Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Parenting the Wholehearted Child: A Book Review

About The Book:

Your kids aren’t perfect. And you don’t have to be either. Are you exhausted from the pressure to be a perfect parent raising perfect children in this imperfect world? Do you ever wonder, "How did these precious children get stuck with a parent like me?" If so, let these grace-drenched pages saturate your heart with God’s unfailing love while also equipping you to be a vessel of God's unconditional love to your children. With authenticity, conviction, and a lively sense of humor, Jeannie guides you on a transformative journey into raising wholehearted - not perfect - children, who live from the freedom found in being wholeheartedly loved (and liked!) by God. Parenting the Wholehearted Child equips you with biblical wisdom and practical ideas to teach your children that they are fully accepted by God, not because of anything they do or don’t do but because of everything Jesus has already done for them. Woven throughout the book is the good news that it is God’s extravagant grace - not your perfect performance - that transforms the hearts of children.

About The Author:

Jeannie Cunnion holds a Master’s degree in Social Work. Her professional background combines counseling, writing, and extensive speaking about parenting and adoption issues for organizations such as Bethany Christian Services and the National Council for Adoption. Jeannie also enjoys blogging on her website (www.jeanniecunnion.com), serving as the Council Co-Chairman at Trinity Church in Greenwich, CT, and leading various parenting courses and Bible studies when she and her husband Mike aren’t cheering on their three boys at one of their sporting events.

My Review:

Parenting the Wholehearted Child came into my life recently and it has completely changed the way I have looked at parenting. As I read through the book I realized how rigid of a parent I have been in such a short time period (my oldest is only seven). The book challenged me, convicted me of how I need to change and provided me with some amazing tips but ultimately the most important take-away I got from reading it was that until I truly accept God's Grace in my life there is no way I will completely show grace to my children when they mess up and sin. This concept hit me like a Mack Truck. Seriously, I was convicted deeply to make some major changes in the way I speak to and with my children, and how I discipline and correct. 

Here are a few quotes that impacted me the most as I read this book:

-While it is important that I model Christlike character for our kids, it's significantly more important that I model for them what God's grace looks like in my life (p. 123)

-Imperfect people cannot create a perfect church. We can only worship a perfect God. (p. 97)

-In the heat of the moment - in the heat of the very real war that is raging for my soul - what I need most is not a plan, I need Jesus (p. 141)

-If we must label our children, let us label them with the words God uses, such as beloved, forgiven, precious, accepted, adored, and loved. (p. 153)

-Giving thanks doesn't change our circumstances; it changes our hearts. It makes space for grace to fill the empty place, for thankfulness to have its rightful place in our hearts (p. 163)

-When we are honest and authentic with our children about our own sin, they will actually begin to understand the power of his forgiveness through our example (p. 182)

-our kids should not obey us out of fear and guilt, because fear and guild do nothing to change the condition of the heart, and they don't reflect the heart of God. (p. 205)

There is seriously so much good to say about this book! Not only is it easy to read and very well written, it is nicely organized and the author shares many personal stories and tips from her life that makes her so relatable. 

I am so ready to move from trying to be a perfect parent and move past rules to being a grace filled parent and have an awesome relationship with my children. 

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Parenting the Wholehearted Child at your favorite Christian Book Retailer from Zondervan

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of BookLook Blogger Program from Thomas Nelson, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Monday, April 21, 2014

Life-Changing Bible Verses Every Woman Should Know: A Book Review

About The Book:

