Fab Four Book Picks

Book reviews by the Fab Four and our Fab Friends

Friday, November 24, 2006

Emma Jean Reborn

By Kathi Macias and Dr. Cupid R. Poe

ISBN: 1-4208-4816-x

Publisher: Authorhouse


Emma Jean Reborn is a heart felt story about a woman's journey of healing from a past of abuse which caused her to make unsound decisions in her adult years regarding people she let into her life. Emma Jean didn't learn how to set proper boundaries, and until Christian friends came into her life, Emma Jean had a skewed image of normal. Though I didn't quite buy that both sisters (first one died) were named Emma Jean, this book was deeply touching. Emma Jean is a character who will stand out in my mind.

I also loved the sensory description in this book. It wasn't too much or too little. The authors made me feel like I was in scene, even to the bubble bath bubbles under my chin. They mastered so much with so little. The book brought out a lot of emotion in me because of the nature of Emma Jean's past which formed her doormat personality. One character (Joe) in particular really irked me because of how he treated Emma--preying on her niavety. This tells me he was a well-written antagonist.

Living in an area where racial discrimination has a fluent history, this book should be stocked in every library around here. The authors touch on that topic with tact and truth. I loved the characters in the African-American church who took Emma in and loved her, I love how the authors executed that. I also liked the character of Sadie Garret and how she befriended Emma. Very poignant moments and touching.

This story was gritty as far as content but the authors maneuvered those scenes without disturbing imagery, yet the reader knew what was happening, especially the intimate times between Joe and Emma.

This is one of those books that makes me think for awhile after reading it, because I know there are people out there who've suffered some of the type of abuse Emma Jean did. I only hope for those people that, as Emma Jean did, they will let God in and heal them so their futures will be better than their past instead of history repeating itself over and over in their lives.

Overall touching read.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Yuletide Stalker

by Irene Brand

Trouble in Paradise

To Linc Carey, Maddie Horton had always been a gangly kid with braces. So when a gorgeous woman walked off the plane, Linc was stunned at the changes in his late commanding officer's daughter. The Hawaiian holiday was his belated graduation present to Maddie, who'd been thrilled when her former crush invited her for a Christmas visit. Neither expected romance to blossom in such a short time. But Maddie's dream trip soon turned ugly when the people responsible for her fahter's murder set their sights on her. Can Linc protect Maddie from her yuletide stalker?

Pammer here: I started the book today and finished it today. I couldn't put it down. The characters are well developed and tug you into their lives. The suspense is riviting. And the romance....ah, the romance. I love it when he touches her arm for the first time. The reactions are so vivid, I felt like I was there. Good read.

Monday, November 20, 2006

SCOOP by Rene Gutteridge

Scoop (The Occupational Hazards series, book 1) by Rene Gutteridge

From the back cover:

And now back to our regularly scheduled insanity.

Channel 7 news producer Hugo Talley dreams of working with first-class professionals. Instead he’s saddled with a weatherman who can’t admit when he’s wrong, an aging anchorwoman who refuses to release her clawlike grip on the newsdesk, a conscience-stricken reporter who’s reluctant to focus on sensationalism, and a new assistant–former homeschool student Hayden Hazard–who can’t just seem to leave her faith outside the newsroom.

When the Channel News 7 team inadvertently stumbles on a hot news story, Hugo is frantic to exploit this rare opportunity. But a series of crises–including a Botox disaster and the disappearance of a colleague–threatens to destroy his chance for ratings success and send him completely over the edge.

Meanwhile Hayden’s presence is distracting at least two coworkers. Softspoken reporter Ray Duffey isn’t sure whether he’s attracted or frightened by her outspoken faith, while ego-driven Sam Leege is certain her naïve spiritual convictions will fall victim to his persuasive attentions.

With their oddball antics and all-too-real foibles, this lovable cast of characters offers a hilarious look at the sometimes-unexpected effects of taking one’s faith boldly into the workplace.

Camy here:

From page one, I was completely engrossed in the story, the characters, and the plot. This was a very engaging read, with clean humor and yet very insightful emotional themes.

The characters are all very unique and distinct. I liked how the author drew out both the likeable and unlikable aspects of each character to create very 3-dimensional story people.

The setting in the world of news journalism and broadcasting is fascinating, and acts as another character in the story. Even though it was a totally new world for me, I was never confused by what was going on.

Some of the threads tied up a little to quickly and neatly at the end, but it was still a very satisfying ending to the story. I was almost surprised it was done.

