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Showing posts from 2017

A Staple Read Year After Year

A timely little book, From Heaven is an Advent that takes you through the days leading up to Christmas. This compact, hardcover book will be sure to be a staple read year after year and a great way to lean in to the advent season and get closer to God.

I had just read Mornings with Tozer and found those devotionals to be very impactful. Being the season and all, this was my next pick.

Separated into 4 weeks with 7 days each, From Heaven's devotions start with a title and then have a verse (sometimes more) related to the topic. The devotionals are longer than I expected for a book of this size; they are up to four pages each. The tone is very conversational (the text is taken from Tozer's sermons) but the subject matter is always compelling and thought-provoking. The wisdom of Tozer is timeless and well-applied to a devotional like this.

One thing I particularly liked about this devotional was the depth of each one. They are multiple pages long, and it really is like listening…

A Motivating, Heart-to-Heart Style Devotional

Bravery. There's something we all stand in need of.

I am always drawn to pretty books (and this one fits the bill). With a sparkling hard cover, attractive font, and thick, glossy pages, it's an easy book to leave sitting out (and, if you're the type, to include in Instagram posts!).

And the material that really hits home. As someone who often gets caught up in the worry of life, it helps to have a motivation and daily encouragement to be courageous. Annie Downs speaks in a very conversational tone and that makes the readings easy to consume; like having a heart-to-heart with a wise friend.

Devotions are two pages each, laid out with a Bible verse, a short reading, a call out box quote, and then a "Be Brave" action item or thought-provoking question to apply the devotional to your day. The Be Brave action items are challenging and will help you grow; for example, call a friend, eat dinner with someone, take a break from your phone. This book not only inspires you…

Guest Post! Deanna Evans Reviews THE STAR

Have you heard about The Star yet?

If not, listen up.

I had the opportunity to watch The Star in theatres and, boy, is it good! A sweet interpretation of Jesus' birth from the animals' point of view, The Star is equal parts entertaining, fun, and heart-warming.

Going in, I knew it was a movie meant for children, but it touched me. I felt like I was seeing the story of Jesus' birth in a whole new way.

The Star is packed with an all-star voice cast, stunning animation, an awesome soundtrack, and a true-to-the-Bible story (which I really appreciated).

I'm happy to feature a guest blogger, Deanna Evans, and her review for The Star. Check it out here:

The Star opened in theatres this past Friday (November 17th), and I am excited to see it grow in popularity!

Classic and Timeless Daily Devotional

Can you go wrong with devotional readings authored by Tozer? To me, Tozer is a household name that you can trust and this devotional delivers.

Mornings with Tozer features 366 daily devotionals, each with a title, Bible verse, and devotional reading and ending with a short prayer. The layout is easy-to-read, and each devotional takes up one page, allowing you to take as short or as long a time you need. All scripture quotations are in KJV.

I like the feel of this devotional - it's a soft cover, making it easy to hold on to and flip through. I can picture this thick book wearing just right with time and years of reading. I like the friendly cover and easy-to-read, classic font. And, as expected, each reading is like listening in on an easy-to-digest snippet of a good, but challenging, sermon.

It's a devotional that works for any gender and any adult and, if you are looking for some timeless insight and morning inspiration, this is the devotional for you.

Disclaimer: I received th…

Fantastic Resource for Young Women

Well, I wish I'd picked this book up earlier. What a life-renewing resource.

Whether someone struggling with past mistakes or someone unsure of what it all means, you will find sound, Bible-based direction in this book.

This should be used in small groups for young, single women all over. There are more Christian books on this topic than there used to be, but I think this one stands out from the others.

Why? A few reasons:

It's a workbook style - meant to be scribbled in and responded to. There are questions, quizzes, and lines for response, deepening your understanding and application of the text.It covers everything. The why, the what, the how. It's practical but comes from a standpoint of grace. It includes real examples of changed lives and struggles or growth other women have experienced.It's a study - spread out over 6-weeks, with 5 days of self-examination every week, this book has an impact. Once you dive in, it's paced to challenge you and help you grow ov…

Encouraging, Beautiful, and Heartbreaking all at Once

You probably can't tell from my last 3 blog posts, but I'm in the mood for Christmas.

I know. I know!

Here's the thing: it's easy to get caught up in the idea that Christmas is a good time because it's shiny and happy. It might be those things, but Christmas goes so much deeper than that. And it's a good time to think about giving of yourself.

