Friday, November 22, 2019

Good News For Little Hearts 3 Book Review

I know I've mentioned it before, but I love storing up books for when I have grandchildren to read to. I was sent these books from New Growth Press to review! They're part of the Good News For Little Hearts series.


Gus Loses His Grip
Editor: David Powlison
Ilustrator: Joe Hox
Publisher: New Growth Press
ISBN: 978-1-948130-77-6

Summary:


Gus, a raccoon who loves all things sweet, learns what happens when you want something too much. After Gus gets caught taking candy from the store, Papa reminds him that temptation might be strong for us, but it’s not too strong for Jesus. Both Gus and Papa can ask Jesus for help when they want something too much.
The last page contains information for parents on how God, in his Word, helps us turn to Jesus when we are tempted. Together children and parents will be guided into meaningful conversations about living by faith in the details of everyday life.
Also included is a tear-out page of “Back Pocket Bible Verses” that will give children a practical way to remember God’s words when they want something too much.
My Review:

I was surprised at how deep this book is for the age group it's listed for. This series is for 3-8 year olds. I would say if you read this to a preschooler or younger you'll need to modify the story for them otherwise I'm sure it would go over their head. The story is very fitting for elementary age kids.

I think the author and illustrator came up with the perfect critter to represent a character who can't stop snacking. They are called trash pandas for a reason. lol I think most kids will get a kick out of how much Gus eats and will be able to relate to going overboard on their favorite things.

The great part about this story is that it will hit home for the adults reading the book. We can all take stock in how we can overindulge ourselves and how our kids see us doing that as a not so great example. I appreciate how God is woven into the story for the kids to be able to grasp the message.

The illustrations give kids a lot to take in so they'll be be able to listen to the story as you read it to them. The pages will definitely keep their interest.

About the Author:

David Powlison, MDiv, PhD, (1949–2019) was a teacher, counselor, and the executive director of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He wrote many books and minibooks, including Speaking Truth in Love, Seeing with New Eyes, The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context, Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness, Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken, God's Grace in Your Suffering, and Safe and Sound. David was also the editor of The Journal of Biblical Counseling.

About the Illustrator:

Joe Hox was raised on a farm in southern Iowa where he doodled whenever he wasn’t spading thistles or feeding pigs. Everyone knew by his crooked hay rows that he would choose art over farming. Joe earned his BA in Art and Education from Dordt College and his MA from the University of Nebraska. Today he lives with his wife and four children in Pella, Iowa, where he illustrates and teaches art. Joe has illustrated all of the Good News for Little Hearts series.

Henry Says Good-bye
Editor: Edward T. Welch
Ilustrator: Joe Hox
Publisher: New Growth Press
ISBN: 978-1-948130-78-3

Summary:


Henry the hedgehog loves his pet ladybug. She keeps him company and entertains him, his family, and his friends with her flying tricks. But one day, he has to say good-bye to his ladybug. Henry and his whole family are sad, but they learn to go to Jesus with their sadness and ask him to comfort them.
The last page contains information for parents on how God, in his Word, helps us turn to Jesus when we are sad. Together children and parents will be guided into meaningful conversations about living by faith in the details of everyday life.
Also included is a tear-out page of “Back Pocket Bible Verses” that will give children a practical way to remember God’s words when they are sad.
My Review:

When I got this book, I thought "saying good-bye" meant Henry was letting his ladybug go, but she actually passes away. I wanted to make sure that was clear because it's an entirely different topic to discuss with your child when you read the book.

I think the topic of death is covered well by the author. He helps Henry share his emotions in a variety of ways. As adults we understand there are varying responses to the loss of someone or something we love like: sadness, anger, confusion, etc. I think this book would be good in the face of the loss of a pet.

God's part in handling our sadness is covered in a way kids can understand. I love that Henry's father gives him scripture on a piece of paper that Henry can keep with him. I also like that it helps children to be aware of others who are possibly hurting.

At the back of each of these books are ways to engage the kids in discussions. They help adults have talking points when kids have various questions or even a way to talk about it more in depth with older kids.

About the Author:

Edward T. Welch, MDiv, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He earned a PhD in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions. His biblical counseling books include: Shame Interrupted; When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness; Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love; and A Small Book about a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace.

