I am feeling a little down today. Yesterday was May 31. Bet you already knew that…. May 31 is the date of the annual MomWriters Virtual Ball. MomWriters around the globe are invited to meet up in a chat room to talk, laugh, and have a good ol’ time throughout the day while waiting for the announcement of the winners of the Golden Pen Awards (GPAs). This year’s ball was a blast! With chickens on the loose and a nearly endless string of Conga Rats during the GPA ceremony, how could it not be? (Admit it, you are so jealous that you want to know how to become a MomWriter!!!)

As much fun as it was, I can’t help feeling a little bummed. And not just because it is over, though I freely admit that is part of it. Yesterday was a busy day, between end-of-season soccer games for two of my sons and a meeting at the church, so I wasn’t able to spend as much time in the Ball chat room as I wanted to. My disappointment is tempered a bit by the knowledge that I have the chance to meet a few MomWriters later this year during my family vacation (so glad hubby is OK with it!) and with the excitement of knowing I may meet a few more at an official gathering next year!

It was the presentation of the GPAs that began my sadness this year. Actually, I think the sadness started with the nomination process. In the past, I’ve been nominated for numerous awards. This year, I was nominated for only one. And while I’d love to show the class and maturity that many award nominees do and say, “It’s an honor just to be nominated,” I can’t. Even if I said it, I wouldn’t mean it. Especially since I nominated myself for the award.

In truth, it’s not the lack of nominations or the lack of awards this year that has me down. (I do believe I have won a total of 5 GPAs over the 7 years I have been a MomWriter, so going without for one year isn’t a big deal.) The disappointment comes from the knowledge that I don’t deserve a GPA this year. I haven’t put in the work. My blog has sat idle. I have read books but not posted reviews. I’ve written short stories but only for my college classes. And in all honesty, many of the sort stories I’ve “written” for college classes have been old stories that I found on various hard drives and just reformatted for class.

My frustrations and sadness stem from the fact that I have not done the necessary work to earn an award. Guess there is only one way to keep that from happening next year….

Book Review–HOUSE OF SECRETS by Tracie Peterson

I’ve read Tracie Peterson’s work before, but until I came across this book at my local bookstore, I had no idea that she wrote anything other than historical fiction! Not only does she occasionally write contemporary fiction, Peterson writes it VERY well.

FiftHouseOfSecretseen years ago, Bailee, Geena, and Piper Cooper witnessed their father drugging their mother. They kept the secret, thinking that was the only way to reserve any sort of “normalcy” within their family. When their father invites them back to the same summer home where the incident happened, the girls decide it’s time to share what they know. Only the more the talk about that night–with each other and then with their father–the more they realize that really don’t know anything at all.

HOUSE OF SECRETS is a beautifully written book that about the bonds of sisters, and the power secrets can hold over a person. The story also deals with mental illness, and the far-reaching effects an illness can have–even years after the ill person has passed away. The characters are real and relatable. I found myself in or near tears at numerous places throughout the book. This one has definitely earned its place on my bookshelf.

Worth A Read

Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.

Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.

Dreamer, a suspenseful novel by author Phillip L. Davidson, is not your typical Christian fiction book.  There are some moments of rough language and some situations that can be viewed as paranormal.  This is not the type of “easy-going” Christian romance that I normally read and review.  However, I am open to trying new things.  And the fact that main character David Elliot is motivated, at least in part, by his intense love for his wife made this book worth reading.

This book is action-packed.  If you like something fast-paced, this one will be well worth your time.  My only issue with it is the language.  I realize that in wartime, the language used is much different than what I am used to using and hearing on a daily basis.  However, if a book is being marketed to a Christian audience, I do feel the author should take that into account and tone down some of the language used.  Though I enjoyed the story line, the language alone will keep likely keep this book from making it my “read again” shelf.




About The Book:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dreamer-Phillip-Davidson-ebook/dp/B00EZVKPFU/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dreamer-Phillip-Davidson-ebook/dp/B00EZVKPFU/

Is the Dreamer good or evil? As war looms between Britain and Argentina over the barren Falkland Islands, Major David Elliott is having nightmares. Long ago, in a dark jungle near Cambodia, he failed to do his duty. That duty was to execute a member of his team. David’s weakness eventually led to his team’s capture. Tortured by the Viet Cong, they revealed the dark secrets of the CIA’s Phoenix program. Forced to leave the service in disgrace, his men now live in the ‘darkness’. What do the dreams mean for them? David’s wife, Sonia, sees them as harbingers of evil things to come. A revolutionary in Argentina before the war, she escaped to America and became a citizen.

