Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Update, News, and Reminders

Hey people! *waves tiredly* I'm back! I know, I know -- I just posted yesterday...but it had been 12 days before that since I'd last popped in, so I felt like mentioning it here. XD 

This is just a super short post to let y'all know a few things, give a few reminders, tell some news, and the like. 

(On a side note, I'm sitting on the porch looking at this as I write this up...) 

Gloriously beautiful, yes? 

Okay, on to the purpose of this post... 

Quick FYI. 

My inbox is beyond overflowing with blog posts, comments that I need to respond to, and sweet emails to reply to. So if you're expecting any of those from me, I. Am. Coming. I'm just slightly sidetracked. ;P (If people would stop posting things I might could get caught up... Kidding, kidding! Y'all are fabulous and I enjoy your posts!! <3) 

My monthly wrap-up post should be up tomorrow, providing nothing upforeseen comes up. :) 


The winners of the writing contest went up yesterday. If you entered and have yet to see the results, check it out HERE. :) 

Don't forget to send me your questions for my Q&A coming up on June 11th! :D Details are HERE


I got a job. Okay, not exactly. B-) 

Today I started a fellowship program at the art center where I've been taking pottery classes for about 18 months. I work around the studio barn -- cleaning up, loading and unloading kilns, pugging clay, mixing glazes, etc. -- in exchange for studio time. :) It so much fun and I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to learn and get experience! :D 

I believe that's all for now, so I'll see y'all tomorrow! :) 


Monday, May 30, 2016

Writers Unite ~ Writing Contest // Winners Announced!!!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! :D (Click on over to Chosen Vessels for my full Memorial Day post.) Hope you're all having a blessed, long weekend. :) Are you ready to hear the winners of the Writers Unite Writing Contest?? 

First, I want to send out a huge thank you to all the entrants! Your stories were amazing and I enjoyed reading through them oh, so much. :) I wish you all could've won something, but that can't happen, I suppose. Again, thank you all for entering! Because...what's a contest without entries? ;) 

Okay...on to the winners!!! :D 

Our First Place Winner is Rebekah Eddy with her lovely poem In Honor. Great job, Rebekah! The comparison of Jesus to the American Soldier was so well done. :) Your poem is beautiful! :-) 

Coming in at Second Place is Blessing Counter with her inspiring story I Did it For You. Blessing, your story was so amazing. I loved all the tie-ins with well-known Christian singers. ;) What a wonderful showing of sacrifice!! 

At a close Third Place is Kaitlyn Krispense with her wonderful short-story Katie's War. Kaitlyn, I loved your story sooo much! WWII is my favorite historical era, and you brought it all out so well. The theme of sacrifice shown through in a beautiful way. :) 

Rebekah, Blessing, & Kaitlyn, congratulations!!! Someone will be contacting you via email to see about getting your prizes on the way. :) Again, congrats!! 

Happy Memorial Day, friends! 
>> Faith

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

3 Day Quotes Tag ~ 3/3

Hey all! It's the last installment of the 3 Day Quote Tag! :) Yes, this post is rather late... I had pottery class at 10 this morning, and I forgot to post this first. (Hey, I was reading! Reading is slightly more important than blogging...) Then I had several things to do and this totally got pushed to the back of my mind. :P 

Unlike previous days, y'all are only getting one quote from me this evening. (Aren't you disappointed??) 

This quote from Dr. Suess says a lot, doesn't it? For too often we don't realize and appreciate the special value of a moment until it's a memory...and then it's worth is so high. :) 

And the remaining of my taggees are... 
Emily C. @ For the Bookish
S.M.B. @ Reviews By Soleil OR Thoughts From a Daughter of God (Wherever she would prefer to post it. :P) 

What are some of your favorite quotes? I'll hopefully have another post up this week/weekend. ;) Again the writing contest has been extended until Saturday, the 21st. So hurry and send us your story! :) 
Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

3 Day Quotes Tag ~ 2/3

Hey folks! :) It's day two of the quotes tag. To see the tag rules, check out the previous post. ;) 

This is one of my TOP favorite quotes. It's just soooo TRUE, and INSPIRING, and REAL. I just love it. When I have a real bedroom again, this is going on the wall above my currently-non-existent-desk. ;)  

Okay. Dogs. If you know me very well, you probably know of my love for my four-legged furry friends. And this quote just says it all. Dogs are exactly what they seem – sweet, lovable animals. They are always there when you need a friendly hug. :) 

