Thursday, September 30, 2010

Standing Firm Movie Review by Bradley Evans



David, a widower, is working himself to death. Late nights doing paperwork and running on fumes is normal. Bills are piling up by the week and foreclosure looms on the horizon. Blaming God for his wife's death, he ends his relationship with the church.

Steven, the remaining Christian of the household, has been watching his father’s unhealthy lifestyle with great concern. With help from his grandpa and best friend Maggie, Steven reaches out to his father in any way he can.

Despite his grieving and worsening financial problems, David begins seeking an answer to the question haunting him since his wife's death...WHY?

STANDING FIRM is a story of suffering, God's purpose in it, and being joyful despite it.


After viewing the trailer of Standing Firm on Facebook, I was intrigued about the story behind this movie. In my investigations, I determined this project is the first independent one ever from Kyle Prohaska. Not only is it an independent film…. It is an independent Christian film. I must confess that I love watching independent movies most of the time and always hope that Christian documentaries and feature films are interesting and not over done. What is over done? Being to preachy, showing you’re desperate to finish the story, script or how the directing can look and sound bad. Independent companies and directors have low budgets for their film but can still look great like typical big motion pictures. Some examples of low budget Christian films that looked great and have a good story are Flywheel, The Perfect Stranger, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry and Dangerous Calling.

Standing Firm is the story about being lost and the hopes of getting found by someone or something. I was stunned that a first film endeavor by a director was a feature film. A feature film is anything over one hour which is amazing. Most first time directors are lucky to get a good 20 to 30 minutes documentary movie to look great. This was great for the whole 81 minutes.

As I watched Mr. Prohaska’s work unfold on the screen, I was impressed by his attention to detail and development with his characters and a matured innocence with the camera. The script that he also co-wrote with Kevin Michael was captivating and believable. Rob Reisman (David Corwin) was excellent and heart wrenching to witness on screen. For someone with no acting experience before, Mr. Reisman looked like a semi-professional to me. I hope that I see him acting again in the future.

When David and his son Steven are dealt with a catastrophic blow to their family and way of life, the unfolding story shows what God can do in loss of identity and love through death. The power of prayer, hope, faith, love and willingness to live and move on made Standing Firm a movie library buy for me. The moving and believable examples of Christianity and God shown I hope will cause others to buy and watch it over and over for years to come. It is truly a death to grave and rebirth from ashes to beauty with God’s guidance.

I don’t know what Mr. Prohaska’s future holds for him but I hope he does a feature film again when God allows because I see great potential for him. I hope his name will be mentioned one day as a great director with the likes of Rich Christiano, Alex Kendrick, Dallas Jenkins and producer Ralph Winter to name a few. They also make excellent Christian films.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.

Be blessed!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Movie Review of Secrets of the Mountain

Somewhere between the demands of her career, her ex's wedding and her kids' busy schedules, Dana James (Paige Turco, The Agency) is noticing her tight-knit family starting to unravel. An unexpected offer to purchase her family's mountain property sets up a weekend road trip, which she hopes will bring her family back together. When they arrive, they quickly learn that the mountain is much more than it seems. An ancient secret and a treacherous quest will test the family like never before. It's an edge-of-the seat thriller that reminds us that when times are tough, families don't run away from problems - they run back to each other.


Recently, I picked up a copy of the movie Secrets of the Mountain at my local Wal-Mart because I was looking for a good wholesome family movie to watch. After purchasing it, I realized that it had been on NBC several months prior. Normally when I look for movies, I check to see if they had been made for TV. Besides the Hallmark movies, I typically do not watch those types. Usually, the scripts or the acting are bad or uninteresting. When I was a boy, NBC movies on Sunday were great and I hope after seeing this one that more like it are on the horizon.

The story of an overworked and rarely playful mom dealing with the remarriage of her ex-husband has been overdone in the past. However, the twist of the family land for sale and adventure to find the secrets under the mountain was attention getting. There are not many made for TV movies just for families these days, so I was hopeful this was a good one.

