Author's Websites

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sacred Holidays by Becky Kiser

Having just come through one of the biggest holidays of the year, Christmas, maybe you are wanting your celebration to look a little different in 2019.  I know as we added children to our family, I began looking at our holiday celebrations—particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas—and wanting these times to be more Christ-centered. Becky Kiser has released a new book this year called Sacred Holidays. In her book, she challenges the reader on how holidays and celebrations are approached in their life. Are they influenced by a life lived for God or by what the world sees as important. There are three parts to this book.

1. Less Chaos, More Jesus (Read Now)—This section is meant to be read right now and helps to think through why you do what you do for the holidays.

2. Holidays—This section covers the following holidays: New Years, Valentines, Lent and Easter, Summer, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas, and lastly, Birthdays. There are ideas for how to make the day more about Jesus, but also fun ideas too. Then each chapter has room to write down ideas, what worked, what didn’t work.

3. Comin Struggles—These chapters include: Realist Expectations, Budget, Schedule, Conflict, Grief and othe struggles we face during the holidays.

I thought that the book was useful in helping to think through how I approach these special times in our year. As with all books, there are things you’ll take away and use and other things you’ll just discard. I thought the author did a good job emphasizing that you need to find what works for your family, and I really appreciated her honesty in how her own family has dealt with changing their holidays. The added work pages are very helpful as this will be a book that you’ll want to reference throughout the year. If you’re looking to change things up, pick up this book and get some ideas of how to make your holidays a little better for your family.

My Rating: ★★★★

About the Author:

Becky Kiser is intent that women would fall in love with God’s Word, then feel equipped and empowered to live it out. She believes that women can live out their own wild story, just like the ones we see of God’s chosen in His Word, as they love Jesus and love people. She is the founder and CEO of Sacred Holidays—a ministry dedicated to helping women find less chaos and more Jesus during holidays through Bible study, community, resources, and lots of fun! She is determined to help women keep all the whimsy of the holidays, but help make them sacred—holy and set apart.

Becky has a background in marketing and ministry, and is a certified Myers-Briggs life coach, bringing each of those experiences into her writing. Becky and her husband, Chris, live in Houston, TX with their three girls.

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

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker

It seems to me that the world of organization is a growing fascination as we try to organize our lives. So many times we are at our wits end trying to control the clutter that comes into our houses. And unfortunately, it seems to be a loosing battle for most of us. I put myself there too. After my husband and I had 3 children, it seemed that there was a lot more stuff coming into our small house and taking up every corner!

Joshua Becker is the founder of the Becoming Minimalist website and has written several books. His newest book is called The Minimalist Home. This book will take you through your entire house helping you to see it in a new perspective in order to restore a calm and productive environment for your family.

First the book explains The Becker Method. Next, it will take you through 8 different spaces to practice what you've learned:

1. Living Room and Family Room
2. Bedrooms
3. Clothes Closets
4. Bathrooms and Laundry Room
5. Kitchen and Dining Room
6. Home Office
7. Storage Areas (including toy room and craft work spaces)
8. Garage and Yard

Each section has suggestions for how to minimize the area and then ends with a checklist to help you accomplish your tasks.

My Thoughts:
I thought that the book was helpful in getting me to think about each space in my house, and what the purpose was of each room. The author's definition of minimalism is "the intentional promotion of things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them." (p. 10)
I liked having the checklists at the end of each chapter to help with minimizing each room.  It will help as I go through and empty each room of the things we don't need. 
So if you're looking for a little help with getting your house under control and transformed into a more calm and relaxing place, pick up Joshua Becker's new book, The Minimalist Home, and get started make your house into a place you can't wait to come home to.

Link to the book: The Minimalist Home
***I received this complimentary book from Waterbook Press. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

One Big Bible Story Seek-and-Circle Bible Battles by Alyssa Jones

 Are you looking for a book with some fun activities for your child? B&H Kids just released this new board book in September that is a search and find book filled with pages that depicts 6 different battles from scripture. This book is for kids ages 4-8 years old. At the beginning of the book is a page for parents that shares how you can use this book to engage with your children in talking about the armor of God.

Each page has 20 different items to look for in the colorful picture on the page. Once they are found there is a circle to fill in with a write-on, wipe-off marker.  In addition there is also a different piece of the armor of God to be found on each page. At the bottom of the page, there is a section called Christ Connection that will connect the Bible story on the page to Christ.

My kids liked looking through the pictures and searching for the items. They are big fans of search and find books. The only thing that was a little disappointing was that the dry erase marker we used didn't totally come off as you can see in the picture to the right. But this is my only complaint. The book is a lot of fun and would make a great gift for any child.

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall (Book 6)

If you have been following the Daughters of the Mayflower series, you will be excited to find out that the newest book has just released. The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall takes readers back to the year 1814 near the end of the War of 1812.

