Patriotic Musings on the 4th of July

A few weeks ago, a new friend asked me a question, and I started my answer with something along the lines of, “Well, you know how we’re patriotic about our country?” As the first generation of her family to be born in the USA, her quick answer was, “No, not really. Mostly I hear people talking about how much they hate different things.”

Patriotic Musings (1)


Radio Interview

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you all know that I’m going to be on the radio talking about Counted Worthy at 8AM EST time tomorrow (Monday, Nov 24th). If you want to tune in, you can do so online. I’m so excited and grateful for this opportunity! Can’t wait to see how it goes. 🙂

While I’m here and talking about Counted Worthy, check out this delightful poem a fan sent me today. She did a great job with it. It’s like a synopsis of the story in poem form. Thanks so much, Amanda!

Poem by Beth Beguerie

Guess a Quote (10.13.14)

Guess a Quote-Number the Stars

Last week’s quote came from Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry. Good job to Addyson, Morgan Huneke, Lisbeth, Annie Hawthorne, and starshining4ever for guessing correctly. Number the Stars is a book my family discovered as an audio book during a family road trip. As Morgan commented, it’s far different from Lois Lowry’s other books, but very good. It’s actually, of her books that I’ve read, it’s my favorite. (Sorry Giver fans. 😉 )

This week’s quote comes complements of Elisabeth Sullivan. Thanks to Elisabeth for suggesting it. If you have a quote you think would make a great Guess a Quote feature, use the contact form to send it my way.

As the patient eyes were lifted to his face, he saw a sudden doubt in them, and then astonishment. He pressed the work-worn, hunger-worn young fingers, and touched them to his lips.
“Are you dying for him?” she whispered.
“And his wife and child. Hush! Yes.”
“O you will let me hold your brave hand, stranger?”
“Hush! Yes, my poor sister; to the last.”

Happy Guessing!

Book Review: Among the Imposters

Among the Imposters

Luke looked with new eyes at the group sitting in front of him in the dark woods. They must all be illegal third children using forth identities. Luke’s heart gave a jump. AT last, he’d found others like him. He’d found a place to belong.

This series first captured my interest when I was thirteen. Six years later I still occasionally return to them as comfort reads. It’s rare to find books that were age appropriate as a tween an early teen that remain interesting years later.

Among the Impostors follows twelve year old Luke Garner, an illegal third child. After his only friend, another third child, dies, Luke is separated from his family and taken to hide in a boys school. There he meets other third children…but he’s not sure all of them are what they seem to be.

Can he discern friend from foe before the population police find him?

Round-Up: 5 Favorite Self-Published Books

5 Fav Self-Pubed books

The world of self-published books keeps on growing, but it can be a scary place for readers to venture. There is a glut of poorly written, poorly edited, poorly designed self-published books. There are also plenty of gems hidden among their not-so-shiny counterpart. If you’ve been afraid to give self-published books a try, fear no longer. I put together this list of my five favorite self-published books so you can go right to the gems. You can find other self-published books I enjoyed on my self-published shelf on Goodreads.

The Abolitionist, by Elisabeth Allen
It took me quite a while to get into this book, and the format took a while to get used to as well. However, once I did get used to the way the book is set up, I loved it. It’s not high action or edge-of-your seat. Instead, the tension in this story comes from the need to chose. The main character is faced with injustice and scared of losing the approval of “society.” I appreciated the struggle she went through to try to make the right decision. If you’re in search of a calm book to read while cozied up next to a fire, give this one a try.

In His Image, by J. Grace Pennington
This is my newest self-published favorite. I’ve read both of the author’s previous books and can say that this is her best one yet. Which reminds me that I need to announce who gets to borrow the kindle copy from me. That would be you, Spencer R. Congratulations! I’ll email it to you this afternoon.

Before You Meet Prince Charming, by Sarah Mally
This also includes Grace Mally’s book, Will Our Generation Speak. I love both of them. I decided to put Sarah’s book on the list because I’ve had it longer and read it multiple times. Both books really spoke to me and taught me a lot.

Peter’s Angel, by Aubrey Hansen
The only thing that bothers me about this book is that I can’t figure out what genre it fits into. It’s a cross between historical and speculative. Great story, though. And great writing too. Unfortunately, it ends on a bit of a cliff hanger, and book two still isn’t out.

Tales of the Heartily Homeschooled, by Rachel Starr Thomson and Carolyn Currey
I’ve loved every book I’ve read by Rachel Starr Thomson. I decided to display this one just because it’s different from the rest. I had such a good time reading the hysterical stories in here. This book is the perfect Christmas present for a homeschool mom or friend.

Which one of these books appeals to you? Have you already read any of them? If you have, which is your favorite? Are there any self-published books you would add to the “gems” list?

Guess a Quote (8.25.14)

Guess a Quote (8.25.14)

Wow! I’m really surprised more people didn’t guess the quote last week. Morgan Huneke and starshining4ever both correctly guessed that it was from The Giver. I mentioned that there was a reason for posting this quote right now. It’s because the movie just released. I haven’t seen it, but I know several of you were pretty excited for it, so I figured it would be fun to throw the quote out there. You can read a review of The Giver here on Leah’s Bookshelf or check out Morgan Huneke’s more recent review. How many of you plan to see the movie?

Here’s the quote(s) for this week. They come from a well beloved tale-become-legend.

Will you come with me, sweet Reader? I thank you. Give me your hand.


(H)ope, be it never so faint, bringeth a gleam into darkness, like a little rushlight that costeth but a groat.

Happy Guessing!

Book Review: Abaddon’s Eve

Abaddon's EvenConfession. I have not been reading much lately. In fact, I haven’t finished a book in over two weeks. For someone who needs to post a book review once a week, that’s not a very good thing. 😛 The good news is, I’m sticking to my deadlines for Counted Worthy. Maybe when it releases one of you can guest post a review of it. 😉

Abaddon’s Eve is the last book I finished (Goodreads says I completed it on August 6th). Here’s what I thought of it.

Rechab and Alack, young people on the cusp of adulthood, have no idea how drastically their lives are about to change. Alack wrestles with his genuine but impossible love for Rechab, while Rechab does her best to shield her heart from her imminent and permanent separation from her childhood friend. Their parting occurs far differently than either expected. Kol Abaddon, the crazy prophet from the wilderness, comes to Bethabara preaching destruction on The People of the Great God. When Alack catches a glimpse of the vision, he follows the prophet into the desert to begin his training as a prophet of the Great God. At the same time, Rechab finds an unlikely friend in Flora, a wealthy woman considered to be unlucky. When a foaming servant declares that Rechab is marked for service to a false god, she flees Bethabara with Flora’s retinue. Neither Rechab nor Alack truly know the Great God they now serve, but their journeys will bring them closer to Him.

I really enjoyed this story and look forward to the next book. Anyone who has enjoyed Prophet by R.J. Larson will most certainly like Abaddon’s Eve as well. Though not one of two focal characters, my favorite character in this story is Flora (the rich woman who befriends Rechab). She is introduced as a powerful, smart, savvy woman, but her vulnerability unfurls with the story. She is a seeker, a lover of God who fears she cannot be fully accepted by Him because she is not of The People. She’s a flawed character with great strengths and a beautiful heart. I can’t wait to see where this journey brings all of the characters.


I read Abaddon’s Eve on my Kindle, so I can lend it to anyone else who has a kindle or kindle app. If you would like to borrow it for 14 days, just leave a comment, and I’ll pick one of you to lend it to.

Also, Prophet is still free for Kindle. If you haven’t read it yet, go for it while it’s still free.

Reading Habits Survey Results

Graph--Books Per Month This survey has been a great success so far and surpassed my expectations on the very first day. Thanks to everyone! And, please, if you haven’t already taken it, do so now. Just because I’m sharing the results and announcing a giveaway winners (SURPRISE!) doesn’t mean the survey is closed.

So, here are some of the basics of the survey results.

13 to 17 year olds have a tiny (very tiny) edge over the 18 to 21 year olds. 39% to 38%. Girls have the vast majority, which doesn’t really surprise me. Girls have 83% against the boys’ 17%.

Homeschoolers comprise 88% of the survey compared to Public Schooler’s 10% and Private Schooler’s 1%.

You all read an average of 5.1 books a month in a wide variety of genres. Most of you enjoy several different genres, but fantasy and historical fiction are overwhelmingly the most frequently read genres. The same concept is true for the age groups you read in. Most of you read in several different age groups, but primarily read young adult or adult books. 84% of you are more likely to by hard copy books than e-books and predominately get your reading material from the library.

Thank You, everyone!

And now what you’re really waiting for. 😉 The giveaway. I decided to giveaway two books instead of one because of how many people entered. There are three books to chose from and I’ll give them to the winners on a first come, first serve basis. The two winners are.

Joshua Sandefur

I’ll be emailing both of you to ask for your mailing address and which book you would like to win. Obviously if you would like the kindle copy of Supervillains of the Day I won’t need your mailing address. 😉

Thanks to all who participated. If you would like to see the more detailed results, I would love for you to join The Reading Habits Survey “Team”. Follow the link to read the details.