30 July 2011

Healing Autism Naturally, Book Review

Publisher's description:

Autism is a journey. It need not be a journey without direction. The sooner our children and loved ones get the services and treatments they need and deserve, the sooner they can get on the path to healing.
In Healing Autism Naturally, Becky Cash helps parents and caregivers sort through the options and map out a course of action for both immediate and long-term results. Healing Autism Naturally also serves as a much-needed guide that members of the medical and professional community can use and hand to parents. No longer are a sympathetic look and a pat on the shoulder the only tools that can be used to help parents. Healing Autism Naturally provides the answers that can help a family navigate the journey and get their children and loved ones help, faster.

My review of this book:

For years my daughter has called repeatedly my attention to Autism and the challenges some of her friends have faced as parents of a special needs child. In her opinion Autism healing required better nutrition and more programs to teach families how to deal with it...
I have learned a lot from my daughter along the years so I bowed to her opinion and looked forward to read more about Becki Cash's approach to healing!

In a nutshell (and since we both read the book, we have agreed!), here is a layman's explanation of a condition that affects many families unfortunately these days, her relentless journey whilst researching any constructive help for her own family and hope for others.
Becki Cash explains how she started to question conventional wisdom and became an advocate for healing  autism the natural way.

Traditional medicine treats autism but does not really create wellness. She will introduce you to non traditional approachs as a supplement and show you where to start to help your child. Most importantly, she will help you to understand better your child and set reasonable expectations for the whole family.

Best of all, her list of resources is truly amazing!
If you are the parent of an autistic child or know one, this is a wonderful source of information and I urge you to read Healing Autism Naturally

This is a book well researched, written with honesty and it is sure to bring hope to many! 
To close, I personally have gained a better understanding of what Autism encompasses and what help is available. 

I give it 5 stars!

For more on Becki Cash and her lovely family, read here. Also check out ASD Perspectives website  here.

Note: I received a free copy of Healing Autism Naturally by Bexsi Publishing in order to review this book.
I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

26 July 2011

Thoughts of Christmas...

Yes, thoughts of Christmas dances in my head...

Dreams of marzipan fruits, sugar mice, decorating the Christmas tree, listening to Bing Crosby singing 'I'll be Home for Christmas' somehow helps the good and the bad days...
So far, I have read three times 'Carol, A Story for Christmas' told by Bob Hartman, a wonderful story teller - see review here!
I will be reviewing more Christmas stories so join me later if you are interested!

And for a few Blessings...

This morning brought photos of Madeline and we were so happy to see her little face! In the 22 days since she was born, she has touched so many hearts!
Thoughts, prayers and assistance have reached her parents from everywhere and whilst there are still many hurdles to overcome, the overwhelming joy of being able to hold finally their little girl has helped immensely!
A big Thank You to all the volunteers at Heavenly Angels In Need for all their kindness!

Note: This painting title "Mother Goose' is also by Lori Preutsch (and offered by the above Gallery)!
I cannot wait for Madeline to discover the world of Books!

Blogs far and away...

Slow Lane Life is moving in her dream house today in Somerset! I love to read her latest wanderings through the English countryside with her little family (all rescued!)
All the best Rachael!

(Another of Lori Preutsch's painting!s)

A big thank you to Tania as well at Out back for posting a great idea for an all naturall cleaner (that does not smell only of Vinegar)!
I just hope we get a little bit of sun...see here for recipe!

(Yet another of Lori Preutsch's paintings titled  'Spoonful')

 Counting Blessings and dreaming...of Christmas!

Please remember I share only my opinion and I was not asked to feature this artist or remunerated in any way for mentioning this gallery!

25 July 2011

25 July, Feast of St James

Today is the feast of St James, one of Jesus' twelve disciples and the Patron Saint of Spain. Legend tells us his remains are resting in Santiago de Compostela in Barcelona

The 'Way of St James' has been a traditional pilgrimage to the Saint's grave since the Middle Ages. 
From the 12th to the 15th Century several thousand Pilgrims walked across Europe often for months to Compostella to worship the Saint. Pilgrims needs were met by a series of hospitals and hospices, under royal protection and were in fact a source of revenue flor hostellers and sellers of 'souvenirs'. 

