Friday, July 25, 2014

If You Want to Make God Laugh ...

... tell Him your plans. So says the main character in one of my favorite movies, Bella.

This is a true statement. Definitely for me. Perhaps for us all?

I, for one, am nowhere near where I thought I'd be ten years ago.

You know, to a tenacious teenager, life seemed pretty clear-cut: God had placed a desire in my heart for a particular career. Certainly, my path would be free of any obstacles that would slow me down. I wasn't silly enough to think that there would be no difficulties ... just no roadblocks.

My far-wiser-than-me sister warned me. "God might have you wait a few years. Sometimes, that's how God works."

Surely not, thought I, even as I sagely nodded. Surely God would take into account my deep desire to accomplish this for Him and give wings to my heels. {This plan did not include writing novels, though I've always loved to write. :-)}

Well. There were roadblocks. There were detours. Let it suffice to say, there were also many tears. And that "final goal" seems to be quite far-off yet.

But it's all {for} good.

Because HE is all good.

And because, ever so slowly, two-steps-forward, one-step-back, I am learning that "final goal" ... isn't the Real Goal.

Christ is.

So despite my sinful whining ...

Amidst my continued hope that He has indeed placed this desire in my heart ...

I can trust Him who "doeth all things well."

"A man's heart plans his way,

But the Lord directs his steps."

Proverbs 16:9 {nkjv}

Friday, July 18, 2014

You Asked ... :-) Book Recommendations for Your Young'uns

"Do you know of any good books for {fill in child's name} to read?"

Those of you who are known to be avid readers probably get this question fairly regularly. Nota bene: If you publish a book AND are known as an avid reader, you will get this question CONSTANTLY - by e-mail, by message on Facebook, in person, by word-of-mouth-from-someone-who-knows-someone-who-knows-you.

Personally, I LOVE it. I love - love - love giving book recommendations. :-) But sometimes, my poor sinus-pressurized head cannot think clearly and I forget to include a certain book or two about which I really ought to have told the questioner.

Hence, this list for those of you who asked ... and for those of you who didn't, but like to pick up good books! I'm not listing based on reading ease, by the way, as, after picture books, my Mom just let us push our way through with a dictionary at our elbow. As Oswald Chambers says, that's probably the best way!

{Please Note: I may not have read some of these titles for years, and so I cannot vouch for every square inch of their contents ... I recommend based on my overall impression of the book and will note anything major that I remember that could be "iffy." In the big picture, it's your call what your child should or should not read, and I advise you to skim any book first before handing it over to your young 'un. :-)}

So here we go!

If your kids like dogs and horses:

  • Big Red, by Jim Kjelgaard - about a trapper boy and his champion Irish Setter - some violence
  • Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls - Be ready to weep.
  • Misty of Chincoteauge, by Marguerite Henry - I think I read this twenty or more times as a child.
  • Justin Morgan Had a Horse, by Marguerite Henry - the background of the Morgan horse breed in story form
  • Album of Horses, by Marguerite Henry - Ms. Henry wrote dozens of books for children featuring horses - If you have a real horse-lover on your hands, check them out! :-)
  • The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, by Farley Mowat

For real-to-life stories:

  • An Old-Fashioned Girl, by Louisa May Alcott
  • Eight Cousins, by Louisa May Alcott
  • Little Women, Little Men, & Jo's Boys, all by Louisa May Alcott
  • Five Children and It, by Edith Nesbit
  • The Railway Children, by Edith Nesbit
  • The Story Girl and The Golden Road, both by L.M. Montgomery - be sure to get the "real" ones, not the Disney-ized versions. :-)
  • The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner - There are so many in this series, but my favorite is The Yellow House Mystery.
  • All-of-a-Kind Family, by Sidney Taylor - There are several in this series, but each book can be read alone.
  • The Betsy-Tacy series, by Maud Hart Lovelace
  • The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, and a few others by Roald Dahl - These books are hilariously creative, but the humor occasionally - and only occasionally - becomes vulgar.
  • The Grandma's Attic series, by Arleta Richardson
  • The Boyhood of Ranald Bannerman, by George MacDonald
  • The Little House series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Little House: The Rocky Ridge Years series, by Roger Lea MacBride
  • Once Upon a Summer, by Janette Oke - for middle-grade & teens
  • The Animal Friends series, by Janette Oke - These have been edited since I last read them, but the originals were very good!
  • The American Girls series Felicity, Kirsten, Molly, Addy, & Samantha - I can't vouch for the newer series, but these five were wholesome reads for younger girls.
  • The Bronze Bow, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, & The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare - The second one is not really about a witch, just so you are aware!
  • Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes
  • The Door in the Wall, by Marguerite De Angeli - a beautiful, encouraging story that just becomes richer as you grow older.

For adventure and/or fantasy:

  • The Cooper Kids Adventure series, by Frank Peretti - FYI: These can be very frightening at times due to the spiritual nature of some of the adventures.
  • The Spirit Flyer series, by John Bibee - Again, sometimes frightening, especially in the later books, but so worth the read and discussions that will ensue! :-)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis - So excellent that there are no words.
  • The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Bracken Trilogy, by Jeri Massi
  • The Iliad & The Odyssey, by Homer - Yes, I challenge you to read them for fun, not for schoolwork.
  • The Once & Future King, by T.H. White - for older {mid-to-upper} teens due to mature themes
  • The Princess and the Goblin & The Princess and Curdie, by George MacDonald - not just for girls, despite the feminine title character!
  • The Borrowers series, by Mary Norton

Whew! That's a pretty good start, isn't it? I'm sure I'll be adding to this list as I remember more.

Now a question for you, dear readers: What favorite books do you remember from your childhood? Why did you like them so?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Looking Ahead + Elisha Press Giveaway Winner


Looking Ahead...

I've been busy as a proverbial bee this week, so there is very little in the way of a blog post for you, my friends! :-) However, I thought you might like to see this pic that reminded me so very much of Lady Tarian ... Looking forward to writing the sequel to The House of Mercy perhaps this late fall/winter, Lord willing. And Lady Tarian seems to insist on playing a large role in that sequel, which some of you will be most happy to hear. :-) Meanwhile, I'm pinning away {different from "pining" away - see the difference a letter makes?} - this is one of my "pins" - and I would LOVE to have you follow along: click here.

I'm delighting in some of the boards I'm currently following - the picture of Lady Tarian comes courtesy of fellow author-friend Rachel Rossano's fascinating boards.

Meanwhile, we have the Elisha Press giveaway winner to announce!

With over 200 raffle entries, the winner is...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please look for an e-mail from me soon, Kris!

Happy Independence Day!

May you have a blessed week.