Book Review: Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur

Book Review: Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur

Greetings all,

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Image taken from Amazon for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur was something I picked up when I knew I was about to meet my sons for the first time. My wife and I had waited until matters of her previous marriage were resolved, and I also met with the children’s counselor. Still, I wanted a Biblical perspective on how to do right by the boys.

Having already read several of MacArthur’s books, I picked up this book on parenting. This book exposits upon Ephesians 6:4. It also touches on a man’s relationship with his wife.

Because I think any parent should read this book, I’m not going to go too deeply into the content. It starts with loving one’s wife with a true, sacrificial, Christ-like love.  Then it details ways in which parents sometimes provoke their children to anger. It concludes with the idea of discipline and instruction of the Lord.

For the record, this isn’t a reference to punishment, but rather the idea of an athlete’s discipline. Paul often uses athletic metaphors in his epistles.

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Image of John MacArthur taken from his website for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine.

I’ve actually read this book twice, and it might be time to do so again. What I found was encouragement and a mindset that immediately resonated with me. It’s not a process book. To me, this a book focused on where a Dad’s heart should be as a parent. There are other books and lectures on raising children, but I’m glad I started here as it’s a foundational book that doesn’t get lost in the minutia of what ifs and how-tos. I won’t deny I like actionable information, but the value of this book was that it gave me a filter with which to view my actions.

I wouldn’t say one should stop at this book. Indeed, the Bible and those who exposit on it well can provide so much more insight. I would, however, say this is where I wanted to start, and I’m glad I did. As I read and study more, as I watch lectures on parenting, I feel like this book created the foundation on which I can build my habits as a parent.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

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Book Review: Caught by MLS Weech

Steve was kind enough to read Caught, and I’m so happy he did. My review for his book is in the works! I can’t thank him enough for the support and friendship he’s offered me. Here’s his review!

Red String PaperCuts

I picked up Caught directly from MLS Weech at his book launch in Glen Burnie, MD. I think that was back in early 2017, so I’m sorry to say it took me a while to get to this one.

So, yeah, in case it’s not clear enough, here’s my disclosure: Weech is a friend. He’s also an imaginative and vivid writer. Spoiler-free review follows.

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Book Review: Night Stalker by R.L. Weeks

Book Review: Night Stalker by R.L. Weeks
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Cover of this book was taken from Amazon for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine. 

Spoiler Free Summary: Night Stalker by TR.L. Weeks was my 2017 September Book Cover of the Month. Casey is a young woman who’s husband died. She’s haunted by reoccurring nightmares in which a stranger inflicts great pain upon her. One day, she rediscovers that not only is the man of her nightmares real, but he’s working against her supernaturally resurrected dead husband, who now only seeks pleasure in the suffering of mortals.

Character:  Casey is actually pretty proactive, but that’s what bothers me. She’s too quick to swoon and too quick to accept things for my taste. She also seems incredibly naive, and while that would be okay if that was her character arch in which she grew more discerning, but that’s not the plot. Rather than let the conflict of her clashing worlds drive the story in interesting directions, the character is forced along, which makes her feel hard to believe.

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Title image for R.L. Weeks taken from her Amazon Page for review puroposes under Fair Use Doctrine.

Description: This was well done. I got the imagery I needed without bogging the story down. It had a decent mix of detail and room for imagination.

I don’t typically give reviews like this. Most stories always have something that I can cling to and study. I don’t ever want to bash, and I hope I stopped before I got to “bashing status.”  This last section is simply me explaining that even this story deserves a chance if you’re in the writers’ audience. Please don’t let my own biases affect your willingness to give a story a try. No, I didn’t enjoy this story much, but yo might, and I’d like to hear why.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Announcing the 2018 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year!

Announcing the 2018 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year!

Greetings all,

It was a great year filled with a lot of great covers, great authors, and some amazing books.  Thanks to this idea, I got to read my favorite fiction book of the year. I got to make some amazing connections, but this is really all about the covers.

We had 3,023 votes for this bracket. That’s not as many as last year, but it’s still pretty great considering the size of this bracket. In the monthly brackets, we started with 32, and that ads 16 more votes per voter. These numbers mean we had at least 755 unique voters, and that’s awesome if you ask me. The winner of this contest can say more than 700 people looked at all 16 covers, and thought his or hers was best. (I have to TRY and keep some drama don’t I?)

There were three different leaders at different points of the contest. It was a close fight between the last two (came within ten voters, which would be less than one percent for those math people out there). However, I’m proud to say we have an undisputed champion.

The 2018 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year is…

 

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Metal and Stone: The Awakening by Kevin Potter! This was a Wild Card Round CoverJust check out that link for a book blurb and more info on how his cover did.

Let’s look at the stats!  The closest fight was between Potter and Asunder by L. Steinworth. These two traded off the lead, battling for their metaphorical lives in the Final Four. Steinworth took the lead on the last day, but then Potter surged ahead by a mere eight votes, and that turned out to be the difference maker. None of the covers on the other side of the bracket provided much of a fight, but that semifinal round was worth watching!

Since Metal and Stone: The Awakening was a wild card winner, that means it never won a monthly competition, so let’s show the book blurb so readers can see if they might be interested.

 

(START BLURB)

DRAGONS.
They exist, but have been in a state of hibernation for millennia. Will mankind survive their violent awakening?

Dauria was young and idealistic when she helped create the pact to force all dragons to withdraw from the world of Man in Earth’s distant past.

When she awakens unexpectedly after a millennia-long slumber, she finds those carefully laid plans unraveling. Someone is plotting a new war against humanity, and this time words may not be enough to stop it.

In her desperation to reunite with old allies, she finds herself separated from her draconic nature. If she can’t get it back, the nightmarish horrors of the past could return worse than ever…

(END BLURB)

Potter received 474 total votes. It’s sort of cool because he came into the tournament ranked twelfth (the wild card round lead vote earner). .

That means the Weech goes to Potter’s cover designer, which means I need him to tell me who that designer is so I can engrave The Weech and send it over to him.

BCOTYI hope you all had fun this year. I really am pleased with how things turned out. That concludes the year, and, as I’ve discussed, the bracket is officially over at least for a year. With the marriage and release schedule I’m trying to maintain, it’s honestly a challenge to look at covers every day and provide the deep feedback I think it deserves. If I start again next year, I hope the authors and artists who were involved spread the word so other authors and artists can get exposure. That’s the whole point of the tournament.

For now, I’m honored to have the chance to give all these covers some attention. I will still read all the winners (including Potter’s) and review them. I’ll also find another way to give authors some purchases and reviews.  For now, I hope you’ll continue stopping by my blog.

Thanks for reading

Matt

Your 2018 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Update!

Your 2018 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Update!

With just three days left in the 2018 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year bracket, it’s time to update you all on how things have been progressing.

As I type this, we have 1,512 votes so far. That’s a bit slow, but still not terrible considering the size of the bracket and the amount of time there is to vote.


518VjIXm4aLMetal and Stone 
by Kevin Potter is in first place.

Most Voted on so far: Potter has 245 total votes, but it’s pretty close in a couple of ways. I also think if we make sure these authors and their fan bases are aware of it, the 37 votes Potter has isn’t that steep a margin.

Least Voted for:  The Unlicensed Consciousness by Travis Borne has 19 votes.  This was the Number 5 seed cover that had 434 total votes in April’s Book Cover of the Month. I’m certain he’ll get a better showing if his fans can rally to his call.

So, how close is it? Well, Asunder by L. Steinworth is only 20 votes behind Potter in the Final Four.

There are still a few days left, so let’s see about spreading word and helping these authors and artists out. It would make me sad to hear an artist or author didn’t have an opportunity to participate.

 

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Pipe of Wings is currently in second. Can Wilson find 40 fans who will push her past Potter?

A brief not on Brackify. As I’ve mentioned, it’s shutting down. Some of you may be getting a warning. I’d appreciate any comments if you are.  That said, if you do get that screen, just know the IP is running down because of the site’s shutdown. I consider it a safe site, so you can click through to vote without too much concern in my opinion.

A quick reminder of how the tournament works. The easiest way to win is to have the most people vote for you in every round. The trick is you have to have the most people vote you through in each round, all the way to the final.  As an example, 100 people could vote someone through to the finals, but that doesn’t do a cover any good if he doesn’t win the first round. It’s not total votes. It’s not simple championship votes. The winning cover has to have the most votes in each round of the competition.

This will be the only update for this type of bracket. I hope the record does get broken and that I see voters lining up to support their authors by voting, liking, and sharing the bracket with as many people as possible.  You can vote at this address!

I’ll announce the winner is just seven days!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

The Audiobook Edition of Repressed Is in Production!

The Audiobook Edition of Repressed Is in Production!

Greetings all,

CoverLayoutI’m happy to report to you that Repressed, which is still available for preorder, is now under production as an audiobook!

I had auditions open for about a week-and-a-half, and Kenzie’s, Jennifer Wooster, audition blew me away. Her voice was perfect for Kaitlyn at this stage in her life. Kenzie’s listening to Caught right now to get some context for the characters, and we hope things wrap up by the end of January. I still have some free audible codes for both Caught and The Power of Words if you want a free audiobook and want to give my work a try.  Just shoot me an email. Speaking of which, I have a 5-Star Review on Audible for The Power of Words.

I’m thrilled to have been releasing products at the pace I have been.  I’ve started writing Betrayed: Book Two of the Oneiros Log, and I think things will go well once I get a few days of writing under my belt.

I just wanted to update everyone on the good news. As always, I’m so appreciative of all that you do to support this dream of mine.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

The 2018 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Bracket Starts Now!

The 2018 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Bracket Starts Now!

Hello all!

I’ve been building to this for quite some time, and I’m so excited to kick things off. This is it! Twelve Book Covers of the Month join four Wild Card Book Covers to comprise a sixteen-book tournament to determine which one will rule them all!

If you like, you can take a look at each book cover’s winning announcement: December, January, February, March, April, MayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctober, and November.

The Weech365 book covers. 53,047 votes. All leading to this tournament! The covers were ranked 1-16 by the number of total votes each received. That means the cover that received the most votes (Until Nothing Remains) is going up against the Wild Card that received the fewest votes. (Age of War), and so on and so forth.

You can vote all the way through the tournament, supporting the covers you like best through each round. I like to make sure people get the credit they deserve, so please show your support. Please vote and share as much as possible to get people a chance to pick their favorite.

As always, I’d appreciate it if you tag the authors and artists if you know them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is a huge deal to me. The more people who vote, the more recognition these authors and artists receive, and I want this to be as legitimate as possible.

If you are the author, let’s remember to be good sports! 1) Please feel free to message or contact me at any time. 2) Please feel free to like, share, text, ask for support, and call everyone you know. I absolutely want max participation. However, if you’re going to offer giveaways or prizes, please offer them for voting, not just voting for you.

Also, while your summoning your army of voting soldiers, please make sure you ask them to vote in every match. Part of the idea of this is to get exposure to as many artists and authors as possible. By all means, if you can get 1,000 people to vote for your book, do it. Just please also send some eyeballs to the other matches.

A final note to authors and artists: I currently have links to the books’ Amazon pages. If you’d prefer I switch that link to sign up for your newsletter or like your social media page or whatever, just send me the link and let me know. I want this to help you. I want this to be as helpful as possible, so whatever you need me to do to facilitate that, just let me know.

It’s been fun! I’d like to end this tournament on a high note. I’m trying to get 10,000 total votes. Please, tell everyone. Get people to vote. I want this trophy to mean something, and it’ll frankly mean more as more people vote.

I hope you keep having fun. Please, vote, share, and discuss as much as possible.

All you have to do now is head over here to vote!

Thanks for reading,

Matt