Review and Giveaway for The Watch on the Fencepost by Kay DiBianca

 

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About the Book

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Book: The Watch on the Fencepost

Author: Kay DiBianca

Genre: Christian Mystery / Suspense/ Romance

A WATCH THAT REVEALS MORE THAN JUST THE TIME . . .

A mysterious gold watch propels 27-year-old Kathryn Frasier into a quest to prove her parents’ recent deaths were not an accident. Following a trail of cryptic clues, she encounters a remarkable cast of characters, including an actress with a talent for disguises, a politician with a dark secret, and a handsome businessman who shows a sudden romantic interest in Kathryn. Can she solve the mystery before she becomes the next victim?

Click here to purchase your copy.

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The Watch on the Fencepost is Kay DiBianca’s first novel, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery.  The story begins with a prologue about a car wreck that is so vividly described, I felt like I was there. Chapter One begins our introduction to Phil Warren, an owner of a car repair shop.  Initially, I did not know what I thought about Phil, especially given his reaction to Kathryn Frasier, the female lead in the story.  Kathryn Frasier, we learn lost her parents in a tragic car accident she believes was an accident.  But as the story unfolds, the reader will discover it was no accident.

Kathryn learns she has an older half-sister she never knew about, and who was adopted by incredible people.  CeCe, the half-sister, is an actress who is a master of disguise which allows her to play an important role at the end of the book.  Kathryn is reserved and shy around men, but CeCe helps to push her out of her shell in order to discover the possibility of love.

As part of her impending birthday, her father (prior to his death) set up a series of clues as part of an overall puzzle for Kathryn to solve.  This puzzle/treasure hunt has no apparent ending in sight, but through careful thought, Philip and CeCe along with CeCe’s parents, Kathryn’s lawyer and other individuals help Kathryn eventually solve the mystery.

The book kept me interested and wanting to read more until I finished the story.  The imagery described in the book is incredible, as is the attention to detail. I loved the description of the watch Kathryn finds on the fencepost and how the watch keeps showing up in the story.  The person I thought was going to be the guilty party turned out to be innocent, but another person I eventually thought might be involved turned out to be guilty.  The twists and turns this book took fascinated me.  I only hope Kay DiBianca follows this book up with a sequel because I can tell there is so much more for this cast of characters.

So if you love a good mystery, check The Watch on the Fencepost out for yourself.

 

About the Author

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Kay DiBianca holds an MS degree in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked in the IT departments of several major organizations, including IBM, UNC Chapel Hill, International Paper, and FedEx. She has an instrument rating in single-engine aircraft and competes in the Senior Olympics track events. She is a U.S. representative for Bridges for Peace, an international organization whose mission is to serve the people of Israel. She and her husband, Frank, live in Memphis, Tennessee. For more information, visit kaydibianca.com.

Guest post from Kay

WHY I WROTE THE WATCH ON THE FENCEPOST

I’m a runner. I spend a lot of time on the treadmill, at a local track, or running in a park near my home. When I’m outdoors, I usually listen to podcasts or audio books to keep my mind occupied.

Several years ago, I was listening to a mystery novel while running on a trail, and I began to put together a story in my own mind. Over the following weeks and months, I had created the characters of Kathryn and Cece, and I could see them in my mind’s eye.

On another long run, I passed an old fence post and a plot began to form itself. Other characters seemed to materialize out of nowhere, and soon I had the basic outline of the book in my head. Before long I was ignoring the audio book voices coming through my earbuds and just adding to my own story. That’s when I decided to write it down.

In the next few months, my story grew from a general outline to a narrative that stretched to over 60,000 words, and I loved the little surprises that popped up along the way. Although I had intended the book to be a straight mystery, I found some of the characters writing their own scenes, and soon there was romance!

As I chiseled away the extraneous parts and added detail and nuance, the important story elements of love, faith, and family rose to the surface. I delighted in Kathryn’s discovering more about herself and Cece’s unfailing wisdom and humor.

I spent over a year working with an editor to revise and strengthen the book. With every change in a word or addition of a plot twist, the story got better. It’s been three years since that first run in the park that got me thinking about the story. Now Kathryn, Cece, Phil, Mike, Tommy, and all the others are ready to tell their stories to the world.

I think I’ll go for a run tomorrow to see what Kathryn and Cece are going to be up to next.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 2

Through the Fire Blogs, March 2

Blogging With Carol, March 3

Godly Book Reviews, March 3

Josephine’s Bookshelf, March 4

Mary Hake, March 4

Girls Living For God’s Glory, March 5

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, March 5

For Him and My Family, March 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 6

Maureen’s Musings, March 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 7

Emily Yager, March 8

Andrea Christenson, March 8

Pause for Tales, March 9

Ashley’s Bookshelf, March 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 10

Texas Book-aholic, March 10

janicesbookreviews, March 11

A Reader’s Brain, March 11

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 12

Inklings and notions, March 12

Real World Bible Study, March 13

Older & Smarter?, March 14

By The Book, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 15

The Becca Files, March 15

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kay is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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

Review of Victus Study Skills System

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Today I am reviewing Level 3 (5/6-10/11), Level 4 and the Student Planner from Victus Study Skills System.  Regardless of what background a student comes from or what plans the student has for the future, all students and in fact, everyone needs to learn how to study effectively.  So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this program with our children.   After all, study skills remain a vital life skill regardless of someone’s age.  The consumable study skills workbook provide an excellent means of organization for the students.  They also offer a Student Planner.

