Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year 2016!


About a week before Christmas, Robbie and I spent two days in Cape Town. These are some of the Christmas lights that we saw downtown.

My blog is best viewed in Google Chrome.
Please click on the images to enlarge them.




On Christmas morning our family of six drove to "Grandma's house." We didn't go over the river or through the woods, but it was a pretty drive for most of the way. My in-laws live at the West Coast in South Africa and they have an idyllic view of the beach and ocean. It's really wonderful for a family Christmas, especially since it's summertime in the southern hemisphere.

At the beach house there's even a wooden boardwalk that my father-in-law built with the help of a neighbor that goes from their garden to the beach. Last Christmas Robbie and Jeremiah spent a couple of hours oiling it down with the use of brooms.

I'll be sharing photos of our Christmas holiday in the near future. If you're itching to see some now, then check out this post from last year of the boardwalk and more on my travel blog, 1camera1mom, titled: Britannia Bay, South Africa - Part 3.


Just before leaving for my in-laws' house, I put together a post about our two fabulous days spent in Cape Town. You can see all the neat things we did on my travel blog, 1camera1mom: Christmas in Cape Town.



Wishing all my readers
around the world a blessed
New Year 2016!

Happy New Year 2016 Animated Images Free1


Read More

Friday, December 18, 2015

Youth Camp and Star Child with Linky

Welcome to my weekend blog hop -
Make My Saturday Sweet #157!

My blog is best viewed in Google Chrome.
Click on the images to view them larger.


Above is a Christmas picture that
Amanda made for her teacher. I
added a few embellishments
for today's post.


Robbie and I were invited to speak at a youth camp last week, led by Korean missionaries. We had two sessions with them and lots of hands-on activities. Since Robbie is South African, he can speak Afrikaans, and the kids understand a bit of English.

Some of the youth

Hubby took this photo of me

A staff member's little girl

Robbie speaking in the evening session

Colossians 3:14


Here's a beautiful Christmas
song called "Star Child"


Star Child

Star Child, earth Child, go between of God,
love Child, Christ Child, heaven's lightning rod,
This year, this year,
let the day arrive when Christmas comes
for everyone, everyone alive!
Street child, beat child, no place left to go,
hurt child, used child, no one wants to know,
This year, this year,
let the day arrive when Christmas comes
for everyone, everyone alive!
Grown child, old child, memory full of years,
sad child, lost child, story told in tears,
This year, this year,
let the day arrive when Christmas comes
for everyone, everyone alive!
Spared child, spoiled child, memory full of years,
wise child, faith child, knowing joy in store,
This year, this year,
let the day arrive when Christmas comes
for everyone, everyone alive!
Hope-for-peace Child, God's stupendous sign,
down-to-earth Child, Star of stars that shine,
This year, this year,
let the day arrive when Christmas comes
for everyone, everyone alive!

Words: Shirley Erena Murray
Music: Carlton R. Young
1994 Hope Publishing Co.



When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. — Mt 2:10




*********************

Latest Book Blast:

Selah's Sweet Dream
by Susan Count
with a $25 Giveaway!

shastings-selahs-cover-promo-web-lge


*********************

Make My Saturday Sweet is a weekend blog hop for all family friendly blogs. You are welcome to link your favorite post from the past week(s) and to visit the last link before yours and leave a sweet comment. It's a really easy and fun way to make new friends and to catch up on old acquaintances.

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

It's time for another Make My Saturday Sweet blog hop!

Join me (your host) for this fun and easy hop.
All family friendly blogs are welcome!

If you host your own blog hop(s), then feel free to
link them on my Blog Hops page!

I would love for you to follow me on

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow Tina (your host) on one or more links listed above.
  • Link up a post from your family friendly blog.
  • Please try to add my hop button on your post or side-bar.
  • Share about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
  • Visit the last link before yours and leave a sweet comment.
Blog Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

Weekend Linky

This is a blog hop!

Visit my Blog Hops page to see
what link parties I take part in.

Disclosure: I received nothing for this post. Any blogs, videos and/or websites that I am sharing about today, I did for my own pleasure.

Read More

Selah's Sweet Dream

Selah's Sweet Dream
by Susan Count
Book Blast with $25 Giveaway!


shastings-selahs-cover-promo-web-lge

About the Book

Title: Selah's Sweet Dream | Author: Susan Count | Publication Date: December 15, 2015 | Publisher: Hastings Creations Group | Pages: 196 | Recommended Ages: 8+


Book Description:

Twelve-Year-Old SELAH (Say-la) aspires to be an equestrian superstar. That would require a horse.

HER DILEMMA: Grandpa wants nothing to do with horses.

THEN: Selah sees buzzards circling the grasslands behind Grandpa’s farm. They are stalking a horse trapped in wire and Selah is its only hope.

