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review 2018-12-28 01:17
Creative and Meaningful
The Devoted Life: A Creative Devotional Journal - Jackson, Marjorie

Described as being for teen girls, “The Devoted Life” works just as well for adult women. This is the first “creative devotional journal” that I have ever explored, and it is very neat! The book itself is slim, which is handy for carrying in a purse or bag, and the imitation leather gives the book a more forgiving binding that allows for coloring and writing inside without too much hassle. Normally I would prefer a spiral-bound setup with this type of interactive book, but the imitation leather really does work quite well here. There is even a pink ribbon bookmark attached to the binding. Each section title appears in hand-drawn bubble letters, along with occasional small illustrations, to color; as such, the text is somewhat difficult to read, but I imagine that it would be easier once the letters are colored.

Each devotional consists of a Bible verse followed by a one-page commentary and three Scriptures for further study. There are five journal prompts related to the devotional, and out of these, at least one or two would be good for groups as well as individual reflection. The topics are easy to relate to and bring up common issues that everyone has dealt with at one time or another. Following the prompts, the Bible verse from the beginning of the devotional is drawn out for coloring. At the end of the book there are 9 pages with simple borders to “Create Your Own Hand-Lettered Scripture Art”. Just flipping through the book, it might seem a bit bland, but it lacks color because that’s where the reader’s creativity comes into play! What a fun, meaningful journal-devotional combination!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review 2018-12-03 20:30
Child detective on the case
Cici's Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-in-Training - Joris Chamblain,Aurelie Neyret

Cici's Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-in-Training is a middle grade graphic novel by Joris Chamblain with illustrations by Aurélie Neyret. The reader follows a little girl named Cici (obviously) who has designs to be a detective and writer hence the writing of her journal (the book flip flops between narrative style and journal style) which is chock full of her observational notes. She lives alone with her mother who she has a strained relationship with (and they haven't even hit the troubled teen years!). Next door is an older woman who is an acclaimed mystery writer and the motivator of Cici's interests. The plot contains solvable (and believable) mysteries for a child detective/writer and are full of imaginative characters. [A/N: The book is divided into sections with discrete (somewhat overlapping) mysteries.] Chamberlain explores but ultimately doesn't solve the mystery of the relationship between the mother and daughter (series teaser?). There's no explanation given (or mention of) the father's absence or why Cici has such a reticence to sharing or even experiencing her feelings. The more I dwell on it the more complex I realize this story line actually is which I think is great in a middle grade novel.

Picking up this particular graphic novel was a roll of the dice for me but I ended up absolutely loving it. The book seems to be set up as the start of a series which I wouldn't be mad about at all. I haven't seen any buzz over this title online as yet but I highly encourage you to pick this one up especially if you've been wanting to dip your toe into the graphic novel pool. The illustrations are GORGEOUS. 10/10


I'd love to have some prints of this artist's work. [Source: GramUnion]


What's Up Next: Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm


What I'm Currently Reading: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-11-24 20:36
The Journal of Angela Ashby
The Journal of Angela Ashby - Liana Gardner

Twelve Year Old Angela Ashby is dealing with a lot at the moment. Her parents are divorced and neither her mom or her dad seem to have time for her anymore. At school, there is a bully that loves to pick on Angela and her best friend, Mallory. Things begin to change, however when Angela and Mallory attend their school's carnival. A mysterious fortune teller gives each of the girls a gift, a necklace for Mallory and a journal for Angela. The journal comes with a warning though, "With great power comes great responsibility." It takes Angela a while to figure out what the warning means as the hopes and dreams that she writes down in her journal begin to come true in her life.

The Journal of Angela Ashby is an exciting and magical middle grade drama. Angela and Mallory were wonderful main characters and the inclusion of fairies, gnomes and unicorns helps to keep the book entertaining. The characters were realistic as pre-teens in their actions and motives. I enjoyed that the journal was not only a source of fun, but also responsibility that helped Angela to realize the impacts of her actions on those around her as well as help her grow into a caring person. There are also many good lessons on friendship, family and bullying. As an adult reader, the middle of the book got a little boring for me as Angela continued to test out journal entries to see what would happen, although this is also where many of the fun characters come in, so middle grade readers may be more entertained. Overall, an entertaining, supernatural adventure for middle grade readers.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

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text 2018-11-09 04:44
News and Contest
30 Days of Advent Colouring Journal - Ms. Marilynn Dawson

Hey everyone,


It's been quite some time since I wrote you all last!  Health and income have not been good, putting a huge pause on the writing projects currently sitting on the back burner.


However, Advent is just around the corner now, hot on the heels of the American Thanksgiving!  You'll want to get your orders in early to beat the rush.


Secondly, there's a new social network out there that could be a real boon to other authors you know.  Their SocialCRM is patent-pending and they are currently in beta.  As of this very evening, they announced a huge contest coming soon, as soon as they reach 2 million beta testers!


I don't know about you, but personally, I love contests, particularly if they are free, and if they have potential to reach more readers.  There's some authors over there already, so this is another way to connect with them.


I'd be honoured if you clicked through the following link and signed up using my referral link. Once Webtalk is out of beta, there won't be any more private invitations, it will be wide open. (but if you want to take part in the contest announcement, use my referral link)





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text 2018-05-17 16:14
Courageous Women of the Vietnam War: Medics, Journalists, Survivors, and More (Women of Action) - Kathryn J. Atwood,Diane Carlson Evans

Okay, first of all, let me say that before this book I knew next to nothing about the Vietnam War. For the past three years, Kathryn J. Atwood has sent me each of her books to review. So, after I received this book in the mail, I dove right in, eager to fill in the gaps.

Reading “Courageous Women of the Vietnam War” has been quite an education for me. Not only did it recount how America was drawn in and why, it went all the way back to the roots of war. Reading the stories of the Vietnamese girls and women, who yearned for nothing more than to be free, touched my heart. They simply wanted to live in a world untouched by war. Then learning how many American women voluntarily went over as nurses and even journalists, was extraordinary. Not only did they set foot in an uncharted territory, they did it knowing that some back home did not support them or their sacrifices. But it was the story of Phan Thi Kim Phuc and her journey to freedom that has stayed with me, and inspired me to do further research. I really highly recommend all of Kathryn’s books, but especially this one, because the Vietnam War is an important part of history and it should never be forgotten. 

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