Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Hostile Intent By Tara Grace Erickson

Hostile Intent
by Tara Grace Ericson
Publisher: Silver Fountain Press
Series: Black Tower Security
ISBN: 978-1949896428

I'm all about team work in a series! I enjoyed book one, Potential Threat, and now have really enjoyed book two in the series. Tara sent me her ebook for me to review!

Summary:

He hired her to find out who is spilling corporate secrets. 
She’s determined to find out his.

When Black Tower Security sends Joey Rodriguez undercover at Zia Pharmaceuticals, she has her own motives for agreeing to the assignment – namely, to prove to her boss that Cole Kensington isn’t what he seems.

Cole has always had one goal—a cure for Alzheimer’s. Now that he and his company are close, he’s got a big problem. Corporate espionage in the pharmaceutical industry is par for the course, but this time he called for help. The undercover hacker they sent gets under his skin, but she is supposed to be the best—and he needs the best. Cole won’t let a spy in his ranks jeopardize something this important.

Helping a billionaire wasn’t what Joey signed up for. But as she starts to untangle the web of secrets and spies inside Zia, she finds herself in the crosshairs—and trusting the very man she hoped to expose.

My Review:

Ok, so while it may look like this took a long time to read, it really didn't. I was SO busy when I was trying to read this book, I kept only getting to it in bits and pieces. This is a book that could be read in just a couple of days for the average reader.

After reading book one in this series I knew that Joey's story was going to be a fun one. She's one feisty lady. So, when she's forced to work with someone she believes is part of the Syndicate, you know things are going to be intense.

And here's Cole, a wealthy, good looking man who seems to have the best of intentions with his pharmaceutical company. Except, Joey finds information that points to the opposite. I really enjoyed getting to know Cole because we get to know the real guy right along with Joey. A character like Cole gives me hope that there really ARE people in the world trying to find cures and/or answers and not just focusing on the bottom line dollars.

I thought the plot was an interesting one because it gives readers an idea of what it might be like in that industry.

I also loved having the team in the story because they all bring such different skills to the table.

About the Author:

Tara Grace Ericson lives in Missouri with her husband and three sons. She studied engineering and worked as an engineer for many years before embracing her creative side to become a full-time author and mom. 

She loves cooking, crocheting, and reading books by the dozen. She also loves a good “happily ever after” with an engaging love story. 

That's why Tara focuses on writing clean contemporary romance, with an emphasis on Christian faith and living. She wants to encourage her readers with stories of men and women who live out their faith in tough situations.

Monday, December 5, 2022

The CSB Explorer Bible For Kids + GIVEAWAY

The CSB Explorer Bible for Kids
by Holman
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
ISBN: 9781087758961

Having a little one in my life now who is growing like a weed, I'm excited to have a Bible that I can give her when she's quite a bit older. Yes, I'll definitely be holding on to this until she's old enough to enjoy it and appreciate it. I received the book for review from FrontGate Media.

Summary:

The CSB Explorer Bible for Kids is made to help kids place God’s Word in the middle of God’s world. Within its pages, kids will explore and interact with the people, places, and things of the Bible and God’s creation. This Bible features a fun and engaging full-color design with images, illustrations, timelines, and study helps placed throughout to equip and excite kids of all ages to better read, know, and apply God’s Word for a lifetime. 

FEATURES

  • Book introductions to help kids understand the key truths and takeaways for every book, including the “Who, What, When, Where, and Why” 
  • “Christ in Context” articles for each book to show how the whole Bible points to Jesus and the good news of the gospel 
  • “Discovering the Truth” callouts to help kids understand the essential truths of the Bible and apply them to their life
  • “Excavating the Past” illustrations and real-world images to help connect the dots between important archaeological discoveries and the Bible
  • “Exploring Creation” facts and images connecting modern day objects and things in the world today to God and the Bible 
  • “Charting History” illustrated timelines to survey key time periods and events in biblical history 
  • “Ultimate Character” profiles with fun facts and insights for important people in the Bible 
  • “Unearthing God’s Promises” callouts highlighting key memory verses throughout the Bible to aid in Scripture memorization
  • “Big Words” dictionary to look up the meaning of some of the big words found in the Bible
  • Corresponding online activities that can be done at home with family and friends, or at church with a group 
  • 8.5pt type size that is easy-to-read with words of Jesus in red 
  • Specially designed presentation page for gift-giving or awards
  • Full-color maps section to help find places mentioned in the Bible


Part of what makes the CSB Explorer Bible for Kids so special is the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB). The CSB captures the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.



My Review:

What a fantastic Bible for children! It's visually appealing from the front cover all the way through to the back. As an adolescent I would've loved diving into this Bible. It's clear that the publisher is aware that we all learn differently and they use that understanding with the different elements inside. The images and illustrations would've been a huge draw for me. In all honesty, at my age I've learned a lot from these sections.

At the beginning of each book is a breakdown of information about that specific book such as who wrote it, who the audience is, what was going on at the time, and how Christ is connected to that book. I think it's SO important for children to learn that Christ isn't just talked about in the New Testament, but that ALL of Scripture from Old to New speak of Him! There's also a code to download activity pages that are a fantastic supplement to all of the other activities! 

The extra features listed at the beginning of this Bible shows you how much they've added to enhance the learning of the kids who will be reading through this Bible. One of the first features that sticks out by starting in Genesis is the key memory verses highlighted in yellow! They're very easy to spot throughout Scripture.

I would HIGHLY encourage using the QR codes. The videos are engaging and educational. I think younger kids will enjoy Joel who stars in the videos to help kids learn more about Scripture and Biblical times in Discovering the Truth. These sections also end with several questions to inspire good discussions. Not all of them have QR codes, but direct kids to Scripture to learn more.

If your kids are science and history minded, they'll really enjoy the Excavating the Past & Exploring Creation sections. The images and descriptions are fantastic and help kids to relate what they understand in today's world to Biblical times.

The Character Field Guide gives quick oversights into people of the Bible with details such as where to find them in Scripture, when & where they were born, their contemporaries, and claim to fame. That's just an overview of that feature.

While I liked the Charting History features, I wish there had been more than 15. I think there's lots of opportunity for twice that many features to be scattered throughout Scripture. I personally think kids would love it. Who doesn't like seeing how people, time periods, and events are connected?

At the back of the book I like that the glossary has pronunciation of words that kids who might read this Bible, might not know how to say. And who doesn't love a good map section at the back of the Bible!

Overall, this is a visually wonderful Bible that I think will appeal to a good range of kids. It's colorful and relevant to children of today. They have a LOT of ways to learn about Scripture and the Lord as they turn page after page!

Enjoy 50% off retail price for up to (1) of each SKU of the Explorer Bible for Kids. Valid through 12/31/22, cannot be combined with any other offer, limit 1 coupon per person.


Now you have the chance to WIN a CSB Explorer Bible for Kids! Learn more HERE!

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Artza Holy Land Christmas Box

Tis the holidays and it's the perfect time to learn more about Artza box subscriptions. I was recently sent the Christmas box for review and it has oodles of amazing items that brings Israel into your home. As a heads up and something you don't want to miss out on - you can get 25% off your annual subscription using my affiliate link below. AND, when you order your annual subscription, you'll get a 5th box FREE!!

When Artza sends me their boxes, I love to take a deeper look into each of the artisans. Let me introduce you to the items in the Christmas box first and then we can get to know a few of the artisans better!
  • Carob syrup - A uniquely israeli sticky spread accompanied with a special Israel Christmas recipe. made by a collective that works with and supports jews, Christians, and Muslim women together.
  • Bedouin tea blend - this thousand-year-old  traditional tea blend is from a family run business just outside of Nazareth, which uses Israel's finest locally grown herbs and spices.
  • Lavender winter body butter - pamper and nourish your skin with this rich all-natural body butter, lovingly made by Alma.
  • Olive wood nativity - perfect to hang on your wall all year round, and on your Christmas tree. Carved by local Bethlehem Christian craftsman. 
  • Lavender toffee - bouth-wateringly delicious toffee. Produced by Oded with the help of young adults with down syndrome.
  • Star of David Christmas ornament - hand carved from olive trees that have been locally grown for over 150 years and was produced by a third-generation locally run Bethlehem family business.
  • Topographical Galilee candle - your all-natural beeswax candles are made suing topographically accurate imaging of the Sea of Galilee and its surrounding mountains.
For Premium Subscribers:
  • Hebrew table blessing runner - bless your table with this exclusively designed heat-insulating table runner - with a Hebrew blessing over food at its center. Bring the blessings of Israel to your table wherever you are.
First, let's meet Gorin who created the Topographical Galilean candle. He studied landscape using topographical maps when he was in military training. He experimented using a 3D printer creating mini terrains. That's where he leaned candles are a great medium!


Next is Adi & Oren who made the Winter Nights lavender body butter. Alma is their firstborn daughter and Adi decided to create her own line of natural products. She started to create all-natural soaps. baby salve, body lotions, and more in her home kitchen. When people started asking for them, Alma Soap was born!


Then there's George. He's a descendent of an olive wood carver. His work illustrates the stories of the Bible in many ways including Christmas ornament like the ones he specially handcrafted for Artza. They're made from 400-year-old olive trees!


Lastly, we meet Oded. He used to be a professional basketball player in Israel. One of his dreams was to become one of Israel's best artisanal chocolate makers. Some of his staff includes young adults with developmental challenges, down-syndrome, or autism. The lavender Oded used for the lavender toffee comes from the Mediterranean. It's DE-LISH!


In my Christmas box I also received a card with a recipe for Crinkle Carob Cookies. I appreciate these recipes so much. Left to my own devices, I would probably have no idea how to use these goodies properly. As soon as I opened the box and went through all of the items, I checked out my cupboards and saw that I had all of the ingredients to make the cookies!


Houston, we have a problem... these cookies are dangerous. I couldn't believe how soft they were. And the flavor makes me want to shove another one in my mouth before I've finished the one I'm already eating. I think the only thing I'd do differently next time is roll the dough more in the powdered sugar. This recipe that came with the box only makes about 18 depending on how small you roll the balls. Trust me, you want to make this recipe!


Our Monday night Bible Study is going to enjoy this Bedouin Tea Blend. This is the same blend of herbs the Israelites would have enjoyed in the ancient period of the Bible. The three Biblical herbs: sage, hyssop, and zuta are included in this tea. It has a very aromatic scent.


This is the Star of David Christmas ornament. On one of the star carvings pieces, "Bethlehem" is written on it. I love the personal touch as it's hand written. I've already hung it on my tree.


Click on the photo below so you can zoom in on the table runner. It's absolutely STUNNING! It's going to live on my table forever! If you know anything about me, you know I love birds and flowers. This runner is heat-insulated & is easy to clean. The texture of it reminds me of a computer mouse pad. That rubbery feel. Anyhow, the blessing in the middle says, "Blessed are you, our God, who feeds the entire world through Your goodness, with kindness, and graciousness." This is made by Hadarya.


Now, while I've already broken into the toffee (can you blame me?) and I've opened the tea (which will be served at Bible study) I think some of the other items will make fantastic gifts so that others can get a hands on experience with something from my Artza box. I'm more than happy to share my goodies. Well, aside from the table runner. That's never leaving.

You have two subscription options for receiving the Artza box. First is the Basic box which will give you up to 8 different items curated specifically for Artza. The Premium subscription box gives up to 9 items for the full Israel experience. Today's the perfect day to start your subscription!

Friday, December 2, 2022

CSB Lifeway Women’s Bible & GIVEAWAY

CSB Lifeway Women’s Bible
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
ISBN: 9781087757513

Earlier this year my husband convinced me to start using the CSB Bible. I wasn't sure about making the change, but I've liked reading through this version of the Bible. So, when the incredibly gorgeous CSB Lifeway Women's Bible was available for review, I was hoping I'd be able to join the team. Thankfully, I was chosen to review the Bible and share about a fantastic giveaway!


First of all, can I ask where this color Bible has been hiding? The CSB Lifeway Women's Bible I received for review is called Marigold. It's such a gorgeous, bold color that will stand out in a crowd and be a conversation starter. The other color options for this Bible are: Butterscotch, Camel (cloth over board), and Gray/Mint.



Check out these features:

  • Including Bible study and devotional content from Lauren Chandler​, ​Gloria Furman, Lisa Harper, Mary Kassian, Kelly King, Kelly Minter, Trillia Newbell, Jackie Hill Perry, Angel Thomas Pharr, Jennifer Rothschild, Mary Jo Sharp, Priscilla Shirer, Angie Smith, and other Lifeway Women. 
  • Over 100 articles placed alongside the corresponding biblical text to foster deep reflection on Bible passages and topics focused on the life needs of women
  • Nearly 100 short devotional thoughts placed throughout the Bible 
  • Bible genre introductions with a short overview and reading plan highlighting key passages in that section
  • 66 book-focused introductions providing a concise overview with book-specific timelines
  • Over 40 character profiles of key women in the Bible with questions for application
  • More than 35 reflection questions to help women engage more deeply with the Bible
  • Nearly 100 brief inspirational quotes on the Bible 
  • Over 25 word studies on individual words or phrases detailing meaning and significance
  • 30 plus charts, tables, and maps 
  • Distinctive full-color design elements to foster an immersive reading experience for women of all ages
  • Single-column text layout 
  • Black-letter text for easy readability 
  • Easy-to-read 9.5-point type size
  • Durable Smyth-sewn lay-flat binding 
  • Ribbon marker for easy referencing between pages 
  • Concordance
  • Presentation page for gift-giving 
  • Full-color maps

If you're looking for a gift for a woman in your life, the CSB Lifeway Women's Bible would make an excellent gift! Speaking of which, get 50% off the purchase of (1) Lifeway Women’s Bible with code SAVE50LWB (Only available on Lifeway.com. Limit 1 Bible at 50% off retail price, any Lifeway Women’s Bible sku. Limit one offer per person. Cannot be stacked with any other offer. Valid 11/15/22-12/31/22.)

We have small group at our house now so I'll have this Bible out for the ladies to use and look through during our study. I'm also going to be bringing it to our women's small group! What better place to share this beautiful Bible?!

 

You can take a closer look at this Bible to see the colors close-up, a handful of the Key Features, and check out a sample of the Bible. The sample will give you an incredible look into what you can expect to see inside. There are so many incredible features you'll want to order this book asap!

Now you also have the chance to win this CSB Lifeway Women's Bible!


1 (one) copy of the Lifeway CSB Women’s Bible (Marigold LeatherTouch Edition). Open to US Residents  ONLY!

To enter, please leave a comment letting me know which feature you're looking forward to checking out if you win! Be sure to leave a way to contact you in your comment (either email or social media link).

Giveaway closes December 12, 2022. Winner must be willing to share their name and address with me and Momentum Influencers.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Where The Blue Sky Begins By Katie Powner

Where the Blue Sky Begins
by Katie Power
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764240393

I read Katie's first book The Sowing Season a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Somehow I missed reading A Flicker of Light (which will have to be rectified). I was excited to learn I had won this book, but I also signed up to review it. I'm so thrilled I did!

Summary:

Sometimes the hardest road of all is the road home.

When confident and handsome Eric Larson is sent to a rural Montana town to work in the local branch of his uncle's financial company, he's determined to exceed everyone's expectations, earn a promotion, and be back in Seattle by the end of summer. Yet nothing could prepare him for the lessons this small town has in store.

At forty-six years old, eccentric and outspoken Eunice Parker has come to accept her terminal illness and has given herself one final goal: seek forgiveness from everyone on her bucket list before her time runs out. But it will take more courage than she can muster on her own.

After an accident pushes Eric and Eunice together, the unlikely pair is forced to spend more time with each other than either would like, which challenges their deepest prejudices and beliefs. As summer draws to a close, neither Eric nor Eunice is where they thought they would be, but they both wrestle with the same important question: 
What matters most when the end is near?

My Review:

If you're looking for a contemporary women's fiction author, look no further! Where the Blue Sky Begins was incredibly well written and I became very connected to the characters. If you ever wonder what a character would be like if they're taken out of the city where they've lived all of their lives and dumped in a podunk town where everyone knows each others' business, then you'll see it in all of it's glory in this story.

Eric was a fun to get to know throughout this story. You could feel his "pain" as he adjusts to this new town. So many cringe-worthy moments including his run-in with Eunice. The two of them are quite the pair to say the least. Eunice forces Eric to help her complete her "forgiveness" list.

Speaking of Eunice, while I wish we could've known what she was like before her illness, we do get a glimpse of it as she seeks forgiveness from the handful of people on her list. As a caregiver I could understand her struggles of wanting to do things she no longer can because I see the same thing in my clients. 

I think the author really captured the essence of a small town as well. Even the simplest of changes can have a big impact on the townspeople's lives. You also see how close knit they are, especially when it comes to taking care of each other.

You truly can't help but become emotionally connected to both Eunice and Eric. Their intertwined stories forces you to reflect on resentment, grudges, and forgiveness. In the midst of the pain in watching Eunice decline, there are many hilarious moments. I think most, if not all, of the tabs I added to my book are the scenes that cracked me up. I also never expected to think a Polish hen would be a great side character!

About the Author:

Katie Powner (www.katiepowner.com) is an award-winning author who lives in rural Montana where cows still outnumber people. She is a two-time OCW Cascade Award and ACFW First Impressions Award winner. Katie is a biological and adoptive mother of three and foster mother to many more. She and her husband have been in youth ministry for over a decade.

 
Creative Commons License
Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.