Item description for My Soul to Keep (Day of Evil Series) by Melanie Wells...
Overview Psychology professor Dylan Foster becomes involved in the case of a little boy snatched from a neighborhood park after Fosters young daughter begins having vivid, disturbing dreams of the kidnapped child.
Publishers Description "As nasty as I knew Peter Terry to be, I never expected him to start kidnapping kids. Much less a sweet, funny little boy with nothing to protect him but a few knock-kneed women, two rabbits, and a staple gun... " It's psychology professor Dylan Foster's favorite day of the academic year-graduation day. A day of pomp, circumstance, and celebration. And after all the mortar boards are thrown, Dylan and some of her best friends will gather around a strawberry cake to celebrate Christine Zocci's sixth birthday. But the joyful summer afternoon goes south when a little boy is snatched from a neighborhood park, setting off a chain of events that seem to lead exactly nowhere. Police are baffled, but Christine's eerie connection with the kidnapped child sends Dylan on a chilling investigation of her own. Is the pasty, elusive stranger Peter Terry to blame? Exploding light bulbs, the deadly buzz of a Texas rattlesnake, and the vivid, disturbing dreams of a little girl are just pieces in a long trail of tantalizing clues leading Dylan in her dogged search for the truth.
Community Description As nasty as I knew Peter Terry to be, I never expected him to start kidnapping kids. Much less a sweet, funny little boy with nothing to protect him but a few knock-kneed women, two rabbits, and a staple gun...
It's psychology professor Dylan Foster's favorite day of the academic year--graduation day. A day of pomp, circumstance, and celebration. And after all the mortar boards are thrown, Dylan and some of her best friends will gather around a strawberry cake to celebrate Christine Zocci's sixth birthday. But the joyful summer afternoon goes south when a little boy is snatched from a neighborhood park, setting off a chain of events that seem to lead exactly nowhere.
Police are baffled, but Christine's eerie connection with the kidnapped child sends Dylan on a chilling investigation of her own. Is the pasty, elusive stranger Peter Terry to blame? Exploding light bulbs, the deadly buzz of a Texas rattlesnake, and the vivid, disturbing dreams of a little girl are just pieces in a long trail of tantalizing clues leading Dylan in her dogged search for the truth.
Please Note, Community Descriptions and notes are submitted by our shoppers, and are not guaranteed for accuracy.
From Publishers Weekly In her third installment of the Dylan Foster series, Wells crafts a dark Christian supernatural thriller with lighter romance notes. Southern Methodist University psychology professor Dylan Foster fears that Peter Terry, the demon who stalks her, is on the move again. Nicholas, her friend Maria Chavezs five-year-old son (conceived after Maria was brutally raped in an earlier book), is snatched at a birthday party in a park near Dallas. Five-year-old birthday girl Christine Zocci, who witnesses the abduction and is hyperattuned to the supernatural, ends up in the emergency room after she mysteriously goes into cardiac arrest. Her clues about Nicholass kidnapper may enable Dylan to find himunless time runs out. Wells does a fine job developing Dylans character, but is less successful showing the terror of the kidnapping and Marias response, which seems far too calm. The suspense builds nicely, however, and the demons use of a rattlesnake (real or unreal? Dylan isnt sure) will give ophiophobic readers appropriate chills. When the Day of Evil Comes and The Soul Hunter should be read first to follow the plot line; as a stand-alone this may be confusing. Christian readers who like their suspense with a heavy dollop of the supernatural should find this series to their taste. (Feb.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews My Soul to Keep (Day of Evil Series) by Melanie Wells has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
CBA Retailers - 02/01/2008 page 42
Publishers Weekly - 12/24/2007 page 31
Romantic Times - 02/01/2008 page 66
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Studio: Waterbrook/Multnomah, a division of Random House
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.96" Width: 5.26" Height: 0.95" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Feb 5, 2008
Publisher Multnomah Books
Series Day of Evil
ISBN 1590524284 ISBN13 9781590524282
Availability 0 units.
More About Melanie Wells
Melanie Wells has been a private practice counselor since 1992. She is the founder and director of LifeWorks, a community of Christian therapists in Dallas, Texas . Her graduate degrees in counseling psychology and Biblical studies were earned at Our Lady of the Lake University, and Dallas Theological Seminary, respectively.
Reviews - What do customers think about My Soul to Keep (Day of Evil Series)?
Why is this a Christian novel? Oct 15, 2008
I'm not sure why this book is considered a Christian novel. The main character prays, when she feels like it, doesn't expect answers from God,and lies her way though the book. She has a demon who torments her, but there is rarely a mention of an angel who helps her or guides her.
I didn't find it realistic, nor was I able to relate to the main character. She has the world's best boyfriend (too common a theme in Christian novels) and she treats him terribly, yet he keeps coming back. Eventually, of course, he takes her back and all is well.
Dylan Foster is a weak character and I quickly tired of her shallowness and self-absorption. I do not plan on reading another Melanie Wells' novel.
A good read! Oct 13, 2008
Melanie Wells has her hand in many pots, including a private practice as a psychotherapist, as well as being a musician and author. She hails from Texas, where she attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, beginning in music as a violinist. She ended up with a degree in English and obtained graduate degrees in counseling psychology and biblical studies. She has published two prior "soul" books entitled WHEN THE DAY OF EVIL COMES and THE SOUL HUNTER.
Dylan Foster is busy ushering her latest degree candidates from the small college where she teaches psychology. She attends a birthday party for six year old Christine Zocci, a special child of a friend visiting from Chicago. A happy birthday party turns to tragedy when Nicholas, the child of Dylan's friend Maria, is abducted from the park. Christine immediately begins having breathing episodes that nearly kill her, but her "gift" enables the frantic adults around her, including Maria's boyfriend, an investigator in the case, get a handle on just what have happened to Nicholas. A few people help along the way, including a mysterious man who calms Christine at the hospital just before she is scheduled for x-rays:
"Instead, a sixtyish man with close-cropped gray hair, a phenomenal tan, and a bright, affable smile leaned into the booth and tapped Christine on the shoulder. He wore a faded hospital gown, his muscular, browned legs poking out the bottom and set off by a gleaming pair of white athletic socks. The man shot me a quick wave like he knew me and sat on the bench beside Christine. 'Are you afraid?' he said to her."
Melanie Wells combines shrewd acuity towards the human condition with almost a New Age take on angels and their help when we humans least expect it in this snappy suspense novel. Her writing style is mature, and her portrayal of Dylan Foster is just crazy enough to add a light touch to the story. Dylan is a likable, if extremely eccentric; academic who probably couldn't keep her tennis shoes tied without help. But on a deeper level she has a heart of gold; is self deprecating enough to offset what might be academic arrogance in any other character; and is herself on her own mission of redemption. A good read!
Shelley Glodowski Senior Reviewer
A Christian book with demons and angels. Jul 30, 2008
This book has a likable protagonist, and I really enjoyed the storyline about her relationship with her exboyfriend. The writing style was easy to read; the story about a kidnapped boy could really be a page turner.
My trouble is, I judged a book by its cover. They label this "A Novel of Suspense" on the front, and the back cover mentions a Peter Terry as "nasty" and a "pasty, elusive stranger." The blurb about the author notes that she is the author of two other books. But this jacket is NOT clear that this is a Christian novel based on the belief in angels and demons. In fact, the pasty stranger Peter Terry is a demon. It is not made clear on the cover that this is the third in a series. One this site review states that My Soul to Keep stands alone, and I suppose it does in that the start and finish are completed within the book covers, but all the characters and background have been laid out in the previous two books. I don't like to start in the middle of a series, and I have never enjoyed reading about demons. I'll take the responsibility for not reading the reviews before my purchase, but I do have issues with the book cover.
For what she was trying to do, the author has done a pretty good job, and despite my disappointment in the subject matter, I did enjoy the book somewhat. For those of you who fancy angels and demons I recommend this book. If you don't - skip this one.
Another excellent creepfest... Jul 11, 2008
It's bad enough that a demon named Peter Terry has been harassing Dylan by unleashing rodents in her home, threatening her career, and in general being a stinkin' nuisance. But now a child dear to Dylan's heart has been kidnapped and she will stop at nothing to find him and bring him back to his mother. Thankfully she has Christine Zocci, a spiritually aware six-year-old, on her side. Her dreams and memories will prove more valuable than anyone realizes.
Is Peter Terry to blame for the kidnapping? Or is there someone else who wants the child even more? Can Dylan find out before it's too late?
I reject the notion that some people are doomed to bad luck, but in the case of Dylan Foster, I may have to rethink my position. Actually, I just think God is trying and testing her (without her knowing it) and will not put Peter Terry back on his leash until she whittles down her list of Top Ten Terrible Traits.
As in her first two novels, When the Day of Evil Comes and Soul Hunter, Wells exhibits her familiar dry wit and ability to take irregular supernatural events and make them believable. One does not have to read her previous novels in order to understand and enjoy this one (although this reader advises it purely on the basis that they should not be missed). Wells does a superb job of interjecting just enough information for the new reader to follow along without bogging down those who have kept up with every novel.
My Soul to Keep is supernatural suspense at its height, and Wells does not get near the attention she deserves for such well-thought-out story. I highly recommend all three novels and hope there will be many more to come.
Dylan comes full circle... May 13, 2008
In My Soul to Keep, the third spiritual thriller featuring psychologist Dylan Foster, Melanie Wells brings her reluctant heroine full circle as Dylan is forced to confront her most complex battle yet against the demon Peter Terry. This time, Peter Terry's attacking the children in Dylan's life as Nicholas, the son of her friend Maria, is kidnapped. Six-year-old Christine, a child with astonishing spiritual acumen, witnesses the kidnapping and is emotionally traumatized. But her faith and spiritual depth may be the best link Dylan has to discovering the kidnapped child's whereabouts. On top of this tragedy, Dylan's personal life hits new lows as her distinct lack of "people skills" repeatedly threaten to drive away the small group of friends who put up with her in spite of her prickly demeanor.
Of the three novels in the series, this book is the least successful as a standalone, so I have to stress reading the books in order (the first, When the Day of Evil Comes (Dylan Foster Series #1), and then its sequel, The Soul Hunter (Dylan Foster Series #2)). However, not working as well as a standalone novel in this case should only serve as incentive to read the entire series. Wells has hit her stride and the canvas on which she paints Dylan's story has become increasingly rich and complex with each successive outing. I would have liked to have seen more insight into Maria's response to her son's kidnapping - Wells gives us more of Liz's perspective (Christine's mother) as the worried parent of a hospitalized child. I think it would have made for an even more compelling read if a bit more attention had been devoted to Maria's viewpoint in the middle section of the novel. (I could also do with a little less product placement - you can only name so many name-brand cleaning products without having Dylan's cleaning obsession cross over from quirky to annoying and distract from the narrative.) However, the bottom line is that this is Dylan's story, and having her most vulnerable friends - young children - attacked sends Dylan reeling. Her episodes of spiritual and self-examination are not only insightful but brutally honest.
At the time of this review, My Soul to Keep is the final Dylan Foster novel. With this series, Melanie Wells has introduced an unforgettable heroine - a sassy, irreverent, smart aleck who's thoroughly relatable, modern, and genuine. Wells has brought the spiritual realm into the forefront of her characters' everyday lives, driving home the reality of spiritual warfare in a real and compelling way. She has a knack for building suspense and terror out of everyday circumstances and situations which makes her novels chilling and compulsively readable in a way that's reminiscent of the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Each novel in this series comes highly recommended.