Looking Back // September [2017] + Hiatus Announcement

September 29, 2017

September is over -- and none too soon! It's been a very eventful month and I'm excited to go over it and all that I have accomplished. I realized that I was using fall images for my August recap -- like, what??? August recap doesn't call for fall colors. Yet. But. Since what was done was done, I don't want to go back and change anything -- and you'll just have to put up with more yellow, orange, and red. Okay???


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor // mwahahahaa... I finally finished this monster at the beginning of this month! BUT IT TOOK LIKE TWO FULL MONTHS TO READ??? It's like reading LotR!!! I don't have a review for this up yet but it's coming sooner or later (probably later). In the meantime, it's all worth your time just because LAZLO STRANGE. But considering everyone's tastes... don't get this if you are looking for something fast pace. This has. so. much. prose.

The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith // Nonfic, anyone? We were going to give this away, so I thought I'd just quickly zip through it to see what it was about. And I did. In two days. But. Even though it can be pretty intellectual for some people, it's SO FULL OF WISDOM I DECIDED TO KEEP IT. It's one of those ones you can't fully digest in only two days. You need to do what it says. Take all those tips. So ... it's packed along!!!

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo // Sooo ... haha. I JUST PLAIN LOVE DIANA. But. This was a kind of "girl with special powers goes on a quest with a quirky band to save the world" not "famous superhero fights crime and tries to save city from arch nemesis evil villain". So it wan't exactly what I had hoped for. Also had some "meh" issues. I'll have GR review up someday, so don't worry. But it had a spectacular twist thingy with the villain MWHAHAHAHAHAAAA.

Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World by Bryan Davis // Erm so you all have already read my review of this one right? If you haven't GO DO SO NOW. Okay, so you have? Great. You'll know in that case that this one is a fabulous MG novel that has just been released by Bryan Davis!!! And you ought to go read it. Becasue it's fabulous, right?

True Grit by Deborah Meroff // I bought it a while back from a thrift store because I FREAKING LOVE THE AUTHOR'S OTHER BOOK. But this was a hard read. Harsh. Gritty (haha get it?). Uncomfortable. Disturbing. Arousing. Painful. But still SO FULL OF HOPE. It'll really urge you to pray hard and give you greater awareness of the evil world and what amazing things God is doing there. But not recommended for young or sensitive readers, okay? Probably not for anyone under 14 (if you know what's sensible for you). So use your head here :)

So I told you I'd get back on track and I HAVE!!! I'm still working on Broccoli Queen plus some side projects and so forth. I feel it's safe to say that collectively I've written 20 K this month. Yay. I've gotten like ten times further with this book than any other ever. And I really credit you all for inspiring me and just being there. And I have written all of this months posts -- and next months too -- so that counts, right?

Umm ... why did I ever start this section? *stares off into nothing for full ten minutes* *scrambles to scroll through update feed*

So I'm here with some awesome posts of the month which you really don't want to miss! Let's recap:

- Katie Manning (aka K. A. Emmons) wrote this fabulous post about little things which WE ALL NEED.

- Christine had similar thoughts here and it's so good to be reminded of what's important!!!

- Tracey had this beautiful poem called "Hey Dreamer" and it could almost be a song, don't you think?

- Julia arranged #7DAYBIBLEDARE and it was amazing!!! Seriously go check it out. Even if you "missed" it it's never too late to try for yourself!!!

- Where Dandelions Grow was released this week! Yay! Read this post plus go say hi and congrats to Lydia Howe. And she had a giveaway!!! Which you shouldn't enter so I have a bigger chance of winning (jk, jk ... maybe?)

- Jonathan shared the first scene of his book LOL (so it DOESN'T stand for Laugh Out Loud or anything like that - it's Library of Lies hahahah.) I'd just give you the link to the doc but umm no you need to read his post on re-writting first, okay?

- Marrock has the first chapter of Quantum Gears up so GO READ THAT ASAP. The premise is like mind-blowing amazing. But shh I haven't actually read the full thing in detail -- more like skimmed over -- have been super busy -- sorry, Marrock D:

- And last but not least Hannah White did this epic guest post for Savannah's blog and like IT'S A SISTER TO MY OBSERVATION POST!!! It's so epic and terrific you should check it out ^-^

No movies this month for you guys, sorry. But we still did snag a few Poirot movies. Poirot is the best <333 And Death on the Nile, though it's super tragic and is riddled with the usual Agatha Christie insta-love, has such golden characters I CAN'T EVEN.

Now the the hiatus announcement. WE ARE MOVING. No surprise, I know. But this means that I will go on semi-hiatus because moving = lots of work + stress. Right now I am experiencing the minimalist life with nothing but two books and three notebooks and three pens one of which has run out of ink and plus my awesome laptop which decided to go on hiatus too unfortunately!!! Yeah :P The house. is. so. bare. There's nothing but echoes all over #fun.

But this means I'm going to be slightly absent from the internet in the next month (sorry). So I'll be reading all your posts (but I may not be able to comment). And I may or may not have a prewritten post going up every week.
I said my computer decided it was time to die and now I have nothing convenient availabe to type on so we'll see how it goes. But feel free to comment here even though I may not reply until November!!!

So have fun while I'm gone and let me know if I missed anything epic!!!

Have an amazing October <333
(Because obviously it is the best month ever with my birthday and all ... ahem)

-- lisa

Tell me all about your month!
How much did you write? Read? 



September 26, 2017

I know I'm one day late posting but you will soon understand why I made an exception for this beautiful little contemporary that I've already talked about before - as well as reviewed on Goodreads!

So, I present to you ...


What happens when your world falls apart and your dreams are mocked by those closest to you? 

Destiny’s idyllic childhood full of laughter and cousins abruptly ended when her mom uprooted the family to move them across the country with strict instructions to never talk about Swallow Ridge again. Eleven years later Destiny moves back to her hometown, determined to find her cousins… and answers. 

Plagued by generations of bitterness and manipulation, Destiny hides her life-long goal - unwilling to let anyone else trample her fragile dreams. But living in the cozy town full of dandelions teaches Destiny there’s more to life than what she’s been taught. 
Is it possible Swallow Ridge not only holds the answers Destiny so intensely searches for, but also the hope?

Find the Book: Goodreads // Amazon

I happen to be one of the reviewers for this book as well -- not only blog tour participant. So I can personally vouch that this book is well worth your time! And it's like $.99! So. Here are some good points to get you started (basically stolen off my Goodreads review):

- It's about cousins! And I love cousins, you know - both my own and cousins in books! I mean, it's not actually /that/ common? We have friends and siblings and lovers and parents but not as much of cousins as there could be! 

- And all the character are SO endearing and lovable :D I couldn't believe it. I WANT TO MEET THEM ALL. The main characters - the four cousins - are so lovely and their relationships/personality is just gold. And then the new friends Destiny makes - they are such beautiful humans and so supportive and EVERYONE NEEDS FRIENDS LIKE THAT.

- It's about dandelions. The dandelions are a symbol - and if you've read enough of my reviews YOU KNOW I LOVE SYMBOLISM AND HIDDEN MEANING.

- It takes place in this awesome little town. And hey, I RELATE TO LITTLE TOWNS WHERE YOU BASICALLY WALK EVERYWHERE. It's a lovely little place which I really. really. need. to go and. visit.

- It's about pursuing you dreams, and the definition of success, and relationships. Such relatable and wonderful things - I mean, you will connect to it immediately when you read it!

- It's about writers! And writing! And all you writer friends, YOU WILL LOVE IT. And you'll totally relate to what it feels like sharing your work with the world <3

- It's about a delicious bookstore called Noveltea!!! It's like the dream workplace of any writer/reader and FOR THAT ALONE YOU MUST READ THIS, JUST SO YOU CAN GO SEE HOW AMAZING THIS BOOKSTORE IS.

- It's about a reunion after years and I JUST NEEDED THAT BEAUTY because it's particularly relatable to me because I've been dreaming about such reunions for year and so on ...

- AND THE THEME THOUGH. AND THAT PHRASE THAT SUMS IT ALL UP. It's gorgeous, guys - you need this motto in your life. /take the higher road/ The messages are just plain wonderful and so true <3

- And this is just me - but I have been plotting a tale remotely similar to this and so it was really good for me to see how this author did it :D

Describe yourself.

I’m one of those quirky, random, excitable people who are fun to be around in small dosages. My days include a lot of cooking (I work at a coffee shop that serves food), books (including a hidden library), cutting grass (my lawnmower’s name is Chadwin), and writing. Traveling is something I find to be really fun, and I’ve been blessed to travel to five continents. Sparkly socks, cotton candy,  skunks, ice cream with sprinkles, autumn, fuzzy bunnies, and lilacs are some of my favorite things.  I’m so thankful for the life God has given me. 

What's your favorite color?

Some shades of blue, and also a certain dark red. 

Describe your main character in five separate words.

Loyal. Confused. Nostalgic. Writer. Searching. 

In seven separate phrases tell us what your book is about.

1. About growing up and learning from past mistakes. 
2. Family, friendships, and bonds that last over the years. 
3. A homey college town, cozy bookstore, and coming home. 
4. Learning when it’s worth it to pursue your dreams, and when it’s better to let them go. 
5. Creativity and the work it takes to become an artist.  
6. Taking the high road. 
7. Finding answers to a decade-old question. 

If you had to write another novella about another character from your book (besides the mc) who would you choose and why?

Originally I wanted to write a novella from the viewpoint of each of the four cousins - I doubt that will happen now, though. But, if I did write just one more book, I think I would choose to write it from Teal’s point of view. In fact, at one point in time, I did begin plotting the story years ago. I would choose Teal because I’ve imagined her backstory the most and find her really interesting. 

Who is an author you want to write like?

Catherine Farnes books take me away and sink me right into a story. Although I don’t want to copy her style, I would like it if my books did the same thing to readers. 

What did you turn to/do when you felt stuck and dry in your writing?

Whenever I feel stuck I try and immerse myself in creativity - reading good books, coloring pictures, looking up interesting words, playing games, practicing thinking like a kid, stuff like that. Then I sit down and force myself to write. 

Do you remember the moment inspiration first struck and what was it like?

I was sitting at my cousin’s graduation party, listening to another cousin playing her cello, and boom, the idea came to life. 

If you had the chance to send this to one author you admire for feedback who would it be?

Probably Catherine Farnes. ;) 

Why did you choose to indie publish?

I’ve been both traditionally and indie published before. I chose to indie publish Where Dandelions Growbecause I wanted to get another book out there fairly fast while waiting for a couple of the books I’m currently working on to be traditionally published. 

If you could go back and do one thing differently in your writing/publishing process what would it be?

Study the craft more at an earlier stage. 

In one sentence tell us what writing this has taught you.

The power of setting a reasonable writing goal and sticking to it. 

Lydia Howe (aka Aidyl Ewoh) is a twenty-something adventurous author who is partial to hiking in the mountains of Asia and South America, building life-size models of dinosaurs, taking road trips across Europe, visiting friends in Africa, growing up in a barn and everything in-between. She currently works in a coffee shop during the day and concocts stories by night. 

Find her online at her:  
Blog // Youtube // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Instagram // Google+ 

are you going to read it? what kind of first impression did you receive? and don't you just love those dandelions? 



September 22, 2017

Hi all! This has been a "superhero-y" month in my book life! I've read three superhero novels -- one of them being the one I'm about to introduce you to now! It's Bryan Davis's latest: Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World. I was probably a bit impulsive when I signed up to read and review it, but it turned out to be one of the best books I read this month xD

Eddie Hertz is smart, real smart. He has to be. What other twelve-year-old patrols the streets of Nirvana alone, hoping to foil the schemes of the evil Mephisto? Since Eddie is small for his age, he trusts in his Batman-style gadgets belt and acrobatic skills as well as lots of experience, like knowing how to swing across dark alleys without being seen.

Eddie has a dream, to become like Damocles, Nirvana’s great superhero. To make that dream come true, Eddie invented a device that is supposed to give him superpowers, but using it on himself is dangerous, maybe even fatal. He doesn’t have the nerve to try it.

When Mephisto unleashes an earthquake machine on the city, Eddie gets a surprising teammate — his quirky eight-year-old sister, Samantha, who comes up with an unexpected way to help Eddie in the frantic battle to prevent the biggest earthquake of all.

Since Damocles has lost his ability to help in physical form, Eddie and Samantha are the only hope for Nirvana and the world.

It's a 250 pager, so not too long. It took me about three days to go through, and turned out to be pretty engaging and fascinating.

First, of course I'd like to point out that I am not exactly in the "intended age group". This is an MG novel. I'm going to have to talk about it on my level, plus on a middle grade level.

For my fellow teens, you'd probably enjoy this well enough as a quick easy-to-read-and-understand book. I think you'll love the characters, grin at the twists, nod at the plot, and laugh at the humor. I doubt it will shake you up or that it will give you any huge surprises and you will certainly feel entirely "safe" while reading it. And it may even be a breath of fresh air from the intensity and grittiness of YA.

For MG readers, this book is pretty much perfect. It's completely clean and contains all you are looking for in a good dose. It's easy to follow and understand and it won't bore you at any instance with long winded thoughts, observations, or descriptions xD

Eddie Hertz is an excellent narrator -- relatable too. Not exactly who I am now, but what I was, or could have been :D His struggles are are, for the most part, pretty real, expected, understandable and relatable for a 12-year-old superhero. Sam is such a blast to have around! She's really sweet and hilarious and so completely accurate as a little sister. The sibling relationship was just so spot on the whole time. And these two as a team? I. so. support. GO YOU. Their mom is actually not hugely in there for the first half, but later on oh yeah. And it was surprising + nice the way parents and grown ups were included!

Damocles was basically all you expect in a superhero admired by a kid, and Mephisto was basically ... all you expect in a super villain with a few amazing twists thrown in there ;)

I just love them all and am pretty impressed with the fact that absolutely NO ONE ANNOYED ME AT ALL. Not. once. The characters were definitely the best part. Real and relatable enough -- with some standard "cliche-ness" thrown in to make me grin -- and the humor was totally gold :D

Plot wise, I think it would keep younger readers completely engaged and give them a thoroughly exciting ride. Even for myself I never got bored. I liked it that even though there was this one main goal there were still all these various side problems/issues popping up all the time that had to be dealt with as well.

As for the superhero/villain high tech stuff it was pretty fantastic -- complete with super gadgets and mind blowing technology. It was all explained in such a nice simple way. We need this simplicty in YA, okay? Because my brain's understanding of how technology/magic works = the understanding of a ten year old. *shakes head*

The themes -- while maybe simple to us YA readers -- are probably just perfect for middle graders and they do ring true for me too. I can maybe appreciate them even better? And they meld with the story so well. Not only the explicit themes, but the implicit ones as well. Just by the actions and decisions and examples, I think it's all amazing! It would be healthy reading for anyone xD

And finally, considering the fact that I'm reading superhero stories in order to learn to write them, my appreciation of this is even higher than normal :D So what can I say but, THANK YOU BRYAN DAVIS!

All in all, I think this would make an enjoyable read for all you guys -- BUT ABSOLUTELY THE PERFECT BOOK TO RECOMMEND/GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SIBLINGS/FRIENDS/COUSINS!!!

So what are you waiting for? Go add it to your tbr!

So, my friends, there are two giveaways! (*cheers*) The winner of the first one gets any Bryan Davis book of his/her choice, plus a Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World t-shirt and bookmark.

The second one is the GRAND PRIZE contest. (Grand prize = the items of the first giveaway + a complete Bryan Davis book series or $50 Amazon gift card). All you have to do is hunt through all the blog tour posts and collect numbers from each, add them all up, and plug the sum into the Grand Prize Rafflecopter. The numbers might be announced out right, or stealthily inserted into the post. But they all should be highlighted or underlined in one way or another so that it won't be hard for you to find them!

Here is a list of all the blog tour participants so that you can start the number hunt!
Wednesday, September 20th

Tour Kickoff @ The Author’s Chair
Book Spotlight @ Backing Books
Book review and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Zerina Blossom’s Books
Book Spotlight and Review @ The Spooky Bookshelf
Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Scattered Scribblings
Book Review and Character Interview @ Light and Shadows

Thursday, September 21st

Book Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Red Lettering
Spotlight and Author Interview @ The Reader Addict
Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ target verified
Book Review and Character Interview @ Hidden Doorways
Book Review @ Ashley Bogner
Book Review @ The Page Dreamer

Friday, September 22nd

Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Story of Fire
Book Review @ Inkwell
Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Liv K. Fisher
Book Review @ writinganyone
Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Superheroes @ Dreams and Dragons
Author Interview and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ March to a Different Drum
Book Spotlight @ Author Jaye L. Knight

Saturday, September 23rd

Author Interview @ Jessi L. Roberts, author
Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Book Lovers Life
Book Review and Character Interview @ Verbosity Reviews
Book Spotlight, Author Interview and YOU WRITE: Superheroes @ Creature of Graphite
Character Interview @ Wanderer’s Pen

Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Adventure Awaits

Bryan Davis is the author of the Dragons in Our Midst, Oracles of Fire, Children of the Bard, the Reapers Trilogy, Dragons of Starlight, Tales of Starlight, and the Time Echoes Trilogy, fantasy/science fiction/dystopian novels for youth and adults. His first novel, Raising Dragons, was released in July of 2004, and several books in that series have hit various bestseller lists, including Eye of the Oracle, which hit number one on the CBA Young Adult best-seller list in January of 2007.

Bryan was born in 1958 and grew up in the eastern U.S. From the time he taught himself how to read before school age, through his seminary years and beyond, he has demonstrated a passion for the written word, reading and writing in many disciplines and genres, including theology, fiction, devotionals, poetry, and humor.
Bryan is a graduate of the University of Florida (B.S. in Industrial Engineering). In high school, he was valedictorian of his class and won various academic awards. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and voted Most Likely to Succeed.
Bryan and his wife, Susie, work together as an author/editor team to create his imaginative tales.

There you have it, friends! Go hunt down the numbers, get the book on your tbr, and stalk all the interviews! You know what to do :)

Have you read this book?
Or anything else by Bryan Davis?
Will you?

© Lisa Elis 2017-2019. All text mine unless otherwise credited. Please do not steal. Thank you.