This book, while not exactly a Christmas read (definitely a year-round kind of read!), is a reminder to me that instead of unwrapping gifts, we are to be gifts.

Following along the theme of her other books - One Thousand Gifts and The Broken Way - this book highlights Voskamp's poetic writing (from both her blog and The Broken Way), paired with gorgeous photography as well as call-out verses and quotes. The result is a book that moves you.

This book seemed to fall into my life at the perfect time, speaking truth just when I needed it. Each sentence takes a moment to fully digest and it's the type of book to slowl…

Fill Up With the Right Kind of Christmas Spirit

I've always had that longing, in the back of my mind, to really dig into Advent. More than just lighting the candle at church on Sunday, more than just a quick thought here and there. I wanted to take quiet time and learn about what each week was all about.

Enter Unwrapping the Names of Jesus. This is the book I've been looking for.

I love the idea behind this devotional - a lot of advent devotionals focus on stories of Christmases past; while that's good, I really appreciate a devotional that's all about Jesus and the gift that He is.

Centered around the four weeks of Advent, each week has a theme (Hope, Preparation, Joy, and Love) and five days of devotionals centered on a name of Jesus. There is also a separate devotional for Christmas day. It's a great way of keeping the readings focused and centered on not only Advent, but the reason for Advent.

Each weekly theme page features a related Bible verse and Advent instructions such as:

Opening prayerLight a candleA…

Think Christmas. In October.

Yes. I know. It's October. You're still thinking Thanksgiving, Halloween, Reformation Day - all the major holidays you love to celebrate.
But now is the time to think Christmas.

Okay, okay, hear me out. 
Think of this - a child who's never celebrated Christmas the way we do in North America. A child who's never celebrated a birthday the way we do in North America. 
Think of this - a child being blessed by a total stranger; feeling Jesus' love and gift through a simple, practical shoebox.
If you've never heard of Operation Christmas Child, it's a program run by Samaritan's Purse to bless children in need all around the world. You fill a shoebox with gifts like school supplies, hygiene items, and toys, and it gets delivered to a happy boy or girl (who may have never received something like this before).
I remember participating in packing a shoebox as a child - it was so much fun to pick out things for another kid somewhere on the other side of the world.…

A Unique "Code Word" Devotional (and Great for Men!)

So I've been in the habit of picking up pretty, shiny, girly devotionals lately. I've been on the lookout for a devotional for a man, and this one caught my eye. With a leather-look, embossed cover, classic design, and straightforward text, I think this book is a good choice.

This compact devotional holds 365 devotions, beginning on January 1. While you can start at any point in the year, this devotional would make a great Christmas present for someone to start reading in the new year. (It even has a dedication page in the front.)

Each devotional starts with a Bible verse (in NKJV), a short (3-4 paragraph) topical reading, a code word with a thought-provoking question or description, and then a short prayer. Each reading is short and to-the-point, making it easy to consume as a daily habit.

I really like the "code word" aspect of this devotional. It makes it unique from other devotionals and easy to have a takeaway each day after your reading. Code words are short a…

The Perfect Book to Ponder and Enjoy Around the Christmas Tree

I love Christmas. I love the story of Jesus' birth. I love the color schemes and wintry delights. I love the peace and joy it brings. I love all of it. And, therefore, I love this book.

From the sparkling, padded cover, to the gorgeously illustrated Bible story, this book satiates my Christmas hunger (previously thought to be insatiable! ha).

This book beautifully illustrates the Bible passage of Jesus' birth, and also features 31 devotions for self-reflection during the advent season. I like the length of the devotions - they are about two pages long; enough to pack in some real thought. They start with a Bible verse suited to the topic, and then have a story related to the topic. They all end with a short prayer. Then, they have an activity (this is the part I like most); something like a reflection question, writing a letter, or lighting a candle. Finally, the devotion ends with a call-out summarizing the lesson.

This book is a great tool to read through during advent seaso…

Do You Need a Bit of Healing?

I was immediately drawn to this book based on the Thistle Farms reference. I love organizations like this, that empower women who are broken and hurt. For those that haven't heard of it before, Thistle Farms is a social enterprise for survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. Love Heals is an extension of the grace and healing that Thistle Farms encapsulates.

