Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Sparkle Box Review and Giveaway!!



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 About the Book

Here is the touching story of a young boy who unknowingly participates in a powerful new Christmas tradition: honoring Jesus on His birthday by giving to others.

Sam is so excited about Christmas! He's thinking about his Christmas list, looking forward to holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift: a sparkly box sitting on the mantel. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family's good deeds. Sam's mom explains that the things that they've been doing are, in fact, a gift for Jesus, for Jesus said that whatever we do for those in need, we do for Him.

Hardcover with jacket, 10 x 10, 32 pages, ages 4 to 8
Fold-out Sparkle Box included!



My Review


 This is my new favorite Christmas book!! I love getting children's books for my nephews and future kiddos. The Sparkle Box is fantastic in how it teaches kids that it's not all about presents but about doing things for others. This book comes with a cute little sparkle box that you fold together. The point behind the box is to fill it with all the good things you have done(giving to others, missions, donating food and time to others, volunteering etc), writing them all down and putting it in the box. Then Christmas morning you open the box and it's a gift to Jesus, doing all those things for Him. It's a great thing to introduce to kids. The only thing is that this should not just be happening only during Christmas but all year. Anyway, great idea for the holidays, it would make a good gift too!
I think even though we don't have kids yet, we will try and do this because it's a good reminder and a fun thing to do. 


Check out this website where you can watch the book trailer-amazing illustrations!
*Update*

Congrats to Melissa for winning the Sparkle Box!
Enter the Giveaway through the rafflecopter below! Giveaway starts October 29th and ends November 5th! The winner will receive one copy of this hardback book that comes with the sparkle box! Thanks for stopping by! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 28, 2013

One Light Still Shines Book Review


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 About the Book
'My story is not about my past, but about your future.' In the startling tragedy of the Amish schoolhouse shooting at Nickel Mines, one story has never been told. Marie Roberts Monville, the wife of the man who created such horror, tells her story for the very first time. It is a story of sorrow, of madness and destruction, but also one of deliverance, compassion, forgiveness and beauty. Marie Monville knew that day that life, as she knew it, was over. What she never anticipated was a personal encounter with God that would rewrite all she believed about herself, her faith, and the God she thought she knew. The Milkman's Daughter reveals three love stories: the innocent love of a milkman's daughter for a husband in pain, the incomprehensible love of God in the aftermath of massacre and destruction, and the promise-filled love of God waiting to unfold in the life of every person who reads this book. Marie's journey since that darkest of days has been invaded with light, and these pages shine that light into the darkest questions we all face--questions about our past, our value, our identity, and own powerlessness in this fallen world. Come face to face with the Power behind every answer. (Goodreads)


 My Review

One Light Still Shines is a book a knew I wanted to read but I had to be in the right mood. I knew it would be terribly sad and it is, it's heartbreaking. But it's beautiful how Marie has trusted in God fully throughout the years and even during the moment. I can't imagine going through what she did with her three children. I wasn't sure what her perspective would be or what she would write about but it talks about what she was feeling when she found out what her husband did. She had no idea what he was planning when he shot those little girls, she thought all was fine in her little world. I really loved how kind the Amish were during the tragedy, doing as Christ would. The ending threw me a bit but God works in mysterious ways! This is written beautifully and honestly. If you are up for reading with a few tears and an incredible faith in God I highly recommend! 




"I received this book from Booksneeze for free in exchange for an honest review."

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Little Bit of Fall


This is our fall thus far. My rose bush is still blooming, the grass is greener than ever, and it was picture time!
I'm not used to Kansas Fall time, they are so different than what I am used to. It has snowed once but melted quickly. Our friend Ethan took our family pictures a week ago. We don't have very many pictures of us together so it turned out nice!

Hope everyone is having a great fall! 
 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Shackled Lily eBook Free Today!!

Shackled Lily Free eBook
One day only **October 24th**

Click on the picture to download your free copy, and don't forget to tell your friends!!





If you haven't read this book you need to. This is the second book in the Windsor Series. If you want to learn more about these books check out my reviews: Shattered Rose and Shackled Lily.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Women of Christmas Book Review



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About the Book

God Reached Down from Heaven with the Best Gift of All

A sacred season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God.
Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts.

Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way. Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs explores the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, unwrapping each verse with tender care and introducing you afresh to The Women of Christmas.(Goodreads)



My Review
Liz Curtis Higgs is one of my favorite "new to me" authors. Everything she writes has meaning, humor, and Biblical values. This book is about the three main women during Christ's birth and childhood. Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna. Higgs breaks each story down with Bible verses pointing out details that I have missed before. She asks questions so the reader can realize they were real women, they were people just like me and look at how God used them!
The story of Anna is my favorite because it is not one I have thought about much. She is not talked about a lot but in the few verses there is a lot to take away. As the author wrote she would have been someone to look up to. An older woman who became a widow seven years into her marriage. After that, instead of returning to her family home she stayed in the temple worshiping God and telling everyone about Him. She wanted to be His servant and lived her life in a way that pleased Him. 
Another thing I really enjoyed about this book is how Higgs started each chapter with a song-mostly Christmas songs we all know. Then she picked out one line from that song and used it to lead into her chapter. I like this because it gives me more insight to what the song actually means.  

This is a great book and perfect as you prepare for the holidays. I love the slight humor that goes along with the Biblical truth!

Highly Recommend!!
 "I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah for free in exchange for an honest review."


Stop by the author's website to learn more!!




Perfectly Matched Book Review



About the Book
Anna Olsen knows it's time to leave her sister's increasingly crowded house and start a life of her own. Following both sisters' examples, she becomes a mail-order bride, and after a short correspondence with clock maker and jeweler Edward Parker, she moves to Denver to become his wife.

Almost immediately it's painfully apparent that Anna and Edward are very different. Anna is a free spirit who would rather be painting and enjoying the company of friends than cleaning house. Edward is a consummate perfectionist who, on their wedding day, hands Anna a list of chores that need to be done around the house daily.

Can this mismatched couple see past their differences to a harmonious future? Or will their disparate passions create obstacles neither is willing to surmount? 

My Review

This book was good, though not my favorite. I have not read the previous books to this series but it could easily be read alone. I did like the characters and the fact that the man was so OCD, it's usually the woman in the story. I enjoyed reading this marriage of convenience and how they go through the typical newlywed issues. The first part of the book is great and I love the setting! The second half of the book seemed to take forever and became very predictable. I wish I would have liked it more but I give it about 3 1/2 stars.
"I received this book from Revell for free in exchange for an honest review."

“Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
 

The Christmas Quilt Book Review





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About the Book

Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam. Annie’s sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Christmas Quilt, go HERE.



My Review
This is a different Amish book with the fact that the home life is not very happy in Leah's life and it follows her pregnancy. I didn't realize the book would mainly be about Leah giving birth to twins and the many trials she experiences. In any case it was good to read the positive additudes and faith that the characters had throughout the book.
I rate it with 3 stars. 

   "I received this book from CFBA for free in exchange for an honest review."



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Christmas Quilt
Abingdon Press (October 15, 2013)
by
Vannetta Chapman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A Word From The Author:

I hold a BA and MA degree in English, and I am proud to be represented by Mary Sue Seymour, AAR. I have published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, and have received over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. I am honored to be a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Faith Hope and Love.

I live and teach in the Texas hill country with my husband, cats, and a rather large herd of deer. Our four children have flown the nest; however, we are fortunate that they all live close enough to visit.

I have always felt that my faith was at the very center of who and what I am, and I am thrilled beyond words to be able to now write about something that is so near to my heart. At various times I have served as a pianist, teacher, church secretary, and worship team member. While living in the Dallas area, I served as an adjunct professor of English Literature at Dallas Baptist University. When we moved to a small town in Central Texas, I continued teaching for a few years, but I now write full-time and I play the keyboard in our church’s praise band.

My grandfather was born in Albion, Pennsylvania, and I am currently researching whether I might have Amish roots.

Monday, October 21, 2013

King's Faith DVD Review and Giveaway!

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About KING'S FAITH 
Eighteen foster homes. Nine arrests. One life-changing moment.
After Brendan King’s life spiraled to rock bottom, the teen found hope in a new relationship with Christ while serving time in a juvenile penitentiary. Recently released from prison, Brendan finds solace in the foster home of a couple struggling with suppressed grief.
As the city-bred teen enrolls at a suburban high school, he finds support from a group of believers. Yet the bonds of his old way of life—and the gang that wants to know where he hid their stash on a long-ago night—are strong. In his darkest moment, Brendan found faith. Now he must decide if it’s worth the price to hold on to it.
KING’S FAITH is produced by DiBella and Faith Street Film Partners LLC, a Rochester, NY-based collective of filmmakers, churches, investors, and supporters.   

