2021 Silmaril Awards // Voting Round!

Wow…I’m proud to say that this year’s nomination round turned out to be my most commented-on post EVER. That is INSANE! Thank you guys all so much for all of your nominations and second! The Silmaril Awards wouldn’t be possible without all of your participation.

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But enough of that, let’s get to what everyone really cares about…who are the nominees?

Drum roll!

For the Most Epic Hero category, the nominees are…

Janner Igiby from the Wingfeather Saga! Janner is deeply selfless and would do anything to protect his family and the people he loves. He takes his responsibilities seriously and acts as a leader, someone to look up to, for his siblings. He can usually be found reading or daydreaming about places and people he misses.

Nick Beasley from the Afterverse! Nick is always ready with a witty or sarcastic quip, and most of the time, he’s simply done with everything and everyone. But despite being a skeptical grump, he has a good heart deep down and he cares deeply about the people he loves.

Artham Wingfeather from the Wingfeather Saga! Artham is a noble defender, extremely loyal to his family, despite coming into conflict with them at times. He suffers from the darkness and shame of his past, but this poet chooses to keep moving forward, working through his struggles.

Will Treaty from the Ranger’s Apprentice! Will was made to be a Ranger, having the skills and the strength necessary for the taxing job. He is good-natured, very friendly, and a quick-thinker. Though he may be young, he takes the responsibility of being a Ranger very seriously.

Zero from the City Between! Zero is a half-fae, half-human with a cold, emotionless facade. But deep down, he is extremely protective and loyal to his friends. Though he may look intimidating (he’s nicknamed the ice man!), he has a solid heart and cares very much for those who are close to him.

Now that you have the ballot, be sure to vote! Follow this link and vote for who you think should win in each category. Follow these links to see the descriptions of all the other nominees this year!

And may your favorite characters win!

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Thanks again for such a wonderful turnout this year, guys! I’m still blown away by the amount of comments I received. Have fun voting, and don’t forget to visit all the presenters’ blogs to find out who the winners are, starting on the 20th!

The 2021 Silmaril Awards // Nomination Round {CLOSED}

Hello guys! You know what time of year it is…that wonderful time where we all come together as fellow book lovers and discuss and debate our favorite fantasy characters to see who wins the famed Silmaril Awards! (Okay, maybe not quite”‘famed” yet. But we’re working on it 😉)

This week begins with our nomination round! And this year, I’ll be presenting…

Most Epic Hero!

What makes an epic hero? Is it the exciting quest they go on to save the world? Is it their charm? Their courage? Maybe their compassion? Or their willingness to face danger head on, even when they’re afraid? I think it can be all of these things and more! But you tell me…who is deserving of the title Most Epic Hero?

Before you head down to the comments, let’s go over a few rules:

  • NO Lord of the Rings characters. Most of them will be presenting the award winners, and, well, how awkward would it be to accept your own award?
  • No previous winners. If you don’t know who those previous winners, check it out on our site!
  • Only fantasy characters are available for nomination. If a solid argument can be made for a certain book or series that you think is technically in the fantasy genre…we’ll allow it (such as The Lunar Chronicles).
  • Be sure to mention which book/series the characters are from. Us mods consider ourselves fantasy experts extraordinaire… but we haven’t read every single fantasy book out there. It really helps us out!
  • Nominate and second as many characters as your dragon-loving heart desires. All you have to do is comment down below! The top 5 MOST seconded characters will go on to the final round, so seconding is important!
  • Authors are NOT allowed to vote for their own characters. But you can definitely encourage your fans to vote for them!

After leaving your pick(s) for the most epic hero down below, definitely go check out and nominate your favorites in all of the other 11 categories!

“Wait a minute,” you might be thinking. “11 categories? I thought there were only 10.”

And you would be right. If this year we weren’t introducing an all new, super exciting NEW category!! (Which we are, in case you didn’t pick up on that 😉)

And, if I can have a drum roll please…

Suspense Anticipation GIF

Our new category, presented by the lovely Sarah Pennington is…

• Most Majestic Ruler!


Here are all of the links to the categories so you can go nominate your favorites!

Who do you think deserves the title Most Epic Hero? Leave your nomination down below! And remember, nominations close the following Saturday morning, so get them in before then! Have fun! 😊

9 Christian Books You Should Check Out

Hey guys! Doesn’t it seem like summer has just zoomed by? It’s so weird to me that it’s already nearly the end of August. Though I have to say, I’m pretty excited for the colder weather so I can wear my arsenal of sweaters and long-sleeved shirts I have hanging in my closet 😊

I’ve been trying to read more this summer, and not just the normal genres I read, but non-fiction too, particularly good Christian non-fiction. I don’t usually read a lot of non-fiction, but I’m coming to find that it can be really, really fascinating and engaging. I need to do it more 😂

So I thought I would share 9 of my favorite Christian non-fiction books with you all so I can tell you about how awesome they are!

Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

If you’re like me (which, maybe you are?), you need a devotional to prompt you to read your Bible. I have a hard time just opening up the book and reading a random chapter. I like things a little more structured, so I tend to read a lot of devotionals. And this is one that I can definitely recommend. Every morning and evening is a short devotional with a Scripture passage and Spurgeon’s commentary on it. It’s highly fascinating and often very encouraging!

The Spirit-Filled Life by Charles Stanley

This book really convicted me in several different ways. Stanley talks about who the Holy Spirit is and the power that he grants us if only we let him work in our lives. It made me think differently about who I really am as a believer. The Holy Spirit can and does work in our lives, and once we realize that, we can grow closer in our relationship with him. Stanley’s writing style is very conversational and friendly and he’s really good at explaining difficult concepts. It’s a good one!

Heaven by Randy Alcorn

What is heaven like? I’m sure we’ve all wondered. At least, I have. I’ve even worried about it. What if I don’t like it in heaven? Will I remember everyone I knew on earth? What is the new earth? All of these and so, so, so many more questions are answered in this book. Of course, we can’t know all of these things for sure, but Alcorn does a great job of pulling examples and information from Scripture to answer questions to the best of his abilities. It was a great encouragement and fascinating learning experience for me. It changed the way I think about heaven!

Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace

Wallace is a homicide detective who investigates the legitimacy of the Gospels. The factual evidence and history he brings into the argument are really compelling and the way he explains and thoroughly combs through every aspect of Jesus’s life is something to be admired. He’s not afraid to ask questions and dig deep into different claims scientists and atheists make. It’s an interesting commentary and I was really encouraged by the solidity of his stance. I recommend if you’re a Christian looking for reassurance of what you know to be true or if you’re someone who’s not sure and wants to learn more.

The Literary Study Bible created by Crossway

When I first saw this I immediately knew I had to have it. The Bible with commentary on the literary aspects of the writing? Yes please! I have yet to make it all the way through this (the Bible is long…😂) but what I’ve read is very helpful in understanding the meaning and context behind the prose and different styles of writing the Bible is written in. It’s shed light on so many things that previously didn’t make sense to me, and I’ve learned so many interesting and useful tidbits that I will remember for a long time.

Why Do I Feel This Way? by David Murray

I haven’t really openly talked about this, but I am a very anxious person. I haven’t been clinically diagnosed, but it’s possible I could have anxiety. I bought this book for myself when I was going through an extremely rough patch and I couldn’t have been more happy with it. In each chapter, Murray goes over different aspects of anxiety (and depression) with real-life examples of others who are struggling. He gives practical advice and weaves Scripture into all of it. It has helped me better manage my anxiety and encouraged me to memorize Scripture, to always have the Word in my heart. If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety or depression, please check this one out. You won’t regret it.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

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It’s no secret that I love the Chronicles of Narnia. I always knew that Lewis wrote more than just fiction, but I had never delved into it until now. And I’m very pleasantly surprised! Lewis presents the faith in a simple, easily-digestible way that systematically goes through the process of who a Christian is and why they are the way they are. It’s very refreshing to see it told so simply and I was happy that Lewis wasn’t afraid to be humorous at times. This is a classic that I highly recommend.

Liking Jesus by Craig Groeschel

Social media can be such an addiction in our world today. I know I can get stuck in an endless Instagram feed or YouTube loop. But this book encouraged me to snap out of it! Groeschel goes over various different ways that social media can be bad for us. Of course, social media is a great tool and something that a lot of us couldn’t live without, but when it starts to control our lives and lead us away from our relationships with others and with God, then it becomes a huge danger. He discusses ways to take back our time and not let social media take control. It’s a great book with humor and heart.

We Will Not Be Silenced by Erwin W. Lutzer

This book gets into the nitty-gritty of popular political and societal issues in the United States. Lutzer talks about how these issues are affecting the US for the worse and what we as Christians need to do about it. It was very interesting reading his research on multiple different topics and how my country is in dire need of a church who will rise above the pull of the culture and be lights in a dark world. For me, this book was a call to action. It made me want to draw close to my fellow brothers in Christ and share the hope of Jesus with everyone!

There you go. Some really great books I recommend. This was kind of a different type of post than I normally do, but I’ve really wanted to share my love for these books for a while now. I hope you enjoyed! Leave a comment down below if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought about them!

my bucket list

Hi guys! I thought I would go with a simpler type of post this month, and because I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do in life, I’m going to share my bucket list with you! Maybe we share some aspirations, who knows 🙂

see Stonehenge

This is something that I’ve wanted to do since I was just a kid. There’s just something so mysterious and intriguing about it, set against a dreamy English countryside. Kind of ties into another dream of mine…

visit England

But wouldn’t it be fun?? Visit a nice little town, explore old ruins, all that good stuff? My vision of the place may be a bit glamorized, but I still think it’d be a neat place to see in person.

london animation GIF by hoppip

see the Colosseum

Again, I love the idea of old ruined buildings. There’s so much history behind them, and seeing them in all their splendor is such an enticing thing to me. Plus Europe just seems like such an interesting place.

go on a road trip across the entire USA

Apparently, there is a predetermined route that you can take that will lead you through all of the states and one of the greatest things about that state (barring Hawaii and Alaska). Yes please!

season 8 spongebob's runaway roadtrip: a squarepants family vacation GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

visit a castle

I don’t know of any castles in the US, so I’d probably be heading off to Europe again (can you tell I wanna see Europe? XD). But just imagine: ruined or still functioning, seeing such an incredible building would be fantastic, no?

go to Disney World

So I’ve basically wanted to visit Disney World ever since I knew it existed. But it’s just so darn expensive! I haven’t given up hope yet though. One day, maybe, I’ll get to visit the so-called “happiest place on earth.”

disney world GIF by Fleecefun

visit the biggest library in the world

There’s debate if the British Library or the Library of Congress is considered the largest library in the world, but I would honestly take either. I can’t even imagine being surrounded by so many books. It would be amazing.

be an extra in a movie

Come on. You can’t tell me you’ve never while watching a Marvel movie thought about how cool it would be to be a person in the crowd. Maybe that’s just me, but if it weren’t for how terrifying California is I would totally love to be in a movie scene.

record my own album

I’ve actually thought about doing this seriously quite a few times, but I’ve just never been able to pull all the necessary resources together for it to actually be good, you know? It’d be neat to rent a recording studio for a little bit and create something cool, but I imagine that would probably be a bit over my price range XD

be part of a flashmob

You might not know this about me, but I love dancing, particularly square and swing dancing. I’ve always thought it’d be SO much fun to be a part of a huge group dance, surprising people out on the streets.

Fred Astaire GIF by Maudit

meet a celebrity

This is one of those things that would be cool in retrospect. Being able to say you met a hero from an iconic movie would be such a cool thing to tell your children.

go to a drive-in movie

This seems like such a simple thing, but I’ve never actually done it. It’d be really fun, especially if there was a fun old movie showing, like a classic Disney movie, or an old black & white film.

drive in lets all go out to the movies GIF by Warner Archive

pay a stranger’s bill at a restaurant

It always feels amazing when you’re able to help people in a big way, and I’ve always wanted to do something cool like this. That or tipping a waiter a $100 bill.

be one of the voices in an animated movie or full-cast audiobook

Voice acting has always been a profession that I look up to. It takes a lot of talent and hard work to be able to do it, and I’ve always thought it would be so cool to tell someone that I was the voice of their favorite character in a movie or TV show. Same with audiobooks too. A good narrator/cast can totally immerse you in the story.

own a grand piano

A life-long dream of mine, ha. There are some really neat-looking ones that would look so cool in a sitting room or music room. Plus they sound sooo nice.

tom and jerry mouse GIF

Well, there you go, a little peek into my bucket list. Would you want to do any of these things? Have you done them already? Please, tell me all about it in the comments!

The Jolly Genre Jubilee Tag + lots of GIFs

graphic by Kenzie

Hi guys! This week, I’ve decided to take on Kenzie’s newest tag, the Jolly Genre Jubilee Tag! I love the name so much 😂 I’m really excited to get into these questions, so let the GIF-filled fun begin! But first:

Rules and Regulations:

  • thank the blogger who tagged you, and leave a link back to their blog
  • leave a link back to the creator of the tag >> (I mean, technically this bit is optional, but I’d really appreciate a link back, especially if you enjoyed the tag!) [I’ll kill to birds with one stone by thanking you Kenzie, for this awesome tag!]
  • answer the questions honestly, and include at least one (1) gif of a pelican >> it’s in the rules, folks. you have to do it.
  • tag 3+ friends to do the tag on their own blogs! >> and make sure to give them cookies. because that’s always fun.

What is your favorite genre of fiction to write?

Without a doubt, it is definitely fantasy. But not the epic kind. I’ve found that I enjoy urban fantasy and magical realism more than the orcs and goblins type of fantasy. There’s something about reality and fantasy mixing that makes so many amazing, crazy, extraordinary things seem possible. And the AESTHETICS THO.

Hungry Food GIF by Rosanna Pansino

What genre would you NEVER get caught writing? . . .EVER.

This is really hard, because I don’t ever like to rule out the possibility of writing something. I’m honestly open to nearly every single genre! But…okay, you’ll probably never catch me writing a horror. I don’t think I could do it. I’m down with adding some scary to my stories, but a full-on horror novel?

GIF by Zack Kantor

What fictional genre feels most like home to you?

This is a hard one! I’ll probably say fantasy again, just because it’s what I’m most familiar with writing and it is very special to me. But if we were talking about reading, I probably would’ve said historical fiction. It’s so cozy and comforting! I’ve always wanted to write a historical fiction novel, but the facts and dates and just general knowledge about a specific time period I would need is insanely daunting to me 😳

Bird Pelican GIF by John-Robert
me being crushed by the responsibility of all history

If you could transform your real life into any genre of your choosing, which would it be?

A magical realism life would be pretty cool. Just some soft little magic vibes. It’d be nice. Or something heavier like the Raven Cycle books would be interesting. Kinda scary, but way cool ✨👻

What genre does your real life most resemble at the moment?

Right now, it’s kind of feeling like a coming-of-age story. A lot has been changing for me in my life and my family, and sometimes it feels like too much to handle. It’s a time of growing and facing new challenges head on, and I never feel as cool as the main character 😅

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What’s a genre you’re interested in writing, even though you’ve never written it before?

Party Oldschool GIF by The Brass Harpies

I would LOVE to someday write a steampunk story. I have a vague idea of one in the back of my head, but I’m afraid if I let it percolate too much I’ll have to actually write the thing 😂 You don’t see a lot of steampunk books on the market, which is sad because steampunk is SO COOL. I’d love to contribute something neat to the genre.

What genre is your most recent plot bunny, and where did it come from?

Um…kind of hard to explain, honestly 😂 This happens a lot, where I come up with ideas that don’t really fit nicely into one, two, or sometimes even three genres. But I’ll try. My most recent idea is kind of a mix of science fiction, fantasy, and thriller where a reality-warper is asked to assist the military against fighting a chaotic force of nature that wants to consume the earth. But things aren’t as they seem, and our reality-warper friend realizes something much darker is actually going on. Yes, I know that’s vague but I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s been on my mind for weeks now and I STILL can’t properly explain it 😂

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How many genres have you written thus far in your writing journey?

Genres that I’ve actually written in, like as in WIPs or finished pieces…have actually really only been urban fantasy. My Ink Press trilogy I’m working on publishing (hopefully sometime soon!) is an urban fantasy story. Last year I started writing the first book in my superhero trilogy Cause and Effect, but only about 30 pages of a first draft are done.

As for ideas and concepts I’m working on…oh boy. There are a lot 😂 Fantasy, science fiction, and superhero are the main culprits, which more sub-genres than I care to admit 🙈

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just me hiding from all my plot bunnies don’t mind me

And now! I tag some friends 😊:

This tag was so fun! Thanks again to Kenzie for creating it and for tagging everyone who wants to participate! Now tell me about what genres you typically write or want to write in. I’d love to hear about what you’re working on right now!

Madness Solver in Wonderland by E.E. Rawls // Cover Reveal!

Hey guys! I’m popping in to give you a little something special. E.E. Rawls is releasing a new story! She’s been putting out so many awesome books, and I’m so excited for her to finally release this one that she’s been working on for so long now.

And I get to reveal the cover for it!

Cheer Applause GIF by Peanuts

Are you guys ready? I don’t know if you can handle this much awesome…

Are you sure you can?

Okay, maybe you can…

Just…making sure you’re ready…

Ta-da!

Aren’t they just GORGEOUS?! Seriously, her covers are consistently amazing. Major kudos to the cover designer! And how about an excerpt, because why not?

Book Blurb:

Teenage Madnes Hatter wants more to life than what his island hometown has to offer—and he definitely doesn’t want a boring future in hat-making, like his parents. But he sure doesn’t expect a well-dressed cat named Cheshire to suddenly pop into his life and make everything worse—giving him the power of the Madness Solver and making him the guardian and peacekeeper between Wonderland and Earth.

What the heck? When he said he wanted more to life, this wasn’t what he meant! Now, he’s the only one who can see Wonderland creatures as they walk the streets, and when there’s trouble, it’s his job to solve it. His friends, Alice and Harrey, think he’s going crazy.

But when a problem arises with the portals linking Wonderland to Earth, an old mystery is brought to light—the case of the death of the previous Madness Solver. Will Madnes meet the same fate, with the guardian power sapping away at his life? Wonderland’s ruler, the Red King, has cast a dangerous spell, and an ancient evil is rising. Madnes may not have long to save his friends and both worlds before it’s too late…

Purchase Links:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

The Book Release Tour begins June 1st! If you would like to help promote this book on your social media or blog, please sign up HERE.

Author Bio:

The product of a traveling family, who even lived in Italy for 6 years, Rawls loves to explore the unknown, whether it be in a forest, inside a forgotten castle, or within the pages of a book. She runs on coffee, cuddly cats and the beauty of nature to keep the story wheels of her mind turning as she crafts tales that will both entertain and inspire, creating worlds one can explore and quickly become lost within. Beware, you might not find your way back out again. Visit her online at:

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

Isn’t that cover just fantastic though? I love it to pieces! What do you think of the cover? And are you as excited as I am about this book? Let me know down below!

graduation reflection (+ gifs)

Wow, does this feel weird or what. I feel like I haven’t actually written a post for fun in such a long time…two years, actually…

Yeah, I graduated.

So Tired GIF by memecandy

It’s kind of weird, because I feel like so much has changed, and at the same time, everything hasn’t. I started in August of 2019, and the first semester was good. If you don’t know, I was studying to be a graphic designer, so in that first semester I kinda felt like I was hit with everything all at once. I took classes like coding and computer graphics, as well as more design-related stuff like typography and color theory, and “graphic visualization” (which is just fancy for “drawing”). The HTML and CSS class took the hardest toll on me. I was starting to realize that college was going to be a challenge, which I was excited for, but also terrified for.

But I made it. And second semester was a lot of the same stuff, just advanced. Learning all about the Adobe products (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign), was fun, if stressful. Photography and psychology were surprisingly nice breaths of fresh air in the stress that was learning how to use the Adobe interfaces (seriously…I still feel like I don’t understand everything Adobe has to offer 😳).

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literally me

I had a nice summer break, and then I was back at it again. Third semester was more advanced web design, photography, and business. I learned a little bit of animation (I suck at it lol), and I took a short story class for fun. We got to read famous short stories and talk about them, and it was kinda like a little book club. I liked it.

This last semester has probably been both the easiest and hardest. My portfolio class–the culmination of all that had learned–was a HUGE learning experience, I’ll tell you what. But I had fun creating it, and I’m happy with it. Since the portfolio class was such a major thing, the other classes I took were less intense. I took a Microsoft Excel class (a bit boring, but it’s nice to know how to use the program now), a social media class (yes, this is real, and it was a lot of fun), an art class (art history is weird), and, my favorite, a creative writing class! It was so, so nice to be able to write and have it actually count as school.

Because that’s really what I missed most in school: writing. I feel like I haven’t had a real, productive writing session since I started college. It’s kind of sad…

But I’m back! And I’m working on some big projects. I’ve been writing everyday (which feels amazing; you’ll never know what you miss until it’s gone), and…*glances both ways and whispers* I’m going to self-publish my Ink Press trilogy.

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YES. I’ve finally decided. Self-publishing is the best option for me. And okay, it means a lot of work and hiring an editor and a cover designer* but I’m willing to take that leap. If all goes well (hopefully I’ll be financially stable soon *nervous smile*), I’d like to publish the first book towards the end of this year or early 2022. We’ll see. It’s a big “if.”

*I considered doing this myself, and I’m still kind of debating, since that’s literally what I want to specialize in with graphic design, but…for some reason it feels weird? It’d be like self-editing my book. I could do it…but I feel like I’m too close to the story to think logically 😂

How will I become financially stable, you may be wondering?

I…I don’t really know yet 😅

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I’m currently working with my uncle’s roofing company as a website manager and ad designer, which is nice. I’m working on starting an Etsy shop (selling stickers!) which will hopefully be up soon (aka whenever I can afford it 😅)

There’s still a lot of unknowns, which is kind of terrifying. But I’m confident that the Lord is going to guide me and complete a good work in me. I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I’m excited to find out.

WOW have I missed you guys! Tell me, what have you been up to for the past two years?! I’m hopefully going to be blogging 1-2 times a month, so this isn’t the last you’ll hear from me. Lemme tell you, I have like a dragon-size horde of ideas that have been in the back of my mind for months. I can’t wait to share them with you! It’s good to be back 😊

Portal to Eartha Book Release!

Hello friends! Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve typed up a blog post…But I’m just popping in to say that my good friend E.E. Rawls has a NEW BOOK RELEASE!! WHOOT!! And it sounds AMAZING.

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me right now *heart eyes*

I am so proud of Rawls for releasing this book so close to Christmas!! The stress of getting a book ready for publishing during such a busy and hectic time is insane, and yet here she is, being an epic author. 🙂 And I am SO EXCITED to read it!!

Book Blurb:

Future Japan, and an Altered girl on the run from the mafia.

Sixteen-year-old Lotus was once fascinated by the portal legend her dad used to tell: of a world where people like her (the Altered Ones) live free. But when she’s kidnapped by the mafia and forced to use her gift of Healing to make them a large profit, survival is all she can think of—that, and the new guard with a single wing who watches her every move.

But when the boss’s son is mortally wounded, Lotus seizes her chance at escape and recalls the legend and the clue left behind in her family heirloom. As she flees the mafia, can she convince her stoic, winged guard not to turn her in but help search for a mythical portal that may not exist? Especially when a notorious bounty hunter is on her trail, determined to bring her back dead or alive?

Book Purchase Links:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS | BOOK DEPOSITORY

Author Bio:

E.E. Rawls is the product of a traveling family, who even lived in Italy for 6 years. She loves exploring the unknown, whether it be in a forest, inside a forgotten castle, or within the pages of a book.

She runs on coffee, cuddly cats, and the beauty of nature to keep the wheels of her imagination turning as she writes stories that will both entertain and inspire others, giving them worlds they can explore and become lost within.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

I am SO excited that Rawls is releasing such an amazing sounding book. Thanks for asking me to be a part of this blog tour, Rawls! 😉 And thank you guys for reading! Let me know if you think this story sounds amazing down below. (And feel free to comment on the ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS cover art too! :D)

The Winner of the Strangest Character Silmaril Award 2020

“Welcome, everyone to the Strangest Character Ceremony! I’d like to start by…er, hang on a moment…”

“You want me to what?”

*sighs*

“Oh boy. If you say so, I guess.”

*clears throat*

“Welcome, one and all, to a ceremony most fair,

where we celebrate the strange ones, to show them how we care.

Presenting today is a man of quick wit

who speaks only in rhyme; Tom Bombadil! And now I quit.”

I leave the stage as Tom Bombadil bounds onto it, all smiles, and nearly trips over his feet in his excitement. He levels his gaze with the audience and spreads his arms wide.

“It’s a pleasure to see you all gathered around,

for the announcement of one in whom strangeness abounds.

But first we must hear the grand nominees,

the contestants who made it to the round three.”

Tom riffles through a stack of papers and loudly clears his throat.

“First there is…scarecrow. What an odd name!

Are you sure this is correct? Well, all the same,

he’s made of straw, with a silly little face,

he bounces along to get place to place.

He doesn’t talk much, if at all, really,

but there is more to him than the eye can see!”

The audience claps as the scarecrow bounces on his pole, bits of hay falling to the floor beneath him, seeming to want to convey to the people that he is pleased they are clapping for him, but unable to do so. His blank stare and stiff body pause and clunk against the chair he is propped against. Beside him, Sophie rolls her eyes.

“Next comes Gurgi, a creature of rhymes,

much like me, a poet full time!

All covered in leaves with matted down fur,

he has long skinny arms that are grimy for sure!

But he is the most loyal creature, despite the grime,

though crunchings and munchings take up most of his time.”

Gurgi timidly stands and faces the audience. As they clap, he smiles, but quickly sits down, mumbling under his breath to Taran sitting beside him. “Gurgi’s poor, tender head hurts from the clapping,” he says quietly. Taran pats him on the shoulder with a small smile.

“A cat with attitude is next on our list,

his riddles and puzzles will make your mind twist.

It’s the Cheshire Cat, with his purple stripes and grin,

you might get lost in Wonderland and happen upon him.

He isn’t quite helpful, but he isn’t all bad.

Though if you hang about him too long, you might grow mad.”

The audience scans the crowd for any sign of the feline, but it isn’t until they look up do they notice the striped cat lounging on one of the rafters above, lazily licking a paw, a giant grin on his face. Alice looks up in frustration, but says nothing. The cat seems to enjoy the applause given to him, but quickly fades away as the clapping dies down.

“What this ceremony requires is a doctor, don’t you agree?

Well, Miracle Max is the one it will be!

He’s got lots of character, and is quite nice, I think,

as long as your name isn’t Prince Humperdinck.

He can heal you of all sorts of diseases,

but he might not help you. You see, he does what he pleases.”

Miracle Max stands from his chair, raising a hand as if to say ‘no, no, please don’t clap for me,’ as the audience gives a round of applause. Valerie sitting beside him crosses her arms, clearly annoyed her husband is being given all the credit when she is the one always convincing him to do the right thing. After a few moments, she yanks his sleeve and he falls abruptly back into his seat, glowering at her.

“And finally we have a fiery demon.

Don’t worry, he’s friendly! I’d love you to meet him.

Oddly charming, but perhaps sometimes whiny,

his name is Calcifer, and at first he seems spiny.

But after you talk with him, he’s really quite smart.

Because deep down, he has a very big heart.”

In a little fire pit set before Howl’s and Sophie’s row, Calcifer flames up at the mention of his name, growing larger as the audience claps louder. “Calcifer, stop that,” Sophie says, swatting at him. “You’ll burn the scarecrow.” The scarecrow shifts his body to face Sophie, then swivels back to Calcifer and bounces down a couple empty chairs. Calcifer grudgingly stops.

“The votes have been tallied, the totals have been scored.

Who is the winner of this most auspicious award?”

The audience waits with bated breath as Tom pauses for dramatic affect. The scarecrow bounces up and down in his seat five chairs away from his party, and the Cheshire Cat reappears, eyes and grin wide. Miracle Max leans forward in his seat, while Valerie rolls her eyes as if to say “Honestly, dear, why are you so keen on winning this award, of all the awards.” But she doesn’t say anything, instead just watches on.

Tom clears his throat. And winks at Valerie.

“It is the healer Miracle Max, that we so jubilantly celebrate!

He has won, defied the odds, and now we all must demonstrate

our warmest regards by clapping loud for everyone to hear!

Congratulations and adulation to our winner of this year!”

The audience bursts into applause, as Max stares dumbfounded for but a moment before welcoming the praise being showered on him. Valerie smiles, rolling her eyes, but rises and gives her husband a kiss. After all, he did win. And she’s proud of him for that. Tom Bombadil motions for Max to come up on stage and then hands him a gold silmaril with a sly wink.

“Thank you all for coming, we’re so glad you could attend.

But now I must be off, I have important matters to amend.

And with these parting words I say, adieu and enjoy the rest!

Take some time to socialize and be our welcomed guests!”

Tom Bombadil bounds off stage in the same manner as bounded on and promptly vanishes in the throe of people.

“Do…do I still have to rhyme everything I say? Tom? I’m not rhyming anymore!”

I shake my head, shrugging my shoulders. “Well, thank you everyone for coming! Be sure to visit Christine tomorrow to see who wins the Most Mischievous Imp award!”

Thanks for reading guys! Hooray for Miracle Max! What did you think of the ceremony? Are you happy for Max? Let me know down below!

The 2020 Silmaril Awards // Voting Round!

Wow, did we ever have a wonderful turnout this year! Thank you guys all so much for all of your nominations and seconds and fun comments!

lord of the rings hobbits GIF

But enough with the gushing, let’s get to what everyone really cares about…who are the nominees?

Drum roll please!

For the Strangest Character category, the nominees are…

The scarecrow from Howl’s Moving Castle! I know, I’m as shocked as you are. XD The scarecrow is an interesting fellow, doesn’t talk much. At all, actually. He gets around by bopping on his wooden pole, much to everyone’s annoyance. But he’s surprisingly fast. One might call him a turnip-head, but there is more to him than first meets the eye…

The Cheshire Cat from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland! With his alarming grin and disarming habit of disappearing into seemingly nowhere, this cat is definitely interesting. Though he does attempt to ‘help’ Alice on her journey through Wonderland, it seems he only causes more problems than he does fix them. Has a touch of madness to him. Though, as the saying goes, “we’re all mad here.”

Gurgi from the Prydain Chronicles! This leafy little creature talks solely in the third-person and seems obsessed with “crunchings and munchings.” He’s perhaps a bit self-absorbed, frequently feeling sorry for himself, and going on about his “poor, tender head.” Despite this, he is extremely loyal to Taran and sticks by his side throughout his friend’s journey…

Calcifer from Howl’s Moving Castle! An oddly charming fire demon with a sharp tongue, Calcifer is not your average fiery ball. Not that there could really be such a thing as an ‘average’ fiery demon ball, but you know. Calcifer, though quick-witted, is not always the most trustworthy demon. He keeps many secrets, some by choice, others by oath. On top of that, he can be a bit whiny, perhaps even nasty sometimes. But deep down, he has a good heart…

Miracle Max from The Princess Bride! He may not be the nicest at first, refusing to help Westley in a time of dire need, but with the prodding of his wife Valerie, Miracle Max finally comes around and agrees to help. Only because of a longstanding grudge though. Not necessarily from the goodness of his heart, but you take what you can get. And it should be said, he did give Westley a mere 40 minutes (“accidentally”) instead of the promised hour, which really makes you think…

Now that you have the ballot, be sure to vote! Follow this link and vote for who you think should win in each category. Follow these links to see the descriptions of all the other nominees this year!

May your favorite character win! I will now leave you with Gandalf:

Thank you again to all who participated in the nominations! It was a wonderful time! Don’t forget to vote, and be sure to stick around and see who wins this years’ 2020 Silmaril Awards!