Tuesday, December 28, 2021

At the Height of the Moon edited by Alison Baverstock, Matt Cunningham, & Annette Roeder from Prestel Publishing [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

At the Height of the Moon - A Book of Bedtime Poetry and Art

ISBN: 9783791374802
US $24.95 | Canada $33.95
Prestel Publishing
My thoughts:  First impressions..... This is a beautifully bound book that is sturdy and will last a long time. Included are beautiful reproductions of art from a variety of periods. The book is marketed as for ages 5 to 9 or kindergarten to grade 4. Frankly, I don't see this as a book for that age group based on the illustrations alone. Also, there are some art reproductions that show full frontal nudity. 

Now to look at it as a book of poetry and other readings - a variety of traditional, classic, and modern poetry. The book's divisions are in bed time or sleepy time themes - twilight, dreamland, moonlight menagerie, creepy crawlies & things that go bump in the night, minds ablaze, and midnight & magic.

I was delighted to see Edgar Allen Poe's "Annabelle Lee" included though I despair of seeing it as a bedtime reading for young children. In addition to poetry, there were short readings (essays or short stories) that were very pleasant and enjoyable. Included were some of my favorite poets - Robert Browning, Robert Burns, Lewis Carroll, Charles Mackay, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman (Captain, My Captain). 

The art selection was beautiful and would expose children of any age to the variety and artistry of beautiful works of art. I did personally believe, however, that some selections were out-of-bounds for inclusion in a collection of poetry and bedtime stories as some full nudity was shown as were fierce witch creatures or fairy-land creatures. These were not depictions of the "big bad wolf of the 3 little pigs" or of  "the witch or old lady in Little Red Riding Hood." These were the stuff of nightmares and "mid summer's nights dreams." I consider young children's books out of bounds for this type artistic expression even though beautifully executed and the creation of a famous artist.

I totally agree with exposing young children to written poetry and stories even though the meanings and vocabulary are beyond their comprehension. It is a way to grow the child's mind and aid in growing a strong vocabulary and method of expression for himself.

So many good points and some not so good points about At the Height of the Moon

About the book: Drawing from centuries of artistic and literary traditions from around the world, this gorgeous bedtime book pairs works of art with poems and short fiction. Divided into eight thematic sections it features dozens of double-paged spreads that families will turn to again and again as part of their bedtime routine. The carefully chosen, diverse selection of images includes works by John Singer Sargent, Georgia O’Keeffe, Utagawa Hiroshige and Henri Le Sidoner among many others, beautifully reproduced in luminous color. Accompanying these artworks are poems, mediations and short fiction that range from lighthearted verse to eerie folktales. Together these words and pictures create meaningful impressions that children will treasure and remember as they drift off to sleep—and hold onto for the rest of their lives.

Begins December 29
Ends January 22 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & CANADA addresses.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or publisher. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Friday, December 24, 2021

It's Christmas.. .. ..

 And this is Christmas.....

There is so much of Christmas everywhere. Its lights on trees. Songs in the air. Smiles on faces. Toys in shops. Crowds in stores. It’s shopping in malls and stores on the corner. It’s cooking in the kitchen - cookies and cakes and pies of the season. Its harried Moms and Dads. Its jaded store employees and fretful owners. It’s a gleam in the eye of a child. A ring of a bell beside a red kettle. Its church choirs in harmony rejoicing at a miracle of God become man in the form of a babe.
It is sadness in the eyes of the homeless. It is tattered coats and sleeves too short on children suffering from want or abuse. It is the ch-ching-ching of a register as a shopper buys an eloquent gift while a hungry child looks longingly through the window of a restaurant.
It is despair. It is hope. It is joy. It is sadness.
But most of all it is God.
God Himself in the form of a newborn infant in wrappings of rags or swaddling clothes. It is a rank stable or manger. It is a gentle virgin’s warm embrace. It is love. Love where God looks on man’s wayward heart and says it is time for His Son to bring redemption.
Christmas is a babe. Christmas is Christ the incarnate Son of God.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

The Debutante's Code (Thorndike & Swann Regency Mysteries #1) by Erica Vetsch

My thoughts:  I have such a good time when I read an Erica Vetsch book. Her writing style is delightful; and she captures the essence of each character's speech, actions, dress, personality, and flaws. She weaves a tale with touches of history and a bit of her own fiction embroidery to flesh it out.

