Category: Fun Stuff That Doesn’t Fit Anywhere Else

A Silence in the Shadows Book Release! Reviews and Author Interview!

A Silence in the Shadows Book Release! Reviews and Author Interview!

On Monday, Caleb E. King’s debut novel, A Silence in the Shadows, released!

Since I’m on Caleb’s street team, I go to read an ARC (advanced reader copy) before it was published. My younger brother also read it and wrote a review of his own.

Now I have several things to share in this post, so let’s start with the interview! As usual, my questions are in bold and Caleb’s responses are in regular text.

Caleb E. King
Caleb E. King

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m a homeschooled teen and a grateful child of God. I started writing when I was eight and haven’t stopped since. Besides writing I love reading, drawing, and hanging out with my friends.

You’ve been writing much longer than I have! When did you start writing A Silence in the Shadows?

July 23rd, 2016

Wow! It’s impressive you remember the exact date! What inspired it?

Well, I remember wanting to make a story with the main characters cool ninja-like people, and have them infiltrating castles and fighting their enemies. That’s basically what it sparked from, and then the story just unfolded from there!

Do you have a favorite memory from writing A Silence in the Shadows?

Hmm, I actually don’t remember a lot of the writing process of it…some of the dialogue was really fun to write though.

Dialogue is always fun to write! Which authors have inspired you the most?

J. R. R. Tolkien, Chuck Black, and Andrew Peterson!

I’ve read at least one thing by all of those authors! Do you like to listen to music while you write?

I used too, but not so much anymore. I haven’t tried it in a while though…I may try it again.

What is your favorite Bible passage (or verse)?

I don’t think I really have a certain favorite, but I like Psalms 100 and 111 a lot!

I know! It’s so hard to choose! Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

Yep! I enjoy reading, drawing, making my own comic books, and creating 2-D animations! I also make films with my friends!

That’s awesome! What’s next on your writing journey?

TAKE A BREAK. Then I think I’m going to re-write a couple short stories I wrote a while ago. After that, it’ll be on to the next book!

Enjoy your break, Caleb! Thank you for letting me interview you!

 

Want to know more about Caleb? Follow him on his blog! www.calebeking.wordpress.com

Order A Silence in the Shadows here!

(Keep scrolling for book reviews!)

A Silence In The Shadows

 

Book Review Time!

 

My Thoughts

When the Willii brothers, Jered and Faal, discover a close friend is actually a wizard in disguise, they are thrown into a conflict bigger than they ever imagined. Sure, they knew the tax collectors were evil, but they didn’t know they oppressed more than just the Willii’s village.

They also didn’t know their friend’s ex-apprentice is the man behind it all.

And they are the only two people who can stop him.

After the tax collectors burn the brother’s village, the two boys join the Silents—masters of stealth and hand-to-hand combat—in order to find a way to defeat the tyrannical reign of the rouge wizard.

***

Overall, I thought this was a good story. I haven’t read middle-grade in a while, so please note my comments come from the perspective of a YA author and reader. 😊

I enjoyed the relationship between the two brothers, Jered and Faal. It felt realistic—they neither hated each other nor got along all the time. I can’t decide which brother I like better—serious Jered or mischievous Faal.

My favorite character was actually Belak. He seemed to have an interesting backstory and I would have liked to learn a bit more about him.

I really liked all the fantasy creatures Caleb created. I could picture them really well.

If I could be in this book, I’d be a Silent. They’re basically like ninjas and ninjas are cool. And magical ninjas are even cooler. 🐱‍👤

The ending was really good. I didn’t expect it, but it was awesome!

A few things I didn’t like:

  • There were too many fight scenes. Every few pages it seemed like the characters were fighting the tax collectors.
  • The point-of-view character shifted a bunch. It made it hard to follow, particularly during action scenes.
  • The side characters were a bit hard to tell apart and flat.

 

Content

There was a lot of fighting, but I don’t think there was anything graphic. A few mentions of blood. Lots of bad guys die. (Someone explodes at the end.)

Since Jered and Faal have wizard powers, there is magic. They don’t use it very much and it’s more like “using the Force” than spell and potion magic. It’s not anywhere close to witchcraft. The main villain did cast a spell on his minions, but that’s all.

There was no romance whatsoever, which was nice, so the reader can focus more on the brothers’ relationship.

It was completely free of language!

 

Book Review Two!

This review was written by my brother!

In “A Silence In the Shadows” by Caleb E. King, Jered and Faal Willii are plunged into a desperate battle against the evil rejected wizard apprentice, Ath, after their old friend Flogii tells them that they have the potential to become wizards.

They will meet and receive powers from an old hermit wizard in the mountains, and will discover who the so-called “tax collectors” really are.  When the odds become too great for the two boys, they are rescued by a masked warrior…  and plunged into the world of the resistance fighters, the Silents.

They train hard and become fast friends with members of the Silents such as Crater, Belak, and Angela.  They race in a desperate rush to stop Ath from being able to control everyone with the Melker stone.  It comes down to a final battle between the boys and Ath to determine whether the world is broken or saved.  But you have to read the book to find out who wins!

Personally, my favorite person was Jered.  I thought the relationship between the two boys was interesting, and Flogii being a wizard was very surprising.   My favorite parts were the battles , and that the Silents were basically ninjas (of course, being a boy, I’m more prone to like things like that than others).  Something I really appreciated was that there wasn’t any romance (barf!).  Overall I’d give this a 5-star rating.

 

Want to buy A Silence in the Shadows? Click here! 

Sunshine Blogger Award!

Sunshine Blogger Award!

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog. (Thank you for tagging me, Fe! https://theunshaken.blog/)
  2. Answer the questions provided by the blogger who nominated you (11 maximum).
  3. Nominate new bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger logo in your post.

 

Fe’s questions are in bold and my answers are in regular text.

 

  1. What’s your favorite book of all time? (Yes, I just went there.)

This is actually an easy question for me. Of course, now that I said that, a million different books flew into my mind declaring they are my favorites.

But my most favorite book is either Resistance or Samara’s Peril both books from Jaye L. Knight’s The Ilyon Chronicles.

 

  1. Do you play sports? If so, which one?

I don’t play any sports, but I love watching baseball.

 

  1. What’s your favorite type of music?

I like soundtracks, almost anything by The Piano Guys, and Casting Crowns. It depends on the day, and what I’m trying to do when I’m listening to it.

 

  1. What is your favorite Bible Verse?

My favorite passage is Romans 8:38-39.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

  1. Do you have any siblings?

Yup! I have one younger brother.

 

  1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

The ability to work really fast. I tend to commit to too many things, so being able to fly through my projects, while still doing a good job, would be super helpful. 😉

 

  1. What is your favorite joke? (I hope you have one. I love jokes. Especially corny ones with puns.)

It’s more of a riddle, but here you go:

Paul’s parents have four children: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. What is the name of the fourth child?

 

  1. What’s your favorite quote?

I don’t have one, I’m afraid.

 

  1. Do you have any advice for all of us Christian teens?

Yes! I just read something in one of Chapel Library’s “Free Grace Broadcasters” (Thoughts for Young People, Issue 212, page 21) that hit me. “There is not one duty of true godliness binding upon you in future years that does not rest with all its authority upon you [now]. Is youth the season for sinful pleasure then? Is this best and most influential portion of your existence to be deliberately given up to vice? That is a dreadful idea, repugnant alike to reason and revelation.” ~John Angell James

 

  1. If you could go back in time, what would you change?

This is hard. Because there are so many things I’d like to change, but if I changed them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. So I guess I wouldn’t change anything.

 

  1. And now for the MOST PROFOUND QUESTION IN THE BOOK OF SUPER DUPER IMPORTANT QUESTIONS… Drum roll please… what is your favorite color? XD

Blue. Particularly very dark navy blue. =D

 

 

My 11 questions for you!

  1. Christmas candy or Easter candy?
  2. Do you like to read non-fiction or fiction better?
  3. Have you ever seen the ocean? If so, which one(s)?
  4. Ice cream in a bowl or on a cone?
  5. What’s your favorite movie?
  6. Can you whistle?
  7. At an amusement park, are you the cautious type or the reckless type?
  8. Do you like butterflies?
  9. What is your favorite book of the Bible?
  10. Flip-flops, yea or nay?
  11. What is the first thing you remember yourself as a kid wanting “to do when I grow up”?

 

I don’t know very many bloggers, and I just did a blog tag not that long ago, so if you want to do this, consider yourself tagged. 😀

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale the troll
Meet Glendale the troll. I hope you don’t have nightmares. ;D

 

 

 

 

Pananaw Blog Launch Tour!

Pananaw Blog Launch Tour!

Some of you may know Jo from her old blog, The Lens & The Hard Drive. I found her blog through several other blogs. And she is also part of The Young Writer’s Workshop!

Now, she is launching a new blog, entitled, well, I’ll just show you the graphics.

And this is Jo, the author of Pananaw!

I had the opportunity to interview Jo. (I like interviewing people, okay?) I was warned it probably wouldn’t be interesting, but we both had fun!

My questions are in bold and her answers are in italics.

 

To start things off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m Jo, and I’m a Christian Filipina writer, photographer, musician, athlete, amateur acting enthusiast, bookdragon, (I refuse to be labelled by a mere worm *sniffs*) and overall crazy.

I’m a lot of things. 😝

Bookdragons for the win!

 

How did you come up with the name Pananaw?

Well, in the beginning I always wanted to change my blog name, and at first settled on the name Viewfinder (after that important part of a camera!). But since that name was already taken, I had to rack my brain for something nobody else would think about. Since I’m Filipino, the word pananaw, which means “the way one sees things” and practically means the same thing as “viewfinder” came to mind. And stuck.

That’s very cool! 

 

Now we’re all wondering, what will you be writing about on Pananaw?

I will be writing about… exactly what I was writing about on my old blog. Everything and anything my mind comes up with. That part will probably never change. XD I might start focusing more on my culture- maybe more about weighty topics, but for the most part, the same randomness that I’ve heard some people know and love won’t change.

I’m looking forward to it!

 

What is your favorite part of blogging?

COMMENTS. I love, love, love writing, reading and answering comments! It’s lots of fun to talk to other bloggers and see what they think, share what I think, and use a lot of “XD” ‘s. Honestly, comments probably are more meaningful than likes, and that’s more than one reason they’re my favorite part.

Same here! Though I haven’t been able to figure out how to get the like button on my site. XD

 

Can you tell us about your current writing project?

Most certainly! The A’s & B’s of Normal (working title) is a story about Ricky, a young girl with ADD who would just like to be normal- but with her dad being a college professor, her mom a researcher and teacher, her brothers autistic, and none of them ever stepping foot into public school, that’s impossible- more so when she finds herself going to college. It’s one of my favorites, writing Ricky’s mind and getting to do a ton of researching about autism and ADD. 😃 And it’s driving me crazy.

Sounds cool! I like doing research. (totally hasn’t spent a whole morning researching what to do if a bear or wolf attacked you)

 

What’s your favorite Bible passage?  

I love this question! Most people just ask about verses- which is torture to answer. XD I really love Romans 8- it has helped me go through a lot of tough times and, probably of all the passages I know, has really helped me grow in my faith, and I just love it.

I love Romans 8 too! 

 

If you could bring any fictional character (your’s or someone else’s, it doesn’t matter) to life for a day, who would it be and why?

For a day? Any character? NO HELP THAT’S HARD WAH- I can’t decide on any of mine, so I would definitely bring   back … um.. Maraly Weaver from The Wingfeather Saga. Because she is really something else.

I haven’t read all of The Wingfeather Saga. *hides under a rock* But I have read the first one! 

 

What are your top three favorite:

Books?

*cries* TORTURE!

  1. Wolf Hollow
  2. Beautiful Blue World
  3. And….. Out Of The Silent Planet

 

Movies?

Clearly, I’m dying by having to pick. XD

  1. Avengers Endgame (which, I haven’t seen yet, but at the time of this release I most definitely will have and honestly, it’s already a favorite 😝 )
  2. The Case for Christ (why haven’t more people seen this?? It’s WONDERFUL!)
  3. The Lord Of The Rings (needs no further explanation for its amazingness.)

 

Snacks?

!!

  1. Bacon crumbles!!
  2. And gummy bears!
  3. And last and most importantly, ice cream. 🙂

 

Thank you so much for interviewing me, Allison! It was fun (and torturous XD) answering these questions!

My pleasure!

 

Don’t Miss a Post on the Blog Tour!

May 5:

Character Interview with Ava @ https://elysianartiste.com

Combo with Jemima Puddleduck @ https://onthewingsofadreamblog.wordpress.com

Interview with Rose @ https://apurposeofwingeddogs.wordpress.com/

 

May 6:

Combo with Grace @ https://www.gracefullyinthemoment.wordpress.com

ZCN News Interview + Spotlight with Emmie @ https://americangirlworld.blog

Interview + Blog Spotlight with Isabel @ https://chasingfantasia.wordpress.com

 

May 7:

Interview (aka squealing) with Tess @ http://steeplechase-blog.com

Charrie Interview + Spotlight with Merie Shen @ https://imperialscribis.wordpress.com/

 

May 8:

Interview with Allison Grace @ https://allisongracewrites.com/ (you are here)

Blog Spotlight with Meredith @ https://artsyarrow.wordpress.com

Combo with Christina @ https://christinaandcamera.wordpress.com

 

May 9:

Character Interview with Chloë Mali @ https://chloemali.wordpress.com/

Blog Spotlight with Maya J.T @ https://mayajt.wordpress.com/

Combo with Amie @ https://crazya.blog

Character Interview + Blog Spotlight! Penny Wood @ https://asouthernbellewithstoriestotell.wordpress.com

Blog Spotlight with Bayance @ https://bayance.wordpress.com

Blog Spotlight with Starling @ https://starling7.wordpress.com

Character Interview + Blog Spotlight with Liz @http://www.homewithhummingbirds.com

 

Glendale’s Florida Vacation (I went too!)

Glendale’s Florida Vacation (I went too!)

At the end of February, Glendale traveled to Florida. He brought his little sister (Aris), his friend (Kare), and my family.

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Getting ready to fly! From left to right: Glendale, Kare, and Aris.

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Glendale getting ready to take off from Atlanta! (Neither of us liked that airport very much. Too busy.)

 

After landing in Tampa, we had to drive to Saint Petersburg where our hotel was.

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Aw, Aris and Glendale spending some sibling time together in the car.

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
That’s Tampa Bay in the background.

 

The next day we got stuck in traffic (very, very common in Florida apparently) on the way to Sanibel Island to go shelling.

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Sunrise on the drive there!

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Here’s me looking for sea shells. I’m probably thinking about my characters.

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Glendale with a weird inflatable blue gorilla holding a car on the way back to the hotel.

On the way back to the hotel from Sanibel, we stopped at a place where you were supposed to be able to see manatees.

Glendale's Florida Vacation
No manatees. We only saw these little lizards. They were everywhere in Florida.

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
This tree looked very fantasy-like. Don’t you love the Spanish Moss?

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Glendale decided to climb the fantasy tree. It had a sign that said, “Do not climb.” He’s not usually that rebellious. Not counting the fact he’s part of a rebellion…

The following day, we went to Busch Gardens. It poured the entire time we were there. Lesson learned, you cannot dry tennis shoes with a hairdryer.

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Before Busch Gardens we saw this squirrel in a palm tree. If you live in Ohio (or somewhere without palm trees), you’ll understand why it’s funny.

 

We visited a botanical garden (and stayed dry) the next day.

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Guess what these are! Figs! They grow right on the branches of the tree.

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Trivia time! What kind of fruit grows on this plant?
a. bananas
b. jack fruits
c. pineapples

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Oh look, another lizard!

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Treebeard lives in Florida. At least, during February. (See, I’m not entirely uneducated in Lord of the Rings! =P)

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Spot the lizard! (Hint: he’s on the right.)

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
This is me pretending to be scared. We always take pictures like this on vacation.

 

The next day, we drove to Orlando to go to Sea World!

Glendale's Florida Vacation
I was bored, okay? It was a long drive to Sea World from our hotel in Saint Petersburg.

Glendale's Florida Vacation--Sea World

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation--Sea World
Glendale was glad we didn’t sit in the splash zone for any of the shows. He was afraid he would drown.

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation--Sea World

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation--Sea World
Glendale was very excited about watching the Shamu show! (excited for a usually rather stoic person)

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation--Sea World

 

Sadly, it was time for our vacation to come to an end. But the morning before we were supposed to fly home (note “supposed to”), we went back to Busch Gardens and stayed dry!

Glendale's Florida Vacation
This coaster is called Cobra’s Curse. The tower on the left is the elevator that takes the car to the top of the ride. The track isn’t connected in a loop! The cars also spin, so you wind up riding backwards a few times. It’s really fun!

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
This is Cheetah Hunt. There’s no chain up a hill, it shoots you with air, so you go from a standstill to 60 mph or so in a couple seconds! It even goes upside down! I rode it three times.

 

Glendale's Florida Vacation
Another view of Cheetah Hunt.

 

And then we sat in the airport, realized we couldn’t go home that day, got irritated, and finally got to a hotel. We flew home the next morning, with no more (major) mishaps. Except running through the Atlanta airport from one terminal to the other while having to go to the bathroom.

Now, for the most important things to remember when you go to Florida:

  1. Buy ponchos in advance if there’s a possibility of rain. It will save you tons of money. (My mom did this, and boy, we needed them!)
  2. The Atlanta Airport is incredibly huge and busy, avoid it at all costs.
  3. Even if you go to another state, your characters will follow you.
  4. Add 45 minutes to the projected drive time and then it will be accurate.

Glendale’s vacation tips:

  1. Riding around in a pink purse isn’t very dignified.
  2. Be sure to remind your author to actually take you places. Because she’ll forget.
  3. Take your author somewhere around water and she’ll come up with new ideas.

 

I hope you enjoyed all the pictures!

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

Hello and Welcome!

Hello and Welcome!

Welcome!

My name is Allison and I love writing! (You never would have guessed that on your own. 😏)

 

Who exactly am I?

Currently, I’m a homeschooled high school senior from Ohio. I live with my two awesome parents and my super cool brother. We have two cats (Oreo and Simon) and a dog (Reese).

Our cat Oreo and Reese the dog.
Oreo observes Reese the day we brought her home.
Our cat Simon
Simon stares wistfully off into the distance.
Reese the dog. Isn't she cute?
Aww. Isn’t she just the cutest?

When I’m not writing, I can be found reading, doing school, crocheting, and practicing flute.

I also love watching TV with my brother. We both are huge Star Wars fans.

 

You might be thinking, “All that is utterly fascinating, but what on earth do you actually write?”

I’m glad you asked!

I primarily write non-magical Christian YA fantasy. I’m disappointed in the selection of fiction available for teens. So many are full of language, romance, and other inappropriate content. 🤮

So, I’m committed to writing clean, worthwhile fiction that glorifies God and is enjoyable to read.

You can read all about my medieval fantasy, Checkmate, here.

I’ve dabbled in poetry and fan fiction, but I love fantasy. (No, I have not finished reading Lord of the Rings. Shame on me.)

Some of my favorite authors include: Jaye L. Knight, Carly Davis, C.S. Lewis, Jaye L. Knight, Jaquelle Crowe, Nadine Brandes, and did I mention Jaye L. Knight?

 

And now, the purpose of this blog.

First and foremost, I want this blog to honor God. I don’t want to be consumed by the number of email list subscribers, the number of comments, how many likes I might receive. I want to be focused on honoring Him above all else.

I don’t want leave a legacy. I just want to be a light for Jesus.

This blog is also for you, my dear reader. It’s for you to learn about writing, about books, all from a Christian perspective. I sincerely hope it fulfills that purpose.

And finally, it’s for me to get my writing out there. For me to make connections and learn more about the writing craft.

I hope this blog serves its purpose and is a blessing to you! ❤

 

Where’s Glendale?

I have crocheted a few of my characters. I thought it would be fun to pose them doing random things or visiting various places. Keep an eye out for them in future posts!

glendale enjoying the snow

Glendale enjoying the first snow here in Ohio.