The brain never fails to fascinate me with its many complexities. I often ponder on how my husband can clearly remember so much of his early childhood while my own childhood is nothing more than vague puzzle pieces I often struggle to fit together. Instead of looking forward to family gatherings and recalling past holidays or other long ago events, I dread them. There is nothing more frustrating than having to admit to not remembering your past.
In Kiss, Shauna McAllister is faced with her inability to recall past events.
Six weeks after a car accident, Shauna awakes in hospital having suffered a coma. Not only does the night of the accident remain a mystery, but also the months leading up to the incident. Alligations arise which not only effect Shauna, but also her prestigious father, Landon McAllister, head of McAllister MediVista, a pharmaceutical research company, and senator bidding on the White House.
Estranged from Landon since the death of her mother and his subsequent remarriage, Shauna is vaguely aware that something monumental looms over any hope of reconciliation between them. To make matters worse, her brother Rudy, her only ally and apple of their father’s eye, lays victim to the accident she is blamed for.
Sequestered from the public eye on her father’s estate, Shauna turns to Wayne Spade, her attentive but forgotten boyfriend, to help her piece together the events leading up to the accident. On her quest for answers, Shauna discovers a puzzling mental ability which raises even more questions. Her circle of trust soon narrows as it becomes apparent that some around her are determined to keep her from recovering the memories she desperately pursues in her search for truth.
Kiss is more than just great entertainment. I couldn’t help but relate to Shauna as she struggled to recall her past. As I read, I spent a lot of time pondering the scenario and the intricacies of the human mind. Don’t get me wrong, the book is far from heavy when it comes to the ins and outs of the plot device and is Dekker all the way—pure escapism with inescapable truth. The story is compelling, beautifully paced, and well told.
Dekker recently revealed on his message board that he planned to write three books a year in the foreseeable future, one of which would be co-written with his editor for the last ten years, Erin Healy. Kiss is the first offering from the two and Healy’s debut novel.
I’ve been a fan of Dekker books ever since I first discovered them in 2003, but I will admit to preferring the writing style contained in Kiss far more than I have previous Dekker books. I’m sure the smoother style is a tribute to Healy’s editing expertise and skilful blending.
Only one minor element marred my enjoyment of the story. On a whole, the characterisations are wonderful, and I was completely drawn to Shauna’s. However, the motivation behind one character did remain a little unclear at the end and continued to play on my mind well after closing the book. A subplot also seemed incomplete and has me wondering if Dekker and Healy plan a sequel or tie-in book.
Whatever the case may be, Kiss is a worthy read. Dekker fans won’t be disappointed with this collaboration, and I am sure Healy will soon have a fan base of her own. I am already looking forward to seeing what these two talented writers come up with next, either together or separately.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Ted is the son of missionaries John and Helen Dekker, whose incredible story of life among headhunters in Indonesia has been told in several books. Surrounded by the vivid colors of the jungle and a myriad of cultures, each steeped in their own interpretation of life and faith, Dekker received a first-class education on human nature and behavior. This, he believes, is the foundation of his writing.
After graduating from a multi-cultural high school, he took up permanent residence in the United States to study Religion and Philosophy. After earning his Bachelor's Degree, Dekker entered the corporate world in management for a large healthcare company in California. Dekker was quickly recognized as a talent in the field of marketing and was soon promoted to Director of Marketing. This experience gave him a background which enabled him to eventually form his own company and steadily climb the corporate ladder.
Since 1997, Dekker has written full-time. He states that each time he writes, he finds his understanding of life and love just a little clearer and his expression of that understanding a little more vivid. Dekker's body of work encompassing seven mysteries, three thrillers and ten fantasies includes Heaven's Wager, When Heaven Weeps, Thunder of Heaven, Blessed Child, A Man Called Blessed, Blink, Thr3e, The Circle Trilogy (Black, Red, White), Obsessed, Renegade, and Chaos.
Erin Healy is an award-winning fiction editor who has worked with talented novelists such as James Scott Bell, Melody Carlson, Colleen Coble, Brandilyn Collins, L. B. Graham, Rene Gutteridge, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Robin Lee Hatcher, Denise Hildreth, Denise Hunter, Randy Ingermanson, Jane Kirkpatrick, Gilbert Morris, Frank Peretti, Lisa Samson, Randy Singer, Robert Whitlow, and many others.
She began working with Ted Dekker in 2002 and edited twelve of his heart-pounding storiesbefore their collaboration on Kiss, the first novel to seat her on "the other side of the desk."
Erin is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a Colorado-based consulting firm specializing in fiction book development. She and her husband, Tim, are the proud parents of two children
What people are saying about KISS:
“The human brain could actually be the real final frontier—we know so little about it and yet it drives the world as we know it. So when authors like Erin and Ted bravely explore these mysterious regions, going into complex places like memory and soul and relationships, I become hooked. The creativity of this suspenseful story is sure to hook other readers as well. Very memorable!”
~Melody Carlson, author of Finding Alice and The Other Side of Darkness
“Dekker and Healy prove a winning team in this intriguing, imaginative thriller.”
~James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Try Darkness
“Kiss by Erin Healy and Ted Dekker is a superb thriller that hooked me from the first sentence. The original plot kept me guessing, and I may never look at a kiss the same way again. I’ll be watching for the next book!”
~Colleen Coble, author of Cry in the Night
“The writing team of Erin Healy and Ted Dekker has taken me through a page-turner with Kiss. It’s one of those books that you think about when you’re not reading it. I highly recommend it, especially if you don’t mind staying up late because you can’t put the book down!”
~Rene Gutteridge, author of Skid and My Life As a Doormat