KING’S FAITH is a compelling story 
which features solid acting and a good storyline.”  
The Dove Foundation


KING’S FAITH is a very redemptive, uplifting movie
extolling the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” 
MOVIEGUIDE®


KING’S FAITH stars Emmy Award winning actress Lynn Whitfield (The Women of Brewster Place, Madea’s Family Reunion), Crawford Wilson (Judging AmyZoey 101), Kayla Compton (Entourage), and James McDaniel (Malcolm XNYPD Blue).
KING’S FAITH features the themes of courage, forgiveness and overcoming your past highlighted with the important message of youth in foster care. The film prompts audiences to consider many of the questions they struggle with today: How can I stand firm in my faith when life’s challenges put me to the test?   Where do I turn when I feel paralyzed by loss and grief?  Can I find true forgiveness from my wrong choices?
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Run Time: 108 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13           
Suggested Retail Price: $14.99
Special Features: A 10-minute behind-the-scenes feature, commentary, discussion guide, Bible study clips affiliated with the LIVE IT OUT Bible Study

Watch the trailer/Visit the official website www.kingsfaith.com



My Review

This movie blew me away! To be honest, I wasn't expecting much. I figured it would be a touching story but iffy acting and overly dramatic. Don't get me wrong, I love faith based films, some are better than others. Many times it seems the faith aspect to too fake or overly done. Many of the movies I have seen are great, but for unbelievers, they don't really appreciate them because all they see is a dramatic "Bible thumping" movie. This movie surprised me in every way. The acting is top notch, the story line is incredible, and the message behind it all is great. Many times my husband starts watching these movies, gets bored and does something else. With King's Faith he sat down and watched the entire thing. This is exactly the story that needed to be made into a movie, it doesn't sugarcoat life, or the life of a Christian. Just because you are a Christian doesn't mean hard-aches and difficulties disappear.
I highly recommend this movie to anyone at least 13 and older. It's rated PG-13 for good reason, drugs, guns, and gang life are discussed and shown throughout the film. Watch with caution but it is excellent!!

"I received this movie from FlyBy Promotions for free in exchange for an honest review."



FlyBy has generously offered a second copy of this DVD for those who enter into my giveaway!!
The winner will receive one copy of King's Faith DVD.
Giveaway ends October 28th at noon. I will announce the winner later that day.

Thanks for entering everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90 Book Review








 Cover for 'Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90'


 About the Book
Watching someone you love self-destruct hurts.

Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90 provides ninety devotions of strength, hope, and encouragement to families coping with addiction. Realizing you’re not alone in your struggles brings comfort and confidence to face day-to-day challenges.

The overall message of Praying for Your Addicted Loved One conveys hope to families caught in the cycles of addiction. The various stages of the disease: abuse, recovery, and relapse, take their toll on families. Hopelessness grabs a family’s heart and wrings it out with each slip of clean or sober time. The verses in Jeremiah 30 and 31, the foundation of the book, offer promises of restoration and redemption.

90 in 90 reflects the 12 Step model of attending 90 meetings in 90 days. While your loved one attends meetings, you will read a daily devotional to lend spiritual support.

“Today I pray for other lost addicts to find the hope of recovery. I pray the families reading this book will continue to have hope that an addict—any addict—can stop using drugs and find a new way to live. If there is one thing I can say to family members it is, never quit fighting. There is always hope. With hope, I, a once hopeless dope addict, am now a dope-less hope addict.” ~ Josh Cosby

Sharron Cosby is married to Dan and together they have three adult children and five grandchildren. She works for an international charity by day and writes by night. Her passion is to share God’s message of hope, strength, and encouragement with families living with addiction. (Amazon)







My Review
I think most people have an addicted love one. Even if just a friend or distant cousin. In any case it is always a difficult situation and hard to know what to do. This book is perfect for those who really want to help and are willing to pray every day for this person. 
Each chapter is full of Bible verses and wisdom and the subject then there is a page at the end that you can fill out for your personal thoughts. So not only is this book accountable for helping you pray every day it helps you get your thoughts out and think about this person more than a two second prayer. 

I highly recommend to those who are in this situation!

"I received this book from Litfuse for free in exchange for an honest review."






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Watching someone you love self-destruct hurts. Sharron Cosby's Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90 provides ninety devotions of strength, hope, and encouragement to families coping with addiction. Realizing you’re not alone in your struggles brings comfort and confidence to face day-to-day challenges.

Sharron is celebrating the release of her book with a Kindle Fire giveaway.
Enter today. One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Praying for Your Addicted Loved One by Sharron Cosby
Enter today by using the widget below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 31st. Winner will be announced at the Litfuse blog on November 1st. Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the Litfuse blog on the 1st to see if you won. (Or, better yet, subscribe to their blog {enter your email in the blog sidebar} and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox)! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fierce Women Book Review






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 About the Book

Do you ever get the idea that being a godly wife means you need to be a mousy doormat? Be as unnoticeable as a doorknob? Or have a personality transplant?

Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior, smashes that idea. No matter whether you're an extrovert or more introverted-Kimberly Wagner believes women are created to be a compelling force.



