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Reviews

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AMAZON REVIEWS

 

October 2, 2016

5 Stars – Forgiveness and Healing

All my life I’ve heard the expression, “This will tug on your heart strings” and always knew exactly what that meant. This book? Well, this book doesn’t just tug on your heart strings, it wraps both hands around them and pulls hard! Almost yanks them clean off!. But I believe that is good for the heart. Things which make our heart feel compassion for others always makes us stronger in our love for others.

When I first started reading the story, I really didn’t know much about it. I had met the author online and found her to be such a lovely lady that I wanted to read her work. Once I began, I learned that this was not just a story about the very powerful, enduring and divine friendship of Lizzy and Maggs, this was a story of healing and having faith in a good, just, loving and ever-present God. It is about the life of Maggs, who takes you on a journey through her childhood and brings you up close and personal to the trials, fears, sufferings, and losses that she endured, all the while allowing you into her heart and mind to experience her process of forgiveness, letting go.

This story is not quite like anything I have ever read before and if you are like me, you will want to reach into the book and wrap your loving arms around the characters of Lizzy and Maggs – and also have some chat time with them over their delicious snacks and cuisines too! To read this story is to embrace forgiveness and knowing that it is NEVER too late for it!

bettermom

 

February 15, 2016

What an absolutely wonderful book. Written so well that you feel like you are sitting down just talking with a friend. The book keeps you so interested & wanting to know what happens next. It truly makes you search your heart for areas that you need to forgive. There are so many dimensions to this book and it is so beautifully written. Loved every moment of it. Can’t wait to see what the author writes next!!

Mary W. Hixson

 

 

February 25, 2016

I really enjoyed this book! Filled with intrigue, mystery, fear, love, compassion and most of all Forgiveness, I recommend this book and by the way, I’m reading it for the second time!

Billy J. Wilson

 

January 18, 2016

What an amazing spiritual journey Margaret takes you on in her debut novel. I started this one evening before I went to bed and if it weren’t for the fact that I needed sleep, I would have sat there and read it cover to cover. She truly captures the essence of a sweet southern soul growing up in a dysfunctional home who comes to the understanding that we all can find grace and wisdom through God’s love over time. This is a must read for anyone who struggles with finding themselves and how they fit within this spiritual space we share.

Suzy Babb

 

November 21, 2015

Margaret McBride will take you on a journey. Her personal journey growing up. That Melvin Bray reminds me of others who have had similar stories. It’s so well written. I laughed, cried, and was so inspired by Margaret’s ‘Maggs’ faith throughout the book. Even in pain God is good. Thank you Margaret for giving us the gift of your story. I highly recommend That Melvin Bray! A great read! A great gift to someone too!

Janet Harlee, author

 

October 14, 2015

 At first I didn’t realize the book was told in flashbacks. But once I did, I couldn’t wait to read more and hear how the story would unfold. The characters were intense and the story was so good and surprising. I took it on vacation and I relished in the journey where the memories took me. Oh and I cried, I couldn’t believe it but the stories brought so much emotion I couldn’t help from deeply feeling what the characters were feeling. Great heartfelt story about family and freindship.  

 American honky chic

 

September 23, 2015

McBride masterfully blends the harmonious present with a haunting past that is challenging to face. Human suffering can manifest in ways that create a ripple effect destined to find history repeating itself. However, the beauty and miraculous recipe of Divine intervention and the power of forgiveness combined enable happiness beyond measure. That Melvin Bray successfully transcends the weight of life’s sorrows. The author crafted a masterpiece of the human spirit & a colorful story that makes the fabric of her family history into a sacred tapestry that inspires. Read it! You’ll like it!

 Genevieve Austin

 

September 9, 2015

That Melvin Bray came to me at a time in my life when I needed to allow myself to have feelings. I had experienced a great loss and I was ignoring my feelings of grief so that I could function in the rest of my life. I became so entranced in the lives of this family that I spent every spare moment (and plenty that weren’t spare), with these brothers and sisters, their dear Mother and auntie. I rooted for them to have good, rejoiced with them when the good happened and cried with them when it did not. This incredible story allowed me to feel the pain of this family and therefore I was able to allow myself to feel the pain that I was ignoring and also with that came my own healing. That Melvin Bray is wonderfully written, sincerely genuine and down to earth human. Margaret McBride is definitely a woman of heart and soul with an in-depth vision of the greater good. I can’t wait for her next work of heart!

