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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wisdomatics ~ Giveaway and Review

Are you a fan of games like Scene It but are looking for something with biblical flair? Then look no further than Wisdomantics. A games designed for 2-4 players, ages 12 and up. Wisdomantics tests your families knowledge of the wisdom of Solomon's Proverbs using DVD's to hold up to 400 questions. As your family races to see who can complete their temple first, they are faced with "Blessing" and "Advancement Cards" instead of rolling dice.

Even if you aren't a Bible scholar, you can still use common sense to fill in the blanks of multiple choice questions. If you fail to answer the question correctly, it defaults to the next player. If they answer it correctly they are rewarded a gold tile to be used to build their temple. Then it is their turn to answer the question. If they answer correctly, they pick an Advancement Card and follow the instructions on the card as well as pick up the appropriate color tile from the space they land on.

The first person to build their temple wins. Blessing cards can be used to gain any tile color of their choice once the player has accumulated at least 4. Even my 15-year old daughter and husband loved competing to see who would build our temple to God first as is evident by the picture below:

Wisdomantics is an NKJV (New King James Version) interactive DVD game that blends chance, knowledge and strategy to create a fun experience while you learn! The games intent is to bring individuals together to learn how to cope with numerous situations in a fun and relaxed environment. Inside the box, you'll find 2 interactive DVDs with 400 questions, score cards, blessing cards and more! This is a great way to enjoy family time together.

I received Wisdomantics compliments of Kingdom Games Enterprises and FlyBy Promotions for my honest review and did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is such a great way for families to spend quality time together and gain a bit of biblical insight while having fun! I'd rate this game a 4 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Wisdomantics, Kingdom Games Enterprises or where to pick up a copy of this game, please click on the links below:

You can find Wisdomantics on Facebook to learn more great ways to enjoy this game!

Now for the exciting part, thanks to the generosity of FlyBy Promotions, they are offering a giveaway of this amazing game to one lucky follower of my blog Reviews From The Heart. Here's all you need to do to enter: 

1. Be a follower of my blog Reviews From The Heart. 

2. Be a resident of the US or Canada or have a US or Canadian address. No P.O. Boxes please. 

3. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy. Don't forget to include your email address or I have no way of contacting you if you're the lucky winner. 

I will notify the winner of the giveaway by email when it ends on December 26th. 

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday, December 12, 2014

Vernon House

It is so hard at times to know a good book from a great book simply based on the cover, but I am immediately drawn to pick this one up because I am a huge fan of creepy suspenseful books. In fact before I became a Christian, I was drawn to that genre. Doesn't this one look amazing? It's a powerful story tucked into a small amount of time, but trust me, by the time you get to the end, you will be sad that it is over. To me, a sign of an exceptional novel, compelling storyline and fantastic writing. Sandra Russel Farris, you have me sold on this one.

Vernon House is part historical and past ghost story. Fans of Stephen King, James Rupart, Ted Dekker and Greg Mitchell with LOVE this short story. Jennifer Hayes is what you would call a restoration specialist and bonafide house flipper. She's been buying homes, fixing them up and selling them for a tidy profit, but in the case of Vernon House, a Queen Anne Victorian, this is a definite keeper. Despite the rumors that the house is believed to be haunted, she doesn't believe in ghosts and hopes to eventually live here once the renovations are complete. Undeterred by the noises she can't explain she uncovers a set of stairs to the attic that have been boarded up behind an old closet.

As she ventures upstairs, she finds what one would expect to find in an old attic, boxes and trunks of stuff belonging to the former owners of the home, Herbert and Rosalyn Vernon. When she opens an old domed hinged travel trunk, she finds an old wedding dress wrapped in tissue paper along with a letter. It is addressed to Mrs. Vernon and provides details that the person she wanted taken care of will no longer pose a problem and is expecting the promised payment along with vague initials R. M. It is a definite mystery to solve and soon becomes very apparent as Jennifer uncovers the murder plot of the former owner Herbert Vernon that some spirits want to ensure that secret stays dead and buried. But there are no such things as ghosts, or are there?

I received Vernon House by Sandra Farris compliments of the author herself without any monetary compensation for a favorable review. The opinions contained here are strictly my own unless otherwise noted. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and read it in just under an hour. The suspense is amazing in such a short story and really drives the momentum of the story to its cliff hanger ending of sorts, leaving the option open to continue to saga, which this reader hopes she will do in the very near future. The characters are definitely believable and my favorite hands down is Herbert Vernon. I can't wait to read many more like this in the future if Sandra Farris is expecting to expand her literary genres and easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars. This book is currently available as an eBook for your favorite electronic reader at this time.

