Saturday, April 16, 2016

Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife My Story of Finding Hope after Domestic Abuse By Ruth A. Tucker Review

Ruth Tucker recounts a harrowing story of abuse at the hands of her husband, a well-educated, charming preacher no less, in hope that her story would help other women caught in a cycle of domestic violence and offer a balanced biblical approach to counter such abuse for pastors and counselors.

Weaving together her shocking story, stories of other women, and powerful stories of husbands who truly have demonstrated Christ’s love to their wives, with reflection on biblical, theological, historical, and contemporary issues surrounding domestic violence, she makes a compelling case for mutuality in marriage and helps women and men become more aware of potential dangers in a doctrine of male headship.

I recevied a complimentary copy of this book.

Cassandra's Review-  First of all my advice is if you are even suspecting that you might be in an abusive relationship you must go that is all. No ifs ands or buts just pack up your kids or yourself and get out.   Sitting around reading a book or waiting for help is not going to cut the mustard and you can end up dead.  Domestic violence both mental and physical is real, life threatening and not for any human.  

I actually found this to be written in poor taste to the fact that some sections were simply uncalled for.  Now the author has her opinion and I believe may have actually went through a lot, but the manner in which she choose to go about expressing it, while taking the time to offend or rather place her words in a negative way that may hurt others, is just beyond my realm of comprehension.
It to me and,  I may be taking this the wrong way, but to me it felt like in order to get her story across she needed to point out other topics that just did not fit in and made a real story into a great amount of controversial issues and in doing so took my focus from the main topic.  If you ever think to place an excuse of some kind or a label on abuse it is like giving the other person your power and agreeing to take part.  There is no gray area for abuse except when this author presents it.  

Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward by Nabeel Qureshi Review


From New York Times bestselling author and former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi comes this personal, challenging, and respectful answer to the many questions surrounding jihad, the rise of ISIS, and Islamic terrorism.

San Bernardino was the most lethal terror attack on American soil since 9/11, and it came on the heels of a coordinated assault on Paris. There is no question that innocents were slaughtered in the name of Allah and in the way of jihad, but do the terrorists’ actions actually reflect the religion of Islam? The answer to this question is more pressing than ever, as waves of Muslim refugees arrive in the West seeking shelter from the violent ideology of ISIS.

Setting aside speculations and competing voices, what really is jihad? How are we to understand jihad in relation to our Muslim neighbors and friends? Why is there such a surge of Islamist terrorism in the world today, and how are we to respond?

In Answering Jihad, bestselling author Nabeel Qureshi (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus) answers these questions from the perspective of a former Muslim who is deeply concerned for both his Muslim family and his American homeland

Nabeel Qureshi
Nabeel Qureshi is a New York Times best-selling author and an itinerant speaker with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Since completing his medical degree in 2009, he has dedicated his life to spreading the Gospel through teaching, preaching, writing, and debating.

Dr. Qureshi has lectured to students at over 100 universities, including Oxford, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Hong Kong. He has participated in 18 public debates around North America, Europe, and Asia. Following the release of his first book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, he received the Christian Book Award for the categories of both ‘Best New Author’ and ‘Best Non-Fiction’ of 2015.

Nabeel focuses on the foundations of the Christian faith, ancient Judaism, early Islam, and the interface of science and religion. He holds an MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School, an MA in Christian apologetics from Biola University, and an MA in Religion from Duke University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in New Testament studies at Oxford University where he lives with his wife, Michelle.

I recevied a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's review-  The book is not only helpful to those who have hate issues but also to those who simply do not know anything about the topic.   I would strongly recommend this book to some of my internet family because the things I read about online or Facebook statuses, are beyond the realm of good.  The author takes this book into a level of understanding and helps the reader to be more aware.

Land of Silence By Tessa Afshar Review

Cover: Land of Silence
Before Christ called her daughter . . .

Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment . . .

Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.

No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body . . . and soul?

Tessa Afshar

Tessa Afshar was voted "New Author of the Year" by the FamilyFiction-sponsored Readers Choice Awards in 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. Her second book, Harvest of Rubies, was nominated for the 2013 ECPA Christian Book Award in the fiction category and chosen by World magazine as one of four notable books of the year. Her novel Harvest of Gold won the 2014 Christy Award for historical fiction.

In the Field of Grace, based on the biblical story of Ruth, was nominated for the Grace Award.

Tessa was born in Iran to a nominally Muslim family and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England, where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently.

 Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University, where she served as co chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. Tessa has spent the last seventeen years in full-time Christian work in New England and the last fourteen years on the staff of one of the oldest churches in America. Visit her online at

I recevied a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale.

Cassandra's Q&A Review:

- What did you like about the book and why?  The character build up was very nice and the story took me to a place that I had never been.

- What did you not like about the book and why? There was nothing to dislike, it was a very good book.

- What did you learn?  I learned that the author has a love of God and shares her faith in the pages of this well written story.

- To whom would you recommend this book and why?  Anyone with a thirst for a good story with a very powerful dose of faith.

Pressing Pause 100 Quiet Moments For Moms To Meet With Jesus By Karen Ehman Review

9780310357797, Pressing Pause : 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus, Karen Ehman
Kids bickering? Schedule jam-packed? Dishes and laundry both piled up high? Perhaps it’s time you pressed pause.

Whether you’re juggling a career, kids’ schedules, and church commitments or you’re covered in spit-up and anxious about what the next eighteen years might hold, you can carve out a few quiet moments to rejuvenate your spirit.

Pressing Pause offers you a calm way to start your day, to refresh yourself in Jesus and drink deeply of His presence so that you are ready to pour out love, time, and energy into the people who matter most to you.

These 100 encouraging devotions for moms will help you begin each day with Scripture, drawing on God’s power, ingesting His Word, and learning practical ways to love and serve more like His Son.

Just a few minutes each day can help you center your heart and mind on what God has for you as His beloved daughter. So resist the rush. Halt the hustle. Press pause and find some calm in the chaos.
Image result for Karen Ehman , Ruth Schwenk
Ruth Schwenk

Ruth Schwenk is a pastor's wife, mom of four energetic kids, a lover of coffee, and dreamer of big dreams. She is the creator of, and along with her husband, Patrick,

Image result for Karen Ehman , Ruth Schwenk

Karen Ehman
Karen Ehman is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker, a New York Times bestselling author, and a writer for Encouragement for Today, an online devotional that reaches more than 1 million women daily. She has written nine books. Connect with her at

I recevied a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's review-   Not only is this book just filled with tips and little stories to treasure, but it also helps to build your spiritual side and create an atmosphere that enables you to be a blessing while enjoying life daily.

Space Farm kit Review

Thames & Kosmos: Space Farm

Geeks in space! Explore what it would take to set up an extraterrestrial farm on another planet. Experiment with a nutrient gel to grow garden cress in hydroponic tubes without soil.

  In the greenhouse dome, grow the alien-like succulent Tiger’s Jaws (Faucaria tigrina). Find out what plants need in order to grow and how those things might be provided on another world.
Geekstronaut figures tend to your space farm while it grows. MSRP $19.95

I recevied complimentary product.

Cassandra's Review- While this looks exciting and very cool, I was not impressed with the skill level it takes to do this kit.   You actually need a lot more then what is provided and let me just tell you how hard it is to find cactus soil, really I am not even sure what that is. 

  I was super excited to share this with my family and we all sat down opened the box got everything out and I started to read the booklet. Right about the this is for parents section I became increasingly aggravated.  The family was super disappointed and this missed its mark of fun all together.   We actually just put it back in the box for a day when everyone can get to the store and then have hours to do.  

I am not sure at all why the brand thought this was going to be a huge success and maybe there are families that have absolutely nothing to do for half the day and can drive out to other stores in order to use this kit.   My older teens asked if they could just plant the seeds in a planter and call it a day so really the whole concept was just lost.  

PARA’KITO: Wearable Mosquito Repellent Review

PARA’KITO: Wearable Mosquito Repellent

Most mosquito repellent sprays are full of harmful chemicals that contribute to air pollution. With PARA’KITO refillable wristbands and clips, parents and kids can stay safe this spring and summer while protecting the environment! PARA’KITO is a blend of all-essential oils that are 100% safe for the skin and the Earth. The roll-on gel also eliminates the need for a spray with the higher concentrated protection.

MSRP $19.50

I recevied complimentary product.

Cassandra's review- This is not a toy and should be used with the utmost supervision.  I can also attach this to a stroller or porch post out of reach of little hands.   I like that this is DEET free as one of my family members has a huge sensitive to it.  

The packet is filled with a blend of oils and ingredients that are known to repel insects.  It is very easy to use and fit well wherever I needed it.  

Green Toys™ Puzzle Review

Green Toys™ Puzzles 

Fun and learning fit together with the Green Toys™ Puzzles! The colorful Dump Truck, Garden, and Tea Time puzzles are just right for toddlers developing fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. These durable, 4-piece sets perfect starter-puzzles, with easy-to-hold 3D pieces that encourage imagination and pretend play. Children can easily identify the shapes of the pieces, building cooperative play and communication skills as they ask for a wheel, cupcake, or flower to complete their masterpiece. 

Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic with no BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Dishwasher safe. Meets FDA food contact standards. Packaged with recycled and recyclable materials printed with soy inks. Color combinations may vary. Available Spring 2016. MSRP $12.99 per puzzle.

To further support their mission, this year Green Toys has launched its #PledgeToPlay program where they are asking for families to disconnect from technology for one hour per day and play "unplugged." To learn more, click here:

I recevied complimentary product.

Cassandra's review-  A great basic puzzle but the pieces are solid and the kids can hold them and actually play instead of the thin regular ones.   The four piece puzzle that my family got to review was cute, well made and super easy.  

Pacific Baby feeding products Review

Pacific BabyTM was formed in 2010 with a vision for the company to create a dynamic new brand that would focus on developing safe, healthy, environmentally sustainable, innovative and practical new baby products to market to benefit parents everywhere.

Natural Bowls, Plates and Spoons – made primarily from natural bamboo flour, with some rice and wheat husk, corn starch and food-grade color pigments thrown in, our tableware and utensils are completely plastic-free. They are healthy, biodegradable, durable and machine washable. Eighty percent hand-made, no two of our items are exactly alike, and they have a roughly hewn consistency and natural texture that parents and babies love.

“bamboo baby and kids feeding bowl”

I recevied complimentary product.

Cassandra's Review- While I did worry about the ease of cleaning the products after use, it was really not so hard. I did have to towel and then air dry because the bamboo soaks up some moisture.   The spoon is a little rougher surface but not harsh, just a different texture because of the natural bamboo.

The bowls are smooth but still feel like wood.  I like that I can feed without having to put metal or plastic in their mouth.  I am not sure what the coloring they used to create the finish is.  They state on the package machine washable, but I washed mine by hand.   They are not microwavable.

Facebook: “Support this family-invention by LIKING Pacific Baby on Facebook!”



SCRABBLE® TO GO™ Review @WinningMovesUSA

Innovative design allows you to pack up in the middle of the game without disturbing the words you have already placed on the board. The tiles snap in place!

 Ages: 8 and up
Players: 2 to 4
Contents: Zippered storage case with gridded Scrabble game board, 100 plastic snap-in letter tiles, 4 plastic tile racks with privacy shield, Scrabble score pad, cloth tile bag and illustrated instructions.

I recevied a complimentary game.

Cassandra's Review-  My main problem is the size of the game both board and pieces because it is just not practical for my hands to grip or place and even harder for my family.   At the end of the game the pieces are a pain to take out.  I mean I can see where the gameboard and pieces are more convenient being they can stay in place in case you need to travel but the whole thing could have been made at least three times the size and still worked out.  

It is hard to get the pieces out of the bag and the little holder is deeper so that I thought an L letter was an I so that messed me up.   It is just a basic scrabble game with the same rules but made to travel with.  

Really depending on your need to play this can work and it is fully functional and I am a huge fan of the original game especially because of the benefit of my family learning words correctly.   I think that anyone who can not hold or pick up little items will have have a really hard time with this.   The carry case and pieces are made of great quality and will last a long time, but not big.  

PASS THE PIGS® BIG PIGS™ Review @WinningMovesUSA

These fabulous oversized foam swines can hit all the pig poses that their little pig dice cousins do!
 Ages:7 and up
Players:2 or more
Contents:2 oversized foam pig dice, 1 oversized score pad, 1 drawstring pig storage pouch, 1 pencil, illustrated instructions and Pass The Pigs history.

 I recevied a complimentary game.
Cassandra's review- The pigs are huge and easy to hold.  The tossing it not super easy to do on a table, but outside or on the floor in a big enough space they do a better job.  They can become dirty but can be cleaned after play.  It is really not that easy to get them in most positions, but the kids love throwing them.

The game is super simple, just throw and score. The hardest part is guessing what position they land in and comparing it to the point sheet.  Of course for younger or different skill levels you can make up your own basic rules and points or play with no points.   So every age will have some fun except babies who may just want to try and eat the pig.  

Brynk Review @WinningMovesUSA

Will you be able to place your pieces on the teeter-tottering base and get it to stay? Or will you upset the balance and watch as it all comes crashing down in front of you?

 Ages: 7 and up
Players: 2 or more
Game unit (doubles as storage container), balancing game base/cap, tri-slider piece, 42 plastic Brynk playing pieces and illustrated instructions.

I recevied a complimentary game.

Cassandra's Review-  You turn over the container and use the bottom to stack your base.  It is like a weeble wobble effect.  How you place each piece and where makes all of the difference.  My family really likes this game, except for when it falls because loud noises are a little tricky in my home.  One of my children will immediately throw their hands up around their ears every time.

  So if you have someone with a sensory disorder this will be exciting and really fun, but at the same time it can be bothersome, but if you catch it fast enough or play on the grass or a soft foam it is not really bad.

Any age can play as long as they have the ability to place an object carefully.

Unilever Ice Cream recently announced their newest family-friendly frozen treats #spon

Unilever Ice Cream recently announced their newest family-friendly frozen treats across Breyers,Good HumorKlondike and Popsicle. From summer movie premiers and picnics, to birthday celebrations and family camping – there’s a treat for all your favorite family moments!

 · Popsicle Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™: Michelangelo™, Donatello™, Raphael™ and Leonardo™ are the heroes of these frozen pops featuring four action-packed flavors: Orange Fury, Cherry Crush, Blue Raspberry Blast and Smashing Grape. Grab some before the movie premiere in June!

· Good Humor Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich: Share the nostalgia of a classic with creamy chocolate ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate cookies and topped with milk chocolate chips.

· Klondike S’mores: Features creamy marshmallow ice cream laden with sweet graham cracker swirls inside a delightfully breakable milk chocolate flavored shell. All you need is a campfire!

· Breyers Ice Cream Cake: Helping you celebrate any occasion – this new variety features Breyers Chocolate Ice Cream and loads of chocolate crunchies, sandwiched between Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream.

I recevied complimentary coupons.

Fast Flip Game Review


Fast Flip!

Get ready to scramble for the match in this crazy fruit salad! Match your fruits to a number, or numbers to a fruit; you don’t know what match you’ll have to find next! Whether you play with the tokens or with the cards alone, all players of any age will be fast flipping for this brain teasing match up. The game comes complete in a tin for your cards and tokens, making it an easy travel item. The magic distribution of fruits on the cards guaranties that there is always one correct answer. You just need to be the fastest to find it!

visual perception
processing speed
focus and attention
Play Time:  15 minutes
54 Cards
10 Tokens
Illustrated Rules

I recevied complimentary product.

Cassandra's Review- I want to start out by letting you know that even adults will enjoy this game.  I actually lost to my younger family members.  I could not believe how difficult it is to think when the game is rushing by.  So it is a super simple concept and really any skill level can do it, but depending on how good your other player is, it can not only go super fast but be a real challenge in a good way.  It is a faced paced match game with a twist.

A Season to Wed Celebration Tour and KINDLE FIRE Giveaway

About the Book

Click here to purchase your copy.

They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Love at Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk

Sometimes the road to happiness is paved with youthful mistakes.

Ten years after what she thought was her almost-wedding, Hope Prentiss discovers that the ceremony counted—and, as fate would have it, the jilted John Burke has just ridden back into town. After spending some time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce . . . or a real wedding of her own.

A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck

Revealing the beauty in other women might be Ginger Winters’s specialty—but it will take an unexpected kind of love to help Ginger see the beauty in herself.

Ginger Winters will be the “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade. But when high-school crush Tom Wells shows up looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her from love once again . . . despite Tom’s best efforts.

Serving Up a Sweetheart by Cheryl Wyatt

Meadow knows how to serve delicious food to match any wedding theme. But can she accept love when it’s served up on a silver platter?

Meadow Larson is having the mother of all Mondays when her roof caves in during a blizzard, right before the most important wedding contract of her career. Renovation contractor Colin McGrath offers to fix Meadow’s roof, even though he knows he is the last person she would accept help from.

But the more Meadow gets to know the new Colin, the more she realizes God may have something more permanent in store than a new catering kitchen.

About the Authors

Rachel Hauck Bio:

Rachel Hauck is a USA Today Bestselling author. Her book, The Wedding Dress, was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Her book Once Upon A Prince was a Christy Award finalist.

Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and two pets and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at, Facebook: rachelhauck, and Twitter: @RachelHauck.

Cindy Kirk Bio:

Cindy Kirk sold her first book in 1999 as a result of a contest win which garnered a critique of the entire manuscript. She’s been writing—and selling—ever since. Cindy has been a Booksellers’ Best Award Winner, a finalist for the National Readers’ Choice Awards and a Publishers Weekly best seller. Cindy has served on the Board of Directors of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) since 2007. In November 2014, she began serving as President of the 10,000+ member organization. She’s a frequent speaker at not only the national RWA conferences, but large regional writing conferences. She has also presented at smaller retreats and conferences across the country. She lives on an acreage in Nebraska with her high school sweetheart husband of too-many-years-to-count and their three “boys” (a shih tzu, a blue heeler and a dorkie). Their daughter lives close by with her wonderful husband and their two little girls. Cindy invites you to check out her Twitter: @CindyKirkAuthor

Cheryl Wyatt Bio:

Cheryl Wyatt writes romance with virtue. She’s a USA Today bestselling author and has earned RT Top Picks, spots #1 and #4 on her debut publisher’s Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books list, Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence final, and other awards. Cheryl loves readers! Join her newsletter at Facebook: CherylWyattAuthor Twitter: @cherylwyatt

I recevied a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review- A mix of clean romance the had my heart swooning.  Everyone loves a mystery wedding, but each of the stories are unique and bring a great addition to the book.