Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Destiny's Team: A Story About Love Choices and Eternity - Thomas A. Glessner

If you're looking for an uplifting, soul-searching, "real" people story...then look no further.

"Destiny's Team" by Thomas A. Glessner (published by Anomalos Publishing) takes you into the day-to-day, seemingly innocent, college-age behavior, which as we all know, can have consequences for which none of us can fathom until they swarm back at the most inopportune time; at least inopportune to us.

Jason O'Connor and Bobby Childs are football heroes at Washington State University and are faced with the temptations any sports hero is faced with...girls, ambition and sex. Little did they know that their actions would come to a head 10 years later, two weeks before they were to lead the Seattle Seahawks against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the SuperBowl.

This is more than a football story. I am not a football fan. I can't even carry on the endless debate from the Canadian side that our 3-down style of football is real football. No, hockey is my sport.

But, this story isn't about football. It's about a team of human beings and two particular human-beings, who are forced to deal with their earlier decisions and, in so doing, find their answers to life not in ambition, girls and sex...but in God.

As I said, if you want a true-to-life example of where our human nature can take us and what a relationship with God can do to that life...then you will want to read this book. If you're searching for answers to life's questions and your questions about God, this book will address those as well. If you already know God and just want a refreshing story from all the sex, murder and mayhem you find in mass market books, this book is for you.

Darlene Oakley
Freelance Editor & Suspense Fiction Writer
Sunpiper Book Review

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

In Search of Mr. Wonderful, The Journey From Myth To Madness - Monica Bouvier

Monica Bouvier spins an emotional tale of one woman's search to find her very own Mr. Wonderful and live happily just like the fairy-tales, the type of love that conquers all and lives forever. Reality doesn't seem to want to help out, only get in the way.

Syvanna Lee tries to find her Mr. Wonderful but ends up coming up empty-handed. After each Mr. Somebody, a new piece is revealed to the complexity that is Syvanna. In order to gain the great love she so desires, perhaps she should do the ultimate thing, learn to love herself first.

If you wish to read a book that will leave you stunned and on an emotional rollercoaster, I highly recommend this novel. At one point it had me shocked and almost near tears. Heartbreak, self-destruction, and discovery are around every corner in this book of transformation. Surprising enough, this is a memoir and a novel. One can only speculate on what is truth and what is fiction, but either way, you cannot walk away from this book without feeling something.

Each page is filled with the inner struggles on Syvanna as she goes from a desperate search for true love to thinking that Prince Charming non-existing and all the bumps in the road along the way. We all have our own demons to face; perhaps our own journeys to self-discovery can start by walking a mile in Syvanna's shoes.

Jessica Koster
The Sunpiper Book Review

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Cradling My Heart: God's Comfort in Affliction by Cindy Zompetti

Cindy Zompetti's Cradling My Heart: God's comfort in affliction tells the story of a series of debilitating emotional losses that left the author confused, grief-stricken, and slipping into a depression that other people might not have survived without professional help or hospitalization. Instead, Ms. Zompetti relied upon her deep knowledge of biblical Scriptures, which she repeated as she sought strength to carry on through each day, and also put pen to paper to write about her pain. Some days, nothing appeared on her paper; on others, she wrote only a brief word or two, sometimes making little sense, or more lengthy thoughts described her despair.

Never giving up, she began to see the role God played in the process she was undergoing, cradling her heart while allowing her to care for herself in a positive, productive way, a way that brought her out of the darkness caused by losing close relationships and suffering through menopause and back into the light, with new relationships – including a deeper appreciation of God.
This fine book provides inspiration and guidance on how to cope with the emotions and pain of depression to readers struggling with grief and loss even if they are not Christians in the strictest sense of the word. In Cindy Zompetti's case, the depression appears to have been clinical in nature; but, without the aid of medical experts and medications, she managed to work through the issues that had brought on her "affliction." Readers can only admire her ability to call upon her inner strength, which, on a conscious level seemed to be eluding her but was really the underlying impetus that caused her to persevere despite the pain and the confusion that she felt.

One of the strengths of this book is the author's honest and uncomplicated writing style, which enhances her ability to talk to her readers as if we are in the same room. She shares her pain and her experience in very human terms and offers hope in a gentle, subtle way – by example rather than by producing a step-by-step manual for self-healing. This, for me, is the true strength of this book: Ms. Zompetti's sharing by example. We can all find inspiration and hope from this excellent book. Perhaps in the future, Ms. Zompetti will grace us with another inspirational work.

Reviewed by Lise Hull
The Sunpiper Book Review

Spirits in the Garden - Joan Solomon


If there was one word that could summarize this book, that would be it.

I appreciate a book of vivid colors and creative imagery on what we are missing in the world around us. I appreciate being challenged to not pass by these everyday things and dismiss them as ordinary. There is just so much more to them than we ever thought possible.

Joan Solomon has put together a book that does just that.

"...we are encouraged to see life from a fresh perspective." (Page 28)

Joan Solomon certainly does that. Through fascinating photos taken at just the precise moment to capture the "faces" or "spirits" of the garden, Solomon carries us through a garden and provides that "fresh perspective". Through her photos and descriptions Solomon demonstrates very vividly Thomas Moore's quote (page 33) "Entering a garden is like passing through a mystical gate. Things are not the same on the other side."

Not only does she present a fresh perspective on how to perceive the buds and flowers in the everyday garden, she also presents facts about each plant she has photographed. She explains how some have medicinal purposes and the variety of ways they can be prepared to heal or to nourish. And, then--very much to my delight--Solomon provides recipes, remedies and preparation methods for each of the plants in her book.

Enjoy this book. Be fascinated! And watch for the small wonders in the world around you!

Darlene Oakley
The Sunpiper Book Review