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Unplanned ~ Review


Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense Novel Volume 1

By Alana Terry

Kennedy Stern is a first year pre-med student at Harvard.  In addition to juggling a busy class schedule she's learning to deal with life in the U.S.  Church services are a sharp contrast to what she experienced in China.

But when Pastor Carl, who knew Kennedy as a child, asks her to volunteer at the new pregnancy crisis center, Kennedy agrees to handle the calls for a week-end.  The center hasn't officially opened yet so there shouldn't be many, if any incoming calls.  But the first phone call she answers involves a young girl who shouldn't be old enough to have the worry of pregnancy.   With nothing to go on other than an age and a name, that may or may not to be the girl's real name, Kennedy is determined to find and to help "Rose".

But helping Rose is about to involve  Kennedy in something she wasn't ready to deal with.  Can she learn to trust God in all things, even when it seems hopeless?  Because all too soon trust in God is all she has.

Unplanned is a book that will leave you thinking.  When faced with having to personally confront difficult issues how will we react?  What role does our upbringing play in how we face issues and difficulties?  When do our beliefs become personal?  When do they become our choice and not just something we borrow from our parents?

Unplanned is a story wrapped in intrigue, politics, belief, decisions and family.

I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.  

About the Book:
When Kennedy Stern's childhood pastor asks her to volunteer at his new pregnancy center, she carves time out of her rigorous college schedule to promote the cause of the unborn.

After receiving a disturbing call from someone far too young to carry a child in the first place, Kennedy can no longer blindly hide behind the pro-life platitudes she grew up believing. She resolves to locate the unknown girl but winds up entrenched in a mystery that grows more convoluted as it unfolds.

Soon, Kennedy finds herself a pawn in a deadly game of intrigue, at the mercy of those who consider a few innocent lives a small ransom to pay in exchange for personal and political victory.

Unplanned was a finalist in the Deep River Books Writing Contest. The paperback contains discussion questions for book clubs or personal reflection.

A first year college student adjusting to life in the States.
A brand new pregnancy center desperate for new volunteers.
A mysterious phone call from a girl who's far too young to be pregnant.

UNPLANNED from award­-winning suspense novelist Alana Terry

After volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center, Kennedy Stern finds herself a pawn in a deadly game of intrigue, at the mercy of those who consider a few innocent lives a small ransom to pay for victory.

Did You Know? (Writing trivia from Alana Terry)
  • I started writing Unplanned at 12:15 am on January 1, 2015. The neighbor’s fireworks helped keep me awake.
  • The first draft of Unplanned was completed in three weeks.
  • About fifteen percent of Unplanned was composed on my dictation program, where I spoke the words out loud and the computer transcribed them. It had more errors to correct but was easier on my eyes and wrists than typing.
  • My research for Unplanned included interviews with an OB nurse, a crisis pregnancy center director, an EMT, and an FBI field agent.
  • I went to college just outside of Boston, near where Kennedy studies.
  • Like Kennedy, I was also a premed student. When I took the MCAT I scored higher on the writing section than on biology.
  • In Unplanned, Kennedy is reading Crime and Punishment for her Russian lit class. It's a book I've read three times, once in high school, once in my own college Russian lit class, and once after I graduated.
  • Kennedy's roommate is rehearsing for an adaptation of Twelfth Night, which is my favorite Shakespeare play.
  • When I was a volunteer for our local pregnancy center, I received a call very similar to the one Kennedy receives from Rose. I never did figure out who the girl was.
  • During one round of edits, I deleted the word just 93 times, even 103 times, and at least 23 times.
  • Even though Unplanned is the first book in the Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense series, it shares characters with my other books. Kennedy’s parents are the missionaries in Slave Again and Torn Asunder.
  • While I worked on Unplanned was the first time I’ve gotten choked up while writing.
Protagonist Kennedy Stern vs. Author Alana Terry
(a video interview)
It's always fun to learn how much of themselves authors put into their characters. For Alana Terry, it can be a whole lot! In her new Christian suspense series, the main character Kennedy Stern is a lot like Alana was in college. They both were in school in the Boston area, they both were pre- med students, and they both loved Russian literature. Watch the four­ minute video to learn about even more similarities.

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~ Blooming with Books