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Favorite Political Fiction Author

Joel C. Rosenberg is an amazing author - I love his political action and suspense novels. His newest novel, Without Warning, doesn't disappoint.  From the first chapter, the main characters keep running, chasing, discovering, deepening, and seeking justice. 

The author definitely does his research! Even though I know it's fiction, Rosenberg's writing gives me a glimpse into world politics, and helps me to understand current events.

This is the third and final installment in the J.B. Collins series.  I haven't read the first two books in the series, but I didn't feel lost in the story.

I was captivated by the story, and I didn't want to put the book down. When I finished the book, I immediately handed it to my 15 year old son, who devoured it in just a few days. 

I would recommend this to male and female readers age 15+. Younger readers might need access to the internet or a friend who can educate them on political acronyms.

I received this book as a gift from the pu…
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A Novel of the Great Depression

A Trail of CrumbsA Novel of the Great DepressionBy Susie Finkbeiner
Set in the great Depression, this novel is about the ups and downs of life. Themes include hope vs. despair, persevering vs. giving up, light vs. darkness, acceptance vs. rejection, and friendship . isolation.  It is a sad story, but rich with emotions. Finkbeiner has done a very good job with developing her characters - you can feel their every struggle.  it is an interesting peek into history.
It's a heavy read - not a beach read. It's not for readers who want light-hearted fiction. But if you want to sink into another time, another place, another family, and another era of history, you might enjoy reading and pondering over this book.
I would recommend this book for male and female readers age 15+.  It would be a very good book for a book club that is interested in historical fiction.
I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

words and art combine to make this beautiful devotional coloring book

Images of Grace: An Inspirational Coloring Book by Jacqui Grace

I love this little devotional coloring book. The illustrations are beautiful and whimsical. The devotions are well-written, encouraging, uplifting, and challenging. The four weeks of devotions are short - only one page - and very easy to read. I love the idea of pondering God's truth while coloring an illustration inspired by a verse, and I know other readers will want to spend time reflecting on the devotion while coloring.   Each week has a different them related to grace: knowing who you are, intimacy with God, when life gets tough, and now this is living.  Each week ends with discussion questions or individuals or groups. I would recommend this coloring book to women ages 15+. I can't wait to share this with ladies in my life!  I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Must Read for Parents!

QuickTips for Busy Families by Jay Payleitner
The subtitle says it all - there are 144 ideas to 'Bring Out the Best in Your Kids--and Yourself!'.  This book is filled to the brim with great parenting advice.  It's not so much philosophy of parenting, but more about embracing the daily moments with your children. The ideas will help you be intentional with building relationships that are well poised to make a positie impact on your children. most of the tips are short and to the point - 1 page, maybe two. They range from responsibility to kindness/compassion, to discipline, to teachable moments, to safety, to boundaries, to accepting help.  There really is something for every parent. Read it with a friend or with your spouse, and share your favorite ideas. Prepare to dog-ear pages or take notes. And I'm sure you'll find youself sharing payleitner's tips with your friends.  I'm grateful that the publisher asked me to review this book, and in exchange, I've…

Tennessee

I asked my students to write poems about their home state of Tennessee today, and when I realized they were struggling, I decided to write one with them.

From the trickling creeks to the raging rivers, From the mountain peaks to the valleys below, From the rolling hills to the acres of lush farmland, From the sprinkling rain to the lashing thunderstorms, From the thick forests to the wide open spaces, From the city delights to the peace of the quaint countryside, From skyscrapers to tiny cabins, From vibrant green leaves to a blanket of colorful leaves, From the winter snows to the summer warmth, This is the land I love, Filled with the people I love. I’m grateful to call this beautiful Tennessee home.

A Deeper Look at Ruth from the Bible

​​ I enjoyed this book very much. It's a historical fiction account of Ruth from the Bible. The author builds a story around the truth we know from the Bible, and helps us get into the heart and mind of the main characters. It's quite creative and educational, as she paints a picture of two different cultures (Bethlehem and Moab) and religions during Ruth's life.  It's the story of grief and healing, desolation and hope, friendship and isolation, faith in gods vs. the one true God.
I've never read a book by Jil Eileen Smith, but I'll be on the lookout for more novels from her, as I enjoyed her writing style. She does a very nice job building a fictional tale based on stories in the Bible and historical accounts. The story is part of the Daughters of the Promised Land series, but it is also a stand-alone story.
I would recommend this book to readers ages 17+.  There is no sexually graphic material in the book, but there is talk about sacrificing babies to gods.…

When God Made You

my 10 year old daughter's review "cute cover! i like the pictures - and all the colors. the book had good ideas, but it didn't always make sense because the words were hard.
​ ​it has ​ tough vocabulary that younger kids won't understand.
​I  didn't know some of the words at age 10, and
​I  read a lot
​. It's rare for me to not understand a word in even long chapter books."​ i wanted to love the book, but i didn't love it. the concept is great, and the pictures are really cute, but it didn't flow very well. parts of it seemed awkward to read. but it offers great discussion points for parents and their children. how God made each of us uniquely in his special design for each of us. how we shouldn't try to be someone else - we should just enjoy who God made us to be and do what makes us shine. how the color of our skin or our appearance doesn't affect our hearts and minds.