you to read about it by following the link above and following her blog. She’s a talented writer, with a gift at hilarity!
How has God wow-ed me?
For the sake of sparing some embarrassment, I’m going to be a little vague, but my daughter, Bailey (12), spent a week up north with my family.
We’ve had some major disappointments in our family over the last few years, when someone we love dearly walked away from us and his faith. We’ve had time to grieve, get angry, resentful, bitter…and then time to let God heal and bring peace to those wounds.
But Bailey just found out. She’s going through the deep hurt and angry stage. And I’m letting her. Because, it isn’t fair to expect her to “straighten up that attitude when he’s around.” I expect her to be respectful, but God is going to have to do for her, what He’s done for the rest of us.
This family member showed up while Bailey was visiting, and she purposely ignored his knocks on the door. When he finally came in and tried to visit with her, because truth is–he loves her–she stared at her phone pretending to text.
He knew what was wrong. He told her if she ever wanted to talk to him about anything, she could. She ignored him.
Later, after he left, she came into the living room with tears in her eyes and said to my mom, “I wasn’t nice to him.” Then she shared about not answering the door, pretending to text, and ignoring him. (He didn’t share that with my mom.)
And then she said, “But God told me something.”
“What did He say?” my mom asked.
Bailey wiped her eyes. “He said, ‘Bailey, you know how lightning bugs’ lights go on and off? Well, that’s what’s happened to him. His light’s gone off…but it’s going to come back on. And do you know when you go to catch a lightning bug, right before you grab it, the light goes off? You have to wait…be still…watch…and then the light comes back on and you can catch it. Be still, Bailey…just wait.”
That’s what God said to my daughter. My 12 year old daughter!  That’s how God wow-ed me.
I sobbed because, I’m overjoyed and in awe that my daughter listens to God, that He speaks to her so intimately at a young age, though I shoudn’t be surprised. I wept because it renewed my hope that our dear loved one hadn’t escaped God’s eyes, arms, or heart. That God still indeed has plan for his life and hasn’t given up on him.
And I cried out of shame, because I had. I’d given up, succumbed that this was just the way it was. Some days, his name never entered into my prayers. I was tired of praying. Tired of believing and I became complacent. Which is exactly what the enemy wants for us. But we can’t give up hope. We can’t stop praying for loved ones.
Like a lightning bug, a light blinked on in my heart, to illuminate God’s truth:
 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” John 10:29
Question for you: What’s one favorite childhood, summer memory?

Walking on Broken Glass: Christa Allan


Christa Allan

“So that was my epiphany for sobriety. Apple juice.”

Christa Allan’s Walking on Broken Glass was the bright surprise I clicked on when looking for the next read amongst a billion books downloaded on my kindle.

I scanned the first pages of many, but Christa’s book held my attention from the first line.

Cruising the sparkling aisles of Catalano’s Supermarket, I lost my sanity buying frozen apple juice.”

I had no idea what the book was about because I hadn’t even read the backcover blurb. Downside of kindle books.

How does a woman lose her sanity buying juice? I read on.

What I discovered about Christa and WoBG.

As a reader, I was hooked, immersed in the story and into Leah’s–the main character– life, thoughts (which cracked me up often), and sensory details.

As a writer, I was mesmerized by Christa’s fresh voice, interesting and new metaphors, and style of writing. And that is why as a reader, I was hooked.

I kept thinking, “This is briliant. What a fabulous debut novel!” (I had to immediately find out who  Christa Allan was and I discovered WoBG was her first book.)

Leah Thornton is a strong character, with many flaws, who fights for sobriety by admitting herself into rehab at the suggestion of a close friend.

Who wants to read a whole book in one character’s head about rehab?


Leah is a witty, snarky character, full of sass and strength. I loved her. I loved the journey she took, as her painful past surfaced and answers to why she relied on alchohol came to light.

I shed a few tears in this book and I laughed a lot, mostly at her sarcastic wit. As me and my husband say when watching movies/TV, “That’s good writing.”

My only disappointment

I walked on broken glass with Leah through the entire book. I stayed up late to finish it up, because I had to know how her marriage was going to turn out as well as a few close personal relationships involving illness, but those things weren’t resolved.

Leah’s husband had some serious issues and I never knew where all of them stemmed from. I wanted to know if he and Leah would end up the way I wanted them to. It eluded to that, but I didn’t know for sure.

So I’m disappointed the book ended! I would have read on and on, but alas, I suppose all good things must come to an end.

Will Christa write a sequel and dive deeper into Leah’s husband’s past? (amongst other questions, but I don’t want to spoil any of it for you)

I don’t know. I can only hope. In the mean time, I’ll be reading her new novel,  The Edge of Grace, because Christa Allan is a fabulous author, even if her book ended before I wanted it to! 🙂

4 out of 5 stars

Here’s  a peek at Walking on Broken Glass:

“Leah Thornton, already sloshed from one-too-many at a faculty party, is cruising the supermarket aisles in search of something tasty to enhance her Star-bucks—Kahlua, for example. Two confrontations later—one at the grocery and the other with her friend Molly—Leah is sitting in the office of the local rehab center facing an admissions counselor who fails to understand the most basic things, like the fact that apple juice is not a suitable cocktail mixer.  Rehab is no picnic, and being forced to experience and deal with the reality of her life isn’t Leah’s idea of fun. But through the battle she finds a reservoir of courage she never knew she had, and the loving arms of a God she never quite believed existed.”

Question for you: What book/s have had you screaming, “No! Don’t end! Not yet!”