As fiction, it is rich in the Regency period's social distancing and mores. Her characters stay within the set limitations of do's and don'ts, as well as acting and doing things a bit "out of the box."

When I first saw the title The Debutante's Code, I thought it was going to be about the rules of being a debutante and that which determines accepted behavior, dress, speech, and social standing. Little did I realize this was not what the title inferred.

I loved the mystery and how the story resolved. I look forward to more in the Thorndike and Swann Regency Mysteries series of stories. I rather expect to see more of the same characters in the upcoming books and just wonder where things will take them.

About the Book: Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series

Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Elin Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn't spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They've been living double lives as government spies--and they're only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family's legacy.

Now Lady Elin is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spies. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors--not to mention the nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner, who suspects her of a daring theft.

Can Lady Elin outwit her enemies and complete her parents' last mission?

Best-selling author Erica Vetsch is back with a rollicking, exciting new series destined to be a hit with Regency readers who enjoy a touch of mystery in their love stories. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Anne Perry will love the wit, action, and romance.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are mine, alone and are freely given.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Hand saving hot pads and bamboo spoons for stirring save the day in the kitchen. [Review & Giveaway]

Do you ever want to do something somewhat unique for a special someone? Well, I do and I acted on that desire to do it.

I found a lady who needed a means to get through the Covid-19 financial fiasco. She being an inventive individual, she engaged sewers in the New York/New Jersey area and began to market unique items that we use every day.

As a reader of Chat With Vera, you've probably seen a few of the items she has in her ShopgalNY2020 Etsy Store. Some items that caught my eye were the State and City prints made into aprons, kitchen towels, and hot pads (pot holders). Since my five grown "kids" live in cities and states all across our grand United States of America, I decided to gift each of them with an apron, kitchen towel, and hot pad. That meant.... California, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina. And since there are two of them in North Carolina, I also selected the capital which is Raleigh.

Just to give you a little taste of how delightful these kitchen items are, we're hosting a little giveaway. Prize is 2 pot holders and a bamboo spoon.

If you want to go ahead and purchase something from ShopgalNY's Etsy Store, here's a DISCOUNT CODE  - Friends15 - for 15% discount. You can use it to save a bit. You'll also be supporting a woman owned, small business, and sewn in USA products. Shop Here

Or you can chat on Instagram with @ShopgalNY and work out the details of an order if you have something special or unique in mind. You can still use the discount code: Friends15

2 Pot Holders & Bamboo Spoon
Design of item selected by ShopgalNY
Begins December 13
Ends January 6 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: ShopgalNY is responsible for providing and shipping the winner's prize directly to them. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Winter reading..... "The Wind In the Willows" & "Winter Lullaby" [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

ISBN: 9781536219999
US $19.99 | CAN $25.99
Grades 2-5

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith

My thoughts:  This copy of The Wind In the Willows is an absolutely charming rendition of the classic book that has charmed multitudes of children. The binding is very sturdy, trade edition, that will last through beloved handling by more than one generation of delighted readers.

First printed in 1908, this children's novel has spanned over 100 years of being a favorite. This edition's illustrations by Grahame Baker-Smith capture the essence of the original critters but have a more modern artistic rendering that will appeal to children today. Had this copy been printed in 1908 with Mr. Baker-Smith's illustrations, it would have truly delighted your great-grandparents who might have held it and read it.

As Mole, Rat, Toad, and Badger go on picnics, boat rides, visits to Toad Hall, etc. they have a way of straightening each other out,  helping with each other's character flaws, and simply coping with life. For as Toad said, My friends, you shall never have occasion to blush for me again. But, O dear, this is a hard world!"

While I have never read this book in its entirety, it is a classic. The text is longish but makes for a good read-aloud and discussion. I think it ranks along with fairy tales, animal/critter stories, and fantasy. This would make a beautiful, and welcome, Christmas or birthday gift to a child (and his parents). Buy it: Chapters.Indigo.com Amazon Barnes&Noble 

About the book: One of the most beloved classics of all time is updated for a new generation with beautiful illustrations by Grahame Baker-Smith.

