To set the record straight

Here on this book review blog there is an exchange with Andi. (By the way, she has an excellent blog on divorce and healing). She has a very worthy point and I wanted to bring it out in the open.

Andi said...

I find it interesting when you review a book that you have such negative things to say about the writing yet I don't see your book(s) being published and being toured. Maybe you need to tender your reviews with a little more grace. Just a thought.


I take this criticism to heart. Andi is correct to chide me on the negative things I have to say about some Christian writings. However I am just one voice.

Gina Burgess said...

Just to set the record straight, Andi, I haven't really tried to get anything published. I have not had that 100th rejection, only 2.

However, I owned just less than 1,500 books and read twice as many more. I don't know any author as prolific a writer as I am a reader. I do know what works and what doesn't work. I do know what is good writing and what is poor editing. I have earned my Master's in Communication (Professional Writing and Education).

I realize I am very opinionated when it comes to Christian fiction and that is because a Christian author should strive harder, longer and deeper than any secular writer to get the message out in such a way that unbelievers would want to read said author's work because of the literary value of the work. If not, the readers are searching for something they do not have... and is rarely being offered these days.

Publishers crank out 10,000 titles a year, and each book is counted a success if it sells 15,000 copies! That barely pays for the printing costs with hardly anything for the author. My standards are not too high, they are too low, and that means the editors and publishers are pouring out crappy products.

I want something not only CLEAN to read but something that is really GOOD to read. I know there is a great deal of talent out there that hasn't had the chance to be published, and it is truly irksome that someone who is published several times over gets lazy in their work because they "have so much on their plate" they need to have someone help them write the book as in the case of Ms Walker. It is especially irksome when Ms Walker has written some excellent stories. I feel cheated, frankly.

Actually, to set the record even staighter, I have had more than 300 articles published on the internet ( and, more than 100 features published in newspapers, and two articles picked up by Associated Press for national distribution. One article picked up by the National Social Workers Association and published on their website, and my blog was cited in a doctorate paper on Women's Issues. So, while I have not had a book published, my writings have had considerable local, national, and global recognition. Just setting the record straight.

(I need to comment that as of March 2014 I have two books published. I welcome any and all to review either one or both of them. I do require that the reviewer has a blog or Goodreads account to post the review, and will commit to posting the review on or other online retailer. Thanks for reading this blog!)

Jaspar's War by Cym Lowell

The premise of this novel is so very good. It reminds me a little bit of the movie Enough. However, there is no follow through.

The plot is quite involved and the character I like the most is Alice, the Dingo dog. She is quite the most super dog ever conjured by an author's mind. The other characters in the story are a bit jumbled, and not really developed well. That act off the charts rather than believable. Jaspar's husband is murdered in an airplane crash, and she is grieving. She realizes that for her to find out why, she has to disappear so she turns to her dear friend, a priest, for help. He introduces her to a man who trains her in the best special ops training.

Jaspar loves her husband, but she has special feelings for her trainer, the owner of Alice. This is why I really do not like to read books written by men who have a woman as the main character AND writing in first person. So many male authors imprint male characteristics on to their women characters. Here, Lowell has Jaspar have the feelings, but she is still grieving for her husband. It is such an oxymoron. Most women do not/would not act this way. Men might, but not women. I had to quit reading it because the motivations of each character became so fuzzy, and the storyline/plot bogged down to the point of stalling.

I give it one star of five stars.


Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell


Siri Mitchell  consistently and constantly provides a wonderful reading experience. There were times in this novel when I could not stop laughing, and other times when I wanted to just shake Ellis Eton.

The story is first person through the eyes of an ADHD young woman during Prohibition. An in depth look at how the Roarin' Twenties really was. Very, very true to life as well as very, very true to Mitchell form. Mitchell takes a time in history and eschews it in historical truth.

Extremely well developed characters who lived during a time when the all time question of whether or not morality can be legislated was answered... except it was originally answered during the Children of Israel's walk through the wilderness... and during the time of the Judges... and the whole of the Old and New Testaments.


A girl with the best of intentions.
A heart set on Hollywood.
An empty pocketbook.
That's all it takes for Ellis Eton to find herself working as a telephone operator for a look-alike friend. For Ellis, this job will provide not only acting practice but the funds to get her a start in the movies. She's tired of always being a disappointment to her traditional Boston family, and though she can't deny the way he makes her head spin, she knows she's not good enough for Griffin Phillips, either. It's simple: avoid Griff's attentions, work, and get paid. But in typical Ellis fashion, her simple plan spirals out of control when she overhears a menacing phone call...with her very own Griff as the target.

