Sunday, August 14, 2022

An Advent Carols Countdown--Simply Delightful!


 


 

 About the Book

 Get in the Christmas spirit with this unique collection of the most beloved Christmas carols, from the warmly nostalgic to the majestically solemn and uplifting. The book features one carol for each day from December first to Christmas Eve, and presents both the lyrics and the fascinating stories and interesting facts behind the creation of the songs. Each entry deepens our understanding of the music and enhances our appreciation of why these songs are culturally important and dearly treasured.

From popular, familiar carols to lesser known but cherished hymns, author Michael D. Young combines his musical expertise with information specific to each song.

“O Little Town of Bethlehem” was written by an American preacher, Philip Brooks, after traveling to Bethlehem in 1868 to find peace after the horrors of the Civil War and assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Brooks’s original poem, with one largely unknown final verse, is included along with the lyrics of the beloved carol.

“In the Bleak Midwinter” was voted the best Christmas carol by a BBC survey of experts, but the song was actually created from a poem by Christina Rosetti and did not become a carol until decades after her death when it was paired with music by Gustav Holst. Today, Rosetti is considered one of the most important poets of the nineteenth century, and the carol she unintentionally penned is one of the most haunting and beloved of all time.

An Advent Carols Countdown is a beautiful gift book for the whole family to enjoy along with the music of the holidays. Each entry also features a QR code that will link to an audio or video performance of the carol performed by the choir most associated with Christmas, the world-renowned Tabernacle Choir. (Goodreads)

 

PRE-ORDER HERE!



My Thoughts

 

This book really surprised me! It is simply delightful to read the stories and listen to the songs. There are 24 songs to read one a day leading up to Christmas. Each song has the lyrics and then the story on the history of the carol. One of the best parts is the QR code that you scan and it takes you to the YouTube video of that song performed by the Tabernacle Choir. This book is the perfect countdown to Christmas to read with your family! This book includes a great mix of carols, even some that I had never heard of or listened to. Compared to other holiday books this one is well worth buying!

I highly recommend that you grab a copy of this! It will make a great addition to your family traditions! 

Available September 6, 2022


"I received a copy of this book for free from Shadow Mountain Publishing. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."




Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Heart of the Mountains Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit

 



About the Book

Book: The Heart of the Mountains

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance

Release date: July 1, 2022

 

Can their hearts overcome the darkness of the mountains?

To escape a forced marriage, Cora Taylor travels from England to the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of her brother, who is working as a teacher in a mission school. She hopes to find a place where her nursing skills and independent ideas will be accepted and appreciated, but nothing prepares her for the wild mixture of isolation, community, brokenness, and hope within these mountains…or in the person of Jeb McAdams.

Returning from the devastation of World War 1 emotionally damaged, Jeb McAdams struggles against the rampant mountain alcoholism to soothe his nightmares. It’s easy to hide within the mountains, or it was, before Cora Taylor arrived. Now, she seems to show up at every turn, bringing her modern ideas, curiosity, and beautiful eyes with her.

Bound by their shared war history, the pair develop an unlikely friendship, which unexpectedly hints to something more. But when Cora’s desire to help the women of the mountains crosses an unspoken line, will Jeb be able to protect this feisty flatlander from the wrath of the mountain men or will he end up losing much more than his heart?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

 

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

You can learn more about Pepper at her website http://www.pepperdbasham.com or connect with her on FB, IG, or Twitter.

 

More from Pepper

It’s so interesting how one idea can influence an entire series, or…how one person’s story can.

The idea for The Heart of the Mountains started in Laurel’s Dream with a hint of a family history story about a girl named Kizzie. (Someday, I hope to bring Kizzie’s story to the pages of a book). From there, the idea began to grow out of a love for my Appalachian culture into a series of books which highlighted (and fictionalized) stories from my family history.

 

The main story in The Heart of the Mountains is about Jeb and Cora, two different people with similar servant hearts, but the secondary story that touched me so much was the one based on my great grandfather’s life. I write about it in the Author’s Note at the end of the novel, so I won’t go into detail about it. However, what I loved getting to do is bring the truth of God’s redemption in my great grandfather’s life…to life again.

 

I never knew “Papa Rat”. I only knew the stories handed down to me by my granny and my mama, but in writing this story, I feel as though I had a tiny opportunity to “meet” him in these pages. He was a gruff mountain man with a broken past which led him to make a whole lot of broken choices, but his story is incredibly encouraging, because it points to the God of broken people. My great grandpa wasn’t left in his brokenness, but, after years of running away from God, he would later recount that God pursued him. The beauty of Sam McAdams’ journey in The Heart of the Mountains is only a little glimpse into what I imagine my great grandpa’s redemption story looked like.

 

Because my great grandpa was forever changed when Jesus saved him (as any of us should be).

I think that’s what my granny and her siblings (and even “Papa Rat” himself) would want most -that his story would point to Jesus. I hope that’s what you see when you read about Sam McAdams in The Heart of the Mountains.

 

Have you ever read a book based on family history? One of my favorites is Catherine Marshall’s Christy.

Blog Stops

Bizwings Blog, July 28

Rachael’s Inkwell, July 28

Bigreadersite, July 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 29

Texas Book-aholic, July 29

Inklings and notions, July 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 30

Boondock Ramblings, July 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 31

Reading With Emily, July 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 31 (Author Interview)

lakesidelivingsite, August 1

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, August 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 1

Daysong Reflections, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 2

Live. Love. Read., August 2

Betti Mace, August 3

Book Looks by Lisa, August 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 3

Remembrancy, August 4

For Him and My Family, August 4

Blossoms and Blessings, August 4

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 5

By the Book, August 5

Wishful Endings, August 5

For the Love of Literature, August 6

Books, Books and More Books, August 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 6

Connie’s History Classroom, August 7

SodbusterLiving, August 7

Splashes of Joy, August 7

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 8

Back Porch Reads, August 9

Through the Fire Blogs, August 9

Pause for Tales, August 9

Labor Not in Vain, August 10

Miriam Jacob, August 10

To Everything There Is A Season, August 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e- gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

GIVEAWAY

 

 My Thoughts

This is SUCH a great book! This might be Pepper's best book yet but I tend to say that every time. I LOVED the setting, characters, and the dialogue. This book reminded me a bit of the classic Christy but this story is unique in its own way. Cora arrives in the mountains and the adventure begins. I love that hard things are discussed such as alcoholism and how it effects a family. I love how the relationships in this book aren't perfect and while there is a beautiful love story it isn't rushed.  I love the tie in with World War I and how that is part of Jeb and Cora's story. There is humor and sadness. Forgiveness and grace. The history is superb and the story line kept me flipping the pages not wanting it to end. I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend Basham's books! 


Five Stars. 


"I received this book from the publisher for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Miriam Bible Study: True Girl Bible Studies Review



About the Book

Miriam wasn’t perfect . . . but with God’s power, her courage changed the world.

Miriam was given one of the world’s hardest babysitting jobs: to hide her infant brother in the Nile River while danger lurked. Her quick thinking protected little Moses and helped him rise to greatness in Egypt. Then Miriam played a supporting role while Moses led God’s people out of slavery to freedom. That all seemed to go pretty well . . . until it made her jealous. (Can you say sibling rivalry?) Miriam’s life reminds us that a True Girl practices courageous leadership right now because a leader is what she’s becoming. And though the best leaders are often imperfect, God offers us a second chance to get things right.

True Girl Bible Studies feature important women from the Bible so that from their examples, we can learn what it looks like to be a True Girl. Each study is designed to help moms lead their daughters deeply into the Word of God so they can develop a steady love for Scripture. Together, moms and daughters can discover what it means to be a True Girl after God’s own heart. (Goodreads)

BUY HERE

My Thoughts

I was delighted to discover a Bible study for young girls. If I had these when I was younger I would have been thrilled! I am surprised at how detailed this study book actually is for this age. Many studies seem to be just "fluff" books on feelings etc. This one is not that. It is very interactive so girls can read their Bible and then break down what it means. Each section is different with fill in the blanks, space for notes, word puzzles (pertaining to the topic), etc. At the start of the book it gives a great overview on how to study your Bible which I think is well written and explained clearly. The Bible is our foundation and this book makes you really dig in and study what it says. I think this is a great study to get for the preteens in your life! 

Five Stars. 


" I received this book for free from Moody Publishers. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."






Sunday, August 7, 2022

Crossfire Review

 


 

About the Book

 FBI special agent Julianna James is a top-notch negotiator who has never lost a hostage. Surely, she can manage to take care of her much younger sister, Dottie, who showed up unannounced to live with Julianna while she finished her senior year of high school.

A former sniper with the 75th Ranger Regiment, Clay Snyder left the army after a tragic incident that he can't get past. Now he's working as a high school resource officer until he can figure out what to do with the rest of his life.

Their paths cross when Julianna is called in to negotiate a courtroom hostage situation involving Clay's sister. Impressed and a bit intimidated by the calm, capable woman with the dark hair and blue eyes, Clay invites her to speak at his school. Dottie's school.

But as the anniversary of a school shooting from Julianna's past approaches, it becomes clear that her perfect record is about to be tested and that Dottie is at risk. If Julianna and Clay can't figure out who's behind the attacks, more innocent people will die--and Julianna just might be one of them.

This intense story of revenge and redemption from bestselling author and master of suspense Lynette Eason will have you up all night as you race toward the explosive finish. (Goodreads)

BUY HERE

My Thoughts

This book was unputdownable. I was really invested in trying to figure out what was going on and who was behind all of the madness that ensues. I really enjoyed the perspective of Julianna as a negotiator. I loved all of the secondary characters and enjoyed the extra added twist at the end. Eason did a great job writing the hostage situations. I have never considered the life of those that deal with these things on regular basis so this book made me think. Eason’s writing has gotten more creative and in depth and I just enjoy what she writes. If you enjoy suspense I recommend picking up one of her books.

 

Five Stars.


"I received this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."





Sunday, July 31, 2022

By Way of the Moonlight Review







About the Book

 Two courageous young women, tied together by blood and shared passion, will risk everything to save what they love most.

For as long as she can remember, Allie Massey, a gifted physical therapist, has dreamed of making her grandparents’ ten-acre estate into a trauma recovery center using equine therapy—a dream her grandmother, Nana Dale, embraced wholeheartedly. But when her grandmother’s will is read, Allie is shocked to learn the property has been sold to a developer.

Decades earlier, headstrong Dale Butler’s driving passion is to bring home the prized filly her family lost to the Great Depression, but with World War II looming, she’s called upon in ways she never could have imagined. And while her world expands to include new friends and new love, tragedy strikes close to home one fateful night during the Battle of the Atlantic, changing her life forever.

As Nana Dale’s past comes to light in Allie’s search for answers, Dale’s courage and persistence may be just what Allie needs to carry on her grandmother’s legacy and keep her own dreams alive. (Goodreads)


BUY HERE


My Thoughts

I really had no idea what to expect with this novel as I haven't read much by Elizabeth Musser. I was pleasantly surprised when this book managed to keep me up until the wee hours of the morning. I simply could not put it down. I LOVED the dual time line and how everything intertwined together. I learned something from history I didn't know from WWII which was fascinating! Dale Butler is a character all her very own and the author did a fantastic job writing her. There are so many things I enjoyed in this story and it will be one that sticks with me for awhile. Fantastic characters and terrific writing make this book one to remember! 

Five stars. 

 

"I received this book from the publisher for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review." 

 







Saturday, July 23, 2022

The Deadly Shallows Review


 


 

 About the Book

 A DEADLY ATTACK.
A STOLEN WEAPON CAPABLE OF IMMENSE DESTRUCTION.
A PAINFUL SECRET THAT THREATENS TO TEAR TWO HEARTS APART.


CGIS Agent Noah Rowley is rocked to the core when several of his valued team members come under fire on his Coast Guard base. He and his remaining team race to the scene and end the attack, but not before innocent lives are lost. Furious and grief-stricken, he vows to do whatever is needed to bring the mastermind behind the attack to justice.

Stunned by the ambush, Coast Guard flight medic Brooke Kesler evacuates in a helicopter carrying the only surviving gunman. The gravely wounded man whispers mysterious information to Brooke that immediately paints a target on her back.


As Brooke and Noah race to uncover answers, emotions between them ignite. Noah struggles to protect Brooke at all costs and to conceal the secret that prevents him from becoming what he longs to be--the right man for her.

Everything is at stake as a horrifying truth emerges. . . .

The attack wasn't the end game. It was only the beginning.


Bestselling author Dani Pettrey again delivers a fast-paced story in an acclaimed style readers have come to love: full of snappy dialogue, thrilling adventure romance, and unexpected plot twists. (Goodreads)

 

 

BUY HERE 

 

 

My Thoughts

I have been a long time Dani Pettrey fan ever since her first book came out. I love the cover on this book, Bethany House did an outstanding job! This series takes us into the lives of those in the Coast Guard. I think this book is my favorite in this series so far. I like Noah's character a lot and I thought the overall plot for this book was more intriguing. There is a bit of romance in a couple story lines but my main interest was trying to figure out the mystery of what was happening. I wasn't on the edge of my seat, I didn't find it too suspenseful, but I did want to know what would happen. Fans of Pettrey will be eager to read this new story. You could read these books as stand alone stories pretty easily though I always recommend starting with book one.  

 

Four Stars.
 

" I received this book from Bethany House for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review." 







Sunday, July 17, 2022

The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip Book Review

 

 


 

About the Book

 Aidyn Kelley is talented, ambitious, and ready for a more serious assignment than the fluff pieces she’s been getting as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star. In her eagerness, she pushes too hard, earning herself the menial task of writing an obituary for an unremarkable woman who’s just entered hospice care. But there’s more to Clara Kip than meets the eye. The spirited septuagenarian may be dying, but she’s not quite ready to cash it in yet. Never one to shy away from an assignment herself, she can see that God brought the young reporter into her life for a reason. And if it’s a story Aidyn Kelley wants, that’s just what Mrs. Kip will give her—but she’s going to have to work for it. (Goodreads)

BUY HERE

 

My Thoughts

I wasn't sure what to expect with this story but I was intrigued by the title. I have always liked reading books that have a perspective of an elderly person. So many books that are published the main characters are younger folks. I loved Mrs. Kip and her story and she was easily the best part of this book. I appreciated her point of view of being put in a care home and living her final days. She knew what was to come and yet her faith really got her through. I also loved how fervently she was willing to share the Lord with others. It was very convicting because she just shared with people no matter what even when she knew the reaction wouldn't be friendly. 

The other part of this story is about Aidyn Kelley and her writing what she thinks is an obituary for Mrs. Kip. To fully understand this you just need to read the book. I thought this was a very unique take in story telling. This author was thinking out of the box and it was well done. At times this story did drag on just a bit for me but overall this was an enjoyable read. I look forward to more from Sara Brunsvold.

Four Stars.

"I received a copy of this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."






Friday, July 15, 2022

The Case for Heaven Movie based on Lee Strobel's Book---My Thoughts


 

 

 

About the Movie

We all want to know what happens after we die. In THE CASE FOR
HEAVEN, best-selling author and investigative journalist Lee Strobel explores the
evidence for the afterlife in order to address man’s biggest fear: death. Inspired by
his own brush with death, Strobel searches for answers to the most profound
questions we all have, about heaven, hell, and Near-Death Experiences. Featuring
interviews with experts and skeptics, THE CASE FOR HEAVEN will challenge,
encourage and inspire as Strobel dares to probe the most important question. If
there is a heaven, can we prove it?

THE CASE FOR HEAVEN is based on the new book by best-selling author Lee
Strobel, who wrote The Case For Christ.

 

THE CASE FOR HEAVEN will be exclusively on Pure Flix starting July 15th.

 

GIVEAWAY

3-month subscription to Pure Flix

 
(Note: This is limited to US winners only.) 

 Pure Flix does have some good movies on it!



My Thoughts

 I have not read the book The Case for Heaven but I have read Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ, The Case for Easter, and The Case for Christmas. I was expecting The Case for Heaven to be backed by solid Biblical truths. I was expecting verses from the Bible where Heaven is actually discussed. Unfortunately that did not happen. This movie is completely based on emotions, feelings, popular opinions by well known individuals, and near death experiences. One of the first things Lee says while being interviewed is the Bible talks about Heaven "BUT". There is no "but". God gave us all we need to know about Heaven in His word. Interviewing famous people to see what they think the afterlife is like doesn't accomplish anything but add confusion to the entire idea of Heaven and Hell. I watched this entire movie and there was very little that was Biblical. There is discussion about Hell and a man who seemingly went to Hell but then while there called out to God and escaped during his near death experience. There is discussion with a well known musician who famously stated he no longer believes. He states how could you believe in a God like that? Clearly a non believer and yet there is no discussion after that to refute anything that he says! 

