Friday, December 24, 2021

An Author Interview: E.G. Bella (The Toymaker's Doll Blog Tour)

    Hey, everyone. First off, Merry Christmas! I hope you all are having a wonderful season gathering with friends and family.

    Today I'm excited to announce that one of my dear writer friends has released her first book. It's a short story called The Toymaker's Doll, and I'm honored to be a part of her blog tour for it! Here's the amazing cover and synopsis:

A limp. A scuff. A cowardly heart.

Jane is a doll struggling with all these things. She and her friend Isabel, a blind stuffed kitten, spend their days in the corner of their shelf, watching the other toys in the shop play—and wishing they could be like them.

Questions plague the friends. Why has the Toymaker allowed them to be flawed? Surely it's a mistake. One day, Jane sets off to find his workshop, eager to be fixed, and to bring him back for Isabel.

But the journey is hard and the road long. How can such a weak, fearful doll ever reach the Toymaker? And how will he respond if she does? 

In this sweet story reminiscent of a children's book, E. G. Bella offers a moving tale of what it means to trust, to love, and to shine light into the dark discouragements of life. 

    Doesn't that sound incredible? You can buy The Toymaker's Doll now on Amazon (and head over to E.G. Bella's site for a sneak peek, as well as a playlist link!) I'll also be planning to post a Goodreads review, so if you follow me there expect to see something from me soon 😉

    Along with the author's blog launch post (you can find her blog HERE), she and her upcoming book will be featured on the blogs of Vanessa Hall, Kristina Hall, Grace A. Johnson, and Teen Writers' Nook. You can click on those links to visit each site, and view the schedule for the blog tour below.

    Today, I got to interview the author herself about her book, her journey as a writer, and some fun Christmas themed questions! If you've stuck around here for a while, you'll recognize that some of the Christmas ones are from my interview with Kaley Rhea: I thought it would be fun to use them again this year.

    This is my fourteenth author interview. To see all the author interviews I've done in the past, click HERE.

    This interview is spoiler-free!

Friday, December 10, 2021

Update + Guest Blog Post Announcement!

Hey, everyone. Since Stepping Stones Book Reviews has gone on another multiple-week hiatus, I figured I should post a little update on myself and this site.

2021 has been pretty hectic for me. I've begun a lot of new activities, most of them with more responsibility. I've started (hopefully!) to become more of an adult, and I've realized that I haven't had the time to dedicate myself to blogging each week. Given that and the fact that I haven't read as many books I want to recommend lately, this blog has become more than a little inactive.

I still love being in this place, so this doesn't mean I'm saying goodbye. However, I've been considering moving around my posting schedule so I can keep providing quality content. With that being said, I'm hoping that Christmas break will allow me to start posting more regularly, maybe do another Week of Book Memes if I get there. So, please look forward to some new things here soon. 

I also wanted to let you know that I'm guest posting on my writer friend Allie Andersen's blog on December 15th, so if you're interested, stay ready for that. I'd love to see you there! 

I know I've said this in my previous posts, but thank you for remaining by my side. Ever since I started this book blog, it's been a true joy to find other people interested in my reviews and rambling. It means the world to me that others are still looking for recommendations and interesting material. 

See you soon!

- JadeSky <3

Friday, November 12, 2021

Blog With Character Tag

     Hi again! *waves from unexpected hiatus* Sorry for the long wait. Again, school and my schedule have hit me harder than I expected, which has led to me not posting. 

    It may seem now like my blog is reduced to monthly updates and blog tags, but I'm hoping to get back into book reviews and other fun things soon. Again, thanks for being patient with me.

    Today, Stepping Stones Book Reviews receives another honor: one of the first to send a blog tag out in the world! Stick around to watch me answer a few questions about how I write characters, as well as a couple of my favorites.

Friday, September 24, 2021

The Bookworm's (Blog) Tag

    Hey, everyone! It's been a while, hasn't it?

    To be honest, a bunch of things, including lack of inspiration, real life, and procrastination, led to me taking an extended break. I'm back now, though, and I'm hoping to start posting regularly again soon!

