What did the president know? And when did she know it?
For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.
But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.
Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?
Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.
Equal justice under law.
It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?
If you enjoy fast-paced legal thrillers laced with politics, Rule of Law is for you. Not only is it those things, it’s from the Law and Order playbook with a “ripped from the headlines” plot, intended or not, it was eerie how this fiction book seemed to be real.
Paige is a cautious lawyer who has opened herself up to a new relationship. Through a series of fast and shocking events, she’s thrust in the national spotlight when she files a case that could lead her to the very top of the government. There are a lot of people who don’t want to see this case go forward, and honestly, Paige is nervous as well.
This is well-written and contained elements that go against the traditional thrillers I’ve read. The characters are multi-dimensional and there is a rich secondary cast that don’t overtake Paige’s place. It was my first Randy Singer read, but it won’t be my last.
I highly recommend.
To purchase Rule of Law, click here.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
A Day in the Life of a Fool
Remember that verse in I Corinthians 1: 27 where God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise? I am so glad God chose me as one of His little fools.
It was colder than most January days in Calgary, Alberta—so cold that I was reluctant to drive my old Volvo too far from home, but I hated to miss the first day of the new semester. After dropping my son off at the babysitter’s, I decided it would be safer to take the subway, something I had never done before. A small voice inside reminded me that whenever I do something for the first time, I make mistakes, but I told myself that taking a subway wasn’t rocket science, was it?
I bought my ticket, but knew I would have to transfer downtown to another train that would take me to the university. I wasn’t sure how to do that, but surely someone would help.
When I arrived downtown, I jumped off the train and was waiting for the corresponding one to arrive when a thought struck me. I had left a pot of potpourri simmering on the stove. Great. Why hadn’t I thought to turn the stove off? It had been two hours, and soon the water would evaporate, the pot would catch on fire, and we’d lose everything. I thought of my poor dog as I dug a quarter out of my purse to call a neighbor with a key to my house when I realized my purse was missing. (this was before cell phones). I’d left my purse on the train. No car, no keys, one quarter.
I prayed for God’s help.
Taking a deep breath, I called my next-door neighbor who wasn’t home, but my husband was in town, which was rare since he worked for a hockey team that was always on the road. Bobby was gracious as always and didn’t reprimand me for being an idiot.
While I waited for him to pick me up, I stopped the conductor of an arriving train and told him about my purse. He said he would alert the other drivers to be on the lookout.
As Bobby and I raced toward our house, I scanned the sky for rising smoke in the northeast. Bobby reminded me that we would have to cancel our credit cards and get a locksmith to unlock my car since we didn’t have an extra key.
No smoke billowed out of the house, but I didn’t wait for the car to slow down before I jumped out, opened the garage door, and ran into the kitchen. The red light on the stove was still on, the burner under the small pot was red hot, but the potpourri floating inside the pot wasn’t simmering. I dipped my finger in the brown liquid. It was ice cold. ICE COLD.
The same God who parted the Red Sea and made the sun stand still made the liquid on a red-hot burner ice cold.
But that’s not all. A few hours after I cancelled my credit cards, I received a call from the transit company. They found my purse in a plastic bag. Someone had taken the cash, but left everything else—my passport and visa, my checkbook, credit cards, keys, and driver’s license. I called the bank to see if they would disregard my request to cancel my card,s but knew it was a lost cause. The woman at the bank said that the system had gone down after I called so my credit cards were still good.
I made a lot of mistakes on that cold January day, but God didn’t reprimand me. I was doing enough of that myself. He made simmering water cold and made the bank’s system stand still for a few hours for me. Instead of being the worst day of my life, God gave me a story to tell.
Newly retired from teaching, Sherri Stewart is transitioning into full-time writing and editing, but she makes time for her other love—spending time with her family, especially with her 89-year-old mother. She also enjoys travelling to locations to research her books. Israel is her next destination, a trip she has looked forward to for years. Sherri lives with her husband, Bobby, with whom she is celebrating her fortieth wedding anniversary. Son Joshua works at Disney and keeps her laughing. She hones her craft through organizations such as Word Weavers International, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Christian Pen.
Social Media Contacts
Amazon Author Page
Books by Sherri Stewart
Call Me Jane by Sherri Stewart
Call Me Jane
Her feet are wet from walking on water. Why is she still wearing her shoes? That was her first question when the fugue cleared. But she has more pressing questions, such as —who is she, where does she live, and how did she end up on Peachtree Street on a cold November night wearing nothing but a nightgown?
With Officer Kyle Rossi’s help, Jane, as she prefers to be called, begins the journey to discover her identity. But the more she learns about the real Aubrey Sutherland, the more she realizes she can’t trust anyone, especially those closest to her, but Jane also learns that a concussion might be the best thing that ever happened to her.
Most biographies don’t allow enough words to share everything about yourself, especially in a guest blog post or something like that. Of the many things I’d love others to know, one is that I enjoy taking nature pictures.
I share them on Instagram and Facebook. My mom suggested I make sure I have hard copies of the pictures. I have only used my phone camera, so the pix have always been my Galaxy at the time, or currently, my iPhone 8. Each Christmas I present her with the year’s worth of pictures I took.
While I organized them for her, there were a few that stood out. I thought I would share them here.
A few days ago I posted my thoughts on 2017 and my word of the year, transformation. I teased that I knew my word for 2018, but said I’d share it later.
This is a word that came to me in late summer. I usually know it’s meant for me when it comes up again and again. That’s what happened, and I tucked it away, knowing I’d pay more attention as 2018 came into view.
Most of you know I am terrible at taking each word of the year and trying to guess what it means. Even worse, I will force a definition. I think I know how things are going to go when it comes to that word and the coming year.
Boy, did 2017 teach me to not do that!
I admit I don’t quite know what abide means, so I haven’t had the opportunity to make a mess of it.
Here’s what Webster has to say:
transitive verb1a : to bear patiently : tolerate
- cannot abide such bigotsb : to endure without yielding : withstand
- abide the onrush of the enemy2: to wait for : await
- I will abide the coming of my lord.
- —Alfred Tennyson
3: to accept without objection
- will abide your decision
1: to remain stable or fixed in a state
- a love that abode with him all his days
- will abide in the house of the Lord
— abide by
- abide by the rules
2: to accept without objection : to acquiesce in
will abide by your decision
Wow. There’s a lot to chew on.
It’s tempting to force that definition, but I’ll at least share what’s jumping out at me.
My core might not be made of rock hard abs, but it is chiseled in prayer. It’s not something I wave a flag and announce, but if you ask me to pray, I’m on it. Over the years I’ve watched miraculous things from a healing of a knee to pregnancy. Financial breakthrough. I’ve also lamented when nothing changed, or, it got worse.
So to see this aspect of abide, “to endure without yielding : withstand”
- abide the onrush of the enemy
That’s got the hair on my arm standing straight up. I know enough about 2017 that I felt like I yielded a lot. That I didn’t endure very well. God’s showing me a lot, and as I learn lamentation, I don’t think I was weak or hardened as much as grief-stricken and keeping it inside. As I’m taking baby steps to lament that grief—verbalize it, speak the emotions out to God even if it isn’t all lollipops and rainbows, He is healing me. As I heal, maybe, just maybe, abide in this connotation is going to be a huge thing.
But maybe it won’t have anything to do with that at all. Only God knows, and I will do my best to journal throughout the year here what I’m learning.
Now it’s YOUR turn. What do you think is your word of the year? Share in the comments, or e mail me at juliearduini@juliearduini. As always, I’m on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, G+ and Snapchat as @JulieArduini.
How was your Christmas?
Ours was wonderful. We spent time with family, and although not a lot of snow, it was a white Christmas.
Now it’s time to reflect.
That’s what I do each year after Christmas. I think about accomplishments, goals, adversities, the tears, laughter, pictures, I take it all in. I consider the word of the year and how it played out, and what word is coming up in the new year.
The word was transformation, and my theories were naive and superficial. I knew I had an eye appointment in January and my thought was I would be wearing contacts full time. As far as I knew, my biggest decision would be how I would wear my hair. Curly? Straight? Keep growing it? Cut it?
Turns out, this was probably the one area where there was no transformation at all. I learned my vision is so bad that they can’t give me an accurate prescription for contacts. Without sharing that with me, they gave me contacts that I can’t wear.
So it’s back to glasses.
I’ve worn it curly. I’ve worn it straight. I wore it up, realized it was not working for me, and had it cut. Then I’ve been busy and haven’t had it cut in awhile. I end the year with no idea what I’m going to do. I love the red color, though.
I knew the year was about kids in school and we were aware that both of our Wisconsin kids were expecting their first babies. We end the year as grandparents to two boys. It’s surreal, I remember when their parents were tweens and I knew them better than their dad. Funny how time marches on.
As for the school kids, I didn’t know how rough the year was going to start for them both. I’m all about building people up and in our daughter’s circle, it seemed almost everyone in her daily routine was tearing her down. To watch her joyous smile disappear as she withdrew, it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to watch. It was one of those times I felt so helpless.
It was the same for our son. He went from main campus, to satellite campus. His grades were good, but the stress was high. One of his core relationships changed, and I never saw it coming. Another episode of feeling so helpless. He was part of a retail establishment with high traffic, no leadership, and a terrible part of town. He was involved in a car accident that wasn’t his fault, but the driver tried to pin it on him. There was season where the attacks on him seemed relentless. I didn’t think transformation meant our kids would change from happy and full of faith to dead inside. That was my fear at least.
Another transformation wasn’t my own, but one I’ve asked every day with no real answers as I a family dynamic will never be the same. The tragedy so avoidable if people had been smart enough to deny someone a license when clearly they were not able to drive in this country. I don’t understand, no one does. And now this family has to re live the memories, good and unbearable.
We enjoyed transformation watching our son be the big boy at the campground, while our nephew was the new one to show around. The nostalgia for our son was fun to watch, right down to him wearing the very same style shirt he did ten years ago.
We visited Wisconsin twice, holding new babies and watching our oldest son become a homeowner and new dad.
Writing wise, I not only published Engaged, the last in the Surrendering Time Series, but also wrote a companion devotional to go with the series, Finding Freedom in Surrender. I started blogging for Inspy Romance, and the first book in my next contemporary romance series, Anchored. It was our daughter, during her struggles, that had an idea to encourage girls of all ages when people use negative words, and that idea became a three book series she plotted. She created the characters, guided me on the cover, and approved the manuscript. You’re Beautiful, Book 1 in the Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Series, should be out in January. There’s also a new Facebook group, 180Encouragements, aimed at building a community where positive words are spoken. That’s a transformation to be excited about.
My faith walk is an ongoing transformation. I feel like the last few years have hardened my faith, and I have been quietly grieving that, not sure what to do about it. I started reading a book, No More Faking Fine, and decided it was a book on authenticity that I’d love to share with others through discussion. Once I started leading that book it hit me it is more than transparency. It’s a book about lament, something new to me. Something I had no idea I needed. Now I’m going through the process. Something tells me what God has in store is the biggest transformation of all.
Now comes 2018. I have my word.
But that, my friends, is another blog post.
Thanks for reading!