Friday, 29 April 2016

Searching Dot Comma

Have you ever wondered why your car stalled in heavy traffic this morning? Plus you had to endure all kinds of frustrated stares and insults from road rage commuters?

Did you ever ponder why you are the one who gets hauled over the coals for being late for work on Wednesday when you were early all the other days in the week?

Did you ever question God as to why your child would be sick on the very day you have an important exam?  On top of that, you forgot to take the text book along with you to the doctor's office and you are berating yourself. You are saying "Oh dear, I could be reading some notes whilst I am here. I hope I pass this exam."

Well, this last scenario did happen to me whilst I was studying. My son was just over 3 months old. As you know, life is not straight forward and trials and tribulation will occur from time to time. I believe that once you have faith in God that things will work out in your best interest,you can breathe a little easier.

Author Matupit Darius is a pastor and at one point he questioned God when he lost his daughter in a horrific bus accident. A native of Papua New Guinea, Pastor Darius wrote this memoir.  It is called Groping for God.  I completed my review of this novel on 9 August 2014.  Here is my review:-

Groping for God is a personal, heart-wrenching story about Pastor Matupit Darius from Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. Pastor Darius lost his daughter Martina in a tragic bus accident. Pastor Darius was forced to escort Martina’s body to the hospital. All the while, he was in a state of deep shock. He couldn’t believe that a few minutes ago, he and Martina were laughing, enjoying themselves. Suddenly, their bus was tumbling down a ravine, killing his only daughter. According to author Darius, he (Darius) was so accustomed to extending support to his church members in their time of need. He felt out of sorts now that he was on the receiving end. He was accepting telephone calls and condolence greetings from friends and even strangers. Pastor Darius had to struggle emotionally to maintain a sense of equilibrium. He was angry with God for taking Martina, yet he knew and believed in God’s promise that He would not allow His people to bear burdens that they could not handle. He realized that he had to immerse himself in God’s word, especially the book of Job, in order to be at peace.

Groping for God is a short novel outlining the grieving process experienced by Pastor Darius. The language is simple and colloquial. It is easy to understand. The book is written in the first person. This tactic essentially allows the reader to become fully immersed in the story. I love the inclusion of the photos. This enhances the dramatic effect of the tragic circumstances. The reader is inclined to empathize with the author and feel his pain. Author Darius utilizes bold blue sub-headings which are very effective because they assist in formatting the story. They also keep the reader in tune with the thought patterns of the main character. I also appreciate the various short questions interspersed in the book. This allows the reader to identify with the main character and experience the changing states of raw emotion. The use of contrast is clever. The story begins on a somber note yet, at the end, author Darius relates that his faith in God encourages him to put things in perspective. He can see that God is still in control, despite his loss. In essence, he found the silver lining under his dark clouds. I recommend this book to all readers who are going through trying times and need spiritual upliftment.

 Reviewed for Readers' Favorite by Valerie Rouse

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Say What?!

We need to speak up sometimes.  I know that as children we are taught that we must speak only when we are spoken to.

However, as we get older, we should recognize that this age old instruction does not apply to all situations.

Take for instance the recent cases in Barbados where minors are being found dead with telling signs of abuse on their bodies. Who are the culprits? When will real justice be achieved for the grieving parents?

Who has the nerve or gall to speak out? The true perpetrators will be only be caught when caring community members decide to discard this foolish rule of keeping silent.
Kobo Inc. Well, author Cindy Vine wrote a book based on a similar incident of child neglect. This book is entitled Hush Baby.  I wrote the review of this interesting novel on 6 August 2014. I gave it 4 stars.  Here is my review:-

Reviewed by Valerie Rouse for Reader's Favorite

Hush Baby by author C. Vine is a gripping tale surrounding Kyle Rushton and his sour relationship with his live-in girlfriend Marlene. They have a son, Max, who is three years old. Max means the world to Kyle. Unfortunately, Kyle’s see-saw relationship with Marlene was taking a toll on him and Kyle made the difficult decision to leave Marlene and Max and move in with his sister Sylvie. Kyle was forced to seek out a lawyer after Marlene blocked him from picking up Max from daycare. Things rapidly escalated with social services becoming involved as well. After establishing a proper visitation schedule to have access to Max, Kyle received a phone call that Max was seriously ill. On rushing to the hospital, he found out that Max had ingested rat poison. Unfortunately, Max died. Kyle became very depressed; however, he had emotional support from Sylvie and close friends. He later discovered that Marlene had given birth to two other children who also died mysteriously. Further digging led to the discovery of more secrets about Marlene’s upbringing and school life.

