Saturday, April 27, 2013

Book Review and Giveaways: Darkness Before Dawn

In his latest novel, Darkness Before Dawn (Abingdon Press), Ace Collins leads readers on an emotionally charged ride from revenge to forgiveness.

fb-rafflecopter iconAce is celebrating the release of Darkness Before Dawn with a Retribution v. Redemption 12-Day Giveaway!

Go {HERE} or click the button for all the details. Follow along for a new giveaway each day. (Moleskin journal, books, Starbucks gift cards and so much more!)

 About Darkness Before Dawn: Will grief push Meg over the edge?

On the same night she discovers she is pregnant, twenty-eight-year-old nurse Meg Richards's husband is killed in an auto accident caused by a drunken teen. James Thomas comes from one of the most influential families in the community. He's a star athlete and glamour boy at the local high school. But the accident he caused will change his life---and Meg's future---forever.
Angered by her senseless loss and facing life as a single mother, Meg blames God for what has happened and considers a decision that could change her life even further. Enraged by the brutal trial and the court's decision, Meg starts down a frightening path of retribution. When the opportunity for revenge comes unexpectedly, will Meg follow through? Or will the remnants of her faith lead her in a different direction?

Purchase a copy:

Meet Ace: Bestselling author Ace Collins has written more than 60 books including novels "Swope's Ridge" and "Words of the Father," as well as the nonfiction "Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas"; and "Lassie: A Dog's Life". His books have become movies and network television specials. Ace Collins has sold more than 1.5 million books during his career and makes his home in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

Learn more about Ace at:
My Review:
This story makes us all consider what we would do if we were in the main character's position.  Meg is faced with an enormous trial in life and in the beginning she doesn't really do what we are called to do as Christians, but would we be able to act any differently?  This book is a good read and is not so easy to put down.  It challenges you to think about how you would react to losing a loved one and if revenge would follow.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes a great "beachy" read.  It isn't an easy book to read in that it's not all rainbows and smiles, but it is a capturing book with real issues.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sharing the Kicks

Our little frog, aka Rylee, aka the baby in my tummy, is quite a mover and kicker.  I am not at all surprised as Kassidy was also.
I pretty much have this girl's schedule down.  I'm thinking she might, unfortunately, not be the amazing morning child that Kassidy is. 
She might be more like me... anything but a morning person.  :/
We will see. 
I first felt Rylee move around 14 weeks.
At our 22 week appointment, Mike barely felt her move in my belly.
The past 3 weeks have consisted of me constantly grabbing Mike's hand to try and feel her, with no success and to the point of Mike thinking I was crazy for thinking he could feel her kicks.... they could only be felt from inside.
Untilllll.... two nights ago, at 25 weeks.  He felt her kick a couple times and tonight he felt her give a few really great ones!!
She is a crazy mover!!
One minute she is bouncing on my bladder.  The next she is kicking my ribs.  After that she kicks some right in the middle of my belly.  And of course, there are those that can be felt on complete opposite ends.  I have no idea what she is doing in there!
Wouldn't it be cool if we had clear bellies?  Ok, maybe only during pregnancy.  And maybe only the ability to see our growing babies.  Not everything else.  :) 
When did your husband first feel your baby?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review & Video: Lead Your Family Like Jesus

More about Lead Your Family Like Jesus:

Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of Families

(Focus on the Family/Tyndale) - Does your family need a five-star general at the helm? A psychologist? A referee? Ken Blanchard, best-selling co-author of The One Minute Manager and Lead Like Jesus, points to a better role model: the Son of God. Joined by veteran parents and authors Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer, renowned business mentor Blanchard shows how every family member benefits when parents take the reins as servant-leaders. Moms and dads will see themselves in a whole new light-as life-changers who get their example, strength, and joy from following Jesus at home. This user-friendly book's practical principles and personal stories mark the path to a truly Christ-centered family, where integrity, love, grace, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness make all the difference.
Link to buy the book:
Meet the Authors:
 Bestselling author of more than 30 novels, nine nonfiction books, and more than three hundred articles for national publications; 2003 "Writer of the Year" at the Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference; popular blog writer, speaker, and radio host
Learn more about Tricia at
Leadership expert and author of over 50 books, including the New York Times bestseller, The One-Minute Manager; cofounder of Lead Like Jesus; and coauthor of Lead Like Jesus; Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time
Learn more about Ken at

