Friday, August 31, 2012

Waiting for Morning-book review

About the Book:

“I’m afraid there’s been a car accident...”

As Hannah Ryan waits for her family to return home from a camping trip, she realizes she has everything going for her—a husband other women admire, two charming teenage daughters, and a loving Christian home. As the sunny afternoon turns into twilight, her uneasiness grows along with the shadows. Then a car pulls into Hannah’s driveway, bringing two police officers...and devastating news that shatters her life forever.

In the days that follow, Hannah struggles with unspeakable feelings of sorrow and rage—feelings that fuse into one chilling purpose for living: revenge against Brian Wesley, the drunk driver who has caused all her pain.

In her fury, Hannah shuts the Lord out of her life. She’s determined not to forgive Wesley or the God who allowed this tragedy to happen. Can two caring people help Hannah rediscover her faith...before bitterness destroys her?

About the Author:

No. 1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's favorite inspirational novelist. There are nearly 20 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including several million copies sold in the past year. Karen has written more than 50 novels, ten of which have hit #1 on national lists.

Karen's newest novel, COMING HOME - The Baxter Family - releases June 26 and is the subject of much buzz on Karen's active Facebook page, where she had more than 250,000 friends. There is also great anticipation over THE BRIDGE, Karen's much-anticipated first hardback release with her new publisher - Simon & Schuster's Howard Books. THE BRIDGE is a love story set against the demise of the American bookstore.

In addition, Karen has ventured into the area of short pieces with her new non-fiction series - KAREN KINGSBURY, THE REST OF THE STORY. Her first piece, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, has touched the hearts of tens of thousands of readers interested in knowing more about Karen's personal life and the motivation behind her Life-Changing Fiction (TM). I CAN ONLY IMAGINE shares the story of Karen's brother, his struggles, and his quest for redemption.

Karen's novel LIKE DANDELION DUST is the subject of a major motion picture currently in theaters. Like Dandelion Dust stars Academy Award winning Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper, along with Cole Hauser and Maxwell Perry Cotton. The film has received more than 30 awards in the Film Festival Circuit including numerous Best Picture awards. Several of Karen's books are currently under theatrical development.

Karen's most recent series - the Bailey Flanigan Series, wrapped up in March. Coming Home - The Baxter Family - is a stand-alone novel about John Baxter's 70th Birthday and the tragedy that happens during June, 2010 with Take Four. The series is about two producers looking to change the world with the power of film. The Above the Line series also includes Karen's popular characters from the fictitious Baxter Family. The Baxters were first introduced to readers through the five-book Redemption series, and then the five-book Firstborn series, and finally the four-book Sunrise series.

Dubbed by Time Magazine as the Queen of Christian Fiction, Karen has also been a featured guest on the Today Show, Fox News, USA Today, and numerous other television programs and magazines. Her fiction has made her one of the country's favorite storytellers. Others of her emotionally gripping titles include the 9-11 Series, Even Now, Ever After, and Between Sundays.

Karen is also a public speaker, reaching more than 100,000 women annually through various national events. Karen and her husband, Don, live in Nashville, TN with their five sons, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. Their daughter Kelsey is an actress who has appeared in several Christian films. She is newly married to Christian recording artist Kyle Kupecky. The two also live in Nashville.

My Opinion:

I always know that I'm going to get something out of a Karen Kingsbury book, she's one of my all time favorite Christian authors.  She paints a picture with her words and stories, I usually laugh and cry while reading her books and this one was a heart breaker I think I went through a box of kleenex while reading Waiting for Morning!  While reading Waiting for Morning I was imagining what I would do if I was in this same situation and I just couldn't make it without the Lord's help.  Although, I pray this never happens to me or anyone else that I know, it would be such a tragedy and those feelings of rage that were written about have to be horrible.  This book is very well written and takes you into a woman's depths of despair, rage, sorrow and pain and how she comes through it with her faith in tact. 5 stars out of 5 stars for all of the emotions this book brought up, if you don't want to cry then do NOT read this one, it's a tear jerker for sure!  I better mention that this is book 1 in the Forever Faithful Trilogy.

This book can be purchased on Amazon for $10.94 for the paperback or $9.99 for the Kindle edition.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Over the Edge-book review

About the Book: 

Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he's never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he's gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever.

After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.

Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.

Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.

About the Author:

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy...with cowboys.
She is a Carol Award winner, and a Rita and Christy and Inspirational Reader's Choice finalist.
She is the author of bestselling Kincaid Brides Series: Out of Control, In Too Deep, Over the Edge. Her work also includes Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, Montana Marriages Trilogy and Sophie's Daughters Trilogy.
She also wrote Ten Plagues--a romantic thriller, and The Historical Society Murders--three cozy mysteries, under the name Mary Nealy.
Mary is married to a Nebraska rancher and has four grown daughters and two spectacular grandchildren.
This biography was provided by the author or their representative.

My Opinion:

Sometimes I get bored following a series of books but that was not the case with the Kincaid Brides Book Series, I've enjoyed all 3 of them that I've read and I can't wait to read the next one.  I love a good romance and this has some mystery thrown into it for good measure so that's a double thumbs up for me.  From the start to the finish Over the Edge was a pleasure to read.  I couldn't decided whether to give this book 4 or 5 stars out of 5 stars so I'm giving it 4 and a half stars for the mystery, intrigue, terror and excitement that opens the the book up and grabs you right from the start.

Read about the other two Kincaid brothers and their wives in Out of Control and In Too Deep

To follow the blog tour and see what others are saying about Over the Edge please click here.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Choice-a book review

About the Book:

One young woman. Two very different roads. The choice will change everything.

Even as a pregnant, unwed teen in 1974, Sandy Lincoln wanted to do the right thing. But when an ageless woman approached her in a convenience store with a mysterious prophecy and a warning, doing the right thing became even more unclear. She made the best choice she could . . . and has lived with the consequences.

More than thirty years later, a pregnant teen has come into her life, and Sandy’s long-ago decision has come back to haunt her. The stakes rise quickly, leaving Sandy with split seconds to choose once more. But will her choice decision bring life . . . or death?

"The Choice shows the struggles of unplanned pregnancy and the courageous act of adoption in a way that I haven't read before . . ." —Abby Brannam-Johnson, former Planned Parenthood Director and author of Unplanned.

About the author:

Image of Robert Whitlow

Robert Whitlow grew up in north Georgia. He graduated magna cum laude from Furman University with a BA in history in 1976 and received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1979. A practicing attorney, he is a partner in a Charlotte, NC law firm. He and his wife Kathy have four children and three grandchildren.

Robert began writing in 1996. His novels are set in the South and include both legal suspense and interesting characterization. It is his desire to write stories that reveal some of the ways God interacts with people in realistic scenario's.

This biography was provided by the author or their representative.
My Opinion:
This was a hard book for me to read, don't get me wrong it's very well written and tugs at your heart.  I'm on the other side of adoption, the side that took the children in and loved them, raised them, wiped tears and bottoms, eased worries and listened to the anguish of wondering why they weren't wanted by their birth parents.

  I've always wondered about the other side, the unselfish mom, dad and/or both that gave up all parental rights so their child would hopefully have a better life.  I worry if I'm doing a "good enough" job, would the birth parent look at us and regret the decision or know without a shadow of a doubt that they did the right thing.
  I cried, no I actually sobbed while reading The Choice and I grieved with the birth mom's in this book.  Even though I'm on the other side I can clearly see how much courage it takes to place a child for adoption, it's an unselfish love.  If I could talk to my children's birth parents, I would thank them over and over for giving me the life that I always dreamed of with children that I prayed for, it seemed like an eternity but it was only 8 years that I prayed for children.  I'd do it all over again if I could and if God called us to adopt again!  I give this book 5 stars out of 5 stars for showing the "other" side of adoption, the heartache, pain, grief, worry, regret and God's perfect will and timing.      

