Tag Archives: young adult fiction

2019 Christy Award Finalists

19 Sep

Here are the finalists for the 2019 Christy Awards. A top honor in Christian fiction, you can be sure of an excellent read when choosing one of these books. Congrats to all the talented authors!

 

Contemporary Romance

Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano

Falling for You by Becky Wade

Wait for Me by Susan May Warren

 

First Novel

The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings

Engraved on The Heart by Tara Johnson

The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson

 

General Fiction

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

Send Down The Rain by Charles Martin

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels

 

 

Historical

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

Of Fire And Lions by Mesu Andrews

The Seamstress by Allison Pitman

Shelter of The Most High by Connilyn Cossette

 

Historical Romance

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander

 

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Called to Protect by Lynette Eason

Every Wicked Man by Steven James

Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

 

 

Short Form

A Shot at Love by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

Falling for Grace by Janet Ferguson

Legacy of Love by Kristi Ann Hunter

 

Visionary

Mark of The Raven by Morgan L. Busse

Shivering World by Kathy Tyers

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

The Wounded Shadow by Patrick W. Carr

 

Young Adult

The Crescent Stone by Matt Mikalatos

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

 

 

Book Review: Defy The Night

29 Apr

443213In the midst of war, one teenager is determined to make a difference.

If no one will do anything, she’ll have to do it herself.

In 1941 France is still “free.” But fifteen-year-old Magali is frustrated by the cruel irony of pretending life is normal when food is rationed, new clothes are a rarity, and most of her friends are refugees. And now the government is actually helping the Nazis. Someone has got to do something, but it seems like no one has the guts—until Paquerette arrives.

Smuggling refugee children is Paquerette’s job. And she asks Magali to help.

Working with Paquerette is scary and exhausting, but Magali never doubts that it is the right thing to do. Until her brash actions put those she loves in danger.

 

 

HeatherOp1Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in southern France where her parents were missionaries like their parents before them. She has a BA in literature from Wheaton College and now lives in a Christian intentional community in rural Illinois, where she and her husband, Paul, host free spiritual retreats for the poor, especially those transitioning out of homelessness or addiction. When not writing or hosting, she works on the communal farm.

LydiaOp1Lydia Munn, daughter of missionary parents, grew up in Brazil. She received a BA in literature from Wheaton College, and an MA in Bible from Columbia Graduate School of Bible and Missions. With her husband, Jim, she has worked in church planting and Bible teaching since 1983, notably in St. Etienne, near the small town in the central mountains of France which forms the background of How Huge the Night. The Munns now live in Grenoble, France.

 

 

My Impressions:

Sharing the little known story of courageous French citizens determined to save the children caught in the brutality of the Nazi regime, the mother daughter writing team of Lydia and Heather Munn have created a deeply moving and very personal novel. The second book to focus on the Losier family, Defy The Night can be read as a stand alone novel. Perfect for a book discussion group or a mother/daughter read, I highly recommend Defy The Night.

girls in Rivesaltes campMagali Losier is a young woman determined to make a difference in a world that seems to have gone crazy overnight. Although living in the free zone of France, Magali’s community is caught up in the realities of war following the German invasion of France. All around her, she senses the fear that grips her friends and family, but she wants to be a hero. When she begins traveling with Pacquerette, an aid worker who transports children from detention camps to safe homes, Magali believes she has found her calling. But the brash cleverness she sees as her greatest asset puts many in danger.

Defy The Night is told in the first person voice of Magali. She holds nothing back in her examination of friends and family. Her attitudes, of course, reflect on their character, but also expose the flaws in her own. The reader can see the danger that awaits Magali as she does most things in her own power without the healthy fear that Pacquerette says is necessary for their work. It is the evolution of Magali that keeps the reader engaged.

Le ChambonThe historical importance of the story is also significant. The amazingly brave work that the town of Chambon (the real-life town the story is based on) did on behalf of Jews, especially children is one that all should know. The time of the story, 1941-1942, is described as a softer period in the course of WWII. The inhumane treatment of people during this time was just a taste of what was to come.

