From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
Loree Lough
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Interview, Excerpt

If he had only answered that last phone call from the World Trade Center . . .
Minutes before two jumbo jets changed U.S. history, New York police officer Austin Finley ignored the call from his brother, who'd been bugging him for days. Trying to live with his one regret causes hatred and bitterness to consume Austin, and when counselor Mercy Samara recommends desk duty, Austin resigns. Haunted by her own memories of 9/11, Mercy takes a job as a school counselor in Baltimore. When Austin, now an EMT, responds to an emergency at Mercy's school, both are stunned and wary.

Finally their common-and painful-memories turn suspicion into friendship, then romance. But hard questions linger: Can they truly move beyond their past harsh judgments and harsh words? Will their past finally bring them closer or-as the tenth anniversary of 9/11 draws near-drive them farther apart?


 Ashes to Honor Discussion Questions: Loree Lough


1. What expectations did you have for Mercy and Austin’s relationship when they first met?



2. List three of Austin’s PTSD symptoms.



3. Do you feel that Mercy displayed PTSD symptoms? If so, what were they?



4. What were Austin’s character strengths?



5. And his weaknesses?



6. What were Mercy’s most positive traits?



7. And her character flaws?



8. Why did Austin have such a hard time admitting his anger?



9. Do you feel Mercy overcame resentment toward her mother?



10. Which of the two main characters did you most closely identify with, and why?



11. Who’s your favorite secondary character, and why?



12. If you had to select one “faith theme” from this novel, what would it be?





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