The Queen of Katwe By: Tim Crothers

The Queen of Katwe
By: Tim Crothers

Wow. What a story. The Queen of Katwe is the story of Phiona Mutesi and the life she has lived thus far and her continuing journey to become a Chess Grand Master. At the age of 9 young Phiona, growing up in the slums of Uganda, followed her brother to a chess program being taught by Robert Katende. At the time, Phiona had minimal schooling, and was unable to read or write, instead she spent her evenings selling maize in order to make money to feed her family.

This book takes you on the journey of how the Chess program began in Katwe, and how the game began to change the lives of the children in Katwe, especially Phiona. Through the program, their coach not only taught the kids to play the game of chess, but showed how there lives were reflected in the game, and how their faith could sustain them and keep them going. Katende used every moment of chess to teach the players a life lesson.

At Phiona’s young age she has continued to compete on an international level, has gone from being a student of the chess program to a teacher and role model to many girls in Uganda. This is a story that no matter where you are, or where society has placed you does not prevent you from making a difference.

I received this book complimentary from BuzzPlant in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Unashamed By: Christine Caine

Unashamed by: Christine Caine

Shame, we have all experienced it, it comes into our lives without being invited, it binds us, and creates a power over us. Through this book, Caine takes us on her personal journey of finding freedom and breaking through the shame. Unashamed is a phenomenal book that uses the Bible to affirm that we were called to live in freedom and not in shame.

Unashamed is a book full of truth and will be a life changer, through each chapter you will understand how shame can effect you and how to overcome it and live the life you were called to. For anyone that feels they are living a life of shame, and looking for a way to break free, this book will show you that it is possible to live unashamed.

I received this book complimentary through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Beautiful Pretender By: Melanie Dickerson

The Beautiful Pretender By: Melanie Dickerson

I few years ago I was in search of something new to read, I knew what I liked but I wanted to find something new. I’ve always enjoyed fairy tales and the twists that people make when rewriting such well-known stories. Since reading Dickerson’s story I have always made a point to read anything new that is published from her. When I heard about the Beautiful Pretender I could not wait, partially because I love her writing and partially because anything in relation to Beauty and the Beast and I must read it.

The Beautiful Pretender is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast and the Princess and the Pea, and it is such a fun amazing story. It may be my favorite book of hers yet. It was such a fun captivating story and I love the lead characters. This book has everything and more, fairy tales, battles, spies, a fight for what’s right. I will always recommend that you should read Dickerson’s book, and I believe the Beautiful Pretender should make the top of your list.

 

-Elle

The Beautiful Pretender Melanie DickersonI received this book complimentary through the Litfuse Publicity program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

The Bachelor Girls Guide to Murder

About the book:

The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder (Harvest House, April 2016)

In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever—if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1RRdypX

About the author:
 
 

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

The Bachelor Girls Guide to Murder By: Rachel McMillan

Are you a fan of mysteries? Witty banter? And a love of Sherlock and Sherlock-type stories? If so, Rachel McMillan’s debut novel is one you must check out! This historical mystery follows the two main characters, who according to society’s standards should be married and doing things that are more appropriate for ladies and not running their own private investigation agency.

McMillan has an amazing way with words that makes her books captivating and fun. Her cast of characters is diverse, with the two leads being reminiscent of Sherlock and Watson, they are polar opposites who compliment each other and go on quite the adventures through the streets of Toronto.

McMillan is definitely the new author to keep your eye out for!

I received this book complimentary from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Glimmer Girls By: Natalie Grant

  

Glimmer Girls:
London Art Chase and A Dolphin Wish

The Glimmer Girls series is an adorable series written by the singer Natalie Grant for young girls. The Glimmer Girls are three sisters that travel the world with their famous singer mother, Gloria Glimmer and their slightly off-kilter nanny Julia. Each book follows the girls on a new adventure. Through each adventure the girls learn valuable lessons about prayer, telling the truth, being a good friend and so much more.

This series is a great to add to any young girls reading collection, they are fun stories with valuable lessons, I highly recommend this series and they would make a great addition to any Easter basket.

From the author:
Glimmer Girls is a fiction series that I have created with my daughters.  The storyline is about three girls who go on tour with their singing mom.  I have no idea where I came up with that plot!  It’s fun for my little girls to help with the content because they actually live that life.  Glimmer is the last name of the family, but it also has a special meaning.  It is a light that is never extinguished.  Sometimes it may glimmer a little bit brighter, sometimes it may glimmer a little bit dimmer, but it never goes out.  I felt like that was such a perfect description for all of us.  We all have a light on the inside and depending on the day, sometimes it’s bright and sometimes it’s dim.  That is the message I wanted girls to get from this book.  You don’t always have to be shining bright, some days are going to be more difficult than others, but Jesus has put a light in you that will never go out.”

-Elle

I received these books complimentary through FlyBy Promotions in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Enter the Cold Shot by: @DaniPettrey sweepstakes!

Enter the COLD SHOT Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey

Summary:

In COLD SHOT, the first book of author Dani Pettrey’s brand new Chesapeake Valor series, park ranger Griffin McCray and forensic anthropologist Finley Scott uncover buried remains near the Civil War battleground of Little Round Top. There’s only one problem: the bones aren’t Civil War-era.

Griffin just wants the case to go away, but when Finley discovers evidence pointing to the work of an expert sniper, the case connects them with FBI agent Declan Grey, and crime scene investigator Parker Mitchell, friends from a past Griffin’s tried to leave behind.

Soon the reunited friends realize they’ll need to confront the darkest days in their shared history if they–and those they care about–are going to escape a downward spiral of crime, danger, and murder.

See my review here!

To celebrate the launch of this exciting new series, Dani and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to present the COLD SHOT SWEEPSTAKES, and your chance to win one of three marvelous prizes, all closely connected to the story.

This giveaway starts February 16, 2016 and ends March 7, 2016 @ 11:59 pm (PST).
Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Tuesday, March 8, 2016, and announced at DaniPettrey.com.

About the Prizes

GRAND PRIZE:
Cold Shot Sweepstakes Grand Prize

ROAD TRIP REUNION GETAWAY

In COLD SHOT, Griffin reunites with friends after they’ve drifted apart over the years. Do you have a friend you want to reconnect with? Here’s your chance to hit the road with them for a friend getaway!

Our Grand Prize winner will receive: A $250 gift certificate to BedandBreakfast.com, good for reservations at lodges across the Continental US, plus a $50 Darden restaurants gift card, and a Chesapeake Bay tote bag, to pack your road trip essentials.

SECOND PRIZE:

FINLEY’S FAVORITES PACK

Cold Shot Sweepstakes Second Prize
Finley has a lifelong love of travel and exploration, something captured in her cozy home decor, right down to her steamer trunk coffee table. This prize gives you a chance to have a steamer trunk just like Finley’s, and a coffee table book from the Chesapeake Bay to go with it.

Our Second Prize winner will receive: A $150 value cedar wood steamer trunk and vivid Maryland coffee table photo book.

TASTE OF MARYLAND KIT

THIRD PRIZE:
COLD SHOT is sure to leave you with a craving for the mouth-watering snacks Griffin, Finley, and the rest of the crew enjoy in the story. If you wish you could sample Chesapeake’s one-of-a-kind local fare too, this prize is for you.

Our Third Prize winner will receive: The beautifully lithographed, $50 value Taste of Maryland Tin, including the Chesapeake Bay Cookbook and famed local treats such as Old Bay Seasoning, Maple Syrup, Maryland crab soup mix, specialty dip, and Goetze’s Caramel Creams.

How to Enter:

Go to: http://www.danipettrey.com/cold-shot-sweepstakes/ and complete the entry box, anytime between February 16 – March 7, 2016.

Mermaid Moon By: Colleen Coble

To move forward past a life of shame and confusion, Mallory Davis must go back to Mermaid Point to find out who murdered her father in Colleen Coble’s new book, Mermaid Moon. As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.

Celebrate the release of Mermaid Moon with Colleen and a mystery e-reader prize pack giveaway!

mermaid moon-400

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on February 1st. The winner will be announced February 2nd on the Litfuse blog.

mermaid moon-enterbanner
:::Review:::
Coble has always had the ability to weave an amazing tale and if you are looking for a book full of suspense Mermaid Moon is the book for you! You will sink your teeth into Mermaid Moon and not stop until the last page. Coble has created characters with such depth that you will feel like they’re your friends.
Mermaid Moon follows the story of Mallory and after receiving a cryptic message from her dad decides to return to her hometown, only to discover he has died. With many questions she decides to follow the clues left to figure out what his message meant. If you are in search of a good book to read this and the rest of the series should be on the top of your list.

