Team Novel Teen Blog Tour: Interrupted by Rachel Coker

Age Range: 14+
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Release Date: 2.14.12
Pages: 320
Publisher: Zonderkidz

Tag Line: Can love really heal all things?

Summary: Can love really heal all things? If Sam Carroll hadn’t shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie’s heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved.

What I Loved: While I usually try to stay as far away as I can from reading Historical Fiction (because I'm not too crazy about modern Historical/Romance Fiction) I found Interrupted to be a lovely read that might have just changed my mind. 

Interrupted is a truly beautiful story of loss, grief, life, faith and love found. It made me teary eyed. It made me laugh. It made me feel...strongly, desperately and passionately alongside Alcyone "Allie" Everly with every turn of the page. I was so saddened when Allie's momma finally passed away, after she had had to watch her momma slip slowly away; and it was a blessing to have read this novel when I did. I was away on Spring Break when I started reading Interrupted and I had to drive back to my hometown to see my Mimi (grandmother) for the last time before she passed away (a week thereafter I attended my Mimi's funeral service.) Reading through Allie's story of grief and loss sort of held me together along the way, as silly as that seems to say. 

Moving on. The characters were absolutely what MADE the story for me!

I adored Sam Carroll. He never gave up on Allie. He loved her always, right where she was at. He was sincerely clever and humorous. He always had this bright hope and faith about him too, which was quite charming. I loved watching his relationship with Allie grow and bloom throughout the years in the story.

I grew to love Allie Everly over time. Honestly, I hated how mean she was to Sam when they were both younger. But how could you dislike her forever when she was authentic, passionate and driven to stand beside her momma, even in death? The story really started to grip me when Allie had her life completely flipped upside down. It was when Allie moved from Tennessee to Maine that the trials and her true character were borne, and that, for me, was what really drove the story. I loved that music...and the piano...meant so much to her, because music and everything piano means so much to me also. Oh, and words too! I loved that two things that the author is really passionate about, writing and piano, were interwoven into the character of Alcyone Everly in a completely unique and loving way.

I was head over heels in love with Miss Beatrice. She always, authentically, showed Allie what love and faith looked like even if Allie didn't want any part of it, because of the feelings her momma had transferred onto her about faith and God. I pretty much laughed every time Miss Beatrice got all silly and slipped into using her "Beatrice-isms" in conversation with Allie

I  loved the secondary characters, which didn't really feel all that secondary to me, and I also adored the historical time frame. 

At times Rachel Coker's writing voice and storytelling style reminded me a lot of Madeleine L'Engle and Nicholas Sparks (both of whom I love and consider to be favorite authors.) Her description and seemingly proseful words are so very lovely! I enjoyed how real and authentic and alive Rachel's words felt to me throughout the novel. Allie's story was so mature and filled with such depth, and honestly I was surprised at just how much storytelling maturity I saw, especially seeing as how Miss Coker is a lovely young lady of seventeen. I'll definitely be keeping up with Miss Coker and her writings in the future! ;-)

What I Didn't Like So Much: The ending...somewhat. Sigh. I thought it was a little strange that *spoiler ahead* when Sam finally comes back home from the war after two years and him and Allie are reunited on the beach they only cried, talked, hugged and he asked her a certain question. Um, if I had not seen my sweetheart in two years and he just asked me a certain question you'd better believe that I'd have thrown my arms around his handsome neck and kissed him like I never had before!  Overall I was okay with the ending, though I thought it was pretty sweet overall.  ;-)

I'm recommending this book... If you are interested in looking more into a stellar debut author, YA Historical Fiction and a story about grief, life, love and ultimately faith then you should definitely give this novel a read! 

About The Author: Rachel Coker resides in Virginia with her parents and two sisters. She has a passion for great books, and has been surrounded by them all her life. Her gift for writing became apparent at the age of eleven, at which time her parents signed her up for a year of lessons with a professional writing coach. Rachel also has a deep love for classical music and old black-and-white movies. When she is not writing or playing the piano, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family and friends and serving her Lord and Savior.

Check out these other links...

Also, check out these other Team Novel Teen bloggers to see what they had to say about Rachel Coker's Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words. 

Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Interrupted by Rachel Coker by clicking on the links above, and check out for more information about Team Novel Teen. 

Note: In conjunction with the Team Novel Teen book tour, I received a free copy of this book for review.

research, selkies and specs

{me + new specs}

I've really been enjoying researching history, forenames, geography and such for my WIP novel lately. My dear "Pirate Princess Writer Friend" suggested that I do as much research (collecting it together seriously) as I possibly could and then set an actual start date for myself to just dive in and actually write my story already.

Ahem, if you just research and research and research as a writer all of the time it becomes procrastination after a while, in essence. That said, I've been researching like a crazy-lady this whole week and my plot and characters and world are starting to shape up nicely. I'm going to give myself a bit longer to get a storyboard and the rest of my need-to-know research together and then it will be solid writing no-holds-barred for this little writer-lady!

Okay, so I'm gonna geek out for just a few minutes here...

Number One: 
Yup, I finally got glasses to complete my nerdy-princess look! 
(see pic above ^^)

Number Two: 
I learned something really super cool this week while researching all about Selkies/Sliocha nan Ron for my novel. 

The Sliocha nan Ron are the offspring of a union between a Selkie and a mortal. 

To this day there are many families who were thought to be descendants of selkies. One such family is the clan Macfie of Scotland. The name Macfie is derived from an older version of the name Macduffie which is derived from the gaelic term MacDubhSithe meaning "son of the dark fairy of elf." The legend claims that the first Macfie took a selkie as a bride. 
{ Source: Sliocha nan Ron }

Um, my momma's maiden name is McDuffie (they dropped the "a" from MacDuffie a long time ago.) In short I started hyperventilating and squealing after I read this tidbit of information. My family's clan in Scotland/Ireland were the first known peoples to take a "Selkie" as a bride. Now, I'm not saying that I believe my ancestors actually married Selkies or anything, but I am really ecstatic that the very subject I am writing about for my current in-the-works novel was written long ago in my blood lines. I mean it's not every day you find out a smidgen more about your family history and discover that the very fantasy you are writing about is in fact a deeply rooted part of yourself! 

Source: via sarah on Pinterest

Number Three: 
The Gaelic equivalent of "Sarah" is "Morag." Pretty snazzy sounding, huh? I thought so.


This is said to be the Gaelic equivalent to Sarah (from a Hebrew word "Sarai" meaning "Queen" or "Princess"), though some books suggest that it is from the Gaelic "mor" meaning "great" and "ag" or "og" meaning small. So the combination is "great young one". It was largely unknown outside of Scotland until the 20th century but has become increasingly popular. When it was dangerous to use Bonnie Prince Charlie's real name after Culloden in 1746, his followers sometimes used the name Morag to refer to him.

/ / /

...and that's really all I can share with you all about my novel for the moment. I don't want to spoil things by giving away too much information, or my clever ideas, ya know!? But if you are interested in getting inside my head a bit more feel free to peruse my online storyboard for my novel on pinterest. ;-)

Guest Posting Over @ God's Daughter

Today I'm guest posting over at Miss Raquel's blog, God's Daughter.

What happens when you use Mr. Darcy as your measuring stick for how romance should really be? Find out why I had to learn the hard way that my Mr. Right isn't Mr. Darcy after all...and that's completely okay!

*below: exclusive content not found in my guest post*

{me + my love}

Here are a few of the unique ways my Mr. Right loves romancing me: 

Sneaking up behind me in the Barnes & Noble, so as to startle me, and then he likes to kiss the top of my head to calm my startled nerves (he thinks this is super funny because he's so quiet and stealthy.) Buying me a "just because" gift, like the time he bought me the Green Lantern DVD (because we're just geeky like that.) Holding my hand every single second while we are driving around town in his car...he never ever lets go. Sending text messages that say "I love you, Red. Peace." Writing me sappy poems, that aren't worded the best, but mean the world to me nonetheless. Getting me "just because" roses because he says that roses are better on unexpected days, rather than on holidays such as Valentine's Day. ;-)

Guest Posting Over @ Lovely

( image via pinterest )

Today I am guest posting over at Bleah Briann's blog, Lovely.

What happens when life is like a corkscrew, uncertain and full of many turns that hold more questions than answers for us? Find out my answer and check out my perspectives post on why being uncertain isn't such a bad thing.

Click HERE to read my guest post

I hope you all have a super blessed day! I'll be back to blogging again shortly. Pinky promise! As I have some news to show and tell. (No, it's not an engagement ring...yet...but it's still pretty cool!) ;-)

Memento Mori // Memento Vivere

It's interesting to me that experiencing death can make a person want to live more openly and vividly and wildly than ever before. Losing my Mimi this past Saturday has shown me this truth on a whole new level.

I want to savor and cherish the little moments that are often overlooked: like sunshine that gleams through blinds and climbs under windowsills to wake me early in the morning, words that swim through cerebrum and cerebellum to paint the world vibrantly full of stories that must be told, smiles that say it all sans words, family that gathers and grows, scented petals which were made to breath in the spring-life, celebrating births and the re-dedication of lives, road trips that shape and teach you all about your perfect happy medium with the one you love, etc.

It's like death has this way of reminding us what a gift life truly is when it finally comes knocking on the family door. Death and life are a gift given to us. Family and friends that encompass us and pass on, they are the ones that show us how to live life daily on a much deeper plane.

You see, death, well, it's just another part of living really. Death comes as this grand last-breath-gesture that says "see you later" and then it also speaks words to us that softly and lovingly whisper memento vivere (remember to live.) My heart is aching right now, over this recent death and life shown. It is aching to live with remembrance and future in mind.

It's only after experiencing the death of someone we love...though never completely understood...that we come to this threshold of wanting to know our King more. We long to live more. We strive to remember to live out this gift given, called life, in the only way we know how, grasping furiously after truths and bent on knees in sweet seeking prayer. We all seek a nourished soul and not just an empty hollow shell to carry us throughout our final days. We seek relationships and love.  And we can find both a relationship and what love truly means with Jesus.


We must seek out this bread of life (John 6:53-58) daily so that we can live. Jesus Christ is the bread and wine and life. If you don't know my Jesus I'd love to tell you all about Him. Here are the basics: Jesus was this awesome man who gave His life and bled for us all so that you and I could have life with The Father for all of eternity, no matter what sins have stained us. We've all sinned and stifled the life we've been offered freely at some time or another, but there's always another chance, no matter the fault, because He lives.

My Jesus is the giver of life e-v-e-r-l-a-s-t-i-n-g. He is the One who teaches us how to live and love and we cannot ever live apart from Him.

My Mimi knew her King and she did live extravagantly, in her own unique way. Her passing, though it saddens and shakes me still, has come as a sweet reminder of my Jesus and His gift of life given through His death, so that I could truly live openly with His name scrawled all over my life in red, vividly seeing all that He has given and created for me and wildly chase after a passionate relationship with The Father.

Friends, loved ones, and dearest bloggers I want you to know this: we were meant to live strong lives, that in death, show others how to live for Christ. 

So, with death remembered, my eyes wide open, prayers upon my lips and my fragile human heart open to the love which He so freely gives, I will remember to live life until death claims my body and frees my soul to live forevermore with Him.

of life and loss and the risen king

( Cousin Tammy, my Mimi and Cousin Pete)

My Mimi passed away at 6:30am this morning. 

This Easter she will be celebrating with The King.

I am so thankful, Jesus, for the last earthly time you allowed me to visit, hug, smile, laugh, talk and play piano with and for my Mimi. We love and miss you already, Mimi! 

Please, be in prayer for my loved ones as we grieve our loss and travel back and forth.

May you and your family have a Very Blessed and Happy Easter!

Jesus paid it all...all to Him I owe. 

Much Love,
Sarah Elizabeth

Jarah's Spring Break // Day Four & Five

Day Four

(This is a photo of my Mimi from last January.)

(1) Jared and I got to sleep in for a while, but then we had to get up and at 'em because we were going to head to my Hometown to visit my Mimi, who is currently fighting for life right now, due to her failing heart.

(2) An hour and a half after we left from the Fisher's house we made it to Applebee's in my Hometown where we met up with my momma, daddy and sister for lunch. Lunch was really good, but I don't think any of us were really crazy about going to see Mimi in the sad state that she's in.

(3) We arrived at my Mimi and Papa Gary's house after we finished eating lunch with my folks. As soon as we walked in the door I saw a large oxygen machine to my left and about 50 foot of ugly green oxygen tubing running along the floor to the room where my Mimi was sprawled out on the couch in her silk pajamas. She looked as if she had aged 10 years since I saw her in January (when we helped her move into their new rental home.) She looked skeletal, quite pallid and very thinly worn. Her face brightened though when she saw my family and boyfriend enter into the room.

