Posts Categorized: simon audio

Waking Up In Heaven by Crystal McVea, Alex Tresniowski – Audiobook Review

01 May, 2013 by in simon audio, Waking Up In Heaven Leave a comment

Waking Up In Heaven 
by Crystal McVea, Alex Tresniowski 
Audio CD
Published April 2nd 2013 
by Simon & Schuster Audio
ISBN 1442365552
Source: publisher
5 stars

Book Summary From Goodreads: Someday soon, one of my precious three-year-old twins is going to ask me the question “Mommy, what happened to you when you died?”

Someday they will overhear me telling my story to someone and want to know more about it. They will look at me with their big, innocent eyes and try to make sense of what they’re hearing. It isn’t always easy explaining what happened even to adults, so how am I going to explain it to my kids? 

There is so much I want to share with them, so much I want them to know. You see, my story is one of hope and forgiveness and salvation, and of the glorious healing power of God’s presence. It’s the story of what I saw and what I learned when, during a hospital stay, I left my body for nine minutes and went to heaven and stood before God. And it’s the story of how, when I came back to Earth, my life was profoundly and permanently changed— changed down to the very core of my being. 

But it is also a story that, for the longest time, I didn’t want to tell.

Audio Summary: The remarkable story of a woman, plagued with guilt and skepticism, dramatically changed by the nine minutes she spent in heaven.

God let me see me through His eyes. And in that instant I knew that God had always loved me, through all of those dark and difficult years when I doubted His existence, through every crisis and every heartbreak that made me turn away from Him more. I knew, in that instant, that His love was endless and boundless, and that if He loved me so much, how could I not love myself?

For most of her life, Crystal McVea was a skeptic whose history of abuse and bad choices made her feel beyond the reach of God—who questioned if God was even real. She had all but given up hope. Then came December 10, 2009—and the moment that changed everything.

For nine minutes that night, Crystal went into full respiratory arrest. She was unconscious and unable to breathe on her own, unaware of the crisis happening around her as the hospital staff rushed to save her life. Crystal doesn’t remember the trauma or losing consciousness; she just remembers waking up in heaven, next to God.

Waking Up in Heaven invites listeners to witness the relentless pursuit of God in a life that was broken and seemingly beyond hope, an awe-inspiring account of love, forgiveness, and redemption, and the healing power of God’s presence

Heather’s Review:  I truly love near death and death experiences so this audio book was an automatic draw for me. The thing that I was not expecting was the bravery and tenacity of the author in sharing her story over and over again. Not just the story of how she died for nine minutes and came back, but the details of a very sad and troubled life as a child of sexual abuse.

Crystal’s memoir, contained in seven CDs,  is told in her own voice. It details how being a victim of abuse pulled her into a spiral of shame and secrets that only God could take away.  Her descriptions of God’s unconditional love and his message for her is beautiful. I cried listening to Crystal describe how He made her feel absolutely and completely whole, loved– innocent like she was as a  three year old little girl. 

This is definitely a mature adult title since it goes over dysfunctional family dynamics, a traumatic accident, drugs, abuse and abortion. However, Waking Up in Heaven has a message of profound hope. It is a tale of how one woman had a life changing experience and allowed it to shape her future.  Crystal follows God’s “nudges” for her. She walks up to complete strangers in the grocery store to tell her story. She’s a braver woman than many of us. 

I admire Crystal’s husband Virgil with his faith and unwavering support, as well, the way they have allowed this experience to serve others in need. I would recommend Waking up in Heaven to anyone who has felt abandoned in moments of trial or who wants to know that God loves us in spite of any choices we have made.  

Sure, there may be cynics– or those who believe Crystal’s story is not real, but I for one am not one of them. There is truth and “beauty from ashes” in this book.

About the author: Crystal Leigh McVea was born in southwest Oklahoma and still lives there today. She is a schoolteacher and has four lovely children. Crystal and her husband Virgil, a US Army veteran, are devout Christians and active in their local church.

Learn more on Goodreads/ Official author page

Audiobook Review- Seeds of Rebellion

17 Jul, 2012 by in Seeds of the Rebellion, simon audio Leave a comment

Seeds of Rebellion

by Brandon Mull
Audiobook, 15.5 hours
Published:   March 13th 2012
by Simon & Schuster Audio
ISBN 1442346388
Book Source: Publisher
3.5 Stars
Book Summary From Goodreads: The second epic installment of Brandon Mull’s #1 New York Times bestselling fantasy series!
After the cliffhanger ending of A World Without Heroes, Jason is back in the world he’s always known—yet for all his efforts to get home, he finds himself itching to return to Lyrian. Jason knows that the shocking truth he learned from Maldor is precious information that all of his friends in Lyrian, including Rachel, need if they have any hope of surviving and defeating the evil emperor.Meanwhile, Rachel and the others have discovered new enemies—as well as new abilities that could turn the tide of the entire quest. And as soon as Jason succeeds in crossing over to Lyrian, he’s in more danger than ever. Once the group reunites, they strive to convince their most-needed ally to join the war and form a rebellion strong enough to triumph over Maldor. At the center of it all, Jason and Rachel realize what roles they’re meant to play—and the answers are as surprising as they are gripping.
Review by ephrielle:
Better than the first book. There isn’t so much of the book spent on discussing odd things like hippo oral travel; either that or I grew an immunity to oddity. Probably the later since the world is no less odd. Name it and it is done in this world. There are a few moments of mind bending discourse. Spirals of logic that are confusing.

Favorite Quote: “Are you trying to break my brain?”

Ferrin is a deeply troubled individual. He has an advanced team of debators running rampant in his mind. They have each set up camp for good and evil and he is left being a mangled mess in the middle. Their arguments are so advanced he doesn’t know who he is anymore.

There are some harrowing situations and unbelievable warriors. A world where trust is measured in the currency of flesh. As in give me a piece of your flesh so that I can kill you if you backstab me. Not a very friendly exchange.

Ever wish you could slay your enemy with a single word? Read this book and see how that would play out. Overall it was an entertaining listen. There was a section somewhere past halfway that dragged but it didn’t last too long. Very diverse group of characters and an immense catalog of dangerous situations and places. Much like a dream or nightmare brought to life; very strange.

Content: Moderate violence

About the author: Brandon Mull resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and three children. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile where he learned Spanish and juggling. He once won a pudding eating contest in the park behind his grandma’s house, earning a gold medal. Brandon is the author of the New York Times bestselling Fablehaven series and The Candy Shop War.

Find more about author Brandon Mull on TwitterWebsite / Facebook

Stacking the Shelves #2

18 May, 2012 by in saundra mitchell, simon audio, stacking shelves 1 comment

Stacking The Shelves is a meme started by Tynga’s Reviews “all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks.”
Here’s what’s new on my shelves this week…

A Hero For WondLa (WondLa #2) by


Bitterblue(Graceling Realm #3) by

Destined (Wings #4) by