Happy Friday! This week I'm featuring a new release--one that I hope to read soon, but haven't been able to yet. Livy joined me for an interview today, but before I get into all of that... the first line!
Golden leaves sparkled and danced in the gentle breeze,
waving sweetly to the bustling city below.
The Coronation by Livy Jarmusch
To find out more about The Coronation (and to see other blogs featuring this book--with reviews!) visit Livy's website: www.livylynnblog.com
Also, be sure to hop along to all of these other blogs and see what First Lines they have to share!
Please note that I may not fully endorse all of the books that these bloggers read or the content in these blogs.
Bree - Bibliophile Reviews
Rachel - Bookworm Mama
Heather - Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Beth - Faithfully Bookish
Katie - Fiction Aficionado
Lauraine - Lauraine's Notes
Andi - Radiant Light
Carrie - Reading is my Super Power
Robin - Robin's Nest
Sydney - Singing Librarian Books
Kathleen - Kathleen Denly
Jessica – A Baker’s Perspective
Trisha – Joy of Reading
Jeanette – CJane Read
Molly – Molly’s Caffeinated Reads
Now, for the interview!! :)
1) Hi Livy! And welcome to With a Joyful Noise! To start off with, can you tell us a little about yourself? What are your top five favorite things to do?
Hi Amanda! Thank you so much for having me! Well I'm twenty-three-years old and live in the beautiful state of Northern Michigan. (There is a difference between Northern and Southern Michigan! If you've never been to the far North, you should absolutely come visit. It's beautiful here!) Hmm, my top five favorite things to do? Writing, (of course!), playing guitar and singing, worshiping the Lord in song, chatting with friends, and brainstorming new story ideas!
2) How long have you been writing?
I've loved writing ever since I was in Kindergarten. I told everyone that I wanted to be an Author when I grew up!
3) When did you get the idea for The Coronation? How long did it take you to get from idea to publication?
This is somewhat of a challenging question for me, because I honestly don't remember where the idea first came from! As a young teen, I had many story ideas floating through my mind each day, and some of those ideas just really stuck with me even into my young-adulthood. I've always been fascinated by the concept of modern day royalty, and it was such a blast to daydream about what life might be like growing up in a famous European palace, while having tourists visit from all over the world who hope to take photos and make memories at the iconic building: meanwhile there's a real family living inside facing real, daily issues that every family goes through, except on a much larger scale!
I actually wrote down the initial idea for this story and drew a map of the palace when I was around sixteen or seventeen. I wrote half the book, and then gave up because I wasn't very good at finishing projects. (Writers, you know what I'm talking about! We love starting stories! But actually finishing them? Yikes.)
It wasn't until last spring (2016) that I read through this idea again and thought, "Wow, I really should finish this! This might be really fun!" So I finished the second half of the book, then started the dreaded editing process with the first half (because, to be completely honest, it was awful.)
I finished my first "rough draft" in November, took a huge gulp, prayed for courage, and invited several teen girls who follow my magazine, to read it. After getting their feedback, it was time for another round of edits. And then in January, another round of editing. And then in March, even MORE editing! (Side note to all the aspiring authors out there, be prepared for lots and lots of editing. Which is my least favorite part of the process - but much needed and always worth it! Every new edit can feel like you're chopping apart your precious project with an ax, but once it's put back together, it's far better than it was before!)
4) What is the #1 lesson you hope readers will glean from The Coronation?
Wow, I feel like that's a really loaded question! It's been such a blast to hear feedback from readers who got a special sneak peek of The Coronation, and they each shared how God spoke to them through the story. What surprised me, is how the Lord was teaching people things that I didn't even think about when I was writing. That's one of my favorite things about creativity, how the same story can speak to dozens of people in a completely different way! But the main theme that I really wanted to sow throughout this story was the seed of trust, and how trusting God is the foundation for our entire lives.
Each character encounters unique challenges, but at the end of the day, they each have to decide if they truly trust the Lord with all of their hearts, especially in the area of the affairs of the heart. A personal choice that I've made in my life, is to surrender the pen of my love story to God, and allow Him to someday introduce me to the person He has for me to marry. As young ladies, sometimes it can be tempting to rip the pen out of God's hand and attempt to 'make things happen' ourselves, or foolishly remove the guard of protection from around our hearts and emotions. Several characters in The Coronation have important choices to make concerning potential relationships, and the have to examine their hearts and ask, "Do I truly trust God with my love story? Or have I taken the pen out of His hand and gotten myself all worked up over something He never intended for me?"
So it is my hope that The Coronation reminds young women the value of guarding our hearts and encourages them to trust Jesus, no matter what!
5) Who has inspired you most as an author?
I feel a little bit nervous about sharing this, but to be completely honest, I don't read much fiction from other authors. (Gasp! I know, such a huge 'no,no' for authors.) I'm not sure if's because I have trouble finding things that I like, or if I already have far too many fun ideas swirling around in my head that if I dare read another book I think my brain might burst! Whatever the reason, I don't really read fiction. My main inspiration comes from the Word of God. The Bible truly is the Living Word, and it's amazing how the Holy Spirit speaks to us through it. Sometimes if I'm stuck with a story and don't know how to move things forward, or I'm not sure what the answer should be, the Lord will give me an amazing idea, either through a scripture verse, or a principle that I've learned in my life personally, and I can then apply it to the characters. I do read a lot of non-fiction, inspirational, devotionals, etc. In that realm, some of the authors who have inspired me the most are Lisa Bevere and Lesley Ludy.
6) What are some of your favorite books/authors?
As a young girl, I adored the American Girl series, as well as The Sophie Series, and as a teen anything by Melody Carlson, and Robin Jones Gunn. Right now my book shelf is loaded with Francis Chan, Lisa Bevere, John Bevere, Leslie Luddy, Heidi Baker, Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton.
7) Would you mind sharing your salvation testimony with us?
I was very blessed to have grown up in a Christian home, so I was introduced to Jesus at a very young age. I remember being in pre-school and flipping through my Beginners Bible and thinking, "Wow, God seems so interesting, I would really like to know Him." When I learned about the Cross and how Jesus took my punishment for sin, my heart was so broken and drawn toward Jesus, even as a four-year-old. I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life and have been walking with Him, pursuing that daily relationship with God ever since! It's the best decision I ever made!
8) You have thirty minutes free time. What will you do?
Write! Or, if I've already been writing, I'll play guitar, spend time with the Lord, or take a walk. :)
9) You can go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
10) Coffee or tea? Cold or hot?
Tea. Definitely warm! (Although I do enjoy cold peppermint tea in the summertime. :)
Thank you, Livy, for hopping on my blog today!
About the BookPrince Addison is only several weeks away from inheriting the Kingdom of Tarsurella. The entire Palace is ablaze with excitement, as the Royal Family prepares for the event of a lifetime. Despite the exciting event which is near at hand, Addison and his younger siblings (all seven of them!) must carry on with their daily activities. Addison’s sisters, Princesses Bridget, Chasity, and Hope, have their struggles with being iconic European starlets of a modern day monarchy. The teen heiresses grace magazine covers, smile for photoshoots, and gracefully glide through important interviews–until a certain American popstar arrives on the scene.
Kennetic Energy, the wildly popular band from the United States, is chosen to play at Addison’s Coronation. David Carter, the band’s handsome lead singer, fumbles through awkward moments with Princess Hope–in front of the cameras. When an embarrassing rumor sparks that Princess Hope is dating the young fellow, she is determined to get the band fired from their Royal gig.
Meanwhile, Princess Chasity is dealing with her own fragile affairs of the heart. Her new security guard, Hanson Fletcher, is completely captivating, yet entirely frustrating. She attempts to keep the entrance of her heart firmly protected, while following the wisdom of Proverbs . But can she be successful in guarding her heart, from her security guard?
Purchase on Amazon here.
Be prepared to be swept into a different life of modern princes and princesses as the Royal Family faces individual struggles, kingdom attacks, and questions of marriage.
I didn't fully know what to expect when I picked up The Coronation. It was an adventure for me every step of the way. I didn't live a normal "modern American teen" life with all of the pop stars, teen magazines, and movie raves of the day, so that was all different for me (just a note: though Tarsurella is supposed to be a European country, it felt very Americanized).
The Christian aspect of this: there were good messages about guarding your heart (though they were all geared toward guarding your heart romantically, not necessarily guarding against worldly influences--I personally don't believe that a Christian should rave over rock bands, glamour, and what is popular in this world, as we are called to be set apart from this world) and messages on forgiveness and trusting God. It did kind of seem like there was a "time to preach" and the messages didn't fully impact the characters' lifestyles. So I'm not saying I condemn the messages portrayed...I think it's the whole leaning-toward-wordly lifestyle that threw me off.
The romance...there were a lot of feelings and midway through it felt like, "Let's figure out who Addison, Bridget, Chasity, and Hope all end up with" but things didn't end as usual for romance in books. I really liked how some of them were handled. There weren't any kisses (one almost-kiss) and there were just a few mentions of "not going too far." I feel it was well done for a teen audience.
Overall, this book was interesting and held my attention and somewhat kept me guessing. The author shows a lot of promise, and I look forward to seeing how Olivia hones her writing skills in future works!
*I received a copy of this book from the author and happily provided my honest review*