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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin

Don't you just love a good Christmas story?  I love watching all the fun Christmas shows during this time of year.  And there is nothing like having hot cranberry tea, listening to Christmas music and reading a great book!  Three great authors have compiled three stories into one novel for your enjoyment this Christmas season.  Where Treetops Glisten is a group of stories about the Turner family set during WWII.  You can read below and find out about the book, and my thoughts about these three stories.

From the Back Cover:
The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime.  Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas.  Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America's involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

     In Cara Putman's White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop.  Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements--until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.
     Abigail's brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theatre in Sarah Sundin's I'll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded.  But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete's friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he's no longer the bully she once knew?
     In Tricia Goyer's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, "Merry" to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands.  Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that's precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.
     The Turner family believes in God's providence during such a tumultuous time.  Can they absorb the miracle of Christ's birth and His plan for the future?

My Review:
I just loved this book!  It was so fun to just sit, relax and enjoy a good story... well, actually three good stories.  Each of the characters has a lot to reconcile in his or her own life.  Of course, all of trials that they are enduring are also shrouded by the war raging around the world.  It's hard to imagine how much families had to give up in order to help in the cause for war.  My generation has not had to face that hardship, but reading stories like these gives a great glimpse into our history that we should not forget.  If you're looking for a great heartwarming set of stories for this holiday season, make sure to pick up Where Treetops Glisten.  This would also make a fabulous gift for the book reader on your Christmas list!

Some Noteworthy Links:
You can read the first chapter of this book HERE.
You can also read more about the book by clicking HERE.
Read more about these great authors by clicking HERE.

***  I received this free book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Look Inside the Time of Jesus by Lois Rock; Illustrated by Lorenzo Orlandi

The Time of Jesus is a lift-the-flap discovery board book for children ages 5-7 year olds (Grade level: Kindergarten--2nd grade). 

From the Back Cover:
Jesus took his message to all kinds of people in all kinds of places--from the shores of Lake Galilee to the bustling streets of Jerusalem.  This book takes you right into the world that he knew, with appealing illustrations and flaps that you open to reveal all kinds of fascinating details.

My Review:
I love the fact that this book is a lift-the-flap book.  My kids just love to open the flaps and see what is hiding inside!  The pictures are fun to look at with all the details spread throughout the pages.  The book begins in Bethlehem with Jesus' birth, walks throughout His life and ends with the garden tomb.  It's fun for kids to see pictures of how things were back in Biblical times.  If you're looking
for a fun Christmas present this year, consider picking up this great
book to put under the tree.

***I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Eight Twenty Eight: When Love Didn't Give Up by Ian and Larissa Murphy

Do you remember a video that went viral back in May 2012 about a couple sharing their story about a heartbreaking car accident that changed their lives forever?  Watch the video below to refresh your memory.  This story is now being published by B&H publishing group.

From the Back Cover:

What if that thing you really feared happened?  Would the joy you hold pop? Or would you experience love and joy deeper than you can imagine?
They met in college and fell in love.  They talked about getting married, and he started looking for a ring.  They dreamed about life together, a life of beauty and joy, raising babies and laughing with friends and growing old.
They did not imagine a car accident.  They did not imagine his brain injury.  They did not dream about the need for constant care and a wheelchair and fear that food might choke him.
And they could not have imagined how persistent love would be.  Theirs and God's.
Ian and Larissa Murphy tell their story of love in Eight Twenty Eight.  Except, it's not just their love story.  Really, it's yours as well.  Read and gain a picture of love that will challenge all you think you know about what is true and what persists.

Ian and Larissa Murphy are husband and wife.  They love one another.  They laugh together.  They seek to serve God together all while dealing with the implications of life in a world marked by suffering, yet compelled by love.  They live in Pennsylvania where they watch as God works all things together for good.

My Review:
I remember watching the video about this young couple and their commitment to each other.  The sacrificial love that Larissa has for Ian is beautiful.  In this book,  Larissa tells their story with truthful reality.  This book is an easy read as far as the print and ease of reading the story, but the story itself is not easy to read.  It will confront those hard places that no one really wants to think about, but it will also point to One who is far greater than our worst circumstance.  Pick up this book and see Christ's light shinning through this couple.

***I received this book for free from B&H publishing group in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

To Everything a Season by Lauraine Snelling

Lauraine Snelling has returned to the Red River Valley for a new series called Song of Blessing.  Her first novel of the series just released and is called To Everything a Season. 

From the Back Cover:
Trygve Knutson is devoted to his family and his community.  With his job on the construction crew, he is helping to build a future for the North Dakota town of Blessing.  Though he loves his home, he sometimes dreams of other horizons--especially since meeting Miriam Hastings.
Miriam is in Blessing to get practical training to become an accredited nurse.  She's been promised a position in the Chicago women's hospital that will enable her to support her siblings and her ailing mother.  Although eager to return to her family, Miriam is surprised to find how much she enjoys the small town of Blessing.  And her growing attachment to Trygve soon has her questioning a future she always considered set in stone.
When a family emergency calls Miriam home sooner than planned, will she find a way to return?  If not, will it mean loosing Trygve--and her chance at love--for good?

My Review:
When I signed up to grab this book, I thought this would be good based on other Lauraine Snelling books I had read before.  After I began reading the book, I quickly realized that it felt like I should already be familiar with these characters from something written previously.  So, I began looking at her other novels and realized that while this is the first book in this series, Song of Blessing, the characters are from a previous series.  I would definitely recommend picking up the Home to Blessing series and also An Untamed Heart since that is where the story begins.  I think you'd probably have more of a connection with the characters in this new series.  Even with this disadvantage, I thought that the story was well written, and not too hard to pick up not having read the previous series.  It did seem to give more background information than have a thrilling story line.  And just to warn you, Trygve and Miriam don't even meet until chapter 23 in the book, and there are only 33 chapters in the whole book.  I think the women nurses and doctors in the story add a fun historical fact in this story.  The men would of definitely had a hard time with that.
If you're already familiar with the characters of the Red River Valley, make sure to pick up this next series and continue the story.

***I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

THE PROMISE Kindle HDX Giveaway from @BethWiseman!

Did you hear about Beth Wiseman's latest book, The Promise?   This book is actually based on a story about a close friend of the author.  Read below and find out about this new thrilling story. 

About the book: 

Mallory's search for happiness leads her to a faraway place. There she finds heartache, betrayal---and danger.
Mallory Hammond is determined that no one will stand in the way of her goal---to save a life. She had that chance years ago, and she failed to take it, leaving her adrift and in search of the real meaning of her life. Finally, she meets a man online from a volatile corner of the world who offers her the chance to find that purpose. But she will have to leave everyone she loves behind in order to take it.
Tate Webber has loved Mallory for many years. He understands that Mallory will never be happy with him until her deepest heart's desire is satisfied. When Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfill her dreams, Tate begs her not to go but tries to give her the space she needs. Mallory embarks on her dangerous journey only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. And Mallory can only pray that she will make it out alive.
Inspired by actual events, The Promise is a riveting love story that asks the question: how far will we go for love?

My Review:
This story was filled with suspense wondering if Mallory would get out of Pakistan alive.  The story is definitely a learning experience for the character and the reader who is not familiar with the middle eastern lifestyle and customs.  Of course, it is quite shocking the way these men treat the women of their society.  After reading this book, you'll be reminded of how great we have it here in the U.S..  Women are so blessed here in our country.  We are respected, listened to, and can move about without fear.  If you're looking for an interesting story that will remind you of how great it is to call this country home, pick up The Promise!  This is a riveting story that will have you reading into the wee hours of the morning.

***I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.  all opinions are my own.

Purchase a copy: 

About the author: 

Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. Having sold over 1.3 million books, her novels have held spots on multiple Bestseller lists. She was the recipient of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011 and 2013. In 2013 she took home the coveted Holt Medallion. Her first book in the Land of Canaan series--Seek Me With All Your Heart--was selected as the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year. Beth lives in Texas with her family.

Find Beth online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Giveaway Info:

In a daring new novel, Beth Wiseman jumps way outside the box. The Promise will take readers far away from Amish country and small Texas towns to a dangerous place on the other side of the world. Inspired by actual events, this is the book Beth has been working toward for a long time.

Curious? Click here to read the reviews, and be sure to enter Beth's Kindle HDX giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Promise by Beth Wiseman
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 9th. Winner will be announced November 10th here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Renewing Your Mind by Neil T. Anderson

Neil T. Anderson, bestselling author of Victory Over the Darkness, has released a new Victory Series that is a total of 8 study books.  This book, Renewing Your Mind is the 4th book in this series.  The studies included in this series are:

Study 1--God's Story for You: Discover the Person God Created You to Be
Study 2--Your New Identity: A Transforming Union with God
Study 3--Your Foundation in Christ: Live by the Power of the Spirit
Study 4--Renewing Your Mind: Becoming More like Christ
Study 5--Growing in Christ: Deepen Your Relationship with Jesus
Study 6--Your Life in Christ: Walk in Freedom by Faith
Study 7--Your Authority in Christ: Overcoming the Enemy
Study 8--Your Ultimate Victory: Standing Strong in the Faith

Each book builds on the previous book creating a comprehensive discipleship course.  This can be used by an individual or as a small group study.  In each book there are 6 sessions to be discussed.  Each of these sessions are divided into 5 sections that can be done throughout the week.  During a typical day's reading, you are presented with a portion of Scripture and questions to answer after a brief reflection.

Previously, I had enjoyed reading Neil T. Anderson's Victory in the Darkness book and was looking forward to reading another of his books.  I think that the material presented in this book, Renewing Your Mind, has a lot of positive aspects about it.  The study is easy to read and get done throughout the week.  The questions make you think and would generate some good group discussion.  This series looks like one that would definitely aid in disciplining new believers.

***I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Kindle HDX Giveaway and Facebook Author Party with Judith Miller!

Judith Miller has started another new series called Refined by Love ,and The Brickmaker's Bride is the first book! Read below and find out more about this great new series.  Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway and join the Facebook Party on November 4th!

About the book: 

Bestselling Author Judith Miller Debuts Historical Series Set in West Virginia
Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it's Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man---a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he'll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.
But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura's heart.

My Review:
Judith Miller has done a great job weaving together a story set after the Civil War in 1868.  Many homes experienced some sort of loss, and the years after that war would have been quite trying.  I love Laura's spirit and how she is involved with the brickyard.  The role of women was seen so differently back then, and Laura's character brought a lot of life to the story.  It was eye-opening to read about all the hardships they faced in the aftermath of the Civil War.  Many times we just read about an event, but don't pause to think about all the changes and hardships people would of gone through during such times.  Stories like this one, make us think.  This is a great new series to pick up and add to your library!
Be sure to take a look at what other bloggers are saying about this book on the blog tour by clicking here!

*** I received this free book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.
Purchase a copy: 

About the author: 

Judith Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. When time permits, Judy enjoys traveling, visiting historical settings, and scrapbooking the photographs from her travel expeditions. She makes her home in Topeka, Kansas.

Find Judith online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Giveaway and Facebook Author Event:

Don't miss Judith Miller's latest novel, The Brickmaker's Bride. CBA Retailers + Resources raves, ". . . a wonderful story about faith and love throughout life’s trials."

Judith is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and  a "Refined by Love" Facebook author event on November 4th.
 One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 4th. Winner will be announced at the Refined by Love Facebook Author Event. Connect with Judith for a fascinating evening centered around her new Civil War-era series. She'll be hosting a book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in the Refined by Love series, and much more!

So grab your copy of The Brickmaker's Bride and join Judith and friends on the evening of November 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

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