MrsK's K-8 Books Worth Reading

my best-reads-for-k-8 shelf:
MrsK Books's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (best-reads-for-k-8 shelf)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Doodletopia Cartoons by Christopher Hart

Doodletopia: Cartoons: Draw, Design, and Color Your Own Super-Fun Cartoon Creations
ISBN: 9781607746911
Publisher's Synopsis:
Welcome to Doodletopia! Your first stop in this paradise of creativity? The world of cartoons. Your tour guide Christopher Hart is ready to introduce you to the interactive, artistic possibilities of creating your own exciting, hilarious, off-the-wall cartoon characters, gags, and more.
Unlike other doodle books that leave you stranded, with no help at all, Doodletopia: Cartoons pairs fun doodle-based activities with the sort of insightful (and laugh-out-loud funny) advice and tips that countless readers have come to expect from cartooning master Christopher Hart. For the first time ever, you can pick up your pencils, pens, markers, or crayons, and draw, doodle, or color right on the same page as the author.
From finishing cartoon faces to selecting costumes to completing wacky cartoon scenes,
the opportunities for creative expression are endless. So what are you waiting for? Open up and start doodling!

MrsK's Review:
Just in time for some fun reading and doodling. I always doodle, especially when I'm learning something new. Like so many of my students, doodling and drawing is a fun place to be. Doodling causes your mind to focus, especially if you are a visual learner and instructors are talking to you! If you draw to create or pass time... this book is for you.

"Doodles are fun to draw.
They get your creative juices flowing."
Are you ready to begin? Do you know how to use the center line or the eye line guidelines? What about warming up your artistic brain with some step-by-step exercises? With "witted" instructions you will learn and practice the art of doodling cartoons.

Beginning with warm ups (yes, you will be interactively doodling with pages next to the instruction). You get to practice each step as a doodler (date your pages... it is your artistic creation). (pgs. 11-27)

Your next project will be completing the silly silhouettes. How fun is this... you get an outline and "bam... there it is" open space to design whatever your imagination can create. (pgs. 29-41)

Next up will be drawing the other half. Ok, this takes a bit of precision. Mirror imaging takes some practice, oh yeah, that's what this book is all about. I did the best with the panda! (pgs. 43-55)

Cartoon characterization is all about the expressions. Given some examples of expressions and blank silhouettes, you can practice any form of expression that you choose for these faces. (pgs. 57-69)

What about creating two different characters from one shape. Silliness at its best! Turning a happy turtle into a surprised armadillo. Or what about an alligator into a wolf. You decide, don't forget the colored pencils for these projects. (pgs. 71-91)

Outfitting the characters is unbelievably fun. The character and a few backdrops are outlined and all you do is create the outfits and any background details or words bubbles you might want. With a few costuming suggestions you can add all the details and bling you want. Its silly time with new friends. (pgs. 93-113)

Matchmaking characters is not as easy at it looks. First you need to have them looking at each other. Next, well next you need to apply all you have learned in the practice projects. Yikes! This is getting more difficult... fun but really detailed. (pgs. 115-124)

Writing with cartooning flair. I can do this! This is what I do best! Yes, I've got it! (pgs. 125-133)

Crazy and ridiculous inventions is uniquely zany. You are designing an invention for a problem that isn't real. Your clue is to "over design." (pgs. 135-143)

Finishing the cartoon. Consider creating an army of sock finding drones. What about a capsule full of "noisy" little aliens on their way back from camp. Or my favorite, a kingdom of baby dragons coughing chaos. (pgs. 145-160)

What ever you do... date it, color it, share it, and have oodles of doodling fun,
"May the funny be with you!"

Enjoyable read full of great drawing fun...
Get creative!

Meet the Cartoonist/Author:
Christopher Hart is the world’s best-selling author of How-To-Draw books. Readers have gobbled up over six million copies of his titles. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages. He is published by Random House, Soho Publishing and Walter Foster. Chris has had the rare distinction of having had the top 1, 2 & 3 art books in the country, simultaneously, as reported by Nielsen Bookscan.

