Monday 31 December 2018

Craft Corner: Yarn is Cheaper Than Therapy Cup, and Birthday Gift Idea

Yarn Is Cheaper than Therapy Mug

This was the month for gifts,  And craftiness is where I'm at right now.  So if you know me better be prepared to give me ideas on the types of gifts you want.

Got a knitter in your circle? This gift idea is perfect for those crafters that have every colour of yarn and knitting accessory made. Again find your font on DaFont, and create with your Silhouette Cameo machine. You may have to play around with the offset button to get just the right letter thickness. I had a few goes at this one before I got it right.

This was a last minute gift for a Birthday party my daughter was invited to. The child's name written on a glass storage container, great for filling with anything from candy to hair accessories.

Craft Corner: Hello Beautiful Mug Design, Made With a Silhouette Cameo

Hello Beautiful!

Who wouldn't want to wake up to a mug Like this?

You can get the font for free from daFont here:

I was able to buy this particular one from the Silhouette store for half price when they had a sale.
I'm having way too much fun with this new craft. Pop me a message if you have ideas or suggestions.


What do you think when you hear the word Autism? I think about a red vest, a wagging tail, and a warm hug from my super poodle. These are my thoughts. I have Autism myself.

Autism affects everyone in different ways. it's nothing to be ashamed of, it's a gift that makes us special. we are all different and unique in our own ways.

I find that some things are more challenging than other things like sometimes it's hard for me to fall asleep.
So here are some things I have tried.

For sleeping: Melatonin, not looking at screens an hour before bedtime, a magnet blanket (here's a link for the magnet blankets you can choose your fabric and stuff too)

For concentrating: a wiggle cushion

and a wiggle chair 

Overall the biggest thing that has helped me is my service dog Jovi The Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides is a national charity dedicated to providing Dog Guides to Canadians with disabilities at no cost. Its Autism Assistance Dog Guide program, founded in 2009, trains Dog Guides for children aged 3-18 with autism. Jovi helps me concentrate, sleep, self-regulate, he clams me down and is my very best friend. I could not imagine a life without my faithful poodle!

I'm hoping my blog post helps other kids who have Autism and their moms. If you want to ask me any questions I'm here to help, just do so in the comments section. I also love to read just about anything so if you have any good suggestions let me know!

                                                         I hope this has helped you.

Craft Corner: Dorm Decor Pillow, Made With a Silhouette Cameo 3

Dorm Decor, Dorm Sweet Dorm pillowcase

I created this pillowcase for my best friends son who is now in university.

It was so much fun that I also made one for a neighbours son! It is easy to find cost-effective pillowcases in packs of two, most students in a small dorm only need one so I was able to utilise the other one for another gift.

It's easy to find the font you want by looking at examples online and then going to finding your match.

What are you waiting for go get your craft on!

Craft Corner: Silhouette Dog pillow Idea

Do you have a dog loving person in your life?

I am always looking to make unique and fun gifts for the people I know. Since I bought the Silhouette making this has become so much easier to do!

This is one such project I created for my neighbours, they recently adopted a dog and it became their "best friend." So I thought it fitting to make them something to commemorate their special pet.

This project was quick and easy, I found the font and a preformed pillow. I have never tried to use my press with such a bulky item, but it worked fabulously! I have the clamshell style heat press from Middle Graphics, see picture below. This was a costly purchase but so well worth it!

 I would not attempt this with an iron.

If you are looking for a fast and fun gift this may just be what you are looking for.

Book Review:The First Love

From the Back:


Jah, that was undeniably a difficult time, one that opened my eyes in countless ways. And my heart, most of all. It was a season of sorrow and searching, of questions and answers.

It was the summer of my first love.

