Throwback Thursday — Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968

Welcome to Throwback Thursday! Today I am sharing a new-to-me historical picture book which documents events that rocked Memphis, Tennessee — and ultimately the world — in the winter and spring of 1968.

 

MEMPHIS, MARTIN--COVER

About the Book

This historical fiction picture book presents the story of nine-year-old Lorraine Jackson, who in 1968 witnessed the Memphis sanitation strike–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final stand for justice before his assassination–when her father, a sanitation worker, participated in the protest.

In February 1968, two African American sanitation workers were killed by unsafe equipment in Memphis, Tennessee. Outraged at the city’s refusal to recognize a labor union that would fight for higher pay and safer working conditions, sanitation workers went on strike. The strike lasted two months, during which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was called to help with the protests. While his presence was greatly inspiring to the community, this unfortunately would be his last stand for justice. He was assassinated in his Memphis hotel the day after delivering his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” sermon in Mason Temple Church. Inspired by the memories of a teacher who participated in the strike as a child, author Alice Faye Duncan reveals the story of the Memphis sanitation strike from the perspective of a young girl with a riveting combination of poetry and prose.

Amazon



My Thoughts About This Book:

I was thrilled when I saw this title come up in our library’s online catalog. Late last year we watched an American Experience show on PBS about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s visit to Memphis in April, 1968. I learned so much from the documentary, and I was anxious to read this book to see how this tragic event was handled in a book written for children.

The main character, nine-year-old Lorraine Jackson, is based upon a teacher in Memphis who participated in the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike with her parents when she was a child.

The conflict began in January, 1968, when two black sanitation workers were killed by a malfunctioning packer blade on an old and poorly-maintained garbage truck. Echol Cole and Robert Walker worked with Lorraine’s father.

$1.70 per hour — this was the average pay of a Memphis sanitation worker. The workers formed a labor union with the hope of gaining better pay, better treatment on the job, and improved safety. Memphis’s mayor, Henry Loeb, would not grant a pay increase, and he refused to acknowledge the workers’ labor union.

Beginning on February 12, 1968, and lasting for sixty-five days, 1,300 men went on strike. They marched to City Hall carrying signs. The workers and their families sacrificed greatly during this strike. A group of preachers in Memphis organized and used church donations to help the striking workers pay their bills. “The NAACP organized boycotts to support the strike.” (page 9)

The workers attended rallies each night. They sang freedom songs and listened to preachers. “The mayor railed NO! to every labor request, and my daddy kept right on marching.” (page 11)

The excitement described by the narrator, nine-year-old Lorraine, when it was announced that Martin Luther King, Jr., would be traveling to Memphis in March to try to assist in the sanitation workers’ cause was palpable. When Dr. King arrived on March 18th, he preached, and then made a plan to march with the workers on March 22nd. Except the march didn’t happen that day because an unusual amount of sixteen inches of snow fell in Memphis.

The march was rescheduled for March 28th on Beale Street. Six thousand women, men, and children attended. Unfortunately, instead of a peaceful march, some militant individuals created a riot. In response, Mayor Loeb called in four thousand National Guard troops and set a 7:00PM curfew. 

Dr. King left Memphis, but he promised to return . . .  Dr. King did return to the city on April 3rd. He spoke to the sanitation workers with passion that evening. The next day, Dr. King was assassinated by James Earl Ray on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

The final chapters of the book are about Mrs. Coretta Scott King and the termination of the Memphis Sanitation Strike on April 16, 1968. The book includes several poems.

Back Matter includes a detailed ‘Memphis Sanitation Strike–1968–Timeline’, information about the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, Sources, and Source Notes. 

Words cannot express the profound affect this book had on me. Its poignant retelling of this part of our nation’s history is powerful. The author’s well-chosen words are fully-supported by the illustrator’s beautiful paintings.

Highly-recommended to teachers, librarians, and families. This book will open up important discussions about civil rights, respect, tolerance, perseverance, and determination. 



