Literary Insights

Literary Insights: A Book Lovers Review

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.