Saturday, August 19, 2017

Super Hero Kids Giveaway with David C Cook!

DOES YOUR CHILD LOVE COMIC BOOKS? HOW ABOUT SUPER HEROES?

Now is your chance to have DC and Marvel illustrator Sergio Cariello make your child's dream come true!

 

Parents!

David C Cook is proud to introduce the newest book in the Action Bible collection: The Action Storybook Bible (coming October 2017). Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or ChristianBook.com to reserve your copy today. Plus click the graphic below to enter to have a chance to win an illustration of your child as a super hero by Action Bible artist Sergio Cariello (who has also illustrated comics for DC and Marvel!).

 

The giveaway is open until September 11, 2017, 5:00pm MST.  Your entry must be received by then to be eligible. Five winners will be chosen at random from eligible entrants.

{THE ACTION STORYBOOK BIBLE}

Families see the Bible in motion and put their faith into action! The Action Storybook Bible invites families with young children to explore God’s redemptive story together. An entry point into the world of The Action Bible, it tells of the amazing creation story, powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel, God’s miraculous gift of eternal life through Jesus, and more! God’s promise for the world is displayed throughout every page. Discover your family’s place in God’s incredible story and together put your faith into action! Interactive features include:
  • Fifteen key episodes from God’s Word—each one loaded with several stories along with over 350 brand-new illustrations throughout.
  • Short and easy readings—for children ages eight and under with rich, colorful images.
  • Life, Faith, Action! features—conclude every episode and invite families to talk about how God moves in the stories, how to see God in life today, how to put faith into action, and how to easily talk to God with a suggested prayer.
  • Hall of Fame visual index—the place to look up favorite Bible characters by discovering their icon connections and finding them in the stories.
Learn more and purchase a copy here.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A God of All Seasons~Walking Toward Mercy and Grace {Book Review} INCLUDES GIVEAWAY LINK!





A God of All Seasons: Walking towards mercy and grace by T.H. Meyer and Amy Breitman is a sweet reminder that God is in the midst of every circumstance, situation, and season. Even when things are hard, God is continually in the process of carrying us through and allowing us the chance to draw closer to Him.
The book is refreshing in its style, as the chapters alternate between the authors. Each author is very authentic in sharing struggles and hard times. They also bring great imagery through physically describing the nature around them. The big focus on nature makes this a calming, visual book. And the verses shared at the beginning of each chapter (often taken from The Message version of the Bible) are a fantastic way to see God's handiwork both in the book & in our own lives. Each chapter also allows you to delve more personally into your own life through "Personal Reflection" Questions. This layout would make this a good book for friends to read and then discuss together.
Although the work is written for women, I feel the main target audience is moms. Many of the life lessons the author's share includes examples from being moms or examples from their children. Because of this, I truly enjoyed it, but I could see how a single woman or woman without children would feel a little disconnect. I definitely enjoyed this book, but do believe I would recommend it primarily to women in the season of life I currently live; married with kids.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*

A God for all seasons FB banner copy


Click here to purchase your copy.


About the Book

A God For All Seasons - r1 ebook cover

Book title: A God of All Seasons  
Author: TH Meyer & Amy Breitmann  
Release date: August 28, 2017  
Genre: Non-fiction

What if your spiritual life landed in the grip of a wintered soul? How does one’s faith survive?
Discover the beauty and challenge of spiritual seasons as Tammy & Amy remember parts of their stories in order to draw out your own. Learn to perceive God’s companionship even when you don’t sense His nearness. And unearth, not only a God who created the seasons, but one who also walks with you through them.”

Book Trailer Video: https://youtu.be/fWupS5gTRoc


About the Authors

After living in Asia and Europe, T.H. Meyer’s family planted roots on their Texas farm in 2008 where they live among fields of Rye and Bermuda. Tammy is a writer and creative strategist who also moonlights as a social media specialist. She’s the mother to three children and author of, A Life of Creative Purpose: Embrace Uniqueness, Explore Boldness, Encourage Faith and Social Media Strategies: Discovering Powerful Tools of the Trade without Losing Your Soul for Christian entrepreneurs maneuvering the daunting and soul-sucking world of online marketing.
Join Tammy on her website: The Art of Fear Not: An Adventurous Life of Faith http://www.tammy-h-meyer.com/.
Or stay in touch with her at:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tammy.h.meyer/ for personal photos and thoughts from home.
Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/tammy_h_meyer/lists & find out what’s on her Twitter “Lists.”



Amy’s (Amy Breitmann) bio: Amy weaves together ministry and writing alongside her husband and two children in Augusta, GA. She is a writer, speaker, and founder of “The Lydia Project,” a national ministry for women facing cancer and is a storyteller for ViBella Jewelry, an international company that employs artisans in Haiti and Mexico. Her published works include pieces in Chicken Soup of the Soul, Mosaic: Sojourners of Faith, and Guideposts Magazine.

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, T.H. Meyer is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd4e

Monday, July 24, 2017

Fun, Refreshing take on Motherhood & Parenting {Hiding from my Kids in my Prayer Closet--Book Review}



If reading a book with a chapter titled : 'Children's Parties; Where Saturdays go to Die' causes you to say, "Amen, Sister!" you will truly enjoy this breath of fresh air written by Jessica Kastner. I've read many books on parenting and motherhood, and it's wonderful to read a Christian book that addresses day to day life with such transparency. Kastner blends humor, sarcasm, truth and tenderness in ways that can encourage moms and also spur them along to accept their individual gifts and personal parenting styles. 

Kastner does not shy away from sharing snippets from her own motherhood journey, which began as an unwed, single mom and continued with two surprise pregnancies after she was married. The author is never snarky or irreverent, but does a great job of putting a magnifying glass on the unimportant, and putting a flashlight onto the aspects of parenting that truly do matter. She ends her chapters by focusing on the relationship between a mother and Christ, and also the need to help our kids develop a heart that is going after God. I enjoyed this book quite a bit, and look forward to recommending it to friends.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*

Hiding from the Kids in My Prayer Closet (David C Cook, July 2017)
Finding grace and laughter when motherhood gets real
Soon after Jessica Kastner became a mother, she wondered if she was the only mom who found pretend play more boring than watching playdough harden and who dreaded yet another friend’s Instagram post of homemade deliciousness.
In Hiding from My Kids in the Prayer Closet, Kastner shares her experience as an “unmom”—a mom who loves her kids more than she loves the daily experience of mothering. She helps readers laugh at the ridiculous, delight in the unpredictable, and enjoy being the mothers God made them to be.
Jessica KastnerJessica Kastner is an award-winning journalist and a contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network’s CBN.com, Beliefnet.com, and the Huffington Post’s Christianity blog. As Connecticut’s coordinator for Straight Ahead Ministries, she shares God’s message of hope by leading Bible studies in juvenile detention centers. When she’s not on the trampoline with her three boys in Connecticut, Jessica shares her unapologetically “real” commentary on the Christian life at www.JessicaKastner.com.

His Guilt {Book Review}



His Guilt is the second novel in the Amish of Hart County series, but it definitely stands on its own as a suspenseful, well-developed, and independent work of fiction! The main characters in this second novel are Mark Fisher and Waneta Cain, who were not prominently featured in Her Secret. Author Shelly Shepard Gray shows her writing expertise by creating yet another Christian Amish Fiction series that  manages to tie the novels together and still allow them to stand alone.

I don't like to read reviews that give away the entire plot of a novel, nor am I willing to write them. As the key characters, Mark seeks a fresh start by returning to his childhood home. Wanetta has never left home and begins to see her world view expand as she starts to grasp the complexities that surround Mark's past, his present, and what it means to truly accept others. While the journey isn't easy, Wanetta truly 'puts her stake in the ground' as she stands up for what is right, stands against the false accusations from the past that still affect Mark, and puts into action what it means to be a true friend. In turn, Mark must learn to balance standing on his own yet accept friendship, kindness, and acceptance when it's offered. 

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*

His Guilt: The Amish of Hart County(Avon Inspire, July 2017)
A suspenseful tale of an Amish man who will risk all to protect the woman he loves
Mark Fisher has returned home to Hart County, determined to put the past behind him. Two years ago, after being wrongly accused of assault, he left the Amish community, though never forgot his home. When the one person who had helped him through his rough times asks for help, Mark returns. But it is pretty Waneta Cain who makes him want to stay…
Neeta is one of the few people in Hart County who doesn’t believe Mark is guilty of hurting anyone. However, his worldliness and tough exterior do make her uneasy. As she begins to see the real man behind all the gossip and prejudice, she wonders if he is the man for her.
Just when Mark starts to believe a new life is possible, a close friend of Neeta’s is attacked. Once again, everyone in the community seems to believe he is guilty. But what hurts most is Neeta’s sudden wariness around him. When another woman is hurt, a woman who is close to both Neeta and himself, Mark fears he knows the real culprit. And time is running out. Will Mark be able to find him before Neeta becomes his next victim?
Shelley Shepard GrayLearn more and purchase a copy.SH
ELLEY SHEPARD GRAY
Shelley Shepard Gray is a "New York Times" and "USA Today" bestselling author, 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.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Israel-God's Heart {Book Review}



What a detailed glimpse into modern day Israel! This book weaves ancient history with today's busy lifestyles, not just through gorgeous photography, but also through fantastic paragraphs on each page. The book is simply exquisite! I have not been to Israel, but as a Christian I fully appreciated the details regarding the area and both past and present cultures. In addition to content, the book itself is a perfect size to purchase as an affordable gift or your own side table. 

*I received a complimentary copy, but was under no obligation to write a review.

Israel—God’s Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel (Skypics Israel, November 2016)
**Click Here to see the Flip Book!**
Soar across the skies of beautiful Israel and visit contemporary and historic sites beckoning visitors to stay and explore.
The beauty of Israel from above is captured by top aerial photographer Ron Gafni.  As you sweep over ancient ruins, fly high in hot air balloons, and view vignette’s of Israel’s modern lifestyles, Holy scripture will also come alive. Author Kathleen Barrett offers reflective narrative with scripture pointing to God’s redemption plan for the world.

Ron Gafni works as a professional aerial photographer after spending more than a decade in Israel's High-Tech Industry. He brings his vast experience and personal perspective through the lens of a proud Israeli citizen. His work has been featured in "National Geographic," and his company, Skypics.co.il, provides books from its "Israel From Above" collection to the Israeli government, Army and Air force, as well as to large corporations in Israel. **||** Kathleen Barrett, a south Florida resident and former teacher is a student of the Word. She shares her thoughtful point of view in "Israel-God's Heart" from a personal, 40 year walk of Christian faith and study. In 2002, she authored a children's devotional. Before that and since then, she has published numerous articles from mission's outreach to local political events. Her more personal and reflective work has been featured in a number of collections.

Stepping on Cheerios~Book Review {Authentic Book for Moms}



Stepping on Cheerios: Finding God in the Chaos and Clutter of Life is an refreshingly authentic account of how motherhood can flip the most organized, detailed life into one that is lived not knowing what each day will hold. Author Betsy Singleton Snyder is pretty witty as she describes having her first child at 44 and triplets 3 years later. If anyone has earned the title "Boy Mom", it's her!

Snyder's Christian life became one of complete reliance on God as she faced a serious health issues after birthing her triplets. I appreciate how a person already in ministry can be vulnerable to sharing all that God revealed to her as she learned to rely less on herself and more on Him.

*I received a complimentary copy, but was under no obligation to write this review.

Stepping on Cheerios: Finding God in the Chaos and Clutter of Life(Abingdon Press, April 2017)
Family life is beautiful and motherhood is a privilege, but it ain’t no picnic!
Being a mother isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to experience a personal connection with God and community when you are caught up in the chaos of just “doing family”.
Independent and self-sufficient, author Betsy Singleton Snyder lived a full and busy life as a pastor, missionary, and wife to a husband who served in the U.S. House of Representatives. She had her first child at age 44, then at 47, she found out she was carrying triplets. Suddenly finding herself overwhelmed is an understatement.
Stepping on Cheerios is a collection of funny, warm, and charming tales from the frontlines of parenthood, written for women who are juggling to accomplish everyday feats of work, motherhood, marriage, church, and more. It’s a comical story of one woman’s realization that her crazy life is a gift and how she found the grace in it.
Betsy Singleton Snyder, author of "Stepping on Cheerios," is a pastor, a former missionary to the arts community, writer, and blogger. She and her husband, Dr. Vic Snyder who formerly served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years, live in Arkansas with their four sons, Penn (10), and triplets Wyatt, Sullivan, and Aubrey (8).

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race {Book Review}


I'll just come out and say it; I truly appreciate how this book was written by a man, as that in and of itself adds a neat component to the complexity of 'The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race'. Author Mike Mizrahi has taken an element from our Nation's history--women riding bicycles--and wrapped within in it various layers that focus on equality. Trailblazers and dissenters collide when Anna Gaines takes up cycling in the 'sleepy' town of Chattanooga. While Anna has confidants in her Aunt Harriet, cousin Oscar, best friend Emma and boardinghouse owner Rose, the rest of the city (and even whispers of it reaching as far as New York) is either up in arms or undecided on how they feel about women taking up cycling. Anna's parents are at odds over their daughter's decision, and even Anna's romantic interest Grover Biggs rarely hides his distain over such brazen independence. 

The book doesn't just focus on women riding bicycles, but also touches upon the long hours women worked as seamstresses, and the stark reality of how the first and second generations of freed slaves lived and were treated through the poignant storyline of  Hattie and her family.

The final element of the novel adds a layer or mystery and intrigue to the storyline and helps weave the whole book together. Peter Sawyer is an upright citizen, president of the Cycling Club, and owner of the Dry Goods store. Grover Biggs is a rogue from Atlanta who appears to be in Chattanooga for all the wrong reasons and has a very shady past. Throw in the fact Grover is courting Anna, Peter is smitten with her, and Anna can't figure out which one is truly the "knight in shining armor", and you have the makings of a fantastic plot! Mizrahi does a great job of creating a novel that is full of detail without any of it becoming murky or confusing. I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to having my teen daughters read it as well. 

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race (Redemption Press, April 2017)
Chattanooga society is turned upside down as a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle–in bloomers!
It’s 1895. Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit with her aunt in Brooklyn, she’s drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Southern women did not engage in activities meant for men.
Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.
Will Anna prove that women deserve the same right as men to ride “the wheel?” Will she choose to live a quiet, traditional life of a housewife and mother? Or will she pursue college and become one of the “new women” emerging into the twentieth century on the seat of a bicycle? What will become of the spark between Anna and Peter?
Faith, patience, and courage help Anna to become the person she was meant to be.

Mike Mizrahi has a master’s degree in public relations, advertising, and applied communication from Boston University. After a career in corporate public affairs, he retired to pursue writing. After a mission trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, he wrote his first novel, "Kabirizi’s Revenge," and is also the author of "The Unnamed Girl." Mike and his wife Karen live in Woodland Hills, Calif., where the couple raised their two adult children, and he enjoys readi

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Enjoyable Christian Mystery Novel {Driver Confessional}

Driver ConfessionalIt's very rare to find a 'Christian Mystery Novel' that puts the protagonist's faith front and center within a storyline, yet David Winters takes a bold stand and weaves it wonderfully throughout Driver Confessional. Antonio's Christian walk is part of his everyday life as a husband, father, law school student and ride-share driver. Although I enjoyed the fact that Antonio's life as a Christian is displayed in such a personal, natural way, I was very impressed that it did not deter from the suspense & mystery that falls into Antonio's lap due to one of his ride-share passengers and the briefcase she leaves in his car. Action, espionage, murder, shady politics, kidnapping, detective work, and run-ins with the Russian mob all take place. The novel is quick-paced and well-developed, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*




Driver Confessional (May 2017)

Ride share driver Antonio cruises the streets of Washington, D.C. looking for his next fare. 
He has an unusual gift for relaxing his customers and stimulating their desire to reveal more than they planned. By the completion of their ride, many feel so comfortable that they confess their sins great and small. Antonio’s faith guides his discussions and points him in new directions. Suddenly, his peaceful world is turned upside down by a mysterious business woman. As she heads to a midnight rendezvous, she confesses more than Antonio can handle. Her story sends him into a world of espionage, international terrorism and danger.

Learn more and purchase a copy.
David Winters
DAVID WINTERS
David L Winters is an award-winning author, humorist and speaker, originally from Ohio, who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. His first book, "Sabbatical of the Mind: The Journey from Anxiety to Peace," won several awards including a Silver Illumination Award from the Jenkins Group and two Finalist Medals from the Next Generation Indies Book Awards.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Great Book for Parents of Teens {The Joy of Letting Go}

While The Joy of Letting Go~Releasing your Teen into the Big World is promoted as a devotional, the pages flow so seamlessly you'll find it absolutley impossible to read only one excerpt at a time. I'm a mother of six, and my oldest three children are 16, 15, and almost 13. I've read many Christian parenting books over the years, and this book is truly one of THE BEST I have ever read. It's specific focus is on the importance of you--as a parent--understanding how critical it is for you to raise up your kids in a way that releases them to their own independence. This independence includes: having their own personal walk with Christ outside of your family routine, learning how to prioritize and time manage school work, independent problem-solving skills, and having the opportunity to fail and learn from their mistakes.

Author Vicki Caruana uses stories from her own life and examples from other lives as she explains the importance of truly releasing your kids to their own adulthood. She doesn't write in a 'preachy' way, but in a way that is extremely approachable and helpful. I highly recommend this book to any mom who has children in junior high, high school, or even college....and the earlier in your child's life you can read it the better.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*


The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life in the Big World (David C. Cook, April 2017)
With readings of encouragement and inspirational quotes, this devotional helps parents prepare their hearts for their children’s independence, whether their kids are just starting kindergarten or graduating from college.
Parents let go of their children every day, even in ways they don’t realize. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.
Vicki Caruana
Dr. Vicki Caruana is the author of 20 books and the blog Apples & Chalkdust—named after her bestselling book that has touched the lives of a million educators around the world. Caruana is one of four parenting experts on "Starting Points," Focus on the Family’s parenting DVD series. Formerly a public school teacher and a homeschooling mom, Vicki is now an assistant professor of education at Mount Saint Mary College in New York. She lives with her station wagon loving husband, Chip, in Newburgh, New York and has two grown sons in Colorado Springs.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Welcome to College {Book Review}

Welcome to College is a very detailed and thought-provoking book specifically written for incoming college freshmen & focuses on their Christian walk. I personally think a student should begin reading it their senior year of high school (and possibly junior year), as it may help play a role in a student evaluating where they will go to college and their motivation for choosing a school. It's also a fairly thick book, so a student should take his or her time going through it, consider doing the discussion questions with other Christian friends, taking notes, and not see it to as a "quick read". If a student is willing to sit down and read it, he or she will find it to be an incredible resource in their new journey of being away from home and still following Christ.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*


Welcome to College: A Christ-Follower’s Guide for the Journey(Kregel, March 2017)
Is there a more frightening question for a graduating high school senior than “What will you do with your life?”
In college, whether they realize it or not, students will answer that question every day with each decision. All of the new friends and new experiences of higher education will shape their future. It’s critical that students know how to handle college before they’re in the thick of it.
Jonathan Morrow tackles the tough questions that arise during these formative years, including:
—How do you grow spiritually?
—How do you manage your time to both study well and have fun?
—Is all truth relative?
—Are there good reasons to be a Christian?
—As a Christian, how should you view issues like dating and sex?
Each chapter of this new edition has been updated, and the author has included a new chapter on Christianity, homosexuality, and the Bible. Grounded in both his own extensive experience and biblical truth, Morrow’s book is full of quick, easy-to-read chapters and excellent advice.

Jonathan MorrowJonathan Morrow (DMin, MDiv) is the author of several books including "Questioning the Bible" and he speaks nationally on biblical worldview, apologetics, and culture. He is adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University and director of cultural engagement at Impact 360 Institute where he teaches high school and college students. Jonathan is passionate about seeing a new generation build a lasting faith.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Perfect Blend of Mystery & Amish Fiction {Book Review for Her Secret}

If you love mysteries and enjoy Amish fiction, you absolutely want to read Shelley Shepard Gray's latest novel! On the surface, Her Secret seems like a fairly "cut and dry" storyline; you (as the reader) assume you're smart enough to know the plot from start to finish, so you settle into your chair for some nice Christian Amish fiction. You will find yourself surprised, however, when many things are not as they seem! Her Secret holds rich layers of plot, excellent character development, and several twists and turns you will not see coming. The fact this novel is the first in a new series for Gray makes it even more wonderful! You most certainly want front row seats for this series, and will not regret your purchase.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*

Her Secret (Avon Inspire, March 2017)
A suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker
After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she’ll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.
For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he’s misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.
Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.
Shelley Shepard GrayShelley Shepard Gray is the "New York Times" and "USA Today" bestselling author of the Seasons of Sugarcreek series, the Sisters of the Heart series, and the Families of Honor series. She lives with her family in southern Ohio, where she writes full time. Before her work in the inspirational market, Gray wrote several novels as Shelley Galloway. During this time her books appeared on the Waldenbooks bestseller list, and she won "RT Book Reviews'" prestigious Reviewers' Choice Award.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A+ Series from Start to Finish {Home at Last Book Review}

Spent 10 minutes trying to find my book & my daughter had it!
Home at Last is the final book in the Chicory Inn series, and it is a series I highly recommend. While Home at Last is a fantastic novel, I highly recommend you read the other books in the series before you read Home at Last. Each book in the series not only focuses on a specific Whitman child, but also creates depth, character development and interweaving storylines from one novel to the next.

If I had to describe Link Whitman's role within the other books, I would say he most definitely was a minor character (even his deceased brother Tim played a bigger role within the plots of the first four books). Within his minor role, he always came across as kind, loyal, and fun. In Home at Last, Link takes center stage & his personality truly shines through. He is also a 29 year old bachelor, feeling trapped in a "dead-end" job. His desires, struggles, and connections with his family create a very realistic and endearing protagonist!

Shayla is also single, and is busy working at her dad's bakery while also raising her niece. Their life has been a hard one in recent years, and the tough situations are compounded due to one thing; race. Shayla's father is African American, and Shayla and her niece Portia are biracial. The family lives in a predominantly white community. It's rare to see a Christian romance novel address current racial fears & tension, but Raney tackles in head-on and acknowledges how current events (such as Ferguson) have affected the country.

Link and Shayla do not remain separate characters in the novel, and interest in one another is revealed rather quickly. The novel does a great job of capturing the struggles of inter-racial dating, and analyzing if the struggles make it even worth pursuing a relationship. 

As the Chicory Inn series comes to an end, Raney does a good job of wrapping up the various storylines and providing a nice "riding off into the sunset" feeling in regards to the Whitman family. I was pleased with Home at Last as well as the Chicory Inn series, and would even read them all again.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*

Home at Last (Abingdon, February 2017)
Why did their differences matter so much?
Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he’s stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters’ efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.
All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother’s white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn’t repeat in polite–well, in any company. Her father’s family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry’s incarceration, life has left Shayla’s father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn’t people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?
Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl’s aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee’s On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tightropes & Teeter-Totters: Finding Balance in the Ups and Downs ofLife {Book Review}

Ever wonder how some Christian women seem to stay calm & steady regardless of the situation, and others sway in the wind? No matter where you fall within that spectrum, Pennington's book is a fantastic one for helping you seek or further establish balance in your life. Multitasking our roles as wives, moms, careers & managing a household can be overwhelming; finding ways to seek balance, embracing self-affirmation, identifying our weak areas, and relying in Christ are critical components to living the life God has planned for us. Tightropes and Teeter-Totters: Finding Balance in the Ups and Downs of Life is a great and authentic resource!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*


Tightropes and Teeter-Totters: Finding Balance in the Ups and Downs of Life (David C. Cook, February 2017)
Do you wonder if you will ever find balance?
Lisa Pennington knows how to get up after losing her balance, even with a full house, a not-so-full bank account, and never enough energy. In her latest book, she offers readers:
—Strategies for finding balance in marriage, motherhood, and bad moods
—Playful yet biblically based tips for turning hard days around
—Inspiration for shaping obstacles into opportunities
—Ways to respond to irritations with gratitude
—Enthusiastic encouragement for living out God’s purpose.
For every woman who wonders if her satisfaction in life will ever match her dreams, Pennington has real-life answers full of hope and humor.
Lisa PenningtonLisa Pennington is a homeschooling mom of nine who shares her life—one laundry load at a time—on her blog, The Pennington Point. She is a sought-after speaker at conferences and women’s groups and is the author of "Mama Needs a Do-Over." Lisa and her family live near San Antonio.