Thanks for reading,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Golden Prairie Press-Uncover Exciting History

Golden Prairie Press offered the TOS crew one e-book to review out of four different e-books that Amy Puetz offers such as:

Heroines of the Past Bible Study (normally $27.00 on sale for $21.60)
Heroines of the Past Bible Study Ebook

10 Girls from History (normally $15.00 on sale for $12.00)
Ten Girls from History cover

Costumes with Character (normally $21.95 on sale for $17.56)
Costumes with Character cover


Uncover Exciting History (normally $14.95 on sale for $11.96)
and since we are studying U.S. History this I was hoping to review Uncover Exciting History because lets face it, history books aren't always exciting and I need all the help I can get to spark my children's interest in America's past. This book is fascinating, we've had the best time exploring history and have found that it IS exciting, captivating and we had fun. One of my favorite things was the Digging Deeper notes at the end of each story. These notes offered activities, recipes, follow up questions, mapping and game recommendations. We really enjoyed learning about George Washington and even got to attend a special exhibit at Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK called Discover the Real George Washington.  Between the e-book and exhibit we had a much greater understanding of George Washington.
Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon
George Washington

This past week we've been working on an American Indians unit study and we just happen to be in the Four Corners area of the U.S. The Navajo are established in this area so as we were traveling I was able to read The Navajo Code Talkers chapter from Uncover Exciting History to my children (and hubby), it was fascinating and brought the story to life.

If you want to know what other crew members have to say about Golden Prairie Press please click here.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The American Bible Challenge Premier and giveaway

The American Bible Challenge

(premieres August 23 at 8/7c on Game Show Network)

About The American Bible Challenge:

Comedian and author, Jeff Foxworthy hosts this studio-based game in which contestants compete based on their knowledge of the Bible. Utilizing current as well as historical references, questions will be drawn from the rich, dense narrative found in the world's best-selling book. The contestants will share their compelling back-stories and each team will be playing for a charitable organization. The American Bible Challenge is produced by RelativityREAL for GSN, with RelativityREAL’s Tom Forman (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) and Embassy Row’s Michael Davies ("The Newlywed Game," "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire") serving as Executive Producers on the project. Nick Stuart and Maura Dunbar of Odyssey Networks are Consulting Producers.

About Host: Jeff Foxworthy

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is the largest selling comedy-recording artist in history, a multiple Grammy® Award nominee and the best-selling author of 11 books. Widely known for his redneck jokes, his act goes beyond that to explore the humor in everyday family interactions and human nature.

My Thoughts:

I'm excited to have the opportunity to offer some info and a giveaway about this new, exciting gameshow that combines God and gaming together in one place.  This is being called a gameshow of Biblical proportions and is a gameshow that you win money for others in need or for a ministry.  How cool and exciting is that?  I'm pumped up and can't wait to watch the first episode with my family, I know I'm going to beat their socks off on the question and answer portion!




Twitter: #TheAmericanBibleChallenge and @GSN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading,

Friday, August 17, 2012

Christian Liberty Press-Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers

Over the past couple of weeks our family has been doing a unit study about the United Kingdom, in honor of the Olympics that were being held in London, England.  I've had the book Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers that Christian Liberty Press generously allowed our family to review.  The timing was perfect since the main characters Annie and Drew are "stuck" in Olney, England for the summer and meet a British organist named Mr. Pipes.  Throughout the book we learned about hymns and who wrote them and the love of Christ shines throughout the entire book.  As we were learning about England we used this wonderful book as a read aloud each night before bed.  My children are 11 and 12 years old and they both fell in love and kept asking me to read longer and longer each night so we could finish it quickly.
RRP $10.99 but they have a special rate of only $9.89 right now

I have to be honest I was a little hesitant when we first received the ebook, it sounded a little dry and boring to me but I'm so glad that we gave it a chance because it was so worthy of being read.  I've truly learned that the old saying, "Never judge a book by it's cover" is very true.  I'll be ordering the rest of the books in the series ASAP which include the following:

and the last book in the series is

Accidental Voyage: Discovering Hymns of the Early Centuries

or you can order the complete set for $38.99

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vocab Videos

Vocab Videos brings learning vocabulary words and fun together.  The kids and I giggled a lot while watching the videos and after seeing the vocab words used in a brief clip the kids have never forgotten the meanings of the words.  We got a good chuckle over some of the words and videos, they were pretty funny. 
 Members of the crew received the Small Educator Classroom SubscriptionA small educators subscription offers parents the ability to monitor student progress, access all videos and study material, and that ability to create up to 20 individual student accounts. This yearly subscription is available for $74.99. They also offer a flashcard maker, digital worksheets and  quizzes that are modeled after the SAT style which will help your child be prepared for future testing.  If you would like to try 1 month for free click here.

