Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Bo's Cafe" Book Review and Giveaway!

Three friends get together and write a book that they hope will have spiritual impact on people's lives. What are the spiritual truths that they hope to convey? Grace. Yes, they go into the deep addictions and weaknesses we carry in our lives and even more importantly, how to overcome them. I love that they do not deal with anything superficially. There are no bandaids that will fall off and end up on the bottom of someone's shoe. It is about relationships, which lead to vulnerability which in turn can lead to honesty and then healing which is found in God. This is a huge part of the story and so well done. But the root of it all boils down to grace and how unwilling we are to accept it for ourselves. It's not about saying I'm sorry, but about forgiveness and repentance.

Steven Kerner is an amazing lead character, not because he's a great guy, he's amazing because of his flaws - the man has some major anger issues and he does not spare those around him, especially his wife. We get to watch him explode and lose his temper in all his stupidity (more than once) and yet you can't help pulling for him ("Come on Steven, calm down before you blow it. Don't say it, don't say it... NO! He said it!"). You feel for his longsuffering wife, Lindsay and his poor daughter Jennifer who is stuck in the middle of it all just praying that her parents don't get divorced.

Andy Monroe enters the picture and things start to change... or do they? Andy tries to befriend and mentor Steven but somedays he just doesn't want to be helped. Andy takes Steven to Bo's Cafe and introduces him to a cast of characters - Cynthia, Bo, Hank and Carlos. Steven can't believe that Andy thinks any of them are going to be able to help. It's not about help, it's about having a safe place. That is what Bo's Cafe is.

Walk with Steven as he tries to deal, mess up, deal, mess up, apologize and finally get real. Can his marriage survive? Can his new friendships survive? And what about his relationship with his daughter? Good storyline, but this book is definitely a thinker book, not cerebral like you think so hard you can't even enjoy it, but like the kind of book you can't possibly read and not ponder and ponder and ponder. If you are fortunate, this is the kind of book that will change who you are.

For a chance to win a copy of this book (there may be multiple winners!!!) leave a comment with your email telling me why you would want to read a book that will make you ponder things (think The Shack, So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore, etc...). I will enter you in the drawing! Good luck! And don't forget to learn more by visiting -

Book Overview
High-powered executive Steven Kerner is living the dream in southern California. But when his bottled pain ignites in anger one night, his wife kicks him out. Then an eccentric mystery man named Andy Monroe befriends Steven and begins unravelling his tightly wound world. Andy leads Steven through a series of frustrating and revealing encounters to repair his life through genuine friendship and the grace and love of a God who has been waiting for him to accept it. A story to challenge and encourage, BO'S CAFE is a model for all who struggle with unresolved problems and a performance-based life. Those who desire a fuller, more authentic way of living will find this journey of healing a restorative exploration of God's unbridled grace.

About the Authors
Bruce McNicol is president of Leadership Catalyst, Inc. and an international speaker and consultant. He holds a master's in theology and a doctorate in organizational and leadership development. Previously he served for ten years as president of the international church planting organization Interest Associates.

Bill Thrall serves as vice-chair of Leadership Catalyst, mentor, and coauthor of the bestselling TrueFaced resources (, The Ascent of a Leader, and Beyond Your Best.

John Lynch is a national conference speaker and writer for LCI, holds a master's of theoology from Talbot Seminary, and has twenty years' experience as a teaching pastor of Open Door Fellowship. He's also cofounder and playwright of a theater troupe in Phoenix.


adge said...

This book looks interesting. I'd want to read something that made me ponder things because it's good to feel like you've come away with something new. Please include me in the giveaway. Thanks.

hippmom said...

I loved both The Shack and So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore. I think it's important to keep challenging myself to look at what I believe and how I respond to life - to strive for growth. Love to read this one, too!

angelahipp (at) charter (dot) net

Abi said...

Sometimes books that make you think are good too. I'm intrigued by the cover. Covers do a lot for me.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anita Yancey said...

I would like to read this book, because it sounds so interesting to me. I really enjoy books that make me think about things. Please enter me. Thanks!


traveler said...

Thanks for featuring this book which looks fascinating and unique. It is extremely appealing since it allows me to delve into aspects of life that are important and which I would consider daily. Books with meaning and scope are important and memorable. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Bruce said...

Janna, this is Bruce coming to you from Bo's Cafe. What a cool review. No wonder your readers want to read this story. You are a writer!

I like how you pulled this truth out of the box: "Steven can't believe that Andy thinks any of them are going to be able to help. It's not about help, it's about having a safe place. That is what Bo's Cafe is." You can catch more of the conversation and action with the regulars as they hang out every week at

Janna, you are amazing to do all of this with six children and everything else you're doing.

Have a great day in cornhusker land, Bruce, for all three of us co-authors at Bo's beachfront

Cherie J said...

Sounds good. I like books that make me ponder things. I like coming away with new insights into different situations. Those kind of books have the ability to help you change your way of thinking. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


Linda W said...

After reading a non-Christian novel I won, I KNOW why I want to read books that make me think. That book left me empty at the end. No resolutions to the problems or relationships, a lot of anger and vengeance, and no peace or hope. The book had a good story line, but it failed in uplifting me or encouraging me to work on a difficult relationship. So bring it on and enter me. Thanks.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Carolynn W. said...

Please enter me...I like reading books that make me ponder things because they make me want to change and be a better person. Some books can have such a profound impact on you, that you are forever changed for having read them. Thanks for the chance to win!

Jo said...

This book sounds interesting! It's great to read books that make you feel good but it is also important to read books that make you think about things that can happen and have a profound impact on us. Real life isn't where things go smoothly all the time. There are bumps in the road.


Marjorie said...

Let's just say it is time to get on track and appreciate everyone and everything you have.

I am a follower.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Carole said...

"Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire" by Jim Cymbala was a book that made me realize how shallow my prayer life was. I have read this book more than once and grow in this area each time.

I am very interested in reading Bo's Cafe and appreciate the chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Mary said...

Reading books that don't make you think is usually a waste of time and energy. I prefer something that makes me stop and evaluate things that are going on.

Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks!


Winning Readings said...

Books that are both interesting page turners plus make you think are my favorite kind! I love getting through a book quickly, then walking away and musing on what I've read, especially it motivates me to make a change for the better in my life.

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Posted about this, too: Comment on the giveaway post telling why you would want to read a book that will make you ponder things.

Mark said...

I'd like to win it because I love to read Christian fiction that makes you think, or gets a lesson across, and it sounds like this one does that. Thanks

Aik said...

I want to read something that made me ponder things because I will think about the story again and find things that are worth learning.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Cheryl said...

I have never read a Christian fiction book. A lady at church offered to let me borrow her The Shack book, but it was just too soon after my daughter's death and I was afraid it would touch something deep inside that I couldn't recover from. So I am ready to dive into this world of Christian fiction. I have seen this title Bo's Cafe everywhere I turn. I can't seem to get away from it. There is just something that draws me in with the title alone.

In Christ,

Nancye said...

I like to read books that make me think!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Carol said...

We can't learn and grow in our faith if we don't ponder things and fiction books have brought many things to my attention to ponder. THanks for the chance to win this book.


Charity said...

Please enter me. I like to read books that just aren't all fluff and romance. Sounds like my type of book:)
esterried @

pippirose said...

I've heard such good things about this book. I'd love the chance to win it.

pippirose59 at gmail dot com

Diana D said...

Sounds like a real life story with issues so many of us have to deal with. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

dianad8008 AT gmail DOT com

Cheryl said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Please enter me in this contest. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

Deborah said...

I think that as you go through life and the trial and tribulations that come at you it is good that we have these incredible authors and books that they are talented and gifted enough to write to help us through. (Besides the Word of God, of course) If you think about it, the way we use our gifts (yes, we all have our own) this is their way of using theirs. I would really be interested in reading this book. There are lots of self-help books out there-but I for one have had enough of them. I would rather read a book about a person going through something I am going through, or connect to a person going through something.Not based on statistics.

Janna said...

And the 5 winners are...

Cheryl (shrackmom)