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The Last Christian by David Gregory

By Lori Stilger

When I received this book to review, I was really skeptical; the title wasn’t Biblical, and I just didn’t see much hope for its contents.

Am I ever glad I didn’t let the title stop me from reading! This is a wonderful book, filled with interesting premises concerning the future, Biblical truths, and practical application all wrapped up in a fast-paced novel.

Set in 2088, the book’s main character is Abigail Caldwell, a missionary’s daughter who was born in New Guinea. Through events you’ll have to read for yourselves, Abigail makes her way to the States – where the trials and adventures really begin.

From self-propelled cars to self-replicating nannites, the book is filled with technology that, because of our current technology, is completely believable. From learning to politics, the changes the author puts forth seem both ordinary and terrifying.

I really don’t want to share too much of the plot or the truth and application you’ll find in this book; but I really do recommend that you read THE LAST CHRISTIAN. Plot twists, a fast read, and eye-opening Scripture usage will make this a book you won’t quickly forget.

The book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

Richard Stearns is President of World Vision U.S. He came from a poor beginning. With proper education and hard work he quickly climbed the corporate ladder to become CEO of several companies – the last being Lenox – the china company.

With a single phone call Stearns’ life changed drastically. God had a purpose for his life and it wasn’t selling china. After much prayer in which he asked God if He was sure, he accepts the position of President of World Vision.

Stearns explains why there is a hole in our christian belief. We are responsible for our choices. Stearns is an hero. The book challenges all Christians to move out of the cloister and into the world for God’s sake. God has the power to transform the world through us. He expects more from us. Stearns points out that thousands of children die daily from lack of fresh water. AIDS is rampant in Africa – parents dying and leaving children as orphans to care for themselves. What are we as Christians doing about world hunger, human trafficking, etc. He points out that churches need to get involved – individuals need to get involved. Sponsor a child – pay for a well, etc. Tears will stream down your face as you read about the suffering in the world that we Christians ignore.

Read the book to discover the full power of Jesus Christ and change your life. The whole gospel is a world changing revolution that begins with you and me. What are you going to do about world hunger, AIDS, etc? When you finish the book, ask your self the question – How can I help – what am I doing to do? Will you plug the hole in our gospel? What does God want you to do?

Highly recommend this book. It will change your life in ways you can’t imagine Stearns keeps you turning the pages. A hard book to put down.

To learn more visit www.theholeinourgospel.com.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Lost Summer Of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees

Louisa Alcott is the well known author of Little Women, a classic novel that has never been out of print since first published in 1868. Louisa had not always been famous. Ms. McNees takes the reader back to Louisa’s life before she became a recognized writer. Reading the book, one must remember this is only the writer’s imagination, and not all actual fact.

Louisa is the second oldest in as family of four daughters, Her father, Bronson, is a philosopher who believes holding down a job is beneath him – it would tarnish his image should he sully himself with economic affairs like providing for his family. However, he is not adverse to accepting charity. Abba (or Marmee as she is called) and her daughters have to depend on the charity of friends and family. Things are rough for the family, but financial mercy comes from her brother-in-law who offers the family a house in Walpole in New Hampshire. This is where the author really begins to get into Louisa’s life.

Louisa has always dreamed of being an independent woman, a famous writer and living in Boston – a city she dearly loves. She has sold a few articles and had one small book published, but nothing spectacular or anything that has gained her recognition. During the summer in Walpole she meets Joseph, a young man running his father’s store. They fall in love, but a happy ending is not to be.

Ms. McNees puts you right in the midst of Louisa’s life. You will feel her heartaches, frustration, first love, her dreams, the decisions she must make, and the hardship she endures because of her father refusal to care for his family.

The author is to be congratulated on a well written novel. It is a story of first love, sacrifices and a woman’s determination to fulfill her dreams no matter the cost.

Highly recommended.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott

Rosie Ferguson is a young teenager. She is intelligent, beautiful, athletic and a straight A student. This is only on the surface. She is not the well adjusted teen she appears to be. She hides a deep dark secret. Rosie is an addict, liar and a very manipulative person. She and her two friends, Alice and Jody, will do anything to get high, even trading sex for drugs.

Rosie’s parents, James and Elizabeth, are puzzled by her fits of rebellion, tantrums and down right disobedience. James tries to be the disciplinarian, but most of the time is overruled by Elizabeth, who is very naive. She wants to be Rosie’s friend and not get her angry. Things are rough when Rosie is in one of her moods.

In a rare moment, Rosie admits to having smoked weed (pot) but never doing the hard stuff like cocaine. This, of course, is a lie. Things progress to the point that Elizabeth resorts to taking urine samples to check for drugs. Rosie gets around this by putting a drop of bleach in the sample.

Elizabeth believes is everything is fine and Rosie is no longer doing drugs. The truth comes out when she completely flips out on over the counter cough medicine and ends up in the drug ward at the local hospital. At their wits end on how to handle the situation, the parents send her to a Wilderness Camp in Utah for drug addiction.

Highly recommended for parents of preteen and teens. Ms. Lamott clearly points out the signs to look for to determine if your child is using drugs or other substances. Ms. Lamott is a very talented writer.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Skid & the Too Tiny Tunnel by Jeffery Stoddard

-Reviewed by Scott Asher of AshertopiA

Skid, the smallest tractor on the job, wishes he was as big and mighty as the gigantic bulldozers and diggers. The large tractors dismiss the tiny Skid, telling him that he has a “putt-putt engine.” But when a cave in strikes and the only way to save Pillar, the biggest bulldozer, is to go into a tiny hole filled with darkness, Skid has a chance to prove himself.

Stoddard tells our children the same story that they’ve heard over and again: just because you’re little doesn’t mean you aren’t [special, big hearted, important, fill in the blank.] The only twist that the Skid stories bring is that the characters are all construction vehicles. The impact of that choice can’t be ignored though as every small boy will be immediately enthralled by the also-ran story… but with tractors!

My four year old son loved Skid. From the moment I opened up the brightly colored, whimsical pages he was mesmerized. I was worried that he wouldn’t sit still long enough on each page to get through the dense narrative (there are multiple paragraphs of narrative on each page) but he did. As far as little boys go, Skid is a hit.

As for adults – maybe not so much. The book is billed as a story of Deuteronomy 31:6,

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (NIV)

However, the verses don’t match the story well as not a single time did the concept of God or prayer, in any way, come up during the narrative. Skid faces his fears on his own and overcomes them under his own power. There is no indication that Skid acknowledges or understands or leaned on God going with him or not forsaking him. This isn’t much of a problem if taking the narrative on its own. But with the Bible verse prominently on the cover and the book clearly marketed to Christians the lack of anything about God in the content of the story is disappointing.

Overall, Skid is successful in entertaining young boys, but doesn’t cover any new ground and fails to live up to the promise of a Bible tie in. Tepidly recommended.

This book was supplied by the publisher via netgalley.com as a review copy.

If I Could Ask God Anything: Awesome Bible Answers for Curious Kids by Kathryn Slattery

Summary from Thomas Nelson: If I Could Ask God Anything is a unique kid-friendly book jam-packed with clear, fresh answers to important questions about God, faith, prayer, and Christianity in language that children can understand.

This book was very cool. It answered a lot of good questions that a lot of people even adults would want to know the answer to. It was funny too. It answered funny questions like why people carry certain memory verses to football games. The question I liked the best was was Jesus’s birthday really December 25th (the answer was it may or may not have been. So His birthday could be today, tomorrow, in a week, in a month, or in a year. No one knows when His birthday really was. I wonder why nobody back then wrote it down.)

I personally wouldn’t have picked up this book and read it on my own time for no reason. I think little kids would like to read it but definetly not people my age (10-11). The book was great but not a lot of kids my age are curious about this stuff. I think there are only a few who would pick this book up either. I am not trying to be mean or anything, I am just being honest. The simple thing I am saying here is I thought the book was okay for adults and kids. If you are wanting a pleasure reading book though you need to pick up a different book.


Arieltopia is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She is an 11 year old avid reader – usually going through a book a day – who gives readers a unique perspective on Young Adult and Teen Fiction; an actual teenager’s perspective. Her blog is http://Arieltopia.blogspot.com.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Shades of Morning by Marlo Schalesky

Marnie Wittier owns and operates a coffee house/book store known as Marnie’s Books & Brew in California. Her life is just as she wants it to be. She has a box filled with slips of regrets-sins-sorrows. These are things from her past that she wants to forget, but can’t really. Marnie has a secret that is keeping her from od’s special healing. Marnie’s world comes crashing down when she receives a letter from Taylor Cole. She has not seen or spoken to him for sixteen years. How had he found her? What does he want after all this time. Memories start to flood in. He is the man who helped her locate the mother that had abandoned her and her sister Rose. She had fallen in love with Taylor, but abandoned him due to the secret she carries. Taylor is Rose’s lawyer.