There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

From picnics by the river bank to the battle for Toad Hall, the adventures of Mole, Ratty, Badger, and the mischievous Mr. Toad have delighted generations of readers. Rediscover Kenneth Grahame's timeless classic in this complete and unabridged edition, illustrated by Kate Greenaway Medal winner Grahame Baker-Smith.

ISBN: 9781536209198
$17.99 | Ages 4-8

Winter Lullaby by Dianne White

My thoughts:   A very sweet book about mama bear and her questioning baby cub bear. The illustrations are beautifully drawn using the colors of fall and winter that tend to help the mind sense the urgency of mama bear's getting little bear to their hibernation den.

Baby bear questions "why" as so many toddlers tend to do. Why do I have to sleep when rabbit or mouse, etc. don't? 

Still meandering along the way, without hesitation mama answers baby but doesn't neglect to continue to pursue putting the toddler to bed. It is a rather lengthy traipse through the woods but they do arrive at their destination and baby is tucked away snuggled beside mama for the long winter sleep.

A sweet book to treasure.

About the book: #1 New Release in Children's Bear Books - Rendered with reassuring words and pastoral scenes, this soothing lullaby of a story is sure to settle even the most restless of cubs.

Mouse is rushing to her nest.
In soft, dry grasses she will rest.

Geese are calling, a chilly wind is blowing, and the sky is turning gray. Winter is on its way. For Mama Bear and Small Bear, that means it’s time to tuck into their den for a long sleep. But Mouse is scurrying by, and Chipmunk is still gathering nuts beside the lake. And look at Hare and Skunk, still romping through the leaves! Why can’t Small Bear stay up, too? To each question, Mama Bear responds with the coziest of answers, finally painting a dreamy picture of the brightening colors and new adventures that will greet Small Bear in the spring. But first comes sleep, in this irresistible invitation to drowsy little cubs everywhere.

Both books to 2 winners!
Begins December 10
Ends January 15 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
NO P.O. Boxes
Canadian winners must provide phone number.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prizes are provided and shipped directly to the winners by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Only Margaret: A Story About Margaret Wise Brown by Candice Ransom & illustrated by Nan Lawson from Eerdmans Young Readers Books [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts: 
As a children's picturebook biography, Only Margaret: A Story About Margaret Wise Brown is well done. We know "Margaret Wise Brown" as the author of a plethora of children's books and specifically Goodnight Moon - that much loved bedtime storybook.

When Margaret Brown began publishing children's books and stories, there were not that many authors, illustrators, and publishers of the genre. There was a need. There were some, true. There was not a large market, financially, for them, though. But Margaret Brown had difficulty finding her "place" in the world and what she wanted to do. She thought she liked to write but didn't like writing for adults, and didn't like "commas." So she began to explore words, the world, and thoughts and jotted them down on envelopes, and whatever. Soon she began writing short children's stories. A dream was the fuel for Goodnight Moon.

As a quirky individual, her life took her from place to place; and wherever she went, she discovered more ideas for her stories.

I am always a fan of entertaining non-fiction and particularly picturebook biographies for children. So Only Margaret was an exciting choice for me. There is a partial list of her works at the back of the book as well as a biographic timeline of her life.

Her life and relationships is not one that I can endorse with the exception of the children's books I have seen that she authored. The author of this biographic picturebook handled her relationship with  care as is appropriate for children. 

About the book: When Halley’s comet arrived in 1910, so did an extraordinary person: Margaret Wise Brown. Margaret had a boundless imagination and a gift for spinning stories. Most grown-ups thought children’s books were frivolous and silly, but Margaret didn’t agree. Could writing stories for children be important work—a incredible way to share truth, beauty, and wonder?  

Other people might call Margaret strange, and sometimes her own worries and doubts felt overwhelming. But only Margaret and her original ideas could lead to Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny­, and other classics beloved by children around the world. 

From smuggling rabbits onto trains, to scribbling stories about island whispers, Margaret embraced adventure in life and on the page. This whimsically illustrated biography shares how an independent, fun-loving woman became a trailblazing pioneer of the picture-book form.

Begins December 7
Ends January 3 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by Eerdmans Publishing. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Love Under Construction by Penny Zeller [Book Spotlight & Giveaway]

About the book: She builds websites. He builds houses. Together, can they build a home for two orphans?

Irelynn agreed two years ago to help raise her best friend’s twins should anything happen. When she is called upon to fulfill that agreement, there is only one problem—Irelynn must share the responsibility with the arrogant but handsome Quinton Gregory. 

 Quinton takes the role of raising his niece and nephew with all seriousness. He will do anything for the twins, even if it means putting up with the beautiful but stubborn Irelynn Brady.  

When forced to be in each other’s presence far more often than is comfortable, things slowly begin to change. Will the unexpected attraction between Irelynn and Quinton become a love under construction?

Author Bio: Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics. Today Penny is a multi-published author of several inspirational books. She is also a homeschool mom and a fitness instructor. 

When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters while camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, cycling, gardening, and playing volleyball. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her www.pennyzeller.com and her blog, random thoughts from a day in the life of a wife, mom, and author, at www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com

Begins December 6
Ends January 3, 2022 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by the author.

Where to find Penny:

Website: www.pennyzeller.com
Blog: www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pennyzellerbooks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/PennyZeller
Instagram: www.instagram.com/pennyzeller
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/zellerpenny

Sunday, December 5, 2021

A Deep Divide by Kimberley Woodhouse

My thoughts:  I have read several books by Kimberly Woodhouse and enjoyed them. A Deep Divide was an enjoyable read but not a favorite. Still, I believe it ranks a 4-star.

Emma Grace was born into a life of luxury but rife with trouble. Kidnapped at an early age, her mother died, her father planned to "auction" her to the highest bidder to deepen the coffers of his treasure. Certainly not a gilded life.

So she escapes. She runs off with some family jewelry and travels incognito across the country working as a waitress. Quite the plunge from a life of wealth and riches.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Dachshund Through The Snow by Michelle Medlock Adams (A Christmasy story) [Review & Giveaway - Ends 12/15/21]

My thoughts:
My daughter brought her children's teeny, short-legged dog when they visited over the Thanksgiving holidays. It was entertaining to watch this wee one traipse all over the house and helped me visualize little Crosby the teeniest dachshund in this sweet story.

My 7 year old great-grand daughter is happily anticipating my passing my book along to her and I know it will bring much reading joy to her.

Now about teeny Crosby....  This is a charming, sweetly illustrated story about a teeny tiny dachshund saving Christmas. Well, actually he burrows under the snow escaping the ridicule of the other animals and runs into a cave when the snow storm turns into a ice storm. In the cave he meets Santa and the reindeer who have sought refuge from the storm inside the cave.

The illustrations simply capture the spirit of this spritely little dog and his desire to "be something" and not be ridiculed by others.

A fun book with good lessons to be learned.

About the book: Crosby was teeny. Even for a miniature dachshund. In fact, he was the teeniest dachshund in the whole town. But his small stature and big heart made Crosby one of the best burrowers in all of the North Pole. That's why he couldn't wait to enter the North Pole Animal Olympics and burrow his way to a gold medal. Finally old enough to compete, Crosby goes to town to register on Dec. 23, but when he encounters lots of hecklers and bullies who make fun of his small size, Crosby loses his confidence. With his tail tucked between his legs, he burrows as fast and far away from town as he can, running smack dab into a stranded Santa and his divine destiny. Will this unlikely hero save Christmas?

Four to eight-year-olds will be on the edge of their seats as this holiday picture book page-turner unfolds.

You can learn more about the book here and also purchase - CLICK HERE 

Click Here To Access Entry Form - Ends 12/15/21

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Giveaway is hosted by publicist FrontGateChristian and they are responsible for providing and distribution of prizes.

