What I’m Accidentally Working On

What I’m Accidentally Working On

I recently got up the courage to start writing a new book.

Then about a week in, an old project stole my heart, and I haven’t looked back.

You’ve probably already guessed (or hoped) what I’m working on, especially if you follow me on Goodreads…

I’m pleased to say, I’m over 40% of the way through draft three of my fantasy novel, “Awake”. 😍 That’s all of part 1, and some very tough but very important scenes from part 2. 😉 Also, character development!!

It feels like I’ve been working on this novel forever, but in reality, it’s just the one that gets pushed to the back when other deadlines call my name. I’m excited to be making progress again, and it feels like maybe this book will *finally* be a thing. 😉

I’ll share with you my *real* project soon, but for now, here are some movie-esque posters I mocked up for inspiration. 😁 (All images from Canva.)

Okay, back to editing and devastating your hearts. 💖

Five Fall Favorites // Top 5 Fantasy Finds

Five Fall Favorites // Top 5 Fantasy Finds

Happy Day 2 of Five Fall Favorites, and one of my absolute favorite genres…

Today we’re talking about Fantasy! I love how weird, and wild, and various this genre can get. Everything from fairies to semi-medieval settings, parallel universes to extra special powers… There’s something for everyone, and often a world far removed from our own can end up feeling even more like home and cause us to examine themes in a whole new light. 🧡

Today we’re all sharing our top 5 fantasy books… (Just a heads up, some of our bloggers may have chosen to use one of our genre alternates, so don’t be surprised. 😉 )

Go forth on an adventure!

Katja 🍁 // Abigail 📚 // Kelsey ☕️ // Lillian 🍂

Sarah🧣// Bella 🥧 // Jana ☕️ // Ryana Lynn🧣// Mac 📚

Sophia Ellen 🍁 // Heaven 📚 // Hannah 🥧 // Mikayla 🍂

My Top 5 Favorite Fantasy Finds

1. Song of the Sword by Hope Ann

Absolutely beautiful, full of strong allegorical elements, and wistfully mysterious, this book is the one that got me into the Legends of Light series. Definitely recommend. 😉 (Read my review.)

2. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

One of the most wholesome, beautifully written books, and I’m forever in love with the mountain, Peder, and the strong supportive friendships between the main characters. ❤ I also really enjoyed book two. 😉 (Read my review.)

3. Shallows by Denver Evans (a.k.a. Perry Kirkpatrick)

This book is just VIBESSSS. I honestly love it so much. A hauntingly gorgeous fantasy world with adorably shippable main characters, this trilogy starts out as fluff and gets deeper and deeper as it goes, handling themes of mental health, chronic illness, and identity. (Read my review.)

4. The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson

This is actually the forth book in the Wingfeather Saga, so beware of spoilers if you look it up. 😉 It does a beautiful job tying up the entire series with humor and heart, but some of the last few scenes gave me absolute chills and strengthened my faith. ❤ (I won’t share my review here, because #spoilers, but check out the whole series, please. 😉 )

5. The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove

This is a criminally underrated trilogy so I’ll never stop recommending it. It has some of the most unique worldbuilding ever, and the characters are really lovable and easy to root for. 😉 I especially loved how nerdy it got with all the fantasy forms of cartography. (Read my review.)

Grand Prize giveaway!

Most books are contributions by participating authors. Ships to contiguous US only. Winner will have 48 hours to respond after being contacted.


Grab on Amazon!

Tell me, what is your favorite fantasy novel or series?

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd // Review

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd // Review

Everyone in Emma’s family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians–every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream.

For Emma, her own dream can’t come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she’d do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn’t want to let her mother down.

But when Emma’s dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task–finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town’s cemetery. If Emma fails, she’ll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that’s been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost? (from Goodreads)

My Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This beautiful, beautiful book left tears in my eyes and a feeling of home in my heart. I soaked in every gorgeous word, every “spooky” encounter, every message of treasure and destiny and love. ❤️

I kept reading over some passages because they were so beautifully written, and part of me wants to journal some of the best quotes. The characters were very sweet and quirky, and I would like a Grandma that cool and tough, please. Also, I’m going to need my own “kitchen ghost”. 😂😂

Speaking of ghosts… They play a big role in this story but it’s not dark or terrifying in the least. Instead it’s more like a metaphor for the ancient, enduring memory of small towns and the comforting feeling of having your history near. I loved it.

One of the best portrayals of grief and coming of age I’ve ever read.

CW: death, graveyards, ghosts. Mentions of the Civil War and slavery. A boy has a near-death experience.

Absolutely recommended. ❤️

A Conversation with Victoria Lynn // Interview

A Conversation with Victoria Lynn // Interview

Today I’d like to welcome author Victoria Lynn! Victoria, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! *waves excitedly* I’m a Jesus loving, truth telling, story-obsessed writer who loves to tell stories of God’s grace, mercy, and goodness in broken circumstances and characters. I love sewing, have started a fashion line, and would prefer to be on the beach or in the mountains at all times.

May we have a brief introduction to your novel Once I Knew?

Once I Knew is a story about hope and healing in dark circumstances and environments. How to fight physical and spiritual battles in the strength of the Lord. It’s about a soldier with a missing memory, the farmer’s daughter who puts her life at risk to save him, and the corrupt government trying to snuff the life out of both.

You’ve mentioned before how you took a break from writing for a while (and we’re so glad to have you back!). Can you tell us a little bit about that journey?

Yes! To be perfectly frank, it was really hard, but one of the best experiences of my life. It’s so funny how the Lord mingles healing and sorrow together. Writing, as much as I loved it, and as many stories were dancing around my head at all times, became really hard. Life got really hard for a while. I was going through a lot with family, the world in general, and an incredibly stressful work life. Writing just dried up. It was like pulling teeth to get words on a page, but I kept trying anyway.

It had, in many ways, become an identity to me and there came a point where God kind of pried my clutched fingers open and asked if I would give him the dream of writing and publishing. He didn’t give me an end date, or even really a “for now” qualifier. At the time, I truly didn’t know if it would be forever, but I wanted Him more than I wanted my writing. So with many tears and a lot of heartache, I told Him that I trusted Him with it. That even if I never got it back, I trusted Him to hang onto that dream for me.

After about 3 years of nothing, some things in life changed suddenly and God handed it back. It was a beautiful lesson in surender, but also a huge turning point in my life because I feel like it truly healed so much in me and taught me about what it looks like to walk hand in hand with God with your dreams, as well as how much He TRULY treasures me and my dreams even more than I do.

…as well as how much He TRULY treasures me and my dreams even more than I do.

It’s been about a year since that time, and Once I Knew is the fruit of those years of walking in the wilderness.

What led you to write in the kingdom adventure genre? What do you enjoy most about it?

I’ve honestly always loved it. It was something I always wanted to read, but could never find. There are very FEW books out there and I was tantalized by books like Jaye L. Knights and Tricia Mingerink that came out eventually… And I wanted more. So much of the fantasy in the world is full of absolute trash and immorality. There are no sweeping, epic series for Christians, let alone ones who enjoy clean content, so I wrote what I’ve always wanted. Looking back to the first attempt I made in the genre at age 13, I’m super proud and excited for the little girl who wanted to write books she couldn’t find.

What is your favorite way you’ve seen God work in a seemingly ordinary moment?

Oh my gosh… just one??? I have so many. LOL! It’s like a treasure hunt looking for all the ways God works in the little things… One example that comes to mind is how he connected the books in my series. Book 3 is actually the book I mentioned earlier that I wrote when I was 13. I will be rewriting it, but so much of what happens in that story, unintentionally tied back into book one and it blows my mind still to realize that God had this planned all along. All those years ago, little 13 year old me was writing the book that would one day turn the tide of my series. And it makes me so unbelievably happy and excited to see what He has ahead!

Thank you so much for coming!

Thanks for having me! It was so lovely getting to chat with you today!

Once I Knew is available wherever books are sold.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs // A Review

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs // A Review

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience.

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

As Jacob explores its bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine’s children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. (from Goodreads)

My Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐

No one told me that this book was so unapologetically Jewish. 😍 That it was structured around real vintage photographs. That the more horror-like elements were secondary to a deliciously written, fantastically bizarre story.

If anyone had, I probably would have read this a lot sooner. Instead, a $1 thrift store copy and the ghost of JessetheReader convinced me to give it a try.

It is so strange, you all. Really quite out of my usual genre, but it drew me in immediately with the mystery that spanned generations of a family, the strange yet really quite ordinary children (though it was hard to keep them straight), and the growing realization of eventually what was going to happen.

I did find Jacob rather selfish (felt so bad for his dad), but as I grow more trauma informed, I understand why he did the things he did and I can only hope his continuing character arc shows growth towards health.

CW: mentions of the Holocaust, WW2 violence, kissing, drinking. PG-13 language, though infrequent. Includes a theme of not being able to trust adults and medical professionals.

The story does center around magical/supernatural abilities (including reanimation, the child with this power uses animal organs) and monsters (the description of which may be disturbing to some readers). A couple very disturbing descriptions of wounds/corpses.

Altogether, I’m very glad I gave this a shot. As of now, I am very satisfied with the ending but I may continue the series at a later date. 😉

Another (DEBUT!) Cover Reveal…

Another (DEBUT!) Cover Reveal…

Y’all, one of my favorite bookworms, aka Madi from Madi’s Musings is publishing her debut, and I get to share about it with you! 😍

Ready, set?

Cover by Lynnette Bonner of Indie Cover Design

About the Book

In a land built upon lies and deception, uncovering the truth can be deadly.

Therese Westa is sick of death, but taking lives is what provides for her younger sisters. When a client approaches her with an unusual request, Therese takes the job offer, which includes the condition of “no questions asked”. As Therese uncovers the reason for the request, she is faced with a choice: kill an innocent man or save her sisters.

Therese’s hesitation to carry out the assassination thrusts her into the aftermath of a dangerous chain of events. Caught between security and truth, Therese must choose where her loyalties lie, for the answer will determine who survives.

Coming April 26, 2022!

Pre-order on Amazon // Add on Goodreads

About the Author

Madisyn Carlin is a Christian, homeschool graduate, blogger, voracious bookdragon, and author. When not spending time with her family or trekking through the mountains, she weaves tales of redemption, faith, and action.

Blog // Pinterest // Goodreads // Instagram

Congrats, Madi! 👏👏

Dawnsong by Bryn Shutt // A Review

Dawnsong by Bryn Shutt // A Review

Light creates shadows, better to die in the dark.

Once, Lilias Khove was someone else, a dancer revered and applauded. Now, she guards a city.

Once, Prevecost was something other, a city strong and renowned throughout the world. Now plague stalks her streets and steals her citizens.

But the city has secrets and so does the dancer.

In a time as dark and silent as the death it fears, these secrets will save or they will damn.

Add on Goodreads

My Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I saw this around IG and picked it up, mostly because I was intrigued by the cover and looking for something shorter to read.

I can barely believe this a debut. The cover, the character art inside (more authors do this, please 😍), and the quality of descriptions and fresh metaphors were delightful.

I especially enjoyed the world building. It felt well-fleshed out and the fantasy place names were creative but pronounceable. 👏👏

The theme was great and quite timely too, but I wished it was more tied to a tighter plot. It almost felt as if this story wanted to be longer.

Best quotes: “Yes,” he went on as if reading her thoughts—and ignoring some of them.

He looked so weary, the kind that doesn’t start but is always just there, only now and then rising enough to the surface to be seen. It’s been a long night for him.

CW: fake swears and one use of b*st**d, mentions of plague, a fire, and burns.

Looking forward to this author’s next work!

Right Where I Left Off

Right Where I Left Off

There it was.

93 pages, stapled into four parts, carefully packed into one of the totes I’d brought from home.

I’d both forgotten about it and knew exactly where it was–one of the magical powers of an unfinished manuscript.

Draft one, completed March 2020. Draft two, a false start in January 2021.

Draft now.

I tried to get to it for a couple days (even packing it up in a tote bag for a “field trip”) until Saturday when I made myself a little nest with snacks and tea and red and purple pens, and let myself disappear.


Into the world I’d been unconsciously still working on for two years.

Into the psyche of characters who need much more emotional depth.

Into themes that mean more and more to me with each passing day.

Have you ever seen something so delightfully messy?! 😂😍

I took it to my parents’ house the next day, and by extension to church and grocery shopping, though it stayed in the car.

I pulled some more long hours, and brought the story to over halfway edited with some notes for draft three.

I’ve also been a little researching fiend about hardbacks, and I talked to my cover designer yesterday about plans for this year.

With each page, I’m growing more and more excited, and I can’t wait to share this all with you. ❤️

That face when you have a breakthrough idea.
Then Comes a Cover Reveal…

Then Comes a Cover Reveal…

Today I get to share with you one of the coolest covers I’ve ever seen. 🤩

It has vibes I was completely not expecting, and I’m really, really intrigued now.


The sky, the font, the vibes! 😱😱😍


Laramie was born to ride the desert wilds. And she won’t let anything stop her, even a fearsome warlord who wants her captive–or dead.

A genius mechanic–and a rare descendant of the once-magical Itan–Laramie drifts from dusty town to dusty town in search of the family that was taken from her.

But her rambling desert journey becomes a game of survival when Laramie crosses a ruthless warlord’s territory. Taken prisoner by one of the warlord’s biker gangs, she befriends a quiet, dangerous man named Gered. After surviving hellish circumstances Gered is tired of fighting for a better life.

Laramie will always fight. And she’ll stop at nothing to win their freedom.

Enjoy this pulse-pounding motorcycle adventure in a post-apocalyptic western setting with found family and being brave in brutal circumstances.

Then Comes a Drifter

Releasing February 24th, 2022

Buy an autographed paperback

Buy on Amazon

Other retailers

Add on Goodreads

The author is also hosting a giveaway for preorder swag!

Enter your preorder receipt HERE.

About the Author

C.M. Banschbach is a native Texan and would make an excellent hobbit if she wasn’t so tall. She’s an overall dork, pizza addict, and fangirl. When not writing fantasy stories packed full of adventure and snark, she works as a pediatric Physical Therapist where she happily embraces the fact that she never actually has to grow up. She writes clean YA/MG fantasy-adventure as Claire M. Banschbach.

Instagram: @cmbanschbach

Facebook: @cmbanschbach

Website: https://clairembanschbach.com/

Pinterest: @clairebanschbach

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So there you go! What’s your favorite thing about the cover?

A Map of Tiny Perfect Things (Review)

A Map of Tiny Perfect Things (Review)

(Before we get into this review, I just gotta say, this movie gets better and better the more I think about it, and my sisters keep pulling it out for girls’ nights with their friends so I think they agree. It’s everything I want in a chick-flick–wholesome, deep, nerdy, and just plain adorable. 💗)

Just look at this scrumptious cover…

What I thought was going to be another shallow, dime-a-dozen teenage romance movie ended up being a heartfelt, deep message on life, loss, and the beauty of every moment as it passes away. I finished it with a tear or two. 😉

The rapidfire, overlapping, sometimes oddly divergent conversations between the main characters (and some side ones too) built such a realistic chemistry that was a delight to follow and the true backbone of the movie. His tangent on the plane, tho. 😂😂

And don’t get me started on how delightfully nerdy it was. From the copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to Time Bandits (onscreen! important to the plot!) to the theoretical physics and fourth dimension… I was unabashedly eating it up.

Those twists at the end though… If anything they gave the movie more soul.

CW: language, kissing, jokes about public nudity, hospitals, loss.

Available on Prime Video, filterable through VidAngel