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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Across The Blue

Some of my favorite novels are about strong women characters. Those that go against the grain of what society might think would be considered inappropriate for that time frame. I often think that if I were a character in a novel, I would tend to go against societies norms of the day and create my own mark as it were. The latest novel from best-selling author Carrie Turansky, Across the Blue features just a determined and strong-willed woman, Isabella Grayson. Just her name speaks of where her family falls in terms of social standing in my opinion, but she is likeable and relateable to the characters I lean towards. Her family has been pushing for her to find a suitable match, one that would guarantee that she will add to her families fortunes instead of the other way around. Now already two seasons since her debut to society, she has much different interests in mind, much to her mother's dismay and frustration.

Her father is the owner of three of the leading newspapers in England, thus the reason for the families fortunes and social standings within the communities. Bella finds her father's newspapers interesting because she yearns to be a writer. Yet she isn't sure how to go about earning her wings with persuading her father to give her the opportunity to write for one of his papers. That would be against everything her family wishes for her future, maintaining a proper reputation is key to finding a suitable husband. Bella only wants to pursue her own future and hopes that one day, the right man may just fall into her lap, that shares her interests and passions in hopes of marrying for love and not just for money.

Lucky for her, that is just what has happened upon touring her families new home, a young aviator soaring overhead, crashes into the property, but has managed to escape unharmed. While the agent leading the family is aghast that such a thing has happened, Bella and her father, share a love for aviation and hope that England will be the first to launch a solo trip across the English channel and hopefully paving the way for more financial contributions that would lend to adding air support towards keeping their country safe. In fact, her father has been instrumental in creating interest in doing just that, with a promise of a thousand pounds to the first person to do it. When he hears rumors that the French might be further along in their progress and testing, he offers his assistance to aid James Drake in his efforts to be the first to fly across the English channel. It might just be more than good luck that landed him on that fateful day and with it the passions ignited between James and Bella! Will that be enough to build a future on?

I received Across The Blue by Carrie Turansky compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers. I absolutely LOVED this novel from the very first page. Not only did the premise hook me based on the back cover, my love for aviation and its history made me want to explore those first flights from a different perspective. I found myself relating to Bella's character quite a bit, her love for writing, her passion for adventure and progress as well as have a determined sense of what she wants for her own future, but curbs some of that enthusiasm around her family, especially her father, whom she adores and deeply respects. I love the chemistry between James and Bella, first to help one another in any way and by becoming their own personal cheerleaders and encouragers in any endeavor. I love all the random situations that they find themselves in together, without any pre-planning to make that happen. I guess I am a firm believer in a happily ever after ending and if you love adventure coupled with romance and bit of that traditional regency, then you will absolutely adore this novel and thus the reason for my 5 out of 5 stars in this reader's opinion.

For more information about Across The Blue, Carrie Turansky, or where you can pre-order a copy of this novel today, which is due out in February 2018, please click on the links below:

You can find Carrie Turansky on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on Across The Blue, please visit WaterBrook Multnomah Publisher's website. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

A Promise Child

We have all heard of the Great Depression from either our history books or perhaps a family member has shared their experience with you, but very few have been impacted by it except those who have experienced it. I have heard it said, that the reason so many people are 'hoarders' is that they remember living through the Great Depression years. It is a by-product of those times. Yet we don't really understand or even empathize with those who have because it hasn't impacted us. I have had the distinct honor to read a series of novels by Kathryn Spurgeon who has based each of her novels around the true stories of her parents or grandparents stories of what they dealt with during their times of growing up.

In the novel The Promise Child, she takes readers into the very heart of what the Great Depression felt like for the Trimble/Pope family. For Sibyl Trimble Pope, she remembers the life of prosperity her family had had during her younger years when she was a child. They never had want for anything. They may have watched the beginning signs of struggle for others but it never really impacted them until she married and watched the signs of the times and had hoped that they would weather the storm. She watched her father leave their family and divorce her mother leaving their children behind to fend for themselves. This was a time in which divorce was considered a bit of a curse in small towns. No one did that. No one had an affair in affluent families and simply walk away for greener pastures elsewhere. But that is what her father had done.

