Monday, September 30, 2013

My Review of If You Were Me and Lived in... Norway

Written by: Carole P. Roman

My sister-in-law’s family comes from Norway, and they have really tried to hold onto a lot of their heritage, so I was beyond excited to receive If You Were Me and Lived in… Norway to read and review - and pass on to my niece and nephew.



The story:

This book shares about various traditions and cultural happenings in the country of Norway.

The illustrations:

Are simple but sort of cute. I love how there is a little girl and littler boy on the front - just like my niece and nephew!

How strong is the book?

This is a flimsy paperback.

Who the book is for:

Those who are interested in the life and culture of Norway.

Descendants of Norwegians.

Children.

What I liked:

I love how this book is totally appropriate for my niece and nephew!

Opens the eyes of children to the world around them.

Easy to read.

What I didn’t like:

Nothing.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a really good book and I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to read it.

I give If You Were Me and Lived in… Norway 5 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from the author. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Renting Textbooks

So... this is a different kind of post for me, a bit of information for college students out there, rather than a review.

Everyone knows that college is expensive. Not only do you have to pay for tuition and room and board, but you also are faced with the cost of all of the "extras"...

...like textbooks.

A great option for saving a bit of money in college is to rent a textbook. Who ever goes back and reads their textbooks after they graduate? No one. Who would benefit from renting those books? Everyone.

When you rent through CampusBookRentals.com, you will save 40-90% off of bookstore prices. That is a lot of money!

You will also receive free shipping and flexible renting periods.

You might be thinking "but what about if I need to highlight my book..." Guess what... you can even do that in the book that you rent.

As one more added bonus, with each rental, Operation Smile will receive a donation from CampusBookRentals.com. You can do good while saving money.


Another option available is the opportunity to rent out your textbooks through RentBack.com. You can earn money off of the books that you already bought and no longer have a use for.

Get out there and save money. And then... enjoy your life.

*This is a sponsored post and I will be endorsed for it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Review of Staying Alive: A Love Story

Written by: Laura B. Hayden
Published by: Signalman Publishing

I am always interested in real life stories - from memoirs to autobiographies to this… a real life love story.

In Staying Alive: A Love Story, Laura B. Hayden shares about her dream marriage, the children it produced, and how she lost her husband too soon. This story is based on real life, and is full of real joys and struggles.



Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy autobiographies and memoirs, those who have lost someone they loved…

What I liked:

The author is so open and honest about what she was feeling - and is feeling.

The author is a good writer, therefore making this an enjoyable book to read.

Shares real life stories.

What I didn’t like:

I don’t agree with the author on everyone in regard to religion, but that’s not necessarily a big deal.

My conclusion:

This was an overall good read.

I give Staying Alive: A Love Story 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from BookCrash. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Monday, September 23, 2013

*Giveaway and Review: Rufus and Ryan Go to Church

Published by: Candy Cane Press
Written by: Kathleen Long Bostrom
Illustrated by: Rebecca Thornburgh

I received a copy of Rufus and Ryan Go to Church to review through Fly By Promotions, and I also have a copy of it to give away to one of my readers.



The story:

This book tells the tale of a little boy and his stuffed monkey as they go to church.

The illustrations:

Could certainly be cuter, yet they have a bit of a fun look to them.

How strong is the book?

This is a nice, solid and sturdy board book.

Who the book is for:

Toddlers and preschoolers - specifically boys.

What I liked:

The idea of a little boy and his monkey going to church is cute.

Shares what happens in church, for those who have never been.

What I didn’t like:

There is nothing in particular that I really didn’t like.

My conclusion:

This is a cute book.

I give Rufus and Ryan Go to Church 4 out of 5 stars.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I received this book free to review from Fly By Promotions. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Review of The Beauty of Broken

Written by: Elisa Morgan
Published by: W Publishing Group an Imprint of Thomas Nelson

I enjoy reading auto-biographies, memoirs, etc., so I was anxious to start reading The Beauty of Broken.





Who the book is for:

Christians. Women. Mothers in particular.

What I liked:

This book was interesting to read and I finished it within a day of starting it, I believe.

There are good messages - including part on forgiveness that really spoke to me - in this book, but…

What I didn’t like:

Some of the messages are not so good.

Elisa mentions how her daughter was “unselfish” in giving up her baby, when she knows how much being given away has negatively affected her own children.

Her stance on the homosexual lifestyle.

My conclusion:

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, but I can’t really recommend it.

I disagree with Elisa on multiple issues, and I have to give The Beauty of Broken  2 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from BookSneeze. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Review of What Once Was Lost

Written by: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Published by: WaterBrook

I have always said that I am not a fan of historical fiction, but I have come to enjoy some of it… that is why I chose to read What Once Was Lost.

Quite simply, this book is about a young woman who struggles to care for the poor under her care after a fire burns down their house. Included in this group are a blind boy and a pregnant girl, an elderly couple and a mentally challenged man, among others.



