‘a royal masquerade’ blog tour: interview with author Allison Tebo!

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I had the privilege of reading Allison Tebo’s charming novella The Reluctant Godfather earlier this year (check out my Goodreads review here) and now with the release of the newest book in her Tales of Ambia series – A Royal Masquerade – I was fortunate enough to interview her! The blog tour is still going, by the way. Check out the previous tour post at I’m Charles Baker Harris (And I Can Read) and be sure to keep an eye out for the next post over at The Road of a Writer.

So, before we hop into the interview, let me share a little more about Allison Tebo, her new book, the blog tour…and a cool giveaway! 🙂

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Allison Tebo is a Christian author in her mid-twenties. A sales associate for a major transportation company, she writes books in her spare time. A graduate of London Art College, Allison also pursues children’s illustration and cartooning. When she is not creating art with words or paint, she enjoys narration, singing, quilting, and, naturally, baking. Allison blogs at www.allisonswell.com about the love of Christ, the joys of living, occasionally, all about the wonder of gifs.

You can find her online in a bunch of places!

Website: http://allisonteboauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allisonteboauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AllisonTebo

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16192992.Allison_Tebo

And now for the book, A Royal Masquerade

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Burndee can barely tolerate the mischievous Prince Colin, but the two of them are invariably thrown together in a way that keeps them at one another’s throats.

While attending a noblewoman’s wedding, Burndee and Colin’s private feud comes to a climax when Burndee loses his temper and does the unthinkable. With Prince Colin unable to attend to his royal duties and Burndee bound by an inconvenient spell, can the two of them work together long enough to unsnarl the mysterious goings-on around them?

A madcap and magical retelling of The Goose Girl from a unique perspective.

It sounds sooooo good. I haven’t read A Royal Masquerade yet, but I’m sure I’ll adore it. You can find the book on Goodreads and Amazon – make sure you pick up a copy ASAP to add even more fun to your holidays.

I also mentioned something about a giveaway, didn’t I? Well, it’s an awesome one!

Don’t the prizes look amazing? You can enter the giveaway here. Due to the price of shipping, Allison regrets that the first prize is not open internationally. However, the second prize is and if someone living internationally draws the first prize, they will automatically win the 2nd prize!

And nowwwwww, ladies and gentlemen…it is time for my interview with the one and only Allison Tebo!

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Welcome to the blog, Allison! To start things off, I’d love to talk about your writing routines (it is NaNoWriMo after all). What does a typical writing day look like for you? (One in which there are no interruptions or other unexpected happenstances.)

Pretty simple, actually. I try to write at least two hours a day at a specific time. From 2:30 to 5:00, my brain has been programmed to write. Cultivating this habit is really helpful in developing dedication and keeps you from being held captive to the fickleness of inspiration.

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Aside from that specific block of time—that’s about it. I try to just draft in the afternoons. I’m working on developing the habit of occasionally outlining or brainstorming in the evenings. But even when I’m not working, my stories walk around with me wherever I go, whispering new ideas to me at the most inconvenient times!

I know all about those whispers of new ideas. 🙂 We writers are never bored. So what’s your favorite part of writing the Tales of Ambia series?

I have three favorite things!

First of all, the more of a box I’m put in, the more creative I become. Ever since I was little I adored turning fairy tales on their head. It’s endlessly fascinating to see the infinite variety that can be produced out of the same story parameters. The tale of Cinderella has been retold for hundreds of years, and yet it’s always fun and always new!

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Secondly, tales are essentially allegories for rich spiritual truths and I love relating these themes. But at the same time, there is a lighthearted, magical feeling. Wisdom / whimsical is basically my writing style—and that’s what fairy tales are all about! Fairy tales were always my first love, and it feels like home to be coming back to them after so long.

Lastly, I love writing something simple that refreshes, delights, or entertains. There is no lack of gritty or heavy fiction out there, but there is a dearth of lighthearted books that make people laugh. I laughed writing Ambia and I have been overjoyed to learn that people laugh when they read them. If I can make someone laugh, then my writing days have not been wasted!

The Reluctant Godfather definitely made me laugh! Burndee is so funny and totally my favorite character – who’s your favorite character in the series so far?

I love all of my characters but if I had to choose, it would have to be Burndee. His character develops so much throughout the series. He has learned heartbreaking lessons and experienced incredible joys and I’ve walked him through every one of them. He’s such a flawed character and a relatable person to just about anyone. It’s also very therapeutic to write such a sarcastic and biting character! Get it all out on paper, as they say! *innocent smile*

Well, I can’t wait to see how Burndee grows throughout the series. Did you have to do any ‘real world’ research for A Royal Masquerade?

Not especially. I . . . *smothers smiles* . . . had to look up pictures of a certain animal to double-check the coloration of its fur. I can’t say what kind of animal! I also had to ask a beta-reader some questions about the typical procedures of wedding rehearsals. That’s about it, though. One of the other lovely things about Ambia is that, so far, I haven’t had to do a lot of research!

That’s great! Research can be time-consuming. What’s your favorite thing to eat or drink while you write?

I love to drink La Croix sparkling water or a cup of tea! Once in a while, I might have a tiny bowl of ice cream or popcorn while I write, but typically, I set a piece of my favorite kind of chocolate beside my laptop where I can look at it. I get to eat it once I hit my daily minimum and looking at it urges me to write faster! But sometimes I eat it before I start writing—for fuel. Ahem. 🙂

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I’m currently using Starbursts to bribe myself as I write. But chocolate works just as well! If you could recommend just one book on the craft of writing, what would it be and why?

In all honesty, I haven’t read a great deal of books on the craft of writing. I learned a lot through “fieldwork” as opposed to the “classroom.”

As I skim through writing books, I realize that I know a great deal of the basics they teach due to over sixteen years of writing and intensive story studying. Not to mention all of the constructive learning I have gained from my writing group—which just celebrated its 13th year anniversary! There are some outlining books on my horizon that look really good, though.

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So, long answer, I think one of the books that I would recommend is Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly by Gail Carson Levine, simply because it encourages budding authors to have a little fun. A lot of writing books can be excessively stuffy or stifling as it drills rules into you, whereas Ms. Levine’s approach is not only instructive, but reminds you that you should enjoy the process of writing.

Thank you so much for interviewing me, Eva! These questions were so much fun!

Thank you, Allison!

Have you read A Royal Masquerade? What do you eat while you’re writing? Let me know and say ‘hello’ to Allison in the comments!



‘dancing & doughnuts’ virtual world tour: interview with Rachel Kovaciny!

40200640Today on the blog I’m honoured to interview Rachel Kovaciny.  She’s the author of the newly released novella, Dancing & Doughnuts, which is a Western retelling of the classic (but little known) fairy-tale ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses’.  Rachel is a talented writer – read this interview to learn some cool things about her and her stories and then visit her website for more!

Hey, Rachel!  Welcome to the blog and thanks for agreeing to answer a few of my questions. 🙂  To start…is there one character in Dancing & Doughnuts that you like a teeny bit more than all the others?

I’ve actually got four favorites in this book, which is unusual for me. I generally have two favorites, but not this time! However, Jedediah Jones is the dearest to me. He’s my protagonist and the narrator, and he has been a delight to write.

And a delight to read!  I love getting things from Jedediah’s unique viewpoint, especially all those descriptions of doughnuts – they sound soooo good.  What’s your favorite kind of doughnut?

I love sour cream doughnuts! And these Dutch doughnuts called Crullers that are buttery and flaky.

I love both those kinds as well. (No wonder we’re friends. *grins*)  So, were there any stories (besides ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses’, obviously) that helped inspire Dancing & Doughnuts?

I’ve definitely had Homer Price by Robert McCloskey on my mind for some of these scenes. That book has a wonderful sequence where they have to make hundreds of doughnuts, and I kept thinking about it while my own characters produced veritable mountains of doughnuts.

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Oh my word, that Homer Price story is one of my favorites.  So much nostalgia for me.  And speaking of the past…did you have to do a lot of research for Dancing & Doughnuts?

I did, actually. I spent a lot of time researching the history of doughnuts to be sure I knew what forms they took in the 1860s. It turns out they were a really popular treat for Civil War soldiers! I also did a lot of research into how long carbonated beverages have been around — people first started adding fruit juice to carbonated water in the 1600s! So fascinating. I also researched dances that were popular in that era, and what dancing shoes looked like. I also looked into when different Christian denominations started congregations in Kansas. And I think my favorite thing that I researched turned out to be the duties of sergeant majors in the Union Army — my protagonist rose to that rank during the war, and is justifiably proud of doing so.

That’s a lot of research! (But all completely necessary.)  To talk about the actual writing process, though, what time of day are you the most productive, writing-wise?

Mornings have long been my very best writing time because my brain is fresh. My mind isn’t cluttered up yet with all the things I need to get done, and I can concentrate better. But these days, I do most of my writing at night after my kids are in bed. Not my favorite time but I make it work.

I’ve been getting up earlier and writing and it’s pretty fun.  But I also enjoy writing in the evenings, afternoons – pretty much any time is good for me!  If you could put your writing aside for one day and spend it with one of the characters from Dancing & Doughnuts, who would it be and why?

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I’d love to spend a day listening to Jedediah Jones tell me all about his amazing experiences growing up on the frontier and then being in the Union Cavalry during the war. He’s been talking to me for a year now, as he narrates this story, and I can’t get enough of him!

However, if I had to pick one character to spend the rest of my life with, it would be this rather marvelous rancher named John Kittredge. I think we could get along quite comfortably for decades.

Jedediah and John are both excellent choices.  I’d probably choose the same (though I believe Clara would be fun, too).  Unfortunately, I can’t keep asking you questions for forever, so I’ll close out the interview with just one more: can you tell me and my blog followers what fairy-tale your next ‘Once Upon a Western’ novella will be based on?

I’m really hoping to do Snow White next — set in a wagon train filled with former slaves on their way to new lives out west! But I have a lot of research to do for that one, so I may end up putting it off and doing a different one next. That’s the one I’m hoping to tackle next, anyway!

Thanks so much for this fun interview, Eva!

Thank you, Rachel!  I had a lot of fun with this.


Don’t forget to add Dancing & Doughnuts to your Goodreads shelf and buy the Kindle or paperback edition on Amazon!  You can check out the rest of the stops on this blog tour here.  Rachel is also hosting a super awesome giveaway for the book tour that you can enter here!

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my little brothers’ take on ‘pixar VS pixar’

So, I saw this idea on a blog (I forget which one) where you take all of Pixar’s movies (or, at least, all the ones you’ve seen) and randomly select two at a time and pit them against each other to see which is your favorite.  I did that (I’ve seen every Pixar movie except ‘Brave’ and ‘The Incredibles 2′) and it’s sitting in my drafts right now; I’ll publish it at some point.  But today I wanted to share my little brothers’ choices with you.  Along with ‘Brave’ and ‘The Incredibles 2’, they’ve also not seen ‘Toy Story’ or ‘Coco’, so it still worked out to have an even number of films.

Ethan is seven and Jonah is five and I sat them down separately (because I didn’t want them copying each other’s answers) and asked them these very important questions.  Their answers are pretty much verbatim, just with a bit of tweaking here and there.  I hope you love their honesty and adorableness as much as I do. ❤

‘Cars 3’ VS ‘Cars 2’

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E: ‘Cars 3’ because Lightning McQueen is nicer in it than in ‘Cars 2’ and because of the girl [Cruz] and how she wins in the dirt race.

J: ‘Cars 2’ because I really like Finn McMissile and I like Mater in it.

‘Ratatouille’ VS ‘Cars’

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E: ‘Ratatouille’ because it’s about chefs and I like making [scrambled] eggs and also because it has that funny grandma in it and how Remy makes that guy cook really well.

J: ‘Ratatouille’ because I like Remy in it and Emile and I like how Remy imagines Gusteau.

‘UP’ VS ‘Toy Story 2’

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E: ‘Toy Story 2’ because Woody cares about Jessie and doesn’t want to go back to Andy’s house and I like it because it’s very interesting.

J: ‘Toy Story 2’ because I like the horse in it that Woody rides on and I really like Woody and Buzz Lightyear, how he karate chops people.

‘Toy Story 3’ VS ‘WALL-E’

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E: ‘WALL-E’ because EVE is cool in it because she has a gun and the pudgy guy is nice to WALL-E and EVE and WALL-E did all of the work in the old town basically by himself and he never shut down.

J: ‘WALL-E’ because I like WALL-E how he’s a robot and how he picks up the garbage and also I like how EVE makes WALL-E back up and I like those cleaning things that clean up WALL-E.

‘Inside Out’ VS ‘Monsters University’

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E: ‘Inside Out’ because it’s very interesting and plus Bing-Bong helps Joy and Sadness.  But I don’t get why Joy is called Joy because she’s actually kind of a jerk.  And Fear is funny.

J: ‘Inside Out’ because I like Fear in it because his head gets on fire and because Anger did that and I like their computer – and their new one.

‘Finding Nemo’ VS ‘A Bug’s Life’

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E: ‘A Bug’s Life’ because they gather up all the food and then Flik gets new bugs and the Ladybug’s funny.  And also because the grasshopper dies.

J: ‘Finding Nemo’ because I like that big shark in it and because his dad tried to warn Dory.

‘Monsters, Inc’ VS ‘The Good Dinosaur’

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E: ‘Monsters, Inc’ because I like it how Sully cares about the little girl and he’s nice to the little girl and even if she gets captured he tries to get her.  And I like it because of Mike and Sully because they’re both funny, especially Mike.

J: ‘The Good Dinosaur’ because at the ending the little boy meets his mom and dad and all his family and also because I like Buck in it.

‘Finding Dory’ VS ‘The Incredibles’

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E: ‘The Incredibles’ because it’s a superhero movie and I like superheroes and plus Dash is kind of like me so I like Dash.  And what Mr. Incredible fights is really cool.  And I like it because of Mirage and because she helps them even though she’s kind of bad.

J: ‘The Incredibles’ because I like the dad of the Incredibles how they made him muscular and I like the big robot in it.


Did you agree with my little brothers’ choices?  Let me know in the comments!


“if they ain’t thrown it at me, they ain’t got it”


We are actually both Watson, with a dash of Moriarty’s wackiness at times.

You may have known this, but then again, you might not, so just in case you didn’t… Eva (of Coffee, Classics, and Craziness) is at my house right now!!!

And this is Eva, popping in to say that I’m at Hamlette’s (of Hamlette’s Soliliquy)  house right now for all those who are reading this post on my blog instead of hers.


And yes, we have been drinking coffee, watching classics, and being crazy.  By “crazy,” I mean staying up far past my bedtime, of course.  Nothing truly crazy like, I don’t know, spending all day walking around Washington D.C.

Oh, wait, we did that too.

Maybe I should let Eva write this post — I’m sleep-deprived and caffeinated, which is never the most coherent state of being for me.

That’s very true. *winks*  Last night, we watched a Glenn Ford western and a Combat! episode and we were both pretty crazy, even though we only had hot chocolate then.  We’re talking lots and lots of fangirling and general swooning.


Anyway, I feel like I should properly start with the beginning of our visit, instead of just last night.  I got to Hamlette’s house on Monday evening – I thought it was later than it was, because for some reason my family and I assumed that Virginia was an hour ahead of Ontario, time zone-wise.  But it turns out I got there with plenty of time to spare.  We talked for over an hour that first evening, and also watched a few minutes of a Combat! Recon (AKA fan convention) so I could see what Conlan Carter and Jack Hogan look like now-ish. (It was taken a few years ago.)

Over an hour?  People, I think we might need to worry about Eva’s concept of time.  We talked from 10pm to 12:45am.  “Over an hour” is an understatement 🙂

Well, I don’t own a watch, so there’s that.

So yes, we talked a lot and completely disregarded our careful planning exactly what movies and TV show eps we planned to watch together.  Oops.  We meant to watch The Young Victoria the first night, but nope, just gabbed.


And then yesterday, I played tour guide and led Eva and her pack of siblings (and their mom!) and my 3 kids all over D.C.  Highlight of the entire day was when we got to the area around the Lincoln Memorial where Steve Rogers was jogging in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  One of her little brothers just took off and ran around the whole reflecting pool.  And we all cheered and clapped for him — such a little hero!

He is!

Last night, we did finally settle down and watch a little of what we’d planned to watch together.  Sort of.  Since we’re both big fans (understatement) of Glenn Ford and westerns, I’d been telling Eva she needed to see The Fastest Gun Alive because he’s just awesome in it, and I love the townspeople, and yeah.  So we watched that.  And then we had planned to watch some Combat! together, since that show is what brought us together in the first place.  We were going to watch “The Hostages” and “The Walking Wounded,” basically her favorite ep and then mine.  But we chucked all plans out the window and watched “A Gift of Hope” instead because it’s wonderful.  We spent a lot of time talking about how lame I am for having had an idea for a fanfic story about the guest character in that one and never writing it.  Maybe I’ll throw caution to the wind and try to write it for Nanowrimo this year or something.  If a plot presents itself!


A perfectly accurate representation of how we look when we watch Glenn Ford movies + Combat!

Well, I will definitely think about plots you could use for your fanfic.  I’m not clever enough to write Avery, but I could probably (maybe) come up with a good story.

Anyway…it was very difficult to figure out what to watch, even though we had a rough idea of what we wanted to do, because when I got to Hamlette’s house, I was rather overwhelmed by the number of amazing movies and TV shows she has on her shelves.  I WANT TO WATCH THEM ALL.  In fact, I took five films to my room last night, but was too tired to even finish one. *sigh*

Which is why we’re finishing it today.  I mean, you can’t just watch half of a Glenn Ford western.  Would be so wrong.  So yup, we’re finishing Cowboy while all the little kids are playing restaurant behind us.  And speaking of cowboys, my own Cowboy just flew back from his business trip, so I’m going to go pick him up, so I’m going to let Eva finish off this post 🙂


Glenn Ford as Tom Reece in ‘Cowboy’

Thank you. 🙂  So, yes, these past few days have been very full of Glenn Ford and westerns and general awesomeness.  Including our trip to Washington DC, which was AMAZING.  Throughout so much of our visit there, I felt like Po in Kung Fu Panda – “I’ve only seen paintings of that painting!”  Only in this case it was the Washington Memorial (!!!!!!!!!!) and the White House (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and the Lincoln Memorial (!!!-okay, you get the idea) and two Smithsonian Museums (American History and Air & Space) and, yes, I loved everything.  There were many Winter Soldier and Night at the Museum jokes made, let me tell you.  My top three favorite exhibits were the LEGIT Star Spangled Banner (I had no idea it was even still around), the whip and fedora that Harrison Ford used/wore in The Last Crusade, and the original model of the USS Enterprise. *all the heart eyes*

Oh!  And I forgot to mention that I read all of Hamlet on the way to Hamlette’s house and I loved it and we talked about it more than a little.  Very cool.


Somehow I don’t think there was a method to our madness.

Hopefully you got an idea of the fun we’ve been having together.  Just a little idea. 😉 (Oh, and the title of this post comes from the aforementioned C! ep we watched together.  It’s one of the coolest lines in the entire show.  For real.)

Well, I’m back from picking Cowboy up at the slug lot, and the movie’s over, so we should probably end this and see about adding pictures, sharing it with Eva so she can add her own pics, and then I’m thinking some supper might be in order.


ask me anything #3 – answers!

As always, you guys asked me bunches of awesome questions, and I can’t wait to answer them.  So I won’t. (Wait, that is.)

maddylovesherclassicfilms asked…

If you were on an island and could only watch one Audrey Hepburn film, what would it be and why?


I have watched embarrassingly few Audrey Hepburn movies, but I would say, without a doubt, ‘Charade’ (1963).  Audrey Hepburn sparkles, the music is great, the plot is twisty and exciting, and James Coburn plays one of the baddies, so…yes.  Basically the perfect movie.

evergreenmorningglory asked…

Favorite food?

PIZZA.  Which I am having for supper tonight.

Best memory?

While I have many great memories, one of my favorites is when my aunt and uncle and cousins came for a surprise visit over the New Year (in 2016/17).  It was an amazing time full of fun and family and laughter and movies and lots of special moments. ❤

If you could be famous in a genre of books, which would it be?

Westerns.  They are a mostly forgotten genre these days and I’d love to bring their popularity back.


While you’re waiting for my books to (hopefully) hit the market, check this one out! (Just prepare to have your heart broken and your soul crushed…like a grape.)

Favorite character from the book you’re currently reading and why?

I am currently reading three books: Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery, The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein, and High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin.  My favorite character in RoI is probably Walter, though I have a soft spot for so many of the characters and Rilla makes me smile.  In TPF, it would be Julie, of course.  As for HatH, I would say that the heroine’s friend, Maddy, is my favorite character so far, though she hasn’t been in much of the book.  She’s everything a best friend should be.

Miss Meg March asked…

Skydiving or bungee-jumping?

I’ve never done either.  Probably bungee-jumping, though.  I think that would be fun, in a terrifying sort of way.

What is something that would really push you out of your comfort zone, but you’d be willing to do?

Learn how to drive a car.  Or eat escargot, which is the French way of saying snails.

On that line, what are some things on your bucket list?

I don’t have a bucket list.  I just let life hit me as it comes along, though I do have a few goals, of course.  Things like finishing my novel, The Bounty Hunter; learning how to drive; owning a cat; being married someday; watching Cars 3 (when is that coming out on DVD???); etc, etc, etc.  But mostly I let the Lord lead…and I’m more than content with that.


Have you ever had any pets?

Yes.  I’ve owned a rabbit named Fluffy (I’m so original).  Collectively, however, my family has owned three cats, one dog, two goats, several chickens, and some frogs.  We only have one cat right now, though.

What is your favourite thing to do when it snows? (I’m presuming you get snow where you live, since you live in Canada. I’ve never seen snow in all my life. *sniffles*)

Stay inside and drink hot chocolate?  Seriously, I hibernate during winter, but the snow IS gorgeous.

What is your favourite number?

Two, five, and ninety-five.

If you could learn any new language, what would it be?

French or Hebrew.


What was the last musical you discovered?

It’s been so long since I discovered a new musical that I forget which one was the last.  Beauty and the Beast could count, I suppose, so I’ll go with that.

jessica prescott asked…

Favorite modern actor?

You know, I just realized this morning that my current favorite anything isn’t always my very favorite and that holds true with actors just as much as books or movies.  So, if I go back a little to before my crushes on Christian Bale, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Tom Cruise, and Matt Damon, there’s Harrison Ford.  He’s been my favorite modern actor ever since he burst out of that packing crate on the motorcycle in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (perhaps even since I thought Han Solo was cool) and my favorite modern actor he will remain, maybe even favorite actor period. (But Tom Cruise is a close second.)


This photo cracks me up.

Favorite modern actress?

Cate Blanchett is great.  I also like ScarJo and Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson.

What color do you tend to like BEST for a book cover? (Or color combination?)

You know, I’ve never really thought about it, but probably blue.  Definitely blue.

What’s your current favorite piece of clothing? What does it look like, and why are you so fond of it?

I am not the kind of girl who obsesses over clothes (as my sister can tell you) but I do love my delightfully swishy, pleated black skirt.  Très chic.  My purple Captain America t-shirt is awesome as well.

What Bible verse means the most to you, personally?

There are several Bible verses that have special meaning for me, but the one that comes to mind the most is Psalm 27:14Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.  It’s excellent advice for any Christian going through difficult times and such a comfort to know that God is in control and He’s handling things.

What do you most like to drink when you wake up in the morning? Tea, coffee, juice, etc.

Coffee, coffee, coffee.  I don’t like tea and we never have juice in the house anyway.  But coffee is my obsession (hence the title of this blog).


What are some names you’d like to give your kids someday?


*cracks knuckles*

*opens notebook*

I’m so glad you asked.  For boys, there’s Aaron Daniel, Atticus Lee, and Uriah Luke.  For girls, there’s Katherine Elizabeth, Rachel Rose, and Emma Joy.  I’m sure I’ll think of more in the months to come.

healed1337 asked…

What is the worst movie that you can’t help but enjoy anyway?

The Air Bud franchise!!! (Not Air Buddies, though, ’cause those movies are just wrong.)  But the Air Bud movies, particularly the first and second one are gold and my literal childhood and I love ’em so much. (Plus, Kevin Zegers got cuter with every movie.)

Also, ‘Shining Through’ (1992), which everyone hates but I actually enjoy.

Hamlette asked…

Last book you read?

Kiowa Trail by Louis L’Amour.  The first part is almost exactly like a short story of his I read once, but after I got past the slight weirdness of that it was good and interesting and a solid read.

Book you’re reading right now?

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery, The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein, and High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin.


Book you want to read next?

This is more a ‘have to read next’, but I’ll be reading A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White next, as I have to review it for the book review program I’m part of.  It’s WWI, though, so I’m intrigued.

Book you keep putting off reading?

There’s a book I bought called Unlikely Soldiers by Jonathon F. Vance that I started reading, but have put off ever since because the writing style irked me.  It’s an interesting story, though (nonfiction), so I’m sure I’ll pick it up again sometime soonish.

Last movie you saw?

That would be ‘Shining Through’ (1992), starring Michael Douglas, Melanie Griffiths, and Liam Neeson.  The critics panned it, but I like it and my dad loves it (I watched it yesterday just so I could watch it with him) and it’s not that bad, people.  It feels almost like a precursor to ‘Titanic’ with the music and historical element and love story.  Plus the ‘old woman telling story’ framing device.

Movie you want to see next?

DUNKIRK.  So much.  So, so, SO much.  There’s a vast number of reasons for that: WWII history that I’ve never explored before for some reason, Christopher Nolan (seriously my favorite modern director), Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy (two Batman villains, which amused me greatly), Hans Zimmer’s score that makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach because it’s unbearably tense and it never lets up, all the stills and production photos I’ve seen and the interviews I’ve read/watched…man, it sounds unbelievably amazing.


Movie you keep putting off seeing?

Um…my sibs and I got halfway through ‘A Royal Night Out’ and it’s very good, but for some reason I don’t feel like finishing it.  So there’s that.

A food you thought you’d hate, but liked?

I’m really open-minded when it comes to trying new foods, so I don’t have an answer for this one.

A food you thought you’d like, but didn’t?

Or this one.  Sorry!  I’m usually pretty good at knowing what foods I’ll like and which ones I won’t.

If you could get a free round-trip ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Virginia. *winks*  Or Israel.


Favorite flavor of toothpaste?

Peppermint.  Boring choice, I know, but it’s good all the same.

Naomi asked…

What is the last book of the Bible you read and did you learn anything in particular?

The last book of the Bible that I read in its entirety, in one sitting, was Colossians.  It’s an amazing book (duh) and the main thing that I took away from it this time, something that I still think about from (I read it a few days ago) is how everything we do, no matter how important or petty can be done for the glory of God.  We can literally do everything in His name and because of that, we can (and need to) do our best with everything that’s given to us. (See Colossians 3:23-24.)

Do you like hugs or are you more a nonphysical signs of affection kind of person?

Depends on the person.  But most of the time I like hugs.  And I love it when characters hug it out in movies and TV shows (especially BBC ones, like Robin Hood and Sherlock, since those are so emotionally shattering) because it’s such a simple gesture, but it’s so comforting and kindly, too.


Would you recommend the Titanic movie? (Minus the bad scenes obv)

YES, YES, YES.  A thousand times yes.  It’s swoony and gorgeous and epic in every sense.

Favourite thing to cook/bake?

Chocolate chip cookies.  I’m going to brag here and say that I make The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies™ in the world, ’cause it’s true.  And don’t just ask me!  My siblings, parents, grandparents, anyone who’s tasted my cookies…they’ll all say the same thing. 😉



ask me anything {again}! – answers {part 2}


Sorry (again) that it’s taken me so long to get these answers to ya’ll.  Life, you know.  Anyway…straight to the questions!

Ashley asked…

~What’s one book or movie that you’ve been holding off on reading/watching for some reason (and what’s the reason)?  Um…besides the obvious “I really want to see this one book/movie but my library does NOT have it”, there are several books that I would love to read but I’m waiting to buy my very own copy so that I can cross out Bad Words.  Two that spring to mind are Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein.  As for movies, I’m extremely leery about seeing the remake of The Magnificent Seven.  Extremely.  The original was perfection itself, so the jury’s still out on whether or not I’ll take the leap and watch the new one.

They do look pretty epic together, though.

~Three things you’re looking for in a husband? (And three things you need to work on for yourself?)  A strong faith in God, bravery, and loyalty.  As for myself, I’d say that temper, laziness, and lack of homemaking skills (such as sewing) are three big things I need to work on.

~Favorite nonfic book on relationships?  I’ve never read one.  Sad, but true.  Suggestions?

~One book everybody’s raving about but you despise?  Well, I haven’t read any booksSalt to the Sea - This book is set in the same time period as Between Shades of Gray and included in the four pov's is Joana, the cousin of Lina in Between Shades of Gray. Her life takes a different route and she ends up on the Wilhelm Gustaloff which was a greater sinking than the Titanic...but who has ever heard of this? This book has fictional characters but the main story is true.: lately that inspired my unadulterated loathing, but one book I was kinda disappointed in was Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys.  It’s a book that tons of people have been raving about lately, including more than one of my Goodreads friends, but it just didn’t deliver.  There were some great moments and lovely characters, but the book never quite came together in a brilliant, cohesive whole for me.

~Book you’d love to see as a movie? (DREAMCAST AWAY)  Does a whole series count?  Because if so, The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins are my number one choice.  Definitely.  There are five books, but my idea for a film series combines them into just three (if you’ve read the series, EMAIL ME, and we’ll talk).  Since all my siblings love the series like all do (welllll, almost as much) we’ve had tons of dream casting sessions.  The cast already includes Cate Blanchett (nonegotiable, people – pretty much every casting choice is, but especially this one), Harrison Ford, Emily Blunt, Asa Butterfield, Ralph Macchio, Sean Connery, and Raffey Cassidy.  John Powell will compose the score.  And that’s all I’ve got, but it will be EPIC if movie producers take notice (and my advice).

~Favorite chore around the house?  Washing dishes.  Very soothing.  Alternately, my least favorite household chore is sweeping floors.

Hamlette asked…

~Favorite hymn?  ‘Leaning on the Everlasting Arms’ or ‘How Great Thou Art’.  But there are so many good ones.  So. Many.

~A person in the Bible you really relate to.  Peter.  His impulsiveness and his weaknesses especially, I’m ashamed to say, but I do feel that I have at least a little bit of the loyalty that he had for Jesus.  And if I could have just a tenth of his faith (especially as shown after the Resurrection and, of course, in Acts) that would be incredible.

~A person in the Bible you admire (besides Jesus).  How do I narrow it down???  I can’t.  So… Women: Rebecca, Ruth, Esther, Jael, Mary, Elisabeth, and Lydia.  Men: Joseph (both OT and NT), Joshua, Caleb, Peter, John (the Baptist and the Apostle), Paul, Elijah, Elisha, and Hosea.

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: ~Hebrews 11:32

~Which Barkley on The Big Valley is your favorite?  Nick.  I like them all, though.

~Favorite Dana Andrews role?  At first I thought this would be hard, but it was actually pretty easy.  Because, while I love Dana Andrews in almost every movie I’ve seen him in, one role will always be first place in my heart: Detective Mark McPherson from the film Laura.  It was the role that catapulted Dana to semi-stardom.  Definitely my favorite.  Though, now that I think about it, he is super in The Best Years of Our Lives…

Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney in Laura (1944):

~Jack Cavanaugh book you want to be made into a movie, and your casting choices?  I love this question.  Nobody ever asks me anything about Jack Cavanaugh.  But while I’ve thought up dream casts for several of his books, it’s usually just a couple of roles that I manage to cast before I get stumped.  For instance, I’ve got Corbin Allred playing opposite Jennifer Lawrence with Eddie Redmayne in the Songs in the Night series, but there’s tons of other characters I haven’t thought of actors/actresses for.  Plus, I find that doing dream casts for anything (especially JC’s books) is frustrating ’cause I know it’ll never happen. *sigh*  But I still do it all the time because it’s fun as well.

Which do you prefer of each pairing, and why:

~Austen or Shakespeare?  AustenAustenAusten.  I’m currently re-reading Mansfield Park and she. is. a. genius.  I mean, so was Shakespeare, but Jane Austen’s writings speak to me on so many levels.  I could read each of her novels a hundred times and still love them as much as I did the first time. (Though Macbeth is rapidly growing on me.  And I fangirl over Mercutio every time I read Romeo & Juliet.  Shakespeare is cool beans.)

~Captain America or Jason Bourne?  Okay, at first I thought this would be sooooo easy to answer (in favor of Cap) but then I really started thinking about the question and…I CAN’T DECIDE.  Cap is sweet and handsome and brave and practically perfect in every way.  But Jason is like a sad little puppy wrapped in layers of super cool deadly fighting skills and mental/physical/emotional wounds and tons of questions about his past.  I CAN’T.  But if I absolutely had to chose, if I searched deep, deep, deep inside my heart, I’d have to go with Cap.

~Charlotte or Emily Brönte?  I couldn’t stand the little bit of Wuthering Heights I managed to read.  Jane Eyre is one of my top five favorite classics.  So…yeah.

~Louisa May Alcott or Lucy Maud Montgomery?  This is a little difficult, because Louisa May Alcott is responsible for creating one of my top five (maybe even top three) favorite fictional characters of all time (Dan) but Lucy Maud Montgomery comes out ahead because all her books (except a couple) are exquisitely sweet, nostalgic, and inviting (as in, “Yes, let’s dive into this book and not come out for a couple of YEARS”).  Plus, LMM was a Canadian.  All her books are set in Canada.  How can I resist?

~Indiana Jones or Flynn Ryder?  How.  How.  I do not understand the question.  My…brain…cannot…compute.  (Fine.  Flyndiana Rydes.  If I must choose.)  (Oh.  You mean that isn’t a choice?  Okay.  Great.)  (I SERIOUSLY CAN’T CHOSE BETWEEN THEM.  Pleeeease don’t make me.)  (If you really want to know…)  (Nope.  Can’t do it.  And I’m not just saying that for show or anything.  I literally can’t.  There’s not even a little part of my heart that has a preference for either one.  There just isn’t.  They’re both so UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING.)

~The Magnificent Seven or The Great Escape?  Seeing how Mag7 is my favorite movie of all time, the decision was pretty easy.  Still, The Great Escape has several things going for it: the cast, the music, the story…oh, it’s wonderful.  I really need to watch it again. (Unlike Mag7, though, I really have to be in the right mood for it, especially considering the time commitment involved.)


~Pie or cake?  Cake, every time.  I don’t get why pie is such a big deal (except pumpkin pie – #LOVE).

And finally, I have two questions that were sent to me in an email, rather than a comment, and they weren’t related to the ‘Ask Me Anything’ challenge, but I thought I’d include them here anyway, because some of you might find the questions/answers interesting.  I don’t know if the person who sent me these questions would prefer their name to be mentioned or not, so…

J. asked…

~If you had to pick just one scene or moment as your favorite [from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade], which would you choose?  There are so many scenes that stand out in my mind whenever I think of The Last Crusade (the book burning scene, the scene where Henry Jones gets shot, the Three Trials scene, the opening sequence with the boat and the storm and the cross) but I believe my favorite one is the motorcycle chase.  Why?  Because that is what made me fall in love with Indiana Jones, the character, and Indiana Jones, the franchise.  The thrilling theme music as Indy and his dad smash out of that box, the chase itself, and I’m even going to include the quiet little discussion between the two of them at the crossroads.  Love it!

~I noticed you mentioned [in my review] that you liked Elsa’s character. What did you like most about her?  There’s so much intrigue surrounding her.  Who is she?  How did she become enthralled with the Grail legend in the first place?  Were her motives more pure in the beginning, or were they always selfish?  Did she turn Henry in to the Nazis or did he confront her and force her hand?  There are so many questions one could ask about Elsa – she’s mysterious and fascinating. (And I think she and Indy have great chemistry together.  Just saying.  Though I don’t really ship them, per se.)


Were you surprised with any of my answers?  Let me know in the comments!