Now with the Depression hitting everyone, her mother and remaining siblings were struggling to make ends meet. To find ways to make clothes and shoes last a bit longer. To find ways to even put food on the table. Sibyl herself in her own new family feels like she needs to help. Her own husband Fremont hold on to the filling station they purchased to help make ends meet. Yet with fewer and fewer people being able to fill their cars, their own business is falling apart. She tries to reach out to her father who is well enough to help but figures out that they need to manage their finances better and refuses to help any of them. Her only option is to take her father up on a job offer and leave her family for a short time to send back money working in the bigger cities or pack up what they have and head for the west where people have been heading since this began.

I received A Promise Child by Kathryn Spurgeon compliments of Memory House Publishing. This really opened my eyes up to the struggle of families have to endure the effects of the Great Depression. Trying to stretch your food sources as much as possible, even doing without food so your own children didn't go hungry. It really grabs hold of you and makes you a witness to what is happening not only to the Pope family but others that they are watching go through it with them. I didn't want to put this book down because I was emotionally invested in their family and their struggles. I was praying and rooting for them to make it every step of the way and for me, those are ear-marks of an exceptional book and the reason for my 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about A Promise Child, Kathryn Spurgeon or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Kathryn Spurgeon on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

To read more reviews on A Promise Child, please visit Memory House Publishing's website. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blind Spot

Blind Spot as defined by Webster's is an area where a person's view is obstructed. That is a very fitting description of the latest novel from the Chesapeake Valor's Series, Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey. This is the third novel in the series and takes readers in the lives of the FBI once more with agent Declan Grey who is teamed up with an attractive crisis counselor, Tanner Shaw. They have been tasked with finding out about a terrorist threat that is taking the lives of each witness that would point them closer to finding out the source and what might be coming. It appears that they are trafficking in young girls, but just as they get one step closer to the truth, their witnesses are being murdered. Now that Declan and Tanner seem to be edging to close for comfort, their lives are now on the line.

Griffin and Finley are working on trying to figure out who is embezzling funds from the company Haywood Grant is a co-partner with and fears that he will be held liable to the clients who have trusted him to manage their financial investments. It appears he is being set up, but by whom. Haywood claims he is innocent and if they don't discover who it is, all the evidence piling up will put him in prison for a very long time. As they attend a weekend event, they learn that there are quite a few wealthy guests who know what is happening and confront Haywood about their missing investments. They vow they are going to the police once the weekend event is over, and Haywood appears distraught over the ongoing issues. However when he is found dead in his bathtub, with a suicide note explaining his actions in taking his own life as well as embezzling money from his clients, along with a cryptic note implying he has murdered the Markhams, thing begin to go from bad to worse.

I received Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey compliments of Bethany House Publishers. This is a non-stop, action-filled suspense novel that involves lots of bullets flying, high-speed motorcycle racing, and trying to figure things out before our characters do kind of novel. I have not read the previous two novels in the series, and understand that each of them introduces members of the team in more detail. This time the novel revolves around Declan and Tanner, who seem to be fighting more than those who are interested in seeing them dead, but also in the sparks that fly from the chemistry between them. If you love suspense thrillers and a bit of romance, you will LOVE Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey. I would give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Blind Spot, Dani Pettrey or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Dani Pettrey on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Blind Spot, please visit Bethany House Publisher's website. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional

I fell in love the Random Acts of Kindness that first appeared in the movie Bruce Almighty, and even inspired me to spend my 49th birthday finding 49 different ways to do things for someone else instead of buying me more stuff I really don't need. And you know what, it is the only birthday I can remember over any of the other ones. I can even remember the things I did to make someone else's day instead of my own and the feeling was so amazing.

Now Tyndale House Publishers has appealed to me once again with The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional. In it readers will find themselves challenged not only by the daily Scripture reference from the Bible, but an applicable story that shows just how you can both apply the Scripture but also make someone else's day through random acts of kindness. At the conclusions of each days devotional, readers are challenged in some way to take that idea and make it their own, like Do something unexpectedly kind for a teacher, encourage someone else with your story of God's faithfulness, honor someone in your life by picking up the slack in their busy season, invite someone new to Thanksgiving this year and so many more.

Divided into daily devotionals, readers will love the ease and simplicity of being reminded it is about serving others through the daily acts we can perform to show them the love of Christ working within us. It keeps these reminders at the forefront and helps us to keep our hearts in the attitude of serving rather than being served. Each of the three authors, Kendra Roehl, Kristin Demery and Julie Fisk each take their turns at writing each daily devotional so in a sense they are sharing their own testimony and life with you as you work your way through each of the 365 days. The best part is that you don't have to wait to begin in January 1st, you can just pick up like I did right when I received my book.

