Amara Alvarez’s first case as a homicide detective drags her into the murky world of computer hackers. When she finds herself under attack by cybercriminals, she has no choice but to use unconventional methods to expose the truth and find a killer.
The beginning of this book had my attention right away. A teenager is found dead on a raft in the lazy river (my favorite summer attraction) at a water park. At first it looks like heat stroke but after further investigation, it becomes more suspicious.
This is the second book in a series and although reading the first book is not necessary, (I didn’t) it would be very beneficial as the first case that the main character worked on is mentioned often.
The main character, Amara Alvarez is chomping at the bit to investigate the case and earn some recognition in her police department. It’s her first case and she takes it very seriously. Unfortunately, I really struggled to like Amara. She was unwilling to ask for help when she was clearly in over her head and at a point in the book, she offers to buy dinner for her mom and her mom’s boyfriend…her mom starts a conversation that she doesn’t like and Amara pretends to get a phone call, lies that she needs to go for work and as she’s leaving her mom’s boyfriend asked her about paying…Amara says, “what? I can’t hear you”. I found this scene infuriating, especially knowing that it’s published by a Christian publisher.
The case was interesting and I did find the resolution satisfying but overall, the main character was a big turn off for me.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A beautiful book with 31 devotional prompts, 31 healthy, speedy, and tasty breakfast recipes, and full-color pictures from an author you love.
I loved this concept of this book. It is a very unique devotional book that includes recipes for breakfast to enjoy while spending time in the morning with the Lord. There are also photos of the recipes included, which I always appreciate in a cookbook. It is a beautiful hardcover book with a ribbon bookmark to keep your place.
There are 2 options: 1 that takes less time (the “snack on the go”) and 1 that is more in-depth (the “feast at the table”). I appreciate this because there are mornings when time is very limited and others that I can sit down and go further in depth.
Although I love the concept of a cookbook/devotional combo, I haven’t used them together. I am not a morning person unfortunately, so I often spend my devotional time at the end of the day. The devotionals are insightful and ask the reader questions that causes them to further contemplate the verses.
The recipes all look amazing. Make ahead breakfast burritos and rainbow fruit salad are the two that I’m most excited to try. They range from very quick and simple to a bit longer to prepare. Each recipe lists the prep time, cook time, and serving size. There are also many kid friendly recipes included.
Overall, this is a great cookbook/devotional combo that I really love and will keep in my library for years to come.
I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
We are the dwelling place of God—it is woven into our very DNA. Do we change the core of who we are by manipulating our genes? Is gene-therapy a miraculous cure or a slippery slope into eugenics?
Following their marriage, Dr. Nicklaus Hart and Maggie Russell enjoy the splendor and passion of a honeymoon in Hawaii. They learn that their union has brought new life, but the overflowing joy of Maggie’s pregnancy and their romantic getaway is interrupted by the shocking news of a genetic disorder discovered in Maggie’s family lineage. The devastating possibility that both Maggie and the baby carry the mutated gene for the horrific Huntington’s disease, shakes their faith.
Faced with this dreadful diagnosis, Nick and Maggie seek peace as they wrestle with the heartbreaking discovery of a genetic disease versus the knowledge that God is good—He has made their baby in His image and knit him together in Maggie’s womb. Like the millions of people around the world affected with genetic disorders, Nick and Maggie look for answers. With the belief that people are the dwelling place of God, and He is woven into the DNA, what should they do when that DNA has been corrupted?
Nick and Maggie travel to Poland, where the top geneticist, Emmanuelle Christianson, has founded and operates BioGenics whose mission statement is: Advancing the Human Genome. They understand that medical advances always cost something, but they face impossible decisions. They are unaware that the sinister side of genetic research has slithered in from the horrors of Nazi death camps into this modern-day technology. Their journey reveals more than the fight for knowledge, it uncovers a simmering evil left over from World War II. One that puts their lives in danger.
