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Book Review: Secrets and Lies by Janet Sketchley

 

Secrets-and-Lies-web-258x400Once again, Janet has written a compelling novel, full of suspense, imagery and fast paced action. In her first novel, Heaven’s Prey, a psychopath, Harry, kidnaps and threatens the life of a woman named Ruth. Through her strong, uncompromising faith, and God’s love and guidance, Ruth survives, and Harry, against all odds, finds a relationship with God. In Secre ts and Lies, Harry’s sister, Carol, is hunted down by evil men who believe Harry has stashed away money. Janet’s second book is not as intense, for those who are squeamish about crime details, but there are plenty of dangerous and riveting moments. Themes of trust, relationships on several levels, pursuit of happiness and dreams, and ultimately forgiveness are interwoven throughout the novel. Carol enjoys peppermint tea, cookies, brownies and the songs of Billy Joel. Janet plays these notes like a leitmotif, drawing our attention to Carol’s humanity and wish to simply provide a normal, happy life for herself and her son. However, before Carol can provide such a life, she has to get in touch with the Provider of life itself.

Secrets and Lies is the second novel in the Redemption’s Edge series.

Janet SketchlyThe books can be read either individually or as a set. A  mystery is hinted at, which will provide the material for the third novel. I can hardly wait for the characters to tell their story through Janet’s pen.  

Janet Sketchley  is a  Canadian author from Nova  Scotia. Check out  http://janetsketchley.ca/books/secrets-and-lies/ for information on where to buy her books. She has a number of writing credits, including her two Redemption’s Edge novels and a story called “The Road Trip That Wasn’t,” included in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, edited by N.J. Lindquist and Wendy Elaine Nelles. 

With Christmas coming up, Janet’s Redemption’s Edge novels would make an excellent gift for those who enjoy Christian literature which delves into the darker side of humanity, those on the edge or redemption, but whom God extends his grace to in the end.

Note: A review copy was provided by the author and I do not receive any type of monetary gain for my review.

Catherine Cookson

“We are in Catherine Cookson country,” our tour guide, Andrew, informed us, as we travelled through north east England. Even though I had heard of this well known British author, I had yet to read her books. However, since then, a good friend, who is an avid Cookson fan, has loaned me her favourites, and I have grown to understand why this writer is so loved and widely read.

Catherine (Davies)  Cookson was born in June 1906 in Tyne Dock. She had an alcoholic mother and was raised by her grandparents. Her first novel, Kate Hanniganis autobiographical in nature and gives a strong sense of the misery and poverty she observed in her youth. Catherine married a teacher, Tom Cookson, who taught in Hastings. A serious depression set in, after she suffered four miscarriages. Catherine turned to writing and published close to 100 books. She died in June 1998 and her husband shortly after. Her books have enjoyed a great deal of popularity, not only in England, but in many other places around the world.

One of Catherine’s trademarks is that she was not afraid to address difficult and sensitive issues of morality and hardship. Her books deal with poverty, homelessness, illegitimacy, abuse, class distinctions and  incest. She incorporates these themes into her stories in such a way that the reader becomes intimately involved with the characters and understands their struggles to survive and overcome. 

silent ladyMy favourite Cookson novel is The Silent Lady. What is especially intriguing is the manner in which the story was conceived. Cookson explains in the dedication that she is old and ill, her husband is looking after her many needs, and “[d]octors are forever  coming and going.” The last thing she feels equipped to do is write another novel. However, the story of The Silent Lady springs to life of its own accord. She writes: “My mind gave me every character, every incident from the beginning to the end….” Finally, she decides to record the story onto tape and send it to a typist. Within a very short time, her final novel is complete. 

In The Silent Lady, the lovely, young heroine, Irene, pursues a career in singing and acting. She is noticed by a widower, Edward Baindoor, who is desperate for a male heir. They marry and have a son. Edward becomes possessive of the child and abusive towards his wife. A crisis occurs and Edward becomes so enraged that Irene is hospitalized and later, through a series of events, becomes homeless. Irene is taken in by a kind hearted and unforgettable character named Bella. Cookson says, “…when I came to Bella Morgan, I was in her body more than I was in my own.”

One  of the consequences of the abuse Irene suffered from her husband, is that she is almost incapable of speech. Thus, she is the “silent lady.” Catherine Cookson used her words prolifically to describe and explain not only her own suffering, but the suffering of her many fictional characters. Now she was at a point in her life where she could not write and her voice was failing her. Taping her novel was an arduous task. Catherine knew that she would very soon be a “silent lady.” The love, pain, self-sacrifice and eventual joy in this novel may well represent Cookson’s own final victory, her last brilliant effort to use her words to inspire and entertain, before she herself fell silent. 

