Early Birds


Christian - Fiction
311 Pages
Reviewed on 03/21/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Janetta Fudge-Messmer is an award-winning inspirational author who resides in Florida, or wherever the wind blows, with her husband of 34 years. She's received Honorable Mention for fiction and nonfiction articles from Byline Magazine. She also received Honorable Mention for a fiction article from Writer's Digest Magazine. Her article, "A Working Relationship" was published in Guideposts Magazine. Guideposts Books published, "Shorthaired Miracle”. Along with writing, Janetta enjoys editing. She loves helping others get their manuscripts in tip-top shape. Janetta, her husband Ray and precious pooch Maggie, became fulltime RVers in 2012 and enjoy traveling around the USA in their Minnie Winnie.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Chris Fischer for Readers' Favorite

In Early Birds, a very sweet and lovely story by debut author Janetta Fudge-Messmer, readers will be treated to a fun and funny romp with a group of engaging retirees as they traverse the countryside, with God and Willie Nelson along for the ride. Betsy Stevenson, her workaholic husband Ben, their dog Matilda, and their great friends, Rose and Larry Wilford, make the major decision to downsize their lives and explore the USA. On the way they experience all kinds of shenanigans, as well as moments that will touch a reader's heart. Will the Early Birds be able to continue as friends through all they experience? Or will their grand experiment end in total failure? You'll need to read the book to find out!

I so enjoyed Early Birds. Author Janetta Fudge-Messmer has done an incredible job in creating absolutely endearing characters that her readers will be able to relate to, connect with and truly care about, and continue to think about long after this book is done. This book will make readers laugh and warm their hearts in turn, and will keep them reading from the very first words all the way to the end. The Christian message comes through quite plainly, but it is not overbearing at all. Any reader who enjoys a fun, funny, and sweet work of Christian fiction should absolutely read Early Birds. I highly recommend this book, and hope that the extremely promising author, Janetta Fudge-Messmer, is already hard at work on her next book. If it's anything like Early Birds, it will certainly be worth the read!

Hilary Hawkes

Janetta Fudge-Messmer’s Early Birds is a Christian fiction novel: the story of what happens when Ben and Betsy Stevenson sell their home and set off with their friends, Rose and Larry, on an adventure in their RVs. Ben has retired from his stressful job and the couple feels God is giving them this chance to travel and discover some new things about life – and themselves. Betsy writes her thoughts and about her faith through an online blog and discovers this helps others in ways she hadn’t imagined. When they head for Colorado and the disastrous floods, they realize God is asking them to help with the rescue and disaster relief efforts, and they find themselves making new friends, using skills and sharing their faith. But, more than anything, their new experiences and time together reveal more about themselves and their relationships with each other and their Creator.

A well-written and nicely plotted story that unfolds gradually, with each scene and situation revealing a little more about the characters and their lives as the book progresses. The characters are likable, fun and believable, and I got to know them much in the way you would get to know new friends. The idea of a new start, challenge or opportunity providing the chance to learn more about yourself, reveal truths or strengthen beliefs will resonate with readers who like to reflect on how what happens in life changes us. This is a story that will encourage Christian couples, in fact all couples or friends, to be willing to be honest and open in order to strengthen their relationship.

Through events in the story, Janetta Fudge-Messmer enables her characters to grow and discover new, honest ways of relating that build one another up. Avoiding self-criticism and destructive negative talk about others enables them to see life and others as their God sees them. So there is a message in the story for us about how our thinking affects behavior and relationships. The flood in Colorado gives the friends the opportunity to help others, forget their own everyday problems, and realize they have much for which to be grateful. Early Birds is an enjoyable, entertaining, often humorous, and thought-provoking story that takes the reader along on Ben and Betsy’s fun and revealing journey to “whatever God has in store” for them next.

Vernita Naylor

As with the call to Abraham in Genesis 12, suppose you heard the words, "Go as I tell you," would you do it? Early Birds by Janetta Fudge-Messmer takes us on a journey of trepidation, uncertainty, and faith through the lives of Ben and Betsy Stevenson. Betsy always wanted to be able to travel and see the world with their friends, Rose and Larry. Seeing the world by traveling cross country in an RV didn't seem bad at all; besides, Betsy dreaded seeing Ben suffer in his job. Ben says that in a few more years he'll retire, but Betsy wonders what about now? Well, one day Betsy’s prayers were unexpectedly answered when Ben made the announcement that he wanted to retire and see the world by traveling in an RV. Betsy couldn't believe her ears.

Early Birds by Janetta Fudge-Messmer is not only about a test of faith, but obedience. We don't always understand the call from God, but our steadfast faith and sense of obedience are what we all need as believers. I enjoyed vicariously taking this journey with Ben and Betsy because in Early Birds you not only see how God spoke to Ben and Betsy individually for a collective purpose, but you see how prayers are being answered and the process that God will put us through as He works it out and positions us for the plan. When we pray about something, we may not always agree or like the answer, but we always know that God will work it out for our good. As a bonus, you will receive a cookbook from the Forget Me Not Authors by signing up for the Forget Me Not Romances newsletter.