Sunday, October 11, 2015

Aspen Everlasting by Kathryn Cooper

Cedar Fort, Inc. (September 8, 2015) 220 pages


Water splashed on all sides then took control of the tires. The car swerved right toward the river.
“No. NO. NO!” I turned the wheel toward the road. It didn’t work. Fast running water pulled the car into the flooded river.

Aspen Foster thinks she’s just a normal sixteen-year-old, but when her car’s caught in a flash flood, Aspen and her sister discover the superhuman strength they never knew they had.

Soon Aspen learns she’s not normal at all. She’s an Evermortal fairy, with powers beyond her wildest dreams. But the more Aspen finds out about her family’s past, the more dangerous her future becomes.

This riveting fantasy is full of action, adventure, and romance. Suspenseful and exhilarating!


My Thoughts:

I think I "met" Kathryn soon after I started blogging. I've always greatly enjoyed her blog, and her book recommendations. She's someone I'd love to be friends with in person. She has 4 little boys, and she seems like such a genuinely sweet person. Recently, she battled through brain cancer, and it was amazing to watch her strength through this time.

For those reasons, I'm extra super proud of her for having this book published.

In Aspen Everlasting, we're taken into the world of Evermortals. Aspen discovers she has strength much greater than the average person, and will age much slower as an adult. Her family has the same powers. She also discovers that things have been hidden from her, and all is not as it seems.

Aspen Everlasting is a quick read, and packed full of action and suspense. There's even a romance, and while I admit romance isn't at the top of my reading list lately, I genuinely enjoyed it. It was sweet, and I found myself smiling different times while reading. I loved the close family relationship between Aspen and her parents and brother and sister, too.

I can't wait to read more from Kathryn! I want the next book NOW! ;)

*I was provided an e-copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.


Purchase Link:

Aspen Everlasting


About the Author:

Kathryn Cooper lives in the heart of Texas with her husband and four young boys. She has read and blogged about other authors' books for years. She is excited to finally have her own book out for readers. Aspen Everlasting is her first novel.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Owls: Our Most Charming Bird by Matt Sewell

Ten Speed Press (September 22, 2015) 128 pages


An enchanting illustrated guide to owl species of the world.

The owl is one of nature’s most captivating creatures. In this enchanting guide, artist Matt Sewell brings to life fifty species from around the world. From the adorable Eurasian Pygmy Owl, small enough to fit in your pocket, to the Great Gray Owl, celebrated for its size and elegance—these charming illustrations are sure to delight anyone intrigued by these wise and wonderful animals.

My Thoughts:

The word "charming" is used different times in connection with this book, and really, it's impossible for me to look at it and not do the same. It truly is a charming little book! I love birds, period, but owls are one of the most interesting birds out there(to me, anyway). I never knew there were so many different kinds of owls! The fact that this little book opened my mind to more owls, combined with the lovely illustrations, make this a book worthy of the keeper shelf.

The owls are divided into 4 sections. (Woodland, Tropical, Wilderness, and Desert) Each owl gets a 2 page spread, with its name, and a short amount of information about it on one page. It doesn't go into great detail, but gives you just enough to separate it from other owls. It's done so with sweet humor. The other page gets a precious illustration of that owl.

It's a super cute book, and very helpful for those studying owls. I plan on using this with my boys as part of an owl study soon, and hope that we can see a real owl, in its natural world, as opposed to zoo owls. I've only got to see 1 live owl in the wild in my whole life, and it's a pretty memorable thing! I also just discovered that Sewell has several other bird books, and they are on my "top" wishlist now! I love this book so much, I can't wait to see more from him!

"I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.


Purchase Link:

Owls: Our Most Charming Bird


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (October 6, 2015) 256 pages

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Thoughts:

This might be the oddest book I've ever read. I highly recommend reading it just to experience the tremendous amount of odd that it possesses! Don't read descriptions of the story! Just go into it blindly, and experience the weirdness with a fresh mind.

That could probably be enough of a review, but if you want more......

I knew going into The Nest that it was supposed to be a creepy book. I don't read creepy books, unless it's children's, and then I'm too curious to stay away. As I read along through this book, I kept thinking it wasn't near as creepy as I thought it would be(though creepy, for sure). It was after closing the last page that the story kept running through my mind, and little bits and pieces of creepiness spooked me a bit. And, I'm an adult! For that reason, I wouldn't recommend this book to sensitive children or those prone to nightmares(like me)!

Within this book, I learned more about wasps than I ever really cared to know. Still, it was interesting. One of my children and my mother-in-law is allergic to wasps. I don't like the creatures! I believe the feeling is probably mutual with most people, making wasps the perfect creepy focus of this story. I left this book disliking them more than ever!

Wrapped up in all the oddness and all the creepiness, there are hug worthy moments as the author touches on issues, such as perfection and disabilities within the world. I won't elaborate on that too much, but it was this that made the book "hug worthy" to me. The main character, Steve , has OCD issues and suffers from nightmares. He has his struggles. I was the weirdest child you could ever dream of meeting back in my childhood days, so children that are labeled "not normal" by the world always pull on my heartstrings. Steve was no exception.

I highly recommend this book! I thought it was amazing and creative and beautiful, and don't forget, creepy and odd. ;)

*I was provided an ARC, in exchange for my honest opinion.


Purchase Link:

The Nest


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Celebrate the Whit Award with Adventures in Odyssey


Most people can think of one or two figures whose love and life example had a great impact on the formation of their spiritual foundation. It might be a coach, a Sunday school teacher or a parent or grandparent. Whatever the role, it’s hard to put a value on the investment these people make on a daily basis. In an effort to bring honor to these countless, quiet heroes, Adventures in Odyssey announces the John Avery Whitaker Award. Named after Odyssey’s resident leader and the namesake of Odyssey’s most famous attraction, Whit’s End, the award will be bestowed annually on one deserving mentor.

Like the Adventures in Odyssey character John Avery Whitaker, or “Whit” as he’s known by fans of the show, the person should be someone who is passionate about innovatively teaching children the truths expressed in the Bible. Those who create Adventures in Odyssey know that while Whit might be a fictitious character, there are thousands of real people just like him. “Our hope is that by bringing those people into the light, others will be inspired to follow their example,” says Dave Arnold, the executive producer of Adventures in Odyssey. “If we can spur mature believers in Christ to mentor and influence a generation being barraged with messages of compromise, we can turn the tide and encourage revival in our youth.”

Nominations are being accepted now through October 31 for the “Whits” out there in the world. Beginning on November 1, one nominee will be selected daily and awarded with a prize package including Adventures in Odyssey's latest album, Taking the Plunge, and a DVD of the movie Beyond the Mask. One grand prize winner will be chosen and announced on November 20. This worthy recipient will receive more than $500 worth of Focus on the Family resources, including an Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC) membership. The OAC offers 24/7, on-the-go access to more than 800 episodes of Adventures in Odyssey, as well as a new, members-only episode every month. It is a safe, fun environment where the whole family can explore, create and imagine, all while learning biblical truth.

Nominations can be submitted via this form, or the information can be emailed to (See the Official Rules for all the details.)

To learn more about the John Avery Whitaker Award, visit Discover the Odyssey Adventure Club at or on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

15-FOTF-0297-482513_PM_AIO_Whitaker_Award_Web_Ads_Disk_525 x 300

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Time Garden: A Magical Journey and Coloring Book by Daria Song


A dazzlingly beautiful coloring book for all ages, The Time Garden will sweep you away into a whimsical cuckoo clock–inspired world, created in intricate pen and ink by the internationally best-selling Korean artist Daria Song.

Journey through the doors of a mysterious cuckoo clock into its inky inner workings to discover a magical land of clock gears, rooftops, starry skies, and giant flying owls—all ready for you to customize with whatever colors you can dream up.

Cuckoo . . . cuckoo . . . cuckoo . . . When the clock strikes midnight, you’ll wonder, was it all a dream?

The Time Garden features extra-thick craft paper, ideal for non bleed-through coloring, and the jacketed cover with flaps is removable and color-able. Special gold-foil stamping on the cover and spine and a To/From page make it perfect for gifting to adults and kids alike.

Then, explore the magical world outside the clock through the eyes of a fairy in the sequel, The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book!

My Thoughts:

I enjoy coloring! I've saw many posts recently where people seemed ashamed of the fact that they were coloring, and I want to tell them there's no need. Coloring is relaxing. When my Grasshopper went into the NICU, I bought myself a coloring book to help pass the time in a calming kind of way. Coloring books are also excellent gifts for cancer patients, both children and adults, and their families, as they wait through their many tests and treatments. They're excellent gifts, period, in my opinion. Really and truly, there's no need for shame when it comes to adults coloring. ;)

This coloring book, The Time Garden, is set up like a book. There's not a ton of words, but there are some used to tell a quick story. The story is mostly told through the coloring pages, though, with each scene taking up a 2 page spread. I find this both exciting and intimidating. Exciting, because it will give me a lesson in patience. Instead of coloring one page, and being done, I'm working on a whole book. Also, it will be a wonderful treasure when I'm done, and something I wouldn't mind keeping on the shelf. Most coloring pages I color are torn out and thrown away. You won't want to tear out pages from this book, though! If you think there's even the smallest chance that someone will want to "borrow" a page, keep something else to give them with you.

On the other hand, having a whole book to color that tells a story is a bit intimidating, because I feel like if I mess up one page, I've ruined the whole book. To tear out "bad" coloring, I'd ruin the story. Of course, maybe that's a good lesson in letting go of what doesn't matter, as long as I've tried my best. I also feel the need to make sure all the colors line up. For example, it's more realistic that her dress stays the same color throughout. I started out using a fine tip marker to color with, and started with the girl's dress. I quickly discovered marker isn't the best option for this book, since it bleeds a tiny bit and shows through the other page just the slightest bit. The pages ARE thick, though. Now the colors will be off a bit. (The lines are much too detailed for crayons, so I prefer using colored pencils in this book to color with.)

This is truly a gorgeous book, and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. I recently tried out another coloring book that was so far past my love of oddness that I just feel uncomfortable having it in my house. I wouldn't dare give it to anyone. The Time Garden is sweet and elegant and relaxing, though, and I love it.

*I was provided a review copy through Blogging for Books, in exchange for my honest opinion.


Purchase Link:

The Time Garden: A Magical Journey and Coloring Book


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Where Christ is Present: Book Spotlight And GIVEAWAY!!!!

About the Book:

Five hundred years ago, the church of Jesus Christ underwent a Reformation.

A lot happened after Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the castle church door in Wittenberg. But the fallout was not simply the start of Protestantism. The Roman Catholic Church also recast itself in response to Luther’s call for reforms. And contrary to common belief, Martin Luther did not set out to start a new church. Rather, he was trying to reform the church that already existed by reemphasizing its essence—namely, the “good news” (the gospel) that Jesus forgives and saves sinners.

The unity of the church was broken when the pope rejected this call for reform and excommunicated Luther, starting a chain of events that did lead to the institutional fracturing of Christendom and to a plethora of alternative Christian theologies. But, as many – including conservative Catholics – now admit, the church did in fact need reforming. Today, the church – including its Protestant branches – also needs reforming. Some of the issues in contemporary Christianity are very similar to those in the late Middle Ages, though others are new. But if Luther’s theology can be blamed – however unfairly – for fragmenting Christianity, perhaps today it can help us recover the wholeness of Christianity.

In the hope of that wholeness, Dr. Montgomery and Dr. Veith commissioned these essays celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, gathering some of the best contemporary voices the Lutheran church has to offer.

And we need these voices! The religious climate in the early 21st-century is simultaneously highly religious and highly secularized. It is a time of extraordinary spiritual and theological diversity. This book will propose the kind of Christianity that is best suited for our day. The remedies offered here are available by way of the same theology that was the catalyst for reforming the church five hundred years ago.

(Note: I have NOT read this book. I'm also NOT Lutheran, so my beliefs are different. I'm a Christian, plain and simple, and I believe The Bible, God's Word, will plainly tell us the kind of Christianity that is best suited for our day! That said, I AM curious to read more thoughts about the book.)

You can see a tour schedule HERE.


Buy the Book:

Where Christ Is Present: A Theology for All Seasons on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation


Authors’ Bio:

John Warwick Montgomery is the author of more than sixty books in six languages. He holds eleven earned degrees, including a Master of Philosophy in Law from the University of Essex, England, a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, a Doctorate of the University in Protestant Theology from the University of Strasbourg, France, and the higher doctorate in law (LL.D.) from the University of Cardiff, Wales. He is a Lutheran clergyman, an English barrister, and is admitted to practice as a lawyer before the Supreme Court of the United States and is a practicing avocat, Barreau de Paris, France. Dr. Montgomery currently serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University Wisconsin.

Gene Edward Veith is the Provost and Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

Connect with the Authors:






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