Saturday, November 22, 2014

Plush Bible Collection, NIV

Book Description:  The Plush Bible Collection, NIV has the same convenient size and readability as the incredibly popular NIV Thinline Bible—now in fun and furry designs for kids and teens. Features include the words of Christ in red, an easy-to-read font size, and measures less than one inch thick.

My Thoughts:  I have been looking for a "cute" Bible for a young lady.  I know that if she likes the looks of the Bible she will be more likely to open it up and read.  Also, I noticed that when she's proud of something she shows it to her friends. So, I was excited when I saw this lovely Bible. Knowing it will make the perfect gift with a lasting impression!
Yes, it's plush and pretty...but more than that it comes in a nice size, it's a thin line which means it's not bulky, it's furry and fun!  And the font (the letter size) is easy to read (this is a "biggie" for me). I know that kids won't read a book or a Bible when the letters/words are too small.
I love the feel and the look of this Bible! And the color is too cute!
This is a great gift for that tween or teen on your list!  I wouldn't recommend this Bible for anyone under third grade.
Love it!!

*This Bible was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Age Range: 8 and up 
  • Hardcover: 1152 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Box edition (September 30, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310746388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310746386

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Clara's Wish: An Amish Christmas Romance by Beth Shriver

Book Description:  In this Amish Christmas romance, Lizzy Ryder discovers that this holiday season could be her best friend’s last. Will she find the comfort and love she desperately needs?

My Thoughts: Another Christmas read before the busy holiday season gets under way! I love Christmas books and this one is more than Christmas it's about love and giving . . . not an overdone Christmas read!
I found the story of Lizzy and Clara and their sweet friendship to be more than a Christmas story.
Lizzy discovers that giving in the holiday season is more about selfless love and giving than about other things.  Even though the Amish are quite nonmaterialistic it seems that all humans struggle with giving more than pie, cakes and other goods. Not wanting to give any spoilers but want, you reader, to know that hair is involved.  To an Amish girl her hair is her pride and sometimes things happen to Amish girls just as  it might happen to an English girl.  {a little kleenex here} Sickness/illness affects all humans, Amish or English we all have trials to overcome.
This is a slower read but I found it quite interesting and, there are twists and turns that make this read interesting. Sometimes a slower read is needed with hot chocolate and a warm fire . . . it calms the mind and makes for a warm winter's eve.
If you enjoy Amish fiction then this is another great read for you!

*This book was provided for review by Bookteria*

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Realms (October 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621365972
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621365976

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Tooo cute!  I found this adorable
 Thanksgiving treat on Pinterst!

Easy to make:

Assemble by placing
 three pretzels on cookie sheet
 place one peppermint pattie on pretzels
 then add eyes 
 one candy corn for nose

**Unfortunately, I could not find the directions so after assembling I placed the cookie sheet in the oven for three minutes at 400*.  The barely melting method made it all stick together.
However, I did the eyes after the melting process and I used drops of white icing with a small dollop of white icing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Love Undone (An Amish Novel of Shattered Dreams and God's Unfailing Grace) by Cindy Woodsmall

Book Description:  A husband and son abandoned to forge a path alone.

A young woman who sacrificed her dreams.
How will the God of grace and hope help them find their way?
At nineteen years old, Old Order Amish Jolene Keim was on the brink of happily-ever-after when everything changed, stealing the future she expected and burdening her with an unbearable decision. For the next ten years, Jolene throws herself into family life—and then she meets Andy Fisher. The horse trainer and father to a sweet nine year-old challenges her and holds up a mirror to issues Jolene has been unwilling to face.
Andy is cautious about his deepening friendship with Jolene, but he believes she knows the truth about him – that he is a grass widower. As a man whose wife has abandoned him six years past, he is unable to divorce or remarry according to the Amish ways. Andy has wrestled with God concerning his reality, and he had found peace with the solitary future facing him…until he met Jolene.
As Andy and Jolene find themselves confronted by difficult choices, will they trust in God's guidance—or will the allure of their deepening friendship only lead to further temptation?

My Thoughts:  When I read a Cindy Woodsmall novel I am always amazed at how much research she has done when writing about the Amish/Old Order Amish.  And in A Love Undone Ms. Woodsmall writes about Jolene and Andy. . . . Old Order Amish.
Jolene is one of those obedient responsible types.  So, it's no surprise when her parents pass away from a drowning accident that she takes it on herself to postpone her own plans, her own happiness to take care of her siblings....well, the next ten years fly by.  
Then Jolene meets Andy.  
I learned a new word in this read . . . grass widower which means 
1. A man who is divorced or separated from his wife.  2. A man whose wife is temporarily absent.  
Andy is a grass widower.  And when Andy meets Jolene he assumes that she knows he is a grass widower.  Ooops!  Never assume!  Simce andy's wife abandoned him, he cannot divorce or remarry according to Amish "laws."
Now, Andy and Jolene are confronted with their feelings and they must also rely on God's ways and trust Him with their feelings.
Quite a read!  Not only well written but interesting with a new twist on Amish culture!

*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah*

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030773000X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307730008

Monday, November 17, 2014

COTT {Clash of the Titles} September New Releases Clash Champion

And we have a champion! 

Congratulations to clash winner Sharyn Kopf and her book Spinstered: The Novel. A touching debut, Spinstered began as a nonfiction book idea and, through God's design, became a novel that will speak to many women. 

Early reviewer Anne Lemon says this about Spinstered:"Spinstered is a poignant and realistic portrait of extended singleness. It offers comfort and hope to readers who have never married and are brokenhearted about it. It's also just a plain good read that single women will see themselves in, laugh, and maybe cry, too. ... In Kopf's novel, just like in real life, the gut-punches of our alone-ness don't always get resolved in a marital happy ending. But she offers the promise that we all can have the prize that Catie ultimately finds. For this message of hope, single readers will be grateful."

Spinstered, The Novel: 

Three friends. Three stories. Three women trying to figure out how they ended up over 40 and still single.

Committed to her job and pushing fifty, Catie Delaney has almost given up on her dream of love and marriage. Maybe, she tells herself, she’d be happier just embracing her singleness. Maybe that's been God’s will all along.

Catie's friends, Jolene and Uli, have their own struggles with men, careers, and family.

Then into this mix of feminine angst walks Brian Kemper—the latest GWP (Guy With Potential) to join their church’s singles group. But just as something seems about to happen between him and Catie, her world falls apart.

With their hearts on the line, these three friends search for hope ... and find it in unexpected places.

Purchase Spinstered, The Novel:

Pull up a chair now and join us for a look inside the creation of this book, and a glimpse of its author's heart.
Let’s start at the beginning—how long have you wanted to be a writer and what did you envision for your writing life?

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I wrote my first poem at the age of 5. And, for the longest time, that dream meant being a romance novelist. In my 20s, I saw myself becoming the clean, Christian version of Kathleen Turner’s character in Romancing the Stone—enjoying a life of adventure and romance and lots of bestsellers. 

So, what happened?
Well, things didn’t turn out the way I imagined. (Do they ever?) On October 15, I turned 51 and, though I suppose I’ve had a few mild adventures, I still dream of true love and being such a popular novelist that even people in the jungles of Columbia have heard of me. 

Then, in my 40s, I realized I needed to write about my single heart and broken dreams. When I started working on Spinstered, it was a nonfiction book about grieving singleness. I took the seven stages of grief—denial, disbelief, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression and hope—and applied them to what I was dealing with as a 40-something single woman. 

A few years later, while at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, a friend encouraged me to focus on my fiction writing. As a result, Spinstered the Novel was born.

What are some of your strengths as a writer?
Years ago, I had the privilege to work for the in-house radio marketing department at Focus on the Family. I learned I not only love writing scripts and dialog but I’m pretty good at it. I even won a few awards while I was there. 

I’m also passionately committed to making my manuscript as good as I can. Though that can also be a detriment because I’m a bit OCD about it, which means I have a hard time letting something I wrote go until it’s perfect. And it’s never perfect.

Continuing that thought, what are your weaknesses as a writer?
Well, to be honest, I don’t write as much as I should. I think it’s a mixture of fear and laziness. Fear that what I write won’t be any good. And the laziness that comes from letting other things distract me from what I know needs to be done. Like spending too much time on Facebook.

Why did you decide to self-publish Spinstered? 
That’s a long, sad story but suffice it to say I went through a disappointing contract experience that did not end with a published book. In the meantime, numerous interactions with singles fed the urgency I felt to get this book to the audience I know is out there. 

My choice was to start over with submitting to agents or editors—a process that can take years—or self-publish. Since the novel had already gone through several rounds of edits, I knew I could have it ready within a week or two. In fact, I was able to make my goal of taking copies to the Labor Day Singles Retreat at Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, NC. I sold several copies there and made some great connections. It also led to my first 5-star review!

What’s next?
First, I plan to finish and self-publish the nonfiction version—Spinstered: Surviving Singleness After 40—in the next few months. In addition, I wrote an unrelated novella titled Cold Read that I hope to have available soon. Finally, I have two sequels to Spinstered the Novel in the works. Book two will be titled Inconceived and I’ll probably name book 3 Altared. Of course, all of that could change. I’m open to whatever God wants to do!

About Sharyn:
Spinstered is Sharyn Kopf’s first novel. Over the years, her work has included co-authoring a book about traumatic brain injury, penning scripts for stage, and writing for newspaper as well as Focus on the Family radio. 

Every Friday, Sharyn ponders the over-40 single life at, the blog she shares with two other authors. For her day job(s), she works as a literary publicist for Route 1 Manuscripts and teaches high school English at a small Christian school.

She lives in Bellefontaine, Ohio, just five minutes from her favorite people in the world—her family. You can connect with Sharyn through her blog or on Facebook.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

{Kregel Blog Tour} Look Inside: The Time of Jesus: A Lift-the-Flap Discovery Book Hardcover by Lois Rock, Lorenzo Orlandi

Book Description:  Keep curious young minds busy with these detailed depictions of Bible history, and a glimpse behind the scenes with flaps to lift on every page
Jesus took his message to all kinds of people in all kinds of places—from the shores of Lake Galilee to the bustling streets of Jerusalem. This book takes readers right into the world that he knew, with appealing illustrations and flaps that open to reveal all kinds of fascinating details. Brief text explains the setting, and references events and stories from Jesus' life. The book covers the first Christmas, illustrations of a synagogue and carpenter's workshop in Nazareth, fishing in Capernaum, farming and shepherding in the hills of Galilee, homes of the wealthy and everyday people, the temple in Jerusalem, the way of the cross, and the first Easter.

My Thoughts:  When I was a child I loved the "hidden" pictures that were in a flap book.
So, when I saw this book...I grabbed it for our Nursery class.  I realize that the flaps may not  stay intact for a long but it looks as if these flaps will last for a few years.  I love the hard back exterior of the book because it looks, as if, it will hold up nicely for many readings.
The children not only loved the "stories", actually it's more of a brief explanation of the picture but the teacher can expound and tell the story that goes along with the flap but they loved lifting the flaps and seeing the neat pictures that go along with the story.  A nice interactive book.
There are quite a few different biblical "stories" in these wonderful book...all about the life of Jesus.  
Children of all ages may enjoy this book but the ideal ages for this book is probably around five years old and maybe as old as eight years old.
This book makes a great gift too.  

*This book was provided for review by Kregel*

  • Series: Lift-the-Flap Discovery Book
  • Hardcover: 8 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Hudson; Ltf edition (October 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745963986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745963983

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Love Without End (A King's Meadow Novel, book 1) by Robin Lee Hatcher

Book Description:  Chet and Kimberly have both failed when it comes to love. Will they risk their hearts to love again? Chet Leonard's life was forever changed when his seventeen year old son died and then, soon after, his wife walked out on their family. Over two years later, all he wants to do is hold onto his horse ranch and raise his remaining sons to be honorable men. Kimberly Welch, widowed mother of Tara, a rebellious fifteen-year-old, has reached the end of her finances and nearly the end of her rope. She and Tara come to King's Meadow to try to piece their lives back together again. Kimberly has no intention of become involved with the residents of this remote mountain community and certainly not with any man. When 84-year-old Anna McKenna returns to King's Meadow and to the Leonard ranch, she becomes an agent of change and healing for the two hurting families. With her help, Kimberly and Chet's families at last discover a love without end.

My Thoughts: I haven't read a book penned by Robin Lee Hatcher in quite some time so was excited to receive this book.
In my opinion, Robin Lee Hatcher and Mary Connelly write great western romances.
This was a little different than the usual for it was about two used-to-be-married people . . . one a divorced dad of two boys, Chet, and a widow, Kimberly, trying to raise a daughter on her own.
Kimberly needs help with her daughter, Tara's horse, and Chet has the ranch.  It seems that a horse may bring the two families together.  But better than that, sparks begin to fly when Chet and Kimberly meet.
Since I love anything western, I was drawn to the cover of this book.
At times the lost of loved ones and trying to get on with the new is heart rending.  But then there's sweet, kind Anna, who has come back to King's Meadow in her old age.  Anna seems to be of great help with "blended family issues."
A lovely romance about two families with issues and love trying to make it in this world.  
A clean, christian romance that was ever so enjoyable to read!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: A King's Meadow Novel (Book 1)
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Christian Large Print; Lrg edition (December 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594155194
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594155192