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Suspicious Minds by Christy Barritt

I’ve been reading some excellent books lately and I want to share them with you during my great books week.

Christy Barritt’s sequel to Hazardous Duty, Suspicious Minds, is even better than the first.

I’ve said before, I like quirky characters. And most of those quirky characters are detectives of some sort like Monk and Psych.

The heroine in Suspicious Minds is a student of forensic science. To earn money she opens a crime scene cleaning business which I think is an extremely interesting job. One that I would not like to do. She is hurled into another investigation when she discovers a dead Elvis Impersonator (make that tribute artist) under a job site she was inspecting.

I like to think of the book as a cross between CSI and Monk/Psych. If you love those shows you’ll love Suspicious Minds. Christy Barritt writes with humor and wit and manages to keep me turning the pages.

I can’t wait for the sequel. I’ve gotta know which guy the heroine ends up with. Great romantic conflict.

My favorite TV shows just started new episodes last night–Monk and Psych.

I love the dialog. They make me laugh.

I want to be able to write stories with unique characters that make people laugh.

I watch the shows as research for story structure and character development. (Well, no, actually, I watch them because they entertain me).

I think the writers are geniuses–whoever thought of a detective with OCD and many irrational fears and one that pretends to be a psychic has to be brilliant.

P. S. If you can sit through the ads on the links above, then you’ll see the new episodes for the season.

My very first rejection came in November 2004 from Harvest House Publishers, http://www.harvesthousepublishers.com/ .

To coin a phrase from the USA TV show MONK, Here’s what happened:

I finished writing my book, Riches in Glory–now called Finding Riches, in August 2004, and I didn’t know what to do with it. Somehow I came across ECPA’s First Edition (now known as Christian Manuscript Submissions- http://christianmanuscriptsubmissions.com/) and for a fee posted my manuscript proposal so that publishing houses could see it.

An editor at Harvest House saw my proposal and requested the first 3 chapters. I can’t tell you how excited I was to have Harvest House request my manuscript. They publish best selling author, Lori Wick.

Little did I know then how badly the manuscript needed editing. It wasn’t until I joined a critique group that the manuscript improved. I read somewhere (It may have been Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird) it would take 15 people reading your manuscript to find all the flaws that one good professional editor could find. And I believe it. Each additional person that read the book found something wrong. And I wondered how I could have missed those errors. But I did.

The rejection I received from Harvest House said that it was “very close to industry standards.”

Very close, but not quite there.

I feel that way in all areas of my life — faith, family, work and writing. I’m not excellent at anything. I fall just shy of the mark.

But I am not alone. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we have all sinned, and come short of the glory of God. We all fall short and miss the mark of holiness. And missing that mark stains us and makes it so we are not “good enough” to enter into heaven. No one can ever be “good enough.”

That is why Jesus came — we can’t be good enough, but He is. (See my post called Blood Donor)

The Message Bible says it this way in Romans 6: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%206:%206-11;&version=65;

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