Bandana Acres: Nibbler and Captain Make Peace by Kathy J. Perry—Blog Tour

About the Book

Book:  Bandana Acres: Nibbler and Captain Make Peace

Author: Kathy J. Perry

Genre: Early Reader Chapter Book

Release date: May 1, 2018

This makes me mad! What should I do?

Nibbler the beaver works hard to keep his lodge and dam perfectly patched. A river otter knocks a hole in his great work. Now he’s so angry, he could almost spit nails. Can he learn how to handle his anger?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

After My Parents Passed,

I re-evaluated what I was doing with my life and my contribution to others. A former classroom teacher and homeschool mom, I’ve always had a heart for educating kids.

In 2016 my daughter and I attended a local arts and crafts fair where I stumbled upon some cute children’s art and thought, “That’s what I can do! Write children’s books.”

I set my mission and started my own publishing company, Chickadee Words, LLC. I would do my best to affect our youth through wonderful stories full of timeless character struggles.

More from Kathy

Regardless of age, conflict resolution is something everyone must learn. Children need to understand the tools/perception necessary to be a peacemaker. Whether shy, aggressive, or in-between, this book can help youngsters deal with anger.

Nibbler works hard to keep his lodge dry and his pond from leaking through his dam. A happy-go-lucky river otter happens by and destroys some of his work. He tries several things to get him to leave, but nothing works. Ollie, the farm dog, asks him some questions which lead Nibbler to a peaceful solution.

Special things about this book (and series) include:

  1. Proven easy-to-read font for early readers (Sassoon Primary)
  2. In full-color with original watercolor artwork.
  3. Leveled by Lexile and Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) for dialing in to your child’s reading level.
  4. Yellow words are the character’s inside thoughts (rather than italics, which I thought would be harder to read). Kids enjoy the color. In fact, struggling readers love to read just the colored parts to start – and then want to continue reading! (Each book has its own color for this.)
  5. A glossary of newer words with definitions.
  6. A “What If” section for discussion with five questions about the story, and five questions of how the theme plays out in real life. (Parents and teachers love these books!)
  7. Nibbler and Captain Make Peace is available in hardcover and softcover.

Help your kids learn to read with this fun story and cute watercolor illustrations. This early reader chapter book is perfect for ages 5-8 and can usually be read alone by 2nd or 3rd grades.

My Review

My daughter is so excited to read these! I opened my package of books and she was like are those for me?? She is just starting first grade, and I think by mid to the end of the year these will be perfect for her! She tried to read the beginning and there are still some big words she hasn’t learned all the “rules” for, but I do think easily by the time she finishes first grade she’ll be gobbling these up! I absolutely loved the story line and I love the morals it teaches children! I think even my older fourth grade daughter will enjoy reading these as a quick easy fun read for her since she loves stories about animals! As a homeschool mom, I appreciate the Things to Think About Section and the Glossary for harder words! I love that it makes the kids think a little bit deeper into the story and it can open discussion if you’re reading aloud or together as well! Highly recommend this series. I feel like I need to go back and get the others in this series so we’ll have them all!

**I received a copy of this book from the author for review as a part of the CelebrateLit Blog Tour. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Blog Stops

Lights in the Dark World, October 2

For Him and My Family, October 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 3

Texas Book-aholic, October 4

Inklings and notions, October 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 6

deb’s Book Review, October 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 8

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 10

The Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife, October 11

Mary Hake, October 11

Vicky Sluiter, October 12

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 13

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 14

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, a softcover copy of the book, digital artwork with motivational phrase, and a custom Hoo-Rag (better bandana). Covered with artwork from the Bandana Acres series, it’s made from soft, knit cloth. Diagrams and video reference illustrate the various methods of use.)

https://promosimple.com/ps/11dd1/bandana-acres-nibbler-and-captain-make-peace-celebration-tour-giveaway

My honest review of Impress Press On Nails

So I am not one to go get her nails professionally done. Like I’ve probably had a manicure twice…..maybe. I just paint my own nails but I hate that they chip as soon as I do the dishes or wash my hair, so I hardly ever do that either. Well I wanted a quick manicure that would last longer than 2 days, but I didn’t want to spend the money for a professional manicure. I remembered seeing a review from Crystal Paine of The Money Saving Mom, for these Impress Press on Nails and how well they worked for her, so I thought I’d give them a shot. They are said to last 10-14 days and I paid around $8 for a set of 30 press on nails. I have not had the best experience with fake nails that you do yourself so I was skeptical.

They were super easy to apply. Literally you peel the sticker off the back and press on for about 30 seconds. After reading Crystal’s review, I took her tips to rough up my nail first with a file, and then to not get them wet for a few hours.

Day 1, right after I finished putting them on..

