Thursday, August 28, 2014

Simple Thai Food Book Review

 

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 About the Book

Thai takeout meets authentic, regional flavors in this collection of 100 recipes for easy, economical, and accessible Thai classics--from the rising star behind the blog  She Simmers .

Who can say no to a delicious plate of Pad Thai with Shrimp; a fresh, tangy Green Papaya Salad; golden Fried Spring Rolls; or a rich, savory Pork Toast with Cucumber Relish? Thai food is not only one of the most vibrant, wonderfully varied cuisines in the world, it also happens to be one of the tastiest, and a favorite among American eaters.

The good news is, with the right ingredients and a few basic tools and techniques, authentic Thai food is easily within reach of home cooks. Take it from Leela Punyaratabandhu, a Bangkok native and author of the popular Thai cooking blog She Simmers. In her much-anticipated debut cookbook, Leela shares her favorite recipes for classic Thai fare, including beloved family recipes, popular street food specialties, and iconic dishes from Thai restaurant menus around the world.

All of Leela’s recipes have been tested and tweaked to ensure that even the busiest cook can prepare them at home. With chapters on key ingredients and tools, base recipes, one-plate meals, classic rice accompaniments, and even Thai sweets, Simple Thai Food is a complete primer for anyone who wants to give Thai cooking a try. By the end of the book, you’ll be whipping up tom yam soup and duck red curry that will put your local takeout joint to shame. But perhaps more importantly, you’ll discover an exciting new world of Thai flavors and dishes—including Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile Jam, Leaf-Wrapped Salad Bites, and Crispy Wings with Three-Flavored Sauce—that will open your eyes to all the wonderful possibilities that real Thai cooking has to offer. (Goodreads)


My Review

I love Thai food! I was excited to get this book because I love being able to create food without going out to eat. This book is full of so many dishes that I had ever heard about, which is a good thing! There are soups, snacks, meals, fish, and even ice cream! Coconut ice cream with Jackfruit-yum!! There is also a curry powder recipe that I found helpful because I love curry! In the back of the book is a great glossary on the different ingredients for those of use who have no idea what some things are. 
The only downside is there is an extreme lack of pictures. I love cookbooks but I am a visual person and pictures really add a lot. Also, it's a mixture of recipes so some are easier to make and others require effort but I don't mind in order to get the finishing product!
This is a good cookbook but they could have done better with the pictures. 


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








Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Berenstain Bears Blessed are the Peacemakers Book Review


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About the Book


“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.”
Matthew 5:9
In this new Berenstain Bears 8x8 book, Blessed are the Peacemakers, Brother and Sister have a wide circle of friends at Bear Country School and they get along with pretty much everyone. But not all their friends get along with each other. Too Tall and his bullying gang, for instance, are often in conflict with Cousin Fred, Ferdy Factual, and their friends. So what happens when the cubs all need to work together on the annual school play? Brother and Sister have to decide whether they should “mind their own business” or get involved as peacemakers and try to calm the troubled waters.



My Review

I have always loved the Berenstain Bears. I didn't realize that Mike is the son of the original writers and he continues on writing his parents legacy. After reading this book, I can tell the difference in the writing, though it's still similar. The only thing I didn't really like is how the children in school are described as being in "gangs". This book is for very young children and while there is obviously different groups that spend time together I didn't think it portrayed things accurately for a four year old. Also, Brother and Sister are the peacemakers and jump right into the middle of a fight to stop it. I think this sometimes is ok but for young children they really do need to find an adult when people are physically in a fight. The idea behind this book is great but I think it could have been written better. Peacemakers are important and I love that Brother and Sister stayed away from joining the cliques and were friends or at least civil with everyone. I also think it's important that children are taught to stand up for things that are right and good.
I got this book to share with my nephew but I'm not sure that I will, I'm not sure what he will take away from it. It's still a cute book but I think it could be read by children in a way that won't be helpful. I suggest talking to your child about what the book is teaching after reading it.

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











Home to Chicory Lane Book Review






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About the Book







Audrey Whitman’s dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are
grown, she and her husband Grant are turning their beloved family home
into a cozy bed and breakfast, just a mile outside of Langhorne,
Missouri.


Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming
from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey’s
daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she’s pulling makes it clear she’s
not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What
happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn’s
husband, Cory? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing
was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey
still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home
her daughter so desperately needs? (Goodreads)








My Review

This book has a pretty cover and it drew me in. The story line reminded me a lot of Susan May Warren's Christensen family novels. This book is about Audrey and Grant doing something big now that all of their kids are out of the house. They turn their home in to an inn, which is great fun to read about! Landyn shows up and no one is really sure what is going on with her and her husband. This is the main part of the story and we travel with Landyn and Cory in marriage troubles and God questions. The overall theme is good, I can see it as a movie. I just felt a lack of depth at some points and the family aspect didn't really connect with me. I feel like this book could have been better but I am curious to read the other books to follow. The message is obvious but I like the overall theme of family and honoring God and trusting Him.

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










The first book in Deborah Raney's new Chicory Inn series, Home to Chicory Lane, introduces us to Audrey Whitman, a mother who has launched all her children into life and now looks forward to fulfilling some of her own dreams during her empty-nest years. However, not all of her children are ready to stay out of the nest quite yet.

Deborah is celebrating the release of her new series with a $200 B&B Weekend Getaway and a Facebook author chat party.

chicory-400-click
 
  One winner will receive:

  • A B&B Weekend Getaway (via a $200 Visa cash card)

  • Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 9th. Winner will be announced at the Home to Chicory Lane Author Chat Party on 9/9. Deborah will be hosting a heartfelt book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at the next book in the Chicory Inn series!

So grab your copy of Home to Chicory Lane and join Deborah on the evening of September 9th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Your Core Children's Board Book Giveaway!

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Enter through the Rafflecopter below. One winner will receive one board book of Your Core. 
US and Canada only. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Book


New book explains the soul to a very young child
Graham Blanchard continues to provide parents resources to help teach kids about God

AUSTIN, Texas – It is well known the first five years of a child’s life are fundamental for their intellectual development. But while parents are focusing on language, shapes and colors, what about their child’s spiritual development? It can be difficult to find ways to teach kids about God right from the start, but these early, formative years are vital in laying a foundation of faith and understanding of who God is.

Graham Blanchard Inc., a Christian publishing company based in Austin, Texas, is on a mission to encourage and equip parents to effectively teach their kids about God, even at a very young age. They are the only company specializing in board books that help parents share faith with their children from infancy.

In their latest release, Graham Blanchard tackles a topic that is often difficult for kids – and even adults – to understand: the soul. Your Core (Sept. 1, 2014), was authored by Callie Grant and illustrated by Missi Jay, who has been nationally recognized by Print Magazine and The ADDY Awards. Your Core features a diverse range of characters to represent the uniqueness of all God’s children and uses everyday objects like baseballs, apples and the Earth to explain the soul and how it relates to God. Your Core is an Absorb book in Graham Blanchard’s unique Learn, Absorb and Praise™ collection. Absorb books connect information about God with a child’s inner life.

Your Core follows the warm reception of Graham Blanchard’s first seven releases, which were well received by outlets like CBA Retailers and Resources, Publishers Weekly, Foreword Reviews,and more than 50 websites and blogs written by Christian parents.

Just in time for its one-year anniversary, Graham Blanchard is releasing The Learn, Absorb & Praise™ Classic Collection on Oct. 1, 2014. The gift set includes the popular titles Jesus Shows Me in the Knowing My God Series, All of Me That You Can’t See, and Mud Puddle Hunting Day. Included in the set is a bonus gift, The Art of Gratitude, with tips and templates for young children to practice giving thanks.

Graham Blanchard was founded by Callie Grant, who has a strong calling to help children know God’s love and nurture their families’ faith through reading together. Graham Blanchard is a culmination of Grant’s experience in the publishing industry, working for companies like Scholastic and Dorling Kindersely.
Graham Blanchard Inc. is based in Austin, Texas, with a growing team of writers, editors, illustrators, parents and pastors. The company is passionate about providing the highest quality books and resources to promote a love of learning about God, in addition to supporting families with prayer and the shared experiences of other parents. Graham Blanchard also provides online resources for parents, including a prayer wall, discussion forum and a Mom Mentor panel composed of popular authors and bloggers. Their books are distributed by STL, Spring Arbor and Anchor Distributors and represented by McLemore/Hollern & Associates. For more information please visit
www.grahamblanchard.com.    
My Review

I love board books and am always excited to share them with my nephews! This book is simple but states a huge point that I think little kids will understand. This book at least gets the idea that God is in your soul and that you have a "core". The pictures are great and I love that this book tells kids that they have a purpose. I think often times they don't hear that so this book hold a lot! I was curious how someone would approach this topic with children but this book isn't complicated and it also has Ephesians 3:16-17 listed in the back, which I love!

