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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Book Review~The Delusion

About the Book:
By March of Owen Edmonds’s senior year, eleven students at Masonville High School have committed suicide. Amid the media frenzy and chaos, Owen tries to remain levelheaded—until he endures his own near-death experience and wakes to a distressing new reality.

The people around him suddenly appear to be shackled and enslaved.

Owen frantically seeks a cure for what he thinks are crazed hallucinations, but his delusions become even more sinister. An army of hideous, towering beings, unseen by anyone but Owen, are preying on his girlfriend and classmates, provoking them to self-destruction.

Owen eventually arrives at a mind-bending conclusion: he’s not imagining the evil—everyone else is blind to its reality. He must warn and rescue those he loves . . . but this proves to be no simple mission. Will he be able to convince anyone to believe him before it’s too late?

Owen’s heart-pounding journey through truth and delusion will force him to reconsider everything he believes. He both longs for and fears the answers to questions that are quickly becoming too dangerous to ignore.

What I Thought: 
The Delusion: We All Have Our Demons was a little different from the types of book I usually read. I found it very suspenseful and exciting. Spiritual warfare was the main topic, and many heavy topics are included. Recommended as a Young Adult book, as a parent I would be very careful letting my teen read The Delusion because of the subject matter. The chains and shackles were such a great representation of all the baggage we carry. 

Author Laura Gallier is a talented writer who I  look forward to reading more from. Her website is www.lauragallier.com

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

Book Review~The Gift

About the Book:
A special Christmas story about love and blessings in the next book in the Amish of Hart County series. The Schwartz family is happy to be spending Christmas on their new farm in Hart County. But when Susanna Schwartz hears gunshots that causes her buggy to overturn, and then her little sister falls through a wooden bridge into the icy creek, it becomes clear from these dangerous “accidents” that someone wants them gone.
Neil Vance has been heartbroken ever since his parents lost their family farm. He knows it’s not the Schwartz family’s fault, but he can’t help but be resentful. Until he meets Susanna. She is kind-hearted and bold, and Neil can’t stop thinking about her pretty green eyes.
Neil thinks the accidents are just that, but Susanna’s father is convinced the Vance family is responsible. Susanna refuses to believe Neil would do anything to harm her. She’s fallen in love with him and knows he is a good man. But her family is ready to pack up and move, and time is running out to uncover the truth before someone gets hurt . . . or worse.

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.

What I Thought:
The Gift is the third book in author Shelley Shepard Gray's series The Amish of Hart County. The three books all take place in the same county, but do not continue a story, so they can be read on their own or out of order. I did read the first two books, Her Secret and His Guilt. The other books in the series were excellent, so I had high expectations for The Gift-and once again, the author did not disappoint. Shelley Shepard Gray has been one of my favorite authors since I began reading Amish fiction. She is a talented writer, and I always read her books quickly because I cannot put them down.

There is a great amount of suspense in The Gift. The Schwartz family is being targeted by someone in the community, and Susanna is determined to figure out who before life is lost. An unlikely romance between her and Neil Vance emerges during this time, and Neil has some hard facts to face about his own family. The Gift was a great balance of romance and suspense!

At the back of the book is a PS section, including About the Author, About the Book, Questions for Discussion, two Christmas recipes for giving, and a sneak peak into the next book in the series, to be released in March 2018.

Visit the author's website for more information and to purchase your own copy of The Gift. Visit Litfuse to read more reviews of this book.

Author Giveaway!!

Click here to be taken to the entry form.

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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Star Movie!!

You guys-watch this trailer! This movie looks so adorable.

In Sony Pictures Animation's The Star, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a loveable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become unlikely heroes in the greatest story ever told.

Just in time for the holidays, The Star is being released at theatres nationwide this Friday, November 17th! The trailer above is so cute! Watching the story of Jesus' birth through the eyes of the animals is definitely going to catch kids' attention.   This movie will be great for the entire family to see-I can't wait to take my grandson to it!  The characters look like lots of fun to watch, and the music is spectacular! Lots of famous actors and singers were part of The Star! Of course, coming from Sony Pictures Animation, you know it will be the highest quality.

At the website for the movie, http://www.thestarmovie.com/site/ , there are tons of resources and activities-even an animated coloring book! You can learn more about the movie, the characters and how the movie was made. You can even buy tickets. In the Menu under Videos, you will be taken to YouTube, where there are lots of videos to watch behind the scenes.

Here's a great review from someone who got to see the movie before the release date: https://www.christianquotes.info/star-movie-review/

I'm very excited to go see The Star with my family, and to get the soundtrack. Be sure to check The Star out starting 11/17/17, and let me know what you thought!

*This is a sponsored post. I am a featured contributor of The Star Influencer Program. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Children's Book Review and Giveaway~God's Great Love for You

About God’s Great Love for You:
God’s Great Love for You, written by #1 New York Times bestselling author and respected pastor Rick Warren, takes children on a whimsical and heartfelt journey that lets them know God’s love is with them wherever they go. With breathtaking illustrations by Chris Saunders, the simple yet poignant text comes alive as a child journeys to places far and near and discovers God’s great love is perfect, and everywhere, and will never end.

My Thoughts:
God's Great Love for You, written by Rick Warren and illustrated by Chris Saunders, is a beautiful 32-page hardcover children's book published by ZonderKidz. This is a simple yet beautiful book, reminding young children how great God's love for them is. There are only a handful of words on each page, making it a great book for very early readers. There is a nice presentation page at the front of the book, which makes it a perfect gift for any occasion.  The illustrations were beautiful and colorful, easily capturing young ones' attention.

The recommended age range for God's Great Love for You is 4-8, which I think is a little off.  The picture above is my six-year-old grandson reading the book. He enjoyed it, but it was a little too quick for him. If he were to choose a book to read, he would choose something that would last longer. I think younger toddlers would enjoy having this book read to them as well. Personally, I think the age range is more like birth-5. 

God's Great Love for You is a wonderful reminder for young children how very much they are loved by our God. I think it would make a great addition to a young child's bookshelf.

Learn more and purchase your own copy: http://info.zondervan.com/rick-warren-childrens-books/

Please be sure to read the rules in the Disclosure at the bottom of this blog post. 
One reader will win their own copy of God's Great Love for You!
Giveaway begins 11/7/17 and ends at midnight MST 11/14/17. Winner will be notified by email within 24 hours. Winner must respond within 24 hours or a new winner will be drawn. 

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Book Review~The Gift of Christmas Past

About the Book:
At twenty-seven, Hadley is still trying to get free of the weight she's carried all her life-entering foster care at age five, getting arrested at seventeen for arson, and losing her boyfriend, Monroe, when she needed him most.

Monroe never wanted to walk out on Hadley. He'd understood her, from her desire to help children with speech issues to her intense temper. But when she was arrested, he became haunted by what he knew and convinced his only choice was to end their relationship.

Almost ten years later, Hadley and Monroe are both specialists in the field of speech therapy. They meet again...thrown together to help a four-year-old girl who's been rendered mute after being rescued from an apartment fire. 

Years of secrets and anger beg to be set free as Hadley and Monroe try to push aside past hurts and find common ground  in order to help the traumatized young girl and her family. 

Can the love of Christmas past drift into the present, bringing healing and hope for all?

About the Authors:
Cindy Woodsmall is the New York Times and CBA best-selling author of eighteen works of fiction. She's been featured in national media outlets such as ABC's Nightline and the Wall Street Journal. Cindy has won numerous awards and has been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol awards. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia mountains. She can be found online at www.cindywoodsmall.com .

Erin Woodsmall is a writer, musician, wife, and mom of three. She has edited, brainstormed, and researched books with Cindy for almost a decade. She is very excited about their first coauthored book. How could a Southern gal not enjoy research time in Asheville, North Carolina, as part of the job?

What I Thought:
I am a fan of Cindy Woodsmall, and have read all of her books. I was excited to read something other than Amish fiction that she had written, and with her daughter-in-law Erin also writing the book, it was even more interesting.

The Gift of Christmas Past was a fun romance to read. I enjoyed the characters-as usual, with Cindy Woodsmall books, I felt like I really got to know the main characters by the end of the story. The authors did a good job of giving enough background of the main characters' teenage years to make the rest of the story understandable. Although I didn't feel that there was as strong of a Christmas presence as I expected by the title of the book, there were many aspects of the book that I enjoyed.

Having been a foster parent for many years, stories involving foster care always interest me. It was good to see foster kids who succeeded as adults and went on to get college educations. The speech therapy part of the story was also very interesting and educational, especially Apraxia, which one of my nieces was diagnosed with years ago.

There are a few recipes and discussion questions at the back of the book. The Gift of Christmas Past would be a great book for a book club, as there are many interesting topics to discuss.

*I received a copy of this book from the authors in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Book Review~Abiding Mercy by Ruth Reid

About the Book: 
Abiding Mercy is the first book in author Ruth Reid's Amish Mercies series.  

Sixteen-year-old Faith has worked full-time in her parents' restaurant since she finished eighth grade. She loves her Amish community and the romantic attentions of her longtime friend, Gideon. 

When her sister seems to be getting too friendly with Englischers, and her parents are in a buggy accident, Faith wants to escape into her dream of joining the church and getting married. 

But then a local newspaper runs a story about a child named Adriana who was kidnapped fifteen years earlier, and everything Faith has held true comes into question. 

Suddenly the community Faith has known her whole life seems unreal. Can she even trust her own family? And how will she ever find home again if she no longer belongs in the world she knows best?

About the Author: 
Ruth Reid is a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children. When attending the Ferris State University College of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life. Visit Ruth online at www.ruthreid.com, on Facebook at Author Ruth Reid, and Twitter at @AuthorRuthReid. 

What I Thought: 
I've read several of author Ruth Reid's books and always enjoy them. I find it especially exciting when I'm reading the very first book in a series and it turns out to be a really great story, like Abiding Mercy did. Now I know that there are more good books coming in the series!

The main character Faith is a very sweet Old Order Amish young woman. Her boyfriend, Gideon, is charming, and they have a blossoming romance. Faith is a very hard worker, and besides her rough relationship with her sister, life is full and good. After an unfortunate accident turns the family upside-down, Faith throws herself into saving her family's beloved restaurant, The Amish Table. Soon a secret is uncovered about Faith's past, and her life is forever changed. 

I enjoyed reading about the conflicting emotions everyone had regarding Faith being found by her birth parents, and how they were resolved. God definitely throws some curve balls in our lives, and this story emphasizes trusting Him to get you through these hard times and following His lead. Abiding Mercy was a heartwarming story that I really enjoyed. There are Discussion Questions at the back of the book, making it a perfect choice for a book club!

*Disclosure: I received this book free from www.booklookbloggers.com in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.