“A Show About Anthem Lights” Part 2–and a PureFlix giveaway! (ends 2/5/22)

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Thanks to PureFlix and Momentum Influencer Network, I’ve recently had the opportunity to watch the streaming service’s brand-new show about the Anthem Lights band. (You can check out more about the band in this post.) The new animated series is called “A Show About Anthem Lights.” Let me tell you more about this fun show, plus I’ll have a giveaway for you at the end of the post!

About the show

“A Show About Anthem Lights” is an animated series from PureFlix streaming service. It’s for both adults and kids, so it’s perfect for family viewing. It’s a show about the band Anthem Lights, clearly; but it’s about the animated version of them. It’s definitely a comedy, filled with humor that both kids and parents will be able to relate to. What is it like being in a 4-member boy band? This show answers that question, humorously! There will be 20 episodes in the series, (episodes drop 4 at a time every other week) with each one running around 12-14 minutes in length. The four members of Anthem Lights (Caleb Grimm, Chad Graham, Joey Stamper, and Spencer Kane) perform themselves as they both voice act and sing in the episodes. Each show starts with the series’ theme song, performed by the group. The series was developed by Rob Hawkins, and it’s part of Sony Affirm Originals.

The Anthem Lights have their office/studio on a city’s main street. Their arch rivals, the Handsome Knights, have rented a studio across the street. Now, the Anthem Lights guys have no idea that they even have arch rivals, but the so-called competition between the two bands (which is really only in the minds of the Handsome Knights) provides lots of comedy fodder for each episode. Some of the episodes’ issues include:

  • Auditioning for a reality show
  • Getting an unfavorable comment on a video
  • Fans and social media
  • Rivalry (over…you know…shoes)
  • What happens in a musical when one Anthem Lights member is the star, and everyone else is a supporting character
  • And more

The problems do tend to be on the less-serious side and each one gets resolved before its episode’s conclusion. I got to watch Vol. 1, Episode 2, and here are my impressions!

“A Show About Anthem Lights, Vol. 1, Episode 2”

In “Oil of Algorithm,” the band has a problem. Chad is hoarse and can’t sing those high notes he normally hits easily. And neither can anyone else! The mighty Algorithm (no one’s quite sure what that is) must be appeased; they have to have their new song uploaded to the internet by 8:00 P.M. There doesn’t seem to be an obvious solution. But wait! What about drenching Chad in essential oils? Surely that will help his voice get back to normal!

There’s also a side story about the Handsome Knights, and the way they think they can get themselves noticed by throwing shade.

My thoughts about this episode

Overall? Entertaining. Playful. Engaging, and super-fun to watch!

It is a really creative idea; making an animated series about an actual band, and having that band voice themselves. The show’s animation is simple and mostly two-dimensional with 3D effects here and there. Occasionally, there’s some lettering (like on cell phone faces, or in character identification). The story was lighthearted, giving the boy band an online deadline that seems impossible to meet. There is a “scary” costume; I don’t think it’s really scary, but it’s supposed to be, and I think kids will get the joke.

The “villain” band, the Handsome Knights, have a Porta-Potty in their office (a bit of the gross factor some kids will think is hilarious). The lead singer speaks with an Aussie accent and the other three band members just mumble. I actually thought they were pretty funny with their cluelessness!

Now…the song that the Anthem Lights play. They’re missing their tenor, so that is played for the comic effect. The video touches that are added are fun. I have to say that I thought the lyrics sounded a bit stalkerish. (Parents could discuss this with their kids.) There’s also a running gag about essential oils.

Overall, I really did enjoy it. There are a lot of jokes that kids today will totally get, and find hilarious, and the same goes for adults. The band members have great comic timing, and “A Show About Anthem Lights” is very fun to watch.

The best things? We all know we are living in a TOUGH TIME. I can’t believe that we are coming up on nearly two years in a worldwide pandemic. And “A Show About Anthem Lights” couldn’t be a more perfectly-timed show. It is fresh, fun, sometimes silly–really, it’s just a treat. And we could use more happy and fun these days!

And–you can enter to win a PureFlix subscription!

I have a wonderful giveaway to offer you! PureFlix is going to give someone a 3-month subscription! The winner will be able to watch “A Show About Anthem Lights” and everything else on the PureFlix streaming service. That includes series, movies, kid films–tons of things you can watch together with your family.

To enter, simply click on the pink “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 2/5/22. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Trailer and opportunity to try PureFlix free!

So, PureFlix wants to offer you the opportunity as well to try out a trial membership for free! Just click on the link below to sign up. You’ll receive a free trial membership which can be cancelled at any time.

PureFlix Trial Membership

And, here is the trailer for “A Show About Anthem Lights.”

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a temporary subscription for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. 

