Enter to win these happy Valentine’s goodies in the Heart 2 Heart Giveaway Hop! (ends 2/15/23)

Hi there darlings!

I’ve got another lovely giveaway hop for you to enter! MamatheFox is hosting the Heart 2 Heart Giveaway Hop, and lots of amazing bloggers have signed up for this giveaway hop, and each of them is giving away something wonderful. Keep reading for more on how to enter!

How to visit the Heart 2 Heart Giveaway Hop linkup page

You can visit the Heart 2 Heart Giveaway Hop main page by clicking on the blue InLinkz button below (the one with the frog on it). That will take you to the page where you’ll be able to see all the blogs who are participating in this giveaway hop. You’ll be able to visit their blogs from there, and then you’ll be able to enter all those giveaways too!

How to enter the FINCHNWREN blog’s giveaway

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving away this happy Valentine’s trio in the Heart 2 Heart GA Hop! One entrant will win:

  • a Happy Floral Hounds Desk Calendar Pad from Blue Ink Studios
  • Pink puppy (wearing heart sunglasses) cozy socks from Old Navy
  • “Never Stop Reading” animal Magnetic Bookmarks from Legami Milano

To enter, just click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. US entrants only, must be 18 and older to win. Giveaway closes on February 15, 2023. 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.

#LoveIsInTheAir GA Hop: Enter sparkling accessories from Francesca’s (ends 1/15/23)

Hi lovies!

I am so excited to share another fun giveaway hop with you! The Review Wire & Chatty Patty’s Place are hosting the #LoveIsInTheAir Giveaway Hop, and lots of amazing bloggers are joining in and giving away super-fun prizes. Keep reading for more on how to enter!

Visit the #LoveIsInTheAir Giveaway Hop

So! First, you’ll want to visit the main page of the #LoveIsInTheAir Giveaway Hop. To do so, click on the blue InLinkz button below. That will take you to the linkup page, where you’ll be able to enter to win gift cards, books, trinkets and lots of other goodies.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c0efdbe6b4add43dd7ef

Enter to win the FINCHNWREN giveaway

The FINCHNWREN blog has this cute prize pack for one of you to enter and win!

The prize pack includes two sparkly accessories from Francesca’s:

  • Faux pearl and crystal dangly pierced earrings
  • Little Jar of Bobbies – sparkly, colorful bobby pins in a tiny corked bottle

The winner can use these goodies to brighten up a daytime or evening look for holidays or happy days!

To enter the FINCHNWREN giveaway, click on the “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 2/15/23. US entries only; must be 18 and older to win. One winner will be selected to win this prize pack. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Blessings, and enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: The FINCHNWREN blog is not responsible for fulfilling any other blog’s giveaway prizes to their particular winners.

Enter to win these gorgeous floral goodies in the Just Because January Giveaways! (ends 2/13/23)

Hi darlings!

I don’t know about you–but while I love celebrating January, my joyful inside often contrasts with the cold, sometimes snowy outside. So today is a day for a giveaway–for just because.

Enter to win these gorgeous floral goodies!

One FINCHNWREN reader will win this trio of lovely floral personal accessories. This prize pack includes:

  • a Fringe Studio mini journal portfolio (contains a grey inner velvet liner, with a pocket, a 50-sheet lined notepad, and a golden ballpoint pen. The pink cover has a round floral circle surrounding these words: “There are so many beautiful reasons too be happy.”
  • an 8-note blank notecard set from Expressions from Hallmark, featuring a blue and white vase with pink peonies
  • a beautiful pink, yellow, blue, and red floral scarf

Enter to win here!

To enter, just 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 to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway ends on February 13, 2023. US entries only, must be 18 and older to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

The NET TEXT Bible: just the thing for a new year’s Bible reading–or a new believer (closed)

**Congratulations to Leela, the winner of The NET TEXT Bible!**

#sponsor #partner

I’ve got an amazing Bible to tell you all about today! Momentum Influencer Network provided a hardcover copy of The TEXT Bible (NET) to me. It’s the most inviting, engaging Bible–perfect for starting out a new year and connecting to God in a new and beautiful way. Here’s the beautiful subtitle, which will engage you even more: “Uncover the Message Between God, Humanity, and You.” Let me tell you more–plus, there’s a giveaway for you to enter!

About The TEXT Bible

The TEXT Bible was designed for readers to really learn to SEE God. And to HEAR Him, and to KNOW Him and love Him more. Michael and Hayley DiMarco designed the additions to the Bible (it’s the New English Translation–NET) to help readers really engage with God. They’ve written these moments of engagement with new believers, students, and young adults in mind. (But really, any person who’d like to engage with God in a new and cherished way will find this Bible amazing.) The idea is as if you could send God a text–and He would answer!

The DiMarcos have developed a new, easy-to-understand study method, described by the word TEXT:

  • Talk to God
  • Encounter God and humanity in Scripture
  • eXamine your heart
  • Talk to others—to help readers of every experience level interact with God’s message

Then, Michael and Hayley have included tons of extras in this Bible. They are amazing! These include: The Big Q of the TEXT (God’s answers to life’s big questions); “Who Is God?” (almost 100 devotions on God’s person or character); learning to pray God’s Word; meeting the people and events of the Bible; following the threads (the big topics of Scripture) across the Bible; and definitions of words and literary categories. These are all designed to work alongside the TEXT study process.

My impressions of The TEXT Bible

I love this Bible! It is full of so many outstanding helps and engaging activities. And they’re all just what we need, as humans who are desiring to approach God and dwell in His love and His presence. The TEXT process itself (Talk to God, Encounter God and humanity in Scripture, eXamine your heart, Talk to others) is a tool which can help anyone who might find the Bible intimidating, or who wouldn’t know how to start with God’s Word. (Or where to start!) It is a fantastic set of habits that we can use to create regular and rich times with God, and an understanding of the Bible, and build on the knowledge of God’s interactions over time with humans–and how He might wish to interact with us.

Yes, this Bible is a tool that will bless and engage new believers and young ones. But, it will also enable seasoned or older believers as well, by providing a beautiful and fresh process they can use to encounter God. As my dear friend loves to say,

The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of our God endures forever.”

Isaiah 40:8, The Bible (NIV)

And so this wonderful Bible enables us to engage not only with the everlasting, never-ending Word of God–but with God Himself. What an outcome!

Some of my favorite moments from this Bible

Here are some wonderful moments that have meant so much to me.

  • I LOVE the Praying the Scriptures sidebars! They combine elements of Scriptures (in this one, Psalms 46, 18, 125, 50, and more) to help the reader begin a conversation with God. We pray God’s words in conversation back to Him. And His Word is solidified in our hearts and minds as we connect with Him.
  • Did you know that Jesus is pointed to, or referenced, in every book in the Bible? Yes, even Genesis, and the rest of the Old Testament, all the way into the New. In The TEXT Bible, every book begins with how you can see and find Jesus in that particular book. It is so cool! It almost creates a treasure hunt for God.

  • The end of the Bible has a great concordance, a hashtags list (it’s very neat), and maps. But it also has a great spiritual gifts chart, several Bible reading plans (whether you’re looking for one about Jesus, the major books of the Bible, or reading the whole Bible). Plus fascinating charts explaining the New Covenant, spiritual wisdom vs. worldly wisdom, and prophecies fulfilled about Jesus. And last but not least, the topic list and location of the Praying the Scriptures prayers!

  • I love that The TEXT Bible‘s resources use Scripture to interpret Scripture. So many of the TEXT moments in this Bible include references to numerous Bible verses that reference the ideas or doctrines that are being discussed–letting the Bible speak on its own topics. So important, and incredibly so for newbies who are just learning the ways of faith.
  • What I love the most about The TEXT Bible is that it’s really designed to help its readers know God better, to understand His Word, and to draw close to Him. It’s a wonderful goal–and one I believe this Bible accomplishes, over and over and page by page.

