If you would like to read my review, just CLICK HERE.
I thought it would be fun to ask Todd a few questions about his journey.
Charity – You seemed to be traveling along with some people and seeing them often. Did you grow lasting friendships, or was it just on the trail?
Todd – Interestingly, it was a little of both. At the beginning of the trip, I had met Taka and Alan. We seemed to be leap-frogging along for several days. I have lost contact with both of them. Later on, I had met Dan and his 80 year old mother on the top of Silver Pass. I have kept in contact with them and have also visited them in Bend, Oregon. A fond friendship has grown between me and John and Towner Menefee. We hiked and camped together for three days and have also visited each other since the trip. We are very similar people and talk frequently.
Charity – Do you think you will take the trip again?
Todd – No. One thing that came out of the trip for me are new places to explore. All along the trip, I kept finding side trails and locations that interest me and I will spend time to go back and explore. Another by-product of the trip, was realizing that I am the kind of guy that enjoys a focused project. This project from beginning to end was exciting and kept me interested and driven. It is about time to start ramping up for the next project.
Charity – Oh my goodness! Can’t wait to hear about your next adventure!
What was the hardest part for you?
Todd – I would have to say being is such a beautiful place, day after day for almost 5 weeks, without being able to share it with my wife and kids. They are so much a part of my life and have shared many beautiful experiences with me in the past. I just wanted them to be there too.
Charity – I am sure they missed you! Perhaps they can join you on your next adventure.
What was your favorite part of the journey?
Todd – I really enjoyed exploring new areas and being surprised with what I found under every bit of water I fished. Constantly, I would approach a stretch of water and expect one thing and get dealt with something that I did not expect. Frequently, I caught fish species and sized that I was not expecting. That was fun for me. Although, I have been to many of the areas long the route before, I enjoyed the visits to familiar locations and sights.
Charity – Did you run into anything frightening that you didn’t write about? Storms, animals, etc?
Todd – No I did not. I have a lifetime of outdoor experience. I have endured bears (black bears and grizzly bears), snakes, fires, and extreme weather many times before. This trip was tame from that stand point.
Charity – Ahh! What in the world? That’s crazy! You need to write a book about that!!
Ok, so what’s the most important “tool” to have on a hike like that?
Todd – This is a good question. I would have to say it is your brain. One needs to have the skills to survive, navigate, explore, and work through issues while in the backcountry. I had several equipment issues that I needed to mitigate “McGiver-style” to keep going. When hiking solo, you only have your own skills to rely on to keep your safe.
Charity – Tricky! Ok, I like that answer.
How about some fun questions?
Best childhood memory?
Todd – I was fortunate to grow up in an era and in a neighborhood that allowed me to explore the outdoors. Fishing the creeks and lakes, hiking the hills and valleys, and having the freedom to make our own fun will always be with me. My parents encouraged it and we embraced it while thinking it was how everyone grew up.
Charity – That sounds so amazing. I know my boys would sure love that. My oldest son is a major outdoors fella. He would be so happy!!
Did any of your family (grandparents, etc) live in the wild west and do anything exciting? (Indian fighters, covered wagon trips, gold rush, civil war). My father’s parents, grandparents and uncles all had these types of experiences. It’s so fun to hear about them!
Todd- My great grand uncle, Edward Alphonso Goldman, was a mammalogist and naturalist that worked for the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey. He worked and explored all over the U.S., Mexico, Panama, and France. His most impressive expedition was in Baja, Mexico. In 1905 and 1906, he and his partner traversed the peninsula from north to south on horseback to study the flora and fauna. Over two thousand miles were covered, thousands of specimens collected, and numerous plant and animal species found for the first time. Approximately fifty mammals, birds, reptiles, mollusks, and plants bear his name. Goldman Peak in Baja California was also named in his honor. If you notice, on page 149, there is a picture of my mom, her grandfather, aunt, and great uncle on top of Colby pass. Edward Goldman was on that trip in 1945.
Charity – Wow! That is quite the legacy!!
Go to store for all your outdoor needs?
Todd – Not sure what this question is asking. If you are asking which outdoor store I shop for my equipment, it is REI.
Charity – I am sorry. That should have been “Go To”, as in, you answered it correctly (:
Favorite state you have visited?
Todd – I would have to say Montana. I spent a summer fighting fires there and had a chance to see much of the state. I have since been back to backpack and fish this beautiful place.