“Healing Skye” ~ A JustRead Blog & Review Tour (& giveaway, ends 1/31/22)

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Healing Skye JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Healing Skye by Janet W. Ferguson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Healing SkyeTitle: Healing Skye Series: Coastal Hearts Author: Janet W. Ferguson Publisher: Southern Sun Press LLC Release Date: December 16, 2021 Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance People can’t be trusted. Animals always made more sense than humans did to marine biologist Skye Youngblood. After her mother’s suicide, she left Alabama and never looked back. These days, she pours her heart into protecting nature’s sea creatures. When she returns to Dauphin Island, Alabama, for a temporary manatee migration study, her dark past is much too close. She can’t let her guard down. But how can she keep her heart hidden when a kind man with a genuine smile makes her want a fresh start? Charter fishing pays the bills for widower Pete Thompson and his little girl, but like his father, a pastor, Pete can’t help but fish for men. Only, after growing up under constant scrutiny as a preacher’s kid, Pete’s ways are a bit more unconventional. And the bulk of his life revolves around raising his precious daughter. When he witnesses the car wreck of a new marine biologist on the island, it doesn’t take a genius to see that more than just her physical pain needs tending. Pete feels called to help Skye find true healing, but he’s navigating dangerous waters. And he’s not at all sure he’ll walk away unscathed. PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janet W. Ferguson Janet W. Ferguson is a Christy Award finalist and the FHL Readers Choice Award-winning author of realistic inspirational fiction. An avid reader, she loved books so much she found a job as a librarian so she could be around them all day. Then she turned that love of story into writing faith-filled novels with characters who feel like best friends. You’ll laugh and cry as the quirky heroes and heroines chase their happily ever after. ​Janet and her husband live in Mississippi where they say y’all a lot, and she forces him to visit the beach as often as possible. They have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space. CONNECT WITH JANET: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed paperback copy of Healing Skye, a T-shirt supporting the Manatee Network, magnetic butterfly bookmarks, prayers to share, a creative Bible study journal, a magnet, and a seashell from the author!

Healing Skye JustRead Blog Tour Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 24, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on January 31, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

About Healing Skye

Dr. Skye Smith didn’t expect a car crash to be the beginning of her new life on Dauphin Island, Alabama. But as she’s crossing the long bridge connecting the island to the mainland, that’s exactly what happens. Desperate to save her rescued dogs and cats, she fights the man who stops to help her…but they’re able to get the animals, and Skye, out before her van bursts into flame.

And that’s how Skye meets Pete Thompson.

If that weren’t exciting enough, Pete hears a still, small voice inside his head saying: “She’s the one.”

Skye had been hoping to begin her summer job on the island very, very quietly. The marine biologist has a couple of frightening secrets; and one of them is about to be released from prison. She is terrified that he will find her and abuse her again. And, her fear of the felon extends to pretty much all men.

Also, Pete wasn’t looking for a girlfriend. He is busy enough, raising his daughter as a single dad, running his boat tour business, and preaching at his small beach church on Sunday mornings. But God is persistent…and really, he IS interested in Skye. But will he be, when he discovers all her secrets?

My impressions

Well, what a beginning! If you haven’t been on one of those long, long bridges connecting the U.S. Gulf Coast states to islands on their peripheries, you’ve seen pictures. And if there were ever a place you WOULDN’T want to have a car crash (well, not that anyone would want one at all) I’d think it would be these long water-crossing causeways. So Janet W. Ferguson captured my attention immediately, with that event plus Skye’s immediate concerns for her two dogs and a cat.

I loved this creative way of introducing the reader to the island’s characters who’ll become a part of Skye’s life, as well as bringing over her adopted mom and young sister who come to check on her. All the characters were varied and interesting, and Ferguson points out the connections between all of them in a relaxed and captivating way. (I do admit I inwardly cackled at the “Bless your heart!” in one character’s conversation; those of us raised in the Southern U.S. know the varied meanings of that phrase, and this one is crystal clear!) I also love the way the two characters with the strongest faith interact with each other, and with God. Miss Lydia in particular is a firecracker and not at all hesitant to speak what she knows of faith and is hearing from God.

The clean romance in Healing Skye is sweet, slow, and respectful. Pete’s and Skye’s struggles in life and faith are honest and believable. The setting is gorgeous (I do love the beach!) and is naturally woven into the story to show readers the two’s vocations on the ocean.

I do love a book where at least one character has a vibrant faith. Yet even with that, he or she has to work out the struggles of life with God (and with other humans). God is always faithful to His children, yet we are still continually engaging with those issues of life. I liked the way Ferguson used those difficulties to illustrate what the walk of faith looks like.

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters (and I didn’t really talk about the children, and how naturally and beautifully they’re portrayed) and their lives and was absorbed in the way Ferguson revealed their past hurts and concerns, and how those impact the present. It was a sweet love story. Do grab a copy of this; it’s just the thing to read now in January, especially if you’re in a part of the world that’s experiencing freezing temperatures!

