Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

An Amish Christmas Wedding – A Review

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About the Book

Book: An Amish Christmas Wedding

Author: Vannetta Chapman, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, and Amy Clipston

Genre: Amish Christmas

Release Date: October 6, 2020

An Amish Christmas Wedding

From bestselling authors of Amish fiction come four delightful stories perfect for celebrating love, joy, and the everyday miracles Christmas brings.

Evergreen Love by Amy Clipston

Ryan Lapp had promised to marry Lorene Bontrager as soon as he was able to build them a house, but the day never came. Ryan moved away. Five years later, Lorene has settled in to her old maid role, and she’s shocked when her younger sister announces her quick engagement to Ryan’s younger brother. As they rush to plan the wedding, Lorene is constantly around the family she almost joined. Worse, she’s forced to face Ryan himself, who has returned to town. As both Ryan and Lorene examine their own feelings, they must decide if they can find grace with each other—and the young people they once were—this Christmas season. There just might still be love in their future.

Holiday of Hope by Kelly Irvin

Henry Lufkin is one of four bachelors who lived in the West Kootenai, Montana, cabins that were destroyed by wildfires. He’s the only one of them who hasn’t since married, but he likes his solitude. Then an old friend asks him to care for his son, and Henry has to share his small cabin and his life with bewildered and rebellious ten-year-old Tommy. When the child encounters trouble at school, Henry reaches out to Tommy’s teacher. Leesa Yoder never expected to find herself single and teaching sixteen young scholars, and she certainly didn’t anticipate an inexperienced bachelor telling her how to do her job. Amid the flying sparks, can Henry and Leesa see that there might be hope and love in this unexpected situation?

Wreathed in Joy by Kathleen Fuller

Mary Wengerd and Jakob Mullet have been best friends since childhood. Pressured by friends and family, they decided to date—with disastrous results. When they break up, their friendship is ruined. A year later, Mary is baking her Englisch friend’s wedding and groom cakes for a Christmas Eve wedding. Mary loves the Christmas season, and had always dreamed of marrying during that time. Now she wonders if she’ll ever marry. After she and Jakob form a tenuous new friendship, Mary breaks her arm. As he steps in to help her with the cakes, Mary is inexplicably and suddenly falling for him. But they’ve already dated, and that ended so horribly. Could it be better this time?
A Christmas Prayer by Vannetta Chapman

Widower Micah Miller runs the Amish Tour Company, offering Englischers a glimpse of a simpler life as well as tea at Rachel King’s. Rachel has never married and has recently lost her parents. When Micah comes across an abandoned and injured dog, he gives it to Rachel for company. As Rachel is charmed by the dog and shocked by news of the existence of family she never expected, her heart and mind bend toward the possibilities of change in her life—even toward the possibility of love.

Click here to get your copy!

I love reading stories about the Amish, and this collection did not disappoint. From stories about second chances to stories about friends falling in love to families created through a family created when a you g boy loses his parents, this collection captures the spirit of Christmas.

While each story stands alone, the collections weaves together beautifully. I think my favorite story was the final story because I love how the couple falling in love are older and that it involves a dog finding a new family.

So if you love Amish books and books set at Christmas, check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Authors

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VANNETTA CHAPMAN

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She is the author of sixteen novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, The Shipshewana Amish Mystery series, and Anna’s Healing, a 2016 Christy Award finalist. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and has also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She was a teacher for fifteen years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. Visit Vannetta online: VannettaChapman.com, Twitter: @VannettaChapman, Facebook: VannettaChapmanBooks.

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KATHLEEN FULLER
With over a million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com; Instagram: kf_booksandhooks; Facebook: WriterKathleenFuller.

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KELLY IRVIN
Kelly Irvin is the bestselling author of the Every Amish Season and Amish of Bee County series. The Beekeeper’s Son received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who called it a “beautifully woven masterpiece.” The two-time Carol Award finalist is a former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional. Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to read books by her favorite authors. Visit her online at KellyIrvin.com; Instagram: kelly_irvin; Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author; Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin.

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AMY CLIPSTON
Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery, Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel, Amish Heirloom, Amish Homestead, and Amish Marketplace series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan University and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at AmyClipston.com; Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks; Twitter: @AmyClipston; Instagram: @amy_clipston.

Read an Excerpt from An Amish Christmas Wedding

Want to read an excerpt from An Amish Christmas Wedding featuring four of your favorite authors?

You can find more information about the book and the excerpt here!

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 9

The Avid Reader, November 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 10

Inklings and notions, November 11

A Baker’s Perspective, November 11

Lighthouse Academy Blog, November 12 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

lakesidelivingsite, November 12

For Him and My Family, November 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 13

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 14

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 14

Texas Book-aholic, November 15

Simple Harvest Reads, November 15 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

deb’s Book Review, November 16

Labor Not in Vain, November 16

Older & Smarter?, November 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 17

Artistic Nobody, November 18 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 18

Splashes of Joy, November 19

EmpowerMoms, November 19

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 20

Blossoms and Blessings, November 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 21

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 21

She Lives To Read, November 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 22

Posted in Uncategorized

Spotlight on Harmful Haven

About the Book

Book: Harmful Haven

Author: Emily Yager

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Release Date: August 5, 2020

Everyone has secrets…Yet not everyone has lives depending on them being kept.

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Inessa Jo Ellingson, a trained
nurse, uses her home as a secret safe haven for abuse victims. When
unusual incidents start to turn into threats, Inessa works diligently
to protect her secret and the safety of those who depend on her.

Retired Marine Sergeant, Torian von Arx, hired to find a missing
person meets the stubborn Inessa who seems determined to stall his
mission. As trouble brews, he feels compelled to protect her against
the secret that threatens to destroy them both.

Will they be able to trust each other in time to save the others?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Emily Yager Inspirational Romance and Inspirational Romantic Suspense
novels set among the lakes, rivers, and north woods of Minnesota.

When Emily is not writing, she is collecting plants, listening to
music, searching for a new history book to explore, or dealing with
the dramas of a bi-polar prima donna canine and writing puppy
sidekick, Xian. She lives on the family farm in northwestern Minnesota.

More from Emily

As with all my stories. I love to integrate as much of my characters heritage as possible within the story. The main character in Harmful Haven – Inessa Jo Ellingson, and her family are of Russian descent. A bit of Russian traditions are woven in throughout the story.

Of all the little traditions that there are. One in particular makes an appearance more than anything else. A source of conversation and comfort.  More often complaints from some to the other characters.

“What did you make?” Nikolai asked. “Something chocolate?”

“No, Honey mousse.”

“Ugh, again.” Her brother groaned. “Two nights in a row. Honestly. Why can’t you enjoy normal desserts like brownies and ice cream?”

Honey Mousse. A traditional Russian dessert. Its sickly sweet. Those in my family who have a major sweet tooth, even found it too sweet for their own taste. This old dessert is definitely an acquired taste.

Go ahead and whip yourself up a batch. Sample it right along with Torian von Arx as he tries it for the first time in the story.

Enjoy it with a hot cup of Bengal Spice Tea (Or as it is known in Harmful Haven – Tiger Tea).

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 11

Pause for Tales, November 11

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 12

Artistic Nobody, November 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14

deb’s Book Review, November 15

Splashes of Joy, November 15

Quiet Quilter, November 16

Betti Mace, November 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 23

For Him and My Family, November 24

Bizwings Blog, November 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Emily is giving away the grand prize package of a signed Paperback copy of Harmful Haven and a set of BootBling!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10369/harmful-haven-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Mountain of Peril – Review and Giveaway

Mountain of Peril banner updated

About the Book

Book: Mountain of Peril

Author: J. Carol Nemeth

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release Date: January 25, 2018

Mountain of Peril

When Molly Walker graduated from college, she was thrilled to be hired on as a ranger at Deep Creek Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She arrived ready to begin her career and to enjoy all the aspects of her new job, but the one thing she hadn’t counted on was the local poachers and their illegal shenanigans. Molly and fellow ranger Jake Stuart try to put a stop to the escalating poaching problem while protecting the animals. In the meantime, Molly finds the handsome ranger, who is also a local, is a great partner to have on her side. She also finds she’s losing her heart to him when she’d planned to stay focused on her career. Can she give her heart and have a career? She and Jake find themselves in a battle against a group of men with a hidden agenda far more sinister than poaching. Can they be stopped before Molly’s life is snuffed out?

Molly and Jake are in a battle against a group of men with a hidden agenda far more sinister than poaching. Can they be stopped before Molly’s life is snuffed out?

Click here to get your copy!

Mountain of Peril represents the first book in the Faith in the Parks series. The suspense aspects of this book kept me reading. I think one of my favorite interactions came as the beginning of the book when Molly tries to get directions from two men who are apparently hard of hearing. Perhaps because my own mother often has difficulty hearing, I could appreciate Molly’s difficulties. Or perhaps the setting of the Great Smoky Mountains captured my attention since I attended college in Asheville and I call North Carolina home. Or maybe its because I had a friend who thought about becoming a Park Ranger, I found myself unable to put this book down.

Having a husband who serves in the Army, I appreciated that J. Carol Nemeth served in the Army and calls North Carolina also grabbed my attention. Wildlife and more make appearances throughout the story. I also appreciated the dynamics of Molly being brand new to being a Park Ranger and the enthusiasm she brought came alive throughout the pages.

The dynamics between Molly and Jake drew me into the story. I found the story to be realistic and worth reading. So if you like books set in the mountains or ones that examine women struggling with having a career or having a relationship, check out this book for yourself. It definitely deserves your examination.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Carol Nemeth

A native North Carolinian, J. Carol Nemeth has always loved reading and enjoyed making up stories since junior high school, most based in the places she has lived or traveled to. She worked in the National Park Service as a Park Aid and served in the US Army where she was stationed in Italy, traveling to over thirteen countries while there. She met the love of her life, Mark Nemeth, also an Army veteran, while stationed in Italy. After they married, they lived in various locations, including North Yorkshire, England. They now live in West Virginia, where, in their spare time, Carol and Mark enjoy RVing, sightseeing and are active in their church. They have a son, Matt, who serves active duty Army, a daughter, Jennifer, her husband Flint, who serves active duty Air Force, and three grandchildren, Martin, Ava and Gage. Their four-footed kid, Holly, a black Lab, loves traveling in their RV, and when they pack up to go, she’s waiting inside for them to head out.

More from J. Carol

I worked for the National Park Service at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park many moons ago before I met my husband. The setting for Mountain of Peril, Faith in the Parks Book 1 is in that park. I met a lot of interesting people and there was never dull moment. Something was always happening. I was either helping trap wild boar, riding horse back for back country patrol, or doing search and rescue for missing persons. I used several of my own experiences in the story, tweaking them a bit here or there to fit with the flow of the narrative. This book is near and dear to my heart just as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is. Working there was the best job I ever had, other than writing of course, and I loved it. I hope my love of the park flows through my characters and spills out for readers to experience and enjoy.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 4

Bizwings Blog, November 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 5

For Him and My Family, November 6

Blogging With Carol, November 6

Texas Book-aholic, November 7

For the Love of Literature, November 8

Artistic Nobody, November 8 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

deb’s Book Review, November 9

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 10

Betti Mace, November 11

Labor Not in Vain, November 11

Inklings and notions, November 12

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 13

Mary Hake, November 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 15

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, J. Carol is giving away the grand prize a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10330/mountain-of-peril-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Vibrant – A Review

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About the Book

Book: Vibrant

Author: Carol McLeod

Genre: Christian Living, Women’s Interest

Release Date: November 3, 2020

Vibrant

Have you ever met someone who possessed a quiet radiance so rich, so dynamic, that you ached for more, someone whose presence is so compelling you feel refreshed by a single conversation with them? If you know someone like this, you anticipate your times together. You realize their joy is contagious, their peace is deep, and their compassion is engaging.

Such people are “vibrant.” Regardless of their socioeconomic status, their education, their marital status, or their health, these people are determined to live joyfully, seeing each obstacle as an opportunity for growth. The vibrant individual’s persona is attached to their convictions rather than their circumstances.

Author Carol Burton McLeod believes everyone can choose to be Vibrant: Developing a Deep and Abiding Joy for All Seasons—and such a life begins by emulating Jesus. His life was filled with challenges and yet people were drawn to Him. Every character trait that we are called to embrace, every action of kindness or love, and each word of compassion or tenderness is a telling reflection of Christ within us. We are called to be a vibrant show-and-tell of what God is able to accomplish through one ordinary person.

Carol explores what it means to follow Jesus in a world filled with disappointment, rejection, and discouragement. And she provides gentle encouragement and suggestions from Scripture to help us do just that.

Click here to get your copy!

The vibrant colors of the cover of Vibrant immediately grabbed my attention. I had to read this study. Examining topics such as “Dare to Prepare”, “Ridiculous Advice”, “Two Choices” and more this book captures the idea that no matter a person’s circumstances he or she may live abundant rich lives.

Carol McLeod provides a map by which readers embark on a journey that allows them to find joy and more. Full of illustrations , quotes, Biblical passages, personal commentary, and prayers, this book would be perfect for personal study or group study. Savor the pages of this book and the words that appear on those pages.

So if you desire a book to encourage you to find joy in the world God created, check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

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Carol McLeod is a popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats through Carol McLeod Ministries. She is the author of more than a dozen books, including Significant: Becoming a Woman of Unique Purpose, True Identity, and Irrepressible HopeStormProof: Weathering Life’s Tough Times;Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue; and Joy for All Seasons.

Carol hosts a twice-weekly podcast, A Jolt of Joy!, on the Charisma Podcast Network, and a weekly podcast, The Joy of Motherhood, which is heard by thousands of moms around the world. She is also launching a new podcast entitled Significant Women. Her blog, Joy for the Journey, formerly A Cup of Tea with Carol, has been named in the Top 50 Faith Blogs for Women. After her 2013 devotional 21 Days to Beat Depression had nearly 100,000 downloads in the first month, YouVersion picked it up, where it has been read by over a million people. She has authored nearly twenty additional devotionals and is among YouVersion’s most popular authors. Carol writes a weekly column for Ministry Today and often writes for Charisma magazine as well.

Carol served as the first women’s chaplain at Oral Roberts University and served for many years on its Alumni Board of Directors.
Carol has been married to her college sweetheart, Craig, for over forty years and is the mother of five children in heaven and five children on earth. Carol and Craig are now enjoying their new titles as “Marmee and Pa” to their captivating grandchildren. The couple live in Oklahoma, where Craig serves as the North American Director for Global Partners, a missions organization that plants churches in remote areas of the world.

More from Carol

Vibrant provides a roadmap to living a joyful life, viewing each obstacle as a stepping stone to becoming a better person and thus emulating Jesus.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 6

She Lives To Read, November 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 8

Inklings and notions, November 9

Simple Harvest Reads, November 10 (Spotlight)

deb’s Book Review, November 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 11

For Him and My Family, November 12

Artistic Nobody, November 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 16

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 17

Spoken from the Heart, November 18 (Spotlight)

Mary Hake, November 18

Godly Book Reviews, November 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away a $20 Starbuck’s gift card and finished copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10356/vibrant-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Song of Sugar Sands – A Review

Song of Sugar Sands

About the Book

Book: Song of Sugar Sands

Author: Debra Coleman Jeter

Genre: Christian Romance

Release Date: August 21, 2019

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Award-winning book that recently earned acclaim from the prestigious 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards!

Acadia Powers knows herself to be too selfish, too sinful, and too skeptical in her faith to marry a preacher. And yet she does. God truly does work in a mysterious way. Acadia nearly lost her faith at an early age due to what she saw as the hypocrisy of her parents’ generation. In college—where the novel begins—she meets and falls in love with Peter O’Neil, who is fervent in his faith and wants to share the good news with the world. Can she reach deep enough inside, or beyond herself, to find what she needs to keep on trying, or has she made too many mistakes already?

Click here to get your copy!

As I began reading this book, it took me a while to get into the storyline. For me at least, the beginning seemed to drag, but I am glad I kept reading. The author takes the reader on a journey from seeing a sinful soul finding the truth about God’s mercy.

Containing a young lady who believes herself to be too sinful to receive God’s mercy, she winds up marrying a preacher. Perhaps because she teaches math, and I taught math at one point, I could relate to her.

She discovers that her preconceptions of what church members are like vastly differ from reality. Including domestic violence, an unplanned pregnancy, and more, the storyline eventually grabbed my attention and prevented me from putting this book down. So check it out for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Debra Jeter

Jeter is thrilled her most recent novel, Song of Sugar Sands, has received acclaim as a Finalist in the Christian Fiction category of the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. A Professor Emerita at Vanderbilt University, Debra Coleman Jeter has published in popular magazines, including Working Woman, New Woman, Self, Home Life, SavvyChristian Woman, and American Baby. Her first novel, The Ticket, was a finalist in two categories for a Selah Award. Her short story, “Recovery,” won first prize in a competition sponsored by Christian Woman; and her book “Pshaw, It’s Me Grandson” was a finalist in the USA Book News Awards. She is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at nearly forty film festivals around the world, and captured several international awards.

She loves to be in the water—whether snorkeling, water skiing, boogie boarding, or just floating around—which may explain the setting for her newest series. Her family suspects her of being selkie. The Sugar Sands novels are set in a small beach community in LA (lower Alabama). Each book in the series stands alone.

More from Debra

I’m thrilled that Song of Sugar Sands earned recent acclaim by being named a Finalist in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the category “Christian Fiction.”

Although I’ve always been someone who seeks a higher power (and feels such a presence in my life), I’m also a person who struggles with doubts: doubts about churches, denominations, religion, and myself.  So I decided to put a character with these kinds of doubts (Acadia) in a relationship with a man of such a deep faith he feels compelled to share his faith with everyone he encounters (Peter).

Song of Sugar Sands is a novel about—in the words of William Faulkner—the human heart in conflict with itself. Who hasn’t, at least occasionally, struggled with doubts about her faith in God or about God’s personal interest in her life? Also, relationships are difficult at their best, but particularly so when the individuals have differing views on faith. Still, there is hope. Song of Sugar Sands tells the journey of Acadia’s relationship with Peter and of her path toward deeper faith.

Inspiration for characters: My daughter, like Acadia, went to Pepperdine University. She met her husband, Jared, in California. Jared’s father and brother were both ministers, but Jared had no interest in this career path. I decided it would be more interesting to make Peter O’Neil the opposite—the first man of faith in his family, while Acadia struggles with her faith. In the novel, Beatrice Wood is a widow who befriends Acadia and helps her through a difficult time. Beatrice is based loosely on a friend of mine from church, who mourned the passing of her husband even as she became a strong business woman. The character Sybil was inspired by one of my former students.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 27

Batya’s Bits, October 27

Texas Book-aholic, October 28

Inklings and notions, October 29

Captive Dreams Window, October 29

For Him and My Family, October 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 31

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 1

Artistic Nobody, November 2 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

lakesidelivingsite, November 2

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 3

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 5

Simple Harvest Reads, November 6 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

deb’s Book Review, November 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 7

Splashes of Joy, November 8

Godly Book Reviews, November 9

CarpeDiem, November 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Debra is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/102ac/song-of-sugar-sands-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Uncategorized

Personal Finance Illustrated® Homeschool Edition ~ A Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

For my own enrichment, I have been studying financial literacy by using the Personal Finance Illustrated® Homeschool Edition course from PEM LIFE. Growing up my parents never really taught me about money or how to manage it. I have had to figure things out on my own. So when the opportunity presented itself to review this product, I knew I wanted to take part.

This online program contains 18 units that cover the following topics:

  • Personal Economic Model
  • Time Value of Money
  • Lifetime Capital Potential
  • Opportunity Cost
  • The Tax Filter
  • Lifestyle Regulator
  • Temperament & Finances
  • The Importance of Protection
  • Debt – What it is and what it isn’t
  • Pay Cash or Finance
  • The Investment Tank
  • The Savings Tank
  • Access to Capital
  • Qualified Plans
  • Mortgages – The Right Choice
  • Why Go to Work
  • Principles of Work
  • The Danger of Riches

PEM LIFE aims to equip students of all ages with a firm foundation in financial literacy in order to provide them with the opportunity “to create sustainable balance between current lifestyle desires, and future lifestyle requirements.” The company strives to provide a practical understanding that works in the actual world.

Because students complete this course online, it will require a device with a high-speed Internet connection along with a printer to print out the handouts that come with the course.

Families download the textbook and either read digitally or print it out. Additional materials include a Course syllabus, Course vocabulary, Discussion Forum Rubric File, a Writing Assignment Rubric, and Bloom’s Taxonomy Matrix.

An Interactive Resource Library provides the Personal Economic Model, Federal Tax Liability, Finance 101, Finance Calculator, Mortgage resources, and more. These models allow students to make meaningful connections with what they are learning.

Each unit consists of an Instructor’s Guide, videos to watch, models to refer to, quizzes to answer questions, Vocabulary quizzes, Discussion questions, and a Reflection Post prompt and reading assignments from the textbook.

As I dove into the lessons, the quality of the videos impressed me. The crisp sound and excellent images provide an enjoyable viewing experience.. I appreciated being able to pause when I needed to, and the ability to access the interactive models when needed.  I have to say the model used to explain personal finance made a deep and lasting impression on me.  I found the introduction of the personal-finance model understandable and completely different from the way I previously learned about finance. It spells out everything so clearly, including income, investments, and more.

They allow students to take quizzes one time, then they either submit the quiz or make changes before entering it for grading. Students receive immediate feedback about whether they answered correctly, along with explanations for what the correct answer should be.

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I found the textbook to be well-written and very understandable. For my purposes, I elected to use the digital version of the textbook only. However, students who prefer to make notes in the book may prefer a printed version. Families have the option to purchase a physical copy of the textbook for an additional cost.

I appreciated how each unit followed the same format. I knew what to expect as I continued moving through the course.  I also appreciated the immediate feedback on the quizzes.  However, the discussion questions 

This course provides the perfect resource for homeschooling families to learn about personal finance in a unique and meaningful way. The Personal Economic Model ® provides an interesting and unique way to explore this subject.

So if financial literacy interests your family, take a look at the Personal Finance Illustrated® Homeschool Edition course from PEM LIFE. 

You can find PEM LIFE on social media at the following links:

Facebook
YouTube

Other members of the Home School Review Crew share their thoughts of this program this week.  So click here or on the graphic below to read their reviews.

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

A Christmas Tale for Little Women – A Review

A Christmas Tale for Little Woman

About the Book

Book: A Christmas Tale for Little Women

Author: Linda Brooks Davis

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: September 15, 2020

A Christmas Tale for Little Women

Broadview is attired for Christmas. Oklahoma heiress, Adelaide Fitzgerald, is hosting two young girls who have chosen to celebrate Christmas with Auntie Addie rather than their family in Colorado.

Adelaide must give these girls a Christmas like no other. Has she thought of everything? What would top off this holiday in an extraordinary way?

The answer lies just the other side of Rock Creek. But what will it take for her to realize it is the Christmas topper she’s been seeking?

It’s 1912, and Adelaide Fitzgerald’s view of Christmas is about to emerge as a tale for a lifetime.

Click here to get your copy!

As I began reading this book, I fell in love with the time period, the characters, and the storyline. As a prequel to The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, it provides an excellent context for who Adelaide is and what matters to her. I definitely recommend reading both books. Set in 1912, the story quickly grabbed my attention.

Linda Brooks Davis creates well-developed characters, and with Adelaide provides insight into what true Christian charity means. Adelaide, a wealthy heiress whose parents have died and has not married desires to provide two children of her friend a memorable Christmas. She also wants to provide for a migrant family who has come into hard times. The story proceeds at a good pace and I love the Christmas setting. So check out this book for yourself.

 I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Davis_LindaBrooks_300dpi_2x2.5 copy

Linda Brooks Davis is a lifelong Texan who devoted 40 years to special education as a therapist, teacher, and administrator. She retired in 2008 and now writes full time.

Linda’s debut novel, Amazon best-selling The Calling of Ella McFarland,Book One in the Women of Rock Creek series, is set in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. It won Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel in 2014 and subsequently, ACFW’s Carol award for debut novel 2016. The sequel novella, A Christmas to Remember, is set in 1908Oklahoma. A second novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, is set in 1910 and is the prequel to Linda’s second full-length novel, which is set in 1914, Amazon best-selling The Mending of Lillian CathleenBook Two. The third novella, A Christmas Tale for Little Women, releases in 2020 and is set in 1912. It is a prequel to Book 3 in The Women of Rock Creek series, The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, which is set in 1918.

Linda and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and dote on six grandchildren. Readers may contact Linda through her website, www.lindabrooksdavis.com.

More from Linda

Everyone worked at my home on a South Texas farm near the U.S. border with Mexico.

My playmates were children of Hispanic laborers. Language never hindered playing la casa, making mud pies, or rocking los bebésFrijoles and tamales served from stewpots over open fires tasted delicioso in either language. I learned outside their homes a broom works great on hardened soil.

Daddy paid workers on Saturdays, some by the hour, others by production. Lining up, they extended their hands, and he laid cash across their open palms. They checked the figures they had scribbled on paper scraps, trusting el patrón to correct discrepancies. Humble, grateful people, they showed respect.

My father verified immigration paperwork for those whom he housed. Others lived in the shadows, arriving around sunup and disappearing before sundown. Each evening a car or truck would rattle alongside the field, and the shadow worker would slip inside. Then the vehicle would clatter toward the horizon. And returned another day.

Occasionally, however, an alarm shouted in Spanish would sound across the field. Dropping his cotton sack, a worker would dash toward the cotton trailer in the turn row. Like hounds burrowing under a house, he and a compadre would leap over the trailer’s sides and dig a hole in the freshly picked cotton. The first crawled in, and the other covered him.

The immigration officer making his rounds would walk into the field and occasionally stomp around inside the trailer, searching for man-sized lumps. I never witnessed the discovery of a shadow worker, but I heard about them on other farms. Worst of all, I heard about tragedies. With very little oxygen between tightly packed fluffs of cotton, a man could suffocate and occasionally would. I wondered what would lead a man to take such chances and how my law-abiding, God-loving father justified his complicity. So, I asked, and he answered, “Desperation, sugar. All they want is work. A man wants to provide for his family wherever or however he can. I can’t turn them away.”

Sounded like work was a gift. Huh? my ten-year-old brain asked itself.

Years later, I understood this principle. The second chapter of Genesis shows us that God created man not to laze around all day, but to work.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15

Therefore, not only in “the beginning,” but on our farm in 1956, a man’s strength to work was God’s gift. The opportunity to work was Daddy’s gift to the men. The fruit of each man’s labor was the gift he sent home each week and the fulfillment of his need to provide for his family.

At Christmas we enjoyed preparing bushel baskets of meats, fruits and vegetables, candy and nuts, and toys for each family. I wondered about those who stayed around for a single day. Would their children find fruits, nuts, or even a piece of candy on Christmas morning?

Answers evaded me then—-as they do now—-but as a writer in my eighth decade of life, one truth I hold onto is that the strength for each day of writing and less pain in my arthritic hands and back are gifts from God. Each opportunity to write is an opportunity not only to entertain but to inspire readers to seek God in their everyday lives. Each word, unique turn of a phrase, or plot idea . . . is my gift to Him.

Protecting our safety is a far more complicated endeavor in 2020 than it was in 1956. Threats arise like none presented five decades ago, but work is still a gift. God wired it into our DNA. Come to think of it, the ideas for A Christmas Tale for Little Women and the subsequent novel—one set in the southern tip of Texas, a story about a loving, destitute man who wants only to provide for his family—are gifts.

Those diligent workers of 1956 and other years deserve a story that honors them. My gift to them and to Him is A Christmas Tale for Little Women.

Thank you, Lord.

Note: Photos from Pixabay

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 20

Blogging With Carol, October 20

Through the Lens of Scripture, October 21

Connect in Fiction, October 21

Get Cozy Book Nook, October 21

She Lives To Read, October 22

Artistic Nobody, October 22 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For Him and My Family, October 23

deb’s Book Review, October 23

Splashes of Joy, October 23

Connie’s History Classroom, October 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 25

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 25

Mary Hake, October 25

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 26

KarenSueHadley, October 27

lakesidelivingsite, October 27

Pause for Tales, October 27

Older & Smarter?, October 28

Inklings and notions, October 28

Betti Mace, October 29

Captive Dreams Window, October 29

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 30

CarpeDiem, October 30

Texas Book-aholic, October 31

Batya’s Bits, October 31

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 1

Moments, November 1

Lighthouse Academy Blog, November 1 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of all 6 eBooks in the The Women of Rock Creek Series!! (The Calling of Ella McFarland, A Christmas to Remember, A Christmas Measure of Love, The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, A Christmas Tale for Little Women, and The Awakening of Miss Adelaide)

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10264/a-christmas-tale-for-little-women-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Uncategorized

Smart Kidz Radio: Member’s On-Demand Radio Program Library – A

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We have been listening to Smart Kidz Radio: Member’s On-Demand Radio Program Library, an educational and inspirational radio station for kids, from Smart Kidz Radio. When our children were younger, we loved listening to audiobooks and music, especially when we traveled. So having the chance to review this online service that provides educational and inspirational music and stories for children grabbed my attention.

As a musical family who plays a variety of instruments and also enjoys singing, we really appreciated the music selection they include on this site.  The site includes music, stories, early learning programs, behavior skills programs, living skills programs, Kids Bible & Inspirational Songs, Let’s Celebrate America programs, as well as many more.

Smart Kidz Media, Inc (also known as SKM) represents a collaboration between two companies who used to be competitors in children’s music, SKM, and Twin Sisters. Over 30 years of experience, provide the management team with a wealth of knowledge and experience that allows this company to succeed.

Provided high-quality content remains the goal and focus of this company. The digital library represents the largest library in the United States of media aimed at character building, social skills, and positive value songs. Providing selections suitable for the entire family, this site offers a wealth of options.

The company also operates the Smart Kidz Foundation whose mission is to encourage young people to make a difference in their own lives, the lives of others, along with the global community. It aims to empower young people to use their own hands to shape their future into a better, and more peaceful one.

A portion of every Smart Kidz Radio’s membership is donated to the Smart Kidz Foundation, a non-profit foundation that financially supports programs that give opportunities to young people to make a difference by using their talents to make the world a better place. These opportunities allow young people to experience the joy of helping others while building self-confidence, compassion, and respect for the environment.

Because our family enjoys music, we concentrated on listening to musical selections.  Some choices included music for studying by the Let’s Celebrate America concert collection, America’s Heritage in Song- Smart Boyz Choir, the Children’s Gospel Choir Celebration, and various other selections.

The quality of the music included impressed our family.  The richness of the sound made us feel as though we were attending an in-person concert.  We also appreciated the introductions to the selections.  These introductions were both informative and interesting.

Let’s Celebrate America Concert collection includes songs like The Pledge of Allegiance, America the Beautiful, You’re a Grand Old Flag, This Is My Country and more.  We appreciated how the introduction included references to our founding father Thomas Jefferson and words he penned.

One of my favorite songs from the Children’s Gospel Choir Celebration is His Eye is On the Sparrow.  

We appreciate the fact that diversity consistently appears in the words spoken and sung on this site.

Just for fun, I also elected to listen to the story of Beauty of the Beast in the Learning Through Stories: My First Nursery Tales section.  I found the story to be produced well and enjoyable to listen to for individuals of all ages.

You can find Smart Kidz Radio on social media at the following links: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

So if you are looking for an online site offering educational and inspirational selections for kids, check out Smart Kidz Radio for yourself.

Other members of the Home School Review Crew are sharing their experiences with Smart Kidz Radio this week. So click here or on the graphic below to read more reviews for yourself.

#hsreviews #smartkidzradio #kidsmusic #childrensmusic #musicforkids #kidssongs #preschoolmusic #familymusic

Posted in 2020 Home School Review Crew Posts, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Math, Online Homeschool Programs, Uncategorized

THINKWELL’S INSTRUCTOR-LED GEOMETRY – A Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way.

Thinkwell Homeschool overs online courses such as Thinkwell’s Instructor-Led Geometry . As a student, I loved math and excelled at it. However, the math genes appear to have skipped my children. So I am always on the look-out for math programs for our children. Our daughter especially seems to struggle with math. So I wanted her to try an instructor-led program for Geometry from Thinkwell Homeschool. However, our daughter was not ready mentally for this program. Plus, I felt it best to go through the program myself first to see if I believed she could handle the pace and activities of this online course.

Thinkwell Homeschool offers a variety of instructor-led courses including THINKWELL’S INSTRUCTOR-LED ALGEBRA 1, and THINKWELL’S INSTRUCTOR-LED ALGEBRA 2.  Placement tests are provided to ensure students enroll in the correct class for them.  Another advantage of these courses rests in the fact the courses are NCAA approved. 

With this program families get:

  • An 18-week, online subscription to our 1st semester Geometry course
  • Emails weekly that contain courses assignments as well as lesson plans
  • Regular student progress reports
  • Instructional videos that are detailed
  • Automatically graded assignments with step-by-step answer feedback
  • Downloadable and printable course worksheets, and answer keys
  • Illustrated course study notes – great for referring back to
  • Section quizzes that are automatically graded
  • Chapter and Practices Tests, a Midterm, and a Final Exam
  • Animated interactive activities and more

HOW IT WORKS:

Families purchase the course through their online store. Then you create an account username and password in order to gain access to the online course on the start date. Students then follow the assignments, which are emailed out weekly. The work is automatically graded and tracked in real-time. Virtual office hours provide additional help and interaction. Upon request, transcripts, grade reports, and certificates of completion may be provided.

Each week we receive an email telling us what the requirements were for each week. Here is an image of an email.

Each week, a warm-up is the first activity students complete. I found the warm-ups to be reasonable in scope and detail. Here is a completed warm-up.

Dr. Edward Berger provides the actual instruction in videos. We aimed to complete videos, worksheets, and warm-ups, and quizzes and tests three days a week with the other two days geared towards the office hours provided for additional help. Here is a sample of a Course Notes page.

Students may take part in office hours twice a week. They conduct these sessions on Zoom. Instructor Julie Welch & T.A. Sarah Flood provide ample opportunities to check on students’ progress, answer questions, and provide time to interact and even to play games.

Because the end of the grading period is Friday, October 23, this week we received an email telling us that they would send progress reports out next week. As a parent, I can see the grades for tests and quizzes on the website for those activities which have been completed. I appreciate how immediately after completing a worksheet, quiz, or test, the course provides immediate feedback on the submitted work. Students see what questions they answered correctly or incorrectly, but also the explanations for the answers. Another feature I love is they may repeat how most if not all activities multiple times. Because I believe students need to master mathematics to move forward, this feature resonated positively with me.

I firmly believe students should have a firm foundation in math before attempting this course.  I also believe students struggle with math may or may not be successful with this course.  I think it depends on the dedication of the student.  I definitely feel like the instructors will provide all help needed for students to thrive in these courses.

You can find Thinkwell Homeschool on Social media at the following links:  Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

So if you are looking for an instructor-led math course for your high school students, check out Thinkwell’s Instructor-Led Geometry for yourself.

Other members of the Home School Review Crew are sharing their thoughts and experiences with this course as well as THINKWELL’S INSTRUCTOR-LED ALGEBRA 1, THINKWELL’S INSTRUCTOR-LED ALGEBRA 2, So click here or on the graphic below to read their reviews.

#hsreviews #thinkwellhomeschool #mathonline #onlinehomeschooling #homeschoolalgebra #homeschoolgeometry #onlinemath #algebrahelp

Posted in Bible, Frontgate Blogger Reviews, Uncategorized

Butterfly Box – A Review

DESCRIPTION:

Life is busy, and it can be hard to find the time each day to connect with Christ. Butterfly Box is here to help! We thoughtfully curate a themed box each month to help reclaim those quiet moments with God, build your intimacy with Christ, and live out your faith in the world around you! 

  • Each month’s box is designed to illustrate a biblical theme and encourage spiritual growth.
  • 5 to 6 items such as jewelry, artwork, books, decor, personal pampering items, faith sharing cards and other specialty items
  • All items are carefully chosen and undergo a rigorous selection process
  • Products are faith-based or support small Christian businesses.

I have to say I love receiving mail that contains meaning and purpose. So it thrilled me to receive this box. When I opened it. I found two different types of tea drops – one contained peppermint and the other contained vanilla. You place the drops into boiling water and let them dissolve for a wonderful beverage. A Weekly prayer guide appeared next. The next item was a butterfly necklace. A journal with the words “Be still & Know” on the front along with a copy of Stormie Omartian appeared.

I love the obvious thought and care that created this box. I also appreciate the aesthetics of having everything be color-coordinated. As I pulled each piece from the box, I definitely found myself glad I had been able to participate in this review.

I would definitely consider ordering these boxes as gifts for family members.

Here are some images of other boxes:

You can use the following code to receive 10% off your purchase: WELCOME10

Click here or on the banner below to enter for your chance to win 6 months of Butterfly Box..

So check out Butterfly Box for yourself.

I received this box through Frontgate Bloggers, but all opinions are my own.