Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Scent of Rain and Lightning

"The Scent of Rain and Lightning", by Nancy Pickard, is the story of murder, secrets, love and lies. It is the story of a young lady, Jody Linder, who at a very early age, losses her father to death as a result of murder, and at the same time her mother disappears at the same time of the murder.

The Linder family, a prominent well to do family of Rose, Kansas, where they have a large ranch and employee many young men. Hugh and Annabelle Linder also have kind hearts when it comes to trouble youth. They take them in as employees and offer guidance to assist the trouble youth in getting their lives straightened out. Many of these young men have turned their lives around, but one, Billy Crosby, is the exception to the rule. For some reason, he just doesn't get it. He in turn, becomes the prime suspect in most everything that goes wrong in the town and county, and he is also suspect in the murder and missing case. But did Billy have anything to do with the murder of Hugh-Jay and the disappearance of Laurie Linder?

The question right from the beginning is who murdered Hugh Jay and where is Laurie? It takes a span of twenty plus years for the Linder family to find out the true story. As you read this story, there are many ups and downs in the lives of the characters, throughout, and you will find yourself cheering on many of the characters. Each character is unique in their own way.

As the title "The Scent of Rain and Lightning" suggests, there are storms, literal and in the lives of the people involved in this novel, which have great impact on the story.

Pickard has a wonderful knack of grabbing the reader right from the start, and pulling them into the story and keeping them there. You will find yourself in the lives of each of her characters, and you will not be able to let go throughout the story.

The Portable Patriot

"The Portable Patriot", is a wonderful and essential collection of writings from our forefathers, those men who took their faith and desires literally and therefore, began a transition from colonial establishment to the birth of a new nation. One must note that "The Portable Patriot" is a collection of excerpts of these famous and necessary documents, otherwise this book would be just to large to carry with the reader. Joel J. Miller and Kristen Parrish, have obviously taken great time and apparent pleasure in bringing these documents, speeches, and sermons together so that we as readers, can drink in the sources of the Patriotic natures of our forefathers. This collection beckons the reader to think about their own Patriotism and asks the question of that Patriotism that only each individual can answer. This book/collection also provokes the reader to look at today's conditions and activities with a more than passing glance. The question that comes to mind of this reader is "What would our founders think about the conditions and actions of our country today?" At the very onset of this collection of "I. Beginnings" ' The Mayflower Compact', through and all inclusive of The section 'Afterword,' we can get a glance if not a more in depth look at what was a birth of a nation. I find it appropriate that I am writing this review on July 4, 2010. What a wonderful way to celebrate our nation's birthday. Happy Birthday to The United States of America. While reading this collection of documents, speeches and sermons, I was reminded that we must all be vigilant in the protection of our rights and obligations as citizens of this great country. It was most revealing in reading Noah Webster's Oration on the Twenty-Sixth Anniversary of The Declaration of Independence. This is a quote from the section. Noah Webster warns America about those who would advance their own interests through the political system, and by pandering to the people even seducing and deceiving them. "Nation like individuals, may be misled by an ardent enthusiasm, which allures them from the standard of practical wisdom, and commits them to the guidance of visionary projectors. By fondly cherishing the opinion that they enjoy some superior advantages of knowledge, or local situation, the rulers of a state may lose the benefit of history and observation, the surest guides in political affairs; and delude themselves with the belief, that obstacles which have baffled the exertions of their predecessors.....". Finally, "The Portable Patriot" is truly portable in size, but it is also jam packed with everything a person needs to remind them as to where and how our great nation started and it is a constant reminder to all of us of how fragile our freedom is. Let us all be ready and willing to protect that freedom.