Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Andrea Carter and the Price of Truth, by Susan K. Marlow

Trouble has no problem finding thirteen-year-old Andrea (Andi) Carter. Despite best intentions, her plans almost always get thwarted. In this sixth and final book of the Circle C Adventures series, Andrea Carter and the Price of Truth, Andi secretly plans to earn money herself so she can give her mother a very special birthday gift. But keeping those plans a secret from her family is easier said than done.

One of Andi’s ideas seems to be working out. That is, until she identifies an upstanding citizen, and her brother’s best friend, at the scene of a back-alley murder. When the town bully holds her beloved horse hostage, pressuring Andi to recant, the young girl must decide if the price of telling the truth is worth the cost of losing Taffy. Her thoughts express her frustration, “All I did was tell the truth, and now everything’s in a muddle.”

While this book brings the series to a close, Price of Truth is quite enjoyable on its own and can stand alone. I do recommend reading books one through five, though, to get to know Andi, her friends, and her family, and to catch a glimpse of the Old West and 1880s America.

A FREE, downloadable, 24-page enrichment guide comes with each book in the Circle C Adventures series and includes:
• Vocabulary
• Discussion Questions
• Geography
• A "Closer Look" at history that ties in with the book
• "Just for fun" hands-on activities, crafts, cooking, or games
Lapbooks are available by separate purchase for grades 3-6. Find it all at Circle C Adventures!

Now younger children can get to know Andi too! The first two books of Susan’s Circle C Beginnings, a new series of early reader chapter books that introduce a six-year-old Andi to the elementary audience, have just been released. Each Circle C Beginnings book has color covers and illustrated pictures, with FREE supplemental activities available online. Visit Andi’s blog for an adorable treat to hear little Andi herself tell all about it.

The Circle C Adventures and Circle C Beginnings series are wholesome reading for the entire family. Read more about Susan in this Aim for Perfection Editing interview or by visiting her website.

Compensation Disclosure: I received one complimentary copy of this book from Kregel in exchange for reviewing it on my blog.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Sharing Recipes

In light of the holiday season, I'm sharing a couple of my favorite recipes with you! Hope you enjoy them! And do feel free to share with friends and family.

"Your Best Writing Ever!"

  • YOU
  • A dash of creativity
  • Sprinkle of inspiration
  • 1 Comfy chair
  • 1 Computer word processor (may substitute pen and paper)
  • Peace and quiet to taste
  • Optional ingredients: dictionary, thesaurus
Prepare YOU ahead of time by spending time alone in prayer and the study of God's Word. Here you will receive the creativity and inspiration to spice things up. Once YOU are prepared, situate YOUrself in your favorite workspace, complete with comfy chair and preferred writing utensil. The necessary simmer time varies per project and may require anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours. I have found the optional ingredients tend to improve flavor.

Serve fresh to anyone who requests!

OK, here's one you can eat!

"Pumpkin Soup"

1/4 C onion, finely chopped
1/4 C celery, finely chopped
1 small clove fresh garlic, minced
1/4 C olive oil
1 C chicken broth (reserve remainder of can)
1 15-oz can Libby's pumpkin (I've tried other brands & it turns out yucky! Use Libby's!)
Half & Half
Ritz or Club crackers

Saute onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until vegetables are transparent. Lightly salt and pepper them and stir. Add 1 C of chicken broth (reserving remainder) and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 can pumpkin. Add 1 C Half & Half and stir out lumps. Add remainder of pumpkin and another C Half & Half and stir til smooth. (Add additional cream or reserved chicken broth if needed for desired consistency.) Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with Ritz or Club crackers. (Serves 4.)

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Red Ink, by Kathi Macias

Zhen-Li, a young Chinese woman raised in a prominent family, marries a Christian peasant and adopts his faith. Her parents, obedient to the Chinese government, are appalled and ostracize Zhen-Li and her husband. When Zhen-Li becomes pregnant for the second time and refuses to have an abortion, her family pays to have her kidnapped and the baby aborted.

Zhen-Li stands firm in her faith and boldly teaches children about Zhu Yesu ("Lord Jesus"), distributing Christian literature every chance she gets until she is imprisoned and accused of adopting a foreign religion “who regularly surrendered state secrets to foreign devils.” Her faith does not falter during torturous “re-education” sessions, and Zhen-Li continues to minister to her cellmate, fellow prisoners, even the brutal prison guard, Tai Tong.

Kathi Macias’ Red Ink is based loosely on the life of Christian magazine editor Li Ying, who is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence in China for printing and distributing Christian materials, particularly to children, and for whom the author prays daily. As a reminder for Christians to “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Hebrews 13:3 NIV), a secondary story line follows two ladies in a nursing home in California who see to it they accomplish one thing if nothing else each day, to pray for those afflicted, especially someone in China.

Though I have enjoyed other works by Kathi Macias, this is the first of her novels I’ve read. So far, there’s been nothing she’s written I would not recommend. Kathi is a very talented, multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 30 books and ghostwritten several others. She has taught writing courses, been a guest on many radio and television programs, is a popular speaker, and recently won the prestigious 2008 member of the year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the annual Golden Scrolls award banquet. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, California, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley. You can learn more about Kathi at her website or blog.

NOTE: A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me as a blog tour host by New Hope Publishers in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at www.ChristianSpeakerServices.com for more information about blog tour management services.

This sums it up ;)

This sums it up ;)