Lastly, don’t miss entering the JustRead giveaway for this tour! The winner will receive the coolest prize pack! (You can enter the giveaway by clicking on the giveaway link above.)

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

“Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue” ~ A JustRead Blog Tour & Giveaway (ends 2/1/22)

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Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

KidVenture Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue Cover Title: KidVenture Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue Series: KidVenture #1 Author: Steve Searfoss Publisher: Independently Published Release Date: Jan 26, 2020 Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction Chance Sterling launches a pool cleaning business over the summer. Join Chance as he looks for new customers, discovers how much to charge them, takes on a business partner, recruits an employee, deals with difficult clients, and figures out how to make a profit. He has twelve weeks to reach his goal. Will he make it? Only if he takes some chances. KidVenture stories are business adventures where kids figure out how to market their company, understand risk, and negotiate. Each chapter ends with a challenge, including business decisions, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal conflict for young readers to wrestle with. As the story progresses, the characters track revenue, costs, profit margin, and other key metrics which are explained in simple, fun ways that tie into the story. PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

steve searfoss

I wrote my first KidVenture book after years of making up stories to teach my kids about business and economics. Whenever they’d ask how something works or why things were a certain way, I would say, “Let’s pretend you have a business that sells…” and off we’d go. What would start as a simple hypothetical to explain a concept would become an adventure spanning several days as my kids would come back with new questions which would spawn more plot twists. Rather than give them quick answers, I tried to create cliffhangers to get them to really think through an idea and make the experience as interactive as possible.

I try to bring that same spirit of fun, curiosity and challenge to each KidVenture book. That’s why every chapter ends with a dilemma and a set of questions. KidVenture books are fun for kids to read alone, and even more fun to read together and discuss. There are plenty of books where kids learn about being doctors and astronauts and firefighters. There are hardly any where they learn what it’s like to run small business. KidVenture is different. The companies the kids start are modest and simple, but the themes are serious and important. I’m an entrepreneur who has started a half dozen or so businesses and have had my share of failures. My dad was an entrepreneur and as a kid I used to love asking him about his business and learning the ins and outs of what to do and not do. Mistakes make the best stories — and the best lessons. I wanted to write a business book that was realistic, where you get to see the characters stumble and wander and reset, the way entrepreneurs do in real life. Unlike most books and movies where business is portrayed as easy, where all you need is one good idea and the desire to be successful, the characters in KidVenture find that every day brings new problems to solve.
CONNECT WITH STEVE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift card! (10) winners will receive a paperback copy of Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue!

Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue JustRead Blog Tour

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 25, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on February 1, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN/UK/AUSTRALIA only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

My thoughts

What a fun yet instructive (in ways kids won’t even notice) chapter book for middle-grade children!

I have to admit, I don’t know much at all about starting and running a business, or entrepreneurship. Neither will most kids who would read this book; but there is a wealth of knowledge in Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue for any kid who might want to start a small kid business. After all, anything we’d picture as something a child might do to make money (babysitting, running a lemonade stand, mowing lawns) is actually a small business. In different ways, each of these might require promotion, start-up costs, additional labor pay, and purchases of equipment.

In this neat book, author Steve Searfoss introduces readers to Chance and his family. He has a dad, a mom, and several younger siblings. It’s summertime; school is out, and Chance has just laid eyes on a fantastic bike, which Chance calls Midnight Blue for its awesome color. But he doesn’t have the cash to buy it. Yet. In a conversation with his dad, Chance is given the opportunity to clean the family pool and make some cash. Chance does so, earns some cash, then spends some of the money on ice cream, and is lamenting the next week, when his dad asks him to clean the pool again, how long it will take to save up for the bike. His dad challenges him to do some math (not his favorite) and figure out how long it will take. And then, the adventure begins! Over the summer, Chance will learn many of the principles of being an entrepreneur, like:

  • Marketing
  • Other competitors in the same kind of business
  • Partnerships
  • Keeping one’s word
  • Cost estimations
  • Profit and loss statements
  • and much more!

In all, Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue is a compelling and enjoyable read. We get to know Chance’s sister, Addie; many of his customers (plus a failed customer); and his good friend. Chance has successes and failures, but kids will want to keep reading, at the end of each chapter, to discover what comes next for the young entrepreneur! The author includes the math calculations Chance has to make in each step of his budding business. He also asks questions of the reader that will encourage kids to thing about what they might do to solve each challenge. There are also colorful illustrations which bring life to each chapter.

I enjoyed Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue and learned quite a bit myself, even as I was cheering Chance on as I read. Plus, now I know many important principles of starting a business. Kids will love it and maybe be encouraged to become entrepreneurs themselves!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

“Redeeming Love” ~ new film based on Francine Rivers’ book, opens 1/21/22

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I’ve just had the opportunity to watch the new film Redeeming Love, courtesy of Momentum Influencer Network and Universal. Opening in theaters on January 21, 2022, the film is based on Francine Rivers’ landmark book of the same name. Here are some of my thoughts on the movie!

