Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance A REVIEW

Bianca Marshal is looking for a man who can quote both Jesus and Shakespeare. Not surprisingly, that man is hard to find in the small Appalachian town where she lives. Her mother insists that Bianca lower her standards. One the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, even Bianca wonders if her mother is right.

Still set on experiencing love, or at least a little adventure, Bianca wins an essay contest that propels her into a whirlwind search for the perfect hero. Via the opulence of London and the mysteries of Palestine, Bianca's true love will be revealed—but not without a price that might be too heavy to pay.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Worthy Publishing (October 14, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161795375X
ISBN-13: 978-1617953750
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pound

Brandy Vallance fell in love with the Victorian time period at a young age, loving the customs, manners, and especially the intricate rules of love. Since time travel is theoretically impossible, she lives in the nineteenth century vicariously through her novels. Unaccountable amounts of black tea have fueled this ambition. Brandy's love of tea can only be paralleled by her love of Masterpiece Theater Classics, deep conversations, and a good book. Brandy is the 2013 Operation First Novel winner and the 2012 winner of the ACFW Genesis Contest for historical romance. You can connect with Brandy via her website, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, YouTube, or Twitter @BrandyVallance.

  The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance is a very good book for a first time author. I really enjoyed the book and felt it was full of such love, but also had a lot of secrets and sadness.
  When Bianca and three others won a trip to the Holy Land it wasn’t what it seemed. To the four of them it just seemed like a wonderful opportunity, but to the one who made the trip possible it was just a set up to see how two of these people who are Christians would act when they are confronted with the most horrible things. It is such a tricky, hateful plan.
   I didn’t like the parts when they were in the Holy Land and they couldn’t even enjoy it, because they were thinking of their own problems and didn’t think about such History and beauty they were missing out on.
  It was also a very tender story, but full of such secrets and lies. For a first time author this was a wonderful book. I look forward to reading more of Brandy Vallance’s books.
Even though this book has lots of troubles and secrets taking away from the Holy Land I still think it is worth reading.
Really did enjoy it.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I receive books free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program/BookLook. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express are my own. This is true of any book I review for any publisher or author; I will not review books where a positive review is required and I will always express my own opinions of each book received and read.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Heaven Touching Earth by James Stuart Bell A REVIEW

God Is Closer Than You Might Think

A thin curtain separates the physical world from the unseen spiritual realm. And sometimes God pulls it back to give us a glimpse of the other side. In Heaven Touching Earth, ordinary people share more than forty all-new stories of miracles, healing, divine provision and protection, and encounters with angels and demons.

These true, uplifting stories will remind you that even when you don't see obvious evidence of God at work in your life or get quick answers to prayer, there is a loving Father who protects and provides and is always working on your behalf in the invisible realm.

Whether you're simply curious about the supernatural world or longing for a fresh experience of God's presence, these inspiring stories will touch your heart and strengthen your faith in the God of miracles

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764211862
ISBN-13: 978-0764211867
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces

James Stuart Bell is a Christian publishing veteran and the owner of Whitestone Communications, a literary development agency. He is the editor of many story collections, including the Cup of Comfort, Live Savors, and Extraordinary Answers to Prayer series, and the coauthor of numerous books in the Complete Idiot’s Guide series. He and his family live in West Chicago, Illinois.

   Heaven Touching Earth is truly a wonderful, exciting book that was a joy to read. I loved reading about all of the miracles and encounters with Heavenly beings.
  Forty-three short stories that are so thrilling and full of things that happen that we call amazing.
   Like it says on the description of this book a thin curtain separates the physical and spiritual worlds.
   Most people go on with life and never think about or consider that we also live in the spiritual. So many things go on that we don’t know about. How angels are here to guard us and how people can be healed.
   I highly recommend this book. It is very inspirational, encouraging book. One that just makes you so glad to be alive. Excellent book.