 

I received this book complimentary through the Litfuse Publicity program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Unoffendable by: Brant Hansen

Mike Donehey may have said it best when he said “this book hurts so good.” Unoffendable is a book that will take the way you respond and what you have thought and turn it on its head in the best way possible. Hansen challenges us that we need to get rid of anger. He states that “forfeighting our right to anger makes us deny ourselves, and makes us others-centered. When we start living this way, it changes everything.”

Brant Hansen has taken simple concepts that are not so simple to live out and challenged us to be unoffendable. To let go of anger and embrace forgiveness. Everyone needs to read this book, it is written simply and as an easy read, but the context is strong and at a level that will challenge you and having you re-reading this book and noticing the things that offend you in the everyday and seeing them differently. This book will change something as basic as being cut off in traffic and you will start seeing and approaching things in a new light.

Read this book.

I received this book complimentary from the publisher through the BookLook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Either way you need to read this book.

-Elle

Called to Be Amish: My Journey from Head Majorette to the Old Order By: Marlene Miller

Called to be Amish

What’s it like to be one of the few outsiders to leave the Englisch way of life and join the Old-Order Amish—and stay? In Called to Be Amish, this rare memoir by Marlene C. Miller, she recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood, how she throws herself into cheerleading and marching band, and how she falls in love with Johnny, the gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates.

My Review:

Growing up close to an Amish community I had some understanding of who the Amish were, but wow has this book shown me how little I actually knew. Marlene Miller’s story is amazing and inspiring, the transition from English to Amish is not an easy one, and not many people make that choice and survive. There is no glitz and glamour to this story, Marlene simply tells her story as it happened and it is beautiful. I am not usually one that reads memoirs, and picked this up in between another book and found myself leaving the other behind in order to finish and was up half the night because Marlene’s story is so captivating and truthful.

Marlene is authentic in her story telling and you will feel like you are sitting across the table from her sharing a cup of tea while learning about her life. I really enjoyed this book and will be recommending it to many of my friends. If you don’t like memoirs, put that aside and give this one a try, it is well worth it.

I received this book complimentary through the Litfuse Blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

{More about Called to Be Amish}

Called to Be Amish (MennoMedia, February 2015) Fewer than one hundred outsiders have joined the Old–Order Amish—and stayed—since 1950. Marlene C. Miller is one of them. In this rare memoir, Marlene recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood, how she throws herself into cheerleading and marching band, and how she falls in love with Johnny, the gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates. Against the wishes of both sets of parents, Marlene and Johnny get married and begin a family. Follow the author on this unusual journey to find out how God’s love called her out of bitterness and depression and into the warm embrace of her new Amish community. Accompany her as she dons an Amish dress and prayer covering and gets baptized. Learn how she endures the strain of ten children, a hundred-acre farm, and accidents and tragedy, and find out how she comes close to walking away from it all. Turning Amish has proven to be anything but plain and simple for this former majorette. But nearly fifty years later, Marlene is still living out God’s call as an Old Order Amish woman. Learn more and purchase a copy.

{More About Marlene Miller}

Marlene C. Miller joined the Amish as an adult and has been a member of the Old Order Amish for almost 50 years. She and her husband of 48 years live on a farm in Ohio surrounded by their nine children, more than 40 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Find out more about Marlene at http://www.mennomedia.org.   

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest By: Melanie Dickerson

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest By: Melanie Dickerson

It’s safe to say, that if you know anything about me it’s that I love fairy tales and I loved Robin Hood (I’m watching the BBC Robin Hood series as I write this on Netflix, if you haven’t seen it be sure to add it to your list!) Needless to say when Melanie Dickerson released her latest story based on Robin Hood I knew I was going to love it. Not only that but the character of Robin Hood is a girl. (I always love a strong female character who can hold her own!)

In the Huntress of Thornbeck Forest, Odette cannot help but see the need of the poor children in the village, without enough food to live she decides to do what she can, however illegal it is. Odette chooses to take her hunting skills onto the Kings grounds to poach animals at night to give to those in need for food. Odette meets Jorgen who wants to help her care for the poor, however, Jorgen is the margraves forester is on her trail and he will stop at any cost to stop the poacher.

This may be my favorite story from Dickerson yet, I couldn’t put it down. This is one to add to the reading pile (as well as all of her other books!)

-Elle

I received this book complimentary from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.