Meet My Bookshelves!

Hi. My name is Kate.

I have a lot of books. More than I did two years ago when I did a bookshelf tour.

So it was time to do another one.

Here you are. 😉

(Will Smith did it better…)

(A most lovely book ❤ )

I hope you enjoyed!

Have you read any of these books? Which one on my TBR shelf should I read next?

Book Review: A-Spying We Will Go

“Camping doesn’t lead to kidnapping… usually.

When Emily goes on a group camping trip in Northern Arizona, she suspects her biggest danger will be mosquito bites and bear-sightings. The trip becomes far from relaxing, however, when she hears from a family friend that they can’t get in touch with her dad. Unable to call, due to spotty cell phone reception, she manages to send a text asking for Brent’s help in checking on her dad. 

But the spy has been incommunicado for several days, and it turns out he’s up North too–trying to locate a missing ICS agent with information about the Ten Thousand.

Not everything is as it seems. More than bears roam the woods, and information could cost a life.” (from Goodreads)

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

Juuusssttt The Emily Abbott series making this a record-breaking good book year for me. Nothing new. 

This one started out slightly differently from the others in that Brent and Emily weren’t together for a few chapters. I know that sounds horrible to our shippy hearts, but it was actually really fun to see her make interact with her church family, make a new (absolutely crazy and best ever) friend, and talk to Brent in her head of course. XD 

Once Brent did show up (minor spoiler) things got realllly crazy. Crazier than they’ve gotten in the series so far, and it was fun to see Brent’s spy skills (and tech!) and Emily’s street smarts/ordinariness/special skills learned from her dad complement each other once again. (When in doubt, quote movies. :P) I especially liked how the unpredictable monsoon weather added an extra element of danger to their adventure. Without giving away too many spoilers, the ending did feel like they had failed somewhat in their mission, but there were some big reveals about the 10,000 and ICS itself and they did do some good. 😉

Just a note, there was more peril in this one, including death threats. There was also a mention of murder.

Best quotes: “Finally!” Emily murmured. “Someone who gets my spy movie references.”

I wish we would develop a sudden gift for telepathy like in all the Young Adult fantasy novels.

“It was all a big ruse.” “Yes, yes. Of course.”

Altogether, this was a great adventure. I’ll have another! 😉

Also, THAT EPILOGUE. 

Series stats so far…
Codenames: eleven
Car crashes: still two
Awesomeness level: 105%

I Finished a Giraffe

This was me the last few days…

Okay, a lot less evil and a little less tired looking, but you get the idea.

I had come to a pretty bad standstill in my WIP (but I have a deadline) so I pulled out my polka-dotted notebook and set to work writing longhand.

For some reason when I’m uninspired, distracted, or fatigued, switching mediums can be really helpful, and this time I was blessed to be able to just write and write and write.

Last night, I finished draft one!!! I can’t tell you how many times my characters surprised me in that last chapter and how much I nerded out bringing some things from the beginning back around. XD

I’m so excited to have this done, and once I type it all into the computer, I’ll begin reading through it and doing the big edits. 😀

I kept telling my family, “I finished my draft! I finished my draft!” As I got more tired and more excited, apparently the way I pronounce “draft” is a bit more like “jraft”, so I guess I finished a “giraffe”. XD

(And since my book is longer in some places than others and a little bit spotty in others, the metaphor works, right? 😀 )

I can’t wait until I can tell you all more about this book. For now, just know that there’s a lot of cheesecake in it. 😀

Book Review: Dead Letter

For the first time, Madeline has permission to meddle.

Something’s not adding up in the Wintherwood, Ohio bank, and Madeline’s there to figure out why.

Sent by the Rockland Pinkerton’s office to investigate shady banking practices, Madeline finally has the opportunity to try out all her developing detective skills. From her new disguise to an assumed persona, complete with non-existent fiancé, Madeline takes on embezzlement in Wintherwood, Ohio.

Now, to find the culprit and get back to Rockland before Amy arrives, before Mrs. Barnes gets any sicker, and before Russell writes her off as a hopeless, heartless girl.

