Archives for posts with tag: Jenn Kelly

BookClub1I had good intentions of simplifying my life. I’d just take a year off of the whole Simply Faithful book club thing.

Who needs the hassle of scheduling interviews with authors? The struggle to balance work and home and extra reading? The nervousness of keeping up with Facebook chats?

Apparently, I do.

I’ve missed the Simply Faithful book club, and I’ve missed visiting with you.

Can we try this again? Can we read spiritual books together as a community?

The last time we did this was in 2012, and I picked a non-fiction book by Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts. That summer, we read the novel Rooms by James Rubart, and then in the fall, I chose three books for children.

This time, I’ll announce a non-fiction book on Feb. 3. I’ll sprinkle in discussion questions on www.simplyfaithful.com for the following six weeks. Then, we’ll host an online chat with the author in late March.

I’ll be looking for people willing to host in-person gatherings the night of the author chat. I’d like people to open up their homes, or their places of worship or their favorite coffee shops and invite their friends to meet and talk about the book – and I’d like those hosts to help with the technology that night because we don’t want anyone left out of the discussion just because they aren’t familiar with Facebook or Google Chat or whichever platform we settle on.

Then, I’ll announce the fiction book June 9 and we’ll chat with that author toward the end of July.

Now, in the meantime, I’d love to hear your book suggestions. What books do you think we should all read? Are there authors you would love to visit with? 

I really enjoy discovering great authors who haven’t had a lot of attention, so feel free to suggest first-time or little-known authors. I also like introducing topics that people of all faiths would be interested in discussing.

My one stipulation is that the author needs to – how do I say this delicately – be alive. It makes interviewing the author and hosting a chat for readers much easier.

Give it some thought. Talk it over with your friends who like to read, and let me know by Jan. 20 what books you’d recommend.

I’m looking forward to reading and learning with you again.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters… He rescued me because He delighted in me.” — Psalm 18: 16, 19b

This verse, this beautiful verse, is how Jenn Kelly starts her story of hope. Please, read on…

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I take my son Jackson (he’s two), to the gym with me about three times a week. OK, maybe more like two times a week. They have a great day care there, so I don’t mind leaving him in able-bodied hands. 
Sometimes when we go, it’s raining miserably, or the wind is so strong and fierce that I have to carry Jackson instead of letting him walk by himself.

When I open the car door, I pull his hat down over his ears, I pull his hood up and I take him out of his car seat. When I pick him up, I say, “I’m going to carry you buddy, it’s very cold out.”

He squirms a little because being two he wants to walk on his own, because he is two, and he is very independent. But once that wind hits him in the face, I can hear his gasp of shock and he buries his face right into my shoulder to shield his face. I lift my arms up and wrap them tightly around him, cradling his head against me so the wind won’t whip his face. ‘I got you love’ I whisper to him over and over again to soothe and to let him know that I do indeed have him.

Jackson takes great comfort in knowing that mommy’s got him and I’m not going to let the wind take his breath away, nor am I going to make him be exposed to the harsh elements alone. His mommy has him tightly against her, holding him.

So many times in the past 6 years (since I’ve become a Christian), life has taken my breath away, the rain falling so miserably on my heart that I can’t stop crying, or the winds of pain and anger or disappointment come and shock me, taking my breath away.

How thankful I am that God pulls me tightly in, pulling hat down further on head, pulling my hood up and then cradling me into His big strong arms, and whispers to me over and over again, “I got you love, I got you love.”

Photo courtesy of Jenn Kelly

Photo courtesy of Jenn Kelly

Jenn Kelly is the author of “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish”  and its sequel, “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken.” You can learn more about her and her upcoming projects at her Website: www.JennKelly.com. You can also find her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Look for @JennKellyauthor.

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Today’s journal page was designed by Tawny Burgess, a a 20-something gal living in Chicago, writing her tales of the city, theology, and all sorts of pop culture. Read more about her at her blog, My Sanguine Life.

 

To download the journal page, click here.

Here’s a glimpse:

Tawny

Photo courtesy of Jenn Kelly

Photo courtesy of Jenn Kelly

Don’t forget: We’re chatting with author Jenn Kelly at 7 p.m. EST Dec. 3 on the Simply Faithful Facebook page.

She is a delight to visit with.

Witty.

Wise.

Caring.

I promise it will be time well spent.

If you have young ones — elementary age — consider letting them join us, too. Even if they haven’t read “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” ($12.99, Zonderkidz) they will enjoy learning from her.

A few of us are planning to meet in person at the Greece Public Library, so feel free to join us in person!

Read more about Jenn Kelly and the Simply Faithful book club here…

To hear Jenn Kelly tell it, it was a very fancy wedding where you had to stand through the whole thing. Somewhere amid all the pomp and circumstance her gaze fell upon a woman with hair piled high. (No, think higher than that.)

