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JUMP!

JUMP!: An epic travel and soul adventure by [Louw, Lenerd]

Not many people are attentive enough to hear an inner voice let alone listen to it. Lenerd Louw had always had a small voice inside of him urging towards a direction he had never taken before. The voice was leading him to veer off a life he had always lived, enjoyed and took some measure of pride in. The voice only grew louder over time. Then Lenerd took the time to actually listen to the voice. He took the time to audit his life and venture into the unknown with nothing but a large backpack. Five years later, he has a new outlook on life.

Lenerd leaves nothing to the imagination. He lets the reader deep into the belly of the story. He tells such a vivid story that while he is momentarily mesmerized by the Jacuzzi fire, the reader will be right there with him. You can almost smell the cocktail of diarrhea and vomit when he attempts to rid himself of parasites.

His style of telling his story is completely engaging and involving for the reader. There is an authentic air about the author. Even as he accuses himself of in-authenticity, the fact that he is questioning means that it lies somewhere within him. You can tell that he is not in any way completely devoid of it. This quality comes through in the way he tells the story as well as the events he chooses to highlight.

This was definitely a story worth telling. It is a story of triumphs. Often people think that those perched atop privilege and success have it easy. Truth is that they too, undergo the same kind of struggles that everyone does. In that sense, this story is relatable. Although the reader may not have the means to traverse the world like he did, Lenerd’s experiences and his candid narration of the story connect him to the reader right from the beginning.

Although I liked the book, I felt that the story tended to jump around without notice. This left me a little confused at times, like when someone digresses when they tell a story. Regardless, you will enjoy Lenerd’s discovery of self.

The reader will be gripped right from the scene by the fire with the two girls on the table to his recall of the Café at the Edge story. Everything in between will be a beautiful roller-coaster. Speaking of the story, it is the perfect ending to a great story. It is so apt and fitting and wraps up the book quite nicely.

Pages: 286 | ASIN: B07TZJM1ZQ

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Keepsake: A Souvenir of Love

Keepsake: A Souvenir of Love by [Ariff, Shirin , Ali, Zunash Ashiq ]

Ready to feel enlightened? In Shirin Ariff’s Keepsake, this  short poetry book is filled with powerful uplifting words in each heartfelt poem.

The central theme in this poetry book is about the author being inspired and closer to God. In each poem, the author talks about nature and welcomed God into their life. Each poem highlights her spiritual journey to become connected and closer to Him. Whether you’re religious or not, this book would brighten your day.

In Keepsake, the poet speaks from her heart, and her heart and soul is clearly poured into every page. These poems are emotional journeys exploring nature and God’s paradise. I enjoyed the poems symmetry and easy flow. I think this is a perfect book for poetry enthusiasts, nature lovers, and the faithful.

Pages: 17 | ASIN: B07QPBMXRH

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Tormented By God

Emil Cioran had a very tumultuous relationship with God. He even quipped that attacking God was better than invoking him. He was a pessimist, skeptic and nihilist. He was against everything with regards to creation. While many philosophers have expressed their adverse stance towards God, Emil was notably and gradually aggressive about his displeasure with God and all related things. Tormented by God is a compilation of his works. It is a view of the other side of the coin. The author seeks to interpret Emil’s works and blasphemes from the knowledgeably authoritative standpoint of a professor of Theology.

Mirko Integlia is very articulate. His presentation of his own voice with regards to Emil’s works and related philosophical works is brilliant and impressive. Not only does he remain completely calm and centered in the face of an aggressively blasphemous philosopher whose views are a stark contrast against his own, he gives a full dimensional analysis. There is a lot to be said about an author who is capable of seemingly neutral presentation of views that so enthusiastically clash with their own.

The author is a master of language. The language is simple and mindful of a person who might find the subject matter a little daunting. This simplistic presentation makes the book more appealing. The subject matter in itself is interesting. To see atheism presented by a Christian is a  novelty. As you read you will get the feeling that Mirko really did try to understand where Emil was coming from in his views and rants. You get the feeling that the author is genuinely curious about these attacks against God. There is no passion for atheism itself but you can feel yourself being drawn to the progression of Cioran’s views from his first work, On the Heights of Despair.

There is an issue with clarity. In the beginning the reader might feel a little out of their depth. However, as the author gets to the second and third chapters they seem to have gained stability and therefore prose flows easily from there. Tackling atheism and an aggressively atheist philosopher is not easy. It is intense and sensitive. This is evidenced by the caution Mirko Integlia takes in his presentation. It also helps that the book is relatively short. Even then, it is exhaustive.

