Wednesday, September 25, 2013

REVIEW: Pursuing Justice by Ken Wytsma

Date:               9/13/13
Title:               Pursing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things
Author:           Ken Wytsma
ISBN 13:          978-0849964664
Pages:             330
Publisher:      Thomas Nelson
Cover:              Hardcover
Rating:            4 Stars

I received an advanced reader copy of The Chaos Imperative as part of the Vine Program.  
At the very least, I found The Chaos Imperative by Ken Wytsma very thought provoking. As a Christian, one chapter that caught my attention the most was, one of the Interludes by Daniel Fan titled My Jesus Ain’t Your Jesus. I wish I could share, but I won’t do the author a disservice, but this piece talks about, in my opinion, diversity and the diversity that makes our world what it is. In America specifically, this diverse people helped make this country what it is. Diversity did the jobs that others did not wish to do, and their reward was and is ostracism.

The author uses scripture to various instances of justice and injustices. He describes the differences between criminal, social, business, political and international justices. Not to mention there are plenty of inspirational quotes to fit your fancy.

Finally, one of my many take-aways from this book is that the scriptures hold the answers to your lives, to our happiness, and to our problems. Some may not like the truth, but its there, in plain black and white.

REVIEW: The Chaos Imperative by Brafman and Pollack

Date:               9/20/13
Title:               The Chaos Imperative
Author:           Ori Brafman and Judah Pollack
ISBN 13:          978-0-307-88667-5
Pages:              224
Publisher:      Crown Publishing
Cover:              Paperback
Rating:            2 Stars

I received an advanced reader copy of The Chaos Imperative as part of the Vine Program.  In this book, the author uses many Hollywood references and many instances I deem common sense. I felt that this book missed the mark on teaching me something or helping in a sense.  The book however, are chock full of inspiring stories, so if that was the intent, then kudos to the author, but somehow, I don’t think that was the actual intent.  The title was very on point, because once I read the book, I was left wondering okay, did I miss the point and felt a little chaotic in my thoughts of trying to figure out the real purpose of this book. I could have missed it.

REVIEW: Leadership Transformed by Dr.Peter Fuda

Date:               9/17/13
Title:               Leadership Transformed
Author:           Dr. Peter Fuda
ISBN 13:          978-1781251249
Pages:              203
Publisher:      Profile Books Ltd
Cover:              Paperback
Rating:            2 Stars

I received an advanced reader copy of Leadership Transformed as part of the Vine
Program.  In this book, the author uses many references and metaphors to get his point across. Some were interesting, while others were not. The author used these metaphors to relate to traits like ambition, authenticity, support and self-reflection.  Perhaps, because I am a small entrepreneur, I felt somewhat left out of this book.

The book is an easy read, but because it didn’t hold my interest, it took me several sittings to finish. In the sea of leadership books that don my bookshelves, there are many that I refer to on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those books. 

REVIEW: The "I" of Leadership by Nigel Nicholson

Date:               9/12/13
Title:                The “I” of Leadership: Strategies for Seeing, Being and Doing
Author:           Nigel Nicholson
ISBN 13:         978-1118567432
Pages:            310
Publisher:      Jossey-Bass
Cover:             Hardcover
Rating:             4 Stars

             The “I” of Leadership: Strategies for Seeing, Being and Doing by Nigel Nicholson,
is probably one of the best leadership books I’ve read lately. There are many leadership styles; this book helps you determine what type of leader you are.

I love that the author reiterated key leadership ideas that many seem to forget or never knew in the first place. Three of my favorites are 1)Leaders have to satisfy followers, which is true is most cases, 2)Leaders transform, this is self explanatory; and 3)Leaders are stewards. When you break it down, leaders serve the people, keyword being “serve.”

IBM’s story is often used when talking about success. The author re-shares the story and introduces to others to the rise, fall and rise of the technology company. The author uses comparisons to this story and describes six SPQ(situation, process and qualities) strategies: shaping, discovery, self-knowledge, assimilation, seeing and selection.

In addition the IBM story, the author has included other stories quotes and scenarios of successful leaders like Warren Buffett. The book has useful information throughout, and out of all the leadership books on my bookshelf, this is one that I will take down to read and refer to on a regular basis. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

BLOG TOUR: An Unexpected Blessing w/Unoma Nwankwor

About the Book

Personal banker, Feranmi Adewunmi has done well for herself in diaspora by any standards.
But by her parent’s calculations, she should be married by now. And they had the right man for her. For Feranmi, being single wasn’t a crime and so she came up with the perfect plan to beat them at their own game. All she needed was a man.

CEO of Montgomery Construction, Alex Montgomery was back in Atlanta. His primary focus was rebuilding his business after an unfortunate incident in Chicago changed his life forever. A chance meeting with Feranmi turned that plan upside down. The pain she caused him in school was still fresh in his mind but so were the feelings that never died. Now she needed a favor.

For Feranmi time was running out. Her parents would be visiting soon and she still hadn’t found the perfect Nigerian man. Alex was her only option, after all how hard could it be? What they weren’t prepared for was an attraction they couldn’t ignore. Will they lean on the Lord for guidance or insist on being in control? Will his guarded dark past confirm her fears? Or will love prevail the second time around?

An Unexpected Blessing is a novel of love, forgiveness, and being open to God’s plan in your life. The best blessings are often unexpected.

About the Author
Unoma Nwankwor is the co-owner of KevStel Group, a Christian entertainment company, specializing in movie productions, book publications and hosting events. When she is not writing or running the operations of her company, she spends her time with her husband and two kids. Born in Akron, Ohio to Nigerian parents, Unoma spent her childhood and early adulthood years in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. She now resides in Atlanta which she has called home for fifteen years.

An Unexpected Blessing Contests
Unoma will have two contests during her virtual book tour, September 16-27, 2013.

(1) $25 Amazon Gift Certificate

Unoma Nwankor will giveaway a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Join her mailing list at to qualify for a chance to win OR click the direct link -

(2) Win a Copy of An Unexpected Blessing

Sign-up for the Goodreads Giveaway from September 16-27, 2013. The winner will be notified on September 29.

To ENTER both contests visit

Purchase the Book Online at:

Visit the author online at:

View the blog tour schedule at:

BLOG TOUR: Who I Be w/Annie Brown

About The Book
Have you looked in the mirror recently? Was the person looking back at you the person you 
used to be or are you not sure who is staring back at you? Sometimes during the course of
life, we allow ourselves to become what society says we ought to be. Society and its norms should not be how we define ourselves. God has made each one of us to be uniquely different and special in our own right. When we take the time to examine ourselves, we may be surprised how much of the real us is gone. Physically we disfigured ourselves or made ourselves sick trying to measure up to how society says we ought to look or be. Who I Be is personal. It is time that we focus on who and how God intended for us to be. We were fearfully and wonderfully made, and we should find satisfaction in being made in God’s image and not who or what society says we should be. Our physical, emotional, mental, and financial status does not make us. Who I Be is about the person who can be themselves and not be stressed or anxious about becoming another product of circumstances or norms to be wholly.

About The Author
Annie Brown was born to the parents of Lonza and Daisy Duckett in Alexander City, Alabama. She was the third of four children. Annie is the proud parent of four adult children, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild. She is a licensed minister and attends Joyful Noise AOH Church of God in Sylacauga, Alabama where she serves as the church secretary.

Annie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from the University of Montevallo and a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Alabama. She currently works at Lakeside Hospice, Inc. in Pell City, Alabama as a hospice social worker.  As a social worker, Annie works with the terminally ill, providing emotional support at the most critical time in an individual’s life.

Annie’s heart desire is that people will learn to love themselves. In order to love themselves, a person cannot conform to society’s norms as to what is acceptable but rather believe what God’s Word says.

Book Ordering
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Why Do I Need To Be Different?
We did not choose our parents, so we have no control over our DNA makeup. But I do know and trust God’s Word that we all were wonderfully and fearfully made. Is not that a blessing that no matter what our beginning features were like, God made us good and very good? It is that innate (inborn) desire within us to be accepted by the world standards that keeps us from accepting who we really are. Contributing factors are the lies the devil has us believing that there is always something wrong with us. We are never satisfied. If we are short, we want to be taller.
If we have a dark complexion, we want to be lighter. If we are white, we want a tan. If we are slender, we want to put on weight, and if we are obese, we want to lose weight. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to make some adjustments to our physical bodies, it becomes almost an obsession when the images that society and the devil paint as acceptable are what we yearn to be.
So what do we need to do as we feed into this deception and believe things are what the devil tells us they are? We should cry out to God as King David did on so many occasions for help. If we want to step from low self-esteem to confidence, we must take heed of the Word of God and believe what God says about us. Since the fall in the Garden of Eden, the adversary (the devil) has been deceiving people to believe that he knows better than God. St John referred to the devil as a liar and the father of lies.

BLOG TOUR: A Nothing Named Silas w/Steve Westover

About the Author

Steve Westover lives in a small Midwestern town with his wife and four kids. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Political Science and currently works in banking.
Steve also has a middle-grade fantasy series with two books released to date: Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island (March 2012) and Crater Lake: Return of the Mystic Gray (Apr. 2013). Steve has also published two FBI thrillers: Defensive Tactics (Aug. 2010) and the sequel, Gold Clash (Dec. 2012). To learn more about Steve, visit his website,

About the Book
You are here because the Citizens put you here to serve them and because the Regents
choose to control your lives.
In the not-so-distant future, workers are forcibly drafted into their fields. With all their choices made for them, the workers must do what they’re told or face severe consequences. When Labor chooses Silas, the tyrannical Labor Regent is determined to make him a public example of her complete control. He is humiliated, manipulated, and isolated during his first week under the Shield, and the people who show him kindness only help him because they have ulterior motives.
But the Regent is not the only one pulling Silas’s strings. The mysterious Gideon wants to mold him into a hero, a champion of the oppressed people. And a strange girl seems to be guiding him to find out more about the Citizens they serve. Through it all, no one bothers to ask Silas what he wants to do. Because, after all, he doesn’t have any rights. He doesn’t really exist.
Wade through twisted government conspiracies and deeply buried secrets alongside Silas as he learns to choose for himself—and discovers the cost of freedom.

Visit Steve at or view his blog tour schedule at

Friday, September 20, 2013

Feature Friday: Steve Digioia

Author Steve DiGioia has been in the hotel & restaurant business, in one manner or another, for 25+ years.

From a summer internship as a 16 year old “prep-cook” in Chicago, to Brooklyn NY banquet waiter, then booking agent, catering sales manager & room service manager, to restaurant director and director of banquets, he has seen some of the best and worst at their trade.

Known as “the ops guy” during his tenure at Hilton Hotels, Steve has redefined the operational and service standards for multiple food and beverage departments for some of the best names in the industry.

Using a hands-on approach, he has developed multiple training programs and personally mentored countless employees that have successfully moved on to supervisor and senior management positions.

Still active in the business, Steve has put together this collection of those same straightforward no-nonsense tactics that he continues to use and that will improve the customer service
mindset of your employees. When that happens, the result is bigger tips for the employees and increased revenue and repeat business for your company.

Steve has learned what REALLY works! Now he will teach it to you!

So Waiters, What Are You Going To Do About It?
I wrote a book about earning more tips on your very next shift, even if you’re a bad waiter and it will help, guaranteed!  It’s the book you have been waiting for. 

It’s what you must have to earn more tips, bigger tips, tips that will change your life!  Don’t you want that? 

So how can this book help you?  What can you learn from this that is different from whatever else you’ve been taught & doing?  Let’s take a step back for a moment…

During my research to prepare for writing this book, I scoured the internet for information that was already written by others on this topic.  I wanted to see what the competition was up to and was amazed by what I found.  Actually I was embarrassed.

Some of the recommendations were so bad that I had to stop looking.  Did ANY of these people ever actually work as a waiter, a bartender or manage a restaurant?  If so, they probably were not very successful.

Listen to Steve's interview here or click here to listen to it on iTunes

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Warm Up Your Winter: Holiday Hot Chocolate and Cider Recipes w/Laura Powell

About the Author
Laura Powell grew up in the Salt Lake Valley. She gained a passion for cooking from her mother and created her own recipe book as a young girl along with participating in a summer cooking program through the Deseret News. She began her blog,, in April of 2008 as a way to showcase her passion for cooking. Since then, has turned into her own small business. Laura continues to reside in Utah with her husband and 3 children.

About the Book
Snuggle up next to the fire! While winter rages outside, nothing beats a steaming mug of hot chocolate or cider. Warm up Your Winter includes delightful recipes like Classic Hot Cocoa, Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate, and Hot Caramel Apple Cider. Also included are topping recipes and ideas on how to serve up a hot beverage bar for an unforgettable holiday get-together.

Author of Real Mom Kitchen, Laura Powell brings you a collection of recipes sure to get you toasty on even the coldest evenings. Don’t just survive the winter—warm it up! 

BLOG TOUR: Marriage 101 For Men w/Sherri Mills

About the Author

Sherri Mills has been a hairdresser for over 45 years. She has had her own salon long enough to see life happen before her very eyes. She has listened to real-life problems and followed real-life outcomes—-successes and failures—and through several generations, longer and more extensively than marriage counselors can.

In her practice she has seen the pain from too many divorces that didn’t have to happen. She has been obsessed with trying to save as many marriages as she can.

Sherri’s first book, I Almost Divorced my Husband but I Went on Strike Instead, was written to women, with detailed instructions on how to deal with the double-duty double standard of householder work and how to have more appreciation for their own husbands.

Men wanted instructions of their own, so Sherri outlined in this book real solutions to issues that sabotage marital accord. The book is written in such a manner as to make sense to the male partner in the marriage.

About the Book
Get out of the doghouse and back into the bedroom simply by swapping the TV remote for the
toilet brush! Whether you’ve been married for three months or thirty years, failing to help around the house remains a major cause of discord. Following this book’s principles, a husband learns to decrease disputes and increase intimacy by:
  •  owning his share of household work
  • listening to his wife’s needs and communicating his own
  • spending the time on chores now to make more time for love later.

Using Marriage 101 for Men as a guide, you’ll be able to understand, alleviate, and ultimately eliminate the symptoms of stress in your relationship and be happier and more satisfied with all aspects of your marriage.

Friday, September 13, 2013

FEATURE FRIDAY: Suzette Perkins

Suzetta Perkins had the heart of a writer at a very young age.  As a dreamer, writing was one of the avenues that allowed her to dream big and take her imagination beyond the boundaries of the four walls of her bedroom.  She wrote many short stories, and in high school, she became the co-editor of her school's yearbook. Today, Suzetta has traveled many miles since her early days.  She has been to more than twenty countries and has lived and/or visited just as many states in the U.S.  She plans to write stories whose backdrops come from the experiences she's been fortunate enough to visit.  To have traveled and experienced the world as she has is a story in itself.

The mother of two grown children and one granddaughter, Suzetta finally realized her dream
of writing a full-length novel.  In 2000, she penned her first novel, Behind the Veil, a mainstream suspense novel that looks into the life a man whose greed and deceit nearly costs him his family, livelihood, and his life. Suzetta Perkins is also the author of A Love So Deep, Ex-Terminator: Life after Marriage, Déjà vu, Nobody Stays the Same, and At the End of the Day. She is also the cofounder and president of the Sistahs Book Club.
Product Detail
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Strebor Books; Original edition (May 14, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1593094752
ISBN-13: 978-1593094751

Twitter @authorsue
Suzetta Perkins
PO Box 64424

Fayetteville, NC 28306

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

REVIEW: Warm Up Your Winter by Laura Powell

Date:                         8/29/13
Title:                         Warm Up Your Winter
Author:                    Laura Powell
ISBN 13:                   978-1-4621-1204-3
Pages:                      26
Publisher:               Front Table/Cedar Fort
Cover:                      Paperback
Rating:                    3 Stars

I receive this book as a part of the Cedar Fort review program. Honestly, I can say this is not a
book that I would have bought on my own.  Although the recipes in this book are good recipes, I’ve seen them elsewhere, either in other cookbooks or on the internet and have actually made some of these myself.

On the other hand, the one recipe that was unfamiliar happened to be the very first recipe: Nutella Hot Chocolate. I absolutely loathe Nutella, however, my husband loves it, so I will try the recipe for him. Nutella? Who knew?  The only other exception to the rule was Caramel Apple Drink. I think I’ll try that one as well.

Because this book almost seems like a pamphlet of recipes, I would love to see, in the future, a book from the author that includes these recipes in a much larger recipe book, perhaps with other holiday recipes to include meals and desserts. Just a thought.

“I received a free copy of this book from Cedar Fort, for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.”

REVIEW: Real Love, Right Now by Kailen Rosenberg

Date:                         9/7/13
Title:                         Real Love, Right Now
Author:                     Kailen Rosenberg
ISBN 13:                    978-1-4767-2796-7
Pages:                        274
Publisher:                 Howard Books
Cover:                        Hardcover
Rating:                      4 Stars

Although I enjoyed this book, I believe that the author is a little ambitious with her thirty-day
blue print. Simply put, it is my belief that putting God ahead of everything and allowing God to choose your mate will ensure a better chance of finding your soul-mate. With that said, the author has a lot of valuable points—mainly, loving yourself. If one does not love him or herself, it is nearly impossible for anyone to completely and fully love you. In addition, if you are a person who is willing to give twenty-five percent, while looking for someone who will give one-hundred percent, I guarantee you are setting yourself up for failure.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Self-Appraisal section of this book. It causes a person to thoroughly evaluate themselves on the inside as well as the outside. This is something that many fail to do. One of the other things I enjoyed about this book is that it is not preachy as many self-help books are. Real Love, Right Now is an action plan that gives its readers homework and addresses those hard but real issues ranging from finances, childhood abuse, self-worth and much more. In addition after reading this book, it can ultimately help married couples who may have lost themselves in the everyday life and issues that come along with marriage. I believe it can help men and women initially rediscover themselves while rekindling marriages.

Now do I think this can be done in thirty-days? Probably not, but I’d say that Kailen Rosenberg gets you off to a great start.

“I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books, for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.”

REVIEW: Prayers and Promises for Worried Parents by Robert J. Morgan

Date:                         9/3/13
Title:                         Prayers and Promises
Author:                    Robert J. Morgan
ISBN 13:                   978-1-4767-4067-6
Pages:                      215
Publisher:               Howard Books
Cover:                      Paperback
Rating:                    4 Stars

I always welcome resources that encourage. Prayers and Promises is one of those
resources. As a parent of two grown children who continue to make choices that I would otherwise approve of, it is very difficult not to worry about their future.

Through a compilation of resources and original connotation, Robert J. Morgan has created this easy to read, easy to navigate book. Like most great resources, this book is divided into easy to read and easy to navigate chapters, complete with scripture and resources.

My take-away from this book is that God has all the answers. As parents we must look to Him to fix or help our children instead of worrying about something we have no control over.  A great resource for your spiritual library.

“I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books, for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.”

REVIEW: The 50 Friday Marriage Challenge by Jeff & Lora Helton

Date:                         9/3/13
Title:                         The 50 Fridays Marriage Challenge
Author:                      Jeff & Lora Helton
ISBN 13:                    978-1-4767-0500-2
Pages:                        176
Publisher:                 Howard Books
Cover:                         Paperback
Rating:                       4 Stars

I’m all for tools that help strengthen or rebuild marriages. The 50 Fridays Marriage Challenge
is an excellent tool. My husband and I are only on the second week, but we did skip ahead to read some of the other challenges just to see what we were getting ourselves into. Upon inspection I found that this book is perfect for those couples thinking about marriage, newlyweds and for those married couples who are looking for the missing piece in their marriage or those trying to figure out ways to find themselves back to their spouse.

Each Friday, perfect for a date night, the couple is to ask, answer and follow up the given question. Questions such as:
·         “What was the greatest thing that happened to you this week?”
·         “What was your greatest challenge?”
·         “Evaluate your physical intimacy. What would you like to see changed?”
·         “What physical characteristic of your spouse do you like the most?”
·         “What are the simple phrases that describe your desire for your marriage?”

These 50 questions range from spiritual to intimate to financial issues that married couples face. I recommend this book to any couple as state above. It is great for married couples, however, for those who are not sure if their potential mate is good fit, you should get and utilize the practices and questions in this book.

“I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books, for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.”

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

BLOG TOUR: L. Lawrence Brand Treasures in the Darkness

About the Book 
Private pain can become public victory. The strongest believer’s faith can be shaken when faced with tragedy or even disappointment. Bishop Larry Brandon faced this himself when his oldest son, Brandon, was killed. Here he shares his own struggle, pain, and eventual victory in Christ. While it appeared to the world that he was doing well, inside his heart and faith were broken. Only someone who has faced the subtle crumbling and nagging doubts can speak with authority to the pain that readers face in such dark times.

Treasures in the Darkness also turns to the scripture to show how people like Abram, Sarai, David and others who loved God stumbled when their faith was put to the test. Through the text, the reader will gain spiritual understanding to help stay in faith while getting practical tools to help deal with and overcome private pain, whatever it may be. Treasures in the Darkness covers topics such as how to avoid masking one's pain, how to deal with frustration, assumption and presumption, coming through the grief process (the root of private pain), seeing our situation through the eyes of faith, discovering the "hidden treasure" in our pain, and more. 

About the Author 
L. Lawrence Brandon is an author, producer, television and radio host, conference speaker, socially-active entrepreneur and esteemed business and community leader. He is the founder and CEO of LL Brandon Ministries, Inc, Praise Temple Ministries, and University Christian Preparatory School. He also serves as pastor of Praise Temple Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral in Shreveport, LA. 

Purchase the Book Online at: 

Book Trailer:


Visit the author online at: 

View the blog tour schedule at: