Be careful little fingers what you type…

During her Bible Study picnic this morning, my daughter was singing the children’s song that inspired my post title.

 

I would just like to take this opportunity to remind reviewers everywhere how important it is to be careful what you put in your reviews.

Yes, we know you are excited about the book!

No, we know most of you would NEVER spoil a book for readers on purpose!

However… when writing up your review, it is always a good idea to have the book handy. A good rule of thumb is this: if it’s not in the back cover blurb, don’t reveal it in your review.

There are times when authors will also reveal bonus scenes – especially in a series or a long-awaited release – but again… that is up to the author, not the reviewer.

And if the author reveals bonus info, it’s fair game. You can even quote the author and link back to their post. They’ll love that because it’s like double exposure.

 

If you’ve read many of my reviews, you’ll know I once had a book spoiled for me.

If that reviewer had mentioned they had spoilers in their review, I NEVER would have read it… and it was all I could do to finish the book.I was glad I did because there was so much more to the story than what was revealed in the review but it was not the same.

… and the experience has had two unfortunate side effects:

1 – I don’t read reviews anymore until AFTER I’ve read the book. This means I don’t find new books to read often – unless it’s from a person I trust not to spoil it for me.

2 – I don’t often share others reviews – which is sad because there are some really great ones out there – but since it bothers me to even read reviews until after I’ve read the book, and I don’t usually NEED to read them by that time, I miss out on the good with the bad.

 

So be careful reviewers; what you type…

 

GOD BLESS!

© JCMorrows 2015

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A natural reviewer…?

Yup… I once dated one of those guys.

At least he was nice enough to wait until we left the theater before he started picking the movie to pieces.

 

The irony…

Now, years later… I find myself doing the exact same thing.

Why? Because I finally got why he did it.

 

There are some really fantastic movies out there – and it is absolutely possible to watch them and turn off the critic in your head and just… enjoy.

But when the credits roll, you start thinking. And when you think, you realize there are things that happened during the movie that essentially make the presumption that you – as the watcher – are an idiot.

And so you analyze and you point out the obvious flaws and you pick it to pieces… all the whole hoping that people you watched it with, “get it” too.

 

And I could go on… and on… and on…

But I won’t. I’ll stop right there and say this – I believe this is one thing that makes me a natural book reviewer.

And you know exactly what I mean…

There is a very thick line of difference between those of us who are natural reviewers and those of us who just review books.

Those who are natural reviewers can spin a tale about the wonders that take place between the pages – without giving away important plot points or telling the read how the story ends!

We don’t just analyze the tale – we pour our heart and soul into the words we pen (or type in most cases) about the beloved books we read day after day – time and time again!

We don’t just tell you what we did or did not like about it – we regale you with descriptions of our own experience with the story, the characters, the setting, the wondrous ending.

We let you in to our own hearts and minds and souls so that you can see how the book touched us and why.

Some of us even write our reviews as a bit of a story in itself. We seek to entertain as much as the writer of the book we are imploring you to give a chance!

 

 

Book Reviewer… Influencer… Street Team… Where do I fit and what do I do?

Anyone who follows my book blog, knows that I review books… A LOT of books! I LOVE to read and I love to share my thoughts on these books with my followers.

Along this journey, I have been blessed to join several different street teams.

Recently I was forced to leave one of those street teams (on my own… NOT by the author). And, given some drama that has trickled through blogger circles of late, I felt the need to make mention of something that tends to be misunderstood…

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A REVIEWER is someone who reads books and then posts reviews on sites like Christianbook.com​, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc…

Some of these reviewers are sent books by publishers or promotional companies or the authors themselves.

Along with this “gifted” book comes the requirement that the reviewer gives an HONEST review… not just a positive one.

 

shutterstock_143336716An INFLUENCER is someone who is part of a selected group of people who are chosen to help launch a book. Most authors ask the members to post reviews but they require them to be positive. In the case that a reviewer can not post a positive review, they are asked to post none at all – or at least to wait until a month or so after the book has released.

But the main job of an influencer is to help get the word out about a book’s release. They are responsible for splashing notifications across social media, requesting the book at local libraries and passing out promotional materials like bookmarks and pens.

2b82cdeA STREET TEAM is a combination of the two above.

The street team members’ job extends beyond a book’s release. They notify their followers and friends about sales on the author’s books, special giveaways and more. They also hand out promotional materials (when the author has them to pass out), and they are usually required to read the author’s books and review them.

Typically, an honest yet positive review is no problem in these groups because the members are generally fans of the author’s work. However, most authors do not require a positive review – simply an honest one… in order to have lots of reviews up – to encourage sales.

If a street team requires a positive review, this should always be made clear before the reviewers join. However, lately there has been a bit of drama that has made this point a bit murky.

There are street teams out there that are run, not by the author but by a fan or by the author’s assistant. When the case is a fan running the team, there may be some issues because the fan has their own ideas about the author’s work and if a member’s review does not line up with their own opinion, they may find it difficult to be unbiased.

 

My caution is this:

Reviewers – be careful about what street teams you join. DO not join simply because the author is high-profile. Join the street team of an author you admire, one you will have no problem promoting!

And be sure to read all of the requirements BEFORE you join!

 

Authors – be cautious about how you run your team (or who you choose to run the team for you). Any drama that goes on will not be laid at the feet of that person on social media. It will be attributed to your team and YOUR name.

Also… you should be extremely careful about setting boundaries about reviews. 5 stars on Amazon is great but word of mouth still carries a tremendous amount of weight and if a reviewer is unhappy, they will most likely tell almost everyone they know about it.

I would also suggest you watch what works and what doesn’t with your friends’ street teams. Learn by example and never hesitate to make suggestions to friends about their own teams. Just because you see where something doesn’t work, does not mean they do.

