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Friday, June 23, 2017

Just Look Up

For some busy, just trying to cross off all the items off their daily "to do" list would make them feel accomplished, but not for Lane Kelley. To say that she lives for her job would simply be an understatement. She lives and breathes her job as a potential promotion as creative director looms before her based on the success of her presentation. She knows her ability to tap into exactly what the client needs and aside from the nervousness residing within her, she knows she shouldn't be at all worried. I mean everything in her career has lead up to this one pivotal moment in her life, so the fact she spent every waking moment practicing her speech and presentation should count for something. It has all lead up to this moment to sell her idea to a tech saavy company known as Solar.

Just as she is about to face her fears, she is interrupted by a phone call from her assistant conveying to her, she has to take this call. Even the company head is looking her way wondering if she will pass this up for a phone call. However when Chloe tells her its from her family and she NEEDS to take that call, she wonders what could be so important that it couldn't wait for a couple of hours. Her brother Nate has been in a serious motorcycle accident and it doesn't look good. Despite her well-meaning intentions, she is told not to wait and get home right away. It is a home she walked away from years ago and despite all their attempts to lure her home and away from her job, she had never looked back. Now it seems with the only choice but to head home, she might just be giving up her promotion. Her company will give her a couple of days but they expect her back by Monday.

Lane knew one day that motorcycle would lead Nate into an accident and that is exactly what has happened. He had been out riding with his best friend Ryan Brooks, who also crashed, but he was the lucky one. Her brother remained in a coma. Lane and Brooks had grown up together and it should be no surprise that he is one of the first people to greet her at the hospital. He always seemed to be the one to protect her even when people and friends teased her about being fat, nicknaming her Pudge, but now that person no longer exists even shedding all those pounds in an effort to leave her past behind. But for Ryan, Lane has always been the one person who knew him the best and even despite their rough childhood, they shared something more than what meets the eye. Now all he has to do is convince himself that he can't share his feelings with Lane since it is only a matter of time before she heads back to her busy job in the city and once again walks out of all their lives.

I received Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh compliments of Tyndale House Publishers. This is such a coming of age in reverse story as Lane has to deal with her lack of self esteem and bullying when she was in school, not only from those in her class but those in her family as well. Even her heart's desire in hoping to land a husband was taken away from her and now she must do what she can to get back to work as quickly as she can or else her entire identity will be lost again, but was it ever her true self anyway? I can understand so many things from Lane's point of view from becoming so consumed by work that it fills up every ounce of time and you don't see it happening. You trade off one success to make up for past failures and I love that Ryan has never lost hope in her and teaches her that life awaits outside of work once again and that family is what you make of it. 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Just Look Up, Courtney Walsh or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Courtney Walsh on Facebook, to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

You can read more reviews on Just Look Up by visiting Tyndale House Publisher's website. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dark Deception Review and Giveaway

Looking for a great murder mystery, suspense thriller? Then look no further than Nancy Mehl's latest novel, Dark Deception, which is the second novel in the Defenders of Justice Series. It must be read in order because the case begins in the first novel Fatal Frost. As readers take a look at the ongoing serial killer case known as the Blue Eyed Killer or B.E.K. for short, the case is just beginning for Kate O'Brien who survived the attack that should have claimed her life. She is the only witness who can identify the serial killer and now it is her turn to be a witness in putting the man behind bars.

He took the life of her twin sister Kelly, which is one of the reasons why he has been caught. Before this mistake, all the cases were cold because B.E.K. left no traces of evidence behind. It has baffled the efforts of not only the FBI but also the local police as well. She is relying on the strength from the officer responsible for ensure she remains alive and protected but will help her endure her testimony while facing the man who killed her sister and tried to kill her, U.S. Marshall, Tony DeLuca. Just as the trial is about to get underway with her testimony the courtroom erupts in gunfire as the prosecutor is murdered right before her eyes and just as he is about to kill her, Tony is able to stop the man.

As evidence begins to mount against the man convicted of being the B.E.K., Kate takes the offer to join the witness protection program and for the last four years things have been relatively calm. She has started a new life and a new name for herself. But Tony is asked to bring Kate back in, as a witness as the man convicted of multiple murders is seemingly let go for evidence that has now been tampered with rendering the conviction and arrest out of their hands. Now the killer has been released and Tony needs to find her and bring her in before the killer can locate her. It will truly be a race against time as the killer draws closer to her and the body counts begin to rise. But have they caught the right man?

I received Dark Deception by Nancy Mehl compliments of Bethany House Publishers and TLC Book Tours. This is such a great series and I only wish I had read the first novel before jumping into this one to understand not only the killer's motives, but also the efforts of the police to arrest the man they believed to be B.E.K. Rest assured, this one has another sequel at least before they catch the elusive killer and in the meantime, the body counts will continue to rise and a twisted reason for the killer to keep Kate close will be revealed. I can't wait for the third novel in this series. It had me hooked at the very beginning and couldn't put it down til I figured out what was going to happen. Such a great story line and by far one of the best murder mysteries I have read in a long time. For me, this one rates a 5 out of 5 stars.

