Posted by: rcwriter | September 10, 2012

September Christian Fiction Online Magazine

Reviewers Corner includes the latest releases from MaryLu Tyndall, Jordyn Redwood and Deborah Raney (one of my favorites). Be sure to visit the CFBA Blog Tours page for links to more current release reviews.

Don’t forget to enter this month’s Box ‘O Books Contest

Posted by: rcwriter | September 6, 2012

I’ve been sitting on the beach reading. New reviews will be coming soon.

Posted by: rcwriter | June 15, 2009

Unsigned Hype–Rhonda’s Review

Unsigned Hype

Written by Booker T. Mattison

Product Details

  • Paperback: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800733800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800733803
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches

Unsigned Hype is the story of Tory Tyson a.k.a. TerrorTory. He’s a teen from the NYC area that hopes to make it big in the hip-hop music industry. TerrorTory tells of his rise to stardom while facing difficult personal challenges. Tory learns God is real, and that He’s looking out for His children.

This novel is written in a fifteen year old’s slang words. Being a mom, it took me a bit to get accustomed to the verbiage, but the novel wouldn’t be the same correctly worded. You’d lose the young man’s voice, and the effect.

I really enjoyed this book. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would, but the powerful message is a great tool for reaching kids who don’t know Christ. Mr. Mattison did a fantastic job taking this suburban mom into the mind, and heart of an inner city kid.

**Giveaway Alert: This book is part of the Karen Whiting prize package I’m giving away Saturday, June 13. Be sure and leave a comment so you’ll be entered.**

A Cup of Comfort Devotional® for Mothers and Daughters

Daily Reminders of God’s Love and Grace

Edited by James Stuart Bell and Susan B. Townsend

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media (March 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598699180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598699180
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.7 x 1.4 inches

If you’re familiar with the Cup of Comfort Series, you won’t be disappointed with this. There are 365 daily devotionals between the covers. Each devotion is brief and can be read in a couple of minutes. You could keep this on your nightstand and either, start or finish your day with these wonderful, Scripture based thoughts. Karen Whiting, our featured author this week, is a contributor to this book. Some of the other authors are Margot Starbuck, Vicki Tiede, Pamela Dowd, Sally Ferguson, Elsi Dodge, Jennifer Devlin, Carol R. Cool, Sandy Cathcart, Connie Strum Cameron and Alma Barkman. Many of the contributors have been previously published in the Cup of Comfort Series.

I highly recommend this book for any mother who wants to relish or repair her mother-daughter relationship.

Posted by: rcwriter | June 6, 2009

Latest Berenstain Bears Books–My Review

Today I have two reviews for you. It’s for the two newest Berenstain Bears Books. You all know the Berenstain reputation, and you won’t be disappointed. The illustrations are bright, and vivid. These books may be graded for young children, but their lessons speak volumes to everyone.

The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game

Written by Jan & Mike Berenstain

Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310712521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310712527
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 7.9 x 0.2 inches

This book is about Brother and Sister Bear playing a soccer game. Their team plays a team that’s ruthless. Before long, everyone is arguing–even the adults. This book teaches not only good sportsman like conduct, but also how to get along with others.

Being a soccer mom for 10 years, I found this book very humorous. I’ve seen a lot of thing happen on the soccer field that are included in this little book. Kids won’t be the only ones who learn lessons from this story.

The Berenstain Bears Love Their Neighbors

Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310712491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310712497
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 7.7 x 0.3 inches

The Bear family lives in a neat neighborhood where everyone takes care of their homes, except the Bogg Brothers. Their property is dirty, and run down. The Bear family thinks less than good thoughts about these neighbors until the Bogg Brothers do a generous act of service. The Bears learn a great lesson on judging.

I saw this story as a modern day version of “The Good Samaritan.” It teaches the lesson,  you can’t judge by the outside, but by actions. The same way God judges us.

