Hey there, booknerds! I have a surprise for you: a book tour! I am excited to be hosting today's tour stop for author and superhero, Michael Chrobak and his first book: "Foundations of Faith" in the Brother Thomas and the Guardians of Zion series. While this tour is going to specifically focus on the first book, I have read both out in the series and they are lovely Christian based Fantasy reads perfect for young adult readers who are in touch with, or want to be more in touch with, their faith. You can read my review for book one here and book two here if you want more information on these fun reads. But you can also check out the info below to read more about the book and the author. But that information, while vital, makes for a boring blog. So Michael wrote a guest post for you read as well! And as someone who loves animals and has rescued a few myself, Michael's story about naming pets was something I felt was perfect to share, especially as I plan a few more serious blog posts in the upcoming weeks.
Please enjoy, and be sure to check out "Foundations of Faith" and connect with the author, I can vouch for his kindness and extreme talent!
Book blurb: Thomas could think of a million places he'd rather be right now than on a Confirmation retreat. After all, his parents had forced him to attend. It's only Saturday morning and already he wants to leave. All that changes when Thomas is challenged by a dark presence that wants nothing more than to see his faith fail, a faith he didn't even know he had. As the darkness consumes him, Thomas' entire world breaks apart. Can Thomas find the strength to resist the darkness? Will he become the person Father Dominic believes he will be? Can he really accept the quest to find the Guardians of Zion or was that just a dream? If only he had superpowers. But then again, perhaps he does...
Goodreads Score: 4.13
Amazon Score: 4.5
Price: $13.99 in Paperback, Free through Kindle Unlimited
Bio: Michael Chrobak has been involved in working with Youth and Youth Ministry programs since he was a teen himself; a long, long time ago. He has held the position of Director of Religious Education and Youth Minister for St. Bonaventure’s Parish in Concord, CA, and also as Youth Minister for St. Michael’s Parish in Livermore, CA. He has survived raising four children of his own and now lives in Oakley, CA where he continues to stay involved in Youth Ministry through his blogs and books.
How to Connect:
Never Let a Five Year Old Name a Dog, By Michael Chrobak
When my youngest was five, we let her bring home a free puppy. On the car ride home, I asked her if she had picked out a name yet. She said she had. In my mind, I was picturing names that would fit this black and gold, Rottweiler mix pup. That’s when she announced her choice: Rainbow.
Wait, what? Rainbow? Did she realize this dog has absolutely zero of the colors that are in a rainbow?
That’s is when I discovered the danger of letting a child choose a dog’s name. Had this been any other animal—cat, goat, pig, donkey, monkey, chinchilla, bird—I would have let it slide. Just not a dog. Why not? Dog parks.
There are no cat parks, or pig parks, or bird parks. But there are dog parks. And, when you’re an owner of a dog, and you bring said animal to the park, you will use the animal’s name while you’re there. In fact, you’ll use it at an above-average rate. Usually not in a quiet, whispery voice either.
“Rainbow, don’t eat that.”
“Rainbow, come here.”
“It’s time to go home, Rainbow.”
I would be humiliated. Laughed at. Maybe not out loud, but definitely behind my back.
“You can put Rainbow on the dog license, and even on her tags, but we will are going to call her Bo.”
“Because I said so.”
Now, if you don’t yet understand the true importance of giving dogs proper, decent, NORMAL sounding names, consider this. A couple of weeks ago, I started looking for a pup to adopt. It’s been a few years since Rainbow passed and I’ve been missing having a dog around. We have a couple of cats, but, since I’m allergic, they are strictly outdoor cats. And they are, well, they’re cats. It’s not the same.
This time, rather than wait till I could find a box of ‘free pups’, I took an online quiz that matched me to the perfect breeds. Then, I got online to search for dogs to adopt, knowing just what I was looking for.
First, I removed dogs that were too small. Then I looked at length of fur, age, and, to be honest, overall ‘cuteness’. I winnowed the list from 3,700 down to about 25. The last factor was to find that ‘connection’ that an owner feels when they’ve met their new best friend. And though that’s hard to do online, anyone who has tried knows, at some point, you just know you’ve found your dog.
And I did find her. She was the perfect little mutt. All except for one thing.
Her name was Peanut Butter. No, she was not peanut-butter-colored.
Moving on. I find dog number two. His name?
Uhm…wut? He’s a Chihuahua mix. Not a fluff on the guy. This one was named by a drunk teenager, I just know it.
Dog number three? Cranberry.
Dog number four? Snufalufugus.
Number five? Chai Tea Latte.
No, I am not making this up. Someone actually named a dog Chai Tea Latte.
The search for the perfect dog is put on hold, because now I can’t stop until I find the dumbest dog name I can find. Here’s a list:
Can’t I just rename the dog after I get it home? Sure. And it doesn’t take that long, either. But, still, you have to understand…the dog will always know its name used to be Bubble Seashell. There is bound to be some long-term psychological damage.
For two or three years some owner called out, “Bubble Seashell? Where are you?” And the dog had to answer. It didn’t want to. (I mean, would you?) But it did. And every other dog in the neighborhood would pee on the carpet from laughing too hard. Yeah, there’s going to be some residual trauma.
So, for now, I’ll keep searching. Somewhere out there there’s a Max, or Champ, or maybe a Jake (minus the #2) that’s just perfect for me. Hopefully.
*Update: Michael has adopted 2 puppies! And they have normal names. Like Chaya and Copper.