Friday, September 27, 2013

Two associated books reviewed: "Grace Unplugged" (novel) by Melody Carson & "Own It: Leaving Behind a Borrowed Faith" (non-fiction) by Michael & Hayley DiMarco (Review & Giveaway)

About Grace Unplugged the Novel: Grace Trey is an 18 year old singer as passionate about her Christian faith as she is her phenomenal, God-given musical talent. Both traits come from her father, one hit wonder Johnny Trey who found Jesus after losing his chart success two decades ago.

When Grace encounters her own music break of a lifetime, the sudden dive into the "real world" puts her deeper beliefs to the test. Pop superstardom is just within reach but appears to require some spiritual compromise. Will Grace reject her faith, or will she own it?

"Grace Unplugged" is based on the motion picture of the same name starring AJ Michalka (Super 8) and Kevin Pollak (A Few Good Men) with performances by award-winning artists Chris Tomlin and Jamie Grace.

About "Own It, Discover Your Faith in God" - The movie Grace Unplugged tells the story of Grace Trey, an ideal Christian teenager who is also a phenomenal singer. But when she is pushed into the “real world” at the tender age of eighteen after getting the music break of a lifetime, her faith is put to the test.

Own It mirrors the film by asking what it means to really “own” your personal faith rather than just automatically following in the footsteps of parents, friends, or other influencers. Best-selling authors Hayley and Michael DiMarco help readers understand what to do when faith meets real world challenges.

Without solid beliefs, poor choices are likely to follow. You must take the time to really know who you are, who you are becoming, and who God made you to be. It's your personal faith . . . own it!

“Grace Unplugged” the novel by Melody Carson is a story with a very believable teenage character in a battle for independence and freedom.   Grace longs to make her own decisions and her own choices and be out from under the reigns of her conservative parents.  “Grace Unplugged” realistically captures the struggles many teens and parents face as children grow up.  The author weaves a wonderful tale that draws the reader to wanting to know how it all turns out in the end.  There is some predictability to the story but there are also some surprises that keep the reader interested to the very end.  I would recommend this for teens as well as parents. 

“Own It Leaving Behind a Borrowed Faith” by Michael and Hayley DiMarco is a must read for any Christian that is seeking to grow in their relationship with the Lord.   This book will challenge the faith of more mature Christians as well as encourage a Christian very young in the Lord.  The authors clearly present what God expects of those that call themselves Christians and want to follow Him.  I very much enjoyed the inserts of real people and their own personal experiences in their walk with the Lord.  I found the book encouraging and challenging which is what every Christian needs.  Well written.
"Grace Unplugged" - the movie - releases October 4 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the "Grace Unplugged" Author:  Melody Carlson has sold more than five million books. A professional writer for twenty years, she recently received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Melody has two grown sons and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.

About the "Own It" Authors:  Hayley DiMarco is the best-selling author of more than thirty books including Dateable, Marriable, Mean Girls, and The Woman of Mystery. She has been a featured speaker at Women of Faith, Precept National Women's Conference, and MOPS Intl. among others and has consulted on the creation and enhancement of some of the largest stadium events for teens and young women in North America.
Michael DiMarco is a skillled communicator and teacher who has authored more than a dozen bestselling books including the 2010 Christian Bookof the Year for Youth, B4UD8 (Before You Date). He and his wife, author Hayley DiMarco, have one daughter and live in Nashville, Tennessee. 
(Reviewed by Claudette Delorge)  “Disclosure of Material Connection; I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Friday, September 20, 2013

"Andi Unexpected" by Amanda Flower (An Andi Boggs Novel) (Review & Giveaway)

ISBN: 9780310000853
About the book: After the sudden death of their parents in the jungles of Central America, 12-year old science geek Andora “Andi” boggs and her diva teenaged sister, Bethany, move to rural Killdeer, Ohio, to live with their eccentric 20-something aunt.  And while the timeworn house has been home to the Boggs family for generations, Andi feels far from at home.  Exploring the attic in her grief, she discovers proof of another Andora Boggs in the family tree hidden in a Depression-era trunk.  Despite the meddling of the citizens of Killdeer, Andi and her new friend, Colin Carter, are determined to find out who this first Andora was, how she vanished, and why no one in town wants to talk about her.  As more and more unanswered questions pile up, Andi and Colin must decide who they can trust with their secrets and who is interested in Andora’s story for the wrong reasons.

Review: “Andi Unexpected” is targeted toward middle school and higher readers.  It is one of the best books I have read in quite some time.  It is quick paced and I read it in one day.  Amanda Flower has written a wonderful story of mystery, friendship and how people deal with grief differently.

Andi and her sister have to move in with their aunt Amelie because their parents have died while on a science mission in the jungles of Central America.  The house where their aunt now lives used to belong to Andi’s grandparents.  Initially, Andi and her sister Bethany have to share a bedroom, but the two sisters fight quite a bit since the death of their parents, and so Aunt Amelie suggests to both Andi and Bethany that if they will clean out the attic, then Andi can turn it into a bedroom.  The stuff they move out the attic can be sorted and set up for the annual Killdeer yard sale and whatever money the schools earn, they can keep.  Well, both girls want their own rooms and Bethany is interested in the money because Aunt Amelie has told her that if she wants to keep “texting” on her cell phone, then she’ll have to earn the money to keep that feature.  Andi doesn’t necessarily care about the money. She just wants her own room.

This simple task of cleaning out the attic turns into a wonderful adventure for both Andi and Bethany.  Through the guidance of their Aunt Amelie, they also are able to move forward and work through some of the grief of the loss of their parents.  They meet some very interesting people along the way and develop friendships that will help them in their adjustment to life in Killdeer.  Andi and Bethany also see how the other one is actually broken over the death of their parents, but it’s okay to deal with their loss in different ways.  It doesn’t mean the other person is deeply saddened just because they may or may not show the type of emotion the other thinks they should.

This is a great book and well, well worth the read.  I look forward to other books in this series!! (rev. P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: An advance reader review copy was provided by for the purpose of this review. Opinons expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

Friday, September 6, 2013

"Louie & Lilly's Nap Time" by David Scott & illustrated by Leo Latti

Review:  This little paperback book is a cute rhyming story of a day in the life of Louie & Lilly - brother and sister doggies who are left to themselves during the day.

Both Louie & Lilly spend a lot of time napping. Louie likes to nap high up perched on the couch, a chair, etc. Lilly likes a snug spot usually low down near the floor. But once they get comfortable with their favorite toys, Lilly's nap is disturbed by Louie's noises.

Louie and Lilly leapt off their lush lawn,
headed for shelter, and started to yawn.
With soft sleepy eyes, some barking and yaps,
they stretched out their paws, all ready for naps.

The rhyme is cute and flows nicely. It is usually a plus when you purchase a child's story book to get one that rhymes. Children's attention is easily grasped with rhymes and the rhythm and repeated sounds are strongly educational for the child.

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by the author for the purpose of a review. No compensation was received. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.