Captives Review

Captives The Safe Lands   In a dystopian future, eighteen-year-old Levi returns from Denver City with his latest scavenged treasures and finds his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many–including his fiancĂ©e, Jemma–taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.

My Review

Captives is a very captivating book.  From the very first page it intrigued me!  The characters are so real and they have relatable flaws...even Omar.  I was able to have sympathy on every single character!  There are some wonderful messages in this book about deception, forgiveness, and beauty!  Jill did a fabulous job writing this!

At some points, I was uncomfortable.  The people of the Safe Lands did drugs and some other bad things.  I would advise this book for older teens and adults.

Overall, this was a very good book and I would recommend it to anyone over about 15 or so!

About the Author

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms and the award-winning author of several speculative fiction novels including By Darkness Hid, Replication, The New Recruit, and Captives. She got into writing one day when someone was complaining about teen books and she thought, “I could do that! How hard could it be?” Very, she soon learned. But she worked hard, and four years later, her first book, By Darkness Hid, was published and won several awards.
Jill is a Whovian, a Photoshop addict, and a recovering fashion design assistant, who was raised in Alaska. She loves teaching about writing, which she does weekly at www.GoTeenWriters.com. She lives in Oregon with her husband, two children, and a whole lot of deer.

Watch The Book Trailer!


The Maze Runner Review

The Maze Runner cover.pngIf you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

  Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

  Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

  Everything is going to change.

  Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

 Remember. Survive. Run.

My Review
I decided to read this book a few months ago after watching one of the trailers for the movie, which I still haven't seen.  I borrowed this book from a friend and finished it soon after.  :)  Overall, it was an adrenaline rush!  It was so full of mystery and plot twists!  Some things I could predict, but some things I did not.

I do have to warn you that there is a little bit of fowl language, the use of God's name in vain, and the characters insult each other using some words I think the author made up.  If I were the author I would not have made this choice.  Another thing is that there are monsters in the Maze called the Grievers that can be frightening and will kill people in the Maze.  Yes, people do die in this book, even though when I still hadn't finished it I was in denial that people were actually killed by the Grievers.

Overall, this is a great book if you can overlook the negativity above!  I recommend it to teens and adults who are looking for a fast moving action story (and can overlook some of the language choices.)  I will probably finish this series as it ends on a suspenseful note!

About the Author

Image of James DashnerJames Dashner is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series that includes The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, and The Kill Order. He has also written The Eye of Minds (book one in the Mortality Doctrine series), the 13th Reality series, and two books in The Infinity Ring series: A Mutiny in Time and The Iron Empire.

Dashner was born and raised in Georgia but now lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains. To learn more about James and his books, visit JamesDashner.com, follow @jamesdashner on Twitter, or find dashnerjames on Instagram.

Link to Buy The Maze Runner Kindle Edition: http://www.amazon.com/Maze-Runner-Book-One-ebook/dp/B002QE3CTY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1414548229

Link to Buy The Maze Runner Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/The-Maze-Runner-Book-1/dp/0385737955/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1414548229&sr=8-1

NaNoWriMo is Coming!

It is almost National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo!  I am doing it with a word count goal of 30,000 goals!


Guest Post on Katie's Blog

Guess what!  I'm a guest blogger!  Check out the post that I wrote at A Writer's Faith!  Next month sometime, Katie, the author of A Writer's Faith will be guest blogging right here!

I'm sorry that I have been ignoring my blog lately, it's just that I have been REALLY busy the past couple of weeks.  I have also decided that The Elvish Pen is no longer, since I really don't feel that there is anywhere for the story to go.  :( If any of you readers out there have blogs, feel free to continue it!


Writing Tip: Outlining

On Saturday, I learned a very important lesson: outlining can be extremely helpful.  Before, I was totally opposed to it, but now, not as much.  Not only will it help me keep the pacing in my novel so that it doesn't end up only 20,000 words long, it will help me know what to write in each chapter!

First, let me give you the reasons why I didn't like to outline before.

1. Writing down exactly what was going to happen made me feel like all of my ideas were on paper so there was no point in writing the novel.

