Monday, September 1, 2014

Growing Up Social by Dr. Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane Book Review

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by Dr. Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane is a book about how to raise kids to be responsible in a digital world.  With so many media outlets, it's easy for kids to check out of real life and create an online life that affects health, relationships and emotional well being.  The authors address many valid questions and give parents guidelines on how to teach children to be balanced in their digital activity.  They gave several tips of how to engage kids in the real life activities as well as safety for online time.  They focused on teaching several skills (affection, anger management, appreciation, apology and attention) that are desperately needed in youth today as well as impact their future relationships.  They also shared many personal stories and situations where critical decisions need to be made concerning the use of technology in the home.  Both Arlene and Gary gave unique perspectives to this subject and offer parents hope and specific actions to make the digital overload a manageable part of everyday life as kids these days are being raised with social media.

I highly recommend that every parent read this book.  It is a book that is current with our culture.  I really appreciated all the positive ways these authors addressed social media.  This was a book to help families not only teach our children the social skills they need, but also to manage the social media that is so prevalent in our society.  They made some wonderful suggestions and practical points in how to make the digital world be a part of a child's rather life rather than most of it.  I know that I am being very careful of what social media my kids are using, but I think I need to be more diligent in how I manage my social media use.  It's a different world that we need to navigate.  This book will be a great tool to guide families to make good choices in this media saturated society.

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

When Calls the Heart: Second Chances DVD Review

When Calls the Heart - Second Chances DVD is another heart warming story of love, loss, and second chances.  The community of Coal Valley continues to recover from the mine accident that stole so many fathers and sons.  Abigail tries to piece her life back together and seeks to open a cafĂ© to sell her baked goods, but she is asked to give up more than she bargained for.  Mountie Jack is trying to keep in Elizabeth's good graces, but seems to keep coming up short at every turn.  Elizabeth tires to help a student who can't read with some unconventional methods, but the father is against it.  Adam Miller returns back to town with a peg leg and he can't seem to fit back into his family who desperately loves him.  And Elizabeth is expected to lead the Founder's Day Play in one week and she scrambles around to find help from every corner of the town.  Life continues to move along in Coal Valley as each member finds their place in society and begins to make changes to create a new normal. 

I absolutely love this series of movies that also show on the Hallmark Channel.  I have fallen in love with Jack and Elizabeth and I love all the interactions between them.  I also enjoy how each of them reach out to the community and make themselves available for help and encouragement.  This movie was about second chances and it seems that each character was able to make a second chance happen for them.  Be sure to watch for the surprise picture on the painting for the Founder's Day Play. 

*I was given a complimentary copy of the DVD for review.  All opinions are my own.*

Friday, August 22, 2014

Red Hot Faith (Lessons from a Lukewarm Church) Bible Study by Cindy Bultema Review and Giveaway!!

What if you thought that lukewarm is OK?  No, it isn't.  In fact, it's worse than being just cold.  The church of Laodicea was caught in a trap.  They were prosperous, successful and had everything they could possibly want, but their hearts were lukewarm and God was going to spit them out of his mouth.  They were so far away from God's best.  But it is possible to come close to God and experience the abundant and red hot faith life that He has planned for each believer. 

Red Hot Faith is a new Bible study from Cindy Bultema designed to encourage you to step out of your current "lukewarm" life and take a journey to develop your Red Hot Faith!  There is a DVD of 8 sessions with Cindy expounding on the city of Laodicea, the passage in Revelation about that church and the lessons we can learn in how to increase our faith.  She often refers to God's transforming work in our hearts.  She has seen first hand how God can move a person from a life ruled by selfishness to a life of serving God wholeheartedly.  The participant's guide helps as you watch the DVD and includes a weekly Bible study and memory verse.  Each lesson has an introduction, a place to take notes on the video, discussion questions and going deeper for further study.  The leader's guide has great suggestions for how to facilitate a discussion group for Bible study.    All 3 components fill out a wonderful Bible study for women who desire for a changed life.

