Friday, June 24, 2016

Lucinda Secrest McDowell's "Dwelling Places" Blog Tour and Giveaway

I honestly can't encourage you enough to add this book to your nightstand or coffee table! Dwelling Places is a fabulous daily dose of encouragement and motivation in our daily walk with Christ. McDowell has poured herself into this devotional that gives you timely and seasonal tidbits for every week of the year.    I love that they relate to the seasons and each has scripture to read and encourage as well. This is one I will savor throughout the year!




Lucinda Secrest McDowell is the author of 11 books, including “Live These Words,” “Amazed by Grace,” and “Quilts from Heaven.” She has contributed to an additional 25 books and has been published in more than 50 magazines. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, she speaks internationally through her ministry “Encouraging Words.” An award-winning writer who has earned accolades from prominent writers’ conferences and retreats, McDowell has also worked in radio broadcasting, in retreat planning, and on church pastoral staffs. She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in Connecticut.

Find out more about Lucinda at http://EncouragingWords.net.


Drown out the busyness and noise of everyday life and find a deeper faith with something as simple as a single word in Lucinda Secrest McDowell's new book, Dwelling Places. Through short and inspiring readings, McDowell unpacks a single word—such as mercy, beauty, gratitude, or grace—to reveal a biblical blessing or challenge relevant to where you are. Full of stories and illustrations to empower you to live the word you have just read, each devotional ends with a benediction, written as if God were speaking directly to you.

Join Lucinda in celebrating the release of Dwelling Places by entering to win her Season of Refreshment giveaway.

dwelling places - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Dwelling Places
  • Dwelling Places necklace handmade by Lucinda
  • A kit full of goodies you'll need to make refreshing lemonade this summer
One second place winner will receive:
  • A copy of Dwelling Places
  • Dwelling Places necklace handmade by Lucinda
dwelling places - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 5th. The winner will be announced July 6th on Lucinda's blog.

dwelling places - enter banner

*I was sent a copy for review purposes on my blog by the publisher.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Children of God

Phil Wickham's latest album, Children of God, is SUPERB!  DO NOT MISS this new album! 

"Doxology" is an amazing rendition of the Doxology we all know and love.  I love the way he makes it his own.

"Spirit of God" is a track that inspires worship and yet is catchy and upbeat.

"Your Love Awakens Me" is a track I sing repeatedly throughout the day - it's a great new song!
One of my stand-outs on the album is the tender track, "Starmaker" - LOVE the background vocals and worship of the song.  Amazing!

Buy Links:

*I was sent a copy of the album for an honest review on my blog.

#ChildrenOfGod #FlyBy

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Mother & Son

Sometimes books really leave an impact.  For me, Emerson Eggerichs' Love and Respect did that - it gave me a whole new way of looking at things and I STILL think back to much I learned in that book.  His new book, Mother & Son, is just the same!  This is a book you will carry with you LONG after you finish reading it the first time.  I love this quote,  "Based on the insight that a Mother's love is important...respect is the key to her son's heart."  You hear so much about little girls needing a father's love but we hear very little about sons needing their mother's respect.  This book lays it out so clearly and plainly - it makes total sense.  I was hit again and again about how important this respect is to our husbands AND sons.  If you have a son - here is THE ONE book you should read this year!  Don't miss this gift to all moms raising boys!



* I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes on my blog.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Little Linebacker

Here is a new book for our younger readers that is sure to be a hit with sports readers.  It is the story of a young boy who wants nothing more than to play football.  However, the book portrays in a very realistic way that there are obstacles to playing sports and you need to work hard to overcome them.  The Little Linebacker is a short, fun read but excels in displaying the importance of determination!  Authors, Stephen Tulloch and Maria Dismondy have created fabulous resources for teachers and parents alike to share with their children around the story. 





*I was sent a copy of the book for an honest review on my blog.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Crossway's Family Devotional Bible

I am a BIG fan of the ESV edition of the Bible.  So when I saw there was a Family Devotional Bible in ESV, I was pretty excited!  This Family Bible is going to be a family favorite!  The layout is fabulous - you read your entry for each day, and it tells you which page to go to to find the next devotional entry.  The pictures are reminiscent of ones I had in a Bible growing up and I remember them fondly - they are Bible-time-ish and add so much to this lovely Bible.  The questions can be easy for our younger ones to answer but they also have some probing questions that will challenge our little ones to think beyond simple answers and use some application skills.  DO NOT miss the maps in this edition either - they are very kid-friendly and easy to read. 

I think this would make a great gift for young families or baby showers - it will be a family treasure!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:  "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Adverting."

