Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Big Picture Interactive Bible Story Devotional (5 stars)


The Big Picture Interactive Bible Story Devotional
by B&H Publishing 
Children's Devotional
Available February 2015
224 pages

About the Book
The Big Picture Interactive Bible Story Devotional is the perfect way to bring the Bible to life in a kid's heart! This unique 52-week devotional is packed with value and includes interactivity kids will love. A Bible story is at the center of each weekly devotion, and a two-to-four minute video is available by scanning a QR code. Plus, a free downloadable app lets kids experience a digital "pop-up" (using Augmented Reality) of each Bible story along with narration by Jenna Lucado Bishop. Get more info here.

My Thoughts
I'm always looking for new books that will help kids grow in their relationship with God, and The Big Picture Interactive Bible Story Devotional is a resource I can recommend. The book is divided up into 52 short devotions for elementary-age kids. Each devotion is divided up into several sections: a one-page devotion, a short "augmented reality" clip that they can watch and hear using the mobile app, a passage of Scripture, questions for further thought, a video clip, and more. While it's intended for children to use on their own, I can see how this could also be used in family worship or even in homeschooling. One "devotion" could easily be stretched into a week's worth of discussions.

The devotions themselves are short, easy to read, and straightforward. If read in order, they will take a child through the entire Bible, showing how the Bible tells one complete story. This is something that I've only learned as an adult, so I love the emphasis on teaching children from a young age.

I definitely recommend this devotion and will confidently give it to the littles in my life. [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

When it's been nine months of silence . . .

About nine months ago, I disappeared from this space I'd carved out for myself on the world wide web. I didn't plan it or even notice right away. And then when I did, I found that I just had nothing that I wanted to say.

I stopped reading. I started binge watching Criminal Minds on Netflix. My personal life felt very off limits.

So what was left? Not a lot that I wanted to share.

For the first time since 2005, I didn't have a blog where I was sharing all my thoughts with my friends and anyone else who stumbled upon them.

And it was glorious.

But now I feel like I want to share again. So here I am. Thanks for sticking around.

And if you're an author or a publicist and I totally dropped the ball on reading your book or writing and posting a review that I owe you, I apologize. I certainly didn't intend to let anyone down, but this break has been incredibly healthy and helpful for me.

I'm working on another post to share a little more about the past nine months. Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Friendship Tour with Tara Taylor Quinn


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Check out all of Tara's events HERE.

The Friendship PactThe Friendship Pact
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Romance, Women's Fiction
Paperback & ebook, 245 pages
June 1st 2014 by MIRA

This is a story for every woman who has a best friend...

Bailey Watters and Koralynn Mitchell consider themselves "sisters of the soul." Their circumstances growing up couldn't have been more different; Kora came from a wealthy, privileged family, while Bailey's home life was hard. They'd do anything for each other. "I'd give you a kidney," they always say. There are no secrets between them--until there's one secret Bailey can't share.

This is a story for every woman who's been in love.

Danny Brown is the only man Kora's ever wanted, ever loved, and her marriage seems as flawless as everything else in her life. Bailey, however, doesn't want a husband. She does want a baby--but only by IVF. And the perfect donor, the perfect biological father, would be a man like...Danny.

What happens when love and friendship collide?

Kora might be willing to give Bailey a kidney. But what about a baby?

Once Upon a Friendship
(The Historic Arapahoe #1)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
July 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Theyíre a team...not a couple!

Falling for Liam was unthinkable. He and Gabi had been best friends since college, nothing more. And crucially, now Liam was her client and needed her to be focused on his case. Gabi could never risk their friendship ó or Liamís freedom ó over these feelings. They could never be a couple, anyway. He was Liam Connelly, the handsome and privileged son of a billionaire. She was Gabrielle Miller, the girl whoíd fought her way out of poverty and put herself through law school. They were unlikely friends to begin with. Anything more was impossible. Unless...he felt it, too.


