Mexico Stories: A Review

Mind altering chemicals coursing through the body causing artificial highs and guns blasting through bystanders and intended victims as an act of revenge or hate,sometimes death. Raw, realistic stories about the drug culture in Mexico as told through stories by Josh Barkah.

The effects of the drug culture are tragic, enticing young people to make fast cash at the expense of their own lives. Gangs becoming their families and support systems. Josh does not hold back the gruesome and sad results of being steeped the narcotics world. As demonstrated in one particular store where an artist is pretty much on the verge of losing his mind due to his neighborhood being gang ridden and his daughter being a user herself. He ends up killing the dealer who has sold her drugs and regrets is the rest of his life.

Another story highlights desperation to leave the country to spare her son’s life so she makes a horrible choice and sleeps with an official who can grant her a visa. Drugs kill and so do the individuals involved with them. They don’t care if we live or die, they just want money and power.

 

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

For more information:

http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/535367/mexico-by-josh-barkan/

Author Biography:

http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/2134032/josh-barkan/

The Hum Of Angels: A Review

Angels are all over the place and have been since God created them. Yeah, that’s right. Angels. The Big Man’s assistants who let us know that we are loved and cared for. Wow, being a father of that many kids, mind blowing! Kids do misbehave, do silly things and mean things and well, you get the idea. Angels are there to instant message us God’s love and protection even during not so great times.

In his book, The Hum of Angels, Mr. McKnight relays experiences both Biblical and modern day. Think Adam and Eve giving in to sin and being kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Angels stood guard to keep them out. Or how about the time when Abraham was told to sacrifice his son? That took real faith because an angel appeared and let him all was ok that God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. God knew Abraham would obey but I bet Abraham was more than relieved to see the lamb and not his son dead on the altar. I’d be hugging my sons until they tell me to stop already.

Modern day example is found on page 73 of the book where a lady relates the story of her daughter being in an accident and talking to a nurse name Mary. Mary talks with her and comforts her letting her know her daughter and unborn baby will be alright. Now, here’s the cool part, as taken from the book, “The next night I went back to thank Nurse Mary for sitting with me. I was told there was no Nurse Mary and no nurse fit her description. (pg 74) Whoa, if that is not confirmation of the existence of angels, I don’t what is. I believe in angels and they do help in every way imaginable, even in ways we may not like but our for own best interests.

I received a free copy of the book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. For more information:http://www.bloggingforbooks.com/books/view/9781601426314

Author Biography:

 

The Clancys of Queens: A Review

Growing up into various parts of society can make a difference in a kid’s life. Tara Clancy writes about her experiences in Queens, NY and in Bridgehampton, a more upscale part of town. Like a whole new universe. But the change was a good one in every way.

Tara writes about living with her dad and mom on alternate weekends and the differences between those weekends. She and her dad live in boat shed of a house, with little privacy but a lot of love. She and her friends made up things to do outside and weren’t attached to the television. I enjoyed reading about how her dad would take to a particular bar and there he’s see his girlfriend and other regulars there. An extension of her Italian family.

Weekends with her mom were spent in Bridgehampton, with a successful businessman named Mark. I like this guy. He is down to earth and doesn’t seem to mind the working class background of Tara’s mom. In fact I think he helps Tara expand her train of thought with the “stars and moon” discussions they have before she goes to bed. If not for him, she might would have just felt life didn’t go past where she was brought up.

Tara’s memoir also includes various family members like her grandmother and grandfather and other relatives who helped shape her life. I love that they tried to teach her about life in their own way and how to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly. Love that Tara finds in inspiration in play called King Lear which I think jump starts the love of writing. Her down to earth, real life memoir is fantastic and offers another view into the life of someone who lives in less fortunate circumstances. I personally am jealous of the bar friends, I think they are awesome. To me her life was rich with love and family and good friends.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

For more information:http://www.bloggingforbooks.com/books/view/9781101903117http://www.bloggingforbooks.com/books/view/9781101903117

The Women Of Easter: A Review

Fierce is all I can about the women in Liz Curtis Higgs’ book, The Woman Of Easter. I mean seriously, they stayed with Jesus even up and including his burial. They witnessed the crucifixion for crying out loud. Even when the disciples hauled but knowing that one of them would betray our Lord Jesus, they were there. High fives all around.

We know the story in the Bible about how Jesus was shaking things up and causing the high and mighties to be jealous of His teachings. I guess their pride got the better of them. And of all the ones to betray Jesus, Judas does just that. He rats Him out for some reward. Selfish and cruel if you ask me.

Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdaline, and Mary of Nazareth all stood by Jesus, and I’m sure their hearts were broken when He was tortured and then hung on the cross to die. Of course, we all know why He did. To give us a way to forgiveness and to show the greatest love of all. Laying down one’s life for another. I can just imagine the pain that shot through their hearts and that of our Savior. What a gift when He was born and a gift when He did and came back from the dead. I almost think it’d be funny for the priests and others to actually see Jesus wandering around town again, their jaws dropped to the ground! And the shock and excitement of the ladies when they come back to tomb to take care of the body. Jesus you rock is all I can say!

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

For more information:http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/241054/the-women-of-easter-by-liz-curtis-higgs/

Author Bio:

http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/12930/liz-curtis-higgs

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart: A Review

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart

Going through the day to day and wondering if you are doing alright can be challenging. After all, we are capable of messing up and feeling bad later. You know the beat ourselves up over some mistake we have made? Well, in Mrs. Higg’s newest book, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, there is hope. In spite of what we think of ourselves, there is someone who likes as we are. No joke.

For instance, in Chapter 18, which is titled Lovely Thoughts, is verse from Philippians 4:8 that essentially says whatever is good to think about ponder instead of the bad. Now that is hard to do my friend. We get so caught up in the negative that we forget there is good out in the world and in each other.

Check out the verse and see for yourself: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” (page 91) There is some wisdom in that verse. Dwelling on the negative will only bring you down, make you feel bad and not so confident. So why bother? Because it is our nature to do so. There is something so theraputic about letting go of toxic thoughts, Can I get an amen??

There is one verse that really sums up how we feel about ourselves. I give you part of Isaiah 43:1- Don not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name and you are mine.” (page 142) No need to be scared of God if we screw up. Heck He knows we will, are not perfect! But yet we can take comfort knowing that our sins have been taken away at the bloody cross so that we can be confident that our Lord and Savior loves us always and doesn’t turn away from us. That rocks!

I received a free copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

For more information:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/535351/31-verses-to-write-on-your-heart-by-liz-curtis-higgs/

Author Bio:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/authors/12930/liz-curtis-higgs/

Home on the Range: A Review

Hiding from your past isn’t such a good idea. Not acknowledging what has happened and moving forward can be disastrous in your everyday life. Relationships are rocky, confidence is shattered and life itself just plain bites. For Nick Stafford he has been doing that for several years. Hiding behind work and his daughters and trying to protect them from the fact that their mother ran off and doesn’t want to be part of their lives anymore.

Nick is asked to meet with a family therapist named Elsa Andreas, in hopes of helping his daughters move forward. His one daughter, Cheyenne is living in a pretend world where momma comes back and all is good again with the world. Dakota, her younger sister, doesn’t have memory of their mother, Whitney. Elsa tries to reach out to the girls who are reluctant to open up about their hurting hearts. Even Nick is not so enthused about seeing this lady. He’d rather be somewhere else, anywhere.

Eventually, though much talking and activities, Elsa brings out the girls and they do become stronger and better able to let go of the past and accept their mother for who she is, a, um, alcohol loving lady who likes the company of other men. Elsa also remembers her past and realizes that to paraphrase the author’s words, it’s how you handle life past, present and future that matters.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

For more information:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/249727/home-on-the-range-by-ruth-logan-herne/

 

Author Bio:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/authors/259708/ruth-logan-herne/

Saffire: A Review

saffire

Widowed cowboy sent on a mission to check on progress of Panama Canal and mysterious deaths of some of the workers. Interesting indeed, especially when the President of the United States sends you. You go. Unfortunately for the cowboy, James Holt, he has to endure some painful experiences in order to solve the mystery.

He meets a young lady who goes by the name of Saffire, who is looking for her mother. She keeps bothering the man in charge, Colonel George Washington Goethals. Apparently mom supposedly left the country but Saffire refuses to believe that. I wonder how big of bottle of aspirin the man had on his desk? He was constantly being asked to take care of various problems the locals had. As for James, he sets off asking lots of questions which leads to some torture but if not for Saffire, he might would have endured worse. That woman seemed to arrive at just the right time.

James doesn’t want to stay in Panama any longer than he has to but keeps getting delayed by one person or another.  James seems to be on top of what has been going on, noticing  traps along the tracks that seem to knock a person over, hmmm. Seems someone was trying to sabotage the entire build. Power tripping I am sure. Well, in the end, James does get his report back to the Mr. Roosevelt and not only gets reunited with his daughter, but gains a wife, Miss Raquel.  Mr. Holt is one tough guy, he survives the mistreatment along with making some new friends. He goes back to the Dakotas where he has peace again  and cattle to manage. Once again, Sigmund Brouwer has written a very detailed and page turning novel. High five.