Chris has also been featured on the cover of the publishing industry’s premier magazine, Publisher’s Weekly. He hosted How-To-Draw episodes for Comcast’s Activity TV channel, and has been featured on 20 videos for Howcast. His work has been licensed to art kits, board games and sports equipment.

Chris is known for his ability to create cute and dramatic characters, brimming with personality. He focuses on the most contemporary styles, genres, and techniques, in order to give his readers and fans the very latest in art instruction.

Few authors read and respond to every email they receive. But Chris does. Let him share his view on being an author: “It’s a privilege to be published as a cartoonist. I’m grateful to my readers, who make it happen. So if I can give something back, by offering a little encouragement, answering a question, or giving advice, why wouldn’t I? I honestly don’t understand authors who say they’re too busy to respond to their readers. The readers are why they are authors in the first place.”

 Click the above image to go to drawing videos!

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."
Blogging For Books

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Tears of Dark Water by Corban Addison

ISBN: 9780718042202
Publisher's Synopsis:
Daniel and Vanessa Parker are an American success story. He is a Washington, DC, power broker, and she is a physician with a thriving practice. But behind the gilded façade, their marriage is a shambles, and their teenage son, Quentin, is self-destructing. In desperation, Daniel dusts off a long-delayed dream—a sailing trip around the world. Little does he know, the voyage he hopes will save them may destroy them instead.
Half a world away on the lawless coast of Somalia, Ismail Adan Ibrahim is living a life of crime in violation of everything he was raised to believe—except for the love and loyalty driving him to hijack ships for ransom and plot the rescue of his sister, Yasmin, from the man who murdered their father. There is nothing he will not do to save her, even if it means taking innocent lives.
Paul Derrick is the FBI’s top hostage negotiator. His twin sister, Megan, is a celebrated defense attorney. They have reached the summit of their careers by savvy, grit, and a secret determination to escape the memory of the day their family died. When Paul is dispatched to handle a hostage crisis at sea, he has no idea how far it will take him and Megan into the past—or the chance it will give them to redeem the future.
Across continents and oceans, through storms and civil wars, the paths of these individuals converge in a single, explosive moment. It is a moment that will test them and break them, but it will also leave behind an unexpected glimmer of hope—that out of the ashes of tragedy and misfortune, the seeds of justice and reconciliation can grow.

MrsK's Review:
Not the typical read, yet very compelling... intriguing... and intense. Daniel and his son, Quentin, are sailing around the world. This voyage was an attempt at reconciling Daniel's relationship with Quentin... as well as a journey of restoration period for his marriage. Vanessa's "words were like a prophecy playing in an endless loop." A haunting in which Daniel is determined to rectify once they reached their rendezvous in South Africa. Ordinary morning sights of of "winking stars" and sailboats should have kindled adventurous energy, yet a fluttering of memories about Vanessa overshadowed Daniel's vision:
"Vanessa in the old Greek...
means 'butterfly.' 
It's like you're somewhere else --
in the air, dancing with the sun."
Vanessa was a double major in biology and music. Daniel was a law student. On that day when Daniel stood in Carnegie Hall "clutching the handbill," he witnessed the beauty of her violin. As the years passed their marriage began crumbling. All those years ago, Vanessa's words about her music "fading like everything else" brought an agonizing grief to Daniel's heart and spirit. His hope was in the voyage's destination. Would she meet them in South America?

Paul Derrick (a negotiator) and his twin sister Megan are special agents. Both are haunted by the death of their brother. Both chose career paths that would allow them to turn a "crisis" situation for others into a journey with support instead of agonizing suffering. On a holiday in Cape Town, South Africa they will receive a call to duty.

In the Indian Ocean, Ishmail is watching the cargo ship on the western horizon:
"Ismail looked across the tropical sea draped with the shadows of twilight
and clutched his AK-47." 
Trusted for his fearlessness, valued for his command of English, and known as a man of action... Ishmail is readied for this piracy mission. With complete surprise, the mission failed and now Ismail must find a way to get his crew to safety. They needed to take a ship!

