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HoHoHo Readathon Mini Challenge Giveaway: Holiday Sentence

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Review and ARC Giveaway: In Winter's Shadow by Gillian Bradsaw

The age old story of the King Arthur and Guenevere legend - love and betrayal - told from a new perspective.
by Gillian Bradshaw
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402240740
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402240744
     Genre: Historical Fiction
     My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
Book Description
Publication Date: October 1, 2011
Praise for Gillian Bradshaw:

"A welcome new light on the horizon of popular Arthurian legend." – Book list

Vows broken. . .
Friendships betrayed. . .
The fate of heroes finally revealed. . .

As powerful enemies attack the throne from inside the kingdom, Arthur, his queen, and his greatest warrior Gwalchmai will be put to the ultimate test. Never faltering in her loyalty to the king, Gwynhwyfar has stood at Arthur's side through rebellion and war. But one desperate decision could cost her all they've built. With the kingdom crumbling around them, following the Queen's heart could be the greatest threat of all. ..

Praise for Bradshaw's Hawk of May series
"Compelling ... splendid ... vibrant ... exhilarating ...a novel that seduces us into accepting sorcery and sanctity in King Arthur's England." – New York Times Book Review

"Will appeal to those who have enjoyed Tolkien's works." – Library Journal

What readers are saying:

"One of the most emotionally compelling novel retellings of this classic story."

"If you like this legend-this is a must read. This collection will never leave my bookshelf!"

"The author has a gift for creating ... beautiful, heart-stirring prose."
Review: This is a heart-achingly poignant read.
This is the tale of Arthur’s reign from the view of Gwynhwyfar. I had a slow time getting started on this as I usually avoid works that include adultery. However, I love King Arthur stories.

Once I got started the story moved along well. Many stories of Camelot present a picture of peace and well being.  That is not this tale. This one is much more realistic. This book shows the struggles of gathering men and supplies for continuous warfare. There are constant negotiations with neighboring kings to keep and gain allies or to face them as enemies in battle.  Gwynhwyfar is a great help to Arthur as a counselor behind the scenes and a great manager of supplies. "The family" love her for her beauty, strength, kindness and wisdom.

There was a time of unity when the knights in "the family” worked together and supported each other. But that spirit was fractured when Medraut came to live at Camlaan. He is the trouble making son of Morgawse and brother of the honorable Gwalchmai. Medraut starts rumors to divide the family: lies against Gwalchmai, Arthur and Gwynhwyfar.   Arthur is at a loss of what to do as he knows that Medraut could create serious difficulties with his rumors, especially if he reveals the truth of his incestuous birth.

Medraut succeeds in creating strife.  Gwynhwyfar sees her husband’s fatigue after 30 years of fighting.  She seeks to comfort and be comforted by Arthur but he has no strength or joy left. Their lives are filled with the deceit, trouble, division and anguish that Medraut stirs up. Camlann is only a shadow of the stronghold it used to be and it is facing the storm that would destroy it.  And that destruction will come from within but is it caused by Medraut or by the betrayal of Gwynhwyfar and King Arthur’s closest friend?

As events tumble into further division Gwalchmai seeks revenge for a wrong that he will not accept as an accident created by Medraut’s actions. As he wearily, but stubbornly, seeks vengeance he philosophizes that “even the best intentions of those devoted to Light can create Darkness.”

This story of Gwynhwyfar can be summed up by these two quotes:
“I was Empress and could not be a human woman.”
“My memories are long....What remains, then, for all that blood and all that sorrow?
The writing is evocative and quite intense.  There is darkness mixed with bitter sadness and the realistic futility of war. Even thinking back on the story evokes a pain in my heart. If you love Arthurian legend and can handle the bitter sweetness of the downfall of “the family” you will want to read this version.

This is the third book in the trilogy. I reviewed the middle book, Kingdom of Summer. The first two books, Hawk in May and Kingdom of Summer tell Gwalchmai's story. I like his strong character even though he is tragic too. It would not be necessary to read the first two to read and appreciate the third book, but they do give a bigger picture of Medraut's twisted upbringing and Gwalchmai's honorable determinations.

