Friday, April 21, 2017

The Prince Warriors by Pricilla Shirer and Gina Detwiler



  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 650 (What's this?)
  • Series: The Prince Warriors
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Kids (April 27, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433690195
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433690198

About the Book:

The battle is real.
As brothers, Xavier and Evan are used to battling each other. But now they’re discovering that there is a much bigger battle going on all around them. And it’s their turn to fight. Based on Ephesians 6:10–18, The Prince Warriors is the first book in Priscilla Shirer’s epic new series that brings to life the invisible struggle ensuing in the spiritual realm. Xavier, Evan, and their friends have typical lives until they enter a mysterious land called Ahoratos. There they meet their guide, Ruwach, who offers wisdom and direction as the kids’ initial adventure begins—an adventure filled with armor and danger and a very real enemy.
Written by New York Times Best-Selling author Priscilla Shirer, The Prince Warriors series was created for middle-grade readers and will include the fiction trilogy as well as Unseen: The 365 Prince Warriors Devotional and the Unseen app.

My Thoughts:

This is going to be one of those reviews that won't completely make sense until the very end, so please hang in there with me!  Way back, almost a year ago, I received a complimentary copy of "The Prince Warriors" from my friends at B&H Publishing, with no obligation on my part.  I did, however, commit to reviewing the book.

And then it promptly was buried beneath a pile of TBR (to be read), TBR (to be reviewed), and my GINTTRTBP (Gee, I need time to read this book pile).  And I completely forgot my commitment. After our youngest daughter married this past March we did some relocating in our house.  And I finally had enough bookshelf space to organize every book I had in my massive collection.

How massive?  It took me over a week, and I was sorting and alphabetizing as I shelved.  Low, and behold, a book appeared by Pricilla Shirer and Gina Detwiler...that had released LAST YEAR, for the love of bookmarks!

I felt awful.  I felt like I'd let the girls down.

Then I started reading.

So, this review is for every customer I ever had who asked me for a recommendation for a great book for young boys that had a solid spiritual theme.  This review is for every mom of every reluctant reader of the male gender.  This review is for every bookseller who searches high and low for a great book to recommend to a frustrated and weary person of a young boy.

THIS IS THE SERIES WE'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!!!!  Yeah, that's right!  It's a SERIES, and it RAWKS!!  That's boy-speak for a really great read.  I love the origin of the series: Pricilla was making up stories to teach her own sons about the power of prayer, and they were so good, publication was pursued...

...and God moved and now we have books we can recommend with confidence!  So, "The Prince Warriors" receives my very special, just created award of "Hallelujah!  We have boy books!" (and yes, girls will dig them as well, but c'mon...you know you've been waiting!).

And many, many humble apologies for allowing this to become buried beneath all of my massive piles of books.  Just so you aren't jealous of my shelf space...I have new piles starting, and I need a new bookshelf already!

So, until the next book.......

Mark Your Place,

Deena

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Disturbed: Clearing Out the Demons by Jesse Peterson, illustrated by Andy Manley



  • Paperback: 86 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; First Edition edition (October 25, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1539700399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1539700395
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches

About the Book:

In Peterson's first book, he presents the reader with ten stories carefully crafted to send chills up their spines. With Andy Manely creating illustrations that bring Peterson's creatures to life, Disturbed: Clearing Out The Demons will haunt your dreams for weeks.

My Thoughts:

(Full Disclosure: my son is the author of "Disturbed: Clearing Out The Demons", and I served as his editor.)

As a first novel, Peterson's book impressed me.

True, it's a brief compilation of stories geared to creep out the reader.  On that note, success.

And the size of the book is unusual--more the size of a magazine than an actual book.  On that note, seems to be success.

What has me most impressed is the drive Peterson has demonstrated, carefully crafting ten self-contained tales of a variety of things that go bump in the night without becoming campy or reinventing the creepy wheel.

Each story stands on its own merit, with a variety of topic as well as style.  "Ghost" is straight narrative, describing a disturbing but unique transformation of a girl into a creature of the night while ultimately discovering---oops, almost gave something away there!

While "Gnaw" tackles a journal format and re-imagines legendary carnivore extraordinaire Miss Bathory.  Don't know your history?  Might want to brush up, but the tale will give you the grist--I mean, GIST of her history.

