Friday, June 30, 2017

Dandelion Dust + Review + Interview // MY FRIEND PUBLISHED HER BOOK


I'M BACK TODAY because my friend, Faith, just published her first novella. Ever. And it's called Dandelion Dust.

I'll repeat that.

MY FRIEND PUBLISHED HER LOVELY BOOK, GUYS. And it's adorable and re-read worthy and... maybe just GO GRAB A COPY.

Okay first finish this post...then you're free to leave and buy it. *wink*

And just like the banner says, I'm participating in her blog tour!! So we've got a whole enchilada of things to read AND an interview at the end. LET'S GET TO IT.


 Synopsis:

Like a speck of dandelion dust riding the tides of a prairie wind, life is fleeting. Though I never realized just how fragile it was until that day . . . 

Charity always had a dream. It was simple, really. Find a guy, fall in love, and get married. The day she met Ryder, Charity knew he was the man God had chosen for her. But she never expected their relationship to be tested and tried through the fires of a freak accident. Suddenly, her world is thrown into chaos, and the bleak, white walls and sterile smells of a city hospital fill every spare minute. And then there comes the dreaded news. It was likely Ryder would never make it out of the hospital bed. As her carefully laid plans for the future come crashing down around her and the sun seems to set on her dreams, can Charity still find hope in the dark of night?

Like a dandelion, life is beautiful. But treasure every moment. . . for one day, the flower will be gone. 

Add Dandelion Dust on Goodreads right here.


 MY REVIEW:
Rating: 4 stars

When Faith posted on her blog with a sign-up form to beta-read her soon-to-be-published, and FIRST, novella, I jumped at the chance - partially just because Faith is my friend and it was her book - ya know?

And I was delightfully surprised and impressed. Faith has a fantastic writing style - it flows nicely and doesn't feel stilted. The dialogue is real and everyday. The plot kept me going. The characters grabbed my attention. On page one I was already interested and rooting for the couple. Overall? I think Faith hit a home run with her debut. She's a really good writer, guys.

Dandelion Dust is an adorable, sweet tale that will capture your attention and keep you hoping and wondering and wishing. It paints a lovely tale of young love and faith in God with wonderful fictional humans. I'm totally going to reread it - as soon as I can get my hands on my own (signed *ahem*) copy.

The main characters were well-rounded and, honestly? could be real people. (They are, right? I mean, I could just hop on a plane and go see 'em? Waaaait...no?) Namely Charity and Ryder and Drew and Hannah - all of whom I liked. Charity was a great main character - very sweet and relatable. Which is really cool because it's not often I like the main girls in books. Often enough they're annoyingly naive or frustratingly stubborn or whiny - but Charity? *shakes head* She wasn't any of those things. Her relationship with God - but also with Ryder - was, again, real (I keep using that word but it's true). Ryder was charming and goofy and sweet. Hannah feels like a bit of a mystery - but I think that'll be revealed in the not-toooooo-distant future? ;) And Drew - definitely one of my favorites. He was the cool older bro who's really sweet and caring and thoughtful. (There's a story with this guy, Faith. *raises eyebrows pointedly* ;))

The romance in this novel was SO well-done and cute! I was literally sitting there reading, thinking: "How does Faith write this good?!" The romanc was really clean, which was fantastic. Charity and Ryder's relationship was well-written and realistic and adorable. Another thing I liked about Dandelion Dust was the uniqueness of it, but also some of the scenes that were really cool (and I didn't feel like I'd read them before *nods*). Like the hair cut or shouting match with God - both great. <33

The story itself progressed well - and there was most definitely a curveball thrown in that I kind of saw coming but didn't want to have happen. It was sorta like “Is she gonna do it? Is she? Is that where this is headed? WAHT SHE DID IT. NO.” And then even that all turned out so beautifully, it warms my heart. <333

Overall, Dandelion Dust is a book I want to reread. And have other people read. It was well-written, realistic, touching, lovely…Faith did a fabulous job, and I’m totally in for reading the edited version. SOON. Most definitely recommended.


About the author:

Faith Potts is a teenage writer, living with her family and beloved yellow labs in the southeastern US. When she's not writing stories, consuming large amounts of coffee, reading books, or creating pottery, she can be found laughing harder than is healthy, daydreaming, and – of course – blowing dandelions.

Find this girl on Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads! Be sure to give her a follow and friend her - she's really fun. ;) Also find her on her blogs - Chosen Vessels and Stories by Firefly.


INTERVIEW with Faith herself:

1) HELLO, FAITH! Thank you so much for stopping by my corner of the internet! It's a pleasure to have you here. First off, I want to wish you a huge, ginormous congratulations for publishing Dandelion Dust! It must be so exciting!! (I'm personally looking forward to having a paperback copy on my shelf. *nods*) Let's get down to business - what inspired Charity and Ryder's story and the characters themselves?

