Friday, November 15, 2019

A Savior Is Born: Rocks Tell the Story of Christmas / The Beginner's Bible Jesus Is Born (I Can Read! / The Beginner's Bible)

A Savior Is Born: Rocks Tell the Story of Christmas

Hardcover, ebook

October 2, 2018

by Patti Rokus (Author)

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310764960

  • By arranging a few rocks together an entire story can be told. A Savior Is Born, Rocks Tell the Story of Christmas, created by Patti Rokus, is an unforgettable picture book that uses majestic rock art and simple yet powerful text to inspire wonder and awe as the miracle of Christmas unfolds across the pages. Readers will be absorbed in the nature-filled artwork that shows the birth of Jesus and the celebration of the very first Christmas in a powerful and unique way.
    The cover of this book sparkles and shines with foil, embossing, and spot gloss.

  • My thoughts: Well this is an unique approach to a book. A SAVIOR IS BORN: Rocks Tell the Story of Christmas is just that. Pictures of rocks arranged in a way to depict the Christmas story, which a few words describing the picture. 

  • This would be an idea gift for the child in your life that loves rocks, the artsy crafty adult you know who uses nature as their art box, or the person who collects unique coffee table books. 

  • My children weren't quite sure what to think if it, but I have to give the author kudos for creativity.  And I love it as a coffee table book.

  • I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.

  • ***********************************

  • The Beginner's Bible Jesus Is Born (I Can Read! / The Beginner's Bible)

     Paperback – ebook, audible

    October 6, 2009

    • Grade Level: Preschool and up
    • Series: I Can Read! / The Beginner's Bible
    • Paperback: 32 pages
    • Publisher: Zonderkidz 
    • ISBN-13: 978-0310717805

    Popular Bible stories from the bestselling The Beginner's Bible in the proven I Can Read format for introducing young children to the joy of reading. Mary is going to have a special baby. When he's born, God's angels tell everyone the good news. But the king isn't happy at all. What will become of Baby Jesus?

      My thoughts:  I find the artwork kind of scary, and the story rather  simple, so you might want to look at it before purchasing to make sure it is suitable for your child.  I do like that it tells part of the story and a picture of a small child when the wisemen came.

      I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.

      Thursday, November 14, 2019

      MEANT FOR HER was NOT a story I intended to write! by Joy Avery Melville and #giveaway!!!

      ****Joy will gift a signed copy in USA. Leave a comment with contact information to enter.

      The premise of the novel is based on Genesis 50:20.

      My chosen genre to write was Historical Romance, and I had written one and started another when I attended the ACFW September 2011 Conference in St. Louis Mo.

      Sorry – got a bit ahead of myself there. I actually got a nudge from the Lord in August 2011. Standing in my kitchen, hand-washing some dishes, I overheard a local TV newscast. I didn’t stop what I was doing, but I did ask my husband to turn the television up some.

      A young woman had been abducted, and they could find no trace of her. Taken from her home, her family pleaded with the public for help in finding her.

      My heart was wrenched as all kinds of ‘what-ifs’ went through my mind. In fact, that news story would not leave my mind or heart, and I felt led to pray earnestly for her and the family.

      I went to that writer’s conference, pitched the first Historical Romance I’d written to agents and publishing acquisition editors. Two rejected it outright, saying it wasn’t historical enough, but one agent, went through the one-sheet (or sales-sheet as some refer to it) and told me what she especially liked. She suggested I come home and make a contemporary story out of it.

      I did, but in doing so, much of the conflict and tension no longer were strong enough, due to the fact technology had advanced well beyond the story.

      In the meantime, I heard more about the missing woman. She had a fiancé they were looking at as a person of interest, and other things that had come to the surface, but no sight of her. I kept praying for them all.

      God nudged me… a bit at a time… reminding me of those “what-ifs”, and I thought He was just telling me to keep praying. WRONG!

      His nudges got stronger toward putting her story to the page. I argued… I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT… He won!

      Change in genre writing was a MUST. He asked me to write about a young woman who’d been abducted, and to use each of those “What-ifs” I’d been mulling after each time I prayed for her and her loved ones.

      What if she were still alive… it’d been weeks… what if she were found alive, but close to death… what if she had been a victim of rape and/or beatings… what if she became pregnant with a rapists’ child… and what if her fiancé abandoned her at her weakest moments?

      We found out later, the woman in the newscast had, indeed, been found, but she hadn’t survived the elements where she’d been left.

      Meant For Her, though based on that first news story I heard in August, has a decided turn from the actual events, but with each sentence, paragraph, chapter I wrote, the sense I was writing in obedience got stronger and stronger.

      God gave me ideas I knew I’d never have come up with, and He brought all the right people to me when I needed to do research on several of the topics addressed in the novel.

      The actual writing of the 100,000+ word novel took me six weeks. In the writing, God moved me to bring in subplots I was totally unprepared for. In doing so, He gave me two more books.

      Considering I hadn’t intended to write Contemporary… certainly hadn’t intended to write Women’s Fiction… I find the choice of title for the entire series ironic, to say the least, and it didn’t occur to me until the writing of this post just how ironic.

      Had it all truly been ~ MEANT FOR HER?

      Kidnapped, raped, brutally beaten, and left for dead, Candi Reynolds becomes a prisoner of fear. Faced also with the impact of the unexpected break-up with her fiancé, and an unwanted pregnancy resulting from the attacks, she believes God has forsaken her. Choosing to move back to the Michigan horse farm, owned by her older brother, Dr. Cam Reynolds, Candi essentially goes into seclusion.

      Dr. Patrick (Mack) MacKevon, long-time friend of Cam’s, watches from the sidelines at the farm, w here his horses are stabled, while Candi struggles to regain a sense of normalcy. His own big-brother tendencies develop into a much deeper emotion over the months he prays for her.

      Is it possible for Candi to put all of the pain and trauma behind her and renew her former relationship with the Lord? Will she allow her heart to open enough to discover authentic love, while making decisions of victory on her personal journey to joy?



      Joy Avery Melville’s heart’s desire is to be the author God has called her to be by sharing Him with readers in such a way they long to have a deeply committed personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord.
      Fully intending to write Historical Romance—had in fact— she had no plans to deviate from that. God had something else in mind for that ‘call’ He’d made on her life back in 1967. A mere eighth grader at the time, she had no clue about the topics she’d be drawn to write about.
      Surrendering to the genre God placed on her heart has given Joy new insight into the hearts and lives of those who too often hurt in silence.
      The settings of Joy’s books are near where she lives in Schoolcraft, Michigan with her husband of nearly 46 years and their one-yr-old Yorkie pup, Is-A-Bella Bindi, (Is-a-beautiful little girl) who thinks she’s a much larger breed with tomboy tendencies.
      Joy loves to hear from readers and will respond!

       Joy Avery Melville


      Facebook Author Page

      Facebook Personal Page

      Wednesday, November 13, 2019

      A Very Fiona Christmas / A Christmas Gift for Santa: A Bedtime Book

      A Very Fiona Christmas 

      Hardcover – ebook, audiobook

      October 1, 2019

      My thoughts:   A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR SANTA is a whimsical story about tired, discouraged Santa worrying about being forgotten and looking for his gift. A sweet tale that will have your little one anxious to leave Santa a gift too!

      There is no faith message, so suitable for the secular market.

      Definitely a fun story that children will love this holiday season!

      I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.


      Tuesday, November 12, 2019

      Once Upon a Dickens Christmas: 3 Charming Christmas Tales Set in Victorian England

      Once Upon a Dickens Christmas: 3 Charming Christmas Tales Set in Victorian England 

      Paperback – ebook, audible, audio cd

      September 1, 2019

      by Michelle Griep (Author)

    • Series: Once Upon a Dickens Christmas
    • Paperback: 448 pages
    • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press 
    • ISBN-13: 978-1683222606

    • Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep

    • Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan favorite Michelle Griep:
      12 Days a Bleakly Manor: Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.
      A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?
      The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.

    • My thoughts (Reviewed by Marilyn): This collection is a sweeping and captivating one that is set in the 1850’s in London. Each tale is around Christmastime with intrigue, mystery, romance, faith, a second chance gold coin and Charles Dickens’ quotes and appearance. Two of the novellas were released previously with The Old Lace Shop being new for this Christmas season. Each novella can be read as a standalone, although, characters from the prior short story are mentioned in the next release.

      12 Days at Bleakly Manor found an odd assortment of individuals being commanded to go to the Bleakly Manor for 12 days starting on Christmas Eve. The manor was not what the guests expected since there was no host/hostess present. The hired hands were not to accommodating with a lack of nutritious meals with the guests assigned chores each day. When they were invited they had been promised a reward, only to find out only one would receive the large reward. Each day brought new adventures along with some leaving before the end of the 12 days. The mystery surrounding lives almost being lost and accusations against some gave way to tense moments. A must be read tale.

      A Tale of Two Hearts explored the interactions of William Barlow and Mina Scott. Mina was a young lady working with her dad at the Golden Egg Inn. William frequented the inn often and made a proposition to Mina. William wanted the inheritance from his uncle, but the stipulations were high. His cousin Percy and spouse were just as deceitful in other ways against Uncle Barlow. This tale was fast paced with all the twists and turns along with more than one resolution and romance.

      The Old Lace Shop brought Bella White and Edmund Archer together when Bella moved to Nottingham after the death of her abusive husband. Bella was determined that The Old Lace Shop could be renovated for those less fortunate who had lost their eye site from working in lace factories. She was not prepared for all the challenges she faced. This tale is filled with escapades that kept the pages turning from deceitful employees, business owners and others who wanted to ensure that Nottingham Lace and Hose did not succeed. The tenderness shown by Bella to all, especially Flora who was a special needs child brought tears. I loved this novella with new beginnings, renewed faith, romance and so much more.

      I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation t post a review. I have expressed my own opinion. I highly recommend this collection to fans of Victorian Era filled with Dickens, Christmas, faith, action and romance.

    • Monday, November 11, 2019

      Always Look Twice

      Always Look Twice 

      (Uncommon Justice #2) 

      Paperback – ebook, audible, hardcover

      October 1, 2019

      Sunday, November 10, 2019

      Give Me ALL Your Attention! By Jenna V Hilton

      Deuteronomy 4:24 (KJV)
      For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God

      My Pitbull Lab mix, Skye, LOVES attention. Simply adores it. When she doesn’t get attention when she wants it, she does one of a few things. First, she pouts. Second, she sits on whatever you’re trying to do. Third, she takes your hand in her teeth and puts it where she wants pets. If none of those things work, she throws a tantrum. On top of you. Skye is a true pitty. She NEEDS attention.

      God wants our attention too. He’s not gonna throw a fit if He doesn’t get it, but He desires to be close to you, to have a relationship with you. He wants to know you, and wants you to know Him. Just like the ultimate best friend.

       Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your son to die for us, so that such a relationship with you would be possible. Help us not to take it for granted. In Jesus Name, Amen.

      Jenna V. Hilton is seventeen, and lives in Arkansas with her parents, two sisters, a brother, and dog. She is a senior in high school and planning to attend college to become a veterinarian.

      Saturday, November 9, 2019

      Royally Yours: Royalty Meets Small-Town Charm in Four Heartwarming Christmas Romances

      Royally Yours: Royalty Meets Small-Town Charm in Four Heartwarming Christmas Romances 

      Kindle Edition

      Tinsel, Vermont is known for its no-paparazzi policy and Christmas decorations that are fit for a queen. This holiday season, join four royals on a stroll through town square as they each find their Christmas wishes for a happily-ever-after...tiaras optional.

      My thoughts:  In One Royal Christmas by Melissa Tagg we meet Rowan and Jonah.  Both are dealing with expectations versus hopes and dreams. It was a pleasure to get to know them in Tinsel and watch them find themselves.  A romance  that was truly romantic. I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

      The Reluctant Princess by Betsy St. Amant introduces us to Eleanor and Miles/Liam. Both of  them are running away from their real identities for different reasons. They connect even though he is less than honest about his identity and thus the black moment is very predictable. A nice read though somewhat contrived.

      Liz Johnson (and the reason I picked up this book) pens A Royal Wonderland, a novella about Charlotte and  Andrew. Both are hiding out in Tinsel and find themselves working together to  decorate for Christmas. Somehow they have to learn from each other how to face their insecurities and embrace their futures without fear. I loved this story.

      A Tinsel Holiday by Ashley Clark is about Beatrix and Tyler. She is engaged to another man but Tyler was a one-day fling she never forgot. Likewise for him. When attraction flares again will they succumb  or do what is necessary?   Not as well written as the others. I found some of the wordage confusing  and awkward. I also had no sympathy for Beatrix and Tyler--probably because I  was the woman that a boyfriend cheated on.  I get the why in this story, but still...

      Over all, a great Christmassy read and recommended.

      I was given a copy  free. All opinions are my  own.

      A Savior Is Born: Rocks Tell the Story of Christmas / The Beginner's Bible Jesus Is Born (I Can Read! / The Beginner's Bible)

      A Savior Is Born: Rocks Tell the Story of Christmas Hardcover, ebook October 2, 2018 by   Patti Rokus   (Author) ...