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Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Glimpsing Heaven by Judy Bachrach A REVIEW

If you caught a glimpse of heaven, would you choose to come back to life? Investigative journalist Judy Bachrach has collected accounts of those who died and then returned to life with lucid, vivid memories of what occurred while they were dead, and the conclusions are astonishing. Clinical death—the moment when the heart stops beating and brain stem activity ceases—is not necessarily the end of consciousness, as a number of doctors are now beginning to concede. Hundreds of thousands of fascinating post-death experiences have been documented, and for many who have died and returned, life is forever changed. These days, an increasing number of scientific researchers are turning their studies to people who have experienced what the author calls death travels -- putting stock and credence in the sights, encounters, and exciting experiences reported by those who return from the dead. Through interviews with scores of these “death travelers,” and with physicians, nurses, and scientists unraveling the mysteries of the afterlife, Bachrach redefines the meaning of both life and death. Glimpsing Heaven reveals both the uncertainty and the surprising joys of life after death.

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: National Geographic (September 2, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1426215142
ISBN-13: 978-1426215148
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

In her long journalistic career, JUDY BACHRACH has worked at the Washington Post, the Washington Star (as a political columnist) and is currently a Vanity Fair contributing editor as well as a professor of journalism.    She is most recently the author of GLIMPSING HEAVEN, The Stories and Science of Life After Death, which was published in September, 2014 by National Geographic books.  The book is a journalistic odyssey filled with the author’s extensive interviews with those who have died and then been resuscitated – ordinary individuals who return to life with vivid, specific and structured recollections of what Bachrach calls their death travels. She also interviews the doctors, scientists and nurses who have examined both the death travelers and their memories of what occurred during those voyages beyond life’s borders – scientists, doctors and nurses who find these memories credible and accurate.    Bachrach, who lives in Washington DC, is a graduate of Chatham College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She speaks fluent French and Italian.

  Glimpsing Heaven by Judy Bachrach is a nice book, but still didn’t answer a lot of my questions and also I thought there would have been more talk of Heaven and God, but that is sadly lacking.
  I did like some of the interviews of the people who had NDE, but a lot of them seemed so troubled. Others really enjoyed there experiences and didn’t want to come back. I really like how they talked about flowers and the colors that have never seen before. Also the overwhelming love they felt.
   One thing that troubles me is why do so many of them report pleasant experiences when they doubted and didn’t believe in God. I just can’t understand that. I thought when we die we either go to Heaven or Hell.  Maybe all experiences will be happy until judgment day, but that’s not my feelings on the subject.
  I would have liked to hear more of the bad experiences and how they cope with things. In Glimpsing Heaven she does interview one person who had a bad experience, but she wasn’t going to start believing and kept on with her life. That’s hard to believe.
  I did like to read this book to just see what the author had to say, but I don’t believe most of it.
  It is interesting to read and would recommend you read it to just find out what is said in the book.

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Thank you to the  Author/Publicist  for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Heartsong Sisterhood of Shepherds A Review

Some families have hope. Others have faith. The Shepherds of rural Oregon have Faith, Hope and Charly, three quirky sisters whose lives change forever when they reluctantly answer a personal calling to help others make amends. Thirty-something single parent Charly Shepherd is satisfied with her life raising two children and thousands of plants in her family-owned Sweet Shepherd Nursery. Then tragedy strikes. As she and her siblings struggle to keep the nursery going, Charly begins to believe her family's destiny is greater than raising flowers. When the three sisters reluctantly delve into family secrets to help their ailing father fulfill a promise, their lives change forever as they pursue a new inspirational path of discovery, heartache, humor and redemption. Experience friendship, family and forgiveness - Join the Sisterhood of Shepherds

Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Mantle Rock Publishing (April 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0985961074
ISBN-13: 978-0985961077
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 12 ounces

Nicola pens mystery and inspirational novels, creates interactive books for the iPad, podcasts about genre writing (The Novel Experience), and teaches electronic publishing, when she's not playing Old-Timer's hockey, growing blossoms and bamboo or eating chocolate fudge.

