Literary Insights

Literary Insights: A Book Lovers Review

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Candles

Have you ever wondered why we put candles in the windows at Christmastime?

Wonder no more. During the seventeenth century, the British conquerors of Ireland implemented harsh laws aimed at eradicating Irish traditions. Irishmen were forbidden to vote, send their children to school, purchase land, or own a horse worth more than twenty-five dollars. Irish priests were driven out of the land and warned never to return under penalty of death.

On Christmas Eve, despite the iron hand of their conquerors, Irish families of faith placed a single candle in each of three windows—or three candles in one window—to represent Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. These candles signaled to a traveling priest that the doors were unlocked and he was welcome to come in, share a meal with the family, and celebrate “Christ-mass.”

These Irish believers understood that, in the words of the apostle John, Jesus is the Light that shines through the darkness, “and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:5). No matter how many laws are enacted to try to snuff out the gathering of the saints, such laws are no match for the Light of the World!

Excerpted from The Adventure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel
Daily Reflection: How can you be a light to the world?            

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bold as Love: What Can Happen When We See People the Way God Does by Bob Roberts Jr.

  Bold as Love combines anecdotes of Roberts' personal discoveries, lessons he learned about his own beliefs and suggestions to build similar experiences across America. Roberts’s suggestions are both timely and relevant.  Texas pastor Bob Roberts Jr. attributes his heart change to being challenged by a Saudi Arabian prince to do the impossible; to somehow bring Muslims and Christians together in the buckle of the Bible belt. That was the start of something new for his congregation; as its members began hosting an event drawing Christians and Muslims. A frequent speaker on this subject, Roberts has written Bold as Love: What Can Happen When We See People the Way God Does, with the aim of helping Christians live out their faith among people of all faiths.

            “Globalization”, Roberts says, “has changed American neighborhoods, giving Christians close-at-hand opportunities to demonstrate the gospel to people from all over the world.” He urges Christians to be honest about their beliefs, not to dilute them, and to begin by loving people and building relationships. He believes this requires bold love, not “shy faith,” which must focus on serving God and following His commands, even taking the first step. Further, he has found that nothing builds relationships like serving side-by-side with people who practice a different faith.

Today's unprecedented mass migration has resulted in diverse, powerful world religions living next door to one another. Picking our faith passively, or throwing our hands in the air, is not an option. We must speak frankly, but lovingly, with all religions in today's compact world. 

            Roberts takes a good amount of time to describe his term "multifaith," which reflects his real goal: people who passionately believe their own faith, and passionately want to know their neighbors as real people; which is different from “interfaith” that tries to meld all beliefs into one. Distinguishing between “interfaith” and “multifaith,” Roberts doesn’t advocate the concept that “all paths lead to God.” Interfaith gatherings tend to “ignore core truth.”  Roberts says multifaith efforts acknowledge “we have fundamental differences, but the best of our faiths teach us we should get along.”

            Although I agree with what Roberts says is needed, this book does give one much to think about. I believe there is a fine line to walk with others and still be salt and light to the world. It is commendable to work for “peace on earth” I am concerned that we will only preach a social gospel (let’s just be friends) and leave out the eternal gospel. The mission of the Church should be to preach the Gospel of the death, burial and the resurrection of Jesus, so that people on their way to hell under the judgment of God for sin can turn to a Merciful God and be saved.   I recommend this book, it isn’t what you might think and will get you to evaluate just what you really believe. I received this book from Handlebar Publishing in the Blog Network program for my review.

break on through

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fighting to Forgive and Forget the Former Things by Sheri Rose Shepherd Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach

How do we forget the former things? Is there some magic prayer that wipes out our memories so we won’t feel the pain of our past? I wish I could say that this is the way to find a new foundation for your life. Yet God teaches us through Isaiah 43 that our past does not determine our future. He wants us to embrace the new beginning He offers us and to stop living in yesterday. However, to let go of our past, we will have to leave it where it belongs . . . at the Cross.

I was powerfully reminded of this again through Alice, whom I met recently at a retreat. I had been talking about rebuilding relationships, and when I finished, I walked over to the door to say good-bye to each of the ladies. I loved hearing how God spoke to them throughout the weekend, and Alice gave me renewed hope. She was seventy years old and had been married over fifty years.

