Nick Vujicic is a speaker. He speaks to thousands of listeners, reaching their souls, and touching hearts enchained by pain and rejection. He's a writer. His books inspire and embolden believers and...
In a region named Hagenheim lives a fair young maiden by the name of Gisela. She exudes an inner strength, a trait needed for her precarious situation. She resides in her home with her stepmother and...
| Posted January-20-2014
Nick Vujicic is a speaker. He speaks to thousands of listeners, reaching their souls, and touching hearts enchained by pain and rejection. He's a writer. His books inspire and embolden believers and non-believers to live a radical life. He's an advocate. He fights for equality, kindness, and compassion. He was born without limbs, but that hasn't deterred him from doing the impossible.
Nick Vujicic is unstoppable. He never lets his physical limitations get in the way of living. He doesn't pursue a normal life like everyone else. He seeks out the extraordinary.
His past experiences allow him to connect with almost anyone. Through the pain he's suffered and from the joys he's found, people from diverse cultures who endure struggles are drawn to him. His driven spirit resonates with their needs. They feel it. He understands. He notices them. He gives them hope through his messages of faith.
"All you need is to put your faith, your talents, your education, your knowledge, and your skills out there to benefit others in ways big and small. Even the tiniest acts of kindness can have a ripple effect. Even people who think they have no power to impact the world around them can make a huge difference by joining forces and working together to become the change they desire." - Nick Vujicic
Wow! Such a powerful story. From the get-go, Unstoppable pulled me into its pages and immersed me emotionally with Nick's honest and humble writing. It's an easy read, in that, Nick's author voice is smooth and light. But, on the other end, his stories are heavy, filled with harsh realities and pain. The feelings expressed are a rollercoaster of emotions.
I found Nick's heart on his challenges and victories to be eye-opening. The true-life stories he included of the people in his book were heart-rending, but full of grace. These people needed to be heard, and I'm so glad Nick mentioned them. Their stories will impact lives.
Drawing from his own past, Nick offers advice and encouragement to those experiencing bullying, depression, thoughts of suicide, cutting - anyone who's felt left in the shadows. His message for life is simple: love God, serve humanity. If you see someone in pain, help them.
"Too much of our world is about seeking comfort instead of providing it." - Nick Vujicic
This book may move you to cry. It may move you to take action. It may motivate you to face your weaknesses and bring them into the light. It may inspire you to serve your community with an unswerving devotion. It may open your eyes to see those who are afflicted. It may create an unstoppable spirit within your heart. You may be driven to do the impossible!
I was eager to read each and every chapter, so my only qualm about Unstoppable is that it was too short. I wanted it to go on. I know for a fact, I'll be picking up his other books: Life Without Limits, Limitless: Devotions for a Ridiculously Good Life, and Stand Strong: You Can Overcome Bullying. This is by far one of the best inspirational books I've ever read. Highly, highly recommended.
"Kindness is the noblest weapon to conquer with." - American Proverb
Cinderella's Fairytale Story | Posted December-30-2013
In a region named Hagenheim lives a fair young maiden by the name of Gisela. She exudes an inner strength, a trait needed for her precarious situation. She resides in her home with her stepmother and two stepsisters, but she’s not treated as one of the family. Instead she carries out the duties of a servant. Her stepmother and stepsisters are jealous of Gisela’s beauty and treat her like a caged bird, refusing to let her live out a normal life.
Despite the frustrations found at home, Gisela faces the battle presented to her and adapts to the pressures weighing heavily upon her as a servant. The only comfort she finds is through riding her horse in the countryside. She relishes the feel of her hair whipping in the wind – it’s the reprieve she needs from the demands at home. Although harassed and threatened constantly by her family, Gisela is determined not to be controlled by them; she hopes to find her freedom.
Valten is a man of honor and might. A knight and heir to his father’s title of duke, he strives for perfection and extreme challenges. He’s made a name for himself in winning battles and jousting tournaments. Everyone in the kingdom knows his name, every woman seeks his attention, but all that Valten truly enjoys is the feeling of accomplishment found from his conquests. He seeks worth in proving his strength and boosting his self-confidence.
After many years of fighting, Valten’s heart grows restless. He’s tired of the same battles, the same victories. He longs for something different, to pursue a new reason to live. He knows it’s time. He intends to escape the walls he fortified for himself and settle down.
