Do your kids enjoy looking at photos of themselves? My kids absolutely love looking through photo albums of themselves and talking about what they were doing and who is in the picture with them. What if you could design a book completely centered around photos of your children and written for your child? Twigtale has made this possible, and it’s very easy to do!
Twigtale makes personalized children’s books focused on early transitions such as moving, parents going on a vacation, or gaining a new sibling. They also make “anytime” books that build self-esteem and promote child development. Your first step is to go to www.twigtale.com and choose which book you would like to create. I chose “Who Loves Me?” It’s a book all about the many people who love my daughter. Once you choose the book you want you can begin building the book or see a list of photos you will need to complete the book.
I found that viewing the image list helped me to gather all of the photos needed before I started the book. I saved them all in a folder to my desktop so they were easy to access. You can either upload all of the images you have right away or add images as you go. Since I had already picked out my images I created a new gallery and uploaded them all at once. It was really easy to just drag them from my desktop into the program for uploading. Next you answer a few questions such as who the book is for, who is creating the book, and the gender of the child. The book then populates with all of this information and you’re ready to start writing the book.
You begin with the cover page and go page by page until the end. Simply drag a photo to the desired page, edit it if needed, and insert text. Most of the story is there, you just need to insert people’s names. Honestly it took me about 20 minutes to make the whole book. It was so fast and easy. When you get to the end of the book, you’re able to preview it and check for errors you may have made. That’s it! Input your personal information and billing information and the book will be mailed to you shortly. I received my book in three days, it was very fast!
The finished product was of very high quality. The colors are bright, the quality of the images were great, and the pages were nice and thick. All of the books are only $20 each, and would make great gifts. I plan on giving my daughter hers for her 1st birthday. The site was very easy to navigate, and creating the book was very user friendly. I even made a few mistakes and had to delete photos and upload new ones. I was very pleased with how fast the process was. Overall, I would definitely recommend Twigtale personalized books. A high quality, personalized book, for a very affordable price!
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Hidden Falls by Olivia Newport
Review by B, my almost 15 year old, who found it really hard to review this ebook
Thirty years of small-town secrets—now the key to the mystery is gone. The small town of Hidden Falls is abuzz. Former students, friends, and loved ones are prepping for tonight’s big event to honor Ted Quinn’s many years of compassionate service. Quinn is reluctant about a night in the spotlight–but is tenderly prodded by Sylvia, mayor of Hidden Falls and Quinn’s dearest friend and confidante.
I thought Hidden Falls by Olivia Newport was good, but rather confusing. There were eight point of view characters that came across as too much even for me, and I’m a fast reader. I found myself forgetting about half of the characters as we hopped back and forth between point of views and inside the different character’s minds.
However, I did find Quinn to be interesting and liked his character as well as Dani, Nicole, Liam and Ethan. I wish we had gotten to see more of Dani as she came across as a really unique character and added something special to the novel. I felt bad for Liam and enjoyed Nicole and Ethan’s character point of views.
Unfortunately I couldn’t even rate this on terms of plot due to how much was going on. I couldn’t focus or even find the main plot line because of all the extra character point of views. It was a very slow read, but I loved the ending. It was quite surprising.
I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars, but I would probably read more in this series due to the characters that I did like. I’m intrigued as to what will happen to Quinn and Dani in future books.
You can read the first episode of Hidden Falls here.
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Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.
You’re Going to be Okay is a novel that uses scripture and the encouraging words of Holley Gerth to lift women up emotionally and mentally.
Covering topics ranging from depression to feeling insecure and unworthy of love, she writes with words of love and understanding.
She acknowledges the fact that life hurts and sometimes we feel down, or that bad things do happen. And while she doesn’t attempt to sugar coat it, she writes in a way that makes you feel as though there is hope when things feel dark.
Using examples from her personal life, she makes the reader feel as though you are talking to a close friend. The scriptures that she uses are uplifting and back up everything that she says through the novel.
She also offers tips and advice that she has found helpful through her personal struggles. Some good points that she made were that we were not made to settle for anything less than joy, exercising to help lessen our stress levels, and eating better to help improve overall health.
I recommend this to anyone who is looking for encouragement, and to know and realize that they are enough and that they will be okay.
“Available February 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
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Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley is a romantic suspense and the first book in the Logan Point series.
Taylor Martin, a Psychology professor and criminal profiler, experienced abandonment when her father up and left their family when she was a little girl. That event in her life left her with so many unanswered questions she sets out to find her father. Little does she realize that in doing so she would put herself and others in danger.
The book details how Taylor and her family find closure to the biggest mystery of their life. Taylor also finds love in an unlikely place, Nick Sinclair, the brother of one of the suspects in one of her murder profile cases.
Patricia Bradley really kept me on my toes. I was guessing until three quarters the way through the book. I was torn between who was behind the threats thrown at Taylor, the violence and the murders. There was only one murder mystery I figured out right away. I liked the twists and turns the plot took. As always the romance was pretty predictable, but how many different ways can you spin boy meets girl or girl meets boy and likes, then loves each other?
I really like these kinds of books not only for the mystery and intrigue but the character’s development and growth, as well as the fact there is no coarse language or raunchy sex. I believe sex is good, even great, (insert smiley face) within the boundaries of marriage, but I don’t need to read stories about sex when I have my own intimate life. Just saying, and thought I’d point out a different aspect to like about this book series and others like it.
Two thumbs up from me.
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This is a featured review.
Dabby Dill & The Hiccup Pickle iPad App Review
Dabby Dill woke up in a Pickle, she had the hiccups! Follow Dabby on her journey to find the remedy for these hiccups. This book app is recommended for kids 4 to 8 years old. This iPad app requires a 6.1 operating system or later.
There are 4 modes in the book app.
Story Mode – You have a narrator reading to you and you touch the arrow for the next page.
Read Along – You narrator will read to you again. However this time each word is underlined as the narrator reads, helping your child as they read & follow along.
Self-Read – Your child will read by themselves. Allowing your child the freedom to read at their own pace.
Play Game – Great memory game! Follow the hiccup pattern with Dabby and her 3 friends. It’s very similar to the game Simon.
I found this book app very educational. My favorite is the read along. With the words underlined it really helps my daughter learn her words and vocabulary. I love each mode, this book app can grow with your child.
Click here to find Dabby Dill & The Pickle Hiccup in the iTunes store!
Dabby Dill & The Hiccup Pickle App Giveaway Plus $50 Giveaway
Five of you have the opportunity to win an iTunes’s code to download Dabby Dill & The Hiccup Pickle iPad app for free, plus each of you will also receive a $10 iTunes e-gift card with the app code! Enter to win below!
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As you know from past book reviews, I enjoy Christian historical fiction. With Autumn’s Return by Amanda Cabot is one of those books. I wanted to read it because I have read the first two books in the Westward Winds series (Book 1 and Book 2). This book was about Elizabeth Harding, the youngest sister in the Harding family.
Elizabeth Harding is a female doctor in Cheyenne, Wyoming during the 1800′s. I appreciated her fortitude to do what she felt called to do despite the disapproval of many. Women doctors were not popular or accepted easily in that time in history. Dr. Harding’s fortitude is something I could use a good dose of on my bad days! Ha! I also related to her struggle as a working woman and her fears and concerns over having a family with her chosen profession. She had working mom guilt before she was even a mother, but I think many of us must struggle with this when we choose to work or are forced to because of circumstances out of our control.
Dr. Harding showed godly character when she chose to treat the ladies of one of the local brothels. She treated them with respect and dignity despite their profession. I think this is something lacking in today’s Christianity. As Christians or followers of Christ, we are called to love, yet there’s still so much hatred in the world against those who may be different from us and that’s not just outside the church it is within it as well.
I enjoyed the friendship between her and Jason. I think friendship should be the basis of any romantic interest and like it when it’s portrayed in that light.
The book wasn’t all a bed of roses. Mystery, murder and deceit were woven into the plot to spice up the book and make it more than just a romance novel. Don’t get me wrong it was not a mystery novel but it definitely those elements made it more than just another boring romance.
Was the book predictable? Admittedly, yes. Was it interesting? I’d have to say so since I like reading about that time period. Was it one of my favorite books to read? No, not really, but I enjoyed it and give it a thumbs up.
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The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher is another great book by Suzanne Woods Fisher. It is the second book in The Inn at Eagle Hill series. It is a clean, all round good read.
As you all know, I am intrigued by the Amish and appreciate their deep sense of community and commitment to one another and this story exemplifies this in a very real and strong way. I cannot tell you how or I’d reveal part of the mystery of the book.
I really enjoyed getting to know Bethany’s character better. I loved how she played hard to get with her “friend” Jimmy. She also displayed wisdom and how she learned from her past mistakes.
The mystery, twists and turns surrounding Bethany’s mother kept me guessing and wondering. I also cried buckets over the revelation of that whole story line.
Another part of the Amish community I enjoy is the respect the younger have for the elderly. In this series, there is a group of five spinster sisters who stand out for their service and commitment to the community, but they also stand out for the way in which they care and interact with the younger generation. The younger in turn cares and respects them. It seems more rare than common in our society today.
I love Bethany’s sister Mim and how she secretly provides advice in her Mrs. Miracle column of the newspaper and how supportive Bethany was of her endeavor.
The growth of Bethany’s brother, Toby, was revealed in this book and I was relieved when he turned out to be a “good” person and chose to do the right thing in spite of the consequences. That’s not always an easy thing to do but it is the honorable thing to do.
The guest, Geena, who visited the Inn at Eagle Hill in this book was a central part of the book and I appreciated her struggle with her “calling” but also how she allowed herself to be used where she was and how she integrated into the Schrock’s family and community.
If you haven’t guessed already, The Calling gets two thumbs up from me!
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I haven’t been reading much lately but I did have the privilege of reading No One to Trust: A Novel (Hidden Identity) by Lynette Eason. It’s the first book in a new series called Hidden Identity. I am happy to say it is not your so called typical suspense romance novel, in the fact that boy meets girl etc. It is about an already married couple who have to find their love and romance again amidst some difficulty and life threatening circumstances.
No One to Trust is about the Abernathys, a married couple whose marriage takes a completely different turn when Kyle turns out to be someone else entirely!
As life takes a dangerous turn for the Abernathys they learn quickly who they can trust and who they cannot trust, though Summer Abernathy feels she has no one to trust, including her husband.
I could relate to some of the trust issues the characters, especially Summer, struggled with. It is very hard to be hurt by someone you care about and not know who you can trust or if you can ever trust that person again.
No One to Trust: A Novel (Hidden Identity)
is about learning to trust again, especially God, and learning to forgive so you can trust again. I think my issue is unresolved forgiveness hindering my trusting people again.
I really enjoyed this “candy” read because I couldn’t put it down until I read the whole thing! I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
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Dear Granddaughter: Life Lessons from Your Grandmother
The holidays are a time for families to unite ~ and for children to feel the closeness of a strong familial bond. It is also the perfect time for grandparents to impart their years of wisdom onto their beloved grandchildren.
In Dear Grandmother, author Judy Smith (a grandmother of four herself) shares her heartfelt insights with the grandparents of the world. She reminds young women everywhere just how special their grandmothers really are.
“Grandmothers come in all forms,” says Smith. “But every grandmother is full of valuable wisdom. She can tell you the secrets of nourishing your soul, falling in and out of love, living with dignity and grace, and most importantly – enjoying the journey. Listen closely to your grandmother when she speaks and hold on to each pearl, for therein lies tremendous truth and wisdom.”
About the Author:
Judy Smith is a proud grandmother of four. She enjoys teaching her grandchildren the value of wisdom from their elders. While she is a young grandmother, she believes today’s younger generations are missing out on old-fashioned values and life lessons. She is also the co-author of the book Business Mojo: Achieving Success Through Mystical Exploration.
Although I am not a grandmother, I LOVED this book. My grandmother died a week before I received this book to review. Receiving this book was like getting a hug from my grandmother, letting me know everything was going to be all right. I must say the timing to review this was amazing! In any event, this is a wonderful book for granddaughters and grandmothers alike. I would not say it is for younger granddaughters … yet older ones that can take the knowledge within and let it seep into their core. Likewise grandmothers can take heart to the advice within the pages and choose to impart the knowledge to their own granddaughters or take the words and use them as an inspiration for crafting their own knowledge to impart!
This was truly a wonderful inspiring text…so much love and knowledge within the pages of the book. The book is also laden with wonderful pictures to accompany the text… very moving.
You can purchase Dear Granddaughter: Life Lessons from Your Grandmother or your local bookstore.
Fell free to take a look inside Dear Granddaughter: Life Lessons from Your Grandmother on Amazon.
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My daughter just started to get into American Girl dolls. Now she’s obsessed! I’m having a hard time spending so much money when my daughter is only 5. She still tends to be still a little “rough” on her babies. Well, my problem has been solved with Bitty Baby American Girl! They are less expensive and geared toward little girls.
Bitty Babies are 15” in length and her body is soft. Her head, arms, & legs are a smooth vinyl. Each Bitty Baby is dressed in an adorable outfit, cloth diaper, book, and “Sparkly Wishing Star”.
I can’t wait to see the look on my daughters face when she opens her Bitty Baby American Girl on Christmas! You can order yours today on the American Girl Website.
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