Gripping, moving, thought-provoking — all terms I would use to describe Defy The Night. The target audience is young adults, but I would recommend this book to anyone.

Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

(Thanks to Kregel for a review copy and to Heather for sharing the pictures. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below. The Kindle version is only $1.99!

Book Review: Chasing Jupiter

28 Feb

732935_w185Scarlett Blaine’s life in 1960s Georgia isn’t always easy, especially given her parents’ financial struggles and the fights surrounding her sister Juli’s hippie lifestyle. Then there’s her brother, Cliff. While Scarlett loves him more than anything, there’s no denying his unique behavior leaves Cliff misunderstood and left out. So when he wishes for a rocket to Jupiter, Scarlett agrees to make it happen, no matter how crazy the idea might be. Raising the rocket money means baking pies, and the farmer’s son, Frank, agrees to provide the peaches if Scarlett will help him talk to Juli. The problem is, Scarlett really enjoys her time with Frank, and finds herself wondering if, someday, they could be more than friends. Just as she thinks everything might be going her way, Cliff suffers an accident that not only affects the rocket plans, but shakes Scarlett’s view of God. As the summer comes to an end, Scarlett must find a way to regain what she’s lost, but also fulfill a promise to launch her brother’s dream.

img_1904-jpg_effected1Rachel Coker is a sixteen-year-old home school student and award-winning author who resides in Virginia with her parents and two sisters. Her gift for writing became apparent at the age of eleven through a simple fiction writing assignment in school. She signed with Zondervan in 2010, resulting in the publication of her YA fiction novel, Interrupted, in March 2012. Chasing Jupiter is her second book.

My Impressions:

Did you read the short bio of this author? If you did not, go back and do it now! Rachel Coker is young, really young. Yet she writes with a maturity, both in subject matter and in style that belies her age. Chasing Jupiter was not what I expected. Sure, I read the praise for her first novel, saw Publisher’s Weekly‘s admonishment that she was an author to watch, but I did not foresee that talent that Rachel Coker has been blessed with. Chasing Jupiter is a great novel, and I cannot wait to see what else Coker has for us in the future.

Chasing Jupiter is a character driven story, and they will win your heart. Scarlett is the middle child in a family that is falling apart. The story is narrated by her, and we are privy to all her dreams, fears and anxieties. Scarlett’s 10 year old brother, Cliff, has something wrong with him — he is quirky, obsessive, and fixated on the Spanish Civil War. Oh, and he also wants to be the first person on Jupiter. Grandpop Barley is struggling with dementia — insisting on wearing the same red tie every day and eating as much peanut butter as he can hold. Add to the mix an older sister with serious hippy tendancies, an overworked mother and a father who spends their spare cash on political causes, and you have a family in need. Scarlett puts herself in the role of saving her family, taking on the care and feeding of the clan as well as baking pies to fund the rocket for Cliff’s Jupiter dreams.

There are heartaches and heartbreaks in Chasing Jupiter, but Coker infuses the novel with hope. Scarlett finds her way to the peace that she so desperately seeks. This novel is categorized as Young Adult and is perfect for those in High School and up. I think the novel would be perfect for a mother-daughter book club. And the setting of the summer of 1969 is a perfect starting place for discussions on what it was like when mothers were teenagers.

Highly Recommended.

(I received Chasing Jupiter from DJCCommunications in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase a copy of Chasing Jupiter, click on the image below.

CSSF Blog Tour Day 2 — Wingfeather Saga

20 Sep

This month the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour is featuring Andrew Peterson‘s newest book, Monster In The Hollows. Since it is book 3 in the Wingfeather Saga (with one more on the way), I thought it would be good to let you know about the first two books in the series.

On The Edge Of The Dark Sea Of Darkness. When the three Igiby siblings find a mysterious map, they embark on an adventure to discover family secrets about the father they never knew and a hidden treasure that many have long desired to find. Leeli, the youngest, can sing with a beauty that captivates dragons; Tink, the middle sibling, has the makings of a king; and Janner, the eldest, possesses a bravery that will protect them all. But the children’s curiosity get the entire Igiby family into trouble with the Fangs of Dang—frightening, scaly-skinned, lizard creatures that drip venom—who have ruled the land of Scree since the Great War. Soon, the Igibys are scrambling for their lives.

