Monday, November 24, 2014

"Where Treetops Glisten" Blog Tour

The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime
Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories,
filled with the wonder of Christmas
Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America's involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.
In Cara Putman's White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements---until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail's brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin's I'll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete's friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he's no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, "Merry" to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that's precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

The Turner family believes in God's providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ's birth and His plan for a future?

Purchase a copy:

TRICIA GOYER is a prolific author of nearly forty books, including Chasing Mona Lisa, and is a speaker and blogger. 

CARA PUTMAN is the author of twenty books including Shadowed by Grace. She is the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction.

SARAH SUNDIN is the critically-acclaimed author of the Wings of the Nightingale series, the Wings of Glory series, and the forthcoming Waves of Freedom novels.

See what other reviewers are saying here:

Landing page:

My Take:

When I found out that two of my favorite authors were teaming up with a new-to-me author to write a book of three historical romance novellas taking place at Christmastime, I was so excited. Add that to the fact that the stories were to take place in my hometown, and I was literally jumping up and down!

Sarah Sundin has quickly become one of my favorite historical fiction authors over the last few years that I have been doing book reviews. Her attention to the historical details is the best, and she always writes a story in which the characters experience a tremendous amount of growth. I also enjoy reading books by Tricia Goyer, and her “Big Sky” series is one of the best I have ever read. Cara Putman is an author who is new to me, but I was excited to find out that she lives in Lafayette, Indiana! (OK – so I am technically from West Lafayette, but it’s just right over the river!!!) 

I think one of the best things about this book was how each story fit together with the others. You could tell that each was written by a different author, but the book as a whole was seamless. It is just amazing to me that three authors with varying styles could come together and create three stories that fit together so nicely.

I don't know if I could say which of the three novellas was my favorite. I liked the detailed setting of Lafayette in Cara Putman’s White Christmas,  I appreciated the growth of the characters in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, and I adored the right-in-the-thick-of-things storytelling in Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. But if I had to choose -- I think I liked Cara Putman's story the best. It set up the rest of the book so well, and her detailed description of Lafayette really sold it for me.

On the whole, this book was really good, and it was perfect for Christmastime. I will admit that I am a bit biased towards it since I live in West Lafayette. I know that fact affects my review and rating at least a little bit. These stories are very much on the romantic side and could even be considered hokey by some. While there are some realistic components and excellent historical details, the stories are definitely fiction. Of course everything is wrapped up nicely with a big Christmas bow at the end. But isn't that what we all want with a collection of Christmas novellas anyway?!

Where Treetops Glisten has all of the things that I love about Christmas stories – a great setting, interesting characters, and the warmth and love of the holiday season.

I will give Where Treetops Glisten … 4.5 BookWorms*




 *Extra half rating given because of the setting of Lafayette, Indiana! J
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"The Christmas Cat" Blog Tour

He felt his face flushing as Cara opened the door. Wearing a garnet-colored knit dress and with her dark hair pinned up, she looked even prettier than he remembered. Suddenly he wished he'd thought to bring a hostess gift. Like a cat.
After years abroad, Garrison Brown finds himself at the home of his beloved grandmother who has just passed away. He must sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While he hopes to dispense with the task quickly--especially since he is severely allergic to cats--his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends.

Can he match the cats with the perfect new owners? And is it possible that he might meet his own match along the way?

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than six million. She is the author of several Christmas books, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, as well as The Christmas Pony and A Simple Christmas Wish. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at

My Take:

I’m not normally one who likes to read the sappy Christmas novel that reminds you more of a Hallmark movie than a book. But I really liked one of Ms. Carlson’s previous Christmas novellas – The Christmas Pony – so I decided to give this one a try.

Overall this was a nice, sweet story, but it also had some interesting aspects to it as well. There were a couple of times when I laughed out loud over something a character said or did. That always makes for a great story in my book. I thought it was funny that Garrison’s grandmother was so particular about what should happen with her cats, but it was sweet as well.

Having the story be told from Garrison’s perspective was an interesting aspect and one that really fit with the overall tone of the book. Stories of this type are not usually told from the point of view of just the main male character, and it was a nice change of pace.

Since this is a novella, there wasn’t a lot of time to develop the main characters, but I actually felt as if I got to know Garrison very well. I thought his relationships developed a bit quickly and that the ending felt very rushed, but that is to be expected in this short of a story.

One thing that I thought was odd in this novella was that it was a bit unrealistic for Garrison’s allergies to seemingly disappear once he got “used” to the cats. It was almost as if his allergies ended up being all in his head, and that is just not the case with true allergic reactions.

While The Christmas Cat would definitely make a good Hallmark movie, it was still an interesting story and a nice tale for the holiday season.

I will give The Christmas Cat … 3.5 BookWorms.

The Christmas Cat
by Melody Carlson
Revell Publishing
Publication date: September 9, 2014
176 pages

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishing through Revell Reads. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Friday, November 14, 2014

His Kids United Christmas Vol. 1 - Blog Tour

His Kids United Christmas, Vol. 1

Tailor-made just for kids ages 5-14, this highly anticipated His Kids United volume features young voices bringing a renewed energy to holiday classics along with four contemporary originals. Includes "Away In A Manger," "Jingle Bell Rock," "Light of Christmas," and more.

Product Information
Format: Compact disc
Vendor: Capitol Christian Music Group
Publication Date: 2014

Find out more about His Kids United here -

My Take:

This is my first time getting to review an album, and I really enjoyed it! It was especially fun to review a Christmas album, especially since Christmas decorations are going to be going up very soon in my house.

My first impression of this album was that it was kind of all over the place genre-wise. There were so many different genres of music represented all in one album – pop, hymns, jazz, techno, and even rap. While this does tend to give everyone something they might like, I thought it was a little much, especially the synthesized style of some of the songs.

Here are a few words about each song on the album:

Here We Come a Caroling – Nice traditional song. It was well-done, but I didn’t really like the ritardando on the chorus.

Light up the World – Catchy; a more upbeat, pop sound, but it was pretty good.

Jingle Bell Rock – felt as if the singing wasn’t as well done on this one as on the other songs. I don't know if it was because they were intentionally sliding their voices or if they were not quite on pitch, but it was not as clear as the other songs. This song has a techno feel to it, and overall it was OK.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – one of my favorite Christmas songs. This version kept to the traditional hymn and was very good. I really liked the arrangement of this one, and it is my favorite song on the album.

All I Have to Give – A little bit too pop/Hallmark Christmas special for my taste. I prefer the more traditional Christmas songs.

Light of Christmas – I’m sure some kids would like this, but I am just not a fan of rap at all, especially in a Christmas song. Even so, it was very catchy and upbeat.

Jingle Bells – Probably the most techno version of Jingle Bells that I have ever heard! I’m also not a fan of this version being pretty much in half time compared to what we are all used to (at least on the verses). And I realize that people think it is so cute to have a really little kid (who can’t carry a tune) sing on children’s CDs, but I just find it annoying. There are plenty of really young kids out there who sound young and cute but who can actually sing.

No Better Holiday – Very pop-sounding, which is not my favorite, but the lyrics were encouraging, and the singing was well-done.

Away in a Manger – This one was good, nice arrangement. Should have had one of these kids sing the solo part for Jingle Bells.

Christmas Time Is Here – A very familiar song of the Christmas season made famous by the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. This version was pretty well done and stuck to the original.

I Hope This Gets to You – I was not fond of the “love song” style of this song. I don’t think it is the best thing for pre-teens to be constantly thinking about dating and “love” and the flirty-type things that were in this song. I’m not really sure how this fit with the rest of the album.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – I prefer a traditional version of this song. This one was too techno for my taste. The singing was good, though.

Overall this album might appeal to the 9-12 set, but (apart from the three traditional carols) it was too over-the-top for the grown-ups in my house and had too many unfamiliar songs for my 5-year-old.


I will give His Kids Christmas Vol. 1 … 3 BookWorms.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Capital Christian Music Group through Cross Focused Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"The Christmas Promise" Blog Tour

Title: The Christmas Promise

The Good Book Company
November 4, 2014

A captivating retelling of the Christmas story showing how God kept His promise to send a new King. Superb illustrations by Catalina Echeverri and faithful, Bible-centered story-telling by Alison Mitchell combine to make this a book that both parents and children will love.
A long, long time ago so long that it's hard to imagine God promised a new King. He wasn't any ordinary king, like the ones we see on TV or in books. He would be different. He would be a new King; a rescuing King; a forever King!
This book helps pre-school children discover exactly how God kept His Christmas Promise.
Amazon                Publisher Website

My Take:
It's the first week in November, and already the Christmas music can be heard in my house. This is mostly due to my husband who would gladly put our Christmas tree up in October if I would let him!
Though I give him a hard time about loving Christmas so much, I was really excited to start receiving Christmas books to review this year. And I love reviewing children's books so much - and so does my daughter! We immediately read this one, and we have read it several times since it arrived at our door.
What I like most about this simple book is that it is packed with truth. My five-year-old daughter really liked it, and I think it would be good even for toddlers. The writing is straightforward and engaging, and the pictures really make the story come alive.
I absolutely love the Bible passage references at the back of this book. So often children's books about the Bible don't even reference the Bible! I think it is great to have story books about the Bible for children, but if we never direct our children to read from the ultimate source of truth - the Bible, God's Word - then I feel we are doing them a disservice.
The only thing slightly negative that I have to say about this book is that some of the print was a bit hard to read since it was black ink on a dark background. Overall, though, The Christmas Promise is an excellent addition to our library of children's books.
What a great reminder that Jesus is the King.
The New King...
The Rescuing King...
The Forever King!
I will give The Christmas Promise ... 5 BookWorms!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Good Book Company through Cross Focused Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."