Monday, November 30, 2015

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson


Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off with Joy toward Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--one that could derail the whole venture.

No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it's going to be an exciting ride!


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books with combined sales of more than six million. She is the author of the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, Christmas at Harrington's, and The Christmas Cat. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at


Just in time for Christmas is this wonderful, wonderful story of Christmas Joy and Miranda. Joy is an older woman who loves Christmas and wants to share this love with others. She has a blog where she shares her thoughts and her love of Christmas. She decides to run a contest on her blog and that's where this adventure begins.

Miranda is her next door neighbor whose Christmas spirit left her wen her husband did and all her financial troubles began. She's in the process of losing her home and Christmas is anything but joyous for her. When she finds out that Joy intends to drive her motor home across country on the old Route 66, she just knows she can't allow her to do this all by herself.

There is one adventure after another as they travel from Chicago to Arizona where Joy will be living in an assisted living facility not far from her sons. This is her last hurrah, so to speak, and she is going to make the most of it.

Joy transforms hearts and minds as she touches them with the true meaning of Christmas and Miranda's life is touched as well.

I absolutely adored this book! It is such a marvelous book of joy and hope! You'll love this book and it's perfect for curling up with. It would also make a wonderful Christmas present! I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Revell

Blessings - Julie

Our Presidents and Their Prayers


What is the single most important common thread that unites all American Presidents - such a small number of extraordinary people from different centuries, parties, backgrounds and experiences - as they shoulder the overwhelming responsibilities of the office of President of the United States? There is only one possible answer: their faith. As a respected national leader and a man of deep faith himself, Senator Rand Paul has written OUR PRESIDENTS & THEIR PRAYERS in collaboration with James Randall Robison to remind us all that in a country founded by religious people, that abiding and rock-solid belief in God has been the key to each and every president's strength. Senator Paul's inspiring look into the heart-felt sentiments and personal prayers of leaders past and present becomes a powerful testament to our incredible accomplishments: winning the Revolution, writing the Constitution, and leading the world as the most exceptional and longest-lasting democracy in history. It's nothing short of a miracle, then and now. Every man who has answered the people's call to become President has looked for and found answers in his faith as he faced the nation's problems, and each president has frequently described his reliance on the Creator in his public speeches, official proclamations and private prayers. Join Senator Paul in applauding the important role faith has played in our country through over 225 years of triumphs and struggles, justice and injustice, accomplishments and setbacks, war and peace. In OUR PRESIDENTS & THEIR PRAYERS, Senator Paul stands up to the doubters in this most timely and important affirmation of how faith and prayer have always guided us, and why they must continue to do so as we face major decisions for the future of our country.


I enjoyed this book so much. I loved the thought put into this book and all the photographs. It was just lovely looking at each photograph as I found them so interesting.

However, don't just stop there...there's so much wonderful, inspiring information in this book! I enjoyed each and every page. I found it so interesting to realize how much prayer meant to some of the Presidents and how God guided their steps. They didn't flaunt this but just lived it out. There are some really inspiring quotes from some of these men that are as timely today as they were then.

I enjoyed reading about some of the presidents more than others and was especially inspired by those men who truly lived out their faith for us to see.

This is a wonderful book and  it would make a great Christmas gift for anyone! Especially the history lover would like this book, though. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Hachette Book Group

Blessings - Julie

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Book Review - The Golden Braid


The one who needs rescuing isn't always the one in the tower. . . .
Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.
Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel's hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again---this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.
The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight---Sir Gerek---Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?
As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor's degree in special education from The University of Alabama.

She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany, and the Eastern European country of Ukraine.

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.


This book was a wonderful story to curl up with on these cold nights and read. The story was just wonderful with enough mysterious things to keep your attention.

The story is about Rapunzel and she's definitely a girl to be admired! She's loyal, loving and can throw a knife that hits it's aim every time. I really liked her as the heroine! She was someone I would love to be friends with and I love a book where I can start cheering for the lead character right away!

Rapunzel is constantly moving around because her mother just can't seem to settle anywhere. Her mother is suspicious of everyone and gets close to no one, except Rapunzel. However, her attitudes are starting to hold Rapunzel back in a lot of areas of her life. There's also a secret that her mother is with-holding because she definitely does not trust men of any kind.

During one of their travels, they are rescued by a knight, Sir Gerek, who changes Rapunzel's life in more ways than one, as she does his. Their friendship that blossoms is really lovely and totally believable as a real life relationship.

I just can't say enough good things about this book! I loved the storyline, the characters, and everything about it. The only thing I didn't like is when it ended! I just loved this story so much and it's a definitely a wonderful new telling of the story of Rapunzel. It will keep you reading into the night so be forewarned! It's also a hard cover, so that was a definite plus in my book! It's a keeper! This is a wonderful book and I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

You can read more reviews of this book HERE

Blessings - Julie

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Book Review - The Story of Christmas in 40 Days


Do you know the story of the first Christmas, the entire story, not just what you have seen on Christmas specials or heard in Christmas hymns?
Take a few minutes each day for the next 40 days to read about the events leading up to this holiest of nights.  Meet the people who were there, Elizabeth, Zachariah, the Angel Gabriel, Mary and Joseph.  Travel across the Judean countryside to Nazareth and on to Bethlehem.  Witness the birth of Jesus as you never have before.
  • Spend 40 days strengthening your faith.
  • Spend 40 days drawing closer to God.
  • Spend 40 days getting to know your Savior Jesus Christ

As I was growing up, I dreamed of accomplishing two things with my life: write a book and change the world. You might think that the book was the easy part, but who can change the world?

While I was publishing my memoir of my mission trip to Kenya, “A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven”, that I realized my dream of changing the world is not so foolish. Like every item on anyone’s bucket list, this too could someday be crossed off my list. I have come to realize that to change the world means to change one person’s world.

My daughter and I returned to Kenya in the spring of 2013 and while there met many more men, women and children who need positive change in their lives. My daughter began working on a nonprofit organization to help these people, to empower them and improve their way of life. Tumaini Volunteers, Inc., was born and remains a work in progress.

In addition to my writing and involvement with Tumaini Volunteers, I work fulltime in the medical field, mentor a Kinship kid, mentor my church’s college students, and sponsor a Compassion child.
I am not anyone special, but I now know that change is possible. The world can be a better place. We just need to get out there and do the work that God has given us to do.


This is a lovely book perfect for the Christmas season. It will prepare your heart for Christmas and keep you focused on Jesus during this time.

Each day has a Scripture that focuses on the story of Jesus. Then, there is a short devotional that focuses on this Scripture. There is a question within this devotional for you to answer and the book provides a lined area for you to answer this question or to record your thoughts.

This book is done very well. It helps you to get more in-depth into the Bible without being over your head. Each devotional was easy to understand and helped me to get more understanding. I also loved the little silhouette of the manger scene on every other page. It's little touches like this that make this book ever more special.

This would be a great book for using during your quiet time with the Lord or to even do with a friend. I really enjoyed it, gained a lot from it and I highly recommend it! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Aneko Press

Blessings - Julie

Friday, November 27, 2015

Bible Review - NKJV Prophecy Study Bible


The prophecies of the Bible assure us that God will prevail. The NKJV Prophecy Study Bible, 2015 Edition has hundreds of pages of special features that offer a broad understanding of prophetic themes, salvation, covenants, and other important doctrines of the Christian faith.


I enjoyed this Bible so much and all of the prophecy information contained within it. John Hagee has made it a huge part of his life's work and it definitely shows in all the wonderful information he shares within this Bible.

I also like the NKJV translation of this Bible. It's very easy to understand and reads so very nice! Plus there are lots of extras that will help you to understand the prophecy of the Bible.

There are charts on Bible prophecy, an introduction to Bible prophecy, and more. There are also introductions into each book of the Bible, which I found really informative. There's so much to this Bible to help you in your studies.

The only thing I was a bit disappointed in, is that this is not your typical study Bible. There are some footnotes of information for some of the Scriptures, but not on every page as I had expected. Despite this, I still learned so much from this Bible and highly recommend it for anyone who wants to really understand Bible prophecy. I give this Bible 4 out of 5 stars.

*This Bible was provided to me for my honest review by BookLook Bloggers Program

Blessings - Julie