I tag... 
Lauren Stoner @ Lauren's Amazing World 
Ashley @ A to Z

The last part of this tag will be up tomorrow! :D 

Monday, May 16, 2016

3 Day Quotes Tag ~ 1/3

HEY PEOPLE! (Pardon the caps. I'm still trying to come alive.) Okay, a few reminders and things before I move on. ;) 

-- The deadline for this writing contest has been extended to Saturday, May 21st. If you were planning to enter but haven't had time, you have this week to do just that. :) 

-- Don't forget to submit some questions for my upcoming Q&A session!! And a huge thank you to everyone who already has! :D 

Rebekah Eddy from Rebekah's Remarks tagged me for this little 3 Day Quote tag. Thanks, Rebekah! :) Now, if you're one of my poor (but loved!) Goodreads and/or Pinterest followers, you've already picked up on my love of quotes. 


Without further ado, 

I give you... 

(Is anyone still reading this?) 

...day one of the quotes!! :D 

(Just kidding. We have to do the rules first. Because what would a tag be without rules?)  

The Rules. 
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 3 new bloggers everyday
  • Post a new quote everyday for 3 consecutive days

The Quotes. 
(Yes, that was plural.) Like my dear tagger-person, I'm a rule-breaker with these things. "A rebel without a cause", as Kayla Aimee would say. ;) So yeah. There may or may not be more than one quote in all these little posts. B-) 

I saw this on Pinterest this morning and literally burst into fits of laughter. The humor, the serious look on the guy's face...I love it. ;) 

Annnnndddd. Another one. Just for good measure. B-) 

Is that mind blowing or WHAT?? I mean, think about it. *waits for y'all to put on your thinking caps* It. Is. An. Amazing. Thought. It reminds me of John-Boy teaching Elizabeth her letters, telling her it's kind of like magic how all the 26 letters work out together. <3  (And don't even TELL me you haven't watched The Waltons!!!) 

Since I'm not sure who's been tagged for this and who hasn't (and I'm much too pathetic this morning to actually look up everyone's post(s) to find out), I'm just going to tag people and not worry about it. It isn't like there's tag questions for this one, so if someone gets double tagged it's a-okay. ;) 

I tag... 
Lydia S. @ C'est La Vie
Lydia Dyslin @ Through the Wardrobe

See you tomorrow! :) 
> Faith

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Q&A -- Coming soon!!

Hey everyone! :D 

My first anniversary of being in the Blogosphere (June 11th) is rapidly approaching. How exciting is that? While thinking of my entry into the blogging world, I had a lovely idea. I'm going to do something special! :D Well, two things possibly... 

Number one being, a Q&A session with Yours Truly. I've saw this done on other blogs, more than once, in honor of the bloggers birthday. In my case it will be in honor of The Blogs' birthdays. (Chosen Vessels' first post says June 7th, but I'm pretty sure I created this blog first. Soooo. Whatever. It's getting combined. :P)  

The other celebratory something is a giveaway...possibly. I'm not sure what I would give away (a book? A gift card? Homemade bookmarks? Something from an Etsy shop?) so if you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments. :) 

Okay, moving on. So here's what I'm asking from you all. Questions. Wanna know about my writing? Reading? Favorite this or that? Why I blog? Why I write? How old I am? My shoe size? Um, yeah. ;P 

Anyway. ;) Go ahead and fill out the form below (submit as many separate questions as you like), asking whatever you want to know – random, serious, or silly. I don't promise I'll answer every questions (like if the questions are too personal or 'invade my privacy') but I'll try my best. 

Entering your name is optional on the form. If you do enter your name, I'll mention in the post who asked me the questions. Otherwise they'll just be from 'anonymous'. ;)

So what are you waiting for? Ask away! My answers (along with some other cool stuff) will be included in a whopper of a post on June 11th. :) 

Thanks so much, my dear readers! I can't wait to see the questions y'all come up with! :D 

If you have trouble viewing or submitting this form, you can fill it out in Google Forms.

Stories by Firefly // Upcoming Q&A session. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Infinity Dreams Award // Time 2#

Greetings from the homeless shelter! :D 

I know, another tag. Sorry if I'm 'boring' you... But I do love them. :) Awhile back Abi from The Left-Handed Typist tagged me for the Infinity Dreams Award. Yay! Thanks Abi!! :D 

Da' Rules

1. Thank the blogger who tagged you.
2. Tell us 11 facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
4. Tag 11 bloggers and give them 11 new questions to answer.

