Category Archives: **** Good – Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others

Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours: A NovelTitle: Before We Were Yours
Author: Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-0-425-28468-1

“Secrets ain’t a healthy thang, no matter how old they is. Sometimes the oldest secrets is the worst of all,” Avery is told in Lisa Wingate’s novel, Before We Were Yours.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-fifty-eight pages, this paperback targets those who enjoy historical fiction involving adoption, hidden pasts, and complicated family dynamics. Topics of child endangerment, abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers.

In this story told in first person by two different people over seventy years apart, twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her younger siblings are violently uprooted in 1939 when their mother is rushed to the hospital to deliver a baby. Forced to live at the Tennessee Children’s Home, the sisters and brothers do all they can to stick together, but they each face one hardship and disappointment after another. Added in inserted current-day chapters, the engaged thirty-year-old Avery Stafford is drawn to a woman in a South Carolina nursing home who somehow has an old photograph of her aging grandmother. As Avery divulges into the past, she finds more than family secrets that change her and those around her.

~ Why ~
Learning about Georgia Tann and her adoption empire that included conning parents out of their children or taking them without permission for a profit, the book covers the heartbreak, loneliness, and fear from a child’s perspective and the siblings she deeply loves. I like how the chapters jumped from the past to present through two related women searching for hope.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like tragic tales related to orphans being physically, emotionally, and sexually abused may not want to read this one. Others may not relate to the existing political or societal norms of the South.

~ Who ~
A former journalist and speaker, Wingate is a national bestselling author who has won many writing awards.

~ Wish ~
With the ending being a little confusing, I wish there were more explanation that connected the siblings.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a historical fiction about life as a child in the infamous Tennessee Children’s Home that was run by Georgia Tann, this story shows how family love conquers all.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Thanks to the author for this complimentary ARC book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Lucky Clover WiFi Single Wall Switch

Wall Switch 1LIGHT UP YOUR ROOM FROM YOUR PHONE

~ What ~
This small white oblong electrical light plate allows a person to control a wall switch via his or her wifi smartphone without needing a hub. By downloading an app to a smartphone, the 4.5 inch by 3-inch long unit can be controlled at a distance or by voice command using the Amazon Echo. Arriving in a small package, the wall switch comes with instructions and 2 extra screws. Electrical work is necessary to an electrical wall socket.

~ Why ~Wall Switch 2
Having an Echo in our home, I like that I can speak a command and Alexa handles my requests. I like that this device can be synced with my smartphone and that I can access from anywhere via my phone a light in my home, turning it on or off. Another nice feature is it has a blue LED glow that can be seen and used in the dark.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like having more apps on their smartphone may not be interested in this product. The directions are vague in installing the wall plate into an existing electrical configuration as there is only a small diagram with no wiring directions. The light plate cannot be used when multiple switches (like 2 or 3) are incorporated into one wall plate. Others may not own an Echo to verbally have the unit go off or on.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were available 2 or 3 switches in an one plate configuration as a singular one cannot be used in any part of my kitchen to work with my canned lighting.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to control a light-switch by voice or when not at home, this device may work well with a smartphone app or when using Amazon’s Alexa, but I recommend checking the wall plate first to make sure a singular switch plate will work where you want to control a light.

Thanks to LUCKY CLOVER for this discounted product that I am freely evaluating.

This product can be found at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XYG11BR/

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Psalm Hymns: Worship Leader Books 1, 2, & 3

Psalm-Hymns Worship Leader: Books 1, 2 & 3 (Volume 1)Title: Psalm Hymns: Worship Leader Books 1, 2, & 3
Author: L.L. Larkins
Publisher: Capture Books
ISBN: 978-1517796884

“By reciting or singing these psalms, God makes Himself, His records of testimonies of His deeds more accessible,” L.L. Larkins writes in the introduction of her book, Psalm Hymns: Worship Leader Books 1, 2, & 3 (Volume 1) – Dramatic, Contemplative, Singable, Recitable Psalms!

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-ninety-page oversized paperback targets those who are seeking a compilation of rewritten psalms from the Bible that are set to the music of famous songs and hymns. By using a plethora of different versions of the Holy Bible, three books in one are included in this series that covers Psalms 1 through 89.

After an introduction and historical uses, the eighty-nine rewritten psalms cover two to eight pages each, ending with the Ten Commandments, author’s biography, and a proposed fifteen-week performance syllabus.