The subject matter of this story was fascinating to me and it presented many moral questions to think about. The reader follows a leading doctor in the field of genetics and learns about the many ways that gene therapy is and can be used to alter a human being. There is a lot of scientific information but I was able to follow it fairly easily. The story also discusses the origin of eugenics and how it is still present today.
I was glued to the pages of this story. Although it was full of scientific information, the author presented the information around a group of characters with fascinating back stories. The story is very atmospheric…I felt as though I was with the characters in Poland.
I also liked how the overall story tied to how God does not make mistakes.
My main issue with this story was the language. There was a lot of cussing and even the Lord’s name taken in vain. I understand that the characters who did this were not “Christians” but I feel that this is extremely inappropriate in a Christian fiction book.
I received this book from the author/publisher to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Timothy Browne, MD draws from life and work experience when writing. For many years, he has worked as an orthopaedic surgeon and medical missionary for Operation Blessing, Mercy Ships, and Hope Force International. His work has taken him to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Brazil, Ukraine, Borneo, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, North Korea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Haiti and Sierra Leone. He now resides in Western Montana with his wife, Julie, who along with their three sons, served with him.
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Christian Fiction that will get your heart pounding!
After finishing, The Gene, the fourth book in the Dr. Nicklaus Hart Series, I have been able to look back at this body of work. The heart of my prose remains the same: to entertain and educate—fueled with imagination, inspired by history, and grounded in truth. I explored the mystery of North Korea and the threat of bioterrorism in Maya Hope, the complexities of the middle East and the history of Mesopotamia in The Tree of Life, the controversies of Big Pharma and our health in The Rusted Scalpel, and now examine the history of eugenics and the pitfalls of gene-therapy in The Gene.
Writing The Gene has taken significant research: exploration of Poland, investigation of the Nazi doctors and their horrendous medical experiments, the history of eugenics around the world, and of course, the science of genetics. The work has been satisfying, edifying, and many times, heartbreaking.
Death and violence do not exist in Axiom. There is no strife, no war, no suffering. There is no hunger, no sadness, and no pain. Axiom is a place of perfection. But, at what cost? In Axiom, mankind has willingly submitted itself to one man–the Lord Protector–who controls the destiny of every human being. Emotions have become outlawed. Relationships are forbidden. Any sign of the Disease is treated with hostility. Under the eternal guidance of the Lord Protector, mankind no longer knows what it means to be human. But, stirring within the hearts and minds of a few individuals is a reality which cannot be ignored. It is this reality which will cause the spark of rebellion to be born.
It has been a long time since I have read a Sci-Fi/Dystopian story and this story helped me remember how much fun they can be.
The story is extremely unique and touches on emotions and what it is to be human as well as where we can find peace in a world full of uncertainty and turmoil. This book spoke to me personally and there was a moment when I was reading with tears streaming down my face. There were some messages in the story that were very relevant to the world that we’re living in today and I loved the way that the characters responded to their situations.
The world building in this story was excellent. I loved following the characters to the different parts of Axiom. I also found the character’s abilities to be very unique and interesting.
The faith content in the story was very strong. There were many times when the book paralleled things in the Bible.
I enjoyed this story very much, though at times it could have used a bit of editing to iron out grammar and spelling errors. Overall, this was an excellent book that I highly recommend!
I received this book from the author/publisher to read and review in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Kristofor Hellmeister is an alien—a legal alien born in Canada who has lived in Georgia since he was a young boy. Presently, he lives just outside of Atlanta with his wife, Kristie, and his three-year-old son, Maddox. Kristofor has always pursued writing, ever since he was in first grade writing about dinosaurs, tornadoes, and man-eating plants. He published his first book—a historical fiction called Brothers of Baseball—in 2017. Axiom is his first foray into science fiction and is the first book in the Axiom Chronicles. Kristofor enjoys reading anything from military fiction, to the newest Star Wars or Halo book, to fantasy and spy novels. He also enjoys spending time outdoors whether it is running a 5k, taming his wild backyard, or going on an adventure with his family. The core theme for all of his stories is that of redemption, for he believes this is reflected all around us and throughout history.
