Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The World's Greatest Adventure Machine by Frank L. Cole [Book Spotlight & Giveaway]

About the Book: An adventure novel about four lucky kids and a mysterious, but thrilling ride for fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Jurassic Park!

CastleCorp and the famous Castleton brothers are unveiling the World's Greatest Adventure Machine! The roller coaster is an experience like no other, and four lucky kids have won the chance to be the first to ride it.

There's Trevor, whose latest stunt got him in trouble at school again. There's Devin, whose father is pushing him to be the next Internet sensation. Nika's wealthy grandfather isn't too pleased about her participation. And Cameron, he'll be the first to tell you, is a certified genius.

The whole world is watching. But as the kids set off on their journey, they begin to realize that there is perhaps more to their fellow contest winners than meets the eye. And the Adventure Machine? It might just have a mind of its own.
Join the contestants on their wild ride if you dare. Your adventure starts now!

About the author: FRANK L. COLE lives with his wife and three children out west. When not writing books, Frank enjoys going to the movies and traveling. The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine is Frank’s ninth published book and his second with Delacorte Press. His first was The Afterlife Academy. You can learn more about his writing at frankcolewrites.com or find @franklcole on Twitter.
~ GIVEAWAY ~
Begins August 31
Ends September 21 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Buy: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Greatest-Adventure-Machine/dp/0399552820/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-worlds-greatest-adventure-machine-frank-l-cole/1125138718?ean=9780399552823

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity to facilitate this spotlight on the book. I received no compensation.

Maverick and Me by Katherine Schwarzenegger & illustrated by Harris Phyllis

My thoughts:     This delightful children's picture book is definitely for those who love dogs and would-be dog lovers. Also, it focuses on the need to adopt a dog rather than shop for one. It weighs heavily on the appeal that little forlorn lost puppies who are neglected have on tender hearted individuals and the universal appeal of a child with a puppy.

Katherine Schwarzenegger has written a sweet story involving Maverick who is the forlorn lost and neglected puppy. Found by a caring lady who takes him to a pet store. The owner of the store encourages her to take the puppy home and clean him up a bit returning soon to an "adopt a dog" event at the store.

After little Maverick gets a bit of tender care, he still doesn't have a lot of appear to some of the pet seekers. Finally a charming little girl adopts Maverick and they are forever in love in their "forever home."

The illustrations by Phyllis Harris are sweet and charming and beautifully capture the emotions of seekers and doggies alike. The joy of being in a "forever home" is exuberantly displayed in the ending pages of the story.

A lovely book about a way to provide homes for dogs and have that sweet pet of your own without adding to the population of pets being sold in the market.

About the book:  Dog lover and animal advocate Katherine Schwarzenegger draws from her own experience with fostering and adopting dogs to create a picture book that introduces children to the concept of “adopt, don’t shop.” In the heartwarming story of Maverick and Me, Maverick is rescued by a kind-hearted stranger after being dumped on the side of the road. The little puppy’s luck takes a turn for the better when young Scarlett meets him at an adoption event. Scarlett is so moved by Maverick’s story that she and her mother decide to give him the forever home he is looking for. Each year, millions of dogs find themselves in shelters and with animal rescues through no fault of their own. Maverick will help teach children about these dogs and empower even young readers to advocate for shelter pups.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a copy by Worthy/Ideals Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Beauty and the Beak by Deborah LeeRose and Janie Veltkamp [Blog Tour & Giveaway]

Welcome to Day #3 of the Beauty and the Beak Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Beauty and the Beak by Deborah Lee Rose and Janie VeltKamp (8/27/17), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Deborah, plus 5 chances to win a copy of Beauty and the Beak!


Surprising Facts About Conservation and Endangered Species

I was amazed to learn—and kids love to hear—how scientists worked to bring bald eagles back to regions of the U.S. where they had almost disappeared. The biologists had to take very young bald eagle chicks from parts of country where there were lots of bald eagles, and transplant the chicks to parts of the country where there were almost no bald eagles. The chicks had to be relocated before they fledged (learned to fly), because once a young bald eagle learns to fly, it will always consider the place it first flew as its home and come back there year after year to nest. So the scientists had to make sure the young eagles learned to fly in the new areas that would become their homes. Once they had taken bald eagle chicks to a different part of the country, biologists placed the chicks in special nesting boxes in trees in the wild. The biologists then camouflaged themselves, so they could feed and care for the chicks without the young eagles having direct contact with humans. As soon as the chicks started to fly and could hunt for their own food, the biologists left the eagles to their new wild life. Because of this amazing conservation effort, today bald eagle populations are increasing all over the U.S. and millions of people can now watch bald eagles in the wild.

*****

Blog Tour Schedule:
August 29th — Word Spelunking
August 30th — Chat with Vera
August 31st  — Late Bloomer's Book Blog
September 1stLiving Simply

Follow Deborah: Website | Facebook | Twitter 
  Follow Janie: Website;| Facebook

BEAUTY AND THE BEAK is a new, nonfiction picture book about Beauty, the wild bald eagle that made world news when she was illegally shot, rescued, and received a pioneering, 3D-printed prosthetic beak. BEAUTY AND THE BEAK follows Beauty close up from the moment she uses her baby beak to emerge from her egg, through her hunt when she uses her powerful adult beak to feed herself, to the day her beak is shot off leaving her helpless. This brave and heartlifting story continues through her rescue, into the months of engineering her 3D-printed prosthetic beak and intense hours of her beak surgery, to the moment she takes the first drink of water by herself with her new beak. BEAUTY AND THE BEAK captures the spirit and courage of this amazing bird and America’s national symbol―whose species was nearly wiped out by human activity, only to be restored and thriving because of environmental conservation and human compassion. This book will resonate with stories of other animals endangered or in need, and with stories of humans, from young children to military veterans, in need of prosthetic limbs, who are being given new lives with state-of-the-art devices. The book includes expanded information about bald eagles as a top predator species, their near extinction in most of the U.S., their successful reintroduction back into the wild, and efforts to conserve this critical raptor species today.
About the Authors: Deborah Lee Rose is an internationally published, award-winning author of many beloved children’s books. Jimmy the Joey: The True Story of an Amazing Koala Rescue is a Reading is Fundamental/Macy’s Multicultural Collection title and Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Students K-12. Into the A, B, Sea was named to the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing. Deborah helped create and directed communications for the ALA/AASL award-winning national STEM education website Howtosmile.org, and helped created STEM activity apps for Lawrence Hall of Science which have been downloaded more than one million times. She also served as Director of Communications for Lindsay Wildlife Experience, which includes one of the first wildlife rehabilitation hospitals established in the U.S. Deborah lives in Walnut Creek, CA, and speaks at book events, conferences, schools and libraries across the country. Visit her website at deborahleerose.com.

Jane Veltkamp is a raptor biologist and rehabilitator, wildlife educator, trained nurse, and master falconer. She led the team who developed Beauty the Bald Eagle’s prosthetic beak and has lifetime care of Beauty. Jane is founder and executive director of Birds of Prey Northwest, in Idaho, a raptor center which educates the public about raptor conservation, including through live raptor programs, and has provided medical treatment and rehabilitation to thousands of injured birds of prey to return them to the wild. She spent ten years of her career reintroducing ospreys and peregrine falcons to regions where they had disappeared from their habitat in South Dakota and Indiana. She rescues and cares for Bald Eagles, including Beauty, by permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Jane lives near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and is also the eagle expert for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's Native American Aviaries. Visit her website at birdsofpreynorthwest.org.

About Persnickety Press: Persnickety Press is the sister imprint of the Cornell Lab Publishing Group. Persnickety publishes a broad range of books for children and young adults, both fiction and nonfiction, from picture books through teen titles. Our books focus on empowerment, showing young people that what they do matters, what they care about is worthy of their attention and dedication, and even as children, they can make a real difference. 
~ GIVEAWAY ~
One (1) winner will receive a copy of Beauty and the Beak
US addresses only
Begins August 30
Ends September 20 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of Beauty and the Beak from MMPublicity to participate in this blog tour. Materials are provided by MMPublicity. Giveaway is hosted singularly on Chat With Vera with prize being provided and shipped by MMPublicity to the winner.

Good Earth Beauty Skin Care Set - Toner, Moisturizer, and Cleanser [Review & Giveaway - US & CANADA]

Searching the shelves of stores or the internet for skin care products can be a daunting and/or perplexing experience. You almost never know what the spend your hard-earned money on and fear it will be the wrong product for you.

If you're searching for natural products, you don't know if they are well-done, safe, pure, or will do the job you want - cleanse, protect, and help you avoid those awful signs of aging. So is it give and take, search and seek, hit and miss? Yep! A bit of all of that. However, there is hope.

On the Good Earth Beauty website there is a plethora of products some of which you will readily recognize from shopping elsewhere. And there is the Good Earth Beauty Exclusive product line which is affordable and made in the U.S.A.! Real winning attributes. They also SHIP FREE. Wow! That is a super plus. In addition, some of the Good Earth Beauty Exclusive products are carried in Whole Foods stores.
Good Earth Beauty Vitamin C Facial Cleanser

Today, we're looking at three of the Good Earth Beauty Exclusive skin care products. Since my skin is normal I'm looking at products formulated for normal skin - a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer (click here to see the skin care kit). I used the three products this morning and was completely satisfied with the way they performed. It takes a very small amount to do the job. The end result is skin pleasing to the touch, it feels good, looks good, and with a light brushing of blush makes for a good-to-go look for me.
Good Earth Beauty Rose & Green Tea Facial Moisturizer

I was pleased with the scent of each product. Frankly, there is little scent at all. The cleanser lathers very nicely and rinses well. It doesn't seem to be drying at all. Wonderful! The toner is a little denser (think light gel thickness) than the usual "Witch Hazel toner" that is astringent in nature. It is quite soothing. The cream moisturizer really moisturizes and leaves the skin feeling great. Don't use too much since a little goes a long way!

The Products: (from the Good Earth Beauty website)

FACIAL CLEANSER - VITAMIN C FOR NORMAL SKIN 

Exquisitely gentle and edifyingly healing....this Botanical Gel Wash is exactly what you have been looking for. Plant actives enrich this inspired formula with healing components. Plant lipids sooth and protect the upper dermal layers for a desirable washing experience....every day! Aloe Vera heals all that ails you skin wise...and coconut and sugar derived surfactants gently wash away the grime and goop of daily living for a fresh new start......one delightfully sudsy and luxurious drop at a time.

FACIAL TONER MIST - ALOE & LAVENDER ANTI OXIDANT FOR ALL SKIN TYPES

Spray Mist Bottle.  Loaded with unusual superstar ingredients, this toner performs above and beyond expectation. Treat half of your face for one week and marvel at the noticeable difference in color, texture, elasticity, tone, and smoothness. Each ingredient was carefully chosen for its youthening properties. You will be beyond thrilled with this toner.

FACIAL MOISTURIZER - ROSE & GREEN TEA FOR NORMAL SKIN

Pamper your skin with this moisturizing, all-purpose lotion. This delightful lotion absorbs right into the skin without leaving a greasy feeling yet provides the glide of a deep penetrating moisturizer. It conditions your skin while it moisturizes and softens, replenishing through the day.


Now one of my readers has the opportunity to win their own set of these three skin products. You will be able to choose the skin type products that you, personally, need.

GIVEAWAY - USA/CANADA
Set of 3 Skin Care Products
Begins August 29
Ends September 20 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
DISCLOSURE: I received 3 products to facilitate this review by personally trying the products and commenting on my experience. Review opinions are my own and freely given. Winner's products will be provided and shipped by Good Earth Beauty to the winner.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson (Bethany House Publishing)

My thoughts:  One never knows when opening a book by an author one has never read before just what to expect. Will it be enjoyable? Will it be intense? Will it entertain? Just what will this author convey to the reader, and will I come back for more?

I can honestly say that this novel had me turning the pages wanting to know just what else young Ian Wells - attorney, loving son, good guy - will stumble into next. I thoroughly enjoyed Todd M. Johnson's writing style and the way he was able to keep my attention and weave the story of a young man, a law firm, lots of money, and long ago crimes all the while featuring the sad truth of a mother in the throes of Alzheimer's.

Mystery, suspense, touch of romance (squeaky clean), unsolved crimes of years past, quirky personalities, good guys, tough guys. Guns and secrets.

As this young attorney begins investigating and delving into the simple case of disbursing a trust fund, he finds himself joyfully facing an unprecedentedly large fee to perform his responsibilities and an unrealistically limited number of days in which to do so. Coupled with these facts is his recurring dream of a time in his childhood that seems to have some connection to the people involved in the trust.

When I discovered the bad guy in the story, I was totally surprised. This is a must read. Todd M. Johnson draws from his knowledge as a practicing attorney and weaves legalese well into the narrative. This is an author I'll be watching heretofore.

About the book: A Simple Job. An Unbelievable Payout. But in Risking It All On Blind Trust, He May Just Lose Everything . . .

Ian Wells is a young, ambitious Minneapolis attorney struggling to build up a law practice while caring for a mother with Alzheimer's. As the stress and bills mount, Ian is nearing the breaking point when everything changes with a single new case. All Ian must do, the client demands, is judge whether three men qualify for nine million dollars of trust funds soon to be paid out by determining whether they've been involved in any criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian's fee for a week's work: the unfathomable sum of two hundred thousand dollars.

The job seems too good to be true, and Ian wants to turn the offer down, but his needs weigh more heavily. He warily accepts the job--but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust money to an illegal enterprise dating back to Prohibition and the greatest unsolved crime in Minnesota history. Ian soon finds himself the target of a swiftly tightening criminal investigation--realizing too late that this so-called simple job has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Bethany House publishers to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

God's Crime Scene for Kids by J.Warner Wallace & Wallace [Review & Giveaway]


My thoughts:  The story flows nicely and grabs one's attention from the onset. Love the descriptive language as it seems to really be a "detective" talking about what is seen. Terse - singular - "detective style."

I wasn't impressed with the illustrations and felt that a publisher with the reputation of David C. Cook Publishing (http://davidcook.com) would have been more professionally done.

