12 Saturdays by F.P. Lione ~ Review

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12 Saturdays by F.P. Lione

Twelve Saturdays is like an “everything” bagel; it has a little bit of everything in it. The setting is New York City: Staten Island and Manhattan. It has a little bit of suspense and tension with a few bad guys thrown in. There’s fun humor and a few giggles. Some romance, some psychology, some tragedy, some adventure, and lots of relationship dynamics. All this is blended very well into an unforgettable storyline.

The premise is about family relationships. Jenna had been out on a date when she learned that her father was in the hospital. By the time she got there, it was too late, and she was overcome by so many regrets. She had not known he had a brain tumor. Then she learned that her father had some rather odd requests for her after his death. And that’s the beginning of an unforgettable series of 12 Saturdays.

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I enjoyed reading this book so much. There were moments of levity which balanced out the revelatory nature of the story. The one driving character, Jenna, was a real, living, breathing person to me. I found myself relating to her on so many levels. The more her background was revealed, the more her life spoke to me.

One element of the book I really enjoyed was the “girl power” feel of Jenna’s friendships. The best of the humor as well as the best of her strength came from these close ties. There were also a few twists and turns as the book progressed that kept me turning the pages.

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Finally, this is a faith-based story. Jenna wasn’t exactly the picture perfect Christian; she was a work in progress, just as we are. I took comfort in the growth in her character shown to us through her trials and triumphs. At a crucial point in the story, she knows where she belongs. I felt a great deal of satisfaction in this conclusion.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from CKN Christian Publishing on behalf of the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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Red Like Blood: Confrontations with Grace by Joe Coffey and Bob Bevington — A Review

Amazing_graceRed Like Blood: Confrontations with Grace by Joe Coffey and Bob Bevington

“Grace is more of a liquid than a solid. I think most of us know that implicitly which is why we say that grace flows. A liquid needs to be contained or it will run all over the place. Liquids are not passive. Once [Grace] is unleashed there is no telling how far it will go or where it will end up. In the middle of Walmart my friend Noel unleashed grace [through a generous incident], and grace flowed into the cracks of a broken heart as it is always prone to do. Grace needs one thing. It needs cracks. The bigger the crack, the deeper grace will penetrate. A soul with no cracks is like a piece of marble. Grace just runs off but never gets in. At Walmart, Noel found a woman whose husband had just died. Cracks and grace go together. When grace does find a crack to move into there is no telling how far it will go and what it will end up doing. Such is the nature of grace.” Joe

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Life stories are a remarkable phenomenon–a unique gift from God. Life stories take time to develop; they are sometimes years in the making. They usually have a beginning, a middle and an end. Sometimes a person can experience several life stories over the span of their existence. When we become acquainted with other people, we are usually unaware of their particular life stories until we find common ground. Then one friend tells a life story of theirs to them.

These life stories are like the bubbles children enjoy in the summer. A story becomes a free agent and floats around bumping into other bubbles from time to time. Sometimes the bubbles only touch briefly and go on their way. Occasionally the bubbles bump hard enough to cause one or both to change direction. I’ve seen some bubbles collide, exchange some material and break apart, somewhat altered. From time to time some bubbles may stick together after they meet and touch. Perhaps those are the ones where their life story caused them to bond and continue along the same path together. This last bubble type reminds me of Bob and Joe. Their life stories collided and they bonded. They became stronger for the alliance. As they moved on, they encountered other life stories and like bubbles bumped, changed directions, exchanged material, and proceeded. Like bubbles, our life stories take on a life of their own, known only to God. We can’t even begin to imagine the results when they touch others.

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This book is different in that there are stories within stories. There is a broader story, but its life is in communicating others’ stories as they touched along the way. The connecting medium for all these shared stories is Grace. We get up close and personal, see the cracks form, watch Grace as it flows and oozes down deep inside. The story was never the same after that. So this book isn’t just about Bob and Joe. It is also about Roland, Ricky, Jay, Mark, Randy, Tim, Andrew, Gene, Frank, Stan, C.J., John, Philip and Euretta, Karen, Dave, Joni, Amy and Rita, Rob, Grace, Big Dan, Jerry, Tom, Byron, Marshall,  Steve and others. Over and over, the stories are about brokenness and God’s Grace.

I loved this book. It is not religious in the sense that it tells you how to do something. No, it is a collection of enjoyable stories that reveal something marvelous, something true. Grace will transform us if we let it. I highly recommend it.

Cross Focused Reviews

Cross Focused Reviews

A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Shepherd Press and Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC). I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.