About Redeeming Love

If you’re not familiar with Francine Rivers’ book, it’s based on the Bible book of Hosea. Francine had written what she has called “steamy historical novels” before she came to faith in Christ. For several years into her walk of faith, she didn’t write any more books, until she was studying Hosea. That was her “Eureka!” moment. So, she wrote Redeeming Love, just changing the setting from 755-725 B.C. to the Gold Rush days in 1850s California. Michael Hosea is a farmer, a man of faith, and a kind and loving person. God taps him on the shoulder one day in Pair-a-Dice, where he’s gone to sell what he’s grown, and shows him his future bride, Angel.

It turns out that Angel is the most highly-paid prostitute in the local brothel. She is beautiful and alluring, with that exterior covering a hardened, world-weary heart. There’s ample reason for this. After her mother’s death, alone in the world, she was sold into prostitution as a child. Her attempts to escape it were fruitless, producing beatings and thefts of the money she has earned in the most painful of ways.

Eventually, Angel does marry Michael. He is patient and gentle with her, wanting to show her the kindness and love she deserves. But Angel finds it extremely hard to adjust to this new life of grace, as painful as her life as a prostitute was. Like Hosea’s wife Gomer, she runs back to her old life several times. Michael’s love for her continues, but eventually he knows that she will have to make the decision to stay–or go. He will not force her to stay with him. She is given the free will, the volition, to choose.

My impressions of the film

Like the book of Hosea, Redeeming Love aims to show us a human example of God’s deep and amazing love for us. He will love us, even woo us…but He will never force us to follow Him or be in relationship with Him. The choice is ever, and always, ours.

Tom Lewis does a fine job as Michael. He hears God and loves Him. He follows His directions. But he is willing to wait for Angel to heal, to open her heart, to be willing to receive AND give love even as his own heart might be broken. Abigail Cowen plays a wonderful Angel. But it takes time for her to leave old ways and habits behind. Viewers see the fight she has within. And Eric Dane is fantastic as the Irish gangster Duke. He is frightening, and I almost shivered at one point at his portrayal.

The locations and costuming were exquisite. (I discovered after watching, that much of the movie was filmed in western South Africa, which displayed just gorgeous landscapes.) The actors were also exceptional and very believable in their roles. And, I felt that Francine Rivers’ book was reimagined very faithfully.

But.

Redeeming Love isn’t always easy to watch…nor, really, would we want it to be. When we read the book of Hosea, it’s so easy to focus on the righteous, God-loving man told to woo a prostitute. It’s easy to think ill of Gomer. But we might easily forget the reasons a person might enter the life of sex trafficking. Were they taken by force? Did poverty or circumstances make them think that that was their only option? And what if, like Angel, they lost all their protectors, and wicked adults sold them into lives they shouldn’t have even known about?

This film pulls no punches when it comes to the costs and destruction sex trafficking exacts from its victims. Alcoholism, despair, loss, and depression. And yet, a way out is offered to Angel by Michael. But in the end, it’s her choice to take it or not.

What you’ll want to know before you see it

  • Its rating: PG-13
  • A fair bit of nudity (not quite full-frontal, but close)
  • A severe beating, and some vile betrayals
  • Two very intimate lovemaking scenes between Michael and Angel. (They’re married…but it was still more implied sex than I’d have preferred to see.)
  • Dead bodies. One more disturbing than the other.

I’d say: there is beauty in this movie for sure. And there is redemption. It just has more nudity and sex than most “Christian” films that I’ve seen. And perhaps there is more pain on Angel’s road to redemption than we usually see in films.

But I like to think of Corrie ten Boom’s famous saying, which applies so perfectly here, and for all of us:

There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”

Corrie ten Boom, Elizabeth Sherrill, John Sherrill (2006). “The Hiding Place”, p.8, Chosen Books

How to purchase tickets for Redeeming Love

You can purchase tickets for Redeeming Love by clicking on this link.

Tickets for Redeeming Love

And thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you!

–Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Universal for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

“A Path to Forgiveness” ~ A JustRead Blog Tour & Giveaway (ends 1/24/22)

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A Path to Forgiveness JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for A Path to Forgiveness by Lisa M. James, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Path to Forgiveness Title: A Path to Forgiveness Series: The Prodigal Woman #1 Author: Lisa M. James Publisher: Independently Published Release Date: January 21, 2022 Genre: Christian Fantasy Reckless. Extravagant. Wasteful. These were all words that could describe Esther. Thirteen years of careless living had left Esther and her young son destitute. When her husband disappears at night, leaving Esther with the full burden of their debt, Esther has no choice but to claim her husband is dead and enslave herself and her child to stay alive. So severely had she broken the relationships in her life, she never expected a man from her childhood to speak on her behalf and carry the weight of her debt. Yet Esther soon realizes that escaping the demons of her past would not be so easy. Levi had little interest in seeing Esther again. When a promise to her father leaves him honor-bound to take her as his wife, he struggles with the bitterness he holds toward her for allowing her addictions and selfishness to derail her life. Yet, he could not hide the deep desire within him to be a husband and a father, even to a woman he did not love and a child that was not his by blood. Discover the story of a reckless woman in A Path to Forgiveness. PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa James