Now for the best part, thanks to the generosity of TLC Book Tours and Bethany House Publishers, they are giving a copy of this novel away. Here is all you need to do to enter:

1. "Like" Nancy Mehl's Facebook page. 

2. Be a resident of the US or Canada. Please No P.O. Boxes.

3. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of Dark Deception. Don't forget to include your email address so I can notify you if you are the lucky winner of this giveaway. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols if you wish.

I will notify the winner of this giveaway by June 30th by email so don't forget to include it.

For more information about Dark Deception, Nancy Mehl or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Nancy Mehl on Facebook to stay on top of her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Dark Deception, please visit TLC Book Tour's page. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Assault

If you love anything dealing with the supernatural from a Christian perspective, then you need to check out the Harbinger Series. Each cycle of the series takes the talents of well-known Christian authors and gives them the opportunity to expand on an ongoing series with very different characters point of view. Think of it, like a television series but in this case each author is adding their own spin to the continuing saga that is plaguing a unique set of characters from vastly different backgrounds. This cycle of the Harbinger series is the second one and incorporates the stories of The Revealing by Bill Myers, Infestation by Frank Peretti, Infiltration by Angela Hunt and The Fog by Alton Gansky.

In the series, Bill Myers writes as Brenda, a street-hustling tattoo artist who sees images of the future. Frank Peretti writes as the Professor, the atheist ex-priest who is ruled by logic. Angela Hunt writes as Andi, the professor's brilliant but geeky assistant who sees inexplicable patterns and Alton Gansky writes as Tank, the naive, big-hearted jock with a surprising connection to a healing power. So instead of the four talented authors writing one novella together, this comes together like a television series. There is an overarching storyline into which they each plug their own novellas, with each story written from our characters point of view.

In The Revealing, the team is gathered together under the direction of Bill Myers and they find themselves searching for the Spear of Destiny, which is coveted by those who seek it because it is said that those that weld the instrument that was used to plunge into the body of Jesus Christ on the cross still retains some supernatural properties and now the hunt it on for those who want to keep it hidden and those who want it found. In The Infestation by Frank Peretti, the team is thrust back into their pasts to deal with situations that were never resolved and this time an unseen fungus is attempting to infect the world without anyone knowing what is happening. When one of the team is affected will they be able to figure out a way to stop it before it kills them?

In Infiltration, the team discover a secret plot by those that they have been following are now all connected to their various discoveries and now they are being hunted one by one by something that no one can see but involves going back into their pasts before they were united as if they never met. They will have to convince each other that they do have a connection in some future event if they hope to succeed in not only keeping the team together but keeping them alive. Finally in The Fog, Alton Gansky takes our team to the top of a high rise building as a fog rushes in with the ability not only to kill on ground level but it begins to rise and with it the body counts continue to climb as well.

I received The Assault by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt and Alton Gansky compliments of Baker Publishing Group and Net Galley.  I have absolutely LOVED this entire series and even though these individual books were written before, they are collected in groups of four known as the Cycle of the Harbinger series. Readers even get a sneak peek at the coming Cycle Three at the conclusion of this collection. These must be read in order not as individual stand alones otherwise as a reader, you would be completely lost by not understanding each characters motivation in working together to solve what is happening not only to them as individuals but also to the world in an effort to save them all. In this one, The Fog was my absolute favorite. There is just something creepy about a fog that can rise until it claims every last person it touches. 5 out of 5 stars again in my opinion and can't wait to read the next one.

For more information about The Assault, Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, Alton Gansky or where you can pre-order a copy of this book due out in August of 2017 , please click on the links below:

You can find Bill Myers on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.

You can find Frank Peretti on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.

You can find Angela Hunt on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

You can find Alton Gansky on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Amish Cooking Class: The Blessing

There is such support for one another for those who live within the Amish community and often time it even extends to the Englisher's who reside within the city limits as well. That is what has always drawn me to Amish fiction is their strong faith and sense of community support. In Wanda Brunstetter's Amish Cooking Class series, The Blessing is the third book in the series that revolves around Heidi Troyer and her husband Lyle who live in Walnut Creek, Ohio. Learning that they may never have children of their own, Heidi decides to teach Amish cooking classes in small groups of 5 to supplement their income and to give her something to do. This is her second class she is preparing to teach and this time with different hopes.

She hopes that Kendra will follow through on her desire to give her baby up to the Troyer's to adopt since as a young mother she certainly can't afford to raise a young child on her own with her parents tossing her out once they learned she was pregnant. So in Heidi believes this might be her last class before she becomes a full-time mother. Again, she has 6 people signed up to join her class, Lisa Brooks is taking the class to inspire additional ideas for her catering business, Todd Collins is taking the class under the premise of wanting to learn how to cook, but has secret motives as a food critic, who wants to see just how good this food could be.

For Bill Mason, he's signed up because as the owner of a cabin he and a few buddies visit during hunting season, his cooking has left something to be desired and he hopes it might teach him to make something else that his friends won't complain about. Nicole Smith is the youngest and she is taking the classes to learn to cook as the oldest child trying to help out her family since her mom left for another man and alcohol, while leaving her to help raise her two younger siblings and still work on finishing up school. At least this gives her a much needed break from her family's expectations. For Allie Garret, her husband provided the cooking lessons as a gift to learn how to make some different dishes for her family. What they don't all realize is that this will be more than simply learning how to cook some delightful Amish meals but that they will also work towards helping one another out when they each have a need and all part of God's plan.

