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Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Book Review of An Ocean Apart

I have long been a fan of Rosamunde Pilcher and just discovered
that her son, Robin Pilcher is carrying on his mother’s tradition as a fiction writer.

The main character of this story is David Corstorphine, son of a Scottish Lord and heir to a whiskey distillery. David is grieving the loss of his wife to cancer and he has taken a sabbatical from work to take care of his children and deal with his grief. He finds solace in gardening, despite the horrific Scottish weather. Though he seems to be holding it all together, his mother  knows he’s stuffed his emotions and is worried that he hasn’t fully coped with his loss.

When David’s company requires that he make an emergency trip to America to tend to a business related matter, David suffers an emotional break down when he is brought face to face again with his loss. He prolongs his visit to America and takes a menial job for an affluent family as their gardener. (They are unaware of his past history or social standing.)

The story is about his journey to heal his deep wounds and find meaning in life again.

In a similar tradition to his mother, Robin has written an enjoyable women’s fiction book. It’s not a romance per se, but it has strong romantic leanings. David is likeable and we are able to empathize with him. I found myself rooting for him hoping he would be able to find healing and applauding him as he becomes involved in the lives of the family he is working for. Though at times I had to suspend my disbelief, finding it hard to swallow that a father of three would just decide to start working as a gardener for a month and ocean away from his children, I was willing to because the characters are affable and interesting. At times it seemed to be a bit melodramatic but only on occasion. I still enjoyed the story, even more so since it has a happy ending and David finds new love.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Review, While I Was Gone by Sue Miller

This women’s fiction book is well written. The main characters are Jo Becker who is a veterinarian, her husband, a Lutheran minister and a long-lost acquaintance, Eli Mayhew.

The theme of this story is that small things can divide strong marriages including those that have been solid for long periods. We fall into predictable patterns, a comfortable existence, and the danger is we may become bored. It doesn’t take much--a misspoken word, a spouse who is preoccupied spouse, or even meeting up with someone or something that makes us look back and long for something in our past.

All of these come into play in this story.

Jo Becker has radically changed from her free-wheeling days during the 60’s. She’s on her second marriage and is the mother of three grown daughters. But when she encounters Eli, one of the former boarders of a house she lived in with other young students, the past suddenly intersects.

Jo’s wild and rebellious side resurfaces when she thinks she has feelings for Eli. It is the case of forbidden fruit and she risks it all to meet up with this man. They both harbor the same dark secret from the past. Dana, one of the boarders in the house they shared, was murdered and the crime has gone unsolved for all these years.  

Sue Miller accurately describes static family life and the dynamics of strained mother-daughter relationships as well as sibling rivalry among children. Family gatherings can often bring out the best and worst and we see both. The scenes where her daughters are present including Cass, the black sheep,are real enough to make you squirm.

This book provides a strong warning about pining for something better. One misstep and we may lose everything we hold valuable. I give the four out of five stars. Be warned there is language and some sexually explicit sections.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ministry Going Rough? Make a Bamboo Car.

One of the purposes of this blog is to share slice of life experiences. I don’t often talk about much besides writing usually because of lack of time. However, I am making time today. I thought it appropriate to share about the ministry my husband and I are involved in. It is a huge part of who we are.

Our Christian coffee shop ministry, Java Journey ( is one of the most exciting and challenging things we have ever done, especially. We live and operate out of Hickory, NC which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

Our ministry, in a nutshell, is to share Christ’s love to the hurting and broken and teach them to give it back to others. What we had never foreseen was that the bulk of those we minister to are either under employed or unemployed so they can contribute very little financially to our ministry, which cannot be supported through coffee sales alone. We rely on donations as well. Unfortunately, now our donors are being affected. The past few months have been particularly challenging as yet another substantial donor, due to relocation because of job loss, has stopped contributing.

Good stuff is happening in our ministry, but sometimes, because of the finances, it feels as if we are stranded on an island with no means of escape. We see other ships passing by just out of reach, but cannot seem to get out of our predicament (though we have ideas for how we could become self-sustaining). When things break, we have no money for repairs. Our most recent fatality is our deli case. Over the past few months, we’ve paid rent later and later. Thank goodness for a gracious landlord who extended mercy and said he’d really like to keep us because he believes in what we are doing.
Recently, Jeff attended a clergy meeting with local pastors and shared about our present circumstances. He approached it with humor. “We’re like folks on Gilligan’s Island,” he said. “We make cars out of bamboo.”
Indeed, there are parallels to the illustration of the castaways. Those who have survived such hardship have done so because of several things. We can learn a few things from them:

First, cherish the encouragement and accept the help of others. You are more likely to make it if you have others to commiserate with and share with.

 Second, hold tight to your faith in God. Though it seems as if you have been stranded forever, you are only going through a temporary hardship. It will not last forever.

Third, have a positive attitude. Give thanks for even the small things. Hold on to hope.
Finally, use whatever resources you have at your disposal (even if it’s just bamboo).  Do the most excellent job you can and trust God to bless your endeavors.

If you cling to these truths, you will not only find the strength to carry on, you will inspire others to as well. One day they may say, “they are truly remarkable. I had no idea you could make such an awesome car out of bamboo.”
Here's some fun Gilligan's Island trivia


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book Review, Near-Death Experiences as Evidence for the Existence of God and Heaven

J. Steve Miller has made a comprehensive and thorough study on near death experiences. The book references many accounts of those who have been temporarily dead and what they have seen while in that state. But what lends the highest credibility to the work are the accounts of those in the medical profession who have told accounts of patients. These are not hysterical people but those who would be seen by those who know them as normal and respectable thereby carrying more weight.

The author has accurately called it a brief study, and indeed, it is just 6 chapters with multiple appendixes but he has represented the length honestly and has done a thorough job. Throughout you will find excellent writing and documentation that is in simple layman’s language. Where other studies documented in such a way might become cumbersome, this book held my interest and helped sway me, a skeptic to see the plausibility of near death experiences.

I especially appreciated his convincing and logical arguments about common themes in most accounts of near death experiences which he tackles on a point by point and how he ties them in to the existence of God and spiritual beings. If you have any interest in this topic and are yet undecided, I highly recommend this book. I doubt you will find a better one on this subject anywhere. Here's the Amazon Link.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review, Shiny Water by Anna Salter

Forensic psychologist Michael Stone is convinced that the children of a prominent surgeon are being sexually molested by him. The doctor’s wife seems emotionally unstable but Stone doesn’t see her as a threat. When Stone is called to testify at the high-profile custody battle between the wife and doctor, she tells the truth, however justice is not served and slick lawyer working for the doctor manages to twist and dodge the truth.  The children end up the custody of their father.
Less than twenty four hours later they are found dead in the home of the mother and all signs point to her as the murderer. Stone is devastated by the news and her reputation is in tatters. Could she have been that deceived by the severity of the mother’s instability?  Did the father kill the kids? And why do the patients she is seeing seem to be digressing instead of making progress?

Anna Salter’s heroine of this novel has a tragic past of her own and she threads the grief Stone experienced from the loss of her own child with the deaths of the two children.

Like John Grisham, who has a background in law, Salter is an expert in her field. She holds a doctorate in clinical psychology. It is this expertise that no average writer could even begin to incorporate into a story line and which lends credibility to the work.  It’s also both fascinating and shocking to learn just how troubled some of the clients are that she sees and the high molestation rate is troubling. It’s also an eye opener, much like the Grisham novels, about the corruption of the judicial system.

She does a good job building the suspense in this mystery. I would love to read more of her work. I give her a 4 ½ our of 5 star rating on this one.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Interview & Book Giveaway with Deborah Malone Author of Murder in Marietta

I'm honored to have author Deborah Malone visiting today. Deborah's book Murder in Marietta is the topic of our discussion. Be sure to read all the way down and enter our free book giveaway.

What is the full name of your book and who is it published by?
“Murder in Marietta” is the second book in The Trixie Montgomery Cozy Mystery Series. It is published by Lamp Post Publishing.

