Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Wedding Invitation

Author: Alice J. Wisler             
Publisher: Bethany House
October 2011
ISBN 0764207334
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Heart of Carolina #4

  It's hard to concentrate when the past keeps shoving its way into your thoughts...

After returning home from teaching in a refugee camp in the Philippines, Samantha Bravencourt enjoys her quiet life working at her mother's clothing boutique near Washington, D.C. When she receives an invitation to her friend's wedding in Winston-Salem, NC, she's excited to reconnect with her college pals.

But the wedding turns out quite differently than Sam expects. A chance encounter leads to a reunion with Carson Brylie, a fellow teacher and the man who once broke her heart, and Lien, a young Amerasian girl who desperately needs Sam and Carson's help.

But working with Carson might put Sam's tender heart at risk once again. Is she willing to forgive the past and take another chance on love?

A WEDDING INVITATION is book four in this series, preceded by Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, and Hattaras Girl, however, each book stands alone. I love contemporary romance, and am fond of first person, present tense, so that didn’t bother me. However, Sam seemed a bit one dimensional, and I didn’t like relationship between Sam and Carson at all. The romance wasn’t really anything to speak of.

I liked that Ms. Wisler was really a teacher of English in foreign countries, and that she knew what she was talking about in those parts. If you are interested in teaching English overseas, or like first person/present tense romance, you might like A WEDDING INVITATION. It is an older book, but still available.

3 stars. Available in ebook and paperback. 323 pages.

I received this book from and was not required to write a review. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Cottonmouth and the End

by C. S. Fritz  (Author)

Friday, May 29, 2015

New VeggieTales Super Comics! Volumes 1 & 2

 These comics are geared toward ages 4-8, and it is the first Christian comic ever to be specifically for this age group.

These comics will contain one Bible story, one action story, and one LarryBoy story. We look forward to hearing about how God uses the comics to help kids learn more about God's Word through these hilarious, engaging stories!

To get a good feel for what to expect, click to play the video below.

VeggieTales SuperComics: Vol 1 Paperback – February 15, 2015

VeggieTales SuperComics: Vol 2 Paperback – February 15, 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015


FALCON:  The Quiet Professionals Book 3
ISBN 978-1-62416-319-7
Shiloh Run Press
350 pages
$13.99 U.S.

Now . . . it’s personal.

As if it weren’t before.

The operators in Team Raptor have had their head cut off.  But they are not dead, neither are they any less deadly.  When you set out to yank the tail of the tiger – you’d better have a plan for dealing with his teeth.

Newly-minted Warrant Officer 1st Class Salvatore “FALCON” Russo is totally ready to sink his teeth into the Osiris hacker.  But that means putting the team in the hands of Cassandra Walker.  In his eyes, the cliché “Anything is better than nothing” fails the test when it comes to Cassie.  The last time he trusted her, two of the most important people in his life died.  Never again.

Cassandra Walker knows exactly three things:  she has never loved any man besides Salvatore Russo, he hates her more than life itself, and her mission may destroy any chance of reconciliation.

In the third installment of The Quiet Professionals, “FALCON” must reassemble the team and send them into danger – yet again.  Yet he can’t escape the frustration of having his hands tied, the Raptor team unable to do what they do best:  operate.  With swift, unerring precision.  Ridding the world of a cancer that should never have existed in the first place.

Riding the razor’s edge has never been more crucial than now .  . . nor has it ever been more painful.  What will “FALCON” find waiting for him at the end of the ride?  Is that light at the end of the tunnel?  Or is it another freight train?  Ronie Kendig will keep you guessing to the very last page.

One thing that does need mentioning.  The Quiet Professionals series, by its very nature, is more interwoven than a lot of series might be.  Because this is an “on-going operation,” FALCON  is not as easily read “on-its-own.”  If this is the first book of the series you’ve come across, you might consider checking out the previous two, just to get the “lay of the land.”