2. It didn't give me too much creative freedom.

3. I wanted to just write wherever my brain took me!

How did I overcome those dislikes? 

- I wrote down a starter for each chapter.  For example, I might put Chapter 7-"I won't do as you say."  It starts the action, but I know what needs to happen by the end of the chapter, which needs to be at least 2,500 words.

- With what I did to outline, it gives me plenty of creative freedom!

- I can write wherever my brain takes me as long as I reach a certain point by the end of the chapter.

I hope this helps you in your writing journey!

God Bless,
Alea Harper


Bible Verse, and Something That I Learned

Todays Bible verse is Acts 17:26-27. 

     "From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us." Acts 17:26-27 NIV

     You will see how this verse fits in with the second part of this post in a minute.  :)  So, here goes.  :)
     Before church started, during social time, people were talking about the ebola virus and how it is spreading and a whole bunch of other really scary things related to it!  I actually got really freaked out about it, sitting there hearing that.  But then, God spoke to me, not by literally speaking, but by impressing something on my heart.  It was by telling me that I can't die before he says it's okay.  Nothing can happen to me without His okay.  He is in control.  Also, I know that when I die, I will live forever with Him in heaven!
     I also have something else I would like to share with you pertaining to the subject of ebola, and all illnesses and diseases really.  God heals every one of His children.  Now, it doesn't mean that they live, sometimes he gives them the ultimate healing by calling them home to heaven!
     Now, tying this together with the verse at the beginning of this post, God puts us all in the place where we might reach out to Him.  He chose for us to live in the time where the ebola virus is.  Isn't there a reason for this?  And if God is for us, who can be against us?  Whom (or what) shall we fear?

Have a great rest of your Sunday and God Bless!

Alea Harper


Writing Prompt #2

Your life as a secret agent. Tell about some of  the cases and how you solved them.  You have special abilities.  What are these special abilities?  How do you like being a secret agent?


Writing Prompt #1

You get locked inside a theme park overnight.  How did you get locked inside?  What did you do?  Where did you sleep?  Who was with you?


My First Book - Part 3 Among Other Things

Before I begin my story rewrite part 2, I want to announce that Go Teen Writers is having a giant Word War this weekend, starting today!  In the comments, there are word wars going on all of the time!  It's awesome!  So if you want to get some words on your novel and be encouraged by fellow writers, definitely "come on out"!  Who knows, you may word war with me.  ;)

Another thing is that I would like to start posting some writing prompts and story starters.  My mom recently found a whole bunch of prompts when she was organizing so I may post a few of those!

And now for Part 2 of The Fairy Story......

     "Umm...hi.  You probably don't know me but..." I trailed off, feeling extremely awkward.  Both of the fairies turned around.
     "What are you talking about?  Of course we know who you are!  You're Talmund's daughter, aren't you?" the taller fairy replied.  I chuckled nervously.
     "N-no.  I am a human."  The look they gave me was quite comical, as if they didn't understand the concept of "human".  "Human.  As in flightless fairy."  I made sure and sounded out the word "human" for them.
     "Well, that sounds an awful lot like a fairy to me."
     "Fairies fly, humans don't," I responded.
     "Fairies can't fly.  Our wings aren't strong enough," the taller one spoke up, clearly as confused as I was.
     "Fairies who can't fly?  Well that is just about the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of!"

Look for the next part next week!


The Elvish Pen - Episode 8

Episode 8

     "I'll explain later," Aiwin replied.  Then, he turned back to his father and the man who was with them.
     "Is there some connection between my grandmother and you guys here that I need to know about?" Rox asked, a little frustrated.  She placed her hands on her hips and glanced at her brother, then her father, and finally at the random messenger.
     "Okay, why don't we go for a walk while Father makes war preparations?"  Rox nodded in acknowledgement.  Then, the two of them left the room.  They walked out of the doors and into the wooden city.
     "Can you please fill me in?"
     "Yes," her brother gave her a quick smile.  "Your father came to your world and met your mother. Then, they got married.  He was not next in line for the throne at the time.  The heir was killed by goblins and he had to leave your mother, along with you.  Ever since, we have been sworn enemies of the goblins."
     "And upon leaving Mom he promised to always protect the border.  This makes a lot more sense now."