Is it time for you to stretch your spiritual muscles? These encouraging Bible verses from the Old and New Testaments will help you strengthen your devotional life. Each short chapter focuses on several inspirational Bible verses on specific topics and provides timely explanations and applications. Use these readings to guide your Bible memorization or simply to experience God’s personal touch as He uses His Word to…
  • encourage, heal, and nourish you
  • sustain you in difficult times and comfort you in sorrow
  • instruct you, bringing you wisdom and discernment
  • keep you from sin and protect you from evil
  • provide stability in your ever-changing world
As you immerse yourself in these encouraging Bible verses, your desire to read, understand, and memorize God’s Word will grow. As a result, you’ll clarify what you believe and be able to speak the truth in love and bring hope to others around you.
About The Author:
Rebecca Lutzer has used her gifts of hospitality, mercy, and teaching to minister to many women. She is an RN and enjoyed working as a surgical nurse for several years. She and her husband, Erwin, coauthored a book on the women in the life of Jesus and how He changed their worlds titled Jesus, Lover of a Woman’s Soul.
My Review:
This is a phenomonal read for women of all ages! It will challenge and inspire you as you travel your journey as a Christian woman! There are 31 chapters, covering topics including:
-Anger
-Disciplining our children
-Grace
-Modesty
-Prodigals
-Wisdom
-and more
Each chapter includes the verses, then an explanation of how to deal with the topic (about two or three pages) and then finally a section entitled, "Taking God's Word to Heart", which allows the reader to dig deep into God's word. 
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and its one that I have referenced time and time again. It is not necessarily one that you need to read cover to cover but read as the various topics impact your life. It will challenge and impact your life with each page read.
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Life-Changing Bible Verses Every Woman Should Know at your favorite Christian book retailer from Harvest House Publisher
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Harvest House Publishers, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Friday, April 18, 2014

Celebrate Spring Break with Hasbro!

Spring Break is literally just a few days away in the area my family and I live. With a five and seven year old home for the whole week, I am so excited to plan some fun things to do with them. From going on walks, going to the park, baking, having tea parties, and doing crafts, the girls and I will be very busy while daddy is at work.

One other way we will hang out as a family during Spring Break comes courtesy of Hasbro Canada. They very graciously sent us a package that consisted of both toys and board games! We have already spend countless hours playing with these great products and I can't wait to share my thoughts with you.


MouseTrap Game

Snap the trap and win at Mousetrap! Run through the maze as Sneakers Mouse, Nacho Mouse or Pepper Mouse spins on the cheesy spinner. When one of your friends' mouse is in the cheesy trap area and you land on the right space, you've got a chance to catch them in the zany trap made of Hungry Hippo and Girafalaff contraptions. Keep scurrying and scampering until someone gets caught. If you're the first to trap a mouse, you win!

Mousetrap and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.Game includes 3 game board pieces, 3 mouse figures, cardboard spinner, cheese wedge spinner and base, tub, ladder, tree trunk, banana branch, cheese wedge slide, boot, branch, seesaw log, tree leaves, trap, Hungry Hippo, Elefun, Jock Croc, Chasin' Cheeky and Giraffalaff figures, 2 marbles and instructions.


For 2 to 3 players.


Ages 4+



Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Double Desserts Playset

Make a big dose of "delicious" with the Double Desserts Playset! You'll have a sweet tooth for fun when you make pretend cakes and frosting with the Play-Doh modeling compound and softer, smother Play-Doh Plus compound. When you put one of your tasty-looking creations in the oven playset, it will be ready in no time! Then it's time to decorate with pretend frosting and add a couple of scoops of pretend ice cream! Get ""baking"" and serve your tasty-looking treats to all your friends. Then smash it up and start the Play-Doh Double Desserts fun all over!

Ages 3+



Monopoly Junior Game

It's the first Monopoly game for kids, where they earn money the fun way! This Monopoly Junior game is just like the classic game, but it's designed for younger players: fast, simple, and full of surprises. Kids will learn how to pass Go, buy fun properties like an ice cream parlor, and collect rent while single banknotes keep the transactions fast and easy. When one player runs out of money, the one with the most money wins! This fast-trading property game will lead to hours of fun for budding entrepreneurs!

Ages 5+



Disney Doc McStuffins Operation Game

Doc McStuffins is under the weather, and it's up to you to operate! Can you fix his boo-boos without tripping off the buzzer? Use your best operating moves to remove his ailments, and be the one to use the most bandages to win!

Ages 4+


My Review:

We have had an absolute blast playing with playdough and board games, thanks to Hasbro! All the games are super easy to learn and have provided some great, friendly competition between the girls and my husband and I! We are not only making memories as a family, but the girls are learning valuable concepts like how to set up games, the rules that come with playing cooperatively with others, turn taking, counting and even reading and pre-reading skills! 

Not only have the games been a blast but so has the Play-Do Sweet Shoppe Double Dessert Playset! I have been served countless cakes and ice cream over the past few weeks, and the girls have extended their play by making menus and taking orders and making special concoctions. I feel that often these sets are fantastic but lack one thing, enough playdough for more than a couple of children. I solve that problem by making my own playdough, and this extends play even longer!!!

