Book Review – The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl

The Newsmakers by Lis WiehlI have been a fan of Lis Wiehl for a while, and have enjoyed many of her books over the past few years. So when I saw her new book, The Newsmakers, I was excited to pick up a copy and read it.

Overall, The Newsmakers was a pretty good story. But it was not up to the same level as other novels by Wiehl. This was not her best book, by far. That said, it is still a great story, and was an enjoyable book to read.

By way of a brief synopsis, and without giving anything away, the book is about Erica Sparks, a new character for Wiehl. Sparks is a TV reporter who has just been hired by an up-and-coming global news network. But when a series of events begin to unfold, she begins to suspect that her career, and her life, may be in jeopardy.

Sparks is a very real character. She is a recovering alcoholic, fresh from a nasty divorce, and Wiehl has done a superb job of making Erica Sparks a character the reader can understand, and even identify with. Along with many other characters in the book, Sparks is one the reader soon comes to love. Other characters, however, feel under-developed, and forced, and could have used some polishing.

Wiehl has chosen to write The Newsmakers in the present tense. For example, instead of writing “she said,” or “she walked,” Wiehl wrote “she says,” and “she walks.” While this is a small thing, it frequently makes the flow of the story seem stilted, and becomes distracting. At one point, I was almost frustrated enough to put the book down because of this. While some books can be written this way, The Newsmakers should not have been.

Coffee Break – 02.08.2016

Your Monday Dose Of Inspiration

On this day in history: In 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded after 19 years of imprisonment for her complicity in a plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I. In 1910, William D. Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America. And in 1924, the first execution by lethal gas in American history is carried out in Carson City, Nevada. The executed man was Tong Lee, a member of a Chinese gang who was convicted of murdering a rival gang member.

Coffee Break

Watch Coffee Trees Sprout – I could watch this all day… And I now want my own coffee tree.

16 Repeatable Facts About Groundhog Day – This is one of my favorite movies, and I watch it every year around Groundhog Day, like so many others. Here are a few things you may not know about the movie.

Crashing Waves On Lake Erie – Majestic. That’s the only word I can find to describe these waves. The power displayed here is stunning, and amazing.

Why Do People In Old Movies Talk Weird? – Have you ever wondered where that old timey accent in old movies comes from? Did people really talk like that? Well, wonder no more. Here’s the answer.

Memorize Scripture: Philippians 4:8-9

This passage is perhaps my favorite passage in all of Philippians. I memorized this very early in my spiritual life, and it has been a source of strength to me for years.

You can find this passage in Philippians 4:8-9:

Philippians 4:8-9

Since this is such an encouraging passage to me, I have written about each of the characteristics that Paul mentions before, and examined them in greater depth. But today, they are worth looking at again as we examine this section of Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

It’s easy to get caught up in the list that Paul gives, and miss the final statement. Keeping our focus, as Paul encourages us to do, results in God’s peace. This isn’t the first time in chapter four that Paul brings up the topic of peace. He did so just a couple of verses earlier, in verses 6 and 7, as he was giving details about prayer.

Prayer causes the mind to focus. Paul’s words here are an encouragement to also focus the mind, giving us a parallel to the attitude of prayer already given. The key part of this is the continual nature of keeping our focus. Paul isn’t giving us these terms for us to attempt once in a while. No, this is a mindset to develop habitually, and to maintain at all times. It’s a lifestyle.

With that in mind, let’s look briefly at each descriptor in turn. I have included a link to my previous posts on each of these if you are interested in looking deeper at these terms.

Top Posts For January 2016

Reviewing The Month On

Here we are, in the second month of the new year. January is over, and February is under way. And things are hopping around here!

Top Posts for January 2016

It has been a very busy month for the Randlemans. We celebrated our 22nd anniversary and two birthdays in January, with two more coming up in February. Our church kicked off 2016 with a study in Colossians and Financial Peace University, led by our youth minister and another leader.

As a result, we have been making some significant changes in the life of our family. That has given us a lot of new things to learn, and many to unlearn, both in our spiritual lives and our finances. But we are experiencing some growth challenges as we do so, and we will be better for having experienced them.

With that going on, the month of January has been crazy and awesome all rolled into one! I am excited to review the month, and to look ahead to next month as well.

So, in case you missed them, here are the top seven posts from for the month of January.

Coffee Break – 02.01.2016

Your Monday Dose Of Inspiration

On this day in history: In 1788, Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet patented the steamboat. In 1861, Texas voted to secede from the Union. In 1884, the Oxford Dictionary, considered the most comprehensive and accurate dictionary of the English language, is first published. In 1893, Thomas A. Edison completed work on the world’s first motion picture studio in West Orange, NJ. And in 1930, the Times published its first crossword puzzle.

Coffee Break

Your Brain On Coffee – Have you ever wondered just how coffee, and the caffeine in it, affect you and your brain? Here is a succinct look at the chemistry that happens when you drink a cup of coffee.

C. S. Lewis’ Greatest Fiction – The premise of this article is that the greatest fiction the Lewis ever concocted was to convince scores of American kids that they would like Turkish Delight. Based on what that stuff really is, I’m pretty sure I would not. But I always wanted to try it anyway…

Day To Night Photography – Stephen Wilkes is a very creative photographer who captures both day and night in a single photograph. His work is stunning in its beauty, and amazingly creative. It’s worth the time to scroll through his gallery and see his work.

If Moms Talked To Each Other The Way They Talk To Their Kids – This is parody. Supposedly. But around my home, where my wife deals with little kids all day, this borders on reality.

Memorize Scripture: Philippians 4:6-7

Chapter four of Philippians is filed with encouraging passages, and this week’s passage is packed to the gills with wisdom and practical insights.

Take a look at it for yourself in Philippians 4:6-7:

Philippians 4:6-7

This passage is a part of the section of Paul’s letter to Philippi that is probably the best known portion of the entire missive. Chapter four is filled with encouragement, and with practical instruction. We can glean a lot of incredible insights form this chapter, and these two verses are no exception.

What we can gain from these passages isn’t simple fluff and empty words, but neither is it deeply theological and hard to understand. Paul’s words here encourage us to turn to God and allow him to guide us as we strive to live for him.

Paul addresses three major concepts here that I can see: worry, prayer, and peace. Each of them is connected to the others, and there is even a progression of sorts to be seen, moving from one to another to the third.