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Friday, October 31, 2014

Noah: A Wordless Picture Book ~ Review and Giveaway

I remember growing up and how much I really couldn't wait to be able to read. I would open each book I treasured and look at the pictures, trying so very hard to remember what the letters and words below each picture said or to remember how my mom read them to me. But no matter how much I tried, it would be quite a while before I would be able to put all those processes together of how letters sounded when combined with one another to form words and slowly over time, I grew to love reading so much that I now read more than I ever did before.

That is why I couldn't wait to share one of the most incredible books, I've been blessed to review with you. From Mark Ludy, he created a beautifully illustrated wordless picture book on the story of Noah. So why is this important. Because of what I just shared with you. As a child, just being able to look at the pictures without seeing the words, creates such a lasting impression and provides a level of encouragement to your child as you look at the pictures and create your own story in terms your child can relate to, to accompany the pictures of Noah in this book.

They will feel a level of confidence and satisfaction as they in turn, get to "read" this book back to you so you can understand what they are learning and where you can correct them on the details from the Bible. This one will never grow old. There is even an added bonus challenge in this book as well, to try to find Squeakers the mouse on every single page. You simply have to see this amazing hardcover book to understand how beautiful and vivid the story comes alive in these illustrations.

Mark Ludy has written or illustrated eight children's books including The Farmer, The Flower Man, The Grump, When I Was a Boy I Dreamed, When I Was a Girl I Dreamed, and Jujo the Youngest Tribesman. When he's not immersed in his sketchbooks, you'll find him in schools promoting art and literacy.

I received Noah: A Wordless Picture Book by Mark Ludy compliments of Propeller Consulting, LLC and Plough Publishing House for my honest review on this book. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. The hardcover book contains 64 beautifully illustrated pages for you and your child to enjoy as you go through the story of Noah together. It will be amazing to see just how your child will interpret the story just by looking at the pictures. I know it will be a book that they will LOVE "reading" to you night after night. I highly recommend this one and think Mark has captured the true essence of incorporating the love of books to children anywhere. Hands down it gets every single one of the 5 out of 5 stars in my book.

Now the best part, thanks to the generosity of Propeller and Mark Ludy, they are providing a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here's your guidelines to enter:

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

2. "Like" Mark Ludy's Facebook page and leave him a comment when you stop by.

3. Be a resident of the U.S. or Canada or have a shipping address for either country. Please No P.O. Boxes.

4. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy. Don't forget to include your email address since I will need it to contact you if you're the winner. You wouldn't believe the number of people who would win, but without an email address, I have no way to reach you. You can use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will email the winner once the giveaway ends on November 18th. You can enter as many times as you want.

For more information about Noah: A Wordless Picture Book, Mark Ludy or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Mark Ludy on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest books.

To read more reviews on this book and to find a retailer to purchase this book through, please click here.

"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.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Becoming Bea

For Beatrice Zook it has always been about who will have the last W-O-R-D. To stay that her and Ben Rupp are competitive would be a sheer understatement. For as long as they were in school, the annual spelling bee determined who was the winner. At first it was all about studying definitions, spellings, and root meanings, but for as long as either of them could remember it was about so much more. Until the Amish district decided that there was too much pride in winning the spelling bees, and they were banned.

Last time Bea could remember, she was the final winner, but after all those competitions between her and Ben, it was tied. Since the Amish graduate at the 8th grade, that was where it ended. In a tie. Bea at one time had hoped for something more between her and Ben, but an argument between them ended things before they ever got started. And now, every time, they see one another, it's a contest of wits, words and emotions.

Bea believes her life is content keeping people at arms length and sees no reason to step outside her comfort zone to make friends, find a suitable husband or even venture outside her home. Between her books and taking care of her Mamm who survived surgery to remove a brain tumor, she believes her life is complete. Until her sister Molly arrives home from church and announces they are all planning a trip to Montana to visit her husband's family and to give the family a much needed vacation. That is the last thing Bea wants and the only way out of it, is to find a job before the start of the trip.

Lucky for her, Nan and Bob Miller have been looking for someone to help with the care of triplet preemies, as well as taking care of the house, cooking and anything else Bea can help with. Nan is still recovering from their birth and to say that taking care of three infants is more than a handful, would be an understatement. Not only that but Bob's business in cabinet making is taking on more business than he can handle and he's hired a few of the local boys to help out. One of them just happens to be Ben Rupp. But will Bea have the last word this T-I-M-E?

I received Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. I absolutely LOVED this novel. I'd read Courting Cate quite some time ago and was anxious to get back to Lancaster County to see how things were going. I love that Bea and Ben still have that competitive edge and I found myself relating quite a bit to Bea because all through high school, I was what some would call a loner. So to see her trying to find her way in the world, while her sister believes she has Bea's best interests in mind was something I could relate to. It's a great reminder of just how the Amish community works together to help one another out when they truly have a need and families are always looked after. This one easily rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my O-P-I-N-I-O-N! This is the fourth novel in the Courtships of Lancaster County Series.

For more information about Becoming Bea, Leslie Gould or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Leslie Gould on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To see more reviews on Becoming Bea, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page. 

Leslie Gould is back with the latest book, Becoming Bea, in her Shakespeare-inspired series, The Courtships of Lancaster County. Don't miss the other books in the series, Courting Cate (retelling of The Taming of the Shrew), Adoring Addie (inspired by Romeo and Juliet), and Minding Molly (inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Leslie is celebrating the series with a Kindle giveaway and a Facebook party on November 11th.


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • One copy each of the entire The Courtships of Lancaster County series: Courting CateAdoring Addie, Minding Molly, and Becoming Bea.
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 11/11. Winner will be announced at Leslie's 11/11 Becoming Bea Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Leslie and Amish fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Live Original

In this day in age, we are constantly searching for positive influences not only in our own lives, but more importantly, in the lives of our children and teens. Bombarded by the media's influence of what is worthy in the eyes of the world, it's no wonder our teens are facing challenges with bullying, dating relationships, immorality, self esteem, and self worth. If we simply look at ourselves by the world's standards of what is worthy, we will all come up so very short.

That is why I am thrilled when I come across things that promote God's vision for our children and teens in a form that they can easily relate to. From dating advice, how to deal with haters in school, social media challenges, fulfilling and finding our dreams, self confidence, dealing with blame, promoting a strong positive force in school and social activities, working on random acts of kindness in helping others in any way we can, creating a respect for your family, friends and most importantly yourself, as well as dealing with situations you may find yourself in that can create awkward moments, dealing with stresses that only a teenager is faced with and living your life as the original masterpiece God has called each of us to be.

Sadie Robertson, Duck Dynasty, at the age of seventeen, has thought a lot about friendships, self-confidence, and being the one and only original God has made you to be in her first book, Live Original. She shares great biblical advice that teens can easily relate to in each chapter devoted to something your own teen may be dealing with. From issues on social media with negative messages or even posts, to how to make sure you set your Godly standards up front with your friends and potential dates to avoid having to compromise on your faith. At the conclusion of each chapter is a challenge section for teens with some questions to provoke further thought and a challenge to incorporate these ideas into their life. Each chapter opens with a great scripture and Sadie constantly refers back to all her ideas right back to the Bible, so teens can see that the answers to a lot of the issues they are dealing with are found in the Bible.

She incorporates the use of examples on how she has struggled in maintaining a Christian way of living in the world while often times being the only Christian in a situation from joining a Junior Olympic basketball team in Austria at thirteen and why her parents felt she was strong enough to go alone. She uses stories from her grandparents, her siblings and others to show just how important family values and Christian living can help us to define our choices in the world. Not to make things difficult by restricting us, but by helping us to choose those things that will help keep us pure and living for God.

