Friday, March 31, 2017

Alarm Clocks, Short Stories, and I MET AN AUTHOR // March Recap

March has come and gone, but this month didn't seem to fly by quite as quickly as the past two...or is it just me? Either way, let's delve into specifics. XD 

// Life. // 

>> Getting woke up at 3:53 AM because every phone in the house is buzzing with an amber alert. Not fun. XP 

>> I got new glasses!! :D They're blue/green and brown/gold-ish and I LURV them. 

>> I had weird/random conversations which is totally normal for me. *coughcough* 

>> I found out I have the same personality type (INFP) as this lovely human. Which is like...super awesome. XD 

>> I basically lost an hour of my life because #DaylightSavingsTime  Meh. 

>> I followed the Iditarod with my friend Rebekah which was a lot of fun! :) 

>> We went to the homeschool convention!! And I bought books!! (More on that down below.) But most amazing of all, I met Mrs. Susan Marlow. EEPPPSS!!! :D She is such a sweet, amazing lady, and I so enjoyed chatting with her and Mr. Marlow. ^_^ 

>> My little bro had a birthday. *nods* 'Nough said. (, WUT?!) 

>> When you realize... Most teens are 'trying' drugs and alcohol, and I'm just over here sniffing books... *coughcough* No, I totally did not just say that. Nope

// Books. // 

Reading and book-buying was AWESOME this month. :D 

I read 22 books this month...eeps!! 

Jude -- 5 stars 
More Perfect Than the Moon by Patricia MacLachlan -- 5 stars 
Then Came You by Becky Wade -- 3.5 stars 
Grandfather's Dance by Patricia MacLachlan -- 5 stars 
The Other Side of Infamy by Jim Downing -- 5 stars -- Review HERE
Where Have All the Flowers Gone? by Ellen Emerson White -- 3.5 stars
Only Children Chase Sawdust by Willowy Whisper -- 5 stars -- Review to come. 
Micah -- 5 stars 
Philemon -- 5 stars 
Half a Man by Michael Morpurgo -- 5 stars 
Andi Saddles Up by Susan K. Marlow -- 5 stars 
Andi Under the Big Top by Susan K. Marlow -- 5 stars 
Drums of Change by Janette Oke -- 4 stars 
66 Ways God Loves You by Jennifer Rothschild -- 5 stars 
The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines -- 5 stars 
Dark Storm Rising by Jesseca Wheaton -- 5 stars 
Enjoy the Poodle Skirt by Kate Willis -- 5 stars 
The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo -- 4 stars 
Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter -- 4.5 stars 
Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg -- 4 stars 
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner -- 4 stars 
Crafting Unforgettable Characters by K.M. Weiland -- 4 stars 

Acquired 15 books... 

~ 2nd & Charles 
A Simple Christmas Wish by Melody Carlson 
Travelers Rest by Ann Tatlock
The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan 
Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot 
Elsie's Endless Wait by Martha Finley, revised by 

~ Homeschool Convention 
Andi Saddles Up by Susan K. Marlow 
Andi Under the Big Top by Susan K. Marlow 
Along the Western Trail compiled by Susan K. Marlow 
Behind Enemy Lines: A Young Pilot's Story by H.R. DeMallie 
A Promise is Forever by Robin Jones Gunn
Katy by Mary Evelyn Notgrass 
Almost Home by Wendy Lawton 

~ Amazon
The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof 
To Get To You by Joanne Bischof 
A Question of Honor by Jesseca Wheaton

All the pretty covers!! *sighs dreamily* *dies happy* 

// Writing. // 

~ Total word count: 18,056

So a major thing that happened in In March was beta-readers. I actually sent my precious book to 20 different people for them to love (or hate) and edit (or tear-apart). And it was lovely. So far 1/2 of said people have been able to mark the book as 'read' on Goodreads, and my precious little Dandelion Dust now has an average rating of 4.73 stars. *beams* 

As far as writing goes, I worked a lot in A Soldier's Story -- which I talked about in my recent writing updateActually, just last night I figured out what the 'missing link' was to that story, so I should be able to finish it up pretty painlessly now. :D (After April, of course *ahem*.) 

I also worked on some short stories (and finished two). Those will be popping up on here sometime soon. Want a teaser for the story that is currently my favorite of the three? (Or is it my second favorite?) Well, here you go... 