**Giveaway Alert: Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win a price package from Karen Whiting.**

dancemedaddy_cimageDance Me Daddy is one of the sweetest picture books I’ve seen in a while. It’s based on the Point of Grace song “King of the World.” The story tells of a little girls relationship with her father. The relationship changes as the little girl grows, but the bond between father and daughter stays strong.

The watercolor illustrations are vivid and alive. The book is graded for ages 4-7, but my tween daughter adores it. She’s read it several times. I can’t think of a better way for a father and daughter to enjoy Father’s Day than with this book.

Cindy Morgan is the author of “Dance Me Daddy” and “King of the World.” She graciously answered some questions for Beach Reads.CINDY WITH THE GIRLS-small

What inspired you to write “King of the World” and Dance Me, Daddy?

CM: The song “King of the World” was inspired by a nightly ritual we got into in our family of gathering in the living room so my husband, Sigmund, and our daughter Olivia (who was 3 at the time) could dance together. We would turn on the music and as they danced, she would yell out, “Dance me Daddy!” I wrote the song as a birthday present for my husband the following year. I think there are a lot of daughters and dads out there that have done this very same thing.

Why is this song so meaningful to you?

CM: This song is meaningful because represents such a tender and innocent place of life for our family. It seems that when your kids are young, that everything in life is seen through their eyes so that even the most ordinary of things seem wondrous… like a dance on a hardwood floor in your bare feet.

What is your favorite memory from your father when you were a little girl?

CM: For me to pick one memory with my dad would be difficult because my dad and I were so close and he was such a wonderful, nurturing human being that I could tell you so many stories. But if I must pick one, I will pick something that I believe represents his spirit the most. I will tell you, the way I tell my daughters when they are snuggled in their bed at night asking me to tell them a story from when I was a little girl.

The Green Bike

My dad, Cova Morgan, who was a songwriter and musician at heart, was a mechanic by trade. He worked very hard, like most dads, to make ends meet.  I was about to turn 6 and since my birthday was in early June,  school had just let out and there was a whole summer ahead for me and like most kids, what I really wanted…  was a bike.

The tough thing for my dad was that he was working very hard but with a house full of kids to feed, there wasn’t a lot of money left over and so, it didn’t look like my birthday wish would come true that year. So the morning of my birthday arrived and my dad awoke me early that sunny summer morning with a sweet and gentle smile on his face and said, “Happy Birthday… I have something to show you.” I rubbed my eyes and jumped out of bed. He asked me to close my eyes before I turned the corner and guided me to the appropriate spot. When I opened my eyes, there before me, underneath an enormous red bow, was a sparkling, glittery green bike. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

“How… how did he do it?” I wondered.

What I found out some time later was that my dad made several trips to old used parts stores and the scrap metal yard, looking for pieces to the puzzle he was making.  He spent time every night after his mechanic’s work was done and built a bike for me. He bought a can of bright green spray paint (he knew that was and is my favorite color) and made sure that it was ready when my birthday came around.

To me, I feel my dad’s love in his time, his awareness of what I really wanted and even what color I hoped it would be. I miss my dad so much but I am so thankful that his spirit is alive and well in my heart.

How has your father shaped the woman you are today?

CM: I believe the way your father sees you is the way you see yourself. My dad made me feel like I was beautiful and special and capable of doing anything I set out to do. He listened to me and respected my opinions and my independence.  I believe that the foundation that a dad gives to his daughter shapes so much of the decisions she will make in life.

What is the best lesson your father passed onto you?

CM: I think one of the most important pieces of advice my dad gave me was, “when in doubt, don’t.” I cannot tell you how many times I am on the fence about doing something and my dad’s voice will speak in my head. It’s about just pausing to make sure that the action you are taking is really the right one.

What do you hope readers will take away from Dance Me, Daddy?

CM: I hope the people who read Dance Me, Daddy will remember all over again how precious the relationship with your father is. My dad passed away a few years ago and I miss him so much. I just want readers to remember how precious family life is. How precious the relationship between a dad and a daughter is. I hope it connects with their hearts… that’s what I hope for most of all.

How did you feel the first time you heard Point of Grace sing “King of the World”?

CM: The first time I heard Point of Grace’s version of “King of the World” I was so excited and proud. I think they did an absolutely beautiful job! I could not have been happier with how it turned out!

How have you worked with Point of Grace over the years?

CM: I have known the girls in Point of Grace for many years. The first song that I wrote that they recorded was “How You Live.” They did such an incredible job communicating that song,  just gorgeous, and I didn’t know at the time that they were going to go country as they have. It ended up being such a great fit. The next year they recorded another song that my good friend Phil Madeira and I wrote called “I Wish.” It has been wonderful to work with them and I hope to continue to write songs that they connect with.

What are your favorite lines from the song and the book?

CM: “Wide blue eyes and piggy tails swirl… she’s her daddy’s girl.”

How do you plan to celebrate Father’s Day this year?

CM: For Father’s Day this year we will just be arriving in Canada. I am guessing we will awake that morning and shower Sigmund with gifts and then the girls and I will take Sigmund and his mom and dad to lunch and then he will go golfing with some friends. He LOVES golf!

Thanks Cindy for aswering some questions.

Visit her website for a chance to win a big screen tv for your dad.

Posted by: rcwriter | June 4, 2009

God’s Girls by Karen Whiting

***Giveaway Note: Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win a super prize package from Karen Whiting. You’ll win a copy of A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters, Family Devotional Builder, and God’s Girls 2.***

Gods Girls 1God’s Girls#1

Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Legacy Press (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584110201
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584110200
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.3 x 0.5 inches

GodsGirls2God’s Girls #2

Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Legacy Press (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158411021X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584110217
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches

The God’s Girls books by Karen Whiting are a combination devotional and craft book. They’re written for tween girls and encourage creativity while nurturing a girl’s relationship with Christ. Each section opens with a memory verse, proceeds to a Bible story, and then a prayer. After the prayer comes “Dazzling Thoughts.” This section sums up the Biblical principal. From there it transitions into a journal page with three questions. The questions are simple and teach girls inflection.

Each devotional has a suggested craft. These crafts use simple, everyday supplies that can be found in almost every household. None  require an extensive list of supplies, and clean up will be quick and easy (the book even teaches the girls to do that). All the projects can be accomplished independently, unless mom can’t stand to miss out on the fun.

My favorite section of God’s Girls #2 is “Celebrations.” In this section girls are given complete instructions planning and hosting parties. There are several theme party ideas, and all include an object lesson. The lessons are non-threatening, and fantastic for reaching out to girls who don’t know God’s love. The parties are ideal for birthdays, sleepovers, or Bible study parties. They can also easily be adapted to a church, or school scale. I can’t wait to have Chatterbox’s friends over for a party.

Posted by: rcwriter | June 2, 2009

Karen Whiting, Author Interview

***Giveaway Note: Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win a super prize package from Karen Whiting. You’ll win a copy of A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters, Family Devotional Builder, and God’s Girls 2.***

Karen Whiting is a creative and accomplished author. She has the ability to intertwine Biblical principals with fun hands on activities. Many of her writings focus on the mother/daughter relationship and strengthening that bond. I recently had a chance to get to know her and her work better.

RC: Hi Karen, can you tell us a little about yourself.

KW: I’m a mother of five (three sons, two daughters) and a grandmother of five. My youngest is still a teen. I’ve lived in Maryland on the Eastern shore for a few years now, but at heart I’m still a Floridian. My best selling books are inspirational craft books for teen girls, titled God’s Girls 1 and 2.

RC: What do you like about writing for children?

KW: Children are so much fun and so open to trying new activities that I like providing ideas that inspire their creative minds. I also believe that nurturing children’s minds and spirits through books will help them grow into great adults. I like to think I’m helping to grow tomorrow’s women as I write for girls.

RC: Karen, your latest work appears in a compilation for mothers and daughters. What’s the book about?

KW: The book contains short daily readings of real stories that involve mothers and daughters. These are struggles, joys, pain, and the whole gamut of emotions moms and daughters experience in life.

RC: It’s great for women to be close to their daughters. How can teens and moms use the book this summer?

KW: I believe the book can be great for sharing memories of childhood days, helping mothers share about their own mothers, and building a closer bond now. Each story can prompt a little discussion about life and similar situations or emotions. As mothers and daughters talk they strengthen their bonds. Read one each day, morning or evening, and then let the conversation  flow from the reading.

RC: You have a few stories in this book. Tell us first about the one concerning your oldest daughter as she struggled to be athletic.

KW: At age five Rebecca longed to be good at a sport. She had trouble with balls and didn’t have a good sense of rhythm for dance, but she could swim. We found a team that let her participate. The story shares at how she slowly swam to finish her first race. All the other swimmers completed the race and she still had a long way to go the one length of the pool. I yelled to encourage her and soon everyone joined in cheering on this tiny child. She finished to a standing ovation and remarked that she heard my voice encouraging her.

RC: A mother’s encouragement is so important, I know it is for my kids and I can see how this could lead to a mother daughter chat about past times of being encouraged or even how a mom could be encouraging now.
You also wrote a devotion for this Mother’s Day about your younger daughter who had been waiting at a red light when a truck rammed into the back of the van she was driving. Tell us about the effects of the accident and the hope you wrote about in the devotion.

KW: That created difficulties because the accident caused a post-traumatic syndrome where Darlene couldn’t remember facts well. She is a kinesthetic learner so I would have to read her textbook and walk while going over the information to help her learn it. We discovered as we walked that we could talk much easier than at home.

RC: How do these stories impact teens and moms?

KW: A friend mentioned the other day that she read about Darlene walking with me and tried it with her teen daughter. They had been having a tough time talking and it worked for her. She found it so much easier to chat while they walked together. Sometimes it gives people ideas of what to do, other times the stories bring back memories that open up talking and sharing. And the book itself is a great connection to sharing with reading together.

RC: Chatterbox isn’t a teen yet, but you’re God’s Girl books open the door of communication about Scripture between us. Thanks so much for taking time out to answer my questions.

KW: Thank you, it’s been fun.

Posted by: rcwriter | June 1, 2009

Winner of Shelley Adina All About Us Series

The wonderful winner of the All About Us Series is Shari Green. Yay!!

June has some awesome prizes, and a fun new giveaway just for kids. Be sure and check back Thursday for the first one.

Posted by: rcwriter | May 30, 2009

“Who Made You A Princess?”–My Review

***Giveaway note: The giveaway for Laura Lee Heinsohn’s book, Cracking the Parenting Code, has been postponed until a later date.***

**This is your last chance to enter to win a set of the All About Us Series. Leave a comment, and you’ll be entered. The winner will be announced late Sunday night, May 31.**

Who Made You PrincessShani Hanna finds herself at a crossroads in life.  She can either continue to live a life of luxury with every want and whim satisfied, or she can give all of it up to follow her heart.  On one hand, she’s being courted by a Prince, on the other, there’s a down to earth surfer boy who adores her.

Once again Shelley Adina delivers a fantastic story. Her settingshelleyadina1 may be a posh school, and her characters have unlimited platinum credit cards, but the underlying story is a dilemma teens face everyday: Who do you choose to serve?

I found myself identifying with Shani as she struggled with the questions of faith. Ms. Adina did a great job showing the internal feelings of a non-believer as her main character struggled with the ‘does God really care for me’ question. She even went further by showing God’s love for Shani instead of having friends attempt to explain this complex concept.

This series is filled with extremely wealthy people who are Christians. It’s rarely that you see this type of storyline. I find it refreshing to see the atypical in a book. One thing Ms. Adina does well, is atypical, or non-stereotypical, writing.

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