Cookson’s novels are readily available in libraries and bookstores, or, if you are fortunate, you may  have a friend willing to loan them to you! Now that I have experienced these books for myself, I hope to have another chance to travel through Catherine Cookson country!

If you have read any of Cookson’s novels, which is your favourite?

Happy Reading! 

Please Note: Books reviewed on my site are either from my own collection or borrowed and are not reviewed for any kind of  monetary gain.

Adam’s Animals

About the Author

Kimberley Payne, author

Kimberley Payne is an award-winning self-published writer and a member of The Word Guild, Inscribe Christian Writer’s Fellowship, and John 3:16 Marketing Network.

She has volunteered as a teacher with many children’s programs at her church, as a teacher’s aid for student’s reading, and within the library at her children’s school.

Kimberley combines her teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for children about family, fitness, science and faith.

Kimberley’s website               www.kimberleypayne.com

 

About the Illustrator

Janis Cox, illustrator

The illustrator, Janis Cox, is an author, watercolour artist, wife, mother and grandma — but most of all she’s a faithful follower of Jesus. She’s been retired from teaching for over 15 years but finds herself back into her passion of working with children.

Janis says, “I love painting pictures of animals and it will be a joy to create the illustrations for Kimberley’s new book. Plus working with Kimberley has always been exciting. Her enthusiasm always brings joy to my heart.”

Janis’ website            http://www.janiscox.com/

 

About the Publisher

Diane Roblin-Lee, publisher

Diane Roblin-Lee is the owner of byDesign Media, a custom publishing company which specializes in beautiful layouts and cover designs. With over 30 years in the publishing industry, Diane has written several bestsellers herself and takes pride in being able to help other writers to get their books out to the world.

Her tag line, “From Manuscript to Market,” covers the full spectrum of services, from editing and design, to publishing and international distribution. Helping her authors find pleasure and satisfaction in the publishing process is very important to Diane.

Diane’s website        http://www.bydesignmedia.ca/

 

About the Campaign

Kickstarter is a way to bring a creative project to life with the direct support of friends, colleagues and family.  My book project, “Adam’s Animals”, is one of the endeavours found on Kickstarter.

“Adam’s Animals” is a children’s activity book that features over 40 animals mentioned in the Bible and little-known facts about each. It’s ideal for 6 to 9 year olds, for home or school use and classroom sharing in grades 1-3 to supplement the Life Sciences Curriculum on Animal Life. It is the second book in the Science and Faith Matters series. The first book, “Trees of the Book – Learning from God’s Creation”, is a colourful introduction to trees, leaves and their corresponding Bible stories.

As the book creator, I have set a funding goal of $3500, with a deadline of February 28th, 2014. If you like my book idea, you can pledge any amount of money to make it happen.

As the book backer, you choose from a number of rewards based on the amount of financial support you pledge. For example, backers who pledge a minimum of $5, will receive a choice of one of two of my e-books: 1) Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health, OR 2) Women of Strength – a devotional to improve spiritual and physical health. Backers who pledge a minium of $15 will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals”. Backers who pledge a minimum of $175 will be listed on the “Dedication” page at the back of the book PLUS will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals”.

Backing “Adam’s Animals” is more than just giving money. Writers need encouragement and you would be supporting my dream of creating a valuable resource for children and parents.

To support the creation of “Adam’s Animals” please visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamsanimals/adams-animals-a-childrens-activity-book

Short url for easy sharing: http://kck.st/19NBYR6

 

Sample interview Q&A

 1.       Tell us about yourself
I am an award-winning author and a member of The Word Guild, Inscribe Christian Writer’s Fellowship, and John 3:16 Marketing Network.

I combine my teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for mothers and children about family, fitness, science and faith.

2.       Tell us about the book

My latest project is “Adam’s Animals”, a children’s activity book that features over 40 animals mentioned in the Bible and little-known facts about each. It is the second book in the Science and Faith Matters series. The first book, “Trees of the Book – Learning from God’s Creation”, is a colourful introduction to trees, leaves and their corresponding Bible stories.

3.       Who is this book written for?

“Adam’s Animals” is ideal for 6 to 9 year olds, for home or school use and classroom sharing in grades 1-3 to supplement the Life Sciences Curriculum on Animal Life.