With everything that is happening in the world right now, one might be tempted to share the same views as Emil Cioran. However, Mirko Integlia’s work helps with any crisis of faith that one might experience from time to time. From this you can remain steadfast even when you are in the ‘troubling vicinity of God’.

Pages: 272 | ISBN-10: 882660326X

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Morality Vs. Reality

MORALITY VS. REALITY: HOW THE POWERS OF THE WORLD ARE SHIFTING FROM RELIGION TO MEDIA IN ORDER TO GAIN CONTROL OVER PEOPLE by [Tareen, Farooq]

There are two things in this world. The first thing is what one ought to do as a human beings while the second is what one actually does. In many cases these differ. Some choices are led in one direction by religion and the other by science. It is confusing for someone who subscribes to both. Farooq Tareen digs around this rift between the two extremes.

Morality Vs. Reality by Farooq Tareen is very well researched and thought out. The authors genuine curiosity on the subject shines through as he takes the reader through his musings and findings. The book gives equal opportunity to every area with exhaustive presentations of their relevance.

It is truly wonderful how the book explores either side with equally keen interest. A reader will still feel like they retain the right to their opinion at the end f the book. The book does not lean on the religious side but this is a great starting point for helping people minimize crisis of belief.

This is a book about a complex subject presented with simple language that elevates the reading experience. It opens up the mind and makes the book so much more enjoyable. The sentence construction is uncomplicated and grabs the attention of the reader.

However, despite how wonderful this book is, I felt that some paragraphs were long. With such a complex subject matter I would have appreciated more concise paragraphs.

Morality Vs. Reality takes on an interesting subject and delivers deep research with passionate curiosity that colors every page either. This is a good book to read when one reaches that inevitable point in life where they face a crisis of belief. It may not provide answers but one will understand that it is okay not to choose either religion or science. This book also reiterates the importance of conforming reality to morality.

Pages: 242 | ASIN:  B07VM7FNMB

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The Story is Apocalyptic

Lin Wilder Author Interview

Lin Wilder Author Interview

Malthus Revisited is a genre-crossing novel with elements of science fiction, thriller, and religion as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?

It’s interesting that you see elements of science fiction in Malthus. I have not been read that comment from another reviewer nor did I see it as science fiction while writing it. When I began the story, the main character, Dr. Lindsey McCall was well established because this is the 4th in the medical mystery series. The antagonist had been very briefly introduced in the previous novel, A Price for Genius. To me, the story is apocalyptic, ergo the title, even dystopian. The religion… well, I am a midlife convert and know well what life without faith feels like, so religion is a part of every story I write.

Some things in the book come off as possible, if not already happening. Did you take any inspiration from real life when developing this book?

My background is academic medicine and public health so yes much of what is in the book is not just possible but probable.

How did you create Lindsey and Rich’s characters in a way that contrasted yet still supported the characters development?

Although I never planned to write a series when I wrote the first Lindsey and Rich novel, The Fragrance Shed by A Violet, that first story cemented them in my mind. In each of the subsequent books they have enjoyed taking me on their roller coaster lives.

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

I, Claudia A Novel of the Ancient World was published in December of last year.

Currently I am writing, My Name is Saul also a novel of the ancient world. I expect it to be published by the end of this year.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitter | FacebookWebsite

Malthus Revisited: The Cup of Wrath (Lindsey McCall Medical Mystery Book 4) by [Wilder, Lin]

Eighteen-year-old Morgan Gardner did not seem like someone who could save the world—unless you took the time to notice her eyes. And most people didn’t.

Morgan’s exceptional gifts were known only to her and to the animals she could understand better than people. For a long time, she told no one about her nightmares. Embarrassed and afraid that no one would believe her, Morgan waited until it was almost too late. Then she confided in her mom’s best friend, Dr. Lindsey McCall.

Lindsey and her husband Rich had worked hard to reestablish their lives and careers after their last harrowing escapade. Relocated in a beautiful California home and newly reunited with Lindsey’s biological daughter LJ, all seemed to be going smoothly—until an enemy from their past returned with as deadly a plan as they could imagine.

The fourth novel in Lin Wilder’s popular Lindsey McCall series is her best one yet—combining the innovative medical research her readers have come to admire with a new and terrifying threat to the world’s population: a biological timebomb. Vivid characters old and new rampage across the continents of Europe, Asia, and the U.S. to stop the contagion, picking up steam as they head toward a life-or-death climax in the remote Qinghai province of China.

Malthus Revisited adds a dystopian element to Wilder’s evolving Lindsey McCall mystery series, and is guaranteed to captivate both her loyal fans and eager newcomers to its last riveting page.

