A Very Bookish Easter // My Semi-Biased Review

A Very Bookish Easter // My Semi-Biased Review

Nyree moves when she loses her job, hoping to reconnect with herself and her grandmother in time for Easter, but when she stumbles upon a hidden garden, she discovers just how much she’s been missing.
The Prayer Garden by Kelsey Bryant, inspired by The Secret Garden

Felicity goes out of her comfort zone and invites Adam Moore to Easter service, but their business rivalry has him ready to prove her evangelization wrong.
Lilies and Thorns by Abigayle Claire, inspired by Romeo and Juliet

Samuel is haunted by his past and unsettled by the present, but as the Easter season begins, Ellie could show him what his future could be.
An Easter Canticle by Sarah Holman, inspired by A Christmas Carol

Addie hopes for a fresh start when she and her family move to the mountains to live with Grandfather, but some wounds seem too deep to heal, even at Easter.
Addie’s Mountain by Kate Willis, inspired by Heidi

Four classic-inspired Easter stories full of hope, faith, and the miracle of resurrection. (from Goodreads)

My Review 💖

As a longtime fan of my fellow anthology authors, I was very excited to read their stories, and they did not disappoint! Here are my (slightly biased) mini-reviews…

The Prayer Garden
This book was so beautiful, with quintessential spring vibes, natural Christian themes, and some really sweet relationships. Also, talk about a meet-cute. 😉 The end truly brought tears to my eyes.

Representation: depression, dementia.

CW: medical facilities, emotional distress.

Lilies and Thorns
I highly enjoyed the inherent drama of this one, lol, which is not usual for me. It started out seeming on the way to an expected, Hallmark movie place, but I’ve never been so happy to be wrong, and I’m a huge fan of where the story ended.

Representation: social anxiety.

CW: mentions of loss to cancer, dysfunctional family relationships, shaded truth.

An Easter Canticle
This one was much different than I expected, and I loved it. The “Scrooge” character was actually quite loveable, and I appreciated seeing him deal with the fallout of his life changes. The retreat center was a lovely setting, and I’m excited to read the other stories about it now.

Representation: mixed-race heritage, celiac disease.

CW: medical emergencies.

Addie’s Mountain
Ooo, that’s my story! I don’t have much to say except there’s a lot of spring vibes, some church trauma, a really cute neighbor boy, lots of baking, and a bookish main character (of course).

Representation: Jewish heritage, anxiety, chronic illness, deafness.

CW: anxiety symptoms including an attack.

A Conversation with J. Grace Pennington

A Conversation with J. Grace Pennington

(sorry I’m late–I broke down on the way here 😉)

Today I’d like to welcome author J. Grace Pennington! Grace, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello! Thank you so much for having me on the blog. I’m a self-published Christian author who writes while my three baby girls are napping, which means I have to try to use small amounts of time effectively! I’ve been writing my whole life and publishing for the past decade – a little bit of everything, but primarily young adult science-fiction novels. I also love reading (of course), playing with my girls, crocheting, and coloring (ideally all while listening to a good audiobook).

Congrats on your latest release, Eleftheria! You’ve decided to release it in a serial format on Kindle Vella. Can you tell us more about that and how we can read it?

Thank you! I’m new to Kindle Vella, but I’m finding it a very exciting way to publish – it’s a bit reminiscent of the olden days when novels such as Charles Dickens’ were published serially in the papers! Eleftheria is releasing three chapters a week, and will wrap up early in September.

Readers can purchase tokens with which to buy episodes (though the first three episodes of all Vella stories are free) and read them on their Kindles, phones, computers, or however one reads ebooks. So it’s a bit like getting multiple episodes a week of your favorite show! I also include a poll at the end of each chapter where readers can share their opinions or give their guesses as to what happens next.

What are your long-term plans for the Firmament series?

I’m currently working on book eight, Humanoid, and am nearly finished with the first draft. I’d love to be more consistent in getting the books out (it’s taken me ten years just to release these first seven!) so building a system of writing and publishing into my days is important to me. I have plans for eighteen books total, all of which have been planned since before the first book was written, so the big-picture events of the series are pretty much set in stone, but there’s so much room for experimentation and exploration within that framework. And I honestly just enjoy spending time with my characters and experiencing their world as I write!

What other projects, writing or otherwise, can you share about right now?

I wrote a novel called “Shows” last year that I am starting to get beta feedback on before I edit and possibly try to get a publishing agent for it – it’s very different from my series. It’s a general Christian fiction book about a young girl who moves to the big city and finds herself participating in a church’s twelve-step program as she searches for answers to life, faith, and dealing with mental illness.

There’s also a book I’m starting to think about outlining for this year’s National Novel Writing Month in November, a cyberpunk adventure called “Chroma” that deals with virtual reality, consequences, and the tension and loyalty between a father and son.

Otherwise, I have a weekly podcast entitled Improbable Things where I share six reading and writing related thoughts before my kids wake up in the morning. It’s a great way to give updates about my projects, share tidbits about my kids and their love of reading, discuss my current reads, and go on rants and rambles regarding my observations on storytelling. The podcast can be found on Anchor, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

How long have you been an author? What advice would you give to newer/breakout authors?

The first time I remember writing anything was a very short book when I was five years old, and I’ve never stopped since then! But despite starting several dozen stories, I never actually finished one until I was almost twenty. (And that book was absolutely terrible, of course, but at least it showed me I could finish something!) The second book I completed was Firmament: Radialloy, the first book in my series, and I published it shortly afterwards.

The number one piece of advice I always give writers is to push through writers block. You can always get words out on the page, even if they are terrible, but if you don’t push through the hard places then you’ll never finish your story and have the chance to fix and polish it. For your first draft, just get the words out. Editing comes later. The first important thing is to finish your story.

For your first draft, just get the words out. Editing comes later. The first important thing is to finish your story.

What is your favorite way you’ve seen God make your ordinary life beautiful?

At the current stage of my life (stay-at-home motherhood with a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a one-year-old) the most beautiful thing I experience is getting to see my daughters discover the world. To witness their delight at the ordinary – the exuberance over a weird bug, shock at their first ever rainstorm, or breathlessness when my rhinestone sandals catch the light and throw sparkles all over the room – brings a freshness and glory to all those mundane parts of life I take for granted. It shows me a perspective on old concepts and ideas turned new through their beautiful eyes and constantly-inquiring minds. There’s nothing like it in all the world.

Thank you so much for coming!

Thank you for having me! It’s been great chatting with you!

Follow Grace everywhere, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Introducing My Favorite Podcast (+Giveaway)

Introducing My Favorite Podcast (+Giveaway)

I’m not a podcast gal. I prefer reading to listening, and if I listen to something it should probably be instrumental music so I can actually focus on whatever I should be doing…

The only time I really listen to podcasts is with my husband, and even then I have a hard time focusing on what’s being said. *hides*

I love to keep up with my favorite authors through their blogs and social media (and the odd newsletter here and there), but this is the first time I’ve fallen in love with the podcast format. 

J. Grace Pennington’s podcast Improbable Things converted me. 

I’ve been a fan of her and her work for a few years now, but I found out she had a podcast for regular updates and thought I’d pop in just to see when the next book was coming out. 

I found instead a well-rounded, deeply interesting look into her life as an author, fan of books and movies, mental health warrior, and bookish mother. She shares six literary thoughts from her week, and it’s both interesting and encouraging to see how these areas of life intersect.

And she does, of course, share a lot about her current projects, just like I was hoping. 😉

I enjoy the conversational yet structured format, and as someone with auditory sensitivity, her quiet, “audiobook narrator” voice is a nice retreat.

Tomorrow you’ll get to meet J. Grace and her work, but for now, definitely go try her podcast. You won’t regret it. 😉

In celebration of her newest book Eleftheria, J. Grace Pennington is giving away the first two books of her Firmament series!

Enter Here

Love and Memory Cover Reveal (+Happy Deals)

Love and Memory Cover Reveal (+Happy Deals)

I read Water Princess, Fire Prince by Kendra Ardnek in it’s first edition cover and loved it to pieces, then absolutely gawked over the new cover for it and the second one, so today I’m particularly excited to share the cover for the third book with you. ❤

First, a snippet from the book. 😉

It wasn’t far to Petra’s room where he flicked on the light. There she was, sprawled across her bed, a pillow hugged to her chest. Reuben smiled to himself as he walked over to the bed, sat down at her side, took her hand, and closed his eyes.

Immediately, he plunged into her dream. The reality of her bedroom stripped away into the castle where they’d lived for thirty years in Rizkaland. She stood in the courtroom, their fellow kings and queens around them, the people spread before them. But everything wavered with a strange, filmy quality. Only she was solid.

So it always was when one walked waking into the other’s dream.

If you’ve read the first two books, you know this is going to be hard and lovely. 😭🥰

Now take a look at the cover…

When a Queen forgets,

Her enemies rejoice in her weakness.

But when the Queen remembers,

They tremble in fear.

When a King loves,

His country rejoices with him.

But when that love is broken.

The land is broken, too.

Can Water and Fire join again?

Can Love and Memory be restored?

They spent years in Rizkaland. They ruled the land, forged friendships, built families, and made it their home. But then it was time to return to Earth, and their former lives just don’t fit anymore. Clara and Andrew struggle to reevaluate their priorities when hundreds of miles separate them. Reuben and Petra are lost as they seek a balance between their old friendship and their Rizkan marriage. And Ashna and Noraeto never planned to return, so what life is there for them on Earth?

When the unthinkable happens and a new enemy arises, they’re all thrown back into Rizkaland, into a young prince’s rise to power and struggle to build alliances for his kingdom. But they no longer belong in their other world, either.

Are good memories too much to bear?”

Add on Goodreads

Pre-order on Amazon (releasing April 19th, 2021)

For Black Friday and in honor of this cover reveal, Kendra is offering book one, Water Princess, Fire Prince as a FREE ebook on Amazon, and book 2, Lady Dragon, Tela Du, is just 99 cents! And, furthermore, she’s offering Broken, which is part 1 of Love and Memory, for free as well as an early read! This sale is part of Perry Kirkpatrick’s Black Friday Sale, so do go check out all of the other books on offer for 99 cents or less!

Kendra E. Ardnek is the self-proclaimed Arista of Fairy Tales. She lives in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her dragon babies and massive herd of mini-giraffes, and she is still waiting for one of of her fifty nutcrackers to come to life and marry her. When not writing, you can usually find her sitting in a random box, and she’s frequently known to act before she thinks.
Find her online at: 
Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || YouTube || Newsletter || Instagram || TikTok || Amazon 

Book Friday Just Gets Better

Book Friday Just Gets Better

First there were 150. Then it grew to 280. Now, this year the Indie Black Friday Book Sale has 400+ titles for free and $0.99. 😍😍

Within those titles are a lot of old favorites. 😉

Emmeline by Sarah Holman. The first three books of her Kate’s Case Files series. (I love this series, y’all.) Perry Kirkpatrick’s Kitten File Mysteries, The Accidental Cases of Emily Abbott (including the most recent ones! 😍😍), and the Shallows trilogy. The entire Firmament Series is on sale too, and I just gotta remind you all–the most recent book wrecked me and I’d like to share my pain.

*runs around screaming*


If you’ve been waiting to try any of these authors or need to catch up on a series… now is the time. 😁

I’m also eyeing a few new books I just might give a try. A quick reminder, the prices aren’t live until Friday 11.27. 😉

I scrolled by this cover a few times thinking the cover looked like a cute sister story, but then the blurb made me wonder–is this the same girl in different worlds??? And now I’m intrigued. 😁 (Link to book)

Rebekah Morris has a new series, y’all! I didn’t know more than just the first book were released, so… I’m tempted. 😉

This one honestly sounds like such a cute idea, and I seriously love the vibes of that window. 😍

A matchmaker grannies series?!! With adorable covers??? Someone send help before I buy everything. 💗

I need more superhero books. Simple as that. Okay, and the cover got me. 😂😛

All of my books and short stories are discounted for Black Friday through Cyber Monday as well.

But my favorite thing about this year? That’s more proof that it just gets better and better? 😍😍

I’m finally able to offer signed, deeply discounted paperbacks through my own internet store front. (Thanks to Perry for creating it on such short notice!) 😁🤩

Discounted prices will go live on Black Friday proper, but you can take a peek at the shop here.

I have to stop shopping now because there’s some pie to make for Thanksgiving. 😉 I hope you all have a blessed celebration, whatever that may look like this year! 😉

A Very Bookish Christmas: Meet and Greet!

A Very Bookish Christmas: Meet and Greet!

Yesterday I did a very cool author-y thing. I hit “publish” on the paperback version of Sincerely, Jem. 😁🤩

^^ A.k.a. the most exciting pop-up message of an author’s life. 😆

And today… IT’S AVAILABLE, Y’ALL!!

I’m extra excited because this is the first paperback book I’ve formatted myself. 😉 #authorgoals

As are three other pretty cool books–the same ones that originally appeared in the A Very Bookish Christmas anthology. Would you like to meet them?

Sylvie of Amber Apartments by J. Grace Pennington is inspired by Anne of Green Gables, and I super excited to see how Grace mixes her characteristically deep themes with a slice-of-life storyline. 😉 I’ve heard fantastic things about this story, and I’m a huge fan of The Firmament series and Implant also by this author, so… 😀

Gingerbread Treasures by Rebekah Jones (#exceedinglycutecover) is inspired by a Sherlock Holmes mystery, and it DEFINITELY gave me those vibes. If you’re a fan of mysteries with a slight historical feel, you’re definitely going to love this one.

Molly and Anna by Sarah Holman (Pollyanna-inspired) is a fantastic mixture of pretty cute and sweet while wrestling with a really hard topic. I appreciate the author’s willingness to bring up the topic of racism and do her best to address it.

In celebration of our new releases, we’re giving away a $15 Amazon giftcard! 😀 Find the giveaway HERE.

Merry Christmas in July!

Have you read any of these books? Or which one(s) are you looking forward to reading?

The Treasure Hunt Blog Tour: Release Day!

The Treasure Hunt Blog Tour: Release Day!

Happy (re)release day to The Treasure Hunt! Six years ago, in June, I published my very first book. There was a lot of nervousness and A LOT of excitement, and I’ll never forget the feeling of holding the first copy in my hands. ❤

The journey since then has been long, and hard, and beautiful, and you all have been a blessed part of it. ❤

I searched through my old blog for mentions of the book, and this made me feel nostalgic…


A few months later, I was interviewed by Sarah Holman, one of my biggest heroes, over on Homeschooled Authors. The post is still up, if you’d like to read it. And take a look at my profile picture! I was such a baby. ❤ (I adored that jumper, fyi.)

Today, I am so happy to share the new edition of The Treasure Hunt with a brand new cover, interior formatting, and a few minor grammatical fixes. 😉

In celebration of six years of this book (I still can’t believe it), here are a few reviews from over the years…

This review, my second ever and one I was delighted to find when I first discovered Goodreads 😉

This reader who was solving right along with the characters (and discovered her “Old and Boring” status 😂)

This lovely one (and I’m glad the reader liked all the nicknames)

This reader was inspired and you all have no idea how much that melts me

And this one. 😭😭

I had a hard time choosing reviews, so even if yours isn’t here, know I appreciated it. You all are the best. ❤ Thank you for your kind words, support, and letting me see a little glimpse of what you’ve enjoyed about this book.


(Ships the US only)

Have a beautiful day!

Book Review: No Man

Book Review: No Man

“She doesn’t have much longer to live.

Losing the last of the radialloy puts Andi’s life in immediate danger and sends her, August, and the Doctor rushing towards the demolished Qandon system in search of more. Their speeder is crippled, a powerful man is desperate to stop them—and they are running out of time.

Meanwhile, Crash has escaped from prison and is hiding somewhere in Hungary, hunted by assassins who have instructions to kill him if Andi and the others don’t return to Earth in one week. The only person on Earth who can help him is Guilders, who very nearly despises him.

Is there more radialloy out there? Can Crash and Guilders make it to safety? And will Andi ever be able to return to the way of life that she loves so much?” (from Goodreads)

I shouldn’t have inhaled this book (it’s the latest one available currently), but I honestly think I couldn’t have stopped if I’d tried. 😉 I even stayed up a bit late I was on such pins and needles. 😉

This one had quite a different setting from the others, and it was fun getting to see more space and different types of ships. 😉 I’m definitely with Andi on the claustrophobic nature of the speeder. XD She wasn’t the most likeable in this one sometimes, but I loved seeing how her experiences were affecting her. Illness, worry, being betrayed so many times and put on her guard, and even the effects of the reversal zone weighed on her. I honestly related a lot, and I love this complexity to her character.

The Doctor and August were quite wonderful as usual, and Guilders absolutely shone in this one. Having multiple POVs was weird for me at first, then I loved getting a glimpse inside his head. He and Crash are so opposite and yet I think their journeys are a little more similar than they realize in some ways. Those campfire talks/silences were great, and after learning more about Crash, I hope more for him. I appreciate how slowly the author is taking his storyline, and I know she will handle it with care. 😉

Book Talbot was a fascinating new character. I liked his inventor brain (this book had GADGETS) and his respectful attitude toward Andi and commitment to his work were admirable. I’m adding him to the list of characters I hope to see again.

Just a note, because the stakes were higher in this one, there are some wounds and injuries (including blood) and some traumatic hospital scenes. *cries*

Best quotes: “Because I’m not real. You know that.” His turn to sigh. She was right. He did. “I would if I could, though,” she comforted.

I felt his Adam’s apple move as he swallowed, unable to finish his sentence, and I clung to him as, for the first time in my life, we cried together.

Altogether, to say I didn’t cry would be lying. 😉 This book was a beautiful mixture of hopeful and heartbreaking.

Book Review: Reversal Zone

Book Review: Reversal Zone

Nothing is as it should be.

After weeks of boredom, Andi is excited when the Surveyor is called upon to rescue a freighter that mysteriously vanished in uncharted space. Excitement quickly turns to unease when the ship encounters an unknown phenomenon—a cloud that appears not to exist. But with the freighter’s crew in danger, the Surveyor has no choice but to venture into unknown territory.

As soon as they enter the cloud, its unstable effects wreak havoc on the ship. They’re flying blind. Every piece of equipment is malfunctioning. And every member of the crew is unable to think straight or act like themselves—except Andi.

Now she’s expected to guide them through the predicament with no previous command experience and no one to turn to for support. And with each passing hour, it becomes clear that if they don’t escape the cloud soon—they won’t escape it at all.” (from Goodreads)

So, this was amazing. It tied together all the strands that had been set up in the previous books and just blew my mind. (I stayed up too late reading. I have almost no regrets.) Almost like a series finale, actually, though fortunately for us there are more books. 😀

Pro tip: Don’t fly into creepy, non-existent-to-instruments clouds if you can help it.

At first, I found everyone’s personality switches a little bit funny, but as time passed, things grew more urgent, and Andi began to get more and more tired from the weight of it all, I was like, okay, I see the seriousness. Also, um, apparently at least one person on the ship has an inner villain? O.o. (But the motivations, oh, I loved the whole thing about motivations staying the same, and I honestly couldn’t completely hate the villain, and I need resolution of that, and everything.) XD I really loved how Andi got to work together with her brother and her cousin again in this one, and as someone with multiple chronically ill family members, the radialloy storyline was special to me. 😉

(I also really, really loved how even when Andi was necessarily thrust into a role of leadership, she tried to do it respectfully and honor her Captain and her dad. Yay to that!)

Just a note, the team–Major Spoiler Here!–board another ship and find the entire crew dead which is a disturbing scene.

Altogether, this was fantastic, and I’m excited to see where that cliffhanger leads. 😉

Book Review: Machiavellian

Book Review: Machiavellian

“On their way back to Earth from the newly discovered world of Kainus Ge, the Surveyor rescues the personnel of a malfunctioning science station. Young medical assistant Andi quickly befriends the newcomers, particularly the charming captain, but things get complicated when the scientists offer the impossible–a way to improve the barren planet and the lives of all its inhabitants.

There’s only one problem: their solution requires the Surveyor to enter the one area of the galaxy which is off-limits to travel.

As the Captain struggles with his decisions, Andi and her father become suspicious of the “accidents” that keep happening on the ship. Could it be coincidence, or is someone trying to sabotage their mission? Can they uncover the truth in time to stop the Captain from wrecking his career and losing his ship forever?” (from Goodreads)

I have a confession to make… I wasn’t sure I was going to continue reading this series, and then I forgot about it entirely… Until the Indie Black Friday sale when I picked up a couple more of the books.

Y’all, this was sooo amazing. I loved how it tied into the last story, and the intense, twisty mystery all within the confined space of the ship was awesome. 😉 Think Murder on the Orient Express except in space. With a subtle coup, and some weird medical mysteries, and an absolutely inscrutable villain. Oh, and the ticking clock of what was going to be sabotaged next… Also, I really loved that Andi had to wrestle with her beliefs, and the deeper development of some side characters was great too. ❤ (And kudos for having August’s condition play back into the story!)

Just a note, there was some mild peril, SPOILER! a disturbing murder, and some claustrophobic scenes.

Altogether, I found this third installment thoroughly satisfying! (And I read the fourth book almost immediately after. XD)