The StoneKeepers by Sally Chambers

The Stonekeepers


When I agreed to review “The Stonekeepers”, I was unfamiliar with the author and took a chance because I thought the book might be interesting. I did not realize that teens and young adults seem to be its targeted audience. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

From the very beginning the author sets the perfect tone with a mysterious old house that seems to reach out to Lexi Christensen. When she learns that the house is scheduled to be torn down by the city, she and her two best friends set out to stop it. Along the way, she discovers some secrets that actually do connect her to the old home. Little does she realize the adventure and danger she, her friends, and family will  encounter before summer is over.

The story itself is so imaginative yet keeps its characters and their relationships very realistic. I liked that Lexi was a typical teen who had conflicts with her parents, a crush on the same guy her best friend claimed, yet she was always determined to practice her faith and to follow the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit.

I believe this is a book that would be enjoyed by most teens and even some adults. I enjoyed it and these days I am far from young.

This book was provided for review by The Bookclub Network.


For the past eighteen years, Lexi Christensen has been sheltered from the truth, protected by a soft-cushioned life of normalcy, until the contents of an envelope link her to an ancient vow. All Lexi wants is to get out from between the vise grips of her suddenly protective parents, rescue an historic mansion before she leaves for college, and stop herself from falling in love with the man her best friend claims to love. But finding the envelope thrusts her into new choices . . . and new danger. Someone knows more about Lexi’s heritage than she does, wants what she’s found, and will risk her life to get it. As her future twists into an incredible mission that propels her from her sand-ringed island home to a foreign mountaintop, she’s in a race against both time and danger. Her faith may be strong, but is God asking too much?


Sally ChambersSally Chambers lives in warmth and sunshine among palm fronds, revels in sea breezes, loves the feel of sand between her toes, and braces for hurricanes annually. She, her husband, and two married children call Florida home. Sally writes for young adults, new adults, and women of all ages who enjoy contemporary inspirational fiction that’s a blend of easy drama, suspense, and light romance.

My Amish Boyfriend by Melody Carlson


I opted in to review “My Amish Boyfriend” because I always enjoy books by Melody Carlson. I was not overjoyed to have to read another Amish novel because it seems that I get more than my share of them to review. Fortunately, Carlson’s take on Amish fiction did not follow the usual pattern.

With her usual attention to detail, the author brings her readers a story about a sixteen-year-old city girl whose big plans for her summer vacation are preempted by her mother’s mysterious illness. Shannon and her mother find themselves on a bus to live with relatives Shannon was not aware existed. When they arrived at their destination, she was further surprised to learn that they were Amish. Shannon makes a good effort to adapt to the new lifestyle while helping take care of her mother. A good-looking Amish guy seems interested in her so Shannon finds her summer to be looking better all the time.

On the surface, “My Amish Boyfriend” may seem to be a fairly shallow teen romance story. I wanted to warn Shannon over and over about Ezra’s real intentions but fortunately she came to her senses before it was too late. In fact, I loved watching Shannon mature almost before my eyes as she made every effort to be a part of her new family and to help her mother recover. As always, Melody Carlson has written a simple story with deep spiritual truth.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


My Amish BoyfriendShannon’s summer just got a whole lot more . . . Amish?

Shannon McNamara has exciting plans for the summer–getting her driver’s license, a job, and more–and she can’t wait to dive in. But her ill mother has plans of her own: to relocate them both to the heart of Amish country in Ohio where she has relatives who can help her.

Turns out a “simple” life is actually a lot of hard work. But when a hot young Amish guy named Ezra enters the picture, Shannon’s ready to get an Amish makeover and even consider making it a permanent change. Will these plans come crashing down around her too? Or can she really make the jump into a whole new way of life?

Teen favorite Melody Carlson brings fans another surprising story of worlds–and families–colliding.

Read an excerpt from “My Amish Boyfriend” HERE.


Melody CarlsonMelody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books, including the Life at Kingston High series, the Dating Games series, Double Take, and A Simple Song. She has received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon. Find out more HERE.

The Jerk Magnet by Melody Carlson


Without a mom to help with her hair and makeup or to guide her in choosing her clothes, Chelsea has faded into the background at school and stopped attending church. When her dad’s fiance helps with a dramatic makeover, Chelsea finds her life changed in ways she could never imagine. From wallflower to the new girl at school that all the boys want to date and the girls want to hate, Chelsea is not even sure who she is anymore. “The Jerk Magnet” is all about the incredible journey of discovery shared by Chelsea and her new friend Janelle.

I have read a few reviews that criticize the extreme makeover that Chelsea experienced. Yes, her future step-mom could have helped her with a new hairstyle, her makeup, and with making better wardrobe choices but for the author to make her point, Chelsea needed to experience both extremes in order to understand the importance of not judging others by their outward appearance. I really liked the way Carlson illustrated that prejudice works both ways and that the beautiful and popular people are sometimes misjudged as badly as the unattractive ones. I also thought that Janelle’s idea for their camping trip was inspired.