A human resource and industrial relations manager in corporate America for 36 years with Xerox Corporation and U.S. Steel, co- founder of Lead Like Jesus; co-author of five books, including The Servant Leader and Leadership by the Book with Bill Hybels.
Learn more about Phil at

My Review:
Who doesn't want to lead their family like Jesus would?  I know that we do, as parents.  I loved this book!  And look at the authors!!  They are definitely leaders and people who I can learn alot from.  Of course, there were bigger issues that the book dealt with, but I think my favorite parts were when they discussed the little issues, that turn into big issues.  I really learned alot from this book and plan to read it over several more times.  It is definitely a great book for every single parent to read, whether you are Christian or not.  Every idea is great for every parent and does not all have to be taken from a religious point of view.  Excellent book for every parent!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Favorite Maternity and Newborn Pics

Absolutely love these photos!

beach maternity Jane Gilbey Photography
Photo by Jane Gilbey Photography
Photos by Jane Gilbey Photography

This one literally brought tears to my eyes, maybe because K will be about this age when little Rylee comes.

I hope that I have given credit where credit is due have completely forgotten how to do it!!  Since only a week or so ago.  Yes, that is my brain especially my pregnant brain. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: When Jesus Wept

Celebrate the release of When Jesus Wept with the Thoenes by entering their iPad Mini giveaway and RSVPing to their {4/23} Facebook Author Chat party!


One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A brand new iPad Mini
  • A book club kit - 10 copies of When Jesus Wept
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 22nd. Winner will be announced at the "When Jesus Wept" Author Chat Party on 4/23. Connect with the Thoenes, get a sneak peek of the next book in the Jerusalem Chronicles series, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be fun giveaways - gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of When Jesus Wept and join Bodie and Brock on the evening of the April 23rd for a chance to connect with the authors and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

About When Jesus Wept:
Book 1 in the Thoene's new Jerusalem Chronicles.
Lazarus occupies a surprising position in the Gospel accounts. Widely known as the man Jesus raised from the dead, his story is actually much broader and richer than that. Living as he did at Bethany, near Jerusalem, Lazarus was uniquely placed to witness the swirl of events around Jesus. When Jesus Wept, the first novel in The Jerusalem Chronicles series by bestselling authors Bodie and Brock Thoene, unfolds the turbulent times in Judea during Jesus' ministry, centering on the friendship between Jesus and Lazarus. With rich insights from vineyard owners and vine dressers, the Thoenes explore the metaphor of Jesus as the True Vine, harvesting the ancient secrets found in the Old Testament. Weaving the life of Lazarus, who owned a vineyard, into the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ will help you understand it is the hand of Love Divine that holds the knife, that cuts and breaks with such tender and loving touch, and that we who have born some fruit, after the pruning, can bear much more.
Link to buy the book: ;
Meet the Thoenes:
Bodie and Brock Thoene (pronounced Tay-nee) are bestselling authors of over sixty-five works of historical fiction. Their timeless classics have sold more than thirty-five million copies and won eight ECPA Gold Medallion Awards. The Thoenes have four grown children and eight grandchildren. They divide their time between Hawaii, London, and Nevada.
Find out more about Bodie and Brock at
My Review:
This book was like none I have ever read.  It told the story of Jesus from a completely different angle and point of view.  I learned so many things from this story about the time when Jesus was on earth and about how certain people viewed Him.  This book was such a great read before Easter.  The story is great and what is even better is that it is true... of course, we don't know exactly what Lazarus thought, but this book does a pretty great job at telling everything as accurate as possible. 
I recommend this book to every Christian.  It is wonderful to hear the story from this point of view.  You will be inspired!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest comments and opinions.

Book Review and Giveaway: Get Back Up

Sheryl Giesbrecht is celebrating the release of Get Back Up with a Kindle Fire Giveaway. Enter today!

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Get Back Up by Sheryl Giesbrecht
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 28th. Winner will be announced on 4/30/13 on the Litfuse blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

About Get Back Up: Trusting God When Life Knocks You Down
Life is not always easy or fair for the follower of Christ. Yet, Sheryl Giesbrecht has learned, from the depths of past pain, it is possible to be raised up. It is possible to heal. Most importantly, it is possible to exchange hurt for hope. In her inspirational new book, Get Back Up: Trusting God When Life Knocks You Down, Sheryl tells her own story. She uses scripture to tell the stories of so many other Biblical figures who stumbled before they could be helped up. Sheryl's message is one of hope. Trusting God in the midst of a life turned upside down is essential to survival. Without Him, life would not be worth living. Climbing out of the pits of despair would be impossible. Yes, with God to lean on, finding hope is possible. Healing is possible. God is capable of taking our losses and mistakes and turning them into something remarkably beautiful. Won't you let Him?

