#BookReview: Let’s Meet God by Chris Hearn

As a believer, I always love returning to the basics of my faith. That’s why from the very beginning of this short but sweet Bible companion, I enjoyed each entry in this book of FAQ’s about the Christian faith.

This 78 page book discusses the Christian faith in an open-minded and easy to read format. It is written as a frequently asked question page for a website but for Christianity or someone new to the faith. It allows anyone to find out more about God through faith in Christ Jesus, while still remaining scholarly.

#BookReview: After The Storm by Ava St. Pierre @wisebeautyqueen

Mental Illness carries much of a stigma even though it is 2018. Finally, people are deciding to be open about it whether they themselves struggle with it or someone they know and love.

I believe it should be openly discussed so that those who struggle with it can get the help and healing they deserve.

And so began the reason I couldn’t say no to reading Ava St. Pierre’s memoir.

She’s this prestigious beauty queen who was a pretty big deal in Texas as well as the ability to dapple in the VIP lifestyle because of her Mrs. Texas America title.

Yet, her story is definitely one for the books which is why I was glad her daughter Sheree sent it to me.

Growing up in a family of seven children, they lived a cool, calm, and collected existence. That was until the storm hit.

By storm, I am referring to her mother’s fits of rage that caused a severe accident with one of Ava’s younger brothers. These fits of rage were eventually diagnosed as amnesia, paranoia, and schizophrenia, and her father decided to raise the children as a single parent which left Ava’s birth mother to remain homeless for most of her life.

One thing I loved about the memoir is how easy it was to read despite the heaviness in topic and themes, and how Ava remained positive and used her story to showcase that no matter what anyone goes through in life, they can either sit and feel sorry for themselves or they can share their story to encourage others.

And Ava succeeds at the latter, and her story will provide hope that life gets better no matter the severity of the storm and the after effects that remain.

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#NationalPoetryMonth: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Poetry is like reading one of those little notes you used to pass around in middle school. So short and sweet but if you found one laying on the ground or accidentally got passed one, it was like you got to be part of the secret, and you instantly felt like you weren’t alone in your feelings.

Milk and Honey is like that. It’s short, sweet, and oh so vital for today’s society. It says so much without saying it that by the end of the book, you feel as though you want to hug Rupi Kaur for all she writes about but also feel that if she hugged you back, it would be because you experienced similar situations which is why her words jumped off the page and danced before you a private ballet.

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The second read through of Milk and Honey showed the heartaches I was most familiar with and how Kaur’s words healed them.

When my sisters both read her book, I actually rolled my eyes because why would they fall head over heals for a book unless it was popular. Then, I retracted that eye roll when (plus I realized my sisters don’t read that much) I started reading it and Kaur’s words grabbed me by the shirt collar like a thug on the street looking to rob me but then mistakenly realized I was a long lost cousin and smoothed down my shirt and said, Coffee?

So we sat down metaphorically and sipped coffee and discussed the four different heartaches we’ve known:

  1.  The Hurting 
  2. The Loving
  3. The Breaking
  4. The Healing

As you can see from my notes, the poems in the Breaking and Healing sections spoke the most to my wallflower heart. Without further ado, here is some of my favorite poems shared with public permission from Rupi Kaur’s Facebook page:

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I want to marry this poem and divorce it all in the same moment.

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#NationalPoetryMonth: Pulling Words by Nicholas Trandahl

The thing about reading poetry is if you already are a poet, it awakens an innate desire to take the words before you, inhale them, and exhale them into poetry regurgitated but uniquely yours.

According to Winter Goose’s site:

With Pulling Words, a collection that simply and honestly showcases the drama and quietude of life, poet Nicholas Trandahl displays written snapshots of the world he has explored and observed. He escorts readers from his childhood in rural Virginia to his troubled time as a deployed soldier in the Middle East, and from the empty beauty of Wyoming to the quaint charm of Martha’s Vineyard.

I’ve followed Nick’s poetic journey from the beginning and liked his use of nature to stick a lens into the bigger picture of life’s greatest mysteries and moments: love, being in love, marriage, pregnancy, and reminiscing childhood truths and young adult experiences that led to make the man.

Thankfully, I found out he was releasing a poetry collection just in time and rushed into the party even if I missed the hor d’oeuvres.  What follows is my take of the collection at large and some of my favorite quotes. Yet, as a poet myself, I know that reading poetry takes a few tries before the jigsaw pieces complete the puzzle :

Trandahl takes the reader down memory lane with poems about his childhood, his time serving in the Middle East, and a poem that feels like a fly on the wall during a family vacation. Nature and outdoorsy imagery is heavily used due to the poet’s love and adoration for the outdoors.

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This is my first favorite quote from the book because for me, I am most reminiscent of certain people and places when the wind hits me a certain way. The scents, the sounds, they all come rushing back, like wind carrying souls as it moves between the trees.

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With this quote, you can see the symbolism that nature provides both the poet and the reader, that life and love is reflected in the processes of nature: we sprout, we bloom, we grow, we bend, we wilt, we wither.

Please congratulate Nicholas for me by liking him on Facebook and by sharing this review fervently.

#BookReview: Fricke’s Debut ‘Corrupting Darkness’ will haunt you

From the first page, I was immediately like a fly on the wall observing the friendship of Ally Dekin and Fay Hadley.

Then, I was thrown for a loop, much like the main character Ally was, when Fay dies in a car accident only by the end of the second chapter.

This book is a gorgeous and worthy read despite being released via Amazon’s Createspace Publishing platform. Even though the issues in it were heavy and thick, much like life itself, Fricke’s writing style kept me turning the page because it was light, airy, and poetic in the best way.

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I really want you to win a signed copy of this book so go here to enter if you are in the US.

Giveaway ends on March 15, 2017 at 12 am est. You must watch the video to qualify as an entrant.

#BookReview: Prosperity is God’s Will For You; God’s Will is Prosperity by Gloria Copeland

It’s not a surprise that this book spoke to me. I’ve grown up looking to Gloria and her husband Kenneth Copeland as my spiritual parents. I’ve learned so much knowledge from them about God, how to use my faith, the power of using your mouth supernaturally to confess what you believe, etc.

This book surprised me because although some of the principles I’ve grown up on, it always seems like because they are simple that I seem to forget to apply them to my everyday life.

Some principles you will learn about in this book are:

1. God’s Will Is Prosperity
2. Priorities
3. Divine Prosperity
4. The Hundredfold Return
5. How To Receive From God
6. Our Angels At Work!
7. Yes, You Can Stand!
8. Defeat Satan’s Attacks

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Happy One Year, The Smart Cookie!

#BookReview: Anonymous Letter from a Stranger saved my life; Love Junkies by Christy Johnson

Dang. This book was sent to me by a friend who knows the author, and I cannot thank her enough for sending this to me. It read like a letter from an anonymous friend who had compassionate concern for me as a woman and wanted to offer biblical advice on how to be better in the area of love, and how a woman’s love life trickles into all other areas of her life.

Plus, I found a whole list of books I want to read that this book recommended. And that’s a win-win in the life of a Smart Cookie and Bibliophile.

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Wolves, Love, and Adventure: The Makings of a Great Novel #BookReview

Lately, I’ve noticed I really enjoy historical fiction. Even though, it’s no surprise that this novel grabbed me by the shirt collar from the first page. It reminded me of the amazing books I couldn’t get enough of as a child, Little House On The Prairie books.

Buy it now on Kindle for only 0.99.

 

Title: Maggie Elizabeth Harrington Vol. 1

Author: DJ Swykert

Rating: 4 cookies

This book had all I love in a novel. A strong female lead, a girl trying to make sense of her surroundings, and a love story. Maggie Elizabeth may be 13 but because she questions everything, she’s incredibly intuitive. Did I mention that she lives in 1893? Despite that huge gap in centuries, the issues discussed throughout this novel are still relevant in 2017.

Some issues discussed thematically are animal cruelty, religious sects, the Bible, life, death, and the in-between.