North!  Or Be Eaten.  Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby thought they were normal children with normal lives and a normal past. But now they know they’re really the Lost Jewels of Anniera, heirs to a legendary kingdom across the sea, and suddenly everyone wants to kill them.  In order to survive, the Igibys must flee to the safety of the Ice Prairies, where the lizardlike Fangs of Dang cannot follow. First, however, they have to escape the monsters of Glipwood Forest, the thieving Stranders of the East Bend, and the dreaded Fork Factory.  But even more dangerous are the jealousies and bitterness that threaten to tear them apart, and Janner and his siblings must learn the hard way that the love of a family is more important than anything else.

Tomorrow I will post my review of Monster In The Hollows, but for now, check out what others on the tour are saying:

Gillian Adams
Red Bissell
Jennifer Bogart 
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Cynthia Dyer
Amber French
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
Eve Nielsen  (post will be later this month)
Joan Nienhuis
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White

Christian Science Fiction And Fantasy Blog Tour — The Monster In The Hollows

19 Sep

This month’s book pick for the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour is Andrew Peterson’s The Monster In The Hollows (book 3 in The Wingfeather Saga), a young adult fantasy adventure.  Here is some information about the book and its author.  Tomorrow I will highlight books 1 and 2 in the series and on Wednesday I will post my review.  (Last week was crazy, so I am still reading the book!)

Janner Wingfeather’s father was the High King of Anniera. But his father is gone. The kingdom has fallen. The royal family is on the run, and the Fang armies of Gnag the Nameless are close behind.

Janner and his family hope to find refuge in the last safe place in the world: the Green Hollows—a land of warriors feared even by Fangs of Dang. But there’s a big problem. Janner’s little brother-heir to the throne of Anniera-has grown a tail. And gray fur. Not to mention two pointed ears and long, dangerous fangs. To the suspicious folk of the Green Hollows he looks like a monster.

But Janner knows better. His brother isn’t as scary as he looks. He’s perfectly harmless.

Or is he?

Join the Wingfeathers on an adventure filled with mystery, betrayal, and sneakery in a land of tasty fruits. There’s a monster on the loose and the truth lurks in the shadows.

From The Author’s Website:

Andrew Peterson — Hey, folks. If you’re just discovering me or any of my work, it can be a little confusing because there are several facets to it. If you don’t have time to read the whole bio below, here’s the rundown:

• I write songs.  I also record them to these cool things called CDs and put on concerts around the country. (And beyond! To my great delight, I get to play in Europe every year or so.)

• I write books.  Right now I’m writing four-part fantasy series for young readers called the Wingfeather Saga. I just published the third book, The Monster in the Hollows. I also illustrated some of the pictures (but not the coolest ones). The last book in the series should be published by next Christmas.

• I’m the proprietor of the Rabbit Room, a community of songwriters, authors, and artists interested in storytelling, faith, and fellowship.

• I’m a proud member of the Square Peg Alliance, a happy band of singer/songwriters who write together, tour together, and eat together.

• I’ve been married for fifteen years to Jamie, and we have three sweet children: Aedan (12), Asher (11), and Skye (8). We live in a magical place we call the Warren, just south of Nashville.

The common thread in all this is my love for Christ and his Kingdom, my belief in the power of story and art, and my need for family and community. If I had to boil it all down, I’d say this: I want to use my gifts to tell the truth, and to tell it as beautifully as I can.

To read what others on the blog tour are saying about Andrew and his book, follow the links below:

Gillian Adams
Red Bissell
Jennifer Bogart 
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Cynthia Dyer
Amber French
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
Eve Nielsen
Joan Nienhuis
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Rachel Wyant

(I received a copy of The Monster In The Hollows from Bozeman Media in return for a review.  Any opinions expressed are mine alone.)