Friday, November 15, 2013

The First Christmas Night Childrens Picture Book

The First Christmas Night 
By Keith Christopher
Illustrated by Christine Kornacki

Book Description (from publishers website):

Here is a lyrical retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. Modeled after "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," the poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and winds though Christ's birth, the angels' appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men. The simple, yet elegant, verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich oil illustrations of Christine Kornacki.

For more info about this book and many others check out the Ideals Books website and Facebook pages!

My Review:

5 Stars
We all know the classic Christmas story "Twas the Night Before Christmas", many of us can even recite many lines from memory, but does everyone know the true meaning of Christmas. Keith Christopher uses that classic children's story as a model to tell the about the birth of Jesus Christ who is the reason for the season. Christine Kornacki brings his story to life with her beautiful illustrations. The combination of the illustrations and story this book packs a ton in to its 32 pages.

I just loved this book in so many ways. The illustrations are exceptional, there is no doubt that the illustrator is talented. I found reading this book aloud to be effortless with the flow and rhyme of the story. I really enjoyed that at the end of the book the author adds the excerpts from the gospel of Luke and Matthew. What a great way to redirect the story back to the actual Bible. This book will find a permanent home and I look forward to sharing it with my daughter year after year.

I recommend this book to all parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers and more.  This would make a great bedtime story as well as using it a class setting.  It is so beautiful that it would also make a great decoration or coffee table book for even those with out children in their home. Honestly you really can't go wrong adding this book to your collection.

* I received this book through the publisher for the purpose of this review, my honest opinion was all that was requested. Thank you Ideals Books.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

To Know You by Shannon Ethridge

About the book:

Julia Whittaker’s rocky past yielded two daughters, both given up for adoption as infants. Now she must find them to try to save her son.

Julia and Matt Whittaker’s son has beaten the odds for thirteen years only to have the odds—and his liver—crash precipitously. The only hope for his survival is a “living liver” transplant, but the transplant list is long and Dillon’s time is short. His two older half-sisters, born eighteen months apart to two different fathers, offer his only hope for survival.

But can Julia ask a young woman—someone she surrendered to strangers long ago and has never spoken with—to make such a sacrifice to save a brother she’s never known? Can she muster the courage to journey back into a shame-filled season of her life, face her choices and their consequences, and find any hope of healing?

And what if she discovers in her own daughters’ lives that a history of foolish choices threatens to repeat itself? Julia knows she’s probably embarking on a fool’s errand—searching for the daughters she abandoned only now that she needs something from them. But love compels Julia to take this journey. Can grace and forgiveness compel her daughters to join her?

In To Know You, Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel explore how the past creates the present . . . and how even the most shattered lives can be redeemed.

My Review:

4 Stars

To Know You by Shannon Ethridge is a moving story that drew me in from the very first page. The story is laid out in chapters but also includes date and time. That feature made the story feel more fast paced and brought in a sense of following right with the characters. Shannon Ethridge does a marvelous job of diving into a multitude of real word situations and issues and shows the reader that redemption is possible no matter what.

I loved Julia's character, she is a strong and determined woman who may have made some bad decisions in the past she still showed love by making  some hard decisions. Now in present day her past is about to merges with present time and what happens is amazing. So many characters grew and found out how strong God's love really is.

This book is a great example of God's love and the power of redemption. It deals with some real issues and digs deep into the characters lives. I highly recommend this book to all, but with warning it is deep but the end is so rewarding. Enjoy!

*I received this book from Litfuse for the purpose of this review. Thank you!

Shannon Ethridge is celebrating the release of  To Know You (co-written by Kathryn Mackel), by giving away a $100 gift certificate to Lisa Leonard Designs and a personal coaching session, as well as throwing a Facebook Author Chat Party!

One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 19th. Winner will be announced at the "To Know You" Facebook Author Chat Party on the 19th. Connect with Shannon and friends for an encouraging evening of fun chat, book club discussion, giveaways, and a chance to win a PERSONAL COACHING SESSION WITH SHANNON!

So grab your copy of To Know You and join Shannon on the evening of November 19th 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 today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER or Pinterest and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on 11/19!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Day Board Book

About the Book:

Author: Jill Roman Lord
Illustrator: Jody Wheeler

In this touch-and-feel board book, textures and bright artwork bring to life the things for which children can be grateful at Thanksgiving. Tactile experiences throughout the book engage the reader and help children to connect the book to the textures in their actual surroundings. Soft, vibrant watercolor illustrations add warmth and sweetness to the book.

For more info about the publisher click here.
Check out their Facebook page here.

My Review:

Happy Thanksgiving Day is a beautiful board perfect size for toddler's little hands. Throughout the book there is textures added to help bring the story to life such as a furry puppy, fuzzy blanket, smooth pumpkin and more. This book will be a great addition to a child's library and teaches a great lesson that everything is a gift from God and we need to be thankful for it. It really helps bring about the real point to Thanksgiving day. A day that is slowly getting buried by Christmas, shopping and being to busy to step back and reflect on all the blessings in our lives.

I really enjoyed reading this book to my little girl and found the story to perfect length for her and the illustrations are beautiful. I loved how the pages are easy to turn for her little fingers and that she can explore the book through the textures. I know this book will have a home on her bookshelf for years to come.

