Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: The Sparkle Egg

Written by Jill Hardie
Illustrated by Christine Kornacki
Hardcover with jacket, 10 x 10, 32 pages
Ages 4 to 8 

Visit the official website: 

Author Bio
Jill Hardie’s first book, The Sparkle Box, ignited a new Christmas tradition that helps center Christmas in the true joy of the season. Now Jill is hoping to touch lives with a new Easter tradition with The Sparkle Egg. She lives in North Canton, Ohio.

Illustrator Bio
Christine Kornacki illustrated the highly acclaimed The Sparkle Box. She has a love for painting and a knack for bringing stories to life. Christine received a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford and spends most days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming café in New Haven, Connecticut.

My Review:
This is a delightful book about God's grace and forgiveness. Sam loves Easter and its traditions but this year, he feels more guilty than excited because he lies to his mom. Even when he apologizes and his parents forgive him, he still feels bad and ashamed. His mom helps him make a special Easter craft called a Sparkle Egg. She asks him to draw a picture of anything he feels guilty about, on a slip of paper and put it in his Sparkle Egg. On Easter morning, there's a surprise waiting for Sam. Read the book to find out what happens to his Sparkle Egg :)! In the end, his dad explains to him that the greatest gift of Easter is the gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Meaningful and touching story! Vividly beautiful and realistic illustrations! This book will make a memorable Easter gift for young children in your lives. Because of Christ, we're fully forgiven and free. Let's live accordingly; shine and sparkle for Jesus!

"When we are free from the burden of guilt, we are able to let God's beautiful light shine through us." (from "A Note from the Author" on the last page)

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36)

"There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit Who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this book. Open only to residents in the US and Canada.
Deadline: 4/13 at midnight (Pacific time)

To Enter: Leave a comment here with your email address. Please share one of your Easter traditions.

~"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Review: Your Guide to Living Life Out Loud by Dave Bell

Life is short; how do you intend to live your life? Dave Bell intends to live his life out loud, invites readers to do the same, and is eager to show them how. This book is about his life, his sufferings, his faith, his family, his healing and miracles. At 16, Dave was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive cancer. His life was turned upside down. But by God's grace and power, and the loving support from his family, friends, and church community, Dave Bell has survived and thrived to encourage and inspire others. He's here to testify that God is bigger than any giants we may face.

Each chapter (except Chapter 1) ends with Life Out Loud Guide which includes Think Out Loud (thought-provoking questions), Read Out Loud (encouraging Scriptures), Pray Out Loud (prayer), and Live Out Loud (action steps). Each chapter is short and concise. Chapter 14 was written by Dave's Dad (Stuart Bell). There are black and white photos here and there throughout the book. The author shares the valuable lessons he had learned from his journey through the valley. His experience leads him to write several heartfelt songs. This book is a beautiful testimony of God's goodness and faithfulness. It's an easy read. Dave's writing style is conversational and he writes with honesty and humor. Dave's passion for life is contagious. Reading this book will get you excited about living (including welcoming Mondays :)). Life is indeed a gift from God. Let's make every day count for the glory of God! Let's live our lives out loud with no regrets and no if only's!

~ I received a free copy of this book via The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

First Kisses Collection #1

For a limited time only - Six unforgettable love stories 

99 cents! 

Buy now at Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Kobo - iBooks - Google Play

A brand new anthology from six of your favorite inspirational romance authors - no reprints here!

About the novellas:

From New York Times bestselling author Linda Goodnight, historical romance The Rambler's Bride: The kissing cowboy Jericho is bent on revenge, but discovers the truth and falls in love with widow Esther.

From USA Today bestselling author Janet Tronstad, retro romance Lovebirds at the Heartbreak Cafe: Truck driver Buddy wasn't looking for love, but waitress Penny and her quirky family take over the cafe and his heart.

From bestselling author Debra Clopton, contemporary cowboy romance Her Mule Hollow Cowboy: Independent cowgirl Maddie swears she doesn't need help from bull rider Cliff. But the Mule Hollow Matchmakers seem to have other plans...

From bestselling author Margaret Daley, romantic suspense Deadly Hunt: Bodyguard Tess rescues wounded businessman Shane from dying in the wilderness, but can she protect her heart when Shane gets too close?

From fan favorite Camy Tang, romantic suspense Necessary Proof: Reformed ex-con Alex is on the run from those who have set him up to take the blame for a cop-killing. Will tech-expert Jane be able to prove him innocent?

From fan favorite Lacy Williams, contemporary cowboy romance Kissed by a Cowboy: Maddox has given up all his big dreams to care for his niece. When Haley returns to her hometown, will Maddox find a new dream with her?

