Monday, December 30, 2013

55 Reading Questions

  I saw these 55 reading questions on {wishful thinking} and decided to give them a try myself. Since it's nearly the end of 2013, for the next couple of days I'm going to try to do blog posts about this wonderful year. Starting with this one, which isn't technically about this year, but...

1. Favorite childhood book? Probably Captive Treasure by Milly Howard and the Viking Quest Series by Lois Walfrid Johnson.
2. What are you reading right now? I literally just finished reading Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson less than an hour ago, so now I have the opportunity to choose my next book. Possibly River Secrets by Shannon Hale or Once Upon a Crime by Michael Buckley.
3. What books do you have on request at the library? Is it bad that my answer is none? I have so many books to read that aren't at the library right now. But... I may have my eye on a few...
4. Bad book habit? Hm. Well. I suppose it isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I'm very protective of my books, and can be unhappy if someone doesn't treat one of my "friends" as I treat them.
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? Nothing at this time. (I'm so boring.)
6. Do you have an e-reader? Nope, but I have a Kindle app. :)
7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? This varies, though oftentimes I find myself reading more than one book at a time.
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? Not really. Perhaps if I upped my blogging schedule. But... not really.

9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far)? I had a very good year of reading, but I'd definitely have to say Viewers by Scott Hawthorne. I expected so much more from that book, and it become rather uncomfortable. Also, Beloved Enemy by Al Lacey was a bit of a letdown. But I think that was just the writing style.
10. Favorite book you’ve read this year? I've read so many good ones. I'll just list some of my favorites. :) Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker, the entire Blood of Kings series by Jill Williamson, Burning Sky by Lori Benton, and... AGH. I wish I could name more. :P

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I'll basically read anything. But as far as the sexual/cursing stuff goes, I have a cut off point, and don't really want to read that kind of stuff.

12. What is your reading comfort zone? I read many genres. I like fantasy and historical the most probably. Also, I like a clean book.
13. Can you read in the car? Yes!

14. Favorite place to read? Probably on my bed, but I enjoy curling up on the couch under a lamp.

15. What is your policy on book lending? I don't lend books a lot, but when I do, I wish people to treat them the way I do.
16. Do you ever dog-ear books? Absolutely not.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books? No.

18. Not even with text books? Surprisingly, not really.

19. What is your favourite language to read in? English.

20. What makes you love a book? A lot of things go into making a book love worthy, including but not limited to... good characters that make me fall in love with them, a good plot, and beautiful description.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book? A book that I would read more than once, and fits the standards of the person I am recommending to.

22. Favorite genre? I suppose it's fantasy, though I love to read just about anything.
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)? Steampunk. I'd love to read some steampunk when I get the opportunity.

24. Favourite biography? I'm sure I've read some sort of biography, but my brain isn't functioning properly so that I remember. :P But I have read up on historical figures many times.
25. Have you ever read a self-help book? Erm. Maybe? Does Preparing to be a Help Meet by Debi Pearl count?
26. Favourite cookbook? Muffin Mania. Not sure who wrote it.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? I'm sort of reading Undaunted: Daring to do what God calls you to by Christine Caine, and it's pretty inspirational, but as far as books I've read... Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke, and Burning Sky by Lori Benton.
28. Favorite reading snack? I don't eat a lot when I read. But sometimes I read through a meal. :P
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. I'm not sure if this has ever happened. I usually try to read books before they get big or not pay much attention to the hype.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book? Hm. Since I generally have different opinions on books than others, depending on the quality of the story, I'd say probably not often.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? I'm careful. Usually I try to list some goods along with the bads in the review, and try to be fair and encouraging.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose? Any of them! I would love to read in another language!

35. Favorite Poet? Unfortunately, I'm not really a poetry aficionado. :/

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time? Usually a couple at a time.

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread? Um. Not too often. But every once in a while.

38. Favorite fictional character? Goodness, really? ERM. Peeta and Finnick (Hunger Games,) just about all the characters in Mysterious Benedict Society, Achan Cham (Blood of Kings,) Sohrem (just about anything written so far by Carissa Barrows. I think The Follower, and Merchant's Son? Though I've met him in character chats, :D) Miri (Princess Academy,) and so many others. All of my friends characters are awesome.
39. Favourite fictional villain? Uh...... Loki from the Thor movies is a fun character though he isn't from a book... Albert Garrick (The Reluctant Assassin.)
41. The longest I’ve gone without reading. I'm not sure. Though, everything requires reading. I read school books I read labels, I read read read.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish. Unsure. I've stopped reading some for content.
43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading? It can be distracting when someone's talking loudly or watching a movie.
44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel? Hm. I'm still trying to read the LoTR books, but the movies are sooo good. And Hunger Games wasn't too bad.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation? I'm not sure. The jury's out on this one.
46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time? I never seem to have a lot of money to spend, so maybe $15. If I had more the bookstore world would have to watch out! :P
47. How often do you skim a book before reading it? Trying to decide if this question means flipping through the book, or skimming the cover... cause I skim the cover quite a bit, and sometimes flip through. But I don't like finding stuff out ahead of time, so...