Thank you to Sourcebooks for this book to read and review.

TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for the ARC Copy:
1. Your choice: Visit the author's website and tell me something of interest you found there;
    OR tell me if you have a favorite King Arthur story;
    OR tell me your favorite King Arthur character - mine was always Merlin who is not part of these stories.
This is required for entry.

2.  For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

3. For two entries, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Four total entries possible.)

* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on December 9, 2011.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
The WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on December 10. 
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review and ARC Giveaway of Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes

More than a wish - if you like infants and sweet domesticity this is a charmer to read.
Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish
By Grace Burrowes
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Original edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402261543
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402261541
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0
Book Description
Publication Date: October 4, 2011

"Grace Burrowes passes 'the hair rose on the back of my neck' test...{her} voice embeds itself in your brain."
-USA Today

A luminous holiday tale of romance, passion, and dreams come true from rising star Grace Burrowes, whose award-winning Regency romances are capturing hearts worldwide.

All she wants is peace and anonymity...
Lady Sophie Windham has maneuvered a few days to herself at the ducal mansion in London before she must join her family for Christmas in Kent. Suddenly trapped by a London snowstorm, she finds herself with an abandoned baby and only the assistance of a kind, handsome stranger standing between her and complete disaster.

But Sophie's holiday is about to heat up...
With his estate in ruins, Vim Charpentier sees little to feel festive about this Christmas. His growing attraction for Sophie Windham is the only thing that warms his spirits-but when Sophie's brothers whisk her away, Vim's most painful holiday memories are reawakened.

It seems Sophie's been keeping secrets, and now it will take much more than a mistletoe kiss to make her deepest wishes come true...

"Burrowes's sensual love story...rises above the crowd with deft dialogue and delightful characters."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Review:  I loved this book!  I ooohed at the baby and ahhhed at the handsome hero who shows Sophie how to handle an infant - even to changing the nappies! I chuckled and laughed out loud at the warm antics of various characters including the snipping remarks between the big brothers.

Vim has terrible memories that keep him away from his estates. But now his elderly Uncle and Aunt have summoned him home to deal with the infirmities that they have described of each other.  When Vim sees a lovely lady struggling to calm an unhappy infant he is more than willing to offer assistance.

Lady Sophie didn’t realize that her maid has run off leaving the child, Kit, behind. She has no idea how to manage a baby.  When Mr. Charpentier steps in to instantly soothe the boy she is momentarily alarmed that a strange man has spoken to her.  She quickly realizes that she needs his help.

Sophie doesn’t tell Vim that she is the practical daughter of the Duke’s household, but lets him believe that she is merely a competent servant.  The snow keeps Vim from traveling and one day turns into another. Kit charms them both as they begin to fall under the magical spell of sharing simple domestic joys. Then they fall into a sensual pull of passion which they try to resist until Sophie decides that she can have at least part of a Christmas wish if she is bold enough.

The story is expanded with more domesticity in views of Sophie’s brothers and two sets of “parents”.  The brothers, Westhaven, the heir, St. Just, the soldier, and Val, the pianist, are warm jokesters with their different personalities. Sophie’s parents, the Duke and Duchess, are portrayed with their proper, yet warmly caring ways while they await the late arrival of their children. Vim’s Aunt and Uncle are charming with their sweet elderly eccentricities and mischief as they also await the late arrival of their beloved nephew and heir.

An example of the humor can be seen in this scene:
Vim has finally left to travel home. Sophie’s three brothers have arrived to find her in a rather somber mood with an infant on her hands. They are also discovering evidence that someone else has been in the house with Sophie. As Sophie pauses to make an explanation the back door slams and they hear:
“Sophie, love! I’m back. Come here and let me kiss you senseless, and then, by God, we’re going to talk.”
Vim rounds the corner to find her three brothers glowering at him!  Oooops!

Sophie and Vim each think they do not have a future together. Yet they revel in the warm sensual feelings growing between them even knowing they will hurt when they part. Burrowes has another winner with this completely delightful story.  Having enjoyed three of the siblings’ stories in this wonderful series I will have to get Val’s story, The Virtuoso, too.
Thank you to Sourcebooks for this book to read and review.

TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for the ARC Copy:
1. Visit the author's website and tell me something of interest you found there. This is required for entry.

2.  For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

3. For two entries, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Four total entries possible.)

* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on December 9, 2011.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
The WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on December 10. 
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gratitude Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Gratitude Giveaway Hop.
Thank you also to the Blog Hop hosts:
     I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and co-host All-Consuming Books


CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS of $10.00 Gift Card or BD books:
#309  Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf
#75 Meghan
#53 Carissa St. Amand

Winners please email me (marthaATgmail.com) with your choice of Gift Card, Amazon, PayPal or other or choice of book(s) totaling $10.00 at the Book Depository.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? November 28, 2011

This meme starts at Book Journey!
What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

It was a good reading week with five books finished.  I posted three reviews and two giveaways. I also did a 'Give Thanks' post for six days, Mon - Sat. Then of course I posted my regular Friday Pick Giveaway; Saturday Sharing Beyond Books, and Sunday posts. 

I missed the fourth review last week so will have maybe five reviews to post this week to keep up! *Gulp*. :-)

I got to visit a handful of blogs late last week. Still really busy at work and in the evenings plus had a lovely Thanksgiving with the kids. I did not go out for Black Friday.  I'm not really a shopper - unless it's for books. :-)
These were last week's posts plus a Winner post not listed.

Finished Reading:
1. Print (Kindle)

Good read. The review, Author Guest Post and
Giveaway are linked above.





2. Print (Kindle)
 
By Grace Burrowes
This was delightful and I will post the review and ARC giveaway this week. Reviewing for Sourcebooks.






3. Print (Kindle)
by Gillian Bradshaw
The story from Guinevere's perspective.
I will post the review and 
ARC giveaway this week.
Reviewing for Sourcebooks.





4. Audio CD:
 
by Laini Taylor
Engaging and Surprising. I will post a review this week. Reviewing for Hachette Audio. 




by Nibi Soto
This is the sequel to 
Beyond The Map's Boundary.
A dangerous adventure in time traveling.
I am reviewing for the author.


Line Edits/Releases: Nothing completed this week although two print releases are just waiting for covers.


Currently reading:
1.  Print (Kindle)

by Amanda Forester
I am midway and enjoying this.  
Reviewing for Sourcebooks
Book Description
Publication Date: November 1, 2011

Fleeing into the wilderness to escape an abusive marriage, Lady Isabelle Tynsdale would sooner face down a wild boar than spend another night with her wretched husband. Battered by the elements, desperate to elude a band of attackers, and defending herself against, as fate would have it, a wild boar she is rescued by the handsome Laird David Campbell.

Campbell knows holding Isabelle captive for ransom is his best chance to temper the storm threatening to destroy his clan. The ransom of an English countess should be more than enough to pay off his debts to England and save him from an unwanted marriage. But Isabelle didn't escape her husband just to become another man's captive and Laird Campbell is seriously misguided if he thinks she's going to go quietly. 




