I'm very excited to have author Kadee Carder on the blog today talking about her teenage crush!
Posters overlapped each other, the corners stapled up in a collage on my yellow-painted walls. I spent a lot of hours on my bed in there, dreaming about “what was to come,” and who I’d do those great big things with. I wanted to see the world, stand on strange new landscapes, overlook bridges and towers, by the side of someone who adored them as much as I did and who gripped my hand just as heartily in return. The posters were filled mainly with one face—a steely grin, perfect pearly teeth, blue eyes that guaranteed reckless quests, and, as the magazines described, “a mop of floppy blond hair.” Devon Sawa. I’ve always had a weakness for blond hair and blue eyes. I am still not sure why my parents allowed me to cover my entire wall, waist to ceiling, with pictures of him. The obsession began. The movies he starred in made me giggle and thrummed my heartstrings. He tackled the odds in The Little Giants. A renegade, friendly resident of his family’s unfortunate mansion, he haunted the likes of Christina Ricci in Casper. I can’t tell you how many times I watched the last ten minutes of that movie in order to watch them twirl around the dance floor and lock lips. Under wraps I followed his performance in Now and Then, the irksome love interest of one of the four girls in that memoir, and gripped my fists, white-knuckling through many performances in Night of the Twisters. Never before had I so wanted to be in a tornado with a certain someone. Ah, youth.
But you know what I think now, some twenty years later? During all those hours I spent ogling someone else doing things that seemed incredible to me…who would I be today if I had wandered out on my own bicycle and made some dreams come alive for myself? If instead of looking outward for someone else to fulfill my longing and cravings, what if I had followed Michael Jackson’s advice and looked in the mirror? If I could go back and tell my teenage self something, I’d tell her three things:
One: Be the hero. Instead of waiting for someone to ask, instead of watching everyone else from the sidelines, instead of wishing and hoping, go take action and do the things your heart longs to do. Go stand on those landscapes and bridges and towers and take in the scenery. Go build the life you crave, because your life depends on it.
Two: Do your best and have fun. Don’t be afraid of the people watching or the people saying things are impossible. Put in your best efforts, dig in, and try, try, try again and again and again. And throw a smile on those lips. Everything’s better when it’s done with joy.
Three: I’m going to quote Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson here: “Always be kind, always be humble, and always be the hardest worker in the room.” Persevere. Use grit. Be the rock in the storm, the one capable and confident, even when the thunderstorms roll in. Dig in and glory in it.
Devon Sawa’s career took some interesting turns and honestly after my early teenage years I didn’t watch most of his films because they were *dark* and I don’t dig the dark. I love sunshine. What I loved about the characters he played in those earlier films, especially Junior from The Little Giants and Casper and Dan from Night of the Twisters, were that he was something of an underdog, carrying his team toward the win. He was the helper. He was the steady hand. He was the ready smile. In reality, I was crushing on the idea of a ghost, but a ghost I wanted to be. Do our crushes lead us to who we want to be? Maybe so. Maybe that’s one great element of admiration and passion—they give us heroes and shape us into the voyagers we want to be. Floppy blond hair and all.
Bio: Fierce yet sparkly, I rally seekers to thrive in their stories. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I’m not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.
INSURRECTION, INCOMPLETE, INDELIBLE, HERE BE DRAGONS, and non-fiction inspirational IGNITE roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure, and follow along on KadeeCarder.com.
The Nameless Soldier is book 4 in the Annals of Alasia young adult fantasy series. Haven't read all (or any) of the others? That's okay! The books can be read in any order, and each one can stand on its own.
What do you do when youâre the only survivor?
Nineteen-year-old Tarvic bears the name of a mighty hero from Alasiaâs past. However, the young soldier feels anything but heroic when he regains consciousness to find himself the lone survivor of a brutal attack by invaders from the neighboring kingdom.
Forced to leave his identity behind, Tarvic is thrust into civilian life in the role of protector to three war orphans. When the four of them encounter a mysterious stranger, he must choose between keeping the young girls safe and taking on a mission that could help free his kingdom. Can Tarvic live up to his noble name and find a way to balance his duty and his dreams?