 

Of course it has to be said… some authors do not deal well with bad reviews. But think of it this way… Is it more important to have ALL good reviews or to have a large number of reviews? Whether the reviews are bad or good, having a large number means that a large number of people have read the book.

And… I speak from experience when I say that I have NEVER allowed a negative review to sway me from reading a book that interested me. I have also read more than a few books that received nothing but glowing reviews – which I did not enjoy.

Think about it…

God Bless!

 

© JCMorrows 2015

A LOOK BACK at “Once Upon A Prince” by Rachel Hauck | Royal Weddings series #1 | Review marathon!

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Yes I’ve reviewed this book before and if you’re interested, you can read that review HERE.

I can still remember how crazy I was over this series when I read Once Upon A Prince for the first time!

I was definitely in danger of turning into a giggling, gushing, fan-girl over the book… the story… the series!

It had been out for over a year before I skimmed through it at the insistence of my mother and I later kicked myself for only skimming.

Oh what I missed that first time through…

WHAT an amazing story!

WHAT a wonderful idea!

AND SO MUCH better than a silly story of magic slippers or enchanted spinning wheels.

Like so many other young girls, I grew up on fairy tales and it took me one failed marriage and several failed relationships to admit that believing in fairy tales was not such a good thing for a grown-woman but “Once Upon A Prince” is a real-life fairy tale that I can get behind.

You’re still left with a story book feel and you still end up with a happy ending (I feel no danger in revealing that because it’s not the one you’ll be expecting and… the book has been out a while now) but it really feels real through and through.

BRAVO Rachel Hauck!

And now I get to jump right into the next story… and the next until I get to Rachel’s NEWEST book in this wonderful series! SO there is a bit of a bonus for me waiting so long to really read the book. I don’t have to sit on tacks while I wait for book 2. YAY!

Don’t forget to pop back over tomorrow to read my review of the next book in the series!

Don’t miss the book that started it all – Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck!Tweet this!

Review © JCMorrows 2015

5star

And just in case you need more convincing, here’s what GoodReads has to say about Once Upon A Prince:

“Once Upon a Prince, the first novel in the Royal Wedding series by bestselling author Rachel Hauck, treats you to a modern-day fairy tale.”
~ GoodReads

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess—just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

It’s the ultimate choice. His kingdom or her heart? God’s will or their own?

 

You can find reviews and links to purchase this fabulous series by clicking the links below!

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   RACHEL’S WEBSITE

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

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Letting it go…

An hour ago I was livid.

 

I’m not anymore.

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I work very hard on my reviews. I chase down links, insert pictures, include blurbs and craft tweets to make sharing my posts that much easier for my readers.

Sadly, this is not the case for all bloggers. My mother and I both blog, both review books, and we both write. We have also… both had pieces of our blog posts stolen/imitated/paraphrased by other bloggers.

And I’m sure many of you who also follow my author blog – will remember the Fairy Tale Tabloid debacle from about 18 months ago. LINK.

So you can see why I was livid about an hour ago…

 

However… what other people do is between them and God. It’s not up to me to judge. It’s not up to me to even care.

I’m not going to stop posting or stop working so hard just because other people don’t want to.

but I am going to pray for them.

And I’m going to be very careful about who I let on my own street team when the day comes! You can be certain of that!

 

Good night and God bless!

© JCMorrows 2015

All the Bible Stories you know but like you never expected to hear them

 

The First Time We Saw Him This book took me completely by surprise! I actually had not expected to review it but due to a happy accident, I got the chance and I am thrilled to say that it is a wonderful book that everyone should read!

Matt Mikalatos asks us to take a step back and look at our faith from a different perspective – to look at God from a new perspective.

How many of us have a skewed view of God? How many of us feel detached from God because we just don’t feel a connection with him?

Matt points out that those of us who grew up in church, mostly learned the same lessons, heard the same Bible stories, memorized the same Bible verses and that has shaped our faith.

In many cases, like his own, this gives a somewhat flat and skewed view of Jesus and his amazing miracles, God and his love for us and the Spirit He sent us to be a constant companion.

In The First Time We Saw Him, Matt shows us the Bible stories we all know and love but with a very unique spin. Why didn’t someone think of this before?

This book has had an impact on me that I have never experienced from any other book (except the actual Bible of course) I’ve read on the subject!

AMAZING!

Will you read it? Will it change your outlook on life? Maybe…

Will it give you a renewed faith and help you to develop a relationship with God? I truly hope so!

 

4 Stars

 

And here is what Baker Publishing has to say about The First Time We Saw Him:

Scripture tells us that the words of Jesus made people uncomfortable, confused, angry, repentant, worshipful, and riotous.

Today, we read the words of Christ in a steady, even tone and find ourselves wondering if maybe we’re missing something. Could it be that we’ve lost the emotional power of Jesus’s words simply because we’re too familiar with them?

With incredible insight into the surprising and unsettling aspects of Jesus’s parables and life, Matt Mikalatos reimagines familiar stories and parables in a modern-day setting, bringing alive all the controversy and conflict inherent in the originals. Emotional, sometimes humorous, and even jaw-dropping, these stories raise provocative questions and offer a glimpse of Jesus as his contemporaries must have seen him.

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP   MATT’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES   BOOKSAMILLION

God Bless!

and

Happy Reading!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Deborah Raney – Masterful Author of the family drama!

 

Oh my word.

I never had a family like the Whitmans but Thanks to Deborah Raney, I can imagine that I have.

Family drama is exhausting…

I had no idea Deborah Raney had such a long list of best-selling titles to her name but I can see why.

NO ONE writes Family Drama in a CLEAN, DECENT way, than Deborah Raney.

WOW!

It only took a page – 1 page for me to get sucked right into this book and it was exceptionally difficult to put down, even with two kiddos wanting my constant attention.

