A Mini Review of The Art of Rivers by Janet W. Ferguson (A Coastal Hearts Novel) | A Contemporary Christian Romance Novel

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I received an e-copy of this book from the author and JustRead Publicity tours in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.


The Art of Rivers is an excellent story that deals with the harsh realities of overcoming addiction, social stigmas surrounding them, forgiveness, fear and trauma. I truly loved this book, it tugged on all my heart strings!

The novel is well written, endearing and even cute! I devoured it; a definite page turner.

A Mini Review of The Art of Rivers by Janet W. Ferguson (A Coastal Hearts Novel) | A Contemporary Christian Romance Novel

★★★★ | Author Janet Ferguson opens with a chapter that is tender yet shocking then continues to weave a story that is both entertaining and touching. The main and sub characters are charming, witty and relatable. I loved the occasional banter between Rivers and Cooper, was enamored with how their love story unfolds and enjoyed how Ferguson used their relationship to bring about healing in a family. Readers will find it hard not to "feel" along with Rivers and Cooper. They're so lifelike and the things they struggle with are very real. Through them, Ferguson gives readers a look at life after trauma and addiction. She doesn't sugarcoat it, but uses faith as a basis for recovery and depicts the redemption found only in Christ. It's truly beautiful.

The faith based elements of this book are strong, but do not overpower the story in my opinion. I do enjoy books with a Christian viewpoint however and realize that some people may feel this book comes on a little strong. Nevertheless, I encourage readers to read between the lines and see the power that comes from overcoming addiction, helping others and allowing struggles to make us stronger.

This book is a SOLID FOUR STARS and was very good!

I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy a cozy romance, comtemporary fiction and faith based fiction. I believe the story would be suitable for teenagers 16+ as it is clean. Please be aware the story does contain triggers and mentions of things such as a shooting, addiction, teenage death, drinking, drugs, loss and drug trafficking.

SPOILER ALERT! The only thing that kept this novel from tipping over into five stars for me, was simply a personal preference. The ending wrapped up beautifully but the last chapter made me cringe. Throughout the story, I had imagined and felt Rivers as a whimsical romantic with a playful side. The fact that she proposed to Cooper, who supposedly couldn't get enough of her, detracted from their romance. I'm not against women proposing, it just didn't feel right for this couple. I also wasn't a fan of the fact that Ferguson included the song Jesus Freak in their wedding music and used the phrase "I'm always willing to let my freak flag fly." (this was also alluded to earlier in the book). As a Christian, I don't enjoy being stigmatized as a freak and don't think anyone should be categorized that way under any circumstance. Between those two things, I ended the book with distaste but felt it didn't really detract from the story I had enjoyed so immensely up until those last closing lines.


A ★★★★ Book Review of Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris | A Romantic Suspense Christian Fiction Novel

*I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


A wonderful new release from bestselling author Lisa Harris! With a threatening potential bioweapon in the balance, two unlikely characters team up to face their fears, confront evil and uncover the truth.

“There is no such thing as random. Research scientist Caitlyn Lindsey is convinced that someone is taking out her team one by one. First, a friend and research partner was killed in a home invasion. Three months ago, her boss died in a suspicious car accident. Four days ago, another partner supposedly committed suicide. And now Caitlyn herself has miraculously survived a hit-and-run. Afraid for her life with nowhere to turn, she reaches out to one of the victims' husbands, Detective Josh Solomon.

Though initially skeptical about Caitlyn's theory, Josh soon realizes the attack that took his wife's life was anything but random. Now the two of them must discover the truth about who is after Caitlyn's team--and what their end game is--before it's too late.” Synopsis from Deadly Intentions


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★ |  I was delighted to dive into my e-copy of Lisa Harris’s newest release, Deadly Intentions. Harris is an excellent suspense writer and I’ve enjoyed many of her books in the past.

This novel opens with quick moving action amidst a heartbreaking scene. Readers are introduced to detective Josh Solomon and research scientist Caitlyn Lindsey as their lives take unexpected turns and connect them in a way they never imagined. The two characters work through dealing with their own fears, doubts and real life struggles as the plot thickens and moves along, holding interest. In the lull of action, Josh and Caitlyn find themselves connecting and getting to know each other on a a more personal level.

Both characters are well developed and likable. Their budding romance is sweet, light and believable. I enjoyed reading about the potential bioweapon and felt Harris did an excellent job of making that aspect interesting and easy to understand. As a result, readers grasp onto the storyline of Deadly Intentions and are pulled along with the two characters as they work to uncover the truth.

Harris doesn’t shy away from topics such as murder, domestic abuse, or marital affairs. Instead, she touches on them, using them as an avenue to explore how our faith impacts those realities of life and the redemption that can be found through Christ.

Harris focused more on her plot unfolding than a romance so if you’re looking for a heavy romance with a thrilling plot, this isn’t that type of book. It’s a little more cozy, but at the same time has an edgy tone, which is the magical way Harris writes.

Deadly Intentions was a solid four stars for me.

It was an excellent book. Interesting, exciting, great characters, a sweet new romance and a plot that moved along well. There wasn’t anything in particular that tipped it over into the five stars for me. It was just really good. I highly recommend this book to older teen and adult readers who enjoy romantic suspense and are fans of authors such as Irene Hannon, Dani Pettrey and Nancy Mehl.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Lisa Harris | Photo Courtesy of Baker Publishing Group

Author Lisa Harris | Photo Courtesy of Baker Publishing Group

Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. The author of more than 40 books, including The Nikki Boyd Files and the Southern Crimes series, as well as Vanishing Point, A Secret to Die For, and Deadly Intentions, Harris and her family have spent over 16 years living as missionaries in southern Africa. Learn more at www.lisaharriswrites.com.

You can also follow Lisa Harris on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Deadly Intentions via one of the purchase links below or borrow it from your local library.  

Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 




WHERE TO PURCHASE MORE BOOKS BY LISA HARRIS:


Shop Lisa Harris’s books on ChristianBook.com:

728481: Vanishing Point #4 Vanishing Point #4
By Lisa Harris / Revell
729179: The Traitor"s Pawn The Traitor's Pawn
By Lisa Harris / Revell
729152: A Secret to Die For A Secret to Die For
By Lisa Harris / Revell

Shop Lisa Harris’s books Amazon:


 

The Best Markers for Little Kids (Plus, They're Mess Free!) | A Product Review, Creative Use Idea List, and Shopping/Wishlist Links for Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Markers and Coloring Paper

*This blog post includes affiliate links to purchase products and I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links. I only recommend products I use and love!


The perfect way to keep your littles busy while introducing art and coloring into their day!

Ok Mamas, so this isn’t a revolutionary product but if you’re like me and you just need ten minutes to get something done while your toddler is occupied, or if you’re looking for a fun way to integrate art and crafting into your toddler’s day, this is it! Crayola’s revolutionary Color Wonder Mess Free collection is PERFECT for busy littles and parents who want to maintain unmarked walls (*wink).

Want to learn some ways you can put these special markers and coloring books to use?

Keep scrolling down!

The Best Markers for Little Kids (Plus, They're Mess Free!) | A Product Review, Creative Use Idea List, and Shopping/Wishlist Links for Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Markers and Coloring Paper

Pin This Idea: The Best Markers for Little Kids (Plus, They're Mess Free!) | A Product Review, Creative Use Idea List, and Shopping/Wishlist Links for Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Markers and Coloring Paper

Pin This Idea: The Best Markers for Little Kids (Plus, They're Mess Free!) | A Product Review, Creative Use Idea List, and Shopping/Wishlist Links for Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Markers and Coloring Paper

Recently, I shared a story on Instagram one afternoon about these really great markers that I purchased for my one year old and our Wacky Art Wednesdays - an intentional effort to create memories with my daughter and cultivate a love of arts and crafts at an early age.

Many of you already know our sweet girl is adopted, so this particular afternoon, we set out to color a picture to send to our girl’s birthmama. I tore a sheet out of the Color Wonder Mess Free paper book, handed her some markers and we colored on our white living room rug, with no worries about making a mess! Talk about a Mama’s dream!

The markers are the perfect size for her little hands and come in a good range of colors. The caps are a little hard to open; my daughter tried and struggled. However, I was able to easily open them and hand them to her, so that allowed for me to educate her on the colors as I was handing them to her. They’re durable and great quality. They didn’t write on anything but the Color Wonder Mess Free paper. Watching the lines magically appear on the paper after drawing was truly a wonder for my daughter as I’d explain, “Look, watch baby!”

The paper was sturdy, not easy to tear which is great with a one year old, and comes in tear off sheets in this book. I used Dollar Tree clipboards to hold our papers down and keep my little one from shredding it while coloring.

(I was excited to learn Crayola has coloring books in this line!)

We made an educational game out of me handing her the markers. I would tell her the color and ask her to try and say the word, then let her color on her paper. (Of course, at her age, coloring is a little more of marking lines across the page, but that’s ok!). I made a point of showing her how to use the markers by selecting a color myself and drawing her shapes on the paper, naming them aloud. I also wrote her name and spelled it with her. It’s never too early to learn!

At her age, her attention span isn’t very long so this was about a 10-15 minute activity in between her darting around the room and playing with other toys. She liked taking the markers out of the bucket and putting them back in more than she liked coloring. Again, I was totally ok with that because that helps to teach her to put her things away and develop motor skills.

Coloring is a great motor skill builder and educational tool.

I am so happy to have found these markers and be utilizing them now so my girl will (hopefully) love to color as she grows. I look forward to evenings laying on the living room floor with her coloring and listening to music or watching a movie!


The Best Markers for Little Kids (Plus, They're Mess Free!) | A Product Review, Creative Use Idea List, and Shopping/Wishlist Links for Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Markers and Coloring Paper

SOME WAYS YOU CAN USE THE CRAYOLA COLOR WONDER MESS FREE MARKERS AND COLORING PAPER:

  • Road Trips & Plan Rides - No fuss, no mess, no worries!

  • Church/Dr. Office Waiting Room - An excellent way to encourage a quiet time and keep your little one entertained

  • Homeschooling - the markers are appropriate for toddlers and kindergarten-elementary school age kids!

  • One-on-One Time - Build confidence in your child by spending quality, intentional time with them doing this fun activity.

  • Create Gifts for Loved Ones - Let your little one color a great picture to give to a grandparent, aunt/uncle, sibling, etc. Who doesn’t love a gift that’s handmade and comes from the heart?