"The clouds trundled in, effacing the sun...
The drops were huge...
pelting the sailboat...
like rubber bullets."
The Renaissance was heading southeast with the swells. Daniel has to keep Quentin safe. The GPS shows they are an hour off course. The satellite e-mail bulletin is warning about a pirate attack:
"If you proceed through the High Risk Area, 
please take precautions to avoid attack..."

On November 9, 2011... Vanessa's iPhone vibrated... The sailboat has been hijacked by pirates!  For everyone, the following days will be filled with anxious waiting, unbearable choices, reliance on others, and "uncharted" decisions.

Embedded within the piracy, is the foreshadowing about Somalia's history. The life endured by so many. The atrocities enforced. Although the choices are horrific, the humanistic perspective is illuminated with empathetic facets. Ishmail's faith and character is defined by quotes from the Quran. The bonds of family is portrayed on both sides of the injustice. With in the climatic trial, vindication and redemption is honestly portrayed. This was not a book in which the last page is read and you move on to another journey. While the topics of terrorism, hostage situations, piracy, and justice are plastered all over our social media, one rarely is provided a glimpse into the story behind the horrifying choices. This story needed time for me to comprehend its truth. I did not embrace compassionate ideology. Instead, I found empathy with justice and hope in a quieted forgiveness. Not unlike so many whom have extended forgiveness in every day atrocities...       
Voyaging with this book means that you will be experiencing more than any headlines could offer. 
Be prepared to be "swept" away... tossed about... anguished... and ready to see this journey through to completion!
"My mother always told me that strength is a choice.
Be strong."
Amazingly paced... depth defying characters...
all encompassing story line...
decisive conclusion! 
Meet the Author:
Web Bio Pic  Corban Addison is the author of three international bestselling novels, A Walk Across the Sun, The Garden of Burning Sand, and The Tears of Dark Water, which address some of today’s most pressing human rights issues. An attorney, activist, and world traveler, he is a supporter of numerous humanitarian causes, including the abolition of modern slavery, gender-based violence, and HIV/AIDS. He lives with his wife and children in Virginia.

"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Amish Christmas Gift by Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin

ISBN: 9780718039653
Publisher's Synopsis:
Naomi’s Gift by Amy Clipston
Naomi has begun to believe that she isn’t meant to find love,
 but she might receive more than she has ever hoped for this Christmas.
Twenty-four-year-old Naomi King has all but given up on marriage and children. As Christmas approaches, Naomi is certain that her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family’s quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings. Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down.

An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid
Abigail has driven other suitors away, but can Micah find a way to show her he cares?
Being a caregiver for Micah Zook’s grandmother is the answer to Abigail’s prayers. In fact, the elderly lady keeps finding ways to set Abigail up with her grandson. Despite Abigail’s constant chatter, Micah realizes he’s beginning to care for her—until he makes a decision that leaves her feeling betrayed. With Christmas in their midst, can Micah find a way to reconcile with Abigail and to reveal the true feelings of his heart?

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin
Frannie Mast returns to Bee County for Christmas, but her heart stays back in Missouri with an Englisch farm boy.
Frannie knows her parents have the best of intentions when they send her back to Bee County, Texas, to live with her aunt and her aunt’s new husband Mordecai. After all, Frannie knows nothing can come of a relationship with Rocky, the handsome Englisch farm boy back in Missouri. But all bets are off when Rocky follows Frannie to Texas to plead his case. Could he be the Christmas gift to end all gifts?

MrsK's Review:
Sometimes during the late evenings you want to unwind with stories that will touch your heart. That will give you sense of peace beyond the "hustle and bustle" of the season. Each of these stories will provide just the right blend of joy and strength for the days ahead.

Naomi's Gift is so precious. What begins with a father and daughter returning home for the holidays quickly turns into a beautifully quilted awakening to a life awaiting discovery. Penned with a Victorian quality, this Amish love story will be a story worth re-reading every season. As if the story was a designed quilt, Naomi and Caleb's discoveries are stitched together with delicately detailed word choice and exquisite patches of life.
"Being surrounded by family warmed his soul,
and he thanked God for the opportunity to spend
Christmas with them."

