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

GIVEAWAY
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.
GIVEAWAY
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.
GIVEAWAY
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

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

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.

Just look at these prizes! A cozy blanket & book!


Watch for Chat With Vera's  soon!

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are mine, alone and are freely given. Contest is hosted by "Read With Audra Blog Tours" and prizes are provided and shipped directly to winner by host. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

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.

GIVEAWAY

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
Giveaway
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.

GIVEAWAY
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.

GIVEAWAY
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:

https://www.shepherdpress.com/products/god-with-us/
https://bit.ly/god-with-us


GIVEAWAY
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.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Lights Out (The SNAP Agency #1) by Natalie Walters


My thoughts: 
This was an exciting, fast paced, intriguing story. I love the writer's style. I think the characters were well drawn verbally and their banter and actions kept the story moving.

This is just a story, but the reality of the scenario is disturbingly on spot. Terrorism on our own soil by seemingly innocuous individuals is a possibility too true. Smuggling in illegals for nefarious purposes is a sobering reality.

This book, though fiction, should be a wakeup call to government and private sectors and to people from the little man nestled away in his work place to corporate giants. 

I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to others in "The SNAP Agency" series.

About the book: CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.

Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency (SNAP) for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn't at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It's hard to trust a woman who's already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning--the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

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

Friday, November 5, 2021

The Robin and the Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen & illustrated by Jason Jameson [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

 My thoughts: A beautiful book. A Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale (or folktale). A treasure to keep and a wonderful addition to stories that the young should be exposed to.

A beautifully written story of a discontented tree and a Robin who pretties up his home (the tree). The cycle of life is also represented in the story.

The illustrations, alone, are a treasure. And this re-telling of an old Hans Christen Andersen story is exquisite. 

Truly a book to add to your collection.


Read a little and view some beautiful illustrations - click here


About the book: An exquisitely illustrated retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Fir Tree"


In a forest far away from the hustle and bustle of town grows the Fir Tree. The meadow he lives in is beautiful and serene, but the Fir Tree yearns for the excitement of the outside world. His friend the Robin brings him gifts and tells him stories of the places she's been, the people she's flown over, and the many things men construct out of wood. The Fir Tree dreams of adventure and wishes to be something more. He imagines a new life as a ship's mast, traveling the world by sea. When men come to the meadow with axes one day and cut him down, the Fir Tree is eager to be chosen for a new purpose. But the Robin worries. What will become of her strong, beautiful friend? In a lyrical story of friendship and rebirth, Jason Jameson brings a Christmas classic to beautiful new life.

GIVEAWAY
Begins November 6
Ends November 29 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open USA/CANADA addresses.
No P.O. Boxes. Phone required for Canadian winners.

DISCLOSURE: I received a copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.