  • Random Act of Kindness for a Little One - Encourage your little to color a photo and give to a stranger, or person of their choice, as a random act of kindness.

  • Special Activity for When Mom Needs a Minute - Allow access to these special markers and paper when Mama needs a few minutes to herself (Or needs to cook dinner).


Where To Purchase the Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Coloring Products:

Shop the Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Coloring Products on Amazon:


Shop the Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Coloring Products at Target:


Want to Earn a Portion of Your Mobile Purchase Back with the Ibotta App?

Here’s How: Before you shop, add offers from the retailer you plan to shop at. Make your purchase through the Ibotta app and you can earn cash back! To learn more about how Ibotta works, click here to visit their website and download the app. When you sign up using my link below, you’ll receive cash back, I’ll earn a referral fee and you can refer your own friends to earn even more cash back!

I hope you enjoy my product recommendation for your little kiddo/kiddos!

I’d love to hear how you used this product in your own life.

Drop me a comment below and share with me.

 
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How To Spend Intentional Time With Your Little Ones While Cultivating Creativity Through A Focus on Art | Including A Supply List and Tips!

*This blog post includes affiliate links to purchase products and I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links. I only recommend products I use and love!


In the middle of busy days and lives, YOU CAN press pause to spend intentional one on one time with your child(ren). Why not do that in a joy-filled, interactive and sensory way that encourages them to be creative and get a little messy?!

Coloring, noodles, glue sticks, crinkly papers… It’s what preschools and churches have been doing for ages to help children learn and expand their creativity so why not try it at home? It doesn’t have be to grand; even the simplest of projects can be fun for toddlers and school age children. All it takes is a desire to have fun with your child, get a little messy and think outside the box!

Ready to get started?

I have a list of tips I’ve learned along the way and some supply suggestions to get you started!

Keep scrolling!


Pin This Idea: How To Spend Intentional Time With Your Little Ones While Cultivating Creativity Through A Focus on Art | Including A Supply List and Tips!

Pin This Idea: How To Spend Intentional Time With Your Little Ones While Cultivating Creativity Through A Focus on Art | Including A Supply List and Tips!

One of the greatest inspirational books I’ve read during my motherhood journey so far was Memory Making Mom. While devouring that book and allowing author, Jessica Smartt, to inspire me, I felt a tug on my heart strings regarding how I spend my days with my daughter. It was then that I decided I wanted to be more intentional about the time we spend together one on one, at home, during the day. I wanted to begin making memories with her like the ones Smartt talked about in her book and the ones I so fondly recalled from my own childhood. Allowing time to reflect on my own memories that stood out to me brought to the realization that those memories often involved crafting with my mom, doing art projects for school and creating random paper projects with friends. 

Feeling inspired by the idea of cultivating creativity in my little girl’s life, I decided to choose one day of the week to try new art projects and crafts with her in an effort to expose her to fun, new things at an early age while expanding her sensory experiences.

For us, Wednesday is usually a day where I strive to refocus after the craziness of the start of the week and gear up for the weekend that’s around the corner. I felt like it was the perfect day to set aside 30 minutes and do something artsy and fun with my toddler!

I dubbed it Wacky Art Wednesday.

My daughter is currently a little over age one so I sat down to make a list of art supplies  I could pick up at the store for her and set out the next day to shop both in the store and gather items from around our home.

Below, I’m sharing a quick peek at my list if you’d like to make one of your own!

That said, not only did we enjoy the one on one shopping time together, but we have really been enjoying our artsy projects! Keep in mind, with a one year old, we don’t always spend a full 30 minutes doing a craft or project (unless you count the time it takes me to set up & clean up!) but it is always a sweet, precious time together that I value. I’m passing on something I love doing to my daughter and cultivating a joy in her heart for art, which I hope is encouraging her to learn more about herself, her capabilities and her creativity.

Along the way, I’ve gleaned a handful of useful tips I wanted to share with you today in hopes that it makes your own art projects easier and simpler!


Tips for spending intentional time together with your child(ren) cultivating a love for art and sparking creativity at a young age:

  • Plan Ahead and Prep Beforehand - This means a little extra work for you ahead of time, but it’s well worth it in the end. Little kids don’t want to wait around while you decide on a craft, drag out the supplies, set up, etc. They want to come in, sit down and get busy. Usually one week in advance I choose an idea for the next Wacky Art Wednesday. Then, the night before, or morning of, I’ll get out the supplies and set them up so they’re ready to go when my little one sits down.

  • Don’t Stress - Let them be little! They’re going to make a mess, maybe get frustrated and even mess up the project. It’s okay. They’re little and it’s their project. I learned this the hard way on our first day. I was getting frustrated because I’d really looked forward to this time and here my toddler wanted nothing to do with coloring, but was instead chucking the markers off her high chair at top speed. When I finally got that under control, she began ripping the paper to shreds. Seriously, kid? LOL So instead, we had fun tearing paper and laughing.

  • Play Music - Kids music or classical music playing softly in the background is a great mood setter for both you and your little one.

  • Interact & Have Fun- Use the time together to talk to your kiddo(s), laugh, smile, teach colors and shapes and textures. Create along with them! Make your own project too!