It's the summer of 1951, and Maggie Esh is in need of some hope. Sweet-spirited and uncommonly pretty despite struggling with illness, she is used to being treated kindly by the young men of her Old Order Amish church district. Yet Maggie wishes she were more like other courting-age girls so she could live a normal, healthy life. When tent revival meetings come to the area, the words of the preacher cause her to reconsider what she knows about faith. Can she learn to trust God even when hope seems a distant dream?
My Reflections: 
Beverly Lewis is the queen of Amish fiction, she was writing these novels before the Amish fiction craze began. You can always expect faith-driven characters and a heartwarming, engaging plot. I have never been disappointed with her writing, and her newest book was just as expected, a fast and joyful experience!
Maggie yearns to be whole like the other young people in her community. Having Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis has affected her ability to participate in her life to its entirety. She dreams of a family and life of her own someday but she is not sure just how this is able to come to fruition with her current state of health. In spite of her difficulties, Maggie joins the church and sets out to see where God takes her. Could her future include Jimmy Beiler?
The story also gives us a glimpse into Rachel's life, marring maggie's father, a widower could not have been easy, especially with a ready-made family in tow. Rachel puts her dreams aside instead focusing her attention on making this knit together family live in harmony. Will she have the courage to find happiness as well?
I adored Maggie's devotion and pure love for her Lord, she was a character I felt drawn to instantly. Rachel'd devotion is definitely noteworthy and I'm glad it all turns out well. 
Beverly Lewis fans won't want to miss out on this tender yet very compelling new release!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc
Love when you have help reading!

Beverly Lewis
Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in 12 languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA...
Continue reading about Beverly Lewis

Sunday 30 December 2018

Book Review: A Season of Grace

From the Back:

Just as Opportunities Unfold, a Danger from Her Past Returns
Nilda Carlson's dreams are coming true. Though her first few months in America were difficult, her life now resembles the images that filled her daydreams in Norway. Together, she and her family work their farm and fell trees for lumber. Everything is finally going right.

When Nilda is offered a job by a wealthy businesswoman in the nearby town of Blackduck, she can't believe her luck. Here is an opportunity to learn how to navigate the worlds of commerce and high society. But life in town comes with a catch: the man who tried to assault Nilda in Norway has arrived in Blackduck. He claims to have turned over a new leaf, but every time she sees him, her fears come flooding back. Can she learn to forgive him and move on, or will she always be stuck in the past? And can he truly be trusted?
My Reflections:
A Season Of Grace is the third and final installment in the "Under Northern Skies series." I would not consider this to be a standalone, it is definitely a read in order type series. The story is very interwoven and far too good to not get the full backstory. 
We are blessed to watch the progression of characters from past series prosper in their new America, this brings all kinds of opportunity and conflict.  
In A Season of Grace, we travel to Benson's Corner, Minnesota, the year of 1910. 
Rune and Signe are thrilled to be in their new homeland, they have decided to bring Gerd along since she has become so much a part of the family! 

The main character in this installment, however, is Nilda. Nilda has been given the opportunity of a lifetime, To learn the necessary skills such as reading, writing, and proper etiquette, not to mention living in a much larger town!  Everything seems to be going well until a man from her past appears and threatens to ruin her chance at happiness. With post-traumatic stress wreaking havoc on Nilda she must decide what she will do and who she can turn to for help.

This last installment has done a fine job of wrapping up all loose ends. I found it to be a heartwarming tale with a charming community filled with supportive pleasant characters. If you love historical fiction with little romance, this is a light and easy read!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

Lauraine Snelling

Lauraine Snelling ( is the award-winning author of more than 70 books, fiction and nonfiction, for adults and young adults. Her books have sold more than 5 million copies. Besides writing books and articles, she teaches at writers'...
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Book Review: The Bride of Ivy Green

From The Back:

Come home to Ivy Hill, where friendship endures, romance triumphs,
and mysteries are revealed in this eagerly anticipated conclusion. . . .

Spring is in the air . . . and change is too. Mercy Grove has lost her girls' school and is resigned to life as a spinster, especially as the man she admires is out of reach. She contemplates leaving Ivy Cottage to become a governess--a decision with consequences she never imagined.

Meanwhile, her friend Jane Bell is facing a difficult decision of her own. Should she accept Gabriel Locke even if it means giving up her inn and destining another man to a childless marriage?

When a secretive new dressmaker arrives in the village, Mercy, Jane, and the other ladies of Ivy Hill attempt to befriend her, but they soon suspect she isn't who she claims to be.

Together, the women of Ivy Hill look forward to one wedding, but surprises lie in store and dearly held dreams may yet come true.

My Reflections:

This is the third and final installment in the "Tales From Ivy Hill" and it most certainly is a nice way to end this charming cast of characters. At just over 440 pages you will feel satisfied with the way this author is able to weave and tuck every last detail snuggly into place. 

I loved the author's notes, her inspiration for this book, a real lion attack. wow! Her descriptions of this quaint town were spot on, I felt swept away and truly enchanted in the time I was immersed in this series. I am sad it has come to an end, but am eager to see what's next for this author! 

I was also so sad to see the end to Mercy's Girls school. This school was in her home and it was the perfect arrangement.
I love how God works in life, even though this was fiction I could very well imagine a scenario like this occurring. A person loses their coveted job and resigns them self to spinsterhood, (OK perhaps not in the modern day, but in 1820 sure) God always has a plan, never in our wildest imagination can we predict his marvellous ways. The roads we take are often more like hills with sudden drop-offs and mountaintop beauties, but never the less God has a plan. Sometimes we don't get to experience the full extent of it here on earth but I just know there will be many surprises waiting in heaven...OK, I digress. 

Back on topic. Mercy's brother has arrived and temporarily shut down her source if independence. Having to live with her brother is not exactly what she had in mind, especially now that he has his new wife. When Mercy gets relegated to the attic, so that her room can be turned into the guest suite she is more than ready to jump ship. Then an offer from Mr. James Drake falls in her lap the opportunity to be a governess to her beloved former student Alice. Is this the answer to her dilemma?

Mercy is not the only gal in transition Jane, has big decisions to make that will impact the rest of her life. Can she give up what she loves for Gabriel Locke? What about the new seamstress in town, what is she hiding?

Get ready to cry, Laugh out loud and shout for joy as you flip through to the last page with a satisfying sigh. 
This book was everything I expected and more, if you can start with book one and go from there, it will be a much easier read than agonizing over long wait times in between the series.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

Julie Klassen

JULIE KLASSEN ( loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time. Three of her books, The Silent Governess,...
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Friday 28 December 2018

Book Review: When Your Kid Is Hurting

From the Back:

No parent likes to see their child in pain.
But you can navigate even negative events with less drama, more resilience, and a positive attitude.
Life isn't always predictable or safe, and today's kids live in an increasingly unstable world. Being bombarded by headlines highlighting school shootings, bullying, and ethnic violence is only the start. Add on peer pressure, a friend's betrayal, nasty jabs on social media, and being stuck in the middle of a divorce, and it's no wonder kids of all ages are facing significant trauma.

In When Your Kid Is Hurting, internationally known psychologist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman offers practical, time-tested strategies to best help hurting kids, including

· what to say (and not say) when bad things happen
· how to get a hurting kid to talk to you
· when to intervene and when to let your child problem-solve
· how to turn trauma into teachable moments rather than fostering a victim mentality
· understanding the three greatest fears every kid has . . . and the biggest antidotes
· how being proactive can turn difficult situations around and provide future protection
· why the words you choose to use with your child are critical to their recovery

You can help your child get up after being knocked down. When Your Kid Is Hurting will help you not only be your child's best advocate in a healthy way but also reveal secrets for strengthening your lifelong relationship.
My Reflections:
Kevin Leman's newest parenting book was not quite what I was expecting. This book is geared for parents trying to support the next generation to a successful, happy life. Our world is changing faster than ever, our kids are experiencing things we never had to deal with, which leaves me often scrambling trying to support the emotional and mental fallout. 
Hard experiences are an everyday battle we all face, and children are just that more vulnerable to the backlash of hurt and rejection. Kids can't escape from the pressure these days, with social media, net addiction and the ever constant connectedness kids don't get the same reprieve we did growing up. Faith, love, safety, understanding and acceptance are the scaffolding we all need. Sadly our children are often lacking on one or more of these essentials.
I found many very helpful topics in this book, after all, Kevin Leman is one of the leading Christian authours parents default to. However, I had to disagree with a few aspects of this book. I expected Leman to teach from a Christian worldview, however, this book seems to have a secular bent. I know our children face issues like gender identity, and adolescent pregnancy and many others, however, I expected Leman to address issues with a Christian perspective. This was not the case. I understand writing to all audiences but I was hoping for substance, good hard questions to be answered in a biblically sound manner. This was not my experience.
That being said I did glean much from the book, I found it to be a good refresher on parenting, and especially enjoyed Chapter five Getting behind your child's eyes, very thought-provoking.
In closing, though I didn't feel this parenting book lived up to the Christian standards I adhere to, and I will not be recommending it to my friends and readers. Some readers may find the topics enlightening and disagree with my opinions, as they are solely my own.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known psychologist, radio and television personality, and speaker who has taught and entertained audiences worldwide with his wit and commonsense psychology. He has made house calls for hundreds of radio and television...
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Book Review: Times Gone By

