Wednesday, May 3, 2017

When Calls the Heart: Heart of Faith DVD Review







It's Christmas in Hope Valley!  The townsfolk each have their own needs, wants and desires.  Elizabeth is planning a Christmas play but the train with costumes gets delayed.  Jack wants to give a family a home for Christmas with a working stove and a warm welcome.  Pastor Frank is worried for a young widow and her son who left the town quite suddenly.  Rosemary and Lee return from their honeymoon and Lee wants to surprise her with a special gift which Rosemary finds "by accident" and is disgruntled.  Abigail tries to reason with Henry Gowan as his accident has caused him not to be able to carry out the regular mayoral duties.  And Cody wants to give a little girl a special present.  Now, Sam is a traveling peddler and he seems to be a secret "Santa" to all these seekers of hope.  He might be able to help them!

This was another sweet episode that showed the gentle and good hearts of the people despite the difficult situations.  I would have liked to see more interaction in the romance between Jack and Elizabeth as well as the other budding couples, but there was a surprise at the end that was very special. This is another movie that will charm your heart and give you the hope you need to make Christmas magical for the friends and family in your life.   
This DVD also includes a Bible Study along with clips from the film. 
*I was given a complimentary copy of this DVD for review from Edify Films.  All opinions are my own.*

Monday, March 27, 2017

Her Secret by Shelley Shepherd Gray Book Review



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In Shelley Shepard Gray's new book, Her Secret, Hannah Hilty is a young Amish woman in her 20's who is living in fear from an English stalker.  She met Trent and became friends, but was not ready to commit to more.  She thought all was said and done, but then she began getting disturbing mail with pictures of herself at the library, at the school and even in her own home.  She was scared and felt helpless.  Her parents decided to move the family to a different community in a different state.  It took the family a bit of adjustment to fit in and learn to trust others.  Hannah's brother and sister were angry with her for causing this disruption and her parents seemed to have a secret of their own.  But then Hannah meets Isaac Troyer, a neighbor who engages Hannah in "normal" Amish life once again.  As the two spend time together they begin to share each other's ups and downs in sweet and thoughtful moments.  However, neither Hannah nor Isaac were prepared for the biggest threat of their lives.  But despite the fear, they held fast to the promises of God. 

This book was a look into the possible anxiety that could intimidate the plain Amish community.  Hannah's family wanted to be helpful, but were also a bit unsympathetic to her concern.  They didn't quite know how to handle such a situation that involved the English.  The author set the stage for a very real and probable situation.  I did think at first that Hannah was over-reacting to the situation, but when the peril followed her to her new home, I knew it was not going to be an easy case to solve.  I really liked how the author shared some of the activities the Amish liked to do like a Sandwich Sale and the pastimes of the young people like fishing and taking care of the home.  It's a refreshing way of  life that was shattered by the menace in this story.  However, the charming connection between Hannah and Isaac is not to be missed. 


*I was given a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

If you are interested in becoming a book reviewer for this company, I highly recommend it.  They have an great selection of books and are very well organized.  Please fill out the form in this link: http://litfusegroup.com/join-the-flock
 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin Book Review

 
 
In Sarah Sundin's newest Waves of Freedom novel, When Tides Turn, Quintessa (Tess) Beaumont and Dan Avery battle with their hearts and purpose.  When Tess joins the WAVES program, Dan Avery is not convinced this pretty face could do the job of a serious Navy officer.  Tess and Dan grew up in the same town, but their interests and pursuits were very different and their ways of relating to others was opposite.  Yet, Tess was attracted to Dan's drive and ambition and despite her pretty looks she had her own passions and professional pursuits that she wanted to be noticed for and not her good looks.  Dan's vision of being a full time sailor kept getting derailed from his supervisors and he felt lost and uptight knowing he wasn't on the path he had his course set.  Both Tess and Dan were assigned to the same office in the Boston Navy Yard and they both become attracted to each other, but needed to refrain from anything beyond their official work since it was forbidden to date and/or marry another officer.  However, Tess becomes involved in a confusing mystery with her former roommate who is a French expat who meets together with other Resistance members in a small bakery in Boston.  Tess is sure there is a spy but is unable to discover any solid clues as she continued to share her reports to the FBI.  And her relationship with Dan is strained when he shares more of his heart to Tess before he leaves for his final tour.  Can Tess and Dan pull together to discover the spy and also unite their hearts?
 