Tori Comes Out of Her Shell
Editor: Jayne V. Clark
Ilustrator: Joe Hox
Publisher: New Growth Press
ISBN: 978-1-948130-76-9

Summary:


Tori the turtle feels all alone. She has just moved to a new pond and a new school with her family and it seems like everyone has a friend except her. Her teacher notices she feels alone and helps her remember Jesus is always her friend and then along the way she makes some new friends.
The last page contains information for parents on how God, in his Word, helps us turn to Jesus when we are lonely. Together children and parents will be guided into meaningful conversations about living by faith in the details of everyday life.
Also included is a tear-out page of “Back Pocket Bible Verses” that will give children a practical way to remember God’s words when they feel all alone.
My Review:

Once again the author and illustrator have picked the perfect critter who is shy and tries coming out of her shell. Moving and being the new student is rarely an easy change. It's also a terrific way for kids to see that they're not the only ones feeling lonely or scared.

The author made sure another character feels somewhat the same way as Tori. I also like how the teacher can help ease her into making friends. It's good for kids to see the different ways people can help each other out. I also like that Miss Minnick gives Tori a card like the ones on the back of the book.

Each book in this series has 4 tear-off cards. Kids can keep them with them or maybe even put them on the fridge to help keep them in mind throughout the day. For this book the scriptures would be great in lunch boxes as well. Once again God is an integral part of the story as well as showing kindness to others.

The illustrator also made Tori's room really cute (as well as the rest of the book). To me it looked just like a turtle's room would look if they had one. It was also nice to see the same characters drawn through each of the book so they're familiar to the kids and families who read the books.

About the Author:

Jayne V. Clark, MAR, is the Chief of Staff at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). She is also a counselor with thirty years of experience, a frequent retreat and conference speaker, and the author of the minibooks Single and Lonely: Finding the Intimacy You Desire and Healing Broken Relationships: What to Do When You’ve Been Hurt and many counseling articles.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Tuesday Ten With Patrick W. Carr & The End Of The Magi Review

I was so thrilled when author Patrick W. Carr agreed to answer my 10 question in conjunction with my review of his newest book, just in time for the Christmas season! After you learn more about him, check our the review I did of his newest release "The End of the Magi." I was sent the book thanks to Bethany House! I was excited to get my hands on the novel!


Q1: Who is an author whose book you'll pick up and not even read what it's about because they're an author you know you'll love no matter what?

Patrick: C.S. Lewis tops the list. The first book of his I read wasn’t SciFi/Fantasy, it was the Screwtape letters. I guess some would call that Speculative fiction, but I’ve always thought of it more as anti-theology. It was a book I had to take in small doses because it made me think so much. After that, I read everything of his I could get my hands on. Another author is Michael Crichton. He’s written about everything from dinosaurs to how airplanes are manufactured and I find it all interesting. I don’t just read his books, I study them. I’ve never read another writer who can match his mastery of pace. 

Mimi: I need to read more of C.S. Lewis. His mind fascinates me! And The Screwtape Letters definitely has to be taken in bit by bit.

Q2: Do you remember who some of your first fantasy authors you devoured?

Patrick: Oh, wow. I was in college and I used to go to the Georgia Tech bookstore and browse the shelves. The first fantasy I read was The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson. I bought it because the covers looked cool. That was my introduction to the idea of an anti-hero, and I stayed up late reading. After that I read Tolkien and more Lewis and Patricia McKillip’s Riddle Master of Hed series. Then I came across one of my favorite series, The Belgariad by David Eddings. I read it until the books fell apart.

Mimi: Those are some new authors to me. I liked Anne McCaffrey, Terry Brooks, and Piers Anthony. I actually had to step back from fantasy books because I became too steeped in the worlds the authors created. I'm glad that I've been able to read it again in the past few years!

Q3: In your new book, The End of the Magi, what made you decide to make Myrad have a disability?

Patrick: I don’t know anyone without one. In Myrad’s case I wanted a visible sign of what people would mistakenly assume was God’s disfavor. “You have a club foot, so God must not like you.” The goal is to have readers identify with your main character and I think a lot of people struggle with the reality of God’s love. All those voices we carry with us that tell us we aren’t good enough, or righteous enough, or whatever enough tell us the same thing. I might write a main character someday that isn’t so deeply flawed…but it won’t be anytime soon.

Mimi: I have to say I appreciate the flaws that are so evident in your main characters. While we can't relate to every piece of those flaws, the reader can see a part of themselves in it!

Q4: Ok, can you explain the difference between speculative fiction and fantasy fiction? Is there a difference?

Patrick: Probably not. I don’t know where the term speculative came from. I grew up with the terminology Science Fiction and Fantasy. I’m not sure when it changed and nobody told me what the ground rules were. It figures. Or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention that day. Ha.

Mimi: Kind of reminds me of people using the word "bandwidth" now instead of talking about how much time we have to do something. I must not have been paying attention that day!