I adore fantasy and fairytales – anything medieval, but only if it’s not ridiculous. The story must be grounded enough to seem real, even though it’s not. Melanie Dickerson is a newly discovered author for me in the fairytale realm. I saw her first book, The Healer’s Apprentice, and meant to pick it up, but never did. So far, I’m really liking her take on the old classics. The Captive Maiden has become my favorite in her series. I enjoyed her others, but I found this one to be especially good.
While Gisela was a likable character, Valten stood out to me the most. His gruff and silent demeanor, having to overcome his pride, and learning to trust God – made for a complex person. He seemed to have it all, but in reality, he had so little. He relied on himself so much for everything, it was inspiring to see him change his path when he was powerless to do anything.
I must applaud Melanie for her descriptive writing of the jousting tournaments. I thought for sure it would be a tedious part to read through, but instead, I was happy she took the time to describe the sport to her readers. The game came alive, and I felt like I was right there in the audience cheering.
The Captive Maiden is an ornate book intertwined with devious antagonists, a defiant heroine, a knight-in-shining-armor, suspenseful fighting scenes, and most importantly, a story about overcoming one’s position in life.
I’ve read the following books by Melanie Dickerson: The Merchant’s Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, and now, her newest title. I’ve yet to read her first, and I’m looking forward to picking it up: The Healer’s Apprentice. Her stories are weaved from fairytale classics such as The Beauty and The Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella.
I’m biting at the bit for her next release – which I hope is soon! At least, I’ll have her first one to read in the meantime. Come quickly, new book.
This book was provided to me by Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review.
Australian born Ken Ham is the President of Answers in Genesis and The Creation Museum. He's a well-known apologist in his defense of a young earth. His book series The New Answers takes on tough questions concerning Creation/Evolution and the Bible.
In Book 4 of The New Answers Series, Ken Ham tackles bold subjects, such as the peppered moth debate, dragons as dinosaurs, Charles Darwin's soul, cavemen, abortion, living fossils, the big bang, climate change, Noah's ark, environmentalism, mutations, and more. Each chapter is carefully answered by numerous scientists in a precise and fact-filled manner. Diagrams, scales, and examples help visualize every factor presented by following recognizable data.
Being both a Christian and a believer in a young earth, I found The New Answers Book 4 to be an extremely good resource. The information gathered by Ken Ham strengthened my knowledge and answered a few of my own personal questions. How Noah's Ark was built, the canopy model theory, the dispersion from the tower of Babel, the Dasha Solution, and the ancient depictions of dragons, all of which were mentioned in these chapters: "Dragons... Were They Real?," "Cavemen... Really?," "What Are Some of the Best Evidences in Science of a Young Creation?," "What Is the State of the Canopy Model?," "Could Noah's Ark Have Been Made of Wood?," What about Creation, Flood, and Language Division Legends?," "What about Distant Starlight Models?," and "What about Design Arguments Like 'Irreducible Complexity?'"
Certain facts from the book amazed me with their fascinating points:
-The drawings of dragons by ancient civilizations around the world closely resemble certain dinosaurs.
-The fact that Neanderthals aren't always found in caves.
-Findings through genetics show Neanderthals and Denisovans were completely human.
-There's very little sediment on the seafloor.
-Bent rock layers in the Grand Canyon.
-Soft tissue discovered in fossils.
Ultimately, the book left me in awe of our Creator. God's designs are full of complexity, diversity, and creativity. You can see His handiwork everywhere you explore and in everything you discover.
I highly recommend The New Answers Book 4 to creationists, theistic evolutionists, and to some curious-minded evolutionists. It's an excellent book for teaching science to older homeschoolers.
Never Giving Up | Posted December-04-2010
In the book’s opening, we’re transported to Colinsford, Ohio in 1890. There we follow the main character of Carrington (also known as Carrie) Brouwer. She has come to America to find a place to live and a job. Her father has just recently died in France, and she has no living relatives to assist her. So she reaches out to her wealthy friend, Augusta – who was one of her father’s students.
Carrie arrives in America with an uncertain future and a crate full of paintings from her father. She tries to get comfortable with living at Augusta’s home, but it proves to be uncomfortable and difficult. She’s sure that the mother is not happy with her stay, and she feels the pressure to move out. What Carrie desires most of all, is to find a job and a place to call hers – no matter how small.
