Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Catching Faith movie
Synopsis:  John and Alexa Taylor appear to have the perfect life – they’re the envy of all the parents in town. Their son Beau is the high school football star and their daughter Ravyn is a straight-A student. But when Beau is caught drinking alcohol, his place on the team and his bright future are on the line. With the football season at stake and the judgmental community turning their backs on them, every member of the Taylor family is at a crossroads. Now, they must find the strength from one another, and the spiritual courage from within, to prove that faith and family is the only score that really matters.

An excellent family movie teaching that living your faith isn't always easy.  Sometimes there are hard decisions that must be made.  Trials and temptations are all part of the Christian's life.  That is what helps to grow our faith.  It is how we react and respond to those trials and temptations that shows Jesus to those around us that may not have that relationship with Him.  However, no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes.  How you handle those mistakes will also show forth Christ.

Learn more about this movie here

*I was given a complimentary copy of this DVD for my review. All opinions are my own.*

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ellie Goes Back to School by Elle and Marci Fair

The third installment of an award-winning children’s series, The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant: Ellie Goes to School follows the charming plush toy and her best friend, Pudgy the Penguin, as they brave their latest exploratory journey—elementary school.

Having recently moved, Ellie is worried about her first day at a new school. But, encouraged by the presence of her trusted penguin sidekick, the little elephant decides to view the next few hours as just another buddy adventure packed with exciting surprises.

Throughout the day, Ellie and Pudgy meet the classroom pets, take a trip to the library, discover interesting instruments in music class, and so much more. They even learn a valuable lesson about friendship when they encounter a lonely student at recess. By the end of the day, the two best friends can’t wait to return to school the next morning!

Just in time for Back to School.  Ellie Goes to School will help make going back to school or even starting school a wee bit easier for little ones.  Ellie takes them on a tour of her school and explains the things that students might see and do in school.  A wonderful book to read to your kindergartner or 1st grader.  Your 2nd grader will probably be delighted because they'll more than likely be able to read the story to you.  A colorful book, easy to read and most children will be able to relate to the story as well.  The connection is there and that is all that matters when it comes to going back to school.  Visit Ellie the Elephant's web site here

 A copy of these books were provided by Bostick Communications and the author in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cold as Ice by M.K. Gilroy

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Cold as Ice
Sydney Lane Press
M.K. Gilroy


Mark won’t claim he has done it all in the world of publishing, but he has packed boxes, edited manuscripts, made sales calls, created marketing plans, directed design and illustration, started companies, consulted, agented the works of others, and written advertising and catalog copy. He’s authored, compiled, and ghost written books that have landed on an array of bestsellers lists and sold millions of copies. His first ghost writing project, The Wal-Mart Way, was done for Don Soderquist, Sam Walton’s longtime right-hand man.

In early 2012 he put on a new hat as a fiction author. His debut novel, Cuts Like a Knife, was released in April 2012 and was met with rave reviews from USA Today, Fresh Fiction, Publishers Weekly, and other leading national reviewers. His second novel, Every Breath You Take, second in the Kristen Conner Mystery Series, released in Fall 2012 to similar acclaim. Kristen Conner returns in Cold As Ice, which releases in Fall 2014.

Gilroy has extensive writing credits. He scripted and served as creative consultant for a two-hour training video that was honored with the Award of Excellence by the International Television Association. He has compiled and written close to fifty books and penned hundreds articles and curriculum pieces for a variety of periodicals and publishers.

Gilroy and his wife Amy reside in Brentwood, Tennessee. Their six children are Lindsey, Merrick, Ashley, Caroline, Bo, and Zachary—the youngest has now headed off for college, so he and Amy are officially empty nesters.


Detective Kristen Conner is back on a new murder case. She’s still fighting with her sister—and no surprise, someone new wants to kill her! He was a pillar in his Chicago neighborhood: popular school teacher, devoted father and husband, political activist on behalf of underprivileged children—and a master gardener who liked to plant flowers in his neighbor’s yards. What wasn’t to love about him? Who would want him dead?

When Detective Kristen Conner lands the case she knows from day one who the key suspect is. That’s simple. The person most likely to kill you is someone close that you know and love. But the wife? She was always at her husband’s side and just as passionate about his causes as he was. No way could this loving wife and mother of three be a killer. Right? Mix in her on-again, off-again relationship with FBI Agent Austin Reynolds, a quick trip to New York City where Kristen helps her media-star sister for a new apartment—only to discover the body of a man who appears to have been executed by a professional killer on a run through Central Park—and Kristen Conner is once again swept into a world of danger, intrigue, and a confusing love life.

What she doesn’t know just might kill her.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Cold as Ice, go HERE.

I'm in the process of reading this book.  It has been wonderful page turner.  Hard to pull myself away from the book to do other things.  Winter is coming would be a excellent book to curl up with on a cold winter night and just turn the pages.  Well read the pages first then keep on turning.  It is a book you can get lost in the suspense and not want to put it down. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Little progress!

Well last night was Aug. FNSi.  I was able to sew for a short time. But had to become an unexpected babysitter so didn't get as much accomplished as I'd hope to.  However, I did get a few hours of sewing in during the afternoon before my visitor came.  Can't say I'm a big fan of paper piecing this way......

I have had this cut out since January, but put away.  Sew I dug it out again to get a wee bit closer to getting it accomplished.  Here is what I started with....

And this is what I accomplished....

These four are completely done and ready for the next stage.

This one needs trimmed up yet

I thought this looked pretty all arranged like this.  Looks like a peppermint.

Then I started getting the hang of it and decided to do all the same steps then go press seems and work on the next piece.  Since I ultimately have to make 16 of the same piece before going on to the next step.  Although I still think I like paper piecing using the whole pattern and sewing onto it and then ripping the pattern away.  Seems less time consuming that way.

Sew I did get a little machine time in.  However, there's still lots to sew. 

Also posted at:

Fresh Poppy Design

WIPs on Wednesdays

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sew off I go....

 I'm going to try to get a few free minutes to sew.  I have a project I cut out back in the winter and it needs to get completed.  I'm going to do my best to get some of that completed.  Sew I'd better get off here and get a sewing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Once Upon a Summertime by Melody Carlson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Once Upon a Summertime
Revell (June 2, 2015)
Melody Carlson


My husband Chris and I live in a cabin-style home next to the National Forest in the beautiful Cascade Mountain area of the Pacific Northwest. Our two grown sons and granddaughter live nearby and we try to see them as often as we can. We also have two 're-homed' pets to make life more interesting-our yellow Labrador retriever Audrey and a Maine coon cat named Harry.

My writing studio is in a separate building next to our courtyard (a garden area that's off limits to the voracious deer). The window behind my desk looks out into the Ponderosa pine forest, where I see deer, squirrels, rabbits, and an occasional raccoon. The other windows in my office overlook the courtyard which is frequented by numerous hummingbirds in the summertime-one August evening we counted nearly fifty of the little hummers.


Managing the Value Lodge in her hometown was not what Anna Gordon had in mind when she set out in the hospitality industry. But it's a safe choice for a woman whose childhood was anything but stable. Out of the blue, she gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reinvent herself by moving to New York City, where she hopes for a management position at a stylish new boutique hotel. The big city is full of surprises--not the least of which is Sean O'Neil. Her childhood crush has applied for the very same position!

Sweet, romantic, and endlessly entertaining, this romp through the storied streets of New York City will enchant readers. Melody Carlson has created characters so charming that readers will long to meet them in the lobby of the stunning Rothsberg Hotel.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Once Upon a Summertime, go HERE.

Monday, August 17, 2015

guest post: Angels are Real by Michelle Beber

Angels Are Real
by author:  Michelle Beber

If you’re willing to open yourself up to the possibility that angels exist, you’ll have made one of the best decisions of your life.  Since I started believing in angels in 2008 and subsequently started asking for their help, my life has dramatically improved in ways I never could have imagined.  Because I’ve witnessed such amazing results, I’m compelled to share this knowledge with others so they may benefit from this Divine connection.

In 2008, I attended a spiritual retreat where I learned about repetitive number sequences known as “angel numbers.”  It’s a Heavenly “language” that angels use to give us messages and guidance.  After I came home from the retreat, I learned everything I could about those special numbers and angels, and within a few months, the love I’d developed for the angels had opened up a direct line of communication with them!

Not only did I receive guidance in the form of numbers, but also occasionally, I would hear a sentence or two in my head.  Usually, it was when I needed comforting, like the time I was driving myself to the emergency room in the middle of an allergic reaction.  I was filled with extreme anxiety while I was driving, and my heart was racing.  In my head, I heard the words, “We’re getting you there as fast as we can” repeating over and over.  It helped to keep me calm and made me feel loved and protected.

As I was lying in the hospital bed hooked up to intravenous steroids, a young girl walked past me wearing a black sweatshirt that had big, white angel wings on the back of it!  That was no coincidence.  It was a validation that angels were right there by my side.

One day, the messages went beyond a sentence or two.  I was on my way to work one morning, and I heard the beautiful poetry that would become the text for my first children’s book, Angels, Angels, Everywhere.  I was also given the vision of the cover:  four racially diverse female angels flying around the Earth, each holding a glowing yellow heart of Divine love and light.  I was also given the vision for the back of the book:  Archangel Michael holding the Earth with a huge glowing yellow heart of Divine love and light behind him.  It was then that I knew Archangel Michael had given me the words for my book.

I’m humbled and blessed to be able to bring these words of comfort and joy to children.  There’s nothing more fulfilling than having the opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life.
learn more about the author here.
get more information about Angels, Angels Everywhere here.
read my review here.

a copy of this book was provided in exchange for my honest review by....
Pump Up Your Book

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Grin with Grace by Kathy Carlton Willis

 It Might be Time to Grin with Grace!

Have you ever felt the need to bite your tongue or grit your teeth? With humor and candor, popular women’s speaker Kathy Carlton Willis explores ways to smile in the face of adversity and challenging circumstances. Her go-to phrase Grin with Grace is the title of her latest book. She explores the word “grace” in Scripture, revealing how God’s grace blesses us and how it impacts our relationship with Him and with others.

Grin with Grace is part of the Grin With…Bible Study Series. This line of books is designed to help women on the run focus on a central theme. The “study, story and steps” formula helps readers assimilate new traits in small sections, all the while anticipating the next insight.

“You can never have too much of God’s grace,” says Kathy. “While writing this series, I dealt with multiple health issues, surgeries, cancer, and hospitalizations. At the same time, I moved to a different town, diving in to a new church ministry with my husband. Very little in life seemed familiar or comfortable. But God infused grace into each challenge and turned them into opportunities.” Kathy learned anew what the Bible means when it says:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)

Quote from Chapter 7, Grin with Grace:
God’s grace strengthens us to live the lives He directs us to live. When we’re weak, grace makes us strong through Christ. His grace is not frail; it’s power-packed.
– Kathy Carlton Willis

There’s an important element about grace. It’s not meant to be hoarded, regardless of its wonderful value. Once God blesses us with grace, we are then recruited to His team to be instruments of His grace to others. Grin with Grace tells stories of real-life grace and gives suggestions for creating new grace moments for others. Every Bible passage is contained in the text, accommodating ease of reading anytime, anywhere. Read it straight through as a book, use it as a personal study, or join with a group to discuss the material together. The chapters are short enough to combine—resulting in a seven-week group study.

Release Date: May 1, 2015
Retail: $14.99
Publisher: AMG
ISBN-10: 0899574785
ISBN-13: 978-0899574783

More about Grin with Grace

Each chapter features five sections:
  • Grin with Grace contains real-life stories and observations. You’ll laugh at the humorous confessions and wacky insights, and relate to Kathy’s transparent honesty. Be inspired to see grace in your everyday life.
  • Grow with Grace features a grace word study. Kathy examines Bible verses and personalizes the meaning to your situation. Workbook prompts allows you to write down your thoughts as you read along.
  • Go with Grace offers life application. Pick one action step and make it work for you, or pick all of them—but do something to live out your grace-walk.
  • Give with Grace advances life application further, equipping you to become an instrument of God’s grace to others. You’ll be inspired to take what you’ve learned and give it away to others. This is when faith becomes ministry—when your focus expands to see the needs of others.
  • Your Grin with Grace Challenge describes a grace-challenging scenario to give you an opportunity to exercise your newfound grace. It allows for speculation and judgment calls, to prepare you for the what-ifs that happen in life.

Coming Soon:  Grin with Grace DVDs for personal or group use 

Grin with Grace was designed with you the reader in mind.  It was written to help equip an individual for real life experiences in giving away grace.  Use it as a personal daily Bible study and you'll have fun seeing how far God's grace will go. There is also a 7 week group Bible study in the back of the book that can be used in a group setting; however, each chapter could be used as a weekly study and it would turn into a 12 week Bible study.  There is so much to learn about God's amazing grace.  Kathy writes using her own life experiences.  She writes with transparency, knowledge and humor.  Her stories are ones we can relate to as well as apply it in your every day life. 

About the Author:
Kathy Carlton Willis writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith—whimsy and wisdom. Not many funny girls also have Bible degrees! Kathy’s a pastor’s wife, which gives her plenty of opportunities to grin with grace. She shines the light on issues that hold women back and inspires their own lightbulb moments. Almost a thousand of Kathy’s articles have been published in books, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Kathy’s tagline describes her best: Light & Lively: His Reflection/Her Laughter. Kathy lives with her pastor/husband, Russ, in Rockdale, Texas.



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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hope Harbor
Revell (July 7, 2015)
Irene Hannon


Irene Hannon is a bestselling, award-winning author who took the publishing world by storm at the tender age of 10 with a sparkling piece of fiction that received national attention.

Okay…maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But she was one of the honorees in a complete-the-story contest conducted by a national children’s magazine. And she likes to think of that as her “official” fiction-writing debut!

Since then, she has written more than 45 romantic suspense and contemporary romance/women’s fiction novels. She is a seven-time finalist and three-time winner of the RITA award—the “Oscar” of romantic fiction—and a member of Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Her books have also won a Daphne du Maurier award, a Carol award, three HOLT Medallions, a National Readers’ Choice award, a Retailers Choice award, two Booksellers’ Best awards and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. One of her novels was also named by Booklist as a top 10 inspirational fiction books of 2011. In addition, she is a two-time Christy award finalist.

Irene, who holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, juggled two careers for many years until she gave up her executive corporate communications position with a Fortune 500 company to write full. She is happy to say she has no regrets!

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and singing. A trained vocalist, she has sung the leading role in numerous musicals, including “South Pacific,” “Brigadoon,” “Oklahoma” “The King and I” and “Anything Goes.” She is also a soloist at her church.

When not otherwise occupied, Irene and her husband enjoy traveling, Saturday mornings at their favorite coffee shop and spending time with family. They make their home in Missouri.


Tracy Campbell never wanted to leave Hope Harbor, Oregon, or the idyllic three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up. But life--and love--altered her plans. When tragedy strikes and changes her plans yet again, she finds herself back in her hometown with a floundering farm to run and a heartbreaking secret. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter's. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help save a struggling charitable organization, the winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives--including their own.

Fan favorite Irene Hannon brings a whole new cast of characters to life in a charming Oregon seaside village. Emotional and heartwarming, this story invites readers to come home to Hope Harbor, where love and hope bloom--and hearts heal.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hope Harbor, go HERE.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Furry Logic, 10th Anniversary Edition by Jane Seabrook

The pictures are adorable and the quotes are hilarious  in Jane Seabrook's Furry Logic.  This book is a cute guide to life's little challenges.  The book is a nice size just to leave laying around on the end table to pick up and read a few quick refreshing quotes.  You'll laugh at the animals that are pictured in the quotes as well.  After reading these quotes you'll look at everyday life with new perspective.

I had a fourth grade boy I work with almost use one of the quotes in this book to the tea one day when he came up to me at school and said...."Mrs. Buening can you talk to ____________ he's getting on my one last nerve."  I had a good chuckle as I said.  "Oh, yah and how's that?"  

Here are a few of my favorites:
as a parent you'll relate to this......

This is my Saturday attitude.  ;P

For more information about this book visit here.

About the Author

JANE SEABROOK is the creator and artist of the Furry Logic series. Known for her paintings of wildlife, Jane cares for her own furry family of three cats with help from her husband and two teenage children.

A copy of this book was provided free in exchange for my honest review by....