Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hope Springs

"Stephanie heard a sermon that inspired her to do something selfless for Christmas. But the sermon "wore off," and she wanted to change her mind. When you receive inspiration from above to step outside your comfort zone, do  you follow through? Is it hard?"     --- Kim Cash Tate

Kim Tate is Christian writer who isn't afraid to tackle the difficult subjects or themes. Her latest novel is a testament about life, forgiveness and answering God's call. Her characters are well developed and many layered, the backdrop wonderfully descriptive, and the storyline is compelling. You will be encouraged to continue turning the page because of the fine writing.

Publishers Weekly  probably said it best: "Tate expertly crafts an intriguing narrative that explores unrequited love, true faith, and the complicated politics of change in the Christian church ...(An) affecting tale about forgiveness and following God's call." Publishers Weekly review of Hope Springs.

If you've accused Christian fiction of being boring or preachy and predictable try Hope Springs. I suspect you will be on the lookout for Ms. Tate's other offerings (Faithful and Cherished both by Kim Cash Tate).

Disclaimer: This book was provided by Thomas Nelson for review purposes. The words are my own.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Have A Goal? Go Big!

According to the six members of Dude Perfect there are 5 practical, easy-to-follow steps to success... no matter the endeavor. This entertaining and high energy book will show you how to make your shot in the world count.

The book is divided into dynamic sections: * Get Excited  * Own It  * Blink Later  * Inspire Others  * Give Back . This just might be what you need to help you turn your dream into a reality. Whether you are a college student or just need help moving forward in your life this book will give you the necessary tools.

Go Big, Make Your Shot Count in the Connected World will continue to inspire you long after you've closed the book. But keep it handy, you will find yourself wanting to stop by often.

Quotable. Motivational. Inspiring. Entertaining. Readable ... consider sharing Go Big with others.

Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers provided me with this book for an honest review. The words are my own.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mystery Reviews From Poisoned Pen Press...Upcoming

I've been given a wonderful opportunity to read ARC's (Advanced Readers Copies) for mystery novels about to be released from Poisoned Pen Press. Their catalogue includes general mysteries, hard-boiled, historical, police procedural, short stories, traditional, British, and women sleuths. It like being given the keys to the neighborhood confectionery.

It is like Christmas in June!

As a reader I've long been a fan of well-written mystery novels; great characters doing interesting things, a couple of dead bodies, suspects and mystery. Who doesn't like a mysterious who-done-it?  Secrets to discover, herrings to be considered, decisions to be made about guilt or innocence.

As I writer I can't help but pay attention to the opening hook, the unfolding mystery, the character reveal, pacing, and marvelous hints dropped into the story. And of course the ending, is it satisfying? Perfectly set up? Will there be another book? Is this a writer I want to read again and again?

So beginning this month I will be posting reviews  for one of my favorite genres. I'll tell you what I think as a reader and as a writing instructor.

 Thank you Poisoned Pen Press! I am a huge fan!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Living The Aware Life

Pete Wilson, the senior pastor of Cross Point Church and the author of Plan B is back with another book. Empty Promises, The Truth About You, Your Desire, and the Lies You're Believing is designed to help the reader recognize and appreciate all that life blesses us with on those perfect, memorable days....

Simply put, we are a
people wired to worship. The
question isn't, "Do we worship?"
The question is, "Who (or what)
do we worship?
--Pete Wilson
... and how to recognize and appreciate the dangers of the idols we create on our journey. 

Our life, counsels Pastor Wilson is shaped by the desires we energetically pursue. To give ourselves and our lives meaning and purpose we want the perfect family, the perfect career, the best house, and the right car in the driveway. We crave money, love, acceptance and  an audience to notice our success. We desire power, we seek security, we value a smart business plan and hard work. And at the end of the week we demand the expected reward.
These things are not necessarily wrong. Who among us doesn't want to love and be loved, to find satisfaction in a job well done and collect the paycheck to keep it all going.

As a society we say we value honesty and the latest technology, we justify the means if the end results is the desired achievement.  We want what we pay for.

But what about what Jesus paid for?

A well-lived life has a different meaning for Christians. We may say that nothing is more important to us than God. But do we really mean that all day and everyday? Is this belief the driving force in our life?  

If at the end of the day if "Chasing A Dream" (Chapter 9) and "The Seduction of Achievement" (Chapter 3) is leaving you restless and unfulfilled you it may be time to examine your practices.

Pete Wilson has given us a practical and useful book for those seeking a true relationship with God. Although this book seems a bit hurried there is still much to be gained by asking and answering the questions posed in the "5 Traps" and "Living Close To Truth"(Chapter 11).

I am a fan of Pastor Wilson's books, and strongly recommend you read this one.

This book was supplied by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for review purposes. The words are my own.