 4.       What was your inspiration for this book?

Years ago, my daughter wrote a little book called, “Did you know…fascinating and fun facts about animals around the world” as a fundraiser to go to camp. I helped her with it and loved discovering new things about God’s creation.

5.       Do you have a favorite animal and why that one?

I loved learning about the leopard. This big cat can climb trees, run fast, and swim. He’s powerful and smart. My kind of creature!

6.        Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?

There was a ton of research. Not only did I have to dig through the Bible to discover the animals mentioned, but then I had to research each individually to uncover five unusual facts.

7.       What do you hope this book accomplishes?

I hope that “Adam’s Animals” will fuel the desire for children to read the Bible and to also learn more about the animals that God created.

8.       Where can we find you?

Website: http://www.kimberleypayne.com

Blog: http://www.scienceandfaithmatters.wordpress.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/KimberleyPayne.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FitForFaith

Kickstarter Campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamsanimals/adams-animals-a-childrens-activity-book

Short url for easy sharing: http://kck.st/19NBYR6

9.       Where can we find the book?

This is the exciting part! The book is still in manuscript form. I am hoping to bring the project to life with the direct support of friends, colleagues and family.

As the book creator, I have set a funding goal of $3500, with a deadline of February 28th, 2014. If you like my book idea, you can pledge any amount of money to make it happen.

As the book backer, you choose from a number of rewards based on the amount of financial support you pledge. For example, backers who pledge a minimum of $5, will receive a choice of one of two of my e-books: 1) Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health, OR 2) Women of Strength – a devotional to improve spiritual and physical health. Backers who pledge a minium of $15 will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals”. Backers who pledge a minimum of $175 will be listed on the “Dedication” page at the back of the book PLUS will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals”.

Backing “Adam’s Animals” is more than just giving money. Writers need encouragement and you would be supporting my dream of creating a valuable resource for children and parents.

To support the creation of “Adam’s Animals” please visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamsanimals/adams-animals-a-childrens-activity-book

Short url for easy sharing: http://kck.st/19NBYR6

 

Ant

 Sample artwork - ant

Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!”

 See also:  Proverbs 30:25

The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, wrote the Book of Proverbs – a book of wise sayings to help us live godly lives. In this verse, Solomon points out that it is foolish to be idle and lazy. He says that we should learn from the example of the ant who doesn’t laze around and wait to be told what to do, but is willing to work hard and do what needs to be done.

Did you know?

  • Ants are from the insect family
  • Ants can lift 20 times their body weight
    • Ants have two stomachs – one to hold the food for itself and one to hold food to be shared with other ants
    • There are 3 kinds of ants in a colony: the queen, the female workers, and males
    • Ants communicate by using chemicals called pheromones
    • Ants don’t have ears but they “hear” by feeling vibrations in the ground

 

Snow Day

When I was a child, growing up in Owen Sound, Ontario, it was inevitable that winter would bring a bountiful offering of snow. Since Owen Sound is situated in a snow belt, eventually the piles of snow would be stacked high along the roads. Even though I was warned not to climb these  snow mountains, the temptation was irresistible.

My relationship with snow was in those days uncomplicated. Snow was fun! Somehow, I could stay outside for hours, making snow tunnels and forts, tasting the snow on my tongue, and lying down on the ground to wave my arms and feet back and forth to make snow angels. My friends and I slid down the hill at Ryerson School  on sleds and landed in heaps at the bottom. We didn’t seem to worry about how cold or wet we were, just the good time we were having.

Once I was an adult and had children of my own, snow became more challenging. We tussled with snow pants, jackets, hats, mitts and scarves. Since I was concerned about cold, little hands, I had strings put on the mittens, so the children were less likely to lose them. Still, my youngest daughter managed to misplace her winter jacket on the way home from school one day, and I have never figured out how! To provide winter entertainment, my husband built skating rinks in the backyard. We gathered up skates and helmets and later hockey sticks.The kids and I made paper snowflakes and other wintertime crafts and wiled away the hours with good books.

SnowyDayKeats

One of these was The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, a picture book  chosen in 1963 for the Caldecott Medal, because of its lively illustrations. The story begins: “One winter morning Peter woke up and looked out the window. Snow had fallen during the night. It covered everything as far as he could see.” Peter spends a magical day outside, engaging in all the activities that  children enjoy.  A complication arises when Peter tries to continue the fun by stuffing his pockets with snowballs before he comes inside. However, all is well the next morning, and he is ready for another day of adventure.

