Tuesday, November 12, 2019

100 Words Of Affirmation Your Husband Needs To Hear By Lisa Jacobson


100 Words Of Affirmation Your Husband Needs To Hear
by Lisa Johnson
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800736606

Is it just me or are there some book titles that just speak to you? When I saw 100 Words of Affirmation Your Husband Needs to Hear available for review from Revell, I had to sign up for it! I need help in this area!

Summary:

Simple, Loving Words to Encourage Him Every Day
Every one of us has tremendous power to either build others up or tear them down through the words we speak every day, and nowhere is this more evident than in our marriages. Are you being purposeful in how you use the power of your words to speak encouragement, strength, and love--breathing life into the heart of your husband? Or are careless words negatively impacting your marriage and the heart of the one you love most? 

Lisa Jacobson wants you to discover the powerful ways you can build up your husband in love with the words you choose to say every day--words every husband needs to hear. This book offers you 100 things to say to your husband that deeply encourage, affirm, and inspire him. Start speaking these words into his life and watch your husband--and your relationship--transform before your eyes.

My Review:

Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by books that "help" me be a better wife. I mean, to be quite honest, I need help in this area a LOT! But some of the books out there have too much for my brain to consume.

NOT this book! 100 Words of Affirmation Your Husband Needs to Hear is a book that gives wives simple phrases that will speak to your husband in ways he needs. With each phrase author, Lisa Jacobson, gives an example of she applied it to her husband in a practical way. Most of those examples are a page or less. That means it's not heavy reading, but simple and easy to relate to.

I would say not every phrase of affirmation is applicable to each wife reading this book, but it can be modified to fit your husband and your relationship with him. I am a pretty independent person. I don't do well relying on others, especially others aka my husband. For example, affirmation 68 is "Thank you for comforting me when I'm sad." Well, let's just say I'm not great with allowing him to comfort me. He tries. Fred is so great about that, but I'm a rather stubborn person. Gives me something to work on!

On the other hand, there are so many words in this book that I should be saying to him! So much of what's in this book my husband does naturally, I just take it all for granted. He's very selfless and thoughtful, but it just doesn't occur to me to say much more than, "thanks." I definitely think he'd appreciate it so much more if I were more specific with the words I use. Affirmation 43 is a perfect example, "Your steadiness makes me feel secure." I mean, that's just who he is inherently. I just don't ever think to verbalize it.

Ladies, please get this book. A seriously small phrase can make the world of difference to my husband - to your husband. Also, keep this book handy when you're frustrated or are searching for something good to think about your husband. When you need help remembering those good things, you'll find at least something here and it will help you turn your heart and thoughts back to him. Trust me!

About the Author:

Lisa Jacobson is an author, a speaker, and the founder and host of Club31Women.com, a powerful online community of Christian women authors who write weekly on the topics of husband, home, family, and biblical truths--a strong voice for biblical womanhood. She is the author of the bestselling 100 Ways to Love Your Husband. She lives with her husband, Matt, in the Pacific Northwest, where they have raised their eight children.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Holly Lane Christian Jewelry Review & Giveaway

Are you the kind of person who has jewelry that holds meaning? I would say if I looked through my jewelry case I'd be able to tell you who gave it to me and why it's meaningfully to me! When I learned about the opportunity to share about a new-to-me company that promotes the Christian faith, I couldn't say, "No." When I visited the Holly Lane website I knew I'd made the right decision!


Holly Lane has been around for 16 yrs and was actually named from the street founder, Tiffany Scott, lived on when she started it. Here's a bit more about the company:

Our line of sterling silver Christian jewelry is intentionally designed to create opportunities to share Christ with others, and to be worn as a personal reflection of faith. Each piece is designed in central Virginia by jewelry artist Tiffany Scott who has based her designs on verses from the Bible in order to bring comfort to the wearer and be a representation of God's promises. These unique designs are meant to catch the attention of others and spark conversation about the verses they are based on. 


When I went to the website initially, all I did was spend a LOT of time clicking through all of the options because I didn't realize everything that's available. It's one of those things where you can find a piece for every reason and occasion! If you wonder if every piece can have a biblical connection, let me assure you they do. From feather earrings to a cactus ring to a camper slide you will find that they each direct you back to your faith! For me, that's shows each piece has been thoughtfully considered and they're placed in the collections for a purpose.


Do you ever visit a website and wonder what the actual size is? Sometimes you can see each part of the item, but how will it look on you? How can you compare the size in real life? Thankfully Holly Lane takes care of that giving you a photo of the piece on someone or even in comparison to say, a stamp! Actual measurements can be so obscure when only seeing numbers.


Here's a great description of their jewelry:

Each piece of verse-based Holly Lane jewelry comes with a Story Card that features the verse reference on the front, and an explanation of the design's significance on the back. Tiffany's love for semiprecious gemstones shows through in her use of many different gems throughout the line. The Holly Lane line is designed so that the customer can put together their own personal combination of pendants, chains and bead drops based on the promises they are holding on to and how God is currently speaking to them in their lives.


