Genre: Inspirational

Faith and A Life Jacket Blog Tour

14 Nov, 2016 by in lds, non-fiction, young adult Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Cedar Fort in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Faith and a Life Jacket: 7 Truths for Your Eternal Mission

by Ben Bernards
Published by Cedar Fort on September 13, 2016
Genres: Inspirational, LDS
Pages: 128
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the Book
Don't just be prepared--be prepared well. Ben Bernards, popular youth speaker, presents this adventurous book of seven guiding rules and lessons to help train a new generation of missionaries. These invaluable lessons, from God's measure of success to unexpected difficulties in the field, will apply to any missionary's call, readying them for the great and challenging experiences of the Lord's work.

This is an absolute must read for any youth thinking of going on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ben Bernards uses story telling to show that miracles still exist and happen in the mission field today. His experiences while serving in Fiji are incredible reminders that a mission wil be hard, and opposition is real, but if you are prepared you shall not fear. I found myself zipping along quickly waiting to hear what happens next.

Each chapter teaches one of seven eternal truths in a way that teens can relate. I came away reminded of the every day miracles I saw as a missionary and inspired to be better in today’s world. This author is a seasoned youth speaker. His eloquence with a down to eath nature comes across in his wiritng. Definitely a must read!

About the Author

Ben Bernards grew up in a big Mormon family in a small farming town in the heart of Utah Country where he and his 8 brothers and sisters were raised on a steady diet of Nintendo, Transformers, Dungeons&Dragons, and Star Wars. He geeks out on all that plus everything marching band, Marvel, and Tolkien (his autographed edition of Lord of the Rings is pretty much the coolest.

He loves teaching youth the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whether it be in Seminary, Sunday School, at youth conferences or EFY. He served a mission on the Fiji Islands where he survived cyclones, rampaging natives, and swarms of giant bats while living in a hit in the jungle. (He still hasn’t convinced his wife to go back and visit.)

Website

“Faith and a Life Jacket” blog tour schedule:
November 1: LDS & Lovin’ It
November 2: Christy Monson Books
November 3: Read for Your Future
November 4: My Book a Day
November 5: Brooklyn Jolley | The Things I Love Most
November 6: Pixx Digital Media
November 7: Laura Walker
November 8: Not Your Relief Society Book Club
November 9: The Power of One Girl
November 10: I Am a Reader | Mel’s Shelves
November 11: Bookworm Lisa | Brookie Cowles
November 12: Katie’s Clean Book Collection | Singing Librarian Books
November 13: Rockin’ Book Reviews | Reidhead Random-ness
November 14: My Little Sunshines | Fire and Ice

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The Beautiful Balance Blog Tour & $25 Giveaway

22 Aug, 2016 by in Uncategorized 1 comment

I received this book for free from Covenant in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Beautiful Balance

by Michelle Wilson
Published by Covenant on August 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, Inspirational, LDS
Pages: 152
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
Is it possible to feel peace when our lives and the world feel out of control? The short answer is yes!

Trying to manage the ups and downs of life can feel overwhelming, but fortunately we're not alone on this journey. With inspiring doctrinal insights and a healthy dose of humor, author Michelle Wilson inspires readers to let go of fear and find peace, even in the midst of lost jobs, health challenges, or everyday chaos at home. In a world that seems so tempestuous, The Beautiful Balance is a sweet reminder of exactly what we can control—ourselves—and what God controls—all the rest.

 
This book has a perfect messages of letting go and letting God. There is in reality, little we have control over in life save it be ourselves. We are free to act or react in any given situation. Author Michelle Wilson reminds readers that we can’t possible do everything on our own or stay in balance without the Lord’s help, we simply can’t do it alone. Filled with scripture, personal stories and doctrinal insight, consider this a small pocket guide to “gaining personal control and giving the rest to God.” I would recommend reading it in chunks, a chapter a day.

about_ the_author

Michelle Wilson writes magical realism and inspirational nonfiction. She is the author of “Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat?” and “The Beautiful Balance: Claiming Personal Control and Giving the Rest to God,” along with other fiction and nonfiction works on the way.