The Christian symbol for St James was a scallop shell and pilgrims wore such a sign to announce to anyone they were a pilgrim, thus giving them privileges such as sleeping in churches or ask for free meals. Additionally it ward off thieves who would not risk God's wrath and attack pilgrims.

The four ancient pilgrims routes across France toward Compostella includes:  the Route of Paris, the Route of V├ęzolay, the Route of Le Puy, and the Route of Arles.

I found a very interesting site regarding this particular pilgrimage (here). Albeit a bicyle trip, there are enough information to give you an idea how beautiful the route actually is!
Since I myself have been blessed with two left feet, I would prefer to walk the route as many still do today!

For those of us who love baking, there is a wonderful recipe for an almond cake called St James tarta (here).
 Finally, there is a still a Flemish tradition of freeing one prisoner a year under the condition this prisoner walks to Santiago wearing a heavy backpack whilst under guard.

Blessings to all,

PBS Announcement for 26 July!

One family’s stand for Justice – catch the story on PBS 7/26!

I'll be blogging about the book Mugabe and the White African later this month, but I wanted to let you know that Point of View will air the documentary Mugabe and the White African on Tuesday, July 26th.

The film tells the story of Mike Campbell and his family of three generations of Zimbabwean farmers as they attempt to keep their farm under Mugabe's "land reform." Watch the trailer for the documentary below and visit the PBS Point of View website for your local listing. http://www.pbs.org/pov/tvschedule/

The book Mugabe and the White African (Lion Books, distributed by Kregel Publications, July 15, 2011, ISBN: 978-0-7459-5546-9, $14.95) written by Mike Campbell's son-in-law Ben Freeth provides more detail regarding the family's struggles and court battles.The book chronicles the deeply moving and life-threatening struggle of a Christian family from Zimbabwe to protect their legally owned farmland, to protect the lives and livelihoods of all those working on the farm, and to live to see justice.

Freeth lays bare a beautiful but lawless land fouled by fear. A 'Clockwork Orange' state where racism, greed, and violence are ultimately humbled by almost unimaginable courage. Richly described, bravely chronicled, and utterly compelling. 
-Mike Thomson, Radio Foreign Affairs Correspondent, BBC

Ben Freeth has an extraordinary story to tell. Like that of many white farmers, his family's land was "reclaimed" for redistribution by Mugabe's government. But Ben's family fought back. Appealing to international law, they instigated a suit against Mugabe's government in the SADC, the Southern African equivalent of NATO. The case was deferred time and again while Mugabe's men pulled strings. But after Freeth and his parents-in-law were abducted and beaten within inches of death in 2008, the SADC deemed any further delay to be an obstruction of justice. The case was heard, and was successful on all counts.

But the story doesn't end there. In 2009 the family farm was burned to the ground. The fight for justice in Zimbabwe is far from over--this book is for anyone who wants to see into the heart of one of today's hardest places and how human dignity flourishes even in the most adverse circumstances.

Read an Excerpt (PDF)

Read the Press Release

24 July 2011

Faith and Hope message

Prayers and thoughts goes to Norway following the devastating attack of Friday!
Faith and Hope were the themes for the service held in Oslo's Cathedral (Domkirken) this morning to remember the victims!
What an inspirational message for the rest of the world!

Sunday blessings


If you own one Bible, you are abundantly blessed. One-third of the world does not have access to even one.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive the week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people around the world.

If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than almost three billion people around the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.

If your parents are still married and alive, you are very rare these days.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer God's healing touch.

If you prayed yesterday and today, you are in the minority because you believe in God's willingness to hear and answer prayer.

If you believe in Jesus as the Son of God, you are part of a very small minority in the world.

If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read anything at all.

Count your blessings and it is amazing how small your troubles will seem. Share them with someone who can't hope for them and you will be further blessed to experience a part of the grace of God who gave the ultimate Gift of love so we could have eternal life with Him forever. In light of that eternity, every moment and object we have is passing away quickly. Share them all as graciously as possible and you'll be doubly blessed.

Note: This post appeared in 2006 in The Broken Cup. I found it truly inspirational as I am counting my blessings today!

