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Conversations in Heaven

Conversations in Heaven
By Sue Campbell

Narrative Style
The reader will notice the distinct style of the author of going through each character's life, describing in poignant detail each milestone that defines them in their deaths. The chapters effectively develop their personalities by taking the time to paint each thought and feeling as Julie listens to them one by one.

The stories are seamlessly woven into Julie's journey through Heaven after her life ends violently. The conversations become a testament to how God has touched every person that she's met in her first foray into the afterlife. As everyone recalls their past, they realize the wonder of their present and how worthwhile the hardships on earth were. The author makes effective use of imagery to describe the way Heaven is seen in Julie's eyes. Julie's character in itself is created as down-to-earth and very relatable, such as when she sees Jesus for the first time, the awe and joy are also felt by the reader.

Novel Tone
The novel does not take itself too seriously as to alienate readers who are not particularly spiritual. The overall tone is that of a happy story with a main character that, while obviously flawed, is endearing. The statements are easy to take in and light-hearted, although the dialogue has a tendency to progress into unnatural depositions.

Novel Theme
The theme of the novel is heavy on Christianity and salvation. However, it will appeal to readers of other religions or beliefs, it caters to its target audience well. Christian teachings on abstinence, forgiveness, and faith are clearly present and repeatedly emphasized.

Potential Criticism
Perhaps the biggest issue that the book will face is its depiction of Islam and the current situation in Afghanistan. Some readers might disagree with how the Muslims' Allah is described as compared to the Christians' God. The implied view that Islam promotes a violent and vengeful higher being in one of the character's stories might be taken badly. Additionally, the style of writing each character's life is compressed in a few short chapters, the events of the Afghan war might have been oversimplified.

Overall Review
For those new to the Christian faith, it is a good introduction to Christianity; and for the well-versed, it is a refreshing take on the promises that God makes to his followers. Religion aside, the novel sticks to the basics of a tried and true story where good triumphs over evil despite the odds. Each character's life is a narrative of suffering and hopelessness that were overcome with perseverance and love. For those who need a comforting and easy read about God and his teachings, the novel is highly recommended. Its creative take on the afterlife is a refreshing way to look at one's faith and find strength in it further.

Reviewed by Melissa B. for Goodgirlbookclubonline

Romance Eternelle

Romance Eternelle
By Lawrence Miquelon

The story itself is succinctly told with beautiful imagery and descriptions. What it does is to tell a story of God's love by comparing it to romantic love as we know it. From this kind of down to earth comparison, the reader is given an insight as to the depth of divine love.

The story also uses a lot of narratives and anecdotes to compare romantic love with the love of a divine. In one of the scenes depicting Michele in a church drawn to the image of the crucified Christ and seeing His love, she is seen to appreciate the image in an almost romantic way - the way a giddy schoolgirl would view or talk about her crush or first boyfriend. This is the case despite the fact that the object of affection is actually a divine being.

It is this type of storytelling that allows the reader to actually relate with the experience. He is able to take his normal, day to day anecdotes about his love life and dealings with other people, and compare it to the love of a divine being.

The tone of the novel is serious and intense, allowing the reader to be absorbed in the new world it offers. At the same time, this intensity is countered by descriptions of beauty as narrated by different people and through different means such as poetries and dialogues between the characters.

Because the book is written based on the Bible and with the Church as its audience and recipient, however, it may be hard for a reader to appreciate the book especially with its various Biblical references, which include the story of Hosea, the crucifixion, and the interaction of Jesus with His disciples. This problem is masterfully countered by the author by allowing the book to simply tell a story of love which can be understood by all readers.

If you want to learn more about love - and one that is deeper and more permanent than love as we commonly know it, then read this book and gain deeper insight into what transcendent love is all about.

Highly recommended!

Single-Minded Devotion

Single-Minded Devotion
By Michelle McKinney Hammond

Living in a world more uncertain, frightful, heartless and faithless then ever where do christians turn for answers? God, of course, but what does one do when it clearly feels like He isn't answering or refusing every request one make? Hammond's steps away from her usual message to christian singles to speak to everyone whose felt disappointment and fear of losing their way. Her answer--to focus our concerns not on what we need and want, but on what God wants. The refocusing of our purpose evolves when we turn toward single-minded devotion.

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And He Made A Woman

And He Made a Woman
By Darlene Laney

And He Made a Woman, How to Become a Woman of Quality in a "B" Class World is a non-fiction manual that presents the truth of God's Word without the hype and promise of a secret formula for success to Christian Women. (Axiom, 89 pp, $8.99)

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Hip to Be Square

Hip to Be Square
By Hope Lyda

For young women just getting their feet wet in the genre of Christian fiction, Hip to Be Square by Hope Lyda is a great place to start. Best described as Christian “chick-lit,” this book tells the story of 4 twenty-something girlfriends who try to hard to take control of their own lives and face mishap after mishap until they finally learn that God is the one in true control of their lives.

Don't Die in the Winter

Don’t Die in theWinter - Your Season is Coming
by Dr. Millicent Hunter

In this book Dr. Hunter explains our Christian journey as the seasons of life. We must go through the fall and winter in order to get to the spring and summer. She lets us know that our God is a God of season and that every thing is done in His divine timing.

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Choose Me

Choose Me
by Xenia Ruiz

When an Afro-Latina named Eve meets African American Adam, it's far from paradise! Following a bad marriage, Eve---a successful, now-celibate Christian---has no desire for romance. But when Adam enters her life, they both struggle with personal doubts---and share a love that only God can understand. This powerful novel addresses contemporary issues including sexuality, gun violence, and racial profiling.

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Saved in the City

Saved in the City
by Jacqueline Thomas

Beauties Patterson, LaRue and Macy all want to be New York City’s next top model. Patterson is a good-hearted, Georgia girl who’s always wanted to be a model. But first she’ll have to learn to stand up for herself in the big city. L.A. native LaRue, who carries a tragic past and a fierce anger at God, is using modeling to run from the pain—and a secret calling to preach that’s getting harder for her to ignore. Spoiled, rich girl Macy is forced to grow up when her parents cut her off from the family fortune. So she takes in Patterson and LaRue to share the bills at her pricey apartment and the real challenges begin. But under this one roof, these women will discover that the key to success is to follow their hearts…and get on the right path that God has set for them.

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Featured Book Review

Approval Addiction: Overcoming Your Need to Please Everyone by Joyce Meyer

The need for approval can drive us to places we should not go and into relationships with people who only make it worse. For yourself or someone you love--here is freedom and a better way!

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Featured Book Review

What a Sista Should Do
by Tiffany Warren

Pam Lyons has a husband who places more trust in money and marijuana than in God. Yvonne Hastings is a minister’s wife whose husband’s infidelity and physical abuse brings their marriage to a crossroads. Taylor Johnson is a single mother who is looking for a good Christian man to help raise her son, but is unable to rid herself of the guilt left over from her promiscuous past. The secret of Taylor’s child’s paternity is the catalyst for the tumultuous relationship between the three women. Together, they will learn unforgettable lessons about love, forgiveness, prayer, and sisterhood.

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Featured Book Review

The Five Love Languages for Singles
by Dr. Gary Chapman

As an unmarried person, you’ve probably noticed this is a couple’s driven society. There are a myriad of books about dating, not dating, how to choose a mate and getting married but very few address the issue of living the single life victoriously.

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