I was captivated by the joy that lit up her face. She radiated from the inside out, and her smile made me feel at home. I thought Alice must have lived a wonderful life to glow with God's glory the way she did. I had to ask her what her secret was. Her response How do we forget the former things? Is there some magic prayer that wipes out our memories so we won’t feel the pain of our past? I wish I could say that this is the way to find a new foundation for your life. Yet God teaches us through Isaiah 43 that our past does not determine our future. He wants us to embrace the new beginning He offers us and to stop living in yesterday. However, to let go of our past, we will have to leave it where it belongs . . . at the Cross.

I was powerfully reminded of this again through Alice, whom I met recently at a retreat. I had been talking about rebuilding relationships, and when I finished, I walked over to the door to say good-bye to each of the ladies. I loved hearing how God spoke to them throughout the weekend, and Alice gave me renewed hope. She was seventy years old and had been married over fifty years.

I was captivated by the joy that lit up her face. She radiated from the inside out, and her smile made me feel at home. I thought Alice must have lived a wonderful life to glow with God's glory the way she did. I had to ask her what her secret was. Her response reflected a woman who was beautifully broken.

She said, "When I lost the husband I loved to my best friend, I lost everything that was dear to me, including my children. However, I discovered how much my Lord truly loves me because of that loss, and I have never been the same because of His love."

My eyes welled with tears as she shared with me the story of how her husband had served her divorce papers on their fortieth wedding anniversary. Devastated and overwhelmed by grief, she set the papers aside without signing them. She fought to understand why God did not protect her marriage after all she had sacrificed to remain faithful, even in the hard and unhappy years.

Despite their challenges, she said she loved this man and never dreamed she would be alone in her older years. Though they lived apart for seven years, something inside her soul continued to keep her from signing those divorce papers. Late one night, though, she finally decided to move on and let go of the man she loved. With sad resolve, she signed the papers. Once she had done so, she felt free for the first time in many years.

Until the doorbell rang. It was 2 a.m., and she was a little fearful of who might be at her door in the middle of the night. When she opened the door, she was shocked to see her husband, Bill, on his knees with tears in his eyes and torn-up divorce papers in his hand.

He looked into her eyes and asked her for something he did not deserve: “a chance to finish my life with you.” Bill told her he had just awakened from a dream he believed God had given him, showing how his actions were crumbling the foundation of the faith of his children and grandchildren―all for the sake of his own pleasure. When he woke up, he could not wait until morning. He had to run to his wife.

He knew he owed her a sincere apology, but he wanted so much more. He wanted a second chance, and he was willing to do whatever it took to rebuild what he had broken in her heart. She stood there silently until she heard the Lord whisper to her, "Today, Alice, is the day I am giving you a choice between life and death for your family. I am asking you to trust Me with this broken man and choose life, so that your legacy of faith can live on in your children through your obedience to Me."

She asked for a few days to pray; Bill told her to take whatever time she needed to decide.

Alice said she fought through the biggest internal battle she had ever experienced as she reflected on the past seven years away from this man. After all, she had finally healed from his betrayal and feared she might reopen the wound that had taken so long to heal. She wrestled through every emotion—from feeling ripped off, being rejected, and now receiving an offer to be rescued.

Alice knew her choice would write the rest of her life story and her husband’s story. After many tears and much prayer for the strength to forgive her husband, Alice surrendered to God's will and gave up her rights to take revenge. God blessed the hard choice Alice had made to forget the former things and finish her life with her husband in spite of all he had done. And they finished strong!

Yes, Bill was wrong, and yes, he was unfaithful and caused much damage to many lives, including his own. There is no excuse for his actions, and Alice had every right to make him suffer for what he had done. However, her extremely hard decision to forget the former things will leave a legacy of love that will live on long after they are gone.

For more teaching videos from Sheri Rose, go to


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Receiving God's Love by Sherri Rose Shepherd

Here is another article from Sheri Rose Shepherd,
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach
Think how powerful it would be if we spoke the truth about how God feels about us at least as often as we silently said negative things about ourselves or replayed in our minds all the hurtful things that have been said about us. The truth is, we are not what others say about us, and if the men we love speak hurtful words to us that make us feel unworthy, we don’t need to repeat them any longer. Instead we can learn to rest in God's unchanging love for us.

Even if no one has ever said anything kind to you, your Prince Jesus longs for you to breathe in the tender love, compassion, and kindness He feels for you. If you're ready to have Jesus, the lover of your soul, become reality to you, I invite you to do the following . . .