Secrets of the Mountain is the movie about Dana James, an overworked attorney, who has been abruptly called away from work to pick up her kids from her ex-husband’s wedding reception. She has also been offered a deal to purchase her family’s land, previously owned by her Uncle Henry before his untimely death. Uncle Henry Beecham, played by Barry Bostwick (TV’s Spin City, Rocky Horror Picture Show), was an adventurer finding treasures like the Indiana Joneses all around the world.
After arriving home from getting her kids, Dana is called to meet the realtor quickly to finalize the land’s sale. Her children are forced to join her for a week to see the lodge and the mountain one last time before it’s sold. Dana has three children. They are twins Jade Ann and Jake and younger Maddie. Jade Ann (Adelaide Kane) is the oldest daughter who dresses in gothic attire and has anger issues with feelings of abandonment. Jake (Crawford Wilson) is the only son of Dana and a basketball jock with no sense of adventure. However, the youngest daughter Maddie (Kayla Carlson) is very smart, ambitious and adventurous just like her mother.

As the story winds down, dealing with the villain of Dana’s past who killed her uncle and almost her, gave this feeling like Disney’s movie Escape from Witch Mountain had which I liked. As Dana and her kids find themselves working together as a team while hurrying to find the secrets of the mountain, a new bond and love is found that had been buried like those treasures so long ago. While no extraterrestrial powers were used like Escape from Witch Mountain, the teamwork, willpower and determination to protect the family and the mountain was all that was needed. Secrets of the Mountain feels like a great beginning for a Sunday movie of the week like back in the old days on NBC. I really came away with a smile on my face and that family movie night just might be back. I hope you feel that this is a great movie for your family in your home. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Be blessed!


Friday, July 30, 2010

The Lost and Found Family Movie Review


When her husband dies, Mrs. Ester Hobbes learns that his wealth was just an illusion. Her only real inheritance is a run-down Southern home occupied by a foster family. Slowly, Mrs. Hobbes finds herself making unexpected connections with rebellious teen Justin and the rest of the unwanted kids. Five guarded and confused foster children, two loving but weary foster parents and one grieving former socialite find themselves in an unwanted place. Put them all under one dilapidated roof and you get eight unique individuals in a house. Or maybe, just maybe, it becomes the family they've all been longing for. The Lost & Found Family is a touching story of hardship, change, and the faith that God can make things better, no matter how difficult the situation appears in our eyes.


What do you get when veteran actors meet new unknown actors in a movie? It is The Lost and Found Family. It has veteran actress Ellen Bry (TV’s St. Elsewhere, Mission Impossible III) leading a cast that tells the story of fear, loss, anger and redemption. Lucas Till (Hannah Montana) is the other actor of notoriety in this movie. He plays rebellious teen Justin who feels he has to be tough and distant with his emotions and behavior. He has bounced from one foster home to another over the years and believes he has developed a thick skin. When Mrs. Hobbes, a recent orphaned woman, shows up with cheer and hope, there seems to be a new identity and trust forming as the story unfolds. Teri (Jessica Luza) is a lost, sad girl trying to be understood and fit in as an older teen in the home of Tony (Jeff Portell, We Are Marshall and Broken Bridges) and Ramona (Lynn Cole). Teri struggles with peer pressure at school and the prospects of moving again with Mrs. Hobbes showing up.
I give this movie a 5 out of 5 stars. It is great for the whole family. Its lessons of trust, hope, faith and love are comforting and endearing to watch. I hope that when you are looking for a movie to watch with your family or just yourself, you will consider The Lost and Found Family.

Be blessed!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Book Review of “Rooms” by James Rubart


On a rainy spring day in Seattle, young software tycoon Micah Taylor receives a cryptic, twenty-five-year-old letter from a great uncle he never knew. It claims a home awaits him on the Oregon coast that will turn his world inside out. Suspecting a prank, Micah arrives at Cannon Beach to discover a stunning brand new nine-thousand square foot house. After meeting Sarah Sabin at a nearby ice cream shop, he has two reasons to visit the beach every weekend. When bizarre things start happening in the rooms of the home, Micah suspects they have some connection to his enigmatic new friend, Rick, the town mechanic. But, Rick will only say the house is spiritual. This unnerves Micah because his faith slipped away like the tide years ago and he wants to keep it that way. As he slowly discovers, the home isn’t just spiritual, it’s a physical manifestation of his soul which God uses to heal Micah’s darkest wounds and lead him into an astonishing new destiny.


