Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: The Christmas Quilt

In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!
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One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January's Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!

 
About the book: Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam. Annie's sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qKnYD

Meet the author: Vannetta Chapman has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather's birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.

Find out more at: http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com
 
 
My Review:
I absolutely love Christmas books.  They are my favorite.  I also love Amish fiction, so an Amish Christmas book really appeals to me.  This one was good and helped to bring out my Christmas spirit a little more.  I definitely had a difficult time getting the characters down.  There are a couple in very similar situations and, of course, with each having their own families and relating characters I had a hard time keeping track.  This book was also hard to put down and pick up where I left off.  Once I did get into the story, it was a good one.  The characters are different from other Amish stories and I enjoyed reading their stories.
 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.
 

Book Review and Giveaway: Dear Mr. Knightley

Debut author Katherine Reay is celebrating the release of her delightful novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, a fun Favorite Austen Moments Pinterest contest, and an Austen-themed Facebook Party.
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  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
  • Handmade Austen-themed items (scarf, mug, bracelet, and necklace) 
Two ways to win! Enter today by clicking one of the icons below or participating in the Pinterest contest (see banner below)—or BOTH! 

But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the "Dear Mr. Knightley" Austen-themed Facebook Author Chat Party on the 3rd. Join Katherine (and Austen fans) for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Katherine's next book.

So grab your copy of  Dear Mr. Knightley and join Katherine on the evening of December 3rd 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 by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST. Hope to see you on the 3rd!


About the book: Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others-namely her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story-by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Growing up orphaned and alone, Sam found her best friends in the works of Austen, Dickens, and the Brontë sisters. The problem is that she now relates to others more comfortably as Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Eyre than as herself.

Sometimes we lose ourselves in the things we care about most.
But life for this twenty-three-year-old is about to get stranger than fiction, when an anonymous benefactor (calling himself "Mr. Knightley") offers to put Sam through the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam's program and peers force her to confront her past, she finds safety in her increasingly personal letters to Mr. Knightley. And when Sam meets eligible, best-selling novelist Alex Powell, those letters unfold a story of love and literature that feels as if it's pulled from her favorite books. But when secrets come to light, Sam is --- once again --- made painfully aware of how easily trust can be broken.

Reay's debut novel follows one young woman's journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qDEkp

Meet the author: Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in "Focus on the Family" and the "Upper Room." Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. "Dear Mr. Knightley" is her first novel.

Learn more about Katherine at: http://katherinereay.com/
 
 
 
My Review:
I was so excited to receive this book in the mail.  I am not a huge Jane Austen fan but I do enjoy the classics, including her amazing novels.  This book is written in letter form.  There is definitely a different twist on the story when written this way and it turns out to not be my favorite.  While I enjoy when you read an excerpt in letter form within a story, I do not enjoy a whole book written that way.  I felt like you just didn't get enough of the "outside" ideas or influences.  I enjoy reading about the weather outside and wonderful descriptions of people and places, which I feel isn't as easily done within a letter or at least these letters.  The story is great and very well written.  The characters are full and relatable.  If you enjoy reading letters or you have never read a book full of them, I definitely suggest this novel!
 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Review: The Women of Christmas




















God Reached Down from Heaven with the Best Gift of All
A sacred season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God.
Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts.

Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way. Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs explores the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, unwrapping each verse with tender care and introducing you afresh to The Women of Christmas.
 
 
My Review:
I love Christmas and I love Christmas books.  I really love when Christmas books bring you back to the real reason for the season-Christ.  This book is like none I've ever read as it talks not only about Mary, but also the major roles that Elizabeth and Anna played in the birth of Christ.  This is a great book to read to get in the true Christmas spirit and reflect on the real meaning behind the season.  We always get so busy with things and it is nice to have a book like this to help us reflect.  There was so much that I learned about these women, especially about Elizabeth and Anna.  I never, ever realized the crucial roles they played.  It is amazing how God worked everything out for the good of all.  There are so many pieces to every puzzle and He knows exactly how they need to be put together.
 
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.