Alice-Faye-Duncan-333x500
Alice Faye Duncan

About the Author

On the author’s website you will find information about her books along with a set of lesson plans designed for several of her books.

Bonus Content:

Here is a link to a movie of ‘Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop’ made by the Memphis Public Library:  https://youtu.be/MrbGrqynB_g

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R. GREGORY CHRISTIER. Gregory Christie

About the Illustrator

Gregory Christie received a Caldecott Honor for his illustrations in Freedom in Congo Square, written by Carole Boston Weatherford. He is a three-time recipient of The New York Times’s 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year Award, a six-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Honor Award in Illustration, and a winner of the Boston Globe­–Horn Book Award, the NAACP’s Image Award, and the Once Upon a World Children’s Book Award from the Museum of Tolerance. Visit Mr. Christie’s website at Gas-Art.com.


 

Deadly Connection by Lenora Worth

ABOUT THE BOOK 


Hidden enemies can be deadly.

But the Brooklyn K-9 Unit is on the case.

On her way to question US Marshal Emmett Gage about a DNA match that implicates his relative in a cold case and a recent murder, Officer Belle Montera’s attacked. Now she and her K-9 partner must team up with Emmett to find his cousin and the person after Belle. But can they figure out who’s targeting her without becoming murder victims themselves?

AMAZON  |GOODREADS 


MY THOUGHTS 

Deadly Connections by Lenora Worth is part of the K-9 True Blue unit series set in Brooklyn. Belle comes from a big family while Emmett is a loner. Belle, who is on her way to meet Emmett regarding DNA found related to a 20 year old murder case, is attacked, but Emmett rescues her. The plot is suspenseful and kept my attention from the start. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR  

A member of both the RWA and ACFW Honor Rolls, Lenora Worth writes romance and romantic suspense for Love Inspired and also writes for Tule Publishing. Three of her books finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards and several have been RT Reviewer’s Choice finalists. She also received the RT Romance Pioneer Award for Inspirational Fiction. “Logan’s Child” won the 1998 Best Love Inspired for RT. She is a NY Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling writer and a 2019 Rita Finalist. With eighty-plus books and novellas published and millions in print, she enjoys adventures with her retired husband, Don. Lenora loves reading, baking and shopping … especially shoe shopping.

WEBSITE |FACEBOOK |TWITTER|GOODREADS 


Post by contributor Allyson Anthony

Throwback Thursday — Code Word Courage

Welcome to Throwback Thursday! Today I am sharing one of my favorite WWII historical fiction novels by Author Kirby Larson. This exceptional book features the Navajo Code Talker program of WWII and diverse characters from the Navajo Nation and Mexico.

 

CODE WORD COURAGE

About the Book

Billie has lived with her great-aunt ever since her mom passed away and her dad left. Billie’s big brother, Leo, is about to leave, too, for the warfront. But first, she gets one more weekend with him at the ranch.

Billie’s surprised when Leo brings home a fellow Marine from boot camp, Denny. She has so much to ask Leo — about losing her best friend and trying to find their father — but Denny, who is Navajo, or Diné, comes with something special: a gorgeous, but injured, stray dog. As Billie cares for the dog, whom they name Bear, she and Bear grow deeply attached to each other.
 
Soon enough, it’s time for Leo and Denny, a Navajo Code Talker, to ship out. Billie does her part for the war effort, but she worries whether Leo and Denny will make it home, whether she’ll find a new friend, and if her father will ever come back. Can Bear help Billie — and Denny — find what’s most important?
 
A powerful tale about unsung heroism on the WWII battlefield and the home front.

Amazon



My Thoughts About This Book:

I was drawn to this book by a review I read. This book has three elements I always look for in middle-grade books before I begin reading them:  Historical fiction–this one is set during World War II. Diverse characters–this one features Navajo and Mexican characters portrayed positively and in important roles.Animals as inspirational supporting characters–this one has a dog.  

