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What Would the Founding Fathers Think: A Young American's guide to understanding the mess our country is in and how we get out
Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel
Captive Heart
Cobble Cavern
Caller ID
Promises
Protected,
Summer of Secrets
On Little Wings
We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Christ's gifts to women
A Woman's power: threads that bind us to god
Scary School
Hope's journey
Blue
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
Venom
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head


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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review of Ribbon of Darkness by Julie Coulter Bellon

A split-second decision could change the world’s darkest hour to one of triumph--but who is willing to pay the price? Kennedy Campbell has been running away for a long time--using her position as an international journalist to escape the ghosts of her family's past. She finds some solace working in an Afghan refugee camp, until the Taliban attacks them and Kennedy is forced to flee. She is pulled into a terrorist's realm of darkness as she fights to save those around her, but will it come at the expense of her own life? Ethan Barak leads a double life, helping MI-6 bring down arms dealers all over the world until his father is murdered by an old associate. Ethan makes his next mission a personal vendetta by tracking down the killer to Indonesia. While there, he finds himself in a position to either avenge his father or stop a terrorist attack on the Malacca Strait that will jeopardize innocent lives across the world. Can he look past his father's murder to save others? The line between justice and mercy is blurred with each passing second, and international intrigue becomes intensely personal as the age-old struggle for redemption is brought close to home.


 Reading Ribbon of Darkness is  like being on a wild ride at an amusement park. You know the feeling, you head up the loop and race down, losing your breath, where you then go around a curve, finally breathing, only to head up again, left without air. This is how I felt as I read Julie Coulter Bellon's new book. You are taken on this wild ride along with the main characters Kennedy Campbell and Ethan Barak. Neither one of them get much of a chance to breathe as they are thrown in from one bad situation to another. 

You also hear of people "sitting on the edge of their seat", well  guess what, this is exactly what you will be doing as you read Ribbon of Darkness. This book is written like a fast paced action movie. Julie is such a fantastic writer that you can clearly see each scene in your mind. I know my colleague,Shanda from LDSWBR, felt the same way when she read the book. To add to this, the whole time frame of the book takes place over forty-eight hours! As I ended the book, and was finally able to take a deep breath, I was amazed at everything that had happened to Ethan and Kennedy. Between the two characters they experience: kidnappings, near drownings, beatings, being shot at and almost being blown up. Phew!

Now to the romance, I loved how Ethan and Kennedy reacted to each other. The romance is believable, even though they became close in only forty-eight hours. Ethan and Kennedy end up forming a bond. This comes about from supporting each others through many close calls. Kennedy is a very strong, independent woman, but she also has a very feminine side. She is so likable I was cheering for her every hard step of the way. Both Kennedy and Ethan are carrying heavy personal burdens, where you can feel their deep pain. Truly Julie's characterization of this couple make you want to read more about them. 


I recommend Ribbon of Darkness to those who love a super packed action book, mixed in with romance, and a book full of hope and renewal.


I had the honor of interviewing Julie. I hope that you will enjoy reading her answers. She has some fun surprises for her fans.Thank you Julie for letting me interview you.


1. Where did your inspiration for Ribbon of Darkness come from?


I was reading a newspaper report on the Malacca Strait and how important it is to world commerce. The U.S. had offered to help Malaysia and Indonesia protect it, but had been turned down. Of course that got the wheels in my head turning, and when I found out about the Dewi Madrim incident, where it was hijacked by al-Qaeda and yet, no one was hurt, they just asked the crew to teach them how to steer the ship, my story was born. For me, it's all about asking, what if? What if terrorists really did detonate a dirty bomb in the Strait to interrupt world commerce? How would that affect us? Who would try to stop them? And since I had loved Ethan so much from Dangerous Connections, I knew he was the perfect main character to carry the story. I love a tortured hero, don't you? :)

 2. All of the story takes place over 48 hours. Did you originally plan to write the book this way?





It was originally planned that way. I loved the show 24 and I knew that Ethan was a cross between Jack Bauer and James Bond, so the short time frame seemed to fit.
 

3. Will we see more of Ethan and Kennedy in another book? I would love to see them in more adventures together.


I do have a sequel to Ethan and Kennedy that I'm currently writing. I really did love them as characters and I know they have at least one more adventure that has to be written!
 

4. Ribbon of Darkness is a very intense book. Were you even surprised by some of the intensity of the scenes you wrote?

Yes, I was surprised by some of the intensity of it, but I loved it at the same time. It just really fit the tone of the story and I was so happy with that.
 

5. What are you working on now? Would you mind sharing it with us?

I'm currently working on both Ethan and Kennedy's next adventure and a completely new romantic suspense book with characters that I hope everyone will love. I've never worked on two books at the same time before so that's been an interesting experience!
 

6. Is there a genre you would like to write that you haven't tried before?

Hmmm...I write romantic suspense because that's what I love to read, but someday I might try my hand at historical. I find history fascinating, but I've only dabbled in writing it. Someday!


7. What is your best advice, for aspiring writers, who may be discouraged/overwhelmed by the writing process?


Take it one day at a time. Even if you only write one page a day that's a novel and a half a year. Go easy on yourself. I've often said the only difference between a published author and an unpublished author is that one gave up. Don't give up!


You can visit Julie at her website here, or her blog here.


Ribbon of Darkness can be purchased at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Deseret Book.

***I was given a review copy of Ribbon of Darkness, in no way did this influence the review that was given. ***

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1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to hear that we will get more Ethan and Kennedy!

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