Fire Storm by Mackenzie Dare
“But we have no enemies!”… Why would a young mother, happily married and safely nestled amongst the cornfields of small town Illinois suddenly start finding murder attempts around every corner?
A fireman, Jim thrives on danger, that is until it creeps closer than he ever expected – not to him, but to the one he loves more than life itself – his wife. Who and why? How can the “protector” keep his most cherished possession from this unseen killer?
Totally innocent – untouched by evil, Jess cannot explain or understand the incidents threatening her very existence. Holding on to her husband and clinging to her knowledge of a powerful God, she can only strive to keep trust in her soul and a smile in her heart, as the icy fingers of death lurk, coiled behind every corner. Safe in innocence, secure in love – marked for murder! God bless our home – if it doesn’t blow up!
This is Mackenzie's first book, and I think she did a fairly decent job with it. Fire Storm is a light (despite being 308 pages) suspense novel with just a touch of romance and a strong foundation of faith. And the cover makes up for in practicality what it lacks in design, as it gives a pretty good pictorial summary. Except horses don't play a huge role, which I found slightly disappointing.
Although the character development isn't phenomenal it is definitely there, and Mackenzie came up with a rather cleverly designed plot. However, I found the suspense to be a bit lacking, mostly because all of the action scenes were written as if for a comic book--very short and choppy sentences with words like "KABOOM!" (complete with all caps). The book also included a fair amount of grammatical errors, but most of those were minor and would probably be overlooked by the casual reader.
Despite these few shortcomings, I still recommend Fire Storm as a good light Christian read!
Click here to read the first chapter!
Interview with Mackenzie Dare
1. What inspired you to write Fire Storm? How did you decide on the mystery genre?
Hmmm… I don’t know. I had been thinking about it and piecing it together in my mind for a long time. One Sunday after church, I felt the Lord leading me to sit down and start outlining it. So, I did. Once I got into writing it, I started learning and creating and seeing the different lives of my characters come together more perfectly. I didn’t actually make a decision I was going to write a mystery. I just wanted something fun.
2. Is there a specific message in this novel that you want readers to come away with?
When you can’t see the path ahead, follow the Lord because only He can see through the darkest night and only He holds the future in his hands.
Never give up. Just go as far as you can and then some.
Pray fervently, because only God is in the miracle working business. He does perform them, but you have to ask.
God wants you in His family, and you need Him.
3. Fire Storm takes place on a horse farm--do you own and/or ride horses?
I love riding horses!
4. Do your characters take on a life of their own, or do you have to coax it out of them?
Oh, they definitely take on a life of their own. Sometimes I’m even surprised by the twists and turns their lives take, as well as, the secrets hidden deep in their past.
5. What did you learn from writing this book?
God sees everything. He knows everything. If you’re lost, ask Him for direction.
6. Can we look forward to a sequel or two?
Oh, yes. I couldn’t leave my characters this early in the game. I look forward to many more happy, scary, and exciting times with them.
7. What is your favorite Bible passage?
My favorite verses are those with encouragement like: “I can do all things through Christ Who strengtheneth me;” “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee;” “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.” “A just man falleth seven times yet riseth up again.” “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God.” “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
8. Which authors and/or books have inspired you the most?
Without a doubt, the author that has inspired me the most is God, the Father and Jesus Christ in His Living Word, the Bible. It’s taught me everything about morals, right and wrong, and how to live life. Without it, I’d be confused, clueless, empty, pointless, and hopeless.
After that, I’d have to say Ben Carson’s book, Gifted Hands, is pretty inspirational.
9. Besides reading and writing, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love life! I love the experience of just walking through a living world. What can beat going outside for a walk on a beautiful, dew-glistening, bird-singing, apple-blossomed, spring morning… just to head toward a brush-stroked sunrise and feel absorbed in the beauty of God’s creation? I love chilly fall days… a cool breeze floating in a slightly open window, the warm apple-scented steam as you slide a crusty, golden pie out of the oven, a crisp, breezy walk through a pumpkin patch or a swim in a Wisconsin lake. I like camping in the North Woods or browsing souvenir shops, shopping in the mall or havin’ a picnic in the park. I love hangin’ out with my family… cookout style or pizza and popcorn movie nights. My favorite time is Christmas… It’s A Wonderful Life in the DVD player, a fire crackling in the corner, the pop of popcorn, and the sweet aroma of hot chocolate as we hang ornaments and wrap lights around our Christmas tree and nativity scene.
I love seeing the Lord work in my life and teach me new things. I love Him because He first loved me. He’s shown me His love sooo many times! One of my favorite verses is “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” He’s the Giver of life, the Maker of all things, the One who makes daffodils smile and the thunderclouds clap, gentle summer breezes and mighty typhoons, tiny, darting minnows and giant, killer whales. I love life, love, loyalty, and laughter.
10. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?
I would love to tour an old historic castle in England or hike in the wilderness of Canada, explore the great barrier reef in Australia or view historic sites in Switzerland or Holland. I’d love to visit Israel and see where Jesus grew up, where He walked, and where He preformed miracles. There are also some more places in the US I’d really like to visit. How’s that for narrowing it down? :)
11. And, most importantly, dark, milk or white chocolate?
What a question! How can you go wrong with chocolate? :) Let’s see… probably milk chocolate… with peanut butter in it! :)
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