Christa Allan’s Walking on Broken Glass

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    Have you ever read a book that felt like it had been written just for you? How about one that seemed as if it had been written about you? Until recently, I hadn’t. After reading Walking on Broken Glass, the debut novel by Christa Allan, I can’t say that anymore.

    On the surface, the story is nothing like my life. Leah Thornton has spent her life turning to alcohol, rather than facing the problems in her life. The death of her infant daughter leads her to depend more and more on beer, wine, and liquor to get through a day. Her best friend Molly and an interesting encounter with frozen apple juice force Leah to face that alcohol isn’t covering up her problems, it is intensifying them. It has become her problem.

    As Leah enters rehab and travels toward a life of sobriety, she learns more about herself. She’s not perfect, with or without a drink in hand, and life is not perfect. Along the way, she realizes that she needs a relationship with God in order to be whole. Even with Him, her life still isn’t going to be perfect, but for the first time in a very long time Leah has hope.

    Leah’s struggles made me face something inside of me. My daughter died before having a chance to live. I handled her death a lot like Leah and the others she met during rehab handled the tough times in their lives. I didn’t drown out the pain of my miscarriage with alcohol or cocaine or pot. My drug of choice was food. I didn’t really realize that until I read this—that food has become a bit of an addiction for me. Ten days ago we “celebrated” the fifth anniversary of Rylee’s passing. I didn’t curl up in a ball and cry all day as I had often done in the past. I didn’t even have to sit and cuddle with the Care Bear we bought as a reminder. I thought that meant I was doing a good job of moving on with my life. Who knows? Maybe I am. But the fact that every thought of her makes me want to stuff something into my mouth makes me wonder.

    And it makes me not want to see my life and my marriage become as out of control as Leah’s.

    Through this book, Allan gives a deep, realistic look into addictions. Her descriptions of Brookforest are vivid. I’ve never been in rehab myself, but I could see this place in my mind, could smell the stale cigarette smoke in the air, could feel the vinyl of the chairs. More than once, the situations her characters describe brought me to tears.

    To me, the measure of a good book is that it makes the reader feel. Walking on Broken Glass is definitely a good book.

Another Delightful Story

                Miss Beatrice Forsythe has grown up.  Now 17, she is ready to make her debut into London society.  Only her mother doesn’t think she is old enough.  And then

The Country House Courtship by Linore Rose Burkard

 there is that hasty promise, made five years earlier, to marry Peter O’Brien, the suitor rejected by her older sister.  Beatrice can’t possibly be held to that, can she?  Now that Ariana is Mrs. Mornay, there are so many more opportunities available to her younger sister.  Beatrice can’t possibly be expected to settle for life as the wife of a curate, not when the wealthy lifestyle her sister enjoys opens so many more doors for her in society.

                In The Country House Courtship, Linore Rose Burkard has again woven her masterful story-telling abilities with her expertise in Regency England to tell a delightful tale.  Her descriptions of Regency-era England are so real that the reader feels swept into that life.  Ariana, Beatrice, and their family come to life through the pages.  Seeing the book come to an end is bittersweet—I know I would love to spend more time with them.

                The best part of Burkard’s work, in my opinion, is the simple way that faith in Christ is shown in the characters.  They all seem to take a “show don’t tell” stance when it comes to their Christianity.  Not even Mr. O’Brien, the curate of a small London parish, is particularly “preachy”.  When illness invades their tight-knit circle, they are willing to pray together for healing.  Their love and acceptance of a woman in a very delicate situation is touching.  Through their gentle actions, these 19th century characters teach lessons of love that are still valid in the 21st century world we live in.

                Burkard has another winner on her hands with The Country House Courtship.  I am anxious to see what she follows this delicious book with.

My Dearest Rylee

My Dearest Rylee,

    Good afternoon, Sweetheart. How are you today? Silly question, I know. You are the same as always—happy and blessed. With Heaven as your home, how could you be anything else?

    I am doing OK. Some days are easier than others. I’ve stopped feeling guilty about being happy. I know that you would want me to be happy, that you would want me to smile. It has taken five years, but I am finally ready to think about what you would want.

    Five years. Wow. It seems so unreal that five years could have passed already. I remembered the day when I first knew you were with me and the day the doctor’s confirmed it so clearly. The happiness, the joy. The certainty that I was not going to be the only female in our family for long! I can’t tell even describe how excited I was, Rylee. I knew it would be a long wait until I could see you, but the dreams about your life began right away.

    It didn’t take long for those dreams to turn into a nightmare. Sometimes, I am not sure what was worse—the physical pain or the emotional pain. Probably the emotional pain. Physically, losing you was not like the end of my other pregnancies. I won’t like to you; it hurt! I remember feeling like my insides were being torn out. Compared to the lingering pain of the c-sections with your brothers, though, the pain with you was over rather quickly.

