Saturday, December 20, 2008

Missed My Chance...

Just last week I found out that a girl I went to school with passed away. She was younger then me. I meet her in guitar class. She was amazing. I thought that she had some thing going for her.

She graduated and moved on. I forgot about her in the business of my education and life.

And then my dad called from work to tell me that she and two other girls died of some kind of carbon monoxide poison. This just shows me that we are never to young to die.

So be wise when you do something or make a decision because it could al ways be your last one . I'm praying that she knew Jesus, because I missed my chances to tell her about the love that God has for everyone.

But I will never miss another chance like that ever again.

God loves you SO much that He came to Earth as a baby--Jesus. Jesus lived a perfect life, and was God here on Earth with us. I can't explain it, but the Book of John in the Bible explains it great. Jesus died a horrid death to pay for all the wrong stuff we do.

The Bible calls it sin--which is missing the mark. We can't hit God's mark of perfect, but Jesus was able to. So He died for us. Then, to prove He was God, He rose again back to life after three days. No other religious person in history ever did that.

Just Jesus.

And He wants to take away your sin, make your life worth living, and show you a better way to live.

Maybe I don't explain it so well, but I know it's true. And I want to see all of you in Heaven one day. Jesus is the only way. It's not popular, but truth isn't always popular.

Like the truth that we could all die any day.

It doesn't matter that we're young. She was younger than me. Now, she's gone.

This Christmas, think about that.

And take the greatest Christmas gift ever given--Jesus.

KT

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My First Award!

One of my mom's blogging friends, Melissa at Bibliophile's Retreat, honored me with my very first blogger award. I feel almost as cool as my mom now!

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The rules are that you link back to the one who gave you the award (Thank you, SO much, Melissa!). Then you pick 10 bloggers to receive this award.

Unfortunately, I'm just starting out in blogging. But my mom received The Butterfly Award, and she says it's always nice to share with your comment givers, so that's what I'm doing.

If you read my blog, you bless and encourage me...so feel free to receive this beautiful award from me, KT.

I'm so thankful that God has allowed me to do this blog for teens like me and for moms and dads who try to teach their kids right from wrong, good from bad, and what God wants for them.

Each reader out there makes me feel like I am doing what God wants me to do, and you encourage me to keep going, even when I feel like no one notices. Now, I know someone does. And that makes me feel SO special.

I'll be posting more reviews soon.

Till then, save my place for me!

KT

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Single Sashimi by Camy Tang

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From the Back of the Book:

Venus Chau is a high-powered video game developer. Now she might be working for the man she’s always hated … but what if he’s no longer the man she thought she knew? The third book in the Sushi series offers romance with the spice of ginger.

My Thoughts:

This book is the third in the series, and is far better than the other two (I know, I keep saying that--but it's TRUE!). I could NOT put this one down (I know, I keep saying that--BUT IT'S TRUE, I TELL YOU!).

The fact that Venus was such a control freak appealed to me. I like order myself, and it reminded me of some people I know. But when she finally decided to let loose, whoa, momma!

The way she allowed God to run her life when everything started tumbling down was amazing and so real. I could understand what she was going through; I could feel what she felt.

When it seemed God was holding her, it felt like He was holding me, too. It was a little freaky, but so cool! I want to learn to be as free and to let go like Venus learned to with God.

I loved the ending, but I'm not giving anything away. Just trust me, it was amazing--except for ONE PART--but I'm not letting that slip either. I was happy, yet not. Hey, I'm 18--what do you expect??

I can't wait to get my hands on the final book, but I'm going nuts just thinking about it. The final book. That will be so cool. Write faster, Camy!

Till then, hold my place for me!

KT

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Only Uni by Camy Tang

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From the Back of the Book:

Senior biologist Trish Sakai is ready for a change from her wild, flirtatious behavior, so she creates three rules to follow from First and Second Corinthians. But with a persistent ex-boyfriend and a gorgeous coworker in pursuit, suddenly Trish’s simple rules don’t seem so simple after all.

My Thoughts:

This book is the second book in the series, and I think it is way better than the first one!

The depth of character development drew me into the story like I was there. I loved how the consequences of Trish's past decisions were not overlooked, or treated like they didn't matter.

Trish was able to stand up for herself---oops, almost gave away some of the plot! My bad! But let me say she was amazing in how she changed from page to page, and I loved her so much!

I can't wait to find out what happens in the third book, and I have GOT to get my hands on the fourth one (I just know there's going to be a fourth one--four cousins--DUH!)!


I just had a conversation with some girls that was in this series of books, especially the one about Trish, and maybe by reading these books I can find the right words to help them get what I'm trying to tell them.

Or maybe I'll just give them the books...

Till then, save my place for me!

KT

P.S. To Camy Tang: KEEP WRITING!! You are an AMAZING writer, and I love you.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sushi For One? by Camy Tang

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From The Back of the Book:

Lex Sakai's family is big, nosy, and marriage minded. When her cousin Mariko gets married, Lex will become the oldest single female cousin in the clan.

Lex has used her Bible study class on Ephesians to compile a huge list of traits for the perfect man. But the one man she keeps running into doesn't seem to have a single quality on her list. It's only when the always-in-control Lex starts to let God take over that all the pieces of this hilarious romance finally fall into place.

My Thoughts:

This book is so amazing--as I read it, I felt like I was a part of this clan! When the hard or bad things happened to Lex, I hurt like she hurt. Lex was amazing in how she stood up to her Grandmother. I was cheering her on!

Grandmother is really, really mean!

When things got really tough for her, I thought it was totally amazing that she finally turned to God in the end, and because she trusted in God, everything in her life ended up great in the end.

Things didn't turn out like SHE wanted them--her list didn't work. But they turned out like God wanted them to. That taught me to always listen to God, and to keep my ears open to what He has to say about my life.

I would recommend this book to anybody who has a hard time with either family relationships or someone who isn't sure of what they want in life. By reading "Sushi For One?" we can learn that God has a plan for our lives and that it will always turn out good in the end.

I'm reading the second book in this amazing series...

Till then, hold my place for me!

KT

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Do Hard Things By Alex & Brett Harris

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From the Back Book: Most people don’t expect you to understand what we’re going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don’t expect you to care. And even if you care, they don’t expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don’t expect it to last. We do. – Alex and Brett


My Thoughts: "Do Hard Things" makes you think that the world today has a poor view on teens and how that view makes us feel. They show us that we are not limited to what the world thinks of what we can do. When I read the book "Do Hard Things" I can see why some pople are were they are. They let the world hold them back and they never felt good enough to do anything else. Even thow I havent been through most of what they talk about in their book. I see how what they say is efecting teens today. They put so much stuff in to veiw for teens and they make you want to do hard things.

Till Next Time Hold My Place
KT

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Secret Life Of The American Teenager








My Thoughts: I know that this is blog about books for teens, but God put this in my heart to say today.

I know that a lot of you teens watch TV shows that you just love. Well, there is this new TV show that just came out and, like many girls, I had to see it.

At first it had a good message, but now it has strayed from their main point.

They were trying to help stop teens from having sex, but then some of their main characters started messing around, having sex and not taking it seriously.

I don't see how we as teens are supposed to get the message to not have sex at our age from a TV show like this. When they make it look like it's no big deal, many teens treat sex and hooking up like no big deal.

Just like in the movie Juno, the people behind this show are making it seem too easy and not all that life changing. I thought that this show would take this whole teen sex thing seriously, but it didn't and what does that say to us teens today?

That it's OK to have sex; that it's just fun and cool. Well, I have news for people that make movies and shows like this stuff. What you guys put out there for us to see does happen to have an effect on us.

We do listen to what you say in your shows and movies, and sometimes act on what you show us is OK to do. I know of teens that have had sex and gotten pregnant and have flipped out and didn't know what to do.

So for you teens out there, please talk to your mom or dad. Don't get your sex advice from the TV, books, magazines or movies.

Till then, hold my place for me.

KT

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Goodbye Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson

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From the back of the book:

Charley's off to Scotland with her new beau, and Scotty and her dad travel to Maine in search of Scotty's mom. That's not all they're looking for, though. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about faith. Scotty's faced with her bitterness toward Karissa and what it means to live a "Jesusy extraordinary" life. Shouldn't forgiveness play a role in that? And when Scotty and her dad land on her mother's last known trail, will their questions finally be answered?

