Monday, August 31, 2015

Love On a Deadline

Love on a Deadline: An August Wedding Story (A Year of Weddings Novella Book 9) 

Kindle Edition, audio and MP3 CD

by Kathryn Springer (Author)

  • File Size: 1965 KB
  • Print Length: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan 
  • Publication Date: July 28, 2015
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing

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.
MacKenzie thought writing wedding stories was beneath her journalistic abilities. Until one love story rekindled an old flame and opened her heart to love once more.
MacKenzie “Mac” Davis left her hometown of Red Leaf, Wisconsin, ten years ago, and she never looked back. But when her father, beloved Coach Davis, suffers a mild heart attack, she returns home for an extended visit. It means taking a job at the local newspaper, where the biggest news story is the return of Hollis Channing to marry her celebrity fiancé, but Mac would do anything to make sure her dad takes care of himself. She just didn’t know that would include spending extended time with her high school crush, Ethan Channing, brother of the bride and the boy who broke her heart.
When Ethan Channing offered to help his sister plan her fast wedding, he had no idea what a big production it would be. Nor what a dilapidated state their old family home would be in. But when he catches Mac trying to take pictures of the house for an article she’s writing, he ropes her in to helping him. It’s hard to believe the tomboy coach’s daughter he remembers from high school has turned into this beautiful fire ball of a woman. And he has to admit he doesn’t mind needing her help in planning the wedding of a lifetime.
It’s been ten years since they’ve seen each other. And ten years is a long time. But is it long enough to repair broken hearts and turn old high school crushes into love?

My thoughts: I love these weddings of the years novellas and this is one of the best ones this year. I enjoyed getting to know Mac and Ethan and having Mac get to know her high school crush all over again. I also loved how Ethan's sister, Hollis, changed from the mean rich girl that made fun of Mac to a sweetheart who had a lot of love and courage. 

LOVE ON A DEADLINE only took a few hours to read, and it was a satisfying read from start to finish. So many novellas feel unfinished, but this one didn't. Plus the characters had enough depth they became "real".  

If you  like contemporary romances, then pick up a copy of LOVE ON A DEADLINE.  You'll be glad you did. 

5 stars. 

I got this book from Booklook Bloggers for my honest opinion. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Counting on a Cowboy

Counting on a Cowboy

Counting on a Cowboy 

by Debra Clopton    

Contemporary Romance
A Four of Heart Ranch Romance book 2
Thomas Nelson 

After losing everything dear to her, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy spurs her to wonder if maybe love is worth the risk.

Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the homey town of Wishing Springs, Texas, after her favorite advice columnist found love and a home there. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby too . . . if she's brave enough to reach out and take it.

Bo Monahan isn't interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become---or the women who might be looking at him like he's their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn't looking for serious romantic commitments. But unexpectedly the young child he never knew about appears on his doorstep and Bo's world is turned upside down.

This confirmed bachelor might not need a wife, but he sure needs a woman . . . and newcomer Abby Knightly is definitely a woman. When she comes to his rescue to help him navigate fatherhood, he slowly uncovers her own history. And suddenly Bo's thinking maybe, just maybe, together they can help each other work through the problems of the past to create a future of their own.

My thoughts:  I was looking forward to this book since I read the first in the series, Betting on Hope. Unfortunately, COUNTING ON  A COWBOY didn't live up to the promises made by the first book in the series. It starts slow - with the heroine falling asleep, but even the immediately following accident involving a steer doesn't jack up the tension. It's just flat. These characters were undeveloped and I couldn't make myself care for them. It also seemed that the author got bored with it herself and decided to throw a baby into the mix. But she also seemed uncertain what age the baby should be. He's standing in a playpen when he's introduced, then he's referred to as a newborn or an infant, then it's a toddler, then they are putting him in a baby swing (which is for up to 3 months of age) then he is about a year old... Really?  Maybe a little consistency would be nice.  There is also no faith message that I can see. Abby goes to church once. Bo, never. 