2. Print
by Billy Coffey 
I will start this next.
Reviewing for Faith Words
Book Description
Series: A Novel | Publication Date: November 9, 2011
Andy Sommerville seems no different than others in his rural Virginia community, but what sets him apart is that his best friend is an angel. The angel is God's answer to a childhood prayer Andy offered to a twinkling star that his deceased mother once called "the door to heaven." The first angelic proclamation instructs Andy to find the wooden keepsake box in his grandparents' attic. Over the years, he directs Andy to fill it with apparently meaningless objects from twelve people with who Andy randomly crosses paths.
Andy's world is turned upside down when a brutal attack leaves Andy burned and the boy he loved as a son dead. At this crucial juncture, the angel abandons him to loneliness and pain. All that remains is the wooden box Andy has always kept safe, and a new angel, who will use its contents to reveal truth to him as a result, he discovers the defining truth of his life, new hope in the community he loves, and greater trust in the God who sustains him.
The story is told from Andy's hospital bed, where he awakes feeling God has abandoned him. Without being preachy or saccharine, the author brings the small town to life and reveals a spiritual secret--the presence of angels--that helps a wounded man discover the defining truth of his life, place new hope in the community he loves, and trust totally in the God who sustains him. (2011)
by Leonard Rosen
read by Grover Gardner
I have only started but like it already.
I like this narrator and recognized his voice right off.
Reviewing for Audiobook Jukebox and Blackstone Audio.
Book Description
Series: Henri Poincare | Publication Date: September 1, 2011
[This is the MP3CD audiobook format.]
All Cry Chaos, a debut thriller by the immensely gifted Leonard Rosen, is a masterful and gripping tale that literally reaches for the heavens.
The action begins when mathematician James Fenster is assassinated on the eve of a long-scheduled speech at a World Trade Organization meeting. The hit is as elegant as it is bizarre. Fenster's Amsterdam hotel room is incinerated, yet the rest of the building remains intact. The murder trail leads veteran Interpol agent Henri Poincare on a high-stakes, world-crossing quest for answers.
Together with his chain-smoking, bon vivant colleague, Serge Laurent, Poincare pursues a long list of suspects: the Peruvian leader of the Indigenous Liberation Front, Rapture-crazed militants, a hedge fund director, Fenster's elusive ex-fiancee, and a graduate student in mathematics. Poincare begins to make progress in America, but there is a prodigious hatred trained on him--some unfinished business from a terrifying former genocide case--and he is called back to Europe to face the unfathomable. Stripped down and in despair, tested like Job, he realizes the two cases might be connected--and he might be the link.
This first installment in the Henri Poincare series marries sharp, smart mystery to deep religious themes that will keep both agnostics and believers turning pages until the shattering revelatory end. Anyone who enjoys the work of John le Carre, Scott Turow, Dan Brown, and Stieg Larsson will relish Rosen's storytelling and his resourceful, haunted protagonist. Others will appreciate his dazzling prose. Still others, the way he bends the thriller form in unconventional ways toward a higher cause, in the vein of Henning Mankell in The Man from Beijing. In short, All Cry Chaos promises to become a critical success that garners a broad readership throughout the nation and across the globe.


I am also listening to The Listener's Bible NIV read by Max McLean. 
I am at Daniel 4 and Jude.

Line Edits: I am finalizing two Novellas for release and continuing to work on Smashword and print releases.


November is winding down now and these will slide into December.

Additional Publisher Books Coming Up
Hachette: Three Day-Town by Margaret Maron
Little and Brown:
         Help for Writers by Roy Peter Clark 
         Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

Remaining Author Selections - These are now into November and I am going to be pushing to get them in between the publisher selections.
Karen Wiesner -Souls on (B)oring Street [Denim Blues Mysteries Book 3]
Nathan Patrick Hardt - The Second Sonata

[To be posted:
These were read and ready for reviews for Authors. I am sending out interviews for these. I hope to post them all soon.
Quest for Magic by Jean Hart Stewart - Read; review to be posted with interview.
Seeing for the First Time (What You See is What You Get) and To See (What You See is What You Get) by Nicole Zoltack - Both Read; setting up author interview with reviews.
Steamrolled by Pauline Baird Jone. Read; review to be posted with author interview.]

Sunday Words of Encouragement November 27, 2011

It is hard for me to accept that another year is quickly winding down. We are now in the Season of Christmas. May it have more meaning than shopping, rushing and good cheer.
Advent Week One - The week of Prophesy and Hope awaiting the coming of the Savior.

A Verse for Today:
Isaiah 7 : 14
All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means `God is with us').

A Prayer for this first week of advent:  O Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, desire of every nation, Savior of all peoples, come and dwell among us.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sharing Beyond Books #24 Comment Giveaway November 26, 2011

Here we are again! It's Saturday night (late) -  Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books! 
Thanks for your comments this past week.

There were some beautiful book covers selected. I added Louisa's first mentioned cover, Wither. Helen chose covers with hot guys so I picked The Goblin King for her choice and here are all the mentioned covers.The slideshow may take a moment to load. I do love the wolf cover that miki  shared!



