A mother propelled by love.
A stalker bent on destruction.
Psychology professor Dr. Denilyn Rossi contends that the past is either a shadow that haunts us or a force that propels us. The choice is ours, she tells her students. What she doesn’t tell them is that her own past is a shadow she can’t seem to shake. Fear has immobilized her and is taking a costly toll.
Adelia Sanchez, however, has embraced Dr. Rossi’s teaching. She is ready to confront fear and render it powerless—using the trauma of her past to propel her to entrap the man who stalked and brutally attacked her.
As Denilyn’s past and Adelia’s present converge at the Kaweah River, a dangerous man bent on destruction threatens them both. Will he uncover the secret Deni and Adelia have fought so hard to protect?
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
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Denilyn January 9, 2017
I inhale, filling my lungs with cold air. I exhale, counting as I do. One, two, three, four. I inhale again, the air thick, damp. My chest rises as my lungs expand then fall as I exhale. One, two, three, four.
Rain beats a disjointed rhythm on the windshield and roof of the parked car. My hands rest on the steering wheel at the ten and twelve o'clock positions — the leather polished to a sheen with wear, firm and cold under my palms.
The interior of the SUV is icy, but warmth still radiates through me following a hard morning workout and a hot shower, yet goose bumps prickle my arms anyway.
"I'm in my car, in my driveway," I whisper. "It's Monday, January 9th, 2017, first day of the spring semester. I am going to work. Max has water. The house is secured. The alarm set." I inhale. "My family is safe." I exhale. Then I glance at the digital numerals on the dash — 6:24 a.m. The numbers glow, casting a blue sheen in the dark interior of the SUV.
I intentionally inhale and exhale one more breath. The engine purrs. I back away from the garage and turn the car toward the gate at the front of the property. Gravel crunches under my wheels as I follow the narrow drive lit by landscape lanterns placed two feet apart along both sides of the drive. When I pull up in front of the smooth redwood-paneled gate nearly hidden in the redwood-paneled wall surrounding the property, I repeat my mantra.
"It's Monday, January 9th,"
The gate yawns open.
* * *
My wipers screech across the windshield, smearing spatters of rain, making the road ahead nearly indistinguishable. I tighten my grip on the steering wheel and slow. When was the last time I replaced the wipers? Before the drought — five, six years maybe? Could it really have been that long?
Like a child hiding in the folds of her mother's skirt, the morning sun shrinks behind dark, billowing clouds, seeming to have forgotten its own power.
I focus on the terrain sheathed in hues of gray. As I maneuver the SUV through the turns in the road, light from my headlamps bounces off the embankment where rivulets of water and mud cascade onto the roadway. Somewhere below, the river roils and rushes, I imagine. But I don't dare look.
California's drought, daunting and devastating, has finally come to an end. Or, at the least, we're offered a reprieve. The snowpack, well above average with several more months of potential snow in store, will yield water throughout California's summer months. Plenty of water. Which translates into, among other things, raging rivers. White water. I can almost hear the owners of local rafting companies sighing with relief.
Water is good for the economy. It's good for the psyche too.
When I finally pull into the faculty parking lot of Pacific Covenant University, situated cliffside along the northern fork of the upper American River, my neck and shoulders ache. I park and then grab the insulated mug in my cup holder and swallow the last of my coffee. I tuck the mug into the outside pocket of my briefcase. It's definitely a two-, maybe three-mug morning.
I reach for the door handle then hesitate. Sheets of water curtain the windows. Raindrops ricochet off the car's roof. Locks on the doors keep the world at bay. Reluctantly, I pull the handle and push the door open, get out, and spring the umbrella. I duck under its cover, a poor substitute for the protective cocoon of the car.
Keys in hand, I sling my briefcase over my shoulder, tuck my hair into the collar of my coat, then slosh my way through the parking lot and follow one of the pathways through the verdant, tree-studded campus to the wide steps leading up to the psychology building. The brick building is the oldest on the campus, the original structure when PCU acquired the site.
I run up the steps and, once undercover, shake the umbrella until water puddles at my feet. I enter the building and make my way up the stairs to the second floor then down the quiet, dimly lit hallway. The scent of chalk dust, ground into every corner and crevice of the building, tickles my nose. Chalkboards were replaced with whiteboards more than a decade ago, so the lingering scent is more likely association than actuality. But the building, having been closed over the winter break, is indeed musty. I stop in front of one of the offices that line the hall and fumble with my keys until I find the right one.
I jump, and my keys jangle as they drop to the floor. I turn from the door toward the voice, heart thumping against the cage of my chest. "Willow ..."
"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you."
"No, it's just ... I didn't see you. Hi." I bend to retrieve my keys, hands trembling. "Did you enjoy your break?" I slip my hands into the pockets of my coat.
