Unless otherwise specified, all writing here on my blog is my own original work. If you refer to something I've written here, please be sure to give me proper credit.

COMMENTS ARE MODERATED: Please don't let that deter you from commenting, though. I LOVE to read your thoughts! I only ask that you keep it clean & respectful.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Deo Gratias

 "If the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Colleen, from her inspiring blog Thoughts on Grace, hosts this wonderful meme each Wednesday. She says, "Deo Gratias is Latin for Thanks be to God. Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big & small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude!"

Each week, I join Colleen in remembering & sharing the many blessings in my life. This is such a great exercise for me, helping me to focus on the good that truly is happening in my life, no matter how many trials & stresses I may have.
1) HandyGramps surprised us on Sunday afternoon. He came over w/ his tiller to get our garden ready for us. Deo Gratias! 

2) On Monday, I got out to the garden & planted our seeds for this summer...zucchini, squash, green beans, snow peas, & sugar snap peas.  Deo Gratias! 

3) The Blessings are masters at delaying bedtime (aren't all children?) Last night, however, I welcomed their delay. We spent about 10 minutes watching a spider weave her web just outside our patio door. It never ceases to amaze me how intricate web designs can be...God truly works wonders through his creatures! Deo Gratias! 

4) Just this morning, I paid off the final balance on my surgery bill. Feels great to not owe any more on it!  Deo Gratias! 

5) I reviewed a great Catholic thriller for Ignatius Press Novels this week. You can read my review HERE. Deo Gratias!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review - The Rising by Robert Ovies

I saw on Ignatius Press Novel's website that they were looking for bloggers to review one of two e-books. One of the books stood out for me...Matt had heard about it on Catholic Radio a few weeks ago, told me about it, then I later heard it on radio too. So when I saw it was one of the two book choices, I sent an email offering to read & review it. Thankfully, I was chosen & am here to share my review of The Rising by Robert Ovies.

The Rising is the story of a nine year old boy named C.J. Walker, who finds that he has the power to heal those who are sick & bring back to life those who are dead. As you can probably imagine, this ability & the knowledge of it sets off a chain of events, throwing everyone for a loop & releasing their inner greed.

People all over the world want him to heal their sick family members & bring back their loved ones who have already passed away. A local priest begins to doubt himself, his belief in miracles, & God's plan for his life. The Cardinal wants to whisk him away to the Vatican for protection, but not before attempting to conquer his own ulterior motives. Reporters want to be the first to share this miraculous story. Government officials want to get their hands on him to study & use his power. His father wants to make money off of his son's new found ability. All his mother wants is to have their normal life back & for her son to just be a regular nine year old boy.

I was drawn into this book from the first chapter & had trouble putting it down. The author tells the story in the third person narrative style, which fits the thrilling aspect quite well. He leads the reader through thoughts of all the main characters instead of just one. We sense the priest's anguish & doubts, feel C.J.'s  & his mother's fearful moments, & get angry with his father's greedy tendencies. (That last one was tough. I just wanted to reach into my Kindle & slap some sense into his father!)

He also has a very descriptive writing style, one which enabled me to fully picture the events as they unfolded. For example, in his description of police lights reflecting in nighttime rainfall, he says, "...he splashed through the falling red and blue splinters of rain..."

If you love a good thriller, I highly recommend this book! It was well written...engaging, & nerve wracking at the same time. Throughout the book, I could really feel the emotions of those tied up in this boy's immediate rise to fame. My blood boiled when various characters tried to take advantage of his abilities. As a mother myself, I could feel his mother's strong desire to love & protect her son. I got a sense of his own inner struggle...wanting to help heal people while at the same time remain just a regular boy.

The ending was quite a shock. Not being able to figure out the end is a sign of a great thriller for me.

(to answer a question in the comment section about age levels)
The book is geared toward adults, however, I think most young adults would be able to handle it. The writing style is easy & engaging to read.

I don't remember any bad language other than an occasional damn or hell. There are some descriptions of the embalming process...not too much detail, but enough to get the idea.

When I was talking about it to my family, my 13 yo son was interested in reading it & I think he could handle it. To be on the safe side, I would recommend that parents read it first, though. They would know their child's reading abilities & maturity better than I would.

NOTE: Other than receiving a free copy of this book from Ignatius Press Novels, I have received no monetary compensation for this review.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Light in the Darkness

Welcome to my Light in the Darkness meme! (If you missed my post on the inspiration for this meme, you can read all about it HERE.)

This is the place to share good things that are happening in our world...whether it's a link to a news article/video, something from your personal experience...anything good that can bring light into darkness!
Remember that California bus crash at the beginning of April? I came across this story about a brave 18 year old who put the lives of others ahead of his own.