This story deals with the unexpected gift of a house from a man that you’ve never met before. It is an intriguing premise by James Rubart. Rooms is a mysterious, slowly unfolding novel dealing with Micah Taylor, a 30 something software tycoon billionaire. With one surprise twist after another, the revelations learned can be applied to all. Imagine living a life needing nothing because you have money to get whatever you want except for the one thing that is not for sale. It is a house with many rooms that magically appear with instructions to help you understand what is transpiring about you and this gift. Then, it becomes clear at some point that this new house seems to be alive and not only hears your thoughts but makes each room perfect for you. Is God behind this?
With parts of “The Shack” and “Screwtape Letters” intrigue, Rooms has a great message that can be learned each time you read it. I believe it is a great lesson about choices and how important they are in making a great life on Earth. Do you believe in God? If you do, then what is more important? Being in God’s army or the world’s? Rooms deals with importance in life, family, money, power and love. We all know life is not simple and neither is this book. I believe it has potential to be a Christian classic like C. S. Lewis works or “Hinds Feet On High Places” by Hannah Hurnard.
I give this book a 4 ½ out of 5 stars. I hope you will read it and feel as reflective and touched as I did while reading it.

Be blessed!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

“Live Fast Die Young” Movie Review


At an exclusive Hollywood party on Christmas Eve, an A-list star dies of an apparent overdose. A detective holds a protesting core group of Hollywood insiders for questioning. The group, consisting of an A-list director, a top agent, a movie star, a media mogul, a writer, a wannabe actress, a studio head, and others, begins a deep and profound discussion on the meaning of life, including the existence of God.


A few weeks ago, I was looking for a new Christian movie at my local Family Christian Bookstore. I have not bought a Christian movie in a while. As I decide for something, I try to find stories that stand out with interesting plots or great market catches. For this movie, I saw on the cover, # 1 Christian movie in theaters after “Fireproof.” This was interesting because I never saw a trailer for it before and it was not on at the local theaters. I should know, because I really look for Christian movies and see them in the theater if I can. Also on the DVD, I read it was from the director of “The Genius Club” and felt that was a good movie.

As I started to watch this movie, I felt uncomfortable during the first 25 minutes. It started slow, predictable and rather cheesy. The story dealt with too many minor details working up to the pivotal moment at an exclusive Hollywood party one night. This is not what I want to see at the theater much less on DVD. Was writer/director Tim Chey letting me down? Why he decided to start the movie or for that matter write the script so cheesy knowing he has done better work was disappointing. At the 26th minute, the film seemed to begin. There was maturity in the writing and the storytelling both visually and through the acting. The movie is about trying to be successful, famous and acknowledged in the Hollywood circles.

The story has the proverbial director, producer, famous celebrity, wannabe celebrities, writers, agents, etc… While no one should be shocked at how the director, producer, and media mogul act arrogantly, I do like how we get to see behind their masks as well as the masks of other characters in the movie. This opportunity is provided when the exclusive Hollywood party’s pivotal moments occur. A new A-list actress starring in her first feature film dies of an apparent overdose of drugs. The detective in charge of this case decides that he needs to hold everyone at the party for questioning for 6 hours.

As the night unfolds while everyone is questioned, the masks that each of the characters have are removed one at a time showing their raw emotions. Many issues such as suicide, abuse, fear, pride, and the seven deadly sins are discussed. One subject discussed the most however is Jesus Christ.

A likeable actor among the group discusses his recent conversion to Christianity and how that one decision has made his future better forever. Live Fast Die Young is a funny, heartwarming movie that provides hope, faith and facing the undeniable truth in full High Definition.

