Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Book Review - "Forever Christmas"

Book Description from the publisher:

This Christmas will change Andrew Farmer’s life forever.

Andrew can’t remember the last time he spent Christmas away from work. The end of the year is crunch time for literary agents. But when your career is your life, your life starts to suffer . . . beginning with your marriage.

When a heart-wrenching accident in a Christmas Eve snowstorm jars this high-powered agent from his obsession with success, a Christmas miracle will give him a second chance at love, life, and gratitude, but only if he can put aside his own ambition and learn to appreciate each moment.

Sometimes it takes a tragedy to change a man’s life—and to teach him to treat every day as if it were his last.

About the Author

Robert Tate Miller began his writing career with homespun essays of small town life that were published by Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s and wrote successful family-oriented telefilms for NBC, ABC Family, and the Hallmark Channel. Robert lives in Northridge, CA, with his wife Gina and stepdaughter Chloe June.

 My Review:
I love all things Christmas and I could not wait to read this book when I saw it and read the description of it.  It is so easy to get caught up in work and in life in general and just living the motions, taking what means the most for granted and not taking time to really live in the moment and appreciate what and who matters in our lives.  Andrew learns first-hand all this through a tragedy and learns what matters the most in his life.  Be prepared to be completely engrossed in this story and to cry as this is a tear-jerker, but a beautiful book that you will not want to put down.  This book has found a spot on my bookshelf and will be enjoyed year after year.  Also, I absolutely love the cover on this book, beautiful job with the cover art!

*Thanks to the BookLook Bloggers Program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Buried Beneath the Words by Betel Arnold | Kindle Giveaway

Betel Arnold Buried Beneath the Words
Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway for Betel Arnold's debut book, Buried Beneath the Words.
Buried Beneath the Words Betel Arnold
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Buried Beneath the Words by Betel Arnold
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 12th. Winner will be announced October 13th at Betel's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Betel's blog on the 13th to see if you won!

About the book: 

Words! Words! Words!
Words all over the place. Accusing, blaming, and degrading words are the worst of all. After hearing those words over and over again, we begin to feel the weight of them threatening to crush the very life out of us.
Buried Beneath the Words cleverly shares a true life story about the different ways someone can end up buried beneath the weight of negative words. Then it shares a Christian course for how God's word can revive us. By putting the advice given within these pages into practice, you will experience an awakening of the real you---the you that has been buried way too long.

Purchase a copy: 

About the author: Betel Arnold is a Certified Christian Life Coach, her passion is to reach out to women with compassion, empathy and encouragement. She is the creator, co-producer, and co-host of Simply Talking, a local public television show addressing issues drawn from our daily lives to deeper questions that come from our personal tragedies. Betel has learned to integrate her roles as wife, mother, inspirational speaker and family advocate. It is Betel's personal life experiences of overcoming adversity where she was able to find the inspiration and inner strength to do the impossible. She inspires others to overcome the challenges that keep us from moving forward in our lives and achieving our goals. Betel Arnold has embraced her life's conviction to help women become all that God has called them to be.

Find Betel online: website, Facebook, Twitter

My Review:
Betel Arnold's inspiring book, "Buried Beneath the Words," is a book that will really lead the reader to search her own life and really think about how words have impacted her life.  Words are so powerful and can impact everyone, no matter how old he or she is.  Hurtful words can tear down a person's self-esteem so quickly and so much.  Betel shares how the Bible and having faith can help increase one's self-esteem and help recover from the negative impact of these words.  I love the style of this book as it is a workbook type book which ample space to reflect and work through how situations, our perceptions, other peoples' opinions and words impact us.   This is a very valuable resource and one that will be life-changing as it can help you personally, but also impact how you interact with children and others in your life.

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Book Review - "The Stress Cure"

"The Stress Cure: praying your way to personal peace," written by Linda Evans Shepherd, is a great book that will draw the reader into the pages and on the path to finding peace. 
Life is filled with stress and it seems that advice and tips are all around, but life is still overwhelming at moments, many moments. Linda addressed a different aspect of stress in each chapter and offers suggestions on how prayer can help us to let go and relieve us of that type of stress.  There are personal antidotes shared, Biblical passages, verses and ample space for personal reflection in each chapter. 
I enjoyed this book as it was straight-forward, but written in a style that is calm and soothing and not judging.  This is a book that should be read through and savored as it is filled with useful information that can truly help reduce stress and utilize prayer to find an inner peace. 

*Thanks to Revell Reads for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Monday, September 29, 2014

Quilts of Love | HIDDEN IN THE STARS – $200 Giveaway & “Fall into Fall” Facebook Party!

QUILTS of love robin caroll hidden in the stars
Don't miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll. September's QOL release is a wonderful combination of mystery, romance, and family love bound together by a quilt and the story it tells.
Hidden in the Stars Robin Carroll Quilts of Love
Enter to win a "Night on the Town" (a $200 Visa cash card!) and RSVP for the "Fall into Fall" Quilts of Love Facebook party on 10/7.
One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card (The perfect accessory for a "night on the town"!)
  • A Grand Design by Amber Stockton
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 7. Winner will be announced at the October 7th author chat party with Amber Stockton and Robin Caroll! RSVP for an evening of book chat, quilting tips and tricks, prizes, and more!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on October 7th!

Book Info
About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

About the book: 

A quilt holds the secret to a killer still at large---and who his next victim will be.
Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21-year-old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother's offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn't help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.
Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia's mother's "special" quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia's unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer---still at large---silence her forever?

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love website.

About the Author: 

Robin Caroll is the author of 22 published novels. When she isn't writing, Robin spends time with her husband of 20-plus years, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home in Little Rock, Arkansas. She gives back to the writing community by serving as conference director for ACFW. Her books have been named finalists in such contests as the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer's Choice Award, Bookseller's Best, and Book of the Year.

Connect with Robin: website, Facebook, Twitter

My Review:
I loved Robin Caroll's Quilts of Love novel, "Hidden in the Stars," as the storyline was so engrossing and the characters were so loveable and real.  Right from the start I was thinking what could have been the cause for this attack on Sophia and her mother and I was kept guessing until the very end! There are so many pieces to this story and so many relationships as Sophia discovers that her mother had hidden things from her and lied to her throughout the year, which is first discovered when Sophia's grandmother shows up at the hospital.  Charlie is an amazing character as well and I loved her story being woven into this as she has a history with Julian and becomes an instant friend to Sophia offering not only help through lip reading, but spiritual and emotional help as well. Julian is struggling with things from his past as well and is struggling with his feelings toward God and Sophia.  This is such a wonderful story of healing on so many levels and one that will hold your attention from the very first page to the last.

To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Shelley Shepard Gray is heading back to Sugarcreek in JOYFUL! {Book giveaway.}

Shelley Shepard Gray Joyful
Don't miss Shelley Shepard Gray's newest book in the Return to Sugarcreek series, Joyful. USA Today raved: "A sweet, straightforward story about how love can be tested by family, faith, and personal insecurity. Enjoyable and heartwarming."

Click the banner for a chance to win books 1-3 in Shelley's Return to Sugarcreek series! 
Winner announced on Shelley's blog on 9/30.


About the book: A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.
Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm's needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.
When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious---and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth's heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.
Elizabeth wants to refuse---to stay far away from the man who hurt her---but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she's older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.
Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her---or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth---or risk losing his chance at love forever.

Purchase a copy: 

About the author: Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

Find Shelley online: website, Facebook

My Review:
Shelley Shepard Gray returns to Sugarcreek with such a sweet love story for book number 3, "Joyful." Elizabeth has been hired to be a housekeeper as much as she does not want to take this job because of the history between herself and Randall.  However awkward it is going to be, she needs the work.  As Elizabeth takes this job, Randall and Elizabeth both realize feelings within themselves for each other and allow a second chance., I really enjoyed this story; it may be my favorite in the series.  Elizabeth is such a sweet girl and an excellent main character.  I found myself empathizing with her from the very start.  However, I really liked Randall as well as a main character and love the interactions between these two and watching their relationship shift and grow.  Shelley writes in such a way that the reader is completely drawn into the story and into the characters' lives and I found myself not wanting to leave this story and the characters at the end. This is an excellent choice for Amish fiction fans!

