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Friday, January 31, 2014

A Promise Kept By Robin Lee Hatcher

Book Description:

God was going to save her marriage, Allison was sure of it. But neither her husband nor her marriage had been saved.
What had become of His promise?
Tony Kavanagh had been Allison’s dream-come-true. They were in love within days, engaged within weeks, married and pregnant within a year. Her cup bubbled over with joy . . . but years later, that joy had been extinguished by unexpected trials.
The day Allison issued her husband an ultimatum, she thought it might save him. She never expected he would actually leave. She was certain God had promised to heal; it was clear that she'd misunderstood.
Now, living in the quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single, self-reliant Great Aunt Emma, Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small town life. But when she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma’s attic, a portrait of her aunt emerges that takes Allison completely by surprise: a portrait of a heartbroken woman surprisingly like herself.
As Allison reads the incredible story of Emma’s life in the 1920s and 1930s, she is forced to ask a difficult question: Does she really surrender every piece of her life to the Lord?
Drawing from her own heart-wrenching story of redemption, A Promise Kept is Robin Lee Hatcher’s emotionally charged thanksgiving to a God who answers prayers—in His own time and His own ways.

My Thoughts:
This was both an exciting book, and an emotional journey.  As we see Allison working to restore her relationship with God and learn to move on from her divorce, we also gain the insight of her past married life with Tony. I feel that by moving back and forth between present and past, we  can learn to relate to each character better knowing where they came from. Not all books that do this are able to pull it off in a natural way, but I was thrilled with how it works. 
I loved hearing Emma's life through the journals. I'm sure we all have times when we wish we knew what went on in our family past. I felt Emma's character was well written and was easy to connect with even though she had already passed on when the book begins.
This is a great story of forgiveness, love and second chances. You will not read this without emotion.
You can find this book on AMAZON
You can learn more about the author and her other amazing stories on her WEBSITE.

Disclosure: I received a free print copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am  part of the book sneeze review team. My reviews are my own opinion and may differ from others.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Miracle of hope by Ruth Reid

Book Summary(from AMAZON):

heard about forgiveness all her life, but how far does God’s mercy truly reach?

Lindie Wyse thinks an
arranged marriage is the only way to preserve a future for herself and her
unborn child. Josiah Plank is certain he’ll never love again, but he needs
someone to care for his deaf eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. The two take on
their arrangement tentatively at first but soon realize they are each in for
more than they imagined. After a short time, Lindie experiences a breakthrough
with Hannah when she recognizes the child’s special gifts, but a risky
pregnancy and serious health issues threaten to demolish the foundation Josiah and
Lindie are building—and the love that is growing between them.
Will their marriage
survive their struggles, or will their hearts become as cold as the northern

My Thoughts: 

A Miracle of Hope is Book 1 in the Amish Wonders series. This is a wonderfully created story which draws you in and shows you how God's love, grace and forgiveness can change your life.
I loved the relationship not only between Lindie and Josiah, but between Lindie and Hannah. The patience Lindie showed in dealing with a new situation is a great example of following Christ even without knowing what will happen. 
Through the trials they face, we gain an insight to their journey from strangers to a family.
You will find yourself involved in this story and having a hard time putting it down!
I can't wait to continue learning more in book 2.

Disclosure: I received a print copy of the book in order to do a review. All my reviews are honest and my own opinion.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Steam Park Board Game

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

A new and unique board game is here for all game enthusiasts! Steam Park allows you to build your own coal-powered theme park. You get to build three dimensional rides to attract  your visitors, build stands to keep them interested, and work to keep your park clean.
Not only is your strategy important in this game, but making fast choices helps also! If you take too much time, you'll lose out.

What I enjoyed about this game was how different it was compared to other strategy games. Each turn is unique and with only 6 moves per game, it can go quickly.  It has good business concepts and can easily help in the learning process for business in a fun way. (as a homeschool mom, that was very important)
My son enjoyed the game and his friends saw it and want to play!
I think one of my favorite parts was the comical way some of the rules were laid out. For example, it gives you "boring and obvious" rules for the things that should be common sense. There are two versions, one has more strategy and is more difficult, the other is for those "not brave" enough. To see more entertaining comments throughout the booklet, you will have to buy the game! I'm not giving them all away:)

you can find the game for  yourself at

Follow IELLO games on Facebook and Twitter so you don't miss out on any news and information on product deals.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal By Stacy Farrell

Being a fan of C.S. Lewis's work, I was excited with the opportunity to review this new and unique journal.  I was expecting it to be like every other journal where it was a fill in the blank type journal but was pleasantly surprised. It is very well written, and has more in depth questions which encourage you to think and analyze your opinions of the book Mere Christianity.
As the author says, it would be great for homeschool co-ops, small groups and youth groups. I feel it will help tremendously with understanding and discussing the book.
I plan on having my son also read the book and work through this journal in the coming year. There is so much to learn and share about everything you read. You can order the journal for yourself HERE.

