Friday, May 29, 2015

Hillsong Empires CD Review + Giveaway





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My Thoughts

I've only recently become a fan of Hillsong United and I really enjoy their worship music. We've sang some of their songs in church and I listen to them in my car and it's always uplifting. This album is more slower songs and a couple upbeat ones. I encourage others who like this type of music to look them up and listen to the words in these songs. If you haven't heard of Hillsong United I hope you enter the giveaway below or at least check them out on iTunes.

Highly recommend! This is a great CD.


"Thanks for FlyBy promotions for giving me a copy to enjoy in exchange for an honest review."

Giveaway!



 Giveaways are valid in US & Canada only.


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”




About Hillsong United:
UNITED is committed to writing songs that speak truth, create a unique sound, connect with churches, individuals and ultimately connect people everywhere with God. UNITED serve in church as a part of the wider Hillsong Worship and Creative team when they are home. When on tour, they are accompanied by the whole Hillsong team’s support and prayers that their ministry would arrest hearts and point people to Jesus, impacting individuals, local youth groups and local churches.




Twitter: @HillsongUnited



Instagram: @HillsongUnited






Check them out on tour this summer: http://outcrytour.com/

Honorable Mention: 
- Here’s a video of their performance on the TODAY show in case you missed it last month:https://vimeo.com/123986301

Official website: http://smarturl.it/Empires 









Thursday, May 28, 2015

Michael W. Smith Sky Spills Over Video and Sovereign CD Giveaway!



Link




Here’s a quote from MWS on the video:





I’m really passionate about the song SKY SPILLS OVER.  It was fun creating it in the studio and I’ve been overwhelmed at the response it gets when we perform it live every night.  My son Ryan is a really talented filmmaker so I always enjoy working with him on a project.  But what made this project even more special was that 3 of my own grandkids were in the video.  This video was a lot of fun to make.  I hope people enjoy it!"

Watch the Video Here





Giveaway!





Giveaways are valid in US & Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Choosing Review



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About the Book

“Not to be Chosen would yield a cruel fate of my own making.”

Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for—her Choosing ceremony—would end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority.

But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. The whispers contradict everything she’s been told; yet they resonate deep within.

Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, but she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her. (Goodreads)




My Review

You really can't go wrong with a book written by a Dekker.  I had mixed emotions going into this book as it's Rachelle's first book. After reading the back of the book and the first couple of chapters I thought I was in for a new take on Divergent. I liked that book but I was really hoping for something new. After the first few chapters things take a turn and I started to appreciate the storyline a bit more. I like Carrington's character a lot and I honestly couldn't put the book down. I thought it was a unique twist on God and futuristic politics. I could see how the society depicted in the book could actually happen with one person ruling and forcing people to believe one way. It is a lot like Divergent in many ways but with different twists. It's also similar to Ted Dekker's books just with a different flair. The main thing I liked is how Christ is portrayed to those who are persecuted or abused. I think this is a layer of the book that makes the storyline for what it is. The ending is abrupt but I am excited since there is going to be a book two!!  

I look forward to read more from Rachelle!
Five stars.

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



-          Twitter: @RachelleDekker
-          Facebook: facebook.com/RachelleDekkerAuthor
-          Instagram: @rachelle_dekker






Q&A with Rachelle Dekker


Author of The Choosing
About the Author . . . The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through storytelling. She graduated with a degree in communications and spent several years in marketing and corporate recruiting before making the transition to write full-time. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat, Blair. Visit her online at rachelledekker.com.


1. How did you come up with the story for The Choosing?
This is a hard question because it has many answers. I wanted to write a theme-based novel about identity. I wanted to write a dystopian novel. I wanted to write in a world that was familiar, but in a setting where I could change the way the world worked. It actually is several ideas I’d been toying with pulled into one story. Once I landed on Carrington’s core revelation and story arc, I simply fell in love with her as a character and drew the rest of the story around her. That’s usually how it works for me. I come up with a character, good or bad, and create the story from there.

2. You based your main character, Carrington, off of your younger sister. In what ways is Carrington like her?

It’s more the beliefs that Carrington struggles with that remind me of my sister. The idea of worth, of not feeling like you’re enough, or questioning whether anyone would choose you. Carrington came about as I spent time with my sister and her college-age friends and saw that a large majority of them were searching for significance, searching for worth—none more than my sister at the time.

3. Throughout the book, Carrington struggles with understanding her identity and worth and what is true. Why did you decide to write about the theme of identity?

Someone once asked me, If you could leave one message for your younger sisters, what would it be? The answer was always the same: I would pray they knew what they were worth. Identity is everything. There isn’t a theme that doesn’t start with identity, or circle back to identity. Knowing who you truly are is the greatest journey we face. Am I enough;



am I worth it? I believe everyone faces these questions, and I sought out to explore them through this story.

4. Do you think women tend to struggle with identity more than men?

I don’t think women struggle with identity more then men. Not at all. I just think we struggle differently. As a woman I understand the identity struggle from a female perspective more, but I think most men wonder if they’re enough just as much as women do. We are all the same at our core, really. We are on this earth for a short time, trying to figure out our purpose and worth. Searching for recognition, usually in all the wrong places. The truth I am discovering is that there is no need for searching. The truth already resides inside of us. The Father has already marked us as chosen, worth it; He has already given us a purpose. It’s only a matter of looking inward to the soul and to the Creator of that soul to find our worth.

5. One of the story’s most significant lines is, "Life is a journey of remembering and forgetting." What do you mean by this?

It means exactly what you probably think. We have these flashes of clarity where we see so clearly who we are—and our connection to the Father—but then, in a single moment, something pulls our attention away and we forget who we are. This is the journey of life, remembering and forgetting. But I believe the more we remember, the more we set our gaze on the Father, the less often we forget.

6. What do you hope readers will take away from the story?

I hope readers are filled with joy and power as they either realize for the first time who their Father is and what they are really worth, or as they simply remember this truth.

7. Did you discover anything about your own identity through the writing process?

I will steal a line from Ted Dekker on this one: "I write to discover." They are one and the same. Even when I think there’s nothing left to discover, if I let myself be open to discovery, it almost always comes. So yes, I did. And I told my husband, if nothing ever comes of this book, it would still have been worth writing because of the way it impacted my life.

8. What would you say to the person who is struggling, trying to find their identity in temporary, unsatisfying places?

I would say we have all been there, and that those places will only serve as a prison in the end. They may seem like happiness now, but eventually they will become suffering. But that’s just part of the journey of identity. Some people need to learn the hard way—I did for sure! I searched for significance in darkness and somehow the Father still led me to the light. So when I see people going through what I did, I empathize, but also know that in a single moment they can discover their true identity.

9. The Choosing is the first of a three-book series. What can we expect in the next two books?
More struggles with identity, but in different ways. Familiar characters dealing with fear and worry and forgiveness. We’ll walk with our characters as they continue to understand the true way of Aaron’s Father. More excitement, more romance (of course), and more self-discovery.

10. What is it like being Ted Dekker’s daughter? Did your father help you with the writing process?

Being Ted’s daughter is wonderful! He’s the best, but then I hope many daughters feel that way about their fathers. He is a bit of a mystery, though. Sometimes, even sitting at the dinner table, I can tell he’s lost in thought, and I wonder what it might be like to have his mind.

It’s been a blessing to watch him write and struggle with writing, so that now when I struggle I have an understanding ear to talk off. He is always willing to talk me through the emotional and mental side of writing (which is where the biggest battles lie in wait) but as far as story, for the most part he lets me fend for myself. It’s always been important to me to write through my challenges on my own. To figure out scenes alone. In fact, he didn’t even read The Choosing until I was already in conversations with Tyndale about publication. I think that’s because he wanted me to believe I could do it on my own.



But when I doubt my ability as a writer, and when I forget who I am, he is the one I call. And he reminds me that life is a journey of remembering and forgetting, and helps me in remembering once again.











Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Moose Pictures








We went and saw family last weekend and ran into these guys. I've seen moose a few times but I've never had my camera or they were too far away. It was exciting! Love me some time in the mountains!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Princess Charity Sticker Book Kids Review

 

 

 

 

Book Description

Sticker books girls will love! The Princess Parables come to life through age-appropriate puzzles, activity pages, and 50 colorful and reusable stickers in the friendly and fun Princess Charity’s Sticker and Activity Book featuring Charity, her four princess sisters, and their friends.
Join Charity and her sisters in some creative and interactive fun with 16 pages of stickers and activities that are sure to please, featuring her father the king and her special animal friend Daisy the Horse.
About the Illustrator
Omar Aranda studied Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he was born. Many top publishers and companies worldwide have commissioned him for projects including story artwork, comics, and character design. He started his career as an artistic painter but now devotes all of his time to illustrations for children's products.




My Review 


This is such a fun book for little girls! This is a sticker/activity book that has 50 reusable stickers! There are coloring pages, connect the dots, mazes, draw your own princess, and more. While I did expect the book to be a little bit bigger, I think this is a great activity book and I'm excited to share it with the little girls in my life.
Age recommendation is 4-8.

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











Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Hiding Place Young Reader's Review


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 About the Book

Bestselling, Timeless Book Now Abridged for Young Readers
Corrie ten Boom was loved the world over for her heroism and remarkable faith. The first of her bestselling books, "The Hiding Place," tells the riveting true story of how her gentle Dutch family risked their lives during World War II to help Jews escape the Nazis. She and many of her family members were arrested and sent to concentration camps. But this middle-aged watchmaker survived, and spent the
rest of her life spreading the truth that no matter how deep the pit, God's love is deeper still.
This timeless message now reaches a new generation in this special edition, which has been crafted especially for ages nine through twelve. Young readers will learn that every experience we face is the perfect preparation for the future only God can see. (Goodreads)




My Review

I read The Hiding Place years ago and thought it was a great book depicting our past. I was curious to read the young reader's edition though. This edition is more compact and easier to read. There are multiple pictures/drawings as well that are kind of a nice addition. I don't think there are as many details as there are in the first edition but the book still tells the story or Corrie Ten Boom. I think it's perfect for younger readers because they won't be intimidated with a huge book and still get the amazing true story. At the back of the book it talks about what has happened since this story and what Corrie Ten Boom went on to accomplish in her life. It's really an incredible story and I hope this book gets younger folks interested as well. 
"I received this book from Chosen books for free in exchange for an honest review."






Tuesday, May 19, 2015

American Sniper DVD and Blu Ray Giveaway!




GIVEAWAY!  

Enter through the rafflecopter below. One copy of the DVD/Blu Ray Combo Pack. 
U.S. only please. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway





About the Movie
 
Burbank, CA, April 15, 2015 – From director Clint Eastwood comes “American Sniper,” arriving onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on May 19 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, A Mad Chance Production, A 22nd & Indiana Production. “American Sniper” stars Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter.

A two-time Oscar® nominee for his work in “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle,” Cooper stars alongside Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin Lacz, Navid Negahban and Keir O’Donnell.

Oscar®-winning filmmaker Clint Eastwood (“Million Dollar Baby,” “Unforgiven”) directed “American Sniper” from a screenplay written by Jason Hall, based on the book by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. The autobiography was a runaway bestseller, spending 18 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, 13 of those at number one.

The film is produced by Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan. Tim Moore, Jason Hall, Sheroum Kim, Steven Mnuchin and Bruce Berman served as executive producers.

“American Sniper” will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and includes the film in high definition on Blu-ray disc, a DVD, and a digital version of the movie in Digital HD with UltraViolet. Fans can also own “American Sniper” via purchase from digital retailers.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will donate a portion of the proceeds across physical and digital sales to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). One dollar of each purchase will be donated up to $1,000,000 from April 21, 2015 through December 31, 2015, void in Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi and South Carolina. To get involved and learn more, visit http://www.woundedwarriorproject.com.

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To learn more about WWP’s life-saving programs and services, please visit http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs.

SYNOPSIS

From director Clint Eastwood comes “American Sniper,” starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield.

But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter.

Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield, and as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world.

Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

“American Sniper” Blu-ray Combo Pack & Two Disc DVD contains the following special features:
· One Soldier’s Story: The Journey of American Sniper
Join director Clint Eastwood and his creative team, along with
Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, as they overcome enormous creative and
logistic obstacles to make a film that brings the truth of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's story to the screen.
· Making of American Sniper 


Review

This is a tough movie to watch but it's really good to know what goes on in this world. I have heard both things from this movie and it's definitely not something I would let me kids watch. There is blood and danger and it's scary but it's a true story. I think we need to know these things. I couldn't recommend for everyone because it will effect everyone differently and if people aren't ready to watch it then that is fine. I so appreciate our troops and military and all they do for us. We are blessed to have people like this fighting for us.

 Thanks for Grace Hill Media for offering me a free copy to review.



Sunday, May 17, 2015

Capture the Moment Review

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About the Book


The premier online community for female photographers, Clickin Moms presents a photography guide featuring big, bold images coupled with short, focused, prescriptive tips for translating everyday life into stunning works of art.

Clickin Moms is the photography industry's largest social network of female photographers, boasting a booming members-only community of more than 16,000 professional photographers, aspiring professionals, and women passionate about capturing their families' everyday lives. This guide captures the spirit of the community by featuring a compilation of stunning member-contributed images paired with photography tips progressing from elementary to advanced, leaving no skill level unserved. By letting the images dominate and keeping the teaching points short and direct, the book builds on the highly visual appeal that has made the online community so popular. Covering all the bases, including equipment, composition, posing, low light, natural light, black and white, still life, and lifestyle photography, the example shots feature plenty of inspiration for photographing children as well as other beautiful everyday moments. Assignments for experimenting with lighting and shooting locations round out the chapters, providing every photographer with both the inspiration and skills she needs to capture life's beautiful moments as frame-worthy photographic art. (Goodreads)



My Review

 It's always fun to read new books on photography and this book is really well put together. I thought there might be some more step by step examples but really this entire book is just full of pictures that say things like "use photography to explore and express your own emotions", and "Prioritize your light". So each picture has an idea for you to try which is indeed helpful. This book is a collective set of many different people's pictures and they really are very good and gave me some new ideas. 
This isn't just a mommy book but great for anyone who likes photography.

Five stars.

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





















Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bash and the Chocolate Milk Cows


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About the Book

Anytime boring Beamer visits Bash, his crazy farm cousin, weirdness always rules. This time, Bash schemes a way for the cows to give chocolate milk on April Fool’s Day. Meanwhile, there's a robber on the loose, and Beamer is stuck with his crazy cousin, the pesky neighbor Mary Jane, and a goat of many colors. But somehow Beamer manages to learn an important lesson about baptism and the Great Commission. It's just another day at the farm!

Based on Matthew 16:15-16, this third book in the Bash series is hilarious fun for kids 8 to 12. (Goodreads)



My Review

I love these books by Burton Cole because they really are fun to read. I can't wait to share this one with all of the littles in my life. This story revolves around April Fools Day and what the kids are going to do for pranks. It reminded me a bit of past April Fools myself and made me giggle. Here is a quote that just cracked me up, "Did he ever shoot anybody? Nope. Break into houses? Bash laughed. Nobody breaks into farmhouses. We own pitchforks." They are talking about a robber who has been going around stealing random things like a jug of syrup. It's fun for kids and adults both and the story continues from painting a goat multiple colors to turning the entire dairy into chocolate milk cows.
Aside from the comedy, there is a great message of Christ and the kids always learn a lesson. I love these books and highly recommend!


Five stars.


"Thanks to the publisher for offering me a free copy in exchange for an honest review."





Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Love Like Ours Review



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About the Book

Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion’s reluctance to run.

Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend? (Goodreads)



My Review

I have been looking forward to reading this book for awhile! If you haven't read the first two books I do recommend reading them first though they each have their own story. The same characters are present in all of the books and it makes more sense when reading them in order. While this wasn't my favorite book out of the three it was still so very good! I really liked Jake's character because it sheds some light into people living with PTSD. I can't imagine this and I think something it's downplayed but oh how it effects people's lives! The horses are fun to read about and Lyndie is a likable character. The story revolves around these two who have known each other since childhood but have been disconnected for years. I liked the romance part because of their past friendship, friendship always makes things work out better and I enjoy reading such story lines.
This is a good story with great characters and I really couldn't put it down.

Five stars.

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


Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1R9Tv8p








Fall in love with Becky Wade's new book, A Love Like Ours, a story of healing, romance, and cowboys. A glimmer of the hope Jake thought he’d lost returns when Lyndie lands back in Texas, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

To celebrate the release of her new book, Becky is giving away a $100 cash card and a book-inspired prize pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A $100 cash card
  • A copy of A Love Like Ours
  • A copy of the Secretariat DVD
  • A scarf
  • A dog-tag/cross keychain
  • A pair of earrings
  • A Scarf
  • A Texas-shaped cutting board
  • A Jake Porter mug
love like ours - prize pack 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 26th. Winner will be announced May 27th on Becky's site.

lovelikeours-enterbanner

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Heart's Danger Review



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About the Book

On the brink of war with the Sioux, a young woman risks everything to expose the betrayal threatening the man she loves.

Christmas is coming, and the air at Fort Laramie has turned cold . . . but relations with the Sioux have turned colder. As tensions between soldiers and natives approach a tipping point, Ben Croftner and Jessica DuBois prepare a trap for Rand Campbell.

Bitter from rejection and backfired plans, Croftner has enlisted the help of Rand's new fiancee to keep Rand from ever returning to Sarah Montgomery . . . for whom his heart clearly still yearns.

Sarah is simply trying to move on with her life at Fort Laramie, but doing so under the watchful eyes of both Campbell--the man whose love she craves--and Croftner--the man whose lies have cost her everything. Will Rand fall victim to the conspiracy and go through with his wedding? Or will he declare his love for Sarah and make good on the promises that brought her into the rugged western territories? (Goodreads)




My Review


This book is an excellent addition to this mini book series. With only 128 pages the story is limited of course but a lot of action happens in this book that I didn't see coming. The romance I still don't enjoy but I was surprised how everything played out. I do love the cover of this book and I am anxious to see what the next book looks like. The only I really don't enjoy is some of the dialogue seems very forced and awkward. There still isn't a lot of depth and perhaps that's because the books are all split up, I'm not sure. Either way I still want to read the next book and if you are interested in reading you must start with book one!

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




Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1G01e4s






Sarah risks everything to expose the betrayal threatening the man she loves—but will the risk be worth it? Find out in book three, A Heart's Danger, of Colleen Coble's A Journey of the Heart series. Rand’s new fiancĂ©e wants to keep him from returning to Sarah Montgomery . . . for whom his heart clearly still yearns. Sarah just wants to move on with her life at Fort Laramie, but doing so under the watchful eyes of both Campbell—the man whose love she craves—and Croftner—the man whose lies have cost her everything.

Enter to win the perfect pairing giveaway: three books (books one–three in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series) and coffee to pair with your new book!

heartsdanger-400

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Heart's Danger
  • A pound of Colleen's favorite coffee, Captain Davy's Coffee Roaster Costa Rican
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 31st. Winner will be announced June 1st on Colleen's website.

heartsdanger-enterbanner

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Called to be Amish Review



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 About the Book

Fewer than one hundred people have joined the Old Order Amish and stayed since 1950. Marlene C. Miller is one of them. In this rare memoir, Marlene recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood, how she throws herself into cheerleading and marching band, and how she falls in love with Johnny, the gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates. Against the wishes of both sets of parents, Marlene and Johnny get married and begin a family. Follow the author on this unusual journey to find out how God s love called her out of bitterness and depression and into the warm embrace of her new Amish community. Accompany her as she dons an Amish dress and prayer covering and gets baptized. Learn how she endures the strain of ten children, a hundred-acre farm, and accidents and tragedy, and find out how she comes close to walking away from it all. Turning Amish has proven to be anything but plain and simple for this former majorette. But nearly fifty years later, Marlene is still living out God s call as an Old Order Amish woman.(Goodreads)





My Review

  I love reading about other people's lives and this book takes you into the heart of Amish life. There are so many fiction accounts on Amish romance and whatnot but I found this book to be interesting because it's a real story. Marlene grew up in the modern world of her time but after meeting a young man things changed and she is one of the very few who have joined the Old Order Amish community and stayed. While at times the book seemed to jump around from one story to another I really enjoyed it. I liked reading about the work, how things are done, children, and the faith. I think this book really opens your eyes to this life and how generations of people have lived strictly for years. If the Amish interest you, you will find this book rewarding to read. 

Highly recommend. 

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



Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1ESK6eR

About the author:

Marlene C. Miller
joined the Amish as an adult and has been a member of the Old Order Amish for almost 50 years. She and her husband of 48 years live on a farm in Ohio surrounded by their nine children, more than 40 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.









Friday, May 8, 2015

The Mapmaker's Children Review




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About the Book

When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.
   Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance.
   Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way. (Goodreads)




My Review

*Note: this book is not published by a Christian publisher and there are some cuss words. This is just a note to my usual readers.

I am also up for a new historical fiction story and this is a new author to me as well. This book surprised me with it's historical facts and really an intriguing storyline. The story flip flops between present and past and the house that ties them together. I enjoyed both storylines, the present day one was a lot of about infertility but I liked the characters. The historical aspect was a bit slow at times but the second half of the book really took off and was faster paced. The book takes you from Virginia to California and I loved reading about the older houses. I grew up in an older home from the 1800s and I loved it. Sarah Brown's character is unique and I liked reading about her history in the back of the book. There's a great story about marriage as well that surprised me with Eden and her husband. Overall this book turned out to be really very good and I can recommend it to those who enjoy history and a good storyline.

Four stars.

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

















Monday, May 4, 2015

To Win Her Favor Review




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About the Book

A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who can help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing for good.

An Irish-born son far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He’s come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and start a farm, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he’d wagered, especially when Maggie Linden’s father makes him an offer he shouldn’t accept yet cannot possibly refuse.

Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the annual Drayton Stakes at Nashville’s racetrack––the richest race run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance, and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder, Maggie’s father––aging, yet wily as ever––makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail––Maggie must marry a man she’s never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.

Cullen and Maggie need each other in order to achieve their dreams. But their stubborn, wounded hearts––and the escalating violence from a "secret society" responsible for lynchings and midnight raids––may prove too much for even two determined souls.   (Goodreads)



My Review

I am intrigued by this book and the one before it because we were able to visit Belle Meade! I love being able to visualize the setting so it makes this book more entertaining. So I love the setting but to be honest it was a bit slow for me and hard to get into. Maggie's character about drove me crazy but it was good to see her grow throughout the story. I liked Cullen's character he seemed like the strong honest person who really wanted what was best for Maggie. The horse history and setting history was very interesting so if you like history this is a compelling read.

I wish I could say I loved this book, it was just ok because it was slow but I know many others will love it.

Four stars.

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





Can Maggie prove that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever run in America? Find out in Tamera Alexander's To Win Her Favor. To give her that chance—and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder—Maggie must marry a man she's never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.

Celebrate the release of To Win Her Favor with a Kindle Fire and book giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
  • A copy of To Win Her Favor
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 10th. Winner will be announced May 11th on Tamera's blog. Plus stay tuned for more opportunities to win after May 11 with a special Pinterest contest—more details coming soon!

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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Plumb CD Review and Giveaway



About PLUMB:
Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, better-known by her stage name Plumb, is a songwriter, recording artist, performer and author. Plumb has sold more than 500,000 albums and over two million singles worldwide, co-penned songs for numerous other artists, including Michelle Branch, Mandisa, Mandy Moore, Jaci Velasquez, and Natalie Grant, and had music placed in many films and television shows.Originally signed as a Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) recording artist in 1997, Plumb is now known as well as or better in alternative rock, electronic dance music, and for the use of her music in film and television than she is in the CCM market.


About the album:
EXHALE, the seventh studio album from acclaimed multi-genre singer, songwriter and author PLUMB, expresses a new focus and vision. After the runaway success of NEED YOU NOW (the album, title track and book), which coincided with her own moving story of brokenness and ultimately healing, Exhale brims with worshipful songs of gratitude and hope.
The defining concept of EXHALE was born from a sermon at Plumb’s home church, wherein her pastor Pete Wilson expressed the notion that the Church doesn’t exist for itself. Rather, believers come to church to breathe in grace and truth, be changed, and then go out and “exhale” that hope into their surrounding community.
“That idea of exhaling hope hit me right away and I couldn’t get to the Notes section on my phone fast enough. I started writing the chorus of Exhale right then and there,” explains Plumb. “I have been made new by the ultimate hope, and I want to share and exhale that hope in everyway I can.” 



My Review

I actually hadn't heard of Plumb until I heard her on the radio recently. Then when I was browsing iTunes I noticed she had a new album coming out ( many tracks you can buy on iTunes now). So I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to listen to her entire album! I love her voice and the words to her music are wonderful. Exhale is the main song and title of the CD, and it's a great song! The one I've heard on the radio though is Lord I'm Ready Now and it's also on this album. There is a mixture between upbeat and slower songs which gives it diversity. One of my favorites is Sleep Will Be Sweet some of the words are "When I lie down my soul will breathe again.....Your peace is strength to face the dark."

I really have been enjoying this Exhale CD and I want to spread the word on it's arrival! I also found out that she has been nominated on KLOVE for Female Artist of the Year!

Thanks to Flyby Promotions for providing me with copy to review for free!
If you need some new tunes I suggest you enter the giveaway for the opportunity to win this CD for free! Flyby Promotions has a copy that they want to send one of my readers! Not a digital download, but an actual Exhale CD! US and Canada only please. Thanks for reading! : )
If the Rafflecopter below doesn't load here is a link



 




"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”