For more information about Vernon House, Sandra Farris or where you can pick up a copy of this eBook today, please click on the links below:

You can find Sandra Farris on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

You can pick up this eBook at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

After the War is Over

Ever since being captivated by Jennifer Robson's novel Somewhere in France, I couldn't wait for the sequel to follow. I savored every world and nuance of After the War is Over and found myself transported to in time to the early 1900's both just before World War 1 and afterwards. The novel parallels the relationship between military nurse Charlotte Brown and Edward Neville-Ashford who is still recovering from his war wounds. In the first novel we knew that they were acquainted but never really understood the story aside from the fact that Charlotte was his sister Lilly's governess before the war. Now the reader has a chance as it toggles back and forth through chapters to get a past and future look at the relationship they both have. I didn't understand it at first because I wasn't paying attention to the dates that appeared in certain chapters. Once I did, it was much easier to enjoy the story.

It tells how Charlotte came to become Lilly's governess despite all her education at a university. Not what one might expect for a woman who has gone to school. You would expect her to work using her educational skills she has acquired but jobs were far and few and to keep food on the table, she accepted an advertisement for governess. We also see where the animosity stems from in regards to Edward's mother and his two older sisters towards Charlotte.

But as the nation of England emerges from the impact and effects left behind during the war, Charlotte is now working for helping those who are in need working for Miss Eleanor Rathbone as a city councilor at Granby Ward. Miss Rathbone's work as a ward councilor was only one of the many hats she wore, she was a committed suffragist and defender of women's rights beyond the voting booth and where Charlotte is able to share her viewpoints in helping women achieve what she hopes to someday, the equal treatment of people everywhere especially after the war. She sees families everywhere that are struggle to make ends meet despite the governments claims that they are helping. She soon becomes the voice of the people she works with every day when the articles she writes for the Herald are published.

After his father dies suddenly, Edward finds himself the newest Earl of Cumberland and with it all the responsibilities that come with managing the family estate. He soon realizes how much death taxes are due and how his father has managed to leave him with more debts that he knows what to deal with all while still suffering from his war injuries which are driving him to drink to eliminate the pain. Edward realizes that the only way he might be able to get out from under the financial problems would be to marry a wealthy American heiress but he can't seem to forget Charlotte and how much he cares for her. But that is not an option that either of them can entertain.

I received After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. Aside from receiving a complimentary copy of the novel, I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained in this review are strictly my own. For fans of Downton Abbey will absolutely LOVE this one. But if you haven't read Somewhere in France, pick that one up first. You will definitely love Jennifer's attention to detail especially in contrasting the very different lifestyles of Edward and Charlotte both pre and post WWI. I easily rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and now I can't wait to read the next novel to follow soon. This novel does contain one sexual scene that might not be suitable for younger readers but overall I LOVED it! This novel is slated for release in January of 2015.

For more information about After the War is Over, Jennifer Robson or where you can preorder a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Jennifer Robson on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on After the War is Over please visit William Morrow's website. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The World of Post Secret

When Frank Warren solicited an idea to have people send in post cards with secrets on them, he thought he would only receive around 365, and was more than surprised when he received more than 1 million of them in 2004. He asked people to anonymously send their secrets on the back of a postcard and was more than surprised by the results he received. He has shared them in a hardcover book simply called The World of Post Secret. This is the sixth  post secret book and it might be the last. It even has a website called and has raised more than a million dollars to aid in suicide prevention.

Some of the responses are truly candid, some explicit in their content while others speak of wishes hoped for but never fulfilled. The post cards that are captured in the book are exactly like he had received them, and in the book Frank Warren attempts to respond to some of his readers questions about the project including the PostSecret app. He includes his most controversial secrets he has received as well as his own secrets, including his harrowing call he took as a volunteer on the suicide prevention hotline. He has included the introduction of the new app called PostSecret Universe that is a companion to this book. It is loaded with additional postcards, secrets from the original PostSecret app, private pictures, recordings and a few surprises.

He still gets excited whenever he takes a walk out to his mailbox because he truly never knows what he will get or what secrets lie waiting to be discovered and revealed. He is even looking for someone to take over the task, perhaps like he recalls, "like Willy Wonka, he could hand over the keys and allow PostSecret a second life." Who knows if one of the postcards featured in this book may be from someone who is waiting to share a long lost kept secret with you.

