Monday, October 14, 2019

Dewdrops & Butterflies by Libby May || Blog Tour + Guest Post

Greetings, readers! My friend Libby is releasing her debut book, Dewdrops & Butterflies, and I'm participating in the blog tour. Read on for a guest post by Libby herself, about all things bookish! The next stop on the tour is tomorrow, at my friend Abigail's blog!

Hi everyone! Thanks Faith for letting me guest post! I’m super excited! 
My name is Libby and I am 19 years old. I started writing when I was 12 years old and I finished my first full novel when I was 14. It was full of plot holes and historical inaccuracies, like cellphones in purses ONLY when there was an emergency that called for one. We’re talking advanced 1800s technology. This was not on purpose. 
Anyway! Fast forward 5 years, and I’ve completed two novels, and here I am, publishing the first of the two, Dewdrops and Butterflies! 
I want to talk a little about writing your own stories. Do you have a story you want to tell? Have you started? If not, what’s holding you back? Is publishing something you want to do in the future? 
When I first started, I knew I wanted to publish, and the main point of my story, that bad historical fiction that I’m still somehow proud of, was to write something for girls my age that didn’t have anything to do with high school or junior high drama or an overload of crushes and boy/girl relationships, and something that didn’t pressure girls to do the things society thinks is “cool”! 
Dewdrops and Butterflies is about Rose, a girl who grew up in a difficult home and got placed into the foster care system. Fear drove her out of that home and she tries to make it on her own. The point of the story is to show that God is the only one who can protect us completely and fully, and that no matter how much we try on our own, we can never fulfill our own life. 
The second part of the story is from the point of view of her foster father, Alex Johnson. It’s a little bit of a different image on who Rose was and how others saw her. The point of this part of the story is to show that when we ARE in God’s hand, we can still stumble and fall, and ultimately, He will always take us back and continue to teach us. As time went on, I realized that Alex was almost a very relatable, contemporary version of the parable of the prodigal son. 
This story grew and changed and molded into something so much bigger than I had first imagined, and bigger than I could have done on my own. I started writing praying that God would use my hand and my heart for His glory, and through every part of the process, He was literally one step ahead of me. I’ve been so blessed and learned so many things. 
If I were to give one piece of advice to new writers, I say this: Write. Don’t give up, don't judge yourself, and don’t compare to others. But always pray. Have fun, and let the Holy Spirit work through you. Be ok with changes, have an open heart and learn through the process. Maybe the person you’re writing the story for is yourself! God may have something He wants to say to you, and  
He’s ultimately going to work in you and grow you as you go through this process and get to know your style of writing and your characters and how everything works. 
I encourage you, if you ever wanted to pick up a pen (or a laptop) and write something, now is your chance to do it! The world can always use more stories! 
Read, Write, and Love!~Libby

“I smiled and acted like I was supposed to be there. It was amazing how much people assumed by a simple glance. An outfit, an expression, a tone of voice. Anyone could pretend to be anything.
Today, I was a rich girl.”

Thirteen year old Rose Wells was determined to make it on her own. Running from authority one last time, the forest became her home and the cafe her source of food, with a fear driven determination keeping her there as long as she could help it.
Not everybody was ok with that. Alex and Jenni Johnson would do whatever they can to find their foster daughter and bring her home, giving her the genuine love she’d never known. 
Over the course of a single summer, hearts are broken, scars exposed, friendships blossom, and ultimately a greater truth is learned. 
A greater God is understood. 

releasing October 16th! 

are you interested in reading Dewdrops & Butterflies? isn't the purple aesthetic eye-catching? 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Crazy Life + Freedom's Release || September Recap


Also this is late again, but can I even help it at this point?? Nope.

|| Trip to See Friends

• My fam went to visit friends a few hours away the first weekend of the month. Sometime I'm going to do a post about these Nameless Friends that we hang out with every other month or so. But until then... *photo dump*

"I love ripped denim and I cannot lie"

• While there, we went riding up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was a gorgeous day and the scenery was breathtaking. <3

oh hi tall kid

|| Random Life

• A super sweet customer brought flowers to work for the employees to enjoy!

• We had an employee dinner a few weeks ago, and I took the opportunity to dress up and look nice. For once. xD

• I was house-sitting/dog-sitting the last weekend of the month, with these sweet pooches.

• BeFunky has, like, changed a ton of fonts since I last used it and they GOT RID OF the font I used to ALWAYS use for blog post graphics?? #rude

• And I guess that's it?? I basically spent the entire month at work. Or so it seemed. xD

• The only book I finished was The Judgement by Beverly Lewis, book two in the The Thorn trilogy. I've been inching my way through this series since early in the year, but I'm over halfway through the final book now, so yay. :D

One book looks so lame, but I've already read 3 books this month (October), so that's good??

|| Freedom

• Oh my goodness, where do I start? Y'all, my precious book baby that I've laughed through and cried over for—legit— available to the world. It's a crazy, but special, feeling. Especially since the book has been, for the most part, readily accepted and adored. <3

• The blog tour, 13 Reasons Why, with the lovely Kaitlyn Krispense, was an absolute blast. The vast number of people who hopped on the bandwagon and shared their own Reasons to Live (R2Ls), either daily or sporadically, made me smile so much. Not to mention, we all had a lot of fun during the almost-two-weeks too. ;)

• There was also a fundraiser connecting to the release of Freedom. In preparation, I wrote up a few paragraphs, explaining that I would be donating profits from Freedom during the month of September to Cover Me Veterans, a non profit organization that's fighting against veteran suicide. And I prayed about it. And I waited to see what would happen. Um guys... Combining paperback sales, ebook sales, and a couple anonymous donations, we raised $420.28. Given that the original goal—and one that I wasn't even sure would be reached—was $100, I was utterly blown away. Thank you all so, so much. God is good. <3

|| Chasing a Dream 

• Now that Freedom is out in the hands of the world (wow that's scary), I'm trying to re-immerse myself into the wonderful world of Chasing a Dream. Right now that means some plotting and outlining, as well as working out minor timeline details and figuring out exactly how it fits in with Dandelion Dust. I'm really excited for this story. It's gonna be good, y'all. :D

|| Final Days of Recaps 

• So, uh, I doubt I'll do anymore monthly recaps after the end of the year. When writing a recap post is something that I literally dread doing and put off for days... yeah, that should be a dead clue that something is wrong. At the beginning of the year, I thought I needed to organize things more. So I revamped the way I did recaps—ironically making it take more time+work—and I don't even really like the format now. I'll finish out the year with this type of recap each month, just because I don't wanna leave things undone, but after that, I'm going to switch things up.

• I've been thinking about maybe doing something like "Life as of now: October 11, 2019" every 4-6 weeks, with an update of what's going on in my life. Same sort of content as the recaps, with less organization and formality. Just bulleted highlights, probably some rambles, and snapshots of life. Maybe writing snippets and/or new story announcements. Thoughts on that?

|| My Posts

One ~ Two ~ Three ~ Four ~ Five ~ Six ~ Seven ~ Eight ~ Nine ~ Ten ~ Eleven ~ Twelve ~ Thirteen 

|| September Goals

• Rock the world with the 13RW tour.     CHECK.

• Release Freedom.       YESSSS.

• Mail all preorder paperback copies.      *thumbs up* the post office people love me.

• Keep up with social media.      EHhhh, not so

• Clear my inbox.     *maniac laughter*

• Figure out what to do with myself once I'm not spending every waking moment freaking out over anything and everything Freedom related.          Did I seriously think I'd be bored...?

|| October Goals

• Outline Chasing a Dream + do some minor related research.

• Read 5 books.

• Catch up on blog post scheduling, book reviews, and marketing plans.

• Start planning 12 Days of Christmas. (Anyone interested?)

how was your September? are you excited for fall? best book you've read so far this year? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Five Fall Favorites Returns for a Fourth Year!

Calling any and all book lovers!
This invitation is for you if you love books!

Just click on this image on September 30th to be whisked away to the Literary Lodge (otherwise known as Read Another Page).…-hop-real-heroes/

I am happy to share this invitation with you today because I have participated in this blog party before and it was such fun!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

13 Reasons Why || Wrap-up + Winner Announcement

Greetings, friends. :)   Honestly, can't believe I'm already writing the final post of the tour. It seemed forever away when we first started planning, then everything flew by once the tour started, and now it's nearly over!

Anyway, moving on... Thank you all so, so much for the sweet support and encouragement you've shown to us and our books during this almost-two-weeks. I've been so blessed by the outpouring of love. <3  And, also, thank you for sharing the fundraiser preorder for Freedom! We've broke past $150, well on our way to the new goal of $200.

For today's post, we're answering a few more questions from the Q&A that we received after Monday's post—a couple below and more on Kate's blog. Teal is Kate, purple is me. And the giveaway winners are announced at the end of the post! :)

Kaitlyn Krispense, Author

|| Q&A  2.0

Who's backstory was the hardest to write in Beloved? 
Probablyyyyyyy Titus and Fergus’s. Just because it got changed more than once until I was finally satisfied with it.

In Freedom, how long did editing take? 
Ehh, nearly two years, on and off. I did work on multiple other projects during that time, but yeah, quite a while. Freedom has grown and changed a lot during that time. 

How did you decide what you wanted your cover to look like? 
I knew that I wanted it to have a water/beach theme, and after experimenting with about a gajillion mock covers, I finally found one I loved. *shrugs*

Relatable. At first, I just knew I wanted there to be a flag on the cover in some way, because of the book’s strong military ties. Other than that, I didn’t really know what I wanted. But when the broken glass idea struck, it was…love at first sight.  

|| Giveaway Winners 

1st Place: Ellen

2nd Place: Abby G

3rd Place: Patience

Congratulations, girls! We'll be emailing you each to work out details. :)

thank you all so, so much for being here during these 13 days <3

Friday, September 13, 2019

13 Reasons Why || Choose to Stay

Welcome, the next-to-last post in the 13 Reasons Why tour. I can't say enough how amazed I've been by the number of people who showed up and spoke out in support of the tour and these books. May God be glorified. <3

Today, we're sharing R2Ls that all of you have shared over the past twelve days. Read through these and be reminded all over again how beautiful life is and just how much you matter. Even more R2Ls are being spotlighted on Kate's blog. <3

Kaitlyn Krispense, Author

|| Reasons to Live

Family. You see, your family most likely cares and suicide doesn’t just take the person’s life, it takes the life of a family.
- Abigail Harris

Colour. The vibrancy of red. The depth of blue. The lushness of green. The serenity of lavender. The cheer of yellow. There are so many beautiful and amazing couleurs that surround us every day. They have me in awe. Stop and appreciate the colour in your life for a minute. 
- Katja Labonte

To see another sunset and another sunrise.
- Angela Watts

My R2L for today would be America. Seriously, we live in the greatest nation on earth! Sure we have our problems, but you can have a chance to change that! We are the freest nation in the world and you know what? As a whole, we care about what happens to you! Because you are a part of our people. You matter. God put you here for such a time as this! What are you called to do for the betterment of America (or your home country?) People are willing to die for should be willing to live for her 
- Ryana Lynn Miller

Stories. Stories are everywhere. Everyone’s life is a story. Every book is a story. Every building has a story. And God writes the best, most mind-blowing stories ever. 
- Katja Labonte

Seeing happy dogs while out in town. 
Funnel cakes during festival seasons.
- Angela Watts

A reason to live is laughter. God has given us laughter to cheer us up from even the darkest places. Have you ever heard that laughter is the cure for anything? I believe it is. I don’t mean just a slight chuckle I mean a full out, belly hurting, laugh. I know that no matter how I’m feeling if something happens – or someone says something – that is hilarious, I am out of my mood instantly just because of laughing. God wants us to have joy and be happy. He wants us to have laughter in our lives. Don’t punish yourself by not laughing. You will find that it is amazing how much laughter helps.
- Abigail Harder

Smiles. Dimpled smiles, broad smiles, smirking smiles, happy-tears smiles, baby smiles, loving smiles, how-do-you-do smiles, welcoming smiles, I-love-you-so-much smiles. So many smiles. 
Laughter. There is so much humour in life. Laugh. Enjoy it. The smallest things can make you giggle—don’t smother it or feel ashamed or childish. God gave us laugher for a reason. 
- Katja Labonte

The one reason to live I'm going to share is Jesus Christ. Think of it, He made the ultimate sacrifice so you could live! Jesus made a way for sinners like us to have L i f e .  Jesus is our reason to live because He has made a way for us. He has a reason and purpose for us to live. And He loves us so much!
- Brooklyne

A JOB TO DO. There is an endless list I could give as reasons to live, and why I live, but I picked this one because it’s powerful. We as Christians have a job to do, and we as breathing, living, humans have a job to do. There is not just a reason to live, but a REASON YOU ARE ALIVE. There is a PURPOSE to your life and no human was ever brought into this world by mistake. You were molded and formed and named in your mother’s womb and whether you know God now or never have yet, He has created you with fingers of love and He knew that the world could not get along without you. So LIVE. Fill your role. Love the people around you, work hard, and never, ever doubt the fact that you are IMPORTANT.
- Libby May

Choose life today because you are alive! God has gifted you with life, and you woke up breathing and living. He wants you here, on this earth, for some purpose of His. It's not for you to decide when to leave this life; you didn't create yourself. It's up to the Creator Himself. Yes, life may be painful right now, and you may be struggling with things no one in this world can understand. But that doesn't give you liberty to escape this life -- it means that God has promised us trials and he has also promised to make us stronger through them if we endure to the end.
- Kaitlyn S.

Hoop earrings. Rhinestone rings. Ruffles and lace. Your favourite skirt. Those little accessories and outfits you love. The things that make you smile when you put them on. 
- Katja Labonte

My parents. They are the best and I seriously don’t know what I’d do without them. They’re always there for me. <3
- RebekahAshleigh

Here’s the short version of things: We’ve all been in dark places, and in a dark world, we’ll keep going there. But you are not the only person on this planet. You are not the only person who’s struggling. You are not alone. Suicide is not your last resort; don’t let it be your last resort, because no matter how lonely you seem or feel, if you’re reading this, there’s someone out there who will weep over your death. Please don’t take your own life when it could cause another to make the same decision. Please don’t take your own life when you could be helping someone else with theirs. Life will try to get the better of you. But, and I’m quoting Abbie Emmons here: “When life knocks you down… get up.” People can and will relate to you if you let them. And also… always be a happy camper.
- Merie Shen

Dreams. Goals. Plans. Aspirations. Desires. Making us push and rewarding us. Stepping out in faith, holding God’s hand. Surrendering to His call. Accepting His plan. 
- Katja Labonte

Late night conversations with the stars.
- Angela Watts

|| R2L

Today's reason to live is: You. Are. So. Loved. More than you will ever be able to understand or comprehend, you are loved. The God of the universe give His only child for you—an unfathomable love we will never be able to fully grasp the magnitude of. And there are people on this earth, right now, who care about you. Who are thinking about you. Who love you. So please. Stay. You are wanted here. <3

|| Today on the Tour

Friday, September 13th

Abigail @ Novel, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors — Review of Freedom
Isabel @ Chasing Fantasia — Review of Freedom
Molly @ Qadash - Set Apart, for Him — Review of Beloved
Kaitlyn @ Maidens for Modesty — Review of Beloved

Last day to enter the giveaway

what's your R2L? <33

Thursday, September 12, 2019

13 Reasons Why || Thirteen Reasons You Should Read Beloved

Day Eleven...

Honestly, I'm still trying to process that we've made it this far, y'all. God is good. The tour is going strong, and the Cover Me Veterans fundraiser/Freedom preorder with a new goal of $200 was at $138.95 last count. <33

Today's post is a little special. Just in case these stories haven't been hyped enough, allow us to lead you through thirteen reasons you should read Freedom/Beloved... Freedom's list is on Kate's blog. ;)

Kaitlyn Krispense, Author

|| Thirteen Reasons Why You Should Read Beloved

1. Cara. The intricately fascinating main character is reason enough in herself. But also, did you know that her name means beloved?

2. Suicide - dealing with it. As you probably already knew, the main character of Beloved deals with thoughts of suicide and makes a few attempts. I'm so blessed to see more and more books dealing with this topic.

3. Suicide - losing someone to it. Similar to Freedom, the main character of Beloved lost someone they were close to to suicide. I love that, in this way, the book shows both sides of suicide.

4. Peter. Can he just be a reason on his own? Please? This dude, though... #allmine

5. Brothers. All the brothers are so amazing and adorable. Dorky and quirky. Broken and precious. And highly entertaining.

6. Foster family dynamics. While I've read many books that contained foster parents, foster families, and various types of temporary custody/adoption/etc. situations, they usually feel...awkward. But this...THIS. <3  Best foster family setting I've saw in fiction.

7. Legit all the heartbreaking backstories. This story brings light to many other hard topics besides suicide, including abuse and abandonment.

8. The California setting is just really cool. I appreciate a story that has a beachy vibe, without feeling touristy.

9. Martha. If you haven't read the book, you don't know who Martha is and I can't really tell you without spoiling things... But seriously, read the book for Martha, if for no other reason. It'll be worth it, promise.

10. THE S.N.A.R.K. Spot on, y'all. Spot on. I love sarcasm and snarky-ness in books, and Miss Krispense nailed it.

11. Is the epic cover and lovely formatting a silly reason? Because, seriously. I'd read a book because of that...

12. The ending...isn’t the original ending. (Thank heavens. *zips lips because I can't say why*)

13. The love of Christ shines through so, so beautifully. Read this book if you need to feel special and loved and adored. <3

|| R2L

Today's reason to live is: Christ's sacrifice. Think about it for a minute. He gave His life—His all—for you. He literally bleed and died to give you life. It's not your place to take it out of His hands, dear one.

|| Today on the Tour

Thursday, September 12th

Esther @ We’ve Got Pockets — Interview 2x

Only two more days to submit to the Q&A or enter the giveaway!

so what are you waiting for?! 

Beloved is available in paperback, Amazon Kindle, and signed copies. <3

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

13 Reasons Why || Book Recommendations

Y'all... Release day completely blew me away. Like, I think I'm going to cry.

Release day of Freedom was unlike any previous release day for a book. Starting with, I was at work for 10 hours, which doesn't happen *too* often. xD  Secondly, it's my first dual release. And then, perhaps most importantly, the book has gotten SO much attention around the social media realms. My heart has been so blessed by everyone's love and support.

Also, quick update on the Freedom fundraiser. The goal was to sell 14 copies, which would mean donating just over $100 to Cover Me Veterans. As I write this at 11:35 last night, we've sold 15 paperback copies, received a sweet donation, and sold 2 Kindle copies. Bringing the total to just over $120.

*happy smiles* God is so good, y'all. So so good. And—because of that—we're going for $200. God didn't stop at $100, so we aren't either. Keep spreading the word. Keep sharing the love. Keep being the hope and the light. <3


Today's post is book recommendations that deal with common subjects from Freedom and/or Beloved. Hop over to Kate's blog for more!

Kaitlyn Krispense, Author

|| Related Books — Recommendations 

Homeward by Angela Watts

This story, y'all. It's the best description of how suicide wrecks a life and a family that I've read. Not to mention it's free and the author is a complete dear. Do yourself a favor and give it a read. <3

Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli

While I didn't enjoy this book on all counts (more info in my review), the author did a fabulous job of dealing with suicide, PTSD, and the brutal effects of war—all of which I really appreciated. 

Live Again by Sarah Grace Grzy

A short story prequel to the author's debut, Live Without You, Live Again is a darker look into the lives of the same characters. A battle with suicide. And a choice to live or not to live. <3
Available exclusively to Sarah Grace's newsletter subscribers! 

If I Run series by Terri Blackstock

These books are like a gold mine of unexplored, under-appreciated topics and tropes. From suicide, to mental illness, to depression, to PTSD, to amputees... what does this series not have? 10/10 recommended. 

Beloved by Kaitlyn Krispense

Obviously, I'm kinda partial to this author... :P  But it's not without reason! This book is filled to the brim with the real life struggles of depression and suicidal thoughts. It's not one to be missed. Read my full review here.

|| R2L

Today's reason to live is: your story. While we're on the topic of stories and books again, I want to remind you of something. Your story and the example you set is being watched by all those around you. Choose life because of the people watching you. You could be the hope in someone else's story. <3

|| Today on the Tour

Wednesday, September 11th

Rebekah @ RebekahAshleigh — Interview w/ Kate
Faith @ Faith Lane Author — Interview w/ Faith + Spotlight of Freedom
Hannah @ Elizabeth’s Corner — Interview w/ Kate

The giveaway and Q&A forms are both still open! 

have you read any of these? spot a favorite author or genre on the list?