Book Review & Giveaway: “The Sea House” by Elisabeth Gifford

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The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

The Book

Scotland, 1860.
Reverend Alexander Ferguson, naive and newly-ordained, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the Hebridean island of Harris. His time on the island will irrevocably change the course of his life, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after Alexander departs. It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child’s fragile legs are fused together — a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? Ruth needs to solve the mystery of her new home — but the answers to her questions may lie in her own past.

Based on a real nineteenth-century letter to The Times in which a Scottish clergyman claimed to have seen a mermaid, The Sea House is an epic, sweeping tale of loss and love, hope and redemption, and how we heal ourselves with the stories we tell.

My Thoughts

I had mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the second half much more than I did the first. The book had both modern-day and historical aspects. To me, the historical story was more interesting. The writing was excellent all the way through; I just found the historical story more captivating. The setting (though it was the same in both contemporary and historical times) didn’t seem so dreary in the historical account.

There were two things that turned me off to this book: the use of profanity in one scene and the book’s pro-evolution slant. Reverend Ferguson, a Christian in the book, believes God used evolution to create the earth.

Even though the concept of evolution breaks multiple scientific laws, I understand why an atheist would want to believe in it. But I can’t comprehend why a Christian would try to make evolution fit with God and the Bible. It takes illogical and fantastic stretching of the written word to say the first two chapters of Genesis refer to evolution. If we can’t believe what the Bible says about God creating the universe in seven days (and yes, those are 24-hour days, not billions-of-years-long “days”), how can we believe what it says about salvation and forgiveness and grace and love? Why do we think it’s okay to pick and choose what we believe? Why believe any of the Bible if some of it is not true?

(I’ll get off my soapbox now.)   :-)

All that being said, it is logical that someone who believes in evolution would be more likely to believe in sea people and mermaids (as Reverend Ferguson did throughout most of the book).

The ending of this book was great — it wrapped up nicely — and the story kept me guessing in several regards. I probably would have enjoyed the book more if it were purely historical, as I loved that story line. I’m sure many people will absolutely love this book in its entirety; it just wasn’t the best fit for me.

I give this book 3.5 stars.

Please know that ratings from 3.5 to 4.5 are good. I rarely rate a book a 5 as that wouldn’t leave a sufficient rating for those mind-blowingly great books that come along from time to time!

In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please know that the publicist, on behalf of the author and publisher, has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Visit Elisabeth’s website.
Visit the Blog Tour Page.
Follow Elisabeth on Facebook.
Purchase a copy on Amazon.

About the Author

Elisabeth Gifford: The Sea House Review

Elisabeth Gifford grew up in a vicarage in the industrial Midlands. She studied French literature and world religions at Leeds University. She is the author of The House of Hope: A Story of God’s Love and Provision for the Abandoned Orphans of China and has written articles for The Times and the Independent and has a Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford OUDCE and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway College. She is married with three children. They live in Kingston on Thames but spend as much time as possible in the Hebrides.

GIVEAWAY:

Don’t miss The Sea House, a stunning fiction debut from the UK. Set in a house on the windswept coast of the Outer Hebrides, Elisabeth Gifford‘s haunting tale effortlessly bridges a gap of more than a century. Adeptly interweaving two tales involving residents of the titular house, Gifford sets up an absorbing mystery revolving around local lore and myths about mermaids, selkies, and sealmen. Stretching seamlessly back and forth through time, layers upon layers of secrets are slowly and effectively peeled away in this evocative debut (Booklist).

Celebrate with Elisabeth by entering her Kindle giveaway!

E.Gifford, The Sea House Giveaway

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at Elisabeth’s Blog.

seahouse-enterbanner

Watch the trailer:



Hardest Peace: Finding Hope in Depression

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This post is part of Kara Tippetts’ #HardestPeace blogger challenge. You can read a summary of her book The Hardest Peace and my book review here, as well get info on how to participate in the #HardestPeace blogger challenge.

The Hardest Peace Blogger Challenge

It was the weekend before Thanksgiving the year I turned twelve. Our church was small, and I’d been recruited to help teach Sunday school. I sat in the big comfy chair in my family’s living room reading the story of Noah from a teacher’s manual. All was comfortable in my world, but it would not be for long.