Each psalm is written out in poem format with the psalm title at the top of the page, followed by the type it is, tune it is set in, author of the original song, and year published. After several stanzas are written, notes are included, explaining the history of the original psalm and more information.

~ Why
This book would be helpful for a church or Sunday school group that is studying Psalms by singing corresponding rewritten wording to a famous song’s melody. With the added notes regarding the history or background information, it can become an in-depth study of the Word of God that is set to music. I like that old hymns are used such as What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, and Rock of Ages.

One example I enjoyed was the short Psalm 23 that is arranged in four stanzas to the tune of Away in a Manger by James R. Murray in 1887. The notes explain the name of God is Jehovah Roi as well as three other names for Him. Also mentioned are sheep and their characteristics, habits, and utter dependency on their caretaker, just like we need to be personally taken care of by Jesus.

~ Why Not ~
Those who have no interest in singing, worshiping, or learning more about Psalms in the Bible will not be interested in this book. Others may not like the translation or rewritten versions of the poems and songs of the Old Testament.

~ Wh0~
A transcriber of psalms for singing and reflections and mentor /counselor in performance and theory of worship, Larkins used to be a leader of praise and worship in church, youth, and various African groups.

~ Wish ~
It would be helpful to include an index that listed the musical arrangement that went with each psalm.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a praise/worship book for a church, choir, or singing event, this may be a helpful source that focuses on the more than half of the Biblical Psalms.

Thanks to Capture Books for this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart

Love Letters from God; Bible Stories for a Girl's HeartTitle: Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart
Author: Glenys Nellist
Illustrator: Rachel Clowes
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75328-5

“Full of warmth and love, this picture book will fill girls’ hearts with the wonder of the Lord,” the inside jacket flap states in Glenys Nellist’s children’s book, Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart.

~ What ~
This letter-size hardbound of thirty-two pages with fifteen lift-the-flap note cards targets young girls four to eight years old. Having no scary scenes, it is a compilation of fourteen rewritten Bible stories about women taken from the New International Reader’s Version. Illustrator Clowes’s expressive and detailed designs fill both sides of the opened pages, leaving lightly colored backgrounds for black wording in an easy-to-read font.

Focusing on females of the Bible, the stories include Eve, Miriam, Rahab, Deborah, Hannah, Naaman’s servant girl, Esther, Mary, the Samaritan woman, the lady to be stoned, Martha, a widow, Mary of Bethany, and Mary Magdalene. Each story has a Bible verse and fold-out love letter from God. The ending has a large heart-shaped letter to write a note to God.

~ Why ~
I like how each story is titled about different types of girls and that the fold-out love letters from God apply to the reader. Inside there is a place for the reader’s name to be written followed by encouraging words that God supposedly writes, reminding what is to be learned from the story. Adding the final page with a large blank heart-shaped note card offers an invitation to write to God

~ Why Not ~
While the concept of having letters from God inserted in the book is clever and cute, the stories written with ample creative liberties in only a positive light may misdirect young ones to incorrectly learn about the Bible. The author’s intention is a charming idea; yet one should be cautioned there are major theological flaws in many of her stories.

~ Who ~
Author Nellist has had stories and poems published in children magazines and produced other books in this series. She lives in Michigan with her husband. Illustrator Clowes illustrates children’s books and lives with her husband and family in Yorkshire, England.

~ Wish ~
I wish the stories were more accurate according to Scripture. I prefer all pronouns of God and Jesus capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you know of a young girl who wants an interactive book of fourteen Biblical stories for girls with letters written to them from God and a place to respond, this is a good choice if you can make sure the reader knows the Bible stories correctly.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for furnishing this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Grandpa Hugs

Grandpa HugsTitle: Grandpa Hugs
Author: Laura Neutzling
Illustrator: Cee Biscoe
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-8940-5

“Grandpa’s chair is comfy-cozy
With room enough to share.
Before it’s time to go to bed,
We say a nighttime prayer,”
Laura Neutzling writes in her children’s book, Grandpa Hugs.

~ What ~
At twenty pages, this board book with a padded front cover and rounded corners targets children ages two to five years old. With no scary scenes, it is a nice story about grandpas. With full-color scenes on both sides of the open pages, young animals are shown with their grandfathers in different activities.

