Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Who hasn't at one time been fascinated by the life of royalty? From Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, Dukes and Duchesses, there is a sense of awe about what life is like for those the live under a royal title. Perhaps it is the little girl in all of us that when we were children, had those fairy tales read to us about princes and princesses that inspired us to dream of castles and the happy ever afters we believed was possible. In Karen Harper's latest novel, The Royal Nanny, we get the chance to see what life is like for those who take up the role as a Nanny for a couple that stands in succession to the title of King or Queen of England.
The book begins in 1897 when Charlotte Bill arrives to Sandringham, England to help the nurse in charge of the princes children based on recommendations from her former work with the Duke and Duchesses children. However when Charlotte senses that there might be more going on than meets the eye regarding the behavior of David, the first in line to succeed the throne, as well as his younger brother Bertie. David is fidgety, while his brother Bertie is withdrawn. One day when she happens upon the head nanny Mrs. Peters, she sees that she is abusing the child. She is threatened with losing her job if she tells anyone what she has seen, but it is worth the risk to save the lives of both boys.
It garners her the role as head nanny now, something she had only dreamed of before, and as the royal couple continue to have more children, she knows her position will be for quite awhile. What she doesn't understand is how removed the Prince and Princess are from taking any active role in the raising of their own children, only seeing them at appointed tea times in the afternoon and then only a brief exchange while she stands present. The loving affections for their own children is sorely lacking with only more recommendations from the Prince in what his expectations are for them. All Charlotte knows is how much love and caring these children need and she will do her best to provide for them even if it means risking a life of never being married and having her own children with the one man she truly loves. After all, one can't marry within the staff under the royal couple and not lose their job, it is expressly forbidden.
I received The Royal Nanny by Karen Harper compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publisher for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of the novel in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion. I truly love this novel because it is hard to understand the middle ground a nanny faces. She is not truly part of the royal family nor a member of the lower staff, so she rarely has any contact or friends with anyone other than other nannies or ladies maid. Such an insightful look into the secret life of a Royal Nanny. There is even an author's note at the conclusion of this novel that offers her insight on what she chose this particular topic and her own research behind it all. Fans of all things pertaining to the Royal family will absolutely LOVE this novel as well as fans of Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
For more information about The Royal Nanny, Karen Harper or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Karen Harper on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on The Royal Nanny, please visit William Morrow's website.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
There is nothing funny about a bunch of bats living in the attic of the meeting house. While the committee members continue to struggle about the best use of the financial windfall they have inherited by the recent passing of a former member of their church, it seems unlikely that the building of the addition to the church is going to happen. At least not under the watchful eyes of the Department of Natural Resources who have declared that the bat colony taking up residence is under federal protection of the species and can not be disturbed for at least three months possibly more.
While the pastor of the church, Sam Gardner, couldn't be more pleased, things are about to get interesting as one series of events will lead to a chain reaction that will have everyone questioning one another's real motives. The Fink couple who manage to wind up in the middle of everything is the catalyst. Sam doesn't care for them because it seems like they are just waiting for him to mess something up with running the church so he can be removed. So while it may feel like walking on eggshells that is nothing compared to what is coming. It can only be described by the reader as downright comical in the scheme of things, but to those who it is happening to, it is catastrophic as assumptions are made, rumors spread and everyone is questioning everyone's true motives over what they would rather believe is true.
Who would have ever thought that a colony of Indiana bats could stir up the congregation and cause such outright division about the community but also within its members and even right into the core of one's family. When someone kills all the bats without knowing they have been declared protected, pretty soon rumors spread that the bat bodies found in the trash bag by the local trash company is just the beginning of a Satanic cult begin lead first by the pastor himself but then fingers are pointed that it really began with the wife and the pastor is just an innocent bystander. Will they ever get things sorted out so they can reestablish the community of believers and finally decide on how best to spend the inherited money? Be prepared for the ride of your life!
I received A Gathering in Hope by Philip Gulley compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside for a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. This series is really all about the quirky personalities that make up a small town community church and how each of them interacts with one another. From the church busybodies who want to know everything that is really going on, to Sam's mother who in her old age, believes that she can still bike ride about town like she did when she was a girl until she is hit by a teen while texting and driving. In her confusion, she knows she is prescribed one pain pill for her injury but thinks if one is good, two can be better, and then again why not double that. Rumors fly when her doctors think she has a prescription drug problem and soon everything is off and running again. I thoroughly enjoyed this book better than the previous one in this series and this one truly makes up for it doubly so! Well worth 4 out of 5 stars.
For more information about A Gathering in Hope, Philip Gulley or where you can pick up a copy of this book due out in early September of 2016, please click on the links below:
You can find Philip Gulley on Facebook to stay up to date with this entire series.
To read more reviews on A Gathering in Hope, please visit Center Street Publishing's website.
Monday, August 29, 2016
"If you hear someone who claims to speak the very words of God and their message does not agree with Scripture, turn off the T.V. or change channels. Prophecy is not an expression of our personal opinion, our own understanding of Biblical truth, our interpretation, our own experience, our view of the world, a display of our personal Biblical knowledge, or a contest about who can quote the most Scripture."
"Have you noticed that many prophecies recorded in the Bible reveal sin and its consequence?"
Understand the gift of prophecy is probably the most misunderstood of all the Spiritual gifts. "Clearly, prophetic messages do not originate in our imaginations, impressions, intuition, or common dreams. Prophecy's purpose is not to please the ears of those who hear it. True prophecy typically does not serve to help us make personal decisions such as who to marry, where to go to school, what car to buy. New Testament congregational prophecy is NOT some kind of crystal ball to tell us about our personal future."
