Monday, September 18, 2017

God Made the World by Debbie Rivers-Moore & Emma Haines

Do you have a friend or family member who is expecting an arrival of a new baby in the family? This sweet little cloth book is a great gift for a new baby. It is soft and great for babies who put everything into their mouths. The front page is very crinkly which infants love to hear and investigate. The story is simple and printed on colorful pages. The illustrations are cute, and I like the final page being a mirror. Babies love seeing the "other" baby in the reflection. If you're looking for a fun little gift for a baby, pick up this great cloth book. I think it would make a great addition to any present.

*** I received this free book from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, September 15, 2017

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley by Andrea Boeshaar

Andrea Boeshaar has released a new novel set in the Shenandoah Valley in 1816.  My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley is an interesting story that is worth checking out.

From the Back Cover:
Captain McAlister "Mac" Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lilyanna Laughlin--or so she erroneously thinks. Mac set her straight and despite a poor start, the two become friends...if only he were financially stable enough to offer her more.
When Lily's life is threatened and his whole future goes up in flames, Mac truly becomes a man without means, and Lily is forced to make the impossible choice between a loveless marriage with a man twice her age or the man who has shown her what true love could be. How can she choose between love and economic security? Her family is depending on her. Is her heart destined to break?
Journey into Virginia's Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where a woman's dreams and future happiness are on the line.

My Thoughts:
I thought that the author did a good job with the storyline, keeping it moving along and pulling in the reader. I always find the historical aspect of these stories interesting since it is so different from the time period we live in today. Andrea Boeshaar did a great job with painting a picture of a different time in history. I liked the interaction between the characters and how a young, naive woman learns that life is not always as it appears. I wished that the ending would of been a little longer and wrapped things up a little more than it did. It seemed to rushed at the end for me. That being said, the ending will not keep you hanging.

My Rating: ★★★★

***I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions are my own.

The Big Picture Interactive: Bible Story Coloring and Activity book by B&H Kids

The Big Picture Interactive has a lot of great products for different kid's Bibles and devotionals.  "The Big Picture Interactive has been creating products that focus on the big story, draw our attention to God, and point us to Jesus at every turn." (pg. 3) Along with that line of products, B&H Kids has also released a coloring and activity book. The Bible Story Coloring & Activity Book is a great resource as you are reading through your Big Picture Interactive Bible. The coloring book begins with the Old Testament and creation, and proceeds through the main stories of the Old Testament. Then also covers the New Testament too. There are not only coloring pages but also word searches, matching, hidden pictures, mazes, secret codes, hidden messages, color by number and more. This coloring book would be great for kids ages 4-8 years old.
I like how the stories tie-in to the Big Picture Interactive Bible to reinforce the story your teaching. And I like how they have included lots of fun activities to keep the kids engaged with learning. This is a great resource that would make a fun gift for your kids.

You can find this book online by clicking here.

My Rating: ★★★★

***I received this free book from B&H Kids. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Praying for Girls by Teri Lynne Underwood

Every mom wants the best for her children. Life is challenging, and we wonder how our kids will handle life as they are growing up in this world. Will they move closer to God or will they turn away? As a mom of a young girl who is a year away from middle school, I wonder how my prayer life could be better in praying for her. Teri Lynne Underwood has written a book called Praying for Girls that is a resource for parents in their prayer life as they pray for their daughters. As our world continues to grow darker, our life should be more and more filled with prayer. Teri covers 5 different areas of prayer for her daughter that she has focused on, and each of these 5 main topics covers 4 different character traits.

1. Prayers for Her Identity--Image-Bearer, Loved, Known, Accepted
2. Prayers for Her Heart--Pure, Kept, Content, Undivided
3. Prayers for Her Mind--Stayed, Renewed, Guarded, Peaceful
4. Prayers for Her Relationships--Humility, Wisdom, Generosity, Love
5. Prayers for Her Purpose--Salvation, Sanctification, Steadfast, Share

Each chapter begins with a verse and discusses the character trait. Teri then gives several examples of prayers that parents can pray for their daughter based on Scripture. For example: "Lord, may ___________ know her identity is found in You and rest in the knowledge she is made in Your image. (Genesis 1:27)"  She then has a paragraph called just for moms and finally in her girl talk section gives ways a parent can discuss the trait with their child whether a little girl, a "middle" girl or an older girl.
I think the book is a good resource in helping parents with their prayer life for their daughters. I appreciated that her prayer examples are directly related to Scripture. And I liked what she had to say at the end of the book about prayer.

           "Of all the lessons I've learned, this one stands out: Prayer changes me. Every time. When I     pray for her to love the Lord, He shows me how to love Him more. When I pray for her to have a pure heart, He reveals the areas I need to confess. When I pray for her to have a renewed mind, He gives me a new focus and passion for Him. When I pray for her to be loving in her relationships, He helps me learn to love others better. And when I pray for her to walk in the purpose He has for her, He points me toward the purpose He has for me as well."

Prayer is never a waste of time. It is not only a way we can take all of our heavy concerns about our children to our Father, but it also changes us. If you're looking for some direction in how to pray better for your daughter, pick up Teri's book, Praying for Girls, a great resource and addition to your home library.

My Rating: ★★★

**I received this free book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

The Legacy by Michael Phillips (Secrets of the Shetlands book 3)

If you have been following along in the Secret of the Shetland series by Michael Phillips, then you'll be excited to know that the third and final book in the series has been released. The Legacy is the book to wrap up all these loose ends and bring this Shetland Island story to an end.

From the Back Cover:
Loni Ford's unexpected inheritance of substantial real estate--not to mention a title--in the Shetland Islands has caused more than a stir in the quiet fishing hamlet of Whales Reef. How can life ever be the same with an outsider--and a woman at that--playing such a pivotal role in the life of this traditional community? But it isn't just the locals who have deep misgivings about the current situation. Loni herself never imagined this in her wildest dreams and wonders whether she's cut out for it.
Loni would hardly let herself acknowledge that she's falling in love--with Whales Reef, with its hardy people, and with local chieftain David Tulloch, whose inheritance she has usurped, at least in the eyes of some. Or has she merely been seduced by the simple, peaceful way of life that exists here?
Yet life in Whales Reef is rarely without drama. Deep rifts exist between certain lifelong neighbors, and when a dead body is discovered, suspicion is cast in the direction of the Tulloch family. How Loni and David face up to this challenge will profoundly shape their relationship, as well as the future of the island.

My Thoughts:
This book is another long one, 466 pages in length.  Unlike the first two books, this book does not have a lot of action in the story to make it fast-paced.  It was a little harder for me to get through it, but the story did help to tie up many of the questions the first two books bring to light in Loni's past. Michael Phillips brings in a lot of the Quaker's ideologies and he also includes his favorite author George MacDonald too. I thought it was fun how he brought in some familiar references from another of his series, The Secret of the Rose. Overall, I thought that this book was more just factual in telling their stories and really didn't draw me in to the story like the first two. But I did like how the author wrapped things up, and gave the reader the hidden story from the past.

You can check out my review for the first two books of this series by clicking on these titles, The Inheritance (Book 1) and The Cottage (book 2).

My Rating: ★★★

**I received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore

Have you ever had that feeling of being stuck in life? Maybe it's a pit you've thrown yourself into willingly because you really wanted something you knew was not best. Or maybe it's a pit that you just slipped into unsuspectingly or it's a pit that you have been literally thrown into by someone else. All of us have been through some kind of pit in our lives and many of us are still living in one. Beth Moore has written a book about the pits we tend to fall into and gives advice on how to get out of the pits we find ourselves in.

I thought that the book had a lot of good information that can help many who are stuck in different pits. I appreciated the study guide in the back of the book too. It had questions from the chapter that was read, but also personal application questions too. The verse that Beth's book is based on is Ps. 40:1-3--"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD." Beth describes a pit as "an early grave that Satan digs for you in hopes he can bury you alive." How do we know when we're in a pit?  You know you're in a pit when... you feel stuck, can't stand up and have lost your vision. If you've been through tragedy that's thrown you in a deep pit or find yourself in a circumstance that is headed in the wrong direction and you can't see a way out, pick up Beth's book and find some hope in Scripture.  God can rescue you from your pit.

My Rating: ★★★

***I received this complimentary book from Handlebar Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

God's Crime Scene for Kids' Mystery Investigation Kit Giveaway

J. Warner Wallace (a cold-case detective and former atheist) has come out with another great detective book for kids. This book revolves around a mysterious shoebox in Jason's Grandmother's attic in which there is a letter address to him! He and his friends must use their detective skills to solve the mystery.  At the same time, Detective Jeffries uses the opportunity to show the kids in his Jr. Detective Academy how they can also use their detective skills concerning the universe around them.  And how everything points to a grand Creator.

I thought this book was a fun way to get kids to think about the evidence that God has given us of Himself in His creation all around us. This book helps them to take the different thinking skills they have learned through the fictional story and apply them to their real life surroundings. I like books that encourage critical thinking. If you're looking for a fun book for your child ages 8-12 yrs old, pick up this fun book that will get them thinking about how they can see evidence for God all around them. Below is the link for a giveaway contest for a Mystery Investigation Kit.  So make sure to enter soon.  The contest ends on August 31st. Also, head over to the blog tour for this book and see what others are saying about God's Crime Scene for Kids by clicking here.

My Rating: ★★★★★

About the authors:

J. Warner and Susie Wallace have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, Court TV and other crime-related television shows. A former atheist, he is the author of "Cold-Case Christianity: God's Crime Scene," "Forensic Faith," and "Cold-Case Christianity for Kids." He has a master's degree in theology and is the founder of Susie has a master's degree in speech pathology and co-writes (and edits) all the kids books in this series. J. Warner and Susie have four children and live in southern California.
Find out more about J. Warner and at

*** I received this complimentary book from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.



Giveaway Info:

Join your children in learning how to determine the most reasonable cause for everything we see in creation with a real-life detective! In God's Crime Scene for Kids, J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason's mystery. Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother's attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective's Academy. Your kids will look at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator and ultimately learn how to make their own case for God's existence.

Help your kids become detectives who investigate creation for signs of God and His creativity by entering to win the Mystery Investigation Kit!

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 31. The winner will be announced September 1 on the Litfuse blog.

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