Friday, June 17, 2016

Make Your Children World Explorers


Give your family summer vacation a makeover this year and turn it into a "staycation." Have your kids forget their summer boredom, turn off their screens, and instead circle the globe with Focus on the Family's "World Explorers" summer adventure kit!

Throughout the next two months, travel our colorful, diverse world, visiting 27 different countries on six continents. Part of the fun will be figuring out where the next stop is, using five clues that reveal interesting facts about the next country. Once you've determined where you're going, use the games, activities and faith lessons to give your kids a glimpse into that country's unique culture.

Click here to sign up and receive your free summer adventure kit.

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Don’t Be Bored This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Journey to Heal (Review)

This review is for the book "Journey to Heal" by Crystal M. Sutherland. Sutherland is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, yet she talks about her experience in a way that should not be a trigger for other survivors.

This book is focused on seven steps of recovery, and each step has scripture woven in with it. For example, chapter three is called "There's No More Disgrace For You" and focuses on shame. Sutherland assures readers that God has a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11) and that we are made in his image (Genesis 1:27) and also that he does not blame the victim of situations such as this. Readers are encouraged to have a Truth Journal where they can journal the truths that they learn about themselves and the situation throughout this journey. She has a section after each chapter that goes a bit more in depth - a short prayer, some extra scripture to read, documenting certain things and what to develop from this stage of the journey.

This book is such a gift and an amazing resource for those survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I can definitely see this book giving hope to those who feel depressed, alone, and helpless. What an awesome book to read with a survivors group or friend who knows your story and will hold you accountable.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Naming Our Abuse (Review)

This review is for the book "Naming Our Abuse" by Andrew Schmutzer, Daniel Gorski and David Carlson. This book is focused on God's pathways to healing for male sexual abuse survivors. Although I am not a male, I could see the potential this book has for healing. As the men say, their abuse was already identified, but they needed more exploration. They did this in such a way that they labeled the trauma as a car accident, and talked about each stage - The Wreck, Accident Report, Rehabilitation and Driving Again. What a fantastic metaphor.

Obviously, The Wreck is the trauma that was inflicted on these men, which honestly, was unimaginable to me. Andrew, Daniel and David talk about their experiences in a way that you understand where they are coming from and the reader realizes how quickly these things occur, and how long it can go on without anyone even realizing it. Unbelievable. At the end of this section is a reflection of key moments in your own trauma, thinking of how the trauma affects your other relationships, how to be angry, and even coping tips. The Accident Report is discussing, as they say, "the magnitude of the debris" from The Wreck. This includes intimacy issues and anger issues, among other things. A section at the end of the chapter helps you journal your key moments and damage. Rehabilitation is all about the earnest desire to heal the broken parts of their lives. The reflection section goes through the healing process for you, advocates you can reach out to, and more coping tips. Lastly is Driving Again, which is the "moving on" process and adapting to life. There is a reflection area included at the end of this chapter as well.

I can tell this book is such a fantastic part of healing for men. I can imagine men who feel helpless, hopeless and alone, picking this book up and feeling like they know what steps to take to begin this process. What an awesome resource.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Seed (Review)

This review is for the book "The Seed" by Erik Guzman. This is labeled as a "true myth" which intrigued me, and the reviews I read for this book also made me excited to read it. People are labeling this book as a novel with elements of C.S. Lewis, the Brothers Grimm, J.R.R. Tolkien, and other great authors.

In this book, Tatus, Madeline and Roark build a labyrinth against The Shadow that haunts them. This Shadow has killed others and keeps coming against the humans. The plot in this book is so thick and twisty, that I really didn't know who to trust. The book has incredible visuals weaved into the storyline, but I was also a bit confused at times with some of the characters. By the end of the book I was really able to see how every character and action was weaving together to create the story. At one point the story became really familiar and I really started to see where Guzman was going with the story. That section in particular was sad, and yet really beautiful.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

My Father's House (Review)

This review is for the book "My Father's House" by Rose Chandler Johnson. In this novel we meet Lily Rose Cates. She has an incredible childhood and a strong relationship with her father. Of course, when he dies, her world changes. As she goes through college, her friends slowly get into relationships or get married, and Lily feels a bit left behind. So when she meets the stunning Manuel in the big city of New York City, she is captivated and amazed that he is showering her with attention. She falls for him in a big way, and although there are some warning signs, she ignores them and ends up marrying him. Soon enough her marriage is falling apart and she is on the run from him. Thankfully her dad left her some property in his will. She heads back there and begins to find herself again, with the help of the community.

