Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I was recently interviewed by my sweet friend, Mikayla, over at The Bubblegum Ballerina! She just posted the interview yesterday. :) You can read the whole thing here!
Here is a sneak-peek:
"What’s your favorite book? 

Brothers at Arms by John J. Horn is one, or To Birmingham Castle by Alicia A. Willis is another. They’re both amazing stories!

What’s your favorite movie? 

That’s a hard question! I don’t know! My favorite Disney movie is Tangled, and I’d say another movie that I like is The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian."
I want to say a big 'Thank you!' to Mikayla for interviewing me! I had so much fun. :)

Interview with Mikayla from The Bubblegum Ballerina!

I am happy to announce an interview with one of my friends - Mikayla, from The Bubblegum Ballerina!
Hi there, and welcome to Adventures Beyond the Horizon!

Thanks for having me, Micaiah, I'm very happy to be here! =D

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I could tell you a lot about myself but you'd probably get bored so I'll try to keep it nice and short. ;) I'm a quirky fifteen year old, I live in the gorgeous state of Texas with my five siblings. I love reading, writing, blogging, art, photography, emailing (that's like my fondest pastime), spending time with my family, watching movies late at 10-11 at night, finding adorable outfits, sewing, and the list goes on and on so I'll spare you from the rest. ;) Overall, I'm quirky, klutzy and an email freak. 

When did you begin blogging?

June 7th, 2013. So, I've been doing it for a little over a year with just over 100 posts. =)

How did you choose your blog title?

Well, sad to say, I didn't really think about my blog title much, which makes me sad now, but actually The Bubblegum Ballerina is a book title of mine. I haven't written the book yet, but I liked the title so I put it on my blog. =)

What’s your favorite book genre?

Oh, that's a hard one. I guess Adventure, non-magical fantasy, and historical fiction. =) 

Who is your favorite author?

Jessica Greyson. She has written my two favorite books - Annabeth's War and Captive of Raven Castle. =D

Favorite book?

Annabeth's War. It is by far the best book I've read. Lots of action, not much romance, fun characters, good witticisms, and lots of fun stuff! =D

What are you currently reading?

The Ringmasters Secret - which is a Nancy Drew, and The Coral Island. =) 

Tangled or Frozen?

Beauty and the Beast. Oops, wasn't one of my options. ;) I guess Tangled - Pascal is just so cute. =D

Action, adventure, or mystery?

Ugg, it would be a toss up between Action and Adventure. They're both similar but so much fun I just couldn't choose. =)

Who’s your favorite fictional character?

Emma Woodhouse (from Emma by Jane Austen). She is almost just like me and it is amazingly fun to watch and read about someone that much like me. =D

T.V. or movies?

T.V. You get to know the characters much better. =) 

If money were no object, where would you go for vacation? Who would you bring with you?

I would go to... England and just walk around with a camera for days on end. I would take my sisters and Jessica Joy. =) 

Favorite time period? Why?

The 50's. They are awesome. I really should have been born in the 50's (or so my family tells me). If I could figure out a way to take my friends with me and go to the 50's for a week, I would. =D

What are three words that best describe you?

Need More Words. Okay, that's just what I say when I'm writing, but I guess: Quirky, cute and sarcastic. Rebekkah wanted me to add 'Imaginary,' 'Sensible,' and 'Not-a-girly-girl-but-not-a-tom-boy.' But I told her that was too many words, so... 

What is your favorite movie?

Bell and the Beast. But really, I prefer T.V. series. 

Which is your favorite movie in the Chronicles of Narnia? Favorite character from that movie?

Prince Caspian. Its the best one of the three. =) Edmund - he is just awesomeness itself. Really, I want Edmund. He's so cool. Not to mention cute. Okay, I'll stop swooning. ;) 

Do you write? If so, what do you like to write about?

Oh, boy, do I like to write. I'm a writeaholic. =D I love writing!! I like writing about normal girls who sometimes end up in unusual circumstances. I love action books, stories where people get hurt with happy endings. I can't stand it when you don't have a happy ending. =) 

And, if you could meet one person, who would you choose?