Written in rhyme with some complicated wording, this short tale shows many of the different things that grandfathers do with their grandchildren. Bunnies, foxes, monkeys, elephants, sheep, giraffes, tigers, owls, dogs, and bears depict the unique love between the generations.

~Why ~
Our three-year-old granddaughter loves being read books before she goes to sleep, and I enjoy how this one focuses on a grandpa and what he does that is special. The pictures are engaging and fun to look at for the age group.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in praying to God may want to avoid this book, but it is only mentioned in one line, and no Bible verses are included. Due to some of three syllable words, it would be best to read it out loud to beginner readers.

~ Who ~
Having a career in entertainment, Neutzling has been focusing on writing scripts, discussion guides, and books for children. She and her husband live in Florida.

~ Wish ~
Being a grandma, I hope a book for grandmothers will be coming soon.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a bonding book about a granddad with pictures of animals, this is a nice choice. It would be an adorable book to have in the grandparents’ home when the young ones come for a visit and sit in grandpa’s lap to be read it.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for furnishing this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Princess Prayers

Princess Prayers (The Princess Parables)Title: Princess Prayers
Author: Crystal Bowman
Inspired by: Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson
Illustrator: Omar Aranda
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-75869

“Dear Lord, I love you very much. It makes me glad to know your love is always with me no matter where I go,” Crystal Bowman writes in her children’s book, Princess Prayers, which is inspired by Jeanna Young and Jaqueline Johnson.

~ What ~
Part of the Princess Parables series, this thirty-page small hardbound with a glittery embossed padded front cover targets young girls ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes except two scenes of lightning striking, the book contains prayers to God.

With brightly colored drawings that are easy to understand on the right side of the pages, there are fifteen rhyming prayers on the opposite pages that are two stanzas each. Some of the titles that involve the princess sisters include My Morning Prayer, God’s Beauty, Happy Times, When I’m Afraid, I’m Sorry, and Near to God. Small ovals on the left sides have written out Bible verses under the rhymes.

~ Why ~
Little girls who are into being or reading about princesses may like this book that concentrates on praying from morning to bedtime and for any reason needed. I like how colorful and expressive the designs are that will keep a young reader’s attention as they read the prayers.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in God or praying to Him will avoid this book. Some may not like that it is geared toward girls with the princess connotations as there is only one male depicted in one illustration. Beginner readers may find the two- and three-syllable words hard to comprehend or understand so would be best if someone read it to them.

~ Who ~
Author Bowman has written over eighty children’s books. She lives in Florida with her husband.  Young is a cancer survivor who has written over a dozen children’s books. She lives in California with her husband and four children. Also residing in the sunshine state, author Johnson and her husband have seven grandchildren, and she is devoted to teaching young ones about God. Illustrator Aranda was born in Argentina and has produced artworks worldwide, focusing mainly on children’s products.

~ Wish ~
I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If your young princess has enjoyed other books in this series, this prayer book would be a thoughtful addition.

Thanks to the Z Blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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Meco Mushroom Nightlight

Nightlight 2Cute Mushroom Shaped Lamp

~ What ~
Made of ABS and silicone, this small portable lamp is mushroom shaped and able to change colors when tapped or touched. Measuring 4.7 inches round and 3.9 inches tall, it varies from 7 colors by tapping its round top. Coming with a short 8-inch USB cord for charging, it can also use 3 AA batteries that are not added. Instructions are included in a gift box, ready for giving.

~ Why ~Nightlight 1
When our 3-year-old granddaughter visits, she likes to have a nightlight on in her room. I like the soft ambiance and colors this light provides by tapping its top it changes colors automatically. Because it does not use electrical plug-in, it can be placed anywhere, including in a tent, camping, or playing inside. Another nice feature is that the top is silicone, so pliable to the touch.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like small soft colored lighting will not appreciate this product. Others may wish it included an electrical cord that could be plugged into a wall socket. I found the USB cord too short to use, so I had to use the battery option.

~ Wish ~
I wish the lamp had an electrical adaptor included as well as a longer USB cable.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a nightlight that is a little bigger than the plug-in wall socket type or one that is battery operated and can be taken anywhere, this would be a good choice.

Thanks to Meco for this product that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Segol 100 Ceramic Magnets

MagnetsSuper-Strong Small Magnets

~ What ~
Made of strontium carbonate and iron oxide, this set of 100 small ceramic magnets can be used for many things. With each measuring 0.7 by 0.2 inches, they are Grade 5 and have 2800 Gauss. Wrapped in packs of 10 in cellophane, they arrive in a gift box. Added are 10 small colored push pins (2 of each color) with magnets inserted in them.

~ Why ~
With a degree in art, I am always dabbling in different projects. I was thoroughly impressed with the strength of these magnets. If you look at the photo, I had to keep them far apart as they kept moving toward each other when placed on the table. With several grandkids, I know there will be plenty of projects to make with them such as refrigerator magnets and other creations. I like how there are many in the box.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like making things or being creative will pass on these magnets. Others may find no use for them or buy them and forget about them.

~ Wish ~
With all the magnets being the same size, it would be ideal if several different sizes were included.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a pack of quality magnets that are small and versatile, this would be a perfect choice.

Thanks to Segol for this discounted product that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in his review.

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Phi Naturals Multiflex Excel

Joint PillsNATURAL RELIEF OF SORE JOINTS

~ What ~
This package contains 60 capsules of Multiflex, a joint supplement that contains 5 herbs that include Curcumin (Turmeric), White Willow Bark and Boswellia Extract, Ginger Root, and Arnica Montana. To be used for joint pain relief, each oblong tan capsule is 5/8 inches long 1/4 inch round. Instructions on the bottle state to take 1 capsule every 4-6 hours for a maximum of 6 per day or as directed by a health professional. The bottle I received has an 11/19 expiration date.

~ Why ~
Having osteoarthritis, a torn rotator cuff and bicep, and a bad back, I am wary of continually taking Motrin for my ongoing pain. Often I supplement with herbs that contain Turmeric as it eases the problem. I found these pills were easy to swallow and felt like the equivalent of taking a Motrin 400 (I take 600 often). They did ease some of the pain in my inflamed joints. One of the best benefits of this supplement is that it is made in America.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not approve of taking herbs to resolve their health issues, but some do work with experimentation. For others, it may take up to three weeks for a daily dose to start working.

~ Wish ~
I wish more capsules were included in the bottle as 60 may not last that long. It would be helpful to know if the product is manufactured in an FDA, GMP, ISO-approved facility.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a natural way to resolve your joint pain, you should consider trying this brand that has 5 herbs in one.

Thanks to Phi Naturals for this product that I am freely evaluating.

I found this product at https://www.amazon.com/Multiflex-Supplement-Supports-Curcumin-Boswellia/dp/B00RC1YC8G/

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Sandpiper Cove

Sandpiper Cove: A Hope Harbor NovelTitle: Sandpiper Cove
Author: Irene Hannon
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2768-0

“I told you earlier – here in Hope Habor, we take care of our own,” Lexie tries to convince Adam in Irene Hannon’s novel, Sandpiper Cove.

~ What ~
The final book in the Hope Harbor series, this three-hundred-fifty-two-page paperback targets those interested in a romance that challenges different backgrounds when living in a small town. With no profanity or sexual scenes, the topics of bullying may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes an excerpt from a new book series, acknowledgments, author’s biography, and advertisements.

In this current-day story based in a fictional coastal town in Oregon, thirty-five-year-old widowed Lexie Graham lives with her mom and five-year-old son. As the city’s police chief, she has little time for romance until she meets an ex-con, Adam Stone. While she tries to uncover who has been vandalizing the resort area, she asks for Adam’s help in steering a lonely high schooler away from bad friendships.

With Adam trying ardently to change and forget his past, he wonders how a woman with Lexie’s class and status could be interested in an ex-con like him. Lexie, realizing she is stepping out of her comfort zone, must accept her guilt-ridden past to move on with relationships.

~ Why ~
If you have read the first two in the series, you will remember some of the eccentric and cherished characters who are weaved through this tale. I live in Oregon, and I like how the book’s scenery is well-depicted and the town is realistic.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like continuing stories of small town living and everyone knowing each other’s business may not care for this clean Christian romance. Those who do not believe in God may pass it up too.

~ Who ~
The bestselling author of over fifty novels, Hannon has received three RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and is a two-time Christy Award finalist. She and her husband live in Missouri.

~ Wish ~
The tale was predictable in both the romance and relationship departments, so it had little anticipation. I also wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like a romance that focuses on moving from the past and forgiving oneself, this ending of the trilogy of small town living will be a good choice.

Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book to read and review.

This review will be posted on the Baker Publishing, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, LinkedIn, Godinterest, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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