The Novelist by LL Barkat — Don’t Miss It!

The NovelistI’m sure I should have read Rumors of Water already, but I haven’t. I met LL Barkat by reading The Novelist. Now I know that I must next read Rumors of Water.

The Novelist sent my mind on a trip through memories of the various self-portraits I have seen. Whether in oils or photographs the self-portraits created by artists always manage to hide as much as they display and leave the viewer with questions to mull. Barkat accomplishes the same thing in The Novelist. Ostensibly, the story is about a woman challenged to write her first novel and do it quickly. I dare you just to try to guess how it all turns out.

Barkat is many things, and in this book she turns out to be a novelist. However, her blend of poetry, tea and china leads the reader on a sometimes not so merry chase through life and literature. Almost everyone who ever thought of being a writer thought first of writing novels, and most first novels simply amount to the trash that must be dumped before the writer discovers what she will actually write. The Novelist is not headed for anybody’s trash dump.

I won’t try to tell you what the book is about. Every reader must figure out that puzzle for himself. I will tell you that you won’t find a list of the “Five Books Every New Writer Needs,” although you may find yourself chasing down a number of books on writing after you read this book. Don’t expect me to classify this book, either. I welcome anyone’s comments on that matter after reading the book.

I will tell you that The Novelist is not to be missed. Pure art. Unique poetry. Bleeding edge self-examination. Memories bitter and sweet brushed on with a light touch and deft imagination. All stirred together with vignettes and snippets of Tale of Genji. I could not put it down. Yet I kept putting it down in order to absorb and savor the writing. The Novelist belongs at the top of your “to read” list.

I received an advance copy of this book for the purpose of review. I was not obligated to write a positive review. This review is my opinion after reading the book.



Phyllis Schlafly Defines Obama’s Terms – 4.9 stars

I took one course in logic while I was in college, and I learned one important thing from it: Know the definitions of the words being spoken in every disagreement. 

In No Higher Power the authors, Phyllis Schlafly and George Neumayr, have revealed the way Barack Obama and all secular thinkers systematically confuse the language in an attempt to make American citizens believe that this president is governing by the Constitution. The starting point is the idea that the Constitution is a “living” document, subject to an “evolving” interpretation. The guiding principles for that evolving interpretation are the principles of secularism, which are themselves evolving. In every chapter the authors provide deep background to help readers understand secular thinking as it is expressed in Barack Obama’s administration. Secular thinking considers religion to be at best a comforting myth, and at worst an outdated social construct that works in opposition to enlightened human reason. Every citizen who cares about religious freedom should read this book and learn all the ways that Barack Obama works to suppress and even eliminate the expression of religious faith in the culture of the USA.

 The perversions of language used by Barack Obama, his administration, and his colleagues are uncovered in rich detail, although the reader will almost certainly wish for even more. Citizens in this country usually expect every politician to practice deception, but readers of this book will discover that the Obama administration builds its entire policy structure on deceptive language.

 The word “religion” for example. Most people think they know what that means. Obama clearly has his own private meaning for the term. After readers discover how his attitude is shaped and what he means when he discusses the First Amendment, they may wonder what language he is actually speaking. Barack Obama has his own definition for religion and for the term exercise of religion. According to his own definition, he firmly believes in freedom of religion.

 Fifteen dense chapters examine Obama’s background and the background of the problems with the Catholic Bishops over the employer mandate in the healthcare law. Each chapter examines in detail the concept of secular thinking that shapes Obama’s politics. The Alinsky principles that mold the Obama leadership strategy. The reason Obama makes an exception for Islam. Obama’s view of family. In each chapter a new secular definition is explored, and its ramifications for American culture are laid bare. The book makes it clear that the Obama administration is a juggernaut that propels the secular world view into every aspect of American culture.

 There is a great deal of detail and lots of useful quotations. Unfortunately, readers will be disappointed by the absence of citations. There are many context references but you will find neither footnotes nor a bibliography. That deficit is the reason I cannot give this book 5 stars. You can verify the information by doing a Google search on the context references, but it is frustrating to see a book of this quality skip the citations that would nail down the facts. 

I recommend that you read the book, and then I recommend that you satisfy yourself by doing a little research. I am convinced that you will agree that Barack Obama is a dangerous enemy of our First Amendment protections of the free exercise of religion.

