Jim’s Note: New toy stuff is coming soon but until then try something a little different. It’s good for ya! – Jim
This is a bit different for the “Toy Box” but don’t run off dear reader. I assure it will be worth your time to read this entry. You see what’s happening in my ever growing understanding of this blog platform I’m really embracing the opportunity to share even more things that are fun forms of escapism than just the 8 inch Classic Style Action Figures that do take up the majority of space in my Toy Box. Plus I have been blessed with meeting and getting to know some very interesting and talented people throughout my time on this planet. This review here will introduce you to just one of them. So open your mind to a new opportunity to learn something about a charming book that was written by a dear friend of mine who happens to know how to wield a pen for the amusement of all who are wanting to escape for a while the old fashioned way: inside the pages of a really good book.
Here’s the part where I know your going to say, “Jim, how can you possibly recommend a book that you haven’t read yet?” What’s that? Oh yeah, I haven’t read this first installment in the April Grace series but I do assure that my take at this juncture is very important for those wanting to explore new reading material. Hence the title of this blog entry. This is an observational review. Let me explain.
A couple of months back my wife and I picked up our copy of “In front of God and everybody” at K.D. McCrite’s book signing for the title here at the Christian Book Outlet in Harrison, Arkansas. While I was really wanting to snatch it up and imbibe its contents Alicia beat me to the reading room. I know, I know, I should have bought two copies. Oops on my part. In the end though I’m kind of glad that Alicia did get first dibs or I wouldn’t be able to write this type of review, which I think will give you a better perspective in regards to checking out the book. Stay with me now. It’ll all make since in a minute.
K.D. McCrite is a very charming lady whose sincere heart and passionate personality when it comes to writing has a unique talent in transposing both of those characteristics into her works. I say that from personal experience with K.D. and will now turn you over to her official bio as provided by her publisher for the other details. And sure that bio pretty much sums her up I wanted to throw in my two cents because unlike a blind reviewer so to speak, the general bio can’t personally endorse someone such as a real relationship with a person can. I really could gush a lot more but I won’t embarrass her or make you feel less of a person for not counting K.D. as one of your personal friends. Yeah, I’m rubbing it in. The official bio is here http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/AuthorDetail.asp?CreatorID=7294&name=KD_McCrite
While my own review of the book is coming soon (once I do indeed get the chance to read it) I again send you to the official publishers page as well as some other links to reviews from people all over the nation who have enjoyed this work. Again time is not my friend these days but I’m working on fixing that. Plus once you see what the main point is to this blog you’ll see why my quest for more reading time has fueled even greater by K.D.’s creation. That link: (http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=1400317223&title=Cliques_Hicks_and_Ugly_Sticks&author=KD_McCrite)
The Observational Review:
One of the things that has always bugged me about book reviews is that while they are informative and in most cases well written they don’t exactly sell me on the EXPERIENCE of the book. That’s what my point is in writing this blog entry. I want to tell you about my third party observation of my wife EXPERIENCING the book.
For those that know myself and my wife Alicia you understand the time demands of or daily lives. My full time gig as a one man TV writer, producer, director and crew and Alicia’s even bigger role as a stay at home mom with our (at this writing) 19 month old baby girl you can quickly see why I note the time considerations. Alicia is very hands on with the baby, excuse me toddler so to find true quiet time is never easy. However once I arrive home she has been able to sporadically escape away from the momma duties to venture off with April Grace for a quick every other day adventure. To which at the end of each one of those visit’s Alicia says excited and smiling, “This is such a wonderful book! I want to finish it now!” But again time constraints deny that request.
Over the duration of the past several weeks I’ve watched Alicia leave the room where the baby and I are playing the latest game involving her most recently developed skills to return ten to fifteen minutes later with a certain look in her eyes. You see when she walked out she had that tired momma stare with a hint of exasperation around the edges. However when she returns the sparkle is back and if you look even for a moment at her big pretty eyeballs you can see that her mind is still running around in the adventure she just experienced in the span of a chapter. That glow remains for the rest of the evening. The last thing I hear before I drift off to a dream every time she takes these short little journey’s is “I love that book.” Not excited. Not sappy. Simply matter of fact.
Just this week Alicia came to the end of this first journey. I literally saw tears in her eyes as she returned to the particular play area of the house that the baby was holding court at. She was equally happy and sad that she had made it to the final page of “In front of God and everybody.” Knowing that I intend to take the literary journey myself she jokingly threatened to expose the end to me at which I screamed; ”Stop!” I want to experience the book as she has because honestly I want to experience those moments of happiness that she found in-between the front and back covers.
What I observed from my wife’s reading of “In front of God and everybody” was real emotion that only comes from a skilled pen. Regardless of a personal relationship with the author bad is bad and good is good. In this instance my observation shows that in this case “great is great” are better adjectives to use. While awaiting the next book in the series, “Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks”(will be out in November by the way), Alicia is already demanding to me that the book needs to be a movie or series of movies. While I of course have no control over any such adaptation I did find it interesting that she would suggest such a thing. When I asked as to why she would want to see this as a movie instead of just a book I was really taken aback by her response; “It would be an awesome movie that everyone would love. It could easily be just as big as Twilight with that kind of exposure.” That’s actually a giant compliment coming from my better half. Believe me.
As I said I do look forward to reading and reviewing “In front of God and everybody” myself in the very near future but I couldn’t be quiet about what I simply observed about this book. Sure K.D. is a friend of mine but that has little to do with this writing. The biggest thing that completely compelled me to write this observation is that I’ve never seen anything affect my wife in such a way. That to me is a ‘thumbs up’ endorsement about the book that a traditional review simply doesn’t convey. So in the end take this entry for whatever its worth but know that I can stand tall and proud beside this recommendation for your nightstand or reading room. “In front of God and everybody” by K.D. McCrite, a wonderful example of the fun and exciting playground that can still be found inside the minds eye so long as your willing to play. Seriously, order the book today. (http://www.amazon.com/Front-Everybody-Confessions-April-Grace/dp/1400317223) I even felt so inclined to include the promotional video put together by the publishers, below because I dig this project so much. Check out my fellow toy geeks, expand your mind and horizons!
Now, Go Read and Play! Jim – 07/28/11