DANGEROUS: The horse is wild and defiant - jeopardizing Selah’s dreams.

FOILED: The legal owner searched for the horse for two years and wants it back.

BUT: Selah is confident that God will provide her heart’s desire.

MEMORIES: Grandpa shows Selah a video, from long ago, of a phenomenal equestrian. Selah declares that she wants to be like her and Grandpa explains the rider was her grandmother.

HOPE: A world renowned horse trainer offers to train Sweet Dream and Selah.

FOILED AGAIN: Her parents could ruin everything unless Sweet Dream’s unruly behavior ruins it first.

LOST: Selah’s opportunity to mirror the equestrian talent of her renowned grandmother evaporates when the horse causes mayhem at the trainer’s facility.

NEVER GIVE UP: Will Selah gather her courage and face up to the trainer to save her aspirations?




The Early Buzz About the Book

"An engaging horse tale with a lot of heart... The story also has plenty of suspenseful passages to keep readers engaged." ~ Kirkus Reviews

"Never a dull moment…" ~ 5 Star Review, Readers' Favorite

"A delightful read for anyone who enjoys a wholesome page turner!" ~ Cathymar, Amazon

"I loved this book! The author is a master story-teller and also taught me a great deal about horses in the book and clearly demonstrated how devoted one person can be to her horse." ~ S. Baggett, Amazon

"This story details hopes, determination, family values and best of all, a magnificent horse with a good bloodline ... A perfect book for horse lovers and all thing 'horse!' " ~ D. Fisher, Amazon

About the Author:
Susan Count

headshot

As a young girl, I was captivated by The Black Stallion series. Ownership of a real horse was beyond my grasp, so I consumed horse books. I am still a devoted student of equine training techniques of all disciplines and an avid equestrian. Now caretaker of three equine blessings, I consider them a gift of His unmerited favor.

The only thing more fun than riding horses is writing stories about them.

Pinterest fulfills my desire to have a horse of every color. Ride along: https://www.pinterest.com/susancount/




** Book Blast Giveaway **

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice

Giveaway ends: December 31, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Susan Count and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.



MDBR Book Promotion Services


Read More

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas in Summer with #Linky

Welcome to my Picture Perfect
Party Linky #172!

This blog is best viewed in Google Chrome.
Click on my photos to see them at their best!


I wish all my readers a
wonderful festive season
this Christmas, whether it be
summer or winter!

Hubby took this photo of me,
Amanda and Samantha

Jeremiah and Samantha

Jessica and
Amanda


*********************

My Weekend Post:
Christmas Nostalgia

Snowflake designed by Amanda
on her interactive Advent Calendar

*********************

Here's a peek at
My Latest Post
on 1camera1mom:

Tulbagh Wine Valley - Part 3


*********************

My Latest Book Review:
Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon
Highly Recommend
for boys and girls ages 9 - 12




*********************

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

Come link up your Wordless Wednesday
(with or without words) or any picture post
at this Picture Perfect Party Linky.
Join me on this fun and easy blog hop!


If you host your own blog hop(s), then feel free
to link them on my Blog Hops page!


I would love for you to follow me on
and
Follow on Bloglovin



Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow me on one or more links above or via email.
  • Link-up your post with a picture and follow as many new blogs as you like.
  • If possible, copy the button code below and add it on your linked post or blog's side-bar.
  • Tell others about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

The Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a Wordless Wednesday blog hop.



Visit my Blog Hops page to see the hops that I often link up to.

Read More

Monday, December 14, 2015

Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon

Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon
by H.L. Burke




Title: Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon | Author: H.L. Burke | Illustrators: Mikayla Rayne and Jennifer White | Publication Date: March 1, 2015 | Pages: 112 | Recommended Ages: 9 - 12

About the Book

Thaddeus F. Whiskers is a pampered palace pet, a kitten enchanted to never become a cat. Princess Clarice loves him, for in the entire kingdom, there is no other kitten as cute or as clever. He leads a life of cushions and cream until a wizard's "gift" results in his banishment. Determined to make it back to the princess he loves, he escapes into the wilderness where he discovers the lair of a dragon.

Grandious, the dragon, doesn't care about anything besides himself. He wants to be left alone with his treasure. However, there is something about Thaddeus that has him entranced. He finds himself opening his home and his heart to the little cat.

Thaddeus is a small creature in a big world. Between him and his beloved Princess stand conniving wizards, would-be-step-mothers, and rampaging rats. However, when danger threatens both Clarice and Grandious, Thaddeus won't allow his size to get in the way of saving his friends.