Charity – Thank you, SO MUCH for taking the time to answer some of my questions. I really enjoyed reading through this and seeing all the gorgeous photos.
Todd – You are very welcome Charity. I enjoyed the interview and look forward to seeing your post.
I am so excited about the next few weeks. I have so many AMAZING books to share with you guys. I am blown away by how awesome God is. He has given me such a blessing with this job that I can do in spite of my health. He truly created us to have what our heart most desires when we seek to bring Him glory.
Over the next few weeks, we will have a multitude of Face-Off’s, some new games, reviews of some INCREDIBLE books and GIVEAWAYS!!! Take a look at some of the books I am reading right now:
A few weeks back, I reviewed an awesome book named Spy of Richmond. Jocelyn has written a series of books called Heroines Behind the Lines. When you hear stories of the Civil War, it’s always on the battlefield, or in the prisons. How often do you think about what the women left behind were dealing with? Their homes raided for food and animals needed for the armies. Often times, the ladies weren’t safe from the men either.
Each one tells the perspective of women and how they managed to live through, and help their cause. Check these books out on Jocelyn Green‘s Amazon page.
As a homeschool mom, I was excited to hear that Jocelyn also homeschools her children. I was telling her that her books were so full of history, I was having my 11th grade son read one of them. That is when she informed me that she is, in fact, so passionate about teaching history through books and novels that she has begun writing a curriculum based on these books. You will have to check it out. I thought it was really awesome!
Ok, now that we have the official business taken care of….. HERE WE GO!
The rules are simple. I ask Jocelyn some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.
It’s my blog.
Here we go!
1. Have you ever gone Ice Skating in NYC at the Rockefeller ice rink?
Jocelyn – Nope—I’ve been to NYC a few times, and to Rockefeller Center, but haven’t skated there.
Charity – I have not been there, let alone skated there 😦 I saw a lot of NYC, just not there.
— Easy point for Jocelyn
Charity 0 / Jocelyn 1
Jocelyn – I haven’t yet, but this is a great idea! Thanks!
Charity – I haven’t either. My friend did it every year. Her and her friends would have a big party with all the kids and then go home and have their kids in bed by like… 9:00. ha ha ha. My husband thinks that horrible. I like it!
Charity 0 / Jocelyn 1
3. Do you do Civil War Re-enacting?
Jocelyn – I don’t, but my husband did in high school. He was a re-enactor at Fort Clinch, Florida. Ironically, though, he wore Union blue because nobody else wanted to be a Yankee!
Charity – ha! That’s awesome. Well, I used to do a lot of it when I was a teenager (over 20 years ago….). I am currently part of the Regency Society of Virginia though. I love that.
— I get that one! woot!
Charity 1 / Jocelyn 1
4. Any relatives (that you know of) in the Civil War?
Jocelyn – Yes, I had a relative who fought at Gettysburg but died of pneumonia around Little Rock the next year.
Charity – One of my great grandpa’s was also in the Confederate Army. Pretty crazy! What’s crazy is how it wasn’t even that long ago…Seems so archaic.
Charity 2 / Jocelyn 2
5. Do you have any guilty pleasure tv show (that may, or may not be embarrassing)?
Jocelyn – Parks & Rec. And Psych. I need a little buffer of ridiculousness between researching the Civil War and going to bed! I also love more cerebral shows like Sherlock, but I wouldn’t call that a guilty pleasure.
Charity – I am a sucker for all those cheesy Hallmark movies. Big time!!! The funny thing is, I like Jane Austen movies, Hallmark movies, and then SUPER bloody movies like Warrior and Lone Survivor. No in-between with me, I suppose.
— Not sure how to judge that one.
Charity 2 / Jocelyn 2
Jocelyn – I know there are worse things in the world to be afraid of (ebola, tornadoes, etc.) but the one recurring fear I have is of bats in my house. I have friends who appreciate bats, but I do not appreciate bats in my home. We’ve had this happen three times, and I just can’t stand it. Once a bat flew into my office at 11pm while I was writing Yankee in Atlanta, and I was so freaked out I almost couldn’t move. Not long after that, a bat was swooping around my kitchen at two o’clock in the afternoon! Ack!