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through? Mostly sexual content and swearing and whatnot.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized? Hm. Not exactly. I had a way of keeping my favorite books on my top shelf, but now I have so many that sort of doesn't apply anymore and I have two boxes with books as well as the shelf...
50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? The above answer should clue you in to the fact that I keep them. :P

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding? Hm. Not really. Besides the books I don't want to read because of content.
52. Name a book that made you angry. The Tide of Unmaking by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper. Yeah... Those cliffhangers.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did? Hm. Not sure. I usually try to go into a book with a hopeful attitude.
54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t? Beloved Enemy by Al Lacey.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading? EVERYTHING!

~ a rambling author

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Quick Update

 Hey ya'll! I hope your Christmas season is going wonderful, and you have a wonderful Christmas eve. Obviously we're all very busy with life stuff. I'm currently with my darling niece and nephew, my sis, and her husband, as well as my other siblings and parents. So this week won't have a traditional post. At least not today. Because I hope that you all are spending time with your families, and celebrating the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, the king of all kings. So enjoy! See you later! :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dark Halo: A Book Review

 Hello everyone! *waves* I know it's been a couple weeks since my last post, and I give my most sincere apologies. But I had a good excuse. As you know, I participated in NaNoWriMo which took a lot of time, but that isn't the reason for my lack of posts after November. (Yes, I won, by the way.) Actually, I only missed last week this month, but... I still feel the need to explain myself. Remember the Five Glass Slippers contest I was talking about a while ago? Well, the deadline is almost here, and I'm still trying to brush up my story. So I've been doing that a lot, besides preparing for Christmas and all that crazy stuff. But today, I have a book review of Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore for you! This book was given to me to review by BookSneeze. All opinions expressed are my own.

Back Cover:
One halo brought sight to Brielle. Another offers sweet relief from what she sees. 

 Brielle can’t help but see the
Celestial. Even without the halo, the invisible realm is everywhere she looks.
It’s impossibly beautiful—and terrifying, especially now. Because a battle
rages above Stratus, Oregon.

The Terrestrial Veil is ripping, and
demons walk the streets past unseeing mortals. Dark, sticky fear drips from
every face, and nightmares haunt Brielle’s sleep.

Worst of all, Jake is gone. The only
boy she’s ever loved has been taken by the demon, Damien. When she receives
instructions from the Throne Room leading her to Jake, she unknowingly walks
into a diabolical and heartbreaking trap.

 Now she’s stranded in a sulfurous
desert with the Prince of Darkness himself, and he’s offering her another
halo—a mirrored ring that will destroy her Celestial vision. All she has to do
is wear it and she’ll see no more of the invisible world. No more fear. No more
nightmares. No more demons. It’s a gift. And best of all: it comes with the
promise of a future with Jake, something the Throne Room seems to be taking
from her.

Will Brielle trade the beauty of the
Celestial and the truth of the world around her just to feel ordinary again?

*Ahem* So this was a good book. It is the third and final book in the Angel Eyes Trilogy, and was a pretty good ending to the series, wrapping up loose threads leading back to book one, and blowing your mind along the way. 

 I will say it wasn't my favorite book in the series, but that's just a personal preference thing. Oftentimes I'll enjoy a first or more often second book than the third. It's my weird quirk. 

 But I did enjoy this. The characters were well written, the storyline was solid. Jake was sweet, as always to new believer Brielle who is still coming to understand what it means to follow Christ. It was very creepy to meet the prince of lies himself who appeared as a handsome man because... well... the Bible does say Lucifer was an angel of light, so of course he would be beautiful! I loved the inclusion of Brielle's best gal friend, Kaylee. She was hilarious, and could often make dark situations a little lighter with her comedic timing. Marko keeps getting better.

 There were lots of interesting plot points brought up. I wasn't ever sure what was going to happen. It seemed like everything was somehow connected and tied with a bright red bow. It was very neat to see it all come together, and I loved the final scene promising of new adventures that we readers may not get to see, but know are coming. 

The Heavenly warfare was upped in this book. We got to see more chapters with Michael, leader of God's army, as well as Satan, and his demonic warriors, but we also got to see the army of light. It was an interesting look at what God's word says about this topic. 

 Also. The Sabres. The plot about tearing the veil was so cool. I just... yeah... I don't want to blow anything. But I did enjoy this book! 

 And the entire series was very well done. Shannon Dittemore is a very talented writer to keep an eye on. Wonderful debut series to showcase her artistic writing ability. I'm excited to see what she writes next!

~ a rambling author

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl Blog Tour

Hey everyone! Today I'm hosting Lydia Howe and her newly released book, Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl. (Sometime I'll go into the craziness of NaNo.)  I'm so excited to take part in this. I haven't yet had the opportunity to read the book due to pressing book reviews/my crazy life, but I have it upstairs in my to-read box, and I'm looking forward to it greatly! Now... on to Lydia's portion of the post!

About the book: Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl:Traveling with her parents brings Lydia, daughter of explorer and singer Buddy Davis, plenty of adventure and mystery - from hidden clues in bookstores to cave paintings deep underground.

Answer to the True or False question from the last stop:  False. I have never believed in evolution. 

Throughout this blog tour I’ll often be talking about my adopted parents. They are a huge part of my life - plus, they co-authored Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl with me! So I figured it might be nice for y’all if I shared more about who they are and what I mean when I call them my adopted parents. ;)

Several years ago our family (the one I was born into, who, by the way, are absolutely amazing!) went to an Answers in Genesis conference. It was a pivotal point in my life, although I didn’t realize it at the time. I had recently gotten Lyme disease, although we wouldn’t figure that out for five more long years. I was therefore sick, fairly miserable and feeling horribly sorry for myself.

One of the big reasons we wanted to go to the AiG conference was because Buddy Davis was going to be there and our family loved his music. The first night after the meeting was over (including a mini concert by Buddy Davis!), a lot of people (including most of our family) went out to a pool area where a little snack bar was located and, lo, and behold - there was Buddy Davis! So we got to talk to him. (Picture one of the most exciting moments of my life.)

Now, my dad has a website called Free Bible Music, and he asked Buddy if he would be interested in singing some of the songs. They traded contact info so they could keep in touch. Throughout the rest of the week I had a blast getting to hear Buddy speak, listening to him sing (I’m pretty sure I was the happiest person in the building then!), and hoping to somehow find a reason to talk to him (which actually did happen several times). One of the coolest things was that the hotel room I was staying in was really close to the meeting room for the conference center. Often I would sit out there and write during breaks. Some of the coolest memories I have are of Buddy coming to practice for his concerts, and I would be the only person (other than the sound guys) to hear him. And yes, it rocked! I think I can say I was about giddy about it. :)

It was also around that time I began to realize that feeling sorry for myself (as I had been) was not the way to live, and the best way for me to get over it would be to start writing to people who either felt worse than me, or were in ministry - and therefore in need of encouragement. I would also pray for them. Buddy and Kay Davis were one of those people I started writing to (albeit several months later, and at the suggestion of my dad).

It was six months after the conference when we next saw the Davis family again. We went to their house for supper, and I was shocked when they immediately mentioned the cards I had been sending and how much it meant to them. They also began replying to my notes (something I had never intended on happening!).

As time progressed, our families got to know each other better, and Buddy, Kay, and I became really great friends. More time passed and one day someone said something about them being like my second family. Eventually, I realized that we were indeed turning into a family, at least in heart.

A couple of years went by and we were continually amazed at how much alike we are. We share a lot of the same personality traits, as well as tons of the same likes and dislikes. It wasn’t long before I began calling them Dad and Mom, and they began calling me their daughter. I must say, it’s quite fun for me to have one family in which I’m one of ten kids, and a "second family" where I’m an only child. For someone who's used to being around lots of people, it gives me quite a change of perspective!

I usually hesitate to share this story in writing, because it's hard to really understand how special our relationship is unless you actually see it. It really is like I have two families. Often, when my adopted parents and I are talking to others about our family, we just drop off the word ‘adopted’ because it can get really confusing. And most of the time during this blog tour, when I talk about my family it will be my adopted ones, because they’re the ones who co-authored the book with me. Plus, my other family doesn’t really enjoy being in the spotlight much. ;)

I truly feel as if God has given me two different families and I am so very, very thankful for both of them!

On my adopted dad's newest CD, he has a song he wrote about our relationship as a family and it's titled "I love you, Dad". Check out this post to see how you can win one of the CDs! 

Have any of y'all ever been caving? Did you like it?

About the author:
Whether she’s building life-sized models of dinosaurs with her adopted family, trying her hand at cooking at a private retreat, or living in a barn, author Aidyl Ewoh (aka Lydia Howe) seems to have adventures follow her wherever she goes. Check out her book, Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl and find out more about her at her BlogFacebook, and Twitter