Friday, April 18, 2014

Canyon of Danger and River of Peril(Goldtown Adventures) by Susan Marlow



Canyon of Danger (Goldtown Adventures)

Description:

Jem Coulter’s pa, the sheriff of Goldtown, is away on a trip to deliver a prisoner to Sacramento, and he has left Jem in charge of the ranch—along with Aunt Rose, that is.

No sooner is the sheriff gone then trouble starts—a dead calf, a mysterious stranger, and then Pa’s horse, Copper, and his prize rifle are stolen. And Pa’s deputies seem unconcerned.

Jem and his cousin Nathan find Copper’s tracks end at a dark canyon up in the hills. Jem remembers an old Indian legend Strike-it-rich Sam is fond of retelling about people disappearing and no one ever seeing them again. What is the real story of the canyon of danger? Have thieves found the perfect hideout?

Readers ages 8 to 12 will be entertained by the adventurous spirit and historical lure in this fast-moving series that teaches about life in the post–Gold Rush days of 1860s California. Quick-paced plots and unforgettable characters make these books fun for the whole family.


River of Peril (Goldtown Adventures)

Description:

Jem Coulter thinks his family is just on a sightseeing trip to the big city of Sacramento. Then armed bandits hold up the stagecoach for the secret stash they’re carrying: gold for the Union Army fighting the distant Civil War! Suddenly war isn’t so far away; it’s right there on the road to Sacramento, with Jem’s father, the sheriff of Goldtown, fighting against the rebel army’s Knights of the Golden Circle. When the family finally reaches the city, they think they’re safe at last. Setting out to see the sights, Jem, his sister Ellie, and their cousin Nathan make a new friend. But is Henry the pal they think he is? With a father who is a die-hard Confederate, could Henry be in cahoots with the thieves? River of Peril gives readers ages 8 to 12 the fast-moving, exciting adventure they’ve come to expect in this series, as well as a glimpse into the history of post–Gold Rush and Civil War life in 1860s California, with stagecoaches, steamboats, stowaways—and lots of gold!

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

I'm always looking for adventurous books for my boys. I want to encourage that adventurous and courageous spirit in them, even if that's sometimes(always) hard for me to do. I'm thrilled that they now have this series of books to read.

Canyon of Danger and River of Peril are the 3rd and 4th book in the Goldtown Adventures series. (Badge of Honor and Tunnel of Gold are the 1st and 2nd books, which I haven't read.)

These books are full of action and suspense and mystery. There's a light message about relying on God that I thought was well done. Jem cares greatly for his sister, so I also appreciate the sibling relationship within the stories. There's also great historical value quietly woven within them.

There's also a hand full of pencil drawings throughout the books.

I only had one little issue.

Spoiler alert!!!!!

In Canyon of Danger, Jem skips Sunday Bible class to do some investigating. There seems to be no punishment for doing so. His aunt is simply relieved that he was investigating instead of "peeking at women/gambling". (I would be, too!) I would have preferred it to be clear that what he did was wrong, no matter what he was doing.

End spoiler alert!

Overall, I'm thrilled with these books! I'm excited for my boys to be able to get lost within Jem's adventures.

*Thanks to Kregel Publications for providing me with review copies in exchange for my honest opinion.

Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller



Mom Seeks God: Practicing Grace in the Chaos by Julia Roller

My Thoughts:

This is one of those reviews that's hard for me to write. I DO believe the author had good intentions with this book, but I really didn't connect with it at all.

Lately, if you give me a parenting book that reads a large part memoir, I'll eat it up, and feel encouraged afterwards. This book reads mostly like a journal, so it's kind of memoir(ish), but I didn't overly feel encouraged afterwards, like I'd hoped.

The author takes 10 months, and spends a month for each of the "Spiritual Disciplines" she wants to work on. This book is her thoughts and failures/successes throughout those months.

