Thursday, February 27, 2020

Tattered Wings by Kassie Angle | release + review

Annnddd we have another blog tour.

Wasn't it like last year when I said I was going to do less blog tours and that type of post? Yet here I am again. I digress. There's just so many epic books out there. How can I not support other Indies? <3

Anywho, moving on. Because today I get to fangirl about one of my favorites books so far this year. Maybe my favorite book so far this year. I mean, yes, I've read almost 20 books in 2020 to date, but still. Still a compliment. ;)

I give you—Tattered Wings by Kassie Angle. <33 You can find Kassie's post with more details about the book and the blog tour and whatnot here. (Heck, even if you aren't that interested in the book, go check out this gal's blog. The total bomb. :D)

About the Book

Some scars can’t be seen. And some can’t be hidden.

Layla Trent’s life is pretty much perfect, except for the little matter of a dog of her own—and maybe a brother. So why does a random nightmare of a princess dress, a hospital, and a stranger who’s definitely not her daddy feel more like an aching wound? And can a broken, glassy-eyed puppy somehow help her release the pain she didn’t even know she was carrying?

Corporal Andrew Reyes has proven he has what it takes to be the best—a US Army Ranger. But when a double tragedy rocks his world, his resolve is shaken to the core. What’s left for a man to live for when he’s lost everything he ever wanted to be? And is the sudden appearance of a teenage girl with a three-legged dog a cruel joke or a divine appointment?

Some scars can’t be hidden. But some don’t need to be.



When I say I jumped at the chance to read and review this book, know that I mean that in the strongest sense possible without meaning that I actually physically jumped on something.

I mean, c'mon. A girl with dreams of a painful memory she can't place. A soldier who loses all that gives his life meaning. Dozens of little instances that just made me smile. And there's a dog—a darling Golden Retriever. Does this book have my name written all over it or what? (Again, not literally.)

First, there's Layla. I love that child. Although, to be honest, I went into this book planning to love Andrew's story the most. I didn't really care about Layla's story too much. But by the epilogue, I loved her story just as much. Maybe more.

I love her personality and her spunkiness. I love her heart. I love her parents and her dog and her life. Reading about her dreams and all that comes to light through them... it broke my heart in the best way possible. I might have cried.

The whole service dog aspect of this story and all that surrounds it was very nice to find. That's something I don't see much in fiction, so I really appreciated that being shown in an accurate way.

And then, Andrew. As I said, I expected to love his story—and I wasn't disappointed. I cried. A lot. I actually probably cried as much or more over Isaiah as I did over Andrew. My dudes. <333

I did find myself wishing we would have seen more of Cpl. Reyes and his crowd in earlier chapters. As it was, the reader doesn't know him super well until THAT happens. Although there was plenty of impact as it was, it could've been more impactful if we were more attached to him before it happened. I also, for the majority of the book, was under the impression that Andrew's dad wasn't around, because he's like...never mentioned. So unless I missed it somewhere, I would've liked to known more about his family earlier on.

The writing could use some polishing, but overall, I found it to be engaging, in a laidback style. The story itself was heartfelt, well detailed, and easy to follow for the most part.

So, to sum things up:
- girl with fragments of a memory she can't grasp
- a family finding healing through a hurting dog
- a visit to a cemetery plot
- wounded soldiers
- family of said wounded soldiers binding together
- epic military setting
- one heck of an epilogue
- go read this book

Take-away: Your wings aren't broken. They might be tattered, but they'll still fly.

*wanders off wiping tears*

About the Author

Kassie Angle is a teenaged Christian author, cowgirl, therapy dog trainer, stereotypical INFJ, and Army girl to the core. Her first love, i.e. debut novel, O to be Like Thee, swept her unsuspectedly into the world of indie authors. She tries to use her stories to fill the silences in literature, helping more people understand the world of the Army and showing how God heals the broken-hearted. You can find her and more of her writing at

have you read Tattered Wings? 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Life as of Now — 02.25.20

Instead of doing monthly recaps this year, I'm going to try doing this type of post every 6-8 weeks, sharing some random recent life stuff. *throws up a peace sign* we'll see how it goes. 