More from Kristofor
The source of this novel comes from multiple experiences. I remember sitting in a church in downtown Atlanta at an event called TheoEd Talks. It was a theological discussion by leaders of the religious community that was designed much like a Ted Talk. I remember listening to a gentleman, I don’t recall his name, who was elaborating on a tension he was trying to navigate. At the time, there were riots and demonstrations were occurring in cities across the United States due to racial unrest. The man was a pastor and was asking the question, “What should I do?” I remember him elaborating on how he was not an activist, he was not a civil leader, he was not a politician, and yet he still had a role in the job he did best—pastoring. His challenge to us—do what you are passionate about and let this become your source of aid to the world’s problems. At the time, I was struggling with mental health, cynicism, and a gnawing sense of despair. I used these elements to create a novel which addresses a world in which culture is leaving behind Enlightenment thinking and embracing emotionalism. Axiom frames these cultural changes through the eyes of characters who are flawed but passionate in their desires. Entwined with my faith, I hope to have created a story that draws readers into a world where rationalism, emotionalism, and spirituality all must be embraced in order for us to be truly human.
Zoe Johnson spent most of her life living in the shadows, never drawing attention to herself, never investing in people or places. But when a wide-eyed, bedraggled teenager with no memory walks into the diner where Zoe works, everything changes. Now, against her better judgment, Zoe, who has been trying to outrun her own painful memories of the past, finds herself attempting to help a girl who doesn’t seem to have any past at all. The girl knows only one thing: she must reach a woman in Corpus Christi, Texas, hundreds of miles away, before the government agents who are searching for her catch up to them.
Award-winning author Rachelle Dekker throws you into the middle of the action and keeps the pressure on in this page-turning story that, asks Are we who the world says we are–or can we change our story and be something more?
This is the third book that I’ve read by Rachelle Dekker and I have now realized that she is not the author for me. This story was definitely the one that I found most interesting, but the plot did not feel original. There were many parallels and similarities in this book to the Stranger Things series…even down to the character being named with a number. There were also a lot of very graphic and descriptive violent scenes that I wasn’t a fan of.
I was also disappointed by the lack of faith content. The story is clean overall, other than the violent scenes.
There was just nothing that stood out as original in this story.
I received this book from the publisher to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
In 1933, most people are focused on the Great Depression but all Piper Danson can think about is how to get out of being a debutante and marrying Braxton Crandall. In an act of defiance, Piper volunteers as a frontier nursing courier in the Appalachian Mountains where adventure awaits.
This was a lovely story of a young lady who chooses not to follow the path set for her by her parents and instead decides to serve a community of people with limited resources.
I enjoyed the setting of the story and appreciated the author’s honesty in describing the Appalachian people. I also loved Piper, she displayed courage and fortitude that was admirable.
It was very interesting to learn about the Frontier nurses and how they helped the community. The writing was very smooth and easy to read and the story flowed well.
Overall, this was an interesting historical book that I enjoyed.
I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian fiction, science fiction, futuristic
Release Date: June 16, 2020
Her memories are blocked. Her freedom is gone. Her crime is a mystery.
When Ming Dalamani awakens from twenty years of suspended animation, she recalls only fragments of her former life: the life she led before she was arrested by the governing interplanetary corporation, Renasco, for a now unremembered crime.
Relocated to an alien world far from the only home she has ever known, Ming serves a powerful Renasco representative to repay her debt. But daily she lives with deadly threats from two men—the hideous mutant Zardir Huekk and the handsome, secretive musician Tieg Innig—who both want the same thing: information. Renasco-trained as a calligrapher in three dimensions, Ming begins to remember more: a clan, a mission, and interstellar piracy.
Ming must decide where her loyalties lie: with her powerful new employer, with a budding resistance movement… or elsewhere.