    Emotionally, now that is a different story. My first emotion was sadness and then anger. I was angry at myself and angry at God. Not that it didn’t any good. It didn’t bring you back. Neither did the guilt I felt. Knowing it wasn’t helping didn’t get me to let it go, though. I couldn’t hold you, so I held onto all those emotions—no matter how negative—that I felt tied me to you.

    I don’t know what changed. Maybe it was seeing how Kayla has handled the death of her little Logan. Less than two month have passed, and she seems to be more at peace than I have ever been. In the past two weeks, though, I have let go of some of that pain. It feels good to let it go. I feel a little freer.

    Rylee, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love you. I will always love you. I’ll always wonder what you could have been. Would you have my thick curly hair and your dad’s blue eyes? Would you be a girly-girl, liking dresses and dolls and shoes and purses? Or would having all these brothers make you into a tomboy? Those questions have no answers. Dwelling on them, trying to make you a living, breathing child is only going to make me crazy. I have to let this go.

    Please, know how much I love you. There is a part of me still that wishes I was with you. But I’m not. I can’t be. Your brothers need me here. Someday, though. Someday I will be with you in Heaven. When I get there, I know you will know who I am. One look, and I am sure I will know who you are, too. You’ll take my hand in yours and lead me to Jesus. I can almost hear your happy little voice saying, “Mommy, meet my best friend, Jesus.”

    Until then, I will keep living for Christ. I will keep you in my heart, with my other good memories.

    Because despite all the sadness, you are a good memory, Rylee. Without you, I would not be the woman I am now.

    I love you, Sweetie.



Romantic Escape to the Past


The House in Grosvenor Square, by Linore Rose Burkard

I love a book that I can get lost in, the kind that transports me to another place or another time. A book where the characters are as real as the man sitting across the table from me and where I feel like I am not just watching the story unfold but I am actually a part of the story.

That is exactly what I found when I opened Linore Rose Burkard’s The House on Grosvenor Square.The story is set in London in the early 1800’s—the Regency Period. It centers on Miss Ariana Forsyth in the days leading up to her marriage to the dashing Mr. Phillip Mornay. Mr. Mornay is one of London’s most popular, most eligible bachelors, and there are plenty of people who are not pleased about his betrothal. When items begin disappearing from his home in Grosvenor Square, it appears that someone is out to get Ariana. The danger to the young woman becomes very real when she is kidnapped from a large social event.

Ms. Burkard’s vivid, detailed descriptions made 19th Century come alive. There were moments while reading that I felt like I was right there—sitting beside Ariana in a carriage or running through the streets with Phillip. Often I found myself speaking more formally and even curtseying to my husband. The descriptions of both characters and setting are so vivid.  It was hard to remember that I was not really a part of 19th Century London society.

And almost depressing to put the book down and see 21st Century Jackson outside my front window.

Ms. Burkard has written a wonderful tale, proving she is a master of this time period. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from her.

Novel Description

Working on getting my fourth novel, SHATTERED, out this spring. Here is what I have for the back cover copy. How does it strike you? Would you want to read it? Please let me know!!



Kerry Warner did what she had to do. It was a difficult choice, but it was best for her daughter. Wasn’t it? For twenty years, she has silently lived with the truth. Now, as her daughter’s wedding nears, her past screams for her attention.


Janessa Warner has just finished college and is looking forward to marrying Garrett. Hours after a visit to his hometown begins, a horrifying car accident alters their plans. Janessa comes face-to-face with a woman from her mother’s past. The very foundation of her life is shaken. Her search for answers only leads to more questions. Can God put the shattered pieces of her life back together and bring healing to her family? Or has He really abandoned her?

Novel Excerpt!

I am hard at work on SHATTERED, a novel I hope to release in late March or early April.  I need a little help, though!  I would LOVE some feedback on the first chapter.  I want to know if it makes sense to anyone other than jsut me, or if it might be a bit too long, or what.  Please have a look and be sure to let me know what you think.  I really appreciate it!!

SHATTERED, chapter one

“Janessa Marie Warner.”

                With a smile she thought would never fade, Janessa walked confidently up the steps.  She glided across the stage, pausing long enough to shake hands with Dr. Todd Marks, President of Indiana Wesleyan University.  She accepted his congratulations and held tight to the maroon folder he handed her.  This was it.  Her degree.  The little piece of paper she had worked hard for, had lived the past four years for.  No, she had lived for God these last four years.  That folder and the piece of paper it proudly displayes just represented His will for her life. 

                No amount of hard work and sacrifice on her part would have meant anything if God was not in it all.

                She reached the edge of the stage, having shaken hands with a few other members of university faculty.  She looked up and said, “Thank You, Father,” before descended the steps and rejoining her classmates.

Want to read the rest of the chapter?  You can find it here.

Total Dork!!

OK, so I am a complete and total dork!!! My kids even think I am acting kind of geeky!!! But I don’t care! I saw on Facebook that Karen Kingsbury was having a Super Bowl Latte Time. I joined in the chat, and told her how seeing her books inspired me to stop being so scared and start writing. Well, she responded to me!!! COOL!!!!!


