“Your Story Matters: Introducing the Pleasures of Personal Writing” by Susan Paul

Your Story Matters: Introducing the Pleasures of Personal WritingYour Story Matters: Introducing the Pleasures of Personal Writing by Susan Paul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Susan Paul has written a wonderful, inspiring writing resource in “Your
Story Matters: Introducing the Pleasures of Personal Writing.” She instills within writers or soon to be writers that what they want to write and document on paper matters, their stories are worth telling. And, this just doesn’t mean in writing a book, but also in journaling, keeping a diary, something that your family will be able to look back and know about your life.
Moreover, Mrs. Paul also emphasizes the importance of keeping up with your personal writing among friends and family through memos and old-fashioned snail mail. She brings back that feeling of how it felt to get your very first letter in the mail and why it’s important to keep up this lost art, even through the age of email and internet where your words can be sent to your recipient in a matter of minutes.
In my opinion, “Your Story Matters: Introducing the Pleasures of Personal Writing” is an awesome resource for writers, whether they just want to take their own journey in personal writing or take it a step further.
I give it 4 stars.

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“Freefall to Fly” by Rebekah Lyons

Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of MeaningFreefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning by Rebekah Lyons
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Freefall to Fly” by Rebekah Lyons was a breath of fresh air to me…needless to say, I loved it. Mrs. Lyons addressed topics in her book that are rarely unheard of in the public eye, and, if they are, they do not come without their fair share of shame. Being a woman in my mid-thirties and having questioned myself, “God. Why am I here?,” it was such a relief to read a book that put many things that I have or are thinking right there on the page. Not since reading “New Day” by Margaret Johnson-Hodge have I related to a character so much. The only difference is in “New Day,” Carol-Anne was fictitious, but in “Freefall to Fly,” Mrs. Lyons talks of her own experiences and her own fears. She gives her readers hope that things will get better. They, too, will get there.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is from one of her dear friends, “If you are in hell, keep walking. Because somewhere along the way, if you stay in the place where your heart breaks and you put one foot in front of the other, the darkness will eventually lift.”
I give it 5 stars.

“Freefall to Fly” by Rebekah Lyons was provided by Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Growing up Amish

Growing up Amish
Growing up Amish by Ira Wagler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Growing up Amish” by Ira Wagner grappled with faith and challenged the belief that the ideals you grow up with are right. It is an honest account by the author himself of how he grew up and struggled to remain stedfast in a world that seemed to strangle every sense of himself from himself. Still, miraculously, he kept coming back again and again believing that the Amish way, the way of his people, was the only “true” way to live and go to Heaven. This was an ideal that was ingrained in him, that he grew up with. However, as he finds out over a journey of five years, it wasn’t so. He could live the life he wanted and still have faith, and he would be better because of it.
I really liked this book. Reading about different cultures is always fascinating to me, and I just love how Wagner describes Amish people and their beliefs. He really lays it all out for his reader, and, unlike most, doesn’t leave many questions unanswered.

I give it 5 stars.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of “Growing up Amish” in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Shattered: A Daughter’s Regret

Shattered: A Daughter's Regret (Secrets)Shattered: A Daughter’s Regret by Melody Carlson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Shattered: A Daughter’s Regret” by Melody Carlson was a good read…Cleo Neilson has always been pampered by her mother, but, instead of being grateful, she feels as if her mother is too involved in her life, especially now that she’s seventeen. And, to top everything off, Cleo’s best friend, Lola, is moving away, and Cleo wants to for them to have one night to themselves…without her mother tagging along as a chaperone.

On the last night that Lola’s in town, she and Cleo have tickets to a Christian concert in the city. However, instead of Cleo’s mother driving them to the concert like her mother wanted to do, Cleo decides to disobey her mother’s wishes and she and Lola take the bus into the city.

What happens next almost destroys Cleo because she finds that her mother realizes that the disobeyed her on the night of the concert. Because of this, her mother goes into the city to look for her and ends up getting murdered. Cleo goes through severe guilt because of this and even gets addicted to drugs in the process.

Ms. Carlson does a good job of conveying to her readers, especially teens, why it’s so important to obey your parents and the consequences that can occur if they don’t.

I give it 4 stars.

P.S.  “Shattered:  A Daughter’s Regret” was provided by Glass Road Public Relations in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: He Kan’t Kill Your Future

He Kan't Kill Your FutureHe Kan’t Kill Your Future by Sharquent Webster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“He Kan’t Kill Your Future” by Sharquent Webster was very moving…it is one of the best books I have read in a while of an account that’s true, emotional and so able to affect other people’s lives…as it is the life story of Ms. Webster, she transforms her reader back through her journey, starting with her childhood. Her father left her mother at an early age, and there was ten children total. As a result, not only did her mother have this huge responsibility to bear on her own, but she seemed to have a break-down of her own while doing it.

As a result, the streets raised Sharquent, and they were her family. They provided for her the love she wasn’t receiving at home, and, as most that live on the streets, she, somewhat, became part of the streets and took what they had to offer. She became addicted to PCP and crack, had three pregnancies in the process, and, eventually found herself wanting to get off of drugs more than anything. She was tired, her body was wore out, and she didn’t want what the streets had to offer anymore.

But, most importantly, she realized that Jesus loved her. He wanted better for her life, and, because of this, more than anything, she wanted to live for Him.

“He Kan’t Kill Your Future” is a wonderful autobiographical account of a young woman whose life started out not so good, but ended up wonderful. It wasn’t easy, but she decided to surrender her all to Jesus, and He took care of everything else from there. Personally, I really appreciate Ms. Webster writing and sharing this part of her life. I can just imagine how difficult it was, but I really believe that her story will touch someone’s life.

I give it 5 stars.

P.S. “He Kan’t Kill Your Future” was provided courtesy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Help I’m Raising My Children Alone

Help I'm Raising My Children AloneHelp I’m Raising My Children Alone by T.D. Jakes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Help I’m Raising My Children Alone” by T.D. Jakes was such a great help for me when I had my daugher. Being a single parent and she being my 1st child, I had no idea what was going on or, needless to say, what to do. I found this book on one of my trips to the library, and I’m so happy that I did.

T.D. Jakes’ insight on this subject from a Christian point-of-view was great for me in addition to the help and advice I received from my family. I would throughly recommend this book to soon-to-be parents, parents already or just readers who want to learn more about the subject.

I give it 5 stars.

P.S.  “Help I’m Raising My Children Alone” was provided on-loan from my local library.

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Review: Wrapped in Rain: A Novel of Coming Home

Wrapped in Rain: A Novel of Coming HomeWrapped in Rain: A Novel of Coming Home by Charles Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Wrapped in Rain” by Charles Martin was one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time. Mrs. Ella Rain will always have a place in my heart. She was created with the knowledge and wisdom that we can all learn from…she is the main character of this novel. At a young age, she takes a job as a maid and “unexpectant” mother of two young boys whose father is too wrapped up in his own life and business to take notice of them. As the years go on, the father becomes increasingly jealous of his boys affection for Mrs. Rain, and, as a result, there are times when he takes this out on her by using mental and physical abuse.

As time goes on, one of the sons is so taken with Mrs. Rain that he takes on her last name. And, even when’s he’s grown, and she has gone on, he still remembers how she was and has flashbacks of what she taught him, and how she would have wanted his life to be – free of worry, free of pain and just free to be free.

I give it 5 stars.

P.S.  “Wrapped in Rain:  A Novel of Coming Home” was provided on-loan from my co-worker, Tammy Kennemore.

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