Willow, a sophomore whose slender, graceful frame lives up to her name, shrugs. "It was okay. Family drama. The usual holiday stuff."
"Ah ... Makes dorm life look good, huh?"
"Were you waiting to see me?"
"No. Dr. Alister." She gestures to the office next to mine. "I'm meeting with him. I'm his TA this semester."
I point down the hallway. "Dr. Alister's office is —"
The door of the office next to mine swings open, and Ryan Alister steps into the hallway. "Thought I heard voices out here. Willow" — he glances at his watch — "you're prompt. Thank you." He turns to me, his smile warm.
Ryan looks back at his office then to me. "Over the break, remember?"
"Oh ... Right." Did we talk about the move? I don't remember. We must have — Ryan wouldn't take that type of liberty. "You're lucky to have Willow this semester, Dr. Alister. She's an excellent student. She'll make a great assistant."
He raises one eyebrow and looks back to Willow. "A recommendation from the esteemed Dr. Denilyn Rossi, department chair? Impressive."
As Willow's milky complexion blooms, Ryan looks at me and winks.
"It was good to see you, Willow." I pull my keys from my pocket as Willow follows Ryan into his office. Caught in a snare of confusion, I stare at the linoleum as I try to bring up the details of Ryan's move, but they're lost to me. Throat tight, I swallow. I'm slipping. Forgetting things. Letting the stress get to me.
Stress? It's more than that. My mind is betraying me, and it stings like the betrayal of a trusted friend.
I turn back to my office. The murmur of Ryan's and Willow's voices drift out Ryan's open door. I'm grateful for the company in the still nearly empty building — actually, I'm grateful the empty office is occupied again. It was vacated midsemester when Dr. McPhee took early retirement due to ongoing medical issues. That I do remember. I find the key on my ring again and unlock and open my office door.
Before entering, I reach around the doorjamb and flip on the light switch. I stand in the doorway and take stock. Everything appears as I left it. Desktop empty except for my computer monitor and inbox. Beside the window that frames my desk, diplomas and designations hang. Shelves line another wall, stocked with books and a few decorative items, mostly mementos from students. Nothing personal.
I hold the office door ajar, take a few steps inside, and then lean in and peek around the edge of the desk. I lean back, exhaling as I do. Nothing amiss.
I leave the door open and hang the umbrella, along with my coat, on the rack in the office. I pull a nubby cardigan off the rack and drape it across the back of my desk chair, then tuck my briefcase under the desk. Once seated, I power on the computer and wait as it loads. I knead a knot in my shoulder.
The calendar app beckons, but I open my email instead. A perusal of the contents reveals faculty updates, what look like a few emails from students — the number of which will grow exponentially as the semester progresses — and junk. Nothing unusual.
The time posted in the upper right-hand corner of the monitor indicates I have less than an hour until my first class. I shift my gaze to the calendar icon at the bottom of the screen, but again I ignore it and begin working through the emails, deleting and responding.
But the calendar pesters.
No, I tell myself. But finally I give in. I open the app, click ahead to the first of the month branded on my mind, and begin counting back to today's date. The number of remaining days isn't a surprise. With each setting of the sun, I mentally tick off another day. Though, I admit, the date is a guesstimate, at best.
I worked hard to put the time frame out of my mind and focus elsewhere during the break. To stay present. Live the moments. I recognize the fixation I'm developing isn't helpful. Isn't healthy.
With the calendar still open, I click back to email and type a quick note to my therapist to confirm my appointment for later this week. I haven't seen her in almost a month.
I press SEND, close the email server, then swivel my chair away from the monitor. My gaze lands on the bookshelves and the spines of my published works — my doctoral dissertation and the book that followed. I turn back to the desk, reach into my inbox, and pull out the file containing the publishing contract and emails from my agent I'd printed before the holidays. The contract is another thing I worked hard to forget over the break.
My publisher has suggested another book. My first, Beating the Bullies: Turning Shame into Gain was based on research I completed for my dissertation.
But so much has changed since that first book. Because of that first book. What I hoped would offer others encouragement and empowerment robbed me of almost everything I held dear, including my marriage. Had I known what the book would lead to, would I still have written it?
Perhaps that's a selfish answer, but it is the only answer I have.
The book hit the New York Times bestseller list the week it released and stayed there for more than a year, catapulting me onto the public stage. The stage where I crumbled and my marriage disintegrated.
I never finished the second and third contracted books. I broke the contract. My agent assured me at the time that I'd likely never receive another offer from any publisher.