*I received this book through the publisher for the purpose of this review, my honest opinion was all that was requested. Thank you Ideals Books.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Singularity by Steven James

About the Book:

Jevin Banks is searching for a killer--and answers to terrifying questions he never even thought to ask.

When his friend is murdered, illusionist Jevin Banks is determined to find out what really happened. Drawn deep into a web of conspiracy and top-secret research on human consciousness, Jevin won't stop digging until the truth is revealed. Soon he uncovers a dark secret that could change the very fabric--and future--of human life on the planet.

Based on frightening scientific realities and bristling with mystery, suspense, and intrigue, Singularityis the riveting sequel to Placebo.

My Review:

Singularity is the 2nd Jevin Banks book and alot of the main plots and characters tie in with the first book placebo.  Our ex-magician is now a magician again but still manages to get wrapped up in some pretty crazy going ons.  The author did a great job of continuing to develop the characters that were introduced in the first book as well as inter connecting them even more.  While Jevin might be in a little better place in this book from some of the closure he received in placebo it is quite evident that the author is not done growing him in his faith.  This book like the last also gives a clear and consice ending but leaves enough open that you will be waiting to pick up the next book in the series.  All in all this was a great read and a very good addition to the Jevin Banks universe.

* I received this books for the purpose of this review.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Burning Sky by Lori Benton

About the Book:

“I remember the borders of our land, though I have been gone from them nearly half the moons of my life. But who there will remember me? What I have seen, what I have done, it has changed me.

I am the place where two rivers meet, silted with upheaval and loss.

Yet memory of our land is a clear stream. I shall know it as a mother knows the faces of her children. It may be I will find me there.“

Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.

When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.

Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage--the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again? 

My Review:

Lori Benton's debut novel is fantastic, she packs so much into one book and does it great. You would think she is a seasoned author, I am thinking she will be writing many more fantastic books. This book has something for so many people: History, romance, intriguing characters, complex plot and so much more.

I loved every minute of this book and found myself glued to it from the beginning to the end. I will say I was skeptical that I would like it since the setting is not my favorite, but with the authors great writing and detail she brought the setting alive and convinced me that even my least favorite topic/setting could draw me in with great writing.

Looking for something new and fresh to read then look no further to this book, it won't disappoint. I am looking forward to reading her next book coming out in Spring 2014.

*I received this book through blogging for books for the purpose of this review.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Merciful Scar by Rebecca St. James & Nancy Rue

About the book:

Kirsten has spent her life trying to forget. But mercy begs her to remember.

When she was in high school, a terrible accident fractured her family, and the only relief Kirsten could find was carving tiny lines into her skin, burying her pain in her flesh. The pain she caused herself was neat and manageable compared to the emotional pain that raged inside.

She was coping. Or so she thought.

But then, eight years later, on the night she expects her long-time boyfriend to propose, Kirsten learns he’s been secretly seeing her best friend. Desperate to escape her feelings, she reaches for the one thing that gives her a sense of control in the midst of chaos.

But this time the cut isn’t so tiny, and it lands her in the psych hospital. Within hours of being there she knows she can’t stay—she isn’t crazy, after all. But she can’t go back to the life she knew before either.

So when her pastor mentions a treatment program on a working ranch, Kirsten decides to take him up on the offer and get away from it all. But the one thing she can’t escape is herself—and her shame.

The ranch is home to a motley crew, each with a lesson to teach. Ever so slowly, Kirsten opens herself to embrace healing—even the scarred places that hurt the most. Mercy begs her to remember the past . . . showing her there’s nothing that cannot be redeemed.

My Review:

This was a great book to read and very powerful. This is a story that will stick with you and you won't be able to forget. Its not a story that everyone will be able to relate to but one that will help them understand what can happen when pain, anger, frustration and more builds up inside a person. Kirsten has a long road to go in this book, and only can begin that process when things are pretty much rock bottom. She learns healing and redemption

This is a great book for everyone but especially to those that work with teens and young adults. Enjoy the book but it is deep, heart breaking at times but filled with hope and healing.

* I received this book through for the purpose of this review.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury

Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury
Reviewed by Jennifer Whitney
Fiction Addict Blog Tours
Genre: Drama
Publisher: Howard Books
Pub Date: October 29, 2013

Karen Kingsbury’s new book asks the question: What Would You Sacrifice For Fame?

(Synopsis from Zack Dylan made a promise to God and his college sweetheart as he left his family’s horse farm in Kentucky to compete on the popular reality television show Fifteen Minutes: If he makes it, the fame won’t change him.

Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also something more. Something Zack could never have imagined. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster.
At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a therapeutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese—one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.

Then Chandra Olson—reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges—intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and private agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.

Can Chandra’s private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutes is a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?

My Review:
As with most of Karen Kingsbury's books I enjoyed this book and found it easy to read. I enjoyed reading each of the character's stories and how they all intertwine together. I will say I feel like she has lost the charm of her earlier books and is using pop culture and the effects of fame more and more. The message of this book is powerful but one that many will never relate to since most of us will never have the chance to taste fame. I did enjoy her using Chandra's experiences as a ministry to help others not fall into the traps she did.

In Conclusion, fans of Karen Kingsbury should enjoy her latest book and if you have never read her you can't go wrong with this one. If you want a good contemporary story with a powerful message look no further this is the book for you.

Fifteen Minutes is available to purchase from

Note: I received this book as part of the Fifteen Minutes blog tour from Fiction Addict. I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes. Review copy provided by the publisher.