• Discovered that I've been saying the words chagrin and chasm wrong for my entire life. Like, WHAT. I heard them both on a TV show, a day or two apart, and I was honestly in denial for awhile. My life is in shambles. I've lived a lie for years. Such deception. What even is truth? (slightly kidding...maybe...)

• Bought too many books... Seriously, though, does anyone else use BookOutlet? Because I ADORE that site, y'all. It's my newest Achilles Heel.

• Appreciating this post by the epic Angela Watts. <33  And this post by...another Faith. ;)

• Reading loads of good books. Like, nearly twenty reads docked so far this year? Love it. I haven't read so much so quickly in over a year. It'll probably plummet soon, but for now, I'm on a roll, m'dudes.

• Ventured off to the big city of Atlanta for a work thing. *finger guns*

• Adoring Midway... Honestly, y'all, this movie. It's incredible. When my bestie came to see me last fall, we saw it twice in theaters. And I've watched it again since then. It's so so good. My new favorite film. It makes me want to rewrite War Tears, so that's definitely a good thing. 10/10

lemme just slip this hunk in here... *coughcough*

• Binge-watching Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye. And then rewatching favorites. This show is so underrated, you guys. There's epic camaraderie, cases to solve, cute dudes, and sign language/deaf culture references. Was this show meant for me or what? I LOVE IT. Crash and Sparky are my dudes. <3333

• Drinking coffee. Always. Nothing new there, though.

• To celebrate my being close to hitting 15k in Chasing a Dream (asjehkflpc !!), here's a snippet for you homies.

At this point, I'm not even sure this chick really knows Leah. She's probably an imposter who has my girl gagged in the back room.  
I finish my note to Leah, trying to ignore how aggravating the horrible red pencil is, fold the paper in half, and place the pencil on top of it. "Thank you, ma'am," I call across my shoulder on the way out the door.  
As I walk to the truck, I shoot a quick text to Leah. : Your roommate is a fruitcake. 

how's your 2020 going? 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

No Chance Meeting by Jaye Elliot | review + release

I'm thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Jaye Elliot's first contemporary romance, No Chance Meeting. I've been dying to read this book ever since I stumbled across the synopsis, like, years ago on Goodreads. While I ended up not enjoying it as much as I expected, it was a really sweet story.

Read on for my review of the novel, as well as an extra special giveaway! You can find the rest of the blog tour schedule here.

About the Book

Alex Jennings is done with life. After losing her brother in Afghanistan, everything has collapsed around her. Getting laid off from her day job and failing in her art career, she has nowhere left to turn. She once had faith to believe that all things would work together for good, but that faith died with her brother. Now she just wants the pain to end.

Riley Conrad served thirteen years in the military until three bullets sent him home. After a year and a half of physical therapy and scraping together a living, all he wants is to live a simple life and perhaps even open the coffee shop he dreams about. However, the weight of failing his parents’ expectations doesn’t make it easy, and working as a bartender isn’t getting him anywhere fast.

Could a “chance” meeting between Alex and Riley set them both on the path God always intended?

~ 20% of all February sales will go to the Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs ~



** may contain spoilers, as I'm utterly filled by this story and its characters, having read the majority of this book in the last 24 hours **

Let me start off by saying that I've been wanting to read this book for ever so long. Given that, along with the fact the book deals with suicide and depression and there's numerous Marine references, I expected to love it. Buutttt I didn't. Now I'm trying to figure out why. :P

For the most part, it's a slower story. There's no massive happenings occurring throughout the story, other than an unexpected twist here and there (the one beyond the 85% mark, now that's something I didn't see coming). A tale of falling in love, achieving freedom from past fears and sins and tragedies, and holding to faith through all else.

Both of the main characters were sweet, likable, and realistic, with plenty of quirks and attributes to keep them original. I adored Riley. He's so adorable. Epic Marine guy, with a dream of a coffee shop. Add to that his long hair and the fact that—for once—the love interest actually isn't six feet four? I approve. 10/10.

Alex was a fun character, too. I love the name, her artsy side, and the fact that she's awkward, not crazy pretty, and wears glasses. I found myself struggling to connect with her and feel compassion toward her pain, but I loved seeing her and Riley's relationship and the way they complimented each other and encouraging each other to pursue their dreams.