The inspiration for the book/plot actually came from a dream I had back in late December. It changed a lot from the original, but the main points are still there. Charity is basically me, so I guess that's where her character-inspiration came from. And I would be lying if I said that the idea of a 'farm family' didn't come from my close friend's family.

2) What did the writing process look like? Do you have a favorite - and least favorite - part of that process?

The writing process looked like...chaos. Legit chaos. I wrote the first draft in 25 days, which was really fast for me at the time. (And, honestly, still is. :P) Hmm...tricky. I don't know that I could pick a favorite or a least favorite! I enjoyed it all, except maybe formatting? Yeah, word doc hates me.

3) Is there a scene that you particularly enjoyed writing? One that you didn't see coming but love how it turned out?

The haircut scene. Hands down. It came into the book in the third draft/second edit (right before beta-readers) because I felt like that area needed something light-hearted after all the 'heaviness' of the first half to three-fourths of the book. It will always be among my top three favorite scenes of the book. ;)

4) What is the biggest thing you want people to take away from Dandelion Dust

To trust God no matter what. As hard as it may be to see (and chances are you wont see, at least for awhile and maybe not ever), God has a plan. Every difficult situation in each of our unique lives, every hardship or struggle we face, has a purpose. One day it will all be worth the hurt.

5) AND LASTLY would you mind giving us a hint into the next book in the series?? *wants Drew's story*

Hehe, you'd like that, wouldn't you? XD I don't want to say too much about what I'm thinking for the sequel...but I can give a couple hints. Here you go: Wedding preparations. Tear-jerkers. Road trips. Summertime. *smiles*   

And guess what?! Faith is giving away TWO paperback copies of Dandelion Dust!! The contest lasts only until midnight tonight SO HURRY AND GO ENTER. You won't regret it. *nods*



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Reluctant Godfather // Interview with THE Allison Tebo


Drum roll, please! *dun dun duuuuuh* GUYS, my friend, Allison Tebo, just released her latest - The Reluctant Godfather! Woot woot!! XD Want the scoop? It's a Cinderella retelling, BUT the twist is that there's a fairy godfather and it's from his point of view. It's also the first book in the Tales of Ambia series! Crazy cool, right?! *wink* So I'm here today celebrating the release of this hilarious, charming novella - replete with all the info + links, an interview with Allison herself, and my four-star review.

LET US BEGIN.

Synopsis:

A humorous and magical re-telling of Cinderella from a unique perspective.

Burndee is a young and cantankerous fairy godfather, who would rather bake cakes than help humans. A disgrace to the fairy order, Burndee has only two wards entrusted to his care…a cinder girl and a charming prince.

A royal ball presents Burndee with the brilliant solution of how to make his wards happy with the least amount of effort. He’ll arrange a meeting and hope the two fall in love.

Isn't she pretty?!
About Allison:

Allison Tebo is a Christian homeschool graduate in her mid-twenties, who works part time as a sales associate for a major transportation company.  A graduate of London Art College, Allison pursues avenues in cartooning and illustrating as well as singing and voice acting.  

In her spare time she writes and blogs at www.allisonswell.com

It is her goal to write fiction that appeals to many different kind of people, by writing clean, classic fun.

Her faith in Christ directly influences all she writes about - or does not write about.  Whether the story possesses a strong message or is simply fun and imaginative fiction - her desire is to bring honor to God - and to provide quality stories for everyone to enjoy.

My review:

My goodness! This Cinderella retelling was hilarious and charming and delightful - and anything but cliche. THERE WERE NO CLICHES, I'm serious. There were sooo many humorous scenes and turns that I never would've expected! Allison came up with a wonderful twist on the much-loved classic - one I've already reread (yes, I did read it twice within a four four day period, the second time aloud to my family *grins*).

Burndee was hilariously lovable. I mean, despite being cantankerous and rather sarcastic and grumpy - almost all the time - you simply can't help but like him. He made things lively and funny and honestly had me laughing on numerous occasions. It was really fun having things from his perspective! AND THERE IS GONNA BE A SEQUEL WITH HIM AGAIN OMW. You can't create a character as unique and funny as Burndee and not continue on with him... *winkwink* He's charming in an unusually charming way. I mean, a guy fairy? A godfather? That bakes? Oh, yes. That wins, Allison. It's fantastic.

The comedy in this book was very enjoyable - I laughed so, so much! And hilarious books don't come along very often, do they?! On page two I was already smiling and getting my little brother to let me read the first few pages to him. The Reluctant Godfather was so unique and delightful in ways I wasn't expecting! I mean, Allison put so many twists in here that were perfect for the retelling! Even down to the ever-present-in-Cinderella-stories mice that Ella, ya know, normally adores? (I didn't even notice what Allison did with the mice-Ella relationship until my little bro pointed it out to me, and then I was like "ooooh, I see!") Of course, the basic story is recognizably classic Cinderella, but with added details and sarcastic comments and laugh-out-loud-funny dancing scenes. (I shall say no more on that account...after I tell you that the ballroom scene was, indeed, when I laughed the hardest.) On top of the hilarity and sweetness, the writing was well-done! Allison's style fit this story.