It's a beautiful book, full of poetry, beautiful images, and a pretty purple floral design. As a hardcover book, it would make a great gift book (it has a dedication page) or a book you leave out on the coffee table and pick up at any time for a bit of inspiration. It is thicker than I anticipated, with lots of content to ponder.

Each chapter is based on a way love heals and transforms broken, hurting lives. Since we are all human, I think all of us can find comfort in this book. Some of my favourite chapters included the following:
Love Heals Through CreationLove Heals with Daily RitualsLove Heals with Compas…

A Timely Reminder in a Fast-Paced World

I finally sit down to write this in the middle a hectic, long week. Then it hit me - is there every a time I won't feel overwhelmed and busy?

After grabbing a copy of this book and reading through, I think the answer is yes; but it takes a definite change in perspective and taking stock of your priorities.

Doing Busy Better is a book about finding balance in a busy world. Meant to free you from guilt and rushing and enter into a place of God's rest, this book is a great encouragement for anyone feeling overwhelmed by the pace of their lives.

Chapters like "Hurry is a Heart Condition," "What Drives Us to an Overbusy Life?" and "The Sabbath Reset" encourage readers to examine their priorities and learn to do busy better. I really appreciated Glynnis Whiwer's gentle, honest tone, coming from an "I've been there and done that" experience.

One other thing I liked about this book was the length and pace. It is easy to pick up and quick…

A Year of Focusing on Joy

Joy is so easy to forget. In today's changing world with pressure and deadlines, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that joy is one of the fruits of the spirit and that it's okay to be joyful.

Because of this, I was immediately drawn to this book. Bright colors invoke a joyful feeling; a happy bike and cheerful font sets off the stripy yellow cover. The inside of the book continues with this theme with yellow-tinted pages and pretty flowers in each corner. It's a seriously happy book.

And then there's the inside. The content of the book is also wonderful. With topics like "Praying with Joy," "The Miracle of Joy," and "Eyes on Jesus," there is something encouraging every day.

This is a 365-day devotional, so as you can expect, you get a reading for every day of the year (they do start on January 1). These readings are fairly short as they are meant to kick-start or supplement your day. Each devotional meditates on joy and includes an …

Don't Just Read About Jesus; Pray Directly to Him

Immediately after I eyed this book, I knew I would love it. The topic is spot-on, but it's also a book I am apt to pick up and leave out on a table.

Even the beautiful glittering golf leaf design and soft blue cover evokes a peace and calm that helped me get in the mood for reading this. Plus, it's the perfect size for carrying places - Bible study, prayer time, a walk outdoors - and the hard cover makes it durable enough to do these things.

This book is not meant to be read cover-to-cover so much as flipped through, pondered over, and prayed about. No matter what you are going through or feeling, there is a prayer relating to your circumstance in this book to get you connected to Jesus.

The book has many different topics to read through, depending on how you are feeling. Each subject starts with "Jesus, I Need You/Your" and ends with topics like Comfort, Wisdom, When I Feel Heartache, Grace, and more. Each prayer is written out for you to read out loud with others …

Awesome First Bible for Kids Eager to Read the Word

I wish this Bible was around when I was a kid! What a wonderful resource, chock-full of resources, fun images, and easy-to-read text. It's the perfect study Bible for kids who are ready to leap into God's word.

I love so much about this Bible:
Tons of color and graphics - just the cover makes it exciting to open upFull-page introduction to each book, including who wrote the book, what is special about the book, what stories are in it, etc.Extra explanations in the sidebar on every page (expanding the meaning of certain verses)Extras - maps, infographics, fun images, and much more An index is available at the back of the Bible, along with more detailed maps and a table of weights and measures. There is also a dedication page in the cover of this Bible, which makes it perfect as a Sunday School graduate gift. 
I would say ages 7-12 would get a lot out of this version. It would be the perfect Bible to introduce them to scripture and discovering God's word - all in a fun way!

Making God's Word Accessible and Inspiring: The Beautiful Word Coloring Bible

Okay...there's no stopping it. I love journaling Bibles. I've had the opportunity to see a few and I think they make God's Word even more accessible for everyone.

