Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Friday, December 20, 2019

CelebrateLit Tour: Darling Hedgehog Goes Down a Foxhole by Auralee Arkinsly

Darling Hedgehog learns about the animal nature of things in high humor and carefree, cute, and winning episodes. This childhood story reads a bit like Aesop’s Fables or a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, for children 4-8 or preschool and kindergarten, as a read-to-me picture book, and first grade and second grade as a chapter book.
Pictures similar to the Mercy Watson series are characterized and painted in full-color, though the pages are set up like a chapter book.
This book helps to train children in natural wisdom, analysis, and discernment. It helps to balance the teachings of acceptance of everyone and friendliness to all. There may be good purposes for everyone to exist under heaven, yet all purposes may not be good for a child. So, beware, be discrete, and flee from crafty foxes especially when they are holding your parents in the pantry.

This book was a fun little read. I enjoyed how sweet Darling was. The story could be a little frightening for children, but probably not more so than any other fairytale where children are eaten up by goblins or such. The illustrations were nice, and I think my little sister will enjoy this book. I'll probably even put it in a future classroom of mine. The first chapter was a bit disproportional to the rest, but that's a-okay. Definitely a book you'd want to grab from the library, but unless your child is a die-hard hedgehog fanatic, library is fine. I'm glad I read this one. I'm always looking to expand my knowledge of children's lit. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it's all my own opinion.

About the Author

Auralee Arkinsly writes in good humor about serious subjects because kids of all ages can learn a lot from laughing. She is a strong believer in right and wrong but knows that getting onto the right path can mean falling down a slippery slope. She reckons if she can save some from the bumps and bruises, then she has done her job

More from Auralee

I’m so excited to launch my children’s book, Darling Hedgehog Goes Down a Foxhole with the Celebrate Lit crew!  You are a river of hope for a new author.
So, here’s the story behind the story.
My friend and fellow author, Kathy Joy, left me a small hedgehog in a tutu as a going away gift on her guest bed after she had been visiting. I put it on the windowsill in my bedroom, and every morning, I would see it when I awoke.
I don’t know if you can relate to this experience, but I often wake up from a good night’s sleep with the gift of a problem being solved.  Sometimes, I wake up with a creative idea.  Well, one day, I awoke to find that I had the beginnings of a child’s story about where the hedgehog found her tutu.
Initially, it was a simple story about Darling Hedgehog finding a foxy friend who helps Darling find her calling.
I wrote out the story and then asked a talented neighborhood girl if she would like to draw the pictures for the tall tale. Having seen a lot of Julia’s sketches as she grew up, I thought that she might like to know what it felt like to earn money from her talents and at the same time, learn about the process of creating a book with an author to propose to a publishing company.
She agreed. Julia was in ninth grade. She was at the age where she was beginning to think about high school jobs and even to make plans for college and a career.
The same day we wrote out our contract, Julia sent me her first image of what she imagined Darling to look like. It clearly was not a mistake to hire this young artist!
When I awoke another morning, I believed God had given me another bit of advice. I needed to do better research on the nature of hedgehogs and foxes, their habitats and characteristics. The outcome caused the story to take a turn towards intrigue.  It became a fable. It became an action-adventure animal story. It became better.
A librarian encouraged us to continue with it no longer as a picture book for very small children but as an early reader chapter book for second graders learning about similes.
I hope that we can teach children to notice facts and objective truth as they are being trained for life. So, I’ve accepted that my child’s fantasy had to grow some legs of gravity and wisdom.  I’ve trusted my editors and beta readers that this is true, but I’m not above being told off.


To celebrate her tour, Auralee is giving away the grand prize of a set of Darling Hedgehog greeting cards!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Blog Stops

A Diva’s Heart, December 11
For Him and My Family, December 12
Older & Smarter?, December 13
Emily Yager, December 13
Just the Write Escape, December 14
Blogging With Carol, December 14
Bigreadersite, December 15
janicesbookreviews, December 15
Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 16
A Reader’s Brain, December 17
Remembrancy, December 19
Inklings and notions, December 19
Lighthouse Academy, December 19 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Live.Love.Read., December 20 (You are here!)
Sara Jane Jacobs, December 21
Maureen’s Musings, December 23
With a Joyful Noise, December 23
Texas Book-aholic, December 24

Thursday, October 24, 2019

CelebrateLit Tour/Review: Hope's Highest Mountain by Misty M Beller

Hey guys! After a slightly-too-long absence due to college and lesson plans (Yay, ed majors!!) I'm back to share this beautiful book with you. Enjoy!
When Ingrid Chastain agreed to accompany her father to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory, she never could have anticipated a terrible accident would leave her alone and badly injured in the wilderness. Rescue comes in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her injuries, but she’s hesitant to put her trust in this man who seems to have wounds of his own.
 After tragedy struck his family, Micah Bradley left his work as a doctor and escaped to the wilds of Montana. But his self-imposed solitude is broken when he finds Ingrid in desperate need of medical attention, and he’s forced to call on his doctoring skills once again.
 Micah can’t help but admire Ingrid’s tenacity despite the severity of her injuries, until he learns the crate she brought contains smallpox vaccines to help quell a nearby outbreak. With Ingrid dead set on delivering the medicine–with or without his help–he has no choice but to accompany her. As they set off through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains against all odds, the journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known.

I’m adding a new author to my list of loves. And this book is getting five stars. I sat and read it in one sitting, and I think you’ll want to too. One thing that I found interesting about this story is that it stays mostly in the male hero POV, which isn’t usually my favorite. However, in this story it just WORKED and I loved it. Like... so much! The storyline was impressive and fairly unique. I enjoyed the mountains of Montana almost as much as the mountains of Alaska. The cold there seeped into my toes even on a hot summer day. The romance was sweet, and heartbreaking. The spiritual arc was perfect. And don't forget Handsome! (More on him below!) All around, a jolly good read!❤️

I received this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogger Program. All opinions are my own.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

After working for 13 years in the corporate world, Misty M. Beller (mistymbeller.com) is now the author of fourteen independently published Christian historical romance novels. Raised on a farm in South Carolina, she combines her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life by writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. She lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina, is an active member of ACFW, and teaches regularly at conferences and writing groups on effective book marketing.

More from Misty

Remember Lassie? Old Yeller? Chance and Shadow from the movie Homeward Bound? There was something about these dogs that gripped my heartstrings and made me love them as though I’d known them for years. (And, yes, I cried during every one of these movies and books.)
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had real dogs I’ve loved too. As far back as I can remember, we’ve had at least one or two dogs, and each one has been my very best friend. They’ve suffered my undying love, even allowing me to dress them up like dolls during my younger years.
But the dogs in my stories have a special place in my heart. Handsome, the sweet little black fluffball in Hope’s Highest Mountain is no exception! He was the runt of the litter, and such a dark black that the story’s hero nicknamed him Shadow. You can see the picture that inspired Handsome at the book’s Pinterest page. Those eyes! Hard not to fall in love, right?
The more I wrote in the story, the more I enjoyed getting to know this little guy, and I could almost feel his soft puppy fur as he snuggled in close. I completely see why Ingrid (the heroine) is smitten him! As you read Hope’s Highest Mountain, I hope you love Handsome as much as I do. Please give him some extra petting for me! ?

And of course, we can't forget the giveaway!



To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Hope’s Highest Mountain, a $20 B&N gift card, and cute mountain cards!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Blog Stops

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 12
Betti Mace, October 13
Blessed & Bookish, October 14
Texas Book-aholic, October 14
Genesis 5020, October 14
janicesbookreviews, October 16
Mary Hake, October 16
Batya’s Bits, October 17
Connect in Fiction, October 17
Older & Smarter?, October 18
Life of Literature, October 18
A Reader’s Brain, October 18
The Becca Files, October 19
Splashes of Joy , October 19
Moments, October 20
Daysong Reflections, October 21
Wishful Endings, October 21
Joy of Reading , October 21
Pause for Tales, October 22
Britt Reads Fiction, October 22
Lis Loves Reading, October 23
Bigreadersite , October 23
Live. Love. Read. , October 24 (YOU ARE HERE!)
Hallie Reads, October 24
Remembrancy, October 25
Mia Reads Blog, October 25

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Review: The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels

The Amazon Blurb: A reclusive bookstore owner hoped shed permanently buried her family's sensational past with a new name. But when the novels she once shared with an old crush begin appearing in the mail, its clear her true identity is about to be revealed, threatening the new life she has painstakingly built.

The Words Between Us was an automatic yes because there were books on the cover. Isn't that awful? Oh, well. Such is life. But the more I read it, the more I wondered, why did I let a cover sway me so much? The story was a first person time-slip with a really cool plot which I really liked. However, the story contained a bajillion slangy uses of crap and heck, as well as a ton of alcohol and one character who was pretty sleazy. For a Christian book, I felt like there wasn't a ton of great content that would make me want to recommend this to my friends. I enjoyed reading it, and it was a captivating story, but it just wasn't for me, and I don't think I'll be reading it again. The ending, too, was iffy, as the MC and her boyfriend-but-not went to live on an island together doing research. Maybe I missed something, but overall, I wasn't as impressed as I wanted to be. Which makes me sad, because I was so down for this book! I wanted it to be the best thing since sliced bread, and it wasn't. (I feel awkward writing a not-good review, but I'm supposed to be honest, right?) It was a good distraction from homework, but I didn't feel elated at the end. I did really enjoy all the literary references throughout the story/stories. That was really good. And Sarah's project at the end was pretty neat. Bottom line: This is the first 3.5 star book I've had in ages. But who knows, it may be what you like. Everyone is different.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reading Program.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Review Promo Blast: Sword of Forgiveness by Debbie Costello

Blurb: After the death of her cruel father, Brithwin is determined never again to live under the harsh rule of any man. Independent and resourceful, she longs to be left alone to manage her father’s estate. But she soon discovers a woman has few choices when the king decrees she is to marry Royce, the Lord of Rosencraig. As if the unwelcome marriage isn’t enough, her new husband accuses her of murdering his family, and she is faced with a challenge of either proving her innocence or facing possible execution.
     Royce of Hawkwood returns home after setting down a rebellion to find his family brutally murdered. When all fingers point to his betrothed and attempts are made on his life, Royce must wade through murky waters to uncover the truth. Yet Brithwin’s wise and kind nature begin to break down the walls of his heart, and he soon finds himself in a race to discover who is behind the evil plot before Brithwin is the next victim.

Sword of Forgiveness was not what I was expecting. I don't know what, exactly, I expected, but not this. Obviously, I anticipating liking it, but I didn't realize that I would sit down with it and not move for hours until I had finished it. The characters were the shining point of this story. The setting was great, but I'm not really that big on Crusades-era stories unless its Robin Hood or King Arthur. But Sword of Forgiveness... I enjoyed it a lot! Seeing the growth in the characters was crazy good. Of course, there's plenty of conflict, and it comes from all sides! You feel bombarded on all sides. (That is... if you've allowed yourself to fall into the book. If you haven't, well, that sounds like a you problem.) One thing that keeps you going is the fact that every time you think the story is gonna stop spinning for a second and start running, you get smacked upside the face with a plot-twist! Literally, if it had been a print book instead of a book I was reading on my laptop, I would have chucked it across the room more than once. Especially towards the end. If you're looking for a romantic, inspiring, medieval story that is easy and fun to read without needing seven years to read, well, look no further. I don't feel bad for giving this book 4.5 stars. They were well-deserved.

About the author!

Debbie Lynne Costello is the author of Sword of Forgiveness, Amazon's #1 seller for Historical Christian Romance. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina with their 5 horses, 3 dogs, cat and miniature donkey.


You can follow Debbie Costello on social media! Check out the links below.


I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Review: The Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright

The Shepherd of the Hills is the classic story of the stranger who takes the Old Trail deep into the Ozark mountains, many miles from civilization. His appearance signals intellect and culture, yet his countenance is marked by grief and disappointment. He is a man with a mission, yet one which no one understands. What is his purpose in taking on the lowly work of tending work of tending local sheep? And how is it that he befriends these simple hill folk, despite his coming from the world beyond the ridges?

I'm giving this book 4.5 stars. I don't know why I let this sit on my shelf for so very long. It's such a compelling story, and while you're reading it you feel transported back to that time. Although, now that I've finished it, it seems to be an almost passive book.... but I think that's only because of the writing style. It's written in the same tone as Christy and Not My Will. The style that is so simple, yet so deep at the same time. It's an emotional book, and the mystery of who Dad Howitt really is slowly unfolds throughout. The ending is sad, so sad, but fitting. The last several chapters are so.... I think poignant is the word I'm looking for, but I'm not sure. While I wanted to cry a couple times while reading, I didn't . Then I finished the book, closed it, and promptly started crying. I honestly have no doubts why this book is considered a Christian classic. The characters are wonderful, the dialect is familiar to this Southern gal, and the truths timeless. Yes, this was definitely worth the read. And now looking at what I've written it's almost as passive as the book itself, and I'm not sure that I've done a good job describing it. I hope I have, and I hope you read this book.

(If you can't read the print on the cover it reads "The stranger who had stepped out of civilization and into the mountain wilderness of the Ozarks was destined to become...
The Shepherd of the Hills" and of that isn't a statement that makes you feel the pull of this book... then you've got problems I can't fix ;) ) 

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Review: Dear Grandchild, This Is Me

This isn't a typical book. In fact, it's more scrapbook than anything. With a beautiful cover, you can't help but want to open it right up. There are places to fill in lots of stories, when you were young, when you were a teenager, when you passed all these milestones. There's a section to write about your heritage. Places to write crazy stories to thrill the readers. There are blank pages to put pictures on, and stickers to mount them with. (Who doesn't love stickers?!?!) My favorite feature are the built in envelopes that allow you to write letters to be opened at certain times of need. There's an awesome map where you color all the places you've been. Slots for those favorite, secret family recipes. Crazy cool pages where you weigh in on major historical events. The last part of the book is for you to share your faith, as well as a "me then and now" page. It's actually the perfect book to give your grandkids. I highly recommend getting this, whether you've been a grandparent for years or you're just getting started.

I received this book through the publisher, but I was not required to post a positive review.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Cover Reveal and Guest Post with Kandi J Wyatt

Hold onto your hats! Long post ahead!

First, we'll start with the cover reveal and blurb. Pretty cool cover, yeah?

Cover DesignerAmalia Chitulescu

Kandi is doing a giveaway for those who pre-order the book on Amazon! http://bit.ly/preordergiveaway The link to the book itself is after the blurb.

Protect a mythical realm or his family?

Sixteen-year-old Franklin follows a Sasquatch through a portal to the realm of Shinwano and discovers a world full of mythical creatures he never expected to actually exist. Upon returning to Myrtle Beach, Oregon, he vows to protect the land, not realizing how difficult it will be to keep his promise, especially when a poacher, a NSA agent, and his friends are interested in the portal—and all for different reasons.

When the poacher threatens his family, Franklin must reconsider his vow to protect this new world to keep his family safe. The consequences of his decision reach further than just a rift in the space-time continuum.

Can Franklin live up to the trust placed on him and save this new world from an even greater danger?

Word count: 70,254

One reviewer said: Overall, I loved this book. A wonderful alternate world with such fantastic descriptions of the mythical creatures. I would love to go there myself.

Here's the link to this book! Link: https://books2read.com/mythcoastadventures3

Other books in the series:

An Unexpected Adventure: https://books2read.com/u/3yDLX6 


Bigfoot: Protector or Menace

The stories of bigfoot abound all across the world—not only in North America. I was first introduced to bigfoot when I moved to the Pacific Northwest as a third grader. No specific memory stands out to me, but I do remember vague stories as we trekked into the forests around Tacoma, Washington. It wasn’t until I was older and had moved to the Southern Oregon Coast that I really started to pay attention to the tales.

A trip to Eureka, California, almost twenty years ago, piqued my interest. We went off Highway 101 up to Willow Creek. The closer we drove to the settlement, the more signs we saw. By the time we arrived, we had to stop at the bigfoot museum. The little hole-in-the-wall stop was filled with newspaper clippings, footprint casts, and videos—some live and others news footage. The whole trip sparked my imagination.

Fast forward to 2016. I had an idea of a trilogy that I wanted to write which featured a different mythical creature for each book. A dragon and a unicorn had already been chosen for the first two books, but I was stumped as to what to feature in book three. That is until a student came up to me and said I should write a book about sasquatch. What he didn’t know was how perfect that would be for the Myth Coast Adventures trilogy. Yet, I had no idea of what the story should be, even after writing books one and two! What should I do? I did what I do when I don’t know something—I turned to google.

The amount of information out there on bigfoot is rather impressive. I learned that sasquatch and yeti are not the same creature. Yetis are larger, taller, and lighter colored than sasquatch. Youtube videos show encounters with bigfoot. All of the tales portray sasquatch as a large predator who wants to be left alone, but what if they’re actually trying to protect something? With that thought, the sanraksaka were born—the protectors of the portals. Imagine my surprise to discover a magnet in a tourist shop that says, “This forest protected by bigfoot.” I had to buy it! You can enter to win it at the release party on facebook on Tuesday, September 10. 

About Kandi: Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.

You can find Kandi at these places:

Other books by Kandi J Wyatt: I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE DRAGON BOOKS!!!!
Dragon Courage series
Dragon's Revenge: https://www.books2read.com/u/b5qvGb   
Dragon’s Cure: https://www.books2read.com/u/47kxJa   
Dragon’s Posterity: https://www.books2read.com/u/4DA8og 
Dragon’s Heritage: https://www.books2read.com/u/3neVN6 

Middle Grade Fantasy:
Journey from Skioria: https://www.books2read.com/u/4AwJee 

Biblical Retellings:
The One Who Sees Mehttps://www.books2read.com/u/mdrRlb  

I hope you've enjoyed the guest post, and please, leave a comment below on your thoughts for this cover! Can't wait to hear from you!