Don't be shocked to find some grammatical and even a few spelling errors in this self-published project.  Yes, I served as editor, but a person can only do so much!  (That was a joke) (A not funny joke).  But don't let those few flaws keep you from allowing yourself the experience of "Disturbed: Clearing Out The Demons".

The stories are fresh and some feature some mind-bending twists the reader will not see coming, but make the meat of the story oh, so sweet.  I have my favorites, and one or two didn't hit the mark for me.  Overall, I really enjoyed "Disturbed: Clearing out The Demons" and see great potential for Peterson's craft.

Original poetry from Peterson prefaces each creep-tastic tale.  Original artwork by illustrator Andy Manley brings the characters to horrifying life.  And each tale will lead you to a much larger picture if you just continue along the path Peterson has crafted for you...

...because Peterson is not done being Disturbed.  Oh, no, not by a long shot.  This is a general market fiction title, classified horror, but think more along the lines of R.L Stine with the potential for Stephen King.

Be sure to leave the lights on, if you will.  I'm giving "Disturbed: Clearing Out the Demons" my 'one to watch' award.  I believe greater--and creepier--works are ahead for the team of Peterson and Manley. (and I promise to get him a better editor) (okay, again, a bad joke) (or, is it?)

Until the next book...

Mark Your Place,

Deena

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham






  • Series: A Pleasant Gap Romance
  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 2, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 153969903X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1539699033

About the Book:

Single mom, Eisley Barrett, takes a vacation from her Blue Ridge Mountain "mom" life to travel to the English countryside in search of answers to an ancestral mystery. Burned by romance, she certainly isn't planning to stumble into her own fairy tale. 

Leading man and former rogue, Christopher Wesley Harrison is fighting to rebuild a new reputation after a tragedy introduced him to the power of redemption. His self-protective avoidance of romance crumbles at Eisley's two left feet and her authenticity send his heart into unscripted territory. 

When his past threatens to ruin their second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grave salvage their unexpected romance?

My Thoughts:

Many of my reading friends adore Pepper Basham's historical novels, and they really are quite good.  But my heart is passionate about her contemporary fiction, and her newest novel is a keeper (just like Pepper Basham is!).

Why, you ask?  

Three words: hilarity, heart, and hope.

"Just The Way You Are" shines the spotlight on broken hearts and disillusioned people.  Both Eisley (don't you just LOVE that name?) and Christopher have been betrayed and crushed by love, and both are quite skittish about romance in any shade or on any continent.

That's right, reading friends!  Basham takes us across the pond for a good chunk of the story, exploring family history and those uber romantic landscapes, tossing in a few hidden passages as a bonus.  Makes me want to update my passport, it does, it does!

Both Eisley and Wesley (go ahead and think Princess Bride, but better!) have a suspicion that more than family histories are the current topic in their respective families, and soon enough their suspicions are proven correct.

Matchmakers are afoot, and they are the most delightful characters I've encountered in quite a few reads! Daniel, Eleanor, and Uncle Joe are hilarious and quite instrumental in healing Eisley's heart.  And I cannot wait until you mean the entire Jenkins clan!

From the mountains of Appalachia to the hills of jolly old England, you're in for a real treat with "Just the Way You Are"!  This is a book I will be reading again and again...maybe one of those 'once a year pick me up' reads, I'm thinking.

Either way, get thyself to a bookstore and pick up your copy of "Just the Way You Are", available both in ebook and print format.  But paper absorbs tears, and I was letting them flow from both laughter and heartache.  Still, I'm seriously thinking about purchasing a 'real' copy so I can hold it in my hands.

"Just the Way You Are" receives my "Oh, the Feels!" award, and I am eager to read whatever Pepper Basham creates next!  Until then...

Mark Your Place,

Deena

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Life After by Katie Ganshert





  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (April 18, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601429029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601429025
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches

About the Book:

It could have been me.

Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.
 
A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest. 
 
Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve-year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake.  
 
In Life After, Katie Ganshert’s most complex and unforgettable novel yet, the stirring prose and authentic characters pose questions of truth, goodness, and ultimate purpose in this emotionally resonant tale.

My Thoughts: 

Prepare for MAJOR gushing, readers!  I'm a HUGE fan of Katie Ganshert and have loved all of her novels...but "Life After" is a real game changer for me.  She has raised the bar high, high, HIGH with this newest release.

