admiration and appreciation

Shantelle, the brilliant young woman behind A Writer's Heart and author of A Dream Not Imagined, nominated Poetree for the Liebster Award! After you're finished admiring her blog (and adding her novella to your to-read list), please do come back and check out the other awesome blogs linked at the end of this post! Oh, and if it interests you, feel free to read the stuff in-between. :)

  1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 new questions.
  3. Nominate other bloggers (however many or few as you'd like).
  4. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominated.
  5. Notify the new nominees of their award.

Shantelle's questions:

1. What is the driving passion of your life?
Yaweh. And the innocent hope that, through small acts of great love, this broken creation may be restored to a beautiful state of shalom.

(also dark chocolate. and horses. and trees. and the ability to travel and experience at least a tiny portion of this incomprehensibly enormous, beautiful, greatly diverse world. and the dream that I might someday have an actual farm.)

2. Can you name a favorite character from a movie you've seen recently?
Live action: Nelson Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman) in Invictus.
Animated: Dug in Up.

3. What's one book (or chapter, verse, whatever...) of the Bible that has particularly touched you and why?
In college, when my dog died, my roommate left some chocolates and and a note with the following passage on my pillow:

"Why are you so downcast, oh my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him,
my savior and my God."

Psalm 42 (which repeats those lines over and over) has become one of my favorite psalms. Its lamenting verses often reflect so closely my own soul, and it provides a small ray of hope that doesn't allow the reader to sit still. "For I will yet praise Him" means that there is something yet to be grateful about, and therefore we must do something (praise).

4. How tall are you? *smiles*
4 feet, 11 1/2 inches (I'm an unusually tall hobbit...)

5. What's one thing a book needs to have in order to make it a favorite for you?
Hobbits. Also elves and dwarves and wizards.
Seriously, though, there's definitely no magic recipe that makes a book one of my favorites. I like realistic, relatable characters with a good deal of depth to them, as well as an engaging plot. Bonus points if it makes me cry (or laugh).

6. How did you start and what's your favorite thing about blogging?
I started blogging to get into the habit of writing at least one poem every day, and it worked for a while. After a several-month hiatus, I decided to start back up again with intermittent poems and regular book reviews. This was two-fold: to get free books for review and to start working towards freelance book editing (which I've given up on for the time being).

My favorite thing about blogging? It keeps me writing.

7. What's something exciting that has happened in your life recently?
I went to Thailand with my husband and his family. It was awesome.

8. Why do you write (blogs, books, whatever)?
I find talking about emotions incredibly difficult, but writing them is as easy as picking up a pencil and opening my soul. Even the shyest of introverts cannot hold everything inside. Like everyone else, we need to have an outlet. For me, it's writing poetry.

9. Can you describe (or find a picture of) a different-era outfit that you'd love to wear?
I like blue jeans. A lot. (Except when I'm hiking; then I want lightweight cargo pants.) Outfits from other eras typically involve dresses, and while I do enjoy wearing a dress on occasion, it's not something I'd want to run around in everyday. But, since you're asking, I suppose I'd tolerate something like this:

10. Favorite songs?
In no particular order, here is a random selection of songs that might be considered favorites of mine:

"Honey Bear" and "Blue Ridge Mountains" by The Steel Wheels
"Cowboy Take Me Away" and "Wide Open Spaces" by Dixie Chicks
"Concerning Hobbits" by Howard Shore
"Oceans" by Hillsong United
"The Harvester" by Brandon Heath
"Rise Up" by Matt Maher
"Promise of a Lifetime" by Kutless
"Praise You in This Storm" by Casting Crowns
Hymns: "Come Thou Fount," "My Life Flows On," "Will You Let Me Be Your Servant," and "Be Thou My Vision"
...and pretty much anything by Third Day or Lunasa

(aka I don't have a favorite song)

11. Any advice for your fellow Christian bloggers/writers?
Be yourself. Don't try to copy the style of that really cool blogger who makes you laugh in every single one of their posts and who has 253 followers. They get lots of comments, sure, but they're not you. Everyone has something unique to bring to this world, and you have the wonderful opportunity to weave words from your soul onto a page and share your passion with your readers. Be honest, be kind, and be yourself.

my nominations:
(I'm trying to not tag the same people I nominated last time)

Rachelle Rea at Inspiring Daring
Opal at Opal Swirls
Rachel Coker
Chloe M. Kookogey at Living on Literary Lane

my questions:
  1. How long have you been blogging?
  2. Why do you blog?
  3. What do you find challenging about blogging?
  4. What is your favorite food dessert?
  5. And while we're on the topic of food, do you prefer tea or coffee? Is there a specific kind you like, and do you have a special mug?
  6. What is your favorite tree--either a particular tree or a species in general?
  7. Who is your favorite poet, and why? (Or singer/songwriter. They're poets.)
  8. What do you enjoy doing on a sunny day?
  9. And on a rainy day? (if it's reading, tell us about your favorite reading spot!)
  10. What is the book genre you read the most often, and why?
  11. Do you have any advice for fellow bloggers?

*The pictures in answers 2 and 5 were borrowed from Bing images, and the one in 9 from Pinterest.


Half-Blood {cover reveal}

by Jaye L. Knight

about the book
The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?

See where Jace’s story all began...

coming this summer!


about the author
Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

As part of a month-long celebration for the one year publication anniversary of Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles - Book 1), Jaye is giving away several fun prizes! Enter for a chance to win using the form below! U.S. entries only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

participating bloggers


Veiled Rose (Tales of Goldstone Wood #2)

by Ann Elisabeth Stengl

from the back cover

Rose Red trusts no one with her secret. She hides in the forest, her face veiled in rags, shunning the company of all save her old father and her nanny goat. Her life is bleak and lonely.

Until she meets a privileged young man sent to spend his summer in the mountains. Headstrong young Leo startles everyone by befriending Rose Red, and together they begin searching for the monster rumored to be stalking these lands.

But the hunt, which began as a game, holds greater risk than either imagines. Soon both are forced to test their trust in each other as a far more terrifying scourge puts their entire land at risk.

my rating

my review
I loved book one, Heartless, but Veiled Rose is super creepy and a little disjointed. I couldn't figure out what exactly was going on until the very end, at which point I realized how brilliant the whole concept was... just not the execution of it.

At first, I really enjoyed reading about young Leo, and I appreciated his perspective later on as well. But the middle of the book got muddled and I didn't really connect with Rose Red, nor did I enjoy her story (which was the super creepy part). I really wanted to like Rose Red --I liked the idea of Rose Red--but I didn't find her nearly as relatable as Leo.

Nonetheless, I look forward to reading book three and continuing the series, as I'm sure (at least, I hope) this was just a little hiccup along the way.

Veiled Rose (Tales of Goldstone Wood, #2)