God Bless Florida (A Land That I Love Book) by Peter Francis | Children's Book Review & Giveaway

A Land That I Love Book
Illustrated by Peter Francis
Juvenile Fiction / Board Book

God crafted the sunshine state especially for you!

See how special Florida is--take a tour of the most amazing landmarks and cities in the Sunshine State, including the Everglades National Park, Daytona International Speedway Race Track, the Kennedy Space Center, and much more!

My Thoughts

Are you ready to take a road trip with your little one? Henry Bear is raring to go on a trip to the great state of Florida and he wants you to tag along.

As he did in God Bless America, Henry wakes with the dawn and is raring to go. His bags are packed and the car is loaded for this long awaited trip. His first stop is in Miami where he climbs to the top of his hotel (seventy floors) and enjoys all the amazing views.

The next stop is the state capitol, Tallahassee. There he sees the government building and even has a chance to meet and shake hands with the governor. Then it is off to Daytona. Henry goes to the famous Daytona Motor Speedway and enters a race . . . and wins! 

Then our little bear tours the Everglades on an air boat. There are so many amazing animals to see. After the beautiful Everglades, Henry's trip takes him to the Space Center. There he gets to see a space shuttle launch and even try on a space suit.

For his final Florida adventure he goes to a theme park and enjoys all the rides and characters. The evening ends with some spectacular fireworks. The next morning Henry stops for souvenirs and then heads home. Once he's home he remembers to thank God for the trip and all the wonders of Florida.

We're so delighted with this adorable series for little ones. It is a great way to introduce young children to geography with a state by state look at our magnificent United States of America.

Now . . . how about a GIVEAWAY?!! Want to go on a cross country adventure with Henry Bear and your little one? We've partnered with Zonderkidz to make a way for one of our readers to get their own copy of God Bless America.

The giveaway is open to U.S. residents and will run through midnight on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. You must be at least 18 years old to enter. The winner will be contacted by email and will have forty-eight hours to claim the prize. If unclaimed, a new winner will be drawn. The winners’ entries will be verified. Please enter the contest using the Giveaway Tools form below. All entries are optional.


The Red Door Inn (Prince Edward Island Dreams #1) by Liz Johnson {Contemporary Romance Review}

Prince Edward Island Dreams #1
Contemporary Romance

Marie Carrington is broke, desperate, and hoping to find sanctuary on Prince Edward Island while decorating a renovated bed-and-breakfast. Seth Sloane moved three thousand miles to help restore his uncle's Victorian B and B--and to forget about the fiancée who broke his heart. He wasn't expecting to have to babysit a woman with a taste for expensive antiques and a bewildering habit of jumping every time he brushes past her.

The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just two months will take everything they've got--and they have to find a way to work together. In the process, they may find something infinitely sweeter than they ever imagined on this island of dreams.


My Thoughts

The Red Door Inn is my first Liz Johnson novel, but I am sure it will not be my last. I was drawn to the book because the setting is Prince Edward Island . . . remember Anne of Green Gables? I thought it would be a nice soothing and uplifting story just like its predecessor. It was, but the story line wasn't the same at all.

Marie Carrington is scared and running from something. Her plan of getting to Prince Edward Island and disappearing is unraveling. Just when all seems lost an angel appears in the form of Jack Sloane. Jack not only makes a way for Marie to get to PEI, but also offers her a job and shelter once she's there.

The only problem seems to be Jack's nephew Seth. He's very skeptical of Marie and isn't shy about making his feelings known.The two are like oil and water but both adore Jack and try to find a middle ground to keep from hurting Jack.

As the story unfolds we learn more about why Jack is opening the inn and why Marie is running. The story has a gentle feel yet it contains serious subjects. I enjoyed reading about how Jack's faith carried him through some impossible situations and how that faith is spilling over onto Marie and Seth.

This book left me once again wanting to make a trip to PEI. I look forward to the next book and the continuing story of these engaging characters.

Connect With The Author


You Can't Piggyback


I've had a lot of time to think lately and really process our move. One concept that has been on my mind is that of relationships and specifically the ones we had to leave behind. I find myself looking up old friends and seeing what they are doing and missing their familiar faces and the friendships we shared. We have a lot of memories in our hometown. It's where our family began. 

It's kind of funny how I go between wanting to live through old memories and wanting to fast forward here in our new place. I want to have a church home and real friendships and be settled. But there is no fast forward. Relationships that are real and lasting are never rushed but built over time with a lot of trust.

I am trying to be balanced by looking back to treasure all the blessings that we had in our hometown. But I'm also trying  to move forward to grow and blossom here. Easier said than done! ;)

Here is what I am learning though, you cant piggyback other people's lives. Back in my blog post on Choosing Joy When Life Gets Busy I mentioned surrounding myself with driven and joyful people. The best part of those relationships is that they all have wonderful lives that are full and inspire me.

While it's wonderful to hear their stories I can't forget our own story and part of our story is leaving our old life there to make new memories here. If I don't move forward our story will not grow and that is not healthy and the exact opposite of who I want to become.

Time to write a new chapter!!!



God Bless America (A Land That I Love Book) by Peter Francis {Children's Book Review & Giveaway}

A Land That I Love Book
Peter Francis
Juvenile Fiction / Board Book

God made a wonderful place for you to live!

