Thursday, June 9, 2016

Taken by Dee Henderson



About the Book:

An investigator who knows tragic loss firsthand, and his new client, missing far too long...

Abducted at the age of sixteen and coerced into assisting the Jacoby crime family, Shannon Bliss has finally found a way out. She desperately wants to resume some semblance of normal life, but she also knows she has some unfinished business to attend to. She might have enough evidence to put her captors behind bars for a very long time.
When Shannon contacts private investigator Matthew Dane, a former cop, to help her navigate her reentry into society, he quickly discovers that gaining her freedom doesn't mean her troubles are over. If the Jacoby family learns she is still alive, they'll stop at nothing to silence her.
If justice is to be done, and if Shannon's life is ever to get on track again, Matthew will need to discover exactly what happened to her--even if it means stirring up a hornet's nest of secrets.

My Thoughts:

Prepare yourself for a muddled review!  I might even come across a bit double-minded...but that's how "Taken" has left me.  I'm caught in a love/hate relationship with this one...let me tell you why.

Dee Henderson has been one of my Top Five All Time Favorite authors since I picked up my first mystery penned by herself.  And I'll be the first to admit how unfair it is to judge every sequential novel by the outstanding fiction that preceded said book.

There's no way Dee can ever recreate the magic that was the O'Malley series, and we shouldn't want her to.  That was a series Dee Henderson was born to craft, and it will stand the test of time and forever be a best selling series.

So when I opened to the first page of "Taken", I was going in fresh.  No expectation.  And I was surprised by what I'd found.  First and foremost, "Taken" was much longer than Dee's earlier novels...a trend I've noticed since her return to publication.  This one clocked in at 424 pages, and every page was necessary.

Second, Dee has started writing books that are more character driven rather than crime driven.  While I truly do enjoy a great criminal procedural, it is nice to come across a novel that is less flash and bang and more introspective and thoughtful.  By the time you've reached the last page, you really know Shannon and Matthew very well.

The crime takes a back seat, but the details are always present.  The book evolves as the characters deal with the fallout from Shannon's kidnapping and subsequent escape.  And Dee has created a network of characters that span from the O'Malleys to her more recent books (Full Disclosure, Unspoken, and Undetected), which allows for a stand alone novel while encouraging readers to find and read the entire catalog of Henderson romantic suspense.

My issue is simply this: while the characters are at the forefront of the story, they still feel stiff and formal.  I know them, but I don't KNOW them.  With Dee's earlier writings, her imaginary people ended up as friends that lived in my imagination for years to come.  Shannon, Matthew, Becky, Ann, Paul and company may linger, but they are merely visiting and not taking up residence.

And I miss that.  I miss it a lot.

But it won't keep me from reading every novel that Dee Henderson creates, because she's still on my all time list, and I'm so very glad she's writing again.  I purchased my copy of Taken, and you can find yours at any bookstore or online retailer.  I'm recommending "Taken", and I'm eager to dive into Dee's most recent release.

So be watching for my review of "Traces of Guilt" to be coming soon!


Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Life Just Got Real by Sadie Robertson




About the Book:

From Dancing with the Stars runner-up and Duck Dynasty star Sadie Robertson comes a fun novel about two teenage girls from different backgrounds and opposite lifestyles who discover there is more to friendship than meets the eye.

Sixteen-year-old A.J. Smith, born and raised in backwoods Tennessee, loves nothing more than repairing broken cars with her father and hanging out with her brothers and their friends. Not far away in the busy city of Nashville, Kate Kelly is always dressed in the latest fashion, wearing clothes from her mother’s boutique and jetting around the world with her father.

When A.J. starts going to the school Kate attends, they instantly dislike each other. But as the year progresses, Kate’s brother Val is drawn to A.J., and when prom comes around, he asks her to be his date—much to his sister’s displeasure.

But Kate has bigger things to think about, including the reality show Real Life. Everyone says the show is her chance to make it big. But then the producers decide to bring A.J. into the show. As the producers of Real Life try to stir up the drama, Kate’s idea of the perfect prom spins out of control.