But now, nearly eight years later, they've sought me out and offered another contract. A young actor, one of Hollywood's hottest, was arrested recently after he was tied to the death of a young woman he'd dated. Following their breakup, he ridiculed her repeatedly, publicly, and without mercy. His vicious verbal attacks are well documented in both the media and online.
Allegedly, he bullied her to death. She committed suicide.
Based on the publicity the case is receiving, the topic of bullying is center stage again, as it should be. In a fast turnaround, my publisher is repackaging and rereleasing my first book, and they're revisiting the second and third books I was originally contracted to write.
I open my desk drawer and reach for the pen I keep in a tray at the front of the drawer — a silver Cross pen engraved with my name — a gift from my dad when I received my PhD. He'd taken me to lunch and given it to me. He used to do that — take me to lunch. Just the two of us. But that was the last time. Just before he died.
The pen is one of the only personal items I keep in the office. I want to make a few notes as I go through the contract again. But when my hand doesn't land on the pen, I scoot back from the desk and search the drawer. I open another drawer then another.
The pen isn't there.
I reach for my briefcase, then dig through the contents. But it isn't there either. Why would it be? I never take it home. It's always in my desk drawer.
Or ... did I take it home?
I get up, leaving the file on my desk, and turn to the window. Rain beats on the glass and slides down the panes. The light inside makes it difficult to see out through the window, so dark is the day. Instead, an obscured image of the interior of the office and of myself, front and center, reflect on the glass. My eyes, light green against the dim backdrop, stand out.
"Open your eyes, Denilyn. Open your pretty eyes."
Memories unspool and images play on the glass, accompanied by the soundtrack I can't tune out. At least not permanently. Trembling, I take a step back and turn away from the window before the haunting images project on the pane again.
I wrap my arms around myself, inhale deeply, and then exhale. "One, two, three, four," I whisper. I take another grounding breath, working to stay present. "I'm in my office. Those are my books on the shelf. The framed quote was a gift from Jen before she graduated." I glance at the monitor on my desk. "It's 7:48 a.m. on Monday. I'm safe. I'm okay."
I am safe. But okay? I'm no longer sure.
When I dare to turn back to the window, I squint to see through the reflection. Oak trees, their branches sharp and spindled, stand against a brooding sky. I swallow the lump in my throat and swipe at the edges of my eyes where tears brim.
The lights in the office flicker as the soundtrack murmurs in my mind again, stilled only by the low growl of thunder in the distance.
I turn away from the window and reach for the sweater hanging on the back of my desk chair. Longing to hide within its folds, I pull it close and shrink behind its thick weave.
* * *
I walk into the classroom and set my mug of fresh coffee on a table at the front of the room. I pull my laptop from my bag and connect it to the projection system. Once that's done, I scan the faces of the few students who've arrived early. As others filter in, I survey each face. It takes another ten minutes for the seats to fill. I'm grateful for the time to gather myself.
At the top of the hour, I get up from a stool where I've perched myself. "Good morning. This is Introduction to Psychology, and I'm Denilyn Rossi. If that's not the information on your schedule, now's your chance to, like Elvis, leave the building."
Eyebrows rise. Others offer blank stares.
" 'Blue Suede Shoes'? 'Blue Christmas'? C'mon, I'm not that old. He died before I was born, but everyone still knows Elvis, right?" The tension in my shoulders eases.
A student standing with a dozen or so others at the top of the room, behind the rows of theater seats, raises his hand.
"Great! A fellow fan." I point, and a hundred or so heads turn toward him.
"Um, no. I ... I just have a question. Dr. Rossi, will you be —"
"Deni." The heads turn back toward me.
"Wha ... What?"
"Call me Deni. We're all adults here. First-name basis. Call me doctor, and I'll think you're referring to my OB/GYN."
Nervous laughter from the gallery punctuates my comment. Ah, freshman. I love them. They're the reason I still teach Intro to Psych. I smile at the young man whose hand is still in the air. "And your name is ...?"
He slowly lowers his hand. "Jason."
"Go ahead, Jason. You had a question?"
"Um, yeah ... Will you be taking adds?"
"The class is full. Overflowing, actually. But check with me again after we go over the syllabus. We'll see how many of those with seats I scare off. Sound good?"
Eyes wide, he nods again, and another nervous titter goes through the class.
"For all of you interested in adding, check with me after class today. I'll put your name on a list, and if you're willing to hang out and do the work for the first couple of weeks, based on the usual drop rate, there's a good chance you'll earn yourself a seat."
About half the students who are standing at the back of the classroom turn and walk out, which I'd expected.
"Now, speaking of the syllabus —" I flip on the projector and then go to click on the file on the desktop of my laptop where I keep a copy of the syllabus and PowerPoint presentations I use with my lessons. But the file isn't there. "Excuse me a minute ..." I search the desktop again, but I still don't see the file — the file that's been on my desktop for years. I click on the search icon and type in the name of the file, but nothing comes up anywhere.