May you have a blessed Sunday!

23 July 2011

Carol, A Story for Christmas, Book Review

Publisher's review:

Jack O'Malley hates shopping, snow, and even Christmas. All three at once is Jack's idea of a very bad day. Storming into a Starbucks seeking escape, Jack runs smack into a beautiful and mysterious stranger, almost knocking her over and unintentionally changing his life forever. 
In this one moment his entire life—who he once was, who he is, and who he has the potential to become—flashes before his eyes. 
In this humorous rendering of Charles Dickens' classic tale, timeless lessons are reexamined through the lens of modern society. 
The result is funny, moving, and ultimately thought-provoking.

And now for my review:

I think most everyone feels as I do: Christmas is the best time of the year! There is something magical about the Season, a sense of renewal, hope, love for mankind...Well, you know what I mean. You have felt it in the past and just right now, you have that little flutter in you that says, yes, Christmas is such a special time!
Funny though, the warm, fuzzy feelings we encounter at Christmastime should actually be experienced all year long...

I recall the excitement I experienced when long, long ago (!) we would stroll downtown and checked out the window displays for the Holiday, the lit tree on the Grand Place, the sweets in the shoppes and the tiny, at times even humble but always colourful wrapped presents tucked away for Christmas day.
I remember the Church bells ringing, the smell of roasted chestnuts sold by street corner vendors, the Nativity display with the Child Christ and most of all that special feeling that seemed to permeate everything. 
This was the best of time!

But...this is July you will say...Christmas is still a long way away...
Yes this is still July, Christmas Day is still a long way away but that Christmas feeling should remain with us all year long.
Read Carol, A story (not just) for Christmas and you are certain to... well, feel! 
Bob Hartman delivers a modern twist on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol that will give you that warm fuzzy feeling time and time again. Written by an amazing storyteller this is a tale that will open your eyes and let you experience the miracle of Christmas over and over again! At 96 pages this is also a small book you can tuck in your pocket or your handbag!

Carol, A Story for Christmas is a book that you will not wish to part with and let me add, it is probably the best Christmas gift for anyone who has forgotten to CARE (yes, that means you and I)! 
Christmas stocking anyone?

We have been so busy making a life for ourselves, we quickly dashed the dreams we had once upon a time. We forget to be kind to our fellowmen and in time of need, we offer just enough to lessen the burden of guilt on our consciences, promptly forgetting about it right after. 

So  pick up a copy of Carol, A Story for Christmas, sit down in your favourite chair and read this humourous but heartfelt tale of a man whom a bit like Scrooge, forgot to 'feel'. No matter the season, let your heart fill with love for others and remember your dreams! 
I guarantee it will give you that warm and fuzzy Christmas feeling all over again!

5 stars (and I would have given it more!)

I received this book free from Kregel Publications as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

22 July 2011

A Place Called Blessing, Book Review

I have found on occasion that even 'Christian' novels will have a certain amount of violence or what I shall describe veritably, unchristian language or actions. Life changing stories brings often a certain amount of wariness on my part. Still I believe I try to be objective and keep an open mind when choosing a book.
I was singularly attracted by the title 'A Place Called Blessing' written by John Trent, Ph D. The resume sounded certainly interesting and once I began reading the first chapter, I quickly realized I made the right choice!

Life is not always easy and for many families it can be heartbreaking and even unhealthy. For Josh and his two brothers, sleeping on the floor and often going to bed hungry is almost a daily occurrence.
Their parents are drunks, often leaving the children alone until one night disaster strikes. What follows is life changing as well as disastrous and when another tragedy splits up the family, Josh is left all by himself. 

Ten years later, he is out on his own, an eighteen year old looking for a job and somewhere to live.
As we read on, his life seems to be going just downhill until one day he meets a friend at work and positive changes finally happens for Josh! He learns to trust again!

There will be more heartbreak in his young life but in the end, Josh finds there is such a place called Blessing!

This is a book that literally grabs you and I found it to be an excellent addition to any family library!
The many lessons it reflected will bring much encouragement to parents and teens alike and I give it a resounding 5 stars!

I received this book free from Booksneeze as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Hum...Come Into Our Garden...And Meet The Thief!

Considering the price of vegetables these days in the shoppes, I thought it an excellent idea for my family to plant as many tomato plants and assorted greens as possible in our little garden in the hope to supplement our food supply...

Dreams of tomatoes, green peppers, pole beans, broccoli, onions and herbs danced in my head...
Our daytime temperatures still averages in the lower sixties F with low fourties at night...(no complaints on my part as I do not crave hot weather but not the best for tomatoes!)

Despite the netting, our strawberry patch was raided...

As I see it this one and lonesome tomato (a Cherry one at that!) is not going to supplement much...sigh

Of course, we soon discovered the reason why...

Then I consider our neighbours's ply....

Notice the sign? 
And for a closer look...

And just in case you want to know, it took less than one half hour for the Woodpecker to do this!

Island life, dreams and such...

21 July 2011

Seeing The Unseen, Book review

Faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

With Christ at the center of our life, T. W. Hunt believes we can deepen our faith and ultimately unveil the hidden presence of God. I believe he might just be right!
As a Bible teacher, speaker and author, the author explores the world's different philosophies and their many conflicting ideas whilst focusing on what is unseen, rather than what all of us actually sees.

Comparing the laws of the physical world with the spiritual world, he expertly teaches us how to look for the unseen, gives us evidence of the unseen and shows us what he considers spiritual blinders. 
As an example he cites the Apostle Paul telling the Church in Rome that 'the mind set of the flesh is hostile to God, because it does not submit itself to God's Law, for it is unable to do so. ( Romans 8:7).

Stressing how important the role of faith truly is and how to look beyond the physical, T. W. Hunt shows us the role of the Holy Spirit and how to look to Jesus for a clear pathway to faith using amples biblical references. 
In Seeing the Unseen, you will learn about probing reality, realizing faith and the destiny of faith thus bringing your relationship with God to a richer level. 

This is an excellent book for anyone struggling with faith issues and would be a great gift for the college student in your life.

I gave it 4 stars.

For more on T. W. Hunt and his ministries read (here)

I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Thinking of Madeline...

Painting by Simon Dewey
(For more on this talented artist, read here)

You’re Always There for Me
When the world comes crashing in
And chaos rules my mind,
I turn my heart to you, Lord,
And pure, sweet peace I find.
You lift me out of trouble
You comfort me in pain;
You nourish, heal and cleanse me,
Like cool, refreshing rain.
In times of joy and bliss,
When things are going right,
You lift me even higher,
And fill me with delight.
You listen to my prayers;
You hear my every plea;
I’m safe because I know
You’re always there for me.
By J. Fuchs

As I read daily updates for Madeline, I think of what she must feel looking on at her Mum and Dad. I hear their encouragements, their prayers and all the love they are pouring around her trying to keep her safe. I cannot begin to understand the extent of their feeling of helpleness at all that has happened since her birth. I also am amazed at how many people have taken the time to reach out and tell them they are thinking of the three of them and praying for Madeline! People have kindly stepped in to help out in any way they could, prayers continues and all because one little girl has touched hearts! 

That is the most amazing gift of all: Love for one tiny baby has brought so many together!
We continue to pray...hope...dream
She is so little...
Keep fighting Madeline!
Note: The above print of this beautiful little girl looking up to her Lord hangs in our bedroom. 
I discovered it one day walking through a Gospel shoppe and could not resist it!

20 July 2011

The Soldier's Wife, Book Review

Publisher's review:

A novel full of grand passion and intensity, The Soldier's Wife asks "What would you do for your family?" "What should you do for a stranger?" and "What would you do for love?" 
As World War II draws closer and closer to Guernsey, Vivienne de la Mare knows that there will be sacrifices to be made. Not just for herself, but for her two young daughters and for her mother-in-law, for whom she cares while her husband is away fighting.

What she does not expect is that she will fall in love with one of the enigmatic German soldiers who take up residence in the house next door to her home. As their relationship intensifies, so do the pressures on Vivienne. Food and resources grow scant, and the restrictions placed upon the residents of the island grow with each passing week.

Though Vivienne knows the perils of her love affair with Gunther, she believes that she can keep their relationship--and her family--safe. But when she becomes aware of the full brutality of the Occupation, she must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger.

And now for my review

As I read The Soldier's Wife I had a vivid picture of what life must have been for the Channel Islanders during Occupation. Starting with their decision to either remain or leave the island, their situation must have often felt desperate. They were left alone afterall and this in itself made it quite different from all other occupied land.
I must say the phrase 'Keep calm and carry on' immediately came to mind for that is exactly what they did!

Margaret Leroy subtly invites us to see Guernsey's under occupation and feel the islanders different emotions at seeing their land invaded. The Soldier's Wife reads somehow like a diary as we learn of Vivienne's life. There is a poignant feeling of despair yet also hope for her despite the trying circumstances. She is a survivor and she lives day by day.
Most of Guernsey men are fighting for the Crown, the women are dealing with shortages, restrictions and the ennemy's presence. 

To find love blooming amongst all this must seem farfetched for some but let's remember the strong emotions we feel under duress. As you read Margaret Leroy's description of Vivienne's forbidden love and all the ensuing events, you feel for the main character and soon come to realize there is no right or wrong in times of war.

I felt the story flowed well, the islanders and the ennemy's descriptions were certainly enticing and I found it hard to put the book down. I got caught into it, you see I wanted Vivienne to remember nothing comes without a price!
You might well ask my favourite part of the book? It is a small Breton fishermen prayer that say so much with very few words: 'Oh Lord, help me for your ocean is so big, and my boat is so small.'

 I gladly give 4 stars to this book!

A quick note about the author: Margaret Leroy's website is well worth a moment of your time if you are interested in finding out more about her writing (here)!

A reminder as usual: I was not asked to review this book and all opinions expresed are entirely my own!

17 July 2011

Sunday...A Time For Resting And Why Not, A Few Dreams...

Sundays, Holy Days...

A time for resting...

A time for praying (never more so than now since Baby Madeline has improved slightly! Thank  you Lord!)...

And why not...A few dreams...

Sweet dreams...

15 July 2011

Vel' d'Hiver and Sarah's Key, A Powerful Reminder And A Book Review

Publisher's Review:

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours. 

Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. 

Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life. 

Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.

Some of the facts behind the story:

La rafle du velodrome d'hiver  (Vel' d'hiver Police roundup) was the arrest and eventual deportation of Jews in Paris on the 16 and 17th of July 1942. The Nazis called this Operation Vent Printanier (Operation Spring Breeze).
13,152 were arrested, 5802 were women, 4,051 were children according to French Police records and some 7,500 were taken by buses to the Vel' d'Hiver. Others were immediately sent to internment camps.
With its painted glass roof and windows screwed shut for security, the velodrome's heat soon became unbearable...No lavatories, one water tap... those who tried to escape were shot whilst others took their lives...
Five days later, they were sent to internments camps and from Austerlitz train station to extermination.

In 1995 French President Jacques Chirac formerly apologized for the role of French Police and Civil servants in this raid.

My review of this particular book:

Tatiana de Rosnay has written a most poignant story that no one will soon forget! Too often events such as the one described have been hidden away in the hope no one will remember. 
But it happened and we should not forget!
Her writing is eloquent, her story can only be termed as mesmerizing and this is a novel I highly recommend you read!
Most of all, this is a story of an undeniable atrocity against people whose only crime was their race and many of these were French citizens!

Sarah's Key is a book you will feel compelled to finish no matter the powerful emotions you will experience at the series of events leading to the eventual climax of the story. 
Sarah and all the other victims of that fateful spring 59 years ago should never be forgotten!

Finally, Tatiana de Rosnay choice of ending is one of hope and survival and I very much doubt anyone will dispute its ultimate message! We need to believe there is a better future for us all...
May God be at our side always...
Forgive but NEVER FORGET!

To learn more about Tatiana de Rosnay, read (here)

I gave this book 5 stars!

Note: This story has now also been turned into a movie. As an after thought, this post reflects my opinion only and was not solicitated! 

14 July 2011

I Dream Of A Miracle...

Life is so precious, especially when it is a tiny baby whose life has yet to begin...
Little Madeline is hanging on by her fingertips, literally...
With their faith challenged, her Mum and Dad are so distraught...A miracle is needed...Now it is in His hands!

Perhaps we are crying too much and not praying enough...

A wise man once held a baby he was about to christen and asks his congregation: ' Is this The child that will find a cure for cancer, bring peace to the world, abolish hunger?...'
 We continue to pray that God in His wisdom remembers this might just be The child, that He might bring peace to her family...

Hang in there Madeline!

12 July 2011

For A Quick Update on Madeline...

Prayers continues for Madeline and her parents after today's surgery.
For all of those who have inquired please take a moment to check the latest updates on the following blog:


The power of prayer should never be doubt! 
Heavenly Father, we pray Madeline will rally and know she is very much loved by all!

On a final note, please note hospital expenses are staggering and her family will soon have to face this additional challenge. Please note the donation site set up by friends (on the right side of Madeline's blog). Every little bit will help!


Inside Threat, Book Review

Publisher's review:

After taking two football seasons off, Riley Covington is attempting to make a comeback in the league while trying to forget Khadi Faroughi, now on security detail for a prominent senator.
But a new attack turns both of their lives upside down yet again. During a state funeral, terrorists overrun the National Cathedral and take senators, congressmen, and their entourages hostage, including Khadi. This new generation of The Cause is made up of homegrown terrorists—an inside threat to the security of the nation. They release most of the hostages, but Khadi and several others are kept behind as significant bargaining chips.
The Cause pledges to behead one member of Congress each day throughout the month of Ramadan as a punishment for their own country’s rejection of Islam. Despite the protests of Counter-Terrorism Division director Scott Ross, Riley races to CTD armed with a plan and a fierce determination to rescue Khadi at all costs.

My review of this book:

I think we all agree 9/11 is never far from our mind hence my reason for selecting this particular title.
This is also my first Riley Covington story...I will tell you this was a book hard to put down!
Never mind that the central theme is really love and compassion, this is after all about Homeland security and the bad guys seem definitively chilling...

For the many followers of the Riley Covington thrillers you already know that he and best friend Kahdi Faroughi have left the Counter-terrorism group Bravo because of conflicts over their religions.
Riley heads back to Pro Football and Kahdi becomes a security specialist for a well know senator.
As the story develops the terrorists spread death and destruction across the country in their attempt to distract law enforcement and security agencies until the final explosive ending.

I will tell you that during the funeral of a well known government figure, the terrorists takes over the National Cathedral thus securing attending Senators, Congressmen and their families hostage.
Be ready for a shocking ending with Riley and Kahdi working once again together with their old team.

Amazingly despite the seriousness of the theme, this is first of all a Christian novel and I will vouch this would be a very good addition to your Inspirational library.

I give it 5 stars!

I received this book free from TYNDALE as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

11 July 2011

The Girl In The Blue Beret, Book Review

From the Publisher:

Inspired by the wartime experiences of her late father-in-law, award-winning author Bobbie Ann Mason has written an unforgettable novel about an American World War II pilot shot down in Occupied Europe.

When Marshall Stone returns to his crash site decades later, he finds himself drawn back in time to the brave people who helped him escape from the Nazis. He especially recalls one intrepid girl guide who risked her life to help him—the girl in the blue beret.

Marshall’s search becomes a wrenching odyssey of discovery that threatens to break his heart—and also sets him on a new course for the rest of his life. In his journey, he finds astonishing revelations about the people he knew during the war—none more electrifying and inspiring than the story of the girl in the blue beret.

Intimate and haunting, The Girl in the Blue Beret is a beautiful and affecting story of love and courage, war and redemption, and the startling promise of second chances.

My review:

I first spotted this title in a magazine and the subject immediately caught my attention. Our local library kindly loaned me their copy and once I opened the book I could not put it down!

The Girl in the Blue Beret is everything the Publisher promised! Here is indeed a story so well written you will hear boots beating the sidewalks, sirens screaming, you will feel the despair of occupation and experience also the courage displayed by everyday people! 

Occupied Europe during World War 2 is a time most people try to forget yet its haunting shadows always remains. Few really like to speak of it, the ones who do are often reticent. 
The older folks will tell you the ones who speak often of their valour during the war stayed out of harm's way!

Atrocities were committed, many lost their lives...
Some became heroes, some became collaborators but lest we forget we are Christians, let's also remember that we should not judge whole nations by a few people's actions and this includes the ennemy. Unless we live through occupation ourselves we have no idea where we would stand.

We should never forget the incredible Resistance system that saved thousands of pilots from "Camp Germany". This story attest that Heroes are just ordinary men, women and yes, even youths who contrived to defy the odds because they believed in a cause. When your freedom has been forcibly taken from you by an outside force, your pride rallies and you fight back...or not...

Bobbie Ann Mason brings us an excellent rendition of one man's search to fill the gaps in his suddenly empty life. Turning 60, the airline for which he flew put him to pasture...Death for any flyboy!
In his search Marshall Stone will discover the true identity of the people of Belgium and France who risked their lives to save him and in the end find his way Home!

Being bilingual I particularly enjoyed the fluent transition betwixt the dialogues and the local flavours the author vividly describes! I clealy saw myself in that B17 landing on Belgian soil...

Forgive but never forget my Grandfather would always say...

I give it 5 stars!

A quick reminder as always of course: I was not asked to review this book and any opinion expressed is solely my own!

10 July 2011

The Night Train, Book Review

Publisher's review:

In 1963, at the age of 17, Dwayne Hallston discovers James Brown and wants to perform just like him. His band, the Amazing Rumblers, studies and rehearses Brown's Live at the Apollo album in the storage room of his father's shop in their small North Carolina town. Meanwhile, Dwayne's forbidden black friend Larry--aspiring to play piano like Thelonius Monk--apprentices to a jazz musician called the Bleeder. His mother hopes music will allow him to escape the South.

A dancing chicken and a mutual passion for music help Dwayne and Larry as they try to achieve their dreams and maintain their friendship, even while their world says both are impossible. In THE NIGHT TRAIN, Edgerton's trademark humor reminds us of our divided national history and the way music has helped bring us together.

Now for my review:

Music and the folks who play it, write lyrics, generally enjoy a good time following their dreams, is the central theme of this book and was a deciding factor when I agreed to review The Night Train.
Let me first say this is not what I would consider truly Christian material.

There is no doubt Clyde Edgerton has a certain humour and is even funny at times. I also found him somewhat boring and at times even distasteful.
Perhaps I should explain Edgerton pokes fun at the entire human race but he writes about something close to my heart and there is where I draw the line. 

In all fairness, I should tell you the author's writing is interesting and informative and the same can be said about some of his characters.
Some people might enjoy this kind of book but I cannot count myself amongst them. Based on this, I doubt I would review anything else of Clyde Edgerton's work.

I feel generous and gave it 3 stars!

About the Author:

Visit Clyde Edgerton's website (here)

I received this book free from HACHETTE as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

09 July 2011

Love Is Everything

Love is everything it is said and prayers can be answered so whilst I am cautiously optimistic, anyone who would like an update on Baby Madeline can now do so directly:

In the meantime, prayers continues...
A big Thank you to everyone at Heavenly Angels In Need!

God is good, God is great...

08 July 2011

A Learning Experience: Ronald McDonald House and more...


It always astonish me how much I have still to learn and how set in my ways I truly am...
Perhaps I live in a bubble after all...
Communication is such a precious commodity. Without it you feel absolutely helpless and I will add, ignorance is not bliss particularly when you are faraway...
Somehow 'somebody' forgot our cellphone on the mainland...hence the laptop is our only connection with the outside world. Smoke signals anyone?

Emails are a wondrous thing, trust me! Today we were able to find out that Madeline's Mum was able to change her nappy yesterday, Dad swabbed her little mouth with water. Mum was discharged from hospital but neither could go home and not be close to their little girl. The first night was spend on a sofa at the Ronald McDonald house nearby. Last night they were able to be allocated a room.
If like me you have little knowledge of how such a marvelous association works, please visit here
It is worth a moment of your time and so many need their help!
Heavenly Angels in Need are another association no one should forget! Their prayers were so uplifting! 

Today Madeline's body temperature is slowly being elevated and perhaps her Mum and Dad will be able to hold her. Next week an MRI is scheduled and we continue to pray and hope...

In His hands...

07 July 2011

For Book Lovers Only...

I just happened to close my laptop and noticed this article of a house in Osaka, Japan built to specification for a book lover!

Absolutely amazing!

Floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall shelving defines a compact, 557-square-foot home in Osaka prefecture, Japan, designed by Japanese Architect Kazuya Morita.

To read this article (here)

It can support 10 tons of books (!!!) and it can survive earthquakes!
What a dream!

06 July 2011

The Power of Prayers

Today we heard Madeline is 'responsive during examinations, meaning she resists examinations slightly so she is having deliberate movement...'
She will still likely be in the hospital several weeks but her Mum hopes to hold her for the first time on Friday...
Madeline's Mum tells us: 'It has been amazing how many people have been praying for us, stopping by, and showing their concern to us, we are so thankful. I know all the prayers are helping!'

The Power of Prayers...
An amazing thing...

God's Masterpiece
From graceful lilies pure and white,
God fashioned lovely skin,
Forgetmenots he chose for eyes,
Then formed your baby chin.

He took a tulip bright and red --
'Twas one that did not fade;
A softer, sweeter little mouth
Before was never made.

Another flower next He used --
A rosebud, pink and fair;
Touched it to your dimpled cheeks
And bade it blossom there.

Then with His magic fingers picked
Two morning glories white;
Curled and shaped your little ears,
Soon they were fastened tight.

That crowning bit of golden down
Will soon become your hair;
He gathered pollen from the flowers,
And sprinkled it with care.

For dainty little fingers dear
And precious, tiny toes,
He used slender daisy frills;
A snowdrop made your nose.

This world and all within it
He created here for man;
But Baby was "God's Masterpiece"
Since time and life began!

(Poem by D. Dinsmore)

      For Madeline....

05 July 2011

Nine Months Later A Little Girl Was Born...

Isn't it odd that our first reaction to bad news is to disbelief? After all, 'these' things happened to others, not 
Until this morning I knew nothing of perinatal asphyxia, or (HIE) hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. 
When the phone rang this morning all I thought of was is it a boy or a girl...

Madeline was born on the Fourth of July but due to birth complications her little heart had to be resuscitated.
Her Mum never got to hold her as treatment needed to be started immediately. Tests to evaluate any possible damage therefore will have to be postponed for 72 hours.

Babbling on the phone to cheer her, I told Madeline's Mum everything will soon be fine, God has a plan after all and pretty soon we will speak of her prom's dress, her first credit card and her college education...
This little girl could have been my grandchild but God had other plans...
Meanwhile we pray, we pray more than we ever have...

I asked everyone at Heavenly Angels In Need to help out...Prayers I just know can work miracles!
And so we wait...and pray and hope...
So many dreams...
Like the little girl in 'Miracle on 34th Street', I will repeat 'I believe, I believe, I believe...'

04 July 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

'...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.'

(The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America)


"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
  (Abraham Lincoln)
Thank you to all our Heroes for the gift of FREEDOM! 

03 July 2011

Living Fossils, Evolution: The Great Experiment Vol. 2, Book Review

In this second volume of Living Fossils, Evolution: The Great Experiment Dr. Carl Werner uses Fossils records from Museums and Collections from around the World and compares them with present day living specimens.
Beautifully written with amazing photographs this book contains an astounding amount of well documented records of living fossils! 

In a clear and concise format Dr. Werner explains why he believes Creation is a very real possibility. Readers of course will be able to judge for themselves whilst reviewing the information provided and compare evidences throughout the many chapters.
Dr. Werner for i.e. asks in Chapter 2 the question: 'How can you verify Evolution?' and presents both for and against evidences.

 An excellent book for the Home Schooled family or the individual student this Volume 2 of Living Fossils, Evolution: The Great Experiment covers a startling amount of information about Echinoderms, Aquatic Arthropods, Land Arthropods, Shellfish, Snails and a host of others such as Fishes, Amphibians, Mammals. Birds, etc...
Here you are certain to find also in depth information on plants and trees but always in an easy to read format!

This is truly a book I would recommend to anyone!
I give it 5 stars!

I received this book free from New Leaf Publishing Group as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.