The Sun and the Sand and a Book in my Hand

About Me

About Me


My name is Melissa, and I love to read, travel, cook, and spend time with my family. Anywhere you see me, I’m likely to have a book in my hand!

I live with my husband of 20 years, LeeRoy,  our son Logan (18 and heading to college in September) and our daughter Grace (17 and a senior in high school). We are also parents to Kimber, who lives with her significant other Ryan and their one- year-old daughter Sophie, our first grandchild, who always makes us smile. We reside in the fabulous Pacific Northwest, which provides ample opportunity for exploration.

The first significant books I can remember reading by myself are the Little House series. I vividly remember my mom reading the series to me until we got to The Long Winter, and then I took over. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin sparked my interest in mysteries, which has continued to this day. Mysteries/suspense/thrillers are my “go to” genre, and I’m enjoying the recent surge in psychological suspense that has been published. I read about 200 books per year, you can follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading and what I’ve read in the past. Feel free to comment on my reviews, I love to talk about books.

I “discovered” Christian fiction around 1998 after going through a difficult time in my life. Redeeming Love and the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers provided hope and comfort and started me on my love for the genre. I joined some book discussion groups online, and a friend in the group asked if I had ever thought of writing reviews. Up for anything that would allow me to get some free books, I agreed to give it a try. I started reviewing books, and eventually movies, for multiple review websites. In 2004, I was offered a position at Romantic Times Bookclub magazine, and in 2005 I was promoted to senior inspirational reviewer, in charge of assigning, acquiring, and reviewing Christian fiction books. Romantic Times evenutally rebranded as RT BookReviews and transitioned to an online magazine.

Fast forward twelve years and hundreds of books in many genres reviewed. I’ve decided to break from RT and start my own blog for book reviews and more. This gives me fewer restrictions and more freedom to also to write about the other fun things I enjoy as well (I can’t read all the time, right?)– Disney, travel and restaurants, family adventures, recipes and other exciting experiences just beg to be discussed. We have traveled to many places: the Oregon Coast, Belize, Maui, Thailand, Seattle, multiple locations in California including Disneyland, three Disney cruises, and many other outings and events. LeeRoy and I enjoy attending wine and beer festivals, visiting wineries/vineyards and local brew pubs, and our entire family loves to try out new restaurants and cafes. We attempt to find and frequent non-chain establishments whenever possible, we love to support local businesses, at home or wherever we travel.

I hope you will enjoy venturing down this road with us!