Monday, February 29, 2016

The Great Big Super-Duper Easter Basket Giveaway!

Can you believe Easter will be here next month? Wasn't Christmas like yesterday???  I've categorized the titles in groups for gift guides for different ages and a separate category for our Easter themed picture books for 2016. I would also like to offer you each the opportunity to give away one (1) entire category to one (1) lucky winner for your blog.  To enter:  leave a comment below, include which category you'd like to win, and include contact information or yo will be disqualified. 
  For Toddlers (ages 2-5)

Adventure Bible for Little Ones
Padded Board Book Storybook Bible

All Aboard the Ark
Board Book; Bible Story

Snuggle Time Prayers 
by Glenys Nellist
Board Book; Bedtime Prayers

Little One, God Loves Youby Amy Warren Hilliker
Board Book; complements The Purpose Driven Life series by Rick Warren

Little Love Letters from God
by Glenys Nellist
Board Book; Bible Stories

  For Pre-K through Grade 4 (ages 4-10)

Faith Builders Bible

Full Text Bible with Features

Angels in the Bible Storybook
by Allia Zobel Nolan
Informational Storybook Bible for Older children

Think, Act, Be Like Jesus
by Randy Frazee
Devotional for kids ages 6-12; from Believe series

7 Days of Awesome
by Shawn Byous
Picture Book; Story of Creation

  For Tweens and Middle Schoolers (Grades 5-8, ages 10-13)

The Looney Experiment
by Luke Reynolds
Contemporary Fiction

Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible For Kids

Full Text, Full featured Bible

Lots of Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids
by Whee Winn
Non-Fiction; Humor

The Purpose Driven Life Devotional for Kids
by Rick Warren

365-Day Devotional

London Art Chase
by Natalie Grant
Fiction; Mystery

The Plans I Have for You Devotional and Journal
by Amy Parker
30-Day Devotional with Journal

  For Teens (ages 13 and up)

by Evangeline Denmark
Fiction; Steampunk/ SciFi

Inspirational Words
Coloring Book for Ages 13 +

* This book will ship after 2/18/2016

The Story of God's Love for Youby Sally Lloyd Jones
Nonfiction, Teen & Adult companion to The Jesus Storybook Bible

The NIV Bible for Teen Girls
Full Text, Full Featured Bible with Celebrity contributors

  Easter Themed  Picture Books

The Berenstain Bears' Easter Sunday
by Mike Berenstain

Ages 3-10

A Royal Easter Story
by Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson
Fiction; Princess Parables Series
Ages 3-10

The Legend of the Easter Robin
by Dandi Daley Mackall
Illustrated by Richard Cowdrey
Ages 3-10

Sunday, February 28, 2016

I Love You Sour, I Love You Sweet

Inline image

I Love You Sour, I Love You Sweet 

Paperback, ebook, hardcover 

December 30, 2015

by Anita Higman (Author)

Jeneal B. Rogers (Illustrator)

  • Age Range: 1 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 62 pages
  • Publisher: Armonia Publishing 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1944613051

A beautifully illustrated, whimsical, rhyming ABC picture book by bestselling author Anita Higman. Pictures by award-winning artist Jeneal B. Rogers. This timeless message of true love is appropriate for both children and adults of all ages. 
C: "I love you like a Cookie crunch. I love you when you're late for lunch."
J: "I love you sour, I love you sweet, I love you like a Jelly treat." 
M:   I love you More than fuzzy beagles. I love you more than ice cream giggles.
N:     I love you rainbow colors bright. I love you in the starry Night.
T:    I love you much in whispers light and when you Tuck me in at night.
W:  I love you when we have the sillies, and when we’re chasing Willy-nilly.
Z:  I love you bigger than a pancake stack. I love you Zooming to the moon and back!

            My thoughts:  I LOVE YOU SOUR is the sweetest little alphabet book ever!  I absolutely adored it.  I read it to my four children who were home with me at the time, and they all laughed, even the twenty-somethings.  I absolutely loved this.  I got a kindle copy for review from Book Fun Magazine and the author, and I am going to buy a hard copy one for my own personal library. A beautiful book with lovely illustrations and a heartfelt message any mom, grandma, aunt, or dad, grandpa, or uncle will love to read to their favorite child.  5 stars for sure. Love, love, loved it. 

Just a little extra, for those who are interested . . . you know all those cool doodling color books that are everywhere now? Armonia Publishing is releasing one in March, and we're so excited we can hardly stand it! Rabbit Doodles is illustrated by the lovely and talented Elise Whittier Church, and each of the rabbits in the book is drawn from a real rabbit at Elise's local rabbit rescue. 

I've known Elise a long time, and believe me, she has a heart of gold, especially when it comes to mistreated animals. I taught with her years ago, and she was my daughter's favorite teacher. (And considering the fact that I was also one of her teachers . . . well . . . we'll just leave that one alone.) ;-)

If you'd like a preview - a free coloring page from the book - "hop" on over to Free Stuff at Armonia Publishing and sign up for our weekly newsletter. Nothing pushy there; just a weekly fun, encouraging article and some announcements about our cool upcoming projects. Feel free to share the link with your friends!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Dolphin's Wish

A Dolphin Wish 

Faithgirlz / Glimmer Girls

Paperback, ebook, audio, MP3 CD 

January 26, 2016

by Natalie Grant (Author)

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Faithgirlz / Glimmer Girls
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310752530

Join twins Mia and Maddie and their sidekick little sister, LuLu, as they travel the country finding adventure, mystery, and sometimes mischief along the way. Together with their famous mother, singer Gloria Glimmer, and their slightly wacky nanny Miss Twist, the sisters learn lessons about being good friends, telling the truth, and a whole lot more.
In A Dolphin Wish a three-night stop in the city of San Diego seems like it might be just the break the girls need—lovely weather and great sights to see. That is until they hear animal handlers at “Watery World” talking about the trouble they’ve been having keeping the animals in their habitats. Mia and her sisters cannot resist a challenge and they talk Miss Twist into another visit to the educational amusement park to search for clues as to what or who is helping the animals escape.

My review (by Jenna):  A DOLPHIN WISH is a very good book. In the first book, Maddie chased down the art thief so Mia was jealous and wants a mystery to prove she's equal to her sister but in the end she realizes they won't be the same all the time even if they are twins.  So  her relationship with her sister was restored. Very good book, recommended. 5 stars.  

Friday, February 26, 2016

An Amish Market

An Amish Market: Four Novellas 

Paperback, ebook, hardcover

February 2, 2016

by Amy Clipston (Author), Kathleen Fuller  (Author), Kelly Irvin (Author), Vannetta Chapman (Author)

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0529118684

All the color and variety of a quaint Amish shop in a charming collection of novellas by four of your favorite authors. Feel free to come in and browse!

Love Birds by Amy Clipston
While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?
My thoughts: LOVE BIRDS is a really sweet, young adult-ish style romance. Ellie is 18, but acts and thinks rather immature. When her brother dies, she takes a part-time job, but when her new boss says he'll have to cut her hours even more, she goes against Lloyd's wishes and tries to force him into selling his birds instead of respecting his wishes. Lloyd is a sweet young man, kind and caring, though deeply wounded by Ellie's actions. Will he ever trust her again.  Well-written, sweet, and YA, this would be a story a mom wouldn't hesitate to allow her tween, young teen daughter to read. 5 stars. 

A Bid for Love by Kathleen Fuller
Every week, Hannah Lynne brings her home-churned butter to the local market. And every week Ezra stops by to purchase some. Hannah Lynne knows not to read too much into it—Ezra is a confirmed bachelor and barely even glances her way, despite any hope to the contrary. But when Ezra bids an exorbitant amount to win the quilt she had her heart set on, Hannah Lynne can’t stop her heart from taking over her mind. Could Ezra finally be in the market for love?

My thoughts: A BID FOR LOVE is one of the best books I've read by Ms. Fuller lately. I loved Hannah Lynne. She is so sweet and innocent. Ezra is confused by her. He doesn't exactly understand why he seeks her out, why he wants her to be happy, and this ends up hurting her worse as she doesn't know how to act around him. The quilt brings it all to a head, but when the truth comes out, will it ruin any chance for happiness?  A sweet romance. 5 stars. 

Sweeter Than Honey by Kelly Irvin
Shattering a jar of pickled beets wasn’t the impression Isabella hoped to make on her first trip to the local Combination Store of Bee County, Texas. But as embarrassed as she was by the accident, she didn’t think it warranted the frosty reaction from the handsome manager of the store, Will Glick. As she soon learns, though, Will’s heart has been broken one too many times. And now, for some reason, Isabella finds herself determined to be the one to repair that broken heart and renew his faith in love.

My thoughts: SWEETER THAN HONEY dragged a bit for me and I found myself skimming a lot.  I liked Will from some of the previous books in Ms. Irvin's Bee County series. A unique setting, it is interesting seeing an Amish community struggling to survive in southern Texas and the recent immigrants struggling to fit in. I enjoyed getting to know Isabella, and I loved the faith message and the way this story ended. 4 stars 

Love in Store by Vannetta Chapman
Stella Schrock works at the Old Mill in Nappanee, Indiana, with new employee David Stoltzfus, a recent widower. When strange happenings begin occurring around town, it appears as if someone wants to close the mill. Stella and David have to work together to solve the mystery of what is happening at the Old Amish Mill, and in the process they might just find that God has more in store for their future than they would ever have dreamed possible.

My thoughts:  LOVE IN STORE  is a romantic suspense set around two middle-aged people. They both work at a tourist site in Nappanee, Indiana, where strange, but so far, harmless things were beginning to happen. A rubber chicken and strawberry jell-o "blood" left in the ice house. Molasses spilled in the blacksmith shop.  Innocent pranks that hinted that something bigger, something possibly deadly, was on the way. I was hooked and spell-bound from the beginning of this story and had to keep reading to see how it would end--and who-dun-it. A great story. 5 stars. 

Overall, 4.75 stars for the collection. Rounded up to 5. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

London Art Chase

London Art Chase

Faithgirlz / Glimmer Girls

Paperback, ebook 

January 26, 2016

by Natalie Grant (Author)

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Faithgirlz / Glimmer Girls
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310752653
Reviewed by: Jenna

In London Art Chase, the first title in the new Faithgirlz Glimmer Girls series, readers meet 10-year-old twins Mia and Maddie and their adorable little sister, LuLu. All the girls are smart, sassy, and unique in their own way, each with a special little something that adds to great family adventures.
There is pure excitement in the family as the group heads to London for the first time to watch mom, famous singer Gloria Glimmer, perform. But on a day trip to the National Gallery, Maddie witnesses what she believes to be an art theft and takes her sisters and their beloved and wacky nanny Miss Julia, on a wild and crazy adventure as they follow the supposed thief to his lair. Will the Glimmer Girls save the day? And will Maddie find what makes her shine?

My thoughts: LONDON ART CHASE is a really good book, I can really relate to the main character, Maddy, because she's really quiet like me. She has a hard time expressing what she wants. And sometimes in the book she just explodes and does what she wants. I hoped that by the end of the book she would find her passion and her courage. I really loved this book. A lot of times after she got in trouble the way she expressed her guilt made me practically start crying because we are so alike in many ways.  5 stars plus. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Here to Stay

Here to Stay 

Where Love Begins Book #2

Ebook, paperback

by Melissa Tagg

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers 
  • May 6, 2014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764211331

After playing nomad for five years, Blake Hunziker has finally had enough of adventure. Not sure what reception he'll get from everyone back in Whisper Shore, he's stunned at not only a warm welcome from his hometown but also a job offer. The job is his if he can successfully pull off the annual Christmas Festival. If only he knew the first thing about coordinating events...

If there's one thing Autumn Kingsley knows, it's Whisper Shore. For years, she's been stuck running her family's inn when all she wants is to see the world. Now she has a visit scheduled from a potential investor who could take over the inn, as well as a dream job offer in Paris. But with just two weeks to whip the inn into shape, her chance at escape is a long shot.

The Hunzikers and the Kingsleys may not get along, but Blake knows Autumn's the only one who can help him. She agrees to a trade--she'll help with the Festival and he'll help with inn repairs. But what was meant to be a simple deal quickly becomes much more than that when the guy who's done running away joins forces with the girl who can't wait to leave.

My thoughts: HERE TO STAY is the second book in Ms. Tagg's Where Love Begins series, but it easily stands alone. I fell in love with Blaze in Ms. Tagg's first book Made to Last and couldn't wait for his story. It did start out rather slow, but by the middle my interest was piqued and didn't let go until the end of the book. I enjoyed getting to know Blaze (Blake) and Autumn, their hopes and dreams, and  still loved Blaze just as much when this story ended.  He was a hurting, but real hero. Sweet, and kind, and misunderstood. I enjoyed this book much more than I did the first book in the series, and am looking forward to future stories by Ms. Tagg. 4.5 stars. 

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