Linda Hackney

August 1, 2015

“Every family has some problems…some families seem to have every problem. Margaret gives the reader a wonderful glimpse into a family that seems to fit into the latter category. The greatest message shared here is that survival is possible as is the hope of rising above the hopelessness that many days hold. Margaret brings us right into her home, her family, her heart, her head and very carefully through it all with such finesse. Great book! Highly recommend! Thank you, Margaret!”

Bookman

July 12, 2015

“I started reading this book and I could not put it down! For 2 days and 2 nights, I read this book nonstop. I loved the dark humor from the writer. You could feel her pain in the beginning of the book, but I felt her release the years of hurt and just enjoy something as simple as a car ride. I loved how the writer defined each of her siblings and gave you a personal experience with each one. You actually find yourself cheering for Lu, PC, Ali, Lee, Paddie and the others when they are just words on the page. The writer was able to bring names on a page and bring them into your heart and connect your heart with emotions with just words. The story line had so many twists and turns that it will keep you on the edge of your seat!!!”

Raymond J. Chapuis

July 3, 2015

“That Melvin Bray is a satisfying read because it has so many things going for it. Want to read a book about the unraveling of a mystery? That Melvin Bray has it. How about solving two mysteries that are intertwined? The novel has it. You say you like novels with unlikely sleuths? Got you covered.

Here are a few things the reader will experience while reading That Melvin Bray:  a story told in a soft southern dialect that reminds one of hot biscuits and sweet tea; the charming voice of a child, recalling her family’s horrific past; in the same voice, as an adult, facing the present with growing confidence and good humor; the near destruction of a family caused by an abusive, alcoholic father; the surprising death of a loving, angelic young mother; the shooting death of a troubled teenager; the mysterious disappearance of a child and a grown man; an enduring friendship that began in grade school with the narrator’s future “shrink,” Lizzy, who is also her best friend as an adult; and the use of hypnosis, art, and forensics in detective work.

As a child, the narrator endured a Jekyll and Hyde father, but she generously sprinkles good characters throughout the novel: helpful neighbors, trustworthy friends, upright ministers, and noble relatives. The narrator’s journey, a search for peace, leads her to the solutions of unexplained disappearances and mysterious deaths using hypnosis to bring forth suppressed childhood memories. As a child and as an adult, the narrator loses neither her faith nor her humor as she faces real-world terrors and tragedies. That strong faith leads her ultimately to forgiveness and redemption.”

Harold Phipps

July 15, 2015

“The mysteries of friendship and self-discovery with unraveling the mystery surrounding Melvin Bray, make a terrific read.” 

  A. L. Jennings

June 3, 2015

Really loved this book. Very uplifting!”

Elizabeth O

May 9, 2015

“I am from the South. I grew up in the country, made my way to the city and eventually returned to the country where, from my perspective, living is good. We all have a nostalgic place in our hearts that feeds our souls and our send of purpose. It allows us to sit on this spiraling time continuum and ponder the sweetness of things in our lives as we tie the richness of the past with the hopes and dreams of the future. Reading That Melvin Bray took me to this special place and gave me comfort.. I enjoyed every minute of the story. One of those you can’t put down. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes stories about the heart and the triumphs of goodness over the struggles in life. Margaret McBride wove us in and captivated us with her style and her beautiful story. Great book!!!!”

Debbie McAdoo

July 14, 2015

“ ‘That Melvin Bray’ proves that true friendship is the only evidence of a life well-lived.”

Maria McConnell

June 14, 2015

“While I read this book several months ago, it has remained fixed in my memory. I am so thankful for this writer who shares from personal experience and touches each reader in a personal, yet universal way. Looking forward to the next one from Margaret McBride!”

Cathy Parker

April 30, 2015

The author is a Godsend!!! This book  is  wonderful and so beautifully written. Margaret McBride is such a warm and giving person and she writes with such heart, soul, and depth. She has touched my heart so deeply and I wish her the best of success!! God bless you, Margaret!!

Gretchen

March 7, 2015

What a well written story. Margaret McBride does an excellent job of drawing you into the characters. Very well written and a real page turner. I highly recommend this one!

kikidi1106

March 5, 2015 

Great storytelling; a roller coaster of emotions…I didn’t want it to end!

Joanne Dickson

February 25, 2015

My book club read this book…it’s a great ride with emotional ups and downs. I love the faith the lead characters show and Aunt Lucy’s strength!

Richard A. May

February 27, 2015

Congratulations to Ms. McBride for being brave enough to relive horrific memories in the writing of this book, and in doing so, finding her healing. Made for a great discussion at our book club?

Sherry Brooks

January 7, 2015

For anyone who has survived a terrifying and dysfunctional childhood because of an alcoholic parent, this book will help to heal some of those deep wounds that continue to haunt you, even in adult life.  The path of forgiveness is different for every victim but this inspirational story by this author can help you get through that journey, and bring light and peace to your heart. Parts of her story are very difficult to read  without tears, but Margaret McBride will help you through the sadness with her on-going humor. The is a very good read!!

Lynthia M.

December 6, 2014

I spent Thanksgiving with Lizzy, Maggie and That Melvin Bray. I grew up in the south, in the fifties, so I easily related to the setting of the book and the characters. It was a fun and intriguing read. Did not see the twist coming in the end. Excellent book and compliments to the author.   

DAS

November 12, 2014

This is a story of hope, revelation and salvation that one can only find through a profound belief in God. What Margaret McBride was able to do in “That Melvin Bray,” is convey her strong faith in such a way that all will be lifted by it, no matter what your religious point of view. Yes, the author is a deeply spiritual person, who believes that “God is good, God is great” no matter what tragedies she is dealt; however, she is not selling you on this belief, but sharing how unfaltering faith got her through an extremely challenging childhood.

The book’s narrative takes place between two Southern ladies, who are old friends revisiting unresolved issues of their past. It makes you want to curl up in a club chair, with a cup of tea, to travel back to a time when the world moved a little slower. Having lived in the South once, I enjoyed Ms. McBride’s colorful dialogue peppered with “Yes ma’am and “No sir.”

This is a quick read that is hard to put down at times. My favorite part of the story was the compelling  friendship between Magg-Pie and Lizabeth. It was credible and heart-warming to see how much love and heartache they shared…a lifetime worth. It demonstrates how human beings can endure great hardships, but as long as one person is there to help you cope—you can endure and persevere.

“That Melvin Bray” is a wonderful book that reminded me that forgiveness starts with forgiving ourselves.

Theresa Merrill Anovick, LinkedIn Marketing Trainer & Social Media Coach

August 3, 2014

That Margaret McBride has given readers a healing gem with this novel. It is both thought provoking and emotionally gripping. Its fun to read and hard to put down. In this spiritual thriller, the author’s voice carries us through childhood memories and adult revelations with southern fried humor, humility and grace. And with an open heart, she shares her recipe for a kind of forgiveness that transcends the pain of loss and betrayal.

MB

July 24, 2014

This is a recommended story of two lifelong dear friends using the talents they have acquired during their “middle aged” lives to realize and solve a mystery from their childhood that only subconsciously they remembered.Their bond as friends helps them to grow and forgive other people, situations and even themselves, as they accept circumstances in life occur, and that to move forward reconciliation and forgiveness are essential. The exploration of the family life of “Maggs” is written in the southern tradition bringing true dialect and culture to life. The style of the book is casual and conversational. Maggie is the dreamy artist with much to discover about her life. “Lizzy” provides the rebound of logical reasoning and intellect to practically solve problems throughout this entertaining and rich story of platonic and true love, as each discovers themselves and the other in ways they did know before. The book is filled with “cookies” for life to munch and enjoy. It is an excellent and enjoyable “read”!!

E. Cook: Atlanta, GA

October 2, 2014

I know the author very well. It may color my review somewhat because she is simply a doll. Knowing her and then reading the story of these two women only enhance my admiration for her. I can almost hear her saying “absodamtootly” now!! As a child of the South and a physician, I have met many women over the course of my career that remind me of both Maggie and Lizzy. The characters have “real” feel to them and that made the story move along well. I love a good mystery  and this story does not disappoint, but the ultimate tale of sadness and the ultimate triumph and redemption are what carry the day for this fabulous first novel. A dysfunctional family to be sure, but also love abounds. Told with humor and grit, I will keep on the author to keep the magic going and get us another book soon!

