Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Berenstain Bears Hugs and Kisses Sticker and Activity Book

Zonderkidz has a fun sticker and activity book out just in time for the upcoming Valentine's holiday.  The Berenstain Bears Hugs and Kisses Sticker and Activity Book has all kinds of fun matching, mazes, coloring, codes, dot to dot, word searches and more.  The book also includes over 50 reusable stickers, and is for kids ages 4-8 years old.
The book is filled with all the fun familiar characters of the Berenstain book series.  It looks like a fun book that would keep kids busy for quite awhile.  So, make sure to check out this new fun sticker and activity book.  It would make such a fun Valentine's Day gift for any child.





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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Cottage by Michael Phillips (Secrets of the Shetlands bk. 2)

The second book in the Secrets of the Shetlands series by Michael Phillips released Oct. 4, 2016!  I was so excited to read this book as the first one was so great.  I was not disappointed.  Find out why I thought this book was a great read!

From the Back Cover:
Is the future of Whales Reef in the hands of an outsider?
When Loni Ford is informed that she has inherited property in the Shetland Islands, she laughs. She wants nothing more than to sell it and be done with it. But when she arrives in the North Sea enclave, she is stunned to find that "the Cottage" is not at all what she expected, nor is David Tulloch, the man most of the islanders believe to be the rightful heir.
The locals could hardly be more surprised that the heir is a woman--and an American. Loni, in turn, finds the islanders quaint and a bit behind the times. Expecting David to be as provincial as the rest of his clan, she discovers that there is far more to the man than meets the eye. And there is something about the peaceful atmosphere of the place--and the character of its most prominent citizen--that soon gets under her skin.
Beneath the peaceful surface, however, change is threatening the island of Whales Reef. David's cousin Hardy Tulloch, whose claim to the inheritance now in Loni's hands was backed by oil investors, has not been deterred in his aim to control the island. But his co-conspirators have plans of their own, plans that put Loni's very life in danger...

My Review:
Phillips continues to weave together a beautiful story with mysterious connections that must be unearthed through discovery of the past. Loni has a lot to learn about her heritage, and it was fun to see her character change throughout the book as she faced a past she knew nothing about.  There is quite a bit of Quaker theology in this book. It was interesting to read about the Quakers and find out more about them and their beliefs. "The Light within" comes up in conversation with the characters many times, and they seem to look within themselves for the answers they seek in life. Of course, we know that Scripture is the only truth we have, and that the Spirit helps us to discern the Truth of God's Word, not us.  So be aware of this teaching throughout the book especially if you have young teens reading this novel. Other than that,  I absolutely enjoyed reading through this book, and  I'm looking forward to reading the third and final book, The Legacy, when it releases.

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

NKJV Know the Word Study Bible

Are you looking for a new Bible? Thomas Nelson has published a new study Bible called NKJV Know the Word Study Bible.

About the Study Bible:
This study Bible has 3 different ways for you to enjoy your time in the Word of God. In the beginning pages of this book, you'll find a Topic-By-Topic section that will walk you through the Bible concerning 21 different topics you can study.  With Book-By-Book study, you'll find an introduction to each book of the Bible that gives you an idea of how to study each book.  Then throughout the book, you'll find boxes among the verses that give you an overall glimpse of the theme running throughout the book.  Verse-By-Verse is exactly what it sounds like.  Each verse has commentary notes that will help you discern the meaning or thoughts of each verse.

Features Include:
• New King James Version Bible text • Three easy approaches to study the Bible: Book by Book, Verse by Verse, Topic by Topic • Book introductions • Words of Jesus in red • Two-color interior page design • Comprehensive list of theological notes • Concordance • Full-color maps

My Thoughts:
I liked how there were 3 different ways you could use this study Bible.  This book provides a great practical way to enhance your Bible study time.  It's a great resource for those who would like to dig a little deeper into Scripture.  So whether you like to study by topic, verse or book, this Bible would be great for you or someone on your gift list! The Bible does have pretty narrow columns so don't expect to be able to write in this Bible.  There is not much room because of all the added notes from the commentary, boxes from the chapter studies and notes from the topic studies. Overall, I thought this was a great Bible and would definitely be an asset for Bible study.  So if you're looking for a new Bible, consider the NKJV Know the Word Study Bible by Thomas Nelson.

**I received this complimentary Bible from BookLook Bloggers.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Candle Day by Day Walk with Jesus AND Candle Day by Day Bible in a Year by Juliet David and Jane Heyes

Kregel has published two new different products from the Candle Day by Day series by Juliet David and Jane Heyes.  The first is this new little gift book that retells the story of Jesus in 40 days.  Each day you'll find one of the many stories of Jesus as told in the Gospels paraphrased by the author along with a cute, colorful picture.  A key verse is also presented from where the story originates in Scripture and then a question is asked pertaining to the story. This book is intended for ages 5-7 yrs old. 

I thought that the book was a good size for a gift book.  The illustrations are colorful and interesting for kids to look at.  The stories are pretty simplistic, and personally, I think my preschooler could go through this book without any problems. There are some stories you may feel that you need to add to the story from Scripture and some that you may need to clarify. The story of John the Baptist is one of those stories you will need to clarify.  Here is what the book said about John the Baptist.  "Many people said they were sorry for the wrong things they'd done. John baptized them in the River Jordan.  He dipped them under the water. When they came out, they felt as if they had been born again." (pg. 15)  John did come proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John was calling people to repentance and to turn to God and then to show that repentance through baptism.  I don't like that this section makes it seem as though the baptism is saving them... thus the author's phrasing "born again"and that it was a feeling they got.  So I would caution you should you choose to use these materials to read them before reading them with your kids.

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Secondly, Kregel has also released the Candle Day by Day Bible which is now in a spiral bound desk calendar format.   This product begins with the Old Testament and the beginning of creation and continues all the way through ending with Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem (days 1-244).  Then is picks up with the New Testament  beginning with Zechariah and Elizabeth and ends with Paul returning to Rome and living under house arrest (days 245-365).
If you are already familiar with the Day by Day Bible, then you'll recognize the stories and pictures in this product.  The desk calendar is well made and will be sturdy with all the daily use.  Like I said about the above product, I think that the wording isn't the greatest and can be pretty weak theologically. The stories are pretty simplistic and watered down. So maybe this might be a product that is used as a springboard for talking about the stories, but make sure to read the actual story from Scripture so that you can fill in what you need to.

***I received these complimentary materials from Kregel Publications.  I was not required to give a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, November 11, 2016

This Road We Traveled by Jane Kirkpatrick

Imagine taking a journey that few have ventured across a land where you only have what you've managed to get into your wagon. Imagine spending countless months in the open air and facing such dangerous conditions, you thought you'd loose your life.
This is a taste of the story, This Road We Traveled, written by Jane Kirkpatrick. A story that deserved to be told of a group of people who left everything for the promise of land in the West.

From the Back Cover:
Tabiatha Brown refuses to be left behind in Missouri when her son makes the decision to strike out for Oregon--even if she has to hire her own wagon to join the party. After all, family ties are stronger than fear.
Along with her reluctant daughter and her ever-hopeful granddaughter, the intrepid Tabitha has her misgivings. The trials they face along the way will severely test her faith, courage, and ability to hope. With her family's survival on the line, she must make the ultimate sacrifice, plunging deeper into the wilderness to seek aid. What she couldn't know was how the frightening journey would impact how she understood her own life--and the greater part she had to play in history.

My Review:
This is an amazing story about an adventurous group of people who crossed the plains of our country from Missouri to Oregon.  Their courage and bravery was truly amazing. I cannot imagine all the difficulties they would have endured. Yikes, these days I complain about my internet not working...  This story spoke to me.  Not many historical fiction stories actually bring out tears, but this one did with it's ending thoughts. Tabitha Brown is quite an amazing woman.  One who ended up starting a university in her late 60's because of her push and resolve to do something with the life she'd been given. The author did a great job capturing Tabitha Brown's spirit and helping the reader to gain a little insight into her life.

"Her prosperity began when she had given everything away, when she had nothing left and when she'd prayed to understand what her poverty was meant to teach her. From that day forward, God had opened doors of service and she kept walking through them." (pg. 316)  I appreciated the thought that Tabitha's life was all about God and what He would have her to do in each given circumstance. Any time that she came to a place of wondering what to do next, she'd wait on God to see what His plan for her life was. All she wanted was to know how best to spend the "light" she had left during these twilight years. The poem by John Milton, When I Consider How My Light Was Spent, was used in the book and took on great meaning with the main character of the story. 

This last quote from the book really touched my heart. In the story, Tabitha is writing her memoir for her granddaughter and in her final page she ends with this thought:
"Now, my greatest challenge...did you know, Sarelia, that Webster tells us a challenge is a call to engage in a contest, or a claim to question truth or fact? But here is an oddity: the word comes from the Latin word calvi, meaning 'to deceive.' I've thought often of that word root, to deceive.  I've decided that to refuse to accept a challenge is the deception. To let one's heart hesitate so long the challenge is missed, that forms the trickery. To resist our calling, whatever that may be, to keep our feet planted in one place rather than use them to go forward, or from fear, to fail to spread our wings--that perhaps is the greatest cheating of any of our lives. What deception it would be to turn our backs on what we're called to do, discovering that purpose." (pg. 321)
Yes, it is quite a thought that we could live this life that God has given us trying to avoid a challenge we know He wants us to take. The challenge is to step up and look past the easy route and trust God with what He has us to do. I really enjoyed reading this book and would definitely recommend it to any historical fiction fans. You'll learn much more than just history through this story! 

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

Friday, November 4, 2016

Really Woolly 5-Minute Bedtime Treasury By Bonnie Rickner Jensen

When your little ones head to bed, reading a good book is a great way to help them wind down and get some great cuddle time.  DaySpring has a new 5 Minute Bedtime Treasury out that includes many of the familiar Really Woolly books into one.
These stories and poems are taken from the following books:

Bedtime Bible Promises
Bedtime Prayers
Bible Stories
Good Night, God
Little Book of Bible Verses
Nighttime Lullabies
12 Little Blessings

There are 30 different chapters and each chapter's pages are in a different color. Each chapter has a verse and devotional thought to start the chapter. Then there are poems and a concluding Bedtime Treasure thought. This book is for ages 2-5 years old.

I thought that the stories were cute and adaptable to young kids who don't last too long if you aren't turning the pages soon enough for them.  There are some good thoughts and concepts that even my two year old will be able to understand. And the stories are short enough that they are good for bedtime for little ones. The poems are sweet and the illustrations are fun to look at.
If you're looking for a new bedtime story book for young kids, try the 5-Minute Bedtime Treasury!

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

J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace’s ‘Cold-Case Christianity for Kids’ Blog Tour and Giveaway

Are you looking for a fun Bible study for your kids? Then take a look at this new book put out by J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace called Cold-Case Christianity for Kids.  J. Warner Wallace has also written another version of this book for adults called Cold-Case Christianity. Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway! You'll find the links at the end of the post.

From the Back Cover:
Investigate the case for Jesus!
Just because someone says something doesn't make it true.  So how do you know what to believe?
Detective J. Warner Wallace knows the thrill of high-stakes investigation. In this interactive guide, use real-life detective skills to uncover the truth about Christianity.  Get ready to test witnesses, take case notes, examine the evidence, and dive into the most important case of all; the case the Jesus!

My Review:
I thought that this book was a creative way to engage children in learning about Jesus and why they believe in Him. It would be a great book to use with kids who are struggling with putting their faith in Jesus.  I think kids will find it fun to following along as they learn techniques for being a detective from an actual cold-case detective. This book is appropriate for kids ages 8-12 years old. Each chapter teaches them a principle of problem solving and then gives them a CSI assignment that investigates the Scriptures.  This book uses the NASB version of the Bible.  Along with all of that, there are also videos and activities online for the kids to do along with the chapter they are reading. I thought the arguments and answers that were given were compelling and did a good job at answering questions kids would have.  I think the book also gets kids to dig into Scripture for themselves and shows them why they can trust Him with their lives.
If you're looking for a new book to encourage your kids to begin to study the Bible on their own, make sure to pick up this fun new detective book.

Visit this site for more information on the book: www.coldcasechristianityforkids.com

Giveaway Information:
At the crucial age between 8 and 12, many kids begin to wonder if Christianity and the Bible are true. Help your kids become truth-seeking detectives with the help of J. Warner and Susie Wallace's Cold-Case Christianity for Kids. Detective Wallace gets kids excited about testing witnesses, examining the evidence, and investigating the case for Christianity. The book includes author illustrations and links to a website where kids can download activities, fill in case notes, and earn a certificate of merit.

Encourage your kids to investigate the case for Christianity by entering to win a faith examination kit and a copy of J. Warner and Susie's new book.

cold-case-christianity-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 4. The winner will be announced November 7 on the Litfuse blog.

cold-case-christianity-enterbanner



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

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Audacious by Beth Moore

Are you looking for a book to challenge you in your love for Christ? Beth has a new book out called Audacious that will both encourage you and challenge you to examine your life to see where your love lies.


From the Back Cover:
"If you only knew..."
Thirty years in the making, Audacious is a deep dive into the message that has compelled Beth Moore to serve women around the globe. Glancing over the years of ministry behind her and strengthening her resolve to the call before her, she came to the realization that her vision for women was incomplete. It lacked something they were aching for. Something Jesus was longing for. Beth identifies that missing link by digging through Scripture, unearthing life experiences, and spotlighting a turning point with the capacity to infuse any life with holy passion and purpose. what was missing? Well, let's just say, it's audacious and it's for all of us. And it's the path to the life you were born to live.

 

My Review:
This book is about totally pursuing Jesus Christ with all your heart, soul and mind.  "Those willing to give up their insatiable self-preoccupation to identify with Jesus and follow Him furiously will find an ever-unfolding life and love that they couldn't have scripted if they'd tried." (pg. 13) It's easy to get your eyes on everything around you and forget why you were put here on Earth in the first place. In this book, Beth reminds us that life is not about us, but about Jesus, the One we should love with all our hearts.  When we love Christ with everything we have, then other things in our lives can be addressed.  Without love, it's all just rules and regulations that we follow to feel good about ourselves.

"It will never be rules that most effectively deter us from jumping headlong into sin. In the wording of Colossians 2:21, regulations like Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch dont' cut it. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh (Col. 2:23 ESV). Here's what most effectively diminishes our indulgence in the flesh: our indulgence in the Spirit. Christ's Spirit. By all means indulge." (pg. 114)

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  It had a lot of great thoughts to contemplate.  My copy of the book is heavily written in and highlighted. So if you're looking for a good book to pick up that will challenge you in your love for Christ, pick up Audacious.

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

Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren (Book 1 in Montana Skies series)

Have you ever been out west to visit Montana?  Or Glacier National Park? Well, take a trip in this book and meet a new group of heroes that operate the PEAK Rescue team. Wild Montana Skies is the first book in Susan May Warren's Montana Rescue series.

From the Back Cover:
The last thing Search and Rescue helicopter pilot Kacey Fairing needs upon returning home to Mercy Falls, Montana, is to run into her mistakes. After a devastating crash during her recent military tour in Afghanistan, she is emotionally broken but ready to start putting her life back together. She just wants to reconnect with her teenage daughter and spend the summer working as the new lead pilot of PEAK Rescue in Glacier National Park.

But her mistakes aren't so easily forgotten. Because Ben King is also back in town.

Country music star Ben King abandoned his past when he moved to Nashville thirteen years ago to start his career. He hoped to heal his broken heart, caused by losing the woman he loved. But when his father is injured, Ben is called home to help manage PEAK Rescue during his recovery. He doesn't realize his father has ulterior motives until his old flame, Kacey, walks into his house and back into his heart.

Now, with Mercy Falls in a state of emergency due to flash floods, Kacey and Ben will have to work together to save lives. But when secrets are uncovered and old hurts rise to the surface, will they walk away again? Or can they find a different ending to their country love song?

My Review:
 This book lives up to the expectations for any Susan May Warren fan.  Get ready for a wild ride of mystery, adventure, heartbreak, and romance. This story will pull you in and keep you reading throughout the night to find out how it ends.  I found myself feeling a range of emotions as I read the book--angry at different characters for their behavior, sadness at stories that had such devastating loss, happiness as characters finally realized the love they have for each other, and fear of the unknown danger ahead. The main characters of the book, Kacey and Ben, have a lot of baggage from their past, and the author does a great job at keeping you guessing whether this couple can overcome their baggage or if it will continue to separate them. Many of the other characters in the story are begging to get their own books written, and I'm sure that is exactly where the author is going.  Can't wait to read the next book in the series, Rescue Me, coming out Spring of 2017.

***I received this complimentary copy from Revell.  I was not required to give a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, October 28, 2016

When Love Arrives by Johnnie Alexander

Johnnie Alexander has released her second book in the Misty Willow series.  When Love Arrives is a contemporary romance novel set in Ohio and tells the story of the Somers and Sullivan families. And this is Brett Somers' story.

From the Back Cover:

Dani had planned to spy on Brett--so how did she end up on a date with him? 

Dani Prescott can't believe the lie Brett Somers is trying to sell to the media. During an interview about the plane crash that killed his parents, he blamed Dani's mother. But the crash killed her as well. Vowing to restore her mother's reputation, Dani has been following Brett and taking photos, hoping to find something she can use to discredit him. But when she catches his eye instead, she quickly finds herself agreeing to a date. Brett knows this mystery girl is hiding something--but he's got his own secrets to keep. What will happen when he discovers who she really is?

My Review:
This was my first time reading one of Johnnie's books, and I was pleasantly surprised at how she could draw me into the story.  I didn't realize that this was the second book of the Misty Willow series.  Even though I haven't read the first book in this series, I was still able to jump right into the story and get a feeling about the story line.  I will say there were several times I thought that I will have to go back and read the first book to fill in some of the details.  So make sure to read them in order.  I thought the story was interesting and captivating, and I stayed up most of the night finishing this book.  It is definitely a romance story all the way through.  I liked how there was just enough of a mystery about the plane crash events and Dani Prescott's background that I was learning new things about the character throughout the story.  It kept me wondering about how everything would turn out in the end.  So if you're looking for a fun new romance book, make sure to pick up this new series by Johnnie Alexander.

You can find out more about the first book in the series, Where She Belongs, by clicking here. And head over to her main website to find out more about this author by clicking here.

***I received this complimentary novel from Revell.  I was not required to give a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall and Author Giveaway!

Dawn has just released her fourth book in the Everstone Chronicles called The Cautious Maiden.  This is the story we've been waiting for about Vance Everstone, the black sheep of the family.
Vance has been forever changed by the circumstances of his brother's death.  Knowing that it was his fault his brother was killed has changed him.  Of course, trying to change a bad boy image in the community seems quite daunting.  Vance has sworn off love not wanting to jump back into married life after things had gone so wrong in Europe.  He wasn't looking for love, but has stumbled upon a quest to protect an innocent girl from utter demise.
Violet Hawthorne cannot choose her family.  With her parents deceased, she only has her brother Evan left, and he is less than honorable.  When Dexter Blakely took pity on her and gave her a job at his hotel, she thought that life had taken a wonderful turn for the better. Being rescued from her brother and his disreputable brothel inn was a dream. But now her good for nothing brother has come around again. Violet isn't sure what he's planning now, but she seems to be in the middle of the troubling situation he has gotten himself into.

I thought that Dawn's book was fabulous!  This story has mystery, romance and redemption written all through it. I love how the whole story is told from Violet's point of view. It draws you into the story, and keeps you up 'till the middle of the night.  Her characters have great depth, and I liked how each of them grew throughout the situations they faced in the story. This book also includes many of the other characters you've come to love in the Everstone Chronicles. Which gives you that feeling of familiarity with the story.


So make sure to pick up this latest book and find out all about Vance and Violet's story!  If you're new to the Everstone Chronicle series, make sure to begin with book 1 as these books should be read in order so that you can understand the whole story.

Book 1: The Hesitant Heiress
Book 2: The Bound Heart
Book 3: The Captive Imposter

Visit Dawn's website by clicking here.






Giveaway!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Cautious Maiden Giveaway!


Dawn Crandall's newest book has just released, The Cautious Maiden. This is book 4 in her series The Everstone Chronicles.  Below you can enter to win this new book through a GoodReads giveaway. Hurry, giveaway ends on Nov. 4th.
Also, make sure to check back here to read my review of her book later this week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Berenstain Bears Christmas Fun Sticker & Activity Book by Jan and Mike Berenstain

Look what's out in time for your Christmas shopping!  Has your family grown up reading the wonderful books by Jan and Mike Berenstain?  The Berenstain Bears has a fun new Christmas book full of activities and over 50 reusable stickers.

This book is for kids ages 4-8 years old. There are mazes, crossword puzzles, color-by-number, hidden pictures and much more all centered around the birth of Jesus. The pictures are grayed-out where the stickers are supposed to be placed making it easy for kids to figure out on their own where all the stickers should go. I'm excited to be able to put this in my child's stocking this year. It should keep them busy for quite a while. 
So, if you're looking for some great stocking stuffers this year, make sure to pick up this sticker and activity book full of fun stuff to do centered around characters that your kids love.

***I received this complimentary book from BookLook bloggers.  I was not required to give a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

Look at the beautiful new prayer and praise coloring journal by Living Expression, published by Tyndale House Publishers.  This journal is filled with color from the cover and throughout various pages inside the book as well.  The coloring pages are beautiful fun designs by Jennifer Ghionzoli and will inspire your creativity.  Throughout the book there are prayers that have been adapted by Amie Carlson from 365 Pocket Prayers for Mothers by Barton-Veerman Company, Amie Carlson, and Erin Keeley Marshall. There are also verses spread throughout taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible and space to record your reflective thoughts.

I like how the cover is made of thick cardboard which makes it feel more substantial.  I love the colors.  The oranges and teals are just beautiful.  The pages are pretty thick too and should hold up to all the creative coloring and journaling you'll do in this fun book. So if you have someone in your life who is creative, this might make a great gift for them. Make sure to check it out!

Make sure to take a look at Tyndale's fun Living Expressions Collection by clicking here. 
If you'd like to see some sample pages from this gratitude journal, you can view them on Tyndale's Pinterest board.  It's also full of creative journals and pins of the new Bible Journaling craze you see going around. Head over there by clicking here.


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

Where Hope Prevails by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

Janette Oke has teamed up with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan, to once again venture to the Canadian West. They have released their third book in the Return to the Canadian West series, Where Hope Prevails. This series is a companion story to the popular Hallmark Channel's When Calls the Heart TV series.

Miss Elizabeth Thatcher has just returned back to Coal Valley from visiting her family out east.  She is quickly surprised by how much things have changed in the landscape as well as with the addition of some new folks in town that may prove to be hard to live with. 
Beth is also hoping that Jarrick Thornton will soon propose, but she wonders how the future will play out since he is gone on duty most of the time.  Will Beth continue to let God lead her and grow her faith?

I thought that the third book was a well written story that brought things together well.  I enjoyed the addition of a new character that brought some tension into the story and helped the main character, Elizabeth Thatcher, think through some of her thoughts concerning people who don't think quite like she does. It is easy to like those around us that act and think like us, but when confronted with an opposing view, it can be quite easy to get upset or just avoid them all together.  I think it was a good subject to address with this book and what God would have us to do in those circumstances. As always, Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan have written a wholesome novel with a good storyline that will peak your curiosity. 

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

Friday, October 7, 2016

Download Your Free How-To Guide for Bring Your Bible to School Day


bringyourbible 

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are preparing for Hurricane Matthew to hit. For students in hurricane-affected states who are facing school closures but still want to participate in Bring Your Bible to School Day, the alternate date is Thursday, October 20.

This brings about a good point: Any day can be a day you organize your friends to bring your Bibles to school together!

By signing up during the month of October for Bring Your Bible to School Day (even if you missed the official celebration), you can download a free how-to guide for teens, parents, pastors, and elementary students. It's full of helpful information that will help you organize a day to take a stand for religious freedom and bring your Bible to school with your fellow classmates.

(Sign-ups must be received by midnight (MT), Oct. 7, in order to be automatically entered into the Newsboys giveaway.)

Plus Bring Your Bible to School Comes to Adventures in Odyssey

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Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.

Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

To Love a Stranger by Colleen Coble

Publisher Thomas Nelson just released a book by Colleen Coble called To Love a Stranger.  This book is from a collection called: "From the Early Works of Colleen Coble." 

Did you know that Colleen Coble has written some books that were set out in the wild west during the 1800's?  This novel takes place during the year 1868 when there were skirmishes with the Indians and the west was truly wild.  Bessie Randall lives in civilized Boston, Massachusetts. She is twenty-six years old and has still not had a proposal of marriage. Her beautiful younger sister Lenore will have no problem in that area, but the older sister must marry first.  When Lenore decides to write a stranger in Bessie's name, things begin to escalate and before Lenore knows it, she has married her sister, Bessie, off to a man named Jasper Mendenhall without Bessie even knowing.  Bessie was quite upset with her sister, but decides to honor the marriage that her name was signed to. 
Jasper Mendenhall is a soldier who is stationed at Fort Bridger in the Utah Territory. When Jasper sees Bessie get off the stagecoach, he is thoroughly confused and thinking he has been duped. Bessie looks nothing like her picture. The two of them must decide to either make this work or get the marriage annulled.  Can their distrust of each other ever be put to rest? Can Jasper love a non-beauty like Bessie?

I thought the beginning of this story was an interesting way to start the book.  Who could not be upset with a sister who had married you off to a stranger?!  It was surprising that Bessie didn't contest it more, but understandably she was at the age of being considered a spinster.  So, this could be her only chance. Once out in the Utah Territory, the story seems to be familiar in that it reads a lot like her other early series, Journey of the Heart. It was so familiar that I thought maybe I'd already read this book. That being said, it is a good, wholesome love story between two people who have to get to know each other even though they are already husband and wife.  I love that she included scripture in her story and makes that part of their journey to get to know each other.
I feel as though the plot line is lacking in creativity, and I would say this was not one of my favorites of her works.

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


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Take the Bible Challenge with Odyssey Adventure Club

How much do you know about the Bible and its influence on our culture, history–and the whole world? Focus on the Family and Bring Your Bible have teamed up to create a quiz to test how much you and your kids know about the Bible. Take the quiz to find out!

Don't forget to mark your calendars to celebrate religious freedom with other students across the U.S. on October 6—Bring Your Bible to School Day! Students from kindergarten to college will be bringing their Bibles to school and sharing God with their friends in just a few short weeks. Sign up to be a part of the movement to protect religious freedom for future generations.

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By signing up, you’ll receive a free guide with tips, downloadable posters, sticker and T-shirt designs, information on your legal rights, and other fun, interactive activities.

You’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win a free trip for four to hear the Newsboys, an award-winning Christian music band, in Dallas!

Plus Bring Your Bible to School Comes to Adventures in Odyssey

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Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.

Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

See the Newsboys in Concert with Adventures in Odyssey


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Want to be entered for a chance to win a free trip for four to hear the Newsboys, the award-winning Christian music band, in Dallas? Sign up to be a part of the movement to protect religious freedom for future generations: Bring Your Bible to School Day! Students from kindergarten to college will be bringing their Bibles to school and sharing God with their friends on October 6.

By completing the information on this page, you're automatically entered to win the chance to see the Newsboys with Focus on the Family and Adventures in Odyssey. Don't miss out on the chance to see a fantastic band with your family!

Plus Sign Up for a Free Two-Week Trial of Odyssey Adventure Club

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Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.

Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Commit to Bring Your Bible to School October 6

Celebrate religious freedom with other students across the U.S. on October 6—Bring Your Bible to School Day! Students from kindergarten to college will be bringing their Bibles to school and sharing God with their friends in just a few short weeks. Sign up to be a part of the movement to protect religious freedom for future generations.

By signing up, you’ll receive a free guide with tips, downloadable posters, sticker and T-shirt designs, information on your legal rights, and other fun, interactive activities.

You’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win a free trip for four to hear the Newsboys, an award-winning Christian music band, in Dallas!

Plus Bring Your Bible to School Comes to Adventures in Odyssey

sept-oac-art-250x250 

Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.

Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Wee Alphas by Wee Society

Look at these sweet little postcards from Wee Society.  There are 26 A to Z postcards included in this set.  Each animal has the alphabet letter hiding somewhere in it's cute little body. 

When my children saw these cards, they were pretty excited and couldn't wait to look through them.  Besides their original use of being postcards, I thought it would be fun to laminate them and let the kids play with them like flashcards. The cardstock they are printed on is heavy and will withstand constant use especially if they are laminated.
This is such a fun little product whether you want to send them out to others or keep them at home for your kids.

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

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar

In the Field of Grace, is a novel about the life of Ruth and Boaz and what a beautiful story it is.  Tessa Afshar has done a fabulous job re-telling this story in novel form.  Find out why this book should be on your shelf.

From the Back Cover:
Love resurrected from lifeless dreams happens in the arms of a loving God. Without wealth or family, the widow Ruth left her people and followed Naomi, her beloved Hebrew mother-in-law, to rebuild Naomi's home in Israel.  Provisions gone and starvation at the door, Ruth used all that she had left--a strong back and a willing heart--to gather grain in a field, abandoned after the harvest.
Tormented by others, Ruth is shocked to find the owner of the field watching her. Talking to her. Bringing food to her and Naomi. Boaz tells himself his kindness toward Ruth is repayment for the love she has shown to his cousin Naomi. But his heart knows better.

My Review:
This was such a fun read. I really had a hard time putting it down. I love how the story brings out the  cultural things we really don't think about as we read the Biblical narrative.  It makes you stop and look again with fresh eyes as you read the account in Scripture. Of course, she takes some liberties adding in the parts we aren't told in Scripture. But much of the book, she has done a great job keeping true to the original account. I enjoyed her writing style and thought each chapter was compelling me on to the next. I'm excited to see what other books I can read by her.

***I received this book free from Moody Publishers (River North) in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Seated with Christ by Heather Holleman

Are you looking for a book that will get you thinking more about Jesus and less about yourself?  Heather Holleman has a wonderful new book out called, Seated with Christ: Living freely in a Culture of Comparison.  Who doesn't fight with comparing yourself to your peers around you?  It is so easy to get wrapped up in ourselves and forget our true mission and calling in this life.

From the Back Cover:
calm, connected, and secure--the power of seated living

Many of us life half alive.  We compare, compete, self-analyze, and self-promote in our endless, busy pursuit of perfection.
Seated with Christ heralds a new kind of living.  If it's true what Scripture says, that we are treasured by God and given a place at His table, then all we need to do is take our seats.  Heather Holleman shows us how.
Joyfully sharing her journey to seated living, she invites us to walk out on the fight for acceptance, stop comparing ourselves to others, and leap from cycles of shame.  She tells of a confidence that lets us celebrate the seats of others and be perfectly content with our own.
Take your seat and live--simply, freely, fully--because of Jesus, for Jesus, and in love of Jesus. Quit trying: be free.

My Review:
I absolutely loved this book.  It was well written and flowed from start to finish.  I know what it is like to crave acceptance as the "not cool" girl at school.  I loved her story at the beginning of the book (pgs. 32-33) about talking with her own daughter concerning the girls at the "cool" table shunning her.  Heather's comment was, " Don't think about them anymore.  You have a seat at the best table already. You're wanted there. Jesus chose you for His table." (p.33) What a thought to share with your daughter about the beautiful image Paul paints for us as being seated in Christ.
Towards the end of the book, Heather takes all that she has learned and applies it now to the mission of outreach in her own community.  This part of the book was beautiful.  I sat and wept as I read chapter 10. I've struggled with reaching out to people.  It's hard to speak up especially if you're more introverted.  But when you quit fearing and are broken over how shallow your life has been seeking your own pleasure instead of God's, you can begin to see how God can use you in your own community.  Being available and willing is the first step.  I love how she says she just talks to all her neighbors as if they are believers.  Instead of fearing rejection or wondering what will they think, she just says, "Hey guess what I learned about from my Bible reading today?"  And you know what?  People didn't reject her.  They listened and some of them received Christ.  And that is what broke my heart.  Here I am, age 40, and I have wasted so much of my life on myself. This is a new way of thinking, a new way of engaging with those who are in my natural pathway that God has placed before me. There is so much more that I could say about this book, but I think I'll leave you with one last quote that spoke to me.  "My motivation isn't to please God or to earn His favor; that's already decided. My motivation is to enjoy Jesus more and more and to allow His Holy Spirit to lead me into deeper freedom and intimacy with Jesus." (p. 139)
Pick up this book.  It will encourage your heart and point you to Jesus just like everything in life should do.

Here is a link to a video on Vimeo where Heather talks about Seated with Christ.
And click here to see her website.

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

Thursday, September 1, 2016

God Gave Us Thankful Hearts by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Can you believe we are inching closer to Thanksgiving already? Thanksgiving is such a great holiday where we stop and remember all of our wonderful blessings from God. 
This Thanksgiving consider picking up Lisa Tawn Bergren's newest book, God Gave Us Thankful Hearts. This children's book is for ages 3 to 8 years old and has a great theme to share with your children.  Little Pup is feeling sad as the weather begins to change from Fall to Winter and he knows that many of his friends will be hibernating soon and not able to play anymore.  Mama reminds Little Pup that he should be thankful for all that he does have during this season of life and not to focus on the things he doesn't have.
This book is full of colorful pictures that will stir your child's imagination.  The story is cute and easily adaptable to engage your kids in thinking about what every day things they have to be thankful for from God.  This book is another great story in Lisa's collection of God Gave Us books.  I've enjoyed reading her series and look forward to sharing this book with my young children.
You can read more information about this book by clicking here.

About the Author:

About Lisa Tawn Bergren

Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over forty books, with nearly two million copies sold. Her work includes children’s books, historical and contemporary fiction, women’s nonfiction, and gift books. A freelance writer and editor, Lisa lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She and her husband, Tim, are the parents of three children.









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

Monday, August 22, 2016

Happy Birthday to You! by Michelle Medlock Adams; Illustrated by Sandra Rodriguez

Are you looking for a fun gift for a little one who is celebrating a birthday soon?  Then take a look at Michelle Medlock Adams' newest book, Happy Birthday to You!  This book even has the ability to be personalized with a photo at the end of the book.  It also has a button you can push to sing happy birthday.  My youngest son is having his second birthday this month, and I'm so excited to see him open this book.  It has bright vivid colors that will draw a child's attention and keep them interested. The text is all done in a cute little rhyme that makes reading fun.  The board book is nice and sturdy to help last as little hands pull on the pages, and the song is a fun addition to the book.  My kids love to push buttons! So if you're looking for a fun new book for a birthday boy or girl who is ages 2-5, make sure to check out this fun book.

From the Back Cover:
Balloons and streamers, gifts, a cake with candles, and, of course, the birthday song!  This book is jam-packed with all the elements that make birthdays so special for little ones.  Follow along throughout a day of celebration, then push the button to sing along with the music!

***I received this book free from Worthy Kids/Ideals in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

God Bless America: a patriotic coloring book

Have you taken part in this new craze of adult coloring books?  I thought this would be a fun coloring book to try out and I was right.  It was fun and relaxing to sit and color a page while watching the Olympics this past week.

The pages are filled with fun historical American art to color and each page has all the historical information about the quote and art on the back of the page.

The pages on this book are thicker to keep markers from bleeding through to the next page, but the back side of the page does show the marker.  So if you're wanting to be able to read all the historical information that has been put on the backs of these pages, you'll need to use colored pencils.

If you're looking for a fun adult coloring book, pick up this new one from Multnomah and enjoy some fun, relaxing, recreational coloring.

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

Friday, July 29, 2016

‘A Beauty Refined’ Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Facebook Party

 Tracie Peterson has released her second book in the Sapphire Brides series, A Beauty Refined. This story is not only one of love, but of mystery, greed and faith.  So take some time to read below and find out about this newest series from a great author.  And make sure to put the facebook party on your calendar and enter the giveaway!

From the Back Cover:
What does it take to reveal the true beauty of a hidden gem?
Phoebe Von Bergen, the daughter of a German count, is excited to visit America for the first time while her father purchases sapphires in Helena, Montana.  Little does she know, however, that her father's intentions--both for her and the gemstones--are not what she thinks.
Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the dignified young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing.  Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie--a lie she has no knowledge of.  And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead to her freedom.
Meeting Ian has changed everything for Phoebe, and she begins to consider staying in America, regardless of her father's plans.  But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger that results when her family's deception begins to unravel.

My Review:
 Tracie Peterson has written a compelling story that will hold your interest and have you racing to the end to find out what happens to the Bergen family.  I enjoyed reading this story and loved the fact that she includes a little mysterious surprise in the story line.  This book was an easy read for me and I finished it quite quickly.  This would be a fun read for a weekend.  The only comment I will make that is negative is that the father does have some immoral habits and because of that I would caution again teens reading this book.  Nothing is stated implicitly, but it is implied and plants a seed of thought I wouldn't want my young daughter reading.  I did appreciate all the references in this book to Scripture and the truth of salvation through Jesus alone.  It's great to see that in a book! Overall, it was a great, fun read.
If you want to read some other reviews of this book, head over to the blog tour landing page by clicking here.

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

 

Facebook Party and Giveaway Info:


Little does Phoebe know that her father's plans—for the sapphires and his daughter—are not what they seem. If you love historical fiction, romance, and adventure, don't miss Tracie Peterson's A Beauty Refined. When Phoebe meets Ian, everything changes. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie—a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Join Tracie in celebrating the release of A Beauty Refined by entering to win her Precious Gems giveaway (details below) and by attending her author chat party on August 9!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/9. The winner will be announced at A Beauty Refined Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie and fellow fans of historical fiction, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Miriam by Mesu Andrews (Treasures of the Nile series)

Biblical fiction can be a fun read if it is done well, and Mesu Andrews has done a fabulous job with her novel, MiriamMiriam is the second book in the Treasures of the Nile series.  I absolutely loved this book.  So, take some time to read below why I found this book fascinating.

From the Back Cover:

The Hebrews call me prophetess; the Egyptians, a seer. But I am neither. I am simply a watcher of Israel and the messenger of El Shaddai.  When He speaks to me in dreams, I interpret.  When He whispers a melody, I sing.

At eighty-six, Miriam has devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messanger.  Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name--Yahweh--and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.
Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of Pharoah?
Enter an exotic land where thousands of pagan deities are worshiped, Pharaohs rule, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they understand.

My Review:
When I saw this book, I thought it looked intriguing, and I decided to take a chance on this author I had not read before.  Wow, am I glad that I picked this book up!  It was amazing!  I loved how the author told the story of Miriam, Moses, and Aaron.  She did a great job being true to the Biblical account of the plagues in Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea.  This story made me once again desire to dig in and read the Biblical account of the Israelites.  This wonderful and familiar story now had different aspects I wanted to re-read carefully.  It's so easy to just read through a familiar story and overlook small details.  This story helped me to imagine what it must of been like to live under an Egyptian ruler as slaves.  And I what I really loved about this story was that it made me think about God and His work in the lives of His people. This book is right up there with Lynn Austin and will definitely be counted as one of my favorites.  I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

You can read the first chapter below:
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About Mesu Andrews

Mesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes and numerous other novels including The Pharaoh’s Daughter. Her deep understanding of–and love for– God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Mesu lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Roy and enjoys traveling to visit her growing tribe of grandchildren.

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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

FREE 14 Day Trial Is Now Available for the Odyssey Adventure Club!


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Think of ways you can enjoy this summer for free:
  • Hiking
  • Visiting parks in your area
  • Swimming
  • Camping in your backyard
  • Visit a public museum or library
Now, add more fun and imagination to your summer through the Odyssey Adventure Club!

The Odyssey Adventure Club will give you streaming access to more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes plus a sneak peek of exclusive audio and video stories, on-line activities and daily devotions you can’t find anywhere else.

Start a free 14-day trial for your family today and make the summer even more fun!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Berenstain Bears' Caring and Sharing Treasury by Jan and Mike Berenstain

Zonderkidz has released another collection of Berenstain Bears' books by Jan and Mike Berenstain.  This collection of stories is called Caring and Sharing Treasury.  The stories included in this book are:

Jobs Around Town
Get Involved
Love Their Neighbors
Gossip Gang
Biggest Brag

This collection of books is great for ages 4-8, and includes activities and questions in the back from each of the 5 stories.

I really enjoyed reading these stories.  I liked how each story begins with a Bible verse and then brings up different topics to discuss.  The story promotes a great springboard for conversation with my kids. The Berenstain Bear books have always been a great hit with my family, and I am glad to see these books continue with the great new additions from the Living Lights series.  If you have little ones in your family, consider picking up these books and get some great conversations started in your family that help them think about what God would have us do in our relationships with others.

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

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Free Clubhouse Magazine Trial


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Try 3 issues of the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse® (ages 8-12) OR Clubhouse Jr.® (ages 3-7) magazine for free!

Created with kids in mind, Focus on the Family offers a world of fun and imagination through short stories, jokes, puzzles, and games as well as recipes and activities to do as a family. Plus, what child doesn’t like mail? Your child will enjoy getting this entertaining magazine each month in the mail.

Click here to sign up for the free Clubhouse® magazine trial.

Click here to sign up for the free Clubhouse Jr.® magazine trial.

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Grow Your Child's Faith This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at OACLUB.org.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Berenstain Bears: School Time Blessings by Mike Berenstain

Mike Berenstain has published another book in the Berenstain Bears' Living Lights series called School Time Blessings. These books are for kids ages 4-8 years old.

From the Back Cover:
It's time for school! Brother and Sister are ready to get busy with all of the things they enjoy about school--but they are nervous about challenges like math and history class. And Honey Bear will be going to nursery school for the first time.  Will the cubs be too nervous to do their very best or will they remember that prayer and God's love are always there to guide them to matter how big the challenge?

My Review:
Every kid is excited a a little nervous when venturing back to school that first week in the fall.  Some things are the same, but a new teacher, and harder classes can be time of insecurity for kids.  Mike addresses these issues in this book as Brother and Sister head back to school.  Even Honey Bear is heading to school this year, and for her it is the first time being away from Mama and Papa.  When the parents notice that the cubs are not truly excited about the new school year, they talk with their kids and help them express what they are feeling.  I appreciated the fact that the parents didn't just talk with their kids, but also showed the cubs some Scripture that they could focus on to remind them that God is always with them. I thought that the book provided a great way to talk with kids about their fears and to point them to Jesus.

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

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Make Your Children World Explorers


worldexplorers 

Give your family summer vacation a makeover this year and turn it into a "staycation." Have your kids forget their summer boredom, turn off their screens, and instead circle the globe with Focus on the Family's "World Explorers" summer adventure kit!

Throughout the next two months, travel our colorful, diverse world, visiting 27 different countries on six continents. Part of the fun will be figuring out where the next stop is, using five clues that reveal interesting facts about the next country. Once you've determined where you're going, use the games, activities and faith lessons to give your kids a glimpse into that country's unique culture.

Click here to sign up and receive your free summer adventure kit.

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Don’t Be Bored This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at OACLUB.org.

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

Land of Silence is a new biblical based fiction story from author Tessa Afshar. Have you ever wondered who the lady was that had the issue of blood for 12 years who reached out to touch Jesus and was healed? Let Tessa Afshar take you on an imagined journey as she paints a picture of one possible story for this unknown woman in scripture.

From the Back Cover:
Before Christ called her daughter... Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment...
Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt.  After her only brother is killed while in in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father's textile trade and caring for her family.  When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for.  As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love.  Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.  No physician can cure her.  No end is in sight.  Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal.   After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body, heart, and soul?

My Review:
This story was interesting.  It takes you to a time when politics were on edge, and medical help was lacking.  I cannot imagine living during this time, but through this story I can see a glimpse of what life was like for the woman who suffered for 12 years from a blood issue.  In some ways this story was overwhelming at times.  Her life seems like only continued bad is happening for her.  That kind of made this story hard to get through, and seemed depressing to me.  But, I loved the ending.  It was uplifting and focused on Jesus, the Healer. I loved how Jesus called her daughter, which is the only place in Scripture that he speaks to a woman in that way.  This was a new author for me and I definitely liked Tess Afshar's writing style. I look forward to reading more books by her.

Take some time to watch this promotional video for the book!

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

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Adventures in Odyssey Summer Challenge 2016


This summer, you can join Adventures in Odyssey’s Clubhouse Magazine and help children in the Middle East go to school and learn English. It’s Adventures in Odyssey's Clubhouse Magazine Exercise to Educate summer challenge!

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The Problem

Nearly 7,000 miles away from the United States, there's a war going on in the country of Syria. Many families have been forced from their homes. Parents have had to leave their jobs, and children have had to leave behind toys and friends.

Many of these families now live in refugee camps in nearby countries. They have tents instead of houses. Clean water is hard to come by. This war has put 2.6 million children out of school – some for more than four years already.

The Solution

Our friends at Focus on the Family Middle East know many families who don't have the money to buy a school uniform and pay for their children to go to school. They also know people who would love to teach children English in local churches.

You may not have a lot of money to help, but you probably have time, energy and excitement. Here's what you can do:

1. Go to to Whitsend.org/summer.
2. Print a sponsor sheet and exercise to earn points. You can do it for a week or the whole summer – just remember, the more you exercise, the more points you'll earn!
3. Ask your family and friends to sponsor your efforts.
4. Beginning in July, tell us how you did and receive a digital bundle from your friends at Adventures in Odyssey and Focus on the Family. The deadline to submit your information is August 31, 2016. 

For participating and submitting your information, you will get a free Adventures in Odyssey episode from Album 51. You will also get 101 Surefire Ways to Strengthen Your Child's Faith – eBook and the audio book of Imagination Station #1, “Voyage with the Vikings.” Make the most of your summer—exercise for your health and help other kids in need while you do!

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Don’t Be Bored This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with over 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at OACLUB.org.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Join Denise Hunter for ‘The Convenient Groom’ Pre-Premiere Facebook Party


convenient groom - fb event 

Exciting news for fans of Denise Hunter's stories: Her book The Convenient Groom is making its silver screen premiere as a Hallmark Channel Original Movie! Join Denise and other readers on Facebook on June 16th for a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Denise will be chatting about the book, answering your questions about the book-to-movie process, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too: a $100 Amazon gift card and 25 signed copies of Denise's newest book, The Goodbye Bride!

The movie releases two days after the author chat party on Saturday, June 18th, 9 EDT/8 CDT. Click here for details and to find out more about the movie.

Get your copy of The Convenient Groom so you're ready for a fun book discussion. You can order your copy and find out more about the book here.

Hope to see you on June 16 for Denise's The Convenient Groom Pre-Premiere Facebook Party!
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