Autumn Manning struggles with much more than survivor's guilt.  She struggles with a multitude of issues, the kind of issues that we wrestle with on a daily basis: worth, perspective, acceptance, craving love, family, identity...and the list goes on.

On the surface, you could read this as a love story with two broken people coming together to find love and healing.  Paul Elliott is just as broken as Autumn, and his struggles are just as multi-layered: loss, grief, panic, guilt, loneliness, fear, being enough...again, the list is endless.

This alone makes Autumn and Paul into Everywoman and Everyman.  But the story goes even deeper as it exposes our own flawed humanity and how we respond to the events in our lives.  Do we hide, like Autumn?  Do we burrow in and refuse to come out (this is my go to response: turtle mode).  Or do we step into the Light and try to move forward?

Or maybe like Paul, we accept false blame, artificial guilt and emotional manipulation by those we love and those who claim to love us.  Do we develop a grudge worthy of a movie title?  Do we let roots of bitterness take hold in our souls, allowing them to grow until we can't see or feel the Son?  Or do we own our own stuff, refuse to carry someone else's stuff, and then lay our stuff at the foot of the cross?

Two broken people do not make a whole person.  They simply can't.  Oh, we can try to make a relationship work, but the cracks and holes and dents will always, always rob us of what could be.  And I don't want to settle for what is...I want what could be.  So, will Autumn and Paul feel the same?  You'll have to read "Life After" to find out!

Because Katie doesn't always tie things up into neat and tidy bows...sometimes the bows are crooked, and sometimes, despite her best efforts at controlling her imaginary people...they do what they want and invite her along for the ride.

And, oh, what a ride "Life After" is!  Stock up on tissues for the tears and laughter that await you.  I'm so thrilled I received an advance copy of "Life After" that I ordered my own finished copy (but no obligation was met for my freebie).  You may just want to buy multiple copies and get together with a few girlfriends or guyfriends for a group read. 

Because you just might find your own healing in this powerful work of fiction.

That's why "Life After" is getting my "For Such a Time" award, and I'm anxiously awaiting the next new project from must read, must love author Katie Ganshert.  But, until then...


Mark Your Place,

Deena

Nifty Gifty: Noah's Ark by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Sean Sims





Author: Timothy Knapman; Illustrator: Sean Sims
ISBN 13: 978-1-62686-839-7 
Format: Kit
Pages: 32 pp.
Trim: 9.84 x 9.84
Art: Full Color
Category: Activity & Sticker Books 
Age Range: 5 and up
Price: $19.99

About the Book:

This retelling of the story of Noah's Ark is a fun and lively version of the classic tale, in which Noah builds an ark with room for his family and all the animals to save them from the flood. 

With beautiful art from Christopher Flint plus a large, foldout model of the ark, young readers will love this brand-new version of this Bible story. 

Children can reenact the story with the cardboard characters and animals included as well!

My Thoughts:

This is my third experience with Silver Dolphin Books, and I am making them my go to publisher for all things creative!  What a fabulous product for readers and creative imaginations!  "Noah's Ark" is a full color, 32 page book that is rich and engaging for young readers.  The story itself makes a perfect read aloud or read alone story.

But what really makes this such and exciting product is the companion playset.



Your child can re-enact the adventure of the true story of Noah and his ark. The book comes in a gorgeous set, with the book sandwiched between a closed, sturdy cardboard stage.  Inside are 48 press out model pieces, both to enhance the story of Noah and the animals, and characters to replay the adventure inside the pages of the book!

What a fabulous gift for any adventurous or even reluctant reader!  The price is also amazing--only $19.99 for the set, which is packaged well, and the cardboard pieces are pretty sturdy.  I know my grandchildren are going to flip over this new book and imagination expansion toy!

I received a set of "Noah's Ark" interactive storybook from Silver Dolphin Books with no services or opinions offered in exchange.  Until the next book...


