Posted by: irenesroth | August 9, 2018

Box of Butterflies by Roma Downey

I read a most magnificent book a few weeks ago that I would love to share with you here.  It is one of these books that really make you appreciate life more than ever before.

The title and book cover caught my eye when I was visiting my library in early June. I was in the middle of reading a few books. So, I actually waited a while to read it. However, when I finally got to read it, my summer was completely renewed and restored with the peace and tranquility of a box of butterflies. How wonderful can that be!!

Roma has had her own share of ups and downs. Her Mom died when she was very young.  It took her a long time to come to terms with the death and to move on. But she did through God’s grace. This was a very reflective time for her.

Life has been quite tumultuous for her. But she always had hope and peace in her heart–despite all the trials and tribulations of her life. Butterflies have always been a reminder to her of God’s constant presence in her life, even in the darkest of times. I can certainly agree with Roma.  I also love butterflies, and I find that they transport me to places not yet seen.

Although Roma misses her mom daily, she believes that she will see her again one day.  These butterflies almost remind Roma of her mom. They are signs of God’s goodness in the world. This book sure was a box of butterflies for me. I will contact the author and tell her how wonderful her book really was.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be inspired to look beyond our material world to a world that is beautiful. And it is in the small moments–like a butterfly landing on a flower, that we can regain that tranquility in our world and heart.

Thank you Roma for such a wonderful book!  This is the best book I read so far this year!!

Irene S. Roth

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Posted by: irenesroth | July 3, 2018

Book Review: The Adventures of Joyful John

The Adventures of Joyful John:
John Rides His Bike
By Elizabeth E. Williams
Illustrated by Jasmine Mills

John loves to ride his bike. His bike and his teddy bear are his companions as he discovers new adventures in the world.

He has so much joy and energy as he takes on the adventures of the day.

During his bike ride, he explores the neighborhood by visiting a dog, picking up rocks, swinging in the park, smelling flowers, and so much more. And the entire time he has a cheerful smile on his face.

This book will help kids look at taking a bike ride as an awesome time for fun exploration. It will help them see the beauty in the simplicity of life. Joyful John will teach your kids that every day can be an adventure if you allow it to be!

With the challenging times that kids can encounter today, the positivity and fun in this book will fill an important gap in children’s literature.

I loved the book from start to finish! It made me smile, and it gave me a lift. We can all learn how to be happy and have fun. The earlier we do, the happier our lives will be.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | June 22, 2018

Book Review: Now With You, Now Without You

Now With You, Now Without You
By Kathryn Leith Scott

This is a book about loss and how to go through the grieving process. Although, the book reads a bit like a memoir, it has the substance and depth to help everyone who is grieving.

When we are grieving, we can collapse into a bottomless pit or we can try to cope from the devastating loss. Kathryn chose to try to cope and even thrive in spite of all she went through.

The book takes the reader through the journey through Kathryn’s husbands’ terminal illness and how it was so important for her to make every last moment special with her husband. The couple decided to travel the world. It is a feat that no too many would take. But, it is a process that is courageous and hopeful.

When the time comes to face her husband’s Geoff’s inevitable passing, the voyage she had begun with the man she loved did not end. Kathryn continued on across the world. Through her grief, guilt, and coming to terms of the many things that happened in their lives, their adventure helped her find the way back to her new life.

This book is a celebration of life and how to cope with death. It is about cherishing the many priceless moments that make a life time. It is also about the courage to move forward. This story is for anyone who has suffered loss. It is a firm reminder not to waste the moments that make a lifetime in the here and now.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | June 22, 2018

Book Review: Arcadia’s Children: Samantha’s Revenge

Arcadia’s Children: Samantha’s Revenge
By Andrew R. Williams

This is a very captivating sci-fi fantasy story that will keep you reading until you have finished the last page. The story is one of a kind. You will want to read more. But alas the story will be over.

Williams’ sci-fi fantasy story has many intriguing twists and turns which will easily captivate your attention from the beginning. Williams portrays an exciting and adventurous story of alien invasion in a vivid and convincing way.