From the Back Cover:
Emeline Baratt has been caring for others ever since she could walk. First her younger brothers and then, after she learned doctoring from her physician uncle in Maryland, everyone else in need, including her great aunt in England. But America and England are at war, and with her aunt's death, Emeline finds herself trapped behind enemy lines with no means of support--a terrifying prospect. Traveling home from England on one of her father's privateers seems no less frightening.

When the HMS Marauder overtakes the American ship, First Lieutant Owen Masters is shocked to find a beautiful woman aboard and even more shocked when she announces her loyalty to England and begins tending the wounded--both British and American--with equal care. If she is a traitor to her country, Own wants nothing to do with her.

Hiding her true allegiances on a ship where her nursing skills are desperately needed is fairly easy--until Emeline starts to have feelings for the first lieutenant who becomes her protector. However, when the captain sends her and Owen on land to spy for the British, they both are forced to choose between love for each other or love for country.

My Thoughts:
MaryLu Tyndall provides a high adventure on the open seas with this exciting story about Emeline and First Lieutenant Owen Masters. I enjoyed reading this story as it plunged me into the chaos of wartime in the Atlantic Ocean. History is always fun reading for me, and I love to learn more about my American roots. The story was engaging and kept me interested from start to finish, and MaryLu's book is a fun addition to the Daughters of the Mayflower series. If you are looking for a fun historical series to read, then make sure to pick up The Daughters of the Mayflower. You can read about all the books in the series by visiting this website: Daughters of the Mayflower.

My Rating: ★★★★

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

Another New Growth Press Giveaway--Family Devotionals!

New Growth Press’ Spirit of Giving Family Devotionals Giveaway

For active families, reading the Bible together can feel overwhelming. However, family Bible study doesn’t have to be complicated! With just ten minutes a day, parents have enough time to pass on the most valuable treasure the world has ever known. 

Start off the new year resolved to study the Bible together. New Growth Press has you covered and is giving away a family devotional package every family will want to win!

In this third and final Spirit of Giving giveaway of the Christmas season, New Growth Press is giving away THREE gift boxes of family devotionals (retail value of $148 each). From December 3-8, you can enter to win one of family devotional boxes. 

Each gift box includes one copy of the following family devotionals written by Marty Machowski:

Children love stories, and the parables provide a wonderful opportunity to engage their imagination and help them understand and live out the good news of the kingdom of God. After teaching a parable, Jesus often said, “Whoever has ears, let him hear.” In other words, “This is important, so you better listen up,” and what could be more important than the good news of the kingdom of God? This family devotional provides a unique opportunity for parents to help their children “listen up” and hear the gospel as Jesus himself shared it.

Wise Up is designed to connect the teaching of Proverbs to God’s larger story of salvation. Children will learn that Solomon’s wisdom, life, and failures all point to “something greater than Solomon”—they point to Jesus. The goal of this devotional is to present the wisdom of Proverbs against the backdrop of the gospel to show children that real wisdom comes only as we depend on Jesus for daily help and forgiveness.

Long Story Short guides families through the Old Testament stories and is designed to cultivate honest and powerful discussion about the Bible, which is the catalyst for change in children’s lives. Through 78 Old Testament stories, Long Story Short explains God’s plan of salvation through the Old Testament, focusing on the hero of Scripture and important biblical truths without being corny, confusing, or condescending. 

Suited for children from preschool through high school, this gospel-focused book is full of ten-minute devotions to continue the gospel story that began in Long Story Short. The consistent and short structure helps children walk through the life-changing truths of the Christian faith in the New Testament—without overwhelming them. Through 78 New Testament stories, Old Story New does the hard work for moms and dads. Simple discussion questions (and answers!) for each day’s devotion help children understand and connect with Jesus’s life, death, resurrection, and the birth of the Christian church.

This beautifully illustrated storybook captivates young readers with the heart of the gospel. The Gospel Story Bible points to Jesus, helping families and kids identify Christ as the hero of every story. While it’s easy to forget Jesus in the midst of frantic schedules, family squabbles, and conflicting priorities, Machowski reminds families of God’s plan of salvation in Christ, which is continually on display throughout the Bible. Ideal as a storybook for your preschooler, a devotional for your grade school student, a refresher for the adult believer, or an introduction for the new one, The Gospel Story Bible is also a companion to Long Story Short and Old Story New.

In addition to these books for the entire family, the winners will also receive a new book of devotionals just for parents, and New Growth Press’ latest parenting book.

In this uplifting and faith-strengthening devotional book for parents, Marty Machowski encourages parents in the midst of trials. Full of Scripture, testimonies of faithful parents, and insightful meditations, Parenting First Aid equips moms and dads to run to God and trust his ability to do what they can’t. The easy-to-use format provides encouragement to turn to God in the midst of family difficulty. While God does not promise happiness and ease in parenting, all can find comfort in God and peace beyond understanding through the Scriptures and meditations found in Parenting First Aid.

Every family is unique, which is why Child Proof explores the need for parents to cultivate personal and intimate care for their children as modeled in God’s individual, personal, and fatherly care to his children. This child-rearing book lays a foundation of parenting by faith and progresses by teaching readers how they can know their own kids well and raise them accordingly. By discussing particular issues moms and dads might have in family life, Lowe demonstrates how formulas aren’t the answer, and parenting with biblical wisdom is best for a proactive rather than reactive approach to parenting.

In case you don’t win the prize pack, sign-up for New Growth Press’ e-news at to receive information about their Countdown to Christmas discounts so that you can order copies. Be sure to follow them on social media as well where they will be sharing daily deals throughout the Christmas season ( | |

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

New Growth Press' Spirit of Giving Children's Book Giveaway!!

New Growth Press’ Spirit of Giving Children’s Book Giveaway

Who doesn’t love giving and getting books for Christmas? (If you don’t, we may need to have a talk!)

Books are a great gift, especially for children. Not only do we want to encourage the love of reading and give them stories they will enjoy, we want to provide teaching moments. Plus giving little ones new books is really a gift to the parents as well. They need a break from the same old bedtime stories.

You don’t have to be a parent to buy for kids, you know! Maybe you have grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, or want to bless some children from church.

New Growth Press is jumping into the gift giving season by giving away THREE children’s book gift boxes (retail value of $125 each). All of their children’s books are beautifully illustrated, entertaining, teach a lesson, and most importantly, are biblically based!

From November 19-25, you can enter to win one of three children’s gift boxes. Click on the graphic below to enter the giveaway!

Each gift box includes five of New Growth Press’ new children’s releases and two of their best sellers:

This playful children’s book serves as a beginner’s theology book for young readers who love numbers and patterns. By discovering numbers in God’s world and in his Word, parents help their children foster a deeper love and knowledge of who God is and how he counts them as his. With countable illustrations and an easy-to-learn structure, children who are always seeking, finding, tracing, and counting numbers will be captivated by God Counts.

These three books are a part of the Good News for Little Hearts series. This is a new series of hardback, illustrated children’s books for three-to eight-year-olds—each centered on an animal family. The animal characters, colorful illustrations, and the real-life issues each animal family face will captivate children. The first three books address anxiety, anger, and failure, bringing biblical counsel and hope to issues every child faces. Together children and parents will be guided by the stories into meaningful conversations about living by faith in everyday life.

God Made Me and You invites kids to explore God’s design for ethnic diversity. Because Scripture teaches that ethnic diversity is not something that should be tolerated but rather enthusiastically embraced, Christian hip hop artist Shai Linne helps children, parents, and caregivers to celebrate this biblical truth through a lyrical, rhyming style and colorful illustrations.

God Made All of Me is an invaluable resource and beautifully illustrated story to help families talk about sensitive issues with two- to eight-year-old children. This helpful guide starts from the fundamental truth that God created everything and applies that truth to kids and their bodies. With the help of God Made All of Me, parents and caregivers can begin conversations with boys and girls about their bodies, navigating a discussion that can so easily be warped into confusion, embarrassment, and secrecy.

The Radical Book for Kids is a fun-filled explorer’s guide to the Bible, church history, and life for boys and girls ages eight and up. Vibrantly illustrated and chock-full of fun facts and ideas, this interactive book competes with screen time by stimulating children’s natural curiosity and sense of adventure! Along with the many fun and exciting stories of historical figures, young and old readers alike will learn about the roots of our faith and the importance of the gospel in our lives.

In case you don’t win the prize pack, sign-up for New Growth Press’ e-news at to receive information about their Countdown to Christmas discounts so that you can order copies. Be sure to follow them on social media as well where they will be sharing daily deals throughout the Christmas season ( | |

Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Family Devotional by Marty Machowski

With Christmas right around the corner, maybe you are looking for a new advent devotional to use with your family this Christmas season to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

One devotional to take a look at is a book by Marty Machowski called Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Family Devotional. This devotional is four weeks long and each week has three different devotionals to read during the week as well as a short story called, Bartimaeus: A Christmas Story.

I liked how each devotional is set up to include Scripture, a devotional thought about the Scripture, some questions to ask, a family activity and praying and singing together. There are also instructions for making your own advent wreath which you then light each time you read your advent devotionals. The devotionals are engaging and point the focus to the One Christmas is really about--Jesus. I really enjoyed reading the additional fictional story throughout the book too. It is well written and will hold the kids attention while teaching them the great truth that God desires to adopt us into His family through faith in Jesus.
If you're looking for a new advent reading to do with your family this season, pick up Marty Machowski's book and enjoy celebrating Jesus as a family.

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