Monday, January 30, 2012

Replication by Jill Williamson: Team Novel Teen Blog Tour

When Your Life Is Not Your Own

Martyr - otherwise known at Jason 3:3 - is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he i scheduled to "expire" in less than a month. To see the sky.

Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart,confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars. 

As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures-the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is runny out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he's ever known.


This was a book that was a bit different than the ones I usually read but the subject was interesting and since I am dedicated to spreading the word about great Christian fiction for all ages, including teens, I wanted to read it and find out if it was one I wanted to recommend. IT WAS! 

I don't know if you have ever really thought about the whole issue of cloning people but this book will certainly change that if you haven't. Martyr  may be a "clone" but it only takes a few paragraphs to find out he is a character you care about and don't want to see "expire". 

Abby is a strong and spunky teenager. She has a strong faith despite the fact that her father seems to have none. Loosing her mother to cancer brought her closer to God but it had the opposite effect on her father. As she struggles to fit in at a new school she finds a good looking young man with a giant ego trying to get her attention at every turn. When she meets Martyr she thinks it is the boy from school. But they act very differently. Questions arise....

The writing in this book is very well done. I was on the edge of my seat a lot of the time wondering what was going to happen. There were some interesting twists to it that I didn't quite expect but made perfect sense. It really made you think about human life and who has the right to use it for their purposes or is all life valuable and meant to be preserved? I had never thought a lot on the subject until now. But the whole idea of using human embryo's has never set well with me. I think we need to be very careful about what we say we are doing under the pretense of finding a cure to save people. Are we testing on others to save someone else? Since this book is centered around teenagers it makes a good story for the next generation to read and think about, but it is done in a fun way. 

I loved it! I am going to encourage my teenage son to read it. I really think he will enjoy the adventure and excitement of this story. I would recommend everyone, teens and adults alike, to read this. You will enjoy it but it will also make you think. 


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Team Novel TeenAbout Team Novel Teen:
 We are a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Lost in Dreams by Roger Bruner by clicking on the links below, and check out the Team Novel Teen page for more information.
See what the Team had to say about Replication. Click on each link to view their blog post about the book.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Precious Than Gold (Sangre De Cristo) by Lynn Dean

More Precious Than Gold (Sangre de Cristo)The bullet that killed Eliza Gentry's fiance shattered her dreams as well. Clinging to her battered faith, she heads west to escape her grief and runs headlong into the man who caused it.

Tall and headstrong, Eliza expected to remain an "unclaimed treasure." Devastated in the wake of the war, she sets out for New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo mountains in search of peace and new purpose but finds that the western frontier is a wild place where former enemies--Yankees and Rebels, Freedmen and Indians--square off in the quest for land and gold.

Eliza must confront her prejudices and fears, and Jacob Craig embodies that conflict. The mountain man wins her trust with his gentle strength, but he harbors a secret. As a Union sharp-shooter, he met her fiance on the field of battle and cost him his life. Eliza must learn that she will not find purpose or peace anywhere until she finds in God a faith more precious than gold.

A real ghost town comes to life in this award-winning story of love, forgiveness, and the sovereignty of God.

I got this book on my new Kindle because of the reference to the Sangre de Cristo mountains. I fell in love with those mountains in Colorado. The part of them in this story are actually in New Mexico. This was a wonderful book. The characters are great. This is a book about loss and starting over. God sees our whole lives from start to finish but we can't see how certain things are going to work for good like He can. It is also a book about how we can be a light to others in the world. We can make a difference even if it is just planting a small seed. God can use that small seed and bring it into full bloom.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Switched by Bill Myers

Still on their quest to teach TJ Finkelstein the life lessons she’ll need to be a great world leader, 23rd-century goofballs Tuna and Herby are brewing up even more trouble for the new kid in Malibu. As the boys try to repair their futuristic gadgets, a little glitch in their Thought Broadcaster Pen lands TJ in the body of her nemesis, TV star Hesper Breakahart . . . and vice versa. And the plot thickens when Tuna and Herby decide to put TJ’s new look and superstar power to use. The time stumblers set up a concert for “Hesper” as a diversion while they sneak aboard a nuclear submarine and borrow a plutonium power pack—one of the items needed to fuel their time pod and get them out of TJ’s life. Meanwhile, Tuna and Herby are hounded by their own nemesis, Bruce Bruiseabone, who’s having a little trouble with forgiveness . . . a lesson that TJ realizes she might also need to learn as she walks a mile in Hesper’s shoes—and body!


TJ and The Time Stumblers is a series of books. The kids in the story are out to save the world but end up in troublesome situations. They are for ages 7-10. TJ is switched with her worst enemy, a beautiful and snotty TV star. Herby and Tuna have time-traveled back from the 23rd century to help her but end up making more trouble. Other people end up switched around in the process. Walking in others shoes helps show how that person feels and forgiveness is a big theme in this book.

My son, 13, read it and said it was good but for younger kids, he felt. He said it had a good story line but really wasn't something he would choose to read on his own. My daughter, 10, liked it a little better than he did. With the main character being a girl I think that made a difference to her. They loved the funny names that the writer used for the different characters. 

I received a copy of this book free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I received no other compensation.


Tyndale Publishers 

Monday, January 16, 2012

What Your Son Isn't Telling You: Unlocking The Secret World Of Teen Boys by Michael Ross and Susie Shellenberger

 Keys to Understanding Your Son's Heart and Mind

 Your son struggles with the constant pressure to prove himself--in the classroom, on the playing field, and especially among his friends. And while he may put up a tough exterior, deep inside he hungers for family support and connection. You long to be there for him, but chances are he's put up a formidable wall of silence, leaving you wondering how to break through.