Purchase a copy:

Meet Sheryl: "Exchanging hurt for hope," is Sheryl Giesbrecht's focus. She loves to share how God rearranges loss, bitterness, and mistakes; and turns them into something remarkably beautiful.
Find out more about Sheryl at
My Review:
I really enjoyed this book because it was told more like a story.  Each chapter is filled with others' stories about surviving in the midst of tragedy along with references from Sheryl's life.  It is not as easy to read "self-help" books about tragedy and getting back up, but this book helps you deal with issues that you have had come up or issues that might in the future.  This book is a really easy read and is so relatable.
I recommend this book to everyone.  The stories are wonderful and everyone can see their own struggles within the book somewhere. 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Stress Test

Richard Mabry is celebrating the release of Stress Test with a Nook HD Giveaway! Enter today.

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Nook HD
  • A $15 gift certificate to
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 27th. Winner will be announced on 4/29/13 at Richard's blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

About Stress Test: They may not have enough evidence to convict him, but they have enough to ruin his life.
Dr. Matt Newman thought he was leaving his life in private practice for a better one in academic medicine. But the kidnappers who attacked him as he left his last shift in the ER have no such plans-they just want him dead. Bound and in the trunk of his car, Matt's only thought is escape. He does so, but at a price: a head injury that lands him in the ICU . . . where he awakens to discover he's being charged with murder.
Sandra Murray is a fiery, redheaded lawyer who swore she was done with doctors. But when Matt calls, she knows she can't walk away from defending someone who is truly innocent.
Matt's career is going down the drain. His freedom and perhaps his life may be next. But with the police convinced he's a murderer and the kidnappers still trying to finish what they started, finding the truth-and the faith to keep going-will be the toughest stress test Matt has ever endured.
Purchase a copy:

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

Learn more about Richard at:
My Review:
While this is not the normal type of book I read, I could not stop reading this one.  This book would make such a great movie, as it never has a dull moment.  The plot of the book basically encompasses one of my worst nightmares-to be accused of murder and have no way to really prove my innocence.  I also totally love that a retired physician wrote the book. 
If you are looking for a great suspense-filled book to read, that you won't want to put down until the end, this is the book for you.  I think that my husband will really enjoy this book and it is now on his list to read.  Maybe you should add it to yours? 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinions.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Tales of the Defended Ones

Beth Guckenberger is celebrating the release of her new book in the Storyweaver series, Tales of the Defended Ones, with an iPad giveaway and Facebook party {4/25}. 


 One fortunate winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A Tales of the Defended Ones small group kit (books and DVD)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 24th. Winner will be announced at the "Storyweaver" Author Chat Party on April 25th. Beth will be chatting with guests, answering questions, and offering tips about beginning a dialog with children and youth about the orphans around the world, the basic needs of children living in poverty, and what we can all do to help. (It’s okay if you haven’t read the book – who knows, you might WIN a copy!) Beth will also be hosting a fun trivia contest and giving away tons of great stuff! (Gift certificates, books, and more!)

So grab your copy of Tales of the Defended Ones and join Beth and friends on the evening of the April 25th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 25th!

bout Tales of the Defended Ones: Ben and Joseph lose their mothers, but find a family looking just for them. Antonio is rescued from what seems like a hopeless situation. Caitlyn dares to trust that truth will set her free. Jorani is delivered from slavery into the arms of grace.
Follow these real-life stories as they take you on a journey to foreign places and extreme struggles. Travel through their challenges and see the hand of the great Storyweaver - our Defender God shielding and defending the defenseless in the amazing ways only he can.These are the tales of the ones left wounded and weak-ones made whole and strong . . .
Purchase a copy: ;
Meet Beth: Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd, are the founders of Back2Back Ministries which communicates a lifestyle of service by sharing the love of Christ and serving God through service to others. Guckenberger travels and speaks regularly at women's and missions conferences, as well as youth gatherings and church services. In addition to her children's releases in the Storyweaver series, Guckenberger has written two mission-minded books. She has also partnered with Standard Publishing on the mission content in its 2013 VBS program. The Guckenberger family lives and serves in Monterrey, Mexico.
Find out more about Beth at
My Review:
This is a great, great book, but also a very sad book.  Luckily, there is hope for all of the ones in the stories.  There is hope for us all.  This book tells the story of those whose needs are basic and are not being met.  This book made me cry and cry.  It also reminded me that simple actions can make a huge difference in the lives of those around us.  Big actions are needed very often, but little ones can also add up.  God loves all of His children and I imagine that these stories also make Him cry. 
This book is written so that younger children (8+) can also read and be touched by these stories.  I recommend this book to everyone over age 8.  My daughter will be reading it soon, as well.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.   