They turned out amazing! Now the true test, how long would they last before they popped off. Ya’ll!! I could not believe it, they lasted 13 days!!! They would have probably lasted longer but my nails were growing out and they were starting to get rough looking, so I decided to take them off. I didn’t baby my nails at all, I opened cans, scrubbed dishes, scrubbed bathrooms, washed my hair, basically went about life as usual, and NONE of them came off on their own. In fact, when I decided to take them off, they were actually still pretty stuck and it took some effort. (Probably should have read the instructions to take them off and it would have made it easier, but you know…live and learn lol) Here’s what they looked like on day 13 before I took them off.

Day 13, you can see where they’ve grown out.

I highly, highly recommend these press on nails. In the future, I’ll probably get them from Walmart or Amazon since they’re cheaper than the grocery store I grabbed them from was, but I plan to get a few more packs so I have color options! These would be a great option for special events/weddings, or just to “feel pretty,” which was my excuse to get these 😜. You can grab them from Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2ZiiMLq or you can grab some the next time you’re at Walmart!!

Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss—Blog Tour

About the Book

Book: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue

Author: Steve Searfoss

Genre: Fiction

Release date: January 26, 2020

Chance Sterling launches a pool cleaning business over the summer. Join Chance as he looks for new customers, discovers how much to charge them, recruits an employee, deals with difficult clients, and figures out how to make a profit. Oh, and his sister Addie wants in on the action too. Will they learn how to be business partners?  He has twelve weeks to reach his goal. Will he make it? Only if he takes some chances.

KidVenture stories are business adventures where kids figure out how to market their company, understand risk, and negotiate. Each chapter ends with a challenge, including business decisions, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal conflict for young readers to wrestle with. As the story progresses, the characters track revenue, costs, profit margin, and other key metrics which are explained in simple, fun ways that tie into the story.

I am a Christian and a parent. My wife and I pay close attention to the books and media our four children consume, and try to make sure the content is edifying, just as Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4:8. I wanted to write a book that met that standard, and was also fun and engaging. KidVenture teaches kids the importance of hard work, of keeping your word and being trustworthy, and telling the truth, even when it means delivering bad news. As the story progresses, the protagonist understands that business is about more than making money as he appreciates  the responsibility he has to his customers, his employee and his partner. How you treat people matters in tangible ways.

At the center of the story is a strong family. The two main characters are a brother and sister, who engage in their share of sibling rivalry, but also learn how to work together and forgive each other. At key junctures when they face big dilemmas, they turn to their parents for advice. The kids learn a healthy mix of independence, risk taking and learning through trial and error — balanced with knowing when to ask for help. All of this is presented in a way that is not preachy or hokey, but wrapped inside a story full of unexpected plot twists, witty banter and memorable characters.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I love that this book teaches entrepreneurial skills on a level kids can understand. I love how the characters are using math in everyday situations. As a parent to a child who hates math but loves to read, I think it will be great for her to see through an interesting story how math is used in a variety of different situations in our daily lives….even as kids. The storyline was great, interesting, held your attention, well written. I think it’s very relatable to kids. I can’t wait to see what my 9 year old thinks of it, but for me, I highly recommend this for your kids.

**I received this book from the author as part of the CelebrateLit Blog Team for review. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

I wrote my first KidVenture book after years of making up stories to teach my kids about business and economics. Whenever they’d ask how something works or why things were a certain way, I would say, “Let’s pretend you have a business that sells…” and off we’d go. What would start as a simple hypothetical to explain a concept would become an adventure spanning several days as my kids would come back with new questions which would spawn more plot twists. Rather than give them quick answers, I tried to create cliffhangers to get them to really think through an idea and make the experience as interactive as possible.

I try to bring that same spirit of fun, curiosity and challenge to each KidVenture book. That’s why every chapter ends with a dilemma and a set of questions. KidVenture books are fun for kids to read alone, and even more fun to read together and discuss. There are plenty of books where kids learn about being doctors and astronauts and firefighters. There are hardly any where they learn what it’s like to run small business. KidVenture is different. The companies the kids start are modest and simple, but the themes are serious and important.

I’m an entrepreneur who has started a half dozen or so businesses and have had my share of failures. My dad was an entrepreneur and as a kid I used to love asking him about his business and learning the ins and outs of what to do and not do. Mistakes make the best stories — and the best lessons. I wanted to write a business book that was realistic, where you get to see the characters stumble and wander and reset, the way entrepreneurs do in real life. Unlike most books and movies where business is portrayed as easy, where all you need is one good idea and the desire to be successful, the characters in KidVenture find that every day brings new problems to solve.

More from Steve

I am a Christian and a parent. My wife and I pay close attention to the books and
media our four children consume, and try to make sure the content is edifying,
just as Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4:8. I wanted to write a book that met that
standard, and was also fun and engaging. KidVenture teaches kids the importance
of hard work, of keeping your word and being trustworthy, and telling the truth,
even when it means delivering bad news. As the story progresses, the protagonist
understands that business is about more than making money as he appreciates
the responsibility he has to his customers, his employee and his partner. How you
treat people matters in tangible ways.

