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)

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Becoming Mrs. Lewis
ISBN: 9780785224501
Publisher's Synopsis:
From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.
"You would not have called to me
unless I had been calling to you."
Aslan, The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis
MrsK's Review:
Joy's story begins in 1946, New York. Amidst an anguished phone call, Joy reveals insights about her doubts. A marriage between two writers with beginnings of idealism and passion was now "unhinging" her husband and bringing her fear, despair, and desperation. A desperation that began as a "crack" in her soul... where God came in.

Three years later, Joy writes her first letter to C.S. Lewis and from that point on their letters "flew over the ocean like birds passing each other in flight." When one is in the wait room of transformation, you tend to wrestle with who you are becoming and the abounding truth about which path you desire to travel. 

With stunning settings, biographical glimpses conveyed from their letters, and unblemished crafting of a fictional story line... Joy once again has been given a voice. With a wealth of insights, I could have written so many tidbits that would have enticed you to read this narrative. Reviews appear to be mixed. If you have not experienced C.S. Lewis beyond Narnia, much of this story could appear as a fictional love story. Having completed a study about C.S. Lewis by Devin Brown: Discussing Mere Christianity (Study Gateway DVD series), I was enthralled with the unveiling of Joy's story.

Read, cherish the encounter, and place this on your book shelf. It is priceless!
"The beauty that brings us to peace and whispers
that there's something more."
 A beautiful journey that must be shared! 

Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters     Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman: The Letters and Autobiography of Joy Davidman
Meet the Author:
Patti Callahan Growing up in Philadelphia as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Patti learned early the value of storytelling. At the age of twelve, her family moved to South Florida where Patti found the sanctuary of libraries and began her slow but steady journey into understanding the power of story to navigate confusing times in life.

Patti attended Auburn University for her undergraduate work, and Georgia State University for her graduate degree. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.
"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Title: Olive Kitteridge, Author: Elizabeth Strout
Publisher's Synopsis:
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition – its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance; a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.

As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life – sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty.

"... Olive Kitteridge was going to New York..."
MrsK's Review:

Olive Kitteridge is a complex woman. A small town educator, that is either accepted or provoking others into costly denial. She speaks her mind and she isn't one to back down. So many lives are always in a state of unraveling. Olive continues to involve herself in the needs of those in her town, and of course with her family. Yet now, at seventy two, Olive no longer feels satisfaction in her efforts to help... it is more of a compelling "put out." Often over-bearing, cruel, and insensitive to how her words and actions affect those around her, Olive must come to an understanding that brings a painful moment of clarity... a true reflection of herself.

Written with in the thirteen lives, Olive's character portrayal is faceted with so many illuminating strengths and weaknesses. Every life is complex. Every season in life evolves into the next. Olive's journey unfolds as if she was on a trip through time. Some stories have closure, some are still left undone. Just as in life, the final completion is still in progress.
"She didn't like to be alone.
Even more, she didn't like being with people."

Sometimes there is a novel that is well defined...
One in which the characters puzzle you...
One in which you are left with "unfulfilled" puzzlement!

"I never intended to return to Olive Kitteridge.
I really thought I was done with her, and she with me. 
But a few years ago I was in a European city, alone for a weekend, and I went to a café, and she just showed up. That’s all I can say. She showed up with a force, the way she did the very first time, and I could not ignore her."
Meet the Author:
Elizabeth Strout Elizabeth Strout is the author of several novels, including: Abide with Me, a national bestseller and BookSense pick, and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. In 2009 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her book Olive Kitteridge. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker. She teaches at the Master of Fine Arts program at Queens University of Charlotte.
Random House Partnerships - Random House Books 

Secrets at Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble

Secrets at Cedar Cabin (Lavender Tides, #3)
ISBN: 9780718085841
Publishers Synopsis:
Running for her life in the wake of her mother’s murder, Bailey Fleming escapes to the only place she can think of—a remote, dilapidated cabin in Lavender Tides. Intending to finally get to the truth behind the lies of her past, Bailey only finds more questions when bodies are discovered near her cabin hideout along with traces of a dangerous human trafficking ring. In an unlikely partnership with FBI agent Lance Phoenix, Bailey races to understand the mystery surrounding her life and circumstances before the murderer tracks her down.

Meanwhile, Lance is determined to rescue his sister, Ava, who was abducted after running away from home as a teenager. An unexpected lead brings him to the remote cabin, and he wonders if Bailey—with her suspicious past and strange connections to his sister’s case—is really who she claims to be and if she can somehow lead him to Ava.

"Bailey opened the burgundy cover and glanced at the first picture.
She blinked as she struggled to take in the reality of the photo..."
MrsK's Review:
Bailey Fleming enjoyed working with the elderly. To Bailey, those she served were her family members she had always wanted. Loving and caring for them came naturally. When one revelation leads to another, Bailey is forced to run for her life. Every step forward becomes twisted by deceivers. Doubt becomes fear, and fear becomes a strength that leads Bailey to a cross roads of possibilities or death.

Kyle Bearcroft should have been Bailey's prince charming. The truth became clear once Bailey discovered that he was a bigamist. With determination, Bailey decides to move beyond her illegal marriage to Kyle. Yet, Kyle is driven to control Bailey for reasons that Bailey could never have known.

Lance Phoenix might be a FBI agent, but right now he is driven in his desire to get and take down the lead sex-trafficker in the Pacific Northwest. Every life mattered, yet Lance has a special agenda. Ava had to be found! 

Even though King "feels a little inconspicuous" in Seattle, he must find out where Bailey is hiding. He knows that she is a "loose canon." One that he should have taken care of. 

Lily lives close by to the cabin that her father built in 1936. Given the troubles with her health, ability to take care of herself, and a memory that floats in and out, Bailey decides to watch over her. Maybe this new life will help her overcome the nightmares of being on the run.

Expertly woven are many of the previous characters from the first two books in this series. New threads are attached to the mysterious tapestry that was begun in Lavendar Tides. As with any seasonal change, these novels will provide page-turning adventures before the holidays arrive.
Will Bailey bring an end to this saga?
A consuming, unraveling legal thriller!
The View from Rainshadow Ba...    The House at Saltwater Poin...
Meet the Author:
 Colleen Coble  USAToday bestselling author Colleen Coble lives with her husband, Dave, in Indiana. She is the author of dozens of novels including the Rock Harbor Series, the Aloha Reef Series, the Mercy Falls Series, the Hope Beach Series, the Lonestar Series and two Women of Faith fiction selections, Alaska Twilight and Midnight Sea. She has more than 2 million books in print.
"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Friday, July 19, 2019

Seasons of an Amish Garden by Amy Clipston

Seasons of an Amish Garden
ISBN: 9780310354307
Publisher's Synopsis:
As the young people of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, plant a garden in memory of their friend, Katie Ann begins to worry that her older brother, Ephraim, is dating her best friend. What if she somehow loses them both? But Christian, a new boy in the community, also works in the garden—and falling for him may be exactly the distraction, and lesson, that Katie Ann needs.

Home by Summer
Clara Hertzler is surprised when Jerry Petersheim, her old friend, comes to the garden to drop off his younger sister—especially because Jerry has been gone for years, and now seems to be living as an Englisher. As the friends get to know each other again, Clara pushes Jerry to examine why he abandoned his Amish beliefs. Will Clara help Jerry renew his faith in God, and will they find love beneath the summer sun?

The Fruits of Fall
Tena Speicher has come to live in Bird-in-Hand after her fiancé left her for an English woman. When a homeless veteran comes to the fruit stand one day and asks for food, Tena is not sure how to respond—but Wayne intervenes and offers to let him stay in the barn. Afraid to trust Englishers, Tena must learn, with Wayne’s help, that everyone is a child of God and deserving of kindness.

Winter Blessings
Ephraim and Mandy have dated for some time and now have plans to marry. But after a series of unexpected events and misunderstandings, they wonder if they should go their separate ways. What will happen when their friends at the Amish garden conspire to bring them back together?

MrsK's Review:
These vignettes are woven with tenderly crafted story lines around those who tend the newly planted garden on Emma Bontrager's farm. The garden idea began in the winter while they were visiting Emma. Emma's reflection's of love for her late husband Henry sparked the idea for the community garden and produce stand.

What does God have in store for Katie Ann
now that her brother and best friend are
growing closer?
Spring is in the Air: As Katie Ann joined the garden meeting, she wasn't all to happy with her brother Ephraim. His loyalty to his girlfriend Mandy is why she didn't have a ride for the meeting. Ephraim and Katie Ann shared in a closeness that was now becoming fractured due to Mandy. Her mission for the night is what brought her to the meeting. She discovered that they could not donate the produce to the Bird-in-Hand shelter, but they could donate any sales to the shelter if they created a roadside stand. Chris had come the his first meeting with his cousin. He is a cabinet maker who offers to help build the produce stand.  From the minute Katie Ann joined the discussion, Chris began wondering if she might be the girl he was hoping for. If he could win her friendship, then maybe her heart would follow. 
When God comes through with an answered prayer,
could it be Clara's faith helps to lead a heart back home?
Home by Summer: Clara couldn't help but wonder if she would ever fall in love like the others who worked at the community garden. When a former friend brings his sister to the garden, Clara is happy reunite their friendship. The only challenge lies within the truth about why he left his Amish upbringing. Jerry brought his sister to Emma's house so that she could join the group tending the garden. It had been a while since he had connected with his past friends. Once there, he discovered that they were in need of a plumber. Clara was always the one who pulled at his "heart strings." He knew he needed to feel "God's call" before he committed to the church. What was this "tiny thread of longing beckoning him back" to his roots?

Can Tena learn to trust in God's promise. 
Is everyone a child of God's?
The Fruits of Fall: Tena has come to live with her Great-Aunt Emma. During a surprise rain storm an Englisher approaches the stand for food. Becoming startled, she replies with a "no." Within the next moment, Wayne has not only offered one of her cookies but has invited the stranger up to her Aunt's house. Why would he do that? Doesn't he know the danger he is putting them in? Could Alex be the person that God will use to help bring healing to Tena's heart? Alex was a foster child who made the decision to join the military. Now that he has returned from the Middle East he is having difficulties finding his way. Could an outreached hand be the avenue for a new life beyond his nightmares?
Will God's answer to prayer lead 
Mandy and Ephraim on an unexpected path
to happiness or separation?
Winter Blessings: Mandy and Ephraim have been courting and on the path to marriage. When Ephraim's sister and her family come home, their needs become a focal point for Mandy. She begins questioning if they should postpone their wedding until Ephraim's parents can help Darlene. Ephraim won't accept the changes that Mandy is wanting to discuss. His life is on his father's farm. Why would Mandy even consider postponing their wedding? She must not truly love or trust his decisions. How could she even suggest an alternative life?

Welcome back to the Bird-in-Hand community...
Sometimes it is simple joy to a reader when they can come home to characters that are inspiring, filled with hope and wisdom, and true to a comfortable life style of love,

An opportunity to just enjoy some well deserved break-away moments,
as well as cherished characters. 
Meet the Author:
Amy Clipston  Hi, I’m Amy Clipston. I am an author of Amish and Christian fiction with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Most of my books focus on the Amish community, faith, and love. I also write romance novels and young adult inspirational stories.
"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Child of the River by Irma Joubert

Child of the River
ISBN: 9780718083106
Publisher's Synopsis:
Persomi’s dreams are much bigger than the world of poverty and deprivation that surround her in the Bushveld of the 1940s and 1950s in South Africa.

Persomi is young, white and poor, born the middle child of illiterate sharecroppers on the prosperous Fourie farm. Persomi’s world is extraordinarily small. She has never been to the local village and spends her days absorbed in the rhythms of the natural world around her. Her older brother, Gerbrand, is her lifeline and her connection to the outside world. When he leaves the farm to seek work in Johannesburg, Persomi’s isolated world is blown wide open. But as her very small world falls apart, bigger dreams become open to her—dreams of an education, a profession, and of love. As Persomi navigates the changing world around her—the tragedies of WWII and the devastating racial strife of her homeland—she finally discovers who she truly is and where she belongs.

A compelling coming of age story with an unlikely and utterly memorable heroine, Persomi’s English language publication solidifies Irma Joubert’s important place in the canon of inspirational historical fiction.

MrsK's Review:
Persomi is a bright young lady with enough "grit" to make a change for her future. In 1938, her brother left to find a job in Joburg. Nothing in her home was easy. Nothing appeared to have a future beyond surviving through the ages. Living in an open veld meant the land was bare, open, stony, and scorched. By 1941, Persomi has been given the opportunity to attend school, which meant that she would be boarding at the school. This would be her first time away from the veld.

Yusuf works in his grandfather's store. At the end of Persomi's first summer vacation, he helps Persomi to begin purchasing a few "selfish" items. Imagine the value of your first nightgown! Beyond the items, Yusuf has revealed that someone is placing money in an account. Persomi believes it is money from her brother until she learns that her life might not be as she thought.

Boelie is the son of the Fourie farm where Persomi's family works. His friendship with Persomi can provide insights into the real world around Persomi. As an Afrikaner supporter, he causes concern for everyone around him. Including the division within Persomi's heart.

Gerbrand is Persomi's brother, her lifeline for hope and strength. Throughout her life, Persomi has relied on his teachings, his guidance, his protection, and his conversations. When the fatal news is given at school, Persomi returns to the veld.

Through the years, Persomi becomes an even stronger woman. Yet, when the truth becomes reality sometimes it takes a strength greater than what you have... sometimes it takes faith with a lot of hope to overcome past decisions.
A novel that will grow a universal truth within your spirit.
Meet the Author:
“The Girl from the Train” by Irma Joubert – Mi Baile Perfecto  International bestselling author Irma Joubert was a history teacher for 35 years before she began writing. Her stories are known for their deep insight into personal relationships and rich historical detail. She's the author of eight novels and a regular fixture on bestseller lists in The Netherlands and in her native South Africa. She is the winner of the 2010 ATKV Prize for Romance Novels.
"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Sunday, March 10, 2019

On Magnolia Lane by Denise Hunter

On Magnolia Lane (Blue Ridge, #3)
ISBN: 9780718090548
Publisher's Synopsis:
After two years of counseling sessions with Daisy Pendleton, Pastor Jack McReady has earned a permanent spot in her life as a spiritual leader—and nothing more. Jack would never risk losing her trust by exposing the depths of his heart, but he’s hopelessly in love with her.

Daisy loves her southern small-town life and her job at her family-run flower shop, but she doesn’t have the thing she longs for most: someone to share it with. Her recent foray into online dating has been a disaster—until she meets TJ.

Jack could kill his friend Noah for using his initials and some indistinct photos to set up a profile on the dating app Daisy is using. But when he’s finally afforded the opportunity to show her a different side of himself, he’s sucked into the plan before he has time for second thoughts.

Online, Daisy shares some of her greatest fears with TJ, but in person, Jack and Daisy are spending more time together. When a devastating family secret surfaces, Daisy knows that only her trusted friend and counselor can bring her comfort. Jack wants nothing more than to be both men for Daisy, but revealing his secret will prove to be the ultimate test of Daisy’s grace.

