It Just Takes One Glance

10 Nov

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Waldsassen Abbey Library in Bavaria, Germany

9 Nov

It’s been a while since I posted a photo of a library. I ran across this one and had to share. It’s beautiful!

 

 

 

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Book Review: What Would a Muslim Say? by Ahmed Lotfy Rashed

9 Nov

 

With Dialogue Comes UNDERSTANDING
There are many books that teach Islam, preach it, criticize it, or academically explain it. The focus of this book is different. This book is a compilation of actual conversation transcripts, showcasing everyday people asking real questions and getting real answers about Islam.

What Would a Muslim Say is a series of books documenting my experiences as an interfaith volunteer. Ever since 2009, I have facilitated dialogue with many different people, answering questions about Islam and addressing misconceptions. This is the first book in the series, covering conversations from 2009 to 2011. My hope is that this can be a small step towards better understanding and harmony.

The conversations in these books are real. Some are curious, some are concerned, some are hostile, some are academic, and some are soul-searching. The purpose of this book is to share these kinds of conversations with people who might otherwise not have the opportunity to speak to a Muslim about Islam.

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I was raised Catholic and although I haven’t attended church much over the past 25 years, I still have Christian beliefs. I’ve always been interested in learning about other religions out of curiosity so when the author offered to send his book, I was happy to read it. 

I learned so much from What Would a Muslim Say? I knew that the majority of Muslims are peaceful, that they pray often, and that they believe in one God. I did not know that they believe that Jesus was a prophet. I also learned so much more: why women choose to cover their heads, what jihad really means, why they pray 5 times a day facing Mecca are only a few things I learned. 

What Would a Muslim Say? is a series of emails between the author and different individuals who had a variety of questions. It was enlightening and interesting although there was a lot of repetition. If I don’t know the true definition of jihad by now, I never will! I definitely think if anyone is curious about Islam, this would be a good place to learn a little bit about the religion.

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Ooh Books!

8 Nov

Book Review: Our Reflections by Ron Baratono

8 Nov

Title: Our Reflections
Author: Ron Baratono
Genre: Poetry, Religious, Inspiration
Publication Date: July 19, 2018

 

About the Book

Our Reflections is a look at our own lives in a collection of powerful and inspirational poetry, quotes, short stories, and prayers. It will guide you on a reflective journey as you relate the book to situations you’re currently going through or have gone through in the past. Our Reflections explores not only God’s grace but every aspect of our lives, love, family, friends, and people we interact with. Our Reflections gives the reader a greater understanding of why a situation turned out the way it did and how to best serve that situ-ation to create calm in his or her life and mind. Our Reflections takes you on a journey through your own relationships and situations of love, happiness, hardship, addiction, depression, and faith and gives a clearer understanding of our emotions as they unfold in our lives.

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Our Reflections is a mixture of poetry, quotes, and reflection. As I grow older, I appreciate poetry more and more, especially the type that is inspiring, tells a story, or provides visuals that you don’t see in prose. The author has accomplished all of these. The reflections at the beginning of the book are interesting and give the reader something to think about. I’m not sure if I like the poetry or the quotes at the end more. 

I wanted to share my favorite quote but there are so many good ones I couldn’t pick out a favorite. Here’s a good one though: “The greatest compliment in the world is your adult children telling you they had a wonderful childhood.”

Our Reflections is a book full of inspiration that can be kept to go back to especially when you need a bit of inspiration.

 

 

About the Author

Ron’s latest book, “Our Reflections,” is a look at our own lives in a collection of powerful and inspirational poetry, quotes, short stories, and prayers. It will guide you on a reflective journey as you relate the book to situations you’re currently going through or have gone through in the past. “Our Reflections,” explores not only God’s grace but every aspect of our lives, love, family, friends, and people we interact with. “Our Reflections.” gives the reader a greater understanding of why a situation turned out the way it did and how to best serve that situation to create calm in his or her life and mind. “Our Reflections,” takes you on a journey through your own relationships and situations of love, happiness, hardship, addiction, depression, and faith and gives a clearer understanding of our emotions as they unfold in our lives.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4400611/

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Be Present in the Present

7 Nov

Book Review: The Dark Divide by D.K. Stone

7 Nov

Waterton is a town with dark secrets, and after a summer of murder and mayhem, American ex-pat, Rich Evans, knows exactly how far people will go to hide them. Jobless after the fiery destruction of the hotel he once managed, Rich is charged with arson. Only one person, local mechanic Louise “Lou” Newman, believes in his innocence. But even Lou’s love and support can’t dispel the darkness that’s spreading through the community. Dead animals appear on porches, strangers threaten the safety of the locals, and a fingerprint from the fire is linked to a decades-old murder.

The lonely border town has a new danger: a murderer willing to do anything to protect a web of secrets that links them to the arson.

As the risk of jail or death increases, Rich turns to Lou for guidance and she finds herself in an impossible position. Lou has her own secrets! Does she protect the border town where she grew up, or side with the man she loves… even if it means she can never tell him the truth about herself?

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I read first book in the Waterton series, The Edge of Wild, and I enjoyed it so I was happy to read The Dark Divide. After a fire that burnt down the hotel Rich Evans was managing, he is staying with his girlfriend Lou. He’s jobless but he  couldn’t leave town if he wanted to because he’s been charged with arson of the hotel. He’s innocent but feels helpless. He has a good lawyer who thinks he can probably get Rich acquitted, but nothing is 100%.

Police officer Sadie Black Plume has a lot on her plate. She and her partner are trying to find the owner of a fingerprint that was found in the hotel’s basement shortly before the arson. This fingerprint matched one of someone who murdered a policeman in 1970. They believe if they find the person, they may also be the arsonist. Getting fingerprints of the locals who were old enough to commit murder back in 1970 won’t be easy because it seems that few of them will give them up without a warrant. 

So many of the people in this small town have big secrets. And when Alistair comes into town saying he’s working on a documentary, no one trusts him. Waterton is a small town and they only trust locals. Is Alistair’s documentary the only thing he’s after? He sure seems interested in finding out about everyone’s personal history. 

I like Danika Stone’s writing style. Her characters are complex and well developed. Although I didn’t care a lot for Rich in the last book, I liked him better in this one. I didn’t care for the fights between him and Lou though. I know there are people who blow up like that in reality but it has always made me uncomfortable. I just wanted them to settle down and talk! 

I liked the ending of The Dark Divide and learning secrets some of the townsfolk had kept for so many years.

Great quote from the book: 

“Looking at the pattern of yellow sticky notes, pictures, and photocopies, Sadie could see a shape emerging, though she couldn’t yet tell what it was. It reminded her of a black and white photography course she’d taken one summer, shadowy images in the developer appearing by degrees. Investigation worked much the same way: bits of information pulled into focus., shading in an image she’d never imagined.”

 

 

 

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I Wanted Beauty

6 Nov

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: The King’s Envoy by Cas Peace

6 Nov

 

 

 

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Cas lives in the lovely county of Hampshire, southern UK, where she was born. On leaving school she trained for two years before qualifying as horse-riding instructor. During this time she also learned to carriage-drive. She spent thirteen years in the British Civil Service before moving to Rome, Italy, where she and her husband, Dave, lived for three years. They enjoy returning whenever they can. Cas supports many animal charities and owns two rescue dogs. She has a large collection of cacti and loves gardening. She is also a folk singer/songwriter and is currently writing and recording nine folk-style songs to accompany each of her fantasy books. You can listen to and download all the songs from her website: www.caspeace.com 
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See the video of her performing live at the King’s Envoy book launch herehttp://www.caspeace.com/cas-peace/the-wheel-will-turn
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Author Facebook ~

Facebook ~ Website ~



 ~ Blog ~ Amazon ~ Reverbnation ~

 

 

 

About the Narrator
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Born in the eighties, her formative years in the nineties, Rebecca’s taste in music and fashion never really had a chance. Fortunately, you can’t tell these things from her writing or voice over work. Her first novel, Trespasser, is as dark as her neon is bright, and you’d never guess from hearing her that she’s narrating science fiction in nothing but unicorn pants.
 
Currently residing in London, Rebecca is passionate about travel, and has a good- albeit sometimes dubious- ear for accents. She graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama with a degree in something or other, has a background in musical theatre, a past career in burlesque, and is a classically trained opera singer. Oh, and she likes greyhounds. And wine.

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Connect with the Narrator here:
 ~ Website ~

 

 

 

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Taran Elijah’s quest for knowledge uncovers a plot that threatens the world…
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In Albia, the fourth realm, the precious Artesan gift is dying. Although born to the craft, Taran is struggling to achieve his potential. Against his friends’ advice, he embarks on a foolhardy plan to acquire the teaching he craves. Alone, he crosses into Andaryon, the fifth realm, but instead of finding a mentor, he stumbles upon a treacherous plot. 
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In the wake of Taran’s actions, Albia suffers a series of vicious raids, and Major Sullyan of the High King’s forces is sent to oppose them. But a dark and treacherous force is moving through the realms, and both Taran and Sullyan will feel its power. Their craft, the lives of their friends, the very existence of their realm are under threat unless they expose and oppose the evil.

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Review:
“Cas Peace’s Artesans of Albia trilogy immediately sweeps you away:  the drama starts with King’s Envoy, continues unabated in King’s Champion, and climaxes in King’s Artesan, yet each volume is complete, satisfying.  The Artesan series  propels you into a world so deftly written that you see, feel, touch, and even smell each twist and turn. These nesting novels are evocative, hauntingly real. Smart. Powerful. Compelling. The trilogy teems with finely drawn characters, heroes and villains and societies worth knowing; with stories so organic and yet iconic you know you’ve found another home—in Albia. So start reading now. I, for one, can’t wait to find out what will happen next.x
                                                                                                                                                                                         –Janet E Morris: Bestselling Author of The Sacred Band of Stepsons seriesthe Dream Dancer series; I, the Sun; Outpassage; The Silistra Quartet;and editor of the Bangsian In Hell seriesFamed contributor to the shared universe fantasy series, Thieves World.
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I chose to listen to this audiobook after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

King’s Envoy draws you in from the first page with Taran, an Albian artesan, who believes that there is no one on Albia who can mentor him. He crosses into Andaryon in another realm seeking to find knowledge. Taran fails to accomplish his quest but he believes that he has caused raids on Albia from Andaryon. Taran, along with his friends Cal and Rienne, embark on a journey to try to find a way to help in any way they can. 

They go to the Manor where the army is based and meet Major Sullyan, Bulldog, and Robin, and Taran learns that they are all artesans and are willing to teach him! But he must learn quickly because they are all in danger.

Cas Peace has created a whole new universe of her own and has done a fine job of making it easy for readers to join Taran in his journey. The descriptions are excellent and the characters in King’s Envoy are well developed and interesting. The narrator did a great job with enunciation and timing. 

King’s Envoy is the first in a series and will make you want to read the next book immediately!

 

 

 

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10 Interesting Facts About Reading

5 Nov

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