Crown of Souls – Review

I received this book free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

Crown of SoulsRonie Kendig

This book is the 3rd in Ronnie Kendig’s Tox Files series and is my favorite of the three. Gripping from beginning to end, this book was fun and entertaining to read.

The book starts with Tox being shot and the action just continues from there. Tox is forced to face his personal conflicts all while hunting down a deranged killer and keeping his team alive.

When an old army friend goes rogue, Tox and his team have to find him and stop him. Can Tox find him in time, can the team stop what he’s doing?

As they pursue, Tox learns more about himself than he really wanted to know. And he has to make hard decisions about how to protect his team and those he loves without becoming the monster that he is trying to stop.

I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading number four of the Tox Files when it comes out.

How to Listen so People Will Talk – Review

I received this book free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

How to Listen so People will TalkBecky Harling

I don’t know about you, but I have a problem with not listening to people and then being frustrated when people aren’t listening to me. I have a couple of friends who are really good listeners and I’ve really been observing this year and trying to figure out what makes them people that I want to talk to.

I was excited that I got to review this book, because I really wanted to know. How do I listen so people will talk to me. My friends, my kids, my husband, even the random lady at the grocery checkout. Yes, all my life, random people will literally tell me their life story. Though, these past couple of years, having multiple kids seems to slow that down a little. And I started wondering if it was actually the kids, or is it me. Have I just gotten bad at listening?

I picked up several really good tips from this book. Though, my favorite was the section on “listen to another’s story”. Just thinking about how I listen and framing it around listening as they tell their story – because everything in life is a story – has really helped me actually stop trying to talk and just listen. It’s all about developing better listening habits. Want to know more about what it means to listen to someone’s story, you should buy the book.

There were several other really great tips in this book, and combining them with my focus of listening to another’s story is working really well for me. I’m not sure if my kids and husband are comfortable talking more, or if they’re talking the same and I’m just paying better attention, but I do feel like I’m hearing more of what they say, more of their story. And I’m happy to be hearing more from the people that I love.

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The Assault – Book Review

I received this book free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

The Assault: Cycle Two of the Harbingers Series by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky.

This is Book two of the Harbingers Series. A while back I reviewed book one and liked it so I was excited to receive book two to review as well.

This book was much like the first, with each author writing a section from their person’s point of view. I do find it a bit jolting at times when I switch authors. Mainly because the book is more like 4 mini stories and not one large story, but also the switch between characters when I switch authors always takes me a second. I have to re-orient myself to whom is telling the story – since the stories are told in the first person, and each author writes for a different person.

As the darkness grows with these 4 gifted people be able to stay ahead of it or will it overtake them? The continuing story line is interesting and exciting to read. Because of the 4 different authors it’s a bit unpredictable what will happen to the 4 friends next and what the outcome will be, so it keeps me guessing. Which is always great for this type of book.

This book is easy and quick to read and very entertaining. I enjoyed reading it, and plan to read cycle three as well.


Praying for Girls – Review

I received this book free for purposes of my review, all opinions are my own.

Praying for Girls by Teri Lynne Underwood – Asking God for the Things they Need Most.

If you have daughters and don’t really know how to pray for them, this book is perfect for you. The author has suggestions for praying for your daughters both young and older across 5 different areas of her life.

Each section has several chapters that break down the topic, and each chapter has suggested verses, prayers, and activities for you and your daughter so that you can pray and press into these topics with your daughter and pray some more.

The ideas for engaging with your daughter are simple, practical, and great conversation starters for pressing into some of the more difficult areas of growing up.

For my girls, they’re young, so I think just now beginning to think about their purposes – which is one of the areas covered. There are some great prayers and conversation starters for me to use to begin digging into this a little bit now and then I can add on as they get older.

Praying for Girls was easy to read and is a great book for me to continue to refer to as my girls get older.

Threads of Suspicion Review

I received this book free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

Threads of Suspicion (An Evie Blackwell Cold Case) by Dee Henderson

This book is about Evie Blackwell, an investigator who is great at cracking cold cases.

She’s such a great investigator she gets appointed to the Illinois Governor’s Missing Persons Task Force.

Evie gets to pick her own case and gets one that is truly puzzling and proves to be harder to solve than she expected.

With lots of twists and turns along the way. New friendships, old friendships challenged, and unexpected events. This book was a great mystery.

The author, Dee Henderson did a great job of keeping me guessing all the way to the end. Who did it? Where is the missing person? And how will Evie keep up with it all and her personal life at the same time?

A great mystery!

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Invitation – Book Review

I received this book free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

Invitation – Harbingers Cycle One – by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky.

I read my first book by Frank Peretti when I was a young teen and never read another one. So, I really was reluctant to try out an entire book by Peretti. However, since he wrote this book in cooperation with 3 other authors I thought it was a pretty low commitment way for me to give him another try.

I’ll be honest. He’s still not my favorite author, but definitely better than I remember him. Before this book I had just finished the Wing & Wing by James Fenmore Cooper (think older english text, like Charles Dickens). So switching over to this book, I honestly felt like I was doing some super simple reading. I sat down and in under an hour and a half (with interruptions from the kids) I was already 1/3 of the way through the book.

I’m not complaining about the authors’ styles. I was just a shocking contrast to the larger, older words I had just waded through. All that said, this book was a remarkably fast/easy read. If you’re traveling, it would be perfect for on the plane or in the car when you want to read something that you can just pick right back up if you get interrupted.

Invitation is in four sections. There are 4 main characters. Each author wrote one section from one character’s perspective. A rather interesting way to write a story. Their styles are all similar enough that switching through the authors wasn’t a problem.

The story is interesting and entertaining to read and was a nice break from the heaver reading I had just been doing. If you like any of these authors, you’ll enjoy this creative collaboration and may even find a new author that you like.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Craft


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a well loved favorite in my house. Even my 8yr old still loves it!

So, naturally, when I told the kids we were going to do a fun caterpillar craft, we had to read the book, about a doze time, before we could get started crafting.

We had so much fun making these cute little caterpillars. My girls even made some to take and share with friends, because, honestly, they’re so cute!

These little caterpillars are also fast, and easy to make. For your littles, just have them line up their little pompoms in the order they want them and you do the gluing. My 8yr old was thrilled with the prospect of using the hot glue gun so she insisted on making her own.



Googly Eyes
Hot Glue Gun

Sounds easy so far! Now, just line up however many pomPoms you want, in whatever color order you want and hot glue them together. After the glue has dried (which is super fast in case your toddler is wondering) you can hot glue gun or stick on the eyes. I prefer the glue because they stick better.

Just look at this cute little caterpillar!


Once Upon a Time Holy Bible & Once Upon a Time Storybook Bible – Review

This is a sponsored post.

My 6yr old has been asking lately for her own Bible so I was pretty excited to surprise her with this fun review – I received these two books for free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own. Not only did she receive a NIrV Bible – Once Upon a Time Holy Bible, she also received a copy of the new Once Upon a Time Storybook Bible.


For starters, the covers are so colorful and fun. She was just delighted to get them. Even before she opened them. Once you open the books, the artwork is beautiful and exciting. I also love how they fit together as a set. A NIrV Bible and a Bible storybook. It makes it fun to either read the stories and look in the Bible for more info or I can read the story in her Bible while she looks as the pictures in her storybook.

They’re also great on their own for just reading. She’s even been bringing me her new Bible in the evenings for us to read for family devotions instead of reading my Bible. I’m loving how much more excited she is about reading the Bible now that she has her own!


And then she likes to have her Dad read her a story from her Once Upon a Time Storybook Bible for her bedtime story at night.

These books are perfect for getting my daughter excited about reading the Bible and excited about discovering more Bible stories!

Once Upon A Time Holy Bible is available where books are sold. This Bible is the NIrV version and has 6 illustrated stories as well as the Bible text. It is available in Hardcover and in Softcover. My review is based on the hardcover version.

Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible is available at Sam’s Club or wherever books are sold. This beautifully illustrated storybook Bible is a perfect partner to the Once Upon a Time Holy Bible and is great for just reading or to read for bedtime stories.

Head here to purchase your own.


Dinosaurs and Cookies

How do Dinosaurs Eat Cookies by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague.

Our book topic for this month’s book craft was “How Do Dinosaurs…” I’d never read this series before but it sounded like fun.

I went a little overboard and check out maybe a dozen from the library – and there’s still more! The kids didn’t mind because these books are super cute, and fun to read. They all have a fun rhyme and my 3yr old loves dinosaurs so he was very excited to have all sorts of dinosaur books to read.

With the cold snap last week, baking cookies together was a great project. We made chocolate cookies with multi-colored dinosaur eggs (mini m&m’s). So much fun, and so tasty!

Along we way we got to talk about how dinosaurs help in the kitchen – they don’t throw the m&m’s btw. And how dinosaurs are very polite when they eat their cookies.

How do Dinosaurs Eat Cookies is a super cute board book with “scratch & sniff” cookies throughout. Lots of fun to read together over and over.


Dinosaur Egg Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 package mini m&ms – or other chocolate chips of your choice

  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. With an electric mixer, blend together butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, until well blended.
  4. Stir in mini m&ms
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool about 5 minutes then remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Makes 5 to 6 dozen cookies


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Come join us for the Monthly Crafting Book Club. Each month we focus on a different book and encourage early literacy by pairing it with a craft.

Monthly Crafting Book Club


Murder on the Moor – Book Review

I received a copy of this book free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

I just love Juliana Deering’s Drew Farthering Murdery Mysteries! Murder on the Moor is the fourth in her Drew Farthering Murder Mystery series. I have already read the previous three and Murder on the Moor is a terrific addition to this collection. In fact, it may very well be my favorite.

Juliana Deering seems to be a fan of the classics. In each of her books she highlights a well known mystery writer. This book, was all about Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. She does make references to other Sherlock Holmes stories but isn’t shy about having her characters call attention to similarities between their story and the Hound of the Baskervilles. I’m quite a Sherlock Holmes fan and thoroughly enjoyed the references.

There’s been a murder out on the Moors. Can Drew and Madeline find the murderer before someone else is murdered? The moors are a great place for mystery, getting lost, looking for a murderer, and lots of other great drama. I really enjoyed this book, it’s exciting and mysterious from beginning to end with fun plot twists and plenty of mystery.

The little town of Bunting’s Nest hasn’t seen a murder in ages so the police are only too happy to have Drew Farthering in on the case. As the mystery and suspense grow, it’s up to Drew to find the killer before it’s too late.

If you’re looking for a fun, entertaining, and well written murder mystery. You’ll love this book!

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