**My Review**


When I heard that Heidi Lyn Burke was publishing a new novel, I couldn't wait to read it! Up until now, all of Heidi's fantasy novels I have read for my own pleasure and reviewed. Even my two teenage girls have enjoyed reading some of her stories. When I heard that this one was for children, I was keen to include Amanda in the review.

Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon is a middle-grade chapter book that will not only capture the imagination of children, but also the imagination of their parents and teachers. It's a great book to read-aloud at bedtime or in the classroomIt has all the elements of a fairy-tale with magic and wizards and a dragon. The story is mostly told from Thaddeus' point of view, the kitten who is also the princess' companion. Even though he is small, he has to learn how to overcome adversity and dangerous enemies.


In Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon, two unlikely creatures become the best of friends. They learn to respect each other and care for each other despite their differences. Indeed, they have some huge differences, like in their size - one is very small and one is very large, but they also have some similarities. Parents and teachers could use this as a discussion point with their children to celebrate the differences and similarities between races and cultures.


H.L. Burke is descriptive in her story-telling. Here's a quote from Chapter 6: "He emptied the sack upon the floor and smoothed the coins with his tail as if spreading butter on bread." I enjoy that kind of imagery.


It's also a great book for building your child's vocabulary. Here are just a few of the big words found in the first chapter alone: ungainliness, marveled, fawned, inhabitants, and procession.

My daughter, Amanda, loves a bit of mystery and suspense. When we got to the part where the Rat King wanted something from Thaddeus, she could hardly contain her excitement as we waited to find out in a later chapter what it was he wanted. She also enjoyed the funny twist at the end, especially the part with the baby rats. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll leave it at that!


I highly recommend this book for boys and girls ages 9 to 12 and anyone older who is young at heart!


Purchase on Amazon:


*********************

I am also a guest
today and would love
for you to check it out at



*********************


My Reviews of
H.L. Burke's
other books:

A Tale in Two Parts -
with Author Interview

Dragon's Curse - Book 1

Dragon's Debt - Book 2



About the Author:
H.L. Burke


Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

For information about H. L. Burke's latest novels, author news and events, or to contact the writer, go to the H.L. Burke author website.

You can read my interesting interview of Heidi here.

Disclosure: I received a free digital copy of this book for my honest review.

Read More

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas Nostalgia with Linky

Welcome to my weekend blog hop -
Make My Saturday Sweet #156!

My blog is best viewed in Google Chrome.


If you're a regular visitor to this blog, then you'll know that my family lives in South Africa. Christmas in South Africa is not like North America or Europe. I spent my childhood growing up in the States and Germany where I experienced the beauty and wonder of all the decorations and sometimes even snow at Christmastime. A couple of our Christmases were also spent with my aunt, uncle and cousins in Switzerland!

Christmas in South Africa is not the same. The decorations in shops are often basic and it's summertime, not winter. That means hot kitchens are to be avoided. And fireplaces? No way!

How could I capture those experiences and share them with Amanda? Her older siblings can remember an American Christmas in 2002 and they've played with snow, but not Amanda.

Well, for the last three Christmases Amanda has received an interactive Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar via email from her grandparents and great-grandmother in the States. This year's one is set in Victorian England. Each Advent Calendar has brought the nostalgia of Christmas to our home.

If you have a child or a grandchild, I think you should check it out. Even though we are part way into December, you can still send the Advent Calendar later in the month and everything up to the current date will be viewable, so no one misses out on anything – and catching up is great fun!

Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar


I'm sharing with you some of the things
that Amanda has created on this year's
Advent Calendar. I'm especially impressed
with her intricate snowflake designs.
The second one is my favorite.


Amanda decorated this Christmas tree.

Amanda chose the stained glass that went
into these window pains.

Here's one of Amanda's snowflake designs.

Here's another one of Amanda's snowflake designs.



Make My Saturday Sweet
At the end of July
I did a neat post
on the topic of "Nostalgia"
with a short YouTube video.
Please take a moment
to check it out!

Nostalgia



- True Story -
In case you missed it,
here's a short video about Breno
who was a Brazilian student at the
YWAM English Language School.

This is the same school where I teach.



Check out this great post:
Nostalgia, Free Graphics & Gift Ideas
by Renee Ann Smith



*********************

Book Blasts with Giveaways:


Princess Madeline Trilogy
with a $25 Giveaway!

The Princess Madeline Trilogy


Goo and Spot: Do Not Wiggle Riddle
with a $25 Giveaway!




Goddess Girls: Hestia the Invisible
with a $25 Giveaway!




Arthurian Legend - Two Books
for middle grade readers
with a $25 Giveaway!



*********************

Make My Saturday Sweet is a weekend blog hop for all family friendly blogs. You are welcome to link your favorite post from the past week(s) and to visit the last link before yours and leave a sweet comment. It's a really easy and fun way to make new friends and to catch up on old acquaintances.