When Kate’s life goes disastrously wrong, it is A.J. who steps up to help—no questions asked. A friendship between the two girls just might grow—but only if they both live original and stay true to whom God made them to be.

In Life Just Got Real Sadie Robertson inspires teens to find the value God has placed inside us all and to live with confidence and purpose in a very complicated world.

My Thoughts:

In the interest of full disclosure, allow me to begin with the fact that I received an advance copy of "Life Just Got Real" from a sweetheart and a publicist (Hi, Jeane!) on behalf of Howard Books.  Now for my disclosure...

...oh, you thought THAT was it??  Oh, no, no, no.  MY disclosure is this:  I devour every single book written by a Robertson as soon as I can have one in hand, I was glued to a television reality show that I truly dislike, all for the sake of watching a true original perform (she was just the best, wasn't she??), and I love the Robertson family so much I wish I could be in their family (as long as I didn't have to clean any squirrels--but frog legs--YUM!)

So, when I saw Miss Sadie had dipped her toe into the world of young adult fiction with her very first signature 'Live Original Novel", I had to take a peek.  And I wasn't above begging for a copy!  I'd read her previous book, non-fiction, and loved it.  Sadie Robertson talks the walk and walks the talk--a definite original.

But, can this Original girl write fiction??

Oh, yes she can!  And I'm glad she did!  The characters are true to life and fully three dimensional teens struggle to make a mark in this big, crazy world.  Personally, I think the back cover copy gives a little too much away, but I'd rather have too much than not enough.

With her experience in public speaking, her persona on national television, her new experience on a reality show, and a rock solid faith in Christ, Sadie was perfectly positioned to start a series of books that illustrate the Live Original life while engaging the reader via fiction.

Ever love a book so much you make yourself  Read. Very. Slowly. To. Make. It. Last. As. Long. As. You. Can?  Yeah, that was pretty much me with "Life Just Got Real".  I'm looking forward to more 'Live Original' novels from a TRUE Original and inspiring young woman of God--Sadie Robertson--please do not let me be disappointed, Miss Sadie!

Lest you think I'm just being a fangirl and it's all gush, gush, gush, allow me to offer my critique of "Life Just Got Real".  I didn't like Sadie as the cover model for both girls--something about it gave me pause, almost like it wasn't "serious" fiction.

Believe me...while written with wit and humor--this is serious fiction that is desperately needed in today's cookie-cutter, group mind think culture we're living in.  Take this story and pair it with Sadie's real life example of being your true self in Christ and you've got a powerhouse of a book series.

So, that was my one major critique...oh, wait.  Forgot something...

The opening chapters need to be stronger in the next book.  The first two chapters about A.J. read a little rough--kind of like an essay or a short story for English class.  But no worries!  It didn't take very long at all for this Live Original Girl!  Miss Sadie found her stride and with the assistance of a bit more top-notch editing, I'm sure she will grow as a writer--not that she has much room to get to the top of her fiction game, mind you.

So, my thanks to my friends at Howard Books for my advance copy which I didn't even have to beg for that much, in exchange for an honest (and apparently very long winded review--but did you SEE the back cover copy?!?  And it's Miss Sadie Robertson, the Live Original member of America's first family, in my humble opinion). 

Highly, highly recommended...and keep watch for Sadie's original devotion book for teens coming soon titled--guess what--A Live Original Devotion!  Personally, I can hardly wait!

Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Her One and Only by Becky Wade



About the Book:

Gray Fowler, star NFL tight end, is being pursued by a stalker, so his team hires a protection agency to keep Gray under the watch of a bodyguard at all times. When Gray meets Dru Porter, an agent assigned to him, he's indignant. How can an attractive young female half his size possibly protect him?

But Dru's a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt. She's also ferociously determined to uncover the identity of Gray's stalker. And she's just as determined to avoid any kind of romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.