This is not the # 1 Christian movie after “Fireproof” in my opinion but, it is in the top 5 and Why? God is discussed and this is rare in Christian movies. I like how the discussions and questions raised give not only the characters on the screen something to learn and take away but for the viewers as well. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

Be blessed!


My Book Review of “The Leisure Seeker” by Michael Zadoorian

Premise :

John and Ella Robina have shared a wonderful life for more than fifty years. Now in their eighties, Ella suffers from Cancer and has chosen to stop treatment. John has Alzheimer's. Yearning for one last adventure, the self-proclaimed "down-on-their-luck geezers" kidnap themselves from their adult children and doctors who seem to run their lives. They steal away from their home in suburban Detroit for a forbidden vacation of rediscovery.

With Ella as his vigilant copilot, John steers their '78 Leisure Seeker RV along the forgotten roads of Route 66 toward Disneyland in search of a past they're having a hard time remembering. Ella is determined to prove that when it comes to life, a person can go back for seconds while sneaking a little extra time and grabbing a small portion more, even when everyone says you can't.

Darkly observant, told with humor, affection, and a touch of irony, The Leisure Seeker is an odyssey through the ghost towns, deserted trailer parks, forgotten tourist attractions, giant roadside icons, and crumbling back roads of America. Ultimately it is the story of Ella and John, the people they encounter, the problems they overcome, the experiences they have lived, the love they share and their courage to take back the end of their own lives.


When you were growing up, did you and your family go on vacation across the country? My family did in a car. It was a great time for the most part. I felt free and happy while doing it on the open road. If I had been old enough, I would probably have thought of it as an escape from the everyday routines and mundane, unpleasant realities of life. As I decided to read this book, I wanted to read a story filled with adventure, funny stories and dealing with tough subject matter that was not too depressing. With the premise above, I felt “The Leisure Seeker” was a first person account of adventure filled with a lot of comedy, a little sadness and just the right amount of realism. Michael Zadoorian tells an amazing story told from Ella Robina’s point of view. You felt like you were riding along with them in their Leisure Seeker RV experiencing what they were doing at every turn. This story is “Fried Green Tomatoes meets “Driving Miss Daisy” meets “The Notebook” all rolled into one story.

I believe that if you are looking for a raw honest assessment of life through the mind of an elderly woman you will enjoy this book. Ella curses sporadically throughout their adventures. She uses G. D. the most often. If you are looking for a Christian story with no salty language this is not the one for you. But if you do, I believe you are missing out on an unforgettable story and quite possibly a life changing one because of how it looks at a Cancer victim and her prince with Alzheimer’s.

While I did not like the predictable ending and the unnecessary cursing, I believe this is a great adventure story filled with truths learned when dealing with elderly parents who escape to live and breathe. I can understand this story from the older children’s prospective also because I have had several family members who also had Alzheimer’s. I also have felt the fear and smothering effects of Cancer told by friends and family who have now died or still are survivors of a powerful disease.
I am glad that I read The Leisure Seeker and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Be blessed!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Book Review of Try Dying by James Scott Bell

Premise: Ty Buchanan is a rising star on track to be a partner in his L.A. law firm, until the suspicious death of his fiancée, Jacqueline Dwyer, forces him into the underbelly of the city to discover the truth behind her death. He soon has more than his career on the line, as he finds himself tangled up with a mysterious group of former gang members and becomes the target of a killer.

Review: In this fast paced thriller, Try Dying, lawyer Ty Buchanan is faced with the grim reality that his life is forever changed on a wet Tuesday morning in December when a man, Ernesto Bonilla, decides to end his life and his wife’s as well in a murder suicide. The problem with Ernesto’s suicide was that it happened on an overpass of a busy road in Los Angeles. He pulled the trigger causing his fall onto Jacqueline Dwyer’s car as she drove to work that morning.

The chain of events for Ty Buchanan flies quickly from grief to trying to find the killer of his fiancée, all while trying one of the biggest cases of his career. While I read this book, I was rooting for Ty Buchanan. James Scott Bell is a definite master of his craft. His mixture of humor, suspense and mental pictures is a great combination.

The only thing that I can compare this book to is a show that was cancelled a few years ago called Eli Stone. The only difference between Ty Buchanan and Eli Stone is Eli had a brain tumor. Ty Buchanan just mentally snaps while trying to prepare for a major trial against big bully lawyer, Barton Walbert. While Ty is also dealing with investigating the death of his fiancée, he is assaulted physically several times. I ask… Wouldn’t YOU snap too while being bullied and tired of basically being told what to do from the gang thugs, his boss and Barton Walbert? I believe this book is a fun adventure and suspenseful pleasure to read. I give Try Dying a 4 ½ out of 5 stars.

Be blessed!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

What to Do

April 1st... Beginning of a new month. Spring is finally here and the pollen has me sneezing. I have decided to right one blog a month where I free think it and not edit that much. Now, I have only one problem. Do I want to write what I want to write or the ideas of followers of this blog? I want to hear what you think. Do you want to give me ideas or me to randomly pick an idea that week and write what I want? If you want to pick then reply to this blog with I pick followed by your topic idea.

For today only until I get at least one response, I will talk about What to do.

What to do... Where is the clue?
Is it under a rock or in my sock?
Probably not oh what to do...

Gone is yesterday and today almost
But tomorrow is coming guess I can coast

What to do??? What to do?
Could play Disc Golf again today
Nope because I am too sore anyway
Reading is all I do like I have crawled in a shoe
What to do? What to do?

If you've got a clue to this poem
I don't mind what your shown
OK this is not very good
Can't do anything and wish I could

Be blessed!


Book Review of Between Two Kingdoms by Joe Boyd


In this work of allegorical fantasy, author Joe Boyd takes us on a pilgrimage to a land of two kingdoms, but with only one true King. An ancient land, where children never grow old, is the first setting as a living land called the Upper Kingdom. Here foundations grow in trees and rivers sing and breathe. The second setting is a dying land, where the darkness of a false prince threatens to swallow everything in its shadow, called the Lower Kingdom.

Enter the adventure with Tommy, a child of the Great King, as he and his friends accept the challenge to live as grown men and women in the Lower Kingdom. Here hope is hidden, vision is clouded, and pride twists truth into a beautiful yet deadly deception.


Between Two Kingdoms is a fantasy book with use able data for our daily lives. This is the first thought I had while reading these stories filled with verbal imagery. What I found was so much more. There was one surprise after another as I read each and every chapter. I saw me in those pages. I saw you in those pages. Joe Boyd has a great imagination and grasp on all things not of this world and of this world. The way he describes constant distractions that keeps our lives from being 100% happy and free is one extreme. All the ideas I realized I have on Heaven and the way the church should be are revealed as another.

The Lower Kingdom in this book is filled with filth, doubt, pain, tears, fear and so much more. It is what we may already know about Earth and things we wish we could forget. On the other hand, the Upper Kingdom with the King on the throne and the Prince by his side are glimpses of Heaven for me.

Do you like to read stories that stand alone as individual pieces or be a part of one giant story or puzzle? Do you like C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien fantasy books like The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings? Have you read The Shack by William P. Young? If you have, then this book fits right in with those stories and descriptions of who, what and where God is and Jesus his son. If you have not, I hope that you will read them all in the future. You don’t have time to read them all? Ok, then read this one first because it is the shortest and then work your way to one of the others. I believe you will love this story and place it on your shelf for many to read. It will be a classic in the future just like all of C. S. Lewis’ works. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Be blessed!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Forsaken by James David Jordan Book Review

Have you ever started reading a book and realized at some point, usually about half way, that it is a sequel or Book 2 of an author’s series? Does it make you feel empty or feel like you are missing something? When I read Double Cross by James David Jordan a few months ago, I realized pretty quick that this was a continuation story in a series. I didn’t know at the time as to how many in the series there were. This did not matter when I finished it because I loved the story and the interplay with the characters of Kacey Mason, daughter of Evangelist Simon Mason, and the main character of Taylor Pasbury.

