Monday, December 10, 2018

Ellie Claire 365-Devotional Journal

I've been on the hunt for a devotional journal for longer than I care to admit. I'm super picky about the type of journal I want because they're a year-long commitment. Most I've found are either too bulky, too short, or have no space to jot down your thoughts and prayers. Then I found the Ellie Claire 365-Devotional Journals.

First of all the covers are absolutely beautiful! Whether you like bold vibrant colors or you prefer something more peaceful and serene, Ellie Claire has something for you! Each one has an elastic band to help hold your journal shut which is super handy. If you throw it in your bag to take with you, you don't have to worry about the pages getting bent or destroyed. The journals are also flexible! Yay!! No lugging around bulky hard backs, or trying to figure out how to maneuver to write on the pages. These journals were designed with YOU in mind.

At the top of each page is the date (no year) to help you stay on track. I like that they don't have a year so if you give or receive more than one, one won't go to waste. Under the date is the devotion which takes up about half the page. Each devotional has a theme which we will get to later. Under the devotion is what I like to call free space. It's lined space for you to write your prayers, jot down your thoughts or journal, however the spirit moves you. I like that they left plenty of space for you to utilize your creative side.

I said each devotional has a theme and they do. The first one I want to talk about is The Earth is the Lord's and Everything in it. This devotional encourages you to take a minute and marvel at God's creation. If we stop and look we can see his hand in everything, from the changes of the seasons, to the way the animals move. I don't know about you, but, sometimes I need the reminder to stop and realize God is right here with me, if I only look.

The second devotional is Peace Begins With Me. It has a beautiful and soothing cover. This journal is all about trusting God to calm your fears and anxieties. It's about praising God instead of worrying and trusting that He is able even when we cannot see. This devotional takes us throughout scripture to show us how God is able to calm the storms and relieve our fears and that He is faithful to do just that, if we only ask.

Last and certainly not least is the Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus devotional. I don't know about you but Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus is one of my favorite favorite lyric is "And the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace". This devotion encourages you to look at God's grace and mercy in your life. We know he loves us, but, sometimes we get so busy chasing the things of this world that we miss Him. We miss his presence in our present and wonder why we feel so alone and empty.

Each of these journals would make a beautiful gift to yourself or someone you love, If you found one, or two (or three!) you love you can get your copy by clicking the link or links below. 

*I was provided a free copy of these books. All opinions expressed above are my own

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Amish Midwife's Secret

About the Book

Book: The Amish Midwife’s Secret
Author: Rachel J. Good
Genre: Inspirational Amish Romance
Release Date: November 27, 2018
“A beautiful story of forgiveness and second chances.” -Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Times bestselling author
They won’t see eye-to-eye until they meet heart-to-heart…
Kyle Miller never planned on becoming a country doctor. But when he’s offered a medical practice in his sleepy hometown, Kyle knows he must return… and face the painful past he left behind. Except the Amish community isn’t quite ready for Kyle. Especially the pretty midwife who refuses to compromise her herbal cures and Amish traditions with his modern medicine…
The more Leah Stoltzfus works with the handsome Englisch doctor, the more she finds herself caught between the expectations of her family and her own hopes for the future. It will take one surprising revelation and one helpless baby in need of love to show Leah and Kyle that their bond may be greater than their differences… if Leah can find the courage to follow her heart.
My Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed The Amish Midwife's Secret. The story grabs you from the very first page and won't let you go until the very end. Ms.Good has a talent for writing stories that pull on your heart strings and this one is no different. The characters are relatable and make you forget you're reading a work of fiction. If you've never read one of Ms.Good's stories or you've never tried Amish fiction I highly recommend The Amish Midwife's Secret. You won't be sorry!
* I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own. 

About the Author

Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope,
and forgiveness. The author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her stories. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.
Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House/Harlequin), Love & Promises (Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and Surprised by Love as well as several anthologies—Springs of Love, Love’s Thankful Heart, Plain Everyday Heroes—and the Amish Quilts Coloring Books.