One moment I was lost in the teacher’s manual, and the next, a dark, horrible feeling engulfed me—an inexplicable hopelessness that gutted me emotionally. Fear wrapped around me like a straightjacket. Terrified, I locked myself in the bathroom and wept and prayed. I didn’t know what was wrong; I didn’t know what I was afraid of.

The unwarranted oppression did not leave—not that day, that week, or that month. Like a zombie, I ambled around in a fog of dread and apprehension. Fear’s hold was so strong that I was terrified to talk to anyone about what was happening to me—even my parents. I remember going to school one morning, sitting in class, and staring at the clock on the wall, on the verge of bursting into tears. It was 8 AM. How would I make it through the day?

I made it through that day and the next and the next. I dropped weight, but I mostly kept up the façade that I was okay. But I wondered: Would I ever be happy again? Would I always live in this prison of unfounded terror? Every day after school, I locked myself away and I prayed and cried.

Four months after it hijacked my life, the oppressive fog began to lift. It didn’t go all at once, but one day, I realized I was beginning to feel alive again. As if riding on the rays of the springtime sun, beautiful light begin to shine on what had become the black hole of my existence.

Whether it was severe depression spurred by preadolescent hormones or just an attack of spiritual oppression, I don’t know. My family was happy and healthy. In my twelve-year-old mind, the world was safe. My parents were diligent to keep spiritually detrimental influences out of our home. There is no easy answer for what happened to me. 

What I do know is that I can look back and praise God for His faithfulness. Though my nightmare didn’t miraculously disappear during a prayer session, I also never had suicidal thoughts. My grades didn’t slip at school. I never once doubted that God was real. I never had to depend on habit-forming medications.

Almost twenty years later, I’m happy to say I never experienced anything like that again. God has given me joy and a passion for life, and I revel in the beauty of His blessings. Still, I’ve never forgotten the very real terror of the emotions I felt, and over the years I’ve hurt for those struggling with depression.

As Spirit-filled believers, we can take our trials to God; He will break every chain. Even so, life sometimes detours us through the valley. Ask Elijah or Job, both who became so overwhelmed with life, they thought they’d be better off dead. In times like those, we can be comforted by the words of Paul:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Such a beautiful promise from Scripture! Does it mean God snaps His fingers and all our problems go away? No. God allows us to go through painful experiences because He cares more about our spiritual condition than He does our physical condition. Our physical bodies will return to dust, but our spirits will last forever. As unpleasant as it is, suffering often refines us spiritually (Job 23:10).

If you’re dealing with mental or emotional anguish, please talk to a pastor or trusted Christian mentor—and don’t underestimate the power of persistent prayer (see the story of the relentless widow in Luke 18:1-8). Don’t give up; God will bring you out of the valley!

“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings” (Psalm 61:1-4).

#HardestPeace Blogger Challenge


Book Review & Giveaway: The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts

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The Hardest Peace Book Review & Giveaway

The Book

A young mother battling cancer invites readers to embrace grace in every season of life.

Kara Tippetts knows the mundane but rich days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow.and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer.

In The Hardest Peace, she invites readers to see the grace of the everyday in all seasons of life and to live well even when the living is hard. As the thousands of readers of her blog know, Tippetts explores the hardest questions of life with rare beauty and honesty. Most of all, she draws them back to the God who is present, in the ordinary and the suffering, and shapes every life into the best story of all.

My Thoughts

I almost did not sign up for the blog tour for this book because I knew it would be hard to read. Parts of it were hard, but I’m glad I read it. Kara presented a balance of fear, faith, and grace in The Hardest Peace. It would do us all good to stop and consider her observations about life.

I try to live mindfully, appreciating and making the most of every moment. I’ve always realized how fleeting life is. To me, one of the worst possible things to imagine is to reach the end of life with nothing meaningful to show for it — wasted hours, selfish indulgence, and lack of appreciation for the blessings of God.

Even so, reading this book helped me to remember again to appreciate every precious moment of life. I get so caught up in working, I’m so driven to do more, more, more . . . and sometimes I feel guilty when I tell my son I can’t read to him right now or I don’t have time to dance in the kitchen. Reading this book reminded me that someday, I’ll treasure more memories of dancing in the kitchen with two-year-olds than I will memories of sitting in front of a computer screen.

The heart of this book was about peace in the hard times of life — the times that make absolutely no sense. It’s a beautiful message that I hope I remember when those hard times come.

This book is not a feel-good book; it did make me cry a time or two. But it’s not depressing, either. It’s full of hope and truth, and I hope anyone reading this review gets to read it. Kara’s story and inspiration is worth your time to know.

I give this book 4.5 stars.

Please know that ratings from 3.5 to 4.5 are good. I rarely rate a book a 5 as that wouldn’t leave a sufficient rating for those mind-blowingly great books that come along from time to time!

In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please know that the publicist, on behalf of the author and publisher, has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Visit Kara’s website.
Visit the Blog Tour Page.
Follow Kara on Facebook and Twitter.
Purchase the book.

About the Author

The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippets

Kara Tippetts and her husband, Jason, have four children and lead a church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cancer is only part of Kara’s story. Her real fight is to truly live while facing a crushing reality.

GIVEAWAY:

I have an extra copy of The Hardest Peace to give away. Just enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Your email address is required to enter, but it will not be used or retained other than to contact you if you win. Winner will have three days to respond before another winner is chosen. U.S. mailing addresses only, please.

Best wishes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a blogger? Don’t miss this blogger challenge giveaway:

Kara Tippetts‘ brave and touching book, The Hardest Peace is launching with a blogger challenge. Celebrate with Kara by joining the #HardestPeace conversation and share how you are finding grace in the midst of the everyday and in life’s hard moments.

The Hardest Peace, Kara Tippetts

Share your stories of everyday grace in the midst of life’s difficulties and enter to win a #HardestPeace prize pack:

    • A book club pack (10 copies of The Hardest Peace for you and your small group!)
  • A handcrafted candle
  • Journal
  • Custom Etsy The Hardest Peace print and coffee mug

To enter to win, simply blog about your #HardestPeace story and then submit the link to your post via the link-up (or see link in the Rafflecopter below). Plus stop by others’ stories to leave encouragement and offer prayers as we all travel the journey of life together and discover that the hardest peace is often the most fulfilling peace. Then follow Kara online (via the Rafflcopter) for additional entries into the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Review: “Citizen: Your Role in the Alternative Kingdom” by Rob Peabody

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Citizen: Your Role in the Alternative Kingdom

The Book

For Rob Peabody, the young pastor at a mega-church in southern USA, the realization that his faith had little real connection with the world around him meant that something had to change. He redirected his church towards the poor on their doorstep and then took the larger step of moving to the UK to establish the missional fellowship ‘Awaken’.

In
Citizen he outlines the Kingdom-centered identity that is given to followers of Jesus. It’s a wake-up call to the church in the West. Jesus’ death and resurrection initiates and invites people into a life of so much more than the status quo. God is re-building, re-newing, and re-creating that which is broken and marred by sin, and he is doing this — setting things right in the world — through Jesus. As citizens of the Kingdom, we have been saved and set apart for this work. We have a new allegiance, a changed identity, and a new mission as we seek to establish the rule of God on earth as it is in Heaven.

My Thoughts

Okay, so this book was totally hard to read — so convicting! I’m glad I read it though . . . Technically the concepts presented were familiar, but this book was eye-opening in a way I hadn’t anticipated.

Citizen questions the complacency of this age’s self-centered version of Christianity. There were many thought-provoking statements in this book, but one thing I remember specifically is a discussion about how so many of us are living good lives: we work hard, treats our families well, and try to do the right thing. But really, is that so different from how we’d live if we weren’t Christians? If I weren’t a Christian, I would still work hard, take care of my family, and try to do the right thing. Those values are part of who I am, even apart from being a Christian. Instead of Christianity (and Jesus) defining who we are, Christianity is a just another title, another obligation, another hobby we’ve tacked onto our lives.

At the heart of this book is a call to know and have a relationship with God rather than just knowing about Him.

You’d have to read the whole book to get the point — and I really think all Christians should. When read mindfully, this book will cause you to take a careful, painful look at yourself and your Christianity.

I’ll end with this quote from the book:

“Many of us attend church, celebrate Easter, get our children baptized, say a prayer before meals, have a favorite passage of Scripture, tick Christianity in the ‘religious beliefs’ section of a questionnaire, and might even attend a small group, but we don’t know King Jesus. There is a significant difference between association and relationship.”

I give this book 5 stars.

In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please know that the publicist, on behalf of the author and publisher, has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Visit Rob’s website.
Visit the Blog Tour Page.
Follow Rob on Facebook and Twitter.
Purchase a copy of the book.

About the Author

Rob Peabody: Citizen

 

Previously the lead campus pastor at an American mega-church, Rob Peabody is now director of the Awaken Movement. He left his church in the Texas Bible belt to start and lead Fresh Expression, a church seeking to engage unreached 20’s and 30’s in northeast London.


If I Had More Lives to Live

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Does anyone else ever wish they had more than one life to live? For example, in my life I’m exploring my passion for writing. I’d love another life to pour myself into the piano and music, another to spend at school studying new things — or doing mission work — and another to try my hand at being The Crafty Mom — the one who does all the cute Pinterest projects, sews, homeschools, and is a great cook.  :-)

What Would You Do With More Lives to Live?

I’ve heard it said before that you can’t sit in two chairs — meaning, you can only devote yourself to one thing. If you try to give yourself to two passions, you’ll only frustrate yourself, and you’ll never be excellent at either one.

God has given me one life to live for Him and a passion to write, and I want to make the most of it — even if it means I’ll never be a fabulous piano player or have a house full of gorgeous DIY projects.

What Would You Do with More Lives to Live?

I’ve been so excited at the writing opportunities I’ve had since the end of 2013! I love writing Bible curriculum and blogging for a couple of different websites, as well as trying to keep my novel (slowly) going on the side. All that being said, my personal blog has been forced to lowest priority. Which makes me sad. :( My book reviews are keeping it alive, but that’s not all I had envisioned for this blog a year ago.

I do have the privilege of blogging weekly for Dainty Jewell’s, an online women modest apparel store. Dainty Jewell’s launched a brand-new blog website as of yesterday: the She’s Intentional blog at www.daintyjewellsblog.com. I am so excited about this launch! Because a lot of my blogging energy goes to Dainty Jewell’s, I wanted to share the link to the new site as well as a link to my launch day post. Some of you know I’ve been blogging about weddings on Wednesdays; from now on, I’ll be writing about a greater variety of topics (with some wedding stuff still thrown in the mix), and I’ll try to share them on the blog.

She’s Intentional: the Dainty Jewell’s Blog
Cranberry-Themed Weddings

Until next time —

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!


Book Review & Giveaway — “Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer” by Max Lucado

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Before Amen by Max Lucado -- Book Review

The Book

We all pray . . . some.

We pray to stay sober, centered, or solvent. When the lump is deemed malignant. When the money runs out before the month does. When the marriage is falling apart. We pray.

But wouldn’t we like to pray more? Better? Stronger? With more fire, faith, and fervency?

Yet we have kids to feed, bills to pay, deadlines to meet. The calendar pounces on our good intentions like a tiger on a rabbit. And what about our checkered history with prayer? Uncertain words. Unmet expectations. Unanswered requests.

We aren’t the first to struggle with prayer. The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested.

And Jesus gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. Not the doctrine of prayer. He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Couldn’t we use the same?

In Before Amen best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts and confidence even for prayer wimps. Distilling prayers in the Bible down to one pocket-sized prayer, Max reminds readers that prayer is not a privilege for the pious nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. Let the conversation begin.

My Thoughts

This is a good little book — a quick read. (It took me just over an hour.) None of it was anything “new,” but I’m glad I read it. There’s something about reading wholesome material . . . Even if it’s not brand new to you, it’s still refreshing to take it in. That’s what I found this book on prayer to be: a simple reminder of how we should live in a mindful state of prayer and communion with God. Engaging stories and anecdotes are scattered throughout the book, which made it more fun to read. This may come as a surprise, but I have never read a book by Max Lucado! I’m glad I finally got the chance; I think this book would be a great, easy read for new Christians in particular.

I give this book 4.5 stars.

Please know that ratings from 3.5 to 4.5 are good. I rarely rate a book a 5 as that wouldn’t leave a sufficient rating for those mind-blowingly great books that come along from time to time!

In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please know that the publicist, on behalf of the author and publisher, has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Visit Max Lucado’s Website.
Visit the Blog Tour Page.
Follow Max on Twitter and Facebook.
Purchase a copy of the book.

About the Author

Max Lucado's "Before Amen" Book Review

More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. In Before Amen, best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts, and confidence even for prayer wimps. Let the conversation begin.

 

GIVEAWAY:

Be sure to enter the Before Amen iPad Mini giveaway. AND if you pre-order a copy of Before Amen by 9/29, you’ll receive a FREE ebook copy of Max’s best-selling Second Chances: More Stories of Grace.

beforeamen-400-click

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • Before Amen by Max Lucado

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 29th. Winner will be announced September 30th on the Litfuse blog.


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 30th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to their blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)


Book Review & Giveaway: “All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes” by Betsy St. Amant

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Book Review and Giveaway: All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant

The Book

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie’s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat’s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself—her—is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat’s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

My Thoughts

I really loved this book. The beautiful cover drew me in, and the story held me there. The characters were likable and believable — though, as with most romances, I sometimes wanted to shake sense into the characters when they got into arguments. :) I really LOVED the unique spin to this book: an aspiring cupcake artist competes on a reality TV show and brings along her guy friend (who she’s also in love with) as an assistant. How many books like that are out there? I think that was part of the appeal of this book: the setting was unique, so I didn’t feel as if I were reading the same, tired story.

The story had a satisfying ending, and though I kept trying to predict how it would turn out, it was strong enough to keep me guessing. :) The only thing I thought could have been better was toward the end, there was a lot of internal dialogue and thinking, and I found myself skimming just a little.

Such a great book! For those familiar with Becky Wade, if you love her books, you’ll love this one as well.

I give this book 4.5 stars.

Please know that ratings from 3.5 to 4.5 are good. I rarely rate a book a 5 as that wouldn’t leave a sufficient rating for those mind-blowingly great books that come along from time to time!

In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please know that the publicist, on behalf of the author and publisher, has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Visit Betsy’s website.
Visit the Blog Tour Page.
Follow Betsy on Twitter and Facebook.
Purchase a copy.

About the Author

Betsy St. Amant, Author of All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes

Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God’s grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.

GIVEAWAY:

Don’t miss Betsy St. Amant’s latest fiction release, All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes. A “sweet” tale of two best friends and the choices they make between dreams and a possible “sure thing,” St. Amant’s novel is sure to satisfy your romantic-fiction craving.

cupcakes-400-click

Betsy is celebrating with a fun Kindle giveaway and a Love & Cupcakes Facebook party!
One winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle
  • All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 18th. Winner will be announced at the Love & Cupcakes” Author Chat Party on 9/18. Betsy will be hosting a “sweet” book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at her next book project!

 
So grab your copy of All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes and join Betsy on the evening of September 18th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!


“Before Amen” by Max Lucado — iPad Mini Giveaway

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Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. In Before Amen, best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts, and confidence even for prayer wimps. Let the conversation begin.
Be sure to enter the Before Amen iPad Mini giveaway. AND if you pre-order a copy of Before Amen by 9/29, you’ll receive a FREE ebook copy of Max’s best-selling Second Chances: More Stories of Grace.

beforeamen-400-click

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • Before Amen by Max Lucado

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 29th. Winner will be announced September 30th on the Litfuse blog.


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 30th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to their blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)


“Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times” by Kelly Pulley — Review & Giveaway!

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Treasury of Bible Stories Review & GIVEAWAY!

About the Book:

Featuring lyrical stories that will make you laugh, this colorful collection is perfect for reading out loud. Magnificent Tales are rhyming Bible stories with clever art and clear lessons the whole family will enjoy. The stories and illustrations are so engaging that you won’t grow tired of reading a Magnificent Tale night after night! From “The Salty Tale of Noah’s Ark” to “The Lasting Story of the Last Supper,” the rhyming tales in this book remind us that God loves His people — in the Bible and today! 

Treasury of Bible Stories

My Thoughts

I love Bible story books. Growing up, I learned more about the Bible at home than in Sunday school. That’s just where my mother’s priorities were. As an adult, I actively try to think of ways to provide the same privilege to my son. That being said, I was excited to be get the opportunity to review this high-quality book of rhyming Bible stories by Kelly Pulley.

