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Monthly Archives: August 2016

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A Changed Agent–a good historical romance

A Changed Agent

by Tracey Lyonsa changed agent

Waterfall Press, a Christian publishing branch of Amazon, released a new historical romance on July 19, 2016. A Changed Agent by Tracey Lyons, who has written a number of historical novels, is well-written and has an engaging storyline and characters.  Set in the 1890’s in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, this tale draws together a beautiful and kind schoolteacher, a Pinkerton detective, and his recently orphaned niece and nephew.

The “spinster,” Miss Elsie Mitchell, has strong Christian values and faith and feels led by the Lord to help Will Benton with his new charges as he settles into what she believes is his new job as a lumber foreman in her hometown.  There are, of course, relationship issues as these characters come together, and danger bubbles beneath the surface as Will hunts for an unknown railroad bond thief.

Grab a copy of this book if you are looking for a fast-paced read that you won’t want to put down.  It has characters you will like, set in a time removed from our age of technology, with enough adventure to transport you out of the confines of your world and back in time to a small town with muddy streets, a saloon with ladies of questionable repute, and an annual church picnic.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Waterfall Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Admission: Yes, I left the book cover picture REALLY big because I am a PURPLE freak.

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Collision of the Heart–good historical romance

Collision of the Heart

by Laurie Alice Eakes

Collision of the HeartCollision of the Heart is a historical romance set in 1856 in frigid winter in Michigan, the author’s home state.  Laurie Alice Eakes gives us a story in which the main characters have to ultimately decide if their love for each other is strong enough. Does Mia love Ayden more than the opportunity to become a professional writer? Does Ayden love Mia more than a successful, secure career surrounded by loving extended family? Just when all seems predictable, the author twists the plot twice with surprises.

In Collision of the Heart, Eakes uses words as brush strokes with her well written descriptions of cold winter nights that draw the reader in to experience the evenings as the characters do. For example, Eakes writes of an upset Ayden that “His footfalls crunched on the frozen snow, loud in the quiet of the night.” The author arouses our senses with “The wind carried the scent of wood smoke with its promise of warm fires, hot soup, and hotter coffee.” In another passage, the author uses repetition of “ached” to good advantage to drive home both the thoughts and emotions of Ayden as he tries to work through his feelings for Mia.

Collision of the Heart is an easy going, enjoyable romance which captures the reader’s interest immediately with a train wreck, leaving passengers hurt and stranded in a small town for many days.  We witness the kind and generous responses of most of the townspeople and follow the intrigue of an abandoned child. I recommend this book which will be released by Waterfall Press on August 23, 2016.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Waterfall Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Diane Ravitch’s Feet of Clay

Why I No Longer Follow Diane Ravitch’s Blogclay-foot-of-statue-3072x2048_75664

When I retired from teaching and began reading blogs, I was excited to find Diane Ravitch’s very active blog.  She posted things I had been thinking and saying for years about CCSS, overtesting, and VAM. Diane Ravitch is an education policy analyst, an author, a research professor at NYU and a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education. I admired that she had originally supported No Child Left Behind (NCLB), but later publicly reversed her position.  She was David against Goliath, fighting big business and politicians in their grab for education dollars.

My idol, unfortunately, has clay feet.  Too many of her posts are now only about politics.  She says that none of the candidates support her position on education, but she has chosen a candidate to support anyway in post after post after post. She supports one candidate with vehement enthusiasm and works against the other with vehement invectives.  What happened to education?  She says her blog is “A site to discuss better education for all.”  What happened to that discussion?

I do not want to invite one-sided trash into my heart and mind.  I want to work towards the best educational system possible for our children.  I’m leaving Diane Ravitch behind.

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