One of my favorite things about the book was the frequent coffee references. These people chug as much caffeine as I do, and I loved it. xD  Add to that the dreams of a coffee shop and the vibe of the whole idea. Loooove.

The book is filled with a cast of other complex characters. From Mindy and Zach, to Luke and Kat, to Riley's and Alex's parents and grandparents, all the way down to the well-known artist, the landlady, and the pastor and his wife. A well-crafted cast of people I look forward to hearing more about in future books.

Oh, and the whole ordeal with the punk kid and how it reappeared when I least expected it? Love, love, love. Probably one of my favorite parts of the book, actually.

Unfortunately, I didn't exactly finish the book with hearts in my eyes. There were a few things that were seemingly left hanging and either weren't wrapped up/were left undone for awhile before presenting themselves again later in the plot. For example, Grandpa Joe. After meeting him the first time, I expected to see more of him, often, from there on out, which wasn't the case.

All things considered, I'm giving No Chance Meeting a solid four star rating. It deals with topics that are often avoided or mishandled in Christian fiction, so I greatly appreciated the story in that respect. A lovely read!

About the Author

Jaye Elliot is an award-winning author, country girl, and hopeless romantic at heart. She loves a good hero and will always sigh happily during the lights scene in Tangled. She writes from her home in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, which she shares with three cats she considers her kids. When not writing romance novels, she pens fantasy and adventure stories as Jaye L. Knight.

Giveaway #1

To celebrate the release of No Chance Meeting, Jaye is giving away a reader bundle that includes a signed copy of NCM, a hand-painted watercolor bookmark, a coffee mug, and a bag of Dove chocolates! Enter using the form below. U.S. entries only. Not open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2

For her second giveaway, Jaye is offering 3 ebook copies of No Chance Meeting. Open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

have you read No Chance Meeting? anyone else in love with that cover? <33 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Book Buddy Collab Tag | w/ Bestie Kate

Happy Tuesday, my pals! *throws up a peace sign*

My friend Kaitlyn asked me to do this tag with her, so we're giving it a shot. :D   There will be lots of question marks. Because I'm apparently a horrible and/or non-observant friend. So. Consider this your warning. But it's a lot of fuuunnnn.


~ Thank the blogger that tagged you. Link back to the creator.  >> Kate was tagged by Katja @ Little Blossoms for Jesus.
~ Pick a bookish blogger friend to do the tag with you and contact them.  >> Thanks, Kate! <3
~ Coordinate so that your bookish buddy posts their part of the tag on the same day as you. Be sure to link to their post/blog on yours! >> Done! You can read Kate's post and her answers about me here.
~ Answer the questions given. Comment on your buddy’s post to let them know how well they answered! >> Ahahaha, we shall see.
~ Tag five other bookish bloggers and give them a set of 10 new questions. >> Ehhh, I'm kinda skipping out on that. If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged. xD

What's your buddy's favorite book-to-movie adaption?

I...have no idea. Like, I'm not even lying or wimping out. I can't even think of a movie adaption that we've talked about, even though I'm sure I'm overlooking something... Maybe Narnia?

What's their favorite cliché/trope?

Strong sibling bonds, especially brothers. If that's considered a trope. xD  This gal has written this trope several times and enjoys reading it too. (right??)

What's their favorite movie? 

A western. I think? She's definitely a westerns gal, but she's also been known to enjoy shows like Walker Texas Ranger, Seal Team, Hogan's Heroes...but that's series, not movies, sooo. I'm going with westerns.

What is their least favorite genre? 

Other than, like, horror, because I feel like that's a given...romance. For sure. (Notice how I feel like I'm probably getting that one right? This is most likely a false sense of achievement.)

Do they check reviews before buying or reading a book, or just dive right in? 

Sometimes? She'll sometimes ask friends their opinion about a book she's considering reading or buying if they've read it, or read friend's reviews, but not just random reviews on Da Web.

What’s your buddy’s all-time favorite character?

....wat. I don't knowwww. She's not one to fangirl over characters like, uh, some of us have been known to do. I want to say one of her own characters, but I feel like that might be considered cheating... *wracks brain* Eddie from Beloved or Erich from A Question of Honor—my best guesses.

Can you name three of their favorite nonfictions? 