5 stars for Special Ops action, suspense and a passion for others by Ronie Kendig!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Odyssey Adventure Club -- only $1.00!

Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means school will be out for the summer! Parents, does that fill you with dread, knowing all you'll hear for the next few months is, "I'm bored!"? Keep reading because we have a deal for you-one that will only cost you a buck and that will keep your kids safe online while allowing them to have fun and to grow in their relationship with Jesus. 

Buck Oliver is back in the latest Adventures in Odyssey album, and to celebrate, you can try the Odyssey Adventure Club for just a buck for your first month. Sign up beforeMay 31st using the promo code BUCK! *This deal only applies to first-time accounts and is good the first month only. 

Members receive: 
-24/7 streaming access to more than 750 Adventures in Odyssey episodes (a $1500 retail value). 
-A new, members-only Adventures in Odyssey episode every month. 
-A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine
-A web quest of video stories and online activities reflecting the biblical theme of that month's episode. 
-On-the-go access with the OAClub mobile iOS app. 
-Growing access to Odyssey books, a daily devotion, access to select Radio Theatre dramas and more. 

Additionally, a portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations, such as Carry the Cure and Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of serving others. The Odyssey Adventure Club hopes to spend another 25 years hand-in-hand with parents seeking to teach biblical truth to their children while inspiring the theater of their imagination. 


Your favorite Adventures in Odyssey characters are also Taking the Plunge in Album 59 and now you can, too! This summer, dive into your faith and grow closer to God by joining the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge. It includes these simple things: 
  • Learn 5 memory verses
  • Get active with 5 family activities together
  • Share God's love and your faith in 5 different ways
When you commit to the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge, you'll receive: 
  • A promo code for an exclusive Odyssey Adventure Club first month offer (for new members only)
  • Adventures in Odyssey special studio message
  • "Strange Journey Back" book excerpt
  • "Jones and Parker Mysteries" book excerpt
To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.orgFacebook,Twitter and Pinterest. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

NIrV Gift and Award Bible

Title: NIrV GIFT AND AWARD BIBLE             
Publisher: Zonderkidz
March 2015
ISBN 978-0310725572
Genre: Bible
Age: Tween
Economically priced, the NIV Gift and Award Bible is the perfect gift for any occasion in a child's life.

Features include:
* Complete text of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible
* Durable Leather-Look binding
* Words of Christ in red
* Two-column format
* Life in New Testament Times
* List of teachings, ministry, miracles, and parables of Jesus
* Bible dictionary/concordance

For the price, this isn’t a bad Bible. The print is not as tiny as some reviewers stated, but the format or font does make it kind of hard to read in spots. I don’t like the paper cover so well, it would be easy to bend or tear. There are no pictures which most children like in Bibles, but if someone doesn’t have a Bible or is getting a new cheap one then it would be a good gift. 

Available in blue, pink, or brown for both boys and girls. If I were looking for a new Bible for my daughters, I would look further. If I were giving a Bible to a Bible-less bus child, I would consider this. It would also be good for churches to keep in stock for Bible-less visitors. 

3 stars. Available in paperback. 736 pages.

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Princess Parables Sticker & Activity Books

Authors: Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson
Illustrator: Omar Aranda
Publisher: Zonderkidz
April 2015
ISBN JOY:  978-0-310-74618-8
ISBN GRACE:  978-0-310-74741-3
ISBN CHARITY:  978-0-310-74644-7
Genre: Children’s sticker and activity book
Series: The Princess Parables
Ages: 4 - 8 
Reviewed by Jenna
Sticker books girls will love! The Princess Parables come to life through age-appropriate puzzles, activity pages, and 50 colorful and reusable stickers in the friendly and fun Princess Charity’s/ Joy’s/Grace’s Sticker and Activity Book featuring Charity/Joy/Grace, her four princess sisters, and their friends.

Join Charity/Joy/Grace and her sisters in some creative and interactive fun with 16 pages of stickers and activities that are sure to please, featuring her father the king and her special animal friend.

