BOOK SPOTLIGHT | HE’S MAKING DIAMONDS by SARA WILLOUGHBY

I share with you a book spotlight for an incredible book called He’s Making Diamonds: A Teen’s Thoughts On Faith Through Chronic Illness, by Sara Willoughby. This book is releasing TODAY! AHHH!

I am seriously ecstatic to share the news for this, y’all. I had the absolute blessing of beta reading this book and I read it in a day — and it is still firm in my heart! The book is for teens and people with chronic illness, but I could relate to it even as a teen who isn’t ill… And, My Mom has had chronic Lyme disease for years now, so reading this book was so encouraging! Actually, encouraging is a small word. This book is… Moving. Powerful. A GIFT.

 

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He's Making Diamonds Front Cover (1).jpg

SYNOPSIS

BOOK TRAILER!

Foreword writer: Jon Steingard, frontman for Hawk Nelson

Are you a teenager trying to navigate faith through chronic illness? I’m here to tell you, you are not alone.

When sickness takes over your life, it’s a never-ending battle to make it through each day. How do you cope? How do you keep fighting? Most of all though, how do you find God in the midst of the suffering?

Through my own journey of sickness, I’ve struggled with the same questions—questions we all think but are afraid to ask. My name is Sara, and I’ve been sick with Lyme disease and more since I was fourteen.

Those questions you’re afraid to ask? I’ve asked them too—as have many others.

This book addresses topics and questions such as:

  • Why is there sickness?
  • Where is God in sickness?
  • Resting in the storm
  • How to deal with the way chronic illness changes you
  • Joy and despair
  • Hope
  • Praying through chronic illness
  • Relationships in the midst of chronic illness
  • And more!

The journey of illness is not an easy one, but hope remains. God hasn’t left us. He hasn’t forgotten us. On the contrary, He’s making diamonds out of us.

GOODREADS | AMAZON ( + KINDLE)

~~~

 

AUTHOR BIO

S. G. Willoughby is a seventeen-year-old girl with Lyme disease, toxic mold poisoning, and MCS. Currently, she resides in Arizona with her parents and two siblings. In her spare time she loves to write, read, and have adventures.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/R535Blog

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/r535blog/

Website: http://sgwilloughby.com/

 

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There is also an INSTAGRAM PARTY live on Tuesday, July 24th, @ 2 p.m. PST — Sara will be giving away a signed copy of the book! HOW COOL?!

I will be posting a review in the future when I buy a paperback copy of this wonderful book. I would recommend this to anyone, whether you or a loved one has a chronic illness or not. God’s truth and word shines so strongly through it… I was able to ask questions, find answers through Scripture, and draw closer to the Lord after reading this blessing.

God bless you all.

– Ang

 

DO YOU HAVE A CHRONIC ILLNESS? DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO DOES? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS LOVELY BOOK SO FAR?

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CAMP NANO WEEK THREE | JULY ’18

Well, week three was really relaxed, as far as writing goes. I didn’t do over and beyond — but I’m not bummed. At the beginning of the year, I decided I’d cut myself some slack for July’s Camp, because of so much going on and it being summer. It’s a good thing I did! This week contained a lot of chores and preparing the house (for selling). Also, Mom and Dad left for a few days, so we held down the farm. And I cleaned. A lot. And blew the shofar hourly because God said to.

~~~

 

