Saturday, August 31, 2013


CAMP is the story of a summer camp for abused and neglected kids. The main storyline is about Eli (Miles Elliot, “The Mentalist”), who has been abused and neglected his entire life and an investment advisor, Ken (Michael Mattera), who signed up to be a counselor just to impress a prospective client. Both are last minute additions to camp, and are paired together for the week. The angry boy and the apathetic man get off to a rocky start...and it goes downhill from there. Slowly their attitudes change as Eli begins to trust Ken and Ken learns to look beyond the behavior to see the hurting boy who needs love.  

Camp director, Tammie (Grace Johnston), who had a crush on Ken in high school, has her hands full with trying to make Ken understand that his focus must be on Eli and trying to break through the barriers he has built around himself. Experienced camp counselor, Samuel Smith (Asante Jones), who is a former camper whose life was impacted by a counselor, along with his camper, Redford (Matthew Jacob Wayne)...who believes he is an alien stranded on Earth...are teamed with Ken and Eli as cabin mates as Samuel tries to show Ken the importance of bonding with his camper.

Inspired by true stories from Royal Family KIDS, Inc., this is a film that draws you in, breaks your heart, makes you laugh, and leaves you with both hope for these kids and a desire to make a difference. My attitude, much like Ken's, changed from when I first started watching the movie as I begin to see beyond the actors and situations that seemed like standard characters/plots that set the standard for many formulaic films. There is [mild] bad language coming out of the mouths of some of the kids (PG 13), but it fits the defiant characters of some. I also confess that I initially disliked the Redford character, but his optimism and vulnerability melted away my reserve as I both considered the pain this child has suffered and admired the joy he displayed and the kindness he genuinely displayed toward others.

I attended a few church camps when I was younger, and the film brought back memories of friends, activities and the required camp singalongs! The difference is that these kids are those who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, and this week of camp may be the only fun in their lives for the year. There are only 5 short days to show the kids that they are valuable, loved, and have a reason to hope...but it is well worth it. My favorite character, Sgt. Sam, tells Ken, "You're not the foster parent or the caregiver. You're not the teacher. You're just here to help the kid have fun for one week."

Directed by Jacob Roebuck, CAMP is a film that you can enjoy watching for the story, but one that I hope inspires more to make a difference in a child's life. The acting was good and the scenery was gorgeous. Glimpses of the inner fears of the kids break your heart, but the way the counselors handle each situation demonstrates a hope that the kids can cling to for their future. The letters of encouragement sent and shared were among my favorite scenes. A film on a tough subject, but interspersed with enough humor to keep it uplifting. There are several BTS & personal story videos included in Special Features, plus there is a Director's Commentary!! Well done!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of  this dvd for review purposes. I was only asked to give a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

CAMP movie website
CAMP Facebook Page
Royal Family KIDS, Inc.


A Portion of the Proceeds from Roebuck Media’s Inspirational Film About Abused and Neglected Children Benefit Royal Family KIDS, Inc., a 501 (c) (3)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Alone Yet Not Alone by Tracy Leininger Craven

Alone Yet Not Alone is the novelization of an actual event in the lives of Tracy Leininger Craven's ancestors. The Leininger family emigrated from Germany, settling in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania, where they worked to build a new life that had a firm foundation of family and faith.

Their lives were filled with hard work, but there was also joy found in simple pleasures and they lived in peace with all of their neighbors. However, tragedy struck unexpectedly with the beginning of the French and Indian War.
On Oct. 16, 1755, in what became known as the Penn's Creek Massacre, the lives of the Leininger sisters were changed forever. On that day, as their mother and one brother were away, members of the Delaware tribe attacked. The father and remaining brother were murdered as Barbara and Regina fled into the woods. Captured, they are forced to live with the Indians.

With strong faith in God and their close family bonds, even when they are forced to separate, Barbara and Regina hold firmly to the belief that they are never alone and that they will be reunited. Alone Yet Not Alone is an inspirational, fact-based story of a family who were victims of the French and Indian War, yet never wavered in the belief God would never leave them as captives or keep them apart.

My Review: This historical, fact-based book is filled with a lot of info to keep it interesting and a story line that is sure to keep the reader wanting to know more. Suitable for those in upper elementary school and up, it did keep my interest and I even researched more into other reports and writings of the actual event. This is a good book that could be part of a family discussion. (I think Family Book Club meetings and discussions are a wonderful activity!) With its strong focus on faith and family, plus the glimpse of another time in our nation's past, it is a book I recommend. Some parts may be a bit much for imaginative children, but the violence and scarier details are toned down.

I want to thank FlyBy Promotions for giving me a copy of this book for review purposes. I was only required to give an honest review, and all opinions are my own.

But, they are letting me do a...GIVEAWAY!! Flyby Promotions has a copy available to one reader of my blog. Simply leave a comment to be entered into a random drawing to be held Monday, Sept. 2nd, at 9pm (CDT)!

I don't have a copy of this (unfortunately), but I also want to add that Alone Yet Not Alone also has a film version that will be opening in select theaters in September before a wider opening in 2014. You can check to see if it is coming to a theater near you. (The films on Seatzy do need you to reserve your tickets in advance to guarantee a theater is booked.) Directed by Ray Bengston, the film's screenplay was written by James Richards and George Escobar and stars
Kelly Greyson, Natalie Racoosin, Clay Walker, Jenn Gotzon, Joanie Stewart, Ozzie Torres, and Tony Wade.

Like Alone Yet Not Alone on Facebook
 Tracy Leininger Craven loves history and retelling real-life stories in her historical fiction books. She also loves spending her free time in the great outdoors with her husband David and their four children.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ever After by Vicki Courtney

Little girls often grow up with their heads filled with the stuff of fairy tales: You grow up, Prince Charming finds you (even if it means slaying dragons, defeating witches, and dealing with evil stepmothers, etc.), you marry, and ride off in your shimmering carriage to live happily ever after in your beautiful castle. Right?

Reality Check!! Tiny apts.; sky high bills; work demands; the pumpkin that turned into a carriage is actually a 'lemon'; the fairy godmother loses your new address; the sweet babies you envisioned cry, make messes...and turn into teenagers; Prince Charming doesn't always make your dreams come true; and , truth be told, your "princess persona" and crown may slip a notch or 2...sometimes. Vicki Courtney calls this “Fairy Tale Letdown.”
Ever After: Life Lessons Learned in My Castle of Chaos  should be required reading for those who need a dose of reality, but I also absolutely recommend it for those who long realized that life isn't a fairy tale...but is so much more exciting. This is written from the perspective of a married woman, but is also a great book for divorced or never-married women; there are topics that appeal to all women.  Courtney's sense of humor shines through the pages as she tells stories from her own life about mistakes made, lessons learned, tears, laughter, and the reminder that God's grace is sufficient for our happy ending and the Prince who awaits us.

I seldom give out 5 stars (I think it diminishes the ratings system when they are given too liberally), but would give this a 4.5 stars. I also read this will have a Bible Study curriculum soon; I expect it will be top-notch!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Shelton Interactive, as part of its Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Saturday, August 17, 2013

First Hired Last Fired by Anita Agers-Brooks

First Hired Last Fired by Anita Agers-Brooks is subtitled How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market because we live in a time when becoming complacent and believing you have job security can become costly. In an uncertain economic climate, finding and keeping a job is in the thoughts of many who are struggling to be able to support themselves and their families. The competition can be fierce, and your work ethic can make a difference in your vulnerability if your company is forced to downsize. Your attitude is also a major factor when it comes to working with others, your family life, and even your health. Using Biblical principles, and well known people we know from our Bibles, Anita Agers-Brooks gives a dozen examples of people you should emulate.

Divided into 3 subsections, the book begins with Basic Principles featuring Joesph, Ruth, David, and Jacob. Next, we learn more about Paul, Esther, Zacchaeus, and Matthew in Growth Principles. Leadership Principles contains wisdom gained from the lives of Moses, Deborah, Jethro, and Jesus. Each chapter begins with a principle or issue relating to the workplace, followed by a fictionalized account of someone who is making poor decisions. An introduction to the Biblical person with a brief synopsis of how the issues they faced, is then followed by an account of the fictionalized person applying these principles to their job. Encouragement to use these examples in your own life with a few Investigative Questions to ask yourself ends each chapter.

Sometimes I had a problem making the leap between the two fictionalized stories, but those were the ones where I need an attitude adjustment of my own. Overall, though, I found this technique of illustrating through words very useful and recommend this book highly. The Bible is a source of much wisdom and I found the use of people I have learned about all my life to be most effective in teaching solid career advice for anyone wishing to be a better employee (or even employer).

In the interest of full disclosure, I did receive a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
First HFIRST HIRED, LAST FIRED shows readers how to use the valuable wisdom found in the ancient text of the Bible to avoid becoming disposable in this challenging marketplace. Through timeless wisdom, simple solutions, and easy-to-apply principles, readers will find meaning in their work lives, and deep satisfaction from committing to a job well done. Through practice, the reader will learn to look deeper into the Bible for relevant help with current issues. - See more at:
FIRST HIRED, LAST FIRED shows readers how to use the valuable wisdom found in the ancient text of the Bible to avoid becoming disposable in this challenging marketplace. Through timeless wisdom, simple solutions, and easy-to-apply principles, readers will find meaning in their work lives, and deep satisfaction from committing to a job well done. Through practice, the reader will learn to look deeper into the Bible for relevant help with current issues. - See more at:

I am Second

About: I AM SECOND:I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you.,The authentic stories on provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. 
You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second. (from the website)

I have written several posts in the past about I am Second, but want to once again share. Dealing with topics ranging from Abortion to Work, with a myriad of topics in between, the emphasis is on the difference made in a life when Jesus is placed first. Whether you are dealing with Cancer, Divorce, Forgiveness, Lonliness, Prison, Relationships, Trauma...there is likely to be a video (or videos) that speak to you. Many of these names will be familiar to you, but whether they are world-renowned or known to only a few, their stories will speak to you on a personal level.

How can you help?
Give Change, Make Change- Many more stories are waiting to be told.  You can help.  Commit $2 every Tuesday to build film funds, and your contribution will be used to develop, produce and promote new films. Join the project and become an I am Second insider. Click on SECONDS CHANGE for more details on how YOU can make a difference and help reach out to others.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tyndale Rewards Program

Do you love books? How about FREE BOOKS, including Bibles? Then, Tyndale Rewards Program may be a perfect fit for YOU!!

Bonus--You can also help ME!!
FlyBy Promotions Blogger Network has
offered a Kindle Fire HD to whomever has the most referrals in 30 days!! Click HERE for more info. If you sign up, you will receive 25 points...and I will get 10 free points just for having an awesome friend!!

About Tyndale Rewards
The Tyndale Rewards program is designed to provide you with opportunities to get books and Bibles for zero dollars. That’s right—F. R. E. E. As a member of the Tyndale Rewards program, you’ll have access to inspiring literature, Bibles, special promotional offers, and much more.
Other member incentives include a free gift on your birthday, along with opportunities to share your personal recommendations and feedback concerning Tyndale products. The more participation you have with the program, the more points you earn—and points translate into free stuff!
The Tyndale Rewards program is a great way to get free books and Bibles that you can keep for yourself or give to friends and family. Your journey to earning free faith-based products is here!
Earning Points...
To refer your friends and earn points first you sign up  for free. Then click the “Earn Points” tab get your code from the “Invite a Friend to Join” section. 
There is no cap on the amount of points you can generate through referring friends to signup.
Redeeming Points...
Log in to your account on to see how many points you have collected in your account. Next, browse the product available for redemption. If you find a product you like and you have accumulated enough points, click the “Redeem” button.
Your Points will never expire!

Tyndale Rewards Program Website

I have loved the program and believe you will too!