Monday, October 20, 2014

The Best Year of Your Marriage by Jim & Jean Daly



About the Book:

This beautiful 52-week devotional provides Christian couples with an easy way to read Scripture, pray, and engage in spiritual discussions and activities to strengthen their relationship and marriage. Perfect for younger couples in building a strong spiritual foundation early on, it’s a great resource for couples of any age or stage who want to grow closer as they follow God together.

Presented in a relaxed and easy-to-use way and edited by Focus on the Family president Jim Daly and his wife, Jean, each devotional offers foundational, practical, and wise material from members of the Focus counseling staff.

The content is divided into 13 sections, with topics including getting to know each other better, listening, mastering money, building a Christ-centered home, going the distance, and more. Each section is introduced by the Dalys, and each of the 52 devotions is followed with discussion questions and activities.

My Thoughts:

First of all, the design for this book is gorgeous!  Bound in a 'leather' cover, "The Best Year of Your Marriage makes an ideal gift.  Have the book embossed in a meaningful way for the receiving couple, or make getting your book and embossing it one of your together activities.  Either way, this is the perfect gift for weddings and/or anniversary celebrations.

Even more important than the beauty of the cover is the content within the pages.  I've read samples from each of 13 sections, and found the information shared spot on.  Covering topics of communication and shared activities to intimacy in marriage to when the babies start coming, you'll find several readings on all topics concerning marriage.

Jim and his wife Jean share their story as the opening to each section, and their love for God and for each other is evident in their tale of romance and commitment.  As you read each of the 52 devotions you'll learn from other couples and what they've done well, and what they've done not so well.  The entire book is engaging and applying what you've read is easy.

At the end of each devotion you'll find three activities or readings, plus food for thought.  Worth Reading About includes Scriptures and thoughts to meditate on and talk with one another about. 

Worth Praying About gives suggestions for praying together.  The concept is clear, but the prayers are yours...no repeating words written down.  Praying together most definitely builds intimacy, both with your spouse and with God.

Finally, Worth Doing gives you ideas for taking what you've read and putting it into practice.  Sometimes you'll find conversation starters; other times you'll find activities suggested.  All of the Worth Doing sections are geared to help improve your marriage relationship and to draw you both closer to God.

My thanks to my friends at Tyndale Publishing for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review, via the Tyndale Blogger Network.  Again, ideal as a gift for you and your spouse or a newly married couple, or as an anniversary gift.  I'm suggesting to my husband that he end his marriage counseling sessions by giving a personalized gift to the couple on their wedding day!


Happy Reading!

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Lights Out: Living in a Sightless World by Travis Freeman with Rebeca DeBoard Seitz




About the Book:

When the lights go out - play harder. Travis Freeman plunged into a world of darkness at 12 years old. A rare occurrence of a routine illness stole his sight, leaving the small-town Kentucky boy's dreams of football and fun languish-ing on the sidelines.

Having given his heart to Jesus merely a year before the illness, Travis knew one thing: God was still the light for his life. That life story is now the inspiration for a major motion picture, "23 BLAST" that hits theatres in October 2014. Starring Dylan Baker (SPIDERMAN, THE GOOD WIFE) and Mark Hapka (DAYS OF OUR LIVES, CRIMINAL MINDS), the film focuses on Travis's football career playing Center for the Corbin Red-hounds - a team that went on to win the state championship.

Yet there is even more wisdom and hope for us to find in a full telling of Travis Freeman's story. So much more to hear that couldn't be included in The Today Show and Dateline coverage of his football exploits. This graduate of the University of Kentucky and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary now joins with seasoned writer Rebeca Seitz to share his story in his own words. His is a story that is destined to turn the lights on for millions of readers

My Thoughts:

Let me be completely honest: I did not request "Lights Out" because I thought I would enjoy reading the book.  Quite frankly, I know one of the authors and highly respect her, so I requested my copy to help her out.

I know, I know....how ridiculous was that!

Well, I got my comeuppance...don't you just love that word?

I LOVED EVERY PAGE!  Wow, what a story!  Travis and Rebeca make an excellent collaborative team with "Lights Out: Living in a Sightless World".  This book is engaging from the first page, painfully detailed, and triumphantly inspiring.

What young Travis had to endure was so unnecessary...and yet he and his parents endured with grace and faith.  Any other case like this would have ended in a cry for a lawsuit.  Instead, the Freeman family were thankful for the care he received, and never resentful for what he lost through it all.

And Travis...what a kid!  Going into junior high is tough enough, but entering just after you've lost your sight...amazing and brave.  Teens and tweens need to read this book.  They'll be so inspired by Travis' story, and any thoughts they might have of bullying just might get washed away.

Nothing stopped Travis from living his life to the full, and nothing should stop any of us who love Christ and want to honor Him.  Truly, all things are possible with God.  I love knowing that Travis is my spiritual brother and I'll meet him in eternity, where he will once again SEE, and so will I.

Because Travis is right....we all see through a glass darkly...we are all living blind when it comes right down to it.  So think of eternity where we'll all be known as we are known...and pray for Travis and his family while you're at it!

"Lights Out: Living in a Sightless World" is available now in bookstores and online retailers, and keep watch for the movie, starring Dylan Baker and Mark Hapka (the movie is titled "23 Blast"). 

My thanks to my friends at Glass Roads Publicity for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.  Highly recommended!!

Happy Reading!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Deluxe Edition: Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones & Jago































































About the Book:

From Jago and Sally Lloyd-Jones, the creators of the bestselling Jesus Storybook Bible, comes this gorgeous and innovative collection of 101 simple-yet-profound thoughts on faith.

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing Deluxe Edition shares profound spiritual truths from the Bible told in a conversational tone—drawing insights from creation, history, science, the writings of great thinkers and preachers and writers, and more—to turn the reader’s eyes toward the God who loves them with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love. The deluxe edition also includes audio from award-winning actor David Suchet, allowing read-along opportunities or inspiration wherever you go.

Perfect for family devotions, bedtime, story time, or even as a companion to The Jesus Storybook Bible, this accessible yet theologically rich book reveals biblical truth in word and image, all working together and designed to do one thing: to make the reader’s heart sing.
 
My Thoughts:

Oh, so gorgeous!  Ideal as a gift for the little ones you love, and will encourage reading and love for "God's Word".

"Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing" comes in a gorgeous box set, which includes two discs with narration and a hard cover version of the book.  The book alone is worth the price of the set, but the discs just make this set oh, so special.

"Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing" is filled with Scripture, quotes and simple but elegant readings to encourage and teach your children.  The illustrations are full color, with unique illustrations that will appeal to the reader and draw the reader deeper into the book.

My thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.  I am thrilled with "Thoughts to make Your Heart Sing", and know you will be as well!

Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Promise to Protect by Patricia Bradley



About the Book:

In a steamy small town riddled with broken promises, one woman's secret could change everything.
Acting Sheriff Ben Logan hasn't heard from Leigh Somerall in a very long time, but it doesn't mean he can get her—or their whirlwind romance of ten years ago—out of his head. When she calls out of the blue, it is with a strange request to protect her brother, Tony. But all too soon, Ben is charged with a different task—protecting Leigh from the people after her brother. With Leigh doing everything in her power to avoid Ben, it's no easy task. And the secret she is keeping just may change their lives forever.


My Thoughts:

Patricia's first Logan Point novel was excellent, but I believe her newest book is my favorite.  She kicks up the tension in this one, and you'll feel like a corkscrew by the final page...lots of twists and turns in "A Promise to Protect."

Ben Logan is a character that immediately comes to life on the page, easily earning your sympathy for all he goes through.  And oh, what an opening chapter this one has!  You learn from the first page to buckle up...this is going to be a bumpy ride!

Leigh Somerall is also very lively and easy to love...but at times I wanted to reach into the book and give her a good talking to.  Again, from the opening chapter you feel strongly for her and want the best...but getting her to want the best?  Well, that will take some heavy lifting.

As for the suspense, know this: when you believe you have it all figured out, duck.  You won't see these twists and turns coming!  The romance is sweet, the pain is deep, and the themes of faith, forgiveness and truth speak out loud and clear.

I received a complimentary copy from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  "A Promise to Protect" is highly recommended, so go get a copy today. 

Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Destined For Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon




About the Book:

In this sequel to Doon, Mackenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake in choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. To make everything worse, she's received her Calling—proof she and Duncan are each other's one true love—and it's pure torment, especially when visions of the very alluring Scottish prince appear right before she goes on stage.

So when Duncan tells her an ancient curse threatens to overtake Doon and the new queen and Kenna’s best friend, Veronica, needs her to return, Kenna doesn't have to think twice. With darkness closing in on all sides, Kenna and Vee must battle a world of nightmares in order to protect the kingdom.

But it will take the ultimate test of courage for Kenna to salvage her happily ever after.

My Thoughts:

I was a fan with "Doon", and now that I've had the opportunity to read the sequel...I'm an even bigger fan!  In "Destined For Doon", MacKenna is in the spotlight...and that makes this reader so, so happy!

So, how to describe "Destined for Doon" to you?  Think the magical feel of "Chronicles of Narnia" meets "Lord of the Rings"...with attitude, and you'll be close to the feelings you'll get from time spent in Doon.

But don't be fooled.  While Doon can be a magical place, we all know that wherever good exists, evil is lurking just around the corner.  We go to some dark places in "Destined for Doon".  The question is do we all make it back?

Carey and Lorie have created a series that I firmly believe will one day be classic reading for fantasy faith fiction readers to enjoy.  For now, get acquainted with "Doon", then read on to see what "Destined for Doon" is all about.

Who knows...maybe that will describe your imaginary persona...perhaps you'll find out that YOU are destined...which will be way cool!

My thanks to my friends at BookLookBloggers.com for my advance reader copy of "Destined for Doon" in exchange for an honest review.  This book, as well as the first book created by Carey and Lorie, is highly recommended.

Happy Reading!

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Monday, October 13, 2014

CFBA Presents "Thunder: Stone Braide Chronicles by Bonnie S. Calhoun

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Thunder (Stone Braide Chronicles)
Revell (October 7, 2014)
by
Bonnie S. Calhoun


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bonnie S. Calhoun is Owner/Director of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, owner/publisher of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Northeast Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and the ACFW ‘2011 Mentor of the Year.”

She loves to write, but it doesn't make her happy unless there are the three B's...body count, blood, and blowing things up. She also has mad skills at coding HTML, and website design. And she lives in a log cabin in the woods with fifteen acres and a pond full of bass, though she'd rather buy fish at the grocery store. Bonnie shares her domain with a husband, a dog, and two cats, all of whom think she’s waitstaff!

Her sites are:
http://bonniescalhoun.com
https://www.facebook.com/bscalhoun
https://www.facebook.com/bonniescalhoun
https://www.goodreads.com/BonnieSCalhoun
http://www.pinterest.com/bonniecalhoun/
https://www.youtube.com/user/BonnieCalhoun

ABOUT THE BOOK

In post-apocalyptic America, Selah Chavez is crouched in long grass on a shore littered with the rusted metal remnants of a once-great city. It is the day before her eighteenth Born Remembrance, and she is hunting, though many people refuse to eat animal flesh, tainted by radiation during the Time of Sorrows. What Selah's really after are Landers, mysterious people from a land across the big water who survive the delirium-inducing passage in small boats that occasionally crash against the shoreline. She knows she should leave the capture to the men, but Landers bring a good price from the Company and are especially prized if they keep the markings they arrive with.

Everything falls to pieces when the Lander Selah catches is stolen by her brothers--and Selah wakes up the next morning to find the Lander's distinctive mark has suddenly appeared on her own flesh. Once the hunter, Selah is now one of the hunted, and she knows only one person who can help her--Bohdi Locke, the Lander her brothers hope to sell.

With evocative descriptions of a strange new world that combines elements of scientific advances, political intrigue, and wilderness survival, Bonnie S. Calhoun weaves a captivating tale of a world more like our own than we may want to admit.

You can read Tremors, the prequel to the series for FREE on Amazon HERE.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Thunder (Stone Braide Chronicles), go HERE


My Thoughts:

I love dystopian fiction, especially when the story is hopeful and not as much hopeless.  I have to admit, it's rare to find a book that is excellent dystopian literature with believable elements of faith and hope.  When I find an author who is capable of crafting such a tale, I'm eager to share it with you, my reading buddies.

So........hold onto your seat....I LOVE THIS BOOK!!  Allow me to share the reason why I'm so in love with this series:

Dystopian fiction is hot these days.  But some say dystopian CHRISTIAN fiction is weak, not worth reading.  IF that's true, then allow Bonnie S. Calhoun change your mind with "Thunder: A Stone Braide Chronicles novel".

"Thunder" is powerful allegorical dystopian fiction.  When it comes to the faith element, think "Chronicles of Narnia".  When it comes to the dystopian aspect, think "Divergent".  But when it comes to the actual story, Bonnie is in a class all her own.

I fell in love with Selah when I read 'Tremors", the prequel novel.  It was there I also met the rest of the Chavez family...and immediately took a disliking to her oldest brother Raza.  Cleon, however is adorable, as is Dane.  Her mother is so loving, but pushes Selah to learn the strangest things...things which both the reader and Selah are grateful for as the book progresses.

The story is action packed.  From savage rabbits to ginormous pythons that will squeeze the life out of you, to roaming savages...the dangers are plentiful and mind-bending.  Bonnie truly shows off her creative, imaginative side.  The story is dangerous, entertaining, imaginative, and ultimately filled with hope.

Just for your own information, there is what seems to be sexual tension.  But look deeper and you'll see what I saw....two young people falling in love for the first time, with a supernatural pull mixed in.  If Selah thinks looking at Bohde makes her "tingle", don't go for the simple....I challenge you to see what I saw.

The allegory is most powerful when you see the budding romance between Bodhi and Selah as a spiritual connection that leads to love.  That's what this reader believes the tension actually is.  But come back later...and hear it from the author herself!

I received an advance copy of "Thunder, a Stone Braide Chronicles novel" from my friends at Revell Publishing.  I'm so grateful for their generosity in exchange for an honest review.  This is the best inspirational dystopian fiction I've had the privilege of reading, and I can hardly wait for the second book in this series to release.

 "Thunder" is available now and you can find your copy in physical form, or e-book format.  So, what are you waiting for??

Happy Reading!

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Home Before Dark by Christy Barritt



About the Book:

Nothing good ever happens after dark.

Those were the words country singer Daleigh McDermott’s father always repeated.

Now her father is dead, and Daleigh fears she’s returned home too late to make things right. As she’s about to flee back to Nashville, she finds a hidden journal belonging to her father. His words hint that his death was no accident.

Small town mechanic Ryan Shields is the only one who seems to believe that Daleigh may be on to something. Her father trusted the man, but Daleigh’s instant attraction to Ryan scares her. She knows her life and career, however dwindling it might be, are back in Nashville and that her time in the sleepy North Carolina town is only temporary.

As Daleigh and Ryan work to unravel the mystery, it becomes obvious that someone wants them dead. They must rely on each other—and on God—if they hope to make it home before the darkness swallows them whole.

Home Before Dark offers a blend of Nicholas Sparks meets Mary Higgins Clark, a mix of charming small town life in North Carolina tangled in a gripping suspense.

My Thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of Christy's novels, so I grab any opportunity to read one of her books.  "Home Before Dark" is rich with cinematic detail and weaves threads of romance, faith and intrigue into a gorgeous tapestry for the imagination.

Christy takes great care with her characters, giving them just enough detail to bring them to life and sealing them in your heart.  I felt for Daleigh from the moment I met her, and I despised Vince not long after meeting him.

Ryan is the kind of man every young woman needs on her team: respectful, honest and dependable...as well as easy on the eyes!  The way he cares for Daleigh is so refreshing and romantic, he's earned a spot in my top ten heroes category.

The book as a whole is more than just entertainment.  I don't know if this was intentional, but Christy has crafted a manifesto in fiction for women concerning respect and honor.  The contrast between Daleigh's previous relationships with men and her relationships with her father and with Riley is huge.  By reading her story, women receive a powerful message of self respect and truly holding out for a genuine hero.

I purchased the Kindle version of "Home Before Dark", but you can get a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite book store.  I highly recommend this one!

Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Deceived by Irene Hannon



About the Book:

A grieving mother. A mysterious child. And a dedicated PI who's determined to solve the puzzle.
For three years, Kate Marshall has been mourning the loss of her husband and four-year-old son in a boating accident. But when she spots a familiar-looking child on a mall escalator, she's convinced it's her son. With police skeptical of her story, she turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan for help. As the former Secret Service agent digs into the case, the boating "accident" begins to look

increasingly suspicious. But if Kate's son is alive, someone is intent on keeping him hidden--and may go to lethal lengths to protect a sinister secret.

 As Irene Hannon's many fans have come to expect, Deceived is filled with complex characters, unexpected twists, and a riveting plotline that accelerates to an explosive finish.

My Thoughts:

Irene Hannon's newest release is exquisitely enjoyable.  I say that because her choice of topic and the situations she has crafted are a mother's (and grandmother's) worst nightmare come to life.

When my youngest daughter was three-years-old, she vanished at a busy shopping mall during December, right in the heart of the Christmas shopping season.  My world tilted sideways and I lost all ability to think or function.  Thankfully, she was found within 30 minutes...which is a whole other tale...

...but that caused me to taste the fear and loss Kate felt over her son.  Combine that with the grief of losing your spouse....then have everything you thought was true collide with a new reality, and you'll get a taste of what's in store for readers of "Deceived".

Irene writes with such realistic grit and exposes a side of life we rarely encounter in our every day lives.  But someone somewhere is living out the pages of her gripping stories, which makes the tale all the more gripping.

I've read most if not all of Irene's novels, and I truly believe this is her best and most intense yet.  If she ratchets up the tension any more in future books, I'll have to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor to get the knots out of my muscles after reading!

My thanks to my friends at Revell Publishing for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.  If you're searching for intense suspense that leaves you with a sense of true hope by the final page, then you must not miss out on "Deceived".

And do yourself a huge favor...get the rest of Irene's books, too!

Happy Reading!

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Make Comics Like the Pros by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente



About the Book:

A step-by-step guide to all aspects of comic book creation—from conceptualization to early drafts to marketing and promotion—written by two of the industry's most seasoned and successful pros.

Discover the Secrets of Your Favorite Comic Book Creators

Do you want to break into the comics industry? There are many creative roles available—writer, penciller, inker, colorist, letterer, editor, and more. Each creator serves a vital function in the production of sequential art at companies such as DC, Marvel, Image, and Valiant.

 In Make Comics Like the Pros, veteran comics creators Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente team up with a who’s who of the modern comic book scene to lead you step-by-step through the development of a comic. With these two fan-favorite writers as your guides, you’ll learn everything from script formatting to the importance of artistic collaboration to the best strategies for promoting and selling your own sequential art masterpiece.

Pak and Van Lente even put their lessons into practice inside the pages of the book—pairing with Eisner Award–winning cartoonist Colleen Coover (Bandette) to produce the swashbuckling, adventure comic Swordmaids, and giving you front row seats to their creative process. Make Comics Like the Pros provides all the answers you’ve been seeking to take your comic book–making dreams all the way to professional-level reality.

My Thoughts:

My son (and husband) is the comic expert in the family, and he's working his way to developing his own character and comic.  When I had the opportunity to receive a complimentary copy of "Make Comics Like the Pros" for review, I was intrigued.

I previewed the book first, and found it extremely detailed with both written instruction and illustration.  The authors use actual comics and graphic novels that have made it to the shelves to demonstrate technique and just about anything an ambitious creator might need to know.

But then I gave the book to my son, and his eyes lit up like Christmas.  He read the first few chapters (hey, he's a busy college student, working full time and running his own podcast and developing his own brand!), and this is what he had to say:

"This is the perfect book to get foundational knowledge, especially if you already have a writer/illustrator team formed and a basic concept of what you want to create."

My thanks to my friends at Blogging for Books for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.  My son and I both recommend this book.


Happy Reading!

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The Stress Cure by Linda Evans Shepherd


About the Book:

"Linda brilliantly and biblically shines the light on exchanging the crippling and unwanted stresses of life for the promised gift of peace. Packed with prayer and promises, this book will free you to experience the power of God's peace."--Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author of Unglued and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries
We live in a world filled to the brim with advice, and when it comes to dealing with stress, there's plenty of advice to go around. Sleep more, eat better, avoid this, seek out that. But more ideas about how to cope are not necessarily what we need if we're stressed and anxious.

What we need is a cure.

The true remedy to stress, Linda Evans Shepherd says, is prayer. In this inspiring book, she shows you how to recognize God's continual presence in your life and yield your troubles to the Prince of Peace. Through captivating stories, explorations of fascinating biblical characters, and examples of deeper-than-ever prayers, she brings within your grasp the peace that passes understanding. If you are overwhelmed by all of the urgent demands on your time, this book offers you a lifeline to true peace.

My Thoughts:

I usually avoid books that have the word 'cure' in the title.  The only person I know has a cure for anything is Jesus Himself.  But I've read Linda's books before, and she's a woman who puts her feet where he books encourage you to go.

The chapters are brief, but are packed with lots of Scripture, personal stories and Biblical characters that help to illustrate each point.  Each chapter closes with a prayer, and the words are penetrating.  Every word points straight to Jesus as our Prince of Peace, and the beauty of the book is you can read the chapter that applies to you, focusing on the current need in your life.

