5.27.2024

Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar // Review

My Review: 

Chariline has always been curious about her mysterious heritage, raised by her aunt she has heard bits and pieces of her story, but longs for the truth. When she gets the opportunity to seek answers in Rome she stows away on a ship, but finds herself followed by someone who doesn't want her to find the answers she seeks. 

A touching story of friendship, family, and faith. I loved reuniting with Theo from a previous book, and how he and Chariline brought out the best in each other, both seeing the true value in the other person. 

A highly enjoyable read, I loved how all the pieces started to come together as the suspense grew. A heartfelt and engaging story, with a twisting storyline that kept me on my toes. So happy to see Theo again in this story!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

5.21.2024

Marcus and the Emperor's Coin by Dennis Conrad, illustrated by Courtney Smith // Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

 


Book: Marcus and the Emperor’s Coin

Author: Dennis Conrad

Genre: Christian Children’s Picture Book

Release date: October 30, 2023

Marcus and the Emperor’s Coin is an exciting adventure in the Ancient Roman Empire at the time of Christ. Eight-year-old Marcus and his father are on a mission for the Emperor and visit a mine and a mint where coins are made. Marcus himself makes a denarius, a coin with the emperor’s image.

Marcus goes to Jerusalem where he sees Jesus hold a denarius saying, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” What will seeing Jesus mean for Marcus, and will he ever be the same again?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review: 

Young Marcus and his father embark on an important mission for the the Emperor, facing many dangers along the way. 

A fun book to read with the whole family. Marcus wants to be a help to his father, and tries his best to stay out of trouble, though at times his curiosity gets the better of him! I loved how we learn more about the denarii and how it was made, as we travel with Marcus. There are also solid messages about doing what is right, and giving to God what is God's. 

Overall, such a great book, with a encouraging story that includes fun facts and cool history. I loved the solid themes of a solid father son relationship, doing your best, courage, and trusting God. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About the Author

A former coin collector for over fifty years, Dennis combines his love for the Bible, children’s literature, and sharing stories about the history behind coins.

Dennis retired as a professor of speech communications from Barstow Community College. He and his wife served as English and public speaking teachers ten summers overseas.

Dennis became a sustaining member of the Numismatic Association of Southern California in 1979. He is also a life member of the American Numismatic Association.

Dennis is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a Fellow of the National Writing Project.


More from Dennis

How to Turn a Penny into a Teachable Moment

Dennis Conrad

Connect with your child or grandchild by starting a coin collection.

Start with the penny, also known as the Lincoln Head Cent. The coins were first minted in 1909 because it was the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.

Use the coin to help your child make the connections with who Lincoln was, what he did, and when he lived. Reasons why Abraham Lincoln is featured on a coin include the following:

  1. Lincoln is often at the top of the list of America’s greatest presidents.
  2. He helped to preserve the Union during the American Civil War.
  3. His Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves.
  4. The Gettysburg Address ranks as one of the best speeches of all time.

Now, Look On the Back (the Reverse)

Go through change to find the different images on the backs of pennies.

There are wheat ears (1909-1958) and the Lincoln Memorial (1959-2008).

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth, the U.S. Mint issued coins with four different images on the back. The Lincoln Bicentennial (2009) coins include a log cabin, Lincoln sitting on a log, Lincoln standing in front of the state capitol of Illinois, and an unfinished U.S. Capitol Building (the way it was when he was president.) For the past several years, there has is a shield on the back representing the preserved union (2010-Present).

Add one of each reverse to the child’s collection.

Don’t forget to mention the words, the date, and the mintmark.

The words include “One Cent,” “In God We Trust,” “Liberty,” “The United States of America,” and “E Pluribus Unum” which means “Out of many, one.”

Also, look for and find the year minted and the mintmark.

Find and add a coin from the child’s birth year to the child’s collection.

Look at the mintmark. It is a letter on the front of the coin under the date. The “D” is for Denver, the “S” for San Francisco, and the absence of a mintmark means the coin was minted in Philadelphia.

Add coins with the different mintmarks to the child’s collection.

Keep the collection safe in a small box or a Ziploc bag. Have fun. Add to the collection as time goes by.

