Reading

My Top 5 Favorite Classics

Though I read mostly YA contemporary, clean romance, and dystopian novels, I’ve made a point to read some beloved classics as well. Classic novels stand the test of time for a reason, and today I’d like to share my top five favorites!

Top5FavoriteClassics

1) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time in 11th grade Honors English, and fell head-over-heels for the poignant story Lee created. The book is full of valuable lessons, history, and southern charm. This was the first classic novel that I truly enjoyed, and I credit it as the book that made me fall back in love with reading.

Note: At the time of this post, I have not yet read Go Set a Watchman, the sequel to this novel.

2) Ethan Frome by Edith Warton

I was first introduced to this classic romantic tragedy novel in AP English my senior year. This novel, along with another book on this list, was one that completely captured my interest. The characters are expertly written, and the story is heartbreaking. Like To Kill a Mockingbird, this is a classic that I purchased my own paperback copy of and hope to reread again soon.

3) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Y’all knew an Austen novel had to make an appearance! 😉 Though I first read Pride and Prejudice for British Literature in college, the book had been on my TBR list for a while. Pride and Prejudice is the epitome of a classic hate-to-love romance, and if you don’t fall for Mr. Darcy by the end, I’ll seriously question your taste in men! 😛

4) Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Ugh, ever since I read this along with Classic #2 in AP English, I’ve been dying to read it again! I was first interested in Pygmalion after realizing it’s the play that Eliza Rocks! from Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen was based on (don’t judge me!). The original play is spectacular, and if I’m not mistaken, I totally shipped Eliza with a certain someone! 🙂

5) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

The most recent addition to my favorite classics list, Tom Sawyer is a book I had been wanting to read since 2005 and finally read in 2018. As the title suggests, this book is full of the wild adventures of a young southern boy and his friends, and Twain’s charming narrative voice is among my favorite classic authors.

Note: Though I read the sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 11th grade, I couldn’t remember it enough to warrant it a spot on this list. I plan to reread and review it this year though!


Talk to me, Arrowheads!

What are some of your favorite classic reads? Let me know in the comments!

Later, Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

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Reading

10 Famous Series I’ve Never Read (And Will I?)

According to my stats on Goodreads, I’ve read over 250 books. While this isn’t a staggering number, I’ve tried to add some well-known series to that Read pile, including The Hunger Games and Divergent. However, there are quite a few famous series I’ve never read… and quite a few I will never read. 😉 I’ve compiled a list below discussing ten series that I’d like to read, am on the fence about reading, or will never read at all.

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#1: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

THAT’S RIGHT! I’ve never read the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I’ve also never seen any of the films.

*Cue people screaming at me that I’m an uncultured swine*

I was one of those kids who wasn’t allowed to read/watch Harry Potter because it contained witchcraft. Which wasn’t really my parents’ decision, but my paternal Grandma’s. She hated Harry Potter for no other reason than that, and I once got yelled at to change the channel on her TV when a Harry Potter movie commercial came on. Eventually, I think most of our cousins on that side of the family ended up reading and loving Harry Potter, but to this day at age 25 I still have not read any of the books.

Will I read the Harry Potter series?

I’ve been on the fence for a few years now whether or not I’ll ever read the Harry Potter books. While it would be interesting to see what all the hype is about, I personally (unpopular opinion alert) am not a fan of J.K. Rowling herself. The more I read about things she has said/posted online, the more pretentious I find her. She has engaged in social media arguments with fans who have differing political views than her, which I find highly unprofessional. Granted, I’ve made mistakes as an author myself, but with her notoriety and experience, that should not be apart of her public image.

So, on that basis, it’s leaning more towards no.

#2: Fifty Shades by E.L. James

*Shudders*

*Shakes head*

*Covers my eyes*

Other than the obvious reason why I haven’t read this series (#thegenre), I’ve also read that this series promotes the idea of sexual abuse. I’ve also heard the books themselves aren’t even that great.