She is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Michelle loves faith, family, food, and smiling. She is an expert at Guitar Hero, has a bad habit of laughing at the wrong times, and hates writing about herself in third person because it’s just weird.

Blog Tour Schedule

The Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Maybe Today Blog Tour

14 Aug, 2015 by in blog tour, emily freeman, ensign peak Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Ensign Peak in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Maybe Today Blog Tour

Maybe Today

by David Butler, Emily Belle Freeman
Published by Ensign Peak on August 4th 2015
Genres: Adult, Inspirational
Pages: 128
Format: Hardcover
four-half-stars
Source: Ensign Peak
Buy the BookGoodreads
Maybe today the sun came up just like it always does, and you rolled out of bed just like you always do, and you knew it was going to be one of those days. But maybe today could be different. What does your soul need? What do you long for? This path that you are on, where is it taking you? How do you fill your unscheduled moments? Is your heart content? Perhaps you feel as if you are missing something. If you want life to satisfy your soul, you have to start living the soul-satisfying life.

Maybe Today describes five holy patterns that, when lived daily, will lead to the soul-satisfying life.

* Tilt Your Soul
* Let Down Your Bucket
* Tune Your Heart
* Take Off Your Shoes
* Be All In

When life gets heavy or monotonous it is so refreshing to have a book to pick up on a moment’s notice. Maybe Today is filled with beautiful principles about simplifying life, filling your days with meaning and choosing the path less traveled. The design is gorgeous…thick pages with photography, quotes and scripture. I came away with a deeper resolved to lift my view and choose purpose

Author Contacts

Emily Belle Freeman & David Butler
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/multiplygoodness
Twitter: https://twitter.com/multiply_good
Website: http://multiplygoodness.com

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Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter By Emily Belle Freeman~ Blog Tour

12 Mar, 2015 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Ensign Peak in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter By Emily Belle Freeman~ Blog Tour

Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter

by Emily Belle Freeman
Published by Ensign Peak on February 4, 2015
Genres: Christian, Inspirational
Pages: 96
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Ensign Peak
Buy the Book
Discover how the personal experiences of people who were closest to the Savior during the final week of His life can change the way your family celebrates Easter. Learn the meaning behind the wheat baskets, the forget knot, the red egg, and other traditions that will help Easter become a "High Holy Day" in your heart and in your home.
Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter offers hope for an Easter filled with the Spirit of Christ as we offer our finest to Him in deepest gratitude for His sacrifice. Return to the spiritual roots of this holy celebration with this beautiful gift book that will help bring you and your family closer to Jesus Christ.

Personal stories include

Lazarus
Simon
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus
Mary Magdalene, Mary, and Salome
Thomas
The disciples on the road to Emmaus
Jesus Christ

In our family we are always looking for ways to make Easter more focused on the Savior. Emily Freeman shows us just how to make it a “High Holy Day,” as special and meaningful as Christmas. She includes crafts, scriptures and symbols each household can incorporate into their holiday, while weaving seven chapters of the disciples and citizens personal interactions with the Savior. She makes Easter a personal place where we can come to know more about the Savior’s sacrifice and resurrection.

I highly recommend making this book a companion to her other book a Christ- Centered Christmas. The two make bookends to our most sacred celebrations. Beautifully written and rich with doctrine.

EMILY BELLE FREEMAN is a coach’s wife, a mother to four children and a few others who have found refuge in her home, author of several bestselling books, emily_freemanand sought-after inspirational speaker. Her days are spent watching over teenagers, her flock of pampered chickens, and a rabbit that she adores. She finds great joy in studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. For a few minutes every day Emily forgets about the laundry, leaves the dishes in the sink, and writes. She coauthors a blog that is a stopping place for hearts seeking all that is good: www. multiplygoodness.com.