It makes no sense. What could have happened? Did I inadvertently delete the file? It contained years of lesson plans and presentations. I shake my head and look at the students again. "I'm sorry. Technical difficulties."
Who else has had access to my laptop? I had it at home with me over the break. But no one would have deleted the file.
Flustered, I run my hand through my hair, my fingers grazing the ridge of scar tissue on my head. Then it occurs to me that I can log on to the school system and access the syllabus. Within moments it fills the screen at the front of the room.
"Okay ... you'll find the syllabus online, if you haven't already done so."
I walk the students through the syllabus and my requirements for the class on autopilot, all the while another conversation is taking place in my mind. How could I have lost the file? Could I really have deleted it? What is wrong with me — with my mind?(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Convergence"
Copyright © 2019 Ginny L. Yttrup.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I purchased this book due to other reviews, but this book was very confusing and jumped all over the place. I couldn't even finish the book. I would not recommend this book to anyone. Too confusing, don't waste your time or money.
Wow and wow. The ending of the first chapter of this book is wild and almost frightening. This story becomes quite intense as the tension keeps slowly building all the way until the very end. I felt at times as if I were walking along with Denilyn, sensing that the person who was stalking her was right behind me, too. The first-person viewpoint really takes you into Denilyn’s thoughts and the terror that she’s trying to handle, as well as seeing her faith and courage grow as things seem to be spinning out of control. I loved the way that the author constructed this storyline and the way that clues were revealed at just the right time to change my perspective of the story. There’s an element of faith all the way through that gives a glimmer of hope in the middle of the darkness. If you like true mystery and suspense, you’ll love this book. The suspense and tension in this one is ramped up a little bit for Christian suspense fiction in an appropriate way. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
"The past is either a shadow that haunts us or a fore that propels us." I fell in love with this quote which just happens to sum up the story of Convergence nicely. First, there is Denalyn, a psychology professor that continues to be haunted by a horrible ordeal with a stalker eight years ago, and fears that a repeat is imminent. Then there is Adelia, a determined woman on an unknown mission to take care of some unfinished business. Denalyn's story is told through flashbacks from the current 2017 to 2009, each situation parallel. The switch between times can get confusing, and at times annoying, until you reach the end and all the pieces fall into place. It also doesn't help that Adelia's story is also sprinkled in, thus adding more to the confusion. The stalker is a mystery that keeps you guessing until the reveal, though I pegged it early on, connecting certain dots in this sinister plot, but I would not say this book is predictable by any means. With deep character development, and the entire book shrouded in mystery, Convergence had me turning each page with eagerness, dying to put all the pieces together and know the truth. What Denalyn endured was utterly unthinkable, but sadly could happen in real life, and actually would make an incredible action/suspense movie. I love the touch of faith and empowerment interwoven in the story and Convergence proves that you can have an epic suspense novel without sex, violence, and bad language. A remarkable and enjoyable read!
Convergence was not the kind of novel I was anticipating. The suspense was well-planned, and the characters were, I thought, well defined, until reaching the point where I learned that none of them were who they seemed to be. Not a one. I did guess who the bad guy was by about halfway through, and even the motive. Denilyn is a psychologist who is no longer practicing. Her career started out so promising! She wrote a book about bullying and was contracted to write two more. She and Keith were in their first year of marriage, until everything caved in at the hand of a stalker who finally assaulted Denilyn. After her recovery, she no longer had private practice, did not write the two additional books, and her husband couldn’t handle the stress and left. The life of anonymity she chose included being a professor and department chair at Pacific Covenant University and staying in close contact with grad school friends Jaylan, her husband Gabe, and Ryan. When Deni feels she is being stalked again, she no longer wants to live in fear. Her Christian faith has not been as strong as it once was, and she struggles with that. She finally feels that the Lord is giving her a mission, one that will end the stalking, one way or another, and protect the people she loves. It requires returning to Three Rivers, where she with the Fearsome Four had spent three grad school summers. As I approached the part of the novel where she prepared to go to Three Rivers, I learned that circumstances and people were not who they appeared to be, which took away some of the appreciation for the novel and building suspense – I felt let down. I was confused regarding the mission Deni was on, as it didn’t seem like the kind of extreme risk that God would put on the hearts of His children. Overall, I appreciate the suspense that built throughout, and how Deni was finally able to open up completely with Jaylan, and the part that Deni’s student Willow played. I also appreciate how Jaylan was open about her faith in the Lord and seeing Deni’s faith struggles. While it was hard at first to follow the varying time lines, I did adapt to that, but once I saw that people and some situations were not what they seemed, the novel lost some of the appeal. The finale was satisfying. From a thankful heart: I received a copy of this through Goodreads First Reads, and this is my honest review.
Wow, talk about a page turner and a nail biter! Convergence by Ginny L. Yttrup was definitely both of these! I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book but suffice it to say it was a fabulous read! When the book opens we meet Dr. Denilyn Rossi headed back to work, she is a college Psychology Professor. As we meet her we learn something bad happened to her, it’s been 10 years, and it’s still affecting her. She is riddled with anxiety, fear, and self doubt. . Adelia Sanchez is on a mission, a mission to stop the nightmare that occurred 10 years ago. She is taking a job on the river, going back to the “scene of the crime” so to speak. Where it all began. She will train and she will be ready. . After college Dr. Rossi and her best friend from college set up a Psychology practice, both get married, life seems so good. Dr. Rossi has written a book, things begin to unravel in her life as she notices she is being stalked, the first she notices him is at a book signing. Next as she is at church, she seems him again, several months later. As she continues to see him, she is doubting it, then believes it, then doubts it. Her husband can’t take the stress. . What happened to Dr. Rossi, what happened to Adelia Sanchez? Their stories intertwine amazingly in this book, such incredible writing! What is about to go down back at the river? . This book kept me on the edge of my seat. Will the God they both pray to protect them!? Will the nightmare end so their lives can move on? If you love suspense you will love this book! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Convergence starts with mysterious and confusing instances surrounding Dr. Denilyn Rossi and her reaction to them. She is a woman of science who cannot explain why confusing and paralyzing events keep happening to her. The book bounces back and forth between her past and her present. This serves to let us know the events from before and the events from the present are converging together to create the terrifying events she is about to embark upon. The author does a good job leading up to the final climax of the book with the way she bounces around in Denilyn’s story and Adelia’s story. It flows quite well and was a lot of fun to read, up until the first “big reveal.” That made no sense. **WARNING: SPOILERS** With Denilyn being a psychology professor, I thought that her taking on Adelia’s name was rather stupid. It seemed to make the ending very forced and not effective. I think Yttrup had opened up a great possibility that Denilyn could have thought that she was Adelia or that she really was Adelia this whole time and she had split personality disorder and her friends just helped her through it until she became just Denilyn. Then when Ryan went a bit nuts, Adelia “came back” to protect Denilyn. That would have been cool. But just to say she was Adelia and have the chapters named that was a huge letdown. Maybe she wanted to take on some of Adelia’s more interesting characteristics, which was fine, but to set it up as if Adelia was “real” in a sense, well, the author could have done so much more with that. I think she missed a major opportunity with this one. The book does end well and it is a fun story. But I feel that such a huge opportunity was wasted on this that I can’t quite get over my disappointment. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an advanced copy to read. All opinions are my own.
First time reading this author and not sure if this is her normal writing style but it just didn't work for me. The constant back and forth on the timeline and different 'voices' without revealing much plot until well into the book was quite tiresome. Had the information been presented differently and with more storyline early on, it may have been more palatable. Peeling away the presentation and after more information was provided, it was more readable and obviously had a lot of thought and research put into the book. The Christian content was nice but the main character seemed to invoke her faith only in times of stress, not as a part of her daily life,both past and present. If you have an interest in stress, stalkers and coping mechanisms, you will enjoy the book. Thanks to the author and publishers for the ARC. The opinions expressed are my own.
It takes a pretty good author to hook me in the first three chapters, most don't, but Ginny L. Yttrup did it! I believe the right book comes along when you need it. This one came along just when I needed it, so thank you Ginny for writing it. I am only in Chapter three, but already I can't put it down. I struggled to put it down to write this review...ha ha ha ha! It is intriguing and compelling and will witness to many. I will write another review when I am finished, but don't wait for me...start reading!!! Tammy Varner Hornbeck-author
"Convergence" was my first time reading a book written by Ginny L. Yttrup and won't be the last. This book is defiantly an action, thriller, and suspense. We are taken into Dr. Deni who is a psychology professor life. We read about the stalker who changed Dr. Deni's life. She now suffers from PTSD. At times it can be confusing when it flips between the past and present. Its narrated by Deni and Adella. The flashbacks are narrated by Deni. Pay attention to the dates so you can follow the story better. I didn't pay attention to the dates on the chapters until the 10th chapter. The beginning was on the slow pace side but once I got towards the middle more it became a page-turner. Ginny L.Yttrup did a great job of making lots of plot twists, as well as, making this story sound like it could have actually happened to someone. I would highly recommend this book.
Convergence was the first book I’ve read from this author, but it won’t be the last. This book was wonderful. The author did a great job of making sure the reader knew who was talking (Adelia or Denilyn) and whether it was past or present, once I got into the flow of the words I couldn’t put it down. I loved the character development – major and minor characters and I loved the twists and turns the author kept adding into the story, not that it needed anymore adventure or suspense because it was definitely suspenseful enough with the main storyline. I had a niggling thought of who the stalker might be; but it wasn’t until the author connected all the dots at the end that it all became clear. This was excellently written and I was sad when it was over. Ms. Yttrup is a new author for me and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed are exclusively mine.
Ginny Yttrup has penned a new genre for her in this suspense/psychological thriller. With a spiritual undertone, Yttrup combines incidents from the past and present to create a roller coaster ride from start to finish. Danilyn Rossi is a psychologist, college professor and successful published author. She has recovered from a horrible stalking situation that almost ended with her dead. But the perpetrator is in prison, and now it is time to move on with her life. She is a Christian, but is still questioning why God put her through this difficult time. When, once again, she feels as though she is being stalked, it brings back the PTSD she suffered from after the first incident. Is she going crazy or is history repeating itself? When 3 women's lives converge, one dead, one being stalked, and a leery college student, the answer at last comes to light. A psychological thriller that definitely focuses on the mind games that stalkers can employ to make one question their sanity and their peace of mind. I would have given this book a 5, but the confusing shifts of character and timelines made me have to reread several sections in order to make sense of what was happening. I thought, though, that the spiritual thread was excellent and highlighted several quotes. Here is one of my favorites: "I don't think trust is a feeling. I believe it is a choice. And on those days when doubt plagues me, I ask for His (God) help to believe what I can't see. That's faith, believing what we can't see. And in this world, we can't always see goodness." A very good start in a new genre for Ginny L. Yttrup. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Shiloh Run Press through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This novel was complex, and I found it somewhat difficult to follow at times. A lot of the story features back and forth storylines that confused me. I had to pay especially close attention to the dates at the beginning of each chapter. I kept on reading as I really was interested in seeing how the storylines would “converge.” Yttrup gives enough clues during the story, that you can probably figure out the ending—but there are still some surprises along the way.
This was the first book I read by this author and will not be my last. I did not want to put this book down until I got to the end. I loved all the twists and turns that occurred. I was so wrapped up in all of the characters lives. I loved all the surprises throughout. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit and Barbour Publishing for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
This is book takes a ton is twists and turns. I was kind of hard to keep up at first because the timelines are so close but not the same time. The two women we read about are connected but I wasn’t sure how it would all pull together. This was definitely a page turner and an intense ride. Even though it can seem confusing I would urge you to hang in there, it is totally worth it. I really enjoy books like this that keep me guessing and I’m not sure how it will end. A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.
Convergence by Ginny L. Yttrup was a nail-biter. I didn't want to stop reading, but I had to put the book down several times because my family wanted supper or clean clothes. How dare they want those things! Haha! I don't want to give much away, so I will be careful. The story isn't exactly written in a chronological fashion. I had to keep going back and checking the dates and character's names at the beginning of chapters. That got confusing and a little frustrating. You just have to hang in there and it will all make sense. The writing was very good. I could feel the main character's fear, pain, and self-doubt. There were twists and a few surprises. I stopped and said, "Huh!" a few times. Overall, I enjoyed the book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Convergence was a reading experience for me. I will not say much about the plot, I don’t want to spoil anything. This was a page-turner and I had a very hard time putting it down. This is told through two perspectives and three different time periods. One time period was 8 years in the past and the other two were in 2017 just months apart. I thought this was a genius way to write this story; it certainly kept me on the edge. This is a downright creepy story and has many twists and turns throughout. I love it when a book can make me gasp out loud and there were many ‘oh my goodness’ moments. There was a particular story thread that was just frustrating and made me sad and angry, I wished it was resolved differently but the author went another way. I would add this to my top ten favorite books of this year. I usually have to have romance in my stories, there really isn’t any here; it is a suspense/thriller only. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
I have read several books by Ginny in the past, so was excited she had written a new one! This book drew me in. From the start, I was hooked to the story. I am usually not a big fan of psychological thrillers, they tend to creep me out a bit, but I could hardly put this down. I felt Deni's emotions as she lived in fear. I felt her anger and disappointment as her marriage fell apart and her husband was not able to connect with her. This book will definitely draw out your emotions, as you feel with the characters, especially if any of it is something you can relate to. I think it's also a book about growth, learning to place our faith in God instead of ourselves and our abilities. It's about reaching the end of us, and reaching out to Him. I enjoyed the twists to the plot, however, from the start, I kind of had this feeling about how the book would end. It wasn't clear .... and she certainly kept me guessing for a while, but I did hit the nail on the head. The one thing that I struggled with, was the timeline. The chapters jumped back and forth, roughly spanning a decade and also in the same year kind of back and forth between the months. As it all wrapped up in the end, it made sense, but it seemed a little hard for me to follow. However, that being said, I am not sure how the author could have written it any differently and still come to the same conclusion in the same way. I would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy mystery, suspense and psychological thrillers. I received this book from Celebrate Lit, and the publisher, but was not asked or required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
This book takes readers on a roller coaster ride with thrills and suspense at every turn. The author delivers a powerful story of survival and overcoming fear. i loved the main character and thought she was brave, intelligent and determined. Denilyn has been through a traumatic event that has caused her to live in fear. She is paralyzed at times to even venture outside for fun. The details of her attack are terrifying and gave me chills. Being stalked would make anyone paranoid and Denilyn will have to face danger after danger as someone closes in on her once again. It begins to take an emotional toil on her and she starts to think she imagining things. I loved the way the author told the story from present to past. It lets readers see a glimpse of what happened and how Denilyn has tried to overcome her fears. I thought it was fascinating that she wrote a book about bullies. A stalker really is a bully that wants to have power over you. Terror finds Denilyn years later and mysterious things start happening again. The author does a good job of showing how a person deals with danger and the support system that is vital to Denilyn. The addition of Adelia to the mix was very intriguing. What do these two women have in common? Will Denilyn be able to finally find peace or will her past continue to haunt her? There is much more intricate parts to this story that are revealed slowly. I felt like Denilyn was on the verge of losing control at times and loved how she reached out for help. I thought about the people surrounding Denilyn and wondered if they could all be trusted. There are times in the book where i felt the author might have dragged the story out a bit too long. I wanted to know more about Willow and she seemed to be an afterthought at the end of the book. To me she was an important part of Denilyn's story and helped put the suspicion on the right person. Overall the book was good and it definitely delivered a chilling account of stalking that had me glued to my seat. It is a hard book to put down and I had to finish the book because I had to know if Denilyn would survive. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Wow! This book will certainly be making my top reads for 2019 list! Incredible! With just the right blend of predictability mixed with the totally unexpected, Convergence is a page-turner you won't be able to put down! Deni is a psychologist who deals with crippling fear and panic attacks following a traumatic event in her past. I will allow you to find out the details yourself when you read, but in the story Deni has to deal with analyzing if the fear she is experiencing is her PTSD acting up, or if she has truly found herself in danger again. Unfortunately when she faced her initial trauma, she didn't have the emotional or physical support she should have had. Instead, her fears including actual threats were dismissed which lead to a whole new gamut of emotional turmoil. Now years later, she has an even larger hurtle to determine if should trust her instincts or not. Several years ago when I was in high school I dealt with a guy who started to stalk me. It started out when I met him in the hallway one day and said hello to him while walking to my class. I had seen him before but didn't know who he was. I was just being polite. Immediately after that he started showing up almost everywhere including my work. He would hug me for too long as if I was his girlfriend. I wouldn't hug him back but I wouldn't fight him because I was afraid to make a scene. He would show up at my lunch table with my friends and have his hands on me. Multiple times he would show up with his hand in a bandage and say it was because he lost his cool and either punched a locker or wall or whatever happened to be in front of him. One day I saw the evidence of him punching a hole through a wall. So needless to say, I was afraid of him. I told my friends I didn't want him near me and he scared me, but he acted really sly and they thought he was just nice. They even laughed about it and said they thought he was cool. I won't share any more details, but I will say that eventually they saw his true colors too and I was able to get him to leave me alone. I share this because this story really brought me back to that (So yes, this story CAN be a strong PTSD trigger). I wanted him to leave me alone but the people I thought would support me thought I was being unreasonable. It made me question myself if I was over-reacting or if he was a real threat. These are the types of thoughts that ran through Deni's mind, as her husband--the person who was supposed to be her biggest supporter and protector-- dismissed her fears and was absent when she needed him most. Sometimes the wounds from those we love are actually the ones that scar us the most. This story is full of twists and turns and is sure to keep your mind racing. This is my first time reading a book by Ginny Yttrup, but from what I've read this is her first book in the Christian suspense/thriller genre and I never would have guessed. She writes like a truly seasoned suspense pro! This story had me on the edge of my seat and I highly recommend as a must-read! *I received a copy of this book through CelebrateLit and NetGalley. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
My thoughts: This book is definitely a thriller. It's anything but calm and sedate! There is one con to it in my opinion. It jumps around a lot and can be hard to follow if you cannot focus entirely on the book. I started reading it while my kids were awake so I was reading around helping them with chores or school or breaking up fights. It was not working. This book requires your full attention. It bounces back and forth from present day to years prior to even years prior to that. And characters though they remain the same are still bouncing with you. Also Adelia appears but we're not fully sure who she is or where she is. Add in Willow being said to look like Adelia and it made me wonder if perhaps she was the child of Adelia but you'll find out that's impossible. I really did enjoy this book though for my reading style I would have like it more in order and less flashbacks. But the fun part is I still guessed the bad guy before it had been revealed. Denilyn is smart and a professor. But her personal life is in shambles. She has come a long way in her life. Overcoming divorce and almost being killed after being stalked will either make you strong or break you. Is she broken? Can she obtain the strength she longs for? When Denilyn decides to trust God to reveal to her who her stalker is when it happens a second time it takes an unexpected twist. She decides to go sky diving. But she's smart about it and does a tandem jump. Their parachute unfurls and it's exhilarating until it quits and they are falling and falling. She feels like she's drowning. The second chute saves them. But there is no going back. The man who should be in prison is out and her life is in danger again. Add in an attempt to kill her dog and someone threatening her son who only about six people know about and her life is about to explode. When she believes she's solved the case against her she goes back to somewhere from her past she's avoided all these years. Back for answers and to allow herself to be murdered or at least let someone try. Definitely recommend the book, but again be prepared to have to actually pay attention to your time period and who the name on the chapter is. It's a great read once you get in the rhythm of it all.
Convergence Denilyn and Adelia are both in danger. A person already in prison but is he the only on involved? The book covers things happening in 2017 and goes back to 2009. Each chapter a different character. I did at times have a heard time keeping up with when I reading about Denilyn or Adelia. Besides that I found the book fast reading and exciting. The book also covers PTSD which is something a lot of people deal. Both of the characters definitely had a lot to deal with that would cause it. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write an positive review. This is my own opinion.
Convergence is my first introduction to Ginny L. Yttrup. Although I have read some good books in her genre, it is not my first choice. However, I must admit that in my opinion this is an amazingly well written book. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a story that pulls you into the book. Dr. Denilyn Rossi, a psychology professor tells her students that they can choose how to respond to the past: it can be a haunting shadow or a propelling force. Adelia agrees with Denilyn totally and is ready to use her past to propel her forward to confront her past. Both women have secrets they don’t want to share. As their story progresses their lives seem to intertwine more and more until it is sometimes difficult to tell them apart. I really enjoyed this book. The pace is fast enough to keep you reading. The story line is well written. I do suggest you pay particular attention to the beginning of each chapter that tells you who is talking, and gives you the timeline. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Dr. Denilyn Rossi is a courageous and determined lady as she strives to overcome her fears following being stalked and attacked a few years ago. As a psychology professor, Deni realizes she is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. A friend advises Deni, "I don't think trust is a feeling. I believe it's a choice. And on those days when doubt plagues me, I ask for His help to believe what I can't see. That's faith, believing what we can't see. And in this world, we can't always see goodness." When new trauma begins happening, Deni determines that she is the only one who can draw out the man threatening to destroy her and her family. This time Deni faces danger relying on God rather than herself. If you enjoy suspense with very romance, you will love Convergence by Ginny L. Yttrup. I received this book from NetGalley and Barbour Publishing. This is my honest opinion.
What a great book! I have never read this author before but I’m sure it won’t be the last time. I can’t believe I read this book in one day. I just couldn’t put it down! Thanks for such a great book!
As a regular book reviewer for the Celebrate Lit Blog Team, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read and review Ginny Yttrup’s latest book. I had high expectations, as I’ve read most every book she’s written—starting with her first novel, Words. I was also surprised to see that she’d switched from her typical women’s fiction to suspense. I have to admit, I struggled a little with Convergence. The suspense part of it was great—I was on the edge through much of the story—and she did a wonderful job pulling me into the main character’s head (Denilyn). So much of the book felt like a narrative, which I’m not used to. It’s not bad, just different. I’m used to more dialogue, which there seemed to be little of in this book. However, once I got into the story, I didn’t even notice it anymore because I was so engaged with the action. The one real issue I had, however, was that Denilyn, as the main character, holds back an intricate part of her life from the reader—one that I believe is necessary to her motivation for every decision she makes. She gives detailed information about everything else down to what she eats. So, when this part of her life is revealed near the end of the book, I felt somewhat betrayed. If I didn’t have to be concerned about spoiler alerts, I could be more specific, but that wouldn’t be fair to those who’ve yet to read the book. Even though Ginny did a great job with the bait and switch routine, I had the villain pegged pretty quickly. Regardless, Convergence was a good read, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys suspense. I was given a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions are my own.