If you love cowboy romances, southern fiction, or are a fan of Debra Clopton, then you might love COUNTING ON A COWBOY. It is set deep in the heart of Texas, with cowboys, small town appeal, and real quirkiness of some of the secondary characters who were introduced in the first book. 

I am looking forward to reading the third book in the series. Ms. Clopton's cowboy romances are usually fun and quirky, books that hold my attention all the way through. 

Purchase a copy:
About the author:
Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

Find Debra online: 
 Blog Tour Schedule

A new tale of romance, family, and taking risks—don't miss Debra Clopton's Counting on a Cowboy! After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.

Saddle up with Debra and her new book and enter to win her Love at the Reins prize pack!

counting on a cowboy-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Counting on a Cowboy

  • A $25 gift card to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Starbucks

  • A western-inspired bracelet

  • A horseshoe heart

  • clopton collage

    Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 8th. The winner will be announced September 9th on Debra's blog.

    counting on a cowboy-enter banner

    Saturday, August 29, 2015

    The Berenstain Bears Harvest Festival and Storybook Bible

    The Berenstain Bears' Harvest Festival (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights) 


    August 4, 2015 

    by Mike Berenstain (Author)

    • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
    • Series: Berenstain Bears/Living Lights
    • 24 pages
    • Publisher: Zonderkidz 
    • ISBN-13: 978-0310748656
    Reviewed by: Kayli

    Autumn is a beautiful time of year, and the folks of Bear Country are looking forward to everything the season brings. So when the Chapel in the Woods holds its first ever Harvest Festival, people gather at Farmer Ben’s for a wonderful time of family, friends, fun, and praising God for his gifts.

    I loved this book. It was interesting and I loved reading about going to the Berenstain Bears' Harvest Festival. They got to pick bushels of apples, pick out their perfect pumpkins, go on a hayride, and enjoy God's bounty. It also teaches that it isn't Mother Nature that's in charge of Autumn weather and the harvest, but it's God, so we need to give thanks to him. Discuss questions and activities are included. 

    I give this book 5 stars. 


    The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Little Ones (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights) 

    Board book 

    August 4, 2015

    by Jan & Mike Berenstain (Author)

    • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
    • Series: Berenstain Bears/Living Lights
    • Board book: 30 pages
    • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Brdbk edition 
    • ISBN-13: 978-0310749417
    • Reviewed by Kayli

    The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Toddlers is perfect for young children. Now toddlers have a padded board book edition designed just for them, with simple text, bright art, and a padded cover. This cute and durable edition provides an overview of the Bible with ten stories from the Old and New Testaments that follow the Bear family as they explore Scripture. The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Toddlers is fun and enlightening for kids and a great resource for parents and educators. 

    A great sturdy storybook Bible for toddlers!  It is also available in e-book.  It includes the story of creation, Noah's ark, David and Goliath, Daniel in the lions den, the birth of Jesus, the Good Samaritan, and other stories told in simple to understand language. Great for nurseries to read to the babies for a short Bible lesson or to read as devotions for toddlers. The Bible characters are drawn as bears. Really cute. But a bit simple for 8 year olds. I think its meant for younger children. 

    3 stars for older children, 5 stars for babies. Average 4 stars. 

    Friday, August 28, 2015

    Wild Horses

    Wild Horses

    Paperback – Ebook -- Audio

    October 1, 2011

    by Linda Byler 

    • Series: Sadie's Montana (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 360 pages
    • Publisher: Good Books 
    • ISBN-13: 978-1561487363

              The Miller family's move from Ohio to Montana was, for the most part, uneventful, except that Sadie Miller had to leave her beloved horse, the palomino named Paris. Still, she likes the Montana snows and her job at Aspen East Ranch serving the ranch hands. Unexpectedly, Ezra appears, the man who seems to be perfect in every way and fully intends to marry Sadie. But does she love him back? And who is this fascinating Mark who helps to rescue a dying horse and shows up at the Amish hymn-sing though he is English? Why can't she get his dark eyes and tall stature out of her mind?           

