Monthly Archives: July 2016

Bonding over Books Reviews “Peace On That:The Peacemaker II”


Peace On That: The Peacemaker II⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️image
JAMES “POPS” JACKSON ALWAYS SAYS, “*Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.” Sometimes all it takes is one instance, one word or action that you can’t take back and it changes the course of your life. PEACE ON THAT: The Peacemaker II by T.L. Criswell is a compelling story about a man’s path to destruction and his hope for redemption and forgiveness.

JAYSON “Big Man” JACKSON HAD IT ALL: The money, the power, the status, but he had a secret. A trail of money, deceit and lies led straight to his door and before he knew it he was in over his head. Jayson’s fall from grace was a ‘bought lesson.’ Choices can either uplift or ruin, but they will always teach a lesson.

SECRETS PLAYED A BIG PART in this book. Some secrets were meant to protect, but those secrets ultimately caused pain. The father (Pops) carried a secret to his grave and the son (Jayson) carried on the legacy. As Jayson’s life unraveled so did his secrets.


” If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way. If you don’t then you’ll find an excuse.”
“What good is an apology if it’s not said when it matters the most?”
PEACE ON THAT is full of twists and turns. The characters are realistic and easily identifiable. As a reader, it’s hard to find a favorite; just when you find yourself rooting for one, another one shows up. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try apologies are never enough, misunderstandings don’t get resolved, feelings stay hurt, but in the end, life goes on.

THERE ARE NO ANSWERS only actions that pave the way to forgiveness, accountability, and redemption. Big Man wanted and needed a second chance. Hopefully, it wasn’t too late.

Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates PEACE ON THAT as CHALLENGINGLY CHARISMATIC (301-500 pages) . . . borderline lengthy — It better have a good ending . . . and it does!

Permission granted by the author, T.L. Criswell.

Bonding over Books Review

The Peacemaker ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

imageThe PeacemakerWhat a difference a day makes! For that matter, how drastically your life can change in a minute. Every choice good or bad, right or wrong has consequences. The Peacemaker – A Story of Stolen Opportunities and Redemption by T.L. Criswell is a book about choices and the repercussions of those actions.

Teenage choices fueled by peer pressure, unresolved pain, violence and family secrets that tip the scale in the wrong direction and result in almost deadly consequences. Contrary to belief, this is not a story about a teenager from the “wrong side of the tracks,” but rather a story about how sometimes all the love in the world just can’t protect or save you.

The Peacemaker is a story about a teenager that transcends race and speaks to the modern-day dilemma that many young men face in rural, urban and suburban communities alike. It centers around teenagers with too much time on their hands, too much hurt, too much pain, and too much anger rolled up into a ball on a collision course with destiny. The main character, Jayson Jackson, is as complex as any man-child with one toe in adulthood and the other foot still firmly planted in the teenage world that we may hear or read about in the media.

Two childhood friends on the brink of manhood, Jayson Jackson and Michael Stephens. Both raised in stable households, who grew up like brothers but headed in two different directions. Two paths inextricably intertwined with a date with destiny neither could avoid. Sometimes talking is not enough, sometimes you have to feel the fire on your neck before you decide to move. In an instance dreams are shattered.

THOUGHT for your SOUL:

“Running away from your past does not change it or make it go away; it only prolongs the healing process.”
“If you find a path that doesn’t have any obstacles, it probably doesn’t go anywhere.”
As Jayson sat in his jail cell and relived the past two years since that terrible incident, he contemplated his future. The realization that his life was now in the hands of someone else because his poor judgement put him in the wrong place at the wrong time. The ironic twist of fate. The gun that he “stared at [on that fateful day] and wondered if it really was a peacemaker” was the reason why he had to “make peace” with whatever decision was made. In order to do this Jayson has to “be the peacemaker. [He] has to let go and forgive. It’s funny how we all seem to live our lives according to what we think God’s plan for us is, only to find out we really don’t know what his plan is.”

Let’s BOND over Books rates The Peacemaker as EASY & ENGAGING (150 pages or less)… straight-forward. light and to the point.

Permission granted by the author.

Kirkus Review for Peace on That:The Peacemaker II


A man seeking to make amends reflects on his complicated relationships with his two sons.

Readers of Criswell’s 2012 novel Peacemaker will recognize the sequel’s opening courtroom scene, but the point of view will be unfamiliar. In the earlier book, readers watched through the eyes of 18-year-old Jayson “Shorty” Jackson as he came before a judge in a Michigan state court at the end of serving two years in juvenile detention for shooting his friend Michael Stephens. Stephens was a promising student with a scholarship to Michigan State University. In the audience were Jayson’s relatives, including a thin, wiry man he barely recognized at first as his father, Jayson “Big Man” Jackson. Peacemaker described the son’s fraught relationship with his father through the son’s eyes; in Criswell’s sequel, the perspectives are reversed and expanded. “Big Man” not only tells his own story in these pages, but, in an unexpected elaboration that Criswell handles adeptly, he also learns the story of his own father, “Pops,” and his Uncle Buddy, told in long flashback scenes in which Jim Crow Mississippi and racially charged midcentury Detroit come to life in significant detail. (Pops recalls the 1967 Twelfth Street Riot in Detroit: “It looked like something out of a war zone. The street was in total chaos. Folks were screaming, fighting, breaking windows, flipping over cars, looting and burning down businesses.”) The narrative is significantly complicated with these rapid-fire shifts in time frame, switching from Pops’ story to his son’s and grandson’s, but Criswell controls the material with an immense degree of skill, pacing her revelations about all three characters so that the generational story never loses its energy. Readers of the earlier volume will know some of the key plot surprises before they happen, but the sequel is knowingly crafted for newcomers as well, investing all of its main characters with three-dimensional believability. They may at times think simplified, negative things about each other, but the reader is never tempted to follow suit. Indeed, the struggle that Criswell’s men have being good fathers and sons is the most rewarding aspect of this gripping novel.

A historically detailed, emotionally rich story of three generations of men dealing with and sometimes evading their duties to one another.