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Monday, January 31, 2011

Balance of January

During January I read and reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Possession" by Rene Gutteridge. Read my review.
- "Voices of the Faithful - Volume 2" by Beth Moore. Read my review.
- "Sun Stand Still" by Steven Furtick. Read my review.
- "Mauria" by Steve North. Read my review.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book "Mauria" by Steve North

About the Book: Ever wonder why we humans are constantly torn by love and hate, trust and fear, peace and war? Did all of our ancestors come from Mauria? In the spirit of Lord of the Rings and Avatar, author Steve North weaves an incredibly original, fascinating, and complex story of love, power, life and death -- that takes place before we existed on Earth. Mauria is . . . A gripping tale of two races, the Maurians and the Vuervee -- one the food supply of the other-and so different there can only be one shocking conclusion. An amazing and complex cast of characters, all unknowingly marching toward the same precipice. A wild ride on a cyclone of love, power, beauty, hate and greed-tamed only by fate . . . Ours.

About the Author:
Steve North’s versatile career includes writing science fiction stories; and writing and producing over thirty national televisions shows with his wife Barb. His published science fiction short stories include “The Sweetwater Effect” and “Days of Present Past.” He has written and produced for such television shows as Fantasy, Make MeLaugh, Candid Camera, The Gong Show, Anything for Money, TotallyHidden Video, and many more. North has also written numerous documentary films for Coronet and Britannica Films, as well as two feature films, Burger Wars and Letting Go, both penned with his wife and optioned by Hollywood studios. He has appeared on numerous daytime and evening talkshows, and he has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Wired and the Los Angeles Times.
Steve North lives with his wife Barb in Woodland Hills, California. Mauria is his first novel and was primarily written in the mountains of Colorado.

My Review: This is a great book, hard to believe that it is just the first novel from Mr. North. He writes like a very experienced author (as he really is, from his experience with TV shows).
The story shows the conflict of two civilizations, the Maurians and the Vuervee. The Maurians are manipulators and the Vuervee are naturalists, more animal like creatures, that are hunted and eaten by the Maurians.
The idea of a civilization controlling emotions and sex reminded me of "1984" by George Orwell. The creation of all details of a fictional world is as complex as "The Lord of the Ring" by J.R.R.Tolkien with his middle-earth and all the particular language of each group of characters.
This book needs to be read slowly so you can savor all the rich details it brings into scene on every turn of a page. Initially it is difficult to follow the complexity of the Maurian society, so I had to go many times to the "Power Structure of Mauria" reference page at the end of the book. Once you assimilate the structure, everything flows smoothly.
I would recommend this book to any science-fiction fan, but it is really hard to classify this book in just this genre. It is dense, it is intense, it is unique, it is a wonderful novel.

This book was written by Steve North and it was published in 2010 by  (Brook Forest Entertainment) BFE Press and they were kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing. Thanks, Mr. Steve North, for such a wonderful novel.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book "Sun Stand Still" by Steven Furtick


About the Book: If you're not DARING TO BELIEVE GOD for the impossible, you may be SLEEPING THROUGH some of the BEST PARTS of your Christian Life.
"This book is not a Snuggie. The words on these pages will not go down like Ambien. I’m not writing to calm or coddle you. With God’s help, I intend to incite a riot in your mind. Trip your breakers and turn out the lights in your favorite hiding places of insecurity and fear. Then flip the switch back on so that God’s truth can illuminate the divine destiny that may have been lying dormant inside you for years.
In short, I’m out to activate your audacious faith. To inspire you to ask God for the impossible. And in the process, to reconnect you with your God-sized purpose and potential." - Steven Furtick, from Sun Stand Still.

About the Author: Steven Furtick is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, named by Outreach magazine as one of the top 10 fastest growing churches in the nation. In four years, Elevation has grown to more than 6,000 people in regular attendance in three locations. Steven holds a degree in communication from North Greenville University, and a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Holly, have two young sons—Elijah and Graham—and make their home in the Charlotte area.