Really cute, practical dish towel & pot holder sets from Shopgal2020 Etsy Shop perfect for unique gifts [Review & Giveaway]

If you want to gift someone anytime with something a bit unusual, why not a set of apron, dish towel, and pot holder in their favorite State or City or a trendy, cheeky print? I have 5 grown kids and I got a set for each of them as gifts "just because." But now at the holiday gifting season it's a perfect answer. Etsy Store click here

Absolutely lovely! "Rock Words" to encourage.
"You Shine" "Give Thanks" "Be Brave"

"Georgia" apron & hot pad

There are towel/potholder sets already sewn and just waiting for you to find. Go to ShopgalNY2020 Etsy shop and select a win-win pattern for your gifting needs. As ShopgalNY says, "One person purchased 25 sets with bamboo spoons for holiday gifts of NYC. But has evolved to foodie item.  Lots of requests for sushi, wine, martinis patterns.  New pot holders and flour sack dish towels reworked to add fabric & Rick rack trim. 

And to make it a happy time on Chat With Vera, I'm hosting with ShopgalNY a giveaway of one set of dish towel/pot holder to arrive in January. ShopgalNY will select a design to send winner.

Just a few of the designs from which to choose!

Special orders are available, but with time limitations of Christmas, if you want order for Christmas, selection may be limited to articles currently on Etsy
Find them on Etsy -
Shop using Friends15 for a 15% discount.
Begins December 4
Ends December 31 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary dish towel and pot holder to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by ShopgalNY2020 Etsy shop. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Manger Mission: A Family Christmas Tradition - Adorable children's Manger Set and book

This is a delightful way to involve young children in Christmas traditions and to help them understand the glorious birth of God's Son.

There is a cute book that shows children placing the three Wise Men throughout the house during the "Advent Season" and as the birth date of the Christ Child approaches the Wise men are closer and closer to the manger.

Each piece is crafted of beautifully smooth wood and painted to depict the characters. A wonderful way for a child to grow his faith in play-based-learning. Truly a wise investment.

The Manger Mission is a play-to-learn
set featuring the journey of the wise men

You can buy a set today so your family can get started on this tradition or perhaps  you can gift it to another family so they can start The Manger Mission this year! CLICK HERE


Disclosure: Many thanks to The Manger Mission for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post. #TheMangerMissionMIN #themangermission @themangermission #MomentumInfluencerNetwork 

Monday, November 22, 2021

WEIRD BUT TRUE! NEW YORK CITY from National Geographic Kids Books - ages 8-11 [Review & Giveaway - USA]

My thoughts: 
A relatively small square thick-ish book that is jam pack with bits of information, sketches, photographs, etc. about things, people, places, events, etc. in New York City that show New York a place that inspires awe and respect for its people and what people have accomplished in New York's environs. 

Perfect for reading on trips and kids can tuck the book into their backpacks for ready access. The information is presented in a not-so-organized manner but is interesting and attention grabbing. 

Great for the reluctant reader. Great for newcomers or vacationers to New York City. Great for pricking the mind with bits of information that could conceivably lead to more in-depth research.

About the book: Think you know the Big Apple? Think again! Whether you're a NYC native, an adventure-loving tourist, an armchair traveler, or a trivia buff, WEIRD BUT TRUE! NEW YORK CITY (National Geographic Kids Books, ages 8-11) is a fascinating and fun romp through the 5 boroughs. 

  • Did you know that 25 species of shark swim off NYC's coastline?
  • Or that astronauts can see the lights of Times Square from space?
  • And get this: In New York, Sesame Street is a real place AND there's a library where you can visit the actual stuffed animals that inspired the characters in Winnie the Pooh!

Bright and browsable, Weird But True! New York City reveals little known and bizarre facts about the city's storied past, wild truths about present-day New York, and even introduces readers to a couple of goats that held up traffic on the subway. The city that never sleeps (and this book!) truly has something for everyone -- from giant pillow fights to epic Broadway musicals to pizza-loving rats. 