My Thoughts:

I LOVED THIS BOOK! You can see how Scotty has grown in her relationship with God, and how she goes through so much pain and yet, in the end, she comes out gaining so much. She comes out with a better understanding of faith, and she ends up with everything she could have ever wanted.

It isn't everything SHE wanted--but it's what God had for her, which is WAY better than she could have ever asked for.

She learns how to love the people you think are unlovable, but Scotty realizes it's just an outer shell of protection she sees. Scotty meets all kinds of new and terrific people who end up being her "family"--the family she's always wanted to have.

By the end, you can see how she grows, her family grows, and how it is all created by God and her love for Him. These books taught me that it doesn't matter what age you are or how long you've been in Christ. You'll grow, you'll learn...and while you may get hurt, you'll benefit from it all in the long run.

This book taught me that, if I want to do something for teens my age and younger, and if I just put myself out there and stop being afraid of what I don't know...well, who knows? Maybe I'll be able to help someone who's in need of help, and may bring them to God...

...like my Mom does.

Till then, hold my place for me!

KT

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Perfecting Kate by Tamara Leigh

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From the Back of the Book:

Just when mural artist Kate Meadows resolves to embrace singledom and be unbelievably, inconceivably happy, it seems to be raining men. Hallelujah! Or not. First, there's Michael. He's the famous makeup artist determined to bring Kate's looks up to his standard. It's amazing what a few cosmetic procedures can do, but Kate's starting to feel like she's on Extreme Makeover, just without the TV cameras and someone else paying the bill. Then there's the enigmatic Dr. Clive Alexander. Despite his insistence that Kate is perfect just the way she is, he wants to change her in his own way. So, what's a single, thirty-something woman to do? It's a tough call. For as much effort goes into improving her appearance, even more is needed to jumpstart her "on hold" relationship with God.

My Thoughts:

Oh, wow! I LOVED THIS BOOK! I know, I know...it's been awhile since my last review...but summer = freedom! Now, I'm reading again, and I picked the best book to read!

"Perfecting Kate" was an eye-opening book. Like Kate, I feel like I have flaws. I've had guys tell me that I needed to fix or change this or that. So I got what she was going through, totally.

And even though the Kate in the book wasn't real, she felt real to me, and it was like I was right there in the story with her.

At the beginning, I thought, "Oh, this is just another one of those boring books my mom likes" (no offense, Mom!). But, I was OH. SO. WRONG. It turned out to be so much more.

As I kept reading, I had hope. Maybe my life might turn out like Kate's did in the book, except...oops! Almost spilled the ending there! My bad!

I guess maybe God has my life planned out, all mapped out for me, kinda like He did with Kate. I've just gotta listen, not ignore Him, and follow Him when He calls.

So if any of you are reading this right now and are like me and Kate, listening to the guys that pick at you and want to change you, and are NOT listening to God...

...you need to read "Perfecting Kate". It will open your eyes to a whole new perspective on things.

Till Then, Hold My Place For Me,

KT

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Twilight By Stephenie Meyer

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From The Back Of The Book: “I’D NEVER GIVEN MUCH THOUGHT TO HOW I WOULD DIE– I’d had reason enough in the last few months –but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this. . . . Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of something else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something.”
When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.
What Bella doesn’t realize is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back





My Thoughts:

This is one of the best books I have ever read! I love the romance between Edward and Bella. There are some moments in this book that have God in them, believe it or not.

This is the most thrilling reading experience I have had in a long time and I can't wait until the final book comes out.

I even told my mom that they should make it into a movie and they are! I have to tell the truth though: at first I didn't like the book, but my mom knew that I would, so she kept pushing me to keep reading.

I'm so glad she did! I read it and fell in love with the book and can't wait till the whole series is MINE.

Till Next Time Hold My Place

KT

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Serenity #10:Girl Overboard!

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From The Back Of The Book:
The outer girl is different, but what about her heart?

It's makeover time as Serenity sets out to do a radical overhaul on her closet--and her image. But major changes in her hair, her clothes, and her attitude just leave her feeling all wrong. Can she find her own voice--and the right hair color--before she loses herself completely?

Then, in a mini-movie that harkens back to the horror films of the 1930s, Serenity and her friends create "Fraulein Stein's Monster." When a mad scientist becomes obsessed, will the monster soon be the master?



My Thoughts: Well, reading friends, this is the last book for now in this series.

That I know of, at least.

I hope that you read this series, and that you get some great lessons from reading them. I will never forget the things these books have taught me. Plus, these are the kinds of books you can read again and again.

Till Next Time Hold My Place

KT

Monday, June 23, 2008

Serenity #9: Choosing Chang!

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From The Back Of The Book: A Night at the Drive-in Leaves Serenity Reeling

Serenity decides the best way to make Derek jealous is by dating other guys. But the date she arranges forces her to decide what she really wants in a relationship. Who knew trying to do the right thing could be so confusing?

Then, Serenity and her pals film another mini-movie--this one a Biblical epic, "Esther, Queen of Persia." Whisked away to take part in a royal beauty contest, lovely young Esther realizes there may be a purpose and plan to life beyond what she can imagine.



My Thoughts: I love the two books in one thing--it is so cool!

People, you have got to read these books--they are so great for any teenager.

These books will teach you stuff about yourself you never would think of.

They make you think more than ever about stuff that really matters.

Till Next Time Hold My Place

KT

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Serenity #8:Sunday Best!

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From The Back Of The Book: Serenity's got a sinking feeling

Serenity wants to change for the better, but when a clumsy attempt at doing the right thing goes awry, she finds herself over her head in deep waters. Will she sink on her own . . . or accept help from an unexpected source?

Then in the latest mini-movie from Serenity and her pals--this one a disaster epic--an earthquake leaves the local mall crumbling. When a group of curious kids meet a gang of vicious looters, things really get shaky as they find themselves "Crawling from the Wreckage."

My Thoughts: This manga is great!

It shows us how hard it is for both saved and unsaved people to try to do the right thing.

We take things for granted and we don't even know we do it.

I think that this book is going to help us in things we struggle with.


Till Next Time Hold My Place

KT

Saturday, June 21, 2008

TEEN First Presents Mixed Bags by Melody Carlson!



It's June 21st, time for the Teen FIRST blog tour!(Join our alliance! Click the button!) Every 21st, we will feature an author and his/her latest Teen fiction book's FIRST chapter!




and her book:



Zondervan (May 1, 2008)




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

In sixth grade, Melody Carlson helped start a school newspaper called The BuccaNews (her school’s mascot was a Buccaneer...arrr!). As editor of this paper, she wrote most of the material herself, creating goofy phony bylines to hide the fact that the school newspaper was mostly a "one man" show.

Visit the Melody's website to see all of her wonderful and various book titles.

Don't miss the second book in this series: Stealing Bradford (Carter House Girls, Book 2)

And one of her latest, A Mile in My Flip-Flops will be featured on FIRST Blog Alliance on July 1st!

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (May 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310714885
ISBN-13: 978-0310714880



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

“Desiree,” called Inez as she knocked on the other side of the closed bedroom door. “Mrs. Carter wants to see you downstairs.”

“The name is DJ.”

“I’m sorry, but your grandmother has instructed me to call you Desiree.”

DJ opened the door and looked down on the short and slightly overweight middle-aged housekeeper. “And I have instructed you to call me DJ.”

Inez’s dark eyes twinkled as she gave her a sly grin. “Yes, but it’s your grandmother who pays my salary, Desiree. I take orders from Mrs. Carter. And she wants to see you downstairs in her office, pronto.”

DJ grabbed her favorite Yankees ball cap and shoved it onto her head, pulling her scraggly looking blonde ponytail through the hole in the back of it.

“You’re wearing that?” asked Inez with a frown. “You know what your grandmother says about?—?-”

“Look,” said DJ. “My grandmother might pay you to take orders from her, but I’m a free agent. Got that?”

Inez chuckled. “I got that. But you’re the one who’ll be getting it before too long, Desiree.”

“DJ,” she growled as she tromped loudly down the curving staircase. Why had she let Dad talk her into living with her grandmother for her last two years of high school? She’d only been here since last spring, late into the school year, but long enough to know that it was nearly unbearable. Boarding school would be better than this. At least she’d have a little privacy there and no one constantly riding her?—?-telling her how to act, walk, look, and think. She wished there were some way, short of running away (which would be totally stupid), out of this uncomfortable arrangement.

“There you are,” said Grandmother when DJ walked into the office. Her grandmother frowned at her ball cap and then pasted what appeared to be a very forced smile onto her collagen-injected lips. “I want you to meet a new resident.” She made a graceful hand movement, motioning to where an attractive and somewhat familiar-looking Latina woman was sitting next to a fashionably dressed girl who seemed to be about DJ’s age, but could probably pass for older. The girl was beautiful. Even with the scowl creasing her forehead, it was obvious that this girl was stunning. Her skin was darker than her mother’s, latte-colored and creamy. Her long black hair curled softly around her face. She had high cheekbones and dramatic eyes.

DJ noticed her grandmother smiling her approval on this unhappy-looking girl. But the girl looked oblivious as she fiddled with the gold chain of what looked like an expensive designer bag. Not that DJ was an expert when it came to fashion. The woman stood politely, extending her hand to DJ.

“I’d like to present my granddaughter, Desiree Lane.” Grandmother turned back to DJ now, the approval evaporating from her expression. “Desiree, this is Ms. Perez and her daughter Taylor.”

DJ shook the woman’s hand and mumbled, “Nice to meet you.” But the unfriendly daughter just sat in the leather chair, one long leg elegantly crossed over the other, as she totally ignored everyone in the room.

Grandmother continued speaking to DJ, although DJ suspected this little speech was for Taylor’s mother. “Ms. Perez and I first met when my magazine featured her for her illustrious music career. Her face graced our cover numerous times over the years. Perhaps you’ve heard of Eva Perez.”

The woman smiled. “Or perhaps not,” she said in a voice that was as smooth as honey. “According to my daughter, kids in your age group don’t comprise even a minuscule part of my fan base.”

DJ smiled at the woman now. “Actually, I have heard of you, Ms. Perez. My mom used to play your CDs. She was a serious Latin jazz fan.”

“Was?” She frowned. “I hope her taste in music hasn’t changed. I need all the fans I can get these days.”

Grandmother cleared her throat. “Desiree’s mother?—?-my daughter?—?-was killed in a car accident about a year ago.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry.”

DJ sort of nodded. She never knew how to react when -people said they were sorry about the loss of her mother. It wasn’t as if it were their fault.

“Desiree,” said Grandmother, “Would you mind giving Taylor a tour of the house while I go over some business details with her mother?”

“No problem.”

Grandmother’s recently Botoxed forehead creased ever so slightly, and DJ knew that, once again, she had either said the wrong thing, used bad grammar, or was slumping like a “bag of potatoes.” Nothing she did ever seemed right when it came to her grandmother. “And after the tour, perhaps you could show Taylor to her room.”

“Which room?” asked DJ, feeling concerned. Sure, Taylor might be a perfectly nice person, even if a little snobbish, but DJ was not ready for a roommate just yet.

“The blue room, please. Inez has already taken some of Taylor’s bags up for her. Thank you, Desiree.”

Feeling dismissed as well as disapproved of, DJ led their reluctant new resident out to the foyer. “Well, you’ve probably already seen this.” DJ waved her arm toward the elegant front entrance with its carved double doors and shining marble floor and Persian rug. She motioned toward the ornate oak staircase. “And that’s where the bedrooms are, but we can see that later.” She walked through to the dining room. “This is where we chow down.” She pointed to the swinging doors. “The kitchen’s back there, but the cook, Clara, can be a little witchy about trespassers.” DJ snickered. “Besides, my grandmother does not want her girls to spend much time in the kitchen anyway.”

“Like that’s going to be a problem,” said Taylor, the first words she’d spoken since meeting DJ.

“Huh?” said DJ.

“I don’t imagine anyone is going to be exactly pigging out around here. I mean aren’t we all supposed to become famous models or something?” asked Taylor as she examined a perfectly manicured thumbnail.

DJ frowned. “Well, my grandmother did edit one of the biggest fashion magazines in the world, but I don’t think that means we’re all going to become famous models. I know I’m not.”

Taylor peered curiously at her. “Why not? You’ve got the height, the build, and you’re not half bad looking .?.?. well, other than the fact that you obviously have absolutely no style.” She sort of laughed, but not with genuine humor. “But then you’ve got your grandmother to straighten that out for you.”

DJ just shook her head. “I think my grandmother will give up on me pretty soon. Especially when the others get here. She’ll have girls with more promise to set her sights on.” At least that was what DJ was hoping.

“Has anyone else arrived?”

“Not yet.” DJ continued the tour. “This is the library.” She paused to allow Taylor to look inside the room and then moved on. “And that’s the sunroom, or observatory, as Grandmother calls it.” She laughed. “Hearing her talk about this house sometimes reminds me of playing Clue.”

“What?”

“You know, the murder game, like where Colonel Mustard kills Mrs. Peacock with a wrench in the observatory.”

“Oh, I never played that.”

“Right .?.?.” Then DJ showed Taylor the large living room, the most modern space in the house. Grandmother had put this room together shortly after deciding to take on her crazy venture. Above the fireplace hung a large flat-screen TV, which was connected to a state-of-the-art DVD and sound system. This was encircled by some comfortable pieces of leather furniture, pillows, and throws.

“Not bad,” admitted Taylor.

“Welcome back to the twenty-first century.”

“Do you have wireless here?”

“Yeah. I told Grandmother it was a necessity for school.”

“Good.”

“This house has been in our family for a long time,” said DJ as she led Taylor up the stairs. “But no one has lived here for the past twenty years. My grandmother had it restored after she retired a -couple of years ago.” DJ didn’t add that her grandmother had been forced to retire due to her age (a carefully guarded and mysterious number) or that this new business venture, boarding teen “debutantes,” was to help supplement her retirement income. Those were strict family secrets and, despite DJ’s angst in living here, she did have a sense of family loyalty?—?-at least for the time being. She wasn’t sure if she could control herself indefinitely.

DJ stopped at the second-floor landing. “The bedrooms are on this floor, and the third floor has a ballroom that would be perfect for volleyball, although Grandmother has made it clear that it’s not that kind of ballroom.” She led Taylor down the hall. “My bedroom is here,” she pointed to the closed door. “And yours is right next door.” She opened the door. “The blue room.”

Taylor looked into the pale blue room and shook her head in a dismal way. “And is it true that I have to share this room with a perfect stranger?”

“Well, I don’t know how perfect she’ll be.”

“Funny.” Taylor rolled her eyes as she opened a door to one of the walk-in closets opposite the beds.

“I try.”

“It’s not as big as I expected.”

“It’s bigger than it looks,” said DJ as she walked into the room and then pointed to a small alcove that led to the bathroom.

“Do I get any say in who becomes my roommate?”

“I guess you can take that up with my grandmother.”

Taylor tossed her purse onto the bed closest to the bathroom and then kicked off her metallic-toned sandals. “These shoes might be Marc Jacobs, but they’re killing me.”

“So, you’re really into this?” asked DJ. “The whole fashion thing?”

Taylor sat down on the bed, rubbing a foot. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good.”

DJ felt the need to bite her tongue. Taylor was her grandmother’s first official paying customer to arrive and participate in this crazy scheme. Far be it from DJ to rock Grandmother’s boat. At least not just yet.

“Well, thanks for the tour,” said Taylor in a bored voice. Then she went over to where a set of expensive-looking luggage was stacked in a corner. “Don’t the servants around here know how to put things away properly?”

“Properly?” DJ shrugged.

Taylor picked up the top bag and laid it down on the bench at the foot of one of the beds and opened it.

“Don’t you want to go down and tell your mom good-bye?” asked DJ as she moved toward the door.

Taylor laughed in a mean way. “And make her think she’s doing me a favor by dumping me here? Not on your life.”

“Here are some more bags for Miss Mitchell,” said Inez as she lugged two large suitcases into the room, setting them by the door.

“Put them over there,” commanded Taylor, pointing to the bench at the foot of the other bed. “And don’t pile them on top of each other. This happens to be Louis Vuitton, you know.”