The other component I look for as I am reading the book are the feelings of empathy and compassion and the maturing of a character through lessons learned. These elements can only be garnered by a skilled author. 

This book possesses all of these traits. 

What sets this story apart from others is Kirby Larson’s awesome writing style. She seems to flawlessly place the right words on the page at just the right tempo and in just the right order. Her setting and characters are well-developed. Her novel is obviously well-researched from my reading of non-fiction about this time period.

I particularly liked the way the main character, Billie, reached beyond her lonely, mournful life to touch others through her kindness and friendship. In particular, she forges a friendship with a boy from Mexico whose father works on Billie’s great-aunt’s ranch. Tito is wise beyond his years, in my opinion, when it comes to his emotional intelligence regarding being bullied by the so-called popular kids in school.

Another exceptional aspect of this book is the World War II depiction of military life and the battle scenes the author so carefully researched.  Billie’s close relationship with her older brother, Leo, is admirable. 

Finally, the inclusion of Denny, a Navajo friend of Leo’s, and the abandoned dog he brought home to Billie’s house enrich the plot ten-fold. The tribute to the ‘Navajo Code Talker’ program in WWII and the courageous men who participated in this ground-breaking mission was intriguing.

I believe this is a story that should not be missed by middle-grade readers. It would also make a worthwhile read-aloud in class or during a family’s reading time. So many great life lessons are taught in its pages.

Highly recommended to middle-grade readers, fans of historical and military fiction, fans of animal-centered fiction, and fans of literature which includes diverse populations as strong characters.

I borrowed this book from the Children’s Section of the local public library.

Below is a link to the Goodreads page listing all four installments in the ‘Dogs of World War II’ series by this author with links to their book blurbs.

LINK TO ‘DOGS OF WORLD WAR II’ SERIES ON GOODREADS


Kirby Larson

About the Author

Kirby Larson went from history-phobe to history fanatic while writing the 2007 Newbery Honor Book, HATTIE BIG SKY. Her passion for historical fiction is reflected in titles such as THE FENCES BETWEEN US, THE FRIENDSHIP DOLL, as well as the sequel to HATTIE BIG SKY, HATTIE EVER AFTER, and her two latest titles, DUKE–which was nominated for 5 state Young Reader Choice awards as well as being a finalist for the Washington State Book Award– and DASH–which has garnered two starred reviews, a NAPPA Gold Award and a Capitol Choices nomination.

In 2006, Kirby began a collaboration with her good friend Mary Nethery resulting in two award-winning nonfiction picture books: TWO BOBBIES: A TRUE STORY OF HURRICANE KATRINA, FRIENDSHIP AND SURVIVAL, and NUBS: THE TRUE STORY OF A MUTT, A MARINE AND A MIRACLE.

Kirby lives in Kenmore, Washington with her husband, Neil, and Winston the Wonder Dog. When she’s not reading or writing Kirby enjoys beach combing, bird watching, and traveling. She owns a tiara and is not afraid to use it.

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Book Spotlight: Time to Need

Happy Wednesday, Friends!

Today I’m sharing a book spotlight on Dionne Grace’s  Time to Need. Looks like a great one to add to your TBR pile!

Happy reading!


About the Book

Fabien is offering Diane a future filled with love, but with her past, will she ever trust again?

Diane Tyler knows Fabien is everything a woman could ever want in a man.
If men weren’t off her agenda for the foreseeable future, he would be perfect. He’s her best friend’s brother, single—unlike two years ago—and has all the attributes that would have any woman swooning at his feet.

Despite her best efforts, convincing Fabien that they aren’t meant for one another has become more of a challenge than she bargained for, and just when she thinks she’s safe behind the wall she’s painstakingly built, Diane finds herself being pulled into something she believes she can’t have, leaving her desperately trying to hold on to the pieces of the barrier falling apart around her.