Her big chance comes when Augusta’s father mentions that his carousel factory needs a painter. Carrie sees the opportunity and jumps on it. She mentions that she’s a painter and that she’s sure she’ll be right for the position. Everyone is skeptical about Carrie taking it except for Augusta’s mother – who is eager to get Carrie out of her home.
She takes the job and meets opposition. After all, she’s a woman. What is she doing in a factory with only men? Carrie fights to keep her dream alive of being an artist and keeps pressing on. Is being a carousel painter all that she desires or will something else stir her heart?
My Thoughts on The Carousel Painter:
This is told in first-person from the viewpoint of Carrington Brouwer. I admittedly have not read many books written from this angle. What I have read is Rain Song and How Sweet It Is by Alice J. Wisler. Unlike these, this is not set in a modern time frame. It takes place in 1890.
The characters are all interesting and well-developed. I enjoyed seeing each and every one of them through the eyes of Carrie. I especially liked the love interest in this – he’s not the same sort of guy you always read about. He’s shorter and has a slight German accent (he says “ja” quite a bit).
I swept through the pages easily. It’s a light read – judged not by how long or short it is, but by how smoothly it flows. The Carousel Painter is a fun book to add to your fiction collection. It would make for a great gift (Christmas is coming *hint). I really look forward to reading more of Judith Miller’s works. Keep up the great writing, Judith!
Startling Revelations | Posted December-02-2010
In this second installment of A Dinah Harris Mystery series, we meet Dinah on another one of her baffling cases. She’s hot on the tracks of a serial killer, but instead of working with her prior partner (David Ferguson), Dinah is saddled with a new one by the name of Samson Cage.
Dinah and Samson make for interesting partners. Dinah is abrasive and Samson is reserved. Even though different, they both work well together. Their first crime scene investigation begins in a dark alleyway. The victim has had no visible trauma, and there’s no evidence of a struggle. They search for any clues that the killer might have left behind. The investigators are stumped when they find a printed sympathy card and an old photograph. Not left with much to go on, they wait for the killer to make his next move.
Everything in Dinah’s life has had a complete turn-around. She’s a born-again Christian with a new outlook on life. She’s also getting help with battling her drinking problem. But will this case prove to be too much for her? And will she lean on old habits?
My Thoughts on The Shadowed Mind:
In my opinion, The Shadowed Mind by Julie Cave is better than Deadly Disclosures. It has a serious tone that tackles the tough subject of eugenics. It’s not a light read and nor is it filled with any romance. I didn’t enjoy following the murderer while he befriended people. But, I like all the information that I got from the history of eugenics. This is really something that people need to be aware of in this country. I already knew about it, but this book opened my eyes to the full extent.
I was stunned by the facts on what I learned in this book. I can’t believe what our country did in the past with involuntary sterilizations. Unfortunately, this belief of who is and isn’t “fit to live” is going on now.
After finishing it all, I am very glad that I read it. It’s important to be informed on these sorts of things. It’s… a nice change instead of always burying yourself in a romance. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading romances! I would also like to note that I like how the character of Dinah is not perfect. She’s got issues just like everyone else. A unique read!
I recommend this book to both men and women who love crime/detective themed stories. Be sure to pick up the first book (Deadly Disclosures) in this series!
Life Is Sweet | Posted December-05-2010
Deena Livingston is a young woman who finds life to be somewhat sour to the taste, but that’s not how she feels about cake. No, in fact, she loves to cook sweets. She’s doing what she loves most, working at an upscale restaurant in Atlanta. But her dreams are dashed when a car accident leaves scars on both her body and her heart. After suffering an accident and heartbreak both at the same time, Deena decides to leave it all behind in Atlanta.
Deena faces her fear of driving and heads off in her car to North Carolina so that she can start a new life. She’s hoping that this change will be for the good. When she reaches North Carolina, she settles into an old cabin – a cabin that her grandfather left to her in his will. When she looks through the cabin, she’s struck by the fact that she didn’t know her grandpa very well.
After settling in, Deena meets with her aunt in the cabin and they discuss her grandfather’s will. Her aunt explains to Deena all the fine details of the will, including the house and something else… teaching children how to cook. Deena is surprised. No one ever mentioned a school. Why would her grandpa suggest this?
My Thoughts on How Sweet It Is:
How Sweet It Is by Alice J. Wisler is like a cake that has been cooked to perfection. Told in first person, the story flows smoothly as we follow Deena – the main character. I loved being placed in her shoes and watching as she learned from the struggles in her life. She seemed so real. I laughed, scolded, and was immeasurably proud of Deena when the book ended. So good! The pages are filled to the brim with delectable humor, charming characters, and tasty recipes.
Without a doubt, Alice is one of my favorite authors. Why? I’ve read both of her books and I gave them the highest ratings that I possibly could in a book review. I’m never disappointed with any of her work; her writing style is one of the finest out there. If you haven’t read Rain Song, or How Sweet It Is, then I recommend that you do. You won’t regret it.
Look for Alice’s new book Hatteras Girl which releases in October of 2010. Rest assured this is one book that I’m not going to miss!
Discovering The Truth | Posted June-11-2010
Thomas Whitfield is a renowned anthropologist who just recently became Secretary of the Smithsonian. His fame keeps growing thanks to a group named IAFSI – Individualist Association for Scientific Integrity. Everything seems to be going quite well for Thomas: he makes TV appearances, writes speeches, and does anything else that will further his cause. But Thomas’ seemingly perfect world comes to a complete halt when someone kidnaps him.
Dinah Harris was once an FBI agent at the top of her game, working with gangsters to stop the violence on the streets. But there’s an unfortunate accident that costs Dinah her job and respect. Now, Dinah gets a second chance when her former colleague, Ferguson, puts her on a case – the case of Thomas Whitfield’s disappearance.
Ferguson and Dinah start their investigation in Thomas’ office at the Smithsonian. What they find is… basically nothing. The office is almost empty, void of typical objects that an office would have. They search the computer that sits on Thomas’ desk but discover it’s been completely wiped out. What did Thomas have on his computer that had to be wiped out?
While investigating Thomas’ disappearance, Dinah feels desperate and frustrated. She has a short temper and a quick tongue - both of which get her into trouble. Dinah has gone through so much… so much loss. The only way that she can cope with it is to drown her sorrows. So she drinks excessively. Dinah doesn’t really notice that her drinking is pulling her down, ruining her job and life. Can someone save Dinah before it’s too late?
My Thoughts on Deadly Disclosures:
Deadly Disclosures by Julie Cave is unique in that it explores creationism vs. evolution. I’ve never read a fiction book that deals with this sort of thing – it’s a nice change. There is a lot of debating that goes on throughout the story, though, which can be a little tiring.
It’s not a thriller, but it has more of a detective feel to it. Which is what it is; it provides many details/info on the murders and crime scenes. It reminded me of a real detective show on TV – kind of CSI style.
The cover design on Deadly Disclosures is attractive. Also, I find the drawings on the inside of the book to be different – in a good way. Whoever put it together did a great job.
Julie Cave is currently writing the next book in this series (A Dinah Harris Mystery). I’m curious to see what happens in Dinah Harris’ life, so I’m sure that I’ll read the second one.
The Beach House | Posted May-31-2010
A woman is running; trying to stay one step ahead of her enemies. Her enemy is the biological terrorist group called “NINA” and they want something from her. She knows what they seek and she intends to keep it. But they’ll do anything to get it and end her life.
Kelly is in New Orleans setting up a center for children. She thought she had lost NINA since traveling to New Orleans but a call from her financial advisor confirms otherwise. They’ve found her and they’re coming.
After talking with her attorney, Kelly focuses on getting back to her hotel and while doing so, she makes her way down a dirty and dark street. Kelly senses that something is wrong when she stops at a red light. She has to keep moving! Suddenly, an object smashes the glass of her windshield. But that’s just the beginning of Kelly’s problems.
A gang approaches Kelly’s car and their intentions are to kill her. But out of the blue, a black car drives around hers and scatters the gang members. Kelly floors the gas pedal on her sports car and stops at another red light. While stopped, something else hits her windshield and passenger seat window. The driver of the black car that had saved her earlier is now after her as well. This time, Kelly won’t escape them…
My Thoughts on Forget Me Not:
When I first started reading Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze, I couldn’t stop flipping the pages. I stayed up late one night and read ten chapters. It was enthralling and it held my interest. This book is action packed and the story is constantly moving. It doesn’t give you a break, though, much like a thriller.