Mark Your Place,

Deena

Nifty Gifty: Beauty and the Beast by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Christopher Flint





Author: Timothy Knapman; Illustrator: Christopher Flint
ISBN 13: 978-1-62686-840-3 
Format: Kit
Pages: 32 pp.
Trim: 9.84 x 9.84
Art: Full Color
Category: Activity & Sticker Books - Fairy Tales & Folklore 
Age Range: 5 and up
Price: $19.99

About the Book:

Relive and reenact the classic fairytale of Beauty and the Beast in this brand-new storybook and playset. When a terrifying Beast captures Beauty's father, Beauty agrees to take her father's place as his prisoner. But while she lives in the palace with him, she learns that he is good and kind and not so terrifying. But can Beauty love the Beast? With a beautiful story, charming illustrations, and a foldout castle filled with a library, a ballroom, and more, young readers will enjoy reading and playing along with the lovely Beauty and her Beast.

My Thoughts:


This is my second product received from Silver Dolphin Books, and I'm head over heels in love!  "Beauty and the Beast" is a full color, 32 page book that is rich and engaging for young readers.  The story itself makes a perfect read aloud or read alone story.

But what really makes this such and exciting product is the companion playset.

Your child can re-enact the experience of Beauty meeting her Beast and all the magic that ensues. The book comes in a gorgeous set, with the book sandwiched between a closed, sturdy cardboard stage.  Inside are 48 press out model pieces, both to enhance the magical castle, and characters to replay the fun and whimsy found inside the pages of the book!

What a fabulous gift for any adventurous or even reluctant reader!  The price is also amazing--only $19.99 for the set, which is packaged well, and the cardboard pieces are pretty sturdy.  I know my grandchildren are going to flip over this new book and imagination expansion toy!

I received a set of "Beauty and the Beast" interactive storybook from Silver Dolphin Books with no services or opinions offered in exchange.  Until the next book...

Mark Your Place,

Deena

Monday, April 17, 2017

All Aboard The Pirate Ship by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Andrea Castellani



ISBN 13: 978-1-62686-841-0 
Format: Kit
Pages: 32 pp.
Trim: 9.84 x 9.84
Art: Full Color
Category: Activity & Sticker Books
Age Range: 5 and up
Price: $19.99

About the Book:

Tommy Montgomery loved everything there was to love about pirates! "Treasure first and friends forever!" was the motto he knew and tried to live by. All Tommy wanted was to be a pirate, and one day he decided it was time for an adventure! So he snuck on The Pirate's Revenge and headed for the high seas. 

Children can follow along and reenact their favorite scenes in this storybook and playset! The large, foldout model becomes the inside of a pirate ship so children can play as they read along and find out if Tommy has what it takes to become a real-life pirate!

My Thoughts:

This is my first experience with Silver Dolphin Books, but it will not be my last one!  What a fabulous product for readers and creative imaginations!  "All Aboard the Pirate Ship" is a full color, 32 page book that is rich and engaging for young readers.  The story itself makes a perfect read aloud or read alone story.

But what really makes this such and exciting product is the companion playset.

Your child can re-enact the adventure Tommy Montgomery takes on his trip aboard the pirate ship. the book comes in a gorgeous set, with the book sandwiched between a closed, sturdy cardboard stage.  Inside are 48 press out model pieces, both to enhance the pirate ship, and characters to replay the adventure inside the pages of the book!

What a fabulous gift for any adventurous or even reluctant reader!  The price is also amazing--only $19.99 for the set, which is packaged well, and the cardboard pieces are pretty sturdy.  I know my grandchildren are going to flip over this new book and imagination expansion toy!

I received a set of "All Aboard the Pirate Ship" interactive storybook from Silver Dolphin Books with no services or opinions offered in exchange.  Until the next book...

Mark Your Place,

Deena

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Nifty Gifty: Ready, Set, Find Easter by Zonderkidz




  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Ready, Set, Find
  • Board book: 12 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Brdbk edition (February 7, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031075769X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310757696

About the Book:

Get ready to follow Jesus as He enters Jerusalem, shares the Last Supper with His friends, and walks in the garden of Gethsemane. This holiday board book is perfect for young children who will love finding the 48 objects hidden on the pages while reading the classic story of Easter, accurately retold and with scripture references. On your mark, Ready-Set-Find!

My Thoughts:

Who doesn't enjoy a treasure hunt?  And when it's about the treasure that never perishes, even better! "Ready, Set, Find Easter" is a search and seek book for readers ages 4-8, but even the younger set can enjoy trying to find the variety of objects on each thick board-like page.

Some will be easy for eyes to spot: the child waving the palm branch, or the dog on the first page. Others will be a bit more challenging, such as the bread and candle depicted during Jesus' final supper with his disciples.

Each page is sturdy for little hands (and teeth with toddlers!), and the tabs are handy indicators of the story being told on those particular pages.  This is a book your children will enjoy long after Easter is celebrated, because it's the story of our Jesus and all He's done to save us.

I received a complimentary copy of "Ready, Set, Find Easter" from my friend at Zonderkidz in exchange for no services or opinions.  Until the next book...

Mark Your Place,

Deena

Sandpiper Cover by Irene Hannon



  • Series: Hope Harbor
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (April 4, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800727681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800727680

About the Book:

Hope Harbor police chief Lexie Graham has plenty on her plate raising her son alone and dealing with a sudden rash of petty theft and vandalism in her coastal Oregon hometown. As a result, she has zero time for extracurricular activities--including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn't looking for love either--but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief? Yet wishing for things that can never be is foolish.

Nevertheless, when Lexie enlists Adam's help to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks begin to fly. And as they work together, it soon becomes apparent that God may have a different--and better--future planned for them than either could imagine.

Lauded by Library Journal as "a master at character development," Irene Hannon welcomes readers back to this charming Oregon seaside village where hearts heal--and love blooms.

My Thoughts:

Irene Hannon is one of my go to authors, and I'm always excited when a new novel is set to release.  I adore her suspense, but I've fallen in love with her contemporary novels in her "Hope Harbor" series. This cozy community is packed with fascinating and quirky characters that make appearances all throughout the series.

With "Sandpiper Cove" we meet reformed felon Adam Stone as he embarks on a new way of life, but attempts to live an isolated lifestyle out in the cove.  His sole companion?  An abused and injured pooch named Clyde that Adam rescues and takes home with him.  But when vandalism strikes, Chief Lexie comes out to investigate, and Adam's isolation ends.

Lexie is a single mom working in a high pressure environment, but she's fortunate to have her mom living with her and her young son...even when the woman can't help but meddle a little.  Annette can't help but encourage their new family friend and her daughter to explore any spark and seek out the plan the Father may have for them.

Prepare to fall in love with Lexie's son, Matt, as the rambunctious boy helps care for Clyde and burrows his way into Adam's heart.  Brenda Hutton and son Brian will also linger in your imagination long after you close the final page.  Of course, Charley and his taco truck and seemingly supernatural wisdom is found in the pages of "Sandpiper Cove"...along with everyone's favorite seagull couple, Floyd and Gladys.

You'll enjoy every moment in "Sandpiper Cove", and I'm thankful to my friends at Revell for my downloaded copy from NetGalley in exchange for no services or opinions promised.  "Sandpiper Cove" receives my "Oh, The Feels!" award.

Until next time...

Mark Your Place,

Deena

Friday, April 14, 2017

Nifty Gifty: The Jesus Storybook Bible written by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by JAGO




  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Special ed. edition (February 7, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031076100X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310761006

About the Book:

The bestselling The Jesus Storybook Bible, written by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Jago, is celebrating its phenomenal success with this beautiful clothbound gift edition that includes a ribbon marker. The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the Story beneath all the stories in the Bible. From Noah to Moses to the great King David––every story points to Jesus. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle––the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, as the Story unfolds, children will pick up the clues and piece together the puzzle. A Bible like no other, The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures, to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God's great story of salvation––and at the center of their story too.

My Thoughts:

What can I say that already hasn't been said about "The Jesus Storybook Bible"?  God bless Sally Lloyd-Jones and her faithful illustrator JAGO, and God bless Him for their talent!  This book has blessed generations of children with the gift of God's Word on their level of understanding, with gorgeous drawings that make their hearts yearn for the truth of the story that unfolds.

This celebratory copy is hard bound, with a cloth cover and gorgeous gold filigree on a sky blue background.  A silvery blue ribbon serves to mark your place as you read through the book with your children (please, please read this one aloud with your littles?)

And the best part of everything "Jesus Storybook Bible"?  Lloyd-Jones and JAGO are certain to point the way to Jesus on each and every page, in each and every story, and with each and every full color illustration.

This is a treasure of a book, and I urge you to make this your gift to your family this spring.  I received my gorgeous complimentary copy from Zonderkidz with no services or opinions promised in exchange.


Mark Your Place,

Deena

Beyond Justice by Cara Putman



  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 4, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718083474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718083472

About the Book:

Hayden is on track to become the youngest partner in her prestigious DC law firm . . .
If the case she’s just been handed doesn’t destroy her first.
Hayden McCarthy knows firsthand the pain that follows when justice is not served. It’s why she became an attorney and why she’s so driven in her career. When she’s assigned a wrongful death case against the government, she isn’t sure if it’s the lucky break she needs to secure a partnership—or an attempt to make sure she never gets there.
Further complicating matters is Andrew Wesley, her roommate’s distractingly attractive cousin. But Andrew’s father is a congressman, and Hayden’s currently taking on the government. Could the timing be any worse?
The longer she keeps the case active, the higher the stakes become. Unknown enemies seem determined to kill the case—or her. Logic and self-preservation indicate she should close the case. But how can she, when justice is still just beyond her reach?

My Thoughts:

True confessions:  this is my first Cara Putman novel.  I'm not normally a fan of historical fiction, and most of her novels are in that genre.  But "Beyond Justice" is a legal thriller that will make a mark in THIS genre that is here to stay!

The story tackles a hot-button issue in today's culture: immigration.  When attorney Hayden McCarthy has a wrongful death case land on her desk, the action kicks into gear and continues at a breathless pace.  Putman shines a light on our government's containment practices, and puts a new perspective on just who is our neighbor with it comes to the Christian faith?

Her characters are well developed and the romance is light, but sweet.  I enjoyed the action packed story, with the ins and outs of our legal system on display, and watching Putman's heroine navigate the law to get to the truth was fascinating.  I'm eager for more in this series!

I received a free download of "Beyond Justice" from NetGalley with no obligation for review of services rendered.  "Beyond Justice gets my "For Such a Time" award since it tackles an issue we are all wrestling with in today's political and faith climate.

Also look for Putman's prequel novella, "Dying For Love", also available from Thomas Nelson. Until the next novel...

Mark Your Place,

Deena

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Nifty Gifty: The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets by Mike Berenstain




  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Berenstain Bears/Living Lights
  • Paperback: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (March 7, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310748828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310748823

About the Book:

In the newest Berenstain Bear Living Lights title, The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets, Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear love their pets Little Lady, Gracie, Swish, and Cutsie … they are just like part of the Bear family. So when Preacher Brown holds a special Blessing of the Pets service on Sunday, the Bear family joins in. But what starts as a peaceful gathering of Bear Country neighbors and their animal friends on the lawn of the Chapel—including dogs, cats, rats, goats, and even a snake or two—ends up needing a little heavenly intervention.

My Thoughts:

Once again, Mike Berenstain creates a winning storybook for little readers that celebrates an event I'm not familiar with, but I know is a very big deal to many believers.  "Bless Our Pets" tells the story about Brother and Sister Bear and the excitement of taking their pets to church in order to have a prayer said for them.

From teaching their animals songs, to cleaning them up nice and spiffy, the antics the Berenstains endure to get to the church on time for the annual blessing of the pets is heartwarming and hilarious.  Even if this isn't an event you and your family take part in, your children will realize that even their beloved furry friends are blessings from God.

Just be prepared to have your own "Bless Our Pets" day!  I received a complimentary copy from Zonderkidz with no services or opinions promised in return.  Until the next book...

Mark Your Place,

Deena

Titanis: A Quiet Professionals Novella by Ronie Kendig





  • File Size: 2654 KB
  • Print Length: 143 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Task Force Press (April 3, 2017)
  • Publication Date: April 3, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

About the Book:

Never Again. 
A vow written in the blood of the fallen is threatened in Australia’s rugged Top End. 

Eamon “Titanis” Straider left the military and civilization behind after betrayal cost the life of a teammate. Living on this super yacht, the ViCross, Eamon reluctantly agrees to host an event for his parents, who are part of the Australian political machine. When an attractive woman arrives with his mother, Eamon is furious—and determined to find out what she is hiding. 

Lady Ellis Rostov-Leclair has never felt so threatened as she does by the infamous “Beast of Cape York,” a man notorious for removing people—by force if necessary—from his yacht. His uncanny perception endangers not only her reason for being aboard the ship, but a secret she’s held for twenty years. 