Guest Post from Rachel

The Amish and Herbal Remedies

As many of you know, my Amish novels are based on real life. I get ideas from hanging around Amish friends, hearing their stories and observing their lives. I’d never invade their privacy by telling their stories exactly as they happen, but the things I learn trigger plot ideas.
I’ve always been fascinated by the way the Amish approach healing. Once thing I’ve learned is that, although they’re usually willing to visit doctors, they don’t always take the medicines that are prescribed. Instead, they often substitute herbal remedies. That, and several visits to one of my favorite Amish natural products stores, gave me an idea for one of the conflicts in The Amish Midwife’s Secret.
Leah, an Amish midwife, prefers herbal remedies. Of course, that puts her in direct conflict with Kyle, the new Englisch doctor in town, who only believes in science and traditional medicine. Put the two together and lots of sparks fly. Of course, some of those sparks are also of a romantic nature.
Leah is not only a midwife, but her family owns a natural products store. She knows the best herbs for healing. Rather than sending a small boy to the hospital for pneumonia, Leah covers the baby’s chest with a warm mixture of onions and other herbs and spices (some Amish friends prefer raw onion for congestion), and she feds the baby fresh pineapple juice for his cough.
As a doctor, Kyle is horrified. He wants to admit the baby to a hospital at once. And he expects the old country doctor he’s replacing to back him up. Instead, Dr. Hess informs Kyle that many of the Amish go to doctors for a diagnosis, but then rely on herbal treatments rather than prescriptions.
Kyle, who’s been debating about whether to stay in Amish country or move to a big-city hospital, decides to remain in Lancaster and make it his mission to prevent the Amish midwife from harming newborns and their mothers. He certainly doesn’t expect to have his eyes opened to other ways to handle illnesses. But he has to admit, Leah’s methods do seem to work. When a crisis comes, they soon discover that it takes both of them to save a baby.
A extra little secret: Those of you who get my newsletter already know this, but Kyle in The Amish Midwife’s Secret appeared in two earlier books. The Midwife story stands alone, but if you want to know more about Kyle and Emma’s past, you can find it in the Sisters & Friends series, Book 1, Change of Heart, and Book 2, Buried Secrets.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, November 27
Christian Bookaholic, November 27
KarenSueHadleyNovember 27
The Avid Reader, November 28
Genesis 5020, November 29
cherylbbookblog, November 29
BigreadersiteNovember 30
Quiet Quilter, December 1
Bibliophile Reviews, December 2
Britt Reads Fiction, December 2
Cafinated Reads, December 4
Carpe Diem, December 4
Maureen’s Musings, December 5
Janices book reviewsDecember 6
Moments, December 9
Texas Book-aholic, December 9
The Becca Files, December 10
Vicky Sluiter, December 10


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize package of two faceless Amish dolls and an autographed copy of The Amish Midwife’s Secret and Plain Everyday Heroes!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Ellie Claire Art Journals

I recently had the opportunity to try and review three Ellie Claire art journals. Each one is beautiful in its own way but it was hard to pick a favorite.

First up is the Illustrated Word Journal. I really liked the cover it reminded me of paintings we studied in art class in high school. Mature and sophisticated.
Inside you will find beautiful pages to color as well as lined pages for you to record your prayers, thoughts, or whatever you feel led to record.
The pages are on the thick side but I wouldn't recommend using markers. There are some fine details in a few of the pictures and markers could bleed through. While this is a beautiful journal it wasn't really my taste.

The next journal I reviewed was the Faith and Lettering Journal.

The cover of this one is really fun and out of the three I like this cover the best. Inside you will find page upon page of lettering and drawing tutorials. These tutorials are some of the best I've seen because they take you through the process step by step and offer you plenty of practice.

The pages aren't lined and are more of a grid look which allows you freedom to add your own flair as you learn the techniques. The pages are thick and I think markers would be okay but I prefer to draw with gel pens or colored pencils. 
Not all pages come with pre-planned activities or lessons. Some are just empty pages, embellished in the corners for you to use however you like. I appreciate the fact that the whole journal isn't pre-planned that they allowed space for your individual creativity to shine. 

Last and certainly not least is the Illuminate Your Story journal. As with the other three the cover is absolutely beautiful and the inside is jam packed with goodness! I love how they made the cover look like an actual story book. 

Inside you will find beautifully lined pages topped with inspirational quotes for you to write whatever suits your mood. You  have plenty of space to write or draw however you feel led. 
Along with the lined pages you will find tutorials on how to draw animals throughout the journal. These will come in handy if you're wanting to embellish your stories or even in your Bible journaling. I love how they go step by step through the process and allow you to trace the animal before you have to draw it yourself. I find felt pens to be helpful here, although if you aren't careful they may bleed through. When drawing on my own I used a pencil that way if I made a mistake it was easily correctable. Then I traced over it with my medium of choice. I'm still not great at it but it was fun to try and I'm going to keep working at it until my owl resembles an owl! Ha!
It's not just animals you get the opportunity to draw, throughout the journal they teach you how to embellish letters. I really like these! They remind me of something you would find in an old novel. I haven't had the opportunity to draw one yet but they seem like they would be easy peasy. 