What’s interesting about this story is that the heroine isn’t really the protagonist, in a technical sense, because she doesn’t change. However, she acts as the catalyst who changes everyone around her. The story is told from their viewpoints rather than Hayden’s.

I actually thought it was very clever writing to be able to show Hayden’s personality through the other characters’ eyes. I never needed to be in Hayden’s point of view because I knew exactly what she was like, what she was thinking, what her values and ideals were.

I’m looking forward to the other books in this series, starring the other Hazard family siblings in a variety of other interesting occupations.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Review of Scimitar's Edge, plus interview with Author Marvin Olasky

courtesy of Glass Road Publications

"Stepping away from his roles as professor, historian, and creator of "compassionate conservatism," Marvin Olasky, editor-in-chief of WORLD Magazine has penned an edge-of-your-seat novel that educates as well as it informs. "

"SCIMITAR'S EDGE is the story of four unique Americans on a journey that takes them to a world of great beauty and great danger. Olasky uses his vast knowledge of the culture to pen a tale about the War on Terror that is so realistic it might have been taken from today's headlines. "

--Kathleen at GRP--


1. What's the book about?

MO: At its basic level it's about Americans who go to Turkey for a vacation -- I spent a month there two years ago -- and are kidnapped by Turkish Hezbollah; the question then is how to get away and whether to forget about the whole thing or attempt to fight back. In another sense Scimitar's Edge is about America and the war against terrorism: Now that it's almost five years since 9/11 many of us almost seem to be on vacation again, but the terrorists are not.

2. You're a journalist and professor by trade, with about 18 non-fiction books in your past. What led you to turn to fiction?

Largely fun. In one sense I was playing SIM Turkey: Drop four people into a harsh foreign environment, give them action and adventure, build a romance … I grew to like the characters and wanted to see what they would do. I also enjoyed the challenge: I've written lots of nonfiction books and know how to do that, but this was all new.

3. Is your research for fiction different from your nonfiction research?

The trunk is common - as I traveled through Turkey I took notes on geography, food, customs, and so forth - but the branches differ. My nonfiction research emphasizes accuracy concerning what has happened; for example, every quotation has to be exactly what a person said. In fiction, though, I'm inventing dialogue, yet everything that happens has to be true to the characters and the situation.

4. What's been the feedback from your fans since your switch to fiction?

Oh, are there fans? Actually, I've gotten excellent reactions from many of the folks who like my nonfiction. A few worry about sexual allusions - one of the characters is a serial adulterer and two of the others, as they fall in love, encounter sexual tension. Scimitar's Edge is also an action/adventure novel so there's some shooting, and one of the main characters is a terrorist who relishes lopping off heads. So anyone who wants a sugary book should look elsewhere.

5. You also include some descriptions of what's been called ”the forgotten holocaust” a century ago, and explain some Turkish history.

Turkey was the proving ground for the first sustained governmental attempt at genocide, as Turks killed over one million Armenians and sent many to concentration camps; Hitler admired that effort. But Turkey has often been a central player in world affairs, not a backwater. Nearly two millennia ago Turkey became a Christian stronghold: The seven churches John addresses in the book of Revelation, for example, were in what is now Western Turkey. Going back one millennium, what is now Turkey was the front line for a clash of Christian and Muslim cultures.

6. I know you wrote your doctoral dissertation about film and politics from the 1930s through the 1960s, a time when Westerns were one of the dominant genres, and I see certain Western-like elements in this book.

Westerns came in about seven different varieties, and one of them was called the “revenge Western,” where a bad man has killed a beloved person and the hero heads out to bring him to justice. In nuanced Westerns the hero at various points asks himself whether his end justifies his means and whether it's worth giving up a lot to carry out what he planned. An internal struggle of that sort occurs in this book as well.

7. Scimitar's Edge is an unusual novel that combines action against terrorists with quotations from Walker Percy. In fact, the book ends with an allusion to one of Percy's most enduring characters, Will Barrett. Were you consciously trying to walk a knife-edge between high-brow and low-brow culture?

Not consciously; that's just where I am myself. Since evangelicals are sometimes disparaged as dumb, some press to show we're not by tossing around Latin phrases or going to opera rather than popular movies -- not that there's anything wrong with opera, as long as there's a car chase within the first five minutes. To me it comes down to enjoying the pleasures God gives us, including those from both popular culture and literary culture.

8. Are you planning a sequel?

When I talk with students about careers we discuss the importance of both internal calling and external calling - do you feel God's pleasure as you do something, and do other people think you're good at it? I feel the internal call to write more novels; I'm trying to discern the external call from readers.

Author's bio:
Dr. Olasky is editor-in-chief of World Magazine, a senior fellow of the Acton Institute, and a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He and his wife Susan have been married for 30 years and have four sons. He has written 17 non-fiction books and has also started (with several others) a Christian school; he has been a crisis pregnancy center chairman, a foster parent, a Little League assistant coach, a PTA president, and an informal advisor to George W. Bush. He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan.


Marvin Olasky's SCIMITAR'S EDGE is a book that will haunt me, but that's a good thing. Complex characters and edge of the seat suspense moved this book along for me in just a couple of hours. Some may consider the images in which the author paints in this story graphic, but I thought they were pretty mild in comparison for what could actually go on behind the scenes of four people kidnapped by Hezbollah terrorists.

I would have liked to have gotten into Phoebe's head a bit more, and I also wonder if the book may have been more powerful with a more limited POV. It jumped around quite a bit, which didn't really bother me except a few areas where the author could have kept us in a particular POV a little longer before flipping to another character. This constant switching made me feel a bit detached from the characters, yet the book was riviting enough that it didn't matter. At times the story seemed too rushed, like the author was running out of word count and had to tell instead of show.

That said, the areas he did show...very powerful writing. I found myself today unable to stop thinking about this book and these characters. I'm hoping for a continuation. Though there was a bit of gore and death, I thought it appropriate for the plot and tactfully written, and the book had a satisfying ending. The characters seemed real and without spoiling the story, I have to say that one scene in particular made this book worth reading. I LOVED THAT PART. I don't want to spoil it for you, so I will just say two words. Fatima's rock. When you go out and get this book (and I hope you do), you will know what I'm talking about.

Each character was distinct and multi-faceted, and I didn't think the sexual tension was over the top, just realistic and true to character. The realism was refreshing actually from books which tend to tone down that sort of thing to the point the characters seem too perfect to be believable. I thought this was well-executed and showed the pull of sin in Malcolm and his consequence for his choices.

Being a die-hard romance novel fan, I loved the thread of Hal and Sally prancing through this story.

I also loved how the author executed (no pun intended) one of the character's passing. I read that part over and over because of the way Marvin sequenced that. Again, since I don't want to spoil it for you, I will just say that it begins with the paragraph "[certain character] saw a flicker in Sulleyman's eyes...and goes on into the next paragraph, which starts, "But Hal and Sally saw none of that. . ."

Talk about chills.

The book was raw, the characters real, the story gritty. I felt their external struggle more than their internal struggles. The sensory description was simple but effective in putting me there. The faith element woven mostly through Phoebe and the impact the things she did and said had on the lives of the other characters will make this book memorable for a long time to come. I hope this author will continue to venture out into fiction as I'll be eagerly awaiting his next work.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wishing on Dandelions

by Mary DeMuth

God says "I love you" in many ways, some of which are hard to hear.

Maranatha needs to hear God's voice. At seventeen, Natha admittedly has some trust issues. Though the abuse by the neighbor boys has stopped, Natha is anything but healed. Now her best friend has left for college, the trials of dating have begun, and God, ever since he spoke to her underneath the pecan tree years ago, has remained elusive. So when brash Georgeanne Peach blows in to take over the only place that's ever felt like home, leaving a trail of peach fabric swatches and cloying perfume, it's easy to understand how something like a little ol' tornado might not be a big deal.

Like every teenager, Natha tries to sort out the confusing layers of love of friends, of family, of suitors, and desperately of God. Natha struggles to find herself before the darkness of the past pulls her back into the shadows of a girl she used to be in this moving follow up to the critically praised Watching The Tree Limbs.

Pammer here: I thought I was opening a book to read, but no sooner was the first word read than I found myself in hot, dusty Burl, Texas. Mary is an exceptional storyteller. The characters are multi-dimensional and very real. The story is unique and intriguing and God's message of love is woven into the very fabric. You just can't put the book down until you've read it all. Beautfully written trials that this incredible young lady goes through keep you turning pages. And the very last pages left me with tears in my eyes. My mind returns to the character frequently.

If you read Watching the Tree Limbs, then this is required reading. If you didn't read Watching the Tree Limbs, then both of these should be on your MUST read list.

Monday, November 13, 2006


The Cubicle Next Door by Siri Mitchell

From the Back Cover:

What if God has more planned for your life than you do?

Jackie Harrison is a civilian who loves her job at the U.S. Air Force Academy. That is, until she is forced to divide her office into cubicles and share the space with a new history instructor, Lt. Col. Joseph Gallagher. A charmer in a flight suit, Joe wants to explore both Colorado and a growing relationship with his new cubicle mate. The office was bad enough, but Jackie’s beside herself when Joe shows up in her home and church, even turning her grandmother’s weekly bridge game into poker night!

Jackie goes online to vent, but she eventually finds herself admitting her conflicted feelings about this office neighbor who drives her crazy and makes her heart flutter. But when her blog—The Cubicle Next Door—is featured on TV, everyone begins to read it, including Joe. Will he figure out the anonymous confessions and frustrations are written about him? And how will Jackie ever express her heart offline?


This tale of limited work space, hidden identity, and cyber confessions is for anyone who has ever longed to be themselves and to find a life beyond cubicle walls.

Camy here:

This is a light, fun tale that gives an inside peek into the Air Force Academy.

The heroine is funny and neurotic on the inside, while presenting a straight-man façade on the outside that makes for entertaining reading. The backstory about her mother and grandmother is interesting, and it will resonate with any reader who has lost one or both parents, or felt abandoned.

The hero is both breezy and sexy. At points, I thought he was a little too perfect, a little too persistent--but his character matched the heroine quite well.

I also didn't quite buy the whole blog thing, but it's a very cute and quirky story device, and an interesting way to help the storyline unfold.

Readers who love Steeple Hill and Heartsong Presents will enjoy this romantic chick-lit.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Heather's Sarcastic Saturday....Interview with Rachel

Lost in Nashvegas

Last week, I stocked groceries in Freedom, Alabama. This week, I live in Nashville, Tennessee about to take the stage at the famous Bluebird Café.

Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Only one problem. I’m terrified to sing in front of people.

But after twenty-five years of being ruled by fear, hiding from my dream, I confronted my limited reality and left home. Forget the hometown hunk who wants to make me queen of his doublewide. Forget Momma’s doubt-inspiring tirade. I can make it in Music City… Can’t I?

God put the longing to write songs in my heart. If He’s for me, who can be against me? Not even my own fear can overshadow His love. So, I gathered my old guitar, my notebook full of songs and packed up my ’69 Chevy pickup. Look out NashVegas, the next hit songwriter is coming to town.
With the help of my cousin, and a few new friends, especially handsome contractor, Lee Rivers, my dream finds the light of day. As I face my first night at the Bluebird Café, I realize…

I might just do what comes naturally. Look for the nearest exit, and run!

Hi Rachel, I’m glad to have you here at FabFour Book Picks. All though this is a review blog, I normally write something sarcastic and put here every Saturday. But today I’m going to feature you. Which I could go into a sarcastic bit about writing… or you, but I’ll refrain. :o)

HDT - I have not had the great pleasure of reading Lost in NashVegas yet. It’s sitting on my desk at home and I’m out of the state til the end of the month. What was your favorite part about writing this book?

RH - I loved being able to create Robin's journey. It was hard in the beginning, but I loved making her dream become reality. Loved writing about a character who overcomes and doesn't settle for seconds.

HDT - How does what is going on with you spiritually affect your writing?

RH - I try to stay in a good place spiritually and emotionally. God so gracious to me. I have noticed if I'm emotionally off, it effects my writing. Like feeling discouraged, or upset at someone or something makes me not want to write. I doubt myself. Yet, I find the way to overcome and solve that problem is spiritual. I hop on the keyboard and worship, or listen to some of my fav worship leaders. Or, just go to war in prayer.

HDT - You’re an amazing worship leader, did you ever dream of going to Nashville , yourself? Where you living vicariously through Robin?

RH - Unfortuately, I didn't do much to develop my musical ability. I was in college before I knew I could sing. But, I honestly believe it was God's way for me. I don't really sing at all unless it's for worship.

I did dream of being another Amy Grant for a short season, but God had other things in mind for me. I'm very happy with what I'm doing.

HDT - Do you have a favorite laugh out loud line from Nashvegas?

RH - I have several laugh out loud lines in NashVegas. While writing it, I laughed a lot, but can't think of any specifics right now. Maybe the scene at the Frothy Monkey. I laughed several while writing and rewriting it.

HDT -Thanks for stopping by Rachel, it’s been a pleasure having you here!

RH - Thanks for having me! It was an honor.

[Author bio]
Rachel Hauck is a multi-published author living in sunny and sometimes hurricane plagued, central Florida with her husband and ornery pets . She is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism. Visit her blog and web site at www.rachelhauck.com.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


By Tamera Alexander

At a different time, in a different place, under different circumstances...Could two people fall in love once again?

Ten years ago Kathryn Jennings made a vow. For better or worse. And that promise still holds true, even though her marriage has not turned out as she expected. When her husband fails to return home one stormy winter night, she struggles to keep their ranch, but her efforts are blocked at every turn. After a shocking glimpse into her husband's past, Kathryn uncovers a hidden truth. What she wouldn't give to turn back time and be able to love her husband for the man that he was, not for the man she always wanted him to be.

Larson Jennings has spent his entire life running from a broken past, unable to trust, reluctant to try again. One fearful night, his life takes an unexpected twist, and soon he is forced to make a choice. Whatever he chooses, his decision may cost him his life.

Pammer here: I have only one word for this book. Beautiful.
The story is a wonderful, touching story, superbly written. It is full of hope. Sure there are plenty of failings and gut wrenching emotion, but the over all story gives one goosebumps. It deals with some painful issues, but shines a light and bring hope (there's that word again). And through it all, the message of God's unchanging grace, love and mercy is woven in.

I suppose it would be called Historical Women's Fiction, but it's a romance too. Even if it's not your normal genre, pick it up. You won't regret immersing yourself in this amazing story.

You probably won't want to miss the sequel called Revealed.

Monday, November 06, 2006

CALM, COOL AND ADJUSTED by Kristin Billerbeck

Calm, Cool and Adjusted (Spa Girls book 3) by Kristin Billerbeck

From the back cover:

Silicon Valley chiropractor Poppy Clayton is as calm, cool and adjusted as they come . . . or is she? Known for her bad fashion sense, a love for all things natural and the inability to get a second date, Poppy is beginning to wonder if she might be misaligned herself. Especially since her best friends, Lilly and Morgan, seem to think so. After all, a “normal” woman doesn’t evaluate prospective dates on their liver function and their spiritual balance, does she?

Poppy’s route to self discover will be an unnatural one involving a plastic surgeon (of all people!), a condemned house in Santa Cruz and a wedding date from the dark side. It’s enough to send a girl and her gal pals running for the spa!

Camy here:

This novel does a great job finishing off the Spa Girls series. Poppy is my favorite character of the three, and this book really gets into her head and reveals more of who she is beyond the health-food obsession and bad clothes.

Poppy is STRANGE. But she’s also incredibly unique. More than her weirdness, she values individuality—which is something many young women struggle with—and is a strong heroine.

Poppy’s relationship with her father is one of those intangible push-pull bonds that many of my friends have with their own parents. I think this book will speak to women who have dysfunctional families and help them not to feel so alone. Poppy doesn’t have all the answers, but she does her best to trust God in everything.

At points in the story, I didn’t quite understand why Lilly and Morgan were so insistent on setting Poppy up. However, I thought the author portrayed the unintentional cruelty of married people to singles very well. I really felt for Poppy.

The book also deals with the subject of loneliness for singles very clearly. I could relate to Poppy’s emotions and struggles in this area, since I had felt that myself when I was single.

In true Billerbeck style, I didn’t know which guy Poppy was going to end up with until almost the end of the book, and there were still parts where I was kind of anticipating for the other shoe to drop, so it was an exciting and entertaining read.

The chemistry between Poppy and her suitors is powerful and sizzles off the page—more so than in Lilly’s story in She’s All That, and even more than in Morgan’s story in A Girl’s Best Friend. Yet there is nothing inappropriate about the language, the topics of conversation, or the action—it’s all very clean.

As someone who grew up in Hawaii, I could totally relate to Simon’s feelings about Hawaii at the end of the book.
Spoiler over

This is a fun book, appropriate for women from junior high school age and up. I think that 20- and 30-somethings will most relate to the plot and characters, but it’s a fast, engaging story no matter what age you are.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Heather's Sarcastic Saturday

“We’re having a slight problem getting our right engine started. We’ll be here just a few more minutes.”

Yeah, that’s what everyone on a plane wants to hear. That’s exactly what I heard earlier this week while sitting on a runway in Dallas. Groans floated up from all the passengers. They didn’t have any air going which made everyone all grumbley.

For whatever reason the pilot wasn’t starting his engine the normal way. He had a ground cart doing it. Whatever that is. (And no I don’t need someone to comment and tell me what it is, I just don’t care.)

They broke the ground cart… methinks this is a bad thing. “Sorry folks it will just be a few more minutes. They’re trying to find another ground cart.” Okay if these things are so important why don’t they have more of them?? By now everyone is beyond grumbley. Everyone is hot… so our lovely flight attendant says, “If everyone will close your window shades it will help with the heat some.” Okay, first off, it was 50 degrees in Dallas that day. I hardly think that’s what was making it hot on the freaking plane. “And you can pull out your emergency instructions in the seat pocket in front of you and fan yourself with it.” Yeah THAT makes it so much better.

Second ground cart FINALLY gets there—apparently they had to get it from the other side of the airport. Everyone starts to relax again, then we heard all this air being blasted on our right. They blew a house on that cart. Can you just hear the groans when the Captain tells us that? “Just be a few more minutes folks. The ground crew has an idea.” Yeah, like that’s what you want to hear. They have an IDEA.

Finally, after an hour of being on the runway we took off with no other incidents. Lucky for me, I had someone just as sarcastic as me in the seat next to me. This made for a funny time instead of miserable. Okay, so it didn’t hurt that dude was good looking and single. LOL

Friday, November 03, 2006

Interview with the authors of BAD IDEA


October 2006

Todd Hafer and Jedd Hafer

Bad Idea is the story of Griffin, a recent high school graduate whose Mom left Dad in favor of a mediocre novelist. Dad's now with The Cliche, a fiance 18 years his junior. Dad and Mom perceive Griffin and his little brother to be fine. Yet Griffin is on a downward spiral of depression - self-mutilating, abusing alcohol and prescription pain pills while managing to bring home excellent grades and attend youth group. His secret life, however, will be hard to hide on a road trip with Dad, best friend, and The Cliche.

Below is an interview conducted by Glass Roads Publications with the authors of Bad Idea, Todd Hafer and Jedd Hafer, who are brothers. Todd's an executive with Hallmark in Kansas City and Jedd's a former comedian turned youth counselor in Colorado Springs.

Q: What inspired you to write Bad Idea?
Todd: I wanted to tell a story that was very real, with no canned answers or easy solutions. I drew heavily from journals I kept during my teen years.
Jedd: We have known and have been kids who looked okay on the outside but had real problems lurking below the surface. We wanted to create a story that could speak to the issues of divorce, substance abuse, self-harm and suicide in authentic ways. We wanted a story that non-believers could stick with; a story for kids who might never read Christian fiction.

Q: Do you think there is a way for children to go through divorce and not be adversely affected?
Todd: No. The fallout from divorce is something that kids/teens will deal with for the rest of their lives. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope or that they can't find true happiness.
Jedd: Short answer - NO. Adults may be able to minimize the effects, but there is no way I see for kids to come out unscathed.

Q: What message (if any) do you want people to receive from reading Bad Idea?
Todd: I just wanted to tell a real, compelling story with characters that readers would find intriguing and, in some cases, relate to closely. I hope that readers come away from the story feeling that they are not alone if they are struggling or hurting. And I hope that, as Griffin finds flickers of light, readers believe this can happen for them as well. But these ideas have to be a natural outflowing of the story and its characters. Bad Idea is definitely not a sermon masquerading as a novel.
Jedd: The key messages ultimately come back to grace. Griffin just doesn't believe God can love him. He thinks he's too repulsive and doesn't think anybody could accept the real Griffin. We want kids who struggle with hidden issues to know they are not alone.

Q: Do you have any advice for step-parents, parents, or teens whose lives are affected by divorce?
Todd: The short answer is, "Love conquers all." Parents, step-parents, and kids will continue to make big mistakes, make bad choices, and say and do things that hurt those closest to them. But love and grace are the great equalizers. Parents don't need to fix every problem - the reality is that they probably can't. But often, just standing beside a kid, supporting a kid, hugging a kid, can make tragic circumstances bearable.
Jedd: Kids need empathy and real communication. They do not need platitudes and guilt gifts. They can tell when adults are being inauthentic. Kids are likely to blame themselves and then coping skills/survival skills kick in. Sadly, many kids (like Griffin) have some pretty unhealthy coping skills.

Interview courtesy of Glass Roads Publication

For more information on this book, and the authors, visit http://www.haferbros.com/