Friday, June 7, 2013

Declutter Now! by Lindon and Sherry Gareis

This isn't just a book about Decluttering your house and home, oh, no. This is a book that goes way beyond that.

Declutter Now! starts off small, hitting the physical, and then it takes you into the spiritual and emotional side of the psyche.

At the moment of this review, I am only halfway through this book. It's that good and that well written that I had to write a review for it. Taken in small steps, I am slowly doing away with the baggage of the "extras" in my life that is leaving me burdened and un-joyful.

Declutter Now! offers insights into the authors' lives, giving examples and testimonies. This isn't just a self-help book. This is a "we'll help you" book.

Lindon and Sherry Gareis not only takes the reader step by step through the decluttering process of the home and life, but shows how and what is the most important in life...and it isn't possessions and material goods. The accumulation of things and bad habits and loss of focus drowns most people in this world, tying them down. With Declutter Now! the reader learns how to do without the extra load and how to free oneself from that worldly hold.

Truly, less is more.

And I'm just getting started.

Jim O'Shea's the linen god

Along the lines of Robert Ludlum, Jim O'Shea delves into the world of the Vatican, The Shroud of Turin, intrigue, and faith.

Definitely a page-turner, definitely a heart-pounding read, the linen god explores the deepest part of humanity. Not even the most faithful of servants are truly faithful.

What if prophecies foretold came true? What if those prophecies were lies, the manipulation of men and evil forces?

Could Christ be cloned? Would that be the Anti-Christ and the fall of the Church and the rise to Evil?

Taking into account The Book of Revelations, the history of the Catholic Church, the spiritual warfare between Heaven and Hell, this books explores the depth of faith. Is your faith strong enough?

Each character was well developed. The twists and turns kept me reading well into the night. Just when I thought I had it figured out, a new twist threw me head long into a vortex of deceit, murder,love and hope.

The ending was most surprising of all, something I truly did not see coming, but was thrilled and satisfied that it did. It was what made a definite 3 star into a 5 star.

O'Shea does not mince his words. He does not shy away from the inconsistencies of faith that is prevalent in many organized churches. The mysteries of God, Christ, and The Shroud are examined and explained in a way that truly makes the reader think about the awesomeness of God. Science and religion are the forefront of faith at times in this book, showing a marriage of both and the reactions of characters to the thought. Although not the main part of the story, it heightens the action and climax of the story.

Thought provoking, adrenaline producing, and soul wrenching, the linen god is a definite read for thriller fans. Forget Dan Brown and his elementary style writing that causes a lot of the faithful to spurn his books. Forget Robert Ludlum or Vince Flynn who uses foul language.

Jim O'Shea far surpasses these writers with his story. Action and Religion tied into one, the linen god is more than a story, it is an experience. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

GInny Aiken's Design on a Crime

The reader is introduced to an Agatha Christie-like cozy mystery meets Inspector Clouseau-style heroine in this charming murder mystery, Design on a Crime: Deadly Decor Mystery.

Maybe not a profound whodunit story, but this book packs a wallop with the list of suspects, the main one being designer Haley Farrell, bungled "snoop" sessions, comical happenstances between her arch-rival Dutch and the "Karate Chop Cop", and Haley's downs-and-ups in her faith.

The main story may seem more of  "who killed Marge", but the sub-plot concerning Haley's faith and her eventual growth in Christ strengthens the storyline.

Marge's death leads to Haley's understanding that not everyone is perfect, and even the most undesirable person can receive forgiveness. Everyone has a choice, and sometimes people choose to ignore the right choice. This theme is worked throughout the book without it being preachy.

The constant references to Starbucks can be seen as the character's way of downplaying the situations in her life and past, an escape that only coffee will allow or so she thinks. Eventually, she learns that her true escape from the horrors and stress comes not from humor, self-depreciation, martial arts training, or coffee, but from standing back and letting God do His work.

Secondary characters added to the character Haley's storyline. Each gave his or her own advice, help, and love to guide Haley onto the path of healing.

I look forward to reading the rest of the Deadly Decor Mysteries and Haley's eventual love/hate relationship with Dutch (which is foreshadowed in this book).