How to fight for a revolutionary way of life

How to fight for a revolutionary way of life

Have you ever been a revolutionary? In my younger years, I felt a strong urge to question everything, and I did. I made waves, big ones that cost me my career. Do I regret my actions, no! Why – because someone had to stand up to the big guys and say no. I felt like David standing in front of Goliath but without a slingshot,  naked and alone. However like David, I knew I had God on my side, and He would make this revolutionary strong. I believed in black and white which as a curious young adult seemed simple to define, not so in The Revolutionary written by Kristen Hogrefe, where the boundaries are far mistier.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews The Revolutionary by Kristen Hogrefe

My Penny’s Worth

The Revolutionary by Kristen Hogrefe is the second in the Rogue series and a worthy sequel. You can read my review of the first book The Rivesionary here.

Portia Abernathy continues her fight from the first book and with it the skilful writing of Kristen Hogrefe emersed me in the middle of the conflict once again. And how she fights! But what can this nineteen-year-old do about her desperate situation? Her sense of justice propels her forward which I can identify with.

What I liked

The bad guys and they are nasty, provide Portia ample opportunities to give up, but like a true revolutionary she finds an inner power to forge on. Used and abused to the point of not knowing who to trust Portia looks for an alternative answer. She can’t even trust her own identity which is chopped and changed to suit whoever rules over her. I particularly like the creativity of Ms Hogrefe in her flair for bringing deeper meaning into the book. No doubt I would have struggled with multiple identities, harsh words and actions if I had been Portia.  Especially with no explanation as to why – just threats if she doesn’t comply.

There is so much in this book 

The character’s personal lives begin to unravel, and Portia has to deal with some unpleasant truths. Fear is a constant bed companion, and the descriptive writing portrays vivid visuals. One of my favourite quotes is, “He unlocks the chains on the door. They fall to the side like clattering dead men’s bones.”

The author tackles dictatorship and total contempt for those beneath them. Inequality and brutality like the Nazi extremists of WW2. But Ms Hogrefe takes the story to another level when revealing the layered answers to this cruel dystopian world.

Would I recommend reading the Rebel Series? 

Most definitely, because this type of dictatorship is already happening, maybe not to the same extent but we live in a society that looks out for itself and pushes aside the weak. We need a Portia Abernathy, a revolutionary to bring us back to what’s right, a hero of the people.

Can I have the third book in the series now, please?

Thank you, Kristen Hogrefe, for writing this book. I would like to award it 5 stars.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Did you like my book review, comment below and let me know? 

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About the Book

The RevolutionaryTitle: The Revolutionary: Liberate the Captives 

Author: Kristen Hogrefe 

Genre: Young Adult, Action, Adventure 

Release Date: March 2018  

Freedom costs more than Portia wants to pay, but revolutions run on sacrifice … and blood. 

Three months a satellite prisoner, Portia wonders if the Brotherhood has left her to die—until she plunges into the domain of an underground smuggler contacted by her brother. But her rescue comes with a price tag only she can pay, and now, she must forfeit her identity to act as a spy back in the dizzying politics of Crystal. There, she learns that her enemies want the Dome to approve mass satellite executions. No one knows why. Worse, they’re using her friend Luther, now a Court Citizen intern, to sign the short-term orders. She desperately wants to confide in Luther, but can she still trust him with the company he keeps?

Plagued by shadows and guilt for leaving her protector Gath behind on the satellite, Portia must find a way not only to rescue him and the other prisoners, but also to destroy the slave camps once and for all.

About the Author 

KHogrefeKristen Hogrefe is a multi-published novelist and teacher who challenges young adults and the young at heart to think truthfully and live daringly.

Her publishing journey began in 2010 with the first book in her young adult (YA) suspense trilogy Wings of the Dawn. She completed the trilogy in the fall of 2014, and in 2016, contracted with Write Integrity Press for a new YA dystopian trilogy: The Rogues.

An educator and mentor

Kristen also has the heart of an educator and mentor. She teaches secondary language arts for Alpha Omega Academy and served in youth ministry for many years. Through Word Weavers International, she encourages aspiring writers and acts as president for an online writing group. She enjoys speaking events that allow her to connect with readers and other writers.

A lifelong Florida resident, Kristen loves adventuring outdoors and running with friends. Connect with her online at

Guest Post from Kristen Hogrefe 

Identity, Coffee, and a Sprinkle of History in The Revolutionary. 

The primary purpose of fiction is to entertain, but I think good fiction goes deeper by teaching us something about human nature, something about ourselves.

The Revolutionary 

The Revolutionary begins three months after Portia arrived at a satellite prison camp. She feels forgotten by her brother and friends who promised to rescue her. Deeper than the physical pain of starvation, she battles the emotional rawness from the dehumanization of her identity. A number replaces her name, and the Wasps who mistreat prisoners mockingly call them “rabbits.”

Struggling with identity 

When a two-faced smuggler helps her escape, her identity struggles continue. She dons multiple aliases to survive and help the Brotherhood launch a daring plan to destroy the satellite camps and oust the ruling Friend and Dome.

The theme of identity is one I hope will resonate with teens and adult readers alike. At some point, we all ask ourselves, “What defines me?” Is it our friends, an academic program, a relationship, or a job? While those things describe our day-to-day lives, they themselves shouldn’t define us. The source of our true identity must come from somewhere deeper. That’s the question Portia has to wrestle with, and one I hope readers will consider.

A Cup of Joe 

Confession: One aspect of characterization I enjoy is giving my characters a small piece of myself. One of my early readers for book one, The Revisionary, remarked, “Let me guess. You like coffee.”

I laughed and replied, “How could you tell?”

Maybe lines like this one gave the fact away: “I start a pot of coffee. At least the aroma makes life smell better” (Portia, The Revisionary).

In book two, I incorporate the memory-association of coffee for Portia as she thinks back to simpler times (like dorm life with Lydia). Coffee also serves as a catalyst for an important scene where Portia, in disguise, serves her enemies and in turn learns of their disturbing plans for the satellites.

What about you? Are you a coffee drinker? If you are, I hope you’ll enjoy a giveaway opportunity for a Starbucks gift card. After all, coffee does make life smell better.

A Sprinkle of History 

Two summers ago, my brother and I had the opportunity to visit the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. It’s the historical site for the “shot heard round the world” that ignited the American Revolution.

In book two, Portia and the Brotherhood launch their own threadbare revolution. Though the odds are against them, they’re determined to stop the abuses by those in power.

My own visit to this famous site helped inspire Portia’s journey of discovery and the Brotherhood’s fictional parallels to the American Revolutionary War. Writing the scene where she rediscovers this birthplace of liberty was one of my favorites, because I walked the North Bridge and poured over books researching what happened that fateful day. I hope the scene comes alive for my readers and quickens their interest in history and its relevance for us today.

Blog Stops 

Among the Reads, April 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 10 

Moments Dipped in Ink, April 11 

Inklings and notions, April 11 

The Fizzy Pop Collection, April 12 

proud to be an autism mom, April 12 

Aryn the librarian, April 13 

Multifarious, April 13 

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 14 

A Greater Yes, April 14 

It’s Storytime With Van Daniker, April 15 

Texas Book-aholic, April 15 

A Reader’s Brain, April 16 

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 17 

Carpe Diem, April 18 

MargaretKazmierczak, April 19 

A Baker’s Perspective, April 20 

Bibliophile Reviews, April 21 

Simple Harvest Reads, April 22 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng

Pursuing Stacie, April 23 

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 24 

Janices book reviews, April 24 

Bigreadersite, April 25 

Reading is my Super Power, April 25 (Interview)


4212fd39-a0b7-4d2c-afe6-e0583b9c0f83To celebrate her tour, Kristen is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Starbucks Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

The Revisionary a story of brainwashing and bravery

My Penny’s Worth

The bravery of Portia Abernathy, the main character, had me glued to my seat. Could a nineteen-year-old with her curious mind and longing to change the world succeed? At first, I thought the book was similar to The Hunger Games with the haves and have-nots. But that’s where the similarity ended.

Teenage bravery

Portia has idealistic views, wanting to believe that she can make a difference. The truth becomes deadly evident when she speaks her mind and ends up receiving correctives. Consequently, there is no room for free thinking with ignorance and brainwashing used to keep order. Only bravery and the need to know the truth will suffice for Portia.

A Gripping read

Ms. Hogrefe pens a gripping story with twists and turns keeping the reader hooked page after page. Indeed, the chapters remind me of the old earlier series of Dr. Who, where at the end of each episode you were left with a cliffhanger. Often I needed to read on even when tiredness called me to my bed.  In addition, the characters are strong both the good and the bad equally.

I wanted Portia to win through; I applauded her bravery in the midst of adversary. Her intelligence shone through along with her curiosity. This YA novel is a thoughtful read for young and older adults as it raises issues of how we as a society can survive without the input of the past.

Can we disregard the past to make a better future? And if so what will happen to the freedom of thought. For these answers, you will need to read this book.

Would I recommend this book?

In summary, if you enjoy YA Dystopia and have read books like The Hunger Games, you may well find this book irresistible to put down. I can’t wait to read the second book in this series.

I would like to give this book 5 stars.

Thank you, Kristen Hogrefe, for writing TheRevisionary.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Click here to buy the book

About the book

The Revisionary (The Rogues Book 1) by [Hogrefe, Kristen]Title: The Revisionary

Author: Kristen Hogrefe

Genre: YA Dystopia

Publisher: Write Integrity Press

Publication Date: June 6, 2017

A Revisionary rewrites the rules.
A Rogue breaks them.
Which one is she?


Nineteen-year-old Portia Abernathy plans to earn a Dome seat and rewrite the Codex rules to rescue her exiled brother. Her journey demands answers from the past civilization, but uncovering the truth means breaking the rules she set out to rewrite.
Where will the world be in 2149? If citizens forget their past, they will be lost in an identity crisis. That’s exactly the state of the American Socialists United (ASU). This dystopian story opens in Cube 1519, a ghetto where the only use for obsolete cell phones is to throw them like rocks at mongrels. Portia and her father survive like many other citizens, with no electricity or technology and no expectation for a better life.

The truth revealed

Yet Portia remembers her brother Darius—before he was taken from her. Now that’s she’s graduated, she determines to get him back. She thinks earning a Dome seat as a Revisionary candidate will be her ticket to rewriting the Codex and reversing his sentence. However, when she receives her draft and arrives at the Crystal Globe University for training, she discovers the world is very different outside her cube and that prisoners like Darius aren’t the only ones trapped by the system.

Written for young adults, THE REVISIONARY offers a suspenseful plot, flashbacks to America’s Revolutionary era, and rediscovery of the founding values needed to rebuild Portia’s unraveling world. “In school, teens hear that if they don’t learn from history’s lessons, they’re destined to repeat them,” author Kristen Hogrefe says. “Portia lives in a world where leaders wield ignorance to control citizens. Only when Portia sets out to rescue her brother does she realize the lie she’s been living and determines to break free.”

Looking backwards to find wisdom

Blockbuster novels like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Giver popularized the dystopian YA genre. THE REVISIONARY builds a dystopia of a different kind—one that looks backward to find wisdom to move forward to offer an underlying message of heritage and hope.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews The Revisionary by Kristen HogrefeKristen Hogrefe is a Florida girl who says yes to most adventures involving sunshine and prefers to start her day with Jesus and coffee. She is a multi-published novelist of young adult fiction, including The Rogues trilogy (Write Integrity Press) and Wings of the Dawn trilogy. A life-long learner, she also has a heart for teaching and speaking in academic settings and professional conferences. You can find her blogging at where she challenges young adults and the young at heart to think truthfully and live daringly.

Where to find out more about Kristen Hogrefe





Hysterical people quickly make judgement on troubled teenager

Hysterical people quickly make judgement on troubled teenager

Have you ever had a judgement day? I have had a few, but one remains in my mind to this day – telling a parent that I had not passed my exams and couldn’t apply for the career I desperately wanted.

In no uncertain terms, I could see the disappointment on his face. His anger welled up, and razor sharp eyes cut me to the quick. I had tried, but there would be no compassion that day. In his judgement, I was a failure, to him especially. I had not come up to his expectations and therefore not his daughter. His daughter would have excelled, been top of the class in everything and someone he could introduce as an extension of himself.

Being a disappointment hurts, its tendrils weave in and out of your heart and mind lying to you that you are not good enough. That judgement convicts you even though you know you are worthy of more. You have not changed from the person you were before, but now you carry the mark of embarrassment. You have become diseased, someone to ridicule and get rid of.  If only my father knew the real me, my heart, my kindness, but he wanted the trophy, the model daughter. He never got over my failure.

Adam, the main character in Kerfuffle suffers too. However, his judgement is by far worse for his crime….

Kerfuffle FB Banner copy

Click here to purchase your copy.

My penny’s worth

What right have we to make a judgement?
Kerfuffle - my book review by Margaret Kazmierczak


Kerfuffle by Kirstin N. Spencer is a thought provoking book which in my humble opinion ought to be a must for church discussion groups.

It is brave in its challenge to test Christian beliefs and thinking. Which side of the coin would we fall on I wonder?

What I liked

I found the characters all believable with flaws and thoughts that were in line with the plot. My heart went out to Adam and Sophia whom I could relate to as they coped with their dilemmas. What wonderful friends they had but even here there were surprises.

There is judgement in my church

I recognised faces and sentiments from my own church which made the book feel real and also sad.


How wonderful for Adam that he had such guardians to help him as he came to understand the implications of discovering the root of his secrets.

How helpful and healing it would be if such guardians patrolled our churches with such acceptance and support.

Finding the answers

This book offers Jesus’ answers through biblical verse and encourages the reader to seek mercy and compassion as a solution rather than judgement. This I feel is one of the strong areas in the book.

Would I recommend this book?

This book needed to be written, and I hope more people – both teenager and adults alike, will pick it up and start discussing its contents. Thank you, Kirsten, for your book.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

About the Book

Kerfuffle Front Cover v3

Book title: Kerfuffle

Author: Kristin N. Spencer

Release date: June 1, 2017

Genre: Young Adult

Olive’s best friend needs her now more than ever, but can she piece together everything in time to help him?

When an anonymous email circulates through Normandie High, everything Olive knows about her family, church, and friends will change. In the midst of controversy, Olive finds she has been entrusted to protect her best friend and his secrets, though revealing them would make her life much easier. Meanwhile, she struggles to figure out what the Bible teaches about homosexuality while the members of Revive church lobby accusations back and forth, threatening to cause a church split.

In a twist that even Olive couldn’t anticipate, family relationships waiver as Olive tries to decode her mother’s mysterious behavior. When the past stirs up new accusations against Olive’s family, she learns that some secrets are more painful to reveal than others.

Though a helpful guy in Spanish class has her attention, Olive realizes that boy problems are the least of her worries. Can she balance drama, schoolwork, and still be the supportive friend and daughter God wants her to be?

About the Author

Kristin Author Photo 2017

Kristin N. Spencer is an American expat living in a 68 square meter flat with her husband and three kids near the Aegean Sea. When she isn’t wifing, mothering, counselling, disciplining, or writing, she enjoys sewing cosplay costumes for her family, baking, and hanging out with other geeks. She writes whatever she wants, including Non-Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy. Her favorite person is Jesus and her favorite X-men character is Jean Grey. Kristin studied Comparative World Literature at California State University, Long Beach and received a Bachelors, which she fondly calls a degree in reading

Guest Post from Kristin N. Spencer

Retrospective thoughts are so powerful, aren’t they? Now that I’m an adult I often look back on my adolescence and think, “Why didn’t anyone tell me?” As a YA author, I read a lot of books in my own genre, and I’ve noticed a pattern. Though many of the secular YA authors are brave enough to talk about the tough stuff, not many Christian authors go after the real world difficulties that face our young people. The passage of time constantly rips through generations creating new problems and situations. The world that my children are growing up in is very different from what I experienced, and the challenges that they face as Christians are also different. The Desires & Decisions series was born out of the need for me to able to address these controversial topics with my own children. Olive, a teenage girl growing up in Southern California, serves as the lens of perspective as we see almost everything from her point of view. Her world provides a safe, fictional place for Christians to flesh out these thoughts and think through what the Bible teaches about topics like racism, bullying, loving one’s neighbor, what real love is and addiction.
Kerfuffle specifically explores the complex emotions associated with the Church and the temptation of same sex attraction. We get to experience the conflict Olive feels and also witness the varied reactions from different generations through Olive’s parents and other members of Revive Church. This issue isn’t going away, and as a Church, we must be able to talk about it without alienating ourselves from those that struggle with this temptation. There is hope for every person through the blood of Jesus Christ, whether you struggle to love those who experience same sex attraction or you struggle with that temptation yourself. I hope Kerfuffle encourages you as you seek to walk closer to Christ.

Blog Stops

August 15: Bukwurmzzz

August 16: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

August 17: Ashley’s Bookshelf

August 18: Blogging With Carol

August 19: Just the Write Escape

August 20: Carpe Diem

August 21: A Reader’s Brain

August 22: Remembrancy

August 23: Margaret Kazmierczak

August 24: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 25: Baker Kella

August 26: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 27: The Power of Words (Spotlight)

August 28: JosephineAnneWrites



To celebrate her tour, Kristin is giving away a grand prize of all three of her books: Newfangled, Flummoxed, and Kerfuffle and a T-shirt of your choice from the WritersLife Artist Shop (!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! – this giveaway is now closed.

Mad or Sane – The Girl Who Could See – Book Review

The Girl Who Could See tour Banner copy

Click here to purchase.

Mad or Sane

My teen children think that all the time of me! I leave my keys in the same place, and when looking for them, they have disappeared! Or my phone goes missing, and I have to get a responsible adult/teen to ring my number to find it.

Have you noticed those missing socks trying to find their partner, gloves that have wondered off into the sunset and names or words that refuse to jump off your tongue – sound familiar?

You are wondering now what this has to do with a book review. It has plenty to do with the book that I am reviewing. Madness or Sanity that is the plot.

Continue reading “Mad or Sane – The Girl Who Could See – Book Review”