Elizabeth Van Tassel, middle grade author, with a review of Tumble and Blue by Cassie Beasley, purple vines.

Great Reads: Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley

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This week under The Magic Gazebo, where I like to sit for the reviews, is a super middle grade adventure by best selling author Cassie Beasley. Rating 5 out of 5 stars. Clean story? Yes it’s great for middle readers into early teens. My review: Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley is wonderfully inventive and […]

Fantastic reading ideas for middle graders - clean reads, no romance, just great adventures with writer and resilience expert Elizabeth Van Tassel

Great Adventurous Reads For Middle Grade – 2017

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Great adventurous holiday reads for stocking stuffers! Recently I was walking out of a school and I overheard some moms lamenting the fact that there’s “so little good fiction for middle grade.” I’ll bet my eyes bugged out a bit since I write upper middle grade fantasy and love to read super adventures. “All my […]

Author Sara Ella talks about starting from scratch with resilience expert Elizabeth Van Tassel

Starting From Scratch by Author Sara Ella

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This holiday season, I’m sure you can relate to the high expectations we all have, and those moments when things take a turn we’d never expected, and it’s time to scratch our plans and chart a new path forward. In the midst of the craziness, take a break and enjoy some refreshment from my friend, […]

Two great devotionals with resilience expert Elizabeth Van Tassel, two books on snowy background.

Tools In Your Holiday Toolbox: Devotionals

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Practical suggestions for placing stress and loss on the back burner, and remembering the reason you’re celebrating with great devotionals to help. If you’re like me you’re yearning to give friends something with a deeper meaning, that can actually touch their lives in a special way. I’ve got two special devotionals to recommend that can […]

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Our 10-Year Wildfire Anniversary

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Today is our 10 year anniversary from the Witch Creek wildfire in San Diego. My son Jonathan wrote this for our MakeUsSmile.com thank-you website a few years ago. This year, we’ve moved to the Bay Area and again lost 1/3 of our possessions (somehow the movers misplaced them!) so we keep learning to hold “things” […]