 

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

For more information:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/206667/saffire-by-sigmund-brouwer/

Author Biography:

http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/59668/sigmund-brouwer/

Really Bad Girls of the Bible: A Review

reallybadgirls

Adultery, murder, wanting to be top dog in the corporate world, sounds like the soap operas that air daily on television. Guess what they could be but these are about the “Really Bad Girls of the Bible” by Liz Curtis Higgs. And yes, they are minus some important characteristics like a heart, for one and compassion for another and absolutely no remorse for their actions. Take that back, the author offers examples of her not so clean past but she does show remorse and has moved forward by the grace of our Lord.

Who should I mention first? The woman who was brought to Jesus to show him up. She had been caught in the act of committing adultery. I guess the holier than thou thought they were being slick. Those Pharisees crack me up. They wanted to punish her by stoning her as was the law back then. Jesus didn’t fall for it. Smart man. Instead, he threw it in their faces. He dared each of them to admit they had never sinned in their lives. Too funny and you know, they couldn’t . I get it, don’t play that dumb game when you yourself are not exactly spotless. Actually Jesus takes it step further and tells her she is forgiven and to stay clean. How about that?

Here’s another example one heartless, um, person? Althaliah wanted nothing more than to be queen, I think she was power tripping. She tried to kill everyone in her way, family included. She coached her son to follow her footsteps and boy did he.They took sacred objects from a temple and used them to worship their false god, Balls. Talk about a wack job! But then, the would be queen herself met her fate and was killed. So much for ruling the world.

 Higgs also weaves in modern day fictional stories to help provide some explanation for the Biblical. There are lessons to be learned and here are some: First, these ladies didn’t care what others thought of them. Nope, they were most important and that was that. Second, they did their best to accomplish their goals, however disgusting they were. Third, I honestly believe some were proud of themselves. We, too, should not let opinions of others stand in the way  of what our life goals are. Second, we need to take the steps to meet our goals in life whatever they may be. Most important, though, we should never ignore the Big Man upstairs. We should let Him live in our hearts and minds everyday. High five, sister! You did good.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books.

For more info:http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/79797/really-bad-girls-of-the-bible-by-liz-curtis-higgs/

Author Biography: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/authors/12930/liz-curtis-higgs/

Jefferson’s America: A Review

jeffersonsamericaWanting to expand America’s horizons, Jefferson made sure there were several people out there doing just that. Lewis and Clark, to name the most familiar. He wanted the United States to grow, to become more than a few states. Julia M. Fenster does a  great job of explaining in great detail how this was accomplished.

In Jefferson’s America, we learn that there are some sore spots between the U.S. and Spain and France.  The latter two not wanting to give up what they claimed for themselves without much arguing and negotiating. They had some sneaky ones telling all sides what was going on. Can’t trust anyone.

Lewis and Clark, in addition to others such as William Dunbar, set out to explore the  infant land to see what lay beyond what they already knew. And not without hardship, either. Many got sick or died due to various reasons, such as frostbite and  hunger. MIssion was accomplished, though. Jefferson being the stubborn one that he was, got Lousiana and set the pace for more expanding. Gotta love a guy who wants to  send explorers on a wild field trip.

 

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

For more information:

http://www.bloggingforbooks.com/books/view/9780307956484

Author bio:

http://www.jfenster.com/

There’s no Room

Hate, why is it part of our dna? Why do some feel it necessary to be so vile that they harm another person or go even further and kill them? Yes, I am in shock over the Stanford rape case and the Orlando shooting. My jaw is still on the floor from the so called outrage from the rapists parents who have their heads in the sand about what their son did. They actually believe the young lady is lying. How?  Two university students discovered her unconscious with Brock assaulting her.

How is she lying when she woke up not knowing what happened until she was informed. I am so glad those two students called the police and attacked Brock. He made his choice, knowing better. And, no the flimsy excuse of college culture cannot be blamed for his despicable behavior. Not all students drink and not all take drugs either. There is no shame in the lady wanting to remain unknown, She is traumatized and will be for the rest of her life.

In Orlando, 49 people lost their lives and there is a preacher who is mad because he didn’t “finish the job” Seriously? You call yourself a man of God and you vomit hate out of your mouth? You accuse anyone who is part of the LCBT community of being a child molester? Where is your proof, you evil person. This is the same as racial profiling. Suggesting that just because one is of a different race they are automatically a criminal? And you wonder why so many laugh at Christianity? Well, duh.

I would like to know how Brock’s family would feel if someone close to them were raped? Would they just accuse the victim? Would they brush it off? I want a world where hate is ripped out of our beings and love and companssion and kindess rule. But I guess that’s in a fairy tale book. Where do I find this land?