Saturday, September 27, 2014

Magnificent Tales Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times by Kelly Pulley

The Magnificent Tales Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times features twenty well-known Bible story poems illustrated by Kelly Pulley. The narrative lines up with the Biblical accounts except for a few minor discrepancies. Example: Guards at the tomb pretending to be asleep rather than fainting. As is common for this type of book, some of the less pleasant details of stories are omitted. Example: Jonah getting angry that the people of Nineveh repented. I liked that the story of Jesus' baptism was included as not many Bible story books recount that one. Each separate story has a title page which makes it perfect for reading just one or two at a time.

This collection of Bible story poems is recommended for children from four to eight years of age. I didn't realize that at the time I signed up to review it. However, my two year old loved it! We've had it around the house for at least a week now and she still looks though it every day. That's a lot more use than some of her books get...

Like most Bible story books, the narrative is a rhyming poem. The poetic meter changes between stories and sometimes even during the stories, but the lyrical quality makes it engaging for children. Unfortunately, during the story of Joseph, the only word that is used to rhyme with “dreaming” is “seeming.” Since “dreaming” is used often, so is “seeming.” It's very repetitive and probably my least favorite story in the book. However, the repetition didn't bother my daughter in the slightest and since the book is for her, it isn't a big deal.

My daughter, my husband and I liked the illustrations. This book is 352 pages long and well over half of those pages are fully illustrated. The colorful illustrations brought the stories to life for my daughter. Although the characters have strangely large knobs on their elbows and knees, it gave us something extra to giggle at as we went through the book and I consider it very well-illustrated.

Don't forget to visit the blog tour hosted by Litfuse Publicity to read more opinions on Magnificent Tales Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times by Kelly Pulley. There's also a Kindle giveaway that you can enter!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Celebrate the Treasury of Bible Stories by entering the Rhythmical Rhymes Kindle Giveaway!

Part of the Magnificent Tales series, Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times will delight children ages 4–8 with rhyming Bible stories pairing spiritual truths with playful illustrations.

Enter the Rhythmical Rhymes Kindle Giveaway 9/15 – 10/12.

Treasury of Bible Stories Kelly Pulley

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • Treasury of Bible Stories by Kelly Pulley
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 12th. Winner will be announced October 13th at Kelly's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Kelly's blog on the 13th to see if you won!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Love's Fortune by Laura Frantz

If given her own choice, Rowena “Wren” Ballantyne would have stayed in Kentucky instead of journeying to her grandparent's manor, New Hope, in Pennsylvania. James Sackett, the Ballantynes' most valued steamship pilot, transports Wren to Pennsylvania and then thwarts her attempt to leave. In spite of a rocky start, Wren and James find common ground and a solid friendship as Wren navigates the changes of her life. As romance blooms, James is convinced their relationship can never be more than friendship as he's been targeted by a pro-slavery group for his abolitionist efforts. Can Wren convince James that their love is worth the danger? Will they both survive when the danger arises? Read more in Love's Fortune by Laura Frantz.

Love's Fortune is the third and final installment of The Ballantyne Legacy series by Laura Frantz. While Love's Awakening (the second novel) remains my favorite of the series, I did enjoy Love's Fortune and I think it would be fine as a stand-alone story if you haven't read the others. Each character was so well-developed that I liked them all, including the less popular ones: the selfish heir, the cranky great aunt, the wild in-law. As usual, Frantz's writing is lovely and the story moved at a good pace. Overall, I recommend Love's Fortune to fans of Christian romance who are looking for an entertaining book that has depth, but is not too heavy of a read.

Click here to read an except from Love's Fortune on the publisher's website.

And here's a video about the making of the beautiful book cover:




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Cover and the Book

Book Blogger Hop


Every week Coffee Addicted Writer hosts the Book Blogger Hop. Participants answer a question and then visit other blogs of fellow participants to chime in on the discussion. This week's question is:

“How important is a book's cover to your overall impression of it?”

My answer: There's an old saying that you can't judge a book by its cover. But I do. Often.  I'd say the cover contributes about 10% to my overall impression.  The content far outweighs the cover, but an attractive cover can certainly catch my eye if I'm just browsing.

What about you?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Before Amen by Max Lucado

In Before Amen, bestselling author Max Lucado introduces readers to the power of a simple prayer:

Father, You are good. I need help. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus' name, amen.

As Jesus gave a model prayer to his disciples, so Lucado is giving a prayer that can be used quickly when time is short or used as the basis for a longer prayer. Each phrase has a correlating chapter to expound on the Biblical background of the thought, the appropriate application of the idea, and the spiritual blessings and possibilities that prayer can bring.

Lucado's emphasis in Before Amen is on making prayer approachable and simple for anyone. One of my favorite quotes was: “We Speak. He listens. He speaks. We listen. This is prayer in its purest form.” (pg.11) Throughout the book, I felt like Lucado reiterated the approachability of both God and prayer as well as advocated prayer as a means of experiencing deeper intimacy with God.

Before Amen is mainly targeted to Christians who desire to pray, but struggle with consistency or insecurity relating to prayer. Christians who already have a strong prayer life will likely find it minimally helpful as it is simplistic. However, I think that everyone could find encouragement in this book as Lucado often reminds the reader of Biblical truths and promises. For me, reading the chapter about God as Father was a refreshing reminder of God's love and care for each of us.

Don't forget to enter the Before Amen giveaway!

And visit the blog tour hosted by Litfuse Publicity to read more opinions on Before Amen by Max Lucado.




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an Advance Reader Copy of Before Amen from the publisher via Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Spotlight: Song from the Ashes


About the Book:

Attorney Landon Kingsley craves order and normalcy, and aside from his well-hidden vice of smoking, he lives the life that everyone expects from him in his hometown of Kingsport, Tennessee. Recently engaged to beautiful nursing student, April May, Landon’s new fiancĂ©e is everything he could want in a wife. She is devoted to her faith and family and truly loves him.

April’s cousin, Ella Casey, has returned to Kingsport after ten years of pursuing a career as a country music singer in Nashville. Ella’s failed career and affair with a married music producer scandalizes her in the eyes of the town, but her legal troubles drive her to Landon for help. Landon finds himself increasingly attracted to Ella and more discontent than ever with the path he has chosen for his life. Amid a firestorm of family and town gossip, Landon is tormented by his past and the complicated decision of whether to listen to God’s voice or follow his own desires.

SONG FROM THE ASHES, a modern retelling of the classic Edith Wharton novel The Age of Innocence, explores the dilemma between the pursuit of dreams and personal happiness versus contentment in God’s plan for marriage and love.


About the Author:


Megan Whitson Lee grew up in Tennessee but moved to the Washington, D.C. area as a teenager. She worked for criminal attorneys before earning her master’s degree from George Mason University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. Previously she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music followed by a year-long residence in London where she worked as a Literary Assistant. Her self-published first novel All That is Right and Holy won second place in the 2009 Christian Choice Book Awards. Megan teaches high school English in Fairfax County, Virginia where she lives with her husband and two Greyhounds. 


Purchase your copy:

Title: Song From the Ashes
Author: Megan Whitson Lee
Publisher: eLectio Publishers
Pages: 350
Genre: Christian Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON

Book Excerpt:

The snow was already forming crusts on the unsalted parts of the road that January evening. The weathermen had talked of a dusting, or perhaps even showers, but the severity of the precipitation was wholly unexpected.  It was only a high school event—a talent show held at the local civic center. Even so, Landon Kingsley was upset with himself and his late arrival. Landon always made a point of being on time, but tonight he had lingered over the reading of a brief. At least that was how he rationalized it. In all honestly, he hadn’t wanted to stub out his cigarette prematurely. He always enjoyed a smoke when his mind was preoccupied.

Landon knew his girlfriend and her parents would be waiting for him. He slipped into the rear of the auditorium and scanned the mass of people for April and her family. She had texted that they were sitting near the front, and he cringed thinking that would make his entrance all the more embarrassing—everyone would see him entering late.

April’s two younger sisters were both in high school, and although he had not heard them sing, Landon understood they were talented. In fact, April’s Aunt Julia informed him that the entire family possessed great musical talent.

“On her daddy’s side of the family, everyone tends toward musical talent in piano and guitar. On her mama’s side, nearly everyone has beautiful singing voices—especially that Ella—she’s out in Nashville right now, you know. She’s been out there for years singing country music. I guess she does all right.”

Landon had never met Ella, but he had heard about her, and he understood that through some circumstance or other she would actually be attending the talent show that night.

As he made his way down the sloping aisle, he saw familiar faces—many of them flashing him a smile and a wave. In a town of this size, people knew each other or at least knew of one another. Part of the tri-cities area in Northeastern Tennessee consisting of Kingsport, Johnson City and Bristol, Kingsport was the second largest of the three—a town of around fifty-thousand that had grown a little over the years but was no booming metropolis either. It retained a small-town feel, a place where people still smiled and greeted one another on the streets. A town where people spent their whole lives. Retirees from up north settled down there, and people who had lived there most or all of their lives called it home and heaven. The downside was that gossip spread like wildfire, and no one was ever free from the scrutiny of folks who wanted what you had or who didn’t think you had enough.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pre-order Max Lucado’s BEFORE AMEN and receive a FREE book. And, Enter to WIN an iPad!

Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. In Before Amen, best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts, and confidence even for prayer wimps. Let the conversation begin.

I got my review copy of Before Amen by Max Lucado in the mail on Saturday and I've already started reading it. Look for my review to come soon.

Be sure to enter the Before Amen iPad Mini giveaway. AND if you pre-order a copy of Before Amen by 9/29, you'll receive a FREE ebook copy of Max’s best-selling Second Chances: More Stories of Grace.


beforeamen-400-click

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • Before Amen by Max Lucado
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 29th. Winner will be announced September 30th on the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 30th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to their blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)