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Embark by John Bytheway~ Blog Tour Review

06 Feb, 2015 by in audio cd, deseret book, john bytheway, lds 2 comments

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Embark by John Bytheway~ Blog Tour Review

Embark

by John Bytheway
Published by Deseret Book on December 2014
Genres: Adult, Inspirational, LDS
five-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the Book
In this motivating talk related to the 2015 youth theme, John Bytheway explains what it means to truly embark — to get fully on board in the service of God with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. Using scriptures, powerful stories, and his characteristic humor, John explains that with the Savior's help, we can remain on board and eventually stand blameless before God at the last day.

John Bytheway challenges listeners to get fully “on the Boat” with the Lord in his latest audio CD “Embark.” With a charming, witty personality and stories that make the point clear, listeners will feel inspired to stick with the Lord in life. I loved his concept for youth that if you love computers, use the time you spend on them wisely. Do family history, honor the names of your ancestors. I listened to this CD two and from meetings this week and I felt inpired to have a pure heart, to get and stay on the boat.

Percfect for youth and their leaders.about_ the_author

John Bytheway served a mission to the Philippines and later graduated from Brigham Young University. A favorite speaker and teacher, John holds a master’s degree in religious education and is a part-time instructor at BYU. John is the author of many bestselling books, audio talks, and DVDs, including How Do I
Know if I Know?; Of Pigs, Pearls, and Prodigals; When Times are Tough: 5 Scriptures That Will Help You Get through Almost Anything; and the 2014 youth theme talk on CD, Come Unto Christ. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children.

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Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas Blog Tour

12 Nov, 2014 by in christmas, emily freeman, ensign peak Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Ensign Peak in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas Blog Tour

Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas

by Emily Freeman
Published by Ensign Peak on September 30th 2014
Genres: Adult, Christmas, Inspirational
Pages: 112
Format: Paperback
four-half-stars
Source: Ensign Peak
Buy the BookGoodreads
Discover how each figure of the nativity can lead your family closer to Christ this Christmas season. Learn the tradition of the tinkling bell, whip up a batch of French cocoa, create a tender mercy tree, and find ways to make your gift-giving more meaningful as Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas guides you through seven meaningful traditions inspired by the nativity setting. These simple experiences will give you and opportunity to escape from the frantic busyness of the Christmas season to spend time reflecting on the Savior and the miracle of His birth.
unnamed (2)

With Christmas swiftly approaching, Emily Belle Freeman offers us seven weeks worth of traditions that will bring the meaning of the season back into homes. The author uses the members of the nativity – Mary, Joseph, the angel, the shepherd, the wise men, the lamb and the Christ child, along with time honored traditions and symbols we already know. As a compact, gift quality read, there are stories, scripture and hand drawn art that help us turn our hearts to Him.

We are going to take the timeline she suggests, one week before Thanksgiving and carry it through to Christmas day, adding a member of the nativity each week as we learn about the figures’ role in the unfolding scene of the Savior’s birth.  A Christ- Centered Christmas adds new traditions without overwhelming readers with an already busy time of year. I am so happy to have a new way to teach our children and prepare them for a holiday focused on He whose birth we celebrate.

About the Author unnamed (5)

EMILY BELLE FREEMAN is a coach’s wife, a mother to four children and a few others who have found refuge in her home, author of several bestselling books, and sought-after inspirational speaker. Her days are spent watching over teenagers, her flock of pampered chickens, and a rabbit that she adores. She finds great joy in studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. For a few minutes every day Emily forgets about the laundry, leaves the dishes in the sink, and writes. She coauthors a blog that is a stopping place for hearts seeking all that is good: www. multiplygoodness.com.

Blog Tour Schedule

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Movie Preview~ No Ordinary Shepherd, The Last Straw

10 Oct, 2014 by in covenant, movie, movie review, movie trailer Leave a comment

Genres: Adult, Christmas, Inspirational, LDS, Movie
Source: Covenant

the last strawYesterday I had the opportunity to attend a special screening of two new movies coming to stores just in time for Christmas from Covenant Communications. No Ordinary Shepherd and The Last Straw. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the end of either of them. Lots of sniffles heard in the theater! Both are clean and appropriate for families.