In addition, the characters are drawn with amazing credibility, depth, and integrity. If you’re looking for an action packed, sci-fi fantasy adventure that’s packed with courage, bravery and heroism that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, this book is for you.

Further, the story had every element a good story should have. This amazing story has an exciting plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s also an abundance of well-illustrated scenes that will make you feel like you are right in the middle of the story in another worldly place, far away from the here and now.

There is something very magical about reading fantasy fiction like this. It helps us imagine worlds that are quite removed from our own and some of the possibilities outside our realm of the normal of here and now. And this story did exactly that for me.

This is the first book in the series. I can’t wait to see what Andrew Williams comes up next. I’m sure he’s creating it as we speak.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | June 13, 2018

Handle with Love by Donna J. Moore

Donna is a woman who describes herself as being average in all areas of her life—all areas but one: cancer.

When she was diagnosed with a rare metastatic cancer—a diagnosis that would make many people give up and lose all hope—Donna decided it was time to try all the solutions that she came across.

Honestly-told, entertaining, and heart-breaking in turn, Moore takes us through the trials and tribulations of her “adventure with cancer” with vulnerability. All of those who have been through cancer or have a loved one struggling with a life-threatening disease will both laugh and cry their way through this book, which is ultimately not about surviving cancer but about thriving through it.

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | May 28, 2018

Book Review: Soaring With Frankie by Ilene Sims

This is a very inspiring story for all to become aware of redemption and survival. It is a book about thriving in the face of adversity that will speak to a wide range of audiences, with lessons for children, teens, and adults alike.

This story is about a metaphor between one lady and her beautiful red-factor canary, named Frankie. This woman had gone through hard times of her own, but spending time with the canary and relating to his challenges revivified her heart so that she was able to continue living valiantly. But what is more, Frankie reminded her of a lot of important life lessons that she herself had faced.

When this woman would take Frankie out of the cage to clean it, he didn’t fly but merely walked on the floor. How can a bird not fly? All canaries (and many other birds) can fly, but not Frankie. Was the bird scared? That is the kind of fear that the protagonist could relate to very well. She had been safe and hiding in her own cage of life made of the limitations she faced in her life, but she knew that she had been born to rise and conquer.

While Frankie was in his cage, the woman noticed his little wings beginning to flutter with a vengeance. Something in Frankie had awakened and he had regained his ability to fly. There was an assurance and confidence in Frankie. He now flies with no limits and no boundaries. His fears all subsided and he not only flies, but now he soars!
Posted by: irenesroth | May 22, 2018

Book Review: The Hanging by Paddy Bostock

This is a crime suspense novel that will have you sitting at the edge of your seat until you have read the last page. But what is more, the story is well-structured and a joy to read. The story is also filled with magic and suspense page after page.

The entire story revolves around the magical onyx stone. There are three main characters – the troll Vilius Vilutis and two elves Mordecai and Hazchem. Then there’s Zingy who’s the business foe of Villius. Do they manage to find the onyx stone and protect the world? That is a question that I will have to leave the reader with.

Posing as a papal nuncio, the troll Vilius “The Vile” Vilutis haunts the Cumbrian hills. He is in search of the magical onyx with the potential to revolutionalize smartphones worldwide. He is aiming to put his enemy, Silicon Valley gazillionaire Zingy Splitz out of business forever. Can he do it?

Suspicious, Zingy contacts Pope Benny in Rome, where rumour has it Vilius once worked, thus discovering the troll’s current whereabouts. Meanwhile two ghastly hangings disrupt the peace. The Vatican is implicated in the crimes, its motives darker than Vilius’s vindictiveness. The troll doesn’t seem to be as vile as it first appeared.

This is the fourteenth book for Paddy Bostock. I can’t imagine what he will come up with for another storyline. Some books are such gems that it made me think that an encore would be hard to pull off. But Paddy Bostock can, and will, pull it off I am sure. I will certainly look out for his other books and read them too.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | May 19, 2018

Book Review: Chinese Pearl

Chinese Pearl
By Patrick Aaron

There are some books that one cannot put down. They transfix you and make you forget the rest of the world. This is the magic of a good story, and I found that Chinese Pearl did that very thing to me. It was so wonderful to lose myself in the world of fiction for a while, a world that is hopeful and also has many lessons the most important of which is unconditional love.