Follow Henry Bear as he takes you on a road trip to see the fantastic places and beautiful sights that make America so special, including the Statue of Liberty, the National Mall, Florida's Everglades, Mt. Rushmore, and much more!

My Thoughts

One of my favorite things to do is find a book with my grandkid's name in it. It completely delights them when you are reading the story aloud and come across their name. Henry is one of my middle grands and he is always exploring and being adventurous. When God Bless America arrived I knew it was the perfect book and series just for him!

The story is about Henry Bear and his wonderful travels across this great nation. The first book, God Bless America, gives an overview of his travels. The opening lines set the stage for this great adventure:

"As the golden sun rises and birds chirp outside,
Henry leaps out of bed, his eyes open wide.
There's no time to waste--today's a big day.
This bear's off to see the grand USA!"

And with that the adventure begins. With rhyming verse you follow Henry's adventures through New York, South Dakota, Florida, Texas, California, Washington DC, and then back home again. (I know, his route doesn't make sense, but it is fun!) The story concludes with these appropriate words:

"Now home, all unpacked, he gets ready for bed.
Henry folds his paws. 'Thank you, God,' Henry said,
'For the mountains and trees, for freedom so true.
God Bless America, the red, white, and blue."

Even if you don't have a Henry in your midst this would be a wonderful edition to your child's library. Summer seems to be a time when we are all especially patriotic. This delightful book and the others that go with it will help you start a conversation with your little one about how blessed we are to live in this great country. 

Now . . . how about a GIVEAWAY?!! Want to go on a cross country adventure with Henry Bear and your little one? We've partnered with Zonderkidz to make a way for one of our readers to get their own copy of God Bless America.

The giveaway is open to U.S. residents and will run through midnight on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. You must be at least 18 years old to enter. The winner will be contacted by email and will have forty-eight hours to claim the prize. If unclaimed, a new winner will be drawn. The winners’ entries will be verified. Please enter the contest using the Giveaway Tools form below. All entries are optional.


Return To The Hiding Place DVD {Review}

Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 108 minutes

Based on a true story, Return to the Hiding Place is the dramatic continuation of Corrie Ten Boom’s story. Filled with drama, romance, and thrilling action, this film is heart-wrenching and breathtaking. Corrie realizes that the Nazis are going to senselessly murder thousands of Jews in order to further their own empire. Her heart for justice cannot simply stand by and watch innocents be slaughtered, so she decides to do something. Though harboring Jews and attempting to save their lives will put her in direct conflict with the Nazi Gestapo, she knows that doing the right thing is what she must do. Her way of fighting back against the rising Nazi Empire comes in a surprising and unexpected way. Corrie rallies an army of young, untrained teenagers to fight the growing evil.

Meanwhile, a teenager named Hans Poley, makes a huge decision that greatly impacts his future. Though he is expected to join the Nazi party, he feels uncomfortable with their policies and refuses to join. In order to protect him from being harmed or forced to join, his parents send him into hiding. This hiding place that he goes to turns out to be Corrie’s house. While in hiding here, he discovers what is actually happening to the Jews. They are being sent to secret death camps, unbeknownst to a majority of the population. These undercover atrocities bring to light the flaws and horrendous activities being performed by the Nazis, and Hans develops a heart for helping free the Jews from the Holocaust.

After expressing his interest in the underground movement, he is recruited by Piet Hartog, a resistance fighter. Piet is romantically involved with Corrie’s niece, Aty van Woerden, and Hans is drawn into the world of the Nazi resistance. This web of mystery and secret missions is the setting for The Hiding Place.

Together, Hans, Piet, and Aty are met with severe challenges and great opposition. Their work is hard and full of terror, but it is the right thing to do. Return to the Hiding Place is filled with dramatic missions, secret codes, underground hiding places, disguises, and treachery. Their action-filled adventures even include rescuing an entire orphanage full of children that are slated to be killed by the Nazis. This film will move viewers to tears as they cheer for the victories and cry for the losses that the characters experience. Reconnect with The Hiding Place in this dramatic and emotional film.

My Thoughts

Most of us are quite familiar with Corrie Ten Boom and her heroic efforts to hide and save Jews in her home. What is less known is the story of those who chose to help her in her efforts. Most of these courageous people were university students that chose to follow their conscious and risk their own lives.

In Return To The Hiding Place we get the fictionalized version of these terrifying days in the Netherlands. The strength and bravery exhibited is phenomenal. Each of the members of the Resistance daily risked their lives for those that had lost everything and were in danger of losing their very lives.

The scenes involving the orphanage and the children were gut wrenching. How could human beings become so callous as to harm innocent children? The story of Hans, Piet, and Aty remind us that it only takes a few to stand up and make a difference.

I was moved my this movie and felt like it was a great reminder that we need to remember the atrocities of the past in order to not have them repeated in the future. While it is based on actual facts that can be found in any good history textbook it is still a gruesome part of our history. For that reason I would caution parents about watching this with young children. Nothing is shown but references are made to some very horrific events.

This movie would make a good additional resource for homeschooling families that are studying the Holocaust and World War II. It is a good companion piece to The Hiding Place.


If you are thinking of buying this movie or any other Christian DVDs let me tell you about a great offer. You can get a $5 coupon to FishFLix.com if you join their email list. It's easy to join just visit www.fishflix.com/5gift or you can text 5-GIFT to 44222 and you'll receive your coupon code.

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