Each of these journals is great in their own way! I feel like depending on your mood and who you are buying for you will definitely have a favorite but no  matter which one you choose you can't go wrong! I highly recommend these to any one wanting to draw, learning to draw, or just looking for a great Christmas gift.  

You can grab your journal here:

*I was provided a free copy of these journals. ALL opinions expressed above are my own.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Eternity Between us

About the Book:

After being forced to use a pistol against invaders, Evelyn Mapleton is no longer the timid girl her extended family expects. The more her aunt and cousin resent her new independence, the more Evelyn is determined she’ll make her missing father proud by taking up his cause and aiding Confederate soldiers—even if she has to outmaneuver the Yankees guarding her home to do it.
Samuel Flynn’s life is consumed with two priorities: learning to become a proper guardian for the young orphans he’s adopted and obtaining his physicians license. When his final testing sends him to a Federal Army field hospital, the last thing he expects is to be entranced by a mysterious woman. But when Evelyn’s misguided exploits put her life in danger, will he risk everything he’s worked for to save a woman he thinks is his enemy?

My Thoughts: I never really cared for history in school. It was always so boring to me and I could never remember one battle from the next. Stephenia McGee writes in such a way you forget you're reading historical fiction. The characters leap off the page and you forget they aren't real! 
When I was reading the scene where the Yankee soldiers broke down the door to Evelyn's Aunt Mary's house I could picture it so vividly in my mind's eye. She has a way of describing people, places and events that make them stand out to you but not bore you with too many details. 
I was hooked literally from the first sentence and couldn't put it down!! The story moves along at a nice place and even though there are historical events mentioned you don't get bogged down. There is just the right amount of drama and intrigue. You never know what's going to happen next. 
Evelyn was my favorite character, probably because I relate to her the most. I tend to feel like I don't belong no matter how hard I try. I seem to be the odd duck or just blend into the back ground. Unlike me though, Evelyn doesn't let this stop her! She is determined to make a difference in the cause she believes in at any and all cost. You have to admire her gumption! It's not an easy time for a lady to make a fuss and not know her proper place but she did it anyway simply because she felt it was the right thing to do. 
I could go on and on but I want you to read Eternity Between Us for yourself. When you do come back and let me know what you think!!
About the Author:
Stephenia McGee is a wife, mother of two very active little boys, author, and lover of all things historical. Stephenia currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and sons where she writes stories of faith, redemption and life steeped in southern culture.
Twitter: @StepheniaHMcGee
Pinterest: Stephenia H. McGee

Reader Giveaway: Prize package includes: 1 signed paperback of Eternity Between Us, “I love God, coffee & Christian Fiction” book cover coffee mug, 1 ebook (reader’s choice), Her Place in Time audible audiobook, $25 amazon gift card, and a few southern goodies in celebration of the release of Eternity Between Us! (US address only)

Eternity Between Us by Stephenia H. McGee releases October 9, 2018

Monday, October 1, 2018

A Wells Landing Christmas

Travel back to Wells Landing with Amy Lillard's latest novel in her Wells Landing series. If you haven't read the other books in the series, not to worry, you can start here and not be lost.

Ivy Weaver never meant to be alone. She was in love with Zeb Brenneman and thought they would be together forever. When he left her and headed for Pinecraft she was devastated, but she had her family to keep her going. That is until her mom got remarried and moved to Indiana, and her grandfather losing his grip on reality more and more each day. Ivy wishes she had friends, anyone really, to unburden herself to, but she has no one. Viscous rumors about her have spread like wildfire throughout the community and she has no one to blame but herself.

Zeb Brenneman is shocked to find himself back home. He has no idea why he felt the need to come back, but he did and he's starting to think maybe it was a mistake. It's easy to fool yourself into thinking you're over someone when you don't see them everyday but when you're back home and she is the first person you see, well things are bound to get complicated. He didn't want to go to Pincraft, FL not really but Ivy told him to go and he figured a clean break would give them both a second chance. When he gets home and finds out not only about the rumors flying around about Ivy, but also that she's left caring for her ailing grandfather, Zeb feels a little guilt and quite a bit of protectiveness. Now if he could only get Ivy to see that he wants to help maybe they can be friends and heal both their hearts.

