Book Review Thoughts & Giveaway

Book reviews. They’re amazing little things. I’ve read thousands and thousands of them and will probably read thousands more. I can literally read them for hours on end and lose all track of time. I’ve also written a few reviews, although my total reaches to dozens, not thousands. I hope that changes one day…

Have you ever realized that our brains work differently from each other? Take for instance when I read, I’m focusing on certain elements such as character development, word pictures, and the way the author draws my emotions in. The plot needs to be realistic, but generally that isn’t my main focus.

Through reviews I’ve discovered there’s a wide range of what other people like and don’t like. Some reviewers discount books as being unrealistic if they don’t mention food, because, Hey! You have to eat. Others shake their heads sadly and declare the book a loss because the main character was unlikeable to them. Others squeal about a book being trite. Or cliché. Or boring. Or aggravating. Or having gigantic plot holes.

Even if I’ve never read the book, I can generally get a good grasp on what causes those reactions if I need enough reviews. Then I file it away in my memory bank and when one of those “issues” pop up in my book I’m able to whack it over the head and deal with it right away so my readers don’t have to.

Book reviews also help inspire me. When I see how many reviews are out there being read, I’m reminded that one day, I too, should have a passel of reviews for readers to dig into. Plus, the diversity in people’s imaginations makes me feel as if I have wings to fly on, because I have an imagination, too and that’s a glorious thought.

There are some elements about reviewing books that bother me: The main one being that the system we have only uses five stars. I’m fairly certain the world of reviews would feel like a more fair place if we had ten stars to choose from.

Most of the books I read are three-star reads. It takes a good amount of liking for me to push a book up to the four star range, and it’s almost impossible for a fiction book to reach five-stars. By the same token, though, it’s quite difficult for me to regulate a book to two-stars. It just feels wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever written a one-star review, most likely because I don’t finish books that would garner just one-star.

But this leaves me with all those three-star books, which in reality have hit many different places in my like-the-book-meter. On a scale of one to ten I might inwardly rate Book A at 4 and book Book B at a 7, yet in the star-charting reviewing world, they come out looking the same. It makes my reviewing, and writing, heart sad.

Still, five stars are better than three stars, so I’ll remain a happy little book reviewer.

Today I’m celebrating my book being released in Spanish by hosting a giveaway. You can win either a copy of the book or an Amazon gift card. Enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Do you think we should have a better book reviewing system? What star-count do the majority of the books you read receive? 

Cool Critters of the Ice Age in Spanish

Happy, happy, happy Tuesday, people! Anybody want to celebrate? I do cause I have some exciting news. My latest co-authored book, Cool Critters of the Ice Age, which was released not quite a year ago, just came out in Spanish. Yay! 
It feels strange and yet so very rewarding to have written a book and not even be able to read it. (Yikes!) I’ve only held the prototype of the Spanish edition and that was a couple months back so to be able to look it up on Amazon and smile at it today was pretty cool. 
We (my adopted parents and I) wrote the book two years ago during a very cold January. It was the perfect weather for writing a book about ice and snow. I’m currently looking out the window at muddy hay fields and soggy roads and I’m glad we didn’t write the book in the 37 degree weather that we’re having right now. 

I learned so much while we were writing this book. My adopted parents did the research and then we worked together at putting it into a readable and interesting format. This is my only nonfiction book, but it made me want to write more like it. 

In the book we explore really amazing animals such as Baluchitherium (now one of my favorite words to say) who was the largest land mammal in the world and was huge. And Andrewsarchus which is pretty crazy because they’ve only ever found one of his skulls.  (I tried calling my little brother “Andrewsarchus” but he didn’t like it for some reason. I’ll probably use the name for one of my characters someday.) There’s also Glyptodon who was an armadillo like critter the size of a small car. I think I would have enjoyed riding on one of those… 

Harry the Cave Bear was originally only in the book a couple of times, but after a lot of fun brainstorming we decided he would be a great sidekick to my adopted dad and so we included him several more times. That was one of the most fun parts of the writing process. 

You can find the Spanish Edition of the book here and the English Edition here. I hope y’all have a great day and I’m glad I could share my exciting news with y’all.

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Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have a book you wrote but not be able to read it? 

A Happy Little Milestone

There are days when I’m really not entirely thrilled about being a writer. The work that I spend on my writing seems to be way more taxing then the payoff justifies and my heart sometimes takes a nosedive. 
But I continue on and keep working on my writing because do you know what? Writing is a gift. Words are a gift. Being able to craft a story is a gift. And I feel honored to have been given this gift and want to make sure I use it to the best of my ability. 
You see the second part of Luke 12:48 says From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. All of us have gifts that we’ve been given and each one of those gifts are special. Our job is to take the talents and gifts that God has given us and hone and shape them to bring Him honor. 

Then there are days when I can actually see results with my writing and my world grows a rosy hue and I feel like dancing around and hugging everyone and celebrating.

Yesterday was the first time I signed one of my Cool Critters of the Ice Age book which is a notable milestone. Having a new book out and seeing people interested in it and buying it makes my little heart happy. It’s as if I’m getting to share a special part of my world with someone else and that is a honor.

I grew up loving to read and pouring over books for hours at a time. I would dream of one day meeting an author or, gasp, even being one. And now I have that spectacular privilege of meeting children who love to read, too.

These happy times help me to keep my focus during the long hours of writing and editing and remind me that what I am doing really does make a difference.

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What about you? What is one way you encourage yourself to keep going?
I’m at the Creation Museum this week, y’all, so if you’re in the area you should really stop by! 

A Week at the Creation Museum

I’m excited to be spending this week at the Creation Museum. It’s always so much fun being here and  hanging out with my adopted parents and friends and of course meet new people. Plus, this is the first time I got to see my newest book, Cool Critters of the Ice Age, in a book store, so that was a special experience. 

I plan on being here through Friday, so if any of y’all are around I hope I get to see you! I will most likely be down in the Legacy Hall Bookstore after my adopted dad’s concerts each day when he signs books (Because, crazy as it seems, sometimes people like me to sign the books too! *cue happy dance*)

And as always I’m looking forward to coming up with new story ideas and writing inspiration. The Creation Museum is a perfect place to have a flood of ideas descend on me. I’ve had the plot line for the second Creation Quest book spinning around in my mind for almost two years now, but I’ve never written it. I look forward to tackling that project soon.

What about you? Have you ever been to the Creation Museum? 

The Family

Hey everyone! I figured that since it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my books that are published I’d give them the stage for today. I’m not sure if I’ve actually ever had all three of them on at the same time so it’s kinda like having a family reunion. I’d be delighted to hear which book looks the most interesting to you. Enjoy! 
Action Kids’ Club:

Twelve-year-old Olivia Hall’s dream of a friends’ club ends when she finds out her family is moving. Her parents assure her it’s a good thing, opening a new world of possibilities for the Halls, but going from ‘miss popular’ to ‘the new girl’ won’t be easy, and Olivia is not convinced. 

Soon she begins to realize that although her life has suddenly changed, there’s plenty of adventure to keep her on her toes. From making new friends at Forward Focus, to hanging out at the world-renowned Kids Zone, to meeting the curious head chef, she discovers that there’s much more to life – and her new surroundings – than she ever imagined. How will she make the most of these new opportunities? Or will she let them slip away? 

Action Kids’ Club will entertain both boys and girls as they learn success principles in a fun and interesting setting.

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Buddy Davis’ Cool Critters of the Ice Age 

Meet 17 strange & unusual animals: 

– The size of a car!
– Antlers over 12 feet long!
– “Monster-sized” in North and South America!

There is a lot to learn about life during the great Ice Age. Was the ice everywhere? How did these animals live? With interesting facts about glaciers, land bridges, these animals, and more – you will see an amazing world emerge from the cold and distant past! Don’t forget your coat as you step back in time to discover why the Ice Age happened and what the Bible reveals about it!

An exciting Ice Age exploration led by popular adventurer Buddy Davis!

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Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl 
Strap on your headlamp and sling on your backpack for a great adventure deep inside a perilous cave. The adventure follows explorer Buddy Davis as he searches the inky darkness of a limestone cave for evidence that men and dinosaurs walked the earth together. Along the way, you will learn a pile of truths from God’s Word as young Lydia Davis and her family teach others about the Creator and Savior … and have a few adventures of their own. You can trust the Bible, and you will find many good reasons to do so as you join in the mystery. And be careful not to slip on that rock! How would you get out of the cave with a broken leg?


I’ve been going…
*To my adopted parents house for several work and fun filled days 
*To the store. I hardly ever shop, and when I do it’s mostly on-line. There have been several things I’ve needed though (it’s birthday season right now)
*On delightful walks 
I’ve been seeing…
*Life a lot more clearly recently. I got glasses last week which greatly reduced my headaches, especially while trying to focus on something like the preaching at church
*Lots of blue skies, muddy fields, and rising temperatures (yes, I can see them rising)
I’ve been working on…
*Writing When Life Hands You Lymes and trying to get the first draft finished before April 17th
*A new children’s book that I’m co-authoring with my adopted parents
*Cooking healthy, delicious meals
*A project for my best friend’s baby shower 
I’ve been celebrating… 
*The release of my newest book, Cool Critters of the Ice Age (Check out the giveaway I’m hosting!) 
*Several birthdays in the family
*Each day and all I have to be thankful for

I’ve been reading… 
*The Proverb of the day. I do this first thing each morning when I wake up
*The book of Philippians. Most of the time I do this at night right before I go to bed
*Getting Things Done by David Allen
*A number of free kindle books & library books, including Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay

I’ve been listening to…
*The Chronicles of Narnia Soundtrack 
*The Story
*One Day by Matthew West  

I’ve been looking forward to…
*My best friend’s baby shower
*Spring starting! I got a new lilac scented candle and I’m going to light it on the first day of spring
*Going to Aruba in less than a month!

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What have you been up to recently? 

Release Day: Cool Critters of the Ice Age & Giveaway

Good morning! I said on Friday that I had some exciting news to share with y’all, well, this is it: 

Today is the release day of my new book, Buddy Davis’ Cool Critters of the Ice Age! Y’all, that is really thrilling! (Can you think of a better way to start off your week?) 
  This is such a cool book! With tons of pictures and drawings and fun illustrations, this book is quite different from the other ones I’ve written so it’s a new and exciting venture for me. 

It’s so colorful and full of fun facts, interesting tid-bits and will delight kids of all ages. While writing this book I had so much fun learning about the different creatures that lived during the Ice Age.

From  an armadillo-like creature the size of a car, to Baluchitherium who was twenty-six feet tall, to Titanotylopus a camel who’s fossils were found in Nebraska, I was enthralled by all the interesting creatures this book features.

It would be wonderful if y’all wanted to buy your own copy of Cool Critters of the Ice Age and you can find it here (Master Books), here (Amazon) and here (Answers in Genesis). My adopted parents (who are the co-authors of the book) and I are also hosting a giveaway. I’d be delighted if y’all would join in with celebrating our new book by pass the word along and entering the giveaway!

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