Charity – OMGosh. That is bad. ugh. We had a injured bat in front of our house a few months ago and I was FREAKING OUT. My biggest phobies are snakes and spiders and crickets and heights. ha. I have a lot!! We were raking our back yard a couple of years ago and I was wearing flip flops because it was in the middle of summer. I look down, and there is a copperhead RIGHT. BY. MY. FOOT. Omgosh. I almost died. I told my son (he was 13 at the time) that I needed something QUICKLY so that I could kill it before it devoured my toes. He comes back with a little tiny garden shovel and scissors. ????!!!!!!!!!! I was like, “What in the world!??” So, I pinned it’s head down with the shovel and cut through his body…… *shiver* it was SOOOOOO GROSSSSSSS AND TOOK SO LONG! *shudder*
— Both had horrible experiences. Even
Charity 3 / Jocelyn 3
7. I see on your Amazon profile that you love Mexican (I applaud you). Do you have any amazing Queso or Guaq recipes for us?
Jocelyn – Thanks! I was a nanny in Mexico one summer during college, and I was in total food heaven. As for a recipe, here’s one for a dip I really enjoy:
½ lb. ground beef
½ t. ground mustard (dry)
¼ – ½ t. chili powder
¼ c. chopped onion
¼ c. finely chopped green pepper
1 can (16 oz) refried or black beans
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
Finely shredded lettuce
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream topping (mix 1 c. sour cream, 2 T. shredded cheddar, ¼ t. chili powder)
That’s really delicious, but sometimes I don’t have enough time for that. SO if that’s the case, I resort to another yummy but simpler version of Taco Dip. I call this one my Dip on a Deadline since I’m usually on a book deadline if I’m too time-starved to make the first recipe. Here we go:
1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 c. (8oz) sour cream
1 carton (8oz) French onion dip
1 envelope taco seasoning
4 c. shredded lettuce
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ c. chopped tomatoes
In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, onion dip and taco seasoning until blended. Spread onto a 12-in. round serving platter. Top with lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips.
Charity – Oh goodness. I will be trying that!!!!!
Charity 3 / Jocelyn 4
8. How is God being brought the most glory in your life?
Jocelyn – I would like to think that my books, both nonfiction and fiction, bring Him glory. That is certainly my goal. But I’m sure that I bring Him the most glory when I fulfill the role He has for me inside my own home as wife and homeschooling mother to our children.
Charity – Great answer. I agree. It’s like God is letting us “babysit” these people He has huge plans for somewhere down the road. It’s up to us to take care of His kids and train them up right. Heavy, but lovely job ❤
Charity 3 / Jocelyn 4
9. What made you choose Libby Prison over Andersonville?
Jocelyn – I had chosen to do a novel on Richmond’s spy network because I was so intrigued by the historical figure of Elizabeth Van Lew. So Libby Prison just naturally fit into that because of its location, and Van Lew’s connection to it. Even beyond that, though, Libby appealed to me because it’s much lesser-known than Andersonville. Many books have been written about Andersonville, so I didn’t feel the need to shine more light on that prison.
Charity – Ok, that is pretty neat about the spy ring. I can’t imagine how scary that would be. I live right outside of Richmond and didn’t even know about Libby Prison!!! I was, however, part of the movie Andersonville. I used to be in the Yorktown Fife and Drum Corp and we were able to take part in the production. So fun!!!
— Again, no real winner here!
Charity 3 / Jocelyn 4
10. Do you have any writing rituals or warm-ups you routinely perform as you get ready to write for the day?
Jocelyn – Other than prayer, which is absolutely indispensable, I do two things. I read a little bit of poetry, which shows me that it really is possible to say a lot without overwriting. I also put on my writing pants. These are really just pajama pants from L.L.Bean, but they are so comfortable, I just love them. It’s easiest for me to be creative when I’m wearing comfortable clothes.
Charity – Ok, I see what you did here. You asked me a question that you knew I couldn’t win a point for!!! My My. (; I will agree that I wear my yoga pants all day. You know there’s a problem when you put normal clothes on and your kids start freaking out wanting to know where we are going…”I’m just getting dressed…” “huh???” That confuses them. ha ha ha ha
Charity 3 / Jocelyn 5
Total annihilation. One day, I WILL BEAT one of you (:
Thanks so much, Jocelyn. I had a great time getting to know you better and facing off. Readers, check out her website. She has some awesome ministries to military families as well as her books and some homeschool stuff.
