About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

Interview with the Founder of Sentences: A Book Donation Ministry

sentences_book_donationA few months ago, Clinton Festa contacted me with an opportunity to help promote an unusual ministry he’s begun. Sentences is a ministry through which books are donated to prisons and detention centers around the United States. Clinton joins me today to give us more information about what he’s doing and why it’s important. Thanks, Clinton!

What led you to form this sort of ministry/charity? How long has Sentences been in operation?

In October 2013 I started learning more about prison life from some documentaries. I was surprised to learn that some inmates in Indiana are given the privilege of having pet cats and video games. Most of the times though, in most prisons, reading is the main form of recreation on a short list of options. I started looking into donating … Continue reading

Review: One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul

One Realm Beyond by Donita PaulOne Realm Beyond
Donita K. Paul
Zondervan
Published January 28, 2014

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The day Cantor has been dreaming of has finally arrived: his mentors have released him to make the journey through a portal to a new realm and begin his training as a Realm Walker. A shape-shifting dragon and a wild-haired girl quickly join Cantor as they begin their first mission to free prisoners forced into military service. Though Cantor believes Realm Walkers should be just and good, he discovers many simply are not so. When he’s confronted with the depths of the depravity of those leading the Realm Walkers Guild, he … Continue reading

Review: We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

We Are the Goldens by Dana ReinhardtWe Are the Goldens
Dana Reinhardt
Wendy Lamb Books/Random House Children’s Books
Published May 27, 2014

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Fifteen year-old Nell has always been comfortable in her older sister’s shadow. She and Layla are intertwined. Nell begins her first year of high school, delighted to share her school days with her sister again and thrilled by the interest of a handsome boy. Then she begins to sense something strange in Layla. Her sister is pulling away. Keeping secrets. And try as she might, Nell can’t understand why.

Desperate not to lose their closeness, Nell pursues Layla, being supportive and loyal. Earning her way back into Layla’s … Continue reading

Author Interview with Laura Anderson Kurk, Author of Glass Girl

Several months ago a friend recommended two fantastic novels for my reading and reviewing pleasure: Glass Girl and its sequel Perfect Glass. These novels follow Meg’s journey through the terrible grief of losing a sibling and the discovery of a healing love in the wild, heart-of-gold cowboy Henry. As I read, I devoured not only the marvelous tale but the emotional trek of each character through the sorrows and joys of loss and love. Today, Laura Anderson Kurk answers my burning questions about her creative process, reading recommendations and more!

A story is often inspired by a question. What question inspired you to write Glass Girl and Perfect Glass?

Glass Girl by Laura Anderson KurkThis is a great way to look at story genesis! In 2010, when I first began working on Glass Girl, our country was seeing a rash of … Continue reading

Review: I am the Weapon by Allen Zadoff

I Am the Weapon by Allen ZadoffI Am the Weapon
Allen Zadoff
Little, Brown and Company
Published May 13, 2014

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You will think he’s your best friend. Then, when tragedy strikes someone close to you, he’ll disappear, fade into memory.

Since he was 12, he’s been in the Program. He moves from place to place, from one assignment to another, befriending someone close to his target and then quietly completing his mission: assassination.

But the latest mission is different. Memories swell to the surface of his mind and the daughter of his target sees him too clearly. Instead of honing in for the kill, he hangs back, … Continue reading

Review: Seekers of the Lost Boy by Taryn Hayes

Seekers of the Lost Boy by Taryn HaynesSeekers of the Lost Boy
Taryn Hayes
Maledi
Published May 3, 2013

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A light at the water’s edge prompts twelve year-old Simon to leave his family and return to the shore one last time. There he finds a bottle containing a message that will send his family on an incredible quest. The author of the message, a young boy, simply asks: Who is God and does he care about me?

As Simon’s family discusses their own answers, he can’t help wanting to communicate with this boy who asked the question so many years ago. With their father’s permission, Simon’s mother … Continue reading

Review: Shades of Mercy by Anita Lustrea and Caryn Rivadeneira

Shades of Mercy by Anita Lustrea and Caryn RivadeneiraShades of Mercy (Maine Chronicle #1)
Anita Lustrea and Caryn Rivadeneira
River North Fiction/Moody Publishers
Published September 1, 2013

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Mercy Millar just wants her father to see her for who she is, instead of the son he wishes he had. She does enjoy the freedom to come and go the way her father’s son would, though. She is even allowed to drive to the edge of town and pick up the Maliseet workers unescorted. She looks forward to that drive each morning because it’s the only place she and Mick, a Maliseet boy, can be together. They steal a few … Continue reading

Review: A Cast of Stones by Patrick Carr

A Cast of Stones by Patrick CarrA Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword #1)
Patrick W. Carr
Bethany House
Published February 1, 2013

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Desperate for coins enough to drown his painful past in drink, Errol agrees to deliver an urgent message to a nearby priest. Then an assassin destroys the message and nearly kills Errol, forcing him to flee with the priest and his companions.

The priest and other members of clergy gather to select a new king, but a deadly enemy opposes them at every step. Still battling lust for ale and past demons, Errol finds himself caught deeper within the church’s web of … Continue reading

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. LockhartWe Were Liars
E. Lockhart
Delacorte Press
Published May 13, 2014

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Since she was a little girl, Cadence has been spending summers with her Sinclaire cousins and family friend on a private island. In the infamous, wealthy Sinclaire family, emotions must be kept in check. Addictions and criminal behavior are not allowed. But the summer after Cadence’s grandmother passes away, her perfect family falls into turmoil, and Cadence leaves the island with a mysterious head injury she can’t remember receiving.

When Cadence begs to return to the island to be with her family again, her mother relents. Still no one will discuss Cadence’s injury with her, and she is forced to uncover … Continue reading

Review: Torn Away by Jennifer Brown

Torn Away by Jennifer BrownTorn Away
Jennifer Brown
Little, Brown and Company
Published May 6, 2014

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Fifteen year-old Jersey lives an annoyingly ordinary life, starting dinners for her working mother and dodging invitations to dance with her five year-old sister. All that changes when a fearsome storm spawns a deadly tornado that rips through Jersey’s life, leaving only wreckage in its wake.

Jersey survives the storm, but its aftermath sends her reeling. She’s lost everything. As she bounces from relative to relative, still shell-shocked by the memories of her home literally crumbling around her and swallowed by a powerful grief. Only a connection with another grieving family member will allow … Continue reading

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