After Alice and half way through

About half way through this one… Review to come soon. Interest is still piqued. Imagine if Alice wasn’t the only one to find the rabbit hole.

http://gregorymaguire.com/

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The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today. by Joel Osteen

I’ve never read Joel’s books or listened to his sermons. I happened to come across this book on the website Goodreads and the title caught my eye. I was under the impression the book was about I Am (God). Boy was I wrong. This book is about self-declarations to bring positive energy to one’s life. You say “I am rich” and somehow you will become rich. You say “I am happy” and somehow you will become happy overnight. Positive outlook and thinking are all great stuff but how he claims this is in line with the teaching of the Bible is absurd. Frequently he talks about God’s desire for us to be successful, wealthy, prominent, etc but by not saying “I am this or that” we are keeping this from happening. Is he saying all Christians should be wealthy? Successful? Unfortunately each chapter was the same message over and over; it did not keep my interest. 
Find out more here: https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Home.aspx

Author: Joel Osteen is a native Texan and the Pastor of Lakewood Church, which according to Church Growth Today is America’s largest and fastest growing church with over 38,000 attendees. On July 16, 2005 after completing $95 million dollars in renovations, Joel moved Lakewood Church into its new 16,000 seat home — the former Compaq Center which is now the largest regularly-used worship center in the United States. According to Nielsen Media Research, Joel is the most watched inspirational figure in America. His weekly sermon is broadcast into television markets across the U.S. where it is viewed by seven million Americans each week and more than 20 million each month. His weekly broadcast is also seen in almost 100 nations around the world. In 2004 his first book, Your Best Life Now was released by Time Warner debuting at the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List and quickly rising to #1. It remained on the New York Times Bestseller for more than 2 years and has sold more than 4 million copies. Most recently, Joel was named as one of Barbara Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People of 2006” and he was selected as the “Most Influential Christian in 2006” by the readers of Church Report Magazine. The son of John Osteen — a highly respected minister of the Gospel and the founder of Lakewood Church — Joel attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he studied radio and television communications. In 1982, Joel returned to Houston and founded Lakewood’s television ministry where he produced John Osteen’s televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999 when his father passed away. For many years John Osteen encouraged Joel to preach, but he always declined preferring to work behind the scenes. In early 1999, Joel felt compelled to accept his father’s invitation and he preached his first sermon on January 17th of that year. Little did anyone know that would be the last Sunday of John Osteen’s life. Two weeks later Joel began preaching and later that year was installed as the new Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church. Almost immediately, weekly attendance began to grow at an extraordinary rate and, in 2005 Joel moved Lakewood Church into its present location, the former Compaq Center, a 16,000 seat arena that was once home to the Houston Rockets professional basketball team. Now, with his wife Victoria and the leadership staff of Lakewood, this innovative church is poised for the new millennium. Joel’s extraordinary success can be found in his core message: That our God is a good God who desires to bless those who are obedient and faithful to Him through Jesus Christ. It is Joel’s deepest desire that his own life be an example of that principle and that everyone who hears this message of hope and encouragement would choose to accept God’s goodness and mercy and to become all that God wants them to be. 

Publishers Weekly

08/10/2015

Osteen (Your Best Life Now) offers a more detailed take on his popular message in his latest book. Where previously he followed his televised message closely—God is good, and he wants you to enjoy vibrant health and material abundance—this book focuses on each individual’s self-definition and the affirmations we make each day that define us. His fundamental assumption of self-determination is easily understood: “Whatever follows the ‘I am’ will eventually find you.” Speak defeat and discouragement, and you attract these to your life. But speak health and wholeness, and these will become realities for you. But Osteen goes beyond the usual prosperity gospel line: “God’s dream for your life is that you would be blessed in such a way that you could be a blessing to others.” Directing believers to look beyond their own needs and wants, Osteen advances his message to a higher plane, advocating a life of reaching out and sharing your blessings. (Oct.)

*Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.*

REVIEW: Forget Tomorrow

imageI had the distinct honor of reading first time Author Pintip Dunn’s new book, Forget Tomorrow. This past Tuesday, November 3rd, the book hit stores nationwide and has already gathered quite a following. Personally speaking I blazed through the pages in a matter of days and could probably be considered one of Mrs. Dunn’s new groupies. The story-line was fast paced, mysterious, and grabs you from the very start. Simply put: I loved it! With that being said let’s push aside all of the blushing school boy banter and dig into the book.

SPOILER ALERT BEWARE!
This Dystopian story is set in a futuristic world where every boy and girl at the age of 17 gets their future. Said future could be that you are destined for fame as an actress, athlete, a world renowned chef, or perhaps, as in the main characters point of view, a criminal. In Callie’s vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Horrified by this revelation she sacrifices everything to ensure her sister safety. Taking dangerous risks, tempting fate, and willing to change her future, Callie will stop at nothing.

What young reader would not find this fascinating and at the same time just a little bit scary? Heck, a glimpse of your future at any age would probably be pretty startling.

Anyhow, I digress. Before Callie can process what the memory means, she is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

(Wait a second. Have I neglected to mention that people in the future have elevated abilities such as telekinesis and possibly teleportation?)

Fleeing from a government that is researching and collecting individuals with these abilities, the young duo ends up in a community that protects the weak and hunted. Here Callie learns about the plights and stories of other victims and other facts drive her to formulate a plan to save her sister.

