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Monday, January 31, 2022

Book Review - Victor Survives Being a Kid by Heidi Vertrees


Victor faces a rough year! His family moves, he's at a new school, the bully hates him, a street thug targets him, and he has to survive on an icy-cold trail alone in the dark! What's next, Victor?!

Adventurous, funny, inspirational story told by Victor Ortega, an Hispanic boy in a lower-income American neighborhood. Kids in any community can relate to his adventures and misadventures through growing pains of the middle years.

Beautifully illustrated, Victor's narrative keeps the story witty and vivid as his troubles pile up. When will his father return from Mexico? Why can't the bully just leave him alone? Can he do it on his own? Or can Victor--with the help of family and friends--find a way to Survive Being a Kid? Readers enjoy the book's humor and adventure, while sharing Victor's growth in faith and maturity.

This story shows Mexican American family life with warmth and respect. The author lived happily for a dozen years in a Mexican American neighborhood in Denver, Colorado and taught multicultural kids like Victor, his Black friend Akeem, Victor's new friend Isobel, and others. The book refreshingly avoids stereotypes, and talks up, not down, to kids. For parents, teachers, and librarians, the newSongPress.NET website for Victor Survives Being a Kid has a link to a free discussion and activity guide.

Will Victor survive as the new kid at school? Can he survive on the mountain at night? Do Victor and the bully survive the kidnapper? Will Victor survive being a kid?! There's only one way to find out...

Age Group: 9-12 Years

Length: 264 Pages


Like Victor in my book, my father came from another country, but one much smaller than Mexico! I grew up hearing two languages, and have since traveled the globe and served in the US Peace Corps. For a dozen years, I lived in an Hispanic community in Denver, Colorado, where I taught fifth grade. I was blessed by the graciousness of the Mexican culture. This story is a big thank you back.

My Thoughts

Victor survives being a kid is a middle grade book that is written by Heidi Vertrees. It is recommended for kids ages 9-12 years old. I read this book with my 8 and 10 year old sons. Both of my children were able to read the book effortlessly. We enjoyed reading about Victor. My boys both started a new school district this year, so they were able to relate to a lot that Victor went to.  The challenges that Victor faces, are real challenges that kids face in school.

Victor has had a rough few months. His dad has gone back to Mexico, and he is going to a new school. He is not exactly thrilled to be going to a new school. Like any new kid in school, he is trying to scope out the other kids - and gets into a few of the boys sites. My boys and I laughed a lot at Victor's adventures. Victor is at that age where he's realizing he is too old to be a young boy but not quite a man. His mom wants him to step up and be a man. The author did a great job representing the Mexican-American Culture. 

The chapters are easy to read and move quickly. The book deals with bullying. The book also shows the importance of faith, family and friends. My 10 year old son, took this book to share with his class. 

A special thanks to the author for sending me a copy of this book, all thoughts are my own. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Overcoming Familiar Spirits Author: Kynan Bridges On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book: Overcoming Familiar Spirits

Author: Kynan Bridges

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Spiritual Warfare

Release date: January 25, 2022

Have You Invited Demonic Enemies into Your Life? 

Many Christians are being tormented by unseen demonic powers called “familiar spirits” that operate inconspicuously within the fabric of people’s thoughts, emotions, and mindsets—working so secretly that they usually remain undetected. These demonic spirits can be attached to specific individuals, families, or bloodlines.

Familiar spirits hinder believers’ lives in numerous ways, diminishing their spiritual vision and seeking to prevent them from fulfilling their destinies. They may block people’s ability to overcome negative patterns, attain lasting success, and even marry and conceive children.

Without realizing it, we can invite such unseen enemies into our lives. We may have left open a door to their influence due to personal trauma, unforgiveness, bitterness, or false thinking. Then, we become trapped in a type of spiritual debt. We are restricted from being fully free in Christ so that we constantly live with frustration, worry, anger, or a feeling of hopelessness.

Overcoming Familiar Spirits by pastor and teacher Dr. Kynan Bridges powerfully exposes Satan’s demonic agenda so you can be set free. You will learn to detect familiar spirits like the spirits of sabotage, calamity, premature death, delay, and perversion. You will gain a fresh revelation of who you are in Christ and your authority as a believer and be equipped with the tools to enjoy lasting freedom.

Through his books, preaching, and counseling, Dr. Bridges has shown thousands of believers how to address hindrances in their lives. Discover how to eradicate unseen familiar spirits and be released from spiritual bondage and debt!


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Dr. Kynan T. Bridges is the senior pastor of Grace & Peace Global Fellowship in Tampa, Florida. With a profound revelation of the Word of God and a dynamic teaching ministry, Dr. Bridges has revolutionized the lives of many in the body of Christ. Through his practical approach to applying the deep truths of the Word of God, he reveals the authority and identity of the new covenant believer. A highly sought speaker and published author of several books, including Unlocking the Code of the SupernaturalSchool of the MiraculousThe Power of Prophetic PrayerInvading the HeavensUnmasking the Accuser, and Kingdom Authority, Dr. Bridges is also a committed husband to Gloria and father of five beautiful children: Ella, Naomi, Isaac, Israel, and Anna.


More from Kynan

Many Christians are being tormented by unseen demonic powers called “familiar spirits” that operate inconspicuously within the fabric of people’s thoughts, emotions, and mindsets—working so secretly that they usually remain undetected. Familiar spirits hinder believers’ lives in numerous ways, diminishing their spiritual vision, blocking their success in life, and seeking to prevent them from fulfilling their destiny. Overcoming Familiar Spirits by Dr. Kynan Bridges powerfully exposes Satan’s demonic agenda. You will gain a fresh revelation of who you are in Christ and your authority as a believer and be equipped with the tools to enjoy lasting freedom.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 24

Texas Book-aholic, January 25

Inklings and notions, January 26

Fiction Book Lover, January 26

For Him and My Family, January 27

deb’s Book Review, January 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 30

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 31

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 1

Blossoms and Blessings, February 1

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 3

Artistic Nobody, February 4

Simple Harvest Reads, February 5

Spoken from the Heart, February 6


To celebrate his tour, Kynan is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Book Review and Giveaway - Stabbed in the Tart by Carol E. Ayer Hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions


Stabbed in the Tart

by Carol E. Ayer


GENRE: Cozy Mystery



Home bakery owner and Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Kayla Jeffries has been hired for the Gourmet and Stay Valentine's Weekend at the historic Countryside Inn in Los Robles, CA. When one of her fellow cooks is murdered during dinner service, she becomes a person of interest-and a possible suspect.



With no niceties this time, the detective said, “We have information that you were romantically involved with Edward Winthrop. First you told us you didn’t know him. Then you said the two of you had been in a class together but hardly spoke to each other. Now we’ve found out you and he were in a relationship. I’d like an explanation.”

I stared back at him for a few seconds, emotions bubbling up inside of me. A relationship? Romantically involved? How could he say such a thing?

Keeping my voice as even as possible, I said, “Like I told you, I did realize after the murder that we’d gone to college at the same time. He was going by Ted then. We had one class together, only one, in which we barely interacted with each other. We didn’t have a relationship of any kind, not even a friendship. That’s the absolute truth. I don’t know where you’re getting your information, but it’s not correct.”

We did our mutual staring thing. Then the detective made a couple of notes on his pad and said, “All right. You can go for now. We’ll be in touch.”

I let out a long breath and went to collect Dad. I silently handed him the sand dollar and he put it back in his pocket.

I told him about the interview as soon as we were out of earshot of anyone in the station.

Dad’s jaw fell when I relayed what Det. Hernandez had said.

“How is that possible?” he asked.

“I have no idea. I’m gonna find out, though, I can tell you that.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Carol Ayer, a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), lives halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento with her cat, Rainn. When she’s not writing, she’s reading mysteries and thrillers or watching movies and cooking shows. As a native Californian, she visits the ocean as often as possible.

Stabbed in the Tart/Amazon

Stabbed in the Tart/B&N

Stabbed in the Tart/Kobo


Facebook Author Page




Stabbed in the Tart is the first book that I have read by Carol Ayer. I was drawn to review this book because I love to cook and bake. I also love cozy mysteries. This book is a fairly quick read, and is a 176 pages. I was drawn in within the first few pages. This is book two in the HSP Mystery series. It can be read as a stand alone. The author does recap relevant information from the previous book as needed throughout the book, so you do not feel like you are completely lost.

Kayla who has home baking business, is asked to sub for a fellow baker at a historic Countryside Inn during Valentine's Day weekend. She is hesitant since it is a whole new experience. Kayla is a HSP (highly sensitive person) I did not know what this was prior to this book, but the author explains it and builds it into the character well. When she arrives at the event, she runs into her estranged dad. Which at first Kayla is not thrilled about. However when one of the other guest chefs is found dead, Kayla is then considered a suspect. Kayla is stranded at the Countryside Inn answering questions. She gets to re-connect with her dad.

Kayla and her dad are trying to figure out who is trying to frame her. She did not know anyone at the event, she decided to investigate herself. She makes a few mistakes during this course of action. The author did a great job throwing in some twists and turns. The author has also written some great supporting characters, including Kayla's boyfriend Jason. They do not seem to be on the same page when it comes to their relationship, so that was laughable. My most favorite were Kayla's cats, Sugar and Flour. They will keep her on her toes.

I generally review Christian fiction books and Cozy mysteries, and while I did not find anything wrong with this book, I do want to mention to my readers, that one set of characters is a gay couple. I want to mention that just in case it is a possible trigger for anyone.

I hope to read more from this author. I love the way she wrote, the adventure she took me on, and I enjoyed learning about HSP and what they go through.

Thank you to the author and Goddess Fish Promotions for a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own.


Carol E. Ayer will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter: HERE

Book Review and Giveaway -Bentley's Best Birthday Ever! by Claire Eckard Hosted by IRead book tours


Book Details:

Book Title:  Bentley's Best Birthday Ever! by Claire Eckard
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  32 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Mill City Press, Inc
Release date:   September 28, 2021
Format available for review:  print-softback (USA and Canada), pdf
Tour dates: January 31 to February 18, 2022
Content Rating:  G for everyone.
Book Description:

Bentley’s Best Birthday Ever!

Bentley is back, and it’s his birthday! Bentley is excited to share his special day with his new friends, but they are nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Bentley meets Bella, a lost dog whose family has recently moved to Bentley’s neighborhood. Tia, Bentley’s Fairy Dogmother, and the Dog Pack have a BIG secret! They are planning a surprise birthday party for Bentley, and when Tia is around there is always some magic. Wait till you see Bentley’s reaction to his surprise party, and especially to the special guest that Tia brings!

This book once again highlights Bentley's kind nature, and also shows that moving to a new neighborhood can be fun! Beautifully illustrated by Anne York, Bentley fans will not be disappointed as they follow Bentley's latest adventure. 
Buy the Book:
Claire Eckard
Amazon ~ B&N ~ IndieBound
add to goodreads
Author Claire Eckard
Meet the Author:

Claire Eckard is an animal lover and believes in volunteering to give back to her community, especially to the homeless animals that need to find their forever homes. Her animals often inspire her writing, weaving their way into the stories that she writes, blending reality and fiction to entertain, teach, enlighten, and share the joy that animals bring to our lives! Claire is an author, poet, songwriter, wife, mother and grandmother! She lives in Arizona, splitting her time between her home in Yuma, Arizona and her ranch in the mountains of Prescott. Claire has three dogs, eight horses, and a miniature mule!

connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~instagram ~ goodreads ~ bookbub

My Thoughts
Bentley the dog is back - and it's his birthday! However, he is worried that his friends have forgotten his birthday. He goes out to search the park and sees if he can find them. When he is at the pack, he meets a new friend - who does not know the other animals. While he is hanging out with his new friend he is distracted about feeling like his friends forgot his birthday. In reality, they are trying to throw him a party. 

I read this book with my 8 and 10 year old sons. It was fun to read, the pictures are colorful and fit the story well. We just love Bentley. This book is geared toward 3-7 year olds. I received a copy of this book through Iread Book Tours, all thoughts are my own. 
Tour Schedule:

​Jan 31 –
 Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Jan 31 - Because I said so adventures in parenting – book review / giveaway
Feb 1 – Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway
Feb 1 - The Momma Spot – book review / giveaway
Feb 2 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Feb 2 – fundinmental – book review / giveaway
Feb 3 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Feb 3 - @twilight_reader – book review
Feb 4 – Sandra's Book Club – book review / giveaway
Feb 7 – Lynchburg Reads – book review / giveaway
Feb 8 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 8 - Westveil Publishing – book review / giveaway
Feb 9 – Reading is My Passion – book review
Feb 9 - The Phantom Paragrapher – book review / giveaway
Feb 10 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / giveaway
Feb 11 – Chit Chat with Charity – book review / giveaway
Feb 14 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Feb 14 - Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Feb 15 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 15 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 16 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Feb 16 - Kam's Place – book review
Feb 17 – @jayme_reads – book review / giveaway
Feb 18 – Pick A Good Book – book review / giveaway
Enter the Giveaway:

Book Review and Giveaway - Reclaiming Hope Author: Carolyn Miller On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book: Reclaiming Hope

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: December 7, 2021

Callie Steele might be a bit… focused on work, but despite what her employers say, she enjoys her well-ordered, productive life.

When she’s sent to meet the owners of an estate requiring post-hurricane landscaping, Callie meets their son, Kai Brody, a super-chilled pro surfer, who is as opposite from her as they come. Though initially smitten, Callie knows a relationship with Kai is a bad idea—a very bad idea.

Kai, however, can’t help but be intrigued by someone who challenges him to make something of his life again. He’s determined to pursue her, if she’ll give him half a chance.

The more time they spend together, negotiating the challenges of work, illness, and family, the more their opposing outlooks clash and connect. What do these unlikely friends really want from life?  Is it best to focus on work or recreation?

As Kai and Callie answers from the Lord, they also must consider if such complete opposites have enough in common to make a relationship last.

Reclaiming Hope concludes the Hooper Island stories of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

carolyn-miller-HR-4-200x300Carolyn Miller is an Australian author of inspirational romance, particularly that of the Regency era, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds where flawed people can grow in faith, hope and love through stories that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives.


More from Carolyn

For Reclaiming Hope, my next book in the Independence Islands series, I was thrilled to finally turn the spotlight onto Callie Steele, whose sassy attitude and words of wisdom in earlier books have made a mark on the other employees at Greener Gardens – and has already endeared her to readers who have been begging to read Callie’s story.

Callie needed a special someone who could help this hyper-organized checklist-loving woman see that there is more to life than meeting a deadline. Enter Kai Brody, a super-chilled and laidback surfer whose enviable travels around the world broaden Callie’s horizons, and watch sparks fly. I consider Reclaiming Hope to be one of my most humorous books yet, as these two trade banter as opposites who attract – but can they last?

And yet Reclaiming Hope isn’t merely froth and sea-foam, bigger questions concerning family, identity and whether God’s plans can be considered good when people are forced to live with the consequences of poor choices. I really enjoy writing fiction like this, fiction that is grounded in truth, with realistic, flawed characters who are on God journeys to find faith, freedom, and hope.

I’m so glad people are really enjoying my new contemporary books, where I can bring my love of gardens (& my horticulturalist hubby’s expertise!) to a new audience. Check out my website to see what’s growing in my garden here in my corner of Australia.

If you enjoy stories of hope, heart and humor, then you’ll be sure to enjoy this novel about a workaholic and the broken surfer as together they find renewed hope for their hearts.

Happy reading!


My Thoughts

Reclaiming Hope is book number 18 in the Independence Island Series. It is written by Carolyn Miller. I have been fortunate enough to read the whole series, but it is not necessary to understand this book. The series is written by multiple authors, and it spans multiple fictional islands. The series has been so well written and I always look forward to the next one when it is released. 

This is the story of Callie. She leads a life of organization, productivity and work. She enjoys it that way. She prefers to work late. She is sent to meet with owners regarding some post hurricane landscaping. She meets their son, Kai, who is a complete opposite of her. I really like the initial spark that the author put into these two in their initial meeting. Callie is shocked that she is attracted to Kai. Kai is very drawn to her. 

This is a opposites attract story - which I loved. If they are to have a relationship they will have to navigate a lot - work, relationships, family, time management, etc. The story is intriguing. The one thing that I love about this series is while they are all contemporary romance with a "island" theme - they are all unique and engaging. The Callie and Kai are well developed and likeable. There are faith elements, especially of relying on God to get you through woven into the story. 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program, all thoughts are my own.  

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 21

Blossoms and Blessings, January 21

lakesidelivingsite, January 22

Texas Book-aholic, January 22

Inklings and notions, January 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 23 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, January 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 24

Daysong Reflections, January 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 25

Aryn the Libraryan, January 26

Lots of Helpers, January 26

deb’s Book Review, January 27

Blogging With Carol, January 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 28

Simple Harvest Reads, January 28 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 29

Older & Smarter?, January 29

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 30

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 31 (Spotlight)

Lis Loves Reading, January 31

SusanLovesBooks, January 31

She Lives To Read, February 1

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 2

Kayem Reads, February 2

Splashes of Joy, February 3

Connect in Fiction, February 3


To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.