This is a great story of community and how family is more than just blood relatives. It does have some cursing in it from her husband, so be aware of that when reading. I have read one of Johnson's other books which was non-fiction and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to see her venture into fiction. I look forward to reading more by her.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Adventures in Odyssey Summer Challenge 2016

This summer, you can join Adventures in Odyssey’s Clubhouse Magazine and help children in the Middle East go to school and learn English. It’s Adventures in Odyssey's Clubhouse Magazine Exercise to Educate summer challenge!

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The Problem

Nearly 7,000 miles away from the United States, there's a war going on in the country of Syria. Many families have been forced from their homes. Parents have had to leave their jobs, and children have had to leave behind toys and friends.

Many of these families now live in refugee camps in nearby countries. They have tents instead of houses. Clean water is hard to come by. This war has put 2.6 million children out of school – some for more than four years already.

The Solution

Our friends at Focus on the Family Middle East know many families who don't have the money to buy a school uniform and pay for their children to go to school. They also know people who would love to teach children English in local churches.

You may not have a lot of money to help, but you probably have time, energy and excitement. Here's what you can do:

1. Go to to
2. Print a sponsor sheet and exercise to earn points. You can do it for a week or the whole summer – just remember, the more you exercise, the more points you'll earn!
3. Ask your family and friends to sponsor your efforts.
4. Beginning in July, tell us how you did and receive a digital bundle from your friends at Adventures in Odyssey and Focus on the Family. The deadline to submit your information is August 31, 2016. 

For participating and submitting your information, you will get a free Adventures in Odyssey episode from Album 51. You will also get 101 Surefire Ways to Strengthen Your Child's Faith – eBook and the audio book of Imagination Station #1, “Voyage with the Vikings.” Make the most of your summer—exercise for your health and help other kids in need while you do!

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Don’t Be Bored This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with over 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at

Sister Eve and the Blue Nun (Review)

This review is for the book "Sister Eve and the Blue Nun" by Lynne Hinton. I have to say, if nothing else, the title of this book is very eye-catching! I could not wait to read this book just based on the title alone.

Sister Eve is a rather unconventional nun. She doesn't live in the convent, she wears blue jeans, and she rides a motorcycle. Oh, and she loves to do private investigations. This particular book is part of the Sister Eve series, but you do not have to read any other books in the series to understand what is happening in this book. Sister Eve is struggling with the vows she has taken as a nun and her passion for private investigation. When a visitor gets murdered at the monastery, she can't help but get involved so that she can clear the name of her friend, Brother Andrew, who mysteriously disappeared right after the murder happened. Poor Eve gets herself into all kinds of trouble as she goes gallivanting around trying to solve the mystery on her own.

This was a fun, quirky novel. I will be honest that I skimmed some of the parts that seemed to have more detail than necessary, but the general outline of the story was great - suspenseful, and not obvious as to who the killer is.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Through the Shadows (Review)

This review is for the book "Through the Shadows" by Karen Barnett. This is the third book in her Golden Gate Chronicles series. I actually was able to read the other two books in this series and I really enjoyed them, although I don't always care for historical fiction. This book could definitely be read on its own without the rest of the series, but if you read the rest of the series (particularly the 2nd book) you will have more context of what is going on with the King family and why they are struggling.

In this book, the King family is struggling financially after the huge San Francisco earthquake. Elizabeth King is struggling after making a poor life choice. She attempts to make up for it by going to work in Chinatown, helping young Chinese girls escape brothels. She meets a lawyer, Charles McKinley, who wants to help, but is torn between helping the city and living up to the dreams his uncle has for him. They begin to have feelings for one another, but Elizabeth is afraid her past will drive a wedge between the two of them.

I enjoyed this book as much as the others in the series. I really enjoyed the characters and I believe their struggles are very realistic of the early 1900s, particularly after a large natural disaster. I definitely recommend not only this book but the whole series.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Medical Judgment (Review)

This review is for the book "Medical Judgment" by Richard L. Mabry. I have read several other books by Mabry in the past couple of years, and I have always enjoyed them and looked forward to reading more by him. Unfortunately, this one was not nearly as impressive to me.

In this book, someone is after Dr. Sarah Gordon. Her husband and daughter were tragically killed in a car accident that wasn't even their fault, and while she is trying to mourn them, someone is obviously after her. They set fire to her house, they are stalking her, and leaving eerie messages on her phone, to name just a few things. Meanwhile, she is being "helped" a little too much by a friend of her husband's, Kyle, and the detective on the case. Honestly, those two guys were what turned me off of the book. They totally creeped me out. They were both really pushy with her, especially her late husband's friend. I just felt like the story line didn't need the men to be so pushy and weird with Sarah. They could have had feelings for her without being overboard. But I guess it was supposed to add to the story and the "whodunit" factor.

This was not my favorite book from Mabry, but I will continue to look for more of his books in the future, because I have enjoyed so many of his others.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

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