An Unexpected Joy is a perfected story about a young woman's discovery within her spirit. For Abigail, her own horse would provide freedom to live without the need of securing a man. For Micah, hiring Abigail to watch over his grandmother meant he could get his orders filled quickly without interruptions. For Edith, Abigail would be the renewing spirit of hope... friendship... and a soul worth mentoring.
"She lifted her face to the cloudless blue sky.
She was thankful for the simple way her people celebrated Christmas.
Sharing a large meal, exchanging practical, homemade gifts,
and reflecting on our Savior's birth."

A Christmas Visitor arrives in a small Amish community with the determination to know them, their customs, their way of living, and their God. For Frannie there are so many doubts about Rocky even though her heart cries for him to be the one God has chosen for her. For her family and her Amish community, Rocky seems honest, dedicated, and committed. Yet, becoming Amish rarely is achieved. For training and guidance, Rocky turns to the elders Mordecai and Caleb in order to walk in their ways: "Nothing is more important than your path with God. Our journey through this world is short. You'll need that to navigate." For Frannie, Susan and her Aunt Abigail's proven words of wisdom will resonate deeply within her mind, her heart, and her soul: "Be patient. Wait to see what He has in store for you. It'll be greater than anything you can imagine for yourself."
"God, if you're really there, help me.
I'm too stupid to figure this out.
I need a hint."     

During this season of giving, gifting, and sharing... be good to yourself and take some moments with these seasonal joys.
"God makes each snowflake different, yet it all blends into a beautiful landscape of snow... 
It's one reason I like winter."
An Unexpected Joy
Delightful Christmas reading.
A treasury worth keeping and passing on! 
Meet the Authors:
Get to Know Amy Clipston  Amy Clipston is a native of New Jersey, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I often joke that my fiction writing “career” began in elementary school as I wrote and shared silly stories with a close friend. However throughout school, I only considered writing a hobby, and I never dreamt of being an author. My dream came true when I sold my first book in 2007. Holding my first book, A Gift of Grace, in my hands was exhilarating and surreal.

I love writing about the Amish, and an Amish friend in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, reads my manuscripts for accuracy. I was always fascinated with the Amish when I was a child. I remember visiting Lancaster County, and my father, who was a German immigrant, told me that the Amish speak the same dialect of German as my relatives. I was drawn to their simplicity and faith. Due to my German heritage, I feel a loose connection to the Amish and their culture.
"My plots come straight from my heart and all involve family issues intertwined with faith."

  Ruth Reid: After finishing my first 100,000 word manuscript, I bought the book, The 38 Most Common Fiction Mistakes (and how to avoid them) by Jack Bickham. My book had 36 of the mistakes listed. At least, I knew enough not to pursue an agent with it—or—hold on to it so tight that I would spend years trying to fix it. A clean page was the answer. I tossed that book in the closet and started something different.

The next book came after several bawling sessions with God over computer problems. When I finally dried my eyes, I sat down and wrote a book in eight weeks. That one I liked, and it was clean of the 38 common fiction errors, so I started my search for an agent.
I found Mary Sue Seymour in a Writer's Digest article. She was one of the agents listed who accepted new authors. My husband told me I was wasting money on the magazine, assuming she wouldn't accept my unsolicited manuscript. He was wrong. That was the best $5.99 I had ever spent.

Not long after signing with the Seymour Agency, I sold my first book, A Promise of an Angel to Thomas Nelson. The simplicity of the Amish lifestyle has intrigued me for years. While attending college at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, I lived with retired dairy farmers and had the opportunity to meet many of the Amish in the area. I'll never forget skipping classes one day to watch a barn raising. I was amazed at the craftsmanship without use of power tools. I'm still intrigued today. I love learning about their firm devotion to God and to each other. I'm blessed for the friendships formed in the process of writing my books.

