Ahhh! Where have I been? It seems like my last post was ages ago. So much to catch you up on and so little time!!

Oh, Hello by the way. So maybe I’m not freaking out like my first sentence leads you to believe but it was no understatement either. I truly do have so much to catch up on!

My friend and I did the Chocoholic Frolic (Flippin awesome! Pictures and post to follow), I went to training in Lincoln, NE for the week and that in itself will be in a separate post (pictures and post to follow), the Spring Blizzard of 2013 happened (no pictures or post to follow. Too depressing), and at the moment I am sitting with curlers in my hair drinking coffee because in a couple of hours I have a very good friends bachelorette party tonight (no guarantee of pictures and a post to follow. ;) I feel like Carrie Bradshaw, typing away at my computer and trying to sort things out while I get ready for the evening out. Okay, so maybe I only have my cat here and I am drinking coffee instead of a martini while in sweatpants, but a gal can dream, right? With all the catch up I have on my list, I bet you are wondering why I just don’t post about all this. Well friends, today I am going to send you off with a little less crazy, but not by much. While my life had been busy these last couple of weeks, through it all I was warped into a world that was even crazier. Lo and behold friends, here is another great book and my review to go along with it!  The GracePainter,” by Mark Romang left me on the brink of my seat and my nerves on edge. Nicole from Tribute Books sent me another book that belongs on your shelf.

Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is the one reflecting back at you from inside a mirror. Matthew London can attest to this difficult truth. Ever since the former NYPD hostage negotiator changed his identity and fled New York City for the backwaters of Louisiana, regret has ruled his life.

For eight years London has lived like a hermit in a declining plantation house. Only his talent for painting Renaissance-style murals and paintings keeps the inner-demons from totally destroying him. Each day the disgraced hostage negotiator longs for a chance at redemption, never expecting it to actually happen. But then a down-on-her-luck FBI agent shows up on his doorstep one evening. It turns out Jean-Paul and Sebastian Boudreaux, two local brothers famous for lawlessness have inadvertently kidnapped a little girl.

London is quickly thrust into the starring role of a daring rescue attempt. But before he can rescue the child from the dangerous Boudreaux brothers, he first must find a way to forgive himself for a past misstep, a blunder that forever altered his once promising life. But in the Atchafalaya Basin swampland, nothing is promised. Grace cannot be purchased or earned. It can only be given

Wow! That one word about sums up my thoughts on the book. I agreed to review it, not really knowing what to expect. The synopsis sounded exciting so I thought I would give it a go. Enter murders, drug lords, a hint of romance, high speed chases, kidnapping, good guys, bad guys and everything in between. The author Mark Romang sure can write suspense. The story was fast paced and sucked you into a world so far corrupted but believable that it was hard to stop reading. The main setting was a hurricane down in the bayou of Louisiana, but I can’t help but drawn the line that as the hurricane boiled, the parallel between that and the lives of the characters could also be referred to as a hurricane.  It was a whirlwind of action that was so cleverly plotted that the 300+ pages seemed to whirl by.
There were a couple things in the story that I think abetted my thoughts. First of all, the author knows suspense. The backstories of the main characters added to my feelings of like or distaste. It was just enough of a backstory on each character to leave me wanting more and that in itself left me turning pages faster than I can read. Mark Romang sucked me in with the flashback in the very start of the book and it only went faster after that. Also, the transition from one character to the next was never confusing. You have about three or four main characters and even more supporting characters and all were important to the story, however, unlike some books, I didn’t find myself paging backwards to get clarity of who’s who.

Romang also made it hard not to cheer for the good guys and he reminded me that there is still good out in the world. Matthew and Annie were two characters with more gumption than most, yet the motive was all for the grace of good and to help others. I was always rooting for them and may or may not have fist pumped a couple of times.  How Romang wrote all of this suspense with an undertone of religion is beyond me. This could be considered a religious book, yet Romang doesn’t preach or overdo it. The book just reminds readers that there is still good out in the world and if you believe, you will be saved. When we are at our darkest place, alone, there is still light somewhere. Gabby was the one who this was most prominent in but the innocence of childhood helped her see it the brightest. Annie and Matthew took some time, but everything that happened to both of them led them to exactly where they belonged, with each other. I being a hopeless romantic loved this most. The book proved to me that even the most terrifying of evils can be defeated and conquered.


At $0.99, why wouldn’t you buy it!! The Grace Painter can be purchased at:


About the Author:
[Mark Romang] was born in 1967. Avid reader, suspense novelist, faithful husband, baffled father, factory worker, reformed head-banger, failed musician, contact sports lover, MMA enthusiast, distressed KC sports fan, Lord of the Rings geek, workout fiend, dog owner, nature lover, proud American, disgruntled voter, pistachio addict, caffeine-riddled, screw-up saved by grace, sojourner. This is me in a nutshell.