Bibles for The Younger Set

11 Oct

Bibles make great gifts for birthdays and Christmas, and Zonderkidz has two just for the younger members of your gift list. Take a look!

NIV Inspiring Words Holy Bible

God’s word is inspiring, and what better way to express our love of God than through art created by our own hands. The NIV Inspiring Words Holy Bible contains over 50 ready-to-color illuminated verses on high quality thick paper as well as the complete text of the New International Version (NIV) translation.

Features include:

  • Beautiful cover with foil makes for a stunning gift
  • Over 50 pages of black-and-white illustrations ready to be colored
  • Each coloring page highlights an inspiring portion of Scripture
  • The full text of the bestselling New International Version translation
  • Presentation page for gift giving
  • Ribbon marker


To purchase this book, click HERE.

My Impressions:

The NIV Inspiring Words Holy Bible is perfect for elementary through high school girls. There are 52 verses to color while meditating on God’s word. It provides a wonderful creative outlet and encouragement to go deeper with God.


Once Upon A Time Bible for Little Ones

The Bible is not a fairy tale, but every great story happened “once upon a time”. The Once Upon a Time Bible for Little Ones features eight powerful and inspiring stories from the Bible in a treasured padded board book format and decorated with foil. This storybook includes tales of the baby in the basket, the birth of Jesus, and the boy that helped feed thousands, all illustrated with whimsical artwork by Omar Aranda. Each story is told in a way that will engage and excite young children as they hear the tales of real people of the Bible.



To purchase this book, click HERE.

My Impressions:

It is never too early to introduce children to Bible reading. The Once Upon A Time Bible for Little Ones reads like a storybook, complete with happily-ever-afters, but this sturdy board book is filled with God’s truth. Beginning with the story of The Creation, this colorfully illustrated book presents the story of God in an easy to understand way for your preschooler. 4 stories from the Old Testament and 4 from the New Testament will introduce your child to a lifelong love of Bible reading.


(Thanks to Zonderkidz for complimentary copies of these Bibles. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)



Give Us Your Best Questions! The Christy Award Celebration Blog Tour

10 Oct

Amy Green, senior fiction publicist at Bethany House Publishers, is taking your questions about publishing as a run-up to The Christy Awards in November. (If you don’t know what a publicist does, basically she is in charge of author marketing tasks — everything from arranging book tours and sending out review copies to setting up interviews and running BHP’s social media.)

Sometimes, publishing can seem like a complex, mysterious world, especially for writers and readers on the outside looking in. At the upcoming Art of Writing conference, a panel of editors, marketers, and publishers will be answering questions you might have, as well as sharing some insight on the strengths and weaknesses of Christian fiction and where they’re excited to see it go next.

Take a look at the great people who will be weighing in: Beth Adams (Senior Editor at Howard Books), Karen Watson (Publisher of Fiction at Tyndale House Publishers), Dan Balow (Owner and President of Gilead Publishing) and Chris Fabry (Novelist and radio show host).

But, to make the panel as helpful as possible, Amy thought it might be fun to get some feedback from all of you. That’s right . . . this is your chance to ask the burning questions you’ve always wondered about the world of Christian fiction. To do that, click on the survey button below. They’d love to hear from you, and they’ll be choosing a few of the questions to ask at the event!



We’d love to see you at the upcoming Art of Writing Conference and Christy Awards! You can find out more about the event below, or if you’re already convinced, you can register here.

About the Art of Writing Conference: The Art of Writing is designed to bring Christian creatives and publishing curators together for 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.

The speakers represent a wide range of roles and areas of expertise. Andrew Peterson, young adult writer and founder of the Rabbit Room, will give advice on how to create and benefit from a vibrant creative community, while Wheaton College professor Theon Hill, Ph.D. will present a survey of the obstacles and opportunities of diversity in Christian fiction. Authors will receive encouragement for the ups and downs of the writing life from blogger Carrie Schmidt and author, agent, and ACFW public relations liaison Cynthia Ruchti. Finally, a panel of representatives from major ECPA publishers will share insider information on where the genre has been, where it’s going, and the exciting changes they see in today’s market for writers. Learn more about the speakers and sessions here.