We spent some time making small talk, though most of it on my Mimi's end was pretty nonsensical (she's on morphine for pain at this point.) After about 10-15 minutes of us being there I looked over at the piano and Mimi did too. She asked me to play Pachelbel's Canon in D and I obliged. After I finished Canon I moved on to playing some of our favorite old movie show tunes...from Beauty & The Beast to the main theme in Jurassic Park. Mimi fell asleep right about the time I was halfway through playing the Colors of the Wind song from Disney's Pocahontas.

I kept on playing piano for nearly an hour or so while Mimi slept. I'm really glad that I got to play the piano for her, as we both dearly love music, and especially piano music. She and I are the only "musical ones" in the family, really, and even when we sometimes haven't gotten along quite so well over the years, we've always shared music together as a cohesive language of the soul. You don't need words to tell someone how you feel about them when they are teetering at the edge of Heaven's gate, because melodies and notes simply strung together, hanging on the air, create an atmosphere of peace and love that speak voluminously.

I'm very thankful I got to share this with Mimi, whether that was our last time together or not. Jared and I talked with my family there a while and then after a few hours we decided that it'd be best to head back to Jared's family's home. Right as Jared and I walked out of the door though Mimi woke up and I went back in to say goodbye. She told me that my hair looked "different" and "pretty," said I was her "pool buddy" and that I ought to make a tape for her of me playing the piano for her. Then I told her to get well and that I'd see her soon and she told me that she loved me. The last three words she said to me were "Tell Jared goodbye."

(4) Jared and I left my Hometown a little after 4pm and made it back just in time to have dinner with Jared's family.

Day Five

(1) I woke up early so I could finish reading Jill Williamson's Replication. I really really wanted to finish reading it last night, but my eyes got really heavy and wouldn't cooperate with my wishes. So I opted for the haystack, erm, bed at a semi-decent hour. I'm a BIG fan of Jill now that I've read one of her books! Now I just need to get her Blood of Kings trilogy. Anyone want to lend me the trilogy? ;)

(2) Jared had to go get his car inspected...and you guessed it...we played the waiting game, but only for a little while. At the auto place I played around on Fb on my phone for a bit and then I noticed that there was this old man, wearing and I Heart Jesus hat, running an old authentic shoe-shine station right in the middle of the auto place. It was pretty rad! The shoe-shine station kinda looked like the situation in the photo ^^ above. Feeling the Dickensian vibe, anyone? I sure was. I thought shoe-shiner's were a thing of the olden days. Guess I was wrong. Okay, nerd rant over.

(3) Jay and I stopped in for some lunch at Arby's before heading to the mall area. Our sammies did not disappoint, lemme tell ya! We talked about our childhood "adventure" memories together over lunch, it made for some interesting conversation, that's for sure! I think Jared and I are slowly learning about each other more and that we know we have to give a little to get a little. Cliche, I know, but Jared is a homebody and I'm just a plain old adventuresome live-wire. So, needless to say we're working on some things. ;)

(4) We decided to check out some of the books at Books A Million. They usually have a really good bargain/used library book section that we love perusing through (though sadly, the one in Asheville has closed down.) This time however neither of us left the store having made a book purchase. I know. What in the world is wrong with us!? I did look through some old Meg Cabot books while I was there. That brought back a lot of memories too. I almost bought one of the books on the spot just because of the memories I have of reading a good Cabot novel back in the day, but then I read through the first two chapters and realized that I was ready to fully move onward toward "Big Girl Books" now. It's not that I don't like Meg Cabot anymore, it's just that her books are definitely geared towards 14-18 year olds, and well, I haven't been in that age bracket for a while now. I love books written for the masses really, think: Suzanne Collins, C.S. Lewis, Jill Williamson and my all time favorite author Madeleine L'Engle, to name a few that accomplish this no-age-limit-and-definitely-not-dumbed-down writing style.

(5) Jared and I got back to the house and then proceeded to look through old photos of us on the internet/computer. Many laughs abounded. Yup, that's the first photo of us two together in '09 where we met at (Fuge Camp) up ^^ above there.

(6) We had a nice dinner of Beef Stroganoff and Garlic Cheese Bread with the family and now Jared and I are both just settling in for the evening...not sure what the rest of it may hold for us.

And that was how day four and five of Spring Break went for Jarah. We'll be headed back to the mountains tomorrow morning. Thanks for tuning in to read about mine and Jay's Spring Break! I'll be back to regular posting soon. Promise. 

In My Mailbox // Number One

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren where we share what books we got in the mail the previous week!

Here are some of the books that came in the mail for me recently!

I received Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words by Rachel Coker in the mail about a week and a half ago from Zondervan. This will be the next book that I will be reviewing for Team Novel Teen.

I received The Wishing Pearl by Nicole O'Dell in the mail this past week from a very cool book blogger. Thanks to Rachel of Bookworm Reading for reviewing and giving away a copy of this book on her blog! I'm really looking forward to reading it! 

 I received Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl in the mail this past Tuesday, which I also won in another giveaway, this time though it was from the Homeschool Authors blog run by Sarah Holman. It was so delightful to walk in from a stressful day at work and come home to a little brown package awaiting me.

Anne Elisabeth is an incredibly sweet person, let me tell you! She included 5 bookmarks, a sticker, a pen and she even autographed the copy of Moonblood that I won in the giveaway. I was so surprised and thankful for all of the extra unexpected goodies that she sent me. 

Jarah's Spring Break // Day Two & Three

Day Two

(1) We got up, got dressed, ate breakfast and then headed out into the backyard where we worked on trimming bushes, trees (and not each other) with Robin (Jared's dad) and Seth (J's brother.)

(2) Leftover pizza was what was on the menu for lunch, which we ate up in Seth's third floor room.

(3) Jared and Seth played video games while I got all cozy up on the couch with a quilt, my reading glasses and snuggled down deeply with my copy of Replication: The Jason Experiment by Jill Williamson in hand.

(4) Jared, Seth and I went to go pick up Seth's girlfriend, Brianna, to spend some time together. We stopped at the store to get a bag of cheese for taco night and then we headed home.

(5) The four of us (Jared, Me, Seth and Brianna) hung out up in Seth's room where Seth and Brianna talked while Jared and I looked up source images of mermaids for a "story project" I'm currently working on.

(6) I went downstairs to help Tricia (Jared's momma) make tacos and quesadillas, while the rest of the gang stayed up on the third floor to hold down fort. It was a lot of fun cooking and talking with Tricia! We'll have to do that more often. ;)

(7) The quesadillas I taught Tricia how to make were a hit with the family and everyone enjoyed the conversation around the dinner table about Pastor Robin's recent trip to India where he ate a few different delicacies like: Dominoes (Domino's Pizza), Freedays (TGI Friday's). Yeah, Robin tried to stump us by saying our American cuisine venues with an Indian accent. It was pretty funny to say the least, even if he wasn't such an adventurous eater after all! After dinner the majority of us had chocolate cake and ice cream, which was to die for! Right after we started eating dessert I bolted up the stairs to grab Tricia's early birthday present. Jared and I got his momma Illusions by Frank Peretti, a coffee mug and a GINORMOUS card that sang the Hallelujah Chorus when opened (that one really made Tricia laugh...hehe!)

(8) Us youngins decided to go out on a double date after dinner to go and see John Carter in 3D (Jay and I'd already seen it once before, but not in 3D.) Well, we kinda got lost on the way to the movies so we knew we'd be about 10 minutes late, but lucky for us when we finally did find the movie theater and made it into our seats in stadium 5 we realized that the people there were playing the wrong movie in the stadium where John Carter was supposed to be playing. So Jared went and told some of the movie theatre employees and they straightened things out so we got to see the movie from beginning to end just as we'd hoped we would.

Day Three

(1) Got up, got dressed and ate cinnamon rolls. Then it was out the door and to church for us all!

(2) Jared and I headed to Sunday School and then by 11am Jared's dad started preaching. We also took communion, as it is Palm Sunday and all.

(3) Leftovers for lunch with the family while sitting in front of the TV watching an episode of Happy Days (that was interesting.)

(4) Reading and blogging with my love by my side. We love chilling out and napping on Sunday afternoons. 

(5) We'll be going to the Easter Cantata at Church tonight.

And that was how day two and three of Spring Break went for Jarah. Until next time...