In April, I'll be participating in Camp NaNo *internal screaming*, and I'll be doing weekly recaps every Saturday like I did last July... So be on the lookout for that. :D 

// Movies & Music. // 

Hmm...not much to add to this segment. I saw I'm Not Ashamed and afterwards just sat there for about ten minutes like "WOAH". *nods* Twas good. 

I did some re-watches (Faith of Our Fathers, God's Not Dead 2, and Secondhand Lions), but that's all I can recall. ;) 

Music? Well, I'm currently in love with Never Been a Moment by Micah Tyler. So fab, y'all. 

// Goals. // 

~ March Goals 

>> Send Dandelion Dust to beta-readers (and try not to die in the process).    I DID IT!!! *happy dance* 

>> Catch up on emails (AKA give my inbox some love).     Ehhh...pretty much, yes. 

>> Get caught up and stay caught up on my current two alpha-reading projects.    *cough* I got caught up in one, I read *some* in the other...yeah, I'm so bad. 

>> Read 12 books.    Haha, definitely. XD 

>> Write 10k in various projects.    Yup, yup!! 

>> Keep up my Chosen Vessels posting schedule.     Um...for the most part I did? 

~ April Goals 

>> Survive and win Camp NaNo (while eating AND keeping up with school). 

>> Write 40,000 words. *points to above*

>> Finish first draft of War Tears (YES YES YES ITS MY CAMP PROJECT *SHRIEKS*). 

>> Stay semi-caught up on emails. (During Camp? Heh.) 

>> Alpha-read consistently. 

>> Read 10 books. 

>> Post on Chosen Vessels and Stories by Firefly once a week. 

>> Stop making so many insane goals for myself. *grins* 

So let's chat. Did you have a good March? Looking forward to something special in April? Are you doing Camp NaNo? TELL ME ALL YOUR SECRETS, PEOPLE. *ahem* 


P.S. Did anyone notice I skipped the blogging segment? If so, did you miss it? If not, should I bring it back next month? There was a ton of good posts this month, but I just wanted to see if y'all enjoyed that part or not so much. ;) 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Imagine This #8 ~ entries

Hello everyone!! Hope y'all are having a blessed week. :) 

Today I'm posting the entries from the recent Imagine This challenge. I received three entries, and they were all AMAZING!! :D Judging was hard, but I finally came up with an ordering that I'm content with based on writing quality and how close the stories match the picture. 

Everyone probably bypassed the intro anyway, so let's get on to the entries. ;) 

First place goes to... Olivia Jane!! :D This story was so dear and heartbreaking! I 'bout cried at that last line... <3 

"Cooper! Pay attention!"
I jerked and glanced over at my commander, who had a scowl wider'n the Mississippi River on his face. 
"Yes, sir! Sorry, sir!" I kept my face blank. 
Commander Philips grunted. "I thought you were fixing that." His dark eyes scanned the ginormous metal excuse for a tank. "You're not here to stand around." 
"Yes, sir," I quickly agreed. 
He nodded once and turned back to his own task. 
Once his back was to me, I heaved a sigh and hopped down from my position on top of the tank. 
As tough and manly as I tried to act around the others, I knew the truth. I was still just nothing more than a mere boy, barely nineteen. And I missed home. 
I missed the gentle voice of my mother and the conversations between myself and my father. I missed the laughter of my younger brothers and sister. I even missed their silly arguments. 
I sighed again. What I wouldn't give to be back on American soil. This war was wretched; no respecter of persons. War was a cloud of death that loomed over each and every one of us soldiers, ready to snatch us up and carry us away at a moment's notice. 
"Something wrong, Coop?"
I gave my comrade a half-glance and waved him off. "I'm 'k, Jack." 
The eighteen-year-old didn't seem to hear my words. Instead, he hoisted himself up atop the tank's treaded wheels. 
"How's it comin'?" Jack wanted to know. I shrugged. 
"It's hard to fix something you know is going to be used to kill others."
Jack flinched at my soft words. He swallowed. "Yeah, well, just you think about how awful those Germans we're shooting at are. Then maybe you won't be so sympathetic."
I glanced up at the young soldier. Although Jack and I met only recently, we had become fast friends. He had barely lost his father and an older brother in this war when he was thrust into the midst of it himself. 
I shook my head. "Jack," I told him, keeping my voice gentle, "they're soldiers, too. Just like us. They're fighting for what they believe in."
"Well," Jack growled in defense, "it's their own fault we're all out here shooting at each other." He hung his head. "I just want to go back home."
I tossed him a half-smile that told I felt the same way. "Me, too." I used the hem of my jacket to rub some dirt away from the piece of metal I was examining. 
"You got kinfolk back home, Louie?" 
I pulled my head up from my work, eyebrows arched in surprise. I didn't recall Jack ever calling me by my first name. He'd always gone with the nickname "Coop", just like the rest of the soldiers. 
His eyes were scanning the dirt ground; one elbow supported his body as he leaned against the heavy machinery. 
I swallowed at the younger man's question. Most of the time, I tried to keep thoughts of my family away when I was around the others. I saved the precious family memories for when I had a chance to go to bed and weep without being noticed. It was hard not to think about them; I missed all of 'em terribly. 
"Yeah," I choked out. "My parents, and then my three younger brothers and my little sister." A tiny smile skittered across my face at the thought.
Jack threw me a crooked grin. "I got a kid sister, too. Gracie. And two older..." He trailed off, and I saw his jaw muscles tighten. "One older brother," he corrected through gritted teeth. He ran a hand through his mop of thick, dark hair and jerked his head away. 
I wasn't sure how to respond, so I just nodded slowly and returned to my work. 
Twice? I glanced over my shoulder. "Yeah?"
Jack was gazing up at the sky, a sky that seemed too cheery and bright under the circumstances of war. "Y'think God really cares about what's going on down here?"
The question took me by surprise. "Yes, I think He does," I answered truthfully. My thoughts drifted back home to the crackling fireplace, all us Cooper children gathered around, listening to Father read the Scriptures and lead us in prayer every evening. 
“‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’” I quoted, lifting my deep blue eyes to gaze up at the sky along with my fellow soldier. “I guess it's a pretty easy thing to forget.” 
Jack dipped his head in a slow, deliberate nod of agreement. 
“It is,” he agreed. “Especially after your father and brother are killed within a week of each other.” His voice shifted to a bitter tone. “Makes you wanna know why.”
“Jack, I know it hurts, and we don't always know the reasons, but we have to trust that God has a plan.” I offered an encouraging smile. “I'll keep you in my prayers.”
One corner of Jack’s mouth turned upward. “Thanks, Louie. I guess I may have lost a brother in this war, but it looks like I've gained another.”

In second place... Kaitlyn Krispense!! The humor, the joshing, and the mystery surrounding the ending... *wink* I wanna know more! 

“Ouch… ouch… ouch… oww!” Jerry tried not to scream as he gingerly opened the hatch again.  He pulled himself up out of the turret to sit on the rim and carefully inspected his now-bloody knuckles.  “I must be the only person that keeps smashing his hands under a tank’s hatch,” he muttered.
With a sigh he wiped the blood on his pant leg and hopped to the ground.
Rounding the corner of the tank, he barely saw the cannon arm before it crashed into his forehead with a dull clunk!  Jerry bit back the shout that rose to his lips, though a loud groan escaped.  
“Jerry, what the—”
Jerry whirled around.  “Toby, don’t say one word.”
Toby’s eyes twinkled.  “What’s the other guy look like?”
“What in the world is that supposed to mean?”
Toby cocked his head, reminding Jerry of his brother’s old dog El Dorado at home.  “I’m assuming you didn’t get that lump on your head and that blood on your knuckles from this baby.”  He patted the tank.  “So who was it?  Elliot?  Walden?”  He paused, biting his lip in concentration, then a mischievous grin broke out on his face.  “I know; it was Noodle.”
Jerry snorted.  “As if Elbert Noodle could do this to me.”  He rolled his eyes.  “If you must know, it was the tank.”
“Yeah, I know.”  Toby leaned nonchalantly against the tank, biting his fingernails.
“That’s a disgusting habit.”  Jerry wrinkled his nose at the dirt caked under Toby’s fingernails.
Toby shrugged.  “Yeah, well, I guess that makes me a disgusting guy.”  He smirked, then shoved to a fully-standing position.  “I’m bored.  Say, what if we decided to play a little practical joke on ol’ Noodle?”
Jerry hesitated.  “I don’t know, Toby.  Noodle and I aren’t exactly on good terms and—”
“And that’s exactly why we should!” Toby cut him off with a slap on the back.  “I knew you’d get around to my way of thinking.”  He grabbed Jerry’s arm.  “Let’s go find Noodle.”
Jerry pulled away.  “Nah, I don’t think so.  It wouldn’t—”
“Toby?  Toby Morrine!”
Toby winced at the sound of his last name, then turned and his eyes widened.  “Trent!”  He stared at the newcomer, a tall dirty-blonde-haired young man with green eyes and carrying a pack, then he stepped forward and the two embraced.  
Toby stepped back and held the man at arm’s length.  “Trent... it-it’s so good to see you!”
“Same here, brother.”
“So how’d you end up here?”
“Well, there’s always a need of men who can help heal in a war where everyone’s dying.”
Toby grabbed Trent’s arm.  “C’mon, there’s someone I want you to meet.”  He pulled him over to Jerry.  “Trent, my brother, meet Jerry Judson.”
Jerry smiled and extended his hand.  “Pleasure meeting you, Trent.”  He winced as Trent accepted his hand.  “Sorry, my knuckles are a bit tender.”
Toby nodded.  “The Morrine—” he made a face at the tank being named after him “—makes a big fight.  You shoulda seen her punching him in the face just a minute ago.”
Trent’s mouth quirked.  “Let me take a look at that hand.”  
Jerry instinctively pulled back.  “No thanks, I’ll just… go wrap it up.  It was good meeting you, Trent.”  He turned and began walking away, when Toby’s voice made him pause.
“Jerry, you should let him look at you; after all, he is a doctor.”
“Medic, Toby,” Trent corrected his brother with a slight smile.  “Big difference there.”
Jerry smirked when Toby rolled his eyes with a look that said, who cares? then nodded.  “All right, Toby, he can look at my hand, and then maybe give me something to help with my splitting headache.”
Trent gently took Jerry’s hand in his to examine it.  “You’ll be fine after a few days of soreness,” he announced.  He set his pack on the ground and, bending over to pull something out, Jerry saw a pen fall out of his pocket.  When it hit the ground, the cap flew off and Jerry noticed a small piece of paper sticking out of the pen.  Trent glanced down at it, then casually but quickly covered it with his booted foot.  Jerry momentarily wondered about it, then dismissed it with a shrug.
“Here we are,” Trent straightened, a roll of gauze and a bottle of antiseptic in his hands.  He quickly disinfected Jerry’s knuckles and wrapped some cloth around it.  “And there you go.  You’ll be good as new in a few days.”
“Thanks,” Jerry said with a grin.  He turned and walked away, glancing back once to see Trent rapidly snatch up the fallen pen and place it back into his pocket, eyes darting from side to side rapidly as if he hadn’t wanted anyone to see.
That’s weird. Jerry shrugged and moved on.

And at a close third place... Jesseca Dawn!! :) Hehe, your story was lovely! Such a mean joke, but...loved it! 

Art quirked his eyebrows as the top of the hatch began to slowly open. Thinking quickly, he took two steps back and to the right. Perfect. Now he was out of the line of sight of the occupant. He stood still for a moment, hands clasped behind his back, and his officer's cap placed at a jaunty angle on his head. The sea breeze threatened to shake it loose, but only managed to muss the red, wavy hair that covered his forehead. His green eyes danced with mischief as he stood ramrod straight, being careful not to make any unnecessary noise. 
Just then the fingers of the man in the tank appeared, and quick as a flash Art stepped forward. As silently as possible he slowly lowered the hatch till it sat on his fingers. 
There was a yelp from inside, though Art knew that he hadn't lowered it fast enough to really hurt. 
Still, the heavy metal would be uncomfortable when it lay on your bare knuckles. 
A moment later, he heard a snarl from inside the iron contraption. "Art, you lift that now or I swear you'll regret it!" 
Now how in the world had Gus known it was him? He shrugged, though he knew it didn't really matter. It wasn't as if Gus could see him. 
"Art! I'm warning you, I've had enough of this! Now open the hatch!" 
Pushing his cap further up on his forehead, Art rubbed his temples, seemingly in great thought. "Well, now, let's see. What's in it for me?"
The only answer was yet another snarl, and Art grinned. It wasn't often that he had the chance to play something like this. Especially not out here. 
"You open that hatch, or I'm gonna tell Rafe you're writing his girl!" The words echoed against steel walls. 
'What? You'd lie about me Your old pal?" Art's voice betrayed his hurt. 
"Huh, some pal. Trying to get my fingers chopped off." 
"Nope. If I wanted them darling little fingers gone, I would have simply slammed the hatch down and kept on walking."
"Oh, just shut up, would ya?" The words from the tank had increased in volume.  "I hate how you have an answer for everything."
Art chuckled as he reached down and lifted the hatch, and took a step back. A moment later, a dark brown head of mussed hair appeared as Gus used his arms to haul himself out. "They need to install stairs in this rotten thing," He muttered under his breath. He sat down on the lid and inspected his fingers. No blood had appeared, though they were streaked with grease from the seal on the hatch. 
"Yup, they do need stairs. Also, keep those hands of my uniform." Art removed his hat, and ran his fingers through his hair. "I don't need any grease spots on this nice, new, white suit." 
"Art, I'm gonna kill you!" Gus exclaimed vaulting to his feet. "No, correction. I'm gonna make sure every part of you is smeared in grease, and then I'm gonna kill you!"
But before he could take a step forward, the alert alarm sounded, and both men instantly raised their eyes towards the clouds. 
Small black specks suddenly appeared on the horizon, and the smile disappeared from Art's face. "You might not have the chance. The Japs might just take care of that for you."
He slapped his cap back on his head. "Come on, let's go."


Thanks for reading, everyone!! Hope y'all enjoyed these amazing entries as much as I did. How about giving some feedback to our lovely participants? :D Monthly recap, coming tomorrow! 


Friday, March 24, 2017

Writing Update ~ A Soldier's Story

Greetings, readers! 

Yes, I know. I've been absent from this blog for nearly two weeks (forgive me?) and I honestly have no excuse. I've been doing school (always), writing some (but not enough), and reading a ton (so maybe that's where the fault lies?). So much for posting twice a week...huh? :P 

Anywho... I'm back now with a writing update! Since this was something that was requested recently, I decided to start doing posts like this where I talk about different writing projects. The setting, the characters, the original inspiration, and pics from the storyboard...maybe even snippets. ^_^ Sound fun? Here goes! 

I originally started this story last year, but wrote less than 2,000 words. Then earlier this month, I came across it while scrolling through my documents, opened it, and just started writing. It's been growing pretty consistently ever since. I'm currently participating in a NaNo makeup, and I'm hoping to get this story finished by the time Camp NaNo starts. :) 

So what is this story I keep rambling about? Well, I'm calling it a short story as it's currently about 10k and I'm hoping to wrap it up by 15-18k. It's titled A Soldier's Story because it's a story about a soldier and I'm super awesome creative like that so it obviously just works. 

The original inspiration came from the below image which I found on Pinterest. *sniffles* 

(In the case that y'all can't read the wording, I'll add it below... It's looking pretty blurry on my end. XP) 

A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco. "Mom and Dad, I'm coming home, but I've a favor to ask. I have a friend I'd like to bring home with me." 
"Sure," they replied, "we'd love to meet him." 
"There's something you should know," the son continued, "he was hurt pretty bad in the fighting. He stepped on a land mine and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us." 
"I'm sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live." 
"No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us." 
"Son," said the father, "you don't know what you're asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can't let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He'll find a way to live on his own." 
At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identity the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn't know -- their son had only one arm and one leg. 

(There's also a heartbreaking YouTube video that was made from this story. I'm not going to include the link here because #toolazytogofinditrightnow. But if anyone wants it, say so and I'll dig it up. XD) 

*ahem* So yeah. Now that everyone is heartbroken out there, let's delve into the precious charries. 

James Greene and Alexandria Lorance are the two main characters. Their's are the two POVs in the story and they may or may not be the OTP of the story toooo. <3 They become great friends later into the story, as the story starts with them meeting in the most unusual way. 

James is a marine. He's precious and broken and just... *hugs him* A lot of the story follows his journey as he struggles to find the new normal in his life, coupled with self-consciousness and doubts.

Alexandria (Alex) is a therapist. She's sweet and caring, but also sarcastic and snarky. She's been deeply hurt by a previous relationship muddled with emotional abuse. Because of her past, she's rebellious and has a hard time trusting people. 

Annndddd some goodies from the storyboard! :D 

And...there you have it! :D Writing updates was a pretty popular request on the recent blog survey, so hopefully y'all enjoyed this. I also have plans for the start of a short story series soon, so...stick around, huh? :D 

Does this story sound good? Entertaining? Have I made you want to read it yet? Any votes for me posting it here once it's done? :D 


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Imagine This ~ #8

A lovely Sunday night to ye all!! If you're like me, you're trying to figure out where an hour of your life just disappeared to... Daylight Savings time, ugh. It'll take me about a week to adjust. :P's time (and past time) for another Imagine This challenge! :D We haven't had one of these since...September. Wow. Alrighty, here's the details, rules, and picture. ^_^ 

The Rules 
// Write a story based off what you imagine is happening in the picture below. 
// Keep your story around 700-800 words. If it's a little over, that's okay, but please try to stay under 1,000. 
// Send your story to me via the contact form, located at the bottom right of this page. (Or my email address if you have it. :)) 
// The deadline is Saturday, March 25th and I'll post the entries shortly thereafter. 

What is looking at? What is he thinking? Why is he half-in and half-out of the tank (or whatever that thingy is...)? Is that dirt and grime on his fingers? Or blood? Tell me what you imagine!! :D 


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Bookshelf Tour! ~Wrap-Up~

Hey all! :D How's about some more book pictures, hmm? :D Today I'm going to ramble about my 'special books' -- books that aren't shelved by author. Some of these are large hardback books, some devotions, and some research books. ^_^ 

Alrighty, research first! One the next-to-last shelf on the right side, I have research books and some DVDs. My Time-Life books are stacked on the right side and my soon-TBR is lined up on top of them. :D (My immediate-TBR, however, is on my desk. ;)) 

Time-Life series; World War II 
The Air War Over Europe
The Home Front 
The Resistance 
Prisoners of War 

On the other end of the shelf, I have more research books. :) 

The Good Fight by Stephen Ambrose 
The War: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns 
War: A Photo History by Duncan Anderson 
America at War in Color by Stewart Binns & Adrian Wood
An Album of Memories compiled by Tom Brokaw
The Story of D-Day by Richard Holmes 
World War II in 500 Photographs by Time-Life 
Rosie the Riveter by Penny Coleman 

Then on the bottom shelf on my left bookcase I have a stack of books that are too large to stand among the others, my Illustrated Classics, and a couple devotionals. 

The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett 
Heidi by Johanna Spyri, adapted by Ronne Randall 
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, adapted by Anne Rooney 
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, adapted by Ronne Randall 
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, adapted by Anne Rooney 
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, adapted by Ronne Randall 

Little Miss Grace Promise Book
Trouble for Lucy by Carla Stevens (a random picture that, come to think of it, I have no idea why it's here...) 
A Girl After God's Own Heart: Devotional by Elisabeth George 

The Annotated Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White 
Laura's Album compiled by William Anderson 
Decent Exposure by Jessica Rey & Leah Darrow 

Favorite book(s): the research books 
Books I haven't read: I haven't read any of the research books cover-to-cover except The Good Fight and Rosie the Riveter + Island of the Blue Dolphins 
Book I've had the longest: Charlotte's Web 
Books in this post: 27
Books thus far in the tour: 359

The bookshelf tour is technically over now, but since this was a pretty popular request on the blog survey, I plan on continuing with similar posts. So what would y'all like to see? My favorites covers? Hardback books? Autographed copies? Indie-published books? DVDs? Recommendations in a certain genre/time-period? Make your requests known!! :D 


Monday, March 6, 2017

Blog Survey // Results!

And I'm here! Finally! With the results on the blog survey!! :D (Y'all can really remember what you requested after nearly two months, right? *laughing*) 

Alright, I'm going to give stats/examples of what was chosen/requested on each part, followed by my response to that and plans for the future. Here goes! :D 

What posts do you enjoy seeing? 

Writing updates: 10 of 12 
Short stories: 10 of 12
Random life tidbits: 11 of 12
Writing challenges: 10 of 12
Blog tours: 6 of 12
Bookshelf tours: 8 of 12
Book reviews: 8 of 12
Tags: 9 of 12
Monthly recaps: 12 of 12 
Other: post about villains *rolls eyes and pretends I don't know who that was from* 

There will definitely be monthly recaps each month, since that seems to have been unanimous. XD I'll also try to do more writing updates, short stories, bookshelf tours, and random life posts. I'm going to do less blog tours since only half enjoy those, and most of my book reviews are posted at Chosen Vessels these days. Tags will happen if there is one circulating. 