Christy Award Celebration Blog Tour

Monday, October 9: Top Ten Writing Industry Issues at Seekerville
Tuesday, October 10: Give Us Your Best Questions at By the Book
Wednesday, October 11: Interview with Dr. Theon Hill at Reading is My Superpower
Thursday, October 12: Celebrating the Christy Awards…With a Giveaway! at Bethany House Fiction
Friday, October 13: Quiz: Pick Your Gala Dress at Dani Pettrey’s blog
Saturday, October 14: Eight Reasons to Come to The Art of Writing at The Power of Words
Sunday, October 15: Interview with Carrie Schmidt at Bookworm Mama
Monday, October 16: Interview with Cynthia Ruchti at Just Commonly
Tuesday, October 17: Christy Nominee Bingo and Giveaway at Faithfully Bookish
Wednesday, October 18: The Unofficial Readers’ Choice Cover Awards at Singing Librarian Books

Children’s Corner — The Great Missing Flag Caper

9 Oct

The most patriotic symbol of The United States of America is the flag. Imagine America Johnson’s surprise when she finally got picked to be on Flag detail at her school and her first day on the job the flag disappears! Where could it be? Who took it? Join the search with America and her classmates as they learn some interesting fun facts about “Old Glory” in The Great Missing Flag Caper! Warning . . .  the search takes a turn that’s so disturbing America turns down Mac n Cheese for dinner! Now that’s a big deal!



MaryTherese Grabowski is an award winning former TV journalist. Her years of covering the military, government and politics helped keep civics top of mind for this admitted Air Force brat. Her love of patriotism and talent as an emcee afforded her the opportunity to entertain our troops overseas for 15 years in the Operation Seasons Greetings morale tours. “MT” was the 2009 Spirit of Bob Hope Award nominee for the United States Air Force Reserve. Patriotism is deep rooted in her soul. The notion to write the Spirit of America patriotic children’s book series came about when she asked her young niece, “Can you tell me who makes up the presidents cabinet?” The response was “Why do I care who makes his furniture?” So, although humorous Grabowski realized we are missing kids at an earlier age teaching them the basics of civics which they are usually taught in tenth grade and that is two years before these students are eligible to vote.

Her fourth book is now available! The Great Missing Flag Caper has America Johnson soliciting help from her fellow students to find Old Glory. The flag detail found an empty closet one morning when they went to get the flag to raise it in front of the school. Find out all kinds of flag facts and etiquette in this patriotic adventure!

The first three books in this series of twenty-five to date are Liberty on the Loose in the White House, America By George, and Your Vote Counts – and they are available everywhere.

Grabowski and her illustrator Michelle Graham-Fricks are making this a “movement” to educate students earlier on the basics. “If you can take historical events and information and present them through creative story telling you just might hook these kids.” Grabowski’s main character America Johnson takes young readers on patriotic adventures that are fun and educational. Each book has a quiz at the end helping young patriots to not only be more prepared for that civics class down the road, it gives new birth to patriotic pride that seems to have been lost lately.

Be sure to visit WWW.SPIRITOFAMERICABOOKS.COM for more information on author/illustrator school visits, book signings and the newest in the patriotic adventures!

Grabowski is available for books signings, readings, speaking engagements and as an emcee.
contact “MT” at :

My Impressions:

One of my fondest memories is of my two sons participating in the lowering of the flag at Mount Vernon. They were so proud to be serving their country in that way! Sadly, patriotism and respect for our flag are at a downturn nowadays. So MaryTherese Grabowski’s 4th book in the Spirit of America series, The Great Missing Flag Caper, is especially timely. The book features the very patriotic America Johnson, an elementary school-aged girl who has been chosen for flag duty. She is bubbling over with enthusiasm as she shares her knowledge on the history of the American flag. When she reports for duty with 3 other kids, she gets a lesson on the rules that surround the handling of our flag. But the flag is missing and the kids go on a quest to discover just what happened. Fun illustrations accompany this fast-paced book. The facts of our flag are shared in an easily understood way with emphasis on pride in our country. The bit of mystery will keep young readers intrigued as well. I liked that the people depicted in the book are from diverse backgrounds too. There is a quick quiz shared at the end to reinforce what your child learns. All in all, this is a great book for children. It would be especially good for the classroom — public, private, or homeschool.


Audience: elementary school-aged children.

To purchase, click HERE.

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

Book Review: Delilah

6 Oct

A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible’s Baddest Girls

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With nearly five million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children are grown, Angie and her youth-pastor husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards–one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City. Afterward, the dog gave out paw-tographs at the airport.

When she’s not home writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course.

Readers may visit her web site at

My Impressions:

Whether it’s contemporary women’s fiction or Biblical fiction, I have found all of Angela Hunt’s novels to be excellent choices. Her writing style suits me, and she always has well-developed characters. So when it came to choosing a novel for a Faith And Fiction Bible study I lead, my first choice was Delilah: Treacherous Beauty. Taking a well-known story, Hunt has created a novel with a credible backstory and a lead character more human than the evil harlot most often depicted. My group found the book highly readable, and found it caused us to re-read the Scripture — a double win for us. We rate Delilah highly recommended.

I maintain that writing Biblical fiction is extremely difficult, more so than a more typical historical novel. The writer has to maintain authenticity and keep true to scripture while creating not a dusty commentary, but an intriguing and readable book. Hunt showed she did her homework in her depiction of the culture of the time of the Judges. Her re-telling of the Biblical narrative was faithfully rendered. She didn’t limit her story to only what was going on in Judges 13-16, but included details from other contemporary scripture creating a well-rounded view of the life and times of the characters. Characterization was excellent in Delilah. The story is told from the first person viewpoints of Samson and Delilah giving insight into their motivations and feelings. Yes this book is fiction and some liberty had to be taken, but I never felt anything was inappropriate or unbelievable. As a compliment to the Bible study, Delilah really was a great choice. Even the non-readers of the group enjoyed a fresh look at the Bible. And as stated above, this novel had us double checking what we read in our Bible. We had missed or overlooked some things, that proved to be important to understanding what God was actually doing. One member of my group stated that the story we learned as children was more complex than thought. And God does show up in this novel. Hunt weaves His presence and His truth throughout the book.

For fans of Biblical fiction, Delilah is a must read. It is part of the Dangerous Beauty series, but each book in the series is a standalone novel.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)



Book Review: Lydia: Woman of Philippi

5 Oct

About the Book:

Name of book: Lydia

Author: Diana Wallis Taylor

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Release Date: October 3, 2017

Smart, strong, and a follower of the Jewish God, Lydia has nonetheless quietly conformed to the expectations of the wealthy Roman society into which she was born. Her father marries her off at age fifteen to a much older man whom she dislikes. Despite an unpleasant wedding and a marriage that doesn’t improve with age, Lydia remains a dutiful and faithful wife. When her husband is killed, years later, Lydia vows to remain single and returns to her father’s house in Thyatira with her twelve-year-old daughter.

There, a new life begins to emerge as she is trained in the family dye business. Lydia displays an aptitude for trade in the male-dominated world of first century commerce. Her brother, who had chosen service in the Roman army rather than work in his father’s business, is at odds with his sister. Jealous of her quiet success as she learns the dye business, he’s especially befuddled by what he considers to be Lydia’s obsession with the Jewish religion. When their father dies, Cassius inherits the family’s home; Lydia inherits the business, and unbeknownst to her brother, a small villa in the city of Philippi.

Lydia flees with her mother and daughter to Philippi where she sets up shop. At the mercy of a patriarchal society, Lydia needs a man to serve as the public face for her business. She discovers the right person in the handsome face of Greek man she’d hired — an employee with whom she develops a close friendship. The plot thickens as Lydia meets a strange man named Paul the apostle who is stirring up crowds in town. When Lydia’s brother shows up in Philippi, determined to force her to sell the business, he discovers plenty of fuel to accomplish his goals.

Click to purchase your copy.

About the Author:

Diana Wallis Taylor is best known for her creative stories based on women in the Bible. Thousands have read and enjoyed her books including Mary Chosen of God, Ruth, Mother of Kings, Martha, Journey to the Well, Mary Magdalene, and Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors with the San Diego Library naming her one of 12 “Writers to Watch” in 2017 for Mary, Chosen of God. Her books have received Gold and Silver Medallion Awards for Christian Fiction and she is a San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild “Writer of the Year.” Mary, Chosen of God is a 2017 Christy Award nominee. An inspirational speaker, Diana also leads creative writing and poetry workshops. She lives in San Diego with her husband, Frank. They have six grown children and ten grandchildren


My Impressions:

