Sunday, July 5, 2015

I Hope You Dance

Author: Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Zondervan
June 2015
Genre: contemporary romance novella
Series: A Year of Weddings – July

They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Can two left feet lead to one perfect romance?

Grant Nichols is a genius in the kitchen and a klutz on the dance floor. But his friend’s wedding is shaping up to be a shindig the likes of which Kings Meadow has never seen—including dancing. Lots of dancing. Then he learns that a local dance teacher, Skye Foster, is offering dance lessons for the wedding party. The lessons are free, so what does he have to lose?

A former rodeo queen, Skye Foster teaches children ballet and tap during the day, but with the popularity of ballroom dancing and her own love of Country Swing, she’s been teaching adults in the evenings.

Grant comes from a family of ten siblings. He was the second oldest and believes he's had his fill of little rug rats. He’s happy with his bachelor state, despite the fact that he’s given up his ladies’ man lifestyle. Even he admits to his wilder nature and has been trying to clean up his act, with God's help.

Skye, on the other hand, loves being around kids. She would love to find the right guy and settle down to have half a dozen children of her own.

Grant and Skye are no match on paper. But when they step onto the dance floor, they move to a love song all their own.

I HOPE YOU DANCE is the seventh book in the second Year of Weddings series by Zondervan. Skye is a dance instructor for weddings and is big with waltz’s and two-steps. She is also a rodeo queen and dreams of marrying a cowboy. Grant is a cowboy, loves country music, but he cannot dance.

My first impression of this story was hokey. The characters were somewhat flat, the story was predictable, and there was no meat to the story. The only conflict was over the issue of kids. Robin Lee Hatcher is a hit or miss author for me, and I’ve missed her series lately some of the secondary characters were introduced in, but this story stood alone anyway.

Ms. Hatcher’s writing is impeccable, and fans might really love it. Also those who love the Year of Weddings series. A quick read, I finished in a little over an hour.

3 stars. Available in ebook and mp3. 74 pages.

I obtained this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Mary Magdalene: Book Spotlight

Mary Magdalene: A Novel 

 – June 1, 2012

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Beginner's Bible 25th Birthday Party Big Giveaway!!!!!

Leave a comment (include contact information!) to be entered to win the collection of books shown below.) 

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Do your children like to dress up as Biblical characters?  At 
Harvest Festivals, 
Christmas... and maybe even birthday parties? 

We're having a party!!!

Happy 25th Birthday to The Beginner's Bible

The Beginner's Bible

The Beginner's Bible

We are celebrating the 25th birthday of The Beginner's Bible brand. In honor of this special occasion, we'd like to share the celebration with you. 
The Giveaway includes EVERY product featured below as a special The Beginner's Bible prize pack (valued at over $90). 
to enter:  Leave a comment, include contact information  

Optional but will give you an extra entry, give us YOUR idea for a Bible themed party.
(Summer activity idea: keep your kiddos busy  and ward off the "I'm bored!'s" by having them plan a party for The Beginner's Bible and invite their friends to join in the fun! Kids will have a blast baking and decorating their own The Beginner's Bible cupcakes with bright rainbow frosting, making their own googly-eyed The Beginner's Bible character decorations and even playing "Put the Animals on the Ark"--- a fun twist on "Pin the Tail on the Donkey")

Another idea is to put plays on for the neighborhood children--include them in it. Jesus feeding the five thousand could include tuna on crackers... or fishsticks and gold fish crackers. There are so many creative ways the stories could be acted out. If you could get your hands on flannel graph or puppets, you could tell stories that way.

So many kids today think that Noah and the Ark was just a Hollywood movie. It wasn't real. Have a Noah and the ark story, encourage kids to dress as animals. And tell them the real story--including the put the animals on the ark game mentioned above.
The Beginner's Bible Collector's Edition

The Beginner's Bible Collector's Edition
Hardcover storybook Bible with CDs and DVDs
Ages 4 & Up

The Beginner's Bible Holy Bible NIrV

The Beginner's Bible Holy Bible, NIrV
Full text Bible
Ages 6 & Up

Jesus Shows God's Love

Jesus Shows God's Love
Ages 4 & Up

The Baby Beginner's Bible: Noah's Ark

The Baby Beginner's Bible
Noah's Ark

Super-Duper Mighty Jumbo Activity Book

The Beginner's Bible
Mighty Jumbo
Activity Book
Ages 4 & Up

The Beginner's Bible I Can Read Bible Story Favorites

The Beginner's Bible: I Can Read
Bible Story Favorites
Ages 5 & Up (for beginning readers)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Into Thin Air

Author: Mary Ellen Porter
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
May 2015
ISBN: 978-1-373-44671-1
Genre: Romantic suspense


When a child is abducted in front of Laney Kensington, she desperately tries to save the girl. But Laney is shot and left for dead; the kidnappers, their dark van and the girl long gone. FBI agent Grayson DeMarco explains she's the only witness to a worldwide child-trafficking ring. And if the kidnappers discover she's alive, they'll be back to finish the job. Yet Laney is determined to find the missing children. Even if it means returning to the search and rescue work she thought she'd left behind. And Grayson is just as determined to keep his sole witness protected. Especially when evidence hints that the real threat is closer than he ever imagined.

INTO THIN AIR is Ms. Porter’s debut novella and it is good, but touched close to home in a scary way. Laney witnesses a thirteen year old girl being abducted when she’s walking home from music lessons and I imagined my thirteen year old in that place—and instant tie to the story. I wanted Laney to help the FBI and police locate the missing children and return them to their families. I wanted the “bad guys” captured.

I did figure out “who-dun-it” relatively early since I read enough romantic suspense to figure out the writer’s mind. But I had to keep reading, and I especially liked the parts of the book where canine search and rescue was utilized. I hope this author has more books planned using these canine heroes.

If you like romantic suspense, you will love INTO THIN AIR. Available in paperback and ebook. 224 pages.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Laugh Out Loud Pocket Doodles for Girls

Author: Rob Elliott
Illustrator: Jonny Hawkins
Publisher: Revell
June 2015
ISBN:  978-0800722371
Genre: Joke book/activity book
Reviewed by Jenna

Q: What's the worst thing to leave home without?

A: This book!

Stuck in the car on a long trip? Bored out of your mind in a waiting room? Have a few minutes before bedtime? Then you have enough time to let your imagination run wild!

Laugh-Out-Loud Pocket Doodles for Girls lets you

· tell jokes that will have people laughing out loud
· complete hilarious doodles
· entertain everyone around you!

More than one million copies of the Laugh-Out-Loud joke books have been sold. Grab your pens, pencils, crayons, or markers and see what all the fuss is about!

LAUGH OUT LOUD POCKET DOODLES FOR GIRLS is a great joke/activity book for kids. Perfect for times when your bored—safety break at the pool, long car trips, sitting in the waiting room at the dentist/eye doctor/family doctor office, or family reunions when you’re the only one there your age.
This book is also available for boys and is recommended for ages 8 – 12. I’m 13 though, and I love it.

It has a lot of riddles and knock-knock jokes and doodles that are half drawn for you to finish that go along with the jokes. This book kept my dad and brother entertained with the jokes for hours. I enjoyed telling the jokes and doodling the pictures.

5 stars. Available in paperback. 240 pages.

I obtained this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer's List

Summer's List 

by Anita Higman    

Contemporary Romance
Moody Publishing  

For a single girl in her 30s who longs to be married, it can be easy to feel a little lost when all your princes keep turning into frogs. Anita Higman details the twists and turns, triumphs and failures, in one young woman's search for love in her new book,Summer's List.

After breaking her engagement with a rising politician, Summer Snow is adrift in life and love. Again. Summer's wise grandmother---hoping to help her granddaughter---offers her a list of goals and adventures to fulfill, telling her that she must carry out the list with her long-lost childhood friend, Martin Langtree.

Some of the items on her grandmother's list are---take a hot air balloon ride, build a tree house, sing in public, find a treasure, befriend a dog, learn how to whistle, and kiss someone you love. Martin is happy to help Summer with the list, but unfortunately, his two younger brothers---who are addicted to the lavish lifestyle given to them by their older brother---will do anything to keep Martin from following through with the life-list and falling in love with Summer.

In the end, God helps Martin learn how to deal with his overindulged brothers, and the list of adventures helps Summer to find her true calling in life. She also discovers that her dearest childhood companion, Martin Langtree, who made the ideal friend when they were growing up, could now make the ideal husband.

My thoughts:  SUMMER’S LIST is the newest book by Ms. Higman. I wanted to like this book. A contemporary romance, a delightful sounding premise… and a summer read that is sure to be enjoyable… except it flopped, like a dying fish.

I noticed at first the dialogue is stiff and unnatural. Very formal at times. I thought at first it was how Summer talked with her senator boyfriend and it’d go away with everyone else, but it didn’t. Then the descriptions. . . for example, She dressed in a nice outfit—navy blue with a white vest.  Okay, I’m seeing kind of a reverse sailor outfit? But was it a skirt? Pants? Dress? I also felt that the characters were one dimensional. They were flat. And Martin’s brothers are just weird. Oh, and Martin… she just appears after twenty years and she knows exactly where to find him and they are instantly best buds?

I wanted to like this book. I have loved some of her others. But this one… no.  But don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself. There are plenty of others who liked it better than I did. 

2 stars.

Purchase a copy:

 Meet the Author
Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has forty books published. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, traveling to exotic places like Australia, the Alps, and Newfoundland.

Find Anita onlinewebsiteFacebook 

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Married 'Til Monday

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
June 2015
ISBN:  978-1-4267-7041-8
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: A Chapel Springs Romance #4

With a big anniversary party in the works for his ex-wife’s parents, Ryan has just one weekend to play Abby’s husband . . . and win back the woman of his dreams.

Ryan McKinley has tried to move on from his ex-wife, Abby. He’s sulked, he’s gotten angry, and ultimately he bought her dream house. Big mistake. Living alone in the massive two-story has only made him miss her more. When her parents call him out of the blue about their anniversary party in Summer Harbor, Maine, Ryan believes God has dropped a golden opportunity straight in his lap.

Abby McKinley never exactly told her parents about the divorce. A strained relationship with her dad has culminated in a distant relationship with her parents, but she’s finally succumbed to her mom’s pressure to make the drive for their 35th-anniversary party.

Then Ryan shows up on her doorstep, looking as handsome as ever. When he insists he’s going to Summer Harbor, with or without her, Abby knows she can’t say no. Her parents still think they’re married and now Ryan knows it too. It’s just a one-week road trip with the man who broke her heart. What could possibly go wrong?

Discussion Questions Included

MARRIED ‘TIL MONDAY is the fourth book in this series. It stands alone, but fans will want to read Barefoot Summer, Dancing With Fireflies, and The Wishing Season to get the rest of the story about the family.

Denise Hunter is one of my very favorite contemporary romance writers, so I went into this book with high hopes. It took me awhile to get into this story; it was slow, but steady. The writing was impeccable, as per usual, but I never connected with the characters the way I wanted. Abby was complicated—we were shown that all the way through the book, but in addition to pushing away her ex-husband, she pushed away me as a reader. Ryan was wonderful, sweet, kind, slow to anger (though he did get upset a few times) and quick to defend his ex-wife. I loved his persistence.  

4 stars. Available in ebook, print, audio, and MP3 cd. 320 pages.

I obtained this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.