Nonfiction? She doesn't read much nonfiction... Can I just say the Bible? Because I can't think of a single nonfiction she's read in the time I've known her... the Bible, the Old Testament, and the New Testament. There we go. Three.

What's their favorite series? 

Hey, one I actually have a chance of getting right... The Questions of War series by Jesseca Wheaton is my pick for top favorite. I believe Triple Creek Ranch by Rebekah Morris is a favorite series, as well. Along with...something by Dee Henderson. *nods*

Does your buddy enjoy buddy-reading? 

I don't...know if she even has? Like, officially, anyway. I can see her enjoying that type of thing or like a book club, though.

Does your buddy like to snack while reading?

*bangs head* I know I have a friend—maybe more than one—who refuses to get food near books, but I don't think it's her, sooo... I'm going to go with, yes, she snacks while reading.

*dashes off to read Kate's post*

do you know your book buddy(s) better than I do? xD

Sunday, February 16, 2020

WCTH Party 2020 ~ Spin-Off Show: When Hope Calls

Happy Sunday, lovely humans! Today's the last day of the party, so giveaway winners will be announced at the end of the post. But first, we're going to talk about When Calls the Heart's spinoff series—When Hope Calls. And be sure to check out Rebekah's post!

|| When Hope Calls

In the WCTH Christmas special from 2019, viewers meet two sisters, Grace and Lillian, and their band of orphans. The sisters are planning to start a orphanage in nearby Brookfield. Other details come to light in the WCTH episode—the sisters themselves were orphaned and, as a result, separated at a young age, an occurrence which gives them a deep compassion for other orphans and siblings.

I adored this show, y'all. It reminded me greatly of the Love Comes Softly movie series. It's a bit of a feel-good show—not in the way that everything is perfect, but that it all works out for the best and most of the characters are sweet and kind individuals. The show does have it's own villains and riffraff, but overall, justice prevails.

The show has many connections to WCTH, while still being its own separate show. Lee and Rosemary, as well as Mountie Nathan Grant, make appearances.

Grace and Lillian, aided by their housekeeper Eleanor, provide a home for six orphaned children, ranging in age. Each of the kids come from different backgrounds and get their own stories and screen time within the show. WHC also hosts a myriad of townspeople, completing a full and fun cast of characters, with plenty of stories to tell.

Also within the series, blossoming love stories are abundant. But isn't that kinda typical of Hallmark? ;)

Grace, the younger of the sisters, is unofficially seeing Chuck Stewart, the town's veterinarian. Due to events that happened many years prior, Chuck's family and Lillian's adoptive family weren't exactly best of friends. This fact, catalyzed by Chuck's mother, Tess, causes issues for the two.

Meanwhile, Lillian and Mountie Gabriel Kinslow seem to have a mutual affection for one another. When a possible bank robber is identified, Gabriel goes out of his way to insure that Lillian, her sister, and the orphans are safe.

Overall, it's a really sweet series. Maybe not a top favorite, but definitely one I'll watch again. And I so hope it gets a second season! <3

|| Giveaway Winners + Bookmarks

The winners of the DVD giveaway are: Brooklyne and SawyerMarie. Congratulations, dears! We'll be in touch. :D

We're also have some scrapbook style WCTH bookmarks available to anyone who'd like to receive a few. Shoot me an email with your mailing address (contact form at the bottom of this page or here), and I'll get them in the mail to you!

have you seen When Hope Calls?

Saturday, February 15, 2020

WCTH Party 2020 ~ Series Overview pt.2

Welcome back to day three, friends! I'm sharing the second half of my series overview, and you can find Rebekah's post here! There will be spoilers, so beware. ;)

|| Season Four 

Favorite part of season four? The long overdue proposal. xD I was glad that Jack and Elizabeth finally got engaged, especially since we know he's been carrying around an engagement ring since the end of season two. (Talk about a man who takes his time...ahem.)

Other than that, there's lots of story material with the railroad and the possibility of the railroad coming to town. Elizabeth is fired as teacher, during a Gowen-instigated scandal. Dr. Carson Shepherd comes to town. Jack is off to an assignment in the Northern Territories. We get to meet a young friend of Jack's (Doug! <3), who's afterwards killed in the line of duty.

Most of the favorite characters are present, and each have their own stories to tell—Rosemary and Lee, Bill Avery, Abigail Stanton and Cody, Frank Hogan, and Henry Gowen. Overall, it's a pretty great season.

|| Season Five 

Ummm....what?  << my original thoughts

To be honest, I wasn't really thrilled with season five. It was okay. I still watched it. But I felt like nothing really happened. Without Jack and Elizabeth's wedding occurring mid-season, and the death of Hope Valley's hero near the end of the season (*SOB*), there really would have been nothing to give this season any sort of substance.

Elizabeth's sister, Julie, visits. Carson has a new romance. A.J. Foster returns. Frank and Abigail break-up. And others. But it's all small little happenings that are quickly resolved or don't even take up much screen time, and that weren't really (in my opinion) enough to build a whole season on. There's no major, driving purpose to the whole thing. Without the wedding and death to build on, it would've been worse.

But yeah. I still watched. xD  As horrid as it sounds, the final/death episode might've been the strongest of the whole season...

|| Season Six 

Ahhhhaaa. I like this. After all the sadness and not-that-great-ness of season five (and parts of S4), season six felt like a much-needed attempt at redemption. To me, it felt much more like the earlier seasons and less like the lame and/or rather dramatic S4 and S5. ;)

Why? Things are happening. Carson and Faith begin a relationship. Jesse and Clara are getting serious about a life together. Rosemary and Lee are afraid they can't have kids. The telephone comes to town. Elizabeth is juggling teaching and raising Baby Jack. And new faces are showing up in town—the telephone operator girl who's name I can never remember, Lucas Bouchard, and the Mountie Nathan Grant and his niece.

Yes, there's a new Mountie in town—something we all knew was inevitably coming, whether we're over Jack or not. And, ya know, I kinda like him. He's raising his niece, which is kinda adorable—and which has him frequently in contact with Allie's teacher, the widowed Ms. Elizabeth Thornton. How ironic... *wink*

And as for Lucas, I'm still not sure what to make of him. I'm still convinced he's some kind of criminal...but I do have a history of not trusting new characters, soooo. xD

During the airing of S6, it was put on hold for like two months when Abigail's character had to be cut and parts re-worked. Although I did love her character, the cast still remains strong and entertaining.

|| Giveaway 

We're giving away two When Calls the Heart DVDs each to two separate winners. To enter, simply comment here on my post and/or on Rebekah's! Every comment published beneath a participating post, throughout the four days of the party, will count as a giveaway entry. More comments = more chances!

Today is the last day to enter! Winners announced tomorrow. :D

which season is your favorite? 

Friday, February 14, 2020

WCTH Party 2020 ~ Guest Post: Current Couples

Happy Valentine’s Day! I am excited to be here guest posting on Faith’s blog today. I am talking about the couples from When Calls the Heart here and Faith is doing the same thing over on my blog. :)

|| Guest Post by RebekahAshleigh

Jesse and Clara

Jesse and Clara are a pretty sweet couple. I’ll admit, I haven’t always been a fan of them. Clara has gotten on my nerves more then once, then Jesse started frustrating me more then once as well. They’ve had some things to work through in their relationship, but I am excited to see them together in season 7. They got engaged at the end of season 6, so I’m hoping for a wedding!

Carson and Faith

The doctor and the nurse! I’ve been in favor of this relationship for quite some time. I was excited when Carson and Faith decided to start having a relationship. They kept it hidden for awhile because they didn’t want to have all the pressure from everyone, but now the town knows. I’m hoping to see some progression.
Carson once had a love interest for like two episodes as did Faith. I’m hoping these two stick together though and that their story isn’t dropped.

Lee and Rosemary

Lee and Rosemary are perfect for each other! They are so fun and sweet! I’ve liked Lee from the beginning. Rosemary, not so much, but she definitely grew on me and I can’t imagine the show without her. When Calls the Heart wouldn’t have the same charm without these two! I really hope they have a baby in season 7! Whether they get pregnant or adopt, I hope they have a child! They would make such great parents. It’s so cute to see them with baby Jack.
Lee and Rosemary are always there for everyone and it’s so sweet to see how much they are invested in their friends lives. :)

Elizabeth and Nathan OR Lucas?????