Now, Captain Alvarez, head of the Argentine Secret Police, wants her back. He devises a plan that lures her into returning to Argentina where she is imprisoned on Los Estados Island. Meanwhile, a mystical creature has summoned David and his former team to gather once more to honor the ‘covenant,’ a pact they made with each other when they believed their lives were coming to an end. Together, with an errant priest, Father Perez, they reluctantly agree to assault Los Estados and free Sonia. As they travel across Mexico, Central and South America, they encounter the CIA, Contras in Nicaragua, the M-19 narco-terrorist group and the United States Navy; while all along being shadowed by the mystical entity. Is the entity God or Satan? Will submitting to the will of the entity allow David and his men to stand in the light of men once again? Is the Dreamer good or evil? You decide.

Dreamer is a tale of redemption, honor, courage, belief in God and betrayal! If you enjoy military fiction, this book is for you.

Book Review: A Christmas Kindness

The Christmas season always brings with it a lot of obligations and expectations.  It’s easy to let these things interfere with the real meaning of Christmas, to get so focused on what we need to do and what we want that we forget all about others.

That’s just what happened to 8-year-old Robert in C.C. Gevry’s A Christmas Kindness.  He was excited to see Santa and completely focused on what he wanted to ask the jolly old man for that he didn’t stop to think about anyone else.  But that all changes when a loose shoelace leads to a chance meeting with a little boy who has only one very simple wish for Christmas—a picture of himself and his little brother sitting on Santa’s lap.  That one wish changes Robert’s whole attitude toward the holiday.

This adorable story, as well as the beautiful illustrations by Caroline Mabey, will warm the heart of the stingiest of Scrooges.  It’s sure to become a Christmas favorite for your family, as it has for mine.


cover wrap.indd

About the book:

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who has only one request for Santa, Robert is confused over what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?


Inside the mall, Christmas music and the tinkling of jingle bells tickled Robert’s ears. With his mother, Robert weaved through the crowd of shoppers. He smelled fried food from Burger Mart. The sweet scent of warm chocolate chip cookies from the bakery made his mouth water.


Purchase information:

4RV Publishing


Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble Nook





About the author:

Cheryl MalandrinosC.C Gevry is a children’s author from Western Massachusetts. A Christmas Kindness is her first book with 4RV Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI. Ms. Gevry is married with two young children and a son who is married. Visit her online at http://ccgevry.com


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The Tase of Fear

So I am in my second of three fiction workshops at SNHU this term.  Week one, the assignment was to write a story that focused on point of view.  I pulled this one out of my archives (don’t worry–for the first two weeks, using previously written work is allowed!)  I originally wrote it from a story prompt about the meaning of fear.  Reading that prompt brought to mind a schoolyard in the late 19th ore early 20th century.  This is what I came up with.  I entered it into a contest, which I didn’t win.  So I thought that using that story for my class would be good.  I’d like to know what I could have done better to help me win a contest like this in the future.  Please, let me know what you think.


The Taste of Fear

Bein’ scared ain’t nothin’ new to me. I been scared plenty a times in my life. Like when Mama says she is gonna make a pie. Any man would be scared o’ that. Biscuits, potatoes and carrots, maybe even some boiled meat. Mama makes them good. But she can’t make a pie fit for the pigs.

Tellin’ Mama her pies ain’t no good is scary, too. She asked me once why I wasn’t eatin’ it. Said I didn’t wanna break my teeth. Papa was up outta his chair, smackin’ me ‘cross the face afore I even knew he had moved. Learned never to be honest about bad cookin’ that day.

Don’t tell nobody, but storms scare me, too. It’s not the rain or the lightnin’ or even the thunder that bother me. Can handle all that. It’s the wind. The way it blows the trees outside my bedroom window, makin’ the branches scratch at the side of the house—it rattles me. I always imagine it’s the devil hisself tryin’ to get at me. Can’t never get a good night sleep with a storm makin’ those trees knock on the house that away.

Even with all those things in my life, I can still say I never knew the meanin’ of fear until I kissed Becky.

Didn’t expect to kiss Becky that day, or any other neither. She wasn’t my girl. Didn’t want her to be my girl. Becky was Big Richard’s girl. I may not have been the smartest one in the school yard, but even I knew not to upset Big Richard. Everyone knew Becky was gonna marry Big Richard.

Everyone but Becky, anyhow. Becky said she wasn’t gonna get married. Said she was too smart for that. Don’t know what she thought she would do without a husband. Maybe be a school teacher. She had the smarts for it. Most woulda said she was too pretty for that. I don’t know. She was nice girl, always sharing her molasses cookies in the school yard at lunch. She mighta been a friend, I suppose. But that kiss messed everything up.

I didn’t mean to kiss her. I was just standin’ there, mindin’ my own business when I heard Becky yellin’ at Big Richard. Most people wanted to yell at him, but only Becky ever did it. Teacher never dared yell at him. And all us boys in the school, even the ones actually older than Big Richard, was too scared a him to talk in a normal voice. We never woulda yelled.

Becky, though…. There was somethin’ special about her. She was everyone’s friend, and Big Richard, he didn’t like that. He wanted Becky all to hisself. I think that is why they was fightin’ that day. Big Richard was tellin’ Becky how he expected her to act, since she was his girl. Becky was tellin’ Big Richard she belonged to no man.

“Give me back my book, Richard Taylor,” Becky yelled, chasin’ him across the school yard. She was the only girl in the school who didn’t mind havin’ her skirts drag in the dirt and mud. She woulda been happier if she could wear trousers, like us boys did. “Give it back!”

“You want this book back?” Big Richard said, laughin’ at Becky. He stopped in front of her and held the book over her head. She jumped and jumped, but couldn’t reach it. “Don’t know why you need it for.”

“It’s called ‘reading’,” Becky told him. “Maybe you should try it yourself sometime.”

“No point in you readin’,” he told her.  “Not something you are gonna have time for after we are married.  You will be too busy cleanin’ the house and birthin’ babies for stuff like readin’.”

“I am not going to marry you, Richard Taylor,” Becky said. “Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.” She stomped her little foot. “Now give me back my book.”

“You can have it back,” he said, still holdin’ it out of Becky’s reach, “for a price.”

I watched as Becky placed her hands on her waist. “What price?” she asked him.

“A kiss,” Big Richard said. “Right here, in the school yard, before teacher calls us back in. I’ll give you back the book for a kiss.”

“A kiss?” Becky repeated. “Just one kiss, and I can have my book back?”

Big Richard nodded. “That’s the price. Just one little kiss, and you can have the book back.”

Becky looked around her, probably hopin’ to see Teacher nearby. Kissin’ in the school yard was not somethin’ teacher would put up with. But she wasn’t there. She was still inside, gettin’ our afternoon lessons ready. Instead what Becky saw was me. She smiled at me. “OK, Richard,” she told him sweetly. “You win.”

Big Richard smiled. He lowered the book, getting’ read for the kiss.

Instead of steppin’ toward Big Richard, Becky stepped toward me. Before I knew what was goin’ on, my life changed.

Becky placed her hands on my shoulders. Her face was right in front of mine. I noticed that she smelled good, like the rose water Mama washed in on special days. Then her lips touched mine. It happened very fast. So fast, I nearly thought I was dreamin’.

There was a thud as Becky’s book hit the ground. The thud was followed by a scream from Big Richard. “Not him!” he hollered. “You was supposed to kiss me.”

Becky calmly picked up her book. With a sweet smile, she said, “You did not say who I was supposed to kiss, Richard. You just said I would get my book back for one little kiss.”

Teacher rang the school bell then. Becky waved at Big Richard, winked at me, then headed back into the school. I tried to follow her, but Big Richard stepped in front of me.

“Hope you enjoyed that, boy,” he growled at me, “’cause you are gonna pay for kissin’ my girl.”

Yep, I knew what it was like to be really, truly afraid then.

And with the memory of Becky’s sweet lips on mine, I have to say fear tasted pretty good.

The Rules of Writing Christian Fiction

I have had a lot of ideas for novels, and I’ve looked at the guidelines set forth by a lot of Christian publishers to see where some of my ideas fit in.  It has amazed me to see that stories I would consider “Christian fiction” would not be acceptable by some publishing houses.  Why?  Because the characters I have in mind are too real.

One of the “rules” I’ve seen over and over again is that main characters should not be divorced.  That is sad to me.  The whole idea of divorce is sad.  I do believe that marriage is meant to be between one man, one woman, and is to last “until death do us part.”  No couple, especially not a Christian couple, should go into a marriage thinking, “I love this person today, but if in ten or fifteen years this isn’t working out, I can leave and start over.  No big deal.”  It IS a big deal.  Marriage is a big deal.  It is something that is meant for life, and should not be entered into lightly. 