If you are looking for some new games or toys to add to your family's collection, look no further than these great items from Hasbro!

I give this review a HUGE thumbs up!


BUY IT: You can purchase all the above products at your favorite toy retailer from Hasbro

***I received a complimentary set of the above products, courtesy of Hasbro Canada, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Ready for Easter Gift-Giving with Hasbro!

Easter is only a few days away, and if you are like most parents, you are looking for some great gift ideas for the children in your life. 

Well this year Hasbro has some super ideas that will appeal to children of all ages and genders, and our family was able to review a few great toys.


FurReal Friends Butterscotch, My Walking Pony Set

Welcome to the world of Butterscotch and her friends! This sweet little pony pet is a soft and cuddly miniature pony that responds to your touch! When you pet her, your pony moves her head in your direction or nuzzles up to you to show how much she loves you. She makes sweet pony sounds and even moves her ears! She's always ready for a treat, and when you feed your pony friend her ""carrot,"" she makes munching sounds. She'll be the fanciest pony in the show when you groom her soft coat with the brush. With such a caring owner, you both might win best in show!

Ages 4+


Play-Doh Spring Eggs 4-Pack


"Crack open" these eggs and you're ready to start some molding fun! Let your imagination go with four different colours to choose from. A great idea of springtime egg hunts and baskets! 

Ages 2+



Furby Boom Surprise Egg

Surprise! A whole new generation of Furby creatures is hatching, and this Surprise Egg has one of them inside! Crack open the eggshell case and see what fun surprise toy is inside. But the fun doesn't end there! You can scan your toy in the free Furby Boom app and unlock a whole bunch of new Furby fun. Hatch them all (each sold separately) for a whole slew of virtual Furby hatchlings!

Ages 6+



Furby Furblings Creature (Easter)

A whole new generation of Furby creatures is about to hatch, and they need you to take care of them! This Furblings creature has a mind of its own, but it needs your love and care. You won't do it alone, though, because it will share a special connection with your Furby Boom creature (sold separately). Put the two of them together and watch as your Furblings creature talks – and your Furby Boom creature answers! Raise your little Furblings baby right and have loads of fun doing it!

You can also download a free app and unlock a virtual Furblings creature to add to your collection. Get virtual eggs and hatch and raise your Furblings on your mobile device (sold separately)! The Furby app is optional and works with iPad, iPod touch and iPhone with iOS 5.0 or later. The app is not compatible with prior Furby generations. Check Furby.com for device compatibility.


Ages 6+

My Review:

These were all fantastic toys that have really been fun to play with and learn with over the last day or so since receiving them. 

The girls favorite thus far is FurReal Friends Butterscotch, and since we already had the full size Butterscotch (this one is a mini) the girls have been pretending to have a farm and ranch and teach Butterscotch tricks, feed her and we have even extended our learning and sought out horse care on the internet.

The two Furby toys have had a bit of a learning curve for the girls particularly but once we were able to connect everything online and on my iPhone app, its been a fun time and kept the girls busy for a long time! I imagine it will be two items we will play with for some time to come.

Finally, the Play-Doh Spring Eggs 4-Pack set of course was a huge hit! My girls LOVE playdough, so any chance they get to play with it (even at five and seven years of age) they do. They spent a long time on Thursday making baskets and mini eggs out of the playdough and I love that the colors are so Spring like and perfect for Easter creations.

If you are looking for some great, economical, fun gift ideas, these should definitely be added to your list.

I highly recommend these items and give them all a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: All four items can be purchased at your favorite toy retailer from Hasbro!