We must first understand what the gift of prophecy is, who is can be gifted to, when should it be used and most importantly how can we tell false prophecies and false prophets from the real deal. I know for me, when I began studying spiritual gifts, this was probably the one I desired the most, but not in order that I might share some word from God, but that I might see into the future some events and be able to enlighten a few people that doom was on the horizon. How clearly wrong my intentions were and how I understand now, why I never received that gift as a believer in Christ. I had it all wrong.
In Cho Larson's latest book, A Jewel of the Kingdom, he shares this condensed but precise book on what prophecy is, how it was used throughout the Bible, what it isn't, and how it can be used today to help strengthen the church of this age. I received A Jewel of the Kingdom by Westbow Press and the author, himself for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside for my copy of the book in exchange for my fair and unbiased review of the book. It is laid out perfect for individual or small group Bible studies, with each chapter, having a set of questions to answer as well as a space for your own notations. It also includes Proof Scriptures under certain sub-sections to help you dive deeper into the Bible for clarification on that subject, for example, :Where does a prophet prophesy? Proof Scripture: 1 Corinthians 14:12, 1 John 4:1.
This book came at a perfect time in my own persona morning devotions as I had been doing a study through the prophets like Ezekiel and Jeremiah who all foretold of their own dealings with false prophets of their day, leading the people astray in contradiction to God's true message for his people. They spoke of a coming wrath from God for disobedience and the false prophets promised only peace and prosperity for the people. In response the people liked what they were doing and didn't want to turn from their evil lifestyle so they disregarded God's true prophets. I think this would be a value to anyone who wants to research the subject of prophecy in regards to what the Bible has to say about it and most of all how it can be used in the church today. Who knows perhaps you have been given the gift of prophecy and don't even realize you have it?! I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
For more information about A Jewel of the Kingdom, Cho Larson or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:
You can find Cho Larson on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.
You can find A Jewel of the Kingdom on Amazon or wherever Christian books can be found.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Nothing can be disputed when it comes to the unconditional love and loyalty found in the hearts of dog lovers, for they know it's true because of their four-legged companions live it out in front of them every single moment of their days. So it should come as no surprise that Service Tails by Ace Collins reveals to us some amazing and heart-warming stories of man's best hero. Tucked inside the cover with a Golden Retriever found on the front, you will find 12 true stories that showcase both loyalty, unconditional love all wrapped up in the service to their owners who do it without a fleeting thought. From the first person to take on using a guide dog, to other ways in which service dogs have been utilized to use their eyes to help those out who no longer have that sense of sight.
The best part of these stories is the relationships that are built upon the owner and their dog, as if in some way they become one, one team working together to make more enjoyable and restoring self confidence in those who have had their sight taken from them. These dogs stretch the potential in which they can be used not just in helping to guide their owners from the perils facing them without sight, but creating an everlasting bond that goes beyond words and connects them to the heart of the reader.
You get a chance to discover the back story of the very first guide dog who came to the United States with her own in the 1920's to create the first Guide Dog training school that was originally established in Switzerland. This came at a time when it was hard for society to accept having dogs allowed in public places like restaurants, trains and in public buildings where most had been refused entrance. It would go to show how this man and dog paved the way for more than just a school to teach dogs how to guide their owners but in establishing policies to allow others to utilize their own service dogs in the same manner.
I received Service Tails by Ace Collins compliments of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. Truly any dog lover would LOVE this book and would make an exceptional gift. There is already an unseen bond between dogs and their owners that this book truly brings to life in a remarkable and life changing world. I would easily give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars and there are even links within the book that take the readers to the websites of some of the service dog organizations featured in this book.
For more information about Service Tails, Ace Collins or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:
You can find Ace Collins on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.
To read more reviews on Service Tails, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour page.
Fall in love with these remarkable service dogs and their stories of courage, faith, and loyalty in Ace Collins' new book, Service Tails. Their training was intense, their loyalty unquestioned and each step of the way they constantly adapt to better serve those they lead. These unforgettable dogs are more than heroes; they are models from which we can learn how to love and serve unconditionally.
Celebrate the release of Service Tails with Ace by entering to win the Take-Your-Dog-to-the-Park Pack!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of Service Tails
- A copy of Man's Best Hero
- A dog blanket
- A dog leash
- A dog-cape towel
- A dog bandana
- A dog toy
- Dog treats
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 30. The winner will be announced August 31 on the Litfuse blog.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
If you have been a believer in Christ long enough, then you understand the meaning behind spiritual gifts. However if you're a lot like I am, you might be confused at what they are in comparison to natural abilities versus spiritual gifts. Is there a way to know for sure? Aren't they simply the same thing anyway? I mean as long as God gets the credit, does it really matter? You just might be as surprised as I was.
God, we know, is never changing. But has He changed when we look at what is happening not only in the world around us but more importantly what is happening inside the church and in the hearts of the believers? Is He ministering the grace of healing to His people today? Is He still a God of miracles? Is it possible that He would ever desire to withdraw His power and authority from the church? Why would He covenant with His church and then withdraw any part of His covenant? These questions and more drove Cho Larson, to search for these as if lost treasures. Ones that we might be missing because we believe we haven't lost them.
Christians are the branches of the Tree of Life, branches of the Vine, and we are to receive power given by the Holy Spirit, to take this Good News of Jesus Christ to every nation. But what does Christianity look like without Christ? "We become like dry vines or withered branches from the Tree of Life. We no longer receive our sustenance from the Vine. These shrunken offshoots hold to a form of godliness, but deny the power and are in danger of being cut off or burned. We are trying to please men rather than God and are not serving under the authority of Christ. We have abandoned the Spring of Living Water for a well we have dug by our own efforts." (pg. 36).
