Hello everyone! I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I was in school, I loved starting school. As a homeschooler, member of a large family, and serving in our family ministry, each day was an adventure! Would I be doing school in my room or the kitchen table, or would we be balancing our books on our laps as we drove out of town for a meeting? Or would today be an out of book school day, taking a field trip to Ft. Macon, the Zoo or volunteering at a special event at a church?
Something I enjoyed doing when we were traveling was to double up. To those who don’t know what that means, doubling up is simply doing two or more days’ worth of school in one day. Since we have less distractions learning at home than in a class room, we were able to finish our school earlier in the day, which allowed us the time to double up. The reason I would double up was because…I am a lover of books and never go on trips without bringing a stack along. While I do write up the road as well, reading is still a favorite pastime on hours’ long trips. With the school year upon us, I thought it would be fun to give you a few musts for your reading list 😉 I hope you enjoy!
1. Autumn with the Moodys and Autumn Days with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell
Yes, I will count this as one, since they are book in the same series 😊 Part of a 10-book set (plus 2 amazing Christmas novellas!) book #2 and #6 give readers a nice peek into the lives of a homeschooled family during the beginning of the school season. Add in the wonders of Autumn, my favorite season, and you have a pleasant read, for any time of year, really. I recommend the whole series! Please note that this is a story of one family’s homeschooling experience. Every family is different, and every method doesn’t work for every family. But Ms. Maxwell paints a beautiful picture of a family perusing home education. Click here for more information!
2. Where was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? by Jean Fritz
Ah…my favorite founding father and protector of religious Liberty! Who can forget his marvelous “Give me Liberty or Give me Death!” speech? He was truly a Patriot to be admired…but what else is there to know about him? This book answers that questions, sharing his highs and lows, his greatest moments and a few things that remind us that we are all human and make mistakes. Regardless of age, this book is a must read! No school reading list should be complete without a book about our Nation’s founding! Pick up this one today! Click here for more information!
3. The Willow Valley Kids Book #1: The Treasure Hunt by Jean Pennington
Any Patch the Pirate fans out there? How about Patch the Pirate Club members? What does this have to do with this book? Mrs. Pennington for years now has dedicated hours of work, creating material for the Patch club literature. And as of the last few years, she has started righting these amazing series of children’s mysteries. Remember how I told you we got to see a Patch the Pirate play last month? Well, we took a chance and purchased this book and the next two in the series. We were a little nervous…but we needn’t have been. These stories are so sweet, mysterious and filled with biblical lessons for the children. These are probably supposed to be for 8-12-year-olds. Ignore that! I loved them, and I’m an adult! My mom just read this book out loud to the family and we all loved it!
This first book is set on the first day of school and continues through the entire school year! It all starts with five kids hearing about Redcoat treasure buried in the valley where they live. Can they do what no one has been able to do in over 300 years? What is at stake if they can’t find the treasure? Is it even still there? The clock is ticking…and that’s all I’m going to tell you 😊 Click here for more information!
4. A Dozen of Them by Isabella Alden
If you’ve never read Mrs. Alden, you must start today! She’s that good! This book is part of her darling Golden Text Series. Each chapter begins with four or five scriptures. One of the scriptures will be used in the story. Our family likes to assign a verse to each person and wait to see who got the “Chosen Verse”. These stories encourage Bible memory, Character building and scriptural application. This particular story is about a young man named Joseph and how the verses that he selected, one for every month, changed his life. Click here for more information! *Note, this link will show you a three book set. We recommend all three!
5. Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee by Robert Edward Lee Jr.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that I really enjoy the 1860s-time period. The War Between the States has always fascinated me, and I know write books on that topic. I read this book last year, a gift from my uncle (who is an Air Force and Police Force Veteran! Love you, Uncle Paul!). He had no idea how much I would enjoy this book. Who better to write a book about Gen. Lee, beloved to the South and the North alike, than his own son? This book is recommended for older readers, simply because it’s written on a higher reading level. Oh. Please, no matter where you are from, no matter what side of the war you side with, please, pick up a copy of this book. It will get you acquainted with this dear, Christian man on a personal level. The author even gives us a peek into his own life in one chapter, which is quite entertaining to say the least! Click here for more information!
