Item description for A Mile from Sunday (The Lightfoot Trilogy #1) by Jo Kadlecek...
Sometimes wolves pray in sheep's clothing The perfect hair product is out there for girls with uncontrollably frizzy curls. So is the perfect piece of chocolate. So is the perfect man. And so is a good, warm, fuzzy, inspirational lead story. Jonna Lightfoot McLaughlin, religion reporter for the Denver Dispatch knows, in her heart, all this to be true. She just can't find proof. For any of it. Then one day, a series of mysterious messages appear on her voicemail and she is thrown headlong into a story that may drastically affect her career, and, if she's not careful, her life. Clues from untraceable sources collide with duplicitous ministers, ambiguous monks, and one exceptionally good-looking community center director. With the help of her supportive editor, her savvy, fellow chocoholic colleague and the protection of her big brother, she might break the biggest story of the year and find some of that inspiration after all.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.1" Width: 5.4" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2006
Publisher NAV PRESS #111
Series Lightfoot Trilogy
ISBN 1600060285 ISBN13 9781600060281
Availability 0 units.
More About Jo Kadlecek
Jo Kadlecek has been teaching Bible studies, Sunday school classes, retreats, and academic college courses for the past fifteen years. She has been an active member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City since 1996, and an urban neighbor for the past sixteen years. She holds a master's degree in communication and a master's degree in humanities.
Jo Kadlecek currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Mile from Sunday (The Lightfoot Trilogy #1)?
A great start to the trilogy Aug 18, 2008
It's July 2003, and 27-year-old, caffeine-driven Jonna Lightfoot McLaughlin has been promoted to be the "Number One" (and only) "Religion Reporter" for "Denver's number two daily newspaper," the Dispatch. She's hoping to find human interest stories more inspiring than the annual regional convention of Southern Baptists. But when people phone her desk, well, she's never quite sure where a story lead will take her.
In the first chapters we're introduced to several potential stories: a Methodist church potluck; a Catholic charity for underprivileged children; a disturbed man who claims to be God; a fire at a Zen Buddhist cultural center; and a disgruntled parishioner who claims there's deep trouble --- sounds like criminal activity --- at Into the Fields Fellowship, a church that caters largely to immigrants. That's a lot of ground to cover, or uncover, in the course of about two weeks. As you might imagine, the plot moves quickly, with Jonna delving into the various Denver contexts, though she "passes" on the invitation to the potluck.
At first, A MILE FROM SUNDAY (set in the "mile high city," get it?) feels like a romance, there being two potential suitors: a blind date set up by Jonna's older brother Matt, and a handsome blond lawyer she's interviewing to get her feel-good story about the Catholic charity. But, ultimately, Jonna's critical questions come down to "who am I?" and "what's my next career move?" rather than on "who's my man?" As Jonna tracks down the various stories, the narrative takes on characteristics of a page-turning mystery. Where is this going? How will it turn out?
Eventually, the police get involved in several of Jonna's potential stories, and toward the finale, as storylines climax, a reader might have a hard time believing that Jonna can so quickly walk away from the fray. But then this is fiction, and a trilogy, at that, so you might expect that by the end Jonna is unscathed and ready for a new adventure.
Author Jo Kadlecek, who teaches writing at Gordon College, has drawn a lead character who can't quite quit smoking, though she assures God she will do so. She's forever sipping coffee and can't control her hair or her weight. She's no glamour girl, and that itself is part of the story, as she draws closer to understanding herself and her place in the kingdom of God.
An appendix of sorts (called "etc.") includes a 10-question discussion guide; a paragraph-long description of each of 12 "sacred sites to visit next time you're in the mile high city" (the buildings or named communities aren't discussed in the novel itself, which seems to stick to fictional sites); an "amateur reporter instruction kit," which asks readers "what religious sites or groups in your community...catch your attention?" and gives a few pointers for interviewing, researching and writing a freelance news story; and, finally, a teaser first chapter of the second book in the trilogy, A QUARTER AFTER TUESDAY, in which Jonna has settled into a new job as a religion reporter for a New Orleans newspaper.
--- Reviewed by Evelyn Bence
Get to know Jonna! Mar 15, 2007
In A Mile From Sunday Jonna Lightfoot McLaughlin is searching for love, just the right hair product and the story that will skyrocket her journalistic career. As the Denver Dispatch's one and only religion reporter, Jonna has a bird's eye view of the faithful whether in a church, synagogue, temple or commune together with their representatives, pastors, monks, priests, rabbis, all with their own story to tell. After enduring a smorgasbord approach to spiritual beliefs during her childhood instigated by her eclectic hippie loving parents, those same parents met Jesus, introduced Jonna and her brothers to Him, changing their lives forever. Jonna's faith and her childhood experiences gave her a compassion and understanding of people's search for truth which she faithfully turned into articles popular with the Denver community. When Jonna's investigative nose sniffs out a sinister plot under the guise of faith, a Buddhist temple burns down and "God" starts messaging her, Jonna embarks on a search for truth and justice. Jo Kadlecek has created a genuinely fascinating yet non-traditional Christian character in Jonna Lightfoot weaving an intriguing story and providing an inside look into the many faiths in our world today. Jo does not shy away from portraying Jonna with human frailties and an intelligence that sees her pondering the realities of life and faith, asking the questions we are often afraid to voice. Although not all will agree, it is Jonna's imperfections that endear her to the reader. Journeying with Jonna in the sequel, A Quarter After Tuesday , will no doubt be an engaging and rewarding experience.
A Fun Read Jan 23, 2007
Jonna Lightfoot McLaughlin, religion reporter for the Denver Dispatch receives a series of mysterious messages on her voicemail and she is immersed into a story that could change her future, or determine if she even has a future. Jonna chases clues all over town, and knows she's on the heels of breaking a major news story. Jonna is known for reporting the "good news" but through a series of events she sees the drastic contrast between good and evil. She looks for news and clues as she sorts through the generic potluck announcements. Perhaps her story is in the mysterious monks, or with the attractive community center director. She hopes upon hope that he really is as good as he seems. You will find some of the typical chick-lit subjects (chocolate and bad hair days), but the subject line will take you to a deeper place. We see the human side of Jonna and perhaps end up seeing our own humanness as well.
Fun read Nov 17, 2006
Jonna Lightfoot McLaughlin, the number one (and only) religion reporter for the Denver Dispatch, is just sure that there is "good news" to be had in the world of religion-and she is going to find it. Unfortunately, most of the news that comes in is ugly, or is simply another church potluck. But "God" continues to call (sounding rather whiney), the monks are being pretty secretive, the "place to belong" is full but lifeless, and that attractive community center director--can he be as good as he seems?
Aside from the nearly cliched need for chocolate and great hair, this single girl mystery is a fun read. The suspense, though creepy, still allows for a good night's sleep and there is just enough going on that readers aren't quite sure who is up to what. I love how Jonna can count on her big brother, and that she has some vices that she knows are frowned upon by the typical Christian church. She is very human and trying oh, so hard to grow in her faith, but the stress...does it count if the cigarettes are organic?
Armchair Interviews says: An inspiring, fun read.
Funny and suspenseful Nov 16, 2006
Jonna Lightfoot McLaughlin is the religious reporter at the Dispatch. She covers the usual events, does a good job of writing them up, but she wants more. Then she starts getting messages from God, except the caller sounds like he's a lot flakier than she expected God to be. His message centers around what a terrible place the world has become,and she's inclined to agree with him but why would God want her help? She brushes off the calls, but for some reason she can't forget them. What if he does something to hurt someone. She reports him to the police, but he doesn't go away.
Then the Mile High Zen Buddhist cultural Center burns and Jonna gets a call from Jedediah Sundae, a man who apparently dosn't exist. At least there's no record of him anywhere. Johnna's brother is trying to play matchmaker, and she has a strong suspicion the head pastor of Into the Fields Fellowship is a religious phony of the first water and a dangerous crook. Suddenly her bland life is more exciting than she likes.
A Mile From Sunday is a fun, fast paced tale about the world of the cults. Jo Kadlecek makes the point that not all members of the flock are docile sheep. Some are wolves, ready to prey on the unsuspecting. This is the first book in in the Lightfoot series. I'm looking forward to the second one.