faithcounts

Following God One Step at a Time

Hidden Figures Book and Movie

HiddenFigures Book

“Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly is the book behind the movie.

(I did read the adult version of the book, but it had this picture on it, instead of the movie picture, so I used this cover pic since it showed the real women not actors.)

Did you see the movie “Hidden Figures”?  I did, and it was great!  I enjoyed learning about the history behind the space race.  The situations of the lady “computers” were sometimes funny and sometimes gut-wrenching.  If you didn’t see it, I recommend it!  It was an exciting time in our American history.

After seeing the movie, I knew there must be a lot more to the story, so I decided to read the book.  I got on a wait list at my local library.  I was 48th on the list! It was very popular.  I finally got it last week, and finished reading it pretty quickly, since I wanted to review it for you.  I was right; there is a huge amount of information not included in the movie.  That said, the book may have delved into all the details more than necessary.  It is still a very interesting book.

It is a biography of 4 African American ladies in the west computing section of NACA (the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), which later became NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration).  The book and the movie tell the true history of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden.

I am glad I saw the movie first, because it gave me a better idea of what the book was about.  It is a complicated history, because it involves so many people, several towns, many schools, and the politics of the time.  If you enjoy learning about history, then the book is definitely worth reading!

The movie made NASA the main reason for having all these women mathematicians, but really it was airplanes and WWII. It was NACA that hired the women.  Because of the war, there simply was not enough qualified men to fill the jobs. The government wanted many more airplanes and wanted them to fly faster.  So Black women started working at Langley Aeronautical Lab in Hampton, Virginia, in 1942.  The space race didn’t start until 1958, and boomed in the 1960s.

The movie also didn’t explain the beginnings that made it possible for NACA to hire so many mathematicians, engineers and physicists.  Many black families wanted their children to have a better life than they had.  They believed that education would get them there.  This was very shrewd planning.  As a result there were many black men and women studying and teaching math and science.  These were good jobs and they enjoyed teaching; however, they were educated and smart enough to work as engineers, mathematicians, researchers and physicists.  Because they were black, they had been overlooked for the better jobs before, but when Langley needed to hire hundreds more employees that had the education of engineers, mathematicians and physicists, they found them by looking at high school teachers and new college graduates at Black schools.

Many African Americans were hired at Langley, and they were accepted, but some segregation was still apparent, as with the colored bathrooms and colored lunch table.  The riveting scene when Kevin Costner knocks down the colored bathroom sign with a sledge-hammer, does not happen in the book.  But over time, many of these types of prejudices did gradually stop, at least at Langley.

I want to end my review by giving kudos to one of the ladies in the book.  Her name is Katherine Johnson, the most famous of the group.  In 2015 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama!  This is our country’s highest civilian award, the same award given to Astronaut John Glenn.  Ladies of Langley, we owe you a debt of gratitude for your service to this country!

>View HERE the 1 minute video of the presentation!

>Click HERE to buy the book.

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Break Out and Go

BookCover BreakOutwww.jedsbook.com

It is not very often that I can say it was such a joy to read and exciting to share the review of any book.  But that is how I feel about today’s book –

— “Break Out” by Jed Lindstrom!

“Break Out” is the story of Jed’s life, beginning with his childhood, then following him into drugs, robbery, and prison.  It is a true story of how evil can take over a young person’s life.  It is unfortunately true of many young people in the world.  Drug addiction has ruined the lives of millions of people.

Thankfully, Jed’s story does not end there.

While in prison, Jed is led to Jesus.  He gives his heart to the Lord, and his life begins to change.

When he gets out of prison, he is determined to follow Jesus.  He starts a ministry of leading others who are down and out to Jesus.  He does this in the most unusual places!  He talks to anyone who is desperate enough to listen on the streets and on the subway of New York, in Los Angeles, and on the bus in Minneapolis.  Yes he really did what he called “subway church”, telling his testimony to the people in the subway cars and praying with them.  You can read about how he did this in the book.

If you meet Jed, you will see that he loves people.  He genuinely cares.  Most of all, he loves Jesus with his whole heart and mind and strength.  Nothing keeps him from sharing Jesus with people. I was lucky enough to have met him earlier this month.