Today, as a Nor’easter blows through Nova Scotia, bringing blizzard conditions, closing schools and making roads treacherous, my relationship with snow is again uncomplicated. It is the perfect opportunity to stay inside, sit at my computer, and write about snow. I am content to watch the flakes spinning past my window, and reflect on snowy days gone by.

Heaven’s Prey by Janet Sketchley, Book Review

heavens prey

The morning after I began reading Heaven’s Prey by Canadian author, Janet Sketchley, I woke up thinking about the protagonist, Ruth Warren. Would Ruth be okay? Would she meet a horrible death or would she somehow escape from her captor? We were busy that day preparing a special dinner for company, but somewhere in the midst of the festivities, I snuck off to my room. One of my daughters found me there, with my head buried in Heaven’s Prey. “Mom,” she said, “why aren’t you downstairs with the rest of us?” I mumbled something lame about there not being enough chairs, but she wasn’t fooled. Ruth’s life was at stake and I was desperate to learn more.

Ruth Warren and her husband, Tony, have no children of their own and lose their beautiful, blonde haired niece, Susan, to a brutal and apparently remorseless killer and rapist named Harry Silver. Harry once had a brilliant career racing stock cars but his future was destroyed by his obsession with torturing and murdering young, blonde women. In spite of Ruth’s personal pain, she feels compelled to pray for Harry and then in a twist of circumstances, ends up as his captive, as well.

Heaven’s Prey, the first of the Redemption’s Edge series,  is fast paced, impeccably researched and detailed, and draws the reader in immediately to the plot line. The reader is both repelled and drawn to Harry  Silver, the antagonist,  as the author skillfully  weaves the history of his past into the reality of his present. Ruth is a woman of great faith and prayer, even in the midst of the greatest danger of her life.

During the next few weeks, we will be celebrating Christmas, and contemplating a holy God who came to dwell with  sinful human beings, so he could redeem and restore them. In Heaven’s Prey, Janet Sketchley throws the subjects of redemption and grace wide open. We can understand grace for every day sins but do we really want the bad guys to “get away” with their crimes?  Do we feel it is fair for a murderer and rapist to experience the same grace that we do? The author brings us face to face with these questions and the huge reservoir of grace and love that God has reserved for everyone.

Janet  is a very talented author who has written numerous articles and stories, including “The Road Trip That Wasn’t,” published in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider: Words to  Stimulate The Mind and Delight The Spirit (edited by N.J.Lindquist and Wendy  Elaine Nelles). She is a wife and mother, and is active in her church and a variety  of writing groups. Her outstanding blog, Tenacity, thoughts on faith and fiction, can be found at janetsketchley.ca.

Heaven’s Prey is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository and local stores can order print copies.

Note: Review copy provided by publisher: Choose Now Publishing.

 

Note:

Apple Pigs

September is almost over. The trees are turning brilliant colours of gold and red, and the first signs of winter are already in the cooler air. Students are back in school, including my own college age daughters. They are well into first semester and  busy with assignments and upcoming practicum plans. I have been back at school substitute teaching. One activity we have yet to do this fall, though, is go on a family apple picking trip.

When the kids were little, we attached red paper apples to the September calendar, on our kitchen wall. As a Mom, I liked to construct each month around a theme, and apples was the theme for September. We created apple trees, with paper, glue and crayons, made apple sauce (easy for kids), apple cake and other apple treats. We cut apples open to look at the seeds. Our biggest fall adventure, though, was our annual trip to an apple orchard. There was something magical about walking through the quiet orchards, feeling the sun stream down through the trees, and hand picking the best apples to put in our bags. We would go home laden with treasure and  the children munching on an apple or two, as we drove.

No monthly theme was complete without a book. Our favourite, for  apple month, was an engaging story called  Apple Pigs by Ruth Orbach. An old apple tree appears to have outlived its usefulness. It is sad and unproductive, with no sign of apples. The general consensus is to “chop it down.” However, a young heroine decides that she cares enough about the tree to give it one last chance. She carts away the debris, plants flowers and generally gives the tree the love and encouragement it needs. In return, the tree blossoms once more and provides a superabundance of apples! Now there is a new problem. What will the heroine and her family do with so many apples? There are delightfully coloured pictures showing the apples stacked up in every conceivable place, including the beds and bathtub. Finally, a solution is found, which pleases all, and paves the way for the tree to bloom again the next year. At the end of the book, are directions showing howAppl to make “apple pigs,” one of the projects to use up the apples.

Unfortunately, this book is out of print but if you can ever lay your hands on a copy, it will be well worth the effort. Children will enjoy it for years and want to recite it to their own children in turn.

Enjoy the rest of September, with its lingering echo of summer days. What are some of your favourite September or fall experiences?

Happy Munching!

Ruth Ann Adams

 

Summer Reading: Nurses and Nannies

There were times, when my children were small, when I used to gaze at  the homes of my friends sans infants with wonder. Order and harmony prevailed. At no time was this more evident than in the summer. While my home was strewn with wet bathing suits, dirt on the floors, toys in every possible location, dishes in the sink and laundry piled in the basement, their homes exuded a sense of peace and quiet. I could actually hear the silence. However, now as an older Mom, I miss the crazy days and am longing for grandchildren. Life has its stages and each one is to be treasured.

Summers required a special kind of strategy, as we tended to be out of routine and the sun shown late into the evening hours. Before the last day of school arrived, I had my arsenal devised. Swimming lessons were a must, a survival activity, and now, even in their twenties, several of my offspring can hardly be persuaded to get out of the water.

Crafts also filled up many happy hours. One summer, the kids did a messy outdoor craft , which drew  young neighbours to join in.  On another occasion, we took the kids to a Picasso exhibit in Ottawa and then drew pictures “Picasso style.” The children found their own amusements, of course, and not always to my liking. An assortment of snakes and frogs, recruited by my son, found their way to our home. One day, while I was absentmindedly dusting our long coffee table, I found a toad at one end of it.

Summer was also a particularly good time to read chapter books. When our children ranged in age from one to twelve,  we gathered in the evenings to read Nurse Matilda (1964) by  Christianna Brand . This hilarious story of the antics of seven  unruly  children was turned into a movie in 2005, called Nanny McPhee. However, we first knew her as Nurse Matilda, an iron willed lady who with the aid of her handy and extraordinary staff, subdues  the children, wins their affection, and assists in averting several  disasters. In the way of all magical caretakers,  Nurse Matilda disappears at the end of the story, but not before the family is settled in a happily ever after fashion.

Another book which has its place of fame in our family is The Old Nurse’s Stocking Basket (1931) by Eleanor Farjeon. My youngest daughter, Susanna (in her late teens now), and I still read the stories out loud to each other. “‘Children,’ said the Old Nurse, ‘stop quarreling, or you know what.’” This gentle threat was sufficient because “you know what” meant there would be no bedtime story. The Old Nurse’s method of story telling is unique. While she narrates her poignant and fanciful tales, she mends the children’s stockings. A little hole means a short story and a big whole means a long one. It isn’t hard to guess which type the children like best. Susanna and I especially love the very last tale, The Sea-Baby, a haunting story of childhood and the realization that  growing up may involve letting  something precious pursue its own destiny.

Keep cool and safe and enjoy these hectic but memorable summer months. Tell me about some of your favourite children’s books!

 29292_10150191836140156_8283733_n

5 X Mama, Happy Mother’s Day!

Head Shot   I looked at my young daughter, her stomach artistically decorated with bright markers. There was no doubt in my mind as to what had inspired her. The night before, we had read Purple, Green and Yellow by Robert Munsch, a children’s story  in which the heroine, Brigid, “…colored her belly-button blue. And that was so pretty, she colored herself all sorts of colors almost entirely all over.” The artwork faded from my daughter’s skin, but  her passion for books continued.  Now, as an adult in her twenties, Andrea  devours books, even if she refrains from plastering her belly-button with markers!

As a 5 X Mama, with four daughters and one son, I am convinced that one of the most important things you can do for your children is to read to them. Books have always played a huge role in my own life. My mother said, that as a child, I carried a book with me on outings, instead of a doll. Libraries were like treasures mines, complete with enticing covers, intriguing titles and dramatic tales. By the time I was eleven, I managed to talk the children’s librarian of our local library into hiring me as a page, to put books away and do other small duties. Finally, I entered the classroom as an   English teacher, sharing novels, poems and drama with teenagers, before embarking on another exciting career, as a 5 X Mama. Naturally, books were right, left and centre in our home.

My husband shared  my passion. When our babies were born, he read and re-read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, while he rocked fussy infants to sleep, and generously gave me some rest. Then when they were older – but not much older – he read the trilogy to them. When our youngest daughter turned 18 last November, her older sister, who once coloured her tummy-button, did much of the work planning a surprise Lord of the Rings theme party for her, complete with costumes, decorations and special food such as “orc pudding.”  My husband, dressed up as Gandalph, read to his now adult children, from one of Tolkien’s books.

All of our lives we tell ourselves stories, and we share those stories with others. Words have the unique ability to create, to empower, and ultimately to determine the course of our days. When children hear a wide variety of stories, the possibilities for creative and imaginative excursions are endless. Through stories, children learn how to respond intelligently and sensitively to the many influences and circumstances of their lives. They learn to look beyond themselves to the needs of others and to relate compassionately to people different from themselves.

In  5 X Mama, one of my goals is to share some of the wonderful stories I enjoyed with my own children, as well as to explore newer books. The possibilities are endless and in this age of digital distractions, it is perhaps more important than ever, that books make an immediate and emphatic presence in children’s lives. Besides all of this, reading books with children is just plain fun and gives parents, grandparents and educators opportunities to connect and converse, that would perhaps otherwise be lost.

the mothers day mice

An enchanting Mother’s Day book to share with your little ones is The Mother’s Day Mice by Eve Bunting. Three mice, Biggest, Middle and Little, go on a private adventure to find just the right gift for their mother. In spite of courting near disaster with a cat, each finds something special. Little discovers the best gift within himself  and in a spirit of generosity says that his present is from them all! Jan Brett’s detailed and colourful illustrations perfectly complement the text.

Do you have books you treasured as a child or enjoy reading to your children? I would love to hear about them! Have a memorable and blessed Mother’s Day!

Disclaimer: Copies of books discussed are my own or from the library, unlessotherwise stated.

Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox

51nYhveE+AL._SL500_AA300_Tadeo is a happy and contented turtle, pleased with how God has created him, until he observes the activities of Sammy Squirrel. Suddenly, Tadeo views his most unique feature, his shell or carapace, as a burden. He wants to be like Sammy and his shell is definitely in the way!

Canadian author and illustrator, Janis Cox, in her breathtaking  picture book, Tadeo Turtle, weaves a classic tale of adventure and self discovery. The simple plot line is high paced and the water colour illustrations enchantingly beautiful. The names of the major characters are  in  bold type, making it easy for young children to identify them.

Tadeo Turtle is designed for home schooling, Sunday School, Christian schools and individual use. Janis Cox is a retired elementary school teacher and teaches, as well as entertains. In addition to the story, she provides an activity section which contains craft ideas and research facts and links. A detailed curriculum is also available on Janis’s website: www.janiscox.com.

Tadeo’s name is acquired from the name, Thaddeus, which means “heart” or “praise.”  After a close encounter with a cat, Tadeo undergoes a heart and attitude adjustment, and is thankful to God for creating him exactly as he is. Both children and adults can relate to the timeless messages of gratitude and self acceptance.

Order a copy of Tadeo Turtle  at Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Chapters.

Trees of the Book by Kimberley Payne

540960_492598240776469_642487069_nDid you know that trees are traditionally “symbols of success,” that the prophet, Elijah, hid under a broom tree, or that a mustard tree is fully grown in approximately 40 days?

Canadian author, Kimberley Payne, in her outstanding 14 page activity book, Trees of the Book, allows seven trees of the Bible to tell their personal  stories.

“Hi, I’m a oak tree,” the first tree explains. The oak, cedar, broom, mustard, fig, sycamore and palm  trees describe their settings and significance in well known Biblical narratives. Included in each short chapter are also “Fast Facts,” “Think About” questions,  references to additional Bible verses and fun and informative activities.

After the trees have their say, Kimberley Payne helpfully provides project ideas and activity solutions,  plus a glossary and “People of the Bible” section to define bold type,  highlighted words.

The text is well supported by the beautiful art work of illustrator, Esther Haug. She uses bright  colours and extremely clear details to educate and entertain.

Trees of the Book, written for 7 to 9 year olds, is an excellent resource for home, school or church use. A Sunday School or Vacation Bible School could successfully plan a unit around the trees, their stories and the suggested activities. Trees are universal in their appeal and this is a book to be enjoyed  by children, parents and educators.

Kimberley Payne is a well known author of family, devotional and fitness books, including the award winning devotional, Where Fitness Meets Faith.

Trees of the  Book is available at Amazon/Chapters/Barnes and Noble.