The favorite scents are all wonderful. I had to chuckle at Louisa's fav being new books. Heavensent pointed out that Bayberry is so hard to find - it is my DH's fav and we can no longer find it either. But what is with the skunk scent - Are you a bit crazy?? LOL

~~~~

The Winner from SBB #23 comments is: #6 LuAnn. There are still 9 'love' books to pick from, 5 Christmas choices and 2 Summer titles below so LuAnn please choose a book from the remaining Love Books List for Giveaway or remaining Christmas Giveaway Books, the one summer book below OR pick from the ARC box and let me know your choice, your address and a choice of bookmarks by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #24 Questions

Q1. Abby asks: Which is your favourite mythological period? ie Greek, Roman, etc.??
A:  I first tried to remember the mythologies I read as a young person. Then my mind went to Sparta because I like the Gods of Midnight series by Deirdre Knight. But I also thought of Celtic mythology, King Arthur and Atlantis - if those are considered Mythology. Then I resorted to Google search and was surprised to recall there are Native American Mythologies too.  I don't know that I have a favorite as I often don't like the manipulative Gods of Greek and Roman mythologies. But of the many groups I think I am most familiar with Greek mythology.
The imposing columns of the Temple of Zeus, Athens, Greece.



Q2. I'll return to some holiday questions next week. This week I have a question about giveaway hops. Do you like them and if you enter how many of 300+ do you enter?? 
A:  I love the giveaway hop, especially from the hosting side because I love giving - as many of you have figured out. :-)  Some of the hops I have not entered at all. The current Gratitude hop I entered about 60 which is not quite 20%.  I just couldn't find time for more than that.  

~~~~

Thanks to those who are sending in Questions. DON'T BE SHY! Surely everyone has a Q or two you'd like to ask.  Input suggestions in this Suggested Question FormAt the end of each month I will draw from the suggestions I used the month before and that person will get a book choice or GC. I thank everyone for submitting questions but some of you others might want to get in a question or two as we have a few people submitting most of the questions so far.  Either way - it works for me. :-)

Thank you for adding questions. November Q submissions were from: mamabunny13, winnie, Mary P and Abby.
The monthly pick this time goes to #3 Mary P.

Your turn to share:

1. Which is your favourite mythological period? ie Greek, Roman, etc.??


2.  Do you like giveaway hops and if you enter how many of 300+ do you enter??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the remaining  Valentine and "Love" books or the remaining Christmas Giveaway Books - there are still about 14 books available plus 2 left in the Summer titles to choose from. Also I have added the Review and ARC Box now.

My copy is a paperback from 2006
with a different cover.



A Summer Affair (Calhoun Chronicles)A Summer Affair (Calhoun Chronicles)
I love Susan Wigg's historicals!



SBB Rules: a) Must be a follower; 
b) Share a comment on any (or all) of the two/three questions above.
Open internationally and an international winner may get a smaller book or a $5.00 GC if I decide the mailing is too much.
I will pick a Comment winner from all comments made by Friday, December 2 at 10PM central.

Happy Winners of Forever Romance Books, RaeAnne Thayne Books and Renegade Hearts

Thank you to all who entered these giveaways.
CONGRATULATIONS 
TO THE WINNERS OF

Glitter text generator
Laura H, elaing7 and Maria D



Print copy of Blackberry Summer by RaeAnne Thayne 
and Kindle or Nook copy of Christmas in Cold Creek
          Print of Black Berry Summer:                                         eBook copy of Christmas at Cold Creek:
Gothic text from pookatoo.comGothic text from pookatoo.com
bison61
reinaknits


I can't believe more of you didn't enter for this lovely story!
Create text online
I am sure that Cindy Weber will enjoy this book!

ALL WINNERS please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form so I can mail the books out and let the publisher/author know to send books/ebook.  Please reply within 72 hours! 

Check these Giveaways of Three Adorable Teddy Bears!

I stumbled onto these giveaways as I was researching something else.
Wouldn't you love to take one of these Bears home?!

This is a creation of Esther Lee presented as a Giveaway at Esther Bears.
The giveaway for this wonderful bear ends November 27th so hurry over to enter!


Here is another sweet Teddy Giveaway:
Svetlana Sheykina - Teddy Mishki - is having a Give-A-Way of this beautiful Teddy Bear "Bonnie" on 30th November 2011.