***I received a complimentary set of the above toys, courtesy of Hasbro Canada, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Maybelle In Stitches: A Blog Tour and Book Review

About The Book:

Maybelle Kazinzki can’t sew. She was after all, the only girl in the seventh grade Home Economics class to sew the zipper in the neck hole of the A-Line dress they were supposed to make. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house she gets the crazy idea to finish it—somehow, come heck or high water. She thinks it will help fill the lonely nights while her husband, Holden, is serving overseas during World War II.
Her recently departed mother’s quilt is made from scraps of material Maybelle traces back to her mother’s childhood, her grandmother’s childhood and her own childhood. She tries to add one of Holden’s stripes to it but the sewing is not going well and neither is her life. After receiving some harsh news, Maybelle’s faith falters and she puts the quilt away and stops trusting God. But God is faithful- no matter what. And it’ll take a group of neighborhood women armed with quilting needles to help Maybelle believe that.
About The Author:
Joyce Magnin is the author of the Bright’s Pond novels, including the award-winning The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. A member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship, Joyce is a frequent workshop leader and the organizer of the StoryCrafters fiction group. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
My Review:
Book #16 in the Quilts of Love series was fantastic! With a great plot, super fun characters and a writing style that catches your attention and keeps it throughout the book, Maybelle in Stitches will bring you back to life during WWII. 
While this book is part of a series, its equally a stand alone novel. The series is written by separate authors and you will not get lost reading this book first. In fact, after reading this one, you will be scrambling to read the others. The book is not a fast pasted book but has enough twists and turns to keep you intrigued and loving all the emotions and life experiences that presented themselves in the book. It was a great read that reminded me that God always provides for our needs, even when we don't realize we need something.
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Maybelle in Stitches through Christian Book, as well as through your favorite local bookseller.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Queen's Handmaid: A Book Review

About The Book: 

From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.
Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC
Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra’s palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm’s length. She’s been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.
But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to a family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.
Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.
About The Author:
Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at age eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored many novels, including "Garden of Madness" and "So Shines the Night." Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures. See her travel journals and more at tracyhigley.com
My Review:
The Queen's Handmaid was a thoroughly enjoyable book that kept my attention throughout the entire time I read. The book is full of political action and real historical figures and storylines that will keep you up late into the night reading. With the descriptive writing with which Higley writes, I felt that I was experiencing each scene with the glorious characters. This was a passionate and well-rounded book that I loved and look forward to reading more from this author. This is an ideal read for those over 17 years of age, as well a  great book for book club study. 
This was a fantastic historical book that I highly recommend.
BUY IT: You can purchase The Queen's Handmaid online through Amazon. It is also available through your local book retailer from Thomas Nelson
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Happy Wives Club: A Book Review

About The Book:

One woman undertakes a worldwide search to learn the secrets of a great marriage—and finds one foundational truth that could change everything.
Fawn Weaver was a happily married woman running a successful business—and then something happened. Maybe it was divorce rate reports on the evening news, The Real Housewives of Orange County, or any daytime talk show where husbands and wives dramatically reveal their betrayals. Everywhere she looked, Fawn saw negative portrayals of marriage dominating the airwaves and dooming everyone to failure.
 Looking at Keith, the love of her life, she knew that wasn’t true. She was determined to find and connect with women just like her—happy and optimistic about marriage, deeply in love with her spouse, and committed to building a strong marriage that stands the test of time.
 On a whim, she started the blog HappyWivesClub.com and sent the link to a few of new friends. What started as a casual invitation to five women exploded into an international online club with 150,000 members in more than 100 countries.
 Happy Wives Club is Fawn’s journey across the world to meet her friends and discover what makes their marriages great. Join her on this exciting, exotic trip across six continents and through more than eighteen cities. Walk the streets of Mauritius, the historic ruins in Italy, and the vistas of New Zealand and Australia. Go from Cape Town to London, Manila to Buenos Aires, Winnipeg to Zagreb.
 Along the way, you will meet everyday women whose marriage secrets span cultures. You will hear their stories, witness their love, and be inspired by the proof that happy, healthy marriages do exist—and yours can be one of them!
 It turns out great marriages are all around us—when we look for them. Go on a trip with Fawn and learn the best marriage secrets the world has to offer.
You can read an excerpt of the book here, in PDF format



About The Author:

Fawn Weaver is the founder of the Happy Wives Club, a community of more than 150,000 women in more than 100 countries. HappyWivesClub.com is an upbeat blog dedicated to positively changing the tone about marriage. It has attracted more than 1,000,000 visitors and was named #1 marriage website by About.com. Her debut book, Happy Wives Club, is a journey to 12 countries and 6 continents in search of the universal secrets to a happy marriage.

My Review:

What a fun read! To see how women from around the world view marriage was a delight, and the way that author, Fawn Weaver did so, was superb.

You will follow the lives of a number of different couples and the author unpacks their lives and offers ideas and tips of how to make marriage work not better, but differently, to be as successful as possible. This was a welcome difference than many of the how-to books on marriage that saturate the book marriage for the genre. It is inspiring, funny, heartwarming and will encourage marriages of all ages and stages. Whether you have been married for 2 months or 40 years, you will find something to relate to in this book.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase the Happy Wives Club book online through Amazon

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Thomas Nelson and the author, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wildwood Creek: A Book Review

About The Book:

With love and loss tangled together, how was she to know where her life would lead?
Allie Kirkland has always heard the call of her father's unfinished destiny. When she's offered a production assistant's job on a docudrama filming in the hills near Moses Lake, Texas, the dream of following in her director-father's footsteps suddenly seems within reach. The reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step into the film industry. A summer on set in the wilderness is a small price to pay for a dream. 

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delavan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the region's folk songs. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.
 
When filming begins, strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, and everyone in Wildwood--including Blake Fulton, Allie's handsome neighbor on the film set--seems to be hiding secrets. Allie doesn't know whom she can trust. If she can't find the answers in time, history may repeat itself...with the most unthinkable results


You can read an excerpt of Wildwood Creek here, in PDF format

You can access discussion questions perfect for book clubs, here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Talk of the Town, Blue Moon Bay, andLarkspur Cove, which won the 2011 Carol Award for Women's Fiction. Lisa and her family live in central Texas. Visit www.lisawingate.com

My Review:

The Moses Lake series has been a series that I have absolutely loved by Lisa Wingate. It drew me in from the first pages of book one, and now with book four it continues to capture my attention in ways only Wingate does. I was NOT disappointed with this book at all!

The writing was easy to read and was the perfect book to sit down and cozy up with a cup of tea and quilt. The characters of this series are definitely one of the many drawing points for me. They are real, fallible and raw. All who read this book will relate to at least one character for certain. Bonnie Rose being my fave over all.

With two storylines I was pleasantly surprised at how well they intermingled and kept my attention at the same time. This is not always the case in novels, but was done remarkably in Wildwood Creek. A great mystery and love story and I cannot wait to see what is next for author Lisa Wingate.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Wildwood Creek at your favorite book retailer from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Prepared for a Purpose: A Book Review

About The Book:

870 children waited in fear as their elementary school rushed into lockdown mode. As the nation faced yet another Sandy Hook story of tragedy, one woman rewrote the ending.

Yet the story doesn't start with those first steps Michael Hill took into that Atlanta elementary school. It starts with Antoinette Tuff, a woman who faced her own pain, hurt, and rejection, yet held onto grace, faith, and hope. A hope that anchored her in the most high-stakes moments, a grace that allowed her to empathize with a hurting young man, and a faith that gave her the courage to love him back from the brink.

This is more than just the amazing account of tragedy averted. It's the evidence of what we can do when we allow ourselves to be used by God. And it's a story of how God uses all of our life experiences--the good and the bad--to prepare us for our own moment of divine purpose.


You can read an excerpt of this book, here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Antoinette Tuff is a true picture of grace, courage, leadership, and heroism at its best. But before she made headlines and talked a school shooter back from the brink, she was a woman who faced--and overcame--her own pain and hurt. Publicly recognized by President Obama for her courageous act that saved a school from tragedy, she's also been nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal for civilian heroism. Today Antoinette speaks around the world, spreading hope and sharing her inspiring message of how our lives prepare us for our own moments of purpose. She has two children. Learn more at www.antoinettetuff.com.

My Review:

Prepared for a Purpose will take you back to the day the unthinkable happened - another school shooting on August 20, 2013 and how one woman's courage saved countless lives, and reminds of the importance of God's call on our own life. We will never know what causes tragedy's like mass shootings, such as this one, Sandy Hook or most recently (again), Fort Hood. But God knows and he brings people like author Antoinette Tuff out of their own chaos and misery to impact strangers and other people's life forever. 

