Book Review: The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Something is wrong. The Greystone kids get home from school one day and learn that kids in another state have been kidnapped. The weird thing is, the kids have the same names as the Greystone siblings and they look the same too. The news makes Mom act strange, and she keeps acting stranger.

The Strangers

Hi there. I’m back! Maybe?

Over the past several months, I’ve been writing for the Equipping Godly Women blog, and it reminded me how much I enjoy blogging. Every time I write a post over there, I tell myself I should write one here. Unfortunately, procrastination is real, and it’s hard to break out of a year and a half rut of not posting.

Joining the blog tour for Jaye’s new book release forced me come up with a post for Leah’s Bookshelf, and then it seemed natural to share this book I just read.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix”

Today Is the Day! Counted Worthy Release

CW_Cover MediumCounted Worthy hit the shelves this morning! You can buy it at…

If you’ve already read it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon. Amazon reviews are very important, especially to self-published authors. If you want to help out even more, consider:

  • Asking your library to purchase a copy
  • Posting a video review to YouTube
  • Tweeting, Facebooking, Pinning, etc. about Counted Worthy
  • Writing a blog post about Counted Worthy
  • Adding Counted Worthy to an Amazon Listmania or Goodreads Listopia list.
  • Attend and invite others to attend the Facebook Launch Party next Monday.

If you implement any of these ideas (or come up with ideas of your own) let me know and I’ll be sure to give you Story Shop points.

Release Day Fun

I’m not the only one celebrating today. Check out the release day fun going elsewhere in the blogosphere and beyond.

Dreaming Hobbit: Author Interview
Ivory Palace: Author Interview
Writing to Inspire: Author Interview
The Rebelution Facebook Announcement
Christian Bookshelf Review: Interview and Giveaway

Praise for Counted Worthy

CW_Mockup Medium Only three days left until the Counted Worthy release date! Last night I ordered copies for everyone who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign, and I’ve been working on some author interviews for the blog tour. Speaking of the blog tour, Christian Bookshelf Review featured an author interview and book giveaway.

It’s been exciting to share Counted Worthy with some beta readers over the past few weeks and get their feedback. Here’s what they’ve had to say.

~*~

Every generation must discover its own storyweavers. Leah Good is one of ours and we are fortunate. Counted Worthy is a thrilling work of inspirational fiction that perfectly complements the message of Do Hard Things. Grab a copy for yourself, grab a copy for a friend, and help spread the word about this phenomenal debut. Counted Worthy belongs in the hands of every Christian teen and story lover in the country. It’s that good. –Brett Harris, bestselling author of Do Hard Things

This is a timely novel during a year that international persecution of Christians has regularly made headlines. –Woody Robertson, co-founder of CollegePlus

 Page-turning, tersely written dystopia about the power of words and the ultimate power of THE Word. A great first novel from an author I hope we’ll see more of. —Rachel Starr Thomson, author of The Oneness Cycle, The Seventh World Trilogy, and other novels

Story Quote_Counted Worthy
Story Quote_Counted Worthy

Counted Worthy is quite possibly the best contemporary Christian fiction I’ve ever read. The strong, beautiful message is clearly conveyed without the slightest bit of preaching; something exceedingly rare in today’s Christian market. The premise, both unique and familiar, shines like a candle in the dark, forcing you to re-evaluate just how far you’d go with your faith. Ultimately, it instills a desire to follow God to the end of this world. Eagerly awaiting Miss Good’s next novel! –Catsi E, reader

 Radical. Intense. Compelling. Leah Good’s dystopian novel, Counted Worthy, powerfully embodies the message that today’s young people need to hear: the Reason we have to die to self, pursue the impossible, and when all else fails, to stand. This is the message that has the potential to turn a generation of complacency into a generation of inspiration. –Melody van Achterberg, reader

 Intense. Even if you’re not religious, you can still find appreciation, inspiration, and will wait in anticipation reading this novel. –R. Stars, reader

Counted Worthy: Cover Reveal

ebook_cover I have been eagerly anticipating this day ever since I made the decision to self-publish Counted Worthy. So, readers, I’m pleased to introduce you to the official cover of Counted Worthy. And to make things better, it’s now available for pre-order!

Thanks so much to all of you who have encouraged me along the way, supported this project through Kickstarter, and joined the team of beta readers and editors. I appreciate every single person who is reading this post.

For those of you who enjoy building up Story Shop points, sharing this post is worth three points instead of the normal one point for post shares. Please share this post on your social media accounts and send me the links so I can award you points.

Please check out all the details below! And let me know if I missed any details. My baby is finally making it’s debut. 😀


Synopsis

Heather Stone lives in fear of repeating the past, yet she continues doing the one thing that could trigger another disaster. When the police trace an illegal Bible to her house, Heather’s world begins to crumble.

Her father’s life hangs in the balance. No one with the power to help knows or cares. If she tries to save him, she could lead her friends to their deaths. If she does nothing, her father’s fate is certain. Can she evade a hostile police force and win public sympathy before it’s too late?


Pre-Order

Get the paperback or Kindle e-book.

Check out the special Counted Worthy page for more details!


Sneak Peek

Want to get a look at the first chapter of Counted Worthy? Wait no longer.

Read Chapter One

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?

Kickstarter Update

support_counted_worthyHello Everyone! I want to thank all of you who have pledged to and shared the link to the Counted Worthy Kickstarter campaign. Last Monday was absolutely incredible. After launching the campaign and posting about it on social media, The Rebelution blog also hosted a post about the campaign. Over the next 12 hours, $750 of pledges came pouring in. The campaign reached it’s base goal of $1,000 within three days.

Today the Kickstarter page shows $1,540 in pledges and 69 hours (a little under 3 days) to go. I would love your help in reaching the stretch goal of $2,000. At this point, all pledges are locked in. This means that if you pledge, you’ll definitely pay the money you pledged and you’ll definitely receive  the reward you chose. This means that supporting the campaign is a great way to pre-order a copy of Counted Worthy.

For a pledge of $10 you’ll receive an e-copy of Counted Worthy. A $15 pledge gets you a paperback. And a $20 pledge gets you a signed paperback.

Please continue to share the campaign with your friends. We have 69 hours to raise $460. Every email, Facebook share, tweet, and pin make a difference in reaching the stretch goal.

Tweeting Made Easy

The #CountedWorthy Kickstarter ends in 69 hours. Pledge now to help reach the stretch goal of $2,000. Click to Tweet

Pre-order your copy of #CountedWorthy by pledging to the Kickstarter. Act soon. Only 3 days left. Click to Tweet

Counted Worthy on Kickstarter!

counted_worthy_kickstarterGood morning, everyone! Lord willing the weekly Guess a Quote will go up tomorrow. Today I want to share the launch of a Kickstarter campaign designed to raise the money needed to prepare Counted Worthy for publication. It’s also your first opportunity to reserve a copy of the book. If you’re following this blog, you probably enjoy reading. I’d really appreciate your support of this particular book!

Visit the Campaign!

How to Support Counted Worthy

  1. Visit the Kickstarter campaign and pledge your support. Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing model for fundraising. If the campaign does not reach the $1,000 pledge goal, no money will exchange hands. Consequently, it’s really important to reach that goal. It’s especially important to act quickly because the campaign is only 10 days long. Any and all support will be greatly appreciated.
  2. Tell other people about the campaign! Please tell your friends. Share on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, and pin on Pinterest. You could also just talk to your friends about it. You know. Good old fashioned face-to-face social networking. 😉 If you do any of the above, please let me know. I’ll be awarding Story Shop points quite liberally for help with promotion.
  3. BONUS! If any blog followers pledge to the Kickstarter campaign, you’ll get a free sneak peak of the Counted Worthy cover image. Just make sure you tell me you pledged. This also counts if someone follows the blog after pledging to the campaign.

Tweeting Made Easy

Counted Worthy equals fiction with a mission. Support this book by pledging to the Kickstarter campaign. Click to Tweet

Love fiction with a Christian worldview? Show your support by funding #CountedWorthy. Click to Tweet

I’m really excited about this project, and I hope you are to. Thanks for supporting it! I can’t wait to share the final product with you.

Author Interview: Aubrey Hansen 2

Aubrey Hansen So, it’s been a while since we had an author interview on Leah’s Bookshelf. I’m pleased to welcome Aubrey Hansen back for a second interview, though. She first joined us in January 2013 for an interview about her book Peter’s Angel. Please join me in welcoming her back for an interview about her book Red Rain.

What gave you the idea for Red Rain?
Strangely, I can still remember the exact moment I got the initial inspiration for Red Rain. I was at a park, swinging (swings are the best piece of playground equipment ever invented) and watching the bus barn across the street. I studied the rows of yellow school buses and thought… Wouldn’t it be just awful if they made us go to public school? (I was, of course, happily homeschooled at that point.) The idea for the opening scene, with the buses and forced government schooling and vocal Mr. Dass, came to me, and it remained almost exactly the same through all the revisions of the book. Eventually I mushed that idea together with an other idea I had–of a girl going to Mars with her father and getting into trouble with DNA-based security systems–and the first draft of the book was born.

There’s something about seeing a bunch of school buses that always makes me appreciate being homeschooled. Glad I’m not the only one!

Do you have a favorite character? Why or why not?
I’m not sure that’s a fair question to ask an author! I was always partial to Ephesus’s role in this book. His storyline had a lot of drama and emotion–even though a lot of it went on “behind the scenes” in back story that never actually made it into the book since the entire story was from Philli’s POV–and he’s a big brother character, which have always been favorites of mine. But, truth be told, I have a thing for Stanyard. But, that’s more relevant to the sequel…

What was your favorite scene to write?
Pretty much any of the scenes that involved Philli being emotional with her brother or father. 😉 Those were the easiest scenes to write, and many of them needed little revision. As is the case with many of my books, this one started with a disconnected jumble of scenes. What’s unusual about this book is that many of those original disconnected scenes carried through the revisions nearly verbatim. The pinnacle scenes, the ones I drew my initial inspiration from and built the book around, changed very little during the writing process.

What was the hardest scene to write?
The “wrap up” scenes after the climax. I’m still convinced they’re not quite right, as some of my reviewers would agree. Thankfully, it hasn’t deterred said reviewers from asking for a sequel!

What can readers learn from this story?
There are a couple of morals woven into the story, which is actually one of the book’s weaknesses. Being my first book, I think I tried to take it in too many directions. That said, the main moral is one many of my readers didn’t pick up–contentment. I’ve had many reviewers say they felt the ending was dissatisfied because (spoiler!) Philli ended up back where she started, in the concentration camp. The “problem” of the oppressive government wasn’t solved. That was actually my entire point. The moral of the story was to trust God in any circumstances–to do what was right even if it didn’t get you out of the concentration camp.

Do you have any closing thoughts?
Let it go! (And I don’t mean that as a reference to the beautiful song from Frozen.) Red Rain is my first book, and in some ways, it shows. But my readers, even though they were willing to point out the problems, still wanted more–and that’s how we should be with our writing. Your first few books will not be perfect. But enjoy them for what they are, take pride in your strengths, learn from your weaknesses, and keep writing!

Thanks so much for the interview, Aubrey! Does anyone else have questions or comments for Aubrey?