And the ending! I admit it...I saw two different spoilers about the ending so I knew what was gonna happen (one was on accident! The other...*cough* yes, I did look at one... ahem, moving on.) It was cute, and sweet, and SO DIFFERENT, my word! It made it fun - because I wasn't reading the same old story that everyone knows by heart. It was special, AND (if I hadn't have seen those spoilers) I'm not sure I would've expected it. There are definitely hints all along (cute ones, I might add!), but not enough to made you really doubt that Allison is going to follow the normal route. I mean, I even knew what was going to happen and still sat there, reading about Colin, and went "wait, but how is this going to work out?"

One of my favorite quotes:

"Don't you realize what a disgrace that is?"

"Oh, yes, I'm disgraced," said Burndee, squinting at his creation and wondering whether he should add mint leaves.

I WOULD add another here, but it's actually spoiler material, so I can't do it to you all... (Why don't you just read it yourself to find out, hmm?)

I MUST ADD that there were a few very brief moments that were not-overly-violent. (Though those two parts with Burndee were surprising in a funny way. My mouth literally dropped open at one point, and I snapped a rubberband on my braces, hahaha. #truestory). And I was a little frustrated with a smidgen of Burndee's sarcasm towards Ella (BUT OF COURSE that all gets turned around, cuz, ya know). Also, I just gotta say that there was magic in this - but that's kinda to be expected in Cinderella?

OVERALL, this was a delightful, funny, engaging read! A round of applause to Miss Allison for creating such a fun, charming retelling!

It's interview time! Go grab a cup of java and let's get started...

1) Hi, Allison! Welcome to my corner of the internet! Happy to have ya! Why don't you start by telling us what inspired you to write a fairy tale retelling - with a fairy godfather, delightfully, as the main character?

Hi, Micaiah!!  Thank you so much for having me!  I'm thrilled to be here! 

To be honest - the whole idea just popped into my head - one night, last summer, the whole story was suddenly there.  I can't remember the precise spark that lit the fuse - but somehow, my mind snagged upon the idea of a male fairy godfather - I wish now that I could remember all the details of that mysterious process! 

2) What was your inspiration for Burndee and all of his humorous sarcasm? For Ella and Collin?

I hate to cop out on this question - but honestly they just popped into my head. Characters come very easily to me and they are my strong point.

 As far as the 'zingers' that Burndee is so fond of using - I'm a little embarrassed to say that I often think of stuff like that - thank goodness I have characters that can say all of that stuff for me.  Hehehe! 

3) What are a few hobbies you enjoy (besides writing, of course!)?

I love to paint and draw.  I enjoy quilting.  And I love to bake - obviously.  :D 

4) Why don't you tell us the story of how you got started as a writer! Did anyone in particular inspire you or did you start all on your own? 

My big sister! I wanted to be just like her, and – I’m embarrassed now to admit it – I wanted all the accolades and attention that her stories were getting. Since then, I’ve learned that I don’t have to compare my stories to other people’s writing, and I don’t have to do something just because someone I admire is doing it. I don’t write for accolades anymore (though it’s always fun to have people get excited about my writing, of course), I write because I must. I write because it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. Writing has become as much a part of me as breathing. The words are there, and they must come out.  

5) What is your favorite part of the writing process? Annnnd your least favorite part?

That is an interesting question because, depending on how I feel at the time, my most favorite and least favorite parts about writing can change - some days I love drafting and hate editing - other days I hate drafting and love editing.  But, thinking it over, I would have to say drafting (especially when drafting off of outlines) is my favorite part of writing and publishing is definitely my least favorite part - that process really squashed my creativity.  

6) Now, for a hard one *wink wink*: If you absolutely HAD to choose, would you rather read only non-fiction books for a whole year, or not be able to read the ending of every fictional novel you read during that year?

'dies'  MICAIAH HOW COULD YOU ASK ME SUCH A QUESTION!?  'wounded look'  AUGH!  I - I can't even . . . 'speechless' . . . choose!  Um . . . okay, I would have to chose a year of not reading the ends of fiction novels - I could always write the endings myself, either in my head or on paper.  Actually, for some books, that might not be such a bad idea.  Thank goodness that question is over with . . . :) 

Me: *laughs* I TOLD YOU IT'D BE HARD. It's funny because whenever I ask this question I've always gotten the same answer - to not read the endings.

7) What are FIVE of your favorite books?

Another hard one!  Okay, I'm going to pick the first five that come to mind.  Urchin and the Heartstone by M.I McAllister. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Trion Rising by Robert Elmer. Those High Green Hills by Jan Karon. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  

8) Do you have a favorite fictional character - from a movie, a TV show, or a book? Why do you like that specific character so much?

MORE TORTURE!  I don't have just one favorite character from a movie, TV Show, or book - I have DOZENS.  'thinks hard'  - again, I'll just have to pick the first one that comes to mind.  Clavius from the movie Risen.  Steady, solid, soldierly characters are some of my hands-down favorite types of characters (male characters) - and Clavius is especially unique.  His search for God - and God's search for him - is palpable.  Clavius' commanding personality, his vigorous discipline, his yearning for something more (for peace and belonging), his controlled fear in trying to maintain his delicate position - his fervent search for the truth, his raw devastation at finding it, his steely resolve to follow it - AH!  What a character.  And what a run-on sentence!  Did I mention solid, soldierly characters are my favorites and that I get really excited talking about them? :) 

9) And, lastly: coffee, tea, or chocolate? (Because this is important... *nods*)

AT LAST - AN EASY ONE!  :D  - coffee, definitely,  hands-down, no-question - coffee forever.  

Me: *laughs again* YES, COFFEE FOREVER. We're agreed. Thank you so much for answering all my questions, Allison! It's been a pleasure having you!

SO, if all this hasn't convinced you to read The Reluctant Godfather, maybe this will...

Allison is hosting A GIVEAWAY. Go click on that link, enter the contest, and win ALL THE THINGS - a signed paperback copy of The Reluctant Godfather, a Tales of Ambia notebook, a t-shirt enlivened with a quote from the ever-quotable Burndee, and a BURNDEE IS THE BEST mug.





Or buy the book, here, on Amazon - whatever floats your boat. (Haha, I wanted to say that... *crying/laughing emoji*)

A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS from me to Allison for publishing this novella! YOU GO, GIRL. *applause* *confetti* *balloons* *cake (and coffee)*

GO GET READING, GUYS. (my cursor just disappeared, hahahaha...)

(I shall be back in about two weeks with another blog tour post for my friend, Faith Potts, and her novella Dandelion Dust. Be sure to pop back in to see it!)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Chapel Car Bride // Wow It's Been So Long

HEY, GUYS. Um, yeah... it's been like two and a half months. *grins sheepishly* BUT I HAVE SOMETHING TODAY.

SO, I just wanna let all of you know that I plan on starting a new blog at some point, but right now blogging has just taken a backseat. Life is busy, and school keeps me on my toes, so any extra time is spent doing other things. I'm still trying to stay active in the blogosphere, however, and, even if I don't comment, there's a chance I've read your post - cuz my phone won't let me comment if someone else already has?? (I have no idea.) BUT I'm here with a review, AND, who knows, maybe I'll start blogging again in the not-too-distant future, but for now? You can find me on Google+ (Hangouts), Goodreads, and Pinterest - I'm still around, I promise! 

(Scroll down and I've included an update of sorts *nods*)

Now, for the review! It's kinda short, but I ran out of words... *shrugs cuz that's bad for a writer*

The Chapel Car Bride by Judith McCoy Miller
Rating: 2 stars

The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller was an okay read. The story didn't really pan out for me. Here's why:

The characters felt like they needed more depth. There were certain struggles, yes, but they seemed somewhat trivial. Luke was my favorite for a while, but in the end kind of disappointed me. Hope was rather naive and she once almost lied to her father so that he wouldn't send her back home (not okay). Kirby, the antagonist, though the most dimensional, also felt somewhat shallow. From the way things started, I was picturing him to be a villainous guy, but then as the story progressed he was more of a spoiled, undisciplined only-child who wanted his way. I feel like that sounds harsh, but that's the way it came across.

Another thing was the climax - it fell flat. There was quite a bit of build up, only to have the whole situation pretty much wrapped up within a few pages. I guess I just thought is was going to be more dramatic? It felt sudden - too sudden and a bit too easy. There were multiple areas where the author was hinting at trouble, only to have it dissolve quickly. I feel like this story also, just in general, needed more depth, more plot. I was interested for a bit, when the tension was slightly building, but it never really grabbed me. The beginning was pretty slow, and the end too fast.

Overall, there were times when I was enjoying it, but it wasn't for me. However, the concept was unique, and you could tell the author did her research! Thumbs up for that. I would probably recommend this to somebody who wants an easy-going, historical fiction novel!

Thanks to Bethany House for sending me this book for review! The thoughts above are entirely my own.  