    Now Sadie's own close-knit family is falling apart. Mam claims her head is cluttered and unclear, and she no longer trusts herself to make a chocolate cake from scratch or to cut Reuben's hair in a straight line. The worst part is, Dat refuses to acknowledge Mam's struggles. Sadie finds some refuge in Nevaeh, a black and white paint. But when a dreadful accident involving wild horses occurs, Sadie must move forward into the unknown future. Will Dat let Mam seek professional help? Will Mam be willing to go? Will Mark be at the next hymn-sing? Is he Amish or English? Will he like her favorite pink dress? Will she see the wild horses again? Why do these phantom-like animals take her breath away every time they appear on the horizon?

    WILD HORSES  is the first book in Ms. Byler's series Sadie's Montana. It's been out awhile, but I'm filling in blank dates with old books I haven't had time to read.  

    Ms. Byler, I think is published mainly because she is Amish. The story idea is good, the tension high, but it would've been so much better if she wasn't in everyone's head at the same time, if she wouldn't tell us stuff before it happened, and if she were consistent. The one horse went from male to female to male back to female and back to male. The author used wrong names for some of the characters. She uses one name for I think, Sadie. If it wasn't Sadie, then a random person appeared once in the story for one three word sentence, then disappeared. 

    Okay, the writing is not good. But the story was. I totally enjoyed getting immersed in a story set in Montana involving Amish and wild horses. 

    I give this book 4 stars. 

    Thursday, August 27, 2015

    Silver Spurs

    Silver Spurs (Horses and Friends) 

    Paperback – 

    June 1, 2015

    by Miralee Ferrell  (Author)

    • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
    • Series: Horses and Friends
    • Paperback: 240 pages
    • Publisher: David C. Cook 
    • ISBN-13: 978-0781411134
    • Reviewed by: Jenna

    Kate's dream of running her own riding stable has just one hurtle....

    Kate’s dream of owning a horse has finally happened. But now her best friend Tori has no money to buy a horse. So Kate comes up with a plan—she’ll raise money by boarding horses and hosting a show in her family’s barn.

    It seems the perfect solution until Melissa, the girl who disses Kate and Tori at school, shows up to board her horse, determined to compete in their show and win the silver spurs. Will their plan be ruined—or does God have something better in store for them all?

    Silver Spurs is a tale of overcoming fears and trusting God with your dreams.

    SILVER SPURS is a semi-good book. I didn't like parts in the book where she didn't think it was fair when other people got what she wanted. And one of the parts I really didn't like, was where she got jealous because her way of thinking showed that she wanted the girl to get hurt. 

    Other than that it was a good book. I especially liked that the girl that she thought was mean was actually nice to her little brother who was autistic and she did what he wanted and treated him really gently. I really liked those parts. 

    4 stars. 

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    All About China: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More for Kids

    This book is on special at Amazon today, for $11.95 - instead of $16.95.

    All About China: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More for Kids
    Grades 3 - 6. Price $16.95
    Tuttle Publishing

    All about China is available in hard cover and e-book form, so however you want to read, it’s in your format. It is a collection of cool pictures, and an encyclopedia of information about China.

    In All about China, Allison “Aixin” Branscombe includes interesting things such as:

    Ø                fantastic tales about the creation of the earth and the origin of the moon goddess
    Ø                China’s multifaceted cultural heritage and breathtaking places
    Ø                (Attempting to) solve a tangram shape puzzle
    Ø                Learn about the twelve Chinese zodiac animals and how they were chosen
    Ø                Try crafts and recipes for Chinese festivals and holidays
    Ø                Learn a couple Chinese songs (English words and music included)
    Ø                Practice Chinese calligraphy and other arts

    All about China isn’t a real deep guide about China. It does scratch the surface for the younger age. If you are Christian, and want to teach a Christian world view, you will need to supplement or “correct”, as the story of creation in this book is not biblical. The gods and goddesses and religions included in this book do not touch on Christian missionaries or Chinese Christians who are suffering for their faith. Otherwise, this was an interesting book that taught a lot of interesting information about this country, some of which I never knew or realized. 