My sisters and I enjoy working on these Princess Parable activity books. It was pretty exciting when three of them came in the mail today since I have two sisters and we could each have a different one.

My only complaint about these is that they aren’t long enough and it’s hard to know what to do with the stickers. I ended up decorating some of my other school books. My little sister stuck them on a blank piece of paper.

In addition to stickers, there is a word search, counting, a code, coloring pictures, find the differences, maze, and dot-to-dot puzzles included.

We all enjoy these books and they are good for road trips, for keeping us quiet and busy while waiting for appointments, and more. Mom keeps ours in an activity box at church to keep us busy while we wait.

4 stars. Available in paperback. 16 pages.

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

In Firefly Valley

Author: Amanda Cabot             
Publisher: Revell
May 2015
ISBN 978-0800734350
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Texas Crossroads book 2

  She's lost her dream job--but has she found the man of her dreams?

Devastated by a downsizing, Marisa St. George has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it means a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow's End resort. The only silver lining: Blake Kendall, a new guest who might make her believe in love at first sight. But will Marisa's dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers Blake's real identity?

This warm and witty story of dreams deferred and mistaken identity will have you believing in second chances.

IN FIREFLY VALLEY is book 2 in Ms. Cabot’s Texas Crossroads Series, and though these books do stand alone, readers will want to read the previous books. The first book is At Bluebonnet Lake.

There are three different stories going on in this book: Marissa and Blake, Marissa’s parents, and Laurel and Drew. Still, readers won’t have any problem keeping people straight.

I read IN FIREFLY VALLEY through to the end, though parts of it were skim worthy. I love contemporary romance, so am glad that it is popular right now. The faith message in this book is weak, not preachy at all, so non-Christians who read it shouldn’t be offended unless phrases like “You should pray” bothers them. The characters actually do pray once. They don’t attend church. However, there is growth, both with Marissa’s anger issues and Blake’s secretive ways.

This wasn’t my favorite book by Ms. Cabot, but all in all, IN FIREFLY VALLEY was a good read, one I enjoyed and I would recommend it to fans of contemporary romance.

4 stars. Available in ebook, hardcover, and paperback. 368 pages.

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

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Somewhere, My Love

Somewhere, My Love: An inspirational romance novella collection about taking a leap of faith for love. . . 

Susan May Warren 

  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Publisher: My Book Therapy 
  • May 26, 2015

**Limited Pre-Order price of .99!** 

We’d all like to believe that there is someone out there, waiting for us. The perfect one, who is exactly the right fit. But sometimes the wait – and the fear of launching out to find that special someone -- keep us from leaping out in faith. From saying hello, accepting that cup of coffee, saying yes to a romantic walk on the beach. 

Sometimes it just takes a providential moment to change everything. RITA and Christy award-winning, ECPA and CPA best-selling novelist, Susan May Warren brings you three delightful novellas about leaping out into the unknown only to discover that yes, somewhere, my love is waiting. 

This Little House of Mine 

When they said "Missionary," Interior Decorator Ellen White expected, well, not the hot, tall, and sweet Paul Stoneman, fresh from the backwoods of some Russian village. And sure, she'll help him redecorate his cute missionary home. After all, clearly the confirmed, rough-around-the edges bachelor needs a woman's touch. But when she falls for him, she discovers that loving a man with a heart for God requires more from her than she's willing to give. 

Paul Stoneman longs for a wife to share his life wife. Sure, he loves his life as a missionary, but admittedly, he's lonely. Beautiful Ellen White is exactly what he's prayed for - right down to her ability to turn his life into something beautiful. But Ellen isn't interesting in leaving the comforts of America for the rustic life of a missionary, right? 

More than just a romance, this story will tug at the heart of anyone who loves a man whose heart belongs first, to God. 