Jim Elliot. But if your talking about living, one of my online friends. =) 
Thanks for stopping by and giving up your time so we could get to know you!

Thanks so much for having me, Micaiah!! =D 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Brothers at Arms: Treasure and Treachery in the Amazon

Brothers at Arms: Treasure and Treachery in the Amazon
(Men of Grit #1)
By: John J. Horn
Rating: 5 stars
Ages: 12 and up (for action)

Lawrence and Chester Stoning are twins, but like Jacob and Esau of old they have little else in common. Lawrence is a realist, fascinated by the study of science, mathematics, and history, while Chester longs for the knightly adventures of chivalrous times past - hard-fought battles, gold-filled caves, damsels in distress.

When Chester's impetuosity engages the unlikely pair as bodyguards to a Spaniard and his beautiful ward, Pacarina, the twins quickly realize that the 19th century calls for a chivalry of its own. Protecting Pacarina's secret leads all of them into the steaming jungles and dizzying mountains of Peru, a foreboding territory made all the more dangerous by Lawrence and Chester's strivings against each other.

Can the twins learn to trust God and work together before it's too late? Or will they fall prey to the mysterious schemes of Pacarina's enemy - an enemy they know nothing about?

After reading Brothers at Arms: Treasure and Treachery in the Amazon a second time recently, I still came away amazed. I knew what was going to happen, I knew where the story was headed, I knew who the bad guy was the whole time - but I still immensely enjoyed it. Seriously, after over a year of reading and reading other novels, it still stands as my favorite book. Why? Well, don't get me started...

Action. Adventure. Peril. The slightest hint of a romance. It all added up to become an intensely amazing story that I just want to keep reading. Oh, why did it have to end!? :) John J. Horn created an awesome tale. I adore it.

Lawrence and Chester are so opposite - Lawrence is studious and philosophical, and Chester is mischievous and adventurous. Yet, they work extremely well together. All the times they banded together to overcome impossible odds - escaping that treacherous cave and an enemy ship, fighting the Mayamuras, chasing down Pacarina, the list goes on. They are honestly two of my favorite fictional characters. The dialogue between them throughout the book was hilarious. Law and Chester are the perfect pair. And, I have to say, Chester might have a bit of Peterkin from The Coral Island in him.

Pacarina Garnica was a wonderful character. After having read the book again, I like her even more. She is strong, intelligent, fun, and totally perfect for- *cough, cough* Never mind that matter. She was an awesome heroine for this novel.

Sabas and Garcia are a totally different matter. I can't say much about either of them without giving something away, so... we'll just leave it at that - or, since there is nothing to leave it at, I'll just leave it. :)

(I'll give some of my thoughts from the first time I read it, since the experience was different the second time)

I was on the edge of my seat when I read this last August. I read it in two days, the majority of it being in one sitting. I couldn't put it down! I was delighted with the originality (you could say improbability) and creativity of the plot. It had me hooked from the very first page.

John Horn's love of history is evident, and I love the humor that is intertwined throughout the whole story. It has elements of manliness, chivalry, bravery, and God-honoring principles that are hard to find in books today.

I can't recommend it highly enough! Just go read it! It's an unforgettable story. We need more novels and stories like this one.

Recommended for historical fiction readers, adventure and action fans, and those who just want to read a good book. Both boys and girls will love it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Quote of the Week

"There isn't always a good choice and a bad choice, but it's a Christian's duty to make the best choice, even if it hurts. That's the duty of Christians, and the duty of warriors." - John J. Horn, Secret of the Lost Settlement: The Duty of Warriors

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sunflower Blogger Award

I was nominated for the Sunflower Blogger Award by Miss Mikayla H. over at The Bubblegum Ballerina. Thanks, for the nomination, Mikayla!

I am just required to answer the questions given, so, without further ado...

Here are the questions she asked and my answers:

What is your favorite craft to do?

Well,  I don't do crafts all that often, but I have scrapbooked before! Does painting or jewelry-making count? I used to have a whole jewelry-making set when I was younger and I enjoyed making jewelry! So, if I had to choose a craft, I think it would be jewelry-making.

Are you interested in masquerades?