Vocab Videos also offers a workbook which reinforces the 500 key words.  The cost is $11.99 for the workbook.  We didn't review this workbook but I'm sure it's helpful.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Thomas Jefferson Education

A Thomas Jefferson Education says that there are seven principles of successful education. When they are applied, learning occurs for any learning style or interests. When they are ignored or rejected, the quantity and quality of education decreases.

1.Classics, Not Textbooks

2.Mentors, Not Professors

3.Inspire, Not Require

4.Structure Time, Not Content

5.Simplicity, Not Complexity
6.Quality, Not Conformity

7.You, Not Them

I've always known that there had to be a better way to educate my children but I've only known one way and that is the way I've been doing it for the past 7 years.  I was so concerned with what I was teaching that I didn't consider the "how" and "why".  That was a huge mistake on my part.  I feel like my children are happier now and feel more successful in their school work.

This Week In History is a subscription program with new lessons that are delivered to your email by A Thomas Jefferson Education.  Each week we've received lessons with pictures, videos and links that help educate your child. This programs is $9.99 per month and has the following benefits:
relieves fear, stress and burnout

energizes your kid-school

fills in the gaps

cultivates cultural literacy

facilitates state or provincial compliance

correlates resources for co-ops, classrooms and family learning

harnesses the power of technology in a classical leadership education

harmonizes with Unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Trivium/Quadrivium, IEW, eclectic, etc.

delivers new ideas and areas of learning to you and your child

instigates discussions and projects that expand wisdom and understanding

connects the subject areas–from music to math, from geography to world religions, from hobbies to science projects, etc.

motivates you and your students to greater excellence

To check out a sample week please click here.

To see what other homeschool families have to say about A Thomas Jefferson Education click here.

Thanks for reading,


Tidewater Inn-book review

About the book:

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 new found 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.

About the author:

Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America.

She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at Twitter @colleencoble.

My Opinion:

I love a good mystery but I've read so many of them over my lifetime that I can usually figure out all the twists and turns and I know who did it and why before all the details are spilled and this was no exception but it was still fun to watch the main characters learn to live out their faith and find their course in life.  This was a good book and had some interesting characters and I loved learning a little bit about the restoration of historic properties.  Tidewater Inn sounds like a place you could just chill out, relax and have a fantastic time away from all the worries and cares of the world.  Sounds like an adventure I'd like to live, without the kidnapping!  I give Tidewater Inn 3 out of 5 stars since I pretty much knew every move that the characters were going to make, it was very predictable but all in all an interesting book.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Stars Shine Bright-book review

Sibella is celebrating the release of the next book in her praiseworthy Raleigh Harmon series by giving away a Kindle Fire!

Sibella Giorello The Stars Shine Bright Kindle Fire Giveaway
Enter Today - 8/4-8/25!

About the book:
After the FBI suspends her for bending its rules, Special Agent Raleigh Harmon is looking for a chance to redeem her career and re-start her life.

Sent undercover to a thoroughbred horse track, Raleigh takes on a double life to find out who’s fixing the races. But when horses start dying and then her own life is threatened, Raleigh realizes something bigger—and more sinister—is ruining Emerald Meadows.

She’s never felt more alone.

Her one contact with the FBI is Special Agent Jack Stephanson, a guy who seems to jump from antagonistic to genuine friend depending on the time of day. And she can’t turn to her family for support. They’re off-limits while she’s undercover, and her mother isn’t speaking to her anyway, having been confined to a mental hospital following a psychotic breakdown. Adding insult to her isolation, Raleigh’s fiancĂ© wants them to begin their life together—now—precisely when she’s been ordered not to be herself.

With just days left before the season ends, Raleigh races to stop the killing and find out who’s behind the track’s trouble, all the while trying to determine if Jack is friend or foe, and whether marrying her fiancĂ© will make things better—or worse.