My thoughts:  Ellen is bubbly and instantly wins over Paul's heart. Whereas Ellen is torn, wanting to throw over her dream career for a mission field... is God actually calling her or is it because of Paul? 

I'm used to reading Susan's more developed stories, with characters that you fall in love with despite their issues. I wasn't there with Paul and Ellen but I wanted to. Maybe I went in with too high of expectations, since this was one of Ms. Warren's first published books and she hadn't honed her skill to the level it is now. 

Regardless, I enjoyed getting reacquainted with Paul and Ellen. All he wanted to do was build a deck. . . and she turned his life upside down. One just has to be amazed at how God works . . .  I may have wanted this story to be longer and more developed, but it was still good.  A quick read.  4 stars.

Measure of a Man 

The last person Calli Deane expects to find trapped in an elevator in Siberia at 2.a.m is Peter Samuelson—the man who broke her heart. Besides, she has a life she loves now - as a missionary in Russia. But Peter is not the man she remembers, and suddenly, she has to take another look, remeasure the man she once knew. But can love be reignited, or will the fears – and mistakes – of the past drive them apart again? 

My thoughts.  This story was also previously published -- Ms. Warren's very first published book. I remember her excitement when her real-life story of being stuck in a Russian elevator turned into a published novel. I was excited for  her! 

It was good getting reacquainted with Peter and Calli, and as I said with the first novella in this collection, these books in no way mirror the talent Ms. Warren currently is. It made me initially fall in love with her books, and it might bring a whole new flock of fans to Ms. Warren's doorsteps, but as with most author's, their writing ability improve with each book they write. 

It was interesting finding Peter out of his element in Russia and floundering around. Getting robbed... poisoned... tricked. Callie was the true hero, coming to his rescue, time and again, and pointing him to God. But--will Peter give up his legacy and surrender to missions work? Or will he call Callie out of the wilderness?  4 stars. 

Proof of Your Love 

Investigative Reporter Justine Proof knows she doesn't belong in the small, backwater town in East Tennessee...not only is she a Yankee, and hasn't the foggiest idea what grits are, but she's pretty sure someone is out to get her. And yes, it might be because she's investigating a murder, but someone is making it personal. Certainly it can't be cute, but redneck, coffee shop owner "Wild" Pat Bells, right? Still, every time she has car trouble, Pat "seems" to show up, raspberry latte in hand. Is he a rogue meaning her harm - or a friend trying to help? 

Patrick Bells can’t believe he heard a woman plan a murder into her tape recorder. And not just any woman – cute and sassy Justine Proof, a woman he’s been scraping up the courage to meet since the first day she ordered a raspberry latte in his coffee shop, the Right Cup. But Pat isn't going to let anyone get hurt in his town. . . 

Justine has finally found someone she’d like to trust -- someone who has suddenly become more than just an early morning ray of sunshine in her life. But her suspicious mind stands between her and true love. She’s about to learn that trust is a choice, and that only God can help her make it. 

My thoughts:  Again, Proof of Your Love was previously published, this one with a collection with Barbour. I remember reading it when it first came out. I enjoyed getting reacquainted with Justine and Patrick, and remembering the story behind this story. It was funny how Patrick heard Justine plotting a murder in her recorder, and worried that she might be trying to kill someone for real. 

But things are not as peaceful in this Tennessee town as one would think. There are long buried feuds, murders unsolved, and someone out to kill Justine. Why? And who?  You'll have to read the book to find out. 

This was Ms. Warren's deput suspense/thriller which led to her her series with Love Inspired about Russia and another one set in Tennessee and Missouri. 4.5 stars. 

Overall, 4.166667 stars  A great collection of Ms. Warren's beginning novellas now out of print. Fans who haven't read her early works will want this, in addition to contemporary romance readers who haven't discovered her yet. 

While the City Sleeps (Women of Midtown)

  While the City Sleeps  (Women of Midtown)  February 13, 2024 by  Elizabeth Camden   (Author) Amid the hushed city, two hearts must navigat...