Updates! Updates! Updates!

My life is crazy.  Utterly crazy.  So, today I am going to give you one giant updates post.  I will update on novel progress, 100 for 100 Challenge, etc.   :)

Update #1 - My Novel

Death Like Sleep
Chapter I'm Currently Writing: 7
Word Count: 12,583
Synopsis: "It doesn't matter.  Wherever you want.  You have about a million to choose from," I laughed lightheartedly.  Suddenly, my vision blurred and spots flew before my eyes.  The world began to spin.  Was this was vertigo feels like?  My heart pounded.  Was I dying?  I struggled to take a breath and my knees buckled.  My eyes closed and my head never hit the floor of the stadium.
When Lyric Valvo wakes up in a strange forest that she doesn't recognize (more due to the fact that she has never seen a forest), she and her best friend Finn are mistaken for runaway soldiers and treated harshly.  On top of that, Lyric has a strange attraction to sharp edges.  Could this be related to something that happened just after she was born?  How did she get to where ever she is?  Are the fabled Mind Wars real?
Update #2 - I'm on Pinterest!  To see my pins, just click here!  I also have a board for Death Like Sleep on there, so make sure and check that out!
Update #3 - Go Teen Writers 100 for 100 Challenge
I have to admit that I am not doing the greatest on this.  I have missed about a week of this.  :(
Day 1: About 100 words
Day 2: About 20 words
Day 3: 290 words
Day 4: 208 words
Day 5: 126 words
Day 6: 112 words
Day 8: 119 words
Day 9: none
Day 10: none
Day 11: none
Day 12: none
Day 13: none
Day 14: none
Day 15: none
Day 16: 310
Day 17: 567
Update #4 - The Elvish Pen
The Elvish pen has been going on for a couple of months now, and I hope that you guys are enjoying it!  I sure am!  Later this month, I am planning on having a special guest write the episode!
Update #5 - The Fairy Story
A couple of days ago, I posted a story that I wrote when I was 5 years old, and now, I am rewriting it into a short story for all ages.  Yesterday, I posted the first part of the rewritten story.  I am not sure how long it is going to be, but would you like to read more of it?  Should I post parts on a weekly basis, sort of like The Elvish Pen?  Vote on the bar on the left, just about me on the About Me section!  If you are reading this post through email, please follow these directions:
1. Hover your mouse over the title of the post.  It should be in Navy Blue.
2. Click on the title of the post.
3. The internet will come up and it will bring up the post in the email.
4. Vote just above the About Me section on the right side of the Web Page.
Well, I think that is all of the updates for now!  Have a great day and God Bless! :)


My First Book - Part 2

Yesterday I posted what my first book was, word for word, including the pictures I drew as a 5 year old to go with it.  Today, I have rewritten it!  Which do you like better?  Vote on it above the About Me section on the right side of the Web Page.  If you are reading this post through email, please go to the bottom of the post to see the directions.  :)

     It was July 21, 2014.  It was hot.  Too hot to be outside.  I attempted to brave the humidity, but after five minutes, my clothes were soaked through with sweat.  Yes, hot was an understatement.  With the outdoors absolutely not an option, I was left with nothing to do but play on my computer, but I was bored with that already.  I needed some fresh air.
     I laid back on my bed, staring at the fan going round and round, creating an artificial wind.  Oh, did I forget to mention that I was home alone?  That's king of important to my tale, just so you know.  (This is the spot where I would have put a smiley face, but its a piece of writing and those aren't allowed...or so my teacher told me...)
     Suddenly, in the midst of the bored silence, I heard a noise.  Normally, I would've paid no heed, but I was home alone.  The sound was like wind chimes, the thing was that my family didn't own any wind chimes.  I bolted upright and peered cautiously out of my blinds.  My mouth dropped open.  What I saw out of that window was absolutely, positively not my backyard!  There was really tall, beautiful green grass that flowed in the wind like silk and really tall trees.  There were also flowers, which people were picking.  Upon closer observation, I noticed that the people had wings!  I shut my eyes and then opened them, to make sure that my eyes weren't going wacko, and when they still had wings I pinched myself a dozen times or so.  I am so dreaming, I thought.
     Without any more delays of my gawking, I opened the window and slid outside.  I turned around to close the window.  The house was gone.  Uh-oh...
I just realized that this story should probably take up 2 posts instead of just one, just because of the length.  :)  Do you like it?
How to Vote If You Are Reading This Post Through Email:
1. Hover your mouse over the title of the post.  It should be in Navy Blue.
2. Click on the title of the post.
3. The internet will come up and it will bring up the post in the email.
4. Vote just above the About Me section on the right side of the Web Page.


My First Book - Part 1

Hello!  Today I am going to share my first book with you.  I think I was about 5 or 6 years old when I wrote it and it is very horrible!  It is about 2 fairies, Fairy Megan and Fairy Anna.  Very original, I know.  (Can you see the sarcasm in there?) ;)  I actually bound the book using a tool by Binding Books Beautifully!  So, here is my first book called The Fairy Story.

Once upon a time, there were two fairies named Fairy Anna and Fairy Megan.  They were twin sisters and they were three.  They could not fly because their wings were not sturdy yet.  They had a little fairy cat, who had cute little wings.  Her name was Fairy Heart.  She could fly, just like all the other fairies, except for Fairy Anna and Fairy Megan.
Fairy Anna and Fairy Megan lived in Fairy Land.  It was a beautiful land!  There were many trees, beautiful grass, and flowers, which they liked to pick.
The fairy houses were in the trees.  Each house had the fairy's name on it.  The twins had a ladder to get to their house, because they could not fly.
One day, all of the fairies came out to play.  They played Fly Tag.  Fairy Anna and Fairy Megan tried to fly, but they could not.  They felt sad.
They went back to their house.

         Fairy Megan said, "Hey, Fairy Anna, why don't we go talk to a butterfly and maybe she will teach us how to fly."   "That's a great idea," said Fairy Anna to Fairy Megan.  Fairy Heart went along with them.
 So, they walked and walked and walked until they got to a butterfly.  She lived in a garden.
Fairy Megan said, "Can you teach us how to fly?"
"Yes, I can teach you two fairies how to fly," said the butterfly.  The butterfly took them to a mountaintop.  Then, she jumped and flapped her wings to show them.  The twins held hands, flapped their wings, and jumped.  They started falling.  The butterfly flew down under them and caught them.  Then, she flew the twin sisters to her garden.
Fairy Anna and Fairy Megan said, "Thank you for helping us.  Good-bye!  Good-bye!  Good-bye!"

Then, they did not have to go too far to look for an owl who could talk.  The owl took Fairy Anna and Fairy Megan up to his tree.
Fairy Anna said, "Can you please teach us how to fly?"

"Yes," said the owl.  He took them to the edge of the bough.  Then, he showed them how to fly and said, "See, I can fly.  Now, you try."  Fairy Anna and Fairy Megan jumped off the edge of the tree and flapped their wings.  Then, they fell again.  The owl swooped down and went under them, and he caught them.  Then, he took them down to the grass.
The twin sisters said, "Thank you for trying to teach us how to fly.  Good-bye!  Good-bye!  Good-bye!"
Then, they walked until they got to Fairy Land, where the fairies were still playing.
Fairy Anna said to the other fairies, "Excuse me!  Can you please make our wings sturdy?"
"Yes," said the fairies.  Then, the fairies took out their magic wands.
The Magic wands said, "Poof!"  Then, Fairy Anna and Fairy Megan tried to fly and they could.  The magic wands did it!
They said, "Thank you for making our wings sturdy!"  Then, to celebrate, they all played Fly Tag, including Fairy Heart.
The End!
Wasn't that cute?  Tomorrow, I am going to rewrite it and post my rewrite.  I wonder how it will turn out...