So, these are my Back to School Recommendations! Hope you enjoy these books as much as I have! Something to think about. What are you favorite Autumn reads? Share your reading list with others and encourage them to try out a book they’ve never read. Speaking as an avid book worm, you can never have too many book recommendations!
Have a blessed day and keep reading!
Hey y’all! I’m back with another post and today, I’m doing something I’ve never done before…a book tag! I’m so excited! I’ve seen other bloggers/vloggers do these and I’ve always wanted to do one so when I saw Ivy Rose’s video of this tag, which in turn led me to Lindsey’s video, I was like, “Yes, girl, you’ve got to do this one!” So, I’m doing it today and I hope you enjoy! Sorry in advance for my grainy pictures...the phone isn't the best at these things and the lighting...*Sigh*
1. Find a book for each of your initials. R- Rachel and the Riot by Susan Martins Miller; L- Lights out! By Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Castleberry; M- Mandy the Outsider by Norma Jean Lutz (This one needed some minor edits.) I really enjoyed all three of these books, especially the first one. It’s set during what would later become the Labor Unions and how a family was divided by this evil institution. The main character’s dad was a doctor and cared for people on both sides. It also took a look at the “new” procedure of intubation, which fascinated me. Lights Out! is a Christian mystery story set in Tennessee. The main detectives are homeschooled brothers Jason and Andy. These books are sweet, innocent and very informative! The final book, Mandy the Outsider is about the days leading up to World War Two. I loved how it included a Japanese family who had come to America, become citizens and contributed to society. It also stayed away from the internment camps, which is a topic that I think often gets abused in literature. Don’t get me wrong, it was a sad time for everyone during that time in history, but sometimes I think some topics get over-killed and both sides are ignored, but that is a topic for another time. Anyway, this book was amazing!
2. Count your age along your bookshelf. Which book is it? I took this from my “To Be Read” (TBR) shelf. It’s Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies by Janet and Geoff Benge
3. Pick a book set in your country (State 😉) Following these girls’ example, I’m going to pick a book set in my home state because 80% of my books are set in America 😉 And I see I only have my books to choose from! Oops on that one! But, The Land of Cotton, Our Heritage to Save and The Rivers of Sorrow are set in my state and county! That’s North Carolina for those of you who don’t know. These books take place in North Carolina and Virginia predominantly. Coffee Shop Christmas is also set in North Carolina, but the county is not specified.
4. Pick a book about a destination you would like to travel to. The Baker’s Daughter by D. P. Cornelius. I have not read this book, but it’s the only book I have at this moment that is set in Berlin, Germany. (I just realized today that all my WW2 books are set in the United States, surrounding European countries or the South Pacific! None are set in Germany! I need to remedy that…) So while I can’t recommend this book yet, I can’t wait to read it! I’ve gotten the desire to Germany over the last few years, though my top place I want to visit is Israel (I have no books set in there…or wait…oh! The Bronze Bow! Okay, so I’ll count both 😊). Anyway, my ancestors came from Germany in 1755 and settled in North Carolina shortly thereafter. I think it would be neat to visit the land of my ancestors and see where my Great-grandfather spent three years of his life defending the freedoms we know today. While the WW2 history of Germany is nothing to smile about, there are those who fought back (Think the White Rose Resistance Group!). I don’t know…I really want to go some day 😊
5. Pick a book that is your favorite color. The Treasure Hunt by Jean Pennington. I just read this book and I loved it so much! There were a few small things I had to fix, but this book was so good! It’s put out by Majesty Music…loved it so much. Oh…I forgot what this question was about…The book is GREEN! I LOVE GREEN! It’s my favorite color ever and emerald is my birthstone, so…yeah, I’m in love with this book’s cover 😊
6. Which book do you have the fondest memories of? Probably Behind Enemy Lines by Bill Doyle. I read this right after I moved from Newport, N.C. near Cherry Point Marine Base and while I knew I loved our military, this book gave me more reasons to love them. It wasn’t sugar coated, but also not too detailed for 2.7 reading level that was assigned to it. I think there were only two things I marked out, so I would suggest an adult reading it first, but it is quite an eye-opener into what our guys are willing to face to make sure the war stays over there. This is one of the few books I actually cried while reading. Words fail me to describe how much I appreciate them. God bless our troops!
7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading? (No pictures for this one. I don't own on, don't recommend the other and can't get to the last one:))
Okay…so as far as the hardest to read because of content was Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg. I was listening to the audiobook…and I couldn’t finish it. At that time, was not ready to dig into everything that happened at this infamous Concentration Camp. It made me sick to my stomach. That being said, I do want to finish it someday, but I want to read it rather than listen to it. Don’t ask me why, but when it’s a book dealing with subjects of this matter, I prefer to read it myself rather than hear it out loud. I’ve heard it’s a good book and I want to know what happens to the characters…I just wasn’t ready.
For a book that I had difficulty reading because it was so bad, it would have to be Silent Thunder by Andrea Davis Pickney. Y’all…it was so bad! I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude. It’s just…the topic was not a children’s topic and this is a middle-grade book! And of course, her view of history differed from mine, but she had facts misstated that both sides of the Civil War agree on. Like timelines and things of that nature. I made myself finish it because I wanted to be able to explain why it was wrong if someone should ask, and the worst part came out at the very end. I tried to give the author a benefit of a doubt, but…it was just bad.
For one I had difficulty with just because I wasn’t grasping it on my own, Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford takes the prize. I had so much trouble with this book until my mother saved the day by offering to read it to me. Problem solved! It is now one of my favorite histories and I desperately need to read it again! It was amazing! You can’t make up stuff like this! READ IT!
8. Which book in your TBR pile will be your biggest accomplishment once finished? Jefferson Davis, American by William J. Cooper, Jr. and the Elsie Dinsmore Series. I’ve read…four or five of them, but I want to finish the series. They say the later books are full of history…right up my alley! And the first one is a very thick book and I’ve never read one on the Confederate President…*hangs head in shame* and I can’t wait to read it!
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed answering the questions! Normally in a tag, you tag other bloggers, so I am tagging Amanda Tero and any of you bloggers/vloggers out there who would like to give it a try 😊 I only request that you link back to my blog in your post :P
Until next time,
Hello everyone! Today is a very special. Two years ago today, I started my blog. My intention was to have a blog strictly with historical articles. This past year, God broadened my vision and now I have writing posts, book reviews and devotions. It’s been so much fun and I’m excited to enter my third year of blogging. Thank you so much for joining my little community! I’m so happy to have you along for the ride, encouraging me to keep going. I don’t take that lightly. God Bless you and thank you so much!
To celebrate, after I do my wrap up, I will be posting my usual story prompts and some bonus story prompts inspired by my very first book, The Land of Cotton. I hope you enjoy!
Wow! God is so good! This month has been so busy! The first week of July, we had the Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion where we handed out a lot of FBN information. I was able to sell several books as well, but the very best part was getting to hold a church service at the little white church on the property. My dad preached, and we sang. Nearly 200 people came, including our District 13 National Representative, Ted Budd and District Court Judge April Wood and her husband. They were such a blessing. Thank God for Christians in our Political system!
The following week, we had our VBS at our church in Newport, N.C. We had a fun sea theme and taught water related lessons to our students. I was privileged to assist a good friend of mine in her class and taught on the Woman at the Well to our class of 9-10-year-olds. Very attentive listeners!
After that, we helped a friend, who is expecting her third child, keep an eye on her kids during a week of morning services. That week proved to be a little less crazy, giving us much needed down time to regroup, just in time for…
National Sword of the Lord Conference! This past week was amazing! The preaching, singing and workshops were spot on and we were able to fellowship with several good friends! We handed out FBN material and sold more of my books. I was pleasantly surprised to see Pastor Jerry Ross from Jasonville, Indiana at the conference! He is the author of Stay in the Castle. If you haven’t read this book (or any of his other books) you should definitely check them out! Can’t recommend them enough! Maybe I should write up a few reviews…
Well, I decided to try out Camp Nanowrimo this year for the very first time. While I did not win, I did get 75% of my goal completed, which was a little over 100 pages edited on my Current WIP. I hit a rock in the road and need to re-plot so much of it…I’m back to the plotting stage, but that’s alright, because that will make my edits go a lot smoother.
I have also started a blog subscription thanks to a kind young lady’s request. If you want an update when a new post goes live, just send me your email! 😊 Can’t wait for you to join our family 😉 Every email, I include a snippet of the newest post, bonus information (for subscribers only!) and two suggested posts for you to check out. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Well…the last two sections about sum it up 😊 Oh, oh, oh! I know! July 28th, we went to Beacon Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. and got to see the Live presentation of the Patch the Pirate adventure, Operation Arctic: Viking Invasion. It. Was. So. Good. The pre-show included beautiful music videos and a fun sing-a-long with PJ Pirate (Jason Hamilton)! Also present was Princess (Meagan Hamilton Morgan), Captain of the Guard (Adam Morgan) and Sissy Seagull (Shelly Hamilton, though she was recovering from the flu and had someone stand in for her). It was so amazing! The music, the costumes, the sound effects, the acting and everything…oh, words fail me! And the we also stocked up on episodes that were missing from our collection. Ahh…the drive was so worth it 😊
And now for your monthly story prompts…
And your bonus prompts...!
That’s all I have for you today! Thank you so much for hanging out with me. Keep your eyes peeled for my next post! It’s gonna be so fun 😉
Merry Christmas and welcome to the last day of our Christmas in July Blog Party! To celebrate an amazing month of giveaways, freebees and fun posts, I'm joining Amanda Tero in announcing that her newest short story, Finding Christmas Joy, is releasing today!
About the Book
Melonie Brown just wants to get away from all of the pain and heartache that this year has brought upon her, and Starlight Lodge seems like the perfect place to do so. With no plans beyond a Christmas escape, she drives out to the lodge. Can she bottle up the peace and joy that she finds in this special place to help her face the challenges she may have in the upcoming year?
Available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DGKSWS5
Add to your Goodreads shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40309103-finding-christmas-joy
Anyone love a good Christmas read or an occasional Christmas movie? I do! The problem is, there aren't many good ones out there. Most are bogged down in cheesy romance and cliched, worn-out plot lines and "The Magic of the Holiday" that fixes all their problems.
Amanda Tero did not disappoint me with this story. I must admit, I was a little hesitant when I read that the story was about a girl jilted right before her wedding. In case you don't know me, I can't stand romance books :) So many of them focus on the physical aspects of relationships and create unhealthy thoughts in young ladies. Miss Tero didn't do that at all! It was not a romance, but rather, a story about how God can take all that is broken in our lives and weave it into His plan for our ultimate good!
Here's what I wrote right after I read it.
I got goosebumps! It was so simple, but so good. The scripture, décor descriptions, the Christmassy feel of everything was so charming and engaging and may I say…enchanting. It was simply wonderful. Where is Starlight Lodge? I want to go!
Even though he’s not in the story, I wanted to let Josh have it a few times, but I was glad that a sweet girl like Melonie didn’t get mixed up with him.
This story was different…a girl jilted right before her wedding day, and yet there was no romance. I mean, sure there were couples (married couples!) in the story, but this was nothing that would give it a PG rating ?
A couple of things I didn’t really care for were the references to a divorce and the Christian role model in the story wearing pants. I know there are Christian women who do and that is between them and God. But I personally felt uncomfortable with that. Aside from that, I have no complaints!
I love this quaint little Christmas story! It felt like a classic Christmas film, only way more substance! The Gospel message was very present, to the point and easy to understand. Sometimes it’s hard to write Gospel scenes without pulling you totally out of the rest of the story, but Ms. Tero’s flowed so well! Job well done!
I received a complementary e-copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review, but I had no problem doing so! Read ALL of her books, people! She's one of my favorites!
Amanda Tero is giving away a copy of “Finding Christmas Joy” with one of her piano CD’s! You’ll be able to enjoy the music of the season as well as a story that brings you the happiness of the season. (Note: there are two giveaways: one for physical copies for residents of USA, and another for international residents)
And here are the other bloggers participating in Miss Tero's book tour!
July 28, 2018
With a Joyful Noise
Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Read Another Page
Honey Rock Hills
July 30, 2018
With a Joyful Noise
Writings, Ramblings and Reflections
Maidens for Modesty
July 31, 2018
With a Joyful Noise
Literary Reflections Book Blog
Blossoms and Blessings
The World of the Writer
Life of Heritage Corner
Kaylee's Kind Of Writes
Christian Fiction Author A.M. Heath
His Princess Warrior
Congratulations, Amanda, on another fabulous read! Thank you for providing wholesome reading for our generation! We need more of it!
Lord willing, I will have a 2-year-blogaversary post coming your way, everyone, so stay tuned!
Until next time,
Hello everybody! Today, I have another writing post for you! This one is basically self-explanatory, but I thought I might give you a few tips and tricks I use when writing my first draft. Enjoy!
Now that I have my story plotted out, it’s finally time to write! So I start at the very beginning… (A very good place to start!) the title page. Yes, I am one of those writers that has to have all the preliminary pages formatted before I write the story. I give them headings (Acknowledgements, Introduction, etc.) and fill them out later. BUT THEY HAVE TO BE IN PLACE OR I WILL GO CRAZY! Okay…I might have a slight problem 😊
Once I have these pages in place, it’s time to write! I keep my outline close by, my Emotion Thesaurus, research books from the time era (just in case 😉), my music playlist and something to drink. While I do enjoy tea and coffee (decaf!) my writing drinks of choice are Water and Lemonade, the tarter the better! Fun fact, Stonewall Jackson loved lemons and ate them like candy. Thus he loved his lemonade quite tart. I suppose I’m in good company!
Basically, I type until I hit a stump. Sometimes I cannot remember the time-period appropriate word and it can leave me hung up for several minutes. I’ve learned to just insert the modern word and fix it later so I won’t forget the actual story I’m supposed to be writing 😊
When that dreaded writer’s block does hit me with full force, here’s some things I try…
Walk away. Get outside for a few minutes and relax, think about your story and try to figure out what needs to happen next.
Talk to somebody. My family has gotten me out of several writing slumps!
Play a game with my family! Apple to Apples and Dutch Blitz are two of my personal favorites!
Re-read what I have already written. This helps so much! Sometimes I can find why I’m stuck by reading over what’s already in the document.
Writing prompts. I keep a jar of them on my desk. I haven’t used them very much, since I’m revising books, not writing new ones, but I’m sure I will in the future 😊 Unlike the ones I post here, these are prompts like “What is it that your Character needs? Take it away from them and explore what they will do to get it back” or “What could you do to make it harder for your character to reach their goal? Do it!” or “When your character finally makes it to their destination/meets their goal, how do they feel about it? How have they grown through the story?” Super thought provoking!
Take a break and do some research. Since I write on the Civil War, there are many books, articles and documentaries at my disposal. I love finding those little details and little-known facts to bring out in my stories. I’ve by no means exhausted the research world on the War Between the States, but I had never read a fiction story that depicted the Battle of Kernstown. So, it was included in my book, Our Heritage to Save. Chicago’s Best Kept Secret was another revelation to me. (That’s in The Rivers of Sorrow.) For my current WIP (work in progress) I have a lost battle, a ship I didn’t even know existed and an incident with a lighthouse that a friend told me about.
The point is, whatever you need to do, get words written. Your story won’t write itself!
Also, if you are working on a computer or reading for long periods of time, it’s good to do the 20-20-20 exercise. (I learned this from a doctor, so it’s not dangerous 😊) Every 20 minutes, take a break and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. You wouldn’t believe the pressure this relieves from your eyes!
Well, that’s all for now! Our Next Writing Post will cover Revisions and Self Edits!
Writing for Him!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.