I received Live Original by Sadie Robertson compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation in exchange for my review and was offered a complimentary copy of the book and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. I think this is a must have for any parent struggling to help teens live a godly life in an ungodly world. Sadie relates to teens on their level because she is writing from her own heart. From the challenges facing her in dealing with being part of the Duck Dynasty fame, she retains her essence of who she is despite of it. How she really tries to get teens to understand their purpose here on the world and how they can have a positive impact by beginning now instead of simply waiting until they are old enough. She's even designed her own line of "Daddy-approved" prom dresses known as the Sherri Hill line/Sadie Robertson collection. I highly recommend this book and think it would make a great resource for any teenager struggling with any of the issues I mentioned above. Hands down a well deserved 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information about Live Original, Sadie Robertson, or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Sadie Robertson on Facebook to stay up to date on her latest books and resources.

To read more reviews on Live Original, please visit Howard Books website. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Iesodo: Joy - Unto Us a Dove is Born

Iesodo (YAY-sa-doe) is a highly acclaimed Telly Award winning series featuring a cast of animated birds who live in a Cypress Tree on the shores of Galilee. Presented with cutting edge imagery, Iesodo, which means "the way of Jesus", is a wise and gentle dove that gives an allergory to the stories and messages of Jesus with "solid biblical teaching." (American Family Journal). With each and every story, he and his lovable feathered friends "present the essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a winsome, compelling way."(

Zaya Toonz, the animation company behind Iesodo, assemble a collaboration of animation experts with the experience in both the children's and Christian markets. Directors for the series include Brian E. Ray who credits consist of the "Muppet Babies," "My Little Pony Tales" and "Ed, Ed, and Eddy," as well as Colin Brady, who credits include "Toy Story," "Toy Story 2" and "A Bug's Life." Brady also served as the former animation supervisor at Pixar Animation Studios. The Iesodo series features the voice of Erin Bethea ("Fireproof," "Amazing Love") as Maggie.

In Joy: Unto Us A Dove is Born, Iesodo and his feathered friends bring your favorite New Testament stories to life in a whole new way including the special re-imagining of the Nativity story. Let your heart take flight and tweet along to the holiday carols and all-new songs! Festivities are in full swing as the flock prepares to celebrate Iesodo's birthday! The Cypress Tree is decked out with holly berries and excitement is in the air. Everyone gathers as Rocky shares the incredible story of Iesodo's birth.

I received Iesodo: Joy - Unto Us a Dove is Born compliments of Capital Christian Distribution and Edify Media Inc for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and received a complimentary copy of the DVD in exchange for my review. This is such a beautiful series. The animation is top-notch and the songs are ones I know your children will be singing long after this DVD ends. I love how they incorporated the story of Iesodo's birth with the New Testament story of the Nativity. We get to see how important his birth is, just like understanding Jesus' birth is to believers. I love the Wise Owls who come riding turtles in search of the king. The animal characters they use to represent the various characters from the Nativity are well thought out and I know this is one that families will love to add to their home library collection. There are also some extras on the DVD such as Bible Connections with Pastor Tim, Christmas at Natalie's Nest, Bible Verses and a Christmas Sing-A-Long. I only wish this was available when my children were younger. By far, this one rates an easy 5 out of 5 stars. I would encourage you to pick up a copy in time for the perfect Christmas gift.

For more information about Iesodo: Joy - Unto Us a Dove is Born, Capital Christian Distribution, or where you can pick up a copy of this DVD today, please click on the links below:

You can Iesodo on Facebook to stay up to date with all the latest DVD releases.

You can purchase a copy of Iesodo: Joy - Unto Us a Dove is Born at

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Promise

The one thing Mallory Hammond knows is that she vowed to save a life when the promise she made to her cousin at 17, was over rulled by her parents and left her cousin to die when they refused to let her donate a kidney. Now it is the first item on her bucket list and now that she is older, she can make those decisions for herself even if her parents object. When she tries to donate her kidney years later, she is determined to have a genetic disposition for pre-diabetes that once again robs her of the desire to help someone and fulfill the promise she made so many years ago. Tate Webber has hoped that some day he and Mallory might get married but until she is able to fulfill her promise she will keep Tate at arms length and refuse to make plans to get married.

When she learns that a child suffering from leukemia in Pakistan, a niece to the man she works for Ismail at his office, she believes this may in fact be the last opportunity to save a life. With little time left for Majida to get treatment to come to the United States, Ismail and Abdul are convinced the only way to expedite things in time is to find someone to marry Abdul in name only, and allow Majida and Abdul to be able to travel to the United States for treatment. Now if they can only convince Mallory. Fortunately Abdul knows just what will motivate Ismail to help convince Mallory to come to Pakistan and marry him and that will mean threatening his future fiance' Soraya with harm. It is a fear that Ismail has lived under long since leaving his own country, but the hand of his family and father can make it more than just a threat but reality as well.

When things between Tate and Mallory seem to go south in terms of their relationship, Ismail knows just the time to ask Mallory if she might consider helping Majida get treatment to save her life, since the medical care in Pakistan is limited and not likely to help her survive. For Mallory feeling like she has no options left to fulfill her promise agrees to talk to Abdul over the phone to see what they can work out and come to an agreement. Mallory knows if she tells her family or Tate what she is considering, neither of them will support her decision. So she decides to take a risk that may lead to more than she is bargaining for.

I received The Promise by Beth Wiseman compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. This novel is based on real life events from a friend close to Beth Wiseman who found herself in similar circumstances when she fell for an offer of marriage to a Muslim man and found herself being held against her will. It conveys how very different the two cultures are and how often women are misled to make the trip to foreign countries only to find themselves trapped and unable to return. A very chilling reminder to be a warning to women who may be considering the very same thing as Mallory. It conveys just how different it can be in two very different countries and just because you maintain citizenship in the United States, you lose much of that control being married in a Muslim country now controlled by your husband. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and applaud Beth for sharing this story that may help other women from making these same mistakes in their own lives.

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

You can find Beth Wiseman on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Promise, please visit Litfuse Publicity's book tour page.

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


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


A Lady at Willowgrove Hall

Ah sometimes the best places to visit are the ones best-selling authors take us to in their novels. For fans of Jane Austen or Downton Abbey, you will absolutely LOVE the Whispers on the Moors series from Sarah E. Ladd. I've been honored to be whisked away as an unseen voyeur watching the lives of the women who encounter life at Willowgrove Hall and the secrets that remain hidden beneath the stone walls there.

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall is the third and hopefully not final novel in the series and it takes us back to Willowgrove Hall once more into the lives of the Trent family who now reside there. Mrs. Trent has fallen ill and now that her lady's companion has gotten married she has requested a suitable replacement. Her letter finds her way to the Rosemere School for Young Ladies in Darbury, England. After spending five years there, Cecily Faire has been asked by the Mrs. Sterling to fulfill the role of the companion for Mrs. Trent. Cecily has been living at Rosemere since her father abandoned her there after learning of her plans to runaway with a man she had fallen in love with at sixteen. She was more than ready to begin a new life, but wondered if she might be able to find the family that had been stolen from her five years ago. Had her father forgiven her after all these years? Perhaps the answers lie within the walls of Willowgrove Hall.

Nathaniel Stanton, the steward of Willowgrove Hall has his own secrets that have been revealed to him by his mother. He has learned that the man he believed was his father wasn't and instead his father had been Mr. Trent who had long passed away. Since Mrs. Trent learned of her husband's indiscretions in their marriage, she had punished Mr. Stanton instead of her husband. That is why they have such a conflicting working relationship and why she condones having him working the estate she is living in. She knows Nathaniel should be the rightful heir, but it is something she had to keep hidden and allow the estate to pass to her nephew instead when she dies. Knowing she doesn't have much time left Mrs. Trent looks forward to spending time with someone instead of living the remainder of her years alone. Her nephew, while still part of the family, is planning his own wedding and is looking forward to the day when he will become the rightful heir to Willowgrove Hall.

I received A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. Traditional regency romance fans will be thrilled at the poetic writing style that Sarah utilizes to take readers back to the early 1800's when romance was still something desired and dreamed about. I absolutely love that she utilizes flaws in Cecily and Nathaniel to make them more believable to readers. You find yourself rallying for both of them in spite of the odds against them. In the darkest places sometimes is where we find the light of hope again. I can only hope that Sarah will continue with the characters her readers have become fans of and this will not be the last novel in the Whispers of the Moors series. Truly worth 5 out of 5 royal stars in this readers heart!

For more information about A Lady at Willowgrove Hall, Sarah E. Ladd or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Sarah E. Ladd on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on A Lady at Willowgrove Hall, please visit Litfuse Publicity's book tour page.

Award-winning author Sarah E. Ladd examines how to escape the clutches of a tainted past in the final installment of her Whispers on the Moor series. A Regency-era novel, A Lady at Willowgrove Hall cleverly shows that even though our pasts may be shameful or painful, God can take the darkest personal histories and turn them into the brightest futures.


Celebrate with Sarah by entering her Kindle HDX giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 2nd. Winner will be announced November 3rd here.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Christmas at Tiffany's

For days, my blogging readers have fallen for the clues I have left behind thinking I have traveled to New York, Paris, Venice and London, but in reality I have simply been sharing some of the incredible insights I have gotten from Karen Swan's latest novel Christmas at Tiffany's. I found myself looking up interesting tidbits as I came across them to get a real feel for the places Cassie Fraiser finds herself traveling to. From the sparkling water drinking fountains in Paris, to the famous Kiss statue from Rodin, to the whispering gallery in St. Paul's cathedral, there is such romance to be found in the oddest of places in these iconic cities.

Cassie Fraiser got the shock of her life on her tenth anniversary to Gil. She found out that the life she had been living with him was a complete lie. He was sleeping with her best friend Wiz and fathered a son, Rory, three years before their 10-year anniversary party. Not quite sure what to do or where to go, Cassie has been officially adopted by her boarding school friends who each have vowed to take her for four months in the cities where they live. They will provide a roof over her head and a job for her while she figures out just where she needs to go after her failed marriage.

In each of these amazing locations, Cassie has willingly agreed to give herself up 100% to each of them, allowing them to pamper, spoil and torture her with their own select advice on moving forward in her life. She arrives on the morning after her disastrous anniversary party in New York with her best friend Kelly, who is as addicted to fitness as she is working all hours as a PR for the fashion industry at Harper Communications. She vows to do much more than get Cassie into shape and convinces her that the fast paced urban city of New York is just what she needs to keep her on her toes. She even makes her a Senior PR assistant at her company, but when she realizes she is in way over her heads, Kelly might be the one to take the fall.

She spends the next 8 months traveling to Paris, Venice and subsequently London all while taking on a treasure hunt/bucket list from her childhood friend Henry who is a bit of an adventurer who has traveled quite literally the world over and back and knows just the perfect places for her to see and people to connect with all while growing whatever seeds he sends her to grow. She struggles to figure out just who the real Cassie is, despite all the make overs her friends provide and the many jobs she gets to try on for size. After ten years, she needs to find out just who she is and who she wants to be, and she might be in for more surprises that she expects.

I received Christmas at Tiffany's by Karen Swan compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions in this review are strictly my own personal opinions. I originally thought this was going to be a Christmas romance, based solely on the title and was thrilled to take a virtual vacation right alongside Cassie. I love the idea Henry had for giving her something to do while she was in each of these amazingly romantic cities, besides your normal tourist activity stuff and I can't wait to start my own. This is such a great novel that showcases how one woman and her best friends help her get over one of the most difficult chapters in her life, dealing with the loss not only of the man she thought she knew over 10 years, but her hopes and dreams for a future with children. At well over 580 pages, this one was worth taking my time to enjoy over a couple of days. I give this one a 4 out 5 stars based on my own rating scale. It does contain some profanity and adult content, that some readers might find offensive, that prevented me from rating it a full 5 out of 5! I absolutely loved the adventure, the lists from Henry and the language of flowers you find scattered throughout this novel!

For more information about Christmas at Tiffany's, Karen Swan or where you can preorder a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Karen Swan on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Christmas at Tiffany's, please visit William Morrow's website.