Review: A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton

Ello, everyone! I’m here with a review :)

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Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance, Historical.

Age Range: 16+ for romance and violence

Favorite Quote: “You remember to trust in the Heavenly Father. Life is a blessing, but it is also a testing. Take the one as you do the other and trust Him who allows all. Trust what the Creator is doing, though we cannot understand it or see the full path.”

Series: Book two in the Pathfinders duology.

Stars: 4 out of 5 stars.

Slight spoilers for the first book, The Wood’s Edge.

I loved the relationships between the characters in the first book, and that definitely carried over to A Flight of Arrows. I enjoyed that the author didn’t just focus on the romantic relationships, but the parent/child and sibling relationships, too! Lydia stepped into Anna’s life and was a mother to her, Two Hawks had a great relationship with his parents and his uncle, and Anna had a great relationship with her brother!

I was drawn into the story itself. I was constantly concerned about the characters and would even talk out loud, telling them what they needed to do to survive. Yes, I’m weird.

The only thing I didn’t like was the romance in the beginning. For some reason, it was awkward for me as a reader. It felt very lustful to me.

Overall:

A beautiful story of God’s love and forgiveness! Highly recommend to lovers of historical fiction and romance.

I received a copy of this book from the author, Lori Benton, in exchange for my honest review.

Find Lori on  Facebook!12804757_10153772914066329_5493167513281036785_n.jpg

How to Fail a Read-a-thon in 10 Steps: a Captain America digression

Sierra and I recently hosted  a read-a-thon on Christian YA Readers.  While I did a lot of reading during the read-a-thon, I know I could have read more.  I don’t really consider it a “fail” as I didn’t have a personal goal, and I did read a decent amount.  I just would not call it a really good read-a-thon for me personally.

Here are the steps I took in “failing” this read-a-thon.  It’s a cautionary tale really.  The steps not to take when hosting or participating in a read-a-thon.

 

  1.  Sign up for a Tumblr account
    I waited until school was out before getting one, which was a good idea.  It’s basically a black hole.*  Once you enter, you will not return.
  2. Watch Captain America: Civil War only days before the start of the read-a-thon
    It’s awesome.   If you have not seen it – stop everything you are doing and go watch it!
  3. Download Tumblr app on phone
    Did I mention it was a black hole?  Once it is on your phone, you will do nothing else on your phone.
  4. Follow all the blogs posting Captain America: Civil War posts and follow the #cacw tag
    Gifs, scene analysis, fangirling
  5. Look up cast interviews on Youtube
    Because the Captain America cast is awesome.
  6. Realize how little you have been reading
    Sad feelings.  I have been neglecting my books! How could I?
  7. Look longingly at unread books
    because I really do want to read them
  8. Look back at Tumblr dash
    But how could I abandon these awesome gifs and character analyses?
  9. Look at the recommended videos on Youtube
    Which by now are all Captain America cast interviews – all the unwatched ones
  10. Spend the rest of the day looking up cast interviews and scene analyses and staring and gorgeous gifs
    Because fandom.

Ways to prevent this from happening to you:

  1. Do not watch Captain America: Civil War right before a read-a-thon
    But do totally watch it. Right now.  Seriously.  It is amazing.

  2.  Turn off all devices and just read
    This might be too extreme for some people**

 

* The fandom side of Tumblr is basically fandoms and social justice movements times 500.  Plus shipping of every character pairing ever, even if it does not make sense.  Stay way from that blogs that do not make sense.
**By some people I mean me.

 

Have you participated in any read-a-thons? How did it go?

Have you seen Captain America: Civil War?  Wasn’t it amazing?!

Interview with Jaye L Knight and Review.

Ello, everyone! So this was supposed to go live last week… but I got my days messed up, oops! Oh, well. Here it is now! Interview first!

Thanks for joining me today, Jaye!

How do you come up with names for your characters? Also the names for the different species!

It really depends on the character. Some character just demand a certain name. Like Tyra. Even though she’s a wolf, she just demanded that name. For others, it’s more difficult. Then I usually turn to a fantasy name generator for ideas. This one is my favorite since it gives a lot of options. Also, I have a growing list of names that catch my eye that I look through as well. As far as different races and species, I have no idea. ;) I guess I just play with different names and words until one sounds right.
How long does it take you to write a rough draft?