Fabien Reynolds thought his marriage would bring him everything he wanted—a wife, children, and the perfect home—until he discovered his wife wasn’t the woman he thought. Separated and on the brink of divorce, he finds himself surprisingly drawn to Diane, and it isn’t long before she captures his heart. Now divorced, he has unfinished business, and he isn’t one to shy away from a challenge.

Unfortunately for Fabien, his powers of persuasion don’t seem to be working: the teasing, mischievous woman he’s wanted for so long is no more. Still, despite the defences she tries to raise, he knows it’s love. He wants her in his life and is not going to let her push him away, even though he’s aware she’s hiding something.

Diane may have her secrets, but Fabien is looking forward to revealing every one of them.

Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Dionne Grace is a romantic at heart.  She loves reading books, which in her early teenage years enhanced her vivid imagination. She would often invent fascinating love stories to entertain her school friends involving famous pop stars.  She used to scribble notes on the back of school books while her teacher’s backs were turned! Her friends loved it, and remind her of it to this day!

She loves to write and when she is not writing, she is reading and juggles this with her full-time job.

She writes sweet romances, about couples in relationships who have a passion for each other.  Sometimes this passion leads them into situations where they lose themselves, taking them down a path which possibly they should not have gone down, or in contrast, through life’s experiences; they reject the love that is offered, not having the faith or forgiveness to trust it.

Her books are intentionally thought-provoking, and real life. A message about a discovery of how the scars of life can be healed, no matter how difficult this sometimes seems in this imperfect world. And ultimately, through God’s divine intervention he imparts a revelation of what his purpose was all along.

As you must have guessed, she has a love for God and everything spiritual; she hopes this shines through in her books.

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Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Throwback Thursday — Dash

Welcome to Throwback Thursday this final Thursday of May, 2020. In recognition of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I would like to share a poignant middle-grade historical novel about the Japanese American internment camps in the United States during World War II.

About the Book

What happens when a war comes between a girl and her dog?

New from Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson, the moving story of a Japanese-American girl who is separated from her dog upon being sent to an incarceration camp during WWII.

Although Mitsi Kashino and her family are swept up in the wave of anti-Japanese sentiment following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mitsi never expects to lose her home—or her beloved dog, Dash. But, as World War II rages and people of Japanese descent are forced into incarceration camps, Mitsi is separated from Dash, her classmates, and life as she knows it.

The camp is a crowded and unfamiliar place, whose dusty floors, seemingly endless lines, and barbed wire fences begin to unravel the strong Kashino family ties. With the help of a friendly neighbor back home, Mitsi remains connected to Dash in spite of the hard times, holding on to the hope that the war will end soon and life will return to normal. Though they’ve lost their home, will the Kashino family also lose their sense of family? And will Mitsi and Dash ever be reunited?

Amazon



My Thoughts About This Book:

I am a huge fan of Kirby Larson’s historical fiction. Her books are well-written and well-researched. Her characters are multi-dimensional and her settings are so well-developed they become like characters in and of themselves.

A couple of summers ago I read her Young Adult historical series, ‘Hattie Big Sky’ and ‘Hattie Ever After’. Those stories are set in 1917 in Montana. I read and reviewed her fourth book in this ‘Dogs of World War II’ series, ‘Code Word Courage’.

One of the things I enjoyed about each of these books, including ‘Dash’, is the author’s ability to capture a reader’s attention and interest right from the start! In this book, we are introduced to the main character, Mitsi Kashino, and her beloved dog, Dash, in the first paragraph of the book. The story opens in Washington state right after Christmas, 1941.

Upon returning to school after the Christmas break Mitsi and the other students of Japanese descent are met with anger, resentment, and hatred from the majority of their classmates. The bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, fueled these negative feelings about the Japanese in the United States.