Breathe In His Love . . .
For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4)

You know that feeling of exhilaration that sticks with you after you've spent time with a guy you know you're falling in love with? As you part, you take a deep breath and feel waves of delight washing over you. Or you know the joy that wells up inside when your man unexpectedly says something so sweet that you feel treasured? You replay those words over and over in your mind because doing so gives you a lift.

Breathe His truth in; allow the words of your true prince Jesus to echo in your heart and soul.

After you consider God's words to you—"I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3)—whisper toward heaven, "I love You, Lord."

Sing about His Love . . .
Each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. (Psalm 42:8)

When I was learning to let myself receive God's love, I would actually sing love songs to Him. Though they had been written for a woman to sing to a man here on earth, I began to understand that if I would crave God's love first, He would meet my needs. Only then would I be able to give and receive love.

Today I love worship songs that sing of God's love for us. I blare them throughout my house in the mornings so Satan will not be able to whisper lies to me any longer. Consider doing the same.

Write Love Letters to Him in a Journal . . .
Connect your heart to heaven by writing love letters to your Lord. It is amazing what happens to your heart as you begin to express your love in writing to the only One who will never walk away from or reject you. Hang on to this treasure of truth: how you feel about yourself will never change God's love for you.

Let Us Pray . . .

Dear God,
I confess I do not feel worthy of your love. It is hard for me to believe that You even love me. Help me, Lord, to look to You for my worth. Forgive me for not allowing myself to receive Your love. Forgive me for looking to others to make me feel like I have value when You are the only one who can validate me and love me the way I long to be loved. From this day forward, I choose to let You love me so I can love others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live.
I will praise my God to my last breath!
May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the LORD. (Psalm 104:33-34)

For more teaching from the Your Heart's Desire book and Bible study, visit

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Israel At War: Inside The Nuclear Showdown With Iran by Joel Rosenberg

Is the crisis in the Middle East hurtling toward the point of no return? Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, tells the U.N. that Iran could have nukes by spring. Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for the end of the United States and Israel. Chaos is erupting throughout the region. Rumors abound of an impending Israeli first strike against Iran’s nuclear program. Is war imminent?  Joel C. Rosenberg looks at the events developing in the Middle East and asks the tough questions: Could Israel launch a preemptive strike at any moment? How might an Israel-Iran war set the Middle East on fire? What should we be watching for?

Joel Rosenberg is uniquely qualified to help us all think clearly of the threats we face in today's world. From the depth of Rosenberg’s biblical Christian faith and personal and professional relationships with key Israeli, military and other world leaders he is able to weave a story from the bible and today’s headlines. This book is yet another conversation about the dangers of a nuclear-armed, and increasingly deranged, spiritually twisted, Iranian leadership.

The one thing I was disappointed is that my review copy did not come with the sneak preview of Rosenberg’s latest book that will come with your copy when you buy eBook. It will have a special sneak preview of material from the forthcoming novel, Damascus Countdown — the last book in the trilogy that includes The Twelfth Imam and The Tehran Initiative — which will be released early in 2013.

As usual, Mr. Rosenberg has gone to the heart of the matter. Although this book is short 100 pages, it is full of information.  The way he writes about prophecy and current events, you understand what is happening right now behind the scenes in this volatile region and how this high-stakes showdown could affect the future of the Middle East and the World. Rosenberg books are always worth reading and this book is no exception. I am looking forward to his new book.

I received copy of eBook from Tyndale Blog Network for my review

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The River by Michael Neale

The River by Michael Neale is the story of a young man who finds healing, forgiveness, and purpose.

Gabriel Clarke is mysteriously drawn to The River, a ribbon of frothy white water carving its way through steep canyons high in the Colorado Rockies. The rushing waters beckon him to experience freedom and adventure.  The memory of the terrible event he witnessed on The River holds him back. When he returns to The River after years away, his heart knows he is finally home. His destiny is within reach. Claiming that destiny will be the hardest—and bravest—thing he has ever done.

Gabriel’s journey through life brings him back to the river and he encounters the river as he was not able to as a five year old boy watching his father drown. He experiences love, release, learns to forgive and find life once more – a life connected to the river. This is a beautiful story about family, purpose, forgiveness, and The River that binds them together.

Although this story is an easy read, the dialogue was too childish; relationships went too fast, getting over the fear of the water, too fast. The story was cheated out of the depth it could have, if the story was developed more. With the noted misgiving I would recommend reading the short story for an easy afternoon.