According to their home page, “The Victus Study Skills System is a systems approach to study, not just isolated skills and individual components to be mastered, but rather a way of thinking about studying.”    The Victus Study Skills System has been created by a group of educators who have learned all students of all ages need to know in order to study effectively.  The Latin word “victus” means life and truly studying needs to be a way of life. The system is broken down into four levels.

  • Level 1 or Primary is for Kindergarten through grades 2/3
  • Level 2 or Elementary is for grades 2/3 to 4/5
  • Level 3 is for grades 5/6-10/11
  • Level 4 is for grades 10/11 – college

We received all four levels plus the planner for this review.  But, for the purpose of this review, I will be reviewing Levels 3 and 4.  There are three separate teacher supplements:  one for the Primary level, one for the elementary level and one that covers Level 3 and Level 4.  Obviously, the lessons for primary and elementary require more instruction from the teacher/parent and less work from the student.  However, even elementary students benefit from learning how to study properly. Here is a side by side comparison going from left to right of the Primary Teacher Supplement, the Elementary Teacher Supplement and the Teacher Supplement for levels 3 and 4.

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One thing I really like about all of the Teacher Supplements is how the student pages are included so parents can see what the student needs to complete and also what the correct answers for the worksheets are (at least for the ones that have ones that have a definitive answer) and blank examples of the pages, such as for the Notetaking Section that require students to come up with their own answers.  The Teacher Supplement for Levels 3 and 4 contains more details since the students are required to know more and do more.

 

Whether a child who is in elementary school or a student in high school or college or even adults living and working in the so-called real world, studying retains a certain level of importance.  As our family began to embark on our journey with this system, I loved the methodical way everything was laid out.  All of the levels cover the same ten lessons but go into varying depths based on the student’s ages.  Because my daughter and son are in high school, I decided to let them work on the materials more independently.  If our children were either in primary or elementary grades, obviously more parental involvement would have been required.

I could have decided to have our two children work together in a group but felt it would be more advantageous for them to go through the material on their own and at their own pace.  Our daughter is currently in the 10th grade, so she worked in the Level 3 workbook and our son is borderline grades 11/12 was going to work in the college level workbook.  Lessons 1 and 2 concentrates on where the student is currently.  Lesson 3 addresses where the student wants to be.  Finally, lessons 4 through 10 addresses how to get there.  The course is designed to take ten hours to complete.  If we had done this as a group, I feel like it may have taken us longer than 10 hours to complete.

The lessons address such topics as determining current study habits, determining learning strengths, determining a mission and setting goals, time management, organization and study environment, PQRST, listening skills, note taking, test taking, and finishes with a review of all the material covered in the course.

 

 

As our 18-year-old son who is almost a senior began working in this workbook, he realized many things he already did, such as having a set place to study.  He knows he has to study in his bedroom at his desk with silence around him.  He had an idea of how to take notes but felt the notetaking section really helped to fill in the gaps.  Finally, he also appreciated the test section.  Through the years we have lived in different places with different requirements, so taking tests was something he had done.  But learning strategies to be more successful at test-taking he thought was helpful.  He knows where he wants to go in life and has fairly good plans for getting there, so the workbook helped reinforce those concepts.

 

 

For our 16-year-old daughter who is in between 9th and 10th grade, the level 3 workbook helped her recognize the importance of time management and some of the areas she needed to work on now.  Because she is the youngest of four, some things such as notetaking and test-taking cause her to feel anxiety, but the strategies presented in the workbook helped to give her a needed confidence boost.

 

Because our son already uses an online planner he uses and is comfortable with, I decided to use the planner with our daughter this week to see if it helped her focus and stay on task.  So far it seems to be working.  Rather than putting in the actual lesson (which I do on an online planner), I decided to just write down the subjects for her so that as she completes a lesson, she can simply fill in what she did that day.  Plus, if we miss a day, it will not require rewriting the entire planner.  So here is a sample of this week in the planner.

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I wish the system had been available when we first started homeschooling because I believe that all students need to learn how to study effectively.  This course definitely fits that purpose.  The younger students are when they begin this program, the better their study skills will be when they are ready to go to college.  Also, if a student begins at the Primary Level they could complete the subsequent levels at the appropriate grade level to build on what they already know.

You can find Victus Study Skills System on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.  So check out Victus Study Skills System for yourself.  If you would like to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew including ones reviewing Levels 1 and 2, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of “Bring Me Near”

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About the Book

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Title: Bring Me Near

Author: Marguerite Martin Gray

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February, 2019

Publisher: Celebrate Lit Publishing

Louis Lestarjette enters a world of secrets and questionable actions for the Patriot cause.

Charles Town, South Carolina, 1775—Louis Lestarjette ventures beyond the confines of family life as patriotic duty compels him to enter the world of secrecy and clandestine maneuvers. When he leaves Charles Town for Philadelphia, he experiences first-hand the drastic demands of time and finances, and possibly his life. He must keep Elizabeth and his daughter safe while remaining faithful to this cause of liberty. One wrong decision might cost him all he has worked for over the last three years.

A new generation of children in Elizabeth Lestarjette’s life demands the successful and safe fulfillment of her role as a Patriot. She wonders if her husband understands her desire to do her part as an active Daughter of Liberty. Although Louis is willing to move the family to the country, the decision falls to Elizabeth regarding whether to remain in Charles Town or escape its borders.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

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Bring Me Near continues the story of Louis Lestarjette and his wife Elizabeth along with their family and friends.  Every book in this series created a desire to read more and find out more about this family.  Now they have an adorable baby daughter Harriett.  More babies are added to the circle both in the family and for their friends as well.

