Friday, February 25, 2011

Paws and Tales: God Cares for You--With Giveaway!!

List Price:12.99
Release:February 2011

Using colorful animation, fun characters, and great lessons, Paws & Tales is an exciting tool for helping build godly character into kids. Based on the “Paws & Tales” nationally broadcast radio program presented by Chuck Swindoll’s Insight for Living, the Paws & Tales videos communicate biblical truth and show kids how they can apply it to real life. Kids will be captivated by the adventure, caught up in the laughter, and carried away in the fun . . . and the whole time they'll be on their way to understanding solid Bible theology. This first DVD in the series, based on Psalm 23:1 and Proverbs 10:25, teaches kids that God cares for them. The DVD features two full-length animated episodes, music videos, an e-book, activities, and parent resources.
Chuck Swindoll comments to parents: “Laying a good spiritual foundation in your children is essential . . . and even better when it’s reinforced early and often. Paws & Tales is a great tool for helping you build godly character into your kids.”

My Review:
This was overall a cute video. There were two separate cartoons and a song after each one of them. The first thing I noticed is how simple the cartoons are. I think most of us are used to the “fancier” cartoons of today. These reminded me of when I was younger.

The first one we watched was about sheep. I found this one a little weird, especially since it’s suppose to be for kids. At one point the shepherd is trying to teach the kids how to take care of the sheep, and it starts choking. The shepherd grabs the sheep’s upper and lower jaw and the camera goes to the kid’s faces while the shepherd sticks his hand down the sheep’s throat to make him throw up. The camera then goes back to the sheep and he’s fine, but there’s a pile of throw up in front of him. This may be totally normal for sheep. I assume it is, but I would have liked to have seen the point of the scene brought about in a different way. I still recommend the video, but again, I thought that part was really weird!

I thought the second one was extremely cute! The point came across very clearly and even as an adult I snickered several times through it.

The most important thing, though, is that my son seemed to love it. It kept his attention, and while he’s still too young to be getting a whole lot out of them right now, I really think that he will when he comprehends a bit more. He can’t talk yet, so I’m totally judging his opinion of the video from his reactions. ;) He seemed to really like all the sheep noises!

At the end of the cartoons, there’s a karaoke-like song. I’ve mentioned before that I prefer my songs without music, and these do have music with them. I know that won’t matter to most, but I wanted to throw it out there for anyone who might want to know.

We do recommend these cartoons. It has a good message and it’s not too flashy! And I think, depending on the age, it’s funny and entertaining.

*I received this DVD from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

*******GIVEAWAY********I have a certificate to give away to one of my readers to exchange for one copy of Paws and Tales: God Cares for You. (I’ll mail this certificate to you, and you simply bring it to a store that sells this video in exchange for it).
Simply leave a comment if you would like to be entered. This giveaway will end in 1 week, on March 4th, 2011.

Make sure you sign up for a Paws and Tales membership HERE!!

You'll get the following:
• $3.00 off coupon good toward the next new release of Paws & Tales**
• FREE one year subscription to, a safe and friendly web community for kids
• FREE games, activities, and parent helps e-mailed to you with every new release
• Paws & Tales birthday card mailed to your child


Saturday, February 19, 2011

The God Hater by Bill Myers

Howard Books (September 28, 2010) 320 pages

A cranky, atheistic philosophy professor loves to shred the faith of incoming freshmen. He is chosen by a group of scientists to create a philosophy for a computer-generated world exactly like ours. Much to his frustration every model he introduces—from Darwinism, to Existentialism, to Relativism, to Buddhism—fails. The only way to preserve the computer world is to introduce laws from outside their system through a Law Giver. Of course this goes against everything he's ever believed, and he hates it. But even that doesn't completely work because the citizens of that world become legalists and completely miss the spirit behind the Law. The only way to save them is to create a computer character like himself to personally live and explain it. He does. So now there are two of him—the one in our world and the one in the computer world. Unfortunately a rival has introduced a virus into the computer world. Things grow worse until our computer-world professor sees the only way to save his world is to personally absorb the virus and the penalty for breaking the Law. Of course, it's clear to all, including our real-world professor, that this act of selfless love has become a reenactment of the Gospel. It is the only possible choice to save their computer world and, as he finally understands, our own.

I didn't get this book requested, so I haven't read it. I still want you to see all the reviews by the other participants in this tour, though. I love that there's all kinds of different people and opinions in the CSFF tours. This has became my favorite reviews to do! I do have next month's book requested, so I'll Be Back(in Terminator style voice) next month. ;)
I can't wait to see what the others have to say about The God Hater. I've heard it will be an interesting tour. :)

Check out all the other participants on the tour:

Noah Arsenault
Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Rachel Briard
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Carol Bruce Collett
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
CSFF Blog Tour
April Erwin
Amber French
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Joleen Howell
Bruce Hennigan
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emily LaVigne
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Donna Swanson
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Nicole White
Dave Wilson
Kathy Brasby

Bill Myers Facebook Page

Author's Website

Book Link

Friday, February 18, 2011

Maya Davis 2 book Giveaway

As a thank you to all my sweet followers, I'm going to have a giveaway for books 2 and 3 in the Maya Davis series. (Sorry, I don't have book 1).

I'm not positive when this will end just yet, but within the next couple of weeks.

Rules are simple:
-U.S. only
-Be a follower.
-Leave a comment with your e-mail.

That's it. :)

Sorry it's been so long since my last giveaway. I do have a few more planned in the next couple of months. I know I have all types of followers, so while this one is for Christian books, I'll try to keep the next one for young adult or science fiction or children's, etc. I figured it would be easier to keep them separated, as opposed to lumping them all together and then having various winners. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Beginning Reader's Bible

Thomas Nelson (February 15, 2011) 192 pages Ages 4-8

This exceptionally illustrated Bible storybook allows children to read the story, pray to God, and grow closer to Him.

Using actual Bible text from the International Children's Bible® as well as prayers, memory verses, and fun activities, children will love this large format and be engrossed in the intricate detail of the illustrations. Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments are included and stories are accompanied by a prayer for the child to pray, a verse to memorize, and a fun activity to help them grow.

My Review:
The main thing to remember with this book is that it is a Bible Storybook, NOT a Bible. I know it says that in the description. :) It tells you at the beginning of each story that it is SELECTED verses from the book and chapter. The good thing is it numbers it according to what was selected. For example, it may number, Chapter 1, verses 1, 3, 5, 10, etc. This makes it much easier to check on the stories and translation. If I was reviewing this book as an actual Bible, I would in no way recommend it. BUT, as a Bible storybook, I MOSTLY liked it.

I didn't like that some of the stories left out parts I thought were important. One of the first stories was about Adam and Eve. It simply says God created human beings. (male and female at the exact same time). I would have liked it to have somehow told about the separate creation of male and female. I know to some, I'm just being picky on that, but we're ALL picky about SOMETHING! :) There were different stories that I would have liked to have had more details in them. That goes along with the translation as well as choices for what verses to include.

In my reading, though, I did learn a few things. Like in the story of Noah. I didn't know that he sent out a raven before the dove. I thought I knew that story pretty well, and was thinking this book had added that, but when I went to my Bible, I learned something new. I know! I should have known that, but somehow I missed it all these years.

I especially liked the following "Do God's Word" section:
"People usually celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmastime. But Jesus' birth is a wonderful thing to celebrate anytime!" SO true!!

Like I've said in my past reviews of Bibles, I didn't compare every single verse to see if I thought it was appropriate. I do plan on it as I go along, though, because as my son gets older, I won't read him anything that adds or takes away from the Bible.
Revelation 22:18 and 19(New King James Version)
"For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book: and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
I HIGHLY encourage you to be careful with the different translations!!

Also, this book adds "The Prayer of Salvation" at the end. I'll leave you with your own conclusions on that, but I do want to point that out. (And just so you know, it is the last page before the cover page, so it can be torn out without being noticeable). ;)

Lastly, I want to say what a really nice book this is. My husband and I were both very pleasantly surprised when we pulled it out of the envelope. It's bigger than I thought it would be, with a thick, sturdy, board cover. The pages are thick, too, but not board. Just thick paper pages, kind of like cardstock. The pictures are gorgeous and there's even a little ribbon bookmark attached.

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint

Firebird (April 6, 2006) 368 pages

Description: (from Amazon)
Seventeen-year-old Imogene jumps at the chance to lose her bad girl reputation when her family moves to a new town. She purposely lays low at Redding High, only making friends with Maxine, a shy, studious girl who is Imogene's opposite in every way. Despite a few run-ins with the ruling football jock and his cheerleader girlfriend, Imogene keeps her temper in check and even lends some of her bravado to Maxine, who begins to come out of her straight-A shell. Things are going well for the new friends--until the day Imogene meets Adrian, the benign ghost of a boy who died in the school's parking lot. Adrian and Imogene's unusual connection attracts the unwelcome attention of Redding High's resident Little People, or fairies. Affronted by streetwise Imogene's lack of belief in them, the fairies set into motion a malevolent prank that will not only turn Imogene completely blue from head to toe, but pit her, Adrian and Maxine against some of the most frightening beings of the Otherworld--the soul-sucking Anamithims.

My Review:
For me, it's a shame that there was so much profanity in this book. While it's only the second book I've read by Charles de Lint, he is one of those authors that I think is a brilliant writer! Right there with J.K. Rowlings and Jan Karon. There are just some authors that really stand out, and de Lint is definitely one of them.

I will say that The Blue Girl didn't impress me nearly as much a Someplace To Be Flying. TBG was about fairies, though, which just isn't my favorite subject. After reading only a few fairie stories, they seemed so repetitive that I tired of them quickly.(And they are just so mean)!! De Lint does have fresh material on the world of fairies, so I did still greatly enojoy most of this book. Also, Someplace To Be Flying was a combination of Native American and Celtic folklore. It was unlike anything I had ever read before and I just loved it.(minus the profanitity). It has really stuck with me after reading it.

I have recently saw that de Lint has a young adult book written that is appropriate for young readers, so I hope to read it soon. I would love for everyone to at least have a taste of a clean Charles de Lint book. And I'm not giving up on his young adult books quite yet. I'm hoping that maybe because of the main character in this story, maybe some of the other books won't have as much profanity. BUT, if that doesn't bother you, I definitely recommend de Lint. He has lots of books to choose from, including adult and young adult.

Parental Concerns:
I'm going to start doing this section a bit different from now on. I've kind of combined ideas with a couple of different clean read sites for this. (Focus on the Family and Common Sense Media). I just feel like it will help you, as a reader, decide better whether or not a book is for you.

Christian Beliefs
There’s mention of God a few times, but there’s really no kind of belief there. The main character actually doesn’t believe in God.

Authority Figures
The two dads of the story really aren’t around. There’s mention of one of them being a “pothead.”
One of the moms is VERY strict and the other is the opposite. I wouldn’t call either of the moms a horrible example, but definitely not great examples.

Language/ Violence
Unfortunately, there’s tons of cussing. It contains pretty much all the main words of profanity, except the “f” word.
There’s a lot of bullying in this book. It was leaving a pretty good message as far as that topic, but then one of the characters has enough and takes her knife and cuts a bully and kicks him in the head. In the story, it was self defense, but I still don’t think I like that scene being added.
There’s also some mention of the main character’s life before the story takes place. She wasn’t the best role model, but she seems to be trying hard to get it together and study and not skip school and all.

Other Beliefs
There’s fairys, ghosts, imaginary friends, “darkness,” “angels,” the mention of banshees, etc. There’s also lots of talk about what kinds of objects will protect you from these creatures.

There’s a couple of references to kissing, but no details. The two ghosts mention having sex a couple of times, but no details.

One of the ghost smokes. Again, there’s the brief mention of one of the dad’s smoking pot. I really don’t recall any other scenes with these subjects.

There’s some lying, but for the MOST part the kids are honest with their parents. The author actually seems to make a point of teaching against lying. BUT, there is a scene of lying to the police, which contradicted that whole thing.

Overall, if not for the language, this would have been a pretty clean book. I really appreciate that the author doesn't seem to greatly detail ANY of the "bad" stuff. :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Made to Crave by Lisa TerKeurst (book and DVD series)

About the book:
Just because a woman finally fits into her skinny jeans doesn't mean she's won her battle with food. Too often, women overlook the spiritual component to their physical struggle with healthy eating. Made to Crave taps into the desires God gave you to consume food without letting food consume you!

Made to Crave is the missing link between a woman's desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen. The reality is we were made to crave. Craving isn't a bad thing. But we must realize God created us to crave more of him. Many of us have misplaced that craving by overindulging in physical pleasures instead of lasting spiritual satisfaction. If you are struggling with unhealthy eating habits, you can break the "I'll start again Monday" cycle, and start feeling good about yourself today. Learn to stop beating yourself up over the numbers on the scale. Discover that your weight loss struggle isn't a curse but rather a blessing in the making, and replace justifications that lead to diet failure with empowering go-to scripts that lead to victory. You can reach your healthy weight goal - and grow closer to God in the process. This is not a how-to book. This is not the latest and greatest dieting plan. This book is the necessary companion for you to use alongside whatever healthy lifestyle plan you choose. This is a book and Bible study to help you find the "want to" in making healthy lifestyle choices. 224 pages. Companion Bible study DVD set also available HERE.

About the DVD series:
If you want to maximize your experience and bring these teachings to life in a way you’ll never forget, you’ll want to order the full set of resources. Adding the DVD teaching series and the workbook will motivate you to get healthy without feeling deprived, lose the weight in a permanent way, and find the peace your body, mind and soul desires. This DVD study can be done in a group or by yourself.

The Bundle is only available through Proverbs 31 Ministries, so CLICK HERE to order!

I'm sorry, but I couldn't get the book trailer to work properly, so please go HERE to watch it.

I’m so upset that blogger deleted half my post, including my review! I had taken notes and I’ll do my best to re-create it. Sometimes you just want to cry over the simplest things! ;) I think I remembered most of it, but I know I left out some things. Lesson: ALWAYS save your review in a document until it actually posts!!

My review of the book:

There were so many times that it was like Lisa was taking thoughts from my weight loss journey. Like when she mentions at the beginning how she used to wish she had a minor health problem just so she could have an easy fix for weight. SOOOO me!! When I went for my sleep study, among other reasons, I hoped I had sleep apnea, just so there would be an easy fix. I’ve often wondered if maybe I had a thyroid problem. Nope! Just me and my bad habits. I love how Lisa uses humor throughout the book. We have to laugh at ourselves sometimes, right? ;) She’s also very honest about the struggles you WILL have. Losing weight is extremely hard and there’s just no easy fix. I think anyone who has struggled with weight will easily relate to Lisa and Made to Crave.

.I’ve read lots of diet books and they usually leave me discouraged. This is NOT a diet book. I really look at it as more of a devotional type book. Lisa leaves the choice of what type of diet you choose completely up to you. I really like that, because there are tons of diets out there and everybody is different and needs a different type of diet. I’m a vegetarian, so that leaves out lots of diets for me. Some are diabetic, etc. This book leaves all that open, so it’s completely usable by everyone.

There’s questions at the end of each chapter. When I read a couple of the ones from the first chapter, I won’t lie, I thought they were crazy. BUT, after those, there were some GREAT questions!! They really make you think and dig deep for the answers.

Lisa proves that you just can’t succeed without God’s help. She really keeps Him as the main focus of the journey and I greatly appreciate that. I know that’s why I haven’t succeeded. I’ve left God out of my weight loss journey. This time anyway. In my younger years, I lost 40 pounds and kept it off for several years. Marriage and a child and another pregnancy have put that weight and more back on. If I had God as the center the first time, maybe I wouldn’t have let it get back out of control.

I truly think that this series is just the boost I need to get it together.

My review of the DVD:

I didn’t get the DVD and participants guide until Wednesday of last week, so I just haven’t got to do all the sessions. I know I’m one of the last to post a review, so I did have more time than most the participants, but unfortunately, I just didn’t get them all in. I DO think that I saw enough that I can give a legitimate review.

About a year ago, me and my sister went to a weight loss meeting. They spent the entire time talking about what type of spanx to wear and other non-weight loss related topics. (By the way, I see nothing wrong with spanx. ;) Sometimes it’s necessary). We were looking for encouragement, and needless to say, we left very discouraged with that group. I think that day would have been very different if they had been using this program! Made to Crave and Lisa are very encouraging.

I was really impressed at how much the DVD IS like a devotional. She uses lots of Bible verses and passages. It is designed for a small group discussion, but I think it would be great as just an individual study, too. I know there are certain parts that would probably be more beneficial as a group, but I think an individual could do it all perfectly fine. I also think this study would make an excellent morning devotional! What better way to start the day than with God’s word and have an encouraging boost for your weight loss journey?! That is my plan in a couple of months after our little one gets here.

This is coming from a VERY thrifty momma….This program is a GREAT deal!! I don’t think you could find anything similar for the price and quality. I was very impressed with this whole program!

About Lysa:
Lysa TerKeurst is an author and speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has led thousands to make their walk with God an invigorating journey.

Lysa wrote the book Made to Crave from the perspective of a woman who has never craved a carrot stick in her whole life. Having struggled with her weight her whole adult life, Lysa knows what it feels like to be in the vicious cycle of gaining and losing, but never feeling at peace in her struggle. Everything changed when Lysa decided to have her deepest desire met by God not food. Now, armed with the spiritual motivation she gained in her own journey, she is inspiring others to find lasting victory.

As a nationally known speaker, Lysa has been passionately teaching women God’s truths for years. Lysa’s personal adventures of following God led to appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The 700 Club, USA Today newspaper, Woman’s Day magazine, and Focus on the Family radio.

Today, Lysa and her ministry team at Proverbs 31 Ministries encourage more than 375,000 women through their daily online devotional. In addition, she co-hosts a 1-minute inspirational radio program aired on more than 1,200 stations around the world. Plus, she touches hearts through their monthly magazine, P31 Woman. Lysa’s blog averages over 70,000 avid readers per month. She is the award-winning author of 14 books, including her newest releases, Made to Crave and Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl. Other noteworthy books include What Happens When Woman Say Yes to God, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, Capture His Heart, and Capture Her Heart. Visit Lysa's website for more info and to visit her blog!

To buy Made to Crave, CLICK HERE

Go HERE to visit the main blog post about Made to Crave and visit all the other blogs participating in this tour.

*I received this book and DVD series in connection with the Litfuse Publicity Tour. I was not required to give a positive opinion. This is my honest view of the series.

Friday, February 11, 2011

God Gave Us The World by Lisa Tawn Bergren and Laura J. Bryant

WaterBrook Press (January 11, 2011) 40 pages
Ages 4-8

Description(from back cover):

Little Cub’s trip to a special museum exhibit, “Bears Around the World,” sparks a flurry of questions from the young polar bear who is just beginning to learn about life beyond her North Pole home.

As Mama Bear shares with her about the different types of places that God has put the various types of bears, with their different kinds of fur and food, Little Cub begins to wonder: Why didn’t God make us all the same?

With Mama’s loving guidance, Little Cub is taught to see the vastness of God’s wonderful creation; His abilities as an amazing, inventive Creator; His desire for us to care for our world, and especially the important lesson that…

“Every bear has a special place in God’s great, big world.”

This adorable story offers young children who are discovering their place in God’s big world an opportunity to learn about the wonder of diversity, the gift of creativity, the importance of caring for His gifts, and how each child-each creation-is special to God.

Also Available:

God Gave Us You
God Gave Us Two
God Gave Us Christmas
God Gave Us Heaven
God Gave Us Love
God Gave Us So Much – a limited three book treasury

About the Authors:

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the award-winning author of nearly thirty titles, totaling more than 1.5 million books in print. She writes in a broad range of genres, from adult fiction to devotional. God Gave Us the World follows in Lisa's classic tradition of the best-selling God Gave Us You. She makes her home in Colorado, with her husband, Tim, and their children, Olivia, Emma, and Jack.

Laura J. Bryant studied painting, printmaking, and sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Balitimore. She has illustrated numerous award-winning children's books, including God Gave Us You, Smudge Bunny, and If You Were My Baby. Laura lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

My Review:
This is a wonderful book to teach children about the different types of ethnicities around the world. I think the US has become a pretty diverse place, so children will see people from around the world right here. Of course, the book uses bears instead of people, which is really cute.
It’s funny that on the first couple of pages, the story starts out talking about different types of snow. I just had this discussion with my husband about the last two snows here at our house. The last one was big, fat flakes and very light and fluffy, and we made snow ice cream out of it. The one before was a big slushy mess. But it’s all beautiful no matter what.
And I even learned a bit about the sloth bears of India, which I had never even heard of before. It’s always fun for an adult to learn something from a children’s book.
While this book is still a bit to old for my little boy, I just know he will enjoy it in a year or two. The pictures are very cute and the story is educational and fun. Now I really want to get the other books in this series. They all look absolutely adorable!!

Click Here to buy God Gave Us the World.

*I received this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to give a postive review.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Miracle of Mercy Land by River Jordan

WaterBrook Press; (September 7, 2010) 352 pages

My Review:
This book is about a young woman, named Mercy Land, who moves to the beautiful city of Bay City, Alabama. Soon after she becomes “Doc’s Girl” as Doc’s assistant on the local newspaper. One day Doc shows her a book that just suddenly appeared that shows the lives of all the residents of Bay City. Mercy and Doc struggle to not let the book consume them.
Then suddenly Doc announces his retirement and brings a man in to take over. Mercy struggles with accepting the new handsome stranger.

This book sounded like something right up my alley. The cover is gorgeous, and I loved that the book was set in Alabama!! How could I resist reading a book set in Alabama, with a supernatural twist?!! I’d never read a book by River Jordon, and to be honest, I had never even heard of her, but I do love the name. ;) I really hate to say that I was disappointed. I had an extremely hard time getting into this book, and I really struggled reading through it. I would have liked to know more about the book itself, but it pretty much remains a mystery, which left me with a lot of questions. I just expected it to play a bigger role in the story. I think maybe the style of writing just isn’t my cup of tea, but I’m willing to read another one of River Jordon’s books, just to make sure. ;)

* I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Press. This is my honest opinion.