Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Immersion: Live the Life God Envisioned for You by Mark McNees

Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: April 2011
Format: eBook
Pages: 280
ISBN: 978-1460967706
List Price: $2.99
Memorable Quote: “It does not matter if you are Bill Gates or a homeless person, you have the same amount of hours each day, week, month and year. So, how are you going to invest the time you have been entrusted with in this life?”
Mark McNees’s Immersion: Live the Life God Envisioned for You is inspiring, entertaining and heartfelt. McNees combines personal anecdotes, scriptural analysis, and individual/group Bible study activities as he guides us on a journey to understand God’s purpose for our lives. Immersion is broken down into seven themed sections—1) Life Immersed: The Great Commandment, 2) Water: Loving God with all you heart, 3) Breathe: Loving God with all your soul, 4) Navigate: Loving God with all your mind, 5) Kick: Loving God with all your strength,  6) Stroke/Pull: loving others as yourself, 7) Swim to Win: Putting in all together. McNees carefully uses the metaphor of competitive distance swimming to link and explain his message. Although not an athletic or sports fan, I did enjoy this framework because it allowed me to see that true faith does not come easily without dedication and persistence. I also enjoyed that McNees’s admitted earlier on that he was not a perfect figure and experienced his own struggles. By relying on God, however, he was able to overcome these struggles. 
In short, I highly recommend Immersion to others. It provides a holistic guide that addresses faith as well as everyday goals such as time management and healthy eating habits. Plus, McNees’s writing style makes it a fun and at times humorous read.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul

Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: September 2010
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7340-5
List Price: $13.99
The peaceful land of Chiril is thrust into war as it faces an invasion. Lead by Tipper Schope and her artist friend Bealomondore, the county of Chiril must defend itself and protect three important statues from the enemy. Using the voice of Wulder, Donita K. Paul intersperses biblical truths throughout her exciting tale. Fans of C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia will definitely enjoy this work of Christian fantasy fiction. Since the novel is geared toward adolescences and young adults, the writing style is simple and easy to follow. Although the plot is enticing, elaborate descriptions sometimes detract from the action. Even though I have not yet read the first book in this trilogy, Dragons of the Valley was still understandable. I recommend this book to others and look forward to reading Books 1 and 3 of the series. 
Rating: 4 / 5 - Fun read
Note of Disclosure: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Shelter of God’s Promises by Sheila Walsh

Front Cover

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: February 2011
Format: Paperback
Pages: 244
ISBN: 978-1-4002-0244-7
List Price: $15.99
Keeping faith can be difficult during hard times. Sheila Walsh’s The Shelter of God’s Promises reassures readers of God’s promises and unfaltering reliability. Each of the ten chapters are focused on a different theme: Walsh addresses promises, provision, peace, confidence, love, grace, hope, strength, more/something better and home. Whether you are feeling alone, broken, loveless or poor, The Shelter of God’s Promises will life your spirits. Walsh intersperses personal narratives and in-depth Bible study throughout her book. Each chapter has a designated Bible study guide with assigned readings from the Bible and discussion questions. Walsh’s book isn’t just for people experiencing difficult times. Readers at any stage of life will benefit from its messages. Although this is a useful tool for Bible studies, Walsh’s personal anecdotes occasionally distract her message. However, the positive features of the book outweigh its faults.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, October 21, 2011

Learning to Encourage Yourself by Hephzibah

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing
Publication Date: 2009
Format: eBook
Pages: 24
ISBN: 978-1-4349-0347-1
List Price: $5.00
This self-help book helps readers overcome difficulties caused by low self-esteem, employment issues, childhood bullying and other problems. Hephzibah opens by revealing obstacles in her own life. She then draws readers in by posing numerous questions about issues that commonly lead to depression. The majority of the book focuses on passages from the Amplified Bible that illustrate God’s love for His followers. This short book is a jumping point for readers who are not currently Christian or are struggling with their faith. The list of Bible verses push readers to use religion as a means of encouragement.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 - Quick pamphlet that offers some encouragement, but not life changing
You can pick up a copy at the online bookstore:
I received a complimentary copy of Learning to Encourage Yourself as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blaze of Glory by m. garzon

Publisher: Virtualbookworm.com Publishing
Publication Date: June 2011
Format: eBook
Pages: 340
ISBN: 1602648107
List Price: $5.99
Horse enthusiasts and general readers alike will enjoy m. garzon’s first novel, Blaze of Glory. With two jumpers and impressive skills, Tea Everson is on her way to the top of professional equestrian sporting. Unfortunately, everything changes in the blink of an eye and Tea’s life is turned upside down. Tea’s tragedy becomes more painful as she struggles to suppress her newly found passion.
Blaze of Glory highlights m. garzon’s strong descriptive abilities. Tea’s show jumping scenes are incredibly well-written and allow readers to experience the thrill. m. garzon describes the feel of the horses muscles, the rein’s in Tea’s hands, and the physical effort required to guide a horse over show jumping obstacles.
The overall plot of the novel is enticing for teenagers and adults. It moves at a good pace that keeps readers on edge, but leaves time for description and background information. The characters are dynamic. Tea, her stepfather, twin brother and friends all undergo transformations as the novel progresses.
Although Blaze of Glory is aimed toward young adults, readers of most ages will enjoy it. However, the novel does address sexual issues. Overall, highly recommended to readers interested in novels dealing with animals, romance and growing up!

Monday, August 15, 2011

On the Road to Success (With Self-Analysis Exercises) by Eunice Elizabeth Nash

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.
Publication Date: 2010
Format: eBook
Pages: 52
ISBN: 978-1434907783
List Price: $5.00
On the Road to Success (With Self-Analysis Exercises) encourages people in their personal and professional endeavors. Attaining success isn’t something that happens overnight: it requires preparation and determination. Eunice Elizabeth Nash gives readers the insight needed to excel at all pursuits.
Nash’s book is brief and useful. Her advice is clear. She urges readers to set goals, take steps to achieve them and keep an upbeat attitude. Although the information isn’t new, it's a good reminder of the simple things forgotten as we struggle to achieve success. The self-analysis exercises set the book apart. The questions really help readers determine their goals and track their progress.
Rating: 4 / 5 - Useful, but common advice
You can pick up a copy at the online bookstore:
I received a complimentary copy of On the Road to Success as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Self-Imaging from Head to Toe by Ainsley E. de Salazar, R.N.

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.

Publication Date: 2009

Format: eBook

Pages: 82

ISBN: 978-1-4349-0178-1

List Price: $5.00

Every woman wants to look and feel her best. Ainsley E. de Salazar helps women with cosmetics, clothing, fitness, proper eating habits, hair care and other important issues. Salazar even addresses plastic surgery and home decorating. Although much of the information is basic, it is a useful reminder for some of things women tend to forget. For example, Salazar explains how the body uses specific vitamins and nutrients. She also provides a guide to the different moisturizers, toners, and facial masks women should use to maintain youthful skin. Self-Imaging from Head to Toe is very clear and can easily be completed in one sitting.

You can pick up a copy at the online bookstore:


I received a complimentary copy of Self-Imaging from Head to Toe as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.