Based on what is written in this book, it *seems* like the author relies heavily on man-made thoughts. Don't get me wrong! I find great encouragement from other people and their writings, speeches, and quotes. When someone seems to put that person's thoughts above God's Word, though, it worries me. I'm not saying that's the case with the author, but again, based on this book, that's the impression I got. (She mentions Richard Foster and his thoughts a great deal throughout the book.) I even flipped back through the book to make sure, but there's very few Bible verses throughout.

I mostly just found the book random and chaotic, with lots of rambling. (I do that, too!) Honestly, it seems the book was rushed and I get an unfinished feeling from it. At times, I was simply baffled.

So, overall, I can't overly recommend it.

*Thanks to Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.


MOM SEEKS GOD Kindle HDX Giveaway & “Moms’ May Day” Facebook Party with @JuliaLRoller

Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller offers a highly relatable story and useful advice to help new moms grow in their faith as they address life changes with grace, patience, and prayer. As readers discover ten essential faith practices, they’ll learn that motherhood itself is a spiritual discipline and can be God’s most effective technique for forming a more Christ-like life.



Julia is celebrating the book's release with a fun giveaway and connecting with moms during a live Facebook author chat.





momseeksgod-400-click 
 
One winner will receive:


  • A Kindle HDX
  • Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 1st. Winner will be announced at "Moms' May Day" Facebook Party on May 1st. Connect with Julia for an encouraging discussion on spiritual discipline and finding joy in the middle of motherhood. Win prizes, connect with other moms, and be inspired.



So grab your copy of Mom Seeks God and join Julia on the evening of May 1st 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 todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 1st!




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation(Illustrations by Dan Andreasen)



101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation(Illustrated by Dan Andreasen)

Zonderkidz (February 4, 2014) 224 pages

My Thoughts:

I can't seem to resist children's "Bible summary" books. If for nothing else, the pictures/visuals are usually priceless, in my book. My momma and I teach the 2 and 3 year old Sunday morning Bible class at our church, and I enjoy looking through our books for visuals for the little ones. Their attention spans are mostly very small, too, so we appreciate a good, sound, age appropriate summary of some of the Bible events we cover.

I like this book!

First of all, the pictures are lovely! They're not quite realistic, but they definitely sway on the more realistic side. I seriously love the pictures within this book!

I like the summaries, for the most part, too. Some of them are *very* summarized, and they seem to be created for beginning readers(to read to themselves), but I like them for toddlers.(I'm sure this book is great for "learning to read", but I don't have a beginning reader yet.) I like that each summary tells you exactly what passages in the Bible it has summarized. (There was a typo on one of the Bible verses, as in it didn't exist...Genesis 2:26-27. Not a huge deal for me, but I'll throw that out there, just in case you end up using that in a Bible "presentation" of any sort from the book.) ;)

Overall, this is a beautiful book for little ones!

*Thanks to Zondervan for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Out from the Shadows by Pam Thorson(Book Spotlight)



Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver by Pam Thorson

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (March 27, 2014) 180 pages


Synopsis:

No place is so dark, no shadow so deep, that God can t find us. Does the suffering you witness or experience seem pointless? Do you feel likeyour problems are endless? Do you wonder if God cares about you? Caregivers live in the daily shadows of death, countless duties, and shattered dreams. But they don t have to exist in the shadows of their faith. Nurse and veteran caregiver Pam Thorson offers weary families hope and insights gained from her own struggles. Out from the Shadows is a collection of thirty-one stories that pull back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Each devotion draws from the author s own experiences to reveal a fresh understanding of Jesus call upon our lives as we care for others.




Author Bio:

Pam Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, speaker, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her newest book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), pulls back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Pam resides with her family in the Northwest.

Visit her here:

http://www.pamthorson.com
http://www.twitter.com/PamelaThorson
http://www.facebook.com/officialpamthorson
http://www.pinterest.com/pamthorson

Purchase Out from the Shadows:

Amazon


I heartily recommend this book for anyone and everyone who deals with disability in the family! - Joni Eareckson Tada

**Note: I have not read this book, but I felt it looked like a book many people could potentially benefit from reading.**

Book Trailer:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Resistance by Jaye L. Knight Cover Reveal (with Giveaway!!!)

