Encouragement

When Feeble Senses Blind

Our backyard is full of trees that seem to burst with life and greenery in the summertime. There is a little cove in the back right corner where the branches seem to envelop two teal lawn chairs and when you sit up there, watching the sun fade behind the house, it’s pure magic. The squirrels and birds dance around in the mornings, often fighting over the many bird feeders provided for their pleasure. It’s a display of breathtaking ordinary beauty, and it’s dying now.

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Updates & Announcements

‘Twas a Simply Smashing Summer

I went on a walk today and felt a few crisp leaves crunch beneath my feet. Summer is almost gone, and autumn will be here before we know it.

You may have noticed how little I’ve been here on the blog these last few months. It wasn’t planned, at least not at first. Life simply got busy. I found myself hardly having a chance to sit with my family during the week and simply be with them. Other things at church or in the lives of friends took precedence over both my reading and writing. As I began to push off more and more of the things I was hoping to do for my little corner of the web, I decided to remove the burden entirely, take a short break from writing, and whole-heartedly enjoy the remaining weeks of summer.

I did enjoy them. Thoroughly. But I must say, I’m glad to be back.

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Encouragement

Keeper of the Books: Why Mundane Work Matters

When you walk into my room, the five shelf book case on the wall across from my doorway is the first thing you’ll see. It used to be organized by color. The blue section was the largest of course, because I feel that blue books are just a wee bit more magical than any other color. (Aren’t all things better in blue?) Over time though, as books have been pulled down and shared with young readers, or I’ve flipped through pages in search of that one quote I loved, the organized beauty has dissipated and left behind are slanted stacks of bookmarked volumes, loose papers of notes, and a coffee mug or two that has gotten left behind during one of my “word search” endeavors. It isn’t a pretty sight. I don’t plan on making it out to be some sort of messy beautiful. Because it isn’t.

It’s just messy. Someone should clean it up.

But while it shouldn’t stay in the condition it is now, there’s something to be said for the disarray.

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Fiction Reviews, The Top Shelf: YA or Adult

{Book Review} All Manner of Things

“I know that. And I want you to have a wonderful time.” She sighed. “I just want your life to be easy.”

I opened both my eyes to see her digging through her makeup case, her lips pushed together tightly.

“Who said that life was supposed to be easy?” I asked.

“All Manner of Things” by Susie Finkbeiner

About the book…

Annie Jacobson’s father left years ago, and now duty calls her brother Mike to leave as well, but the circumstances are entirely different, she keeps reminding herself. Her Dad chose to leave. Her brother was called to leave. One did it for himself. The other did it for everyone else. When tragedy hits the Jacobson home during Vietnam, Annie, her mother, and younger brother Joel, are forced to face the tragedies and hurt of the past in order to unite their family in the face of suffering. They learn that their own strength is not enough, they need the strength of the One true Healer.

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Fiction Reviews, The Middle Shelf: YA or Adult

{Book Review} The King’s Mercy

Pauling’s message never wavered. Present suffering didn’t mean the Almighty’s purposes were void. He’d the best planned for His children, and that best would include trials. Affliction. But understanding His ways wasn’t the path to peace. Peace was always with us, because He is peace.

The King’s Mercy
Lori Benton

About the book…

Joanna Carey is the step-daughter of a wealthy plantation owner along the Cape Fear River. Her world is changed when captured rebel, Alex MacKinnon, is granted the king’s mercy and becomes an indentured servant on the plantation. Joanna aches for a different life, one where slaves are no longer treated as property, but as human beings. She listens intently to the traveling Reverend Pauling, and seeks his wisdom on the matter at hand. Alex is forced to choose between embracing the freedom Reverend Pauling speaks of so fondly, or deciding to rebel and define freedom for himself. Along the way, romance blossoms, making both Joanna and Alex’s choices far more complex than they were to begin with.

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Encouragement

Dear Authors, Some Books Take You Home

The breeze blew softly as I sat on the porch and turned the page of captivating novel. Page after page detailed a land I had never set foot on, never seen, never even considered. I saw the rivers come into view, felt the cool wind, and smelled the plants that were entirely foreign to me, save the descriptions I read in this book. Bit by bit, I became familiar with a place I had never laid eyes on, all within roughly four hundred pages of a story. Books have the power to take us on adventures, they capture us entirely and carry us away.

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