_______________________________________________________________________________

What I've been doing lately:


  • I BEAT CAMP NANOWRIMO - so yes, did that
  • STARTED A NEW NOVEL - this happened extremely suddenly in January. I sat down out of frustration, typed out a page and a half, sent it to Julia, who liked it and ended up pushing me to keep writing and turn it into a novel. SO somehow a random one-sentence story idea I got while driving has morphed into this story I so like with all these cool imaginary humans. For now I'll just say it's Sci-Fi/Dystopian - totally surprised myself there! (Maybe you'll get to know all about it sometime... *runs off without saying more*)
  • CAMPED AT DEVIL'S TOWER, WYOMING - with my older bro and his family. I got to see my nieces and nephew, one of which, Ava, was born in September of last year, and GUYS she is so adorable! 
  • TRYING TO FINISH SCHOOL - I have one book left in math, then next year is Algebra 2 *would much rather do that than Geometry*
  • Read my dear friend's FIRST NOVEL and got to shove sticky notes throughout it and write out hearts at the cute scenes
  • WATCHED multiple Signed, Sealed, Delivered movies - which is so great because that show is legit the best
  • GOT A NEW PHONE - that has a really nice camera. I was so happy about that because I've been wanting a camera too so it's a win-win.
  • AM PARTICIPATING in Ted Dekker's Forgotten Way Meditation challenge - on day sixteen, and this has honestly changed my perception of God. IT'S FANTASTIC. Go read it now.  
  • DID MY FIRST SPRINT IN NANO - and wow they help with getting your word count in!
  • CUT MY HAIR
  • WATCHED A MOVIE with Mikayla over Skype (we're cool like that)
  • FINISHED six categories in the reading challenge - (which I was going to post on and then didn't O.O) It's going kinda slow for me this year! I'm currently working through the trilogy category with Rachelle Dekker's Seer series. 
Well, that's a very brief overview of my life lately. XD Hopefully I'll see you all again soon *vanishes*

Okay, but first...

Did you do Camp in April? How'd it go?
Have you read the Seer series?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

When Calls the Heart Tag // Seaon 4 in ONE HOUR




















(I apologize for the formatting issue above! I could not get rid of the space! Why?! ALSO SPOILERS AHEAD for people who have not watched ALL episodes! There's a minor spoiler in question #6, but I give extra warning beforehand. ;))

Hey there, guys! My friend, Faith, who blogs at Stories by Firefly, and her friend, Rebekah, put together this fun tag in honor of When Calls the Heart! Speaking of, this is perfect timing, because season four beings in ONE hour! Check out Faith's post here, and Rebekah's here! Now, let's get the party started, shall we?

1. What's your favorite season of When Calls the Heart?

 Definitely season three. Season one comes in second place, and season two takes third.

 2. Who is your favorite character, and why?

*thinks* Hmm...it's between Bill Avery, Lee Coulter, and Rosemary LeVeaux (now Mrs. Coulter). When Bill first came in the show, I liked him...and then they made him seem rather suspicious and "bad guy-ish," so I became rather unsure about him. But now-a-days I like him again. I liked Lee almost immediately - after I got over the fact that he was "new" and therefore "suspicious" (also the fact that he actually liked Rosemary...um, sir, I think you just played a bad card and turned most of the Hearties against you?). Well, now? Now he's one of my favorite characters! And Rosemary. Oh, Rosemary! When she first came on the show, I disliked her so much, so very much. But she's really changed, and she's perfect for Lee, so - what more can I say? 

3. Who is your least favorite character, and why?

I'm gonna say Nora and the Hamilton swindler guy in season one. I also don't care for Elizabeth's dad (though he's MUCH better in the books) or mom, and I don't like Frank Hogan very much anymore. *coughs loudly* What?! I much prefer Abigail with Bill.

4. When did you first start watching When Calls the Heart?

Around April/May-ish of 2014. Not even sure how I heard about it. XD
 
Image result for when calls the heart lee and rosemary

5. Do you have a favorite couple from the show? If so, who, and why are they your favorites?
 
Lee and Rosemary. That is all.
 
Just kidding! They're kinda...adorable? To be completely honest...I much prefer them over Jack and Elizabeth. *runs from angry Hearties* What I like so much about their relationship is that they're truly there for each other, and they show it by the things they do. GUYS, I'm givin' ya some examples of their supportive-ness and overall fantastic qualities:
 
Lee had an elaborate construction plan to build Rosemary that theater. 
Lee encouraged Rosemary to go to California for that acting job because he wanted her to follow her dreams.
And she stayed. Because she loved him. *melts*
(Can we talk about that proposal? Probably my favorite moment of When Calls the Heart...ever.)
Rosemary tried to downsize Lee's spending because she thought his business was going under.
And then she did the sweetest thing...told him that he didn't need to build her that theater. At least not now. Because his business was more important.

Also, they're such opposites that they kinda bring out good in the other person. 

  
Oh, Jack! XD
 IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE CHRISTMAS MOVIE CLOSE YOUR EYES AND DON'T LOOK AT THE PICTURE BELOW.

 
6. Do you have a favorite quote from the show?
 
Woah! I don't know? I liked the scene in season one when Jack goes to Abigail...for her advice about Elizabeth, who was being rather stubborn when it came to the Hamilton dude (I can't remember his first name, okay), and she does the "honey not vinegar" thing - but I guess that's not a quote? (Spoilers ahead for those who haven't watch the Christmas movie yet!) I really liked the scene in the new Christmas movie where Bill Avery is cooking in Abigail's cafe, and someone complains about their eggs. So he whips out a rolling pin and charges out to see who the guy was. (see above picture)

AND THEN
 
Bill: *starts back toward the kitchen* *spots Jack sitting there* "How's your food, Constable?"
Jack, with an amused smile: "Nothing to complain about."

Bill was literally hilarious. 
 
7. What are your thoughts on Rosemary LeVeaux? Did you like her right away or did she grow on you?

Rosemary is one of my favorite characters. *points back to question two* She brings humor to the show. And she's incredibly generous. Giving up her bridesmaids' dress material and all of her food to help the settlers? I would've...never seen that coming when she showed up so unexpectedly - and horrifyingly - in season one. And no, I certainly did not like her at first! I really wanted her leave. XD She was very forward and was forcing her way back into Jack's life in the most annoying of ways... But she grew on me. I like her character now! And she's perfect for Lee - and so caring. 

8. Have you read the When Calls the Heart book series?

Well, there's two book series - of  the original, I have read the first four novels. Of the companion novels to the T.V. series, I've also read the first two books in that trilogy!
 
9. Was there anything in season 3 that surprised you? (characters, plots, etc...)

Yes! I was surprised to have Jack's mom show up! And she's different than expected. XD Also, I was kind of surprised when Jack almost....died. I knew they wouldn't dare kill him, but it was still a little shocking! It's actually surprising in itself that Jack lived through all that! Overall, the flood surprised me. And the mine explosion. And things with Gowen. And Frank's past and the whole gang showing up! I didn't see a lot of the season coming! Which is nice. ;) OOH AND THE WEDDING AND PROPOSAL. I loved that! 

Related image
 
10. What do you foresee happening in season 4? (Be creative and as detailed as you like :))

I was hoping Lee and Rosemary were going to have a little Coulter baby, but I read an interview with Pascalle Hutton, and I guess not? Hopefully, Jack finally proposes to Elizabeth. *looks at him* Ya know we know that you still have that ring? ;) And I hope Abigail gets back together with Bill! *grins* I like Bill quite a bit now, and think he's a good match for her! She kinda needs him. ;) 
 
That was fun! Huge shout out to Faith and Rebekah for creating the tag! Also, Faith is currently having people sign-up to beta-read her new novella, SO GO CHECK IT OUT
 
Until next time,
 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Bookish Recap Tag



GUYS, I'M HERE WITH AN END OF THE YEAR BOOK TAG. (because what else?!)

Faith, my friend and the writer at Stories by Firefly, created this tag (super cool, yes?), and she tagged me - huge shout out and thank you to her!

BUT can you believe it's actually the end of the year? *shakes head*

>> Rules:
1) Include the above button in your post. << check
2) Answer the 11 questions. << will get to that in a sec
3) Use as many book covers as you like. (The correct answer to this question would be ALOT. B-)) << check again
4) Tag 5-10 people and notify them that they have been tagged. << definitely will do


>> QUESTION TIME <<

// How many books did you read in 2016? (Exact if you know, or approximate if not.) 

According to my Goodreads count (which is accurate), fifty-three (but I'm hopin' to make that fifty-four and finish up a book my little bro and I are currently reading).

// Did you set a reading challenge for yourself and, if so, did you meet it?  

I did, actually! I've used the yearly Goodreads reading challenge for the last..three years now, including 2016. It is a super fun way to keep motivated - and I really like that it tracks your progress throughout the year. AND THEN THEY SEND YOU AN EMAIL WITH YOUR COMPLETE LIST OF BOOKS and that is just...legit fun. So, I completed that one, and I also completed another challenge I did with my sister and some friends. (War and Peace was the last hurdle -- BUT I MADE IT.)

// What was your most read genre this year? Least read? 

(I like this question, btw) I read a total of 29 historical fiction books. *nods* That is indeed my favorite genre. XD Least read? Hmm... *checks* biographies and theology-type books. (hehe yeah...but I'm planning on reading more non-fiction this coming year, so...)

// What's five of your favorite books from 2016? 

WAIT I must narrow it down to only five?! (good thinking though, because I had a whole list...)

Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker << GUYS he's amazing and that's all there is to it

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof << Joanne is sooooo good at what she does. there's so much emotion and so much faith and love and hope. it's beautiful. (see my review here)

The Young Fur Traders by R.M. Ballantyne << Ballantyne's stories tend to be adventurous, and funny, with interesting characters. This one? No exception.

Take This Cup by Bodie and Brock Theone << such a good story! There were so many things in this that connected the Old Testament to Jesus' coming.

One Enchanted Eve by Melissa Tagg << a great novella by Miss Tagg - plus it's about two bakers (see my review here)

*blinks* That was super hard to choose. I AM STILL NOT EVEN SURE. (good luck to the peeps I tag ;))

// What's five of your least favorite books from 2016? 



Captives and Kings by Craig and Janet Parshall << There wasn't much character growth in this one. There could've been a lot more excitement than there was, and a few characters died for no reason. Also, it was kinda boring and dry. (see my review here)

A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot << I feel bad putting this one on here...but I didn't enjoy it. 

End of the Spear by Steve Saint << this one was slightly enjoyable, even interesting for a part of it, but I was really disappointed in the end and for the most part disinterested

War and Peace << I FINISHED IT THOUGH. (see my review here - warning: IT'S A LONG ONE)

Courageous by Dina L. Sleiman << there was really great faith elements in this, but for the first 200 pages I was uncomfortable. *grimaces* (see my review here)

Even choosing my least favorites was hard. XD

// What new favorite author did you discover? (Not necessarily that the author is 'new', but that they became new to you this year.) 

Hmmm...I think Melissa Tagg. Her books are cute and funny and honestly? remind me of Hallmark movies. Funny thing is my favorites of her books are two novellas...and then in third it's a full-length novel. Maybe because there's less drama in novellas, because everything has to be condensed. Imma go with that. XD
  
// What's five of your favorite book covers from the year? 

SO PRETTY. even the fonts. and oh the circus tent behind Ella. and her dress. and guys she's holding Charlie's hat. Didja know Joanne created this cover?! She's amazin'.



 YES I REREAD BROTHERS AT ARMS FOR LIKE THE SEVENTH TIME. *cough* Is that excessive? *shrugs because i don't really care* Adventure is dripping from this cover. *nods*





















She's carrying a parasol and is wearing a fancy Victorian dress, 'kay?

 



















There is snow on the trees behind them. Also she's wearing red lipstick. And that blanket was literally in the book. *laughs because that logic might not make sense*





















IT'S KATE AND COLTON.





















// How many books did you purchase for yourself in 2016? (Exact if you know, approximate if not.) 

Out of the 53 books I read this year, I bought 16 of them myself. I was actually surprised, since many of the books I read I either a) already owned, b) someone in my family owned, or c) were bought for me.

// What's the longest book you read in 2016? 

MWAHAHAAHAA WAR AND PEACE BY LEO TOLSTOY. except I started this a few years ago. Nonetheless, it's the longest book I read this year, my copy coming in at 1,421 pages. The second longest was Small-Town Brides, a novella collection, which totaled 448.

// What's the shortest book you read in 2016? 

Love in the Details by Becky Wade with 132 pages. (super cute)

(it's so helpful that Goodreads already has these things laid out for you... XD)

// What's your reading goal for 2017?

I'm gonna aim for 52 - one for every week. Also, I'm doing another reading challenge with a bunch of online friends - it's gonna be great! (post on that forthcoming)

THIS WAS FUN (although it was really hard picking things out. seriously was.) Thanks again to Faith for tagging me! Now...
  
Who I'm tagging:

Sarah   
Abi


    How was YOUR year in books?
Do you have a hard time picking favorites?   

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Would You Rather (Book Tag Edition)

I found this tag sitting on my Blogger dashboard a long time ago from Plottinger Twist. I wasn't tagged, but I thought it looked fun, and I thought I should do it, and I can tag others and spread this around... So here I am, doin' it (regardless of being tag-less).

#1 Would you rather read only trilogies or stand-alones?
...:

Oh... Stand-alones wrap up nicely, but trilogies give you more of a story for the adored characters. So, if the characters are fantastic and the plots are good, I'm going to go with trilogies. (I like series, actually, quite a bit.) 

#2 Would you rather read only male or female authors?

Can I just say both? Male and female authors bring different things to their stories, and both are amazing. I just would't want to live without either. (Especially Joanne Bischof. Or Ted Dekker. They. Are. Fantastic.)


#3 Would you rather shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?

Barnes and Noble, hands down. (I mean, I've got their membership... So COUPONS + FREE SHIPPING = BOOK LOVERS DREAM.) Besides, Barnes and Noble has physical stores! And cafes! Though the coffee is usually bad... But, on the upside, they have some pretty good blueberry muffins.


#4 Would you rather have books become T.V. shows or movies?

Movies, generally. But shows would be good too... (One chapter = one episode) It probably depends on the book.


#5 Would you rather read five pages a day or five books a week?

Five books a week - because five pages a day would be reader-misery, especially if the book was gripping. But I couldn't read five books a week for an extended period of time! No, siree. #bookcoma


#6 Would you rather be a professional reviewer or an author?

Author. No question about it. I want to write my own stories!


#7 Would you rather read your top 20 favorite books over and over again, or always read new ones you've never read before?

I choose new books. I really enjoy rereads of favorite books (I actually have reread Brothers at Arms six times now. Um. Yeah. *cough*), but new books bring a fresh excitement!


#8 Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?

Bookseller, definitely. Totally. And own my own bookstore? Yes, please. With a cafe (that has good coffee). <3


#9 Would you rather read only your favorite genre(s) or anything but your favorite? 

It would be my favorite genre (or genres) for a reason, so I'd rather read only my favorites. ;)

 
#10 Would you rather read only physical books or e-books?

  :

Physical books all the way. Now, don't get me wrong, I own a Nook, but e-books don't have the special something that physical books do. Turning pages, finding space for them on your bookshelves, having a huge library one day... All those things would never happen with my poor Nook. (Though the Nook is great, because it slips soooo easily into my purse for road trips. Oh, and the edges don't turn up...or down? That's the only downside about physical books - that they can get worn or damaged. And the room they take up...if you have no room left. Which is me currently. :O)

 
That was fun. Because I like talking about books! It's just so enjoyable, for some reason. Ya know?

I am officially tagging: Michaila from Mic's Room, Mikayla from The Bubblegum Ballerina, Sarah from Trusting in the Lord, Julia from The Barefoot Gal, and Abigayle from The Left-Handed Typist. Enjoy, guys! And if anybody else thinks this looks like fun: go for it.

(Totally just reminded myself of that Sidewalk Prophet's song...)

What is your favorite thing about reading? Have YOU ever had a super-crumbly blueberry muffin from Barnes and Noble's cafe? ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Courageous (Book Review)

Courageous
By: Dina Sleiman
Rating: 2 stars (It was okay)
Age range: 16 and up

For starters, I'll just say I haven't read the first two books in the series! (I heard that person in the back gasping...) I think it probably detracted from my enjoyment slightly, just because I didn't have the backstory of the characters. I mean, I could piece together the characters simply because I've read the synopsis of the first two novels in this series, and because there are some slight explanations, but it most likely would've been more fun if I knew the characters already and could say 'Hey! There they are!'. However, that's completely my own fault, and hopefully doesn't appear very negative. I simply would recommend reading them in order.

Okay! So we've got that down, now to the actual review...

The first 200 pages were a bit rough for me. Not because I wasn't really interested, but because some circumstances felt a tad inappropriate and uncomfortable. I did think it read more as a Christian Romance for older readers, instead of Teen Fiction. There was quite a bit of mentioning of things like girl's curves, women's virtue, Saracen harems, and then there's Rumsford and Jocelyn and what happened in Rosalind's past. Now, I know that's one of the main points of the story, because she must come to accept God's grace and stop trying to earn it, but it just isn't what I'm used to reading and it made me kinda uncomfortable. These above-mentioned points were my biggest struggle with the book, but it improved, and I ended up enjoying it more. Something shifted around page 200, and I felt more comfortable. However, those points lessened my enjoyment of the book quite a bit.

Though I didn't love the characters, I did like them. Rosalind and Randel made a cute couple, and I liked their relationship. It had a depth that sometimes doesn't make it into romances. They were in no way shallow, and I especially liked how they were good friends first, and then they started to fall in love. That they were there for each other when it mattered most and that they could share their deepest hurts with each other - because that's completely how it is supposed to be. That is one of my favorite parts of the book! I was pleasantly surprised by their relationship. It was sweet, and they genuinely cared for each other in a really special way. And the epilogue was cute.

The other thing I liked about this book was the accurate and deep portrayal of faith and trust in God. The prayer, the singing, the character that came to Christ, the visions, the small voice of the Holy Spirit leading the way, Sapphira's amazingly in-tune relationship with Jesus - it all had a surprising (in a good way!) amount of deepness and reality to it. Dina Sleiman did not shy away from the faith message, which is definitely worth an applaud from my corner.

Another thing is the history. The Crusades are an interesting time in history, and this book felt well-researched and realistic - realistic not just in the historical aspect, but the character's emotions and the trials they went through and the redemption in the end.

AND I ACTUALLY FIGURED OUT WHO THAT BAD GUY WAS. YES. I was kinda happy. I mean, at first I thought it was this person, and then OH! maybe that person, and then maybe that third person over there, and then things started becoming clearer and I was just like YUP. It's them. But, on that note, part of the villainous character's previous attitude toward Randel didn't necessarily add up for me, but, hey, maybe it was a facade the whole time.

Overall, I somewhat enjoyed it at times, it just felt significantly uncomfortable and inappropriate at points, maybe even dark, the writing was a bit dry, and definitely seemed like more of an adult romance than a teen romance. I probably wouldn't recommend it for people under the age of 16, or possibly even 17 or 18. It really depends on the person.

Big thanks to Bethany House for sending me this for my honest review!

View all my reviews