In Book 2 in the Kingdom Series, author Cho Larson, helps readers to search for and discover Treasures of the Kingdom. He outlines in perfect detail the mystery surrounding the gifts of the Spirit from our natural God-given talents. He showcases with Biblical scriptures, the way we can tap into the Spirit and discover who God has designed us to be and what role we can play in what God has ordained for us to do, not simply filling out a role in the church that needs to be filled. I love his questions for how we can tell if we are even in the right place within the church or ministry by his eye opening and truth revealing questions. By far, my favorite chapters are on natural gifts versus spiritual gifts. Now I believe I have the answers I have been searching for instead of looking for them on my own.
I received Treasures of the Kingdom by Cho Larson compliments of Westbow Press and the author, himself for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and unbiased opinion of the book. There is so much to be shared in this book, that this review would be much to long to read and explore, but if you question what God's spiritual gifts truly are, how the church is losing its way in these last days, and how to find out what God has called for you in your own spiritual walk, I would highly recommend this amazing resource to accompany in your own personal Bible Study or with others in a small or large group setting. I would give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
For more information about Treasures of the Kingdom, Cho Larson or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:
You can find Cho Larson on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books and resources.
This book is available in paperback, hardcover or eBook formats wherever Christian books are sold.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
We all know about God, while some may profess He truly exists or others deny His existence, the fact remains, there is a God. Some people may claim that He is simply someplace called heaven, far removed from the lives of us living on earth as if He is some entity that isn't concerned at all with us. So besides the Bible, how can we know for sure that God does really exist and that true change comes from a personal relationship with Him?
Enter Hearts for the Kingdom, the first book in the Kingdom Series from author Cho Larson, who quite literally takes readers by the hand and introduces them to the very real God of the Universe, Heaven and Earth and showcases what the life of faith looks like for a believer while casting aside any doubts that one might have in such issues like our foundations of faith, spiritual gifts, are we saved and if so, how can we tell, along with understanding such simple areas like worship, praise, forgiveness and unconditional love.
Cho Larson breaks down each of these relevant areas of the Christian walk for readers in what he calls Mission Possible. Taking it in small manageable chunks, along with Bible references, he introduces believers to what a life as a true Christian really looks like. From understanding the importance of creating a strong and lasting foundation, to realizing what worship really means and how we are all created unique and different in the ways we follow Jesus along in our spiritual walk. I found this extremely important because so often for new believers, they feel like they have to conform to the same spiritual mold, and in doing so miss out on the very aspect of giving God the glory while we struggle to understand if we are doing faith right in our own lives. We miss out on the personal growth that can occur when we simply agree to follow in Jesus' footsteps each day in obedience and look back at the end of the day to see where we may have fallen short and therefore learn to follow along more closely.
I received Hearts for the Kingdom by Cho Larson compliments of Westbow Press and the author himself for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of the book in exchange for my heartfelt and unbiased review of the book. This book is unique in that everyone will glean something different in regards to their own spiritual walk when they open this book. You might be a seasoned believer who has suddenly experienced a dryness in their walk and feel like God has grown quiet, this will restore that connection and allow you to continue to move forward, or perhaps you are someone who is curious about this "relationship" with Jesus Christ and simply want to know more about it. Trust me, then this is the perfect place to start. The chapter on worship really hit home for me, personally, because worship is different for everyone, from that private prayer time with God, to singing praise songs to Him at random points in your day, to standing corporately before a body of believers and still experiencing that one on one time with the Creator of the Universe. This is a great individual study or would work great with big or small Bible Study groups as well. There is something for everyone tucked between the covers of this book and the reason for the 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
For more information about Hearts for the Kingdom, Cho Larson or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:
You can find Cho Larson on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest books and resources.
You can find this book in paperback, hardcover and ebook formats at your favorite retailer.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Birthday's are a special time and more importantly, there are a special time for a young girl or boy. Who can't forget that unmistakable song that we all sing when the cake comes out, the candle are lit and the birthday girl or boy, makes a wish and blows out the candles? Now there is a great gift idea for that special child along with a wonderful option of playing that song again and again with the press of a button, along with a photo pocket to capture that special moment!
Happy Birthday to You by Michelle Medlock Adams is the ideal first board book for the birthday girl or boy. It is study, durable and comes with wonderful illustrations on every single page written in a fun rhyming style that will make this a favorite of your child's to remember that special day. From waking up that morning and realizing it's their birthday, to seeing their guest arriving, and placing hats on their dog and cat too! But what fun is a birthday without games, pinatas, before the special time of cake along with the singing of the birthday song!!! Blow out the candles on your cake, but first, you have a wish to make. Then it's time to open the presents but none more important than a special birthday prayer followed by a dedication page along with a photo pocket for that special photo commemorating that day or even your favorite one of your child! A large push button can be played throughout the book as it contains a special precut section in each of the board books colorful pages. The best part is that the batteries can be replaced so the book is as new as the first day it was given to your child.
I received Happy Birthday to You by Michelle Medlock Adams with illustrations by Sandra Rodriguez compliments of Worthy Kids/Ideal Books, a division of Worthy Publishing Group for my honest review. I did not receive any kind of monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this book, in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of the book. I wish I had these books for my kids growing up but the fun is sharing them with your family and friends children or even a special birthday boy or girl at church! This is such a wonderful interactive book that will keep those special memories alive! I easily give this board book a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
For more information about Happy Birthday To You, Michelle Medlock Adams or where you can pick up a copy of this board book today, please click on the links below:
You can find Michelle Medlock Adams on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.
To read more reviews on Happy Birthday To You, please visit Worthy Publishing Group's website.
No one likes goodbyes.
Perhaps because it sends a message of finality along with it. It is why so many that are on their death beds hate that word. It means the end in coming and with it, the end of life as they know it. It seems that goodbyes are like that, an ending of something, like a period at the end of a sentence. It's a chapter in our lives that is closing so another one can begin.
Michelle understood all too well those words. When her father walked out on her and her mother, she knew what that meant, but it didn't mean it didn't hurt the girl she was on the inside even though she learned to adapt and hide it on the outside. In fact that left such an emptiness she didn't even know how to communicate it to her mother who now was dealing with being a single mother and coping with the loss in her own way. So she rebelled like most teenagers her age and found solace in the company of young teenage boys who were too willing to help her deal with being wanted and loved in their own selfish ways. She found she could relate to them better than girls so that is where she ran to until her parents and grandparents gave her an ultimatum.
Pick one of three Christian colleges and they would pay for the entire tuition. Michelle understood it was in an effort to control her wild behavior and perhaps had her best intentions in mind, but being underage still meant her parents could insist on what she did, her only choice in this was picking a college to attend. She opted for Cornerstone and would learn that sometimes life can turned around on a dime when you least expect it. Now she would be exposed to a different life than one she had been living and the relationships she would form with her roommates and the guys at college would last her forever if she was willing to see what God could do. Only how do you let go of all those bad habits that become your life, that sustain you and in your own mind protect you? How do you go from being a bad girl and change that kind of reputation in a place where rules abound? Will she ever find a man who can love her for who she is, faults and all, or will she continue to spiral out of control?
Until Then by Krista Noorman is a different kind of coming of age novel that showcases the life of Michelle who is about to get a rude awakening and a calling from God on her life. It is one she won't respond to right away and takes to falling back on what has worked for her in the past. The message behind it is wonderful and shows that while our plans may not work out the way we want them, God has a different one in mind that is always far better than the one we wanted if we are only willing to give Him a chance. Until Then takes readers of Goodbye Magnolia, the first novel in the Cornerstone series, into the life of Michelle, a character whom we briefly met in the first novel and gives a better backstory of their relationship and how it developed when the two friends met in college and wound up where they are at today.
I received Until Then by Krista Noorman compliments of the author for my honest review of this novel. While for some it might not fall into the "Christian" category because of Michelle's promiscuous lifestyle at first, it does show that where we all begin in our Christian walk is far from perfect and creates a genuine sense of realism that readers can get behind. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my heartfelt and unbiased personal opinions. I really love how it took you on a rollercoaster of a ride through Michell's turbulent lifestyle at college and shows readers that help can be found in the unlikeliest of places, if we are willing to look hard enough to find it. I would give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
For more information about Until Then, Krista Noorman or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Krista Noorman on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
You can purchase a copy of this novel on Amazon or your favorite online retailer.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thursday, August 18, 2016
If you have not watched When Calls the Heart, especially if you were a fan of Little House on the Prairie growing up, you will want to tune it. Thanks to Janette Oke's novel, the Hallmark Channel and Michael Landon Jr teamed up to further the adventures of Elizabeth Thatcher, (Erin Krakow), a woman from a prominent family in Hamilton, and decides to try becoming a school teacher in Hope Valley, out west. Only problem is that life on the frontier isn't at all like Elizabeth might imagine but she is bound and determined to give it ago especially when there are so many children who are in need of a teacher.
Now in its third season, When Calls the Heart, Forever in My Heart has been released on DVD by Word Films and is the 4th DVD in Season 3. The development of some of our favorite characters are about to take another turn. Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) is working with some new settlers who have set up a temporary camp outside of town for men who are working back in the mines. Unfortunately one couple is dealing with the affects of long hours and being new parents and the young husband vows to do what is best for them by leaving. It will take some intervention and heart to heart talks on both ends with Jack to help them realize what is best for their new family.
Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin) has been caring for Cody and Becky Connor's who have lost their parents and has taken on the role of a surrogate mother. Now it seems that a long lost wealthy aunt, Carolyn Conner's is about to uproot the family knowing that she is what is best for them above all the love Abigail has provided without taking their feelings into consideration. Once again, Abigail is about to lose everything she has invested her love in, or will she? Meanwhile Lee's feelings are about to be put to the ultimate test when Rosemary gets the chance of a lifetime, to become the lead actress in a producers movie. The only catch is that she will have to leave Hope Valley to do so. Will she stay for love or leave for fame? Only time will tell.
I received When Calls the Heart - Forever in My Heart compliments of Word Films and Edify Media Inc for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a copy of this DVD in exchange for my unbiased and personal opinion. I am so thrilled that this has made it to DVD so I can share this with my grandchildren and family whenever they come for a visit. It is so wonderful to find great shows that still teach moral and family values of hard work, community and love in one amazing show. This is Dove Family Approved for all ages, and the DVD runs approximately 84 minutes. There is also some bonus material included as an added bonus.
For a list of Season 3 of When Calls the Heart on DVD episodes:
1. When Calls the Heart - It Begins with Heart
2. When Calls the Heart - Troubled Hearts
3. When Calls the Heart - Heart of a Hero
4. When Calls the Heart - Forever in My Heart
For more information about When Calls the Heart - Forever in My Heart, Hallmark Channel, Word Films or where you can pick up this DVD today, please click on the links below:
You can find When Calls the Heart on Facebook to stay up to date all everything from the series.
You can find Word Films on Facebook to stay up to date on all their latest movie and film projects.
You can pick up a copy of When Calls the Heart - Forever in My Heart on DVD from Amazon or your other favorite online or local retailers.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Who would have ever thoughts that coloring books would be making a come back in a big way, and not just for kids, but for adults? I love coloring and doodling and as a corporate trainer for over 10 years, I understand the amount of learning that still happens when the mind is engaged in this type of activity, despite how it looks. It is also soothing and relaxing at the same time, while creating a creative outlook for those who choose to pick up their media of choice, whether crayons, coloring pencils, water colors, paint or markers, the results are amazing.
