Fullness of Joy Literary Tag - My Answers

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

#via Pinterest: A Love that Never Fails board
I do think it is the most fortunate thing ever that I am not officially graded for my blogging-skills; I am so behind my schedules in blogging, and especially that fun Blog-Party I featured a few weeks ago in celebration of Fullness of Joy's 4th birthday. It is true that I got frantically busy in the past few weeks and barely opened my laptop once every other day for a few minutes - life was just whizzing by in such a hurry and flurry of activities - music concerts, birthday events, revolutionary violin lessons, cooking meals, colds! I am so glad things have calmed down a bit, so I am excited to resume blogging more regularly (so long as my studies allow) in the coming days.

But speaking of the blog birthday, I just want to thank you all so much for the sweet and lovely comments that you left in my last posts; I truly felt encouraged by all your thoughtful notes, and the little suggestions you gave me on the kind of posts you'd like to see on Fullness of Joy thrilled and inspired me heaps, so thank you all very much. Also, for many of you who participated in the tags as well, thank you - I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!

And I did pick two winners on the Saturday before the past two Saturdays (goodness, I know it has been a while!), but alas I had no time to share it on this blog. I rather dislike it being a prize giveaway, because I wish you could all win and I wish I could give you all the prezzies (alas, I do not own a golden dwarf-purse to spend on all my lovely readers. . .!) But nonetheless, I couldn't be more thrilled for the two winners of Fullness of Joy's 4th Blog Party!

1st Prize Winner - Emily Dempster
2nd Prize Winner - Tia 
Congratulations, dear girls! I hope you like your literary prizes, and enjoy the reads too!

And now, I've decided to dig in and answer my own tag questions! Feel free to link up and join the tag as well :D. 
1. What is your favourite "happy" sort of book? (a book that either has joy/happiness as a major theme, or a book that gives you a happy, cozy feeling inside).
all photos from this picture and below are courtesy of yours truly
I confess I puzzled over this one for a bit, because I don't read many happy, silly, funny books. I may have some (read or unread) that have a lot of humour, and funny elements in them. But glancing at my shelves, most of my books are actually rather sad, or wistful and nostalgic, if not quite heartbreaking. Many do have happy endings, but I wouldn't call them 'happy' books! Then I thought of books that have taught me about happiness, or given me a happy sense of joy or hope through reading them. Instantly, C.S. Lewis came to mind. So many of his book are simply brimming with joy (in the midst of the wistfulness and grief). Even his own wife was called Joy ;). I thought about Narnia, and these are books filled with so much joy and hope - not exactly happy/jolliness - but rather pure joy. 'The Last Battle' comes to mind. But that isn't a happy book per say . . . No. It's joyful and in its very joyfulness makes me weep! So what books make me happy? I then remembered 'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader', and I must say that is such a happy, funny, joyful book. It is also quite cozy and the ending gives me a strange thrill, especially with Reepercheep. And C.S. Lewis wrote a whole book about his experiences with joy and happiness, and finding that joy in God. This book, 'Surprised by Joy' makes me happy in my soul, and hopeful and awed by the joy of the Lord. Then there is Pollyanna! This book (and the film) is beautiful, and it has done so much in teaching me to be glad. The ending is so happy! Just love this book.
2. Did you ever have, in your childhood/youth, a certain book that launched you into a serious love of reading which made it something bigger than a mere hobby in your life?
I've been reading since I was quite small, and reading voraciously at that too. I've got a memory at the back of my mind of picking up the Pictorial Pilgrim's Progress (very simplified, illustrated edition of Bunyan's classic) and gobbling it all up rather quickly at the age of 6 or 7, and being told by my family that I was a pretty fast reader. . . that time is rather vivid in my memory, but I think I would say that Patricia St. John was one of the first authors to launch me into a love of reading. And The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas was the first adult novel that I remember reading at the age of twelve, and with it the desire it gave me to become a novelist myself.
3. What is one overhyped novel that people nowadays term as a "classic" that you really didn't like as much as everyone else? What made you dislike it so much?
I don't hate it, but I will say I have found the story to somehow or the other rub me the wrong way. And that book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Ooh, it is mightily well-written, sometimes funny, very witty, and as I've grown older and fonder of Jane Austen, I can read/watch the story with much more interest and amusement. Yet I still find the iconic and much-loved characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy to be ones I am prone most to dislike of all Jane Austen's characters. Also I would like to know why so many young homeschooling girls seem to think so highly of Mr. Darcy as a paragon of a swoon-worthy hero? I'd root for a Mr. Knightley any day ;)!
4. What makes you motivated to blog, and what is your favourite aspect of the blogging experience throughout the years you've been writing?
Connecting with kindred spirits, and finding a platform to share my love of all things literary and faith-related are always some of the biggest motivators in keeping my blog going - I also just view it as a delightful hobby, a creative way to express my thoughts, feelings and perspective on literature, life and faith, and find others who share a love and interest in those things too. Blogging has been such a blessing!
5. What are 4 works of literature that you are particularly looking forward to reading in the near future?
Goodness, so many! "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" by Anne Bronte (going to start this book this week hopefully), "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurie, "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett, "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson, to name just a few. (Also just to squeeze those two in, "Mansfield Park" by Jane Austen and "Cranford" by Elizabeth Gaskell!)
and many other books!!!
6. What are some of your favourite non-fiction books?
I have so many favourite. Biographies would include: The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (I'm re-reading it with my studies for maybe the 4th or 5th time at the moment!), God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew, Selected To Live by Johanna Ruth Dobschiner, Vanya by Myrna Grant, Through the Gates of Splendour by Elisabeth Elliot, The Happiest People on Earth Demos Schaerian, Secret Believers by Brother Andrew; the devotional/spiritual reads would include (but are not limited too) Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot, Death by Living by N.D. Wilson, With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray, Christ is All! by Ruth Bryan
7.  What are some of your favourite time-periods to read about?
Ancient Israel and Rome and Egypt, medieval and early modern Europe and England, the Puritan era, and World War 1 and 2 worldwide. . . 
8. Is there a special book that influenced you to do something new in your life, or changed you in a profound way?
Two books come to mind. The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas inspired me to write fiction, but particularly historical fiction set in Ancient Rome (my word, that book felt like such an exciting and life-changing for me at 12!), and Vanya by Myrna Grant, a biography on the life of Ivan Moseyev, a young Christian soldier during the Soviet Union, and a martyr for his faith. That book so moved me and challenged me, and made me long with all my heart to live a life whole-heartedly given to the Lord, in life and death. It was so powerful!
And I guess I could not leave this question without mentioning The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. It has been the most life-changing as well as inspiring work of fiction I've ever read.
9. Do you have a favourite contemporary fictional novel?
It would probably be "Chasing Jupiter" by Rachel Coker. While not exactly a contemporary novel because it is set in the 1960s in Georgia, it is still far more modern a setting than most other books I read. And I just love this book in so many ways! It is beautiful, charming, sad, and sweet and moving. Scarlett is such a special young heroine. One of my favourite "coming of age" stories to be sure.
10. Persuasion is a very autumnal book, and many authors and poets have beautifully described and romanticised that season, which leads to the question: why is autumn so often idealised, and does it hold that certain magic and charm to you? What is your favourite season?
In its ideal state, autumn is gloriously beautiful. Jane Austen described it quite beautifully. . .  "Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn -- that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness - that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling." Jane Austen, Persuasion. 