DAY FIFTEEN | 1,000

DAY SIXTEEN | 350

DAY SEVENTEEN | 400

DAY EIGHTEEN | 2,280

DAY NINETEEN | 570

DAY TWENTY | 2,000

DAY TWENTY ONE | 1,600

Overall Word Count: 30,000

I won Camp NaNo on the 21st at 30,000 — and counting! Seek’s final draft isn’t done but it’s moving along! Like I’ve said, I wanted this month to be less stressful, so while I haven’t been pushing myself insanely hard, I’ve been writing steadily. I’ll continue to work on Seek, because I plan on publishing it toward the end of this year. 🙂

~~~

 

SEEK SNIPPET #1 | ELI POV

I got to my feet and stretched, turning away from the window. I went to wake Asher in the other bedroom, footsteps silent, pushing the door open.

Asher’s snoring made me scoff: “Asher. Your turn.”

Asher groaned. “Five more minutes.”

“Asher, the house is on fire.”

Snoring.

“Asher, there’s a snake in the closet!”

Snoring. Sniffing.

“Asher.” I nudged him hard, sighing. It’d been more fun to tease like that as kids. “Wake up.”

“What?” Asher lifted his head like a confused chicken and looked around. “What?”

“Your turn to watch.” I headed to the door and went back to the window, sighing. A few moments later, Asher staggered over, sitting down in the chair. His grumpy scowl made me bite back a chuckle — he wouldn’t like it if I laughed at him.

SEEK SNIPPET #2 | ANGEL POV

I almost drifted back to sleep when I heard a small thud from the hallway. A part of me opted to ignore it and stay in my warm bed, but then I remembered we were on the run and thuds in the night should be investigated. Even if I was a zombie doing so. Crawling off the bed and stepping across the wood floors on tiptoe, I eased the door open a bit wider.

Nothing.

What had been that sound? No one was in the hall.

I crept towards the kitchen slowly, trying to blend into the shadows.

Shuffling came from the kitchen. I tensed, praying it wasn’t some intruder, but stopped at the end of the hall. In the kitchen, opening the fridge, stood… Todd?

Well, Todd’s better than an intruder, right? Or… No, he’s not running away. He’s making… a sandwich?

 

HOLLOW BONES SNIPPET | HERMAN POV

“You’re right.” I’d said it! But I gulped hard, looking away. “I’m sorry for ditching you like that.”
“Again.” She bit.

“Yeah, again.”

She just snickered bitterly: “So?! A lot of people ditch. My own brother does. And he’s supposed to be some huge Army hero. He leaves his family behind with no second thoughts. Why should I expect anything different from you?!” She stared straight ahead but her eyes burned. Once again, I saw more in her than I wanted to see, and I couldn’t push it away.

Her words clawed at my chest. I could throw everyone else’s words away. Why was that getting harder to do now?

“I’m not Bryson.” I said calmly. “And I’m not leaving again.”

“I don’t want to handle the secret. Let someone else do it.” She stopped sharply and looked up at me, fists shaking. “I’m constantly trying to face the battles God gives me — but not this one!”

Fear. Fear glinted in her eyes. I couldn’t take that away.

But I could fight with her, instead of against.

 

~~~

 

Also, I earned my purple belt at the karate belt exam, and got a top score in my age group. I can’t thank my family and second family at the dojo enough… they all are supportive, encouraging, and just overall amazing. And Kody got his (third degree) brown belt! I am SO proud of him!

Image may contain: 5 people, including Kim Watts, people smiling, people standing

That’s all for now, folks! God bless.

– Ang

 

ARE YOU CLOSE TO WINNING CAMP NANO? HOW IS YOUR SUMMER GOING?

BOOK SPOTLIGHT | THE RELUCTANT GODFATHER by ALLISON TEBO

Greetings, whimsical followers! I am so happy to share this exciting news: my dear friend, Allison Tebo, is relaunching her novella The Reluctant Godfather! I’m taking part of the blog tour with a book spotlight AND a character interview! Whoop whoop! Today is the book spotlight!

 

SYNOPSIS

A humorous and magical re-telling of Cinderella from a unique perspective.

Burndee is a young and cantankerous fairy godfather who would rather bake cakes than help humans. A disgrace to the fairy order, Burndee has only two wards entrusted to his care…a cinder girl and a charming prince.

A royal ball presents Burndee with the brilliant solution of how to make his wards happy with the least amount of effort. He’ll arrange a meeting and hope the two fall in love.

The debut novella from Allison Tebo, ‘The Reluctant Godfather’ is a new addition to the charming fairy tale tradition of Cameron Dokey and K.M. Shea.

AMAZON  

http://allisonteboauthor.com/shop/

AUTHOR BIO

Allison Tebo is a Christian author in her mid-twenties who loves to write fiction in every genre. It is her goal to write fiction that appeals to many different kinds of people by writing clean, classic fun. Her desire is to provide quality stories for every age to enjoy.

When she is not writing, Allison works as a sales associate for a major transportation company or might be found singing, painting, baking, or defending her championship title as Gif Master.

Website: http://allisonteboauthor.com/

Blog: http://allisonswell.website/

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AllisonTebo

 

GIVEAWAY

First Prize:

  1.  Paperback copy of The Reluctant Godfather
  2.  Slipper of Glass – Fairy Tale Candle
  3.  Cinderella Necklace

Second Prize:

  1.  Ebook copy of The Relucant Godfather

ENTER HERE!

 

SCHEDULE

Sunday, July 15th:

Introduction // Kellyn Roth @ Reveries

Review // Olivia R. @ Meanwhile, in Rivendell …

Monday, July 16th:

Book Spotlight // Gabriellyn @ PageTurners

Review & Author Interview // Megan @ Counting Your Blessings One by One

Tuesday, July 17th:

Review & Author Interview // Chloe @ Purely by Faith

Wednesday, July 18th:

Author Interview // Kimia Wood Blog

Thursday, July 19th:

Book Spotlight // Serethiel @ The Book Sprite

Friday, July 20th:

Book Spotlight // Angela R. Watts @ The Peculiar Messenger

Saturday, July 21st:

Author Interview & Book Spotlight // Victoria Lynn @ Ruffles and Grace

Sunday, July 22nd:

Review // Kimia Wood Blog

Monday, July 23rd:

Book Spotlight // Hannah @ H.S.J. Williams

Tuesday, July 24th:

Review // Rayleigh @ Literature Approved

Wednesday, July 25th:

Author Interview // Medomfo @ Writings From a God Girl

Thursday, July 26th:

Character Interview // Angela R. Watts @ The Peculiar Messenger

Friday, July 27th:

Review // Jessica Greyson

Review // Gracelyn Buckner @ Literatura

Saturday, July 28th:

Book Spotlight // Erika Mathews @ Resting Life

Wrapup // Kellyn Roth @ Reveries

 

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Does this book sound amazing?! Yes! I read the original version and adored it, so I’m very excited for this! God bless.

– Ang

 

DOES THIS LOOK BEAUTIFUL OR WHAT?! DO YOU LIKE FAIRY TALES — WITH A TWIST?

 

CAMP NANO UPDATE | JULY ’18

The first and second weeks of Camp NaNo are over. I didn’t track day by day progress like I usually do, and my lame excuse is ‘I was too busy’, though I was busy the other Camps, too. 😛 But I used the Camp’s tracker and got the word count totals, I just have no commentary. Ha!

My main project for this month is finishing Seek‘s final draft (or at least getting it down to the final chapters). However, my word count also includes smaller projects, like pieces of HELLFIRE and some short stories. I did, however, spend a good deal of time with the blog launch for my novella The Thief, The Damsel, And The Dragon. My word count goal is 30,000 — I moved it up from 20k within the first week.

I don’t think I’ve explained what Seek is about in a while, so for those of you who are new or want a refresher… Seek takes place in a small town in Tennessee where money can smooth over crimes and thugs are good at not getting caught. There are car chases, creepy bad guys, and fight scenes. Oh, yeah, and humor and romance, too. 😉

Gotta hold the book up so I can read notes easy… xD

Also, this is my fifth time doing Camp NaNo, so that detail has made me nostalgic. Two years ago in July, I wrote the first draft of Seek — and had no Camp cabin. The first April session, I joined up with the brand new Chatter Box! And now, two years later, we have the Chatter Box bursting at the seams, as well as Next Door bustling… and possibly, a third cabin, Yonder — which I named, y’all! xD I was happy the ladies liked that name. I really thank God for the wonderful women He has placed into my life… The writing community I have the blessing to know is absolutely dear to me. Thank y’all!