About the authors

Michael and Hayley DiMarco are the bestselling and award-winning authors of more than 40 books including Own It, God Guy, God Girl, and A Woman Overwhelmed. Michael and Hayley have now served as general editors on three Bible projects. Together, they work side-by-side at Hungry Planet, a company they founded that creates winsome and spiritually based content for teens and
adults. They live in Eugene, Oregon, where Michael serves as a pastor.

Where you can purchase The TEXT Bible–plus a discount!

Learn more about The TEXT Bible (NET) at this website.

You can get 50% off your copy of The NET TEXT Bible if you order before Valentine’s Day! Just click on the purchase link here for the discount (before February 14, 2023, remember!).

And, you can enter to win!

The FINCHNWREN blog is privileged to be able to give away a hardcover copy of The TEXT Bible (NET) to one reader of this blog! To enter, just click on the link below that says “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you can enter to win in a variety of ways. US entries only, entrants must be 18 and older. Giveaway closes on January 21, 2023. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Harper Collins Christian Publishing for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

New Natasha D. Frazier book: “The Reunion”

#sponsor #partner

I LOVE Natasha D. Frazier’s books! I’ve read, and loved, two of them, With Every Breath, and With Every Step. Her characters have interesting (and varied) family members; a strong and personal faith; and fascinating storylines. I’m so happy to be able to tell you that this wonderful author has a brand-new book: The Reunion. You are going to LOVE Crystal and Marcel…

The Reunion JustRead Blog Tour Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Reunion by Natasha D. Frazier, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

The Reunion

Title: The Reunion Series: Langston Sisters #1 Author: Natasha D. Frazier Publisher: Encouraging Works Release Date: October 25, 2022 Genre: Christian romantic suspense Divorced. Dragged through the mud by entertainment media outlets. Determined to rise above her past. Crystal Langston’s plan was perfect: go to her 20th college class reunion to prove her divorce from her abusive ex-husband, NFL player, Dante Green, didn’t break her. Her life was thriving outside of his shadow. Though it’s been over a year since their divorce, Dante makes a huge announcement during their reunion mixer. His latest stunt results in his death. And Crystal is the number one suspect! Marcel Singleton recently launched his political campaign for Houston’s District Attorney. Now that his childhood friend is no longer tied to Dante, he attends their class reunion with one goal in mind: to finally tell Crystal how he feels about her. What he didn’t expect was that he’d be representing her in a murder case against her ex-husband. Crystal’s life is going up in flames — fast! Will Marcel’s feelings for Crystal cloud his judgment? How will his involvement with a murder suspect affect his campaign? And if Crystal is innocent, will the real murderer come for her next?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound

Also Available

With Every Step With Every Moment


About the Author

Natasha D. Frazier

Natasha D. Frazier fell in love with love around the age of twelve because of artists like Babyface, Boys II Men, Whitney Houston, and New Edition. Around sixteen when her mother purchased a romance novel and left it lying around the house untouched, Natasha read it and a spark for the written word had been ignited.

Natasha believes that writing is one of her purposes and contributions to the world. She feels accomplished when she can get a few words written and like blah when life gets in the way. Her hope is that at the end of every novel, readers will feel like they’ve been wrapped in a cozy blanket with a mug of their favorite coffee/tea/warm drink. When she isn’t reading or writing, she is likely watching movies with her family. Natasha resides in Richmond, TX with her husband, Eddie Frazier, Jr. and their three children, Eden, Ethan, and Emilyn. Her greatest joy and commitment is to her family who she hopes to inspire above all else. One of her many mottos in life is: Faith removes limitations. Natasha and her family attend Parkway Fellowship in Richmond, TX, where she volunteers as a small group leader for elementary students. Natasha is also a member of the Houston Area Alumni Chapter of Jackson State University and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Connect with Natasha by visiting natashafrazier.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a copy of McCall Family Series and a $10 Amazon gift card!

The Reunion JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight January 10, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 17, 2023. 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 JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

Some fabulous excerpts for you to read from The Reunion!

I’m so happy to be able to share these exciting excerpts with you! You are totally going to want to read The Reunion once you’ve read these–I know it! (I *especially* love Frazier’s description of young Marcel. So fun!)

But it’s not just fun and games. Crystal is in serious trouble–through no fault of her own.

EXCERPT 1

When had he become so handsome and mature?

Crystal missed the next part of his speech, captivated by the man Marcel had grown up to become. The man standing in front of the room was not the Marcel she remembered. Skinny, lanky, living life by the seat of his pants, and all about having fun. Not the Marcel holding the attention of everyone in the room. This Marcel was handsome, compassionate, and stirred something within her—like wanting to press her lips against his and find shelter in his strong arms kind of stir. His navy tailored suit didn’t hide the muscles bulging beneath the sleeves. That thought felt wrong.

So wrong.

They’d been friends for thirty years.

That’s it.

Marcel had always been the one guy in her life that she could call a faithful friend. He
never made a move on her, so it was difficult to see him as anything but a friend.

Until now.

EXCERPT 2

Crystal glanced down at her hands to see that she’d been squeezing the life out of Marcel’s fingers.

“I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“You didn’t.” He placed a gentle hand on her back and ushered her toward the building so they could give their statements.

But they didn’t make it inside.

One of the officers, stopped them.

“Ma’am, please place your hands behind your back.”

The officer cuffed her. The cold metal secured around her wrists ensured her that this wasn’t a nightmare. Dante’s murder was real and she was about to be arrested for a crime she didn’t commit.

Her back burned from the accusing eyes of her classmates. All she could think about was who would’ve done such a thing. From all she knew, they were all Dante fans. Her eyes settled on his agent and long-time friend Jacob Jackson filing into the building. Thankfully, his eyes weren’t laser beams because she’d be seared in half by now. His arms were wrapped around Wynter, who was screaming, crying, and pointing at Crystal saying, “Why would you do this to him?”

Her mind reeled back to her argument with Dante. Why didn’t she just leave after her first run-in with him?

Aren’t those captivating? I’m sure you can tell now why I’m such a fan! Check out Natasha D. Frazier’s work. And enter this giveaway!

Enjoy! –Wren

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

Enter to win a colorful journal, Vera Bradley highlighters, & prayer cards in the New Year, New You Giveaway Hop (closed)

**CONGRATULATIONS to Stephanie H, the winner of this giveaway!**

Happy New Year, everyone!

The wonderful MamatheFox is hosting the very first giveaway hop in 2023: the New Year, New You Giveaway Hop! I’m joining her and lots of amazing bloggers who’ll all be giving away some cool prizes to welcome this brand new year. Keep reading for more on how to enter all the giveaways.

How to visit the New Year, New You Giveaway Hop page

To visit the New Year, New You Giveaway Hop, just click on the blue InLinkz button below (the one with the frog on it). That will take you to the giveaway hop page. You’ll be able to see all the participating bloggers and also, visit their blogs and giveaways from that page. Giveaways close on January 15, 2023.

And now, for the FINCHNWREN giveaway!

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving away this fun trio for someone to use to start out the new year–with journaling, lovely pens, and colorful prayer cards. This gift pack includes:

  • Your Brightest Life Journal: A Creative Guide to Becoming Your Best Self
  • Vera Bradley + Staples Highlighters trio in Bloom Berry
  • Prayer Cards: a pack of 20 cards with inspirational prayer and Scriptures

I love this gift pack! I love to think about what God is doing and would like to do in my life in each coming year. This journal is so fun because it includes questions, journaling prompts, and vivid artwork to help the reader embrace creativity and growth. So fun! And the pens and prayer cards partner with the journal in a beautiful way.

How to enter the FINCHNWREN giveaway

To enter the FINCHNWREN giveaway to win the journaling gift pack, just click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools page where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on January 15, 2023. One entrant will be selected to win all 3 items in the gift pack. US entrants only; 18 and older to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! And Happy New Year! –Wren

Disclosure:

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

“You’re Joking Me” ~ a kid joke book by a kid! (review)

**Congrats to Sue D, the GA winner!**

#sponsor #partner

I had the opportunity to check out a super-fun book that is just the thing you’re looking for, if you need a book to increase laughter and amusement among your kiddos this Christmas! The book is You’re Joking Me: Jokes for Kids by a Kid, by William Daniel. Clean, punny, entertaining–this book will make you smile and will bring mirth and merriment to your families. Keep reading for more about this book and its kid author–PLUS how you can enter to win your own copy & book swag!

About You’re Joking Me

Written by a kid for kids!

What happens when a pony sings?

He gets a little horse.”

Ha! That laugh is from the hilarious collection of more than 450 puns, riddles, one-liners, and knock-knock jokes that are sure to have kids (and their adults) laughing up a storm.

You’re Joking Me: Jokes for Kids by a Kid (Revell, Nov., 2022) by William Daniel, Blythe Daniel’s son, is the perfect stocking stuffer, birthday gift, or a fun book to keep in the car or around the dinner table. Its witty, clean humor that’s age-appropriate humor and doesn’t bring laughter with put-downs or sarcasm.

InYou’re Joking Me, William hopes to model what good humor for kids should look like. He has noticed that dark or inappropriate humor is flooding today’s communities and feels he can bring an alternative to put smiles on people’s faces. William also has a passion for encouraging other kids to start telling puns instead of sharing disrespectful humor at the expense of another person.

Some of his jokes have made it on television interviews, a Newsweek article, and a comedy club where William presented his jokes and met the mayor! You can see some of these below.

Want to hear another joke?

What happens when snowmen get nervous?

They get cold feet.”

About the author, William Daniel

Ready to get to know our joke star?

William Daniel is a middle schooler, a WWII enthusiast, and a competitive gymnast. He builds model airplanes and wants to be a pilot someday. He has an older sister, Maris, and a twin sister, Calyn, and is the younger by four minutes. As you can imagine, he enjoys making people laugh, which he does for family, friends, and at school. William lives in Colorado with his family and dog, Riley.

You can check out his article on Newsweek or see the video below of when Colorado Springs’ KOAA News 5 (NBC affiliate) came for the unboxing of You’re Joking Me and to interview William.

My thoughts about You’re Joking Me

It has been a very, very long time since I was in middle school. But I remember SO clearly thinking then, that joke books were the best thing ever!

Turns out, they still are! William Daniel’s wonderful book breathes life into the joke world with over 450 jokes (be they punny, knock-knock, one-liners, or riddles) with humor, clever insight, and joy.

Did you get a chance to read William’s article on Newsweek? (Just click on the highlighted link.) I love so much of what he says! William believes that this book is the result of seeds that were planted, watered, nurtured years ago, when he began to tell jokes years ago in 2nd grade. (He’s in 7th grade now.) I love that perspective! God really has given all of us–even when we are or were children–gifts and talents that are unique to us and His purposes for us. What a lovely encouragement. And we can see how God planted those seeds in William, and how he, his family, and God nurtured those in him over the years. He worked on his jokes, improved them, and now, here it is: his first book!

By writing a joke book for kids, I am encouraging other children and young people to start telling puns instead of sharing disrespectful humor that might be at the expense of someone else. That kind of humor upsets me; you might even be putting someone who has had a traumatic experience at risk by exposing them to rude comments or jokes about something they have been through. I am very pleased to help those who are getting harassed by others with this kind of humor.