The colonies inch ever closer to an actual war with England and decisions have to be made – such as whether the women in the family should learn to shoot or not so they could defend themselves.

In a very expected twist, George (Elizabeth’s brother) and his wife Victoria refuse to keep their child and once Charlotte is born, Victoria leaves and George decides to leave the baby girl with his mother and father, with his sisters providing assistance.

In the meantime, Sarah (Elizabeth’s best friend struggles to conceive a child of her own.  Once she discovers she is pregnant, she faces a difficult pregnancy and then even more devastating events.  This part of the story moved me to tears.

I found the pace of the book, the details included and the characters fascinating to continue reading about.  I would recommend reading all the books in order so you get the full spectrum of the story.

If you are a history fan or just a lover of really good books, check this one out for yourself.  I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

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Marguerite Martin Gray is the author of Hold Me Close, Surround Me, and Bring Me Near– Revolutionary Faith Books One, Two and Three. She enjoys studying history and writing fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches high school Spanish and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and an MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Marguerite is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Abilene Writers Guild, Daughters of the American Revolution, South Carolina Historical Society, and Preservation Society of Charleston. She currently lives in North Louisiana with her husband.

 

More from Marguerite

I am very excited about the release of Bring Me Near. Thank you for joining me in its debut.

My writing journey began with reading as a child in elementary school. I lived in England for a few years where I bought and read loads of books on horses, history, and mystery. While in that unique environment, my parents took us to explore castles, old houses, churches, and cemeteries. The love of history sprouted and grew (I blame it all on my father)!

My love of reading never diminished, but it continued to expand my world. I still devour books (much to my husband’s and my bookcases’ chagrin), mostly historical Christian fiction, though I have some favorite contemporary novels and authors

In my Revolutionary Faith Series, I combine my love of travel, research, history, and writing. I researched my family history originating in Charleston, South Carolina and walked in the footsteps of my 1770s ancestors (I even found my ancestors’ house for sale!) I asked questions about what they would have done during the American Revolution? What did they eat and wear? Were they fearful? Faithful? Courageous? Where did they worship?

My motto in writing is Entertain. Educate. Encourage. I entertain through the elements of fiction by making the characters in my imagination come alive on the page. I educate by presenting a historical period and even after countless hours of research. I encourage by giving a Christian world view where the characters grow and develop through their challenges.

Please join me on this journey by following me at www.margueritemartingray.blog.

Blessings,

Marguerite

 

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, February 28

Back Porch ReadsMarch 1

Bibliophile Reviews, March 2

Maureen’s Musings, March 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 4

Through the Fire Blogs, March 5

For the Love of Literature, March 6

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 7

Texas Book-aholicMarch 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 9

Janices book reviewsMarch 10

Carpe Diem, March 11

A Baker’s Perspective, March 12

BigreadersiteMarch 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Marguerite is giving away

Grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card
1st place winner will receive eBooks of the entire series

and
2nd – 4th place winners will receive an eBook copy of Bring Me Near!!

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

 

Review and Giveaway for “The Secrets of Paper and Ink”

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About the Book

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Title: The Secrets of Paper and Ink

Author: Lindsay Harrel

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: February 26, 2019

Publisher: Tyndale

Lindsay Harrel presents a powerful story of healing, forgiveness, and finding the courage to write your own story.

A year after the death of her abusive fiancé, domestic violence counselor Sophia Barrett finds returning to work too painful. She escapes to Cornwall, England—a place she’s learned to love through the words of her favorite author—and finds a place to stay with the requirement that she help out in the bookstore underneath the room she’s renting. Given her love of all things literary, it seems like the perfect place to find peace.

Ginny Rose is an American living in Cornwall, sure that if she saves the bookstore she co-owns with her husband then she can save her marriage as well. Fighting to keep the first place she feels like she belongs, she brainstorms with her brother-in-law, William, and Sophia to try to keep the charming bookstore afloat.

More than 150 years before, governess Emily Fairfax knew two things for certain: she wanted to be a published author, and she was in love with her childhood best friend. But he was a wealthy heir and well out of her league. Sophia discovers Emily’s journals, and she and William embark on a mission to find out more about this mysterious and determined woman, all the while getting closer to each other as they get closer to the truth.

The lives of the three women intertwine as each learns the power she has over the story of her life.

Click here to purchase your copy.

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As an avid reader and bookstore fan, I could not wait to begin reading The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel.  The idea of casting aside normal responsibilities and settings to move to England and live over a bookstore intrigued me.  I found myself wanting to read more about Sophia, Ginny Rose (the bookstore owner) and Emily Fairfax (the governess whose journal Sophia finds).  Even though Emily lived over 150 years ago, the chapters dedicated to her kept my interest and desire to read more.

The book is broken down with chapters devoted to Sophia, Ginny, and Emily.  The chapters were long enough to keep me wanting to read more.  The characters were realistic and the inclusion of domestic violence/abuse were well-written.  The death of Sophia’s abusive fiance a year earlier causes her world to crumble.  Having witnessed scenes of verbal abuse myself, I can not imagine dealing with physical abuse followed by the death of the abuser.  The scene where Sophia returned to work seemed to indicate a massive change was going to be necessary.

Ginny’s story of wanting to save her marriage by saving the bookstore reminded me of my parents and their marriage and eventual divorce.  I truly believe many marriages can be saved, but I also believe some marriages are destined for divorce.  I will not spoil the story for you by telling the outcome of Ginny’s marriage.

Finally, the story of Emily intertwines with Sophia in a way that made me feel as though I was actually there both in the present and the past.  I loved reading about her life.  I can only imagine what it must have been like for her to be in love with someone wealthy who society would view as being above her social status.

As someone who loves reading and firmly believes that with a book I can never be alone or bored, I could understand and relate to Sophia’s use of books as a means of escape and getting through the days.  I have a number of books I love to turn to when times get hard.  So if you are looking for a book about overcoming life’s circumstances and finding the strength to go on, check out this book for yourself.

About the Author

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Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with her at LindsayHarrel.com.

Guest Post from Lindsay

With every book I write, it seems God has something new to teach me. That certainly was true of The Secrets of Paper and Ink.

Lately, I am learning more and more about the power of our words. I’ve become more conscious of the words I speak over myself as well as what I say to other people. It’s more than “positive thinking”—the words we say ultimately contribute to the stories we weave, and I want my story to be as positive and hope-filled as possible, regardless of my circumstances.

I’ve also become much more aware of the lies that I tell myself—“you are not worthy, you are not enough, you will never achieve what you want to achieve”—and the need to replace those lies with the truths that God says about me. I have listened to Lauren Daigle’s song You Say on repeat lately, and it has become a theme not just of The Secrets of Paper and Ink, but one in the story of my very life.

So while I may not have experienced everything my characters have—I’ve never suffered emotional abuse, or been ostracized by my family, or been orphaned and alone in a world that seems against me at every turn—I have learned alongside them. I set out to write a book that would draw readers closer to the true healer and hope giver, and I ended up being drawn closer myself.

And that, to me, is the true power of story.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 26

The Avid Reader, February 26

The Power of Words, February 26

Carla Loves To Read, February 26

Blogging With Carol, February 27

Inspirationally Ever After, February 27

Kristin’s Book Reviews, February 27

Real World Bible Study, February 28

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, February 28

Carpe Diem, February 28

A Baker’s Perspective, March 1

Andy Carmichael, March 1

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 1

Bibliophile Reviews, March 2

The Becca Files, March 2

Just Your Average reviews, March 2

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 3

Emily Yager, March 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 3

Genesis 5020, March 4

Reader’s Cozy CornerMarch 4

Stories By GinaMarch 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 5

Simple Harvest Reads, March 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, March 5

Remembrancy, March 6

Through the Fire Blogs, March 6

Inklings and Notions, March 6

Just the Write Escape, March 7

Pause for Tales, March 7

Book by Book, March 7

Living Life Free in Christ, March 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 8

To Everything A Season, March 8

The Lit Addict, March 9

Texas Book-aholic, March 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 10

Janices book reviews, March 10

Bigreadersite, March 10

Henry Happens, March 11

Godly Book Reviews, March 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 11

amandainpa , March 11

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Lindsay is giving away a copy of Lindsay’s first book The Heart Between Us!!

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

 

Review and Giveaway for Ladies of Intrigue by Michelle Griep

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About the Book

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Title: Ladies of Intrigue

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: February 2019

Publisher: Barbour

3 Page-Turners Under One Cover from Reader Favorite Michelle Griep!
Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Cornish Coast, 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?

The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)
Dakota Territory, 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideas begins.

A House of Secrets
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

Click here to purchase your copy!

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Ladies of Intrigue is a collection of stories which includes a story about a governess Helen Fletcher who returns to be with her father who is dying and winds up being involved in a raid on the ship she is traveling on.  Isaac Seaton is a gentleman smuggler who truly wants the best for the people under him in England.  My favorite part of this story was when Helen in no uncertain terms enlightens Mr. Farris, a Revenue man after smugglers, that she had absolutely no interest in him.  This story had enough action, enough details and enough variety to keep my interest.

The second story in the collection deals with a daughter whose father dies, and she begins helping a doctor treating soldiers and Indians at Fort Snelling during the Dakota uprising. Emmy has had no formal training beyond watching her father who was a doctor, but her intuitive ability toward medicine amazed me.  Again this story kept me interested and wanting to read more.

The final story in the collection deals with Amanda Carston, a Ladies Aide Chairman, and her beau.  The idea of a “haunted house” being used as a means of helping young ladies escape a brothel intrigued me.  And the fact Amanda’s beau is the one using the house to help these young ladies demonstrated his strength of character. Again, I truly enjoyed this story as well.

So if you are looking for a collection of stories taking place in a variety of settings and under a variety of circumstances, check out Ladies of Intrigue for yourself.

About the Author

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Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit michellegriep.com.

Guest post from Michelle

3 Reasons to Read Historical Fiction

Guest post by Michelle Griep

Believe it or not, some readers snub historical fiction, preferring instead to stick to contemporary reads. Several have good reason to, simply preferring one genre over another. But others have never given historical fiction a try. If you fall into that camp, here are some reasons you should consider reading a tale from the past.

  1. Historical fiction books are not as boring as your high school history class.

Does the thought of endless names and dates make you break out into hives? Good news! Historical fiction is a painless way to glean some historic facts without mindless memorization. You can experience a different era and culture vicariously through heroes and heroines that live on the pages of yesteryear.

  1. Makes for great conversation.

In a world that prides itself on keeping up with the Kardashians, dare to add a little cultural zest to your next dinner conversation. Reading historical fiction arms you with interesting tidbits of things that’ve happened in years gone by.

  1. Because truth is timeless.

Some people yearn to go back to a simpler time. The truth is, though, that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the historic side of the fence. People have had tough issues to deal with no matter the era. . .but therein lies a great reason to read historical fiction: truth is timeless. Be it ancient, biblical, medieval, Victorian, or anything in between, truth never changes.

