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.


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.


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.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Fall Children's Books From Zonderkidz

I have to be honest with you. It hasn't felt like fall at all in Maryland. At least not until yesterday. The leaves are somewhat changing color and falling, but until yesterday it's felt like summer still. I know it's not that way everywhere though!

Are your kids excited for the seasonal change and the cooler temps? If so, I've got some books that I was able to review thanks to Zonderkidz you're going to love sharing with them! You'll also love a precious, new book from well known jewelry maker Lisa Leonard.

Your Spark
Illustrated by: Lisa Leonard
Written by:  Lisa Leonard
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 9780310765936


We all have a light inside us that shines brightly and makes us who we are. Artists and athletes, dancers and dreamers, jokers and gymnasts … I want to see you shine in your own unique way. Come along with me as we celebrate your spark.
Did you know that God gave you your very own spark? It’s true! And no one else in the whole wide world has a spark like yours! Your spark makes your eyes twinkle and your mouth smile. It makes your feet stomp and your voice loud. It makes you excited and curious to learn new things. It lights you up from the inside, and it fills you with wonder and dreams.
Your spark does all that and more. And author Lisa Leonard offers this picture book in celebration of you … and your spark! Lisa pours her heart into this book, bringing Your Spark to life with inspiring text and free-spirited illustrations. More than anything, Lisa wants you and children everywhere to know:
Inside your heart there is a spark. It shines bright and true, and it’s what makes you, YOU!

My Review:

It's so important for kids to know how unique and special they are. Lisa's book gets kids to see that they've been given a spark by God and that they can use it at different times in their lives. Not only did she write the book, but she also illustrated it! She's so incredibly talented.

My favorite part of the book is how diverse it is. The kids don't look the same! One is in a wheelchair, one wears glasses, one has curly hair, etc. This way every child can find a way to relate to the story.

This is a hardcover book with a dust jacket. I tend to take my dust jackets off and put them away so that they don't get torn. Your Spark is perfect for preschool and elementary age children! It's a positive book that will uplift them.

Snuggle Time Fall Blessings
Illustrated by: Cee Biscoe
Written by: Glenys Nellist
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 9780310767510


Let’s go apple picking, 
Shake them from the tree. 
Round and fat and juicy, 
The big red one’s for me!
  • An adorable addition to the bestselling Snuggle Time series, with over 150,000 units sold
  • Written by Glenys Nellist, the bestselling author of many children's books, including the Love Letters from God and Snuggle Time series
  • Perfect for bedtime snuggles with a padded cover that fits just right in little hands

My Review:

I have fallen in love with this children's book. The critters are so soft and sweetly drawn. The cover is padded which makes it easier to hold onto and the pages are nice and sturdy. This will be a durable book.

The short little rhymes are perfect for bedtime, for your little one to look at during their quiet time, or even to read one to get the day started. I also love the sense of family that's thread throughout each rhyme. Scripture starts the book off with Psalm 9:1 and weaves God into the rhymes throughout.

This delightful book will get you and your child(ren) excited for this season and everything fun that comes along with it!

Illustrated by: Archie Preston
Written by: Eileen Spinelli
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 9780310767824


The gardener’s thankful for every green sprout.
The fireman, for putting the fire out.
The artist is thankful for color and light.
The clown for her costume silly and bright.
Thankful, written by beloved children’s author Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Archie Preston, combines charming rhymes and whimsical illustrations to convey the importance of being thankful for everyday blessings. Like the gardener thankful for every green sprout, and the firefighter, for putting the fire out, children are encouraged to be thankful for the many blessings they find in their lives. Spinelli exhibits her endearing gift for storytelling with this engaging poem, reminding children how blessed and special they are. Meant to be read aloud, this heartwarming board book will be a treasured keepsake for parents and children alike.

My Review:

Thankful is such a whimsical book! I love how it goes through different "occupations" and what they're thankful for! Not only should they be thankful for those things, this book teaches us to be thankful for them as well.

