Friday, May 20, 2016

My Toddler Bible ~ Juliet David

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Candle Books (April 27, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781282412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781282410

Fans of Chris Embleton-Hall's cheerfully distinctive artwork will be eager to see this new Bible! Twenty stories―nine from the Old Testament and eleven from the New―are retold in a concise and friendly manner in a rounded, easy-to-read font. Very, very bright, and very, very fun!

My take on My Toddler Bible:
I love bright illustrations, there is something about the colorful pictures that bring a book to life for me, and with My Toddler Bible the illustrations are over the top great! The colors are so vibrant that youngsters are certainly going to be drawn to them. Now a bit about the book, it's a hardcover which is always good, and the pages seem sturdy enough, I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a presentation page for this little book because I think it would be a wonderful gift, and the presentation page is always something I look for whenever I gift a special book such as this one. The table of contents makes it easy to find whatever story you might be looking for, it's broken down  into the old testament with nine stories of great people in the Bible  and those stories range from the beginning in the Garden of Eden to Jonah, I think one of my favorite stories was David and The Giant Bully, I loved the illustrations and the story provided detail.  The New Testament has eleven stories and ends on such a great note. Each story is told in a clear easy to understand manner while providing detail that brings the people to life. Youngsters will  love these stories, and I can even imagine them wanting to read along. Overall I really think this book would make a wonderful addition to daily reading, but would be perfect in a Sunday School setting as well. What a great way to teach young readers about some of the great people of the Bible. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Monday, May 9, 2016

None Like Him ~Jen Wilkin

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (April 30, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433549832
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433549830

God is self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign, infinite, and incomprehensible.
We're not.
And that's a good thing.
Our limitations are by design. We were never meant to be God. But at the root of every sin is our rebellious desire to possess attributes that belong to God alone.
Calling us to embrace our limits as a means of glorifying God's limitless power, Jen Wilkin invites us to celebrate the freedom that comes when we rest in letting God be God.

My take on this book:
None Like Him by Jen Wilkin is written in an easy to understand manner that takes on the issue of how we are not like God and that's okay, more than okay really, it's how God made us. What that statement really means is that sometimes we try to strive to be like God but that really is impossible, instead we need to allow our lives to reflect God's great goodness in us, but to do that we must learn how to let God take the lead.

 This book touches on ten attributes that are truly of God. Page twenty-four of this book really grabbed my attention. The author provided two lists the first list is truly of God and the second list is what we can achieve once the Holy Spirit dwells in us. As I read these lists I began to realize that reflecting who God is can be an achievable goal. As we grow in our spiritual walk we can show attributes that reflect God for his glory. This book is really user friendly, each chapter addresses a different attribute that only God possesses. The stories that the author shares are personal and very easy to relate to. Each chapter includes verses for meditation, and questions for reflection and ends with encouragement for the user to write a prayer. Personally I have been using this book as a devotional, but because it is geared toward women I think that it would be perfect as a group study. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

NKJV Chronological Study Bible

  • Imitation Leather: 1728 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Lea edition (May 3, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718076893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718076894

The Bible that allows you to study Scripture in the order of events as they happened
The Chronological Study Bible presents the text of the New King James Version in chronological order - the order in which the events actually happened - with notes, articles, and full-color graphics that connect the reader to the history and culture of Bible times. It is the only NKJV study Bible arranged in chronological order.
Features include:
  • The entire NKJV text with translators’ notes, arranged in chronological order, provides absorbing and effective Bible study
  • Full-color illustrations of places, artifacts, and cultural phenomena give the reader a dramatic, “you are there” experience
  • Fascinating articles connect the Bible text to world history and culture
  • Daily Life Notes explain how people lived in Bible times
  • Time Panels and Charts show the flow of Bible history
  • In-text and full-page color maps of the biblical world assist study
Part of the Signature Series line of Thomas Nelson Bibles

My take on this Bible:
Have you ever thought about reading the Bible in chronological order instead of the traditional way that it was written? With the NKJV Chronological Study Bible you will experience the Bible in a new way. First I want to say that the exterior of the Bible is a soft imitation leather the color that I am reviewing is called earth brown and auburn, with the color being divided half way down the cover. The imitation leather feels    good in my hands and the gilded edge pages  really makes it look elegant. Inside the first thing I noticed was the presentation page something that I always look for if I am planning to gift a Bible. The text isn't to small and it is paired with stunning color pictures that are very eye appealing.  There are plenty of features to enhance the readability of this Bible and the ones that I am really enjoying are the historical overviews that provide descriptions of the changing times. The Daily Life feature is another that I seek out because it gives insight into what life might have been like during Bible times. I did notice that the copyright date for this Bible is 2008 so I can't really say for sure if there are any updated features with this latest release because I don't own one of the older releases. I will say that if you are looking to read the Bible chronologically this one really is great, it even has a few reading guides to help you along in your journey. Bottom line if you don't own a Thomas Nelson Chronological Bible this one is very good.