Ironically, it has shown me that while I had more the upbringing Chase experienced (minus the mom running off), the family I am raising now is much more on par with the Whitmans – only I just have the two kids.

Oh well. They’re still young. Maybe some day…

It’s no wonder Deborah Raney has had so many Best-sellers and has such a large following! She paints a vivid picture of everything from the newly-remodeled Inn to the Rain-drenched streets of New York.

Her characters are vibrant and REAL, and their story is so true-to-life it’s astonishing!

I absolutely love how she weaves God into the story. There’s nothing preachy about it. It’s just how true followers of Christ live their lives, with God at the heart of it all!

All told, an excellent read!

 

4 Stars

 

Here is what Abingdon Press has to say about Home to Chicory Lane:

Landyn longs for home, but her mother may have other plans.

Audrey Whitman’s dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are grown, she and her husband, Grant, are turning their beloved family home into a cozy bed and breakfast just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri.

Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey’s daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she’s pulling makes it clear she’s not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn’s husband, Chase? And what else was her daughter not telling her?

One thing was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her daughter so desperately needs?

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   ABINGDON PRESS   DEBORAH’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES   BOOKSAMILLION

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the Litfuse Publicity review program.

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

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Yes, I have been annoyingly silent… But I have a good reason!

 

I spent my weekend driving… and sitting… and writing furiously, trying to get down every word my brilliant role-model said.

Yes I spent the weekend at a Writer’s conference!

WHOO!

 

Not only did I get the chance to listen to one of my absolute FAVORITE authors share tips and ideas about writing… I got to talk with her – in person!

And yes… it was almost too much for me. It took all of my composure not to go fan-girl and just squeal with delight.

Melanie Dickerson is the author of my absolute favorite fairy tale series of ALL TIME! And for the record, no matter how great the other 3 are – my current favorite is The Fairest Beauty Of course that may change when I read The Princess Spy in November or “The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest”  in 2015… which is releasing from Thomas Nelson not Zondervan.

And I’m excited to have discovered another exciting new author! I plan to read Jane Nickerson‘s work as soon as I can get my hands on it! They were sold out of her books in the bookstore… sad

I’m not going to say that I learned much from the other 2 speakers but well… I didn’t learn much. They spoke well and the topics were interesting but I have no interest in writing for magazines or newspapers.

 

For now, I am editing my MS with everything I learned in mind! Exciting!

 

And I haven’t stopped reviewing… give me a few days to catch up on everything and I’ll have a new review up for you.

Promise!

 

JC

Even when the answer is no…

Recently I was lamenting (complaining…) to my mother that I just didn’t know what was going on with this crazy situation. And, while I have to say I am still more than a little perplexed, I am glad to be able to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

What am I talking about…?

Well, you all know I review books. In fact, I review a LOT of books for several different companies, two different street teams and various authors seeking influencers. I love to read and people really seem to love my reviews so it seems like a no-brainer.

 

And now it seems like a major downer. A certain company I review for (they WILL remain nameless because it wouldn’t be nice or Christian to point fingers) has decided to deny me for multiple tours I’ve signed up for recently.

Now, if this was the norm for how my relationship has been with them to date… I wouldn’t wonder – I would be looking at the situation very differently but it’s not… at all. Up to now, I have only ever been denied for 1, yes that’s right – 1 tour. To be fair, I don’t sign up for every single tour that comes through my inbox. First I don’t sign up for a book if I don’t think I will enjoy it. Second, who has time to be a mom, home-school, write full-time and review three or four books every day.

Not me!

So I only sign up for tours I am interested in. I do this with every single company – that’s why you don’t see me reviewing a lot for some of them. Not that they don’t publish quality books… they do. But nobody likes every book or every genre.

At any rate, I’m rambling now.

 

So how did I handle this rejection? Well… my spiritual gift is Mercy so I cried. This is why I have had so much trouble with the query process. Every single rejection feels very personal and devastating… so I cried. And then I ranted a bit. And then I realized there must be a reason for this. The rejection isn’t personal. It’s God’s will – And I need to respect that.

So I have accepted it – well I’m working on it anyway… I’m a mercy! We don’t let go of things easily.
But I’m trying to remember that God’s answer is always the best one. So maybe it’s that He knows I’m going to have more than I can handle elsewhere coming up soon. Or maybe I need more time to write or more time with the family. Who knows… well He does.

As difficult as it is for me to take a “No.” as anything other than a personal rejection, I don’t know all of the circumstances so I’m going to have to find a way to let it go and go on.

Another Chance to Win!

 

Come help us celebrate the release of another fantastic
Quilts of Love release!

 

Don’t miss this month’s Quilts of Love book, Maybelle in Stitches, by Joyce Magnin. Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it.

Joyce is celebrating the release with a $200 Modcloth giveaway. Enter today for a chance to spruce up your spring wardrobe!

Just click the picture below.

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One winner will receive:

  • A $200 Modcloth gift card
  • Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  • A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare
  • Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin

 

And while you’re waiting, a bit more about the book:

Maybelle in Stitches

Maybelle In Stitches | A Quilts of Love book.

Maybelle Kazinzki can’t sew. She was after all, the only girl in the seventh grade Home Economics class to sew the zipper in the neck hole of the A-Line dress they were supposed to make. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house she gets the crazy idea to finish it—somehow, come heck or high water. She thinks it will help fill the lonely nights while her husband, Holden, is serving overseas during World War II.

Her recently departed mother’s quilt is made from scraps of material Maybelle traces back to her mother’s childhood, her grandmother’s childhood and her own childhood. She tries to add one of Holden’s stripes to it but the sewing is not going well and neither is her life. After receiving some harsh news, Maybelle’s faith falters and she puts the quilt away and stops trusting God. But God is faithful- no matter what. And it’ll take a group of neighborhood women armed with quilting needles to help Maybelle believe that.