Or you can read the book straight through.  You can even use "The Stress Cure" as a small group study.  My thanks to my friends at Revell Publishing for my advance copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I can definitely recommend "The Stress Cure".

Happy Reading!

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Robertson Family Christmas by Miss Kay Robertson with Travis Thrasher


About the Book:

Hunter Clarke wanted one thing for Christmas: to spend it with his dad and his brother.

He misses being included in any guy trips since his parents divorced and he went to live with his mom. So he’s less than happy when his mother tells him that he won a contest to spend Christmas in West Monroe, Louisiana, with a family named the Robertsons. For some reason, they’re supposed to be a big deal. How did he win a contest he didn’t enter? Besides, he’s never heard of them and sure doesn’t want to spend Christmas in a swamp with a bunch of strangers.

Korie Robertson is excited to open her heart and home to Hunter and show him what the Christmas season looks like for the Robertson family. And like it or not, Hunter experiences it firsthand. From duck-hunting disasters with the bearded guys, to learning to cook with Miss Kay, Hunter quickly discovers what it’s like to live with this boisterous, yet loving family.

Putting on his headphones and ignoring them is not an option. Before long, Hunter begins to let his guard down. But with Christmas and the end of his trip fast approaching, will it be too little, too late? Or will Hunter be open to the greatest gift of all?

My Thoughts:

It's no secret to fans of the show that Miss Kay loves her some Christmas!  It's also no secret that faith and family mean everything to the Robertson clan.  What makes this book so interesting is seeing the Robertson family through the eyes of a young teen from a city background.

Hunter is custom made for the Robertson Family Christmas.  He's from a broken home, he doesn't have faith in anything or anyone, and while he seems aloof and distant, he craves a family.  Enter him in a contest to win an experience of a lifetime and watch the duck feathers fly.

For anyone who loves the show, read this book.  For anyone who's ever said "I wish I was a Robertson", read this book.  For anyone who loves Christmas, read this book.  And, to anyone who just cannot believe the Robertsons, their faith and their family values are real...

...read this book.  The storytelling isn't always top notch, but the heart behind the story is genuine through and through.  My thanks to my friends at Tyndale Publishing for an opportunity to read a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

I won't go so far to state that this is my new favorite Christmas novella, but it is definitely in the top five.

Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Willie's Redneck Time Machine by John Luke Robertson with Travis Thrasher



About the Book:

In Willie's Redneck Time Machine, you are Willie Robertson, CEO of Duck Commander. When you find a mysterious outhouse in the Duck Commander warehouse, you discover there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Soon you’re traveling through time and space, following John Luke to a nineties prom, getting lost in biblical times, and fighting a futuristic war in the year 2319. You and the other Robertsons have crazy adventures, but you need to get back to West Monroe for Korie’s birthday party. Will you make the right choices to get home on time?

In the Be Your Own Duck Commander series, you get to choose what happens next!

My Thoughts:

I was never a fan of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books that came out when my kids we in elementary school, but I know they were extremely popular.  First, because the books encouraged reading.  And because of the alternate ending and random choices, every reading experience was like a first read.

John Luke has shown he has the same drive and business sense that the other Robertson family members have demonstrated.  No one is riding any coattails in this family!  His talent as an author should have a wide appeal to children just getting in to chapter books, and his stories make excellent read aloud books.

This is the first of a series of five novels, all with lots of choices and all about his famous family members.  You can purchase the books individually, or get them in a complete set, just in time for Christmas!

My thanks to my friends at Tyndale Publishers for my complimentary copy of "Willie's Redneck Time Machine" as a part of their Blog Network, given in exchange for an honest review.  Highly recommended.

Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Love Letters From God by Glenys Nellist, Illustrated by Sophie Allsopp



About the Book:

What child does not love to receive mail? What if that child could receive, open and read his or her own personal mail from God? The Love Letters from God will invite them to do just that!

Accompanying each story in this unique children’s Bible is a very special and encouraging letter, each tucked away in its own lift-the-flap envelope, just for them. Written for children ages four to eight, the Love Letters from God includes eighteen of the most popular Bible stories—nine from the Old Testament and nine from the New Testament. Following each story the child will find his or her own letter from God.

Children will love the excitement of opening the letters and parents will love how each letter elaborates on the Bible story being told. A very special Bible verse, entitled God’s Wonderful Words To You will accompany each story and letter.

Much more than a mere memory verse, each carefully chosen promise will be God’s very own personal words of love, encouragement, and hope. This book will culminate in an invitation for the children to write their own RSVP to God.