On average, it takes me 5-12 months to write my first draft. I don’t like taking more than a year to write a book. Ideally, I’d like to finish in under 6 months, but sometimes stories just don’t cooperate.

Do you listen to music while writing?

I usually don’t listen to music while I’m actively writing, but I do sometimes when I’m editing. Mostly I listen to a few songs before I start writing to get inspired.

Last question! What’s your favorite hot drink?

Irish Breakfast tea! With plenty of sugar and creamer, of course. ;)

Now, on to the review!

samara

Samara’s Peril

Genre: Christian Fiction, Fantasy.

Age Range: 14+ for violence

Favorite Quote: “It’s as if you are trying to hide yourself from Him, believing you’re too broken and lost for Him to love. Oh, Jace, that just isn’t true. He does love you.”

Series: Third book in the Ilyon Chronicles.

Stars: 5 out 5

 

 

 

    This will be a very gushy review. You’ve been warned!

    When I pick up a book, the main thing I’m looking for is great characters, which is what draws me in. And that’s exactly what Jaye L. Knight gives us! These characters are phenomenal! They’ve grown so much since the first book, Resistance. Jace is still my favorite! Most of the time I want to hug him, but other times I want to punch him and tell him he’s worth it! Elom (God) loves him. He’s probably one of my favorite fictional characters. We got quite a few Jace and Kyrin moments, which made me extremely happy.

     Kyrin and Kaden have also done quite a bit of growing since the beginning. I love their faith and the direction Kaden’s leadership went in Samara’s Peril. Also, I love their relationship! They, as siblings, have gone through a lot of stuff, but they’re still great friends and still trust in Elom.

     We hadn’t had a Jesus figure yet, and it was great to see him introduced! The salvation message was very prominent and well done. It made me really happy to see it woven throughout the story.

    Dragons! Okay, I love dragons a lot! There is quite a few dragons in The King’s Scrolls. the second book, and they stayed around.

    There were a few things I didn’t like about the book. I almost gave it four stars, but I loved the ending too much to do that! Towards the beginning of the story the writing felt a little stilted to me. The dialogue was done beautifully, but everything else felt weird. She did a lot of telling instead of showing. That smoothed out after the first 25%. There is something that happens in the beginning of the book that seems really cliche to me, and it was very unbelievable.

    Overall:

I would suggest this series to teens who love fantasy and emotional connection to characters!

*I received a copy of this book from the author, Jaye L Knight, in exchange for my honest review.*

Jaye

You can find Jaye L Knight on Facebook and her blog!

 

#CYARReadathon TBR

Ello, everyone! I am hosting and participating in a read-a-thon. It’s goes from Sunday May 15th, to Sunday May 22nd! More information here. Rebecca and I came up with different challenges to complete, which I am going to try and do! Let’s get to it!

Read A Book Published in 2016

I already own The Calling, but haven’t read it. If The Crown comes in at the library, I’ll probably pick it up! Kiera Cass’s books are very easy reads.

Read A Book By A New To You Author 

Read The First or Last Book in a Series

I’ve owned these books for awhile and haven’t read them. Definitely will be getting to it in the readathon.

Read A Book That Stars With The Letter As Your First Name

Alrighty, everyone!  I collected five books that start with an “S” and I want you guys to decide which one you want me to read! Comment below which one you’d like for me to read!

  1. The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (308 pages)
  2. Secrets and Lies by Janey Sketchley (306)
  3. Secrets of Gwenla by Laurie Penner (276)
  4. Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate (416)
  5. School For Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

That’s it! You guys should definitely join in on the readathon! Let me know which “S” book I should read!

 

April Wrap-Up!

Ello, everyone! I am here today with all the books I read in April! The month started off pretty good as far as reading wise. I started off the month with an amazing five star book! But the books got worst toward the middle of the month… Luckily, I finished off the month with a great book by a new to me author! Anywho, here are the books I read.

 

Favorite Read

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Phenomenal! Review here.

Least Favorite Read

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Loved the first novella in this, gave it four stars, but disliked the second one and gave it 2 stars.

Most Disappointing

I really did like Storm Siren (gave it four stars), but these two were super disappointing! Gave Siren’s Fury two stars and Siren’s Song three.

There is my April wrap-up! What was YOUR favorite book in the month of April?

 

Interview with Gillian Bronte Adams!

Gillian bronte

Ello, everyone! I am here today with, Gillian Bronte Adams! She wrote the amazing Songkeeper which I raved about, and I am so excited to have her here today. Let’s get started!

When did you first start writing?

I first started writing at the ripe old age of seven, and my stories were a very interesting mash-up of kid detectives, cats, and characters from the Lord of the Rings. Totally best seller material. Growing up, I never lost my love for stories, but it wasn’t until I was sixteen and a friend invited me to participate in a NaNoWriMo type event that I thought about taking writing more seriously. Soon after, I stumbled across a blog belonging to one of my favorite authors and was shocked to discover that published authors were ordinary human beings like the rest of us. That’s when I decided that I wanted to be an author one day, so I started researching publishing and studying writing more intently.

What’s your favorite thing about writing? Your least favorite?

My favorite things about writing are also my least favorite things, because in the middle of the writing process, they are so hard. But when it all finally comes together, it is beautiful. I love crafting characters and really digging deep into their heads and figuring out what makes them tick. But until I figure out what makes them tick, it can be incredibly frustrating. I love pushing my characters to the edge of the cliff and running them through the ringer, because when they are stretched and prodded and tested beyond their limits, there is room for them to grow and become the heroes we hope they will be … even if they sometimes stumble along the way. But finding that balance of pushing them just far enough without it being obviously contrived is a tricky process. I love writing the epic battles, the teeth-gritting journeys, and the just-got-to-endure-through-this types of scenes, but a part of me hates them too, because I always stumble away from those feeling as weary and battle-worn as my characters.
 

How did you come up with the names in your books? Especially Gundhrold!

I love naming characters! Names are so important. My process is ever changing though. Some characters just stumble onto the page complete with a name. Amos was one of those, Birdie too. Gundhrold’s name took me a little bit longer. I wanted something that sounded somewhat Gaelic, and I think I just played around with different sounds until I liked the look of it. Other character names require a little more research. Sometimes there’s a certain sound that I am going for, and I’ll search baby name websites by either letter of the alphabet or the ethnicity that I’m trying to evoke until I find just the right name.
 

Who inspired you to write?

There are a lot of people that I can point to actually. My dad started my love of fantasy by reading Tolkien to me when I was five. My older sister was a creative writer and would occasionally let me read her stories, and I just wanted to be as cool as her. A friend gave me The Door Within Trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson for my fourteenth birthday, and this girl who had grown up reading the classics suddenly realized that fantasy was alive and well in the modern age too. It was also his blog that made me realize that authors aren’t that different from normal people like you and me. (Just a little bit crazier.) My mom was always incredibly supportive and a great well of insight into my writing. I discovered the Go Teen Writers blog and managed to win a few writing contests, and Jill Williamson and Stephanie Morrill both encouraged, critiqued, and helped shape my writing. So while I’m not sure there was one specific person who inspired me to pursue writing, there were a lot of people who helped me recognize my love for writing and spurred me on in my quest.

What advice would you give to young/aspiring authors?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I got to where I am today because a couple of authors who were big steps ahead of me were willing to give me advice, answer my newbie questions, and overlook my annoying mistakes, like cold-emailing an author with a request for a manuscript critique. (I was so nervous, but the author’s response was so gracious, even though of course the author didn’t have time to do what I had asked.) Not every author will have the time to invest – especially if they’re under major deadlines – and you do need to realize that and phrase your requests accordingly, but my experience has been that most won’t mind the request and are willing to help if they are able to.

 

And the most random question, what’s your favorite snack to eat?

This is a tough one. I’m slightly snacked out at the moment because I’m in the middle of hefty writing which means a lot of late nights, gallons of coffee and Dr. Pepper and too much snacking. So while I love junk food snacks (probably too much for my own good), I’m not the biggest fan at the moment. So I’ll have to go with dewberries. You just can’t beat fresh dewberries picked straight from the field at the end of a long day’s work. :)
Thank you for joining me, Gillian! You guys can find Gillian on her blog and Facebook.
One last thing! Gillian is having a launch party for Songkeeper TONIGHT (5/3/2016) So come and join us!
songkeeper