Monday, October 7, 2013

A Not-So-Guilty Pleasurable Read: Pat Simmons' The Acquittal

I love the message the author brings that love knows no bounds. It transcends all. You can see the power of faith and its powerful impact when we rely on God to work everything out in our lives.
Scripture: Romans 8:28

 Synopsis 
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Two worlds apart, but their hearts dance to the same African drum beat. On a professional level, Dr. Rainey Reynolds is a competent, highly sought-after orthodontist. Inwardly, he needs to be set free from the chaos of revelations that make him question if happiness is obtainable. His father, the upstanding OB/GYN socialite is currently serving prison time after admitting his guilt in an old crime. His older sister refuses to move past the betrayal and attempts to use Rainey as a crutch, but her bitterness is only keeping the family at odds as his twin sister, Cheney Reynolds Jamieson, tries to rebuild a damaged relationship caused by decisions she made in the past. To get away from the drama, Rainey is willing to leave the country under the guise of a mission trip with Dentist Without Borders. Will changing his surroundings really change him? If one woman can heal his wounds, then he will believe that there is really peace after the storm. Ghanaian beauty Josephine Abena Yaa Amoah returns to Africa after completing her studies as an exchange student in St. Louis, Missouri. She'll never forget the good friends she made while living there. She couldn't count Rainey in that circle because she rejected his advances for good causes. Josephine didn't believe in picking up the pieces as the rebound woman from an old relationship that Rainey seems to wear on his sleeve. Although her heart bleeds for his peace, she knows she must step back and pray for Rainey's surrender to Christ in order for God to acquit him of his self-inflicted mental torture. In the Motherland of Ghana, Africa, Rainey not only visits the places of his ancestors, will he embrace the liberty that Christ's Blood really does set every man free.

A Quick Chat with Pat Simmons

What was your inspiration behind The Acquittal? 
As a Christian author, I like to write about issues that divide us in hopes of bridging the gap. I focus on African-American genealogy in my Guilty series, which include the Jamieson Legacy and Guilty parties. With THE ACQUITTAL, I wanted to tackle cultural differences and similarities of people of color, primarily African culture and African-American culture. The research opened my eyes to the richness of the African homeland that is not often depicted in the media.

What is the take-away message you’d like to share with your readers? 

My desire is that readers, of all cultures, will seek to understand and appreciate one’s heritage and others before judging them as rude or uneducated. Amen.

How can readers connect with you? 
·   www.patsimmons.net/signup for my monthly newsletter
·   My email is authorpatsimmons@gmail.com
·   On twitter @patsimmons
·   On FB, www.facebook.com/theguiltyseries
·   Connect with me on Linkedin.com, follow me on Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Chapter Sample 

Come home to Africa and ride on our crocodiles, play with our monkeys, walk above the trees in our rainforest, dance on our many beaches…Come to Ghana with me, and taste the freshest pineapples and papayas in the world, or delicious domedo…Come with me…
 Josephine’s enticing whispers faded in his mind. never should’ve let her go, Dr. Rainey Reynolds scolded himself for the umpteenth time since Josephine Abena Yaa Amoah’s departure—as if he could’ve stopped her.
           Her appeal had been so strong that Rainey had felt compelled to pack and program his GPS to that destination.
Tall and elegant, Josephine didn’t just walk into a room. She moved like a dancer as if the rhythm of Africa’s drums played in her head. The day she beckoned to him, Josephine’s clothes were wrapped around her body like melted wax. Her rich brown sugar complexion glowed. Simply put, Josephine was a majestic woman, created to be noticed, from her husky African accent to her expressive brown eyes—and her hair—not one strand out of place. He remembered every detail, even the scent of her toothpaste.
However, despite Rainey’s attraction, Josephine possessed one irritating attribute. The woman hadn’t seen eye to eye with him on practically anything while she was a graduate exchange student at the University of Missouri at St. Louis.
“So…” Dr. Shane Maxwell said as he tapped his fingers on their table, interrupting Rainey’s musing. “Let me get this straight. Where did this idea of doing missionary work suddenly come from, and of all places Ghana?”  
Both had attended a day-long conference of the St. Louis Chapter of American Association of Orthodontists, the elite and highly competitive professionals of the dental field. With the lectures finished, they had just placed their orders at the Yia Yia Euro Café.
Rainey squinted at his colleague and childhood friend. Growing up, they had been inseparable. Easygoing until provoked, their memories rarely faded. Each possessed striking looks and an athletic body. They had their pick of women, especially when it was made known that “doctor” was part of their title.
Shane grunted when Rainey hesitated. “Wait a minute. Isn’t that where the woman who thought she was too good for you hails from? What was her name? You two didn’t even get along.”
“Josephine Abena Yaa Amoah.” Her name flowed easily as Rainey tried to duplicate the Ghanaian accent. “Granted, our personalities clashed most of the time, but there was a mutual attraction. Plus, she did invite me to her homeland.”
“No, if I recall correctly—and trust me, I do—you told me this Josephine lady was conducting story hour at a library to a bunch of kindergarteners. It wasn’t a personal invitation. You just so happened to be there because you were meeting your twin sister for lunch.”
As Rainey tried to defend himself, Shane held up his hand. “Somehow you felt compelled to accept her indirect offer from how long again? It’s been almost a year! You can’t be serious? Desperation doesn’t suit you. Let it go, man. Let her go, please.”
And that was the problem; no matter how hard Rainey tried he couldn’t erase her memory. “Dr. Maxwell,” Rainey addressed him professionally just to annoy him. “As you know, it’s not unusual for our colleagues to volunteer their services in any manner we chose, especially in underdeveloped countries. As a matter of fact, two groups recently returned from Central America, and did you know some children in Honduras had never seen a toothbrush?”
Rainey shivered at the thought of gum disease lurking in the hidden crevices.

Reviews 

"I worked at the American Embassy in Conakry, Guinea; Nouakchott, Mauritania; and Dakar, Senegal. I met & married a local Guinean woman while serving. You captured the true essence of many of my life's experiences. You took me back to times, dates, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, forming my marital delegations, & leaving the continent with my African Jewel. You hit the nail on the head, & never missed your target in your depictions. I enjoyed the read; impressed beyond measure. Thanks for making yourself available for God's use through your inspired writings." Karry, reader

What an interesting read, as the next book in the Guilty series takes us on an overseas trip from St. Louis Mo to Ghana. The author's research into Ghana's history and the characters heritage pulls you into a visual delight as her description gives your senses wonderful imagery.
We find Dr. Rainey Reynolds has found his charitable side as he volunteers with Dentists without Borders, in spite of the ever growing tensions/problems in his family and knowing that the lovely Josephine is there, how will he concentrate on his duties? How will he solve the issues in his family, How will he solve the matters of his heart? Will Dr. Reynolds be able to allow himself to let go of the excess and allow God to give him the desires of his heart? Will Josephine prove to be the medicine he needs? Or will the constant conflict become his undoing? No matter how far you run, if you don't solve your problems they will fester and can become overwhelming and definitely still be there waiting whenever you return.
We know this author has a relationship with Christ by thru her characters to flourish and or lead them to Christ, is a wonderful testimony to her God given abilities. Also seeing stories about black men of substance, rather than dealing in substance is refreshing, even if they falter. The struggles these characters deal with and the message you get from reading her titles continue to keep me a fan of anything Pat Simmons pens.
This is another great read, with so much more than I could write, but I won't give it away, so pick it up for yourself; you will be glad you did!


Melody Vernor-Bartel
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