I highly recommend for your children Ages 0-5.


"Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review."















Miracle in the Dry Season Book Review

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About the Book

In a Drought, It's the Darkest Cloud

That Brings Hope


It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor. . .until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Miracle in a Dry Season, go HERE.




My Review

I really wanted to love this book but by the time I reached the end I couldn't say that I had. This book has a captivating cover and overall character development. I just thought the story went on for a long time and certain things were strung out way too much. I thought the romance was too fast, especially for what all the characters had been through and their current situation. The main story line is a good one. Perla's past follows her and her sweet little girl in this new town in 1954. Casewell is a nice guy and I really liked his relationship with the Lord, I think that was my favorite part of the book. I also liked that the characters, while slowly changing they were true to themselves and honest with God and each other.

This is a good story, just a bit slow for me. Others have loved it and I will be anxious to read the next novel written by Sarah, as this is her first!

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





This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Miracle in a Dry Season
Bethany House Publishers (August 5, 2014)
by
Sarah Loudin Thomas


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, releases August 2014 through Bethany House. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Unbound Book Review

 

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 About the Book

He must be released for a little while.
But the one who sees doesn’t believe.


Elijah Goldsmith has nightmares he needs to ignore. Why would a rich kid from Manhattan dream three straight nights about a dragon and the destruction of St. Peter’s Basilica? He’s never even been to Rome.

It’s bad timing, too. He’s graduating soon and applying to be a spy in the International Security Agency. That’s where he meets Naomi. She’s the kind of girl who makes boys like Elijah want to share their secrets. Were they brought together to learn what his secrets mean? There’s more to their sparks than they think.

This is 2066, the year the world ends. (Goodreads)




My Review

This book was really great! I think it might in the top few books of the year for me. I wasn't sure I would like this book because everyone has a different take on what the end times could be like. Unbound takes you into 2066, and the futuristic ideas, droids etc, were actually pretty realistic. I don't think that the technologies or theories behind this story are too far fetched or over the top and some of the things made me laugh. There is a part about digital books and regular hardback/paperback books. There is a line that says they are now considered rare since everyone has gone digital. I thought it was funny because that is the direction everyone is going. 
I like Elijah's character and the entire thought process behind the story line. I honestly couldn't stop reading because I was so into the story and theories. I wasn't sure how Simmons would use the Bible in the book but I really like how he approached the end times. Using Biblical examples, Simmons portrays a possibility as to what could happen.  Elijah is not a Christian which actually adds to the storyline and character growth. 
The romance or relationship thing I think went too fast. I didn't think it was very realistic but then again this is a novel. The only other thing that bugged me just a little bit is that Naomi, who is a strong believer, uses her looks in order to entice Elijah into her plan. Granted, the storyline is clean, I thought it was a bit odd for her to "promise Elijah a kiss if he does this" type idea. The topic comes up multiple times with other men mentioning the fact that Elijah is following her because she is a pretty woman. It's just something that I didn't think added to the story line.
There are dreams, a dragon, a spy agency, and a bit of romance all wrapped up nicely in this novel. The end times are made to look more real and reminded me a bit of the Left Behind series. 

The book really leaves you hanging so I am way ready for the next book to come out!

Five stars!

Highly recommend!

This book comes out September 13th!


"Thanks so much to the author for letting me receive an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review."







Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Blessings of Friendship Treasury Review



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About the Book

No area of her life has provided more artistic inspiration for Mary Engelbreit than her deep and abiding friendships. Over the years, Mary has shown an uncanny ability to capture the many facets of friendship - excitement, trust, compassion, forgiveness, and sheer joy among them. Now, in the tradition of her best-selling treasuries, Mary Engelbreit presents her fans with a true gift of her friendship: The Blessings of Friendship: A Friendship Treasury. Like the previous titles in this series, this book collects an amazing array of classic Mary Engelbreit images, along with new original works. The content is drawn from a wealth of classic and contemporary literature, songs, poems, personal letters, and more. Authors include Maeve Binchy, Annie Dillard, Anna Quindlen, Mark Twain, Cole Porter, and Rodgers and Hammerstein, to name only a few. All of this is wrapped up in a package that is nothing short of breathtaking - with a cloth cover, gilded edges, quality paper, and a ribbon marker, no detail has been overlooked. This book is an exquisite gift for a cherished friend and a natural addition to any fan's library. Like a true friendship, this book will be a source of joy that will last a lifetime. (Goodreads)



My Review

This is a wonderful book! I think it is my favorite by Mary Engelbreit thus far.
The illustrations are just adorable and the quotes, verses, and poems are wonderful all about friendship. I didn't realize that this book had a previous publication but this copy is perfect for children or adults in my opinion. Everyone needs a friend! I feel like a lot of it is geared more towards girls but anyone can appreciate the reminders on what friendship is about. Each page is colorful and draws you into what is being said. I took awhile to read because I loved studying the pictures, there are a lot of details! I recommend to a bit older children, but this could be read to them at a younger age.

Wonderful book and would make a great gift!

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



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Your Family in Pictures Book Review


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 About the Book

What parent doesn’t want to capture the perfectly imperfect joy of family life through photos? From holidays and vacations to portraits and shared moments, celebrated photographer (and mom) Me Ra Koh not only helps moms and dads take better photos, but inspires them to discover photography as a way to connect with, cherish, and celebrate their family. With forty beautiful “photo recipes” anyone can follow—with any camera—preserving your family’s story has never been easier! (Goodreads)




My Review

 What a great book!! I wasn't going to read this one because it says "parent's guide" and I'm not a parent. But I really love taking pictures and reading about new tips and ideas so I picked it up anyway. Seriously you do not need to be a parent to get something out of this book. It's organized nicely to where if you need to look up something fast you can. I love love love the pictures and ideas. This is photography for basic but beautiful pictures! She gives advice for those with a DSLR or a point and shoot. I like this book because you don't need fancy stuff to make a great picture. You need light and creative ideas. My favorite part is how she explains lighting, this will be most helpful to me.

Such a great book and reference I will forever use. I highly recommend this book to anyone!!

Also, check out other books by this author!

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










Dirty Faith Book Review




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About the Book

Put Your Faith Into Action
Do you ever feel like something in your faith is missing, that going to church, studying the Bible, and tithing just aren't enough? There has to be more, right? What would it look like to truly "follow" Christ and not just believe in him?
David Nowell asked the very same questions, and was led to minister to the "least of these," whom God loves deeply. In "Dirty Faith," Nowell shares powerful stories of faith in action, and encourages us to move with him from the sidelines to the front line, to get our hands dirty helping the hopeless, the disenfranchised, and the poor.
Loving as God loves is central to the gospel, whether that means taking in foster children, ministering to inmates at the local jail, or something else God has in mind just for you. Let this inspiring book help you find what's been missing in your faith.
"David Nowell has challenged not only our view of the church's responsibility in light of the worldwide plague of violence on children--from poverty to homelessness to prostitution--he has challenged our view of Jesus Christ. Nowell's Jesus has dirt under his fingernails and calluses on his hands. The Word becoming flesh is not just incarnation, it is a holiness that is willing to be stained by the brokenness of a world that would abuse an innocent child. I want my staff to read this book. It will challenge them to do what is required of them, and then some." --Dr. Walter Crouch, President/CEO, Appalachia Service Project
"Filled with unforgettable stories from the field, Nowell's writing will both break your heart and lift your vision. "Dirty Faith" is a must-read for those who want to put their faith into action by serving others." --Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, senior pastor, The Moody Church (Goodreads)

My Review

I enjoy reading books that make me want to act on my faith. This book strongly moves you to actually think about what you are doing in your life and why you could change. I agree with the author on many points, there are people, children who are sold used and abused everywhere. David will make you feel like an awful person, he doesn't sugar coat anything. I agree that we need to act on our faith and help others, but from reading this book he made it sound like everyone should be helping in a third world country. We are not all called to be in another country. Also, these things are happening in the U.S.A. but people don't think about that. People are sold here into prostitution and yes, people go hungry here as well.
I do agree that many of us sit on our pew at church and send money considering it enough, when in reality we could be doing more. I think the doing more could be many things and one part I really liked was how we are told, by Jesus, to go to those in jails and prison. The chapter on this topic was very good.
David goes into detail about the "dirty" things that are happening and sometimes its hard to swallow the facts on what is really happening if you aren't surrounded by it.


This is a good intense book if you are wanting or needing to do more with your faith, this books gives you the push..


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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Let's All Be Brave Book Review


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About the Book

Annie F. Downs admits she's not exactly the bravest girl in the world. She still cries sometimes when she leaves her parents' home in Georgia, she's never jumped out of a plane, and she only rides roller coasters to impress boys. But Annie knows that courage resides inside each and every one of us, and she's on a mission to triumph over her own fears while encouraging the reader to do the same. As a single young woman, writer, speaker, and blogger, Annie Downs shares her journey toward bravery with honesty and humor. Using wonderful stories from her own life, contemporary real-life examples, and fascinating historical and biblical references, Annie encourages readers to grab hold of the brave life that they desperately desire. How often does fear hold us back from the very things we most want to taste, touch, and experience? The call to be brave isn't just for one person---it's for everyone. Let's All Be Brave is more than a book, it's a battle cry. Annie challenges us to live boldly, she calls us to step into those places that require courage, and she gives us the help to take the next step forward---even when it's scary. This non-fiction, essay-driven book opens the door to many different views of courage---nudging, encouraging, and inspiring readers to be brave whenever given the chance. (Goodreads)

My Review

I suppose I had pretty high expectations for this book. The title is exciting-Let's be brave!! Yes! Well, while this book is good, it wasn't very thought provoking for me. The overall book is Annie's story about moving and traveling and living according to what she thought God wanted. The way the book is set up makes it a bit confusing to read. Times kept going back and forth and it's really not easy to read when there is a lot of jumping around. I do like how she writes, just not the organization of everything. I think my favorite part of this entire book is how she decides she needs to move to Nashville. She sits down and starts writing because she knows that something is off. Annie can feel that God wants her to do something but she isn't sure what, so she just starts listing things off one by one. Eventually she writes something that comes out of nowhere but she realizes it's what she needs to do.

I struggle with this and I like how she acted brave because her decision didn't make sense but it was what she had to do.

This is a good book about Annie and if you need a push to be brave I would pick it up.

Four stars.

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









Tattler's Branch Book Review




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About the Book

Lilly Corbett Still has grown to love her life as the small-town doctor of Skip Rock, a tiny coal community in the Kentucky mountains. Though her husband, Tern, is away for a few months at a mining job, Lilly keeps busy with her patients and her younger sister visiting for the summer.
Her hands full, Lilly turns to her good friend and neighbor, Armina, to help keep things in order. But when a mysterious chain of events leaves Armina bedridden and an orphaned baby on her doorstep, Lilly must trust in God and her resilient country neighbors to help her uncover the truth.
While working late one night, Lilly cares for a patient whose odd behavior sets her on edge, but she’s unaware of what a mess she’s found herself in until a break-in at her office puts her on high alert. Struggling between what is right and what is safe, Lilly discovers the strength of her neighbors, her God, and herself. (Goodreads)



My Review

I have read one other book by Jan Watson and it wasn't my favorite so I was unsure about reading this one. Tattler's Branch  really surprised me with the story line. The very start of the book takes off and I really wasn't sure what was going on but neither were the characters. There is a mystery going on throughout the entire book that the reader knows parts about but I was still surprised to read the ending. I enjoyed the characters a lot and the overall feel of the setting. Lilly is a fun character but I enjoyed Armina and her strange loss of memory.

For an easy, slightly mysterious read this book is pretty good.

Four stars.

Check out Tyndale Publishing to learn more!


Your Core Book Review



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About the Book


New book explains the soul to a very young child
Graham Blanchard continues to provide parents resources to help teach kids about God

AUSTIN, Texas – It is well known the first five years of a child’s life are fundamental for their intellectual development. But while parents are focusing on language, shapes and colors, what about their child’s spiritual development? It can be difficult to find ways to teach kids about God right from the start, but these early, formative years are vital in laying a foundation of faith and understanding of who God is.

Graham Blanchard Inc., a Christian publishing company based in Austin, Texas, is on a mission to encourage and equip parents to effectively teach their kids about God, even at a very young age. They are the only company specializing in board books that help parents share faith with their children from infancy.

In their latest release, Graham Blanchard tackles a topic that is often difficult for kids – and even adults – to understand: the soul. Your Core (Sept. 1, 2014), was authored by Callie Grant and illustrated by Missi Jay, who has been nationally recognized by Print Magazine and The ADDY Awards. Your Core features a diverse range of characters to represent the uniqueness of all God’s children and uses everyday objects like baseballs, apples and the Earth to explain the soul and how it relates to God. Your Core is an Absorb book in Graham Blanchard’s unique Learn, Absorb and Praise™ collection. Absorb books connect information about God with a child’s inner life.

Your Core follows the warm reception of Graham Blanchard’s first seven releases, which were well received by outlets like CBA Retailers and Resources, Publishers Weekly, Foreword Reviews,and more than 50 websites and blogs written by Christian parents.

Just in time for its one-year anniversary, Graham Blanchard is releasing The Learn, Absorb & Praise™ Classic Collection on Oct. 1, 2014. The gift set includes the popular titles Jesus Shows Me in the Knowing My God Series, All of Me That You Can’t See, and Mud Puddle Hunting Day. Included in the set is a bonus gift, The Art of Gratitude, with tips and templates for young children to practice giving thanks.

Graham Blanchard was founded by Callie Grant, who has a strong calling to help children know God’s love and nurture their families’ faith through reading together. Graham Blanchard is a culmination of Grant’s experience in the publishing industry, working for companies like Scholastic and Dorling Kindersely.
Graham Blanchard Inc. is based in Austin, Texas, with a growing team of writers, editors, illustrators, parents and pastors. The company is passionate about providing the highest quality books and resources to promote a love of learning about God, in addition to supporting families with prayer and the shared experiences of other parents. Graham Blanchard also provides online resources for parents, including a prayer wall, discussion forum and a Mom Mentor panel composed of popular authors and bloggers. Their books are distributed by STL, Spring Arbor and Anchor Distributors and represented by McLemore/Hollern & Associates. For more information please visit
www.grahamblanchard.com.    

My Review

I love board books and am always excited to share them with my nephews! This book is simple but states a huge point that I think little kids will understand. This book at least gets the idea that God is in your soul and that you have a "core". The pictures are great and I love that this book tells kids that they have a purpose. I think often times they don't hear that so this book hold a lot! I was curious how someone would approach this topic with children but this book isn't complicated and it also has Ephesians 3:16-17 listed in the back, which I love!

I highly recommend for your children Ages 0-5.


"Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review."













To read more or purchase a copy stop over here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Story Keeper Book Review



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 About the Book

When successful New York editor Jen Gibbs discovers a decaying slush-pile manuscript on her desk, she has no idea that the story of Sarra, a young mixed-race woman trapped in Appalachia at the turn of the twentieth century, will both take her on a journey and change her forever. Happy with her life in the city, and at the top of her career with a new job at Vida House Publishing, Jen has left her Appalachian past and twisted family ties far behind. But the search for the rest of the manuscript, and Jen's suspicions about the identity of its unnamed author, will draw her into a mystery that leads back to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains . . . and quite possibly through the doors she thought she had closed forever. (Goodreads)



My Review

 I had very high expectations for this book but I never know what to expect from Lisa. Some of her books amaze me, others I haven't been too fond. This book was really good but I wish the ending was a bit different. I don't feel closure with this book and the double story line. The book is split between a past story (the manuscript Jen finds) and Jen's present life. The historical stories are always my favorite and that stayed true in this book. I like Jen and her attitude with life and the glimpse into her past is very much every day reality for many families. The past story was so unique and I felt like a learned a lot about Sarra and Rand. Their journey is fascinating to read about and I wish there was more! The book could have been just about them and I would have been happy with that. 

Lisa Wingate really has done it again with another wonderful read. I don't want to give anything away but it really is a great book, I just want more!

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








Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Bouquet of Love Book Review


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About the Book

Cassia Pappas has found herself in a nearly impossible situation. She wants to spend her time immersed in her new job at a Galveston Island floral shop, arranging blooms and brightening occasions with her lovely creations. But her huge Greek family–especially her father–has other ideas. They’ve all relocated to Galveston to open up a new family restaurant location on the Strand– directly across the street from the Rossis’ popular pizza place–and they want Cassia’s full participation.
To make matters worse, as Cassia is trying to develop a strong professional relationship with Galveston’s premier wedding coordinator, Bella Neeley, her own father is intent on stealing all of the Rossi family’s faithful customers. Not exactly the best way to get into Bella’s good graces!
Still, at least Alex, that hot delivery guy from the nursery, is always hanging around the flower shop . . .
Fan favorite Janice Thompson gives readers one more romp with Bella, Galveston, and the bustling wedding biz in the final installment of her popular series. Anyone who loves quirky families, loads of laughter, and tender romance will find themselves hooked. (Goodreads)

My Review

I have read all of the books in this series and have found them all to be similar but good. This one takes on the floral background for wedding design. This book reminded me of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and was very humorous. I liked the other books better but this one was still fun to read. At the beginning of each chapter is a funny Greek comment that I had to smile about.
Cassia is a great character  but I really enjoyed the other characters. The romance is obvious and a bit overdone. The two family feud is entertaining all while holding strong to a message of faith.

For a light humorous read this book is enjoyable.

Four stars.

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





Horse Dreams Book Review





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About the Book
 
Fourth-grader Ellie James has a great imagination. She spends a lot of time daydreaming of owning a black stallion show horse and winning trophies in the horse show. But when the answer to all her dreams and prayers gallops into her life, will Ellie be able to recognize it? Join Ellie and her quirky family in their exciting, horse-loving adventures.(Goodreads)



 My Review

So this is the first book in this series, and I had already read the last book (oops, I read them as they come in from the library). In this book Ellie is daydreaming in class about horses and then she thinks she really does see a horse outside the window! No one believes her until later when a few things come into play. This book is all about Ellie discovering and taking care of her Pinto. These are the main two characters in the book so it was nice to read about how everything came about. 
Ellie's faith is fun to read because she is so young and yet she still seems to have a relationship with God. Her family is hilarious and these books are just plain good. 

Highly recommend for horse lovers or youngsters who need something new!

Check out Tyndale Publishing for more great books!










Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pilgrim's Wilderness Book Review

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About the Book

When Papa Pilgrim appeared in the Alaska frontier outpost of McCarthy with his wife and fifteen children in tow, his new neighbors had little idea of the trouble to come. The Pilgrim Family presented themselves as a shining example of the homespun Christian ideal, with their proud piety and beautiful old-timey music, but their true story ran dark and deep. Within weeks, Papa had bulldozed a road through the mountains to the new family home at an abandoned copper mine, sparking a tense confrontation with the National Park Service and forcing his ghost town neighbors to take sides in an ever-more volatile battle over where a citizen’s rights end and the government’s power begins.

In Pilgrim’s Wilderness, veteran Alaska journalist Tom Kizzia unfolds the remarkable, at times harrowing, story of a charismatic spinner of American myths who was not what he seemed, the townspeople caught in his thrall, and the family he brought to the brink of ruin. As Kizzia discovered, Papa Pilgrim was in fact the son of a rich Texas family with ties to Hoover’s FBI and strange, oblique connections to the Kennedy assassination and the movie stars of Easy Rider. And as his fight with the government in Alaska grew more intense, the turmoil in his brood made it increasingly difficult to tell whether his children were messianic followers or hostages in desperate need of rescue. In this powerful piece of Americana, written with uncommon grace and high drama, Kizzia uses his unparalleled access to capture an era-defining clash between environmentalists and pioneers ignited by a mesmerizing sociopath who held a town and a family captive. (Goodreads)


My Review

This book looked unique and intriguing so I figured I should read it. This story is filled with so much detailed it was almost too much, but I still enjoyed the story. At first it was difficult for me to really get into the story line and understand what all was going on. After awhile I started to get more into the family and the Alaskan wilderness. I like this author and can see myself reading more of his books. 
I am not sure if I could recommend this book because you have to be interested in the topic. 
If this type of book interests you then you need to read it!

Three and a half stars. 

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











A Lady In France Book Review

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About the Book

At seventeen, Jennie Goutet has a dream that she will one day marry a French man and sets off to Avignon in search of him. Though her dream eludes her, she lives boldly-teaching in Asia, studying in Paris, working and traveling for an advertising firm in New York. When God calls her, she answers reluctantly, and must first come to grips with depression, crippling loss, and addiction before being restored. Serendipity takes her by the hand as she marries her French husband, works with him in a humanitarian effort in East Africa, before settling down in France and building a family. Told with honesty and strength, A Lady in France is a brave, heart- stopping story of love, grief, faith, depression, sunshine piercing the gray clouds-and hope that stays in your heart long after it's finished. (Goodreads)


My Review

This book is a book of a life, a memoir. It's difficult to review someone's life so I usually review these books based on how the book is written and presentation. That being said I really enjoyed reading about Jennie's life! At first I really had no idea where her life story was leading and then it took twists and turns. She didn't focus too much on one part of her life but everything that happened as a whole. I thought it was organized nicely so it made things easy to read and follow. The book is much larger than I was expecting but that's ok because there is a lot packed into her life! If I wrote my own story it wouldn't be nearly as long. Her travels are interesting but really the best part about this book is her journey to Christ and all of the things in between that effected that part of her life.
For a memoir this book is great, it takes you all over the world and gives you a new perspective.