A complimentary copy of this Bible was provided for review.

Sunday, May 1, 2016


Amish widow Mattie vows never to love again . . . until a suspicious outsider with a shadowy past comes crashing into her fragile world.
Dream of MiraclesMattie Diener can barely keep it together. A young Amish widow and mother of two young children, she faces the lingering heartbreak of lost love, her son’s mysterious illness, and a torrent of accusations that threaten to undo her.
Bo Lambright is a fast-rising social services investigator whose high-society mother won’t rest until she finds his Mrs. Right. Despite Bo’s worldly success, the raw ache of a shadowy past and a series of unsettling dreams have left him reeling.
When Mattie and Bo cross paths, all signs point to disaster. Yet as they face a crucible of trials and tragedies together, longings begin to stir that seem destined only to end in more heartbreak. Is a miracle possible—not only of healing but of forbidden love? What secrets lie in Bo’s dreams? And will Mattie find the courage to face her uncertain future . . . or will she simply run away?

My take on this book:
Mattie Deiner's story is full of emotional twists providing for a must read story. Mattie is a recently widowed Amish mother with two children. When one of her children becomes ill she does what anyone would do she takes him to the doctor but when that doctor thinks that she has been abusing the child Mattie finds herself dealing with Child Protective Services and the person handling her case is Bo Lambright. Can Bo figure out what is going on without getting his heart involved?

I read a lot of Amish fiction and this one was a bit different, because Mattie finds herself being scrutinized by CPS which is an Englisher agency. Mattie's character was so easy to empathize with, the author made me feel like I was actually reading about a real person, it was easy to envision her heartaches and hurts, while I couldn't imagine being in her shoes but the author allowed  me to feel as if I had stepped into them for the length of this story.  It was interesting to see the differences between Amish and Englishers ideals and how that affected the way that many looked at Mattie. It was heart wrenching to see how Mattie was treated and it kept me hoping that all would work out in the end. While this is the third book in a series it can easily be read as a stand alone work. If you're looking for an Amish story that is so much more than an average romance this book is one that you should try. 
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Ruth Reid


Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA bestselling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She’s a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children. When attending Ferris State University School 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.
Find out more about Ruth at

When a suspicious outsider with a shadowy past comes crashing into Amish widow Mattie’s fragile world, can she learn to love again? Find out in Ruth Reid’s new book, A Dream of Miracles. When Mattie and Bo cross paths, all signs point to disaster. Yet as they face a crucible of trials and tragedies together, longings begin to stir that seem destined only to end in more heartbreak. Is a miracle possible—not only of healing but of forbidden love? What secrets lie in Bo’s dreams? And will Mattie find the courage to face her uncertain future . . . or will she simply run away?
Ruth is celebrating the release of A Dream of Miracles with a Kindle Fire HD 6 giveaway (details below) and an author chat party on May 3!
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • One copy of A Dream of Miracles
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
dream of miracles - 400Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 5/3. The winner will be announced at A Dream of Miracles Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Ruth and other fans of Amish fiction, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!


dream of miracles - enter banner

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Simple Pleasures ~ Stories From My Life As An Amish Mother~ Marianne Jantzi

  • Series: Plainspoken
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Herald Press (March 29, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1513800272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1513800271

Young Amish homemaker Marianne Jantzi invites readers into her family s life and Amish community. The mother of four young children, Jantzi writes about her daily routines and heartfelt faith with equal measures of wit and warmth. Sewing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and helping to manage the family store take up most hours in her day, but Jantzi finds time to pen columns for the Connection, a magazine beloved by Amish and Mennonite readers. Never sugarcoating the frustrations of motherhood, Jantzi tells it like it is, broken washing machine and bickering children and all. But through her busy days, Jantzi finds strength in simple pleasures of family, fellowship with her Amish community, and quiet time with God.
Hear straight from Amish people themselves as they write about their daily lives and deeply rooted faith in the Plainspoken series from Herald Press. Each book includes A Day in the Life of the Author and the author s answers to FAQs about the Amish.

About the author:
Marianne Jantzi is an Amish writer and homemaker in Ontario, Canada. Formerly a teacher in an Amish school, Jantzi now educates and inspires through her “Northern Reflections” column for The Connection, a magazine directed mainly to Amish and plain communities across the U.S. and Canada. She and her husband have four young children and run a shoe store among the Milverton Amish settlement of Ontario.

My take on this book:
I have always loved reading about the Amish whether fact or fiction there is something about the lifestyle that has always fascinated me. With Simple Pleasures the author provides a look at her daily life as an Amish mother. She shares her story in a simply written journal style where her ordinary days of homemaking and helping run the family store made me feel like I was learning about an old friend. She shares the ups and downs, while also allowing me to sense her strong sense of faith and family. I think anyone who wants a true look at how an Amish family lives will certainly enjoy reading this story. It's the magic of the ordinary days of her life that she shares with us that makes this book so special. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Pocket Prayers (with various authors; Thomas Nelson, March 2016)
Bestselling author Max Lucado has teamed up with six authors to write the Pocket Prayers series for those in need of peace, renewal, rest, faith, hope, joy, direction, serenity, and courage.
Pocket PrayersShort, simple prayers are very effective, which is why each book in the series contains forty guided prayers and complementary scriptures for any situation, including for:
—Moms (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
—Grads (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
—Dads (written with Mark Mynheir)
—Military Life (written with Mark Mynheir)
—Teachers (written with blogger Jennifer Hale)
—Friends (written with Betsy St. Amant)

My take on these books:
The first thing I noticed about Max Lucado's Pocket Prayers is the size, the size makes them very portable, perfect for slipping into a briefcase or even a purse, but it was the contents inside that made these little gems a real winner! Each book contains forty prayers that are short and sweet but really are perfect when you are looking for a prayer that will get to the heart of the matter, I find as I use the book geared toward  mothers that the prayers ground me, allowing me to take a few seconds and talk to God about whatever may be bothering me. Each prayer begins with a relevant scripture verse, and then there is a brief prayer that gives God thanks. These books can be used as mini-devotionals or as they are intended as prayers in our time of need. Don't forget to read the introduction to these little gems because Mr. Lucado provides words of wisdom and provides insight to why prayer is so important.  
Pocket Prayers would make wonderful gifts for any occasion.

A complimentary copy of these books were provided for review.

Max Lucado


More than 120 million readers have found inspiration and encouragement in the writings of Max Lucado. He lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy, in San Antonio, Texas, where he serves the people of Oak Hills Church.
Find out more about Max at

Enter to win a Pocket Prayers prize pack—two winners will be chosen! Each prize pack contains all six of the new Pocket Prayers books, a signed copy of Before Amen, and a custom Pocket Prayers paperweight. Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced May 2 on the Litfuse blog!
pocket prayers

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sit Stay Love ~ Dana Mentink ~ Litfuse Blog tour with giveaway

Sit, Stay, LoveTake one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you’re ready for a lesson in love . . . Tippy style.
Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother’s elderly dog, Tippy, he’s quick to call on a pet-sitting service.
Gina isn’t thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can’t abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.
As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too…
Discover the charming story of Tippy, the dog who brought a family together.

My take on this book:
Heart touching story that put a smile on my face. I love that one of the main characters is Tippy the overweight dog, that in itself would have made this book a must read for me, she was truly a character herself, often doing laugh out loud funny things, but the author also provides a sweet story with enjoyable characters that made this book a joy to read. Gina is an out of work teacher who is doing a stint as a dog walker and Cal, who really isn't a dog person,  has just inherited a dog and needs someone to take care of her. While Gina isn't crazy about Cal she loves Tippy.

Loveable characters and a heartwarming story makes this a wonderful little read. Anyone who enjoys reading about dogs will find it a must read, but honestly anyone looking for an uplifting, put a smile on your face kind of read really should read it as well.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.


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.
Find out more about Dana at

Join Dana in celebrating the release of Sit, Stay, Love with a blog tour and a Travels with Tippy prize pack giveaway!
sit stay love-400
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Sit, Stay, Love
  • A $75 Visa cash card
  • A basket filled with Tippy-themed goodies
    • Travel-themed decorator box
    • Reading dog statue
    • Dog journal
    • Poems for Dog Lovers
    • Snuggle Paws fleece blanket from Animal Rescue Site
    • Pawprint scarf
    • Doxie desk pen
    • Pupmobile auto magnet
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on April 25th. The winner will be announced April 26th on Dana’s blog.
sit stay love-enterbanner

Freedom's Child ~ Jax Miller

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (March 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553446878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553446876

Freedom Oliver has plenty of secrets.  She lives in a small Oregon town and keeps mostly to herself.  Her few friends and neighbors know she works at the local biker bar; they know she gets arrested for public drunkenness almost every night; they know she’s brash, funny, and fearless.  

What they don’t know is that Freedom Oliver is a fake name.  They don’t know that she was arrested for killing her husband, a cop, twenty years ago.  They don’t know she put her two kids up for adoption.  They don’t know that she’s now in witness protection, regretting ever making a deal with the Feds, and missing her children with a heartache so strong it makes her ill.

Then, she learns that her daughter has gone missing, possibly kidnapped.  Determined to find out what happened, Freedom slips free of her handlers, gets on a motorcycle, and heads for Kentucky, where her daughter was raised.  As she ventures out on her own, no longer protected by the government, her troubled past comes roaring back at her: her husband’s vengeful, sadistic family; her brief, terrifying stint in prison; and the family she chose to adopt her kids who are keeping dangerous secrets. 

Written with a ferocious wit and a breakneck pace, Freedom’s Child is a thrilling, emotional portrait of a woman who risks everything to make amends for a past that haunts her still.

My take on this book:
Freedom's Child was a book that I struggled to read. Freedom Oliver is a tough character to like. She did something that not only caused her to go into the witness protection program, she also gave up her children for adoption. That didn't keep her from missing them, so when she learns that her daughter is missing she becomes determined to figure out what happened.
I just couldn't connect with the characters in this story. There was a varied selection of characters, and most of them seemed like they came from a bad episode of Jerry Springer. Skinheads, meth heads with rotten teeth. I think the author does a good job of allowing the reader to visualize the characters and the plot does move along pretty well, for me though there was nothing that held me to the plot. I didn't care what happened one way or the other and found myself often skimming the story to just make it to the end. Overall not really a book for me.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Devlin's Curse ~ Lady Brenda

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Solstice Publishing (March 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1625263333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1625263339

A wicked tale of love and immortality, set against the backdrop of the Old West… Esmeralda Jones, exorcist and healer travels to the notorious gold town of Virginia City where a demonic presence lurks deep in the Gilded Bird mine. A woman with a mysterious past she sets herself up in a fine salon where she can fulfill her calling to purge innocent souls from unspeakable evil. An unexpected encounter with Devlin Winter, gambler, gunfighter and sinfully handsome vampire puts her soul and carefully guarded heart in peril. Driven by a passion of many lifetimes and the thirst for revenge, Devlin doesn’t count on Esmeralda becoming the bait that draws him into the demon’s lair, deep inside the Gilded Bird mine. During his quest he confronts Virginia City’s most prominent mine owner’s, a rabid pack of hired guns and a Babylonian demon. Devlin and Esmeralda face a fierce battle that even his immortal strength and her magical abilities may not be enough to win against. A battle in which Esmeralda herself may have to choose between a half-life and immortality to survive.

My take on this book:
Devlin's Curse by Lady Brenda takes readers on a mind bending journey to Virginia City, Nevada during 1877 where something evil lurks within the tunnels of the Gilded Bird gold mine, a place where most men fear to go and often don't make it out alive. Devlin Winter has come to town to try and eradicate that evil, but when his path crosses with Esmeralda Jones he finds himself longing for normalcy, something that he can never have. There is one person that want's to embrace the evil that lurks within the mine and will do anything in order to accomplish his goal. What occurs is a battle of evil that leaves one wondering what the cost of winning against this age old evil might be.

Lady Brenda pens a unique tale like none I have encountered before with Devlin's Curse! I am a huge fan of western tales and when you add the paranormal elements of vampires, windigos and an age old evil demon to the mix along with an amazing love story that spans time well you get just a brief idea of what makes Devlin's Curse so fantastic! Lady Brenda allows the readers to see the story unfold through the eyes of more than one character which makes for a rich telling full of vivid imagery that allows for a multi-layered story that flowed smoothly from the pages, grabbing the imagination. The slow reveal of who or what the characters were added a suspenseful element. Truthfully though there were plenty of suspenseful elements , actually edge of your seat type of scenes, where the twists provided kept me guessing who might make it out alive!  I found myself drawn into the story of Devlin and Esmeralda and wondered about the past that was hinted at, when their story was finally revealed it was greater than any I could have imagined.   I for one was hooked within the first few pages of the story, and remained captivated  until the last page, and to be truthful I really find myself hoping the author provides a sequel because I think that Devlin and Esmeralda's tale is far from finished!  While there were a few editing issues with the story they couldn't overshadow the caliber of  writing skills exhibited by Lady Brenda. 

Reviewed for