Why Getting Involved in the Bookish Community is Rewarding // guest post by Kellyn Roth

Hi there! I’m Kellyn Roth, founder & manager of the author service providing website Reveries Co. We recently launched a new website with a blog, and Maya graciously allowed me to guest post to celebrate!

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I’ve been involved in the bookish community for many years as a blogger, author, and later writing coach.

Now I hope Reveries Co. will offer a hub of inspiration and advice to authors of all shapes and sizes through our blog and social media, as well as offering affordable, professional services.

Suffice to say I’ve spent a lot of time trying to think of ways to benefit the bookish community — writers and readers of all sorts — but sometimes, when people question why I invest so much time in it, I feel like I’m not sure why.

Why is it worthwhile to be involved in the online community of readers and writers who I lovingly refer to as “the bookish community”? Why do I want to help them? What’s the purpose of it all? Is it a worthy cause?

After thinking it through, I think I have some answers, and I hope they’re helpful to you, too!Read More »

Love Lifted Me by Faith Blum // book review + blog tour

Welcome, friends! Today I’m reviewing Love Lifted Me by Faith Blum, a novella inspired by Cinderella and Song of Solomon. I very much enjoyed reading it and can’t wait to tell you all about it!

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about the author

Faith Blum is a small-town Wisconsin girl who lives in the center of the state with her husband and baby boy/girl. She loves writing, reading, crafting, and her cat, Smokey. She writes primarily historical fiction with an emphasis on Christian westerns. Find out more about Faith on her website.

website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest 

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about the book

Love Lifted Me - composite 1Elaheh’s brothers are lazy and controlling…

When Elaheh’s parents die, she is devastated, especially when her brothers seem to not care at all. They slowly make her help them more and more in the vineyard until she is finally forced to do all of the work plus keeping the house clean and food ready.

When Prince Solomon comes to town to hear from the people, Elaheh talks to him to see if there is anything they can do. Solomon feels bad for Elaheh and searches for weeks to find something, but can’t. So he comes up with a plan.

Will Solomon be able to rescue Elaheh from her lazy brothers? Will Elaheh survive all the work she is forced to do? Can true love come to humble foreigner like Elaheh?

// inspired by Cinderella and Song of Solomon // 

buy Love Lifted Me on Amazon

check out the first three books in the series here, and book four here

➽ GENRE: Biblical fiction / historical retelling

➽ LENGTH: 25,000 words (novella)

➽ AGE RANGE: all ages
(note: I actually disagree with this age range; I’ll specify more down below!)

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my review

initial thoughts

When I started reading this book, I had no idea what it was about. I may have read a synopsis or description of it at some point, but I don’t remember it. I signed up to review it because I wanted to support Faith, but I had no clue what her book was about… (sorry, Faith :)).

And at first, I didn’t really like the book. The book started in the middle of action without explaining what was going on, the characters’ decisions weren’t believable, I didn’t relate to the MC (main character) at all.

I’m happy to say, though, that within a few chapters I actually loved the story! It took a bit for me to get into it, but once I did I didn’t want to stop, and I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up to read any other book by Faith Blum (even if I didn’t know what it was about… XD).  Read More »

Golgatha by Angela R. Watts // cover reveal

Today is the cover reveal for Angela Watts’ novel Golgatha! The book description and cover are both amazing, and I hope I get a chance to read it someday.

DARKNESS HAS A PRICE AND THE LIGHT HAS NO MERCY FOR SINNERS

Prince Moray will lead his empire to glory, even if it means dabbling with forbidden black magic. But when their parents are murdered, Moray and his brother are cast into Golgatha — the second realm where no man can survive. Finnigan fiercely believes the Creator Elohai will help them escape, but Moray will never trust again.

Princess Ama promised marriage to Moray to ensure her Clan’s safety from rival tribes. But she arrives during a coup and becomes trapped in a realm where hope is dead. Surrounded by strange monsters and ravenous demons, Ama must fight to hold onto her faith in the Creator — or lose everything.

Despite Ama’s Gift of prophetic dreams, Finnigan’s Gift of energy, and Moray’s magic, nothing can rescue them from their own wicked hearts. If they fail to find their way home, the darkness will devour them and their peoples will suffer under a traitor’s rule.