Without revealing too much of the story I leave you with this: If I could say anything to convince you to read this book it would be the shocker of an ending. I thoroughly enjoyed the refreshing conclusion and applaud the authors direction. If you are looking for cliffhangers then check out Forget Tomorrow. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Stay tuned readers, the next book in this series is called Remember Yesterday. The release date is scheduled for October 4, 2016 by Entangled Teen.

Find out more here: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/forget-tomorrow/

USA Today calls this YA sci-fi a “must-read” and Buzzfeed.com says it will have you “on the edge of your seat!”

Author: Pintip Dunn
When her first-grade teacher asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, Pintip replied, “An author.” Although she has pursued other interests over the years, this dream has never wavered.
Pintip graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.
Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist.
She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

*Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.*

REVIEW: The Obsidian Mirror

The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What is so magical and fantastic about England and great big old houses? The Lion, the Witch, the Wardrobe. Harry Potter. Lord of the Rings. The magic that is common in each of these stories draws me like a moth to a flame. From enormous castles and decrepit abbeys I find myself wandering corridors, looking at talking paintings and gazing into dark enchanted mirrors. Obsidian Mirror is an astonishing adventure filled with this same magic.

The story focuses on an enchanted mirror that is the obsession of wanders, adventures, and time travelers (to name a few) all whom are looking for answers. Main character Jake Wilde has more than one question that he needs answers to, but just how Oberon Venn murdered his father takes front stage. Venn, the once famous recluse has questions as well but holds many more secrets which all lead directly back to the mysterious mirror that Jake’s father found. Venn is not alone in wanting to unlock its secrets and capture its power. The mirror in question is housed in Venn’s dilapidated estate. As the story progresses strangers interested in its power arrive with both good and bad intentions. Venn has more secrets than just the mirror, a group of elemental spirits surrounds the grounds of his ancestral home. Regardless of so many obstacles, Jake has but one mission, to find out what happened to his father.

I enjoyed author Catherine Fisher’s take on what seemed a familiar storyline but is actually an original story full of refreshing ideas. Readers of many interests should take note; Obsidian Mirror is a book that transcends more than one genre and skips joyfully from Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Historical and back again. I savored the read and look forward to more!

** This is an ARC review.
Any quotes included are from an unfinished text and may change before the final print. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my un-biased and honest review**

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REVEIW: & Sons

& Sons by David Gilbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What!? A novel about a novelist involving nothing but men! Yup, you read that correctly and myself being one of those men loved it. I am not sure I would recommend it to a reader of the female circle but nevertheless a solid emotional story all the way around.

The novel intrigued me from the very beginning by opening up with a funeral scene of a childhood friend which concluded with the ominous statement, “we would all return to this church.” & Sons is about a famous author (A.N. dyer) and the disconnected relationships of his sons and best friend. A.N. has written fourteen novels to great and financial success in which his notoriety also becomes his family’s downfall. The story takes us through the tortured struggles of his sons and their search for a sense of individuality. The narrator, the son of A.N.’s best friend, has his own crumbled relationships and lends an outsiders unique perspective to & Sons storyline. Overall, the writing and it’s witty well crafted prose is the real winner.

David Gilbert’s gift of storytelling is humorous, thought provoking, and magical. Because of that, I would recommend this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my un-biased and honest review

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REVIEW: Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain’s Journey

Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain's JourneyJustice League, Vol. 2: The Villain’s Journey by Geoff Johns
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bamn! Pow! Holy Justice League! Reading this collection really brought back childhood memories for me.

Volume two picks up where Volume one had left off, five years after the team’s origin stories. Some things may have changed? Possibly new team members? With the attack of many Justice League (JL) Villains and the birth of a new super villain someone is out to get the JL and is determined to prove their not so invincible.

Geoff Johns does an amazing job conveying the emotion of each character while still writing a story that takes off with action and doesn’t stop.

However, the artwork of this book confused me several times throughout my reading. Primarily due to the fact that various artists worked on this project and their styles are comparably different. Even though I did find this distracting I was also just as equally pleased by their talent. I wasn’t a big fan of Superman and Wonder Woman being paired off at the end. I understand a new direction but some iconic relationships shouldn’t be touched.

Overall, While I would agree with some that the story lines are pretty reminiscent of early eighties JL, for me that was why this was a trip down memory lane.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my un-biased and honest review

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REVIEW: The Rockets Red Glare

The Rockets' Red GlareThe Rockets’ Red Glare by John Darrin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Author John Darrin, along with co-author Michael Gresalfi, has penned another techno thriller that will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat. The tale is full of technological twists and political machinations which intersect and divide seamlessly.

Someone has stolen radioactive cesium and created dirty bombs that have been positioned throughout the nation. It is up to terror expert Cal Bellotta and crew to find out who that someone is. Various government entities have linked at least one weapon to North American Al Qaeda. Strange enough not all weapons are being delivered by Muslims but white Mid-western drivers. Could this plot really be masterminded by Al Qaeda or perhaps the homegrown terror group known as WAR White Aryan Resistance?

What intrigues me the most about this book is the realistic plot. Seldom is there a point in the story where I thought to myself “that could never happen.” The United States multitude of cesium producing technical facilities are just another terrifying reminder of how vulnerable our society is. Anyone with the right connections to a facility that has lax security measures could be a significant threat. As it has been said by many, ” Technology is a tool for some and a weapon for others. ” We can prepare and protect each other but it takes just one person with ill intent to inject fear into society. Both Darrin and Gresalfi do an excellent job at illustrating this point.

I received a copy of this book from the author for my un-biased and honest review

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