Renowrites blog!

Author of YA novel "Enlightenment" available March 2019!

The Host

Slowly getting back into the swing of things. To get my mind away from the crazy news regarding the Sandra Cantu case, I’ve been able to write more than usual. I’m happy with the direction of my second novel, but I know it’s far off until it’s ready to be read.

Someone recently asked me about books I’ve recently read. I’ve been an avid reader since grade school, and I’ve continued being one up to today. I recently had the pleasure of reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer. My review is posted on Check it out!

The Host: A Novel The Host: A Novel by Stephenie Meyer

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
It took me about two weeks to read “The Host” by Stephanie Meyer. It took me quite a while to get through the first 100 pages. I just honestly didn’t understand what was going on besides the fact a soul was now in a human body. What was a Seeker? Healer? Who cares! So I didn’t open the book again until a week later, still stuck on page 84.

As I got more into it, I slowly realized the error of my ways. The first 100 pages were crucial in setting up the rest of the book. The dichotomy of Melanie and Wanda grew on me. How Meyer’s set this book up made me, the reader, pull for Wanda to make it through, even if she is one of the Souls.

But that was the trick. Since I am a human reader, I brought my human bias into this book. I sided with the humans and I thought of the invaders just like the humans in the book did – the Souls were savages and Wanda was just an unusual exception.

In my opinion, the love story of Wanda and Ian trumps the love of Melanie and Jared. Ian looking past the physical mask and seeing Wanda for the caring and unselfish being that defined her personality gave me hope for mankind. Even Melanie says she wasn’t as good a being as Wanda and I would have to agree. The discovery of The Seeker’s unusual behavior gave me that “I should of known” slap on the forehead. Of course, I’m so human, I’m too limited to see beyond my human point of view right?

After finishing the book, I re-read the first 50 pages and it made a whole lot more sense to me. Yes! I’m not a complete idiot! I see the foresight in the author’s writing.

And since I’m so human, I speculate a sequel. The ending just screamed sequel – but maybe that’s just a side effect of my humanness? I wonder if one of the Souls would feel the same way?

If someone asked me if I liked the book, I would probably say yes. If they asked me if I enjoyed it, I know I would say yes. I just know it’s probably not for everybody, but for this reader, it gave me goosebumps.

Stephanie Meyer, thanks for making me question my whole human perspective. 4 stars!

View all my reviews.

Filed under: Writing

Life must go on

It’s been a tough week in Mountain House and Tracy. The killer of Sandra Cantu hasn’t been found and we learned today there will be a public memorial, giving the entire area a chance to publicly share their love for Sandra. The autopsy findings haven’t been revealed and I can imagine it will take a few weeks before any information is released. Please let there be enough evidence to find whoever did this to her.

As I’ve had time to consider the impact of Sandra Cantu on our town and my family, I’m always brought back to how everyone came together for one little girl. I actually feel relieved that so many people care and helped with the search. It tells a lot about the community of people in Mountain House and Tracy and I’m very proud of the people here. After time passes, wounds will slowly ease, although still very pained. We will never forget Sandra’s life and the lessons learned from her passing.

Tomorrow, my son gets four immunization shots. I’m humbled more than ever to be able to share moments like this with him and my girls, another reminder to me how life continually keeps me inspired to write.

Filed under: everyday


I write with a heavy heart. One of the beautiful children of Tracy California, a beautiful 8 year old named Sandra Cantu, a girl who lived only a few miles away and missing since March 27, was found dead today. My wife and I are grieving. Chills go down my spine knowing someone deliberately did this to an innocent child. My children also grieve, trying to understand.

Writing never seemed so inconsequential…

Filed under: everyday

Finding Sandra

Sandra Cantu is an eight year old girl who went missing on Friday March 27, 2009. She lives in Tracy, California, a town only 7 miles away from where I live. The community has really come together on trying to find this little girl. Signs are posted everywhere between Mountain House and Tracy. Our neighborhoods have her face memorized. I find myself looking closely at every little girl I see walking on the street.

It’s hard to put into words the heartbreak I felt seeing her mother on television for the first time. As a father, I cannot fathom being in such a situation. I go to sleep saddened until Sandra is brought home.

Here’s the link to the National Center for Missing Kids. Sandra, we’ve never met, but our family prays for you.

Filed under: everyday