Category Archives: The Golden Reviewer

No More Christian Nice Girl by Paul Coughlin and Jennifer D. Degler Ph.D

This is an amazing book! Did you know that Jesus had a nice side and a salty side? He was not nice 100% all the time. He rebuked people, but always in love. Have you been taught the watered down version of Jesus or the 360 degree Jesus? Today’s Pastors only want to teach the one-sided Jesus. They tend to skip over the scriptures where Jesus was assertive. They want you to believe that Jesus was/is always gentle, meek and mild. That is not true – Jesus could and was assertive when it became necessary for him to do so.

Girls are taught from a early age that they should be “sugar and spice and everything nice”. In other world be passive, keep silent. don’t raise your voice or get angry – never say no. Christian Nice Girls (CNG) are just this. They believe God wants them to be nice to everyone – do what anyone wants and don’t make waves. Are you a CNG? This is now what God wants of you. He wants you to be a God’s Good Woman. A woman who courageously walks with integrity and purpose. She is not a doormat – letting people walk all over her. She can be like the 360 degree Jesus – she can be salty. She can say no, be assertive with love and still be a good Christian person. She can be bold and assertive – she does not have to be a people pleaser who tries to do too much. There are many women in the Bible who were God’s Good Women – are you one?

The Bible states that a woman should be submissive to her husband. Read 1st Peter, Ephesians 5:21-33 and Colossians 3:18-19. How do you interpret these scripture? CNGs literally live their life this way. What God wants you to be is more honest, assertive, and truly loving inside your marriage and with others. The higher power is God.

Highly recommended. The authors give you precise directions on how to change from a Christian Nice Girl to a God’s Good Woman. Are you willing to change? You will probable displease some if you do, but the reward is worth the change – a more fulfilling life.


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.

Cast of Characters by Max Lucado

This is a very intriguing and thought provoking book. Who are these characters? They are Moses. Esther, Paul, Peter, Job, the rich young ruler, Lazarus – to name a few. They are you and me. They were not a list of “Who’s Who in Purity and Sainthood.” Their live were marked by scandal and intrigue. These are people of the Bible – famous biblical characters. They had problems just like you and me. They were very human and imperfect just like you and me. Guess who was there to make everything right. Jesus – that’s who. He will make everything right for you and me -all we have to do is ask and believe. Jesus (God) is the hero of all. He is the God of second chances – our Maker – our Savior – our salvation. When we try to do it our way – it is impossible, but all things are possible for God.

Highly recommend you read this very interesting book, Lucado is an excellent author. He puts you right in the picture – you are there in the tents, tending the flock, and yes, even with the shepherd boy – David – on the battlefield when he slays the Philistine giant Goliath. And in the midst – hovering over us all is GOD.


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.

Beirut 39 edited by Samuel Shimon

The book is a collection of short stories, novels and poems written by 39 Arab writers under the age of 40. 450 young writers across the Arab World, Europe and America submitted their writings, but only 39 were selected to be published. The presentations have been translated from Arabic to English by various translators. The books takes the reader into the regions of the Middle East and Africa. The reader feels, hears, tastes the culture of the Arab World. One will live the horrors of war, destruction of their home land, corrupt regimes and experience the pain and frustration of a nation constantly at odds with the rest of the civilized world. These 39 young writers have put their very souls into their writing, hoping to be recognized and published. One cannot but relate to the discipline of the Islamic religion – the call to prayer morning/noon/night, and the pride of the many who constantly practice their belief – the piety of true believers.

The is book is one that will cause the reader to pause and thank their Heavenly Father that we live in a land where we have freedom of worship, speech, etc, without fear of retaliation or imprisonment. These young writers brings one face to face with a civilization far removed from our own – one of suffering, lack of freedom and fear of the unknown.

I recommend the book. It will enlighted you and open your eyes.


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.

After The Fall by Kylie Ladd

by Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer

The book is about lust, love, friendship, adultery, trust and betrayal. Kate/Cary and Luke/Cressida are a foursome. They thought their friendship was secure and faultless. This all changed when Luke and Kate started a secret love affair. The book is written in first-person voices and lets the reader know their thoughts and misgivings – guilt, lust, anger, love and fears.

Cary is a quiet, adoring husband, loves Kate without reservations, trusts her completely, and wants to start a family. Kate is a flirt, a firecracker of a women. She loves Cary but yearns for Luke’s love and attention. Luke is also a flirt. He is genuinely fond of women and Cressida has no problems with this – she knows he really loves her. Cressida is a doctor and her unusual long hours at the hospital leaves Luke alone a great deal of the time.

After The Fall dwells into the souls of two young devoted couples that let lust destroy their friendship and marriages. It changes the lives of four people who thought that nothing would ever destroy the vows they exchanged on their respective wedding day.

After The Fall will intrigue you, make you thankful for the love and devotion of your spouse. It will also make you more fully appreciate that the grass is not greener on the other side.

Highly recommended – especially for those of you who harbor feelings for someone other than your spouse.

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

Hellhound On His Trail by Hampton Sides

Prisoner #416-J in Missouri State Penitentiary at Jefferson City is a slender, fair-skinned man in his late thirties with raven hair flecked with gray at his sideburns. He is a person hard to describe or remember – a model prisoner the guards overlook. He has spent most of his adult life behind bars. Today is the day #416-J will escape (in a bread box no less) and be on the run for many months just under the radar.

It is a happy time in Memphis. Tennessee. The third annual Cotton Carnival, Memphis’ answer to Marde Gras, is about to begin. The barge carrying the cotton king and queen is scheduled to arrive shortly after sunset. It is also a time of unrest. The sanitation workers are on strike. The garbage is piling up on the street of Memphis and the Major refused to negotiate. Martin Luther King Jr, is scheduled to lead a peaceful march in support of the workers.

Prisoner #416-J, or Eric Galt as he calls himself, is in Puerto Vallarta pertaining to be a photographer making a movie. The manager of the hotel where he is staying doesn’t know what to make of his mysterious new guest. Gault is meticulously dressed, is a fidgety gringo who mumbles when he talks and drives a two-door Mustang hardtop.

Former Governor George C.Wallace is running for President of the United States. He is making white supremacy the centerpiece of his campaign. Wallace’s hatred of the back man and King in particular is widely known. King is extremely troubled by Wallace’s popularity. King is crisscrossing the country promoting his upcoming Poor People’s Campaign. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover has been obsessed with King for decades. He has carried in a semi public feud with King and the SC LC.

Wallace’s campaign in Los Angeles draws Galt. When did he return to the United States and under what alias? His hatred for blacks and King is growing to the boiling point. He leaves Los Angeles for Memphis and begins stalking King. Martin Luther King Jr, is shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee by an unknown assassin who escapes under the very noses of the Memphis police. At 7:05 pm at St, Joseph Hospital is pronounced dead. Who is the assassin?

Every able bodied man and women of the FBI and all police departments are looking for who. Clues point to a man named Eric Galt, but who is he? Galt, under an alias, is eventually caught by Scotland Yard trying to board a plane to Brussels. He is returned to the United States and put in solitary confinement in the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary – one of Tennessee’s tightest maximum security prisons. By a quirt of faith he escapes and for several days is on the run. He is captured, by accident, in the rugged mountains surrounding the prison and returned. He later died in 1998.

The question is – who is Eric Galt? Some believe he is James Earl Ray or is he. How did an uneducated small time criminal, using so many alias, allude the FBI for so long? A 65 day search that took investigators to Canada/Portugal/England in the most massive man hunt in history. Did he have help – where did he get his money? Was there a conspiracy?

Highly recommended. A very interesting read – a hard book to put down.


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.

Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner

This is a very confusing book. Is Turner a Christian, an atheist Christian or what? The book appears to be part theology, part personal devotion and part rambling of a not so good Baptist who had a crush on Amy Grant. He is forbidden by his parents to attend contemporary concerts, but does so anyway. He is forbidden to listen to certain music, but defies his parents and listens to whatever he chooses. He dreams of becoming the Michael Jackson of christian music, but doesn’t have enough talent. The book is suppose to be funny, but I found it more pathetic than funny. I did not care for Turner’s brand of humor.

Turner’s story is supposedly of innocence, music and the Holy Ghost. Where is the Holy Ghost? I did not sense His presence as I read the book. He is a blogger, speaker and has written other books, which I sincerely hope are better than this one.

Cannot recommend.


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 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.

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.

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.

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.