I am blessed to have this chance to share with you an interview with the author. I hope you enjoy!

1. When planning a new book, how do you go about planning for it? Do you have a method you use, or is each one different? 

Proverbs 16:9 declares: “In his heart, a man makes his plans, but the Lord determines his steps.” If you had asked me this question 20 years ago, I would have told you how I outlined and scheduled and planned. I’m a planner by nature. However, I have learned the hard way that “unless the Lord builds the house, the workers labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1).

Each book I have written for Home School Adventure Co. has a unique story behind it—and not one would have been completed without the support of many faithful prayer warriors.

2. Do you have a certain writing space, somewhere you go *just* to write your books? An office, a lake cabin, a hotel? What do you love about that space? How does it inspire you?

Writing resources for Home School Adventure Co. has pretty much demanded everything I can give to it (and more!). So, wherever I go, my writing goes with me.

I am especially grateful to my sons for helping me lug around the backpack and bags that contain my laptop and research materials.

3. What would you say to a young person who aspires to be a writer? What advice would you give? Also, what would you tell his/her parents in order to help them be supportive in their child's efforts to pursue writing as a career?

Writing is hard work. Sometimes inspiration hits and the words simply flow. However, the writer who consistently writes can ultimately surpass a more talented writer who waits for the Muse before picking up his or her pen (or keyboard).

Think of eternity, always. Imagine that moment when you will stand before God and give an account for what you have done with the talents He entrusted to you. Let that guide all your decisions.

Parents, encourage your students to write every day. Then take the time to read and comment on what they write. Even if you do not consider yourself a writer, surely you consider yourself a reader. What is clear? What is confusing? Applaud their efforts and tell them the truth.

4. Would your advice be any different (from question #3) for an adult who would like to break into the business? How?

Pray. Listen. Obey.

“Count the cost.”

Luke 14:28 tells us to consider the price we must pay before undertaking a work, but there is also a cost associated with not undertaking a work to which He calls us.

That said, as parents and family members, we would be wise to maintain a measure of balance. Remember Solomon’s words: “The writing of many books is endless” (Ecc. 12:12). Books will pass away; people are eternal.

Do not allow your writing to interfere with your loving.

5. What is your goal with writing? Is it the same with every book?

My goal for every book is the same as my goal for life. I pray that all my efforts help people more fully know and love Jesus.

6. What other projects will you be working on in the near future?

In 2014, we hope to release a print edition of Philippians in 28 Weeks – King James Version.

7. What is one lesson you learned from writing this book?

Simple truth packs a punch.

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis tackles some hefty questions. Yet, upon pondering his answers, I realized that much of what he says distills down to common sense.

(Voltaire would argue that “common sense is not so common.”)

8. What books have most influenced you?

Different books have impacted me during different seasons of my life.

9. With all of the duties that you juggle, when do you fit in the time to write?

This is a great question. There is no denying that writing requires many sacrifices. Truth be told, all too often my sons have heard me say, “I need to concentrate. Please don’t talk to me right now!” However, because my sons need and deserve my focused attention during our school days, much of my writing is done before dawn (while my household sleeps), or late at night.

10. What is the Scripture verse that you would call your favorite?

At a writer’s conference some years ago, I came to believe that Philippians 2:14-16 might be my “life verse.”

I could not pick a favorite verse, but I can say that I feel particularly convicted to live out Philippians 2:14-16:

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
so that you may become
blameless and pure,
children of God without fault
in a warped and crooked generation.
Then you will shine like stars in the sky
as you hold out the word of life.”

Find out about other books by Stacy Farrell  at 
She has a great blog at

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Year Ramblings

Starting this new year out for me has been tricky. My husband is an audio engineer and works on a cruise ship. This is great, but it means he's gone 6 months at a time. That isn't good. He has been home for a month and during this time I haven't really touched my blog. Now with him leaving this week, I am in the struggle of getting back into it. I find myself not motivated. I'm sure I'm not the only one:) I'm hoping my goals will push me to get back at it!

I want my goals this year to be specific.

  • I want to continue growing my blog, sharing wonderful books and products, and giving a glimpse into our homeschool life.
  • I would love to grow my social media pages to more interaction and a sense of community.
  • My husband is working on getting his photography business growing so he can come off the ship and be at home more. I want to work on promoting his business while continuing with mine.
I'm hopeful that time will allow all this to work. I pray that everyone's year is one of great plans and things to come.