DJ saw Inez make a face behind Taylor’s back. But the truth was DJ didn’t blame her. Inez might be a housekeeper, but she didn’t deserve to be treated like a slave. Suddenly, DJ felt guilty for snapping at Inez earlier today. She smiled now, and Inez looked surprised and a little suspicious. Then DJ grabbed the largest bag, hoisted it onto the bench with a loud grunt, and Taylor turned around and gave her a dark scowl.

“Thank you,” she snapped.

“Later,” said DJ as she exited the room with Inez on her heels.

“Mrs. Carter wants to see you downstairs, Desiree,” announced Inez when they were out on the landing.

“Again?” complained DJ. “What for?”

“Another girl just arrived. Your grandmother wants you to give her a tour too.”

“What am I now?” asked DJ. “The official tour guide?”

“That sounds about right.” Inez gave her a smirk.

DJ wasn’t sure if she could stomach another fashion diva with an attitude problem, but on the other hand, she didn’t want to risk another etiquette lecture from her grandmother either. Once again, she clomped down the stairs and made her appearance in the office, suppressing the urge to bow and say, “At your ser-vice, Madam.”

“Eliza,” gushed Grandmother, “This is my granddaughter, Desiree Lane. And Desiree, I’d like you to meet Eliza Wilton.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Desiree.”

DJ nodded. She could tell by how formal her grandmother was acting that Eliza Wilton must be someone really important?—?-meaning extraordinarily wealthy?—?-even more so than the Mitchells. And that’s when she remembered her grandmother going on about “the Wilton fortune” this morning at breakfast. Of course, that must be Eliza’s family.

“Nice to meet ya, Eliza,” DJ said in a purposely casual tone. This girl was pretty too, but not like Taylor’s dark and dramatic beauty. Eliza was a tall, slender, impeccably dressed, blue-eyed blonde. She wasn’t exactly a Paris Hilton clone?—?-and she didn’t have a little dog as far as DJ could see?—?-but there was a similarity, except that Eliza’s face was a little softer looking, a little sweeter, but then looks could be deceiving.

DJ wondered if the Botox was starting to wear off, as her grandmother studied her with a furrowed brow, probably comparing her to Miss Perfect Eliza. Naturally, DJ would not measure up.

“Eliza is from Louisville,” said Grandmother. “Her parents are presently residing in France, where her father just purchased a vineyard. But Eliza’s grandmother and I are old friends. We went to college together. When she heard about what I was doing up here in Connecticut, she encouraged her daughter to send dear Eliza our way.”

“Lucky Eliza,” said DJ in a droll tone.

Eliza actually giggled. Then Grandmother cleared her throat. “Desiree will give you a tour of the house,” she said. “And she’ll show you to your room.”

“Which is .?.?.??” asked DJ.

“The rose room.”

Of course, thought DJ as she led Eliza from the office. Next to her grandmother’s suite, the rose room was probably the best room in the house. Naturally, someone as important as Eliza would be entitled to that. Not that DJ had wanted it. And perhaps her grandmother had actually offered it to her last month. DJ couldn’t remember. But she had never been a flowery sort of girl, and she knew the rose wallpaper in there would’ve been giving her a serious migraine by now. Besides she liked her sunny yellow bedroom and, in her opinion, it had the best view in the house. On a clear day, you could actually glimpse a sliver of the Atlantic Ocean from her small bathroom window.

DJ started to do a repeat of her earlier tour, even using the same lines, until she realized that Eliza was actually interested.

“How old is this house?”

“Just over a hundred years,” DJ told her. “It was built in 1891.”

“It has a nice feel to it.”

DJ considered this. “Yeah, I kinda thought that too, after I got used to it. To be honest, it seemed pretty big to me at first. But then you’re probably used to big houses.”

“I suppose. Not that I’m particularly fond of mansions.”

“Why aren’t you with your parents?” asked DJ. “In France?”

“They’re concerned about things like politics and security,” said Eliza as they exited the library. “In fact, they almost refused to let me come here.”

“Why?”

“Oh, I think they felt I was safer in boarding school. If our grandmothers hadn’t been such good friends, I’m sure they never would’ve agreed.”

“So, you’re happy to be here?” DJ studied Eliza’s expression.

“Sure, aren’t you?”

DJ frowned. “I don’t know .?.?. I guess.”

“I think it’ll be fun to go to a real high school, to just live like a normal girl, with other normal girls.”

DJ tried not to look too shocked. “You think this is normal?”

Eliza laughed. “I guess I don’t really know what normal is, but it’s more normal that what I’m used to.”

“But what about the whole fashion thing?” asked DJ. “I mean you must know about my grandmother’s plans to turn us all into little debutantes. Are you into all that?”

“That’s nothing new. Remember, I’m from the south. My family is obsessed with turning me into a lady. That was one of the other reasons my parents agreed to this. I think they see the Carter House as some sort of finishing school.”

Or some sort of reformatory school, thought DJ. Although she didn’t say it out loud. Not yet, anyway.

Serenity #7:Space Cadet vs. Drama Queen

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From The Back Of The Book: Serenity Stars in a Movie that's Really Out of This World

It's Life! Camera! Action! for Serenity and her pals when they set out to film their own sci-fi movie. “Space Cadet vs. Drama Queen” features two stories--the continuation of Serenity's adventures plus a bonus "movie" story that Serenity and her friends have filmed, "Terror from the Tarantula Nebula"--a high-adventure thriller complete with aliens, a mysterious princess, and one scary spider.

Ever the diva, Serenity steals the scene as she tussles with her friends and feuds with her mom. Can the gang hold it together long enough for the movie to wrap, or will they put Serenity on the first spaceship outta here?



My Thoughts: Now these manga have two stories in one book--isn't that great!

In this book they are making movies, fun and thrilling movies on their own.

And there's so much drama in this one that it's THAT good.

Till Next Time Hold My Place

KT

Friday, June 20, 2008

Serenity #6: You Shall Love

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From The Back Of The Book: A Broken Bone -- and Heart -- Finds Serenity at a Major Crossroad.

Her leg's in a cast, the power's out, and Serenity's bored stiff. Searching for answers and willing to risk everything, Serenity gets serious about some major life changes. There's healing for the broken - and unexpected new challenges - in this transforming story.






My Thoughts:

I have been reading books for a long time now and I think that this is the first time I have ever gotten anything solid out of reading books.

These short books are great tools for Christian kids today.

It will make them think more and they will learn more then they would have thought possible. Especially about sharing their faith.

Till Next Time Hold My Place

KT

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Serenity #5:Snow Biz

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From the Back Of the Book: A Ski Trip of Hot-Dogging and Hot-Tubbing Lands Serenity in Hot Water.

Serenity's dream of the perfect ski trip is about to melt down. First she's not sure her boss will let her off work. Then she's clueless what to expect once she's actually on the slopes. One thing's certain, no one causes more friction on the slopes than Serenity.



My Thoughts:

I think that this manga and the other ones help us by showing us how real Christians can handle a friend like Serenity.

I have a friend almost like Serenity, and when I would talk about my faith she would change the subject on me.

In these mangas we're shown how to handle friends like Serenity and shown that if we're not acting like real Christians then our friends won't believe us when we talk to them.

Till Next Time Hold My Place

KT

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Serenity #4:Rave-n-rant

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From the Back of the Book: Serenity Finds Out the Hard Way What Happens at All Night Raves ...
Doesn't Always Stay There.

Escaping work, Serenity parties all night at a rave. But the rave turns into a rant when an intimate conversation reveals some frank truths. And when she realizes her friends may not actually even like her - things really come to a head. It's all about love in this all-new adventure.


My Thoughts:

This manga just gets better and better. I love this edition because it kept me on my toes the whole time I was reading it. It will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.

You will be so shocked at what you read in this one (and I mean that in a good way!).

Till Next Time Hold My Place

KT

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Serenity #3:Basket Case

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From the Back of the Book: Serenity a Mom?
The Thought's Enough to Make Her Crack.

It's the last project she ever expected. Her health class requres each student to care for chicken eggs 24/7 to simulate the round-the-clock nurturing a real baby needs. Serenity thinks that's a tough assignment until she finds herself with much more than a baby chick to care for!

My Thoughts:

I think that this manga will hold your attention and will leave you wanting more.

It is the most amazing manga. They writers keep making it better.

I can't wait for the next ones in the series to come out.

