Friday, November 30, 2018

Five Bookish Tropes that Should Jump Off a Cliff.

G'day, readers! I have returned (as promised) with my opinion of five bookish tropes that need to vanish from bookshelves. Or from my life. Or the globe. Or something like that.

(Okay, not exactly. These tropes could be done well, I'm sure. They are just ones that either particularly rub me the wrong way, I've seen way too often, or I just disagree with entirely. If you don't agree with me—don't be offended. This is all in fun. I'm also not intending to bash any of the books I use as examples—I'm linking to them for the reference of the readers.) 

{ love triangles }

You saw that coming a mile away, didn't you? I'm pretty sure this is the most hated bookish trope out there and yet...people are still writing it? And publishing it? And selling it? It's quite annoying, honestly, for this gal to have two guys literally falling at her feet while she tries to decide which one she "really loves." (Um, maybe neither, or you wouldn't have this problem...?)

To be fair and not so negative, I have enjoyed books that included this trope. One that comes to mind is a book that I'd count among my top favorites—A Cousin's Promise by Wanda Brunstetter. But in this instance, the triangle had a purpose in the book without taking over, and it wasn't an "in love with two men" situation, because it was obvious who she loved.

BUT. I read a book last summer that contained, not just a love triangle, but a love square. You're laughing right now, but I'm not kidding. There was a guy and girl who aren't sure if they're still in love or not (he's just came back from war). So meanwhile, the girl is over here kissing this other guy, while dude #1 is kissing his nurse. In a closet. At the hospital. And she knows he has a girlfriend. LIKE WHAT. WHAT EVEN. (Did I mention the guys are/were best friends? Yeah, not okay.)

*forces self to stop because I need to save my energy to give all of these a fair rant* Moving on, folks.

{ when THE ONE appears on your doorstep } 

Okay, so, I get it. You dream about meeting "the one" and how it all will go and where you'll meet and so on and so forth. I get it. I really do.

However... *pulls y'all closer and whispers* He/she isn't going to magically appear on your doorstep seconds after you prayed for God to send them your way. If it's in His plans for you to marry, then yes, that person is out there, and yes, they'll show up when the timing is right.

God isn't some little magician sitting up in the sky, waving a wand at your beck and call. It doesn't work that way—thank goodness.

But I have legit read books where the guy prays for his future wife and then just assumes the first supposedly-eligible girl that appears in his path is The One. (It actually was his doorstep/doorway in one book and I almost died.)

Like, what kind of message does that send? "Hey, dude. Want a girl? Just pray for one. And then the first one you lay eyes on—you'll know because she's so drop-dead gorgeous you'll almost pass out—yup, she's the one. ... What was that? ... Oh, she hates you? No problem. Just keep pursuing her and making an absolute nuisance of yourself. She'll come around."

(This seriously happened. No joke. Quit laughing, Krispy.)

{ perfection overload }

When everything turns out perfectly. They win the game/race/competition, they get the guy/girl, they work out all family relations, they get the dream job... You know what I'm talking about.

Don't get me wrong, I love a happy ending just as much as the next person—maybe more. But again, this can really send a confusing message.

In life, everything doesn't turn out perfect. You may not end up with the guy/girl you were certain was right for you. Your team may not win the game and go to state. Your relations with family and friends may always have rough patches.

Life isn't perfect, y'all. But good, because God is good? Oh my, yes. <3

{ the powerful girl...thingiemajig } 

I don't have a thing against women, y'all. Obviously. Golden starting line, Faith.

But the whole plot/trope/I-don't-even-know-what-to-call-it of a woman who decides she ain't going out with him even if he gets down on his hands and knees and begs... Why? Because "she don't need no man," and he's obviously trying to steal her freedom or implying she's incapable or... *flaps hand* Something like that.

Why does it have to be a need thing? I mean, c'mon. Maybe he just genuinely cares about you. (Not sure why, if you're as awful to him as my description, but...) Maybe he admires your strength and independence and wants to come alongside you to walk through life.

Nothing wrong with a strong, female lead to a story. So long as she doesn't think she's invincible and capable of handling everything on her own—without God or anyone else, be they guy or gal.