Where to Get a Copy:
Click here to buy the ebook or paperback from Amazon. (The ebook is
Not sure if you'll like the story or not? Take a look at the first chapter and see!
The Nameless Soldier
Tarvic woke to the sound of a distant yell, abruptly silenced. He pushed his blankets aside and sat up, puzzled, but heard only the light patter of rain on the canvas. âWhat was that?â
Drevel, his roommate in the barracks and tentmate out on campaigns like this, stirred and rolled over. âWhat?â
âI heard something. Someone shouting.â
âItâs probably just another drill.â But Drevel sat up too, shoving his own blankets away, as Tarvic crawled over and untied the tent flap.
A blast of wintry air and raindrops greeted him as he leaned out, peering across the tent-studded hillside. Clouds hid the moon and stars, and on every side the thick dark of the forest leaned in from the edges of the large clearing. But the telltale flickering light of distant torches sent shadows leaping over tents and across the open spaces between them. Why would someone be using torches out here? Any soldier in camp had easy access to lanterns among the supplies.
Something was wrong. Very wrong. Tarvic pulled back into the tent and yanked on his breeches and jacket.
They both heard the next yell, closer this time, and then the unmistakable clash of swords. Both men snatched up their own swords, jamming their feet into their boots and fumbling for shields. From all around them, shouts of alarm erupted as men in their company woke up.
And then the enemy was upon them. Horses exploded through the camp, trampling tents and the soldiers just crawling out of them. Riders leaned low off their mountsâ backs, swinging swords and waving torches.
Halfway out of his tent, Tarvic threw himself flat on his face to avoid a slash that would probably have decapitated him. He scrambled to his feet, only to be knocked off them again by a blow that he barely caught on his shield.
Light, shadows, horses, blades, rain. Chaos raged through the clearing to the sound of crashing metal, pounding hooves, shouts of challenge and desperation. Tarvic regained his feet and fought as best he could from the ground while enemy riders thundered around him. Dodging and ducking, he aimed for the menâs legs and tried to keep out from under their horsesâ hooves. With no idea who he was fighting or why, his only goal to stay alive for the next heartbeat, he dodged and darted through the tumult looking for spots where horses and enemy swords werenât. All around him, men fought and ran and crumpled to lie as limply as the trampled tents.
Slipping and stumbling in the mud, Tarvic felt a surge of satisfaction as his sword met flesh and an enemy yelled in pain. And then the man wheeled his horse and charged back toward him, and Tarvic turned to flee.
He tripped on something soft that groaned. Pain shot through Tarvicâs wrist as he caught his fall, and only a quick roll saved him from being trampled as the manâs horse cantered over him.
Its rider wheeled again, and Tarvic rose to his knees, barely raising his shield in time to protect his face. The force of the blow threw him backward, jarring his already sore wrist.
Another horse leaped over him, and Tarvic cried out in pain as a hoof struck him on the shoulder. He stumbled to his feet, ducking low to present as small a target as possible, and ran through the melee.
He saw fewer people on foot now, more obstacles in the mud. Was it cowardly to flee from a battle you couldnât win? Nothing in Tarvicâs eight months in the military had prepared him for this. Not counting occasional minor border skirmishes, the kingdom of Alasia hadnât seen an actual war in six generations. Besides routine patrols, city peacekeeping, and the frequent drills and training, the militaryâs primary duties involved escorting merchant wagons through robber-frequented stretches of rural highway and keeping an eye on the sections of coastline where seafaring raiders were known to attack. Tarvic had never fought in a battle that involved more than a handful of opponents at a time, and none of those opponents had been anywhere near this organized â or this deadly.
If we escape, we can regroup somewhere safer and â A hard blow to the back knocked him to the ground again as another horse pounded over him. Giving up all pretense of courage, Tarvic scrambled to his feet once more and fled for the edge of the clearing and the relative safety of the trees beyond. I canât do anything here. Theyâre going to slaughter us all!
He was practically there when another rider appeared in front of him, leaning low with sword outstretched. Tarvic almost impaled himself on the blade, raising his shield just in time. He fought back frantically as the man slashed, swinging his weapon again and again. I need my horse! Military training had included nothing about how to fight a mounted enemy from the ground. But Lightning was tethered in the row of makeshift stalls on the far side of the camp, probably prancing restlessly under his blanket and wondering why his rider didnât come to spur him into battle.
