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Monday, May 26, 2014

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, a Review


The show aires SUNDAYS, 8/7c on Hallmark

  • Website: Hallmark - Signed Sealed Delivered
  • Facebook: Signed Sealed Delivered
  • Facebook for creator Martha Williamson:


    I am delighted to share a new Hallmark Television show with you, Signed, Sealed, Delivered. I just watched an episode and I enjoyed it. It has the standard Hallmark reactions, smiles, giggles, struggle, triumph – all packed into one episode. I enjoyed the post office lost letter theme of this episode. I will assume by the title of the show, that we will meet many people through lost mail.

    My family enjoys watching series on television. Generally, it is difficult to watch a pilot or even the first three shows and form a solid opinion. With this one show, I got to know the staff at the post office. Their working and personal relationships with each other were established. I liked all of the characters. The sets are simple yet beautiful. I am not sure what time period it is, other than a clue about when the person wrote the letter, but I’ll assume it is written for present day.

    The interactions are a bit cheeky. Hallmarky. Many of the exchanges are expected, the story line runs as expected – with one mystery revealed in the middle of the program.

    The characters are adults, talking about adult topics – not as in worldly, just probably not very interesting to young children.

    We do not have cable, but I’ll be looking for this series to post episodes online. I am always looking for entertaining simple shows to watch. Their inclusion of scriptures in the music score and over all theme of morality is a breath of fresh air.

    I hope you all get a chance to check it out on Hallmark Channel on Sundays at 8/7c.

    From the Producers:
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered

    The new original series "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" is a wonderful combination of romance, comedy and drama that follows the lives of four postal detectives who transform themselves into a team of detectives to track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail. Their missions take them out of the office where redirected letters and packages can save lives, solve crimes, reunite old loves and change futures by arriving late but somehow always on time. The team includes charming Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius), the group's leader is a man of faith who prayerfully approaches his work with the goal of making a difference in people's lives; new team member, Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth), a technophile who brings 21st century sensibility to the group; free-spirited, “girl next door” Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe) who has a photographic memory; and lovable Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson), a master in conventional research methods.

    This incredible series even incorporates scripture in its themes and in the conversations between characters.  In FACT, The American Bible Society has built a bible study to go with the series, Sign up for that here:

    Disclaimer:  I received a viewing link from FlyBy Promotions Blogger Network for one episode to base my review on. No compensation was given for this review.

    • Wednesday, February 12, 2014

      For Every Season, Bk 3, A Review

      For Every Season - Cindy Woodsmall

      I have enjoyed following Rhoda Byler, Samuel King and Jacob King to Unity, Main as they continue in their Orchard business and starting their new Amish Community. This volume brings us further into their Orchard business and into the lives of the other people in Unity, Main. We learn more about Rhoda’s visions and what she is hearing. I like Jacob’s character; his behavior never seems to follow typical Amish Fiction story lines. The trusting of Rhoda as the horticulturist also goes outside the boundaries.  This is volume is more about the Orchard, the Amish Communities, finding out mysteries from the past and future, and wondering if the new community will bear fruit – than it is about an Amish Romance.  A delightful read, great for a weekend!



      Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exhange for this honest review.

      Sunday, February 2, 2014

      Unstoppable, Kirk Cameron, A Review

      unstoppable dvd

      I was stoked to be available to review the movie Unstoppable by Kirk Cameron. The boys and I were away on a surf trip when the movie arrived. I planned for a day when all four of us would be free to watch the movie together.

      With all of the hype that we’ve seen from Cameron about the film, I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to be encouraged, excited for the boys, excited for hubby – Excited.

      The movie is played out slowly in the beginning. Kirk walking around talking about coming home to find out his friend’s son had passed away due to cancer. He tears up and wrestles with the question of “Where is God”? 

      We are swept to amazingly graphic images of Genesis. Truly, this is is the one saving portion of the film, the portrayal of creation, man’s creation, Eve’s appearance. Wow. Stunning cinematography.

      However, my family was asking  a bigger question of ‘What”. Everyones eye brows knit together as Kirk tells us that since the beginning of man, we were destined to sin, death, separation, murder, death. It’s OK that we face death today, because we’ve been facing it since Genesis. It’s OK that we have a smidgen of hope now, because God had to kill his own son to make death a little more bearable. Death. Destruction. Lies. Murder. Gore.

      And I’m watching with 2 tween boys and my husband. And they are a bit weirded out about the film. I would definitely not watch it with young children.

      I was asking myself – who is this film written for? The pre-believer? If you didn’t have a reference to the Biblical stories, much of the film would not make sense. My 13 year old son had to keep asking what was going on, and we’d explain what story Kirk was on, and he’d get back into it.

      Is this film for the believer? Is this to encourage the believer? The stories ,although beautifully executed are pretty much elementary Sunday school lesson stuff.

      There is a section where he talks about Noah’s Flood and we all agreed that Grandma didn’t stop class to really think about what it would have sounded like while all of the people drowned.

      He wanted us to see that death has been a part of every story. Since time began.

      There were scenes, I hope, recreated of his friend’s funeral. It just seemed so creepy. Like we were peeking in on their suffering. Or that Kirk was using their suffering to promote this film. All four of us turned away.

      I got up to do dishes and the boys rushed off to their activities. My husband spent time on the extras of the DVD. He said he was looking, to see if there was something we missed. It seemed that the only thing unstoppable is death and hurt and sin. I know we were supposed to get that God is Unstoppable even though there is sin that caused death, but it was pretty heavy the other way. So very visual.

      I posted on FB wondering if I was the only one? Was I the only one that found this highly promoted film just a bit – off? Many of my friends chimed in that they felt the same way but felt bad to talk against a project of Kirk Cameron.

      I don’t recommend this film for kids. Or teens. I don’t recommend you make your husband sit through it. I think if you have a kid that wants to be in film, that it was amazingly made. I think Kirk gave a few images and questions to make you think outside of the box. Like – if Adam and Eve took the advice of an animal, a beast, is that why God made them clothes from the beasts, so they could resemble who they followed? Um. I guess that’s something to think about.

      A bit disappointed. -


      About the film:

      Inspired by the death of Cameron’s close friend who succumbed to cancer at the age of 15, Kirk Cameron takes viewers on an inspiring and hope-filled visual journey to better understand the biggest doubt-raising question in faith: “Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?”

      Going back to the beginning—literally—Kirk investigates the origins of good and evil and how they impact our lives … and our eternities. UNSTOPPABLE will prompt audiences to consider the role that pain and suffering has in our lives, as they affirm their personal views on faith, and encourage conversation starters about God, suffering, and hope. 


    • Visit the official website:
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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 movie, My 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.

      Friday, January 31, 2014

      The Dancing Master, Julie Klassen ~ A Review

      I should post a photo of the book after I was done with it. I’d put it up there on the shelf with the ‘most tattered’ review books I have. It’s been through a lot the last couple of weeks.

      I started with an electronic copy on my Kindle, but the download didn’t go well and Bethany sent me a physical book. I brought the book on our 11 day Surf Camp this month. With the difficulties on the Kindle, I confess I wasn’t too excited about the story at first. Starting over with the physical product changed my mind.

      Set in 1816 in Devonshire, England, this historical mystery reads like a Jane Austin story. So much rich detail with the town and countryside. An abundant supply of rich characters keeps your mind full as you travel page to page. There are three main families, and you get to know their homes and family members well. You also get to know the folks in town that they interact with in detail. I really like that about a story. I don’t like the setting were it feels like the two main characters are the only people alive at that moment.

      This is a Romantic Mystery – you can pretty much assume who will end up together from the start of the story – however, you have no idea how or why until the last page. Don’t make any assumptions about any of the characters until the last chapter.

      I spent many nights with my flashlight flipping pages in my tent snuggled in my sleeping bag being transported to their world. Their struggle  of living in an area where much if not all of the income came directly from one family. What if your profession or values clashed with that one person? Would you stand for your passion no matter what adversary came your way? Would you cave to work in a manual labor job if that wasn’t your heart? Although it was the 1800’s, many of the cultural expectations cross over to every generation.

      I also enjoyed the quotes at the beginning of each chapter from real sources. They would give you a teasing peek into the pages ahead. Which meant less midnight sleep for me.

      There is a reader’s guide included as well. 

      I am less inclined to read romantic fiction any more, it is not my first choice. I was worried that this book would be that alone. With the characters, town, history, profession, horses, families – the relationship between the two romantic characters took a back seat. For that, I was glad. You spend most of the book hoping that young Alec and his family get a fair shake, that the mystery be revealed, and that you’ll find out who is behind it, rather than spending all the pages wishing the two people will just realize they like each other and the book will end.

      This was the perfect book to keep me entertained while on the Surf Camp!



      Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

      Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul--and hidden sorrows of her own.

      Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master--a man her mother would never approve of--but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village...and to her mother's tattered heart?

      Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a "good match" in Regency England.

      The Dancing Master

      I received a free physical copy of The Dancing Master in exchange for linking a review with Bethany House Publishers, A Division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions are my own. About is given by the publisher.