 And here is one more that runs through December 31st:
This lovely bear, Paula, is offered by Janice Woodard at Booh Bears
 

Give Thanks for Love!


Today I continue to give thanks - for Love. The love of family and friends and most importantly I give thanks for the author of Love who gave His only son to redeem us from the death of sin.

 

Happy moments: PRAISE GOD. Difficult moments: SEEK GOD. Quiet moments: WORSHIP GOD. Painful moments: TRUST GOD. Every moment: THANK GOD.

It may seem a strange sentiment but often when I am reading romance I feel it helps to increase my capacity to understand the depth of the emotion that God intends for us to feel towards Him.
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Book Review: I Never Thought I'd See the Day! by Dr. David Jeremiah

Have you sometimes been shocked at what you see and hear around us in the world today? Here is a book that addresses some of the shocking changes that have occurred in our culture in our lifetimes.


by David Jeremiah
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446565954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446565950
      Genre: Nonfiction
      My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
Book Description
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Is Western civilization in an accelerating decline? And if it continues will it eventually weaken and cause us to come to the end of cultured civilization as we now know it? "Yes," says David Jeremiah, and in his book, I NEVER THOUGHT I'D SEE THE DAY! he details numerous signs of this cultural decay including:

    America held hostage by Iran
    Marriage becoming obsolete
    Creeping socialism
    The invisibility of culture's enemies
    Increase in "spiritual warfare"
    America turning its back on Israel
    Atheist attack on religion

Can this downward spiral be reversed? Yes, but only if one person at a time returns to God with our heart, our manner of life, our dedication to genuine worship of God, in serving God by helping others, in our giving, and in prayer.
Review: This may not be an easy or simple read - there are hard thoughts and issues to ponder - but it is quite interesting and worthwhile.

Dr. David Jeremiah presents details on historical, political and social changes that have occurred primarily during his own lifetime.  He raises the question whether the Church has lost its right to be heard.  I appreciate how he compares the Christian momentum to Admiral Perry traveling against the ice flow - while he thought he was gaining ground forward, he was really moving backward because the ice flow was moving him faster in the opposite direction.

I made notes on the chapter topics as I read but there is just too much to put it all in my review. I liked how there are historical facts and statistics supporting many of the discussions.  I particularly liked Chapter 2, When Christians Wouldn’t Know They Were In a War.  The author describes the true enemy, Satan, and the many techniques used to keep Christians ineffective.  If Christians do not recognize these basics it is easy for them not to see the war going on in the spiritual realm and they will be unprepared in the battle.

There are three chapters discussing how Jesus, The Bible and the Church have been profaned, ridiculed and diminished to a point where they are deemed irrelevant by many.  I was fascinated by Dr. Jeremiah’s insightful comments on two master pieces painted by Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night and The Church at Auvers.  Apparently Van Gogh had been rejected by the church with a startling negative impact. In the paintings the church is portrayed with closed windows, no lights, no doors, and the pathway in front splits to by-pass the church altogether. If that is how the church is seen then no wonder people do not seek refuge there.

The Church shouldn’t be closed to those in need but it also must be careful that it doesn’t become so “politically correct” and intent on entertaining people that it loses it’s message and effectiveness.  These chapters, as well as others on marriage and morality, reveal that Christians are too often blending with society rather than standing out and standing up for what is right in God’s word.

In the final chapter, When Changing Your Mind Could Save Your Life, the author exhorts the reader to recognize the importance of salvation, turning one’s life over to God and obeying and relying on His assurances of salvation and a better life in the future. Dr. Jeremiah is an optimist and still sees hope for all people although he does not see hope for the return of America to the high days of prosperity. He notes that this is supported by Biblical teachings that things will get worse before they get better which will only happen upon Christ’s return.

As a strong fundamentalist Christian I really appreciated the history, details and scripture references presented. I did have to wonder how a non believer might respond as parts of the book are loaded with Biblical quotes.  I think anyone could benefit from the wisdom and material, although I think Christians, and particularly pastors, would appreciate it more. I will be passing my copy on to my Pastor to enjoy.


Thank you to Faith Words division of Hachette for this book to review.

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