Check out this photo gallery for more wild facts about the city so nice, they named it twice!: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/weird-but-true/article/new-york-city

Begins November 22
Ends December 17 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or publisher. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Unique Christmas stockings sewn in USA by small businesses - Shop Small Businesses on Etsy [Review & Giveaway]

It's time to make certain "The stockings are hung by the chimney with care" or whatever place you "hang" them. Or.... you buy stockings to stuff as gifts. And you can find unique Christmas Stockings at the Etsy shop "ShopgalNY2020." Pretty Christmas or Winter patterned designs, quirky, Anime, Broadway play Hamilton, political or your own choice of City or State (New York, Raleigh, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, etc.). 

They come in two sizes: 16" and a smaller 10" and they are made of Cotton/flannel and fleece combinations. Prices vary for hot sellers made of hard-to-find fabrics.

Just some of many styles at etsy.com/ShopgalNY2020 store - many choices to select from - Most under $20.00

Find them on Etsy -
Shop using Friends15 for a 15% discount.
2 Winners: 1st responder chooses size, 2nd gets other size
One 16" Stocking & One 10" Stocking
Winner may select boy or girl. Fabric choice of ShopgalNY
Begins November 22
Ends December 10 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I received a product to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' prizes are provided and shipped directly to the winner by ShopgalNY2020. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes. 

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Shop a "small business" at ShopgalNY2020 Etsy Store online - Knit Beanies with cute patches [Review & Giveaway]

It's THAT time of the year. It's cold. It's frosty. It's snowy. You need to stay warm. In a study by the US Army, they found that 40 to 45 percent of heat was lost from a person's head. So when it is cold, you cover your head to keep the heat in your body.

Pictured: Unbelievably soft white
Has adorable pink "glitter" smiley star!

That's where these basic and very soft beanies are so good! They are basically a one-size-fits-most and softly slip on the head and over the ears to keep the cold out and the heat in. There are lots of choices on the ShopgalNY2020 Etsy Online Store (click here) and most are acrylic, some recycled all blends. Works for kids, teens & adults.

I was amazed at the nice assortment ShopgalNY2020 Etsy online shop has of colors of beanies and "patches." She has sewers in the New York/New Jersey area add the cutest patches to decorate. You'll be supporting a small USA business in the New York/New Jersey area. 
Unbelievably soft!
Happy beanie is just waiting to go outside!

These make great under $20 holiday gift/secret Santa presents or get some for the entire family and tuck into the stocking hung by the chimney with care.
Click Here https://etsy.me/32IPcgB to shop online and use Friends15 for a 15% discount.

Etsy Buyers are raving!


This shop got multiple 5-star reviews in the past 7 days.

You can find ShopGalNY on Instagram also & shop there if that's your preference. On Instagram she's @ShopgalNY.
1 Knit Beanie (ShopgalNY will select)
Begins November 20
Ends December 11 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by ShopgalNY2020. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

DEAD FALL (The Quantico Files #2) by Nancy Mehl [Giveaway]

My thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised to see the reappearance of Kaely Quinn (from the Kaely Quinn Profiler Series) in Dead Fall. The main female protagonist is Alex Donovan who is a gifted profiler in the BAU unit. They have the opportunity to work together solving the identity of the villain committing the crimes aimed at FBI profilers.

The case is complicated in that the methodology of the criminal is not consistent with that of serial killers.

The author has delved deep into the dark to write this story. The action is dark. The spiritual aspect reveals a darkness that the profilers work through as they sift details seeking solutions. And the lives of all the profilers and their teams and their families are at risk.

I was surprised, totally, by the ending on two counts. One who the perpetrator was and then there was a very nice other surprise about the case.

There is a simple romance. The characters are well drafted and real seeming (though I personally don't know anyone in this line of work by which to gauge realism). I totally enjoyed reading this book two in the series and wonder what Nancy Mehl has planned next in The Quantico Series. 

About the book: After facing the demons from her past, Alex Donovan is ready to move on and focus on her career at the FBI's elite Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). When renowned profiler and BAU co-founder John Davis is found dead in his hotel room, the FBI is called in to work on the strangest case they've ever faced. How do you find a killer who murders his victims without touching them?

When it becomes clear that the killer is targeting agents in Alex's unit, they are ordered into lockdown, sheltered in the dorms at Quantico. Alex bunks with a controversial agent, Kaely Quinn, who has returned after being dismissed three years earlier. As they work together, Alex discovers in Kaely the role model she's never had, despite being warned away.