I received eBook from Thomas Nelson in their Booksneeze program for my review.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischop

      Be Still My Soul is a story about perseverance, love & forgiveness; full of challenges, suffering, and hope,
      Gideon O'Riley steals a kiss from Lonnie and her abusive father finds out, Lonnie is forced into a marriage to a man she barely knows and who does not want to marry her. Bischop’s story is not technically a marriage of convenience, since it was not at all convenient for Lonnie and Gideon to marry. Rather marriage was forced upon them by her father. In a way, the book is more about Gideon’s journey than Lonnie’s. She’s the solid one who already trusts God although she often cries out to Him. Gideon, however, is a different story. He has a lot of growing up to do and some hard lessons to learn along the way.

      If you love a story with a mountain setting, romantic tension, and wonderful characterization, you should read Be Still My Soul. It’s a fun story, it’s engaging, and the reader gets a glimpse of life in the Appalachian hills.  Lonnie and Gideon have no idea what it will take to walk together - both literally and figuratively - as a married couple. When they reach the point where there seems to be no hope left, love and peace just might find them in unexpected, challenging ways.

       An inspiring story of two people who are unlikely heroes and show their growth throughout the story. Readers will be reminded that hope is never lost, change can always happen and that happy endings aren’t just for fairy tales.

      Received eBook from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in their Blogging for Books program for my review.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Your Heart's Desire

I am honored to be chosen to be part of Tyndale Blog Network to showcase articles from Author Sheri Rose Shepherd. In the next several weeks I will be posting articles that are about rebuilding broken hearts and broken families.


Desiring a "Happily Ever After"
Fighting the Temptation to Give Up on Love and Marriage

By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach

I don't know where you stand today with the man you love or loved—or if you are single, divorced, separated, or widowed. I can tell you, though, that if you've been hurt, you can be sure Your heavenly Father knows how hard it is to love and forgive the one who caused you pain. Yet regardless of the relational devastation you face, no one can keep you from finishing strong for God's glory!

I was raised in a non-Christian home. My parents have each been married and divorced to three different people. As part of several blended families, all I understood about marriage when I was growing up was "unhappily ever after." But then I became a Christian at twenty-four and married my husband, Steve, just a few years later. Because of my love for God and my husband, I honestly didn't think anything could shake my own marriage or faith.

In the summer of 2007, however, my happily ever after was wiped out and my faith was tested. The family foundation I had worked so hard to build and protect was almost destroyed, along with my ministry, in that season of my life. I truly believed that God had forsaken me.

I had just finished writing my book for mothers about raising sons to become godly husbands. As I excitedly ran upstairs to e-mail the manuscript to the publisher, I suddenly felt as if something dark hovered over me. My passion for the book's message was drowned out by the fear of an attack from the enemy that could come against me and my family if I stepped on his territory . . . young men and their future marriages.

I called the publisher and said I'd need to wait and pray for courage before submitting the manuscript. I went to my son, Jake, who was eighteen years old and a senior in high school at the time, and asked him if he had any plans of rebelling against his faith once he graduated from high school. I told him I was willing to give him freedom to find his own faith in Christ, but I didn't want to put out a book about raising boys if my own son was going to walk away from the Lord. He reassured me that he was strong in his faith and that he felt I should publish the book. I decided to take the chance to make a difference and sent in the manuscript.

The book began climbing the charts, and everything seemed to be going well. I even began speaking with my son at conferences for mothers of boys. Then three months into my book tour, my fear of attack hit. My husband had taken a job that we had both prayed for. This job appeared to be a blessing; however, his new position required him to violate some of the boundaries we had put in place to protect our marriage, and we ended up separated.

There I was in the public eye of ministry, fighting to save future marriages, and somehow my own marriage was falling apart. My son was devastated by the division between me and his dad. It was too hard for him to deal with all his confusion, pain, and anger, so he took a break from his faith and began using drugs and alcohol to comfort himself. I had always known to run to God for cover when there was a great attack, but now I felt like He had left me alone on the battlefield to fight for myself. It appeared that all I had believed about God and all my effort to build a strong foundation for my own family had been shattered. My pain, my shame, and my life were an embarrassment. I felt as if I were battling an out-of-control fire that would burn up everything I loved and lived for. Every night I would cry myself to sleep as I struggled to understand why God had not protected me while I was attempting to accomplish something for His glory.