    I'm dipping my toe back in the blogging world by participating in The Bookworm's Tag, which I saw featured on fellow writer friend E.G. Bella's site last week. I thought this was a perfect way to get back into the habit of typing up my bookish thoughts!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

A Small Break

     Hello everyone! Just wanted to let you know that life's been a bit crazy right now, so I'm taking a small break from Stepping Stones Book Reviews. This is in no way a permanent hiatus, it's just a way for me to take a breather as I find new inspiration to make this blog the best it can be. I am aiming for regular posts again by August. Love you all and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 9, 2021

A Bookish Opinion: Music in Story

       Hello everyone, and welcome to another Bookish Opinion! Originally I decided to write about standalones vs. series, but as I've had several songs stuck in my head lately, and am participating in a month-long song challenge, I decided that it would be more fun to focus on something I've never tried tackling before: music and stories!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

A Bookish Opinion: Communicating Theme

      Hey everyone! Fridays (well, the Fridays when I'm active on here) are usually when I post another book review. There are so many great books out there and it's incredible to have an opportunity to share them with the world. However, since I haven't been reading as much lately, I thought it would be fun to do something a little different in my posting schedule. 

    So, give a temporary welcome back to Bookish Opinions! 

    For these next few weeks the "bookish opinions" will be truly "bookish", as I'm going to be not only taking examples of the topics I'm blogging about from books, but also from...movies! The drastic topic change may seem strange, but I think that there's something to be learned from this type of media too, especially when thinking about books to pick, read, and write. After all, aren't movies stories too? 

    Today I'll be talking about themes in story, and more importantly how they can be shown.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

A Book Review: Lilies of the Field

    Hello! This week I wasn't sure what to review (as I haven't been reading a lot of new books lately) so I'm going to be reviewing a nuanced classic I found through school. Hope you enjoy!

    This review has no spoilers. The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.

Friday, June 4, 2021

A Book Review: Interrupted (Plus Blog Giveaway Winner!)

     Hey! I hope you're all having a good week. Today, I'm going to be focusing on a YA pick that has inspired me personally, as well as being an example of the worth of young writers' work.

    After the review, stay tuned for the results of my blogiversary giveaway, including signed copies of Kara Swanson's Dust and Kaley and Rhonda Rhea's Off-Script and Over-Caffeinated! 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Book Beginnings on Fridays/Friday 56: Off-Script and Over-Caffeinated, and Book Blogger Hop


    Hey! If you've visited my blog earlier this May, I hope that you've been enjoying all of the fun blogiversary stuff. This marks the end of that very special month, and I hope you've enjoyed the Bookish Opinion series as well as all the other stuff that made it into this Week of Book Memes!

    This week my Book Beginnings on Fridays/Friday 56 is actually spotlighting Off-Script and Over-Caffeinated, one of the books part of my blogiversary giveaway! I've actually reviewed the book already AND interviewed one of the authors, but I love it so much I thought it would be fun to include it here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Can't Wait Wednesday: Shadow


    Hi! Welcome to another Can't-Wait-Wednesday post. The pick for this month is a teeny bit different, as I technically have an ARC version of it on my personal TBR list. However, the author is so great and I loved the prequel so much that I just HAD to feature it on here!

    Below, you can find the cover, synopsis, and my reasons for waiting on this. Click on the author's name to head to her website, and click on the book title to go to the special link.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: FIRST BLOGIVERSARY & Top Ten Posts!


    Today marks a VERY IMPORTANT day in my life and on this blog (which, if you've hung around here already, I'm sure you already know about). 

    One year ago, I sat down at my desk, typed up a couple paragraphs from a sheet of paper, and posted my first entry on this site.

    This was my first time blogging ANYTHING, as well as my first time reviewing a book in public, and I honestly wasn't sure where I wanted to go down the road. All I knew was that I'd held on to this dream of providing quality, content-assessing reviews of mainstream books, and that I wanted to be a resource for parents, teachers, librarians, and anyone looking for a worthwhile read.

    A year later it's honestly shocking to see how far this blog has come. I've not only gotten to reach more people than I thought would read, but I've also been able to step out of my comfort zone by asking authors for interviews, participating in more public bookish topics, and even starting to follow other book blogs and find recommendations from them too. Throughout everything that this blog has been through in the past year, the bookish community has continued to be nothing but welcoming, generous, and wonderful. 

