Alabama Days: A Southern Saga
by Daphne Self
Published by Ambassador International
Publication Date June 16, 2020
Genres: Christian Fiction, Suspense, Clean Romance
Setting: Alabama Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
How could a loving God hurt so many people?
Paramedic Scott Wilson believes he can chase death away, but his spirit is shattered when people he loves are taken from him. As a paramedic, Scott sees every day the pain that people suffer, and he wants no part of a God that would allow bad things to happen to good people. As a result, he hides behind his work and addiction to ease the pain within his soul.
But once newspaper reporter Angela Mabry and her son, Max, move into town, Scott can't help but notice the feisty redhead. Angela is determined to uncover the town's seedy underbelly and reveal the strange coincidences of so many car accidents at one location.
When a prominent city official dies in a car wreck, Scott and Angela find themselves tangled in intrigue and deception. Together they search for the truth and discover that not all is what it seems.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Alabama Days is the first book I have read by Daphne Self. Intrigued by the premise, I decided to try it.
I liked Angela and her fortitude. She had been through tough times and came out victorious. Her son Max was super cute, too! I had mixed feelings about Scott, though. Especially after the accident, as he began to question everything he had believed. I am sure the author intended this and it was necessary for the story. He began to grow on me as the story continued – though he did appear to be a bit immature in some ways as well.
The story Angela and Rochelle were working to uncover and the ensuing suspense was interesting.
There are strong faith elements throughout the story with many strong Christian characters explaining their faith to Scott. He struggled to understand why a loving God would allow so many bad things to happen in the world. Most of the things shared were directly from the Bible and the steps to Scott accepting these truths were believable.
For the most part, I agreed with the spiritual statements that were made, however, it bothered me when I read “But it’s how we live our life that determines where we are in the eternal scheme of things.” in relation to our eternal destiny. Because the Bible is very clear that:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.Ephesians 2:8-9
The way we live our lives does not determine our eternal destiny. There is but one way to ensure salvation and that is faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins. Nothing more. Nothing less. And isn’t that a good thing for those of us who are still less than perfect! 🙂
Here are a few reasons I didn’t give the story a higher rating.
- While parts of the story were well written and developed, others were not.
- The motivation behind the animosity that Don, the police officer, had for Scott was never explained, nor was the reason Jonathan seemed to dislike him so much.
- Some of the characters who were integral to the story were mentioned in passing and then not again until important revelations about them were made – and I had no idea who they were. Had I been reading a paper book, I would have been frustrated trying to figure out who they were. It was good I had my Kindle so I could do a search for their names!
- I kinda “got” what the big cover-up was but it seemed like so many details were never explained.
Overall, this was an interesting story and I am not disappointed I read it. If you enjoy romantic suspense and don’t mind a bit of gore (Scott is a paramedic, after all!), consider reading Alabama Days.
Also in this Series
More from Daphne
Why Did I Write What I Wrote?
One question that is always asked of me: “How did you come up with your book?”
Well, it is simple and complex. Like the helix shape of a DNA strand that holds four proteins in an infinite combination, my ideas are a lot like that. My first book, Mississippi Nights, started off as a book from my childhood. I wrote One Big Happy Family when I was about 16. It was buried and put aside for so many, many years. And after the line-of-duty death of my husband in 2005, the idea of resurrecting that novel percolated for some time. Finally in 2010, I took the story, revamped it, and drew from life to create a story about the prodigal son who returns home to family. It wasn’t just his story, but a story about his brother, a family friend, and a little girl. Mississippi Nights brought to life the story of alcoholism and how a person can fall into that addiction.
After that book was published, I started thinking: “What if someone saw death, hurt, and sorrow on a daily basis? What if that person didn’t have Jesus to lean upon? What would he do?”
And that’s how Alabama Days was born. While Mississippi Nights dealt with alcoholism, Alabama Days dealt with drug abuse, and in this case, prescription drug abuse.
Yet it was much deeper than that. What if the person was a really good guy? He was likable, generous, loving, yet he lacked that one relationship that would bring him peace. If he were someone who did what was right, no matter what, what would happen if he committed a wrong act only to find that his wrong act saved the life of another?
I had so many ethnical questions thrown at my characters. How would a Christian and a non-Christian react to certain circumstances. Because life isn’t always clear-cut, yet the Bible is, I wanted to show the messiness of being human.
We know that as Christians, we all fall short. We all sin at times. The difference is that when we sin, we know we can receive forgiveness and “Go and sin no more.” But how would a person who ran from God think? How would I react if I were like him?
Writers play around with what-ifs. We see the many facets of humanity. And that’s how our stories are born. And why we write what we do. For me, I want to show the many sides of human nature and behaviour and show that in all things, Jesus is the answer. Jesus is there for us all.
So, why do I write what I do? To bring glory to His Name and hope that through my words, people will come (or return) to Christ.
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