After I finished the story, I searched for previous works by Mr. Jordan and wanted to see how the back-story unfolded. To my delight, I discovered Forsaken was the only other book in this series when I went to get it from my local library. ** Side note: You would be amazed at how many Christian fiction books you can find at your local library that you can check out for free. **

As I started reading this book, I was filled with excitement to discover Taylor Pasbury’s adventures dealing with Evangelist Simon Mason. Simon, in Forsaken, had to face a faith defining moment after the kidnapping of his 20 year old daughter Kacey. He called on Taylor, a former Secret Service agent, for help after receiving death threats while in Chicago.

The past history Taylor Pasbury had with her Dad becomes more in focus as she deals with Kacey’s kidnapping and ultimately her own emotions developing for Simon Mason until the end.

I believe that James David Jordan is now added to my list of favorite male authors. I am glad that Christian fiction is gaining more men that many can turn to and feel good about reading. I hope that as you look for your next suspense book; give James David Jordan a try. I give this book Forsaken a 5 out of 5 stars. It kept me wanting to come back for more.

Be blessed!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Burn by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy -- Book Review


Janeal Mikkado has long felt trapped in her father’s Gypsy culture. One night a powerful man named Salazar Sanso promises her the life she longs for if, she will help recover a vast sum of money tied to her father just to save his life.

When the plan implodes, Sanso and his men attack the gypsy settlement and burn it to the ground. During the blaze, Janeal is faced with staggering choices. The impact of the attack at that moment would change her life forever.

Review: Coming off reading the best seller Kiss by this dynamic duo of Christian fiction writing a few months ago, Dekker and Healy have shown they are a great team again bouncing ideas together & making yet another best seller in Burn.

When I first started reading this book, I was hoping for an even better version of Kiss with all the supernatural powers or borderline God level powers in a human form. When you deal with stealing memories with a kiss in the last one, where can you go? How crazy was I for asking that question? Of course, I knew they were capable of using another of the major senses we deal with everyday all twisted up in a crazed thriller over a 15 year time-line.

This high octane rocket of a story dealing with Janeal Mikkado and her father Jason Mikkado, who runs a gypsy carnival of thrillers troop, was an interesting starting point. Another great starter was showing the villain right out of the box in drug dealer Salazar Sanso who is a man that always gets what he wants. There was no exception by seducing and duping Janeal to believe that her father was in danger and the DEA was going to hurt him too if the money was not found. One million dollars missing is a big deal. How about the idea of that million to be counterfeit? The power struggle to protect one’s self from prison because it is counterfeit can make a man desperate. Mr. Sanso would do just about anything. This includes burning down a whole camp filled with gypsies & killing them all.

As the story unfolds, I found that it was easy to follow and then imagery of the scenes rocketed through my head. I will not spoil the ending so I will end my review this way. I recommend anyone who wants to read a very good action packed adventure to add this one definitely to your reading list. I feel it will be a movie someday. The Dekker fans out there will just enjoy another great story. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Be blessed!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Illuminating Angels and Demons Movie Documentary

Recently, I watched the movie Angels and Demons directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks. After my viewing, I wanted to know more of the behind the scenes and factual content discussed and described in the film. The movie’s title is the same name as the book by Dan Brown. The main character, Robert Langdon, dealt with tracking down historical Biblical clues to stop the killing of Bishops and possibly the Pope in the Vatican and around Rome, Italy.

In this 90 minute documentary taken from the book title of the same name, Illuminating Angels & Demons by Simon Cox, is the examination of the book Angels and Demons which was written by Dan Brown. For those of you who may have recently seen the movie of Dan Brown’s book, Angels and Demons, watching this documentary might have you finding yourself more enlightened or illuminated on the back story to Dan Brown’s research and writing of his best selling book. It focuses on the “Path of Illumination” that is heavily discussed in Mr. Brown’s book.

As you watch the documentary, people might say it and Dan Brown’s book are conspiracy theory and innuendo that can not really be confirmed by any one. With Simon Cox’s gathering of people that are interviewed throughout his investigations, if it is all conspiracy theory then it is very entertaining for this reviewer.