This Bible is beautiful in many ways, especially these two:
a. This Bible is modern, eye catching, and pretty. It has a pastel watercolor-style cover with navy blue binding. I had this sitting on my desk and several people stop by and ask me what it was. It's a great conversation starter but also just really lovely (for those of you that leave your Bibles on tables or nightstands). It will inspire me to grab my Bible and study it more often.

b. Journaling and coloring for the artistic Christian. What a great avenue to study the Word. Many popular or commonly-known verses are illustrated in a manner that you can color in the margin (nearly every page has one of these and some have full two-page spreads). If a page doesn't have a verse illustration, there are ruled lines (about 2 inches wide) in the margin…

Making God Known to the Next Generation

I often find that the sweetest part of the day with a child is that time when you sit down on their bed and read their bedtime devotional. As someone who appreciates this special time, I'm always on the hunt for a fresh devotional to read to the kids.

The I AM devotional is a book of devotions centered on the names of God (100 devotions based on 40 names, in fact!). A lot of kid's devotions are based on Bible stories that they might be very familiar with, so I liked this fresh take on the subject. It's bound to stick out as something new to kids.

Each devotional has a name of God in the top left corner (examples include El Shaddai, Abba, Son of God, Jehovah, etc.). The devotional starts with a short Bible verse, a few paragraphs on life application (nicely tying in real life and what the Bible teaches us), includes a prayer, and several discussion questions.

What do I especially like about this devotional? A few key things:

Solid teaching in an accessible, relateable way f…

Sweet Summertime Read

Sallie Riehl isn't quite your typical Amish girl; well, she is likeable and gentle... but also has an adventurous streak. She has been dreaming of travelling to Australia for many years, so when God gives her the opportunity to leave Paradise Township and visit Cape May as a nanny, she says yes. But her weeks in Cape May might be more than she bargained for - she meets Kevin, an awfully nice Mennonite man...and catches the travel bug. 

I enjoyed the pacing of this book - it unfolded gradually, but with enough excitement to keep readers interested. I loved Sallie's character; as she goes through her struggles and questions, I felt connected with her and I wanted to see what happened. The Cape May setting and gentle pace make it the perfect summertime read at the cottage or beach house.

If you like Beverly Lewis' other novels, you'll be sure to love this one.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Worshipfully Color - One Gorgeous Page at a Time

I have to admit, I've been a big fan of adult coloring books since they became all the rage a few years ago. I'm  often host coloring nights with friends, so I'm always looking for fun, new books.

Was this one ever a good choice--I loved it! Based on the song "Indescribable," recorded by Chris Tomlin, each page features a lyric of the well-loved tune with stunning imagery that reflects the lines. All in all, it adds up to more than 90 pages of beautiful illustrations and thoughtful lyrics. Oh, and as necessary in coloring books, the pages are thick and perforated--markers, watercolors, and pencil crayons would all be welcome here.

When I got this book, I wasn't sure what to expect, other than the familiar lyrics to Indescribable. I loved how they paired the song lyrics to beautiful, creation-inspired illustrations. Some are literally tied to the lyrics (heavenly storehouses laden with snow) and many others are nature-based (horses, owls, ocean, flowers, etc.…

The Ticket to Family Togetherness

What a great resource for parents. If you're feeling like your family needs a little more togetherness, I recommend this book. It's packed with really great tips (144 to be exact) that span all sorts of topics and are easily consumable at a few pages each.

I love the range of this book - some tips are simply fun (Don't Throw Out That Refrigerator Box, Personalized Pancakes) and others are really meaningful (Dad Tucks In, Honor Apologies, Bring Their Night Light). A lot of the time, I was thinking "Wow, this is a great idea. Why didn't I think of this before?"

The risk with this kind of book is that you read it and then completely forget about it. I liked the way this book was written - it's easy to pick up, pick a number, and pick a tip to follow for the hour, day, or week. Some of the tips even include motivating challenges so you actually instate the idea (try this this week, etc.).

When I was done reading this, I really wanted to check out some other …

Adorable Illustrations Bring a Favorite Hymn to Life


Saying this book is adorable does not really do it justice. It's sweet, it's colorful, and it's perfect for chubby little hands...I love it.

All Things Bright and Beautiful features words from the well-known hymn together with cheerful, bright, and sparkly illustrations (in a similar style to the cover). The pages are packed with cutesy characters that follow the words and the fun font only enhances the cheerful look.

Oh, and this book is so kid-friendly. It's a small board book with a padded cover and even a handle on the binding for portability.

I think this would be a great book for toddlers, but you could happily read it with younger children. I have a feeling it will be one they want to read over and over.

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

A Thought-Provoking Start to the Heart of the Frontier Series

You can count on Tracie Peterson to write accurate, interesting historical fiction. I can't believe how many different characters she has brought to life.

Treasured Grace is a story of Grace Martindale, along with her two sisters, Hope and Mercy, as they settle in the west along with many other pioneers. They arrive at the Whitman mission while waiting to hear from their uncle, who they are hoping can provide a place for them in Oregon City. Grace faces struggle after struggle adjusting to this new life, from racial tension with the local Cayuse people to deathly measles. It doesn't help that she meets an intriguing fur trapper named Alex.

I was expecting a light, fluffy tale with some superficial hardships - that is not how I would describe this book. Treasured Grace doesn't mince issues and there are sensitive and difficult struggles the characters face. I appreciated that the author didn't simplify the dangerous situations many pioneers faced.

I did find the pacing t…

A Bible That Will Touch Women of All Generations

Ummm, wow. So this Bible is incredibly beautiful--the minute I took it from the box, it surpassed expectations. It's not only a beautiful Bible, but it makes Bible study exciting and fresh; all with a feminine slant. Practically, it's a study Bible (meaning lots of extras), large print, full color, and New King James Version (and red letter). My favorite aspects?

A trendy floral illustration adorns the coverThere is a lot of color - from the shiny pink page edges to the floral call out boxes on almost every pageA cute, cursive font is used throughout the Bible (for titles of books and chapters)There are many extras - study notes, book intros, quotes, maps, a concordance, and even "family" pages at the beginning (family memories, family history, spiritual mothers) I love, love, love these little touches. This Bible is more than just a special Bible that will sit on your shelf. This Bible is meant to touch women from generation to generation 
I don't think this Bibl…

Perfect, Pretty Bible for Princesses

As a Christian parent, we all know it's good to get kids immersed in the Bible early. When I'm looking for a Bible for children, it has to meet certain criteria:
Is it kid friendly? (Cute, lots of illustrations, a theme that is compelling with kids?)Is it easy to read? (Is it an accessible translation? Does it have lots of images? Is it easy to hold?)Is it fun? (Is it more than just words on a page?)  This Bible definitely checks everything off the list. 
There are lots of princess Bibles out there, but I think this one is special. Compared to many other options, the "branding" is up-to-date and kids will like the look of the Bible. It comes in an easy-to-read translation (International Children's Bible), and it includes a lot of extras like a timeline, dictionary, and memory verses (on glossy, colorful paper) sprinkled throughout the Bible. A special bonus is the coloring book and stickers attached to the Bible. The coloring book is full of princess-style illust…

Trendy Coloring and Hand Lettering - Just for Mom

Home is Wherever Mom Is is a trendy coloring and hand lettering book, themed just for moms. The book is nice and large (perfect for laying out on a table) and features over 90 illustrated pages on heavy paper. This book is packed with large graphics, ranging from nature scenes to intricate bohemian patterns. There is something in this book for everyone.

Interspersed between the coloring pages are motherhood-themed Bible verses and uplifting quotes. I really liked the hand-lettering touch on these quotes. I wasn't sure what to expect with hand-lettering, but it's a bit like a faded print that you can color in ink or marker or whatever you choose. There is even a practice page at the end of the book for more hand-lettering options.

This book is really pretty. I loved every page's design and the hand-lettered quotes were presented in a really modern, current way. I also like how each page is perforated, so you can easily tear them out to color or to frame. I love that practic…

Much More Than a Story or Autobiography - This is a Testimony

I've been looking forward to getting my hands on Between Heaven & the Real World for a while now. As someone who grew up with Steven Curtis Chapman's albums and has been a longtime fan, I was excited to get a closer look at his story.

Whew. What a journey. I was moved to tears over and over while reading this and I couldn't put it down.

The book starts off while Steven Curtis Chapman is still a kid - one who enjoys making music with his brother and learning from his musical father. The journey quickly progresses into his marriage to Mary Beth Chapman and making his big break in the music industry. Readers learn about the stories behind many songs as well as an intimate look into his family and personal life.

And what a story it is - heart-wrenching at times and full of grief and real-life struggles. But as the title suggests, it also presents joy and hope. Between Heaven & the Real World is much more than a story or autobiography - this is a testimony, and the spir…

A Timely Reminder to Slow Down and Spend Time with Jesus

Recently, I've been thinking I need more quiet time with God. It's hard to find space to do that when life always seems to get in the way. Enter 5 Minutes with Jesus: Quiet Time for Your Soul - paired with a morning coffee, this book was the perfect encouragement for me to sit down for a few minutes and rest with Jesus.

This book is a timely addition to the "5 Minutes..." series by Sheila Walsh (other topics include Peace for Today and A Fresh Infusion of Joy). Quiet Time for Your Soul focuses on just that - stopping, breathing, resting, and refreshing.

Similar to the other 3 books in the series, each devotion features an encouraging, topical read, a takeaway in special box text and "5 Minutes in the Word," which features several scripture verses

I really liked the subject matter of the book, but I also appreciated the design element. Some pages feature a cute graphic that runs along the edge and the cover design is cute enough to leave out on your table. I…

A Coloring Book, A Devotional - the Perfect Tool for Spiritual Reflection

There are coloring books (good). Then there are Christian coloring books (better). Then, there are Christian coloring devotionals (best).

Words of Grace combines devotions (28 of them, all together) with a coloring page to truly reflect on what you just learned. Set up as a 4-week devotional, main topics include "Intimacy with God, Knowing Who You Are," and "When Life Gets Tough." The reading is on the left side of the page with coloring on the right. There is also room for notes at the end of the book.

This book can be well used independently, but it is also a tool that could be used in a small group. At the end of each week, readers find four questions to think about. In a group setting, you could share lessons learned throughout the week or simply spend time coloring and sharing thoughts as a group.

I think this is a fantastic independent spiritual resource as well. Rather than just a devotional or coloring book, the complementary nature of these activities mean…

A Christian-Themed Search and Find Book!

Is this ever one cute book! Ready, Set, Find Easter is one of a series of sweet "find it" books where children can hear about the story and look for specific items on each page.

This board book is perfect for teaching little ones about Easter. Illustrated in a soft, cuddly manner (see cover image), this little book takes children through Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem, the last supper, the garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion, and the resurrection.

Each page features a sentence or two from the Easter story (with reference to the Bible passage) and a "can you find..." with 8 items to search for on the illustrated side of the page. While the book is not overly long, I think it's just right to keep children attentive to the story and have fun at the same time.

I love the cute illustrations in this book as well as the format. Besides being a Christian search and find book, it is the perfect size for kids and I love that each page has an illustrated tab that c…

How Many Times is it Socially Acceptable to Read a Book in a Row?

Ever finished reading a book, only to want to start reading it again? That's Rescue Me in a nutshell.

Wow. I was hooked from the third paragraph and I read the entire thing in two days. I simply couldn't put it down. My own life? Who cares...I simply had to know what happened to the beloved characters in this book. Now, an hour or two after it's all over, I miss my Montana Rescue friends. How did you do it, Susan May Warren?

From the first page, Rescue Me is faced-paced and thrilling. We're thrown into a terrifying situation where Deputy Sam Brooks is tasked with saving some teenagers from an angry grizzly. From then on, the excitement never lifts. Our main plotline is this: Willow, an impulsive, feeling type (who may or may not have had the teensiest crush on Sam Brooks) takes a group of teens she mentors as a youth leader to Glacier National Park, only to end up stranded and in danger. Sam (heroic, trustworthy, and possibly harboring some deep-set issues) is quite po…

A Witty, Fun, Cheeky Adventure

Regina Jennings does it again - a witty, fun, and cheeky adventure with larger-than-life characters in a boisterous, entertaining story.

To know the story is to know the two friendly leads - Betsy Huckabee, a lovable, very nosy, plays-by-her-own-rules aspiring writer, and Deputy Joel Puckett, an even-keeled, law-abiding, solid kind of gentleman--with a past. Joel is thrown into the woods of small-town Pine Gap, Missouri, a shock from the open lands of Texas he is used to, and meets Betsy, a curious girl who has a tendency to hop out from behind trees.

Joel has a difficult time fitting in as new lawman, especially around the Bald Knobbers, a group of vigilantes out to enforce the law their own way. They don't trust Joel and he doesn't trust them and as more curiosities unravel, it seems like Betsy is his only friend. Betsy finds her own kind of inspiration in Joel, fictionalizing his escapades as Dashing Deputy until she realizes that he may not be so fictional after all. Reade…

Lots of Fun and Learning - Berenstain Bears Style

I grew up with the Berenstain Bears... piles of books on our shelves, well-loved and well-read. So I am extra happy to share this with the next generation of kids and, even better, share the Easter story.

These activity books are a lot of fun--crossword puzzles, search and find, mazes, matching, coloring pages, and, of course, lots of stickers. This book has 32 pages and comes with 50+ stickers; lots of opportunity for play. These books are popular for a good reason! The pages are colorful and engaging - just like a Berenstain Bears story. While it is branded as an Easter fun activity book, a lot of the activities are spring related - there are lots of cutesy animals and sweet floral elements.

I think this kind of book encompasses lots of age groups, but 5-8 year olds will probably appreciate it the very most. Readers who are familiar with and like the Berenstain Bears would appreciate them more as well.

I really like these books, not only because they are fun, but because they are g…

Intrigue and Romance in the Stunning Alaskan Frontier

A cold-hearted murder, a blossoming romance, exciting wilderness hikes--all set against the stunning backdrop of the heart of Alaska.

Set in 1920s Alaska, John Ivanoff and his daughter, Cassidy, work at Curry Hotel. John is a wilderness guide and Cassidy enjoys her work in the hotel kitchen. Their summer gets interesting when Allan Brennan comes, wanting to experience the place where his father died many years past.

The story grows in intrigue and suspense as more details are discovered surrounding Allan's father's death and Allan and Cassidy's growing friendship.

Peterson and Woodhouse are a powerhouse duo. They do a great job of making the reader feel immersed in the setting - it's easy to get lost in the scenery and mountain ranges. Similarly, the characters are well-depicted - each character grew on me and I especially found Cassidy likeable.

I was invested in the characters and the suspense and I really enjoyed the book. I also appreciated the Christian angle - i…

A Biblical Book Children Will Love to Read and Reread

This book is a great way to introduce your little one to Bible stories - they will like the heavy-duty board book built for their small hands, the inviting illustrations, and rhyming lines. Melissa Iwai's illustrations are fun, colorful, and pleasant for children to look at. This is a book that children will want to read and reread.

This book is about characters in both the Old and New Testaments; not only Noah, but Adam, David, Esther, Mary, Peter, and many more. Each page features a character with rhyming lines in the style of "Noah, Noah, what do you see? I see animals in the ark with me." I liked how the book includes characters from throughout the Bible and especially liked how the story ends - with "little child" seeing Jesus watching over them.

In all, this is a sweet book that children will enjoy reading - the rhyming verses make it fun to read and the illustrations make it lovely to look at.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchang…

Whatever is Lovely - Great Devotional for Girls

This is a really, really nice devotional. It is as nice inside as on the outside!

The devotional is based on Philippians 4:8 ("Whatever is true, whatever is noble...", etc.). Geared toward teen or tween girls, Whatever is Lovely examines subjects like relationships, clothing, school, and more, all geared towards honoring and serving God.

Split into sections, the devotional doesn't have to be in order; it could be read by whatever topic you prefer. Sections include:
-Whatever's Noble
-Whatever's Lovely
-Whatever's Praiseworthy
-Perfect Peace

Each devotion starts off with a Bible verse, then a title and a few paragraphs related to the subject. Then there are some areas for reflection following the devotional: "Food for Thought," "Second Thoughts," "Divine Thoughts" (a prayer), and "Your Thoughts" - a space for journaling. These areas get the reader diving deeper into what they just read and the lines for journaling will…

The Perfect Devotional for Easter Reflection

Wow, what a beautiful devotional. I was just thinking that Christmas gets a lot of attention; the decorations, the ministry materials... well, finally, here's something perfect for Easter. Devotions for Easter is the perfect vehicle to help you spend some time reflecting during the Easter season.

The cover of this book attracted me to it first; a lovely little spring illustration gave me the feeling this book would be a good one. And I was right. The inside pages feature the same pretty floral design, as well as full-page photographs. The photographs used are soft - many floral images that are reminiscent of spring. The book is hardcover and fits nice and small in your hands.

Inside, you'll find 40 devotionals all together (making it perfect as a daily part of Lent). Each devotion starts with a Bible verse, then has a few pages of material, and most end with a prayer overlaid on a pretty picture. I was pleased that the devotions are a few pages long. They are easily read in a …