Special promo - March 17-19 - #SENDAKISS

If you purchase First Kisses during our promo dates and send a special tweet, we'll gift a copy to a friend, absolutely free! Find out more at .

What readers are saying:

 Six amazing books from six different authors. They are all Christian fiction set from the 1800’s to present time. Each is a stand alone book with great settings, story lines and characters. All the books had family and faith. Some of the authors were known to me and some I was unfamiliar with. I really enjoyed each book. I can not wait to check out books from these new authors. - Amazon reader

 I didn't know what to expect - I am not a fan of anthologies. Usually I find that the stories are too brief and the plots move too fast and don't go into any detail and don't make a lot of sense. Well, let me tell you that this anthology is not like this, not at all. It is wonderful! I enjoyed each of the novellas immensely. Each one has well developed, thought out characters and detailed plots that move at exactly the right pace. You have suspense, romance - everything in each of the novels. I enjoyed reading each of the novellas and couldn't put the book down. Even though I have about 15 other books waiting to be read - I plan on reading this book all over again in the next week or so - it is just that good. - Amazon reader

A visual look at the collection:

Interact with the authors:

Buy now at Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Kobo - iBooks - Google Play

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

DVD Review: Let God

Let God is a movie about Amelia, a young woman who reluctantly heads west with her husband, Levi, during the gold rush in 1848 and is left alone in the wilderness when her husband is attacked and killed. A dream for a better life turns into a nightmare. Amelia struggles to survive and struggles to trust God. She has to face harsh winter, hunger, loneliness, and the unknown. She doesn't know what to do or where to go. She feels abandoned by God until she meets an Indian boy who follows her around and becomes her companion. In the end, she realizes that God is always there with her guiding her and watching over her. She has lost everything yet she has found real hope in God.

The leading actress Jasmine Jandreau gives a fantastic performance. Considering that the cast consists of only 2 actors and 2 actresses and there are very few dialogues, I think it's remarkable that the film did hold my attention :). It's a powerful story about faith and trials.
Let God won both “Best Feature” and “Best Actress” honors at the 2013 Breckenridge Film Festival. It was also an official selection at the 2013 Gideon Film Festival and has earned the Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for any age.

~I received a free copy of this DVD via Edify Media, Inc. in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, March 3, 2014

DVD Review: When Calls the Heart "Lost & Found"

When Calls the Heart: Lost & Found is a feature length film from the first two episodes of the When Calls the Heart TV series. Inspired by the novel "When Calls the Heart" by Janette Oke and produced & directed by Michael Landon, Jr., this DVD is about Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a pampered, high-class teacher receiving her first job in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town in the Great Northwest. The year was 1910. Elizabeth struggles to adjust to her new environment. She finds a friend and encouragement in Abigail Stanton (played by Lori Loughlin). Abigail's husband and son die in a mine's explosion, along with several other miners. This tragedy leaves many widows and their children in a very difficult spot. They had to work in the mines in order to keep their homes. But mining is a dangerous job! Will their effort pay off? Elizabeth and Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) do not get their relationship off on a good note. Jack blames Elizabeth’s wealthy father for ruining his career opportunity by using his influence to assign Jack to Coal Valley to protect his daughter. Will they learn to get along?

I think this is a wonderful series for the whole family to watch together. I'm looking forward to seeing next episodes. Faith. Courage. Kindness. Sacrifice. Long-suffering. It's quite rare to find Biblical values portrayed in TV shows nowadays.
The DVD's bonus feature includes a talk/discussion among Michael Landon Jr, Brian Bird, and Janette Oke. Check out this DVD which was released on Feb. 25th!

Michael Landon Jr. – Director:
  Michael Landon Jr., son of the late television legend Michael Landon, has been in the film business for over 25 years.  With two of the highest rated films in the history of the Hallmark channel, and several top ten releases targeted to the Christian market, Michael has become known for creating heartfelt, inspiring films that connect to the family.  He has developed and/or produced, directed, and written screenplays for Fox, CBS, NBC, Disney, Sony, Lifetime, and others.

Brian Bird- Writer/Producer : Brian Bird is co-founder with partner Michael Landon, Jr., of Believe Pictures, a film and television production company.  He was co-executive producer and writer on the successful television series, Touched by an Angel.  Adding to Brian’s success, he had also written and produced episodes of Evening Shade, Step by Step and The Family Man.  Most recently, Bird wrote and produced Gametime, a two-hour television pilot for NBC, The Shunning, inspired by the novel by best-selling author Beverly Lewis, for the Hallmark Channel, and Not Easily Broken, adapted from the novel by T.D. Jakes and released theatrically by Sony/TriStar.

~I received a free copy of this DVD via Edify Media, Inc. in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.