I am not sure how she does it but Melody Carlson always manages to be totally in touch with the lives and emotions of teen girls. I have not been a teen for many years but I can still remember having some of the same feelings and reactions as some of Carlson’s characters. I love the way she writes entertaining novels with relevant messages for today’s teens.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


What if beauty is more than just skin deep?

When Chelsea Martin’s future stepmother helps her transform from gawky and geeky into the hottest girl at her new school, Chelsea is pretty sure it’s the best thing that ever  Happened to her. But her hot new look has a downside. She’s attracting lots of guys who all have one thing in common: they’re jerks. Oh, and stealing the attention of all the guys in school doesn’t exactly make her BFF material for the girls.

Finally a great guy catches her eye. But he’s the only one around who doesn’t give her a second glance. Can Chelsea come up with a plan to get his attention? Or will her new image ruin everything?

“Available January 2012  at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington’s, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, The Jerk Magnet, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books in 2010 and 2011. She and her husband live in central Oregon. For more information about Melody visit her website at

Perfectly Invisible by Kristen Billerbeck


 Perfectly Invisible continues where Perfectly Dateless left off with  more of the sometimes funny and often heartrending misadventures of Daisy Crispin. Daisy is a scholarship student (call her a nerd – she does) at an exclusive private school and no matter how hard she tries, she is still mistreated by the “in” girls. Could it be the obviously home sewn clothes or the weird costumes her extremely conservative father wears for his unconventional job?

As her senior year winds to a close, Daisy has met her previous goal of finding a date to the prom (that’s an entire other story – see Perfectly Dateless). With graduation and a partial scholarship in sight, she suddenly finds herself surrounded by problems and can’t seem to do anything right. It doesn’t help that her former crush suddenly becomes interested and the guy she likes doesn’t seem to know she’s alive. A surprising exhibit at school perpetrated by someone who just wants to help brings Daisy more unwanted attention. With help like that, who needs enemies?

Although I am not in the target audience for Billerbeck’s Universally Misunderstood Novels, I have found them delightful. Daisy and her friends seem to be perfectly normal teens. Although they find themselves in some pretty unusual situations, everything fits into the realm of believability. I liked the way some of Daisy’s friends spoke into her life by pointing out that sometimes life is just not fair and that maybe Daisy was actually the person with an attitude. A few surprising twists and misunderstandings work out for the best at the end.

Perfectly Invisible is another great book by Kristen Billerbeck for teen girls. It is a lot of fun and teens should be able to identify with some of the characters. They might also learn something valuable while reading it. I heartily recommend this book.

Available July 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


St. James Academy Seeks Culprit In Rooftop Incident…



MOM, help me! I’m in big trouble, come back to school now! Daisy


Award-winning author Kristen Billerbeck returns with another story about Daisy Crispin in Perfectly Invisible (ISBN: 978-0-8007-7913-9. $9.99, 272 pages, July 2011). A lot is happening in Daisy’s senior year of high school. Daisy faces many ups and downs as she tries to finish her final year in high school being a normal teen in a not so normal environment.  She wants to stand up for her faith when others don’t care about theirs. Readers will relate to the situations Daisy encounters at school, at home, and in the work place and how she deals with them.

It’s Daisy’s final three months of high school, and she plans to make it count. Her grades should secure a scholarship to the college of her dreams and she loves her job. Daisy is in control of everything, or is she? Her handsome boyfriend, Max is treating her like she’s invisible, and her best friend, Claire is selling bad costume jewelry in the school quad–and hanging out with Daisy’s boyfriend. To top it off, Daisy’s major humiliation for the year will be remembered in the yearbook for all eternity. Then comes the crushing news…it’s enough to make Daisy wonder if maybe being invisible isn’t so bad after all.

With more of the funny-but-true-to-life writing readers have come to expect from Kristin Billerbeck, Perfectly Invisible shows teen girls that everyone is special–no matter what they’re going through.


Kristin Billerbeck is the bestselling, award-winning author of several novels, including What a Girl Wants and Perfectly Dateless. A Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year, Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. She lives with her family in northern California. For more information about Kristin visit her website at

Breath of Angel by Karyn Henley


Breath of Angel, book one of The Angelaeon Circle series by Karyn Henley is a fantastical tale about angels, immortals, nephilim, shapeshifters, sylvans, dwarves, and the mere mortals who interact with them. Featuring Melaia, a chantress who witnesses a violent murder and soon finds herself pulled into the ancient blood feud between the evil immortal Rejius and his brother Benasin. Melaia soon learns that the legendary songs she has sung her entire life have more truth in them than she ever imagined and that everything she knew about herself was about to change.

While not an epic fantasy in the tradition of such greats as Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia, Breath of Angel is nevertheless an interesting and entertaining tale. I might have wished for a bit more description of the settings but I was nevertheless able to imagine them fairly well. More character development would also have been nice to help the reader become more invested in the story. Hopefully we will learn more about Trevin in Eye of the Sword.

A tale of loyalty, bravery, and sacrifice, Breath of Angel teaches some valuable lessons about life as it entertains. I would recommend it for most teens. It would probably be a great summer diversion.


This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books a service of the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.


The stranger’s cloak had fallen back, and with it, a long, white, blood-stained wing.

When Melaia, a young priestess, witnesses the gruesome murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard, age-old legends recited in song suddenly come to life. She discovers wings on the stranger, and the murderer takes the shape of both a hawk and a man.

Angels. Shape-shifters. Myths and stories—until now.

Melaia finds herself in the middle of a blood feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm. When Melaia becomes a target, she finds refuge with a band of angels attempting to restore the stairway. But the restoration is impossible without settling an ancient debt—the “breath of angel, blood of man,” a payment that involves Melaia’s heart, soul, and destiny.

Click here to download chapter one of Breath of Angel.

Praise for Breath of Angel

“Karyn Henley spins a lyrical young-adult tale of mythical and legendary beings, of reimagined angels and terrifying malevolents, in a small kingdom where the world’s fate rests on a young priestess’s shoulders.”
—Kathy Tyers, author of Shivering World and the Firebird series

“Karyn Henley’s novel starts with a jolt, grabs the reader by the collar, and doesn’t slow down one minute. This author infuses her text with imagery, suspense, and a cast that will appeal to all ages. In addition, it has a feeling that I can only describe as “folklorish,” with all the best elements that come with that—music, magic, and mystery. I think it’s destined to become a classic.”
—Kathi Appelt, author of The Underneath, National Book Award finalist, Newbery Honor Book, PEN USA Award

“This lusciously written fantasy has it all: epic battles, earthbound angels, immortal humans, and a bright, engaging heroine. Henley’s young priestessturned-warrior is forced to put her past together like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces so sharp they cut. Her story is nearly impossible to forget, so readers will be eager for more!”
—Louise Hawes, author of Black Pearls: a Faerie Strand, AAUW Juvenile Literature Award nominee; Gold Award, Hall of Fame,

Award-winning author Karyn Henley has written over 100 titles, which include a mix of children’s books and articles, parent-teacher books, articles, and curricula, and preschool musicals and CD’s/DVD’s of original music for children. An accomplished songwriter, Karyn has been a Dove Award nominee, and received a regional Emmy Award as Music Composer for a Christmas television special. She has traveled worldwide speaking to parents and teachers and entertaining children and their families in storytelling/active movement sessions and concerts.

A graduate of Abilene Christian University (BSEd), Karyn received a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2004. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Shattered by Melody Carlson


The promotional material, book cover, and book trailer indicate that Shattered deals with very serious issues but I was pretty much blindsided by what happened. I definitely didn’t see that coming. Because I feel that the surprise is probably an effective component of the story, I will not even attempt to give an overview of it.

As always, Melody Carlson has used a fictional story to illustrate very important lessons for teen readers. In Shattered, the reader will walk beside Cleo as she experiences the devastating consequences of one seemingly insignificant choice and the high cost of keeping terrible secrets. Shattered is a story that takes Cleo from the depths of guilt, grief, and pain to the hope and redemption offered through Christ.

I would highly recommend this book for all teens. If it could influence them to think about the consequences of their choices beforehand, many could  be saved from severe repercussions and possibly even tragedy. In my opinion, all of Melody Carlson’s young adult books should be included in the libraries of families with teens.

This book was provided for review by
LeAnn Hamby with Glass Road Public Relations.


Cleo Neilson’s best friend is moving away and she wants to make Lola’s last night in town special. For Cleo, that means going to the big Christian concert in the city, but her mom won’t allow her to go. She says that area of the city is too dangerous for two unchaperoned teenage girls.

Convinced her mom is just being an overprotective “helicopter” mom, she sneaks out of the house. After all, her mom has to let her grow up sometime, right?

Cleo now faces the chilling consequences of her actions and a secret that it is eating her up inside. As Cleo fights through her grief and guilt, she learns about faith in God and forgiveness through him.


Melody Carlson has written more than a hundred books for all age groups, but she particularly enjoys writing for teens. Perhaps this is because her own teen years remain so vivid in her memory. After claiming to be an atheist at the ripe old age of twelve, she later surrendered her heart to Jesus and has been following him ever since. Her hope and prayer for all her readers is that each one would be touched by God in a special way through her stories.

For more information, please visit Melody’s website at