The woman was maybe 5 feet tall and looked like she usually carried a small dog with her. She was probably mad that the dog couldn’t come to the wedding, Kelly thought. But wait!

Maybe she was carrying her dog… in her massive hair.

That’s how it started, this idea to write about a boy who falls into his great aunt’s hair and discovers a whole new world of elves and bubble-gum chewing crubbies. A book about a boy who – like many of us – doubts himself a little too much and has to be reminded that the Author has a plan and a purpose for him.

“I want readers to know that life can be funny and amusing, and they are indeed loved,” said Kelly, author of “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” ($12.99, Zonderkidz).

And somewhere between crazy Chapter 37 “In Which We Learn about the Book, the Author, and Fred the Turtle” and Chapter 38 “A Chapter that Is Not Nearly as Long as the Last One” we find gems like this one, where Jackson has had a glimpse into the future. He has improved at baseball, become a professor and won a prestigious writing award.

“So, what I saw in the mirrors, that was true?” he asked. 

“Unless you see yourself differently from the truth,” she said softly. “Unless you forget.”

Lines worth underlining.

This time all of the books in the Simply Faithful book club touch on purpose, on remembering who we are and whose we are. I hope you’ll join us and encourage the young readers in your life to give these books a try. They’ll also have the chance to ask their own questions and chat live with Kelly at 7 p.m. Dec. 3. We’ll meet online at the Simply Faithful page on Facebook.

“Jackson Jones” is written for elementary students but my almost 14-year-old laughed at some of the chapter titles, and the book practically begs to be read out loud to a classroom.

“That book is me to a T,” Kelly said. “That’s how I talk. Anyone who reads it knows me… ish.”

Jackson’s adventures continue in “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken” and Kelly has more adventures in her head, ready to escape on paper.

I can’t wait.

Meet Jenn Kelly

Photo courtesy of Jenn Kelly

Learn more about author Jenn Kelly at her Website: www.JennKelly.com. You can also find her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Look for @JennKellyauthor.

Readers have the chance to chat live with her at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 on the Simply Faithful Facebook page.

 

About the Simply Faithful book club

For about a year Marketta Gregory, author of the Simply Faithful column, has invited readers throughout the Rochester community to join her in reading and discussing books with spiritual themes. So far, the community has read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and “Rooms” by James Rubart. The current selections – all four – were chosen to encourage younger readers to participate in the conversation. They are:

  • “Who Built the Stable?” by Ashley Bryan ($16.99, Simon and Schuster).
  • “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” by Jenn Kelly ($12.99, Zonderkidz).
  • “Replication [The Jason Experiment]” by Jill Williamson ($15.99, Zondervan).
  • “Graceful: Letting Go of your Try-Hard Life” by Emily P. Freeman ($12.99, Revell).

 

My newspaper colleagues and I used to joke that there was always a local angle to national – and even international – stories. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised that one of the authors we’re featuring in the Simply Faithful book club has Rochester, NY, ties.

Jill Williamson, author of “Replication [The Jason Experiment],” used to visit the area when her sister lived here. During one of those fall visits they went to pick apples and as Williamson looked out the window at the passing orchards she wondered what it would be like if there was a farm that grew people, a farm that created clones.

She answers that question in her teen book “Replication” ($15.99, Zondervan), where she takes her readers inside a hidden human cloning facility. As the adventure unfolds, she delves into questions about the value of life and about forgiveness, even of ruthless captors.

Even though the idea for the book came from Western New York, it is set in Alaska where Williamson grew up. It features characters who are working to find their purpose in life and struggling to live a life of faith that’s really examined, that’s more than black and white.

“Being legalistic can become a habit,” Williamson said from her home in eastern Oregon. “It can get us in rut.”

And that’s not where Williamson wants her characters to be.

You can hear more about her characters, her passion for helping other writers and her upcoming books during a Facebook chat with her at 7 p.m. Nov. 16. Join us at the Simply Faithful Facebook page and feel free to jump in with questions of your own. This is your time with the author. 

I hope you give the book a try, even if it isn’t your go-to genre, and I’d love it if you would discuss it with friends and make an effort to include younger readers in the conversation. Soon I’ll be sharing more about the other three books I’ve selected:

  • Who Built the Stable?” by Ashley Bryan ($16.99, Simon and Schuster).
  • “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” by Jenn Kelly ($12.99, Zondervan).
  • “Graceful: Letting Go of your Try-Hard Life” by Emily P. Freeman ($12.99, Revell).

Even though we’re focusing on younger readers, I think you’ll find there are lessons in these books for every age.

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