My Books

Snag Speak Your Mind for 99 Cents!

What’s up, Arrowheads? Just wanted to pop in and announce that my middle grade novel, Speak Your Mind is currently on sale for Kindle!

Click here to purchase the novel at 65% off its regular price, now until Friday. You won’t want to miss this!


Thanks for stopping by!

-Allyson 😀

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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Today I’d like to share a review for The Boyfriend Thief, a novel in the Stolen Kiss collection by a fellow eastern North Carolina author, Shana Norris!

TheBoyfriendThief

After borrowing Shana’s first two novels–Something to Blog About and Troy High–from my cousin’s wife a few years back, I desperately wanted to dive into The Boyfriend Thief, but I didn’t have a Kindle or an Amazon account at the time! Fast-forward to 2018, and this novel was one of the first paid books I decided to purchase on the Kindle I got for my birthday. After finally getting to read this sweet novel, I can say it was worth the wait!

Highlights:
-Tons of cute quotes as shown by my Kindle highlights 😀
-Zac’s personality (could he BE any more adorable?!)
-The message of forgiveness and not letting the past haunt you.

The only thing I wasn’t too fond of was Avery’s tendency to make rash, often poor, choices, coupled with her selfish thinking. However, the story is about her overcoming her past, and her character arc rounds out these problems, which I was glad to see.

This novel contained no foul language, just a few replacement words such as “heck” or “freaking”. If you’re a fan of clean, contemporary reads, I highly recommend this novel as well as the two I mentioned above! 🙂

Overall, I’m rating this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of five stars.

Thanks for reading! Are you an indie Christian author looking for book reviews? If you’d like me to do a review, check out my contact page above! 🙂

-Allyson 😀

Book Reviews

Book Review: Fugitives by Jes Drew

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Today I’m reviewing another fast-paced, thrilling novel by Christian author, Jes Drew! The novel just happens to be the sequel to her survival novel, Castaways, so let’s dive into Fugitives!

Fugitives

Fugitives begins right where Castaways ends, just days after the kids have been rescued from the raft. Emily is having difficulty coping with the fact that her parents don’t believe her about the dangers that lurked on the island… that is, until the dangerous beings themselves kidnap the kids’ parents! Now it’s up to Emily, Christopher, and the rest of the pack to save the day.

Still coping with her PTSD, Emily continues to have flashbacks of the traumatic events that took place on the island. Initially, Christopher takes charge in leading the crew on their mission, bringing along his tech genius friend, Joseph. With his help, as well as the assistance of new friends along the way, the crew tackles Europe on a wild adventure!

For fear of spoilers, I won’t mention specific events that take place, but rather review the highlights:

  • The Wit/Dialogue: Again, Miss Drew masters hysterical dialogue with this outstanding cast of characters. There were many times when I had to pause from reading because I was laughing so hard!
  • Characterization: As I expected, we get to learn much more about the mysterious Christopher Williams in Fugitives, and you’ll find yourself fangirling over him even more! More is also revealed about Oto and Ata’s pasts, and Grandmother redeems herself from the first installment. Overall, there was loads of character development, and by the end you’ll feel as if you truly know each one of the characters.
  • The Adventure: The action really begins to pick up in this installment as the crew is constantly relocating and disguising themselves to stay out of danger. The twists in the adventure were well thought out and kept me on the edge of my seat. Plus, we soon learn that some of the characters are secretly more adventurous than we originally thought!
  • The Romance: Get ready for some ships to leave the harbor and cruise on into the sunset! The tension waiting for certain couples to get together will drive you insane, but the final outcome is well worth it! ❤

Overall, I believe Fugitives deserves ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars! It’s a great expansion from its predecessor. Check it out this newly released novel now on Amazon!

**Thank you to the author for providing me with a free ebook copy in exchange for an honest review. The praise for Fugitives is a result from my own thoughts about the novel.**

Book Reviews

Book Review: Castaways by Jes Drew

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Today I’d like to share a review with you of a unique young adult Christian novel I had the pleasure of reading recently, Castaways by Jes Drew!

Castaways

If you’re in search of an adventure-packed, witty, and romantic survival novel, Castaways is the perfect choice! First, we meet Emily and her younger cousins as they’re vacationing on a cruise ship set for England, where their family will be relocating. While on the cruise, Emily continually bumps into a British boy named Christopher, who quickly catches her eye. Soon, both Emily and her cousins befriend Christopher due to unfortunate circumstances that ensue on the ship. The next thing they know, they’re stranded on an uncharted island.

The strongest aspect of Castaways to me is the wit. The author does an amazing job at writing funny, believable dialogue. The characters have chemistry and work well together. Because the story is narrated from Emily’s point-of-view, we get to see inside her head, and read many of her “mental lists”, which are always entertaining and well-placed. I would like to know more about Christopher’s life, but I’m sure we’ll learn more about him as the series progresses. The younger cousins—Chase and Mary-Ann—were adorable and also offered comedic relief from the stressful events that came from fighting for survival.

The content of Castaways is clean, and no foul language is used. I did notice typos and misspelled words throughout the copy I received, though it may not be the copy used for release. However, the plot was well thought out and featured numerous twists until the end. For the sake of spoilers, I won’t mention any of the events in this review; all I will say is that you won’t see the ending coming!

I received a free ebook copy of Castaways from the author in exchange for an honest review. My overall rating for the novel is ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5 stars!


Thanks for reading! Look out for more in the Castaways series, coming soon!

-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 😀

Self-Publishing

Self-Publishing: Rookie Mistakes

This time last year, I was gearing up to self-publish my first novel through CreateSpace. Being that it was my first run-through with the process of self-publishing, and I did everything–minus beta reading and editing–on my own, I think I managed it pretty well. However, now that almost eleven months have passed since I clicked “Publish”, I’ve noticed some rookie mistakes in hindsight:

SelfPublishing-RookieMistakes

Mistake #1: Beta Readers

Since I was new to the writing community on social media and didn’t know of any Christian YA authors I could ask to beta read Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl, I instead turned to my Facebook friends. Ending up with six volunteers, I only received feedback from three, and useful editing tips from one, who thank God had worked in the writing center at one of the most prestigious universities in our state. The others, though I thank them for reading, only offered minimal input on changes, or just said “it’s good”. I ended up telling the remaining three that I needed to go on without them in order to publish by the deadline I had set. For the next go around, I’m going to seek out help from my editor friend again, request that a local author I know beta read, and ask around Goodreads/Twitter for more experienced beta readers.

Mistake #2: Proofing the Copy Two Days Before Publishing

Procrastination got the better of me around the week I wanted to publish, and I didn’t preview the digital copy of the novel on CreateSpace until two days before the novel went live. Though I didn’t find any major issues, it stressed me out. I also didn’t invest in a physical proof copy, which I wish I had done, and would have done if it wasn’t for the time crunch. When I saw my first printed copy of the book, I noticed little flaws on the cover that didn’t show up on CreateSpace’s digital proof. Therefore next time, I think I’ll try to get it done two to three weeks ahead of publication, and invest in a physical proof copy to avoid cover mistakes.

Mistake #3: Free eBook Promotion:

About a month into making my novel “Live” on Kindle, I tried a free ebook promotion weekend in an attempt to increase its popularity. Though I had a few takers (like 9, I think), the correlation between downloads and pages read didn’t quite add up to me. After looking on YouTube and Googling “free ebook Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl”, I found out why. Someone on YouTube had posted a link to download a pirated PDF version of my novel, and as of last week, I have found five websites doing the same thing within Google’s search results. I didn’t look on the pages to see how many downloads my novel received on those sites (I work in IT and am super wary of shady websites), but the simple fact that someone had basically stolen something I’d worked hard on bothered me. In the future, I most likely won’t be doing any more free ebook promotions for that reason.

Well, those are the top three rookie mistakes I’ve made during my first time self-publishing. Did any of you experience the same things? What other rookie mistakes did you make?

-Allyson 😀

My Books

Now Available on Kindle for $0.99!

Hey guys! 🙂 I know I haven’t been around much lately, but I wanted to stop by really quick to let you know about the newest price for Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl on Kindle! I’ve decided to drop the price from the original $2.99 to $0.99, so please think of me the next time you’re looking for a new ebook to read!

-Allyson 😀