    Today, I wanted to highlight ten of my favorite posts, with a small explanation and link. This Tuesday's list, though, is focused on book quotes. So to meld the two, I'm taking a little liberty and quoting a segment from the posts themselves. Interview posts will quote directly from the authors featured while the rest will focus on my opinion on certain subjects. 

    Check out my picks below!

    (To see all the TTT lists I've done in the past, click HERE.)

Sunday, May 23, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #6


    Hi, everyone! To celebrate my first full year of blogging on this site, I'm hosting another Week of Book Memes, which means my (usually) bimonthly #IMWAYR post! Like the last time I did this, I've been more focused on other things during these past few months, so my list will be more general, instead of focused on just last week.

    To check out what I've been posting during past Week of Book Memes, click HERE.
    Scroll below to view my list.

Friday, May 21, 2021

A Bookish Opinion: Disabilities/Medical Conditions in Literature

     Hello! If you've stuck around my blog for a little, you've learned that this month marks the one-year anniversary of my blog, and to celebrate, I'm starting a type of post called Bookish Opinions. This Friday's topic is less clear-cut, but I'm excited to be able to share my thoughts about it with you. The things we're the most passionate about make for the best discussions, right?

Thursday, May 13, 2021

A Bookish Opinion: Formats of Publishing

    Hi! If you saw last week's post, then you've already figured out that this month is my blog's first anniversary, which I'm celebrating through a new blog series called Bookish Opinions. This Friday's topic is another fun, much-discussed one: the different formats we use to invite stories into our lives. 

Friday, May 7, 2021

A Bookish Opinion: Story Length (Plus Goodreads Giveaway!)

     Hey, everyone! If you were able to catch my blog post last week, I promised yet another book review. Well, after posting, I remembered that next week was the first week of May.

    Why is that detail so important? Well, because May is the month I first started this blog.

    Yes, it's been a year since I started posting, and this blog has grown so much more than I ever thought or hoped it could. I wanted to do something special to celebrate the occasion (okay, more than a few somethings), and so I came up with a new, month-long post series: Bookish Opinions!

    Bookish Opinions is just that: me writing on some of the most popular, widely debated, and overall fun topics that are floating around in the book world. I hope that this will be a chance for me to share more about myself outside of blog tags and book reviews, and that it'll be a way to jumpstart more conversations with readers old and new. 

    Today, I'm starting the series with a topic that I'm sure many bookworms will have an opinion on: story lengths! How short is too short for a story to grab your heart and soul? How many page numbers should you focus on if you want to continue to read or write well?

Thursday, April 29, 2021

A Book Review: Big Dog Decisions

     As planned, here is my book review for the last book in the Sidney and Sydney trilogy: Big Dog Decisions! Again, this was such a fun series to spotlight. I hope that through more posts about it the books will find more of an audience, especially toward the just-learning-to-read age group that they're meant for. You can also look at my reviews for Sidney and Sydney and Dodgeball, Drama, and Other Dilemmas too. 

    This review has no spoilers. The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

A Book Review: Dodgeball, Drama, and Other Dilemmas

     I was looking through all my books earlier this week, trying to find something to review...and I stumbled across this lovely title again 😀 As I've never heard this series mentioned by anyone else or featured on other blogs, I figured: why not review the rest of the trilogy so others can use it and benefit from it? So, here we are! 

    This review has no spoilers. The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

An Author Interview: Kara Swanson

    Hi, everyone! Today I am thrilled to be interviewing Kara Swanson, author of Dust and The Girl Who Could See. Every time I've talked to her she has been so welcoming, and her kindness is a true treasure! I hope you enjoy reading her answers as much as I did.

    I have slightly interviewed the interview to make it easier to read, without changing any of the author's answers. To see all of the interviews I've done in the past, including ones with Jen Calonita, Christopher Healy, and Kaley Rhea, click HERE.

    To check out my review of Kara's book, Dust, click HERE.

Friday, April 9, 2021

A Book Review: The Journeyman

    Hi, everyone! Last week there seems to have been a little confusion post-wise. I had a post all ready, but apparently forgot to actually click the post button until Friday was over. So, that's why you didn't see anything new on here. Sorry about that! If you're interested to read last week's post, you can find it HERE.

    This week I'm going to review another great school pick. This is a historical fiction read focusing on a part of history that's not usually mentioned, and I'm excited to share it with all of you.

    This review has no spoilers.

    The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

A Book Review: Sidney and Sydney

     Hi! This week I was a bit confused on what I was going to review, until I thought about a sweet chapter book that my family got my sister for her birthday. This is a bit "younger" than most of the books I've been reviewing here, but I still think it's worth posting about!

    This review has no spoilers.

    (The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.)

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Reflections Blog Tag

     Hey, everyone! Today I'm going to be veering off the usual review schedule and participating in the Reflections blog tag, which I was linked for a couple of weeks ago on the Teen Writer's Nook site (thanks a ton, Issabelle!). I'm really excited to type out my thoughts about this prompt. I hope that it'll be fun for YOU to learn more about me and possibly feel led to do some reflecting of your own.

    Unlike the Narnia Blog Tag or Liebster Award challenges I did last year, this tag had only one question:

    What are eight things God has blessed and/or taught you in 2020?

    Especially with all of the stress and craziness that has rippled through the world lately because of COVID-19 and its effects, I feel like this is a perfect moment to step back and really focus on the better parts of last year's craziness. So here's a list of eight things I was blessed with, and the ways God used each of those blessings to teach me.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

A Book Review: The Wedding

    Hey, everyone! Thanks for waiting this long for me to post another review. For some reason I haven't been reading a lot of books recently, or can't remember enough about the ones I want to review. Maybe I'll switch to weekly Friday updates...

    Today I'm excited to feature The Wedding, yet another book written by the lovely Livy Jarmusch and the third installment in the ongoing Tales of Tarsurella series! Usually I stop at book number one or two, but this post marks the first series that I've fully reviewed. So now you can find all three books here, with all of their content warnings and things to know about. Yay! 🎉

    This review has no spoilers.

    (The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.)

Friday, March 12, 2021

A Book Review: Dust

      Hey, everyone! This week I'm reviewing a great book I just read. I'm definitely going to check out more of this author's work, so you're sure to hear about her again in the future. 😁

    There may be some spoilers as I try to give an accurate picture of the book.

   (The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.)

Friday, March 5, 2021

A Book Review: A Girl of the Limberlost

     Hi! This week I’m reviewing a book that I recently finished for school. While it wasn’t my most favorite pick, it did feel like a valuable gem (especially in what is typical of today’s reading), and I think it’s worthy to be shared with readers who will appreciate its emphasis on nature and good values. 

    There may be some spoilers as I try to give an accurate picture of the book.

   (The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A Book Lover Interview: Hailey Huntington

    Hello! I'm so excited to feature Hailey Huntington on my blog today, fellow book lover, writer, and founder of the small business Ink Drinker Book Boxes. It was so much fun connecting with her and I hope you enjoy reading her answers!

    I have slightly interviewed the interview to make it easier to read, without changing any of the author's answers. This is my twelfth interview overall, which is saying a lot considering this blog hasn't celebrated a full year yet! To see all of the interviews I've done in the past, including ones with Jen Calonita, Christopher Healy, and Kaley Rhea, click HERE.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

A Book Review: Daniel Webster (Defender of the Union)

    Hey everyone! Sorry about my lack of replies to comments, as well as this late post. I'm back and will hopefully be more active on here.

    This week I'm thrilled to be posting about a biography of Daniel Webster, which I've recently finished myself. Through the first few pages was drawn in by Daniel's obvious love of books and storytelling, which I think is something most of us can relate to! 

    This review has no spoilers.

    (The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.)

Friday, February 12, 2021

Book Beginnings on Fridays/Friday 56: Julie, and Book Blogger Hop


    Hey! Here's my Book Beginnings on Fridays/Friday 56/Book Blogger Hop combo post, the last of my 2021 February Week of Book Memes. (To view all of the Week of Book Memes posts I've done in the past, click HERE.) As well as reviewing a Russian historical fiction pick yesterday, I've also participated in my fifth #IMWAYR and blogged about my Top Ten Non-Romantic Relationships in honor of Valentine's Day. If you're interested in what I said about those, feel free to click on the links. If you've already read and/or commented on any of my posts this week, thanks again for doing that!

    For this Friday post, I'm going to feature another great Christian fiction read, which I also posted about on this week's #IMWAYR. I think it's funny that I share a name with the main character, and wonder if she'll be anything like me. I guess we'll have to see! This book is also a companion to a well-known bestseller by the same author. It'll be interesting to compare both stories and see if there are any parallels.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

A Book Review: Anastasia - The Last Grand Duchess

     Hi! Today I'm breaking my usual "mold" of only sticking to Week of Book Memes posts and sharing another book review with you. I know it's a little unexpected, but this book was so fun and amazing that I had to write about it right now!

    This review has no spoilers.

    (The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Top Ten Tuesdays: Ten Non-Romantic Relationships


    Today's topic for Tuesday is a "Love Freebie", in honor of the upcoming Valentine's Day. If I want to participate, the obvious thing to do is list ten of my favorite fictional ships, right?

    If you're like me, you enjoy all the excuses to eat chocolate and celebrate loved ones every February, but don't necessarily appreciate the widespread emphasis on romance. Healthy romantic relationships (both in real life and fictional) should definitely be celebrated on Valentine's Day, but I think being single should be celebrated too. I mean, how sad is it that the Singles Awareness Day acronym literally spells the word SAD? Valentine's Day shouldn't be a reason for singles of any age to feel insecure about themselves, in terms of if they have a romantic relationship in their lives. So I thought it would be a fun twist to focus on ten awesome, well written relationships between characters, which don't hinge on whether they're single or not.

    Like I did with my Top Ten Recommended BooksI'm concentrating on a certain relationship and writing a small note about why I chose to include them. If you find a book on here that you'd like to know more about, let me know in the comments, and I can provide you with a list of things to know before checking it out. Like every list, I've embedded the Amazon link in the title. If the book is part of a series, I've only included the first book's cover and its link.

    (To see all the TTT lists I've done in the past, click HERE.)

Monday, February 8, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #5


    Hello! This week I'm doing another Week of Book Memes (starting with my fifth It's Monday! What Are You Reading? post). Surprise! For those of you who read my interview with Christopher Healy last week and expected me to blog only about the Russian-inspired book, I will still be reviewing it: just posting on Thursday.

    To check out what I've been posting during past Week of Book Memes, click HERE.
    Our library has been open for quite a few months (still socially distanced, of course) but I haven't had a chance before last week to head there and return all the books I've been keeping for the past few weeks. So this post will be less of a weekly roundup, and more of a "recently been reading" one. 
    Scroll below to view my list.

Monday, February 1, 2021

An Author Interview: Christopher Healy

    Hello! This week I'm thrilled to be posting an exclusive interview with Christopher Healy, the New York Times-recognized author of the Hero's Guide series and the A Perilous Journey of Danger and Mayhem books. Both are great stories that I highly recommend, and hope to review in separate posts on here soon. If you haven't heard of this author or any of his books, I strongly suggest you check him out...his work is bound to make you smile and think.

    This is my eleventh author interview here. To see all the author interviews I've done in the past, click HERE.

    This interview is spoiler-free.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

A Book Review: We Are Gathered Here

    For the first time on this blog, I'm reviewing a read from my top favorite author! Erynn Mangum's style of writing is super fun and enticing, and reading one of her novellas is a great way to see whether her more full-length works would be a good pick for you. The book I'm featuring is one of two novella collections she's published (the other one Christmas-themed), and they definitely have a Hallmark vibe to them. 

    This review has no spoilers.

    (The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A Book Review: Ginger Pye

    I'm really excited for this week's post, because I'm reviewing a much-loved (as well as a personal) favorite in the world of children's literature. This is a bit of an older tale, but no less wonderful and well written! 

    This review does contain one major spoiler, but it's very vaguely touched on and doesn't offer any information that would actually ruin the ending.

    (The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.)

Thursday, January 14, 2021

A Book Review: The Rebellion

     Hi! Today I'm thrilled to be officially reviewing The Rebellion, the sequel to Livy Jarmusch's awesome book The Coronation and one of the books I've featured in a past #IMWAYR. Like I did for my first review of the book, I noted some of the issues that Lindsey from Books for Christian Girls put in her review, and mentioned them in my post too. 

    This review has no spoilers!

    (The discussion questions will have spoilers, since they are supposed to be used after reading the book.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Liebster Award...My Questions and Answers (also includes a very special announcement!)


    Hi, everyone! A week ago Laurel Jean nominated me for the Liebster Award, and I thought the idea was so fun I wanted to post about it right away! I hope that you'll enjoy this challenge as much as me. Who knows...maybe we'll find something in common other than books!  

    Here are the official rules:

1. First, thank the person who nominated you, include a link to their blog, and add the Liebster Award badge to your blog and/or post.

2. Next answer the eleven questions from the person who nominated you.
3. Give eleven random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 5-11 fellow bloggers with less than 200 followers.
5. Notify your nominees that you nominated them for the Liebster Award.
6. Last but not least, ask your nominees eleven questions.

1. First of all, a huge thank you to Laurel Jean for letting me know about this and nominating me! Go check out her blog HERE. You won't regret it, it's awesome 😁

2. Below are my answers to the questions. It's sort of like a mini-interview, so I structured it like one!

How did you choose the name for your blog?

I decided to name my blog Stepping Stones Book Reviews because I liked the analogy that good books are stepping stones in life. We read them, and use them (in a way) to steady ourselves as we travel through whatever's been thrown at us. Literature at its best can inspire us, give us new perspectives, and emotionally propel us through hard times and difficult decisions, which I think is really cool! I hope that through this blog I can recommend books that are not only well written in terms of prose, theme, character development, and voice, but that will also be worth taking the time to read. (The "book reviews" part is pretty self-explanatory.)

If you could work any job for one week, what job would it be, and why?

I would definitely become a traditionally published author. I think the experience in and of itself could be rewarding, and it would give me a "what to expect" if I decided to pursue that kind of career in the future.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from blogging?

I think blogging has been a great way for me to become more consistent with my writing, and in general a way to interact with the awesome book blogging community. Everyone on here has been so supportive and has introduced me to some really great reads! I've also been able to promote and learn more about authors through blogging that I wouldn't be able to through in-person meetings, so I guess I'd say my answer is I've learned how blogging can open new opportunities for people to connect.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

My ideal weekend would be waking up at 8 or 9 AM, heading to the library to return and check out books, and spending the rest of the day inside, curled up in my living room alternating between actually reading and watching movies and TV shows. 

Do you set goals for the New Year?

In the past I have...more "things I want to do" than actual resolutions, though. For the first time this year I've chosen a focus word instead of making resolutions, hoping to learn more and experience it throughout 2021. My word for this year is "peace", so if you have any advice or book recommendations on that subject, please send them my way!

What is the best book (aside from the Bible) that you’ve read, and why do you think so?

There are a million books that I could name that have impacted me in unforgettable ways, but right now I'm going to name Gene Edwards' The Silas Diary. The storytelling was vivid and the story themes were powerful, but what really got to me was how human all the characters in it seemed. Paul, Silas, and Timothy, to name a few Acts figures, look larger-than-life to me so often that I forget that they were people too. It was incredible to be able to live through some of the most famous missionary journeys in the Bible in the light of "ordinary men and women doing the extraordinary through Him." Seeing their passion and sacrifices for Christ was humbling and inspiring at the same time. I reviewed this book when the blog was first starting out and you can find my post about it HERE

What was the best thing that happened to you in 2020?

This isn't exactly a "fun" event, but I'd have to say my major jaw surgery in the middle of September. I was originally supposed to have it in June, but the pandemic pushed all my appointments and scheduling way back. The recovery was (and still is!) long, but I was just glad my COVID test before the surgery came back negative and that I was able to get it all over with.

Which historical figure do you most admire, and why?

Ooh, this is a tough one! There are so many I could choose, but I'm going to spotlight Abigail Adams. Reading Natalie S. Bober's biography on her in late 2020 gave me a new, stunning appreciation for her strength of character. She went through some really hard stuff, yet she always remained true to fighting for America, in her own way. I also admire her and John Adams' relationship; despite the unreliability and slowness of communicating through letters, they were still able to have a fulfilling, happy life together.

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years?

Ideally? I'm not sure! I have a wide variety of hopes and dreams, some of which are becoming a published author, having a story or creativity-based career, starting a family and/or adopting, traveling to Europe, and being able to live on my own. I'm not sure how any of it is going to turn out, but it would be amazing if any of those were to come true!

If you knew that today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it?

I believe that God has put me in the place I am in life to serve His purpose, so I think I would try an Internet/writing fast, and truly try to experience what He's given me for the last time. Just, overall, strive to have an eternal mindset and unselfishly love, which is something I struggle to do.

What is your favorite Bible verse, and why?

My favorite Bible verse is Psalm 139: 1-6 (honestly, all of Psalm 139!). I love reading and hearing that passage because it reminds me of how powerful God is, and yet how much He cares for me. It gives me a sense of comfort that He is in control, He knows everything about me, and He will continue to guide me.

3. My eleven random facts are below:
  • I don't like carbonated drinks. Soda or sparkling water? No can do.
  • I credit Erin Hunter's Warriors series for getting me serious about writing.
  • I have a strong addiction to fanfiction. Especially when it comes to movies and TV shows. I love getting to see what may be going through the characters' heads!
  • Someday I'd love to visit the Palace of Versailles.
  • My all-time favorite music artist is Hannah Kerr. 
  • My favorite episode from Season 1 of The Chosen is "Jesus Loves the Little Children." It was so fun to watch and had a ton of emotional symbolism.
  • My family has watched all the sci-fi "star" shows: Star Wars, Star Trek, and Stargate. (My favorite is Stargate, then Star Trek, then Star Wars.)
  • I'm not a huge Marvel/DC fan, but I loved Spider Man: Into the Spiderverse.
  • I love the Shelby Holmes series because it represents Type 1 Diabetes well, which several of my family members have. 
  • I actually liked how How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ended.
  • I've noticed that in girl-guy-guy love triangles there's three character tropes: 1) the emotionally torn girl, 2) the witty, charming, charismatic guy, and 3) the steadier, sensitive, moodier guy. Strange. Is that a must in all love triangles? 

4. To pass this prompt on, I'm tagging:

Five is pretty self-explanatory, so I'll move on to the last part!

6.  Below are my questions for each nominee:
  • What was your goal/purpose when you first started blogging? Do you feel that goal or purpose has changed in any way?
  • What's your favorite part about blogging?
  • What's your go-to comfort snack? Why?
  • If you could go see any movie in a movie theater, what would you want to see and why?
  • Do you consider yourself an introvert, an extrovert, or a mixture of both?
  • Who's your favorite music artist?
  • What's a funny memory from when you were a little kid?
  • Are you a morning or night person? 
  • If you could immediately learn to speak any new language, which one would you choose? Why?
  • If you could donate a million dollars to any charity or nonprofit organization, which one would you pick?
  • What's the best thing you've learned from 2020?

    Thanks for joining me for this special post! I hope you enjoyed reading my answers and responses as much as I enjoyed writing them.

    What about you? What would your answers be to the questions (either for me or by me)? Do we share any of the opinions in my eleven random facts? Have you visited any of the blogs I tagged before? If so, what did you think about their posts?

    I also wanted to include a very special announcement in this post. One of my fellow young writers, Eliana Duran, is hosting a short story contest for 9-13 year olds. The prizes are pretty sweet, including Amazon gift cards up to $50, custom crocheted hats, and a full set of Green Ember books autographed by S.D. Smith. If you're interested and in the age range, feel free to join! If you aren't, feel free to pass the invitation on to someone that might be interested. You can find all the information needed to enter HERE.

    Next week, stay tuned for my latest review, featuring a book from one of my new favorite series...