Book Reviews

A Shower of April New Releases

Intrigue and Romance (Not Necessarily in that Order) Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano (April 4) With a name like Permilia, you know the characters will be filled with quirks and foibles. Permilia might be a society wallflower, but she manages to work behind the scenes to create an acceptable life for herself that’s meaningful and stimulating. Asher thinks he has no room in his life for Permilia—a woman who doesn’t fit his ideal of a perfect life partner—despite the…

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Ten Tips for Turning Reluctant Readers into Voracious Readers

What Makes a Reader Reluctant? You might wonder what chasing the FedEx truck has to do with reluctant readers and how the two events relate (and who wants their kid chasing delivery trucks, anyway?). Let me explain. I teach at a private school where 95% of the students are ‘reluctant readers’—mostly because about 95% of them have never owned their own book nor do they have access to a public library. Reading happens at school. From textbooks. When I survey my…

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Don’t Miss Dickerson’s Newest Regency: A Viscount’s Proposal!

Not Your Average Regency Romp The allure of marrying a British noble, say, a duke or a viscount, makes Regency novels, from Pride and Prejudice to The Foundling popular with romantics. Courtship has morphed into dating however, and the average young lady nowadays thinks nothing of spending time alone with a young man. But two hundred years ago, during the Regency era, everyone knew that time spent alone with a member of the opposite sex could ruin a reputation faster…

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Mystery, Mayhem, Music, and Marriage: January New Releases

Mystery and Suspense to Keep You Up at Night Murder on the Moor: If you haven’t read any of Julianna Deering’s Drew Farthering Mysteries, you’re missing out. Drew, an English gentleman, and his wife Madeline receive an invitation to an old classmate’s country estate—located on the English moors. The reason for the invitation? A mystery involving the murder of a well-loved vicar. Drew quickly finds his suspects and starts trying to prove them guilty. Madeline cautions him to not judge…

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Martin Luther’s Most Radical Act Wasn’t His 95 Theses

Katharina and Martin Luther I have vague memories of watching a movie about Martin Luther forty years ago for a class at school. The lingering impressions consist of the doors to a church and the constant danger of bucking the Roman Catholic Church at its most powerful. And of course, the hymn. I knew Martin Luther wrote my favorite hymn—”A Mighty Fortress.” From time spent in Europe, I knew that Martin Luther played a huge role in the Reformation and…

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Best Book of 2016? Impossible Question!

From Books to eReader I pressed my finger on the page of a book and waited. Puzzled, I wondered why the definition to the word under my finger hadn’t popped up yet. And then I realized what I had done. I sheepishly looked around the living room, hoping no one else had noticed that the book I held in my hands had actual pages. When I first started using a Kindle six or seven years ago, I never dreamed that an…

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Loosing My Cool in Chicken, Alaska

Tisha Made Me Do It After successfully delivering the rhubarb pie to the sweet folks at Red Eagle Lodge, I had to decide on my next destination. I had two choices—return the way we came, or take a slightly-out-of-the-way route through Chicken, AK and Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Tisha made me go the unknown route. I read Tisha in my first year of teaching—and it inspired me to stay in my profession despite the difficult students I encountered. When we…

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An Uncommon Courtship Teaches About True Love

A Regency with a Twist In An Uncommon Courtship Kristi Ann Hunter has done what few modern Regency writers have ever done—created an unlikely love story with all of the nuances of relationships that newlyweds might face (especially innocent ones) without being salacious or offensive. The result is a masterpiece tapestry of true love. Unlike many books in the ‘Inspirational Historical’ category these days,the hero has to use his faith to figure out what to do. Lady Adelaide Bell has…

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How Your Gift of Mentorship Can Change Lives

Joy (and Frustration) in the Journey I call each student to my desk and they show me their journals, where they have written steps they need to take to complete a goal. Goal setting does not come easily to my kids. They come from homes where children learn early what surviving from paycheck to paycheck really means. You might not eat more than gravy for days a time. It means you might have to steal the ingredients from the local…

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Silent Night Shadows Will be a Hit on any Gift List

Silent Night Shadows I confess that during my youth I spent an inordinate amount of time reading Harlequin Romance Novels. By the time I reached the tender age of 16, I had read enough of them to think that I, too, could write a decent Harlequin. The manuscript, typed on onionskin paper with my grandma’s old electric typewriter, lies in the bottom of a box somewhere in my basement. Harlequin has come a long way since the days of wilting…

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