A psychologist paralyzed by fear. 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|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Ginny Yttrup is the award-winning author of Words, Lost and Found, Invisible, and Flames. She writes contemporary women's fiction and enjoys exploring the issues everyday women face. Publishers Weekly dubbed Ginny's work "as inspiring as it is entertaining." When not writing, Ginny coaches writers, critiques manuscripts, and makes vintage-style jewelry for her Esty shop, Storied Jewelry (etsy.com/shop/StoriedJewelry). She loves dining with friends, hanging out with her adult sons, or spending a day in her pajamas reading a great novel. Ginny lives in northern California with Bear, her entitled Pomeranian. To learn more about Ginny and her work, visit ginnyyttrup.com.
Read an Excerpt
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 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.” What an incredible journey of a psychological thriller! It’s very different from the previous novel I’ve read from Ginny Yttrup. Yet her beautiful, melodic, and haunting first person prose is the same and will draw you into the world of fear and anxiety Deni lives in. The present day of 2017 is narrated by Deni and Adelia in first person present tense. The flashbacks from 2009-2010 is narrated by Deni in first person past tense. The three “separate” timelines and thought processes were a bit difficult to untangle at the beginning, but 1/3 way into the story, the plot emerged in a cohesive and consolidated manner. The author delves into the psyche of the victim and shows that even though the victim is a renowned and well-respected psychologist and professor, head-knowledge and heart-knowledge don’t always go hand-in-hand. It’s a chilling and suspenseful novel that leaves you wondering who the actually villain is until the end. Deni’s faith journey is rocky and full of doubts, but she finally understands her own mantra that “the past is either a shadow that haunts us or a force that propels us.” Her strength, even in the midst of paralyzing fear, is incredible and admirable. Anyone who enjoys a well-written, intense thriller/suspense novel would love this book. I was given a copy of the book by Barbour Publishing via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
I was not quite sure what to make of this story for a while. It has plenty of suspense and the psychological mind games that I enjoy with this genre. I liked the main characters, especially Denilyn (Deni) and Jaylan (Jay). However, it involves two storylines that appear to be converging (hence the title), with the second storyline involving Adelia, an old friend of Deni and Jay. Yet, it takes a long time before her storyline starts to make sense, which made me question what I thought of the book. In the end, I found the book quite enjoyable. The author throws some rather significant, surprising, and quite good, twists into the final third of the book. The basic storyline involves a psychologist (Deni) who had a stalker after publishing her first book, and now, seven years later, the stalker appears to be back, even though he is supposed to still be in prison. The book alternates between current events (2017) and past events (late 2009/early 2010, when she was stalked and then attacked), as well as the secondary storyline involving Adelia, which takes place in the present. I do not want to say too much about the plot because I do not want to accidentally give away any of the plot twists. Something I do not often see in psychological suspense novels is discussion of faith and God and the main character questioning her faith, and ultimately regaining her faith. Based on the "Acknowledgements" and "About the Author" sections at the end of the book, Convergence is the first suspense novel by Ms. Yttrup, and it appears to be quite a change from the contemporary women's fiction that she apparently normally writes, but based on the overall quality of this book, I think she has found a new genre that she can pursue. I received a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
This book was one of a kind. It was so different from what I normally read, and I enjoyed that. Yttrup took me by surprise too many times to count. I often found myself on the edge of my seat, with no way of guessing what could possibly happen next. The story was completely different than I thought it would be. I totally admire the heroines courage to take control of a life that was surrounded by fear. Stalkers are nothing to joke about, and I found myself nervous right along with Denilyn. I would recommend this book to someone who is tired of the “same old love story”, this book is nothing like that. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
When I finished this book, I knew I had a dilemma. I knew I needed to write a review, but honestly, I didn't think I had the words to adequately describe this book and its impact on me. I am still pondering, still trying to grasp the depth of Yttrup's message. Perhaps the best thing I can say is that you need to read this book. You just need to. I normally gravitate to historical fiction. But for some reason I picked Convergence up. From the beginning I was sucked in – not only for the suspense – but also for the immense depth of emotion, the complexity of characters, and the brilliantly exposed message of truth. This plot is so deep, so twisted, so well developed that Yttrup stunned me. I sincerely hope you all take the plunge into its pages. For within you will find entertainment to be sure, but also a challenge to face your fears and to truly let go. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Wow! Convergence was a nail biting thriller. I confess I got a little confused at the beginning because I wasn’t paying attention to the two different names listed at the beginning of the chapters. Once I realized that I was hooked. You have to be careful as the book also goes back in time to tell the story. This book was hard to put down & cost me some sleep. It was written well & kept me wondering. I love when a book is able to keep me from predicting the outcome. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
If you like a good psychological thriller, this is one for you. Looking over your shoulder, into the shadows and knowing he's out there and shouldn't be.. kept me turning the pages. Some, I didn't see that coming and guessing who right up until the end. I was gifted a copy, my review is voluntary.
Having read several books by Ginny Yttrup, I was really looking forward to reading Convergence and I was not disappointed. With a multi-timeline format, this intense story of three lives in turmoil is unfolded masterfully. Lots of tension, strong, realistic characters, and a mystery that keeps the reader guessing until the end...what more could a lover of suspenseful thrillers ask for. It was captivating to follow the main character as she transforms from a woman living a fearful, hiding in the shadows existence to a strong woman who was not going to let the fears, real or perceived, grip her life any longer--a woman who could trust God even when she didn't have the answers she needed. One statement that resonated with this reader was "the past is either a shadow that haunts us or a force that propels us.' The author keeps readers attention high with twists to the story that evoke a 'did that really happen' reaction. Ginny Yttrup remains high on my list of authors to look for new books...can't wait for the next one. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.
This novel is a little tricky to review. The premise of the novel is good, however there are some clumsy aspects of the plotting that leaves readers a little confused. The parts that are done well include the suspense building and the fear felt by psychology professor, Denilyn Rossi, as a stalker from her past reemerges in her present day. Is he the one now sending her cryptic charms? Or is it someone closer to her? The secondary characters and their reactions are realistic and Deni’s fear is palpable. What I did not particularly care for is how the author switches characters and their POVs continuously throughout the novel. More than once, I had to look back to make sure I was following the correct character on the correct timeline and not confusing events from the past with the present. Readers also spend a lot of time in Denilyn’s head. This helps build suspense, but it also stalls the novel in places where it is overdone. As for the ending, I originally thought there would be a showdown at the river involving three individuals, however this is not how the story plays out. The ending is anticlimactic and leaves you wanting more of an explanation. The beginning still confuses me as well and doesn’t nearly pack as much a punch when you find out the rest of the story. I felt some scenes fell flat, some character motivations were not well-defined, and some information was conveyed too late in the story to really make much of an impact. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Convergence is a fabulous, keep you on the edge of your seat book! I did not want to put the book down but because of the complexity of the story, a step away from the book was needed. I did have a hard time with the switching of time frames and first person characters so would warn readers to definitely pay attention to the chapter titles. Overall, Convergence was excellent- suspenseful and captivating! "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."
First, I'll say it was slow going. It took me quite a few chapters for the characters to connect for me ((Adelia & Denilyn). If this is the case for you, also, stick with it and you will be ever so glad you did! You are in for quite the ride! The author's ability to write such an intricate story is genius! Denilyn is a psychology professor who teaches at the college. Denilyn has fears of a stalker in her past who is still in prison. Or, is he? Is someone stalking her again, sending gifts with deadly threats, or is she imagining things and making something out of nothing? Did she accidentally delete the program on her computer, leave her office door unlocked, or is it someone else? Is it all a result of her post-traumatic stress? Then, there is Adelia, a friend of Denilyn's who lost her life in a fatal accident. Or, was it an accident? Things seem to all be linked to Denilyn and her friends' summers at Three Rivers. This story is very intricate and will keep you in suspense. I hated for the story to end, as I loved each moment I had to pick it up and read, if even for a few minutes. It was that good! Eventually, things come together and it becomes apparent that Denilyn's stalker is someone close to her. Very close to her. The author did a super job of keeping that hidden for much of the story. I only figured it out shortly before it was revealed in the story. There was a BIG surprise about Deni near the end that I don't think any reader would have guessed. While there were a few things that hinted, I would have never guessed. I had to admire Deni for facing her fears and confronting it head on to stop it once and for all. To sum it up, if you love Christian fiction suspense, you will be captivated by this one! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I ended up really enjoying this book, but it was hard for me to get into it at first. The story has three timelines going on for most of the story. 2009 then January 2017 and May 2017, which was a little weird for awhile. Eventually, it made sense to me and I really got into. The characters in the book were good. I enjoyed watching Deni grow into herself. I eventually had an idea of who was behind everything, but it did take awhile. This was the author’s first book in the suspense genre, but I hope it is not her last. If you enjoy suspense along the lines of Terri Blackstock, Brandilyn Collins, Lynette Eason, or Patricia Bradley, I think you’ll enjoy this one. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Wow! This is like a spider web of suspense. Ginny Yttrup really surprises me as a writer of dark suspense. I especially love that she has faith-filled characters that exhibit weakness then as growth takes place, a strength that only God will provide. This isn't just a stalker story, this is pure evil consuming the goodness of touches. There's the complexity of a lot of things going on that reflect the reality of many lives. These are realistic things that can and do happen to people, Christians included. Yttrup combines victim, fear, grief, devastating disappointment and much more in the telling of Denilyn's story. She depicts the framework of a set of years-long friendships and the unity that is built between a group of men and women. This book is very well done. I didn't want to put it down. Special thanks to Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for my copy of the book.
This is my second book of Ginny Yttrup and to me was a lot different from the other one I read titled HOME. I enjoyed them both because I love books that are different. It certainly starts out interesting and hooked me from the first page. The timelines in this book kept me looking back at the chapters to make sure I was getting it all straight. Suspense, intriguing, very tense scenes and the twists and turns will keep you flipping those pages. All three of these characters have fear that is so real and we can all relate at some point in our lives, but to be stalked might be a different matter. We all deal and respond with fear in different ways. Read how each of them deal with fear that is crippling to every day life. I recommend this book to readers that loves a clean Christian Suspense story. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to write a review. All opinions are my own.
What a ride! This book is as twisting and emotionally charged as a trip down the Kaweah whitewater rapids! With nail-biting suspense, the unyielding pace of the narrative never relents, and although this is not a horror novel, the creep factor was real enough and the scenario so plausible on a certain level that I would not want to read this while home alone. There was enough tension to keep the pages turning at a rapid pace, and the author set up a chilling degree of apprehension. I thought that the ordeal of PTSD and the psychological aspect of trauma enhanced the story, particularly given that Denilyn Rossi was herself a psychologist. This is as much a psychological thriller as it is a suspense novel. The Christian element is mostly subtle but does become more prevalent toward the end. My bone of contention with “Convergence” is its execution. Initially I attributed my confusion to the fact that I went into this book blind because I prefer not to read the summary, especially for this genre, but even afterward, when I did explore the synopsis, I realized that it would not have put me any farther ahead. Overall, I thought that this was a great story, but it was bogged down by too many complexities, which only multiplied as the story progressed. The shifting dual first-person narrative viewpoints and two different time settings made it difficult to stay abreast of what was happening to whom and when. Without giving any spoilers, this issue becomes even more complicated toward the novel’s denouement. Speaking of which, I had to step back and rethink the book from the beginning when the puzzle pieces began falling into place. Still, things did not quite fit for me with regard to Denilyn and Adelia. One of the main objects of psychological thrillers is to shock the reader, but in this case everything felt too contrived and bewildering, vacillating from one side to the other until the story became a Gordian knot of sorts. Nevertheless, I truly did enjoy this story and would recommend it to those who don’t mind a wild ride full of intricacies and revelations. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
So this book was anything but boring. Suspense, yes! The book captivated my attention and I had to find out who the culprit was and how it was "pulled off". I have to admit, though, as I first started to read it, I was kind of confused as it was written in first person by two people. And the time frames of the way things occurred are not in date sequence. I am not one who has paid much attention to chapter headings in the past, but I would suggest to the reader to pay attention to "names and dates" as presented in the chapter headings. It will make the events easier to follow. That said, the book absolutely enthralled me. If the genre was intended to be a suspenseful book, it passed that requirement! I was fascinated how the author combined suspense and faith in God together as Denilyn went through her stressful and difficult trials. Great book! You won't want to miss this one. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Talk about a thrill a minute! This book has it. CONVERGENCE by Ginny L. Yttrup, was so intriguing and suspenseful. A great novel full of perplexing details. Fear motivated. But what would it take to conquer that fear? Even the dedication had me intrigued. I was suddenly spellbound and with the first sentence caught up in the action. As I read and delved deeper into the story, my thoughts were going wild with questions. What is going on? What is this story really about? Each page I read forced me to go on to find out what was happening with this Psychology professor, Denilyn Rossi. Why now, after all these years was her past suddenly coming up and smacking her in the face? This story is so believable. Even the characters seemed so real. Everything seemed to be going pretty well at first for Deni, then this over-whelming, nerve-wracking fear came over her and she felt as though someone was watching her. When she looked up, she saw a man gazing at her from a window while she was book signing. Was it someone she knew? Why was it bothering her so? Then she let it slide by and didn't think about it any more. Then, while at a restroom after looking at a couple of pictures, she tore them into small pieces and threw them away. Was it someone she wanted to forget about? Why? What would she be going through that would make her feel so fearful, or overwhelmingly frightened to make her do that? Could it be she just didn't want to remember? Again why? Could it be overwhelming anger? Great title! Fast-paced! Deep dramatic plot! Amazing characters! Especially Deni. Her character to me stood out to let everyone know that there was a deep rooted problem. But how to take care of it was the big question. A must read!! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
This is a psychological suspense novel. In the end, I really enjoyed the story and plot twists regarding bullying and fear. I did have problems with some of the time shifts and alliteration throughout the book. I believe the author has fallen into the “girl” books that are all the rage now with their plot twists and time shifts that they all seem to feature. While sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and you end up confused. But like I said, in the end I was glad to have read it. Just read it already!
Reading this book reminded me of working a thousand piece puzzle. The puzzle frame may be fairly easy to piece together and the inside pieces may appear to go in a certain place until you actually start fitting them together. This book was the same. Just when I thought I had it figured out, a clue would pop up and suddenly, I found myself wrong again! Convergence is Ginny Yttrup's first attempt at writing suspense and she certainly succeeded in keeping me guessing. The story involves two women who have both been traumatized by unwanted attentions from men and one of these women has been stalked for over eight years. Readers are drawn into the lives of Psychology professor Dr. Denilyn Rossi and her deceased friend Adelia Sanchez and in flashbacks and alternating timelines we are shown their attempts to overcome the fears of being stalked. After a series of troubling events and attempts on her life Dr. Rossi decides that she will no longer be a victim. In her struggle to fight back Denilyn begins to seek the strength that she once derived from her faith in God. She asks a colleague how he is able to believe in and trust in God when bad things happen and he tells her "On those days when doubts plague me, I ask 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." (p. 98) Convergence is filled with suspense and "edge of your seat" adventure and it is also a thrilling study of pysychological warfare and the psychopathic mind. It also stresses the resilience of the human spirit and the power of believing in a higher power. We witness Denilyn as she asks God for the strength and guidance that only He can offer and we rejoice as she gains a new awareness of herself and realizes that "God didn't give me a spirit of fear, but rather a spirit of love, and a spirit of power." (p. 313). I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian suspense fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
I just finished reading "Convergence" by Ginny Yttrup and it was really good! 4.5★. The plot twist at chapter 33 Oh my goodness...I did not see that coming!! Very suspenseful. I didn't give it five stars because a handful of times I had to flip back to the beginning of the chapter to remind myself what year it was, since the chapters sometimes jump from past to present. But overall a very good thriller/suspenseful book. "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."
Very well written and suspenseful. Loved the way this story effectively tackles the topic of stalking, giving the reader a glimpse into the effects it has on the stalked. The stalked person can easily resign to live in fear for the rest of their lives. In this book, you will meet the stalked and see how they deal with the fear on a daily basis and walk with them as they seek answers to the following questions. Is there an end in sight? Is there hope? Can perfect love really cast out fear or has God abandoned her? And who is the stalker as appearances can be deceiving? Get a copy today and prepare to be drawn into this story as you seek those same answers. Note: stick with the story past the 1st couple of chapters as I was initially thrown by the point of view changes and date changes chapter to chapter and had to look back several times to caught my bearings, but after the 1st 3-4 chapters, I had my bearings and was hooked. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
This is a great read, once you get into the story. It is written in the first person, with some chapters referring to one character and some to another. You also jump from past to present to future dates. Each chapter is marked clearly so it is easy to know whom is talking and in what time frame, however you must stay focused or you will be lost. I feel it would be easier to keep up in an actual paper copy so you can flip back and forth to each chapter to see the actual dates, however I still enjoyed it in e format. There is much suspense, mystery, drama, healing and more in this book. Just when you think you have it all figured out, wow you are so wrong.
This book was a little difficult to follow at first with it going from past and present, but once I got into it I could not put it down. If you are looking for a book that is a page turner this book is for you. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Convergence by Ginny L. Yttrup is very suspenseful. There are many pieces to this novel and at times I had difficulty following the story line. At the same time, it caught my interest and I could not quit reading. Denilyn is a psychologist, author, psychology professor, and wife to Kevin. Her daily life deals with many issues, especially the fact that she has a stalker. Thankfully she has wonderful friends who are her support, because her husband has problems of his own. How far will the stalking go? Can Denilyn see past her fear? Will she let that fear prevent her from seeing the truth? Are there two stalkers? Is one more dangerous than the other? Is death his goal for Denilyn? Is she willing to die so he can be stopped? Will her fear and hurt cause her to turn from God or draw closer to Him? I recommend reading Convergence to answer these questions, and to figure out the mystery behind the heart-stopping incidents. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
I’m trying to think of a few words to describe this book – maybe fascinating, intrigue, action packed, a real thinker. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this title, but felt that it lived up to the word. Convergence did take me a little while to figure out that the chapters would move from character/place/time to another. So, you might say it’s not a sit down relax book, because it will keep you on your toes. Pay attention so you’ll get it all straight. Denilyn Rossi (Deni) is a psychology professor, and other characters include close friends that went to school together, worked jobs together, and are still in a close knit group. There is also her husband, and a child we don’t learn much about until late in the book, and other supporting characters. She was stalked a few years before as she’d written a book that had long lines at the signings, so naturally there are those “admirers” that get too carried away. Then, there’s the part of Denilyn that is today – and again, things happening that are like the stalker – but, he’s not due to get out of prison for a while. Another thread of the plot is Adelia Sanchez, who followed Deni’s teaching. As the description of the book says, Denilyn’s past and Adelia’s present converge at the Kaweah River, a dangerous man bent on destruction threatens them both. Your question will be “who?” The husband? A man that was found guilty of the early stalking or someone he hired? A stranger? Fortunately, a student has some information that gives some clues to put it together. But, I didn’t figure it out until the very last part of the book. As I say, it will keep your attention, trying to figure it out. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it for other readers. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing Company and was under no obligation to post a review.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a Yttrup novel, so I was excited that this one was a psych thriller. What I got was a novel that I wasn’t sure what to think of when I sat down to read it. The first two chapters, well, I was trying to love them, but instead, I found myself not wanting to go on. But, go on I did, and wow! Was I glad that I stuck it out! I loved the book! Dani and her friends were awesome. I loved the way Ms. Yttrup created them. They were true-to-life and really stole my heart! And the plot line. Wow. I found myself on the edge of my seat more times than I could count. The thrills were outstanding and really had me on a roller coaster ride with each page turn. I would think I had Dani’s issues figured out, and Yttrup would hit me another twist and I’d have to backpedal and think about it all over again. If you want a heart pounding, mind racing, hope filled novel, then look no further than this new release from the talented, skilled hands of Ginny Yttrup. If you’re not already a fan, this 4 star novel will make you one. Once you’re lost among the fast paced pages of this read, the characters sweep you into their story, and the messages woven in become your own. Hats off to Yttrup for creating a fantastic suspense read! Can’t wait for the next one. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Shiloh Run Press and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*