Give us a short summary. 
Murder in Marietta follows historical magazine writer Trixie
Montgomery on her latest assignment that can make or break her
her new career. The Marietta History Museum’s resident ghosts
are stirring up trouble in historic downtown Marietta, Georgia. Trixie begs her best friend to come along.  Their plans to research the spooky sightings vanish into thin air when a dead body is discovered in the museum. The director of the museum and her boss’ friend, Doc Pennington, shoots to the top of the suspect list when his fingerprints are the only ones found on the murder weapon, a civil war rifle. Unwilling to risk losing her boss’s faith in her journalistic abilities, Trixie and Dee Dee offer to help sniff out the real culprit only to wind up in hot water when they are kidnapped by the real killers. Will they be rescued in time?

How did you arrive at the idea for your book?
I’ve always loved cozy mysteries. So it was natural for me to write a cozy. I’ve written for “Georgia Backroads” a historical magazine for 10 years and had written about Marietta in some of my articles. I loved the area so decided to use it as the setting for this book.

What kind of books do you like to read?
I love this question. I used to only read mysteries. But when I started a blog of my own where I have interviews for Christian Fiction I started reading other genres. I found out I loved reading about other times and places. I read just about anything now.

Could you share a writing tip for writers?
The most important for a starting writer would be to get it down on paper – write, write, write. You can always go back and learn more about editing. If you don’t write then there is nothing to edit.

Where can people purchase your book?
They can email me by going to my website at and I’ll send them a signed copy. You can also get it at and
Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Book Review, Secrets of the Wind

This is the first book in the Pine Ridge Portraits series by Stephanie Grace Whitson.
Set in the west during the waning days of Native American uprisings, two cavalry men come upon the grisly remains of a slaughtered white man outside of his burnt out cabin. They are stunned to find a female survivor hidden in the cellar. (We later are introduced to as Laina Gray.) She has been held captive, not by the Indians, but by the deceased man. She is wild, filthy, and nearly insane because of the horrible mistreatment she suffered at the hands of her captor. In a desperate attempt to end her life she nearly succeeds.

First Sargent Nathan Boone, who has suffered a severe loss, the death of his wife, takes her back to the Army post where she is nursed back to health. We learn that she is not only a woman with a past but that she is pregnant.

I applaud the author who successfully avoided the stereo typical western plot.  She surprised me in the first chapter with how events unfolded. Other characters who come on the scene also hold their own secrets. Are they villains or heroes at heart? Boone seems the obvious choice for the man Laina will fall in love with, but again, Whitson avoids the expected  by throwing other relationships into the mix.It works well.

At the heart of this story is the theme of God’s grace and redemption. Though we may feel we have suffered through unimaginable hardships, even when things look the bleakest, if we remain faithful to him, he will remain faithful to us.

I give this book 4 ½ stars. Well done Ms. Whitson.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review, A House Divided by Catherine Cookson

Catherine Cookson remains one of my favorite authors. Though she passed away in . 1998, many of her works have withstood the test of time. Cookson’s main characters often face cruel hardship, and it is their ability to weather them and grow stronger because of them that makes her books so memorable. The two central characters of A House Divided are Matthew Willingham, a wounded World War II hero who is blinded in action, and his nurse, Elizabeth Duckworth.

Willingham comes from a prominent and well-respected military family; Elizabeth is from a family of lesser standing. It is Elizabeth’s compassion that gives Willingham the will to live. She is there for him as he recovers both emotionally and physically.  Though Elizabeth has put us safeguards to protect herself from the men she tends too—falling in love with the wounded is part of the occupational hazard—she and Matthew form a strong bond which develops into something much deeper.

Eventually Matthew recovers enough to return home to his family, and the two become engaged but it is with the knowledge that Matthew will never be able to resume a normal life. His definition of normal has changed and he must find a new vocational path that will allow him to function with his physical challenges.

One of the reasons that Cookson is such a masterful writer is that she continually puts obstacles in the path of her characters. It creates suspense and romantic tension as Elizabeth and Matthew first find multiple reasons to steer away from their attraction for one another, and then must face roadblocks that keep them for being able to live a normal happy life.

