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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Review~A Faith of Her Own

About the Book: Jeremiah thought leaving Middlefield was the hardest thing he'd ever do. That was nothing compared to returning home. When Jeremiah left his Amish community to pursue his dream of becoming a veterinarian, he left more than just his faith behind-he walked away from his family and his childhood friend, Anna Mae. Now that he's returned to help out his mentor and work in a Yankee veterinarian practice, Jeremiah must face his past-and the people he betrayed.

Anna Mae had finally put the loss of Jeremiah and the broken vow between them behind her. Even though she supported her best friend's pursuit of his dream, she never let on how his departure left her questioning her own place in the Amish world. With his return, new questions arise, along with feelings she'd never fully acknowledged before.
As their rekindled friendship begins to turn into something more, Jeremiah and Anna Mae must examine their own faith and their relationship with each other and their families. With both of them torn between loyalty to their loved ones and being pulled in different directions, they must decide whether to heed God's call, even if it means being apart forever.

What I Thought:  I have read several of Kathleen Fuller's Amish fiction books, and have yet to be disappointed.  Once again, the author has done a wonderful job writing a captivating story in her newest release, A Faith of Her Own. In this book, the main characters of Anna Mae and Jeremiah are both likable characters that are very relateable.  They are both struggling at the point their lives are at, with big decisions to be made.  My heart ached for them both as they seemed to feel they had to choose between family and their dreams.  Along with them, there are other characters in the book  interacting with them that have their own side stories going on.  I especially liked Amos, and would have loved to see all his drawings in the barn!  A Faith of Her Own is easy to read, and hard to put down!
About the Author
Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including A Man of His Word and Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, The Mysteries of Middlefield. Website: www.kathleenfuller.com Twitter: @TheKatJam Facebook: Author Kathleen Fuller

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Children's Book Review~The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant

Ellie Makes a New Friend is the first book in the series The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant.  The books in this series were written and photographed by author Marci Fair and her daughter Elle Fair (age 10). 

In Ellie Makes a New Friend, Ellie the Elephant moves to a new neighborhood.  She is still doing her favorite things, but now she is all alone while she does them.  She finds everything not as much fun without a friend.  So, she sets out to make a new friend and finds one at the playground.  Her new friend is a penguin named Pudgy, and together they have lots of fun!

In Ellie's First Plane Ride, Ellie the Elephant is going to visit her relatives, and her friend Pudgy the Penguin is traveling with her.  Pudgy likes to fly, but Ellie has never flown on a plane before and is nervous.  Pudgy helps her every step of the way!  They visit her relatives at the zoo, and have a wonderful adventure together!

 My Thoughts: As a mother, grandmother, and former homeschool teacher, good books for children have always been very important to me.  The books in this series are a wonderful addition to our library.  They are bright and colorful, and have actual pictures taken of the stuffed animals, rather than illustrations of them.  Along with the colorful, whimsical artwork on the pages, this combination is quite eye-catching! The pages have clear, larger, easy to read text for beginning readers, with just one or two sentences per page.

Here is my grandson Daniel, 3, enjoying Ellie's First Plane Ride.  We had recently taken one of his first plane trips together, so he related to the story. He is thoroughly captivated with both of these stories, and finds the real-life pictures fascinating.  We will be reading The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant stories often, and look forward to new volumes!

I am very impressed with this series and the two books I received for review. Books that combine fun with valuable lessons are my favorite!  The topics covered in these books are ones that children have to face, and reading these books would help with the transition. I think they are perfect for children and adults to share together, and would make a great gift!  It is wonderful to see that a ten year old is helping to create such creative stories!  What a great start for new author Elle Fair!

You can purchase your own copies of the Ellie the Elephant books at Amazon:
Ellie Makes a New Friend
Ellie's First Plane Ride

*Disclosure:  I received copies of these books free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Book Review and Author Giveaway~A Heart's Betrayal

About the Book:
A Heart's Betrayal is part four in a six part collection of Journey of the Heart by author Colleen Coble.

Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.
When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband’s home, she discovered an awful truth: her deceased husband was a bigamist. And what’s more, the home she thought she inherited never belonged to her at all.
Suddenly displaced, powerless, and ashamed, Emmie can’t stay in Wabash, Indiana. She makes a hopeful start for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning. But when she arrives, she discovers she’s pregnant—and without a husband. The new start she’d hoped for slips from her fingers.
But then she meets Isaac Liddle, a handsome soldier with a kind heart. When he begins to court her, Emmie wonders whether she could ever really be his—and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man’s baby.

My Thoughts:  A Heart's Betrayal was an exciting story!  I think this may have been my favorite of the four novellas I have read so far from the Journey of the Heart series. With the introduction of Emmie, a new character is introduced who is innocent and emotionally wounded. The characters have to move to a different fort, which is a dangerous trip, especially for a pregnant Sarah. At only 96 pages, this is a quick read.  I had a hard time putting it down, so I read it in one sitting. I'm itching to get my hands on the next installment of the Journey of the Heart series, A Heart's Promise!

More reviews of A Heart's Betrayal are available to read here. Learn more about author Colleen Coble at her website. You can purchase your own copy of A Heart's Betrayal at the Thomas Nelson website. 

Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, but will her big secret drive them apart? Find out in book four, A Heart's Betrayal, of Colleen Coble's A Journey of the Heart series. Suddenly displaced, powerless, and ashamed, Emmie can’t stay in Wabash, Indiana. She makes a hopeful start for Fort Laramie to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning. But when she arrives, she discovers she’s pregnant—and without a husband. The new start she’d hoped for slips from her fingers.

Melt into summer with a new giveaway from Colleen: four books (books one–four in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series) and a box of chocolates to pair with your new books!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Heart's Betrayal
  • A box of Colleen's favorite chocolate truffles from DeBrand Fine Chocolates
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession
  • A copy of A Heart's Danger
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 30th. Winner will be announced July 1st on Colleen's website.


*Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway~A Flag For The Flying Dragon

My family has enjoyed the Captain No Beard series by author Carole P. Roman for the past few years.  A new adventure has arrived, and this book is titled, A Flag For The Flying Dragon.  In this installment, a new crew member has joined the crew-Zachary!  He's a baby, so as the crew is busy with their duties, they are having a hard time finding a job suitable for Zachary. The Captain also needs to find a flag for his ship.  Soon enough, the crew finds a solution to both problems, and everyone on deck has a job to do.  The crew learned to work together to solve problems.

The Captain No Beard books are a delightful series targeted to the preschool and kindergarten age range, but our 12-year-old son and the entire family enjoy reading them together. The sentences are short and easy to read, and there's just enough silliness to balance out learning an important lesson. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and simply adorable. My grandson (3), does not lose interest in these stories, and has read so many that he knows the characters well.  He is thrilled when a new book comes out.  Here he is reading A Flag For The Flying Dragon:

You can purchase your own copy of A Flag For The Flying Dragon at the author's website: www.caroleproman.com, or on Amazon in paperback or Kindle. Also be sure to visit the author's Facebook page.

I accidentally received two copies of A Flag For the Flying Dragon, so I am giving away my extra one!  Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.  Winner will be notified by email within 24 hours of the contest end.  Winner will then have 48 hours to respond to the email, or a new winner will be chosen.  Must be 18 or older and a resident of the USA.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Product Review~Muller Dessert Inspired Yogurt

I love yogurt, and Muller is one of my favorite brands.   They recently came out with new Dessert inspired yogurts-yum! The flavors available currently are:
*Strawberry Cheesecake
*Raspberry Brownie Supreme
*Peach Cobbler
*Dulce de Leche Delight
These yogurts are 5.3 oz. each and 220 calories or less. They have no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup. They are a good source of protein and calcium.

Muller Dessert Yogurts are available at Kroger stores-my local Kroger store is Smiths. You can find a Kroger Family store near you at  www.kroger.com I tried all of the flavors except Peach Cobbler, which was not available.  Of the three I tried, Raspberry Brownie Supreme was my favorite.  These yogurts are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while still watching out for your health.

*I received free products from Influenster in exchange for my feedback.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Book Review~On Shifting Sand

One of my favorite book series of all time is the Sister Wife series by author Allison Pittman. I was excited to read her latest release, On Shifting Sand.  I quickly realized that this book was very different from the other series, but not in a negative way-just a different style.  On Shifting Sand is a beautifully written, haunting story of a desperate woman.

About the Book: Set during the historic Dust Bowl during the 1930s, Nola Merrill is drying up, inside and out. She married young to her pastor husband, a righteous man, and they have two children.  Nola suffered a sad childhood with her angry father, and wants to be a good mother, wife, and Christian.  The devastation their small town has had has left everyone hungry and poor.  Her husband busy with his pastoral duties, Nola feels isolated.  That all changes when an old friend of her husbands, a disabled war veteran, arrives needing shelter.  He gives Nola attention, and she is faced with betraying her husband, her children, and her God.

What I Thought: On Shifting Sand was hard for me to get into at first, but ended up being a wonderful story. It is written in the main character's voice, and so the reader reads her thoughts and feelings.  Nola is a tormented woman, wanting to do what's right but so beaten down she gives in to temptation. The story is full of love, temptation, forgiveness, and learning to trust God. I knew nothing about the Dust Bowl before I read this story, and it peaked my interest in that time in history.  I am looking forward to researching it further. I highly recommend On Shifting Sand by Allison Pittman.

I received a copy of this book free from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.