Hmm. Interesting question! I suppose it would be fun to go to a masquerade ball!

Have you ever written about a fairy? If so, what kind was it?

No, I've never written about a fairy. The Tinkerbelle movies are kind of cute, though.

How many siblings do you have?

I have three brothers, and two sisters, so five!

What are your thoughts on Nancy Drew?

I have never watched the movies or read the books...so I don't know that much about her! I do know she is a detective of sorts and she solves mysteries, though. :)

Do you highlight your Bible?

Of course! I love highlighting Scripture that really speaks to me. I just got a new Bible for my birthday, though, so I don't have much highlighted in there yet!

Have you watched "You Can't Take It With You"?

No, I haven't. I actually have never heard of it until now!

What have you done today so far?

Sent out some emails, helped with dinner preparations, and read a bit of Brothers at Arms: Treasure and Treachery in the Amazon by John J. Horn, which I am currently rereading and immensely enjoying! I am also going to be doing an English test today.

Do you like pictures of the sky?

Yes, I do! I actually took a bunch of pictures the other day! I'll share some below.

Another 'Thank you' to Mikayla for nominating me! Here are some of the scenic pictures I took while driving the other day:


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Introduction to the A Life of Faith Book Series!

The A Life of Faith series - Millie Keith, Elsie Dinsmore, and Violet Travilla - written by Martha Finley, have been a big part of my life for years. They are stories of young ladies of the Victorian era who each faced struggles and hard times of their own, but each with the same, strong faith.

Elsie grew up most of her childhood father and motherless, as her father finished college and traveled abroad and her mother  had passed away when she was only a baby. She lived in the home of her hard, bitter grandfather and his unkind wife, with only her nursemaid to guide her through life.

Millie had to leave a life filled with friends and wealth behind in Ohio when her father decided to move his family to a rough, undeveloped frontier town - Pleasant Plains, Indiana - where they suffered hot summers and epidemics.

Violet grew up in a wealthy neighborhood with a large family and all the happiness in the world. But she then has to face her father passing away, the threatening trials of running a mission house in a notorious neighborhood, and many other trying times. Why are these books so dear to me?

The characters. The faith that each book portrays. The excitement that each book brings. The settings and time period. I adore this series. I've fallen in love with so many of the characters - Millie Keith, Violet Travilla, Edward Travilla, Horace Dinsmore Jr., Zoe Love, Cyril Keith, Ed Travilla, Gordon Lightcap, Walter Dinsmore, Charles Landreth, Marcus Darius Raymond, Wealthy Stanhope, and so, so many more! All of the stories interweaved into all of the books make them riveting, exciting, and fun. There's action, adventure, humor, tear-jerking moments...

These books are incredible. They are Christ-centered, have perfectly sweet (yet clean) romance, and faith-trying struggles that each character faces in their life. They are perfect for girls trying to find Godly books that are gripping and fun. Suffice to say, I own all 24 books, and I love them!

After now having introduced you my beloved A Life of Faith series, I will be doing a series of book reviews for each of the Millie, Violet, and Elsie novels, starting with the Millie Keith series.

Keep a good lookout! Coming soon...

Friday, August 15, 2014

With Every Breath

With Every Breath
By: Elizabeth Camden
Rating: 2 stars

In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston holds a respectable position as a government statistician when she encounters a rival from her past, the insufferable Trevor McDonough. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and she's bewildered at the way he suddenly seeks her out. Surprising even herself, Kate agrees to Trevor's entirely unexpected and risky proposal to work side-by-side with him in his quest to rid the world of tuberculosis, a contagious and deadly disease.

As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, she realizes there is much more to him than she could have imagined. His hidden depths may fascinate her, but his most closely guarded secrets and a shadowy enemy lurking in the background carry a serious threat to their future.

When the truth of the past comes out, threatening to destroy everything they hold dear, how will Trevor and Kate ever overcome all that stands in their way?

I am sorry to say that I had to put this book down. I don't put books down often. But this one, I did - I had to. The whole feel of the book from the very beginning was somewhat heavy. The theme of tuberculosis was somewhat disturbing, but the reason I had to put this book down was inappropriate subject matter mentioned, and from then on I did not want to finish the book. I know it may sound trivial to some people, but, honestly, none of that ever needs to be put into Christian fiction. It was really frustrating. Otherwise, I was semi-enjoying the story.

 Also, I wish that the characters would've acted more like Christians. I know that I cannot judge for the whole book, but from what I did read I would have liked a bit more of a Christian feel.

Trevor was an interesting character, and I wish I knew what his backstory was and why he ‘needed the money’ from the scholarship. Tick was also a good character, from what I saw of him.

I can see that Elizabeth has a good writing style, but I can't read inappropriate books.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The feelings expressed above are entirely my own.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

When Comes the Spring

When Comes the Spring
(Canadian West #2)
By: Janette Oke
Rating: 5 Stars
Ages: 12 and up (for mild romance and mildly dangerous situations)

Elizabeth, the lovely young eastern schoolteacher, has braved the western frontier and spent a year teaching in a one-room schoolhouse. Now she and Wynn, her Royal Canadian Mountie, are planning their wedding and their new life together at his outpost in the far north. Will their love for each other sustain them through a harsh winter, loneliness, and the rigors of life without any of the conveniences they have been accustomed to?

I recently posted a review of When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke. Well, not too long ago, I also read the second book in the Canadian West series - When Comes the Spring. And, I enjoyed it even more than the first book! My thoughts:

When Comes the Spring was undoubtedly fun! I love Elizabeth and Wynn, and I loved reading about their struggles settling into life in the far north - with no modern conveniences.

This book really gave me a deeper look into the life of a Canadian Mountie. A Mountie's life was extremely difficult most of the time.
Wynn was home late in the evenings most days, and, during winter, would have to leave for days at a time to travel to a far off cabin to check on a trapper. A Mountie was the law, doctor, dispute-settler, and overall caretaker of the entire village where he was stationed.  I see now why Wynn was so adamant that an elegant lady from the East couldn't live in the North.

But Elizabeth did prove him wrong on that account! She was very strong and determined throughout the entire book. She went to a village where she knew no one, and could converse with approximately about five people, including Wynn - one of those being a sweet, young Indian woman named Nimmie (the wife of the man who runs the trading post), the others being Nimmie's husband, Mr. Ian McClain, Ian's bitter, impolite younger sister, Miss Katherine McClain, and another Indian woman.

Elizabeth handled everything that the North had to throw her way with dignity and grace - and she never complained. Even when Wynn had to leave in the middle of a snowstorm and she was left alone, excepting her dog, Kip.

Overall, When Comes the Spring gave me a deeper knowledge of what a Mountie's life really looks like, the bitter winters of the North, the Indians that live there, and what it would be like to live the life of a Royal Canadian Mountie's wife, and was also exciting, charming, and enjoyable.

It was a fantastic story set in a backdrop of rugged north Canada - with its rough terrain, high mountains, long winters, short summers, annoying mosquitoes, and charm - with wonderful, memorable characters. I would recommend to readers who love historical fiction.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Quote of the Week

"Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God." - Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

When Calls the Heart

When Calls the Heart
(Canadian West #1)
By: Janette Oke
Rating: 4.5 stars
Ages: 13 and up (for mild romance)

Nothing in her cultured Eastern upbringing prepared Elizabeth for a teaching position in the Canadian West. Despite the many hardships, she cares deeply for the schoolchildren, but she is determined not to open her heart to any of the local frontiersmen. Then she meets a certain member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police...

 I adore the Hallmark Channel series, When Calls the Heart. Who wouldn't? It is wonderful. It was inspired (loosely) on the first book in the Canadian West series, When Calls the Heart. I have heard great things about Janette Oke, so I decided to give her Canadian West series a try. Here are my thoughts:

When Calls the Heart was intriguing and humorous. I started the book and really enjoyed the beginning, when Elizabeth first gets the invitation to head West, and her emotions and reactions and thoughts are normal and easily understood. Actually, her whole character and the way she acts throughout the entire book is so easily understood. 

The plot was simple and fun - it is a good, light summer read. It wasn't as much fun as the movie version (starring Stephen Amell as Wynn Delaney, and Maggie Grace as 'Aunt' Elizabeth Thatcher), but it was enjoyable. I related some of the things that both Wynn and Elizabeth did throughout the story to my older sister and we both ended up laughing. It was fun.

The 'boxed lunch' scene in the school when the men are bidding for the boxed lunches made by the ladies was quite humorous. The game was that the ladies would make and bring a boxed lunch (enough to feed two people or more) and the men would bid on the lunch and whoever won got to eat the lunch with the lady who made it...Poor, poor Wynn...being snubbed by Elizabeth again and again and he has no idea why! 

The ending was very satisfactory. Honestly, Elizabeth's hasty decision to leave town was just that - hasty. Thank goodness Wynn caught up with her at the train station!

Overall, a cute clean romance I would recommend to Janette Oke fans and historical fiction/romance readers.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Quote of the Week

"Listen, I'm against sin. I'll kick it as long as I've got a foot, I'll fight it as long as I've got a fist, I'll butt it as long as I've got a head, and I'll bite it as long as I've got a tooth. And when I'm old, fistless, footless, and toothless, I'll gum it 'til I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition." - Billy Sunday

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Favorite Secondary Characters

Some of my favorite characters are secondary - the ones who are always in the background, who most often never get their own story. Secondary characters are what make a good story a great one. 

Here are some of my favorite secondary fictional characters (from books):

Edmund Burke

From: The Boy Colonel: A Soldier Without a Name, and Secret of the Lost Settlement: The Duty of Warriors by John J. Horn.

Why: Edmund was such a fun character. He was a good (awesome, actually) friend to Nobody - in everyday life, in battle, and in the hard times. Edmund's the type of friend that would go to the ends of the earth for you. He's incredibly brave. He was also hilariously similar to Peterkin Gay from The Coral Island - they are kindred spirits. And if I love Peterkin, then I love Edmund. But instead of talking to a cat (like Peterkin did), Edmund decided to talk to a candle...similar, indeed. ;)

Cyril Keith

From: All eight of the books in the A Life of Faith: Millie Keith series, and Violet's Amazing Summer by Martha Finley.

Why: Honestly, when I thought of mentioning Cyril in this post, I went with it. His story was so incredibly wonderful. So touching. His turnaround was so sweet. And, of course, I loved him as the young, mischievous boy that he was throughout most of the Millie books. I wish that we would've been given a bit more to his story (I want to know if he married- Well, I can't tell you who...what kind of blogger would I be if I did?), but we know he turned out pretty good. :) He was really fun to have around (and humorous), and, for some reason, he was always my favorite of Millie's many siblings.

Zoe Love

From: All of the A Life of Faith: Violet Travilla books after book one by Martha Finley.

Why: She's sweet, independent, totally perfect for Eddie, and remarkably wise beyond her years. Zoe is a wonderful friend to Vi, and her story leading up to (a certain happening I shan't mention) was fascinating.

Charles Landreth

From: Millie's Remarkable Journey, Millie's Faithful Heart, Millie's Steadfast Love, Millie's Grand Adventure, and every book after by Martha Finley.

Why: Charles was such a gentleman. He was also loads of fun. I loved having him around throughout some of the Millie books. I loved his humorous ways of trying to win Millie's heart. But he was also caring, charming, and gallant, willing to sacrifice his place in the South to help Millie. And if it weren't for Charles's dear friend, Otis Lochneer, things would have gone smoothly - or would they have?

I could go on and on, and mention secondary characters such as Patrick O'Malley, Gordon Lightcap, Jackson Spivy, Horace Dinsmore Jr., Trip Dinsmore, Edward Travilla, Frank Osborne, Pacarina Garnica, and, well, a whole lot of others...but I'll spare you.

Or maybe I'll just save them for another post...

Who are some of your favorite secondary characters?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Quote of the Week

Two quotes for you this week!

"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." - Ernest Hemingway


"Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled, 'This could change your life'." - Helen Exley


I also want wish a Happy Birthday to my wonderful, amazing sister, Ashley, on her 21st birthday! I love ya!