March Read of the Month: “Dancing to an Irish Reel,” by Claire Fullerton

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Hans Christian Anderson wrote, “To travel is to live.”  His words suggest the underlying theme of Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire Fullerton.  Living, instead of existing, is exactly what protagonist Hailey Crossan does on the west coast of Ireland. Leaving the “soullessness of Los Angeles” and her job in […]

“Seven Wings to Glory,” by Kathleen M. Rodgers

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Texas author Kathleen M. Rodgers weaves a tale of heartache and triumph for the multigenerational residents of Portion, Texas, in the masterful Seven Wings to Glory. Portion is a place where the past is the key to the present and strangers become family.  With empathy and a true sense of place, […]

“Sanctuary,” by T.M. Brown

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard T. M. Brown’s Sanctuary is a Southern tale of mystery with themes of redemption and the Christian belief of fulfilling one’s mission for Christ. Brown does an admirable job of character development with protagonist Theo Phillips, a retired publishing executive. Theo and his wife, Libby fulfill their retirement dream by moving to […]

“Lead me Home,” by Amy K. Sorrells

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Lead me Home by Amy K. Sorrells hits the sweet spot between adult and YA Christian Fiction with its compelling tale of teenage angst, abandonment, and loss. Sorrells’s writing is often poetic, emotionally moving with vivid imagery of the setting and characters. However, she often relies on stereotypical characters and situations […]

“Understanding Larry McMurtry,” by Steven Frye

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Steven Frye’s Understanding Larry McMurtry is a scholarly overview of the Pulitzer-Prize winning author’s body of work. It’s part of the Understanding Contemporary American Literature series published by the University of South Carolina Press. Founded by the late Professor Matthew J. Bruccoli, this series explores modern American writers. Bruccoli is quoted in […]

“Miss Julia Weathers the Storm,” by Ann B. Ross

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Ann B. Ross, New York Times bestselling author of the “Miss Julia” series, returns with the eighteenth installment, Miss Julia Weathers the Storm. And like the seventeen books before, this comic southern tale makes for great summer reading as protagonist Miss Julie battles a hurricane during a trip to the beach with […]

“Letters from Paris,” by Juliet Blackwell

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Juliet Blackwell’s Letters from Paris is solid reading entertainment with a lovable protagonist, Claire Broussard, whose small-town Louisiana beginnings lead to tragedy. Blackwell builds suspense without sacrificing seriousness or believability, two common victims of the mystery genre. Perhaps that’s the key to Blackwell’s novel – everything about it is “just right.” […]

“The Tears of Dark Water,” by Corban Addison

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard The mastery of Corban Addison’s The Tears of Dark Water lies in its multi-tiered plot and timely social commentary, as well as its soulful examination of the human condition.  The external conflict of a father and son held hostage by Somali pirates resonates with the internal conflicts of a troubled marriage, […]