Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Bishop Needs An Alibi by Vannetta Chapman [Review & Giveaway]

In a book I previously reviewed for author, Vannetta Chapman, the following quote really stood out to me...... and I came across it toward the end of When The Bishop Needs an Alibi when the Amish bishop and two others were in the midst of dire danger. It bears repeating.

"Courage is fear that has said it's prayers."
(pg. 129 A Wedding for Julia by Vannetta Chapman)

My thoughts: We met the Amish bishop, Henry Lapp recently in What the Bishop Saw and we learned that he is a gentle, kindly man who is the over shepherd and leader of the community of Amish. He also has quite an unusual talent of being able to subconsciously recall and draw in minute detail scenes he has visited or witnessed. This is because he is an "accidental savant."

Previously the Bishop was involved in solving a mystery using this unusual talent and now he is again embroiled in the terrible situation where a young woman loses her life.

The story locale is the beautiful Colorado San Luis Valley and Bishop Henry is an avid "birder" who loves watching the cranes that frequent the area that has marshes, mountains, and huge sand dunes. But all is not beautiful in this lovely place.

As the kindly and gentle Amish folk gather in the local diner for coffee or a meal or as they gather at the local bakery run by three Amish widow ladies, they pursue clues with their chatter, curiosity, and somewhat meddlesome way. But though fraught with danger, it's all good on their part and the outcome is good. You see, much is afoot in the world of evil and crime and these dear folk seem to get themselves stuck right in the middle of it.

You'll fall in love with the bishop because he is insightful, kind, and full of wisdom which he graciously shares with any and all. Even though falsely accused, he holds no animosity. Even though a pacifist, he knows when to act to protect. And dear Bishop Henry has a precious dog by his side, Lexi which we met in the first book about the Bishop.

I highly recommend this new book by Vannetta Chapman and you can always depend on her books to be clean reads that are "full of grace."

About the book: A Terrible Secret Hides in the Bulrushes

Amish bishop Henry Lapp eagerly awaits the annual arrival of 20,000 sandhill cranes to the San Luis Valley of Colorado. But his visit to the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge reveals more than just a miracle of God's creation. Hidden among the bulrushes and cattails is the deceased body of a young woman.

As the local authorities attempt to unravel the mystery, Henry feels God's calling to use his extraordinary talent to aid in the investigation. His ability to draw from memory in photographic detail could help solve this puzzling case.

Henry's closest friend, Emma Fisher, has always urged him to embrace his gift. As their relationship deepens, Henry realizes his involvement could put him and those he loves in the direct path of a killer, one who is willing to do anything to cover up a brutal crime, including framing the bishop.
When the Bishop Needs an Alibi is a compelling story of faith, friendship, and finding courage only God can provide.
GIVEAWAY - eBook or Print Copy
Begins December 12
Ends January 5, 2018 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the author and Harvest House Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given. Winner's copy is also provided courtesy of author and publisher.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Wonderfully clean and shinny hair with Good Earth Beauty Exclusives Shampoo & Conditioner [Review & Giveaway]

I've already introduced Chat With Vera readers to the lovely online company that produces natural products one small batch at a time and with love. You've met their beauty boxes which are delightful treats packaged with a variety of products and themed in various manners. I've told you about their delightful pumpkin soap, toner, moisturizer, and skin cleanser and lastly, the wonderful fragrances.

Now I want to share with you a little about their hair care products - the Good Earth Beauty Exclusives shampoo. and conditioners. I received small sample bottles of four of the products and all I can say is ----- WOW!
Sample sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner from Good Earth Beauty Exclusives.
Wonderful Pumpkin Chai, beautifully fragrant Bamboo Flower, and beguiling Cranberry Citrus.

These are lovely. The fragrance is subtle and so very pleasant. The way my hair shines after using them is absolutely gorgeous. And the hair is so manageable.

All I can say is good about these all natural products.
My favorite of the samples:
Pumpkin Chai

Now as my readers know, I'm particularly fond of the Pumpkin spice scented products that Good Earth Beauty Exclusives produces and the shampoo and conditioner was simply wonderful! I love the scent plus the shine and the feel of my hair after using these.

Chat With Vera readers may use the discount code of GEB10 to get a 10% discount on their entire order. And orders for USA addresses ship FREE!
Shop for Christmas gifts before it is too late & use the 10% discount code!

Now my readers also have the opportunity to participate in a short-run giveaway for a set of shampoo and conditioner samples. Good Earth Beauty Exclusives will provide the winner with a set so you have the wonderful opportunity to try these for yourself.
Begins December 11
Ends December 21 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received the pictured samples to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and given after actively using the items. I received no compensation for this review. Prize will be sent directly to the winner by GoodEarthBeauty.com.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Too Far Down by Mary Connealy from Bethany House Publishing

My thoughts:  Mary Connealy brings her trademark style of writing about cowboys, ranching, thieving orneriness, and sweet romance to this conclusion of the Cimarron Legacy series. The Cimarron Ranch (or CR as it is referred to) is the abode of the Boden family who herd cattle and also mine the land.

The land's story is one of the Spanish or Mexican land grants and the New Mexico land grants and the disputes that individuals carry with them over perceived slights.

The book opens with a blast of rock as the mines are ripped apart by explosions set by an unknown source. The  story follows the clues as the Boden family tries to get to the rock bottom of this meanness.

As the conclusion to the series, the book may be read as a stand alone story. However, it is better to read the series in the order in which they are written to better follow the plight of the Bodens and the machinations of those dead set at ripping the Cimarron right out from under them.

As always, Mary Connealy's books are fun to read, give a glimpse into the old wild west, and good clean stories.

About the book: When an explosion at the mine kills workers and damages the CR Company, the Boden family is plunged deep into the heart of trouble yet again. As they try to identify the forces against them once and for all, Cole Boden finds himself caught between missing his time back in the east, and all that New Mexico offers—namely, his family and cowgirl Melanie Blake.

Read an excerpt
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group to facilitate a review of my own opinions. These are my opinions and are freely given.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Stable Cat's Christmas by Christina Vrba and illustrated by Gail Yerrill [Review and Giveaway]

My thoughts: Kittens are cute and cats are cute and some people simply love having cats around as house pets. So this Christmas story will certainly appeal to them. It takes place in the "stable" where the Christ Child was born and is purportedly what the animals that were present felt and did - the shepherd's dog, the "barn or stable cat, the cow.

Certainly not Biblical in content, it is a cute story telling what each animal can give the King (the Christ Child). The primary character is the sandy colored cat and his transformation into the stripped Tabby Cat.

The story is abundant in sweetness and gentleness and the pictures are softly lovely. It is similar to other stories about the animals present when the Christ Child was born but does include a fable or legend or made up tale of how the Tabby Cat got it's lovely stripes.

About the book: One night in Bethlehem, a small, dust-colored cat returns to her stable to find that a Baby has been born in the night. As all the animals tell the cat about the gifts they gave the Christ Child, the cat sadly concludes that she is too little and powerless to give a gift to the King. But when the Baby shivers and the cat leaps into the manger to comfort him, she discovers that she can give the best gift of all—herself. This timeless Christmas book celebrates the fact that everyone has a gift they can give the King, no matter their size or stature. Enchanting illustrations and a heartfelt message make this book a Christmas keepsake that can be enjoyed year after year.
Begins November 30
ENDS December 12 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Worthy Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Evangelizing children using the tract ministry tools from "LET THE LITTLE CHILDREN COME"

Let this grandmother tell you a tale. One of a young woman, a mother, a Christian who desired to see her children and children in her church and community come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, as their personal Saviour.

I taught Sunday School. I taught Vacation Bible School. I led the children's choir - "Little Lights" we called them. I led opening assembly in Sunday School. And one year I held Saturday morning children's get togethers for about three hours each allowing mother's some "me" time or shopping time and allowing me the opportunity to share Christ with the little ones.

What a blessing!

And I used tracts for a variety of purposes and reasons. They were written text tracts with cute pictures and some were in the cartoon strip mode. Kids liked them.

But what about today's kids. Kids so accustomed to being bombarded with animation, TV, smartphones, Tablets, computers. Would a tract speak to them? Can it still be used as an evangelism tool to reach a child?

I think so and so do the folks who have created this delightful assortment of tracts and evangelism bracelets. The concept of "The Wordless Book" is utilized in the bracelets with each color telling a part of the Gospel story. So let's take a look at the new tracts that will surely capture the children's attention enabling you to teach them of God's love for them.
Sized so that they are small enough to tuck away 

in a jeans pocket or a purse, these little tracts with just enough text
to keep them interested and convey the message, are designed 
with pop-up pages that add focal interest.
Colorful, quality paper, attention grabbing illustrations,
interesting story, and delightful pop-ups on the pages.

These little tract/booklets are again colorful, well done story,
quality paper, and an added plus of the removable
black plastic "bar" page that you slide across the
pages. Example: the above Joseph and Mary would
appear to move and/or walk when you slide the bar page.
These materials will provide an effective gospel message and can be used as Christian evangelism tools and resources for children. They will help you convey the powerful gospel message of Jesus Christ to children by holding their attention with the core message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Check them out, click here.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Tray says, "Let's Party!' quick 'n easy [Review & Giveaway]

I have the opportunity to receive free Hormel Gatherings® product in exchange for my honest review to you. And I also was provided the high-value coupons being offered to two of Chat With Vera's readers. So..... read on!

The Hormel Gatherings Supreme Party-Tray
 at Walmart
I've know the name "Hormel" for years as one highly respected in the processed meat and cured ham market. And now in today's fast paced society in which we live, people are looking for ways to simplify life and still have those wonderful moments of gracious entertainment.

Hence, the birth of the Hormel Gatherings assortment of Party Trays. They are ready to pop open and lay out before your guests. Pretty in their own package, but you can go all out and place the goodies on your own party ware.

Life just got easy for you during busy times when you have fun activities and parties to attend or host. You can find these ready made easy appetizers for hosting a game day gathering or movie night or family gathering. You name the event and a party tray is ready-made to make your stress free party easier.

So I just love the Hormel Gatherings party tray. The flavor and quality is superb. With Sargento cheeses, assorted olives, crisp crackers and two types of salami. I just love it.
Hormel Gatherings Supreme® Party Tray 39.7 oz. of fantastic goodness.
HORMEL® Hard Salami, HORMEL® Genoa Salami, Sargento® Pepper Jack Cheese, Sargento® Colby Jack Cheese, Round Crackers, Peloponnese Pitted Olives.

Pair the party tray with anything that suits you and your guests
The large tray with 39.7 oz. meats, cheese, olives, and crackers was $15.98 at my local Walmart. I don't know how much the other two varieties which are slightly smaller in size would cost since my Walmart only had the one variety when I shopped. But if your store has more than one variety (there are several) you have the grand opportunity to get your "party to go" with a quick dash to the store and you're ready.
Each receive one $15 product coupon
Begins November 29
Ends December 19 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received product coupon and gift card to acquire this product from local store and to facilitate this #sponsored review of my own honest review and opinions. I have used this product and can attest to the quality and taste. I participated as a member of the "Social Insiders" product review group.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Gift Books from Candlewick Press [Review and Giveaway USA/CANADA 2 copies each title]

Give the gift of a book to a child. 
Read to a child 20 minutes a day. 
Bond with a child over a book.

For the young Medieval history enthusiast:  Knightology: A True Account of the Most Valiant Knights   

ISBN: 9780763698485 
Hardcover $24.99
My thoughts: This book is jam-packed with information both factual and legend about knights. Librarians should  be clamoring to buy this book for their knight-loving readers. This addresses so many interesting attributes of the period of time in the early 1000s and the Crusades. This is a really nice book with fun flaps and tabs to incentivize the reader to find more information hidden therein. The cover is rich in color, gold foil, and "jewels."

About the book: From the secret order of Round Table Knights comes a tell-all guide to the mythical occupation of knighthood — its history, mysterious quests, and puzzles that live on to this day. Inspired by the life of a most exemplary knight, this fascinating book explores the art of mastering sword and lance, the essential (and prohibitively expensive) war-horse, the ins and outs of a castle that a knight might defend, and the skills needed to prevail in a jousting tournament, with all its pageantry. No investigation of knighthood would be complete without a look at the Crusades, and a celebration of legendary knights such as King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Sir Gawain, plus vaunted icons such as Excalibur and the Holy Grail. In true ’Ology fashion, this tip of the lance to a noble (and misunderstood) profession offers a variety of interactive flaps and other novelties to keep young squires fully entertained. What does it really take to be a knight? Peruse this lavish novelty volume and be surprised.

For the curious ones always asking the Five W’s: A World of Information by Richard Platt and illustrated by‎ James Brown 

ISBN: 978076693480
Hardcover $25.00
My thoughts: This is one of those books that a family can purchase and use through the years of educating their entire family. Literally from kindergarten through grade 12. In fact, Mom and Dad might find it educational as well.

Though not a thick book, having only 64 pages, it is large in that it is approximately 11 by 15 inches. And while not a reference book encyclopedic in content, it can most certainly be referred to on a variety of topics leaning heavily on the sciences.

I found it interesting that though the style and font of the book are quaint or old fashioned, the information is definitely up-to-date. I liked, too, the information per topic is contained on a two-page spread and has it's own color.

About the book: From Morse code to the bones in the human body, this visually stunning collection of facts and figures puts a world of information at your fingertips.

How much do clouds weigh? Who invented the pencil? How many ways can you tie a knot? Discover the answers to these and many other questions in this elegant and absorbing miscellany of general knowledge. From music notation to Roman numerals and from the skeleton to the solar system, essential facts are brought to life by stylish infographics and fascinating commentary. Perfect for all ages, this book is sure to amuse and intrigue even the most curious minds.

For everyone STILL looking for Waldo: Where’s Waldo? Destination: Everywhere!  

ISBN: 9780763697266
Hardcover  $19.99
My thoughts: Didn't anyone ever find Waldo? If so, it seems he has slipped away again and needs to be found. What was or is his destination? It's been 30 years since Waldo appeared on the scene and this exclusive anniversary edition revisits destinations with games and searches.

This would be a fun gift for those who like to hunt Waldo or anyone who likes books with look 'n find games or searches. A somewhat large book in dimensions, and only 32 pages. But pages jam-packed with Waldo and lots of fun and games in the search and find category. A sure winner for fans of Waldo!

About the book: Everyone’s favorite bespectacled explorer has been many places — the land of dragon flyers, a Jurassic arena of sports-loving dinosaurs, the set of black-and-white movies in Hollywood. Join Waldo as he handpicks his favorite journeys of all time, revisiting twelve of his most fantastic travels in a new format that includes a surprise at the end of the book. New eye-boggling games await Waldo-watchers alongside every scene in this fresh tribute to Waldo’s many years wandering the world. Have you ever wondered which of his many adventures Waldo loved best?
2 Winners Receive A Set of 3 Books
Begins November 27
Ends December 12 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA and CANADA addresses.
NO P.O. Boxes, please!
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies from Candlewick Press to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.