Lisa M. James is an independent author, marketer, and former Sunday School teacher. She loves writing romantic fantasy novels featuring women of color for both young adult and adult audiences to enjoy. Her fictional writing is inspired by historical fiction, fairy tales, and Christian romances. When not writing, Lisa loves chatting about her faith, Disney movies, and football while drinking chai lattes. To keep up with her latest releases, subscribe to www.lisamjames.com.

CONNECT WITH LISA: Website | Instagram | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a Peacock embroidered shoulder bag, a $25 Amazon gift card, and a paperback copy of A Path to Forgiveness!

A Path to Forgiveness JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 17, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on January 24, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

My thoughts

Beauty. Riches. An opulent estate. And marriage to an incredibly handsome man. Esther and Victor start out with everything, at least everything from a physical standpoint.

However, all those material items bleed away over time, as the two choose a path of lavish living, parties, and unwise investments. And at last, when there’s nothing left, Victor abandons Esther and their small son, Kaleb, along with an enormous pile of debts that a woman, in their culture, is unable to ever pay off without selling herself into slavery.

Brought before the strict and stern magistrate’s court, Esther has no hope for anything good. But at the last moment, mercy is extended from a man, Levi, who knew Esther as a child. He assumes her mountain of debts, along with her and her precious son. But he is not happy about it.

What an incredible read! In A Path to Forgiveness, Lisa M. James has woven the most fascinating story, with appealing characters and an unusual setting. She would describe this as a Christian romantic fantasy book. While that’s a newish genre to me, I have to admit to you that I read this book in two days. (You know, between meals and sleeping.) I was absolutely captivated by James’ writing abilities, for in addition to creating great characters and settings, she’s also able to combine those with a compelling storyline. What happens between a man who despises his new wife’s past lifestyle, the woman who knows she can be written off with a document, and the precious small boy who loves them both? Who are living in the liminal time after the last great war of their country, before the new one that has been prophesied to be coming soon? And, even better, where their enemy is not only the people’s enemy but the enemy of their God?

I adored this book. I’d recommend this book for lovers of clean Christian historical romance, even if they’re not normally readers of fantasy. I guarantee you that you might become a new fan of the genre after reading Levi’s and Esther’s story!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Win wintery Scrunchies & Cake Butter goodies in the Winter Wishes Giveaway Hop! (ends 1/31/22)

Hello everyone!

How is 2022 treating you? I hope you are all starting out this new year with some positives (even though the corona is still around). And because I would like to celebrate YOU, I’m joining with MamatheFox and 27 other amazing bloggers for the Winter Wishes Giveaway Hop! Keep reading for more info on how to enter all these giveaways, plus my own.

You’ll definitely want to check out all the giveaways that these bloggers are hosting! To do so, you’ll want to go to the Winter Wishes Giveaway Hop page, where you’ll be able to see all the participating blogs. You can get there by clicking on the blue InLinkz button below (the one with the blue frog on it). Once you do that, you’ll be at the giveaway hop page. You’ll be able to visit each participating blog from there.

And now, for the FINCHNWREN giveaway!

I don’t know about you, but one of the effects of the pandemic for me has been a LOT fewer trips to the hair salon. And another effect (which is also apparently a by-product of this winter) is very, very dry skin for me. So, I’m fighting against that by lots of great moisturizer and cute hair tools. And, I’ll be giving this gift pack to one FINCHNWREN reader!

This prize includes:

  • From Scünci The Original Scrunchie: No Damage Scrunchies. This 8-piece set has soft scrunchies with strong elastics in wonderful wintery fabrics, from velveteen, to smooth poly. The colors vary from black to a pale cream, with a red & white combo thrown in for fun.
  • From Tarte (I know y’all know how much I love Tarte!): a Sugar Rush But First, Hydrate mini combo set. This two-piece minis set contains Sugar Rush’s oil-free moisturizer, Don’t Hate, Hydrate, and a Cake Butter whipped body butter. It smells so wonderful, and is great antidote to the winter blahs as well as dry skin.

How to enter the FINCHNWREN giveaway:

To enter to win the Scünci/Sugar Rush prize pack, just click on the pink link below that says “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes 1/31/22, and one winner will be selected to win the prize pack. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Motivated Moms Membership Sale! (ends 1/20/21)

**Some of the links in our posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we may receive an affiliate commission, which will never cost you anything. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.**

So, Motivated Moms!

