Wednesday, November 30, 2016
"Life is beautiful."
"We say it all the time. Our Instagram feeds are full of picturesque scenes where the light shines just perfectly so our go-to filter makes our surroundings look like they came from something out of Tolkien novel. We talk to our coworkers about our beautiful adventures outside of work, we tell the most adorable stories of our children, and we make sure we humblebrag about the sweet, romantic gesture our husbands made last weekend.
"But no one sees the fight you two had before he got you those flowers. No one sees you losing your temper after your kids kept banging on the bathroom door asking for a snack - because apparently using the bathroom in peace is an outrageous request. No one sees how hard you fought to get out of bed under the crushing weight of depression, and no one is there to watch you try to picture your life after a terrifying diagnosis. When the entire world seems to be embroiled in war, injustice, and disease, it can be hard to see real beauty anywhere - despite the perfect image we curate online."
"We like on an unwell earth, and each moment of brokenness only serves to remind us of that fact. Any attempt at finding hope, beauty, or anything remotely good to cling to can sometimes feel like an impossible task. But you and I serve a big God. We serve a God who can't be held back by what ails this earth. We serve a God who promises to give us a "crown of beauty instead of ashes" (Isaiah 61:3)."
"Still in the midst of the brokenness of this world, that can be hard to remember. The hope for this book is that, as you color and meditate on the words, you are gently reminded of the beauty that can still be found in the bleakest of moments and that this book becomes a bit of a lifeline to remind you our Savior is always there with us. This book reminds you that He has the power to redeem every moment of our lives. Yes, this world is broken, but our Jesus is not."
WaterBrook Multnomah has published Everything Beautiful, a coloring book for inspiration and reflection with illustrations by a variety of artists on each page. On one page is a beautiful illustration to color while on the back of the page is a Bible verse or description as to where the illustration was inspired from, such a hymn or a well known person like Helen Keller who was inspirational in what they did or how they lived.
There are 45 individual illustrations to color and even more is a Spotify playlist called "Everything Beautiful" which you can play while you color or even when you need a pick me up to your day. It is a reminder that God has made everything, including YOU, beautiful. The pages are also perforated to allow you to remove them to make coloring the full page much easier whether you are a lefty or a righty! The only issue I had with this coloring book is that I wish there were blank sides to the page to prevent bleed through depending on the type of media you are using to color like markers or some gel pens. I received Everything Beautiful compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers. I would rate Everything Beautiful a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and would be a great gift to anyone who needs to be reminded that in Everything, God has a plan and a purpose.
For more information about Everything Beautiful, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:
You can find WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers on Facebook to stay up to date on all their products.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
I guess you could call me a "hearty!" It is what fans of Hallmark Channels, When Calls the Heart refer to themselves as. Not just in the sense that we are lovers of romance and all things pertaining to the heart but the series inspired by Janette Oke and directed by Michael Landon Jr. Now in it's fourth season beginning to air soon, I had the chance to review When Calls the Heart Collector's Edition for Season 3 on DVD just in time for Christmas! What a perfect gift for fans of the series!
You get 10 discs included in this boxed set, which include the following:
01: When Calls the Heart: It Begins with a Heart
02: When Calls the Heart: Troubled Hearts
03: When Calls the Heart: Heart of a Hero
04: When Calls the Heart: Forever in My Heart
05: When Calls the Heart: Hearts in Question
06: Episodes 1-5
07: Episodes 6-10
08: Bonus Features/Slide Show
09: Hearties Family Reunion
10: #Hearties Trivia Game - What's Your #Hearties IQ?
Season 3 has definitely been filled with changes for our beloved characters Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) and Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing). Their love is put to the ultimate test when Jack's mom (Brooke Shields) comes to town. Wedding plans are in order for Rosemary and Lee, and a possible budding romance between Abigail (Lori Loughlin) and Frank, the local church pastor. But like all happy endings, these will be tested far and above what most people would want and love doesn't come easily to those who truly deserve it. Of course the bad guys are still up to their old tricks and fans hope that Mr. Gowen will get his just desserts for all the grief he has brought to the town of Hope Valley. But the town of Hope Valley's faith will be tested to see if that faith is one that can be trusted before the last episode airs!
I received When Calls the Heart Season 3 Collector's Edition Boxed Set compliments of Edify Media Inc and Word Films. I have thoroughly and faithfully watched every single episode since the premiere of the season and this set is definitely one I will keep within our family. When looking for a series the entire family can enjoy, When Calls the Heart is it! Laced with action and adventure, but also comedy and romance but most importantly lessons of faith, compassion, kindness and caring for one another come through in shining colors. This is Dove Family Approved for all ages and is something your entire family will enjoy as much as our does. I would rate this Collector's Edition, a 5 out of 5 stars and now I am off to see if I can improve on my #hearties trivia!
For more information about When Calls the Heart Season 3 Collector's Edition, Word Films or Hallmark Channel, or where you can pick this up today, please click on the links below:
You can find When Calls the Heart on Facebook to stay up to date on all the latest about the series.
You can find Word Films on Facebook to stay up to date with all the latest movies and film projects.
Monday, November 21, 2016
"The thing is, religion in the general sense of the word is about external, visible things - buildings, practices, art, music, convocations, ceremonies, observances, relics, texts and so on. Those make it easy for the Federation to identify a religious person. If they can see it, they can nail you for it. But I don't believe that's what the Jesus way is about. It's about the internal, the invisible, such as faith and connection with God. Visible things will ultimately emerge from invisible faith, things like concern and service for your fellow human beings. But why should the Feds have a problem with those things? They make for a healthy civilization." (pg 240).
Jesus promised that in the last days the signs of His coming would be as easy to see as the signs of a tree beginning to bloom, signify that Spring is coming. Yet what if the signs aren't so easy to read and some begin to wonder if they missed it completely or there would be more horrors to face in this world before He does come.
The year is 2069 and 90 percent of the world's population has been eliminated as well as most of the major cities around the world. Religion is to blame for being the catalyst to launch an all out attack on a global scale and the remaining 10 percent are not allowed to participate in anything that looks like religion. All religious books have been burned and any remaining copies will soon be confiscated by the Federation if found. All churches, mosques and temples have been converted to housing or government use buildings and anyone who does not wish to give up their religious rights are moved into camps known as Safe Zones.
While they can no longer worship publicly, they are kept being productive members of the zone by using whatever skills they possess to benefit those in the city and Federation. They are given the option of forgoing their religious rights and be re-educated in the Federations guidelines and can resume a better way of living at any time. But for those who don't, they remain locked away in the Safe Zones behind heavily protected gates and armed guards. If you manage to escape from these zones, you can't ever return. No one knows what lies outside the gates of the Zones, referred to as the Wilderness, but rumor has it that religious freedoms await in remote cities where the Federation has no control. Grant Cochrin along with his family and friends, make a plan to escape and find any Christians left on earth, but it will take all of them working together to ensure they are not caught. If the Federation finds them, they will be vaporized instantly. Escape seems to be their only hope to find a Bible left in the world somewhere and all that the family has is a remnant page from the Beatitudes but even that is vague in its interpretation.
I received The Remnant by Monte Wolverton compliments of CWR Press and Litfuse Publicity. I really love how this novel takes into consideration all religious groups from Muslims, Buddhist Monks, Catholics, and Christians as Grant tries to make sense of what lies beyond the Zones. Each area has their own religious groups running them and soon it is hard for those in this rag-tag team to know what is the real truth and what are the lies. Is there any hope for finding Christians left in the world? I absolutely love this novel as it places our religious beliefs to the truest test of our faith and just how far we are willing to go to find the truth of what we believe. For that reason I give this novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the sequel.
For more information about The Remnant, Monte Wolverton or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Monte Wolverton on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.
To read more reviews on The Remnant, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Who would have ever thought I would be a fan of Traditional Regencies? But after watching Downton Abbey I was addicted! Both in the lives of the wealthy and also those of the common folks as well. Something I think I would fall into if I had been born a long time ago. One thing is certain, the rights of women have definitely come a long way. In those days if a woman was married but her husband died, all of her property, wealth and assets went to the next male in the family. Either a brother, cousin, son or even second or third cousins that may have no knowledge of that family whatsoever.
Best-selling author Julie Klassen takes readers into a new series, the Tales of Ivy Hill in her first novel, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill. It is here that we meet Jane Bell who is still mourning the unexpected death of her husband John and has been left to care for a dilapidated coaching inn, known as the Bell. She has no means to bring it back to its former glory and somehow she finds it odd that her husband would have left the Inn to her over his brother Patrick. When the bank informs Jane that her husband took out a loan of 15,000 pounds and hasn't paid a penny of it back, they give her 90 days to find a way to begin making the necessary repairs to the Inn, come up with a business proposal to show how she might turn a profit in the coming year, or pay off the loan.
Jane's mother-in-law, Thora returns to the Inn without realizing the trouble Jane is now facing. She has no way of being able to help Jane and her reputation within the town is less than stellar knowing how difficult and stern she can be. John's brother, Patrick has offered to take over the Inn for Jane so she doesn't have to deal with trying to figure out the logistics of what she will face, but is encouraged by the staff of the Inn and those who work with them, to figure out a way to keep it going. It means the livelihood of town's residents by keeping the Inn operating and to sell it would mean that they would all lose their sources of income as well. All the businesses in town are interconnected in one way helping one another out. When an unexpected guest arrives at the Inn, Jane believes her future might just change, she just isn't sure if it's for the best or worse.
I received The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Net Galley. The one thing I enjoyed the most about this novel is that Julie Klassen wasn't in a rush to finish the first novel and took her time exploring the complex relationships that Jane and Thora have. From the common people Jane's Inn employs from the coachmen to the maids, and even those she does business with like the butcher and laundress. In a time when it wasn't easy for a woman to make it, I love how well both Thora and Jane dig in to find resources they can utilize when they lack the experience to pull off this endeavor. While I was hoping for more romance between Jane and Gabriel, I am optimistic it may happen in a future novel in this charming and heartwarming series set in England. I definitely learned quite a bit about the coaching inns and how they contributed to the financial well being of the town. I would rate this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and anxiously await the next one!
For more information about The Innkeeper of Ivy Hills, Julie Klassen, or where to preorder a copy of this novel due out in early December of 2016, please click on the links below:
You can find Julie Klassen on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill, please visit Bethany House Publishers.
Friday, November 11, 2016
It is easy to lose the real meaning of Christmas, as you enter into the end of November and December, with all the focus on the busyness of the season. From buying gifts, traveling, cooking, and making preparations, it seems it is over before we know it. I found a great new book, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Ace Collins, that incorporates some historical facts about Christmas traditions, amazing recipes, homemade crafts, the stories behind our time honored favorite Christmas carols, and of course the Biblical Scriptures for 30 days so you can keep Christ in Christmas all month long.
This is by far, one of my most favorite books because there is so much tucked into a small but precise book to help you understand not only why we incorporate certain things like Christmas trees, candy canes, the Yule Log, and even Santa Claus himself. All of these traditions had their basis in Christian foundations and not based on worldly values so that you can pass the historical facts along with your family and friends this Christmas season.
There are so many great recipes to add to your holiday baking that it makes gift giving a snap and gives you some fresh ideas that are simple and easy to make such as Pecan Snowball cookies, Gingerbread Hot Chocolate Mix, Snickers Cookie Bars, Eggnog Snickerdoodles and so much more. Along with that is the ideas for some homemade gifts that keep expenses down but add an entirely different element to your gift giving this year. Some ideas are Lavender Bath Salts in a Jar, Lime Mint Foot Scrub, Garlic Infused Olive Oil, Cookie Butter, Personal Photo Coasters, Lemon Beeswax Candles and so many more ideas that you can use these ideas not just at Christmas, but all year long.
Perhaps my favorite are the stories behind our Christmas traditions and songs, along with the Bible Scriptures that keep the element of Jesus in each day. This is not simply a retelling of the Christmas story we are all use to in Luke 2, but takes into consideration the reason for the wisemen's gifts to Jesus, how Christmas is tied to Easter, what the significance is to using X-mas over Christmas, and so much more.
I received The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Ace Collins compliments of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity. This will now be part of my preparations of Christmas and in sharing all this historical facts with my family and friends through the month of December, all packed into a 30 day devotional or advent celebration. It gives you time to slow down some of the busyness of the Christmas season and reflect on what it really means to celebrate this time of the year but also the why's behind it all. I can't think of a better way to countdown this Christmas than with this book and it makes a great gift to give this year as well! I know I plan on picking up quite a few copies to tuck beneath our tree and to give to those who need some hope this Christmas. I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars because there is so much packed into this book but also there is something for everyone. It will be hard to think of Christmas the same way again!
For more information about The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, 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 with all his latest books.
To read more reviews on The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.
Make this upcoming Christmas holiday a Christ-filled season of joy and wonder with the help of Ace Collins' new devotional, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. From December to New Year’s Eve, reawaken the Christmas season with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas.
Join Ace's Christmas festivities by entering to win the Magic of Christmas Prize Pack. Create new traditions this holiday season with your family and friends with the goodies included in the giveaway.
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
- A button-wreath craft kit
- Pass the Ugly Christmas Sweater card game
- A gingerbread tree kit
- An advent calendar
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Who doesn't love a man in a cowboy hate who has all the right ways to charm a gal into wanting to ride off into the wild blue yonder and live happily ever after? Well I do for one. But in Ruth Logan Herne's latest novel, Home on the Range it won't be that simple. This is the second novel in the Double S Ranch Series and in this novel we meet Nick Stafford, who is a bit of a prodigal. Not the one that ran off and spent his father's inheritance, but the one who stayed. Even though Nick has a firm foundation in his faith, it is tested both my his legendary father who has spent his whole life building up a ranch to leave as an inheritance for his sons and their families.
For Nick, that happily ever after dream disappeared the moment that his now ex-wife Whitney, took the money he gave her for the house, divorced him and left their two daughters into Nick's custody. Now years later, the girls are still dealing with the effects in ways that are affecting their school work so Nick is advised to get counseling to help them deal with things beyond their years and get things back on track. As much as he hates the idea, he knows he will do whatever it takes to help his two young daughters.
Even if it means driving into the middle of a forest and happening upon a hobbit like home in the middle of nowhere. That is what the school's principal has recommended and not to mention it is her sister who used to practice child psychology. She believes that Elsa can help Nick and his daughters, Dakota and Cheyenne if only he is willing to give it a chance. Her sister believes that this might be the one thing that can bring Dr. Elsa Andreas out of her hermit like existence, but first they must agree to work together and with sparks flying from all of them, not just the romantic kind, it might be easier to put a sweater on a porcupine!
I received Home on the Range by Ruth Logan Herne compliments of Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers and I have to say I really LOVE the Stafford family. They are as loyal as the day is long and their faith is trusted because it is a faith that is tested on more than one occasion. I love that Elsa makes references to the Disney Elsa throughout the book and love how she manages to work through the hard issues facing the two young girls, giving them a different perspective without making them feel like she is counseling them. A brilliant and warm contemporary romance readers will come to love an remember long after they turn the final page. There are even two amazing recipes tucked inside for readers to enjoy after all the Stafford family dinners on the ranch! This one is well worth all 5 out of 5 stars in this reader's opinion.
For more information about Home on the Range, Ruth Logan Herne or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Ruth Logan Herne on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on Home on the Range, please visit Waterbrook Multnomah's website.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Fairy tales are just that. Not real. Never coming true. Fabricated stories to charm their way into a woman's heart and never let go. Perhaps that is why all of Jami Carlisle's relationships haven't worked out well. Maybe she had been looking for a happily ever after with someone who simply didn't exist. It seems like most of the men in her life weren't meant to stay. Her own father walked out on her and her mother when given the ultimatum to sober up or get lost. Guess she knew what matter most to him, and it wasn't what remained of their family.
After losing her mother to cancer, Jami vowed to do something worthy of her life. She loved writing and even though most of her half-hearted novels lay unfinished in binders in her home, the prospect of getting a job as a reporter for the Scout, their local paper might just be the answer. Her first story would determine just how much gumption she possessed when she is tasked with interviewing Grant McAllister who has returned home from New York to settle his family's old home that has sat vacant for far too long. Seems the town has more rumors than truth on what really happened to them and their only answer might be Grant himself.
Jami will have to use all her charms to outwit all of Grant's straight-out refusals for an interview before he leaves town in a few weeks taking all the answers and mystery with him. But Grant has had all he can stand with reporters who make promises and fail to keep them, choosing instead to print what will sell the most papers. Even though it seems that Jami isn't like the ones he has dealt with in the past, he knows that his story would be the one that would be just the edge someone like Jami could use to further her career into something much more more. Nope, just get in and get out while he can. If only he could take his own advice and not that of his own heart. Things are about to get interesting in Murphy, North Carolina!
I received Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post compliments of Waterfall Press and Litfuse Publicity. This novel has within it all the elements to make a Hallmark Channel movie. You got to love all the quirky secondary characters like the over the top fashion statement charm of Bernie as well as her on and off again rivalry with farmer Hank who is set in his ways at the Feed store. Combine that with all the small town charm of a simple town like Murphy, you are bound to see some sparks fly and romance bloom. 5 out of 5 stars for my and can't wait to see more from Carol J. Post in the future. For now, this one has a cozy home in my personal library!
For more information about Trust My Heart, Carol J. Post or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Carol J. Post on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on Trust My Heart, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.
Will an unplanned detour finally guide Grant home and find love with an honest, funny, and undeniably appealing reporter named Jami? Find out in a heartwarming romance by Carol J. Post, Trust My Heart. Grant McAllister arrives in Murphy, North Carolina, with one aim: to sell his inherited property and leave as quickly as possible. After breaking up with her safe-but-smothering boyfriend, Jami is determined to ace her first big assignment. A story about the McAllister estate is too intriguing to ignore—but as the two draw closer as they share their dreams, misread signals and misunderstandings begin to test their trust.
Join Carol in celebrating the release of Trust My Heart by entering to win her $75 Cozy Cash Giveaway.
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of Trust My Heart
- A $75 Visa cash card
- A basket full of goodies made in North Carolina to keep you cozy in the cooler fall weather
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 23. The winner will be announced November 28 on Carol's blog.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Sometimes the best renovation projects aren't the ones you watch on your Home Improvement channels. They are the ones you get to see in person involving life changing moments for those who need it the most. In the novel Restoring Love by Jennifer Slattery, there are 3 different sets of circumstances in which we get to see the power of God's restoration at work in the lives of the people we meet all in one neighborhood.
Angela is trying to find a way to start over again after living with her daughter Ainsley and her husband. Seems like family serves a useful purpose when you need help the most. Now it is time to begin as a new creation in Christ. She moves into a rental home owned by a missionary family away on a trip and with a handful of items of her own, Angela tries to resolve her past so she can find her future. Now all she needs to do is keep her job as a Teacher's Assistant and hope for a full-time teaching position to open up. But with her wardrobe, it is not likely. She is a 50-year-old divorcee dressing like an 18-year-old and soon rumors begin to fly from other teachers about her appearance. When Angela consults with her daughter, she has to kindly tell her that she might want to dress more modestly in hopes of not attracting the wrong kind of attention like she has in the past.
Bianca is struggling to keep her head above water while raising 3 kids while she deals with her husband who refuses to give up his criminal lifestyle. If she can't figure something out, she may lose everything she has including her kids if the police show up. While trying to work as a nursing care assistant, she relies on her teenage daughter C.J. to care for her younger brothers both who are failing at school. C.J. spends all her free time with a boyfriend who is only using her and clearly doesn't care what her mother thinks. For C.J. it is an possible escape route out of the family she doesn't want to be with, especially her mother's husband Reid who runs around with gangs and thugs.
Mitch is a partner in a renovation business with Dennis and they have flipped a couple of houses including the one Bianca is currently living in. Now with their new project to work on, a home right next door to Angela, he finds himself drawn in ways he can't explain to try to help her out on any projects she needs done around the house, but Angela has been burned in the past and is trying to keep any relationships with men at bay. Dennis and Mitch seems at odds in running their business when Bianca winds up more than 2 months behind in her rent and Mitch refuses to evict her. If things don't change, they might have to go their own separate ways. It seems Mitch is at a crossroads on what to do and what God has called him to do.
I received Restoring Love by Jennifer Slattery compliments of New Hope Publishers and Net Galley. I really love the interactions these three have in one another's lives as they attempt to reconcile their own past failings under the grace and mercy of God's restoring love. It shows how far they have to work at letting go of their pasts in order to find the future that awaits them if they are willing. This is such a great Christmas story because it conveys the very reason that Jesus was born to offer new hope, new beginnings and a new life to those who are willing to take it. I easily give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
For more information about Restoring Love, Jennifer Slattery or where you can preorder a copy of this book which is due out in January 2017, please click on the links below:
You can find Jennifer Slattery on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on Restoring Love, please visit New Hope Publisher's website.
Monday, November 7, 2016
The one thing I am always impressed with whenever I come across our service men and women is discipline, honor, integrity and duty. During their military training, they seem to come across things that go beyond a human beings natural desires and override them to perform as they have been trained and not what they "feel" like doing. They do what they are called to do and often times have to make the hard decisions many of us would never consider doing.
Jason B. Ladd has done double duty in his book, One of the Few combining a bit of his own personal memoirs as a Marine alongside learning what it is to become a Christian. He started at the beginning with no training whatsoever in either area, knowing of God but not truly knowing who He is. Along the way Jason shares how each aspect of his training, from basic training to flight school have taught him more than simple military protocal and training as he advanced in the Marines but how each aspect of that training and often mistakes can be applied to a Christian walk of faith.
In the chapter Read, Fly, Repeat, he shares how much faith is evident in every aspect of a fighter pilots life. While he doesn't build the plane or maintain it, still each time he steps inside the cockpit, he has to have faith that someone who does that job, has done it to the best of their ability, therefore giving him faith that it will perform as it should.
"I have faith in the Marines who work on the jets; they have faith in my ability to fly them - together, we complete the mission. Marines are expected to maintain the highest standards of discipline, professionalism, and integrity. Every lance corporal turning a wrench knows he is part of a team. Without his help, jets will not fly, and without his attention to detail, pilots will not succeed. He does his best because that's what Marines do. They do not settle for average. Marine's work day, night and t hrough the weekend to make sure the job is done right. That's why I have faith in the Marines who maintain the fleet. "
"This was a revelation. I never thought of myself as a man of faith, yet I was beginning to see how much faith I had in everyday things. I need faith to drive to work every day. I have fiath I will receive a paycheck for my work because legal checks and balances ensure compensation and deter unfair business practices. And I must trust architects because I don't worry about roofs collapsing on my head. In order to remain sane, I must trust these even will not occur despite a lack of proof." (95).
I received One of the Few by Jason B. Ladd by Boone Shepherd Publishing and applaud this writers use of military memoirs to also illustrate his growing Christian faith. For some who read this book, especially service men and women, this life lessons will resound more to them because it applies to the brotherhood shared among those in our military service. I love the way his faith grew in the different aspects of his learning to become a Marine pilot and even how mistakes teach us valuable lessons of growing in our own walk of faith. We don't quit, we simply get up, shake off the dust and soldier on. For me, this one really earned a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion because I really LOVED his duality in this novel, one from growing up in the military and becoming a Marine and the life lessons he gained from that, but secondly, how his walk of faith grew out of those very same lessons in a remarkable way.
For more information about One of the Few, Jason B. Ladd or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:
You can find Jason B. Ladd on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.
Friday, November 4, 2016
"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divinations or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritualist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord..." Deuteronomy 18:10-12a
The Bible pretty much spells out that most of the stuff we are seeing in the world today whether on TV, movies or even played out in real life, has eternal consequences when we walk blindly about into them, allow them to permeate our thoughts and actions and often times, associate with someone who does, under the premise that that are wearing a "Christian" label. But like lambs to the slaughter we can all be misled.
"Let me tell you right off, I don't believe in ghosts. I never have and never will. Not good ones, anyway. But some things are hard to explain. If you have ever considered getting involved in the occult, you need to hear my story. It may change your mind. ~ Bill Iver."
Deadly Decision by Regina Smeltzer is a novel dealing with the supernatural and what happens when one man's faith in what he sees and what he knows will be called into question. Both the believer and non believer struggle to overcome things they don't understand but seem to be happening where only Bill Iver can see them and no one else can explain. When Bill arrives to help his daughter Trina and her husband Ted out in renovating a dilapidated old home into a future bed and breakfast, he knew there was more to the home than what he could see. He just never imagined that upon visiting the homes attic, he would see two young boys, one of whom is wearing a chain around his neck and fastened to a beam in the attic. Believing these are real children, when he approaches them his hand passes right through them and they vanish. Not imagine trying to tell your daughter and her husband what you just witnessed.
Bill knows as a Christian, there are no such thing as ghosts only demons masquerading as ghosts, but then learns that one of the boys has been reported missing by the owner of the home. Has Bill just been given insight into the unseen world and has Jimmy crossed over to the other side and is now dead? Bill begins to wonder just how he can process what is happening in the house and of course, Trina and Ted are a bit apprehensive to Bill's visions of ghosts but then when strange things begin to happen inside the home, it might be possible there is more in the home than what one can see.
I received Deadly Decision by Regina Smeltzer compliments of Pelican Book Groups and Net Galley. This is definitely a suspense thriller and found myself wondering why I chose to read this the one night I was home alone. Yet it is so nice knowing that this genre is still available to educate and also entertain those of us that like a little bit of spookiness this time of the year without all the evil and gore that go along with it. I love how Regina orchestrated the story line and loved how she used situations that almost everyone might utilize to figure out what is going on in the home. To uncover what it is, you will have to pick this one up to read, but trust me, this one worked out brilliantly. Just the right amount of suspense to keep me engaged and wanting to know how it would all turn out. For me, this one rated a 4 out of 5 in my opinion.
For more information about Deadly Decision, Regina Smeltzer or where you can pick up a copy of this novel, please click on the links below:
You can find Regina Smeltzer on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
You can read more reviews on Deadly Decision, by visiting Pelican Book Group's website.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Seems like coloring and Bible Journaling are the new craze this year and everyone is joining in the fun! From Facebook and Pinterest pages dedicated to showcase talented artists and even 'how-to' pages, there is something fun about creating works of art that highlight something about a particular Bible verse or passage. It goes from highlighting your verses to creating something eye catching when you open that page in your Bible. However some people may not be as talented in their art work and need a place to begin like me.
The Bible Journaling Kit by Ellie Claire is the perfect place to begin. In this kit, you get (1) ruled page protector mat with tracing lines, (1) journaling pen, (8) colored pencil twists, (24) tab stickers, (4) sheets of word stickers, (4) sheets of Alphabet stickers, and (1) pouch with an adjustable strap designed to fit all Bibles.
Now you can begin the process of learning how to create different font styles, lettering choices, and using colored pencils instead of markers which will prevent bleed-through on subsequent pages. You can now use the tabs to pick those favorite places in the Bible that speak to you like your life verse, or 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, or even Luke 2 to remind you of the Christmas story of Jesus' birth. The journaling pen is perfect to add to the Word stickers or to write in the margins the date or referencing other books in the Bible. This is such a perfect way to begin the art of Bible Journaling and get you started on your way to making your Bible more colorful and personalized.
I received the Bible Journaling Kit by Ellie Claire compliments of Worthy Inspired and Propeller LLC. I really love this kit and in fact, my daughter has gravitated to using this for her study Bible for her high school youth group. It enables her to use this when she is in her Bible Study classes to highlight scriptures she doesn't want to forget or perhaps has touched a place in her heart. She is the more crafty and artistic of the two of us and this makes for the perfect place to begin to personalize her Bible in her own way. This would make a great Christmas gift for anyone who loves to highlight or color in their Bible and perhaps wanted a way to begin to learn Bible Journaling and thus the reason for my 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
Now for the great part, Worthy Inspired is giving away 5 of these kits and you can enter online by clicking on this link. Winners will be notified by December 15th and the kits will ship in time for Christmas. While you're there, you can also download 5 Coloring pages for you to personalize and color anyway you want. Some include a free journaling page when you download and others contain a devotional as well.
For readers of my blog Reviews of the Heart, you have your own chance to win a Bible Journaling Kit by Ellie Claire. Here's all you need to do to enter to win:
1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart
2. "Like" my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart.
3. Be a resident of the US only or have a US shipping address. No P.O. Boxes please.
4. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win this Bible Journaling Kit by Ellie Claire. Don't forget to include your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols if you want.
Since the winner will be notified by email, don't forget to include it with your comment. I will notify the winner when the giveaway ends on November 17th. Enter as many times as you want.
For more information about the Bible Journaling Kit or where to order one, please click on the links below:
Barnes and Noble:
Christian Book Distributors:
"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 a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or 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, November 2, 2016
"Everything will be well in the end. If it's not well, it's not the end."
Such is Charlotte's motto for her life, however it seems like she doesn't take the advice to heart much. Trust seems to be something of a challenge for her, after suspecting that her boyfriend Ryan was seeing someone at work. When she got caught checking his text messages, he suggested that she see a counselor to work through her issues of trust. Not only that, but she still had memories of a girl in a purple dress and a woman in a green dress, that she couldn't remember much more than that. When she did see anyone resembling those two, she was left with anxiety that threatened to overwhelm her and convinced her that she needed to continue her treatments with her counselor.
However, she just isn't bouncing back as quickly as she had hoped. Her checks from the newspapers she edited for seemed to be delayed in coming when she needed the money the most and after three papers appeared taped to her front door, it was Ryan who told her she was being evicted. If only she can find a way to get her life back on track. After leaving Lancaster, Pennsylvania tracking down the reason her brother Ethan committed suicide and convincing the Amish living there that she was Mary Troyer, she didn't feel like she knew who she was anymore. Now with only less than 2 weeks left before she would be evicted she didn't know what she would do. Worse yet, Ryan dumped her.
Jacob shows up on her doorstep after running away from his Amish home, believing an English life is in his future. Unfortunately for Charlotte, he can't stand for long as she needs to move out. She does manage to convince him to call home and let his family know he is fine and where he is staying. Charlotte has made a friend with his sister, Hannah when she was in Lancaster before, and has promised she will do all she can to convince Jacob to return home. He left Annie Byler in the dark as to why he left and even worse, not knowing if they were to be married after all. She has a secret that only her older brother Daniel knows and it will be the one thing that will bring Jacob back home to marry her, but does she want to tell him the truth if he isn't ready to marry her on his own terms?
I received Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers. This is the second novel in the Amish Secrets novel, with My Brother's Keeper being the first. I can't wait to see how this will all play out and once again found some interesting Amish story lines you don't often see in most Amish novels. In this case, the desire for Jacob to stay in the English world and give up his Amish roots leaving everything he loves behind, while believing a well-meaning, wealthy man in Pittsburgh has his best interests at heart when he gives him a fresh start at life. I love that Daniel and Charlotte, both whom have dealt with love that has left them broken, finally see something more in the relationship they have been developing while working through their own family issues and I have hope, that somehow they can make an Amish/English relationship work. For me, this one rates a 4.5 out of 5 stars and there is even discussion questions included at the conclusion of this novel that makes this a perfect fit for book clubs.
For more information about Love Bears All Things, 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 Love Bears All Things, please visit Thomas Nelson Publisher's website.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Who doesn't have a love in the past, that they haven't often wondered what would have happened if things had been different. Perhaps it was your first love or that special someone in your life that always saw the best in you, but the timing wasn't right so you went your separate ways. Long, but not forgotten.
Such is the premise of Without Regrets by Ruth Kyser, who takes a college love between Rachel King and David Costella and conveys a very special love that goes beyond what two people could share. Even though they confessed their undying love to one another while in college, David told Rachel after proposing to her, he wanted to wait until he finished school for them to marry. He had many hopes and dreams of a bright future for them he wanted to put in place. But as most college romances do, time became the enemy as well as distance. Phone calls got fewer, emails less frequent and even though Rachel believed she loved David, she knew in her heart it wasn't the kind of love that a husband and wife should share, so she wrote a Dear John letter and called things off between them.
Many years later, Rachel married but never had children. She found the love she had always dreamed of, but then again fate dealt her an ugly hand and she lost him to cancer too early. It was only after his death, that she learned he was keeping secrets from her, that their finances were worse than she could imagine and she lost everything while trying to settle their debts. A year later, she received a letter in the mail telling her that David had passed away and she was wanted in Charlotte to sign some legal papers regarding David's estate. She just never dreamed that the man she loved in college would make something of himself and leave her with everything, even after she broke his heart. But why her?
I received Without Regrets by Ruth Kyser compliments of Create Space Independent Publishing Platform. This is such a beautiful story about forgiveness, redemption, second chances and finding God's will for your life. Rachel's story is moving because all of us have loved and lost at some point in our life, and makes you wonder what you would do if you found yourself in the very same situation as Rachel did. Do you accept this inheritance or do you find a way to settle things from your past and move forward with the life you have made of your own choosing? I love how Rachel consults God even if it means leaving everyone behind for a few days to hear God speak to her heart. What a wise woman who waits upon God for her future. For that reason, I give this novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
For more information about Without Regrets, Ruth Kyser or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Ruth Kyser on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.