Saturday, November 17, 2012

All Kingdom's Fall

A poem a wrote a couple of years ago. All kingdom's fall, except God's.

All Kingdom's Fall

 The day of victory is nigh,
Clouds blow past the towers tall.
Soon swords will clash,
And a great kingdom will fall.
Where are the soldiers at dawn's break?
Are they prepared to fight?
Today someone will be overthrown,
Who will be the one to survive?
The King of one land watches,
He knows the day is come.
The ending of his Kingship,
His country almost done.
The King's men will defend him,
Against all who would slay.
Their efforts will be fruitless,
The King will die today.
The other King's soldiers come,
They knock down the once strong gate.
They fight and kill with no hesitation,
Murderous intent in their eyes, on their face.
They break into the chamber where the ruling monarch waits,
His guards hold back their fearsome blows but still it's not enough.
The other soldiers stand and fight,
But already it's too late.
The King pulls out his own great sword,
Ready for one last stand.
The enemies advance, their weapons held,
The fight begins and will go on til the very last man.
The swords fly, back and forth,
The King protects his own.
An enemy finds an opening and attacks,
the King defends, but cannot hide that soon it will be done.
A soldier stabs him in the back,
the King is surprised at this final sharp blow.
For as he falls to the ground, his life leaving,
The King will realize, the soldier was his own.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teen Read Week!!! Why is Reading Comprehension Important?

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Hello everyone! It's Day 3 of the Teen Read Week blog tour hosted by Sarah at Inklined.

  Here's today's schedule!                 
6:00—Ramblings of a Young Author (You're truly!)
  To start off, here's a little paragraph about me: My name is Bethany, I'm an aspiring teenage writer, and just like all the other aspiring teenage writers, I would love to be published one day. But I have a lot of work to do. Besides writing, I LOVE acting, singing, reading, hanging out with friends, laughing maniacally, and just having an all out good time. I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and everything I do, I do for Him.
 And here's a bit about this blog: This blog is relatively new, and I'm still trying to get it on it's feet. Because, to tell the truth, I don't always know what to blog about. Mainly, it is where I post my book reviews, occasional thoughts on life, and I hope to soon share some writing tips. It is for other young writers/readers to relate and (I hope) enjoy.
    Now, on to the official post!
  I was originally planning to write a blog post on showing description in your writing, before I realized that this is Teen READ Week. I guess my blog post will have to wait another day. So what, I find myself wondering, could I say, that would be of interest, be of use to any of you?
 Let's talk about reading comprehension. Now... don't start groaning! I know a lot of the time, we, as teens tend to speed read through books. Yes, we all do, and have done it. Why is it so important to read and understand? Well, you could read something completely wrong, for instance. Or, you could skip over a sentence (happens to me...) But what IS reading comprehension?
 Some words can be confusing. You probably know many now, but every once in a while a strange one will pop up... like facetious. When we're reading a book, and we come to a hard word, we tend to read slower, trying to sound the word out, figure what it means. In the process of reading, the rest of the sentence could be disrupted, and you might never know what it said.
 So what am I supposed to do? you ask. Should I read the entire dictionary?! (Sarcasm- though I do think reading the dictionary would be very cool.) But no. No. No. No. You don't always have to be in a hurry to read a story- though often times it's necessary. For me, I enjoy the slow experience of getting to know the characters. But if you're a naturally fast reader... well that's great! What I'm saying is, don't read so fast that you lose part of the story, part of the vocabulary. If a story needs to be told, it should be told in its entirety. So if you do come across a difficult word that disrupts the flow, go on and get that dictionary, look the word up, and start the sentence or paragraph over, and return to the flow. You'll learn something, and enjoy the story more for it. 
 And that's all I have to say about that! 
Writing is so important, for all ages. Story telling is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. In it, we learn so much, can be inspired, or go through a wide range of emotions. Here are some of my favorite word crafters, and some books they have written.
 Wayne Thomas BatsonDoor Within, Pirate Series, Berinfell Prophecies, The Dark Sea Annals. (He writes fantasy, and it is so good. He is my greatest inspiration.)
 Shannon Hale - The Princess Academy, Goose Girl. (Another amazing fantasy author! )
 Jill Williamson - Replication, The New Recruit. (She writes spec fic, or "weird books for teens.")
Francine Rivers - The Last Sin Eater, Redeeming Love. (Miss Rivers writes wonderful historical fiction.)
 And those are just a few. I highly recommend these authors, they will exercise your imagination! So that's all I have to say, for now. I hope this post has been interesting in any way, and don't forget to check out the rest of the day's posts!
 For those of you waiting for a tidbit of my story... here's a few sentences... What do you think?
 As he passed another hopeful young lady, her eyes large and bright, he caught sight of the honey colored hair of the girl standing next to her. His breath hitched in his throat, and he fumbled for something intelligent to say. Finally, in an almost inaudible whisper, he spoke one word; one name.
 “Anya?” A pair of frightened green eyes turned to him. They pleaded with him, and Elric saw a deep dread hanging there, as if being chosen were a death sentence.
 Have a lovely day!
 P.S. If you were unsure, facetious means
Treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The New Recruit: A Book Review, Author Interview, and Giveaway