Q5: Was it a difficult transition from speculative fiction to Biblical fiction? What prompted you (other than the Lord if that's possible) to write your newest novel?

Patrick: The transition was actually pretty easy. Instead of spending a lot of pre-writing time world-building, I did research instead. After that it was pretty much the same. Build a set of characters and have something happen that knocks their world upside down. In this case it was a bit easier. A lot of the plot points were non-negotiables, if you will. As far as what prompted me, I heard a Bible study on tape (yes, really) back in the early 90’s that really fired my imagination about a possible origin for the magi, and I always wondered what that might have looked like. When I finished The Darkwater Saga, I decided to pursue it. Hey, it only took 25 years. 

Mimi: Well, I'm glad you pursued it! Biblical fiction has become one of my favorite genres! I do have questions about a couple of your characters. HA! I'll try to remember to mention that in my review.

Q6: How do you start the process of creating a completely new world? Do you have an idea of what it physically looks like in your mind? Can you envision a map of it in your head?

Patrick: I’m going to go in reverse order on this one. The map of the world evolves as the story is told. If my characters need a place to go in my story, then I make up one and annotate it on the map-in-progress. As for what the world looks like, I use climates and places that carry at least some familiarity to our world. The thing about world-building is you have to have enough of the familiar for the reader to find their way. If everything is alien, the story gets lost in the plethora of details. Now, as for the process, I do a lot of day-dreaming that centers around what-if. What if the church still relied on the casting of lots to make decisions? What if the clues to a crime that threatened your entire world were hidden in your mind. What if the God of the Hebrew chose you, a Persian boy with a club-foot, to reveal the birth of his Son? It’s so fun. I don’t think I’ll ever have enough time to write all the what-ifs I’ve already thought about.

Mimi: Oh my goodness, the idea of all the "what-ifs" gave me chills! Speaking of climates, I can't remember which book had the huge sand storm. In my mind I thought of those haboobs they have in the southern states. I want to get my hands on some speculative fiction maps! 

Q7: How many books have you read this year? Do you have a favorite?

Patrick: I don’t know how many I’ve read this year, except to say it’s not as many as I’d like. Writing and teaching takes so much time away from reading. I do know that the most impactful book I’ve read this year is “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell. It has 4.3 stars on Amazon. Seriously? Who are these people?

Mimi: I didn't start the year off well in regards to reading, but I ramped the past few months. I like the idea of having a reading goal, but I'm terrible at those so I never make them. lol I read what I get around to reading. And I have to admit, I don't know if I've ever given a 5 star. Maybe once or twice? Maybe.

Q8: If you could bring one of your characters in any of your books to life and have a conversation with them, who would you choose?

Patrick: Ealdor from The Darkwater Saga. I’d like to know what his world was like before the fall. That question was actually one of the things that spurred me on to write that series. I can’t imagine our world before the fall and I don’t think anyone can. But still I wonder and I hope God will reveal it to me, but if it happens, it won’t be on this side of eternity.

Mimi: Oh, interesting! I like the idea of talking with Ealdor. You know who I'd like to talk to? Well, try to talk to? Custos! All of that wisdom and knowledge in his head!

Q9: You're going to collaborate with 3 other authors on a speculative fiction novel. You each get to write a different part of the book: the world, the storyline, the characters, and the faith element based on your strengths. Who gets each role?

Patrick: Any authors? Even the greats? Alright. C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and me. Lewis gets the faith elements. Seriously, how can you top the guy who wove such wonders into the Chronicles of Narnia. Amazing. Tolkien gets the world. There’s nobody else out there who’s going to go to the effort of making his own elvish alphabet just as background information. Wow. The storyline(s) goes to Robert Jordan who wrote The Wheel of Time. Any story that can hold me for 14 book over 23 years is past great, it’s phenomenal. Lastly, I would do characters. I never writer any other way, which is why you may see me writer any genre. I writer stories about people and I love making them as complex and real as possible.

Mimi: Well, now I have to find out who Robert Jordan is. Fourteen books?! Wow! And I can't find a qualm about any of the other authors you chose. I'm pretty sure that book would be near perfection. Even enough to get a 5-star rating from me!

Q10: How do you celebrate the release of a new book?

Patrick: It usually happens on a work day, so actually it’s pretty subdued. Mary and I might go out to dinner, but it’s usually just us. I’m a pretty private person. Big release parties aren’t really my thing. That’s probably bad, because writers are supposed to market their work, but I think if the story is good, that takes care of most of it.

Mimi: I don't think there's a "right" way to celebrate something, but I get where you're coming from in regards to promoting your work! I'm sure that The End of the Magi will get some terrific promotion, especially at this time of the year!