I believe this theme is an important historical issue to introduce to and discuss with middle-grade readers because we live in a diverse culture. Respect and acceptance are keys to thriving in our society.  I feel fiction can reach out to youngsters and touch their hearts in ways merely telling them to show ‘respect’ or ‘be kind’ cannot.

Throughout this moving story Mitsi navigates the serious issues of shame, prejudice, loss of friends, evacuation from her home, and internment in two Japanese relocation camps. She meets many cruel and insensitive people along the way. I found the author’s portrayal of these unkind individuals to be realistic and frankly, heart-wrenching.

The depiction of the depolorable conditions at the internment camps is accurate as far as my research into and knowledge of this subject matter. Family life at the camps was not easy for the internees because of the rustic/crude living conditions, lack of privacy, unfamiliar food, and severe weather conditions. I could almost taste the grit from the dust blowing around everywhere and smell the horrible odors in the latrines as described by this author.

A theme in this book which I especially appreciated was the kindness and understanding of several of the surrounding characters who were not internees.

Miss Wyatt, Mitsi’s school teacher, is a lovely person who does whatever she can to make Mitsi’s situation a little more bearable for the eleven-year-old. Mrs. Bowker, the Kashina family’s widowed neighbor, is loving and compassionate toward Mitsi and models what being a good neighbor and friend is all about. Some of the workers at the camps go out of their way to smile at and treat the internees with kindness. And then there is Dash, Mitsi’s loyal best friend! The two shared a deep bond and were both heartbroken when they were separated when the Kashina’s were evacuated.

Highly recommended for teachers, librarians, and parents/grandparents. Fans of World War II/American/California history and stories with diverse characters will appreciate this richly-layered story, too.

To learn more about this subject, follow this link to the United states national parks service website: 

Japanese American Confinement


Kirby Larson

About the Author

Kirby Larson went from history-phobe to history fanatic while writing the 2007 Newbery Honor Book, HATTIE BIG SKY. Her passion for historical fiction is reflected in titles such as THE FENCES BETWEEN US, THE FRIENDSHIP DOLL, as well as the sequel to HATTIE BIG SKY, HATTIE EVER AFTER, and her two latest titles, DUKE–which was nominated for 5 state Young Reader Choice awards as well as being a finalist for the Washington State Book Award– and DASH–which has garnered two starred reviews, a NAPPA Gold Award and a Capitol Choices nomination.

In 2006, Kirby began a collaboration with her good friend Mary Nethery resulting in two award-winning nonfiction picture books: TWO BOBBIES: A TRUE STORY OF HURRICANE KATRINA, FRIENDSHIP AND SURVIVAL, and NUBS: THE TRUE STORY OF A MUTT, A MARINE AND A MIRACLE.

Kirby lives in Kenmore, Washington with her husband, Neil, and Winston the Wonder Dog. When she’s not reading or writing Kirby enjoys beach combing, bird watching, and traveling. She owns a tiara and is not afraid to use it.

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Book Review: The Perks of Meddling

Happy Wednesday!

Today I wanted to share my thoughts on Christy Barritt’s The Perks of Meddling. Be sure to add it to you TBR pile if you haven’t yet.

About the Book

She’s determined to work this case—with or without permission . . .

Investigator-wannabe Elliot Ransom doesn’t have much clout with the PI firm that recently hired her. When she meets a woman whose “riffraff” sister has gone missing, Elliot can’t resist the urge to help—despite her boss’s stern warning to stay away. But her snooping may prove as dangerous as the jungle she left behind.

As Elliot digs deeper, the underbelly of wealthy Storm River bubbles to the surface. Following the advice found in her father’s old journal, Elliot tracks the killer. But the more she uncovers, the more of a target she becomes. Could a little meddling lead to a vast amount of trouble?

Amazon | GoodReads

My Thoughts

The Perks of Meddling continues with Elliot Ransom getting herself involved in another mystery but this time with the disappearance of a woman.  The book was filled with twists and turns and the ending at the book was a surprise. I cannot wait to find out what Eliot’s going to get into next in book 3 and which guy she’s going to end up with: Michael or Detective Hunter.  