 I was sent this book from the author in exchange for an honest review from myself.
From the back cover:

Forced to choose between military school and a Christian spy organization, skeptic Spencer Garmond signs on with the Bible geeks. But before he even boards the plane for Moscow, Spencer realizes this is no Bible club.
These guys mean business.
Stumbling onto a case involving a gang of homeless boys, a chilling tattoo, and the always beautiful Anya Vseveloda, Spencer struggles to find the faith needed to save the Mission League from enemy infiltration.
  I was excited about this book before I even received it in the mail. I had read her previous book, Replication, a month or so ago, and Miss Jill certainly has a way with words. With that book, I was drawn to the story, riveted, wanting to see what would happen to the characters I came to care for. So, for The New Recruit, I had a very high standard set.

 This book lived up to the standards. The more I read, the more enthralled I became. I suppose, being a Christian, and knowing the Lord since I was a small child, I can't connect to Spencer the way a lot of people do. But, still, it was an interesting lesson to get inside the head of "the other side." Really, how do unsaved youth feel around us? Do they see us as unrealistically bubbly and annoying? Being bubbly is a wonderful thing, especially if it's a real thing. And do these kids feel judged? Like all we want to do is condemn them for their sins, and won't befriend them unless they accept the Lord? It's pretty sobering stuff. Some of the characters were, I suppose, over the top in this way, but I guess that's how it is sometimes.

 The writing of the book was excellent, except for a few distracting grammatical errors (it happens to everyone!) and what seemed like a flaw in the storyline. But other then these small details, the book was superb. Who doesn't enjoy a story about teen spies? Add a dose of spiritual warfare, and a cliffhanger ending, and it's one action packed trip that leaves me wanting book two. You definitely WON'T be sorry to buy this book! But maybe you won't have to... Miss Jill has graciously offered to let me host a giveaway of The New Recruit, which you can find at the bottom of the page.

 So, yes, I think this book is worth the money you would normally be required to pay for it, and I bet you'll enjoy it. I recommend this book for anyone 12 and up. Even some adults would enjoy it. (I'm letting my mom read Mrs. Williamson last book, and she's been devouring it.) So, yes, I hope you'll think about adding this book to your Young Adult collection.
 And now, an interview with the wordcrafter herself.
 How long have you been writing?  
I started writing in 2004 when I was twenty-nine years old. My first book was published in 2009.
 Did you ever think you wanted to be a published author before you became one?
Not really. As a kid, I used to dream about being famous, but it was either for fashion design or writing movie scripts. I never thought about writing novels.
 Can you tell us where you got the inspiration for some of your books?
Inspiration is everywhere. I got the idea for By Darkness Hid on a walk with my son. We passed by a house that had burned down, and there was a tree in the yard, only half of which had burned. I went home and Photoshopped an image of a half-dead, half-living tree. Replication started on a drive to pick apples in upstate New York. As we drove past farm after farm, I got thinking. “What if there was a farm that grew people? Clones? They could call it Jason Farms!” And Captives came to me on a Monday night at one of my Beth Moore Bible study classes at church. The study was on Daniel. And Beth asked us to think about a group of teenage boys today being thrust into a Babylonian world. She asked how we thought they’d do. And I thought. “Yeah… How would they do?”
Sometimes it can be difficult to turn off my creative brain.
 What is your favorite part about the writing process? 
Brainstorming the start and the overall plot. I also really like the rewrite process, but as my deadlines get smaller, that part becomes much more stressful and fast. So I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to.
 Is the publishing process different then you first imagined?
Sure it is. I thought it would be easy to get published. I had no idea how difficult it was. I had no idea how difficult it was to write a good book.
 Can you tell us how long it took for your first book to be published?
If you mean the first book I had published, By Darkness Hid was published in 2009. It was the sixth book I wrote, though. And it didn’t take me as long top write that book as it did the first book I ever wrote. By Darkness Hid took about six months from start to finish. The first book I ever wrote was The New Recruit, and it just got published last month. I started that book in 2004 and it got published in 2012. And I rewrote that book again and again and again and again.
 Why are you inspired to write the genre you write?
Because I like to read that genre. I like weird things. I’m weird. And spec fiction is just cool.
 How does your belief in God help you in writing new novels, and how does it affect your writing? 
 It assures me that I’ve found the purpose he has for me at this time in my life. So even when it gets hard and I’d like to quit, I won’t. And every writer’s worldview affects their writing. No matter what book you pick up and read, you can glean the author’s beliefs in the pages. Some beliefs are less popular today than others. But my beliefs always come through in some of my characters. But I wasn’t always a believer, so I remember what it was like to be on the other side. And I hope that comes through as well. It’s always my goal to write believable characters.
Would you ever be interesting in writing a book with someone else?
Sure. Though I hear it’s not easy. I’d have to have a really good relationship with that person(s).
 Of all the books you've written, which is your personal favorite? Who is your favorite character?
I don’t have a favorite. I can’t choose between my children! Though I do like to say that some of the books I have yet to publish are favorites, though I think that’s just a proud mom wanting all her children to have an equal chance to be in print. If I were to say, Martyr is my favorite character, then I’d think of Achan. And if I said Achan was my favorite, then I’d think of Spencer. And if I said Spencer was my favorite, then I’d think of Mason. And if I said Mason was my favorite, then I’d think of Amaraq.
You get the picture. LOL
 Can you tell us anything about upcoming projects?
The New Recruit is the first in a four-book series. The next book will come out in May 2013. And in February 2013, Captives will release. Captives is the first in a dystopian trilogy that was inspired by Beth Moore’s question and Daniel chapter one, when Babylon conquered Jerusalem and took the young princes into the palace to live and work.
 And for fun... what is your absolute favorite thing to eat? :)
Cheesecake! Almost any kind of cheesecake makes me very, very happy.
  Is there anything else you would like to say?
Come and find me online! I’m on Facebook here:
And I blog on my author website here:

