Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A Convenient Christmas Wedding by Regina Scott (Review + Giveaway)

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

A Convenient Christmas Wedding
by Regina Scott
Frontier Bachelors series, Book 5
Christian Fiction / Historical Romance
November 2016 // Harlequin Love Inspired Historical // 288 pages

About the Book
Proposing a marriage of convenience to a rugged logger is the boldest move of Nora Underhill's sheltered life. In return for Simon Wallin's protection from her overbearing family, the unassuming seamstress offers prime frontier farmland. But their paper marriage changes when Nora's greedy brother tries to draw her back into a life of drudgery. Her only option: move to Simon's farm, and into the center of his loving, unruly family.

Years of shouldering responsibility have left Simon cynical and reserved. But little by little, Nora's warmth opens his shuttered heart to joy. With their marriage claim under threat, can this practical arrangement blossom over the holidays…and become a love for all seasons?

Fifth book in the Frontier Bachelors series, following The Bride Ship, Would-Be Wilderness Wife, Frontier Engagement, and Instant Frontier Family. Frontier Bachelors: Bold, rugged, and bound to be grooms.

My Thoughts
I'm a fan of both Regina Scott and marriage of convenience stories, so A Convenient Christmas Wedding is a double win for me. The author dives into the story, and I was intrigued from the very first chapter. 

I particularly enjoyed the growth of the female heroine, Nora. This is most definitely a romance, but Nora does a lot of growing up too. She learns to stand on her own two feet and even has her new husband questioning where the wallflower, scared woman went, mere hours after their wedding takes place. 

This is a perfect book for readers who enjoy frontier settings, marriage of convenience stories, feisty women, and sweet romance. Highly recommend! [5 stars]

I received a copy of this book from the author. However, all opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way.

About the Author
Regina Scott started writing novels in the third grade. Thankfully for literature as we know it, she didn't actually sell her first novel until she had learned a bit more about writing such as vocabulary, sentence structure, and plot. After numerous short stories and articles in magazines and trade journals, she got serious about her novel writing. The Unflappable Miss Fairchild was her first novel to be published (March 1998).

Besides her novels, Regina Scott has had published three Regency novellas ("The June Bride Conspiracy" in His Blushing Bride, "Sweeter Than Candy" in A Match for Mother, and "A Place by the Fire" in Mistletoe Kittens). Two of her novels, A Dangerous Dalliance and The Twelve Days of Christmas, have been translated into German. A Dangerous Dalliance and The Incomparable Miss Compton have been translated into Italian. Starstruck and Perfection have been translated into Dutch.

Regina Scott and her husband are the parents of two sons. They reside in the Tri-Cities of southeast Washington State and are members of the Church of the Nazarene. Born in 1959 and raised in the Seattle area, Regina Scott is a graduate of the University of Washington. She comes by her writing talent naturally--both her parents are excellent writers in their vocations as teacher and electrical technician. Her mother envisioned the plot for "Sweeter Than Candy," the novella which was written as a tribute to her.

Regina Scott is a devout Christian and a decent fencer; owns a historical, fantasy, and science fiction costume collection that currently takes up over a third of her large closet; and has been known to impersonate an independent consultant specializing in risk communication.

- 1 winner will receive: Signed copies of Would-Be Wilderness Wife (which introduced Simon Wallin, the hero of A Convenient Christmas Wedding) and Instant Frontier Family (which introduced Nora Underhill, the heroine of A Convenient Christmas Wedding), and a set of pioneer Christmas ornaments that say "Joy, Peace, Love."
- US only
- Ends November 18th
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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

For Every Girl Around the World

The first thing I saw on Facebook this morning was an invitation to add this frame to my profile picture today for International Day of the Girl. You know, “to show [my] support for girls everywhere.” Oh the irony. It’s just days after tapes were released of Donald Trump, a presidential candidate, talking about women in the most foul ways possible, and now we’re being encouraged to show our support for girls having their “basic needs” met (like not being sexually assaulted?).

So rather than simply adding a frame to my Facebook profile picture, I feel compelled to share my thoughts on an issue that plagues women around the world but is often dismissed as women being hysterical or overly sensitive, or swept under the rug so that a president can stay in office, or compared to the equally-disgusting behavior of others in an effort to get your candidate elected.

I’m pouring my heart and soul out here, so I encourage you to read the entire (long) post before commenting.

. . .

I have been sexually assaulted.

And it’s happened more times than I can count or even remember.

In elementary school, boys pulled my hair and pushed me on the playground. Teachers said that meant they “liked me,” that they were “flirting.” No, ma’am. These little boys were learning that it’s acceptable to assault little girls.

In middle school, boys popped my bra in PE. I remember clearly the sting of embarrassment. But “boys will be boys.” No, coach. These teenage boys sexually assaulted me.

In 9th grade, a guy I had a crush on told the entire varsity basketball team that we slept together, that he took my virginity, that he “nailed me.” Rumors spread. My dad stepped in. I was embarrassed. The coach stepped in. I was even more embarrassed. The guy was reprimanded for “spreading rumors.” Nope. My crush sexually assaulted me.

In college, I asked a guy to go to a sorority party with me. A bunch of people went back to his apartment to watch a movie after the party was over. We kissed. He groped me. I pushed his hands away. He asked if I wanted to go back to his room. I asked a friend to take me home instead. He called the next day and said, “We can take things slow.” I said, “I don’t think so.” I didn’t want to go slow. I didn’t want to have sex with him at all. My date sexually assaulted me.

When I was 21, I was in a subway car in New York City with 20+ other people. A guy pinned me to my seat, touched himself, and graphically told me all the things he wanted to do to me. I made eye contact with the mother sitting across from me. She did nothing. I screamed for help. Everyone looked away. When we came to the next stop, I kneed the guy in the crotch and ran for the door. This stranger sexually assaulted me.

Guys have slapped my butt, popped the front of my jeans, stared at my breasts, spoken suggestively to me. It’s happened more times than I can count. It’s happened in school hallways, on college campuses, at stadiums filled with people, in shopping malls, on busy city sidewalks, in elevators, at amusement parks. Every one of those guys sexually assaulted me.

And for the most part, I’ve remained silent. I haven’t told anyone.

Perhaps it’s because when I was young, these behaviors were excused by people I trusted. “That’s how boys flirt.” No. Hitting and pushing and pulling hair is not flirting. “Boys will be boys.” If you mean, “boys will be boys” so we have to put up with their wrestling, rough housing, burping, farting, poor table manners, general smelliness, dirty fingernails, forgetting your birthday, and lack of fashion sense, okay. If you mean “boys will be boys” so we have to put up with rude jokes, sexual remarks, grabbing, groping, unwanted touches and sexual advances, absolutely not.

Perhaps it’s because when people I trusted did get involved (my dad is my hero, by the way), the boy involved got a slap on the wrist.

I have amazing parents. They love me, and I have always known that. But somewhere along the way, I believed the lie that what happened to me wasn’t that bad. And that there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it anyway.

So I stopped speaking out. I remained silent. I didn’t tell anyone. And, as a result, I contributed to the notion that “rape culture” is acceptable, that “boys will be boys,” that good girls stay silent, look the other way, and don’t make a fuss.

Not today. Not ever again.

Perhaps you think the things that happened to me aren’t “that big a deal.” Ask your sisters, your daughters, your mothers, your friends. Ask them if this kind of stuff—or worse—has happened to them. Ask them how it made them feel. And then listen.

Do you hear the tremor in their voice? Hear the anger in their words? See the tears in their eyes? See a blush of embarrassment creep up their face? Perhaps they shrug casually as if to say it doesn’t happen *that* often. Or it doesn’t make them feel *too* embarrassed. But dig deeper. Lean in closer. And listen to how sexual assault affects them.

“No means no” isn’t enough. Because that implies that at some point I said “yes.” When do you think that was? At what point when I was getting ready this morning do you think I said, “Yes, men I’m going to encounter today, it’s okay for you to sexually assault me?” Was it when I put on my bra? Was it when I picked out my clothes for the day? Was it when I fixed my hair and applied my makeup? Was it when I sprayed perfume on my wrists so I would smell nice? Which of these things makes it okay for you to assault me? To slap my butt, to stare at my breasts, to ogle me, to make sexual comments to me?

This is not about Donald Trump. Or Bill Clinton. Or any president or candidate past, present, or future. I’m just tired of hearing people—Christian people—say that sexual assault doesn’t matter. I’m tired of listening to people justify behavior and rationalize someone’s actions “in the past.” I’m tired of perpetrators—criminals!!!—excusing their behavior as “locker room talk.”


Sexual assault is not okay.

Sexual assault is never okay.

It doesn’t matter who you are. It’s not okay for you to assault a woman in the backseat of your car, in a hotel room you’ve rented for just this purpose, in the bed you share every night, under the bleachers of the high school stadium, or in the Oval Office.

It doesn’t matter who you are. It’s not okay for you to assault a woman if you’re a little boy in kindergarten testing the boundaries of a first crush or a grown man on a date with a beautiful woman. It’s not okay to assault a woman if you’re a teenager, a dad, a pastor, a brother, a cousin, an uncle, an 80-year old man, a college student, a police office, an actor, a musician, a celebrity, an author, a journalist, a presidential candidate, or the President of the United States of America.

It doesn’t matter who you are. It’s not okay to assault a woman if you’re rich or famous or think you’re above the law. It’s not okay to assault a woman simply because you have a penis and she has a vagina, and as we all know by now, “boys will be boys” and girls will stay silent.

Sexual assault is not okay.

Sexual assault is never okay.

Moms, Dads, Brothers, Sisters, Aunts, Uncles, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Cousins, Friends, Teachers, Pastors, All People Everywhere: WE MUST DO BETTER. We must teach our sons what it means to truly respect women—starting when they are young. We must teach our daughters what it looks like and feels like to truly be respected. We must teach them to stand up for themselves when they are assaulted and then take their embarrassed confessions seriously. We must teach our children to speak out and step in for others who are being assaulted and mistreated. And, most importantly, we must lead by example.

I’m fortunate enough to have amazing men (and women, for that matter) in my life who lead by example, day in and day out. My husband, dad, mom, brother, grandparents, other relatives, bosses, co-workers, pastors, and friends from every stage of life ARE teaching their sons to respect women. They ARE teaching their daughters what being respected looks like. They ARE teaching them to stand up for themselves when they’re not being respected. They ARE teaching their children to speak out and step in for others. And, most importantly, they ARE leading by example.

But all little girls and grown women aren’t as fortunate as me. They don’t have good men in their lives to show them what respect looks like and to step in when they’re being mistreated. Many of them don’t even have other women in their lives who will support them and believe them and stand up for them.

Will YOU stand up for them? Will YOU join the men in my life and lead by example? Will YOU join me in speaking out for those who have no voice? Will YOU step in for those who are being mistreated? And will YOU start calling it what it is—sexual assault—instead of hiding behind politically correct phrases like “boys will be boys” and “locker room talk”?

Because sexual assault is not okay.

It never will be.

And I will not remain silent any longer.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Grand Finale | Carousel Nights by Amie Denman (Giveaway)

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Carousel Nights
By Amie Denman

We hope you enjoyed some amusement park magic and learning more about June and Mel's story. 

Don't forget to grab a copy of the first book in the series while it's on sale!

If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now...

Launch - The Starlight Point Stories

When I was a college student, I escaped textbooks and spent my summer days working at an amusement park. My experience four summers in a row became the inspiration for Starlight Point Stories published by Harlequin Heartwarming.

I Am A Reader - Summer Love

Have you ever fallen in love in the summer? I fall in love with summer every year, but I actually fell in love during summer when I worked at a seasonal resort and amusement park much like the fictional Starlight Point in my Harlequin Heartwarming series. In case you’re one of those people who likes to skip to the happy ending, I’ll let you off the hook right now. I’m still in love with the same man more than twenty years later.

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

Mel felt the air change the moment her gaze swung to him. He wasn’t foolish enough to think she brightened because of any reason except one: he was key to getting things done around Starlight Point. And she had a project in mind.

Hardcover Feedback - Review

"All in all, this was a great read. Perfect for a day at the beach, relaxing by the pool, or anytime really. I definitely recommend the book to any fan of contemporary romantic fiction."

Katie's Clean Book Collection - Sisters

If you have siblings, you know how much they contribute to shaping you as a person. I have three sisters with whom I’ve always been close, and I know that they have influenced me—almost always in a good way! The four of us even have a vague pact to end up in a bungalow in Key West together someday to raise a margarita glass to our gray hairs. My Starlight Point series focuses on romance, of course, but the relationship between the three siblings who inherit an amusement park is also close to my heart.

underneath the covers - Excerpt

"Mel’s familiar scent—Dial soap mixed with a little bit of sweat and motor oil—tingled her senses even with a hundred other distractions. Of course he was hard to ignore. He was standing so close their clothing touched."

Book Lover in Florida - Excerpt

Having a good partner made a difference the size of the peninsula Starlight Point sat on. June was light and graceful, her love for the movement clear in every step and sway. Leading her as a dance partner was like being behind the wheel of a Ferrari. The only way he could go wrong was if he lost control.

EskieMama Reads - Promo

Harlie's Books - Review

"All that makes for a great story. June and Mel were getting a second chance at love but some really big decisions needed to be made? Did I have my doubts? Nope, I knew that Ms. Denman wouldn’t do that to me. 😉 She wrote a heartwarming book that had the characters, emotional depth, and an amusement park. And dancing. 🙂"

Reading Is My SuperPower - Review

"Carousel Nights is fun and sweet and swoonworthy with some really great kisses and a really great setting. The chemistry between Mel and June is one that comes from years of knowing each other, from years of being in love, and yet it feels new and electric. The tension of running an amusement park – the crackle of the radio signaling another breakdown or emergency – keeps the action high and the pace steady."

Christy's Cozy Corners - Review

"I love this story and these characters! There is so much life in this book. The romance develops quickly but not in an unrealistic way since June and Mel have known each other forever. You will love reading this story! It is so sweet and heartwarming. I highly recommend it!"

With Love for Books - Review

"Amie Denman has chosen a fantastic setting for her series. She brings Starlight Point to life with vivid descriptions of the park itself and the plans to make it successful again. I fell in love with the place straight away. Amie Denman's writing flows easily and it was fun to read about the rides and everyone's response to them. It feels like the main characters really belong in the amusement park, which is something I loved about Carousel Nights. I also liked the sweet romance very much and highly recommend this lovely book."

Bookworm Lisa - Starlight Point Amusement Park

In Carousel Nights, you’ll meet June Hamilton. She shares ownership of the family amusement park Starlight Point with her brother and her sister. Only twenty-five, she does not plan to settle in and devote her life to roller coasters, cotton candy, and the beach resort. She wants to keep dancing on Broadway, but she comes home for the summer to lend her talent to the live shows at Starlight Point.

Thoughts of a Blonde - Review

"5 STARS! Feels like a homecoming when you read a book that portrays such a sweet reunion!"

And don't forget to nominate Amie's book on KindleScout!

Carousel Nights (Starlight Point Stories)Carousel Nights
(Starlight Point Stories #2)
by Amie Denman
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
August 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Every first love deserves a second chance

June Hamilton left home to pursue her dream of dancing on Broadway. Seven years later, she has one regret: Mel Preston, her teenage crush and onetime summer love. Now a single dad and the head of maintenance at Starlight Point, her family's amusement park, Mel's easy smile still makes her heart beat in triple time. But June came home with a plan. She would spend the summer revitalizing the park's aging theaters, then make a graceful exit back to the big city. Until Mel and his young son start making a powerful claim on her emotions, and June faces an impossible decision…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequiniTunesKobo

Other Books in the Series

Under the BoardwalkUnder the Boardwalk
(Starlight Point Stories #2)
by Amie Denman
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
January 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Everyone's counting on him

With the sudden death of his father, Jack Hamilton finds himself running the family amusement park, Starlight Point. His first job? Balance the books, and that means raising the rent for vendors like baker Augusta Murphy.

Gus won't accept the new contract…not without a fight. She rallies the other vendors and sets out to negotiate with Jack. At least, she tries. How do you play hardball with a man who's charming and kind and still grieving? Gus needs to figure it out fast, because the closer she gets to Jack, the more she risks losing everything.

Amie Denman lives in Ohio with her husband, sons, cats, and dog. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys walking and playing outside. Born with an overdeveloped sense of curiosity, she's been known to chase fire trucks on her bicycle just to see what's going on. Amie believes that everything is fun: especially roller coasters, wedding cake, and falling in love.

Tour Giveaway

10 copies of the first book in the series, Under the Boardwalk (print if US, ebook if outside the US)
Open internationally
Ends September 2nd
Grab Our Button!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Always Watching by Lynette Eason

 Always Watching
by Lynette Eason
Elite Guardians series, Book 1
Christian Fiction / Romantic Suspense
February 2016 // Revell // 336 pages

About the Book
Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.
The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

When it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians to protect his son. But when Wade's bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap.

Olivia's skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade's stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him--including Olivia. But in her mind, even more dangerous than the threats to her life is the hold her handsome client has on her heart.

Buy a copy  |  Read an excerpt  |  Find out what others think

My Thoughts
Every time I read a book by one of my favorite authors, I'm always hopeful that the newest book will live up to my expectations. I'm thrilled to say that Always Watching surpassed every expectation that I had for a new book from Lynette Eason. So what did I love so much about the book?

1. A strong female lead. It seems that the majority of suspense fiction features a strong male lead with a damsel in distress who needs rescuing. I certainly enjoy many of those stories, but it was nice to read a story featuring the female lead as the "rescuer." Plus, it added a great dynamic where the male lead needed to be protected but also wanted to do the protecting. Lots of tension there!

2. Intriguing relationships. Because of the tension between the protector and the protectee, it made the development of the relationships very interesting. I also enjoyed meeting Wade's daughter and seeing her struggle through the craziness that unfolded around her.

3. True suspense. At any given time, I had 4-5 suspects. Every time that I thought I knew who the "bad guy" was, I quickly realized I was wrong and began to rethink things. And no one was "cleared" until the very end when the culprit was revealed.

4. Strong faith element. Wade was an excellent witness of true Christian faith. Through conversations and the way he lived his life during extremely trying circumstances, his faith was evident to everyone around him.

Overall, I thought this was an amazing book. I honestly thought it was Lynette's best yet and am looking forward to reading the next books in the series!
[5 stars]

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

About the Author
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the Deadly Reunions series. She was a 2013 finalist for the ECPA Book Awards and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and she lives in South Carolina.

Lynette Eason Online 
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Happy Birthday to You! by Michelle Medlock Adams

Happy Birthday to You!
Written by Michelle Medlock Adams
Illustrated by Sandra Rodriguez
Children's Board Book
Available August 2016
Worthy Kids/Ideals
16 pages

About the Book
This musical board book includes all the ingredients that make a birthday special for a child: balloons and presents, cake and candles, and, of course, the birthday song! Follow along throughout a day of celebration, concluding with a good night blessing, then push the button to hear the melody of “Happy Birthday.” Book features a photo pocket on the last page to allow for personalizing.

My Thoughts
The idea of this book is super cute—a book to celebrate a birthday of a child. My favorite page was the last one, which was almost something of a blessing for the kid of the day. The other thing I absolutely loved about this book was the bright, colorful illustrations. I thought it was also fun to have a place for a picture of the birthday boy or girl and to be able to sing along with the birthday song.

Many families will enjoy this book, but it’s not the best for us; it just doesn’t fit how we celebrate birthdays. I loved the focus on celebrating big, but the focus was centered around a big party, big cake, big presents, big games, lots of guests, etc. And that isn’t how we typically celebrate birthdays. BUT if your family celebrates this way, this book will probably be a winner for you.  [3 stars]

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

About the Author
Michelle Medlock Adams began her career in journalism; but when she had two children of her own, she quickly turned to writing children’s books, including the successful What Is . . . series for WorthyKids/Ideals. Michelle has two grown daughters and lives in Bedford, Indiana, with her husband, Jeff.

About the Illustrator
Sandra Rodriguez grew up in Mexico in a house with a big garden. From doodling her way through math class to playing with her dogs, her creative spirit was evident. Rodriguez’s illustrations are inspired by simple, everyday life: children playing in the park, people walking their dogs, families interacting after school. Rodriguez favors watercolor because it allows her to transmit the movement and emotion of life into her illustrations.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

By Your Side by Candace Calvert

By Your Side
by Candace Calvert
Crisis Team series, Book 1
Christian Fiction / Romance / Medical Suspense
Available March 2015
Tyndale House
384 pages

About the Book
ER nurse Macy Wynn learned essential, gritty lessons in the California foster care system: land on your feet and trust no one. She’s finally located the fellow foster child she loves like a sister, but the girl’s in deep trouble. Macy’s determined to help, no matter what it takes. Her motto is to “make it happen” in any situation life throws at her—even when she butts heads with an idealistic cop.

Deputy Fletcher Holt believes in a higher plan, the fair outcome—and his ability to handle that by himself if necessary. Now he’s been yanked from Houston, his mother is battling cancer, and he’s attracted to a strong-willed nurse who could be the target of a brutal sniper.

When everything goes wrong, where do they put their trust?

My Thoughts
What a great book! It may be my favorite of Calvert’s so far! While this falls under the category of “medical suspense,” there’s a greater emphasis on the suspense and romance. Many of the characters are crisis chaplains, which is a unique role to see in a book. Perhaps a greater emphasis on helping people after a tragedy or trauma would decrease the fallout we’re seeing in this crazy world.

Macy and Fletcher were amazing leading characters. They’re both tough but have some baggage that needs to be dealt with. I especially enjoyed Macy as a character. She’s a great example of what happens when God is at work in your life. I readers will find ways (even small ones) to relate to Macy.

Love this book and recommend it highly!
[5 stars]

About the Author
Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse and author of the Mercy Hospital, Grace Medical, and Crisis Team series. Her medical dramas offer readers a chance to "scrub in" on the exciting world of emergency medicine. Wife, mother, and very proud grandmother, Candace makes her home in northern California. Please visit her website at www.candacecalvert.com.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

In the Beginning / The Great Flood Flip-Over Book

In the Beginning / The Great Flood Flip-Over Book
Written by B&H Kids Editorial Team
Illustrated by Heath McPherson
The Big Picture Interactive series
Children's Bible Story
Available May 2016
B&H Kids
32 pages

About the Book
What's better than a favorite Bible story? Two favorite Bible stories! Learn about how God created everything, and then flip the book over and learn about Noah and the flood! These Big Picture Interactive Flip-Over books offer coloring fun, as well, so you can make the story your own. Collect all six in the series:  In the Beginning/The Great Flood Brave Queen Esther/David and the Giant Mighty Miracles/Joseph the Dreamer Jesus Grows Up/Jesus Teaches the People Jesus' Miracles/Finding the LostThe Birth of a King/Jesus Saves His People.

Don't miss any of the products in the Big Picture brand, which includes The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook, The Big Picture Interactive Bible, The Big Picture Interactive Bible Stories in 5 Minutes, The Gospel Story, and The Big Picture Interactive Bible Stories for Toddlers.

My Thoughts
What's better than a great Bible story? Two great Bible stories for the price of one! And when the stories are really close to the stories as presented in the Bible (even using some of the same language and phrases), that's even better!

I really liked the format of this book as well. The coloring page for each story as well as the elements on each page for the child to color are sure to keep kids' minds engaged. And the parent connection for each story is great for helping parents talk with their kids further about the story and the truths that can be applied to each person's life.

I'll be on the lookout for the other titles in this series. These would be a great addition to every young reader's library! [5 stars]

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

Thursday, August 11, 2016

God Made You Just Right by Jill Roman Lord

God Made You Just Right
Written by Jill Roman Lord
Illustrated by Amy Wummer
Children's Board Book
Available August 2016
Worthy Kids/Ideals
22 pages

About the Book
Here is a message that every parent will want to share with his or her child: “You’re brilliantly created and there’s no one else like you!” In a manner that even the youngest child will understand, Jill Roman Lord shares the message that God created each of us in just the right way. Bright and engaging illustrations from Amy Wummer pair perfectly with the text.

My Thoughts
What a sweet story about how God created each of us uniquely—and just right for whatever we're supposed to do! I do wish that the focus had been more on character and less on physical traits (arms, legs, etc.), but it's still a great message. And very poetic. The illustrations are beautiful as well, lovely watercolors! If you're looking for a book that teaches children about how God made them, check this one out! [4 stars]

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

About the Author
Jill Roman Lord won her first writing contest in first grade, and she’s been writing ever since. Some of Jill’s titles include One Night in Bethlehem and If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, three children, and their golden retriever.

About the Illustrator
Amy Wummer has been illustrating children’s books for 18 years. Her playful watercolor illustrations evoke the wonder of a child’s delight in the world.

Monday, August 8, 2016

How Big Is Love? by Amy Parker

How Big Is Love?
Written by Amy Parker 
Illustrated by Breezy Brookshire
Faith, Hope, Love series
Children's Board Book
Available August 2016
B&H Publishing Group
24 pages

About the Book
“Mama, just how does love get so big?”

Little Hedgehog is determined to understand just how love works. His curious questions will warm your heart, and his sweet story will remind you that love grows every time you give it away.

Based on the important message of 1 Corinthians 13:13, the Faith, Hope, Love series will plant important seeds in children's hearts. Don't miss the other titles in the series: How Far Is Faith?, How High Is Hope?, and The Faith, Hope, Love Devotional.

My Thoughts
How Big Is Love? is a padded board book that is perfect for small children. I loved the message of this book—that nothing (!!!) is bigger or more anything than God's love! What a great message to read to and with babies and young children.

The language is simple enough for toddlers, yet succinctly tells a bigger story. The illustrations are whimsical. And the construction of the book is perfect for little hands (thick pages definitely won't tear easily).

This is one of the best children's books that I've read recently, and I'll be watching for the rest of the series! [5 stars]

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

About the Author
Amy Parker has written more than twenty books for children, teens, and adults including the best-selling A Night Night Prayer and three Mom’s Choice Awards winners. Amy and her husband have two children.

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!
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