Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Love Needs No Words {A Short Story Release + Giveaway}

Good morning, friends! Today is the day—my little story is releasing to the world. :D 

I originally wrote Love Needs No Words as a short story for a contest, hosted by indie-author Lesa McKee. I was sooo thrilled when I placed! Now, over two years later, I'm releasing a revised version in paperback and ebook formats. ;) 

Home from college for the summer, Shay Williams has many plans. Crossing paths with her childhood crush was not on the list. Yet when Daniel Rogers, a young mute man, reappears in her life, the friendship that once blossomed between them is rekindled. 

Daniel is mesmerized by this sweet girl who has a heart for deaf and mute children. But is it wrong of him to want to know her better, considering his inability? The last thing he wants to become is another charity case.

Follow these two young people through a summer of discovery as they learn valuable truths about friendship and love – a love that speaks not from the lips but from the heart. 


Thanks to advance readers, there's already a couple reviews floating around Goodreads. Check these out! :D


In celebration of the release, Dandelion Dust is on sale! It has been on sale all weekend in participation with the St. Patricks Day Sale. It's still 25% off today, and it'll be 20% off tomorrow. :)

Lulu also has a 20% off promotion going today through Thursday. If you're interested, look for that when you go on the site. ;D 


What would a release be without a giveaway? Even if it's a tiny one. ;) 

If the form is giving you a fit, try this link.

In other news, this is the 300th post on Stories by Firefly! I'm going to have to start planning something special for my blogiversary in a few months. Any ideas? ;D

Blessings to you all! <3

Friday, March 16, 2018

St. Patrick's Day Paperback Sale {Loads of Goodies!}

Hey, friends! Just wanted to let y'all know about an awesome book sale that's going on this weekend.

On March 16–18th, the following books (including Dandelion Dust!) will be available at the listed prices in paperback format only.

The title of each book is linked to either the website where the book is on a discounted price, or the order form where you can snag an on-sale autographed copy.

~ Amanda Tero

Price: $7.99 (11% off)

Price: $6.99 (11% off)

Price $7.99 (11% off)

~ Erika Mathews

Sale Price: 35% off! $8.42+shipping (regular $12.95)

~ Sharon K. Connell 

Sale Price: $12.25 (normal $14.99)

Sale Price: $12.25 (normal $14.99)

~ Faith Potts 

Price: $5.99 (40% off)

~ Kellyn Roth 

Sale Price: $8.99 w/free shipping (regular $12.99)

~ Faith Blum

Price: $10 and free shipping

Price: $10 and free shipping

Price: $12 and free shipping

Price: $15 and free shipping

Price: $14 and free shipping

Price: $55 and free shipping

Price: $10 and free shipping

Price: $10 and free shipping

Price: $10 and free shipping

Price: $25 and free shipping

Doesn't this look awesome? :D Which books do you have your eye on? 

A New Release from a Well-loved Author // Cover + Title Reveal

Welcome, ladies and gents! Guess what today is? :D 

If you guessed the unveiling of Tricia Mingerink's new book's title and cover, you would be absolutely correct! 

I'm so thrilled to be part of the team that got to see the cover of Dagger's Sleep beforehand. It's the first book in a series of fairytale retellings. I adore the author's first series (The Blades of Acktar), and I'm super excited to read this one!! 

~ About the Book ~ 

A prince cursed to sleep.
A princess destined to wake him.
A kingdom determined to stop them.

High Prince Alexander has been cursed to a sleep like unto death, a curse that will end the line of the high kings and send the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia into chaos. With his manservant to carry his luggage and his own superior intelligence to aid him, Alex sets off to find one of the Fae and end his curse one way or another.

A hundred years later, Princess Rosanna learns she is the princess destined by the Highest King to wake the legendary sleeping prince. With the help of the mysterious Daemyn Rand, can she find the courage to finish the quest as Tallahatchia wavers on the edge of war?

One curse connects them. A hundred years separate them. From the rushing rivers of Tallahatchia’s mountains to the hall of the Highest king himself, their quests will demand greater sacrifice than either of them could imagine.

Releasing May 28, 2018! 

~ About the Author ~ 

Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.

You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.

You know what else is super cool? Tricia Mingerink is going to be co-hosting a blog tour from May 22 to 28 with Sarah Addison-Fox to celebrate the release of both of their latest books! Sarah's next book, Dissociate, releases May 22. The authors will be releasing details about the blog tour next month. :) 

Are you a fan of Tricia Mingerink's books? :D

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Upcoming Trip + Where Should We Stop?

So...guess who's going on a trip across the country in a few months and step into the Pacific Ocean and gaze upon the Grand Canyon??

If you guessed the weird and random Potts family, you would be right! And since we're currently at the planning phase of this trip, this is where y'all come in. Because, at the wise advice of my mom, I'm asking for y'all's suggestions.

In no particular order, possible stops on the very-unstable and subject-to-drastic-change route are as follows: Grand Canyon in Arizona, cave dwellings in New Mexico, redwoods in California, friends in Idaho, the Oregon coast, friends in Kansas, Pawhuska Oklahoma (Pioneer Woman, y'all), and Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in Nevada.

So here's my question for y'all. Have you been to any of these places? Were they all hype and not worth the time they required? Or were they well worth it? Is there anything near any of these locations that we should check out?

Short post for today, but that's alright. ;) I look forward to hearing from y'all!!


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Stories from a SBF Fan. {pt.1}

Happy Wednesday, readers! Today I have a special (and rather different) post for you. :D 

Katja L. has been following Stories by Firefly for quite some time. She enjoyed the Imagine This writing challenges and wrote stories off many of the images. Because she wrote them late and edited them, she never entered her stories in the challenges, but she was kind enough to share them with me—and she gave me permission to share them with y'all!

I had fun reading Katja's take on each of the image prompts, and I think y'all will as well. :D  Enjoy!

The Return:
A Medieval Tale

“Blessed be the LORD, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.”
—Psalm 68:19

I believe I glanced at the other ‘Imagine This’ stories, but I didn’t read most, I think.

     Eumacette glanced out of the castle window, wiping her hands upon her white apron. As she peered around, her little, work-calloused hands pushed back the curls which stuck to her damp forehead and cheeks, and smoothed the wisps of hair standing out in all directions upon her head.
     There was nothing to be seen. The road stretched out and curled around the hills, but it was empty. With a half-stifled sigh, Eumacette turned away, lifting the heavy pail of water and carrying it out the room, across the hall, and into the other room. There she knelt and scrubbed away with all the vigor of her vibrant character. Rarely were such iron will and stoic endurance locked in such a small, slight, delicate form.
     When she had finished her work, she disposed of the soiled water and returned the bucket to its place. At this moment, Dame Geneviève’s voice was heard calling her name. Brushing off her tan-colored jacket and again calming her heavy, now-frizzly black hair, the young woman hurried down the staircase, her long, flowing pastel-green dress trailing about her ankles in graceful draping folds.
     The châtelaine glanced up with a gracious smile as her maid entered. As the daughter of Dame Geneviève’s late nurse, Eumacette was a privileged servant.
     “Did you see Sir Onfroi and his army?” she enquired.
     “Non. The road is deserted.”
     Dame Geneviève nodded and then proceeded to give her a series of small tasks to do.
     When Dame Geneviève was through with her, the girl descended to the hall. Here she lent her aid to the other servants, in strewing straw and herbs upon the stone floor, and in setting the great table.
     As they were so employed, an exultant trumpet proclaimed the arrival of the châtelain. Dame Geneviève descended from her bower, and fondly greeted her husband. Eumacette watched with a light feeling of mournful envy, when a tap on her shoulder made her glance around inquiringly, and view a young man clad in a loose white shirt and black hose.
     With a cry of delight, Eumacette flung her arms about him and received a warm embrace.
     Eustace Leroux was ten years older than his twenty-year-old sister. Twelve years ago, he had been serving under Sir Onfroi against an enemy noble. He had been captured, and none had doubted of his death. But the present attack had been successful; the evil knight had been destroyed; and Eustace had been freed.
     He was a striking blond, and seemed to quite tower over his sister. In truth, he was only six feet, but all appeared tall when compared to the tiny French maid.
     Eumacette, her face reddened with tears, her frame shaking with sobs, burrowed her face against her brother, who wrapped his arms protectively around her, soothing her with gentle words.
     When she pulled away and wiped her flushed face, Eustace respectfully received the welcome of Dame Geneviève.
     “Truly,” observed this lady, “the LORD has blessed us with unlooked-for joy, in preserving and returning you to us.”
     Eustace nodded reverently, and in one accord all bent their heads as Sir Onfroi sent up grateful thanks for their safekeeping, and the return of a faithful servant, staunch friend, and loving brother.

Find the other stories here

A Fading Flower:
A Tale of Life

“As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”
—Psalm 103:15-18.

     “Do—do you mind if we go visit Kelton?” Dayton fumbled nervously with the keys, refusing to look at her.
     “Here?” gasped Kalynda, whirling about and staring at the hospital.
     “Yeah?” Dayton's voice was anxious and hesitant.
     Kalynda's heart beat wildly against her chest. She caught her breath. A hospital? Visit someone in a hospital? Someone she barely knew? She began to panic at the very thought.
     Then she glanced sideways at her twin, nervous and hesitant. She remembered how she had felt when he had been missing. The guilt over things she could have done—and had never. Dayton and Kelton had always been very close, though Kalynda had very seldom seen him. Usually when Kelton was around, she was busy with his big sister Morganne.
     Inhaling deeply, Kalynda braced herself and replied, “Sh—sure.”
     Dayton swept her a grateful look and hurried out of the car. Kalynda slowly followed. Locking the doors, Dayton walked quickly towards the hospital entrance. Kalynda grasped his arm and struggled to calm herself.
     A few minutes later, she stared into the face of her cousi, covered with tubes and bandages. His eyes were closed, his breath shallow, and his skin pale. Kalynda grasped Dayton's arm so tightly he grimaced. “Ow!”
     Kalynda could not even murmur an apology, she was so tense. She had always hated hospitals and nursing homes. She had always hated reminders of suffering. What was she doing here!?
     Dayton shuffled to the bedside of his cousin and stood uncomfortably for a few moments. His phone rang and he snatched at it. Kalynda, focusing on him and trying to ignore the critically-wounded R.C.M.P., felt a wave of anger. Dayton had changed so much since he had been attacked and held hostage by those criminals. He was so unsure and fearful.
     Jolting back from her thoughts, Kalynda realized Dayton was going out. He saw the question on her face and spoke quickly.
     “I'm going to get Mike. He's coming to see Kelton.”
     With these words he plunged into the hallway and hurried off.
     Kalynda stayed where she was, gazing at the stubble-covered, immobile face. Even unconscious, Kelton's face was stern. Kalynda's face grew pitying as she glanced at the wires, monitors, and all the other hospital appliances. They were all reminders of the fragility of life.
     Kalynda wondered, as she looked down at him, if he was ready to go. If he had settled everything he had to settle. If he was ready to face God. She knew he was saved, but had he been living as he should? or had he grown a bit careless, forgetting how life is never guaranteed?
     Kalynda felt a stab of guilt as she remembered that she herself was growing lackadaisical. She did not always read her Bible, and when had she actually paused to pray—really pray—seeking the face of the LORD?
     Glancing again at the IV bag and the other appliances, struggling to keep life in her cousin, Kalynda felt a surge of determination: by God's grace and aid, she would be ready to face her Creator and Savior. The words from Thomas Ken's Awake, my Soul! & With the Sun came to mind, and she breathed them out earnestly:

“Teach me to live, so that I dread
The grave as little as my bed.”

Take it to the LORD:
A Tale of Grief

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
—Psalm 46:1-3

I read the other entries for this so I deliberately put twists in mine.

     Annalyssa Horton dashed through the house, bursting through the screen door. Her long skirt billowed around her as she rushed headlong down the porch steps and across the yard.
     “Stashie! Stashie! Come quick!” she shrieked in that high-pitched, almost soundless scream of pure terror.
     Anastasia, in a black T-shirt and matching pink skirt, was sitting grilling hotdogs over a fire. She bore the name (and nickname) of a secondary character in Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s Understood Betsy—because the said character, Anastasia (“Stashie”) Monahan had captured the youthful imagination of Estefania Ward, the future Mrs. Horton. Seven years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Horton had died in a car accident. Lyssa had been eight, Stashie sixteen, and their brother Kem eighteen. Since then they had lived alone together, and Anastasia and Kem had raised Annalyssa.
     Now, Stashie turned and stared at her sister, forgetting the blackening wiener she was cooking. Annalyssa snatched her hand and began to drag her into the house.
     “Wait! the fire!” cried Anastasia. She quickly put it out and sprinted after Lyssa to the house. They screeched to a stop before the television. Stashie clapped a hand to her mouth in horror as she took in the images and headline: “Horrific flash floods in St.-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, Québec.”
     Annalyssa’s best friend Raemonda Lemarié had only just moved to St.-Jean.
     The last days of that broiling July was a blur to Lyssa. She spent her time crying, praying, and searching for news of her friend. Her birthday occasioned extra tears on account of old birthday memories with Rae, and when Kem brought home a birthday package and letter Rae had mailed a few days before the tragedy, it was the last straw.
     Crumpling the letter in her hand, Annalyssa flung herself into Anastasia’s arms and sobbed. Stashie felt the tears dripping down her face onto her sister’s hair as Lyssa’s sobs intensified.
     Kem wrapped his arms around both his sisters and sighed.
     “O Father. . . we need Thy grace and peace. Please, LORD, keep Rae and the Lemariés safe. Help them find peace and security in Thee. . .”
     Stashie squeezed her sister closer and began to recite softly: “‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. . . what a privilege to carry everything to God in pray’r! Oh, what peace we often forfeit! Oh, what needless pain we bear! All because we do not carry everything to God in pray’r. . . Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? . . . Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge!—take it to the Lord in prayer. . . in His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there. . . Blessèd Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear; may we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer. . .’”
     “Don’t ever forget, girls,” whispered Kem, “take it to the LORD in prayer—your fears and your griefs. . . He will always help.”
     A few days later, a radient Annalyssa was devouring a reassuring letter from the much-alive Raemonda.

Find the other entries here

The Most Important Thing

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
—Philippians 4:6

     Dawna rubbed her hands against her dress and grimaced. She couldn't help trembling slightly.
     Ouassila grinned as she handed the nervous bride a pair of silver high-heels. Six years ago, Cilla had declared she dispaired of ever getting Dawn in fashionable shoes. Dawna had averred she prefered being comfortable to being pretty. But she had promised to wear high-heels at her wedding—a fact which had been Ouassila's first comment when she had heard that Terran Vicarson was courting Dawna Winston.
    As Dawn gigglingly fastened on the pretty shoes, Daxton ran in through the open door, holding a bouquet which mingled red, pink, and white roses, accentuated with a bit of orange-blossom.
     “Dawn you look smashing and Mum sends these and Terry wants to see you,” he blurted out breathlessly.
   Dawna smilingly took the bouquet from her little brother and smiled appreciatively. “Where is Terran?” she asked, as Ouassila tied the white silk ribbon strands about the stems.
      “Stairs.” Daxton pointed with his thumb over his shoulder and at the basement outside door.
      Dawna went slowly down the hall, her short train trailing behind, her white lacy veil mingling with the flounces. She opened the door and caught sight of Terran’s navy blue coat. He was lounging with his back against the wall, where the steps ran up from the doorsteps.
     She eyed his uniform and grinned. She had always maintained that she would marry a soldier. Terran belonged to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but he had jokingly donned his grandfather’s old World War II uniform for the wedding.
     “We were going to pray, remember?” Terran lazily kept his gaze on the wall opposite.
     Dawna frowned. She'd forgotten several important things already today, but this was by far the most important. “Right.” Then she glanced down and grimaced at the muddy ground. “Uh, Terran?”
     “Yeah?” He removed his cap as he spoke and glanced questioningly back at her.
     “The ground's so muddy. . . mind if I stay here?”
      He appraised the situation. “O.K., sure.”
     At that moment, Ouassila spoke out from behind the bride. “Don't you dare step out there, Dawna Jane Winston!”
      “I'm not,” Dawna replied indignantly.
      “She isn't,” Terran protested at the same moment.
      “O.K., hurry up and pray. It's gonna rain soon.” Cilla frowned up at the louring clouds.
     Promptly bending his head, Terran leaned forward slightly, while Dawna leaned against one side of the doorframe and Ouassila against the other.
      Terran began to pray, asking for safety for his brother, sister-in-law, and neices, flying in from New Zealand for the wedding, and for their prompt arrival to witness the ceremony. Dawna clapped her hand over her mouth and her shoulders shook with laughter as Terran unconsciously mimicked a New Zealand accent. But in a few moments her eyes softened as Terran added a request for sunshine and no rain.
      God had indeed blessed her with a husband who never forgot the most important thing—prayer—and also remembered the smaller details.

Counterfeiters, Fireplaces, & Cousins:
A Detective Tale

“. . .they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain. . .”
—Proverbs 1:18-19

I wrote this story after reading all the other entries, so I deliberately put twists in.

     Seventeen-year-old Allanys stroked her fingers on her pistol cautiously, glancing around. It was imperative to find this wily counterfeiter’s apparatus and photograph it for evidence while Emory distracted him.
     Ahead of her, Ilbert strode confidently forwards, his pistol also cocked and ready.
     The Kriston kids had been interested in detective stuff for as long as they could remember. They had read and analyzed and practically memorized all mystery- and detective-related books they could get their hands on. They were always being called upon to solve mundane little (and sometimes not so mundane or little) mysteries at home and in town. Bert was five years older than Allys; Em was half-way between his two cousins in age; but they had always partnered. Ilbert was the bold discloser, who specialized in the bearding of villains and the explaining to the police. Allanys was the cool manager, who specialized in the arranging of campaigns, the analyzing of reasons and clues, and what not. Emory was the glib talker, who specialized in worming his way into secrets and distracting the suspect or onlookers.
     Suddenly Bert gave a triumphant grunt and opened a closet. He stood guard as Allys produced her camera and began shooting pictures. When she had finished, they began to leave. At the bottom of the ramshackle attic ladder, Ilbert paused.
     “Best lower the trapdoor. No sense in letting him know we know his little secret till we’re ready for him to know it.”
     He climbed back up, and Allanys continued down the hall, brushing off her blue jacket and frowning at the dustballs clinging to her long black skirt. As she descended the stairs, she paused frequently to clean off the garment.
     When she was halfway to the front door, it flew open and she stood face to face with the dangerous criminal.
     With terrifying silence and speed, he instantly sprang forwards, just as she threw up her arm to fire. As she pulled the trigger, he threw her to the floor, the pistol ball destroying a dim old painting on the wall. Her head slammed against the ancient fireplace with such force that she fainted. As she blacked out, Ilbert’s large hand gripped her shoulder and jerked her back.
     Throwing an arm about his sister, Bert menaced the counterfeiter with his pistol.
     The men hesitated. Ilbert did not dare provoke a fight, for Allys was leaning against him. The criminal did not wish to draw attention to the lonely tumbledown cottage by a pistol report.
     At this juncture, Em, armed with a pistol and closely followed by several grim policemen, waltzed into the room. With his customary sang-froid, he cooly removed the pistol from the counterfeiter’s astonished grasp and held a water-bottle out to Ilbert.
     When Allanys came back to, she found Bert supporting her and Emory pouring a small stream of water onto her face, reckless of the wetting of her jacket. Behind him, the officers were motioning a handcuffed criminal into the cruiser.
     “A bit of a rough day, eh, Lys?” Em smirked.
     Allys sat up hurriedly and plucked at her soaked jacket. “Very. . . especially the present moment.”

What did y'all think of Katja's stories? Be sure to drop her a comment! The second round will be up soon. :) 


Saturday, March 3, 2018

#MyFirstPostRevisited {In Which Faith Cringes}

Today is going to be interesting. Today Faith is going to get a lesson in humility.

Ivie Brooks tagged me for this and...*coughs*...yeah...it's gonna be bad. (First-time-blogger, fourteen-year-old Faith had absolutely NO idea what she was doing.) But thanks just the same, Ivie. *wink*

// Rules

>> You must highlight your first post and nothing else. Otherwise will be cheating.   *sobs*

>> Link back to the person who tagged you and thank them if you feel like it.   Yeah, yeah, done...

>> Cut and past your UNEDITED first post into this post.   O.ooo

>> Put the #MyFirstPostRevisited in the title.

>> Tag five other bloggers to do this.  Aha, so this tag does have a fun side...

>> Notify those you tagged in their comments section so they are aware and can't get out of doing the tag.     *dons halo*

>> Feel free to cut and paste the badge for your blog. (I didn't even bother tracking down the original badge, so if y'all want to do that, I suggest starting with Ivie's post.)

// Post

Alrighty, peeps, here it is...

 Welcome to Stories by Firefly! I'll be posting stories and parts of stories I'm writing and I love getting feedback, whatever it may be. So please let me know what you think in the comments.
 I hope you enjoy what I post. I plan to post 1-2 times a week, but that might not always happen if life gets in the way. Lol:)
 Some stories will be funny, some scary, some sad, and some crazy, but then that pretty much describes me!
Firefly (AKA Faith)
 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.  -Acts 4:12-13 KJV 

*pauses* *re-reads post* *considers crawling under desk* *decides it would do no good*

Okay, so...yeah. I'm hoping I've come a long way from this...interesting beginning. Let's try to figure out what was going on here.

First, its a typical 'Welcome' post. It tells what to expect from the blog—stories, which is something I haven't completely stuck with. I mention life getting in the way...which is kind of ironic because fourteen-year-old-me had even less of a life than seventeen-year-old-me does.

I said that funny, scary, sad, and crazy describes me. With an exclamation point. Was I proud of that...? (I'm legit dying over the "AKA", so we're going to skip that before I lose my sanity.)

And lastly, I close with a Bible verse. It's a good one, sure. Still a favorite. But...what relation did it have...? *whispers* I do not know...

*coughs and wonders if anyone is still here* Like I said, I hope I've come a long ways from there. But still, that's where I started and it is part of my history, so I guess it can stay, hidden deep in the archives. ;)

// The Tagged 

Raechel @ Gods Peculiar Treasure Rae
Rebekah @ RebekahAshleigh
Faith @ The Writer's Song
Blessing @ Counting Your Blessings One by One
Rebekah @ Rebekah's Remarks

How do you feel about your first blog post? How long have you been blogging? (My third blogiversary is coming up. :D)


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Country Music, Tired Selfies, and Spring Weather || February Recap

Holy cow...what just happened?

January flew by, but February? It flew by, y'all. As a wise human on Instagram said, "january took a whole thirty-six years to go by but february only lasted as long as your last meaningful relationship."

Which is basically true.

|| Life. || 

>> I went to a Zach Williams/Citizen Way concert with my mom on the first Saturday of the month. The bro got us tickets for Christmas. It was so awesome! :D

>> When you're watching WCTH and they're talking about past presidents... But like, y'all are Canadian... *scratches head*

>> Someone told me that the song Nothin' Like You reminds them of me and that totally made my day. ^-^

>> The When Calls the Heart blog party gave me the notion to re-watch the entire season. We're currently in season 4, and I can hardly wait to start season 5. :D

>> Weather around here has been so weird lately. It's rained nearly all month (okay, so that part isn't so weird. We practically live in a rainforest ;P) and it's been really warm! It's quite a bit cooler now, but for awhile it felt like spring. Which—as much as I like winter—was kinda nice. ;)

>> I didn't mention this in my January recap, but I made an unofficial resolution to exercise more this year. In January, I...didn't do so good. I took short walks pretty often, but I only biked like two days. This month, I did a bit better, and I've started running with my mom a couple days a week...which is harder than I expected it to be. Someone is in much worse shape than she thought. *cough*

>> I listened to music this month—a lot of which was country music, thanks to a certain human whom I stayed up to midnight to write with. Some favorites are... Pray With You - Mallary Hope. Looking Back at Me - Mallary Hope. Water Tower Town - Scotty McCreery. Marry Me - Thomas Rhett. Satisfy - Tenth Avenue North. I Am Sure - Dan Bremnes. Five More Minutes - Scotty McCreery.

>> I took a lot of tired selfies this month...? According to my phone photos, I did. xD Here's a fav, which made it's way to Instagram on Saturday night...

|| Books. || 

Sooo...reading didn't go that well this month. (Not sure what was up with that, other than I've noticed that I rarely have two good reading months in a row. :P) But the books I did read? AMAZING. <33

// Reads 

A Marriage of the Heart by Kelly Long -- 5 stars
At the Edge of a Dark Forest by Connie Almony -- 4.5 stars
Sleeping Handsome by Rebekah Eddy -- 4 stars -- Review HERE.
Meet My Boyfriend by Willowy Whisper -- 5 stars -- Review HERE.

I also read the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua. Loving this Old Testament history! :D

// Books Bought 

I got two darling little books this month. <3 And took less than $10 from my reading challenge!

Kindred Souls -- Thriftbooks
Andora's Folly -- bought from author

|| Writing. || 

Writing was kind of interesting this month. Sad too, as I made the decision to set War Tears aside for now.

Yeah, you read that right. After tottering back and forth since shortly after the holidays, I finally decided that it just wasn't working. I literally dreaded having to sit down to work on it. I was improving it in many ways, sure. But it didn't feel like enough.

I finally came to the realization that my heart wasn't in it. I was no longer passionate about the story that I poured two years into, on and off. It still holds a special place in my heart and it always will. I have no doubt that, someday (probably sooner rather than later ;P), I'll dive back into it. I'll cut all those unnecessary rambles, strengthen the characters, and discover the book's theme and purpose.

But now is not that time.

On the other hand, I'm making great progress on A Soldier's Freedom. I finished my read-through of the first draft, left a ton of sticky-notes throughout (you can take a peek at the notes here, if you're really bored...pardon the background noise), and brainstormed a few things that didn't add up. I'm looking forward to starting the actual edit soon! :D

I got Love Needs No Words back from beta-readers, and I'm currently working through edits. Everything is on-track for a March 20th release for the story that's in that awkward spot that's kinda a short-story and kinda a novelette...whatever that is. ;P

Also, #sidenote. Lisa from Inkwell posted about her top anticipated releases and she included Love Needs No Words, y'all!! :D *happy author squeal*

And while we're on the subject of squeals... I won a short-story contest!! I entered the Circle C Short-Story Contest back in January and found out this month that I won. The winners were posted here. :)

|| Blogging. || 

// Favorite Posts

The Peculiar Messenger ~ Every Breath is a Gift

The Ramblings of a Bookworm ~ Me

Merikthorne Library ~ Dandelion Dust by Faith Potts

Nadine Brandes ~ Dear Singles, It's Okay to Be Picky

A Purpose and a Promise ~ Right Here

// Blog Party

My friend, Rebekah, and I co-hosted a When Calls the Heart blog party this month. It was so much fun! :D 

// My Posts

|| Goals. || 

~ February Goals 

>> Read 8 books.        *sobs* nooo...

>> Finish editing War Tears pt.2 and send it to alphas.        Nope. For #reasons

>> Stay caught up with emails and blogging.        Nailed it. xD

>> Post on both blogs once a week, plus a couple posts on the group blog.        Yep. But only one post on the group blog. ;D

>> Start applying beta-readers feedback on Love Needs No Words.        Yup!

>> Finish my read-through of A Soldier's Freedom.        Yes!

~ March Goals 

>> Read 8 books.

>> Stay caught up on emails.

>> Publish Love Needs No Words.

>> Edit 9 chapters of A Soldier's Freedom.

>> Finish my Grammar, Bible, and History courses. (Finishing these subjects for the last time as a high schooler is like.... o.o)

How was your February? What are you looking forward to in March? Let's chat!