Science Fiction is one of my least read genres…I knew going into this book that it would be a step out of my comfort zone but I was so intrigued by the synopsis that I was willing to try it.
The story was interesting but I was immediately thrust into a completely different world and found myself very confused at times. I just continued to read through and found that things started to make sense as I kept reading. The scientific and “spacey” terms were extremely foreign to me and I often got very slowed down when running into scenes involving these unfamiliar words.
The world building was definitely my favorite part. The story is extremely atmospheric, which I love. I truly found myself on another planet as I read the story.
Overall, this was a good story with a solid plot but would be more suited for those who are into the Sci-Fi genres, this doesn’t seem like a great read for Sci-Fi novices like me.
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Kathy Tyers is widely published in speculative fiction, including her award-winning Firebird series and two licensed Star Wars “Legends” novels, as well as a travel book, a writing reference book, and a memoir co-written for classical guitarist Christopher Parkening. Her messiah-in-space novel Daystar, fifth in the Firebird series, won a 2013 Carol Award, and her terraforming/genetic engineering science fiction novel Shivering World won the 2019 Christy Award for Visionary Fiction. At home in southwest Montana with her husband William Gillin, Kathy focuses on writing, teaching music, and freelance editing.
More from Kathy
In 1988, after the initial release of Firebird and Fusion Fire by Bantam Books of New York, my then-editor asked for a stand-alone novel, and my then-agent presented me with a contract to write that book in just over half the time that I actually needed. So my third novel, Crystal Witness, appeared in 1989—and while the plot had strong bones, I wished I’d had several more months to polish it. Much to my delight, Enclave Publishing is re-issuing Crystal Witness in June 2020 with the layers of polishing added. While I was adding those layers, I found myself wondering what would happen next. Maybe … oh, yes … hmmm … Aha!Now that Crystal Witness is ready to stand up and sing, I am delighted to be working on a multi-book sequel series, The Sunstone Saga, also to be released by Enclave Publishing. Book 1 of the saga, The Long Silence, is well underway. It introduces a new cast of characters and asks a powerful question: Where has God been, while humankind went to the stars?Crystal Witness is the story of young Ming Dalamani, who wakens from twenty years of suspended animation to find herself “company property” on a distant world, with no memory of the crime she must have committed. She only knows that a powerful corporate monopoly rules interstellar space, and she has been assigned to serve a company representative. Immediately, powerful (and opposing) individuals offer threats and bribes, trying to enlist her to spy for both sides of a deadly intrigue. How long can Ming play both sides of the plot against her urgent wish to find out who she is … and what was her crime?My background in music and the arts always manages to show up in my books. I made Ming a calligrapher in three dimensions, wielding a set of injection pens to create elegant designs in clear slabs. Another character is a court musician with futuristic technology at his fingertips. My entire family was musical; my mother played in 20thCentury Fox’s prestigious sound stage orchestra in the 1950s, and my father grew up in a family band that toured the U.S. every summer. When I was widowed in 2004 and needed to make a fresh start, I discovered that Regent College in Vancouver BC had a program in which I could study toward a Master’s degree in Christianity and the Arts—and write a science fiction novel as part of my thesis project. That book, Wind and Shadow, picked up the Firebird series at Book 4 and led to its completion in Daystar, Book 5. That series is conclusively finished—as you know, if you have read Daystar!
To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize package of a still-in-box set of miniature toys that was released in 1996 to go with her novel, Star Wars: The Truce At Bakura, a signed copy of Firebird and One Mind’s Eye!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Creator, Comforter, Healer, Friend. God’s names tell us who He is, what He is like, and what He does. This beautiful book covers 40 of the Bible’s many names and descriptive titles for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, including Jehovah Jireh, The Lord My Shepherd, Immanuel, Rabbi, and I AM.Through Bible stories, short devotions, and prayers, children discover the meaning of each name and how it relates to their lives. As they develop understanding of God’s character and His love for them, children will grow to know, love, and trust the great I AM more and more.“Those who know your name put their trust in you.” –Psalm 9:10
This book is a wonderful addition to any believer’s library. It is marketed towards children but I found it to be very enjoyable as well.
