Archive for April, 2011

29
Apr

First Review out on Foggy With a Chance of Murder—5 stars!

   Posted by: GG Vandagriff    in Uncategorized

Rating:StarStarStarStarStar

Intriguing!, April 28, 2011
By Heather
Life is a precarious balancing act, and Whitney Award winning author, G. G. Vandagriff understands that on more than one level—both in her own life and in her prolific writing. Vandagriff is the author of a variety of books, including the non-fiction work Deliverance from Depression, the women’s novel, Pieces of Paris, which deals with a woman who must overcome PTSD to save her marriage, the wild and humorous Alex & Briggie mystery series, and an epic pre-WWI historical novel, The Last Waltz. In Vandagriff’s recent novel, Foggy With a Chance of Murder, Chloe Green exists just above layers of grief, despite her talent and success as a best-selling novelist. She writes formula mystery novels to numb her mind, just as her mother drinks to forget her husband’s death. The only thing that is keeping Chloe’s mother semi-functional is Chloe’s successful career as an author. Fed up with her mother’s continually tipsy guests, Chloe escapes to walk the beach. There she meets a man—in the worst of circumstances. Rob Stevens is frantically searching for his young son who’s gone missing. When the young boy drowns in the ocean right before her eyes, Chloe spirals back into a void of self-doubt. Despite her sympathy for other’s losses, she knows that she needs to make a serious change in a world she’s allowed to fill with hopelessness. Watching Rob’s grief reminds Chloe of her own tragedies, including her father’s death, and a heart-breaking romance she thought was over forever. As a result of the young boy’s drowning, a cast of characters enters Chloe’s life, and before she realizes it, she is starting to change. Despite the fact that Chloe’s soul is expanding toward new possibilities, mystery and danger is around every corner as she grows closer to Rob and the volatile circumstances that seem to surround him. Then, an important part of her past returns and Chloe finds herself in the middle of more than one life-threatening situation. Foggy With a Chance of Murder may be shelved with the other garden-variety suspense novels, but Foggy is so much more than the average offering. Vandagriff gives us glimpses into human nature that just aren’t found in the boilerplate mysteries, delving deep into characterization and stacking up the odds in a plot rich with complication and intrigue.

M

10
Apr

Are You Walking on Water Yet?

   Posted by: GG Vandagriff    in Uncategorized

In studying for today’s Sunday school lesson, reading in Jesus the Christ and also the accounts in the four gospels of the incident of Peter trying to walk on the water, I was struck anew by several things.

  • Jesus was spending some quality time with His Heavenly Father at the time immediately preceding this incident. This was an important “recharge” for him after losing John the Baptist (one who knew and understood His Divine Mission as no one else) in such a horrible manner.  Knowing the sensitivity of His soul as we do, He was no doubt grieving and seeking comfort.  He was also much wearied as he had been carrying on for days, preaching and doing miracles.  He was saddened that after all He had done for them, the people turned away and only His disciples remained.  I don’t know about you, but all the above circumstances would give me a great need for comfort. 
  • When He came to His disciples at last it was “the fourth watch of the night” (the last watch before dawn) and they were wearied and terrified after a night spent trying to keep their boat together and fight the storm.  But more than one account says that they had hardened their hearts against the Savior, and so, in addition to His need to pray, he left them in a situation where they would learn humility by trying to do everything by themselves.  How many of us fight the battles of mortality that threaten to destroy us, completely forgetting the enabling power of the Atonement, given by Christ specifically for our aid in these moments, or even years.?  A few nights ago, I was experiencing my worst fear—total abandonment.  I cried for hours, before remembering the Savior.  My prayers changed.  I asked to feel His love, calm, and sweet peace.  I was still, and let Him be God.  My fears left me and I was quieted and filled with sweetness.  I didn’t not dwell on my fears any longer, but instead dwelt on that comfort until I drifted off to sleep.  Two days later, mortal relief came.  But during that time I was sustained by the Savior and His enabling power.  The last watch of the night is the time we need to be wary of.  We can be worn out.  We can be hardened.  But the answer is ALWAYS turning to the Lord.
  • The irony of the situation is, that as we are right in the midst of our own private miracle, we look down instead of keeping our eyes on the Savior.  We sink!  We are babies in understanding the power of the Lord and in exercising our faith in Him.  We like Paul need to learn that we can do all things through the power of Jesus Christ which strengthens us.  “

Don’t look down.  Look up.  Remember Elder Holland’s counsel: “Chirst knows the way up and He knows the way out.  He knows the way, because He is the way.” (“Broken Things to Mend,”) April, 2006 General Conference.)  As soon as you lock eyes on the Savior, don’t consider your mortality.  Consider yourself enabled by His power.  Anxiety overcomes faith.  As Paul counseled, “Cast not away therefore thy confidence.” Even in the fourth watch of the night, He will come to you, and rescue you, if you still maintain faith in Him.