I don’t want to spoil the story, but I will say that both characters face increasing danger that jeopardizes their love for one another and their safety. The book comes to a strong, edge of the seat climax with the good guys winning out. I give this 4  ½ stars.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Joint Book Signing & Book Reading at Hickory Coffee Shop

A group of local authors will hold a book signing and book readings on Saturday, December 1 from 10:00 am to 12 pm at Java Journey Coffee Shop. 
Some of the authors represented include Kimberly Rae, Gretchen Griffith, Mary Netreba, Judy Honson, Lucy Wilkes, and myself,Teena Stewart. Genres include, mysteries, romances, Christian Living, children’s books and more. Several of the authors will talk briefly about their books and share readings from their work.
            The public is invited to stop buy and enjoy their favorite beverages while browsing the author tables. Writers will be on hand to sign purchased books. Java Journey is located at 2149 Center Street in Hickory, NC.

Dec.1 Book Reading Schedule

10:00 Gretchen Griffeth reading and questions
10:30 Daniel Morton reading and questions
11:00 Teena Stewart reading and questions
11:30 Kimberly Rae reading and questions

Thursday, November 15, 2012

God Can Make Beautiful Things Out of Broken Messes

Trash to treasure continue to be the recurring theme in my writing, ministry, and art. It seems to be a lesson I am destined to learn over and over. Lately I've been working a lot with broken glass and as I break, shape, and polish the broken pieces, I cannot help but think of how God picks up pieces of our broken messes and makes something amazingly valuable and beautiful from them.

My husband, Jeff and I oversee an innovative coffee shop ministry called Java Journey. We minister to a lot of people in recovery. For people to truly go through transformation in recovery, a person must hit bottom and realize they need to allow God to have control over their lives. However, this attempt at living a new life often suffers setback. Relapses come with recovery and there are usually plenty of them. It can be messy.

This past month I have struggled with my own personality quirks and brokenness. The biggest frustration for me is getting off on tangents or excited about a creative opportunity. I lose focus and wind up with way too many irons in the fire and then I do nothing well. A friend of ours calls this condition ADOS, Attention Deficit--Oh,Shiny! Maybe you can relate.In recovery the personality and weaknesses you personally have to deal with is called your stuff. So these quirks and ADOS challenges are part of my stuff.

The wonderful thing about having a relationship with Christ is that now matter how broken we are or how much we seem to mess up or struggle, we can never be so broken that God can't continue to do a new work in us. We just have to allow him to dust us off, bandage our scrapes, and start anew. God will continue to work on defining and refining us until we are the beautiful gemstone we are meant to be.


Teena Stewart is author of The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father a book that explores how to have an intimate relationship with God so that we become the beautiful treasure he knows us to be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Book Review, Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

Breathing Lessons centers around a husband and wife who attend the funeral of a friend they've known since high school. Their road trip and eventual reconnecting to many of their high school buddies, allows us to get to know more about who they are and what they are like. Like many couples who have been married for a long period of time, Maggie and Ira struggle with aging, strained relationships with their son and daughter-in-law, and a long distance relationship with their granddaughter. They've also fallen into a life of dull routine, little romance and lack luster existence.

The central figure, Maggie is scatter brained and impulsive. Like many wife/mothers, she wants to have her children and grandchildren close. But this less than ideal set up--Maggie and Ira's son's greatest aspirations are to make it big with his rock band. But when he gets his girlfriend pregnant that quickly unravels.

Determined to salvage the relationship, Maggie gets involved and keeps his girlfriend from having an abortion, then they help raise their grandchild until the relationship hits the rocks again and she moves away with the granddaughter.

The dysfunction of the family is painful. Maggie can't seem to let it go and she creates her own reality by imagining relationships as they could be, and then taking manipulative steps to try to make it happen. But nothing goes as planned.  She seems to grate on everyone's nerves, especially mine and I found her hard to like.

Tyler has created very real circumstances I am sure many married couples face. And her point seems to be that the heart's desire of every mother is for unity and love to exist in the home and extend out to the next generations. Unfortunately, many relationships are exactly as she describes them-painful and less than ideal.

I must admit that I had a difficult time finishing this book because I did not like Maggie, the main character. She's more annoying than a fly in a closed room. Couple that with circumstances are that very real and depressing. Who wants to read about ordinary people in mundane and drab existences.  This one of the less enjoyable reads I've had in a while. I give it two and a half stars

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Spanish Word of the Week, Identico

The Spanish word of the week is identico which means the same. The Spanish word mismo also means same.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Book Review, The Organic God

Margaret Feinberg's book The Organic God presents God from her Judeo-Christian perspective. She's unafraid to ask the questions, "how should we approach God?" and "what is God really like?" Her book illuminates the personal relationship we can have with him as one of his people.

I enjoyed how Feinberg ties in her Jewish perspective to her relationship with God. Particularly poignant was her explanation of Midrash, the Jewish tradition of studying and discussing the scriptures in a push and pull fashion where open dialogue is welcome and sought. Now I can see it in many examples in the Bible and it means so much more to me. It is this style she incorporates into the book. She breaks downs God's attributes and uses examples from real life to help explain his nature.Topics cover his big-heartedness, mysteriousness, his beauty and more.

I always know I've picked up a good book when I mark pages and I marked several in this one. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, October 26, 2012

What the Mentalist Teaches About Supporting Characters

If you missed the first two installments of my What I Am Learning About Good Writing From The Mentalist series, here they are again:

This week I want to talk about supporting characters.

In the television series The Mentalist, the characters who are a part of the CBI team work together to solve crimes.  They play second fiddle to the two primary characters, Patrick Jane, a consultant and former psychic turned crime solver, and agent Teresa Lisbon who is head of the CBI investigation team. I already discussed Jane’s traits in an earlier post so I won’t delve into them again now, but his free-wheeling and manipulative ways of solving crimes often go against agent Lisbon’s more conventional methods of crime solving.

When the show first launched we were told very little about the CBI team.  Their personalities and background slowly emerge over time. When I work on my fictional characters, I use a Character Profile worksheet to record what they look like, their age, their history, habits and any specific gestures or expressions they use. I have all of the info at my fingertips, but don’t necessarily dump and spill all of that at once. Some of it may never be revealed, but it goes into making the characters do what they do and behave the way they should.

The better you know your characters before you start writing, the more they will dictate what they are supposed to act like once you do start writing.  Another trick recommended by professionals is to give your character a secret.

Lisbon is tough and keeps her emotions under wraps. Jane, who is an expert on reading people, struggles to know the deeper Lisbon. In one episode where they are investigating the murder of two people who planned to attend a high school reunion, Jane probes Lisbon to find out what activities she was involved in in high school. He guesses she was in band and then proceeds to suggest instruments she might have played. She denies all.

In another episode, Libson is knocked unconscious and awakens with a bomb strapped to her chest. As she and Jane race by car to meet the bad guy who claims he will detonate the bomb if she fails to comply to his demands, she frantically says a Catholic prayer. In another show, when Jane is nearly drowned, she again prays while clutching a small cross necklace, pleading “Oh please, oh please,” to God as paramedics work frantically to resuscitate him. The reveal?  She has faith in God and deeply cares for Jane.

 In this same episode we learn her mother died when she was a young girl, and in another that her father was an alcoholic. In the closing scene of this show (I think it was the same episode), she pulls a bottle of liquor from her desk drawer, nearly takes a drink, and then puts it back. (Remember, give your character a secret.) We’re left to wonder. Does she have a secret drinking problem or has she had one? In yet another, she encounters a former boyfriend and we are left to wonder if she is sorry she broke it off with him as she considers the family he has from the woman he ended up marrying might have been hers had she stayed with him.

Other CBI team characters include agent Wayne Rigsby who is boyish, clean cut, and often naïve, especially when it comes to Jane’s exploits. His area of expertise is arson. His father is a n’er do well crook who’s been in and out of prison for dealing pot and stolen goods. Rigsby is enamored with attractive, sweet Grace Van Pelt. Grace has a spiritual side and believes that some psychics are real. The writers enjoy occasionally pitting her beliefs against Jane’s, who denies there is an afterlife. Grace is also a horrible judge of men when it comes to her romantic life. Two of the men she dated, one was a fiancé, ended up being pure evil. Dating within the same department is against the rules, so when a love affair develops between Van Pelt and Rigsby and they are given an ultimatum, break it off of lose their jobs. She breaks if off claiming she wants to keep her career. But as the episode closes we see her sobbing and we know Rigsby was the right man after all.