As Alex questions who she wants to become, things get personal when the brilliant killer strikes close to home. Now Alex will do anything to find the killer--even at the risk of her own life.


Begins November 17
Ends December 9 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by author, publisher, or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God & Science by Louie Giglio [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 9781400230464
Hardcover $17.99

My thoughts: 
Please visit the website and enjoy a download of a sample of THE WONDER OF CREATION! Louie Giglio's books are treasures and they touch the spiritual, Biblical, and scientific world in an understandable way for children. In The Wonder of Creation there are 100 devotions about God and science. 

This devotional for children published by Passion Publishing with Tommy Nelson publishing is a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) book. Designed for ages 6 to 10, this devotional will engage the child and aid in your helping them to draw close to God and experience Him in their life. 

The Table of Contents in the front and the Index in the back of the book are valuable resources for referencing specifics. 

Each two-page spread is a devotional reading with "Explore the Wonders" sidebar info spot. Bible verses, prayers, fun activities, and great illustrations provide a wealth of educational enjoyment. Each presents God's amazing, wonderful creation.

This would make a fabulous Christmas gift for a child on your list. You can find it here https://www.indescribablekids.com/ .

About the book: #1 New Release in Children's Devotional Christianity Books - In this captivating follow-up to the bestselling kids' devotionals Indescribable and How Great Is Our God, discover more mind-blowing, faith-building scientific facts and biblical truths about the wonder of God's creation from author, speaker, and founder of the Passion movement Louie Giglio.

Well-known for his powerful and highly visual messages about science and the Bible, Louie Giglio has a passion for inspiring kids to notice, enjoy, and marvel at God's creation. In The Wonder of Creation, children will find new delight in God's creativity with 100 devotions that explore:
  • animals—from honeyguide birds to flying snakes to white rhinos
  • space—from black holes to volcanic moons to gamma-ray bursts
  • people—from optical illusions to brain freezes to our immune systems 
  • Earth—from rainbow rivers to blue lava to flowing glaciers, and much, much more! 

This is especially timely during the uncertain times of Covid Pandemic.
Children have virus' explained simply and learn of God's protection.

With engaging illustrations and striking photography, this fun and informative book is ideal for children ages 6–10. Each of the 100 devotions features a scientific fact or an easy activity for exploring faith, a short Bible verse, and a closing prayer.

With a beautifully bright and colorful cover and a ribbon bookmark, The Wonder of Creation
  • is ideal for science-loving kids, Bible-loving kids, and any child ready to go deeper in faith
  • continues a well-loved devotional series that has impacted over a million children, parents, and teachers
  • includes informative content call-outs inviting kids to "Explore the Wonder"
  • makes a great addition to a homeschool STEM curriculum or a bedtime reading routine
As kids explore this awe-inspiring devotional, they'll be amazed at the many wonders God has made!

Check out these other books in the bestselling Indescribable Kids series:
  • Indescribable
  • Indescribable for Little Ones
  • How Great Is Our God
1 physical copy of The Wonder of Creation
Begins November 16
Ends December 5 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA winners only.
Disclosure: Many thanks to HarperCollins Christian Publishing for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own. I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

LOVE ON THE RANGE (Brothers In Arms #3) by Mary Connealy [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:
As the conclusion of the "Brothers In Arms" series, Love on the Range was excellent. It nicely wrapped up the saga of the Hunt brothers in exciting and yet humorous storyline. 

As always the author, Mary Connealy, writes in her enviable tongue-in-cheek humor realistic and sometimes bigger-than-life characters. 

The background is Wyoming in the rough 1870s when men and women were tough, strong, and adventurous. They endure with nerves of steel injuries from falls, bullets, and fights bouncing back to ride again the hills and flatlands.

They corral cattle and horses as well as the meanest of mankind. It was a joyful conclusion and I just wonder if any of these strong, steadfast characters will put in appearances in future Mary Connealy books. 