Her first contemporary women's series, the Sisterhood of Shepherds, debuts with HEARTSONG, in June 2014 (MantleRockPublishing).

Nicola's swinging whodunit, TEED OFF! (republished in February 2014 by OakTreePress), features professional golfer and coroner Riley Quinn.

Her other novels include a psychological thriller (A HEMORRHAGING OF SOULS), six novels in The Church Choir Mysteries series and a multimedia online thriller, UNNATURALSTATES. In addition, Nicola has published two writing primers, YOUDUNIT WHODUNIT! HOW TO WRITE MYSTERIES & SELF-PUBLISH YOUR E-BOOK IN MINUTES! She's recently released her first musical interactive children's book for the iPad, Saving Grape-Jelly Cheeks.

Nicola lives in a small seaside town on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. For more information, visit or

  Heartsong Sisterhood of Shepherds by Nicola Furlong is an O.K. book, but not that interesting at all. To me it just seems like your ordinary life and even when bad things happen it just doesn’t seem to perk things up at all. Even from the first page and every chapter after it was very common and not anything to keep my interest.
  The three sisters, dad and youngest sisters two children are really plain and not interesting. They don’t make you want to read more.
  I hate to give bad reviews, but I can’t write lies. I did not care for Heartsong Sisterhood of Shepherds. It’s a generic kind of story so if you like that kind of book you might enjoy it.

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Thank you to the  Author/Publicist  for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 

Snow Globe by Laura V. Hilton A Review

Esther Beachy enjoys working for an elderly woman who is wheelchair bound. Her client, Anna Petersheim, is pleasant and tells captivating stories. Plus, her home is quiet and far more peaceful than Esther's, with so many siblings. She only dreads the day when Anna's grandson, Viktor, will return from the river to take over the farm. She and Viktor were classmates years ago, and he'd been an obnoxious flirt who paid attention to every girl but her.  Toughened Riverboat Captain A seasoned riverboat captain, Viktor Petersheim has seen his share of trials. He left the Amish after the death of his parents and siblings in a house fire for which he still feels responsible. Now, after years of working on the Mississippi River, he returns home to claim the farm he inherited from his grandparents—and, hopefully, to repair some of the damaged relationships and broken hearts he left in his wake Love off the River. When Viktor arrives home, it doesn't take long for him and Esther to realize their mutual attraction. Even so, their relationship remains as tumultuous as a shaken snow globe, like the one Esther finds at a garage sale and gives to Viktor's grandmother as a token of affection. Viktor isn't the only man with an eye on Esther, and soon it looks as if she's ready to make a future with someone else. Will the two go their separate ways again? Or will the hand of God work something beautiful out of their angst and agitation?

Series: Amish of Jamesport (Book 1)
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Whitaker Distribution (November 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629111740
ISBN-13: 978-1629111742
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. She is a pastor's wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools three of her children. Her two oldest children are homeschool graduates and are in college. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love. Surrendered Love and Awakened Love. A nonAmish book Swept Away will release November 2014 from Abingdon Press. She is contracted for another three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport, releasing in November 2014 (The Snow Globe), June 2015 (The Postcard), and November 2015 (The Birdhouse). A Christmas Amish book, A White Christmas in Webster County, will release in September 2014. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Laura is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.

  Snow Globe by Laura V. Hilton is a very good book and Laura is very talented, but one thing I don’t care for in this book is the kissing, touching and thinking of the two who are in love. It would have been a 5-star plus book if not for that. Call me old fashioned, but I believe you can write an excellent book without thoughts, etc..
  Esther knew Viktor when they went to school, but he never paid attention to her. He was always off with other girls and he had many.
  After a horrible tragedy Viktor left the Amish and took to the river and a boat. He comes back sometimes to check on his grandparents. Esther is working for his grandparents.
  I did enjoy Snow Globe and know you will also. I recommend this book by Laura V. Hilton.

