Celebrating Books with a Giveaway

Within These Lines release today! Therefore, we’re going to celebrate by chatting about the book and having a giveaway, because what’s more fun than a bookish giveaway? This post is going to contain my official review for the book, but it’s not going to be a normal review because this author is beyond that. I’m so thankful the author sent me an ARC copy of this book so I could share the joy with y’all!

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First off, let me tell you about the author. Stephanie Morrill started a fantastic blog for teen writers called Go Teen Writers. If you’re interested in writing at all – no matter how old you are – you should check it out. It’s full of honest, encouraging, practical, and ever-so-relevant writing advice. She’s also the author of a number of Young Adult books, ranging over several genres – contemporary, historical fiction, and even nonfiction. I also consider her my unofficial writing mentor, although I’m not sure she knows that since we’ve never met in person or even communicated in any way other than email. Pretty much she’s just an all-around amazing person with fantastic writing.

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And now, about the book. Within These Lines is about Evalina, an Italian-American, and Taichi, the son of Japanese immigrants. Life as they know it is disrupted when America enters WW2 and anti-Japanese feelings sweep across the country. Taichi and his family are forced to move to a Japanese-American internment camp where life is anything but a bed of roses. (Okay, maybe it’s a bed of roses, just the thorns part.)

This book is fantastically well-researched and superbly written as the author tackles the often untalked about subject of what America did with Japanese during the war. I remember the first time I was introduced to the subject of American internment camps I was horrified. This book does an amazing job of making the camps and situation come to life and wraps you up in the story until you feel like you’re right there in the drafty, crowded shacks with Taichi. Although it’s a very sad and unfair part of our country’s history, I think it’s important that we don’t bury and forget it, because history has a tendency to repeat itself.

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This book is real and gritty and sad without being hopeless – the author somehow hit a great balance with making the book exceedingly real while still being interesting and giving the readers the hope that better things are in store.

The characters are well-crafted and even though I didn’t like the way the handled certain things, they stayed very consistent to their character/personality. It was interesting to see how different cultures handled the various issues and troubles they faced. The author did an amazing job at creating a truly American/Japanese character in Taichi, vs. simply slapping a Japanese name onto an American character.

I gave Within These Lines four out of five stars and like it (and Miss Stephanie’s other books) so much that I wanted to share them with y’all. Sadly, I can’t actually host a giveaway with all of her books, but the winner will get to choose their choice of any of Miss Stephanie’s books. (A physical book for an address in the states, an ebook for international.)

A list of Miss Stephanie’s books:

Me, Just Different
Out With the In Crowd  
So Over It 
The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet
The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet 
Go Teen Writers
The Lost Girl of Astor Street 
Within These Lines

Enter the Giveaway Here 

That’s it for today, folks! I hope your Tuesday is going delightfully well!

Two Historical Fiction Novels You Should Buy

One of the fun parts of getting to read books for review is having insider information to share with my online friends. Today is a day pays off particularly well. See, today is the release date for one of the best books I’ve read this year, and also exactly a month until the release date for one of my favorite books from last year.

First, the book that releases today.

Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green.

This book takes place in Montreal during the 1750s and the main character is a half-Mohawk, half-French lady who runs a trading post for her not-so-nice father.

Y’all. This book had so much amazing information about the war that I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to read it again sometime super soon just so I can focus on more of the details. I’ll admit to having some air-headed moments where I completely forgot history and couldn’t remember how the war ended (aka, who won), and instead of looking it up, I kept reading with the suspense propelling me on.

There was a plot twist that I found to be completely unexpected. When I first read it I was like “Oh, well, okay….” and was kinda disappointed that it didn’t shock me more. But then I kept reading and was like “But, but, but, how could that have happened?” And I finished the book as fast as I could so I could shove it at my friend and beg (maybe demand?) she read it so we could discuss it.

I knew the outcome of that plot twist would determine my overall feelings of the book. If it worked out one way then the story would squeak by with barely three stars, but if it worked out another way I’d happily give it four solid stars.

Probably needless to say I gave the book four stars and right away set out on a quest to find some friends who don’t read a ton of fiction so I could give them all the spoilers and rant and rave and tell someone what happened. Because yes, the author did a great job of breaking the normal Christian Historical Fiction mold and surprising me as a reader.

So yeah. You should probably order the book right now or request it at your library.

Plus, ya know, the more you look at the cover the more details you see, and that’s pretty amazing. Way to go, Miss Jocelyn, on writing another fantastic book!


Next off, the book that releases in exactly a month.

Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill

Y’all. Historical Fiction is my favorite genre (no, really?), and I especially like it when an author tackles a time period or subject that isn’t really well known, especially in the fiction world. Miss Stephanie takes a well known time period (WW2) and then flips the idea over and presents us with a side of the war that isn’t often talked about.

Japanese Internment Camps in the USA.

It’s a subject a lot of Americans skim over or are completely unaware of, and yet it’s a real part of our history. Miss Stephanie masterfully weaves together a story of a Japanese boy and Italian girl and the prejudices, injustices, and mindset of the people during the 1940s.

When you read the book you’ll feel the dust of the camp. The scorn of onlookers. The helplessness of those left behind. You’ll disappear from 2019 and suddenly find yourself in a very different era as the details surround you and you make new friends, feel new heartache, and see the world through different eyes.


To my surprise, there were several similarities between these two books, including the fact that they both deal with prejudices, trying to understand different cultures, and how to move forward when someone doesn’t do what you expected.

You can pre-order Miss Stephanie’s book here (which means it’ll be automatically sent to you a month from now and that’s pretty amazing). I already pre-ordered her book (back on June 23rd, the first day the cover went live on Amazon), and despite having an ARC copy of it, I’m so excited about the final version arriving in the mail.

And there you have it, folks, some insider information on two amazing books. I’d be delighted to know in the comments if you’ve read either of these two authors or if you plan on buying either of these fantastic books.

Setting: Walking on the treadmill (I walked nearly two miles while writing this)
Listening to: Spotify on shuffel 
Random Fact: We live in a valley so we often have fog 
Question of the Day: Do you like Historical Fiction? 

And, I’m Back {Aka, Finding My New Normal}

Y’all. Today. Today is the most perfect of all perfect autumn days. And I might gush about that a little in the video before I get down to business which is: reviewing one of the coolest books ever.

Do you see a trend of amazingness here? Yeah, life is pretty good. 😉

The last six months have been some of the craziest I’ve ever seen, and my delightful little sphere here on the internet has suffered as a result. But guess what? The craziness has abated, at least for a bit, and I’m so excited about jumping back into writing and blogging and finding a new normal.

Autumn has this fantastic way of making me feel more alive and ready to embrace life than any other season, and autumn is currently in full swing over here. This morning I’m sitting by my open window wrapped up in a cozy sweater with hedgehog socks on, drinking deliciously strong coffee from a “My Weekend is All Booked” mug while listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack. (Yeah, as I said, life is pretty amazing.)

What have you been up to recently? I’d be delighted to connect with y’all again. ❤

Kiera Book Release, Rapid-Fire-Random-Ten-Author-Interview, Giveaway, & Vlog


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Y’all! Today I’m super excited to be part of the blog tour for the lovely newly released young adult novel, Kiera, by Kate Willis. The book was fantastic, but more about that later.

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First stop, let’s spend a little bit of time getting to know Kate with The Rapid Fire Random Ten Interview. Ready, set, go!

1. Sweet or Salty? Sweet
2. Africa or Europe? Europe (at least for visiting)
3. Bright or Pastel? Hmmm… pastel, but if I could choose outside of this, earth tones
4. Camping or Resort? Camping
5. Texting or Phone Call? Texting
6. Ocean or Mountains? Mountains ❤
7. Tea of Coffee? Tea
8. Home or Travel? Home
9. Plane or Road Trip? Road trip
10. Morning or Evening? Morning
And, one long question: What is your favorite way to end each day?
I love to read for about half an hour or longer if I can. It helps me wind down and have something to wonder about as I fall asleep. 😉 Although it can be VERY terrible if the book is too good for me to stop. 😀

She blogs over at Once Upon an Ordinary and I totally recommend y’all checking it out.

Next up, my book review. I wrote a full one on Goodreads, but then decided to also vlog about it because the book really was fantastic.

And last of all, y’all should really check out the amazing giveaway Kate’s doing. Enter the giveaway here. Congratulations, Kate! Way to go with writing a fantastic book!


“Where Dandelions Grow” Blog Tour Wrap-Up

Happy October! After two busy weeks in Florida, I’m back home in the gloriously autumn-ish state of Ohio, wrapped in blankets and sipping hot coffee as I blog.

The original plan had been to finish up the blog tour for Where Dandelions Grow on Saturday, but that day ended up being crazy enough that here I am today with the final tour celebrations.


Around the Internet 

Maddy over at Little Bit of Sunshine posted a review of Where Dandelions Grow, and her review layout has got to be one of the best I’ve ever seen. (So pretty!)

Esther at Purposeful Learning invited me to write a guest post for her blog where y’all can learn some of the background to Where Dandelions Grow. 

Maddy at Girls Living For God’s Glory wrote a sweet review.

Anna at A World Through Her Heart wrote a thorough review, complete with a book aesthetic that made my writerly heart quite happy.

Amanda at With a Joyful Noise posted a review and mini interview, which was fun to answer. She also made a quote image of the first line in the book, so that was cool. 🙂

Claire over at The Bookish Orca wrote a beautiful review that makes me happy every time I read it.

Em at Two Girls, Two Mountains posted an author interview, including the question “What did you want to be when you grew up when you were a kid?”

Samantha at Readhead With a Book wrote a fantastic review AND did an author interview complete with a LOT of gifs. Her review made me so happy I literally got tears in my eyes. Y’all need to check this one out for sure.

Zielle at The Ardent Reader also posted an author interview with questions like “What is a technique you use when developing your characters?”

And, last but not least of all, I’m excited to see that Where Dandelions Grow now has 43 reviews on Goodreads, and 25 on Amazon. Y’all are AMAZING! Today is also your last day to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Giftcard. Enter it HERE.


This book has been so much fun to celebrate with y’all. Thank you for making this adventure worthwhile as you’ve read the book and encouraged me to keep going with my writing. There’s nothing like hearing that my book has touched you or entertained you to make me want to keep going when the going gets rough.

Releasing Where Dandelions Grow was also an interesting, rewarding, (and tiring!) way to celebrate my birthday which was on the 30th. Stay tuned for a “Musings” type birthday post coming up soon.


This post is the last one where the commenters are put into a drawing for a $5 Amazon Giftcard, so I’ll be choosing a random winner later on this week, so comment away! 😉

Today’s question ^ is one that I have a hard time knowing the answer to. In all likelihood I think I’d choose either Patrica St. John from the past (her books were a huge reason I wanted to become a writer, plus her life was amazing!), or Catherine Farnes (my favorite fiction author), or Brother Andrew (someone whose life has made a huge impact on me), from the present.

Thanks, folks, for hanging out! I am so grateful for each and every one of you. 🙂

Sprinkles and Sparkles and Such Musings – “Where Dandelions Grow” Blog Tour Day 4

There’s nothing like having a book release/blog tour, family vacation, and birthday week coincide to make the celebrations pile up. Yesterday I got to do some fun things – including hugging a giant stuffed animal which always makes life better. My dad took a group of us to a frozen yogurt bar, which was so cool and something I’ve wanted to do for years. It was so much fun to pick out the toppings. I got sprinkles (of course!), mini white chocolate chips, coconut, almond slivers, and random bits of candy. I’m not sure if I’ll ever go to another frozen yogurt bar, but maybe I’ll recreate one at home someday?


Around The Internet 

Y’all! It’s day four and we’ve got some fun reviews around the internet. You can check out Lisa’s review here, Kaitlyn’s review here, Karis’s review here, Enni’s review here, and Gray Marie’s review here.

You can also enter my giveaway for a $25 Amazon Giftcard by clicking here.

As a bonus entry for the comment giveaway that I’m doing at the end of the blog tour, share one of these two quote images on any social media site with the hashtag #WhereDandelionsGrow, then comment on here and let me know where you posted it.



As I’m writing this I’m in the back of a vehicle listening to Spotify as I try and get the post live before reaching our destination. This has been a crazy week for more than one reason, and yet it feels crazy to think it’s already almost over.

It’s months like this one that makes me think of how truth is often much stranger than fiction – at least when it comes to my life. Since we’re nearing the end of the month I’m like “I should be thinking of my month review” but when I stop and think of how much has happened this month I don’t even know where to start. #CrazyLife


Below is the question for y’all to answer in the comments so you can be added to the $5 Amazon Giftcard drawing at the end of the week.

My answer to the question(s):
1. Impossible to answer! But my favorites would include: Ohio, Colorado, Hawaii, North Dakota, Montana, and Tennesee
2. I’m not even sure – 25 or so
3. Ohio!


Make sure y’all snag your very own copy of Where Dandelions Grow!


Cotton Candy, Skip-Bo, and Coffee – “Where Dandelions Grow” Blog Tour Day 3

Y’all, I really didn’t think I’d ever become this person – you know the person who’s morning gets instantly better when she takes the first sip of coffee. But, I just had some coffee and it was so utterly delicious and warm and smooth and all that good stuff – almost as comforting and fun as wearing sparkly socks. (No worries though – I will not become the person who can’t function without coffee. #NotHappening)


Yesterday was Day Two of the blog tour celebration for Where Dandelions Grow. The day included a lot of writing work, babysitting, a glorious sunset, cooking supper while playing Skip-Bo, cotton candy, and a fun game of miniature golf. (Which I soundly lost after an epic beginning where the first hole took me seven strokes. #PlayingLikeAPro #OrMaybeNot)

By the way, did y’all know that with my giveaway y’all can go back and get entries each day? Like, if you followed my Twitter account, then you can go back tomorrow and get more entries, and the next day, too? Pretty cool, right? (You can – and totally should – enter the giveaway. Just click here.) Speaking of Twitter… One of my dreams is to be one of those funny Twitter posters. I haven’t quite reached that level of success yet, but if you want to follow me and cheer on my attempts? Well, you’d get to see a side of me that isn’t always evident on the rest of the internet. (Plus, I’d be endlessly grateful to you.)


Around the Internet 

Beth from Sweet Contemplations reviewed Where Dandelions Grow and says she wishes the book was several hundred pages longer. (Aww! #MakesMyAuthorHeartHappy)

Zielle at The Ardent Reader also reviewed the book and says “I don’t think I have ever read a book that has spoken to me this much, and made me smile so much at the end.” Wow, wow, wow! As someone who has a horrible time with endings, this makes me want to dance for joy.

Jessie at Whimsical Writings for His Glory just now had her review go live, so it’s hot off the press.

Rebekah over at Rebekah DeVall – Writer for God graciously allowed me to guest post on her blog, so you can head over there to get a look at a strange “coincidence” regarding the book and my life.

And, as always you can see the reviews piling up on Goodreads (where you can also mark the book to-read!) and Amazon. I’ve also had fun posting pictures and little tidbits about my day on Facebook (my author page), Twitter (where, as I mentioned, I’m trying to be amusing), Instagram (where I’m totally new), Goodreads (where I’m having fun with watching the reviews pile up), and Google+ (because I’ve been on there for a long time). Plus, I’m really hoping to post a video on Youtube today, but as it turns out I’m away from home and I’m really not sure if I’ll be able to find a quiet place to film, so we shall have to see.


Remeber that the end of this blog tour I’m going to randomly draw one of the commenters and send them a $5 Amazon Giftcard, so you should totally answer that^ question, or just comment about life in general. 🙂

By the way, THANK YOU to everyone who’s been buying my book. Y’all rock.

Buy the book by clicking here – just $0.99!

Dancing Cows, Birthday Cake Ice Cream, and Social Media – The Blog Tour Continues!

Y’all! It’s day two in the blog tour celebration for the release of Where Dandelions Grow! Yesterday was amazing, including watching the sunrise, lots of work keeping up with comments and posting, going out to a celebration breakfast with my mom, eating birthday cake ice cream with my best friend and her little girl, and watching Andy Griffith with my siblings.


Now for day two! Today I’m babysitting my best friend’s daughter and we’re currently hanging out eating cheese, sour gummy bears, dancing with a stuffed cow from Chick-fil-A, and listening to It’s Gonna Be Okay by Panio Guys. (Clara, who’s two, is pretty smart. Yesterday I asked her what cows say, and she delightfully informed me that they say “Moo! Eat More Chicken!” So, apparently, she’s been well-taught.)


Around the Internet 

There are a lot of fun posts around the internet today for the book tour, so you should totally check out some of the links below!

Esther posted a review at Purposeful Living where she talks about the romance (or rather lack thereof) in Where Dandelions Grow. 

Blessings Counter at Count your Blessings discusses how much she likes Noveltea – the bookstore/coffee shop in Where Dandelions Grow. 

Geo Turtle made me smile by her review because Where Dandelions Grow is the first time she’s ever been part of a book blog tour. (What an honor!)

Bekah at Bekah’s Books has an interview up today with my absolute favorite question of all the author interviews I did for this book. (Her question: Is Destiny, your MC, still writing and has she published any books yet? 🙂 I’d love a little update.)

Keturah at Keturah’s Korner posted a review and author interview, where she asked a lot of good questions, including “How do you handle caffeine? Or what was the inspiration for how Destiny reacts to too much caffeine?”


Kate at Once Upon an Ordinary did an author interview where she asked the question “What first made you decide you wanted to be an author?”

You can also read the reviews that are popping up on Goodreads and Amazon. And, throughout today I plan on posting celebration pictures on my social media so you can hang out there if you want. 🙂

and Google+. 

Make sure you use the hashtag #WhereDandelionsGrow online, and if you want to share any book quotes, you can find them here.

Each day I’ll post a question a for y’all to answer in the comments. At the end of the blog tour I’ll randomly draw one of the comments and send that commenter a $5 Amazon giftcard. So, comment away and you’ll be placed in the drawing!


Click here to buy Where Dandelions Grow for only $0.99!!! 


Click here to enter the giveaway!

Where Dandelions Grow Book Release (Join in the Fun: Giveaways, Interviews, and Joy, Oh My!)


People! Today has finally arrived! At long last we can celebrate the debut of Where Dandelions Grow. Yep, that’s correct. My sweet little book is live on Amazon. How did it grow up so fast?

Check out Where Dandelions Grow on Amazon. 

I may or may not have already looked at the Amazon page multiple times, as well as snapping a screenshot for Where Dandelions Grow’s scrapbook. Okay, kidding folks – not about visiting the page so often or the picture, but I don’t really have a scrapbook for my precious little book.

As with any good birthday party, there’s a bunch of fun stuff taking place at Noveltea and around the web. If you’d like to join in the celebrations elsewhere on the internet, then I’ve got you covered with the links. But first, let’s start out with the gifts.

Click here to enter a $25 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway 

Or wait, were you thinking you wanted to bring me a gift? 😉 If so, that’s incredibly sweet of you, and pretty much the best gift ever would be for you to buy Where Dandelions Grow for only $0.99. Thank you for thinking about it. 🙂


Around the Internet 

If y’all would like to join in the fun, you should totally hop over to these blogs and check out what they’re posting today. (They might not have the specific posts up yet, so you might need to check back from time to time.)

Bella at Worth it All interviewed me and asked questions like “What has been your most embarrassing writing moment?”

Rosalyn at All of a Kind Mom also did an author interview and asked: “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?”

There are also a couple of book reviews I have to share with you going up today:

Bekah at Bekah’s Books

Annie at Annie Louise Twitchell

Mukta at Born Free

and Kate at Once Upon an Ordinary

Throughout this blog tour I’ll also be having fun posting on my other social media sites, so you might enjoy checking them out: YoutubeFacebook, TwitterGoodreads, Instagram (I’m totally new here – as in I’ve posted a grand total of one picture), and Google+. 

Me working on those last minute details this morning:


And, one last thing before we go! Each day I’ll be posting a question a for y’all to answer in the comments. At the end of the blog tour I’ll randomly draw one of the comments and send that commenter a $5 Amazon giftcard. So, comment away and you’ll be placed in the drawing!


Thank you so much for helping me celebrate! This is going to be amazing, folks!

When Quote Images and Caffeine Collide

Y’ALL! The week of Where Dandelions Grow book release and blog tour has arrived! Tomorrow is when everything officially happens, but I’m spending the entire day today getting all the details worked out and all that good stuff. In fact, I’ve been sitting here for the last hour and a half working on it while drinking caffeinated coffee. Crazy, right? (And no worries, I’m drinking it really slowly to make it last for a while.)

To kick off this amazing week I’ve put together a post with some cool book quotes from Where Dandelions Grow(Some of which were made by Maddy – thanks!) I’d be utterly delighted if y’all wanted to help spread the word about the book release by posting some of these pictures on your social media. Just give it the hashtag #WhereDandelionsGrow or #WDG, and I’ll stop by to hang out. 🙂

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who’s been celebrating and supporting me with this book already. Y’all totally rock. I can’t begin to express how much you mean to me. Tomorrow will kick-off with a giveaway and some cool stuff, so I look forward to seeing y’all then!

(Which quote image is your favorite? They all make me so happy I can’t even begin to choose!)