Book Review: Ragamuffin Bible


Book Description


Do you believe that God not only loves you, but that he also likes you?

It's just one of the soul-searching questions posed by bestselling author Brennan Manning who confesses he has been 'John the beloved, Peter the coward, and Thomas the doubter all before the waitress brought the check.'

The NIV Ragamuffin Bible offers a collection of Manning’s raw, painfully honest, yet grace-filled devotions, meditations, and reflections of his journey limping back to---like the prodigal son---his overjoyed father. When you journey through this Bible, you will likewise find yourself returning to your Heavenly Father, basking in the knowledge that God not only loves you, he delights in you.

Features:

  • Complete text of the world’s most popular modern-English Bible, the NIV
  • 104 Devotions guide you into a deeper connection to God and his Word
  • 250 Reflections help you understand what it means to be a child of God
  • 150 Quotes offer short but thoughtful insights into God’s kingdom

 
My Review:
Everyone needs a Bible and everyone loves a Bible.  This Bible was a joy to get and I am so excited to be able to pass it on to someone who needs it!  I really enjoyed the extras in this Bible, but they were not as awesome as I was hoping they would be.  They definitely make a great addition to an already amazing book, but I was hoping for a little bit more.  The quotes, reflections and devotions do help enforce what is written and they do help you delve deeper into your relationship with the Lord.  I highly recommend this Bible if you are looking for one with a little something special in it. 
 
 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Book Review and Giveaway: Aloha Rose

In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!
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One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January's Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!

About the book: When Laney Carrigan's adoptive parents encourage her as an adult to seek out her birth family, her only clue is the Lokelani quilt in which she was found wrapped as an infant. Centering her search on the Big Island, she battles fears of rejection from a family that abandoned her once before while her faith struggles to embrace God's love.
Along the path to her true heritage, she meets Hawaiian cowboy/helicopter pilot, Kai Barnes. Kai is determined to protect the people he's come to regard as family against a woman he suspects of being nothing more than a gold-digger, but he finds himself drawn to Laney in spite of his reservations. He's spent his entire life seeking forgiveness from past mistakes and longs for a second chance at happiness. 

Laney's painstaking journey to find restoration and a place to belong among the breathtaking allure of the Big Island will lead her closer to her past and maybe even something more.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qKmVW

Meet the author: Lisa Carter has been published in MomSense and Christian Parenting Today. Lisa is currently teaching music at a preschool and enjoying the enthusiasm and joy for life for which preschoolers are famous. She and David have two beautiful daughters.

Find out more at: http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com
 
 
My Review:
As a family, we are extremely drawn to adoption, which means that I have often thought about how I would feel if my adopted child wanted to find their birth parents.  Because of this, I was drawn to read this book.  This book goes deep into how the main character, Laney, longs to find her birth parents.  It follows her on her journey.  I really enjoyed reading this side of that story.  This book is well written and easy to read.  It is one of those books that you can pick up and finish where you left off. 
 
 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 
 

Book Review and Giveaway: Stones for Bread

Christa Parrish is celebrating her fourth novel, Stones for Breadwith a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway.
#StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish http://bit.ly/1aBTNz9

Easy steps to enter:

1. Follow Christa Parrish and TNZ Fiction on Pinterest.

2. Then Pin the Stones for Bread book cover (below), the contest graphic (above), or both, and link to this post (using this URL: #StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/stones-for-bread-by-christa-parrish).

3. Then fill out THIS SHORT FORM to let us know. (There are also some additional ways to earn extra entries, as well as an option for non-Pinterest users. It's true—people like that do exist!)

Questions? Email info @ litfusegroup dot com.

Winner will be announced on 12/9 on Christa's Facebook Page.



About the book: A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.

Liesl McNamara's life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.

But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits her recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour --- a single father with strange culinary
habits --- seems determined to win Liesl's affection.

When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family's past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.

Purchase your copy: http://ow.ly/qPvoG

Meet the author: Christa Parrish is the award-winning author of three novels, including the 2009 ECPA Fiction Book of the Year Watch Over Me. When she's not writing, she's a homeschool mother of three wonderful children. Married to author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, Christa serves with him as co-leader of their church's youth ministry as well as serving as a facilitator for a divorce recovery ministry. She is now also slightly obsessed with the art of baking bread.

Learn more about Christa at: http://christaparrish.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My Review:
First of all, this book made me want to eat bread... lots of bread.  Second, this book made me want to make lots of bread (probably to eat).  The story behind this book was well written and enjoyable.  I really longed to hear more about several of the characters in the story as they were so interesting.  There recipes in the book are a fun addition to the wonderful story.  Parrish is a great story teller and the way she describes everything in the book is almost terrific.  Like I've said, this book is much more than a book about a bread maker, but I promise you will want to eat lots of bread while reading it!
 
 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Review: Just One More Thing Before You Leave Home

About the book: This is the book we wish our parents gave us.
Just One More Thing: Before You Leave Home is a packed guide to help young adults enter life on their own. In the book, the Gudgels use stories, perspectives, and dialogues to discuss 30 indispensable topics to help teens survive, including: worldview, financial challenges, use of time, career moves, moral dilemmas, sex, painful experiences, and spiritual life, among others. Written from a Biblical perspective, the book is more of a guide to making good decisions than a lecture on how to live., It's perfect for a parent and teen to go over together or to give as a thoughtful gift. This is a book they'll reference for years to come.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qb47U

Meet the authors: Dave & Bernice Gudgel are committed to walking intentionally with God and helping others do the same. Bernice has a degree in Psychology and has focused her adult life on raising three kids and leading various ministries in the church where people can connect with God and each other. Dave is a pastor and teaches for Walk Thru the Bible.

Learn more at: http://davidandbernice.com

 
My Review:
I really enjoyed reading this book.  There are 30 topics that we, as parents, need to go over many times with our children, especially before they leave the nest.  I love books that are reference-types, like this one.  My children are far from the age of leaving home, but having this book now will help me talk about these issues for years before they leave.  I really appreciate being able to go to this book for tips, ideas and reminders on what to talk about and how to talk about those issues.  This is a great book for all parents to keep on the book shelf!
 
 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Catie's Secret

Catie’s Secret is the second book in Laura Allen Nonemaker’s children’s series, God’s Secret Garden Adventures. Laura is celebrating Catie's Secret with a Kindle Fire Kid Pack giveaway!
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  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Butterfly Pavilion Hatching Kit
  • Butterfly Pattern Carryall Bag
  • Butterfly Suncatcher Kit
  • Benny's Angel T-Shirt (small)
  • Catie's Secret and Benny's Angel with free E-Live audio downloads by Laura Nonemaker
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 23rd. Winner will be announced November 25th at Laura's blog</

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Laura's blog on the 25th to see if you won.

About the book: Catie Caterpillar looks different from any bug Herbie and Bella have ever seen. When Herbie makes fun of Catie, Mayor Benny shows him why he should not judge anyone by how they look. In the end, Catie reveals a secret and the bunnies learn the joy of forgiveness.

Catie's Secret is the second book in Laura Allen Nonemaker's children's series, God's Secret Garden Adventures. Like the previous book, Benny's Angel, Catie's Secret invites young readers to join an exciting adventure while it teaches a valuable lesson.





About the author: Laura began writing as a child in Bermuda when a favorite teacher had one of her essays published in a local newspaper. She is a contributing writer for Kentucky Monthly Magazine and her first children's book, Benny's Angel, was published in 2011. She is on the planning team for Artful Missions, which produces juried art shows and donates most of the proceeds to ministries that help women and children escape human trafficking. When Laura is not dreaming up her next God's Garden adventure, she enjoys spending time with her large family.

Connect with Laura at: http://godsgarden.tateauthor.com


My Review:
This was such a sweet treat to get in the mail.  My almost ten year old daughter and I read the book together.  The book is so bright and colorful and enjoyable to read.  The lesson is great, although predictable to adults, of course.  If you are looking for a fun book teaching a valuable lesson, I highly recommend this book for your collection. 
 
 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.