Clearly there is a fear of death in our world because of the uncertainty surrounding what happens when we die. People do want to be immortal like Lee states at the start of the film. BUT "investigating" near death experiences does not give people a peace or understanding. I have no doubt that people on their death bed or that medically "die and live" again probably do experience something no one can understand. But it is not up to us to try and figure out what Heaven is going to be like. We are told what we are to know this side of Heaven. There is a Heaven and a Hell and yes God is also a God of wrath, which this film also refutes. One interview in this film says that Hell isn't really that bad it is just the people there. I think if you considered what the Bible says about Hell, yes it is actually that bad. 

The first part of this film was the only part that I found myself agreeing with and understanding. Aside from that, I would be very cautious in watching this especially if you are a new believer. I think it is interesting to hear a different point of view. It is eye opening to hear what other people think. But this type of film has to be backed by scripture and it absolutely is not. 

Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own. 

 #CaseForHeavenMIN #MomentumInfluencerNetwork



Sunday, July 10, 2022

Paperback Book Giveaway!!

I have an extra copy of Sarah Eden's Lily of the Valley and also Bargaining the Barrister by Anneka R. Walker! Both are tremendous story tellers so these are books you will enjoy!

The winner will receive both paperback books. USA entries only please.


ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE







Saturday, July 9, 2022

The Soldier's Baby Promise Review

 


 About the Book

 

 He can’t change the past…
but he can choose his future

Resolved to keep his promise, Lieutenant Nate Marshall returns to Timber Falls to look after his first love—the widow of his best friend, who was killed in the line of duty. Grieving mom Adley Wilson is overwhelmed by her bee farm, her grandfather-in-law who lives with her and her new baby. But accepting Nate’s help may just be the lifeline she needs… (Goodreads)

 

 BUY HERE

 

My Thoughts

I am a huge fan of Gabrielle Meyer so I am always excited to read her new stories. I admit that if I had seen this book and just went off the cover, I probably wouldn't have picked up this book. But since Gabrielle wrote it I knew it would be a good one!

While this isn't my favorite by Meyer, I did still enjoy this sweet story. Newly widowed mother Adley is a strong character and my favorite part of this book. I really liked her attitude and I thought her journey between the first and last pages added more depth than most Love Inspired books. This story holds a lot truths on forgiveness and grace.

Four Stars. 

 Be sure and check out all of Gabrielle Meyers books! You won't be disappointed!

"I received this book from the author for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."  

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, July 4, 2022

The Orphan Keeper YA Review

 

 


 

About the Book

 Seven-year-old Chellamuthu’s life—and his destiny—is forever changed when he is kidnapped from his village in Southern India and sold to the Lincoln Home for Homeless Children. His family is desperate to find him, and Chellamuthu anxiously tells the Indian orphanage he is not an orphan, that he has a mother who loves him. But he is told not to worry as he will soon be adopted by a loving family in America.

Chellamuthu is suddenly surrounded by a foreign land and a foreign language. He can’t tell people that he already has a family and becomes consumed by a single, impossible question: How do I get home? But after more than a decade, home becomes a much more complicated idea as the Indian boy eventually sheds his past and receives a new name: Taj Khyber Rowland.

It isn’t until Taj meets an Indian family who helps him rediscover his culture and family history that he begins to discover the truth he has all but forgotten. Taj is determined to return to India and begin the quest to find his birth family. But is it too late? Is it possible that his birth mother is still looking for him? And which family does he belong to now?

The Orphan Keeper is a deeply moving and gripping journey about discovering one’s self and the unbreakable family bonds that connect us forever. (Goodreads)


Pre-Order HERE. Available October 4, 2022



My Thoughts

I had no idea what to expect with this book but I was excited that it was the young adult version of this story. The Orphan Keeper is based on a true story and I was totally engrossed once I got three chapters into the book. I don't know what the other version is like but I really enjoyed this one. It is an amazing tale of a young boy who loses and also finds family in a very unexpected way. I loved reading about a different culture from my own and to see American culture through the eyes of a foreigner.  There is sadness and disbelief. There is humor and romance all tied together between the pages. It is a well written eye opening story that I won't soon forget. 

Highly recommend! Five Stars. 

 

"I received this book from Shadow Mountain Publishers for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. "