"I received this book from the publisher through BookCrash for free in exchange for an honest review."












Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Aveeno Tone Corrector VoxBox Review






 #RadiantWithAVEENO

I am a huge fan of Aveeno products because they don't bother my sensitive skin. I usually buy the sensitive skin items but I really like most of the products. Aveeno Positively Radiant Targeted Tone Corrector was a new product to me so I enjoyed getting to try it out. It went on the skin nice and smooth and it didn't make my skin oily or gross.  I used it mainly under my eyes when I hadn't gotten much sleep or just needed a boost. I would buy this product again, though there is quiet a lot in the bottle. This product isn't too expensive and it works.

If you haven't tried Aveeno, I highly recommend! This product works great for a Tone Corrector.

"I received this product from Influenester for testing purposes."





The Midwife Book Review



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About the Book

Since the day Rhoda Mummau was baptized into the Old Order Mennonite Church and became the head midwife of Hopen Haus, she's been torn between the needs of the unwed mothers under her care and her desire to conceal the secrets of her past. Contact with the outside world could provide medical advantages, but remaining secluded in the community gives her the anonymity she craves.Graduate student Beth Winslow is on a path she never would have chosen. Heartbroken after surrendering a baby to adoption, she devotes herself to her studies until she becomes pregnant again, this time as a surrogate. But when early tests indicate possible abnormalities, Beth is unprepared for the parents' decision to end the pregnancy--and for the fierce love she feels for this unborn child. Desperate, she flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen House.Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives to the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia's due date draws near, Rhoda must face her past and those she thought she had left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free. (Goodreads)


My Review

I had high hopes for this book simply based on the good reviews. I also have been wanting the read The Outcast which I have yet to do.  This book was far better than I had hoped and I really enjoyed every page. The characters have great depth and personality. There is a lot typed up in the words and while the plot isn't difficult to figure out it still creates emotion. I fear some people will see this book and think it's another typical Amish book, and it's not at all. Set in the Mennonite community these women take refuge and Hopen House, which I love. Each woman has a story and they work together to bring hope in each other's lives. Rhoda has quite the past and her story slowly unfolds switching between present day and past. I learned a lot about how surrogate options work and it made me think about how it would be like to carry someone else's child or have someone else carry your child.
Very good book and I am a new fan of this author. I usually don't pick out books that deal with a lot of child birth or a Mennonite setting but this book surprised me.


Highly recommend!!





Check out Tyndale Publishing for more info and great books!







Friday, August 8, 2014

With Every Breath Book Review



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About the Book


In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston holds a respectable position as a government statistician when she encounters a rival from her past, the insufferable Trevor McDonough. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and she's bewildered at the way he suddenly seeks her out. Surprising even herself, Kate agrees to Trevor's entirely unexpected and risky proposal to work side-by-side with him in his quest to rid the world of tuberculosis, a contagious and deadly disease.

As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, she realizes there is much more to him than she could have imagined. His hidden depths may fascinate her, but his most closely guarded secrets and a shadowy enemy lurking in the background carry a serious threat to their future.

When the truth of the past comes out, threatening to destroy everything they hold dear, how will Trevor and Kate ever overcome all that stands in their way? (Goodreads)

My Review

Oh my goodness I loved this book. Elizabeth Camden is such a great author and I have loved all of her books, but this one was really fantastic. I was a bit hesitant because of the medical story line but I loved every bit of it! I feel like I learned a ton and Camden does great research while putting into a story that's not boring or overwhelming. Kate's character is so fun to read but I love Trevor, he is very much a Sherlock Holmes personality. The storyline goes into detail about tuberculosis, as Trevor, a famous doctor, is trying to find a cure. Someone is trying to destroy his career, Kate is confused on his mysterious past, and they also have a lingering past history.
So much mystery, yet it's not overdone. The romance is written flawlessly and I simply couldn't stop reading.  

Highly recommend!! Five stars.
 Also, check out Camden's other books, they are great as well!

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














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