What would you like to see more of on this blog? 
Hijackings by villains, anything books and writing related, bookshelf tours, faith-related posts, life stuff, stories, my writing lifestyle, Imagine This, pictures by me, blog tours. 

I covered most of this stuff with the previous one *points up*. Imagine This will be making a comeback, and I'm hoping to have one of those or some sort of writing challenge every month to every other month. :D As for posts on my favorite Bible passages and how God is working in my life, those usually go up at Chosen Vessels as well. 

Do you read my other blog (Chosen Vessels)? 

Yes: 4 of 12
No: 1 of 12
Sometimes: 4 of 12
Faith has two blogs?!: 3 of 12 

For those of you who chose the last option, yes, I have another blog. You can find it here. For those of you who do know/read it... Thank you! <3 

Should I continue with my sporadic schedule or do something more planned-ahead with posts 1-2 times a week? 

Scheduled: 3 of 12
Sporadic: 3 of 12 
Either: 6 of 12 

Since half of y'all chose either, I'm going to go with an in-between. I'm not going to set aside specific days, but I am going to try to post twice a week on this blog. :) 

Anything else? 
Be the villain, photoshoot. 

*is trying to ignore all this villain-mumbo* Photoshoot, yes!! *headdesk* I totally forgot about that!! But... *nods* it will be showing up shortly! :D 

Thank you all so much for taking the survey!! I hope you continue to enjoy my posts!! :) <3 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Question of Honor // Book Review

Good morning all! Welcome to another stop on the A Question of Honor bog tour! :) Also, psst! Yesterday's author interview was my 200th post! :D
Today I'll be sharing my review of this amazing historical fiction novel. But first, the fabulous cover and intriguing synopsis... 

About the Book:

A man. A child. A war. 

When German soldiers invade France during World War II, young Joyanna's perfect world is shattered. In the hands of those who hate her, she battles to comprehend why people can be so ruthless and cold toward those whom they have never met. 

David Sullivan, pilot in the Royal Air Force, was certain he would never hate, but a painful loss forces him to either reconsider or do the inconceivable—forgive. He is suddenly challenged by the realization that doing God's will is not easy, but most important. With the lives of freedom-fighters relying on him, he must learn the difficult lesson that he is not in control, but merely one who must surrender his heart of obedience to One greater.
A sudden turn of events lands Joyanna and David in the same country—but for far different reasons. When their paths cross, David finds he must make a decision that will affect them both for the rest of their lives. 
Will he choose vengeance, or will he let his life be ruled by a higher standard? A standard of Honor.

Find on Amazon and Goodreads

~ My Review 
5 stars 
A Question of Honor is an amazing historical novel with rich and well-researched details, realistic and endearing characters, and a beautifully-woven theme of forgiveness that's sure to stir your heart. 

I remember reading snippets of this book not long after Jesseca started it. It had no title then, and many differences from the wonderful story about to be released to the world, but I loved it. Sometime, I read the second draft, laughing and crying and soaking up the goodness. I beta-read the book last fall and again laughed, cried, and admired the way the story had grown stronger through revision. 

All that to say...I love this story. And what makes up a good story? Characters. Realistic, varying, fictional people who work their way into your heart until they began to feel real -- like they're your friends. Like you're sitting there next to them as they tell you their story. That's the kind of characters fill the pages of A Question of Honor. 

Of the characters, David and Micah are probably my favorites -- although I do love Gil and I have a soft spot for Erich. David is down-to-earth and cool-headed, while Gil is a fun-loving and charming risk-taker. Micah is a lot like Gil in some respects, but milder, I believe. And then Erich -- the villain of the story whom you can't help but love. 
The book has some lovely lady characters too. Joyanna is a precious cinnamon roll in need of love and protection. Elaine resembles the typical war wife, awaiting her husband's return. And Lily, the one who's persevering in spit of all she's been through. <3 

I particularly enjoyed how the story isn't the 'typical' American WWII story, as it is set in 1940 before America entered the war. It was interesting to learn of the Battle of Britain and the courageous men of the RAF -- all of which I knew little to none about until reading this book. 

If you have not yet been convinced that you need to read this book, you need to read this book. *wink* You won't be disappointed. 

May God bless this young authoress in her writing journey!! <3 

About the Author: 

Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano.  And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.