But the closer they get to finding the stalker, the closer they grow to each other. As the danger rises, can Dru and Gray entrust their hearts--and their lives--to one another?

My Thoughts:

If you've been a fan since the beginning (like me), then you've met the boys of the family: Bo, Ty, and Jake.  Well, move over, big brothers, because it's little sister's turn to shine!  Dru Porter is the baby of the family, and the youngest by several years.

She's all girl, but she's as tough as her brothers--in fact, all four Porter siblings served in the military.  Now Dru works private security, and she is definitely the one you want watching your back!

Gray Fowler is a tight end for a pro football team, and he believes his own press.  He's a force on the field, but he intends to catch Dru's heart and carry it to the end zone.  But first they need to secure Gray's safety.

I've enjoyed all of Becky's books, but this is my favorite.  Her writing feels effortlessly, which means she's both really talented and works hard to give her readers quality fiction.  The faith message in "Her One and Only" is powerful, but not forced.  And the sparks that fly between Dru and Gray are more fun than the Fourth of July!

I highly recommend the entire series...if you've never read any of Becky's novels please start with Bo's story.  A major thread in HOAO deals with Meg and Bo: fans will be excited, and new readers don't want to spoil their surprise by starting with Dru's tale.

I'll miss the Porters, but I can't wait to see what Becky does next!

Happy Reading!

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Fading Starlight by Kathryn Cushman



About the Book:

Lauren Summers is hiding. Her fashion house internship should have launched her career, but a red carpet accident has left her blackballed. The only job she finds is unpaid, but comes with free lodging--a run-down cottage in the shadow of a cliff-side mansion.
Unsure of what comes next, she's surprised to be contacted by a reporter researching a reclusive former Hollywood ingénue who lives in the nearby mansion.
Kendall Joiner wants Lauren's help uncovering the old woman's secrets. In return, she'll prove the red carpet accident was a publicity stunt so Lauren can regain her former job. With all her dreams in front of her, Lauren's tempted by the offer, but as she and the old woman get to know each other, Lauren realizes nothing is quite as it seems.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely adore Kathryn Cushman!  Her novels are a tapestry of finely woven strands of fiction, held together by artistically crafted characters and sparkling with genuine faith.  Fading Starlight kept me reading until the early morning hours, and I felt every word.

Lauren had a dream internship with one of the greatest fashion houses, but a wardrobe malfunction has her broke, ashamed, and in need of a miracle.  She finds a safe place to hide from the unfavorable publicity, and to figure out her future.

Enter a reporter with an offer she can't refuse, and her problem is solved.  But anything that harmless and simple usually isn't, and Lauren soon finds her life unraveling again.  It's nice to see how God takes shattered dreams and creates a new dream, and how He takes hearts of stone and replaces them with power and emotion and tenderness.

I love multi-generational stories, and I love the characters in this one.  Kathryn's novels are the best of the best, and a story crafted by this exceptional talent never disappoints!

Happy Reading!

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Friday, June 3, 2016

The Progeny by Tosca Lee



About the Book:

New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brings a modern twist to an ancient mystery surrounding the most notorious female serial killer of all time. A fast-paced thriller for fans of Lee’s Books of Mortals series with Ted Dekker, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and BBC America’s hit series Orphan Black.

Emily Porter is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants.

A story about the search for self amidst centuries-old intrigues and Europe’s underground scene…and one woman’s mission to survive.

My Thoughts:

No matter what you're thinking you know about this book...scrap it.  On second thought, just dive in, and go deep.  Tosca Lee is about to rock your literary world with her new mind-bending book (first in a series), The Progeny

Tosca has crafted a high octane thriller that has more twists and turns than a bowl of spaghetti.  Rich history, strong characterization, and a mind blowing conspiracy that puts The DaVinci Code to shame.

It's pretty much impossible to say more without stumbling over a spoiler or two, and I really don't want to do that.  I want you to encounter The Progeny as I did: as a blank page ready to be filled with some of the most intense reading you'll find this year.