It was only a few years after prison, when he started his official full-time Christian ministry –>“Let’s Go Ministry”.  Which tells what he does himself, be willing to go to the no go places to reach people for Jesus.  Jed’s story may seem like fiction, but it is real life.

The book tells the true story of Jed Lindstrom. 

He was lost in darkness, in a pit from drug addiction, and locked in prison, but God reached him there.  God can reach anyone, no matter your circumstances.  If you have a friend or family member who is in a dark pit of drug addiction, pray for them, and don’t stop.  Prayer has the power to release God into any situation to reach the person you are praying for.  It will take time, but don’t give up.  Ask others to pray too.  I have seen prayer work a great healing and free a person from despair and drugs.  Jed’s mom prayed for him, and she did not stop.

This book tells a powerful true testimony about the love and grace of God. God loves each of us with a love that overcomes any pit of darkness.  God loves you no matter what you did, no matter what you do, God wants to heal you, and He wants you to love Him the same way He loves you.

This book can be the inspiration that changes your life, or the life of your friend or family member.  Read this book, then give it to someone else who needs it.  Can you tell I love this book?

Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram …. Help get this book in the hands of everyone who needs to make a change in their life! 

There are people praying for every person who reads this book!  

kneeling Prayer

Yes they are praying for you, and every person who even begins to read this book!  We know that this book will pick people up out of a pit, and turn people around.  Many people will give their heart to Jesus.  This book will inspire anyone to seek God’s help and change their life.

The quickest and cheapest way to get this book is to order the Kindle version –

–>Click HERE to download it now for less than $4.

If you want to hand the book to someone else, then order the paperback version –

–>Jump on IT, to order “Break Out” paperback expanded edition.

You can also read part of the book >HERE, just click on the book cover on Amazon.

Write a review on Amazon to encourage people to read this book.

It’s easy!  (On the book page, click on “Write a customer review”.) After you —

–>Click THIS to leave a review on the book page.  

To find out more about Jed’s story –

–>Go to Let’s Go Ministry.com

Where are you going tomorrow? 

Do you need to make a change? 

Don’t wait. Read this book!

LET’S GO!!  A better future is waiting for you.

You can —>follow Jed on Facebook HERE.

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Free Book

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Ok this is not my usual post for Monday!  

I have an offer for you — Update– the free book offer is over…But you can buy the Kindle version for less than $4! —>Go HERE!

Jed Lindstrom’s life story in a nutshell, was recently on the 700 club.  

To get the whole story, you can read his book Free!

We just ask that you write an Amazon.com review as soon as you can, and if you have a blog, please post a book review in May.

You can download the Kindle version of “Break Out” by Jed Lindstrom free today through May 10.  The official book launch on the ground is May 9.

Will you help us get this book to as many people as possible?

If you are ready —>Get your freeunder $4 book HERE!  

Or read more below…

I just jumped on to this project a few days ago, when I found out about the book launch.  I have met Jed and he is awesome!  His book is amazing! It reads like an adventure novel.  You will be inspired by his true story!

Jed ended up addicted to drugs as a kid.  He was in federal prison for selling drugs and robbery, when his life was changed.  He was led to Jesus.  When he got out of prison, he started a full-time Christian ministry.  –>www.LetsGoMinistry.com 

Now he spreads the love of Jesus and leads many people to give their life to Jesus both here in the U.S. and in Colombia.  His book helps get God’s message to other addicts, and to the family and friends of addicts.  There is another way to live.  

Live for Jesus, instead of drugs!  

You can watch the 8 minute video about Jed that aired on the 700 Club —

>Click to see the video HERE!

–>Grab the free Kindle version of “Break Out” HERE!

In the comments below, let me know when you post a review on your blog, so I can share it on my social media!  (I will also follow you if I don’t already.)

Additional offer —

If you have a blog, and you are willing to write a book review and post it on your blog, Jed will send you a paperback copy of his book.  Supply is limited.  For this option, email me your name, address, phone, and blog website to FaithCountsBlog@aol.com

Please share this on Twitter or Facebook.  Buttons are below!

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Unfriended Oh No

OhNo 340

Actually go ahead and unfriend me.  Whatever.

Never Unfriended” by Lisa-Jo Baker is an unusual book.  Right from the start, the author Lisa-Jo says that you don’t need to read the whole book!  She suggests you read the chapters that relate to you, and then read the last couple chapters that give you tips on how to be a good friend to yourself and others.

Since I was going to write a book review, I read the whole book.  Now I love to read books!  I love to learn new things!  This book, however, I did not like.  There were times I cringed at Lisa-Jo’s description of friendships.  The friendships she is telling us we need, are too icky-sticky for me! 

Some people could find this book helpful.  If you are familiar with the Christian Enneagram of 9 Personality Types, but even if not, you will probably recognize these personalities.

Women who would probably enjoy this book –

Peacemakers (9), Enthusiasts (7) who are spontaneous and adventurous, Romantics (4) who are creative and moody with over-sized feelings, and Helpers (2).  I suspect that at least some Loyalists would also (6).  I am not any of those personality types!  By the way, if you are a perfectionist, run from this book!  It will probably drive you crazy.  I am guessing that Lisa-Jo is a romantic (based on her stories about her life).  (See the description above.)  I could be wrong.  Me, I am an Investigator (5), which is why I love to read and write book reviews!

Interested in learning your personality type?  ->Take the free quiz!

Many of the chapters in the book had me thinking, ok been there, done that, all good.  I didn’t learn anything from those chapters.  I suspect that is because of my age.  I think this book is mostly relevant to women in their 30’s and 40’s.  I have already been through that stage.  It also seems that this book is mostly talking to women with kids under-21.  I don’t.

So, if you are similar to any of the personality types listed above, and are the right age, and have kids, or will soon, then you may enjoy this book, and get a lot from it! 

So if you are, and you want to read it (remember Lisa-Jo says you don’t have to read the whole book), –>Click HERE

I did get some good advice from the book, like “give friends the benefit of the doubt”.  There certainly are some good tips on friendship in the book.

I don’t think we all enjoy the same types of friends.  Some people like doing activities together.  Some people like just talking.  Others want to talk through all their emotional turmoil.  Some people want to party a lot.  Lisa-Jo seems to be saying, accept them all and realize you can’t have it your way. She says never unfriend them for any reason!   I’d rather have friends that I enjoy spending time with.  I like more boundaries than Lisa-Jo.  I want time limits, like Bible study 2 hours one evening each week.  How about an afternoon at the beach?  I don’t want somebody who is texting me in the middle of the night.  If it’s an emergency, and I can help, call me!  If it’s not an emergency and you just want to stress out, let me sleep.

So my apologies to Lisa-Jo, but your idea of friendship does not work for everybody.  I don’t agree that Jesus tells us to have friendships like you describe.  I think we are mostly supposed to run to Jesus with our stresses and problems first, not our friends.  If our every problem becomes our friend’s problem, you threaten the relationship.  Jesus never will leave us, and will never stop loving us.  Friends do sometimes.  It happens.  

->From Romans 8:38-39, “…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Hey, if you disagree with me about friendship or about the book, leave your comments below.  I would love to listen!

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Bible Study for You

ComputerPlusCoffee

I just finished the Bible study “Entrusted”, on my own, and I wanted to share how I did that.  Yes, I did a whole Bible study by myself!

The current Bible Study by Beth Moore is “Entrusted” (a study of 2nd Timothy). I rarely do reviews on Bible studies, but I want to share with you how I did the study by myself.  I know that not everyone has a women’s Bible study group to go to, so –

Fear not – You can do this Bible study for yourself!

How? 

1) Purchase the “Entrusted” Bible study book, just like I did, online. (My whole cost for everything was less than $37.)

–>Click THIS for Complete information on the “Entrusted” Bible study

–>Hit on IT to buy the Bible Study book from Lifeway

–>Jump on THIS to buy at Amazon  with free-shipping if you are a Prime member.

2) Purchase each video lesson, download to watch on your computer, or audio only. 

–>Click on IT for Audio only downloads (mp3) (cheapest option for Beth’s sessions)

–>or Push THIS for renting the videos

–>or Click HERE for the most fun, download Beth’s videos (mp4)

3) Watch the videos or listen to the audio for each session 1-6 whenever you want. 

4) Read the corresponding 5 days of Bible study lessons in the book for each of the 6 sessions and answer the questions.  Hey don’t worry if you can’t answer every question.  Do your best.

Here is a great tip!  Do you find it hard to listen to Beth’s videos and get all the blanks filled in on the page?  Well you can find the answers for each of the 6 video sessions online. 

–>Click HERE for those answers!   (Sorry, but there are no answers given for the lesson questions.  Those are for your own personal study and answers.)

Since you now have all the answers to fill in the blanks, you can listen to Beth as you walk the dog.  You can download it to any device that will take mp3 audio files.  

What is great about doing the Bible study by yourself, is you can take as long as you need to finish it!  In a group you will be doing the study for 6 weeks in a row.  On your own, you can skip a week when you are too busy, and pick the study up again the next week.  It is all at your speed, and on your schedule.

So many times ladies in Bible study groups complain that they can’t get all the week’s lessons done in one week.  Some people don’t even join the group because it is on a bad night, or they always work late. 

So don’t give up on Bible studies! Do it on your own.  I did it! 

How long did I take to finish the “Entrusted” Bible study?

I ordered it last November, and I just finished it this week, April 28!  So I did not get it done in 6 weeks.  I finished it in 5 months!  But that is ok.  I got it done.  I learned a lot.  And I am proud that I finished!

You can do it too!  Just follow the links above and get started learning a bunch about Paul and Timothy and the early Christian church.

So many women want answers and encouragement and hope.  You can find these in Bible study!  I find Beth’s Bible studies so encouraging! 

Why this Bible study? 

Entrusted” has something new in it. — Beth asked hundreds of women online what question they would like to ask her if we could sit down with her over a cup of coffee.  Beth picked some of those questions and answered them in the margins of the “Entrusted” study book!  It was so interesting to read what other women asked, and especially to read Beth’s answers!  Beth has been writing Bible studies and teaching the Bible for over 25 years.  She has tons of experience, and lots of good advice.

I will give you one nugget from the study. — Beth wrote that this much I know… persistence will carry you where talent and skill cannot.  When your prayers seem wasted, Heaven has not forgotten you.  No prayer is ever wasted.  There is life in God’s Word! Persist! Keep trying.  Keep learning.

I hope this encourages you to pick up a Bible study

and let God’s Word work in you!

If you have any questions, just use the comment section below.  I will do my best to answer you.

P.S. This fall, Beth Moore has a new Bible study coming out, “The Quest”.  It should be awesome!  I plan on doing that study on my own too.

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Bread and Wine feeds our hunger

BreadAndWine

“Bread and Wine” is a collection of short reflections by various authors such as Oscar Wilde, Oswald Chambers, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Barbara Brown Taylor, Martin Luther, C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, Philip Yancey, Henri Nouwen, and many others.  The collection is on several broad topics – Invitation, Temptation, Passion, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and New Life.  Although the intent of the book is to be read during Lent and on past Easter, these reflections are timeless, because Jesus Christ is timeless.

I read this book during Lent this year and in the week after Easter, but not in order.  I read them by author, and by topic.  Some I enjoyed greatly, and a few did not speak much to me.  I enjoyed using them to prepare for Easter, to feel gratitude, and to give Easter the celebration that Jesus deserves.  Everyone will find nuggets in the many different perspectives of these authors.  Although each piece stands alone, there is the overall feel of awe and respect and gratitude for Jesus Christ.

The authors talk about the purpose of Jesus coming to this world was to save us, and to be an example for us to shape our life with.  There also are discussions about the Holy Spirit, and our waiting for the Spirit, because (John 14:26) Jesus said, “The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”  Jesus told us the truth.

