Cover image for Singsation
Thomas, Jacquelin.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, 2001.
Physical Description:
viii, 338 pages ; 24 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Urban Fiction

On Order



Deborah Anne Peterson knows that her singing voice is a gift from God. But her success exacts a steep price, and with every one of her beliefs challenged, she will come to realise the true purpose of her gift.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

The Benrey team's Little White Lies is about Britisher Pippa Hunnechurch, a one-woman head-hunting firm who falls into the habit of embellishing resumes. It works, she finds, and she has a glib partner in crime, the overly ambitious Marsha Morgan. But then Marsha drowns, her death is followed by another, and all of a sudden the police are interested in Pippa's fibs. A Christian friend tells Pippa she has to come clean, but doing so will damage the prospects of her current clients, not to mention her own career, and thus Pippa faces the deepest crisis of her life in this likable, often witty tale. In The Maiden of Mayfair, first in her Victorian Tales of London series, Blackwell evokes Dickens rather than the Brontes in her portrait of young Sarah Matthews. Sarah is the ward of the St. Matthew Methodist Foundling Home for Girls in Drury Lane. Although the orphanage is grim, she's lucky, for abandoned children are everywhere and often perish in the streets. And soon Sarah is rescued by a rich widow who suspects Sarah may be her granddaughter, the daughter of her profligate son. Blackwell's Victorian romances can seem tame even for the Christian market, although her period detail is always fine, and this series looks to be livelier than some of its predecessors. Bly, the best-known writer of Christian westerns, has so many series currently under way that it's hard to keep up with them all. But his Belles of Lordsburg series, with its unusual setting and Bly's trademark wit in good form, begins well with The Senator's Other Daughter. Rebelling against the comfortable but stifling life imposed by her father, a U.S. senator, Grace Denison flees to a woebegone town in New Mexico, where she works as a late-night telegraph operator for the railroad. A local hero, Colt Parnall, courts her, and initially Grace thinks him too crude for her time. But once she climbs off her pedestal, Grace finds herself in Lordsburg, a town much in need of a woman's touch. And Colt starts to look better. Byers puns his way though a send-up of quantum physics assumptions that there is no causality in the universe with his clever, witty The Life of Your Time. The story, such as it is, concerns sixth-grader Percival Weckbaugh of Central City, Missouri, a polite young man in an impolite world. Percival begins to wonder about the meaning of life when a random number, whom Byers introduces as the character 1314, rebels against the forces of Blind Chance and Chaos and causes several coincidences. Each of these coincidences corresponds with crucial moments in the lives of Byers' several small-town characters, all of whom are lovingly drawn. These postmodern goings-on result in a sort of cross between Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams (1993) and Alice in Wonderland, as well as great satirical fun, in this highly original, nimble tour de force. Relying on scholarship to sort out the contradiction between John and the Synoptic Gospels, and making some educated guesses to fill gaps, Johnson tells in simple but affecting prose the straightforward story of Jesus the great teacher, The Gospel of Yeshua. Nothing is certain in this subgenre, but Johnson's can comfortably join similar efforts: Fulton Oursler's Greatest Story Ever Told (1949), Frank Slaughter's Crown and the Cross (1959), and more recently, Walter Wangerin's Book of God (1996). Another new series, Yukon Quest, begins with Peterson's Treasures of the North, set during the Alaskan gold rush of 1897. Because of the financial difficulties of her father, Chicago debutante Grace Hawkins is about to be forced into marriage with rich Martin Paxton. Martin is a villain so crudely drawn he might as well be called Snidely Whiplash, particularly when Grace heads north of the border, to Alaska, to escape him, and Martin follows. Grace's governess, Karen Pierce, is more convincing, as are Peterson's portraits of the Tlingit Indians, whose way of life is threatened by the gold rush. Peterson pairs with legal thriller writer Bell for City of Angels, first in the Shannon Saga series about Kathleen Shannon, an orphan with connections. She journeys to Los Angeles in 1903 to live with her rich aunt and, she hopes, study law. Male lawyers put up obstacles, but her investigative skills win their grudging admiration. Thomas' Singsation is the second entry of Warner Books' new Christian imprint, Walk Worthy. It's about the maturation of a young African American gospel singer, Deborah Anne Peterson. She's discovered in her backwater Georgia congregation by a hometown boy, Triage Blue, who's made good in the big world as a rapper and movie actor. Triage lines up Deborah as a backup singer with a rhythm-and-blues band, but Deborah knows her talent is for God's glory and is soon distressed by the compromises confronting her if she wants to succeed commercially. Thomas' story is entertaining but predictable, and never as convincing as Reid Arvin's Wind in the Wheat (1994), much the same story from the point of view of a young white singer. In The Trial, small-town attorney Kent ("Mac") MacClain, in despair over the death of his wife and two sons, is about to commit suicide. Then the phone rings, and he's handed a public defender's role in what is alleged to be the murder of a young woman from a prominent local family. The defendant is a drifter who can't remember what happened, but circumstances clearly point to his guilt. Mac is aided by a pretty out-of-town widow, a Christian psychologist with a son. She quickly goes to work both on Mac's head and on his heart in this seamless thriller from the reliable Whitlow.

Publisher's Weekly Review

This second release from copublishers Warner Books and Walk Worthy Press makes a solid contribution to the limited pool of quality Christian fiction titles written for and by African-Americans. Deborah Anne Peterson sings hymns at her small hometown church, but envisions herself performing in much glitzier venues. A fortuitous encounter with rap star Triage Blue gives her a chance to break into the big time. As she climbs the ladder of success and wrestles with the temptations that go with it, she wonders is this really what God wants her to do with her talent? The novel pushes the parameters of traditional Christian fiction with characters who have long discussions about underwear and thongs, engage in some French kissing and exclaim, "Oh my God!" The sexual situations aren't graphic, but they are more titillating than most CBA readers are used to, although noticeably toned down from Walk Worthy's first book, Temptation. The reader must sometimes suspend belief; in less than a year, Deborah changes from a country girl into a music star who performs at the Grammys. Another character's deathbed conversion is also less than satisfying. But the portrayal of Deborah's loving relationship with her parents is both touching and refreshing. This is a laudable effort to bring an African-American perspective and a slightly edgier tone into Christian fiction, while keeping the gospel message up front and center. (Apr.) Forecast: An author tour of five Southern cities and carefully targeted advertising on gospel and Christian radio stations and in Black Issues and Essence will get the word out to a large and mostly untapped set of potential readers. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Deborah Anne Peterson lifts her voice to God each week in the choir of her church in Villa Rica, GA, but this week something's different. Famous rapper Triage Blue, visiting his grandmother during a break from his album tour, thinks that Deborah has the talent to make it as a star. As the two become friends, Triage arranges an audition for Deborah as a backup singer for one of the hottest acts on the circuit, and her talent assures her the spot. But in her drive to become rich and famous, Deborah hasn't forgotten that God gave her the voice she uses, and she is soon disenchanted with the back-stabbing, drugs, and casual sex taking place around her. As she makes changes in her life to reflect what she believes is God's calling for her, her attitude begins to change the people around her, especially the man she has her eye onATriage. In the second title from the new Walk Worthy imprint of African American Christian fiction, popular Arabesque author Thomas (Love's Miracle) provides a romance with little conflict owing to Deborah's unwavering devotion to the Lord. Still, this is one of the few titles available in the developing African American subgenre of Christian fiction, so consider purchasing for all collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Deborah Anne Peterson, a gifted 26-year-old African-American church soloist and police dispatcher, dreams of becoming a famous singer. She gets her big break when a successful rapper, Triage Blue, visits her hometown of Villa Rica, GA, and hears her sing at his grandmother's church. He quickly arranges an audition for her as a background singer for a popular recording artist in Hollywood. Deborah Anne gets the job, but soon realizes that it is harder than she imagined it would be to live a devout Christian lifestyle among her new friends and colleagues. However, she manages to make the right choices most of the time, and is a positive influence on others in the process. This novel is effective for teaching students ways to resist peer pressure. Deborah Anne demonstrates how to be a model Christian as well as a glamorous and popular entertainer despite the pressures, dangers, and temptations of the entertainment industry. Thomas includes the typical day-to-day routines that a background singer/dancer must adhere to and gives readers a real sense of the exhausting work as well as the exhilaration of performing for adoring fans. This novel successfully tells a fast-paced, engrossing love story while preaching Christian principles.-Joyce Fay Fletcher, Rippon Middle School, Prince William County, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.