For me, a Biblical novel should create a sense of the cultural and political atmosphere relevant for the time and place, include characters who are faithful to their time, but are relatable to a modern reader, and have a strong foundation in scripture. Lydia:Woman of Philippi by Diana Wallis Taylor achieves all three. From the opening pages I became immersed in the world in which Lydia lived. The patriarchal society was a strong influence in Lydia’s life, yet she endeavored to be an independent woman, both in her finances and thought. Taylor created a very credible backstory for Lydia in which her upbringing, unhappy marriage, and business struggles shaped her into a woman ready to meet her Savior. There are, of course, many historical figures within the novel — Paul, Silas, Timothy, yet the fictional characters that surround Lydia are wonderful additions to the narrative. I especially liked the romance that Taylor adds to the story. Lydia’s encounter with Paul and the subsequent change in her and her household’s life was depicted in a beautiful way. Throughout the novel, Taylor endeavored to be faithful to scripture, and I feel on the most part she was successful. There was only one scene in which I felt she strayed a bit from what the Bible teaches. It did not keep me from enjoying the novel and in turn recommending it to those who enjoy Biblical fiction.

All in all, this book is a great addition to my library.


Audience: adults.

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

Blog Stops

A Bakers Perspective, October 3

Carpe Diem, October 3

Moments Dipped in Ink, October 4

Books, Books, and More Books., October 4

By The Book, October 5

A Simply Enchanted Life, October 5

Red Headed Book Lady, October 6

Blogging With Carol, October 6

A Reader’s Brain, October 7

A Greater Yes, October 7

Just the Write Escape, October 8

Simple Harvest Reads, October 8 (Spotlight)

Aryn the Libraryan, October 9

Cordially Barbara, October 9

Pursuing Stacie, October 9

The Fizzy Pop Collection, October 10

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 10

Zerina Blossom’s Books, October 11

Mary Hake, October 11

Radiant Light, October 12

Singing Librarian Books, October 12

Lights in a Dark World, October 12

margaretkazmierczak, October 13

Pause for Tales, October 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 14

Cafinated Reads, October 14

To Everything A Season, October 14

Bigreadersite, October 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15

Henry Happens, October 16

For The Love of Books, October 16

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 16


In honor of her tour, Diana is giving away:

Grand Prize Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, “Give Thanks” painting on plate by Donna White for The Hearthside Collection, Inc., commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).

1st Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem pillar candle, cassia scented, commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).

2nd Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem Spikenard candle tin with lid!

Click the link to enter!

Children’s Corner — Little Jesus, Little Me

4 Oct

Jesus was a baby just like me.

Jesus learned to walk one step at a time just like me.

Jesus once was a little child too! With sweet and simple text and colorful illustrations, helps your child learn to connect with Jesus at an early age and learn about God’s great love. Perfect for parents and grandparents to share with children, this book will soon become a favorite for your little one!

Doris Rikkers is a freelance writer and editor who has written many bestselling children’s books and Bibles. Although she loves the ocean, she lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, surrounded by her books, her flower gardens, and her family and friends.

Lizzie Walkley graduated with a degree in illustration in 2004 and has been lucky enough to have had a career as an illustrator ever since. Working in-house for greeting card companies for 10 years has taught her to be adaptable in style as well as the importance of sticking to briefs and working to tight deadlines. Since going freelance and joining Advocate in 2014, Lizzie has enjoyed working on a wide variety of projects, from children’s book and greetings card illustration to toy designing. She is hard working, reliable and endeavours to communicate at all stages of the brief. She works from her home studio in Gloucestershire and has a nice man and a little girl.

My Impressions:

Little Jesus, Little Me is a great way to introduce your child to the concept of Jesus being just them, fully human, while being God’s Son. I loved the parallel illustrations — the left hand page depicting Jesus and the right hand page depicting children of all races — showing how similar contemporary children are to Jesus who live long ago. Simple illustrations in muted colors are just right for the littlest reader. Perfect for bedtime, Little Jesus, Little Me will be an often requested book by your child or grandchild.


Audience: preschoolers.

To purchase, click HERE.

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

Happy Book Birthday! Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey

3 Oct

Happy Book Birthday to Dani Pettrey. The latest book in her Chesapeake Valor series, Blind Spot, is releasing today. If you are looking for a fast-paced romantic suspense novel, this one is for you. Check it out!


FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life – -but isn’t sure exactly what he’s chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that “the wrath is coming,” Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She’s sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there’s anyone who can help him, it’s Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can’t deny, and she’s pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell — and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming “wrath” that could cost thousands their lives.

Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters. Visit her web site at!