One thing troubled me, though...but my one complaint turned out to be not a complaint after all but a necessary part of the story.  However, the intimacy between two of the characters threw me for a little. 

The Progeny is most definitely recommended.  Not for the squeamish, but fans of thrillers...and conspiracies are about to discover pure literary gold.

Happy Reading!

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin




About the Book:

Julia Dare is trying to run her own business, raise her young son, Max, and help her widowed mother. Her biggest worry, though, is keeping Max's father from being a bad influence while still allowing the boy to spend time with his dad. When an account from her event-planning business sends her to Caliente Springs resort, she's shocked to encounter Zeke Monroe, her college sweetheart.
Zeke is determined to keep Caliente Springs running despite financial trouble. When Julia walks back into his life, he's surprised at the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client's wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. With Zeke and Julia both pushed to their limits, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

My Thoughts:

When I found out Victoria Bylin had a new novel coming out, I was so excited!! I've enjoyed her previous books, so I patiently waited for a copy...then I cracked the cover and was lost in the story within the first few chapters.

Someone Like You is intense; emotion after emotion washed over me as I kept turning the pages.  Moments of desperation moved me to pray for Zeke and Julia.  Max is adorable, and I grew to love Ellen and want the best for her.

Victoria writes with passion, and she fills her novels with faith that reads authentic.  Her ability to illustrate the trials and the struggles believers often encounter add an extra richness to her stories.  And her characters end up feeling like great friends...or like family.

Highly recommended.
Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Land that I Love Series, illustrated by Peter Francis



About the Book(s):

Take a tour of the most amazing landmarks and cities in America! God Bless America will show readers how special their country is and how God made such a wonderful place for us to live.



My Thoughts:

As a former homeschool mom, I cannot say enough about this new series from Zondervan Publishing.  Not only can you use this series to supplement your history curriculum, but your child will learn about God and His blessings to us and our nation.



With history being re-written at nearly every turn, this series is a 'must have' for families with little ones.  The books are sturdy board books with clever illustrations and rhythmic reading.  Great for new readers, and for free reading during school hours.

My friends at Zondervan Publishing graciously sent me three of the books in this new series: God Bless America, God Bless Texas, God Bless Florida, in exchange for an honest review.  I highly recommend this series!

Watch for "The Land That I Love" series to release this June!




Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale




About the Book:

In the South you always say “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am.” You know everybody’s business. Football is a lifestyle not a pastime. Food—especially dessert— is almost a religious experience. And you protect your friends as fiercely as you protect your family— even if the threat is something you cannot see.
In this spot-on Southern novel brimming with wit and authenticity, you’ll laugh alongside lifelong friends, navigate the sometimes rocky path of marriage, and roll through the outrageous curveballs that life sometimes throws . . . from devastating pain to absolute joy.

And if you’re lucky, you just may discover the secret to hummingbird cake along the way.

My Thoughts:

One of my favorite movies is "Steel Magnolias".  I love the camaraderie and the richness of the relationships between the female characters.  And, yes, I always cry whenever I watch the movie.

That's what "The Secret to Hummingbird Cake" feels like.  The intense sisterhood of Maine, Ella Rae, and Carrigan is so powerful.  Each member of the trio of BFF's has her flaws.  Sometimes these Southern ladies let loose with some colorful language.  Please don't let that stop you from reading the book!

I thoroughly enjoyed every page, and you can count on buckets of tears and quite a few laugh out loud moments.  Be prepared to be changed by the time you turn the final page.  Highly recommended, with a warning about language.

Happy Reading!

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Renovating the Richardsons by Virginia Smith



About the Book:

Things are finally starting to fall into a steady rhythm in the small town of Goose Creek, Kentucky. Millie Richardson is hard at work renovating a drafty Victorian house into a B&B. Her husband, Al, is busy writing checks for the renovations. And the new vet, Susan, has finally found acceptance from the town—not to mention a hunky new boyfriend, Justin.
But things never stay quiet for long in Goose Creek. The inner-county softball game is coming up, and Millie volunteers Al as team manager. But the softball team is a disaster. If they're not going to embarrass themselves in front of the whole of Franklin County, Al needs Justin to play. But Justin lives just outside the city limits, and the rules say that players must live in town.
As if that weren't enough to keep the town gossips busy, a massage therapist has come to town and opened up shop. Imagine—a massage parlor!—in Goose Creek! No decent Creeker will stand for it.It's up to Al and Millie—again—to save the day.

My Thoughts:

This series is so much fun!  I would love to visit Goose Creek, staying at Millie's and Al's B&B.  I'd be honored to take my pooch to see Dr. Susan, and to let her Chase squirrels with Rufus.  And to see the new water tower...what a treat!

Think of Mayberry, or Mitford, and you'll catch the small town flavor.  Think of Barney, Andy, and Floyd and you'll understand the unique and lively characters.  But only Virginia Smith can put it all together to create a story that will make your heart grin and have your soul smiling by the end.

Highly recommended!

Happy Reading!

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Curse by Steven James




About the Book:

As Daniel Byers prepares to attend a basketball camp before his senior year of high school, the terrifying blurs that’ve plagued him for the last nine months return.
Dark images begin to haunt him—creatures crawling from the deepest pits of his nightmares, glimmers of chilling memories from his early childhood. But before he can unearth the meaning behind his mysterious hallucinations, Daniel must team up with two other extraordinary teens to save a young woman who has been abducted by a scientist obsessed with enacting his own warped form of justice.
This atmospheric mystery picks up where Fury left off and takes readers into the uncharted regions where reality and madness intertwine.

My Thoughts:

"Curse" is the most intense, gripping YA thrillers I've ever had the pleasure of reading.  Steven James has a gift, creating and measuring out suspense and action, while sprinkling in bits of wry humor.  He then wraps the story up with characters so richly developed you feel them sitting with you as you read.

The Blur Trilogy is superb, but fair warning: this series is gritty, sometimes violent, and can get very dark.  And yet hope permeates every chapter, demonstrating how the importance of relationship and persistence in the face of intense adversity will triumph over difficulty.

I'm a huge fan of Steven's adult fiction, and now a die-hard fan of his YA novels.  I can hardly wait to see what he creates next.  "Curse", "Fury", and "Blur are all three highly recommended (but for older teens, please)!


Happy Reading!

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon





About the Book:

After a devastating layoff, attorney Eric Nash heads back to the town where he grew up--only to discover that his childhood home is being transformed into a bed & breakfast. Instead of plotting his next career move in peace, he's constantly distracted by noise, chaos--and BJ Stevens, the attractive but prickly blonde architect and construction chief who's invaded the house with her motley crew.

As for BJ, her client's son might be handsome, but after a disastrous romance, dating isn't high on her agenda. Yet when they join forces to create a program for Hope Harbor seniors, might they also find healing, hope, and a new beginning themselves?
Three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon takes readers back to Hope Harbor for a new season of charm, romance, and second chances.

My Thoughts:

Every reader needs to spend a little time in Hope Harbor.  This small coastal town has a way of bringing clarity when life becomes confusing.  Just ask Eric Nash, a driven attorney who seems to have lost his way.  Discover healing as you soak in the tranquil setting.  Kind of like BJ Stevens, an up and coming architect with a battered and bruised heart.

In need of a miracle?  You might want to spend some time with Eleanor and Luis and discover their story.  While you're in Hope Harbor, be sure to try Charley's fish tacos...he might share a bit of wisdom with your order.  Either way, you're in for a treat.

Grab an iced tea, put your feet up and take a memorable journey down "Sea Rose Lane".  You'll be glad you did...highly recommended.


Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Every Bride Has Her Day by Janice Thompson



About the Book:

Katie Fisher is ecstatic. Pro basketball star Brady James has proposed, and she can't wait to start planning their life together. She's confident she'll make it down the aisle this time--but it still may be easier said than done. A high-society Houston bride has Katie and the Cosmopolitan Bridal team scrambling to get the perfect dress done in time for her spectacular wedding.

Meanwhile, Katie finds herself bombarded with everyone's competing visions regarding her own special day--and she's beginning to worry that her own ideas will get lost in the crossfire. Will she ever manage to settle all of the details for her perfect day? Or will bridal shop chaos and overzealous friends and family make a mess of everything?

Fan favorite Janice Thompson gives readers what they've been clamoring for: another funny, romantic romp with a Texas twang.

My Thoughts:

Janice has been crowned the Queen of Romantic Comedy, and it is a title well deserved.  Every book hits just the right note of hilarity, with deep undercurrents of faith and family.  "Every Bride Has Her Day" concludes a wonderful series about weddings in the South.

Katie Fisher accidentally won a wedding dress even though her beau hadn't popped the question as yet.  That opened a door to a new way of life for Katie in "Every Bride Needs a Groom".  Offered a position at the bridal boutique, she settles into life in the big city while helping to bring families back together in "Every Girl Gets Confused".

In "Every Bride Has Her Day"...you guessed it--Katie is getting married!  But she's not the only bride in the bunch...nope.  Bridal fever has hit her home town of Fairfield, Texas.  Which is a good thing...and a not-so-good thing.  Turns out folks from her hometown are rather set in their ways, doncha know!

Can Katie plan her own wedding, help plan the weddings of some of her closest friends, and settle a feud that has divided Fairfield and threatens to spoil her happiest of days?  Faith, family and festivities abound in "Every Bride Has Her Day".

My thanks to my friends at Revell Publishing for my copy in exchange for an honest review.  I highly recommend any book by Janice, and "Every Bride Has Her Day" is sure to be a fun read!

Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I Can Read! Heroes of the Bible Treasury, illustrated by David Miles




About the Book:

The Adventure Bible Bible Story Collection is a six book treasury of level 2 Adventure Bible I Can Read titles designed for newly independent readers and based on the Adventure Bible—the #1 Bible for kids!
Read all about people in Bible times and their adventures in these well-known Bible stories.
This 6-book bind-up includes:
  • Elijah and the Power of God ISBN: 9780310750819
  • A King, A Statue and a Fiery Furnace ISBN: 9780310750932
  • Miracles of Jesus ISBN: 9780310732426
  • A Father’s Love ISBN: 9780310732402
  • The Good Samaritan ISBN: 9780310746621
  • Paul Deliver’s God’s Message ISBN: 9780310750765

My Thoughts:

I have four grandchildren and one more on the way, and each one learns in a unique way.  The youngest is just now wanting read aloud time, her brother is very advanced, and one of the twins enjoys reading as well.

My oldest grandson is a reluctant reader, so I am completely in love with the "I Can Read" collection from Zondervan Publishing!  Not only does this "6 in 1" book save money, but the number of pages lets him feel like he's reading just like his younger brother.

The stories are from "The Adventure Bible", one of the best selling children's Bibles of all time.  My friends at Zondervan Publishing graciously sent me "Heroes of the Bible Treasury" and "Great Stories of the Bible" to preview.

Each story gives the Bible reference, has an easy to read story with age appropriate words and a handful of sentences on each page.  At the end of each story, a special feature adds to the story, like "People In Bible Times", giving a little extra information for your child to learn.

This new series is a sure fire best selling series, and my thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing for my complimentary copies in exchange for an honest review.  Highly, highly recommended!

Happy Reading!

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Counting Blessings by Eileen Spinelli, Lee Holland




About the Book:

Children count along from 1 to 10, following the sweet rhyming text by beloved author Eileen Spinelli and the cute and cuddly illustrations by Lee Holland. Along with counting, this padded cover board book teaches children to see the blessings in life.

With whimsy and joy, Counting Blessings captures the attention of young children, filling their minds with numbers and their hearts with happiness.

My Thoughts:

One word: ADORABLE!!  From the cute bunny illustrations to the simple and sweet story, I think this may be one of my all time favorite children's books.  While "Counting Blessings", your child will be learning to count from one to ten.

At the end of the book, the wonders of God's creation are explored, as one great big blessing from above.  Hugs, colors, birds, snow, songs...your child (and you) will realize that God's blessings are endless, and all we can do is say thank You to Him.

My thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.  Very highly recommended.


Happy Reading!

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Memories of a Mad Man by Don Spector




About the Book:

Mad Men. Don Spector didn’t just watch them on television. He was one of them. Starting in a Madison Avenue ad agency in the ‘60’s, he actually lived the life captured in the TV show. In "Memories of a Mad Man" he shares with us an unforgettable era filled with humor, brilliance, wonderful heroes and big, bad villains. The funny and fascinating stories he tells uncover the reality of the ad world behind the show.

• What was it like dealing with celebrities of the era?
• How did the advent of computers spoil one of the greatest boondoggles that Mad Men—and Mad Women—enjoyed?
• The Three Martini Lunch. True or false?
• What's the real truth about truth in advertising? The book answers these and many more intriguing questions in this unique look into a unique profession.

My Thoughts:

I don't do this very often, but I'm very impressed with this non-fiction offering by Don Spector.  This isn't a faith-based book, but it is entertaining and filled with information about the advertising industry.

I personally have never watched the television show "Mad Men", but I do know it was extremely popular.  And very well written and accurate.  Mr. Spector writes from that perspective, a time when doing a shoot for an ad campaign was a chance to travel.  When hiring people often meant meeting famous people, sometimes before they became famous.

Mr. Spector tells of meeting Lon Chaney, Jr at an audition for a commercial he was shooting.  And while Mr. Chaney didn't win the role, it was very incredible and you won't believe who actually ended up with the spot (and to find out you have to read the book!).

As someone who often fast-forwards through those 45-60 second breaks in my favorite shows, I was very entertained.  Mr. Spector has an engaging writing voice, and reading about some of his adventures brought back fond memories.

My thanks to my touring manager (book touring), Tia Souders, for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.  Yes, you'll encounter some very mild language, but I highly recommend "Memories of a Mad Man".  Get a copy for your favorite "Mad Men" fan...and get one for you, too!

Happy Reading!

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

God is Watching Over You by P J Lyons, Tim Warnes




About the Book:

As a follow up to their bestselling Thank You, Lord, for Everything, P.J. Lyons and Tim Warnes have created a sweet and relaxing padded cover board book that tells the story of God’s constant presence around you.

Meant to be read at night, when a child is warm and snug in their bed, the rhyming text and adorable illustrations in God Is Watching Over You gently remind us that God is constantly watching over us, protecting us, and caring for us.

My Thoughts:

This is another wonderful book that is ideal for bedtime reading.  Actually, for anytime reading!  But knowing how going to sleep can sometimes be scary for little ones, imagine drifting off knowing "God Is Watching Over You"!

This board book has sturdy pages, clever rhymes and fun illustrations.  The three elements come together to craft a wonderful book for children.  My thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Highly recommended.

Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Little One, God Made You Special by Amy Warren Hilliker, Polona Lovsin




About the Book:

Little One, God Made You Special, written by Amy Warren Hilliker and inspired by the New York Times #1bestseller The Purpose-Driven Life, is a cute and cuddly board book that let’s children know God made each one of us very special.

My Thoughts:

With a new grandchild due this summer, I'm on the hunt for quality children's books to build him a library of great reading that points the way to Jesus.  "Little One, God Made You Special" is perfect for his collection!

Every child needs to know and be confident in the love of a parent.  And words convey meaning, but when paired with story, words become memorable.  This book celebrates the uniqueness of each child and how their Father made them special.

"God Made You Special" is a wonderful read aloud book for the very young, with short sentences and creative language that express the heart of the book.  My thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.  Very highly recommended.



Happy Reading!

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