Raleigh is walking through the darkest night she’s faced, searching for a place where the stars shine bright.

About the author:

Sibella Giorello grew up in the mountains of Alaska admiring the beauty and nature that surrounded her. She majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts hoping to learn more about the landscape she loved back home. From there Sibella followed a winding path, much like the motorcycle ride she took across the country, which led to her true love, journalism.

She found herself in Seattle writing for rock-n-roll magazine and earned a journalism degree from the University of Washington before heading south to the land of great stories.

In Virginia, Sibella became a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It was there she also met her husband and would hear Jesus whispering her name at a tent revival.

Sibella started writing about Raleigh Harmon as a way to keep her love of story-telling alive while staying at home with her young sons. As a journalist and author, her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. The Stones Cry Out, the first Raleigh Harmon novel, won a Christy award for debut novel in 2008. Sibella now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons.

Visit Sibella Giorello online at, Facebook or Twitter

My opinion:

I read so many books throughout the course of each year and sometimes I forget about a series until I start to review the next book but not with the Raleigh Harmon series.  I'm anticipating the day that  the next book will come in the mail and I devour the book usually in one night.  Sibella has a way with words that makes you feel like you are watching a movie. You know know it's a fabulous book when you are totally engrossed and don't hear your children ask for the 3rd time what's for dinner (oops sorry kids).  I give The Stars Shine Bright 5 out of 5 stars for all the quirky characters and the geological info that is woven throughout the entire series.  You won't want to miss out on seeing Raleigh Harmon in action at the horse track!

Thanks for reading,

Friday, August 10, 2012

Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett

The past 2 weeks my family and I have been watching the Olympics as often as we can and we've enjoyed talking about all of the different sports and the countries that are attending the games.  Our children have been better at knowing the flags then my husband and myself. Ooops I guess we better study our flags better!  One day Kylan said, "What is the UK?  Is it England or part of the US?  I don't really understand about the UK."  Soooooooooooo, if you are a homeschool mom you search for a fun way to teach your children about the United Kingdom.  I just happened to come across a discount code that Amanda Bennett was offering her customers and we ended up with the Passport Europe: United Kingdom unit study.
I have a lot of friends that just rave about the Amanda Bennett unit studies but we've only used the Roller Coasters study several years ago.  I wasn't really sure what to expect but I did have very high expectations due to the rave reviews of my friends and I was NOT disappointed! 
This is a 5 day unit study and we had a great time on each and every day.

Day 1-United Kingdom
Day 2-England
Day 3-Northern Ireland
Day 4-Scotland
Day 5-Wales

Bangers and Mash

We started with a passport, and stamps for each country are included, this was a lot of fun so don't skip it.  As you travel around the United Kingdom the study has links that you click on that take you to info about the UK and also videos!  Each day you study the following :
Map work
Geography terms and features
Copy work (a scripture)
 VIP's were highlighted like the Queen
Several recipes were included-we made Irish Stew, and Bangers and Mash
The Flag
See the Science
Creatures Feature which includes art
 We made stops around the country of famous palaces, tourists spots and events with a lot of pictures and videos included so you could really get a feel for each spot.

We used the Scout study which is geared for K-6 and an Explorer unit is offered that is for older students.  In the Scout unit we used all of the lapbook pieces but didn't assemble them in a typical lapbook style because I printed off most of the pages so they could go back and read them at a later date.  I used a 3 prong notebook folder and put the pages in it then add construction paper to the front and back so we could glue our lapbook pieces to it.

This year we will be studying U.S. History so I'm sure you will see more unit studies by Amanda Bennett on here. Hint, possibly George Washington, Ben Franklin and probably Amelia Earhart.  She has many, many different topics and they aren't all about countries or history and all are resonable priced between $5 and $15 (at least all that I saw) packages were also offered. Here's a link to her product page.  I was really happy with all the time and effort she put into her studies, they are very well done and we will be using more of them in the future and I HIGHLY recommend her studies!

Thanks for reading,

The Flirtation Experiment-book review and giveaway

About the authors:  Lisa Jacobson  is an author, a podcaster, and the founder of, an online community of Christian women aut...