{ plain or fancy }

*is cringing* Okay, I like Amish fiction for the most part. I'm pretty sure I've talked about it on her many times before. Y'all know this. I'm not bashing the genre in any way, shape, or form.

But I have to wonder... how many Amish teens/young people actually leave the faith and flee out into the sinful, wicked world just so they can cut their hair and drive cars. And meanwhile, their mother cries over their departure and their father gets mad and shuns them and their siblings and friends (and sometimes a boyfriend/girlfriend) don't know whether to talk to them or not and it's so drawn out and dramatic and... *ahem*

Like...what? Does it really work like that? And, most of all, is it really so common? (Name more than five Amish books that don't deal with this in some way, and I'll give you a cookie.) I'm going to take an uneducated guess and say "no." It's not as common as it is in the books. Why it's such a hyped/used/abused trope, I'm not sure.

(If I'm wrong here, someone feel free to correct me.)

Also—Englishers going Amish. That sounds like it would be awfully darn hard. *spends 47 seconds contemplating giving up my modernization and decides I wouldn't survive*

So, yeah, there's that. Also, I'm up really late. I'll probably re-read this and regret it when I get up in the morning... *pause while Faith realizes it is morning*

Keep having a fabulous life, my humans, and let's chat about these tropes. Like or don't like? 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Black Friday Sale // 150+ Books for Under a Buck!

So apparently today is Small Business Saturday. (Yeah, I didn't know either, until I got approximately 7426 newsletters/promo emails about it.) It sounds like a rather amazing thing.

Which actually works out rather fabulously, because I'm here today to share about an AMAZING Black Friday Sale that's happening.

Indie books, y'all. Over 150 of them. All on sale. Ebooks are free or $0.99, and several authors are offering discounted paperbacks as well. All the info is on the sale page!

Indie Black Friday Sale

As you may have already guessed by now, I'm among the multitude of authors shoving their babies out there to be bought and loved. Wow, that sounds bad.

My Sales

ends Monday at midnight! 

I'm in a super sarcastic mood today, so I'm gonna hush and let y'all get along with your normal lives. Here's the short of it: Take advantage of the sales, buy books, and support the dreamers. I mean, only if you want to. This is definitely not a threat.

See y'all next week!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Five Bookish Tropes We Need More Of.

Happy Tuesday, y'all!

Before I get swept into the post and forget, I have to let y'all know about something! My friends at Inside Out Designs are hosting a NaNo challenge—no extra writing required. Closes tomorrow! :D

That aside, how are you all doing? Is your Thanksgiving week looking as crazy as mine? Work and time with family, on top of a Black Friday book sale (yes, stay tuned! <3), planning two blog tours/parties, prepping for the publication of my newest release, editing, and other undisclosed author-ness that I can't tell right now... It's keeping me hoppin'. ;)

Surprisingly, though, I'm writing a quality post for the first time in forever (not that cover reveals and blog tour sign-ups aren't amazing, but ya know), in an effort to finally keep my blogging attempts on a semi-consistent schedule—by writing about my beloved, under-appreciated tropes in fiction. This is going to be fabulous! 

{ roadtrips }

A good ol' road trip. Honestly, who doesn't love them? Stories with literal road-trips that parallel the spiritual or emotional journey that the protagonist takes are SO amazing.

My example for this trope is To Get to You by Joanne Bischof. The main character, Riley, spends the majority of the book on a road-trip with his estranged father. The story of grace and redemption, forgiveness and healing, was beautiful. <3

Someone write me a fabulous book like this, 'kay? Please and thank you.

{ adoption & foster care }

I don't know what it is, but I really enjoy stories about adoptions, adoptees, or foster care situations—particularly when the adopted teen or adult sets forth on a quest to locate their biological parents. The search for something else and the discovery that what they were searching for has been there all along... <3

Two stories that I've read which fit this trope and were enjoyable reads are True to You by Becky Wade and The Long Ride Home by Marsha Hubler. While one is an adult and the other a teen, both main characters have special stories.

{ amputees }

*enters coughing*  Okay, yeah, let's address the elephant in the room. Yes, amputees. I don't know why, other than stories of physical disabilities intrigue me. Basically, I don't know why I'm so warped, but moving on. The ability and the strength to overcome, the resilience and courage... these sort of stories always manage to snag a special place in my heart.

I've read many books with amputees characters, in main and side roles, and some of my favorites are... Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter (some content, not recommended for those under 16), At the Edge of a Dark Forest by Connie Almony, Meet My Boyfriend by Willowy Whisper, and If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock.

{ clean summer romances }

Fireflies in the grasses, a tire swing dangling from a tree branch, stars in the inky night sky, wading barefoot in a rocky creek... Honestly, there's so many beautiful things about summertime. And clean, summer romances are so darling!

My favorite is I Don't Dance by Jesseca Wheaton. Sweet as they come and filled to the brim with adorableness, this little novella is the best. (Did I mention there's country music references? Scotty McCreery, anyone?)

{ hard subjects }

Hard subjects. Difficult topics. The things no one wants to talk about, the things we're afraid to say for fear of starting a controversial debate.

When handled in a God-honoring way, I love it when authors address these issues. Whether its drugs or alcohol addiction, a child born out of wedlock or tattoos, avoiding the topics won't make the problems disappear.

My example for this one is The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof. It deals with a multitude of avoided topics—rape, children born out of wedlock, prostitution, tattoos—and the author deals with each in such a caring, graceful style.

What's your favorite under-appreciated bookish trope? Got any recs for me, according to my above preferences? 

Tune in next week for a post about the five bookish tropes that I wish would just DIE ALREADY.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Behold, a Blog Tour is Coming!

(*smirks* See what I did there?)

As you've probably already guessed, the release of the short story collection y'all have been hearing about for months is rapidly approaching! I absolutely adore Christmas stories and releasing this collection has me super hyped.

What is a indie book release without a blog tour, you ask? I'm not entirely sure, because I haven't ever saw one.... ;) Okay, slightly kidding.

But seriously—blog tours are so much fun. I'm having a three day, weekend blog tour for Behold. There will be a post on my blog each day, spotlighting a different aspect of the book's journey, and a Christmas themed giveaway.

Interested in joining the blog tour? :D Details and sign-up form below!

A collection of short stories honoring the birth of the Savior

From two siblings caught up in the harrowing days of World War II to separated foster children in the US…
From a memorable road trip across the Southeast to the reunion of a war-torn family... 
You’ll be swept into the Christmas spirit with the endearing stories tucked inside these pages. The storylines range from family to romance to the bond of community, with settings scattered across America and beyond.

Behold the beauty of the Savior’s birth with this gathering of stories that warm the soul and bless the heart. 

Are you excited for the new release? Can you believe it's only one until Thanksgiving, and 40 days until Christmas?! 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Seek by Angela R. Watts // Cover Reveal

Happy Monday, lovelies! =D

I'm popping in this morning to participate in my friend Angela's cover reveal for her novel, Seek! (And being the dear that I am, I'm sticking it in right here *points* instead of making y'all I kinda wanted to...) 

I had the pleasure of reading this fast-paced hunk of words earlier this year and it was fabulous. Enjoyable prose, amazing characters, heart-pounding plot—you don't want to miss this one. 

Releasing the first week of December, I give you...Seek! <3


Angel Cutler’s routine life is overturned when local ganglord Viktor Marino tries to kidnap her. When she finds out her adopted sister is back in town and working with Viktor, Angel has to run with the protection of two total strangers. Can Angel’s faith in God protect her family when she can’t?

Elijah Davis has seen Viktor bleed once, and to protect his family, he’ll make it happen again. But who is the One Eli can turn to when he realizes he can’t protect his loved ones alone?

Hiding from gangsters and gunfire, the trio struggle to seek God above all else and trust that His plan is greater than their own. Or Viktor Marino’s.


Angela R. Watts is a Christian who writes fiction to glorify the King. She’s a homeschooled highschooler who lives with her family at Step By Step Sanctuary, Tennessee. She’s been writing stories since she was little but also enjoys chores, painting, and watching sunsets.

Website | Reveries Co.
Facebook | AngelaRWattsauthor
Twitter | PeculiarAngela
Instagram | angiewatts

Are you excited for this book? Thoughts on the coolio cover? Doesn't it look—as my bro would say—hard-core!? xD

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Ones Who Didn't Make it Back Home {a short story}

A few weeks ago, I was wandering around a cemetery with my mom and aunt. We were looking for the graves of my grandma's parents and sister, but I came across the headstones of twin brothers, both Marines, who fought in the Korean War. Neither of them died in war, but from the moment I stood over those graves, I knew I'd be writing a story about a brother who did.

Justin Moore's latest song already had story ideas scrambling around my brain, and the two inspirations combined nicely. As for the song, I'm imbedding the music video below, because obviously y'all need this, too. (Pardon the mentions of alcohol.)

Knowing the lyrics and having written this story, now just hearing the opening of this song makes my heart squeeze inside my chest. It's so beautiful, so strong, so real. While writing the story, I would pull up the song, put it on repeat, and write the words as they came.

Hope y'all enjoy. <3

It was a beautiful morning for a funeral. 

I rise early after hours of fitful sleep. Come to think of it, I haven’t slept much at all since I heard the news. I walk across the room and press my forehead to the screen door to watch the sunrise. Jake loved summer sunrises. 

Private Jacob Kemper. Small town hero. Twin to Justin. My date to prom. Everybody’s friend at the high school where our group of twenty-five graduated one rainy May afternoon. 

But today we’ll bury him. 

In a different room of the house, a staticky radio cuts on. Dad’s awake. The local broadcaster shares the details of Jacob’s memorial as I listen through the wall. Everyone who knew him loved him—and few didn’t know him. 

Just when I’m sure there isn’t another tear left in me, another round of sobs wracks my shoulders. The pain is just too much. 

Pressing a fisted hand to my mouth, I slide down the doorjamb to the floor, my face dropping to my pajama-clad knees. Jacob’s voice filters through my mind, followed by his laidback, free laughter. 

“Why?” My cracked voice demands, as my foot shoots out and slams into the other side of the doorjamb. 

He was too young to die. 


One last glance in the rearview mirror—to check the makeup that’s doing a pitiful job of disguising my bloodshot eyes—and I step out of the car into the oppressive heat. A cold day, complete with rain and cutting wind, would better suit the ache in my heart. 

But as I look around me, watch the droves of people walking solemnly toward the little white church and filing up the stairs, I decide maybe today’s sunniness does fit. Jake was the sunshine in all our lives. 

During the service many spoke or sang for the wonderful young man we’ve all lost, and everyone cried their tissues full. When a mutual friend steps up to the podium, he tells a story from the teenage years, when a dozen of us were caught in the yard of an abandoned house at two a.m. with no legitimate-sounding excuse. He imitates Jake’s unsuccessful attempts to convince the cops we were innocent, and I shake with laughter even as tears course down my face. Jake would want us to laugh. 

We stand as the pallbearers carry his closed casket down the aisle. They’re all from our graduating class, guys who knew Jake most of his life. Some were outcasts until he drew them in. Some thought of themselves too highly, until he taught them by example that all are equal.

Directly following the casket is Jacob’s twin, Justin, in his dress blues, with his mother clinging to his arm and his father on her other side. 

Fresh tears spring to my eyes as I behold Jake’s parents. I spent so much time at the Kemper home during my troubled high school years that the boys started calling me “Sis.” Not that I minded. I loved being welcomed into their happy home, where I was loved for who I was instead of judged for who I wasn’t. 

In the graveyard, I end up near the center of the circle a few yards from Jake’s immediate family. After seating his mother, Justin ducks out from under the tent and approaches me. 
When his eyes meet mine, I give up on holding myself together and just wrap my arms around his neck. He holds me, wordlessly, being the strong one although he’s even more broken-hearted than the rest of us. 

When he releases me, I keep my hand on his arm. “Are you okay?” 

Justin shakes his head without looking at me. “The preacher talked about sacrifice in there. Saying a bunch of words he isn’t even sure he believes himself. But he isn’t the one who rode in the belly of a plane with his brother’s body last week. He won’t walk into a house full of memories tonight and listen to his mother cry herself to sleep. He knows nothing about sacrifice.” 

I don’t draw away—just let him talk. The sharpness of his words is from pain, not anger. He just needs to let it out. 

The graveside service commences and we silently observe from the center of the crowd. More than once during the final words, I hear Justin’s jagged breathing. He’s trying so hard to hold it all in. 

The first volley of gunshots rings through the air. I jerk, even though I knew it was coming. Although I was closest to Jake, I grab Justin’s hand and squeeze my eyes shut as the second round rocks the ground. 

In the silence that follows the third shots, Justin’s soft cries cut to my heart. He’s letting himself grieve. Tears skid down my eyes, as happy memories of Jake fill my mind.

After the pastor says a final prayer and the gathering of friends disperses across the grass, I twist to look up at Justin. “You’re going to be okay.” 

He’s tugging the brave front back into place, but his eyes tell me he doesn’t believe it. He forces a smile that brings tears to my eyes. “Someday.” 

“You and Jake were the best friends I ever had.” I blurt the words out before I have time to over think them. And by the look that clouds his eyes and how quickly he pulls me back into his hug, I’m glad I did. 

“Ya know…” His eyes rove my face as I wipe my eyes. “Jake loved you as more than a little sister.” 

Fresh tears spill over and I’m draw back into Justin’s embrace. “I think I loved him, too.”


At his father’s voice, Justin draws away and turns to follow his parents out of the graveyard. “Stay in touch, Sis. I might need to just talk memories of him sometime.” 

“I’ll hold you to that,” I manage. 

I cross the grass and drop to my knees beside the open grave. As the voices of the remaining mourners drift away, I blow a kiss into the breeze. “I did love you, sweet Jake,” I whisper over his final resting place. “And I always will.” 

The ache is still in my heart and it may always be. But maybe that’s what being ‘okay’ means. Living with the hurt without letting it rule you. He’s a hero who deserves to be remembered. 

Thoughts on the story? The song? 

Monday, November 5, 2018

May I Interest You in a Book? {+ A Party is Coming! }

Yeah, I know. Weird title. But it fits, because this post is going to be a weird compilation of a bunch of...stuff.

I have books to sell, a blog party to promote, and a full to-do list staring up at me for today. And the rest of the week. So let's get a move on!

// Books. 

As you may or may not have gathered, I'm really terrible at promoting myself and my books. really bad when you realize that I'm an indie author, so if I don't do this stuff...well, it ain't gonna happen.

(Seriously, though. There's got to be others out there that feel weird saying "hey, buy my books so I can make money!" C'mon. I know you're out there, kindred soul.)

Complaints aside, I realized the other day that I have a literal treasure trunk of books shoved under a piece of furniture in my room. (Okay, it's not that big...) Nearly twenty copies of Dandelion Dust and a handful of copies of Love Needs No Words.

Sure, I could just leave them there and sell them a little along and/or use them for giveaways, but I figured this may be the perfect time to amp up my game and attempt to sell some signed copies! So here goes.
Dandelion Dust —> $10
Love Needs No Words —> $5
Shipping —> $3
If you buy up to four copies, I'll combine the shipping—provided they're going to the same address. (I'm assuming they would be, unless you're one of those epic people that mails books to others. And if you are, allow me to give you my address, new friend.)

Payment can now be accepted through PayPal or a check in the mail. To order, you can shoot me an email at and we'll work out all the details. :)

// Party. 

Something I've been asked about a few times recently was whether or not I'll be hosting the 12 Days of Christmas blog party again this year or if I'm too busy. The answer is yes. Yes, I'm hosting the party. And yes, I'm probably too busy. But since when has that stopped me?

As it has the past three years, the party will run December 14th–25th again this year. There will be a post on this blog each day—with links to the participants of the day—and a book review on Chosen Vessels every day.

Participating bloggers are welcome to post as many or as few times as they like, on any topic or article related to Christmas. Popular choices in the past have been reviews and recommendations of Christmas books and movies, the stories behind your favorite Christmas carols, gift ideas, family traditions, and recipes. All I ask is that you keep it God-honoring and remember the true Reason we celebrate. :)

Comment below with any questions and I'll get back to you as quickly as possible! For those interested, please submit your information through this form.

Looking forward to a great party! <3

Are you interested in books? Want to take part in the party? Can you believe Christmas is SO close?