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Posts Tagged: covenant communications
by Jody Wind Durfee
Paperback, 136 pages
Published August 2013
by Covenant Communications
Book Source: LDSBA
When Maddi Benson moves in next door to Jaxon Quayle, neither of them knows how much life is about to change. Jaxon knows he should date only girls who share his faith, but as he gets to know Maddi he wants his new neighbor to be more than a friend. To make things even more complicated, there’s Maddi’s twin brother Hadley (or Hadley-Hadley, as he calls himself), who has special needs and always seems to be hanging around, and Jaxon’s pal Tanner, who feels more than a little left out. Jaxon feels hopeful when the Bensons begin to consider joining the Church, which would solve at least one of his problems. But just when things seem to be working out, a horrible prank seems to make everything fall apart, leaving Maddi and Jaxon caught in the middle of doubt and faith, hurt and forgiveness, friendship and love.
Review: I received a copy of Hadley- Hadley Benson from a signing by the author at the LDSBA convention and truly had no idea what to expect. The only thing I knew is that I liked the red chucks on the cover. As soon as I started reading the sweet newness of a High School crush and the every day trials of living with a loved one on the autism spectrum I jumped in. I absolutely beam inside when an author chooses to integrate and feature a character with ASD or special needs, and Jody Wind Durfee does it well. My heart was tugged over the trials Hadley Benson’s family and friends go though to protect both his innocence and his spirit.
Told in the perspective of Jaxon Quayle, a soccer star and ordinary next door neighbor to the Benson family, this is a story of forgiveness and hope. Jaxon knows from the second Maddi Benson moves in that she is someone he wants to get to know better, but Hadley keeps somehow tagging along. Jaxon has a lot of growing up to do and readers get to see his character develop in testimony and awareness of others. Each chapter is very short, which I actually liked. There were only a few glitches in long paragraphs of simple conversation that slowed the pacing of the book, but I sat down and read it all in one Saturday afternoon, finishing in tears.
Jody Wind Durfee has written a relevant and heartfelt YA contemp for the LDS and general audience that I would happily recommend, youth or adult. Her sweet understanding of special needs youth and their caregivers is a message that needs to be shared and I’m so glad she took the time to write Hadley- Hadley Benson!
Highlight with cursor to reveal content: clean, some mild prank related violence and blood from an accident
Second, the volunteers were extraordinary! I’ve attended almost every Summer Games since I began coaching and the people that help are always incredible, but this year, I might have paid more attention to what everybody does. The kitchen staff were always helpful and friendly––and there were a lot of people to feed, the janitorial staff was ON IT, and all of those helping with Healthy Athletes were kind and professional, no matter how many times I interrupted to gather athletes for events.
I can’t begin to mention all of the work the volunteers do, but here are a few things I noticed––they encourage, cheer for, time, announce, stage athletes to prepare for races, guide athletes onto the track, take pictures, tape lines so the athletes (and coaches) aren’t confused about where the athletes need to race, ready medals and ribbons, announce medals, make snow cones, paint faces, sing, dance, set up and take down tents, organize opening and closing ceremonies, listen, share, coach, love and on and on and on. (I haven’t even mentioned the trillions of hours the paid SOUT staff put in.)In addition to all of this, there was something I hadn’t seen before this year. In a corner of the school, there was a back drop, stool, interviewer and camera where people were able to tell their personal Special Olympics story. I’d walk past the area each time I retrieved an athlete from Healthy Athletes. I was always in a hurry, but I still heard little snippets. Some were given by parents or coaches or siblings, volunteers or athletes. Storytelling is always powerful, but I can only imagine the power of these stories and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one day I’ll be able to tell about the many people with Special Olympics that have influenced me. I’ll be watching for the stories they collected this year.
The thing is, all of these volunteers get together for the incredible, courageous, human, funny, witty, humbling athletes. And I am so thankful they let me be a part of it.
by Karen Tuft
paperback, 286 pages
published June 2012
Book Source: Blog Tour
I enjoyed this story. I thought that the whole reality show vibe felt real, with backstabbing contestants, producers and constant gag orders. I liked the plot and I liked that things didn’t instantly work out for either Lucy or Ethan, they had to work for their happily ever after. I thought that Lucy and Ethan felt real, I was pretty mad at her two best friends for the mean trick they played on her. This was a cute romance and worth the time it takes to read it!
|Photo by Heather Zahn Gardner|
Today Fire and Ice is thrilled to host a guest post and giveaway from author Melanie Jacobson. I gave five stars to her newest book Not My Type which I just finished reading. Oh does Melanie know how to write a kiss! You will fall head over heels in love with her characters and the adventures of Indie girl who braves the crazy world of online dating for her job as a local journalist. This is one of the most fun books I’ve read all year. Welcome Melanie Jacobsen author of Not My Type: A Single Girl’s Guide to Doing It All Wrong, Paperback, 257 pages Published September 1st 2011 by Covenant Communications.
Twenty-three-year-old Pepper Spicer is not living the dream. She ended her engagement at the last minute because her fiance-a musician and soon-to-be reality TV star-wanted her to sacrifice her own career ambitions for his. Now she’s stuck at home sharing a room with her little sister, trying to pay off massive debt for a wedding that didn’t happen, and spending Friday nights Facebook-stalking everyone who has a better life. Her therapist father urges her to choose her career dreams and count her blessings by writing weekly thank-you notes, but gratitude is a tall order when she botches an important job interview and has to settle for writing an undercover dating web-zine column-the last thing in the world she wants to do. Life takes a major upswing as Pepper’s column hits the big time and she tastes the exhilarating thrill of success. But there’s one tiny problem: the intensely hot man she’s falling for is having issues with her job (again). Will Pepper trade her personal ambition for another chance at love?
Guest Post from the author: “My mom never made me write thank you notes. For a lot of reasons, it was one of those things that fell through the cracks of my social training. Thanks to a situation in which I mortally offended my new step-grandmother by not writing a thank you note I didn’t know I was supposed to write, I’ve been reformed. Um, mostly.
Actually, I was kind of obsessed for a while. So much so that at one point I imagined writing a note that was going to get me on Oprah, a dream I’ve now had to accept I’ll never realize. Along with the one where I’m invited to be on her favorite things show. But I haven’t given up hope for making it to one of the Ellen twelve days of Christmas.
Anyway, the idea was that I would write a thank you note to someone every week for a year and then record the effects I observed.
That idea disappeared to the same place that has stolen all my best money-making schemes and sure-fire bestseller ideas. In other words, it went into the ether and it’s floating around with all the wished upon dandelion fluff and falling star dust, waiting to coalesce into another dream for Stephenie Meyers.
But I’ve always loved the idea of a year of thank yous. Ultimately, instead of a life project it became a novel, Not My Type, about a girl named Pepper whose father challenges her to write the notes in an effort to snap her out of a self-pity funk. Still, the constant questions I get about, “Where did you get your idea from?” and “Do you write thank you notes?” has reminded me that I owe quite a few to people, so I might as well start catching up right here.
Thanks for teaching me the superhuman skill of biting back curses. Every time I have stepped on one of your evil bricks when chasing a half-naked child to wrestle her into a diaper, I have managed to keep the most vile curses behind my teeth. This has translated into me being able to travel the local freeways and merely grunt as I bite back my road rage-induced profanity. Sure, it sounds like I’ve had a stroke. But my kids have learned all their swear words from the church nursery and NONE of it from me. Barefoot Lego damage has prepared me well.
Dear Clothing Manufacturers.
I have gained thirty pounds in the last ten years, but every time I go shopping, I wear the exact same size. I love vanity sizing! Keep up the good work, guys!
Dear Dove Milk Chocolate Squares,
Sometimes you are the only reason my children survive the day. This thanks is really more on their behalf, because seriously, they OWE you one. More than one. They kind of owe you for every Friday afternoon that they’ve survived.
Thanks for making me laugh, even though sometimes I’m doing it through Lego-induced tears. Love you guys! “
About the author: Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She consumes astonishing amounts of chocolate, chick flicks, and romance novels. After meeting her husband online, she is now living happily married in Southern California with her growing family and a series of doomed houseplants. Melanie is a former English teacher and a popular speaker who loves to laugh and make others laugh. In her down time (ha!), she writes romantic comedies for Covenant and maintains her humorous slice-of-life blog. Her second novel, Not My Type, hits shelves in September. Visit Melanie on her website or blog. Click here to order Not My Type at 20% off the cover price.
To enter to win a copy of my new novel, Not My Type: A Single Girl’s Guide to Doing It All Wrong, I’d love to hear about one thing you’re thankful for that you wouldn’t normally list. You don’t even have to explain your answer. For example, for different reasons, I could and probably should thank the following things: Red Box, kitchen tongs, the neighbor’s dog, and Cheez Its. Good luck!
Leave your entry in the comments below and we will pick a winner on November 10, 2011.
Published June 1, 2011
by Covenant Communications
With the fire of newfound testimony, Ammon and his brethren leave Zarahemla to preach the gospel in Lamanite lands, carrying nothing but hunting weapons and the promises of God. Spotted by an enemy scout, they part ways in the dense jungle with hopes of reuniting at the close of their harvest. Ammon follows the Spirit to the borders of Ishmael, where he’s ambushed just seconds after spotting Elena, a fair-skinned woman who captures his interest.
As Ammon gains renown in the kingdom, he defends Elena from the advances of Gad, the loathsome widower she’ll soon be required to marry. Then swearing allegiance to the Lamanite king and trusting in the Lord, Ammon further proves his strength and devotion by sparing King Lamoni’s flocks from plunderers. The amazed king and his court are converted to the gospel through Ammon’s powerful teachings and the miraculous events that follow. But each action Ammon takes causes more and more disruption throughout the kingdom. And when Elena is abducted by her own brother and hidden away in an unspeakable place, Ammon faces his greatest struggle yet: not just the outward challenge of lethal combat but also the inward challenge of loving one’s enemy.