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Site and So Long to a Million Books!

As you might have noticed, I review a lot of books!
Why?  Because I love to read and I love free stuff!
I read the books and keep what I like for my ever-growing collection and I sell the ones I don't think I will read again. 
It works out wonderfully.
Except, that it is taking up wayyy too much room on this blog.
So, for a while I will still post my reviews on this blog and then after a couple weeks I will transfer them over exclusively to my new blog, which will be just for reviews.  I will keep my faves on here, because, well, they are my faves and I think you might like them also!
Reviews of companies, games, toys, clothes, movies, you name it.  Oh, and books.  ;)
Here is that site:
Do you like reading reviews?  Do you review stuff on your blog?
Oh and if you ever want to get some books for free and you blog here are two sites that I use:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Book Review: The Christian Mama's Guide to Baby's First Year

From the back cover:
The Christian Mama's Guide to Baby's First Year has the advice you want to hear (and some you probably don't).  Inside you'll also find:
-Suggestion on how to get into the motherhood groove
-Breast-feeding advice
-Tips for losing the baby weight-before your baby is no longer a baby
-Time management ideas... get the laundry done before you run out of clean underwear
-Guidance on being a godly mother and good wife on less than three hours of sleep a night
My Review:
I absolutely loved this book!  I really look forward to owning the other ones, which include Having a Baby, Having a Toddler and the Gradeschool Years.  Why a Christian mama's guide?  I love that Erin addresses why this book is for Christian mamas.  She says it is because we also deal with the trials and successes of wanting our family to be the way God intended it to be.  We want our families, above all else, to become more and more Christ-like.  Of course, our bodies are similar and our lives change in the same ways as non-Christians during a baby's first year, but why not get the info and help from a sister in Christ?  This book is so much more uplifting, inspiring and helpful because of the Christian background it has.
I definitely recommend this book to every mama with a little one already or a little one on the way!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinions.

Book Review and Giveaway: Unrivaled

Celebrate Unrivaled with Siri Mitchell by entering to win a Kindle Fire and joining her on April 18th for a Facebook Author Chat Party!

One "swooning" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Vintage Candy Kit
  • Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell (one for you and one for a friend!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 17th. Winner will be announced at the "Unrivaled" Author Chat Facebook Party on 4/18. Connect with Siri, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books, vintage candy kits, and more!

So grab your copy of Unrivaled and join Siri on the evening of the April 18th for a chance to connect with Siri and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!

More about Unrivaled:
Lucy Kendall returns from a tour of the Continent, her luggage filled with the latest fashions and a mind fired by inspiration. After tasting Europe's best confections, she's sure she'll come up with a recipe that will save her father's struggling candy business and reverse their fortunes. But she soon discovers that their biggest competitor, the cheat who swindled her father out of his prize recipe, has now hired a promotions manager-a cocky, handsome out-of-towner who gets under Lucy's skin.
Charlie Clarke's new role at Standard Manufacturing is the chance of a lifetime. He can put some rough times behind him and reconnect with the father he's never known. The one thing he never counted on, however, was tenacious Lucy Kendall. She's making his work life miserable...and making herself impossible for him to forget.
Link to buy the book:
Meet Siri:
Siri Mitchell is the author of nearly a dozen novels, among them the critically acclaimed Christy Award finalists "Chateau of Echoes" and "The Cubicle Next Door". A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in business, she has worked in many different levels of government. As military spouse, she has lived in places as varied as Tokyo and Paris. Siri currently lives in the DC-metro area.
My Review:
When I read about this book, I instantly thought of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  Why?  Because of the candy making and Truly Scrumptious.  Was that her real name or just the song?  Anyways, who wouldn't enjoy a book about a candy making family?  This book was filled with all of the usual romance and drama that I enjoy reading.  Lucy is a strong, independent woman who is a great character.  Charlie (not to be confused with the one from the Chocolate Factory) is also a great main character.  I absolutely love when an author switches between the points of view, as Mitchell did in this novel, between the main characters!
I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good romantic novel.  This one does have some great periodic fun in it also. 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinions.