Friday, January 22, 2016

Captive DVD Drawing


This movie is based on a true story.  Ashley Smith was held hostage by Brian Nichols after he escapes from an Atlanta courthouse and evades police.  During tense hours of captivity, Ashley learns she and Brian have some problems in common.  Both of them have important choices to make.

Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life plays a role as Ashley reads from the book and manages to connect with her captor in a way that causes him to let her go.

There is violence and drug use, but only as it is integral to the story. I appreciated the dedication of the movie to Brian Nichols' victims.  Each is depicted in the movie and photos are shown in the credits to honor them.  See more at the official movie website.

Comment on this blog post by Friday, January 29 to be entered into a drawing for a free copy of the DVD.  I received a complimentary review copy from Flyby Promotions.


Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Lessons from an Extraordinary Mother: Mary


Instead of pop-culture parenting advice, Sarah Jakes looks to the life of Mary for answers and inspiration for her own experiences as a mother.  Mary was a humble girl chosen to play a huge role in the plan of God to redeem mankind.

As mothers, why not look at the historical record of the woman God chose to mother His own Son?  A mortal like us, with fears, dreams, doubts--yet Mary submitted herself to the plan of God.  That sounds like a pattern I should follow.

I received a free review copy of Dear Mary from Bethany House publishers for my honest review.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Fantasy Novel: The Shock of Night


The Darkwater Saga by Patrick W. Carr begins with The Shock of Night.  Willet Dura serves the king by investigating crimes.  Things get frightening when Willet receives an unexpected gift that puts him in league with a small group of people who are not supposed to exist anymore.  Add to that the fact that Willet has a dark secret hidden away in his mind, where he cannot retrieve it.

Lovers of mystery and of fantasy can both enjoy this novel.  I will be adding this series to my church library, looking forward to future installments.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for my honest review.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dangerous Beauty Series Continues

Angela Hunt has a gift for imagining the lives of women about whom the Bible tells us only the essentials.  Using the Bible and other history of the times, she has fleshed out a fictional account of the life of Bathsheba--the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of David's Might Men.  Stolen by the king, Bathsheba endured the loss of her husband by David's plot and the loss of her infant son by God's judgement.

She also went on to give birth to Solomon, future king of Israel and builder of the first Temple.  What must it have been like to be her?  I believe Angela Hunt has given an excellent story that might be close the truth.

As a church librarian and lover of history, I recommend Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty as part of a fiction collection.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for my honest review.

Dangerous Beauty series on Amazon

Book of Nehemiah Comes to Life

On this Foundation by Lynn Austin is the third volume of The Restoration Chronicles.

Using careful historical research to inform the storytelling, Austin offers historical fiction heavy on the history.  The story of Nehemiah's faith and leadership in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem against tremendous opposition is a story we need today.

If you like romance without silly sappiness, courage without hubris, and faith with flaws, this story is a very human and uplifting read.

I highly recommend the entire Restoration Chronicles series for church and home libraries.  

I received a free review copy of On this Foundation from Bethany House publishers in exchange for my honest opinion as a church librarian.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Solar-Powered Airplane: Fun and Educational

Children learn with their entire bodies, not just their eyes and ears.  Hands-on activities are ideal for teaching basic STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) principles such as gravity, speed, momentum and lift.  Eye-hand coordination is developed when children read illustrated instructions and translate 2-dimensional diagrams into 3-dimensional models.  When the resulting model can also fly, well, that is one great educational activity! That's why I'm excited to introduce you to the Volta Flyer.


Get kids active outdoors while also teaching them important STEM concepts such as aerodynamics, electronics, and mechanical engineering.  This earth-friendly flyer uses the power of the sun and is made of super-lightweight, eco-friendly materials.  It is hand launched, so there are no dangerous chemicals or flames involved, either.



Check out the Kickstarter campaign from Toylabs and be rewarded with a Volta Flyer of your own!  You can also follow @ToyLabs in Twitter to keep up with new developments.

Early interest in STEM careers begins with parents and teachers engaging children in meaningful activities that show how math and science relate to real-world processes.  Even children who end up in non-STEM careers will still benefit from the experience of carefully following instructions, building, measuring, testing, and correcting mistakes.

Add the family bonding time involved in a project like the Volta Flyer and you have a gift that keeps on giving.  Fresh air, family fun, and STEM education--all in one!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Subversive Living: A More Prosperous Planet

Subversive Living: A More Prosperous Planet: About time somebody wrote about helping people prosper instead of just demonizing success!  It's been a while.  Felipe Tudela offers a rational look at wealth...