Children’s Corner — Very Veggie 5-Minute Stories.

19 Sep

Perfect for an on-the-go storytime or a fast bedtime reading for sleepy kids, Very Veggie 5-Minute Stories brings fans a new collection of nine VeggieTales adventures. As the Veggie cast stumbles and springs through hilarious scenarios, children will learn values such as being patient, being responsible, loving others, and doing their best. Full-color illustrations accompany the stories and will hold the attention of the read-to-me set. Ages 3-6 years.

 

To purchase, click HERE.

My Impressions:

Packed with all the fun and silliness you have come to love about Veggie Tales, Very Veggie 5-Minute Stories will become a new favorite when you have just a short time to share a story. Action-packed, bold illustrations accompany fast-paced stories with all your veggie favorites. Kids will love the adventures that the characters encounter. There are plenty of laughs (or parental snickers) along with a message highlighting God’s truth. For instance, The Good, The Bad, And The Silly teaches about good choices as the veggie cowpokes take on a cattle drive. And The Halfhearted Viking shows the virtue of doing your best as the Vikings vacation at a resort where things are only half done.

Fun for the whole family, Very Veggie 5-Minute Stories will become a new favorite for quick story time. But don’t be surprised when you hear just one more!

Recommended.

Audience: children ages 3-6.

(Thanks to Worthy Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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Children’s Corner — The Daily Question for You And Your Child

19 Sep

A fun, thought-provoking 365-question guided journal and keepsake that sparks daily interaction with your child to create a memory book capturing your child’s life, personality, and faith journey.

This interactive prompted journal allows a parent to create a keepsake of three years of their child’s life. By answering each of the 365 questions together on the same date each year, readers will get a unique and precious picture into their child’s feelings, development, and personality. Some of the questions focus on spirituality and the child’s heart, while some are meant to capture their creativity, spirit, and sense of humor. All questions spark conversations and memories that span well beyond the pages of this book.

To purchase, click HERE.

 

My Impressions:

The Daily Question for You And Your Child is a wonderful resource for families. This small book packs 3 years of questions and conversation starters to track how your child grows in his perceptions of himself, his family, and his place in the world. I love the format — a brief prompt and then open space for your child’s responses. Arranged to be used daily, this book will not only open conversations today, but will be a treasured memento for the future. Here are just a few of the questions/thoughts to ponder:

If you could travel to the past where would you go?

Do you enjoy big storms? Why or why not?

What makes you a good friend?

If yo were a pirate, what would be in your treasure chest?

Some prompts will open up laughs, while others will go deeper into your child’s beliefs, fears, and dreams. The book is designed for one on one between parents and child, but I think it can easily be adapted for a whole family experience.

Recommended.

Audience: children and parents.

(Thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Fall TBR

18 Sep

Fall may be around the corner, but here in middle Georgia the forecast is definitely all-Summer!  😦  With temps in the mid-90s it’s hard to get into the whole changing leaves/pumpkin spice/snuggly sweater frame of mind. But I can always dream and read! That’s where my Fall TBR comes into play. Check out That Artsy Reader Girl for more bloggers’ Fall reading lists.

 

Top 10 Fall TBR List

 

Burden of Proof by DiAnn Mills

Cost of Betrayal by Dee Henderson/Lynette Eason/Dani Pettrey

Delayed Justice by Cara Putman

Freedom’s Kiss by Sarah Monzon

 Lady of A Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

Miles from Where We Started by Cynthia Ruchti

A Secret to Die For by Lisa Harris

Surrounded by Darkness by Rachel Dylan

A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep

When You Look at Me by Pepper Basham

Mini Audiobook Review: Tidewater Inn

18 Sep

Welcome to Hope Beach. A place of intoxicating beauty . . . where trouble hits with the force of a hurricane.

Inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the Outer Banks could be a dream come true for Libby. The inn cries out for her restorer’s talent and love of history. She’s delighted to learn of the family she never knew she had. And the handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she’s met there on the island could definitely be the man of her dreams.

But Libby soon realizes that the only way she can afford the upkeep on the inn is to sell it to developers who are stalking the island. The father who willed her the inn has died before she could meet him, and her newfound brother and sister are convinced she’s there to steal their birthright. Worst of all, her best friend and business partner has been kidnapped before her eyes, and Libby’s under suspicion for the crime.

Libby’s dream come true is becoming a nightmare. Her only option is to find her friend and prove her innocence, or lose everything on the shores of Hope Island.

Best-selling author Colleen Coble‘s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at http://colleencoble.com.

 

My Impressions:

Somehow I missed the first book of Colleen Coble’s Hope Beach series, Tidewater Inn. With books 2 and 3 already read,  I decided to remedy the problem with an audiobook that accompanied my morning walks. It proved a good choice in providing mysterious doings set on an island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This one is a good choice for fans of romantic suspense.

The summer time setting of an island was perfect for staycation reading. Tidewater Inn provides the smell of salt, the sound of waves, plenty of fresh seafood, and a small beach town vibe. I liked the main characters’ instant chemistry that grew as they faced a truly puzzling mystery. The reader is let in on some of the elements of the whodunit, but there were enough surprise twists to keep the pages turning. Kidnappings, murder accusations, and a threatening hurricane amp up the suspense factor. Romance and suspense are equal partners in the book, and readers of this genre will not be disappointed. And if you are fan of Coble’s other works you will enjoy the character crossover from the Rock Harbor series. As always the author weaves a faith message into the story line. The struggle to act in a Christ-like manner, even in the face of rejection and hostility is portrayed in Libby’s relationship with her new-found family. The audio version of this book was an easy listen — pleasant voice, good timing, and a quality recording.

While I read this book in the midst of summer, Tidewater Inn is worth a trip to Hope Beach at any time of the year. And if this is your first visit, you are in for a treat with all books in the series published. Binge-reading worthy? Oh, yeah!

Recommended.

Audience: adults

To  purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Christy Award Blog Blitz and Giveaway!

17 Sep

the Christy Awards blitz

If there were a Christian fiction version of the Oscars, The Christy Awards would be it. And we are teaming up with The Christy Awards to help you read good fiction! Some of the best of the best, in fact.

Last year’s 2017 Christy Award winners included The Lady & The Lionheart (Joanne Bischof), A Note Yet Unsung (Tamera Alexander), Her One and Only (Becky Wade), The Mark of the King (Jocelyn Green), The Silent Songbird (Melanie Dickerson), The Long Journey to Jake Palmer (James Rubart), and more!

2017 Christy Awards

Image Source: The Christy Awards

The 2018 Christy Award Celebration Gala is coming up on November 7, 2018 but first the finalists will be announced on September 19th!! And you don’t want to miss it!

Make sure you’re following along with their social media accounts so you don’t miss the big announcement!

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER


Christys invite

The Christy Award team invites you to two events that celebrate fiction, both held on November 7, 2018 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN!

First, from 1-5:30pm, is the Art of Writing Conference – a focused conference for writers, storytellers, and publishing curators. This is a half day of intensive seminars that celebrate the creative life, provide practical tips for overcoming challenges in a rapidly-changing industry, and answer questions authors are asking. Head here for a full list of speakers, including Carla Laureano, Joanne Bischof, Donald Miller, and Charles Martin.

Then, starting at 7:00pm, The Christy Award Dinner Gala will celebrate the art of Christian fiction, announce the 2018 winners of The Christy Award, and honor the power of Story, the legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, and the year’s best in Christian fiction.

Wanna know which authors will be at The Christy Awards gala? How about Charles Martin, Carla Laureano, Francine Rivers, Sarah Arthur, and Cynthia Ruchti, for starters?

Many of the finalists will be there too so make sure you follow The Christy Award on social media for the big announcement on the 19th!


christy awards gift card giveaway

On behalf of the ECPA, JustRead is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card (US only) to help you read good fiction!

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight September 15, 2018 and last through 11:59pm September 21, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Book Review + Giveaway: Hidden Among The Stars

17 Sep

About The Book

Hidden-Among-The-Stars-Book-Cover

Book Title: Hidden Among The Stars

Author: Melanie Dobson

Genre: Historical Fiction (However, this is a time-slip novel, so there is also a contemporary component to the story)

Release date: September 4, 2018

From the award-winning author of Catching the Wind, which Publishers Weekly called “unforgettable” and a “must-read,” comes another gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way.
The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambithat connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

Click HERE to purchase.


About The Author

Melanie-Dobson-Author-PhotoMelanie Dobson is the award-winning author of nearly twenty historical romance, suspense, and time-slip novels including Catching the Wind and Chateau of Secrets . Three of her novels have won Carol Awards; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010; and The Black Cloister won the Foreword Magazine Religious Fiction Book of the Year.

Melanie is the former corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and owner of the publicity firm Dobson Media Group. When she isn’t writing, Melanie enjoys teaching both writing and public relations classes at George Fox University.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with work, the Dobson family has settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to hike and camp in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and along the Pacific Coast. Melanie also enjoys exploring ghost towns and abandoned homes, helping care for kids in her community, and reading stories with her girls.

Visit Melanie online at www.melaniedobson.com.

 

My Impressions:

I have been a big fan of Melanie Dobson for a number of years. Her novels always deliver a story full of wonderfully developed characters, unforgettable settings, and powerful messages. Hidden Among The Stars is no exception and has moved to the top of my all-time favorites from this talented author. You really need to read this book! Very highly recommended!

Hidden Among The Stars has a dual timeline that while popular with authors and readers alike, certainly has to be very difficult to achieve. I often find that one story is missing something. Not so with Hidden Among The Stars. I was fully invested in both the modern day story of children’s book store owner Callie as she sought to find the connections and secrets hidden within the pages of storybooks and the story of oppression and fear, hope and sacrifice in the early years of WWII-era Austria. The characters touched my heart and became like well known friends. I hurt for them, cheered them on, and was amazed at their resilience and nobility in the face of cruelty. While all the characters are striking in their portrayal, my favorite was the simple, teenaged Annika who was caught up in events much larger than her experience. A very ordinary young woman, Annika extraordinarily lives out Christ’s love. The history surrounding the occupation of Austria, the early years of Nazi oppression, and the hidden treasures that were lost was fascinating. Dobson weaves a mystery that will captivate your imagination while forcing you to turn the pages faster and faster. For those who love books, children’s books in particular, Hidden Among The Stars is a treat. I loved the history shared about the authors and their life experiences.

Hidden Among The Stars will undoubtedly make my best of 2018 list. A book that pulls you in from the opening lines, it is a beautifully written, emotionally charged, and powerfully moving depiction of love, honor, and sacrifice. Grab this one and some of your friends — you are going to want to talk about this book!

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: older teens and adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit and NetGalley for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

Guest Post from Melanie

Hallstatt’s Hiding Places

Backpacking across Europe—that’s how my husband Jon and I decided to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. We savored the old world culture and charm as we hiked along Italy’s coast, toured medieval castles in Germany, and cruised the canals in Belgium; we both left a bit of our hearts in an ancient lakeside town called Hallstatt.

The moment we stepped off the ferryboat and into this storybook village, we crossed through a portal of sorts, traveling back several centuries in time. The rugged, snow-capped mountains around us and alpine lake, the quaint village with its church steeples and cobblestone lanes and waterfall that spilled into town—all of it captivated us.

Along the shore, hidden partially by trees, we could see spires of an abandoned castle, and I wanted to know its story. No one in Hallstatt could tell us who’d lived in the castle—at least, not in English—so my husband agreed to a new adventure. With a swan as our escort, we glided across the lake in an electric boat so I could study the rusty turrets, boarded windows, and wooden boathouse resting in the water like a felled log.

Instead of quelling my curiosity, the match of inspiration ignited my mind. Who had lived in this castle, and what happened there? I began writing in my journal that night, trying to capture my rogue thoughts on paper, hoping that one day a novel would emerge from the ashes of this castle’s story.

When we returned home, I began researching more of Hallstatt’s history and discovered that this region, in all of its beauty and mystique, had been infiltrated by an enemy in 1938. This town and the surrounding Salzkammergut became a mountain retreat for Nazi officials who built mansions on the shores of its many lakes and used salt mines to hide “ownerless treasure”—the gold bullion and artwork they’d stolen from the Jewish people.

The Nazis intended to build a Fourth Reich in this alpine fortress, but the Allies had other plans. Near the end of the war, these lakes became a dustbin of sorts, collecting whatever the enemy dumped into its waters—weapons, counterfeit banknotes, concentration camp lists—as they fled south from the Allied troops. The Devil’s Dustbin, locals call it.

Lake Hallstatt plunges more than four hundred feet between the fortress of mountains. Because of its depth and the many hiding places in the underwater forests, caves, and shifting sands, divers continue finding World War II artifacts today. Some still believe there’s a treasure trove buried on the bottom, but no one has reported finding any gold.

After our trip, a story about this castle and what happened to the heirlooms of the Austrian Jewish people continued to burn inside me until I finally put it on paper. So I built Schloss Schwansee—Castle of Swan Lake—in my mind, inspired by the castle along Lake Hallstatt, and created a cast of historical and contemporary characters who are searching for lost treasure.

Hidden Among the Stars is a time-slip novel about a castle and treasure and fairytales, but most of all, it’s a story about God using ordinary people across Austria to resist evil in their own extraordinary way.

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, September 6

Fiction Aficionado, September 6

Back Porch Reads, September 6

Among the Reads, September 6

The Power of Words, September 7

Multifarious, September 7

lady ansel book vibes, September 7

The Becca Files, September 7

God’s Little Bookworm, September 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 8

Painting with Words, September 8

Lis Loves Reading, September 8

cherylbbookblog, September 9

Living LIfe Free in Christ, September 9

Madeline Clark, September 9

Mary Hake, September 9

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 10

Genesis 5020, September 10

Faithfully Bookish, September 10

Simple Harvest Reads, September 10 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Margaret Kazmierczak, September 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 11

Daysong Reflections, September 11

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, September 11

Seasons of Opportunities, September 12

Remembrancy, September 12

Inklings and notions, September 12

amandainpa, September 12

Maureen’s Musing, September 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 13

Just Commonly, September 13

Book by Book, September 13

Connect in Fiction, September 14

Pause for Tales, September 14

Have A Wonderful Day, September 14

Splashes of Joy, September 14

The Christian Fiction Girl, September 15

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 15

To Everything A Season, September 15

A Baker’s Perspective, September 15

proud to be an autism mom, September 16

Bibliophile Reviews, September 16

Bigreadersite, September 16

Aryn The Libraryan, September 16

By The Book, September 17

Christian author, J.E. Grace, September 17

Janices book reviews, September 17

Texas Book-aholic, September 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18

Carpe Diem, September 18

Godly Book Reviews, September 19

For The Love of Books, September 19

Live. Love. Read., September 19

Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 19

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Melanie is giving away a grand prize package that includes a $25 Amazon gift card, Catching the Wind paperback, and Hidden Among the Stars paperback!!

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/d2ad/hidden-among-the-stars-celebration-tour-giveaway

Clean Your Shelf Giveaway Hop!

14 Sep

Welcome to my stop in the Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop! Thanks to BookHounds for hosting.

I have a bunch of books looking for a new home. Multiple genres will fill a surprise box of books for one of my readers. Please leave a comment to enter. The giveaway runs through September 30. Good luck!