The authors in this book try to explain Jesus Christ’s love.  By doing so they invoke feelings of sorrow, regret, relief, gratitude, hope, joy… This book took me in so many directions, yet it all led to Jesus.  I could not read more than 1 or 2 of the readings in a day.  I let them settle into my mind and soul.  Then the next day, I wanted to read more. 

This book is about Jesus and His relationship with us.  This book will bring you into a place of peace, love, freedom, healing, and purpose for your life.  Our relationship with God is what matters most of all.  That is what gives our life purpose.

So get this book, dip into it when you hunger for peace, for direction, for relief.

— It will feed your heart and mind well.

>Click HERE to get a copy.  Enjoy!

There also is a similar book written to prepare for Christmas. 

Take a >look at it HERE.

Just a note — A friend of mine recommended the book “Bread and Wine”, so I borrowed a copy from the local library.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  I think you will too.

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Suicide Mission

LifeInSpiteOfMeThis is Kristen.  She is so joyful now!

As I sit down to write the review of this next book, I can’t help but look at the message of today, Good Friday.  Jesus willingly gave up his life for us.  That was a suicide mission.  Only He was capable of completing His mission.  When He died, He said “It is finished.”

Reviewing >”Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson, shows the differences between the author’s suicide attempt and the sacrifice Jesus made in giving up His life.

Kristen hated some things about her life and about her self.  She decided to end her life by laying down on the tracks in front of an approaching train.  Jesus loved us more than His own life.  He laid down His life on a cross to save us.  God also chose to save Kristen.

Both actions changed lives!

I will forever be grateful for Jesus dying to redeem our lives and wash away all our sins.  Kristen’s suicide attempt failed to take her life, but her action still changed her entire life.  It changed the lives of her family and all the kids she helps through her charity, >Reaching You Ministries.  The purpose of her ministry is to prevent other kids from committing suicide.

After the train ran over her, Kristen’s life turned completely around.  She repented of her old life and changed it for a better life.  Her new life includes Christ, and thousands of people she helps through her book, her ministry, and her speeches.

This is the message Kristen shares now — “Please don’t give up.  You are not alone.  There is a God who made you, and he’s not as far away as you may think.  He is always near. Wherever you go, whatever you do, he will be with you.  He loves you, and he wants to comfort you, heal the hurt in your heart and carry you through this life.  Let him in.  God has an amazing plan for your life, even if you don’t have a plan for yourself… Suicide is never the answer.”

God saved Kristen, because He had a plan for her.  She would have died, but God intervened with a miracle.  It was hard for Kristen to adjust to a life disabled, but she now lives joyfully.  She was baptized, she started her charity, wrote this book, and started speaking to groups.  Now she wants to share what she learned — that we are loved.  

We are all loved by God!

This book is good for anyone 13 and over to read.  It can provide answers to kids and to their parents.  There are better options than suicide. There are some signs that can warn you that someone is thinking about suicide.  If you are contemplating suicide (or know someone who is), or cutting, or drugs, or other ways of hurting yourself, please ask your parents for help, or your school counselor, or go to Kristen’s website for her charity –>Reaching You Ministries.  

This is a great book, because Kristen tells her story with honesty.  She knows she made mistakes.  She knows that God is making a new life for her.  She wants to share her story to help other kids.  I am glad I read her story.  It has helped me better understand why someone would consider suicide.  This life is hard, but Jesus came to make it easier, by loving us.  Don’t dismiss Him.  Seek Him.  Life is better with Jesus in your heart and mind, than any other way possible. 

You can download the Kindle version of Kristen’s book –>Click HERE.

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Falling

FallingFree

“Falling Free” by Shannan Martin is a book that made me think.  It challenged my thinking about what God expects us to do for other people.

Shannan and her husband had the life they always wanted, living in the country with a big house, big yard for the kids to play, good schools, good jobs.  Then they gave it all up.  They moved to the city to a neighborhood with small rundown houses, and needy neighbors with checkered pasts, low incomes, and less good schools.  

They used their new surroundings to change the way they responded to their neighbors’ needs.  They got to know their neighbors, and helped them in so many more ways than I had ever thought of doing.  This was a new context for me of “loving your neighbor as yourself”.  