At the center of the story is a strong family. The two main characters are a
brother and sister, who engage in their share of sibling rivalry, but also learn how
to work together and forgive each other. At key junctures when they face big
dilemmas, they turn to their parents for advice. The kids learn a healthy mix of
independence, risk taking and learning through trial and error — balanced with
knowing when to ask for help. All of this is presented in a way that is not preachy
or hokey, but wrapped inside a story full of unexpected plot twists, witty banter
and memorable characters.

Blog Stops

Lots of Helpers, September 8

Cats in the Cradle Blog, September 8

Texas Book-aholic, September 9

For Him and My Family, September 10

Boondock Ramblings, September 10

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 12

Mary Hake, September 12

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 13

Inklings and notions, September 14

Blogging With Carol, September 14

deb’s Book Review, September 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 16

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, September 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 18

Splashes of Joy, September 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 20

Lights in a Dark World, September 20

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 21

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Steve is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/11817/twelve-weeks-to-midnight-blue-celebration-tour-giveaway

This entry was posted on September 20, 2021, in Home. 1 Comment

Back to the Basics

So I shared this at our first Mom’s Connect meeting just last night. After the last year with COVID, we as leaders decided our theme for the year would be “Back to the Basics.” So I went with the theme for my lesson. As moms sometimes we need to get back to the basics and reset and realign our lives to focus on what’s really important. So, what does getting back to the basics look like as a mom?

Basic #1 – Our relationship with the Lord Jesus

The most important thing in life is our relationship with Jesus Christ. In order to have a relationship with Him, we must first be saved. (If you have never accepted Him as your personal Savior, please reach out and I’d be happy to show you from the Bible, how you can know for sure if you died today you’d be going to Heaven.) Then comes our daily Bible study and Prayer Time. Nothing should come before God. Deuteronomy 5:7 says, “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.” Anything we put before God or of higher importance than God, such as our phones, social media, television, or even our family, can become gods. I think of the story of Mary and Martha and Jesus. They invite Jesus into their home, and Martha, being the good hostess she is, is “cumbered” (which means to drag all around or to distract) with all the tasks of cooking and cleaning and is a little irritated with her sister who is sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him. When she confronts Jesus about this, and asks Him to tell her to help, He says, “….one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (See Luke 10:38-42) Jesus said that Mary chose the good thing….relationship with Him, closeness with Him. Now there’s nothing inherently wrong with housework and cooking. It is necessary, but what Jesus is saying is slow down, relationship with me is more important than anything else in this world. Spending time in God’s Word is how God speaks to us today. Praying is how we talk to God. How can you have a relationship with someone if you NEVER talk to them? Philippians 4:6 says “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” And 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” If you find yourself saying “I don’t have time to read my Bible and pray.” I’m begging you, make time. It’s the most important thing you can do!

Another important aspect of our relationship with Jesus, is going to church. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” God commands it. Make church a priority. If you put God first, your children will see that and in turn see the importance for themselves. This may mean sacrifice. For example, we don’t do anything on church days, as a general rule on Sundays we don’t do birthday parties, we don’t go to sports games that fall on Sundays or Wednesday nights. When my daughter’s karate belt test is on a Wednesday during church, she makes it up later. Yes that means she doesn’t have the advantage of taking it with the rest of the class, but God will reward us for being faithful to Him.

The Daily Grace Co. has some amazing Bible Studies and Study tools check it out here: https://bit.ly/2sgLCr2

Another amazing place to find Bible Studies is Regular Baptist Press: https://www.rbpstore.org/

For amazing Prayer Journals check out Val Marie Paper at https://shop.valmariepaper.com/

Basic #2 – Family Relationships

Instill in your children the truths of God’s Word. Deuteronomy 11:19 says, “And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” It’s talking about teaching your children about the Lord and what His Word says in this passage. In Proverbs 22:6 it says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” How do we train our children? One way is through family devotions. Sit down at night before bed or maybe. at breakfast, or dinner whenever you can all be together and study God’s Word together as a family. There are lots of devotionals out there perfect for children! But be intentional. Live out God’s Word before them. Practice what you preach! It is said a lot more is caught than taught!

Don’t forget your spouse. You were a wife before you were a mom. I know that the kids always NEED you, but don’t neglect your spouse. One day the kids will be grown and gone and it will be you two again. Make sure he’s not a stranger when you get to that point. Take time for him!

Slow down! In the hustle and bustle of today’s world, you’re running here and there and just busy ALL the time. Don’t forget to slow down and spend quality time with your family. Sometimes that might mean you have to say no to something. It’s ok to say no sometimes. We can’t do it ALL.

  • Suggested books: Love Unending by Becky Thompson, Hope Unfolding by Becky Thompson, Risen Motherhood by Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler

Basic #3 – Relationship with others

Be a witness in all you say and do. Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” And in Philippians 2:15 it says, “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” Be a light, you might be the only Bible people read. What would they see?

