Personal Writings And Book Reviews

Coming Home November 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — novelized @ 3:17 pm

ImageLet’s just face it. Max Lucado is brilliant. Coming Home is yet another beautiful allegory from this talented writer who skillfully engages children while teaching them Biblical truths.

Fantastic life like paintings by Justin Gerard compliment this heartfelt story about Argo and Arion, twin brothers who are shipwrecked on an island and given very specific instructions by their captain to stay out of the forrests of Terrene while he is away. 

The Captain tells them that he is going to a color-filled island that is alive and perfect for them. He promises to return and bring them there, but first they must wait and endure the temptations of Terrene and it’s dismal greyness.

The response of one brother is not without consequence as his color fades and he becomes like the forrest he was warned to avoid.

Will Arion be able to sway his brother back to the Captain’s side before his return? Will he be left no choice but to leave the island without his brother?

I loved the depth and message of this story and enjoyed sharing it with my children. My only disappointment was that  Argo does make a bad choice and recovers at the last second, as the boat is leaving the shore. I found this sad. 

I believe that the opportunity to be rescued from sin is there until the last second and that God’s will is that none perish, however, who wants to achieve forgiveness at the last second? Essentially Argo makes it by the skin of his teeth, a scary and avoidable position. 

God’s mercy is HUGE. Yet, unfortunately, there will be people who don’t “come home”, but linger in the forrest. This is a reality. Admittedly, I’m not sure how you can tactfully present that concept to children, but I still felt it was an element that was important and lacking in this story.

This book is available at Crossway for $15.99.

*In compliance with the Federal Trade Commission Rules please note that Coming Home was provided for review by the Crossway Book Review Program.




Lady in Waiting

Filed under: Uncategorized — novelized @ 2:23 pm


I’m a sucker for historic fiction. Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner does not disappoint. With a clear handle on history, a vivid imagination and loads of emotion, the author brings Jane Grey to life in this unique and heart wrenching story.

It’s not enough to know what a historical figure feels or thinks. That’s been done so many times before. Susan Meissner applies a different strategy, exposing this intriguing character through the eyes of Lucy Day, her fictional dressmaker. How Lucy feels about Jane tells so much more about this character and adds depth to the story in a fantastic way.

The reader doesn’t start in the past though. This book begins it’s journey with Jane Lindsay, a present day antique dealer with a shop in Manhattan. The first section is told in her voice and we learn that she is dealing with a failing marriage and business pressures when her international assistant sends some newly acquired antiques her way including a prayer book and rosary that belonged to a Jane as well as a ring which has been carefully embedded in the spine of the book.

This begins a mystery and the weaving of past and present as we meet Lucy Day and discover the connections she has to the prayer book, rosary, and more importantly Jane Grey.

I was hooked into the story very quickly. My fascination for British royalty kept me glued to the page.

This book has two story lines which tie together well remaining somewhat separate. Of the two story lines I preferred Lucy. Her perspective of Lady Jane was heartfelt and connected me emotionally to history, which I loved. I think the historical aspect is truly this author’s strength and so I could have read an entire novel about Lucy alone.

There are discussion questions in the back of the book which are great. If you have a book club, don’t miss these questions. They are really great questions.

I not only recommend this book, I’ve shared my personal copy with others. I truly enjoyed this book and believe others will as well.

Pick up your copy today at Amazon, CBD, or Barnes and Noble.

Like to try before you buy? Read the sample here.

*In compliance with the Federal Trade Commission Rules please note that Lady in Waiting was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group


Decision to Love September 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — novelized @ 2:09 pm

Michelle Sutton doesn’t deny that her writing is controversial. On the contrary, she considers it a joy to be a writer “Edgy” Christian Fiction. No doubt God has gifted her with the honesty, sensitivity and integrity to tackle such themes in a God honoring way.

You won’t find sensationalism in her story or judgement either. Those aren’t the point of her writing. Nope, her motivation is to address the areas that Christians all too commonly sweep under the rug and expose them to the light of God’s truth extending love to all people while recognizing all sin equally. 

Take a look at the book trailer and come back for my thoughts on Decision to Love. 

Decision to Love will walk you through a frightening picture of the effects of sin.

Long after Tony and Hope have come to grips with their affair the scars continue to present themselves through haunting memories, guilt and maybe even in the choices made by their children. 

Hope wonders if her infidelity could be the cause of her son’s recent confession of homosexual desires. After all, he was raised in the church, surely he knows better.

A new believer, Tony is still struggling with lustful memories of his encounter with Hope and the shame these thoughts bring. He wonders if he is the cause of his daughter’s relationship woes. Fearing that “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” he seeks to show her better in her relationships.

Hope’s son, Jimmy, brings a very relivent picture of the mental and spiritual anguish of having homosexual feelings. His heart is in turmoil as he battles whether to act on feeling or follow his faith. 

Meanwhile, Tony’s daughter, Nina, struggles with the decision to have an abortion and the wave of emotion that comes after making her decision. Believing that she is too dirty, broken and flawed to ever be loved by God, her father works to introduce her to the forgiving nature of his new savior.

I especially like that the author never undermines or elevates Jimmy’s mistakes or those of any character. The flaws of all characters are carefully and fairly addressed.

Decision to Love is a discussion starter for sure. How would you handle it if your child was on the precipice of such a monumental choice? Could you decide to love?

If controversial topics don’t leave you squeamish, and you can appreciate an edgy approach this might be the book for you.

I enjoyed Decision to Love and felt challenged in my reactions to all forms of sin. The only area that bothered me was that Tony repeatedly entertains his lustful thoughts by engaging in masterbation. I don’t doubt that this occurs frequently even among christian singles, however, it’s not something I want to read about. The story itself was not benefited from these scenes being included and I feel I would have liked it better had they not been added.

You can learn more about the author (Michelle Sutton) at:

If you are a fan of this type of book check out Michelle’s social media network Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers.

I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.


Falling In Love

Filed under: Uncategorized — novelized @ 1:19 pm

Wade is in his thirties, a gifted veterinarian and single. Katie, his younger assistant and friend, can’t seem to figure out why he hasn’t found the love of his life yet.

Katie’s obsession with finding Wade the right woman and his obsession with her collide in a very predictable, but deliciously romantic story line.

The tug of war over friendship boundaries and mounting romantic desires send Wade to prayer again and again.

Tension? Oh my goodness! The romantic tension between the characters is almost tangible. Notice I said romantic tension not sexual tension. I love the clean approach the author takes with them. The innocence of every touch and the silent prayers behind every feeling make this a story you could comfortably share with your teenage daughter.

Very well written scenes stir up the reader to root for a romance that seems to be more than a passing fancy. Wade and Katie have all the markings of forever love, if they could just get out of their heads and make a move already.

Falling In Love is a quick read full of heart. You’ll swoon through each page, your eyes glued until the very last sentence and you’ll no doubt put it down satisfied.

You can purchase your copy at Amazon. If you have a Prime account, you can download this book FREE.


Ramblings from the Shower September 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — novelized @ 5:20 pm

Ramblings from the Shower cover photo

Ramblings from the Shower sounds like a kind of flaky title that doesn’t really come close to giving Faye Bryant the full credit she deserves.  So much more than “ramblings”, Faye’s wisdom and friendly dialogue make this a book you’ll be eager to share. It’s a comprehensive devotional collection that will touch the heart of the reader and motivate reflection and a closer walk with God.

When I take a shower I usually catch myself humming something crazy like Singing in the Rain or Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Faye’s shower time goes so much deeper. The shower is her time to quietly muse about the things of God. The discussions she has with herself and the Lord during these times are profound and she is generous to share that private time in a very candid fashion with her readers.

I love this book! I love her voice and the realism she conveys.  Certain topics spoke louder to me than others, but I think this will be extremely personal for each reader as the holy spirit highlights the messages they need most. 

For me it was an early chapter that first gripped me. She writes about when she was thinking about pedestals. She quickly remembers an event with a pastor’s wife who was overwhelmed by the challenges and work of operating under the expectations of others as well as the crazy high standards she had in turn placed on herself. Faye spoke reason and peace into the pastor’s wife so desperate to please. She recognizes the fear and emotion of such high expectations and touches on a very needed splash of grace. As a former pastor’s wife I was deeply blessed to know that someone outside of that life could see the struggles these women face and reach out in love. 

There was so much insight packed in this simple little book that I could hardly put it down. 

You won’t find sudsy philosophy or washed up religion in the pages of Ramblings from the Shower. You’ll find honesty, truth and a clean picture of the one who can wash you whiter than snow.

Pick up your copy today at At Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It’s shower time! 


I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.



Ramblings from the Shower

Filed under: Uncategorized — novelized @ 4:41 pm

Ramblings from the Shower

What do you think about in the shower?

And where do those thoughts take you?

In “Ramblings from the Shower,” author Faye Bryant shares some of the thoughts that have come her way during the mundane task of everyday hygiene, and how those thoughts have compelled her to ask, “What about this, God? What do You think?”

Follow along as Faye shares through personal experience and revelation her conclusions on just what God does think.


Update On My Book: When Chicks Hatch July 5, 2010

I recently received my press release and publicity materials for When Chicks Hatch.  I’m working hard on the final edit and hoping that my novel will be in the hands of readers very soon.  Click the link below for more details.

When Chicks Hatch Media Kit