Hey guys! So, I had posted about my new site *just footnotes* the other day, and then there were some technical glitches. You may need to re-subscribe over there now that everything is fixed and running. Fingers crossed, everything should be up and running now!! Hope you’ll join me!!
I’ve finally done it!
I have decided to get my own domain name, and I have moved my blog to www.justfootnotes.com. Don’t worry, all of my book reviews are already there, and a few other posts as well. I have been contemplating this for a little while now. My goal is that through moving, my blog and I will be able to mature a little. Also, there are some crazy changes in store in the next few months, and I’d love to be able to better share them withyou in a better way. I’d be honored if you would go on over and sign up on my new mailing list (or sign up and follow me on bloglovin’!)
Although this may be one of the last posts on klizbarker – I’d like to share some pretty awesome bloggers that I’ve been following that have inspired me to pursue my own domain name. I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed if you start following them as well! (click pictures to visit)
Randy Singer, a lawyer-pastor-author, always finds a way to weave intrigue and mystery into a gripping legal thriller. I have read two of his other books, including The Last Plea Bargain. I love the knowledge that he is able to incorporate into his books, because I leave feeling like not only have I enjoyed a great story, but I have also learned something about the legal system that I hadn’t known before. So, I was definitely excited to jump into this novel when I heard it was coming out.
Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales is an intriguing story about a football player criminal who gets a second chance given to him when he passes his interview after law school that let him become a practicing lawyer. Until then, he didn’t know if his dreams of changing the world by becoming a lawyer were going to come true. He changed while he was in prison. Somehow, when the Gospel was presented to him there, it made sense, and he decided that it was his mission was to instill hope in those who had been accused and felt like they had no where else to go. He decided the law was his avenue for doing this.
If being approved by the Character and Fitness Committee wasn’t enough of a second chance, after a month or so of searching desperately for a job, Landon got handed a great job with a top lawyer in a chance meeting at the courthouse. He was ecstatic; things were finally starting to fall into place. His news-casting wife and he were both doing what they loved, what they felt passionate about, and their family was starting to match their dreams. But all of that was going to change in an extremely short amount of time.
When lines start getting mixed and crossed both at home and at the office, Landon and Kerri start wondering if everything is actually as it should be. Landon gets mixed up in a case that leaves his office in a tailspin of horror and confusion when their best lawyer is murdered while working on a high profile case, and Kerri finds herself torn between supporting Landon and possibly being offered a journalists dream working for a secretive and controversial firm in Washington, D.C. Landon battles between fear and the need to care for his family and a sense of loyalty and devotion to the man that offered him his first job out of the kindness of his heart. Things continue to escalate, people start to disappear, until . . . well, this isn’t a spoiler post. Read it for yourself! Here, I’ll get you started with the first chapter . . .
Now, for a review. As usual, I loved Singer’s fast pace and exciting story line. He is a master of weaving together a story of intrigue, and it is always backed with extremely good information, since he is writing from real experience. This fact has served him well in all of his books and lends a good measure of integrity to his writing. On top of all of this, he knows how to create and interact with characters on a very real and human level while still maintaining deep truths and ideas about faith and life.
I have only a few critiques of this book, and most of them are because I have already read his others, and so perhaps had higher expectations. The other two books that I have read: The Last Plea Bargain and The Justice Game both dealt with highly controversial issues. Though Singer doesn’t tell you what to think, he lays both sides out on the table and gives you just enough to force you to think through the issue on your own. I was really excited to see what issue he was going to deal with in Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales, but sadly it wasn’t there. There are definitely issues still, perhaps he was dealing with second chances or grace, but certainly there was no overarching issue like gun control or the death penalty as the previous books have had.
Another issue that I had with the book was that, the last few chapters try to weave in the Gospel. There are very small mentions of faith at different points of the book, but I was disappointed that the faith did not seem extremely real. It felt like it was an addition, rather than what faith truly is, a way of life. I appreciate Randy Singer writing from a Christian worldview, and I also appreciate him wanting to include the Gospel in his novel, but I feel that if it is not given priority and a high level of importance, than in reality we are just doing the Gospel a disservice. Faith is not an addition to life, it is life, and I felt that that wasn’t clearly portrayed through this story. (Please watch this, because although that was my own perception, that is not Singer’s goal at all!)
My final criticism was that I felt at times that there were a few too many threads going on in the story, that perhaps it was a bit busy: too many affairs, too many angry characters, too much conflict. I know, how can I criticize a thriller for having too much action and conflict, right?! But, in my mind, each action needs to feed the story, the plot. If the affair or the conflict is extraneous, then it is weakening the important ones. But, that was just my personal opinion while reading the story.
I definitely recommend this book. If you like thrillers and legal fiction, you will definitely like this story! But before you start, I encourage you to check out a little bit more about Randy Singer. Read this Q&A to get a little bit of an idea of where he was coming from, what his goals for this book were, and how he hopes it will impact his readers.
Now . . . if I haven’t persuaded you to buy the book yet, check out these other great bloggers who have also read it:
I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Excited to see what memories this year brings!! I am so thankful for the man that God has given me. He has truly blessed me more than I deserve. I super glad to be doing life with Jeremy Paul.
Life is a little crazy at the moment. I’m not sure what all you’ve heard in terms of our chapulling and fighting for change over here, but it’s kind of a big deal for those of us who call Turkey home. I don’t really want to spend time speculating and analyzing what is going on. There is more than enough of that on the internet, but if you’re interested in a few of my thoughts, and how the protests have been affecting me, check out my post here. And do please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!
This picture has been inspiring me lately. I have a couple of big dreams and plans on the docket for my summer. What about you? What big thing are you going to do this summer? What dream are you chasing?
Hey guys! Here is a desktop calendar for you for the month of June. My life is changing a lot this summer, and I have already fallen prey to the mistake of wishing for August in place of June and July. But, we can’t have these back. Once the days pass, they’re finished. So, the quote is mostly for me to remember this month to make the most of each day. These are days that have been given as a gift, and there is so much to be found in them! Summer is a magical time, and I hope that you take the challenge of enjoying each day, not letting the future steal your present.
I was messing around the other night and developed a new recipe that I wanted to share with you all. Before I start, please don’t hate me, but I’m one of those ‘eye it’ people. I’m not very precise on measurements, especially since I am in a metric country! Also, sorry, but I don’t have a photo of my burgers, mostly because we were really hungry.
This recipe came about because I am a huge fan of BLT, Jeremy is a huge fan of anything with bacon, and we don’t have bacon here. We do, however, still have a bag of the salad topping bacon bits that we have been using sparingly for the last six months. Also, I am not sure where the prices currently are in America, but here meat is about more than three times as expensive as chicken. So, I recently discovered that I could grind chicken in my food processor (they won’t do it at the butcher, but by cutting the chicken into smaller pieces and putting them in with the blade attachment of the food processor, you can easily grind your own.) With that revelation, I knew that I had to try to make a chicken burger, so I did. And it was beautiful.
BLT Chicken Burgers
Ingredients: (again, these are not super precise)
1 kilo ground chicken (2.2 pounds)
2-3 tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Molasses Bacon spice (I might add a bit more of this next time, because it wasn’t overly strong.)
about 2 cups crushed crackers/breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups bacon bits
1/2 a large onion, chopped
I took all of the above ingredients and mixed them thoroughly (mostly using my hands.) Then, I shaped the chicken into burgers, mine were quite big because I had anticipated them shrinking some as they cooked, but they didn’t. I had 7 huge burgers, but if I did it again, I would probably decrease the size quite a bit and get more like 12 from this much chicken. Once I had shaped the burgers, I stuck them in the oven on 240° C/450 °F for about 10 minutes to start the cooking process. Then, I removed them from the oven and fried them on the stove top in a small amount of oil. Cook until the outsides are browned.
Then, of course, to make it a true BLT Chicken Burger you should pair with onions, lettuce, and fresh tomatoes on a bun with ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard . . . the perfect combination for summer!!
The best side dishes for this meal: sunchips and cucumber salad.
This is me, venturing out a little into the world of beauty blogging! I don’t generally do this, but I’ve recently stumbled upon a perfect summer hairstyle that my hair has personally been in the last two days straight! I started doing this with my hair before going to bed because I was getting really tired of sleeping on a wet pillow, but I still wanted to have manageable hair in the morning. If I braid my hair, it’s manageable, but I have a wet pillow. If I put it in a bun, it keeps my pillow dry, but is rather unruly in the morning. Well, turned out that I combined the two and then liked it so much that I started wearing it during the day too!
I know I’m probably not the first one to do this, but I didn’t get it from anyone else, hence I’m actually sharing the pictures of me doing it today to hopefully help you out if you want to try the same. This has become my go-to for the summer because it keeps my hair up and off of my neck, but I like the look, too. Plus, as a bonus, it takes me less than 5 minutes to do!
To start, this can work with almost any hair. I actually have quite slippery hair, and I haven’t had a problem getting my hair up in this at all. You can start wet or dry, but I kind of prefer in the middle (again, I sleep with my hair like this at night, and it gives it an extra boost of volume and a little bit of curl, too.) Next, pull all of your hair back in to a pony – I prefer it to be rather high, and slightly off center – I am definitely NOT a ballerina!! Once you’ve got it all up in a high pony, start braiding (I’d suggest making sure the top of the braid is fairly tight so that it will lay well when you spin it around.) You don’t need an elastic to hold the braid, because once you finish, you are going to wrap it around the ponytail. Once you get to the end of your braid, tuck the open end back into the elastic from your original pony-tail. At this point, you should have a pretty good looking braided bun on top of your head, but if there are any places that look questionable, just mess around and stick some bobby-pins in until it looks the way you want. And voila! Super easy, super fun summer hair that requires no heat, and very few materials.
If you try it, post a pic on instagram and tag me!
By the way, I do realize that I was MIA for a few weeks, but I have just finished my Master’s Degree, have been reading voraciously (aka, reviews to come!!), and summer is here, so . . . I’m getting excited for the possibilities!!
Most of you know that I live in Istanbul. Naturally, I have an interest in things related to the Middle East. The Twelfth Imam, which my husband had read a couple of years ago, was a really fun read. I’d been having a little bit of trouble jumping into a book as I had been swamped with research and writing for the last few months. But, thankfully, this one got me out of my rut!
The Twelfth Imam is written by Joel Rosenberg who has been studying and writing on issues related to the Middle East, Israel, and religion for the last several years. This book feels very well informed, which makes it a more interesting read. Rosenberg starts his book off with the great, but little known American story of Argo. (By the way, a great film! Something American’s should know about!) Argo was a secret operation undertaken during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979. The Twelfth Imam starts here and follows the story of an American and Iranian family who escape the tumultuous country of Iran to the safety of America. Years later, the families have settled in small American towns, had children, and started new lives. When the youngest children are teenagers, the fathers get back in touch, and they attend a company retreat the weekend before America was forever changed by the acts of a few men on planes.
September 11 drastically changed the lives of some members of these families, and they set in motion the events that would drive the rest of the book. From a successful New England doctor’s son to a high-ranking CIA position, David Shirazi is going to serve his country and his family well by entering a country on the verge of perfecting their nuclear weapons base. At the same time, the Islamic world was turned upside down by the ascent of the Twelfth Imam, the prophesied leader who would come to usher in peace in the last times.
David is in a race to try and find the crucial information that will keep the world from seemingly falling apart, be it by nuclear weapons or mass conversion. Will he be able to protect those who mean the most to him? Will he be able to set aside the rest of his life for the good of his country?
The Twelfth Imam is a thrilling and fast paced book. The story line is well-developed, and there was little to criticize regarding the writing or the plot line. This is the first in a series of books, and I’m sure that you’ll be interested in picking up the second immediately after finishing the first! I think that this book would be especially beneficial to read as a family to address issues of faith, religion, and current events in the world. Rosenberg’s books do not contain any objectionable material, which makes them suitable for a family context, and while he does not dictate your thoughts, he does give a clear presentation of events that ought to be discussed with young people in today’s world.
My one criticism, if it can even be called that, is that Rosenberg does raise some issues (from a Christian standpoint) that are not easy questions to answer. Perhaps it is because of that that he does not give a clear answer as to what he believes is happening, but I think that some of his questions are really important to understand. The biggest issue is this: does God, and if He does, how does He use dreams and visions for His modern purposes? This is a real issue that we are facing in the world today. This issue is raised in The Twelfth Imam, but Rosenberg does not give much indication as to his own thoughts on the matter. He leaves it to us to run to the Bible and find our answers. What do you think? Does God use dreams and visions today? What would be your response to someone who said that they learned about Jesus from a dream?
I would honestly recommend this book to anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, or religion. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the story and your answers to some of the questions!
Don’t forget, if you are looking for something good to read, check out my page of suggestions!!