Michelle is the author of over a edgy Christian novels releasing through 2012. She lives with her husband in Arizona and her two sons are college students.
Where to find Michelle Sutton online
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Smashwords book reviews by Michelle Sutton
- It's In My Blood
on Oct. 30, 2010
It's In My Blood is about so many things... Heartache and family dysfunction. Anger and bitterness robbing people of peace. Pride keeping people from truly loving others. People believing money should give them special privileges. The loss of belief in yourself and in your future because of things that can't be changed about the past. It's all in there. I think the most powerful theme in the story parallels a book I recently finished, and that is this... hatred and Jesus Christ can't live in the same heart. One of them has to go.
Personally, I've not know families where such anger and secrets existed. However, I do know these types of family situations exist. That's the stuff soap operas are made of. I did have a hard time understanding the extreme bitterness between mother and daughter because it's not how my personality is, and it wasn't even before I knew Christ. On the other hand, I did understand the sense of betrayal from my many years of working with abused children.
There is no worse pain a child can feel that stemming from betrayal. Parents are supposed to protect their children and help them when they are hurting, not shove the situation under the carpet and pretend it never happened. When denial happens, ugly things develop in a relationship. This is what I saw happening between Naomi and Rosalyn. Their pain was expressed through a good portion of this book. Rosalyn's dad, John, didn't help matters by continually stepping between them. In fact, his behavior only made things worse, even though he was trying to help.
This book had a lot of drama from start to finish. While the main character's diagnosis was a big issue in the book, the focus of the story was more on relationships and the damage caused by bitterness. When forgiveness happens under such conditions, the beauty of it shines brighter. This story had great resolution on so many levels. Women who have strained relationships with their mothers might find this book particularly insightful as to what NOT to do, and how to move beyond the pain toward healing. I enjoyed this story.
on Nov. 20, 2010
The cover is kind of dark, so I'm not fond of it, but it does show that there is some darkness to this suspenseful novel. However, a light shining through the grape leaves would have depicted the heart of the story more, because the light from discovering the truth casts away the darkness and provides healing. While this story had its terrifying moments, it left me feeling good at the end because of the resolution and healing message that was (thank God) not sappy or forced. I loved that. Quite often suspense stories leave me scratching my head because the resolution was not believable, or the great "revelation" seemed staged. This story flowed naturally. The tension built and built until there was nothing left but the inevitable explosion. And what a bang it carried! I was truly impressed.
Given my background of working with sick-o people for several decades I had a feeling there was some stuff in the past that would come to light. I love when my instincts are spot-on, but that also tells me that the author knew how to frame a believable scenario. Not many authors do that so convincingly that my gut says, "yep, that's just what it would look like, too." The author did a great job with the whole mystery and suspense. She also tied in a great romance with Handel, who was not only a childhood friend, but a very heroic figure in this story. I wanted to cuddle up next him when I got scared along with the heroine. Well done!
The coolest part of this story is that while published by the author, the craft part of the storytelling was impressive. This could easily have been published by a big publishing house. It was that well done. Just so you know, it's worth way more than the $2.99 the author is charging for her Amazon kindle edition of her novel. I'd easily pay $9.99 for it because the quality of the writing and storytelling is so good. There is nothing too sick or crass for the average reader to enjoy and nothing to make a Christian's conscience cringe. There are a few minor cuss words and an occasional glass of wine, but she is living at a winery, so it fits the setting. The heroine's memories that are pretty realistic, but that just makes the story more powerful. I highly recommend this book.
on Aug. 10, 2011
I love how Brink writes and how she crafts her suspense stories. There is just enough realism and angst from the suspense element and a little romance to warm everything up. She does a fantastic job with romantic tension, too. I was feeling it and it was enjoyable indeed. I appreciated how this story tied into the first book, though you could probably read this book as a stand alone and still enjoy it very much. I've learned a lot about making wine and vineyards from reading this series.
The romance developing between Adam and Margaret (Meg) was yummy indeed. They were good for each other and needed to be together, but like any good romantic suspense, that has to get all jacked up to make the story an intriguing one. I loved seeing the characters from the previous books and experiencing the twists and turns in the story. There was also a bit of amateur sleuthing by Adam, which is always entertaining. The ending was killer too. This author has hooked me into the series and I'll be looking for the third installment. Bring it on!