The brother/sister duo in the story are fun to see together in different settings whether it's chasing each other in the yard or working as beekeepers. It's a sweet example of siblings (and family members) enjoying each day with each other.

This is another book that has a padded cover and stiff pages that will stand the test of time. The story is short enough to keep a child's attention, and the illustrations will have your child taking in all of it. Really, there's so much to point out on each page!

Love is Kind
Illustrated by: Lison Chaperon
Written by: Laura Sassi
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 9780310754893


Love Is Kind is a heartwarming story about Little Owl who hopes to buy his grammy a heart-shaped box of chocolates for her birthday. On his quest for the chocolates, he’s thwarted at every turn, but ends up discovering the real meaning of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13. Told in simple prose by bestselling author Laura Sassi, this heartfelt and humorous picture book is a sweet reminder that real love isn’t found in a box – even one filled with chocolates. Love Is Kind takes a charming and gentle approach to teaching kids the true meaning of love, while celebrating the bonds that kids have with their grandparents, and the many forms that love and happiness can take.

My Review:

Love is Kind actually comes in two formats: hardcover and board book. I received the hardcover for my review. It has a dust jacket that can be removed, and if you have really little ones, you might consider removing that until they're a bit older.

That being said, this is such a precious story! First, it's a sweet example to children on how to be thoughtful with loved ones. Second, and this is my favorite piece, on several of the pages are scriptures that you might not notice the first time you read through. They're creatively placed on a few of the pages.

The illustration makes Little Owl look so soft and cuddly! You just pull for him to be able to find a way to give his grammy a gift for her birthday. She's able to teach him a tender lesson that something material isn't always the best gift. This would make a great gift for Grandparent's Day now that I'm thinking about it.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Tuesday 10 With Jen Turano & Giveaway

I'm so excited to start a new weekly (hopefully) feature on my blog! It's going to be called The Tuesday 10. To say I'm over the moon having author, Jen Turano, as my first author is putting it mildly. Absolutely, hands down, she is one of my favorite Christian authors! Her stories are such a fun ride from beginning to end. I can guarantee that you will love each and every one of her books.

About Jen Turano:

Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO. Readers may find her at www.jenturano.com or https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or on Twitter at JenTurano@JenTurano.

Ok, ok, enough of me gushing! Let's get to my 10 questions!

Q: Do you ever find yourself laughing out loud at the lines that you write for your

Jen: Interesting tidbit about my early drafts – they’re not amusing. It’s not until I get to the
third edit that things begin to change, and then, yes, I do occasionally laugh out loud
when something absurd strikes and I add it to the manuscript. I then, of course, have to
share that absurdity with Al (husband person,) who normally just shakes his head and
wonders about the state of my mind.

Mimi: I'm shocked that it's in later drafts the humor is added! I'm fascinated by this glimpse into your process!

Q: Before you start writing a series do you already know how many books there will be?

Jen: I do, but that’s probably because I decided after my first series, which was four books,
that I would only write three books in a series from that point forward. Four is tricky
because you have to remember so much about the characters, and I have the attention
span of a gnat. Even with three, I spend a lot of time pouring over my notes to make
certain I’m not mentioning that a character has blue eyes in the third book when in the
first, they were green. One time, I wrote that one of my heroes had never seen the
heroine cry, and didn’t realize until the very last moment, as in right before it was about
to go to print, that he had seen her cry, in the very first book. I had to apologize rather
profusely to one of my editors for making that change so late in the process. Thankfully,
I have really cool editors, so…whew.

Mimi: I have a hard time calling my kids by their correct names. Having to keep track of so many things throughout 3 books sounds tricky!

Q: I know this is like picking your favorite child, which of your characters is the most like

Jen: There’s a little of me in most of my characters, but I relate best to Gertrude Cadwallader
in “Out of the Ordinary,” and Poppy Garrison in “Diamond in the Rough.”

Mimi: I don't think I relate to her, but Gertrude is one of my favorite characters!