 

And a bit more about the author:

Joyce Magnin
Joyce Magnin is the author of the Bright’s Pond novels, including the award-winning The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. A member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship, Joyce is a frequent workshop leader and the organizer of the StoryCrafters fiction group. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Find out more about Joyce at http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com/products/31/Maybelle-in-Stitches.

 

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

We Have A Winner

Envelope Winner

Sorry it took me so long to post the winner. My “picker” went to bed early last night
so I had to wait for her to get out of bed this morning. 🙂

May I have the envelope please…

And the winner is –

 

Barb Wagner

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

You have won a copy of Denise Hunter’s The Convenient Groom

ENJOY!

I will e-mail you shortly with further info.

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

…Yes! And I am very happy about it!

Yesterday I reviewed a book that I really didn’t enjoy. Actually I’ve read more than a few books lately that I have not really enjoyed.

WHY?

That is the question.

Five years ago, I read the Twilight series. Yes, I did. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I wish now that I could find a way to get some of the books I’ve read in the past out of my head but I chose to put them in there so I will just have to live with it all.

I used to be a huge fan of Nora Roberts and the covers of her books bother me so much now, I won’t even pick them up.

However, God has worked so much in my heart that I can’t even stand the thought of reading those books anymore. I am not the woman I was five years ago. I’m not even the woman I was two years ago. I am a whole new creation in GOD and… HE IS STILL WORKING ON ME!

He has put a love of ALL THINGS GOOD, WHOLESOME AND TRUE into my heart! He has filled it with compassion and forgiveness and LOVE! He has forgiven me and uplifted me and held me up through all of life’s storms!

And this is why I enjoy Amish fiction so much. Because it’s ALL ABOUT HIM!

THANK YOU MOM!

I shudder to think of what I would be reading right now if it were not for you.

YES, there are a few Amish fiction books that discuss harsh realities. YES, there are disturbing things like drugs or inappropriate relationships sometimes in Amish fiction books but in Amish fiction (OK OK… MOST Amish fiction), these things are not swept under the rug. They are not dismissed with excuses or explained away with nonsense about it not being someone’s fault or worse… blamed on someone else entirely. They are presented for exactly what they are – S I N!

This is what is missing from MOST “Christian” fiction. They spend two-thirds of the book talking about sex and drugs and blaming everybody else for their problems and then in the last two or three chapters, the person “gets religion” and it’s all OK.

I’m not trying to pass judgment. And if you’re going to pick a book like this over something like the twilight series or one of these new Amish horror novels or some crazy science fiction that talks about evolution like it’s real, then by all means – pick the “Christian” fiction. It’s better than what the world is handing out.

I’m simply saying – it’s not for me.

And I am so thankful to GOD for it! GOD and Mom. And I’m thankful to GOD for Mom! She is my light in a very dark and disturbing world. She is my rock in the quicksand of lies that so many people toss around freely. She is my life-raft in the turbulent seas of life. She is such a tremendous blessing to me and I don’t know what I would do without her!

And a big shout out to all of the GREAT writers of Amish fiction out there! You know who you are – the ones who are writing to uplift the world and not just to see those $$$!

GOD BLESS YOU and THANK GOD for you too!

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“Kate’s Song” by Jennifer Beckstrand | Forever in Apple Lake #1

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It’s a difficult thing sometimes to be a mom who enjoys reading more than almost anything else.

Almost…

I enjoy my children above all other things on this earth.

And it has been many years since I stayed up into the wee hours because I just could not put a book down.

When you’re a mom who puts your kids ahead of everything else, there are plenty of times you don’t want to put a book down. There are many times you’re annoyed at having to put the book down and there are times you stay up late – even when you know you’re going to regret it.

But it has truly been years since I read a book I could not put down. I sat there, mesmerized, turning pages and agonizing over what was going to happen next.

Jennifer Beckstrand’s story held me in its grip with an astonishing strength.
It’s nearly impossible to believe this is her first published novel. She has a talent that equals authors with years of experience and success.

Her characters are perfectly shaped and, at the same time, expertly flawed. Her story flows seamlessly from scene to scene. Her plot is meticulously crafted and woven neatly around each aspect of the story.

She has created a uniquely wonderful adventure and I feel blessed to have been invited along for the ride.

5star

For more info and extras, click HERE to visit Summerside Press

And here is a brief synopsis about the book too:

Kate Weaver was raised in an Amish home and has always been expected to choose baptism and strict observance of the Ordnung. But Kate is blessed with a beautiful singing voice, and when another path leads her to the academy for vocal training, she struggles to understand God’s will for her life. She returns to Apple Lake, haunted by a violent encounter with a fellow student, and finds herself drawn to the peace and devotion of her Amish home. But can she give up her dreams? Or will her calling forever separate her from the people and the way of life she holds so dear? Nathaniel King has never wavered in his commitment to the community and the Old Order Amish Church into which he is baptized. He has been in love with Kate for as long as he can remember, and he is devastated when she leaves Apple Lake to attend the academy. When Kate returns, will she make his most profound hopes a reality–or will she break his heart all over again?

There are also more reviews HERE at ChristianBook.com HERE to visit the book page on GoodReads

And click HERE to visit Jennifer’s website.

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Irony and it’s anchor in God’s plan for my life.

Three things I have found lately that are equally ironic and incredible.

Dare to BELIEVEOne: I checked out a book from the library and was absolutely shocked when I got it home and started reading.

Now I know what you’re thinking… why didn’t I just read the back to see if I was interested.

Well, I’ll tell you.

Before that book, I never really needed to worry about something as gross as “vampires” with an “AMISH” fiction book.