You may not see yourself as beautifully fierce or even slightly strong, but what if God has placed a powerful fierceness within you, within every woman? Kim admits her fierceness became a source of conflict in her marriage, but the relationship dynamic totally changed when she discovered her fierce strengths could be used to encourage and inspire her husband. She invites you to come alongside as she takes an honest look at a destructive relationship dynamic and casts a vision for the transformation God can bring to troubled marriages
. (Goodreads)

My Review
What a book! There is a ton of stuff packed into this book. This is one of those books you read multiple times to glean all of the little things from the pages. Kimberly Wagner goes straight to the heart of issues, with being a women, being married, sexual issues, and many other life topics. 
I think the thing that caught my attention the most with this book is the controversy in the wife's role in the marriage. This has always been an interest topic for me to read about and from personal experience. It has been very difficult for both of us to let go of our control and realize we are in this together. I love how the author tells her own story in the pages about her marriage. It's the little things that add up and start to destroy trust and a marriage. 
She writes something pertaining to each letter in the word APPRECIATION about your husband.
A-admire and affirm
P-put yourself in his skin
P-pray like you mean it
R-release your prisoner
E-encourage his leadership
C-contentment
I-invest in him
A- accept him
T- treat him like a man
I-intimate connections
O-only a word
N-never give up.


At the end of the book she also talks about the important of marriage especially about how it effects the culture today. Everyone says, "Why get married it's just a piece of paper?" Sadly I used to say the same thing until I learned otherwise. 
Young women, married and single need to hear stories like this, read books like this, and understand that there is more to life then the current moment. 


This was a great book and I highly recommend. Probably to women eighteen and older simply because of the topic, younger women might not get into this book as much. 


"I received this book from Moody Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review."




Our God Comes CD Review

Antioch Live Worship CD, “Our God Comes”
Debuts at #2 on iTunes
 
Waco, TX- Antioch Live, the worship band for Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas, has signed with the new record label Clear Day Worship. As the music arm of Clear Day Media Group based in Waco, Texas, Clear Day Worship and Antioch Live debuted the new album OUR GOD COMES at the World Mandate Conference September 20 and the CD hit #2 on iTunes.
 
 
“World Mandate 2013 was the perfect venue for launching this new CD. Everyday people were united by a passion for Jesus with a desire to worship God and change the world. That is what we are about,” states Clear Day Media Group president, David Seibert. “OUR GOD COMES is a passionate and thrilling worship release captured at Antioch Community Church in Waco, TX. We look forward to seeing how God uses this worship music to bless the Church.” continues Seibert. 
 
Antioch is home to a worldwide church planting and worship movement, ministering to the needs of thousands internationally. Antioch Community Church currently has 30 church plants in the United States and another 40 in other parts of the world with more than 30,000 people involved with the movement. Antioch Live's “Forever Sound” CD released last year was #3 on iTunes.
The worship music and lyrics on OUR GOD COMES expresses the heart cry, prayers and joy of the worship team, songwriters and musicians from Antioch, led by James Mark Gulley. From the opening strains of audience approval, joyous praise and worship floods the listeners’ ears and ageless unchanging truths find a new sound for today! The savvy musical arrangements and gifted song writing flow from “Come” to “Our God Comes”, and the glorious experience is documented from the choruses of “Wonderful Counselor”, “How Much More” and “Savior Forever”.
 
Clear Day Media Groupcreates products to help people see God clearly and impact the world through Christ-centered content.
 
The 72-minute, live recording was produced by James Mark Gulley and assistant Owen Wible, recorded by Randy Adams and mastered at Marcussen Mastering in Hollywood, CA by Stephen Marcussen. Featuring songwriters James Mark Gulley, Stephen Gulley, Brandon Seibert, Thomas Wilson and Johanna Six, OUR GOD COMES also features worship leaders James Mark Gulley, Stephen Gulley, Johanna Six and Clare Berlinsky.
 
The full track listing for OUR GOD COMES is as follows:
 
  1. Come
  2. God And King
  3. Wonderful Counselor
  4. God Who Saves
  5. How Much More
  6. I Will Raise
  7. …Response
  8. Light Me Up
  9. Awaken Us
  10. One Hundred Three
  11. …Return
  12. Savior Forever
  13. …Selah
  14. Our God Comes
 


My Review

What a great CD!! I was so excited to get this book in the mail. I don't typically like listening to "live" music but this CD actually uses it to it's advantage and it's not annoying to listen to. The music and words are wonderful. I am always looking for new worship music and these songs are great. Some are upbeat, some are slower, it's a mixture of it all. 
My favorites are God and King, Awaken Us, and Our God Comes. I couldn't find the lyrics to the songs or I would have posted them. A few of the songs are just instrumental which I really enjoyed as well. 
If you are in search for some new worship music check out this CD! 
"I received this CD from B & B Media Group for free in exchange for an honest review." 


 


All songs are available with CCLI.
More information on OUR GOD COMES can be found on
 

A Reluctant Courtship Book Review



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 About the Book
Honore Bainbridge has been courted by two men, one of whom turned out to be a traitor, the other a murderer. Banished to her family's country estate, where she will hopefully stay out of trouble, she finally meets the man she is sure is exactly right for her: Lord Ashmoor. Tall, dark, and handsome--what more could a girl ask for?

But he too is under suspicion because of his American upbringing and accusations that he has helped French prisoners escape from Dartmoor Prison. If he's to keep out of a British prison himself and secure his place in British society, Lord Ashmoor needs a wife beyond reproach--something the vexingly beautiful Honore certainly is not. Though they find themselves drawn to each other, family obligations may conspire to keep them apart forever.

For the sake of her heart, Honore determines to prove Ashmoor's innocence--even if doing so risks her own life.



 My Review
I have not read the first two books in The Daughters of Bainbridge House Series, but I read that they could be read alone. This I discovered to be true, as I could follow the story line and was not confused about the characters. 
I enjoy the "Downton Abbey" type feeling that this book portrays, as this time period is extremely popular it has hit the fiction book stands by storm. I have read many books during this time period and this one was very difficult for me to get into and enjoy. The story line was so slow for me and the main character irritated me to no end. I'm sure those who have read the first books will enjoy this book as it is the same setting, but unfortunately I just did not enjoy this read. 

"I received this book from Revell for free in exchange for an honest review."

Stop by this website to learn more. 



“Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
 






Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Journey of Josephine Cain Book Review





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About the Book
An East-coast socialite embarks on a journey to the Wild West, and her life will never be the same.

A setting populated by hundreds of common laborers, outlaws, and Indians is hardly the place for a wealthy general’s daughter from the nation’s capital. But Josephine Cain is determined to accompany her father as he oversees the day-to-day work involved in the greatest undertaking of post-Civil War America: the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Life with the railroad is far from the proper life Josephine is used to, and she faces deadly gunfights, harsh weather, and vigilante uprisings. She is torn between West and the East; between her privileged upbringing and the dangers of a new frontier; between the pull of the suitable beau her parents chose for her and an attraction to a rough but charming Irish railroad worker. But if Josephine is willing, she just might find a new life, a unique purpose…and the love of her life. (Goodreads)




My Review
I am a huge fan of the history surrounding the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. I group up in a railroad "ghost town" and it has always been of interest to me. 
That being said, this book was not really what I was expecting from reading the back cover. Josephine comes from a very wealthy family and after tragedy strikes she wants to go with her father West to get away from her current life. I was expecting her to go with him and have her adventures, this is not the case, she only visits a few times. The love triangle in this book was confusing to me and I didn't really like the characters and how they were portrayed. 
I did enjoy how Josephine dealt with mourning and how she grew throughout the book. 
Fiction lovers will enjoy, though it's not as expected. 

"I received this book from Litfuse for free in exchange for an honest review."








The Journey of Josephine Cain by Nancy Moser follows the adventures of a D.C. socialite as she gets involved with the building of the Transcontinental Railroad right after the Civil War. Be sure to check out Nancy's fun Pinterest board for the book!

Enter to win 1 of 5 copies of the book!
journeyofcain-rafflecopter

  Five winners will receive:
  • The Journey of Josephine Cain by Nancy Moser
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 26th. All winners will be announced October 28th at the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 28th to see if you won one of the books!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Peace on Earth Book Review





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 About the Book

 
I surely wish with all my heart, This day of Jesus’ birth, That peace and love and happiness Soon cover all the earth.
Mary Engelbreit rings in the holiday with a Christmas collection that includes many of her favorite carols, the story of Jesus' birth, and beloved poems that touch the heart and celebrate the miracle of the season.(Goodreads)

My Review
 What a colorful book! I had no idea this book was going to be so big in size, not pages but the book itself. This was a fun book to read, the illustrations are unique-definitely their own style. This book is full of Christmas songs, quotes, short stories, excerpts from the Bible and poems. 

"Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, love divine; love was born at Christmas, stars and angels gave the sign."
-Christina Rossetti


This is a great book for the holidays and the kiddos in my life will enjoy it!

"I received this book from Booksneeze for free in exchange for an honest review."




Thursday, October 17, 2013

Heirs of Rebellion Book Review


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About the Book
Heirs of Rebellion contains the first two of five stories chronicling the dramatic lives of Joel Morrison and his adult children. “The Blessed One” kicks off the saga in the Bahamas where Joel has gathered the family to go over changes to his will, but a turn of events sends shock waves through the Morrison family, altering Joel’s plans. “The Wild One,” revolves around daughter Dee Dee Morrison-Milner, a film star living life in the fast lane who adopts an African child -- only because she believes it will benefit her career. When a series of events leads to her adopted daughter’s kidnapping, Dee Dee turns to her estranged husband in hopes of finding the child whose kind nature has captured her heart.


Product Details:
List Price: $13.99
Series: Morrison Family Secrets (Book 1)
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (September 2, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603749489
ISBN-13: 978-1603749480

My Review
I had no idea what to expect with this book, as it is very short and an unknown author to me. I really LOVED this short story. After reading the first chapter it reminded me of The Ultimate Gift Movie.
A wealthy father has had enough heartbreak and sees his children going down wrong paths. He has no control except prayer and maybe a little intervention with his will. After getting a quick view into all his children's lives, they meet at a summer beach house to discuss his will. What he says shocks and upsets but more news pushes them to the edge. This book is well written and a great story line. I can't wait to read more about the Morrison family!

"I received this book from FIRST for free in exchange for an honest review."















It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Whitaker House (September 2, 2013)

***Special thanks to Cathy Hickling for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Vanessa Miller is a best-selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. Her romance series include Forsaken, Rain and Storm, and with Whitaker House, the Second Chance at Love series: A Promise of Forever Love, Yesterday’s Promise, and A Love for Tomorrow. Her books, which often depict lost characters in need of redemption, have received countless favorable reviews and numerous awards. Vanessa holds a degree in organizational communication from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. She is a dedicated Christian and a devoted mother serves in her church as an ordained exhorter.

Visit the author's website.





AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

“Mr. Morrison, I really need to discuss something with you before you leave today.”

Eric’s assistant, Karen, had come into his office just as he was leaning over his desk, putting some files in his briefcase, so he could head home. He straightened up, revealing his full six-foot-two, 178-pound physique. He straightened his buttercream-colored tie and looked at his watch. It was 7:30 pm. He’d promised Linda that he would be home by six. Well, he’d already broken that promise, so he might as well handle this business. He sat back down. “What can I do for you, Karen?”

“I would just like to state for the record,” Karen began as she handed him a stack of bills, “I had no clue that this much money was being spent since you put Mark in charge of marketing for your campaign.”

It was the Corporate America motto: “Cover yourself and blame the other guy.” In truth, Karen’s responsibilities included reviewing the finances of his campaign and letting him know if his contributions were insufficient to cover his spending. He flipped through the bills, and then, with a frustrated sigh, laid the stack on his desk. “Why are all these bills past due?”

Karen plopped down in the chair in front of his desk and let out a long sigh. “We haven’t received as much in contributions as I originally projected. The election is nine months away, and with nothing significant happening, we haven’t given the donors a reason to part with their money.”

Here he was, mayor of Cincinnati, fully intending to make the White House his home within the next decade, and he didn’t even have enough money to run for Governor of Ohio? What did that say about his chances at the presidency? Was he dead in the water before his presidential campaign even marinated in the delegates’ minds? Eric refused to believe that. His father had always told him that God was looking out for him and wanted to see him prosper.

Being the eldest child, Eric had always been called upon to solve problems, starting with his own siblings. If he heard someone say, “Give it back; I had it first,” Eric would suggest something along the lines of, “Why don’t you play with the truck first, Isaiah, and then, in a little while, you can let Shawn see it, okay?” or, “Look, Dee Dee, there’s a prettier doll on your bed. Why don’t you let Elaine have this old doll, so you can play with the prettier one?”

Problem solving was in his genes. So, before his pity party got started, Eric decided to search for a solution. He grabbed his calculator and began adding up his debts. He turned to Karen. “It looks like we owe almost five million for various items, including my radio and television ads. How much money do we have right now?”

Karen glanced at the spreadsheet in her hand. “We have about two million in liquid assets.”

His father could cover these bills without even blinking an eye. But Eric hadn’t asked his father for anything since he’d graduated from college. Sure, he gladly accepted the $50,000 his father sent through his accountant to each of his children every year. His father had also bought him and his siblings their first homes. Everyone but Elaine, that is; she was still too busy saving the world to plant roots anywhere. But Eric hadn’t asked his father for anything else since he’d bought the house for Linda and him. When their daughter was born, Eric sold that house and used the proceeds to buy the 6,000-square-foot home they now shared. He wanted to be his own man and make his father proud of his accomplishments. The last thing Eric wanted to do as he neared forty was to beg his father for money. Besides, his father knew that it took money to run for public office; and if he wasn’t offering, Eric wasn’t asking.

“Okay, then,” Eric finally said. “Call all of our creditors and offer them a third of what we owe, and then tell them we will pay the rest over the next three months.” Eric had no clue where the money would come from to pay the remaining balances. But in the political arena, you never knew—a scandal could develop surrounding his opponent, prompting more voters to want to oust the incumbent and perhaps even pledge money to Eric’s campaign. He hoped he wouldn’t have to hire investigators to dig up dirt on Governor McDaniel, but he wasn’t opposed to it if the need arose.

He finished his meeting and left the office. Linda was going to kill him. This was the third night this week that he’d arrived home after eight o’clock. She didn’t understand how much public service meant to him, how much joy he received from setting policies in place that would help communities for generations to come. Being in public service allowed him to use the peacemaking finesse and problem-solving skills he’d developed as a child. But Linda was always complaining that he was more dedicated to the City of Cincinnati than to his own family.

Eric didn’t understand his wife. She had everything a woman could want, and yet she was still unhappy. He had bought her a nice home, and she had a hefty clothing allowance. Yes, he was often late, but at least he came home to his wife every night. Not every woman could say that. But Eric Morrison, the next governor of the great state of Ohio, didn’t cheat on his wife. Mention the name Bill Clinton to any politician—enough said. No, sir. Eric wasn’t trying to build a legacy just to have it torn down by infidelity. His father had taught him that. Joel Morrison used to tell his sons every chance he got: A man’s name is only as good as his wife says it is.

Eric had met Linda after college, while he was serving as a lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Linda’s father was a colonel in the army, so she’d grown up as an army brat.

Now she’s just a brat, Eric thought as he pulled into the driveway. She was never satisfied, no matter what he did for her. And if she didn’t get her way, she fell apart.

He walked into the house, took off his hat and coat, and put them in the closet. “I’m home,” he yelled.

No one answered back. He looked at his watch and walked out of the foyer in search of his wife. He found her asleep in the living room, stretched out on their beige sofa with a half-empty bottle of scotch by her side. Eric rolled his eyes and turned to walk away. Then he noticed a letter typed on his father’s stationery, sitting on the coffee table. He crossed the room and sat down on the edge of the couch next to his wife, catching a whiff of her alcohol-laden breath as she snored.

Shaking his head, he picked up the letter and read.

Son,

I hope all is going well for you and your family. It has been way too long since I broke bread with you and your lovely wife. Just thinking about how much I miss my grandchildren brings tears to my eyes. So, I’ve decided to invite you all to our vacation home in the Bahamas for a week of fun and family.

I know you’ll need time to get things in order at your office, so I’ve scheduled the vacation for the end of the month. How about it? Can you bring your family to the Bahamas on March 25? I really hope you will be there, because I will be going over some changes to my will.

Love, your father,

Joel

Eric held his breath and leaned back on the sofa. What changes could his father be making to his will? As far back as he could remember, his father had said they would split his fortune five ways when he died. Had something changed?

***

“What did you say to me?” Dee Dee Morrison-Milner glared across the table at her Bible-toting husband. Actually, she preferred thinking of him as her soon-to-be ex-husband.

“I said I love you, Dee Dee. Please, let’s just go home and talk this over,” Drake Milner pleaded, his dark brown eyes filled with liquid sadness.

Dee Dee didn’t care. She rolled her eyes and turned to face her lawyer, who was seated on her left. She ran her fingers through her fifteen-hundred-dollar weave. “William, can you please tell Drake how much alimony he will receive from me when this is all over?”

While Dee Dee’s attorney flipped through his files, Drake said, “What if I don’t want alimony? What if I just want you?”

Drake’s attorney, Mark Winters, elbowed him and spoke up. “Actually, my client has given up a great deal for this three-year marriage. Alimony is the least Mrs. Milner can do.”

“Don’t call me that.” Dee Dee scowled. “I am Dee Dee Morrison. I insist that you refer to me in that manner during these proceedings.” Actually, her name was Dee Dee Morrison-Wilcox-Johnson-Sooner-Milner, but Dee Dee didn’t want to think about all her failed marriages. She’d rather just be Morrison again and start over. The only reason she’d even entered into marital mistake number four was because her father had thought Drake was a great catch. According to Joel Morrison, Mr. Drake Milner was one in a million. Well, her daddy didn’t have to live with Drake. He wasn’t around when Drake opened his Bible and dared to read it to her. He wasn’t dragged to Sunday morning worship service when all he wanted to do was sleep in. Dee Dee had been through all that madness when she’d lived with her father. That’s why she’d thought she could handle a clone of Joel Morrison. But she’d had enough.

“What did I do that was so wrong, Dee Dee?” Drake protested. “I didn’t cheat on you, didn’t abuse you. I honored the vows that I made to you.”

Dee Dee turned to William. “Can you please tell him how much I’m willing to give him in alimony?”

William cleared his throat and announced, “Ms. Morrison is willing to give you fifty thousand a year for the next three years.”

Mark laughed. “How generous you are, Mrs. Milner, but it’s going to take much more than Daddy’s annual allowance to help my client retain his standard of living.”

Glaring across the table at Drake again, Dee Dee said, “Did you tell him all my business?”

“The bottom line is this,” Mark began. “My client gave up his career to move to LA and become your houseboy.”

“I never told him he couldn’t work,” Dee Dee insisted.

“Oh, really? Is that why you got him fired from the last two jobs he acquired since moving here?” Mark asked.

Dee Dee harrumphed. “That’s a lie. Drake didn’t like any of those jobs. He wanted to travel with me. I did him a favor by calling his employers. If anything, he should be thanking me, rather than trying to extort more money.” She stood up and extended her manicured index finger in Drake’s direction. “You’re getting out of my house today. Do you hear me? Your days of freeloading are over.” She turned and stormed out of her attorney’s office, jumped in her red Ferrari 575M Maranello, and sped off. She had no time to waste. She intended to put Drake out of her ten-million-dollar Bel Air mansion that day. She lived thirty minutes away from her lawyer’s office. Nonetheless, in less than twenty minutes, she was punching in the access code to her gated home. She parked her car in front of the house and ran inside.

Dee Dee stood in the foyer for a moment with her back against the door. She detested the stale white walls, the white marble floor, and the circular staircase. It was all too calm and drab for her taste. She still didn’t understand why she had purchased this house. Maybe she had been on some kind of calm-and-drab kick the year she’d married Drake, but she was way over it now.

She went upstairs to Drake’s room, gathered a handful of his shoes and clothes, then opened his bedroom window and threw the stuff out onto the well-manicured lawn. On her third trip to the window, she saw her assistant, Marcia, coming up the walkway.

As Dee Dee dumped Drake’s underclothes on the lawn, Marcia waved some envelopes in the air with no acknowledgment of the garments. “I have your mail.”

“Just leave it on the table in the foyer. I’m busy right now.”

Marcia pulled one of the envelopes out of the stack. “This one is from your father.”

Dee Dee was tempted to continue with her work, but her daddy was a peculiar kind of man. You never knew when he might just add an extra check to one of his letters. And she could use some extra money right now. God only knew how much it was going to cost her to get rid of Drake, since he was telling everyone it was her fault he didn’t have a job.

She went downstairs, took the letter from Marcia, and opened it. As she read it, her world fell apart. Daddy’s changing his will? Was her father disinheriting her because of her four failed marriages? Could the old man really give away her birthright just because she didn’t measure up to his high standards? Dee Dee didn’t really know if this was bad news for her or not, but she knew one thing for sure. There was no way that she could go to the Bahamas without Drake. Not when her share of six hundred million was at stake.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

His Treasure Book Review


Front Cover
Picture Credit





 About the Book
If you have ever struggled to find a way to connect your heart to your heavenly Father, "His Treasure" is the book for you. In the tradition of Sheri Rose Shepherd's bestselling His Princess series (with over one million in print) comes this book of beautiful "love letters" from God that will remind you of your priceless worth in Christ. Each scriptural love letter is written in language that speaks to the heart of every woman. You'll discover treasures of truth, real love, and wisdom from God's Word. Get ready for an amazing encounter with your King!(Goodreads)


My Review
I requested this book because I love author Sheri Rose Shepherd. She is a talented writer and is good at explaining things about Christ and life in general. When I got the package in the mail I discovered that this is a very small book. It's height is about half that of a typical paperback book. Then I opened the cover and was delighted from there on out! This book is wonderful, especially for a daily reading.  She has written little messages for each topic from His Love to His Discipline. Each note is a page long and includes a verse and a quote on the opposite page. 
One of my favorite tid bits:
 My Child,
.......I know you have a passion inside of you to do something bigger than yourself. My plan for your life has already been put into motion; however, you will remain in a holding pattern until I alone am enough for you. Because I love you, My ultimate plan for you will begin to unfold only when I have your full adoration and attention. (His Treasure)

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Luke 12:34


Love this book, I highly recommend!

"I received this book from Tyndale Publishing for free in exchange for an honest review."













To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please mention as part of every Web or Amazon review that Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book. Warmly,
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