About the Author

Christy Barritt

USA Today has called Christy Barritt’s books “scary, funny, passionate, and quirky.”

Christy, a Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author, writes both mystery and romantic suspense novels that are clean with underlying messages of faith. Her books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery, have been twice nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and have finaled for both a Carol Award and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year.

She’s married to her prince charming, a man who thinks she’s hilarious–but only when she’s not trying to be. Christy’s a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who’s known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado.

Christy currently splits her time between the Virginia suburbs and Hatteras Island, North Carolina. She has more than seventy books published with nearly two million copies sold.

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Post by Contributor Allyson Anthony

Throwback Thursday — Indian Shoes

throwbackthursday

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, Reader Friends! Today we’re featuring a story collection by Native American Author, Cynthia Leitich Smith. Indian Shoes was originally released in 2002 by Harper Collins. The book is recommended for children ages 7 and older.


 

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About the Book

What do Indian shoes look like, anyway? Like beautiful beaded moccasins…or hightops with bright orange shoelaces?

Ray Halfmoon prefers hightops, but he gladly trades them for a nice pair of moccasins for his Grampa. After all, it’s Grampa Halfmoon who’s always there to help Ray get in and out of scrapes — like the time they are forced to get creative after a homemade haircut makes Ray’s head look like a lawn-mowing accident.

This collection of interrelated stories is heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny. Cynthia Leitich Smith writes with wit and candor about what it’s like to grow up as a Seminole-Cherokee boy who is just as happy pounding the pavement in windy Chicago as rowing on a take in rural Oklahoma.

Kirkus declared: “A very pleasing first-chapter book from its funny and tender opening salvo to its heartwarming closer. An excellent choice for younger readers.” School Library Journal hailed: “a good book for any elementary-aged reluctant reader and a necessity for indigenous children everywhere.” INDIAN SHOES has been named a Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters Award, to the 2003 Best Children’s Books of the Year, Bank Street College of Education; and to Choices 2003, Cooperative Children’s Book Center. It also was named to the NEA Native American Book List and the 2004-2005 Crown List. Most recently, INDIAN SHOES was chosen as the featured intermediate title for “Read On, Wisconsin!” (an online book club for students sponsored by the state’s First Lady) in March, 2005.

Amazon


My Thoughts About This Book:

Have you ever read a story collection where you told yourself as you finished reading each story, ‘That story was my favorite!’, only to read the next story to find yourself saying, ‘No, that one was definitely my favorite!’?

This is exactly what happened to me when I read this delightful collection of six short stories featuring young Ray Halfmoon and his grandfather, Grampa Halfmoon.

The pair currently live in Chicago, far from their relatives in Oklahoma. They are of Seminole and Cherokee descent. Grampa is raising Ray after Ray’s parents were tragically killed in a tornado.

Each story features incidents that happen in and around Chicago or in Oklahoma. Many of the stories have humorous scenes or humorous themes. Grampa’s feelings about life and his memories of the past are the underlying theme of each story. He enjoys sharing his family stories and cultural gems with Ray.

Grampa’s love and affection for Ray are evident in their daily activities and in the wisdom he exhibits for his grandson’s ups and downs and the challenges Ray faces in his young life. I admired the rapport between and the depth of their bond with each other and to their heritage.

The author’s use of higher-level vocabulary and her respect for the reader’s intelligence make this a great read for readers of all ages! I believe this would be an excellent read-aloud for families, classrooms, libraries, and youth/scout/church groups.
 
This collection was heartwarming and touching. I will be seeking out more of this author’s work to read in the future.
 

Highly-recommended to fans of Native American literature, diverse character fiction, family heritage fiction, historical fiction, and fiction where the main character is a male.

I borrowed this book from the New Book shelf in the children’s section of the local public library.
 

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About the Author

Cynthia’s fiction is noted for its diversity, humor, lyricism, and mid-to-southwestern settings. Still early in her career, she has shown tremendous range and loves to experiment.

Cynthia lives in Austin, Texas and is a citizen of the Muscogee Creek Nation. The Austin chapter of SCBWI has instituted the Cynthia Leitich Smith Mentor Award in her honor. She also serves on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults and leads the annual We Need Diverse Books Native Writing Intensive.

Cynthia holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a J.D. from The University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. She studied law abroad at Paris-Sorbonne University.

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First Line Friday: The Art of Eavesdropping

It’s time for First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books. Grab the book nearest to you and share the first line. The book we’re featuring on Diversity Between the Pages is The Art of Eavesdropping (The Sidekick’s Survival Guide Book 1) by Christy Barritt!

And the first line is…

I used to feel I had the whole world in front of me.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Missionary kid Elliot Ransom is restless after moving from her beloved Amazon home to a wealthy DC suburb. Though Storm River, Virginia, is beautiful, it’s also a playground for haughty politicians and wealthy playboys. She’s never felt so out of place.

Becoming an assistant to a hotshot private investigator changes everything . . .

Expecting to help with filing and background checks, Elliot is shocked when she’s catapulted into the frontlines of a murder investigation instead. While trying to prove their client innocent, she’s forced from the administrative role she usually plays. The change is surprisingly invigorating.

Learning the art of investigating shouldn’t be so dangerous . . . but this case just might be as dicey as the new town Elliot is living in. Could a little harmless eavesdropping lead to a big disaster?

GOODREADS | AMAZON

Let me know the first line of the book closest to you and then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating!


Post by contributor Allyson

Throwback Thursday – Kairos: The Perfect Time for Love

Happy Thursday, Reader Friends!

Today we’re featuring author Natasha D. Frazier’s book Kairos: The Perfect Time For Love. This throwback takes us back a couple of years. Check out the excerpt below!


About the Book

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… Ecclesiastes 3:1
Have you ever been in a position where you believed you were about to get exactly what you’ve been praying and working for, but instead the door is closed in your face?Well, meet Kensi Jacobson. She was positive that she’d gotten closer to her dream job, but instead, she hits a roadblock. She put in the work and trusted God for what she believed was her season of elevation, but her boss’ idea of promotion was to send her to Pepperton, TX for another assignment.

This new assignment pairs her up with a handsome widower, Darren Shaw, who helps her learn that delay and disappointment can sometimes become a catalyst for something greater. Seemingly burdened with the fact that she is the only one in her circle who isn’t married with children and a career that isn’t headed in the direction she planned, she begins to wonder when her time and season are coming. Will Kensi learn that Kairos – God’s perfect timing, is much more powerful than Chronos – her chronological timetable, and trust that things will fall into place at the right time? What begins as a crush to her ego and life plan may become the perfect time for love and the answer to her prayers.


Excerpt

It seemed as if most of the town had the same idea to head to the coffee shop after the tree lighting ceremony. There was only one table left in the place and it was closer to the door than they would have liked. Kensi held the table while Darren ordered their drinks. He returned to the table with a goofy smile plastered across his face. He draped his jacket over her shoulders and took the seat across from her.

“I’m sorry. This is not what I pictured when I asked you to have coffee with me. I was thinking nice and cozy, not dodging wind chills. I won’t keep you here too long.” Spending a few moments with her here and there wasn’t working for him anymore. It was time he did something about that before it was too late.

“Believe it or not, I’m okay.” She smiled to reassure him.

Kensi wrapped her hands around the mug of caramel latte sitting in front of her and then rubbed her hands along her arms each time someone walked into the coffee shop. The gush of wind gave her chills and temporarily drowned out the sound of the holiday music playing over the speakers.

“You’re not the New Yorker I thought you were,” Darren teased.

“What kind of New Yorker did you think I was?”

Darren peered over his cup of hot chocolate at Kensi, careful to keep his eyes locked on hers while he took a sip. He could go on and continue beating around the bush about how he felt, but he knew all too well that the next minute wasn’t promised. He thought he had forever with Jessica and that proved not to be true.

“How about we not worry about what I thought and let me get a chance to see for myself? I want to date you, Kensi, seriously and exclusively, once your assignment is over.”

Kensi’s eyes grew wide with surprise. She took several sips of her latte in order to compose her thoughts and contemplate her response. She was aware that he was fond of her, and that feeling was mutual. However, she wasn’t expecting him to be so direct. In a matter of seconds, her mind went into complete overdrive as she pondered her decision. If she said no, that would go against all the whining that she’d done to God a few weeks ago about her turn for happiness. But saying yes could mean that she would likely have to move to Pepperton if things went well. She’d need a new job. She’d have to give up New York and months of the cold weather that she loved so much plus she’d be even farther away from her family.

She closed her eyes for a moment to calm down and reel her mind back into the present. Although those things were important, that could easily be worked out later. She liked him, so she owed it to herself to see if their relationship could grow wings.

“I’d like that too,” she finally answered.

“Good. You had me worried here for a second,” Darren said with a nervous chuckle. “I’m looking forward to spending more time getting to know the woman behind the camera and the pencil.”

“Of course you are!” Kensi joked, breaking up the seriousness of the moment.

Darren reached across the table and squeezed her hand. Tomorrow was the theatrical production and he had never looked forward to it more than he was now. Closing the curtains after the Christmas program tomorrow set the stage for them to move forward to see what life had in store for the two of them—together.


About the Author

Natasha Frazier has authored both devotionals and Christian fiction titles. Throughout her writing career, she has published ten books. Out of the Shadows: Love, Lies & Consequences Book 4 is her most recent release and is the final title in the award-winning Love, Lies & Consequences series. With her writing, Natasha hopes to inspire readers to grow in their relationship with our Heavenly Father, in spite of past mistakes, holding on to the truth that God loves us no matter what we’ve done. Because of His love for us, we should desire to live better lives.

Natasha is also a licensed CPA and alumni of THEE Jackson State University and Texas A&M University. Natasha resides in the Houston Metro area with her husband, Eddie, and their three children.

Book Review: An Alaskan Twin Surprise

Happy Monday!

Today I wanted to share my thoughts on Belle Calhoune’s An Alaskan Twin Surprise. Have you added it to your TBR pile yet? If not, be sure to do so!


About the Book

The family he was supposed to have…

His runaway bride is back…

With twins!

The last person Gabriel Lawson expects to find in town is Rachel Marshall—especially with twin toddlers in tow. Gabriel refuses to risk his heart again on the woman who left him at the altar years ago. But working to renovate her mother’s house means he must spend time with Rachel and her adorable twins…and soon he can’t help but wish they were his family.

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My Thoughts

An Alaskan Twin Surprise is full of sweetness and a faith that warm your heart. Rachel Marshall has a secret that is heartbreaking as it is an opportunity for God’s healing and perfect work to be evident in her life. I enjoyed watching her go through the journey and especially with the cuteness of her twin daughters.

The book also had some good twists and turns that kept me wondering how they would be resolved. All in all, An Alaskan Twin Surprise was another good read from Ms. Calhoune.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. My review was not required nor influenced.


About the Author

Belle Calhoune lives in Connecticut with her college sweetheart husband and two daughters. After a thirteen year career as a Federal Investigator, she chose to pursue a  writing career.  An avid lover of romance novels since she was a teen, she enjoys writing love stories and reading them. She loves spending summers in beautiful Cape Cod and traveling to new places. A dog lover, she has a mini poodle and a chocolate lab. More than anything, she believes in happily ever afters.

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Post by contributor Toni Shiloh