Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Review: Tori Comes Out of Her Shell by Editor Jayne V. Clark and Illustrator Joe Hox

To Purchase

About:

Tori the turtle feels all alone. She has just moved to a new pond and a new school with her family and it seems like everyone has a friend except her. Her teacher notices she feels alone and helps her remember Jesus is always her friend and then along the way she makes some new friends. The last page contains information for Christian parents on how God, in his Word, helps us turn to Jesus when we are lonely. Together children and parents will be guided into meaningful conversations about living by faith in the details of everyday life. Also included is a tear-out page of Back Pocket Bible Verses that will give children a practical way to remember God's words when they feel all alone.
A new series of hardback, illustrated. Christian children's books for three-to eight-year-olds each centered on an animal family bringing gospel help and biblical counsel to families in need of the Christian word. The animal characters, colorful illustrations, and the real-life issues each animal family face will captivate children. The first three books address anxiety, anger, and failure, bringing biblical help and hope to issues every child faces.


My Thoughts:


Who hasn't felt lonely, scared, and left out a time or two in their lives? Especially children who have moved and are going to a new school. Tori's family has moved to a nice new home and everybody else in her family seems like they are fitting in, but Tori. Some of the problem is that she is holding on to old fears and she is also shy.

In this story my son and I watched how Tori learns a valuable lesson and comes out of her shell like the title suggests. She sees how sometimes she is viewed very differently- looked up and admired by someone else who is maybe a little bit more timid than she.

And of course the adults are always great helps and teachers as they relate similar circumstances from their pasts. Her teacher's story was quite embarrassing!

My son and I have been enjoying this line of storybooks. The illustrations are just fun to look at and find the everyday objects and inventive ways the animals use them.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Reviewed by Boo and his Mum

Review: Henry Says Good-Bye by Editor Edward T. Welch and Illustrator Joe Hox

To Purchase

About:


Henry the hedgehog loves his pet ladybug. She keeps him company and entertains him, his family, and his friends with her flying tricks. But one day, he has to say good-bye to his ladybug. Henry and his whole family are sad, but they learn to go to Jesus with their sadness and ask him to comfort them.
The last page contains information for parents on how God, in his Word, helps us turn to Jesus when we are sad. Together children and parents will be guided into meaningful conversations about living by faith in the details of everyday life. Also included is a tear-out page of Back Pocket Bible Verses that will give children a practical way to remember God's words when they are sad.
A new series of hardback, illustrated, Christian children's books for three-to eight-year-olds each centered on an animal family bringing gospel help and biblical counsel to families. The animal characters, colorful illustrations, and the real-life issues each animal family face will captivate children and help them begin a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ and God. The first three books address anxiety, anger, and failure, bringing biblical help and hope to issues every child faces.

My Thoughts:

Henry is a little porcupine who has had to learn a very hard lesson. His pet ladybug has died. Loss, all loss, is hard for anyone, but I think especially for children who don't quite understand. His father really helps Henry through this, not by trite answers or shoving away the pain, but actually a productive way. By reminding us who we are and remembering who we have lost and thinking of others.

The author does well with showing the early stages of grief. My son and I really felt for Henry and I think it is good for children to learn these lessons, if only through a book. Because unfortunately, life and death happens.

I enjoy these Good News for Little Hearts a great deal. Their stories with lessons are always spot on and the illustrations fun and whimsical.

I received a copy of this novel form the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Reviewed by Boo and his Mum

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Wings Like a Dove by Camille Eide


About the Book


Book:  Wings Like A Dove
Author: Camille Eide
Genre: Historical fiction/romance
Release Date: December 1, 2019

Can the invisible walls that separate people ever come down?

In 1933, Anna Leibowicz is convinced that the American dream that brought her Jewish family here from Poland is nothing but an illusion. Her father has vanished. Her dreams of college can’t make it past the sweat-shop door. And when she discovers to her shame and horror that she’s with child, her mother gives her little choice but to leave her family. Deciding her best course of action is to try to find her father, she strikes out…hoping against hope to somehow redeem them both.

When Anna stumbles upon a house full of orphan boys in rural Indiana who are in desperate need of a tutor, she agrees to postpone her journey. But she knows from the moment she meets their contemplative, deep-hearted caretaker, Thomas Chandler, that she doesn’t dare risk staying too long. She can’t afford to open her heart to them, to him. She can’t risk letting her secrets out.

