Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Who Was Esther (Kingdom Files) by Matt Koceich

Who Was Esther? is a new installment in the Kingdom Files series by Matt Koceich. Written by an elementary school teacher, this series is targeted for kids ages 8 to 12. My six year old took an immediate interest in the book and pictures. Though she reads well, because of the length of this book, it is one for us to read together. Older children will be able to easily read the narrative by themselves. There are grayscale pictures throughout.

The book is divided into three parts with the first part being the “Fact File.” This is very basic information about the character such as name, occupation, approximate time of life, etc. In this book, the “Fact File” spans two pages.

The “Action File” is the longest section and retells the Biblical story of Esther, a Jewish orphan who became Queen of Persia and saved her people from annihilation. This section also features “clues” to aid the reader's investigation into discovering the life of the character and thinking more deeply on the text. The text aligns with the Biblical narrative, but it doesn't dip into the sexual aspects of the book. No mentions of harems and concubines. However, I didn't like that Esther being taken to the king was compared with people being saved by Jesus and brought into the Father's house (page 22).

The “Power File” is the last section and my personal favorite part of the book. This portion features ten small devotions based off the story with a correlating Bible verse. I found these to be positive, empowering, appropriate for both genders, and suited to the targeted age range.

In conclusion, Who Was Esther? by Matt Koceich entertains and encourages children as it teaches the story of Esther and provides life applications.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Daily Question for You and Your Child

The Daily Question for You and Your Child: A Three Year Spiritual Journey from Waterbrook Publishers offers parents an easy way to preserve precious memories and observe how their child changes over a three-year period.

Each page features a question at the top which is followed by three separate writing spaces (one for each year). Each space has five blank lines for the year's answer. Most of the time, five lines is plenty of space. The only time there wasn't enough space for me was when it asked the child to make up a short story.

You can start in any year as there is space to fill in the year number. The questions stand-alone so you can start on any day of the year. In some instances, the questions are naturally themed with the season. For example, December has questions about Christmas.

Not all questions have a spiritual theme, but some do. Example Questions: How does God communicate with you? What do you think heaven will be like? I think most protestant Christians will find the questions vague enough that they do not correlate with any particular religious sect.

I have been filling out this journal with my six year old and she enjoys it. She always asks for more than one question and I often oblige. I feel like the journal is probably most appropriate for elementary age children and older. For example, I saw one question that asked, What advice would you give to a kindergartener? That's hard to answer unless you are at least in first grade.

I like that this is a hardcover book as three years of daily use is bound to take its toll eventually. I do wish it had built-in bookmark. I recommend The Daily Question for You and Your Child to any Christian parent who desires to deepen communication with their child and preserve memories of the fleeting childhood years.

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."

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Weekend TBR Stack!

Every week, I like to post a pic of my To-Be-Read stack and here's the one for this weekend:

You might be wondering why there I've pasted the cover of Brentwood's Ward onto the wall... simply because it's on my Kindle and I have no other way to show it.

Brentwood's Ward by Michelle Griep - I've joined the online book club at and this is the August book. Discussion starts on 8/21/18, so feel free to join us!

The Hope of Azure Springs - I'm eager to read Rachel Fordham's debut novel. I recently signed up for her newsletter and responded to one of her questions via email. She picked me as a winner of her novel and now, here it sits, ready to be read!

The Note - Found this novel at the little used book store I adore and the novel sounds so good.

The Lady of Tarpon Springs - My local book club chose this for our October reading. We'll take a group trip to Tarpon Springs to eat Greek food and watch a diver harvest sea sponges.

So, I plan to read Brentwood's Ward this weekend, starting sometime tonight after the kids are in bed. The Lady of Tarpon Springs will be sitting in the stack for awhile as I plan to read the novel closer to when we'll be discussing it in book club. The others will get worked in on the weekends. 

What are you reading this weekend?

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Join the My Reader Rewards Club!

So, one way that I support my love of books is to earn FREE BOOKS through Tyndale Publisher's My Reader Rewards Club. These are two titles that I've acquired through the program. I have several more that aren't pictured here.

Basically, you complete activities in order to earn points and then redeem the points for free books. There is no shipping and handling to pay.

Here's a little infographic to explain more:

To start off with a bonus 25 points, click through my referral link. Happy Reading!

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Books I'll Spend the Weekend With....

It's Friday afternoon! The weekend is when I do most of my reading and I'm eager to spend some time with my books over the next few days.

Here's my current TBR stack:

I'm about two-thirds of the way through Home by Julie Andrews. So far, it's been a fascinating story and I have learned much about this unique woman.

I intend to read A Refuge Assured this weekend as the book club I attend will discuss it this coming Thursday.

Unfortunately, this was a busy week and I didn't get to take a trip to the little used book store nestled in the back of my local library.  So, I added The Note, which I found in the book store last week, to my stack.

My TBR stack is shrinking. I think I need more books.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano oozes with mystery starting with the dark book cover and continuing inside the pages. I rooted for Tressa Harlowe as she searched for the family fortune and enjoyed watching her character persevere through obstacles. Her situations challenged and forced new growth in her. Good character development, coupled with her plucky personality, made her a very likeable protagonist. The plot held my attention as it navigated twists and turns. Though there was attraction and romance between Tressa and Donegan Vance, I think the mystery dominated the story. In conclusion, the A Rumored Fortune entertains and will likely appeal to fans of historical, Christian romances.

Read an excerpt from A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano on the publisher's website.

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, August 3, 2018

Yesterday's Book Finds...

My local library branch has a used book store tucked back past the fiction section.  I have a hearty enthusiasm for this bookstore.

The prices are great: Hardback books are $1. Softcovers are $.50.  But, for the last few weeks, all paperbacks have been buy one, get one.  BOGO!!!  That's two books for $.54 (because there's tax)!

So this is what I came home with yesterday:

I haven't read either of these novels and I think I've read only one of Angela Hunt's other books.  I added The Note directly into my TBR stack and The Widow of Larkspur Inn went in one of my unread book boxes.

I love books... old books, new books, used books, good books!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Woohoo!!! - Upcoming Books!

So, I just peeked on Amazon and saw there are some amazing-looking books coming out in later 2018 / early 2019.

Here's what looks so good to me:

Synopsis' are available at the publisher's website. Links below.

A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz - This author has been one of my favorites for several years now. I've read all her books.

Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green - I actually haven't read any of her books, I just keep hearing how amazing they are and there's one (A Refuge Assured) in my TBR stack.

Searching for You by Jody Hedlund - I haven't read all her novels, but I have read all the ones in her Orphan Train series. Each one has been stellar and I have am excited for this next installment.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden

In the early twentieth century, water-borne diseases can wipe out a community of people in a short time. Doctor Rosalind Werner is dedicated to purifying water and believes that chlorine might be the answer to preventing the diseases that took her loved ones from her. When Rosalind and her associates end up on the losing side of a lawsuit, she hopes to convince New York's Commissioner of Water, Nicholas Drake, to support her research. An unexpected attraction blossoms between Rosalind and Nicholas nearly immediately. To her dismay, Nicholas refuses to support her research and plans to fight against her chemical purification method. As Rosalind continues her research, she and Nicholas must confront their growing affections and the differences separating them. Read more in A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden.

I enjoyed A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden. The first chapter completely captivated my attention and from then on I eagerly returned to the story when possible. The well-written prose, a dose of mystery, and plenty of secrets created a lovely setting for the development of Rosalind and Nicholas' relationship. Their obvious adoration of each other contrasted sharply with the later tension in their relationship. This enchanting dichotomy had me pulling for them to reconcile and savoring each step in the novel's plot.

I recommend this novel to fans of inspirational, historical romances. A Daring Venture is the second novel in Elizabeth Camden's Empire State Novel Series, but worked fine as a stand-alone novel, as I have not read the first novel, A Dangerous Legacy. Also, looking forward to the third book in this series!

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."