Thursday, September 21, 2017

CD Review and Giveaway: "All In" by Matthew West

Matthew West is one of my favorite Christian music artists, so I was really excited to get the opportunity to review his new CD, "All In"! This album really feels like it came directly from Matthew's heart. One of his recurring themes, which I hope speaks to many people, is that you are good enough for God. It doesn't matter what you've done or how imperfect you are, Matthew says in "Broken Things": "Now I'm just a beggar in the presence of a king. I wish I could bring so much  more. But if it's true you use broken things, then here I am Lord, I am all yours." He reminds us that "It's always the ones with scars that you use, It's the rebels and the prodigals." In "Mercy Is a Song," he continues this theme by telling us: "Mercy is a song singing to my heart, telling me it's okay, come just as you are."

In one of my favorite songs, "The Sound of a Life Changing," Matthew shares how he came to be a Christian songwriter and singer. "I heard it all from the cheap seats, Assembly Hall Arena, Champaign, Illnois. Just a poor college boy making noise, writing my first songs. Steven Curtis up on stage, singing 'Speechless' left me speechless and amazed. Tears rolling down my face. I heard a still small voice say, 'That's gonna be you someday.'" And Matthew's ode to his mother, "Becoming Me," will have you in tears when he says "I'm becoming me because of you." He doesn't forget his loving wife, either, as he sings, "When I think about the only things in life that pull me through, I hit my knees and thank the Lord for Jesus & You."

I hope you'll pick up a copy of "All In" and let the words speak to your heart as Matthew West invites you to "Come get in line" to receive God's grace and go "All In" when it comes to faith.

Matthew’s heart behind the album:
Matthew wrote his new album "All In" with the goal of encouraging himself and others to get up off the sidelines of their faith and really live it out -- to go all in in your time with God, all in with your family, all in with your community, and all in battling your fears that may hold you back from becoming who God made you to be. Along that same theme, Matthew will be launching a six-week All in Challenge on his social media starting 9/18, and each week Matthew will be challenging his fans to go all in in a different part of their lives. What does it look like when a heart that knows Jesus takes a step and holds nothing back? How can we go All In in the places that mean the most?

Broken Things Music Video:

And watch the story behind the song, "Broken Things":

All In Lyric Video:

And watch the story behind the song, "All In":

Follow Matthew West on:


One lucky winner (from the continental U.S. only) will win a copy of the new CD, "All In," by Matthew West! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM ET on Friday, September 29, 2017. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby Book Blast: Giveaway for a $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

Welcome to the Book Tour for
The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby
by Jenny Lundquist

Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone.

Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List—things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. On the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies.

Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes.

And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too…

Praise for The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby

"...[an] emotionally perceptive novel of grief and recovery."~Kirkus

"You'll fall in love with Violet and love every minute of living in her wondrous world!"~Stephanie Faris

Author Jenny Lundquist

Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, where she spent her time unsuccessfully learning how to surf. When she was younger, she wanted to be either a rock star or a published author. After she taped herself singing and listened to it on playback, she decided she'd better opt for the writing route. Jenny is the author of multiple YA and Middle Grade titles, including Seeing Cinderella, The Charming Life of Izzy Malone, The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby and the forthcoming The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams (2019).

amazon or paypal
$100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash Giveaway
Ends 10/10/17

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or PayPal Cash. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. Susan Heim on Parenting is not responsible for Rafflecopter content or prize fulfillment. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Share Your #Fail Photo and Win BIG with MAM ~ Plus a Giveaway for a $30 MAM Prize Pack!

Have you ever tried to capture a cute keepsake photo of your kiddo(s) and had it go horribly wrong? Of course you have ... we all have! Below is a picture of my twin boys when I was trying to get the perfect picture for their birth announcement cards. Can you tell they weren't happy about it?! (They're 13 now, and they still hate having their picture taken!)

Multiple little fingers crammed into the nose. Spontaneous, hysterical crying. Projectile spit-up all over the cute new outfit. What does your funniest #fail photo of your child(ren) look like?

Share with MAM, and they'll select three winners to win a $100 prepaid card and a $100 pack of MAM goodies! Enter here:

Hurry, because this sweepstakes ends at 11:59 p.m. EDT on 9/29/17.

Follow MAM:
Twitter: @MAMBABY
Instagram: mam_usa

One lucky winner will receive a $30 giveaway package of assorted MAM items! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM ET on September 29, 2017.

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Disclosure: I received no compensation or product samples for this post. MAM is generously donating the products for this giveaway.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Mother-Daughter Beauty Giveaway from The JAM Group!

When I was a little girl, my sister and I loved to play dress-up with our mom's discarded clothing and makeup. We had a whole bin full of pretty dresses and nightgowns, as well as a case of makeup. We'd pretend we were going to the theater or hitting the stage as famous singers with fabulous wardrobes and plenty of eye shadow! From talking with my friends who have daughters, I've learned that most little girls still love to pretend. While today's princesses no longer wait around for a knight in shining armor to rescue them, they still love being tough and looking good at the same time! If you have a daughter, granddaughter or niece who falls into this category, you'll definitely want to check out this Totally Friends Beauty Makeup Palette sold by The JAM Group! Isn't it adorable?

I love how the three different trays slide out from the adorable monkey-shaped case to offer various colors of blush, eye shadow, lip gloss and glitter powder! Each tray has a two-ended applicator. After the makeup is applied, just slide the trays back in, and your little one has a cute little monkey case to carry with her and keep her makeup safe from harm. And the cute packaging makes this the perfect gift for a birthday party, holiday or other occasion. And, moms, you'll be happy to know that this makeup is washable and non-toxic.

The JAM Group has great products for kids, but they haven't forgotten that Mom and Grandma could use some pampering, too! One of the products I LOVE is their Fresh Sweet Hand Cream Collection. Their purse-sized hand creams come in six scrumptious scents: Rich Pomegranate, Lemon Verbena, Pink Grapefruit, Sugar Berries, Coconut Lime, and Juicy Peach! With six tubes, it's easy to keep one in your purse, your desk drawer, by your bedside, in the bathroom ... you get the picture! The cute checkered packaging makes these hand creams ideal for gift giving. Or divide them up and drop them into your loved ones' stockings during the holiday season.

The JAM Group's products are sold on Amazon and are extremely affordable. Pamper yourself or pick them up for your next gift-giving occasion! Visit The JAM Group on social media at:


One lucky winner will receive BOTH the Totally Friends Beauty Makeup Palette and the Fresh Sweet Hand Cream Collection courtesy of The JAM Group! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, October 15, 2017.

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Disclosure: I received complimentary product samples to facilitate my honest review.

Beat the Heat with Community Cold Brew Coffee You Can Make at Home!

Here in Florida, it has been HOT, HOT, HOT. So far, there have been no signs of summer releasing its grip on our weather. So, a nice cold drink is definitely what we're craving! One glorious option I recently found is Community Coffee Company's Cold Brew Coffee! No longer do I have to pay premium prices at my local coffee shop for a delicious cold coffee that's easy to make at home! Community Cold Brew is made with 100% select Arabica beans, and they've specially formulated this coffee for the cold brew process. It's so easy ... just drop their special cold brew filter bags into water, and before you know it you've got a refreshing pitcher of cold brew coffee!

My husband has been drinking Community Cold Brew in the morning instead of hot coffee. It's a refreshing start to the day! And I enjoy it in the afternoon when I'm arriving home after a long, tiring day at work. My husband drinks it black, but I prefer to add a little flavored creamer to it. (And I'm thrilled that my favorite seasonal pumpkin creamers are arriving at stores. Scrumptious!)

This is all you need: Community Cold Brew, a pitcher and water!
Drop two filter bags into the water.
Let it steep for 24 hours.
Add ice and cream if desired and enjoy a delicious glass of cold brew coffee!
As you can see in the photos above, it's easy to make a pitcher of Community Cold Brew: Open the Cold Brew Pouch and drop both filter bags into a 2-quart or larger pitcher. Add four cups of cold, filtered water and steep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Then remove the filter bags and add three more cups of cold water to the pitcher. (You can always divide it into two pitchers if you don't have a big one.) Then serve over ice or sweet with cream or sugar if you wish. That's all there is to it! You've got a supply of cold coffee for up to 7-10 days. And the high quality of Community Coffee's beans means you get a smooth, never bitter flavor.

I hope you'll visit to learn more about their Cold Brew coffee, as well as all of the other wonderful coffee and tea products they have available. You can also visit Community Coffee on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure: I received complimentary product samples to facilitate my honest review.

Snapshots from Hurricane Irma in Southeast Florida

Here in the Southeast region of Florida, in Palm Beach County, it wasn't the rain that was a problem with Hurricane Irma; it was the wind. As you can see from the pictures below, a lot of trees, signs and fences came down. And a lot of power lines, too. Following are a few pictures I took while driving around the day after the storm (very carefully, as many traffic signals were also out).

This big, beautiful tree was uprooted

Cinemark lost its sign

A fence blew down

A sign on I-95

Power lines came down

A large convoy of trucks in the shopping center ready to restore power

Friday, September 15, 2017

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (September 16-22, 2017)

Thanks to everyone for your prayers and well wishes as Hurricane Irma battled Florida. Our neighborhood was fortunate to get through with the worst being plenty of downed trees and fences. I know many people who are still without power, and it has been HOT, but we still count our blessings as we know that those in other parts of the state (especially the Keys and Southwest Florida) really experienced the worst of Irma's wrath. Please continue your prayers for their recovery as they seek to rebuild their homes and their lives. It's going to be a long time before many people get back on their feet.

If you're here to find some great giveaways, you're in luck! Come back daily to see what's been added in the linky below and on my right sidebar. If you're hosting a giveaway (or more) on your blog, please share them in the linky and promote this page on your social media sites.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cover Reveal: "Poppy Mayberry: Return to Power Academy" (Nova Kids #2) by Jennie K. Brown

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Poppy Mayberry: Return to Power Academy
(Nova Kids #2) by Jennie K. Brown
Be on the lookout for this upcoming title from Tantrum Books!


Finding out you were wrong about something important can be a letdown. But Poppy is pleased to learn she's not just a Monday. She's a Cusper, a weekday lucky enough to have TWO powers. Poppy's elation is short-lived when she, Ellie, Logan, and Sam return to Power Academy as camp counselors, only to find themselves out of their element and struggling with the new drama teacher and his disaster of a school musical. When some campers go missing, Poppy and her team of weekdays are on the case. Soon, Poppy begins to realize that much like her powers, the seemingly perfect town of Nova has some flaws, and the origin of her powers is as questionable as Headmistress Clothes-too-tight Larriby's choice in outfits. If only there were more days in the week!
Poppy Mayberry: Return to Power Academy
(Nova Kids #2) by Jennie K. Brown
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Tantrum Books
Available for Pre-order

Jennie K. Brown is a high-school English teacher by day, freelance magazine writer by night, and middle-grade/young-adult author by late night and weekend. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Jennie can be found reading a good book, traveling, or spending time with her awesome husband, amazing son and super-spoiled Yorkie. In 2010, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) named Jennie the Pennsylvania English teacher of excellence, and she currently serves as President of the Pennsylvania Council for Teachers of English and Language Arts (PCTELA). She is also an active member of SCBWI, NCTE and ALAN.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (September 9-15, 2017)

As I write this, Hurricane Irma is headed to Florida, where I live. By the time this linky closes down, we'll know for certain how our beautiful state was affected by this very dangerous storm. Many of us will be without power and will have other things on our mind besides entering giveaways. For those of you fortunate to be out of harm's way, I hope you'll keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we begin the process of rebuilding, and continue your efforts to also help those in Houston. We appreciate you! (P.S. Good luck with these giveaways!)

RM Palmer Introduces New Candy Treats for the Holidays!

Fall is almost here, and when it arrives, we all start thinking about the holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, as well as many other holidays, all occupy our minds and hearts during the fall and into the winter. For some delicious reason, candy is always a big part of the holidays, and I’m the first to admit that I love the abundance of wonderful chocolate during the holiday season. I recently had the opportunity to sample chocolates from RM Palmer, and they have become my new favorite candy maker! Here are just a few highlights from their collection:

SUPER SPORTS BALLS ~ These miniature chocolate-flavored footballs, baseballs, basketballs and soccer balls are absolutely scrumptious! Get an assortment to satisfy all the sports fans and chocolate lovers in your life.

PEANUT BUTTER CUPS ~ Who can resist smooth, creamy peanut butter in a rich chocolaty shell? Not me! I love these things!

PEPPERMINT PATTIES ~ These are my personal favorites. I cannot eat just one! And with their refreshing taste, they add colorful fun to any holiday party or celebration.

CARAMEL-FILLED CHOCOLATE BALLS ~ These caramel-filled, chocolate flavored balls come in a wonderful variety of colors that add a delicious and fun touch to any party or special occasion.
You’ll also love all the goodies that RM Palmer has planned for Halloween! These confections offer great taste, vibrant packaging, and frighteningly excellent value. Included in this year’s Halloween line are these spooktacular products:

Trick or Treat Mix: A NEW stand-up bag that includes a mix of decorated Cookies & Crème Zombies joining Fudge Skulls, Decorated Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups and Double Crisp® Witches. Individually pouched, this mix is perfect for handing out to trick-or-treaters. 44 oz. bag – SRP: $10.00.

Twisted Pumpkins: Available in a NEW stand-up bag that offers a fresh flavor mix of Caramel Apple and Pumpkin Spice. Available in two sizes: 12 oz. bag - SRP $3.00; 20 oz. bag – SRP: $5.00.

Decorated Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups: These decorated pumpkins are made with delicious creamy peanut butter in a rich chocolaty shell. Individually pouched and ideal for trick-or-treating. 15 oz. bag containing 20 cups – SRP: $3.00.

And check out what RM Palmer has planned for Christmas!

New holiday products include:

Stocking Puppies: Foiled in life-like Golden Retriever and Dalmatian graphics, the adorable puppies are the perfect stocking stuffer. 3.5 oz. Hollow milk chocolate - SRP: $3.00.

Caramel Jingle Bear: This loveable decorated bear sports a festive red tie and offers a creamy caramel center in a rich chocolaty shell. 2.5 oz. bear - SRP: $1.00.

Christmas Bars: Smooth and crispy Double Crisp® Bars are wrapped in fun and festive Santa and Snowman graphics. The bars are great to use as party favors, stocking stuffers or hostess gifts at special celebrations. 4.25 oz. - SRP: $1.00.

Santa’s Holiday Mix: The new stand-up bag of Palmer holiday favorites includes: Double Crisp® Mini Crisp Kringles®, Fudge Bells, Peanut Butter Cups, Milk Chocolate Flavored Balls and Cookies & Crème Patties. This new bag shape has a window that features the delectable candy inside. Fans will enjoy eating straight from the bag or filling their favorite candy dishes throughout the holiday season. 3-1/2 lbs. (56 oz.) bag – SRP: $10.00.

Let's face it, all chocolate is NOT alike. If you want some really high-quality, amazing chocolate, you've got to pick up some of these products at Your family and your taste buds will be delighted!

Follow RM Palmer on social media:

Disclosure: I received complimentary product samples to facilitate my honest review.