Sunday, February 28, 2010

REVIEW: Financial Survival - Practical Ways to Save Money by Kristen Eckstein

Title:                          Financial Survival – Practical Ways To Save
Author:                     Kristen Eckstein                  
ISBN 13:                   978-0-9767913-5-5
Pages:                      108
Publisher:                 Discover! Books
Cover:                       Paperback
Reviewer:                Gregory W. Bryant Sr. – Literary Wonders!
RATING:                   4 ½ Stars  

Financial Survival – Practical Ways to Save Money by Kristen Eckstein is a  financial book with useful and easy to follow information for those of us who don't like to read “how-to-books” regarding finances. Author Kristen Eckstein has written a financial “how-to” winner on her hands.  
This book is simple and very easy to understand.  The tips she gives us are very useful in these hard economic times.  She gives a very passionate example of how she and her husband’s financial difficulties led them to re-evaluate what was important in their lives.  They had to choose between wants and needs.  Mrs. Eckstein had to battle health, unemployment and housing while keeping her faith.  
As i read the book I noticed, throughout her hard times, Mrs. Eckstein never wavered in her faith.  That is something many of us do when times are bad. We lose faith in ourselves, others and most importantly in our spirituality.
Financial Survival – Practical Ways to Save Money also outlines a plan that allows you to keep tabs on your finances by creating a budget plan.  Mrs. Eckstein details this in the first chapter and gives you a sample budget in the back of the book.  She has included useful diagrams and an appendix in the back of the book.  
I also like how Mrs. Eckstein gives you a synopsis at the end of each chapter that points out the important info of that particular chapter.  She also gives you survival tip alerts in each chapter which makes the book more entertaining.
I can honestly say this was a very entertaining and informative book about something very important to our present lives as well as our future lives.
Bravo to you Ms. Eckstein and your very useful guide on financial survival.

Gregory "the poet" Bryant-reviewer
Literary Wonders!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

REVIEW: What Is This Love Thing All About? by Corey J. Barnes

Date:                   2/24/10
Title:                    What is This Love Thing All About?
Author:                Corey J. Barnes
ISBN 10:            
ISBN 13:             978-0-578-02962-7
Pages:                281
Publisher:           CJ Publishing
Cover:                 Paperback
Reviewer:          Gregory W. Bryant Sr. – Literary Wonders! (www.literarywonders)
RATING:             3 ½ Stars

Author Corey J. Barnes' debut novel, What is This Love Thing All About?, is very impressive and well written.  I was enamored with the editing and the formatting. Mr. Barnes navigated between characters and scenes with ease.  The main characters worked well together and though the beginning of the story was a little slow, it picked up nicely after a couple of chapters.  

I was captivated by the relationship between Rick Jenkins and his boys.  It is revealed that, unlike what most people think; men are able to be caring of each other-high five on that one Mr. Barnes.  

Even though the story line appeared to be mainly about the relationship between Rick Jenkins and Aphrodite Morrison, I would have liked a little more background on Ms. Morrison.  We were treated to a little background on Rick Jenkins but were not given a true look into what made Aphrodite tick.  It would appear that she had bad relationships with her mother, family and other men.  I would have like to know what made those relationships so bad, or perhaps a brief background on them.

I think the relationship between Aphrodite and Tracy would have been a little more understandable if a little more reasoning would have been detailed as to why it came to be.

Overall, for a debut novel, I am impressed with What is This Love Thing All About? I wish Mr. Barnes good luck with his future project.  I think he will have a successful career in writing.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Review: Selling My Soul by Sherri L. Lewis


Date:                         2/22/2010
Title:                          Selling My Soul
Author:                     Sherri L. Lewis
ISBN 10:                   160162848X
ISBN 13:                   978-1601628480
Pages:                       288
Publisher:                Urban Books
Cover:                       Paperback
Reviewer:                Yolanda M. Johnson-Bryant– Literary Wonders! (www.literarywonders)
Rating:                      4 Stars

            Essence bestselling author Sherri L. Lewis takes her readers on a spiritual journey from the simple life of Africa to the hustle and bustle of D.C. In Selling My Soul, Ms. Lewis puts her main character Trina Michaels right in the middle of the action
            After returning from a two-year mission trip in Africa, Trina comes home to find that even though some things change, some stay the same. Her sister has been living in her house and driving her car but has no job. She is shocked to find that her mother is fighting a terrible illness but had failed to hell her. She also discovers that her best friend and her husband are fighting a few demons of their own.
After succumbing to the pressure and against her spiritual will, Trina returns to her old job and lands herself in a whole heap of trouble. At Love and Faith Christian Center, it seems that the collection plate isn’t the only thing being passed around and she soon finds out that the head pastor doesn’t play nice. She finds herself protecting a man that she despises. She must decide if selling her soul is worth, losing her peace of mind, her family, her friends, her African Prince and her salvation with God. She must also decide if she will let generational curses destroy her spirit and her happiness and lose the love of her life.
            Trina uses her spiritual wisdom and guidance to get her through this heart-wrenching story of faith and victory. Ms. Lewis’ characters are true to life and leave you hanging on to every scene with anticipation which does not disappoint.

Selling My Soul touches the very hearts of those who may have, or may be going through the same situation and gives them hope that all will work out for the good of those who believe in and love God. Selling My Soul shows its readers that if you have the faith of a mustard seed, miraculous things can and will happen.
Kudos to Sherri L. Lewis for giving us so a touching a believable story!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

REVIEW: Completely Whole by Paulette Harper

 Release Date: May 2010

Date:                         February 7, 2010
Title:                          Completely Whole
Author:                     Paulette Harper
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:                   978-061533101-0
Pages:                       103
Publisher:                Thy Word Publishing
Cover:                       Paperback
Reviewer:                Tamarra Bryant – Literary Wonders! (www.literarywonders)

Rating: 5 Stars

COMPLETELY WHOLE is an uplifting inspirational guide that will motivate its reader with the practical use of biblical comparisons.  Ms. Harper uses easy to understand language to guide the reader to search inwardly and rely on God for renewal.

Ms. Harper uses her personal experiences to guide the reader to use specific bible verses and themes that will enhance the reader’s spiritual journey towards becoming, COMPLETELY WHOLE.  Contemporary situations that are sure to be recognizable & personal to each reader on some level are covered with simplicity. The reader is given practical explanations and uplifting solutions.

Each section ends with a prayer that provides the reader with a specific thought process, which if said with sincerity, from the heart, will definitely reach God’s ears. The use of bible verses from the Amplified Bible provide clear proof that our God is with us throughout our journeys & provides the answers if we are willing to listen.

“COMPLETELY WHOLE” is a guide one can refer to over and over again during times of need. Ms. Harper’s grasp of real life and her method of dealing with these situations truly make this guide a learning tool that can be used over and over again.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What are you reading?

2010 has started off with a Literary Wonders! reading frenzy.  With several new books being released this year and several left over from my 2009 “To Be Read Pile” we have lots of reading to do.

I must admit that initially we had gotten off to a slow start. In the month of January we only read “The Million Dollar Demise” by RM Johnson and “Secrets and Lies” by Rhonda McKnight.

February proves to be much better. We are currently reading “The Million Dollar Deception” by RM Johnson, “Luck of the Draw” by Anthony Cardielli, “Mischief in the Mushroom Patch” by Amanda M. Thrasher and “Selling My Soul” by Sherri Lewis.

Our reviewers are reading and reviewing “Completely Whole” by Paulette Harper, “Soul on Fire” by Skyy Banks, and “The Son” and “Awesome Wonder” by Ann Ricks. I won’t even begin to list what is in our “To Be Read Pile”.
Well, I guess I’d better get back to reading now. Stop by and tell us what you are reading. Until next time, Happy Reading!

~~Yolanda M. Johnson-Bryant
Literary Wonders!