I am so please to introduce you to Ink Inspirations Fruit of the Spirit, Coloring Book by Health Communications Inc and Lorrie Bennett who designed the artwork you will find tucked inside. Beautiful illustrations accompany so of the best Scriptures from the Bible and I have added my own flair and creativity in Isaiah 43:2 "When you go through deep waters I will be with you." Such a powerful truth we can apply to whatever situation we find ourselves facing, knowing the God is always our present resource we can depend on.
The coloring book also shares some great features like coloring tips and tools, and knowing which ones to use and where, to how to decide what colors to use, from primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary color choices. My favorite was the Harmony How-To's which show you how certain colors within a color pallet can play off of each other picking shades either lighter or darker and use them together to create a blended effect. The coloring books also shares some of the same pages colored by a variety of talented artists so you can see how the pages might look before you begin for some creative ideas.
There are 32 full color pages, with another 32 more with some designs on the adjoining pages to give you a smaller pattern to complete. Illustrator Lorrie Bennett thoughtfully pairs stunning original art with powerful scriptures that eloquently embody the fruit of the Spirit, inviting you to immerse yourself in the meaning of the messages and cultivate them in everyday life. With perforated pages for framing or sharing, this is the perfect way to relax and unwind as you create beautiful works of art while rejoicing in the blessings of the Holy Spirit.
I received Ink Inspirations Fruit of the Spirit by Lorrie Bennett compliments of Health Communications Inc and TLC Book Tours for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from complimentary copy of the coloring book in exchange for my unbiased and personal opinion of the product. What I love is that depending on your color medium, (mine were gel pen based) I didn't experience any bleed through on the subsequent pages. I would have like to have seen blank pages on the backs so if there were bleed through issues depending on the type of medium you employ, you wouldn't ruin the other designs. That being said, I would rate this coloring book a 4 out of 5 stars and think the design choices compliment the scriptures perfectly.
Now for the very best part! Thanks to Health Communications Inc and TLC Book Tours, they are offering a giveaway copy of Ink Inspirations Fruit of the Spirit Coloring Book to one lucky follower based on the guidelines below:
1. You must be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.
2. "Like" my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart.
3. Must be a resident of the US or Canada or have a US or Canada mailing address. Please No P.O. Boxes.
4. Leave me a comment telling me why you'd love to win a copy of Ink Inspirations Fruit of the Spirit Coloring Book along with your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols. Without an email address, I have no way to contact you if you are the lucky winner. Winner will be announced by email on August 24th.
If you would like to know more information about Ink Inspirations Fruit of the Spirit Coloring Book. Lorrie Bennett or where to pick up a copy of this coloring book today, please click on the links below:
To read more reviews on Ink Inspirations Fruit of the Spirit Coloring Book, please visit TLC Book Tours page.
You can purchase a copy of Ink Inspirations Fruit of the Spirit Coloring Book from Amazon or your favorite book or online retailer.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Pine trees. Patchouli. Jasmine. Rose. Mandarin. These are the incredible scents that you will in one of several Forest Blend candles from Goose Creek depending on the three color pillar you choose from. I received a 4 inch three pour Forest Blend pillar candle and
Thursday, August 11, 2016
I can honestly tell you that my new favorite candle company is Goose Creek! There fragrances on the candles I have, are absolutely mouth-watering and bring back a sense of nostalgia from your childhood, especially on Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes! I had the wonderful opportunity to review this in their wax melts, which contains 6 triangle shaped wedges just the perfect size to drop into your candle burner. These were super easy to use and the amount of fragrance in just wafer tells you that the company doesn't scrimp of the amount that use to produce just what you would expect in these wax melts.
There are 6 wedges which last about 8-9 hours and for use in the ceramic tea light burners or the newest electric candle tart warmers which I love. They don't come with wicks and are meant to be used in the products for which they were designed, so they melt and don't give off smoke, just the delightful fragrance of a summer day filled with strawberries and lemonade along with just the right sugary fragrance of some vanilla cupcakes. Don't be surprised if someone doesn't ask what you are baking when you light one of these in your home. Brings back so many perfect memories and love that Goose Creek has designed these in addition to their candles with wicks as well. You are truly bound to be just like me, and stock pile your favorite scents for each season!
I received Goose Creek Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake Wax Melts compliments of Goose Creek Candle Company and Omni-Deals for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside for a single pack of the 6 wedge wax melts in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I can't wait to pick up my favorite fall and winter scents just in time for the upcoming holiday season and to give my home that welcome and heartwarming feel you would expect when you walk in and smell something delicious! I would easily rate these a 5 out of 5 stars!
For more information about Goose Creek Candle Company, Goose Creek Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake Wax Melts or where you can pick these up today for your own home, please click on the links below:
You can find Goose Creek Candle Company on Facebook to stay up to date with all their products and fragrances.
You can pick these up today at Amazon as well.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Perhaps one of my favorite smells in the whole world is blueberries in just about anything from muffins to pancakes to picking them fresh off the bush when they are in season. I am so thrilled to share with you an amazing new company that has delivered for me, one amazing new candle, Blueberry Cheesecake from Goose Creek!
First of all the fragrance is amazing and they truly didn't skimp on that when it came to putting together their 16 ounce, double wick Blueberry Cheesecake candle in a jar with a lid. I love candle that come this way because it helps you to retain the fragrance by not allowing it to dry out, and thus the reason for the lid. Now what I love about this candle.
Burn time is 90 hours. They each are homemade and have the most allowable fragrance per liquid ounce available, which is why they smell amazing. Top that off with the fact they are clean burning, meaning they are smokeless, which is perfect for me, because that residue from most other candles can get over your walls and just about anywhere else you light your candles. This one is amazing. It is 3 x 3 x 5 inches tall, weighs in at about 1.8 pounds and will make your mouth water when you light this up in your home.
I received Goose Creek Blueberry Cheesecake 16 oz candle compliments of Goose Creek and Omni Deals for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free sample of this candle in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. Anyone who loves the sweet fragrance of blueberry cheesecake will absolutely LOVE this candle. I keep it in my office to help curb off those hunger cravings for something sweet and to make my home office a wonderfully warm and inviting place to work. For me, Goose Creek candles is going to be one of my all time favorites to add to my home and this one hits a stellar home run with a perfect 5 out of 5 stars.
For more information about Goose Creek, Blueberry Cheesecake Candles or where you can pick one up today, please click on the links below:
You can find Goose Creek Candle Company on Facebook to stay up to date with all their latest products and fragrances.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Hard to believe I'm starting my grandchildren's book collection already since I have passed along my children's books to both of my daughters while they were growing up to my niece and nephew and love when I get the opportunity to continue to review children's books like God Made You Just Right by Jill Roman Lord. This is a beautifully illustrated board book just perfect for first time readers that conveys the message of how important we are all created in God's eyes.
The book continues to self esteeming message of how God created us each to be perfectly and uniquely made just the way we are, and that there is no one else just like you! It goes on to self affirm things like our individual sizes, laughs, what makes us happy, our ticklish spots, our hair color and kind, how we can make special uses of our hands to make sand castles or cookies, to throw balls, hold cats or give hugs! How we use our legs to run and play and even how God has blessed us with the ability to make someone's day, through our gentle hearts, kind words, and our thoughts and dreams.
How God designed us each individually to fulfill the tasks He has in mind for all children that only they can fulfill, further helping to establish a sense of self worth no matter what we see on the outside, God knows that there is no one else who can do the job ob being you like you can! The book ends with a reminder scripture of Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." All of these pages are designed using simple, rhyming text and whimsical illustrations, that are welcome reminders for little ones that God created each of us in just the right way.
I received God Made You Just Right by Jill Roman Lord compliments of Worthy Kids, a division of Worthy Publishing for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased and fair review of this book. The best part of board books is their durability! You can wipe them clean and they stand up to the wear and tear of children who are just beginning their first books. I love the value that are placed on individuality of each child because we are all created to serve a purpose only God created us to fulfill and this encourages that in your child through this book. For this reason I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
For more information about God Made You Just Right, Jill Roman Lord or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:
You can find Jill Roman Lord on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.
You can find more books from Jill Roman Lord by visiting her website.
Monday, August 8, 2016
Imagine finally having your dreams at your fingertips, just waiting to grasp that brass ring and never looking back? That is precisely what has happened for Deirdre O' Leary as she prepares to enter a hospital finally as a practicing nursing student. Just as those bright doors to her future stand wide open, they begin to shut when she receives a phone call informing her that her mother has had a stroke. Her father has hope that she will come home to help in caring for her mother as no nurse truly can. How can one say No to that request, of course she will come.
Now all they need is the latest in medical therapies to ensure that her mother can gain the use of her body again and that will take more than a simple phone call to Dr. Matthew Clayborne. He refused to leave his current practice to help with Kathleen O'Leary's care on a temporary basis and now it seems that Deidre O'Leary has managed to wind up in his clinic in hopes of swaying him to change his mind. Only Deidre won't stoop to that level and instead convinces her Uncle Victor, who runs the clinic to allow her to shadow Dr. Clayborne so that she might learn his techniques so she can employ them when she leaves in a week. But Matthew knows that one can't simply learn enough in a week to make any kind of lasting impact. Yet when a call from his daughter Phoebe's nanny informing him of an emergency with his daughter, Deidre agrees to accompany him.
Dr. Matthew Clayborne is told that unless he can get Phoebe to a quiet place to recover she may never get well. It seems like God has bigger plans in store for him to head to Irish Meadow's the O'Leary's estate on Long Island where he has been assured Phoebe is more than welcome. Deidre will do whatever she can to help Phoebe while Matthew works with her mother. Seems like a perfect match made in heaven except that both of them have made silent vows to never marry and they both intend on fulfilling them despite how they may feel toward one another. Now all Deidre has to do is help get her mother well enough before she is forced to withdraw from school and need to start all over again.
I received Love's Faithful Promise by Susan Anne Mason compliments of Baker Publishing Group and Net Galley for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from an eBook copy of this book in exchange for my fair and unbiased opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and despite not having read the previous novels in the series, I wasn't at a total loss in understanding the dynamics of the O'Leary family. I love the chemistry between Matthew and Deidre and how they try to hold back their feelings for the sake of not hurting the other if they don't feel the same, but deep down inside they fail to see that they both feel the same way, just neither one wanting to admit it. Back in the early 1900's it would be difficult for a woman to do so, but today that would not be an issue. Something to be said for changing times and traditions although I still miss that old-fashioned courting that took place. For me this one won a place in my heart with a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars.
For more information about Love's Faithful Promise, Susan Anne Mason or where you can preorder a copy of this novel due out in September of 2016, please click on the links below:
You can find Susan Anne Mason on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on Love's Faithful Promise, please visit Baker Publishing Group's website.
Friday, August 5, 2016
I love reading debut novels because it truly gives me a chance to meet new authors who are living their dream of putting their love of writing out there for the world to read. Peter Worthington is one such author as he debuts The Eden Tree. Combining a sense of adventure and archaeology of religious artifacts, the search begins. As two brothers locate a ancient box buried beneath a home in the basement in Joppa, they find it holds something amazing and miraculous. Truly the find of the century if it is in fact genuine. A wooden box bearing a design on the lid of a tree surrounded by golden angels. Within the box contains the last will and testament of Simon Peter, follower of Jesus Christ, some maps and a white bag containing some crushed leaves.
After taking it to their uncle, an expert in museum antiquities, he advises them on what it contains and who must be the one to possess it. The only person who can take possession of the box is the man with a tattoo on his hands that bear the same picture the lid has on it. He is the only one and they must hold onto it until he contacts them. It might be in this lifetime or after theirs but it must be kept for the one who can wield the power of what the chest holds.
John Wesley is that such man living in England but unaware that the life sentence given to his grandson Wesley John Morgan who is facing terminal cancer at age 7. They have exhausted all options and now there is only time to make him comfortable until God calls him home. But when John stumbles upon a man in a flower stall, who convinces him that he is destined to receive something of value that only he can possess, John is more than curious. Since he possesses the same said tattoo on his hand, the contents of the ancient box is now been released to him. It contains the crushed leaves from the Tree of Eden, which will provide miraculous healing to those who receive them. Along with detailed maps and the last will of Simon Peter, describing the location of the Tree of Eden in the Garden mentioned in the Bible that no one has been able to find. When John uses the leaves on his grandson, he is miraculously healed without any medical explanation and sets off a warning to those who have been looking for this box for their own means and purposes.
I received The Eden Tree by Peter Worthington compliments of Authoright and Clink Street Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my fair and unbiased opinion. I think the premise is wonderful, but we know based on biblical text, the Garden of Eden can never be found. But it is fun to imagine what might happen if it could. This is a fictional account based on the author's own experiences with his son, John Wesley, who underwent treatment for cancer but sadly passed away shortly after his seventh birthday. The Eden Tree has allowed Peter to give his much-loved son, a happier ending. A sequel is coming which readers get a small sneak peek at in the conclusion of this one. For me, this one rated a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
For more information about The Eden Tree, Peter Worthington, or where you can pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:
You can find The Eden Tree on Facebook to stay up to date on all Peter's latest news.
You can pick up a copy of this book from your favorite online retailer such as Amazon in both paperback and eBook formats.
Thursday, August 4, 2016
As all great series, they must come to an end sometime and what I have enjoyed about the Lady of the Manor's series, is that they all have a common thread but are written as unique story lines involving our main characters. I guess in a sense they could be read as stand alones, but I love how the common thread stays the same to connect them like connecting dots. A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M White is the third novel in the series and once again the elusive Fire Eyes, rare and sought after red diamonds are being searched for. Rumor has it that those that possess them are forever cursed and such seems to be the case once again as death follows those who possess them from losing their children or husbands even though they remain hidden.
This time Lady Ella Myerston has vowed to put an end to the curse once and for all. She knows that her brother and his friends will stop at nothing to find them and death continues to accumulate around them at Anlic Manor. She is the only one who knows she possess the stones as a set of ruby earrings and tries to keep them hidden when she can. It seems however that someone within the manor knows she has them when she discovers her jewelry box has been riffled through after the death of a maid's husband. She always tries to find the best in people but lately it seems that being in the presence of Lord James Cayton has captivated her every thought. She thought he would be the last person she would ever be attracted to but has found a connection to him through the affections of his young daughter Adelaide who goes by the name Addie.
While Lord Cayton is not searching for a second wife, after losing his first wife, he finds himself constantly in the presence of Ella whenever he least expects it. He is drawn to her in a way that he doesn't expect because she doesn't act like most women he has met. She doesn't keep airs about her and quite frankly doesn't care what one thinks of her, and the fact that she tries to avoid him when she can just makes the connection to her that much stronger. She seems to be able to make friends with just about anyone and he tries in vain to find ways to dislike her all the more. But when her life is in danger, his first thought is for her safety and soon finds his heart might betray his true feelings after all.
I received A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M White compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Net Galley for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free eBook copy of this novel in exchange for my unbiased and personal opinions. It did start off a bit slow for me, seeing as it has been some time since reading the second novel in the series, A Reluctant Duchess earlier this year. It was great once again to visit some of the favorite characters from this time period as I am a huge fan of traditional regencies and Downton Abbey. Once you understand the historical differences of the time period it is easy to understand the characters reactions to doing things outside of societies expectations. I especially love the chemistry between Cayton and Ella, by far my favorite couple in the series. I would give this one a 4 out of 5 stars and debuts in September of 2016 for fans waiting to see how it all turns out.
For more information about A Lady Unrivaled, Roseanna M White or where you can preorder a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Roseanna M White on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on A Lady Unrivaled, please visit Bethany House Publisher's website.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
First of all let me preface this review with the simple fact, I chose to review this book based on the upcoming movie coming soon, and the new trend I see coming to young adult novels geared to our teens and young adults. As a Christian parent and book reviewer, no book rating system exists so parents might be surprised at what their teens are being drawn to and how it relates to what lies buried beneath the covers.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is geared for young teens and adults. If you have seen the trailer for the movie due out in the fall, you can see it is a bit darker than most seeing as Tim Burton produced it, and adds in the premise of a woman, Miss Peregrine, who is the headmistress for a home of peculiar children. These children used to be employed by some circus groups or side shows in order to help hide them from those who would seek to destroy them in an effort to learn how to stay immortal and never die. They each have their own gifts, from being able to float, to creating sculptures from plants, to controlling air or fire. No child is the same and thus the need to keep them away from the prying eyes of the world who can not understand their unique gifts and would see to exploit them.
Each of these groups of children is led by a headmistress who is a ymrynes, one able to change into the shape of a bird, and all women. In this case, Miss Peregrine is a Peregrine Falcon who can change her shape at will but when attempting to change back into a women, is left naked, so she must be careful where she shape shifts. On September 3, 1940, during the height of the great war, the home of the children was about to be bombed when Germany dropped bombs over the small island. Miss Peregrine was able to stop time and loop it back on itself so that now the home sits in what is called a time loop, where every day is the same 24 hours up to just when the bomb was about to destroy the home and all the children in it. The children are content there because they don't age and are safe from those who would seek to do them harm called Hollowcasts.
Hollowcasts were a group of peculiar's who tried to find a way to exist outside the time loop and made themselves into a bit of what you might call monsters that can exist outside of time loops but can't enter them without the aid of a wight, a human-like accomplice who aids Hollowcasts in seeing to find and kidnap peculiars and their headmistresses for a second try at their failed experiments in immortality.
Jacob Portman has heard these stories of a magical life and children from his grandfather, but didn't believe they existed even though his grandfather had a set of odd black and white photos showing they did exist. Jacob believed they were simply photoshopped to help spur grandpa's fantasies into some form of reality for him. Being a survivor from the war, the Portman family chalked Grandpa's stories off to aging and stopped listening to them despite his warning that he wasn't safe any longer. When Grandpa Portman frantically calls Jacob at work trying to find the key to the gun cabinet, Jacob returns home in time to find his grandpa brutally murdered by what police believe was a animal attack. But Jacob knows differently because he saw what killed his grandpa and he doesn't want to believe what he saw is real.
I reviewed Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs after my own personal purchase and did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is my own unbiased and personal opinion of the novel. Based on the trailer, it appears there will be discrepancies between the book and the movie in some varying story line but that waits to be seen how it all plays out in the end. I for one, would have liked to see it stick more along the lines of the novel. It does contain quite a few photographs that inspired the author to write this series of novels about peculiar children and that makes the novel more enjoyable because you don't have to imagine what something looks like, because he shows you. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and could see how someone who is different might be judged by society on the basis of outward appearances and therefore ostracized by those who considered themselves normal. This opens up the dialogue for some great conversations between parents and teens. I would rate this novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars and readers even get a sneak peek into the first chapter of the sequel Hollow City as well as an exclusive Q and A with the novels author Ransom Riggs.
For more information about Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs or where you can pick up a copy of the novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Ransom Riggs on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.
You can purchase Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children through your favorite book retailer or online with paperback, hardcover and eBook formats available like Amazon.
Monday, August 1, 2016
I believe this is the book so many have waited for, but it is something different. I have read the reviews on this book and it is hard to understand why so many wanted this to be just like J.K. Rowling's other novels but it is clearly not meant to be that way. It is a theatrical play and this is that script, so story lines won't be as developed as readers might want. As a play, the scenes would move forward rather quickly in order to garner the entire premise behind this book. Unlike the previous Harry Potter novels, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a screen play that is based on a theatrical production that began on June 30, 2016. Now readers who don't have the opportunity to view the play can at least read the script and gain a sense of what this latest book in the Harry Potter series entails. For me, it was well worth the wait, and one that I can't wait to add to my Potter Collection.
It took me a few pages to get past the idea that I was reading a script and soon it flowed so well, once again I was back into J.K. Rowling's mystical world of witches and wizards. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child picks up exactly where the Deathly Hallows ends, 19 years later we see our familiar characters Harry, Ron and Hermoine who have started their own families. Now they next generations is being sent off for their first year at Hogwarts. For Albus Severus Potter, it must be hard to be the son of Harry Potter and have such expectations placed on your shoulders for all the others who will be at Hogwarts. He struggles to come to terms with this and finds a true friend among Scorpius, Draco Malfoy's son. His first shock comes when the sorting hat does not place him among the Gryffindors and instead is in Slytherin.
Yet despite the best intentions of Scorpius, who is desperate for a friend in Hogwarts based on a rumor that he is the child of Voldermort since Draco and Astoria couldn't have a child of their own and thus Scorpius is struggling to find a way to fit in. Albus finds his own struggle with trying to be his own person without the label of being Harry Potter's son. He begins to rebel and isolate himself from his other friends like Rose Granger-Weasley and his own brother James. It eventually affects his relationship with his own father, who fails to grasp how difficult it must be for Albus. Harry meanwhile is dealing the the rumors of Voldemort having a child when nightmares begin to haunt him and that infamous scar begins to burn again. When he is confronted by Amos Diggory who believes Potter holds the key to restoring the life of Cedric who should have never died, now having a time turner in his possession, begs Harry to use it to change the events from the Tri-Wizard Tournament and give him back his son. Harry refuses and argues that he doesn't even possess such an object.
But Albus overhears the conversation and vows to make good on something his father flat out refuses to do. He convinces Scorpius to join him when they leave on the train to Hogwarts but never make it there. Now the search is on for the families to figure out just where in time the boys are before they make an adjustment in the time continuum that will adversely affect the events surrounding Voldemort and forever alter their own lives.
I purchased my own copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is my own unbiased and personal review of the book. If you are expecting this to be like the other seven novels, then you might be disappointed. This is a theatrical script of 320 pages that gives readers what happened when we were left on Platform 9 3/4 at the end of the Deathly Hallows. How the life of Albus is forever changed as he ventures off to Hogwarts with the expectations of being the son of the Boy Who Lived. I especially loved the twists in time and how things we know were changed and the outcomes would have been different versions of the novels in the Harry Potter series. For me, this is easily a 5 out of 5 stars. It definitely gives J.K. Rowling another place to begin to elaborate on this story if she decides to pick it up again, and one can only hope, this will be the case.
For more information about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J. K. Rowling or where you can pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:
You can find J. K. Rowling on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
This book is available at your favorite retailers in both Hardcover and eBook formats.