Thursday, June 12, 2014

A New Kind of Hacker

“Parables are meant to re-frame the world differently so we can experience it again for the first time. Hacker takes a simple concept that many people already believe, that there’s another reality so near to us that we’re unaware of its presence most of the time, and puts it center stage.” ~ Ted Dekker

 What if by closing our eyes long enough we could see a whole new reality? What if by clearing our mind we could open it to things unseen? What if true life begins after we draw our last breath on earth?

 In the third installment of his Outlaw Chronicles series, Dekker re-emerges with the theme of identity and the fact that our ultimate hope is found in something beyond this temporal life on earth. He also unravels, in classic Dekker style, the secret to genuine prayer – what it means to clear your mind of the “firewalls” that block out God’s voice, and truly be still and listen.

 Hacker introduces us to Nyah, a seventeen-year-old genius computer whiz who can crack into just about any company’s high security records with a few taps on a keyboard. Why does she do it? Just to prove she can … and to sell her services as the company’s new online security head. But when Nyah stumbles upon some dangerous evidence during a particularly high-level hack, she quickly finds herself in a situation in which her technological skills can’t protect her.

 Desperate, Nyah seeks the aid of an estranged friend from the past, a fellow hacker and teen genius. What Nyah could never expect is the new kind of hacking her friend has discovered – how to hack into the brain. Now with a vengeful hitman on her trail, Nyah must make a choice that could alter the very fabric of her reality – forever.

 Brimming with edge-of-your-seat action and mesmerizing sci-fi/fantasy as only Dekker can write it, Hacker is The Matrix meets Inception meets Just Like Heaven with a return to dreams and glimpses of a deeper reality that made The Circle series unforgettable. Fans will also love the return of Austin Hartt from the Outlaw Chronicles’ first fantasy thriller Eyes Wide Open, and of course, the appearance of Stephen Carter (a.k.a. Outlaw) from the series’ namesake adult novel.

Once again, Dekker peals back the skin of this world and makes what is untouchable and unfathomable completely tangible.

Another Dekker masterpiece worthy of five stars.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Happiness: A Choice Worth Making (book review)

What if someone told you that you hold the key to unlocking your own happiness and even the happiness of your spouse? Often in our culture, people give up on marriage because it ceases to “make them happy,” and they feel that they are entitled to this right. But what if happiness is not a right to be claimed, but rather a goal to strive after? A goal, not to seek after merely what boosts your own spirit, but what brings joy to others, specifically your “other half.”

 In Making Happy, renowned marriage experts Les and Leslie Parrot teach you how to control the climate of happiness in both your life and your marriage, walking you through six “happiness boosters” …

 1. Count your blessings

2. Try new things

3. Dream a dream

4. Celebrate each other

5. Attune your spirits

6. Add value to others

 Making Happy combines meticulous research with relevant anecdotes and sprinkles in a healthy dose of timely quotes and interactive quizzes to keep the reader engaged. Whether you’re a single preparing for marriage, or a couple seeking to recover the joy in everyday moments together, this book is a great thought-provoking guide for those who strive for a blissful life.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Worthy Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Calling the Unlikely: A Review of Davis Bunn's "The Turning"

Perhaps you’ve heard the voice before. That inexplicable urging deep within your heart and soul, not audible but just as clear as if it had been shouted to you from a bullhorn. The voice of a Divine Storyteller, nudging you to follow a path you never would have expected.

It is this kind of Divine calling that Davis Bunn writes about in his new “devotional fiction” novel The Turning.

A brooding businessman from Cleveland. A snobby choir leader from Baltimore. A beautiful young oriental woman torn between two major life decisions, and an Arab learning the Christian faith. Each one hears the same message from God. Each must face a unique task. Each must take a monumental step toward forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion … spiritual obedience.

Feeling God call them to New York, these spiritual misfits band together under the leadership of a well-known Christian author to battle a rising cultural enemy.

My thoughts:

I love the fact that each of the protagonists is introduced as someone who we normally would not look to for spiritual guidance. Each character has baggage, yet God does not wait till their baggage is gone to call them. He calls them with dirty lives, and offers them progressive steps of obedience to follow. Yet with each step, hearts are rearranged, maturity deepens, and the characters begin to take bigger and bolder steps of faith.

Davis shows us through these characters that we don’t have to be spiritual giants for Christ to call us. We simply need to be open to hearing His voice. He’ll meet us in that spot where calling and action collide.


“The fruits of the Spirit require us to grow beyond our comfort zone. Like Isaiah, we are the most unworthy of believers. And yet God has called us. Each and every one of the family of Jesus. We are all invited to move beyond the failures and limitations that confine us.” ~ The Turning


Davis Bunn is as encouraging and Christ-focused as ever! I'm giving The Turning 4.2 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of The Turning from River North Fiction in return for my honest review.