Sunday, July 31, 2011

I'll Be There

Some books just grab you and pull you right in - that is what Holly Goldberg Sloan's book I'll Be There did to me. This is the tender story of Sam and Riddle Border - brothers that live a hard life with an abusive, distant father. And Emily Bell - she lives a relatively easy life - she has money, she has a family - nothing too tough. When Emily meets Sam - the two connect and are drawn closer through circumstances around them as well. The story takes an incredible turn when Sam and Riddle's father snatches them out of their new, good life and takes them on a run away from authorities. That is when the challenge really begins for them - the challenge to survive. This is a wonderful story - the characters are strong and well-developed, the plot is gripping, and it doesn't stop until the very end! Sloan does a fabulous job of creating circles and tying unexpected events together in her novel - VERY well-crafted! Sometimes you just have to smile while you are reading when you see how everything fits together - HIGHLY recommend this one for our young and middle teens!

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

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Stephen Gammell has done it again!! Mudkin, his latest picture book, is simply amazing and leaves it wide open for kids - just like I like it! This is an almost-wordless picture book that will keep the kids coming back over and over. What happens when a little girl goes out after a rain and begins to play in the mud? Well, she meets Mudkin, of course, and he asks her to be the queen of mud land. And so begins the wonderful adventures of kids and mud! And who doesn't love to play in mud, I ask?

*I was sent a copy to review by the publisher through NetGalley.

Dry As Rain

When I saw Gina Holmes had a new book coming out - I was ALL OVER that!! I SO enjoyed her novel, Crossing Oceans that I was pleased to see another novel written by Holmes! Her latest book, Dry as Rain, is another book that I could hardly put down. Holmes' writing style is real, fresh, and absorbing. She is honest and deals with real-life issues that resonate with the reader. Dry as Rain is the story of Eric and Kyra and their marriage that is dissolving. But when Kyra is in a car accident and loses her memory, it is as if Eric suddenly has a second chance to make things right in a marriage that was almost done. There are twists and turns - that is not the end of the book by any means! (Don't worry, I didn't give you any spoilers!) But as you watch Eric and Kyra try to trust and rebuild their marriage, it also challenges you, the reader, to think about how you deal with things in your own life - it may be fiction - but it can be a good challenge to us too!! You really come to be a part of the character's lives as you read - they are believable and real. I thought it was a super read - and I was sad to see it end - I'll be waiting for her next novel!

*I was provided a copy for review purposes by the publisher through NetGalley.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Women of Faith Blogger

Kind of pumped about THIS!!!

I just found out that I won tickets to Women of Faith - I was chosen as a blogger to attend and blog about the event!!! So in just two weeks I am off to get "fed" - See why I LOVE blogging!?!?
If you want to learn more about Women of Faith - just click on the link!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mugabe and the White African

One family’s stand for Justice – catch the story on PBS 7/26!

I'll be blogging about the book Mugabe and the White African later this month, but I wanted to let you know that Point of View will air the documentary Mugabe and the White African on Tuesday, July 26th.

The film tells the story of Mike Campbell and his family of three generations of Zimbabwean farmers as they attempt to keep their farm under Mugabe's "land reform." Watch the trailer for the documentary below and visit the PBS Point of View website for your local listing.

The book Mugabe and the White African (Lion Books, distributed by Kregel Publications, July 15, 2011, ISBN: 978-0-7459-5546-9, $14.95) written by Mike Campbell's son-in-law Ben Freeth provides more detail regarding the family's struggles and court battles.The book chronicles the deeply moving and life-threatening struggle of a Christian family from Zimbabwe to protect their legally owned farmland, to protect the lives and livelihoods of all those working on the farm, and to live to see justice.

Freeth lays bare a beautiful but lawless land fouled by fear. A 'Clockwork Orange' state where racism, greed, and violence are ultimately humbled by almost unimaginable courage. Richly described, bravely chronicled, and utterly compelling.

-Mike Thomson, Radio Foreign Affairs Correspondent, BBC

Ben Freeth has an extraordinary story to tell. Like that of many white farmers, his family's land was "reclaimed" for redistribution by Mugabe's government. But Ben's family fought back. Appealing to international law, they instigated a suit against Mugabe's government in the SADC, the Southern African equivalent of NATO. The case was deferred time and again while Mugabe's men pulled strings. But after Freeth and his parents-in-law were abducted and beaten within inches of death in 2008, the SADC deemed any further delay to be an obstruction of justice. The case was heard, and was successful on all counts.

But the story doesn't end there. In 2009 the family farm was burned to the ground. The fight for justice in Zimbabwe is far from over--this book is for anyone who wants to see into the heart of one of today's hardest places and how human dignity flourishes even in the most adverse circumstances.

Read an Excerpt (PDF)

Read the Press Release

True North

True North is a book that is a husband/wife collaboration by Gary and Lisa Heim. This is an honest, open look at how we can so often be disappointed by others in life. From page one, this book really resonated with me. People do disappoint - they will - they are human. But how we react to that disappointment is what will essentially form who we are. It might be our spouse, a dear friend, or even a child - but whomever it is - when we feel let down or disappointed in their reactions to a situation or to us, it is an opportunity for us to choose God. This was eye-opening to me - instead of being mad at the person, or saying unkind things to others to make them look bad - it is my choice to turn to God instead and put Him where He should be in my life - the one I turn to for everything - even my disappointment. John 16:33 states it pretty plainly, "In this world you will have trouble." It doesn't get much clearer than that. But it's how we react and deal with that "trouble" that determines who we will be. After reading this book, I am challenging myself - the next time I am tempted to be angry at a person for how they treated me - I want to refocus that all on Christ - let Him heal my wounds, and help me be a stronger person.

Highly recommend this one!!

*I was sent a copy for review purposes by Kregel Books for the True North Blog Tour.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thirsting for God

Gary Thomas' Thirsting for God is unlike any book I have read. It is a fascinating look at what Christians throughout history have learned about living a life that is centered on God. They show us that a meaningful Christian life has nothing to do with things that come and go like fads and styles but everything to do with living a life that is fully focused on Christ and what He has for us. I was impressed that Thomas finds men and women from the 16th, 18th and 20th centuries to show us great examples of how to live a life that is totally focused on Christ - not sidetracked by things of this world that we THINK will make us happy. It is resonating deeply with me after having just read John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life. One of the quotes near the beginning of the book that really hit me was:

Therefore, Christian spirituality has more to do with what we receive than what we achieve. Our potential and activity depend entirely on God's work in our lives. If we set out to be achievers rather than receivers, we have not begun to follow God. Achievers call attention to themselves, whereas receivers lead others to appreciate the Giver. If we insist on being achievers, seeking God so that others might admire our faith, our commitment, or our dedication, we become God's competitors, trying to steal some of His glory.

I have not been disappointed by a Gary Thomas book yet - but this one really stands above to me. Great reminders given through Godly men and women of how we too, can live with a thirst for God above all else.

**I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes by a publicist but I was to give an honest opinion of the book for my review. Reviewed for

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I do not want you to miss these great offers if you enjoy these great download-able units!

1. Get Your Download N Go Full Year Set (on sale for $145)

This value-packed set includes:
o 36 one-week Download N Go studies
o the exclusive Birthday Bonanza unit study
o the all-new, 55-page, DNG Teacher's Guide
o Unit Studies 101
o a coupon which will allow your to purchase the upcoming Passport United Kingdom unit study for only $5

2. Build Your Best Year
o Choose any 6 studies, get 25% off
o Choose any 18 studies, get 35% off
o Choose any 36 studies, get 45% off

3. $5 Frenzy
Customize your year! July 19 - 29 (excluding weekends), check out the USAB Specials Page daily to find out which individual Download N Go and Unit Study Adventures studies will be a part of the frenzy.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

What's In the Bible??

Well - we are trying to figure that out!! We have been watching through Phil Vischer's newest DVD series, What's in the Bible? We took these on vacation with us and the best "plug" I could ever give for them is that EVERYONE in our van was laughing - From the 5 year old to the 40 year old - the humor was there for all of us. (That's teenage boys included!!) AND I would daresay we also all learned something as well! This is just a fabulous series that teaches on each book of the Bible - background, setting, characters - it really is well put together. (And the Seminary-studied Dad here agrees as well!!) Highly recommend this great series - and, having just finished #5, we are anxiously awaiting #6 over here!!

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