Nathan or Lucas? The answer to who Elizabeth will choose remains a mystery. (Or maybe Jack really didn’t die, and…okay, no, unfortunately that’s not the case.)
I won’t say too much here about the two new men in Hope Valley because I have a post planned for that. There’s pros and cons to both though. Nathan is a Mountie and while he’s a nice guy Elizabeth may have a hard time giving her heart to another Mountie. Lucas on the other hand has a bit of a past and Elizabeth got caught up in some not so great stuff because of him. Nathan is kind though, but so is Lucas. It’s a toss up for sure! ;)

So there you have it! My thoughts on these Hope Valley couples! Who’s your favorite couple?

|| Giveaway

We're giving away two When Calls the Heart DVDs each to two separate winners. To enter, simply comment here on my post and/or on Rebekah's! Every comment published beneath a participating post, throughout the four days of the party, will count as a giveaway entry. More comments = more chances!

who's your favorite couple from the show? 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

WCTH Party 2020 ~ Series Overview pt.1

Good morning, fellow humans, and welcome to the When Calls the Heart blog party. This is a little get-together in the blogging realm for fans of the Hallmark TV show, that RebekahAshleigh and I have been collaborating on for the past few years.

This year, the party will run over the weekend (Thursday-Sunday), instead of the usual six day week. There's lots of fun posts and a giveaway, so join us this Valentines Weekend! Today, I'm doing a series overview, considering and reviewing the show by season, and you can find Rebekah's post here. :)

|| Season One

Ahh, yes, season one—the gleaming intro. Or was it?

Season One is, in my opinion, the realest of the show, in that it shows the harsh realities of frontier life around the turn of the twentieth century. It's a raw and vulnerable look at a town destroyed by disaster, riddled with grief, but unified in their pursuit to rebuild their lives and their hope for the benefit of the next generation.

Gleaming? No. But hopeful and good and lovely? Most definitely.

I loved seeing all the strong, female characters in the first season. I loved the chemistry and sarcastic jabs between disgruntled new Mountie Jack and determined city girl schoolteacher Elizabeth.

(Also, was anyone else a total fan of Bill and Abigail before they—rather quickly, actually—crashed and burnt? #willneverletthisgo )

|| Season Two 

Season Two took a bit of a turn from where the series began. While there's plenty going on in Hope Valley (then, Coal Valley) and a continuation of the widows' story brings closure to the coal mine disaster plot, a whole other side to the saga comes into play—Elizabeth's previous uptown life in Hamilton.

I can't even say that I didn't like the Hamilton episodes, although the rapid change from S1 took me by surprise initially. The Charles drama though? nope. Not doing anything for me. Get rid of him, please and thank you. Jack is the man.

I also really didn't like Rosemary in the second season. LIKE AT ALL. I can now appreciate her when rewatching these earlier shows when she first showed up. But the first time?

Kinda partial to Julie and Tom's story showcased in this season, too, come to think of it. Apparently I have an affinity for relationships that are destined to fail. #whoops

|| Season Three 

I adored Season Three, y'all. Adored. It had the darling little town feel of S1, with even more characters to follow and stories to watch unfold. A new business is starting, offering new jobs and opportunities for the town and it's occupants.

The thing that comes to mind as something I didn't like about S3 is, uh... Frank. Yes, the pastor. The one who's been forgiven for being a criminal, and served his time, and is now doing good and living life as he should—I get it. I just don't like him. Never have, never could. I can't even really explain it, other than he irks me. :P

Lee and Rosemary are the total bomb. I loved seeing their love story flow and build and grow, from their first meeting to when she performed for him, when he ganged up with Molly to make her jealous, when they beat Gowen at his own game, all the little moments all the way up to the wedding. <3

|| Giveaway 

We'll be giving away two When Calls the Heart DVDs each to two separate winners. To enter, simply comment here on my post and/or on Rebekah's! Every comment published beneath a participating post, throughout the four days of the party, will count as a giveaway entry. More comments = more chances!

are you a WCTH fan? 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

My Top Five Reads of 2019

Happy Tuesday, pals. I'm jumping on the bandwagon and sharing my top reads of 2019. Enjoy the recs and take a moment to appreciate my lousy photography skills. xD

Clara's Soldier by Brittany Fichter

Oh my stars, you guys. I assumed I would enjoy this book when I read the synopsis. But-but...THIS BOOK.

  • a retelling of the Nutcracker 
  • tender, beautiful WWII love story 
  • just enough hints of mystery and intrigue to give a magical feel
  • the sacrifices of loving someone broken <33

The Mercy by Beverly Lewis

As some of you already knew or had gathered, I used to read a ton of Amish fiction. Like, a TON. I don't read as much as I used to, but I read this trilogy last year and thoroughly enjoyed the story and the trip down memory lane.

  • elegant and poetic writing style, even while depicting the ins and outs of daily life in a small Amish community 
  • bittersweet saga of love and the warmth of a family 
  • much more engaging and thoughtful than the typical amish-girl-meets-english-boy plot
  • a full circle story of love ultimately bringing you home <33

Made for the Journey by Elisabeth Elliot

Hey, look, a non-fic made the list. My favorite nonfiction of 2019, out of the ten I read last year, penned by a hero of the faith.

  • recounting life anecdotes, thoughts, and lessons of Elliot's first introduction to the jungles of South America  
  • vulnerable struggles and challenging questions, presented in journalistic prose
  • thoughtful reflections from the mission field <33
  • { review here }

When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Seidel Levine

A book I grabbed from the library on a whim, relying solely on the fact that I've adored nearly all the other books I've read from the Dear America series. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

  • touching inside view of the heart, mind, and life of one of the Allies' first "Hello Girls" of the First World War
  • a personal and descriptive account of the brutalities of war, told through a seventeen-year-old girl
  • patriotism, grief, family, and hope
  • survival of young love in the midst of war <33

Beloved by Kaitlyn Krispense 

This geeeemmmm. My friend and I dual-released novels last fall, that both dealt with the infamous topic of suicide. As you know, this is hers. <3

  • an estranged teen in need of love, family, and home 
  • the epic gang of brothers, who's methods of connection aren't always as heartfelt as their intentions  
  • finding a reason to live <33
  • { review here }

what's your top read(s) of 2019? favorite book so far this year? 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Never Have I Ever Tag | Writer's Edition

Soooo I'm sorta stealing a tag. Because it looks super fun and I haven't did a tag in ages, soo. It's been floating around the blogging realm lately, but I saw it first on Merie's blog, so I'm giving credit there. Her post was awesome, by the way, and you should totally go read it. xD

The Rules

1. Link and thank the blogger who tagged you.    |     N/A
2. Include the graphic somewhere in your post.    |     *points above*
3. Answer the questions truthfully and honestly.    |     I shall do my darnedest. 
4. Tag 3 bloggers.     |     I tag... the first three commenters. 

Never have I ever…

… started a novel that I didn’t finish.

Oh yes. Several. Once upon a time, War Tears had...

-- ...a prequel. It's currently sitting in a dusty ol' file in all of it's sappy, 10k glory.
-- ...and a sequel. By around 5k, the plot had changed about 47 times, and I don't know if I'll ever get back to that one or not.
-- A story about a girl who always thought she was an only child, but discovers she has a sibling that was given up for adoption. I'd actually like to get back to that one some day.
-- WWII era saga about a teen girl trying to reconnect her estranged parents.
-- and the list goes on... :P

… written a story completely by hand.

Other than for school when I was a wee child, no. The first story I ever started once I actually began writing as a hobby was by hand. I only wrote a couple chapters, though, and never finished it. So no, not a complete story.

… changed tenses midway through a story.

Actually, yes. Freedom began as a third-person double POV story. Ya know, back when it was a short story I wasn't even sure I would finish, and had a drastically different plot line than the published work. xD  When I started working on it more and wanted to make it into something legit, I realized third person POV wasn't working for me. So I switched what I'd already written over to first-person in an attempt to get the words moving. And, as y'all already know, it stuck. ;)

… not researched anything before starting a story.

HAHAHAHA. All the time, baby. As I told a friend of mine, you don't have to research for the first draft, unless it's super important/pertinent. Don't know much about amputees and prosthetics? No worries. Just write it as best you can, make up what you don't know, and figure the rest out later. This tidbit of wisdom may or may not be the rule I live by.