But alas, our autumns are filled with much rain, mustiness, hey-fever allergies and general miserable weather. The real "autumnal" magic really happens in early winter, when the sun shines golden in the evenings on the russet brown leaves and the lush green lawns. . . personally, I am much fonder of spring, but if I could live in the autumn that the poets and photographers ideally brush with romantic strokes, I'd be very glad! 
11. There are many novels set during the era of the French of Revolution, especially books written in previous generations by authors such as Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, and Baroness Orczy. Which, if any, are your favourites?
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is my favourite. But I love The Scarlet Pimpernel 1980s film adaption with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour so much as well. And a recent favourite would be Until that Distant Day by Jill Stengl!
12. What excites you the most about literature and its influence in culture, and how it effects the way people think and act?
There are so many facets to this question that I can address, but I think the most exciting thing for me, aside from the pure pleasure and delight of a good read, would be thatliterature can reach people and touch them through the heart with powerful and deep, poignant truths in the form of characters, themes, prose, powerful cinematography, powerful music and beautiful writing, while the mind and logic is still fumbling, resisting and struggling at the door-knob of our outward resistance, prejudices and fears (to borrow an idea Chesterton used about humour). Stories can so move one's heart, and speak messages that will reach deep inside of you in a way that otherwise might be rejected if given in dry "sermon" form. Stories are so much a part of our lives whether we actively read or not, in our everyday conversation, in the books, films, music and plays we attend/read/watch and listen to - writers, authors and storytellers make a huge impact on society, and its way of thinking. I can't decide whether literature influences culture, or whether culture affects the kind of literature we read and write, though. I think it's a bit of both, but definitely, its a powerful tool. 

That's why the Lord Jesus told Parables and stories to the people! He spoke to them in tales and metaphors of daily life, in the things they knew and treasured in their lives. . . 
"The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables..."
It's also why literature is such a strong instrument in culture which can be used for the spread of ungodliness, but also to spread the light of Christ, His love and goodness, righteousness, justice, beauty and faith! 
13. Is it ever a struggle to reconcile reading fiction/entertainment with the struggles of reality, and to place the importance of fiction within one's daily Christian life and walk with the Lord?
Oh yes! Many times I've struggled with the idea that fiction is not as spiritually uplifting as building myself up on books of faith, devotional, theology and so forth, and am plagued with the thought that it may not help me grow as a believer. As a follower of Christ, it can at times be hard to place the importance of fiction in the overall desire of enriching your walk with the Lord, and seeing its effect on my life. . . the struggle is real, because enjoying fiction and the very essence of fiction is in a sense "escapism" from daily, hum-drum life; it's so easy to develop an obsession with books and stories and made up characters and plots, and feel out of sorts with our own lives. . . enjoying the dramatic and exciting fiction rather than the God-given, blessed and burdened reality, as it were. 

Also, with this in mind, I think of my life as a writer and the importance of the stories I write to those around me. . . it can be a discouraging dilemma and a struggle to reconcile how I can be so passionate about an "ornament" to most people's daily lives and find a "great" purpose in what I am doing. 

Basically, all that is pish-posh nonsense that I get to feel when I am deeply discouraged ^_^.  

Because as I look into my life I realize just how powerful stories in literature has been in my life and in my walk with Christ, in the way I've grown and developed. It's taught me to give thanks, praise the Lord, and view the world and our human hearts more closely, with more empathy, humility and tender-compassion as well as grief, I think . . . it has taught me to appreciate truth and beauty, light and hope in a powerful way. It has brought to the forefront themes, issues and struggles that I've dealt with in my personal life and in my relationship with the Lord, as well as issues I see those around me struggle with daily. It's a bit like I've been speaking of earlier in this tag - how stories reach and touch our hearts before we're convinced and challenged with our minds; how parables, tales and stories have been such a crucial part of people's lives for centuries beyond count. Great tales, either feined or true (basically history) have taught me so much about Christian virtues and the moral struggles of the human heart through the spectrum of people and their lives. It's so hard to explain, and I feel I am just prattling on and not communicating myself too well. Anything in our lives can so easily become our idols, and in that sense, literature and tales can be dangerous (like so many beautiful things in life when not in their proper place and order in our lives!). Christ must be at the centre of all things, His Word our most Precious Jewel, and our Light and Guide. He should hold all our affections and hopes - our minds and hearts should be guided by His Spirit alone! Yet, in its proper place, stories and the splendour of literature is a glorious and rich gift from God that we must treasure, use and rejoice in! He Himself is a Storyteller, the Grand Weaver of our lives, and our Author. Surely He who has given the Gift would want us to use it for His glory and honour. Surely God has given us the art of expressing ourselves in prose, poetry and tales for a deep purpose as much as He has given us the beauty of a rose, a songbird or the stars (seemingly unimportant in the major things of life, yet gloriously beautiful objects of His creation).


I love the way C.S. Lewis put it (well, doesn't he put a lot of things rather well?): 

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. . . it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival." C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves. 
14. Would you rather you lived in the countryside of England during WW2, or in the American Prairie during the 1800s, or during the Neoplonic Wars in Europe? (basically favourite historical era/setting to live)
I don't know why I threw hard questions at myself! I suppose though, that if I had to pick a setting (as a mandatory request), I would pick the countryside of England during WW2 - it was such a sad and painful era that I know I am blessed not to have lived under, yet it calls to me because we face so many struggles that they did! Besides, I love the English countryside so much, and the 1940s is one of my favourite time-periods in the sense of its vintage-ness and charm. For a second I'd pick the Neoplonic Wars in Europe. . . :P (I like tough eras, seemingly!)
15. What is your favourite Jane Austen novel? Do you have a favourite film or tv adaption?
I've already mentioned this before, but my favourite book for Jane Austen is Persuasion (followed closely by Northanger Abbey). I love those two novels very much. But I think my favourite Austen film/tv adaption would be the 2009 BBC miniseries adaption of Emma with Romala Garai and Johnny Lee Miller - that is such a fun, delightful adaption! It is so funny and bright and wonderful, but also so happy and beautiful at the end ^_^.
(Sense and Sensibility 2008 and Northanger Abbey -the new adaptions are two of my other favourite Jane Austen adaptions as well).
16. Describe your ideal reading nook! 
A cozy nook for me would be in couch or armchair by a fireplace in the winter, and by a window facing the sea-breeze and sunshine in the summer, preferably with a downy light, bookcases near me; a little curtain would be an amazing little addition! 
17. Is there a particular book that is quite underrated and yet you think is undeservedly so and should be read by everyone? 
The Keys of the Kingdom by A. J. Cronin. I love that book deeply, though it is not talked of often, or probably very well-known by modern readers. My dad, who doesn't read a lot of fiction these days (he read a lot when he was younger, but now he mainly sticks with non-fiction), recommended this book  to me a few years ago, as he remembered the story to be a deeply moving tale. As a family we watched the black-and-white film adaption with Gregory Peck, and fell in love with the story so much, I had to pick up the book. I loved it so much! The writing is beautiful, descriptive and the characters are vividly portrayed. The themes of living humbly the Christian life are beautifully displayed in the main protagonist, Father Francis Chisholm. This is one book that has so deeply moved and inspired me, and made a positive impact on my life. I highly recommend it, especially to those who love the biographical-style, literary novels of the 1930s and 40s. Just go and read it, okay?

18. Do you have a favourite Parable that the Lord Jesus told? What inspires and encourages you the most about it?
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is very dear to my heart and never fails to move me very deeply. 
19. Name a book you've reread more than twice. 
The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom and The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. I've read those two more times than I can remember, and don't ever get tired of picking them up all over again.
20. The main character in one of the giveaway books (Until that Distant Day) is a superb cook. How fond are you of cooking/baking and homemaking in general? 
I do occasionally scorch my cooking, and things turn out a little overcooked, but I am learning to get better at it, and I really enjoy it! As for homemaking (like housecleaning), I think I've become a pro, mostly out of necessity. . . but I love vacuum cleaning, mopping, washing and drying dishes (eh, most times anyway), tidying up and organising, etc. It's all good fun!
21. What is a book you're intimidated to read but really want to read in the near future?
I've been intimidated to read Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy more because of their stupendous size than anything else. But I am really eager to read them soon and dig into more Russian and French literature! 
22. What 3 novels (or series of novels) would you like to see adapted to film or television?
The Chronicles of Narnia series (please, please make The Last Battle!), a better adaption of Persuasion and Mansfield Park, and an adaption for some of Rosemary Sutcliff's novels would be wonderful. 
23. What would be the first thing you would like to say to/ask your favourite author if you had the opportunity of speaking intimately with them for ten minutes?
Most of them are dead, sadly, but if I could have met C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien I would have told them how their books have changed and influenced my life and been a great inspiration to me!
25. Favourite quotes by your favourite authors?
Oh dear, I could NOT narrow it down to one author or one quote. I am so bad at this tag thing :P
"Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can't carry it for you... but I can carry you!" - Samwise Gamgee, The Return of the King (by J.R.R. Tolkien)
"I'm glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee, here at the end of all things." Frodo Baggins, The Return of the King (by J.R.R. Tolkien)

"Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight, at the sounds of his roar, sorrows will be no more, when he bares his teeth, winter meets its death, and when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again. - C.S. Lewis (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe).

"On some such nights as this she remembered promising herself to live as brave and noble a life as any heroine she ever read or heard of in romance, a life sans peur et sans reproche; it had seemed to her then that she had only to will, and such a life would be accomplished. And now she had learnt that not only to will, but also to pray, was a necessary condition in the truly heroic. Trusting to herself, she had fallen." - Elisabeth Gaskell, North and South

"I wanted to see the place where Margaret grew to what she is, even at the worst time of all, when I had no hope of ever calling her mine..." - Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South

"Be guided, only by the healer of the sick, the raiser of the dead, the friend of all who were afflicted and forlorn, the patient Master who shed tears of compassion for our infirmities. We cannot but be right if we put all the rest away, and do everything in remembrance of Him. There is no vengeance and no afliction of suffering in His life, I am sure. There can be no confusion in following Him, and seeking for no other footsteps, I am certain!" - Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit.

"I sometimes think that we stand at sunset," Eugenus said after a pause. "It amy be that the night will close over us in the end, but I believe that morning will come again. Morning always grows again out of the darkness, though maybe not for the people who saw the sun go down. We are the Lantern Bearers, my friend; for us to keep something burning, to carry what light we can forward into the darkness and the wind." - Rosemary Sutcliff, The Lantern Bearers
26. What is your greatest wish/purpose in picking up your own pen and writing?
I don't know what better way to put it, but to say when I write, and write from my heart, I know I am doing what I am meant and called to be doing. In the same way Eric Liddell said in the Chariots of Fire movie about his running, I have experienced that too; to write for me, is to honour Him, "and when I run, I feel His smile."

10 sweet note(s):

  1. I have to agree with you about Mr Darcy... Pride and Prejudice is my favourite Jane Austen (mind you, I haven't read them all yet, so that could change =P) but Mr Darcy most certainly is not my favourite character of all time.

    I did not know that Les Miserables was an actual novel... I always thought of it in relation to the musical (not that I've seen that either, actually...) It's one I will most definitely look at reading in the future. :)

    Thanks for doing a tag and giveaway for your blog birthday - I am now planning one for my blog's 2nd birthday... just as a head's up... ;) You blog inspires me so much, dear Joy!

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  2. Your answers were such a delight to read, JoyAren't literary tags/questions fun! We have so many favourite books in common :-)

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  3. It was great to read your answers! It's interesting that 'The Robe' motivated you to write - I've enjoyed that book too. Have you read 'The Big Fisherman'? What did you think of it compared to 'The Robe'?
    Also, I tagged you: http://jessicalg97.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/tag.html
    Looking forward to reading your answers! :)

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  4. Thank you for your sweet comment, dear Emily! It always brings a smile to my face, darling :).

    Hmm, I am glad we agree with Mr. Darcy and Pride and Prejudice! It's a classic for a reason, but the story never just clicked with me personally very well, and I always found Mr. Darcy too arrogant and Elizabeth too biting in her wit. . . but that's just a personal feeling! In contrast, a novel that has some interestingly similar plot twists to P&P, and yet has far more depth, character development, inspiring/moving themes and personally much more relatable characters is "North and South" by Elizabeth Gaskell, with Margaret Hale and Mr. John Thornton. Have you read that novel, or watched the BBC miniseries adaption of it, Emily? It's really wonderful and a true favourite!

    Oh yes, Les Miserables is one chunky novel originally by Victor Hugo, and it's quite daunting to read, though from the peeks I've had at it, the writing seems compelling, so that's a plus :). The musical is based on the novel, and the 2012 movie starring Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne and Anne Hathaway is based on the musical :). I haven't seen the musical myself yet, but I love the movie very much!

    Aw, you're welcome! I am excited about your plans for a blog birthday and what you might do to celebrate that (message me if you need any help in celebrations or a shout-out, etc!) :D. Thank you! You are a lovely blogging friend, Emily.

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  5. Thank you, dear Maddy! Your sweet comment brought a smile to my face. Mmm, yes, I do love how we share so many favourite books of literature in common :-).

    How's your reading of "Little Dorrit" coming along?

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  6. Thank you for your comment, Jessica! It's always lovely to hear from you. Oh, really? I am glad you enjoyed "The Robe", because it doesn't seem like a very well-read novel, but it really inspired me in my teens as it introduced me to epic plots and exciting characters and historic-classics, plus I loved the ending... :'). (The movie is nothing to speak praise of, though, as I really disliked what they did to Demetrius' character!) Yes, I did read "The Big Fisherman", and though it was an enjoyable and highly entertaining read, I can't say I liked it very much, mostly because of how the author fictionalised - in rather great detail, I must say - scenes with Christ in it and the Apostles, which made me feel somewhat uncomfortable. Lloyd C. Douglas' theology as well wasn't really solid, and his lack of focus on historical and biblical accuracy in favour of artistic license was something I felt a little awkward about. "The Robe" had a little bit of that with the depiction of the early Church, but I felt it was done much better, though not perfectly, and was more of a believable creativity on the author's part that I was okay with. I have a few more novels on my shelves for Lloyd C. Douglas which I am excited to dig into sometime, but I think "The Robe" will always hold that special place in my heart for the above reason :).

    Aw, thank you for tagging me, Jessica! I shall do my best to come up with answers in a post soon-ish (as time allows).
    Many blessings,
    Joy

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  7. I just bought the Les Mis novel from the book fair - it's over 1200 pages long in tiny little print... I think it might take me a couple of months to gather up my courage to read it.

    I was wondering if I could take you up on your offer for some help with my blog birthday celebrations... I'm trying to write my tag questions and I am so stuck!! Do you have any ideas that might help me come up with thought provoking questions?

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  8. Emily, Les Mis is a very chunky book indeed! I've been wanting to read it for a while now, just need to summon up the time and courage :D.

    You ought to see the 2012 musical film adaption though!

    I'd love to help you regarding your blog-event! What I usually do for tags is get ideas from the different tags and interviews I read on other people's blogs and form my own tag from them. Try to make it include the things that you are interested in and are passionate about, a few blog-related questions, as well as a few fun-facts questions.If you are interested in making a giveaway and having some Etsy stores sponsor items, then all you need to do is sign up to Etsy, find a few stores you are fond of, and message them regarding your blog-event, asking them whether they'd be willing to sponsor any of their items for your giveaway in return for your sharing about their shop on your blog :)). Basically have fun with it, and think of all the fun elements in the celebrations of your favourite blogs and try to work with that ^_^.

    Hope that helps!

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  9. Omg, I loved Chasing Jupiter too!! IT KIND OF BROKE MY HEART AT THE END THO. *heavy sigh* Still one of my favourite (and best titled!) books ever. :') Ahh, such a lot of questions but I enjoyed reading all of these, Joy! :D

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  10. Hello Cait, thank you for your sweet comment (and for reading ALL the questions!! I know, they are quite a tidy sum - I never write small posts. Or rarely. *blushes*).

    "Chasing Jupiter" kind of did the same thing to me also with the ending. . . *sobs*. It was SO good though, and really quite realistic about life for a young teen girl, which I loved. I loved how close Scarlett was to Cliff! I hope Rachel Coker continues to write more novels in the future. . . :D

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