Why I Think Cops Make the Best Romantic Heroes in Fiction

jason belt cropped

It used to be that cops were considered the good guys, the honorable, the men and women you automatically respect. But today, if you follow social media, or even the news, you’d believe one of the most despised groups of people in our country are police officers. Cops are portrayed as unremorseful killers of children, corrupt bullies who prey on the weak, or unfeeling dispensers of their brand of subjective justice.

Yes, there are bad cops in the world, but 99+% of the men and women who wear the badge walk the line with the right motives and a dedication that affects their health, their relationships, and their wallet.

Why are cops the favored romantic hero in my writing? First and foremost, a police officer represents honor and integrity to me. He has taken an oath to stand between the lawful and the lawless. The officers I have known will choose right over easy, truth over lies, and sacrifice their personal needs for the good of others.

Second, they make attractive heroes because the job wears him down for all the right reasons. A cop, in fiction, can be broken, disillusioned, and seem unfeeling because his honor clashes with the dishonor of the people with whom he has to deal. A man of justice must live in the world of injustice. A man of integrity must walk among men of villainy. The life he chooses to live, by its very nature, is the one most opposed to his character.

Dr. Gary L. Patton conducted a study in 2011 on the desacralization of police officers (http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/june_2011/research_forum).

“In the experience of desacralization, people lose contact with the aspects of their lives that they previously had considered sacred and special.” Patton says.

Police officers become cops because they believe in the value of the law and the importance of justice. Desacralization means that those beliefs are questioned, mocked, and seen as parody on the streets he tries to protect.

Patton explains, “Given the sense of disappointment and disillusionment that law enforcement officers frequently encounter in their work, it is reasonable to conclude that they seem to experience a loss of some of the special reasons and motivations that they had set out to fulfill and experience. Certainly, officers encounter times of high drama and intense excitement, yet they do not spend a shift racing from one call to another as some people assume. When this repeated experience of waiting and watching is linked with the times of heightened adrenaline, officers feel like they ride an emotional roller coaster. While they can get excited and dismayed, they frequently deal with the events they encounter with a sense of apathy. The officers in the author’s research indicated that they would not be able to cope if they let themselves feel too much.”

Third, it is the nature of a cop to rescue those in need. He doesn’t consider it heroic, he just does what needs to be done.

Put it all together, and you have a good man who’s encased himself in an emotional shell, wanting to rescue others, but in need of being rescued himself. Seeing him come alive again, with the help of his heroine, of course, is a beautiful thing. It makes for good reading, too!

Curl up with Sherriff Deputy Jason Belt, one of the characters in Rebecca Reilly’s new novel, Haunting Megan.

Available at Amazon http://bit.ly/RReillyAmazonAuthor

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My Heroines In Their High School Days: Back-To-School Book and Blog Block Party!

Block Party Badge(1)

WELCOME to Rave Reviews Book Club’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY

This happening party gives you, the guest, a chance to rub shoulders with great authors, hang out with interesting fictional characters, win fabulous prizes, and the best part—you can invite everyone you know to join the fun!

The prizes you can win at this stop:  

First Prize-A $10 Amazon Gift Card

Second Prize-An e-book version of Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage

Third Prize-An e-book version of Haunting Megan

Fourth PrizeAn e-book version of Into Dark Waters

All you have to do is read about my favorite fictional women and comment before midnight, CST.  Share your thoughts, or tell me what do you remember most about high school.

CONGRATULATIONS TO MY WINNERS:

Christa Nardi, Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Brian O’Hare, Gwen Plano

And….This Rave Reviews Book Club’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY goes on all month–With great prizes every day!

Check here to find all the prize-awarding stops!

https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/?page_id=9801

My Heroines In Their High School Days

Keeping with the Back-To-School theme, I thought it would be fun to take a peek at the early lives of some of my book’s leading ladies to see how they would have faced their first day of high school.

But first…an announcement from our principle:

“Attention: Those wanting Sex Education: Today marks the release of Christian Sex andPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071] Marriage: It’s Complicated by Rebecca Reilly. This book is full of true stories, research, and practical how-to advice to help you deepen the emotional and sexual intimacy in your marriage. Stop by http://bit.ly/sexbookpg to see what the excitement is all about and find the links to order your copy today!”

Phoebe as a freshman (from Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00058]I bought a neon pink sweat suit to wear on my first day of high school. How was I to know the pretty girls had declared pink was out that year? I felt like a stick of cotton candy toddling around campus. If only it’d rained. I could have melted away instead of shining like a beacon of nerdiness.

Of course, I got lost and walked into boys’ locker room instead of the girls’. The tuna fish in my sandwich soured and stunk up the cafeteria. I tripped up the stairs, split my new pants up the crack, and squirted blood all over myself when my nose smacked against the sidewalk. At least wearing neon pink wasn’t my biggest problem anymore.

On a brighter note—I raised my hand in class and answered every question asked. I think my teachers loved me. That will make me popular!

Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage-Synopsis

Food is not a great substitute for sex, but it’s all I’ve got.

It’s not that I’m not happy in my marriage. I am. George is a good man, and I love him. I love our two children. I love our home. I love our church. And I love my job. I love everything I have.

And I’m bored out of my mind.

I know God created sex for marriage. And not just for beautiful people, either. Sex is supposed to bind a man and wife; to give them an intimacy they share with no one else. Sex is supposed to be fulfilling. And fun! I think we’re supposed to want to have sex with our spouse.

iTunes: http://bit.ly/iTunesDiary

Amazon: http://bit.ly/amazondiary

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/diaryCWbn

 

Julie as a senior (from Into Dark Waters)

BookCover5_25x8_BW_330.pngJulie slid her damp palms across her thighs. The tight fit of her new jeans made her uncomfortable, and she felt fat rather than the sexy she’d hoped for. She buttoned the crisp, pink collared shirt and hesitated only a few seconds before deciding to leave the top one undone. Joel will notice me today, she told herself. She left the room quickly before her reflection scared her into changing into the old, conservative style clothes she’d always worn.

For Julie, stepping onto the school bus was like entering a different world—comfortably familiar and sparkling with promise. Old friends, new friends not-yet-met, and the prospects of the year ahead took her mind off her embarrassing attempt at look-at-me fashion. How could her impossible dream of romance compete with the reality of laughter and the social whirl of high school?

When the bus pulled into the lot, Julie’s smile died. She stayed seated until only she and the driver remained. She looked down and sighed. Julie quickly buttoned her shirt to the top, picked up her book bag, and stepped onto the campus.

Into Dark Waters-Synopsis

A cruise ship is an easy place to commit murder. Body disposal’s a cinch, and suicide’s the likely verdict. The only problem is determining how to choose the next victim.

Sad and sexy, women find Detective Jim Tanger attractive. He doesn’t care. His wife’s suicide three years ago froze his soul. When Jim hears that Sunburst Cruises has lost another young female passenger to an assumed suicide, Jim’s passions erupt. He pushes the department and the cruise line into letting him investigate. Battling seasickness and overwhelming shyness, Jim must protect the women and find the killer only he believes exists.

Julie Cooper loves her husband Joel. She hopes their anniversary cruise to Hawaii will be a new beginning for them. Before her suitcases are unpacked, someone unleashes a campaign of terror against her. Anonymous threats, cryptic messages in her cabin, and an attempt on her life force Julie to look at the one person who might want her dead; the one person she trusted with her life.

iTunes: http://bit.ly/DarkWatersiTunes

Amazon: http://bit.ly/amazonWaters

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/Watersbn 

Megan as a sophomore (from Haunting Megan)

BookCover5_25x8_BW_330.pngIt’s tough to go unnoticed when your grandfather forgets to buy you new jeans, and the only ones you have are two sizes too big in the waist and three inches too short. Too tall. Too skinny. Too gawky. Too weird.

That’s the girl who sees ghosts, someone will say.

She looks like a ghost herself, they’ll laugh.

They’ll look me over then look away.

You know her mother’s in jail for murder, they’ll whisper.

You know she discovered the bloody body, they’ll giggle in sick delight.

Maybe it’s her fault her sister’s dead, each one will think.

But I will know.

She doesn’t belong at school with normal people, they’ll shout.

I don’t belong anywhere.

Haunting Megan-Synopsis

After suffering years of abuse at the hands of her alcoholic mother, Megan wakes to screams, cries of murder, and the room splattered with blood. Sent to the mountains to live with the grandfather who’d once abandoned them, Megan must learn to care for her young sisters and manage Wind Hollow Lodge. Fighting to live a normal life, Megan ignores the haunting memories of her past. But she can’t ignore the ghosts that terrorize her. Believing her sanity is slipping away, Megan is unable to keep her visions a secret from the town. When murdered men are discovered on Wind Hollow land, people start to wonder just how crazy Megan Wilson really is.

iTunes: http://bit.ly/HauntingiTunes

Amazon: http://bit.ly/amazonHaunting

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/HauntMegBN

Please comment below to enter to win! I’d love to learn about your first day of high school! 

  I’ll see you at the next stop of the #RRBC BOOK and BLOG BLOCK PARTY! http://wp.me/P49Fi9-2y5

Why Cops Make the Best Romantic Heroes in Fiction


It used to be that cops were considered the good guys, the honorable, the men and women you automatically respect. But today, if you follow social media, or even the news, you’d believe one of the most despised groups of people in our country are police officers. Cops are portrayed as unremorseful killers of children, corrupt bullies who prey on the weak, or unfeeling dispensers of their brand of subjective justice.

Yes, there are bad cops in the world, but 99+% of the men and women who wear the badge walk the line with the right motives and a dedication that affects their health, their relationships, and their wallet.

Why are cops the favored romantic hero in my writing? First and foremost, a police officer represents honor and integrity to me. He has taken an oath to stand between the lawful and the lawless. The officers I have known will choose right over easy, truth over lies, and sacrifice their personal needs for the good of others.

Second, they make attractive heroes because the job wears him down for all the right reasons. A cop, in fiction, can be broken, disillusioned, and seem unfeeling because his honor clashes with the dishonor of the people with whom he has to deal. A man of justice must live in the world of injustice. A man of integrity must walk among men of villainy. The life he chooses to live, by its very nature, is the one most opposed to his character.

Dr. Gary L. Patton conducted a study in 2011 on the desacralization of police officers (http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/june_2011/research_forum).

“In the experience of desacralization, people lose contact with the aspects of their lives that they previously had considered sacred and special.” Patton says.

Police officers become cops because they believe in the value of the law and the importance of justice. Desacralization means that those beliefs are questioned, mocked, and seen as parody on the streets he tries to protect.

Patton explains, “Given the sense of disappointment and disillusionment that law enforcement officers frequently encounter in their work, it is reasonable to conclude that they seem to experience a loss of some of the special reasons and motivations that they had set out to fulfill and experience. Certainly, officers encounter times of high drama and intense excitement, yet they do not spend a shift racing from one call to another as some people assume. When this repeated experience of waiting and watching is linked with the times of heightened adrenaline, officers feel like they ride an emotional roller coaster. While they can get excited and dismayed, they frequently deal with the events they encounter with a sense of apathy. The officers in the author’s research indicated that they would not be able to cope if they let themselves feel too much.”

Third, it is the nature of a cop to rescue those in need. He doesn’t consider it heroic, he just does what needs to be done.

Put it all together, and you have a good man who’s encased himself in an emotional shell, wanting to rescue others, but in need of being rescued himself. Seeing him come alive again, with the help of his heroine, of course, is a beautiful (and sexy) thing. It makes for good reading, too!

Curl up with Sherriff Deputy Jason Belt, one of the characters in Rebecca Reilly’s new novel, Haunting Megan. Available on iBooks (http://bit.ly/HauntingMeganiBooks), Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MQA5YSU), Amazon (http://bit.ly/RReillyAmazonAuthor), and at other fine retailers.

 

 

How Can a Christian Pastor Write a Ghost Story?

I have to say, that question broadsided me. Not the question itself, but the tone in which my friend delivered it. I got the sense that by delving into fiction, by touching on a topic that may imply a spiritual realm surrounds us and influences us, she thought I’d cast my theology and my salvation out the window.As a pastor, I had to stop, take a step back, and look at what I had written and why I had written it. This story, more than any other I’ve published, is close to my heart. Haunting Megan begins in my teenage home; the opening chapters are autobiographical. Writing them was therapy for me. Reading them provided therapy for my siblings. Much of my heroine’s inner doubts and struggles were mine—as were her victories.

Haunting Megan did not begin as a ghost story. At the core, Haunting Megan is about a young girl broken by horrific tragedy, who fights for healing, and whose decisions and character are rooted in the events of her early childhood. Does she see ghosts? Yes. Are the ghosts real, or are they, as her counselor claims, a manifestation of the guilt she feels? That is something the reader has to decide.

Do I believe in ghosts? I believe in a spiritual world that surrounds us and encompasses both good and evil. I believe our spirit lives when our body fails. I believe there is so much more to God than we know, and more to being in His presence after death than we can understand.

Though Haunting Megan is not Christian fiction (it neither mentions nor promotes Christian theology), several themes run through the novel that I believe are consistent with my faith. We are all broken in different ways and need healing. Relationships need to be restored. Our past forms us but does not define us. And most importantly, love has power to heal.

So why should you read Haunting Megan? It’s a fun, entertaining, and yes—spooky read. At the heart, that’s what good fiction should be.

Haunting Megan is available for pre-order at
http://bit.ly/HauntingMeganiBooks
http://bit.ly/HauntingMeganAmazon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MQA5YSU

Rebecca Reilly is a pastor and has worked in ministry for over thirty years. A passionate reader and writer, Rebecca took on four wildly different genres for her first five books – a murder mystery at sea (Into Dark Waters), a humorous look at sex and marriage (Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey to Spice Up My Marriage), a children’s chapter book on bullying (The Geek Club under the pen name Becky Reilly), and two picture books (Jammers and His Flying Bed Adventure and Heart of a Kitty). She returned to the mystery/suspense genre for her sixth book (Haunting Megan).
You can follow Rebecca on Facebook (facebook.com/RebeccaLynnReilly), Twitter (twitter.com/RebeccaReillyL), Goodreads, and at www.rebeccareilly.net.

How Abuse Made Me Strong

Just before my seventeenth birthday, I woke to my mother standing above me with a chef’s knife raised and ready to plunge. I screamed. She lowered the knife and walked out of my bedroom without saying a word.It wasn’t the first time she’d raised a weapon, or her fists, against me. No, never when she was sober. But sobriety and my mother didn’t often meet.

I moved out the next morning and spent the rest of my senior year of high school sleeping on my best friend’s floor.Abuse warps, twists and changes the inner child into something different, not less, than who that child was created to be. Without love, support, healing, and letting go of the pain and bitterness, the twisting can destroy.

But with love, support, healing, and letting go, the twisting spurs growth and strength.  I was blessed.  My neighbor cared for me, my friend gave me a place to sleep, my drive got me through college, my husband proved to me I was worthy to be loved, and I found a passage of scripture (Psalm 139) that gave me hope.

There were times I had to force myself to take the next step.  I transferred colleges because I started drinking too much and realized I was following my mother’s path.  I wrote my blessings and my strengths down in a journal when I felt humiliated and worthless.  I focused on the future when I was tempted to bury myself in the past.
It took people to build me up from the outside, and discipline and faith to build up my soul.My latest book, Haunting Megan, begins in my teenage home; the opening chapters are autobiographical. Writing them was therapy for me. Reading them provided therapy for my siblings. Much of my heroine’s inner doubts and struggles were mine. As were her victories.

The ghosts and murders are just for fun.

Haunting Megan is available for pre-order at iBooks (http://bit.ly/HauntingMeganiBooks) and at Amazon (http://bit.ly/HauntingMeganAmazon)

The Votes Have Been Counted and the Cover Chosen

final votes cover HMThank you for your feedback on the cover designs for Haunting Megan!  

Five contestants have been chosen to receive advance copies.  More give-aways happening soon at Goodreads.

Haunting Megan synopsis:

After suffering years of abuse at the hands of her alcoholic mother, Megan wakes to screams, cries of murder, and the room splattered with blood. Sent to the mountains to live with the grandfather who’d once abandoned them, Megan must learn to care for her young sisters and manage Wind Hollow Lodge. Megan tries to ignore the haunting memories of her past as she struggles to live a normal life. But she can’t ignore the ghosts who terrorize her and make her believe her sanity is slipping away. When murdered men are discovered on Wind Hollow land, people start to wonder just how crazy Megan Wilson really is.

The investigation at Wind Hollow Lodge is just another case to Deputy Jason Belt—until he sees Megan.  Drawn to her beauty and her wounded spirit, his oath to protect and serve takes on new meaning.  But why does she lie to him?  What does she have to hide?