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

It's time for another Make My Saturday Sweet blog hop!

Join me (your host) for this fun and easy hop.
All family friendly blogs are welcome!

If you host your own blog hop(s), then feel free to
link them on my Blog Hops page!

I would love for you to follow me on

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow Tina (your host) on one or more links listed above.
  • Link up a post from your family friendly blog.
  • Please try to add my hop button on your post or side-bar.
  • Share about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
  • Visit the last link before yours and leave a sweet comment.
Blog Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

Weekend Linky

This is a blog hop!

Visit my Blog Hops page to see
what link parties I take part in.

Disclosure: I received nothing for this post. Any blogs, videos and/or websites that I am sharing about today, I did for my own pleasure.

Read More

Arthurian Legend Book Blast

Young Knights of the Round Table
and
Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend
by Cheryl Carpinello
Book Blast with $25 Giveaway!

Arthurian Legend Collage


About the Books

The King's Ransom by Cheryl Carpinello

Title: Young Knights of the Round Table: The King's Ransom | Author: Cheryl Carpinello | Cover Art: Kaytalin Platt | Publication Date: May, 2012 | Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing | Pages: 120 | Recommended Ages: 7 to 12
Book Description:
Answer the hero's call to Adventure with the Young Knights of the Round Table on their Quest.

Three friends. Three quests. Three mysterious predictions.

In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king's treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder. Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight's quest to save their friend's life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all. Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quest and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.





Awards

2014 Gold Award Winner for Juvenile Fiction from Global eBook Awards.
2013 EVVY Finalist & EVVY Merit Award for Juvenile/Young Adult, Colorado Independent Publishers Assoc.
2013 Ariana Cover Finalist
2012 Silver Award Recipient for YA Fiction, Children's Literary Classics & CLC's 2012 Seal of Approval
2012 Finalist E-Book Children from USA 2012 Best Book Awards





Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend by Cheryl Carpinello

Title: Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend | Author: Cheryl Carpinello | Cover Art: Kaytalin Platt; Rita Toews | Publication Date: March, 2009 | Publisher: Beyond Today Educator | Pages: 122 | Recommended Age: 7 to 12
Book Description:


Finalist Pre-Teen Literature: Dan Poynter's 2011 Global Ebook Awards

At the dawn of Camelot, one young girl is about to take her place beside the greatest king in England's history.

She is a mere child of twelve. But in these medieval days, this is the age when childish things must be put away and greater responsibilities accepted--all in preparation for a betrothal of marriage. For young Lady Guinevere, on the advent of her thirteenth Birth Day, the whole idea is quite unbearable. After all, what could be better than spending her youth playing with her best friend Cedwyn, roaming the grounds around the castle looking for mythical creatures or hunting rabbits? However, the wizard Merlyn--her teacher and friend--knows that destiny has a way of catching up with a person. His arrival sets in motion a series of events that will lead Guinevere to her destiny whether she is ready for it or not.



Excerpts From Reviews


The King's Ransom

"Cheryl Carpinello's middle grade adventure novel, featuring a visit from King Arthur and a few of his knights, is a wonderful introduction ~ to King Arthur, and to the lives of knights and others in a castle."

"I do wish the story had been a little longer, but as this book is aimed at a younger reader with a shorter attention span, I can understand why it was not."

"It's a great story about loyalty, friendship and overcoming obstacles."

"This was a delightful rollercoaster of a read, taking us on a journey with each of the characters. There were moments of great sadness, where I felt so wholeheartedly for the characters and their situations."



Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend

I read this book to my son and daughter and they both loved it. It was a fast-paced book with a lot of excitement.”

“Will appeal to middle school aged readers, especially girls but boys too, who can relate to the idea of wanting independence yet struggling with the obligations that come with it.”

“Wizards, unicorns, and dragons are a few of the mythical creatures you will encounter in this enchanting book.”

“It is interesting and filled with enough Arthurian legend to keep young readers entertained. The questions at the end are great for comprehension and give the readers a chance to discuss their own take on the story.”

About the Author:
Cheryl Carpinello

Cheryl Carpinello Author

I am a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Quest Books set in these worlds.

Also please visit my other sites: Carpinello's Writing Pages where I interview children's/MG/Tween/YA authors; my home website Beyond Today Educator, and The Quest Books where I've teamed up with Fiona Ingram from South Africa and Wendy Leighton-Porter of Abu Dhabi to enable readers to find our Ancient and Medieval quest books in one place.



** Book Blast Giveaway **

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice

Giveaway ends: December 24, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Cheryl Carpinello and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.



MDBR Book Promotion Services

Read More

© 2011 Amanda's Books and More, AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena