Author: Allison Grace

Plantsers

Plantsers

Today I’m going to wrap up this blog series with my own “outlining personality.”

If you’ve missed the earlier posts, you can read them here:

Pantser

Planner

 

Now I’m certainly no planner, but I’m not a complete pantser. I’m what is known as a plantser—one who grows plants. 🌵🌱🌷

Actually, that’s not the technical definition of a plantser. (Though I have an affinity for growing and killing 🥀plants.) I’m not even sure there is an official definition.

So I shall give you one.

A plantser is someone who both outlines and writes by the seat of their pants.

Plantsers seem like a paradox, don’t they?

But it’s entirely possible to do both. I’m living proof!

 

How I Plan

I’ve tried to do formal outlines. I’ve tried The One Year Adventure Novel.

Something about detailed outlines drives me crazy. It takes the fun out of writing for me.

I’m more of a “let me scribble a bunch of important stuff on a legal pad, then forget about it” kind of outliner. At the very most, I might even write out a few bullet points.

My mom had me try to outline Checkmate, which was good in some ways (it showed me that I do have a bit of a planner in me and that I had way too many traps 😅), but after I finished it, I totally disregarded it.

The majority of outlining that I do I call “head-writing.” That basically means I write the scene in my head before I write it out on paper.

Partially because I get all my good ideas while washing dishes or taking a shower and water + paper = not good. Partially because I think it’s really fun.

It’s like watching a movie in your head on repeat until you know it by heart. I’ll go over the idea until I have little details worked out (such as how someone is standing, the location of the knife, the layout of the building, etc.). That way, when I actually have a good sized chunk of time to write, I can get a lot of words out. Mostly because I’m really excited about the scene that’s been living in my head, but also because I have somewhere to start instead of staring at that evil blinking cursor.

 

How I Pants

I love pantsing!

When a little plot bunny comes sneaking around, I’m more than happy to follow it down winding trails. Most of the time, it ends up better than I had planned. Other times, I have to do more re-writing because it changed a bunch of stuff.

For example, one of my main characters (My personal favorite. Shh, don’t tell him.) was simply supposed to be a “spear-carrier”—in other words, an extra. Just there to fight the bad guys and probably die like side characters always do. Then one day (while doing dishes), it occurred to me, “What if I give this guy a POV? And what if he has this backstory?” The rest is history. He promptly took over the last half of Draft 1 and 2.

One thing I’ve learned with my little bit of writing experience is “trust your gut.” If you think it’s awkward it probably is. So if you think you should follow a plot bunny, you should.

 

So, now you know about all about planners, pantsers, and plantsers.

It’s important for every writer to understand their writing process. No one way is better than another. There are also differing degrees of each process—some outline every scene, others only do bullet points.

Your process might not fit the patterns we’ve talked about over the last three weeks.

 

Your Turn!

What’s your writing process? Are you a planner? A pantser? Do you have houseplants?

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale rides a squeagle
Glendale has returned! While he was away, he had many adventures, on of which was riding a squeagle–a man-eating (and elf-eating) bird of prey. And this picture is actually to scale. He is lucky he lived to tell the tale!

 

Outlining: Guest Post by Kate Korsak

Outlining: Guest Post by Kate Korsak

Today my friend Kate Korsak is going to talk about being an outliner!

 

About Kate

Kate Korsak

 

Kate Korsak is a seventeen-year-old fantasy writer, who found her love for writing the she was eleven. Now homeschooled and living in Florida, Kate spends most of her time working on her current writing projects. A love for reading, writing, and God keeps her moving forward and working hard in hopes of one day publishing her works!

 

Planning (a.k.a. Outlining)

Plotting a story is time-consuming, and can make some writers uneasy, but outlining a story is the most organized way to write, and if you’re like me, it is well worth your time.

An outline is defined as, “a general description or plan giving the essential features of something but not the detail”, which means a plotter or ‘outliner’ is a writer who plans the important parts of their project before they begin, and add the detail as they go. You’ll spend hours, days, or even weeks planning out your project before you even begin to write. This may sound tedious at first, but for some people, we prefer to know exactly what we’re doing before we start to do it, and outlining your project will give you a path to follow as you write your story.

The first step to outlining your story is starting with an idea. My novel began with the idea of a young boy who accidently becomes king. I sat with the idea a bit until I had a bit of a story thought up. The boy finds a stone that makes him king and he travels around his world to earn the right to be ruler. I liked the idea, but I wasn’t ready to start writing yet.

With an idea of what kind of story I wanted to tell, I sat down and wrote out different ideas for where I wanted the story to go. Where does the boy travel? Who does he travel with? Who is he fighting against? With questions down, I began to pick the ones I thought would best fit the story and put them in order. I gave him companions of his journey and a good reason to fight against the current rulers. My story was beginning to come together, and I liked where it was headed. From there, I moved on to the next step.

After putting together a rough plan, I began working on the details. I started by spending a lot of time with the characters and their world, learning places, personalities, and backstories before I began on the story itself. When I was comfortable with my characters and their setting, I went back to my rough idea and started the outline. (I used an outlining method from Young Writers Workshop.) When I was finished, It looked something like this:

Opening Scene

In Gumbee Forest, Baldwin has his map, his brother, Hadwin, takes him to the caves

Inciting Event

Baldwin finds the stone but tries to take it back

First Plot Point

Baldwin leaves with Areli, Bagus, and Hadwin to Igozi forest

Midpoint

Battle with the Dragon Queen, Baldwin can’t destroy her staff, he gains her powers as ruler

Third Plot Point

Go to Volrod for help, find Bagus stole his stone from the princess of Volrod

Climax

Leave Volrod and are met with the Elitar army, Hadwin is sent home with the dragons

Conclusion

Loose to Elitar and are taken prisoner

 

As you can see, this story will continue in another book, but for now, this is the outline for the first book. All of the major points are written down and I know where I am going with the story and how I’m going to get there.

With your outline complete, you are ready to begin writing your story! Just start with the opening and work your way down the outline, connecting each plot point to the next until you reach the conclusion. It’s important to remember that, as you are writing, you may find that you don’t like the direction your story is headed and that’s okay! Just re-adjust your outline and continue writing. Your outline is flexible, and as a writer, you have every right to change it as needed.

Plotting a story isn’t for everyone, but it may be exactly what you need to get your story going!

 

Be sure to check out Kate’s blog! https://katekorsak.wordpress.com/ 

Pantser: Guest Post by Rebecca Reed

Pantser: Guest Post by Rebecca Reed

Today begins a new blog series! We’re going to be talking about the different writers: pantsers (those who write without an outline), plotters (those who outline), and plantsers (an interesting mix of both pantsers and plotters).

Our first post is about pantsers, written by my friend Rebecca Reed! Before we get into the actual post, she made the perfect meme for this series!

Pantser vs. Plotter

 

About Rebecca

Rebecca Reed

Rebecca Reed is a former jockey and current Spanish teacher, track coach, drama director, and lover of God, animals, music, travel, and all things word-related. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband, Brad, Ziva (her huge, fruit-loving dog), and a multitude of cats, rabbits, and cows. She has 6 children (2 of whom are exchange students from Ukraine), and 2 grandchildren. Occasionally, athletes will adopt her as their “track mom.” She is addicted to audiobooks, is genuinely weird at times, firmly believes that words have power, and is blessed to have been given the gift of using them to communicate in multiple languages, and create stories designed to break chains and encourage positive choices.

 

Pantsers

I am a new writer. No. That’s not quite accurate. I am a long-time writer new to the “writing for publication” world. When I first felt God calling me to do more with my writing than simply write, I thought I knew what I was doing. Now that I’ve been at this for about a year, I realize I know next to nothing. That said, I am defining the term “pantser” as it applies to the way I write. Others, more experienced than me, may have a different bent to the definition, but this is how I see it.

 

A “pantser,” or “seat of the pants” writer, is a writer who begins a story or novel with little planning. Some people begin with a character, and build the story around her. Others begin with a setting or perhaps the basic idea for a plot. What would happen if a giant gorilla invaded New York City? Still others will plan the basic plot with a concise outline or map, write out details about their characters, maybe even plan out a small character arc. But when they actually begin the story, the characters take on a life of their own and the plot may take a complete left turn. That’s okay with a pantser.

 

Pantsers enjoy the pure thrill of sitting down to a blank computer screen and filling it with words the characters dictate. They may feel that an outline limits the flexibility and spontaneity they value. My first novel was written for a contest. I had never been trained on how to write a novel, so I did not intentionally sit down one day and decide I would write it as a pantser. I wrote that way because I didn’t know any other way.

 

Since then, I have discovered my ideal style may be that of a “plantser,” which is a hybrid between the true pantser who never outlines or writes out their ideas ahead of time, and a “plotter,” who plans each scene (or at least each major scene) prior to writing the first word.

 

My second novel began in the pantser manner, but not knowing the ending, created a really long and meandering saggy middle. I began to jot down ideas for scenes that would get me to my desired ending. I’ve tried to follow those ideas, but find that my characters refuse to go the route I’m asking them to take. I guess that means, at least for the time being, I remain a pantser.

 

The true joy of a pantser is that freedom to go wherever the words take you. Many of my best scenes have been ones I could never have foreseen when first conceptualizing the story and the characters. Characters are living beings inside a pantser’s head, and they do, indeed, take over at times. Yes, many times, a pantser is required to go back and rewrite, revise and edit more than a plotter, but it is up to you as a writer to decide whether you wish to spend the time up front in plotting or after the first draft in revising. In my opinion, a mix of the two is probably the most effective, and while I may become a plantser, it is unlikely I will ever become a plotter.

 

To find out more about Rebecca’s writing journey or her thoughts on other topics visit https://rebeccareedwrites.com/

 

 

 

The YWW: The Writing Community That Started It All

The YWW: The Writing Community That Started It All

If you went back to the summer of 2017, you’d find a teenage girl who had just finished reading Do Hard Things and This Changes Everything. Naturally, as a good bookworm will do, she found the website that got both books started: TheRebulution (now known as TheReb).

As she browsed the site over several days, she came across a post announcing the opening of a program for young writers—The Young Writer’s Workshop. As the young woman had been mildly interested in writing for a while now, she studied the articles, watched the videos, and perused the site for new updates. When it finally opened for registration, she begged her parents to let her join.

Her mother told her that if they were going to pay for this program, the teen would have to put forth some effort and show a greater interest in writing. So the girl got a notebook and started writing right then.

After seeing her daughter’s excitement, the mother convinced the father to sign the teen up.

You should have seen the girl’s face when she heard the news. She was ecstatic and spent the rest of the day on the computer making new friends and becoming more interested in writing.

Not too long after joining the YWW, she started writing her first novel.

As you probably guessed, the young woman is me. 😊😋

Today I wanted to tell you more about The Young Writer’s Workshop (YWW), affectionately known by its members as “YDubs.” It was founded by Brett Harris and Jaquelle Crowe (the authors of Do Hard Things and This Changes Everything, respectively).

The Christian-based writing program has two parts: content library and community.

 

Content Library

There is a wealth of information in the library, all aimed at young writers. Most of them are recordings, so you can listen to them whenever you want. (They also have transcripts for those who prefer reading.) I love listening to them while I crochet.

There are episodes on how to overcome writer’s block, start a blog, world-build, dealing with comparison, self-publishing, and so much more!

But my favorite section of the library are the author interviews. You get to hear about the writing journeys of successful authors like:

  • Andrew Peterson
  • Tessa Emily Hall
  • Tamera Alexander
  • Chuck Black
  • Kara Swanson
  • Jaye L. Knight

And many more!

 

The Community

By far, my favorite part of the YWW is the community. I’ve been part of a few other online writing communities, but they all pale in comparison to this one. (I might be biased, because YWW was my first one. :P)

I’ve made several close friendships and even found writing mentors here. Everyone is very welcoming and kind.

Here are some of the things that the community offers:

  • Support for young writers. You can ask for advice on anything from characters to graphic designs to how to run a giveaway. There’s even a space where you can directly ask the instructors a question!
  • A safe place to role-play as your characters. The YWW even has a “holiday” every month for role-playing. While I haven’t done it much myself, it’s really fun and a great way to make friends and develop your characters! (In fact, I met one of my closest friends during my first role-play!)
  • Critiques and Accountability. You can join a critique group and/or an accountability group and learn how to improve your writing and/or how to get things done!
  • Word Sprints. I love word sprinting. You might know it as a word war or focus sprint. All you do is set a time with another writer (usually around 30 minutes or so) and then work as hard as you can on writing, schoolwork, or whatever else needs done. Having someone to keep me accountable for even just half an hour really helps me get things done.
  • There are writers here in all stages of their publishing journey. We have successful traditionally published authors and successful self-published authors as well as newbies who are just learning the craft. We have masterful bloggers and beginners (like me!).

No matter what you’re looking for, you can probably find it in The Young Writer’s Workshop.

I found encouragement when I wanted to give up. I found friendships where I wasn’t expecting them. I found a community of people just like me—young, with stories flowing through their veins. I found new authors to read and love. I found out that writing isn’t silly.

I learned my dreams could come true.

 

Brett and Jaquelle only open registration twice a year—once in winter, once in summer. This winter’s registration is only open February 1-10. I hope to see you there!

https://www.theyoungwriter.com/

You can download some free videos by Brett and Jaquelle here.

And the free “The Young Writer’s Guidebook” here.

If you have any questions about the YWW or registration, feel free to contact me or comment below and I’ll get back to you!

 

 

This post is my honest opinion and thoughts. The instructors of the YWW did not participate in the writing of this post in any way.

 

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

 

Where’s Glendale?

We got 13 inches of snow last week! Glendale wanted to go outside and explore, but got too cold after a few minutes, so he didn’t get to build a snowelf.

Glendale in snow

Glendale in even more snow

I’m Not That Great: Confessions of a Newbie Writer

I’m Not That Great: Confessions of a Newbie Writer

Comparison is a deadly game in the writing sphere. I know this, because I’ve played it.

I have writing friends who are way ahead of me in their journeys. They’ve been writing since they could talk and I only started 1.5 years ago. They have hundreds of blog followers, published books, agents, and finished drafts. They get to go to huge conferences and rub shoulders with my favorite authors.

And I get jealous.

I’d just like to sit down and write a whole novel perfectly, ship it off to an agent, and get a massive book contract tomorrow. I want to have 5,000 email subscribers right now and have so many fan emails that I can’t keep up with them all. I want success now. I want to see fruit and benefits of my writing right now.

I’ve cried over my writing, thinking it will never be good enough. There have been days I can’t stop writing because it seems so perfect and the next day it looks like trash. Some days I’ll dance around the house I’m so happy because of a tiny achievement and the next day I’ll be staring at the blinking cursor.

I’d like to join the writing “elite” and have all the beginning writers looking up to me. I want to see my books in Barnes and Noble.

But the truth is, I’m not that great.

I might never be.

And that’s okay.

Every writer, every person, is on a different journey. My life, whether the personal side or the writing side, is not going to look like Jaye L. Knight’s. It won’t look like my friend Carly’s journey.

And I don’t care.

There’s a reason I’m right here, right now. God put me here for a purpose—to glorify Him. He’s given me the family and friends that I have for a reason.

Whether I become a famous author or not, I know that God knows what He’s doing. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts and His ways than my ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

But I can’t just sit around, waiting for something to happen. Bestsellers aren’t written in a day. (Sometimes not even in a year. 😉)

Writing, just like anything in life, takes time and effort to perfect.

A pianist doesn’t just sit down and write a concerto. They practice, they make mistakes, they start small.

Sure, they might wish they could write music that moves people to tears. They might compare their compositions to their favorite musicians.

But in order to succeed in anything, we must be patient. We must work.

The first time we walk onto the stage, we aren’t going to be phenomenal. We’re going to make mistakes, sometimes really embarrassing ones.

And there will always be someone better than us. A better writer, a better singer, a better dancer, a better plumber.

If we say, “I’ll never be as good of a writer as so-and-so,” we will never succeed. That’s a sure path to discouragement. If you keep comparing yourself to anyone but who you were yesterday, you’ll probably just give up.

But here’s the thing, God didn’t make you to be Jaquelle Crowe, Aleigha C. Israel, Nadine Brandes, or Brett Harris. He made you to bring Him glory by being who you are in Christ.

And that’s the best calling in life.

 

I owe a debt to the wonderful students and instructors on the Young Writer’s Workshop as well as my writing mentors, Aleigha C. Israel and Audrey Caylin, for always picking me up and pointing me to Christ I want to throw in the towel. Thank you. ❤

 

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale enjoying his copy of For Felicity by Audrey Caylin
Glendale enjoying his copy of “For Felicity.” It’s just his size!
For Felicity: New Release from Audrey Caylin!

For Felicity: New Release from Audrey Caylin!

Hi, friends! I have an exciting announcement!

My writing mentor, Audrey Caylin, just published a short story called For Felicity. 

For Felicity by Audrey Caylin

A tragedy that shattered.

A song that can mend.

A single heart longing to be free.

With her older brother leaving on deployment in mere hours, seventeen-year-old Felicity has one chance to bridge the gap of silence between them before time scars their relationship forever.

 

 

But that’s not all, there’s a giveaway too! Click here to visit Audrey’s blog and learn how you can enter. 😊 But don’t wait around, the giveaway ends on the 19th of January. 😉

 

Congratulations, Audrey! 🎊🎂🍨🍪🍕

Audience Hierarchy: Writing for God, Yourself, and Others

Audience Hierarchy: Writing for God, Yourself, and Others

When you sit down to write, who do you write for? Who is your audience?

This post is written for you, my blog audience. My novel is written for YA fantasy readers.

But when we sit down to write, how do we decide who to write for?

For example, when I sit down to write Checkmate, I could write for my friend who likes dragons or my brother who loves Lord of the Rings.

But I can’t please everyone who might read my book. And sometimes I just want to write what I want. Is that okay?

Who should we write for?

 

God

This should be no surprise, but I’m afraid it has become a clichéd answer in Christian circles.

Everything we do should ultimately be to bring God glory. (1 Cor. 10:31) That includes our writing—blogging, fan fiction, poetry, etc.

But how do we know if our writing is pleasing to God?

Well, are you obeying Him with your writing? Are you secretly writing something you know your parents wouldn’t approve of? Are you writing to bring yourself the praise and honor? Are you writing something that bothers your conscience just because it’s popular?

Jaquelle Crowe, author of This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years, once defined glorifying God this way: “I believe it means to make God look good. He is worthy and great, and if I use my life to make that known, I am glorifying Him. We can do that through what we post on social media, what food we eat, what job we get, and what we write.”

What we write and how we write it reflects on our confession of faith. If unbelievers stumble across our writing and find out that we use just as much language as the next guy and glorify sin like everyone else, God is dishonored.

Titus 2 speaks about how Christians should act. In verse 5, Paul tells us we should live in a God-honoring way, “so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”

 

Yourself

I can see your shocked expression.

Yes, the second person you should write for is yourself.

Seriously.

Because if you don’t enjoy what you are writing, then no one else will.

“But,” you might say, “Jerry Jenkins says ‘Always think reader first.’ And lots of other writers say the same kind of thing. But you’re saying to write for yourself before readers, isn’t that selfish?”

I once heard a piece of advice from Douglas Bond: “Write out of your own self-need.”

Your best writing is when you are writing what you need—not what you think others want.

Don’t be afraid to write something that’s out of “style” or everyone says is cliché.

Write what you want. Maybe you’ll be the only one who reads it, maybe it will never get past a circle of close friends, but if you enjoyed writing it, you succeeded.

 

Your Readers

And now we get to readers. They make up the largest part of your audience.

We could talk a lot about readers. But I just want to leave you with one point.

You can’t please everyone.

Your favorite book might be your brother’s nightmare. My favorite blog might have you moaning in agony.

Your story might be your best friend’s dream novel, but be epically boring to your mom.

And that’s okay.

Everyone has different tastes. And just because someone (no matter how mean they were in their comments) didn’t like your writing, that doesn’t mean your story is bad.

Just like some people love coffee and others absolutely loath even the smell. No one group of people is wrong.

So, when you are writing, aim to please God above all else. Then write something you enjoy. Finally, write for your readers, but remember that your words are not for everyone.

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

 

Your Turn!

Did my second point surprise you? Have you read anything by Jaquelle Crowe?

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale and the hot dog.
Kare and Glendale contemplate the wonder of a hot dog since processed foods aren’t available in Avendor. My poor abused characters. 😋

 

 

 

 

 

Blades of Acktar: Dare Book Review

Blades of Acktar: Dare Book Review

As promised in this post, here is my review of Dare, the first book in Tricia Mingerink’s “Blades of Acktar” series!

Dare by Tricia Mingerink is a Christian fantasy novel.

 

 

It was supposed to be a routine mission. Leith Torren was not supposed to be wounded or alone in a blizzard. Desperate for aid, he stumbles upon the home of the family he once helped to destroy.

When Renna and Brandi find a wounded Blade on their doorstep, the two sisters are faced with a dilemma—if he discovers their faith or ties to the Resistance, they’re as good as dead, but if they don’t help him, he will die. Against her better judgement, Renna tends to the Blade.

Their kindness causes Leith to question his life as a Blade of the king. He’s been taught to obey without question, kill without hesitation. When he discovers their Christian ties, he is faced with a dilemma of his own. After they helped him, he can’t very well order their deaths, can he?

 

 

 

By the end of Chapter 3, I was hooked. No doubt about it, I knew I would love this book.

It’s a medieval fantasy, minus magic and fantastical creatures. I could see Dare taking place sometime in the history of Europe, so it’s not really “deep” fantasy.

The coolest part of Acktar, in my opinion, are the Blades. They’re the villain, King Respen’s, personal assassins. They have capes (I think), horses, and lots of knives (hence the fact they are called “Blades”). 🗡🗡

Dare isn’t an allegory, but the Christian faith is clearly presented. Several characters are Christians and they quote Scripture verses a lot. The book of Daniel is very important to the story. 🦁

I loved all the characters, particularly Leith and Brandi. They have earned spots on my favorite characters list!

I was intrigued by the suspense and danger Tricia wove throughout the story.

But the ending was awful, as in HOW DARE YOU END IT LIKE THAT? The kind of ending that makes the reader part of me mad, but the writer part happy. Absolutely beautiful. 😍

I can’t wait to read Deny (book two in The Blades of Acktar series).

 

 

Content Warnings

In the very first scene, one of Leith’s companion’s has kidnapped a girl so, as he put it, “we’d have some fun while we wait.” But nothing happens and Leith is adamant that his companion let the girl go. I just spoiled the first two pages. 😛

No language.

There was a bit of romance. But it was clean and there wasn’t very much of it.

Several times there is mention of blood, wounds, stitching said wounds, and cauterizing other wounds. As well as a knife fight or two.

A guy does take off his shirt to show he isn’t hiding any weapons, as well as for a healer (a girl) to take care of his injuries.

 

Overall, I loved Dare. It will be a re-read for sure!

I would recommend this book to lovers of Jaye L. Knight, C.S. Lewis, or just Christian fantasy fans in general.

You can find Tricia Mingerink on her blog here.

 

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

 

Your Turn!

Have you read Dare? Do you like medieval fantasy? After reading this review, do you want to go out and buy some throwing knives so you can pretend to be an assassin? 

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale visits the library
Glendale was getting restless, so we went to visit the library!

 

Glendale reads a book
He found a book just his size! (It’s A Tale of Tom Kitten, but he didn’t want me to tell you. 😛)

 

Glendale goofs off
Then he decided to try reading upside down. *facepalm*
2019 To Be Read List

2019 To Be Read List

I have a very, very long TBR (to be read) list for 2019. And it’s sure to grow faster than it shrinks. Such is life as a bookworm. 😁📚

Most are fantasy, but there are a few exceptions here and there.

As the aspiring librarian that I am, I alphabetized this list by author’s last names. 😎

 

Gillian Bronte Adams: Songkeeper and Song of Leira

After reading the first book (Orphan’s Song) in “The Songkeeper Chronicles” over the summer, I’m excited about the last two books in the trilogy. And the cover of Song of Leira is awesome. So mysterious and cool!

 

Song of Leira by Gillian Bronte Adams

 

Moody Adams: The Titanic’s Last Hero

This is actually a true story. I’m pretty sure I’ve read it before, but I don’t remember too much about it. There are so many Titanic books, but this one is different. It’s about John Harper, a pastor who drowned when the ship sunk. Although it promises to be sad, I’m excited to read it.

 

Rachel Coker: Interrupted

I read this book a couple years ago. It was amazing. I nearly cried and I can’t wait to read it again. Plus, it’s written by a young author, like me!

 

Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities

This is one of my favorite books overall, but it’s my favorite of Dickens’ books (at least, of the ones I’ve read). I’m hoping reading it a second time will be easier than the first time I read it for literature. 😅

 

Leah E. Good: Counted Worthy

Yet another re-read and young author. This one is a Christian dystopian. I really enjoyed it, even though it was heart-wrenching.

 

Sandra Merville Hart: A Musket In My Hands

I actually got to meet Ms. Hart at a book fair. I even got this copy autographed! It’s a historical fiction set in the Civil War. Unlike most CW books, this one is told from a Southern perspective.

 

Michael A. G. Haykin: Eight Women of Faith

Another nonfiction book! I’m very interested in reading this book. I started it awhile ago, but it was hard reading. But I’m up for the challenge!

 

C. R. Hedgcock: Summer of Suspense

One of my writing friends has been after me to read the “Baker Family Adventures” series. So this year, I’m going to actually read them. Years ago, I read the first four, but that was years ago—you know, when books were inscribed on cave walls—so I don’t remember too much about them.

 

Michelle L. Levigne: Odessa Fremont

I also met Ms. Levigne at the same book fair I met Ms. Hart. This book is the prequel to the “Guardians of the Time Stream” series. I haven’t read the series yet, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to start with the prequel. I don’t usually read time travel (I find it confusing) or steampunk (in fact, I never have), but I’m going to give it a go this year!

 

DiAnn Mills: High Treason

Yet another author I have met! But I met Mrs. Mills at the Taylor Professional Writers Conference in August 2018, not at a book fair This is (or was at the time) her latest release. I’ve only read a couple other books by her so far, but the last suspense I read was really good.

 

Jennifer A. Nielsen: The False Prince

My writing mentee suggested I read this series. It looks really cool! And the catch-line on the cover is intriguing: “Choose to lie…or choose to die.”

 

Mrs. E. Prentiss: Stepping Heavenward

My mom gave me this book a while ago. It’s nonfiction and looks pretty interesting. It’s about a young woman’s Christian walk.

 

Mollie E Reeder: The Electrical Menagerie

I won this book from one of Gillian Bronte Adams’ giveaways. It’s another steampunk, so not on my usual reading list. But I’m intrigued by it just the same.

 

Brandon Sanderson: The Way of Kings

I’ve only ever read one of Sanderson’s books before and it was pretty good. This one is ginormous! I mean, 1258 pages? If I manage to read this whole thing this year, I’ll be shocked. 😅

J. R. R. Tolkien: The Two Towers and The Return of the King

No, I have not read the entire trilogy yet. No, I have not seen the movies. Yes, I have played (most) of the video game. I’m tired of being the only fantasy author who hasn’t read LotR. 😂 But I have read The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring. And I just watched the first Hobbit movie with my brother.

 

K. M. Weiland: A Man Called Outlaw

I’ve only read Weiland’s nonfiction books on writing. But I thought I’d try her fiction. This one is historical. It has a western feel to me–outlaws, ranches, and gunmen.

 

Jill Williamson: By Darkness Hid

I got this book for Christmas last year and I still haven’t gotten around to reading it! I’ve heard really good things about this book and I can’t wait to dig in.

 

Katherine Wilson: Maidens of Malidone

This is a three book series. I read the first book (The Stolen Princess) a while ago, but once again, I don’t remember too much about it. They are also written by a young author!

 

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

 

Your Turn!

What is on your 2019 TBR? Have you read any of these books? Would you like to see a review of a particular one on my list?

 

Where’s Glendale?

 

Glendale and Gandalf
Gandalf was positive he was talking to Legolas. I guess that’s what happens when you look like a famous elf. 😛