Q: If you could travel to any period of time, whether in the past or the future, where would
you travel to?

Jen: That’s easy, the Gilded Age since I spend so much time there, at least in my

Mimi: I think I'd have to agree on the Gilded Age!

Q: What book(s) are on your TBR pile for the fall?

Jen: My TBR pile is somewhat overwhelming at the moment because I don’t read historical
romance while writing a first draft, and lately, I always seem to be writing a first draft.
However, on the top of that pile is Elizabeth Camden, “The Spice King,” Joanna
Politano, “Finding Lady Enderly,” and Jody Hedlund, “Evermore.”

Mimi: I just finished "The Spice King" and really enjoyed it! It was my first Elizabeth Camden novel. I haven't read either of the other books, but they're on my list.

Q: If you can have a library in your home that's a replica of any other library in the world
which one would it be?

Jen: Hmm…difficult question, but I’m going to go with the small library from my childhood
hometown, the St. Clairsville Library. It just always seemed like the coolest place in the
world to me, especially the basement where they had this great collection of Nancy
Drew books that had bright pink bindings. Frankly, it was a somewhat spooky part of the
library, which made visiting it all the more exciting.

Mimi: If there's one out there that looks like it was in a really old castle, with several floors, that's what I'd want mine to look like!

Q: You're going on vacation to your dream location. What are 3 items you bring with you?

Jen: Al (husband person,) flipflops, and a bathing suit.

Mimi: HA! I'm glad you'd bring your husband along.

Q: You hear back from your editor that the publishers want an exotic animal in your next
novel. Which animal do you choose?

Jen: I don’t know how exotic this is, but an elephant, because that would open up all sorts of
possibilities, or…a giraffe, now that’s not an animal one sees often in a book. Hmm…something to think about there.

Mimi: Oh my goodness, maybe a baby elephant! My friends wouldn't be surprised at my answer, which would be an alpaca. Although, I don't know that it's exotic either.

Q: Since we're early on autumn what is one thing that you like about each of the four
seasons (and I'm not talking about the musical group)?

Jen: Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the colors and the way the sky out
here in Denver turns this really brilliant shade of blue – apparently that has something to
do with how high up we are out here. Next comes Winter because I love snow and the
cold. Third would be Spring because of all the fabulous smells when the trees begin to
flower, and last would be Summer. I’m not really a girl who enjoys the hot, although I do
enjoy all the activities the hot brings, such as kayaking, swimming, and lounging in the
shade, reading a book.

Mimi: I'm a spring kind of gal. When everything starts turning green and I can see my plants popping out of the dirt... it makes my heart sing! I do love the warmth of summer and getting out of the house more. Autumn, it's passable. HA! Everything in the garden starts dying, BUT I get to spend more time reading in my hammock so there's that. Winter, I had plenty of that white nonsense when I lived in Minne-snow-ta! I've become soft since moving to Maryland.

Q: We're hanging out over lunch. Are we having coffee or tea and what sandwich & dessert
are we having? And yes you could pick some weight watchers!

Jen: Not coffee because I only have one cup a day and that’s at five in the morning. I’m not a
tea drinker either, so I’m going to go with water. Sandwich would be ham, no cheese,
and since I have been dieting lately, although I hit my goal a few weeks back so I’m not
as intense about it as I was over the past several months, I’d probably choose some
type of yogurt with fruit for dessert. In all honesty, I’ve never been much for desserts,
but give me a bag of chips and I’m a happy girl.

Mimi: Yea, I have one cup of coffee in the morning. I'd want a tall, cold glass of milk with my sandwich. I love meat sandwiches on croissants. I think I'd bring a fruit salad to our lunch. :)

Jen: Thanks so much for having me, Mimi! It’s been a pleasure.

Thank YOU for being my first guest. While I don't have a gift to send you off with, you DO have one for my readers. I appreciate your generosity! You can also purchase Diamond in the Rough through Baker Publishing Group.

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