  • Use Various Textures - a great way to introduce sensory play! Use new textures such as cotton balls, pom pomps, tissue paper, glue sticks, Elmer’s glue, tape, washi tape, cardboard, etc. I have some great ideas on my Pinterest Board for 1-2 Year Olds and my Pinterest Board for 2-5 Year Olds.

  • Invite Some Friends - Make it a fun play date in the future! Invite a Mama friend and her kiddo(s) over and make it a party! Offer a little finger foods and snacks, perhaps? See the above referenced Pinterest boards for snack ideas to compliment the craft ideas!

  • Create Gifts for Friends and Family - who doesn’t love a handmade gift? I mean, really?! We created bookmarks for Father’s Day, a Flamingo for a friend who was visiting from FL and colored a picture for our daughter’s birth mama!

  • Consider the Project Clean Up - Make it easy on yourself. If it’s going to be a messy project, consider doing it outside where clean up will be easier (and a hose is nearby, ha!) or put down a cheap painter’s tarp over your floor where your child will be sitting. Use a highchair perhaps. Cover your table in an old tablecloth or plastic one. Be prepared for anything to happen, because it probably will.

  • Clean Up the Kiddo FIRST! - Don’t worry about the mess that’s everywhere. Clean up the little one before they take their paint smeared fingers and touch your walls. You can thank me later. (Also, I’ve learned this to be an extension of fun time. My daughter LOVES to play in the sink so she enjoys washing her hands after her art projects) Then, let your little help you with the cleanup by giving them smalls tasks like hanging up their project on the fridge, throwing things away or wiping off the table/highchair.

  • Keep A Set of Old Clothes Or An Art Smock Handy - find an old, too large shirt, art smock or apron for your kiddo to wear over their clothes (or over their diaper) for messy projects.

  • Choose Age Appropriate Supplies - Depending on the age of your little(s), keep in mind that smaller hands will enjoy chunkier markers, chalk and glue sticks, while older children might enjoy a spirograph or paint-by-color. Simply keep a variety of things in a storage container.

  • Supervise Continuously - Make certain your schedule is free for this amount of time to supervise young children if they will be using scissors and the various supplies. Never leave a child unattended.


Suggested Starter Supply List:

Collect these items from around your home, shop online or grab them at your local store!

Our Art Supply Box for a One Year Old | How To Spend Intentional Time With Your Little Ones While Cultivating Creativity Through A Focus on Art | Including A Supply List and Tips!

Our Art Supply Box for a One Year Old | How To Spend Intentional Time With Your Little Ones While Cultivating Creativity Through A Focus on Art | Including A Supply List and Tips!

  • Construction Paper

  • Crayons (Triangular Crayons are great for toddlers!)

  • Markers (I LOVE the Color Wonder Mess Free Markers or Washable Markers)

  • Paper (Check out the Color Wonder Mess Free Paper and Coloring Books)

  • Chalk

  • Chalkboard

  • Non Toxic Elmer’s Glue and Glue Sticks (Try the Washable Metallic Collection!)

  • Washable Fingerpaints

  • Washable Watercolors

  • Paint brushes

  • Foam brushes

  • Tissue Paper

  • Apron or oversize tshirt

  • Dropcloth (or old bed sheet) to cover the floor

  • Storage Container (with locking lid)

  • Small Artists Canvases

  • Child Safe Scissors

  • Tape

    Fun Extras:

  • Uncooked noodles

  • Pom Poms

  • Pipe Cleaners (contain metal, use with supervision)

  • Stickers

  • Popsicle Sticks

  • Color or Paint by Number Kit

  • Spirographs

  • Washi Tape

  • Yarn

  • Stamps

  • Googly Eyes

  • Clay or PlayDough

  • Beads (only recommended for children 6+)

  • Paper Straws

  • Scratch Art Kits

Where To Purchase the Art Supplies for Kids:


Shop Kids Art Supplies at Target:


Shop Kids Art Supplies on Amazon:


Want to Earn a Portion of Your Mobile Purchase Back with the Ibotta App?

Here’s How: Before you shop, add offers from the retailer you plan to shop at. Make your purchase through the Ibotta app and you can earn cash back! To learn more about how Ibotta works, click here to visit their website and download the app. When you sign up using my link below, you’ll receive cash back, I’ll earn a referral fee and you can refer your own friends to earn even more cash back!


I hope you have enjoyed this post and feel inspired to get messy and create with your little one(s).

May your one-on-one time be magical and memorable!

I’d love to hear how it went and what you did!

Drop me a comment below and share with me.

 
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A ★★★★ Book Review of The String by Caleb Breakey | A Christian Fiction Psychological Thriller

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


A PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND AND LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS KNOTTED UP!

When the “Conductor” has over half of the campus in his back pocket as he pulls the strings, wreaking havoc and simulating murders, it’s up to one man to break The String and stop this madman… This new fictional thriller came highly recommended and rightly so. With an ever twisting and turning plot that keeps readers guessing and gasping, Breakey delights and horrifies readers with each new page.


Welcome to the string. Let's go over the ground rules.

Rule #1: Participation is mandatory.
Rule #2: If any one person refuses to play, the threats to all players will come to pass.

Since this is my game, allow me to introduce myself. I am the conductor. Just as musicians in a symphony must follow the conductor's direction, the selected students and staff of Trenton University must submit to my commands . . . or risk massive chaos and deadly consequences. Even that pesky university cop, Markus Haas, who thinks he'll find a way out of the impossible dilemma in which I've trapped him. Oh, the surprises I have for him. Ready to play? - Synopsis from The String

"Every now and then an author comes along who makes me say, 'Where have you been!' Even though you and I didn't know we were waiting, we were. Breakey's debut thriller is intricate, electric, and twisted--in the best sense of the word. Extremely difficult to put down. Highly recommended."--James L. Rubart, five-time Christy Award winner


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★ |  Breakey’s debut novel, The String, is an epic thriller all its own. Readers will find themselves tangled up in the pages of this book as they eagerly move through the twists and turns of this well designed thriller with an intense plot.

Breakey magnificently creates a diabolic, evil villain who is characteristically offset by a heroic and daring protagonist. Markus Haas is a man woman might ideally swoon over. His strength, determination and protective nature leave little to be desired as he finds himself up against a monster who hides in the shadows and manipulates those around Markus. While astonishingly deep and masterfully planned, this novel’s narrative reads easily keeping readers guessing, gasping and turning the pages late into the night! With an epic battle over the mind, Breakey not only covers the strength of the human will but the impact our faith can have on it as well knowing God controls all our circumstances and outcomes. The underlying message of good vs. evil was one to relish.

I enjoyed this book immensely and the only thing that kept me from a five star rating is personal preference.

I would have loved to have seen good win over evil in the ending, but alas, there’s a twist! I won’t say more for fear of spoilers, but I do want to encourage you to pick a copy of The String for yourself! It is an excellent read, flawlessly created and quite edgy. It’s fresh and exciting also.

I recommend this thriller to both men and women as it easily appeals to both genders. For readers who enjoy psychological warfare, murder mysteries and suspense, this is a great read. For readers who enjoy cozy mysteries and mild suspense, this book may come on as shockingly strong. It is better than your favorite crime show, I’m convinced!

I’m excited about the fact that this book is book one in a series and I’m already looking forward to Breakey’s next release.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Caleb Breakey | Photo courtesy of www.getthestring.com

Author Caleb Breakey | Photo courtesy of www.getthestring.com

Caleb Breakey and his wife spent their wedding money on 52 books about writing fiction. Then, for years, he spent his days off penning stories for 16 hours straight. He loves fiction because they teach without a lecture, inspire without a speech, and entertain without any props.


Along with being an ECPA Award finalist and a winner of the prestigious Genesis Contest for fiction writers, Caleb is also the Founder of Sermon To Book and Speak It To Book, the premier ghostwriting agencies for faith-filled thought leaders.


Caleb writes in the beautiful Pacific Northwest alongside his wife, Brittney, and enjoys visits from two mischievous mini huskies and a smiley Shiba Inu.

You can follow him on Facebook or Instagram.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of The String via one of the purchase links below or borrow it from your local library.  

Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 

WHERE TO PURCHASE THE STRING BY CALEB BREAKEY:

Buy The String at ChristianBook.com


Buy The String on Amazon.com


 

A ★★★★★ Review of the Sparkle and Change Holy Bible for Girls | Available in Various Versions Including International Children's Bible and New King James Version!

*I received a complimentary copy of these two Bibles free of charge from Tommy Nelson (an imprint of Thomas Nelson) in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links to purchase the book and I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links that helps me keep this blog going!


A sparkly, fun treasure for young girls to cherish as they grow spiritually!

These beautifully crafted Holy Bibles are not only gorgeous and well designed, they’re an invaluable gift and resource to young girls as they seek to read God’s word, learn how to pray, grow in Jesus and deepen their relationship with the One who created them!


A ★★★★★ Review of the Sparkle and Change Holy Bible for Girls | Available in Various Versions Including International Children's Bible and New King James Version!

★★★★★ | What better gift can a young girl receive than the Word of God in a format she can relate to, understand and feel empowered by? I distinctly remember receiving my first Bible, shortly after I asked Jesus to come into my life at age six. I still have that little white Bible to this day, it’s cover worn, pages ear marked and Scriptures highlighted or underlined from years of Bible drills and Sunday School.

Flipping through these beautiful new Bibles brought back floods of memories and encouraged me as I eagerly anticipate the day when my daughter is old enough to read and hold God’s Word in her little hands. The Sparkle and Change Holy Bible is available in various versions so you can decide what fit is best for your child and family.

Each Bible comes with a sequined cover that girls will enjoy flipping to reveal sparkly hearts and designs. The Bibles are hardcover formats making them durable and sturdy for years of use. Inside, there are 24 high gloss pages inserted throughout that offer places for girls to easily study and learn things like the Biblical timeline, maps, and topics such as“Why Should I Read the Bible?”, “How Do I Know Jesus Loves Me?”, “ How Do I Forgive” and “How Can I Let God’s Love Shine Through Me?”. In addition, these pages offer places for girls to write their favorite verses, plus review cheat sheets on topics covering the Disciples, Names of God and Miracles of Jesus. The fonts and colors on these pages are soft, girly and fun, encouraging young minds to dive deeper in the Word.

The Bible pages are light and easy to read with chapters and verses split apart for easy reference. One feature I personally loved was how there are 300 pre-highlighted key verses throughout the Bible that are perfect for memorization or study points on the promises of God. At the back of Bible is a helpful dictionary, “Where Do I Find It?” guide, a section on God’s promises and memory verse index

The International Children’s Bible is a translation younger kids can read and understand on their own. The New King James Version can be understood by mature young girls, but felt a bit more pre-teen to me. Of course, I always highly recommend reading Scripture with your children! These Bibles are a good resource and tool for a young girl to use independently or at school as her freedom in Christ grows.

The Sparkle and Change Holy Bible would make a great gift for your daughter, granddaughter, niece, friend or any young girl. I personally think this would make an excellent birthday, spiritual birthday or Christmas gift as well! It seems to be geared best for elementary school children to pre-teen. Keep scrolling for options on where to buy!


WHERE TO PURCHASE THE SPARKLE AND CHANGE HOLY BIBLE:

Shop/Sample the Sparkle and Change Holy Bible on Amazon:


Shop the Sparkle and Change Holy Bible at Target:


Shop the Sparkle and Change Holy Bible at ChristianBook.com:


 

A TEN STAR Book Review of Storm Rising, by Ronie Kendig, Book One of the Book of Wars Series | A heart-pounding paramilitary Christian Fiction Novel

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


Fast-paced action, secret missions, a highly trained assassin, hidden agendas, high octane courage, daring defeats and so much more!

STORM RISING TAKES THE TERM PAGE TURNER TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL.

This newest release from best-selling, award winning author, Ronie Kendig, is sure to grab readers’ attention from the very first words. When former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe is recruited to lead a team of highly trained professionals in recovering the lost Book of Wars, he finds himself up against secrets, hidden agendas, a highly trained assassin and throngs of storms each with their own intent to kill. Readers will find themselves hungry for the next page as revelations are made and the heart-pounding hunt for the elusive Book of Wars begins…


Does an Ancient Book of Prophecy Hold the Answers to Saving the World . . . Or Predict Its Destruction? Mentioned in the pages of the Old Testament but lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold secrets--and dangers--never before seen on earth.

Tasked with capturing the ancient text, former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe is once more given command of his own team. But their best efforts are ruined when a notorious Bulgarian operative known as Viorica snatches the volume right out from under them.

Iskra "Viorica" Todorova is determined to use the book to secure the thing that matters most--freedom. But a series of strange storms erupts around the globe, and the coming dangers foretold in the text threaten crops, lives, and entire nations. Though both are haunted by secrets of the past and neither trusts the other, Leif and Iskra must form an uneasy alliance to thwart impending disaster. However, the truth hidden in centuries-old words could unleash a storm of their own destruction
.- Synopsis from Storm Rising


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★★★★★★★  | Is it possible to give a book ten stars? Because I just did! Storm Rising, penned by author Ronie Kendig, is the first book in her newest series, The Book of Wars. Kendig masterfully creates a powerful, gripping story that not only takes readers along on a secret mission, but opens a world of conspiracies and lost artifacts as readers follow the main characters around the globe.

With this being my first Kendig book, my mind was completely blown. Kendig’s style and story crafting is pure genius. I love her edgy, military style with strong, heroic characters that enamor readers from the moment we meet them. Not to mention, the author clearly knows her stuff and did her research when it came to the creation of this novel.

Kendig introduces us to former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe who is tasked with his own unique team of military professionals to recover the Book of Wars, a book mentioned in the Septuagint but lost to history. As his team sets out, he unwillingly meets up with trained assassin Iskra Todorova, or Viorica, as she’s known, who has her own hidden agenda for retrieving the Book of Wars. When these two unlikely characters come face to face, there is certain to be a dramatic display of willpower, tension and… romance?

I loved the way Kendig wove the characters of Storm Rising together. Again, it’s masterful and creative. Her male characters are diverse, strong, cunning, heroic and dare I say, swoon worthy? The female characters are brilliant, professional, creative and just plain amazing. Half of the time, while reading, I was rooting for Iskra because I loved her devious, scary side! The dialogue between characters was perhaps some of my favorite as they banter and work together. A true team, I felt as if I were right there with them!

I never want to give too much of a good book away, so I’ll wrap up my review by saying this is a book I won’t stop recommending or talking about. Even though I finished it less than a day ago, I’m already tempted to read it again. It was incredibly good. As with any ten star book, I URGE you to grab a copy as soon as you can and dive in if you enjoy military and tactical style books, sci-fi, or even post apocalyptic style books. Storm Rising really does have it all and I can’t imagine a reader who wouldn’t enjoy this book!

Spoiler Alert: While reading the book, I kept talking about it, telling my husband he HAD to read this book. When it was over however, I actually threw the book at him. He glanced at me, completely stunned and said, I thought you liked this book?! I told him, of course I had, but in true Kendig fashion, she totally leaves readers wanting more immediately as she ends with an opening to her next book in this series, which isn’t due out for months!

She wrestled the terrible fear that Leif would die. That the glimmer of hope that had awakened at his incursion into her life would die with him. It was crazy. She barely knew him. But somehow she knew him better than she’d known anyone. He would always be there for her, if he lived.
— Ronie Kendig, Storm Rising

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Image Courtesy of www.roniekendig.com

Author Image Courtesy of www.roniekendig.com

Ronie Kendig is an Army brat who grew up in the classic military family, with her father often TDY and her mother holding down the proverbial fort. Their family moved often, which left Ronie attending six schools by the time she’d entered fourth grade. Her only respite and “friends” during this time were the characters she created.

It was no surprise when she married a military veteran—her real-life hero—in June 1990.  Married more than twenty-five years, Ronie and her husband  have homeschooled for the last eighteen years. Despite the craziness of life, Ronie finds balance and peace with her faith, family, and retired military working dog in Northern Virginia.

Ronie has a deep love and passion for people, especially hurting people, which is why she pursued and obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University. Ronie speaks and teaches across the country and mentors other writers.

CONNECT WITH RONIE: website |  facebook |  twitter |  pinterest |  instagram 


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Storm Rising or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


An Exciting Announcement and ★★★★★ Review | Dani Pettrey's newest romantic suspense novel, The Killing Tide, is available NOW!

* I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Dani Pettrey and  Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


The Killing Tide… An emotionally charged, riveting new novel from one of romantic suspense’s best authors, Dani Pettrey!

This edge of your seat novel is the first installment in Pettrey’s new Coastal Guardian series. As an award-winning suspense author, Dani Pettrey introduces readers to the Coastal Guard Investigative Service team in coastal Wrightsville, NC, characters readers are sure to enjoy! Follow the story of Gabby and Finn as together, they track down a killer who is wreaking havoc on the area and interfering with the lives of those close to them!


When one Coast Guard officer is found dead and another goes missing, Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent Finn Walker faces his most dangerous crime yet. His only clues are what little evidence remains aboard the dead officer's boat, and the direction the clues point to will test Finn and the Guard to their limits.

When investigative reporter--and Finn's boss's sister--Gabby Rowley arrives, her unrelenting questions complicate an already volatile situation. Now that she's back, the tug on Finn's heart is strong, but with the risks she's taking for her next big story, he fears she might not live through it.

Thrown together by the heinous crime, Finn and Gabby can't ignore the sparks or judgments flying between them. But will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough to track down an elusive killer, or will they become his next mark?” -
Synopsis from The Killing Tide


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★★ | I’m excited to be here sharing with you today as part of author Dani Pettrey’s Suspense Squad, a team of readers who got a first look into her newest novel, The Killing Tide, available for pre-order now and debuting on August 5, 2019.

I’ve been a long time fan of Dani’s, thoroughly enjoying her Alaskan Courage series from years ago. Now, she’s back with another highly anticipated novel that delivers exactly what readers want… Mystery, murder, suspense, romance, and a team of friends who are fiercely equipped and devoted to protecting those they love. Also, can we just take a moment to swoon over the gorgeous cover?

Without giving too much of the story away, I’ll say that I loved Finn and Gabby, and their unique dynamic together. It was interesting learning about these two characters who had a history together and watching them reconnect on a new level.

Pettrey keeps readers on the edge of their seats from the dramatic opening chapters to the nail biting ending with exciting events taking place throughout The Killing Tide. She kept me guessing until close to the end when process of elimination really helped me determine the villain and even then, I was still surprised with how the story played out.

One of my favorite parts of Pettrey’s series is how the books interlock, following the lives of friends, who in this case also happen to be teammates on the CGIS team. Readers will meet the entire team in this novel and as they dive into Finn and Gabby’s story, they’ll get a peek into the lives of the characters from the next novel she has planned. I always enjoy the strong friendship and fierce determination Pettrey’s characters have. Their faith, their loyalty, and their morals are always honorable. I also really enjoyed the coastal setting, for obvious reasons!

The only tiny drawback for me was the part of The Killing Tide that Pettrey penned from the villian’s point of view. I found myself rushing through those parts, not really caring what the villain was up to or thinking because I was enjoying Finn, Gabby and CGIS team more! I preferred to be surprised with the next turn of events just as the character’s were, always wanting to side with them and cheer on their defeat of whatever bad circumstances came their way.

I highly recommend The Killing Tide to those who enjoy romantic suspense, mysteries and even popular, fictional investigative television shows.

The ocean settled her soul like nothing else. Being near God’s creation reminded her of His sovereignty and majesty. Setting the moon in the sky to control the tides . . . it awed her. Jesus walking on water, calming the storm . . . Knowing He tamed something so wild and free settled her soul in a way nothing else did.
— Dani Pettrey, The Killing Tide

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Image: © Michael Pettrey Photography

Author Image: © Michael Pettrey Photography

Dani Pettrey is a wife, mom, grandma, and the author of the  Chesapeake Valor series, and the  Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels  Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and  Sabotaged. Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award nomination, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award, among others. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves—the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, a son-in-law, and a super adorable grandson.  

CONNECT WITH DANI: website |  facebook |  twitter |  pinterest |  instagram 

Author Image: © Michael Pettrey Photography


Lastly, pick up your own copy of The Killing Tide or borrow it from your local library when it is available.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


A ★★★★★ Book Review of Memory Making Mom by Jessica Smartt | Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson (a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.



With a short, sweet style of writing that is not only insightful and full of useful suggestions, but also entertaining, Smartt delivers the perfect resource for those looking to create or build on their family traditions. I chuckled out loud and smiled as I identified with her as a woman and mother. Memory Making Mom not only encouraged me, but it inspired me and simultaneously warmed my heart.


A ★★★★★ Book Review of Memory Making Mom by Jessica Smartt | Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Memory Making Mom by Jessica Smartt | Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home

★★★★★ ||  From the moment I picked up Memory Making Mom to the moment I laid it down, I was singing it’s praises. In fact, I haven’t yet stopped. I hurriedly snapped a photo of the book and texted it, with a purchase link to several of my closest friends telling them they HAD to read this book. Since then, several of them have texted me back saying they not only purchased the book, but were loving it as well!

Blogger Jessica Smartt shares her ideas, traditions and beautiful insights in this well written resource guide. New to me, this creative author does an excellent job of encouraging moms and homemakers to create traditions for their families with her jammed packed chapters that inspire, delight and entertain readers. I often felt as if she was sitting beside me, encouraging me along the way as a dear friend might. She shared her favorite traditions as a child, traditions she’s began with her children and additional ideas that readers can take and tailor to suit their needs.

Before the third chapter, I stopped reading to grab a notebook. I immediately began jotting down some of the ideas and thoughts that Smartt laid on my heart. I loved how she wrapped up each section or chapter with thoughts to consider and her lists of ideas made my list-loving heart do happy dances. I found myself reading little bits and pieces out loud to my husband, spouting off ideas and exchanging thoughts with him. It wasn’t long before I was reading a full chapter out loud to him, then handing the book over to him to alternate reading chapters aloud.

I filled close to three notebook pages full of ideas and I’m excited to share them in a future blog post. I believe that other moms, homemakers, dads, grandparents and even aunts and uncles can benefit from Memory Making Mom. Even those who are joyfully single will delight in the ideas Smartt offers. Smartt says it well when she states,

I hope this book reminds you just how beautiful it can be when families make memories together. I hope that some of these treasured memories become traditions, repeated and longed for, year after year.
— Jessica Smartt, Memory-Making Mom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Jessica Smartt | Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/SmarterEachDay/

Author Jessica Smartt | Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/SmarterEachDay/

Jessica Smartt is a former teacher, current homeschool mom, and passionate Christ-follower. She has been published on The Huffington Post and has written an ebook on How To Introduce Your Child To Jesus. She is passionate about helping moms to detach from the ever-present lure of technology (which can feel way more fun than parenting), about helping women recover from worry (been there, done that!) and about how to be a confident, purposeful homeschooling mom. You can visit her on her website, http://smarttereachday.com, or follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Memory Making Mom or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


 

A ★★★★ Book Review of All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner | A story of family, war and America in the 1960's.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


An endearing story of family, war and the heart of an American girl in 1960’s Michigan.

This beautiful, well written story draws readers in as they experience life and family through the eyes of Annie Jacobsen, an eighteen year old girl with a single mom, two brothers and a father who abandoned the family years ago. Truly the heart of this story is about family, war, hope and the coming of age. An emotional, yet comforting read for a lazy summer afternoon.


After Annie Jacobson's brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he mails her the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know.

In Mike's absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. Letter by letter, the Jacobsons must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family will grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.. -Synopsis from All Manner of Things

"Some books are meant to be read. All Manner of Things is meant to be lived in."--Jocelyn Green, Christy Award-winning author of Between Two Shores


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★ |   All Manner of Things drew me in from the first few pages. The characters were so very relatable, coming to life for me as I found myself comparing them to members of my own family, or even myself. As the story wove through the fibers of this family and the ways in which they dealt with Frank’s abandonment, return and Mike’s going to war, the story stirred my heart and soul.

This book is very well written, touching on a wide variety of circumstances that families often find themself dealing with such as an elderly grandparent with dementia, single motherhood, PTSD, duty, fear, faith, first love, racism and death. Finkbeiner masterfully crafts a story that is heartwarming, tender and touching. I enjoyed that All Manner of Things was from Annie’s point of view as she experiences coming into adulthood and watching her family change, grow and strengthen. The inserts of letters and reel-to-reel recordings is a stroke of genius on the author’s part as I found myself enjoying those the most. I haven’t read very many stories in this time era, 1960’s American during the Vietnam war, and I enjoyed it. Parts of the book reminded me episodes of the popular fiction tv show, This is Us on NBC.

The novel wraps up with an emotional ending that truly drew me to tears, even if it was predictable. My recommendation is to give All Manner of Things a read. I’m certain you’ll find the Jacobsons walk right into your heart and home, surrounding you with feelings that we as a human race all face similar situations and that even in the midst of that, our faith and our family are the two most important things we have.

Behind the clouds the sun is shining. If only we have the eyes to see it.
— Susie Finkbeiner - All Manner of Things

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Susie Finkbeiner | Image courtesy of Baker Publishing Group, Photo Credit: Bree Rose Photos

Author Susie Finkbeiner | Image courtesy of Baker Publishing Group, Photo Credit: Bree Rose Photos

Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of A Cup of Dust, A Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home. She serves on the Breathe Christian Writers Conference planning committee, volunteers her time at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and speaks at retreats and women's events across the state. Susie and her husband have three children and live in West Michigan. Find her online at https://susiefinkbeiner.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of All Manner of Things or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below!