Tarvic didnât even see the blow that almost killed him. His ears barely registered the thudding of more galloping hooves from behind, nearly drowned out by the rain and the sounds of battle. But the world exploded in light and pain as something struck the back of his head harder than anything had ever hit him before.
He lurched forward, feeling his sword drop from limp fingers. Managing two steps before his legs buckled, he was just conscious enough to recognize the urgent need to crawl. Donât stop. Donât stop. Donât stop. Or theyâll kill you out here. That was the only thought left in his mind as he pulled himself toward the concealing shadows behind the line of tree trunks. And then even that faded, giving way to darkness.
Want to know what happens to Tarvic? Click here to purchase the book and find out!
About the Author:
Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published seventeen books (four YA action and adventure novels, five fantasies, a puppet script, six anthologies of her studentsâ poetry, and a Bible verse coloring and activity book). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.
Amazon Author Page:
When I was visiting my family, my mom gave me some old pictures she found. This is a picture from my desk bookshelf when I was a teen. Note the Elvis card, the Grant Hill mini basketball hoop, the General Hospital book, and what appears to be a small shrine to Troy Aikman....what is that about? Did I really like him that much or was I just a football fan? I do remember my dad buying me the small Troy near the bottom left.
The clown doll was something I won for the first writing contest I ever entered. It was a schoolwide (1st-8th grade) essay contest on name the teddy bear they were giving away in a raffle. I remember my first line was, "I think the bear should be named Taffy because he's sweet like candy." Just take a moment and let that brillance wash over you. How could they NOT know I'd go on to become a writer with that genius brewing??
The aqua fridge is actually filled with food shaped school supplies because I have loved cute office supplies forever, you can also see a few of my trophies from dance (ballet, tap, jazz, and baton twirling), and the pig in the far left corner was my grandma's cookie jar. I have that cookie jar in my house today.
This picture is such a time capsule and explains so much from the writing award clown to the picture of me modeling in a back to school fashion show at Saks Fifth Avenue and now I write about a teen model named Landry. When writing young adult books I always get asked if it's weird, embarrassing, and awkward to revisit those teen years...actually, if I'm being truthful, the most common question I'm asked is from people I went to middle school and high school with and that's, "Am I in the books???" I think if you're going to write, you have to be able to be authentic and real and show the truth...even if it means admitting you once had an Aikman shrine in your bedroom.
I was on Book Notes today reading an excerpt from my YA book, Dating the It Guy.
You can find the book in ebook format, paperback, or audio book here on Amazon:
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CSB Study Bible for Women Review
This is definitely the most in-depth study Bible I’ve used. Right away I liked the, “Written on My Heart,” sections that give you things to think about that relate to what you’re reading. I also appreciated the, “Hard question,” section which addresses things like, “Does God’s wrath contradict his love?” as well as, “How can I trust a God who has allowed such terrible things to happen to people?” as well as examples such as “Can I actually depend on God to bless my life, if I remain obedient to Him?” and other topics that many people wonder about. These are good to bring up in Bible study discussions.
Here are some of the features it’s listed as coming with:
Extensive study notes
Over 500 word studies
25 full-color maps and reconstructions and charts
Intros to each book of the Bible
Concordance including all the woman in the Bible
Biblical Womanhood articles like “A Woman who fears the Lord,” “Inner Beauty,” and “A Paradigm.”
Answers to “Hard Questions”
Character profiles of different women in the Bible along with a great in-depth chart of the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31.
Doctrine info: Ex. The trinity, Revelation, salvation, etc.
There are tons of charts with info throughout the books of the Bible like Women ministering to Jesus, different theological terms, types to psalms, etc. This helps put things into context as you read. The chart with the Bible’s books on the issues of life contains the questions of life along with the world’s perspective and then God’s perspective. This was one of the features I appreciated the most of all the charts. It would be good to focus on in a class or personal Bible study.
There is so much here to help you with studying and reading the Bible. It’s so thorough and with examples of scripture to back up everything listed. This would be a great edition to your home library.
*I received this Bible from BH Publishing and Lifeway in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Star Series, Dating the It Guy, & Can Dreams Come True