From the Back:

After giving up on love, she faces a dilemma of the heart.
After getting left at the altar, Kenzie Gifford flees to San Francisco to start her life over, determined never to love again. She's made new friends and has a good job in the office of her cousin's chocolate factory. The only thorn in her side is Dr. Micah Fisher, who insists on pursuing her despite her constant resistance.

Then the Great Earthquake of 1906 strikes the city, and everything changes. The devastation all around her makes Kenzie reevaluate her outlook on life--and possibly even her feelings for Micah. Her world is rocked again when her ex-fiancé appears, determined to win her back. But Arthur already broke her heart once. Does she dare trust him again? The sudden arrival of a hidden danger will expose the motivations of all involved, but it could cost Kenzie her heart--and her life.
My Reflections:
Tracy Peterson knows how to pen an engaging story, her newest novel is no exception. The plot is brimming with danger, intrigue and twists and turns that just might make your head spin.  This is the third book in the series "Golden Gate Secrets" and although the plot ties in nicely with the previous characters this novel has enough detail to be considered a stand-alone. 

I really didn't expect that I would so quickly be drawn into this story. I absolutely adore Tracy Peterson and her writing style but was not as intrigued by the last two novels. This one was by far one of my favourites. I'm not sure if it was the passion for the disenfranchised, which really hits close to my heart or perhaps the thread of three very different strangers meeting on a train, then forming an unbreakable bond. I found each story so unique since all three women have varying degrees of refinement, differ in their relationships with Christ and are not all equal in wealth and status. Each story has a love twist, which keeps it interesting as well! 

In this story focuses on Kenzie and Micah. I could very well understand why Kenzie had sworn off men, her hurt is completely understandable, however, I found Micah a tad too persistent for my liking. The whole relationship was perhaps a little drawn out. But I suppose this is true to life, right? I'm a hopeless romantic.. too many Hallmark movies this Christmas season! 

The plot was fascinating. I love that Tracy Peterson always does her homework and folds the story seamlessly around historical events. In this case the Great Earthquake of 1906.
It made me want to dig into some research of my own.

All in all a very authentic and thought-provoking book on so many levels. If you love historical fiction, coupled with heart pulling themes this may be your next read!
Well done Tracy Peterson!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson ( is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family...
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Monday 24 December 2018

Book Review: The Reluctant Warrior

From The Back:

He Thought His Toughest Tests Were behind Him.

But Nothing Could Prepare Him for Trying to Win Back the Love of His Daughter. 
Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He's come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children who are terrified of him and the stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he's worried may be trying to keep the children.

When danger descends on the cabin where they're huddled, Cam is hurt trying to protect everyone and now finds Gwen caring for him too. He soon realizes why the kids love her so much and worries that it might be best for him to move on without them. When she sees his broken heart, Gwen decides to help him win back their affection--and in the process he might just win her heart as well. 
My Reflections:
Another winning tale penned by Mary Connealy!
This second book in the High Sierra Sweethearts series starts with heat and keeps readers burning the midnight oil to its very conclusion. 

The characters are what you would expect from this authour, well rounded, filled with bravado, spunk and a whole lotta heart!
Hold onto your hats because this book is a whirlwind ride the action is non stop and the landscape unrelenting, and the characters just as engaging as ever!

The character development is done brilliantly, as well as the plot that moves with breakneck speed. I enjoyed watching the changes between Gwen and Cam, Gwen certainly knows how to soften up this tough as nails Union army officer! But will he be able to win the hearts of the children as well?

Connealy certainly has done her research with this time period, and the demographics make this book stand out just that much more. Well done!

