Item description for The Judge Who Stole Christmas by Randy Singer...
Overview A Yuletide free-for-all. It starts innocently enough in the town square of Possum, Virginia. But it ends up as a spectacular national scandal: Can a federal judge outlaw Christmas? Thomas Hammond and his wife play Joseph and Mary in the annual live nativity scene in their hometown. But a federal judge rules the display unconstitutional -- and a Christmas showdown ensues. Thomas refuses to abide by the court order...and ends up in jail. From the courtrooms of Virginia to the talk shows of New York City, the battle escalates into a national media spectacle. Caught in the middle is law student Jasmine Woodfaulk -- assigned to represent Thomas as part of her school's legal aid clinic. Whatever happened to peace on earth? Only a surprising series of events -- nearly as humbling and unexpected as the origins of the season itself -- can reconcile a stubborn father, a crusading law student and a recalcitrant judge. " The Judge Who Stole Christmas, by acclaimed author Randy Singer, is a charming, warm, and thought-provoking Christmas tale that explores in a fresh way the real reason for the season.
Contributor Bio: Randy D Singer Singer serves as general counsel for the North American Mission Board and on the Board of Legal Advisors for the American Center for Law and Justice, a public service law firm that defends religious freedom both in the United States and abroad. He spent twelve years as a trial lawyer in one of Virginia's largest law firms, working as head of the litigation section.
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Studio: WaterBrook Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.2" Width: 5.2" Height: 1" Weight: 0.68 lbs.
Release Date Oct 31, 2005
Publisher WaterBrook Press
ISBN 1400070570 ISBN13 9781400070572
Availability 0 units.
More About Randy Singer
Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author and veteran trial attorney. He was recently a finalist with John Grisham and Michael Connelly for the inaugural Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction sponsored by the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal. Randy and his wife, Rhonda, have two grown children and live in Virginia Beach.
Randy D. Singer currently resides in Atlanta, in the state of Georgia.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Judge Who Stole Christmas?
A seasonal winner! Dec 1, 2005
I always love picking up a new Randy Singer novel, and I wasn't disappointed when I finished THE JUDGE WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS, a novella that includes many of the quirky characters from his earlier books such as SELF-INCRIMINATION and DYING DECLARATION.
Singer, a Christy Award winner and trial lawyer (think John Grisham), excels in his multi-dimensional characters and even-handed portrayal of the difficult dilemmas faced by Christians. In this novella, he specifically addresses what constitutes the separation of church and state during perhaps the most controversial season of all --- Christmas.
In the small town of Possum, Virginia (yes, Possum, you heard it right!), the Freewill Baptist Church's living nativity on the town square incites the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to serve papers ordering the town to close it down. Rather than complying, the mayor tries "Operation Xmas Spirit," loading up the square with some displays of Santa Claus, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and Frosty the Snowman as a counterbalance to the nativity. It isn't enough, and the wheels of legal action begin to crazily spin.
As the courtroom drama heats up, readers of the earlier novels will rejoice to see that one of Singer's most fully dimensional and intriguing characters, Judge Cynthia Baker-Kline (nicknamed "Ichabod"), is back, combining a "hair-trigger temper with a razor-sharp tongue that could slice up even seasoned litigators." Central to the story is the return of conservative fundamentalist Christians Thomas and Theresa Hammond (from DYING DECLARATION), who play Mary and Joseph in the living nativity scene.
As in all his novels, Singer's bad guys are not all bad, and his Christian guys are not all nice. His character portrayals are something other inspirational novelists could learn a good deal from in making their characters believable, real and engaging. For such a short story, there are a lot of characters and points of view to keep track of. Singer keeps the main plot and subplots moving smoothly. Some readers may find that law student Jasmine "Jazz" Woodfaulk's personal story (involving basketball and her legal career), while interesting, is less compelling than the Christmas conundrums she's trying to mediate in the courtroom.
You'd almost take it as a given that in a Christian novella in which the ACLU faces off against the Baptists (Singer is one himself) that there would be a clear winner implied. But Singer doesn't go for easy clichýs, which has always been part of his appeal. Readers familiar with the Christian world of televangelism will immediately recognize the machinations of the Freddie Hester Evangelistic Association, which attempts to turn the controversy into a fund-raising appeal for its organization and create a media circus, using Theresa Hammond as a pawn. Judge Baker-Kline, who would at first glance seem to be anti-Christian, turns out to have some complex motivations.
The definition of the separation of church and state is rife with minefields, and there is plenty of room for interpretation. Singer does a wonderful job leaving clues along the way without giving away the whole plot twist until the closing pages, and there's a terrific turn in the story that will catch readers off-guard. Enough said.
You'll be able to enjoy THE JUDGE WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS even if you skipped Singer's earlier books. But you'll have a better understanding of some of the characters if you (at the very least) read DYING DECLARATION first. I'm planning on sharing THE JUDGE WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS with my friends and family. A seasonal winner --- don't miss it!
--- Reviewed by Cindy Crosby. Contact Cindy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Randys at it again..... Nov 25, 2005
Have just finished this, and thought that while it was fresh in my memory I drop down a few thoughts. Point 1) To really enjoy this book, I would suggest that you read his 4/5 other novels, as the characters re occur in each of his other novels. This wiil give you a feel for them, and you can see the development between books. I think that you will enjoy this book, even if you are not a Bible believeing christian. The issues mentioned, and the arguments to support them, may give you reason to question your stance, or, at least appreciate the other side of the argument.
I throughly enjoyed this book, as I have done with all Mr Singers novels thus far.
Is There a Better Gift? Nov 13, 2005
If you're like me, you may be tempted to settle with this book into an armchair, sipping at egg nog while wiggling your toes by the fireplace. Be forewarned. Singer has a way of tossing in humor that'll have you sloshing the nog across your lap. As he does so well in his legal thrillers, the author ties law and Scripture and original characters into a suspenseful story. This time, he adds a Christmas bow on top, just in time to provide a fantastic holiday gift.
It all starts when a simple manger scene in a town square sparks a nationally-followed court case. ACLU lawyers cry "separation of church and state," while churchgoing citizens demand the right to speak freely what they believe. Jasmine Woodfaulk, a law student, is caught in the middle when she chooses to face the imposing figure of Judge Baker-Kline (known as Ichabod, and for good reason). Some will recognize characters from Singer's other books, which will only add to the enjoyment while in no way diminishing it for those who've yet to discover them. Regardless, all readers should be able to recognize something of themselves in these believable, likeable characters. Singer, in his typical fashion, refuses to paint people in simple black and white; rather, he gives them strengths and weaknesses we can all understand.
"The Judge Who Stole Christmas" speeds along with clockwork precision, with nostalgia, and with "good tidings to all." The story touches on politics and legal wranglings, but it more accurately deals with the law of love in our hearts and the call for "peace on earth." Whichever side you might choose in a court battle such as this, Singer's latest will bring a smile to your face and an evening's worth of reading enjoyment. Is there a better gift an author can give?
fine legal thriller Oct 25, 2005
The ACLU filed in federal court that Possum, Virginia was violating the separation between State and Church with its annual Nativity gala. Resident Thomas Hammond who plays Joseph in the Manger show is subpoenaed to appear in the Norfolk Federal Courthouse. The University legal aid clinic assigns law student Jasmine "Jazz" Woodfaulk to "represent" Thomas in the courtroom though he is only a witness. Federal Judge Cynthia "Ichabod" Baker-Cline rules that the annual live Possum, Virginia nativity scene in the town square is unconstitutional. Thomas Hammond and his wife who play Joseph and Mary in the gala ignore the ruling as he is irate that the government will not allow the celebration of Christmas. For disobeying the court order, Thomas is held in contempt and jailed.
The case soon receives national media attention as the TV and radio talk shows focus on Thomas spending prison time for his beliefs in honoring the nativity as more sensational to the media than the wider issue of separation of state and church vs. religious freedom.
With the recent Supreme Court rulings on this topic, THE JUDGE WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS is a timely insightful look at the Constitution and the interpretation of the issue of public support to a particular religious theme. The story line grips the audience once the case comes before the Ichabod as readers obtain a deep understanding of the issues. Though the climax is perhaps a bit too smooth, fans of tales that dig deep into deep constitutional, religious, and social issues will appreciate this fine legal thriller.
Lighting a new candle this season! Oct 21, 2005
Sometimes you kind of know what to expect, and sometimes you haven't got a clue. So, taking a look at the back of the book, you think you see everything coming, right? NOT!! When you thought you'd seen the last of her, Judge Cynthia Baker-Kline, (known to Randy Singer fans as Ichabod) is BACK! AAAAHHHHH!!! But taking her on is Thomas Hammond, and HIS manger scene. And if you enjoyed "Dying Declaration" and you loved little Tiger and Stinky, they're back as well! YEAH! BUT... oh yes, there is a but in this little, but powerful taste of Christmas. That would be Jasmine, "Jazz" Woodfaulk, a girl getting ready to graduate law school.
So, what does this do, put Christ back in Christmas? Uh, yeah. We're given doses of Ichabod's vicious onslaughts, Thomas Hammond simply not giving in, and even a little hard-core, hip-hop basketball! In all seriousness, this book even gives you a few hard looks about Christmas. It gives a big witness about loving your neighbor, even though you may want to cuss them out. This is also a message of not giving in, and hanging in there, even when you want to just up and quit.
Randy Singer challenges us, and that's a good thing. This lights a new candle for this Christmas season. It packs in a few well needed laughs, and then levels it off with some somber moments, along with some love.
My personal challenge would simply be this. Take 2 words out of your vocabulary this Christmas season. Those 2 words are "happy holidays". Replace them. And say it loud, like you mean it. Say it because God loved you enough to send His son, Jesus Christ, to be born in a manger. The least you can do is say "Merry Christmas". But here's how I say it...