Monday, September 24, 2018

Little Women review

Little Women invites you to love and laugh together with your sisters, the women you are connected with through family and/or heart connections for this celebration of family and the deep bonds between sisters. This is not a faithful adaption of the original book, but a fresh look at the family dynamics in current times. Being released in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Louisa May Alcott's novel, I believe it will bring a whole new fan base. As much as I love the historical specs of the original, I believe this version remains true to the characters in the novel while bringing a story that relates to today's woman.

Featuring a strong cast of women including Jo (Sarah Davenport)
, Meg (Melanie Stone), Beth (Allie Jennings), Amy (Elise Jones), and Marmee (Lea Thompson), they remain faithful to the novel characters and have a sisterly comradery that works well onscreen. I also saw traits that were part of Louisa May Alcott's personality. She based Jo on herself and I think the modern-day Jo would still be like Alcott if she were living in the 21st century. I love the "Castles in the Air" that Marmee makes for each as she wisely encourages her daughters to remain true to themselves and their individual goals. I don't strongly identify with any of them, but see traits I love and dislike in each. 

The men of the film are also well cast. Laurie (Lucas Grabeel), Freddy (Ian Bohen), Papa March (Bart Johnson), and Brooke (Stuart Edge) are all strong, caring men who encourage these independent, strong "little women" to be themselves, fulfill their dreams and support their choices... and love them just the way they are. The character that is changed the most from the novel is Freddy Bahr, but I really like what the writers did with him. Just as the females had their strengths and weaknesses, the men did as well... but each was very loveable.

Little Women: A Modern Retelling was written and directed by Claire Neiderpruem. I was just as enchanted by her vision of the film as I was the first time I read the novel as a child. Two of my favorite retellings are Clueless (Emma) and 10 Things I Hate About You (The Taming of the Shrew)... and this film will be added to my list of film adaptations of classic novels. I loved it and plan to see it again. The themes of self-identity, purpose, loyalty, and family are important lessons for all. Even when the sisters did not always understand another's dream, each loved and supported one another.

Many thanks to LEV3L Digital for the chance to see this movie! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Spirit of God Illustrated Bible

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible brings to life more than 40 Bible stories that help readers understand that God’s Spirit has been with us since the beginning of time and continues to be with us today. From the glory of creation through the powerful letters of Paul, God’s Spirit is living in his people. Old and New Testament stories such as Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, the Baptism of Jesus, and Pentecost come alive with dramatic illustrations by Fernando Juarez and moving text by Doris Rikkers. With a cover that sparkles and shines with foil, this is a special storybook Bible that will appeal to both children and parents alike. (Publisher's Description) 

MY REVIEW: This hardcover book is sturdy for a child's use and is filled with words of faith to help a child grow stronger spiritually. Each Bible story included has an emphasis on the Holy Spirit. I honestly don't remember seeing a children's book that is devoted to God - The Holy Spirit and I am very pleased with the contents of the book. Of course, there are many stories that children may already be familiar with, but there are so that are not taught frequently in children's church. 

The book is recommended for children 4 - 8 years old, and I agree that is a suitable age group. But, since all of my great-grandkids are younger than four, I edited to a shorter version while reading a story. This is still a solid foundation for them until they are old enough to sit still for the actual story in the book. They are simplified, but so were the stories I was taught in Sunday School 50+ years ago. My main quibble would be in calling it a Bible, but we also have toddler "Bible" board books in the house. The little ones are happy to have their own "Bibles" and they certainly are not prepared for the adult versions.

Published by Zonderkidz division of Zondervan, I will give it a 5 for being a good introduction to the Holy Spirit for the very young.

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of Spirit of God Illustrated Bible, courtesy of Propeller Consulting LLC & FlyBy Promotions, when you respond either on Blog Comments or Post Comments no later 11:59pm on Wednesday, September 26, 2018. Comment with #SpiritofGodBible.


“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. The winner is subject to eligibility verification.

When you share about Spirit of God Illustrated Bible, please use #SpiritofGodBible 

Little Women: A Modern Retelling

Louisa May Alcott's beloved classic, Little Women, was originally published in 1868 to immediate commercial success. There have also been several endearing film adaptations of the book that is loosely based on Alcott's life.

Coming to theaters in time for the 150th anniversary of the book, Little Women [A Modern Retelling], invites you to love and laugh together, beginning September 28th. This is not a faithful adaption of the original book, but a fresh look at the family dynamics in current times... and looks like a film Alcott fans can truly enjoy.

GIVEAWAY!! Thanks to LEV3L Digital for allowing me to offer a chance to win a $25 Fandango e-gift card to see Little Women in a theater near you! Deadline to enter is September 24th, at 3pm CT. Comment on blog or post using
#LittleWomenL3*USA Residents Only


Little Women website


Saturday, September 15, 2018


INDIVISIBLE is based on the extraordinary true story of Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his wife Heather. With a strong, faith-filled marriage, the Turners are ready to follow their calling: serving God, family, and country.

Carrying burdens the other can’t comprehend, they must decide if they’re willing to face one more battle: the fight to save their marriage.

From the director of The Grace Card and the studio that brought you Fireproof and War Room comes INDIVISIBLE, the story of one marriage … one family … under God. Written by David G. Evans (who also directed), Cheryl McKay, and Peter White, the movie will be in theaters beginning October 26, the movie stars Sarah Drew, Justin Bruening, Jason George, Tia Mowry, and Madeline Carroll. (from Facebook)

MY REVIEW: Indivisible, based on a true story, is the best film I have seen on the subject of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). I spent 18 years as a military dependent, yet remained protected from many of the harsh realities of military life... but I could empathize with many of the situations on the screen. No doubt this was a compilation of stories but they were meshed into a storyline that encompassed many lives and situations to clearly demonstrate the lives of active duty personnel and their families. Each actor involved was dedicated to bring the characters to life in a way that tugged at the heart and made the viewer fully invested in his or her story.

But, more than a story of military life and war, Indivisible focuses on the very real war on MARRIAGE. There are many battles to be fought both literally and spiritually and the stress impacts everyone in the family. The movie starts with an idealistic couple, Darren and Heather Turner, who are enthusiastically preparing for a life of serving God by serving others as Darren begins his career as a military chaplain. When Darren is deployed, he is immediately thrust into a community of men and women who must implicity trust each other and deal with the stress of their lives in danger and the separation from their loved ones. Protecting his comrades in the midst of war becomes his first focus. Meanwhile, Heather has formed a support group for the families on top of being the hands-on person running the household.

When Darren returns, it is soon apparent that they have the bigggest challenge of their lives as the Enemy they now face is determined to their lives apart. This is a MUST SEE film for any couple. Make plans to see this film, and also take the opportunity to purchase tickets to DONATE to a Military Couple! Click here to DONATE TICKETS

Indivisible website


Friday, September 14, 2018

Hiding Place cd - Tori Kelly

Tori Kelly, a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and 2016 Grammy Award nominee for Best New Artist, shares her passion for gospel music with Rhythm and Blues with this Kirk Franklin-produced CD. Hiding Place, named after a line in one of Tori's favorite Psalms, is filled with songs either co-written with Kirk Franklin or written by Franklin alone.

Never Alone (with Kirk Franklin)

My Review: Starting with “Masterpiece”(featuring hip-hop 
artist Lecrae), the album starts off enthusiastically. Tori's talent shines through (as does Lecrae's) but I confess that I prefer the slower ballads. "Help Us to Love" could be our nation's anthem right now and really spoke to my heart. Another hit is "Psalm 42," (which is one of my most favorite Psalms), so I was very pleased with Tori's rendition. And I was touched by "Questions." "Never Alone" with Kirk Franklin is excellent and the cd ended with the inspiring, "Soul's Anthem (It Is Well)."