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I, Claudia: A Novel of the Ancient World

I, Claudia: A Novel of the Ancient World by [Wilder, Lin]

The somewhat untold fictional story based on real historical events during one of the most infamous times in human history. This novel explores the story of the persecution of Jesus Christ from the perspective of the wife of the man who ultimately sentenced him to death, Pontius Pilate. 

This story does a fantastic job of showing that despite history painting Pilate as a villain, he was actually a very wise and valiant man who, with the support of his patient and earnest philosophical wife Claudia, did everything to try and save Jesus from the High priests.

This story is a fantastic retelling of one of the most famous times in history. You get to explore the rise of Pontius Pilate and see the human side of him that the gospels leave mainly untold. Plus, much of the story focuses on his wife and her upbringing and events that led her to becoming the woman beside one of the most vilified rulers in the bible. 

This story goes into the heart and mind of the man history has held responsible for the fall of the son of god, and the woman who many believed sat idly by and allowed it to happen. Whilst being technically historical fiction, the plot line and events are very believable and with the fantastic background stories of the main characters being explained properly, you begin to really connect with Pontius and Claudia very early on. 

There is a good dose of suspense and romance sprinkled through the adventure and by the end of it you actually feel genuine sorrow for Claudia and Pontius Pilate because the author did such a remarkable job of making these historical villains into suffering humans just like all of us. 

With the weight of the world on their shoulders, they managed to make the right decisions time after time and you are rooting for them the entire way through the story, hoping for them to succeed and not let the problems of the Empire destroy the idealistic world they created.

Pages: 301 | ASIN: B07LB8NKN4

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Malthus Revisited

Malthus Revisited: The Cup of Wrath (Lindsey McCall Medical Mystery Book 4) by [Wilder, Lin]

A threat that most readers can see as a real possibility considering how far science and technology has progressed. Coupled with down to earth characters that you feel a real connection to make this book an outstanding ‘end of world’ saga that has your heart racing right till the end. While overtly spiritual in it’s plot, even the most atheist person could come to enjoy this story because it is a masterful blend of science and religion. With horrifying villains and inspiring heroes plus a few characters who you are never quite sure of which side of the good versus evil fight they stand on, this story is well worth the read.

This book takes a little while to explain how the prologue fits into the narrative but after you see how it all comes together and with various chapters outlining the back stories of the various characters, you begin to understand why the author took time in slowly building toward the most eventful parts of the story.

Once you understand how everything fits together, it takes you on an edge of your seat ride where you wonder how things will turn out. Each character has their part to play and readers get to see both the best and worst aspects of each character, which allows you to become invested in their adventure more deeply than you usually would for a fictional story.

There are a few repeated phrases and words that could have been left out or replaced with a simplified explanation but the intensity of the plot line and anxiety inducing obstacles that are thrown in the way of the main characters do enough to make you forget these minor annoyances.

If you want a thrilling story that takes you to the depths of what an evil mind can cause in this world with the excitement of whether the heroes can triumph. This is a book for you.

My best piece of advice to any would be reader is to make sure you don’t give up on the slow build up toward the real plot because it is well worth the wait and actually helps you understand and feel more invested in the entire story.

Pages: 317 | ASIN: B078LWJ632

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Through Me to You: A Life Through Poetry, Stories and Songs

Through Me to You: A Life Through Poetry, Stories and Songs by [Wick, Eve]

Through Me to You: A Life Through Poetry, Stories and Songs by Eve Wick is a collection of writings that span the author’s life from age thirteen to the present. A verse of Bible scripture accompanies each poem, story, and song, and the author uses these Bible passages to show that no matter what a person is going through, they can find an answer in God’s word. The purpose of this book is to inspire and encourage others who may be going though a difficult time in their lives, and it focuses on a wide range of emotions, from despair to hope, friendship, and love.

I enjoyed reading the poems, short stories, and songs in this book. I liked the connection between the Bible verses and the author’s own writing, which illustrated that even though the Bible was written thousands of years ago, God’s teachings still have meaning and power in the present, and people can find peace in the written word of God. I especially enjoyed reading the author’s short stories throughout the book, which were a bit longer in length than the poems.

Some of the scriptures seemed much more fitting to the author’s writing than others. When there was not as strong a link between the two, a different scripture could have been chosen instead. And if no more appropriate verse could be found, then I would have preferred not to have a scripture accompany that piece, since it seemed to take away some of the impact from the poems and stories that were much more closely linked to the accompanying scripture.

The verses that accompany the song lyrics seemed particularly fitting, which led me to believe that some of the songs are likely based on those specific Bible passages, giving them the strongest connection between the author’s writing and the words of the Bible.

This is an exceptional piece of work that I heartily enjoyed reading.

Pages: 118 | ASIN: B0794HFFVX

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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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