Wednesday, September 4, 2013


The first weekend of August at the ACFW Indiana meeting, I offered to read and review John Faubion’s debut suspense novel, “Friend Me”.  I weary of reading books that aren’t compelling. "Friend Me" was a surprise and a pleasure.

This satisfying read delves into the effects on marriage when a husband and wife separately seek online friendship rather than each other.  Already stressed by overwork, loneliness, and low self-esteem, what starts out innocently develops into a deadly scenario.

We’ve all thought of the scary possibility of someone taking advantage of our information and invading our lives. With real-life progress in facial recognition, realistic avatars, privacy invasion via computer, and the popularity of Facebook or other networking systems, this book is timely and cutting edge.

Faubion creates a scenario with a hint of Hitchcock. I must warn you that the story will leave you uneasy and make for a night of unrest if you don’t read all the way through. Well told, it moves forward to a conclusion that brings a measure of relief, but don't think you'll soon forget this story. 

I am slightly conflicted about the quickness with which forgiveness is offered. If this genre was women’s fiction, I’m sure this part would have been handled differently. As a work of suspense there are other priorities. Still, the author does address the issue by having a character consciously choose to lean on God to supply forgiveness that doesn’t come easily or naturally.

I have experienced God’s sufficient grace and believe this could happen. A non-believer may have a harder time swallowing it. Instead, I pray they would be impacted by God’s power.

Even so, this is a fine read. “Friend Me” by John Faubion is available for pre-order from Kindle ebooks on Amazon and set for release on February 4, 2014.

If you want to meet Hoosier authors, such as John “J” Faubion, make a point to attend meetings of the Indiana Chapter of ACFW. Talking with other writers is encouraging and reading their work is inspiring.

I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and making new in two weeks at ACFW Conference in Indy.

  See you there.

                      Mary Allen


  1. I have the privilege of saying that I immediately liked the premise of Friend Me when the author shared it as just an idea a couple years ago. I encouraged him to write it, and he did an excellent job! I'm looking forward to the official release of the book.

  2. Thanks so much for taking time to read Friend Me. And yes, you wouldn't believe (maybe you would) how many women have said the same thing. Actually, in its original incarnation, the forgiveness was instantaneous. I've got a LOT more angst in there now. Men and women really are different, that's for sure.

    1. Thanks for allowing me to read it. I truly enjoyed it.

    2. If you are so inclined, it would be great if you'd post your review on Goodreads. Since Amazon bought Goodreads, all the reviews bubble up to the Amazon pages now. That will be a huge help later on.
      Thanks again for your kindness.

    3. I'll try to do that next week AFTER conference.

  3. And to think we can say we knew John when..... :) Looking forward to reading the book. Thanks for the review, Mary.

    1. :) and someday we'll be saying the same about you Meghan.

  4. I loved the sound of the book, and have it on my shelf to read asap! Love these types of books dealing w/real, prevalent topics of today.

    Great review.

    Mary Ellen would you contact me? Please? browncarole212(at)yahoo(dot)com

  5. I also had the privilege of reading "Friend Me". I thought the Premise was great, the cover was great, the plot was great, and the characters were great. Jay did a killer job (pun intended) with Melissa Montalvo.

    The only thing I didn't like was the back cover. I thought it gave too much of the story away. But then, that's just my opinion.

    I tend to gravitate to mystery and suspense, but I find with mysteries I want to keep reading it as long as possible because of how much I enjoy it, while suspense I read faster because I feel I need to get to the end and find out if everybody's okay. I thought "Friend Me" was the best suspense I've read.

    By the way, Mary, Good review.


  6. Thanks, Jeff. The back cover will change when it goes to actual publication. This is just the uncorrected galley. They put all that on the back cover for marketing and publicity people to look over so they can know what's up with the book.
    Best suspense you've read? Wow. You're over-the-top kind.

  7. If anyone wants to have a little fun with a virtual person (that won't hunt you down and kill you), check this out:

    I think you'll find it to be fun.

    1. John, the name Malicia does not inspire confidence for safety. LOL. Sound like an Disney villain.