I received The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional by Julie Fisk, Kendra Roehl and Kristin Demery compliments of Tyndale House Publishers. This is such a great book that I can speak more highly about, but that if you are looking at a way of making your daily life count more, looking for ways to serve others, and even ideas on incorporating daily acts of kindness into your day, than this book is perfect for you. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars because as a busy mom, wife and more, I need something to keep my heart in the right place and this works for me.

For more information about The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can read more reviews of The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional by visiting Tyndale House Publisher's website. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

These Healing Hills

Here's another wonderful novel that takes readers back for some historical fiction that is based around facts about Frontier Nursing. In These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart, Francine Howard defies her parents wishes and moves to the Appalachian Mountains of Hyden to learn about being a midwife to the people who have chosen to live away from the bigger towns. They have a different way to speaking, moonshine is still being processed and of course, people love their lifestyle but getting medical care can be time consuming especially with the terrain and often times weather.

Francine is a compassionate woman who loves learning about their way of life, even though those she works under remind her to keep her level of professionalism and not get to friendly with the people she treats. But how can you not be drawn into their simple ways of life, where money isn't the thing that motivates them and they take joy in raising their families away from the big city! She would have never dreamed this was the life for her, hoping instead to remain at home waiting for the man she believed would return home to her from the war and they would marry and begin their own family. Instead, Seth Miller, found himself another woman from England and was bringing her home to meet his family and how could she begin to compete with that?

So she took her broken heart and instead looked for ways to bring healing to others and catching babies, the Appalachian term for delivering newborns. She can't help but love each of the families she works with including Granny Em, an elderly woman who keeps to her way of life, handing out wisdom to Francine that flies in the face of the medical procedures she is being taught, including some weird medicinal home remedies using the plants she finds growing around the mountain. She just didn't expect to become part of the Locke family, treating their ailing young daughter, Sadie, as well as looking after their oldest daughter, Becca who is getting ready for her first child. Now that Ben Locke has returned home from the war, he can't help but fall for the one woman who would do more than heal the brokenness in their family but in his heart as well.

I received These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart compliments of Baker Publishing Group and NetGalley. I love this story revolving around the historical facts about was started Frontier Nursing in 1925, that readers can enjoy at the conclusion of this novel in the Reader's Note section. You would wonder how people who lived far from town would have their medical needs addressed and so a nursing program was conceived that trained women to ride horses into the heart of the mountains, bringing with them healing and midwife skills to the people of the Appalachian communities. This eliminated the worry of how to pay for medical care since no one was ever turned away and the maternal and infant mortality rates decreased dramatically when this program was introduced. Well worthy of 5 out of 5 stars in this reader's opinion.

For more information about These Healing Hills, Ann H. Gabhart or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Ann H. Gabhart on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on These Healing Hills, please visit Baker Publishing Group's website. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Jeremy Camp - The Answer CD Review and Giveaway

Some of the most moving praise and worship songs, that have helped me to memorize scripture without realizing it has been thanks to Jeremy Camp. It makes me wonder at times if they face the same weary battles as believers that we do. Do they question their faith at times? Do they question God when adversity happens and they are trying to understand why? One of the songs that helped me deal with the fact that my husband's new job would require long periods of travel and would be gone for a time. It's a reminder that one day, tears will never become an issue again in eternity.

His latest CD, The Answer seems to define the very nature of the questions I posed at the beginning of this review. The title track, the answer seems perfect in spite of the recent tragedy of what happened in Las Vegas that reminds us that God's provision is always the absolute truth thanks to the suffering in life that Jesus Christ had to deal with in the very short time here on earth. One of my favorite tracks on this album is My Defender. Besides the lyrics that speak to our own Spirit, it reminds me that no matter what I am facing, no matter how dark things may look, God always goes before us defending us from the spiritual battles we face each day without being aware of them.

This latest CD features 11 songs, Word of Life, My Defender, The Answer, Storm, My Father's Arms, Never Stopped Loving, Heaven's Shore, Carriers, Love So Great and Awake O Sleeper. The best thing about songs from Jeremy Camp is while you're learning the lyrics to the song, you are memorizing Scripture at the same time without realizing it and that is always a plus for me. Never Stopped Loving is a song for those who have wandered away from God, church, and perhaps even questioned our faith, but this reminds us that we can never move so far away from God that He can't find us. He is always waiting for us to return. Guess that answers so many of my questions in life. Tell the World is the song for every new believer. That surreal feeling that we want to share how wonderful God is once we get saved or even throughout our own spiritual walk, we are reminded of our purpose and that is to share the good news of Christ with the lost. I especially LOVED Awake O Sleeper which reminded me of Jon Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive! This one will be replayed again and again!

I received Jeremy Camp: The Answer compliments of Capital Christian Music Group and Propeller LLC. This is the perfect CD that answers the questions every single believer has at times. For me this really reached into a dark place in my life, where fear was taking a bigger place that I wanted it to, even though I placed my trust in God. That enemy loves to linger around and cause us to keep our focus on the issues instead of the one who can carry those burdens in our life. I'd give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. The lyrics are including inside this CD for those of you, like me, that appreciate them when you purchase a CD. Thanks to the generosity of Capital Christian Music Group and Propeller LLC, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart or my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart. Here are your guidelines to enter.

1. "Like" Jeremy Camp's Facebook page.

2. Be a resident of the US and please No P.O. Boxes!

3. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this CD. Don't forget to include your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols. Without an email address I have no way of contacting you if you're the lucky winner of this giveaway.

The giveaway will end on October 13th and I will be contacting the winner via email, so please be sure to include it.

You can find Jeremy Camp on Facebook to stay up to date without all his latest music!

To read more reviews on Jeremy Camp: The Answer, please visit Capital Christian Music Group's website. 

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Same Kind of Different As Me - FREE Movie Ticket Giveaway!

A simple act of kindness can change everything.

In the upcoming movie slated to hit theaters on October 20th, this is a movie you won't want to miss. Long gone are those "cheesy" Christian movies most of us have seen in the past, and this one will be one that will undoubtedly provoke a change in your own life if not in your own heart. Based on the New York Time's Best Selling book by the same name, this is a movie that will live in your heart long after the credits roll.

An all-star cast featuring Greg Kinnear, Renee Zellweger, Jon Voight and Djimon Hounsou, viewers are taken into the lives of Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear) who is an international art dealer that seems to be too busy for his wife, Deborah (Renee Zellweger) and that places a strain on their marriage. She spends her time, caring for the kids and house, managing things so life is easy for Ron, even managing to find time to volunteer at the inner city rescue mission where she meets Denver, a homeless man, she has dreams about. The Hall's literally have more money than they need, and what they need is some help with their troubled marriage. She feels that she must find a way to befriend this man because he holds the answers to her problem with Ron somehow.

As arguments grow more heated between Ron and Deborah, she learns of Ron's unfaithfulness she gives him the ultimatum to leave. She will only allow him to stay if he spends some time doing something other than taking care of himself and thus the challenge to help Denver out, even if it means the possibility of losing his status with the elite people in his life. If he can accomplish that task, Deborah will consider making a go of their marriage again, but perhaps more than just the marriage will be saved in the end. Denver's motto: "Nobody can help everybody, but everybody can help somebody" is the theme of this incredible movie.

Now for the best amazing part. Thanks to the generosity of Pure Flix Entertainment and Lev3L Digital, I am giving away 2 movie ticket codes in time to see this incredible movie. Here is all you need to do to enter the giveaway.

1. Use your social media expertise to generate some interest in this film. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, you name it. The more you share, the greater the chances of winning a pair of these tickets. Each time you post, grab that link and share it back here under the comments window. Enter as many times as you want, post every day from now until the release date. Just make sure to come back here and post those links so we can track the response of your social media campaign.

2. Winner's must be in the US only at this time.

3. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a pair of tickets to see this and who you plan on taking. You will receive the codes before the release date and the codes can only be used for this film. You will have some time to view it if you can't make it on October 20th.

4. Provide an email address in the comments section below. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols if you wish. Without an email address, I have no way of contacting you if you're the lucky winner.

You can even get pictures, trailers, ticket information and details from the film's website, Same Kind of Different as Me. 

Same Kind of Different As Me by Pure Flix Entertainment and Paramount Studios.

You can find more incredible information about the movie on the movie's Facebook as well.