Till Next Time Hold My Place

KT

Monday, June 16, 2008

Serenity #2:Stepping out

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From The Back of The Book:It's Deep Dish Trouble for Serenity.

Detention, date-stealing, and an out-of-control driving mishap. It all adds up to some unexpected twists and turns in Serenity's life - leading her to a job delivering pizzas and a desperate plea for deliverance that only God can answer.



My Thoughts:

I think that these books are great for people that are just thinking about God and for people that are wanting to help their unsaved friends.

I think that this series has helped me with my unsaved friends and helped me get better at being a Godly friend to them.

I think that those of you who read my blog should go out and buy them for your children.

I think that I'm done now:-)

Till Next Time Hold My Place
KT

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Serenity #1:Bad Girl In Town

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From The Back of The Book: Everyone Needs a Little Serenity --- or Do They?

She's only five feet tall and 98 pounds - but she's one tense bundle of attitude and anger.

Serenity's life is a mess on every front. Now she's got one last shot at a fresh start...but her new school seems to just be adding new problems.

Being the "New Kid" isn't making life any easier. But her friends might have just what she's been searching for - if they don't drive her crazy first.


My Thoughts:

I read this manga series a long time ago and I still love to read them. They make me laugh so much. The storyline has made me think about my unsaved friends and how some of them are probably thinking about my faith some times.

And then I think about how can I help them see that what I believe is true. I've learned that, sometimes, you just have to pray for them.

Till Next Time Hold My Place
KT

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Goofyfoot Gurl #4: Out Of The Soup!

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From The Back Of The Book:

Peace, Peace, love--and rockin' big waves! Chardonnay and her dad start rebuilding their rocky relationship, Scott and Ray's competition threatens to literally put both of them on the rocks and their lives on the line, and as Pooja and Zachai begin a little romance, Suki and the mystery man begin a big one.



My Thoughts:

Well, you guys are not going to beleve what happens in this one--but trust me, it's good! I've read this one almost ten times and I'm just about to read it again.

It's that good.

I hope that the next two are as good as this one was. Just to say give you a clue--something beautiful happens in this one for Suki, but I'm not telling!

I guess you'll just have to go out and by them all to find out what I'm Talking About. If you do go out and buy them, let me if five and six are as good. I hear that they are even better, but I don't know if it's true or not.

Ttill next time hold my place for me

KT

Friday, June 13, 2008

Goofyfoot Gurl #3: Come And Play!

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From The Back of The Book:

Suki makes contact with the mystery man in the hi-tech lair above the beach, and he shows her a thing or three about reading waves, the powers of observation, and delicious pastries.



My Thoughts:

I love the new guy's mohawk in the third manga, and he's not bad looking either! I hope that he and Suki get to be together.

This one has more drama then the last two I have read already. It's more intense than I thought it would be. I think that you will all love this third book as much as I did.

Till next time, hold my place for me,
KT

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Goofyfoot Gurl #2: When Dolphins Fly!

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From The Back of The Book:

Competition comes in many forms for Suki and her band of surfing buddies. Charonnay picks a fight with the new girl, Ray challenges everyone to beat him in a big surf and sand contest, and as if Suki didn't have her hands full already, she stumbles into the hi-tech lair of a mysterious figure, adding new complications only Suki has the chutzpah to handle.


My Thoughts:

I loved manga two of "Goofyfoot Gurl" as much as the first one they did. It had more mystery this time. Plus I love Suki! She makes me laugh so much that one time I almost cried while reading it.

I don't know how they come up with things like these mangas. But they're good and I wish more stores would sell them (so I could find the last two in the series).

Till next time hold my place for me,

KT

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Goofyfoot Gurl #1: Let There Be Lighten Up!

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From The Back Of The Book:Suki and friends are all about catching a wave and chilin' at the beach, but everyone's got their own problems to deal with -- a lack of serious funds, a new young step-mom, M.I.A. parents, and even the possibility of an arranged marriage!

New crushes and a mysterious stranger are waiting just behind the next wave.


My Thoughts:

I know that I'm 18 now but, I did read this manga novel--which to my surprise, I like!

It was like reading a book, but it was short. I loved the storyline of the manga. It is something all girls--and even maybe some guys--may like as much as I have liked them.

Till then, hold my place for me,

KT

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Finding Hollywood Nobody By Lisa Samson

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The Back Of The Book:

For fifteen-year-old Scotty Dawn, life is starting to resemble a movie.

After learning that her movie-industry mom is actually her grandmother, Scotty receives more shocking news: Her father was killed by the mob. With his murderer still at large, Scotty hides out on a film set in Texas. There she encounters old rivals, new friends, and a young girl caught in a desperate situation. But in the middle of her fears and intense loneliness, Scotty discovers the life-changing power of prayer.

Lisa Samson presents the second in a four-part series for young women. Readers will encounter entertaining stories, smart dialogue, and meaningful themes that impact their everyday lives.



My Thoughts:

This book was so much better then the first one! It kept me on my toes the whole time I read it.

I love the twists and turns in this book! There were so many surprises in this one. I can't wait till the next one comes out. I think that you should all go out and buy this book.

It made me cry, laugh, and it made me happy. I think this is the best novel that Lisa Samson has written.

Till then, hold my place for me,

KT

Dark Power Collection By Bill Myers

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From The Back Of The Book:

Some doors are better left unopened. Some doors, you don’t want to find out what lies behind them. In the Forbidden Doors series by bestselling author Bill Myers, teenager Rebecca “Becka” Williams, her younger brother Scott, and her friend Ryan Riordan are swept into heart-stopping encounters with an all-too-real invisible world—a world fraught with deception and spiritual adversaries that promise goodness and enlightenment but will stop at nothing to destroy life, sanity, and human souls.

Witchcraft. Reincarnation. Ouija Boards. UFOs. Shamanism. Counterfeit spiritualities are widespread and popular with spiritually searching young adults such as Becka’s peers. What’s the harm? Find out.

Join Becka, Scott, and Ryan as they head for mind-bending clashes between the forces of darkness and the kingdom of God. Combining meticulous research, realistic settings, and masterful storytelling, the Forbidden Doors novels take you from the mountains of New Mexico to the inner workings of a secret society—and into the truth of God’s Word, which exposes lies and reveals the reality of spiritual warfare. Each volume in the series contains three books that center around a particular kind of Forbidden Door.

Book One: Dark Powers contains The Society, The Deceived, and The Spell; Book Two: Invisible Terror contains The Haunting, The Guardian, and The Encounter; Book Three: Deadly Loyalty contains The Curse, The Undead, and The Scream; Book Four: Ancient Forces contains The Ancients, The Wiccan, and The Cards



My Thoughts: I have been a big fan of the Bill Myers book series called "Forbidden Doors" for a long time, and when the new editions of the books came out I flipped out! I told my mom that I had to get them, even though I already had the old ones.

I love the way that all the books that have similar themes are put into one book. It makes it so much more fun to read them all at once.

Even though I have already read them before, they still make me sit on the edge of my seat. We need to know the dangers of these occult things, but we don't need to get into them to discover what they are all about.

Bill Myers has provided a way to get educated while learning what Scripture says about each topic. Don't be fooled, though! These books can be chilling. I'm so glad my mom got these for me. I plan on re-reading the rest of the series.

Till then hold my place

KT

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Teen First Presents House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo




It's May 21st, time for the Teen FIRST blog tour!(Join our alliance! Click the button!) Every 21st, we will feature an author and his/her latest Teen fiction book's FIRST chapter!


and his book:



Thomas Nelson (May 6, 2008)




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robert Liparulo is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly. He has sold or optioned three screenplays.

Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.

Here are some of his titles:

Comes a Horseman

Germ

Deadfall




AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:



“A house of which one knows every room isn't worth living in.”

—Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa






Prologue


Thirty years ago

The walls of the house absorbed the woman’s screams, until they felt to her as muffled and pointless as yelling underwater. Still, her lungs kept pushing out cries for help. Her attacker carried her over his shoulder. The stench of his sweat filled her nostrils. He paid no heed to her frantic writhing, or the pounding of her fists on his back, or even her fingernails, which dug furrows into his flesh. He simply lumbered, as steadily as a freight train, through the corridors of the big house.

She knew where they were heading, but not where she would end up. In this house, nothing was normal, nothing as it appeared. So while she knew in advance the turns her attacker would take, which hallways and doors he would traverse, their destination was as unknowable as a faraway galaxy. And that meant her taking would be untraceable. She would be unreachable to searchers. To would-be rescuers. To her family— and that realization terrified her more than being grabbed out of her bed. More than the flashes of imagined cruelty she would suffer away from the protection of the people who loved her. More than death.

But then she saw something more terrifying: her children, scrambling to catch up, to help. Their eyes were wide, streaming. They stumbled up the narrow staircase behind her attacker, seeming far below, rising to meet her. The thought of them following her into the chasm of her fate was more than she could stand.

“Go back,” she said, but by this time her throat was raw, her voice weak.

The man reached the landing and turned into another corridor.

Temporarily out of sight, her son yelled, “Mom!” His seven-year-old voice was almost lost in the shrillness of his panic. He appeared on the landing. His socked feet slipped on the hardwood floor and he went down. Behind him, his little sister stopped. She was frightened and confused, too young to do anything more than follow her brother. He clambered up and started to run again.

A hand gripped his shoulder, jarring him back.

The boy’s father had something in his fist: the lamp from his nightstand! He past the boy in the hallway. His bare feet gave him traction.

Thank God, she thought.

He reached her in seconds. With the lamp raised over his head, he grabbed her wrist. He pulled, tried to anchor himself to the floor, to the carpeted runner now covering the wood planks. But the brute under her walked on, tugging him with them. The man yanked on her arm. Pain flared in her shoulder. He might as well have tried pulling her from a car as it sped passed.

She caught a glimpse of the bizarrely shaped light fixtures on the corridor walls—mostly carved faces with glowing eyes. The bulbs flickered in time with her racing heart. She could not remember any of the lights doing that before. It was as though the electrical current running through the wires was responding to a disruption in the way things were supposed to be, a glitch in reality.

“Henry,” she said, pleading, hopeful.

His grip tightened as he stumbled along behind them. He brought the lamp’s heavy base down on her assailant. If the man carrying her flinched, she did not feel it. If he grunted or yelled out, she did not hear it.

What he did was stop. He spun around so quickly, the woman’s husband lost his grip on her. And now facing the other direction, she lost sight of him. Being suddenly denied her husband’s visage felt like getting the wind knocked out of her. She realized he was face to face with the man who’d taken her, and that felt like watching him step off a cliff.

“Nooo!” she screamed, her voice finding some volume. “Henry!”

His hand gripped her ankle, then broke free. The man under her moved in a violent dance, jostling her wildly. He spun again and her head struck the wall.

The lights went out completely . . . . but no, not the lights . . . her consciousness. It came back to her slowly, like the warmth of fire on a blistery day.

She tasted blood. She’d bitten her tongue. She opened her eyes. Henry was crumpled on the floor, receding as she was carried away. The children stood over him, touching him, calling him. Her son’s eyes found hers again. Determination hardened his jaw, pushed away the fear . . . at least a measure of it. He stepped over his father’s legs, coming to her rescue. Henry raised his head, weary, stunned. He reached for the boy, but missed.

Over the huffing breath of the man, the soft patter of her son’s feet reached her ears. How she’d loved that sound, knowing it was bringing him to her. Now she wanted it to carry him away, away from this danger. Her husband called to him in a croaking, strained voice. The boy kept coming.

She spread her arms. Her left hand clutched at open air, but the right one touched a wall. She clawed at it. Her nails snagged the wallpaper. One nail peeled back from her finger and snapped off.

Her assailant turned again, into a room—one of the small antechambers, like a mud room before the real room. He strode straight toward the next threshold.

Her son reached the first door, catching it as it was closing.

“Mom!” Panic etched old-man lines into his young face. His eyes appeared as wide as his mouth. He banged his shoulder on the jamb, trying to hurry in.

“Stay!” she said. She showed him her palms in a “stop” gesture, hoping he would understand, hoping he would obey. She took in his face, as a diver takes in a deep breath before plunging into the depths. He was fully in the antechamber now, reaching for her with both arms, but her captor had already opened the second door and was stepping through. The door was swinging shut behind him.

The light they were stepping into was bright. It swept around her, through the opening, and made pinpoints of the boy’s irises. His blue eyes dazzled. His cheeks glistened with tears. He wore his favorite pajamas—little R2D2s and C3P0s all over them, becoming threadbare and too small for him.

“I—“ she started, meaning to say she loved him, but the brute bounded downward, driving his shoulder into her stomach. Air rushed from her, unformed by vocal chords, tongue, lips. Just air.

“Moooom!” her son screamed. Full of despair. Reaching. Almost to the door.
“Mo—“

The door closed, separating her from her family forever.




1


Now

Saturday, 4:55 P.M.

“Nothing but trees,” the bear said in Xander’s voice. It repeated itself: “Nothing but trees.”

Xander King turned away from the car window and stared into the smiling furry face, with its shiny half-bead eyes and stitched-on nose. He said, “I mean it, Toria. Get that thing out of my face. And turn it off.”

His sister’s hands moved quickly over the teddy bear’s paws, all the while keeping it suspended three inches in front of Xander. The bear said, “I mean it, Toria. Get that—”

At fifteen years old, Xander was too old to be messing around with little-kid toys. He seized the bear, squeezing the paw that silenced it.

“Mom!” Toria yelled. ”Make him give Wuzzy back!” She grabbed for it.

Xander turned away from her, tucking Wuzzy between his body and the car door. Outside his window, nothing but trees—as he had said and Wuzzy had agreed. It reminded him of a movie, as almost everything did. This time, it was The Edge, about a bear intent on eating Anthony Hopkins. An opening shot of the wilderness where it was filmed showed miles and miles of lush forest. Nothing but trees.

A month ago, his dad had announced that he had accepted a position as principal of a school six hundred miles away, and the whole King family had to move from the only home Xander had ever known. It was a place he had never even heard of: Pinedale, almost straight north from their home in Pasadena. Still in California, but barely. Pinedale. The name itself said “hick,” “small,” and “If you don’t die here, you’ll wish you had.” Of course, he had screamed, begged, sulked, and threatened to run away. But in the end here he was, wedged in the back seat with his nine-year-old sister and twelve-year-old brother.

The longer they drove, the thicker the woods grew and the more miserable he became. It was bad enough, leaving his friends, his school—everything!—but to be leaving them for hicksville, in the middle of nowhere, was a stake through his heart.

“Mom!” Toria yelled again, reaching for the bear.

Xander squeezed closer to the door, away from her. He must have put pressure on the bear in the wrong place: It began chanting in Toria’s whiny voice: “Mom! Mom! Mom!”

He frantically squeezed Wuzzy’s paws, but could not make it stop.

“Mom! Mom! Mom!”

The controls in the bear’s arms weren’t working. Frustrated by its continuous one-word poking at his brain—and a little concerned he had broken it and would have to buy her a new one—he looked to his sister for help.

She wasn’t grabbing for it anymore. Just grinning. One of those see-what-happens-when-you-mess-with-me smiles.

“Mom! Mom! Mom!”

Xander was about to show her what happened when you messed with him—the possibilities ranged from a display of his superior vocal volume to ripping Mr. Wuzzy’s arms right off—when the absurdity of it struck him. He cracked up.

“I mean it,” he laughed. “This thing is driving me crazy.” He shook the bear at her. It continued yelling for their mother.

His brother David, who was sitting on the other side of Toria and who had been doing a good job of staying out of the fight, started laughing too. He mimicked the bear, who was mimicking their sister: “Mom! Mom! Mom!”

Mrs. King shifted around in the front passenger seat. She was smiling, but her eyes were curious.

“Xander broke Wuzzy!” Toria whined. “He won’t turn off.” She pulled the bear out of Xander’s hands.

The furry beast stopped talking: “Mo—” Then, blessed silence.

Toria looked from brother to brother and they laugh again.

Xander shrugged. “I guess he just doesn’t like me.”

“He only likes me,” Toria said, hugging it.

“Oh, brother,” David said. He went back to the PSP game that had kept him occupied most of the drive.

Mom raised her eyebrows at Xander and said, “Be nice.”

Xander rolled his eyes. He adjusted his shoulders and wiggled his behind, nudging Toria. “It’s too cramped back here. It may be an SUV, but it isn’t big enough for us anymore.”

“Don’t start that,” his father warned from behind the wheel. He angled the rearview mirror to see his son.

“What?” Xander said, acting innocent.

“I did the same thing with my father,” Dad said. “The car’s too small . . . it uses too much gas . . . it’s too run down . . . ”

Xander smiled. “Well, it is.”

“And if we get a new car, what should we do with this one?”

“Well . . . .” Xander said. “You know. It’d be a safe car for me.” A ten-year-old Toyota 4Runner wasn’t his idea of cool wheels, but it was transportation.

Dad nodded. “Getting you a car is something we can talk about, okay? Let’s see how you do.”

“I have my driver’s permit. You know I’m a good driver.”

“He is,” Toria chimed in.

David added, “And then he can drive us to school.”

“I didn’t mean just the driving,” Dad said. He paused, catching Xander’s eyes in the mirror. “I mean with all of this, the move and everything.”

Xander stared out the window again. He mumbled, “Guess I’ll never get a car, then.”

“Xander?” Dad said. “I didn’t hear that.”

“Nothing.”

“He said he’ll never get a car,” Toria said.

Silence. David’s thumbs clicked furiously over the PSP buttons. Xander was aware of his mom watching him. If he looked, her eyes would be all sad-like, and she would be frowning in sympathy for him. He thought maybe his dad was looking too, but only for an opportunity to explain himself again. Xander didn’t want to hear it. Nothing his old man said would make this okay, would make ripping him out of his world less awful than it was.

“Dad, is the school’s soccer team good? Did they place?” David asked. Xander knew his brother wasn’t happy about the move either, but jumping right into the sport he was so obsessed about went a long way toward making the change something he could handle. Maybe Xander was like that three years ago, just rolling with the punches. He couldn’t remember. But now he had things in his life David didn’t: friends who truly mattered, ones he thought he’d spend the rest of his life with. Kids didn’t think that way. Friends could come and go and they adjusted. True, Xander had known his current friends for years, but they hadn’t become like blood until the last year or so.

That got him thinking about Danielle. He pulled his mobile phone from his shirt pocket and checked it. No text messages from her. No calls. She hadn’t replied to the last text he’d sent. He keyed in another: “Forget me already? JK.” But he wasn’t Just Kidding. He knew the score: Out of sight, out of mind. She had said all the right things, like We’ll talk on the phone all the time; You come down and see me and I’ll come up to see you, okay? and I’ll wait for you.

Yeah, sure you will, he thought. Even during the past week, he’d sensed a coldness in her, an emotional distancing. When he’d told his best friend, Dean had shrugged. Trying to sound world-wise, he’d said, “Forget her, dude. She’s a hot young babe. She’s gotta move on. You too. Not like you’re married, right?” Dean had never liked Danielle.

Xander tried to convince himself she was just another friend he was forced to leave behind. But there was a different kind of ache in his chest when he thought about her. A heavy weight in his stomach.

Stop it! he told himself. He flipped his phone closed.

On his mental list of the reasons to hate the move to Pinedale, he moved on to the one titled “career.” He had just started making short films with his buddies, and was pretty sure it was something he would eventually do for a living. They weren’t much, just short skits he and his friends acted out. He and Dean wrote the scripts, did the filming, used computer software to edit an hour of video into five-minute films, and laid music over them. They had six already on YouTube—with an average rating of four-and-a-half stars and a boatload of praise. Xander had dreams of getting a short film into the festival circuit, which of course would lead to offers to do music videos and commercials, probably an Oscar and onto feature movies starring Russell Crowe and Jim Carrey. Pasadena was right next to Hollywood, a twenty-minute drive. You couldn’t ask for a better place to live if you were the next Steven Spielberg. What in God’s creation would he find to film in Pinedale? Trees, he thought glumly, watching them fly past his window.

Dad, addressing David’s soccer concern, said, “We’ll talk about it later.”

Mom reached through the seatbacks to shake Xander’s knee. “It’ll work out,” she whispered.

“Wait a minute,” David said, understanding Dad-talk as well as Xander did. “Are you saying they suck—or that they don’t have a soccer team? You told me they did!”

“I said later, Dae.” His nickname came from Toria’s inability as a toddler to say David. She had also called Xander Xan, but it hadn’t stuck.

David slumped down in his seat.

Xander let the full extent of his misery show on his face for his mother.

She gave his knee a shake, sharing his misery. She was good that way. “Give it some time,” she whispered. “You’ll make new friends and find new things to do. Wait and see.”

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Chosen By Ted Dekker







From The Back Of The Book: The Horde have pummeled the Forest Guard, forcing Thomas Hunter to lower the recruitment age from eighteen to sixteen. From among the land's greatest warriors he chooses four of them to lead. But their mission takes a drastic turn for the worse when they are given a new task: To find the seven original Books of History before the Dark One can. So begins The Lost Books series consisting of Chosen, Infidel, Renegade and Chaos. If you're new to Dekker, this is the perfect place to begin. If you know the Circle Trilogy, four words: Hunter, Roush, Teeleh, Elyon. Dive Deep.

My Thoughts: I think this book has a ton of similarities toward the Bible and God and how He fights for us. Ted Dekker is a phenomenal writer.

At first I didn't think I'd like the book because I didn't really understand it (I hadn't read any of his other books before). Now, I'm blown away by how much I loved this story! I can't wait to get the rest of the series--I have to find out what happens.

The fact that Ted Dekker paints God in his books but yet it's hidden really appeals to me. I've never read a book like this before, and it's just amazing how he is able to communicate about God the way Mr. Dekker does it.

I wish he would keep writing more to this series, because his book is just amazing, and this is #3 on my list of favorite books. I wish every teen would go out and buy "Chosen" and read it. People who are especially strong in their faith will love this story.

Till then, hold my place for me!

KT

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Big Picture By Jenny B. Jones

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From The Back Of The Book:Katie Parker is having a bad day. After leaving the drive-in, where her imploding love life was the main attraction, Katie arrives home to a surprise guest. Her mother, a former convict and recovering addict, wants to take Katie away from her family, friends, and church. Now Katie''s life will be changed by a series of dramatic choices as she struggles to understand what family and home really means. A Katie Parker Production series offers teen girls real-world fiction balanced by hope and humor. The Big Picture helps us realize that the difficult chapters in our journey are only part of God''s big story for our lives.





My Thoughts:This book keeped me on my feet. This book was better then the first or the seconed book. It made me mad and then sad and then happy. But all an all it was asume it is a book that I would read agen and agen.

Till then,hold my place for me

KT

Dear Baby Girl By Jane Orcutt

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From The Back Of The Book:Dear Baby Girl, In all my fifteen years of growing up, I never once thought about what it'd be like for a new mama to leave the hospital with her baby in another pair of arms.
Sometimes life isn't quite what we've expected....sometimes it's better.


My Thoughts: I think this book is one of the most sadest books I've read but the best book ever.Jane Orcutt is a very good writer.She makes you feel like your there with all ofthem.

Till then,hold my place for me

KT

Splitting Harriet By Tamara Leigh

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From the Back of the Book:

Once upon a time, I was a rebel. And I have the tattoo to prove it.

Then there was the spiked hair–the shade of which changed monthly–“colorful” language that can’t be found in your everyday sixteen-count crayon box, a pack-a-day habit, less-than-modest wardrobe, and an obsession with guitar-trashing, drum-bashing music.

Did I mention I’m also a preacher’s kid? That’s right. And like the prodigal son after whom I modeled myself, I finally saw the error of my ways and returned to the fold.

Today my life is all about “lead me not into temptation.” When I’m not serving as Women’s Ministry Director at my father’s church, I’m working at Gloria’s Morning Café. I even have worthy goals, like saving enough money to buy the café, keep my Jelly Belly habit under control, and to never again hurt the people I love. No more parties. No more unsavory activities. And no more motorcycles! You’d think I was finally on the right track.

But since my dad’s replacement hired a hotshot church consultant to revive our “dying” church, things aren’t working out as planned. And now this “consultant” says I’m in need of a little reviving myself. Just who does this Maddox McCray think he is anyway? With his curly hair that could use a good clipping, tattoo that he makes no attempt to hide, and black leather pants, the man is downright dangerous. In fact, all that’s missing is a motorcycle. Or so I thought… But if he thinks he’s going to take me for a ride on that 1298cc machine of his, he can think again. Harriet Bisset is a reformed woman, and she’s going to stay that way. Even if it kills me!


My Thoughts:

This book is one of my most favorite ones that I have read all week. The way that Harriet used to live her life was just not what I thought it would be when I started the book. As a pastor's daughter I get the pressure she felt when she was younger.

I love the love triangle with her and two of the men working with church. She tris to get over her past so she can move on with her life. I like how it feels so real that you think that you're there with them. I think that Tamara Leigh is one of the best writers I have read. I can't wait to read more by her.

Till then, hold my place for me.

KT

Monday, April 21, 2008

Teen FIRST Presents "Chosen" by Ted Dekker



It's April 21st, time for the Teen FIRST blog tour!(Join our alliance! Click the button!) Every 21st, we will feature an author and his/her latest Teen fiction book's FIRST chapter!



and his book:

Thomas Nelson (January 1, 2008)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ted is the son of missionaries John and Helen Dekker, whose incredible story of life among headhunters in Indonesia has been told in several books. Surrounded by the vivid colors of the jungle and a myriad of cultures, each steeped in their own interpretation of life and faith, Dekker received a first-class education on human nature and behavior. This, he believes, is the foundation of his writing.

After graduating from a multi-cultural high school, he took up permanent residence in the United States to study Religion and Philosophy. After earning his Bachelor's Degree, Dekker entered the corporate world in management for a large healthcare company in California. Dekker was quickly recognized as a talent in the field of marketing and was soon promoted to Director of Marketing. This experience gave him a background which enabled him to eventually form his own company and steadily climb the corporate ladder.

Since 1997, Dekker has written full-time. He states that each time he writes, he finds his understanding of life and love just a little clearer and his expression of that understanding a little more vivid. To see a complete list of Dekker's work, visit The Works section of TedDekker.com.

Here are some of his latest titles:

Adam

Black: The Birth of Evil (The Circle Trilogy Graphic Novels, Book 1)

Saint



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


beginnings

Our story begins in a world totally like our own, yet completely different. What once happened here in our own history seems to be repeating itself thousands of years from now,
some time beyond the year 4000 AD.

But this time the future belongs to those who see opportunity before it becomes obvious. To the young, to the warriors, to the lovers. To those who can follow hidden clues and find a great
treasure that will unlock the mysteries of life and wealth.

Thirteen years have passed since the lush, colored forests were turned to desert by Teeleh, the enemy of Elyon and the vilest of all creatures. Evil now rules the land and shows itself as a painful, scaly disease that covers the flesh of the Horde, a people who live in the desert.

The powerful green waters, once precious to Elyon, have vanished from the earth except in seven small forests surrounding seven small lakes. Those few who have chosen to follow the ways of Elyon now live in these forests, bathing once daily in the powerful waters to cleanse their skin of the disease.

The number of their sworn enemy, the Horde, has grown in thirteen years and, fearing the green waters above all else, these desert dwellers have sworn to wipe all traces of the forests from
the earth.

Only the Forest Guard stands in their way. Ten thousand elite fighters against an army of nearly four hundred thousand Horde. But the Forest Guard is starting to crumble.

one

Day One

Qurong, general of the Horde, stood on the tall dune five miles west of the green forest, ignoring the fly that buzzed around his left eye.

His flesh was nearly white, covered with a paste that kept his skin from itching too badly. His long hair was pulled back and woven into dreadlocks, then tucked beneath the leather body armor
cinched tightly around his massive chest.

“Do you think they know?” the young major beside him asked.

Qurong’s milky white horse, chosen for its ability to blend with the desert, stamped and snorted.

The general spit to one side. “They know what we want them to know,” he said. “That we are gathering for war. And that we will march from the east in four days.”

“It seems risky,” the major said. His right cheek twitched, sending three flies to flight.
“Their forces are half what they once were. As long as they think we are coming from the east, we will smother them from the west.”

“The traitor insists that they are building their forces,” the major said.

“With young pups!” Qurong scoffed.

“The young can be crafty.”

“And I’m not? They know nothing about the traitor. This time we will kill them all.”

Qurong turned back to the valley behind him. The tents of his third division, the largest of all Horde armies, which numbered well over three hundred thousand of the most experienced warriors, stretched out nearly as far as he could see.

“We march in four days,” Qurong said. “We will slaughter them from the west.”

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

God Said Yes by Heather Hornback-Bland

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People of all ages should read this book, mainly because it makes you think and it makes you cry. You feel bad for Heather because of all she's had to go through, but you get to see how God helped her overcome all the pain and suffering, and feel great that she's still alive today.

Heather is an amazing girl. After all she's been through, she's a woman of character and deeply in love with God. She is an inspiration to me, and I think she will be an inspiration to lots of people.

I'm glad that my mom encouraged me to read Heather's story. It's made me sad a lot, but it has also shown me the power of God in someone's life, and how living with Him in your life makes all the difference.

I highly recommend this book.

Till then, hold my place for me!

KT

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'm Reading This Spring!



My mom asked me to join the Spring Reading Challenge, so here is my short list of books I plan to read by June:

God Said Yes By Heather Hornback-Bland and Ninie Hammon

Splitting Harriet by Tamera Leigh

Confessions of a Not-So Supermodel by Brooklyn Lindsay

Baby Girl by Jane Orcutt

Finding Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson


That's about all I can handle with homework and chores, but Mom says I can always add to it, change it, and I don't get in trouble if I don't finish it!

Till then, hold my place for me!

KT

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I Would Die For You By Brent & Deanna Higgins

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The Back of the Book:

In a day of iPods and MySpace, when adolescents can seem self-serving and self-absorbed, the powerful story of the life of BJ Higgins proves that things can be otherwise. BJ's life was one of passionate service to God and to other people. He even inspired Bart Millard, lead singer of Mercy Me, to write and record a song to honor him. After a six-week battle with an infection contracted on the mission field, BJ's earthly life was over--he was only 15 years old. I Would Die for You tells BJ's inspiring story. It combines the writing of parents Brent and Deanna Higgins with selections from BJ's journals, school papers, and blog, along with true stories from family members, church and hospital staff, and friends. Through this multi-layered text, youth pastors, teens, and those involved in missions work will get a glimpse of a young man who gave his life to God, lived the gospel, and died for his devotion. Stirring and full of encouragement, I Would Die for You is poised to inspire a new generation of believers to give their lives in God's service.


My Thoughts:

This book is something every girl and guy should read because it gives people a sense of what they could be for God. It also lets them into the life of someone that would have been great for them to meet.

It's really easy to read, because of the way it is laid out and written. You get to read certain things that BJ has written, and then you get to read bits of family blogs and comments, which are great.

I think it is awesome that his family wanted to share BJ's life story with us. His story made me think more about where my life is going, and what I want my life to say about me when I'm gone.

I thought BJ was a great guy, and I wish I could have met him. BJ is the kind of guy I want to spend my life with, and I'm praying (so is my mom) that one day God will bring us together.

Till then, hold my place for me!

KT

Friday, February 15, 2008

On The Loose by Jenny B. Jones

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The Back of the Book:

Six months into her stay with her foster parents, Katie Parker is finally adjusting to her new family. But after a tornado rips through the town of In Between, nothing is ever the same again. When her foster mom, Millie, is diagnosed with cancer, Katie begins to doubt if God really does care. What will happen to Katie? Could she possibly have to leave In Between and the family she's come to depend on? Things spiral even further out of control when Katie juggles a science fair project, a malfunctioning best friend, spring break plans, and holding the attention of her own Prince Charming. It's going to take more than a glass slipper and some fairy dust to fix Katie Parker's problems. But will help come in time?


My Thoughts:

This book is better than the first book! It has more action and drama than "In Between", and it has multiple layers. "On the Loose" will reach girls who are going through similar things with its message. If you're a girl in a tought situation with a boyfriend, or you are in a foster home situation, this book will enlighten and inspire you to think more about your life.

I myself have a pretty good life, and this book caused me to think about my own life and how I've been living it. Jenny B. Jones is a phenomenal writer and I want to read more of her writing. I hope to read the next book in this series, if I can get a copy!

Till then, hold my place for me!

KT