Free Resources

Want to encourage the child in your life to learn more about coins? Sign up at https://dennisconradauthor.com so your child can become a Junior Coin Collector. Receive free, monthly activity sheets like a crossword puzzle. There is a Coin Hunt section where children can search for and find coins in change for their collection, and a Vocabulary Builder section with coin collecting terms.

Blog Stops

Lots of Helpers, May 8

Artistic Nobody, May 9 (Author Interview)

BookZone Reviews 📚, May 9

Vicky Sluiter, May 10

Texas Book-aholic, May 11

Beauty in the Binding, May 12 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 13

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 14

Hannahbandanarama, May 15

Guild Master, May 16 (Author Interview)

Lights in a Dark World, May 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 18

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 19 (Author Interview)

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 20

Labor Not in Vain, May 21

Giveaway



To celebrate his tour, Dennis is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon gift card and a signed hardback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/2b7c8/marcus-and-the-emperor-s-coin-celebration-tour-giveaway

5.20.2024

Educating Elizabeth by Jennifer Moore // Review

Lucie's Review: 

Elizabeth Miller has a large heart for England's underprivileged  girls and has poured herself into running a school to help them. Her funds are running low so she makes a deal with a man she despises, and is surprised to find that the image he projects to the world is not who he really is. 

An engaging read, with likable characters, and a moving premise. I loved seeing Charles away from the city, connecting with others over shared passions, and his attention to detail. He has a big heart, and it was fun to see Elizabeth get to know him and Alice. Elizabeth is a good teacher, and does a great job with Alice. 

Overall, an enjoyable read with heart, romance, and humor. Engaging story with great characters. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

5.16.2024

To Catch a Coronet by Grace Hitchcock // Review

My Review: 

After a disastrous proposal gone wrong, Muriel, sets her sights on making an advantageous match in London, but finds herself swept away by a man more dashing than her wildest dreams. 

An endearing historical rom-com, with a delightful heroine that I couldn't help but adore. Muriel is daring and creative, at times impulsive, but she has the best of intentions. An entertaining read with an enjoyable romance, likable heroes, and a healthy dose of intrigue. 

Erik Draycott is a man with a strong moral code, and a low tolerance for devious games. I loved how he saw Muriel's heart, and was attracted to her for all the right reasons. 

Overall, this was such a wonderful read from beginning to end. Each book by this author just gets better and better! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

5.15.2024

Loyally, Luke by Pepper Basham // Just Read

Loyally, Luke JustRead Takeover Tour

Welcome to the Takeover + Review Blitz for Loyally, Luke by Pepper Basham hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Loyally Luke Title: Loyally, Luke 
Series: Skymar #3 
Author: Pepper Basham 
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Release Date: May 14, 2024 
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Sometimes love means embracing the good, the bad. . . and even the impossible.

Dear Reader -- My name is Luke Edgewood, and there are few things in life that I require. Mainly black coffee. And flannel. And lots of solitude. And my dogs, Chewy and Indie. What I don't need is romance, so I have no plans to change my thirty-year-old bachelor status anytime soon. 

But my youngest sister thinks that by accepting a short-term construction job in the small European country of Skymar, that I'm going to follow along in her footsteps and discover my own romantic adventure. Nope. Bah humbug. The End. This time, her rom-com-movie senses are totally wrong. 

Or maybe not. Because I've met a Grace Kelly lookalike who is annoying. . . until she isn't. But she is impossible. As in, nothing can happen between us because she is a literal princess. Even though that's easy to forget when we're working together to restore a castle-like orphanage in a secluded mountain town and "forced proximity" includes a small closet, a secret one-hundred-year-old journal, and the tactile memory of an off-limits royal in my arms. 

Basically, the whole situation has turned into an ooey gooey magical snow globe of romantic tropes complete with cute kids and an actual ball. Now, even my sentences are starting to sound like mush. Ugh. Send high levels of testosterone my way--I'm going to need it. 

Loyally, Luke

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Bookshop | BookBub


My Review: I love Luke Edgewood. The long-suffering lone brother. Allergic to anything on the Hallmark channel, practical, and uncannily wise. 

The long-awaited third book in the Edgewood siblings series, brings Luke to Skymar to work on saving an orphanage alongside Princess Ellie. Luke has been my favorite since the very first book in the series, in all his flanneled glory and Rambo watching ways. It was so fun to see him begrudgingly stumble into his own fairy tale, his humor is spot on with multitudes of astute quips. 

I loved the humor balanced with depth, as well as the amazing bond between the siblings. A delightfully upbeat read, that put a smile on my face repeatedly until my cheeks hurt, but even then I couldn't put it down. 

Overall, a wonderfully enjoyable book that I devoured, full of humor, chemistry, and faith. Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

More Books in this Series

Authentically, Izzy Positively, Penelope


About the Author

Pepper Basham

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance “peppered” with grace and humor. Writing both historical and contemporary novels, she loves to incorporate her native Appalachian culture and/or her unabashed adoration of the UK into her stories. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she is the wife of a fantastic pastor, mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

Connect with Pepper by visiting pepperdbasham.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a signed copy of the book, tool pens, and $25 Amazon gift card!

(1) additional winner will receive a signed copy of the book!

Loyally Luke JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 15, 2024 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on May 22, 2024. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Enter Giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

5.13.2024

Darkness Calls the Tiger by Janyre Tromp // Review

Darkness Calls the Tiger JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Darkness Calls the Tiger by Janyre Tromp, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Darkness Calls the Tiger

Title: Darkness Calls the Tiger: A Novel of World War II Burma
Author:
Janyre Tromp
Publisher:
Kregel Publications
Release Date:
May 14, 2024
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Imperial Japan devours the southern portion of Burma, intent on taking over mainland Asia. Unaware of the coming darkness, Kailyn Moran drifts in her role as the only daughter of a widowed missionary. 

As whispers of war snake through the Kachin mountains, Kai's father is convinced God will protect the mission. He entrusts the village to her and the kind yet inexperienced new missionary, Ryan McDonough, while he makes routine visits to neighboring villages. 

War descends like a tempest upon the mountain peaks, and an unbreakable bond forms between Kailyn and Ryan as they unite to provide solace to both villagers and the flood of refugees. Despite their tireless efforts, a brutal enemy shatters almost everything they love, pushing Kailyn to embark on a path of unrestrained vengeance. 

Afraid he's losing the woman he loves, Ryan fights to protect Kai from the deadly consequences of her choices. But in the face of destruction, can he convince her of the power and freedom of forgiveness? 

"Evocative and transportive, filled with nuance and spiked with the violence of war, Darkness Calls the Tiger is a story of redemption in the midst of hopelessness." --Tosca Lee, New York Times best-selling author

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook | Bookshop | BookBub

Review: 

An emotionally gripping read that brings the gritty realities of how WWII touched Burma to life in this heart wrenchingly beautiful story of redemption and forgiveness. 

A wonderfully evocative and well researched read that transported me to the jungles of Burma. A heavier read, with a powerful message of hope through it all. Truly a story that sticks with you, beautifully written with care taken on the more difficult parts of the story. 

Overall, an inspiring story of hope and the power of God to change a life. I loved the artful use of the tiger throughout, and the friendship between Kailyn and Ryan. Highly recommend this gripping read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


About the Author

Janyre Tromp

Janyre Tromp is a developmental book editor who has worked in the publishing industry for more than twenty years, spending time in both marketing and editorial. She's the author of Shadows in the Mind's Eye and contributor to It's a Wonderful Christmas, a Christmas novella collection with other award-winning authors, including Julie Cantrell and Lynne Gentry. When she isn’t writing, she’s a Bible study leader, writers conference speaker, ACFW member, wife, and mom of two kids and their menagerie of slightly eccentric pets.

Connect with Janyre at janyretromp.com to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will win a signed copy of Darkness Calls the Tiger, a bookmark, and other book-themed goodies!

Darkness Calls the Tiger JustRead blog tour giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight May 13, 2024 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on May 20, 2024. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

5.08.2024

Flashpoint by Susan May Warren // Just Read


Review: 

Spenser Storm is ready to make his Hollywood comeback with a Western set in the mountains of Montana, but things keep going wrong on set. Can he and firefighter Emily tame the flames before they get out of hand? 

An action packed read that melds the wild beauty of Montana with the glitz of Hollywood, when Emily Micah finds herself working on the set of a new drama starring her favorite actor, Spenser Storm. An engaging read with likable protagonists, strong themes of faith, and a mystery that kept me guessing. I really liked how Emily and Spenser became friends, bonding over faith, and trusting their futures to God. They have great chemistry, it was fun seeing their relationship grow as they navigated all the challenges and dangers in their paths. 

A fantastic start to a new series that blends the best of faith filled romantic suspense, with a high stakes plot, and strong themes of faith over fear. Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

5.07.2024

Rebel by Anne Wilson // Album Review + Contest Info


"The 16-song project hits the bullseye between contemporary Christian and
Country twang” -Grammy.com

O
ne of Nashville's most inspiring young trailblazers, Anne Wilson is a revolution in modern music. The Lexington, Ky. native, known for her transcendent vocal and down-to-earth storytelling, recently released REBEL, fusing the heart of Contemporary Christian Music with the sound of Country. A bold musical statement with an even bolder message of faith, REBEL features her hopeful, healing debut Country single “Rain In The Rearview” as well as chart-topping Christian radio ballad “Strong.” The genre-bending album follows her GRAMMY-nominated 2022 debut My Jesus, with the title track becoming a PLATINUM-certified No. 1 hit on Billboard's Christian Airplay chart. Since then, Wilson has tallied over 900M global streams, made her Grand Ole Opry debut and wrapped her entirely sold-out headlining My Jesus Tour. Already named a Spotify Hot Country Artist to Watch, one of CMT's Next Women of Country and a 2024 Opry NextStage Artist, she has made high-profile appearances on TODAY and ACM Honors, while earning her first-ever CMT Music Awards nomination, as well as a Billboard Music Award. Unapologetically real, Wilson approaches her craft with a purpose and conviction that sets her apart, declaring, “I am who I am — I'm Anne Wilson. I love God and that's my everything, but I love Country music, too, and I can have a beautiful mix of both.”  




Anne Wilson has a non-profit movement and community called Hey Girl Nation for girls and women of all ages to be encouraged and empowered by who they are in Christ alone. She has a specific desire to be a positive role model for girls who need one to look up to. One that reflects wholesome values that are rarely portrayed in today’s culture.




Listen to Anne Wilson’s album REBEL now! https://AnneWilson.lnk.to/REBELPC!MIN


Anne Wilson REBEL Track List: 
1. “REBEL ” (Anne Wilson, Jeff Pardo, Matthew West) 
2. “Rain In The Rearview” (Anne Wilson, Matthew West, Zach Kale, Jaren Johnston) 
3. “ Strong” (Anne Wilson, Jeff Pardo, Matthew West) 
4. “God & Country” (Anne Wilson, Jeff Pardo, Matthew West, Trannie Anderson) 
5. “Praying Woman (with Lainey Wilson)” (Anne Wilson, Jeff Pardo, Matthew West, Lainey Wilson, Trannie Anderson) 
6. “Songs About Whiskey” (Anne Wilson, Jeff Pardo, Matthew West, Lauren Hungate) 
7. “Sinner’s Prayer” (Anne Wilson, Jeff Pardo, Matthew West, Lauren Hungate) 
8. “The Cross (with Chris Tomlin)” (Anne Wilson, Jeff Pardo, Matthew West, Jonathan Smith) 
9. “My Father’s Daughter” (Anne Wilson, Jeff Pardo, Matthew West, Emily Weisband) 
10. “Red Flag” (Anne Wilson , Jonathan Smith, Casey Beathard) 
11. “Country Gold (with Jordan Davis)” (Anne Wilson, Jeff Pardo, Matthew West) 
12. “Southern Gospel” (Anne Wilson, Jeff Pardo, Matthew West, Lauren Hungate) 
13. “Dirt Roads In Heaven” (Anne Wilson, Jeff Pardo, Nicolle Galyon, Matthew West) 
14. “3:16” (Anne Wilson, Jeff Pardo, Matthew West) 
15. "Milestones" (Anne Wilson, Nicolle Galyon, Lauren Hungate) 
16. "Out of the Bluegrass" (Anne Wilson, Nicolle Galyon, Emily Weisband)


You can also watch this video to hear Anne talking about how her faith inspires her music: https://www.instagram.com/p/C5tVxEBufag/



Find ANNE WILSON on Social Media: 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/annewilsonmusic 

Facebook: https://facebook.com/annewilsonmusic 

TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@annewilsonmusic 

X: https://twitter.com/annewilsonmusic 

Website: http://www.annewilsonofficial.com



My Review: 

It's hard to remember that Anne Wilson is only 22 years old when listening to her sophomore album, as she sings with a maturity beyond her years about standing for her faith, being proud of where she comes from, the legacy left to her by her parents, staying away from unequally yoked relationships, and how faith has changed her life. 

As a huge country fan who doesn't always connect with Christian contemporary music, I loved how Anne perfectly combines singing about her life and faith with a distinctly country twang that is even more pronounced than in her freshman album. I liked how she draws inspiration from gospel, country, and contemporary music, with a fantastic blend of upbeat and slower tempo songs perfect to throw on in the car. 

Songs About Whiskey is a twangy earworm, that would be at home on country radio, but with an amazing twist that you can say, "Amen" to. It's the song that I have on repeat, because it is so fun! Singles Strong and Rain in the Rearview are standouts, with Anne encouraging listeners to turn to Jesus in times of trouble, as well as in Sinner's Prayer. She pays tribute to the faith of her parents and the values they instilled in her in My Father's Daughter and Praying Woman. There are also a fair share of songs about how Anne is proud of her upbringing and country background. Milestones finds her contemplating the sacrifices that she has made for a music career. The album also includes some excellent duets with Lainey Wilson, Jordan Davis, and Chris Tomlin.

Overall, an excellent album with a positive message of faith and encouragement from a young woman bold for Christ. Catchy melodies convey timeless truths in an album that I will be returning to again and again!

  #REBELAnneWilson #AnneWilson #REBEL #AnneWilsonRebelMIN 

I streamed the album on Spotify for this review!

Listen to Anne Wilson’s album REBEL now! https://AnneWilson.lnk.to/REBELPC!MIN




 GIVEAWAY  INSTRUCTIONS: 
 ● Prize: Anne Wilson REBEL Signed CD 
 ● Territory: Limited to US winners only. 
 ● How to Enter: To enter for the chance to win an Anne Wilson REBEL Signed CD, participants must create a post on socials that uses/tags any song from Anne Wilson’s album, REBEL. Post must include #REBELAnneWilson. Post can be on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube Shorts, or TikTok. Entrants will include/submit their post link via a field on the giveaway entry form in addition to providing any necessary information the giveaway administrator requires (i.e. name, email, country, mailing address, etc.)

5.06.2024

The Song of Sourwood Mountain by Ann H. Gabhart // Review

Lucie's Review: 

Mira Dean leaves behind everything to follow an old friend, Gordon Covington, into the Appalachian mountains as his bride. 

While there she finds a community unlike any she's know before, and a rekindling of her dreams of a family to call her own. I loved this slow burn romance, filled with a full cast of characters, and strong faith. I loved the themes of hope and giving up control to God. There were so many wonderful characters that captured my heart, and did a great job of showing the mountain way of life. 

Gordon is a kind man with a passion for his calling to serve the people of the mountains, I liked that he respected Mira needing time to get used to their new situation, and slowly won her with friendship. 

Overall, a wonderful read, and one of my favorites by this author. A beautiful story that wove its way to my heart. 


I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

5.04.2024

Healing Hazel by Jennifer Moore // Review

Lucie's Review: 

Hazel Thornton has a passion for helping others, and she wants to use her gifts, but fears that her anxieties and fears will prevent her from being of service to others. But when a trip to Spain thrusts them into the frontlines of war, she must face her fears while working as a nurse alongside Dr. Jim Jackson. 

An engaging read, with a winsome heroine, who must overcome her own fears to help others. I loved that she has a solid group of friends, who all support each other. It was also interesting to read about the Spanish Civil War, as it is not a time period that I am overly familiar with.  I admired Hazel's attitude about her circumstances, and how she threw herself into helping others. 

Overall, great historical world building with characters who were easy to cheer for throughout. Clean romance, with wholesome characters, and good interaction. An enjoyable read. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.