William Daniel, Newsweek Magazine, “My Turn,” October 10, 2022

William’s jokes are clean. Funny. Clever, too! They are jokes that kids will love to read and tell themselves, to others. They are so fun! I recommend this book to you for your kiddos and your family. (You’ve still got time to get copies for Christmas stockings!) But before I tell you where you can get your own copy–and even how you can win one–let me tell you some of my favorites from You’re Joking Me. So fun–I smiled and even laughed. And you will too!

Some of my faves from You’re Joking Me

This is, again, SUCH a fun joke book. Check out the following–the proof is in the pudding!

Q: What is a potato’s favorite game?

A: Two truths and a fry.

Q: What did the pirate say to his doctor when he was asked what hurts?

A: “Eye, Matey.”

Q: What do you say when a bird comes flying at your face?

A: “Duck!”

And last. But definitely not least. My most favorite: fantastic wordplay on one of my most beloved movie tropes!

Q: What did God think when he needed somebody to build an ark?

A: I Noah guy.

You’re Joking Me, William Daniel

Watch William’s interview on Colorado Springs NBC affiliate, KOAA News 5

Enter to win You’re Joking Me plus more!

The BlogAbout Blogger Network has given me a copy of You’re Joking Me: Jokes for Kids by a Kid plus joke magnets from the book!

To enter, just click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. (You’ll even have a chance to earn extra giveaway entries by commenting with your own joke below!) Giveaway closes on January 2, 2022. US entrants only; must be 18 and older to win. (Kids, get your parents to enter for you!) Best wishes!

Enter here!

Where you can purchase You’re Joking Me

You’re Joking Me is available at lots of booksellers, including the ones listed below!

Amazon

Christianbook

Barnes & Noble

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Enter to win Tarte products in the Dashing December Giveaway Hop! (closed)

**Congrats to Marnie W, the giveaway winner!”

Hi there dears!

It’s time for another fabulous giveaway hop, and I’m so excited! I’m joining MamatheFox and lots of other neat bloggers for the Dashing December Giveaway Hop, where you’ll be able to enter to win some amazing prizes!

How to visit the Dashing December’s giveaway page

To visit the linkup page for the Dashing December Giveaway Hop, where you can see all the participating blogs, just click on the InLinkz button below (the blue button with the frog on it). That will take you to the main Dashing December hop page. You’ll be able to visit all the participating blogs (and enter their giveaways) there!

And now, for the FINCHNWREN giveaway!

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving away two full-sized Tarte makeup products! This prize package for Dashing December includes:

  • Tarte’s Maneater Voluptuous Mascara in Black
  • Tarte’s Tarteist Metallic Shadow in Hussy (a dark sparkly forest green)

Y’all know I love Tarte. And I’m thrilled to share some of my own faves with you!

How to enter the FINCHNWREN giveaway

Just click on the 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 on 12/31/22. US entrants only, ages 18 and older. 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.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon GC in celebration of “The Garden,” a sweet new faith-based cartoon series for kids!! (ends 12/29/22)

#sponsor #partner

I’m so excited to tell you that there is a fun new addition to the world of faith-based, quality children’s entertainment. It’s called The Garden, created and written by Butch Hartman. I was given the opportunity to watch The Garden‘s brand-new Christmas episode, “The Greatest Gift,” and I believe that both parents and littles will love this!

About The Garden

Here’s a bit from the producer:

The Garden is a Christ-centered children’s cartoon series aimed at teaching your kids the Gospel in a way they can understand. It features LENNY THE LION and LUCY THE LAMB—two best friends who work inside a magical garden where ANYTHING can grow! Each story revolves around them having to accomplish their goals by learning a Bible story or an original song. “The Garden” will take your kids right along on these adventures, too!

The Garden can be streamed now on both Pure Flix and Yippee TV. And soon, a Garden App will be available! 40 episodes of The Garden are being made.

