Friday, June 30, 2023

Over the Horizon (Horizon Series #1) by Penny Zeller [Giveaway]

A most unusual proposal

Alone in 1870s Idaho Territory, Paisley Abbott has nowhere to turn. With no other options, she finds herself consenting to an unconventional, but mutually beneficial agreement.

During an unplanned return to his family’s farm, prodigal Tyler Shepherdson inherits three children. When Tyler finds a woman hiding in the back of his wagon, an idea begins to form and he makes a rash decision that results in perhaps one of the most spontaneous marriages of convenience ever.

Despite an unorthodox beginning to their marriage, will Paisley and Tyler trust God as they forge ahead to create a home for three orphans? Will love arise from a desperate situation?

In the first book in the Horizon Series, travel to the late 1800s to the town of Horizon in the Idaho Territory with a cast of unforgettable characters, journeys of faith, and abundant humor. Secret word: read.

Coming soon, the newest series by Penny Zeller, author of the Wyoming Sunrise, Love Letters from Ellis Creek, and Montana Skies Christian Historical Romance Series. Horizon Series:
  • Over the Horizon (July 2023)
  • Dreams on the Horizon (2024)
  • Beyond the Horizon (2024)
Begins June 30
Ends July 31 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: Giveaway is hosted by Vera. Prize is provided and mailed directly to the winner by author. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Board books for toddlers using chemistry & physics terms & definitions - STEM from MIT Kids Press [Review & Giveaway]

The concept of these "science for tiny tots" board books is that of impressing very young minds with speech and information beyond the traditional level for their age with the assumption that their minds will grasp much of the information. I don't dispute the idea, but also believe that the fun and games language and thinking concept also appropriate.

Bath Time Physics (Ages 1—3 | $8.99, ISBN: 9781536229653)

My thoughts: 
An adorable book using photographs for illustration and introducing physics concepts, words, and definitions. Intended to be read to very young children. Basic concepts and definitions help parents with ideas to present to children. Shows bath time as a fun time that can be educational, too.

About the book: Splish, splash! Prepare to experience the forces of physics at work. It’s time for Baby’s bath . . .
Ooh! We made a waterfall . . .
Invite your tubby-time friends to join in.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Feeding Minds Press presents Potatoes for Pirate Pearl by Jennifer Concepcion and illustrated by Chloe Burgett

ISBN: 978-1-948-89815-7
Hardcover $18.99
Ages 4-8 | 40 pages
My thoughts: This is a delightful book that children will like. I have grown quite fond of the books from Feeding Minds Press and love how they entertain and educate children with quality text and really cute illustrations.

Learning about the process of growing potatoes is presented in an entertaining mode in Potatoes for Pirate Pearl (notice the alliteration!). Truly a fun "pirate" story with lots of pirate-ty vocabulary and an adorable parrot, with more cute alliteration, a very hungry pirate who discovers Farmer Fay's potato farm, and back pages that have information and recipes for potato delights.  

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Rocky Mountain Rendezvous by Misty M. Beller (SISTERS OF THE ROCKIES, #1) [Review]

My thoughts:  The defining premise of the book is that of four sisters who travel from their home in Virginia to the unsettled frontier in the mountains of the future state of Wyoming. Their reason for such a journey, virtually unheard of during that time period, is to fulfill their dying father's request to find an Indian woman who nursed him during a deathly illness when he was in the wilderness. I just found it strange that without knowing more about the woman and where she actually was and after a period of 20 years had passed, these four young women would journey thus.

But they did.....

COLD PURSUIT (RYLAND & ST. CLAIR, #1) by Nancy Mehl [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts: This story is disturbingly intense as the author fleshes out the mental and emotional state of the primary antagonist. This individual has not one, but two mental illnesses or disturbances. So it was not a pleasant, feel-good read from this particular standpoint.

Then the story also involves more than one and possibly over-lapping criminal elements that create an sense of fright and mystery. And then there is the subplot of the female lead's mother's Alzheimer's disease and the care of her.

Throughout the book the thread of faith in God is woven. Tony's faith in God and strong friendship (and deeply caring - romantic?) with River are ever present gently guiding and protecting her.

The author's ability to paint word pictures of scenes, action, and emotions is beautifully displayed in this story. 

At the end of the book, while it reaches a joyful conclusion, there is a dangerous thread dangling that lets you know you want to read book two in the series so you can find out what else is in store for River and her friend and co-worker, Tony.

About the book: Ex-FBI profiler River Ryland still suffers from PTSD after a case that went horribly wrong. Needing a fresh start, she moves to St. Louis to be near her ailing mother and opens a private investigation firm with her friend and former FBI partner, Tony St. Clair. They're soon approached by a grieving mother who wants them to find out what happened to her teenaged son who disappeared four years ago. River knows there's almost no hope the boy is still alive, but his mother needs closure, and River and Tony need a case, no matter how cold it might be.

But as they follow the boy's trail, which gets more complicated at every turn, they find themselves in the path of a murderer determined to punish anyone who gets in his way. With a killer on the loose set on finishing the job he started, will River be pulled back into her tormented past or finally face the demons that haunt her?

With her trademark blend of page-turning thrills and intricate plots, Nancy Mehl delivers a spine-tingling thriller that will keep readers up all night.

Begins June 24
Ends July 27 @ 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 copy is provided by author, publicist, or publisher. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Food for the Future: Sustainable Farms Around the World by Mia Wenjen & illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:
  This is not a book about how to grow rows of corn or beans or orchards of fruit. It doesn't tout the home "victory type" garden. A variety of different concepts of farming and the things, or commodities, farmed is presented to the reader.

For example, there is a quick look at farming "salt" from sea water or farming oysters in baskets immersed in the ocean. Different from normal grocery store food item farming. Interesting because it gives a glimpse into other foods and methods of farming that need to be considered for consumers needs and the future of farming those different commodities.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Non-fiction STEM books look at birds, microscopic world, & outer space [Review & Giveaway]

Birds Everywhere by Britta Teckentrup | Ages 6-9

My thoughts: 
While not my favorite book on birds, the book has some intriguing information that bird lovers will enjoy. This is not your typical "backyard birds" type of book. 

First some book "shortcomings" as I see them..... The digital illustrations leave much to be desired. An artist's hand and perceptive eye would have garnered more and better detail to bring life into the images. Then there is the text font and size. Much too small unless you are going for encyclopedic type of print jobs. So one's attention span might lapse because the font and size tire the reader. Then when the printer coupled the font and its size with colored backgrounds, they almost totally lost this reader. 

Monday, June 5, 2023

Exploring light and water with preschoolers - prisms & splashing puddles [Review & Giveaway]

Let's Go Puddling! by Emma Perry & illustrated by Claire Alexander

My thoughts:  I love the idea of "puddling" and well supervised playtime in the rain and splashing in the puddles. The moist air is good and refreshing and the activity is perfect for little ones to experience aspects of our Earth's weather that they will soon grow lest fond of.

This delightful book clearly lets the joy of the children's experience shine through although the day is dark and gloomy.

I love how they bundled up in their weather wear and went out to have fun. Then I love how when they had finished (and were beginning to feel the chill of the cloudy day and wetness), they went inside and changed clothes and snuggled to get warm.

A win-win day all around. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