Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

ABBIE’S WOODS: DEFENDING THE NEST ~ A Review and Giveaway

Abbie's woods

About the Book

Book: Abbie’s Woods: Defending the Nest

Author: Susan Thogerson Maas

Genre: Middle Grade

Release date: December 15, 2021

Abbie's Woods FRONT

Twelve-year-old Abbie Keegan loves spending time in the woods behind her house and watching the silly-looking baby robins as they grow. The woods are a retreat from her parents’ constant bickering and from her sweet, but needy, little brother.

Then Abbie sees two boys breaking pop bottles in the pond. She refuses to allow such harm to “her” woods. However, every attempt she makes to stop the boys only provokes them to greater destruction. Her retreat becomes a place of fear instead of peace. A feud is born, and Abbie feels helpless to stop it. At home, her parents seem close to divorce and her brother’s asthma is getting worse. How can Abbie protect the people and places she loves?

Click here to get your copy!

If you are looking for books for your young adult, check out Abbie’s Woods. This book addresses parents fighting, praying for parents, appreciating the world around you. Abbie escapes to woods to get away from her parents fighting.

She also learns appearances and actions of someone fail to tell you their whole story. I loved getting to know Abbie, her brother and parents, as well as other in this story.

So check out this book for yourself. I definitely recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own

About the Author

Susan-Maas-HR-5

Susan Thogerson Maas grew up in the rainy, green state of Oregon. She loved to wander through the woods, discovering new wildflowers and birds. Her second favorite place was the cool grass of the front yard, lost in a book about nature or faraway lands. She still loves camping and hiking, as well as traveling to places she’s never seen before. Life should always be an adventure.

More from Susan

Abbie’s Woods: Defending the Nest, in its original version, was the first book I ever wrote. Although I had sold a number of short articles and children’s stories, it was my first attempt at a whole book. Being a busy mother and volunteer (den leader for seven years, Sunday school teacher, etc.), homeschooling our boys, growing a big garden for freezing and canning, and all that kept me busy. But my dream since third grade had been to write children’s books. My sweet aunt had paid my way to summer writing conferences, and my shelves were filled with books on writing.

So I began, one slow chapter at a time. I set the story in the woods that lay behind our property when I was a child. “The Wonderful Woods” I called it in the first article I ever sold—sent by my sixth grade teacher to The Horn Book. My book was filled with details about the plants and birds of the woods. I added in symbolism because this would be my masterpiece. After maybe three years, the book was complete. And it was terrible. I showed it to a couple of editors, but the responses told me it was not ready. I was not ready.

I put Abbie’s Woods aside and wrote two chapters books, which now sleep peacefully in old files on my computer. Then came Picture Imperfect, published in 2015 by Ashberry Lane. (now owned by WhiteFire Publishing) After years of study, practice, and critique groups, I finally wrote a book good enough for publication. It even won a couple of awards. And so I thought, why not give Abbie’s Woods another try? I began all over again, changing the characters, adding subplots, and dropping the stilted symbolism. And now here it is!

What do I like most about Abbie’s Woods? Well, for one thing, the woods. That woods is now preserved as part of the Springwater Corridor in the Portland, Oregon area. I learned to identify plants there, including the first flower whose scientific name I learned: arenaria macrophylla. I have no idea how I can still remember that! I especially loved the birds. As a teen, I often roamed the woods with binoculars around my neck and bird book in hand. I learned to recognize bird calls: the Steller’s jay’s screech, the cheerful chickadee’s call, the “chweee” of the towhee as it scratched for seeds in the undergrowth. And the robin’s song, so peacefully filling the air on warm summer evenings. Robins were always special, and robins play an important role in Abbie’s Woods.

But the book is about more than nature. It’s about a girl trying to preserve her little world, only to learn her best efforts often backfire, that many things are not under her control. Can she learn to let go of her pain and forgive those who hurt her? And can she learn to trust God for the things she cannot control? Abbie’s struggles are not so different from those many people face, whether children or adults. I have certainly acted in ways I thought would make things better, only to find the opposite result. I have also tried to control things that are better left in God’s hands. Although the story is entirely fictional, in many ways Abbie is also me, trying to follow God but often getting lost along the way.

Yet, for Abbie as for me, no matter how dark the day, there is always light behind the clouds, always the hope that tomorrow will be better. That hope is the foundation of my faith and a thread through everything I write.

