Celebrate the Whit Award with Adventures in Odyssey


Most people can think of one or two figures whose love and life example had a great impact on the formation of their spiritual foundation. It might be a coach, a Sunday school teacher or a parent or grandparent. Whatever the role, it’s hard to put a value on the investment these people make on a daily basis. In an effort to bring honor to these countless, quiet heroes, Adventures in Odyssey announces the John Avery Whitaker Award. Named after Odyssey’s resident leader and the namesake of Odyssey’s most famous attraction, Whit’s End, the award will be bestowed annually on one deserving mentor.

Like the Adventures in Odyssey character John Avery Whitaker, or “Whit” as he’s known by fans of the show, the person should be someone who is passionate about innovatively teaching children the truths expressed in the Bible. Those who create Adventures in Odyssey know that while Whit might be a fictitious character, there are thousands of real people just like him. “Our hope is that by bringing those people into the light, others will be inspired to follow their example,” says Dave Arnold, the executive producer of Adventures in Odyssey. “If we can spur mature believers in Christ to mentor and influence a generation being barraged with messages of compromise, we can turn the tide and encourage revival in our youth.”

Nominations are being accepted now through October 31 for the “Whits” out there in the world. Beginning on November 1, one nominee will be selected daily and awarded with a prize package including Adventures in Odyssey’s latest album, Taking the Plunge, and a DVD of the movie Beyond the Mask. One grand prize winner will be chosen and announced on November 20. This worthy recipient will receive more than $500 worth of Focus on the Family resources, including an Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC) membership. The OAC offers 24/7, on-the-go access to more than 800 episodes of Adventures in Odyssey, as well as a new, members-only episode every month. It is a safe, fun environment where the whole family can explore, create and imagine, all while learning biblical truth.

Nominations can be submitted via this form, or the information can be emailed to contest@whitsend.org. (See the Official Rules for all the details.)

To learn more about the John Avery Whitaker Award, visit www.whitsend.org. Discover the Odyssey Adventure Club at www.oaclub.org or on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin – Book Review and Tour


About the book:
Through Waters Deep
(Revell, August 2015)

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war.

Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges—and dangers—await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, In Perfect Time, and the Wings of Glory series. In 2014, On Distant Shores was a finalist for the Golden Scroll Awards from both AWSA and the Christian Authors Network. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.

Find Sarah online: website, Facebook, Twitter

The above is from the publisher.
My Thoughts:
I love any book about World War 2, especially Christian historical novels set in this time frame. Sarah Sundin does not disappoint with this novel. I’ve read so many novels of this genre but this is the first I remember reading set in the United States. It was so interesting to read about the different view points America had during the war. This book had me going from the first chapter. I loved the love story, although at times I wanted to slap them upside the head. But what truly made this book was the main character of Mary. She is just such a relateable character. She struggles with self-confidence from thinking she has too much pride. She was just such a lovable character that I found myself rooting for her through out. This book has love, friendship, war, and mystery. It is a beautiful story and I highly recommend it.
I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 

Among the Fair Magnolias – Book Review and Tour


About the book:

Among the Fair Magnolias (Thomas Nelson, July 2015)

In the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history, four Southern women—destinies forged by birth, hearts steeled by war—face near impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love.

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home. So when new owner, Aidan Bedford, a Boston attorney and former Union soldier, seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But the clock is ticking. Can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front. This time, one of the heart.

An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray
When Russell Stark returns to Fort Worth, he’s determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother’s homestead, he discovers she’s very ill, and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
Emily has a secret: She’s in love with one of the freedmen on her family’s plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe.

Purchase a copy: 


About the authors:

Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of numerous books including A Lasting Impression and The Inheritance. Tamera is a two-time Christy Award winner, two-time RITA winner, and a recipient of the prestigious Library Journal Award. A native of west Tennessee. website, Twitter, Facebook

Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels. website, Twitter, Facebook

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), The Protector, recently made the New York Times best seller list. website, Twitter, Facebook

Elizabeth Musser, a native of Atlanta, Georgia now living in France, is a novelist who writes what she calls ‘entertainment with a soul.’ For over 25 years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in mission work with International Teams. website, Twitter, Facebook


The above is from the publisher.


My Thoughts:

This was my first time getting a chance to enjoy some of these authors. I had heard a lot about them and was super excited to try them out. This book did not disappoint. The last story was a bit too fast paced for me and I feel needed to be a full size novel to make more sense but all the stories were still top notched. I loved how they were southern love stores as I love the whole culture that went with that. The first story was A Heart so True by Dorothy Love. This one was a lot of fun for me because I have read her book Carolina Gold and one of the characters from that book is in this novella. The second story was To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander. This story was by far my favorite in the book. I have a friend who loves Tamera Alexander and now I know why. This story follows a young lady who has lost everything and ends up taking care of her younger siblings. She ends being hired to decorate the family home that was sold at auction. There is a mystery involved as well. It was a beautiful story. The third story is Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser. This story follows the struggle of the freeman after the Civil War. It was a fabulous look at how they weren’t really truly free and the long road it has taken in the south for them to gain true freedom. The last story in this book is An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray. This was my least favorite. It just felt rushed and not as polished but I still really, really enjoyed it.

