Archives For Sharon Hinck

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. Today’s choice is courtesy of a sweet sophomore named Alissa.

Alissa

Alissa approaches life with joyful enthusiasm. She maintains an A average, sings in our chapel choir, plays every girls’ sport, volunteers for community service, and takes part in school plays and concerts. Her heart is tender towards God, and her passion for Him inspires me.

I enjoy having Alissa in my English class because we both respond to the power of stories. And another interest we have in common, Alissa loves to write. She wants to be an author and is working on an epic fantasy. So when she came to me looking for reading material, I knew just what to pull off the shelf—Sharon Hinck’s The Restorer.

To say Alissa loved this book would be an understatement. Alissa lived this book. She lost herself in the story. As she devoured the novel during study halls, she would periodically burst out with, “Now that’s a game changer” or “Wow, I really didn’t see that coming” or “I love this part. I have to read it again.” Each time she saw me she would say, “By the way, this is the best book ever.”

Alissa's pick to play Tristan, actor Ed Speelers from the movie Eragon

What drew her in? She enjoyed picking out similarities between The Restorer and the Old Testament—the elements that brought to mind the twelve tribes of Judah, the divided kingdom, and the work of the prophets. She especially loved how the Lord was woven through every part of the story and considers author Sharon Hinck on par with JRR Tolkien and better than Christopher Paolini. She fell in love with a character named Tristan—part guardian, part avenging angel—and even chose an actor to play him.

After finishing this expanded edition, Alissa hung onto my copy so she could delve into the devotions, songs, recipes, and other bonus material. She now has my book two but has added all three books to her wish list because she wants to own them for herself.

So what are you waiting for? I bet you or someone you know would enjoy this story. Follow this link to buy The Restorer for the fantasy-lovers in your life.

Sharon Hinck

About the author: Sharon’s undergrad degree is in education, and she earned an M.A. in Communication from Regent University in 1986. She spent ten years as the artistic director of a Christian performing arts group, CrossCurrent. That ministry included three short-term mission trips to Hong Kong. She has been a church youth worker, a choreographer and ballet teacher, a home-school mom, a church organist, and a bookstore clerk. One day she’ll figure out what to be when she grows up, but in the meantime she’s pouring her imagination into writing. She’s published dozens of articles in magazines and book compilations, and released her first novel in 2006. In April, 2007, she was named “Writer of the Year” at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

Connect with Sharon on her website.

Connect with Sharon on Facebook.

Alissa’s favorite recipe from the book: Tara’s Pepper Soup

  • Saute your choice of veggies in butter
  • Add 2 cups of diced chicken
  • Add 2 cups cream of potato soup
  • Flavor with Worcestershire Sauce
  • Don’t forget the cracked pepper!

This week I’m linking up with Miss Elaine-ous Monday, Playdates with God, The Better Mom, On Your Heart Tuesday, Thought-provoking Thursday, Heart 4 Home Thursday.

How would you like to read a great book, share your thoughts about it, and maybe win a prize? That’s what I’m inviting you to do for this month’s Christian Fiction Book Club. What’s the book? Whichever one you choose!

By letting each participant choose her own book, I’m hoping to entice more of you—new friends, old friends, former student/friends, homeschooling moms, moms with little kids, busy working moms, grandmothers, non-bloggers, and bloggers—to participate.

So I’m calling this month’s chapter of the club, the Christian Fiction February Free-for-all.

Here’s how it works:

  • Find a Christian fiction book that you can read by the end of the month. It might be the book you have right there on the top of your To-Be-Read pile. If you have nothing in mind, I’ve listed some wonderful suggestions in this post.
  • Read your book in time to post here between February 25th and 28th.
  • Jot down your thoughts about the book. Sometimes it helps to answer a few specific questions about the story. If your book doesn’t come with discussion questions, I’ll be posting a few on a special page in my header soon.
  • Then you can choose how you’d like to share with the rest of us: 1. You can stop back in on book club day and post a mini-review of your book in the comments section. Or . . .
  • 2. You can email me your thoughts about the book, and I’ll include them in my post on book club day. I’d love to put your first name, the state you’re from, and maybe a picture of you with your comments. My email is reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com. Emails should be sent by February 23rd.
  • 3. If you’re a blogger, you can blog about your book. Then link up here on book club day.

Do you feel like you’re back in English class? Are you thinking, “Why should I take the time to do this?” I have an answer for that question . . .

  • When a new friend tells me what she likes about a favorite character, I catch a glimpse of what she values in others.
  • Often when a booklover explains why she relates to a particular theme or situation in a story, she ends up relating a real-life experience that helps me know her better.
  • When I find out someone I just met loves the same characters and books that have meant much to me, I know I’ve found a kindred spirit.

As C. S. Lewis said, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment.” So talking about the books that bring us closer to the Lord can bring us closer to each other.

Don’t know where to start? I have favorite books for every mood and season of life I’ve experienced! Here are some suggestions from among my many favorites. Most of these books have been out for a few years, so you may be able to find them through your local library. Did you miss any of these treasures the first time around? Or maybe it’s been a while since you’ve read one of these. They’re all worth a second look! Continue Reading…

On Monday, I uncovered a drug ring in South Minneapolis. On Tuesday, I spotted a felony theft at a country club in Edina. On Wednesday, I overheard plans for industrial espionage while staking out the back room of a workshop in St. Paul.

On Thursday, my daughter blew all my cases out of the water . . .

With these first lines from Symphony of Secrets, author Sharon Hinck ushers us into the slightly-zany mind of single mom and talented flutist, Amy Johnson. As a crime novel buff, Amy is always on the lookout for a real-life mystery to solve, yet she can’t seem to follow the clues that lead to understanding her daughter’s heart—much less, her own.

Caught reading--instead of cleaning my messy home office!

Amy is flawed and funny and filled with an overabundance of imagination. She’s a main character who works her way into your heart until you’re ready to follow her into any fictional situation. I found myself rejoicing to see her win a spot with the Minneapolis Symphony (which brings her to the attention of the handsome conductor) and empathizing with the self-doubts that swamp her as she pursues her dream.

When she attempts to discover who is sabotaging the symphony and steps out of her comfort zone to connect with the non-musical mothers of the cheerleading squad, some of her antics made me laugh out loud.

But, for me, her bravest moments come when she faces her past, acknowledges the pain she has caused, and finds a way to move forward in love.

If you’ve ever yearned for a dream, loved someone enough to sacrifice for them, stumbled a time or two on the path of life, or experienced blessings in unexpected ways, you’ll be charmed by this book.

And here’s some advice for other aspiring writers out there: read this book!

In a class Sharon Hinck recently taught for American Fiction Christian Writers, she emphasized that “one of the keys to writing was to help your reader build a relationship with the characters.”

Since Sharon demonstrates this so successfully with the creation of Amy Johnson, this story is a great study in character development. (After all, Sharon was named “Writer of the Year” at the 2007 Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference.)

Madeleine L’Engle once cautioned writers, “Your point of view as a human being is going to come over in your writing whether you know it or not. There’s no way you can hide it. And that’s a very scary thing, particularly true, oddly enough, in fiction. Story is revelatory.”

Sharon, too, takes her responsibility as an author seriously and shared her thoughts in our lessons:

“I think it’s appropriate to approach our story telling with a little healthy fear and trembling. When someone is willing to spend several hours in your created world, with your created characters, absorbing your world-view, you have an opportunity to influence for good or bad.

Therefore, be saturated with the Word. We work with words, but we never exhaust our need to be IN the Word—taught, fed, and shaped by the Bible.”

To learn more about Sharon and her other books, visit her website. The sidebar section labeled Encouragement links to some meaningful reads, sure to touch your heart.

Book Giveaway: Let me share this sweet story with one of you.

I made the mistake of starting Sharon’s book during a school week, and you can see by my

My copy of Sharon's book where it should NOT be--in my school bag!

photos that I ended up reading when I should have been working. My copy of the book shows some outer wear from having been dragged around with me and handled by my curious students, but the pages are pristine. So if you’re the type of person who doesn’t judge a book by its cover, this is the giveaway for you!

To win my somewhat used copy of this book, you must be a subscriber or GFC follower. Then simply leave a comment below to let me know you’d like to be included in the drawing. Please include your email address. (Remember to write it like this jenniebee [at] gmail [dot] com.) I’ll run the giveaway until next Friday, October 15.

Follow this link to purchase your own copy of the book.