Crosstown Park: A Legal Thriller with a Spiritual Twist
It’s always a pleasure to introduce Christian literature to our readers, and Crosstown Park is no exception. The author, Melanie Bragg, is a Houston lawyer and mediator who practices general civil law and has devoted her life to the representation of children, the elderly, and mentally disadvantaged people—all inspirations in her writing journey.
About Crosstown Park
The idea for Bragg’s debut novel Crosstown Park came one day as she was driving back to Houston from a seminar in New Orleans. She saw an African-American man hitchhiking in a business suit and tie, which piqued her curiosity. As she fought the urge to give him a ride, some “what if” questions emerged: What if he was a widowed retired teacher on his way to Houston to help some homeless children? What if they teamed up to help those children?
The chance encounter inspired Bragg to write Crosstown Park. . The plot is based on Alex Stockton, a strong independent female character who spent her childhood in foster care and developed a passion for public service. Her impulsive decision to represent an accused foster home parent catapults her into an impossible trial… and her perfect record and judicial future depend upon the outcome.
Anyone who loves legal thrillers, lawyer issues, women’s issues, foster home and childcare issues, as well as spiritual issues, will enjoy Crosstown Park. The courtroom drama and investigation leading up to the trial is as compelling as it gets, filled with African American church themes and the spiritual journey of the main character, Alex, whose instincts take over as her own long buried childhood memories surface. She takes a difficult pro bono case and has just six weeks to discover what happened in Crosstown Park. Teaming up with a handsome former cop turned security company owner, she battles to save her client and the children at Shepherd’s Cottages. As the case progresses, Alex’s life and perfect trial record is threatened, not to mention her lifelong dream of becoming a judge. What she really needs is a witness…
A Review by Jack Canfield
Jack Canfield, author of the New York Times #1 bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series has given a glowing review: “This thriller and courtroom drama is a definite page turner and also delivers a powerful message about the deeper meaning of life.”
He alludes to the journey of the main character, who is up against a wall and “comes to the end of herself” to tap into the great supernatural power of the Lord.“This is a crossover book, so it is both mainstream and Christian,” says Bragg. “I planned it that way because I wanted to reach everyone on their journey in the search for deeper meaning in life, which is universal. I love to point them toward Christ in their quest.”
About the Author
Bragg was instilled by her parents with a love of books, movies and a belief that she could do anything she wanted in life. At seven she wrote The Story of My Life on her mother’s manual typewriter (in red ink, of course). It was only half a page, but it was a start. Books and her diary accompanied her through college and law school.
They say, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” This is certainly the case for Bragg, who met the late Rita Gallagher, the co-founder of Romance Writers of America. Gallagher became a writing teacher, mentor, and good friend. Bragg continued to develop her craft and became involved in the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Division as Chair of the Book Publications Board.
Photo courtesy of author and attorney Melanie Bragg.