Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he's remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana's rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can't seem to find his footing--or forget the woman he loved, who betrayed him. 

Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the limelight as the second-youngest senator in the country. But she has a secret--one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track. 

When Ella's brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park's most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn't so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he'll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother, a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain. 

But old sparks relight as they search for the missing snowboarder--and suddenly, they are faced with emotions neither can deny. But when Ella's secret is revealed, can they learn to trust each other--even when disaster happens again?

Heidi here. This was the first of the Montana Rescue Series by Susan May Warren that I've read, and I simply adored it. I tend to like more of a cozy romance, but I should have known better! I didn't think I'd enjoy reading about snowboarding, but again, I should have known better! Susan May Warren had me hooked from the first page, though I must admit up front that I adore her writing. I can always count on her words to engage me, and she did it again. Gage and Ella were practically four-dimensional they were so complex, their wounds so painful I felt for them each time their past was torn open a little. The subploy of Ty and Brett was expertly woven in, can't wait to read a bit more about them in a later novel.

The premise of this book doesn't disappoint, Suzie writes such BIG books with BIG characters, and she somehow does it over and over again in fresh backdrops with unique characters. She is a master storyteller.

Can someone fall in love in just three days? Pick up A Matter of Trust and find out!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Nazi Version of Titanic

Josef Goebbels was a failed writer and Adolf Hitler was a failed artist, but they saw themselves as film connoisseurs. They saw as many films as possible, many of which were not permissible in Nazi Germany because of Goebbels’ censorship laws.
Goebbels noted that American action and dramatic films were far more successful than those his propaganda ministry produced. Films like Casablanca, a blockbuster that gave a negative image of the Nazis. He recognized that his propaganda efforts were too heavy handed and obvious in their message.
After much study of American films, he decided he would create a Hollywood on the Rhine. And since the American film industry was populated by many successful Jewish directors, actors, producers, and scriptwriters, his films would be superior.
German screenwriter Harald Bratt wanted to create a movie based on Josef Pelz von Felinau’s 1936 book, Titanic: Tragedy of an Ocean Liner. Goebbels heartily approved. Their film would embarrass and demoralize the British, tarnishing their reputation and isolating them from the international community.
Goebbels’ epic film featured stunning special effects, lavishly done by director Herbert Selpin. The best actors and crew in Germany were recruited. The cast portrayed greedy, corrupt British capitalists, self-serving officers, cowardly first class passengers, and ethnic stereotypes.
Curiously, a lone German named Petersen was a member of the all-English ship’s crew. He alone continually cautioned against speeding through the ice fields of the North Atlantic. White Star Line head Bruce Ismay was portrayed as offering the captain thousands of dollars for every hour he arrived in New York ahead of schedule. His investors toasted him as a genius and rushed to telegraph their orders to buy up all the shares they could get.
As the ship sank, Petersen heroically rescued passengers, including Ismay, so he could be prosecuted for his crimes.
Despite a war going on, scenes were shot on location on the Baltic coast. The German liner Cap Arcona, in use as a floating barracks, had been inspired by the Titanic and built in 1927. It was quickly refurbished to portray its mentor.  Even though the war was turning against Germany, sailors were pulled off duty to serve as extras in the filming.

A passenger ship of the “Hamburg-South America” line,  
Cap Arcona sailed regularly between
Hamburg and Rio de Janeiro for twelve years.
The filming ran behind schedule and way over budget. Goebbels finally screened his masterpiece on December 17, 1942. He judged it a catastrophe. While intended to portray Britain as a nation of idiots, it closely mirrored Germany as the sinking ship under the command of a fool. And the graphic sinking scenes might offend families of German sailors lost in the war.
Goebbels banned his pet project. Despite all the pre-release hype, it was not shown in Germany. Eventually, it was shown outside of Germany in occupied territory and neutral nations. Audiences deemed it well-made.
And in 1958, a British film company producing Walter Lord’s A Night to Remember used the German footage of the climatic sinking scenes because of the quality and realism. At least it was good for something!

Monday, July 17, 2017

None of These Diseases by Shirley Raye Redmond

If you give careful attention to the voice of the Lord your God, do what is right in his sight, give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon you, which have been brought upon the Egyptians, for I am the Lord your God who heals you.”
~ Exodus 15:26
Imagine you are in Vienna, Austria, in the year 1847. The city has been home to Mozart, Brahms and Beethoven. It is a thoroughly modern city in the 19th century and the medical capital of the world. But at the city’s general hospital, 1 out of every 6 women in the maternity ward dies, along with their babies. Think about that: 1 out of every 6.

A young doctor by the last name of Semmelweis tried to figure out why. He noticed that the doctors who delivered babies were the same ones who performed the autopsies on dead patients in the back room—WITHOUT WASHING THEIR HANDS.

After rediscovering several Old Testament hygiene laws regarding the touching of dead bodies, the seclusion of new mothers, and the proper washing of hands, Dr. Semmelweiss enforced the style of washing hands in hospitals still used to this day. The Jews were even advised to wash their hands with hyssop, and it’s interesting to note that hyssop contains a natural antiseptic called thymol, which is an active ingredient in Listerine.

This is just one of many fascinating stories recounted in the book None of These Diseases written by Christian medical doctors McMillan and Stern. I think as Christians we have too often dismissed the health laws in the Old Testaments books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, saying that we are under grace and not the law and so we don’t need to follow them. But after reading this book, I believe it is because of God’s goodness and grace that He chose to enlighten the Jews about healthy practices that they might live long fruitful, healthy lives—so that the Messiah could be born through a healthy bloodline.

Some of the medical facts in this book are startlingly. For instance, while we may consider circumcision a religious ritual, the doctors who wrote this book provide startling health statistics that show that uncircumcised boys are 10 times more likely to suffer with urinary tract infections throughout their lives than circumcised boys. Urinary tract infections can lead to many other diseases in the body’s other organs. In Acts 15:29, early church leaders in Jerusalem advised gentile Christians not to drink blood or eat animals that had been strangled without having the blood drained from their bodies. Is this religious advice or sound medical practice?

Well, consider this: when mad cow disease first appeared on the scene no one knew what it was or where it had come from. Some scientists have now concluded that mad cow disease was caused by British farmers grinding up the corpses of dead cows—blood, bones and everything—and mixing it into the cattle feed. They then fed this their cattle. People can get mad cow disease from eating contaminated beef. It can take up to 10 years before the victim even realizes she is ill, and by then, it’s too late, for her brain will have turned spongy and her central nervous system will have started to break down.

Was God being unreasonable in his health requirements to the Jews? Absolutely not! It was part of His plan of love and grace for the Chosen People. He wanted them to be healthy and whole. As Christians, let’s not dismiss these rules and regulations too lightly. God is the great Physician. He loves us and wants us to live long healthy lives too.

An award-winning writer and frequent conference speaker, Shirley Raye Redmond is the author of three inspirational novels, PRUDENCE PURSUED, VIPER’S NEST, and AMANDA’S BEAU, as well as two dozen children’s books, including LEWIS & CLARK: A PRAIRIE DOG FOR THE PRESIDENT (Random House), which was a Children’s Book of the Month Club selection. Shirley Raye holds an M.A. in literature and teaches through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She has been married to her husband Bill for over forty years. They live in New Mexico and are blessed with two grown children and three adorable grandchildren. Touch bases at or Facebook.