Book Reviews

Book Review: Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Title: Allie and Bea

Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Rating: 4 Stars=Great Page Turner


In Allie & Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde, readers are introduced to Bea, a woman struggling since her husband’s death. One day Bea receives a call that completely changes her life. She is a desperate woman who decides a life on the road would be better.

Allie is a young girl whose life changes after her parents are sent to jail. She is not used to struggling or sharing but she has to learn even if it is the hard way. When her life is threatened, she runs and receives help from an older woman. This is when the real fun begins.

Allie & Bea take readers on a journey of friendship between to unlikely characters. It is about one woman running from life who meets a young girl trying to understand life. I enjoyed the journey because it allowed me to connect with these two characters. The bond built while on the road is such a compelling story especially since both had to realize in some small way they really need each other. I recommend Allie and Bea to others.

Reviewed by Teresa Beasley

Book Reviews

Book Review Tuesday: Empty Womb Empty Tomb by Quiana E. Johnson


Empty Womb Empty Tomb

How Tragedy Birthed Triumph

Quiana E. Johnson

Publication Date: June 4, 2015

4 Stars=Great Page Turner

Empty Womb Empty Tomb is a great page-turner even though the content will break your heart. The Johnson family suffers a great lost when they lose their child after first having a miscarriage. Most women dream of getting married, having children and building a family. This dream was taken from Quiana E. Johnson and left was hurt, pain and emotional distress.

Quiana was excited from the news that she was expecting again. She did everything her doctor told her to make sure this child would be born. When Quiana went to the bathroom on March 10, 2014, she didn’t know that once again she would endure another loss. Quiana delivered her premature son that morning and was rushed to the hospital. Little Nehemiah fought for five days before going home to God.

After this tragedy, the Johnson’s knew they had to hold on to their faith. Bradley and Quiana realized from their painful experience came knowledge and they could share their story to help others suffering. Both made it through the traumatic loss of her son. Quiana chose to educate herself on miscarriages and continues to try to have a child because she won’t give up on God’s promise to her.

Empty Womb Empty Tomb is an emotional book that will tug at your heart. Readers will feel the author’s pain as she tells her story of loss. This was a short book but was packed with so much that I could not put it down as I wiped tears away. The author does a wonderful job telling her story and educating readers about miscarriages. I definitely recommend this book to those who have suffered a loss and need guidance to overcome their situation.

This book was provided by the author for review purposes only.

Reviewed by Teresa Beasley

Book Reviews

Book Review: My Beauty For Your Ashes by Traci Wooden-Carlisle


My Beauty For Your Ashes

Traci Wooden-Carlisle

Publication Date: June 21, 2012

5 Stars=Non-Stop Page Turner

A tragic accident causes complete strangers to meet in My Beauty For Your Ashes by Traci Wooden-Carlisle. Mason Jenson, a widower raising his daughter has had his bout of bad luck. Mason’s life changes after a car accident lands him and his daughter in the hospital. Mason soon realizes to save his daughter he will have to ask for help while dealing with the one person who holds everything against him.

Paige Morganson has moved on from past hurts and now lives for God. As an Elder in her church, Paige strives to help others. When Paige learns that she is a donor and could possibly help someone live she decides to go ahead with the surgery. As she prepares for what is to come, Paige soon finds herself in the middle of disagreements, secrets and lies. Will it change her decision?

Victoria Branchett is struggling to get over the loss of her daughter. Victoria has only her granddaughter to keep her calm. Victoria’s anger is directed at the wrong person and she will have to learn to forgive especially when her secrets are revealed.

Elder Brandon Tatum moves into town to start a new job and hasn’t tried his luck at love in a while. As Brandon begins in his new role he finds himself attracted to one of the other Elders, which causes him to question himself. Brandon is worried that his past will ultimately stop any future he may have of happiness. He also doesn’t want to do anything without God’s approval.

My Beauty For Your Ashes is a compelling story of love and forgiveness. The author does a wonderful job capturing readers on the first page. This book had well-developed characters with a strong storyline that will keep readers anticipating what will happen next. The twists and turns were unsuspected but the message of the book was profound. I recommend My Beauty For Your Ashes to others.

This book was provided by the author for review purposes only.

Reviewed by Teresa Beasley

Book Features

Book Blast: One Last Hurrah by Mark and Brenda Smith

One Last Hurrah

One Last Hurrah”  allows the reader to experience a story of inspiration,  inject their own experiences, unlike other books, so that the reader documents their own  life story.

This is, not only, a book about a former professional  wrestler overcoming loss, but his journey in finding  purpose and peace.   The book, “One Last Hurrah” ,  documents medical miracles, overcoming  abuse and experiences with drug addiction. Mark and Brenda , both, come from broken homes  and have found their calling in life working with youth/children for over 15 years.

Having come from divorce, Mark and Brenda had to decide if they were going to break the family cycles of abuse.   They dedicated themselves to helping abused and abandoned children.  They have been foster parents for several years  and  open their home to students who have no where to go.  For them to understand their purpose, they had to go through a lot of trials.   Mark has suffered mini strokes and multiple concussions from a career in professional wrestling.  He had to make peace with the father  that instilled a childhood of fear.   Brenda witnessed Mark and his brother burying their father with shovels  and the nightmares Mark would endure.   Later, Mark and  several of his friends would develop equipment and would be taken to Capitol Hill.  He found himself  working with military leaders from all over the world.   When Mark wanted to give up on living, doors opened!

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About the Authors

Smith-Mark Brenda (2)

God has rebuilt Mark’s life with his wife, Brenda, of 22 years.  Having never thought he was worthy of being a father, Mark and Brenda have been blessed with three wonderful kids. Mark was diagnosed to lose his ability to walk by age 18.  He not only beat the odds, but was invited to Spring Training with several Major League clubs and ended up traveling the U.S. working for Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling.

Brenda has been a Children’s Minister for almost 15 years and also loves to lead Women’s Bible studies.  She has also been a worship leader for Women’s Ministry Events.  She enjoys singing Contemporary and Southern Gospel music.

Mark, Brenda and their children make their home in Fayetteville, TN

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