Blog Stops

Bigreadersite, January 19

Lots of Helpers, January 19

Inklings and notions, January 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 22

Texas Book-aholic, January 23

Mary Hake, January 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 24

For Him and My Family, January 25

Girls in White Dresses, January 26

Cats in the Cradle Blog, January 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 27

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 28 (Spotlight)

Lights in a Dark World, January 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 31

Splashes of Joy, February 1

deb’s Book Review, February 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/186b6/abbie-s-woods-defending-the-nest-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Live the Impossible ~ A Review and Giveaway

Live the Impossible

About the Book

Book: Live the Impossible

Author: Jenny Smith

Genre: Memoir

Release date: July, 2021

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Jenny Smith was a typical teenager—a gymnast and athlete who loved hair and makeup, played in a band, and was active in her church youth group.

Then one bright summer morning, a spinal cord injury left her paralyzed from the chest down and dependent on others for her most basic needs. Privacy and independence seemed like things of the past.

But Jenny refused to give up or give in to her disability, and over time she discovered that a wheelchair could take her places she’d never dared to imagine. She’s traveled multiple times to Afghanistan and Mexico for wheelchair distributions and sports camps, and even rolled the New York City runway as a model during Fashion Week.

Today, Jenny Smith is a spokesperson for independent and vibrant living with a disability. Her speeches, articles, and social media presence have touched thousands of lives.

In Live the Impossible, Smith shares what it looks like to live with paralysis, from the everyday details most people never think about, to the countless people who have impacted her life along the way. With honesty and humor, faith and fortitude, Jenny shows us how we can all live the impossible, even when life doesn’t go as planned.

Click here to get your copy!

Sometimes, the hardest things in life provide the greatest opportunities for growth. This autobiographical look at Jennie Smith’s gymnastics injury at 16 that leads to her becoming a quadriplegic touched my heart. Jennie faced this terrible experience with courage.

She shows the hardships and challenges those in wheelchairs face. At the same time, she sets out to provide assistance to others in wheelchairs. This book truly moved me. So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own

About the Author

Jenny Smith Headshot

Jenny Smith is an advocate, peer mentor, and encourager for those living with spinal cord injuries, and anyone who has faced unexpected or seemingly impossible challenges. Her popular blog and YouTube channel, Jenny Smith Rolls On, explore the practical aspects of life as a quadriplegic. She also speaks to associations and businesses, schools and universities, and faith-based groups. Jenny works full-time supporting and encouraging cross-cultural workers. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she rows on the Ohio River with the Louisville Adaptive Rowing program.

You can find out more at www.jennysmithrollson.com.

More from Jenny

“I will never write a book.”

I can’t tell you how many times I said those words. How and why did I publish a book after saying I will never so many times?

For several years, I was writing as a side job for a medical supply company. To learn more about the craft of writing, I signed up for an online class. The instructor invited me to take her next class on writing your life story.

That’s when it happened. I felt a little tap on my shoulder and heard—or felt—the words, “It’s time.”

I groaned.

Since my spinal cord injury at the age of 16, I said never and that’s impossible innumerable times. I had said the words before traveling to Mexico and Afghanistan. As I dreamed of living independently as a quadriplegic. I’d said never to playing wheelchair tennis, rugby, and para-rowing. My words that’s impossible and never were proved wrong time and again.

So I started writing.

It turns out I’ve lived what I believed was impossible.

In July 2021, on the 32nd anniversary of my spinal cord injury, my family, friends, and community celebrated with me at the launch party for my memoir Live the Impossible.

Although the book centers on my story of becoming a quadriplegic at 16 and the trials and adventures that followed, the lessons I learned in the years to come are universal:

  • How I found my identity
  • The importance of taking a risk
  • How I became comfortable in my own body
  • Acknowledging I have little to offer and yet seeing God do things I could never imagine

We all have unexpected circumstances in life. But I believe we can all live the impossible, even when life doesn’t go as planned.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 18

Texas Book-aholic, January 19

An Author’s Take, January 20

Inklings and notions, January 21

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, January 21

deb’s Book Review, January 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 25 (Spotlight)

For Him and My Family, January 26

Lots of Helpers, January 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 27

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 30

Spoken from the Heart, January 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jenny is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/17c5c/live-the-impossible-celebration-tour-giveaway