There are some cons that I have about the book. With a few parts in the story, it confused me. I wasn’t sure what had happened and why. It’s sort of like a puzzle; you have to put the pieces together to see the whole picture. Besides it being somewhat confusing, it was also a tad bit depressing. Also, I would like to mention that there’s a lot of killing in this book. Don’t read it if you’re looking for a happy/warm feeling.
Vicki Hinze did a good job on this book, and I’m curious to see what she’ll be writing in the future. Because of this, I’m sure I’ll read more of her books.
Coming Home | Posted December-28-2010
Dani Davis’ car has run out of gas and in the middle of nowhere. Dani waits in her car alone on a dusty Texas road hoping that someone will stop by and give her a hand. Someone does come along eventually but he doesn’t look like her knight in shining armor. A cowboy stops in an old pickup truck and offers Dani a ride into town - she reluctantly agrees to ride with him.
While riding with the cowboy, Dani finds out that his name is Steve. She comes to realize that they’re complete opposites – she’s a city girl and he’s a country guy. They soon get into a heated conversation in which Steve quickly drops her off at a hardware shop. Dani uses the phone at the shop and calls her Aunt Beth “Mama Beth.” Dani is soon picked up by her aunt and taken to her home to stay.
After living at her aunt’s quaint home for a few weeks, Dani decides that she wants to stay permanently. Mama Beth advises Dani to pray and think it over first before deciding. She’s determined that this is where she wants to live - in a comfortable and peaceful home. But she soon learns that it’s not as quiet or private as she had thought; there are plenty of nosy neighbors around.
Dani had escaped her city life to leave everything behind her. Her relationship with her mother is falling apart and she’s suffered terrible loss. All Dani wants is a place to call home. Will she find what she’s looking for?
My Thoughts on Texas Roads:
I fell in love with the characters in Texas Roads – they’re so endearing and lifelike. The setting that the story revolves around is also something that I loved about the book. Cathy Bryant was able to paint a picture of what Texas looks like. The book really has a comfortable and lazy-like aura - a perfect book to read during summer. Just like the character Dani, I never wanted to leave!
Texas Roads is the first book in the Miller’s Creek Series and Cathy Bryant is currently working on the second. I’m anxious to read more about the characters that I grew to love. I recommend Texas Roads to readers, who enjoy a sweet romance, witty characters, and a fun story.
White Purifies | Posted May-06-2010
Time is running out, and Thomas Hunter is frantically searching for the right path to take. Things have changed; the forest people have been given a decree not to fight but to love the Horde. Thomas the Hunter is no longer a fighter but a lover. He has given his life to drown in the red pools of water for Elyon, and he’s been made new because of this. Justin (Elyon’s son) gave Thomas and his people the new decree to love passionately for the Horde - to be seen as being different from them because of their great love for others.
Unfortunately, the Horde has a disease because they have not yet drowned in the red pools. Is it time for a change? Thomas and a few of his best warriors get captured by the Horde’s mighty general, Woref. The triumphant general drags Thomas and his warriors to the leader of the Horde, Qurong. After showing off his prize, Woref throws Thomas and the others into a dungeon. Thomas doesn’t lose hope; instead he comes up with a plan. In trying to win their freedom, Thomas works at gaining the trust of Chelise (Qurong’s daughter).
While helping Chelise, Thomas soon finds himself in an awkward situation. He’s falling in love with the Horde princess! He tries to deny his feelings but discovers he cannot hide them. He’s drawn to her even though she seems to have no feelings for him. He can’t help it; he must save her from Woref. But, Thomas knows that turmoil and anguish lie on the other side of his dreams. Should he pursue Chelise or will it end up being a mistake that will cost his life?
My Thoughts on White:
Ted Dekker does it again! His storytelling is wonderfully crafted and is a cinch to read. He’s so descriptive with everything; the smallest things don’t get left out. Because he’s so descriptive, you might not like his writing style. But for me, the Circle Series wasn’t that graphic. The only thing that I picked up on is the use of the word “whore” which the men call some of the women. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this series to children but I would to older teens and up.
I’ve read Black, Red, and now White. I couldn’t distinguish much of a difference from Red and White in the sense of which one I liked better. I do know that I enjoyed Red much more than Black.
In White, there’s a couple of surprises - none of which I will divulge. Although I will say one thing: the ending of this book holds a big surprise. The only book left in the Circle Series to read is Green: The Beginning and The End. For that, I am excited to read and discover new adventures within the Circle.