Who the book is for:

Historical fiction lovers or those on the fence like me - women, in particular.

What I liked:

Enjoyable to read.

Entertaining.

Unique.

Spoiler warning: I absolutely love the pro keeping one’s child message - versus an adoption message.

What I didn’t like:

There is nothing in this book that I didn’t like.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a good read.

I give What Once Was Lost 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Blogging for Books. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Review of Bumper Wipe Clean Activities

Published by: Lion Hudson

I was excited to receive Bumper Wipe Clean Activities to review, and found that it is a fun book.

This is a wipe clean activity book, and it includes a black marker… but can also be used with crayons and felt tip pens.



The story:

This is an activity book, with mazes, dot-to-dots, coloring pages and more… all based on Bible stories.

The illustrations:

Are very cute and colorful.

How strong is the book?

This is a very sturdy, spiral bound book.

Who the book is for:

The back has a warning - because of small parts - not for children under 3. I would have to say that the book is made in a way that would entertain those from five to eight, or so.

What I liked:

Lots of activities to keep a kid busy.

Based on Bible stories.

Cute illustrations.

What I didn’t like:

The activities kind of vary in that, some are more mature and some are less mature.

My conclusion:

Overall, this is a fun book and would be good for a young child to use to stay entertained during a church service or similar situation when they need to be quiet - or during a car ride.

I give Bumper Wipe Clean Activities 4 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from Kregel Blog Tour. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

*Giveaway and Review - two books - Grace Unplugged and Own It

I recently received two books to review from Fly By! Promotions. I also am able to offer a giveaway so that one of my readers can receive a copy of both of them.

The first book is Own It by Michael and Hayley DiMarco. This book is mentioned throughout the novel that I also received, and is a book about making your faith your own. I didn't care for this book, in that it was too legalistic for me... you have to do such and such in order to really be a Christians, basically. From looking through reviews of other books by the authors, that seems to be their thing.



I give Own It 2 out of 5 stars.

The second book was Grace Unplugged by Melody Carlson is a novel based on a movie that is coming out October 4th. It's the story of a girl who feels held back by her dad and sets out to make it on her own through music. This book was a decent read, but it had bits that I didn't like and/or disagreed with.



I give Grace Unplugged 3 out of 5 stars, and I am thinking that the movie might be better.

I know that I wasn't too positive in my reviews, but you can see if you like the books, yourself. Fly By! Promotions is responsible for the prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Here is the trailer for the movie if you want to check it out:



I received this book free to review from Fly By Promotions. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.



My Review of Skinny Little Tree

Published by: Outskirts Press
Written by: Jayme Martin
Illustrated by: Clark Andrews Jr.

I was excited to receive Skinny Little Tree to review, as I love reading any children books.



The story:

This is the story of a tree who experiences various emotions, and then shares why he is feeling that way.

The illustrations:

Are somewhat cute, but also kind of creepy.

How strong is the book?

This is a flimsy paperback (that had a crease in the front when it arrived by me), but the pages seem reasonably strong.

Who the book is for:

This book is probably good for ages two through six, in my opinion.

What I liked:

The story is cute.

Teaches children about emotions.

What I didn’t like:

I would have preferred cuter pictures.

My conclusion:

Overall, this is a reasonably fun book.

I give Skinny Little Tree 4 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from the author. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Review of Season of a Lifetime

From: Word Films



I’m not a huge fan of football, nor am I a fan of documentaries, but I chose to watch this one, anyway…

Season of a Lifetime is the story of Jeremy Williams, a football coach who continued to work through his diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and even as the disease progressed.



Who it is for:

Fans of football in particular.

Quality of the movie:

This movie was very well made and professional.

What I liked:

Inspiring.

Entertaining.

Hopeful despite the pain that is pictured.

What I didn’t like:

For me, if showed a little too much football… but that is understandable, since it is a football movie.

My Conclusion:

Overall, this was a good movie.

I give Seaseon of a Lifetime 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this dvd from Edify Media free to review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Review of When You Have to Be the Man

Written by: Sabrina Blount Watson
Published by: Outskirts Press

I am not a single mom. I’m not even a mom. I am single, though.

I chose to read When You Have to Be the Man because I was curious to see how it would be, because I have a heart for single moms, and because I like to use single moms in the novels that I write.



Who the book is for:

Single moms. (which I am not, but that’s beside the point…)

What I liked:

It is important for single moms to remember that God is always there for them and will support them.

This book puts to rest some of the myths that single moms can’t be good parents.

Includes some real advice on daily parenting…

This book is pretty short, which is really nice for busy single moms.

What I didn’t like:

There is a reference to spanking that I would have preferred left out. (The author did mention that she decided not to spank in the end, but I am an opponent of physically punishing children and would have preferred the topic left out altogether.)

My conclusion:

Overall, this is a decent book of encouragement for single moms.

I give When You Have to Be the Man 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from the author. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Review of The 40 Most Influential Christians

Written by: Daryl Aaron
Published by: Bethany House

I was excited to read The 40 Most Influential Christians because I wanted to know a little more about how our faith has come about. So much of what we believe isn’t really straight from the Bible, so I wanted to see where it had come from.



Who the book is for:

Those who like learning about the Christian faith. History lovers.

What I liked:

It was interesting to learn just who some of these figures were, and what they were all about.

I like how each chapter is dedicated to a different person, and focuses on that individual.

What I didn’t like:

This book was much too boring for me. It was written in a way that just wasn’t easy to read, and I had to push myself through it.

My conclusion:

Overall, I didn’t end up a fan of this book.

I give The 40 Most Influential Christians 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Bethany House. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Review of Camp (DVD)

Camp_DVD.jpg

Movie Title: Camp

From: Roebuck Media and Word Films

I was really excited to watch this movie from the day I first heard about it through a fellow blogger. Because the story of this film focuses on children in the foster care system, I knew that it was going to be something that would touch my heart.



Who it is for:

Teens and adults. Christians in particular. Those who have a heart for hurting children.

Quality of the movie:

Hmm… the lighting and quality of the recording is actually pretty decent for a Christian movie.

The acting is… pretty good. There are actors on this movie who sincerely seem like the characters that they portray, but there are a few who just don’t cut it.

What I liked:

The story has heart.

Kept me interested throughout the film.

Not as dark as I thought that it might be, but still shares a deep story.

What I didn’t like:

I felt that this could have been a much more emotional movies, but something about it just wasn’t right.

For a Christian movie, this included a lot of unnecessary language.

My Conclusion:

Overall, this is a decent film.

I give Camp 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this dvd from Edify Media, free to review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

My Review of Not Guilty

Written by: Teresa Pollard and Candi Pullen
Published by: Hope Springs Books

The storyline of Not Guilty really sounded like something that I would like to read, so I was excited when I got the chance to receive a free copy to review.

Carrie Shepherd, the daughter of a minister, was raped by a masked man. Now, she is pregnant and needs to face that reality with her fiancé and their families.



Who the book is for:

Women in particular, but really could be for either. Christians.

What I liked:

The story seemed like it could have been a good one…

The cover of the book looks interesting.

Includes some good messages.

What I didn’t like:

This book was written in a way that makes it really boring and hard to read.

Not as focused on Carrie’s story as I would have liked.

Switches around between characters too much for my enjoyment.

My conclusion:

I did not enjoy this book like I had thought that I was going to. In truth, I struggled to read it.

I give Not Guilty 2 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from BookCrash. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Review of The One Year My Princess Devotions: Preschool Edition

Published by: Tyndale Kids
Written by: Karen Whiting

I was really excited to get the chance to read a devotional that was made specifically for preschoolers, and The One Year My Princess Devotions: Preschool Edition is just that.



The story:

This devotional includes a Bible verse for each day, followed by thoughts on that verse, a prayer, and actions to take.

The illustrations:

I love the front cover of this book! With the glitter and the pretty pictures - very cute!

The inside of the book includes simple illustrations of crowns, ladybugs and hearts.

How strong is the book?

This is a hardcover book with pretty sturdy pages.

Who the book is for:

I would recommend this book for ages four through six - with an adults help to read it, and explain some of it.

What I liked:

The idea of a devotional for preschoolers is so fun.

The cover is adorable.

Includes lots of good lessons.

The readings are just the right length for the age group.

What I didn’t like:

Some of the lessons are just so random, and based on a scripture verse taken out of context.

A warning for anyone who might be gifting this book… it makes multiple mention of “mom” and “dad” and always implies that they are both actively involved in the little girl’s life, and are good people… just something I thought worth mentioning.

My conclusion:

I found this book fun, and I will be gifting it to one of my nieces.

I give The One Year My Princess Devotions: Preschool Edition 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Tyndale. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Monday, September 2, 2013

My Review of Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl

Written by: N.D. Wilson
Published by: Thomas Nelson

When I first started reading Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl, I had a hard time getting into it. I wondered if I was going to be able to finish.

I’m glad I kept going.



Who the book is for:

Anyone. Teens through adults. Those who believe and those who don’t yet believe. Might make a good witnessing tool for some.

What I liked:

This book opens your eyes to the world, causing you to appreciate the beauty in everything around you - from insects, to death…

My favorite quote from the book:
“Change this world. Use your body like a tool meant to be used up, discarded, and replaced. Better every life you touch.”

What I didn’t like:

There are a couple of bad words in the book… not a big problem with me, but unnecessary.

My conclusion:

Overall, this is a really great and unique book. Written in a fun way that kept my attention - once I got into it.

I give Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from BookSneeze. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.