They love their neighbors as part of their family.  I don’t think I am ready to do that.  Is that what God expects?  Read the book and see what you think.  Are they going overboard? Or are they on the right track?

>Click HERE to find the book.

>Go HERE to check out Shannan’s blog.

Thanks >to Kristin Taylor for having a giveaway for this book!

And I won! I so enjoyed reading it.  Sorry it took me so long to finish.

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Quitting the Internet

WhatFallsFromtheSky EstherEmeryL

“What Falls From the Sky” by Esther Emery is not about rain or snow.  It’s about what God blesses us with.  The author found God again after thinking she no longer believed.  How did she do that?

She gave up the internet for one year!

Esther did not give up the internet to find God.  She wanted to get rid of so many distractions, and find herself and be happy again.  Her marriage was struggling and she needed to decide where her life was going.  Her life was too busy, and she needed some rest.  –All of this led to her deciding to give up the internet (no cell phone, no blog, no Facebook…)

It changed her life in many unexpected ways!

I went through this book pretty fast.  I loved seeing how no internet was changing her and her relationships.  The middle of the book bogged down in details a bit, but then it picked up again as she realized her life was changing for the better, so much better.

Seeing the sky and nature again was a surprise to her.  She came from the west and loved the outdoors, but when she got a job, a good job, she forgot about the outdoors.  She became immersed in the internet. 

When she gave up the internet, she found herself looking at the sky again, and wanting to go outdoors and spend time in nature.  She also found herself wanting to connect to people in person, not through a screen.

Some of the things she has to do while living without the internet, are learning to read a map again to get where she wants to go, reading books (paperbacks not Kindle), and cooking from scratch.  It is fun reading about each thing she comes to that she used to do on a computer or on a cell phone, and what she decides to do now instead. 

Who knew how entangled we have become with the internet and our cell phones?!  Did you know? 

It is an eye-opener to read about Esther’s experience.

I am hoping Esther will write another book about her life now that she lives so differently than before.  Yes her whole life has changed, and I want to know what happens next!

>Click Here, to get a copy of her book.

I got a free copy of this book from >BookLook Bloggers, so I could write an honest review.

BookLookBlogger badge>www.booklookbloggers.com

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Lost and Found

“Lost and Found” by Amanda H. Williams

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This is a great story of intrigue set in the Ocala National Forest in Florida.

Ember is the main character. When her grandfather died, he left his home in the forest to her. She decides to move there. She finds out that some of the people who live there are more dangerous than the bears! (Yes, the forests in Florida have bears. I know because I live in Florida.)
The story is about what happens to Ember in that forest, and the people she meets.
I was mesmerized by this story. The author, Amanda Williams, has created a cast of characters that are so believable and so interesting. There were lots of surprises and some mysteries. I hated to put the book down. This is the first time I have read anything by this author. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I really loved this story!

I definitely encourage you to read it!

The good news is that “Lost and Found” is the 1st book in the Forest Chronicles series. The 2nd book will be out later this year. I will definitely be watching for it!

>Click on THIS to get a copy of “Lost and Found!

>Click HERE for a list of all of Amanda’s books!

Amanda has 8 books in all that are published.

You can even buy autographed copies >right HERE!

I met Amanda online. We were both on the launch team for the new book >“My Heart” by Julie Manning. It’s something I do, help launch new books for great authors, as well as writing book reviews.

When I found out Amanda wanted some people to read and review some of her books, I quickly volunteered to read “Lost and Found”, so she sent me a signed copy (so sweet of her). All I promised, as with all the books I review, I promised to read it and write an honest review.

You will always get an honest review from me. Since I hand-pick the books I read to review, I am able to give a positive review for most of them. Some blow me away with their awesomeness! Once in a while I get fooled and have to write a critical review, but that doesn’t happen much, because I’m picky about what I read.

I am so glad I met Amanda and got the chance to read “Lost and Found”, because now I have another talented author I can read and follow!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Lost and Found”, the 1st book in the Forest Chronicles series by >Amanda H. Williams!

author AmandaWilliams71PTjS7P7mL._SY200_This is Amanda H. Williams.

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