Archives For Books Teens Love

I love words—reading them and writing them. So it’s no wonder I enjoy being part of a writing group that helps me be better at both.

This writing group really gets to the heart of what all of our blog posts and essays and stories are supposed to communicate. 

Of course, I’m talking about Susan May Warren’s My Book Therapy, which is now at learnhowtowriteanovel.com.

(You may have noticed my affiliate link in the sidebar. More about that in a future post!)

What’s different about this program is how the authors who teach,
Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, and Beth Vogt,
focus on the emotional journeys their characters take
and how the lies they believe,
about themselves and about God,
shape how He shows up in their stories.

Isn’t that what our own faith journeys are all about?

Maybe that’s why the novels they write unfailingly touch so many readers’ hearts.

For example, Rachel Hauck’s How to Catch a Prince, which I recently read, is a gem!

What I especially enjoyed about the novel is how it pulled me into what the characters are thinking & feeling. And you know how we readers are—once the main characters have taken root in our hearts, we must see the story through to the end!

How to Catch a Prince is more than a story about an American heiress and royal prince. It’s a story about us—God and His children—and how He loves us well through every disappointment, trial, and heartache.

Check out these opening lines & tell me you’d be able to close the cover on this story!

“With each passing day, she remembered she had a secret. She’d lived in the fog of death until six months ago, when she crawled out, reaching for the first glimpse of life and light she’d encountered in five years.

It came in the form of a simple telephone call. A refreshing-breeze offer. But clearing the fog meant the memories surfaced. Ones she’d long since regarded as lost. Now they rattled around the empty corridors of her heart.

And recently, in the faintest ting or ping, like when elevator doors opened just outside her office, Corina remembered how she loved the glorious, rolling chimes of cathedral bells pealing through a crisp Cathedral City dawn.

And she ached. Deep in her soul. With a longing she couldn’t reach nor remove.”

Intriguing, right? Now you’re wondering what broke Corina’s heart and how God will bring peace and healing.

Here’s a hint of how the story turns out. This also happens to be my favorite quote from the book!

Rachel Hauck My Book Therapy

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And that’s a happy ending right there, isn’t it?

No matter what else Corina’s future holds.

You can check out Rachel’s royal wedding series & other books at this link.

For more inspiration, you can follow Rachel on Facebook, on Twitter, and at her website.

Thanks for  by stopping by today! Blessings, friends!

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If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
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I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
Continue Reading…

The God Who Sees

Renee Ann Smith —  January 19, 2015 — 18 Comments

We live in a culture that focuses on outward appearance. Some days it seems like everyone around me worships youth and exalts physical attractiveness.

And sadly I too often find myself falling into the trap of looking no further than the surface of people and things and missing the true beauty buried underneath.

I remember first reflecting on this years ago, the day of Princess Diana’s funeral, September 6, 1997. Every major network covered the event. All day long the news anchors talked about Diana. They showed videos and photos of her hobnobbing with celebs, playing with her boys, and visiting the less fortunate—even HIV patients. They tracked her changing style and talked about how much her gowns cost and who designed them. Later those same gowns would be auctioned off for charity.

In an odd twist, Mother Teresa had died the day before—just five days after Diana. Though they died the same week and the world would honor both of them in some way (India would give Mother Teresa a state funeral on September 13.), the two women could not have been more different when it came to outward appearance.

I doubt any young women intentionally copied Mother Teresa’s hair style. She didn’t have a bikini body to show off for the paparazzi. Celebs weren’t lining up to dance with her at state dinners or writing songs for her. No former lovers were tapped to write tell-all books. I couldn’t think of anyone who would bid for a garment she’d worn on Ebay.

Yet I wondered how Mother Teresa looked in God’s eyes . . . 

Did her incredible heart outshine the physical beauty He’d given Princess Diana?

Did God smile as He replayed images of Mother Teresa hugging an orphan or washing a beggar’s feet?

Did He see a trace of His beloved Son in every wrinkle and gray hair of this woman who had spent her whole life serving Him?

I’m so thankful that our Heavenly Father is the “God Who Sees.” He views what no one else can—the real us, the part of that will live for eternity, the part of us that bears His Image.

Perhaps that thought should scare me, but it doesn’t.

Like the woman at the well, I’ve looked into the eyes of Him who “knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out” and seen only love there.

GodWhoSees Brush With Love Review

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“She gave this Name to the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are the God Who Sees Me.’” ~Genesis 16:13, The Message~

A story I read recently—Rachel Hauck’s A Brush with Love—reminded me of this truth.

The novella focuses on hair stylist Ginger Winters. Though Ginger has an uncanny ability to bring out the beauty in others, she can’t see anything attractive in herself. Scarred by a childhood tragedy, Ginger is content to hide behind her many scarves and never reveal her true self—until preacher Tom Wells comes back into her life.

Tom invites Ginger to see herself as he sees her and—more importantly—as God sees her.

The result is a sweetly romantic story that resonates with a profound message:
God sees the true beauty in every one of us.

Are you or someone you know in need of soaking in that message today?
You can
download Rachel’s novella for less than $5 at this link.

Brush with love Hauck

Find me on social media and let me know what you think of it.
Let’s celebrate the God Who Sees Us!

Thanks for joining me on this awesome journey! Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I created the Scripture graphic with an image from Unsplash & PicMonkey, my editing tool of choice! Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.

***Let’s be Twitter pals! If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here

***Let’s connect on Instagram! I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link. Continue Reading…

Meant to Be Mine

Renee Ann Smith —  May 4, 2014 — 6 Comments

I was a daddy’s girl. So I’ve always loved stories that feature tender father/daughter scenes, like . . .

  • Atticus Finch including precocious Jean Louise in his nightly newspaper reading.
  • Or shy Matthew Cuthbert picking out a dress with puffed sleeves for Anne Shirley.
  • Charles Ingalls playing the fiddle as Half Pint and Mary fall asleep.
  • Oh, and that scene from Little Women, where Father March comes home from war, and Amy wraps her arms around his leg, determined to hold on and never let him go.

wade book coverFor me, Meant to Be Mine evoked that feeling.

Becky Wade’s novel tells the story of estranged husband and wife, Ty Porter and Celia Park. The main action takes place five years after an impromptu wedding, which ended with Ty informing Celia the marriage was a mistake. However, their time together produced a tiny, glasses-wearing miracle named Addie—which Ty discovers when he feels an urge to see Celia again after many years apart. 

The first time Ty meets his little girl Addie, this story lassoed my heart and galloped away for a wonderful ride.

Check out Ty’s response to spending time with her: “If she turned that sunray of a smile on him again and asked her to buy him a boat or a pony or a swimming pool, he’d probably buy those, too . . . Addie fascinated him. Enchanted him. Wrapped him around her pinkie . . . He expected it would take him a good while to win her heart. But it hadn’t taken her long at all to win his.”

This father/daughter magic works on Addie’s mother Celia, as well. As Celia watches Ty with Addie, her heart begins to yearn for a renewed relationship with her Heavenly Father. Yet even this involves her estranged husband as God leads Celia through the painful process of forgiving him.

I love how God restores this family by wooing the hearts of the parents to Him—-just like a doting, in-love-with-His-kids, always-there-for-you Father. And, of course, there’s plenty of romantic sweetness & sizzle along the way!

What I liked best . . .

  • The fun, flirty conversations between estranged-but-still crazy-about-each-other Celia & Ty
  •  Imagining what kind of cowgirl boots I’d wear if I were visiting the Porter family (Everyone in Texas wears boots!)
  • Celia’s creative take on princess stories
  • Every time the Porter family got together
  • Uncle Danny’s surfer dude adventures
  • Meeting long-timed marrieds Jerry and Donetta

My favorite quotes . . .

Meant to Be Mine Becky Wade

 

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 Meant to Be Mine Becky Wade(Click to Tweet)

What you should do next . . .

Follow this link to purchase your copy of Meant to Be Mine. ***Thanks to Becky Wade and Bethany House for providing a copy for me to review.

becky wadeAbout the author: Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met a Texas boy, and settled in Dallas.  She published historical romances for the ABA, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.  When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction.  She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance!  Her CBA debut, My Stubborn Heart, was a finalist in both the RITA and INSPY awards.  Undeniably Yours kicked off her Texas-set Porter Family series.  Her newest contemporary romance, Meant to Be Mine, has just hit shelves!

You can connect with Becky . . .

So glad you stopped by today, friends! Come back Wednesday, to see my graphic of the theme verse of this novel. Blessings!

This week I might be linking up with Inspire Me Monday, Sharing His Beauty, Mommmy Monday Blog Hop, Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Unite @Rich Faith Rising, Modest MondaysBook Notes, Make Your Home Sing Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Salt & Light, Manic Monday, Turn It Up Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesdays, The Bloggers’ Digest, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What Is Good, What I Learned This Week, Titus 2sday Link-up, Living Proverbs 31, Busy Monday, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Imperfect Prose, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesday, Wise Woman Wednesday, Three Word Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Walking Redeemed, Whimsical Wednesday, A Little R&R, Capture Your Journey Wednesday, The Barn Princess, Adorned from Above Wednesday Link Party, Whimsy Wednesday, In Him We Live, Juana Mikels Wednesday Link-up, Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party, Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Hearts for Home, Throwback Thursday, Thoughtful Thursday, Cozy Book Hop, Booknificent Thursday, Tell His Story, Thought Provoking Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows, From House to Home Link Party, Share the Joy Thursday, Time Travel Thursday, Thrive @Home Link Up, Grace at Home, Christian Fellowship Friday, Faith-filled Friday, Fantastic Friday, Faith & Fellowship Friday, Fellowship Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday, Womanhood w/ Purpose Friday Link Up, Essential Friday Link-up, Saturday Sharefest, Sunday Stillness, and Heart Reflected.

 

“Like restoring cars is a highway to being a princess? Dad, my life is not a Disney movie.” Reggie Beswick, Princess Ever After

princess ever afterOnce I opened Rachel Hauck’s Princess After Ever, I had to keep reading until I’d wrung the last drop of sweet, romantic, quirky goodness from the story. This book is equal parts Princess Diaries, Roman Holiday, and Tammy and the Bachelor. (Anyone else remember that oldie but goodie?). And I kept picturing Tanner Burkholdt as hunky widowers Tom Winters, aka Cary Grant, from Houseboat or Graham, aka Jude Law, from The Holiday—even though he’s blond.

Princess Ever After is big on charm, and I love how Tanner is totally respectful and virtuous in how he treats Reggie. I can’t wait to share this story with my students. I know they’ll love it!

What’s it about?

The Grand Duchy of Hessenberg is in trouble. It seems the late Prince Francis established a one hundred year entail, at the end of which he intended for his heir to return and reestablish the monarchy. Now the entail is about to end. Yet all members of the monarchy are gone—except for Regina Alice Beswick, a country bumpkin from the States, who would rather be dipped in axle grease than model a tiara. So it’s up to Minister of Culture Tanner Burkholdt to bring Reggie home to Hessenberg. However, Tanner’s old mentor isn’t too keen on giving up his power to the new girl. If only stoic Tanner can keep from losing his heart to Reggie, he might be able to concentrate on how to save his country and Reggie’s crown before it’s too late.

What I liked best (in no particular order) . . . 

  • When Reggie & Tanner tour the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg dressed as a fun, famous couple from the past
  • “Meadowbluff Palace, with its gables and turrets, framed by the towering Cliffs of White”
  • Sunset in Wisteria Park
  • St. John’s Chapel, where Reggie soaked in “The millions of prayers. Peace. The presence.”
  • Gram Alice’s backstory, told in letters from 1914
  • Meeting 10-year-old twins Bella and Britta
  • The spiritual thread invoking the royal roots which belong to every daughter of the King.
When Reggie reminds herself, “Wasn’t that what Gram did? Live the life of a princess by her actions, not her title?”

Another quote I loved . . .

Princess Ever After Rachel Hauck

What you should do next . . .

Follow this link to purchase a copy of Princess Ever After for you and the teens in your life. Then enter the Giveaway below. ***Thanks to Rachel Hauck, Litfuse PR, and Zondervan for providing a copy for me to review.

GIVEAWAY: Rachel is celebrating the release of her latest “swoon”-worthy romance,  Princess Ever After, with a fun $200 “Princess” prize package giveaway and a Facebook “Princess” party on March 6th. Grab your tiaras and RSVP today! Enter at this link or by clicking on the image below.
Princess Ever After Rachel Hauck

One winner will receive:

RHauck 203About the Author: Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as RITA nominated The Wedding Dress and RITA nominated Love Starts with Elle, part of the Lowcountry series, the Nashvegas series and the Songbird Novels penned with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Their novel Softly and Tenderly, was one of Booklists 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, she worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full time in 2004. Rachel serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

You can connect with Rachel on her Facebook page, on Twitter, and at her website. Continue Reading…

Right Where I Belong

Renee Ann Smith —  August 26, 2013 — 3 Comments

Some of my students are voracious readers and have worked their way through almost all the books I kept in my classroom last school year. So I took advantage of my summer break to pick up some new-to-me Young Adult books. Today I want to share one that I found particularly charming: Right Where I Belong by Krista McGee.

Right Where I Belong tells the story of Natalia Lopez, whose rich, divorced parents don’t have time for her. The book begins right after Natalia’s father has divorced his third wife, Maureen. Maureen is a Christian and has been the most nurturing person in Natalia’s life. She’s heartbroken at the thought of losing her stepmom. 

A few weeks back I wrote about a heroine who brought to mind the Bible character Naomi (here.) In this story, the heroine is a modern-day Ruth—because when her stepmom leaves Spain to return to her hometown in Florida, Natalia goes with her.

In Florida, Natalia experiences several firsts. She spends her senior year in a Christian school, makes friends with a group of Christian teens, goes on a mission trip, and sees God’s plan for her future start taking shape.

Of course, there’s a boy. In this story, he’s a spiritually mature, goodnatured pastor’s son, who has a heart for people. No matter how appealing he is, Natalia keeps him at arm’s length. She’s determined to avoid her father’s mistakes. But Brian is such a charmer, everyone except Natalia can see they’re meant to be together.

Krista McGee shares a world where Christian friends hold each other accountable, help each other maintain purity, and use their gifts to evangelize the lost.

Too much a fantasy? This is the world my students inhabit. And trust me, the characters in Right Where I Belong have realistic flaws and strengths—just like they do.

I’ve read lots of articles about why young people leave the church. But this book brought to mind what those who stick around after they “grow up” seem to have in common. They’re the ones who have experienced God’s power working in and through their own lives.

I know kids like that. They’ve challenged me and given me hope and ministered to my heart during tough times. So these characters seemed very real to me.

My prediction: My students are going to love Natalia and Brian!
I bet you and your teens will, too.

Right where I belong quote 2I picked up Right Where I Belong from Amazon. You can purchase a copy for your family at this link.

right where I belong 43About the author: Krista McGee lives in Florida with her husband and three kids. She’s been a missionary and now teaches English in a Christian school.

Why does Krista write books for teens?

She says, “I know how hard it is to be a teen, trying to live for God and make wise choices while being flooded with hormones that make you want to scream and cry and hug people—sometimes all within the same hour. I want to help teens find God and cling to Him during those years, to know that there are people wanting and willing to help them do that. And I want them to know that serving God is fun and exciting and incredibly rewarding. There’s nothing like it!”

Krista writes a blog for teens, which you can find at this link.

Or you can connect with her on her Facebook author page or on Twitter.

This weekend I purchased Krista’s most recent book, Anomaly. Someday soon I’ll let you know what my students and I think of this intriguing dystopian story. 

I’m linking up with Inspire Me Monday, Miscellany Monday, Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Unite @Rich Faith Rising, The Better Mom, Modest Mondays, GraceLaced Mondays,right where I belong anomaly Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Just Write, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What Is Good, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Tuesday Muse, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Wise Woman Builds Her House, Tell His Story, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesday, Wise Woman Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Wednesday Hop @Adorned from Above, Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party, Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Hearts for Home, Thoughtful Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows, Share the Joy Thursday, Time Travel Thursday, Desire to Inspire,Thrive @Home Link Up, Grace at Home, Faithful Friday Blog Hop, Faith-filled Friday, Fellowship Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday, Aloha Friday Blog Hop, Womanhood w/ Purpose Friday Link Up, TGIF, Friday Company Girl Coffee Link Up, Essential Friday Link-up, Sunday Collective, and Heart Reflected.

Would you be thrilled to meet 30 young ladies who are dedicated to living for God and giving voice to His work in their lives? Then let me introduce you to a group of writers who will give you hope for the future: Godly Girls for God.

Their Webzine, Godly Girls for God unites 30 writers, ages 11 to 25. They post devotionals and stories every Friday. Follow this link to peruse their site. If you know a young writer who might be interested in writing for the site, you’ll find an application here.

Their Purpose: “Our heart is to honor Christ with our writing and to let God speak through us in order to bring others to Christ. Everyone has a unique story. Everyone has experienced God’s work in their lives to get them to where they are today. We strive to keep the story going, by having real girls writing the truth.”

godly girls 2a

Founder: This webzine is the brainchild of Hillary Beth Koenig. Hillary, now 24 and married, was 15 when the webzine really took off.

Why did Hillary gather these girl writers together? In Hillary’s words, “God has taught me that He is working all over the world in hearts, and that we are far more alike than we realize as true believers in Jesus. It was reinforced to me that we are not alone, and that we can find others going through very similar things. Satan’s biggest lie is that ‘no one else could possibly understand me.’ It isolates us in a way that makes it hard for us to open ourselves up to God, and others in healthy ways.”

godly girls for god 3a

Their Book: The GGFG have published a book called Write for Him: The Story of Godly Girls for God. This is the story of how God brought together an online community of girls, bound by their writing hobby. The 25 young ladies featured in the book come from many different backgrounds and represent 10 different countries—Australia, Burundi, Canada, Ghana, Indonesia, Ireland, Russia, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, and the United States.

The girls gathered their devotionals, fictional stories, testimonies, poems, and quizzes into a book. The topics reflect how the girls put their trust in God to overcome addictions, put away distorted views of God, cope with losing a parent, deal with bullies, face their fears about the future, and trade the messages of this world for the Truth. The authors range in age from 11 to 24.

Follow this link to purchase or wish list Write for Him: The Story of Godly Girls for God.

GIVEAWAY: When Hillary contacted me about giving away a copy of her book, I was eager to share this opportunity with all of you. Enter below. I’ll give the name of the winner to Hillary & she’ll send out your book. Return next week to see who won!

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Thanks for stopping by, friends. Please share this post with the writers in your life. Blessings! Continue Reading…

Catch Star 4

Author Beth Vogt is one of those folks who generously gives time and talent to help others achieve success. She writes an encouraging blog, shares glimpses of her life on Facebook, and helps us hone our writing technique at My Book Therapy. When she offered me the opportunity to review her latest novel, I jumped at the chance and am really glad I did! I highly recommend Catch a Falling Star. I know you’ll love it, too.

Why? Here are some things you’re sure to appreciate about this heartwarming story:

The unique, multi-talented heroine: Kendall Haynes is a smart, feisty family practice physician, who can tirelessly treat kids all day and rebuild a jeep in her spare time. She’s the type who interrupts her dinner when she notices that a nearby teen appears ill, saves his life, and then casually returns to chat with her friends. Kendall knows what to prescribe for other people’s lives, but she doesn’t quite know how to fix what’s missing in her own. I was rooting for her after that first phone call from her selfish sister.

The trying-to-do-the-right-thing hero: My heart went out to Griffin Walker, an Air Force pilot who suffers from Vertigo—a fitting metaphor for a man whose life has been turned upside down. After the loss of his parents, Griffin gets thrown into the role of guardian to the hurting teenage brother he hardly knows. His first marriage failed, and now even his career is on hold. The storms of life have swamped poor Griffin. At first, he doesn’t know which way is up. Watching him find his way was sweet and satisfying.

The Love-Is-Lovelier-the-Second-Time-Around aspect: Kendall and Griffin are nearing forty with failed relationships behind them when God brings them together. And that beautiful second chance, as the song says, “Makes you think perhaps that love like youth is wasted on the young.”

The story behind the story: Beth dedicated the book to a teen named Ian Lyons, a friend’s son who suffered through cancer and died in 2009. This story is a fitting tribute to a young person who faced life’s toughest challenges with faith and courage.

The Spiritual Takeaway: Catch a Falling Star is more than a simple romance novel with the expected HEA.* It’s a story that takes a look at some difficult truths.

  • Truth: Loving others can be painful.
  • Truth: We can’t go back in time and relive wasted years.
  • Truth: Some decisions cannot be undone.

But the characters live out how Jesus enables us to view the reality of our lives and see this transcendent Truth—that God can redeem our bad decisions and foolish mistakes and offer in their place Hope, Peace, and Second Chances.

Don’t you love when that happens in a story? Yeah. Me, too!