I Am journeys through both the Old and the New Testaments, featuring stories from the Bible where God’s many names have been used…names like “my rock”, “my light”, “cornerstone”, and “friend”…the book shares in a very accessible way the many attributes of God and why we can trust Him.
Each story is titled with the name of God that the story focuses on. They are illustrated with adorable illustrations and begin with the verse references from the Bible…they then go into the story, which is then followed by a section titled, “what does it mean?”, which is the application part of the story. Finally, there is a “learn more” and “what happened next?” section that provide even more information on the story.
The book is beautiful and would make a very nice gift. It is a hardcover with a glitter sheen on the cover (the waves of the Red Sea are sparkling). It also includes a ribbon bookmark that would be very convenient if this is being used as a bedtime or daily devotional.
I highly recommend this book, it is a winner!
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Diane Stortz is a multipublished author who writes to make God’s wonders known to the next generation. Her children’s releases include the best-selling Say & Pray Bible and I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God, both from Tommy Nelson. Diane’s books for women, A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year and Encountering God’s Heart for You, both from Bethany House, encourage women to get to know God through His Word, the Bible. Diane and her husband have two married daughters and five grandchildren—all boys! Visit her at www.DianeStortz.com.
More from Diane
You can often guess someone’s age by considering their name. Diane, for example, was popular in the 1950s, so . . . that tells you something about me.
But God’s personal name? Well, it’s ageless. Just like Him.
When Moses met God at the burning bush and received the task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt, he wasn’t exactly thrilled at first. He peppered God with questions, including, “When I tell the people that I met you here and you gave me this assignment, they’re going to want to know your name. What should I tell them?”
The Israelites had just about forgotten who the God of their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was.
But God hadn’t forgotten them. Not at all. God told Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. . . . Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).
I AM WHO I AM. I always have been. I will always be. I will never change.
Choosing a book title is rarely easy, and choosing a title for this book about the names of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit took a long time. I couldn’t be more grateful to the Tommy Nelson publishing team who developed and settled on the title I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God.
My prayer for every child who reads this book and every family that goes through the book together, and for myself: May we all grow mightily in our understanding of who God is and our relationship with Him! As Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know your name put their trust in you.”
Book 6 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History
When Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, the Robinson family took her in like one of their own, and Harriet became closer to Lizzie Robinson than her own siblings. Now, four years later, Lizzie is deathly sick, failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years. How can so many in one family die from the same mysterious illness? Harriet doesn’t have answers, but she is determined to help the family, bringing in a new-to-the-neighborhood doctor, Michael Wheaton. As Harriet and Michael close in on the answer, putting their own lives at risk, can the cause be found before anyone else dies?
This series is very interesting to me because each book is a fictional account of a true historical event from history…each event is associated with an unusual crime and are often stories I’ve never heard of before. I enjoy this “grittier” side of Christian Fiction as I’ve always been interested in true crime stories.
The Green Dress focuses on a family that continues to lose members due to a mysterious illness of an unknown cause. The entire story had a gothic feel to it and also felt very sinister. The “whodunnit” was fairly easy for me to guess but I still found myself fascinating by how it all unfolded, especially knowing that it was based on a true story.
This was a quick read and the story moved fast. I did find that it opened abruptly and the character introductions were a bit muddy and confusing at times. Overall this was a great story and one of my favorites from the True Colors series.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Liz Tolsma is a popular speaker and an editor and the owner of the Write Direction Editing. An almost-native Wisconsinite, she resides in a quiet corner of the state with her husband and is the mother of three. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. They adopted all of their children internationally, and one has special needs. When she gets a few spare minutes, she enjoys reading, relaxing on the front porch, walking, working in her large perennial garden, and camping with her family.