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The League and the Lantern

Are you looking for a new read for your middle school readers?  I may have been introduced to JUST the thing!  Brian Wells' brand new novel, The League and the Lantern, is sure to capture readers - boys and girls alike.  This is a riveting, fast-paced novel that starts with a seventh-grade sleepover gone bad and how Jake and his friends must figure out a mystery dating back to the Civil War.  I thought this was fabulous!  It will be one I recommend to my boy readers who are struggling to find a good read - but also to girls who just want a fast-paced mystery.  It is clean and one they will be able to conquer.

It is also an amazing kick-starter campaign story that reached it's $10,000 goal in under four hours!  That says a lot about this book and the need for it!  Another thing I so loved about this story and author is that for every book ordered off of their website, LeagueandLantern.com, a hardcover book will also be donated to a child who could otherwise not afford one - all affirming the book's goal to show kids lessons in mercy, compassion, and charity through the story.

Do not miss this new novel - aimed at middle school readers - but one that will resonate with SO many readers!



 *I was sent a copy of the book by the publisher for an honest review on my blog.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Hunting Hope

Sometimes you just find a book that resonates with every part of you - Hunting Hope did just that with me.  Nika Maples has written a book that captures the essence of hurt and hope from that hurt.  Nika knows - she has dealt with lupus and a brainstem stroke that left her paralyzed at the age of 20.  She has seen God work through her hurt and others' as well and she has found hope in the journey and wants to share that with her readers.  The book is short and the chapters are wonderful for reading in small sittings.  Be encouraged and inspired by her words!






At twenty, Nika Maples learned that when hope was all she had, she claimed it boldly while defying all odds to recover from a devastating stroke. The lessons from that struggle are powerful and universal, and she shares those lessons in her new book, Hunting Hope. Doctors warned that she had as little as 48 hours to live, and—if she lived at all—she would never walk or talk again. There was no hope on the horizon. So Nika started to hunt for it. Today, she not only walks, but she speaks to audiences everywhere about the power of hunting hope when a situation appears hopeless. She says hope remains camouflaged in the daily mundane. If we are not looking for it, we will miss it, though it is right before our eyes.

Celebrate the release of Hunting Hope with a $200 Getaway Giveaway (details below) and a live webcast with Nika on May 26!

hunting hope-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • One copy of Hunting Hope
  • A $200 Hilton gift card to give a hope hunter the chance to rest
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 5/24. The winner will be announced at the Hunting Hope live author webcast on 5/26. RSVP for a chance to connect with Nika and other hope hunters, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

hunting hope-enter

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 26th!

*I was sent a copy for review purposes by the publisher for an honest review on my blog.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sister Dear

What if you were accused of a crime you didn't commit?  What if you spent years locked away in jail for that crime?  Now you are out on parole and you want to clear your name and start a new life.  This is Allie Marshall's story in Sister Dear by Laura McNeill.  This is truly a riveting story - you feel for Allie and her challenge of assimilating back into a small town that is having a hard time forgiving and moving on....even her own daughter wants almost nothing to do with her.  McNeill crafts a story that will keep readers wanting to find out what is coming next and to learn how Allie can overcome this gigantic hurdle and maybe prove her own innocence - even at the cost of family....

McNeill is an author to watch!  Don't miss this excellent Christian fiction title.

Laura McNeill is a writer, web geek, travel enthusiast, and coffee drinker. In her former life, she was a television news anchor for CBS News affiliates in New York and Alabama. Laura holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is completing a graduate program in interactive technology at the University of Alabama. When she’s not writing and doing homework, she enjoys running, yoga, and spending time at the beach. She lives in Mobile, AL with her family.

Find out more about Laura at http://lauramcneill.com.



**I was sent a copy of the book by the publisher for an honest review on my blog.

Friday, April 15, 2016

8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids

Is there anything simple about raising kids?  I don't think so!  But there are tools out there that can help make raising kids easier.  Advice from those that have gone before you can NEVER hurt!  Dr. Todd Cartmell, a clinic child psychologist and author, has written 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids and it breaks up parenting into 8 different tools:

Talking
Listening
Influencing
Connecting
Teaching
Encouraging
Correcting
Leading


For each tool, Cartmell provides Connecting Tips and very useful advice that parents can take and put into action immediately.  This book is so practical and relate-able that anyone can take it and make it work for them.  The chapters are short and make it possible for even the busiest parents to find time to chew on parenting tips.  I was impressed with this parenting tool - it's a book written for the average man with practical, down-to-earth, ideas. 



Official Website-  www.8simpletools.com

I can offer you a 50% off coupon on my blog!  If you go to moodypublishers.com and purchase the book, use the code GREATKIDS16 at checkout and get 50% off until May 15, 2016.
 
Free access to the HEARTS AT HOME "ESSENTIAL WORKSHOP COLLECTION FOR PARENTS" with every purchase: http://www.8simpletools.com/purchase-with-offer (so readers not only get 50% off with the coupon code at moodypublishers.com, but also get access to a slew of freebies).

#8SimpleTools  #flyby

**I was sent a copy of the book by the publisher for an honest review on my blog.



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Pocket Prayers

Max Lucado has written a series of books with prayers in them.  They are hardcover and beautiful and would make wonderful gifts!

I was sent:
Pocket Prayers for Moms
Pocket Prayers for Dads
Pocket Prayers for Friends
Pocket Prayers for Military Life
Pocket Prayers for Graduates
Pocket Prayers for Teachers

They are all small-sized, hardbacks that give you short prayers to read and enjoy everyday or a few times a month.
Don't forget - these would make great gifts for -
Teacher Appreciation Day - May 3, 2016
Mother's Day - May 8, 2016
Memorial Day - May 30, 2106
Father's Day - June 19, 2016
Graduation


I can see so many possibilities for these - I would highly recommend these bite-sized books!
Go HERE to learn more!


*I was sent these from the publisher to review for an honest review on my blog.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Synced

Jennifer Kennedy Dean is an author who seems to live and breathe the Word.  Her books are life-changing and resonate with so many readers on a deep level.  Her latest book, Synced, is no exception.  She explores what it means to live in Sync with God in depth through this book and she's not afraid to go deep.  By showing examples from Jesus' life - his life of prayer and being in a constant flow of power by being in the places where God had a plan for him - we, as readers, can see what it means to live connected to Jesus and see this power in our own lives.  There are even present day examples included to encourage readers that God is working and is real in our lives. 


As a believer, I truly feel many of us are not as "in tune" as we ought to be to the voice of God.  This book challenges that - encouraging us to find ways to be in sync and tuned to the voice of our creator.  Her teachings are not prosperity-gospel however, as she seeks to show how God can work when we are connected to Him, listening to His voice, and willing to go where He shows us.



Blog Tour Landing -
http://litfusegroup.com/author/jdean

Dean1 *I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher for an honest review on my blog.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Finding God in the Ruins

Matt Bays has written a book that still lingers with me long after I've read it.  Finding God in the Ruins is a powerful book that shows how God can redeem pain and suffering for His good.  I was so impressed with this - I think it has information that resonates with everyone - we've all had some sort of pain or suffering and, if we are being honest, have asked what good can come of it.  Instead of abandoning your faith during a trial, this book shows how it's possible to discover God, the God who heals, in the midst of pain.  What a picture of redemption!  A powerful book with something for everyone who reads it.

*I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in return for an honest review on my blog.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

A Box of Chronicle Books!

Here are some titles you DO NOT want to miss in book world!

Follow the Moon Home by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson is a fabulous children's book.  It is the story of a little girl who finds a baby sea turtle who is not near the ocean.  This prompts her to ask why he is so far from the water and leads to her discovery that the beach houses, with their lights on at night, are luring the turtles away from the water.  The community kids work together to get their whole community excited about helping the turtles.  I loved the story and the illustrations are watercolor that fit perfectly with the story.

Let's Play by Herve Tullet is a fun, interactive book that kids just love.  We have Press Here and Mix It up!, his other titles as well and kids are always begging to be read these over and over.  The illustrations are simple and yet so clever that kids are drawn to the feel and interactiveness of the book.  HIGHLY recommend these!

This is Not a Picture Book!  by Sergio Ruzzier is quite a romp!  Little ones will love this - they will be talking back to the book and that's what we love - interaction!  And I love how the story starts even before the title page - Clever!  This is an adorable picture book with even more adorable pictures!

For the younger set - the Cozy Classics by Jack and Holman Wang are board books, based on classic stories, with only one word per page.  At first glance, I wondered how much these would be used, but what I LOVE about these is not that they introduce the children to a classic, but that they broaden vocabulary!  The pictures as illustrations are also endearing in these baby board books.  I liked these FAR more than I thought I might!

* I was sent copies by the publisher for an honest review on my blog.

Friday, March 04, 2016

And It Was Beautiful

When someone dies of cancer and can still call it a gift that, to me, says, "Sit up and take notice!"  That is the life of Kara Tippetts.  She co-authored Just Show Up - a book that is a wonderful resource when dealing with friends and family who may be dying...how to love them in a meaningful way, taking in all of Kara's experience after having fought a fight with cancer.  Her latest book, And It Was Beautiful, is composted of  Kara's words, but published after her death.  Most of the writings were published on her blog previously but are now compiled in this tribute to her life.  Kara's writing is heart-felt and deeply thought-provoking.  Read it and be encouraged. 

Visit the link to other reviews on this book - http://litfusegroup.com/author/ktippetts



* I was sent a copy of the book by the publisher for an honest review on my blog.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Good Good Father

You may have heard the song....but have you seen the video?

What a fabulous reminder - we all need this one! In Chris' words, "We all have a picture of who we think God is. When we get down to the foundation of what we believe, the truth is that God is exactly who He says He is - a good, good Father."


NOW - go enter the giveaway!

Link for Chris’ giveaway:  http://smarturl.it/WNIAFlyaway?IQid=pbn 



Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Legend of the Easter Robin

Dandi Daley Mackall has written another story for our young listeners that explains legends behind Christian symbols or traditions.  I so enjoyed this legend of the Robin and how he got his red breast all tied in to Easter and Christ on the cross.  It's an Easter story you can share with your little ones that shows real compassion and faith using nature and the tender relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter.  The illustrations by Richard Cowdrey are also tender and colorful adding much to the storyline.  This would be a fantastic read aloud in a Sunday School or Christian school setting.  I guarantee after reading this, you will look with new eyes at a Robin.



*I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher for an honest review on my blog.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chinese Culture in Children's Books

I was sent two books to review that I was not familiar with at all - but having two daughters born in China, struck a chord with me.  They are created by the China Institute in America to introduce children to Chinese culture at an early age and are in the We All Live in the Forbidden City book series.

What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor? is a fun book that allows kids to see the life of an emperor and learn about life in the palace.  Some fun facts about certain emperors are even included to make it more personal and take an active look at history.  The book is fun for kids to read and the illustrations keep it engaging.

Bowls of Happiness is a book that, in such a fun way, explores the tradition and uses of porcelain art found in the Palace Museum's collectibles.  Readers can see first-hand how the bowls are made and can see the culture and value of Bowls of Happiness in the Chinese tradition.  The illustrations in this one are whimsical and fun.


Both are wonderful to add to a collection of books on history or Chinese culture and are ones my girls are thoroughly enjoying!

*I was sent copies of the books by the publisher for an honest review on my blog.

Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig

What is there not to love about a tale of Beatrix Potter?  This latest tale of Potter's early life is simply wonderful!  Deborah Hopkinson delivers a tale that was found in one of Potter's journal entries.  It is the story of young Beatrix wanting to draw a guinea pig - so she borrows one from her neighbor to use as a model and alas, the little guinea pig eats the paper, some string and more that is left lying on the desk and when Beatrix finds the model guinea pig dead, she knows she has trouble ahead!

Truly a tale to relish with a young one on your lap.  The illustrations are the icing on the cake.  One can only hope they find more stories in Potter's journals - what a wonderful life!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Gift of Friendship

A friend is a treasure - but friends can be quirky...relationships can be hard....we are all human!  I think that is what I LOVE about Dawn Camp's new book, The Gift of Friendship - it celebrates all that friendship is - the good and the bad.  It is a beautiful compilation of stories that all revolve around friendship.  This is a book that I can not devour in one sitting, it must be savored slowly as in fine, dark, chocolate!  It's a coffee or bedside table book that draws you in, lets you savor, and allows you to keep ruminating for hours. 

Let me share one of my favorite paragraphs:

I'm putting out a call to be brave.  To embrace the sweetness and depth of real friendship.  To hold ourselves to a higher standard than silence.  To become the kind of friend we pray our daughters have.  This kind of friendship isn't easy.  It's hard and messy and can come with real heartache.  But it can also come with richness and love and someone to really do life with too, and it is so worth it.


Do not miss this one - it is fabulous!

*I was sent a copy for review purposes on my blog for an honest opinion.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Chronicle Titles that WILL Captivate!

A few fun Chronicle books to share:

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Frank Morrison

So I LOVE everything about this book.  It is a delightful story of a little girl and the day before the big parade.  She doesn't have good shoes so she is worried about even making it to the parade, but she thinks of Wilma Rudolph and she knows she can do it....even when the girl with fancy running shoes shows up!  It is a great book with potential for discussion on those less fortunate and even Olympics and Wilma Rudolph - because she shows up in the big parade!!! 
AND the illustrations are amazing!  Don't miss this one.



President Squid by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Sara Varon

What does it take to be a president?  Squid thinks he knows and he's going to share that with us, as readers, and even PUSH it on us.  But he has a rude awakening when he realizes that not everyone agrees with him - nor are the fish impressed...until he shows his "presidentialness".  GREAT reminder to adults too  - what it takes to be a leader.  The illustrations are captivating and fun as well.  This will be super for election season!


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