Tuesday, August 18, 2015


I received a copy of OSWALD: RETURN OF THE KING by Edoardo Albert from Kregel Publications.  Once in a while there is a book that leaves you saying “wow.”  Then you flip back through, shocked it Is over.  You reread a few of your favorite parts, put the book down somewhere special – for me it was the trunk in my room – and then you return to it in a few days.  It keeps calling you back.


OSWALD did that for me.  It is the second installment of the Northumbrian Thrones series.  Christianity and kingship unite; love is tested and good values shine through.  If you enjoyed the first book in the series about Edwin, this one is just as great.  Oswald picks up where Edwin fell.  The tales focus on a period of history that is not always covered in today’s historical fiction, and that makes it all the more rewarding.


I recommend reading this outside on you handmade porch swing.  Okay, that’s how I read it, with the sun baking down and the excitement sweeping me away.  Or, you can read it in your favorite spot.  This is definitely a book not to miss.  I’ve already recommended it to many of my reading buddies. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015


I received a copy of THE PRINCE WHO WAS JUST HIMSELF by Silke Schnee from Plough Publishing House.  This is a picture book illustrated by Heike Sistig.  The book focuses on a prince who is born with Down Syndrome and saves his kingdom from an evil invader.

At first I wasn’t a fan of the illustrations.  They are similar to what a child would do, and to me it didn’t feel professional.  The more I looked at them, however, the more I realized how well that works for children.  It can help them feel better about their own artwork.

The story itself was sweet and family focused.  I can see it being perfect for a classroom or a home.  I have passed this book onto my friend’s sister for her to share with her special education class.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Heartbreak Trail

I received a copy of HEARTBREAK TRAIL by Susan K. Marlow from Kregel Publications.  It is the second installment in the Circle C Milestones series.  The series is geared toward young adult girls who enjoy adventure with a strong sense of religion.  The religion isn’t overpowering though.  I like how it is gracefully woven into the tales of young Andrea Carter. 


This story involves Andrea turning fifteen.  She asks to go on her family’s cattle drive.  I loved the realistic descriptions of the cattle drive.  None of the gory details were left out and the adventure felt very raw.  I don’t want to give any spoilers, but the trip is far from pleasant for Andrea, and mosquitos are the least of her worries!   Andrea also takes a liking to a certain boy.  Her emotions are realistic and will have you giggling over how she is (finally!) growing up in that aspect.


Overall, I highly recommend this book series.  It is solid young adult fiction with strong morals.  The reader gets to figure out Andrea’s adventures right along with her.  I can’t wait for the next book!


Another huge plus for this series is that there are two other series about Andrea, but geared toward younger readers.  Fans get to grow up with “Andi” right along with her.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Why Superheroes?

Why Superheroes?

I went to my first book fair on the author side of the table this past spring. It was an event sponsored by a local publisher called Read Local NC.  As I sat behind my table, and potential readers walk by, I watched them. It was fun.

Generally, they’d walk by the tables, keeping their eyes low, on the covers of the displayed books and not meeting the eyes of the authors behind them. I get that. You can’t buy all the books, and you don’t want to end up feeling obligated because you interacted with the person.

My cover is pretty eye-catching (thanks to Polina Sapershteyn, the graphic designer). Between the bright yellow that dominates the cover and the fun feeling of the art, most people at least rest their eyes there for a moment when they’re cruising. Then they read the title. Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel.  That usually rates a look of surprise, either followed by a wrinkled nose or a glance at me to see who might have written such a thing.

A lot of people picked up the book that day to read the blurb, flip through it and ask questions. I did well for someone no one has ever heard of, between the on-site sales and the follow-up sales on Amazon in the days that followed. The question most people asked: Why Superheroes?

I forget that not everyone is as steeped in and fascinated by superheroes as I am.  So, the first few times, the question really threw me. But over the course of the day, I figured out how to answer it.

Why superheroes?

·         Because sometimes, you need a big canvas to explore a small thing on.

·         Because superpowers are my favorite kind of wish fulfillment. Don’t we all want to be heroic?

·         Because heroic characters take action when most of us would be frozen by indecision. They might be wrong, but they are decisive.

·         Because it’s easier to talk about painful and complicated issues when we think we’re just playing.

·         Because the single most fascinating question I’ve ever asked myself is: What if?

Going Through the Change is going through a change in price for a couple of days in early August. On August 5th and 6th you can get the Kindle edition for free on Amazon. Check it out at: http://bitly.com/face-the-change

 Samantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day and a mom and novelist by night. That makes her a superhero all the time. Her debut novel, Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel is now for sale by Curiosity Quills. You can find her online on her blog,  Twitter, on Facebook, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on the Curiosity Quills page, or on Google+.