Red Hot Faith is not going to change you unless you want to be changed.  Cindy gives some very sobering facts, but also shares how God can use our weaknesses to make us strong.  She is real, honest and able to relate to her audience.  When I heard Cindy's story, He Loves Me (which you must see), I was completely in awe how God can truly transform a person and how He can use that person in a powerful way.  I love how Cindy uses a lot of visuals in this study.  Cindy has a gift for teaching God's Word with and she has chosen to spice it up with her new study, Red Hot Faith.

Cindy says, "I desperately want a life that has purpose, passion, spark and meaning, but most days I feel caught up in the whirlpool of life."

"It's time to say NO to the swirling, lukewarm routine of life that keeps you from experiencing God's best."
"Be hot, be cold, BE SOMETHING!!"  

Be sure to visit Cindy's website for more encouragement and joy!
Get your Red Hot Faith Bible study at Discovery House Publishers.

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book and DVD for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*


I am giving away 2 copies of the study which includes the DVD, participant's guide and the leader's guide.

Please fill out this Entry Form to enter the Giveaway.  Ends Friday, August 29.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

In Perfect Time by @SarahSundin | Enter to win a Kindle HDX and a set of books!

Don't miss Sarah Sundin's hot-off-the-press novel, In Perfect Time. Publishers Weekly gives it an enthusiastic thumbs up: “Sundin excels at well-researched historical detail . . . with such accurate depictions of culture and setting that we are fully immersed in the times as well as in the story. The strength of relationships forged in war and the apprehension of God in times of trouble infuse this well-crafted novel with substance and light.”

Sarah is celebrating the release of her book with a fun giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • The Wings of the Nightingale Series (With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, and In Perfect Time)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 24th. Winner will be announced August 25th at Sarah's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Sarah's blog on the 25th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

My Review:
He was a pilot, loved math, beat drums for his passion,  respected by his friends and yet did not live up to his parent's expectations.  She was a flight nurse, received lots of attention from men, wanted to attend chief nursing school and left home to flee from parents who disdained her.  Both Roger Cooper and Kay Jobson were as far away from a relationship with each other until God met them both in their deepest hour of need.  Lt. Roger Cooper was a man who desired to play in a band when his circuit was up.  He didn't bet on falling for flirtatious and vulnerable Lt. Kay Jobson.  Kay believed that she could have any man at her fingertips, but Roger was different.  As God brought them together to share faith and friendship they found they had a lot in common.  It wasn't until Kay shared her dream of having a house with a fence and a yard that Roger decided he couldn't be the man for Kay since his dream involved traveling with a band.  Then Kay, Roger and several other pilots and nurses make an emergency landing in enemy territory.  They are on the run for 2 months and become close to each other as they struggle to hide and survive.  Enter the world of WWII and the lives of men and women caring for the wounded as they make hopes and dreams come alive in a land of death and dying.  Discover how Roger and Kay learn the powerful redemptive love of God and the magnetic pull of love despite all odds.

In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin is the third book in the series of Wings of the Nightingale.  Three flight nurse stories are told in these historical and romantic novels.  I really enjoyed the first two books, but I wasn't a fan of Kay Jobson and was not quite sure how I would like this novel.  I did feel that the beginning was a little slow, but when Kay and Roger started interacting more and they were put in a tense situation I saw the story blossom with unique twists and turns.  I loved the tension in the relationship and the special signals each developed for each other.  Sarah knows how to weave history, romance and action into an exciting and page turning novel.

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

Check out my other reviews of Sarah's books:
*With Every Letter
*On Distant Shores

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Cure for the "Perfect" Life by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory Book Review and Giveaway (ends 8/22)

Cure for the Perfect Life COVER 1000 x 1545
The Cure for the "Perfect" Life by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory is a look at the 4 "P" Bullies and 12 ways to stop trying harder and start living braver.  The four "P" Bullies are: Perfectionism, People-Pleasing, Procrastination and Performancism.  With humorous, yet true stories and unique candor, these ladies examine the Try Harder Living pit that many women succumb to and give hope and encouragement on how to dig out of that pit.  They invite you to Braver Living Rebellion.  There are four rebel personality types- Expressive, Analytic, Driver and Amiable.  Each personality type reacts differently with the 4 "P" Bullies.  This book is interactive and self-examining.  Each chapter begins with a bully belief (ie. If I want something done right, I'm going to have to do it myself.) and a brave combat (There's more than one way to do it right.).  There is a short quiz (they are all different), a story from a rebel, tiny acts of rebellion (ways to not try harder) and tips for each rebel personality type.  The message they wish to convey with their readers is to leave behind the  bully beliefs and embrace the freedom of choosing God's way and live in a brave new way.
I want to live the "perfect" life and the harder I try, the more frustrated I become.  I wasn't made to live this way.  I was made to embrace an imperfect life, but fully rely on God.  As I read this book, I identified with many of the bully beliefs.  Do I really live this way?  I appreciate how brave the authors and contributors were to share real stories of real struggles, but also give a hope and vision for a better way of life.  Do you struggle with any of the "P" Bullies?  Then stop trying harder and start living braver!  Get your copy today! 

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the authors for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.* 

About the Authors:

kathilippKathi Lipp

Kathi Lipp is the author of The Husband Project, The Me Project, The Get Yourself Organized Project, 21 Ways to Connect With Your Kids, and several other books. Kathi’s articles have appeared in dozens of magazines, and she is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family radio and TV. She and her husband Roger are parents of four young adults in San Jose, California. Kathi shares her story at retreats, conferences, and women’s events across the United States. Connect with her at, on Facebook at, or on Twitter @KathiLipp.

Cheri Gregorycherigregory

Cheri Gregory is a Certified Personality Trainer; contributor to multiple books, including Wired That Way and 21 Ways to Connect With Your Kids; and frequent speaker for MOPS groups, women’s retreats, parent workshops, and educational conferences. She is also a high school English teacher and graduate student. Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel (her opposite personality), a pastor, for over a quarter-of-a-century; they have two college-aged kids (who are also opposite personalities). She blogs about expectations, “baditude”, and hope at Connect with her on Facebook at and Twitter @CheriGregory.

Check out these resources for the book:
Website Link:

FREE download of Chapter 1: 

Facebook Page (aka “Braver Living Rebel Headquarters”):

PODCASTS:  Listen to Kathi and Cheri (the authors) chat about the 4 P "Bullies."
*Part 1
*Part 2

WIN a copy of this book signed by the authors by filling out my ENTRY FORM!  Giveaway ends Friday, August 22.


Friday, July 18, 2014

The Perfect Summer DVD Review

The Perfect Summer is story about overcoming hardship, acquiring confidence in self and improving relationships.  After Jake's father passes away, he and his mom move from a big city to live in small beach town with his grandfather.  Jake is none too pleased to have no internet access and even less pleased to be a new kid in town that is shoved around by some high school show offs.  The big sport in town is surfing and when Jake meets a pretty girl, he starts to want to break out of his shell.  Little does he know that his grandfather was a former surf champ.  As Jake learns to surf his grandfather shares many life lessons of hope and perseverance.  Along the way Jake learns some tough lessons in love, life and the pursuit of something greater than himself.

This movie was very touching and I really felt drawn into the story line as each character carried a burden that was lifted by peeling back some of the hard layers around their hearts.  It was not easy to see Jake pushed around by some punk kids, but I loved the way the grandfather stepped in and really encouraged Jake to drive himself through the rough waters.  The grandfather had many words of wisdom throughout the movie.  This story was about second chances and making the most of the opportunities available.  Jake, his mom and grandfather were all hurting, but in the end, they found healing. I loved the music, the heart of the story, the action and the message.   What a great movie!!

Don't miss Eric Roberts who brilliantly plays the grandfather and a few appearances by Jason Castro who was on American Idol.

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

Friday, July 11, 2014

When Calls the Heart: The Dance DVD Review

When Calls the Heart: The Dance is another episode of the town of Coal Valley and the lovely teacher, Elizabeth Thatcher, who has embraced the life in the wild country .   As new miners come in to take the place of those that had died earlier in the year, trouble begins to brew again.  Most of the new miners keep to themselves, but Billy Hamilton takes a shine to Miss Thatcher and begins to woo her with poems and sweet talk.  When several robberies are reported, Jack Thornton, the town's constable/mountie  starts to investigate and hopes that he can capture the criminal and that his suspicions lead to Billy.  Elizabeth is distraught and reprimands Jack for being jealous.  She is torn between two men, one who fights to protect her and one who fights to win her heart at any cost.  When the truth comes out, both Elizabeth and Jack must face the what really matters and what is best for the town and their relationship. 

This was by far my favorite movie of the When Calls the Heart series.  I really like the dynamics between Elizabeth and Jack and how they each hold back, but underneath truly care for each other.  When someone else takes interest in Elizabeth, she feels swept off her feet and even when Jack tries to protect her, she stands up to him and makes him really think about his motivations.  There is also another sweet story of a young widow who starts getting attention from a new miner, but her son is not about to let another man take the place of his deceased father.  This story had many great moments and was fun to watch.  This family friendly movie is sure to win your heart!

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

When Calls The Heart
“The Dance”
From the Television Series inspired by the writings of Janette Oke
Nashville , Tennessee- When Calls the Heart, Produced and directed by Michael Landon Jr. and inspired by the best-selling books by Janette Oke, tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young high society woman, working as a teacher in a prairie town in the Western Frontier.   When a group of bachelor minors come to help reopen the mine, the local Mounty. Jack Thorton (Daniel Lissing), finds himself in competition for Elizabeth’s affections.  When items start disappearing from the town, Jack is immediately suspicious that his rival might also be a thief.  Also stars Lori Loughlin as Abigail Stanton, a widow and mother whose husband, along with a dozen other miners, was killed in an explosion at the local mine. 
When Calls the Heart- “The Dance” is a feature length film from the first two episodes of the When Calls the Heart television series.  The When Calls the Heart television series debuted on the Hallmark Channel to more than 3 million viewers, making it the No. 2 for the night on all of cable for the primary telecast at 9 p.m and No. 3 overall in households.   Distributed by Word Entertainment, the DVD will be available to purchase in Christian Retail April 22nd, 2014.
Synopsis-  New miners arrive in Coal Valley to help with the final stages of reopening the mine and the town decides to celebrate with a dance at the end of the week. One of the new miners, Billy Hamilton has taken a special interest in Elizabeth and she is flattered by the attention. Meanwhile, pregnant widow Carla Noonan has moved in with Abigail and Elizabeth so the women can keep and eye on her for the remainder of her pregnancy. As Elizabeth and Billy's relationship develops, Jack becomes suspicious of Billy's motives for pursuing Elizabeth so persistently.
Michael Landon Jr. – Director:  Michael Landon Jr., son of the late television legend Michael Landon, has been in the film business for over 25 years.  With two of the highest rated films in the history of the Hallmark channel, and several top ten releases targeted to the Christian market, Michael has become known for creating heartfelt, inspiring films that connect to the family.  He has developed and/or produced, directed, and written screenplays for Fox, CBS, NBC, Disney, Sony, Lifetime, and others.
 Brian Bird- Writer/Producer : Brian Bird is co-founder with partner Michael Landon, Jr., of Believe Pictures, a film and television production company.  He was co-executive producer and writer on the successful television series, Touched by an Angel.  Adding to Brian’s success, he had also written and produced episodes of Evening Shade, Step by Step and The Family Man.  Most recently, Bird wrote and produced Gametime, a two-hour television pilot for NBC, The Shunning, inspired by the novel by best-selling author Beverly Lewis, for the Hallmark Channel, and Not Easily Broken, adapted from the novel by T.D. Jakes and released theatrically by Sony/TriStar.