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books for kids

“Come on, kid. You want to save the world or not?” Those words will forever change the lives of Gary and Collin Westmorland. Join these boys on an adventure with an alien named Martin as they face the evil Mavis and her hoard of dragons from another universe, who would love nothing more than to devour the world. Can the boys overcome fear and the expectations others have placed on them? Or will they become slaves of Mavis and fall to her evil plan? (recommended for ages 8-12)

Read Chapter 1 of Gary & Collin for free (click here, PDF file).

Hi! My name is Callum Martindale but my friends know me as The Secret Baker. Actually, I wanted to call myself Captain Cookie but my best friend, Ryan, thought that was a dumb idea. One day when I was sick and home from school, I watched this baking show with my mom, and you know what? I kind of liked it. Actually, that’s not true. I really liked it. In fact, I found out that I really like baking and am actually kind of good at it too! Ryan and I decided to make secret treats and leave them around school, but what happens when Riley, the school bully, finds out? Will my secret stay a secret? “The Secret Baker” is the story about how I learned to enjoy what I’m good at and not be afraid of what other people might think. (recommended for ages 8-12)

Read Chapter 1 of The Secret Baker for free (click here, PDF file).

praise for The Secret Baker

My son, who also occasionally likes to bake things, absolutely loved this book. You probably don’t understand how significant that is. For school he is assigned reading in such classics as The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. He’s a good reader but it’s like pulling teeth getting this kid to read. But when I gave him a copy of The Secret Baker he read the whole thing in two sittings. He couldn’t put the book down. He was incredibly engaged and liked the message of the book. If a book can get my son to read then it must be a good story.

Michael L, Amazon Review

books for adults or teens

They were in love but that seemed a long time ago, a different life. Abused and neglected, Meredith and her brothers spent much of their childhood in foster care. Now she’s a single mom of a teenage boy and foster mom to another, trying to juggle work, children, and dating. Abandoned by his mother, Daniel was raised by an uncle who struggled to show him love. Now he’s an addict warring against himself as he fights not to fail a son of his own. When Daniel’s son is placed as a foster child in Meredith’s home, the two are reunited but what will that mean for them and their families? Until Summer is a story of love and a longing for hope as two people battle the traumas of their pasts in search for a brighter future.

Please note: Though not graphic or explicit, this book deals with trauma and has scenes of abuse, assault, and suicide, which could trigger traumatic memories in some readers.

Read the first three chapters of Until Summer for free (click here, PDF file)

Our lives are made of stories–stories we watch, stories we read, and stories we live. Of Stars and Space is a collection of twelve stories. The first six are “stories of life, love, and loss.” These works of general fiction explore the love we feel toward others in friendship, family, and romance. Along the way, love intersects with addiction, death, and growing up. The final six are “stories of stars and space (and other science fiction).” These stories range from love with a twist, to the human longing to explore the stars, and to self-discovery.

Read a sample from Of Stars and Space for free (click here, PDF file).

praise for Of Stars and Space

I ate up this book in one sitting (a few hours). I loved how the stories were separated into stories of our world (where you can tell that the author has had some experience with the foster system – as a kid or a parent or possibly both). The first set of stories actually brought a few tears.

For me, the second half is where the author really flourished. (but I love science fiction, so that probably is not fair)

The stories in this half gave me chills of anticipation as I awaited what would befall each character and what would happen next.

I highly recommend this book. It was a completely pleasant surprise to me!

R. Thompson, Amazon Review