 * * * *

I received this book free from the author for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


From Spice to Eternity by Yvonne Pat Wright


It didn’t take long for me to realize that From Spice to Eternity is a unique treasure. The subject is life in an eternal and infinite context, but the setting is time and space. Yvonne Pat Wright has incorporated a zest for food and flavors with a zest for life eternal in book that is beautiful and sometimes whimsical. It is a very special book.

I love to cook, and I thought I knew a lot about herbs and spices. I wasn’t expecting to read solid information about each spice along with enticing recipes. The culinary information, however, is only a gateway, albeit a delightful and flavorful gateway, to bigger truths. Each spice introduces a new biblical truth, and the theme that permeates all the stories is the love that overflows a relationship with Christ. 

In the story that accompanies the entry for coriander, for example, the author quotes her uncle as saying something my parents used to say to me: “Getting what you want is wanting what you have.” Building on the coriander simile, the author points out that just as the Israelites tired of manna, even though it was God’s gift, people can tire of possessions. Possessions do not satisfy, but “[Christ] satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.’ Psalm 107:9. NKJV. Each spice invites the reader to think about knowing Christ as the psalmist said, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8 NRSV)

From Spice to Eternity is less than 200 pages long. You have time to read this book. This book will probably send you running to the kitchen to see if you have all the ingredients for one or more of the recipes, but more important, this book will encourage you to flavor your life now and forever with the presence of the Christ who loves you.


When God Answers

Today I am happy to welcome Heidi Kreider as my guest. I met her when we served together recently on Michael Hyatt’s launch team. She has a great story to tell about how she was inspired to write hew recently released book, The Secret of Counting Gifts.I know you will enjoy meeting her.

 *   *   *   *

I sat with 4000 other women.  She stood and spoke.  She spoke with sincerity and authority…. authority that comes from first-hand experience.  She spoke of her childhood in Africa.   She called herself, “the poorest of the poor.”  She came to the conference to represent Compassion International. She had been a sponsored child herself.   I’ve not forgotten her beautiful ebony skin and the way she sang “His Eye Is On The Sparrow.” 

            I came home from that conference changed. I shared Lois’s story with my family.  We prayed and hoped that through writing and selling a novel our family could reach children around the world who need food, education, medicine, and Jesus.  I’m thrilled to say that eight months after that encounter with Lois The Secret of Counting Giftsand the accompanying The Secret of Counting Gifts Gratitude Journal are now available in Kindle and in paperback through 

            While The Secret of Counting Gifts is a novel, I wrote it from my life experiences.  I am a wife of 18 years and a mom of 3.  I’ve spent the past fifteen years at home washing dishes, folding clean laundry, blogging, and teaching my children.  My days are full of counting grace gifts with gratitude and asking for grace and forgiveness.  I am blessed with rich friendships and have prayed more friends than I care to count through the battle of breast cancer. 

            The Secret of Counting Gifts is a story about life, friendship, hardship, and gratitude.  It is the story of  Kris McClintock and Liz Bower and their friendship that spans twenty-eight years.  Through marriage, babies, and infidelity they stand by each other and hold one another up… until breast cancer delivers the final blow.  As she sits by Liz, Kris recounts the trials and  blessings that made them who they are.  She tells their story and recalls the many “gifts” they have been blessed with throughout the years. She shares of how Liz taught her to notice the gifts in each day and to live with a grateful heart. It is through the telling of their story that the secret of counting gifts is discovered….

             I’m excited for the release of The Secret of Counting Gifts and The Secret of Counting Gifts Gratitude Journal.  It is a direct answer to the prayers of my husband, my children, my friends, and myself.  I look forward to seeing how God will use these books!  Throughout this month, I am on a virtual book tour.  You can see the stops along the way on my website www.heidikreider.comWhile you are there, stop in and say “Hey!” and register for my giveaway… autographed copies of TheSecret of Counting Gifts and The Secret of Counting Gifts Gratitude Journal in a hand-made basket. 

I’d love to hear your story. 

What have you prayed for?  

How has God answered?

            ** Heidi Kreider is a wife, mother, author and friend.  She blogs about life, grace and gratitude at .