The 20-Question Book Tag

photo source Unsplash

 

I was tagged by Lilian to complete this tag. I love bookish tags, so I’m so excited for this one! I recommend checking out Lily’s blog, green tea with books. It’s so aesthetically pleasing and she always posts quality content. 👌

 

~ How many books are too many in a series? ~

If I like a series enough, then I won’t mind how many books are in the series! However, I kinda like trilogies. It feels like just the right amount.

 

~ How do you feel about cliff-hangers? ~

Grrr! Such a love-hate relationship here. I appreciate that they get me to read the next book, but at the same time it’s torture! 😅

 

~ Hardback or paperback? ~

Paperback.

 

~ Favourite book? ~

Just no. I can’t. No.

 

~ Least favourite book? ~

This is a hard one because if I really don’t like a book, I’ll stop reading it! So most books that I read I really enjoy! Anyway, it’s probably ‘A Prairie Tale’ by Melissa Gilbert. Little House on the Prairie is one of my all-time favourite TV shows, so I was excited to read her autobiography. You’d think that if she was using the fact that she starred in LHOTP in her title to reel people in that there’d be lots of content about what it was like working on the show and behind the scenes information, right? That’s what I was there for. I was very disappointed that it was barely touched on. Not only that, I found that I did not connect with her at all and that she came across as an entitled and nasty person. The only reason I read to the end was my hope that there would be some interesting behind the scenes info. 😶

 

~ Love Triangle… yes or no? ~

Hmm, I don’t know how to answer this one. To me, it’s more about how the author writes it than what it’s about.

 

~ The most recent book you couldn’t finish? ~

‘The Dressmaker’ by Rosalie Hamm. I loved the movie, but I didn’t get very far through the book.

 

~ A book you’re currently reading? ~

‘Cress’ by Marissa Meyer!

 

~ The last book you recommended to someone? ~

I honestly don’t remember. I don’t usually have book-ish discussions with people outside of this blog. 😄

 

~ Oldest book you’ve read (based on publication date)? ~

Aside from the Bible, ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ by John Bunyan (1678).

 

~ Newest book you’ve read (based on publication date)? ~

‘Plot Bunny to Novel: a simple guide to turning your ideas into stories’ by Kellyn Roth.

 

~ Favourite author? ~

That’s hard!! It was Karen Kingsbury for a long time, but the last couple of books that I’ve read of hers I haven’t liked as much. So I’m not sure now.

 

~ Buying books or borrowing them? ~

Borrowing! The library is what keeps me from being broke—no, in debt! I like borrowing books to read them for the first time. If I really love a book so much that I want to read it over and over, then I would definitely consider buying it! But seeing as I have no shelving in my room and use an over-stuffed box to keep my books in, I try not to buy books at this point. 😉

 

~ A book you dislike that everyone else loves? ~

I wouldn’t say everyone else loves this, but such a high rate of people do. ‘Leaving’ by Karen Kingsbury I found to be very disappointing.

 

~ Bookmarks or dog-ears? ~

Bookmarks, definitely.

 

~ A book you can reread over and over? ~

‘Waterfall’ by Lisa Tawn Bergren. Whilst I haven’t yet reread this book, I can definitely see myself rereading it numerous times! 🤩

 

~ Can you read while listening to music? ~

No way!

 

~ Multiple POVs or one POV? ~

I like both. I don’t actually think I prefer one over the other. Again, it’s more how the author executes this that matters to me.

 

~ Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days on average? ~

Definitely over multiple days. The only times I read in one sitting is if I have way too much time on my hands like when I’m sick (I’m not a fast reader, so I have to set aside a lot of time to do this) or if I’m so absorbed by the book that I neglect everything else (*cough* ‘The Hunger Games’).

 

~ Who do you tag? ~

Bayance

Lilah

Jess

Ruby Sky

Lizzy

What are your answers to some of these questions?

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13 Going On 30

A girl who’s sick of the social strictures of junior high is transformed into a grownup overnight. In this feel-good fairy tale, teenager Jenna (Christa B. Allen) wants a boyfriend, and when she’s unable to find one, she fantasizes about being a well-adjusted adult. Suddenly, her secret desire becomes a reality, and she is transformed into a 30-year-old (Jennifer Garner). But adulthood, with its own set of male-female challenges, isn’t as easy as it looks.

Sourced from Google

 

My review:

This movie has a warm, funny feel to it. If you feel like a movie where you can unwind and have a good laugh, this movie’s a good choice.

Jennifer Garner was perfect playing a “13-year-old”. She was adorable and her acting and facial expressions made me laugh so much. 😂

Really, they were all cast perfectly, I thought. 🙂 Andy Serkis was truly hilarious and Mark Ruffalo sweet.

Whilst the story wasn’t always believable, I thought everything else basically made up for it. It’s such an entertaining and adorable story. 🙂

1) Did this movie inspire me?

I don’t know about that, but there were positive themes in it.

2) Was this movie humorous?

I don’t think I have to answer this here for you to know that it’s definitely a YES from me! 😄

3) Did this movie make me cry?

No.

4) Would I watch this movie again?

Yes!

5) Would I recommend this movie to a friend?

Yes!

 

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

Have you seen this movie?

Writing Inspiration #1

sourced from unsplash

 

Welcome to the first writing inspiration blog post! I’m hoping to make this into a series. It depends if you guys like this, so leave me a comment down below if so! 💙

Basically what this series will be is a mini dump of things I’ve found lately that may inspire or prompt you to write something. They will be things that I have been inspired by myself. It’s not going to be very formal, just a splash of ideas in your inbox in the hopes that they will have a similar effect on you. 😊

It’s funny how the smallest thing can be that one idea you needed to write that story you’ve been trying to begin for weeks. So it’s my hope that this series can be the spark that starts your creative fire.

So anyway, here it is!

 

~ I’m not scared ~

This is an older video I came across the other day, and it really inspired me to just get out there and let my creativity flow; to just try at least. It’s like a short, yet soothing pep-talk by one of my favourite Youtubers. His channel has a very relaxing vibe to it, and in fact his whole channel has inspired me over the past couple of months to be bold and to create things. You can check out the video here. (The particular video that I’ve linked to is on his side-channel, but his main channel is KickThePj)

 

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sourced from Pinterest

 

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sourced from Pinterest

 

So there you go! I told you it was mini. But hopefully this prompted you in someway and gave you that extra inspiration you needed to keep writing! 💙💜

 

Would you be interested in seeing more of these posts in the future?

Christy Miller Collection Volume 4 by Robin Jones Gunn

A Time to Cherish 

For Labor Day weekend, Christy Miller is on a houseboat at Lake Shasta. What could be better? She’s about to find out! Before they know it, both Christy and her best friend, Katie, are receiving some unexpected male attention. But somehow these best friends are at odds just when they should be having the most fun together. Christy soon realizes that sometimes you have to stand back and let people make their own decisions, even when they’re headed for a fall. And although life is never perfect, this is definitely a time to cherish.

Sweet Dreams 

Christy Miller’s senior year is delicious, especially the time she spends with Todd. But her best friend, Katie, is struggling–she’s realized she needs to break up with Michael. It’s not easy! Fortunately both Doug and Disneyland help Katie to cheer up. Christy is learning to let go and get out of the way so that her friends can become who they’re meant to be…even when it jeopardizes her own sweet dreams.

A Promise Is Forever 

Christy Miller’s going to Europe! It’s a three-week missions trip with Doug, Katie, and Tracy. First stop: London for some sightseeing, and then a castle in the English countryside for group training. Christy is so excited to be headed for Belfast with her friends–despite some tension among them. But when plans go topsy-turvy at the last minute, Christy must face her fears and realize that some things are more important than her own comfort…and that even when she can’t foresee the end result, a promise truly is forever.

Sourced from Goodreads

 

My review:

So much change is in store for Christy in this volume. Some of which I found predictable, while others not at all! There were plenty of surprises in this one.

This volume covers a longer period of time than the previous volumes have and you really get to see Christy grow into a young lady. I found it quite relatable since she was reaching the age I was when when I read it. Also, there are so many new decisions for her to make at this point in her life which I found relatable too.

Out of all 4 volumes so far in the series, this would be my least favourite. However, I still enjoyed it immensely, which really says something about how highly I think of the series. 😊 This volume, Christy is somewhat detaching from her family; not in a bad way, but in a growing-up-and-becoming-independent way. By the end of this volume it was so plain for me to see how far Christy has grown from the beginning. It’s very noticeable and was handled and written remarkably well!

You obviously know by now that I really like this book. However, the reason I did not rate it 5 out of 5 stars was because I felt it to be a bit flat at times. Usually when I read Christy Miller, it’s a struggle to put down and it’s not uncommon for me to finish it in three days. This book, however, I found a little more of a struggle to “get into it”, so to speak. I did eventually, but there were several times when I found it a bit bland and so just gave it a rest.

After reading this volume, I’m all-the-more keen to continue following her life. Can I just say, I am so glad that Robin Jones Gunn eventually resumed the series because I certainly wouldn’t have liked it to all end here! 😮

1) Did this book inspire me?

Yes. The struggles Christy faces and revelations she gets from God are always inspiring because her character is relatable and flawed.

2) Was this book humorous?

Yes, I found it to be cheerful and there were plenty of giggles to be had.

3) Did this book make me cry?

I actually did cry a tiny bit in book 12!

4) Would I reread this book?

Yes.

5) Would I recommend this book to a friend?

Yes. I would definitely recommend this series as a whole! 😀

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

 

Has a book ever made you cry? Have you read the Christy Miller series?

2018 Writing Wrap-Up + Blog Update!

photo source unsplash

 

2018 was the year that I began the monthly writing wrap-ups on this blog. Meaning, that I can just look back at all those months and do a wrap-up for the whole of 2018! Woo! But that’s not all this post will be. I have an exciting blog update to share with you and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments. 😊

The update will be at the end of this post, but in the meantime, here is some blog stats from last year that I found interesting.

 

~ Top 5 Countries ~

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I find this sooo fascinating! I live in Australia, yet I got three times the views from Americans than I did Australians! 😁

 

~ Most Popular Posts of 2018 ~

2018 I published 62 posts! Here are the top 10:

Favourite Childhood Movies Tag

The Selcouth Award

Coffee Alternatives For Writers

The Heir of Yover

Liebster Award

100 Blog Followers Celebration

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack

The Versatile Blogger Award

I’m Not Ashamed

The Reading Habits Book Tag

 

I just want to thank you all for following my blog this year! At the beginning of the year I set the goal to reach 100 followers. Not only did we reach that, but we reached 181 followers! But more-so than the action of physically pressing the follow button, I really appreciate that you guys have been reading a connecting through my posts. Blogging makes me so happy, and I hope that this blog brings you some happiness too. 💙

 

~ Other Writing ~

The Heir of Yover ~ 7,891 words written

TBA Non-Fiction novel ~ 15,834 words written

The Conditioned ~ 21,000 words written

Blog ~ 19,959 words written

Diary Writing ~ 645 pages written

Songs ~ 1.5 songs written

PURSUE ~ 8 articles written

 

~ And now for the blog update… ~

So for a while now, I haven’t been that into the music reviews that I publish. What I’ve been doing is reviewing a music album roughly every six weeks. I’ve noticed that my heart just isn’t in it anymore and it feels more like a chore than a hobby, which is what I want this blog to be.

But recently I’ve been really enjoying music and “rediscovering” it, I suppose you could say. If it weren’t for me recently really enjoying music, I would be tempted to cancel my music posts altogether…

But this isn’t a positive update! I was speaking to my bestie about it, and she inspired me with this great idea to instead do posts about my favourite songs! I really love the idea and think that my heart would totally be in something like that!

So, as of now, every six months, rather than a music review, I will be posting my top 10 (or maybe 5?) songs of late. I think it’ll be a fun way for us all to share what songs we’re currently really enjoying with each other. 😃

 

I know this was “writing” themed, but tell me about your 2018 in general, and what are you looking forward to this year?

Mrs. Willows by Emma Forbes ~ Author Interview!

“Care to fill me in on this big plan of Yours, God?” Shauna Silverton was sure that the worst had happened after her father is laid off, but she was wrong. After Mama injures herself and is unable to work, it suddenly becomes sixteen year old Shauna’s responsibility to be an afternoon caregiver to the elderly Mrs. Willows. A cynical, sharp-tongued old woman with a broken past, Mrs. Willows is anything but pleasant. Friendship, even civility, is non-existent. To quit would mean freedom, but how can she let her family down when they need the money? Shauna’s faith in God is the only thing getting her through each day. But when it becomes clear that Shauna will have to keep her job indefinitely, even that begins to waver as she struggles to know the answer to the question: Can she really trust God?

Sourced from Goodreads

 

Today I’m hosting the first author Q&A on this blog! Let me introduce to you the lovely Emma Forbes! I’ve been following her blog since I started blogging three years back and I have enjoyed immensely getting to know her in that time and following her novel-writing progress. 💕

She recently released “Mrs. Willows” which she has been writing for about five years! I’m not writing a full review today, but let me tell you—her work has definitely paid off. The time and love that she has invested into this story really shows. It’s a story full of heart!

So here are the questions I asked Emma:

 

~ What inspired you to write this story? ~

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This picture! I found it on Pinterest and loved everything about it. Her outstretched hands paired with the Bible verse gave me the impression that this girl was offering herself to God, whatever He wanted her to do. So…what was the Lord asking her to do? Would she do it? And would she continue to follow His leading even when it got hard?

As I’ve grown up, my family has experienced job loss. Like Shauna, I’ve struggled to trust God when it seems like nothing is going right. So in a way, this story was inspired as much through my journey of faith as it was this picture. I suppose it’s a piece of my testimony disguised in the story of a fiction book—a call for Christians to trust God, even when it’s hard, because the God we serve is trustworthy and weaves everything, the good and bad, into His story for our lives.

~ How did the character Mrs. Willows first come about in your imagination? ~

So, here’s the things. I didn’t really know anything about Mrs. Willows until page twelve of my first draft, when Shauna first knocked on her door. I knew I wanted her to be old and grumpy. That’s about it! I don’t plan; I just write whatever pops into my head.

Then, in draft two as I started edits, I began to flesh her out. There are so many hurting, broken people in this world. People who shut everyone out and hold love at arm’s length. People who have been hurt in the past and are afraid of being hurt again. People who have tried to heal the hurt inside on their own and failed. Mrs. Willows represents those people.

 

~ When you started writing the first draft all those years ago, where did you imagine the story going? ~

Well, as far as publication-wise…nowhere! Writing has always been a hobby, one that I shared with any friends or family members who showed interest. Publication was but a dream. And a far-off dream at that, since I never saw the need (or had the desire) to edit. It wasn’t until I was into my second draft that I began to think about sharing it with more people. I had no idea how to do that though; I was too busy working on edits! 😉

Apart from publication…it has always been my dream to see God use my story to touch people’s hearts and draw them closer to Him. I’ve read fiction books that have done that for me and that is my desire for “Mrs. Willows” and any other future books I may publish. ❤️

 

~ What was your favourite part of creating “Mrs. Willows”? ~

Oh, the backstory! I mean, I enjoyed all of it (okay, okay, most of it), but I liked researching Mrs. Willows’ life and the era she would have grown up in, which was at the end of World War One and during the Great Depression.

A lot of the stuff I researched and a lot of Victoria’s earlier life didn’t make it into the story which makes me sad 😔 but nevertheless, I still quite enjoyed it. For example: For every significant event in their lives, Mrs. Willows’ husband would give her a flower. When they met he gave her a daisy; when he proposed, a rose; when they had a baby, chrysanthemums (mums—get it?), etc. That didn’t make it into the story, although I did mention it in passing. Flowers mean a lot to Mrs. Willows, obviously, and that’s why I wanted flowers on the cover.

 

~ Now that your story’s published, do you have any further writing plans? ~

For sure! My brother and I have always been close, so going off of that, I think it would be fun to write a story where to two main characters are siblings and best friends. Friends are fun, and God has blessed me with some wonderful friendships over the years. So in my head, my next book would involve best-friend siblings who drag their friends along on adventures. And yes—I have started writing. I have about six pages so far! Six pages over the course of…a few months. I’m pretty much a turtle writer. Slow but steady. 😉

 

~ When you’re not writing, what are you most likely doing? ~

Oh, that could be anything, but I suppose most likely, as you have asked, I would be hanging out with either my brother or my friends. I enjoy adventures of many varieties, such as hiking, photo shoots whilst on shopping trips, and, lately, jump roping.

 

~ What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there? ~

The same advice that Beverly Lewis gave me when I commented on a Facebook post of hers: “Write your heart.” I think that says it all. God wants to use your words for His glory and has placed that story on your heart for a reason. Trust God and write it!

 

~ What’s the best way for readers to connect with you? ~

I post updates on my Facebook page, Emma Forbes Author. Otherwise, I sporadically post on my blog, A Bookworm’s Majestic Adventures, where you can expect anything from [hopefully] funny stories to things God has been teaching me lately. It’s a smorgasbord, but I enjoy it, and I love chatting with people on either platform!

 

 

Thank you soooo much Sarah for having me on your blog today! ❤️ I really enjoyed answering these questions—even if I do have that nasty habit of procrastinating (sometimes). Thanks for being patient! 🙂

Thank you so much for your time today, Emma! Your answers are so in-depth and thoughtful and your writing journey is so inspiring! 💙

 

Have you read “Mrs. Willows”?

Monthly Writing Wrap-Up ~ December 2018

photo source unsplash

 

I usually post these wrap-ups on a Friday, but given that I have several wrap-up posts for the year in the works, I’m posting more than my usual amount this week. 😉

 

~ Blog Posts Published ~

The Problem With People-Pleasing ~ Dec 7

Bohemian Rhapsody Soundtrack ~ Dec 10

My 2018 in Books ~ Dec 31

 

~ Other Writing ~

Diary Writing ~ 4 pages written (🤫)

Wrote half a song

 

~ Writing Goals for January ~

~ Write a short story

~ Finish writing song

 

How is your writing going at the moment? Do you have any writing plans for 2019?