Be a blessing to others, sometimes that means sacrifice. Show Jesus’ love to those around you. Some ways you can be a blessing to those around you:

  • Send a note of encouragement to someone. Maybe they’re hurting. Maybe they’re sick. Maybe God just laid them on your heart and you don’t know why, send them a quick note, card, email, message, saying you’re thinking about and praying for them. You have no idea what just that simple note can do to encourage someone.
  • Take a friend a meal when they are sick, recovering, or just need some help.
  • Invite some friends over for a meal, go out to eat, go do something, etc.
  • Send a small gift to a friend just to say you’re thinking about them.
  • Send cards to residents in a nursing home or to people in the hospital. (You could get your kids involved in this too!)

Surround yourselves with like-minded Christian friends. Your closest friends should be Believers. They will encourage you in the Lord. Just having Christian friends is such an encouragement. You know you’re not alone when the media makes you feel like the oddball. Plus, it’s refreshing to talk about the things of the Lord with friends who understand. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” 1Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do,” Edify means to encourage. What are you doing to encourage others today?

  • Suggested books: Life in Community by Dustin Willis, Never Unfriended by Lisa Jo Baker, Better Together by Jill Savage

The Visual Word by Patrick Schreiner—Book review

Back Cover Copy

The New Testament shouldn’t be complicated. So why are we often confused?

Every Christian wants to love the Bible. But let’s face it: we sometimes get lost in all the names, places, and doctrines that we find in its pages. Who wrote this epistle? Which book is about justification? Joy? Jesus? Aren’t they all about him? The New Testament contains complex ideas and multiple genres. Keeping it straight can be hard to do. Wouldn’t it be nice if somebody who understands the big picture would put it together for us in one place?

Biblical scholar and seminary professor Patrick Schreiner draws from his years of experience as a teacher to offer a simple and memorable way of understanding Scripture. And he doesn’t do it by throwing big words at you. The contours of the New Testament and its underlying structure are depicted in visual format along with Schreiner’s clear explanations. In The Visual Word, the Bible comes alive because you can see it pictured before your eyes. By taking a graphic approach, you’ll notice connections you’ve never seen before. Gain insights you’ve missed all these years. And discover an overall pattern that makes each separate piece fall perfectly into place.

Don’t settle for mere summaries of the New Testament. Let Schreiner’s concise words and crisp images work together to help you encounter the Living Word in a fresh way.

Grab your copy here!https://amzn.to/3spWp14

My Review

This book will be a useful resource when studying one of the New Testament books. Each and every book in the New Testament is explained in here. There is an overview of the overall theme and authorship of the book at the beginning of each section, then there’s a timeline with great visual illustrations by Anthony Benedetto. After the timeline the following pages take each chapter and explain it in a paragraph or two to help you better understand what’s going on as you read through that particular book. I think my favorite part and probably what I’ll find most useful as I study through will be the chapter by chapter explanations and overarching theme/background of each book. I love this book and plan to use it as I study through the New Testament while reading through my Bible this year. I can’t wait for one on the Old Testament!! Definitely recommend this resource!

**I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers for review. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

When Faith is Forbidden by Todd Nettleton

Back Cover Copy

Journey alongside persecuted Christians.

Take a 40-day journey to meet brothers and sisters who share in the sufferings of Christ. When Faith Is Forbidden takes you to meet a Chinese Christian woman who called six months in prison “a wonderful time”, an Iraqi pastor and his wife just eight days after assassins’ bullets ripped into his flesh, and others from our spiritual family who’ve suffered greatly for wearing the name of Christ. Each stop on this 40-day journey includes inspiration and encouragement through the story of a persecuted believer. You’ll also find space for reflection and a suggested prayer as you grow to understand the realities of living under persecution – and learn from the examples of the bold believers you’ll meet.

For more than 20 years, Todd Nettleton (host of The Voice of the Martyrs Radio) has traveled the world to interview hundreds of Christians who’ve been persecuted for the name of Christ. Now he opens his memory bank – and even his personal journals – to take you along to meet bold believers who will inspire you to a deeper walk with Christ.

My Review

This book was inspiring to say the least. How many times do we hear stories of persecution and think of them as just that stories? Or just something that happened in the past? These real life stories are happening right now in different countries around the world. This book will inspire you to stand for your faith, and to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters around the world each and every day. So many times, we as Americans take our freedom of religion for granted. This book reminded me of the great freedom I have to not only go to church and worship without fear of being arrested, but just owning a Bible is a luxury in some of these countries, and can also be cause for being arrested. Don’t take that freedom for granted! There are people who want to take that freedom away. I highly recommend this book. I love how it puts you right there like you are the one talking to these persecuted Christians. I love the encouragement at the end of each entry as well.

**I received a copy of this book for review from Moody Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tree Street Kids Series Book Review

This new series by Amanda Cleary Eastep, will not disappoint. I got these books for my oldest daughter who is 9 and going into the 4th grade. I was so tired of her finding books that she wants to read at the library, only to find out and be disappointed when there was some random inappropriate language or content in them. These are a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of the new books she’s finding at the library! They are Christian books with good morals in them, and there is absolutely NOTHING in them that I found inappropriate or questionable. They are adventurous and will keep your child’s attention. I highly recommend these books!

Book 1: Jack Vs. the Tornado

Back Cover Content:

The Tree Street Kids live on Cherry, Oak, Maple, and Pine, but their 1990s suburban neighborhood is more than just quiet, tree-lined streets. Jack, Ellison, Roger, and Ruthie face challenges and find adventures in every creek and cul-de-sac—as well as God’s great love in one small neighborhood.

In the first book of the Tree Street Kids series, 10-year-old Jack is shocked to discover his parents are moving from their rural homestead to the boring suburbs of Chicago. Full of energy and determination, Jack devises a plan to get himself back to his beloved farmhouse forever. Only three things stand in his way: a neighbor in need, a shocking discovery, and tornado season. Will Jack find a solution? Or is God up to something bigger than Jack can possibly imagine?

My Review:

I loved how relatable these stories are. Jack did NOT want to move, and he even devises a plan to be able to move back to the farm and out of the suburbs. He quickly finds that he likes the kids in his new neighborhood, and his plan starts to falter. Then the real excitement starts when they find an old bomb shelter in his neighbor’s backyard. I love that these are set in the 1990’s so it brings back a nostalgia to me, since that was my time as a child. It was definitely a simpler time, and it shows how kids used to use their imaginations and play outside for hours. Something that seems to be missing nowadays. I loved everything about this book, the storyline, the characters, the morals taught. My daughter is going to love these books, and I can’t wait to see her reaction to them!

Book 2: The Hunt for Fang

Back Cover Copy:

The Tree Street Kids live on Cherry, Oak, Maple, and Pine, but their 1990s suburban neighborhood is more than just quiet, tree-lined streets. Jack, Ellison, Roger, and Ruthie face challenges and find adventures in every creek and cul-de-sac—as well as God’s great love in one small neighborhood.

In Book 2 of the Tree Street Kids series, Jack and his friends learn some survival skills at the church’s summer camp. They’ll need them! Determined to find Ruthie’s lost cat and protect Jack’s new puppy from Fang, the local wildlife, the kids head deep into the woods. Just when they think they’ve cornered the “enemy,” the kids realize someone has gone missing. Is Fang up to no good? Or will faith and friendship be enough to see the kids make it out alive?

My Review:

As much as I loved Book 1, Book 2 was just as good, if not even better. I loved how Jack prays for a dog at church, and then a dog runs out of a field directly to him. It shows the power of prayer even in just a small request from a child. I also love the adventures the kids take with the dog. This one was still full of adventure, good morals, and the love of a boy for a dog. This will quickly become a favorite series in this house!

**I received these books from Moody Publishers for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Capitol in Crisis by Kathy Roy Johnson—Blog Tour

About the Book

Book:  Capitol in Crisis

Author: Kathy Roy Johnson

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Christian Thriller

Release date: September 2020

Simone Perez, Architect of the Capitol, is stunned when a terrible explosion which rocks the Capitol, totally collapsing the tunnel which connects the House and Senate Chambers and trapping several people. Simone promptly assembles an Interagency Committee to help her assess the damage to the Capitol and develop a strategy to rescue survivors. .  She also assumes responsibility for briefing the press, making her job even more daunting.  As the story unfolds, members of the Committee work together to find survivors and bring them to safety. We meet several true-to-life characters like Fire Chief Earl Bentsen who recognizes that time is of the essence and Rob Tate, a skinny maintenance worker who realizes that he can reach the Café as well as the mechanical room by crawling through an old vent space.  Through several twists and turns, Simone maintains a steady hand, aided by the Speaker of the House, John McIntyre, who finds her very attractive. Although it seems an impossible task, one by one, victims reunite with their families.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is a great read! I’ll be honest I’m a little behind, so I’m not quite finished with it so I don’t know how it will end yet, but I’m invested! I love the characters, the storyline is intriguing. I’m constantly wondering what is going to happen next. I love that every chapter leaves me wanting to read more! I definitely recommend this one!

**I received a copy of this book as part of the CelebrateLit Blog Team. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.


About the Author

Kathy Roy Johnson worked for a U.S. Senator for three years in the mid 1970’s. Thereafter, she worked as a lobbyist for United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Inc. before joining the Federal government as Congressional Liaison. She retired in 2015 and live in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband, Ed and their beagle/basset hound, Jake.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, June 16

The Sacred Line, June 16

lakesidelivingsite, June 17

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 18

For Him and My Family, June 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 20

Blogging With Carol, June 20

Inklings and notions, June 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 22

Mary Hake, June 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting June 23

Betti Mace, June 23

Older & Smarter?, June 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 25

Spoken from the Heart, June 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 26

deb’s Book Review, June 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 27 (Author Interview)

Lights in a Dark World, June 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 29

Wishapick Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk by M.M. Allen–Book Tour

About the Book

Book:  Wishapick

Author: Mary Martha Allen & Deborah Wynne

Genre: Middle grade fantasy/fairy tale

Release date: September 2015

Darkness. Utter blackness. Was this why his mother had refused to let Jack unlock his father’s old trunk? It had been two years since his dad had died, and all Jack could think about was examining whatever treasures were stored inside the beloved trunk. But when he finally lifted the lid, he didn’t just fall in—he fell through it into a pit of rattlesnakes!

Trying to recall his mother’s stories about “the Breath of All Good Things”—anything to shed light on his current situation—Jack wishes he’d paid better attention rather than mock the tales as childish myths…and that he’d waited to enter the trunk with his sister, Lilly, so they could at least face this together.

Like L. Frank Baum’s Oz and C. S. Lewis’s Narnia, M. M. Allen brings to life the fantastical world of Wishapick—a land of courageous animals ruled by a cruel rattlesnake king who has condemned the villagers to live without light. Chosen as the reluctant hero to save the villagers, Jack must face terrifying creatures and overwhelming odds if he wants to help his new friends—and return home himself.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

A great adventure for any middle grade reader! My daughter is 9.5 and I feel like she is going to love this one! I haven’t given it to her yet, since I have been reading it first, but I know she will love the adventure and all the animals in the book. It was reminiscent of the Chronicles of Narnia, which I loved around her age! I’m not sure that she’s read a fantasy book yet, so I’m eager to hear her opinion. I absolutely loved it and would definitely recommend it for your children who love adventure, or just need an attention grabbing book! An overall great read with lots of lovable characters for sure!

**I received a copy of this book as part of the CelebrateLit Blogging Team. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

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Mary Martha Allen, children’s author, and Deborah Wynne singer, songwriter, collaborated in producing the fantasy/fairy tale book, & music Wishapick, Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk. This Middle Grade book and CD won the Moonbeam Gold Award for book & theatrical. Wishapick also won the 5 Star Readers Favorite Award.

MM Allen the author of the acclaimed children’s picture book Let’s Play Ball,   is the mother of two adult children, and aunt to twenty three nieces & nephews, including twelve great nieces and nephews. She was a former teacher. She worked extensively in marketing and communications with varied businesses, including Walt Disney’s Buena Vista Records, as well as several non-profits. MM lives in a picturesque northern California town were she enjoys writing, tending to her rose garden and caring for her West Highland Terriers, Peaches, Pip and Daisy.

Mary Martha Allen along with Deborah Wynne produced a podcast in 2020 called; Wishapick – Prayer, Creativity and the Divine.  The podcast, hosted by MM, tells the story of God’s work behind the writing of the book and music. MM Allen weaves the back story of Wishapick into a thoughtful message of how prayer, creativity and the Divine gently coexist in our lives.  MM believes Prayer is intimate, Creativity is fearless, and the Divine is always giving. MM shares the story along with Deborah’s insight and music in a reflection of love. The podcasts are geared towards, parents, youth ministers, young adults, teachers, aunts and uncles, and all those working with children teaching them about God’s love. These generous back stories about the making of Wishapick confirm her belief that God is good and each of us is an extension of the Divine’s Goodwill. MM believes that each of us will remember we are loved, and then intimate, fearless giving will unfold into our lives.

MM learned to pray at a young age practicing thoughtful traditional, repetitive prayers. She has been a participant and leader of prayer groups, practicing intentional prayer, meditative prayer, lectio divina (scriptural readings & meditation), and contemplative walking prayer, along with the rosary and prayer beads from other cultures. She was an early member and still a participant of Mom’s In Prayer International.  MM believes your communication with God is personal and establishing a relationship with the Divine brings peace and enjoyment into your life.  This communication with God awakens the goodwill within each of us, which has been there since the beginning of time.

Deborah Wynne created a CD of songs to accompany the novel. Deborah’s extensive talents lie in choral singing, and song composition. Her musical projects include the 2013 album Strands of Gold and 2007 musical Moment of Truth, which she co-wrote and co-produced. For many years Deborah was a member of the well know a cappella ensemble, Quire of Voices. She also sang with the female quartet, Champagne. She continues to sing and compose in Santa Barbara, CA, where she lives with her husband and Sheltie, Gracie, a dog who loves to sing and is particularly inspired by renaissance vocal music.

Deborah was born into a musical, religious family.  Music, adoration and holiness were woven together into her heart starting at a very young age.  Over the years music has become a form of prayer for Deborah.  Whether it be through listening, singing, playing or writing music, she feels deep gratitude for the gifts music offers.  For her, music is God breathing love into our hearts. She perceives the creative process as a part of our spiritual ground of being and a delight to access, for within that Holy space where God lives, we touch an aspect of the Divine that is pure beauty.  Creativity is a gift from and collaboration with the Divine, an offering of gratitude to God and a prayer of deep thanksgiving.

More from the Authors

Peach Pie In Wishapick

When Deborah and I spoke about Wishapick and the light returning at the end of the story, we acknowledged it was the Garden of Eden reawakening for all the animals in the village of Wishapick. But one small pleasure inserted into the story, brought us much enjoyment.  If it was the Garden of Eden what would the animals enjoy eating?

Deborah sang her song that everyone feasted on fresh peach pie. I wrote about the delicious peach pie Mrs. Tumalum had made and how Mr. Tumalum nicked a huge slice of the warm pie. To this day we cannot remember who came up with the idea first, yet the villagers in Wishapick enjoy peach pie. There is no competitiveness or argument about who came up with the idea first or how it happened, neither of us bested the other – it just came about. I cannot credit myself nor does Deborah feel she is responsible for peach pie being in the story of Wishapick. We each have a backstory about peach pie and our enjoyment is sharing the stories between us. Again & again, we find it miraculous and we are thankful.

There is no competition when we pray; there are no best ways to pray, there is no responsibility on how the prayer is to be answered, nor do we need credit for answered prayer. Being human we seek credit, being in enjoyment we move to thanksgiving. When we pray -giving thanks to God is most enjoyable.

Deborah Wynne’s Favorite Peach Crisp Recipe

CINNAMON-OAT PEACH CRISP

Ingredients

  • 5 lb. medium peaches (about 12), peeled, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream

Preparation

Toss peaches, granulated sugar, and 2 Tbsp. flour in a large bowl to combine. Let sit, tossing occasionally, 30 minutes.

Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F.

Meanwhile, whisk oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and remaining 1 cup flour in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add butter. Once it has all been added, increase speed to medium-high and beat until dry ingredients are incorporated (there should be no dry bits left in the bowl), about 3 minutes.

Scrape peaches and any juices into a 13×9″ baking dish. Evenly scatter oat topping over peaches and bake crisp until peaches are soft, fruit juices are bubbling, and topping is a deep golden brown, 60–70 minutes. Transfer baking dish to a wire rack and let crisp cool 1 hour.

Divide among bowls and top with large scoops of ice cream.

Chocolate Pudding in Wishapick

Our protagonist Jack faced the most dangerous rattlesnakes in Wishapick. With inspiration from the “Breath of All Good Things,” a little Jiggery Pokery and adding some Chocolate Pudding Jack implements his plan to return the light to the village of Wishapick.

My fun loving, grandmother, had a motto “let’s enjoy good food.” She was known for her famous chocolate pudding.  She and my grandfather made pancakes, chocolate pudding & tea when the cousins gathered together for dinner at their home. A yummy dinner ending with her chocolate pudding – such happiness!

Lilly, Jack’s sister, implemented his idea & carried out the plan.  The Magical Crimson Tray was helpful to Lilly, it moved about on its own, pouring the chocolate pudding into the mouths of the dangerous snakes which turned their nasty behaviors – nice.

When I finished writing this chapter, about the chocolate pudding, I took a ride into the country to a little community store, where I had never been before.

I went into the old-fashioned country store and ordered a sandwich. I opened the self -serve fridge to get some water and in front of me was several cups of chocolate pudding. Individual cups of chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream, were lined up right in front of me.  I learned later the adorable country store was famous for their chocolate pudding.  Full of praise, thanksgiving and joy I had my lunch full of the niceness of God’s surprise. Prayer is calling out to God and listening for the answers. When Jack called out to the “Breath of All Good Things” in Wishapick everything became okay. In our lives when we include God and call out to him, everything will be okay. God can turn the nasty to nice & Christ is always with us.

In memory of my grandmother –

My Grandma Glady Reese’s Famous Chocolate Pudding Recipe.

Combine

1 cup sugar

4Tbls Cocoa

4TBLS four or 3TBLS corn starch

Add

1 large egg (or 2 small ones)

2 cups milk

½ tsp salt

Cook over low heat stirring constantly till it thickens (this can take a while) until it boils, keep stirring.

Add

1 tsp vanilla.

Pour into individual serving dishes or a bowl, let cool to room temperature. put in refrigerator. Serve cold plain or with whipped cream on top.

Taken from the backstory about God working through our lives while we wrote Wishapick, you can listen to all 10 episodes of this backstory of my prayer life & Deborah’s music, on Wishapick youtube – Prayer-Creativity & the Divine.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 2

Simple Harvest Reads, May 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

deb’s Book Review, May 3

The Write Escape, May 4

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 4

Through the fire blogs, May 5

For Him and My Family, May 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 7

Guild Master, May 7

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 8

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 9

Inklings and notions, May 10

Blogging With Carol, May 10

Texas Book-aholic, May 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 12

Lights in a Dark World, May 13

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 13

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 14

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Mary and Deborah are giving away the grand prize of a Kindle!!
(May be different than one pictured.)

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10b60/wishapick-celebration-tour-giveaway

Hope Between the Pages by Pepper Basham–Book Tour

Hope Between Pages

About the Book

Book:  Hope Between the Pages

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: April, 2021

9781643528267

Uncover the Story Behind a One-Hundred-Year-Old Love Letter

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man’s identity in her great-great-grandmother’s letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

As I began this book, it seemed very similar to a Rachel Hauck book in that it’s a time split. You read about a character in one time period who is somehow connected to a character in another time period and go back and forth to see how they intersect. Clara Blackwell’s bookshop may be in trouble if she doesn’t soon find the deed to it. While searching the attic she stumbles on some letters belonging to her great-great grandmother. She feels a strange connection to Sadie Blackwell, and begins to investigate. There were times in this book where I felt like I was reading a different version of the movie, “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, which is actually referenced in the book when a big chain is trying to buy out Clara’s family bookshop. I loved the mystery and intrigue, and while this is not a completely suspenseful book which is my preferred genre, these time split romance books have enough mystery trying to figure out the missing pieces on how it will come together, that I love them as well. If you are a Rachel Hauck fan, you will love this one by Pepper Basham! It’s well written, engaging and the characters are very relatable! Definitely recommend and give it 5 stars!!

**I received a copy of this book as a part of the CelebrateLit blogging team. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

PepperBasham

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

More from Pepper

Books are a uniquely portable magic – Stephen King

Appalachia is known for having a high illiteracy rate. A place of beautiful scenery and rugged landscapes, the people of the mountains developed stories through oral storytelling much more than “book learning”.  As a young girl growing up in this world, I loved hearing my granny share tales from up to five generations ago, filling in the narrative gaps between a birth date and a death date on a tombstone – giving flesh and breath to the stone-etched names.

It’s no surprise then, with a heart cultivated from rich oral stories, I fell in love with reading. Books became that “portable magic” that took me places my little Appalachian community couldn’t provide. I fell in love with the Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew. Wept through the end of Bridge to Terabithia and Old Yeller. Traveled to the plains with Sarah Plain and Tall and fell in love with horses with The Black Stallion. But when I was in seventh grade, I read my very first “British” novel, The Secret Garden. In that one introduction, my world expanded into mysterious English manor houses and British classics. Before long, I’d consumed Jane Eyre, Austen’s classics, some Dickens, Dracula, Frankenstein…and the list goes on! And then…I found Tolkien and Lewis – and the ‘real’ world swelled into OTHER worlds.

I’m grateful for true stories of book-loving pioneers traveling into the world of Appalachia to provide books and literacy training to “my people”, because I know some of those books made their way to my tiny elementary school library…and not only brought me the chance to discover stories, but to write them too!

Isn’t it amazing how books can do that?

In Hope Between the Pages, I wanted to bring the same awe and discovery I felt as a child (and continue to feel as an adult reader) to the story of two people whose words had seemed small. Stories stretched their worlds, but the stories also gave them wonderful imaginations and positive perspectives. It’s still amazing to me that ink-and-paper words can make such a lasting impact on hearts and minds. They can lead us to dream, teach us new things, encourage our hearts, help us to think outside the box, swell our imaginations, broaden our horizons, and encourage our hope.

Books are not a replacement for real adventures and relationships, but they certainly provide a beautiful “door” into other lives and worlds that we may never have a chance to experience in real life. Sadie, my historical heroine, and Clara, my contemporary heroine, both have kept close to home but traveled greatly through books…and BOTH are given the opportunity to reach beyond the bindings to discover real-life adventures. I’d like to think that their love for stories helped them have the courage to step away from the page and into their own tales even more prepared than they would have been without stories.

What are some of your favorite books you read as a child? Did any of them influence you to become a more avid reader?

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, April 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 24

Worthy2Read, April 24

Texas Book-aholic, April 25

Reviewingbooksplusmore, April 25

Christian Bookaholic, April 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 25

She Lives To Read, April 26

Books and Everyday Life, April 26

For the Love of Literature, April 26

For Him and My Family, April 26

Wishful Endings, April 27

Bigreadersite, April 27

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 27

deb’s Book Review, April 27

Inklings and notions, April 28

Connect in Fiction, April 28

Writing from the Heart Land, April 28

Blogging With Carol, April 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 29

Life of Literature, April 29

Pick a good book, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 30

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 30

Betti Mace, April 30

Kathleen’s Blog, April 30

lakesidelivingsite, May 1

Connie’s History Classroom, May 1

Fiction Book Lover, May 1

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 2

Godly Book Reviews, May 2

Mary Hake, May 2

Older & Smarter?, May 3

Genesis 5020, May 3

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 4

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads , May 4

Blossoms and Blessings, May 4

sodbusterLiving, May 4

Splashes of Joy, May 5

Where Faith and Books Meet , May 5

Simple Harvest Reads, May 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Through the Fire Blogs, May 5

Pause for Tales, May 6

To Everything There Is A Season, May 6

Remembrancy, May 6

Lights in a Dark World, May 6

Live.Love.Read., May 7

Karen Sue Hadley, May 7

Amanda Tero, blog, May 7

The Write Escape, May 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10b27/hope-between-the-pages-celebration-tour-giveaway