My Thoughts:

I love finding treasures for my grandchildren to enjoy, and "Love Letters From God" is one of my favorite children's books from 2014!  The design of the book is gorgeous, including a dust jacket for the hardcover version that is duplicated on the actual cover of the book.  I love this feature because whether or not you like to remove the protective dust jacket before you read, you can still enjoy the same illustrations!

Inside are equally gorgeous full color drawings, each illustrating a well known story from the Bible.  Each story includes a reference to the Scriptures where the story is from, an easy to read and understand version to read to your child, or one that your child can read...

...but the beauty of a children's Bible story book is the pleasure of reading the book together, so please consider that as an option when you purchase books for your little ones!

A verse is included for memory and to capture the essence of the reading, titled "God's Wonderful Words To You".  I love this part of the book for so many reasons, but mainly for the way it personalizes God's Words to little ones (and older ones, too), bringing Scripture to life for the child and for the reader.

Also with each story is a "lift-the-flap" envelope, complete with 'postage' that says "Your Love Letter From God", and inside is a spot to write your child's name, or the names of your children.  Please take advantage of this feature, as it also helps to make God as real to your child as you yourself are to him or her.

The book takes readers through both the Old and New Testament, then concludes with a personal invitation to choose Jesus, and an envelope for your child or children to write a personal letter in response to God.  What a treasure!

My thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing (Zonderkidz) for my complimentary copy of "Love Letters From God" in exchange for an honest review.  I highly recommend this book, and think it will make an excellent Christmas gift, a baptism gift, ideal for celebrating a child's decision for Jesus, or any reason a great book is desired!

Happy Reading!

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Yuletime Ice Cube Fair by Karen Poth, a Veggietales Book


About the Book:

It's that wonderful time of year again—the Yuletide Ice Cube Fair! It's a time of festivity and fun as veggies gather to munch on snow cones, slurp down slushies, and ice skate on the frozen pond. But the greatest part of all is the Ice Cube Carving Contest!

The veggies have been busy! They've carved Christmas feasts, trees, angels, and more. Each one is trying to outdo the other in an effort to win the grand prize! But the smallest of all these ice entries is a carving done by Junior Asparagus—a tiny stable with a shepherd on one knee. Kids will discover that it's not what's grand, or bigger, or best that's most important on Christmas—it's Jesus!

Now in the affordable 8x8 softcover format with the addition of a sheet of full-color stickers, this Veggie tale book is sure to become a holiday favorite for young readers and their families.

My Thoughts:

Colorful, entertaining and well-known.  That's what I think about "Yuletide Ice Cube Fair", the newest children's book in the Veggietales universe. 

Just to prove my point, my grandson caught a glimpse of my complimentary copy, received from my friends at Zondervan Publishing (Zonderkidz) in exchange for an honest review.  His first words: "Nana, is that for ME?"

So rest assured, even though the veggies may have received modern makeovers, the quality is still the same: top grade kid friendly!  Recommended, and perfect for Christmas!

Happy Reading!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Whiny, Whiny Rhino by McBoop



About the Book:

Can Tiny Tiny Rhino have a fun day? Or will all of his whining get in the way?

If you've ever been worried to try something new, then Whiny Whiny Rhino is the book for you!

From creative team McBoop, comes the story of the whiny rhino with the big head and the even bigger imagination.

My Thoughts:

I'm always on the hunt for quality children's books for my grandchildren.  Why, I have four of them...thank you for asking!

"Whiny, Whiny Rhino" fills all of my criteria: gorgeous, full color illustrations with lots to look at without being too busy, minimal story that communicates without overwhelming, and a fun tale to read over and over again.

And who hasn't dealt with a little one who gets a bit whiny now and then...even if it isn't politically correct to call it what it is...WHINY!  Children's books that enable a child to identify emotions and express how he or she is feeling get a gold star from me.

So my thanks to McBoop and iRead Book Tours for my complimentary copy of "Whiny, Whiny Rhino" in exchange for an honest review.  Definitely recommended!

Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CFBA Presents "Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hidden in the Stars
Abingdon Press (September 16, 2014)
by
Robin Caroll


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty-plus years, her 3 beautiful daughters, 2 precious grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else?

ABOUT THE BOOK

Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21-year-old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn’t help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.

Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s “special” quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer—still at large—silence her forever?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hidden in the Stars, go HERE.


Happy Reading!

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