The End of the Magi
by Patrick W. Carr
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764234910

Summary:

Centuries before the magi arrived in Bethlehem,
a prophecy sets a young magus on his path . . .
Following his vision of the coming Messiah, the prophet Daniel calls forth a select group of men who will count down the calendar until the arrival of Israel's promised king. Centuries later, as the day draws near, Myrad, a young magi acolyte, flees for his life when his adoptive father and others are slain by a ruthless Parthian queen. 

Equipped with very little, in haste Myrad escapes the city and, searching for a way to hide from the soldiers scouring the trade routes, tries to join the caravan of the merchant Walagash. The merchant senses that Myrad is keeping secrets, but when the young man proves himself a valuable asset, an epic journey filled with peril, near captures, and dangerous battles begins. 

With every day that passes, the calendar creeps closer to the coming Messiah. And over everything shines the dream of a star that Myrad can't forget, and the promise that the world will never be the same.

My Review:

This was SUCH a great book. The End of the Magi is a detour from the speculative fiction they author typically writes and he makes the turn effortlessly! I wasn't prepared for how great this dive into Biblical fiction this would be, although having read all of his other books, I shouldn't have been surprised!

Are there people in the Bible you don't really think much about after their bit in history is told? I've never really given the magi much thought other than the fact that they found Jesus, gave him gifts, and didn't return to Herod. Now, after reading this book I feel like the magi are more real to me! They had a life before AND after! I won't ruin the after part, but WOW!

So, the life before starts with the reader being introduced to Myrad. What a well written and unexpected view of one of the magi. What I like most is the fact that Myrad has a disability. God chose a young boy (at the time) who isn't the typical magi acolyte to bring a gift to the Savior. His trials and tribulations that lead to him coming face to face with Jesus takes up the bulk of the story. After reading about Myrad, now I want to learn more about the other two magis lives! I mean, I know a bit as they were incorporated into the story, but I want to know them better.

One of my favorite characters in The End of the Magi is Walagash. He's a well written character and is exactly who Myrad needs in his corner. I appreciate characters who bring wisdom and thoughtfulness to a story and he does just that. Each of the characters has a purpose and feeds well into the story.

The one "negative" that I would say in this book is the use of a$$ in the story. Don't get me wrong, it fits, but I feel that it would've been more appropriate to use donkey or mule. We'd still get the same impression using a different word. Other than that, I give this high praise and am ready for my next Patrick W. Carr novel!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Deadly Deceit By Natalie Walters

Deadly Deceit
by Natalie Walters
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800735333

Somehow I've ended up reading a lot of suspense lately. I don't know how since I'm typically a historical fiction reader. Maybe I've lost my mind. Oh, and have I mentioned *cough cough* that Deadly Deceit is book 2 in a series and I haven't read the first one yet? Gulp! Oops I did it again. Thanks to Revell for the opportunity to get to know Natalie Walter's writing with this review. I've already downloaded book 1 since it was free for Prime members last week! Woot!

Summary:

Welcome back to Walton, Georgia, where everyone knows your name--but no one knows your secret.
Independent and tenacious journalist Vivian DeMarco is back in Walton, Georgia, for one reason--to do her job and get out. When her boss suddenly dies under suspicious circumstances, Vivian's only hope for finding the truth--and the next big story--is small-town law enforcement's lanky poster boy, Deputy Ryan Frost. But the deeper they dig, the more twisted the truth becomes. False leads, incriminating emails, and someone called the Watcher force Vivian to fight for answers--and her life

My Review:

I think I'm going to have to start keeping track of how well I like a suspense novel by how many nails I devour while I'm reading. I read Deadly Deceit in about a day and a half and two of my "nails" are basically gone. By page 2, I was messaging Natalie saying how ominous the story was already. It was one of those situations where you KNOW things aren't going to go well with the characters, but you have no way to tell them!

I refrained throughout the rest of the book by not messaging her things like, "Is it just me or are things getting steamy in here?" and, "Oh my gosh, this section of the book was so stinking hysterical I laughed out loud!" or, "I think I know who the Watcher is, am I right?!"

Vivian, I liked her from the start. She's a reporter who wants to get the story and understand what's necessary to do it, but she also has a conscience. When her boss' death becomes the story, Vivian's world is turned upside down. This is a gal you did NOT want to hand out with in this book. If something could go wrong or put her in danger, it did!

Cue the entrance of Deputy Ryan Frost. He was a great leading man. He's a no nonsense guy who wants to help solve the death of Vivian's boss, Harold. At the same, he's drawn to Vivian. There's definitely a conundrum when it comes to his work, the future he has planned, and now Vivian.