The story is about a midwife Xiulan whose dream of raising her own child seems to be dashed until she is called to help a mother give birth to a baby boy. When the mother gives birth, she delivers a boy followed by an albino girl with white hair. The girl’s grandmother doesn’t want to keep the second baby and asks Xiulan to dispose of her in the sea. But Xiulan cannot bring herself to do that and realizes that maybe she will be able to raise a child of her own after all.

As time goes on, Xiulan realizes that there is a lot that is very different and wonderful about the girl. One of these things is her psychic ability. As she grows, she draws people to come visit the family’s apothecary. But can these powers attract the wrong attention over time? It soon does involving many different agencies and China’s National Aviation Corporation pilots.

This book will make you laugh and cry. It is a book that is deep and yet light at the same time. I don’t think I have ever read a book that has just that perfect combination. What a gem of a book!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted by: irenesroth | May 17, 2018

Book Review: Embracing Faith

Bracing Faith: Empowerment from a Domestic Violence Survivor and a Recovering Addict
By Patricia Cardenas
 
     This is an honest, brave and gripping book about a woman who has survived domestic violence, addiction, and homelessness. It is a book of hope and redemption which will help all women who are struggling with domestic violence. 
 
     Patricia Cardenas’s story is very raw and honest.  It is a book about her struggle in the hands of men who breathtakingly abused Patricia mercilessly. All she had was her faith in God and his redeeming qualities to survive. Patricia believed that God was always with her, even when she was abused, homeless and in the hands of the Justice system in California. 
 
          Domestic abuse is pandemic in our society today. Few people talk about it in such an honest and open way. There are so much shame and denial surrounding the topic of domestic violence. And many men keep getting away with such heinous acts against the women they are supposed to care for and love. 
 
     This is a book of hope for all women. The last segment of the book contains useful information about abuse and all the legal terminology that surrounds the issue of domestic abuse from a legal perspective. After reading this book, women will understand the legalities of abuse and what the process is to become liberated. 
 
     This book will be an extremely valuable resource for women who have experienced abuse. It will give women hope, knowledge, and courage to leave their abusive situations and seek the mental, physical, spiritual, and psychological help that they need. It can be a complicated process, but it is worth it because no one deserves to live in conditions where they are abused. We all deserve comfort, peace, and safety.
Rating: 5++ stars
Irene S. Roth
Posted by: irenesroth | May 11, 2018

A Curious Year in the Great Vivarium Experiment

Those of us who have experienced the pain and heartbreak of losing a parent knows it feels like our world is never going to be the same. We suddenly realize that something intangible is forever lost. But there are ways of coping and coming out on the other side of this despair and sadness. This is the journey that Tim Shields takes the reader on in this wonderful story of emancipation. It’s a story that is as deep as it tragic, beautiful, and inspiring.

The story is about Thomas Furey, who finds himself at a crossroads in this life. He is in his mid-thirties and without a job to fall back on. He’s feeling desperately isolated and alone as he mourns the death of his mother. With many other things that are simultaneously going wrong in his life, Thomas feels himself sinking into a deep well of misery and sadness. How can he possibly get himself out of this dark abyss that was created by the unfortunate events in his life?

Suddenly, Thomas thinks of something liberating and he is convinced that this will help him to overcome these obstacles. He buys himself a one-way ticket to India. After he buys it, he becomes fearful yet filled with hope and ready to be guided by his intuition. The journey takes him all over Southeast Asia for a year.

I loved this book. This is a story that takes the reader on a journey like no other, to become emancipated and cleansed by the end of the story and to think for him/herself about what it means to live an authentic life. The story is laced with philosophy and the deep intuition of a person who is trying to recreate his life. A lot occurs between sunrise and sunset.

Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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