I'm thrilled to be a part of Jaye L. Knight's cover reveal today for her newest book(the first in a series).

I present to you, the cover for Resistance:




I'm always drawn to a cover with swords. I know there are adventures just waiting for my reading. ;) At first, the cover looks simple(yet still lovely!), but the more I look at it, the more details I can see. I'm really looking forward to getting in its pages.

Make sure you see what others are saying about it book/cover at the Resistance home page.


About the Book

“Don’t you know? Animals like you have no soul.”Could God ever love a half-blood all of society looks upon with such fear and disdain? Jace oncebelieved so, but when a tragic loss shatters the only peace he’s ever known, his faith crumbles as the nagging doubts he’s tried to put behind him descend on his grieving heart. With them come the haunting memories of the bloodstained past he longs to forget, but can never escape.Taken from home at a young age and raised to serve the emperor, Kyrin Altair and her twin brother live every day under a dangerous pretense of loyalty. After her unique observation skills and perfect memory place her into direct service to the emperor, Kyrin finds herself in further jeopardy as it becomes increasingly difficult to hide her belief in Elôm, the one true God.Following the emperor’s declaration to enforce the worship of false gods under the penalty of death, many lives are endangered. But there are those willing to risk everything to take a stand and offer aid to the persecuted. With their lives traveling paths they never could have imagined, Jace and Kyrin must fight to overcome their own fears and conflicts with society as they become part of the resistance.

Kindle release date: May 20, 2014



About the Author

JAYE L. KNIGHT is a 25-year-old independent author with a passion for writing Christian fantassy and clean NA (New Adult) fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God's love shines as a light to offer hope.Jaye is a homeschool graduate and has been penning stories since the age of eight. She was previously published as Molly Evangeline. You can learn about her latest writing projects at www.jayelknight.com.

Giveaway

In celebration of the epic cover reveal for Resistance, Jaye L. Knight is giving away two handcrafted bookmarks with sword charms—one each to two different winners!

The giveaway isopen to U.S. residents only, and you can enter via the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dancing With Fireflies by Denise Hunter



Dancing with Fireflies (A Chapel Springs Romance)

Thomas Nelson (March 11, 2014) 349 pages

Description:

Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she’d never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He’s loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she’s back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she’s hiding secrets from her family, and she’s strangely attracted to the man who’s always called her “squirt." Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Thoughts:

This is one of the sweetest stories ever! Fiction hasn't been grabbing me quite as much as I'd like lately, but Dancing with Fireflies did it! I fell in love with this little romance.

As it says in the description, Jade is pregnant pretty much from the beginning. We do learn beforehand that her pregnancy is the result of a rape. She doesn't reveal this to everyone, though, and we see some of the judgement that comes with an out of wedlock pregnancy. I appreciate that Daniel appreciates the fact that she chose it over an abortion(whether from a rape or not!).

Really, with such sensitive subjects within this book, I'm amazed that Hunter was still able to create such a lovely, sweet story. We get moments of darkness as Jade remembers past events or struggles through judgement. She's left homeless and jobless at one point, but she pushes through it all.

I've greatly enjoyed a few of Hunter's books in the past, but Dancing with Fireflies reminded me how much I want to go back and read all of her other books, especially Barefoot Summer(the first book in this series).


*Thanks to Thomas Nelson, Litfuse Publicity, and Netgalley for providing me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.


DANCING WITH FIREFLIES || RSVP for April 10th Facebook Party and enter to win a Kindle HDX from @DeniseAHunter!

Don't miss Denise Hunter's latest Chapel Springs Romance, Dancing with Fireflies. Reviewers have already labeled Dancing with Fireflies "swoon-worthy" and "the perfect love story." 



Join Denise in celebrating the release of her new book by entering her Kindle HDX giveaway and RSVPing for her April 10th Facebook party.


fireflies-400-click
One winner will receive:


  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dancing with Fireflies and Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 10th. Winner will be announced at the Dancing with Fireflies Facebook Party on April 10th. Connect with Denise for an evening of prizes, book chat, and an exclusive look at the next book in the series.



Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 10th!