Da' Facts

Oh, dear. Um okay. I'll try to come up with some original ones, but... Brace yourselves. ;) 

1. I read....a lot. So far this year I've read 59 books of various lengths. :) 
2. I love Goodreads. Seriously, it's like the best thing ever. B-) 
3. I enjoy sewing. :) I don't do it as much as I used to, but I do enjoy it!  
4. I have glasses but I don't, uh *cough* where them as often as I should *cough*. 
5. Math used to be my favorite school subject, but now it's next-to-least favorite. 
6. My least favorite subject is science (and always has been). 
7. I love hardback books. They just feel good in your hands. :) 
8. For the last couple months I've been keeping track of how many words I write each day. Sometimes that's good and sometimes it's not. ;) LOL. 
9. I'm listening to Hawk Nelson sing Diamonds as I write this. (Hey, it's a fact!!) 
10. I have a ginormous list of books I'm planning to read next month in preparation for... 
11. I'm planning to finish my World War II novel, affectionately titled War Tears, during July's Camp NaNo. Hopefully. *fingers crossed* :) 

Da' Questions

1. What is your favorite month of the year?
July. :) It's my birthday month, it's summer, and it's when we always go camping. :D 

2. When buying a book cheap, do you prefer an e-book or a used paperback?
Used paperback as long as it's been used and not abused. Ebooks are fine and dandy, not to mention cheaper, but I still love holding a real book. :-) 

3. If you could smell one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Only one thing??? For the rest of my life??? Well. If I had to choose, I would say brownies. :) Or campfire smoke. Or just about anything from Bath & Body Works. Or... *ahem* 

4. Have you ever read a Shakespeare play (in old English)? If so, which one(s)?
No, I have not. ;) 

5. What are your birthday traditions?
Going camping! For...probably close to ten years now, we've went camping the week of my birthday. :) And this will be our fifth year camping with certain friends that week. ;) 

6. Do you prefer to write by hand or type things up?
Depends on what it is. When I'm writing my stories, I usually type it up. But school work is most always by hand. And either of those could go the other way depending on the day and my mood. *shrug* 

7. What is your favorite style of house (cabin, modern, Victorian, beach, etc)?
Probably cabin. :) 

8. Wide rule or college rule paper?
Wide rule usually. My handwriting tends to get worse when it gets smaller. ;) 

9. What is your least favorite chore?
Least favorite summer time chore would be weeding the garden. :P Otherwise...maybe making bed? 

10. How long have you had your blog and what is one tip you would share?
Almost a year! :D Tip? Hmm... Stick with it. Don't just give up when you feel like no one wants to read what you're writing about. And, also, branch out. Find new blogs to read and follow. If you don't follow other people, why should other people follow you? (Heh.) 

11. If you could visit one fictional world, which would it be? 
Acktar!! From Tricia Mingerink's The Blades of Acktar series. :) 

Da' End

I'm going to 'cheat' and not tag anyone this time, but if you would like to do this tag PLEASE DO IT!! XD You can just take the questions that Abi gave. :) 

Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

// Ten Things to Do When You Have a Cold //

Hey guys. *waves* :) Take a look at the title and take a wild guess at my health status at the moment. I have a million other posts I should be doing, but this came to mind so your getting it. (Period.) 

1. Drink sweet tea. 
This is a necessity in the south anyhow, but especially in times like these.  

2. Clear out your inbox...
...and reply to all those emails that are piling up. In other words, I'm leaving lots of comments and sending lots of emails. (A certian someone will be getting about 4-5 emails from me today.) ;) 

3. Eat junk food. 
Anything will suffice, but fruit gummies are best. 

4. Read books. 
And I don't mean school books. Honestly, who can concentrate with a cement block for a brain?! 

5. Write a story about someone who's sick. 
You can accurately describe things best when you're living through it. 

6. Threaten to strangle the person/people you caught the cold from. 
Even if they don't believe your threats, they might at least give you some quiet. 

7. Wear a big, baggy sweatshirt. 
You can hide in it and stay warmerish

8. Blow your nose constantly. 
Even if it's not always necessary, it'll scare annoying people away. Coughing works well for this too. 

9. Be as grouchy as you like. 
After all, you most likely caught this gunk from someone in your household. It's their fault their having to put up with your grouchiness. 

10. Watch movies all day and tell mom you're 'counting it' for history. 
I suggest Return to the Hiding Place, Beautiful Dreamer, or The Waltons. 

Special thanks to mom for helping me come up with a few of these (my brain flew the coop) and for putting up with my grouchiness even though she's not the person I caught this from. 

*coughs and leaves to take her own advice* 


Monday, May 2, 2016

The Mountains are Green!! // April Recap

(Well, well. Would ya look at me? Posting FOUR days in a row – not bad. Maybe I should take blogging 'breaks' more often. :P) 

Hey all! Monthly highlights time. :) Yep, that's right – my mountains are turning that beautiful spring-green! :D The downside to that? Allergies... Meh. 

I didn't read an outrageous number of books this month. I didn't write an outrageous amount of words. But...I did stay caught up in school. (Always a plus. Your welcome, Mom.) Honesty, I don't know what I did the month of April. I didn't read, I didn't write, I didn't blog, I didn't find any new movies (well, one).

Let's just move on to the post, shall we? 


~ I got a super sweet card from a friend and it totally made me my day. :) 

~ I spoke Spanish with a Scottish/Irish (not sure) accent with The Kid. ;)  "Bueno Noches, mate!" 

~ thought up corny sayings like... "If all else fails, bite your nails through the intense moments." I honesty have NO idea where that came from... xD  

~ Turkey season 'happened'. Meaning Dad and Tucked got up/are getting up at absurd times of morning to go traipsing off through the woods, heavy-laden with guns, decoys, calls, and a blind. *shakes head* I just don't get it. 

~ By chance I saw a friend I had not seen in forever. So nice to get caught up on each other!! ^_^

~ I blamed Chris Tomlin for a change in my WIP. (It's all your fault, mister. All. Your. Fault.) 

~ I went to the theater to see God's Not Dead 2 with my mom and another mother and daughter from church. IT WAS AMAZING!!! :D 

~ I finished my vintage-y dress. *collapses* I think it took me longer to add the 'decorations' than to actually make the dress. A vintage photoshoot is coming soon though! I pwwwomise!! :) 

~ I moved into a homeless shelter... Okay, okay, before everybody freaks out, it's not a real homeless shelter. But that's what I'm calling it. ;) 

This isn't a really good picture, but you can at least tell that two beds and all our stuff is in there. XD The summer kitchen has became mine and Tucker's new living quarters. Because, I mean, we can't really live in this... 

~ Hearing THIS conversation between my dad and brother... 

Tucker: Dad, what are you doing? 
Dad: Don't worry about it. 
Tucker: Are you eating ice cream in the middle of the night? 
Dad: No. 
Tucker: Do you do this often? 

Just for the record, he was eating ice cream but it wasn't the middle of the night. :P


My favorite songs this month were... 
Prodigal by Sidewalk Prophets -- Wonderful song AND music video. :D 
The Lost Get Found by Britt Nicole -- Amazing song and I LOVE the music video of this too. 
Guilty by Newsboys -- The song from God's Not Dead 2
From the Ground Up by Dan+Shay -- This song is so GORGEOUS!!!! It's going to be played at my wedding, folks. ;) 
Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey 
More Than You Think I Am by Danny Gokey 
My Savior, My God by Aaron Shust 
Overcomers by Mandisa 
Soar by Meredith Andrews -- I love this song oh, so much. It's just so fabulous and encouraging!! ^_^ 


Writing...? Remind me again what that word means? ;) Okay, I'm sort of kidding. But seriously...writing was just so pathetic this month. :P A goal I made last month for this month was to finish One Certain Story...well, that didn't happen. It like went out the window...like around the middle of the month. -_- May, perhaps? 

April Word Count: 7,410

Book News

~ I was a beta-reader for Katie Grace's fabulous novel, Song of the Desert. I'd never really beta-read before, but golly did I love it. ^_^  And the book was amazing so that *might* have had something to do with it. ;) 

~ I participated in Bethany's The Hobbit read along. I haven't finished the book yet, but I'm working at it. :P 

As far as a book haul goes, I got 7 books this month. Three were free, and the others were $3-$4 apiece! :D Talk about a happy bibliophile!! 

Cherish by Vicki Courtney -- Review to come. 
Journey to Love by Amanda Tero -- Giveaway win, review to come. 
The Gift for all People by Max Lucado -- Review to come. 

I got four books from our library bookstore this month. They're all WWII...they're all amazing...they're all beautiful...they're all in perfect condition. Y'all, I'm just so happy!! *hugs books* 

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Just LOOK AT IT. It's soooo perfect. I nearly squealed, right there in the library (you know, that place where you're supposed to be quiet) when I found this beautiful hardback copy of Unbroken. I was so happy!! :) I almost, almost bought the paperback copy at Barnes & Noble awhile back. Now I'm so glad I didn't!! ^_^ I can hardly wait to read this book! 

The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945 by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns

Like Unbroken this book is in PERFECT condition. The inside of the dust jacket says $50...I got it for $4. B-)  #superhappybooklover

And would ya look at the back cover??!?! If that does not scream WWII I don't know what does. Gaaaahhh. It's just so fabulous. *shrieks* 

An Album of Memories: Personal Histories from the Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw -- $4
Arms of Deliverance: A Story of Promise by Tricia Goyer -- $3 

I've read/finished 9 books this month. Looks like a pathetic number to me, but I'm now over halfway done with my goal for this year so that's AWESOME!! xD 

They Called Her Mrs. Doc by Janette Oke 
If He Lives by Sarah Holman -- Review HERE
Remember to Forget by Ashley Royer -- Review HERE
Paralyzed Dreams by C.B. Cook 
Heart to Heart: Meeting with God in the Lord's Prayer by Rachel Starr Thomson -- Review HERE
A Bride for Donnigan by Janette Oke 
The Letter by Willowy Whisper -- Review HERE

My favorite book was probably A Bride for Donnigan or The Letter. But all of these were splendiferous! :D I'm absolutely loving Janette Oke's books this year. 


I usually don't include this in my monthly wrap-up (mainly beacuse...what if I leave something out?), but there were several lovely posts this month (as always) so I'm going to mention a few. ;) (A FEW! This is not all the wonderful posts. :P) 

America, America, God Shed His Grace on Thee -- Jesseca writes remarkable posts on our country and military, and freedom, and...ahhhh, just go read it. ;) 

Bethany wrote an amazing three-part series on why Christians can believe in the Ressurection. :) -- Part OnePart Two, & Part Three

The Bunny Slippers -- Emily shared her wonderful short-story The Bunny Slippers. It's so fabulous! 

Go read them allll!!!! XD 


Why are you reading this? You shouldn't be here! 

So. After y'all get back from reading those *points above* let's talk. How was your April? (I've saw several month highlights posts around. My comment is coming, friends!!! :D) Did you write down some life happening throughout the month so you didn't forget them for your post (if you do monthly wrap-ups)? Have you read these books? Do you like the new blog look? Have your saw God's Not Dead 2Would you like me to stop asking questions now? Fiiiinnneeee. 

Thanks for reading, you awesome peoples!! :) 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Crystal Door Knob Writing Challenge // Entry!!

Happy Sunday everyone! Today I'm sharing a short story I wrote, as an entry to Amy L's writing challenge. :) This was my first time writing first person, present tense. I think it went pretty well. So go ahead and give me your opinion. ;)

Word Count: 977, plus the prompt 


  The door handle was pure crystal glass. Did she dare touch it? Did she even know what might be beyond that simple door, with a knob of crystal glass? She did not know. Her hand reached out again, this was her moment. But...she once again drew back her hand. She didn't really want to know what was beyond the door. Would there be joy? Hardships? But yet, the girl did want to know and continued. This time, summoning all her willpower, she turned the knob slowly. Then it came to pass. She opened the door, and a crowd erupted with applause.This girl was a princess, dressed in a modern yellow dress. And this was her moment to change the world. For the better. She took a deep breath, smiled her wide, cheerful smile, and waved like she had been taught so many times before. Even so, this was her first day of putting it into practice. 


  I jolt from my daze with a start. Moving across the room, I scold my heart for beating so furiously. 

  It's only someone bringing my lunch. I take the plate and listen to the door being locked behind the middle–aged servant. 

  Plopping down on the narrow, springy bed, I set the plate on my lap and pick at the food. 

  As I eat my meager meal, my thoughts return to my reminiscing. If only things had gone as expected when I stepped through that door… But they hadn't. 

  So much for making things better for the people of Mayslia. Can't make things better when I'm not even there. 

  That's going to change tonight though and I quickly remind myself of that fact, of the escape plans arranged by a young guard here at the castle. He's a quiet, almost intimidating young man with a strange scar on his cheek. My circumstances couldn't get much worse so I agreed to go with him. 

  Now I just have to wait. And hope this Leon fellow shows up. 


  It's been dark for hours when a tapping comes to my door. 

  I wait without speaking and the door swings open. Leon stands there in the shadows, motioning to me. 

  I'm already wearing my cloak, so I soundlessly slip out. Leon locks the door to the room where I've been held and starts down the dark hallway. I closely follow.  

  A slamming is heard elsewhere in the palace. Leon grabs my arm as I struggle to keep up with his long strides. 

  We rush through countless doors and halls before sliding through a narrow crevice and finding ourselves outdoors. 

  I don't have time to get my bearings before Leon is again pulling me off through the darkness. 

  We duck under some trees and I hear him mumbling. 


  “They must've found the horses I hid. One of them is gone.” 

  I can feel his eyes on me. 

  “We’ll have to ride double. You can't weigh much.” 

  I frown, thinking it improper of him to say such a thing to a princess, but take his hand when its offered and mount the horse behind him. 

  None too happy about these arrangements, I wrap my arms around the stranger’s waist. 

  And we’re gone – galloping away into the night. Imprisonment far behind us. 


  We’ve been journeying for two days before Leon allows a campfire when we stop for the night. 

  As he reaches across the fire to hand me my supper, his other sleeve catches afire. 

  I gasp. “Leon, your hand!” 

  He let out a yelp and dropped to extinguish the flames in the dewy grasses. 

  I hurry over to where he's kneeling. “Did it burn you? Let me see.” 

  “I'm fine.” 


  With a sigh, he allows me to inspect and bandage his scorched wrist. 

  This is the first time I’ve got a good look at his face. He's definitely young – about ten years older than my own fourteen years, I would guess. 

  He catches me studying him and I look to my feet, blushing. 

  We eat supper, rations snagged by Leon, and enjoy the warmth and light the fire provides. 

  “Mara Lynn…” 

  He says my name so tenderly that I quickly look back up to meet his gaze. He's always called me princess until now; I didn't think he knew my name. 

  Across the dying embers, Leon looks so serious. A lock of dark, curly hair has fallen over his forehead, nearly hiding his eyes. The jagged scar stands out in dark contrast to his tanned face.  


  “I need to tell you something.” He speaks so softly I wonder if I heard him right. “Before we get home.” 

  We? I lean forward and wait for him to continue. 

  Instead of speaking, he peels the bandage away from his wrist and rolls up his sleeve. 

  “What are you doing?” The words fly out of my mouth with more sharpness than I intended. 

  He doesn’t seem to notice, only motions me over. 

  I skirt around the bed of coals and sit on the log with him. 

  He turns his arm over, palm up, and my gaze goes to the singed skin. 

  I wince. “That looks painful.” 

  “Not that.” He chuckles, easing the tension, and points to a spot near his elbow. 

  I just...stare. It can't be. I slowly look up to his face, then back to his arm. 

  The familiar face, the scar, the birthmark… The birthmark – simply a small ring of discolored skin. Just like… 

  No. I squeeze my eyes shut. That's impossible… Isn't it? 

  “Brett?” I whisper. 

  He nods, still watching me. “Hey, little sister.” 

  The next thing I know I'm in his arms. Brett, my brother, who's been away for years, his fate unknown. 

  I sniff and wipe my face. “Why didn't you say anything sooner?” 

  He kisses my cheek. “The truth?” 

  “Of course.” 

  Brett sighs, long and deep. “I wasn’t sure if I should. I didn't know what you had...been told of me.” 

  “Only good things,” I assure him. “Before she died, Mama knew about your work to protect Mayslia.” 

  He smiles sadly. “I'm glad.” 


  We reach our palace home the next evening with dusk...and with the enemy king who kidnapped me trailing us. 

  We dismount behind the stables and abandon the horse. The king’s men have the palace grounds surrounded. 

  “We’re gonna get killed,” Brett pants as we duck behind some shrubbery. “If not by them, then by Papa’s own guards.” 

  “No, we’re not,” I mutter, memories flitting by. “Come on.” 

  Leaving the safety of our hiding spot, I run across the lawn toward the palace, Brett’s heavy footsteps following me. 

  Locating the door, I push back the vines hiding it and behold the crystal doorknob. 

  At Brett’s nudging, I grasp it and carefully turn. It gives way and we step into safety. 

  We’re home. 


Have a blessed Sunday all! :D