These contain specific considerations for family reading. They also contain spoilers.
All of my books have:
- No swearing. I occasionally make up a curse like “cat’s claws”
- No sex. The most I include is mild or non-descriptive kisses. I want any romance to be developed as a love story with the two growing together because of shared values, trials, and trust. I avoid physical swoony statements/descriptions.
- No gratuitous violence. Instead of describing blood and gore, I seek to show the aftermath impact of violence on people—how it impacts individuals, families, relationships, decisions, and countries.
- I read each book to my children before I publish. Take this with a grain of salt. I read Les Miserable to them—though I edited parts and we had lots of discussion on other parts. We also read the scriptures together, including the Old Testament—which has many troubling stories and leads to many family discussions. My books do contain serious topics that may be disturbing to children.
King’s Trial and King’s Shadow
- War and death.
- Off page torture of a friend of the main character. The book shows the non-gory tending to him afterwards.
- In the second book, part of the story happens in a place based on the ancient Assyria, which is violent, but no descriptions on page.
- Religious elements that align with monotheistic religions (Christian, Judaism, Muslim): prayer, faith, believing in one God. One character can occasionally hear God’s guidance (sometimes he listens and sometimes he doesn’t).
- Several other societies in the books have polytheistic religions, but their gods are not real in these books.
- Sweet romance (secondary plot line with a few non-descriptive kisses)
“It [the romance] is very clean, a little more physical affection than a Jane Austen novel but much much less than modern books.”– Amanda (Reshelving Alexandria)
- War and its aftermath including death
- Shape shifting (used to save a loved one)
- Sweet romance (primary plot line because it is the love story between a husband and wife—I only describe a few mild kisses)
- Family trauma including the death of a mother and baby brother in child birth (nothing is described). It’s more the after effects on the family that is mentioned.
- Broken family relationships because of misunderstandings and prejudices. These begin to heal by the end.
- Main character disguises herself as a boy to take on an apprenticeship when she is sent away from her own home. She lives in the same home as her mentor. Unbeknownst to her, her mentor realizes she’s not a boy and he keeps everything very proper.
- Youngest sister is accused of causing the death of a nobleman and sentenced to death. And the other sisters seek to save her through a series of tests to prove her innocence.
- Japanese shinto spirits and kami are active participants in this story.
- No romance (save for a hint of possible romance at the very end). It is a story of sisters, forgiveness, and healing.
- Set in a world with the myths of the German Grimm Brothers so it has witches and sorcery. The main characters do not use magic.
- The main character has her heart stolen and replaced with a mechanical heart. No gore or blood described.
- Main character, Hette, is cold and unlikable at the beginning. But her growth is vast.
- Sweet romance that slowly develops over the course of the book. One non-descriptive kiss at the end.
- The sorcerer who stole her heart placed a curse on her so occasionally she has the illusion of him stroking her arm or kissing her cheek. The curse also causes her to feel attracted to the sorcerer. She hates it and resists the emotions. I did this in part to show that there is a difference between love and physical attraction (and though love can include physical attraction, physical attraction on its own doesn’t mean love). I keep the descriptions PG.
- The slow romance isn’t with the one who cursed her. I never want my children to think it is all right to have an abusive relationship, which is what the curse is.
When I Was a Pie: And Other Slices of Family Life
- I am a Christian and this non-fiction book is based around our family life. Faith, prayer, and scripture study are integral to this story.
- This book is divided into “pies,” each consisting of multiple years, with the following types of chapters:
- Slices: snapshots of life.
- Baker’s Tips: lessons we’ve learned over the years in marriage and parenting.
- Into the Oven: the difficult experiences that have changed us, just as a pie changes in the oven’s heat.
- The last portion of the book, “Baking a Life Pie,” is full of ingredients: daily and weekly actions that bring structure and joy to our life. Some of them are essential ingredients and some are fun bonus flavors.