Will I read the Fifty Shades series?

Nah times infinity.

#3: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

When the film adaption of this series first came out, I was a freshman in high school. Loads of people wanted to go see the movies. A girl I had a lot of classes with was a hardcore fangirl for the series. So when I finally started reading more YA after high school, I went on Barnes and Noble’s website to see what all the fuss was about. I previewed the first chapter of Twilight, and didn’t make it to the end of the preview.

Will I read the Twilight series?

Like with Fifty Shades, I’ve seen many comments online questioning how this series was even published to begin with. The first chapter I half-read was enough to back up that claim for me.

Also like with Fifty Shades, I’ve heard this series glamorizes relationship abuse. I’m also not really a fan of the whole vampire/werewolf thing to begin with, though I’ve read a couple books like that that have been okay.

Nevertheless, Twilight receives a definite no from me.

#4: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

*Prepares for another round of people calling me an uncultured swine*

Yep, I’ve never read any of the Anne of Green Gables books, but unlike the first three books on this list, I’ve only heard great things about this series from people I follow on Goodreads. Honestly, I had somehow never even heard of this series until I joined Goodreads.

Will I read the Anne of Green Gables series?

While I’m not really a fan of historical fiction, there are a few classics I have thoroughly enjoyed. I plan to read the first book in the series sometime, and will continue on with the series if I end up enjoying it.

#5: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

The first installment of this contemporary romance series was made into a film in 2016, and my sister fell in love with that adaptation. I bought her the first two books in the series that Christmas, but she hasn’t read them (she’s an uncultured swine because she doesn’t read :P).

I thought the movie was okay, though I didn’t enjoy it as much as my sister did. Still, I love contemporary romance and would love to see how the books are.

Will I read the Me Before You series?

I’ve had the first book in the series on my to-read list for a while, so it’s a definite yes for this series. The first two books, anyway, since I already have those available to read now.

#6: Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

I’ve never been a fan of horror books or movies, so I never picked up any of the Goosebumps books as a kid. I didn’t even like watching the film adaption that was made in 2015, to be honest. My sister and boyfriend really liked it, though.

Will I read the Goosebumps series?

Probably not, unless my future kids ever want me to read it to them. I wouldn’t pick up the series for myself, though.

#7, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

*Prepares for tomatoes to be thrown at me*

Yeah, unfortunately, I’ve never read any of the Narnia books, either.

I’ve heard nothing but great things about this series, and I loved C.S. Lewis’s nonfiction book, Mere Christianity, so it’s been on my to-read list for a while.

A couple years ago, my boyfriend and I watched the Disney film adaptations, which I enjoyed. I had a friend in high school who raved about the books.

Will I read the The Chronicles of Narnia series?

That’ll be a heck yes. I just have to buy the books first. 🙂

#8: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Though I wrote Carter to be an avid LOTR fan in my debut novel, I never made it through The Fellowship of the Ring. I desperately wanted to read this series just to say I’ve read it, but only made it to the 79% mark of the first book because it bored me to tears.

I read The Hobbit and enjoyed it for the most part, but for some reason Fellowship of the Ring could not hold my interest. I’ve never watched any of the Lord of the Rings films, but they’re on my to-watch list.

Will I read the Lord of the Rings series?

Though I DNF-ed the first book, I think I will end up giving this series another chance sometime… if I can make it through Tolkien’s wordiness. 🙂

#9: A Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin

I’ve never seen an episode of Game of Thrones and have never read any of the books.

Never really being into fantasy books (I mean, other than being willing to try #7 and #8 on this list), this series has never stood out to me as something I’d like to read. A lot of people I know enjoy the TV show, but it just doesn’t seem like something I’d be interested in reading for the entire series.

Will I read the A Song of Fire and Ice series?

Most likely, due to my disinterest in fantasy, it’ll be a no.