A Wells Landing Christmas isn't your typical romantic read. Zeb and Ivy have some major baggage and while it takes a  bit for what that exact baggage is you can feel her turmoil and grief. She struggles with trying to be an adult, work and take care of her grandfather. We all know how lonely it can be when you have no one to talk to. She worries that if her secret, that her grandfather isn't quite himself, gets out her mom will force them to move to Indiana. It's not what either she nor her grandfather, Yonnie want. She's determined to make the best of a rough situation.

Zeb had no idea his leaving would cause Ivy so much pain. In typical man fashion, he assumed she was thinking just like he was and him going away would make things easier on and for the both of them. Once he comes home however, he realizes everything he thought he knew was wrong. For one, he still loves Ivy, probably always has. His leaving sent her into a tail spin and he feels a like he has to fix it somehow. But how when Ivy won't look at him let alone talk to him.

Once you start A Wells Landing Christmas you won't be able to put it down. It is well written and the characters take on a life of their own. It's guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit and make you believe in faith, hope, and love. The only downside is it makes you want Christmas cookies and it's October!!

*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Spirit of God illustrated Bible

If you're looking for the perfect Bible for the young child in your life look no further than the Spirit of God Illustrated Bible. I have seen many a bible geared towards young children but this one is by far my favorite.

First of all, the cover is absolutely gorgeous! The blues and greens are serene and I love that they have Jesus standing in the middle of the storm. It's a very visual reminder that He is ever present in our lives even in the storms.

The bible has over 40 illustrated stories. The illustrations are bright an eye catching and the stories are couple of pages long. Each story tells which scripture it is based on so you can look it up and expand on it if you wish.

This Bible would be perfect for morning or evening devotions or anytime really! It's a perfect tool for teaching young people about the Spirit of God and how it helps us in our lives. I think my favorite part though is at the very end of the Bible. It's the last page of The Spirit of Today story and I love it so much I want to put it on my wall as a reminder of Who God is and how much He loves us.

I really enjoyed this Bible and I think you will too!

You can grab a copy here:The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible

*I was provided a free copy of this Bible. All opinions expressed above are my own.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Tori Kelly CD

Every now and then at the book corner I get the opportunity to review something other than books. When the opportunity arose to review Tori Kelly's new CD Hiding Place I jumped at the chance. The only thing I love more than books is music and I love discovering new artist and trying something new.

Until now, I have never heard of Tori Kelly or listened to any of her music. I have to say, I have been missing out. Each song on Hiding Place is beautifully written and the lyrics will resonate with you in such a personal way. I thought I could pick a favorite, you know that one song that just hits you but honestly I like them all and that's very rare! It's definitely a CD you will listen to over and over again. Even my teenage sons were like "Mom! Can I borrow that?"

The cover is simple yet beautiful. I love how there's no color yet it grabs you. It's just a beautiful work of art and I'm honored to have had the opportunity to review it.

You can grab a copy here: Hiding Place

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Struggle is Real

About the Book

Title: The Struggle is Real

Author: Nicole Unice

Genre: Non-fiction, Christian life, spiritual Growth

Release date: August 21, 2018

“It just shouldn’t be this hard!”
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a day where everything that could go wrong does go wrong—you lock your keys in the car while it’s running, lose control with your kids, make a mistake at the office that results in hours more work. And just when you think not one more thing could possibly happen . . . well, fill in the blank.
The struggle is real, friends. It may not be major stuff. Lives are not on the line here. But it makes us feel awful . . . and then we feel guilty for stressing when other people have “real” problems that are so much more serious.
Yet the fact remains: We live in a world that often feels harder than we think it should be. And so it can be easy to believe the stories we tell ourselves—that we’re doing it wrong, that we’ll be stuck in this place forever, that God doesn’t love us. We struggle to practice gratitude, to make godly choices, and to live our daily lives with confidence and contentment. So what can we do?
Join popular Bible teacher and counselor Nicole Unice to discover why the struggle is real . . . and what to do about it. Nicole offers practical tools to help you navigate the daily ups and downs, and ways to rewrite your struggle into a new, God-centered life story. The Struggle Is Real is an invitation to take the hard, hurtful, and confusing moments and turn them into opportunities to grow in wisdom, strength, and joy
My Thoughts: A definite must read! It's just like sitting down with a much needed chat with your girlfriends. The Struggle is Real is full of practical advice that everyone can use but it doesn't come off as preachy. You can tell the author has "been there" and she get's it, she wants you to know that you can rise above the struggle and offers tried and true tips to help you overcome. This is isn't a book you will read once and set aside, you will read it over and over again and maybe even share with your friends!
*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own. 

