Author Interview

Hi! Today I have an interview with a new author about her brand new book!

Join me in welcoming Lydia Howe and her book Where Dandelions Grow

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Hi Lydia, tell me about yourself

Hello! I’m Lydia Howe, a random, quirky, traveling, bookwormish, country gal. I live out where fireflies dance over hayfields, whippoorwills serenade me to sleep, stars wink, and old barn are just waiting to be explored. 

 

Reading, cooking, traveling, cutting grass, and writing (books, blog posts, emails, etc…) take up a fair amount of my time. I also have a delightful time fitting in with the third and fourth grade kids at church as their Sunday School teacher’s assistant. (The jury’s still out as to if I’m good at relating to that age group because I’m adaptable or if it’s because I’m so much like them myself.) 

Tell me about your family (do you have siblings, where are you in the lineup?) or if you’re married or in a relationship, tell us about that! 🙂

This is the first time I’ve gotten this question in this round of interviews. 🙂 I’m currently quite contentedly single and living at home where I work with my family’s business part-time, a coffee shop part-time, and writing part-time. I have nine siblings and am the seventh child – although I’m the oldest at home. I have over a dozen nieces and nephews, but (sadly!) only one of them lives close by. 

How did you decide to write this story?

The story popped into my head one day, strangely enough as names of four cousins. Over the next several days I just kept repeating Destiny, Kamryn, Lexie, and Teal over and over in my brain as I went about life, and the rest of the story emerged. 

Are you writing more?

As in a second book in the same series? I’m not sure, although originally my plan was to write a book for each of the cousins. As for writing in general, I’m currently working on a realistic fantasy book titled Echoes. 

What are your plans for the future?

A life-long dream of mine is to travel across the USA in a motor home, hopefully blogging and vlogging as I go. I’ve always seen being a writer as a life-long career, and plan to continue along with that, along with wherever else God takes me in life. Plus, getting married and being a (mostly) stay-at-home mom has always been a goal. In recent years the idea of starting a bookstore/cafe/coffee shop has sounded like a lot of fun. 

What is your favorite food?

Oh! There’s a lot of food that I really like (as someone whose job is to cook that’s probably pretty natural). I especially like food from different countries – like Tikka Masala from India. (You should look it up, it’s delicious!) 

Your favorite place?

I’ve traveled a lot over the years and therefore have various “favorite” places – like my home (Best. Place. Ever.), the Creation Museum, a certain beach house in Mexico, a delightfully cozy garden in England, and, well, the list goes on. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?

New Zealand, Australia, Alaska, and Ireland are currently on the top of my list. (I narrowed it down nicely, don’t I?)

Thanks so much, Lydia, for answering these questions! I’ve enjoyed chatting & getting to know you a little bit! 

Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog. I had fun answering your questions – in fact, they’re some of the most fun ones to answer that I’ve had yet!

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Lydia's Author PictureAbout the Author:

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, YoutubeFacebookTwitterGoodreads, and Google+

 

Links for the book: 
Goodreads Linkhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35969327-where-dandelions-grow?from_search=true
Amazon Link:https://www.amazon.com/Where-Dandelions-Grow-Lydia-Howe-ebook/dp/B0753JSDBS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1505831056&sr=1-1&keywords=Where+Dandelions+Grow

And here’s my review:

This is a sweet, short story, especially written for young girls.

Destiny is looking for answers. Answers to the many questions swirling through her head, in particular, answers to WHY she & her family were abruptly pulled away from their hometown, the only home they knew, and most of all, their beloved cousins. And were not allowed to have any contact with them for over 10 years.
She leaves home and heads back to that hometown, in hopes of reuniting with those cousins.

This is a story of forgiveness, love, and more.
A great story for girls to read, one I’ve recommended to my own daughters. (One of them sat down and read a large share of the book tonight-I think that means she liked it! 🙂 )
I was given an advance copy to review in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Book reviews

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

I love legal suspense. (John Grisham, and more–I just can’t think of the names right now) I’d heard from various people that they loved this book, and I was thrilled to find out that I’d been chosen to receive a copy to do a blogger review.

If you are looking for top-notch legal suspense, look no further!
This is the first book in a new series, from a new author, and I’m hooked!
Riveting, page-turning suspense, the whole way through!

I really enjoyed the suspense, the mystery, and the story line.

Kate is a lawyer, on the fast track to the top. She gets the chance of a lifetime when she’s handed the opportunity to be lead counsel in a case against a huge client—a pharmaceutical company. She’s determined to win this the right way, and not go against her personal convictions. What makes it so hard is that her friend Ethan is lead counsel for the opposing side.

I found this book a bit unusual in that some of the chapters are written from the opposing counsel’s viewpoint. I felt like I knew what they had up their sleeve, even if the side I was rooting for didn’t.

Something I really enjoyed about this book is that despite having plenty of legal jargon to make it feel like a legal thriller, the author had the characters take the time to thoroughly explain what those legal terms meant, so that a person (like me) unfamiliar with that terminology was not completely left in the dark.

The romantic aspect was one part of this story that didn’t quite resonate with me. It felt a little stilted or unrealistic. There weren’t quite enough details there to really make it flow.

The ending of the story was more than satisfactory, I did not see it coming! I like to try and get it all figured out on my own before I get there, and this story gives the feeling that you might actually be able to do that. But the ending was not what I expected!

Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson

I’ve long been a fan of Dee Henderson. I’ve read each of her books as they came out. Those O’Malley books-I think I have most (if not all) of them back on my bookshelf. But somehow, this series slipped by my radar. I just recently discovered I hadn’t read this one, or the one following. I found them at the library and brought them along home. But I’ve had such a large TBR stack, and not nearly enough time to read, so those two books (which I knew I’d enjoy immensely) kept getting pushed back. (Anyone else do that—read books that you think might not be quite as good, and save the better ones for last?!)

I finally had to break down and read it! It does not disappoint!

Here’s my brief review:

Another captivating, compelling novel from one of my all-time-favorite authors!

I started reading this one in the evening, which was a big mistake–I didn’t want to stop!

When I finally told myself to lay it down and get some sleep…my brain was so engaged that

I found myself continuing to try to solve the mysteries on my own instead of sleeping.

I was finally able to talk myself into letting it go enough to get some sleep but the next day, the first chance I got, I sat down and finished it.

Ann Falcon (from Full Disclosure) makes an appearance throughout the story, but Evie Blackwell is the main character. A detective assigned with solving cold cases, she has to go back through about 10 years of history to solve some hard and long-unsolved cases.

Dee Henderson has a way of writing that draws me right in to the action, I was right there with Evie trying desperately to get some answers. Reaching the end of the book is like leaving behind friends.

I like the way the author ties in Biblical truths without making it feel preachy.

Twists, turns, unexpected results, and the pleasure of the journey make this an unforgettable read. If you like suspense, be sure and read this one!!

On a completely different note, here’s a nonfiction book that I’ve been working through

Beside Bethesda written by Joni Eareckson Tada, this book is like taking a refreshing drink of cold water!

Her name immediately tells me this is going to be good. After all, Joni has spent a lifetime (all of 50+ years) as a quadriplegic. She knows what it means to be dependent on God. On top of everything else, she also was diagnosed with cancer.

This book tells, in a 31-day devotional format, how to lean on Jesus and trust Him through those hard times that are bound to come.

Here’s one example of a truth that really hit me:

“I think God entrusts me with hardships because He knows very well that I can’t be trusted. I fully accept the fact that I am the least likely candidate to handle afflictions well.” This is her response to that saying God doesn’t give us more that we can handle. No, rather He gives us what makes us run to Him, knowing that without Him, we can NOT handle it! He wants us to be completely dependent on Him. This truth should be easy for us to grasp as Christians. But it’s not. Or maybe that’s just me. Way too often I find myself desperately trying to muddle through things on my own. When all I really need to do is let go and let God handle it—He already has a plan, He already knows the outcome! Wow!

Read this and be blessed!