Then there is tough as nails agent Kimball Cho who shows little emotion. He was in the armed forces and then became a cop. As a teen he was in a gang and went to juvenile hall, but later broke free of the gang. He’s got a soft spot for kids who’ve had tough lives. He ends up emotionally and physically involved with Summer, a former prostitute turned police informant. He truly cares for her, but when her antics create too much turmoil, and she deliberately tries to provoke him. He comes undone and backhands her, immediately regretting the action. Cho breaks off the relationship because he knows they will destroy each other, though he loves her.

The show also has recurring characters who make appearances from time to time. I won’t spend time on them here. But if you are planning to write a series, recurring characters, both good and bad, can add another dimension. Supporting characters can act as foils or complements to main characters. They can also be used in subplots which makes a story more interesting.  Just as we meet different characters in our everyday lives, the characters in the stories we read and write should be unique and interesting.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Grammar Jokes -- Get Ready to Groan

 A friend just shared these grammar jokes with SALT, one of my writer's groups. They are real groaners but funny.

A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.

A dangling modifier walks into a bar. After finishing a drink, the
bartender asks it to leave.

A question mark walks into a bar?

A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to drink.

 The bar was walked into by the passive voice.

Three transitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They drink. They

The past, the present and the future walk into a bar. It was tense.

A sentence fragment into a bar.

A hyperbole totally ripped into the bar and literally obliterated

A: Knock. Knock.
B: Who’s there?
A: To.
B: “To” who?
A: “To whom,” you idiot.

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day.
“In English,” he said, “a double negative forms a positive. In some
languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a
 negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive
can form a negative.”
....A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”

Did you hear the one about the pregnant woman who went into labor
and began to yell, "Couldn't! Wouldn't! Shouldn't! Didn't! Can't!"?
She was having contractions.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Developing Your Villain. More Lessons from the Mentalist.

In my first posting about the television show, The Mentalist, and what it could teach about good writing, I spoke about the main character, Patrick Jane. Here's Lesson 2 pertaining to the importance of supporting characters. This week I want to talk about villains.

At the very beginning of each show, the CBI team is called in to investigate a murder. Then they proceed to probe and prod until they narrow down the suspects. Without a villain, the show would be very dull. There is definitely a formula to most of these shows. They have just enough time for three suspects and the true bad guy is rarely the first person they investigate. In mystery or suspense writing, keeping your reader guessing is crucial. You want them trying to figure it whodunnit along with your hero or heroine. If the answer is too obvious, they'll bail out on you.

Be sure to include interesting potential bad guys. Find some way for them to tie into the main event. Give them a motive for being involved. Make the real bad guy really bad. He or she needs to stand out from the crowd. They can be richer, more conniving, more hard hearted, merciless, more attractive, seemingly sweeter, needing more money, etc.

You might even have the most villainous villain. In the Mentalist, the one man that the protagonist Jane wants to catch most is Red John, the man who murdered his wife and child. It is his ultimate driving motivation--and motivation is very important. Without motivation, you will most likely end up with a bland story. Throughout the series Red John stays active. He periodically murders someone and Jane seems close to catching him often but Red John is very crafty and always gets away. He is ruthless and cruel and sadistic, and extremely dangerous. No one is safe near him and he uses pawns who believe in him, but then turns on them and often kills them too. It's this tantalizing tension of Jane and those who come close to him being endangered by this villain that makes the audience tune in from week to week. Will he ever catch him?  That's the question. Work on developing good villains. They will hook your reader and keep them reading.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Book Review, Faith Matters by Carol Round

This treasury of well-written devotions  are a great way to kick start your day.  The author uses every day life as illustrations and ties them into a short scripture passage for reflection. Devotions end with a short takeaway.  Stories are simple and easy to understand and there are over 50 two page devotions. If you are looking for life lessons to inspire, look no further.  It's available on Here's the link