NO ONE IS SO FAR GONE THAT THE LIGHT CANNOT SAVE THEM

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The beautiful cover:

89975681_2531677597095080_122809380033789952_n.jpg

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Image result for angela r watts authorAngela R. Watts is a Christian author who strives to glorify the Lord in all she does. She lives at Step By Step Sanctuary, Tennessee, though with Gypsy and Norwegian in her blood, she tends to travel. She’s been writing stories since she was little, but also enjoys chores, painting, and watching sunsets.

visit Angela’s blog

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Well, that was a super short post but I need to get to other writing things so I’ll not bore you by adding something random to make it longer.

How are you all doing? Have you been trying out anything new or getting back into an old hobby while you’re stuck at home? (I made a cake yesterday!) And what do you think of Golgatha?

sign off

fast-paced books to read while you’re stuck at home

Hello, my friends!

It’s been a little over a week since everything shut down in Michigan. My tae kwon do class was canceled. My church is livestreaming. My ACT was postponed and my AP exam will be at my house. My musical is on hold with no definite plans to actually perform.

Most of you are probably in a similar situation. While I’m not going to be talking about COVID-19 specifically on my blog, I want to let you all know that I’m praying for us all and that you are not alone. We’re all in this together.

If you’re looking for resources to get you through all of this, here are a few things that I’ve found helpful:

Once you’re done checking all those amazing resources out, though, you’re still going to be stuck at home. So you’ll probably go do your chores, and finish up your homework or schoolwork, and take a walk down the road, and get the mail, and call or text your friends, and check social media, and talk to your family, and watch a movie…

…and you’ll still be stuck at home.

Since I, like you, am stuck at home, I’ve decided to use my extra time and my intense boredom to read a lot of books. Of course, it doesn’t mean I’m not stuck at home, or I’m not bored, but it definitely helps to reduce my boredom, and when I read, I get to experience the life of someone else who lives somewhere else. So… I sort of get to travel.

I think that reading is one of the best things to do when you’re stuck at home and completely bored — and I also think that while setting goals to read classics or hard-to-read books is never a bad thing, your boredom will not end if you’re slogging your way through Orthodoxy or North and South (both of which excellent books I have recently read).

I think that right now, the best books to read are the kind that keep you up at night, the ones you can’t put down, the ones that make you care and cry and laugh and scream right along with the characters. So today I’m going to recommend books that I can’t put down, fast-paced and addicting stories with compelling plotlines and lovable characters.

I hope one of these books helps you escape to a different world and fall in love with its characters during this quarantine!Read More »

reading The Hunger Games for the first time // my thoughts

Well, we may as well get down to it. As the title of this post implies, until earlier today, I had never read The Hunger Games.

. . .

I’m sure that’s crazy to many of you. While you’re recovering from your intense shock, let me explain. I’ve been interested in the series for a while, but there are so many other books to read, and my parents weren’t sure they wanted me to get into this one. Eventually, though, they said I could read it.

Our library is closed right now, but my sister stopped at our church library and grabbed all three of the Hunger Games books for me. (Thanks, Halt.)

I finished book one this morning and book two about half an hour ago. Because I know I’ll also blaze through Mockingjay, and I can only read it for the first time once (it’s always disappointed me, the way that works), I decided to take a break from reading to tell you all what I thought of the book.

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spoiler warning

I’m going to try to avoid it, but there will definitely be some spoilers for The Hunger Games in this review/ramble/thing. So if you haven’t read the book (or seen the movie — I don’t know how similar the plots of the two are, though) and want to, maybe you should come back to this post after you do so.

Plus, this all will make a lot more sense if you’ve read the book.

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before I read the book…

…I already knew some things about the plot. I got the concept of the Hunger Games themselves (if you don’t know, it’s basically a live TV event in which 24 kids try to kill the others and be crowned the victor. Yep, it gets pretty gory) and I knew about the love triangle (and how it ends up — but I’m pretty sure that even without knowing, I would’ve shipped Katniss and the guy she actually ends up with). Plus some stuff about Finnick and Annie (thanks to my friend hawkeyerules — if you read this, then hi!), but apparently they don’t come in until later, so that wasn’t helpful.

Honestly, I haven’t been avoiding spoilers for the series at all. I didn’t know when I was going to read it and I didn’t really care if I knew some things about it.

So I went into it with some ideas and expectations (and not all of them were right).

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my thoughts while reading chapters 1-11

I started writing down my thoughts while I was reading the book. Here are some of my incoherent thoughts as I read (and the stuff in parentheses is my thoughts now, reading what I wrote):Read More »

sail home someday // a short story (+ Dust by Kara Swanson!)

Hello, my friends!

As a member of the street team for Kara Swanson’s new book Dust, I get the awesome opportunity to share Lorie Langdon’s endorsement of it. Lorie Langdon is the author of Olivia Twist and the Doon series, and she loves Kara’s book!⁣⁣

If you’re a Peter Pan fan who enjoys unique takes on classic fairytales, you’ll love Dust! It’s a Peter Pan retelling/sequel by the author of The Girl Who Could See. ⁣⁣

👉🏻 PREORDER LINK: http://bit.ly/HN-Dust 👈🏻⁣⁣⁣

stick around for a bit if you want to read my short story (:

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More about Dust…⁣

The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale.

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real — since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London… and a boy who shouldn’t exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan — and herself.

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Image may contain: sky, text and outdoor

preorder Dust now

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And because my sister has been telling me to publish some original fiction, I now present to you a story I wrote years ago. It was in response to this art prompt by Jamin Still. I didn’t win the contest I entered, but I still like the story and may do something with it someday. Here it is for your reading pleasure.

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sail home someday

“Come with us, Claire,” said David. 

His voice reminded me of days spent playing in the sand together. Years when my answer would have been yes. Read More »

flotsam and jetsam | 4

Hello, my friends!

I’m back with another flotsam and jetsam post. I’ve been very busy with school, extracurriculars, and other things, plus my family is stepping back from screens for Lent, so I haven’t had much time to put into my blog. But this kind of post (for those of you who don’t know, it’s a collection of random things I want to write about) is easier to finish up and fun to write.

We’ll start with the Wingfeather Saga. The first two books have re-released and are out as of TODAY! This series is one of my very favorite fantasies. It’s middle-grade (but I, as an older teen, still love it) and by a Christian author (but definitely not only for a Christian audience).

buy book one here

buy book two here

Read More »

the Wingfeather Saga pre-order is live!

Hello, my friends!

I have a short and exciting post for you today. Andrew Peterson, one of my favorite authors (and my favorite singer-songwriter), is re-releasing his Wingfeather Saga with Waterbrook. This series is a middle-grade fantasy story about three siblings, a lost kingdom, and the mysterious jewels of Anniera. It’s truly beautiful and one of the best fantasies I’ve ever read.

The first two are coming out on March 10 (one week away!) and anyone who pre-orders it (before the release) will also get a newly redesigned map of Glipwood (the setting of the first book).

learn all about the pre-order bonus

read AP’s Facebook post

read the Wingfeather website post about the new editions

check out Waterbrook’s post about the offer

I highly recommend this series and encourage you to check out all the links above. The books are incredible and I can’t wait to see the new editions!

Until next time, my friends!sign off

the book-lover blog tag

Well, my friends, I’ve been tagged for entirely too many tags to go on not doing them. So behold: I am doing a tag.

I was tagged for the book-lover blog tag by Leannah @ The Story Girl. Thanks, Leannah!

the rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog. (Already did!)
  2. Include the Book-Lover Blog Tag graphic and rules in your post. (Note: the graphic has the wrong website on it; Bella’s blog is now bellaputt.com.)
  3. Answer the questions.
  4. Nominate at least 5 new bloggers to do the tag.

the questions + my answers

1 // What is your favorite thing about reading?

My favorite thing about reading is that I can immerse myself in an imaginary world and come to know and care about the characters in the story. I also particularly enjoy it when a (fiction) book makes me challenge my assumptions/point of view on an issue.

2 // Who is your favorite male character?

Narnia Movie Tie-in | Narnia Fans

Ahh, just one? Well, having recently re-read the Ender’s Game/Shadow series, I must say that I’m particularly partial to Peter Wiggin, the Speaker for the Dead, and Julian Delphiki. I also like Sam and Glorfindel (The Lord of the Rings), Tellius (The Gateway Chronicles), Eanrin and Aethelbald (The Tales of Goldstone Wood), and Edmund (The Chronicles of Narnia).

(I couldn’t find a single cover in the Ender series that I liked! So there’s the cover of a Narnia book, featuring Edmund somewhat prominently.

Orson Scott Card, I beg of you, hire someone new to design your book covers.)Read More »