In my new release, Ladies of Intrigue, you’ll experience all these things and more. Find out about the smuggling trade in Cornwall in The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady. Learn about the rough and dangerous life on a military fort during the 1860’s in The Doctor’s Woman. Find out why the gilded age wasn’t as glittery as we often think in A House of Secrets.

Don’t be doomed to repeat history. Grab a cup of tea and master it with a great read!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, February 23

The Power of Words, February 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 23

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 24

Mary Hake, February 24

Kathleen Denly, February 25

Genesis 5020, February 25

Splashes of Joy, February 25

For the Love of Literature, February 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 26

Faery Tales Are Real, February 26

Through the Fire Blogs, February 26

Blossoms and Blessings, February 26

Inspired by fiction, February 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 27

Back Porch Reads, February 27

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 27

A Baker’s Perspective, February 28

Andy Carmichael, February 28

Stories By Gina, February 28

Emily Yager, March 1

Multifarious, March 1

A Reader’s Brain , March 1

Baker kella, March 1

Bibliophile Reviews, March 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 2

Remembrancy, March 2

Just the Write Escape, March 3

Bigreadersite, March 3

Inspiration Clothesline, March 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 4

Vicky Sluiter, March 4

Ashley’s Bookshelf, March 4

Book by Book, March 4

Kat’s Corner Books, March 5

Inklings and notions, March 5

Living Life Free in Christ, March 5

The Morning Chapter, March 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 6

Pause for Tales, March 6

Simple Harvest Reads, March 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Daysong Reflections, March 6

Texas Book-aholic, March 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 7

Janices book reviews, March 7

A Humble Cup of Lukewarm Tea, March 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 8

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, March 8

Carpe Diem, March 8

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of Ladies of Intrigue!!

Be sure to comment on blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/da8c/ladies-of-intrigue-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Review and Giveaway for “The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides” Collection

 

The lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection FB BannerAbout the Book

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Title: The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides

Author: Kathy Rouser

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: November 1, 2018

Publisher: Barbour

Lighthouses have long been the symbol of salvation, warning sailors away from dangerous rocks and shallow waters.
Along the Great Lakes, America’s inland seas, lighthouses played a vital role in the growth of the nation. They shepherded settlers traveling by water to places that had no roads. These beacons of light required constant tending even in remote and often dangerous places. Brave men and women battled the elements and loneliness to keep the lights shining. Their sacrifice kept goods and immigrants moving. Seven romances set between 1883 and 1911 bring hope to these lonely keepers and love to weary hearts.

The Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser
1899—Mackinac Point Lighthouse
Natalie Brooks loses her past to amnesia, and Cal Waterson, the lighthouse keeper who rescues her, didn’t bargain on risking his heart—when her past might change everything.

Click here to purchase your copy.

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The Great Lakes Brides collection contains a group of stories about the lighthouses on the Great Lakes and each story takes place between 1883-1911.  Each bride has circumstances to overcome.  For example, one bride has to overcome the need to hide her father’s death so she can continue being the lighthouse keeper.  Another bride has to move past the death of the man she thought was her grandfather along with keeping up the lighthouse.

In each story, there is a strong, brave, and heroic man who comes along beside the bride and ensures she receives a “happily ever after”.  Growing up, my grandparents lived on the Inter-Coastal waterway in Wildwood, New Jersey.  I can remember riding to their home and seeing the lighthouses.  Then when I met and married my husband who was born and raised in Eastern North Carolina, I saw even more lighthouses.   These structures contain so much history and are vitally important to ships sailing.  So I was thrilled with the opportunity to learn more about the lighthouses of the Great Lakes.  And these stories did not disappoint.

So if you love lighthouses history or just a really great collection of stories, check out The Great Lakes Brides collection for yourself.

About the Author

 

KaKathleen Rouser headshot.larger filethleen Rouser is the multi-published author of the 2017 Bookvana Award winner, Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. She is a longtime member in good standing of American Christian Fiction Writers. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers who realize their need for the touch God’s grace and hope in their everyday lives. A former homeschool instructor, mild-mannered dental assistant, and current Community Bible Study kids’ teacher, she lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of thirty-some years, and the sassy tail-less cat who found a home in their empty nest. Connect with Kathleen on her website at kathleenrouser.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser/, and on Twitter @KathleenRouser.

Guest Post from Kathy

When author Pegg Thomas approached me about writing a novella for The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides book proposal I couldn’t refuse the chance. After all, I am a lifelong resident of Michigan, which is the Great Lakes State! Plus, I had a favorite lighthouse in mind, though I briefly considered others.

For over 20 years we have ventured “up north” for a week-long summer vacation on Lake Michigan, most of them spent in the same cottage. Since the cottage is almost 20 miles west of Mackinaw City, I’ve made the annual pilgrimage to the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse since they reopened with exhibits in 2004. Part of the first floor has since been restored to the middle-class furnishings of 1910 when George Marshall and his family resided there. Two generations of Marshalls manned the lighthouse and George Marshall’s brother, Charles, was at one time the assistant lighthouse keeper.

There is also an area of the lighthouse where they display maps, photographs and other information, chronicling the history of the lighthouse built on the Straits of Mackinac in 1892. Fresnel lenses, like those used in the tower, and interactive displays are also included. Did you know for several years, the fourth-order Fresnel lens flashed a red light? I’d always pictured a yellow light! A tour guide, dressed in period clothing, such as a U.S. Lighthouse Service uniform, will take you up the tall, winding metal staircase to enjoy the view.

My many visits, whether they’ve included the long climb to the tower or not, have intrigued me. I’d often thought that someday I would like to write a fictional story about this lighthouse. Built with Cream City brick, in a Norman architectural style, the building reminds me of a castle. Perhaps that’s why I chose to have the lighthouse keeper hero, Cal Waterson, rescue Natalie Brooks, a lone shipwreck survivor. She is the proverbial damsel in distress. Yet, despite her amnesia, she finds a new strength in her faith to face an unknown future and in a sense rescues Cal and his daughter.

Returning to the lighthouse last year, I did climb to the tower to examine the view my characters might have had. Of course, I had to imagine what it would have been like without the Mackinac Bridge, which has joined our upper and lower peninsulas since 1957. It’s a spectacular view, where you can also see Mackinac Island, home of the famous Grand Hotel, which was already there in 1899, when my story takes place.

Not only do lighthouses spark so many ideas of history and romance, they are so symbolic— as guiding lights—and beacons of hope to lead through treacherous waters, much like our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the true Light who leads us to the Father. Indeed, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse played a strategic part in guiding ships through the dangers of the straits. I look forward to visiting this beautiful historic landmark again and hope my readers will be drawn into an intriguing visit to the lighthouse through my story, The Last Memory.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, February 21

The Power of Words, February 21

Godly Book ReviewsFebruary 22

Simple Harvest Reads, February 22 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Bibliophile Reviews, February 23

For the Love of Literature, February 23

Just the Write Escape, February 24

Carla Loves To Read, February 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 25

Book by Book, February 25

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, February 26

EmpowerMoms, February 26

Back Porch Reads, February 27

Through the Fire Blogs, February 27

Blossoms and Blessings, February 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 28

Mary Hake, February 28

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, March 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 1

Connie’s History ClassroomMarch 2

Blogging With Carol, March 2

Texas Book-aholic, March 3

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 3

KarenSueHadleyMarch 4

Janices book reviewsMarch 4

Carpe Diem, March 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 5

A Baker’s Perspective, March 6

BigreadersiteMarch 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection, a sterling silver charm of the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, and a souvenir pictorial book of some of the Great Lakes lighthouse!!

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/db9a/the-great-lakes-lighthouse-brides-collection-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Review and Giveaway for “Castle on the Rise”

Castle on the Rise FB Banner

About the Book

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Title: Castle on the Rise

Author: Kristy Cambron

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: HarperCollins

A storied castle. A band of rebels. A nation chasing a centuries-old dream of freedom. And three women who rise above it all . . .

When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.

From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn into the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.

Spanning more than two centuries, Castle on the Rise unites the legacy of three women who must risk mending the broken places within—for life, love, and the belief that even though the depths of our pain, a masterpiece of a story can emerge.

Click here to purchase your copy.

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Castle on the Rise is the second book in the A Lost Castle Novel series.  This book tells three different stories from three different timelines, which can make it difficult to follow at times.  However, the descriptive language is incredible.  In the opening of the book, I felt like I was actually walking along the path with Laine and Ellie.  Cormac captured my attention and interest from the start.  I could not wait to read more about Laine and Cormac.

The setting of Ireland intrigued me since our family loves going to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and we always love going to the show in the Ireland section of the park.  So the descriptions of the scenery and setting captured my imagination.

The idea of having a wedding in a castle serves to make the setting even more powerful captivating.  I wish I could say the entire book kept me captivated, but the jumps between timelines served to distract me at times.

So if you like reading books which take place in multiple time periods with multiple storylines, then this is the book for you.

 

About the Author

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Kristy Cambron is an award-winning author of Christian fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping Series. She is a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at ministry events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal’s Best Books, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

To stay connected, visit www.kristycambron.com.

Kristy’s Research Trip to Ireland

 

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, February 19

Maureen’s Musings, February 19

The Power of Words, February 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 19

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 20

Livin’ Lit, February 20

Texas Book-aholic, February 20

Fiction Aficionado, February 21

Gensis 5020, February 21

Blogging With Carol, February 21

Bigreadersite, February 21

Just the Write Escape, February 22

As He Leads is Joy, February 22

Just Your Average reviews, February 22

Inspired by fiction, February 23

Connect in Fiction, February 23

Carpe Diem, February 23

Bibliophile Reviews, February 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 24

Lis Loves Reading, February 24

A Baker’s Perspective, February 25

Emily Yager, February 25

Moments, February 25

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 26

Girls in White Dresses, February 26

Mary Hake, February 26

Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 27

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 28

Remembrancy, February 28

Through the Fire Blogs, February 28

Inklings and Notions, February 28

Redeemed Hope Dweller, March 1

My Devotional Thoughts, March 1

Seasons of Opportunities, March 1

Pause for Tales, March 1

Ashley’s Bookshelf, March 2

The Becca Files, March 2

Book by Book, March 2

Living Life Free in Christ, March 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 3

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, March 3

All 4 and About Books, March 3

Southern Gal Loves to Read, March 4

Reader’s Cozy Corner, March 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 4

Janices book reviews, March 4

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kristy is giving away a grand prize of one finished copy each of The Lost Castle (book 1) and Castle on the Rise (book 2)!!

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/d9d0/castle-on-the-rise-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Review and Giveaway for “The Deceived”w

The Deceived FB Banner

About the Book

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Book: The Deceived

Author: Kelly Harrel

Genre: Christian Contemporary/ young adult

Release Date: January 2019

My dream is to be a screenplay writer. When my characters come alive, so do I. Writing is like air to me; take that away and I’ll suffocate.

My dad’s dream is for me to play professional baseball. I hate baseball, but I’m really good at it. And if I play the game right, I can use it to get a full-ride scholarship to my dream film school. That’s the plan, anyway. As long as I don’t mess up.

But the other thing I’m really good at? Messing up. Don’t believe me? The girl who likes me is an atheist. I have to out drink my teammates at parties so they know to take me seriously. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to pain pills. I made an absolute fool of myself during the most important game of the year.

Obviously, God hates me. Why else would He stick me with an overbearing father who’s only happy if I’m the best of the best—on the field and off? Why else would He take away my one chance to live my dream?

Hi, my name’s Danny Morton. Welcome to my messed up life and the start of how God saved me.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

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I have to say this was a book that took me a while to get into reading.  While I initially liked Danny, through the pages of the book, I found myself disliking the choices he was making as he spiraled deeper and deeper into self-destructive patterns, including drinking and drugs.  However, the one thing I was glad of was how he avoided going down the path of sexual misconduct.

The other thing I really disliked about this book with a passion was the abrupt way the book ended.  I understand it is only the first installment of the series, but I would have liked some more closure.

The relationship between Danny and his father creates a lot of drama and friction.  I could relate to what Danny must have felt like when his father talked down to him.  At the same time, I loved his relationship with his youngest sister (who was still older than him).  Danny’s other two sisters were examples of what the “smart sibling” and the real “Christian” siblings would act like in my mind.  It really came across through the pages of the book of how much the four siblings loved each other, even when they were not getting along.

Having never played sports, I can not relate to Danny’s involvement with baseball.  But I can relate to him wanting to do something other than what his father wants him to do.  I also could relate to the pressure parents can put on their children to be successful.

So if you want to read a book with true grit and that really dives into the issues facing youth today, check out this book for yourself.

 

About the Author

Kelly Harrel

Kelly Harrel is the author of the Lauren Drake series and its spinoff, the Once Lost series. Convertible rides to the beach with the love of her life, Jeff, are her favorite. She also loves hanging out with her son and daughter, and she adores peppermint mochas. Kelly strives to usher others into a deeper relationship with Christ through her speaking and writing. To learn more about Kelly or to book a speaking engagement, visit www.kellyharrel.com.

 

More from Kelly

I fell in love with Danny Morton when I first heard his voice at two am. His biting remarks made me laugh and cringe at the same time. They also made me jump up to take notes. Maybe because once upon a time I was a sarcastic teen who lived too much in my own mind. Or maybe because I had a lot of questions about God at his age too. Like Danny, I yearned for a close relationship with God even though I felt surrounded by hypocrites.

Yes, I fell in love with Danny from the very beginning. It was impossible not to. His passion is inspiring. Even as young as he is, he has a dream he’s determined to pursue. All he wants is to write, which is also something I can understand.

As soon as I began writing his story, I knew there was a lot of deeper issue to deal with. Being the mother of two teens, I’ve seen firsthand how independent they can be. They have their own ideas, personalities, and desires. Two questions came to mind. Why do teens raised in the church fall into drugs and alcohol and fall away from the Lord? Is there a way to prevent it? Finding no simple answers, I cried out to the Lord to help me understand. I asked Him to give me Danny’s story to teach and inspire others. That’s when not only Danny but his entire family came alive to me.

I thought the most disturbing thing about The Deceived might be Danny’s drugs and alcohol abuse. Yet with each revision of the book, something else became more disturbing—the way his family treated him. This novel became a personal reminder that lukewarm Christianity can destroy those we love the most.

I pray this young adult novel will be picked up by all generations. Parents should examine their own relationship with the Lord, how they treat their teens, and the pressures their teens face every day. My prayer is that teens will find a friend in Danny as well as the determination to recognize and stand against the temptations they face.

One of my favorite scenes in The Deceived is when Danny goes to a party the day after Thanksgiving. Not being a very social guy, he comes up with a hilarious way to identify people. You might need to search different types of trees while you read the scene but you will laugh out loud. While Danny has a lot of great one-liners, the conversations I enjoyed writing the most were those between him and his sister, Lydia. I was blessed with a great relationship with my older brother in our teen years, and those conversations remind me of our late-night talks.

The Deceived will make you laugh, cry, and consider family dynamics and your faith in a new way. And when you get to the last page, remember, there’s more to come.

 

Blog Stops

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 26

Texas Book-aholic, February 27

janicesbookreviews, February 28

A Reader’s Brain, March 1

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 2

Inklings and notionsMarch 3

Real World Bible Study, March 4

2014 and Beyond!, March 5

The Becca Files, March 6

Just the Write Escape, March 7

Multifarious, March 8

A Baker’s Perspective, March 9

Carpe Diem, March 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kelly is giving away a grand prize of a

$25 Amazon Gift Card plus the entire Lauren Drake Series on Kindle (The adult Danny Morton is in books 2 – 4)

1st place winner will receive a paperback copy of The Deceived

2nd – 4th place winners will receive an eBook copy of The Deceived!!

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

 

Review of IXL from IXL Learning

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Having homeschooled all four of our children through the years, I know the benefit of having online learning activities to reinforce what they are already learning.  With only two children left and they are both in high school, I like exploring alternative methods for them to practice what they are learning.  IXL Learning offers so much more than just an online math drill!  IXL Learning provides adaptive and personalized learning for your students. We received an annual membership to IXL where you get access to Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies!  Because my students are in high school, they had access to the Math and Language Arts sections.  I love how we had access to all grades and levels, so if I felt like they needed to practice a skill from a lower math level, they were able to do so easily.

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IXL Learning offers a comprehensive online K-12 curriculum including Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and even Spanish.  For the purpose of this review, we received access for our two children who are still being homeschooled.  IXL Learning can be accessed using computers or on mobile devices.  For this review, we used a combination of a laptop and an Apple iPad.