I can't wait to read the second installment in the series, this novel sets us up well, I'm eager to find out more about Penny and John's life and journeys! 

If you are in need, and I mean in need of a whole lotta action and a little romance this is just the book for you, but please read book one (The accidental Guardian) first so that you get the full flavour of this wild adventure!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

Mary Connealy

Mary Connealy writes "romantic comedies with cowboys" and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas,...
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Book Review: The Christmas Heirloom

From the Back:
Four Festive and Heartwarming Romance Novellas That Celebrate the Magic of Christmas Perfect for the Christmas season, four beloved authors bring their bestselling, award-winning talents to a multigenerational collection of romantic holiday novellas. In stories ranging from 1820s Regency England to present-day Washington state, readers will be treated to Christmas tales of an heirloom brooch passed from mother to daughter for almost two hundred years. Will the family legend claiming the brooch brings love to its recipient hold true for these women separated by the years but bonded together by the ties of family?

In Kristi Ann Hunter's "Legacy of Love," Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman's grandson. While he may be far above her station, she can't help but notice that his desire to make this Christmas special for his grandmother matches her own.

In Karen Witemeyer's "Gift of the Heart," widow Ruth Fulbright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from a wealthy resort owner. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love as the holidays draw near.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas's "A Shot at Love," Fleeta Brady's rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her mother's brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance one December.

In Becky Wade's "Because of You," Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

My Reflections:
Christmas is just around the corner, are you in the Christmas spirit?
I have to admit I am not feeling the warmth of the season this year, however, this novella set my spirits just a tiny bit brighter! 

All the tales have the connection of a central theme, the legacy of a brooch. 
Each and every story in this four is so different the reader will have no problems with getting mixed up or the stories melding together into a soup of sappiness. 
The plots, in fact, are all so wildly different that it made me smile and laugh out loud in many places! You can't even count on the time period or setting to be consistent in these novels.  We go from England (1827); Texas (1890): West Virginia (1958) and back to the present time in Washington! I was contemplating which of the novellas was my favourite, and I simply can't choose just one. All these authours, each and everyone are on my favourite lists. They differ in writing styles and intensity but are similar in quality and sweetness.

I don't think I have read a more cohesive novella, every story different but tie-ins to each one. I also found it so clever that we see so many connections to the author's series as well, brilliantly executed!
If you are looking for a completely unique read that will engage not only your heart but also your sense of tradition, look no further. Christmas is fast approaching, run don't walk. 
This is the perfect cozy fire, hot chocolate Christmas day read.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

Karen Witemeyer

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three...
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Kristi Ann Hunter

Kristi Ann Hunter ( graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is a RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for...
Continue reading about Kristi Ann Hunter

Sarah Loudin Thomas

Sarah Loudin Thomas ( is a fund-raiser for a children's ministry who has time to write because she doesn't have children of her own. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Coastal Carolina University and is the author of the...
Continue reading about Sarah Loudin Thomas

Becky Wade

Becky Wade is the 2018 Christy Award Book of the Year winner for True to You. She is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas.  She published historical romances for the general market,...
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Book Review: Unexpected Blessings, The Joys and Possibilities if a life in a Special-Needs Family

From the Back:

When someone in your family is diagnosed with a special need, it can be difficult to move past the pain and confusion. Why did this happen? What will our lives look like now? But living in a special-needs family can be a special blessing! Are you ready to face the future with hope? Speaking honestly about the challenges that accompany a variety of disabilities, author Sandra Peoples shows you how to
· let go of false beliefs that hold you back,
· work through the cycles of grief,
· focus on self-care and healthy routines,
· rebuild a strong faith foundation, and
· create support systems for yourself and others.

Filled with real-life stories and hard-earned wisdom, this book shines a light on the possibilities and blessings that come when you see your new purpose in life--which was God's purpose for you all along.

My Reflections:

Can I just start by saying "AMEN" Sandra Peoples addresses so many issues I face on a daily basis! This book was a breath of fresh air to read. I didn't tackle it like I normally do- focused sit down get er done kind of approach. I savoured each and every healing encouraging page. 