After looking through all of the necklaces, I had my choices narrowed down to 2. I mean, I want 1 of every single of their pieces, but to be realistic I looked at the God's Timing and the Compass necklaces. I've been out of a job since March so that's weighed heavily on me and has been the focus of nearly everything up to this point of the year. That's why both of those necklaces have such meaning for me. I need to remember God's timing and his direction.

I ended up going with the God's Timing necklace. With the number of months that have gone by, it's clear that any job I finally get will come in His time. I'm an incredibly impatient person so necklace has plenty of meaning and when I wear it, I remember what God is doing in my life right now in the "wait". The scripture that comes with this necklace is also written on the back. Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"


I have to tell you've this has become my go-to necklace. I've worn it for church, for an event we went to, and for an interview I went to. I noticed I've gotten into the habit of playing with my necklace as well as I wear it. I think God keeps using it to remind me that He's got this.



With Christmas around the corner I've added the Heart for God necklace. It's absolutely stunning. I also love the length of it. There's also the Be Still line. They have a necklace, earrings, bracelet, ring, and even a slide in case you wanted to add it to a bracelet that doesn't have a charm already. Of course, you know my love for butterflies and there's also a beautiful line that would be a perfect gift for me! Hint hint to my husband who I know is reading this! ☺


And now what you've been waiting for! You have the chance to win a $100 e-gift card to Holly Lane. I also have a 20% off code you can use for any purchase you make: 20FORYOU. Winner will be chosen 11/20/19.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Stitches In Time By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Stitches In Time
by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800727529

Same song and dance here. Guess who's starting ANOTHER series with the 2nd book? lol Yea, this gal. Who knows, maybe I can start a trend thanks to Revell and them allowing me to review their books. This was my first time reading Suzanne Woods Fisher thanks to them sending this book.

Summary:

Keeping people at arm's length had worked well as a life strategy for Sam Schrock. 
Until he met Mollie Graber.

Schoolteacher Mollie Graber has come to Stoney Ridge for a fresh start. Aware of how fleeting and fragile life is, she wants to live it boldly and bravely. When Luke Schrock, new to his role as deacon, asks the church to take in foster girls from a group home, she's the first to raise her hand. The power of love, she believes, can pick up the dropped stitches in a child's heart and knit them back together. Mollie envisions sleepovers and pillow fights. What she gets are sleepless nights and police at the door. 

There's only one thing that breaks through the girls' hard shells--an interest in horses. Reluctantly and skeptically, horse trainer Sam Schrock gets drawn into Mollie's chaotic life. What he didn't expect was for love to knit together the dropped stitches in his own heart . . . just in time.

My Review:

Ever read a book and you get to a part that has you chuckling in anticipation of what's about to happen? That's what happened to me when it came time for Mollie to take in her foster girls. Oh my goodness, I was amused before the paperwork was even signed!

While there are a lot of characters in this story, it's not hard to keep track of who's who. I felt like I was really getting to know the community as I read further into the story. The story also doesn't focus only on the girls who live with Mollie, but also with Luke and his wife Izzy. You have Mollie on one had who has visions of grandeur with the girls and Izzy who came out of the foster system and wants nothing to do with them.

A couple of my favorite pieces centers around Psalm 23 and the growing faith of Luke and Izzy. The author weaves such a strong faith component into her story that I want to go back and reread it, not for the storyline, but to understand better the way scripture is explained and applied. Whereas many stories have an underlying element of Christianity, Stitches in Time has it at the forefront throughout.

As I've thought about us becoming a foster family in the past, I know that not all kids react the same way being brought into a home after having such a hard start in life. I honestly can't imagine, but Mollie's experience seems like what I'd expect it to be. The poor girl was constantly being tested until there was a catalyst for change.

Poor Luke, the man is a year into his marriage and becoming a deacon was NOT on his to-do list. lol It's so interesting to read about the role of deacon in the Amish community because we've recently been talking about it in our church. I can't imagine the stress they're under. Watching it all unfold in Luke & Izzy's lives it's mind boggling they would let a newly married couple be eligible.

The ending actually WASN'T what I was expecting although there is a twist that I wasn't surprised about. HA! I guess it's time to go back and read book 1 and prepare for book 3.

About the Author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than thirty books, including Mending Fences, as well as the Nantucket Legacy, Amish Beginnings, The Bishop's Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, among other novels. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and Amish Proverbs. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.

The Tuesday 10 & Book Birthday Natalie Walters

I'm so excited to bring you a new-to-me author, Natalie Walters! During our email exchange, after she answered all of my questions, I realized once again how being sisters in Christ, having never met someone in real life, is such an incredible gift! She and I would probably get along really well IRL!



That being said (and not wanting things to get awkward) let's welcome Natalie and get to know her. Also, I'll be doing a review of her book that releases today, Deadly Deceit, in the next couple of weeks. Have I mentioned this is book 2 in a series. Look at me being consistent!


