Daily Archives: December 14, 2009

Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs by Jeni Stepanek

messengerReviewed by Nancy Eaton

Messenger is a book that will bring out many emotions in you as you read each chapter. Yes, it will make you cry but most of all it will make you smile because Mattie was such a special, talented boy.

Mattie and his three younger siblings all had the same disease, Dysautonomic Mitochondrial Myopathy. Mattie’s siblings died very young. Mattie’s mother developed the adult type of this disease and is now in a wheelchair. Mattie would often wonder if his mother would die before him. As with all other hurdles in his life, Mattie told his mother that if she died before him, he would lock himself in his room for a very long time but eventually he would have to go on and he wanted her to do the same if something happened to him first.

Red, Green or Murder by Steven Havill

redReviewed by Teri Davis

When a person retires from a long-time law enforcement career, being a livestock inspector could be boring. That’s what Bill Gastner, formerly a county sheriff in a remote and quiet area of New Mexico, was thinking about when a ranching accident launches him into a long series of unrelated investigations that all require Bill’s expertise, experience, and contacts in understanding each event. Fortunately, his successor, Estelle Reyes-Guzman respects and welcomes his assistance in her overwhelming position as current sheriff.

First, while moving cattle, a young rancher’s horse is spooked. As the rider attempts to calm the creature, he is thrown off and unfortunately, the horse accidentally steps on his knee. Added to this is a missing ranch hand that leaves behind his dog and the questionable death of a close-friend and retired gun dealer. Are all of these related? How do you investigate each one without feeling guilty for not having answers to questions that keep Bill wondering? What ranch hand would leave behind a working dog that is as important as another human?

Pole Shift by Albert Samuel Tukker

poleReviewed by Teri Davis

Everyone seems to have an opinion about what might happen in December of 2012 when the planets will supposedly align and the Mayan calendar ends. Will this be the end of our world?

Albert Samuel Tukker has his own vision of what might happen. His story is POLE SHIFT. Could this alignment cause our magnetic poles to shift to being straight up? How would this change our planet?

POLE SHIFT begins with Forrest Woods being at his wife’s side as she is slowly and painfully dying of cancer. When she actually dies, he is, naturally and guilt-ridden, not there. However, Forrest still feels her closeness, especially whenever the blue firefly appears. Is this his wife looking after him?

Wyatt’s Revenge by H. Terrell Griffin

wyattReviewed by Patricia Reid

Bill Lester is a fishing buddy of Matt Royal’s as well as Police Chief of Longboat Key. When Bill stopped by Matt’s residence, it was to bring shocking news. Laurence Wyatt was dead. The death was shocking enough but when Bill explained that Wyatt was murdered execution style, it was difficult for Matt’s mind to process. Matt had a long history with Wyatt from his years in Special Forces. The friendship had carried on after Matt went into the practice of law and Wyatt became a professor of history.

Revenge would not bring Wyatt back but Matt was determined to find the killer and the reason for Wyatt’s death. The killer is not that hard to track down but the big question is who hired him and why.

Blood Island by H. Terrell Griffin

islandReviewed by Patricia Reid

Matt Royal is an attorney who retired young. Matt managed to make enough money to allow him to give up his law practice and live a life of leisure at his home on Longboat Key in Florida. This easy life comes to an abrupt halt when he receives a message from his ex-wife Laura. Matt and Laura meet and Laura explains that her stepdaughter, Peggy, has disappeared while on spring break in Florida.

Although Matt and Laura have been divorced for a number of years, Matt is still in love with Laura. Matt tells her he will do everything he possibly can to locate Peggy. Matt soon finds that this promise is easy to make but harder to keep.

Elmer the Christmas Elf by Marilyn E. Randall (Review #2)

elmer2Reviewed by Cy Hilterman

This story along with the authors great illustrations will give any child from 3 to 8 a very good Christmas experience as they follow Elmer in Santa’s workshop and Santa on his Christmas gift deliveries. The author thought there needed to be a variation on the old standard, “Twas The Night Before Christmas” and I think she has written one that is a keeper.

Elmer was Santa’s number one hard working elf. He kept the toyshop working well while keeping all in readiness for Santa’s Christmas Eve long trip around the world. But one Christmas Eve after Santa had taken off with his full load of gifts, Elmer discovered that he had missed placing one gift in Santa’s bag. This disturbed Elmer because he knew all the boys and girls were counting on Santa to deliver the toys they wanted so dearly. What to do?