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Day One | 1,400

Surprised I reached 1k, considering I had a late night before… We all went to a huge firework show. It rocked (ha, get it?) and I really love the big ‘boom’ sounds. And it was done in a valley, so the bangs all echoed — so cool.

Day Two | 2,700

Day Three | 2,900

Day Four | 0

Day Five | 3,225

Day Six | 2,335

Day Seven | 2,440

Day Eight | 400

Day Nine | 400

Day Ten | 700

Day Eleven | 1,600

Day Twelve | 900

Day Thirteen | 1,000

Day Fourteen | 1,600

Overall word count: 21,800

Deaths:

0 (for now)(or that I remember? There might be one…)

Research Time:

Quite a bit. Like what spot to shoot a car and what kinda gun to use (I was pretty correct with my assumptions to start with). And how some drugs work and side effects. And how severe hyperthermia works (just to refresh my memory, ha).

Amount of times my characters have ignored me:

Don’t get me started. This is Eli, Asher, and Viktor we’re talking about. No one listens to me.

And now for some snippets! Which are like, totally unedited, except for one sentence in the last snippet. So, enjoy the insanity. 😛

~~~

 

HELLFIRE SNIPPET #1

“What are you going to do?!” I hissed, body aching from hunkering down under the bush like some hoodlum in a video game my brother played. I really missed earth and my family and my bed and — “Daithi! Answer!”

“I’m going to set it on fire.” Daithi whispered, smirk cocky as ever grabbing his hood and tossing it over me. “I think that’s a fine idea.”

“No, it’s not! That’s a terrible idea.” I reached to grab his arm. He grunted, leaning in to whisper once more:

“Fire is always a good idea! Stay here.”

“No, it isn’t, you idiot –”

But Daithi jerked away like a little grasshopper and ran. In the darkness, it was difficult to see him, but he ran to the large hut.

I prayed under my breath angrily, heart hammering in my chest.

 

echo SNIPPET

“I’m… I’m… weak.”

“How?” his voice was so soft. So… sad. It made me want to truly break. I didn’t have to be strong now. Not with him. Everyone else, yes, I had to be strong and encouraging and brave for.

But him?

I could break and scream and cry… He’d only remind me of truths like I was still made of gold. He saw great amounts of pain in his world, yet never told me my pains were tiny. Or stupid.

“I can’t… FIX anything! Nothing! Nothing at all!” I cried, head down as I hugged my chest tight. “God isn’t listening! He’s just… We’re alone!”

His voice came gently: “You aren’t alone. He’s with you. Right now.”

 

SEEK SNIPPET #1 | ANGEL POV

“I didn’t mean…” Eli sucked in a breath, obviously struggling for words. “I didn’t mean to make you out to be like her. You’re not. I know that. I just… I was just being stupid.”

Asher looked at Eli like he’d grown another head, but a slow smirk tugged on his lips.

I bit my lip, shaking my head slightly. “I’m… sorry I blew up.”

“You’re stressed. Rightfully so.” Eli’s tone was matter-of-fact. “I am sorry, though. I don’t think you have a grudge. I just wasn’t thinking.”

“He does that a lot.” Asher added easily.

 

SEEK SNIPPET #2 | ANGEL POV

We were total strangers. He was a thug. Not a great mix for relaxation.

Unless you were Asher.

He lay sprawled out on the living room couch, eating ice cream out of the tub, dressed in pajamas. The TV played a Western movie with John Wayne in it, or someone famous I couldn’t recall very well. He hadn’t a care in the world.

I was almost jealous of him. I couldn’t sit still or eat much, and I gulped down water thirstily, growing queasy. Don’t panic now. Just because we’re sharing our safe house with two thugs who shot at us… Doesn’t mean I have to be afraid. OK, Lord. Please, help me. My flesh is really weak right now. And tired. And it’s not been but a few days… Help me… Give us all strength. And courage. I could use some courage right now…

 

SEEK SNIPPET #3 | ELI POV

I glanced to the shooter calmly, “What’s your name, kid?”

He scowled at my nickname. “I’m Todd. And you’re really screwed.”

“Hardly an intimidating threat when you’re the one shaking.” I replied easily, glancing at his trembling hands. How had he gotten in Viktor’s group if he was so… Immature? “You sure you’re one if Viktor’s guys, kid?”

“Stop calling me that.” Todd snapped, fists clenched tight. He stepped closer to Earl but Asher didn’t look up from bandaging Earl’s arm.

“Hey.” Earl eyed me, eyes piercing. Warning. “Leave him be.”

 

~~~

 

I’ve had these lil’ dudes for over a year and just now am showing them to y’all… sorry.

Alright, so, I’m pretty tired and want to relax (or maybe just freak out over the upcoming Venom movie. Which comes out THE SAME DAY AS ‘TRENCH’ DOES, ON OCTOBER 5TH. Trench is Twenty One Pilots’ new album, by the way… Let’s just say, my birthday month is looking fabulous… 😉 )…. So, that’s all for now! God bless.

– Ang

 

HOW IS YOUR CAMP NANO GOING? ARE YOU REACHING YOUR GOALS? ALSO, ANYONE ELSE ODDLY EXCITED FOR VENOM?

BOOK SPOTLIGHT, REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW | THROUGH ALL THINGS by MALACHI CYR

Malachi Cyr is having a fantastic blog tour for Through All Things, a historical fiction novel! I am super stoked, y’all, and will be doing a book spotlight, book review, and author interview! Oh, and there’s an epic giveaway going on… You won’t wanna miss this.

 

THROUGH ALL THINGS

Loved ones must be rescued.

His brothers depend on him for survival.

The trail behind him is already stained with pain and loss.

Allen is only seventeen, but tragedy and a strong sense of duty already weigh on his shoulders. As the French and Indians wage brutal warfare on the English settlers, Allen embarks on a treacherous journey to free his captive sister and her friend.

With little hope of survival and even less for success, Allen knows he needs God to do the impossible. But if God is able to do all things, why does everything seem to be going wrong?

 

AUTHOR BIO

Malachi is a Christian, homeschooled teenager who highly enjoys putting the stories from his imagination down on paper.
He enjoys reading, writing, airsofting, sword fighting, frizbee, woodworking, Bible studies, working with his Dad, hiking, camping, generally doing stuff with his friends, and too many other things to count.
He writes to
1. Glorify and honor God in his stories.
2. Make the stories that he’s played up in his head come to life.
3. Have fun.

Blog: Brainstorms with Rain

Goodreads: Malachi Cyr

Generation Rising: Malachi Cyr

 

BOOK REVIEW

In short, this book is one I want to have on my shelves just so I can pick it up every now and then, to remember. Remember how that no matter the pain we face, God is still in control. This is the kinda book that really dug deep for me… And it takes time to process all that these pages held. So I’ll do a quick basis review and then really dig into things…

Rating: 5/5 stars

Writing: It was immediately gripping and everything played out in a flowing, vivid manner. I felt like I was there.

Setting: I’ve read pretty much no historical fiction set in colonial times, and what I have has been like boring toast. This book was incredibly realistic and the locations were all very well done. I really enjoyed it.

Characters: They were all so real. I felt strongly for all of them and their goals, hopes, and emotions were always portrayed and executed astoundingly. The little things all pulled together so well, and I smiled more than once because of how great the characters were (Charlie and Ben, though, guys… And Behr… and Nootau’s story just, so much yes…).

Story/Plot: Where do I start… It was amazing. But a whole lot more on this later. For now, the plot was smooth, well motivated, and very intriguing.  Like I said, books that deal with heavier topics usually don’t hold good places in my hearts because they get darkened so, so easier. Being an empath can be hard. Reading a novel where my own fear are played out? Really hard. And yet, I couldn’t put this book down.

Now, for the deep stuff.

In truth, this book hit some of my own personal, biggest fears. Who doesn’t fear losing family? I’ve always had the fear I’ll lose my family and have to keep pushing on — because by then, I’m thinking ‘why? Why bother fighting if the ones I love are gone?’ I usually avoid fiction with such topics (I don’t watch Red Dawn with my family because, uh, no… thanks…) because I don’t want to empathically think like that. I do it enough on my own. Add fiction, making it all the more vivid? Not a fun choice.

But Through All Things was different. Usually, I’d always remove a star (or more) from a book if it was too sad/someone died, but this book handled things in a way that really opened my eyes… I’ve always been covering the part of me that fears such things — this book opened that fear wide and dealt with it. I found myself strongly relating to the main character, Allen, even though I’ve never personally lost someone dear to me… I had thought about such pains. And in other ways in my life, I really understood the constant ‘why, God? Why are You not hearing me?’ And I cried, y’all. More than once. A couple times.

Still, this book was strangely… uplifting. That word is kinda small. But the book didn’t shy away from raw, chaotic, painful life — and that’s how it is, y’all. Life is so hard. It doesn’t help to say ‘things will be OK because we have God’ — yes. But that doesn’t make life less difficult. I loved this book because it pushed on and showed what the Word of God had to say. God doesn’t say things will be easy. Doesn’t promise us we get to keep our families. But He promises us that with Him, all things are possible. There’s so much to this life, folks, and TAT showed me that living in fear is not something we should do. In Christ, we have power to fight and protect, without living in fear.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What inspired you to write Through All Things, and what made you pursue it to the end?

I don’t recall what originally inspired me, but I was re-inspired by watching the movie Alone Yet Not Alone. I had a lot of encouragement to keep at it until the end, and I wanted to see it in print as well. 😉

 

If you could pick one place in this story to go visit for yourself, what place would that be and why?

I would want to visit the Sanford homestead. It’s fictional, so I couldn’t really, but I would like to see it. It’s also about the only “Place” in my story other than Cedarville or the Indian village, since the entire time the boys are on the move. If I got the opportunity to visit a real location from my story, it would have to be the St. Lawrence River (of course it would need to be the location I picked out on Google Maps when I was writing this story). That would be cool.

What is one major lesson God showed you while you worked on TAT?

So I thought that I had learned the lesson of this story about trusting God through hard times, but while I was writing it came true in a whole new way since I have a friend who is battling both Lymphoma cancer and Lyme disease. Seeing him suffer made me want to question why God is doing this, and then my own writing is dealing with that exact question.

Do you see a lot of yourself in Allen, the main character?

I can at times, more so than many of my other characters.

If there’s one thing you pray this story gives its readers, what would that be?

I want to leave people with hope and a trust that God does know best. We all go through a lot of difficult times, and we often either question why God is putting us through the trial or forget that He is sovereignly directing it it in the first place and begin to think that we’re all alone. What we have to remember is that He does all things well, that it all will work together for our good, and that He is with us all the way.

 

SCHEDULE

July 9th

Liberty H @ https://goneinadream.wordpress.com/: Book Review

July 10th

Anna Willis @ https://astorynerdslife.wordpress.com/: Character Interview

July 11th

Angela Watts @ https://thepeculiarmessenger.wordpress.com/: Author Interview/Book Spotlight/Book Review

July 12th

Kaylee @ http://kayleeskindofwrites.blogspot.com/: Book Review

July 13th

Maggie Joy @https://myatticcorner.wordpress.com/: Author Interview

July 14th

Amie @ https://crazya.blog/: Author/Character Interview

Rosy Marr @ https://rosyswritings.wordpress.com/: Author Interview

 

GIVEAWAY

ENTER HERE!

I am so not fooling around when I say this giveaway is SO EPIC, GUYS. Also, it is domestic only, so international entries will get a $20 amazon eGift card and a Kindle copy of Through All Things. Super neat!

 

~~~

 

Huge thanksto Malachi for letting me take part in the blog tour, and doing the author interview with me. Congratulations on publishing TAT — the world needs to read this book!

God bless,

– Ang

 

ARE YOU EXCITED FOR THROUGH ALL THINGS?! DID YOU ENJOY THE INTERVIEW?