Head to your local Seagull book as I’ve heard they may have hit shelves already. Special thanks to Covenant Communications for giving me a good cry and an uplifting start to the season…

no ordinary sheperd

No Ordinary Shepherd

As the sun beams brightly on the hills surrounding Palestine, one young shepherd boy thoughtfully considers the significance of the day. The child, crippled in a terrible accident, has always treasured his shepherd father’s tale of that starlit night so many years before — a night filled with the wonder of angelic heralds and a tiny Bethlehem stable sheltering the chosen Messiah. Now, years since that sacred event, tales of Jesus of Nazareth’s miraculous birth touch the young boy’s faith. When he meets the gentle stranger in the hills — a man strangely familiar to him — the faithful young shepherd encounters a miracle of his own.

22 minutes long

Themes: healing, miracles, believing

Content: clean, for all ages

5

Mainstay Productions Facebook* Covenant Communications

 

The Last Straw

Christmas is supposed to be a season of love, warm feelings, and happy hearts. But with the childrens’ constant bickering, pretty packages and a sweet-smelling tree don’t come close to filling the McDonald home with the true spirit of the first Christmas. Then Mom remembers an old tradition of building a soft bed for Baby Jesus one straw at a time. Each time someone secretly does something nice for another family member, he or she gets to add a single straw to the manger. Soon the childrens’ quarreling and negative feelings subside and the homemade crib is overflowing. But for one family member, a required act of kindness becomes more than he can take. The Last Straw is a true story.

 

Themes: Cyberbullying, grief, service, sibling rivalry

Content: Kissing, some tight clothing.

3_5 heather
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Review and Event Photos: Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace

04 Oct, 2014 by in deseret book, Focused, Noelle Pikus- Pace Leave a comment

Review and Event Photos: Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace

Focused: Keeping Your Life on Track, One Choice at a Time

Published by Deseret Book on September 8, 2014
Genres: Adult, Inspirational, LDS, Non- Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 144
Format: Hardcover
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
Where are your choices leading you? Regardless of our circumstances, each moment presents us with decision to make. It doesn't matter what question, trial, or success we experience—each traces back to a choice. At any given moment, we can choose to doubt, fear, worry; to be prideful, angry, depressed, or miserable—or we can choose to move forward. We can choose to be a light. We can choose to be happy. The choice is always ours, and each choice can be a step forward on the path of life we want for ourselves.

The life lessons learned by Olympic athlete Noelle Pikus Pace can equip each of us to turn daily choices and challenges into opportunities for growth. In her warm and relatable style, Noelle shares touching personal stories and teaches how these experiences can help us keep a healthy perspective on the things that matter most. She helps us to see that though all of our goals and trials are different, we each can choose to become the best versions of ourselves one day at a time.

Covering topics from letting go of expectations and pressures to finding a healthy life balance, from standing up for ourselves to standing for righteousness, world champion Noelle Pikus Pace infuses readers with the enthusiasm and confidence to get a little closer to their goals each and every day.

Never has a book been more timely than Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace is for this generation. A silver medal US Olympic skeleton racer, Pikus Pace shares her wisdom with youth as well as her life experiences. In 2006 she was badly injured by a bobsled and had a huge mountain to climb to make it back on the track.Like, all of us, she has faced moral dilemmas, ups and downs, but she remained focused on what matters most.

Noelle shares how important it is to step outside our comfort zone and friendship others. She shares her personal struggle with miscarriage and returning to the track after an answer to prayer. She reminds youth to be modest, to be an example and to let your light shine.

I read this book full of quotes, photos and inspirational graphics in one sitting. It is one I will passing on to my daughters and sons. I cried along with her when she finally grasped her Olympic medal dream, with YW medallion also around her neck on the awards podium. Her temple medallion reminds all of us…”You are more precious than rubies.”
heather

The Q& A Event

focused_with_medal

Noelle absolutely shines when you meet her in person. I had the opportunity to met her at a Deseret Book event and she wanted all of us to see and feel her medal, to feel a part of her victory. She is an amazing example of faith and love. If you ever get the chance…GO see her!

See More Photos and Deseret News Media Coverage From The Event Here (we are in photo nine)

Favorite Quote

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with the whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9 “It isn’t always easy to be the one and only standing up for something you believe in. But I can promise you that it is much easier to stand with courage in the days to come if you decide now, today, in this moment, who you are and what you stand for.” ~Noelle Pikus Pace, {Focused} page 67

About the Authornoelle_pikus_pace

NOELLE PIKUS PACE became the first American woman to win the Overall World Cup Title in skeleton in 2005. After playing a variety of sports through high school and college, her exceptional strength in skeleton made her favored to win the gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics. An unfortunate accident prevented her from competing, but the following year she came back to win the World Championships by the largest margin in the history of the sport. Noelle competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics and was the top U.S. finisher, placing fourth.

She retired after the Olympics to spend more time with her family. Following a miscarriage in April of 2012, Noelle and her husband, Janson, decided that she would try one last time to earn an Olympic medal, on the condition that the family would all travel together. Competing in 32 national and international competitions over two years, Noelle finished on the podium 29 times and concluded her career by triumphantly winning the silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and jumping into the stand to share the moment with her family and the world.

Noelle earned a bachelor’s degree in 2005 and a master of business administration degree in 2007. Noelle and Janson have two children, Lacee and Traycen.

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The Peter Potential Blog Tour & Review

21 Jul, 2014 by in adult, david butler, emily freeman, Shadow Mountain Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Ensign Peak in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Peter Potential Blog Tour & Review

The Peter Potential

by David Butler, Emily Freeman
Published by Ensign Peak on July 8, 2014
Genres: Adult, Inspirational, LDS
Pages: 111
Format: Hardcover
four-half-stars
Source: Ensign Peak
Buy the BookGoodreads
Have you ever wondered if God has greater things in store for you? The Bible is clear that though Peter saw himself as only a fisherman, the Lord saw him as a fisher of men, a leader among men, the rock upon which His Church would be built. Divinity gave Him the insight to extend the invitations that would help Peter discover the life he was meant to live. This full-color gift book is profound in its simplicity as the authors take the reader through the invitations the Lord extended to Peter. Journey with Peter and the Savior as you begin to understand the potential the Lord sees in you.

Simon Peter is a man we know about from the Bible. A man who was asked to cast his net and then leave behind his life as a fisherman to follow Christ. In The Peter Potential, we learn even more about this story and the many others that came throughout the ministry. We are asked to apply the teaching to the multitude, the personal invitations to cast out a little form the shore and then into the deep. Through nautical photos, graphics, quotes, scripture and text, the authors challenge the reader to a higher level of discipleship, a trial of faith and the ship overflowing with blessings when we take a challenge from the Lord. This is a book I’m going to have to read several times to pick up on the layers and lessons. I’ve been through it twice and it’s left me pondering how I can become more like Peter.

The only drawback with the flow of the book, is that I wish the authors would have separated Peter’s distinct experiences and stories by a small break or chapter. There are several vignettes rolled into one book, which made it a bit hard to know where one ended and the other began. Overall, an uplifting and though provoking gift quality read that holds hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. Beautiful.

heather

My Favorite Quotes

To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy of that moment finds them unprepared and unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour- Winston Churchill p.20

The Lord is completely aware of you, He has miracles in store for you, and He knows what He is about to do. Give Him all that you have to offer. He will bless it. He will make it more.” p.64

About the Authors

Emily Belle Freeman is a coach’s wife, a mother of four, an author of the bestselling A Christ-Centered Christmas, and a sought after inspirational speaker. She finds great joy in studying both the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. She coauthors a blog that is a stopping place for hearts seeking all that is good: www.multiplygoodness.com.

David Butler is a high school religious educator, sharing his love for the scriptures and his belief that there is an innate power for good in every human soul. He is also a motivational speaker and writer. He and his wife, Jenny, live with their five children amid the snowcapped peaks of the Mountain West.

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