… changed my protagonist’s name halfway through a draft.

I don't think so...? I've changed last names. And I've had to change side characters names, upon realizing I already had a character by the name I'd been using for them. But I don't think I've ever changed the name of an MC partway though a draft. That would drive me bonkers.

… written a story in a month or less.

Yep. Dandelion Dust, written in 25 days, is still my fastest first draft to date.

… fallen asleep while writing.

Actually, I have... Not at my desk or slumped over a computer, but if I get ideas in the middle of the night, I'll grab my phone and type up some notes or even write full scenes. Sometimes I wake up because I dropped my phone on my face, and sometimes I wake up the next morning and realize my phone is lost somewhere in the bed. xD

… corrected someone’s grammar irl/online.

Oh definitely. Day-to-day conversation, business signs, social media posts,... Even if I'm not doing it out loud, doesn't mean I'm not doing it mentally. And cringing a little in the meantime.

… yelled in all caps at myself in the middle of a novel.

*cracks up* Oh, for sure. Especially during NaNo, when all words count, nothing gets cut, and the only goal is write.

… used “I’m writing” as an excuse.

Oh yeah. Most definitely. Works swell.

"Hey Faith..."
"Actually, I'm writing..."
*keeps story document open while perusing random facts on the internet and scrolling YouTube* *tells self it counts* 

… killed a character that was based on someone I know in real life.

*sits in silence* Maaayyybeeee? I'm honestly not sure. I used to have a list of all the characters I've killed—a sort of memorial, if you will. But I don't think I've killed anyone that was based off of someone I know. Not intentionally, anyway...

… used pop culture references in a story.

Yep, a time or two in the Liberty's Battlegrounds trilogy.

… written between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

For sure. Mostly on the 1-3a.m. side of the spectrum. If you ask me if I'm a morning person and I say "yes", know that I'm referring to the hours between 12:00 and 3:00am, and 9:00 and 11:00am.

… drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.

I don't even have to be writing to drink an entire pot of coffee... *reaches for mug*

… written down dreams to use in potential novels.

My best scenes and stories have started out as dreams. Dandelion Dust was inspired by a dream. Most of the infamous chapter 18 from Freedom literally was a dream—some even word for word what I remember from the concoctions of the subconscious mind.

… published an unedited story on the Internet/blog/Wattpad.

Yessssss. And regretted it. Other than on this blog (which I usually do edit, or at least proofread, before sharing), I've shared stories on a fansite for a book series as well as on FanFiction. Thankfully, y'all will never be forced to read that angsty jargon. ;)

… procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.

BAHAHAHA. Literally, my life for the majority of high school. Allowing myself to write only after I'd finished a certain amount of assignments. Something that I didn't always stick to, though.

… typed so long that my wrists hurt.

Yup, I used to get really bad hand/wrist cramps during weeks when I wrote and/or blogging daily. Not so much now, but I don't type quite as much as I used to either. :P

… spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.

Heavens, no. Next to losing files, that's my worst nightmare.

… forgotten to save my work/draft.

(see above.) Nope. I once thought I'd lost a couple document that hadn't been backed up before my iPad crashed. They showed up later though, honestly still not sure how. Oh, come to think of it, that was another unfinished novel...hmmm...

… finished a novel.

You betcha. Three and counting. :D

… laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.

Mwahahaha. All the time. Not just while writing, but while plotting it and thinking about it. Editing and polishing and rereading. Finding a review of someone who thought it was epic or unexpected and villain-laughing again. It's quite grand.

… cried while writing a scene.

I cried and shook and sobbed through portions of Freedom. Soooo yes.

… created maps of my fictional worlds.

I'm going to say no...? I kinda did once. I started a speculative novel—a fantasy setting with a dystopian plot. I made a couple maps for that. It was mostly old cities and underground hideaways, so I didn't make a lot of progress on a decent map. The story itself wasn't half bad, though, come to think of it... Maybe I'll get back to that one some day.

… researched something shady for a novel.

Like the most common methods of suicide? How long it takes someone to die in a gas chamber? How many times someone can get shot without bleeding to death? Yup.

what's your favorite 'never have I ever'?