Review: The Heart of Marriage

        `The Heart of Marriage` is a book on marriage written by author Dawn Camp. It's a book of stories that celebrate the adventures of life together.

        Author Dawn Camp is a wife, mother of eight, writer, editor, and photographer who lives in Atlanta. You can visit her faith-based blog at

        The author used the King James Bible unless otherwise stated. Stories come from some very familiar online names. Examples are Crystal Paine, Lisa-Jo Baker, and Holley Gerth.

        This is a remarkable book with loves kiss at the altar and a reminder that today may be all you have, how are you going to let your love know you really do love him?

        There are black and white photographs dispersed throughout the book that adds simplicity to it and quotes that make you think. Things may seem bleak but this book can put that spark back in your marriage. I enjoyed everything about this book. Even the part when Dawn and her husband had to look for his wedding ring in the snow before the snow plows came by to clean up the snow.

        This is a fast read that I recommend to all women and I give it a flying high-five.

Disclaimer: "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own."

About the author:

    Dawn Camp is the camera-toting, homeschooling mother of eight children and the editor of The Beauty of Grace and The Heart of Marriage. She is a featured blogger at (in)courage, and her beautiful photography has graced their monthly calendar. Camp blogs at and is a featured photographer on Adobe's website for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software. She lives with her family in north metro Atlanta.

        Review: Shine like the Dawn

                `Shine like the Dawn` is a historical fiction novel written by author Carrie Turansky. I am reading and reviewing an uncorrected proof of the novel. The novel is due to be published February 21,2017, Carrie Turansky is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas.

                The year is 1903, four years after the death of Maggie's mom, dad, and older sister. Maggie thinks it was a set-up and she is planning to find out who-did-it. Maggie and her sister, Violet, stay at their grandmother's house until Nate moves the family into his estate.

                The setting of the estate is beautiful gardens, two large lakes, several carriage drives, and myriad stone paths. Birds called from tall evergreens and the sound of rushing water could be heard coming from a nearby stream.

                This novel is a must-read for fans of historical fiction with a bit of mystery and suspense.
        Disclaimer: "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own."

        Click here to purchase your copy.

        About the Book

        Book: Shine Like the Dawn  

        Author: Carrie Turansky  

        Genre: Historical

        In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible tragedy reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. But Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart and she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

        When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son Nathaniel, who is Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

        Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will their search for the truth about her parents’ death draw them closer or will it leave them both with broken hearts?

        About the Author

        CARRIE TURANSKY is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has been the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have five adult children and four grandchildren.

        Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

        Hats, Glorious Hats!


        By Carrie Turansky


        One fun part of my research for Shine Like the Dawn was learning about hat making in the early 1900s. My heroine, Maggie Lounsbury is a milliner who designs women’s hats. She learned this skill from her grandmother who owns a small shop in the village of Heatherton. Maggie has an artistic eye and she enjoys making stylish hats, but she doesn’t like the overdone designs some of their customers request, so that creates some humorous conflict in the story.

        Hats in the Edwardian era were large and often covered with feathers, flowers, lace, netting, berries and bows. The “bird nests,” as Coco Chanel called them, were held on with large hat pins stuck through piles of hair on the crown. These hats were called Gainsborough or Picture hats because of the way they framed a lady’s face. They often featured huge dried flower arrangements and sometimes included real leaves and twigs! No doubt the Garden hat was a fitting name. 1907 The Merry Window hat became very popular after the leading lady in the play by that same name wore a hat that was even taller and wider than usual. Some people complained these hats were too big and obtrusive in public places like the theater or picture shows. But English women loved them and wore them to all kinds of events.

        The popularity of using large feathers and stuffed birds on hats caused concern for the welfare of birds. Many protective laws took effect and milliners had to use more ribbon and tulle and only large ostrich feathers to decorate hats. Those ostrich feathers came from birds that were raised on farms and their feathers were collected as they fell out naturally. The movement toward smaller hats began around 1913 when hats still had high crowns but smaller brims. Straw boaters, small top hats, and mini versions of picture hats were very common.

        Motion pictures had the greatest influence on Edwardian hat fashion. After the release of The Three Musketeers many ladies wanted to wear tricorne and bicorne shaped hats. They were still very large but now had shapes other than just round. Hat brims were folded up on the side, at an angle, or all around to create drama. Veils disappeared in the early 1900s only to come back again as a long scarf that wrapped over the hat and under the chin for the new sport called motoring.

        I’ve had fun dressing Edwardian style for book launch tea parties and other book events. It made me feel very special to wear these lovely hats. What do you think of Edwardian Hats? Would you like to wear one?

        Thanks to friends at the Vintage Dancer website for some of this information.

        Stop by Carrie’s Facebook author page and view her live videos February 21 – 25, 3:00 pm Eastern. She’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn and giving away a fun prize each day to one person who leaves a comment. Even if you can’t catch the live video you can still enter for 24 hours after it’s posted. She is also hosting a book launch celebration and giveaway on her blog February 25 – March 6.

        Like to my Facebook Author page:
        Link to my Book Launch Blog Post:

        Blog Stops

        February 21: New Horizon Reviews
        February 21: Bookworm Mama
        February 22Tell Tale Book Reviews
        February 22Book by Book
        February 23Bibliophile Reviews
        February 23Smiling Book Reviews
        February 23A Readers Brain
        February 23Faithfully Bookish
        February 23Lane Hill House
        February 24Back Porch Reads
        February 24The Scribbler
        February 24I Hope You Dance
        February 25Stuff & Nonsense
        February 25The Power of Words
        February 25A Greater Yes
        February 26cherylbbookblog
        February 26Moments Dipped in Ink
        February 26Splashes of Joy
        February 27Genesis 5020
        February 27: inklings and notions
        February 27D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
        February 28Karen Sue Hadley
        February 28Neverending Stories
        March 3Pause for Tales
        March 3Mary Hake
        March 4Radiant Light
        March 6Baker Kella


        To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away all 4 books: Shine Like the Dawn, The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall.! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

        Review: Shalom in Psalms

                `Shalom in Psalms` is a devotional written from a Messianic Jewish perspective by authors Jeffrey Seif, Glenn Blank, and Paul Wilbur,

                This book of Psalms is written using the Messianic Jewish Bible, the Tree of Life version. After each chapter of scripture, there is a summary by at least one of the authors.

                I like that the font is large enough to read without many problems if any. I would like to see some illustrations dispersed throughout the book, to break up the monotony. I feel like the authors did a great job and are very knowledgeable in their areas of expertise.

                This book would make a great study book for homeschoolers, private schools, and for personal reflection.

                I recommend this book to anyone wanting to go deeper in studying the Psalms.

        Where to Purchase


        Disclaimer: "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own."

        Review: The Dog Who Was There

                `The Dog Who Was There` is a Christian historical fiction book written by author Ron Marasco. Ron Marasco is known for his published books as well as a famous t.v. and movie star. He played in the t.v. shows Lost and West Wing and starred in the movie Illusion alongside actor Kirk Douglas.

                The reader is introduced to Barley the dog at the beginning of chapter one. His owners Adah and Duv lived in a one-room home in Judea. Duv was a woodcarver and his wife helped him by making little pots of paint using things like blackberries and crushed lily pollen.

                Barley was the runt of his litter and small enough to get underfoot. However, he usually stayed out of the way, especially when Adah went to collect water in jars. At other times he was allowed to come close enough to be petted.

                There are sub-plots as we weave through the story. One is how a little boy, Micah, befriended Barley, another is how Barley came to be Adah and Duv's dog and yet another is the Teacher. However, the plot is not emphasized over character and setting. The setting is intended to be first-century Judea.

                Although there are glimpses of Jesus, Kind Man, throughout the early part of the book, our first real sighting was on Palm Sunday and on the road to Golgotha. This story is told through dramatized narration and I give the book 5 stars for a story well told.

        About The Author:

        Ron Marasco is a professor in the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His first book, "Notes to an Actor," was named by the American Library Association an Outstanding Book of 2008. His second book, "About Grief," has been translated into multiple languages, and he is currently completing a book on Shakespeare’s sonnets. He has acted extensively on TV—from "Lost" to "West Wing" to "Entourage" to originating the role of Mr. Casper on "Freaks and Geeks"—and appeared opposite screen legend Kirk Douglas in the movie "Illusion," for which he also wrote the screenplay. Most recently, he has played the recurring role of Judge Grove on "Major Crimes." He has a BA from Fordham at Lincoln Center and an MA and Ph. D. from UCLA.

        Author landing page:

        Disclaimer: "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own."

        Review: Easter (Board Book)

                This Easter board book by B&H Publishing/Lifeway is made so even the littlest ones can understand Easter and why we celebrate it. There is only one word per two facing pages, but lots of colorful drawings. The colorful front cover shows Jesus riding on a donkey.The back cover shows a drawing of a child waving palm leaves.

                The book is made in such a way that the parent can say as little or as much about Easter, depending on the child's age and what they can understand. A young reader could read these one-word pages to themselves, making it a great addition to the Easter Basket.

                The child will be able to easily pick out Jesus with His white robe and a brown sash. The main problem Jesus faces in the book is when the soldiers arrest Him, make Him carry His own cross, and His death on the cross. However, the problem is solved by the end of the story.

                I recommend this board book to very young children to read with an adult or a very young reader.

        Disclaimer:  "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own."