WHEN I FALL PLEASE GRAB MY HAND

by Christine (Chrissy) DeWitte
(Review by Chiffone Sandberg)

About the Author:

Christine (Chrissy) DeWitte is a wife and mother of two grown children; and she has two grandchildren. She has served in the USAF; been a financial counselor and a
civil servant for the military. Currently she is a bookkeeper for a contractor. Chrissy has used her life's lessons to teach others at her weekly Bible study at the First Baptist Church South Brevard.

Chrissy likes to write poetry. She chose a poem that she wrote when she was 9 years old for the title of this book.

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Using humor and down-to-earth dialog Chrissy takes us on her inspiring spiritual journey. This book is an 89 day devotional. Each day is devoted to a situation that will be familiar to most of us. Each day has a Bible scripture related to the topic and concluding with space for the reader to write their thoughts and devotional. “This is a gathering of daily thoughts, prayers, and lessons”

The point to Chrissy's book is we need to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior and follow the Bible in our daily lives. We must accept ourselves as we are and ask the Lord's guidance on a daily basis in our personal life journey. She says, “ I pray that my shared thoughts and a glance into my walk with the Lord will encourage you.”

All of that is heavy stuff dealt with humorously. For example, 41st day in the devotional, “Hello Jesus? I am in trouble do you have time to talk? I have a direct line and a good connection! He says to call upon Him when in trouble and He will deliver thee. The “thee” is me.

Personal opinion:

Light book about a heavy subject. Good for the new and seasoned Christian

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SCAT by Carl Hiaasen

by Nancy J. Miller
(Green Bay, Wisconsin)

Carl Hiaasen delivers another Florida tale full of colorful characters and insights into the dwindling state of what was once a paradise of flora and fauna.

Told through the eyes of a 12 year old boy, the plot revolves around his biology teacher that goes missing after a field trip to the Black Vine Swamp that hastily ends when a grass fire threatens them.

Hiaasen delivers moral commentary in a totally neutral manner, from the disappearance of wildlife, classmates with different families and beliefs, unethical businessmen, to the Iraq War’s toll on loved ones.

He always has an anti-hero type in his books, be it the retired road- kill eating former Florida governor Skink to the eco-environmental avenger Twilly in this tale.

Hiaasen manages to drive home an ethical and socially pertinent point without making you uncomfortably take sides on the issue; just as it should be taught to youngsters.

From an accused pyromaniac classmate with a Father who has taught his pet Macaw to speak in three languages, to the woefully inept Texas oil driller working a scam for his employer, to the narrator’s father who loses his arm in the Anwar Province and then binds his own right arm to his body to become a lefty like his dad, Hiaasen delivers rich and laughter evoking dialogue.

You will gain an appreciation for the endangered Florida panther, and also for the wisdom of a 12 year old in his innocence and desire to emulate his father.

Scat is a sweet diversion in summer reading, I can’t wait to read Hiaasen’s next novel, be it for kids of for adults who act like kids!

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BLACKWATER SOUND, by James W. Hall

by Dial Tannis
(Foley, Alabama)

If you like Thorn, the hard bitten Florida conch that is featured in many of Hall's novels, you will love this book. One of the key figures in the book is a giant blue marlin named Big Mother. This huge fish plays a role in this book similar to the great white whale in Melville's Moby Dick. Death ray guns, believable villains, a funny and likable Alzheimer's patient, this book has something for everybody.

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Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement

by Nancy Miller
(Red Banks WI)

Dixie Hemingway (no relation to you know who) is once again embroiled in a murder. This time the victim is found with his head taped to the floor and his face in the cat?s water dish where he drowned.

A cast of characters including two of Siesta Key's wealthiest women begin to reveal secrets that all point in different directions. A homophobic radio host and his gifted pianist son are involved in the story in more ways than one. Dixie begins to piece together the motive and method and the story ends with a surprise.

Clement?s mysteries could be in the ?Cozy? category, but her writing is actually more crisp and gritty, and I love her insights to Dixie?s problems since her family was killed. Her characterizations of the pets and owners are also a hoot!

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Note from Florida Backroads Travel

Nancy, thanks for your review of this book. Stories about Siesta Key are always welcome on Florida Backroads Travel.

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What Would Walt Do? by D. M. Miller

by Walter Butts
(Hoboken, Georgia)

This is a little biography about the adventures and impressions of D. M. Miller during the construction of Walt Disney World in the 1960's and 1970's.

He maintains that the question "What Would Walt Do?" was continually asked about items that could affect quality and the visitor experience. He says that although Walt had been dead a couple of years, that his friends and colleagues working on the project always knew the answer to the question.

Do the right thing!

He suggests that modern Disney no longer asks the question, and I have to agree.

In recent years I have noticed a decline in the quality of maintenance on the various properties. It also seems to me like the staff is not as cheery or helpful as they used to be.

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Her Last Seven Days in Key West

by Joe D. Wells, Jr
(Key West, FL, USA)

Introduction

I mainly wrote this short story for my children. They were young when we lost their mom and my wife of twenty-six years.

I just want them to know a little more about her. I especially want them to know just how strong and unselfish she was in life and how strong she remained even as death knocked at our door.

Then, I let some friends read this story and they really pushed me to share it.

So if you ask me what this story about, I will tell you.

This short story is based upon a true story. Everyone dies in life, but sometimes it matters how you die. Some die in fear, others face the inevitable and accept their sealed fate.

Ruth knew her time had come for her to leave this world. But even as death was knocking at her door, she remained strong, and always put her family first. This is a story based upon her last days on earth, how she chose to die and how she lived.

Enjoy-
Island Joe

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Silencer by James W. Hall

by Nancy Miller
(Red Banks WI)

I have always enjoyed reading authors who create a great character and build a series of books around him or her. Since John D. McDonald died taking his unfinished tale of Travis McGee with him, I have cherished those authors who have stayed alive to continue feeding my habit!
One of those authors, Robert B. Parker died 3 weeks ago ending my relationship with Spenser and Dr. Susan Silverman, and Jesse Stone. After shedding a tear or two over this loss, I discovered one of my favorite Florida authors, James W. Hall, was offering me another tale involving his character Thorn.
I was even more eager to read his latest novel, Silencer, when I saw the jacket blurbs praising his latest work were provided by three of my other favorite authors: Michael Connelly of Harry Bosch fame, James Lee Burke with his Dave Robicheaux character, and Robert Crais, whose Elvis Cole has been a companion of mine for years.
We join Thorn as he is about to unburden himself from all the wealth he inherited from an eccentric elderly widow relative in his last adventure, Hell’s Bay. His current paramour, Rusty, works out a land trade deal that involves the widow Bates property near Tampa in exchange for a game preserve by the Everglades owned by a many generation Florida settler family. The object is to put the land in a protected state land trust.
As usual, Hall’s prose praising the beautiful, lesser traveled areas of Florida is spot on. As the tale unravels the usual cast of characters appears in Thorn’s sidekick Sugarman, and bad guys so warped that one would think Carl Hiasson created them!
Silencer was an absolutely wonderful way to spend a cold winter’s day by the fire in my little home on the Bay in Red Banks, Wisconsin. I can’t wait for his next adventure, but it would be fine to read it in my hammock overlooking the Bay on a warm summer day!

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THURMOND - Permanently Sealed

by Lathan Hudson
(Port St. John, Florida)

Thurmond: Permanently Sealed is a collection of short stories and cartoons. Thurmond sees himself in black and white, while the rest of his world is in glorious Technicolor. He loves to reminisce, and his absurd stories about his friends, relatives and life experiences are spiced with wild exaggerations-usually with abrupt conundrum endings.

The author claims the stories were greatly influenced by the humor and characters he knew in Nashville. His friend Thurmond is witty, folksy and not just a little irreverent, and he slyly pokes fun at anyone and everyone. He's the ultimate storyteller, spinning tales of hilarity and surprise.

"Lathan Hudson's 'Thurmond' is Steven Wright meets 'The Far Side.' Thurmond is one of the funniest comic characters I've seen since Doonesbury. – William L. Whitacre, Entertainment Attorney for "The Blair Witch Project"

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Trouble on the St. Johns River by Jane R. Wood

by Jane R. Wood
(Jacksonville, Florida)

"Trouble on the St. Johns River" is a fiction book with an environmental theme. Brothers Joey and Bobby Johnson are outraged when they discover their favorite fishing pond covered with dead fish and green muck - a fish kill! They decide to "do something" about it. That leads to a close encounter with a manatee, a visit to a center that rehabilitates injured sea turtles, and a boat tour on the St. Johns River.

What they learn through these experiences inspires them to create "The Greenies" and chart a course of action that captures the attention of many, including a local TV station.

It's a story of awakening that will inspire young readers to become more aware of their environment and give them some ideas on how to preserve it.

As the author of this book, I wanted to show kids that they can make a difference too!

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THURMOND - Permanently Sealed by: Lathan Hudson

by Lathan Hudson
(Port St. John, Florida)

THURMOND - "Permanently Sealed" is a collection of short stories and cartoons.
THURMOND sees himself in 'black-and-white' while the rest of his world is in glorious Technicolor.
Thurmond loves to reminisce, and his absurd stories about his friends, relatives and life experiences are spiced with wild exaggerations - usually with abrupt conundrum endings.

The author claims the stories were greatly influenced by the humor and characters he knew as a songwriter in Nashville.
His friend Thurmond is witty, folksy and not just a little irreverent, and he slyly pokes fun at anyone and everyone. He's the ultimate storyteller, spinning tales of hilarity and surprise.

Lathan Hudson's THURMOND is Steven Wright meets 'The Far Side'.
---William L. Whitacre, Entertainment Attorney for THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.

Lathan Hudson, a southerner born and raised in Sylacauga, Alabama, writes humor stories and Children's Books. He is a professional, Grammy-Nominated Songwriter of Nashville, Tennessee fame. He and his family now live in Florida where he continues to swap stories with his friend Thurmond.

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VISITING SMALL TOWN FLORIDA by Bruce Hunt

by Frank Wunderlich
(Bronson, Florida)

This is a nice travel guide that discusses several towns in Florida in great detail. It's obvious that the author has been every place he writes about, and that he takes the time to get to know about it. This book covers 70 towns all the way from the far western panhandle down to the Florida Keys. It has lots of history and shopping and dining suggestions.

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Ruth Minerva by Ruth M Garcia-Marmolejos

by Ruth
(Deltona, Florida)

“Ruth Minerva” is the story of a woman as she makes her life’s journey, encounters trials and discovers love and happiness. Growing up Ruth Minerva is taken to New York City by her grandmother, and then her parents also move to New York. Ruth Minerva gets married and later encounters many bizarre happenings in her life like hurtful possessive spirits. Her husband dies leaving her and their children to survive on their own. Ruth Minerva discovers her spiritual powers and uses it to defend herself and her family. Ruth Minerva falls in love with a drug addict who changes his life’s path. Together they stand strong and become stronger as years go by.
Author Ruth M Garcia-Marmolejos, has always had a passion for writing,she had to put her writing on hold to be a mother first. Ruth moved to Florida November 2003, and after living with him for 16 years, got married to Marco. Now free to pursue her dream, she decided to take a refresher Writing Course at LongRidge Writers group, Ruth wrote her first book, her autobiography, “Ruth Minerva,” it was published December 9, 2009. Ruth is rewriting all of Children’s Stories, she wants to leave a legacy for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that she is proud of and adores.
Ruth’s dream of becoming a published author became a reality at age 67. Many readers have lived the same or similar experiences Ruth Minerva lived, she has proved that with faith, will power, and determination anyone can achieve their dreams.

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Scenic Driving Florida by Jan Annino Godown

by Esther Alpert
(Hollywood, Florida)

Godown is a former director of The Florida Historical Society and Florida Folklore Society. This is a great book for learning about Florida and some of the places you should see.

The book presents 29 scenic drives starting in far Northwest Florida with Red Bluffs overlooking Escambia Bay, to the Ten Thousand Islands in Southwest Florida on the edge of the Everglades.

The book has plenty of maps, and shows you how to plan one tank trips on the Florida backroads.

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HISTORY OF FLORIDA IN FORTY MINUTES, by Michael Gannon

by Walter Johnson
(Tallahassee, Florida)

This was a delightful book that took me 38 minutes to read, so the title is not at all misleading.

Michael Gannon has a breezy style that held my interest throughout this short book. He really knows what happened in this state.

I already had a basic understanding of Florida history and its timeline, and this book added to that basic knowledge.

It would be nice if each state could have its own "Forty Minute History". We could introduce it into America's public schools and actually graduate kids who know something about our country and its history.

It is pathetic how little our younger citizens know about United States history, let alone Florida.

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Jadyn and Rojo the Red Alligator by Ruth M Garcia-Marmolejos

by Ruth M Garcia-Marmolejos
(Deltona, Florida)

This story is a fascinating Fiction for children. It it is the story of a little girl and a Red crocodile. Jadyn finds a strange white egg with red spots, and takes it home with her. The egg hatches, and a small red alligator comes out. Jadyn names the alligator Rojo and hides him inside her big doll house in the back yard. Rojo gets older and decides to go away to find out where he is from and who his parents are. Rojo saves Jadyn who falls into the river, they get lost and meet strange looking animals, who become friends and help each other. Jadyn is kidnapped by a human-like hawk and is carried to a mysterious island. Jadyn is held prisoner at Lorena's house to keep her little girl named Yanaken company. Luna the turtle struggles to find Jadyn's mother, to tell her where Jadyn is and get help. Luna leads Jadyn's Uncles on the journey to find and rescue Jadyn, facing many dangers and obstacles."

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Voices in St. Augustine by Jane R. Wood

by Jane R. Wood
(Jacksonville, Florida)

Thirteen-year-old Joey Johnson has a problem. He hears voices. Only he can't find the people who belong to them. His curiosity leads him on a quest where he learns more than just some history about "The Nation's Oldest City." He discovers that he has a connection to the past -- something that changes his life forever.

A good book from young readers ages 8-14. A mystery that takes place in the "Nation's Oldest City." I really like this book, but then I should...I wrote it!

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FORT U.S.A. - If I Were President - Volume 1

by E. Lathan Hudson
(Port St. John, Florida)

E. Lathan Hudson is a singer, songwriter, author, poet, inventor and philosopher. Originally from Sylacauga, Alabama, Hudson, his wife Katie, son Hud and daughter-in-law Connie live in southern Florida.
When they moved to FL in 1994, it was a big transition in Hudson's life. He had just spent 18 years in Nashville as a successful songwriter. He had over 180 songs recorded by some of the most well known singers in country music from BJ Thomas to George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Burl Ives and Mel Tillis. Hudson is a member of the Alabama Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Retiring to Florida meant turning his attention to the many stories and characters in his books, short stories, toys and his game inventions.
His latest book, "FORT U.S.A.," is the result of the serious side of Hudson. He is an intelligent thinker who is tired of the mess our politicians have made out of America. Read his book to discover the corrections Hudson would make to bring back dignity, respect, prosperity and fairness to the U.S.A.

Email: himinamis@aol.com

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Much of the information in our website has been published in a series of Amazon Kindle books for each of Florida's eight geographical regions.

Florida Backroads Travel, a separate Kindle book, covers all of the regions of the state in one volume.

All books can be read on a computer, tablet, Kindle and most smart phones.

Click on the book cover for free previews of these books at Amazon.com.


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