Cold-Case Christianity for Kids

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Some unexpected blog hiccups, but I’m back!  Felt like way too long, and I’m sorry!  Today, I have a way overdue review of a book for children called Cold-Case Christianity for Kids by J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace.

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Between the ages of 8 and 12, kids often start to wonder if Christianity is true.

In Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, detective J. Warner Wallace draws readers into the thrill of high-stakes investigation by showing them how to think rather than telling them what to think. In this children’s companion to the bestselling Cold-Case Christianity, detective Wallace gets kids excited about testing witnesses, examining the evidence, and investigating the case for Christianity. Includes author illustrations and links to a website where kids can download activities, fill in case notes, and earn a certificate of merit.

Detective Wallace gets kids excited about testing witnesses, examining the evidence, and investigating the case for Christianity.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2dZcyq2

About the authors:

J. Warner and Susie Wallace have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, Court TV and other crime-related television shows. A former atheist, he is the author of Cold-Case Christianity God’s Crime Scene and Forensic Faith. He has a master’s degree in theology and is the founder of ColdCaseChristianity.com. Susie has a master’s degree in speech pathology and co-writes (and edits) all the kids books in this series. J. Warner and Susie have four children and live in southern California.

My Thoughts

I am planning on giving this to my 10-year-old nephew – I know he will love it because he likes solving mysteries and “who-dun-it” type stuff.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I had never read any of Mr. Wallace’s previous books – seeing him on God’s Not Dead 2 was my first exposure, so when I realized it was the topic of defending our faith but written for the child perspective, I was keen to review.

The wording is at just the right level – not at all too far above the target age group, but never below or dumbing anything down either.  There are illustrations throughout, as well as little blurbs on the sides with things like “CSI”, “Dip Deep”, and “Detective Definitions” – short “assignments” that reinforce or further expound on the topic of each chapter.  I especially though the tie-in of the Internet resources was great, since kids are so wired it’s just natural for them.  There are downloadable fill-in sheets for each chapter as well as a downloadable certificate of promotion (which is also in the book, but your child or loved one may want a bigger version), which makes it all feel more “official”.  It is a relatively short read – just right, though, for the age group.  Can’t think of anything negative to say about this book that reads/feels like an adventure/fiction book, but teaches invaluable reasoning, investigative, and Biblical principles.

*This book was provided complimentary from Litfuse Publicity.  All my reviews are honest and true to my thoughts.

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I’ve been working on a total redo of a room – can’t wait to share some pictures!  I’m really happy with how it has changed and how it looks!  Also have some recent foodie finds I want to share! And how can it be nearly Thanksgiving!?!

Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenhall Review/Giveaway

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Starving Hearts

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage.

She yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .

Mr. Peter Adsley is joining the clergy, and he desires a godly wife by his side. After a failed attempt to obtain one, he engages in a clandestine meeting with the bewitching young woman who keeps crossing his path. But she is so unsettling.

Destined for disappointments, Peter and Annette both endure disgraceful situations. Will Peter’s faith sustain him through overwhelming setbacks? Can Annette overcome her doubts? Or will their starving hearts yield to the machinations of a mad man?

Will Annette’s search for love and acceptance replace the loss and hurt in her heart? Find out in Janine Mendenhall’s book one, Starving Hearts, of the Triangular Trade Trilogy. Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage. But she yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .

MY THOUGHTS:

So much to love about this story – It is *not* an everything-is-perfect, boy-meets-girl, they-fall-in-love-and-live-happily-ever-after story.  It is how your faith and strength is tested in the hardest of circumstances, when all seems to be lost, and you don’t know how anything will be okay again story – which means that redemption is a theme I picked up on in this book as well as trust.

In many books, there are at least some characters or something in the story itself that is a bit unrealistic or something that kind of sticks out to you as not being right, and usually the story is otherwise written well enough that you overlook it.  However, I really didn’t think that about any of the story – the dialogue, the characters, the plots throughout…all seemed very much believable and they all flowed together seamlessly.  There also wasn’t any confusion on my part as I read it, going back and forth between characters (admittedly, that’s something I frequently struggle with in books…keeping things/characters straight).

While there are several characters who are quite unlikeable, the two main characters are both very likeable.  Annette has her health, her mother, and her potential arranged marriage to concern her, while Peter has to search his soul and come to terms with many things going on in his family and the business he didn’t want to play a part in.  They both experience very deep losses that make you wonder how a person could manage to keep on going. I especially loved the strong character  Janine gave Peter- no weakness or sit back and let whatever happen happen.  He is a very godly man who has a strength of character that is so refreshing.  Without giving away any of the ending, this story has a lot of everything and you don’t really know what’s going to happen until the end (you have your guesses, but keep reading!).

Join in the search for love and acceptance with Janine and Starving Hearts by entering to win the Delightful Heart Gift Pack Giveaway.

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One grand prize winner will receive:

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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 12. The winner will be announced September 13 on Janine’s blog.

starving hearts - enterbanner*As a LitFuse Publicity blogger, I was provided a copy to facilitate this review.

Kelli Stuart’s ‘Like a River from Its Course’ Blog Tour and Kindle Prize Pack

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Travel back in time in Kelli Stuart’s new novel, Like a River from Its Course, as the city of Kiev is bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union. This sweeping historical saga takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River From Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Celebrate the release of Like a River from Its Course with Kelli by entering to win a Kindle Fire Prize Pack.

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One grand prize winner will receive:

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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 18th. The winner will be announced July 19th on Kelli’s blog.

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About the book:

Like a River from Its Course (Kregel, June 2016)

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope.

The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the “killing ditch.” He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Führer’s plans for domination
are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism.

Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Purchase a copy:http://bit.ly/28YOXRu

My Thoughts:

I was excited to dig into this book – I enjoy reading historical fiction, especially WWII-era reads.  This is probably hands down the most gut-wrenching, moving, tragic, hope-filled, and grace-infused historical fiction book I have read in a very long time, perhaps ever.  I found myself sobbing at times, having to put the book down sooner than I really wanted just to process what had just happened, how human being could be so incredibly cruel.  Knowing these are based on true accounts really makes it hit home.  This is definitely not your feel-good summer beach read.  But it is a memorable read that for sure isn’t fluff and will get you to think about things that matter…. about anger and forgiveness, about depression and hope, about desperation and loving acceptance.

Fifteen years of research and interviews… this book definitely feels like it was a labor of love, a piece of Kelli’s heart went into this story I am sure.  You just can’t write a book like this without putting your whole heart and soul into it.

I’m totally gushing over this one, I know, but it deserves it.  It’s one of those books I will keep and let others borrow (but make sure they don’t forget to return 😉 )

When does Kelli’s next book come out??

*As a Litfuse blogger, I was sent a review copy of this book to review; however, all opinions are honest and unbiased.

Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder

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Bachelor-Girls-Guide-to-Murder

The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder (Harvest House, April 2016)

In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Beyond the Silence

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Beyond-the-SilenceThe shadows over this olive grove hide more than just the truth.

Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother’s dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn’t match the man Lillian comes to know.

Still, something dark did happen in the family’s past. Lillian’s seven-year-old charge hasn’t spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he’ll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love–or will it endanger her even more?

My Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this read!  It had mystery, clean romance, some humor, and some tear-jerking moments.  There were a splattering of scripture throughout, but it never felt forced to me or “preachy”.  There were various story lines/characters happening at the same time (Lillian with her grandfather, Lillian with Woody, Woody’s son, Harry a simple-minded brother, a murderous “good-for-nothing” brother…), which propelled me to keep reading.  Tracie Paterson is an author I’ve read a lot through the years, and I love her and the collaboration with Kimberley Woodhouse on this book.

To learn more and purchase a copy.

*as a Litfuse blogger, I was sent a copy of this book to facilitate this review.