    Tuesday, August 25, 2015

    Scripture Memory Songs

    Scripture Memory Songs
    Ages 8 - 12. Price $8.99
    This Side Up, LLC

    Scripture Memory Songs is a cd or MP3 download geared toward teaching children ages 8 – 12 years old memory verses, using the NIV Bible, complete with references.

    In Scripture Memory Songs Ms. Jennifer Shaw has expertly divided portions of the Bible up by topics, such as “Show Down!” and “Lights, Camera, Action” and found verses suitable for each topic.

    Bible memorization is an important skill that most Christians don’t utilize. According to Ms. Shaw’s press release included with the CD, scripture illiteracy is at an all time high, with most people unable to even name five of the ten commandments. Since we will be entering (at some point in our lives) a time when Bibles are forbidden, and even now with them available there are times we need to “hear God’s voice”, it is important for children (and adults) to memorize Bible verses.

    Scripture Memory Songs engages children with catchy tunes. I like that the references are included, and I like that the lyrics (and verses) for each song are also included as the singers don’t enunciate each song very clearly, and sometimes the words are hard to understand.

    My ten year old (who is in the targeted age group for this album) loved it. However, Ms. Shaw also says she hopes that adults will listen and learn along with the children. In my family, at least, the general adult consensus was, “Okay, that was weird” referring to the introductory songs to each section. And we had issues with the John 3:16 song—it says “God’s one and only son” when the words are “only begotten son” and that word change makes a world of difference in other scripture verses that refer to us all becoming joint heirs, adopted children of God, etc.

    If you want to teach your children Bible memory verses using the NIV, then Scripture Memory Songs is an invaluable resource. Somewhat recommended with the above exceptions.

    Monday, August 24, 2015

    Love Takes the Cake

    Love Takes the CakeA September Wedding Story

    By Betsy St. Amant
    Published by Zondervan

    Genre: Contemporary romance novella 
    available in ebook and MP3 audio

    Book Description

    Meet the people who make it all happen—the planners, the photographers, the musicians who have helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples—as they find their own happy endings in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.
    She’s known for her delicious cakes, but there’s no recipe for dealing with the new man in her life. 
    Charlotte owns the best bakery in Louisiana, and clients come from near and far for her renowned wedding cakes. And while the wedding scene is Charlotte’s place to shine, her own love life is more dull than ever. After a string of failed relationships—and men who actually were too good to be true—she has decided to throw herself into her craft and leave love and marriage to her clients. 
    Will is a successful entrepreneur but devotes much of his spare time to caring for his ill mother. He knows he doesn't have much time left with her, so he has done everything he can to guard his heart from relationships. And what girl would understand that he needs to spend all his time with his mother? But when his best friend calls in his help for his September wedding, Will can’t refuse. He's always been there for those closest to him. And when he finds out they don’t have a wedding cake yet, he knows exactly where to go—the bakery owned by the beautiful, mysterious young woman he buys treats from. 
    Charlotte assumes Will is just another party boy who flirts with all the bridesmaids. But is Will hiding something that explains his behavior? And despite their reservations, will they be able to deny the chemistry between them?
    My thoughts:  I loved this story. Betsy St. Armant has made a name for herself with sweet contemporary romance and is quickly rising to the top of my favorite contemporary authors list.  I enjoyed getting to know Will and Charlotte and their histories, and their love story as they get to know each other. I totally understand Charlotte's reservations -- and Will's nice guy personality which doesn't make saying "no" easy.  I almost wish I was there for the wedding cake tasting decision, some of the flavors sounded yummy!  I just had a plain old vanilla cake. 
    I love these novella collection Zondervan has started putting out - and hope they continue them into a new year. I have  my favorites and this one heads to the top ten listing of favorites for the two years they've been out. 
    If you love contemporary romance, don't miss LOVE TAKES THE CAKE.

    Sunday, August 23, 2015

    Interrupting the Life of a Generation in Pain

      Interrupting the Life of a Generation in Pain

    “86% of teens believe in God, but most don’t believe He is loving. Even fewer believe they are lovable. What if this generation truly understood and responded to God’s offer of hope, truth, and purpose?”  
    - Sean Dunn

    Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—Anyone who has lived through adolescence can testify that it is a difficult time. As they navigate the waters of our post-Christian society, today’s young people suffer from unprecedented levels of depression, anxiety, pressure, loneliness, and desperation for approval. For many, one nagging question motivates every social media post, short-sighted decision, and attempt to self-harm. Does anyone really care about me?

    At, hurting teens and young adults from across the globe find comfort, guidance, and the answers they desperately seek.  An initiative of Groundwire, follows and expands the remarkably effective model that has touched millions of young viewers and listeners since 2006. Using a multi-pronged strategy, Groundwire leverages media and technology to meet the age 15-25 demographic exactly where they are — viewing, listening, texting, or chatting — and to invite them to voice their questions and struggles, so they can find answers in the message of the Gospel. Young people listening to popular radio broadcasts or viewing favorite shows on networks like CW, MTV, VH1, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming, and Comedy Central are interrupted by direct advertising spots that catch their attention, resonating with where they are today.

    The initiative includes targeted, authentic, and well-produced commercials that grab the attention of young viewers and listeners by the millions. As they respond to the broadcast messages, they are invited to visit the website where they can chat with a live spiritual coach available day and night, as well as find a collection of resources such as podcasts by Groundwire’s founder and executive director, Sean Dunn, and daily devotionals.

    Watch "When the Silence is Overwhelming"

    “Statistics indicate that 86% of teens believe in God, but most don’t believe He is loving. Even fewer believe they are lovable. What if this generation truly understood and responded to God’s offer of hope, truth, and purpose?” Dunn asks.

    Since 2006, Groundwire has interacted with broken and searching youth on thousands of live chats. Students are drawn to the honest dialogue about spiritual issues, often receiving Christ as their Savior as a result of the coaches’ ministry. Coaches then do their best to connect visitors to local churches and resources where they can continue to grow in their faith. looks to grow Groundwire’s reach in contemporary culture.

    “Today’s younger generation hungers for a real and personal relationship with the Living God. And that really transcends culture. Unfortunately, a common misconception many older Christians have about young people is that they only desire interaction with others who are young like them and are products of the same culture,” Dunn says. “The truth is that this group is desperately in need of intergenerational connection. They crave it. The Jesus Cares initiative has already shown us that, when we make ourselves available to listen and respond, young people cling to that, and they are willing—even eager—to share their burdens and receive the Good News we offer.”

    Hundreds of volunteers from around the world form a team that offers coaching 24 hours a day, and that number must increase alongside launches of the ministry in new locations. is seeking coaches of all ages and backgrounds to be available when young seekers respond to the TV and radio ads—coaches like Sue. A resident of Northern California, Sue spends her days caring for her husband, who has Parkinson’s Disease, and her mother, who suffers from dementia. Neither can be left alone, so she spends only three hours a week away from the house. Sue is in her mid-60’s. Essentially, she is homebound, yet since she began coaching through in June of 2014, she has led 66 young people to Christ.

    One of those new believers is Lori, an 18-year-old who lives in the United Kingdom.  When Lori reached out to, she was struggling with a history of self-harm (cutting) and contemplating suicide. “I came on here as a last resort,” Lori shared after receiving Christ during her chat with Sue. “I have 168 tablets I was going to take to end my life. Now I’m going to flush them down the toilet.”

    To bring JesusCares to your community or to sign up as a coach,