My Review: This is the type of book that you need to read if you are stagnated in a mud. If you need to shake your faith, renew it or start from scratch, pastor Steven Furtick will give you support on audacious faith. Pastor Steven Furtick is the lead pastor and founder of the Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. By the way he writes this book, you can clearly see how passionate he is about this subject of audacious faith. He is always trying to encourage us to ask God for the impossible. First challenge is to find your own purpose in life, and from there you can set your mission and trust on God to do what you cannot do by yourself. Some other challenge aspects posted in this book are truly difficult to achieve, like the unconditional obedience, and the necessity to challenge the comfort and safe prayer and go for the audacious prayer.
Asking God for the impossible is something that sometimes we do, but not with our full faith on it. If we are in the desert and ask God for rain, if you do it with audacious faith we would better be with our umbrella. Usually that is the problem. We ask God for the impossible, but we do not truly believe that He will hear us. This book is a booster on our confidence that God is there, He is listening our prayers and if it is according to His plans, He will provide our requests.
This book was written by Steven Furtick and it was published in 2010 by Multnomah Books and they were kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing through their Blogging for Books Program. Thanks, Mr. Steven Furtick, for such an inspirational book!
If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment!

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Book "Voices of the Faithful - Volume 2" by Beth Moore

About the Book: A new year's worth of inspiring stories from the front lines of faith. "A willingness to go is all they have in common," says Beth Moore and Kim P. Davis, speaking of their friends on the front lines who are spreading the gospel around the world and with whom they collaborated to create this book. This second book of 366 daily devotionals features stories of God's faithfulness, written by hundreds of missionaries worldwide. From stirring miracles to heroic adventures, this second volume highlights those who daily go to the outer limits of spiritual devotion. A follow-up to the first book which has now sold 300,000 copies.


My Review: This is not just another devotional. This is a magnificent collection of personal experience from christians serving as missionaries around the world.
The structure is stories divided in 366 days (includes Feb 29th) and you are suppose to read one story per day during a full year. But the stories are so good and touching that you are always tempted to read much more than just one.
One particular story that touched me deeply was the "Obeying the Nudge". This particular story showed me exactly how reluctant I am in spreading the Word of God, just as resistant as Natalie was to speak to Pavel. But we need to obey and persist in our talk about Jesus, because there is a promise that the Word will not return void to us.
This book was published by Thomas Nelson in 2009 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers Program.
If you are reading this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Book "Possession" by Rene Gutteridge



About the Book: In the aftermath of investigating the D.C. sniper case, police detective Vance Graegan is burned out on life and love. Hoping to save his marriage, he quits the force and moves his wife and son to the other side of the country. But when the movers decide to hold his belongings for ransom, Vance is determined to ensure that his family’s new beginning is not ruined. Soon, though, losing his possessions becomes the least of his problems as everything they are fighting for begins to unravel in the hands of Vance’s past. In an unforgettable climax, a little boy’s innocent faith brings a group of desperate people to their knees. What is at stake counts for everything, but nothing can prepare Vance for who is behind it.

About the Author: Rene Gutteridge is the author of seventeen novels, including Listen,  the Storm series (Tyndale House Publishers) and Never the Bride, the Boo series, and the Occupational Hazards series from WaterBrook Press. She also released My Life as a Doormat and The Ultimate Gift: The Novelization with Thomas Nelson. Rene is also known for her Christian comedy sketches. She studied screenwriting while earning a mass communications degree, graduating magna cum laude from Oklahoma City University and earning the Excellence in Mass Communication Award. She served as the full-time director of drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writers conferences and in college classrooms. She lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City. Visit her Web site at www.renegutteridge.com.

My Review: This is a magnificent book! The author is a superb storyteller and she captivated my attention from the very first page of this wonderful fiction/suspense book. Her description of the characters and places is so realistic that it seems that you are living the story. During many page turners I was holding my breath, such was the intensity level of the story. Every character from this book would be a perfect subject for psychoanalysis, as they are so complex and interesting! The way the plot develops keeps you in the edge of your chair till the last page.
A detective (Vance Graegan) that worked in the investigation of the D.C. sniper case sees his life going upside down in part because of lies that were accumulating during the years in his relationship with his wife (Lindy Graegan). His partner (Erin) in the DC police in his earlier career saved his life, and his relationship with her were never completely resolved. He decided to leave the streets and become a detective, and later, to move to California to open a deli, an old dream of Lindy, in part to save his marriage and give them a fresh start. His son (Conner) is in my opinion the central character of this fiction, as it is through his purity and innocent faith that the parents learn to rely on God for fighting for them the battle they cannot win by themselves.
This is a remarkable way of showing the power behind a true and pure faith that move mountains.
This book was written by Rene Gutteridge in 2010. It was published by Tyndale Publisher House also in 2010 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their blogger book review program.
If you are reading this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.