 Thank you for answering all the questions so great! Now, onto the book giveaway! Please leave an email or some way to contact you if you win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 10, 2012

Band of Sisters: A Book Review

Hello everyone! Today I'll be reviewing Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke. I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.

 When I read the summary of this book, I was instantly intrigued. I love historical fiction, and this book looked different then any I have read.

From the back cover: New York City, 1910
Driven by a shameful past and a perilous future, Maureen O’Reilly and her sister flee Ireland in search of safety, liberty, and opportunity. But after surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor has died, and his family—refusing to own his debt—casts her out. Impoverished and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to find employment in a prominent Manhattan department store, only to discover the elegant facade hides a dangerous secret.

Despite her family’s disapproval, Olivia Wakefield vows to honor her father’s promise but can’t find Maureen, the woman her brother-in-law so rudely turned away. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, who Olivia dares hope will become more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he’s hiding.

As women begin disappearing from the department store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But will they be too late? And in the midst of a world gone mad, can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring?

 This is a story of suffering, love, and the one who redeems us all. I was sucked into the story, hastily reading through the pages. My heart hurt for Maureen, and I longed for things to turn out right for her. I felt for her younger sister, Katie Rose, as well, until she started acting like a spoiled brat. I didn't like her so much after that. Olivia was an honorable woman, wishing to keep the promise her father made over twenty years before. And Joshua Keeton was a gentlemen anyone would be happy to meet. I loved all the characters, really. Mrs. Gohlke has a way of making every person come to life, no matter how big or small their role.

 Band of Sisters is a page turner that I would recommend for anyone thirteen and up. It's historically accurate, and keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering what's going to happen to Maureen and the other characters. But more then entertaining, this book also contains an important, sobering message. What would Jesus do? White slavery is a prevalent thing in our time. It hasn't diminished, and some aren't even aware of it. What can we do to work against this evil practice?

 I'm only a teenaged girl. I don't have much of a way to make this horrible thing known, or to work against it. I can't donate a thousand dollars to help end it, I can't travel somewhere. But I can raise awareness by posting about this, and keeping up with reports. Maybe someday, I'll follow in the footsteps of Cathy, and write my own story. But the biggest thing I, as a Christian can do, is to pray. Prayer is the most powerful tool in a Christian's arsenal, and I shall wield it as the Lord wills me.

 What can YOU do?

 On Cathy Gohlke's website: you can find resources to help you become more aware about human trafficking, and what YOU can do to fight in this battle.

 And now, some questions and answers from Mrs. Gholke.

Human trafficking and the abolition of slavery is such a huge problem, let alone rescuing and restoring its victims. What can I do to help? *First, learn all you can through reading and talking with individuals and organizations who have already joined the fight:
-- Google “human trafficking” to learn what is happening in the world.
--Contact your local library, social services, churches or police force and ask what is being done in your community to raise awareness and prevent human trafficking. They can help you find books, organizations, and on-line information to educate yourself about:

The crime (what is human trafficking and where in the world it occurs— you will be astonished)

The people at risk

The methods traffickers use to capture and enslave

The tracking down, arrest and prosecution of predators The rescue, restoration, and healing of victims
The fight to abolish slavery through legal means

The education of men and boys re. the dignity and worth of women and girls

Organizations and/or Individuals that are already working to do the above- *
*See my website at for a growing list of these sites. If you find more, please let me know so I can add them.

*Once you understand what organizations and opportunities are already in place, determine what you are able and equipped to do. That might include:
Work directly with one of these organizations, either in this country or in a foreign country

Validate, affirm, encourage and engage girls or women who are at risk or in the process of healing

Welcome strangers into your church as part of the church family Take a rescued victim into your home or provide housing

Mentor a victim, or a girl or woman at risk

Help a woman find safe and gainful employment and/or child care

Help a woman applying for a job find appropriate clothing

Provide childcare and/or transportation when needed

Tutor a student, young or not so young and encourage hopeful options

Invite women or girls for a meal in your home or take them out for a meal or event, using the opportunity to reaffirm their worth

Provide assistance for medical care—practical or financial

Speak up when others make slurring or disrespectful comments re. women, immigrants, homeless, etc.—attitudes must change to make change

last Do not patronize stores, hotels, sporting events or other venues where you believe women or children are trafficked.

Provide legal counsel, assistance or finances for same for victims

Write or speak out against trafficking

 Are you a plotter or a seat of the pants writer?
That’s a great question! My wonderful agent, Natasha Kern, is convinced I’m a “pantser.” I’ve thought of myself as a “plotter by force.” Over time, I’ve learned to plot enough to write a synopsis—but it’s like ripping teeth from their roots. I fear losing the passion for and organic nature of my story so am hesitant to commit or share details before writing a first draft. I’d much rather write a story and then severely revise and edit. But I’ve come to see that that is not always an efficient process—not for me and not for my agent or editors. The thing that’s helped me most is Michael Hague’s Six Point Plot Structure as he describes it in the DVD, The Hero’s Two Journeys, as well as The Moral Premise, by Dr. Stanley Williams.
Now I write a long and detailed—sometimes rambling—synopsis, then put it away, and only take it out if I find myself wandering off track. The finished product is often quite different from my original notes.

 If Band of Sisters was turned into a movie, which actors do you think would best portray what you imagined for your main characters? Can you describe a few main physical features that they have?
Maureen is striking—tall, slim, with thick, flaming red hair (tendrils escaping), and green eyes in a thin face. Victoria Smurfit, who played Hannah Randall in “Berkeley Square” could play Maureen’s role perfectly.
Joshua is also tall, broad shouldered, with black, thick curls, dark blue eyes, and the ruddy complexion of a man who’s worked outdoors all his life. Perhaps Hugh Dancy could play his role.
Olivia is lovely with dark upswept hair and brown eyes. She’s intelligent, with a quiet and cultured but determined air about her. I think Jessica Brown Findlay, who played Lady Sybil Crawley in Downton Abby, would be perfect.
Curtis is tall, slim, with dark brown eyes, curling dark hair, and alabaster skin. Perhaps Jamie Bamber could fill his role.

How does your faith impact your writing? My faith is part and parcel of all I do. While writing my first novel I learned that
I cannot divide the heart God knit inside me, cannot separate what I write from how I live in response to Him.
That’s when I began praying, not just that the Lord would lay on my heart a “story,” but that He would lay on my heart His “purpose,” and a story to illuminate that purpose. Later I understood that “purpose” is what is known in writing circles as a “strong moral premise.” All the characters must respond to that premise in some way or other. It is what ties the story together. Faith weaves the moral premise in my life, and as I live out that faith—as I respond to my Savior—my own life story is written.

 What spurs your writing? Writing has become my way of making sense of the world, of putting into
perspective the struggles of humanity and of my own—past and present—of trying to see the world as God sees it, as He redeems it by pursuing and claiming one heart at a time. I want to know what gives Him joy, what breaks His heart— those are the stories that matter, the stories that bring me continually closer to Him.
Frederick Buechner expressed it best, “The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Finding that place spurs me on.

  Thank you to Tyndale and Cathy Gohlke for giving me the opportunity to be one of the first to read this book. I LOVED it. It was a great inspiration to me, and it's given me a few ideas for a book of my own. Five stars. God bless!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Audition butterflies, Band of Sisters, and the big 50.

Today we've been listening to music from The Little Mermaid broadway cast. Even my brother. Though the reason we've been listening is because we have an audition coming up for The Little Mermaid Jr. - that play- in two days.

 I've got pre-audition butterflies, I must admit. My voice doesn't seem to want to cooperate sometimes, and at my last two auditions, I had no voice. Thankfully, the music teacher knew me, so she knew I could hold a tune, so I was able to get a part in those. This time, I HAVE my voice (thank goodness!), but I'm worried it might crack or do something totally unpredictable.

 But you know what? I'm not going to worry so much. Even though I've never met any of the judges before in my life, and a bunch of strangers will be watching me, I'm going to try and be my own, crazy self, and just have fun. The song I'm doing is a fun one, from the first musical I was in. Think Positive! 

 Think Positive seems to go right along with what I'm doing. Does no one else see the irony of this?

 A week or so ago, I sprained my ankle. It's still purple and slightly swelled, but I can walk on it fine, and don't notice much pain. But part of the audition is a bit of a "dance" segment. o.O So I'm hoping my foot will hold up for that.

 Anyway, I'm excited! But a lot of kids are trying out... and even if I don't get cast, I'll still be attending theater classes on Monday! So we'll just have to see what happens.

 But if I just keep thinking positive, do my best, and trust the Lord, I'll turn out better for it.

  To change the subject, I'm excited for a review I will be posting Monday on Cathy Gohlke's book, Band of Sisters. I've been enjoying that book so much, but I can't say a lot since I'll be covering that in the review.

 I'm over 45K on Prince's Quest now! Maybe I'll get to the big 50 before the end of the week! Wouldn't that be fun?

 We've already had several people sign up for Characters Combined! If you'd like to sign up, just let me know, and we'll set you up.

 God bless, and have a wonderful day!

 ~ A rambling author

Monday, September 3, 2012

Serpent of Moses ~ A Book Review

 Hello! Today I will be reviewing Serpent of Moses by Don Hoesel. I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

 Back Cover:  Moses built and lifted up the brass serpent,
healing the afflicted Israelites of snakebites.

King Hezekiah called the serpent Nehushtan. Long thought destroyed, it's been buried for millennia, secreted under the region's shifting sands.

Now the Israeli government wants it back and they will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. Yet they're not the only ones who covet the Nehushtan.

Archaeologist Jack Hawthorne travels to Libya intent on recovering the sacred object, but one does not cross the Mossad and expect to walk away without a fight. Jack and his friends must find the priceless "snake of brass upon a pole" before those who are also hunting it find them...and silence them forever.

  This book was, for the most part, a fast paced read with interesting characters and a variety of locations. I enjoyed it, though at some parts it seemed a bit *too* fast paced, and in others too slow paced. I also found out after receiving the book that it's a sequel to a book I haven't read. The Bible does say that the serpent was destroyed, though the author tries to explain that, I still believe it was destroyed completely. Also, though Christianity was mentioned now and again, I wish the book contained more. The characters said they believed in God, etc... but a lot of them practiced non-Christian acts. There is no profanity involved.

 The history found in the book was very interesting, though sometimes it seemed that they were telling you everything that was happening. I couldn't really get into the book at first, but the more I read, the more I was able to enjoy it. Some of the sarcasm inscribed made me smile, and now I find myself wanting to read the prequel. I loved Duckey, (a character you will meet) especially when he was evading the bad guys.

 Overall, this was an exciting, fun read. It had a definite Indiana Jones touch to it, and lovers of those movies and other media like them will find this a worthy read. Also recommended to adventurers, aspiring archeologists, and any other teen-adult that needs something to read. **** Four stars.

You can find it here:

 ~A young author

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Characters Combined #1

 Hello all! RJ (from and I have come up with a fun writing prompt/exercise. Let me tell you about it...

 Characters Combined- This is only the official name until we come up with something better to describe what we're doing. In this activity, you must pair up with another author. Each of you picks a character from your story to put into a "scene" together. The scene can be a literal scene, or several scenes, depending on where your combined imaginations take you. How do you write a scene with someone else? RJ and I did ours through Facebook messaging. If you aren't facebook friends with your partner, you can use email, IM, whatever way you'd like. One person would start the story, write a sentence or two, and the next person would finish it. Here is an example from the prompt RJ and I did.

 He grabs Megan and tosses her over his shoulder and starts running with her,shooting the guards behind him. ~(RJ)
"Dude. This is really awkward! I HAVE legs! And I play soccer!!!!!!" ~(Me)
"I have no clue what you are talking about. Just trust me ok?"~(RJ)
 *huff* "Fine, mr all knowing! Just hurry, cause I don't know if I can't balance this ACID forever!" ~(Me)
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." He runs towards a flight of stairs and up them. The guards are following shooting at them. ~(RJ)
 Megan looks over her shoulder, aims carefully, and shoots a guard with Warren's fire pistol.Some other guards start tripping over him.*snicker.* "Like dominoes..." ~(Me)

 And it continues... the prompt was originally started to see how these two characters, vastly different personalities, would do if stuck in a prison cell together. Well, as we typed, the story evolved into them working together to escape, and both of them having to save each other at different times. I think we both discovered something new about our characters through this prompt.

 There are two ways you could go into a prompt like this. One of them is to decide what weapons/items your characters will have on them for the story. You could stick to said items, and use them, or as RJ and I did, everything happened at random, including the tools we had. I think it's fun to just let your prompt take you, and see where it goes. Don't plan the story!

 After you've written your prompt, we would be happy to read it! You can post it on your blog, and send me a link to add!

 This could be such a fun thing, if we all work together! You will come to know your characters better, and it's neat to see two characters from different lifestyles combined. If you have any questions, comment, and I will get back to you ASAP!

    Today's Prompt: Go to a carnival! That's right: a carnival. If you want to, include a carousel, and some sort of food stand. Have fun!

 Oh! And here are the rules... just to remind everyone!

 1. You need a partner.

 2. You write it together. 

 3. Don't plan! ;)

 4. Post back! (If you please. Please?) 

  I hope you'll join us!!!!!!!! We would also love to see who you've paired up with. Just say something like... My partner is RJ.

Deadline for submission is Sept. 14 :D

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Orphan King- A Book Review

 Today I am reviewing The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

 Back cover: The future of the Immortals is in the hands of an orphan

My greatest fear was that they would find us and make of us a sacrifice beneath a full moon. Now you, Thomas, must help us destroy the circle of evil.

The last words of a dying woman would change the life of young Thomas. Raised behind monastery walls, he knows nothing of his mysterious past or imminent destiny. But now, in the heart of medieval England, a darkness threatens to strangle truth. An ancient order tightens their ghostly grip on power, creating fear and exiling those who would oppose them. Thomas is determined fulfill his calling and bring light into the mysterious world of the Druids and leaves the monastery on an important quest.

Thomas quickly finds himself in unfamiliar territory, as he must put his faith in unusual companions—a cryptic knight, a child thief, and the beautiful, silent woman whom may not be all she seems.  From the solitary life of an orphan, Thomas now finds himself tangled in the roots of both comradery and suspicion.

Can he trust those who would join his battle…or will his fears force him to go on alone?

  When I saw this book was eligible for review, I was instantly interested. The storyline sounded very cool, and it intrigued me. I wanted to find out what was going to happen. After having a tough time getting the ebook to work, I finally settled in to read some of it. It WAS interesting. The characters were (mainly) lovable in their own ways, and I cheered for Thomas on his quest. 

 That being said, the book didn't quite reach the expectations I set up for it. Maybe that isn't fair, because it really is a well written book. Here are the things that made the story less satisfying for me. The pace: It was too fast, in my opinion. I never got the chance to get to know the characters well because the story was going by so quick. It also left me in confusion about some points of the story. Which leads to... the length: There's nothing wrong with a book being only a bit over 200 words, but instead of Mr. Brouwer taking artistic liberties, it seemed as if he was trying to cram all his ideas into a little box. Confusion: I was confused about what was happening, and constantly trying to figure out just what on earth was going on- though I believe some of them will be explained in book 2. Finally, all of these things made it hard for me to connect with the story and characters.  

 Now that the negative part is over, I will say this: I enjoyed the book! Besides the things that dissatisfied me, it was exciting. The action almost never stops, and as I said before, as far as I got to know them, the characters WERE likable. I recommend this book for a quick read, when you don't have the time to invest in a 400 page epic. Don't go into the story expecting too highly, but don't let this review sway you to not give it a try. In all likelihood, you will enjoy it. I did. I give this story three stars. Almost four. 

 So check out Chapter 1 here:

 and think about purchasing it here:

 Hope this review was helpful! 

 ~A young author

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Hello everyone! It's been a while since I posted a serious blog update.
 I've decided to participate in the horribly wonderful thing known as "Camp NaNoWriMo." In case you don't know what that is, you should Google it.
 Just kidding! NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November, but in the summer- namely June and August, they have the same thing. Sorta. But they call it CAMP NaNoWriMo. Genius, right?

 *Clears throat* So, the goal is to write 50,000 words of a new novel in one month! It's a bit insane... but hey, it really helps with writer's block!

 So, since the beginning of August, I decided to write a blog post during NaNo. Or several rather. I said, "I'm going to write a blog post at the end of every week to share my progress." *glances at date*

 Apparently that didn't go so well.  So now I'm going to see if I can at least post two NaNo posts, possibly more, depending on if blog inspiration strikes. I'll also be gone for several days... so... If you didn't read the title, this is NaNo post 1.

 If you look to the side, you can see my handy little widgets. One of them is a cute little book tent that says I'm a NaNo participant, the other is a word count meter that says I have 25,000 words written on my NaNo novel, Chasing Shadows!

 That's right folks! I've reached the halfway milestone. I'm halfway to glory. I just hope that on the trip I'm not sacrificing important stuff. Anything I leave out will have to be patched in during editing. But I know where I'm going (kinda) with this story, so we're good!

 So, how am I getting those words stacked up? Two things, namely.

 One: Word sprints/wars. Whatever you want to call them, these things are super helpful. When you're writing, and you just have this block that won't go away... try challenging a writer friend to a word war. You give yourself a time... ten, fifteen minutes, and each of you try to write more words then the other in that time frame. It's so fun! Especially when you get to talking like it's a real war... that was interesting. :)

Two: Dr. Wicked's Write or Die. Sounds weird right? It's a program on the internet that give you a reason to write without pausing. It's hard to describe, so here's a link to the website...

 So these two things have been extremely helpful in my quest for NaNo glory! I actually just want to finish a novel... but... ya know. There's a great prize too. If you write the needed amount of words, Scrivener, a really neat writing software thingummy is half off! And I've been wanting that for months. So I'll keep pounding the keyboard as I have the time, and see where I get on this quest...

 In other news...
 The Prince's Quest won second place in a contest for back cover copies. I really didn't expect to be placed, and I'm sure everyone's was equally good. Thanks to everyone who had a part of that.

 So keep writing, my friends! Or reading if that's what you prefer. If you're interested... here's my NaNo page...
 Teaser/prologue may be posted! Keep your eye out!

 Think Positive!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Game of Elevens! :)

 I have been tagged by both Sarah from The Writer's Way, and Katelyn from The LIfe of a Teenage Writer in a fun blog tag kind of post. :)

 So here are the rules-
 1) Post these rules
 2) Round One: Post 11 random things about yourself
 3) Round Two: Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post
 4) Round Three: Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
 5) Go to their blog and tell them they've been tagged
 6) Post a link to your . . . post on the blog of your tagger, so they can see the questions you've answered.

 Since I've already posted the rules, I guess I'll move on to round one. The random things about myself!

 1. I'm insane, but in a good way, of course.

 2. If I could go anywhere in the world, it would be England, to visit one of my best friends. I'd also like to see Ireland and Italy.

 3. I play the piano.

4. My favorite food is beef stroganoff!

5. Some of my ancestry contains Irish, German, English, and Cherokee Indian.

6. I have three brothers at home, and one sister married.

7. When I was little I always wanted to be an artist.

8. Two of my brothers and I circulate who does dishes. I'm stuck with Wednesday and Saturday, which I think are the worst days. :P

9. I love kids! I'm one of the children's church leaders at my church.

10. my favorite thing to drink is actually water! I don't think there's anything like a cold drink of water.

11. I don't get sick on roller coasters. :D

 Whew! That wasn't so bad... Now, round 2. I'm going to really be answering 22 questions! lol. I'll start with Sarah's...

  1. If adventure beckoned, would you accept gladly or decline the offer? Um. Um. Um. I love to read about adventures. Depending on the type, I think it would be very interesting to go on an adventure! So I'll give a hesitant yes. :)
    2. Take this test and tell which personality type you are and why. My type is ESFP. Which means... "Entertainer." Why? Well... I answered the questions the best I could and... I have to say, I do enjoy entertaining. I mean... I love acting in musicals, which is a form of entertainment. :) And I love to make people laugh, so I guess it describes me pretty well.

   3. Do you judge based on fairness or feeling? Urgh... Well, I'm going to confess. I'm rather rash, and probably make decisions based on feelings a lot of the time. I'll try to be better though :P

   4. Are you intuitive (follow your gut feeling and inner self) or sensing (follow your senses to what is logical)? Eh. I'd have to say I'm intuitive. Yup.

  5. What do you want to be an an adult and why? As far as "job" goes I would love to be a writer/stage actress/possible film maker. I love to craft stories, create characters, and fall in love with the book I'm writing. I also love to share it, and let other enjoy (or not enjoy :P) my stories. It would be nice to have something of me for future generations. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a grandchild read your book? And acting... I think it would be fun to start a theater group, but this would probably be more for fun then anything. And film making. I think it would be neat to be a film maker. I could write and possibly act in movies! My problem is finding the crew to work with :P (And the expense of course.) But mainly, I would say writing.

6. If you had to choose when you die, when would it be? Um. Maybe when I'm 100? Or later :P It would be nice to live to old age, as long as I had a loving family to take care of me.

7. After you choose when, how would you prefer to die? I've always said if I have to die, I'd like to die in my sleep. Then I'd be at peace and in Heaven, and nobody would have to suffer. :)

8. What is your favorite mythological creature? Here's a toughie! I'm gonna go with... faun, this time, since I'm a Narnia nut. :D

9. Do you have a unique talent or feature? What is it and do you like it? Lol. This question is a bit awkward for me since I don't like talking about what I can do or whatever, so I asked my mom. She says I can sing.  I have to say I do like it. I love singing, especially when I'm using it to glorify God, my creator!

10. Are you excited to make up your own questions? Uh, not really! :P This could be hard!

11. If you could have your 15 minutes of fame what would it be for? I think it would be amazing to save someone's life. :)

 Now I'll answer Katelyn's questions...

1: Could you live without computer/internet? Hmm. I suppose I could *LIVE* without it. But I do like it. And need it. Especially for doing such writerly things as blogging, and word wars/sprints.

2: What is your favorite book (Fiction or non-fiction)? Hard one! This time, I'm going to go with... The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers. I love this book. It's so wonderful and amazing. *sigh* I also love Wayne Thomas Batson books, and The Mysterious Benedict Society books.

3: Do you like sports or hate them? As far as playing goes... I only like a couple. Mainly, volleyball and softball. As far as watching. I don't watch. Only the Olympics. (Mostly that is.)

4: What is your most hated chore? Um. Well, my chores aren't that bad. I'll just go with washing the dishes when it's late, or after a tiring day and you just want to sit down.

5: What is your favorite song or song genre? I love soo many songs. My favorite genre is Southern Gospel, and some Broadway stuff.

6: If you could go back or forward into time, what time period/year would you go? There are so many that I would love to visit. I'd like to go back and meet my Grandma, so at least 16 years ago.

7: If you could have any other name, what would it be? Erg. I like my name. But I used to like the name Emma.

8: What is your least favorite movie? The Boy in The Striped Pajamas. Seriously. It was so sad and depressing. I only watched it once.

9: When you don’t feel like blogging, what do you do? I write my book, watch movies/tv shows, talk to my friends/read books.

10: What is your favorite outdoor activity? Walking. Riding my bike.

11: Um . . . . I'm about out of questions. Did you enjoy this? It was pretty fun! I'm dreading the next step though :P

  Now it's time for round 3, and my questions. *Gulp*

1. How many siblings do you have?

2. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?

3. What does family mean to you?

4. What's your favorite color? Why?

5. Can woodchuck really chuck wood?

6. What's your favorite movie?

7. Have you ever been skiing, bungee jumping, zip lining, or any other exciting thing?

8. Do you play any instruments?

9. Mexican food or Italian?

10. Pride and Prejudice or Chronicles of Narnia?

11. Favorite candy?

 Tag time!

 Emma @Ingredior Per Rex

 Nick    @Writing Fire

  RJ      @Virtuous Girlhood

and... I'm just going to re-tag Sarah and Katelyn, cause I want to see them answer my questions :P If they want to anyway.

 And there you have it! Thanks for the read! :D


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dragonspell Review

 Today I'm reviewing Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

 From the back cover:  One Dragon Egg Holds the Key to the Future.

Once a slave, Kale is given the unexpected opportunity to become a servant to Paladin. Yet this young girl has much to learn about the difference between slavery and service.

A Desperate Search Begins…

A small band of Paladin’s servants rescue Kale from danger but turn her from her destination: The Hall, where she was to be trained. Feeling afraid and unprepared, Kale embarks on a perilous quest to find the meech dragon egg stolen by the foul Wizard Risto. First, she and her comrades must find Wizard Fenworth. But their journey is threatened when a key member of the party is captured, leaving the remaining companions to find Fenworth, attempt an impossible rescue, and recover the egg whose true value they have not begun to suspect…

 ~To be honest, when I first got this book I wasn't sure about it. I'm not a big fan of wizards, and a lot of magic stuff, but I was pleasantly surprised with Dragonspell. The action begins immediately, and draws you in. Mrs. Paul did an excellent job weaving in the story world's history, and helping the reader understand about the seven high races, and seven low.

 The plot was intriguing in itself, though there are many stories about dragons, and eggs and such. I enjoyed getting to know the characters, and the author gave each a distinct, unique personality. That said, Kale herself doesn't always seem to be the most interesting of characters at times, but her struggle, and where she came from help her along.

 So the plot was engaging, hardly slowed, the characters lovable, and at times hilarious, and the intertwining message about Jesus (Paladin in the book) and God's (Wulder) love for us, and greater plan make this book a worthy, and believable read. You will also be delighted by two small dragons, and their adorable antics. If you're looking for a good summer fantasy that has roots in the right place, check out Dragonspell. You won't be disappointed. I would rate this book **** four stars :)

 Don't believe me? Read the first chapter here, and join the adventure!

 and when you're ready to get the book, you can purchase it here:

 I hope this review was helpful to you! God bless!