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I loved the convenience of being able to have our son and daughter practice no matter where we are.  The site offers practice in very specific sections along with diagnostic tests and even provides recommendations.  Because my children are in high school, I decided to skip the diagnostic tests for the purpose of the review.  Because this site is not meant to provide actual instruction but instead provides practice, we skipped around and worked on areas I felt like they needed extra practice.  The site offers an immersive and adaptive learning experience.

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Since math is an area our daughter needs the most assistance and practice with, that is where we concentrated our practice.  However, we also did utilize the language arts sections some as well.

One of the things about the site my children and I loved the most was the incredibly detailed way the courses were laid out and broken down.  These details made it quick and easy to pick out exactly what topics and sections we wanted to choose to work on each time.  The idea was for our daughter to use the program at least three times a week for a reasonable amount of time.  We found that recommendation to be reasonable.

Because we were trying to fill in gaps and strengthen her math skills, we really jumped around in various grades, sections, and topics.  We primarily focused on eighth grade and Algebra I, since these are her weakest areas.  Our family loved how when they completed enough questions, they would earn an award.

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Our son is studying Geometry, so he also used the program to concentrate on areas where we felt like he needed more practice.  Because he is currently doing a fairly rigorous schedule with his original subjects, he did not necessarily work on this program as often as our daughter.  He was very pleased with his experience with the program, and I was glad I did not have to fight with him to access the program.

I feel this program is ideal for any family wanting to strengthen and reinforce their children’s skills in the core areas of Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.  There are so many topics and subjects to explore. If you are not sure what you want your child to do, the diagnostic tests provide an excellent tool for narrowing the scope down for you.

You can find IXL Learning on social media at the following links:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
YouTube

IXL Learning provides an amazing amount of resources for K-12, and other members of the Home School Review Crew are also sharing their experiences with the site this week.  So if you are interested in finding out more about IXL Learning and reading more review by other members of the Home School Review Crew for other grades, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review and Giveaway for “Leaving Darkness”

Leaving darkness FB banner

About the Book

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Title: Leaving Darkness

Author: Greg Schaffer

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release date: October 31, 2018

Long-haul truck driver Lowell Ferguson is on the brink of suicide. He is haunted by the guilt of a horrible secret from his senior year of high school. Therapy and antidepressants aren’t able to lift him out of depression. At twenty-eight years old, he believes his life has dissolved into a meaningless annoyance. Only the strong bond with his lone friend—a Chihuahua named Rufus—keeps him from choosing death. But when Lowell learns Rufus may have cancer, he fears there will be no reason left to live if his beloved dog dies.
While awaiting the diagnosis, he comes across a flier for a Christian support group promising hope and freedom. A skeptic and an apatheist, he nonetheless reluctantly decides to join the group. Through this joining, he finds what he has been yearning for—a path toward leaving the darkness of depression. This first step provides Lowell the courage to do what he must to escape his guilt and finally confront his past.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.
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Leaving Darkness is one of those books that took me a while to enjoy reading.  However, I do have to say at no point in the book did I like Alan.  I thought he was a self-involved control nut who I wanted to see get his just reward.
On the other hand, the main character, Lowell Ferguson, became my favorite character in the book.  Stuck in his belief that his friend Alan had struck and killed a man while driving tore him to pieces.  He found himself in a dark place he could not escape.  Moreover, he had no real friends, was estranged from his family and worked as a long-distance truck driver, unable to let anyone into his life, except his dog.
But through a series of events, Lowell finds himself attending a recovery group.  This group helps him open up, take chances and finally move forward with his life.
In the meantime, Alan believes he has it all – money, power, a great job, a great home, a beautiful wife and two kids.  He has everything a man could want.  But he ends up throwing it all away and losing everything.
In the meantime, Lowell finds God, friends, his family, and more.  By the end of the book, Lowell has more than Alan.  So if you want to read a book that involves dreams that are lost and then found again, check out this book for yourself.

About the Author

greg schaffer

Greg Schaffer participated in a small Christian-based group ministry in 2011 and became a facilitator with the ministry to help others find their direction toward a purposeful life. His firsthand experiences of lives transformed through such healing groups led him to write Leaving Darkness, hoping the tale of transformation through God’s grace may encourage those lost in their own darkness to reach out for help. The author of two previous novels, Greg lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife and three rescue dogs.

 

Guest Post from Greg

As first a group participant and then a volunteer for Restore Small Groups for many years, I’ve seen firsthand the healing power of small group ministries. Many want to change but don’t know how. Leaving Darkness tells the fictional story of one lost in depression to the point of contemplating suicide who happens upon such a Christian-based ministry. Although he is reluctant at first, he gives the process a chance, and through it leaves his darkness, finds his faith, and becomes the person God meant for him to be. I was called to write this story in hope that someone with similar struggles may read Leaving Darkness and realize that there is a way out of the darkness when everything else has failed.

Blog Stops

Godly Book Reviews, February 16

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 17

Bukwurmzzz, February 18

Girls Living For God’s Glory, February 19

Power of Words, February 19 (Spotlight)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 20

Maureen’s Musings, February 21

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

Bibliophile Reviews, February 23

Janices book reviewsFebruary 24

Carpe Diem, February 25

Texas Book-aholic, February 26

A Baker’s Perspective, February 27

Just the Write Escape, February 28

Bigreadersite, March 1

Artistic Nobody, March 1 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Greg is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link the below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/db11/leaving-darkness-celebration-tour-giveaway