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Unquestioned Soul-Robbing Hollow Gods

James Sniechowski Author Interview

James Sniechowski Author Interview

Worship of Hollow Gods is a provocative book that challenges the ‘hollow gods’ we worship. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Worship Of Hollow Gods was an important vehicle for Jim to continue to extricate himself from the “hollow gods” his family was immersed in.

You examine family, faith and the secrets we hold. What are some themes that were important for you to capture in this book?

Yes, the unquestioned soul-robbing hollow gods were family, alcohol, and the church.

I appreciated how you approached these sensitive topics. What do you hope readers take away from your book?

What we’ve seen over and over again is the reader leaving a review/telling us how this book helped them take a different look at the family “norms” they grew up with.

What are were some reader reactions that surprised you?

The only response that was surprising was the one star review on Amazon by someone who was impatient with all the descriptions and details and saw Jim’s character as “screwed up” blaming his parents and got bored. But, that’s not surprising from someone not interested in people’s internal lives.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads | Website

Worship of Hollow Gods (Leaving Home Trilogy Book 1) by [Sniechowski, James]In Worship of Hollow Gods, James Sniechowski bears witness to the world of a sensitive, nine-year-old boy, subjected to the underbelly of his Polish Catholic family in working class Detroit. The year is 1950. The family gathers for a Friday night family poker/pinochle party. The outcome reveals a world no one ever talked about then and are forbidden to talk about now—the unspoken, the impermissible, the reality beneath every family’s practiced facade—and what lies beneath when the front has been ripped away.

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Escape Your Fallen Nature

Escape Your Fallen Nature by [Piper, David R.]

As human beings we know what is right and what is wrong. We’ve read scripture and can discern what God requires from us. However, despite this knowledge sometimes we walk into temptations. As if we cannot control our selves. This is called the fallen nature. This book is about how to defeat that fallen nature and challenge oneself to be stronger against this nature no matter how deeply embedded. Only then can we know the true power of God. Only then can we, as human beings, discover true spirituality.

David Piper has provided enough scripture to back up the material in this book. This way the idea of the fallen nature is not just speculation. Providing scripture also provides some sort of direction for the person to begin taking stock. For a person to begin making that change in their own selves. Scripture is the guiding light in this endeavor.

The book has a firm tone, but there is also an understanding that at times one may feel like the fallen nature is more powerful than they are. To this, the author offers understanding and scripture to help one get through it.  His writing is coloured with passion and dedication to his cause.

This book takes the reader through a step by step process that makes it an easy read. The reader is led towards understanding of the fallen nature first. Then they are led towards understanding of the new nature. Through these two steps, one cannot help but audit themselves. They cannot help but see their lives for what it is now and what it could be. David’s enthusiasm for discovering the new nature is almost infectious. Then he takes a detour to backsliding and God’s power to restore. These are two very important points to pass by before really embarking on the journey towards a new nature.

The book is filled with personal reflections and stories about David’s life. This makes the book come alive. It provides the reader with a companion with whom to take the journey and share troubles.

The book is informative, enlightening and evocative. This book would make a great read for someone who has been feeling frustrated in their ability to stay true in their spirituality. For anyone who finds themselves constantly backsliding. For anyone who simply wants to see if their life is headed in the right direction or if they have given their fallen nature too much power.

pages: 284 | ASIN: B07QDPKYM3

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Worship: From Praise Him to Praise Hymn

Worship: from Praise Him to Praise Hymn by [Osterman, Eurydice V.]

Eurydice Osterman discusses the evolution of worship and shines a light on the process of change and the reason for said change. He has a keen eye for important markers in the history of worship like the element of the Gregorian Chant, for example. The discussion about the growth of music annotation and conflicts over alternative worship is very enlightening. The author mentions the difference between religious music and sacred music, which most people would not guess exists. The book also talks about the rise of a religion without responsibility as one of the whys of change. Eurydice urges on the importance to distinguish between enthusiasm brought forth by the Holy Spirit and man made excitement in the context of worship.

The author has an obvious passion for the subject of worship as well as a deep desire to ensure it is done exactly as God requires. He has conducted extensive research into the subject as the book heavily references the Bible. This gives the book quite a bit of authority and gravity. The author also provides a resource at the back to help worship leaders and other church authorities pick the most appropriate songs.

I really appreciated the direct delivery of the material and found it’s ability to easily communicate ideas to be quite brilliant. The subject is relevant and well supported by scripture.

Pages: 95 | ASIN: B0794SVDRK

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Love, Loss, Long Beach

Love, Loss, Long Beach by [Pasquale, Christiaan A.]

4 Stars

Love, Loss, Long Beach by Christiaan Pasquale tells the journey of Christiaan, and his endeavour to find true love. Set in the USA – predominantly Los Angeles; the story follows Christiaan, from his early twenties surviving as a musician and truck driver into his forties, overweight, on disability and living in Long Beach. The question is – will he be successful in his hunt for true love?

The story opens with a Trucker’s Mantra, “Aces never fall, they may slip, but they never fall. And I’m an Ace, and that’s that!” Christiaan is driving a Peterbilt, the sounds and sights of the trucker’s view realistically described.

He then describes his journey from The Slanderin band member to truck driver. Lured by the promise of money and the chance to improve his life he accepts a position with a local LA truck company. There he learns to drive a truck and gains his licence. Christiaan soon learns why his father tried to discourage him from a truck driving career. The hours are long and erratic and soon take their toll. I felt like this part of the story was realistically and authentically described. Descriptions were easy and vivid and always depth to the story.

The American Hotel becomes his home for a while. The squalid conditions are described in detail, again the nuance and detail is something that much enjoyed in this book. Dark, dingy and smelling of piss. Drug deals were common, as were a trail of women. The people and setting are described in depressing, realistic detail. From junkies to prostitutes to long legged nurses. The descriptions of both add to the authenticity of the story. The dialogue is raw, distinctive and realistic making it difficult not to empathize with Christiaan and his circumstances.

Christiaan is saved from this existence by his sister – who rings him and asks him to move in with her and his niece. However, after a while his old acquaintances catch up with him. They bring old habits with them, and I thought the idea of a man trying to escape his past is uniquely captured in this moment and in Christiaan’s character overall. Christiaan escapes most of this as he is spending more and more time in the inside of a truck cab. I always empathized with the hopeless situation, the long and unsociable hours and the vivid descriptions of the depressing neighbourhoods. However, the large number of characters can be difficult to follow, particularly friends coming into his life from his early years. But these characters also give the story a realistic feel, as people often come in and out of our lives when we least expect it.

By chance he reconnects with Lourdes and is thrilled to form a friendship with her. Eventually she encourages him to move to Long Beach and he leaps at the chance. Will he finally find the love he has been yearning for or does the ace finally fall?

This story leaves me with only one word to describe it all; authentic. I enjoyed the characters and appreciated the journey that Chistiaan has been on.

Pages: 214 | ASIN: B07QCYDBQJ

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God Knows Our Hearts

Dr. Ronel Benade Author Interview

Dr. Ronel Benade Author Interview

Heavenly Whispers is a daily devotional perfectly written for people on the go. Why was this an important book for you to write?

So many people are working unprecedented hours night and day to provide for their family and make their mark in the workplace, leaving them with some guilt for not taking time to give to God. My purpose with this book was to remove that “guilt” we easily place on ourselves. God knows our hearts, and responsibility. With this book I give you, one thought and scripture to focus on, something to ponder during your hectic schedule. I tried to be as balanced as possible, covering different aspects you might encounter or gain new insight.

Time with God has nothing to do with time on a clock, to me it is sacred time during those busy hours where your inner man reflects and speak to God.

This book contains so many beautiful and inspirational selections of scripture. How did you choose what went into this book?

Honestly without the guidance of the Holy Spirit I don’t think I would have been able to write this book. Some life experiences and lessons I have learned He would bring to remembrance, and when praying about it, I would ask for words that would be helpful to the reader.

My favorite is John 17:17 on day 125. Do you have a favorite from this collection?