#10: Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

This is one of the few series my sister has read part of, yet I have not. 🙂

Again, not being the biggest fan of fantasy, this is a series I’ve debated about picking up. I know this series has a huge fandom and the premise sounds interesting enough, but I’ve also heard some things about this series that has led to me not starting it yet.

Will I read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series?

Right now, I’m leaning more towards no, though I may end up changing my mind in the future.


Well, that was a heck of a long post. XD I hope y’all enjoyed it!

What famous series have you not yet read? Did you throw a tomato at me during any point in this post? 😛

Later, Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

Reading

Life as a Book Nerd in a Non-Reading Family

In 2019, most families are more likely to read Facebook posts rather than a classic by Mark Twain, or a modern literary work like The Help. Though some families (God bless them) make reading a priority in their households, many nowadays do not. The struggle, therefore, lies in the occurrence when a single member of the family becomes a book nerd… and the family refuses to join them in this hobby.

Some of you from the Reading families are probably slacked-jawed right now. How? you may be thinking. How can someone not like to read?

That, my friend, is a question I’ve asked myself many times since I became a book nerd at age seventeen. Like my parents and younger sister, I used to hate reading, but To Kill a Mockingbird soon persuaded me to give reading for fun another shot. I was an easy convert once I started reading Nicholas Sparks books… but I can’t say the same for them.

Today, my friend, I shall reveal what it’s like to be a book nerd in a non-reading family.

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Gifts are Difficult

When you’re the only book nerd in the house, both giving and receiving gifts can become a treacherous task.

Giving

Alright, so my younger sister fell head-over-heels for The Fault in Our Stars movie a few years ago and asked to read my copy of the book. Y’all, I was so excited. She used to read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in middle school, but had never shown interest in reading my books when she got older. So, she read the book and loved it.

Not long after, Me Before You became a movie (now her favorite movie), and I bought her books 1 and 2 for Christmas… and I highly doubt she’s even flipped through them.

Now, Daddy on the other hand, enjoys reading Christian non-fiction from time to time, and I’m sure he’d like a good book on politics, but he doesn’t have a lot of time to read. The same Billy Graham book has been sitting on the end table beside his recliner for the last three years too… so there’s that. 😛

Receiving

One Christmas right after I had become a certified book nerd, my parents went shopping for books for me at a chain retail store. They picked up some I had asked for (The Fault in Our Stars, Wonder, etc.), and then asked a store attendant on the book aisle for a suggestion. Being my parents didn’t realize just how filth-laden some books these days are, the book they bought at the attendant’s suggestion was a contemporary adult romance that featured the main character’s husband getting *cough* vividly physical *cough* with his mistress and spewing the F-word within the first ten pages.

To this day, I still have not read this book. But, I can’t blame my parents; they didn’t know any better! Like me, they’re Christians and have (sometimes naive) expectations about how clean worldly media is.

No One to Fangirl With

The reason I was so excited about my sister reading The Fault in Our Stars was mainly because I wanted someone to fangirl with. It’s no secret that I’ve been a loner ever since graduating high school and growing apart from the friends I had back then, so up until I joined Goodreads and discovered the bookish side of Pinterest, I had all these fangirl feels and no one to share them with.

Now, my sister likes The Hunger Games trilogy, so when the Catching Fire DVD came out, we watched it together. She looked at me like I had lost my mind when I cried–three times–when watching the movie.

But, because she’s a non-reader, she couldn’t understand that I have a deeper connection with the characters because I read the series! It’s really maddening at times, y’all.

And When You Write Books…

Being a book nerd in a non-reading family is even more excruciating when you write your own books. You’d think, that even though they don’t like reading, they’d give the books written by their own flesh and blood a try on their own volition. To be honest, I think they’d rather clip their toenails with a chainsaw.

When my author copies of Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl came in, Momma said, “I’m going to sit down and read it tonight, or else I never will.” And somehow, she did. All in one night. Which, to be honest, still means a lot to me. She can barely sit through a Hallmark movie without leaving the room (she’s a very squirmy person and can’t sit still for long), so this was quite a feat for her. My sister, on the other hand, took well over a year to read it.

Momma didn’t attempt to do the book binge on Speak Your Mind when those copies came in, though she did read a bit. Granted, this book is 80 pages longer than CBTHOACG, so it’s understandable. I asked her how far she got, and she said “chapter ten!”. I later checked where she left the bookmark… which was on page ten.

That was a few months ago. I was looking for something in the hallway closet recently, and I saw my family’s copies in there. Unread. Five months after the release.

My Future Family Goals for Reading

Don’t get me wrong, growing up in a non-reading family hasn’t been horrible. Momma used to read to me as a kid, so it’s not like reading was totally neglected growing up. Like I said, I come from a loving Christian family who has instilled good values in me. I love my parents and sister.

But, when I have a family of my own someday, I plan to make reading and storytelling priorities for my kids from a young age. If my future kids end up not being in to books, that’ll be okay. I won’t force it; but if they are, I aim to fully support their bookish endeavors.


Talk to me, Arrowheads!

Were you raised in a bookish family, or a non-reading family? How has that affected your book nerd lifestyle?

Later, Arrowheads,

-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 😀

Reading, Wonderful World of Writing

Strong Female Characters

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! There has been a lot of discussion in the media over the last few years about what makes a strong female character. Of course, some that come to mind automatically for most would be Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, or Hermione from Harry Potter (side note: I’ve never read any Harry Potter books, but I’m going off what I’ve garnered about the series from others). Readers often cite Katniss as a strong female lead, because she’s good at kicking butt and taking names. Hermione is designated as a strong female lead due to her intellect and (again, what I speculate) maybe her fighting skills too. I am all for strong female leads in literature, but today I’d like to look farther than the strong female stereotype of having a STEM hobby/career, being able to fight, and standing for modern feminist beliefs. To me personally, one trait tops all of the above for a strong female lead: perseverance.

StrongFemaleCharacters

Defined, the word perseverance means, “steadfast in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”. To me, this is one of the most defining characteristics a strong female character should have, though it’s often overshadowed if she’s interested in STEM subjects, a modern feminist, or can fight. Personally, I’m much more impressed by a female character who is a domestic housewife who actively cares for a special needs child despite the kid’s growing health problems and financial struggles than a female who can code her way out of any problem with ease. As a woman with a STEM job, I can attest that I didn’t have as much of a “struggle” earning my degree and getting a job in the MIS field as the media often makes it appear for women. I’m not saying the struggle isn’t there for everyone, but it was not nearly as bad as the media convinced me it may be before I started college. Girls, like boys, can do anything they set their mind to. I wish the media would stop depicting certain aspects (i.e. fighting, science, technology) as “stronger” characteristics than those that are considered “girly” like cooking, tending to children, home making, etc. Perseverance, overall, should define a strong character of either gender. There are so many possibilities outside of the media’s stereotype that I wish were further explored in modern literature:

  • A Christian woman seeking to abide by God’s commandments despite worldly opposition
  • A woman who faces a moral dilemma and fights for the truth to be exposed overall
  • A girl who is shown opposition by the career of her choice (STEM or not) and persists to achieve her dreams (ex: an author who receives over a hundred manuscript rejections who keeps honing her craft and ends up being a bestselling author).

What defines a strong female character to you? 🙂

Later Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

Reading

How to Politely Write a Negative Book Review

Good afternoon, lovely Arrowheads! If you frequently review books, you more than likely have come across a few reads that you weren’t fond of. Whether you found their plot to be weak, the characterization poor, or what have you, you’re planning on writing a negative review of the work. Now, the devil and the angel are sitting on your shoulders, debating whether you should completely bash the work and point out all its flaws, or take the the polite route and mention why you didn’t like the book and offer constructive criticism for the author. Which should you choose?

(Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece. My intention in posting this is not to offend or judge anyone who may write heated book reviews. I have in the past. This is just an encouragement to reconsider and think of the author before saying things that are unwarranted.)

PoliteNegativeBookReview

Consider the Author

As an author who has been on both sides of the argument, I would suggest taking the polite route. “But why?” you may ask. “I didn’t like the book, it was horrible!” One reason: Authors are people, too. Authors see the reviews. Authors see your reading updates on Goodreads. Some authors, myself included, already have insecurities outside of the writing world. Oftentimes, writing is the one outlet where they feel their contributions matter. Offering unwarranted, unexplained hateful comments because it’s entertaining for you is rude, plain and simple.

Consider How You Would Feel

As a reviewer, I know it’s easy to let your negative take on the book set your fingers aflame on the keyboard with a colorful rant about how terrible the book was. I’ve been there in the past. But, keep in mind that the person who wrote the book may see your review and give up writing. Now, you may be thinking, “Well, tough luck! They’re a published author! They should grow a thick skin!” Okay, let’s turn the table around: how would you feel if your new book, which you worked extremely hard on for months or even years was met with the following review:

This book has less value than the empty Dr. Pepper can I just threw away. The plot was cheesy and made me want to plunge my head into the sand like an ostrich, it was that annoying! The author has no talent whatsoever and needs to go back to grammar school to learn a thing or two. By far, this is the worst excuse for a book I’ve ever read!

This type of review points out that the book is a stinker in the reader’s opinion, yet doesn’t offer any specific reason as to why they think that! Does my point sink in yet? Now, I have yet to receive a review that hateful and unwarranted, but if I did, I’d honestly cry myself to sleep–or worse–not be able to sleep knowing my credibility has been tarnished. And the sad thing is that there are loads of hateful reviews like this being posted on a daily basis! Why?! Does it make some readers feel superior to tear authors down? I don’t know. But now that I’ve seen both sides of the story, whenever I write reviews now, I keep this old familiar phrase in mind, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” So, how can we write a polite negative review without discarding our promise to be honest?

Writing a Polite, Negative Review

The most polite thing I know to do when writing a negative book review is to offer constructive criticism about what didn’t work for me as a reader. For example, if the story felt as if it were dragging on and caused my interest to wane, I might say, “at a certain point, the plot lost my interest. I feel that if a scene or two [name the scenes] were edited out, this would not have happened.” Or, if the characters felt two-dimensional, I might offer, “[name characters] could have been more developed in the following way.” If there were positive attributes about the book that you really loved, mention those as well to balance out the constructive criticism.

If you happen to come across a book that you can’t seem to find anything nice to say about to balance out the negative, it may be best to follow the old saying and say nothing at all. For readers, I’m not going to advise you to not leave 1 or 2 star ratings (or critically written 3 star reviews); the choice is entirely up to you, the consumer.

On the other hand, for fellow authors, I will advise you that it doesn’t portray you in a positive light when you rant about how much you dislike a fellow author’s book via your author page. A personal objective of mine since I’ve become a published author is to not post reviews for works that I deem to be 1 or 2 star ratings. The lowest rating I will personally post of a book now is 3 stars, and in my opinion, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the book is bad, but could use a little improvement in certain areas to make it better. Fellow authors, keep in mind that your comments can be seen not only by the authors, but by your followers and friends as well. Would you rather be seen as an author comparable to Simon Cowell on his American Idol run, or an author who is kind to other authors and actively builds them up instead of tearing them down?

Let’s try to keep the Golden Rule in mind: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 7:12 🙂

-Allyson 😀

Adventures with Allyson!, Reading

New to the Kindleverse

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! I’d like to admit something… at one point in my bookworm life, I swore that I’d never have an ereader because printed books are fantabulous and what have you. Now that I’m running out of room in my room to put books, I thought about getting a Kindle, to which my dear Josh bought me for my birthday last month. So, now I’m the thrilled owner of a Kindle Fire tablet, and I absolutely love it!

Kindleverse

First things first, I’m super glad he chose the Fire over the base model Kindle or Paperwhite, because I can see the covers in color on this’n. Sure, that may sound a little superficial, but so much time is put in to creating alluring covers that I think they should display in color on all Kindle formats, but that’s just me. And then there’s the fact that I can watch Monk on Amazon Prime on the Kindle whenever I please, and this is a big step-up in my couch-potatoness.

But, what I really adore about the Kindle is the ebook pricing. Well, some of it. I’m kind of a bargain hunter, and as y’all know, print books can be expensive! Plus, what I’m mostly seeking to read now is indie Christian fiction authors to support the genre, who usually offer their books at fair prices regardless. This way, I can carry as many books around with me as I want! If I eventually get bored with one, I can have a backup book ready to go! That’s more of a struggle with printed books. I’m not entirely won over to a strict Kindle Only reading experience yet, but the cute little thing sure has grown on me!

Do you prefer print books or ebooks? I love printed books, but the Kindle is much more efficient in the grand scheme of things in my opinion.

-Allyson 😀

Reading, Self-Publishing

Christian Authors to Root For

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! A couple weeks ago, I started reading the first installment of Sarah Addison-Fox’s Allegiance series, Disowned. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and downloaded the sequel to my Kindle before finishing the first one! Sarah has become an author friend of mine through Twitter and Goodreads, and was the first person to offer to write a review for my debut novel on Goodreads.

Sarah’s kindness and mentoring tips have inspired me to want to help and promote fellow self-published Christian authors as well. On March 1st, I announced on Goodreads that I’m open to reading Kindle copies of books by Christian authors, and received a huge response! Today, I’d like to share with you the authors I was recommended to read, as well as their titles and genres!

ChristianAuthorsList

**Note: I was told these authors were Christian. If they are not, I apologize!
Also, to the authors: if you are listed in the wrong category below, please let me know and I will place you in the correct genre!***

Multi-Genre

From what I can tell, these authors have written works that fit into several different genres.

  • E.B. Dawson, author of The Traveler and other novels. (Genre Span: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Nonfiction)
  • Kate Willis, author of The Twin ArrowsEnjoy the Poodle Skirt, and more. (Genre Span: Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery, Contemporary)
  • Perry Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, author of numerous books, including The Kitten Files series. (Genre Span: Children, Historical fiction, Contemporary)
  • Jes Drew, author of Castaways and other novels. (Genre Span: Suspense, Super Heros, Survival/Adventure)
  • J. Grace Pennington, author of October and other novels. (Genre Span: Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi, Fantasy)

Contemporary

  • Angie Thompson, author of Bridgers: A Parable.
  • Faith Potts, author of Dandelion Dust and a soon-to-be released second novel, Love Needs No Words.
  • Ashley Elliott, author of Becoming Nikki.
  • Vickie Valladares, author of Love, Life, & Fairytale.
  • R.A. Rooney, author of Miss Novelist and other books.
  • Olivia Jarmusch, author of the Tales of Tarsurella series and other books.

Fairytale/Fantasy

  • Katelyn Buxton, author of the Warriors of Aralan series.
  • Nate Philbrick, author of Where the Woods Grow Wild, Little One, and Judgment Wheel.
  • Kyle Shultz, author of The Beaumont and Beasley series.
  • Kendra Ardnek, author of numerous books, including The Rizkaland Legends series.
  • Erika Matthews, author of Promise’s Prayer.
  • Allison Tebo, author of numerous books, including The Tales of Ambia series.
  • Nicki Chapelway, author of A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses.
  • AJ Sky, author of the Firestorm series.
  • Jenelle Leanne Schmidt, author of the Minstrel’s Song series.
  • Tricia Mingerink, author of Dagger’s Sleep and The Blades of Acktar series.

Sci-Fi/Dystopian

  • K.L. + Pierce, authors of Two Lives, Three Choices.
  • Sarah Addison-Fox, author of the Allegiance series (Dissemble, Disowned).
  • Leah Good, author of Counted Worthy and Stories for God’s Glory.

Mystery

  • Victoria Lynn, author of the Light of London series.
  • Lydia Dyslin, author of The Mystery of the Train.

Historical Fiction

  • Sydney Betts, author of A River Too Deep.
  • Rebekah Morris, author of the Triple Creek Ranch series.
  • Sarah Brazytis, author of Lighten Our Darkness and other books.
  • Elizabeth Grace Foley, author of numerous books, including the Historical Fairytales series.
  • Kellyn Roth, author of The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series, and other books.
  • Jesseca Wheaton, author of numerous books, including the Questions of War series.
  • Faith Blum, author of numerous books, including the Hymns of the West series.
  • Alicia Willis, author of numerous books, including Shadow of His Wings.
  • Grace Matlyn Buckner, author of Letters from Home: A Civil War Story and other books.

Also, be sure to check out books by Ivie Brooks and Libby May, coming soon!

Thanks for checking in and be sure to show these amazing Christian authors some support!

-Allyson 😀

Random Musings, Reading

Five Fictional Characters I Relate to the Most

As an author, reader, and movie fanatic, I’m constantly discovering and coming to adore fictional characters from my favorite works. Today I’d like to share with you the top five fictional characters I relate to the most:

FictionalFive

5. Jamie Sullivan – A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Sweet, kind-hearted Jamie Sullivan comes in last on my list, only because she’s a better person than I’ll ever be. Jamie is more of what I aspire to be as a young Christian woman: always helpful, never judgmental, always willing to take a chance on people, and steadfast in her faith in God. Every time I reread the book, I want to be just like her.

4. Rapunzel – Tangled

Forever my favorite Disney princess, Rapunzel–especially in her song “When Will My Life Begin?”–personifies my feelings of being “trapped” by shyness and social anxiety. She also is in constant pursuit of her dream, as I am with my dream of having success in writing. Plus, she’s adorable and that’s how I hope I’d look as a Disney princess!

3. Charlie Brown – Peanuts by Charles Schulz

CHARLIE BROWN IS MY TWIN, OH MY GOODNESS. He gives my awkward, socially inept self hope! He’s socially awkward, loves Beagles, is generally pessimistic though inklings of hope still shine through, and puts his faith in God. I love Charlie Brown so much that I’ve vowed if I ever have a son, I’m dressing him up as ole Charles for his first Halloween!

2. Skeeter Phelan – The Help by Kathryn Stockett

When I went through a three-year single season that ended a couple years ago, I related to Skeeter entirely too much with my negative outlook on dating, and the fact that everyone and their brother wanted me to get back in the dating world! (Which is eventually how I met my current boyfriend, but that’s a story for another day!) Plus, THE WRITER DREAM! I love Skeeter’s fearless pursuit for writing eye-opening, thought-provoking truth bombs. She’s never afraid to step on her readers’ toes, and that’s what I hope to do with future books! I want to make society rethink itself like she did.

1. Ellie Sweet – The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet and The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill

The #1 reason why this is my favorite book series of all time is that Ellie is 98% my twin. I know I already said Charlie Brown was my twin, but he’s like fraternal compared to her. Her outlook on love, life, faith, relationships, everything basically… it’s like Mrs. Morrill was writing about me! Even her dating relationships have shared similarities with my own, and I’m sure many other girls can relate as well! And again… THE WRITING DREAM! Never have I ever related more to another writer character before, including Skeeter Phelan and Jamie Bartlett from the DCOM Read it and Weep. I could go on for hours, but I’m just gonna stop here!

Which fictional characters do you most relate to? I’d love to know!

-Allyson 😀