The twists and turns in this story will have you constantly checking your gps! Each answer seems to lead to more questions. Just when you think you might know who the Watcher is, BOOM, something else happens! And let's talk about the Watcher. I can see what this character does being southing we'd see on the nightly news. The Watcher is elusive to any who try to find the person and petrifying to the ones the person finds!

I liked the writing of the author and since this is my first dive into her writing I'll definitely be back for more. I felt like I was sucked into the story and didn't want to be disturbed as I read. The banter between the characters was great whether it was serious or funny. Actually, the lines where the characters are giving each other a hard time are the part I enjoyed most. The story did get a bit intense on the romantic side, more than I'm used to, but every writer is different as with every reader. It wasn't ever inappropriate, but it did have me wanting to reach for a fan. HA!

I'm off to read book one as I anticipate book two which comes out in 2020! 

About the Author:

Natalie Walters is the author of Living Lies and Deadly Deceit. A military wife of 22 years, she currently resides in Hawaii with her soldier husband and their three kids. She writes full-time and has been published in Proverbs 31 magazine and has blogged for Guideposts online. In addition to balancing life as a military spouse, mom, and writer, she loves connecting on social media, sharing her love of books, cooking, and traveling. Natalie comes from a long line of military and law enforcement veterans and is passionate about supporting them through volunteer work, races, and writing stories that affirm no one is defined by their past. Learn more at www.nataliewalterswriter.com.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

How Great Is Our God By Louie Giglio & Giveaway

How Great is Our God
by Louie Giglio
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 9781400215522

Actually when I signed up for this book review tour, I did it because of Louie Giglio. Are you like me and you'll get a book by an author without even asking a question about it? Bingo!

Summary:

A follow-up to his bestselling children's devotional, Indescribable, pastor Louie Giglio's How Great Is Our God offers 100 incredible new facts and devotions about God and science to stir your child's amazement for the Creator.

Show the children in your life the awe-inspiring connection between the natural world and the God who created it.

The bestselling children's devotional Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God and Science resonated with more than 200,000 kids, parents, and teachers. Now Louie Giglio offers 100 more devotions about God and science that will expand the curiosity of your 6- to 10-year-olds. Including amazing scientific facts, beautiful photography, fun illustrations, and simple activities, How Great Is Our God covers topics like

  • Space and time
  • Earth and weather
  • The human body
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • And more!

With this science devotional, which is based on Giglio's well-known "How Great Is Our God" and “Indescribable” messages, children will embark on a journey to discover more about God and His incredible creation. From the pink lake in Senegal to the earth's trip around the sun to the water-holding frog that can live up to five years without a drink, the wonders of the universe will deepen your kids’ appreciation for God's wild imagination.



My Review:

How Great is Our God is a wonderful book to explain the science piece of the things God has created. The book is broken down into 4 categories: space, Earth, animals, and people. Each scientific explanation begins with a scripture that coincides with the topic being covered.

For example, Pastor Giglio teaches about anteaters. He uses Psalm 141:3 which talks about controlling the tongue. Pretty appropriate considering the animal. Or there's thunder and lightning. He pairs that with Jeremiah 10:13. He also doesn't use the same version of the Bible for each scripture, which is something to take a small note of.

The topics each have a lovely illustration to go along with it. Most also have a photo that coincides with it. The illustrations are absolutely warm and inviting for the kids to get an idea of what they'll be learning about. I certainly hope to see more of Nicola Anderson's talent in future children's books that I come across.

After Pastor Giglio discusses the topic and infuses how God is involved in it, he gives a small prayer that helps children acknowledge God in what they're learning. Along with that, there's the "How Great!" section which gives a fact that correlates with the subject.

Even having not homeschooled, I think this would be a great book to pair with a science unit that would have the same information your child would cover. Just a quick, Biblical supplement to give a quick insight to what they'll be learning or what they've already learned.

Now you have the chance to win How Great is Our God! Five winners will be selected on 12/1/2019.


About the Author:

Louie Giglio is pastor of Passion City Church and founder of the Passion Movement, which exists to call a generation to leverage their lives for the fame of Jesus.
Since 1997, Passion has gathered collegiate-aged young people at events across the US and around the world, uniting millions of students in worship, prayer, and justice.
In addition to the collegiate gatherings of Passion Conferences, Louie and his wife, Shelley, lead the teams at Passion City Church, sixstepsrecords, and the Passion Global Institute.
Louie is the author of The ComebackThe Air I BreatheI Am Not But I Know I AmGoliath Must Fall, and Indescribable.
Louie and Shelley make their home in Atlanta, Georgia.


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. 

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