Day 189, Ephesians 3:16 is just one of my favorites. This one however is based on a personal encounter I went through when I was only a 3-day, born again baby. Back then I did not yet have a Bible, and, when faced with a demonic force I had to take a stand and say “no” 3 times, before that entity would leave me be. This is where I learned about the power our words have. With Christ taking the center within your inner man, you are an unstoppable force.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I just released a booklet in my Mother tongue; Afrikaans, as I believe my own “people” are deprived of new revelation God has for them, and we are in uncertain times in our country. My heart’s desire is that it would release new hope and inspiration. I would like to however release my next book in 2020 but I am working through some ideas.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Heavenly Whispers: 222 Day Devotional by [Benade, Dr. Ronel]

This little book is packed with inspiration and encouragement.

Heavenly Whispers is a pocket-size devotional focusing on one scripture per day with a simple prayer that will inspire the reader to take small steps to impact others in an inspirational way. This devotional will suit the on-the-go persons to have a few minutes to spare to recharge and receive their daily upliftment from God that will carry them through the day.

This book is a quick daily read but packed with insights and new revelations. Be ready to be transformed to a better version of yourself.

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A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol: (Retold by Norman Whaler and Illustrated by Bianca Milacic) by [Whaler, Norman]

Norman Whaler’s A Christmas Carol is an exceptional retelling of a classic Christmas story. The story of stingy and selfish old Scrooge who learns through a series of ghostly visits that he has the power to ease the suffering of others and bring joy to those around him.

Norman Whaler tells this story in short rhymes that were spot on every time. The rhythm’s were short and succinct but still summed up the expanded story perfectly. Each page is accompanied by high quality art that supports the narrative and fits the book’s tone. The art is so good that I wanted to see more of it. I felt like some of the paragraphs, because they summarized so much of the story, could have been on another page with it’s own art to give life to what was being told. But this is a critique that comes out of the desire to see more of the exceptional artwork already displayed.

This is a retelling of a classic Christmas story that highlights Christian themes throughout the book with a deft touch. At the end of the book readers are treated to bonus material in the way of Christmas sheet music. I can imagine that this book would be a nice way to start a Christmas night with the family, with a story followed by songs.

If you love Christmas stories, especially the classic one of Scrooge, you will want to pick this up for the young readers in your home.

Pages: 34 | ASIN: B07QF4BPKG

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Glory Story: A Poetry Collection of my Life’s Expressions – Trailer

“Glory Story” is Keisha McGeachy’s first book of poetry and she gave the book its title because she gives God the glory for various events in her life and inspiration to write. This inspirational book is something that everyone can relate to, both men and women, as it talks about the heartache and disappointments in romantic relationships, self-esteem, social issues such as poverty and materialism, the beauty of nature, the blessing of family, and her relationship with God.

Keisha McGeachy was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland. She is the youngest sibling of two daughters. Her inspiration for writing poetry began in 2001 while taking a creative writing class at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. Afterwards, she graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore with a Master’s degree in social work in 2008. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, salsa dancing, volunteering, researching her family tree, and exercising.

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Snapdragon: A Father-Daughter Story

A harrowing tale of family challenges one women faces traversing the life of her defiant father after her mother’s passing. Embodied with the faith of God the author narrates her perseverance with every roadblock she encounters, which adds up quickly as her patience is tested dealing with a rebellious father. Snapdragon reads as a series of episodic events, each chapter highlighting a situation that would bring anyone to the boiling point of frustration. Woven through each of these trials, the author recounts her involvement with faith. Her Christian beliefs are spun deep into the fabric of this intimate story revolving around confronting all odds to find peace with her father.

Allison St. James undoubtedly writes with a personal voice, her persistence to become close and receive the love of her father is heartbreaking at times. The seemingly open face view of her struggles with personal relationships, financial setbacks, and physical ailments never once waiver her beliefs. Aside from anyone who is a Christian or feels they have some connection to organized religion might find Allison’s passages depicting her beliefs to be preachy at times. However, her honest expression of the situation will have any reader astonished with her resolution and drive to care for her father.

The author writes with a clear tone that had me flipping through page after page finishing the book in no time. Easy to read and written in the first person the story flowed smoothly through each transition. I was impressed with the heart and emotion that shown through with such simple language. Although a few characters came off written with just a rigid introduction, and I wondered how many times Allison could be “emotionally drained”, the spirit of these relationships fostered a deeper understanding of how convoluted the authors’ life became as the story went on.

Allison’s story is composed of real-life scenarios which don’t always amount to a fairy-tale ending. Instead, despite all the challenges the author faces, Snapdragon portrays a genuine feeling of forgiveness. It reassures the reader that through these constant battles in life doing the right thing might be difficult but the conscious will always remember that decision.

Pages: 238 | ISBN:1449788777

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Moments in Time

Moments in Time: Poems of Life Love Faith by [Reinheardt, Larry]

Moments in Time is a collection of Christian poetry by author Larry E. Reinheardt. The collection holds poems that range in length, style, and tone but they all encompass the messages of faith, love, and experience. The poems are meant to present the experience of one person and share them with all. These poems are a way to connect with each other and God.

Some of the poems in this collection feel more like prayers while others have more of a sense of a story. I liked that there was variety in these poems as it kept each one feeling fresh and unique. Another advantage of this choice is that it makes the book reach more people. Each poem will resonate strongly with different people, but there is enough variety of experience presented in the collection that each reader has a strong chance of finding many poems that resonate deeply for them.

Reinhardt uses language that is simple and clear but holds an honest tone and deep desire to share their experience with others. This makes each poem feel strong, heartfelt, and beautiful. This book is clearly meant for Christian readers but does not discourage other readers. I found the earnest tone and the biblical story references to be particularly engaging elements of the collection. Many bible stories have poetic rings to them, so I liked seeing some of them addressed in entirely poetic language. It reminded me of being told a story verbally, listening to the melody within it.

This collection is perfect for poetry lovers that also have deep faith. The combination of the two creates a beautiful and thought-provoking book that is an enjoyable read. The poems are fairly short, the longest of them still fitting on a single page, making them short but sweet and many holding powerful messages. You can tell while reading this book that Reinheardt put himself into the words and you can see his desire to spread love and life to all.

Pages: 132 | ASIN: B0793QNPTG

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Ameher’s No More Crumbs Chronicle of a 4-D Woman Rising from Hate to Hope

Ameher's No More Crumbs Chronicle of a 4-D Woman Rising from Hate to Hope: Beloved I Wish Above All That You Prosper and Be in Health Even as Your Soul Prospers by [Ameher]

Ameher is a woman of strength, compassion, and a faith like no other. From a very early age she endured hardships in Nairobi only to pursue the American dream as an immigrant and face immeasurable abuses and prejudices in her new home. When she struggles to find a safe place for herself and her children, she is met head-on with one challenge after another but chooses to hold her head high and never give up as she battles a system designed to protect citizens but fails in all too many cases. Nowhere is faith more explicitly exemplified than in Ameher’s life as immigrant to the United States.

Ameher’s No More Crumbs Chronicle of a 4-D Woman Rising from Hate to Hope is the author’s own story of harrowing experiences as she tries desperately to find someone she can trust. Her story in an important one and one that bears repeating until a broken system is finally repaired.

At 400 pages, the author has enough striking material to make a short series of three separate books based on her life. The many abuses and the detail to which she goes into regarding her life with Todd make for an entire work on their own. The author takes great care to explain the entire process to which she was subjected, and this section of the text would make for a moving book all by itself.

The author recounts the expectations placed upon her as one raised in a religious home. She addresses the stigma attached to having a child out of wedlock quite well. Throughout her ordeal battling the system in the United States, she is able to lean on her faith and holds strong as she relies on friends who seem to exhibit a shared strength of faith. As I see it, Ameher has the makings for a fantastic self-help/devotional book centered entirely on her own faith. A book of this nature would make a fascinating read.

Because Ameher is an amazing example of persistence in the face of adversity, she is a prime candidate to pen a book on the discrimination faced by a woman of color in the United States. The challenges she faces are a sad but true testament to the daily struggles faced by people of color across this nation.

Ameher’s work is explicit enough to be engrossing, but not graphic in nature. The author takes care to explain the horror of her trials without turning readers off with vulgarities.

As effective as Ameher’s work is in capturing readers’ attention, it could use some additional editing. At times, it reads a bit like a rough draft with more care placed in the emotion of the wording than in the accuracy.

Ameher has bared her heart and soul to the world in order to help other women with her book. Any reader who picks up her story will be inspired to keep the faith and rise up in the face of adversity.

Pages: 400 | ASIN: B079438P7M

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