Friday’s Fiction

Fair Play, Deeanne Gist’s new novel, is well researched and full of interesting pictures, bringing to light the appalling conditions of Chicago during the late 1800’s, from jailing 8 and 9-year-old children to sewage running in the streets.

Though Fair Play is touted to be about the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, the majority of the book is focused on the first playground ever developed for the poor, with the World’s Fair being the backdrop.

Dr. Billy Jack Tate is a female, notwithstanding her masculine name. She is hired to be the doctor for the Women’s Pavilion at the World’s Fair.

Hunter Scott is a Texas Ranger sent on special assignment to the World’s Fair. Despite his impressive credentials, he works as a security guard for the Women’s Pavilion.

Herein lies a problem and a very disconcerting portion of the novel. Dr. Tate treats Hunter for an ailment when he practically collapses at her feet. The ailment is an impacted bowel from not having gone to the bathroom in many days. The discussion and subsequent examination are very disquieting. Why not pick a different, less-ahem-embarrassing, problem for both Hunter and the reader?

I was stunned to find out Ms. Gist was leaving the Christian or inspirational genre and going to a more general and secular market. (I discovered this after reading the book.)  As a result, I could make more sense of the “edginess” to the book, especially its sexual tension.

Another problem appears within the formatting for the Kindle edition, a minor glitch but perplexing all the same.

Overall, Fair Play is an enlightening story about parts of history many probably aren’t aware existed and perhaps would prefer to ignore.

I was provided the Kindle version of this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.



I have an old beat up bookshelf (it is actually all white and not brown). Maybe I’ll get it renovated when the rains go away.


I am a little more tired and in a little more pain than usual so today’s post is one I created loooong ago.



Tuesday’s Tale

William Sirls has masterfully penned his debut novel, The Reason.  Be prepared for laughter and tears.

Extraordinary, surprising and amazing are just three adjectives that are not even adequate to begin describing Sirls’ first novel. I normally do not give out 5 star ratings. I feel the book has to be profound and make a huge impact on me to get 5 stars; otherwise, the 5 stars become meaningless as a tool.  The Reason rates its 5 stars.

The Reason begins with a storm that destroys the cross in front of St. Thomas, a small-impoverished church in Michigan. From there the story never lets you go. James Lindy is the church’s minister.  He is blind and along with his wife, Shirley, he helps care for their mute and physically challenged adult son, Charlie.

Brooke Thomas and Alex, her son, were “adopted” by the Lindy’s.

After a providential meeting with Brooke, Dr. Macey Lewis, oncologist at East Shore Hospital, volunteers to spearhead a group to repair the cross.

After church one Sunday, the group assembles to repair the cross. During the process, one of the men is slightly injured. He walks down the hill, to the home of the pastor, where the women are gathered.

Kenneth, a carpenter working on the addition at East Shore Hospital, miraculously repairs the cross while the man is gone.

The only “witnesses” to the repair are Jim, who is blind, and Charlie, who is mute.

How did Kenneth repair a completely destroyed wooden cross with no help? And why does Kenneth exhort everyone to “Only Believe?”

The Reason will test your faith, open your eyes and leave you marveling at God’s ability.

I received this book from in exchange for an honest review. Cross hit 2

These Shocking Photos Show The Scars You Can’t Normally See. And They’re Horrifying.

I am reblogging this-naming it Sunday’s Shame.
The truth in this holds many for their entire lives, would that parents (and others) could understand the damage words inflict.
Thank you for posting this.

Kindness Blog

Words have meaning, and they possess the power to change the world.  They can inspire us to do amazing things, or to commit the most  horrible acts.  It’s up to everyone to understand they are responsible for wielding that awesome power.  Because words cut the deepest, and yet leave no marks, they can truly be the most devastating form of abuse.

PhotographerRichard Johnson, who has himself suffered from the worst kind of verbal abuse, created a series of photos to illustrate their incredibly harmful effect.  These images, created for theWeapon of Choice Project, are important because they remind us that the terms we throw out in moments of anger or frustration can be just as damaging as physical abuse.

CAUTION!: The photos below feature victims and strong terms of emotional, sexual and verbal abuse.

Weapon of Choice

We presented each participant in the Weapon of Choice project with a list of hurtful words, and…

View original post 488 more words

Saturday Silly

Dictionary for Mom’s

WHODUNIT, NOT ME and I DUNNO: None of the kids that live in your house.

FAMILY PLANNING: The art of spacing your children the proper distance apart to keep you on the edge of financial disaster.

DUMBWAITER: One who asks if the kids would care to order dessert.

FEEDBACK: The inevitable result when your baby doesn’t appreciate the strained carrots.

FULL NAME: What you call your child when you’re mad at him.

GRANDPARENTS: The people who think your children are wonderful even though they’re sure you’re not raising them right.

HEARSAY: What toddlers do when anyone mutters a dirty word.

IMPREGNABLE: A woman whose memory of labor is still vivid.

INDEPENDENT: How we want our children to be as long as they do everything we say.

OW: The first word spoken by children with older siblings.

PUDDLE: A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes into it.

SHOW OFF: A child who is more talented than yours.

STERILIZE: What you do to your first baby’s pacifier by boiling it and to your last baby’s pacifier by blowing on it.

TOP BUNK: Where you should never put a child wearing Superman pajamas.

TWO MINUTE WARNING: When the baby’s face turns red and she begins to make those familiar grunting noises.

VERBAL: Able to whine in words. . .


Friday’s Fiction

The Advocate by Randy Singer is a richly woven tapestry of fiction and non-fiction, history and supposition all woven together, seamlessly stitched into a narrative of realism.

Through the eyes of Theophilus, Singer spans the history of Rome from the reign of Tiberius and Christ’s death to Nero’s reign of terror and burning of Christians to use them as torchlights.

Because of the history of the time and the horror of Christ’s death, the book has some gritty, gruesome and troubling passages.  As you can guess, parts of this book aren’t for the faint hearted.

Singer does an exceptional job of making you feel as if you are there as the story unfolds. He begins with Theophilus as a young man training to be an advocate for criminals and follows until his death.

Throughout the book, Singer interlaces portions of the Bible into the story in innovative and unique ways.  For instance, when Pilate is trying Jesus, Theophilus suggests Pilate offer Barabbas instead. He is sure the Jews would release Jesus, an obviously innocent man, rather than release Barabbas, an obviously guilty man. Theophilus is stunned when his “idea” fails and remains guilt ridden for life over the crucifixion of such an innocent man.

The Advocate, though fiction, will give you a new appreciation for the books of Luke and Acts; guaranteed to cause you to be unable to look at those two books the same again.

I would not recommend this book to younger readers due to the subject matter. Even though there is no cursing, there are strong undertones of sexuality and scenes of gruesome, barbaric violence.

Tyndale House Publishers provided a complimentary electronic copy of The Advocate, downloaded through NetGalley. (No review was required.)