Motivated Moms is a truly fabulous personal and home organization system that I have used since 2014! It is very reasonably priced ($19.99 for an annual membership, or $1.99 per month for a monthly one) and provides a system that will guide you (and your family, or roommates–you don’t have to be a mom to benefit from this!) in keeping your home, your meals, and your life running smoothly (not to mention clean and organized).

Motivated Moms‘ membership includes a year’s worth of printables, an app in either iOS or Android, and even a private Facebook community to support you in your tasks and organizing. Whether you choose to go with the app or the printables (both are provided for you in your membership purchase), you will get this: an organized list of chores that breaks down everything you’d need or want to do in your home, to make it organized, neat, and clean.

I’ll personally admit to you that among my many gifts (ha ha) is NOT a home organization ability. I am such a big-picture person that looking at my home and seeing every single little task or job I needed to do…was so overwhelming that I often felt discouraged before I began. Some tasks were easy or obvious to me (cleaning the bathrooms, laundry, meal planning) but others (like cleaning the baseboards, decluttering kitchen cabinets, or cleaning blinds) were not. So finding Motivated Moms, which gave me a clearly organized weekly list (for my entire year!) was such a wonderful thing.

Motivated Moms knows that we all have a different way we’d like to look at our chores list. So they offer 16 different styles of the printable chores list. (I like a little color on mine, so I always go with the second one from the left in the picture below.) There are basic chores that need to be done daily, like making beds, changing bathroom towels, running the dishwasher. So those always go on the far left sidebar. Then, Motivated Moms sorts the tasks that need to be completed each week, along with some that need to be performed monthly or quarterly, in the daily divisions of each week. You can check the items off as you do them (or as your family members do them). It’s not only a great way to keep your home organized and orderly (and clean!), but also a fantastic child-training system. As you follow this program, and as all your family members participate, they’ll learn how to keep a home in order. Beauty AND reduced stress, all around!

Samples of some of the many Motivated Moms printables

Here’s a closer look at my preferred printable. I like to print these out quarterly. I save the printable type to my computer, then I can pull it up, access it, and print it as I need it. I keep my pages on a clipboard, but you can also punch holes in them and keep them in a binder.

Motivated Moms Weekly Printable Page

Or, if you choose to use the app, here’s a shot of what your task schedule would look like. Tasks can be swiped off the page if they’re ones you wouldn’t use. You can sort the order and categories of tasks, and even assign them to different family members. Then, these pages can be shared among devices in one family.

Motivated Moms app example

And, Motivated Moms is having a big sale thru January 20, 2022!

With the coupon code NY2022, Motivated Moms will knock almost $8 off your membership fee! If you sign up & pay using this code, you’ll only pay $12 for a full year. (Renewals will revert to the regular price, $19.99, or slightly more if there is a price increase later.) This purchase will give you access to all 16 of the printable versions, either an Android or iOS app, and membership in the private Facebook group. It is a fantastic deal, and it is only offered once yearly.

To take advantage of this sale and join Motivated Moms, just click on this link:

Motivated Moms membership sale

Then, when prompted, enter the NY2022 code to get the discounted price of $12.

One note for Apple device users: You will have to log in to the link highlighted above to get the discounted price. Apple does not allow Motivated Moms to offer the discount through their App Store/In App purchase system. You’ll have to purchase thru the Motivated Moms membership sale link to get the discount.

Thanks for letting me share my favorite home organization tool! I love Motivated Moms, have used it for years, and am happy to recommend it to you.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer:

In accordance with FTC regulations, we are providing this Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in our posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we may receive an affiliate commission, which will never cost you anything. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.

From time to time, FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog.  We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews.  We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products.  We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

“God Is My Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom; a JustRead Blog & Review Tour (& giveaway, ends 1/18/21)

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God is My Hiding Place JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for God Is My Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

God Is My Hiding Place Title: God Is My Hiding Place Author: Corrie ten Boom Publisher: Chosen Release Date: October 19, 2021 Genre: Devotional, Christian

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.”–Corrie ten Boom

Dutch watchmaker Corrie ten Boom, with her courageous, God-fearing family, sheltered Jews from the Nazis during World War II. This led to her arrest and suffering in prison and concentration camps–as told in her bestselling book The Hiding Place. Her dramatic life story and her more than 40 other books have prepared millions to face their own future with courage–relying on God’s love to forgive, overcome, heal and restore. Through this 40-day devotional based on Corrie’s writings, you will find inspiration to strengthen your faith, re-root your soul in Christ and increase your experience of God’s peace. Receive the courage and comfort of the Holy Spirit, and remind yourself of what Corrie ten Boom knew and lived: God is your hiding place. PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Corrie ten Boom

Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) was born in Haarlem, The Netherlands. After being arrested in 1944 for helping Jews escape the Nazi regime, Corrie spent a year during World War II in prison camps. After the war, she was invited to share her experiences in more than sixty countries and was honored by the state of Israel for her work during the war. Her life story, The Hiding Place, was originally released in 1971. In 1977, she settled in California, where she died in 1983, on her 91st birthday.