This was another exciting and romantic World War II novel that Sarah Sundin has delivered once again!  I really enjoyed following the story of Tess who I "met" in the first novel in this series.  Her story was fascinating and intriguing.  She changed in so many ways and she chose to dig deep and discover what she really wanted to do in her life and in her heart.  The hidden romance of Tess and Dan was such fun to read and gave the story another element of suspense.  I recommend that you read the whole series since many of the characters are related and each story builds upon the other in some way. 


 
 
*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Revell Reads.  All opinions are my own.*
 
If you are interested in being a book reviewer, you can sign up HERE for the program through Revell Reads.
 
 
This is the 3rd book in the Waves of Freedom series.
You can see my reviews of the first two books below:
 
 

Sarah Sundin Facebook Page
Sarah Sundin Pinterest Board for When Tides Turn
Sarah Sundin Blog

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Student Body DVD Review




 
The Student Body is a documentary by Bailey Webber, a young journalist with a determination and voice for the youth in America.  Lawmakers decided to pass a mandate to force students to participate in school BMI testing.  Letters were then sent to kids enclosed in their report cards with the results.  Many of these letters indicated that children were obese and did not fall into the accepted range for body mass.  A young sixth grader in Ohio felt bullied and tore up her letter.  Bailey Webber stepped in to investigate and bravely undertook the controversial topic and pursued answers from government officials and other professionals. 
 
Bailey Webber interviewed many experts and law makers to get their input on the unfair testing of BMI in the schools.  The kids being tested are feeling shamed, but the government insists that the tests are helpful to show which kids are at risk for obesity and other health issues.  Parents were confused and not sure how to handle this information.  They did feel that childhood obesity needs to be addressed, but maybe not in this way.  Bailey's research found that it was not helping the obesity problem, but creating a negative psychological effect on youth. 
 
This documentary shared some great information and tackled a very sensitive issue in a very understanding way.  Bailey interviewed many people and after each interview she invited them to step on the scale for their own BMI testing.  About 95% of the time she was turned down.  She would laugh and say it was OK, but she knew that kids were not given that same choice in the schools.  One interview that was very intriguing was with Senator Kearney.  Bailey was unable to secure a live interview with him for over 7 months.  After many phone calls and unreturned emails, she finally went to his office and made an appointment.  In the interview Senator Kearney contradicted himself many times.  He too was asked to step on the scale and he was in for a surprise. 
 
Bailey Webber did an excellent job on her first documentary film.  She gave an honest evaluation of the controversial debate and uncovered some interesting facts and reactions. 
 
 
"Apparently, they are willing to speak for us, but not to us." -Bailey Webber



 
 
 
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thestudentbodyfilm/

Available wherever movies are On-Demand.
 
*I was given a copy of this DVD for review.  All opinions are my own.*

Monday, February 20, 2017

Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky Book Review

 
In Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky, Margaret Lounsbury is a lovely young woman working with her grandmother in their millinery shop in a little town in Northern England.  Despite the tragic events surrounding her parent's death several years earlier, Maggie is strong and confident as she is caring for her younger sister, Violet.  Maggie is flustered when Nathaniel Harcourt of Morningside Manor returns from his military service and is given control of his late father's estate and business.  Maggie and Nate had been childhood friends, but separated by class and time, they struggle to rekindle their friendship.  Maggie is not ready to accept Nate back into her life especially since he extended a generous offer to her as directed by his father.  When a turn of events bring Maggie and Nate together, she cautiously decides to accept his friendship.  The night before a fire destroys Maggie's business, she discovers some journals from her father implicating Nate's step mother, Helen Harcourt, in the crime of her parent's death.  Maggie is shocked and afraid.  She then embarks on a mission to know the truth and hopefully clear up the mystery that surrounds her parents.  She apprehensively confides in Nate and he begins his own investigation.  Meanwhile, the company that Nate's father owned has disgruntled workers and a possible strike might bring everything to an uncomfortable compromise.  Nate and Maggie are caught between tension in the village and their own private research.  Will what they discover bring them closer together or threaten to tear apart their budding romance?
 
This novel was a delight to read and devour.  The setting of Edwardian England in early 1900's is the perfect backdrop to this mystery romance.  I loved the character of Maggie Lounsbury.  She was very independent and strong willed, but she was also able to have compassion and think of others before herself.  The friendship turned romance between Maggie and Nate was slow and sweet, but also filled with questions and many fun moments.  There were a lot of characters and stories within the main story, but they all flowed together well and gave the novel a well rounded plot.  I really liked the hint of mystery and how the characters interacted with one another.  This is another great novel by Carrie Turansky that is sure to bring you many hours of delightful reading. 
 
Please visit Carrie Turansky at her website to find out more about Shine Like the Dawn and her other amazing books.
 
Links for Carrie Turansky:
 
Shine Like the Dawn- get a sneak peek!
 
 
 
*I was given a copy of this book for review from the author.  All opinions are my own.*

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green Book Review and Giveaway

 

 
It's the 1720's and Julianne's new life across the ocean in the French colony of Louisiana was a far cry from her blossoming midwife career.  But one of her clients dies and she is marked as a murderer.  She desperately finds a way of escape and being forced to marry another convict was the only way for transport, but that brought her much closer to her beloved brother, Benjamin who had gone to New Orleans as a soldier.  Julianne encounters a law abiding military officer, Marc-Paul Girard who knew her brother but wanted to spare her the details surrounding Benjamin's desertion.  When some unexpected and devastating events develop, Julianne is left broken and alone.  She is determined to fight for justice and honor, but she cannot do it alone.  When she finally begins to understand that grace is what will keep her from plunging in the depths of bitterness, hate and fear, she finally opens her heart and life to a man who truly loves her and gives her the stability and safety that she needs.  But her brother is still missing and she cannot give up hope or should she?
 
 
Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green is a historical novel with romance, history and plenty of action.  The descriptive scenes were incredibly well written as if the reader was there with the characters.  The intricate balance of plot, characters, setting, dialogue and climax was immensely appealing.  I could not put this book down.  There were some very heart aching and repulsive scenes that made this story come alive.  The main character was truly a heroine with many secrets, losses and loves that she determined to not let her concede. 
 
If you want to get lost in a historical romance, check out The Mark of the King.





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Enter to win The Mark of the King- It's a keeper!


*I was given a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

If you are interested in becoming a book reviewer for this company, I highly recommend it.  They have an great selection of books and are very well organized.  Please fill out the form in this link: http://litfusegroup.com/join-the-flock
 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alison's Choice- DVD Review AND Giveaway!


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Alison's Choice is a film about life.  Alison is a young girl who discovers she is pregnant.  Her boyfriend doesn't care and Alison feels scared and anxious.  She turns to the only option she sees: Abortion.  As she spends the morning at the clinic she encounters many people of differing opinions and bits of wisdom.  The sweet receptionist allows Alison to get some fresh air.  The eager counselor wants Alison to consider all her options.  The inner city girl urges Alison to go for it until her boyfriend shows up and she changes her mind and invites Alison to her baby shower.  A nurse finds Alison waking up from a bad dream and convinces her life will be so much better without having to care for a child.  A doctor sweetly persuades Alison to think about the procedure in scientific facts.  Alison's mind begins to doubt and have questions and then a janitor begins to chat with her.  She finds out that he is Jesus!  He's come to plead with Alison for the life of her child.  When the receptionist finally calls, "Alison, we're ready for you."  What will she choose?
 
 
I can just imagine all the feelings and emotions that are flooding through Alison in this tense situation.  She feels out of control and has to make a life altering decision.  She is bombarded by so many voices, but I love that she continues to listen to voice of God throughout.  She sees that despite all the ideas and beliefs being presented to her, she can ultimately make the choice that Jesus so desperately is asking her to make.  This film is an excellent way to share with teenagers, young women and any other woman who is considering abortion.  Choose life!
 
 






 
 
*I was given a complimentary copy of this DVD from Front Gate Media for review.  All opinions are my own.*