#tackleTBR (I signed up to participate in a tackle-your-TBR-pile Readathon, and am just now finally getting around to posting about some of the books I actually read in this time frame)

Leave me a comment and tell me about one book you’ve read recently, (or are currently reading) and how it is challenging you or benefiting your life.

On Purses…

Let’s talk about purses.

I’m kind of looking for one. You see, I think I’m probably unique in that I don’t like to shop for that perfect purse. (I’d rather find one that I really like and stick with it until it is worn out!)

I know I bought myself at least one new purse in the past 10 years…and I also received a few as gifts.

I’ve bought some at thrift stores.

Sadly, the purse that I bought new lasted for a shorter time than some of the used ones I’ve purchased.

For a number of years, I was stuck with a diaper bag. It had to be big enough to hold everything I might possibly need for the next how many hours. I was glad to be able to graduate to a purse again. And then I discovered that I really didn’t know what I really want.

Not too big, because then it feels like a diaper bag.

Not too small, because, well, I am still a mom, and I need to be able to cart along all kinds of paraphernalia.

I need to be able to keep it relatively organized, or else I will find myself wasting too much time looking for what I really need. Like my keys, that are always at the bottom.

I’d like to have something that coordinates well with various colors or outfits, because I really don’t like to be changing purses all the time.

Which brings me to a final point. I need something that will LAST!

I’ve also discovered that I kind of like having a long enough strap to wear it cross-body style. That way, when I’m shopping alone, it stays in place, and isn’t always falling off my shoulder.

Please tell me where to find the perfect purse! 🙂 What should I get? Tips, pros, or cons?

Tell me about yours!

I must add, though, I keep salivating over this website. I have a feeling that this might be where I’ll get my next good purse…if I could ever decide WHICH one to get. 🙂

 

Book Giveaway Winner!!

And the winner (Crown of Souls book giveaway) is Cyndi!!

All names were written on notebook paper, cut out into little slips of paper, and put in a small bowl. Then we mixed them and we tossed them and we turned them.

My youngest daughter reached in and drew out the name for me.

I always kinda hate having only one winner, I wish I could give a book to each of you that participated! Thanks so much for entering!

And keep on coming back, we’ll do more giveaways in the future!

Cyndi, send me an email at allofakindmom@gmail.com, with your mailing address, so I can get your book out to you.

 

Book Review – A New Shade of Summer

Here’s another new book I was privileged to read recently:

A brief synopsis:

As an artist, Callie Quinn relies on inspiration to guide her wandering soul. This summer she accepts a short-term muralist job in her sister’s charming town to spend some much-needed time with her family. After meeting her nephew’s friend, Brandon, she’s eager to draw out his untapped artistic talents—however, it’s the boy’s straitlaced single father who could use a little color in his life.

Davis Carter may be the town’s favorite animal whisperer, but his experience is limited when it comes to understanding his preteen’s rebellious behavior. Desperate for a breakthrough, he follows the lead of a free spirit who claims to know the way into his son’s closed-off world. Soon, Davis isn’t the only one caught up in the hope of a new beginning.

Just as Callie considers trading her unattached existence for a life rich with promise and permanence, an unexpected visit from the past threatens to send her packing once again. Davis and Callie must learn to surrender their fears so they can find a love that will outlast the summer.

 

Here’s some of my thoughts regarding this story:

I greatly enjoyed reading A New Shade of Summer! It’s an absolutely gripping, sweet romance.
The characters! So very realistic, and true-to-life!

The setting–small-town USA, down to earth, such a homey feel!
Callie, an artistic redhead, and Davis, the town vet seem to have nothing in common. She’s outgoing, artsy, and flits from one place to the next, while he is rather stern, serious about life, and level-headed, like-a-rock-solid.
But Davis is having trouble relating to his preteen son, and somehow Callie is one of the few people that can connect with him, and really knows how to draw him out.
I loved the way their relationship grows, slowly, as they learn to understand and appreciate each other. Their differences at first seem too great, but they are the very things that draw them to each other.
I would consider this book as more of an easy read, but yet the author addresses very real issues of life, things we can all identify with.
We see Callie & Davis grow as they learn to rely on and trust God, even for the hard things in life.
Another winner from a talented writer, I can’t wait to read more from this author!