Hush Baby is an interesting read about personal relationships. Author C. Vine did an excellent job developing the plot. The story began at a slow pace, however, it quickened in the latter half of the novel. I love the unexpected twists that were included in the story. In my opinion, the story literally took on a different feel and transformed into a suspense thriller. This tactic is very cleverly orchestrated by author C. Vine. It propels the reader to become more engrossed in the plot. I did not want to put down the book! The language is simple and easy to understand. What was refreshing was that the novel was written from the viewpoint of a male as opposed to a female. Normally, most stories outlining relationship woes are slanted in the favour of females. This welcome diversion from the norm speaks well for equality of the sexes. I loved the descriptive passages in the novel. I applaud author C. Vine for keeping her readers on their toes, wondering how the story would finally end. The staccato formatting of the final chapter was a good move. It suggests that the reader should accept unpredictability in the plot. I recommend this book to all readers who love suspense.

When will we wake up?

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Monday, 25 April 2016

Oh Lord, Help Me Out!

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Suppose you came home from work and found your front door wide open. What would you do? Panic right?

What about if you arrived at the airport from a relaxing vacation, go to the atm machine and find that you don't have a cent on your account? How will you pay the attendant to move your car from the car park when it is midnight?

Or lets say that your bank account got hacked and you find that you don't have any money to pay the bills that the postman keeps dropping off? When you go to the bank, they tell you it is going to take 3 months for them to rectify the problem and pay day is soo far away?

Well, the last scenario actually happened to me a few years ago. I absolutely felt like pulling my hair out / selling my locks!  Situations like these can make you panic and catch stress and worry incessantly, etc. What if there is no one to assist you in your time of need?

 However author Ugochukwu Uche has a solution for those persons who do have panic attacks.  He is a firm believer that you can wave goodbye to panic attacks.  His book entitled How To End Your Panic Attacks gives descriptive details about this reaction to stressful situations.

I completed this review on 8th March 2014. Here is my review:

How to End Your Panic Attacks is a comprehensive study outlining the actual description of a panic attack and the accompanying symptoms experienced by persons susceptible to these attacks. Author Ugo Uche also reveals the differences between panic attacks and other mental disorders like post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and stage fright, for example. In addition, a concise synopsis of the structure of the brain is included. Emphasis is placed on the amygdala, which is referred to as the emotional hub of the brain. This important gland also controls the amount of fear that humans experience. A group of nerve endings connected to the amygdala can be analyzed to determine the amount of anxiety a person is feeling. The thicker the nerve fibers, the less anxious the individual will be. The latter part of the book thoroughly explains practical ways to conquer panic attacks without medication, using visualization and mindfulness.

How to End Your Panic Attacks is very informative and practical for the average reader. I find the examples outlined to be very useful. I love the descriptive analogy about the lobster being placed in the hot or cold water. This drives home the point that individuals can ultimately lessen their panic attacks by controlling their response to their environment. The language of the study is colloquial and quite easy to follow. I applaud author Ugo Uche for utilizing simple language to describe the clinical nature of panic attacks. This helps to convey the theme that panic attacks can be cured without visiting a psychiatrist for weeks on end. I believe that some illustrations could have been inserted in the section on strategies. This would have made this portion of the book more appealing and promote faster absorption of the material. I love the scenarios used throughout the book to convey pertinent points. I recommend this book to all readers, especially those suffering from stress and anxiety.

Reviewed for Readers Favorite by Valerie Rouse

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