Carl Capelouto

July 21, 2014

Margaret McBride has a winner here and I will add her name to my other favorite Southern writers. She has captured the value of having a childhood friend that share some memories that lead to self-discovery, forgiveness, and healing. Growing up has enough difficulties but add dysfunction and tragedies to the mix and you get drawn in. The author wisely adds in bits of humor, love of family, and a mystery to alleviate the horrific pain of the tragedies. Reading the book was like having a cup of tea with two childhood friends that allowed you to share in the intimacy of long ago memories and perhaps receive some healing of your own.

Rosemary Adams

July 17, 2014

Could not put it down. The suspense of what was going to happen next made for great reading. Loved the story line. Would recommend this book highly.

Carol P. Wright

July 18, 2014

Loved this book!! Heartwarming and inspiring. Teaches you to slow down and pay attention to the signs that are right in front of you. God has many voices.

Caren Yaffee

July 4, 2014

An amazing first book by the author! The childhood memories of the main character were told in such an authentic voice that I felt I was right there with Maggie experiencing all of the joy, sadness, fear, anger and love that she did. I was captivated and couldn’t put the book down. With the mystery, family/friend dynamics, and the main character’s journey of forgiveness and freedom from the past, this book has it all!

KRM

January 15, 2014

It’s a good thing “That Melvin Bray” arrived on a Friday afternoon; for once I started reading it, I could not put it down. Maggie’s family became my family, and I wanted to remain with them. This is a story of powerful devotion of siblings one to another throughout dreadful hardships. It is a story of forgiveness and the healing forgiveness brings. Woven through the book is an intriguing mystery which was at last solved amazingly!

MF Powell

September 5, 2014

What a wonderful, heartbreaking and captivating story about Maggie as she, with the help of her best childhood friend, tries to make peace with her past. It pulled at my heartstrings as Maggie slowly pieced together her past, but she prevailed in the end. It forced me to take a closer look inside my heart and offer forgiveness. Loved every bit of this book!

Naomi
December 14, 2013

“That Melvin Bray” was an excellent heartwarming story of love and faith. It had an unexpected twist leaving the ending open. The author was able to tell the story from a child and adults view without skipping a beat. The tone of the story created a perfect southern atmosphere. This is a must read for all believers.

Tina Putman

July 1, 2014

Vivid descriptions of struggle and healing create a moving book that is sad, inspiring, and triumphant in love. Highly recommend it!l

Tyce Miller

July 14, 2014

An absolute must read! An inspirational story about family, friends and Faith. “That Melvin Bray” is a book you simply can’t put down! You will cry, laugh and yearn to solve the mystery of “That Melvin Bray”. Most importantly, you will finish with a new sense of life, strength and Faith in God! ALL things are possible with God! Thank you, Margaret!

Connie B.

July 12, 2014

A compelling novel of life growing up in the South. Thoroughly enjoyed the read! Loved the surprise ending!

Shirley B. Wright

June 14, 2014

A heartwarming story of healing and forgiveness with a mystery thrown into the mix. Keeps to the southern roots and charm. You will enjoy the book.

Kyle Thomas

Susan S. Phipps – 2/21/14

Beginning this book was like boarding a train that stopped at no stations until it reached its final destination. And what a ride it was! I experienced every single event, clue, side comment, revelation and emotion as if I were living it. The author invited me in with her charming Southern voice sprinkled with wry asides, self-effacing comments, humor, spiritual strength, and pure intrigue. I laughed out loud. I was charmed. I cried. I celebrated. This book has it all!

Diane K. 3/1/14

Margaret McBride is quite a vivid story teller. Her use of the English language to weave a tale of friendships, family dynamics, struggles, joy, and finally peace of mind and soul is beyond compare!Here is a book to pass on to one’s friends and family with the assurance that whomever reads it will come away with renewed gratitude for this gift of life we are privileged to enjoy.

Geni Carico – 3/22/14

“That Melvin Bray” has touched my heart and my soul in a thousand different ways. It’s a tale both uplifting and heart rending…a story destined to be told. Margaret McBride leads the reader on a voyage of self-discovery as long-time friends search their past for hidden truths. It is a story stitched together with some kind of magic cosmic glue that transcends the ordinary…truly, an inspiration.

