Today I'm hosting Raechel, who might be the youngest book blogger I know. This gives her a unique viewpoint on today's Christian fiction.
Welcome Raechel! How long have you been reviewing and how did you decide on the theme for your blog?
R: Hello Debra! I’m really excited to be here. :) I’ve been reviewing for about 7 years, I believe. As for how I came to decide on the theme of my blog, it started out just being an All-Purpose blog when I was about 14 years old - I really loved the verse and concept of being God’s Peculiar Treasures, so I adopted that into the name Godspeculiartreasurerae.wordpress.com and kept with it. I do still use my blog for all-purposes, but reviewing is the primary posts because...well, I love books. :)
D: I think that progression from a broader to a narrower focus for a blog is common. So, what’s the best part of being a reviewer?
R: Definitely getting the chance to read (sometimes even advance read) amazing books! For free, too. That’s pretty great. I am a book-lover through and through, so starting new adventures is always a joy.
D: Free books are a great reason to start blogging, but writing reviews is not for everyone! I'm all for simple reviews, but some of you bloggers are incredible! What’s the most difficult part of the ‘the job’?
R: Hmmm...probably having to have reviews posted on time. There are some publishers that require you to have a book read and reviewed on a certain date, and that can be hard when life intervenes. Usually the required date is far enough out that it doesn’t cause too much of a problem, but still, it can be difficult. And I have an immensely hard time when I have to review a book I didn’t necessarily care for. It’s rare, but it happens, and I hate to give a ‘bad review’, so I try to be as gentle as I can, always. I know how much work an author puts into their stories!
D: I think we all know that everyone's tastes are different. Look at ice cream! So, I agree and absolutely appreciate what you're saying! Speaking of... What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
R: Well, I’m sure there’s actually been several, but I think I’ll go with “Bread of Angels” by Tessa Afshar. I love her books and never want to put them down. :)
D: Without trying to sound all woo-woo here, I'd say that Tessa has a special calling and anointing to write Biblical fiction. Absolutely! (I just finished Land of Silence, myself!) Here's Raechel's review!
D: What do you do when you aren’t making authors happy? (I assume you have a life outside of fiction. Maybe not!)
R: There’s a life outside of fiction?! Hehe, just kidding. Besides reading, I also enjoy writing my own stories, growing more in Jesus, and being with my family, to name a few things. :)
D: What would you like to share about yourself that few people know?
R: I have sensory-integration-dysfunction. I’ve struggled with it since I was four or five years old. It’s hard to explain what all it entails, but for me it is primarily how clothing feels against my skin, and some emotional issues. It’s not an ‘issue’ I hear about frequently, but I think there might be quite a few people who do deal with it, knowingly or unknowingly, and I’ve always wanted to let others know that they’re not alone in this struggle. God brings His presence, and I believe He will bring His healing in time. :)
D: I think sensory dysfunction is much more common that people realize, but thankfully it's recognized more now and children are given ways to deal with it than say, ten years ago. Not understanding the symptoms means a label of 'behavioral problems'! I have a special young man in my life that deals with something similar. Thank you for talking about it!
D: What is your favorite fiction setting? Place and time? Genre’?
R: Oooh, hard question. I like a lot of different things in fiction! I guess Medieval/Magic-less Fantasy and Biblical Fiction would be a close tie, but I also love books set in the 40’s, and contemporary clean romances have become a recent favourite...so hard to choose!
D: Which gives me a chance to say I want to sit down someday and read through all of Sarah Sundin's books! (She's such a sweetheart, too!)
The truth is... I went snooping and saw that you also like knife and tomahawk throwing, so I'm going to ask you more about this in the comments. GOTCHA!
What’s your favorite movie to watch if you had a rainy afternoon alone? What if that afternoon rolled into a quiet evening alone… What catered meal would you like delivered to your house? Cost is not an issue!
R: I think I’d have to choose…”Wives and Daughters” or “North and South” (both Elizabeth Gaskell adaptations), but Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” (with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds) would be a close one too. Mmm, a catered meal sounds fabulous, especially with cost not being an issue. ;) I think I’d have to go with a small buffet - I’d want a little of everything. :D
|I'm whipping cream. I'll be right back!||(photo courtesy of Pixabay)|
D: How funny! Kav Rees, my last guest, chose Wives and Daughters too. Elizabeth Gaskell, if you're listening, We Love You! I own it and both Persuasions. Ciaran Hinds is a bad guy in a Thomas Hardy series and it's hard to not picture him as Capt. Wentworth! oh my!
Meanwhile, I've ordered that buffet. We'll start with strawberry cheesecake!
D: If you could wiggle your nose and be in your dream career, what would it be?
R: That would be a missionary. I’ve known that’s what I wanted to ‘be’ since I was 13, and God has only strengthened that desire over the years. Just waiting on His timing!
D: I think you have a very good chance of that happening, as opposed to professional fabric hoarder (my choice). I'll be watching for updates!
What piece of advice would you offer authors who are just starting out?
R: Focus on God and what He’s guiding you to write - critiques and reviews are definitely important, but God’s heart in a story is the most important thing, I believe!
D: I have to remind myself of this all the time! Some of my stories are closer to the center of Christian fiction, (we call that Preaching to the Choir), but I try to just write the story that I need to tell at the time, and hope they find the readers they were meant for.
Raechel, I love what you're doing with your blog and we all appreciate the role of book blogger/ reviewers. Thank you so much for helping us all out, and for visiting the Inkwell!
Here's another fun way to follow Raechel - Twitter! @raechel_95
I'm also doing a summer promotion on my newsletter. (This might help someone buy that Wives and Daughters DVD now.. heh heh). One of the new subscribers during June, July and August will receive a $25.00 Amazon gift card. This will not include those who come in through other promotions such as BookSweeps, so the numbers will be in your favor if you sign up!
SIGNUP for Debra's Newsletter
Thank you so much, Debra! What fun this has been. :) Oh yes, my love of blades! Fun surprise question. :D Knife-throwing came first for me, but tomahawk throwing came shortly after, and both of these were around the age of 14/15 too. I'd always loved knives, but hadn't learned to throw them until a friend showed me. Then there was no turning back for me! That video is very accurate on tomahawk throwing - it is quite simple! And knife-throwing is exceedingly pleasing; a bit harder, but so enjoyable when it hits the target.ReplyDelete
I think it is so funny that the reviewer right before me chose W&D too! Such a good movie. <3
I love Sarah Sundin's books too. :)
Thank you again!!
I know this sounds like a cheap excuse but I should have done a giveaway of Wives and Daughters for the week. If I'd known, when I set up Kav's post. I think, given the balance issue, a tomahawk would be easier than a knife. I've tossed an axe or to (I mean what gal hasn't?)Delete
How lovely to meet you Raechel. Sounds like reviewing is a calling for you and it certainly is a ministry as you are helping authors with your words. You've also introduced me to a new author. I've never heard of Tessa Afshar. I'll look at that book today. I really enjoyed your visit here.ReplyDelete
I think Tessa Afshar receives awards with each release!Delete
Thanks for commenting, Christina!
Hello Christina, and thank you! I'm very glad I can help recommend authors. I hope you are blessed by Tessa Afshar's books - I agree with what Debra said; I believe God completely writes through her!ReplyDelete
So interesting! The knife throwing reminds me of Lucy Pevensie. :DReplyDelete
I love learning more about our wonderful bloggers. They're always so interesting.
Thank you, Raechel,for all you do to promote Christian fiction. :D