During the party Elizabeth will be hosting a book chat, playing a round of library trivia, answering your questions, and announcing the winner from the Kindle giveaway (enter here: http://prmo.me/q1TMl3). Of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too: books, gift certificates, and more!
I hope you can join the fun—and bring your friends!
Elizabeth will also be giving you a sneak peek of her next book.
Grab a cup of your favorite drink and join us tonight!
More about Beyond All Dreams:
Beyond All Dreams (Bethany House, January 2015)
Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they’ve ever dreamed for their futures?
Anna O’Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across the baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. Thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.
Luke Callahan was one of the nation’s most powerful congressmen before his promising career was shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship. Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglements with members of Congress.
From the gilded halls of the Capitol where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation’s finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they’ve ever dreamed for their futures?
To see what others are saying about Beyond All Dreams, visit the blog tour.
Ok, let’s get this thing started by me saying that we all wish we were as stinking adorable as you!
That being said, let the introductions begin. Karen is a Professor of English at Liberty University. She recently wrote a book, that I reviewed, on Hannah More. Hannah was an abolitionist, poet and reformer in the 18th century (and on into the 19th). You can pick up a copy of Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More – Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist and share it with your friends.
Unfortunately, being a woman, she did not receive the fame as her contemporaries did, even though her contribution to the abolition of slavery and schools for the underprivileged helped to change the world.
Now that we have taken care of business, it’s time to get this show on the road!
The rules are simple: I ask Karen some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.
It’s my blog.
Here we go!
1. Who is your favorite person in history?
Karen – You mean besides Hannah More? Well, I guess that would be another favorite writer, Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels and the most splendid satire ever written, A Modest Proposal.
Charity – Whew. Ok. I thought you were going to pull the “Jesus” card. Of course He is first… I would have to go with George Washington and Jane Austen. Totally cliché, but I can’t help it! I am also very interested in British royals throughout the ages.
— Your answers are very original, while mine reek of trendiness. yuck.
Charity 0 / Karen 1
2. What’s your take on the festive holiday sweatshirts?
Karen – Um, no. Just no.
Charity – Ha ha ha ha. My husband has a sweatshirt that says “Moosletoe” with a picture of two moose (weird that that’s the plural of moose.) under mistletoe kissing. It’s wretched and he loves wearing it. ha.
— I think I get that one on account of my husband.
Charity 1 / Karen 1
3. Have you ever ridden a camel?
Karen – Yes! During a trip to Morocco. Not quite the same as riding a horse!
Charity – Me too! I was actually in Israel. I road a camel in Jericho. Pretty sweet. They are nasty though.
Charity 1 / Karen 1
4. What translation of the Bible is your “go to”?
Karen – ESV
Charity – NASB – My husband likes NIV, my oldest son (11th grade and wants to be a pastor) likes ESV and my youngest, understandably, likes NIrV (he’s 7). So, it’s a battle ground here.
— Wow. another tie, I guess?
Charity 1 / Karen 1
5. How has God been brought most glory through your career?
Karen – Well, you’d have to ask Him that, but if I had to guess it would be (I hope) in showing that Christians can love God with their minds—and their sense of humor, too.
Charity – I like that. Enjoying life through anything and loving others. I think that’s what it comes down to.
— We aren’t getting ANYWHERE!
6. Favorite flower?
Karen – Gerber daisies and antique roses.
Charity – I used to be a MAJOR FAN of the Gerber/Gerbera daisy. I have a problem though…Usually when things get too trendy, I stop liking them. So, whilst I still enjoy them, I have moved on to ranunculus and hydrangeas.
— You are solid. I am wishy-washy (such a dumb term). I’ll give you that one.
Charity 1 / Karen 2
7. Favorite sitcom?
Karen – Seinfeld
Charity – Oh, good one! I am a Friends lover first and foremost thought.
— This is getting ridiculous
Charity 1 / Karen 2
8. Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring?
Karen – Summer, Spring, Fall, Winter—in that order. And I tolerate winter only for the boots. And scarves. And cool coats.
Charity – Hmm. I do love a good pair of boots and I love the hoodies. I am a fall girl, for sure. So pretty and festive and perfect weather (here in Virginia, at least).
— This was the closest Face-off I have ever done!
Final: Charity 1 / Karen 2
I suppose I will win one of these days! This one was so close….
Thanks, so much, Karen! I had a great time getting to know you. Looking forward to your next book on Jonathan Swift (;