Karen Kingsbury

Hi Lynn . . . That’s amazing that you’ve wanted to write so long! I wanted to write that long, too! You must follow that calling . . . And never be scared to try :) God gives us this gift, like He gives other gifts. Write for Him, Lynn!

4 minutes ago · Report

A Dilemma of Prayer

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18, NLT

    Cancer has again made an appearance in my life. At this point in time, having anyone I know go to the doctor makes me nervous. My aunt battled breast cancer. For a while, it looked like she was going to win her battle. She went to be with the Lord in July 2009. Her older brother followed, losing his cancer battle in December2009. Less than a week after his funeral came the news that their cousin had lost her battle with lung cancer. This month, I learned from my best friend that she had found a suspicious lump in her breast that her doctor wanted to examine closer. Within 12 hours of her tests, an email came that the doctors had found a malignant mass between the liver and pancreas of one of my mother’s best friends.

    With all of this sickness surrounding my family and friends, I Thessalonians 5:16-18 is becoming harder and harder to follow. “Always be joyful”? “Be thankful in all circumstances”? About the only part of this passage that seems doable is the part in the middle: “Never stop praying”.

    Only I am even having a problem with that part. At this point, I don’t even know how to pray about this.

    With Aunt Gail and Uncle Bob, my prayers were for their souls. They both had spent years wandering away from the Christian teachings of their youth. I prayed that God would reach them in time, that He would put someone in their lives to remind them of the love of God before their lives were over.

    I prayed for Lori much the same way. She’s a good person, but that doesn’t mean her heart is right with God. That doesn’t mean it’s not, either. Wow. As I type this, I realize how pathetic it is that I don’t know. Lori is one of the most important people in my life, and I have tried to share my faith with her over the 18 (good grief, have we really been friends that long?) years that we have known each other. Yet I can’t say that I know what her relationship with Christ is. I know she believes; I know she prays. But does she have a close relationship with Him? Not knowing that, I prayed that her tests would come back negative and that God would give me the boldness to ask her about her faith.

    But then there is Bea. I don’t wonder at all about her. I know that she loves Jesus and that when her life is over, she will be in Heaven, praising Him with the angels. Her prognosis is not good. And I just don’t know what I pray for. Do I pray for her healing? That would be awesome for her family and friends, but would that be awesome for Bea? She is ready to go when God calls her. Is it fair to her to pray for her healing, when she is ready to experience the full glory of God in Heaven? When I think about her situation, I find it very difficult to pray for healing for Bea. Instead, I find myself praying for her family and friends. I pray that God will guide and comfort them, no matter what his plan for Bea is. As Mom said earlier this afternoon, “She may be ready to go, but I am not ready to see her go.” I know that Bea is OK with whatever God has planned for her—whether it be complete healing on Earth or complete healing in Heaven.

Her friends and family, though, are going to have trouble being joyful or thankful in this, even though we know it is all a part of God’s plan.

Regency Romance

Reading is my favorite way to escape reality.  Not that reality is really a bad thing.  God has blessed me beyond measure and far beyond what I deserve.  I really can’t complain about the life He has given me.  Still, every now and then I need to get away, to slip into a world where my children are not fighting and where money matters don’t matter.  Since I live in a world where finances are a concern, I can’t afford to take an exotic vacation every time I need a getaway.  But I can afford to escape into a book. 

The best authors are the ones who can create a fictional world that is so real the reader feels like a part of the story.  Linore Rose Burkard is one of those writers.  She has made her way into my top three favorite authors.

In her novel Before the Season Ends, Burkard writes about life in London in the early 19th century.  Often, we think about this as a simpler time, and I suppose in a many ways it was a simpler time.  Television, radio, and the internet had not yet been invented, meaning life offered fewer distractions.  Even without these modern conveniences, however, there were still plenty of chances for a young lady to find trouble.

Or in the case of Ariana Forsythe, for trouble to find a young lady.

And it seems no matter how hard she tries to avoid it, trouble does find Ariana.  Whether it is bumping into (literally!) members of the London’s upper class, falling out of a small boat, or being stuck in a tree, Ariana seems to always fall into some sort of trouble.  The worst of her troubles, though, comes when she finds herself drawn to two men.  One is a man of great faith but little means, intent on becoming a clergyman.  The other is a man of great means but little faith, content with the single life he is living.  Ariana is torn between the two men—and the love of God that fills her heart.  Her head tells her one thing while her heart tells her another.

Before the Season Ends is a beautifully written love story—a love story that centers around God.  Burkard’s characters and settings draw the reader into a new world.  Or is it an old world?  In either case, it is a world that is hard to leave.  Luckily, there is no reason to be in a rush to leave—Linore Rose Burkard has written two additional books about Ariana and her family.  I highly recommend that you read all three of these wonderful books.  If you only have time to read one, read—well, read whichever one you can get your hands on!  I promise, you won’t be disappointed.


PS Be on the lookout for my reviews of Linore Rose Burkard’s other books in the coming weeks!!!