Q1: When you were growing up, what stories did you enjoy reading? Do you remember books you loved reading to your children?

Natalie: My first book set was Ramona Quimby and then I matured into The Babysitter’s Club. I could read those books over and over again to this day, they’ll always be my favorite childhood series. I also used to read the Childcraft Encyclopedia set for fun. ☺

Mimi: Encyclopedia...for fun. hmmmm I liked to look at the pictures, does that count?

Q2: You literally look like you could be a sister to your kids, not a mom. That's a compliment... HA! What do they think of their mom being a published author?

Natalie: Aww, you’re so sweet, thank you!! Their feelings swing from excitement at seeing my book on the shelves inside of a book store, to eye-rolling when I tell them the characters are talking to me, to a mix of emotions when I tell them it’s “cereal for dinner night!” LOL But mostly, I think they’re proud of me and the best compliment they’ve ever given to me—and all three of them have said this—is that they realize how hard writing book actually is. (*and now I’m all teary eyed*)

Mimi: When they're older, they'll learn to appreciate cereal for dinner! I know I have.

Q3: Thank you for your family’s service to our country! Where is one of your
favorite places you and your husband have served? How long did you live there?

Natalie: I think the consensus on this one would be our assignment in Cairo, Egypt. We moved there three weeks before the revolution and were evacuated for a few months back to the U.S. before returning to finish our two year assignment. We really enjoyed the history, culture, and traveling we got to do while there but the best part was the lifelong friendships we made while being stationed there.

Mimi: Wow - Egypt! That's amazing. I think the best place about anywhere we live is the people!

Q4: You can take your family on a week long vacation to somewhere in the US you haven't been. Where would you go and at what time of the year?

Natalie: Northern California—to the Redwood forest! I’d probably go in the fall so I’d get the benefit of cooler weather but the beauty of the leaves changing colors.

Mimi: Ooooo yes, the forest! When I lived in WA I loved going over to Olympic National Forest because it was SO stunning! I would love meandering along with all of those massive trees!

Q5: The movie you could watch over and over without ever tiring of it?

Natalie: The Sound of Music or Mary Poppins.

Mimi: Yes and Yes! "The Hills Are Alive" or "A Spoon Full of Sugar"? Which would we sing at the top of our lungs to embarrass the children?

Q6: You’re asked to write your next novel during a holiday. Which one would you pick and why?

Natalie: Definitely Christmas! It’s my favorite holiday and I’m a nostalgic person at heart so I think there’s a lot of memories I could incorporate into the story.

Mimi: I'm down with Christmas! The memories of those special days we share with friends and family are etched into my heart.

Q7: “Living Lies” is going to be turned into a movie. Who do you choose play the roles of Lane Kent and Charlie Lynch?

Natalie: Ooh, this is a good question. I used Lily Collins as inspiration for Lane Kent’s character and Sean Maguire (from Once Upon A Time) for Charlie’s character but I wouldn’t turn down Chris Hemsworth’s interest in the role!!

Mimi: Ok, I have to be honest, I had no idea who Sean Maguire was. *cringe* Lily...great choice! And you can't go wrong with Chris Hemsworth!

Q8: Your husband has surprised you with tickets to a concert with 3 of your favorite performers. Who are you seeing?

Natalie: New Kids on the Block-not even a little bit ashamed! LOL Taylor Swift-maybe, only slightly embarrassed about this one! Jack Johnson

Mimi: Here I am being honest again. No idea who Jack Johnson is. HA! Listen, I'm lucky to get my kids names right. 🤷 

Q9: When do you start decorating for Christmas? Before Halloween or after
Thanksgiving? Do you go all out?

Natalie: I’m forbidden to decorate a single day before Thanksgiving BUT I do manage to sneak a few little decorations out before then and I do go pretty big when I’m finally allowed to decorate!

Mimi: I think your family and I would get along VERY well. hahahaha No Christmas decorating until the day AFTER Thanksgiving! Whew, I'm glad I got that out. My daughter on the other hand literally celebrates half Christmas with her husband and it's all downhill from there!

Q10: I haven't been to Hawaii for 20 yrs. We're hanging out for the day. Where would you take us to hike, see the places locals hangout, and eat?

Natalie: We’d definitely hike Diamond Head because it gives you the best views. Then we’d drive over the H3 to Kailua because that’s my favorite drive and makes me feel like I’m on Jurassic Park. We’d go all the way around the island to the North Shore so you could stand up paddle board with the turtles and have the best shaved ice on the island at Aoki’s. Breakfast would be malasadas from Zippy’s, plate lunch from Yummy’s, and family style dinner at Side Street Café.

Mimi: Don't mind me as I rush to see how many Southwest points it would take me to get to Hawaii! 😉

More about Natalie: Natalie Walters is a military wife of 23 years and currently resides in Hawaii with her soldier and family. She writes full time and is the author of the Harbored Secrets Series. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, cooking, and traveling. Her dream is to figure out how to convince Chip and Joanna Gaines to build her the forever home she’s been dreaming of and settle down with GIJOE in Texas. 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Always Look Twice By Elizabeth Goddard

Always Look Twice
by Elizabeth Goddard
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800729851

Ok, so here's what's sad about me. I've had a nasty little habit lately of being a bit too lax when the first book in a series comes available for review. Then I see all of the excitement of the first book and I can't let the second book go by without wanting to review it. That's how we ended up here with me reviewing Always Look Twice thanks to Revell.

Summary:

Justice lies just on the other side of fear
At the advice of her therapist, Harper Reynolds has traded her job as a crime scene photographer for a more peaceful life taking photographs of the natural world. But her hopes for a life surrounded by the serenity of the outdoors are dashed when she inadvertently captures a murder being committed. She flees the scene in fear--and loses the camera.

Former Green Beret Heath McKade, a reserve deputy in an understaffed county, has been called in to protect Harper, a childhood friend he is surprised to see back in the area. When Harper learns that the sheriff's department can't find any evidence of the murder she witnessed, she is determined to do what she can to see that justice is done. What neither Harper nor Heath could know is how many explosive secrets from the past will be exposed--or how deeply they will fall for each other.

My Review:

Holy smokes! Always Look Twice starts off with a bang and doesn't stop until it all blows up! This book will have the reader on the edge of their seat until even the prologue.

Let's talk about Harper first since she's the first one we meet. Harper has been through a lot. Also, being a crime scene investigator carries its own stresses and nightmares. It's no wonder she's taking a year off to photograph wildlife. Seeing a murder happen while being on sabbatical only helps spins things even more out of control (if that's even possible for her)! She is a hot mess.

Then a Stetson wearing knight shows up in Harper's life in the form of Heath. He's one of those guys who is always trying to help, but it seems that when he does, something goes wrong.

Things continue to go wrong as Harper and Heath try to figure out what in the world is going on. I tell you what, if something could go wrong, it did with these two! Trying to stay safe from the killer, running from the past, insanity happening all around them, makes for a book that keeps you turning page after page. I think Always Look Twice is the fastest I've read a book in a long time. I couldn't put it down - the action had me glued to the page!

Of course, there are the secondary characters who add to the story along the way. Harper's sister, Emily, who is pulled along with the craziness. There's also the sheriff who is Mr. Skeptical, but I understand his position. I have to admit, I kept giving him the side eye. And not just him, the people who work for him, too.

At times the story seems to come together or gives the reader (and characters the chance to breath) and then BOOM! We're right back in the thick of things. Let me just tell you, I chewed my nails down reading this book. lol I think that's a good indication on how intense the whole story is.

Now to read book one and anticipate book three. Oooo that prologue already has me on edge.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling author of more than 40 books, including Never Let GoAlways Look Twice, and the Carol Award-winning The Camera Never Lies. Her Mountain Cove series books have been finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Awards and the Carol Awards. Goddard is a seventh-generation Texan and can be found online at www.elizabethgoddard.com.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Precious Moments Fall Keepsakes

I'm finally willing to accept the fact that it's fall. It took a while as it's been in the 70s and 80s until the past week and a half or so. I actually broke out all of my fall decor and even purchased some new ones. Not only that, I added an absolutely adorable Precious Moments figurine to my new bookshelves since I was invited to review one!


I like to decorate for the seasons, but to be honest, I really haven't ever had many spots to put anything. Until the past year, I've only had 2 small tables to put decor on. Pretty sad state of affairs if you ask me! Well, be sad no more!


A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were given the gift of a full set of bookshelves thanks to my father-in-law. It's our Christmas present and something I've wanted for years. I've never had an area like this to decorate, and I've been loving every moment of it. This is where my new figurine comes into the picture! The "Make Someone Happy" figurine showed up just as my husband finished putting the shelves together.


Let's talk about the figurine specifically. It's bisque porcelain that stands 8 1/2" high. I love the textured look on the scarecrow's face and the girl's sweater. It's also hand painted! The scarecrow actually is standing on a little wooden dowel. Each element brings a sense of fall: the color of the sweater, the flannel looking jacket on the scarecrow, the pumpkin, and the sunflowers.


This would also make a delightful gift. Since the theme is "Make Someone Happy", maybe they're going through a tough time and you're trying to cheer them up, they have a fall birthday, it's a host/hostess gift for a party, etc. So many ideas you could come up with to give this as a gift.

The Tuesday Ten With Angela Ruth Strong


I'm so excited to have Angela Ruth Strong here today! I've been following her on social media and joined her Facebook group. Oh my gosh, she's so fun and creative. I also appreciate her honesty! She has a new book out that she wrote with 4 other authors, Once Upon A Christmas! If you're ready to dive into Christmas reads, THIS is the book for you!


Ready to get some answers from Angela? If so, check out our chat!

Q1: Fa la la la WHAT?! When you're writing a story that isn't in the season you're currently in, how do you find inspiration?

Angela: Usually through music. Christmas music. This year I did get to write my 4th of July story, A Latte Difficulty, during 4th of July this year, which was a real treat.

Mimi: I think I'd have to be IN the season to be inspired to write about it. HA!

Q2: When you decided to write as part of a collection, how did you decide to twist the story of (cinder)Ella? Have you worked with any of the other authors before? (I know, that's technically 2 questions)

Angela: This was my first time working with the authors in the Once Upon a Christmas collection, but they've been so great, we're planning to do it again. With Christmas Ella, I started with Ella's career--I'd been wanting to write about a location director--then I decided that she could work for a reality TV show, which seems to be America's modern day royalty. After that, I looked for a setting. With those two things combined, the rest of the story wrote itself.

Mimi: How cool that you already had a character in mind and that she fit for this story!

Q3: You're pretty open about the hurt from your ex-husband and making a second marriage/family work. In what ways has God revealed himself to you through Jim?

Angela: When we first started dating, I was afraid to claim Jim was a "gift from God," which is what Jim said about me. I didn't think I deserved him, so I didn't think I'd get to "keep" him. Then God hit me with the verse, "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." Still afraid to believe God would give me something so good, I went and looked up every scripture with the word good in it. The first one was "taste and see that the Lord is good." The last one was "now you have seen that the Lord is good." I cried and I learned I can't possibly earn anyone's love. It's a gift.

Mimi: Wow! I just love that!

Q4: With your first non-fiction being sold, have you thought about writing a book for women who are remarried and are trying to figure out how to be a wife who accepts and is trusting of her new husband? I've found that piece to be extremely difficult.

Angela: It is hard. And I haven't figured it all out yet. With writing non-fiction, I feel added weight. You know, the whole scripture about how teachers are held to a higher standard. I don't want to lead anyone the wrong direction. I was struggling with this recently, and a friend reminded me of the scripture about comforting others with the comfort I've been given. I can do that. But I'm not sure where it will take me. I'm just praying this book reaches the right readers. Anything more would be another one of God's good gifts.

Mimi: I have no doubt that God will be able to use your non-fiction for those women who need to hear it! What an incredible ministry.

Q5: In your Love Finds You books, I'm guessing you've been to all of those states. If not, which one(s) do you still need to visit and if you could pick a new state to write about which one would it be?

Angela: Great question! I'll never write fantasy because I just love our world too much to create something different. I want to see it all and share it all. I visited San Antonio a couple weeks ago, and I'll be setting next year's Christmas romance there. (They have a Proposal Island and Marriage Island and amazing Christmas lights along the River Walk.) As for other settings, I just posted a poll in my facebook group on locations, and a reader wrote in "Kentucky." I've never been there, so it's the perfect excuse to research/travel. That being said, I really am partial to the Great Northwest. We are friendly and adventurous up here!

Mimi: I have no doubt San Antonio will be the perfect setting for next year's romance. The River Walk there... I loved seeing everyone's photos. Now I want to go there! lol HA! And was one of your Facebook group peeps, I loved your setting options. I lived in Washington for about 10+ yrs. It's incredibly beautiful there!

Q6: If you could have your favorite author read to you your favorite book of theirs, what would it be and who would the author be?

Angela: Becky Wade's My Stubborn Heart. I actually read the prologue out loud to three people because I loved it so much. And I cried every time. I'd like to see if she can read it without crying.

Mimi: Ok, I'll need you to read me the prologue! Maybe we could get Becky to do an Instagram TV of her reading it!!

Q7: You get to take 5 ladies with you on a weekend retreat any where in the world to discuss Once Upon a Christmas. Where are you heading?

Angela: Jackson Hole, Wyoming of course! We could ice skate, go on a sleigh ride, stalk Harrison Ford, and throw knives! Christmas Ella just wouldn't be Christmas Ella without some knife-throwing!

Mimi: Well now that sounds like my kind of retreat! I did knife throwing with a friend in her woods and we cracked ourselves up!

Q8: Your editor calls you one day saying someone wants to make your book into a movie. Which book do you hope it is and who would you want to play the main characters?

Angela: I do have one book in development. Finding Love in Big Sky is supposed to be filmed as "Starlight Christmas" next year. But this has been going on for a few years now. Here's hoping it actually happens. As for another call, I think the book I just finished, Husband Auditions, would be great on the big screen. Like Confessions of a Shopaholic. I'll take Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding from this year's upcoming Last Christmas please.

Mimi: Ok, that's super exciting! I love your actor choices. I can't wait to see that movie in theaters. Here's to hoping about your movie getting into production soon!

Q9: Inspiration is found just about anywhere, but you decide to watch a movie that helps the romance thread of your story: a movie that helps write a tear jerking scene, and a movie that fires you up for a dramatic moment. Which movies are they?

Angela: Romance? You've Got Mail. Always. As for drama, The Count of Monte Cristo. It's my fave. I wish they would do a similar remake for my favorite book, The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Mimi: Well, it looks like we'll have to do a movie night with all 3 of these one day. I'd have to add P.S. I Love You to the mix though. And The Scarlet Pimpernel, I'm pretty sure no one has EVER mentioned one of my ALL time favorite classic movies.

Q10: Your next book is set in the wilderness of another country. Where are you and what genre are you writing about?

Angela: I've wanted to go to Peru for a while. My dad's cousin is a missionary there. When my great aunt and uncle went to visit, they actually got kidnapped, but because my dad's cousin had started so many ministries, she's friends with the Peruvian president, and he personally called in law enforcement to find her parents. (They were found uninjured, by the way.) So the story would involve kidnapping and the Amazon rainforest which would most likely appeal to fans of Romancing the Stone--another favorite movie. 

Mimi: Peru has my heart. I went on my first mission trip to Lima in 2013. Not going this October has been really difficult. I have to say I love that you chose Peru! As for the kidnapping, I can't even imagine! Who knew that would happen in Peru! I love the idea of using it as a backdrop.

Here's a bit more about Angela:




Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Horse Of My Dreams

The Horse of My Dreams
Edited by : Callie Smith Grant
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800727185

Ok, let's just put it out there. I love horses! So, when I saw The Horse of my Dreams for review with Revell, I was so excited! I enjoy reading stories about how others have experienced life with horses.

Summary:

Truly the horse is one of the finest creatures on earth. In it we find embodied all of our own hopes and dreams. Our longing to live noble lives. Our need for companionship. Our desire to do good and helpful work. Our yearning to feel truly free.

With contributions from both well-known and up-and-coming writers, this heartwarming collection of true stories is the perfect way for you to decompress from the day's stresses and remember God's good gift to us in the majestic, calming, inspiring, and even silly horses he created. Here you'll meet a stubborn Shetland pony who teaches her girl the importance of hanging on. You'll see how a young woman learned to trust again after a serious riding accident. You'll fall in love with a stray donkey who finds a home--and a friend. And so much more.

So make yourself a cup of tea, open up this book, and claim a few refreshing moments on a busy day for yourself . . . and the horse of your dreams.

My Review:

I grew up dreaming of having a horse. I think I was probably still in single digits when that dream started. That dream was finally fulfilled when I was 33yrs old! It took a while, but it happened. My mom gave me Winston as my birthday gift. What was wonderful was, I was able to share him with my girls. There's a more personal story around my time with Winston, but I'll save that for another time. Let's just say he was there for me during one of the hardest times of my life. He would stand there and let me hug him and cry.

It was so neat reading the different experiences each of these people had in The Horse of My Dreams. One of the stories I really enjoyed was by Susy Flory. Her story really shows how smart horses can be. It really reinforces to me how amazing they are, too!

Lauraine Snelling (one of the only contributors I'm familiar with) shares about her first pony. Boy did that pony share teach her some lessons! I've always thought ponies were stubborn little stinkers, but our first pony or horse always leaves a lasting imprint on our lives!

Rachel Anne Ridge's story about rescuing a donkey and introducing him to a donkey they already had reminded me of 2 experiences I had. When we lived in Colorado, when I was a young teen, I had thought about rescuing a wild mustang. My mom encouraged it because at the time we had a fenced in horse yard, but couldn't afford a horse. Unfortunately that didn't come to fruition. The other memory I have is when Winston first joined the herd at the farm where we were boarding him. The period of initiation into the herd is a difficult one. Winston was kind of a butt head so he didn't always get along with the other horses. He kind of stayed at the bottom rung for quite some time. Seeing his bites was difficult, but he needed to find his way in his new herd.

I enjoyed the stories I read of people who were older like me when they got their first horse. "Callie Had A Secret" is a great one! I also, with a bit of envy, enjoyed the stories of people who had horses in their lives at a young age. So many of us dream about having horses and this book reminds us how wonderful it can be when those dreams come true!

I'm actually giving this book to one of my friend's daughter. She loves to ride her horses and she's living the dream I had as a young girl. I figured this book would be right up her alley!


About the Editor:

Callie Smith Grant is the editor of Second-Chance DogsThe Cat in the Window, The Dog Next Door, The Cat on My Lap, The Dog at My Feet, and The Horse of My Heart. She is the author of several nonfiction books for young readers and adults as well as many animal-themed stories and poems, which can be seen in Guideposts anthologies and in magazines such as Small Farmer's Journal.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Tuesday Ten & Book Birthday With Hannah Currie


I'm excited to introduce you to a new author today! Her name is Hannah Currie and as it turns out, it's also her book's birthday! Her newest book is called Heart of a Royal. The cover is so pretty! Let's get to know Hannah better!


Q1: Your debut novel is releasing TODAY! This is so exciting! How did you decide what your first book was going to be?

Hannah: Actually, it was totally a God-thing that Heart of a Royal became my debut novel. When I wrote it, it was purely for fun as a story to share with my princess-and-book-loving teenaged sister. I was working on sending out proposals for other manuscripts and didn't really have any plans  to publish this one. But then interest in those manuscripts dried up, I totally fell in love with Kenna and the YA genre and  WhiteFire Publishing announced that they were looking for stories for their new YA/Juvenile line. Within a week, I'd sent them a proposal for Heart of a Royal. They loved it and the rest is history :) So yeah, one of those God-things that I never really planned but am sooo incredibly glad happened. I LOVE this story and am thrilled it’s my debut release!

Mimi: One of the reasons I love YA is because I can read them and my daughters can read them. I'm looking forward to your novel!

Q2: When you have writer's block, do you have a place you go or something you do to help you clear your mind or refocus you on your story?

Hannah: Not really. I tend to just skip to a different scene and write that or go back and edit something I’ve already written, which gets the ideas flowing again. Alternately, I might put the manuscript away for a  day or so and read a book instead.

Mimi: I can't even imagine what that must be like. I'm such an impatient person. lol

Q3: So, we both like to bake, but not cook (amen, sister)! If you were having a group
of ladies over to chat about "Heart of a Royal" what would you bake them?

Hannah: Oooh, I’m totally doing this!! We’re going to have a special High Tea afternoon tea to celebrate Heart of a Royal’s release and dedicate it back to God. I’ll probably bake a bunch of little things but my favorites are mini lemon and coconut cupcakes iced with lemon icing and topped with a pink or yellow flower. They always look so pretty and taste so good.

Mimi: My mom got my daughter and I into tea parties. Now we do them with our friends. For my birthday, my daughter and friends had a tea-esta for me... a tea and a fiesta!! SO much fun! I love that you're going to dedicate your book back to God!

Q4: My husband and I love doing our mission trips to Lima, Peru. When your kids are older, if you could do a family mission trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Hannah: My church supports a mission/organisation in Cambodia, called Bloom, which teaches girls who’ve been rescued from the sex-trafficking trade to bake and decorate the most incredibly elaborate cakes. They’re taught business and other life skills alongside the decorating and, in the process, find worth and new lives. I would love to take my girls (especially) there one day on a mission trip to serve alongside them.

Mimi: That sounds like an amazing mission trip to take with your kids! They have the Grace House that we visit in Peru. It helps young ladies/girls to get their lives fixed up and teaches them skills so they can go back into the world and hopefully carry the Lord with them.

Q5: When God revealed to you that you were going to be writing, how did you react
and respond?

Hannah: I was thrilled! Since childhood, I’d wanted to be a missionary and knew without a doubt that that was what God had called me to do. But I always thought that would mean going overseas and working with a mission organisation so was devastated at the loss of that dream when health issues stopped me. Until God showed me that, through my writing, he was using me to tell others about him and share his love and hope with the world – the words and stories he’d given me to share going so much further than I ever could have in person. I was stunned, humbled, excited and honoured. Still am.

Mimi: That is SUCH an awesome way to see how God has truly kept you in the mission field, but it just looks different than you expected. God is so creative!

Q6: You're giving 5 different books to 5 different friends because you want to introduce them to Christian fiction. Which books do you give them?

Hannah: Oh wow, only five??? Would totally depend on who the friends were and what they liked but…um…

  • A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter
  • A Name Unknown by Roseanna M White
  • Then There was You by Kara Isaac
  • There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B Jones
  • London Skies by Carla Laureano

Mimi: A Name Unknown is the only book I've read in that list, and now I need to check out the other 4!

Q7: You get to take a writers' retreat anywhere in the world with 3 authors. Where do you go and who do you take?

Hannah: A little cottage in Ireland (you said wherever, right?) and I’d take Melissa Tagg, Robin Jones Gunn and Jenny B Jones. That said, I probably wouldn’t get any work done since I’d just want to sit and stare out the windows at the view all day (when I wasn’t chatting with the others) so maybe I should say somewhere really boring with some people I don’t like if I actually wanted to get any writing done…

Mimi: Ok, so we'd have to change the question to "3 authors and 1 guest" because now I want to go along! HA! I'm not a writer, but I love those authors, and Ireland...one day.

Q8: When you found out your book was going to be published a) how did you react and b) how did you celebrate?

Hannah: I squealed, and was so excited and giddy bouncing up and down that I forgot to even read past the first line of the email until my husband asked what the rest said. Oops! I was buzzing with excitement all day. Life didn’t stop though, being a mom – I still had to take kids to school, look after my youngest, clean the house, cook dinner, etc – but I do remember going through the day in an absolute buzz of excitement and couldn’t stop smiling and thanking God over and over. Pretty sure I ate some ice cream too. I really like ice cream.☺

Mimi: That sounds like how I'd probably react as well! And life never does stop no matter what we're doing. lol We're always still a mom and a wife.

Q9: How do you like to read a book: physical copy, ebook, or audio? Do you have any books in multiple formats?

Hannah: Physical will always be my favorite. There’s something so nice about holding a physical book – the smell and feel of it, the way I can flip pages so quickly and remember where on the page (and in the book) a scene was or look back at the cover. But I do love the practicality of ebooks when it comes to travelling, sitting at appointments or trying to get kids to sleep. Not a big fan of audiobooks, although that’s more to do with the fact that, with little kids, I don’t have enough time to listen to them. Maybe one day.

Mimi: I think I'll always have a greater love for the physical book. One time I was actually using my Kindle and I licked my tongue to turn the page. I'm NOT even kidding. I think I've listed to one audio book on the way from Minnesota to Florida driving. That was years ago.

Q10: What was your favorite book as a child?

Hannah: Soooo many favorites (I’ve always been a HUGE bookworm) but the one I used to borrow from the library the most as a child was Beyond the Rainbow by Christine Marion Fraser. It’s about two girls who have cancer and the friendship they form in hospital. Such a beautiful story of friendship.

Mimi: Wow, that sounds like a beautiful story. I'd probably cry through it! One of my favorite books as a child was The Pokey Little Puppy. I didn't realize until well into my adulthood it was because I could relate to him. lol

About Hannah:

Aussie author, Hannah Currie, loves God, family, people (in small numbers, let’s not go crazy here!) and writing. A book nerd from birth, she knows firsthand the difference a good book can make in a person’s life. Even, and especially, fiction. Her dream as a writer is to make people laugh, cry and maybe even swoon a little but mostly to remind them that no matter how dark life may get at times, because of God, there is always hope. She and her husband live with their three adorable kids in sunny Queensland, where it really is beautiful one day and perfect the next. Except, maybe, during heatwaves. They’re not so fun. She loves to connect with readers at www.hannahcurrie.com


Here's where you can purchase her books:

WhiteFire Publishing (includes sneak peek of chapter 1) – https://whitespark-publishing.com/project/heart-of-a-royal/
Book Depository – https://www.bookdepository.com/Heart-of-Royal-Hannah-Currie/9781946531537
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Royal-Daughters-Peverell-Book-ebook/dp/B07VLHGVZV
Barnes and Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-of-a-royal-hannah-currie/1132821604?ean=9781946531537

Saturday, October 12, 2019

I Am Brave From Tommy Nelson & Giveaway

I Am Brave
Series: Brave Girls
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-1400211920

One of the reasons I wanted to review I Am Brave is because I remember when my girls were tweens and teens. There weren't a lot of books out there to help them walk through their faith. Thanks to FrontGate Media I was able to do this review and I'll be donating it to our church's youth group.

Summary:

It's a tough time to be a tween. Body image struggles, peer pressure, social media, and confusion about what truth is and why it matters can make growing up harder than ever. How do you stand firm in what you believe? What does it mean to be brave in your faith? What does it look like to love others? Finding answers to the most challenging questions can help tween girls thrive as they grow into brave young women of God.
I Am Brave invites girls ages 8–12 to join the Brave Girls—Hope, Glory, Faith, Gracie, and Honor—as they grow closer to God every day. The latest book in the popular Brave Girls series, I Am Braveincludes journaling prompts, devotions, and lots of great questions to help girls learn more about who God is and who they are.
The Brave Girls are ordinary girls who are stronger and more courageous because of God's love and guidance. I Am Brave will help your own young reader speak up for truth, stand up for faith and live out the real meaning of godly bravery.

My Review:

This was my first introducing to the Brave Girls series. I like that it's a diverse group of girls who have a wide range of interests. One of the girls is more like a jock, one is super girly, another is super smart, etc. Thankfully that means most girls can relate to the examples in the book.

I don't know about you, but when I was a young girl I loved filling out books and questionnaires like the ones in I Am Brave. Nearly every page has a scripture to start off with and then prompts that will lead them to think about their faith, who God is, and the world around them. 


Reading through the book, I believe that any girl who uses this will be strengthened not only in their faith, but in who they are as a young girl. Sometimes young girls don't understand how to walk in their faith and I Am Brave does an excellent job helping them to dig deeper. We want our girls to have a strong foundation and this is a great way to help them build on that.

The pages aren't long and drawn out. It's easy to do a single page or even a few if they have a lot of quiet time. The prayers they have that go along with the pages are short and sweet. They can be a prompt to help her for an extended prayer or if she just needs to say what's on the page and move on. It even comes with a fabric bookmark in case they don't go through the book front to back. They can save the page they're on or the next one they're interested in.


I think the book would make a terrific gift at a baptism, when they accept Christ as their Savior, birthday, or a holiday. Kind of makes me wish we had a little girl in our lives still.

You also have the opportunity to win a copy of this book! Giveaway ends 10/31/2019. Click on the photo below.

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