Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jesus is __________________

I received a copy of JESUS IS __________: FIND A NEW WAY TO BE HUMAN by Judah Smith from Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze.  The foreword is by Bubba Watson.   It is a great way to open the novel.  It really spoke to me, as a human, with its strong, down-to-earth quality.  In it, Bubba mentions connecting with Judah via Twitter.  My literary agent has been pushing me to become more involved in social media.  The foreword proves again how you can build an audience for yourself using Twitter, and other online sources.

JESUS IS __________ tells the story of Jesus in different lights, such as “Jesus is your friend” and “Jesus is grace.”  Each section starts off with “Jesus is ______” and the rest of the sentence is filled in using a different font.  The sections are quick and easy to read.  I shared this with family, who also found great enlightenment.  In our hearts, we know how to live meaningful lives, but sometimes it takes someone telling us for it to really sink in.  On page fifty-eight, Judah Smith says, “Make rules and follow rules as needed, but don’t focus on rules.  Focus on faith.  Focus on grace.  Focus on Jesus.”  Sometimes rules become overpowering and we, as humans, focus solely on them, becoming blind to the things around us. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone hoping to revitalize his or her life.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

David Sticker Book

I received a copy of DAVID STICKER BOOK from Kregel Publications.  The text is written by Karen Williamson and the illustrations are by Amanda Enright.  This sticker book, designed for children, tells the story of David from the Bible.  The colorful illustrations are eye-catching and the writing simplistic, perfect for early readers.  The center of the book consists of sticker pages.  You can peel off the stickers to place in the story, where the illustrations have white “spots.”  The correct sticker shape can be seen faintly through the “spot.”  While I like that idea – you get to complete the picture – I would have rather had the opportunity to make up my own pictures by placing the stickers where I wanted.  The book’s enjoyment doesn’t end when the stickers have all been placed; you can continue to read the story over and over again.  As a note, I didn’t actually use the stickers.  I got to share this story with my little cousin.  This book works great for travel or quiet alone time.  After the child enjoys the sticker book, you can introduce him or her to the version in the Bible.  Overall, this book is a great addition to a child’s library.  Fun and instructive, this will really get the creative juices flowing.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Purgatory Reign

PURGATORY REIGN by LM Preston is a must-read for young adult fans.  I really enjoy LM's books. The characters are three-dimensional, each with a unique personality. You feel as if you know them in real life. The dialogue is realistic, the adventures breathtaking. This book doesn't fail to live up to its expectations and go beyond. The story blew me away and I couldn't wait to see what happened in the next chapter.

The ebook is out now and the print copy comes out May 18th.  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Heaven's Lessons

I received a copy of HEAVEN’S LESSONS: TEN THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT GOD WHEN I DIED by Steve Sjogren from Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze.  I found it fascinating from cover to cover.  It’s a short book of only one-hundred-sixty pages, but there is a lot packed into there.  The book opens with Steve Sjogren explaining about his near death experience.  Near death experiences have always snared my attention, as they probably do for many people.  Steve Sjogren mentioned that people might just not talk about them; therefore, they are more common than the populace believes. 
Steve Sjogren died during surgery.  His doctor had recommended the removal of his gallbladder.  However, when the surgeon operated to remove it, he struck vital organs instead, for Steve Sjogren was born without a gallbladder.  By the time the mistake was realized, he had bled to death.  Luckily, the professionals were able to revive him by pumping in fresh blood.  While he lay dying, Steve Sjogren looked around to realize he was surrounded by transparent people.  They had their hands linked as they prayed.  He understood them and saw only their goodness.  He believes that they were people who had passed away at the hospital, urging him to live. 
The rest of the book focuses on what Steve Sjogren learned in his new “life.”  He developed a new and more personal relationship with God.  I enjoyed reading about his inner thoughts regarding his new perspectives.  I highly recommend this book to everyone. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Though Mountains Fall

I received a copy of THOUGH MOUNTAINS FALL by Dale Cramer from Bethany House. It is the third book in the Daughters of Caleb Bender series. Overall, I have very mixed feelings about the novel. I haven’t read any other books by Dale Cramer, and I’m not sure I’ll seek them out, although if one does fall into my hands, I’ll give it a try.

There were aspects of THOUGH MOUNTAINS FALL that I loved. For one thing, Dale Cramer based the series on his own ancestors. That is a huge plus for me. For another thing, it involves an Amish community in Mexico, something I’d never heard about before – definitely another plus. For those of you who follow my reading habits, you know Amish fiction is a favorite (there are many Amish families in my town, so I enjoy understanding their perspectives). I recommend this series to anyone else who enjoys learning about the Amish just because it takes place in Mexico, setting it apart from other Amish series.

There were some things I didn’t like: mainly, the writing style. Everyone has a different preference, and I just couldn’t get into the story. The characters were interesting, but there were too many adverbs and not enough descriptions to hold my interest. The characters also seemed to bled together as I read. No one had a distinct personality, at least in my opinion. I know other people will feel differently about those aspects, so nonetheless, I recommend this book. I will continue to read Amish books and this one will remain on my list of novels to discuss with other fans of Amish fiction.