CONNECT WITH CHOSEN: Website

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of The Hiding Place and One Word for Today!

God Is My Hiding Place JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 11, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on January 18, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

My thoughts

From the time I read The Hiding Place as a girl, I have loved and admired Corrie ten Boom. The Hiding Place‘s remarkable story of her life: her family’s protection of Dutch Jews; their Resistance work; Corrie’s time in the Ravensbruck concentration camp; this was an autobiography like none I’d ever read. Her faith and obedience were examples of some of the finest I’d ever read about, and still to this day, remain unequaled. Also, I love her face! I always thought I could see her great joy and love just by looking at her. (And, I’ve always thought she resembled my own grandmother, which makes me smile.)

So I felt thrilled to have the opportunity to review Corrie’s book, God is My Hiding Place. In this 40-day devotional book, readers can view Corrie’s own experiences, challenges, and difficulties; and by doing so, learn how her own faith, and holding tightly to God, brought her through everything. This book covers faith topics such as:

  • Worries, anxieties, fears, and casting our cares on the Father
  • Healing our broken hearts
  • Miraculous provision
  • God’s Word, and its beauty
  • Joy–especially when it feels there’s no joy to be found
  • Feeling like God has forgotten us
  • Our relationship to God, and staying close to Him

Corrie ten Boom was a woman who believed God; and, although she went through unimaginably painful suffering herself, trusted Him with her life. I will never forget learning of Betsie’s (Corrie’s beloved sister) urging of Corrie to be thankful for the fleas in their concentration camp barracks; and what God showed them as a result. Or, how Corrie embraced God’s love as a child, and how she never gave that up, even though she might have battled with Him in her prayers at Ravensbruck. (As anyone would!) The simplest ideas, which we can ourselves struggle with embracing (like not worrying, or being childlike in our faith, or believing that God Himself is enough, and is our sufficiency) were those Corrie embraced and lived out wholeheartedly. Despite the enormous trials she experienced!

One of my favorite Corrie stories is a moment when God brought her face to face with a former guard from Ravensbruck after the war; whom she remembered well. I won’t spoil the account by retelling it here, but over the years I’d forgotten its power. I had the blessing of reading it again in this devotional. What a spiritual truth! There are others equally as powerful, told here again (Corrie’s story of the air battle over her home city of Haarlem; the vitamin oil in the concentration camp; the many moments when she and Betsie prayed and were answered in the harshest of conditions), that will move readers’ hearts and bring tears to their eyes. And more that that, that will encourage believers to hold fast to the God who loves them (and who loved Corrie and Betsie), and who always delights in working in our lives.

God is My Hiding Place will encourage your heart and, I believe, enable you (as it has me) to want to step further into a closer walk with God; to believe Him to walk closely with you in response; and to know that in His hand is both security and joy for the believer. I recommend this beautiful book to you with joy myself, and with great hopes for the encouragement it will bring to you!

Enjoy God is My Hiding Place, and its opportunity to help you grow in your own faith! –Wren

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

“Sons of Thunder: Redemption” Coming Soon to PureFlix

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Have you had a chance to watch Sons of Thunder on PureFlix? Well, if you haven’t yet, you’ll want to, because PureFlix is premiering a brand-new spinoff to it called Sons of Thunder: Redemption. PureFlix and Momentum Influencer Network provided the opportunity for me to see the first series already…and I’ll be sharing with you about the second soon!

About Sons of Thunder

Sons of Thunder is an unusual crime drama involving a former biker gang member and combat veteran and his rides across Texas. He runs into various families and individuals who need the help that he can provide, as he is learning to know Jesus. Simon’s also trying to make up for the wrongs he’s done in the biker gang, as he helps those in need. The show is a dual-timeline series, where Simon is assisting people in the present but remembers his struggles and choices while with the gang.

There are seven episodes in Sons of Thunder:

  • “Mi Casa Es Su Casa,” where a border town rancher and his son come up against dangerous criminals
  • “The Blind Fighting the Blind,” in which a family’s members are set against each other for unknown reasons
  • “Hunter Hunted,” when a woman’s livelihood is threatened by poachers
  • “Time and Chance” brings Simon face to face with a corrupt and powerful man, who runs his town and everyone in it cruelly
  • In “Deep Water,” a charter boat captain hires Simon to help as he takes passengers out on the Gulf. But a bickering couple might cause either life…or death, for those on the boat
  • “Brother’s Keeper Part One” and “Brother’s Keeper Part Two” bring Simon back face-to-face with his former gang, and lives will be at stake. (And also, boxing.)