The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. She is known for delivering deeply emotional and psychologically astute novels of suspense and romance. Tara is a recipient of the Readerís Choice Award, a five time finalist for the RWA Rita Award, the Reviewerís Choice Award, the Booksellerís Best Award and appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists. Tara is the past-president of Romance Writers of America and served eight years on that board of directors. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning and is a frequent guest speaker. In her spare time Tara likes to travel, climb Arizona mountains, and inline skate.

Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233. 



Click on the banner to take you to Tara's landing page for all her tour events.

As part of Spend the Summer with Tara Taylor Quinn, Tara is holding a contest for those who share on social media about how they love life during the summer! Each day you can share an image, picture, or quote, linking to her events' landing page (http://www.tarataylorquinn.com/Summer%20With%20ttq.html) to enter to win ONE BIG SUMMER BASKET!!! We'll be pulling the best submissions and voting for the top one during her Facebook Party on July 16th. Pull out your creative juices and share your joy of summer, be it with friends, family, or the love of your life!

Beach-themed basket will include: shell wind chime, shell choker and matching bracelet, beach/flip flop note cards, picture frame, 4x6 picture album, plus some surprise print copies of Tara's books (including Once Upon a Friendship).

Share must be public to be eligible. Can enter once each day. US only. Giveaway ends July 16th.


Follow the Tour

July 5th: Launch
July 12th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaways

$10 VISA Gift Card & ebooks of The Friendship Pact and Once Upon a Friendship (INT)
Print copy of Once Upon a Friendship & a Spend the Summer with TTQ T-shirt (US only)
ebooks of The Friendship Pact and Once Upon a Friendship  (INT)
Ends July 17th

(All to one winner - US only.)
$10 VISA Gift Card
Copies of all five books on Tara's Summer Tour
Spend the Summer with TTQ T-Shirt
Ends July 16th

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Heart's Betrayal by Colleen Coble

A Heart's Betrayal
by Colleen Coble
A Journey of the Heart series, Book 4
Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance
Available June 2015
Thomas Nelson
100 pages

About the Book
Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.

When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband’s home, she discovered an awful truth: her deceased husband was a bigamist. And what’s more, the home she thought she inherited never belonged to her at all.

Buy a copy  |  Find out what others think

My Thoughts
I'm still enjoying this series. A Heart's Betrayal is a bit of a "refresh" for the series, focusing on a new main character. After a few things wrapped up in the previous book, I wasn't sure how the series would continue, so I enjoyed seeing this new spin.

If I can complain for a moment, I would say that the synopses for each of these books are WAY too detailed. I wish the publisher had left a bit more to the imagination instead of detailing ALL of the major plot points on the back cover!

This is definitely a quick read, but I found it enjoyable. I'm looking forward to the final two installments.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including “Tidewater Inn,” “Rosemary Cottage,” and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series.

Colleen Coble Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hidden Identities (Blog Tour + Review)

Hidden Identities

Hidden Identities Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Hidden Identities
Readers will be delighted with nine sweet, contemporary romance novelettes in Sweet & Sassy: Hidden Identities. In this charming anthology, you will fall in love again and again.  

THE BEST OF ME by Paige Timothy Becky is a cancer survivor who has been blogging about her journey. She's shocked to find that Josh, her one-time love and now-famous oncologist, is the main speaker at the symposium she’s been asked to attend. Has fate given them a second chance at a future together, or just a shot at miserably ever after?  

SECOND-HAND HEARTS by Jo Noelle When Elena sees Chase for the first time, his turquoise eyes and tousled blond hair convince her that she might believe in insta-love. Just in time, her brain takes over, reminding her that her business is in trouble, making the future uncertain—not a good time for love. But being with Chase is as easy as following her heart, until she finds he has a secret big enough to break it.

FIRST LOVE, SECOND CHOICE by Lindzee Armstrong When wedding planner Keslee gets asked on a date by her long-lost high school crush, Bryce, everything should be perfect. But Bryce mistakes Keslee for her deceased twin sister, Jadyn. And she doesn’t correct him. Now they’re unexpectedly working together. Keslee knows the charade can’t last much longer, and fears she’ll lose Bryce forever when she tells him the truth.  

HACKED by Stephanie Connelley Worlton NSA data analyst Samantha Perry never being an introverted computer geek could get dangerous until she digs a little too deep into a greedy blackhat’s business, forcing her to change her identity and relocate. As She risks everything to try to close the case, but may end up putting a nail in her own casket. And if she doesn’t, Seth, her hot new neighbor, just might.  

TO LOVE AND PROTECT by Ruth Roberts First Son Daxon Hayward has refused a secret service detail since the day his father was elected President. This time the threat against Daxon is very real, and his father plants an undercover agent to protect him, Lorelei Davis who is capable and beautiful. She’s received her assignment: Protect the First Son, don’t let him know she is an agent, and don’t fall in love.  

CLOSING TIME by Candice N. Toone Chef Will Morrison can’t help himself after watching Kelsey sit alone at a table waiting for a blind date. When he steps in to save her from being stood up, he expects to exchange dull first-date pleasantries, but finds himself drawn in by her quick wit and spunk. Will hears himself confirming plans for a second date only to realize that she still believes he’s someone else.

SINK OR SWIM by Laura D. Bastian Shelly can’t believe she’s fallen for another cheater. The last few weeks at the gym swimming next to Brandon had almost convinced her she could date again. Brandon’s excited to be back home with a career that can finally hold a candle to his twin brother’s success. When Shelly suddenly turns cold, Brandon can’t help wondering if it has something to do with his brother.  

WRITE AND WRONG by Kaye P. Clark Jon Patterson is burned out. After publishing a series of blockbuster novels under his pen name, he’s hit a brick wall. He escapes to a rural town in Idaho where he meets Abby, the local librarian. She ignites his imagination and quickens his heart. Without the pressure of his pen name, Jon is free to be himself. But will he lose Abby when she learns his secret?  

UNDERCOVER LOVER by James C. Duckett Agent Johnny Anderson is struggling with an investigation that could make or break his career. However, it’s love at first sight when beautiful and witty Hannah moves into the neighborhood. Will Johnny lose Hannah when she finds out his cover story is a façade? As things get hotter between them, his love for her might endanger her life.

My Thoughts
I'm always up for a good anthology. I mean, what's not to enjoy? Several stories, discovering new authors, and generally getting all of this for a fairly low price! Hidden Identities features nine stories about characters who aren't quite who they seem. I enjoyed reading each of these stories and found a few new-to-me authors who I'll be watching to see what they publish next.

One of my favorite stories in this collection was the very first one (start with a bang!)—The Best of Me. I enjoyed seeing how exes reconnected after many years apart. There was a serious side to the story but it was still very fun. I would definitely read more about these characters.

I think my biggest "issue" with the collection was how short all of the stories were. They were really more like short stories than even novellas. However, the collection is an enjoyable read and would make a great beach read.

I received a free copy of this book from the authors in exchange for my fair and honest review.

99 cents
Purchase on AMAZON
add to goodreads new

25_Amazon_Paypal  
Blog Tour Giveaway 
 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
Ends 6/25/15 


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 


Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Hearts (Blog Tour + Giveaway)



About the Book
Every Summer Has a Love Story...Six Summer Tales of Sweet Romance that bring you the very best in Historical, Contemporary and Fantasy Romance. Sarah Daley, Carol Malone, Kathy Bosman, Debby Lee, Robyn Echols, and Lisa Watson weave stories of long days, sultry nights, sun-kissed beaches and sweet romance

Dreaming in California
In the summer of 1967, Hollywood actress, Lucinda Baker, appears to have it all-- fame, money, and an all too doting fiancé. Dark traits begin to emerge from the man she's pledged to marry, and he threatens her. Lucinda must now lean on her best friend, celebrity photographer, George Creston to escape the clutches of the dangerous relationship. Together they are forced to summon courage, and trust each other in desperate circumstances. Will they find love in the process or lose everything they hold dear, including their lives.

A Summer of Stars
McKinley Graham has escaped to her summer getaway to regain her perspective and her health.  Zane Davidson has taken refuge in the lovely seaside community, welcoming the healing balm of the salty sea air and his childhood home to mend his wounds.  They aren’t looking for love, but their attraction is too explosive to ignore.  Against the backdrop of starry nights and sultry kisses, they come to realize that even love may not be enough to save them from the angry storm of his past that threatens to destroy their dreams!

Drowning Sandy
The water is calling...
and Sandy can no longer resist the urge to unleash her mermaid form. But a simple swim in Lake Ontario ends when she discovers the truth of her own banishment. When long time crush, Alardo, seems to shift in a direction she never dreamed possible, Sandy must make a choice — mermaid or human? Once she chooses, she can never go back.

Summer Holiday
In the summer of 1905, Lizzy Gordon’s father dismisses her desires to be a doctor, demanding she become a teacher—a profession which does not allow women to marry.
Teacher Brent Pierce is dedicated to expanding young minds, but circumstances are forcing him to take over the family farm.
Before the summer is over Lizzy and Brent will be forced to make hard decisions. Can they find the courage to each stand up for themselves and still be together?

Shark Boss
When Tara takes up a job at the local aquarium, her colleagues warn her about their harsh boss, Mr. Carter Jones. She soon discovers how impatient he can be, but she also can’t deny her fascination and attraction to him. Carter can’t stop watching Tara as she works but holds back from her because of his secrets. If she knew what he was, she would never want him. Could the reason for Carter’s moods be related to something more troubling than what’s on the surface? Tara soon discovers Carter’s secret, and it only bonds them closer. But the curse starts to take over Carter’s life, and he won’t give his heart to a beautiful woman when he can only cause her pain.

The Best Place to Meet a Man
Jeff goes to the beach to run and clear his head. Meredith goes to the beach intent on burying her nose in her book. In this contemporary romantic comedy, these two collide when Meredith’s two young nephews come up with other plans.

Giveaway 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fatal Trauma by Richard Mabry (Blog Tour + Review)

Fatal Trauma
by Richard Mabry
Christian Fiction / Suspense
Available May 2015
Abingdon Press
300 pages

About the Book
A gunman who has nothing to lose faces a doctor who could lose it all to prove his innocence.

When Dr. Mark Baker and Nurse Kelly Atkinson are held at the mercy of a dangerous gunman, the lives of every emergency room patient are at stake. At the end of the evening three men are dead. One of them is a police officer who couldn’t be saved despite Mark’s best efforts. The other two are members of the feared Zeta drug cartel.

Though the standoff is over, the killing is not, because when the drug cartel loses its members, revenge is not far behind. Facing an adversary whose desires are dark and efforts are ruthless, Mark finds himself under suspicion as a killer, yet still a potential victim. When he turns to his high school sweetheart, attorney Gwen Woodruff, for help, Kelly helplessly looks on, as she hides her own feelings for the good doctor.

At the height of the conflict, three questions remain: Who is the shooter? Who will the next victim be? And can Mark prove his innocence before the gun turns on him?

My Thoughts
I have really enjoyed Richard Mabry's books in the past. Unfortunately, however, this one wasn't my favorite. The book definitely started off with a bang—a gunman walking into the ER, threatening to kill everyone in sight if they don't try to save his brother's life. After the initial burst of action, the pace slowed down a good bit. There was lots of discussion about what had happened, potential consequences, and telling about suspenseful things that happened "off page," but not a lot of actual suspense. During the times when the suspense did pick up, it wasn't as suspenseful as I've come to expect from this author. There were also a few times when the characters' actions just didn't make sense to me, especially regarding their relationship.

The redeeming factor of the book, though, was the spiritual journey that Mark takes throughout the book. Kelly is an influential Christian in his life, and it was neat to read how she talked to him about Christ. I actually found some of this dialogue helpful and a great reminder to take opportunities to point people to Jesus in various circumstances—and especially during tragedy.

My "mixed" review is certainly in the minority, as many people gave this book 4- and 5-star reviews. Fans of Mabry's previous books or those who enjoy suspense/medical dramas should definitely check out some other reviews of this book.  [2.5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the author through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels of medical suspense. His previous works have been finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Award, and have won the Selah Award. He is a past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas.

Richard Mabry Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

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