You can order your copy of Catch a Falling Star at this link. (Even though the protagonists are older, I plan to bring my copy to my students. They’ll enjoy the romance and the teenage boy’s story—plus pick up some ideas about God’s grace and forgiveness. I bet the teen girls in your life would enjoy it also.) ***Thanks to Beth Vogt and Howard Books for providing a copy for me to review.

beth vogt authorAbout the Author: Beth Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice), though she said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four, though she said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” An established magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth is also the Skills Coach for My Book Therapy, the writing community founded by best-selling author Susan May Warren. You can connect with Beth on her Facebook page, on Twitter, or at her website.

*HEA = Happily Ever After (A definition for you non-romance buffs out there!)

GIVEAWAY: Follow this link to enter Beth’s $200 Visa Gift Card Giveaway and to sign up for her June 4th Facebook Party! Continue Reading…

Need some suggestions on which books the teens in your life would love? Let us help. Recently, I asked my students to share their picks for the best inspirational books for young people. And, yes, since by this time of the school year I’m pretty tired, I am shamelessly using my students to help me generate blog posts! Sooo . . . today’s book recommendation is courtesy of Layla.

Layla is a mature-for-her-years 8th grader. She makes straight A’s, plays sports, and plans to be a Navy pilot. She’s been all over the world with her parents and with a summer student ambassador program. She regularly attends galas and other social events. Though she loves to read, she can be tough to please. This year I’ve seen her zip through The Hunger Games Trilogy and several true-life military stories. When she came to me looking for new reading material, I gave her There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones.

What was Layla’s reaction to the story? I gave her the book on a Friday. Sunday afternoon, she messaged me through Facebook three times, “I’m almost done . . . I don’t want it to end . . . Finished. Loved the book!” That Monday, when I asked what she loved, she told me lots of spoilers. But what I can share is that . . .

  • The book was a page-turner.
  • Her favorite character was handsome heartthrob Beckett.
  • A pure love story is “the best kind ever.”
  • Finley seemed like a girl she could be friends with.
  • And she loved what Finley learned about God, herself, and her brother in the end.
  • After reading the book, Layla decided that maybe she should work at knowing God better, too.

Layla also told me that though we’ve read The Hiding Place and Through Gates of Splendor in English class, she had never read Christian fiction books before. Now she can’t get enough of them. She raided my classroom stash and took home House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson.  Then she looked up Jenny’s other books and asked me to bring in Just Between You and Me. She recently finished I’m So Sure (which we call the cow book). Tomorrow I’m bringing her So Over My Head.

Considering the types of entertainment most kids encounter—I pray that this inspirational reading binge will last her lifetime. And it all started with one sweet story. Want to find out what Layla loved so much?  You can purchase a copy of There You’ll Find Me at this link.

Here’s Amazon’s book blurb for the story: Finley Sinclair is not your typical eighteen-year-old. She’s witty, tough, and driven. With an upcoming interview at the Manhattan music conservatory, Finley needs to compose her audition piece. But her creativity disappeared with the death of her older brother, Will.

She decides to study abroad in Ireland so she can follow Will’s travel journal. It’s the place he felt closest to God, and she’s hopeful being there will help her make peace over losing him. So she agrees to an exchange program and boards the plane.

Beckett Rush, teen heartthrob and Hollywood bad boy, is flying to Ireland to finish filming his latest vampire movie. On the flight, he meets Finley. She’s the one girl who seems immune to his charm. Undeterred, Beckett convinces her to be his assistant in exchange for his help as a tour guide.

Once in Ireland, Finley starts to break down. The loss of her brother and the pressure of school, her audition, and whatever it is that is happening between her and Beckett, leads her to a new and dangerous vice. When is God going to show up for her in this emerald paradise? Then she experiences something that radically changes her perspective on life. Could it be God convincing her that everything she’s been looking for has been with her all along?

About the author in her own words: “I write Christian fiction with a few giggles, quite a bit of sass, and lots of crazy. My novels include the Katie Parker Production series, A Charmed Life series, and my first contemporary romance, Just Between You and Me.  I would also like to take credit for Twilight , but somewhere I think I read you’re not supposed to lie. When I’m not typing my heart out (or checking email), I teach at a super-sized high school in Arkansas.” You can find Jenny at this website.

This week I’m linking up with On Your Heart Tuesdays, Women Living Well,