Granted there have been Amish fiction novels I have not cared much for – but the back of those books did not give me even a hint that I would feel that way.

So I didn’t think to look. I saw the “Inspirational” sticker on the spine and I saw Amish characters on the cover so I drew the natural conclusions… And before you think I’m a dummy – the picture on the cover did not give me any real hints that there was anything about vampires inside. I figured the slightly sinister look was advertising a suspense story or a murder mystery.

I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG!

Suffice to say, I DID NOT read the book. Right back to the library it went.

Really! Did I miss something? Since when did “Amish” become synonymous with “vampire”!? Does no one stop to think before writing…much less marketing or publishing such a thing?

Yes I know it’s fiction.
Yes I know it’s not real.
What I don’t know is how anyone who genuinely loves or lives for God, could think such a thing is even a little bit appropriate!

Anyway, on to number…

Two: I was scrolling through my reviews on Amazon and I noticed that someone had clicked one of my reviews (Minding Molly) as not helpful. Well of course I was immediately curious. Amazon doesn’t tell you who didn’t like it or why but I did notice that there were several other reviews (that were along the same lines as mine) that were also marked that way. So I’m guessing someone went through and picked out several reviews that were not flowery and gushing and clicked that they were unhelpful.

Oh well, right…

Maybe if you’re someone who is completely unaffected by other people’s opinions…

I, however, am not. I work very hard on my reviews. And, in the small number of reviews I have given, in which I didn’t love the book, I still try to be positive. I point out what the writer did well, talk about any good points and then state that – while I didn’t care for the book,  someone else might.

And while I still don’t appreciate the action, I suppose I understand the irony.

I didn’t like the book. They clearly didn’t like my review.

and now for…

Three: I applied to review books for a certain publicity company awhile back (I’m not going to name them). We went back and forth with e-mails for a long time and then I finally broke through that glass ceiling – I got an invite to join. I was required to agree to their terms, which I happily did. I e-mailed my agreement and waited. …and waited. …and waited.

And… nothing.

I e-mailed a couple of times since, trying to see what happened and trying not to take the implied rejection personally. I mean, why would a person invite you to review for them and then never get back to you once you’ve accepted?

Weird – right?

Today I wandered over to their website and checked out all the books I’ve been missing all this time. And do you know what I found?

I really haven’t been missing anything. In fact, there are quite a few books that I personally object to – strongly.

Remember the library book I talked about – this one was so much worse! With the library book, I couldn’t tell just how nasty the book was from looking at the cover (although I’m starting to think that might have been better – to know, going in, what it’s all about) and at least it made some attempt to paint the evil as actual evil. The book I found on this site not only had a nasty cover, it was blatantly flying in the face of the evil…painting it very much in the “they can’t help it” light.

My first thought:

These are Christian books… REALLY!

I know the Christian genre has expanded quite a bit lately to include a selection of fantasy and sci-fi but there is still supposed to be a line… right? Somewhere there is supposed to be a line between what the world likes and what glorifies God – am I right? Or has all that just gone the way of the “old-fashioned” hymns in church?

Anyway, this leads right into the part of this post that talks about how God orchestrated all of these things to keep me on the path that he intends for me.

With the book – He is reminding me to be careful of what I bring into my life and my home.

With the comment – He is telling me that I must give my disappointments to Him. He will be my comforter and He will give me the strength I need to get past things like that.

And with the website – He is telling me that I need to be very careful about who I associate with and I need to be especially careful about who I “Promote”. By writing reviews for them and adding my expertise to their site – I am, in essence, saying that I approve of the material there.

Now I review for multiple companies and there are books on each one that I’m not terribly fond of but this one is a very different story. There are books on their list of titles that are so far beyond appropriate for Christian readers, it would be a horrendous idea for me to endorse them and it would most likely destroy my witness.

So I’m very much better off without them!

On that note, I’m also going to be looking a bit closer at the other companies I review for. And, as much as I’ll hate to miss out on good books, I certainly don’t want to promote the nasty ones.

THANK YOU GOD!

Thank you for protecting me from myself, and others around me who care nothing for my eternal soul. Thank you for loving me enough to put up with my mistakes and waiting oh so patiently for me to come to my senses. And Thank you for forgiving all the terrible things I do – that I shouldn’t.

Now a question for you…

Is there anything in your life that falls into one of the categories above? Or another…

Could God be trying to get your attention with something seemingly small?

Are you listening?

“Be what you wish others to become.”
– Amish Proverb

GOD BLESS!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“Once Upon A Prince” by Rachel Hauck | Royal Weddings series #1

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Oh my word, I am in definite danger of turning into a giggling, gushing, fan-girl over this book.

Over a year ago I skimmed through it at the insistence of my mother and I surely wish I’d done more than skim. Of course, it may not have had the same impact on me then that it has now so perhaps it was for the best.

I’ve just finished reading the book and, despite being under the influence of a nasty stomach bug, I feel the most wonderful glow inside and out.

WHAT an amazing story!
WHAT a wonderful idea!
SO MUCH better than a silly story of magic slippers or enchanted spinning wheels. I do think the cover designer might have benefited from reading the book a bit more closely but my personal morals are so different from almost everyone else’s, I’m sure they thought the cover was positively pure. It’s just me and my son who look at it and wince. However, at the end of the day, the cover art can not possibly diminish the wonderful message contained within the pages!

Like so many other young girls, I grew up on fairy tales and it took me one failed marriage and several failed relationships to admit that believing in fairy tales was not such a good thing for a grown-woman but “Once Upon A Prince” is a real-life fairy tale that I can get behind. You’re still left with a story book feel and you still end up with a happy ending (I feel no danger in revealing that because it’s not the one you’ll be expecting and… the book has been out a while now) but it really feels real through and through.

BRAVO Rachel Hauck!

And now I get to jump right into the next story! SO there is a bit of a bonus for me waiting so long to really read the book. I don’t have to sit on tacks while I wait for book 2. YAY!

Watch for the review! It’s coming soon and don’t miss out on the Facebook party that Litfuse is throwing to celebrate on March 6th! LINK

And if you haven’t read the book, you definitely should!

5star

Here’s what GoodReads has to say about it:

“Once Upon a Prince, the first novel in the Royal Wedding series by bestselling author Rachel Hauck, treats you to a modern-day fairy tale.”
~ GoodReads

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess—just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

It’s the ultimate choice. His kingdom or her heart? God’s will or their own?

Click HERE to find more reviews on ChristianBook.com and HERE for GoodReads.

Click HERE to visit Rachel Hauck’s website

“Balanced” – Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom | by Tricia Goyer – an Invaluable resource!

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Working at home while raising kids and juggling a career and family responsibilities is no easy feat. Author and homeschooling mom Tricia Goyer shares her tips for finding balance among all your many hats as a mom.

I follow Tricia Goyer on Facebook and twitter and her blog and I LOVE her books!

And I must admit that I too wonder how she does all that she does – or I did, until I read this book.

“Balanced” is a wonderful way of finding out the answer to all those questions. Tricia shares with other work-at-home moms how she handles all the hats she has to wear.

I’m not going to spoil it for you but I will say this – At one point in the book, Tricia makes a point of saying:

“Disclaimer. This book may not be for you if: You are looking for a simple how-to manual with only schedules, outlines, and agendas. You don’t think your spiritual life impacts your work and home life. You think the whole balance issue depends on you and not on your dependence on God.

In this book, there is as much inner work I’m going to talk about as there are ideas, helps, and tips for balancing. Because as someone who’s been working at home nearly all of my twenty-four years as a parent, I’ve discovered three main things:

  1. What I do isn’t as important as who I am.
  2. What God can do in my life and what He’s capable of doing can be two very different things—I don’t want to limit Him.
  3. My outward goals are only reachable if I submit my inward soul to God.

If this sounds like a book you need, good. If not, I understand! We moms only have so much time. You need to spend your time, energy, and hard-earned money on a book that will meet your expectations.

Know that I’m praying God will speak to your heart through my story. I hope you’ll discover good advice to help you follow the dreams God has placed in your heart and be the wife and mom you’ve always wanted to be.” – Direct quote from Tricia Goyer (Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom)

I really respect her for that. It takes a lot of courage and faith to present women with a reason they should not buy your book – and then to tell them you’re OK with it. Ironically, that makes me want to buy the book even more!

Tricia and I have a lot of different ideas on how a person should carry out their faith but they stem from the same ideals. And each Christian really does need to understand that they have a very different journey. Your walk with God is a very personal thing and what God calls one to do – he may not call another to. The point is this – I can see Tricia’s faith in every word. She may go about her faith and her witness differently than me but she definitely puts it all out there for the world to see!

As a homeschooling mom, I am encouraged by Tricia’s story and it definitely tells me I am doing something RIGHT! As a single mom, I am excited to see that Tricia gives so much of her time to help out other mothers – single and married alike. As a struggling writer, I am inspired by Tricia’s journey through writing and publishing and there is a lot of information in this book that benefits me greatly. Tricia talks about homeschool, faith, writing, family life and social media – and how to weave each one into your life without de-railing everything else.

And through it all is woven – a tale of faith so heartwarming, it renews my love for God all over again!

I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who is a struggling writer, a work-at-home mom, a home-schooler, new to Christian faith, or someone who is just interested in Tricia Goyer’s life! It’s a great read – no matter your reasoning!

5star

Click HERE to find out more about the blog tour and for other extras from Litfuse.

Click HERE to see the GoodReads book page.

Click HERE for Amazon.com, where you can purchase the eBook for Kindle!

Click HERE to visit Tricia’s website.

And when you’re done with all that, pop in to the Balanced Challenge

Click the following link to RSVP for the Balanced Facebook Party on March 10th – to chat with Tricia, win goodies and learn more about the Balanced Challenge!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity book review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“Scraps of Evidence” by Barbara Cameron

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All I can say is this: I really hope Barbara never lets anyone talk her into making this a movie because they’ll ruin it.

WHAT a GREAT story!

I have to say it was a bit of a shock for my system going from Amish to Crime – and by the same author but I’m so glad I went ahead and read them in order. As a matter of fact, I’m sitting here writing this a full two days ahead of schedule. It was THAT GOOD! I seriously could NOT put the book down and I usually detest mystery novels. I used to read a series by another author who shall remain nameless and it effectively killed any taste for mysteries that I may have had.

But this book is nowhere near the same league as those. Or any other… And when I say that, I mean that this book is far far above the rest.

I could happily read a dozen more by Barbara because I already know that she is capable of writing a great story with believable characters and a plot-line that even a seasoned mystery writer would envy.

Barbara Cameron doesn’t drag things out, she doesn’t throw in a ridiculous amount of obvious clues and… the coup-de-grâce – she does not have her characters do stupid things. No walking right into the path of the killer over and over again, no figuring out the whole thing right before the killer sticks a gun to your temple and no running around screaming like an idiot. I LOVE IT!

THANK YOU Barbara Cameron!

And PLEASE write more of these kind of stories!

You might, if you’re an old-hand at mysteries, pick out a clue or two but nothing that stands there screaming “RIGHT HERE! THEY DID IT! DON’T MISS THIS!” And some of you might think the romance moves a little too quickly (I don’t think I’m giving anything away there – you knew there had to be romance) but please remember this is a short book. It’s supposed to move fast. However, I have to say that I don’t think the book itself moved too fast – it had a perfect pace and, at the end, I found myself wondering how I’d gotten there already.