One night I could not take it anymore, so I fell to my knees and told God I either wanted Him to fix my family or I wanted to quit the ministry. Then I felt the Lord asking me a bigger question: Was My life, given on a cross for you, not enough for you to finish strong even if it means surrendering the life you wanted? For the first time I realized that my heart's true desire was to feel loved and secure, and yet no man on earth could love me the way my Lord does. In that moment of crisis I found the true meaning of following Christ. God had not forsaken me, but He did want to free me from depending on others to give me my happily ever after.

That night I gave my heart's deepest desire to God and chose to follow Him at any cost. In exchange, He gave me something so much better; He gave me peace that was more powerful than my circumstances. My faith was no longer in people; it was in Christ alone. Although nothing outwardly had changed yet, I had been changed. Today, Steve and I have celebrated twenty-five years of marriage, and our son serves God with His whole heart. He and his bride have given us our first grandbaby girl. However, to be honest, restoring our marriage was excruciatingly painful and more difficult than either of us expected. As hard as this trial was, it taught me a valuable lesson: our Lord is the God of comfort and the author of a new beginning. He can and will rebuild a beautiful life out of any broken heart willing to make a change. He will use one sacrificial choice; one act of forgiveness; one sincere, repentant heart; and one woman who is willing to step out in faith and start rebuilding with His love for His glory.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

For more teaching from the Your Heart's Desire book and Bible study, visit


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Freedom Tools by Andy Reese

The American church today is largely sitting around, trying to be good for God, waiting to enter His eternal Kingdom when we die. We are saved but not set free. Jesus paid the price for our freedom.  Not only freedom from an eternity separated from God, but freedom from bondage and affliction while we are still on this earth. Andy Reese has distilled the wisdom gained from countless sessions of Sozo ministry into "Freedom Tools", which provides a model that anyone can follow into freedom for themselves and for others.

I've found Andy Reese's book to be beneficial and informative. He writes in a simplistic manner for anyone to understand and yet does not dumb down the message. Through a God lead process anyone can learn to help people find the freedom they've been longing and searching for. You don't have to be a trained and licensed counselor to use these tools to help set the captive free.

Freedom Tools is a well written description of using Scriptural tools to help people with problems. Reese’s book is not a book about amateur counseling but one of inner healing and deliverance and states the limitations of "first responder" healing and doesn't claim to be more than it is.  As in basic first aid you learn what to do to help someone in need. Reese teaches about circumstances that may require professional counseling and what to do for them. It does offer assistance in providing answers for your friends and family who you have common ground. For those who find themselves in the role of advisor, confidant, or just good friend, this book offers some basic Christian tools.

Read with an open heart and listen to what God is showing you. It will change your life. I recommend this book if you want to be healed and to help others.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tangled Ashes by Michèle Phoenix

Tangled Ashes is a work of historical fiction, which is filled with mystery, as the characters develop and the story unfolds. The author's development of the characters is excellent and they felt very real, very human. Phoenix skillfully intertwined true historical facts with incredible characters of her own, while also creating emotional attachments to the characters for the readers. I was intrigued the entire time and couldn't wait to see where the story was going.

The main character, Marshall Becker, travels to Europe to help renovate a French castle. The castle itself is a character in the story and holds its own allure. The author gives insight into the Nazi occupation of France with its hospital for the Fuhrer as an integral part of the story that lays the groundwork for a surprise conclusion.

A great story and kept me reading until the end. I recommend this book for any age. It is clean, it contains spiritual truths, and it is written with historical events in mind.

I received a this E-book from Handlebar Marketing in exchange for my review.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Twice A Bride by Mona Hodgson

Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows?

            Four sisters, each with their own life's trial come together for each other in the path of uncertainty and confusion. Romance, loss, happiness and reality are introduced into the broad emotions displayed within the pages of this book
            Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek. When she lands a job working as a portrait painter, with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn. This story of romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss and dreams against life’s unexpected turns.
            I enjoy reading historical novels that portray women in real life situations. Cripple Creek’s cast of colorful characters is charming, entertaining and at times a bit predictable. It has all the ups and downs of a romance, with a delightful dose of history.
            I did not know this was 4th in the series, but the story stood alone. I intend to go back and read the first three books in this series.
            I recommend this book to fans of this series or anyone who enjoys reading historical romance!
            I received this eBook through the Blogging for Books Program at WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing for my review.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner

Renaissance is a word with hope infused in every letter.

            The Girl in the Glass is about discovery, of places, people, of yourself and the strength that lies within. Meissner weaves a story about three women connected to the renaissance time period. These women are Meg, an editor for a travel book publishing company in California; Nora Orsini, a member of the Medici family in the Italian aristocracy; and Sophia Borelli, an aspiring memoir-writer. Their stories past and present collide with purpose and desire and their lives will be changed forever.

            Meissner’s story, on many levels, deals with disappointment, hope displaced and the determination to live daily with dreams in the present. She takes words like, Renaissance, rules of love and gives them new meaning for the heart.  This story will stir your artist heart; will stir the imagination of the writer, and the dreams of the historian.

            Susan Meissner created unique characters that are realistic and interesting. Although the story started out slow, possibly intentionally, I thought it would go in another direction entirely and it did not disappoint. I would recommend The Girl in the Glass to anyone, especially for those with a love of the renaissance, beautiful art, and all things Italian.

             I received this eBook from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in their Blogging for Books program for this review.                                                 
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Monday, September 17, 2012

God of All Creation: Life Lessons from Pets and Wildlife by James Robinson

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

God of All Creation recounts how a miniature dachshund taught her owner, James Robison, profound insights about life, faith, and God’s care for all of His creation. A devoted dog lover and co-host of the television program Life Today, James Robison
, shares how the antics of his own dog Princess gave inspiration for this story.

Heart-warming stories and winsome line drawings bring to life the lessons Robison has learned. Through his inspiration and spiritual insights; from his pets and creatures living in the wild, you too, will learn to know God’s voice, to submit to Him, and to trust Him with your every need.

Written in an easy to read style, the book contains many scripture verses and explanations of God's provision for the animals of His creation. The stories that he shares in this book are both entertaining and educational.

James Robison manages to open a window that allows us to view a Heavenly Father who has created all living things for our enjoyment and enrichment. Robison uses his pet, Princess, to show the necessity to follow the Master's voice to avoid danger of this life.

I would recommend this gift size, hardback book for any animal lover and anyone who enjoys heart-warming stories of people and their pets.

I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing in their Blogging for Books program for this review.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Darkness Rising, East Salem Trilogy Series #2 By: Lis Wiehl, Pete Nelson

The evil in East Salem is no longer content to hide in the shadows. The stakes—and the darkness—are rising.

           Dani Harris thought there wasn’t much left that could surprise her after serving as a forensic psychiatrist. Tommy Gunderson has faced few challenges in his life that he couldn’t overcome by either physical strength or his celebrity status.

          They race to uncover what’s really happening behind the high walls of St. Adrian’s Academy, it becomes clear that supernatural forces have been at work here for generations. When the unseen becomes seen, faith is the only weapon strong enough to fight in a battle involving not just murder and betrayal—but angels and demons.

         Wiehl’s latest is a supernatural thriller guaranteed to keep you turning the pages and with just enough romance to keep it interesting. Just when you are able to take a breath and think you are at the end there is still about 20 pages still to go. As you are deeply interested to find closure the unthinkable happens…to be continued. I will have to buy the next book to see what happens.

         This book is scary enough to recognize how real it could be. I would recommend you read the book early in the afternoon and not right before bed.

          I received a free copy of book from Thomas Nelson as part of their Booksneeze Blogger program.

 I review for BookSneeze®

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Grace More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine By Max Lucado

          In a Christianity Today 8/27/12 online interview Lucado was asked: Why another book on grace when there are many good ones already out there?

“The apostle Paul never seemed to exhaust the topic of grace—what makes us think we can? He just kept coming at it and coming at it from another angle. That's the thing about grace. It's like springtime. You can't put it in a single sentence definition, and you can't exhaust it. No other philosophy or religion has anything quite like this idea that God takes the initiative and comes after us—not just to save us, but also to sustain us.”

            If we are supposed to be captivated by this idea of grace, Lucado has done a great job in conveying Grace to his audience.  A great job in this book of weaving illustrations and biblical events. It is amazing that in walking with Christ, that we still may not understand his love for us. Max breaks it down to our basic human understanding, How GREAT the LOVE and GRACE of God is.

            You’ll find hope in the fact that God's grace extends to you an adoption invitation.  Lucado states that God offers us salvation even while we are still sinners (Romans 5:8). Lucado warms our hearts as he reminds us that we are adopted.                                                               

            I encourage you to Read, enjoy, and realize that grace is a gift from God and cannot be earned! It will lift your heart and make you smile. I found myself renewed and remembering God's great goodness and love.