I received The World of Post Secret by Frank Warren compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. Aside from receiving a complimentary copy of this book I have not received any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. This is not the book for everyone and contains some explicit messages on some of the postcards that should be viewed by mature readers only. I love the sage wisdom found on some of the post cards like, "I thought life would make more sense when I got older," from a military service person, "I should have died instead of you, I'm sorry," from a firefighter, "I'm one of 'the bravest', my secret? I'm just as afraid of dying as the people I save." There are even screen shots people shared through the Post Secret app that are included. It is bittersweet to see how some people have kept so many things hidden in their life. Makes me wonder how different life would be if people knew and perhaps that is the point of this book. For me, I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars simply based on some of the sexual content that is included that would not be suitable for all readers.

For more information about The World of Post Secrets, Frank Warren or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Post Secret on Facebook to learn more about the secrets behind this project.

To read more reviews on The World of Post Secret, please visit William Morrow's website. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Bachelor

I almost thought I had missed out on the opportunity as a book reviewer to review Stephanie Reed's latest novel The Bachelor, the second in the Plain City Peace Series. You don't know how happy I was when I realized that Kregel Publications had extended the invitation to do so even though many others had read it way before I did. There is joy in the small things like this.

I feel in love with the character of Betsie Troyer from the first novel and if you're like me, you often times, have to wait quite a bit to get the next novel in any series. However, I knew right away, I wanted to see right where Stephanie was going to pick her up story since Betsie's parents along with her Aunt Lovina had moved away from the Amish community to settle far away so they could practice their new found faith in the Jesus of the Bible as well as learning more about salvation. In an Amish community if you left, your salvation was doomed for all eternity. This is the reason so many Amish remain and become baptized in their Amish faith to ensure that through their good works and obedience they might get to heaven, but they had no way of knowing for sure.

Betsie was left behind on the family farm trying to do her very best along with his younger sister Sadie to make ends meet until she believed one day her parents would return home. Until that time, the Amish had a firm rule of shunning that prevented them from associating with them until they made a kneeling confession in front of the church. Betsie held on to her belief, her parents would be coming home. That didn't stop Charlie Yoder, from pressing the issue with Betsie that they would be married soon, having children, and take over running the Troyer farm. Betsie was more than surprised with Charlie's way of dismissing her faith that her parents would be home soon and they would be running the farm again. It is clear that Charlie has a firm way of holding on to the old Amish way of running things especially having his mother Mattie supporting them since his father had died.

But is Charlie really the bachelor for her or perhaps is her heart bringing her back to Michael, an English man who saved her life from what could have been a brutal attack. Now that Michael is living on the Farm to avoid having to serve in the Vietnam war, she wonders just what their relationship might have been like if Michael were Amish instead of English. In order to keep her mind busy, Betsie has been asked to take care of Michael's little sister Shelia while his father has left to try and reconcile with his distraught wife who has run off. It is the faith of a small child that will lead Betsie to the truth of salvation in a way she never imagined.

I received The Bachelor by Stephanie Reed compliments of Kregel Publications for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I absolutely LOVED this novel but once again must way until 2016 to get the third novel in the series, The Bride. This is such a moving novel to conveys hope for our eternal salvation in heaven through the simple faith of becoming like a child again. It is that simple faith of simply accepting things at face value rather than trying to figure them out that makes this one a winner in my opinion and well worth 5 out of 5 stars. The only downside is the wait between the novels, but all great things come to those who wait! There are Book Club Discussion Questions included at the conclusion of this novel as well!

For more information about The Bachelor, Stephanie Reed or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Stephanie Reed on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Bachelor, please visit Kregel Publications website. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Swept Away

To say that Sara Jane Morgan's grandmother has lost her mind is an understatement.She just doesn't want to be the one to admit that the diagnosis she received from her doctor reveals that she is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. The fact that she can't remember the most basic things like where she parked the car, to what she wanted on her to do list, or even what she had for dinner, isn't something she is ready to admit.

All she knows is that time is running out to find a suitable man for her grand daughter Sara and while she is at it, she is hoping to finish what is known as a Ballad Quilt. Quilt blocks designed around the lyrics of a song that impart the memories from her own past, the one where she fell in love. She can know hope she can figure out a way to get the handy man she hired at the local crafter's fair to see a future in Sara.

Sara knows that her grandmother is up to something, she just didn't figure it would come out so bold in her words to a man she can hardly find attractive. Looking more like Grizzly Adams, Andrew Stevenson, an artisan who makes handmade brooms, isn't like to sweep her off her feet or anything else for that matter. She just has to figure out a way to let her grandmother know she isn't interested. She can't imagine how her grandmother can hire a man she doesn't know to spend time fixing up her cabin. For all she knows he could be a serial killer. But once grandmother Sari has it in her mind, there is no changing it. She can only hope she simply forget him like she has been forgetting everything else lately. She just isn't ready to deal with losing her grandmother and all the wonderful memories she has of the parents she feels responsible for their deaths.