In What Your Son Isn't Telling You, teen experts Michael Ross and Susie Shellenberger offer a rare glimpse into the secret lives of teen boys--behind-the-scenes footage you might miss in the day-to-day life of your son--accompanied by practical advice on how to provide the support and connection your son desperately needs. 

Packed with real-life stories and emails from teen guys, this must-read will give you a new understanding of what your son isn't telling you.

What Your Son Isn't Telling You provides a rare look at the secret lives of teen boys--a world characterized by loneliness and peer fear; one in which measuring up as a man means conforming to a code of always being a tough guy, never showing weakness, and never expressing true feelings. Too many boys feel the constant pressure to prove themselves in classrooms, on playing fields, and especially among their friends. Deep inside they hunger for family support and connection--and long to be accepted by their peers. Each chapter of this must-read book is packed with real-life stories and emails from teen boys that will give parents a new understanding of what their sons aren't telling them.


I got this book because I have a son who will be 13 in a matter of months. I do have an older son already grown and out of the home, but I wanted to be able to understand my younger son better than I did my older one. The whole learning from our mistakes and making better choices as we grow was my motivation. 

This book is a great eye opener for parents into the world of a young man struggling to become a man while still dealing with things as a teenager. I think every parent, mom and dad, should read this book and then take the time to apply what they learn from it. 


Author Bio

Michael Ross is a veteran youth communicator and former editor of Breakaway, a national magazine for teen guys published by Focus on the Family. His online advice column--"HEY MIKE!"--was read by thousands worldwide each month. Michael is also the author of more than 18 books for young people, including the Gold Medallion winner BOOM: A Guy's Guide to Growing Up and a bestselling devotional, Faith That Breathes. He and his wife, Tiffany, live in Colorado Springs with their young son, Christopher, and two cats.

Susie Shellenberger founded Focus on the Family's Brio magazine for teen girls and served as editor for more than two decades. A former youth pastor and a high school teacher, she has written more than 40 books (including What Your Daughter Isn't Telling You) and is in demand as an international speaker for women's groups and teens. She also started the Brio Mother/Daughter Cruise for Focus on the Family. She has been featured on numerous media outlets including It's a New Day, HomeWord with Jim Burns and Moody's Midday Connection. She recently launched Susie, a magazine for teen girls. She lives in Colorado Springs and, in her spare time, enjoys walking her 150-pound St. Bernard and sometimes eating cereal for dinner.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness by Candace Cameron Bure

Millions first met Candace Cameron Bure when she costarred on the hit television series FULL HOUSE. Today, she is that rare Hollywood working mom who maintains a normal life -- no trainer, no nanny, no chef -- and is outspoken about her Christian faith and how it has helped overcome certain a serious struggle with food.

More than a biography, Reshaping It All is a motivational tool putting you on the right track toward a better physical and spiritual fitness regimen that really lasts. In addition to practical advice and fun stories from her family and career, Candace offers a biblical perspective on appetite and self-control that will encourage any woman who longs to reach a new level of freedom.

Embracing a healthier lifestyle begins by moving faith to the forefront, making some wise fundamental choices, and finding your worth in the eyes of God.

This candid account of maintaining a healthy outlook on weight despite the toothpick-thin expectations of show business and the everyday busyness we all feel will reshape your life as well. 


This book has helped me so much to realize some of the road blocks in my life towards a healthy body and mind. She is honest and upfront about the things she went through. She doesn't pretend to be a perfect person who has it all figured out. She just points you in the right direction, to God and His answers to life's issues. 

I would and have recommended this book to anyone that feels they need to reshape their bodies and beyond. I am still working on my fitness goals but with this books they have become less difficult or seem more attainable. 


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Monday, January 2, 2012

A Look Forward

I can't believe that I read over 50 books in 2011. There were many weeks that I didn't read anything but my Bible. There were many weeks that I read 3 books in one week. I LOVE to read. 

Sadly, I didn't do much writing in 2011. I had many excuses for NOT writing. But none of them were really good reasons. It is something I really want to do. I am a member of the national and local Christian Fiction Writer's groups and am on several great email loops for writers. I have many GREAT books on writing. But all of that isn't good for anything if I don't put it into practice.

For 2012 I have set some goals for myself in the area of books. 

Read and review MORE than 50 books. I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas and I download every free book that I find (Christian book). I also will buy books that I know the author is amazing and the price goes down to something I can afford. I also get many books from authors to read their books and review them. I love books! (I said that already, didn't I? It's worth repeating.)

Read all of the writing books I own. I have many great books on the art of writing. Not only do I want to simply read the book but put into practice what they are teaching in each chapter. 

Spend time each day writing. Write at least 1,000 words a day. Doesn't matter what I write at first as long as I can get into the habit of writing each and every day. 

Go to the Dallas Writer's Conference in September. This is a chance the I won't have every year. It is actually in my state, less than an hour from me. It is my chance to learn some great things and to meet some of my wonderful new friends in person! It will cost a bit but it will be so worth every penny. PLUS, I won't have to pay for airfare. I may not get to go the next year depending on where it will be. 

Have a book finished by conference. I can't imagine writing something as good as I have read this year from some fabulous authors but I will allow the Lord to work through me, like they have, and give me the words to put down. 

I think that is more than enough goals for the new year. I am excited about what God has in store for me this year in this area of my life. I can't wait to sit here a year from now and look back on it. It is my prayer that I will have met each of these goals and gone beyond them in some way. 

What goals do you have for the new year?