Sadly, things happen.  Life happens.  And there are Biblical reasons for divorce.  Adultery is one.  If you think adultery does not happen in Christian marriages, think again.  Remember Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggert?  OK, so those two men are from the 80’s and maybe you don’t remember them.  But what about Amy Grant and Vince Gill?  Both were married to others when they began their relationship, and both are Christians.  It happens.  It shouldn’t.  There is no excuse for it.  But it does happen.  And though I don’t believe it is named in the Bible as a reason for divorce, I can’t imagine God is against a woman leaving her husband, even if he is a “good Christian man,” who is physically abusing her or her children.  While I do believe God meant for marriage to be a “one and done” sort of thing (you know—a once-in-a-lifetime, this-is-forever arrangement,) I think He understands that humans are, well, human.  We are flawed.  It grieves Him deeply when He sees two of His children give up on the marriage He brought together.  I don’t think He is in anyway pleased when a marriage ends, no matter the reasons for it, but I don’t think that He stays angry forever about it, either.

Which is why I don’t understand why divorce should be a taboo subject for a novel.  More accurately, why should I be afraid to write about a character who has survived a divorce? 

Maybe it’s a man whose wife was having an affair.  Maybe he was determined to save the marriage, but she walked out, she served him with divorce papers.  And maybe he has taken the time to learn from the experience, to look at the marriage and see not only what she did wrong but what he might have done that led to the choices she made.  Maybe he has grown closer to God because of that divorce and now is ready for a real relationship, one where he is sure to put God at the center.

Or maybe it’s a woman who left her husband to save her life.  Maybe she was beaten daily by this man who claimed to love her.  Maybe the only way to stay alive was to get away from him, to physically leave him and to end the marriage.  And maybe she, too, has had a lot to learn through the experience.  But maybe her heart was hurt so badly by him that she is afraid.  Afraid to love, afraid to trust, afraid of her own choices.  Maybe her ex-husband was the one who introduced her to God in the first place, so she isn’t even sure if she can believe in Him anymore.

Either of those characters could have an amazing story to tell.  A full novel worth of story?  Who knows?  But if I am writing for a traditional publisher, I wouldn’t be able to really find out.  Because this man and this woman were divorced, they would not be viewed as acceptable main characters for a traditionally published Christian novel, at least not through many of the publishing houses I have looked into.

That makes me wonder—would we, as Christians, view these characters as less than acceptable members of our church just because they were divorced?

It kind of reminds me of the old saying “love the sinner, hate the sinner.”  We don’t have to agree with what others have done to love them.  In many cases, we don’t even have to know what others have done in order to love them.  Jesus only asks that we love them.

And if He asks me to write a novel about a divorced man or a divorced woman, I plan to do it.  No matter what the traditional publishing houses say about it.

Priceless Reviews

Every author loves to get feedback on his or her work. At least, I assume every author does. I know I enjoy. And I have yet to meet an author who doesn’t like to get feedback on that work.

What we don’t like so much is asking for that feedback.

For me, asking for the feedback is especially hard. I am very much an introvert. I prefer to spend time alone writing or surrounded by a group of close friends. While I might enjoy brief moments in the spotlight, I am uncomfortable being out front all the time. I don’t like asking people to buy more books and then asking those who have bought and read them to please leave a review of the book on Amazon.

But I am not opposed to reading and then sharing the posted reviews of my work!

Last week, for example, I was looking at my books on Amazon. I check every now and again, just to see if people are talking about my work. I was surprised to see some reviews with 4 and five stars, from readers I didn’t know. These were not from friends or family members—they came from people who had come across one or more of my books, read the books, and then posted their thoughts about them. Here are some snippets from a few of the reviews you can find on Amazon–

On Shattered:

This story really dealt with some real life issues with a depth that I did not expect. Faith and forgiveness take on a greater meaning. I don’t want to go into the story itself because I could never do it justice. Kudos to Lynn McMonigal for a job well done.

On Miracle Play

This book deals with some very deep emotional stuff. Keep the tissue box ready. The book is done tastefully. It is not graphic so you can read it without being offended even though sin does abound. I am very sensitive to that. As long as you can deal with the deep emotions of the mother of the 10-year-old, the wife of the husband who fathered this child, the 17-year-old daughter that is so upset about learning this side of her father and her 14-year-old brother that wants to meet this 10-year-old half-brother he just found out about this is a good book to read. If you can’t deal with the “drama” as it is drama, then I would not suggest this book to you.

On The Ladies of Faith:

This author sure is good at working up emotions, not just in her characters, but also in you as you read the book…. This is a very emotionally draining book but also is an encouraging book as it leads through the Word of God. Lynn McMonigal’s book don’t always have happy endings but they do resolve the issues and emotions dealt with. This book deals with life and death issues so it is not for the faint at heart. It is very tastefully done so that bad circumstances are talked about or referred to but not described in detail. I enjoyed this book and plan to read others but this author.


And then there were the comments that were posted on Facebook during the week, after Shattered had been offered free for the Kindle:

Lynn, I just wanted to tell you that after you posted about your book, “Shattered,” I decided to go get it. I started to read it last night, but knew I needed to sleep. So, I put it aside for another time. However, I woke up around 1 a.m. and couldn’t sleep. I picked up my Kindle and began reading. I had never read any of your work before, but I just wanted to tell you that, like your other reader, I could not put it down once I started. I tried to sleep a few times, but I ended up rolling back over to continue reading. Around 5:30 this morning, I finished reading your book. I just want to thank you for the red, stuffy nose I’m dealing with now. I cried a LOT while reading. Excellent story!


Finished reading Shattered today. It was really good. I enjoyed it. The book was good and the message of forgiveness was awesome! Forgiveness is more for the person offering it than for the person receiving it. I think you did a great job expressing that.

My favorite review and by far the most priceless one that I have received is one that was not typed up at all. This past Sunday, a young man stopped me after church to apologize for not returning the copy of Forsaking the Call his mom had borrowed from the church library. “She’s done with it,” he said slowly, “but I am not yet. Can I bring it back next week?” I told him it wasn’t a problem at all and that I was happy to know he was reading it.

Now, there is something that you need to know about this young man. He is part of the SNAP (Special Needs Adult Program) group at the church. He and his mother told me that he really likes to read, but has a hard time finding books that hold his interest. Most books that are written on a level he can understand have story lines that are too simple for him. Most books written for adults have too many complicated plot twists and he can’t follow them. “Your books is just right,” he said. “It’s not too easy and it’s not too hard.” He said there were a few words he needed to ask his Mom to help him with, but he has read most of it on his own. And then he asked me to please keep writing good books so that he has more to read.

That has kept me smiling most of the week. I love that God knows when I am getting down about my writing and lets me get just the amount of feedback I need to fire me up and keep me writing.

Successful Self-Publishing

I have self-published six books.

Six? Is that right?

Um, let’s see…. Five novels, one devotional. I am not good with math, but I am pretty sure that five plus one is six.

Wow. Six books. And all since my youngest son was born, just six years ago. Amazaing.

But I digress. I didn’t come here today to talk about how many books I’ve written in a short amount of time. I came to talk about self-publishing.

All of my books have been self-published. I chose to publish through CreateSpace for a variety of reasons. There are two main reasons I chose this company, though. One is the quick turnaround. Yes, I will admit it. I was impatient to see my first novel in print. For twenty years before I wrote it, I had dreamed of being a published author. And while I was proud of my book and the work I had put into it, I was scared to go the traditional publishing route.

Yes, I was scared. I freely admit it. I was afraid that I would send my completed book, my baby, to publishers and agents who would tell me it was not as good as I thought it was. I know myself well enough to know that it would only take one, possibly two, rejections to make me question my writing ability enough to give it up. The joy I get from this craft wouldn’t matter; if someone told me my work was not as good as I believed it was, someone in the publishing industry, rather than work at it, I would have walked away. Knowing that about me, I chose to pursue self-publishing rather than traditional publishing.

The main reason I went with CreateSpace, though, was the minimal costs involved. I have a decent amount of writing talent, but I don’t have a lot of money to invest in my talent. CreateSpace has no upfront costs. I order the number of books that I want, and that is what I pay for. Sure, I have to do the marketing work to sell copies of my books. My understanding, though, is that I would have to do this with a traditional publisher anyway. So really, that’s not a big deal. Sometimes, I feel lost with the marketing, though. That’s why I follow a few blogs by writers, especially by self-published writers.

This morning, I read one by a woman who seemed to be complaining about her decision to self-publish. She was moaning about the lack of money she has brought in and the lack of fame she has seen from her writing. She said something about wanting to see her book, her baby, shine in the limelight and how that is just not happening with self-publishing. She didn’t come out and say it, but she implied that she had been duped into believing that all she needed to do was come up with a good story, write it well, and the readers would be flocking to her to purchase her book. And since that wasn’t happening, she was a failure.

Now, self-publishing isn’t for everyone. It’s not an easy thing to do. For that matter, publishing PERIOD is not an easy thing to do. This is not a field to get into if you want to make a lot of money. It’s not a field to go into if you are hoping to get noticed or become famous. I mean, yeah, those things CAN happen, but that’s the exception, not the rule. Especially with self-publishing. If fame and fortune are how you define success in writing, self-publishing probably is not for you.

My definition of success changes with each book that I write. While I wouldn’t say no if a healthy dose of fame and fortune (especially fortune, as finances are tight) were to come my way, those are not the things that keep me writing. Success to me is a completed book, a book that one person, just one person reads and enjoys. I am a successful author if my book reaches someone who has never heard about Christ before. All I want to do is plant the seed with my book. That is where my success from self-publishing comes in.

The rest is just a bonus.

Kindle Joys

When I first purchased my Kindle Fire, I thought I would use it for reading.

Actually, I never thought I would own one at all.  It was kind of an accidental purchase.  I already had a Sony Reader, which I liked but was very limited as far as book selection.  One day, we were on what my husband refers to as a family vacation to Wal-Mart (he doesn’t get out much), and we passed the electronic s department.  I stopped just to look at the Kindles.  My husband about shocked me into a heart attack when he said, “Why don’t you get one?  You read enough.  I am sure you will use it.”

So yeah.  That’s how I got my Kindle.  Fire, actually.  First generation.  Handy little gadget.  And I soon found that I could get TONS of books for free for the little machine.  I probably have more stored on there than I can read in a year.  Well, I could read them all in far less than a year if I didn’t have to do those pesky daily tasks like cleaning and cooking and schoolwork and taking care of my family’s needs….  And I am constantly adding new books to my Kindle library.  I can’t help it.

My name is Lynn and I am a book addict.

And thanks to my Kindle, I don’t have to throw out my husband’s possessions in order to add to my book collection.

One thing I didn’t expect, however, was that I would share my Kindle reading with my sons.  The oldest are 12 and 9.  They are more than capable of reading on their own.  And while there are some books that all three of us enjoy, they are just now reading books I have already read.  Harry Potter was great and all, but I’ve read them and seen the movies.  I don’t want to put them on my Kindle to read again, especially since handing my Kindle over to one my son’s would mean less time for me to read.  As for the six-year-old….  Well, let’s just say I am in no hurry to add Dr. Seuss to my Kindle library, either.

But after we watched The Wizard of Oz together, the boys were amazed to learn the movie was based on a book.  And I had to admit, it was a book I had not read.  So I searched and found it free for Kindle.  We started reading it together in the mornings before school.  The boys would sit quietly in the car and listen as I read to them until the doors opened and they could go in the school.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get all three to sit quietly at the same time?

When we finished, I started thinking of other classic books they might enjoy.  This week, we started reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The boys love it!  And I love how that little hit of reading time with them energizes me for the start of my day.

It’s better than coffee.

Not that I am ready to completely give up my morning coffee just yet….

Review of “A Reluctant Queen”

Honestly, wow is all I can think to say. In her novel “A Reluctant Queen,” Joan Wolf tells the story of a Qeen Ester, a woman so important to Jewish history that she has her own book in the Bilbe. It’s a story I am very familiar with, one that I have often been fascinated by. The bible tells the basics of the story – how Esther, a Jewish woman, became Queen of Persia and was able to use her influnce with the King to save her people. But very little is said about Esther herself, other that that she was very beautiful. There is so much unsaid, so manu things that the readr can imagine about the story.
And imagine she did! Using the Bible staory as her foundation, Wolf built a beautifl love story between the young Jewish woman and the Persian King. She did a lot of researh on this tbook and it shows in the detail. Not only are the buildings and the landscape described in such detail that I could see them in my mind, Wolf’s descriptions of the Gods and celebrations ofthe Persian religion are very vivid. I am not familiar enough with the religious practices of Persia to know how accurate the descriptions, but they sure seemed real to me!
The one downside to this book was the names Wolf chose for the characters. While I appreciate that she chose names authentic to the culture and time period, I wish they had been easier to pronounce. At the very least, I would have liked a pronounciation guid at the end of the book.
“A Reluctant Queen” is a book I just happened upon at my local library. I am glad I took a chance wih this bok. It’s a book I would very much like to add to my own personal library.