Overall I really recommend this book. It has four great novellas and is a fantastic introduction to four amazing Christian authors.

Read other blogger’s thoughts here.

I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 

Get Access to Every ‘Adventures in Odyssey’ Episode Ever!

It’s August, which means it’s nearly time for your kids to pack up their pencils, zip up their backpacks, and hop on the school bus. Aside from prepping them for their new teachers, new classes, or maybe even a new school, it’s important to prep their faith. Sign your whole family up for Adventures in Odyssey‘s Odyssey Adventure Club for a special price of $9.99/month. The club is an essential tool to teach your children to share their faith at school, to be bold, and to grow in their relationship with God.


Join during the month of August for $9.99/month, and you’ll receive these benefits for being a member:

  • Unlimited streaming of Adventures in Odyssey library (800 episodes) retail value over $1,500 USD
  • New monthly exclusive episodes
  • Monthly Web Quests
  • Monthly Clubhouse magazine subscription (U.S. Residents Only)
  • Daily devotions based on Adventures in Odyssey episodes
  • OAC monthly member newsletter
  • OAC exclusive video stories
  • Animated Odyssey videos, Last Chance Detectives, and more!

Spend the last few weeks of summer vacation with your kids listening to Adventures in Odyssey episodes and build their faith!

Ready to join? Head over to the website and sign up today!

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson – Review and Blog Tour


About the book:

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor (Howard, June 2015)

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.

Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.

Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.

Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1HuCCkT


About the author:

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of thirteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels. Two of her novels won Carol Awards in 2011, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010. Melanie lives with her husband Jon and two daughters near Portland, Oregon.

Find Melanie online: website, Twitter, Facebook

The above is from the publisher.

My Thoughts:

If you love period dramas then this book is for you. It tells the story of a young women who gets pregnant and the mystery that surrounds a young man’s death in the past. It does this while flashing to the future, or maybe better said it flashes back to the past, and a women dealing with her fathers death and going through all of his things. She begins to discover secrets and her daughter pushes her to figure out the truth about the young man’s death next door many, many years ago. Add an old love and lots of misunderstandings and you have a fabulous book. The writing was fabulous. You never felt confused with the going back and forth and I loved both parts of the story equally. I highly recommend this book and will definitely read it again in the future.

Read other bloggers thoughts here.

I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 

Summer’s List by Anita Higman – Book Review and Tour


About the book:
Summer’s List (River North, June 2015)

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman’s life.

Life hadn’t been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness—caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother’s bookstore—she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love . . . didn’t turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something—or someone.

Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer’s past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1GKqprL

About the author:

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.Find Anita online: website, Twitter, Facebook

The above is from the publisher.
My Thoughts:
When I first started reading Summer’s List I had the feeling it may end up being much like Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson because of the whole doing a list someone made for you vibe. And it does remind me of that a bit, but it is so much more. There is family intrigue, love, quirkiness, and more. I really loved the whole feel of this book. The characters are so genuine and I just found myself rooting for them. Martin actually reminds me a bit of Eugene from Adventures in Odyessy, super brainy and not so good with the social interactions. In other ways Martin and Summer reminded me of me and my husband. I just love how well they work together. This book as so many great aspects and great quotes from the characters on life. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great summery contemporary read that still isn’t afraid to get deep every once in awhile.
Read other blogger’s thoughts here.


I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 

A Friend in Me by Pamela Havey Lau – Book Review and Blog Tour

86c62e76-3190-43ac-87da-b7bff4c27eaa About the book:
 A Friend in Me (David C. Cook, June 2015)

Young women long for relational connection with women further ahead of them on the journey. Yet, without realizing it, many of us tend to distance ourselves from those in younger generations.

Can we really have close relationships with women who have different thoughts on church, different experiences with family, and different ways of talking about God? Where do we start?

In A Friend in Me, Pam Lau shows you how to be a safe place for the younger women in your life. She offers five patterns women need to internalize and practice for initiating relationships and talking about issues such as faith, forgiveness, sexuality, and vocation. Most significantly, she reminds you that there doesn’t need to be a divide between generations of women. Together, we can have a global impact—and experience a deeper faith than we’ve ever known.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1RXNAmd


About the author:
Pam Lau is the author of Soul Strength and numerous articles for such publications as Christian Scholar’s Review and Christianity Today. She has taught writing at George Fox University and speaks around the country at conferences and retreats. A graduate of Liberty University and Colorado State University, Lau lives near Portland, Oregon, with her husband and three daughters.Find Pamela online: website, Twitter
The above is from the publisher.
My Thoiughts:
I have always had a heart for mentoring and getting more women of the older and younger generations connected with each other. This obsession started with some teaching by Donna Otto of Homemakers by Choice and her exegesis of Titus 2. To this day it is still a huge desire of my heart to see more Godly older women helping those of the younger generation, and really anyone can fit in those categories. There is always someone younger than you to mentor and older than you to have mentor you. Anyway, I was excited to see this book come up for review because of my passion for the topic. A Friend in Me is a book made to help us learn how to be a safe haven for other women. It teaches you how to become more accessible and for others to feel safe sharing the deep dark secrets that they need a more Godly women to help them walk through. This book had many moments that made me stop and pray about whether I was the type of women that I wanted to be. That being said it was a bit difficult to read at times. The writing felt disjointed in places and random. I think it could have used a couple more edits and good transitions to help it read easier. There were also several times when she would be trying to let you know of a real life example of what she was talking about but instead of feeling personal it just felt disjointed and left you wondering who in the world this person was. She would just mention someone’s name like you knew who they were, what they did, and why it was important. Like I said, this book does have lots of great jewels in it I just feel those jewels needed a bit more polish. However, I would still recommend it if you are wanting to learn how to be the type of women that a younger women could trust and confide in.


I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 

Fatal Trauma by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. – Book Review and Blog Tour



About the book:
Fatal Trauma (Abingdon Press, May 2015)

A gunman who has nothing to lose faces a doctor who could lose it all to prove his innocence.

When Dr. Mark Baker and Nurse Kelly Atkinson are held at the mercy of a dangerous gunman, the lives of every emergency room patient are at stake. At the end of the evening three men are dead. One of them is a police officer who couldn’t be saved despite Mark’s best efforts. The other two are members of the feared Zeta drug cartel.

Though the standoff is over, the killing is not, because when the drug cartel loses its members, revenge is not far behind. Facing an adversary whose desires are dark and efforts are ruthless, Mark finds himself under suspicion as a killer, yet still a potential victim. When he turns to his high school sweetheart, attorney Gwen Woodruff, for help, Kelly helplessly looks on, as she hides her own feelings for the good doctor.

At the height of the conflict, three questions remain: Who is the shooter? Who will the next victim be? And can Mark prove his innocence before the gun turns on him?

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1AIM9U5

About the author:
A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels of medical suspense. His previous works have been finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Award, and have won the Selah Award. He is a past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas.

Find Richard online: website, Twitter, Facebook

The above is from the publisher.

My Thoughts:

I love me a good medical mystery drama, whether it is on tv or in a book. Dr. Richard Mabry’s book never fail to please. I love that because he is a retired physician I know the medical stuff in his books is not made up and I get a real look into hospital and medical life. This book had me engaged from the very get go. It starts right out with the action and intrigue and leaves you guessing the entire time. There were several times that I thought I had it all figured out only to find out I was so very wrong. Of course near the end some of my assumptions proved to be true but the big surprise at the very end I wasn’t even imagining which to me is the sign of a great suspense writer. The characters in this book were so very real and I found myself feeling their suspicion and fear. Richard Mabry has a knack for really drawing you into his stories and leaving you guessing right up until the last minute. I highly recommend his novels and can’t wait to read the next one.

Read thoughts from other blogger’s here.

I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 

Aoleon: The Martian Girl, Part 1 First Contact by Brent LaVasseur – Review

iRead Book Tour Logo Medium

Aoleon The Martian Girl PART 1

Book Trailer


Synopsis and Review

Gilbert is fascinated with space and the crop circles that continue to be formed in his neighbor’s fields. One night he is awoken by a vivid dream and then sees the circles being formed again. He goes to check it out and ends up meeting Aoleon, a martian girl. What continues is an exciting race through space as earth forces try to destroy the UFO complete with flying cows. When Gilbert reaches Mars however, he is in for quite the adventure. Is he the key to saving the Martian people from their evil leader?

I really enjoyed this story. It was fast paced and I can see how a middle grader would thoroughly enjoy it. It was smartly written and I loved how the author incorporated how to say the martian’s name as part of the story. It was very creative. The art is very interesting. It combines 3d art with realistic photos. Definitely something a middle grader would really enjoy. I definitely recommend this book for those middle graders who may be reluctant readers as there is lots of adventure and the pictures will draw them in.

Meet the Author

Brent LeVasseurMr. LeVasseur enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.

Connect with Brent:   Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Aoléon: The Martian Girl

I received a free copy of this product from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.