The only complaint I have is the synopsis. I don’t know if the book underwent a lot of changes since it was written or if whoever wrote it just hadn’t read the book but there are several goofs in it. Logan is a new partner and he never really “ribs” Tess about her quilting. And Tess’s aunt isn’t in a nursing home. She’s in the hospital. But oh well…

It’s a GREAT story! Read it! You won’t be sorry!

5star

Here is a bit more information about the book from the Quilts of Love website.

Tess has taken some ribbing from her fellow officer, Logan, for her quilting hobby. He finds it hard to align the brisk professional officer he patrols with during the day with the one who quilts in her off-time. Besides, he’s been trying to get to know her better and he’d like to be seeing her during those couple nights a week she spends with her quilting guild.

Then one afternoon Tess and Logan visit her aunt in the nursing home and she acts agitated when Tess covers her with the story quilt. Aunt Susan seems to be communicating a message to them about Tess’s uncle. There’s a story behind this quilt, they realize, one that may lead them to a serial killer. Will they have a chance to have a future together or will the killer choose Tess for his next victim before they find him?

Click HERE to get more info from the Quilts of Love website

Click HERE to go to the Litfuse page for info about the blog tour

Click HERE to go to the page on GoodReads

Click HERE to go to Barbara Cameron’s website.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity book review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“The Calling” by Suzanne Woods Fisher | The Inn at Eagle Hill book 2

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OK… I think these books are my new favorite series! WHAT a turnaround! Here I thought there was something about Suzanne’s writing that was annoying me and I was ready to quit reading. Well I was right… sort of. It is Suzanne’s writing that was agitating me. But only because she draws a reader into the story so well that we feel the emotions that her characters are feeling. And at the beginning of “The Letters”, there was some serious agitation going around.

“The Calling” is a FANTASTIC read!

Suzanne Woods Fisher has managed to continue the story beautifully while introducing many new elements as well!

A small irony… when I wrote the words you just read above, I had only read about 50 pages of the book. I like creating the review template early on my computer (adding the picture and positioning it, copying in the synopsis, setting links, etc…) so all that’s left is to type in my thoughts and impressions. That way, if I have to do it on my phone later, it’s easier to get it all done. So I created this template with a few first impressions and then went back to reading.

As I read further, Suzanne introduced more and more elements that drew me even deeper into the story – to the point that I was in tears over what I was reading. AMAZING! Suzanne crafts a story that involves each character we are introduced to in ways that we could never imagine. She is a truly blessed author and I look forward to going back and reading each and every one of her other books while I wait for the next book in this series.

What a wonderful continuation of the story.

What a tremendous example of how God moves things and people in and out of our lives for our good. We almost never see God in the little everyday kind of things that happen to us. And most of the time we miss the grand plan that God has for us until it’s staring us in the face… and in some cases, not until it has already settled in for a nice long stay.

“The Letters” was very much a surprise to me. I began reading and was almost immediately irritated – to the point that I almost decided not to even finish the story. But, having a determination to finish what I start, I did. And I am so glad I did. It was an amazing story, a true blessing to my soul. And “The Calling” was even better! Now I find myself agitated again, except this time it is because there is so long to wait for the next installment.

5star

Here is a bit of info from the Baker Publishing House about the book and Suzanne Woods Fisher.

Bethany’s restless heart is searching for answers–in life and in love

Bethany Schrock’s love life has derailed, her faith hangs by a thread, and she is spending hot summer days wading through a lifetime of accumulation at the home of five elderly Amish sisters. She’s not sure what she wants out of life, but she knows that she’s not finding it in Stoney Ridge.

Then a new guest at the Inn at Eagle Hill ropes her into volunteering in a community project for down-and-outers. Reluctant at first, Bethany starts to feel a bit of joy and satisfaction again. But not so much that Jimmy Fisher, adorable and impossible, can woo her affections with his winks and tricks. Well, maybe a little.

When a figure from her past reenters her life, Bethany must decide: What does the past mean to her future?

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher delivers her trademark twists, turns, and tender romance in this delightful and exciting visit to the quiet community of Stoney Ridge.

“Fisher’s characters are living the simple life–or trying to, despite the hardships they are facing–and learning how to adjust their way of life without compromising their beliefs. We get a glimpse of life few outsiders are privileged to see, with some surprises, twists, and turns.”–RT Book Reviews

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Letters, the Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of an Amish children’s series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Christy Award finalist, a Carol Award winner, and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

You can find more info and an excerpt of the book HERE from The Baker Publishing Group.

You can click HERE to read more reviews and find other info on GoodReads.

And there’s a link above but here’s another to Suzanne’s WEBSITE

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity book review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

The links are up for the contest for “The Calling”! YAY!

Actually I think they were up last night but I didn’t find out until this morning. Sorry.

You can click HERE to see information about “The Calling”, to read an excerpt and to find out more about the blog tour schedule!

And you can click HERE or on the picture below to learn more about the contest and to enter!

You don’t want to miss out on this!

Suzanne is celebrating the release of The Calling by giving away TWO iPads, TWO Kindles, and TWO Nooks! 

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Two grand prize winners will receive:

  • An iPad
  • The Letters and The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Four second place winners will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX or a Nook HD—winner’s choice!
  • The Letters and The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I know I would enter if I didn’t already have both books and an e-reader.

As it is, I’ll leave the chances to win open to everyone else.

So HAPPY READING and GOD BLESS!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“The Calling” CONTEST Sponsored by Litfuse!

The contest begins TODAY and runs until February 8th!

Don’t miss it!

Litfuse is running a contest to go along with the blog tour of “The Calling” by Suzanne Woods Fisher!

I LOVE contests, don’t you?

I had hoped to have links for you today to get more information about this contest but it appears the holiday has thrown everything out of whack.

I will post links as soon as I have them but I wanted you to know that the contest officially starts today.

You can click HERE to go to the Litfuse tour page and once “The Calling” is clickable, it should lead you to info about the tour.

You can click HERE for more reviews from GoodReads.

And you can click HERE for more info and extras from the Baker Publishing Group.

I will be posting my review for “The Letters” – book 1 in the series before I post my review for “The Calling” a few days later.

Watch for them.

And check out the contest!

We have bloggers reviewing the book until the 4th of February! That’s a good long blog tour!

God Bless You!

Emma of Aurora trilogy by Jane Kirkpatrick

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Before I get into my thoughts, here’s a quick synopsis from GoodReads:

The Change and Cherish trilogy, based on the true story of Emma Wagner Giesy, now available in one volume:

A Clearing in the Wild:
When Emma’s outspoken ways and growing skepticism lead to a clash with the 1850s Bethel, Missouri colony’s beloved leader, she finds new opportunities to pursue her dreams of independence. But as she clears a pathway West to her truest and deepest self, she discovers something she never expected: a yearning for the warm embrace of community.

A Tendering in the Storm:
Determined to raise her children on her own terms, Emma suddenly finds herself alone and pregnant with her third child, struggling to keep her family secure in the remote coastal forest of the Washington Territory. As clouds of despair close in, she must decide whether to continue in her own waning strength or to humble herself and accept help from the very people she once so eagerly left behind.

A Mending at the Edge:
As a mother, daughter, sister, and estranged wife, Emma struggles to find her place inside—and outside—the confines of her religious community. Emma reaches out to others on the fringe, searching for healing and purpose. By blending her unique talents with service to others, she creates renewed hope as she weaves together the threads of family, friends, and faith.

And my first thought, when I opened the enormous box this monster arrived in was…

Holy Cow!

I know it’s a bit unoriginal but it’s the best I could come up with in that moment.

I realize this really has no bearing on the books themselves but it was the first thought associated with the book so I feel it’s worth sharing. I’ve noticed in a lot of the other reviews I’ve seen that people are excited to have all three stories in one place but I can’t help pointing out the opposite side to this. The book is enormous. For me, it’s been a bit of a hindrance. It’s difficult to read a book that is so large – in paperback. If the book were a hardbound, with a more flexible spine, I would have had a much easier time with it – which is why I read it on my e-reader.

However, I can see the appeal. It is nice to have all three books in one volume. It is nice not to have to track down three different books. And it’s nice to have only one price to pay instead of three.

My fascination with historical stories began with the Little House books. My mother read them to me as a child and I’m reading them to my children. As anyone who has read these knows, the stories are told through the eyes and voice of a child but they are true stories and Laura Ingals Wilder does a superb job of it in my opinion.

Laura Ingals Wilder and Jane Kirkpatrick have that in common. She takes the life of a woman who lived long before any of us were even born and makes her real to us. It’s a daunting enough task to write about a fictional character who lived many years ago but to write with such passion about an actual person, someone who you have never met or spoken with… that shows an incredible skill. I am not alone in my admiration and I intend to seek out more books written by Jane Kirkpatrick.

A wonderful read!

Click HERE for more information about this title from WaterBrook Multnomah and to read an excerpt of the book.

Click HERE for more info and reviews on GoodReads

Click HERE to see my review on the Blogging for Books website and help me out by rating it.

Click HERE for Jane Kirkpatrick’s website

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from the Blogging for Books reviewer program by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Check out my other reviews for them HERE.

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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It’s here! Finally! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

As you open your presents and enjoy the day, make sure you take time to enjoy your family too!

Have a GREAT DAY!

And remember what today is all about!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!

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May God Bless you in this Holiday season.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

25 Posts of Christmas Day 24: Christmas Eve!

There are hours left…only hours!

Presents are wrapped and stockings are hung. The tree is decorated and the kids are tucked into their beds, dreaming of Christmas morning!

Before you take yourself off to bed, take a peek at this;

Luke 2:1-20

King James Version (KJV)

2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

And before you go to bed, take a minute to thank God for his wonderful gift and for his wonderful love!

And kiss your sweet children. They’re the best gift most of us could hope for!

GOD BLESS YOU!1 Day til Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 23: Volunteering

What do you do for your fellow man at this time of year?

Christmas-Volunteering-BannerEvery store we go to, there’s a brave man or woman standing outside with a bell and a little red bucket. They smile and wish us a “Merry Christmas” as we drop in our loose change – “The Salvation Army”

Churches pass out special shoeboxes for their congregations to fill up and send to children in other countries – “Operation Christmas Child”

And each town had their own special charities and projects that are going strong this time of year.

There are also a myriad of Shelters and community homes that feed thousands for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

What’s your personal volunteering opportunity?

And if you don’t volunteer, you should think and pray about it. When God commands us to give 10% of ourselves, he means more than our money! He means our time too!

So go out into the world and see what you can do to help!

2 daysMERRY CHRISTMAS!

GOD BLESS YOU!

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25 Posts of Christmas Day 22: Take a deep breath!

Only three days until Christmas now.

IMG_2106Kick back and fix yourself a nice cup of cocoa!

YUM!

Throughout this season, we’ve all dealt with crazy traffic, rude drivers, angry shoppers and crazy weather.

Now the time is running out and we are all running around like crazy people.

Who else is feeling the pressure? Who else feels a little crazy?

This is why I say you should take a deep breath and fix yourself a nice cup of cocoa. Snuggle up with your kids and turn on a great Christmas movie and enjoy some time with your family.

Read a Christmas story as you put the kids to bed and enjoy some time with a good book.

Then you can get back to your Christmas shopping and wrapping.

GOD Bless you! And
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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