I was given the privilege of reading an early copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review, and the opinions I shared are entirely my own.

If you are looking for an easy-read, be sure and give this one a try. Nicole Deese has also written several other novels. The only other one I’ve tried, The Promise of Rayne, I also loved. She has a talent of realistically depicting life. I had the sense of meeting new friends as I read these books.

Book Giveaway-Ending Soon!

In case you missed my post last week, I am doing a giveaway for Ronie Kendig’s latest book (see previous post). This giveaway is ending this week. We will be randomly drawing a name from everyone that comments on that blog post. Currently, if you commented, your chances of winning are fairly high! 🙂 But I would love to have a few more people enter. I’m glad to be able to share a copy of this book with someone else who loves to read.

Book Giveaway–Crown of Souls

Yes! I’m doing another giveaway! It’s Ronie Kendig‘s newest release, and boy is it a good one! 🙂 Crown of Souls

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(BTW-this meme is not original with me, I copied it from the FB launch team page that I am a member of–I’m still learning how to do beautiful memes! 😉 )

Here’s the synopsis:

Six months after stopping a deadly plague, Cole “Tox” Russell and his team are enjoying a little rest. That peace is short-lived when a sniper shot hits Tox. The enemy is discovered to be one of their own, a rogue Special Forces team operator.

Alec King is perhaps the only person as skilled as Tox, and he’s out for justice. Furious with orders that got his men killed, he intends to make those responsible pay. And he insists Tox join him, believing they are the same breed of soldier.

Afraid his old friend is right, Tox battles a growing darkness within himself as he and his team engage in another deadly encounter with antiquity. It appears Alec is cheating–he’s using a mysterious artifact, a crown that history has linked to some of the worst slaughters in humanity. Racing to stop Alec before his vengeance is unleashed, Tox must fight the monster without becoming one.

 

And here’s my review:

Another fabulous, action-packed volume from Ronie Kendig! It’s like being in the middle of an action movie or a CIA episode.
I loved this book, from the beginning, to the very end. It’s one of those books that I was afraid to finish. And yet, couldn’t bear not to! (But then, that’s what I’ve found from all of Ms. Kendig’s novels)

Cole (Tox) & his team are back in another adventure; he’s in a relationship with the lovely Haven; and they are on a quest to locate an old friend, and the crown that is turning him into terrible evil! Can they beat him at his own game, or will Tox give in to the guilt that has haunted him for too long?!

Ancient history, archaeology, & unexpected twists & turns combine to make this a delightfully captivating book.

I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series!

 

I love action (books and movies), and I think that’s part of the reason I love Ronie Kendig’s books so much! This series in particular is excellent. Not only is there the action, but there is ancient history. And Archaeology. I cannot even imagine how one would begin to do the research that is needed to write a book like this!

What really put the icing on the cake for me–I had the privilege of meeting and chatting with the author in person!! YES! My copy of the book, (the one I’m not giving away 😉 ) is autographed to ME. Ms. Kendig was at the CFRR (see one of my earlier posts) I was at about a month ago. I was delighted to see this book included in my gift bag. 🙂

If you haven’t experienced any of her books yet, then you won’t necessarily want to start with this book. This series begins with this novella The Warrior’s Seal, (currently free for kindle on Amazon!) and then, you’ll want to read Conspiracy of Silence.

Now, back to this book–the exciting news is that Crown of Souls is officially released tomorrow! So if you don’t win this book, you will still be able to buy it or get it from your library!

And, last, but not least–this GIVEAWAY!! To enter to win a brand-new copy of this brand-new book, please leave a comment (here, on this blog post, not on facebook).–Tell me about something you read recently, fiction or non-fiction, that really impacted your life! (we are [as a family] currently reading Kisses From Katie, and I can’t wait to share, in a later post, how that book is challenging us!)

I’ll leave this giveaway open until September 15th. (This is only open to people from the US)