Saturday, February 9, 2013

Book Review: Peaceful Passage

7 years ago, my father called with the news:  "I have terminal cancer, and the doctor's have given me 3-6 months tops."  My father lived another 2 and 1/2 years, defying the odds, and giving to us precious time I will be grateful for until the end of my days.  In that time, I searched high and low for THE BOOK, the one book to give me guidance, comfort, support, wisdom and faith to know I'll make it through that journey of passing and didn't find a single one.  UNTIL NOW.    Peaceful Passage is that one book!  I had prayed for a book of this magnitude and amazement and now, thanks to Dr. Kim West, it is here! This book is simply a must have for anyone experiencing the oncoming  terminal illness of a loved one and/or their passing.

Peaceful Passage is truly the essential, all-in-one guide to handling every aspect of caring for a dying loved one and yourself on their final journey. Included are guidelines for partnering with hospice, the how-to of daily care, confronting fears and emotional issues, navigating marriage, family, children and career, working through inner conflicts with faith and handling the myriad details and arrangements of an at-home death. With this book as the guide the reader can find peace in this most heart-wrenching and heartwarming of journeys.

This book is filled with 15 insightful, poignant chapters of emotionally charged and need-to-read information.   The 15th chapter is an optional one in which Kim West talks of her journey with her own mother's passing and absolutely is essential to the writing of the book.  Dr. Kim West isn't just an author kinda sorta talking about a subject - she has walked the same journey and speaks from the depths of her heart and soul.  

You will need tissues.  The entire box.   Her writing will touch you, sooth you, heal you.  One of my favorite parts of this book was the workbook sections.  With a pencil or pen, and this book, you can not only jot down 'things to do', even things you may not have even thought of, as well as take personal notes.  

My father had a wonderful veteran organization working with us the last 3 weeks of his life and can I just share:  I wasn't ready.  You never really are when it comes to saying goodbye.  But at a time when I was completely lost, losing my father way too young to cancer, this book would have been the breath of fresh air I needed and the support I wished I could have had.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to any, and all, people experiencing facing a terminal illness ~ the best book BY FAR.   Thank you, Dr. West, for a book that I found highly valuable and most encouraging during the hardest of my life.  Your book is invaluable!

*5 stars!*

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Book Review: Amazing Love

Amazing Love is a book of a curious kind ~ written a a christian, fiction style with drugs, sex and prostitution thrown in.  I received this e-book for review and I can tell you, this book conjured up feelings of surprise, mostly from myself!

Amazing Love is a contemporary version of the Hosea and Gomer story from the Bible.

Gabe Knight, a pastor in a small coastal town, finds his life is turned upside down when Dee Dillow arrives and hires him to remodel an estate she's inherited from her aunt. Dee dashes his plans for wedded bless when on a drunken binge, she divulges that she's the highest paid call girl in Nevada and part-owner of the ritziest brothel in the state.

Gabe falls in love with her, but can't believe he's hearing the voice of God when a still, small voice tells him to marry her. After much questioning, they marry and he is deliriously happy. Until, Dee betrays him. 

Gabe soon discovers just how hard it is to have the unconditional love God calls him to have for his wife, the kind of love God has for his children. When faced with losing her, Gabe realizes what true love is, how much it hurts, and just how much God loves and is willing to sacrifice for his children.

While this book is a quick read, K. Dawn Byrd develops a story that draws you right in.  I cheered when Gabe never faltered from his relationship with God nor turned away from the one woman he deemed God meant for him to love and marry.  Love like his for Dee doesn't come along very often.  The characters in this book are so rich and colorful.   Dee will have you combinedly want to say "You can do it, girl!" and "what is wrong with you!"  Their love remains strong, and Dee is constantly put through many trials, even after marriage - from the jealously of Tricia, to the sad loss, to returning to prostitution - and this book should be considered as mature material only.  

Above all things, the message that I walked away with from this book:  Do 
not judge.  Proverbs 31:9 taught us: "Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy."  And that's just what Gabe did for Dee, showing amazing love indeed.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Amazing Love by K. Dawn Byrd to review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Book Review: The Oldest Enemy

If I was to read just a few book this year, The Oldest Enemy would be at the tip-top of my list!   Once started, this book is impossible to put down.  
This is my first novel by this author, Michael J. Webb, and I am impressed beyond measure.  I received a copy of this e-book to review and could not be more thrilled with this happenstance.  Mr. Webb's writing style is simply over the top, destined to be a name in lights in the literary world!

David Lighthouse was once a hard-hitting investigative reporter for the Denver Post-back before he was accused of the brutal murder of his fiancée and his life unraveled. Now, six years later, he is the assistant pastor of a small church in Florida. Armed with faith, sobriety, and a resurrected sense of purpose, he's putting together a new life. But when one of his young parishioners is murdered, David's old instincts reemerge. Once again the prime suspect, he fights to clear his name even as disturbing clues at the crime scene reveal a haunting connection not only to his fiancée's unsolved murder but to his estranged father's secret past. David suddenly finds himself the target of sinister, supernatural forces as he tracks down a conspiracy to release an ancient evil upon an unsuspecting world. Along with his father, the murdered girl's sister, and a fierce Auschwitz survivor, David faces hell itself to prove his innocence and stop a reclusive German billionaire from unleashing a worldwide holocaust. 

What sets this book apart from other page-turning thrillers of like kind are the interspersed biblical mentions and undertones.  This is to be considered a christian thriller, however, the biblical aspect is not overbearing and balances out beautifully.  There are many quotes in this novel that I marked to remember, specifically: "God's ways are higher than man's ways; that He always takes what the Enemy intends for evil and turns it to good."  Lauren's love for her sister and her diligent quest to find out who murdered her, and why, is a driving force.  The irony of David helping support and console her while having experienced the same loss with his fiance' is moving and enticing to read.  Mr. Webb's writing style is rich and intelligent, bringing the reader in from the prologue.  This novel is written with thought and care to the plot, good verses evil.  As he writes "The Bible says our battles are not with the flesh and blood, but with principalities, powers, spiritual wickedness in high places."  

5 stars for The Oldest Enemy!

You can read more about the author and his work here ~

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this ebook to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Thanks for stopping by!
~Kelly Santi