With an endearing heroine as her lead, Siri Mitchell takes readers on a madcap tale of love and discovering one's true desires!

Here and Now by Ann Brashares

First, this is not a Christian fiction book. However, it is a YA read, and quite possibly the best I've read in a very long time. Wr
itten perfectly in first person, you get inside the head of a seventeen year old girl who is not only struggling to find herself, but is struggling with rules and regulations from the future that, if violated, will kill her.

Fascinating story premise and execution. Original in depiction of 88 years into the future. The storyline is very well woven suspense and mystery. Believable characters, and Preanna is such a teenagery person, but wise beyond her years. But, it still works.

This is well worth the money and earns 5 of 5 stars.

An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.
Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.

Tide and Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig


I have always enjoyed novels by Ludwig. She is a fine author.
I am sorry I missed the first two in this series. While reading this novel, I feel like I had missed so much without reading them. Although this is a finely written novel in and of itself, I would have benefited greatly by some sore of synopsis of the first two.

I immediately fell for Captain Morgan. He is the kind of rugged character that finds a soft spot in my heart. I felt for Tillie McGrath and her misguided guilt. So many people think they have to do something or act better in order to live up to God.

Here is another author that is able to take real life Christian issues and illustration these struggles in a lifelike way in fiction. Just excellent.


Dreaming of a better life, Tillie McGrath leaves Ireland behind and, with her beloved fiance by her side, sets sail for America. But when illness robs her of the man she holds dear, she's left alone with only a handful of tattered memories. While forging on proves difficult, Tillie soon finds some new friends at her New York boardinghouse, and begins pursuing a new dream--to open a home for orphaned children.

Despite two years passing, Captain Keondric Morgan has never forgotten the lass who left his ship so heartbroken. When a crewman's deathbed confession reveals her fiance's demise was the result of murder, the captain knows he must try to contact her. But his attention draws the notice of others as well--dangerous men who believe Tillie has in her possession something that could expose their crimes. And to their way of thinking, the best way to prevent such an outcome is to seize the evidence and then hand Tillie the same fate as her naïve fiance.


Rapture and Revelation by Lynn Baber

I've known Lynn for several years now through my LinkedIn group called Christian Authors, Editors, Publishers, & Bloggers. She has added a great deal of wisdom to the
group through her comments, therefore I was not surprised at the wisdom I found in this book by her.

I like this so much we are going to use it in our Bible study group when we finish studying Domestic Diva: The Proverbs 31 Woman. 

Baber asks some truly tough questions of Christians today. Do you choose God or not choose God? Where does your fear come from? Is it because you doubt God can handle your problems, or do you doubt God will solve your problems the way you want then solved? She also asks where are your priorities?

Perhaps, the wisest part of this book is how she points out the greatest danger to Christians today is the false teachings based on false prophesy. False interpretation of actual scripture where the interpretation disregards the whole of scripture, and focuses upon one or two proof texts. Christians must draw closer to God, and filter everything through scripture just as the Bereans did.

Congratulations to Lynn as she highlights some truths that are crucial for Christians of today.

Five of five stars


Welcome to the End Time. Most scholars believe the next event prophesied in Scripture is the Rapture of the Church. Natural disasters, armed conflicts, economic and social upheavals, and civil disobedience have become the norm rather than the exception. 

Christian author Lynn Baber presents a practical and easy-to-read message challenging readers to examine the source of their beliefs at this critical moment in human history. The greatest danger to Christians today is false teaching based upon false prophecy. Familiar words like God, Jesus, Bible, and Christian don't mean what they used to. "Rapture and Revelation" provides a scriptural path permitting you to separate what is true from what is not. There is an absolute need for messages that offer simple truths about the times we live in. 

You will discover the link between science and God in these pages as well as meeting the "jesus" introduced in such popular books as "The Shack" and "The DaVinci Code." What does the Bible say about relationship with God? How is it possible to live in the world but not be of the world? Will all who confess Jesus Christ as Lord be raptured? These questions, and many more, are answered by the author based on the Word of God. Are you absolutely sure you're ready for the call of Jesus Christ? You may be surprised to discover that what you hoped was true is really a lie.
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