When the yacht is seized by a man with one goal: make those responsible for his brother’s death pay—the Beast of Cape York must live up to his name and protect those under his charge, or die trying.

My Thoughts:

It's always hard to evaluate a novella, because for an avid reader a novella is just never enough.  Unless it's a novella by Rapid-Fire Fiction author Ronie Kendig--this author packs more into fewer pages than anyone else I've read!

"Titanis" is a long-awaited story about one of Kendig's "Quiet Professionals", a series from several months ago.  I had to recalibrate my reading, because I've been so caught up in her current stories (The Tox Files), but I fall head over heels with all of Kendig's heroes so I only need a few pages to remember this 'titanic hero'.

Eamon went through more than most men can take with the betrayal that cost the life of one of his men. His desire for isolation is understandable, but even a soldier's mom won't respect a boundary when she knows what's best for her son.  Unfortunately, she brings trouble along with her surprise guest.

The action is just as potent as a full length novel, and the passion is hot without being scalding (i.e., going against the honor of God).  Kendig has a way with her military warriors and their lady loves that no one in the industry is able to match.

That's why "Titanus: A Quiet Professional Novella" is getting my "Oh, The Feels!" award, and you can purchase an ebook version of this fan favorite now.

Just like I did for myself!  Until the next book...

Mark Your Place,

Deena

Nifty Gifty: Whatever is Lovely: A 90-Day Devotional Journal (Faithgirlz) by Allia Zobel Nolan



  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 8 - 12
  • Series: Faithgirlz
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (December 6, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310754100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310754107

About the Book:

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
—Philippians 4:8
Did you know you can totally change your life by changing your thoughts? Well, you can, and Whatever Is Lovely: A 90-Day Devotional Journal can get you started. With examples based on girls just like you, each of these 90 devotionals will show you how to fill your head and your heart with virtues taken straight from Philippians 4:8, helping you grow closer to God and the amazing life he intended for you.
Featuring a trendy color interior, a ribbon marker, and journaling lines for you to write your thoughts, Whatever Is Lovely will inspire you to read and reflect on the devotionals every single day.

My Thoughts:


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I love every single book Allia Zobel Nolan creates for today's youth. But this one...this is my all time favorite!  "Whatever is Lovely: A 90-Day Devotional Journal (Faithgirlz)" is ideal for this time in our world, because we have more than enough stinking thinking to go around.

Created for young girls ages 8 and up, "Whatever" contains 90 devotional readings all centered around the well known (but rarely practiced!) passage of Philippians 4:8.  Just imagine getting this gorgeous book into the hands of your 8 year old daughter and allowing the readings to mold her thinking around all that is good and positive in her world!

I love the cover design, I love the carefully crafted readings, and I love that Nolan always packs her books with Scripture.  Seriously, you cannot go wrong purchasing multiple copies of "Whatever is Lovely: A 90-Day Devotional Journal (Faithgirlz)" for each and every young girl in your circle of influence.

I received a complimentary copy from Zonderkidz with no services or opinions provided in exchange.

Mark Your Place,

Deena

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Nifty Gifty: The Berenstain Bears Mother's Day Blessings by Mike Berenstain



  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Berenstain Bears/Living Lights
  • Paperback: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (March 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310748690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310748694

About the Book:

  • Mama Bear is the best mama in all of Bear Country and Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear know just what to do for her on Mother’s Day. In this newest title in the Berenstain Bears Living Lights, 

  • The Berenstain Bears Mother’s Day Blessings, join the Bear family and all of Bear Country as they spend Mother’s Day together remembering just why our mothers are so special to all of us!

My Thoughts:

I mean, really?  How can I NOT love a book with the beloved Berenstain Bears??  "Mother's Day Blessings" is adorable, and is out now--more than just in time for Mother's Day!  In the latest paperback treasure, Brother Bear and Sister Bear celebrate the best mama bear in all of Bear Country.

Not to spoil the surprise, but it involves a banner, a make-shift parade, and FOOD!  So help your little ones learn to appreciate just how special their own Mama is by getting a copy of "Mother's Day Blessings" by Mike Berenstain.

I received a complimentary copy from Zonderkidz with no services or commitments rendered in exchange.  Until next time,

Mark Your Place,

Deena
 

Just One More Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon