Adventures with Allyson!

I’m on Instagram!

What’s up? I hope everyone has had an epic weekend!

I just wanted to drop by really quick to announce that I’m now on Instagram!

I’ve had a private Instagram account for a few years now, but this account is solely for my author platform. I’ll be posting behind-the-scenes snapshots of what I’m working on, what books I’m reading, and other cool things!

Give me a follow @authorallysonkennedy! I look forward to seeing you on Instagram! 📷


Later, Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

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Adventures with Allyson!

2nd Quarter Review of 2019

What’s up, my besties? Today I’ve got a special post in store for y’all where I’ll review all the cool, crazy, and slightly nerdy things I did in the second quarter of 2019!

2ndQuarter2019

April 2019

  • April 1st:  Went on a wild goose chase to Walmart to buy an Apple Watch for Josh for our third dating anniversary. 😛
  • April 2nd – 8th: Apparently nothing cool happened because I literally have no idea what I did during this time. XD
  • April 9th – 12th: Ran a $0.99 sale on Speak Your Mind.
  • April 14th: My current WIP, The Crush reached 300 pages!
  • April 19th: Ate at the local Japanese steakhouse for date night with Josh! ❤
  • April 20th: Celebrated Easter at my boyfriend’s house by hiding Easter eggs for his niece and nephew and then going to a family Easter party that night to hide more eggs! #ProfessionalEggHider
  • April 21st: Celebrated Easter with my family at my Aunt’s house, where I hid eggs a third time for my adorable little cousins. #ProfessionalEggHiderPart2 | Started a new diary!
  • April 24th: Celebrated our third dating anniversary with Josh! We ate at Outback and spent the entire car ride there and back laughing like we always do! ❤ I’m so thankful for him!
  • April 27th: Spent my Saturday night discussing Toy Story fan theories with Josh and watching a documentary about Ronald Reagan after he went to work (#3rdshift). It was a night well spent. XD
  • April 28th: Watched Josh bowl in a local bowling tournament, and when we left the bowling alley, the glass exit door shattered when we walked through the doorway! Thank God we were not injured, but it scared the mess out of both of us.
  • April 29th: Revamped my old, worn out dream journal with washi tape, which I wrote a post about here! | Total word count on The Crush for April: 67.2 k words for the WIP, so 11.5 k for the month! 😀

May 2019

  • May 4th: Saw Avengers: Endgame with Josh and his best friend. AND. ENDGAME. IS. HEARTBREAKING. And now I’m currently watching all of the MCU movies in order so I’ll actually know what all went down. (I had only watched a handful of MCU movies before then.)
  • May 6th: Made this cute little wannabe movie poster for The Crush using WordSwag:
    MoviePosterTheCrush
  • May 8th: My sister made the hilarious proclamation of, “I like grapes, but I can’t eat a whole loaf!” *Facepalm* XD
  • May 11th: I may or may not have fallen in love with Captain America after watching The First Avenger for the first time.
  • May 16th: Josh finally told me that he got a FIRST SHIFT JOB after being on third shift for almost two years! ❤ Thank God!
  • May 17th: Successfully cleared off the Low Tire Pressure warning on my car by myself for the first time! *pumps fist*
  • May 18th: Had the best time looking at modulars and double-wides with Josh and his momma.
  • May 23rd: Went to Josh’s bowling league banquet and a local minor league baseball game afterward! #GoWoodDucks
  • May 26th: Binge-watched seven episodes of Once Upon a Time with Josh. Yes, I now have my boyfriend hooked on this show. XD
  • May 27th: Went swimming on Memorial Day and got sunburnt like crazy. | Total word count on The Crush for May: 76.7 k words for the WIP, so 9.5 k for the month!

June 2019

  • June 1st: Reached 390 pages on The Crush and had 1.5 chapters to go! | Went to a local NTPA (National Tractor Pulling Association) event with Josh and his parents.
  • June 2nd:  Binge-watched ten episodes of Once Upon a Time with Josh and my family after church until nightfall. We’re so productive. XD
  • June 7th: Had a date night to celebrate Josh starting his new job! We ate at Buffalo Wild Wings and had ice cream from Coldstone Creamery after. Oh, and watched more Once Upon a Time episodes when we got back. XD
  • June 8th: Drove to another town to look at more double wides and modulars with Josh and his family. On the way back home, we stopped by Walmart and Josh bought an ice cream maker, which makes some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had! Our first batch ended up tasting just like a chocolate milkshake from Hardee’s!
  • June 9th: Had Pastor’s appreciation day at church, and ate afterward. Josh grilled steaks for the first time that night at his house, and did a phenomenal job!
  • June 15: Went on a day trip to Myrtle Beach with Josh. First we went to the model train store in the mall (we had always wanted to go, but they’re only open three days a week) and checked out the trains! Then we hung out at Barefoot Landing, got some ice cream, and ate at Johnny Rockets. Finally, for the main event, we went to the Alabama Theatre for a Josh Turner concert! It was an awesome day!JoshTurner.jpg
  • June 16th: Spent Father’s Day swimming at the house!
  • June 19th: Went out to eat with Josh’s family to celebrate his momma’s birthday.
  • June 20th: Josh got off work early and surprised me by taking me out to lunch! ❤ Sweetest guy ever! We celebrated his niece’s birthday that night.
  • June 21st: Went to the movies with Josh to watch Toy Story 4. You can read my review of that nightmare here!
  • June 23rd: Went to Josh’s niece’s birthday party.
  • June 24th: I took the day off from work to finish writing my third novel, The Crush! Read more about it here! 🙂 | Total word count on The Crush for June: 82.4k words for the WIP, so 5.7k and A FINISHED NOVEL for the month!
  • June 30th: Went on a day trip to Myrtle Beach with my family. We went to the Hollywood Wax Museum and hung out at Broadway at the Beach.

Total Word Count for 2nd Quarter of 2019: 26.7 K!!! (Started the year at 28.5k)

April Reads

  1. In Between (Katie Parker Productions, #1) by Jenny B. Jones
  2. On the Loose (Katie Parker Productions, #2) by Jenny B. Jones
  3. The Big Picture (Katie Parker Productions, #3) by Jenny B. Jones
  4. Can’t Let You Go (Katie Parker Productions, #4) by Jenny B. Jones
  5. Porch Swing Girl (Tradewinds, #1) by Taylor Bennett
  6. Writing Tips for Writers by Tyler Wagner
  7. Dandelion Dust by Faith Potts
  8. Uncanny Valley (Uncanny Valley #1) by C.A. Gray

May Reads

  1. How I Sold 80,000 Books by Alinka Rutkowska
  2. O to be Like Thee: How Deep Love Runs by Kassie Angle
  3. Irrelevant (The Relevance Series, #1) by Sarah Addison-Fox
  4. Dronefall by A.L. Buehrer
  5. 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons
  6. Let God Fight Your Battles by Joyce Meyer

June Reads

  1. Heirs to a Secret by Penny Wood (Alpha Read)
  2. Pretty in Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton
  3. When You Found Me by Shana Norris
  4. Irreverent by Sarah Addison-Fox
  5. Not Write Now by Kyle Robert Schultz

Total 2nd Quarter Reads: 19 Books | Goodreads 2019 Reading Challenge Goal: 100 | Currently at 47/100 books


*Falls in a puddle of exhaustion* This quarter has been tough, y’all. Let’s see what this next quarter has to offer!

Later, Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

Adventures with Allyson!

Revamping a Damaged Notebook with Washi Tape

Once upon a random night in 2007, I decided to start keeping a dream journal. In the twelve years since then, I still haven’t filled the entire journal with crazy dreams I’ve had, but the journal ended up getting damaged. The strip of black fabric that covered the book binding ripped loose, exposing the gross glue layer beneath it. Tired of the stickiness, I hopped on Amazon to look for some washi tape.

WashiTape1

I first heard about washi tape on YA fantasy author Sarra Cannon’s YouTube channel, Heart Breathings. Sarra uses washi tape in her notebooks, but after looking around on Pinterest, I found more uses for washi tape. Here’s the tape I ended up buying! (note: I’m not an Amazon affiliate and this is not a sponsored post. Just wanted to show off the prettiness! 😉 )

Let me first explain that I did not realize the washi tape was that small before buying it! If I had known it was only 3mm, I probably wouldn’t have purchased it. The Amazon page clearly says it’s that size, though apparently I didn’t read it and assumed the individual tape strands would be as wide as my thumb. Each strand ended up being about a third of that. But, it still turned out pretty cute!

Before

WashiTape2

After

WashiTape3

I regret forgetting to take a Before picture featuring the damaged binding, but believe me, all it was was a bunch of  gross glue residue. Now that it’s covered up, I no longer have to worry about sticky hands/desk when I’m writing in it, and it’s cute to look at!

I don’t consider myself a crafty person. Literally all I did to the journal was tape the washi tape on, cut the tape from the roll, and wrap any left over tape around the back edge of the cover. So, this is a super easy craft anyone can do. The only downside was that, because the tape is so small in width, it took me about two hours to wrap the entire thing. Still, I highly recommend trying this method to revamp your damaged or plain notebooks!


Talk to Me, Arrowheads!

Are you a fan of washi tape? This was my first experience buying and using washi tape, and so far, I’m impressed! What are your favorite ways to use washi tape?

Later, Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

Adventures with Allyson!

1st Quarter Review of 2019

Good afternoon Arrowheads, and welcome to my first Quarter Review of 2019! Today, I’m sharing all of the (mostly lame) adventures I’ve been on over the past three months!

1stQuarter2019

January 2019

  • January 1st: Rolled in the new year watching A Cinderella Story with Josh. I spent the day organizing my stuff, reading, starting to work out, etc. I filled the rings on my new Apple Watch for the first time, and it served as the end of my blog hiatus.
  • January 2nd: First day back to work of 2019.
  • January 3rd: First day back to watch Josh’s bowling league of 2019.
  • January 5th: Attended the “Christmas” party for my daddy’s band.
  • January 6th: First solo attempt at making box pizzas with Josh. the first batch wasn’t too great, but the second batch was good!
  • January 9th: Read Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl for the first full time since its release in 2017. Because it has mixed reviews, I had been cringing whenever I thought of it for a while. This reread helped me recognize some of the issues, showed me where I’ve grown as a writer, and reminded me why I believed in this book in the the first place. I’m happy to say I still love it! 🙂
  • January 11th: Date night with Josh! ❤ We went to Long Horn and to the movies to see Bumblebee.
  • January 12th: Bowled four games with Josh and we watched Cheaper by the Dozen together, which was fun to watch him laugh at. XD I also reached 30k on The Crush!
  • January 14th: Got a bunch of ideas for a new WIP! 😀
  • January 18th: My new boots delivered in the mail and I was SO excited! I got two pair from Show Show/Shoe Dept. online for a little over $50 (shipping included)!
  • January 21st: Lost 5 lbs since January 1st!!!
  • January 22nd: Reached 35k on The Crush!
  • January 25th: Hung out with some friends and played Mario Party on their Nintendo Switch.
  • January 28th: Was asked to write my first ever guest blog post for Literature Approved!
  • January 31st: Watched my boyfriend bowl his third 800 set on his bowling league! It was my first time seeing him bowl and 800, so I was beyond happy for him! 😀 My ending January word count was 40.2k on The Crush, with a total of 11.7k written for the month!

February 2019

  • February 2nd: Went to my aunt’s 80th birthday party.
  • February 3rd: Went to a superbowl party at a friend’s house. I don’t care about football; I was there for the food! XD They made fried buffalo chicken dip sticks from Josh’s legendary buffalo chicken dip and they were awesome!
  • February 8th: Challenged myself to step outside my socially awkward comfort zone and order takeout from a fast food restaurant for the first time by myself (as weird as it may seem, this was a huge step for me).
  • February 10th: Ran my farthest yet on a 10-min Wii Fit run than I’ve done since I started working out this year!
  • February 11th: Re-lost 2 lbs that had added back on after I had lost the 5 lbs back in January.
  • February 14th: Spent my third Valentine’s Day with Josh watching him bowl league. We both think Valentine’s Day is dumb, so we were happy doing this. ❤
  • February 15th: I BOWLED MY FIRST 300 ON WII BOWLING AND I LITERALLY SCREAMED BECAUSE I’VE BEEN WANTING TO DO THAT FOR SO LONG. XD
  • February 17th: Went to my little cousin’s birthday party!
  • February 20th: Upgraded to a new phone for my birthday!
  • February 21st: Ate out for my momma’s birthday.
  • February 22nd: Celebrated my 25th birthday by watching home movies of when I was younger, working out, reading, going out to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings (and they were giving away free sides with wings, so I scored FREE MOZZARELLA STICKS!!!), and playing the Wii with Josh, my sister, and her boyfriend. It also included this fabulous cake:
    25Cake
  • February 24th: Watched my sweet boyfriend bowl in a local tournament and he did awesome!
  • February 25th: Scored my second 300 bowling on the Wii!
  • February 28th: I heard the Jonas Brothers were getting back together and I. Freaked. Out. ❤ | Total word count on The Crush for February: 46k words on the nose, which means 5.8k written for the month.

March 2019

  • March 2nd: I shamelessly put a couple Jonas Brothers posters back up in my room! XD
  • March 3rd: Spent an embarrassing amount of time making funny Snapchat videos and not posting them. XD
  • March 4th – 8th: Had a beyond horrible/stressful week. 😦
  • March 9th: Went to another little cousin’s birthday party! I also rewatched Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 after finishing rereading The Hunger Games trilogy.
  • March 13th: Scored my third 300 bowling on the Wii! (If y’all can’t tell, I’m proud of this new ability! XD)
  • March 14th: Someone spelled my name “A-L-I-C-E-Y-N” and it was all I could do to control the expression on my face. O.o
  • March 16th: Ate out for my daddy’s birthday at Logan’s Roadhouse.
  • March 19th: FINALLY REACHED 50K WORDS ON THE CRUSH AND IT’S STILL NOT FINISHED! XD
  • March 22nd – 24th: Went on vacation to Myrtle Beach and visited the zoo in Columbia, SC. I finally saw a koala in person! 😀Koala
  • March 24th: Had my first ever guest post on Literature Approved for their Behind the Books blog series! Click here to read the post!
  • March 28th: Reached 55K on The Crush.
  • March 31st: Scored the March Calorie Challenge badge on my Apple Watch! Even though I’ve earned the January and February challenge badges too, this one means a lot to me, because I missed a few workouts this month due to a bad cold and almost thought I wouldn’t be able to earn it! 🙂 | Total Word Count on The Crush: 55.7k, so 9.7k written for the month!

Total Word Count for 1st Quarter of 2019: 27.2k words!!!! (Started the year at 28.5k)

January Reads

  1. Illuminate by Sarah Addison-Fox
  2. How My Private, Personal Journal Became a Bestseller by Julia DeVillers
  3. Arbrook Huxley and the Star-Crossed Lovers by Mollie E. Reeder
  4. Heaven Shining Through by Joe Siccardi
  5. A Field of Fireflies by Joey Jones
  6. Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl by Me 🙂
  7. Phantoms (Shallows, #2) by Denver Evans
  8. Retreat (The Stormers Trilogy #2) by Sarah Addison-Fox
  9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  10. Live Without You by Sarah Grace Grzy
  11. Successful Self-Publishing by Joanna Penn
  12. The Beast of Talesend (Beaumont and Beasley, #1) by Kyle Robert Shultz
  13. How I Had Fun Writing 10 Novels in 13 Months by Sarah Addison-Fox (reread)
  14. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  15. Finding Fireflies by A.C. Williams

February Reads

  1. The Secrets Between You and Me by Shana Norris
  2. Allegiant (Divergent, #3) by Veronica Roth
  3. Bellamy and the Brute (Bellamy and the Brute #1) by Alicia Michaels
  4. Receive (The Stormers Trilogy #3) by Sarah Addison-Fox
  5. Beautiful Demons (The Shadow Demons Saga #1) by Sarra Cannon
  6. Beagle in a Backpack (Animal Ark: Holiday Special, #16) by Ben M. Baglio
  7. A Proverb a Day: A 40-Day Pursuit of Wisdom by Sarah J. Callen

March Reads

  1. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) by Suzanne Collins (reread)
  2. Water Princess, Fire Prince (The Rizkaland Legends, #1) by Kendra E. Ardnek
  3. God Will Use This For Good by Max Lucado
  4. Ruptured Reality (Kristian Clark and the Agency Trap, #2.5) by Jes Drew
  5. Agents Adam and Eve (Kristian Clark and the American Agenda, #1) by Jes Drew
  6. A Bridge Apart by Joey Jones

Total 1st Quarter Reads: 28 Books | Goodreads 2019 Reading Challenge Goal: 100


Woo! That’s it for this first quarter review, Arrowheads! How has 2019 been treating y’all so far?

Later, Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

Adventures with Allyson!, Wonderful World of Writing

My Second Year as a Published Author

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Welcome back on this lovely Friday, which also happens to be my 25th birthday! *Releases balloons to celebrate!*

However, today is also special for a couple more reasons, as it’s the day I completed Speak Your Mind last year, and the day I released my debut novel, Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl, two years ago. So, today marks my second full year of being a published author, and I’d like to share with you the lessons I’ve learned within the past year.

Check out the lessons I learned in My First Year as a Published Author!

secondyearauthor

Lesson 1: It’s OKAY if Someone Doesn’t Like Your Book

The toughest lesson I’ve had to stomach over the past year as reviews finally started coming in on Goodreads is that it is perfectly fine if someone ends up not liking your book. Yes, it hurts like a bullet train smashing into your heart, but there’s nothing you can do about it.

What’s going to happen if you dwell on that bad review and let it eat you alive? You’re going to show your ignorance and do or say something stupid that will hurt you worse than the rating did. So, by all means, if any of your books receive a bad review:

#1: Don’t React

#2: Don’t Take it to Heart

Just because someone doesn’t like your book for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. It doesn’t mean you wrote a horrible book. It doesn’t mean your author career is forever tarnished. It just means that particular person did not enjoy the book.

And here’s the kicker… they are not dumb or hateful for doing so. They rated your book low for a reason that may seem dumb to you, but it’s something they feel strongly about. At the end of the day, we’ve got to realize that not everyone is going to like us, our books, or what we are passionate enough to write about. But, that’s fine. It’s okay to have different opinions.

At the same time, don’t let someone’s difference in opinion make you question your worthiness. This mindset hit me hard a couple different times throughout 2018, and I had to realize that I am worthy of being a Christian author. You are worthy, too. God made you and gave you your gift of writing for a reason. Keep writing, no matter what anyone else thinks of it.

Lesson 2: Book Signings are Not For Introverts

So far I’ve only had one book signing at a local library. Unless I eventually become a bestselling author, it’ll probably be my last. During the book signing last July, I learned I suck at selling things. My family and boyfriend lured more people to my table than I did. I forgot to prepare a banner for my table. I had a hard time getting my sales pitch across to visitors.

img_1173.jpg

I’m an introvert. I’m not a people person, and it showed through the small amount of books I sold. It was a check off my bucket list for sure,  but until I miraculously gain better social and marketing skills, it’s a no from me.

Lesson 3: Relationships with Fellow Authors Matter

On a lighter note, my second year as a published author spawned several good friendships in the indie author community. I’ve been blessed to read and review many books for friends, and they’ve helped promote my books as well. We often send each other pins on Pinterest or encourage one another through Twitter messages, blog comments, and emails. It’s been an absolute blast getting to know them this past year, and I’m excited to work alongside them on future promotions!

If you’re just getting started in the indie author community, I highly recommend hopping on Twitter, Goodreads, or Pinterest and finding like-minded authors in your genre. By saying “like-minded”, I’m not trying to be hypocritical of my first Lesson’s point; I say this because it’s good to have a group of authors who support your writing rather than be in a group that doesn’t get your writing. There’s a difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism. Learn to recognize this, and you’ll be golden.

Lesson 4: Success as an Author Doesn’t Define Me

Over the past year, I’ve stressed myself out to the max trying to pave the path to success as an author. I bought Goodreads ads. I seeked out reviews (and had an immature meltdown over the ones I received). I recently took a hiatus in December because Speak Your Mind‘s first two week’s sales were nowhere near as high as I had hoped.

During my hiatus, I took a step back and analyzed what success really means to me. What I wanted was to one day make enough money in sales that I could write full-time. In my two years as a published author, and especially within the past year as I’ve compared myself to other authors, I’ve done nothing but beat myself up over lack of “success”, when in reality book sales haven’t been nonexistent. Some months, yes, but not shabby. And despite some low ratings, I still get compliments on both books. Some from people I know personally, and some from people I don’t. Either way, it always makes me happy to know my writing has made someone else smile.

3rd Year Goals

So, in my third year as a published author, my main goal is to define “success” differently. My author career is not going to skyrocket overnight. It may never skyrocket. But, I like my books, and some other people do too. I’d be doing a disservice to fans of previous works, and myself, to give up on my dream.

Going forward, I will be defining “success” as finishing more stories, and aiming to make those readers I do have smile more. Hopefully, next year around this time, I’ll have a lot more positive lessons to share. 🙂


Thanks for stopping by on my birthday, Arrowheads, it means a lot! 🙂

And, to celebrate, you can get Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl for FREE today on Kindle! Click here to claim your copySpeak Your Mind is also available for $2.99, and it would mean so much if you picked up a copy as well! 🙂

Later, Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

 

 

Adventures with Allyson!

4th Quarter Review of 2018

2018 was a difficult year for my area, my family, and me personally. There were a few ups and a lot of downs, but all of them taught me a valuable lesson: if we want progression, we have to embrace positivity. So, as I kick 2018 to the curb with its last quarter review, I’ll try to reflect on the good happenings of 2018 of the last three months.
4thQuarter

October

  • October 1st: My favorite month FINALLY arrived! ❤
  • October 6th: Went with my boyfriend, Josh, to a bowling tournament in Aberdeen, NC. On the way there, we drove through Spivey’s Corner, NC, home of the Hollerin’ Capital of the World. I’m not making this up. Here’s a video.
  • October 9th: Watched Modern Day Miracles for review with Josh.
  • October 11th: The remnants of what was Hurricane Michael visited eastern NC, but it was nowhere near as bad as Florence, or what occurred in Florida.
  • October 13th: Date night with Josh. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings and got milkshakes from Steak N Shake afterward. ❤
  • October 14th: Wrote 2,300 words on The Crush, bringing it up to around 15k words!
  • October 20-21st: Had a prosperous free Kindle weekend for Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl. It reached #1 in three different categories!
  • October 21st: Carved a Toy Story alien pumpkin!

ToyStoryAlienPumpkin

  • October 24th: My 2 1/2 years dating anniversary with Josh! ❤ Authoring Arrowheads also reach 1,000 likes.
  • October 25th: Finished reading The Electrical Menagerie, which has now become one of my all-time favorite books!
  • October 26th: Started writing “My Name is Zeebot”, a Speak Your Mind short story.
  • October 27th: Watched The Greatest Showman for the first time with Josh. I ADORE the soundtrack.
  • October 31st: Dressed up as Katniss Everdeen for Halloween at work.

November

*Note: November was a huge blur due to prepping for Speak Your Mind‘s release, so there are probably huge gaps between dates. XD*

  • November 1st-4th: If I remember correctly, this is when I worked through edits from my editor, Rayleigh, for Speak Your Mind.
  • November 10th: Put up the Christmas tree! (Yeah, we’re that family!)
  • November 12th-16th: Josh’s Papa passed away, so I spent most of my evenings after work with them that week.
  • November 17th: Went to a burial (for Papa) and a wedding on the same day.
  • November 22nd: Thanksgiving and saw Ralph Breaks the Internet with Josh! ❤
  • November 24th: Speak Your Mind‘s release day and went bowling with my sister and Josh.
  • November 27th: Realized I’ve sold 100 books (CBTHOACG and Speak Your Mind combined)!
  • November 28th: Saw Speak Your Mind in it’s paperback format for the first time at Josh’s! ❤

December

  • December 1st: Went to my aunt’s house for the first time in forever and started trying to work out again (spoiler alert: that didn’t last XD).
  • December 3rd: Finally finished reading my Disney Christmas Storybook that I received as a Christmas present in my early twenties and never sat down to read until now. XD | Made some Speak Your Mind quote pictures.

Promo1Promo2

  • December 7th: Went to eat and go on a Christmas hayride at a local tree farm with my family.
  • December 9th: Christmas party with Josh’s bowling friends. We played Family Feud, and I surprisingly got all the #1 answers on Fast Money. XD
  • December 12th: Realized it’s been 10 years since my beagle, Buddy, passed away. 😦
  • December 13th: Started my annual reread of A Walk to Remember. ❤
  • December 19th: Got a huge surprise at work when my coworkers organized a surprise book signing for me. This really helped me see the light while suffering from author depression earlier in the month.
  • December 22nd: Tried to sit down and read A Christmas Carol, but that didn’t happen. I did get a pretty picture though!

AChristmasCarol

  • December 23rd: Christmas Eve Eve, yo! XD
  • December 24th: Christmas Eve festivities at Josh’s uncle’s house and my house that night with momma’s side of the family. ❤
  • December 25th: Christmas! I was excited to get some books, The Greatest Showman soundtrack, an Apple Watch from Josh’s parents (I’m a certified ninja spy now!), gorgeous notebooks with Bible verses on them, and cute clothes!
  • December 26th: Major closet clean-out day at the house. XD Momma had skirts in her closet from when I was 4 or 5 (20 years ago!).
  • December 27th: Josh’s momma taught us how to make Chef Boyardee box pizzas in her world famous way! They turned out way better than I expected.
  • December 30th: Went to the movies with Josh and some friends to see Aquaman, and we played board games afterward.
  • December 31st: Rolled in the New Year watching Safe Haven and A Cinderella Story with Josh and eating Buffalo Chicken dip!

What I’ve Read This Quarter:

  • Casey Newman’s Guide to Being Funny (Even When Your Life Stinks) by Penny Wood
  • Rosie’s Two Left Feet by Jean Davis Callaghan (A book from my childhood because I was in a kid’s book mood :P)
  • Wolf Claw (Howling Twenties #1) by Jes Drew
  • Little Raccoon’s Nighttime Adventure by Lilian Moore (Yes, another kids’ book)
  • The Divine Guide to Creating a Daily Writing Practice by Pernille Norregaard
  • Just Between You and Me by Jenny B. Jones
  • The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson
  • Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle
  • Thank You, Pooh! by Ronne Randall (Yet another kids’ book because I love Pooh 🐻)
  • The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder
  • Show, Don’t Tell by Sandra Gerth
  • A Place Between Breaths by Jennifer Froelich
  • Deal (The Blades of Acktar Prequel Short Story) by Tricia Mingerink
  • The Time I Saved a Damsel in Distress (Ninja and Hunter Series #2) by Jes Drew
  • Esther Ashton’s New Dress (Short Story) by Kellyn Roth
  • The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins (reread)
  • Nora & Kettle (Paper Stars #1) by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
  • The Treasure Hunt (Short story) by Kate Willis
  • October by J. Grace Pennington
  • Retrieve (The Stormer’s Trilogy #1) by Sarah Addison-Fox
  • Christmas Storybook Collection: A Treasury of Tales by Walt Disney Company
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Dandi
  • The Time I Saved the World (Ninja and Hunter Series #3) by Jes Drew
  • The Introvert Writer: Being Your Creative Best By Being Your Truest Self by Jamie Arpin-Ricci

  • Mind of Darkness (Dystopian Takeover #1) by Jes Drew
  • His Mistletoe Miracle (A Sugar Creek Novel Book 3) by Jenny B. Jones
  • A Walk to Remember (reread) by Nicholas Sparks
  • Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins

Woo! That’s it for today, Arrowheads. Now it’s time to leave 2018 in the dust, and embrace the new opportunities 2019 will hold. I’m going to do my best to leave the negativity behind in 2018 and begin a new slate in 2019. Who’s with me? 😀

Later Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

Adventures with Allyson!

Word of the Year: Positivity

What’s up, Arrowheads? That’s right, I’m finally out of hiatus! *Fist bumps all around*

I apologize for being away for a few weeks, but as I said in my hiatus announcement, I was in a dark place as an author and even considered walking away from publishing my future books altogether. But, after some conversations with my family, boyfriend, and online author friends, I’m ready to keep pursuing self-publishing and am pumped to see what 2019 will hold.

2019 Word of the Year

This year, I’m going to try something new: instilling a word of the year for myself. After experiencing author depression after Speak Your Mind‘s release in November, and taking off most of December to evaluate my current situation, I decided I need a change. I’ve taken to watching YouTube videos by Abbie Emmons and Sarra Cannon (Heart Breathings)both of which promote a focus on mental health and positivity in the author community. For the majority of my life, I’ve been a negative person, and hoarding negative outlooks while trying to write, make a career as an author, and enjoy life outside of writing is a terrible mix. That’s what 2018 looked like for me, and I aim to change that this year by making my word of the year POSITIVITY.

WordPositivity

POSITIVITY Defined:

Because “Positivity” just means the state of being positive, let’s see what “Positive” means instead.

A few summarized definitions from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary state that “Positive” means the following:

  • Fully assured or confident
  • Independent of changing circumstances
  • Characterized by affirmation rather than negation
  • Contributing toward progression
  • Having a good effect

These are the five pillars I would like to build the foundation of 2019 on.

In the past, I have struggled with low self-esteem. This year, I will try not to tear myself down and gain CONFIDENCE.

In the past, I have feared change. This year, I will work to remain stable and INDEPENDENT of changing circumstances.

In the past, I’ve been notably cynical about many things. This year, I will use AFFIRMATIONS to change that mindset.

In the past, I’ve allowed my negative mindset to become a time waster by feeling sorry for myself. This year, I will channel my aggression into PROGRESSION.

In the past, my negative nature has had disastrous effects on relationships, goals, and writing progress. This year, I will remain POSITIVE and see PROGRESS.


IT’S YOUR TURN, ARROWHEADS!

Do you have a word of the year? If not, try to brainstorm one you’d like to adopt for 2019, and share in the comments! Let’s try to make 2019 as bright as we can and shed some light on the world! ❤

Later Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

 

Adventures with Allyson!

3rd Quarter Review of 2018

Happy October, everyone! October is my favorite month, but before we jump into the beautiful season that is autumn, I owe you guys a third quarter review! So, let’s flash back to the happenings of July, August, and September 2018!

3rdQuarter

July

  • July 1st: My sister finished making Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl’s new cover!
  • July 3rd: Went swimming with my sister and Josh, and a bat kept swooping down into the pool, so we high-tailed it out of there! XD
  • July 4th: Celebrated Independence Day by eating hamburgers and ribs with momma’s side of the family at our house, going swimming, and watching fireworks from the front porch.
  • July 5th: Josh made a Mickey Mouse phone case with his 3D printer for me! ❤
  • July 7th: Went shopping in Myrtle Beach with my parents and sister. I ended up buying a pair of shorts, a tank top, and a Myrtle Beach t-shirt for a total of $20, so that was awesome! 😉
  • July 8th: Created a new book trailer for Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl.
  • July 9th: Began planning my very first blog tour: The Carolina Girl Relaunch Tour.
  • July 10th: Started the fourth read-through edit for Speak Your Mind.
  • July 11th: New copies of Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl came in with its new cover! ❤

CBTHOACGBothCovers

  • July 12th: Josh and I discovered that Cookout’s Cookout sauce is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! (And it totally deserves a mention!)
  • July 13th: I’m superstitious by no means, but I could definitely tell why it was called Friday the 13th.
  • July 15th: I went swimming by myself and when I looked up from laying on the pool raft, about ten buzzards were circling above me, so I high-tailed it out of the pool. This has definitely not been the summer of swimming! XD
  • July 18th: Hosted Authoring Arrowheads’s first author interview for a traditionally published author: J.E. Grace.
  • July 19th: The Carolina Girl Relaunch tour began on Literature Approved!
  • July 20th: Josh’s two-year-old niece finally came to my house!
  • July 21st: Family reunion with Momma’s side of the family. Posted Speak Your Mind‘s book page to Goodreads.
  • July 23rd: Received heartbreaking news that a member of our bowling family passed away from cancer. 😦
  • July 25th: Hosted an author interview for K.A. Emmons.
  • July 27th: Wrote a good amount on one of my WIPs, The Crush!
  • July 28th: Held my first ever book signing at a semi-local library! I sold a handful of books and got to meet my writing buddy, Penny Wood! Then Josh took my family out for ice cream after! ❤
  • July 29th: Went to Josh’s cousin’s church to hear her husband preach.
  • July 31st: July 2018 became Authoring Arrowheads’s most viewed month to date at 640 views, surpassing the last record of 529! 😀

August

  • August 1st: Finally got my hair done for the first time since November! #ProcrastinatorWithBadRoots
  • August 5th: Had a surprise visit from my neighbor’s dog, which made my day. Reached 10k on The Crush.
  • August 9th: Did my first Tag blog post: Get to Know Me Writer’s Tag.
  • August 11th: Revealed the origin of The Carolina Golden Neuse during the Liebster Award Tag Post. Had a very entertaining Saturday with my little cousins.
  • August 12th: Completed the fourth editing read-through edits on Speak Your Mind.
  • August 13th: Hosted an author interview with J. Carol Nemeth.
  • August 15th: Hosted an author interview with Victoria Lynn.
  • August 18th and 19th: Formatted Speak Your Mind’s Word document for CreateSpace and did some adverb edits.
  • August 23rd: Josh’s bowling league started back up!
  • August 24th: Had a date night with Josh since he finally had a weekend off from work! We went to a Japanese steakhouse, to the movies to see Christopher Robin, and stopped at Sonic for milkshakes afterward. (Cool fact: The movie theater had RECLINING SEATS IN EVERY THEATER!!! This was a new discovery for our uncultured selves, and we will be going back!)
  • August 25th: Went to my cousin’s 2nd birthday party!
  • August 26th: Reached 150 followers on Authoring Arrowheads. *Waves at all y’all cool peoples* 😎
  • August 29th: Was finally reunited with pizza crackers! 😂 #priorities
  • August 31st: Took a much needed day off from work and went shopping. I bought a bunch of cute clothes!

September

  • September 2nd: Went to Myrtle Beach after church for a day trip with my parents, my sister and her new boyfriend, and Josh. Our boyfriends decided we should take Old Timey Photos at one kid those stands on the boardwalk. 😂 We went to the Carolina Opry that night!
  • September 3rd: Labor Day. Rode the golf cart around the yard and went swimming (finally, after like 2 months of rain) and ate grilled cheeseburgers.
  • September 4th: Finished the 5th read-through of Speak Your Mind.
  • September 9th: Another date night with Josh! We ate at Long Horn and met my sister and her boyfriend at Coldstone after. Then we stopped by Walmart to look for a movie, and we dug through the $3 and $5 bins. 😂
  • September 13th: Sent Speak Your Mind to my editor.
  • September 14th-16th: Hurricane Florence hit my area. My sister’s birthday occurred during the hurricane. For more details, read my post about the hurricane here.
  • September 17th-18th: Hurricane Florence aftermath. Work was still closed for these two days. On Monday, I rode with Momma, Amanda, and Josh to a city about 45 minutes away to get groceries because our town still didn’t have any available. When we got there, no stores had any dairy or meat. On Tuesday, my family and Amanda’s boyfriend went to my uncle’s house to help clean up from where the ceiling caved in on his bedroom. That night, Josh and I drove around looking for an open route to my workplace.
  • September 20th: My town started having super heavy traffic due to major roads being closed (thanks, Florence) which was so fun… not.
  • September 22nd: Went out to eat with the family for my sister’s birthday.
  • September 24th: Finally stopped procrastinating on working on The Crush… for now. Was finally reunited with Bojangles’s chicken supremes for the first time since the hurricane hit. XD
  • September 27th: Josh’s bowling league started back for the first time since the hurricane.
  • September 28th: Was given the opportunity to proofread for a good author friend of mine for her reader’s group release! Ate out with our family for my uncle’s birthday.
  • September 29th: Rode around our neighboring town to see the flood damage for the first time. Watched an indie movie for review with Josh.
  • September 30th: Organized my closet to put all the beautiful fall/winter things in the front (despite it still being 80 degrees here… 😅) I also went on a double date to the bowling alley with Josh, my sister, and her boyfriend.

What I’ve Read This Quarter:

  • The Time I Saved the Day (The Ninja and Hunter Series #1) by Jes Drew
  • Targets (Castaways #3) by Jes Drew
  • I Can Only Imagine: A Memoir by Bart Millard
  • Finding Christmas Joy (Short Story) by Amanda Tero
  • You Aren’t Worthless: Unlock the Truth to Godly Confidence by Kristin N. Spencer
  • Shallows (Shallows #1) by Denver Evans
  • Enjoy the Poodle Skirt (Short Story) by Kate Willis
  • When Beauty Blooms by Victoria Lynn
  • Kiera by Kate Willis
  • The Lost Princess (The Fairy Tale Chronicles #1) by Loretta Marchize
  • The Bachelor Missions (Kristian Clark and the Agency Trap #1) by Jes Drew
  • Autumn Eternal (The Fantastical Stories Told Beneath the Willow Tree #1) by Kyle Bagsby
  • Discerned (Allegiance #4) by Sarah Addison-Fox
  • Andora’s Folly by Abigayle Claire
  • In the Rogue (Kristian Clark and the Agency Trap #2) by Jes Drew
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • See Me by Nicholas Sparks
  • A Certain Sort of Madness (Return to Amar #1) by Nicki Chapelway
  • Irresistible World Building for Unforgettable Stories by Janeen Ippolito
  • The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner
  • Disobey (Allegiance Series Prequel Novella) by Sarah Addison-Fox
  • Losing London by Joey Jones

That’s all for this quarter review, Arrowheads! 🏹

Later Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

Adventures with Allyson!

Hurricane Florence

Good afternoon, Arrowheads. You may or may not have heard about the hurricane that recently wreaked havoc on the Carolinas: Hurricane Florence. You may or may not know about the small towns that have been completely devastated. You may or may not know that the catastrophic floods in some areas surpassed that of Floyd (1999), the most devastating flood in the area to date. (Watch here to get an idea of what Floyd was like).

You may or may not care about any of this. But I do. These are my people. This is where I call my home. These are my friends, family, former classmates, and coworkers.

We are NC Strong.

These are some of the horrors my sweet state has faced over the past week.

HurricaneFlorence

Before the Storm

Hurricane Florence was initially a Category 4 hurricane, making it comparable to Hurricane Hazel from 1954. Although Florence was not projected to make landfall until Friday, September 14, Eastern NC began to make preparations much sooner, as we’re well acquainted with how much damage these storms can cause.

On Tuesday of last week, a mandatory evacuation was proclaimed for one of our surrounding counties. A rumor was also going around at work that our county was under a mandatory evacuation. Knowing that Florence was heading to us as a Category 4 hurricane and that we were being told to leave scared the mess out of me. Though my hometown’s closest neighboring town is prone to catastrophic flooding (and I live in between what I call my hometown and the flooding town), my family’s home did not flood in Floyd. But, with all the hysteria going on, I was beginning to assume it could flood if Florence reached land at full force.

The drive home from work Tuesday resembled a scene from an apocalyptic movie. As I drove east back to my hometown, heavy traffic travelled west. My entire county rarely has typical traffic jams (unless a tractor is involved 😉), so seeing the west-bound traffic backed up a mile at the stoplight in the town where I work gave me goosebumps. The further I traveled, the more traffic emerged. People were driving by pulling campers and tiny houses.

Once I reached my hometown, I began to have a panic attack. Businesses and houses were boarded up with plywood, something I rarely see on Main Street even though we often receive hurricanes and tropical storm threats. All I could think about was the rumor of the mandatory evacuation of our county. All I could imagine was our house flooding and all our belongings, especially photos and videos from my childhood and of my deceased grandparents, being ruined. Bawling as I entered the house that afternoon, Momma assured me that our county was only under a mandatory evacuation for flood prone areas, and that all the traffic I was seeing was from the Onslow county citizens leaving Jacksonville, whose population as a city outnumbers my county. To say I was relieved is an understatement!

The Wrath of Florence

Florence soon downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane by the evening of September 13th. This wasn’t just some fluke in the weather pattern that caused it to do so; the amount of prayer and faith Eastern NC placed in God to calm the storm is the only fathomable possibility I can think of. I can attest to that, because I saw it first hand.

I can’t imagine what would have happened if Florence had struck as a Category 4 instead. The wind and rain started that evening, and our electricity went out around 11:00 pm. My sister and I played board games and made our beds for the next few nights on the living room couches.

Florence made landfall on the morning of Friday, September 14th. Through Facebook and local TV stations that we were able to watch through the assistance of an inverter, we watched the storm devastate coastal towns like Wilmington, Jacksonville, Topsail Island, New Bern, and Myrtle Beach (SC). The wind and rain beat down on our house, and a few tree branches fell in our yard, but we were fine throughout the storm. However, because we didn’t have a generator to power the refrigerator during the storm, we began to worry about our food. That night, we had grilled cheese sandwiches and fried bologna sandwiches, prepared on a small gas grill in our garage, the garage door open for the fumes.

The one thing that ate away at me was that Friday, September 14th–the day Hurricane Florence struck the Carolinas–was also my baby sister’s 20th birthday. I absolutely hated it for her. Like usual, she opened her birthday presents, but the storm greatly overshadowed the excitement she had been stowing for her birthday plans. That night, in the powerless kitchen, we placed a candle in a piece of cheesecake from Piggly Wiggly and sang Happy Birthday to her.

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I’m sure it’s a birthday she’ll never forget. By the end of the night, she was back to her old self again: recording a Snapchat of herself trying to sound like Goofy when he falls. 😂 At the time, we were without power for 22 hours.

Things began to take a turn for the worst on Saturday, the 15th. We woke up to hear that just about every town around us was flooded. We live 30-45 minutes away from the coast, so a lot of the rain Florence brought attributed to freshwater flooding in our area. Boat rescues began in nearby towns. The highway I take to work flooded over, and at the time of writing this post, it’s still flooded over. Not even a mile away from my house, half the road washed out. But, we’re still blessed. We’re still able to get to town.

To make matters worse, around lunch, my boyfriend texted me saying his momma had passed out. After his daddy managed to get her to the hospital (yes, despite the flooding) they found out she had a mild heart attack. Knowing I couldn’t be there with him or her during the hurricane brought me to tears. Thankfully, God has taken care of her through this time and she is in stable condition, though she still requires surgery. My boyfriend stayed home with the rest of their family, to ensure their generator kept working. At the time of writing this post, he still hasn’t been able to see her yet; he’s wary that the roads are beginning to flood over on the way to the hospital and that he won’t be able to return home.

Sunday morning (the 16th), I woke up to find that the USA Today posted an article about my small hometown, describing how we were (at the time) stranded on our own little island of sorts due to the floodwaters restricting us from travelling to all other towns. We are now able to travel to some nearby towns, but at the time of writing this, I’m still unable to get to work, which is only 25 minutes away.

Our local shelter–the elementary school–was in need of food for 250 people, though I’m not sure how they received food because our town and surrounding areas still didn’t have power. My family drove around town that morning, and one of our two gas stations in town was backed up, traffic waiting all the way down Main Street to get gas and waiting for the store to open. The store didn’t even have power. They were working off a generator.

While my island of a hometown was faring well under the circumstances, our neighboring town, Chinquapin, was not. Sunday was when the Cape Fear River began to rise, the flooding becoming even worse than that of Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and Hurricane Matthew of 2016. I’ll let this picture speak for itself:

Chinquapin

What you’re looking at is the small town of Chinquapin, NC, home of about 2,000 people. The picture came from my cousin’s Facebook page, and the building circled is the church my uncle preaches at. The flood waters are up to the ceiling of the church. Since our grandparents passed away, this is often where we have family get-togethers for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Click here to watch a more detailed video of the flooding Chinquapin suffered in Hurricane Florence. [Viewer Discrepancy: This video contains explicit language in the background commentary. The video can be watched on Mute to avoid this.]

But more than that, Chinquapin is the the home to some of my former high school classmates, my cousin’s extended family, and two band members from my daddy’s bluegrass group. Chinquapin is home to a variety of churches, and good, hardworking Christian people. Chinquapin is not being recognized on the news like it should because of its small size, but its story deserves to be told.

Sunday night, after approximately 70 hours, our power was restored. We’re very blessed for this short timeframe. Some of our family and friends’ power was restored after ours and was then disconnected again, along with their water. Others still haven’t had power restored at all. Many don’t even have a place to call home anymore.

I don’t know why God allowed Hurricane Florence to happen. This storm has caused more devastation to my area than any other hurricane I can remember. Thousands of His people have lost everything. But we’re still blessed. Hurricane Florence could have very well made landfall as a Category 4, but God spared us the worst. Even through these difficult times, His presence is still known. He’s still making a way.


Please keep Eastern North Carolina in your prayers, but especially the towns and cities listed below:

  • Chinquapin
  • Kinston
  • Jacksonville
  • Richlands
  • Hallsville
  • Fayetteville
  • New Bern
  • Wilmington
  • Topsail Island

Among numerous others. Let’s also not forget our neighboring states of South Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, and Virginia that were also affected.


Please Consider Donating to Hurricane Relief Through the Links Below:

Samaritan’s Purse

American Red Cross


Thanks for reading, Arrowheads. Keep us in your prayers.

-Allyson 😀

Adventures with Allyson!, Reading

Reading Testimony

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Bookworms come about in a number of ways. Some kids are reading as toddlers, while some initially struggle with reading and come to embrace it later in life. My testimony is a mix of both.

ReadingTestimony

The Beginning and Kindergarten

My momma read a lot of children’s books to me until I learned to read for myself in Kindergarten. Some of the books included: Rosie’s Two Left Feet, The Poky Little PuppyLittle Raccoon’s Nighttime Adventure, and most of the Golden books.

Back then, the only bookshelf we had in the house was about three feet tall with three shelves, and plugged full of kids’ books. I remember building many a book castle out of those books as well as enjoying listening to them being read!

Then the fateful day came when I first read a book by myself. My momma and I were sitting in the waiting room at a doctor’s office, and I was sounding out words to Picky Nicky by Cathy East Dubowski. Even though I may have been reciting the words from memory (we read that book a lot; I’m a picky eater like the main character), this memory has always stood out to me as the first time I felt like I was reading on my own, and I’ll never forget it!

Early Childhood

Junie B. Jones. The Babysitter’s Club. The Babysitter’s Little Sisters. Nancy Drew. 10 Kids, No Pets. Earth to Matthew. These are a few of the stand-out titles I remember adoring from Kindergarten to 4th grade. However, this is where my love for reading began to waver. The elementary school I went to had a competition-oriented reading program in place. Winning the competition resulted in one class from each grade earning a prize for receiving the most “points” at the end of the year. Points varied per the book’s reading level, and were rewarded by how well students scored on reading comprehension quizzes.

This program quickly murdered my love for reading during 4th grade. While my classmates were required to get anywhere from 1-2 points per week, I was told I had to get 4. If I didn’t reach my points goal per week, I was forced to stay in and read during recess to earn my points before I could go outside. I remember sitting in class reading many a day wondering why my love for reading was being abused.

In 5th grade, my reading waned even more. This teacher wasn’t as strict about earning points, so I chose not to read as much. She was much more encouraging about reading for fun though, and on the last day of school she let us have free reading time and pick a book from her classroom shelf. I started The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and have been meaning to get back to it ever since. At the time of writing this post, I’m currently reading it. 🙂

End of the Six-Year Hiatus

In middle school, the teachers pretty much didn’t ask us to do the competition anymore, so I don’t remember reading much of anything besides what we were assigned in Language Arts.

9th grade’s English class was World Literature, if I remember correctly. This class didn’t help much either. My teacher was nice, but a tough grader. None of the books we read in class that year kept my interest, minus Of Mice and Men. I remember hating The Odyssey with a passion.

10th grade may have been when we read Lord of the Flies. This was my first experience reading dystopian, and I liked that element. But 11th grade… this is when I first encountered the lovely and heartwarming To Kill a Mockingbird. This was the first book in years that not only kept my interest, but made me want to read more. The characters, the plot, the setting, and the message all reminded me of why I first fell in love with reading.

The following Christmas I was ready to give reading for fun another start, so I asked for a Nicholas Sparks book (The Best of Me). I ended up enjoying it as well, and the rest of Sparks’s novels soon after. Then, referred by my cousin-in-law/fellow bookworm, Kristen, I read all of Sarah Dessen’s books. Classics permeated this period too, such as Ethan Frome, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Wuthering Heights.

Christian Fiction

Reading Christian fiction didn’t really start until I began a more serious relationship with the Lord and started reading the Bible back in 2015. I read through it once that year and eventually read through it a second time. During that time I also read Billy Graham’s Unto the Hills devotional, and a couple Christian reads, including the first indie book I’ve ever read, Becoming Nikki by Ashley Elliott. After reading her book and discovering she had published it at such a young age, I set out to do the same with Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl. I had a hard time finding other indie Christian fiction like Elliott’s until I started adding friends on Goodreads… and the rest is history!


Have you always loved reading, or have you gone through some rough patches too?

Later Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