Promises Fulfilled

On the cover of Pete Wilson’s latest book, Empty Promises, features a fortune cookie. For most people, the fortune cookie uncovers a small slip of paper that “promises” great things in our future. The same is true for horoscopes and dreams – we reach for a brighter future filled with promises of wealth, status, success, true love, and our every desire. However, those are only empty promises compared to the one true Promise, God. Wilson’s book is twelve short chapters with titles like: “The Seduction of Achievement,” “Addicted to Approval,” and “Chasing a Dream.”

Empty Promises was an enjoyable, informative book that encouraged me to look deeper into what gives me joy and purpose in this journey called life. I also found myself guiltily looking into a mirror through several of the chapters. However, the greatest thing is that even though I found myself seduced, addicted, and in a chase, I also found the truth about what promise was real and long-lasting. In Luke 10:41-42 Jesus said, “‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'” The only promise needed and able to fulfill is the One who is truly able to promise joy, peace, and satisfaction.

I received this book free for review from Booksneeze. I would encourage anyone who is struggling with life to get a copy and settle in for some soul-searching time with the greatest Promise you will ever find or need!

I review for BookSneeze®

The Cost of Immigration

For most of us, we talk about immigration when we discuss our genealogical roots. We all came from somewhere – France, Ireland, England, Mexico, Honduras, etc. For many of us that trek was made by our ancestors as long ago as 400 years. For others, it was made in the last 10 years. The majority of us can boast about the new life that our ancestors carved out for us by immigrating to America. For others it is a story of hardship, prejudice, and even death. Margaret Regan, a noted journalist who speaks about her father’s Irish heritage, is the author of The Death of Josseline a story about the immigration issues between Mexico and Arizona. She openly and honestly reports about the costs, both in dollars (the cost of patroling the border, deporting the immigrants, and fencing the border) and lives (the number of lives lost is parallel to the temperature), that immigration plays upon the peoples and economies along the border between Mexico and Arizona.

Regan tells the stories from interviews with Border Patrol Agents, activists, residents, and immigrants. She shows the horrors for the immigrants who pay thousands of dollars to be brought to America and then to be left to die in the desert or, for some women, to be raped by the coyotes (men who bring the immigrants across the border). She tells of the separation of family members when deported and the invasion onto American properties by the American government in the name of homeland security. Regan educates readers in a straightforward and informative manner. I would encourage anyone interested in learning about the Mexico-Arizona border and the issue of immigration in that area to read Regan’s book.

Reading group guide

I read this book as part of the requirement for the United Methodist Reading Program.

Fairy Genius

For those of you who have read Eoin Colfer’s series about Artemis Fowl, you will understand the possibility for addiction. That is also true for those who have read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of books and Lemony Snicket’s books written by Lemony Snicket and Brent Helquist. You read one book and the author transports you to a realm that is far away and filled with wonder. You do not have to be a child or young adult to be drawn in. That is the case for me with Eoin Colfer’s books. Books 3 and 4 of the series, The Eternity Code and The Opal Deception, feature Artemis and his bodyguard, Butler, about to pull off the largest technology coup – to sell a technologically advanced computer made with fairy electronics. This is to be his last illegal deed in order to become legitimate as his father has requested. However, it all goes wrong and Butler almost pays the ultimate price. Artemis agrees to undergo a mind swipe in order to receive a “healing” for Butler.

In the next book, Artemis goes up against Opal Koboi, a fairy genious and criminal, after having his memories restored about the fairy people. He must save the secrecy and existence of the fairy people from the “mud people” or humans that Opal is determined to expose the fairy people and world to.

Both books are another example of the excellent writing skills of Colfer! Although the books were released in 2009, netgalley.com is offering them for review in anticipation of the final book in the series release date of July 2012. I find them to be timeless classics of children’s fantasy.

Author’s Web Site

I received this book free for review from netgalley.com.

He Answers Your Every Need

Sometimes our deepest hurts are masked so well that only God can see. God then places “angels” in our life to address those hurts and assisting you with learning to trust while He illuminates the pain as well as the path to freedom. In Beth Wiseman’s newest book, Need You Now, the Henderson family must deal with danger in their hometown which leads them to the small town of Round Top, Texas. The three teenaged children deal with the move in different ways, but the youngest, Grace, is utilizing a dangerous coping mechanism. When the mother, Darlene, begins her first job outside of the home, the children begin to feel a sense of abandonment. Darlene connects with the neighbor who has buried the pain of her child’s death and marriage break-up behind a facade of indifference. Darlene also connects with the special needs child that she is employed to teach which opens a dam of emotions from the child’s widowed father. All of these “hurts” are seen by God and each connection opens the door for the alleviation of that pain.

Wiseman’s newest book is an ebook and is only the first half which is a first for her. However, we all love a cliff-hanger so it only leaves you craving more! I had not read any of her Amish fiction books and so this was my introduction to her writing style but I found her to be engaging. I would encourage readers who are interested in reading this book to order the ebook at Ebook Part 1
or you can order the complete book or other Beth Wiseman titles from the publisher Thomas Nelson Publishing at Print Version

Author’s Website

I revieved this book free for review from netgalley.com.

Life + God = Hope

When you combine a small town in the South with “the way things have always been done” and then insert faith-filled people and God into the center, what you get is a Kim Cash Tate’s new book Hope Springs. The story is centered around the Dillon and Sanders families who attend Calvary and New Jerusalem churches. The Sanders’ clan comes home for a reunion and Christmas in Hope Springs, North Carolina at the matriarchal home of Grandma Geraldine “Geri” Sanders. Her children, except one, and her grandchildren, except one, gather round her as well as the Dillon family and other friends of the family. They have arrived just in time to bury the pastor of Calvary Church, Jim Dillon.

This story is the story of finding your faith in trying times, of finding your “sweet spot” in spite of yourself, of burying the dead and painful memories, and of the resurrection of hope. The story is about Stephanie Sanders London who finds herself in Hope Springs. The story is about Janelle (Sanders) Evans who finds love and happiness following the death of her husband by reconnecting with her past. The story is about Libby Sanders who finds she can bury the past and find the grace of God’s love with her lost love who now pastors New Jerusalem Church. The story is about Becca Dillon, wife of Todd, who finds that in order to be blessed and exalted, she must first learn to be emptied and humble. The story is about the uncovering of secrets and the reconnection of family when Todd Dillon finds out his father had had a child by Gwynn Sanders. The story is about the building hope in the small Bible study group meeting at the local diner facilitated by the unsure but faith-filled waitress that unleashes hope in the two churches, one for the white families and one for the black families, that bridges the past and blesses an entire community.

Hope Springs is one of those books that is like opening a flower – petal by petal- that leaves you breathless, crying, exhuberant, and praising God. It is a book that will keep you in your seat hungrily reading the words until you find yourself between the pages. Then you will be on your knees bowing before your God and Father with tears running down your cheeks and your arms raised in worship.

I received this book for free to review for netgalley.com.