But Sara isn't the only one hiding things in their past memories. It appears that Andrew or Drew does as well. But like everyone else he has ever met, so many people judge based on appearances and with the way Sara deals with him, just goes to prove his point. If only he didn't feel attracted to her. However he knows once his work with her grandmother as a hired hand is finished, he would be out of their lives forever. But will her grandmother's to do list ever be finished?

I received Swept Away from Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven compliments of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. In exchange for my free complimentary copy of the book, I am not asked to provide a favorable but honest review and have not received any monetary compensation. This is the 23rd novel in the Quilts of Love Series and each is a stand alone novel that centers around a quilt. These can be read in any order and are written by various authors. Swept Away engages readers to examine their internal feelings and how we often times feel that to hid our pasts is the best way to move forward in life hoping to leave our pain behind us. Too often however, that fails to work well and will rise to the surface when we least expect it. Sometimes when things go wrong in our lives the first person we often blame is God. We wonder why He didn't alter the event the way we like and fail to understand the reasons behind it until much later if we understand it at all this side of heaven. Sometimes the only way we can deal with that pain is to let it go and hand it over to God. In the end, healing can be found. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. It includes a sneak peek at Masterpiece Marriage and a Reader's Discussion Guide at the conclusion.

For more information about Swept Away, Laura V. Hilton, Cindy Loven or where you can pick up a copy of this novel, please click on the links below:

To read more reviews on Swept Away, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.

You can find Laura V. Hilton on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To stay up to date with all the latest novels from Cindy Loven, please visit her on Facebook. 

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven. November’s QOL release is a spark of romance and fun just in time for the holidays.

Enter to win a Kindle HDX, and RSVP for the “Merry Quilted” Quilts of Love Facebook party on December 9th. 

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
  • Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey
Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 9th. Winner will be announced during the "Merry Quilted" Christmas Facebook party on December 9th. RSVP today and connect with some of the Quilts of Love authors (Jodie Bailey, Laura V. Hilton, Cindy Loven, Cathy Elliott, and Gina Welborn) for a "merry" evening of book chat, Christmas traditions, prizes, and more!


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

Friday, December 5, 2014

Desperate Diva Diaries

For fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Dork Diaries, comes a great alternative for girls in Middle School who want something with a spiritual message tucked inside. Desperate Diva Diaries from author Angie Spady is just for girls who can relate to the things Catie Conrad has to deal with in going to Middle School.

Her father supplied her with three journals, which he hopes she will find the love of writing her thoughts in them as much as he enjoyed writing for the newspaper, but Catie was hoping that he might have found a least a good zit zapper instead. However she finds that writing down what she is going through in school might not be so bad. Her best friend is Sophie, who is always looking out for her best interests and keeps her on the spiritual path while the two dream up spa inspired recipes for body lotion and bubble bath when they have sleepovers.

Catie is challenged to get along with her younger brother, Jeremy, whom she lovingly refers to as the "Germ." He has a pet skunk as a pet named Rosie he doesn't go anywhere without. Her nemesis in school is Miranda Maroni, who is the ultimate popular girl in school who has everything going for her including the same interest in Josh Henderson, the boy both girls are hoping will ask them to the upcoming dance. Catie dreams of one day becoming a big name fashionista and shares her ideas in her diary along with all her frustrations only a teenager girl would understand.

I received Desperate Diva Diaries-Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship and Fashion Disasters by Angie Spady and illustrated by Channing Everidge compliments of Shelton Interactive and B and H Publishing Group for my honest review. In exchange for a free copy of the book, I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. I only wish I had a book like this when I was younger. It reminded me of Beverly Clearly and the books about Ramona and Beezus, but this one has an uplifting message inside. While Catie struggles to put her faith in action, she remembers why it is necessary to pray for others and even serve in the mission field. It helps her understand how things like what dress you will get for the dance or even buying the latest smart phone relates in the bigger scheme of life. I can't wait to pick this entire series as it becomes available for my niece whom I know will absolutely LOVE this one as much as I did. Hands down a 5 out of 5 perfect stars!

For more information about Desperate Diva Diaries-Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship and Fashion Disasters, Angie Spady or where you can preorder a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

Desperate Diva Diaries-Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship and Fashion Disasters by Angie Spady