Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book Review: The Sharp Edge of the Knife by D.N. Giles

Today, I am reviewing The Shape Edge of the Knife by D.N. Giles.

Blurb from Amazon.com:

Most people would have panicked, sitting bound and gagged on a boulder in the middle of the desert as I was, but for some reason, I didn't. A strange kind of reassurance washed over me from somewhere deep within. Whether it was peace that I'd go quickly, or comfort that I was being protected, I wasn't sure. When Mel Petersen leaves for work on the morning of February 7, he has no idea what awaits him. A few miles from his house, Mel picks up a pair of young men who appear to be college students, hoping to prevent them from having to walk in the cold. What Mel doesn't know is that the men are actually convicts on the run from the law who are desperate to get away by any means necessary. When one of his passengers holds a knife to Mel's throat, he has no choice but to submit to the demands of the criminals. Mel hopes he has what it takes to talk his captors into letting him live so he can return to his wife and children, but fears they will kill him before he has the chance. Based on a true story, The Sharp Edge of a Knife follows Mel and his captors on an unforgettable ride that will have you questioning the depth of your faith and sitting on the edge of your seat as it grabs your attention from the first sentence and keeps you riveted until the very end.

My review:

If you're like me and enjoy the Biography channel, family history, or true stories, then you'll really enjoy The Sharp Edge of the Knife. Mel fascinated me - the choices he made, how he followed the promptings he received, and his strength and faith in God when he didn't know if his kidnappers would let him live or kill him. Nichole (D.N.) did a great job weaving the facts of the story in with the tension and suspense. There is only one thing I wished would have been different, and that is to learn more about Mel's wife, Jeneal. She had some interesting promptings and experiences herself during the time Mel was kidnapped and I would have loved it if Nichole would have delved more into it. The information at the back of the book - with the newspaper articles, pictures, and the brief history of Mel & Jeneal's life left me intrigued. I would love to hear more about Mel and his experiences later in his life as he and his wife served missions together. I think Mel is an incredible example of having faith in the Lord no matter what circumstances surrounded him.

Contest Reminder!
Nichole is hosting several give aways during her book tour. Be sure to check out my post here for more information! The contest ends April 3rd, so be sure to enter right away.

Author Interview:

I also had the opportunity to interview Nichole about her book and writing. We started by talking about her book.

QOTC:  How old were you when you first heard this story about your grandfather, and how did you react to it then?

NG:  I was probably six or seven. And it was kind of a passive conversation. We were in the car, driving, and my parents stopped to help a young family who was having car trouble. We ended up giving them a ride to a service station a few miles away. After we dropped them off, my dad turned to us and said, "Now, just so you know, you never pick up hitchhikers. Your grandpa did that once and was kidnapped for his trouble." And that was kind of it. I didn't really hear much more about it until I was a teenager and both my grandparents were held hostage in Guatemala.


QOTC: How has your grandfather's example been an influence in your life?

NG: You know, you don't always realize how much of an impact certain people have on your life until they're gone, or until you're digging for information about them. But my grandparents shaped my father and who he was in his youth and when he met my mother. They had an impact on both my parents after they were married, and then on us as children. Now that I'm grown up and have children of my own, my grandma still shares her infinite wisdom with me regularly. The truth is, she is in many ways who I want to be when I grow up. My grandpa passed away in 2001, and yet, because of this book, I feel like I spend time with him every single day. And I hope he's proud of what I've done. How do you measure something like that?


QOTC: What are your children's reactions as you've shared this story with them?

NG: It's actually funny, because we live in such a different time now, and my husband is a police officer, so they just keep being baffled that anyone would pick up a couple of strangers in that way. But the whole thing has given us cause for lots of discussions on following spiritual promptings about when it's okay to stop and help someone who needs it, and when they should keep on going. It's definitely a fine line to walk. I will say, though, that my kids love learning about my grandpa and his past. They were very young when he died, so they're getting to know him in a way they never did when he was alive.


QOTC: When your readers open this book, what's one thing you hope they'll feel or have learned when they reach the end?

NG: You know, I didn't really start out with a theme or a lesson in mind. I just really felt like this was an interesting story. But as it evolved, and now that it's finished, I do see lessons in it. Honestly, I hope every person takes away something a little different. Compassion, spirituality, keeping a cool head, communication, or maybe listening to the promptings that tell you, "this is what you do next" because they have the power to save your life.

QOTC: Let's talk about your career as a writer. How long have you been writing?

NG: About six years, give or take a few months.

QOTC: What's you favorite part of being a writer?

NG: Finding just the right words to portray a scene exactly as it unfolds in my head. And making people hungry with descriptions of food. =) Kidding. Really, I love telling stories.

QOTC: When you edit, what color pen do you use?

NG: I have many different colors, but I generally like my hot pink or purple pens the best. I also like my green one, but it disappeared.

QOTC:  I bet someone in your writers group stole it! =)  What's your favorite brain-storming or writing munchy to keep close by?

NG: It depends. I always, always have either flavored green tea (cold) or Dr. Pepper handy, and sometimes I have chocolate or black licorice. But usually my fingers are too busy for me to actually eat anything. When I find I need a snack, I take a break and run to the kitchen for whatever sounds good.

QOTC:  Black licorice? Really? I'll stick with my Red Vines! What advice would you pass on to any aspiring authors out there?

NG: Write every day, even when it hurts. And never give up. Persistence pays off.

QOTC:  It certainly does! This is your second book out within six months! Congrats, Nichole and thans for talking with us today.Thank you, Nichole!

NG: Thanks Danyelle. That was fun.

Learn more about Nichole on her website.  You can purchase The Sharp Edge of the Knife on Amazon.com, or by clicking on the link below.

5 comments:

Nichole Giles said...

Thanks for the fantastic review and interview, Danyelle. You rock. And you're probably right. Someone in my writer's group probably did steal my green pen. Time for some detective work.

Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of your book!

Nichole

C. K. Bryant said...

Great Review, Danyelle. I, too, love this book and would have loved to know more about both characters. I guess Nichole could write a series about her family. What do you think?

Michele Ashman Bell said...

I'm so excited for all the wonderful things that are happening in your life Danyelle. It's definitely your time in the spotlight!
Great review about Nichole's book. She's awesome! I can't wait to read her book. Congratulations, Nichole!

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

What an interesting and fun interview. Thanks Danyelle and Nichole. You're both awesome!

prashant said...

Great Review
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Review Disclaimer: Sometimes a book I review has been sent to me for free by a publisher or an author. This in no way effects my review, which is my own opinion about whether the book was a good read for me, fit my tastes, and if I would recommend it to others. Other than possibly a free book, I am not compensated in any way for posting a review.