As Madeline figures out what’s happening, even Mr. Flint begins to lose confidence in her. How will she prove who is taking the money and why–especially after her primary suspect ends up dead?” (from Goodreads)

Sometimes the best books are the hardest to review… This book was a gamechanger for Madeline in every way possible, and it absolutely wrecked me. ❤

I looooved the mystery in this one! Madeline got to try her hand at some “real” detective work complete with a cover story and DISGUISES. She did a brilliant job, and the letters between her and her fake fiance were especially hilarious. It was really interesting, though, to see the true-to-Madeline character growth that came about from this escapade… I especially loved her realization of how easy it had been for her to lie and how it would be spiritually unhealthy for her to continue in that type of work. That’s not something you see often. 😉 And her general thoughts about her relationship with God always feed me so much. 

There were a couple adorable romances between side characters in this one. Evie’s was especially heartwarming. ❤ Amy’s seems really fantastic as well. Speaking of Amy, she is exactly the great friend I’ve expected her to be, and I look forward to seeing more of her. Oh, I also loved the free library (eek!), and Aunt Louisa’s spying had me internally giggling. If only Madeline knew! XD

But the parts the wrecked me… oh, wow. A certain burned letter and the loss of a dear sweet character I didn’t even realize I loved so much brought me to tears. And Russell, oh my dear, Russell! 

Just a note, there was some miscellaneous immorality, feelings of unsafety around a certain man, and some medical details related to there being no treatment at that time for Type 1 Diabetes. (My heart. 😦 )

Best quotes: He’d talk to her, listen to her; he’d forgive, and so would she. It was their way. 

My most memorable headline to date, and Russell isn’t here to tease me about it.

Altogether, this was great–if emotionally hard–read, and I can’t wait for the next book. 😉

Writing, Reading, Loving Lately

Last week, I finally got to pick up my Camp NaNo story again and put in some more words. It’s been so much fun getting to know these characters better and move the story forward. Some big things (and some cute things) have been happening. 😀 Here’s an excerpt…

(Context, during a loooong game of Monopoly, Jessie is brainstorming a Christmas card for her pen-pal…)

Andi yawned and leaned back in her chair. “Is it my turn yet, because I’m still in jail.”

         Kee snapped his fingers and leaned forward again. “Don’t people sometimes write words with elements on the periodic table? That would be so nerdy.”

         “Oooo, I liked that idea. Like a lot. Can you bankrupt me so I can start on it?” Jessie drummed impatiently on the edge of the table.

         “After we break Andi out of jail.”

         Andi made it out of Monopoly jail only to be sent back again, and Kee bankrupted Jessie in another two turns. Jessie gave him a congratulatory handshake and excused herself.

I’ve been shifting my books around a lot this week. I keep buying more books or graduating books I love from the TBR shelf to the “Keep This Forever” shelf, so… *grimaces happily* I wouldn’t be surprised if no two pictures of my bookshelves are alike. XD The two newest books added to my paper-family are a hardback copy of Annie’s Life in Lists by Kristin Mahoney (a book I’ve loved before) and In 27 Days by Alison Gervais (something I’m really excited to try). I blame my bookshelf “problem” on Book Outlet, the same place also responsible for my copies of the Beautiful Blue World duology. Seriously the best site.

Speaking of graduating books from my TBR shelf… I finished reading Auggie and Me by R.J. Palacio this week. It’s a companion book to Wonder, and it was soooo amazing. ❤ I’m so glad I picked it up. If you loved Wonder, definitely give it a try. I’ll be reviewing it soonish. 😀

My sister Anna had her birthday this week, and in celebration us older squad went to see the live-action Aladdin. It was my first time seeing it, and I enjoyed it immensely. Will Smith always cracks me up so much, and I really liked the movie’s message and cultural elements. And some of those songs are pretty catchy too. 😀 (I want a pet tiiiiggggerrrr.)

What have you been writing/reading/loving lately?

(Oh, and one of my favorite musicians just released a new song… It’s THE BEST.)

Announcing Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway last week! It was so fun seeing your entries come in, and I hope you had fun doing them. 😀

(Also, if you asked a question on Goodreads, I’ve answered them all now, so you can check those out here.)

I used Rafflecopter to pick a winner at random and the winner of this first prize…

…is Ariel Ramey! Congrats, Ariel! I will be emailing you shortly. 😀

And the winner of the second place prize–digital copies of The Twin Arrows and The Night Archers–is Noreen Bruce. Congrats, Noreen! I will be emailing you as well soon. 😉

Again, thanks everyone for entering! Have a great week. 😉

Do I Have That Book? Challenge

Happy National Booklovers Day, y’all! It’s our day to shine. 😀 😀 

Abigail from Books, Life, and Christ always has the best tags, so I’m stealing this fantastic one from her. I especially love that it makes me look harder at the books I own and identify what’s unique about each of them. ❤ Be sure to check out her answers. 😉

Questions

1. Do you have a book with tattered edges?

My copy of Man O’ War by Walter Farley is second hand, so it was the most tattered thing I could think of, though it’s still in pretty good condition. I think with a little tape, it’ll be good. 😀

2. Do you have a book with 3+ people on the cover?

This one was harder than expected, but I found Skylark by Patricia MacLachlan. I sooo love the colors, don’t you? ❤

3. Do you have a book based on another fictional story?

I have a few, but Emmeline by Sarah Holman caught my eye first. It’s a vintage Christian retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, and I love it to pieces. Check out my review.

4. Do you have a book with a title 10 letters long?

I’m hilariously bad at guesstimating, so this took me a little while. XD Ready or Not by Chautona Havig turned out to be right. 😉 (And it’s a pretty awesome book to boot.)

5. Do you have a book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter?

Also a brain-boggling question. 😉 I guess it’s time I get to know my bookshelf! Shallows by Denver Evans turned out to be the one. (Read my review.)

6. Do you have a mass market paperback book?

I have a dislike-hate relationship with mass market books actually. The size is just kinda hard to read, and I don’t like how they look on shelves, but The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams more than makes up for my prejudice against that. 😉 (FYI, my copy is filtered.)

7. Do you have a book written by an author using a pen name?

Left to Die by Ivy Rose is one I thought of. The author has since changed her pen name to her real first name Hailey, which is super gorgeous as well.

8. Do you have a book with a character’s name in the title?

Okay, so there were several of these (including one of my own!), but I chose A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall. You should read it, by the way.

9. Do you have a book with 2 maps in it?

*screeches* THE GLASS SENTENCE by S.E. Grove! It is sooo fascinating in its worldbuilding and plot. ❤ (There are some things I dislike about it, as evidenced by the creepy cover, so read my review to see if it’s something you’d like.)

10. Do you have a book that was turned into a TV show?

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle! 😀 Nuff said. I loved the books, and I really, really liked the BBC TV show of it (filtered).

11. Do you have a book written by someone who is originally famous for something else? (Celebrity/Athlete/Politician/TV Personality…)

Nope. 😀

12. Do you have a book with a clock on the cover?

Nope, that should be rectified. Any recommendations?

13. Do you have a poetry book?

No… Poetry and I are not exactly the best of friends. Maybe I should get myself a book of Shel Silverstein’s stuff…

14. Do you have a book with an award stamp on it?

Calico Bush by Rachel Field, and it deserves all the awards. ❤

15. Do you have a book written by an author with the same initials as you?

Yes, actually. Down to the middle initial too. 😀 Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland. 😉

16. Do you have a book of short stories?

The only one I have is The Mystery of the Mansion by Susie Hubler, unless my Winnie the Pooh and Sherlock ones count. 😀

17. Do you have a book that is in between 500-510 pages?

The Book Thief was a little over, and The Glass Sentence was a little under.

18. Do you have a book that was turned into a movie?

There are many on my shelves, but we’re going with Wonder by R.J. Palacio because both the book and the movie are sooo amazing. ❤ I got to read the book first, and then watched the movie just a month or so ago. Amazing, just seriously amazing. (Also, I’m reading the companion novel right now, and it’s also blowing me away.)

19. Do you have a graphic novel?

Not on my physical bookshelf, but I do love Martin and Marco by Jonny Jimison.

20. Do you have a book written by 2 or more authors?

Oh, wow, this one was hard… I chose the Farm Mysteries series by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Castleberry. They’re a ton of fun, especially for younger readers.

There you go! I hope you enjoyed. 😀

Sometime I’ll do an updated bookshelf tour (my book collection has grown massively since my last one) and show you all some of my other favorites. 😉

I hope you had a good Booklovers Day!

Picture Book Review: Pies from Nowhere

“Georgia Gilmore was a cook at the National Lunch Company in Montgomery, Alabama. When the bus boycotts broke out in Montgomery after Rosa Parks was arrested, Georgia knew just what to do. She organized a group of women who cooked and baked to fund-raise for gas and cars to help sustain the boycott. Called the Club from Nowhere, Georgia was the only person who knew who baked and bought the food, and she said the money came from “nowhere” to anyone who asked. When Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested for his role in the boycott, Georgia testified on his behalf, and her home became a meeting place for civil rights leaders. This picture book highlights a hidden figure of the civil rights movement who fueled the bus boycotts and demonstrated that one person can make a real change in her community and beyond.” (from Goodreads)

I just read this picture book at the library, and it brought tears to my eyes. THIS right here is how you change the world. I’m so glad to have discovered this historical figure. Great illustrations too. 😉

The Night Archers GIVEAWAY

Greetings from Lady Shelly Addison Middleton, a.k.a. me. I found this cool “author pseudonym generator meme”, and the name sounded rather royal and slightly medievalish, so yeah… 😉

Behold…

As the creative title of this post suggests, I have a giveaway for y’all!! 😀 In celebration of my new book The Night Archers, I’m giving away a signed paperback copy and a themed bracelet. *grins ginormously* There’s even a second prize too!

A failed test. Ruined crops. Night archers.

The war against the rebels rages, and Riverside’s famous cavalry is called to the King’s aid, leaving behind the women, children, and Gavynn.

Gavynn knows why he was the only man left behind. Every day in the town is a painful reminder. But storms, sickness, and sudden danger threaten his people, forcing him into an unexpected role.

Could his failure be a blessing in disguise?

ENTER HERE

(Also, if you haven’t read chapters one and two of The Night Archers, they are available for free here. Enjoy!)

Fine print, because why not: Cool slatted and fern backgrounds not included. Grand prize only ships to contiguous United States.

Plate Update: Superheros, Jabberwocky, and Christmas Cookies

Summer is just flying! Which is a good thing considering how warm it gets where I live. 😉 I’ve been so busy that I absolutely missed updating you all on June, so I’m gonna do these “evil twins” together… 😉

Here’s an update on my full plate…

Pleasure read:

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe (three stars)

Tutor, Nanny, Spit-Up, Spy (five stars)

Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World (three stars)

Playing By Heart

The Beast of Talesend (four stars)

Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott (five stars)

I also read ¾ of a review book before I decided to mark it as DNF. 😉

Answered:

Emails and texts

Questions at the Generation Rising Authors booth 😀

Googled:

Vinegar on laundry

Snickers

The Jabberwocky poem

The Princess Bride release year

Murder on the Orient Express

Thatch roofs

Wheat harvest 😉

Fandom everything

And so on. 😉

Wrote:

2,200+ words on that Avengers: Endgame blog post

9,873 words on The Night Archers

Meeting minutes for my transcription job

A list of books I recommend

Essays, just for fun

More character and scene details for a novel ❤

A newsletter

Blog posts (the top five between both months being The End of the Line: My Thoughts on Avengers Endgame; My Summer Reading Stack; Convention Countdown: Pretty Book Stock!!!; Made Me Think; and Thank You, Wow.)

Edited:

The Night Archers, The Night Archers, The Night Archers

Published:

The Night Archers! 😀

Miscellaneoused:

Drew all my female main characters

Painted a growth chart

Watched Wonder ❤ ❤ 

Discovered Fitzsimmons 😉

Had a fantastic meeting/hangout with Generation Rising friends

Looved Men in Black: International

Celebrated the first bonfire of the season ❤

Ate an Oreo ice cream bar from the ice cream truck

Celebrated Independence Day! (sooo awesome)

Helped extended family move

Did miscellaneous Generation Rising stuff 😉

I also went to the library for the first time in forever, attended a Christmas in July cookie decorating party, took some rigorous personality and Spiritual gifts tests, and went to a cool ladies’ event with my mom and a sister. And we won’t mention how I bawled my eyes out at the profound and perfect end of my favorite show… 😉

This month, I’m looking forward to some more writing, hosting an upcoming giveaway, finishing up summer reading, tinkering around a bit with my website, and whatever else God brings my way. 😉

How was your June/July? What are you looking forward to this month?