All too soon, the townspeople realize she’s not like them and treat her with the same disdain they give the Sisters of Mercy—the nuns who help Thomas and the boys—and Samuel, the quiet colored boy Thomas has taken in. With the Klan presence in the town growing ever stronger and the danger to this family increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep them safe…and staying to fight beside them.

Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest

Click here to get your copy.

 My Thoughts:


Wings Like a Dove takes place in the 1930's and is a story of second chances after mistakes have been made and repercussions are hard to live with.

Anna, a Jew from Poland, already is having a hard life. Being an immigrant and helping to put food on the table with her mother and younger siblings in the busy city of New York would stress anyone out. Also waiting and wondering where her missing father is has also added to the family stress. Then one fateful night she lets her guard down and unexpected consequences have Anna leaving home in search of her father for many reasons including a sense of belonging.

On her difficult journey she ends up in Indiana and is taken in by six orphan boys and their caretaker. Unfortunately the little town is anything but peaceful as it is run by fear and prejudice running rampant.

The author tackles the drama of the day when so many men, women, and children were mistreated. From selling babies to the highest bidder to prejudice and blind fear of anybody who was not like you. This was a poignant story of mistakes made and journeys to true and abiding love even when the world is against you. 

This was my first read by author Eide and it will certainly not be the last. This is one of those stories that stick with you and actually make you take a second look at the world around you.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
   

About the Author


Camille writes poignant, inspirational love stories some call “more than a romance.” She lives in Oregon with her husband and is a mom, grandma, office admin, lead foot, cinnamon roll baker, and a bass guitarist. She’s a fan of muscle cars, tender romance, and Peanut M&Ms.   

More from Camille


If Only I Could Fly Away…

“Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.” -Psalm 55:6-8 

What do you think of when you read this passage from Psalms? Does the idea of escape tempt you? Have you ever cried out for relief from life’s storms? 

In Wings Like a Dove, Anna faces growing difficulties in her life. Psalm 55:6 is brought to her attention and she ponders it more than once, especially as the difficulties in her life steadily increase.

As Polish Jews in the early 1900s, Anna’s family lived in constant upheaval, so fleeing danger is nothing new to her. The problem is that Anna craves connection and community. While she was often uprooted, at least Anna enjoyed the security of family—until now. As the story begins, she is turned out of her home and must journey across the country alone, a heartache that only intensifies the persecution she faces as a Jew, an immigrant, and an unwed woman with child. 

But her journey is temporarily delayed out of necessity, and she quickly falls in love with those who have taken her in. The idea of leaving them is as painful a prospect as leaving her own family, but because of the troubles that follow her, it seems she has no choice. 

Psalm 55:6 isn’t tempting Anna to leave her surroundings; it tempts her to escape the negativity that robs her joy. 

For Anna, and for the rest of us, we can’t flee trouble any more than we can grow wings and fly. The desire for relief is understandable. But what if there is a purpose in the difficult situations we face? What if we are called to more than simply outlast life’s storms? What if our weakest moment is exactly what God wants to use to show his power, love, mercy, and grace? 

What if God is waiting for us to stop fluttering our wings and find joy in knowing that we are in the very place we need to be, for a purpose, for such a time as this? 

Quote from Anna:

“If these past months have taught me nothing else, they have taught me that though I am only a seed blowing in the wind, I must still be fruitful wherever I land. I have learned that wherever we find ourselves, we must have the courage to stretch out roots and produce something useful, even in times of difficulty. We must bloom boldly in whatever field our seed has fallen.”  

May you find the sweet spot of joy and purpose in the midst of your storm!   -Camille

Blog Stops

KarenSueHadley, December 17
Mia Reads, December 18
Genesis 5020, December 19
Emily Yager, December 20
Betti Mace, December 21
Christian Bookaholic, December 22
April Hayman, Author, December 22
For The Love of Books, December 23
For Him and My Family, December 25
janicesbookreviews, December 28
Pause for Tales, December 29
Texas Book-aholic, December 29
A Reader’s Brain, December 30
Inklings and notions, December 30

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Camille is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon card & a signed book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Review: The Moon is Always Round by Jonathan Gibson Illustrated by Joe Hox

https://www.amazon.com/Moon-Always-Round-Jonathan-Gibson/dp/1645070271/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+moon+is+always+round&qid=1577589595&sr=8-1
To Purchase

About:


Even young children want answers to the hard questions about God and suffering. In The Moon Is Always Round, seminary professor and author Jonathan Gibson uses the vivid imagery of the moon to explain to children how God’s goodness is always present, even when it might appear to be obscured by upsetting or difficult circumstances. 

In this beautiful, full-color illustrated book, he allows readers to eavesdrop on the conversations he had with his young son in response to his sister’s death. Father and son share a simple liturgy together that reminds them that, just as the moon is always round despite its different phases, so also the goodness of God is always present throughout the different phases of life. 

A section in the back of the book offers further biblical help for parents and caregivers in explaining God’s goodness to children. Jonathan Gibson reminds children of all ages that God’s goodness is present in the most difficult of times, even if we can’t always see it.



My Thoughts:

What a sweet, heartbreaking, and truthful book that a parent can share with a child about loss, sadness, and when bad things happen and there is no answer. 

This story is about a little boy and his family who go through a great loss and as natural the little boy has questions. And naturally the father answers the questions to the best of his ability, but unfortunately there are some questions that we cannot answer this side of heaven.

However, the father does not leave his son without hope. And as the moon is always round, even though many times throughout the month we do not see its true shape becomes a very important lesson for this little boy when sadness comes. Just like the moon is always round his father reminds him that God is always good even when we don't understand His ways.

What a powerful message in a poignant story with the added bonus of beautiful illustrations. Definitely read this one with some tissues.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review an all views and opinions are my own.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Review and Excerpt: The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson


About the Book


Book:  The Dating Charade
Author: Melissa Ferguson
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Fiction, Romantic  Comedy
Release Date: December 3, 2019

Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.

But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.

No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?

Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

Click here to get your copy!



My Thoughts:


This book was a delightfully hilarious and also poignant read. A firefighter sees the opportunity to reconnect with his high school crush, now a woman who provides a safe haven for impoverished girls.

Sparks fly- and then surprises drop from the sky. Our hero finds himself responsible for twin terrors and a nearly newborn infant, and our heroine finds her hands full with a teenager and two school age children. He calls upon the help of his roommate and neighbor, and she upon her best friend and mom- but neither dare tell the other about their unexpected, possibly permanent family additions for fear of scaring away their potential soul mate whose profile says they don't want kids.

Between frantic attempts to learn how to parent and simultaneously woo each other, while keeping the former a secret, this book had me in stiches. Until it had me freaking out. A wonderful, unique read.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Reviewed by Jes Drew


About the Author


Melissa Ferguson lives in Bristol, Tennessee, where she is an adjunct professor at King University and pens books that make her laugh and grow. She used to have hobbies like running and backpacking the Appalachian Trail outside her door. Now she and her husband are outnumbered, and her hobbies include diaper changes, chasing toddlers in parking lots, and admiring the Appalachian Trail out her minivan window while singing “Winnie the Pooh.” She survives by Jesus, rom coms, and roughly two espresso shots a day. The Dating Charade is her first novel.   


Read an Excerpt


Read an excerpt of The Dating Charade here.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, December 16
Kat’s Corner Books, December 17
Robin’s Nest, December 17
EmpowerMoms, December 17
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 18
For Him and my Family, December 18
Carla Loves to Read, December 19
CarpeDiem, December 19
Cultivating Us, December 19
Quiet Quilter, December 20
SusanLovesBooks, December 21
Texas Book-aholic, December 22
A Reader’s Brain, December 23
janicesbookreviews, December 23
Emily Yager, December 24
Vicky Sluiter, December 24
Hallie Reads, December 25
Remembrancy, December 25
Just the Write Escape, December 26
Simple Harvest Reads, December 26 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Pause for Tales , December 27
As He Leads is Joy, December 28
A Rup Life, December 28
Batya’s Bits, December 29
With a Joyful Noise, December 29
Inklings and notions, December 29

My Thoughts and More on Trail of Promises by Susan F. Craft

    About the Book Book:  Trail of Promises Author:  Susan F. Craft Genre:  Christian Historical Romance Release date: June 25, 2024 A marr...