            As always, Max Lucado has written an easily read book that gets to the point of how much Christ loves us. Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.

I received this eBook from Thomas Nelson as part of their Booksneeze Blogger program.



Monday, September 3, 2012

Napoleon's Pyramids by William dietrich

           What mystical secrets lie beneath the Great Pyramids? Traveling with Napoleon's ambitious expedition, American adventurer Ethan Gage solves a five-thousand-year-old riddle with the help of a mysterious medallion.

            Gage seeks knowledge about the medallion and finds scholars that start him on a path that the medallion is more than a pendant, but perhaps a key to a lost society and greater knowledge. Along the way, he falls in love. The action in this book is nonstop. There is romance, historical figures vividly shown, and ancient cities explored. Ethan soon finds himself in constant danger from the men who want that medallion; possibly the key to powers so great, the owner could literally rule the world.
            An American adventurer who was an aide to Ben Franklin is in Paris after the French Revolution. He wins a medallion in a poker game, and it promises to be a "key" to the mysteries of the Egyptian pyramids. Napoleon hears of this just as he's planning to conquer Egypt in 1798, so he brings our hero along hoping to gain the power supposedly hidden in the pyramids. Many of Gage’s adventures he meets up with bad guys, who are trying to attain the power for themselves.
          While the ultimate story was good, even intriguing at certain points, it was a bit hard to get through the beginning, then the energy picked up. It was obvious that the ending was set up for a sequel. It tried too hard to be like Indiana Jones and didn’t quite make it.
            If you like stories that incorporate history, war, Egypt, math, symbols, secrets and treasures, then you may enjoy this story.  This would be good for teens and young adults.

I received eBook for my review

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Inside Ring: A Joe DeMarco Thriller by Mike Larson

 It opens with an assassination attempt on the president. He is only wounded, but his best friend and a Secret Service Agent are killed. It turns out that the attack wasn't without warning. General Andrew Banks, the Secretary of Homeland Security, received a note that the president was in danger, and even more alarming, that Secret Service agents guarding the president had been compromised.
            General Banks is reluctant to tell the FBI about the note, So he requests help from his friend, Speaker Mahoney, and Mahoney assigns his man DeMarco to determine if the Secret Service was really involved. 

           The principal character is DeMarco, who does political odd jobs for a wily old pol who happens to be Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. DeMarco is escaping not only a bad marriage, but a family legacy in organized crime, which gives him an interesting foot in two different camps. It appears that a disgruntled individual took some shots at the U. S. President (who is a presence but not a character in this story) and missed, killing some other folks, before capping his failure with a suicide and a confession. There is reason to believe that there is more below the surface of this attempt than meets the eye, and DeMarco is directed to poke around. He's not quite up to the task, but manages with luck to survive several harrowing experiences and bring the truth to the semi-light.
            The synopsis leads you to believe it is a political thriller but  it was more like a poorly rated TV crime story . There were too many clichés, Italians in the mafia, southern people helpless and stupid, politicians are all on the take. The poor hero has to go around the law to find justice, predictable.  It just didn’t have enough to care about what happens.
            I wouldn’t recommend this story. I received the eBook for my review

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck

            The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck is about Daphne Sweeten, a scent designer, who finds herself stood up for her wedding and losing her sense of smell. Her dream job was also no longer possible as her ex-fiancée took her dream job in Paris. She decides to move to Ohio, where she had a job waiting, which would have her developing scents for household products. When Daphne enters into this new job, a relationship begins with Jesse, the new boss of the company.

            The premise of a formally trained "nose" losing her sense of smell is new and interesting. The book is an easy read and keeps your interest throughout with a few twists and turns you may not expect. The heroine was very childlike and insecure and hard to believe she was a Scientist. Although the premise of the story was curious and the relationship dynamics were certainly interesting,
             I couldn't help but feel that it lacked some vital spark that could make it a wonderful book. Daphne is not a sympathetic heroine. I found it very hard to sympathize with her. She's a bit out of touch with reality and shallow, childish, self-centered and she made terrible choices that are obviously bad and seems too naive to be real. Her conversations with the other characters reflect her confusion and poor judgment.  The conclusion of the book seemed both rushed and contrived.

 I received copy of eBook from Thomas Nelson Booksneeze program for review

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Exalt You O God by Jerry Bridges

           As the world becomes ever more impersonal, hectic, and stressful, our hunger grows for the reality of God’s greatness in our lives. We seek moments of personal worship and praise to God; we desire His awesome presence. Jerry Bridges, guides you into God’s throne room for an intensely personal time of worship.
Jerry Bridges acknowledges that worship should be a way of life. Bridges focuses his efforts on what it means to praise God in our private worship or personal devotional time.  The book is divided into four sections to direct the reader's focus to worshipping God for His Greatness, Holiness, Wisdom, and Love.
                I read through this encouraging devotional for the review and intend to go back and daily meditate on God's word for worship.  I Exalt You O God  is a helpful  devotional aid.         
the Lord. The section that will become one of my favorites is the prayers of Scripture verses that flow together to help you learn to make your prayers worshipful in praising God for who He is.
                I received this EBook from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing in their Blogging for Books program for this review.

The Power of the Prophetic Blessing: An Astonishing Revelation for a New Generation by John Hagee

Show Moree           The Power of the Prophetic Blessing, offers an exciting message of encouragement and blessing for today and for generations to come. Hagee says, “Every blessing recorded in Scripture is available to you for the asking. You have not because you ask not. These blessings have the power to bring supernatural joy, and provide you peace of mind."

            Find out how to become blessed beyond your capacity to contain it. Deuteronomy 28 contains blessings regarding your personal life and your material possessions.  Hagee walks you through the Hebrew meaning and Scriptural significance of the well-known blessing, “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. And may He give you peace.”
The Power of the Prophetic Blessing is not the first book out there regarding this topic, but it is  easy to read and a good foundation to learn about the blessings God has for you and your loves ones. If you are new to this revelation you will love this book.  In our complicated day we need good resources to focus on God’s love for us. When we apply what we learn then we will see the miracle of the blessing.
I received this book from Worthy Publishing for my review

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Betrayal by Jerry B Jenkins

The Betrayal has a strong opening and keeps up a brisk pace for the majority of the story. Mildly predictable, Boone Jackson is Chicago Police officer recently wounded in a large sting operation he was responsible for planning. He is recovering from his injuries when he discovers that the girl he's just starting to get to know Haeley and hoping to get to know better has been accused of plotting against him. Boone is sure that she is innocent, but as he works to try to clear her name he has to work through a lot. Things get more complicated as he tries to protect a witness, clear Haley's name, work through his injury and decide who to trust.
The Betrayal is a crime novel with some love story aspects mixed in. This novel is not necessarily a edge-of-your-seat, suspense at every turn type book, but a detective story about love, betrayal, and friendships. It was easy to read and enjoyable. I would recommend this book to teens and young adults. Fans of suspense, mystery and police novels will like "The Betrayal."

I did not read the first book in the series, other reviewers recommend to read the first one before this one, you may enjoy this book more if you read The Brotherhood (Precinct 11) first.
I receive the EBook from the Tyndale summer reading list for my review   

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer

The future of the Immortals is in the hands of an orphan

My greatest fear was that they would find us and make of us a sacrifice beneath a full moon. Now you, Thomas, must help us destroy the circle of evil.

The last words of a dying woman would change the life of young Thomas. Raised behind monastery walls, he knows nothing of his mysterious past or imminent destiny. Now, in the heart of medieval England, a darkness threatens to strangle truth. An ancient order tightens their ghostly grip on power, creating fear and exiling those who would oppose them. Thomas leaves the monastery on an important quest to fulfill his calling and bring light into the mysterious world of the Druids.
This book is packed with adventure and intrigue. Each chapter brings a new twist and adds just enough information to allow the reader to discover what is going on right alongside Thomas. The Christian theme is masterfully woven into the plot, revealing itself more through Thomas's doubts than through any great displays of faith.

Show MoreShow LessThis book heralds as Christian fiction, but there was very little of God in the book. Still, it fit in well with the storyline. Thomas does not believe in God, and it's not until the end that his views are challenged and he is forced to reconsider. The foreshadowing is that there will be more about his journey of faith as the series unfolds, which just added the anticipation for the next book.

The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer is a tale about noble knights, ancient secrets, mysterious castles, evil conspiracy, love, and the destiny of one young man that will change everything.  I was disappointed with the story. In the beginning of the book, I felt like I had jumped in the middle and I had missed the whole back story.  I found it hard to really get into the book. I pressed through and about half way in I was able to make sense of the book. The overall storyline is good and enjoyable and would recommend this book for teens and young adults.

I received this EBook from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in their Blogging for Books program for my review.