Category Archives: Reviewers

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

Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for 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.

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 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.

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 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

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

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.

Hunter’s Moon by Don Hoesel

I have just completed reading Hunter’s Moon. Several times during this process I felt I would not reach that point. I had read more than three chapters before I could really say who the story was about – the whole book was so disjointed! The story was believable, but I think if the author had put it together in a smoother vein, it would have been more of a pleasant read.

Most of the characters were incomplete. That one correction would have given this book more subtance. More background on why the evil characters were the way they were would have given them more substance as well. There was no emotional attachment between the reader and the main character. He seemed not to have a clear emotional connection with any other characters. The timelines were jumbled and not being clearly defined made it even more difficult to follow.

The religious antedotes seemed insincere, placed in situations as if an afterthought. I saw nothing in the main character’s actions that showed any type of convictions or any depth of his “conversion”. It is true he had a lot of mental and emotional baggage, but even this was not explored enough to strengthen the character’s motives. Needless to say, I was dissapointed.

Diane Kennedy Henderson, a self described “Silver Saint” is a retiree who loves to have fun, spending days
playing games online, reading and spending time with family and friends.

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

The Lovers by Vendela Vida

Yvonne is a recent widow and the mother of grown twins – Matthew and Aurelia. Her husband Peter was killed in a hit and run accident approximately two years ago. Matthew has always been the brainy one – excelling at everything he tries, Peter was always so very proud of him. Aurelia is a troubled young lady living in Matthew’s shadow. She has been in and out of rehab since the age of sixteen. Yvonne is sort of estranged from her children. She doesn’t understand them and sees them only occasionally. Aurelia always has some crisis going on in her life. She didn’t have a very good relationship with Peter before his death due mainly to Aurelia’s problems and Peter had simply quit talking about her.

Yvonne was becoming more depressed and didn’t know how she would continue to cope. She decides a trip to Turkey, particularly Datca, a small village where she and Peter spent their honeymoon several decades ago, she finds a rental house on the Internet, contacts the owner, packs her bags and sets off on a journey to immerse herself in memories and try to become again the person she was so long ago. Things become complicated and instead of being comforted by her memories they trouble her.

One day at the beach she meets Amhet, a young Turkish boy, who sells sea shells. She commissions him to find shells for her, but what she would do with them is any one’s guess. This is her way of making sure he would be at the beach each day. Yvonne becomes deeply attached to him and begins to compare him to Matthew when he was Amhet’s age. Unfortunately a terrible accident involving Amhet throws her life in turmoil. She get lost in a sandstorm and believes she is going to die all alone in Turkey.

The novel is really about a tormented women traveling along in a foreign country and being unable to speak the language. She is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after losing her husband much too soon and in such a terrible way. She wants to connect with her children, but don’t know how. Ms. Vida does an excellent job of keeping you turning the pages, you can sympathize with Yvonne, feel her loss, her frustration, and her desire to become whole again.

Highly recommended.

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

The Map of True Places by Bunonia Barry

Zee Finch is a psychotherapist working with Dr. Liz Mattei. Zee is treating one patient in particular, Lily Braedon, who has a husband and three children. Lilly has been diagnosed as being bipolar. Lilly is having an affair with Adam, a construction worker. Zee believes he is abusing her and suggests she break off the affair. Zee is engaged to Michael, Boston’s most eligible bachelor, but something is always preventing her from meeting with the wedding planner. Lilly’s condition worsens, she become very depressed and commits suicide. Zee goes to Lilly’s funeral, against the advice of Dr. Mattei. This throws Zee into an emotional turmoil. Years ago Zee’s mother Maureen, had been bipolar, but refused to take any medication, and she too had committed suicide. Zee begins to have doubts about her profession. Why didn’t she see this coming – why hadn’t she picked up on Lilly’s suicidal tendencies? Her whole attitude changes and she is acting strange and doing things she would never had done before.

Zee’s father, Finch, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but has been hiding it from her. She discovers just how sick he really is. She takes a leave from her job to become his caregiver. Finch’s long time companion, Melville, has moved out, but is still very concerned about him. Being a caregiver is very hard on Zee. She becomes confused and depressed. She begins a new life which will not only take her into the future, but her past as well.

The book is a fast-paced suspense novel. The father-daughter relationship is based on half truths and her mothers untimely death.

Highly recommended, this novel is a page turner.

Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for 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.

Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller

I love Judith Miller and she doesn’t disappoint in this captivating book. This story is about two young women and their search for where God wants them to be. This is one of those life lessons we all go through and continue to learn even as we get older and wiser. The story takes place in a devout Christian community in Amana, Iowa. Johanna ( love the name, but only because it is my eldest daughter’s name) has grown up in Amana her whole life, but is fascinated by the outside world and wants to go discover what keeps her older brother from moving back to Amana. She is an exceptional daughter and member of her community. She believes strongly in what she has learned as a Christian growing up, but a family secret rattles her to the core. Will she be able to overcome what she has learned and find her path?
Berta is used to high society in Chicago, but her parents decided to move to Amana and she is greatly upset. She does not want to work hard or follow the rules given to her. Johanna is assigned to teach her how to behave and how to act. Can Johanna’s gently ways guide Berta or will a shocking discovery in her life send her down a path of destruction? Will Berta find some peace in her life?
This was a great book. I was highly interested in the life style of the villages in Amana and was caught up in the two girls and their stories. I spent a very relaxing Mother’s Day weekend reading this delightful story. This looks to be a series and I am looking to forward to the next book.
This book was a free book from the publisher.