The purpose of The Garden is to entertain kiddos while also teaching them God’s Word. Episodes include original songs, Bible verses (as well as their addresses or locations in the Bible). Best friends Lenny and Lucy play, sing, work, and worship together–as well as listen to God’s voice and direction to resolve the challenge or issue in each episode.

The show’s creator/writer and actors

So–before I tell you about them, I have to tell you a bit about why I’m so excited about them. I spent a delightful number of years with my family as our child began to explore the amazing world of animation. And it IS amazing. I found that once I began to watch with our son, I started to notice repeated names in the writers, directors, and voice actors–overlapping in different series and even different networks. Just so you know, the people involved in The Garden have worked on incredible high-quality programs. Friends, these people are basically animation, writing, and voice acting royalty! (Now, of course, I have to tell you who they are!)

Butch Hartman is the creator and writer, who also worked on Nickelodeon’s The Fairly Odd-Parents, Danny Phantom, Bunsen is a Beast, and Tuff Puppy. The incredible voice cast includes James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Leonardo in TMNT, Looney Tunes Cartoons, and more), Cristina Milizia (Poison Ivy in Batman, Jessica Cruz/Green Lantern, various voices in The Casagrandes and Monster High), and Brian Stivale (voice actor in an enormous number of video games, including Marvel Avengers Academy and Beats by Dre).

I love that these creative people came together to make something so colorful, fun, and faith-building!

My thoughts & impressions

The Garden‘s episode “The Greatest Gift” was fun, charming, and made me really focus on the reason we celebrate Christmas: because of Jesus’s birth, God’s greatest gift to all mankind. I found much to love, in this darling video. Lenny and Lucy are best friends (they’re a lion and a lamb–get it?). They joyfully make Christmas cookies together, and do a little tree decorating. Then, they get an assignment.

They’re to go decorate the concert hall for the upcoming Christmas event. And on the way, they have to pass the grumpiest, meanest person in town. Who scares them! But all that is the preparation for the cool things that God is going to do–through His people.

I don’t want to tell you any more, because I want you to have the joy of watching this, not knowing what is coming. But I do want to tell you some things I loved about “The Greatest Gift.”

  • The sweet, clear way that Scripture is woven into the dialogue and the show
  • Conversation with God (the Boss) is natural and normal for these characters
  • The music! There is a wonderful combination of original music, with styles including pop, jazz, and even, if I’m not mistaken, big band!
  • God’s very good purposes in what He asks Lucy and Lenny to do
  • The fun animation! Its style (though not its content) is very reminiscent to me of 2D cartoons I grew up with.

Here’s a fun video from Butch & Julieann Hartman

Here’s where you can purchase The Garden’s episode “The Greatest Gift” — and more!

You can purchase this sweet Christmas episode now–for only $1.99! With your purchase, you’ll receive a quality curriculum based on the episode! Just follow these instructions:

  • Go to this purchase link for “The Greatest Gift”
  • Click on “The Greatest Gift”
  • That will take you to a new page. Click on “Add to cart”
  • Purchase the episode
  • Download PDF
  • Open Christmas streaming page with password
  • Download free curriculum

And enjoy!

Now, you can enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

In celebration of The Garden and its new Christmas episode, The Greatest Gift, you can enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card! To enter, simply click on the link below that says “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. US entries only; must be 18 and older to win. Giveaway closes 12/29/22. Giveaway winners will received their gift card after the new year. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Garden Productions for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

“Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows” ~ review & GA (ends 12/19/22)

#sponsor #partner

Oh my friends! If you loved Tolkien’s books, or any other novel about wars between the forces of light and those of darkness, you will LOVE S.L. Dooley’s Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows. Keep reading for more on the book, my thoughts on it, and a cool giveaway you can enter!

Portal Slayer JustRead Blog Tour Welcome to the Blog Tour for Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows by S.L. Dooley, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows

Title: Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows Series Realms of the Periferie #3 Author: S.L. Dooley Publisher: Torn Parchment Release Date: December 2, 2022 Genre: Fantasy (clean)

Darkness comes in many forms.