Sprinkled throughout the book are sidebars with instructions to "dig deep" and "CSI Assignment" with a Scripture reference to read and fill in the blanks.

As the story progresses, the study of forensics turns to the morgue where the doctor in charge discusses the brain, thoughts, reading, and God's creation of man in His image. Pretty heavy thinking and reading for the 7 to 12 age reader. Not completely beyond them, but still, pretty heavy.

I appreciate the author's writing, the story, and the endeavor to clearly teach children to think for themselves about understanding and "proving" the evidence of God's existence.

About the book: In this companion to Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother's attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective's Academy. Along the way, they develop the skills needed to investigate the mystery and the evidence of God's existence. The cadets learn logical-thinking skills as they examine the contents of a mysterious box and the vast universe.

In God's Crime Scene for Kids, real-life detective J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason's mystery, and at the same time looks at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator. Ultimately, kids will learn how to make their own case for God's existence.

Give kids the tools to investigate the evidence of God in His creation!

About the author: J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, and Court TV. A former atheist, he is the author of Cold-Case Christianity and God's Crime Scene. Wallace has a master's degree in theology and lives in California with his wife and four children.
Visit our blog Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Pinterest View on Instagram View our videos on YouTube
GIVEAWAY #1 - A Copy for One Reader
Begins August 15
ENDS August 31 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
More reviews and information -click here
DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary "Advance Reader's uncorrected proof" copy from Litfuse Publicity Group to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given. Winner's copy is provided and shipped to winner by author or publisher.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Beautiful crystal necklace in Vintage Bohemian style

I was presented the opportunity to review a piece of jewelry from Babies R Here - an online distributor. When I received this lovely necklace, I was quite impressed with the workmanship. A variety of sized crystals in blues and clear "white" are arranged in a vintage or bohemian style that is truly lovely.

This necklace can be worn day or evening. If worn in the evening, though, lights will surely reflect beautifully from this rounded, floral design. The design is available in either blue, green, or red stones and it sells for around $40 online at Babies R Here.

DISCLOSURE: I received this necklace at a discounted rate and was requested to review. Opinions are my own and freely given. I was not compensated.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Child Safeguarding Policy for Churches and Ministries by Boz Tchividjian & Shira M. Berkovits [Giveaway]

ISBN: 978-1945270055

Book Spotlight

My thoughts on the subject: The days when no one worried about leaving their child - infant, toddler, preschooler - in a church nursery or taking their older children and leaving them in a Sunday School class are forever gone.

When my children were small, we didn't utilize the nursery but we kept our children with us in church - and they behaved. We did leave them in Sunday School classes and evening activities appropriate for their age. We trusted those with whom we entrusted our beloved children. That can not be taken today to be a certainty.

Churches must take action to be sure that the children in their ministry are safe from outside and inside hard. In Tchividjian's book the premise of how a church can safeguard the child and the church is presented. There must be an awareness and there must be an action plan in place and fully implemented.

Take a peek via the link below and be sure you enter the giveaway. Perhaps you can win a copy for your church to have as a guideline.

Read a sample (pdf file) - click here


About the book: Churches have always sought to be a safe haven for children and families, but many today are dealing with the tragic reality of child sexual abuse. For the first time in history, this issue is finally being acknowledged by churches and faith communities. But the task of developing a policy to keep children safe can seem too overwhelming it feels like an impossible task to plan for every contingency. This results in churches neglecting to put working safety plans in place, leaving themselves, and the children they care for, vulnerable. This handbook, authored and edited by a multidisciplinary team of child abuse experts, is designed to help churches and faith communities formulate policies and procedures to protect children and deal with possible child abuse in their ministries, school, and church. By walking through a wide range of scenarios, this book will assist churches and ministries to assess their current child abuse policies and guide them through each step they should take to address the safety of children under their care. Covering vitally important topics including the warning signs of abuse, how to respond to abuse allegations and care for victims, and the legal implications and requirements for churches and Christian ministries, working through this book will guide churches and Christian ministries in creating and implementing policies to protect children in a Christian environment from child abuse. This handbook is an invaluable resource for Christians who are seeking to educate themselves and others about child abuse and how they can best protect the little ones under their care.

About the Author: Basyle (Boz) Tchividjian is a former child-abuse prosecutor who currently teaches Child Abuse and the Law and several other courses at Liberty University School of Law. Professor Tchividjian is also the founder and executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). The third eldest grandchild of Reverend Billy Graham, he wrote the book Invitation: Billy Graham and the Lives God Touched. Shira M. Berkovits is founder and CEO of Sacred Spaces, a cross-denominational initiative to create systemic solutions to abuse in communal institutions. In this capacity she has worked with faith communities around the world to develop policies and training to prevent and respond to institutional abuse. She is a psychologist and attorney, and has completed postdoctoral fellowships in child trauma and rehabilitative alternatives to incarceration. Prior to founding Sacred Spaces, Dr. Berkovits worked on issues of youth advocacy, child protection, and criminal justice reform.

More information and reviews - click here

GIVEAWAY
Begins August 21, 2017
Ends September 4, 2017 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of the book and agreed to share information about the book's importance which I am freely giving.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Whispers of the Wolf by Pauline Ts'o [Review & Giveaway]

About the book: Ahrooooooo" went the cry. It was the call of the wolf pack. A young boy named Two Birds heard it, and so did his wolf. Two Birds had found the abandoned wolf pup, and they had grown up together. Now, the wild was calling, and Two Birds had a choice to make. Struggling with a mix of emotions, he must decide whether his love for the wolf is greater than his need to be near it. Will Two Birds learn to let go not just of the wolf, but also of his own fears? Whispers of the Wolf is a beautiful picture book set around 500 years ago among the Pueblo Indians of the desert Southwest. A heartwarming piece of historical fiction, it weaves together themes of community, tradition, self-esteem, and respect for all life, creating a realistic portrait of a culture that continues to exert a vibrant, living influence today.

My thoughts: This is a story about a young Pueblo Indian boy in the mid 1500s prior to any contact with the Spanish explorers. The young boy, Two Birds, is not included in many activities other Indian boys pursue and he can not run fast. But one day he finds a deserted, sick wolf pup. He takes it back to his home and cares for it.

Soon another Indian boy notices and wants to hold the pup, play with it, etc. This gives Two Birds an opportunity to have companionship and excel at something.

There are several story lines in Whispers of the Wolf.

  • Compassion and care for orphaned animals 
  • The joy of caring for the animal
  • Allowing others to join in the fun of something you are doing (in this case, caring for the wolf pup)
  • Breaking through barriers - in the case of Two Birds he became a real good story teller
  • Releasing a wild animal back into the wild to pursue his own life amongst his kind
  • Insight into what life might have been back for the Pueblo in the 1500s.
This is an enjoyable book and will surely be of interest to many boys and girls.

GIVEAWAY
Begins August 21
ENDS September 11 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Wisdom Tales to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given. Giveaway winner's copy is provided and shipped by Wisdom Tales directly to the winner.

Friday, August 18, 2017

An artist's deft touch

Have you ever wondered at the skill and beauty of an artist at work? Have you ever desired to peek behind the pages of that lovely children's book to see the way life is brought to the story in such an enchanting way?

I have and I envy the skill of these gifted illustrators. Here are a couple of clips showing the deft handling of color to the penned in drawings. Admire with me a bit.....

video


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Light of Dawn (The Remnant Series #3) by Vannetta Chapman [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:  As the group of survivors live out the horrific life that exists in Chapman's conclusion to The Remnant Series, the reader vicariously experiences their deprivation, fear, and ultimate joys.

This is not science fiction where aliens attack and man is fighting for the survival of mankind. No, this dystopian story revolves around the very realistic life that exists once modern achievements are destroyed. There is no electricity, no manufacturing, no technology, no hospitals, no mass transit, no government - state or federal. And there is rampant anarchy, terror, crime with a sprinkling of kindness and good.

Man is seen at his worse and man is seen at his best.

Old ways of healing emerge as do management of society by either caring individuals or criminal, gang elements. And the question of survival of the United States Government is woven into the series ending.

As with other books by Vannetta Chapman (she writes contemporary, Amish, and dystopian series), her writing is tops. Her character development realistic and compelling. Her plot line engaging and drawing to the reader. I have completely enjoyed this series just as I have other books by Ms. Chapman.

I highly recommend this book and encourage you to read the entire series in order.

About the book: Before Dawn, What Dangers Lurk in the Darkness?

For nine months, since a devastating solar flare caused a complete failure of the electrical grid, Shelby Sparks and her diabetic son, Carter, have been living at the ranch of Shelby's high school sweetheart, Max Berkman.

Mostly insulated from the chaos surrounding them, Shelby and Max discover that the Texas government has fled the capitol and is barely maintaining control of the state. The governor needs volunteers to search for the new federal government, but no one knows exactly where it might be located—if it even still exists—or what perils await those brave enough to take on the mission.

Compelled by Carter's desperate need for insulin and their God-given sense of duty, Shelby and Max answer the governor's call and set out on a treacherous 600-mile journey, where they will experience the terrifying effects of unrestrained anarchy. If they have the faith and fortitude necessary to reach their destination, what will they find when they get there?

In this thrilling conclusion to the Remnant trilogy, America is left teetering between total collapse and the dawn of a new and vastly different reality.

The Series (click to see my reviews): #1 Deep Shadows #2 Raging Storm

GIVEAWAY
Begins August 16
Ends September 6 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the author: Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She is the author of many novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series, and Plain and Simple Miracle series. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She currently writes Christian suspense, Amish romance, and Amish mystery. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. For more information, visit her at www.VannettaChapman.com.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given. Winner's copy provided graciously by the author and shipped directly to winner from author or publisher.

God's Crime Scene for Kids by J. Warner Wallace (from David C.Cook Publishing) [Giveaways - 2]


About the book: In this companion to Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother's attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective's Academy. Along the way, they develop the skills needed to investigate the mystery and the evidence of God's existence. The cadets learn logical-thinking skills as they examine the contents of a mysterious box and the vast universe.

In God's Crime Scene for Kids, real-life detective J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason's mystery, and at the same time looks at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator. Ultimately, kids will learn how to make their own case for God's existence.

Give kids the tools to investigate the evidence of God in His creation!

About the author: J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, and Court TV. A former atheist, he is the author of Cold-Case Christianity and God's Crime Scene. Wallace has a master's degree in theology and lives in California with his wife and four children.
Visit our blog Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Pinterest View on Instagram View our videos on YouTube
GIVEAWAY #1 - A Copy for One Reader
Begins August 15
ENDS August 31 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
GIVEAWAY #2 - Mystery Investigation Kit
God's Crime Scene for Kids
More reviews and information -click here

Watch for Chat With Vera's review coming soon!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse Publicity Group to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given. Winner's copy is provided and shipped to winner by author or publisher.

Monday, August 14, 2017

National Geographic Kids United States Atlas, 5th Edition [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 9781426328312
$12.99 - Softcover
Ages 8 - 12
National Geographic Kids United States Atlas is debuting this year for tweens and will help students tackle the bigger workloads and more advanced thinking they are sure to encounter when they walk into the classroom this Fall....

My thoughts:  The study of maps and related geographic information has fascinated me. I have found that a well-conceived atlas provides a mass of information in pictorial and bite sized information format that is readily assimilated by all ages. For that reason, I find that having a quality atlas in the home, classroom, and school library of paramount importance.

The expected accuracy and quality of the National Geographic Kids United States Atlas, 5th Edition ranks top of the list of books to pursue for the age 8 to 12 child. Other ages will benefit from this publication as well.

Grouped regionally, each state has its own two pages showing a map with small images indicating products of the economy and where these are produced. Natural resources and conditions are shown as well as information specific to that state (location of Indian reservations, national forests, etc.).



The map showing natural hazards - blizzards, drought, floods, hurricanes, ice storm, tornado, wildfire, earthquakes, tsunami - was quite interesting to me as were other facts and images showing the variety that is The United States of America.

Truly a book to add to a child's educational collection and reference collections of children's libraries.

About the book: National Geographic Kids United States Atlas, 5th Edition (ages 8-12, $12.99) - This is THE gold standard of atlases and a must-have reference for home or school.  Featuring more than 75 maps, over 350 color images, lively photo essays, and an easy-to-use place-name index, National Geographic’s world-renowned cartographers have paired up with education experts to create an unparalleled resource of information about the United States.  Kids will discover the latest data and trends regarding land and water, people and places and eight socially themed maps on nature, population, energy and fire delve deeper into key issues.
GIVEAWAY
Begins August 15
Ends September 5 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

God's Crime Scene for Kids' Mystery Investigation Kit Giveaway

Join your children in learning how to determine the most reasonable cause for everything we see in creation with a real-life detective! In God's Crime Scene for Kids, J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason's mystery. Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother's attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective's Academy. Your kids will look at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator and ultimately learn how to make their own case for God's existence.

Help your kids become detectives who investigate creation for signs of God and His creativity by entering to win the Mystery Investigation Kit!


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 31. The winner will be announced September 1 on the Litfuse blog.

Precious Moments Little Book of Bible Stories by Jean Fisher (Published by Thomas Nelson)

ISBN:9780718097639
Board book $9.99
My thoughts:  This is a charmingly sweet Bible story book for the very young child that encompasses the entire scope of the Bible from The Beginning to The Ascension. The stories are just a few sentences and an accompanying short prayerful verse. The Scripture reference is given with condensed quote. Again, my preference would be King James Version. This little book uses the International Children's Bible.

The illustrations are absolutely charming and will captivate the child's attention. I do like that images of some characters are not the "Precious Moments" style. Example: Goliath looks to be a big, mean, fierce warrior. This sets the tone for that story as do the pictures portraying Jesus with the children and other stories. Jesus looks like a real person and the children are the "Precious Moments" style drawings.

A simplification of a story can not contain all the details and may seem inaccurate to some. I don't think that is the case in Little Book of Bible Stories. In the case of the story of Noah and the Flood, some animals were on the ark by two's and there were more than two of some of the animals. So when the storyteller says Noah took two of each, it is not necessarily an error, it is simplification for this particular "telling."

A lovely little book and one I can recommend.

About the book: Share beloved Bible stories with your little one!

Snuggle up close and imagine the animals entering Noah’s boat two by two, David standing before Goliath with just a slingshot, or Jesus blessing the children. These Bible stories will capture young hearts as they learn about God’s great love.

With classic Precious Moments® illustrations, simple Bible verses, favorite Bible stories, and fun rhymes, Little Book of Bible Stories will help introduce the power of God’s Word to your precious children.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Friday, August 11, 2017

WHOSE MOON IS THAT? by Kim Krans (from Random House Publishing)

ISBN: 978-1101932278
Hardcover $17.99
My thoughts:  How timely here in August 2017 to have a picture book that addresses the question of ownership of the Moon. The full moon of August 2017 is especially stunning and during August the moon will eclipse the Sun in an amazing display. As our interest in the Moon turns our eyes heavenward, it is appropriate for children to learn much about the Moon and to give reason to the fact that the Moon is not his or hers and that it belongs to everyone.

 I love how the story is told in short lines of lyric verse that flow easily throughout. The illustrations in black ink against white with stunning blues, black, and brilliant water colors are integrated to capture the darkness that is "the night" and the colors one might see throughout the universe should light penetrate.

Though the curious cat sees and envisions the moon as possibly his own, he is soon set straight in his thinking by the bird, tree, stars, and sky who all claim it is theirs and for their own specific reason for claiming ownership. Eventually, though, the Moon sets everyone straight in stating that he is no one's and that his glow is for everyone, everywhere.


A grand opportunity for parents and teachers to share with young readers and listeners to the story that all that is in nature is everyone's to enjoy and appreciate - the sun, moon, stars, clouds, light, dark, air, wind, warmth, etc.

A lovely  book for ages 3 to 7.

About the book:  Kim Krans’s stunning picture book WHOSE MOON IS THAT? addresses the question: do any of us “own” nature?

When a curious cat asks the question, "Whose moon is that?", a panoply of animals try to stake their claim. The wolf, the owl, and the starry sky all have their reasons, but the moon ultimately answers for herself -- her light is meant to be shared by everyone. The stunning ink-and-watercolor illustrations beautifully illuminate this simple exploration of our relationship to the world around us and our place in it.

DISCLOSURE: I received an advance review galley copy from Random House to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Animalium: Welcome to the Museum curated by Katie Scott and Jenny Brioom

ISBN13: 9782203098923
Published 2015
Candlewick Press
My thoughts: As with Botanicum: Welcome to the Museum when I reviewed it, I was simply fascinated and thoroughly impressed with the presentation, information, and art of the beautiful oversized book. In Animalium: Welcome to the Museum, we have a pretty clear presentation of Darwin's evolutionary theory as being an accepted theory. I disagree and hold to the Creation concept of the species. I still think, however, that this is a fascinating book and those who hold to either origin of creatures will discover much to interest them.

The accurate drawings are exquisite and the book is printed in an oversized format on heavy ivory toned paper. There is an antique or museum quality look to the book and drawings as presented. This makes it even more special to me.

Animalium: Welcome to the Museum and Botanicum: Welcome to the Museum, while designated for the age 8 to 12 child, utilizes information and vocabulary that might be beyond the realm of this age group making the books fitting upward to adults. Introduction of vocabulary and scientific information can begin at any age and more is often absorbed than imagined possible. However, the majority of age 8 to 12 students will find some of the text daunting. And no, this is not your toddlers lovely animal picture book. This is a book that provides insight into the groupings of animals and species. It encompases virtually the whole spectrum of living creatures.

There is an Animalium Poster Book for sale and other items at Candlewick.
Animalium Activity Book (Paperback)
Informative, imaginative, and artistic activities for young naturalists everywhere.
Animalium Coloring Book (Paperback)
A beautiful coloring book from the creators of the celebrated book Animalium
Animalium Poster Book (Paperback)
A follow-up to the best-selling Animalium.
About the book: Welcome to the Museum is a series of books set on the “walls” of the printed page, showcasing the world’s finest collections of objects — from natural history to art. Open 365 days a year and unrestricted by the constraints of physical space, each title in this series is organized into galleries that display more than 200 full-color specimens accompanied by lively, informative text. Offering hours of learning, this first title within the series — Animalium — presents the animal kingdom in glorious detail with illustrations from Katie Scott, an unparalleled new talent.
Animalium presents the animal kingdom in glorious detail with illustrations from Katie Scott, an unparalleled new talent.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Weird but True! Daily Planner: 365 Days to Fill with School, Sports, Friends and Fun (National Geographic Kids) [Review & Giveaway]


ISBN: 9781426327933
Spiral Bound $16.99
Ages 8 to 12
National Geographic Kids Books is debuting two back-to-school titles for tweens that will help students tackle the bigger workloads and more advanced thinking they are sure to encounter when they walk into the classroom this Fall. This review is about the new Daily Planner" for ages 8 to 12 students.

My thoughts: Having worked in schools for 35 years and having raised my own five children, I know the importance of having a place to write down in organized fashion what the child is responsible for on a daily basis. Writing down the homework assignments on a scrap of paper simply doesn't "cut" it. Having a tablet which you devote solely for writing homework assignments in daily is a step in the right direction. Learning to use a daily planner that encompasses more than just homework is really a giant step toward responsibility.

It's that time of the year when all those school supplies are being sought out and bought in quantity. Such a plethora of items from which to choose and so hard on mommy's purse and daddy's budget. But I have a grand suggestion for one of those "over-the-top" purchases.

Get the National Geographic Kids Weird but True! DAILY PLANNER. This is a fantastic daily planner with the necessary spots for recording and tracking those "must be done" things and those practises, events, and fun times. Not only is this a tool for keeping the 8 to 12 year old organized and on target, it is simply packed with fun pictures and facts about the world that will fascinate. There is fun stuff as well. Such as thoughtful suggestions....
"It might be cold outside, but who says you can't be stylish? Doodle some cool hat designs next to your to-dos for the week."
"Turn that frown upside down! Write a weird poem to brighten someones day." 
"Make up a joke that starts with, "A dinosaur, an insect, and a math teacher are in a canoe...."

I can hardly wait to pass this along to my grand-girl. She is going to have a blast with it and get herself really organized as well.

About the book: Nat'l Geo Kids has made getting organized for school FUN and injects some creative thinking into the process, too!  In the planner, each day of the school year is peppered with weird-but-true facts.  Turn the pages and write the class schedule for the year, record school work, keep track of activities, and plan social time, all while learning wild things about the world around them. Fun writing prompts invite students to celebrate weirdness and hone their writing skills at the same time. Plus there are homework help sections, useful distance, volume, weight and multiplication charts and tons of space to write or doodle their daily schedule any way they wish. With beautiful full-color artwork and engaging information and activities, this is the must-have planner for the 2017/2018 school year. Spiral bound and durable, it will last until the final school bell rings in June.
GIVEAWAY
Begins August 9
Ends August 30 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of National Geographic Kids to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given. I was not compensated.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Jonré Anti-Aging Moisturizer [Review & Discount Code]


My thoughts: Jonré Anti-Aging Moisturizer is a lovely product that is designed to use on one's face to protect against the effects of aging and to correct the appearance of lines in the skin.

I used it applying  a small to moderate amount using upward rotating motions all over my face, neck, and chest. I avoid the eye area since this product is not intended to be used around the eye area and one doesn't want to risk an irritant to the eyes. After applying the cream, I found it to be pleasant to use and leaving my face and neck feeling fresh and moisturized or hydrated.

I realize this is intended to be a before bedtime product, however, I tried it a few times during the day as a moisturizer prior to applying makeup and the effect is lovely. As one ages, it is important to opt for a product that aids in adding a bit of a glow. I found that this product does a good job of that.

After using the product for a week, I think my skin looks quite nice. No, all the wrinkles are not gone, but I really don't think they are as noticeable. I think perhaps that continued use will aid in preventing additional wrinkles or worsening those already in place (to some degree).

I am pleased with this product.

Find and purchase Jonré - click here

Special offers and product promotions

  • SAVE 20% WITH A PURCHASE OF ANY TWO JONRE SKINCARE PRODUCTS. Enter code 20DEDUCT. Enter code 20DEDUCT at checkout.
  • SAVE 5% with a SINGLE JONRE FACE MOISTURIZER purchase offered by Jonré. Enter code 5DEDUCTS at checkout.

Product information (from Jonré) - Never Feel Itchy Dry Skin Again When Rolling Out of Bed! This Is A Rich, Night Cream, Smoothing Your Face To A Radiant Glow! 

Glowing Radiantly - Facial Moisturizer:
Plumps the Skin • Leaves Skin Hydrated Soft and Supple • Your Dry Dehydrated Skin Will Become Extremely Moist.
Prevent Aging Process - Anti Aging Moisturizer: Fights Against Sagging Skin • Gives An Immediate Face Lifting Effect • Your Fine Expression Lines Are Diminished • Giving An Even Skin Texture And Restored Skin Appearance.
Stimulate Collagen - Anti Wrinkle Face Cream: Works As a Reduction of Wrinkles • Tighter Skin • Reduces Appearance of Aging • Cell Regeneration • Provides Nourishing Moisturization to Prevent Dryness.
Restore Damaged Skin Moisturizer for Dry Skin: Strengthens Skins Natural Defense against Moisture Loss • Does Not Leave an Oily Residue on the Skin • Does Not Clog the Pores • Recaptures Youthful Luminosity. 

What are some of the Jonré ingredients? (See more on the Amazon site)






DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate use and review of this product from Jonré. Opinions are derived from my own use and solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.