I received Amish Cooking Class: The Blessing by Wanda Brunstetter compliments of Net Galley and Barbour Publishing. Besides getting what I would call 6 different mini novels in one is the delicious mouth-watering recipes that conclude this novel, each of them being the very meals or dishes that the cooking class learns. I only wish I had an lovely Amish woman like Heidi to teach me how. It's almost like a therapy session for them as each person begins to share their burdens to one another and soon find themselves being helped along the way by one another. This is one of my bucket list items to spend a weekend on an Amish farm and learn more about their way of life and cooking by living off of what they grow and can make in most cases. I just don't think I'd be able to keep up. This is a wonderful series and worthy of 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Amish Cooking Class: The Blessing, Wanda Brunstetter or where you can pre-order a copy of this novel due out in early August 2017, please click on the links below:

You can find Wanda Brunstetter on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Amish Cooking Class: The Blessing, please visit Barbour Publishing's website. 


I am sure everyone has played the game Hopscotch, a childhood game using chalk and some rocks as markers. Mostly it was a game girls played but even boys got into the hang of it as well. In the book, Hopscotch by Steve Cushman, the premise revolves around a hopscotch that is drawn just at the entrance at a hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. The book revolves around several characters viewpoints in what they see and feel when they encounter it. The hospital board and CEO want it removed as they see it as graffiti. A child facing leukemia sees it as an invitation to spend just a bit of time outdoors instead of being stuck in her hospital room by well-meaning but over protective parents.

For a war veteran who has lost his legs during the war, the game reminds him that he can no longer enjoy what most people take for granted every single day. For a hospital janitor who receives several calls from the hospital administration to remove it, he sees it as a way to give hope to those who have lost their way. Every time he removes it, it comes back the next day. For an elderly couple, the game reminds them of a romance that created a marriage that spawned 60 decades but now has had Alzheimer's steal way the husband's precious memory. For another child Mike, who is nicknamed Metalhead Mike, for the steel plates used to repair his skull fracture, he is faced with coming to terms with his parents death in a car accident that left him with fragments of a memories he find pieces of beneath the covers of his bed.

I received Hopscotch by Steve Cushman compliments of Livingston Press. The game Hopscotch touches each person in the book differently yet is a common factor in bringing some of the patients and staff together. It is a reminder of a simple time when the worries of life haven't robbed them of their childlike hope for something better. It reminds us that life is but a vapor and can disappear at any moment. A reminder for us to cherish the time we have now, instead of waiting on tomorrow. It gives us hope that for the moment, life is on pause, while we can enjoy of few minutes to escape the real life and simply remember that childlike faith once more. For me, this book rated a 4 out of 5 stars and is a simple read with 146 pages. Great story and a reminder for us to not forget to live each day!

For more information about Hopscotch, Steve Cushman or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the link below:

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Buffer Zone Diet

"I've lost the same twenty pounds over and over, and I always gain it back again, plus a few extra pounds. What's wrong with me? "

Men and women from all over the world are ready to get off the diet rollercoaster but don't know how. They are fed up with counting calories, carbs, and fat grams, and obsessing over every bite and sip. They lose weight, only to regain it when they start eating normally. Ever hopeful, they try another new diet, only to be disappointed again.

Every year there is a hot new diet craze that promises to melt off pounds by eating this but not that: Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, Cabbage Soup, Cookie Diet, Weight Watchers, and more. They all tell you something different: eat protein, but not carbs. Eat carbs, but not fat. Eat fat, but not carbs. No wonder so many people are confused about health and nutrition and every expert seems to have a different perspective. Fred Cuellar knows exactly how you feel and his own experience with dieting left him frustrated, baffled and heavier than before, and he wondered why diets never work in the long run. This led him to seek answers to the questions millions of people ask on a daily basis: Why can't I lose weight and keep it off?

Millions of us are dieting, yet obesity levels keep on rising, but why? Fred was determined to figure out the solution to the diet problem and create a formula to lose weight permanently, in a way that is easy and sustainable. It's called the Buffer Zone Diet. He explains the science behind weight loss and gain, while debunking several myths about what we should or should not eat or drink using himself as a guinea pig. With much trial and error, he devised a method to lose weight and maintain a healthy body, all without deprivation, hunger , or will power. Dieting is actually making you gain weight. It is what the diet industry doesn't want you to know.

The Buffer Zone isn't a diet book. You will not be required to measure carbs, count fat grams or starve yourself. Instead you will be given a specific method to timing your meals to lose weight and, best of all, keep it off. You will be amazed at how attuned you will be with your body and give yourself the nutrition you need for optimum weight loss. With guidelines in learning to understand emotional hunger from true physical hungry and our goal shouldn't just be losing weight, but to be healthy.

I received The Buffer Zone Diet by Fred Cuellar compliments of Max Vera Publishing and The Cadence Group. I think there isn't one of us that hasn't tried some form of diet in our life time and I was truly inspired at the approach this author took to his research on a personal level that he shares quite openly in his search to figure out what works and what doesn't and perhaps more importantly, why. This is a science that I hadn't considered but yet it makes logical sense. It is timing out your meals between 8-10 hours from the end of your final meal of the day to breakfast the next day. You decide when you will have  the largest meal of your day and incorporating two primer meals to get you through to your next meal. It can be lunch as your big meal of the day with breakfast and dinner being your primer meals, always stopping 3 hours before bed and allowing at least 10-14 hours between last and first meal each day.

He believes the problem doesn't lie with what we eat, although that is important, it is how many times we eat during the day and how much food we do eat. He believes there is a science in the timing of our meals and that most of us eat between 21 meals each week along with upwards of 49 snacks a week. That is what is making us fat along with the content of what we eat. I am impressed with his research particular detailing his own weight loss failures and finally success! He even provides you with examples of how you can begin to incorporate this into your life and still have things like pizza and donuts! I give this a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion and you still need to determine calorie counts of food to come up with a daily plan of what works for you.

For more information about The Buffer Zone Diet, Fred Cuellar or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Fred Cuellar on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest information.

You can pick up a copy of this book at Amazon or other retailers near you. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

On Love's Gentle Shore

"She'd thought it was safe to come back to the island. She'd thought it was safe to come home. She'd been wrong."

Natalie O'Ryan should be excited with the future that laid in front of her. The upcoming marriage to Russell Jacob, music producer in Nashville, Tennessee. But when Russell suggested that they get married on Prince Edward Island, Natalie knew she wasn't ready to face her past. She left Prince Edward Island years ago looking for a future far away from the childhood home where she grew up. It wasn't just dealing with her childhood and the parents that she wished weren't hers. Even though her mother passed away years ago, she didn't know where her father was and she was fine as long as he stayed hidden. What she didn't want to face was the love she left behind when she ran away.

Justin Kane spent his time working on the dairy farm and pouring his feelings into his music. He always dreamed that one day he might leave the farm for greener pastures in the music business. But when Natalie left him without saying goodbye, he felt that life has long left him. Until she returned to the island with news that she was getting married to the same music producer that Justin had hoped would sign him one day. How would he come to terms with his past while she was getting married in the old barn on his families dairy farm. It was the only place big enough to hold that many guests and it will force them both to resolve their pasts so they can both move on with their futures.

Yet with only a few weeks left to plan the wedding, Russell gets called away to help deal with a recording mistake with a big name artist and has to leave. He promises Natalie that he will return in plenty of time for the wedding and believes that Justin is just the right person to help her make the last minute arrangements. After all they were childhood friends right? Isn't that what Natalie told him? Will Natalie and Justin be able to work together on wedding arrangements or will their feelings from a past come back to reunite them as they always should have been? Will Natalie's past prove her undoing, even though she hasn't told Russell about it?

I received On Love's Gentle Shore by Liz Johnson compliments of Revell Publishing. This is the third book in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series and I have loved them all. Perhaps my heart is always leaning to happily ever afters, and when you see love torn apart by mistakes that could be remedied, you always cheer for them to be reunited. This contains all the perfect elements to make a romance work, a beautiful seaside island, romance between two past loves, and a situation that forces them to be together even though they know they shouldn't be. Liz Johnson delivers a beautiful and heart-warming romance that is just the perfect book to add to your summer reading list. I would give this one a 5 out of 5 stars because once I started, I didn't want to put it down.

For more information about On Love's Gentle Shore, Liz Johnson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Liz Johnson on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews On Love's Gentle Shore, please visit Revell Publishing's website.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Name Unknown

"Rosemary Gresham may have been a thief, but she was a thief who preferred to work in broad daylight."

I love reading the first sentence in any novel. Most of the time it gives the reader some insight into how this novel will evolve and A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White is no exception. This is the first novel in the Shadows Over England series and one that I am sure most Edwardian Romance fans will absolutely LOVE! Rosemary Gresham is definitely a professional in her trade, that being one of many thieves that prey upon those in the upper class, in order to not only make a living, but so they can put food on the table of a group of similar young thieves that work London's streets. Most of the time, they are hired out by those looking to gain some advantage or to resolve some slight that they feel needs to be recompensed and her group of wayward thieves is more than happy to assist.

Her latest assignment is to prove Peter Holstein is not what he appears as he has the King's ear and many believe his ties with German began when his mother married his father and secured a place and a notoriety among the upper class in London. Now with the threat of war on the horizon with Germany playing a pivotal role, there are some that want to prove Peter's alliances, however innocent, do not lie with London. So Rosemary has been tasked to uncover proof that Peter is loyal to Germany and the price to be paid is so great, she would be a complete fool to pass it up.

She blends into Peter's household under the guise of being a librarian hired out by one of Peter's contacts to help restore his former library to its glory again. As of yet, it simply remains a hoarder's paradise with more books on the floor and every available space than is on the overly full shelves. Peter needs her assistance to locate documentation about his family, but doesn't share the real reason why he needs that documentation. Is Peter truly a German spy living in the midst of London or is he simply an innocent man looking to prove his loyalty to London before war sets in?

I received A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Net Galley. I absolutely love Rosemary's character because she can justify her shady dealings to help the local street urchins who are orphans and in need of help. She can read people perfectly and knows more about them than they initially share with her. She finds herself at odds the more she grows to know Peter and understands why his stuttering makes him a bit of a recluse in his small town. It gives way to suspicions by the local townspeople that Peter is truly hiding something and thus the need to prove where his loyalties stand in the face of a war on the horizon. I easily give this a 4 out of 5 stars and shows that sometimes our name is not all what people might be willing to believe.

For more information about A Name Unknown, Roseanna M. White or where you can pick up 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 Name Unknown, please visit Bethany House Publisher's website. 


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Parables of Jesus

It seems like there is a coloring book to suit every interest and genre and while most started out for just children, now adults are experiencing a sense of peace and creativity in coloring as well. Whether you are a kid or a kid at heart, I believe you will love The Parables of Jesus Coloring Book Devotional by Laura James and Katara Washington Patton. This is something a bit different than your standard coloring book because while there are only 46 illustrations to color, the remainder is a devotional based on the parables of Jesus found in the Bible.

Each of the 46 illustrations takes Scripture directly from the Bible and applies it to real world learning, like struggling with a difficult boss at work and how we can use this to help us not only get through the situation like God would plan for us, but also incorporating prayer into as well to remind us not only to pray for our own situation but for others as well. Some of the lessons focus on Being Humble, Building a Solid Foundation, Dealing with Debt, Being Aware, Reminding Us About Our Treasures Being Stored in Heaven, Bearing Fruit, When Weeds Grow and so many others,

I chose A Fine Pearl to focus on from Matthew 13:45-46. It illustrates not only where pearls are formed and found, but understanding how Jesus uses this illustration pertaining to the Kingdom of God. A person who harvests pearls know when he has found a rare and perfect one, like the hidden treasure it was until it is opened and revealed, much like us. We fail often times to find value in ourselves, but we need to understand how precious we are to God and how important our relationship is with Him to secure our eternity with Him. It isn't something that can be bought or sold. Are you willing to do what is necessary to secure your eternal future? What are some of the things you need to rid yourself of to better enjoy the Kingdom of God today? Then a beautifully illustrated picture follows so you can focus on finding the beauty in what you color and create.

I received The Parables of Jesus by Laura James and Katara Washington Patton compliments of FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Groups. The best part of this coloring book is that each image is one sided so that when you use a media form that bleeds through like markers, as long as you add a blank piece of paper in between, you don't ruin other pages in this book. Crayons and Coloring Pencils will not have any issue with bleeding through the pages. What a great way to get some devotional time in while also enjoying the tranquility of coloring as well. I'd give this book a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about The Parables of Jesus Coloring Book and Devotional and where to pick one up today, please click on the links below:

You can purchase a copy of The Parables of Jesus Coloring Book and Devotional at Amazon and other find retailers today.

To get a free download of one of the parables and coloring page, visit Faith Words' website. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Kids' NIV Visual Bible

I am always on the look out for things I can give my kids or future grandkids and for me, the one book I want for any child is a great Bible that is friendly, fun and filled with things that will keep them interested and wanting to read God's Word. I am so happy to review the Kids' NIV Visual Bible. While the font may not be what I would call "kid friendly" more suited for kids a little older from 8-13, it does contain amazing photos that illustrate the points being made on each chapter or section of the Bible. There are full color maps that show that places beginning talked about as you read so you can take your teaching even further than you thought possible before when comparing the places in the world today as to the places historically being referred to in the Bible.

Perhaps so of my favorite parts are the story of Noah and the Ark. There is a colorful picture that outlines how long Noah was really on the ark and how each of those time periods is broken down, from the 7 days Noah enters the ark a week before the flood; 40 days of the rain surging on the land; 150 days the water recedes and rests on Mount Ararat, and finally the 178 days for the water to continue to recede and the releasing of the birds until Noah finally leaves the ark.

For me, as a teacher, kids respond well to visuals and this Kids' NIV visual Bible offers more than 700 images to take your child not only into learning more about the Bible but more importantly retaining what they have seen and heard. There is even an image showing how large the Ark was in comparison to a football field or a modern day house so kids can really understand the magnitude of what Noah accomplished without modern tools or electricity. There are some great questions to engage your child with as well, such as why  was an olive leaf special? Why does the Bible include lists of names? Why did Abram lie about his wife? It even includes important information about why woman and men are made differently and what God's plans were for them. I absolutely love the simple illustrations that help me understand things better like the age of our early ancestors, how some lived to be almost 1000 years and who were they? What the differences were in the staff that Moses used and Aaron used; a great visual on the differences between biblical calendars and current modern day calendars that your child can use to tell what the months are in Old Testament chapters.