To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

"Before Amen" - the power of a simple prayer

About the book: 

We all pray . . . some.

We pray to stay sober, centered, or solvent. When the lump is deemed malignant. When the money runs out before the month does. When the marriage is falling apart. We pray.
But wouldn't we like to pray more? Better? Stronger? With more fire, faith, and fervency?
Yet we have kids to feed, bills to pay, deadlines to meet. The calendar pounces on our good intentions like a tiger on a rabbit. And what about our checkered history with prayer? Uncertain words. Unmet expectations. Unanswered requests.
We aren't the first to struggle with prayer. The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested.
And Jesus gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. Not the doctrine of prayer. He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Couldn't we use the same?
In Before Amen best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts and confidence even for prayer wimps. Distilling prayers in the Bible down to one pocket-sized prayer, Max reminds readers that prayer is not a privilege for the pious nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. Let the conversation begin.

Pre-order a copy of Before Amen by 9/29 and receive a FREE ebook copy of Max's best-selling Second Chances: More Stories of Grace.

Purchase a copy:

About the author: More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

Find Max online: website, Twitter, Facebook

My Review:
Max Lucado is an author whom has written so many books that I have enjoyed over the years and his latest, "Before Amen"  does not disappoint in the least! Prayer, it seems so easy and straightforward, yet it is something that is so easily overlooked, forgotten about until one is in desperate need and the beauty and significance is so underappreciated. Max shares the power of prayer and a basic guideline or model for each of use to use to help us really understand, use and appreciate to power of prayer and the One whom we are praying to.  I really enjoyed this book and it will be one that I will reread several times I am sure.  Not only is it so straightforward and easy to read, but the message is short, sweet and easy to read. I love the format of the book as it is divided into well-defined chapters and within the chapters that are bulleted lists, and quotes that are highlighted and grab your attention.  This book has opened my eyes to prayer and has provided a fresh approach to it for me. 

To read other reviews included on this tour, go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Celebrate the Treasury of Bible Stories by entering the Rhythmical Rhymes Kindle Giveaway!

Kelly Pulley Treasury of Bible Stories
Part of the Magnificent Tales series, Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times will delight children ages 4–8 with rhyming Bible stories pairing spiritual truths with playful illustrations.

Enter the Rhythmical Rhymes Kindle Giveaway 9/15 – 10/12.
Treasury of Bible Stories Kelly Pulley
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • Treasury of Bible Stories by Kelly Pulley
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 12th. Winner will be announced October 13th at Kelly's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Kelly's blog on the 13th to see if you won!

About the book: Children ages 4-8 will be delighted by these rhyming Bible stories pairing spiritual truths with playful illustrations.
Featuring lyrical stories full of lighthearted moments, this colorful collection of Magnificent Tales is perfect for reading out loud. As families read these stories night after night, they will make memories together while learning about the Bible.

Purchase a copy:

About the author: Kelly Pulley works from his middle Tennessee home writing and illustrating children's picture books, most recently Ten Unusual Features of Lulu McDunn and The Cycling Wangdoos. He is best known for illustrating dozens of books in the Beginner's Bible series, including The Beginner's Bible (over 1.25 million copies sold).

Find Kelly online: website, Facebook

Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times

My Review:
Kelly Pulley's children's book, "Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times" is an excellent collection of Bible stories for families to enjoy together.  This is a hardcover edition filled with vibrant illustrations that is so appealing to children (and adults too!). I love how each story that is shared has plenty of illustrations to go with it and also the Biblical passage is shared as well, so that children are able to see what the story is based on and that it is truth from the Bible.  There is also a nice variety of stories included in here and a few that are included are not as well-known as others which is nice to see as well.  This book would make an excellent gift for a child and it is one that I know will be read and looked through over and over again in my house!

To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*