 Jana Stiffel – 2/10/14

Margaret McBride illuminates the metaphor that we arrive in this world as perfect flowers and then life happens and the petals are plucked off. Try as we may on this life’s journey, it is a job unto self to find new petals to make ourselves whole. Life is both a puzzle and a gift. Her words will touch everyone’s life.

Melinda Byrne – 11/20/13

I read a long time ago that there is a law of faith (just as there is a law of gravity) which responds to your level of confidence in it. This book is about family and relationships, love and forgiveness, and a lot of things in-between: tragedy and sorrow; joy and laughter; anger and rage; suspense and intrigue.  But if you keep the faith throughout this fascinating story, you will take a wonderful journey from your head to your heart…and you will be transformed.

BookGroupie – 5/6/14

The author took me on a journey so vivid I actually felt the hard emotions of each and every character. Our own lives are processes of hurt and healing and “That Melvin Bray” is yet another story with which one can find hope.

Lynthia Manderson – 1/6/14

This author has captured the art of mending a broken heart. Her story will continuously break your heart, but through her humor, faith and love, with enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat, Ms. McBride will end the journey of childhood pain with a message to each reader who chooses to experience some of life’s sadness, hope, fear and ultimately JOY!! Once you read this book, you will never forget it.

Margaret Chamblee – 3/25/14

This was an enlightening and suspenseful book which made me think about the deep influences one’s actions have on the lives of others, both good and bad. This story combines laugh-out-loud humor and real-tear sadness, and is told in a unique venue that kept me engaged and interested.

Phyllis Smith – 2/4/14

A definite “I love it”…an achingly beautiful story of love between family members…and the love between friends…and a mystery that captured my heart.

M. DaCosta – 11/25/13

I may not have a “Melvin Bray” in my past, but I sure did relate to the issues and content of Ms. McBride’s book. The voice of the child was fresh, convincing and utterly charming. I found the humor authentic and pure South. This story is the real thing and has no expiration date.

A.K. Langley, Jr. – 6/17/14

This is a wonderful story about a female boomer who grew up with an alcoholic father. I highly recommend it for any adult child. (ACOA)

Cecil Arnim – 2/2/14

I read this book over the holidays. It is a wonderful story of a journey of old friendships and new discoveries. Ms. McBride’s authentic and descriptive writing style puts you right there side by side with the characters. I could truly experience the story in my mind’s eye. This story reminds the reader that life’s greatest and most fulfilling abundance is found in the simplest facets of life. True friendships, spiritual awareness and the ability to forgive are some of our greatest gifts to give and receive. This story is a great reminder of what’s truly important.

Teresa Cameron – 5/2/14

This book brought out every emotion which tied me into these characters all the way to the end and beyond. It was a reminder of how precious life is, and to cherish every moment! I so enjoyed this and can’t wait to read the next one. I have passed this book onto friends and recommended to others! Thank you, my dear for a great book!!

 L.F. Renard – 2/21/14

“That Melvin Bray” took this reader through a family’s pain and hardships, love and friendships, forgiveness and survival, mysteries and resolution that held my interest until the last word. The quotations added a nice touch. A great first novel and I look forward to the next one!

Gayenelle West Gray – 2/19/14 

“That Melvin Bray” is so clearly written from the heart about hearts. My hometown classmate Margaret McBride (“Doll” as I know her), vividly reveals characters whose hearts range from dark, cold and cruel, to the shining, warm and loving and all the numerous ones in-between. If you have a tender heart, do have tissues nearby. Her first novel has it all. It’s a psychology, sociology, philosophy, spiritual, self-help (the only kind the main character buys), history and mystery book “soaked” in authentic small town southern culture and language all in just 293 pages. She presents the reader with 30 intriguing chapter titles followed by memorable quotes that are beautifully woven to unveil the story that has become a part of my heart.

September 23, 2015

McBride masterfully blends the harmonious present with a haunting past that is challenging to face. Human suffering can manifest in ways that create a ripple effect destined to find history repeating itself. However, the beauty and miraculous recipe of Divine intervention and the power of forgiveness combined enable happiness beyond measure. That Melvin Bray successfully transcends the weight of life’s sorrows. The author crafted a masterpiece of the human spirit & a colorful story that makes the fabric of her family history into a sacred tapestry that inspires. Read it! You’ll like it!

 Genevieve Austin