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Thank you to Whitaker House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

When Calls the Heart-Rules of Engagement DVD Review 5-star

After taking care of the Tollivers, hero Jack returns to Coal Valley. His ex-fiancée Rosemary LeVeaux also arrives. Rosemary broke up with him long ago to become an actress. However, she now seeks to make Coal Valley her home and Jack her husband, putting Elizabeth at odds with Jack. Meanwhile, he has asked forensic investigator and friend Bill Avery to help Abigail in regards to Gowen, the mining company and the explosion. As Bill works with Abigail, he becomes attracted in her, admitting his intentions to Jack. Abigail also has the same purpose. Elizabeth receives news from back home, causing her to consider leaving Coal Valley.

Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Studio: Word Entertainment
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

   The next story in the When Calls the Heart series, Rules of Engagement is the best one yet. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  Rules of Engagement is a very tender, compassionate story.
  Jack and Elizabeth are getting along very well, until  someone from Jack’s past comes to town.
   A new character Bill who is investigating the mine cave-in, who is very attentive to Abigail. They work together to expose what happened at the mine.
   Rules of Engagement stops at a cliff hanging scene so I know their will be more and I look forward to it. Really did enjoy this DVD and look forward to the next one.
  Michael Landon Jr. and Hallmark make the best movies. Get this series for your DVD library. It will be well worth your time and money. This is a 5-star DVD. Highly recommended.

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“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one of the products  mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, December 8, 2014

DVD Review and GIVEAWAY Susie's Hope

About the movie: Run time 105 minutes
Based on the true story that successfully passed Susie’s Law in North Carolina, which seeks stricter punishment for animal abusers, Susie’s Hope brings to life the inspirational relationship between pit bull attack survivor Donna Lawrence and Susie, a pit bull-mix puppy found beaten, burned and left for dead. Recognizing reflect and abuse were to blame for the tragic attack that nearly claimed her life 10 months earlier, Donna resumes the battered animal and accepts her as family. Together, they learn to heal, love and forgive as thyey lead a historic effort to seek justice and protection, not only for Susie, but all animals. Starring Emmanuelle Vaguer (40 Days and 40 Nights), Burgess Jenkins (Remember The Titans) and Andrea Powell (Ender’s Game, The Twighlight: Breaking Dawn Saga: Part 2), Susie’s Hope is an incredible story of love, loss and redemption.

About Susie:
Susie was found nearly dead in Greenfield Park in Greensboro, North Carolina on August 20, 2009. Just a puppy, Susie had licked the face of her owner’s newborn baby. Her owner became violent—she was beaten so severely her jaw was broken. That wasn’t enough, though. She was then set on fire and left for dead. Incredibly and against all odds Susie survived. Donna Lawrence adopted her two months later. Susie is now a trained therapy dog and event won the American Humane Association’s American Hero Dog this year!

Format: NTSC
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Green Apples
DVD Release Date: August 26, 2014

   Susie’s Hope is a true story of a pit bull-mix puppy. It tells how Donna was attacked by a pit bull and how she almost died 10-months earlier.  Susie was beaten, burned and left to die.
  This is really a tear jerker and will really keep you interested. I find it amazing how Donna overcomes her fear of that bred of dog to keep and help Susie to live and trust again.
  Some parts of this movie are really sad and very hurtful to the characters, but they keep going and God is mentioned many times.  Donna tells how when she was being attacked how she hear God telling her to roll away from the dog {he was on a chain, but had Donna in her jaws.} God keeps telling her how she can get away to get help.
  Susie is such a sweet, loving dog for being treated so cruel.
  Very interesting DVD. They even have a website and a new law called Susie’s Law. I recommend this DVD. It will be a blessing to you, especially if you love animals.

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“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one of the products  mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

DVD GIVEAWAY of Susie’s Hope
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