Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jonathan Maiocco giveaway

PhotobucketSome of you may have heard of the AWESOME composer Jonathan Maiocco. Well, if you haven't, go check his blog out now. http://jonmmusic.blogspot.com Yes, I mean now. Immediately now! :P He's amazing. And he's a teenager, to top it off!

Anyway, some of his music is being given away (7 songs actually) at Safirewriter! Head on over and enter quickly! (or don't, because they're good songs and I want them :P) But no! Don't miss this chance :D He'll be famous one day, I'm sure! (more than now, of course. He's already famous)




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour: Residential Aliens

This month's Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour is featuring a website! This website, Residential Aliens, is first of all new to me, and second of all is an e-zine for Christian sci-fi/fantasy short stories! It features stories from a large variety of authors. Some of them have been featured on this blog: Adam Graham, Brandon Barr, Fred Warren, Grace Bridges, and Mike Lynch. I haven't been able to read any of the e-zine editions yet, but they're free to download! Just head on over to their website: http://www.resaliens.com/

Mugabe and the White African

Mugabe and the White African, Ben Freeth, Lion Press, Nonfiction, July 26, 2011, 256 pages.


Synopsis: An intimate account of one family's astonishing bravery in the face of brutality, as well as perhaps the outside world's only real glimpse of what it is like to live inside the terror of Mugabe's Zimbabwe

Ben Freeth has an extraordinary story to tell. Like that of many white farmers, his family's land was "reclaimed" by Mugabe's government for redistribution—but Ben's family fought back. Appealing to international law, they instigated a suit against Mugabe's government in the SADC, the Southern African equivalent of NATO. The case was deferred time and again while Mugabe's men applied political pressure to have the case thrown out. But after Freeth and his parents-in-law were abducted and beaten within inches of death in 2008, the SADC deemed any further delay to be an obstruction of justice. The case was heard, and successful on all counts. But the story doesn't end there—in 2009, the family farm was burned to the ground. The fight for justice in Zimbabwe is far from over; this book is for anyone who wants to see into the heart of one of today's hardest places, and how human dignity flourishes even in the most adverse circumstances.

My thoughts: This book caught me by surprise. Even though I've read about China and it's problems with law, the law (or lack thereof) in Africa left me dumbfounded. This book is a must-read to understand Africa's recent history and how to battle such anarchy.

My rating: 4 stars

This book was provided free by the LitFuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.


Upcoming reviews:
  • Taken by Brock Eastman
  • Why God Won't Go Away by Alister McGrath
  • The Unwanted by Daniel Carter

Monday, August 22, 2011

Safely Home

Safely Home (Tenth Anniversary Edition), Randy Alcorn, Tyndale House, Fiction, July 19, 2011, 434 pages.


Synopsis: A soul-stirring story of two college friends who reconnect after 20 years. One is living life apart from God in comfortable corporate America, while the other is living for Christ under intense persecution in China. This challenging book will convict the heart of readers to live in the light of eternity.


My thoughts: To me, this book wasn't as eye-opening, since I've read memoirs about persecuted Chinese Christians, but because I did so, I can confirm this book is very accurate. To others, however, it may be very eye-opening, and I hope you read it, if you have not already. This is a book any and every Christian ought to read. Even non-believers may find it breaking down their arguments and feeling pity. It is a story of two worlds. America and China, and also Heaven and Earth. (I am not indicating similarities between them) Because of this book, my heart goes out to China.


My rating: 5 stars


This book was provided free by the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.


Buy Safely Home
Check out more Christian Fiction


Upcoming reviews:
  • Mugabe and the White African by Ben Freeth
  • Taken by Brock Eastman
  • Why God Won't Go Away by Alister McGrath


How To Train Your Dragon soundtrack

I'll start off saying this: I wasn't too impressed with John Powell's music (apart from Bourne) until I heard this album. It has 25 tracks, but is not repetitive; epic, but not overwhelming! The Jonsi track, being the only one with vocals, impressed me as well. It features original themes with great viking-like style, catching you up into the adventure with pure excitement. I love it!!

Here are some samples (my favorites) from the album. (I hard a hard time choosing, there were so many great ones)

Test Drive:

See You Tomorrow:

Romantic Flight

New reviews

I've made a decision. Some new types of reviews are coming soon on this site. First, one that I'm about to post is for a music album (a soundtrack, in fact). Later on, I will also be posting a review of an awesome pair of Heelys I got for review. Amid all of this, don't worry about me neglecting books, because I certainly haven't been. I've got tons of reviews on the way!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dinner With A Perfect Stranger giveaway (CLOSED)

I'm sorry. I know I said I would start this giveaway much earlier, but time ran away from me. Anyway, it's starting now! You can read the review of the book here.



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Don't Check Your Brains At The Door (updated and revised)

Don't Check Your Brains At The Door (updated and revised), Josh McDowell, Bob Hostetler, Thomas Nelson, Religion, August 2, 2011, 191 pages.


Synopsis: Don't Check Your Brains at the Door gives teens answers that make sense, even for the toughest of questions. Internationally known defender of the faith Josh McDowell and co-author Bob Hostetler offer clarity laced with humor to expose common myths about God, the Bible, religion, and life to show how Christianity stands up to the test of fact and reason. Teens will be better equipped to stick with their faith as they begin to understand why they believe and why it's important to make a lifetime commitment to Christ and the church.

My thoughts: This book is very useful to modern teenagers, and to other people, in refuting common myths about various Biblical topics and ideas. This revised edition has made it much more useful with more myths being torn down and explained in an easier way. For example, in some of the stories, iPads, iPods, gaming systems, etc. are mentioned. The chapters are pretty short, but comprehensive and complete. The “Brain Food” sections at the end of each chapter help the reader see for himself how the Bible refutes the myth just discussed. This is a fantastic book, and I recommend it to any struggling with questions about such myths, or even those who support any of the myths.


*This book was provided free by LitFuse Blogger Tours. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.*

My rating: 5 stars.






Buy this book!
Check out more Christian nonfiction books.

Upcoming reviews:

  • Safely Home by Randy Alcorn
  • Why God Won't Go Away by Alister McGrath
  • The Unwanted by Daniel Carter


Friday, August 5, 2011

Alpha Redemption winner

I was surprised at how few entries I got into this giveaway! I'm gonna have to make a poll...things could change...

Anyway, the winner is Eldra!! Congrats! I will email you for your mailing address, and you will have 7 days to respond before I choose another winner.

Dinner With A Perfect Stranger

Dinner With A Perfect Stranger, David Gregory, WaterBrook Press, Christian Living/Fiction, July 19, 2011, 128 pages.


Synopsis: You are Invited to a Dinner with Jesus of Nazareth


The mysterious envelope arrives on Nick Cominsky’s desk amid a stack of credit card applications and business-related junk mail. Although his seventy-hour workweek has already eaten into his limited family time, Nick can’t pass up the opportunity to see what kind of plot his colleagues have hatched. 


The normally confident, cynical Nick soon finds himself thrown off-balance, drawn into an intriguing conversation with a baffling man who comfortably discusses everything from world religions to the existence of heaven and hell. And this man who calls himself Jesus also seems to know a disturbing amount about Nick’s personal life.


You’re bored, Nick. You were made for more than this. You’re worried about God stealing your fun, but you’ve got it backwards.… There’s no adventure like being joined to the Creator of the universe.” He leaned back off the table. “And your first mission would be to let him guide you out of the mess you’re in at work.”


 As the evening progresses, their conversation touches on life, God, meaning, pain, faith, and doubt—and it seems that having Dinner with a Perfect Stranger may change Nick’s life forever.


My thoughts: This book portrays a great "modern Jesus." I'm not saying He's portrayed differently than He is in the Bible. However, he is in the 21st century, and simply speaks in such a way that this 21st century man understands his logic. He systematically refutes all the man's arguments, and points him in the right direction. It seriously makes me wish I had a "dinner with a perfect stranger" in such a physical, visible way like this man did in the story. This book simultaneously ensures the Christian of his faith, and provides logical arguments for him to use.


My rating: 4.5 stars


Please rate my review of this book on Amazon.


Please rate my review of this book on the publisher website below:





This book was provided free by Blogging For Books. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.


Buy Dinner With A Perfect Stranger
Check out more Christian Contemporary Fiction


Upcoming reviews:

  • Don't Check Your Brains At The Door by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler
  • Why God Won't Go Away by Alister McGrath
  • Safely Home by Randy Alcorn


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Odd Little Miracles

Odd Little Miracles, Fred Warren, Splashdown Darkwater, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Anthology, July 1, 2011, 182 pages.


Odd Little Miracles CoverSynopsis: In The Muse, Fred Warren took us to a world where imagination reigned supreme, and inspiration was a matter of life and death. Now, follow him through the twists and turns of twenty-two bizarre tales, where odd is commonplace, little things make all the difference, and miracles are everywhere, if you know where to look: An office temp thinks he has the world's worst job, until he spends a day sitting in for the Devil. Stolen fruit provides sweet justice in a city ruled by magic. In a world where two minds can share the same body, running afoul of the law has horrifying consequences. A young woman discovers something growing in the fields outside her village--something wonderful...and terrible. Do the impossible. Change the future. Save the world. All you need is one odd little miracle.


My thoughts: Mr. Warren does well with short stories. Each time, it started a different way. In no way did it feel like any one story was like another, besides the "miracles" theme. Some ended well, some bad, but all left you wanting more. They explored the remotely possible, and perfectly impossible as well. I really enjoyed it!

My rating: 5 stars

Please rate my review on amazon here.

Buy Odd Little Miracles!
Check out Mr. Warren's website!


Upcoming reviews:

  • Overcomer by Kristen Wisen
  • Why God Won't Go Away by Alister McGrath
  • Safely Home by Randy Alcorn


Developements

There are a few I would like to mention. First, I know that I haven't announced the giveaway winner yet. Hold your horses! lol (I'm on vacation) Actually, it seems that no one has noticed...or at least mentioned it in my presence... Anyway. I WILL be having another giveaway start in two days, but this will be a little different. It will be a book prize, but I will be using a new beta program to do it. It's called Rafflecopter, and it looks very promising. I've used it now to enter many giveaways, and it doesn't take long. So! I hope you look forward to it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

BBAW

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is coming!!! I'm sorry, but I don't have much time (due to vacation) to write about it, but you can go to their website to learn more. http://bookbloggerappreciationweek.com/ If you feel inclined, nominate me! :P

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

REBELution Conference!

Last Saturday, I went to the very last Portland tour stop for the twin authors Alex and Brett Harris. It was AMAZING!! Here's an account of the event:

First, we got there slightly early. We checked in, got our awesome nametags, and found a place to sit. (why does it always have to be near the back??) Joel Harris was leading worship along with Harlinn (sp?). Soon, the authors themselves appeared! They laid out the schedule for the day and explained a neat gadget we had been given to use for the day. It pretty much looks like a calculator hanging from a lanyard. A multiple-choice question would come onto the screen, and we would press our choice of letter on the pad. Then, the percentage of who chose which answer would appear on the screen. Very cool stuff!

There were four sessions, and here are the descriptions of each:

 THE MYTH OF ADOLESCENCE: we can bust our culture's lies by looking at what history and God's word prove teens are capable of.


DO HARD THINGS: adopting the mindset of a rebelutionary is the first step towards taking our teen years back from the culture. 


THE TEST: The Bible says you will know Christians by their fruit -- and fruit can be tested. Does your life and heart pass the test?


THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES: the message is gaining momentum but what happens next? What is the future of The Rebelution?


In between each session, they signed books, t-shirts, and had photos taken. I got to talk with them a bit, which was unbelievably cool!


They also gave away a few books, via a foam rocket, but I didn't get any :P I did, however, buy Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper and Thriving At College. (I already own both of the twins' books, and got those signed) Got a t-shirt signed too :P 


Now, here come the pictures!





I really liked that stained-glass window :D

I apologize for the blurry-ness. I couldn't get any better...


During one of the breaks, I got a lot closer.


Really cool auditorium!

So close! Really cool...

*HURRAH*


Exterior of New Hope Living Church

More exterior



Balcony view

Here's the surprise! Most of the Worth Fighting For team (including me) 
were able to meet a really nice blogger, Miss Raquel!! From left to right,
Me, Jonathan, Miss Raquel, and Hannah,