Marnie opens the letter – Rose is dead and she is the legal guardian of a 15 year old boy she never knew existed. When Emmit arrives she disc overs he has Down Syndrome. She is unprepared to care for him. What was Rose thinking? She really needed to find a home for him – someone who knew how to care for him. Why didn’t Taylor keep him? Emmit has a beautiful smile – he is gentle at times and very stubborn at others. Soon he has wormed his way into Marnie’s heart.

The author keeps you turning pages – a book hard to put down. Recommend you read this very interesting story about a trouble women and a boy with Down Syndrome. Does Marnie find her way back to God? Does she let go of the past? How does Taylor fit into her future?

Highly recommended.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

She Walks In Beauty by Siri Mitchell

Clara is the beautiful daughter of a widowed doctor in the late 1800’s. Her aunt decides to have Clara debut a year earlier than she was expecting and Clara is quickly spending all of her time learning how to behave and fit it with high society. Her father and aunt expect her to win the proposal of the most wealthiest bachelor, so that she will be fully accepted into high society and have money.

She Walks in Beauty
by Siri Mitchell
Bethany House
2010

Her two biggest problems are learning all she needs to know in a short amount of time and dealing with her best friend who is also debuting and is expected to get married to the same man. Clara struggles through out the season with her feels of marrying for love or doing what her father and aunt tell her must be done.

While struggling with these feelings she learns some upsetting things about her mother’s death and her father’s business choices.

This book was a wonderful book. I was drawn and captivated to it from first page to the last. I loved her descriptions of every scene and the interactions between the character’s seem so real. I would highly suggest this book and I am looking forward to reading more from this author.


Becky Freyenhagen is a wife and homeschooling mother of three. She also reviews at Booya! Books.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Sixteen women set out west on a train, under false pretenses, to make a new life for themselves. They all have a past which they are trying to run from or leave behind. What they don’t know is what or who is waiting for them once they get there.
This book was not a favorite of mine. It took me quite a while to get into the book and then it held my interest. I realized half way through the book that the name for this book was, in my opinion, not a good title. There are only sixteen women through the first five chapters of the book and then it narrows down to six women. And those first five chapters where confusing because of the so many female characters. Once the number of characters narrows down and you can start focusing on their stories and the townspeople’s stories, then you start settling in and enjoying the story line. The story is fairly predictable with a couple of shockers to keep your interest. I did love the determination of the six women to accomplish some independence. Overall, this book would be a good book to borrow from a friend for a weekend read.

This book was free from the publisher.

Fifteen Years by Kendra Norman-Bellamy

Josiah (JT) Tucker is a young African American male climbing the corporate ladder of success. He is employed by MacGyver Technologies (a Fortune 500 company) as senior manager. He drives a Audi R8, has a large office and a budget to redecorate to his specifications. He has arrived – right? His life is a far cry from the life of that teen who had to struggle to keep the lights on in a shabby Chicago dwelling. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Fifteen Years
by Kendra Norman-Bellamy
Lift Every Voice
February 2010

Inside JT is a very empty, troubled person. He is the product of an absentee father (he doesn’t know who his father is) and a substance abuse mother. JT spent most of his formative years in foster homes and a ward of the state. He lived for several years with Thomas and Joanne Smith who loved him and took care of him. They gave him a sense of stability and religious upbringing. When he was 14, he is returned to his birth mother. Life was really hard living with a drug addict. The day after his graduation, he is informed by the police that his mother has been murdered. This is where JT’s life become hectic. He does manage to graduate high school, carrying a 4.1 GPA and is valedictorian of his graduating class from Martin Luther King High School. His GPA earns him a full scholarship to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

To all outwards appearance, JT has it all, but appearance is only hiding the truth. He is empty, broken and tormented with memories that won’t go away. During a session with Bishop Nathaniel Lumpkin he breaks down and confesses all his hurts, fears and frustrations. Bishop Lumpkin suggest he find his “missing leg” – the Smith family – and reconnect with the people who truly loved him.

JT’s journey to find the Smiths makes for an interesting read. Highly recommend you read the book to learn what transpires when JT reconnect with Thomas and Joanne Smith. They have not forgotten him and has prayed for him daily. Does he discover secrets about his past and the love he has always longed for? The ending will surprise and delight you. A lot can happen in Fifteen Years.

Ms. Bellamy is a best selling author and founder of KNB Publishers. Highly recommended.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.