Kelly Irvin: Kelly Irvin  is the author of the critically acclaimed The Beekeeper’s Son, called “a beautifully woven masterpiece” by Publishers Weekly. The book is the first of three in The Amish of Bee County series from Zondervan/HarperCollins. Kelly also penned the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest House Publishing. She has also authored two inspirational romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.

The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She wrote nonfiction professionally for more than thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter, mostly in Texas-Mexico border towns. She has worked in public relations for the City of San Antonio for twenty-one years. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and serves as secretary of the local chapter, Alamo Christian Fiction Writers.

Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-seven years. They have two grown adult children, two grandchildren, two cats, and a tank full of fish. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors.

"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

All is Calm, All is Bright by Colleen Coble

ISBN: 9780718037826
Publisher's Synopsis:
Return to two of Colleen Coble’s most beloved settings—Bluebird Ranch and Hope Beach—for holiday romance and mystery!
All Is Calm
It’s going to be an unexpectedly romantic Christmas at Bluebird Ranch.
Brendan Waddell has always considered Bluebird Ranch a little piece of heaven: an idyllic ranch that pairs abused children with abused horses, run by one of his Marine buddies. Now, it seems just the place to spend Christmas recovering from an on-the-job injury.
Lauren Everman first came to the ranch as a foster kid, but now knows it’s the perfect hideout. As the witness to a murder, Lauren needs somewhere to lie low. Her beauty immediately catches Brendan’s attention—but so does her secretive behavior. This Special Ops Intel man knows a woman on the run when he sees one. Can he trust her, or is she putting the ranch at risk? One thing is certain: he’s going to do everything he can to keep her safe so he can see what magic Christmas brings.
All Is Bright
A romantic Christmas wedding at Tidewater Inn gives Delilah’s unique gifts a chance to shine. 
But will her light be snuffed out before the bride and groom say “I do”?
As manager of the Tidewater Inn, Delilah Carter has been planning a spectacular Christmas wedding for her friend, Elin Summerall. But when Delilah’s car is forced off the road and into the ocean, she finally has to admit that the strange phone calls she’s been receiving lately may be more than just pranks.
Sheriff Tom Bourne has always had a soft spot for Delilah, and he’s determined to protect her. He hopes to win her heart by giving her the surprise gift of a lifetime . . . but first he has to make sure nothing happens to her before Christmas Day.
It’s the season of miracles. But will both Elin and Delilah get the ones they need this holiday season?

MrsK's Review:
As the season progresses, it is wonderful to cover up in the evenings with a quiet book that allows you to journey with the holiday season and yet not get stressed over what needs to be done. Both of these short stories provides the best break of your day. Quick engaging conversations. Life scenarios in which both women make good decisions and positive choices. Refreshing "can do" attitudes from those who care enough to lead with examples.

Both stories are woven around life-threatening mysteries. Mysteries in which you will continue to turn the page, yet quietly engaging so that you aren't anxious about where the story is leading you. 
Peacefully Enjoyable
Meet the Author:
Colleen Coble Headshot  Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.
"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Time Chamber by Daria Song

ISBN: 9781607749615
Publisher's Synopsis:
Korean artist Daria Song’s sequel to The Time Garden takes readers on a visual journey into a magical nighttime world seen through the eyes of a fairy.
This second book in the bestselling Time coloring series features the voyage of a fairy who, when the cuckoo clock chimes midnight, enters the human world. To the tiny fairy, everything seems enormous and magical, from the curtains to the chandelier to a mystical rowboat that takes her further into an inky adventure. With her she packs her favorite items, which colorers can find throughout the book’s pages: an owl-feathered pen, a star-scented spray, a time tape measure…even the key to the time chamber itself!
Filled with the imaginative, intricately detailed illustrations Song’s readers have come to love, The Time Chamber presents a view of our world made new—and ready for coloring.
The Time Chamber features extra-thick craft paper, ideal for non bleed-through coloring, and the jacketed cover with flaps is removable and colorable. Special gold-foil stamping on the cover and spine and a To/From page make it perfect for gifting to adults and kids alike.

MrsK's Review:
Completely entertained by this new form of reading, I anxiously awaited this second adult coloring book to be delivered to my home.
"The red-haired fairy who lived inside the cuckoo clock was feeling restless..."

She will soon discover what the world beyond her world of clockworks "really" looks like. She discovers marvelous treasures, beautiful and mysterious nooks and crannies, and fanciful journeys beyond her intricately designed clock mechanisms. 

Beautifully designed. Artistically playful. This color book holds the promise of enjoyment, tranquility, and discovery.
Take a moment to read, to color, to relax in a dreamy moment in time, 

"Every object in the house that caught her eye had a brilliant story of its own."
Beautifully crafted... Delightfully fun...
A great gift for yourself and all who love imaginative journeys.
Read It Forward
Meet the Artist/Author:
Photo of Daria Song  DARIA SONG is an author and artist with a master’s degree in fiber arts from the Ewha Womans University Graduate School of Fine Arts. Winner of the Kyung Hyang Arts Contest, Song has exhibited at numerous galleries and museums in Korea, Singapore, Turkey, and Hong Kong. She is a lecturer at the Kaywon School of Arts and her illustrations can be found in Amore Pacific and SK Planet. She spent five years of her childhood in San Francisco before returning to Korea, and the sense of wonder and mystery that comes from living in a far-off place inspired her internationally best-selling adult coloring book, The Time Garden.

 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."
 A division of Penguin Random House LLC

5-Minute Bedtime Treasury by Precious Moments

ISBN: 9780718043193
Publisher's Synopsis:
Delight your little ones with these sweet Precious Moments® characters as you share beloved Bible stories and comforting bedtime scriptures with them.
The five-minute format helps parents create a meaningful bedtime. With paraphrased stories from the International Children’s Bible®, you’ll nurture a love for God’s Word.
Take five minutes before bed to create a special connection with your precious child.

MrsK's Review:
5 minutes a day! 5 minutes to instill the beauty and joy of our Lord's love into the hearts of every little one under your charge. Beginning with our creation and ending with the revelation of God's promise for our Lord's return, this treasury is crafted as a lasting legacy for every precious child of God.

With the sweetness of  John Burt's precious moment images, every bible story is illuminated with the joy of God's promises, goodness, faithfulness, guiding light, and graciousness. Within the pages you will find a guide for bedtime routines. A family legacy page outlined as a family tree. A section to record your little one's record of growth and church ceremonies. Included are sections for recording special prayers from their prayer warriors, as well as a special prayer page for you to record their first spoken prayers. A true "treasury" of their precious life.

The organization of this treasury took me by surprise. I thought of a treasury as a collection of stories. What I discovered was a treasury of a child's legacy.

Uniquely crafted blessings to be passed from one generation to the next,
Meant as a child's precious moment with you.
Designed as your precious moments with them.
Inspired by the precious gifts of God's faithfulness.

"I received this book for this review."
I review for BookLook Bloggers 
Thomas Nelson

I Prayed For You by Jean Fischer

ISBN: 9780718049874
Publisher's Synopsis:
“Even before you were born, I prayed for you.”
Every day Mama Bear prays for Baby Bear—she always has and she always will. Cuddle up and share how your little one is covered in prayer and surrounded by love.

MrsK's Review:
With the sweetest illustrations by Frank Endersby, this is a delightful "huggle-snuggle" moment of love. There is no comparison for those quiet moments of love when you snuggle-up with a book for story time. With a gracious touch of God's love, you can snuggle, read and discuss, and instill the love as a prayer warrior your little one's heart. What a beautiful gift that will last an eternity within their spirit.

As Mama Bear tucks little bear in bed, she plants her loving seeds of the blessing her little one has given her. With each memory of love, she shares her prayer of gratitude to our Lord for the most precious gift of her little one. Whether it is a moment before the little one was born. Their first moment in your arms or as they take their first wobbly steps. Even those first parenting moments of a "boo-boo" or their first "no." What is joyfully passed on... is the love and joy experienced as you read this book together.

Be prepared for this book to be shared for years to come,
Enduring moments of love and joy!
Perfect for every little heart... every night!
Meet the Author:
   "Be still and know that I am God."
---Psalm 46:10

In 1984, I was an agnostic experiencing a deep valley in my life. In desperation, I cried for help to a God whom I knew in name only. He lifted me out of the valley and gave me a new life, one committed to serving and honoring Him. Through my experience I learned that God can take the messy leftovers of our lives and turn them into something rich, fertile and good.
God exists, and He loves us. He is everywhere. I have found Him in the sound of a distant train, the smell of a campfire on a cool autumn night, in the tenacity of a ladybug clinging to a blade of grass on a breezy day. . . Jean Fischer

"I received this book for free for this review."
I review for BookLook Bloggers

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love

ISBN: 9781401687595
Publisher's Synopsis:
When India Hartley is accused of murder, she must uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.
India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress, is now alone after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.
A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.
Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia lowcountry and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.

"Gunfire exploded to the right of the stage,
a burst of sound that temporarily deafened her...
Two burly officers leapt onto the stage,
seized her by both arms,
and manhandled her into a police wagon..." 
MrsK's Review:

India Hartley is devastated, she had no clue that on December 20, 1870 her life, her career, and her safety would be threatened. As the morning dawned, India's only concern was about the "upstaging" Mr. Sterling had committed during the previous nights performance. Presently, while India had her cheek pressed against "the cold bars" she caught a glimpse of gray daylight. Would the magistrate realize that she was "not to blame" for the gun shot at the Southern Palace Theater?

"India Hartley, you are charged with the murder of Arthur Sterling
and are hereby bound over for trial at a date to be determined."
So many "if only" thoughts crashed in and out of India's mind. Why had Mr. Philbrick insisted on changing the script prior to that nights performance? How was the prop gun replaced by hers? Why was Mr. Sinclair "going to such lengths to assist a total stranger?" For now, India had to accept Mr. Sinclair's services, as well as her release into his custody. For now, India would be scurried away from the "juicy scandal." India was on her way to St. Simons, an island south of Savannah . Her destination was Indigo Point where Mr. Sinclair's family owned a war-torn plantation. The only hope that India could grasp a hold of was a type of safety net that had been flung into her possession by a Mrs. Sutton Mackay. True, she did not know who Mrs. Mackay was. She only knew that Mrs. Mackay had offered her a blessing when she needed it.

"Oh, what a man was this Philip Sinclair!
She couldn't remember the last time she had felt so sheltered."
At Indigo Point, India will find the shadowing of a murder charge briefly fading. Those days will not necessarily be carefree, and yet, India will regain hope, strength, and a re-acquaintance with an inner gift for helping others in need. There will be opportunities for disclosures, for smaller mysteries to be illuminated. Mysteries in which, once truth is revealed, all of the lives from the theater and Indigo Point will converge into one single focal point... India's trial!
 "Gazing at the blackened bricks and crooked chimney, India shivered.
She couldn't give it a name, but she could feel something dark and foreboding gathering there,
waiting in the shifting shadows."

With delightfully detailed settings, enjoyable conversations, and the hint of a blessed future... the reader is given a brief journey back in time when loyalty, a passion for your heritage, and a decisiveness of hope can bring every obstacle into submission.
"A lie is the truth in masquerade,
written in dark misfortune's book."
Who can be trusted?
Enjoyable read!
Perfect for any wintry storm.   
Meet the Author:
dorothylove  Born in the middle of the twentieth century, Dorothy Love is certain she arrived on Planet Earth a hundred years too late. An avid scholar of 19th century American history, she spends most of her time poking through museums, reading dusty books, and studying the journals of the Victorian-era women whose lives inspire her Southern historical novels.
She prefers a fountain pen to a computer keyboard, print books to digital downloads, and face to face conversations to 140 character tweets. Though she admits that modern technology makes it easier to stay in touch with her readers, whenever possible she avoids automated phone systems, online banking, and booking her own airline tickets. When she’s not busy researching or writing books or avoiding technology, she enjoys teaching at writers conferences. She is a former associate writer in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL. She has taught at dozens of  writers conferences nationwide including the Florida First Coast Writers Conference, the Columbus Ohio Writers Conference, the South Carolina Writers Workshop, and the graduate program at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA,  and was a featured author on the Writer to Writer series for Florida Public Television.

"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

MrsK's Reading Bio

Reading is important! No questions asked, not even a blink of the eye from any student I grew up with. On the first day of the First grade, we were given our first books. Day two we all read aloud, round robin of course. Day three we were place in our first basal, now known as a lit circle group. Books were so important, publishers designed new curriculum so that every student was reading by the end of the first week. These early readers had images that looked like what we could see in the classroom, beyond the classroom, even on the big screen. Reading is important, throughout history every generation has believed that “Reading” opens up the world for endless possibilities.

I adore the 1950’s Dick and Jane books. Actually, most reading specialists and experienced (45+) educators believe that every student learned to read with Dick and Jane. Since these books are being re-issued, I have heard many parents, grandparents, and students claim that Dick and Jane stories of repetition does teach students to read.

Early influences from my mother influenced my desire to read. I would watch her read and we would go on “secret” excursions to the library. The library became my playground. I owned every book I could carry home, of course they needed to be taken back to their home after visiting with me for a week or two. My first book that I could pull off of the library shelf and read was, Father Bear Comes Home. I only saw my dad on Sundays for a few hours. I would pull this beginning reader off of the library shelf every week. Every week I would try to read the first chapter. Every week I got further in the story. My mom would let me check it out, only if I could read it myself (She didn’t like the illustrations therefore she didn’t want to take time to read it to me). One day, I pulled the book from the shelf and when mom came to get me from the children’s corner, I realized that I had read the whole story. I ran to the check out desk and the Librarian KERCHUNKED the checkout card. My mother, brother and neighbors read. My teachers read. We all read aloud all day long in school. The Priest read aloud every day at mass, even in Latin. Everybody in the Doctor’s office read. People on the bus read. Dad’s waiting in their cars as the Mom’s and children grocery shopped, read. In fact, once you could read and write, Sunset Magazine considered you a reader and sent you mail every day.

Reading is important; I’ve spent my life reading. I’ve traveled around the world and into space through books. My favorite genre is whichever book I have open at the time. Children’s Literature is my passion. Book clubbing is one of the best past times, especially if food is involved. In fact my friends of old are in a book club and we are about to embark on a beach trip to “read” and discuss our newest selection.

My “home-run” book story has helped every student find his or her own “home-run” reads. Every year, I have shared my, Father Bear Comes Home, and every year my students have brought in their “home-run” books. That’s the “diving board” into our Lit. Studies.

In “Growing Up Digital,” Tapscott’s insights into the new generations enthusiasm for the Net reminded me of my generation’s enthusiasm for reading, movies, TV, parties and our driving permits. The Net-Generation, as Tapscott describes, “are learning, playing, communicating, working, creating communities, and enforcing a social transformation.”
N-Geners are interactive “techies” who are always looking for a way to “work it” verses the TV Generation of “Baby Boomers” who started out looking for “how it works.” Reading development is tougher today, society moves too fast to invest their “non-working” free time into a book or even “home work.” Since I stepped into my own classroom, I have seen students being told to read, being forced to read, and threatened into reading. Homework is not any longer the vehicle for students to gain their future lifestyles or careers with. Yet, the Internet does create an enthusiasm for learning. Since I have been enrolled in these courses, I have used the computers in every subject. My students are using the newest technology in the classroom because I am giving them investigative sites to use as they learn from each other and books. I agree with Tapscott, in order to bridge the gap with this up and coming generation we must “live and learn with them.”

FTC Required Disclaimer: I receive these books from the publishers. I did not receive monetary compensation for these reviews. These reviews have been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at


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