Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury
Reviewed by Sally Ferguson
Publisher: Howard Books
Pub Date: October 29, 2013
Karen Kingsbury’s new book asks the question: What Would You Sacrifice For Fame?
(Synopsis from Amazon.com) Zack Dylan made a promise to God and his college sweetheart as he left his family’s horse farm in
Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also something more. Something Zack could never have imagined. Just as
At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a therapeutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese—one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.
Then Chandra Olson—reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges—intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and private agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.
Can Chandra’s private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutes is a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?
Fifteen Minutes takes a peek into the lives of vocal artists who seek the spotlight in a
I love to read Karen Kingsbury’s work, and this one did not disappoint. It felt like I had been plunked down in the middle of the set as one of the contestants. Not only did the dialogue make it real, but the slippery slope to temptation was authentic. I felt the pain of denial and the compromise of justifying the characters’ actions. Sometimes it takes fiction to convey a greater truth, and this is a must-read to see the full extent God’s love and forgiveness can reach.
Fifteen Minutes is available to purchase from Amazon.com.
Note: I received this book as part of the Fifteen Minutes blog tour from Fiction Addict. I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes. Review copy provided by the publisher.
Lynn Burgess brings meat to the table with her book, All-In 2 Night. Her ideas for family date night create opportunities for dialogue that go beyond normal everyday activities, and foster a greater relationship with each other through the character building process.
Burgess is a mom to five grown children and shares the tools she developed in order to instill God’s values in her children. All-In 2 Night builds on her first book, All-In Night, with the reminder to parents that the job is a marathon, not a sprint. Indeed, throughout the book, Burgess continues to affirm the parenting job with tips and examples from the Bible and from her own life. She is an encourager who has been down the same road.
All-In 2 Night promises to equip parents with tools for the journey and it delivers, as promised. It takes the guesswork out of creating conversation around the dinner table by providing topics to explore. The author develops scenarios for role play that help children process the steps of good decision-making habits. The book is packed with practical illustrations and equips children with skills that will assist them their entire lives. The format spells out the purpose of each lesson, develops the theme, and gives encouragement for the parenting journey.
All-In 2 Night is an important book. Parents are bombarded on all sides with activities to develop their children’s abilities to get ahead in life, but end up dissolving the family unit with busyness. All-In 2 Night centers children by reaffirming the family unit. Children are heard, nurtured and developed in the safe haven created by the adults who love and guide them.
The only hiccup I noticed in the book was the use of regional dialect from the point of origin, being
I highly recommend this book for all parents. It provides 40 weeks of lesson plans, already prepared for a night where everyone stays home. And you will benefit greatly, from your own “all-in night!”
Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Natalie Grant’s voice came over the radio…
This is what it means
to be held
When the sacred is torn from your life
and you survive…
I looked over at Dad in the passenger seat, actually, the Dad in our new normal. Since Dementia, his personality has changed from flamboyant to quiet. It’s been an adjustment to watch him go from a being a conversationalist, to struggling to carry on a conversation. But he’s in good health, his mind is with us and we have these days together to be family.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Davis Dictionary of the Bible says a yoke is “a small transverse bar of timber, generally with two portions of the lower surface hollowed so as to rest on the necks of two oxen, used to draw a cart or a plow. Figuratively – any burden imposed on one as a token and a means of subjection.”
Jesus says to work with Him. When I pull against His plan for me, I lose patience, feel exhausted and purposeless. But when I am subjected, or submitted to Christ, He carries my burden with me. (Click to Tweet.)
And that is when I submit to the yoke with Jesus.
And that is when I feel held.
It’s time to lighten up my shelves. Would you like a free book? Leave a comment before October 24, 2013 and let me know which one you’re interested in and why. (Open to residents in the continental
Let the games begin!
Book List: (click on the book link to see a description, and then come back here to comment)
In the mid 1800’s, the tiny town of
Max Lucado brings an engaging story that encompasses human nature, and questions of faith and the goodness of God. An old candle maker challenges the minister’s faith, “The mystery of God unsettles us all, Reverend. But isn’t mystery where God works? If he does only what we understand, is he God?” (p. 144)
Indeed, all humanity struggles to explain the works of God. But what we seek to comprehend, we also minimize. Some things have to be accepted by faith. The candle maker and his wife seem to hold the town’s future in their hands, as each wait expectantly for their own miracle. When the needs are acute, are they beyond God’s ability to meet?
The Christmas Candle is a sweet story of renewal found in forgiveness. Lucado finds a way to develop characters in short time, and creates a sense of familiarity within the small country parish. I look forward to reading it again, every Christmas!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. 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.”
With my daughter away at college, I’ve become even more desperate for some female camaraderie. Hubby comes home from work having spent his 10,000 words for the day, Dad retreats to his room, and son fires up his PSwhatever. However, when my granddaughter comes home, everything changes! Everybody’s glad to be in the same room again, and smiles abound.
What is it about a baby that brings out the kid in all of us?
No wonder Jesus said we have to become like little children to be a part of His kingdom. Children know how to really live, and are better for it. They get the most out of life and relationships because they put aside all pretenses. Doesn’t that sound like a richer existence anyway?
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, for of such is the
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Modern day archeologists search through centuries-old clues in search of the Ark of the Covenant, the housing commissioned by God for storing The Ten Commandments and representative of His presence with the Israelites. But some people don’t want the
The masterful weaving of details makes this story a fascinating read. The fast-paced suspense keeps the pages turning, while wrapping the quest with surprising twists.
I felt the desperation of thirst. “The heat felt like it had weight. Hot enough to dry the tongue if you happened to open your mouth. He ran his tongue along the rough edges of his lips without managing to wet them.” (p. 78 )
I learned about the intricacies of a dig. “He tapped lightly on the hard stonelike surface, listening to the tone of the echo. He often told his students that the greatest finds were exposed by the last hair on the brush in an inadvertent sweep.” (p. 79)
I felt the sway of the camel as they lumbered across the desert. “The beasts plodded on soft hoofs, rocking with each step. Their tan hides twitched with the occasional fly, and they blinked against ever-present gnats eager to feed at the moisture in their eyes. They smelled of hay and dung, but perched so high on the hump, Rebecca caught a full whiff only occasionally.” (p. 83)
The authors also bring questions of faith to the table. What does it mean to give up your life for God? What is true poverty, that of living without things, or, of needing God? Are the beliefs you’re anchored to the ones that govern your life? Can you truly surrender yourself, if you never really possessed yourself? Is the quest of your heart seeking your moorings? Are you enthralled with the mind that blinked you into existence?
The reader is pulled into the struggle without ever feeling blindsided by a “religious” dilemma. The quest is a natural part of the progression toward resolution. First, faith must be tested, and then affirmed. Caleb is told, “Be bold. Cowardice keeps man double minded, hesitating between two worlds. True faith abandons one option for the other. Hesitation is the death of faith.” (p. 189)
A Man Called Blessed challenges the reader to think outside of the box and is a great read. The story line is carried well with dialogue and character development. I look forward to more from Dekker, a master storyteller.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. 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.”
Find more reviews of this book here.
They are all tools in the hand of one who seeks to journal.
When I began journaling, my entries all started with “Dear Diary.” Back then, journals came with a little gold key to keep your thoughts locked away from prying eyes. My secrets were of such depth that I wondered if Jimmy liked me, or if Cherry would be my friend at recess.
My tool of choice graduated to the steno pad in high school, where we submitted our journals to the English teacher as part of our writing assignment. After including a rant one day about the silent treatment from upper classmen on the long ride to school, my teacher wrote a simple question in my notebook: “Don’t they know that’s rude?”
To someone else, that may have stated the obvious. But to me, it validated my need to be heard. It was the affirmation that my feelings were worth voicing too.
Through the years, my ledgers have served many roles. But the creative expression has always sought an outlet.
Here are some resources that have been invaluable:
The most important thing is to learn from life’s lessons, and the best way to do that is to capture and study them. They become the best tools of all!
Last week, I began a three part series on the intentional collection of thoughts, or, journaling. Today, I want to highlight three ways to collect those thoughts.
1. Putzing. Have you heard someone say, “I’m just putzing around?”
I came across that expression again recently in Pencil Dancing. The author, Mari Messer says “The word putz is Yiddish for ‘fool.’ So when we putz, we’re just fooling around, experimenting to see what happens, taking part in a practice without purpose.” (p. 116)
How often do you give yourself permission to do something without a purpose, just to see what happens? I talked about this last week, as a brain dump, but it can be so much more than just getting everything out on paper. It can be a place to play with words and to see what tangents you can explore. Putzing is the pursuit of play.
2. Staccato. Author and speaker, Ann Kiemel Anderson was a master at staccato sentences. She packed punch into small bits of information placed at intervals on the paper. No long, drawn out explanations for her, no sir. She kept her words concise.
Do you worry about verb and subject agreement? Verb and adverb correctness? Well, worry no more. You have freedom to jot words and thoughts at random. Just the way you like.
3. Rephrasing. A book that was instrumental in teaching me this craft was the Let Prayer Change Your Life Workbook. There, author Becky Tirabassi teaches a system of taking scripture and writing it out in first person. For instance, Psalm 12:2 says, “Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception.”
When I rewrite it as a prayer, it could come out like this: Lord, help me to be truthful with others. I don’t want to be a pleaser but an honest friend.
Maybe you would make a statement of affirmation out of that verse: I will be a trustworthy confidante. Or, I choose to be a person of integrity in everything I say.
You can see this practice might take you in many different directions and open up new ways to understand Scripture. God’s Word will never change, but putting it into first person creates the opportunity for growth and application.
Next week, we’ll look at some tools available for journaling. But I want to add just one more thought here about the importance of intentionally collecting your thoughts. I have a book of Reflections from my Mom that is priceless to me. It was a gift to her one Mother’s Day that she returned a little over a year later. In it, she answered questions about fads in her high school years, childhood playmates, favorite verses, hobbies yet to be pursued and activities that shaped her perspective. It is a treasure to see her handwriting again, and to “hear” her voice contained in those pages. My Mom has been gone three years, but I have not outgrown my need for her input in my life.
Isn’t it time you record the hopes and dreams you have for your family? Tell them how you arrived at their names at birth. Remind them of things you appreciate about them. Share special memories of their growing-up years. It will be a legacy of love you’ve recorded for repeated blessings!
“The beauty of the written word
is that it can be held close to the heart
and read over and over again.”