The storyline is very interesting, as Simon’s current experiences and past life contrast dramatically. It’s just him, his motorcycle, his Bible, and Jesus, leading him from place to place and situation to situation. Each one provides opportunities for the new believer to think about God and what He would lead Simon into. His faith is present and growing, but the series’ presentation of faith is never heavy-handed. It’s refreshing to see Simon’s choices and watch him connect with others. (Here’s the Sons of Thunder Pure Flix link.)

And now that you’ve got a glimpse of what Sons of Thunder is, welcome to Sons of Thunder: Redemption!

About Sons of Thunder: Redemption

In Sons of Thunder: Redemption, viewers will meet Jacob, who was sentenced to prison for the biker gang’s crimes he committed. Before he is released, he meets Simon…who changes his life for the better. Executive producer Anna Zielinksi shared that they wanted to stay true to the original Sons of Thunder and introduce new characters and an exciting adventure at the same time. This time, former biker gang member Jacob will be in the starring role. Here’s the official trailer to whet your appetite!

Sons of Thunder: Redemption will premiere on PureFlix on January 13, 2022.

Now, keep your eyes out in the coming days for more on Sons of Thunder: Redemption, as I’ll be sharing an exciting opportunity!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

My favorite Anthem Lights songs–and more fun to come!

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What are your favorite Anthem Lights songs? I’ve had such a wonderful time listening to this band’s original and cover songs, and I’ve got more fun about the band to tell you about! Momentum Influencer Network and PureFlix gave me this opportunity to tell you about an upcoming series as well as share my own musical faves with you. First, let me tell you more about the band!

About Anthem Lights

Anthem Lights is an American Christian group formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 2007. The band started as a solo project for the vocalist Chad Graham. He and Alan Powell were writing music for the project when they thought the songs would be better performed by a group. They came together with vocalists Kyle Kupecky and Caleb Grimm and formed the band Yellow Cavalier releasing one self-titled EP in 2009 before changing the name to Anthem Lights. The group signed with the label Reunion Records and in 2011 released the self-titled EP Anthem Lights and the full studio album with the same name. The first track from the EP “Can’t Shut Up” reached number 42 on Billboard’s Christian Songs chart. Together the band released 7 studio albums, Anthem Lights, You Have My Heart, Escape, Hymns, Painted Skies, Hymns Vol. II, and Worship. They also released 3 EPs, 5 compilation albums, and 9 singles. The bands current members are Chad Graham on vocals, Caleb Grim on vocals, Spencer Kane on vocals, and Joey Stamper on vocals, piano, guitar, and drums.

What I love about Anthem Lights

Two things: songs I love, delivered by Anthem Lights’ perfect harmony!

Anthem Lights is known for both their original songs (I love “Live This Day” and “You Will Always Be My Son”) and their fantastic covers (“Bless the Broken Road,” “Isn’t She Lovely,” and more) and medleys. Their harmony is so beautiful and pure, and it is a delight to listen to their songs. (Especially as a former choir geek myself.) The background music is wonderful, but the purity of the vocals on each song just fills the listener with joy. The band has also sung covers of lots of my favorite Christian/worship singles and hymns (“My Jesus, I Love Thee,” “Hymns Mashup: Come Thou Fount/I Need Thee Every Hour/This is My Story”).

Anthem Lights also has a YouTube channel, where you can find all of their wonderful songs in video format. I definitely recommend that you check this out! (And when you do, don’t miss the “Easter Medley,” which features Nicole C. Mullens’ “My Redeemer Lives” among other inspiring resurrection songs.)

I’m thrilled to share some of my own favorites with you! First, “In Christ Alone.” I love how this song carries the worshipper from Jesus’s birth, life, and crucifixion, all the way to victorious resurrection.

Another of my favorite Anthem Lights songs is this “Hymns Medley.” We don’t (at least in many contemporary worship churches) get to hear a lot of hymns these days. But in this medley, the guys sing a mix of some of my own childhood favorites that still have a special place in my heart. It will make YOUR heart sing, too!

Last, I’d like to share with you this fun one: the “Friend” medley, which blends radio faves “Stand By Me,” “Lean on Me,” “Time after Time,” and more. The end result is seamless, amazing, and a wonderful listening experience.

And now, for PureFlix streaming service’s new show!

Soon (as in tomorrow, January 12, 2022!), PureFlix will be releasing their fun new animated series featuring Anthem Lights! Exclusively on PureFlix, families (including parents and kids) will be able to watch “A Show About Anthem Lights.” This fast-paced and sometimes-zany animated show is PureFlix’s own, developed to add to families’ fun times together. The show is all about the band members of Anthem Lights, as they go about their days, and features the four band members in the lead voice acting/singing roles. I’m so excited to watch this myself. And, I’ll be sharing more soon about this new project, so stay tuned!

You can find out more at PureFlix.com/AnthemLights.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Momentum Influencer Network and PureFlix for the opportunity to share about Anthem Lights and this upcoming animated series!