I received the Kids' NIV Visual Bible compliments of ZonderKidz, a division of Zondervan Publishing and Handlebar Central. There are so many things that I know parents would love in getting this for a child they know. It would make a great children's study Bible as well using the New International Version to help children understand the meanings of what is being said and it helps them to stay engaged. There is a presentation page that makes this a perfect Bible to give any child as a gift, a table of contents to help them find their way to specific books of the Bible, an infographics index in the back to show the locations of all illustrations in case you're looking for a particular one for your child, and a maps section. There are simply too many great things to list, but rest assured, it will be one for your child to love and growth with. I would give this a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and it even includes a ribbon marker to keep track of where your child is!

For more information about the Kids' NIV Visual Bible, or where you can pick one up today, please click on the links below:

You can pick this up at any retail location or online like Amazon by clicking here.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Joyful Inspirations Coloring Book

When you look around in the world today, what do you think of when you consider God? Do you think of beautiful sunrises or sunsets? How about the wonder of a bird taking flight? Perhaps it is a field of colorful flowers of every shape and size? Or the beautiful stained glass windows in a church that reflect the colors from the sun? Or even the laughter of a child? Within each of us, we can see evidence of God's creative power in the world around us in unique ways and Robin Mead has brilliantly captured that in Joyful Inspirations Coloring Book.

Beautiful illustrations capture the beauty in the world around us in coloring pages we can make our own using various types of media from crayons, coloring pencils, gel pens or you name it. There are 96 pages of pages for you to color including the types I have mentioned above and more coupled with beautiful biblical scriptures to invoke a sense of beauty and peace. What better way to take a moment to slow down from our busy days and just appreciate all the God have so abundantly blessed us with. We don't live in a world of black and white but vibrant and brilliant colors.

I think this is a perfect way to simply take some time for yourself and spend time coloring and reflecting on those beautiful biblical promises. Maybe even grab your kids and teens and have a coloring day and post the pictures prominently on your refrigerator or even frame some. This are simply ways to remind you of the beauty that is all around us each day and so often we are too busy that we fail to take time and smell the flowers or even catch our breath as busy moms, and women!

I received Joyful Inspirations Coloring Book by Robin Mead compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups. I would recommend not using markers in this coloring book as the pages have print on both sides. Some markers might bleed through and compromise the illustration on the reverse side. I used Prisma Coloring Pencils on mine and had no issue. Crayons and some gel pens might work depending on their absorption rate, so use caution when coloring in them. For that reason I give this coloring book a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion just because of the issue with having bleed through issues. Would love to see single page illustrations to prevent that from ruining other pages you might want to color. Simply using other media forms would prevent that as well.

For more information about Joyful Inspirations Coloring Book, Robin Mead or where you can pick up a copy of this coloring book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Robin Mead on Facebook to stay up to date with all her products.

To read more reviews on a Joyful Inspirations Coloring Book, please visit Faith Words' website. 


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race

"A close study of the southern newspapers fails to show that the bloomer craze has gained any decided hold south of the Mason and Dixon line. Indeed, the bicycle is a new thing, and the women who ride are as fearful of criticism as a woman in tight knickerbockers would be in some Northern places...South of Virginia the real southern women do not ride the bicycle much. The climate is against the exercise...A Tennessee paper so late as last week was wondering if any woman would have the temerity to introduce bloomers in that region. If any did it said, they would surely bring on themselves such notoriety as must be exceedingly unpleasant to modest, womanly women...Some few women in New Orleans wear bloomers, but in almost every southern newspaper the appearance of a pair of bloomers is treated almost as would be the coming ashore of the sea serpent." ~ Los Angeles Herald, Sept. 15, 1895

In the novel, The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race, by Mike H. Mizrahi, readers are taken back in history in this fictional tale of what it would take the change the views of society in regards not only to women riding bicycles, but changing their clothing styles to accommodate their need to ride without getting their skirts caught in the chains, thus the need for bloomers. Down in the south, things like this are virtually unheard of, no matter how much those in New York will push for change in regards to their southern belles. As Anna Gaines, comes to understand those changes, she embraces her role that she will undoubtedly play in this as her Aunt has provided her with not only a wheel to ride, but bloomers to do it in. The only thing against her at this point is trying to convince her mother to allow her to ride. That will be the undoing not only of her families reputation in the community but taking on those who would ban women from doing such a thing in the South.

Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club, and owner of the town's grocery store knows just what he wants in life, and that is Anna Gaines, but she won't hardly pay him the time of day whenever she visits his store. It seems as if she has already passed judgment on him, before he even has a chance to speak with her. When Peter learns that Anna is a fellow bicycle enthusiast, he silently applauds her gumption to take on those who would strong disapprove of women being allowed to cycle. As it is, most of society in general believes that cycling for women changes their body to look more manly, and with the approval of cycling, women will soon want to work outside the home and look to push for more changes like voting. All Peter knows is that he is faced with a challenge, to support Anna's right to ride or be removed from his place in society.

I received The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race by Mike H. Mizrahi compliments of Redemption Press and Litfuse Publicity. Hard to believe after reading this novel that it was such a struggle for women to enjoy the exercise offered and freedom to do so like Anna Gaines simply by wanting to ride a bicycle. It was a part of history I never understood until reading this novel and how narrow-minded some were in their arguments against women riding bicycles. For Anna it provided her a chance to be on equal footing and with an accident that left her with a prominent limp, this gave her the chance at mobility others often took for granted. It might just cost her everything in an effort to stand firm in the face of adversity, and for some, they will stop at nothing to ensure she doesn't win. I give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars and love the authors unique poetic writing style that engages the reader from the moment they begin and makes them a part of this story.

For more information about The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race, Mike H. Mizrahi, or where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

You can find Mike H. Mizrahi on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.

To read more reviews on The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race, please visit Litfuse Publicity's book tour page.

Take a ride through 1895 Chattanooga as it's turned upside down when a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle-in bloomers-in Mike H. Mizrahi's new book, The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race! Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit to Brooklyn, she's drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.

Celebrate the release of Mike's new book by entering to win his $75 Amazon gift card giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race
  • A $75 Amazon gift card
Enter today by clicking the banner below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 14. The winner will be announced June 15 on Mike's blog.

A Stranger at Fellsworth

I love it when you find an absolutely charming and heart-warming series of novels that you can follow from beginning to end. A Treasure of Surrey series from Sarah E. Ladd is perfect of fans of Christian Historical Romance genres and in A Stranger at Fellsworth is the third book in series. Annabelle Thorley is at the end of her rope when she learns that her brother Thomas intends to marry her off to Mr. Bartwell in order to pay off his debts and keep the estate at which she has been living from being sold out from underneath them. In a world where women retain little and have no rights to inheritances, her only hope is to marry into a suitable family, but she isn't the slightest bit interested in Mr. Bartwell. Her brother will do whatever it takes to ensure the marriage takes place. With no other suitable options remaining Annabelle decides that leaving is the best option.

She meets Owen Locke, a gamekeeper in town when her reticule is almost stolen on the streets by a former friend who has fallen on hard times herself and in the situation, Annabelle sees a mirror image of what will happen to her if she doesn't leave home or even worse if she doesn't marry Mr. Bartwell. She makes arrangements with Owen to secure her safe coach passage to her Aunt and Uncle's home at Fellsworth, Owen's employer and puts all her hope that they will allow her to stay despite spending only a fair amount of her childhood with them. She makes a deal with her lady's maid to accompany her to Fellsworth and once there, she can start a new life for herself as well since she won't have the funds to continue to keep her.

Owen wasn't hoping to catch Annabelle in his sights when he arrived in town, but if he can make restitution through assisting her to Fellsworth and away from her brother and Mr. Bartwell, perhaps he can feel better about his own failed efforts to save his wife from being murdered. He doesn't want the same outcome for her and even goes to great lengths to ensure her safety without compromising her reputation. Her Aunt and Uncle are thrilled to have her move home, but it won't be anything close to her former life. While remaining on the Fellsworth property, she will live in the school quarters and take a job as a Junior teacher for the students that they support. Is this life worth living home for or is there something more in her future?

I received A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd compliments of TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson Publishers. I love this conclusion to the Treasures of Surrey because each of the novels can stand alone. I love the strength and courage it took Annabelle to walk away from her life of comfort without knowing what her future held. In a time in history where women had few rights, it took fortitude to put her faith on the line and hope that her former family ties might just be the future she needed. The romance between Owen and Annabelle is wonderful because it happens slowly over the time they spend with one another and the relationship Annebelle builds with Hannah, his daughter teaching her to paint. I easily give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about A Stranger at Fellsworth, Sarah E. Ladd or where you can pre-order a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

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

To read more reviews on A Stranger at Fellsworth, please visit TLC's Book Tour Page. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Abiding Mercy

As I sit back and reflect on the novel I just read, it is easy for me to see both sides of the story. In Abiding Mercy by Ruth Reid, the reader is taken into two very different story lines. One Amish and the other English. It is the reason why I had a difficult time placing this novel into either genre and included it in both. The novel centers around two people, Adrianna Colepepper and Faith Pinkham. They are the same person without knowing it.

Fifteen years ago, Adrianna was the subject of every parents worst nightmare. She was kidnapped by her nanny at the time, and left in the care of Amish parents at the age of 2. When the nanny dropped Adrianna off at the Pinkham's, they knew the Amish would take good care of her and wouldn't notify the police about a baby just being dropped off unexpectedly. For Irma Pinkham, she figured the mother was simply a woman who was having a difficult time with raising a baby and would be back once she had time to figure things out. Yet she never did. Irma never dreamed that this child was kidnapped from her English parents and set about raising her Amish all these years.

For Faith Pinkham, she never imagined in her wildest dreams of ever leaving her Amish faith, and even made a decision to never engage in rumspringa, a time of leaving the Amish faith and taking time to explore the English world. She decided early on, she wanted to be baptized without having any second thoughts about her life. She spent her life helping her mother run The Amish Table, a restaurant that served up Amish food in Posen, Michigan. She even began to fall in love with her best friend, Gideon Rohrer, whom at one time was going to marry her sister Olivia. But when Olivia made it apparent she was going to "jump the fence," leave the Amish faith, Gideon knew that they would never marry and instead began day by day falling in love with Faith. Just when it seems like everything is perfect, the police arrive to arrest the Pinkham's and return Adrianna to her English parents, wealthy property owners of Colepepper Hotels. But is going home as easy as anyone thought?

I received Abiding Mercy by Ruth Reid compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Net Galley. This is such a heart-warming story to see both sides of the situation. For grieving parents who never gave up their search for their daughter only to reunite with her and realize how hard the transition would be. It's not as easy as simply coming home and thinking everything will go back to the way it was. For Faith, her entire life has been about being Amish, from her faith, to her way of living, dressing and even talking. Now all her parents want is to make up for 15 years of lost time, but it won't be as easy as they thought. There are some discussion questions at the end of this novel that would make it an excellent book club selection and for me, this one garners a solid 5 out of 5 stars. I literally inhaled it and couldn't stop until I finished it. This is the first novel in the Amish Mercies series!

For more information about Abiding Mercy, Ruth Reid or where you can pre-order this novel due out in July of 2017, please click on the links below:

You can find Ruth Reid on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Abiding Mercy, please visit Thomas Nelson's website. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island

A beautiful island that is often deserted except for the locals most of the year with the exception of late spring and early summer, where Mackinac Island is the in spot for the wealthy and rich, and those looking for wealth in their romances. Maude Wellings simply wants the opportunity to run her families inn, but her father won't see it. Her mother worked herself to death, quite literally as he was concerned and he isn't about the let the same thing happen to Maude. She had placed all her hopes, dreams and future on one man returning home to marry her, Greyson Luce, but when he showed up on the ferry married to Anna, all she saw was her life coming to an end. That was the only way her father would let her take over running the Inn.

Ben Steffan was a society columnist for the Detroit Post, who was going under the name of Friedrich Koing, a weathly industrialist to find the story of the century and hopefully secure a promotion with his boss when he returned. He set out to expose Greyson and Anna Luce, for doing what so many have done in making plans to stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Find someone with money and marry them as soon as possible, often times before they discovered one or both of them had no wealth to speak of and were merely looking for ways to get rich quick.

The one thing Ben wasn't looking for was love and it landed right in his lap while trying to save Jack, Maude's youngest brother from crashing his bicycle into a rock wall. Yet it was just what God had planned even though Maude and Ben don't know it quite yet. Ben is simply attracted to Maude's ability to bounce back from what should be a rejection that broke her heart and left her devastated, not more determined than ever to prove to her father that she is more than capable of running their own Inn, even if it means going behind her father's back and becoming a maid at the Grand Hotel. She only hopes that no one will recognize her and turn her in for the charade she was hoping she might pull off.

I received My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels compliments of Barbour Publishing and Net Galley. This is such a timeless classic romance, because of the setting location and the determination of Maude's character to settle for what men in her life wanted for her, instead of listening to what she wanted instead. During the late 1800's it was common place for a lot of industrialist and wealthy men to look to securing a financial future with an equally wealthy and well to do women of the same station in life. Maude, defies all those odds and I love how simply working as a maid, made her more conscience of how she was treated her own maids at the Inn. For me, this one garners a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion. There are some great historical notes found in the conclusion of this novel that details what is fiction and what is fact!

For more information about My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island, Carrie Fancett Pagels or where you can pre-order a copy of this novel due out on July of 2017, please click on the links below:

You can find Carrie Fancett Pagels on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island, please visit Barbour Publishing's website. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Giving Heart

I have been a fan of coloring my entire life and love that coloring books are making a comeback and not just for kids either. You can find coloring books on virtually any subject or genre and even some of your favorite movies have spawned their own coloring books as well. Something as simple but meaningful is a coloring book designed not only for moms, but to encourage moms during their day. What better way to spend some quality time coloring with your  kids or teens and having a wonderful coloring book that celebrates motherhood is A Giving Heart by Stephanie Corfee.

These coloring pages are beautifully illustrated to capture all kinds of things that celebrate being a mom. Some of these are beautiful quotes from various speakers and even Scriptures that capture the beauty, strength and essence of being a mom. This would make a wonderful gift for that creative and artistic mom who is looking for something beautiful and unique. There is even a dedication page that you can fill out to give to that special mom in your life. Some quotes include ones from such notables like Billy Graham, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, Michael O. Adesanya, Edwin Hubbell Chapin and so many others.

What I absolutely LOVE about A Giving Heart is that each page is uniquely separated by blank pages or a simple quote on the reverse side. This is really exceptional because so many coloring books print on both sides and depending on the media source you use to color your pages with, some may bleed through, like markers. I find that even using a spare piece of paper helps to prevent bleed through on some markers no matter how lightly you use them.

I received A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating Motherhood by Stephanie Corfee compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups. I love using all kinds of things to color with and perhaps my new found favorite is Prisma coloring pencils because they don't bleed through the pages and the ability to blend your colors together makes shading and highlighting so much easier. For me, I will use this whenever I simply need to take a breather in my day, perhaps taking on too much and the need to slow down, coloring helps. I easily give this coloring book a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating Motherhood, Stephanie Corfee or where you can pick up this coloring book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Stephanie Corfee on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest projects and books.

To read more reviews on A Giving Heart, please visit Faith Words' website.