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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Book Review: Ashes to Honor by Loree Lough

After September 11, 2011, multi-published Loree Lough decided she wanted to write a series of novels that would honor the heroes of that fateful day. The first in that series is Ashes to Honor. It is my honor to call Loree "friend."

NYPD officer Austin Finley, one of the responders to the Twin Towers disaster, ignored a call from his twin as he sped to what would later be called Ground Zero, not realizing that he missed the last chance to talk to Avery.

After several explosions temperwise, he is ordered to begin sessions with Psychologist Mercy Samara. He attends enough to make him sick to his stomach, much preferring his bottle of Jim Beam in the privacy of his home.

It doesn't take long for him to realize he cannot continue as a police officer. He retires to a houseboat on the coast, becomes an EMT, begins attending AA and becomes a Christian, and his life is changed.

Mercy goes through enough traumas herself to realize she has to leave the first responders counseling. One of her counselees commits suicide. Her father dies in her arms. She attempts suicide herself.

When Austin and Mercy meet up again, they realize they share more than a disastrous history. It doesn't take long before they are linked. One problem seems insurmountable: Austin does not want to be unequally yoked to an unbeliever, and Mercy chooses not to believe in a God who did not step in to save her mother, her father, or her counselee.

Yet--he cannot ignore the deepening love he feels for this caring woman. And she wants so much to be part of his life, just not at the expense of her own beliefs.

Ashes to Honor may be purchased from Christian BooksAmazon, or Barnes and Nobel in both hard copy and e-book format.

With nearly 4,000,000 (yes, that’s FOUR MILLION) copies of her books in circulation, Loree has 88 books (fiction and non-fiction for kids and adults; three novels optioned for movies; more books slated for release between now and 2013), 68 short stories, over 2,500 articles in print, and 9,000 letters from fans (carton of books to be delivered to Gloria B. in Tombstone, AZ for sending the 9,000th letter).

Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry, and her comedic approach makes her a favorite (and frequent) guest of writers' organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, college and high school writing programs both here and abroad.

A writer who believes in "giving back," Loree dedicates a portion of her income to Soldiers' Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and other worthwhile organizations (click the "Giving Back" tab to see a full list).

She splits her time between a tiny home in the Baltimore suburbs and an even tinier cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, and shares both with her real-life hero Larry, who rarely complains, even when she adds yet another item to her vast collection of "wolf stuff."
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