Simon Cox gathers a few of the supposed foremost researchers and writers on the subject matters discussed. He brings in Ruled by Secrecy author Jim Marrs to explain various secret societies from the Knights Templar to the supposed Bilderburg group that is said to exist and run many things around the world. Mr. Marrs should know about conspiracies with his history of researching them according to a Wikipedia article on him.

In addition to Mr. Marrs, Simon Cox calls on fellow authors who have written books on the Vatican and various secret societies. Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett, who have written various religious books on the history of various Christian groups, to Devon Jackson and Jon Rappaport are among these authors. The final interviewee was Paul L. Williams, a former FBI consultant dealing with organized crime.

Illuminating Angels & Demons directed by Dan Hall, is a good layout of information so that the viewer can take the information and believe it or chalk it up as another 90 minutes of entertainment for one night. This is a religious documentary and I’m glad I watched it. I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars.

Be blessed!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Return Policy Book Review

Premise of the story:

Meet Willy Finneran, a washed-up genre novelist with an espresso maker that just won’t die. Ozena Webb is a customer service representative and single mother of a mentally handicapped twelve-year-old boy. Shaq is the homeless man who believes he’s everyman. This is a brilliant and poignant novel from the author of My Name Is Russell Fink.


In his second novel Return Policy, novelist Michael Snyder introduces us to three very unusual and relatable characters all dealing with tragedy. Willy Finneran, a washed-up genre novelist, has an espresso maker that just won’t die. When he calls Javatek, the company that makes the espresso maker, he doesn’t realize the needs and wants surrounding it even though he wants it gone. Ozena Webb, single mother and Javatek’s top customer service rep, is the person Willy contacts. The story begins to unfold sucking you in for more in all 4 chapters.

As for Ozena, she spends every evening playing board games with her young son who is mentally disabled from an early unknown childhood accident.

The final character, Shaq, is a small and scraggy homeless man with trauma-induced blank spots on his memory. While assisting Father Joe at the Mercy Mission, he crosses paths with Willy Finneran after an unexpected event caused by Willy while driving.

As the stories of these 3 characters intersect, the narrative deals with hope, naïveté, comic relief & childlike attraction. This unforgettable book reveals that no matter how far one has strayed from hope and faith, there is always a way to return. I believe this story is already a classic even though it has not been out a long time. It reminds me of Forrest Gump meets Fried Green Tomatoes which meets the face of God because I think all three deals with hope, faith and perseverance to be better than we all wanted to be the day before. Forrest Gump did, Idgie Threadgoode did, and God wants to meet us where we are and make us better. Just like Forrest Gump and Fried Green Tomatoes left me wanting for more, Return Policy left me asking for more. The ending was sweet and not too abrupt. I felt like I was finishing reading a good diary or journal of someone, just as the story seemed to begin. I give this book 4 ½ out of 5 stars. Thank you for your humor and southern comfort in the story Mr. Snyder!

Be blessed….


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Book Review of “Double Cross” written by James David Jordan

“Double Cross” is the second novel in a series by James David Jordan. This book, not to be confused with a title of the same name by James Patterson, is a suspense thriller following the former Secret Service agent Taylor Pasbury. Her story this time deals with the fallout after the death of prominent televangelist Simon Mason. This tragedy came at the hands of Muslim extremists in the Middle East while they held his daughter Kasey hostage. His death should have been the end to all injustice that happened around Simon Mason Ministries but now the target is Taylor. Taylor’s viewpoint is expressed throughout the book.

Having not read Mr. Jordan’s first book “Forsaken,” I did not feel that I missed out on anything since he seemed to summarize what happened in it well as this story first began. I appreciate it when author’s do this so that I do not feel lost and can pick up the story from any book. “Double Cross” has a great suspense character in Taylor Pasbury. It is like following Jason Bourne, Jack Ryan or Jack Bauer from their points of view. I hope that Mr. Jordan continues this character so I can follow it as long as James Patterson’s Alex Cross character has continued for him. This is my first reading of a James David Jordan book and I must say that I am impressed. I give it 4 out of 4 stars.

Be blessed!