God Bless Us Every One {Litfuse Review}

God Bless Us Every One

Litfuse Book Review

God Bless Us Every One {Litfuse Review}
 
About the book God Bless Us Every One:

Charlene Dixon—called Charlie by family and friends—is devastated at the recent loss of her job. 
 
For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the headmistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up her dreams and returns to her grandmother, Sis, who raised Charlie as her own in the mountains of North Carolina.

When Charlie arrives—broken and confused—Sis immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school’s Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Charlie prickles at working with Dustin Kennedy, the drama teacher and her old crush from schooldays, but is even more put out at that the choice of the Dickens’ classic for the holiday performance. When she discovers her estranged father’s involvement her world turns on its head once more. But when Sis and Dustin encourage her to take a deeper look at the story behind A Christmas Carol, Charlie learns about trust, faith, and forgiveness and the needs of people in their own community.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2bUfaqD

 
About the author:
 
 
Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning speaker and author of The Road to Testament, Things Left Unspoken, This Fine Life, Chasing Sunsets, Waiting for Sunrise, Slow Moon Rising, and The Potluck Club series (with Linda Evans Shepherd). She is the president of Word Weavers International, Inc., a member of AWSA, ACFW, RWA, the director of Florida Christian Writer’s Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. She and her husband make their home in Casselberry, Florida.
 
 

My Thoughts:

 
This book is amazing.  It read quickly but still kept me interested.  It’s a light read.  Nothing too dramatic, nothing too mysterious or suspenseful.  We simply find a daughter who felt she was abandoned by her parents when they chose drugs and drug running over her and found themselves in prison.  She went to live with her grandmother and from there lived a wonderful life.
 
That is, she had a wonderful life until her father suddenly reappears.  Not to mention she lost her job because she doesn’t like classical anything.  She doesn’t want to do anything from the past.  Which probably isn’t a good thing when she’s a drama/music teacher.  Back at grandma’s or Sis as she calls her, she has to find out who she is and confront her past so she can embrace her future.
 
Can she forgive her dad and come to terms with their past together?  Can she truly believe him and accept that he’s changed?  Maybe she does have some Tiny Tim in her after all!
 
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Delightful Heart Gift Pack Giveaway

Delightful Heart Gift Pack Giveaway

Litfuse Book Giveaway

Will Annette’s search for love and acceptance replace the loss and hurt in her heart? Find out in Janine Mendenhall’s book one, Starving Hearts, of the Triangular Trade Trilogy. Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage. But she yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .  Make sure to get a copy of the book and enter to win in the Delightful Heart Gift Pack Giveaway!

Join in the search for love and acceptance with Janine and Starving Hearts by entering to win the Delightful Heart Gift Pack Giveaway.

starving hearts - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:

starving hearts - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 12. The winner will be announced September 13 on Janine’s blog.

starving hearts - enterbanner
 
 

Prayer Journal for Kids {TOS Crew Review}

Prayer Journal for Kids

TOS Crew Review

 

Spiritual Circle Journal
Recently we received a prayer journal for kids.  I wasn’t too sure what to think of it as I myself have never even used a prayer journal.  Spiritual Circle Journal sent us one of their Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens.  This is a physical product.

This prayer journal for kids is probably not what you’re thinking.  It’s not just a blank journal with notebook type pages.  It is instead a very pretty and colorful journal with a scripture passage for your child to read.  They then fill in nine unique shapes where they apply the scripture they read to those areas of their life.  

The nine areas of life that the scripture is being applied to are:

  1. journal entry
  2. lyric/verse
  3. message 
  4. confession
  5. God moving
  6. Lesson Learned Light Bulb Moment
  7. Prayer
  8. Thank you/Adoration
  9. Actions

 

Prayer Journal for Kids {TOS Crew Review}

What is it?  How do I use it?

The prayer journal for kids has a sturdy plastic cover and is spiral  bound.  There are three pages of parent instruction at the beginning which help you teach your child how to use the journal.  This journal is geared for ages 8 and up.  They will write a few sentences under each heading, so it’s best if they can read and write of course.  We found that this helps improve penmanship if you have someone who writes really big too.  When they only have a small space to write in it helps them make their letters smaller for sure!

There are 66 blank journal pages within the Spiritual Circle Journal.  It’s up to you whether you want your child to use a page a day or a page a week or even one a month.  The recommendation is that you as the homeschool parent(or possible Sunday School teacher) assign the child using the journal to one page per week.  Monday is the recommended day.  

Our Thoughts

My 11 year old daughter got to be the one using this prayer journal for kids.  She did her page per week on Wednesday since this is a day that our school schedule is a bit different due to children having therapies and being out of the house. It’s also our homeschool group day so it’s a day we’re more lax with structured school.  I really like that this requires them to think.  The answers to go under the bubbles or in the spaces aren’t just easy to find within the reading.  It requires thought on the part of the child. 

The last 15 pages of the journal are summary pages to write down and share what they have learned and how they have grown through using the Journal.  I like this concept.  It brings back to their minds what they have learned and causes them to dwell or think on them again.  This also allows them to see how they’ve grown and what areas they now don’t even have to really think about anymore in their prayer life/quiet time.

If you’re interested in hearing more about this new prayer journal for kids please head over to the Main TOS blog page and check out all the reviews linked up.  You can also find out more about Spiritual Circle Journal by visiting their facebook, instagram, and twitter

 

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Starving Hearts {Litfuse Review}

Starving Hearts

Litfuse Book Review

Starving Hearts {Litfuse Review}
 
About the book Starving Hearts:

Starving Hearts (Heritage Beacon Fiction, May 2016)

About Starving Hearts: Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage.

She yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .

Mr. Peter Adsley is joining the clergy, and he desires a godly wife by his side. After a failed attempt to obtain one, he engages in a clandestine meeting with the bewitching young woman who keeps crossing his path. But she is so unsettling.

Destined for disappointments, Peter and Annette both endure disgraceful situations. Will Peter’s faith sustain him through overwhelming setbacks? Can Annette overcome her doubts? Or will their starving hearts yield to the machinations of a mad man?

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/28OtflH

 
About the author:
 
 

Janine Mendenhall teaches teens English, of all things! Sometimes she sleeps, but most nights she reads, writes, or watches movies like Pride and Prejudice and claims she’s researching her next book. Splickety Love and Splickety Prime have published her flash fiction. She and her husband, Tom, live in North Carolina where they and their two golden retrievers help gratify the needs of their five children and two cats.

 
 
My thoughts:
 
This book.  Wow.  I’d never read anything by Janine Mendenhall before and really wasn’t sure what to think of the book before beginning.  Now, I want to find more.  I want this story to continue on.  It’s amazing!  Seriously.  
 
Annette is a lovely young woman who is also not the image of all the other young women her age.  She loves to read and talk politics plus the slave trade.  Being allowed to have her own thoughts and opinions has let her develop her own person and thoughts and ideas.  Can she keep this independence?  Can she be true to herself and what she believes?  Will she ever find love?
 
After being accosted Annette draws the man who saves her, over and over she draws him.  Finally the man she draws becomes the real man who saved her.  She finds him and falls in love.  But as circumstances spiral out of their control and into the control on one bent on revenge and destruction, can they hold onto each other and their very lives?
 
Get a copy of this book.  Get a copy for all your friends and family as well.  Make sure all the local libraries get a copy too!
 
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The Loyal Heart {Litfuse}

The Loyal Heart

A Litfuse Book Review

The Loyal Heart {Litfuse}

 
 
About the book The Loyal Heart:

The Loyal Heart (Zondervan, July 2016)

Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.

Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.

Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.
He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn’t prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of theman she thought she knew so well.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2ae3eOX

 
About the author:
 
 

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

 
 
 

My thoughts on The Loyal Heart:

 
I have greatly enjoyed all the other books by Shelley Shepard Grey that I have read.  The Civil War holds a special place in my heart and I was ecstatic to see this new book out by her.  It doesn’t focus a lot on the actual war but rather some on a group of soldiers in a prisoner of war camp.  Mostly the book focuses on a widow of one of these prisoners and the struggles she faces after the war.
 
The setting is in Texas after the war.  A widow of a brave soldier faces harsh accusations and lewd rude men.  Why?  All because someone is spreading nasty rumors about her husband.  He died fighting for the South.  He should be revered as a hero.  Instead, he’s being labelled a traitor.  It’s up to some of his old battle mates to protect his wife and give her a reason to keep living.
 
I loved this book.  Amazing.  Truly amazing.  I highly recommend it and can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful the book is.  Please go find a copy to read and make sure to request it from your library as well!
 
 
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When Death Draws Near {Litfuse}

When Death Draws Near

A Litfuse Book Review

 
When Death Draws Near {Litfuse}
 
About the book When Death Draws Near:

When Death Draws Near (Thomas Nelson, August 2016)

Death has always been part of Gwen Marcey’s job. But when faced with her own mortality, everything takes on a different hue.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs and homes when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Eastern Kentucky town, located deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, has been plagued by a serial rapist and a series of unexplained deaths. Before Gwen can develop a composite drawing, the latest witness vanishes, just like all the previous victims.

Turning her attention to sketching the face of an unidentified body, she discovers a link between hisdeath and a Pentecostal serpent-handling church. Serpent-handling is illegal in Kentucky, and the churches have gone underground to avoid the authorities and continue to worship as they believe. Gwen is offered a handsome reward to infiltrate the renegade members, a reward she desperately needs as it seems her breast cancer has returned.

Joined by her digitally-obsessed, Generation Z daughter, Gwen goes undercover to a nineteenth century revival, planning to draw the faces of the snake handlers so they can be identified and arrested. Instead she uncovers a murderous plot and a festering evil.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2auSB8Y

 
About the author:
 
 

Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.

 
 
 

My thoughts on When Death Draws Near:

 
I really enjoyed this book.  I wasn’t sure at first.  Forensics is something I love and reading about medical and mysteries always has me hooked.  But, the snakes.  Y’all, I don’t like snakes.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  Those poisonous snakes give me the shivers even just reading about them.  I’m lucky my husband was home the night I read this book or I might have been checking my bed for rattle snakes.  Yikes!  
 
That makes you know it’s a great book though.  When the book world and your reality tend to melt together and you’re not sure if you are you any longer or if you’ve become the main character.  This is one of those books.  I was in the book.  My life was her life and boy did I not like all those snakes.
 
 
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Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack

Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack

In honor of the launch of Fetching Sweetness I’m participating in bringing you a great giveaway!  The sweetness unleashed prize pack is a great win for some lucky guy or gal!  Especially if you love pets.  And the book is wonderful.  Make sure to check out my review of the book as well as enter to win in the giveaway. 

A recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest can only be found in Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink. It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Retrieve a reclusive author’s valuable new manuscript and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent. But when the author’s canine companion, Sweetness, makes a break for it and Stephanie has to track Sweetness down, she meets Rhett Hastings. They’re in for a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Celebrate the release of Fetching Sweetness with Dana by entering to win the Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack!

fetching sweetness - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:

fetching sweetness - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 24. The winner will be announced August 25 on Dana’s blog.

fetching sweetness - enterbanner

Fetching Sweetness {Litfuse}

Fetching Sweetness

A Litfuse Book Review

Fetching Sweetness {Litfuse}

 
About the book Fetching Sweetness:

Fetching Sweetness (Harvest House, July 2016)

Standing between Stephanie and her dream is one hundred pounds of lovable trouble.

It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Meet up with Agnes Wharton in a small town in California, retrieve the reclusive author’s valuable new manuscript, and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent.

But Agnes’s canine companion, Sweetness, decides to make a break for it before Stephanie can claim her prize. Until Agnes has Sweetness safely back at home in Eagle Cliff, Washington, Stephanie will never set eyes on the manuscript she needs to make her dreams come true.

When Stephanie tracks the runaway mutt to a campground, she meets Rhett Hastings—a man also on the run from a different life and a costly mistake. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog . . . thus launching a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Once Sweetness gets added to the mix, it’s a recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2auLee3

 
About the author:
 
 

Dana Mentink lives in California, where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with her husband, two daughters, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.

 
 

My thoughts on Fetching Sweetness:

 
This book is so cute!  I expected a dog to steal the show in the book but the characters are complex as well.  The dog is even more complex than I thought.  And the author that Stephanie is trying to track down.  Wow.  Just wow guys.  That author needs some serious help.  Oh and poor lil ol Sweetness, or should we call him big behemoth Sweetness?  Either way he’s super sweet and has a thing for spatulas.  He would not get along well in my house as I use my spatulas too much and would never surrender them to him.
 
I love the adventures that Stephanie and Rhett have as well as Rhett’s sister Karen.  I personally cannot believe that Rhett thinks he can make everything right with his sister by bringing in her old flame.  That just makes no sense to anyone but him.  He needs some eye opening.  And he does get it to be sure.  But so do Stephanie and even sweet Karen.  
Oh and you’ll meet Panny.  Trust me, you’re going to want to meet her.  And the crazy feral cat.  Not to mention the tiny helpless baby bunny.  It seems caring for stray animals is their lot in life.  Or maybe the not so stray animals. . . . is Sweetness the right Sweetness?  And why does a crazy lady keep calling them?  Oh yeah, you need to read this book. 
 
blog disclosure

Undercover Artist Starter Set Giveaway

Undercover Artist Starter Set Giveaway

Have you ever wanted to be an artist?  Have an interest in forensics?  You’re going to want to read on to find out about our undercover artist starter set giveaway!!

Plunge into forensic artist Gwen Marcey’s world, full of cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects. Add Carrie Stuart Parks’ new Gwen Marcey novel, When Death Draws Near, to the top of your must-read list. Gwen accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before she can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

Join Carrie in celebrating the release of When Death Draws Near by entering to win an Undercover Artist Starter Set.

when death draws near - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:

when death draws near - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 22. The winner will be announced August 23 on the Litfuse blog.

when death draws near - enterbanner
 
Make sure to check out my review as well.  This is a great book and I’m excited to be included in the launch.  It’s definitely a thriller and going to keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat.  Make sure to get yourself a copy or request that your local library gets a copy so you can experience the thrill of When Death Draws Near.  Plus maybe then you’ll want to be a forensic artist after all. . . . or not.  Depends on how scared you are by the excitement in the book!!

Lark by Julane Hiebert {Book Review}

Lark by Julane Hiebert

 

Lark by Julane Hiebert

Book Two in the Brides of a Feather trilogy

From the first page to the last, Julane Hiebert’s Lark is a complete delight. From memorable characters that you will fall in love with to a love story that kept me guessing and rooting for the couple at the same time, this novel is one I won’t soon forget. I couldn’t put it down! Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy for a fabulous summer escape!
—Kathleen Y’Barbo, award-winning author of Firefly Summer

Can one wrong turn put Lark’s life on the right pathway?

Lark Wenghold hates Kansas, gets queasy around small humans, and has vehemently declared she has no intention to marry. Ever. However, to honor her papa’s dictum that the Wengholds never go back on their word, she consents to travel to Kansas to be present at the birth of her sister’s first child.

Her obligatory adventure begins when she hurriedly boards the train to Kansas, hoping to thwart Albert Harvey’s uninvited company. On the wrong train, going the wrong direction, and with a family of six children as seatmates, Lark is forced to face challenges that heretofore were her worst nightmares. Within a few short days of arrival in Cedar Bluff, Kansas, Lark’s ordered world begins spinning out of control.

While in a dark cellar of fear and despair, will Lark finally accept that God’s plans are better than hers?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR of Lark:

Julane is first of all a child of God. She is also a wife to Bob, mother to two living sons,Kip and Rob, two daughters in heaven, two wonderful daughters-in-law, Becky and Tami, and grandmother to six perfectly wonderful grands, as well as an additional three ‘other grands’. She lives with her husband in a wee cottage by a small lake nestled in the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas.

Though encouraged by many to pen the story of raising two daughters with an incurable disease, she has chosen to incorporate the lessons learned into the lives of her not-too-perfect characters. Her passion is to present the promises and hope found in God’s Word in down-to-earth, everyday experiences through her stories.

Julane loves reading, decorating, junking, antiques, and chocolate! No particular order, but one would be safe to insert chocolate between all other interests.

 

My thoughts:

Lark is the second book in the Brides of a Feather series.  You can find my review of Robin on my blog also.  You don’t have to read them in order, but things will make much more sense if you do.  I recommend reading all of this book series of course because it’s wonderful!!

I loved reading Robin so I knew I was going to love Lark as well(and I’m dying to read Wren).  The author has a great way with words that makes you feel like you’re actually there.  That Lark is real and you feel you know her and her struggles become your own.  It’s a gift and makes reading so much more enjoyable.

Lark doesn’t want to go out to Kansas to stay with her sister.  She doesn’t like Kansas.  She definitely doesn’t know anything about babies and yet that’s why she’s going.  Robin is expecting and requested Lark to come.  Lark would much rather stay and teach at the girls school she works at.  She loves the safety and security of her piano and the school.

Instead, Lark goes to Kansas.  Well maybe.  Eventually.  Instead of getting on the train for Kansas she gets on a train bound for Omaha on accident as she’s intent on avoiding a suitor.  On the train to Omaha she finds herself helping with six children and, gasp, using her unmentionables to clean up a soiled diaper as well as sick children.  Not what she envisioned for herself and definitely something she’d never done before!  She also becomes friends with the mother of the children who insists she stay with her until they can find out how to get Lark to Kansas as planned.

Unfortunately, things take another unexpected turn when they learn that Lark’s new found friend has lost her husband in a barn fire.  Her husband’s boss is now going to send her to live with Lark at her uncle’s as said Uncle John is a friend of his from the war when he saved John’s life.  Wow.  I couldn’t have made that up if I tried.

Once we get to Kansas Lark finds she does like her suitor(Albert) but he can’t seem to decide if he still wants to pursue her or pursue the recently widowed mother of six instead.  And that’s just the beginning of all the twists and turns!

Next thing you know Lark’s professor from the school she taught at shows up determined to make her his wife through whatever means necessary.  Will he succeed?  Why are the six children scared of him?  Will Albert figure out which woman he loves?  Will Lark survive?  Oh yes, there is suspense, and romance too of course.  Plus we say hi to Robin again and she does have her baby.

Great read!  Make sure to get your copy today!  And don’t forget about Robin and Wren coming soon!

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced in anyway.