Raelyn is about to encounter them all. Hidden away in the Schade Catacombs, a single portal remains in Alnok. And, pushed to near defeat, Cosyn has unleashed all his forces, taking Earth to the brink of a world war. Raelyn, in the midst of her own debilitating doubt, finds a new ally. But when no one will follow, she strikes out on her own, determined to reach the catacombs and close the portal. Only then can she finally return home. In the far north, her mentor and guide Kade, wounded and desperate, leads a band of soldiers, also on a path to the catacombs. As an impenetrable darkness falls on the realm of Alnok and Earth’s annihilation seems inevitable, Raelyn finds nothing is what it seems. Her calling, her newfound skills, even her reason for being in Alnok are shrouded in uncertainty. But she must uncover the light in the darkness of Alnok, and her own heart, to locate and destroy Cosyn’s last link to Earth. If she fails, she will have no home to return to.

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

S.L. Dooley

S.L. Dooley is a fantasy author looking for a neverending story to go boldly through the wardrobe into another adventure. She’s a wife and mother of two grown kids. She lives in Texas where she collects old books and new journals.

Connect with S.L. by visiting sldooley.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a copy of the Realms of the Periferie trilogy, tea, and a mug!

Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight December 12, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 19, 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

My impressions

A Quest.

With perilous pitfalls and dangers ahead. Unseen, and perhaps unrecognized, enemies. And a Cord, a fellowship, divided.

Moving between two realms, Raelyn struggles to lead her small band to meet another of their group, with a quest to close the portal (the plye) that exists between the two worlds. For an enemy, Cosyn, has marshaled all his forces to destroy Earth Apparent, Raelyn’s home–where her brother and father still are. Cosyn is wicked, deceitful, and cruel–he’ll remind readers of the leader of earth’s fallen angels, who seeks only to steal and kill and destroy. And Cosyn needs that portal to be open in order to do that.

Raelyn thinks that she’s the last person who should be leading others on a quest, which is really a war, with the two sides basically being those of Light (Raelyn’s, Kade’s, Joshua’s, Jinny’s, and her brother Peter’s side–as well as Arkonai’s, the True Light) and those of darkness (Cosyn’s. And all those who follow him, whether they’ve been revealed yet or not.). Oh, and I should also mention–dragons. Giants. Water sprites.

Raelyn’s personal quest is to follow Arkonai and his words, and to lead those in her care faithfully. Regardless of her own private doubts, regarding her fitness to lead, her ability to encourage those who follow, and the failures both in her past and her present. Both she, and Kade, leading another group to meet Raelyn’s, are desperately in need of hope as they strive to fulfill their purposes. But there is One who will stand by them and help them, even in their darkest hours.

This surge of power did not come from anything within. This was Arkonai, shining through him only after Kade had made room. “Remember this moment,” Kade said…”The darkness we will encounter will be like nothing you have experienced…The catacombs are not only guarded, they contain every vile form of Cosyn’s twisted imagination. But this”–Kade gestured around the boat, allowing his light to spill from his palms–“escapes what he believe to be even his best-laid plans. This light, in many forms, is accessible to all.”

Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows

Raelyn, Kade, and their friends (the Cord of the Periferie) will need all of Arkonai’s gifts, given to them, to prevail against Cosyn and those allied with him. But they have powerful weapons none of the enemies possess: worship. Love. And something else: the gifts and callings that were given to each one of them, individually.

What a wonderful book–and allegory! The Cord’s Quest is clear. But the way isn’t always. Each of them has (like we do!) to walk step by step in faith, trusting in the Word and the goodness of Arkonai (or for us, God) to bring them to the end of the quest, and to defeat the enemies. It is hard. Challenging. It may feel impossible at times. Will the forces of good win? You’ll have to read Portal Slayer: Beneath the Shadows to find out!

Enjoy! –Wren

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