About the book: Wyatt Hunt is temporarily bedridden and completely miserable. Somehow Molly Garner's limited skills have made her the most qualified in their circle to care for Wyatt. But by the time he's healed, she's fed up with him and the whole ungrateful family. For even worse than his grumpiness were the few unguarded moments when he pulled at her heartstrings, and she has long determined to never marry.

Molly gets a job as the housekeeper at Oliver Hawkins's ranch. But really she's with the Pinkertons, spying to find out if Hawkins has abused women and if he's guilty of murder.

Wyatt refuses to let her risk it alone, convincing Hawkins that he's abandoning his own ranch, angered by his two brothers' coming to claim a big chunk of it.

But when another Pinkerton agent gets shot, they realize Hawkins isn't the only danger. The Hunt brothers will have to band together to face all the troubles of life and love that suddenly surround them.

Begins November 14
Ends  December 7 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher, publicist, or author. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Friday, November 12, 2021

For Every Little Thing by June Cotner (Editor), Nancy Tupper Ling (Editor), Helen Cann (Illustrator) [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:   
This is a lovely, very sweet compilation of poems and prayers for children. They will help parents direct their children's hearts and minds toward expressing love and gratitude to God for things about them.

The text and illustrations are gentle, thoughtful, and expressive. 

While not distinctively Christian, the poems do convey an appreciation for God and an invitation to experience God in one's life.

About the book: How do you find joy in ordinary moments? How do you mark small wonders like the return of the fireflies or a friend’s helping hand?

Arranged from waking up to falling asleep, For Every Little Thing is an engaging collection of the day and its delights. This inspirational anthology gathers classic selections, modern prayers, and new poems from multiple cultures and faiths. From Emily Dickinson to Amma, from Ken Nesbitt to Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro, fifty-one voices encourage children to be present and thankful at all hours.

Accessible language and richly detailed illustrations celebrate simple pleasures like slurping noodles and splashing in puddles. Perfect for sharing around the table or at bedtime, For Every Little Thing will awaken a sense of gratitude in readers of all ages.

Begins November 12
Ends December 7 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by the publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

GOD WITH US - A Journey Home by Jeremy Pierre & illustrated by Cassandra Clark [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts: 
This easy to read and understand "walk through the Bible" with your destination "home" is a gem. Beautifully written, the text flows with a gentleness and beauty that captures the reader's or listener's attention.

From The Creation to The Revelation and culminating with our destination being home with God, the journey as presented in this book will enable children to better understand Biblical truths.

Comprised of 30 chapters with preface and postscript information, the book will become a treasure. Children will not become bored or overwhelmed with the text as it is easy to understand and the chapters are not overlong.

I truly wish I had had this book when my children were small. I will pass my copy along to my great-grandchildren. I believe in the legacy of sharing God with family and am thankful for authors that produce superb works like this one.

I received an early print, paperback copy of the book and can only imagine how lovely the hardcover book will be. I encourage my readers to get a copy for their family or as a gift to others.

About the book: Author Jeremy Pierre and illustrator Cassandra Clark want to awaken children to a brave journey―a journey home.

This world is not our home. We live east of Eden and short of Heaven. The earlier children understand this, the more sense they can make out of this sad, wonderful place. This storybook aims to shape their vision of the world as a place in-between, to awaken them to the brave journey they must take toward their true home—their home with God. 

God With Us is a beautiful new book that encourages children to have hope for our eternal home in Heaven. Join our campaign and get a special early copy of the book that you can share with your kids/grandkids/community.

Check out this GOD WITH US video!

About the author: Dr. Jeremy Pierre serves as the Lawrence & Charlotte Hoover Professor of Biblical Counseling at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and chairs the Department of Biblical Counseling & Family Ministry. He also serves as Pastor of Executive Leadership at Clifton Baptist Church. In addition to the books listed on this page, Pierre's writing has been featured in Tabletalk Magazine, Baptist Press, and the Gospel Coalition. He speaks at various engagements in the U.S. and overseas and serves on the board of directors for the Biblical Counseling Coalition. 

You may place your order for GOD WITH US: A JOURNEY HOME from these links:


Begins November 10
Ends November 27 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or publisher.