Peoples comes alongside parents with gentle encouragement and a shining light of hope. A diagnosis is just that, a label, a way of organizing help so desperately need as parents with blessed kids.
I have two children with such labels, so I know a little about this walk. It's tiring, and some days even discouraging but it is also one of my biggest blessings. My loves are perfect. They are God-given miracles. God does not make mistakes, he makes us perfect and unique in our own right.

Another aspect of this book that I found helpful is how Peoples addresses the issues of well-meaning people who try to say the right things, "God won't give you more than you can handle", or "How do you do it every day?" To quote another book I recently reviewed, its Okay not to be Okay!  God gives us peace and sincere hope coupled with love to get us through all circumstances in our lives.

Peoples encouragement is sure to uplift and motivate all parents facing a new (or old) diagnosis.
If you are looking for that last minute gift idea, or are a parent with a special child of your own this is definitely a must read.

Thank you Sandra Peoples for putting a voice to so many of those questions and issues we all face as parents. Your God-centered book was just what I needed to read in this season of my life! 

Sandra Peoples

Sandra Peoples, MDiv, ( is a leading voice in the disability community as an encourager to special-needs parents. She has been a member of a special-needs family since the day she was born. Her older sister has Down syndrome, and in 2010...
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Thursday 6 December 2018

Book Review: Jerusalem's Queen

From the back:

Born in the small village of Modein, a town made famous by the warrior Maccabees, Salome Alexandra knows better than to harbor grand dreams for her future. She pales in comparison to her beautiful older sister, and though she learns to read at an early age, girls are not valued for their intellectual ability. But when her father and sister are killed, John Hyrcanus, a distant relative, invites Salome and her mother to live with his family in Jerusalem, where her thirst for knowledge is noticed and indulged.

When her guardian betroths her to a pagan prince, she questions HaShem's plan. When Hyrcanus finally marries her to a boy half her age, she questions her guardian's sanity. But though Salome spends much of her life as a pawn ordered about by powerful men, she learns that a woman committed to HaShem can change the world.
My reflections:
Angela Hunt's third book from "The Silent Years" was everything I expected from an Angela Hunt novel and so much more. Packed with historically accurate details and a complex plot that keeps you guessing. This is the exact reason why I love Hunt's books so much. Written from the two main characters point of view we were given insight into the inner workings of the palace. While this was enlightening, this aspect of the book could be a little confusing in the first couple of chapters. 

Shelamzion starts off as a young girl and as the book progresses she grows into adulthood gaining in both wisdom and grace. From a young age, she upholds truth and isn't afraid to speak out against things she knows is wrong. Shelamzion has a thirst for righteousness and even being a girl studies the Torah. Stuck in an unequally matched marriage Shelamzion struggles to stay true to God while leading her husband in the ways of the Torah. 

Kissa is Shelamzions faithful servant who stands beside her throughout the whole book. Her level-headed view of the world and life experience shaped Kissa into the perfect mentor to guide Shelamzion into the spotlight. Kissa's role as a gentile allows her to ask key questions that shape Shelamzions beliefs. Her traumatic past helps her decern dangerous situations and warns her friend of impending danger. 

Over-all I thoroughly enjoyed this novel devouring it in only two days. I would recommend this to anybody who loves historic biblical fiction. I feel this book is appropriate for early teens and up. The only suggestive scene is on their wedding night, and although it wasn't explicit the reader is aware of what's happening. If you are looking for a thoughtful well-written read then this may just be the book for you. 

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Angela Hunt

The author of more than 100 published books and with more than 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty. Romantic...
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Sunday 25 November 2018

Book Review: The Sequin Sparkle and Change Bible

Book Description

The Sequin Sparkle and Change Bible is sure to be a hit with girls! This fabulous material is on everything from pillows to T-shirts. The "mermaid" sequins change color right before your eyes. Girls will love the design and will want to carry the Sparkle and Change Bibles with them everywhere!
This Sequin Sparkle and Change Bible features rainbow sequins that change color depending on which way your child swipes. It’s double the fun! It’s perfect for kids ages 6 to 10 to take to Sunday school, read with the family, or study on their own.
The ICB, the first Bible translation created specifically for children, is easy for children to read and understand with a third-grade reading level and is typeset in a large, readable font. The Bible text is set in ten-point type, with bold in-text subject heads that help kids easily find the passages they are looking for. Also included are boldface words that correspond with a dictionary and concordance entry to explain word definitions. A great new feature in this updated setting is more than 300 key verses that are highlighted throughout the Bible for kids to read and learn. The beautifully illustrated insert pages are in a style that children love and will delight their imaginations, including topics such as:
A Bible timeline
A presentation page
A place to keep favorite Bible verses
Bible maps
Articles on topics such as how Jesus loves them, knowing Jesus better, and how to pray, etc.
Your little girl will love her Sequin Sparkle and Change Bible!

