Friday, April 15, 2011

The DMZ: A Novel by Jeanette Windle Review


Product Description:  More than a decade after the end of the cold war has chilled the Marxist rebel movements around the world, one hot spot remains: Colombia. Why a democratic country with a growing economy should still feel the brushfires of a civil war is a mystery to U.S. analysts, but not to certain parties on the other side of the world.

The inexplicable loss of three major U.S. assets draws the attention of the world to the Colombian demilitarized zone. Are the local Colombian rebels responsible? Or is a deadly Middle Eastern secret cloaked by the jungle canopy of the DMZ?

Among the contingent of politicians and media headed for the DMZ seeking answers is reporter Julie Baker, whose parents had been missionaries in Colombia . Old hurts and terrors surge as she revisits the place of her birth... and her parents' deaths. When Julie's own abduction by guerrillas triggers a time bomb that has been ticking under the feet of the U.S. for a decade, she is left with more questions than answers.


In The DMZ, Windle explores the relationship between the Islamic fundamentalist groups and the guerrilla warfare in Colombia . More than a decade after the end of the cold war has chilled the Marxist rebel movements around the world, one hot spot remains-Colombia. The inexplicable loss of three major US assets draws the attention of the world to the Colombian demilitarized zone-the "DMZ." Are the local Colombian rebels responsible? Or is a deadly Middle Eastern secret cloaked by the jungle canopy of the DMZ?

Among the contingent of politicians and media headed for the DMZ is reporter Julie Baker, whose parents had been missionaries in Colombia . Old hurts and terrors resurge as she revisits the place of her birth-and her parents' deaths. When Julie's own abduction by guerrillas triggers a time bomb that has been ticking under the feet of the US for a decade, she is left with more questions than answers.  



With the fate of two countries resting in her hands, Julie must put aside her own terror to face just what God's call to sacrifice will mean for her past and her increasingly uncertain future.


"Dozens of books could be written on what is happening in Latin America and around the world and its implications for our own nation and society," says Windle. "But when I can weave God's truth into the pages of a book, I can carry a reader into a world where he or she can experience it-feel along with our characters the pain of betrayal, the joy of friendship, the darkness of injustice, the despair of evil, and the hope of God's righteousness and power emerging triumphant.

"In essence, readers can live the spiritual journey of the protagonists--and author--along with them instead of simply being told about it."


Seattle, Washington - Best-selling author Jeanette Windle's book The DMZ (Kregel Publications, 12/17/2010, ISBN: 9780825441936), a suspense novel that takes place in the jungles of Colombia, weaves her knowledge from her own childhood in Colombia with her meticulous research that even the US government couldn't ignore it. But Windle turned her government questioners into fast fans of her work with her attention to detail and skill at telling a compelling story.

The daughter of missionary parents in the outback jungle areas of Colombia , Windle researched the chaos and strife engulfing the beautiful country she once called home. As she watched guerrilla warfare overrun towns and villages that held childhood friends, wondered what has become of people she once knew, one theme has run repeatedly through her mind: does personal self-sacrifice still hold moral value in our 21st century? Does the Creator of the Universe have a right to demand or expect sacrifice of self or loved ones to save a hurting world? Exploring the answers to these questions in her own past became the motivation behind The DMZ.

Praise for Jeanette Windle's books:

Windle is skillful at capturing the setting and politics of South America, where she grew up . . . an exciting read. -Joseph Bentz, CBA Marketplace,

Windle is a top-notch storyteller. -Publishers Weekly"

A fast-paced, intensely political drama that succeeds in bringing a fascinating culture to life. -Booklist

Meet Jeanette Windle:
Jeanette Windle

As the child of missionary parents, Windle, an award-winning author and journalist, grew up in the rural villages, jungles, and mountains of Colombia , now guerrilla hot zones. Currently based in Lancaster , PA , Windle has lived in six countries and traveled in more than thirty on five continents. She has fifteen books in print, including political/suspense best-seller CrossFire, The Parker Twins series and Tyndale House Publishers releases: Betrayed, Veiled Freedom, and Freedom's Stand

This fascinating woman was kind enough to answer a few questions for me today.  Get to know her quickly.  I'm afraid some government agency may need to take her out permanently someday.
Nancy:   It has been said you've been questioned by government agencies as to where you obtained classified information. How do you research your books? Where do you find your material?

Jeanette:  Yes, I have been questioned by government personnel as to where I got research and information theoretically 'classified' in several of my books, and have had feedback from US government personnel ranging from DEA, State Department, SouthCom, military intelligence, law enforcement and others. Because I keep meticulous notes, I’ve always been able to satisfy any questions. Bottom line, what is considered ‘classified’ in the U.S. is often common knowledge on the ground in another country, and missionaries and missionary kids are among those who know reality only too often better than the info briefs of our intelligence community. Because I’ve always been careful to be accurate and fair, the end result has often been very positive, even opening further contacts and doors of research to me.


As to research, before I tackle a book set in a new country or political environment, I saturate myself in that place. Histories, biographies, political commentary, regional literature, travelogues, video documentary--I will have easily read 20,000 pages material before I ever pick up a pen or computer keyboard.


For every place I write about, I also keep a Google Alert set for daily news digests. I follow blogs and travelogues of 'boots on the ground' whose lives and professions mirror the characters I am writing about. And of course on-site travel and extensive input from contacts on the ground who are real-life counterparts of my characters, whether Special Ops, DEA, humanitarian aid, jungle pilots, locals on the ground, etc. Every part of my manuscript will be read by these same sources before going to print to make sure I have no mistakes.


Nancy: How much of what you write is fiction and how much is actually fact? Do you pull any of it from your own life?


Jeanette:  Everything in my novels is based on actual occurrences and the situation on the ground of the countries about which I write, though not all comes from my own life. A good example: depictions of the Colombian guerrilla camps in The DMZ came not from my own experience, but from personal friends who did spend up to years in captivity.


However, one advantage of having traveled in thirty+ countries on five continents is that I can pull a lot of sights and sounds and smells from my own memory banks as well as research and interviews. For instance, the small Colombian town described in The DMZ is where I actually did spend my teen years in what are now the guerrilla zones.


More importantly, the emotional and spiritual threads of my novels and their protagonists have been birthed very definitely from the life journeys through which God has taken me and the spiritual battles and lessons involved.

1 comment:

Zsara said...

i love your blog! hope you can come and visit my blog sometime; or enter my giveaway.  have a good weekend, zsara xo