The book itself was a great read, easy to read and quick to read but its the story of the author that absolutely floored me and had me reading late into the night. The book alternated between the authors life experiences and the day of the shooting, reminding us that all our life experiences come together to impact situations like that which occured at the school. To be brave and courageous inspite of real danger to put others ahead of one's self is a true act of bravery and I am so glad to have read Antoinette's story. I shed tears with each chapter read and am so glad God placed His hand on her life and guided her to that day.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Prepared for a Purpose at your favorite book retailer from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dancing with Fireflies: A Blog Tour and Book Review

About The Book:

Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.
Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she’d never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.
The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He’s loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she’s back, his feelings are stronger than ever.
As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she’s hiding secrets from her family, and she’s strangely attracted to the man who’s always called her “squirt.” Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.
You can read an excerpt of Dancing with Fireflies online here!
About The Author:
Denise Hunter is an internationally published best-selling author. Her books have won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and was a RITA finalist. In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all of her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps, too. When Denise isn't writing, she's busy raising three heroes-in-the-making with her husband.

Win a Kindle HDX!
Dancing with Fireflies denise hunter
 
My Review:
If you are looking for a book that will have you up late into the night reading because you are cheering on the primary characters, this is the book for you! It is so well written and I LOVED every chapter and experience in it! Denise Hunter is one of my favorite authors of the last number of years and with each book of her's that I read, I become more and more impressed! Dancing with Fireflies was no exception! It is a second book in a series but also works well as a stand-alone novel as well (although, I do prefer to read a series in its order). I was taken in from the first pages and this book will definitely be on my top books of 2014 for certain!!! It truly was that good.
I highly recommend this book and give it a thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Dancing with Fireflies online through Amazon.com
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Know Orphans: A Blog Tour and Book Review

About The Book:

The global orphan crisis is complex. The church’s response should be comprehensive, but is it? In this provocative follow-up toOrphanology, author Rick Morton provides the framework for families and churches to have a gospel-centered response to the growing global issue of orphan care.
KnowOrphans addresses three distinct areas associated with global orphanology. Delving deeper into the criticisms of the movement, the need for reform, and what families can expect, author Rick Morton helps shape realistic perceptions of the challenges and rewards adoptive parents face in transnational adoptions. Through illuminating the work internationally adoptive families can expect,KnowOrphans offers solutions for the church in remedying the ills and deficiencies surrounding the church’s role in equipping and supporting families before, during, and after the adoption process. Knowing that the church’s response and attitude should be one that goes beyond adoption, KnowOrphans also addresses the complexities of how Christians are to respond ethically, compassionately, and comprehensively to the biblical call to care for orphans.
KnowOrphans is the next step in conversation as this evangelically based movement of orphan care matures and begins to live out James 1:27 globally.
About The Author:
Rick Morton is the father of three transnational adopted children and coauthor of the popular book "Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care." His dedication to the plight of orphans extends beyond his own family. The Mortons were cofounders of Promise 139, an international orphan-hosting ministry based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. An inspiring speaker for the gospel to be expressed by the church living out God’s heart for the fatherless, Rick presents at adoption and orphan-care conferences and pastor’s conferences. Rick and his family live in the Greater Memphis area.

Learn more about Rick Morton at www.rickmortononline.com

My Review:
 Adoption as a whole is a very important way to meet the needs of children who otherwise would not have a family to call their own, but Orphan Ministry is so much more than just adopting. Morton takes you on a journey through the international adoption of his two children, and shares with you the ups and downs that comes with that journey. It was very eye-opening to be sure. 
Through reading Know Orphans, I have a renewed appreciation for those in my life that are in various stages of adoption. Currently, I know eleven friends and family that are in various stages of the adoption process, be it just starting with coming up with the money necessary and filling out forms to being matched to transitioning at home with a new little person to call a son or daughter. It is definitely an emotional journey with many ups and downs. I am proof positive that adoption saves lives. I was the recipient of a domestic adoption 39 years ago and fully support adoption as a means to save lives and fullfill God's command to care for the widows and orphans of the world. 
Morton was raw honest about his family's journey, yet encourages you to find a way to support adoption, whether you adopt, pray for those in the process, or financially support friends and family who adopt, or financially support Adoption Organizations around the world. I loved that in his writing he never once made me feel guilty for not adopting at this point in our life, but challenged me to get more involved with Orphan Care as a Christian. 
If you are looking for a wonderful resource for your church, for those who are on the adoption journey or to read as a way to embrace this so necessary ministry as a Christ-follower, this is the book to read.
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Know Orphans: Mobilizing the Church for Global Orphanology online here.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***