Overall, a very good album. To be honest, the more I listen to the words, the more the cd resonates with me. I recommend it.

Purchase links are here:
Hiding Place - Tori Kelly

GIVEAWAY: I have 1 cd available for a giveaway, provided by Propeller Consulting. You must contact me by 9am Sept 15, 2018.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Ours For a Season - Kim Vogel Sawyer

An Old Order Mennonite couple's vows and beliefs are challenged in this stirring contemporary novel for fans of Cindy Woodsmall or Shelley Shepherd Gray.
Anthony and Marty Hirschler are part of an Old Order Mennonite community in Pine Hill, Indiana. The couple has grown apart since a doctor confirmed they would never have children. Marty longs to escape the tight-knit area where large families are valued, and the opportunity to do so arises when her childhood friend, Brooke Spalding, resurfaces with the wild idea of rebuilding a ghost town into a resort community. Brooke hires Anthony to help with the construction, drawing the Hirschlers away from Indiana and into her plan, and then finds herself diagnosed with cancer. Moral complications with Brooke's vision for a casino as part of the resort and the discovery of a runaway teenager hiding on the property open up a world neither the Hirschlers nor Brooke had considered before. Will they be able to overcome their challenges and differences to help the ones among them hurting the most?

MY REVIEW: I always love Kim's books and Ours For a Season is no exception! Amish/Mennonite is not my favorite, but this one surprised me. There was more depth in the story with an unexpected range of topics. Marty's longing for a child has colored her world with a bitter outlook and has placed a strain on her marriage and her faith in God. So when her childhood friend offers the chance for Marty and Anthony to get away with an offer for his company to rebuild an abandoned community, Marty hopes to rebuild the relationship both with her husband and with her non-believing friend, Brooke.

The story of the tightly-knit group of Mennonites, along with a couple of people of no faith shows the bonds growing even stronger as Brooke battles a cancer diagnosis and a runaway discovered on the property sheds light on the plight of runaway teens and human trafficking. The challenges faced by the various characters bring new insight and strength and leads to surprising changes in their lives. I highly recommend this one!

I received a copy of the book at no cost to myself as part of the Waterbrook Launch Team as a #PRHpartner. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Healed By Grace 2 dvd

HEALED BY GRACE 2: TEN DAYS OF GRACE (Blended Planet) tells the story of Jesse (Kennedy Martin), a young girl whose only wish for her upcoming 15th birthday is a horse of her own.

Her parents, John (David Matthew Weese) and Brandy (Stacy Munsie), trying to protect her from her mom's unexpected health scare tell her that she is going to Summer Camp instead. But, when summer camp falls through, John decides to appeal to his wife's estranged father, Gauff (Larry Bower)... who happens to be a horse trainer. Gauff, still recovering from the death of a special horse named Grace, sees the chance to bond with his unknown granddaughter, and the hope of reconciling with Brandy. An inspiring story of how God’s grace works in mysterious ways.

The story covers the serious subjects of estrangement, cancer, forgiveness, faith, family and restoration with a compelling story and a few touches of humor. Suitable for the entire family (although pre-schoolers may not sit through it), this will especially appeal to the horse lovers in the family. While this works as a stand-alone film, several of the main characters are also in the first film, Healed By Grace. However, this is more of an additional story rather than a traditional sequel.

Healed By Grace 2 is currently available on Digital Download. The DVD will be available on September 18, 2018. Check it out on and Amazon.

GIVEAWAY!! One blog reader will win a 2-DVD combo containing both Healed By Grace and Healed By Grace 2! Enter (on blog or under post) Using the hashtag #HealedByGrace2L3. Deadline to enter is 1pm CDT, September 10, 2018.

Many thanks to LEV3L DIGITAL for providing the link for me to review the film and the opportunity to share DVDs to one blessed winner!