My Reflection:

This Bible features the now trendy sequin changing design that is all the rage amongst children of all ages right now. You see this type of cover on everything from pillows to t-shirts, so it is no surprise that it now is featured on a Bible!

My daughter loves the texture and the versatility on the cover of this Bible, she has already spent much time making different designs on the cover to go ahead and erase them and start fresh. I am glad that Bibles are so diverse in their design and style, yet keeping with a traditional layout within. The pages are sturdy and of good quality, ready for young hands and eager minds. The layout is much as you would expect, with timeline, scripture reference space and colourful maps. 

Any child will love this beautifully appointed Bible, it would make a wonderful addition to your regular family devotional time. If you are looking for a gift idea this may be just what you are searching for.

Bible has been provided courtesy of Bool Look Publishers, thank you Book Look!

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Book Review: The Art of Parenting, Aiming Your Child's Heart Toward God

From the Back:

Embrace God's Purpose and Plan for Your family parenting is an exciting adventure, full of twists and turns. But sometimes it feels like you don't know where you're headed, or you're just making it up as you go along. How can you get where you want to be without having a plan in place?

Dennis and Barbara Rainey have spent decades teaching on the foundations necessary for building godly families. Now they share the insights and expertise gleaned from those years of ministry, as well as stories and teaching from their own children about the challenges of parenting today. The Art of Parenting focuses your attention on four crucial elements in your children's lives:

1. Relationships--fostering godly connections with others
2. Character--learning to live wisely and honorably
3. Identity--understanding who they are in Christ
4. Mission--understanding why they are here
When you apply biblical truth to these four areas, you can feel confident your children will have a foundation they can build upon for the rest of their lives.

My Reflections:

This book. Wow. in my years as a parent I have read more parenting books than I care to admit. In the attempt to be the parent I didn't have I strive to know the answers to the questions that elude me as a mom. 
No matter if you had the perfect parents growing up, or none at all, Dennis and Barbara Rainey share wisdom paired with practical applications on how to grow your child's heart for God. This book feels like you have two caring, wise and loving mentors cheering you on in the journey you find your self on.

Some days feel like I am just barely hanging on as a parent, the pressures of work, homeschooling, driving the kids everywhere, making nutritious food and keeping the house clean..ish all seem like too much some days. However, it is my life, my joy, and as my children grow and develop into the people God is leading them to be I see his hand in it all. He has this, I don't need to stress. These are his children too, he has a plan, I just need to listen and follow his lead.

Reading books that are so well written like "The Art of Parenting" help make God's plan that more clear. This book breaks down the fundamental elements to steering your child's life in the right direction. This all starts with you really. How is your prayer life? Do you turn to God when the road gets bumpy? Do you read the Bible? (Yep, I've still got lots to work on too, no judgment here) We are all on the same path bumbling along trying to make the right choices for our families. Reading good solid scripture based parenting books has made me feel more confident and ready for that sometimes bumpy but always joyful journey!

So if you are looking to read a fantastic book on Parenting this one may be just what you're looking for!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Dennis Rainey
Dennis Rainey is the president and cofounder of FamilyLife, a Cru ministry. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and hosts conferences on marriage, men's ministry, and parenting. Dennis is the daily host of the nationally syndicated radio program...
Continue reading about Dennis Rainey

Barbara Rainey

Barbara Rainey ( is a wife, mother of six adult children (plus three sons-in-law and two daughters-in-law), and "Mimi" to twenty-one grandchildren. After graduating from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts...
Continue reading about Barbara Rainey

Dave Boehi

                                        Continue reading about Dave Boehi
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