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Spell by Janell

coverart of Spell

Spell by author Janell


“Donna Goodman never wanted to be a preacher’s wife. Nevertheless, falling in love with Pastor Walter Goodman was unexpected, thrusting her into a lifestyle that she feared most. Unwilling to accept the role of a perfect wife, Donna left Walter and his congregation behind.

Enter Tracy.

Beautiful yet damaged, Tracy Broussard wants one thing only…to be loved. Instant chemistry between Tracy and the separated Walter leads her to believe that her dreams are finally coming true. Quickly, she imagines herself as the new first lady and makes plans to be the next Mrs. Goodman.
But when Donna abruptly returns and Walter chooses his wife over his new girlfriend, Tracy decides to take matters into her own hands. Armed with a book of spells and a vial of his blood, Tracy promises to use everything on earth and below it to change Walter’s heart.

Ready or not, once the powers of darkness are channeled, Donna will have to either face death or risk the loss of Walter’s soul to spiritual wickedness in high places.”

After reading author Janell’s Spell, I was left with a wanting but wasn’t quite sure what it was that I desired. Janell tells a good story. As the synopsis suggests, she paints a vivid image of a strong pastor, his allusive wife and somewhat damaged girlfriend. But as I read Spell, I couldn’t shake the feeling as if something was missing, but I think that I finally figured out what it was.

In most stories that I have had the privilege to review, the plot will take an unexpected turn or twist. Sometimes, a circumstance or situation will come completely out of nowhere which would leave me as the reader wondering, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming.” It’s this type of change in the plot that will sometimes brand the book as memorable causing the reader to want to re-read it to see if they could spot it beforehand…by “it” I mean the twist that would take them by surprise.

Spell didn’t have this. Now as I write these words, please don’t misunderstand me. Lacking a plot twist is not the same as saying that this is a bad story. Spell is a decent read, nestling itself quietly within the Christian Fiction genre.

The story moves at a quick pace and is written from the perspective of the three main characters. The chapters are short which makes for an easy read. The author does a great job of setting the stage for the actions that are about to occur; painting scenes that are both predictable and honorable.

I say honorable because the story has hidden messages that address topics heard in church but are purposely avoided in steady dialogue amongst members of congregations across the country. If you believe in communicating with God through prayer, then the same communication can be had with the enemy through alternate means. Janell manages to take these topics and weave them successfully into a well-written story.
The only problem is that the story is told so straight forward that by the time you turn the final page, you’re left wondering if there shouldn’t perhaps be more. By more I mean, more to the story, more to the characters or perhaps even more to the circumstances surrounding the Goodmans.

Does the author purposely allow her readers to draw their own conclusions as to the likelihood of spiritual warfare? Are there really demons that surround us looking for a way into our realm, and if they do by chance find a way in, are they here permanently? Do we engage in spiritual warfare everyday simply by getting on our knees to pray? Or more succinctly put, is prayer the equivalent of “white magic” when the character Tracy chooses to explore the darker paths that ultimately lead to climatic finale in the story?

Now as you read Spell, here are some questions to ask yourself: Who do you feel sorry for and why? Who do you like? Who do you dislike? Who do you empathize with?

Spell is an easy read and will most likely be the topic of conversations for many Christian readers that decide to spend some time with the characters therein. Congratulations to author Janell on her latest contribution to the Christian Fiction genre

~ J.L. Whitehead

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