More from Liz
We’ve all been there—started a letter or an email or even a list, didn’t like what we had, crossed it out or hit the delete button, and tried again. Now imagine that happening when you’re writing a novel.
That’s what occurred with The Green Dress. Finding the perfect place to start a novel can be tricky, but when you’re trying to balance fact with fiction, it’s even harder. I needed the fictional heroine, Harriet Peters, to have a good reason to come into contact with and become close to the factual Robinson family. And I needed for the hero, Michael Wheaton, to meet Harriet early on. So I dove into the story. Five chapters later, the hero and heroine hadn’t yet met. The book wasn’t working.
I scrapped those chapters and started at a different point. At first, it seemed to be going better. I was happy. Until I got to the fifth chapter, when I realized again that the book wasn’t working. Frankly, it was boring. So those ended up in the virtual trash bin. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking on my deadline. I was desperate to find the right starting point, at a place with high tension. Finally, I had an “aha” moment, and the story flowed from there. That’s how the first five chapters (and the rest of The Green Dress) came to be.
Elise Carmichael is a court sign language interpreter who reads lips all the time. As a widow with a young son who is deaf, lip reading is simply second nature, until the day she reads the lips of someone on the phone discussing an attempt to be made on a senator’s life—a senator who just happens to be her mother-in-law. Before she can decide what she needs to do, she receives the information that her son is rushed to the ER and she must leave. Then she later sees the news report that her mother-in-law has been shot and killed. But when she comes forward, her life, as well as her son’s life, may now be in the crosshairs of the assassin.
I have read another book by this author, Stratagem, so I knew that I was in for a treat with this one. Her writing style flows very easily and the plots keep me interested on every page.
This story follows Elise, a widowed mother of a deaf son who finds herself in danger after her mother-in-law is killed. The reader is thrown into a roller coaster ride of ups and downs as they journey with Elise to keep herself and her son safe, all the while trying to prove her innocence.
I loved the adventurous nature of the story and the pacing was swift. It was a very quick read and not one that I could put down easily. I did find Elise to be pretty annoying…her personality was rude and abrasive at times. I loved the inclusion of a deaf character, it was interesting to read about the accommodations that must be made for those without hearing.
The faith content was subtle but very well done. Overall, this was a fun suspense story that I highly recommend.
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
“I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I’ve never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better. Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her twenty-five-plus published novels. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of nearly three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home. Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as executive director/conference director for ACFW. Her books have been recognized in such contests as the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best, and Book of the Year. You can find out more about Robin by visiting http://www.robincaroll.com.
More from Robin
Hi, there. . .Robin here. I’m getting so excited for the release of my thirty-fourth novel, DEAD SILENCE. I have to say, I love this book. The heroine is strong, yet flawed. Her love for her son—willing to do anything to protect him is a mother’s instinct I relate to so well, having three daughters and two grandsons. The love of a mother for her child is so ingrained in me that I wanted to share that in a story.
I’ve been asked why I opted for a heroine who is an ASL translator and who has a deaf son. Many years ago, I became friends with someone who is deaf. She shared with me some of her frustrations, but also how her way of life is in comparison to mine. It got me to thinking that being deaf could be thought of as a disability but could also be used as an advantage…it was all in how you looked at it. My friend shared many stories of how she “eavesdropped” by reading lips and learned much about people and how they reacted to issues, enough that it led her into her career field today—a counselor, specializing in providing therapy for the hearing impaired as they live in a hearing world. I hope that I portrayed my characters in this positive light.
While I’m a Louisiana girl at heart, I reside in Little Rock, the capitol city for Arkansas. Since Bill and Hilary Clinton lived here and claimed it home before Bill was President, we have many political plans and posturing here. I saw it as a perfect backdrop for this particular story with the political undercurrents running rampant throughout the story.
I hope that you enjoy reading DEAD SILENCE as much as I enjoyed writing it.