"...A woman who loves me and
a woman I can love and cherish in return."
MrsK's Review:
Daisy is a perfect name for the owner of a florist shop. Not only was her shop a "sensory" delight, it was always a welcoming spot for everyone who entered. Quick and often witty conversations were exchanged in the every day life Copper Creek's florist. Daisy has always been sensitive to anyone in need, especially the girls who have no where to go other than the Hope House. She longs for someone to love, commitment, and security. With the passing of her father, Daisy has had a difficult time with letting go and moving forward. If it wasn't for Pastor Jack, Daisy wasn't sure how she would be taking her mother's news.

Pastor Jack knew that Daisy was the one, the one who brought joy to his day and the one he took special breaks just to walk into her shop. He hated being tongue-tied around Daisy, what could he do, Daisy was out of his league. Everyone adored her and rumor had it that she was listed on one of those on-line dating sites. Why would she think of him as anything but her pastor? Well, thanks to his friend, Daisy will discover the man behind the podium. As TJ, Jack had a glimmer of hope.

Julia is a visitor to Copper Creek. The florist shop would be her step in discovering the truth about a family she never knew. Now that her mother has passed, it was time for her to discover where she came from. When Julia's life takes a turn, she decides that she doesn't need to return home until the summer is over. Maybe by then she would be ready to move on.

 With a sweet small town setting, that resembles the best of America, these characters quickly find a way of bringing a comfortable smile to your face. Conversations are well crafted and full of every day living.

Get comfortable, relax and take a moment to meet those in Copper Creek,
"There's only one who will never let you down..."
Welcome to Copper Creek!
Meet the Author:
Denise Hunter
Denise Hunter is the award-winning author of more than 30 novels, including "The Convenient Groom" and "A December Bride", which have been made into Hallmark movies.
Denise writes heartwarming, small-town romances. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

Denise and her husband live in Indiana, where they raised three sons, and are currently enjoying an empty nest. In 1996, Denise began her first novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books contain a strong romantic element, and her husband says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!
"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
ISPN: 978742623441
Publisher's Synopsis:
Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen...
Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory.

All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

"This really isn't how it's meant to be."
MrsK's Review:
Sara has been writing Amy for so long. Living in Sweden seems tucked so far away from Amy's home in Broken Wheel, Iowa. Sometimes your closest friends are those with which you can discuss the books you've read or is it the connection to life that the books bridge into a reader's life? When Sara is invited to come for a visit, Sara feels an adventurous path has just appeared. After arriving in Iowa, Sara quickly learns of Amy's death. Her vacation to read has just took a turn that Sara was not expecting. Nor did she expect to be staying at Amy's without her dear friend.

Caroline had a voice that was "determined, resolute, and to the point." It is Caroline that makes the town's decision that Sara will stay at Amy's. Sara quickly discovers that Broken Wheel is a town that has a sadness of its own. George has been designated as Sara's driver. His wife had left him and now he has Sara to show the town to. Life can be funny when there is nothing to hold onto. On a trip into town, Sara discovers a closed store. A store that Amy owned, or rather her husband had owned before he died. "Something about the shop had caught her attention."

Once Sara understood why she was in Broken Wheel, her destiny began unfolding. With all of the books that Amy had stored away... the only true purpose for those books would be to bring them to the town. If Amy owned a building and the books, then it would be Sara who would bring Broken Wheel a bookshop.

Could a bookshop change the mood of a town... absolutely! Filled with titles that have been my friends, with a "cozy" atmosphere, with a steadfast desire to open a door and invite other's in, this novel is a good choice in any season,
An unbelievable adventure that inspires one to ponder...
"... the power of a book."
Meet the Author:
Katarina Bivald Katarina Bivald grew up working part-time in a bookshop. Today she lives outside of Stockholm, Sweden, with her sister and as many bookshelves she can get by her. She's currently trying to persuade her sister that having a shelf for winter jackets and shoes is completely unnecessary. There should be enough space for a book shelf or two instead. Limited success so far. Apparently, her sister is also stubbornly refusing to even discuss using the bath room to store books.

Katarina Bivald sometimes claims that she still hasn't decided whether she prefer books or people but, as we all know, people are a non-starter. Even if you do like them, they're better in books. Only possible problem: reading a great book and having no one to recommend it to.

The Guest Book by Marybeth Whalen

The Guest Book (Sunset Beach #2)
ISBN: 9780310334743
Publisher's Synopsis:
When Macy Dillon was five years old her father encouraged her to draw a picture in the guestbook of a Carolina beach house. The next year, Macy returned to discover a drawing by an unidentified little boy on the facing page. Over the next eleven years the children continue to exchange drawings … until tragedy ends visits to the beach house altogether. During her final trip to Sunset, Macy asks her anonymous friend to draw her one last picture and tells him where to hide the guest book in hopes that one day she will return to find it—and him. Twenty-five years after that first picture, Macy is back at Sunset Beach—this time toting a broken family and a hurting heart. One night, alone by the ocean, Macy asks God to help her find the boy she never forgot, the one whose beautiful pictures touched something deep inside of her. Will she ever find him? And if she does, will the guestbook unite them or merely be the relic of a lost childhood?

"When do we go?"
MrsK's Review:
Macy first noticed her father's missing photos. Since her father's death, her mother has always kept mementos that evoked emotions that Macy did not want to experience. Today would have been his birthday and for years they had celebrated. This year her mother has decided to go back to the beach, her father's favorite vacation spot. Macy is so ready to move beyond her father's ghost. What is her mother thinking? Two weeks at Sunset Beach? Immediately, Macy's mind returned to the guest book. Maybe this might be the first step. She knew her five year old daughter would enjoy this time away from the every day emotions of separation from her dad.

With special pastel pencils, Macy had first entered her drawing of the butterfly shell. So long ago, she had begun a secret exchange about her adventures at the beach with another "mystery" guest. Since her father's death, Macy had not returned to the Time in a Bottle guest house. Would she finally discover the name of her correspondent? Did her last message lead to one final entry? Would the guest book still be where she left it? Daydreams have a chance of becoming a reality, even after years have gone by.

The boy who had drawn a "shared history," who was he? With a walk on the beach, Macy discovers that after all of these years there might be someone thinking of her. The boy had left his picture in the guest book. Was God speaking to her? Could there really be a new season that had been planted so long ago?

Wyatt is just helping his dad fix up the house next door to the guest house. His father, Buzz, is so much nicer than his son. Macy is sure that her mom must remember Buzz, although her mom was preoccupied with making brownies. Sometimes conversations don't turn out like one hopes. Could Wyatt be the artist she was searching for. Oh, how she hoped not. He had grown into a man that could use some manners.

Pastor Nate believes in "living with purpose." Not only is he kind, he is caring and quite insightful. How did he know she had artistic talents? When Buzz calls him to come help Max, Macy's brother, new doors open. How is Pastor Nate going to help Buzz? What is his story?

Dockery is a local artist who is helping out at the community center where Macy's daughter, Emma, was taking a summer class while they were at the beach. Now her daughter has decided that all three of them needed to spend some time flying her kite. Of course, helping at the children's center wasn't his real job. He helped his mom run the family's cleaning business which offers time to volunteer. He seemed genuinely grateful for Macy's help in painting an art mural as the center's art project.

Funny how when a change in direction becomes full of possibilities,
Have a delightful beach retreat...
"Hope does not disappoint."
A Booked to Dine book choice!
Meet the Author:
Marybeth Mayhew Whalen Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of When We Were Worthy, The Things We Wish Were True and five previous novels. She speaks to women's groups around the US. She is the co-founder of the popular women's fiction site, She Reads Marybeth and her husband Curt have been married for 26 years and are the parents of six children. The family lives in North Carolina. Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She is always at work on her next novel. 
Click here to visit her site

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.”

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