Kelly Pulley’s work has been compared to Dr. Suess’s, and I can see why. My impression upon reading the first few pages was that it must have taken a lot of time (and talent) to write and illustrate this book. The stories rhyme almost flawlessly. They are accurate. They contain just the right amount of detail. They even cause the occasional chuckle. I love the gorgeous illustrations, which I imagine also took much time and effort. (The writer in me thinks about these things.)  :-)

The target age for this book is 4 to 8, though my 2-year-old son is in a phase where he enjoys books with a rhyming lilt — which made this book a good fit for him. He liked the colorful illustrations (and the idea of Mommy reading to him in general).

Here’s a picture of the 351-page book to help you get an idea of its thickness:

Treasury of Bible Stories Giveaway

And here are a few examples of how the pages and illustrations look (sorry I couldn’t get better ones with my phone):

Treasury of Bible Stories GIVEAWAY

Treasury of Bible Stories

I totally recommend this book for parents with children up to eight years old.
Click here to visit the Blog Tour landing page.
Click here to visit Kelly Pulley’s website.
Click here to visit Kelly Pulley on Facebook.
Click here to purchase a copy of the book.

I give this book 5 stars.

 

About the Author

Treasury of Bible Stories Review and GIVEAWAY!

Kelly Pulley has illustrated dozens of book in The Beginner’s Bible series and has authored and illustrated several other children’s books, including Ten Unusual Features of Lulu McDunn and The Cycling Wangdoos. He enjoys spending time with his four grown children and his beautiful wife, Vickie, in the Nashville area.

GIVEAWAY:

Enter the Rhythmical Rhymes Kindle Giveaway 9/15 – 10/12.

Treasury of Bible Stories Kelly Pulley

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle HDX
  • Treasury of Bible Stories by Kelly Pulley

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 12th. Winner will be announced October 13th at Kelly’s blog.


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Kelly’s blog on the 13th to see if you won!


Book Review: Grammar Girl’s Tips for Better Writing — Grammar Helps by Mignon Fogarty

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Grammar Girl's Grammar Book Review

The Book

Online sensation Grammar Girl makes grammar fun and easy in this New York Times bestseller

Are you stumped by split infinitives? Terrified of using “who” when a “whom” is called for? Do you avoid the words “affect” and “effect” altogether?

Grammar Girl is here to help!

Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a. Grammar Girl, is determined to wipe out bad grammar—but she’s also determined to make the process as painless as possible. A couple of years ago, she created a weekly podcast to tackle some of the most common mistakes people make while communicating. The podcasts have now been downloaded more than twenty million times, and Mignon has dispensed grammar tips on Oprah and appeared on the pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

Written with the wit, warmth, and accessibility that the podcasts are known for, Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing covers the grammar rules and word-choice guidelines that can confound even the best writers. From “between vs. among” and “although vs. while” to comma splices and misplaced modifiers, Mignon offers memory tricks and clear explanations that will help readers recall and apply those troublesome grammar rules. Chock-full of tips on style, business writing, and effective e-mailing, Grammar Girl’s print debut deserves a spot on every communicator’s desk.

My Thoughts

The full title of this book is actually Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. I’ve known of Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl) for a long time, so I wasn’t worried about the content of this book, but I didn’t want anyone who is not familiar with her to read the title and get the wrong idea of the kinds of material I’ve been reading. :)

Other than the unfortunate sound of the title, this is a GREAT grammar and writing book. If I could choose only one grammar book to have on hand, I’d choose this one, even over Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style. It’s thorough and it’s easy (and fun) to read. Mignon’s writing style is personable, friendly, charming, relevant . . . Anymore adjectives I should throw in there?

I’m so glad I got my hands on a copy of this great book. I’ve already referenced it several times. (I can never keep the rules for “who” and “whom” straight in my head!)

A plus is that this book covers many questions that have risen in the age of the Internet regarding citing websites, capitalizing special words, and much more. I totally recommend this book to any student or writer!

I give this book 5 stars.

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Visit Grammar Girl on the Web.
Follow Mignon on Twitter.
Purchase a copy on Amazon.

About the Author

Grammar Girl

Mignon Fogarty is the creator of Grammar Girl and founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips Network. A technical writer and entrepreneur, she has served as an editor and producer at a number of health and science Web sites. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. She lives in Reno, Nevada.