Safe House Shannon Symonds Review and Giveaway

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Safe House

About the Book: As a victim’s advocate, Grace James is used to rushing into trouble to save her victims from abuse or assault. And with a handsome officer like Joe Hart at her side, Grace is sure there’s nothing she can’t do. But an ominous storm brewing on the Oregon horizon is about to change everything—and bring with it dangers and revelations Grace and Joe never expected.

My Thoughts: This book had several “edge of my seat, holding my breath” suspenseful moments that left me with a lot of emotions. I found learning about the role of a sexual assault and domestic violence survivor’s advocate very interesting…this was an occupation I don’t think I’ve encountered in a book before. I also loved Grace’s character, her kindness and love towards those she helped was beautiful.

The author was very good at setting the scene and building suspense. The story opened with a chapter that immediately sucked me into the story.

There is a lot of focus on the LDS/Mormon religion in this book and to be honest, it made me a bit uncomfortable. I just don’t agree with some of the Mormon beliefs and it was just very different from the Christian fiction I’m used to reading. On the positive side, it was interesting to learn a bit more about that religion and the content was extremely clean.

I received this book from SLB tours to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author:


Shannon Symonds worked for 15 years as an Advocate. Shannon lives in a small seaside town where she works, writes, runs and paints. She believes the word can be changed one heart at a time and then even small acts can make a difference.

Tour Schedule

February 12-cherylbbookblog​
February 13-All-of-a-kind Mom
February 14-Singing Librarian Books
February 15-Red Headed Book Lady Heidi Reads…
February 16-amandainpa​
February 17-Soulfully Romantic | Reading for the Stars and Moon


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365 Devotions for Living Joyfully by Victoria York Review


Description: Discover the joy of the Lord in fresh ways through the beautiful new 365 Devotions for Living Joyfully. Full of simple, accessible devotions for every day of the year, this book will help you find deep, unshakable, biblical joy and will inspire you to live your most joyful life.

In the midst of busy schedules and endless to-do lists, joy seems like a luxury few can afford, let alone a foundational part of an identity rooted in Christ. God promises His children a life of joy, and yet it remains so easy to lose sight of the gifts He offers every day. Take a few minutes each morning to rekindle this biblical understanding of a joy-filled life with the beautiful and inspirational new book, 365 Devotions for Living Joyfully.

Reflect on the abundant life God holds out to you, and rediscover how joy can transform your heart. With Scripture verses and a prayer on each page, these devotions will inspire and grow your faith as you begin to see life as God truly intended it—full of abounding joy! Take heart and refresh your soul every day of the year through the encouraging words of 365 Devotions for Living Joyfully.

My Thoughts: First of all, this book is adorable, definitely the cutest devotional book I’ve owned. It’s a nice, compact size with a ribbon bookmark, bright colors, and bicycles on the end pages. It even has yellow flowers on each page. Each devotion is dated, which helps the reader to easily keep track and read through it in a year.

The devotions are quick to read but meaningful. They are thought provoking and include a verse of scripture and a final thought. I love this book for my morning devotions. I can grab it before my feet hit the floor and read through one in less than 5 minutes. It is also great for those days when you may not have time to spend a lot of time in the word.

I would recommend this book as a gift…it’s so pretty and would delight any recipient.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers to review. My opinions are my own.

The Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson Review


Description: Mark Sisson–author of the mega-bestseller The Primal Blueprint–unveils his groundbreaking ketogenic diet plan that resets your metabolism in 21 days so you can burn fat forever.

Mounting scientific research is confirming that eating a ketogenic diet could represent one of the greatest nutritional breakthroughs of our time–and that it might be the healthiest and most effective weight loss strategy ever. Going “keto” by eating high fat, low-to-moderate protein and low-carb foods enables you to break free from the disastrous effects of carbohydrate dependency by resetting your metabolism and promoting metabolic flexibility–where your body learns to burns fat instead of sugar for energy, even when you go off plan.

Unlike many other ketogenic programs that require challenging restrictions and deprivation or offer misinformation, Mark Sisson, bestselling author of The Primal Blueprint and publisher of the #1 paleo blog, presents a unique two-step, scientifically validated approach for going keto the right way. He first reveals the real secret to rapid and sustained weight loss, which is in becoming “fat-adapted” before entering full nutritional ketosis. This process allows your body to learn to burn fat more efficiently, resulting in increased and sustained weight loss over the long-term. It takes as little as 21-days to reprogram your metabolism to burn fat for fuel, by ditching processed grains, sugars, and refined vegetable oils in favor of nutrient-dense, high fat, primal/paleo foods–and you’ll see immediate results. Next, you’ll fine-tune with Intermittent Fasting and then foray into full ketogenic eating for a further weight loss boost and improved health.

With The Keto Reset Diet, you can eat to total satisfaction by enjoying rich, high-satiety foods, and even weather occasional slip-ups. You’ll use keto as a lifelong tool to stay trim, healthy, energetic, and free from the disastrous health conditions caused by the typical American diet. With step-by-step guidance, daily meal plans and a recipe section with over 100 delicious keto-friendly recipes, this is the definitive guide to help the keto-beginner or the experienced health enthusiast understand the what, why, and how to succeed with ketogenic eating.

My Thoughts: I have tried many diets in my life and the one that always works the best is a form of carb reduction. In June I jumped into the Keto diet plan with both feet and am happy to report that I have lost 25 pounds since then.

Up until now, I had found all of my information on the internet regarding Keto, and, like many other diet plans, there is a lot of conflicting information. So when this book popped up for review, I was very excited to request it.

This book breaks down the Keto diet into layman’s terms and makes it seem much less confusing. With this plan, you start with a 21 day metabolism reset, which helps your body become fat adapted. Each week is explained clearly with tips on sleep, stress relief, and food replacements.

There are also many recipes that look very tasty and use common ingredients. There are some color photographs for the recipes but I would have liked more. There are also meal plans and a guide to intermittent fasting, which is explained very well.

The writing style is very easy to read and conversational.

I love this book and will keep it for a very long time as a resource for my new eating lifestyle. When followed properly, Keto works and this book explains it very well. Highly recommended!

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books to review.

A Box of Awesome Things Matching Game Review


Item Description: You know what’s awesome? Fireflies. Lava. Tacos. Yellow. Wee Society’s compilation of awesome things (also found in An Incomplete Book of Awesome Things) is now a matching game – designed to induce giggles, exercise working memory and spark silly conversations. The game comes with 20 pairs of cards – including one blank pair so kids can draw their own awesome addition. What’s not included: things that are NOT awesome, like cavities, garbage or splinters. It’s designed for all ages. Beginners can take out a few pairs, and work their way up to using all 40 cards.

The beautifully minimal, vibrant illustrations are designed to grab kid’s attention and make the game fun.

My Thoughts: When I saw this game available for review, I was excited to request it. I am always on the lookout for fun games that work on matching, fine motor skills, visual scanning, etc.  that I can use at work. I work as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in schools and my husband loves to tell people that “I play games all day”. This isn’t 100% true but I do play games a lot at work.

The box of awesome things matching game is a revamped version of the old-school “Memory” game that I played in the 80s. It contains 40 cards with 20 pairs that are laid out face down and then turns are taken to flip 2 cards at a time and see if you can remember where they were to get matches. For younger children, you could use less cards, working your way up to more, or just have them spread out face up and have the child match the pictures. Because I work on writing, I plan on incorporating printing the words from the cards as well.

The pictures are a lot of fun with vibrant colors…there are tacos and s’mores and science…things that would make kids smile.  The cards are heavy duty cardboard and seem like they will endure lots of wear and tear. The game also comes in a great storage box with a lift top lid…I may move the cards to a ziploc baggie or put a rubber band around the box because the lid isn’t secure…a magnetic or velcro closure would have been a nice touch.

The game is also compact, which is important in my job, as I carry all of my supplies with me daily from school to school so I need small items.

This one definitely hit it out of the park, I highly recommend this game for parents who want a fun matching game for their children, it’s a winner!

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this game from the publisher and Booklook Bloggers to review.

The Action Storybook Bible Kindle Fire Giveaway

About the book:

The Action Storybook Bible invites families with children ages 8 and under explore God’s redemptive story together.
From the sleek and amazing creatures God created at the beginning of the world to the powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel to Jesus’s gift of eternal life for you and your family-God has a beautiful and exciting plan for the world. Where do you fit into that plan? How are the truths found in God’s Word reflected in your life?
This Bible storybook features 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God’s story, packed with dozens of scenes-combining stories from God’s Word with brand-new captivating illustrations from Brazilian master-artist Sergio Cariello, illustrator of the bestselling The Action Bible. Discover your family’s place in God’s redemptive story and together put your faith into action!
Interactive features include:
-Fifteen episodes loaded with over 350 brand-new illustrations from master-artist Sergio Cariello.
-Short and easy reading for all ages. Take turns telling God’s redemptive story!
-The Life, Faith, Action! feature wraps up each episode and helps your family recognize how God is moving through each story, discover how that relates to your daily lives, and feel inspired to put your faith into action.
-Heroes Hall of Fame index, where you can look up your favorite Bible characters and discover their stories!
About the authors:

Catherine has written more than twenty-five books for children, including the bestselling “Adventure Bible Storybook.” As publisher of children’s resources at David C Cook, she leads product development for The Action Bible® collection, which has sold more than a million copies. Catherine lives with her husband, their three children, and their big furry dog in the Colorado forest. ||**|| Brazilian-born Sergio Cariello has been an accomplished artist since childhood, drawing a regular comic strip for his city’s newspaper at age 11. He spent many childhood hours poring over “The Picture Bible” (Portuguese edition), never dreaming he would illustrate an updated edition (“The Action Bible”) decades later. Sergio has worked for Marvel Comics and DC comics and has illustrated Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Iron-Man, Wonder Woman, Fantastic-Four, and dozens more comic book characters.

Find out more about Catherine and at


Discover your family’s place in God’s incredible story and together put your faith into action with the new The Action Storybook Bible from David C Cook! Explore God’s redemptive story together with your children ages 8 and under in the 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God’s story. Master-artist Sergio Cariello created more than 350 brand-new illustrations to captivate your family and help you recognize how God is moving through each story.

Join the adventure to begin to figure out where you fit into God’s beautiful and exciting plan for the world by entering to win the Kindle Fire giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 29. The winner will be announced October 2 on the Litfuse blog.

My Thoughts: Graphic novels are extremely popular right now but I’ve found that “clean” graphic novels are few and far between…what could be better than the Bible in graphic novel form? 
There is something special about seeing illustrations beside well known and loved Bible stories. It adds something to the story. I was moved by the story of Joseph, seeing him on the selling block with chains on his neck and wrists really helped me picture the story in a new way and made it feel much more real. The artwork is very well done and the stories are written in an easy to understand format.
This would be a great gift for many people…from those who are starting out with reading the Bible, or those who are familiar with the Bible. I think it’s geared toward children and teenagers but I think people of all ages would enjoy it, I certainly did.
I highly recommend The Action Storybook Bible!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Litfuse to review.
My Rating: 5 stars


The God-Shaped Heart by Timothy R. Jennings Review


Synopsis: The key to spiritual and emotional health is to grasp the truth of God’s transforming love for us and then let that reality influence our own hearts and relationships. It seems simple, but we are experts at complicating simple things. Instead of living lives characterized by love we find ourselves trapped in cycles of shame, violence, and addiction that steal our joy and keep us from loving others–so much so that, by all indications, Christians are living no differently than anyone else when it comes to abuse rates, use of pornography, alcohol and drug addiction, and more.
Christian psychiatrist Dr. Timothy Jennings wants to release us from this prison. With powerful illustrations from case studies and from Scripture, Jennings shows believers who are stuck in addiction, violence, fear, and broken relationships how to experience true freedom through God’s transforming love to experience greater health, fulfillment, and well-being.

My Thoughts: For the first about 30 pages, I expected to really like this book. Unfortunately, it went downhill from there. It is clear that the author (a medical doctor) is very intelligent, but as a result, there were a lot of info. dumps and a lot of things were too scientific for my liking.

The book has a good overall lesson…love is the key, but I got lost with a lot of the facts and the writing style. I also felt a bit defeated after reading this…it did not give me a hopeful feeling like most Christian non-fiction books I’ve read. There was a lot of criticism of the Christian church and Christians in general which I didn’t like.

I also disagreed with a few things presented in the book…scripture is used but I wasn’t on board with his interpretation of some of it.

The scale for spiritual maturity was interesting, I found it informative.

Overall, I was not impressed with this book and probably wouldn’t recommend it.

My Rating: 2 stars

I received this book from Baker publishers for review.

Action Storybook Bible


Now is your chance to have DC and Marvel illustrator Sergio Cariello make your child’s dream come true!


David C Cook is proud to introduce the newest book in the Action Bible collection: The Action Storybook Bible (coming October 2017). Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or to reserve your copy today. Plus click the graphic below to enter to have a chance to win an illustration of your child as a super hero by Action Bible artist Sergio Cariello (who has also illustrated comics for DC and Marvel!).

The giveaway is open until September 11, 2017, 5:00pm MST.  Your entry must be received by then to be eligible. Five winners will be chosen at random from eligible entrants.


Families see the Bible in motion and put their faith into action!
The Action Storybook Bible invites families with young children to explore God’s redemptive story together. An entry point into the world of The Action Bible, it tells of the amazing creation story, powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel, God’s miraculous gift of eternal life through Jesus, and more! God’s promise for the world is displayed throughout every page. Discover your family’s place in God’s incredible story and together put your faith into action!
Interactive features include:

  • Fifteen key episodes from God’s Word—each one loaded with several stories along with over 350 brand-new illustrations throughout.
  • Short and easy readings—for children ages eight and under with rich, colorful images.
  • Life, Faith, Action! features—conclude every episode and invite families to talk about how God moves in the stories, how to see God in life today, how to put faith into action, and how to easily talk to God with a suggested prayer.
  • Hall of Fame visual index—the place to look up favorite Bible characters by discovering their icon connections and finding them in the stories.

Learn more and purchase a copy here.