About the Author

Nicole Unice is a Bible teacher, author, and passionate communicator who delights in
bringing God’s Word to life in a personal and relevant way. Her training as a counselor informs her work, as she emphasizes the importance of facing our own reality and embracing the transforming power of God’s grace.
Her heart belongs to Hope Church in Richmond, Virginia, where she serves as ministry director, leading discipleship and Praxis, a full-time ministry residency program for young leaders. In addition, Nicole co-hosts Hope Cast, a podcast on spiritual formation, leadership, and relationships.
Nicole’s invitations to speak have taken her across the world, and her books come to life through her popular video curriculum series found on RightNow Media. Her first book, She’s Got Issues, released in May 2012 and speaks to a fundamental question of faith: Is being a Christian supposed to change me? Also available is a companion curriculum, She’s Got Issues DVD Group Experience, a six-session journey that includes interviews, questions, and teaching expanding on the book. Her subsequent titles—Brave Enough and The Struggle Is Real—help people distill the complicated stuff of life into a simple and clear path to Jesus.
Nicole holds degrees from the College of William and Mary and from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She loves creating a space for ministry and spiritual formation in the everyday rhythms of life with three children, two pups, one husband, and a whole community of twentysomethings who regularly raid her fridge.
Nicole is known for making friends in all corners of the world, especially via social media. Connect with her on Instagram, YouTube, or at—and hopefully face-to-face at one of her upcoming events.

Guest Post from Nicole Unice

There’s a question we throw around that I bet means a whole lot more than we would expect. How many times a week—or a day!–are you asked:
How are you?”
I don’t know about you, but the answer I hear and give the most is something like …. ”fine”, or —“busy but good!”? It’s kind of the socially acceptable answer, right?
A friend asked me this question just this week as I walked into work. I was multitasking as usual while knee deep into a cell phone conversation about yet another problem. I didn’t answer her, because if I did—if I really stopped and answered—I might have started crying, right there on the spot. My lips formed the word “fine” when in reality, I was anything but—at least not in that moment. And life doesn’t always stop long enough to give a real answer….
But isn’t “fine” the socially accepted answer because it works….or does it?
The reality is, we are all struggling, to different degrees and complexity levels, each and every day. The Struggle IS Real, and when you add up both the little and big daily struggles, it’s easy to understand why this hashtag social media rockstar exists—over 3 million deep at #thestruggleisreal.
But if we dig a little deeper into this common complaint, we might discover a much more sinister root—and real help toward freedom and wisdom in Christ.
In my newest book, The Struggle is Real, that’s what I’ve done. I address issues like:

  • Life is much harder than I thought it would be, and I feel bad saying it.
  • There are some things about myself that I can’t change…it’s just how I am, and it frustrates me.
  • I really don’t know if God is interested in my life, and even if He is, I don’t know how to hear from Him.

(and if you are wondering how real your struggle is, I’ve included a Good Life Inventory on p. 14!)
I wrote this book because I know how real the struggle truly is—and I want us to discover the true source of the answer to these age-old problems. My hope is to take my readers through a journey into this gap between our “just fine” lives and the truly good lives we are seeking and are hungry for. To offer hope that we can live the best life we can, this side of heaven.
Yep, the struggle is definitely real. But the struggle can also start the story. It can motivate us to rewrite our lives into a new story. The struggles can lead us to a new source of hope and freedom, and somehow, even the worst of life can become a place of strength and growth. The struggle is real. And the struggle can be good.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 28
All-of-a-kind Mom, August 29
Carpe Diem, August 30
Multifarious, August 31
Janices book reviews, September 1
Inklings and Notions, September 2
Book by Book, September 3
Mary Hake, September 3
Margaret Kazmierczak, September 5
Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 6
Godly Book Reviews, September 7
Bigreadersite, September 7


To celebrate her tour, Nicole is giving away a grand prize of a “The Struggle is Real” T-Shirt!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter.