Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Snow, Silliness, and I WROTE A BOOK // January Recap

So, yup. January has come and gone, but y'all... It was SUCH an epic month. I read a ton, wrote a ton, laughed, smiled, and learned to cherish my time better. Let's take a closer look... 

// Life. // 

>> WE GOT SNOW PEEPS! XD About 8 inches and it was so pretty. <3 

>> I paired up my friend with one of my characters. They're both against it, but whatever. #matchmaker #iwillchangetheirminds #J+Dforever 

>> My brother put my desk chair in the shower. *cough* Yeah, long story. I'm just glad he didn't turn the water on. 

>> My lil' bro was also doing chin-ups on the trim above the washer machine. And somehow knocked the laundry detergent to the floor. And demolished the spout. Mom was pleased. 

>> I saw these perfectly stacked oranges in the grocery store. And I reeeallyyy wanted to go pull one from the bottom just to see what would happen. B-) 

>> I saw one of my characters in Chick-Fil-A. (Hey, you. Stop laughing. I'm dead serious.) But it was kind of awkward because I'm like "wait, you're not supposed to be here." *nods* #awkward 

>> It has been discovered that Walmart now sells PKs. *nods* Dontcha want one? 

Ssshh. Don't tell on me. 

>> Another Tucker-stunt (I'm beginning to think he needs his on section of the recap. Adventures of Tucker, anyone?) was when he was building a fire in the old cookstove. Which resulted in a lot of smoke and coughing. But it ended well. 

>> I came up with a reward system for myself while I was writing my book. Works well. XD 

>> I learned that half-and-half is not a substitute for milk. Like, don't eve try it. *gags* (Translation: Faith wanted cereal, but there was no milk so she tried to make it work. Bad idea.) 

>> I found a flower-y thing (weed, maybe?) in the field and it made me go all deep-thinker-ly. 

>> I took pictures of myself...while sitting in the car...in the bank parking lot... (I was apparently bored.) #weirdme #mustache 

// Cherishing. // 

Yup, new addition to the monthly recaps. My 'word for 2017' is cherish, and I've been doing pretty well so far I believe. My main focus has been my time, and this month I've spent a ton less time aimlessly browsing Goodreads, Instagram, and Pinterest, which has given me more time to get important stuff accomplished. *nods* Tis a good thing. 

// Books. // 

Um, okay, so I kind of read 26 books this month. *cough* A lot of them were short (under 150 pages) but still. XD

Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlan -- 5 stars 
Everlasting Light by Andrea Boeshaar -- 2.5 stars 
Joseph of Arimathea by Sarah Holman -- 5 stars 
The English Son by Wanda & Jean Brunstetter (The Amish Millionaire series 1-6, book-1) -- 5 stars 
Whispering Leaves Saga by Willowy Whisper -- 5 stars -- Review here
The Stubborn Father, book-2 -- 5 stars 
The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs -- 5 stars 
The Betrayed FiancĂ©e, book-3 -- 5 stars 
Left to Die by Ivy Rose -- 5 stars -- Review here
Hartly Manor by Amanda Tero -- 5 stars -- Review here
The Missing Will, book-4 -- 5 stars 
The Divided Family, book-5 -- 5 stars 
Meet Caroline by Katheen Ernst (American Girl: Caroline series 1-6, #1) -- 5 stars 
The Selfless Act, book-6 -- 5 stars 
Caroline's Secret Message, #2 -- 5 stars 
A Surprise for Caroline, #3 -- 4 stars 
Caroline Takes a Chance, #4 -- 5 stars 
Caroline's Battle, #5 -- 5 stars 
Changes for Caroline, #6 -- 5 stars 
Racing for Time by Olivia Nickerson -- 4.5 stars -- Review to come with the blog tour. 
Follow My Leader by James B. Garfield -- 5 stars 
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens -- 5 stars 
A Whisper and a Wish by Robin Jones Gunn -- 3.5 stars 
The Red Geranium by Janette Oke -- 5 stars 
The Gift for All People by Max Lucado -- 5 stars -- Review here
Secret Sabotage by Andrew Eddy, Sarah Eddy, & Tori Larson -- 4.5 stars 

I also got several books this month (AND THEY ARE LOVELY OKAY.) 

A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker 
The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher 
The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg
Fan Stories from the Circle C by various authors 
Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke
Beyond the Horizon by Jesseca Wheaton 
The Old River Road by Ivy Rose 
The Silver Flower by Rebekah Eddy

*grins* No words needed. 

// Writing. // 

Okay, so writing totally rocked this month, y'all. In case you hadn't heard, I FINISHED MY BOOK OKAY*beams* Take a look at this... 

Total word count: 27,162
Dandelion Dust: 26,354

*shrieks* I IS SO THRILLED. How did it happen? I honestly don't know. This may've had something to do with it... 

Is that me or what? XD 

Yeah, this one too. Late nights (or mornings?) and caffeine. Chocolate. Candy. SUGAR. *nods* Late nights can also lead to things like this though... 

*dies* I'm going to blame that one on autocorrect. *isnt even sure what it's supposed to be* 

// Movies & Music. // 

I re-watched the entire three seasons of When Calls the Heart (I need season four SO BAD), along with other movie re-watches like Fireproof, The Sound of Music, Beautiful Dreamer, Seasons of Gray, and some of the Love Comes Softly goodies. ^.^ 

AND NEW CDS BECAUSE MY MOM IS AWESOME. *nods* MercyMe is on repeat. 

(I'd also love y'all's opinion on whether or not I should cut this segment of the recaps?) 

// Goals. // 

My January goals were... 

>> Read 10 books.       Yup! 

>> Finish one beta-reading project and start alpha-reading another.    I conquered! I'm only one chapter into the alpha-reading project but still. XP 

>> Finish Dandelion Dust.        HOORAY HOORAY YEEESSSS. 

>> Write at least two quality posts for Chosen Vessels.      Yep! :) 

February Goals.  

>> Complete the first (and possible second) edit of Dandelion Dust. 

>> Read 12+ books. 

>> Read a minimum of 15 chapters during alpha-reading. 

>> Keep up the Chosen Vessels posting schedule of quality posts every Saturday + book reviews throughout the weeks. 

Also, a couple announcements before I check out. 1) I'll be closing the blog survey in the morning, so expect a post sometime with some results from that. And 2), there's something super fun coming up this month that is being kept top-secret. Let's just say...well, I suggest keeping a close eye out. You certainly aren't going to want to miss this. ;) 

So, let's chat. How've y'all been? Was January a good month for you? Did you get SNOW? Did you catch the section of the recap that I left out? XD 

Tootles! *passes pudding to everyone* 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Bookshelf Tour! ~K, L, & M~

Hello everyone! Yes, I realize that I've been posting quite frequently...and I shall probably continue to for awhile. I have oodles of inspiration, tons of post ideas, and...time? Not really, but I've been working on posts a lot lately. ;) 

Anywho. Several people mentioned the bookshelf tour in the blog survery, so it has officially returned. Again. XD I'm going to try do a Tour post once a week (or every other week) until I'm done. :D Sound good? Here goes! 

~ K ~ 

Avery's Battlefield by Deanna K. Klingel #1 
Kinship by Trudy Krisher 
Avery's Crossroad by Deanna K. Klingel #2 

~ L ~ 

The Mandie Books by Lois Gladys Leppard (1-10) 
Mandie and the Secret Tunnel
Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure
Mandie and the Ghost Bandits 
Mandie and the Forbidden Attic 
Mandie and the Trunk's Secret 
Mandie and the Medicine Man 
Mandie and the Charleston Phantom
Mandie and the Abandoned Mine 
Mandie and the Hidden Treasure
Mandie and the Mysterious Bells

The Mandie Collection 
Volume Three, 11-15
Volume Four, 16-20
Volume Five, 21-23
Volume Six, 24-26
Volume Seven, 27-29
Volume Eight, 30-32
Volume Nine, 33-35
Volume Ten, 36-38
Volume Eleven, 39-40 + two holidays specials (Mandie and Joe's Christmas Surprise and Mandie and Mollie and the Angel's Visit). 

Summerhill Secrets (volume one) by Beverly Lewis 
Summerhill Secrets (volume two) by Beverly Lewis
Amish Prayers by Beverly Lewis
The Postcard by Beverly Lewis
The Crossroad by Beverly Lewis
Sanctuary by Beverly Lewis
The Wish by Beverly Lewis
The Redemption of Sarah Cain by Beverly Lewis
Child of Mine by Beverly Lewis
The Thorn (book one) by Beverly Lewis

The Gift for All People by Max Lucado 
He Did This Just For You by Max Lucado 
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia #1 
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe #2 
Ransom's Mark by Wendy Lawton 
One More Sunrise by Michael Landon Jr. & Tracie Peterson 
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry 

~ M ~ 

The Sarah, Plain and Tall Books by Patricia MacLachlan (1-5) 
Sarah, Plain and Tall 
Caleb's Story
More Perfect than the Moon 
Grandfather's Dance 

Starlight Animal Rescue series by Dandi Daley Mackall (1-4) 
Mad Dog
Wild Cat 
Dark Horse

Circle C Beginnings by Susan K. Marlow (1-6) 
Andi's Pony Trouble 
Andi's Indian Summer 
Andi's Fair Surprise 
Andi's Scary School Days 
Andi's Lonely Little Foal 
Andi's Circle C Christmas 

Circle C Adventures by Susan K. Marlow (1-6) 
Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home
Andrea Carter and the Dangerous Decison 
Andrea Carter and the Family Secret
Andrea Carter and the San Francisco Smugglers 
Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure 
Andrea Carter and the Price of Truth 

Circle C Milestones by Susan K. Marlow (1-3) 
Thick as Thieves 
Heartbreak Trail
The Last Ride 

Andrea Carter's Tales from the Circle C Ranch by Susan K. Marlow 
Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home: Tenth Anniversary Expanded Edition by Susan K. Marlow 
Way Out West: 2014-2015 Contest Winners compiled by Susan K. Marlow 
Beneath the Western Sky: 2015-2016 Contest Winners compiled by Susan K. Marlow 

Goldtown Adventures by Susan K. Marlow (1-4) 
Badge of Honor 
Tunnel of Gold
Canyon of Danger 
River of Peril 

Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery 
Anne of Green Gables #1 (the annotated edition) 
Anne of Avonlea #2 
Anne of the Island #3 
Anne's House of Dreams #5 
Anne of Ingleside #6 

The Blades of Acktar by Tricia Mingerink (1-3) 

Pages of Promise by Gilbert Morris 
The Flying Cavalier by Gilbert Morris 

Raising Maidens of Virtue by Stacy McDonald
Audacious by Beth Moore 
Ensamples for Our Admoniton by Mary Miller 
Jonas and Olivia by Victoria Minks 
Gift From the Storm by Rebekah A. Morris 
The Hard-Boiled Egg and other stories by Linda Mast 

Favorite book(s): The Blades of Acktar series, Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure, The Last Ride, The Wish, and the Avery books. :D 
Books I haven't read: Oh, goodness. Quite a few. How about I make this easier on myself? *inserts picture*

Book I've had the longest: Um...either the first ten Mandie books, Summerhill Secrets, or Sarah, Plain and Tall
Books in this post: 87
Books thus far in the tour: 252 

And that wraps it up! :D Hope you enjoyed! So...let's chat. What of these books have you read? 


Sunday, January 29, 2017

8:07 // a firefly poem

by Firefly 

the sunlight 
it filters through the window
it dances across the bed 
it shines into my space
leaving a golden path across my hands. 
my hands are clicking
and the golden light stays there upon their backs. 
now it's 8:09
and this moment is gone. 
but again 
as I sit here to write
the sun will rise
and this moment will happen again. 
at 8:07... 

Yeah, I know. Faith writing poetry – not the norm. But I've been strangely inspired to write some free verse lately... *shrugs* 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Beautiful Books ~ January 2017

Hellooooo people! Happy Friday to ye. 

So I kind of didn't do the first part of Beautiful Books (I really thought I did, but now I can't find it so... *shrugs*), but I'm doing this because...I want to. And because it gives me another opportunity to ramble about Dandelion Dust :D 

~ Questions ~ 

What were your writing achievements last year?
Um...War Tears grew by 50-55k words. I wrote Love Needs No Words and won that contest. I started a bunch of stuff, wrote some short stories, and did Camp NaNo for the first time ever. :D 

What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?
Oh wow. So much stuff. XD Here's the general idea... 

-- finish writing Dandelion Dust (check! 34k) 
-- finish writing War Tears (goal: 100k) 
-- write On Eagle's Wings (goal 30-35k) 
-- finish Redeemed By the Messiah (goal: 20-25k) 
-- finish If There is No Second Chance (goal: 20k) 
-- finish To Win Her Heart (goal: 40k) 
-- write War Tears' sequel (goal: 80-100k) 
-- and who knows what else... 

Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!
That would be Dandelion Dust and War Tears. :) Blurbs and some details can be found under the writing tab. I would like to get through the second draft of both. :) 

How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?
Improve – finish more projects and start less. Or, at least, combine some ideas so I don't have an additional 40+ 500 words documents by the start of 2018. 
Where do I see myself? Hopefully, as a better writer. More committed. More consistent. *smiles* Published? We'll see. 

Describe your general editing process.
Weeeelllll...seeing as how, up until now, the longest thing I've edited was about 7,500 words (Love Needs No Words) I haven't had that much experience, if you will, editing. So I guess I...fix grammatical errors, re-write where needed, add details, look for and change bad sentences, and remedy all those 'minor inconsistencies'...ya know, where Faith starts out a scene as it being midnight and twenty minutes later the characters are eating lunch? *nods* Those

On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?
9? Honestly, I'm thrilled with how Dandelion Dust has been going so far. I'm not at all disgusted with the first draft like I thought I would be. Although I do have a list of things to add/work on when I edit. And I haven't even start yet. :P 

What aspect of your draft needs the most work?
The ending? I'm pretty pleased with the epilogue, but those last couples chapters? Ehhh, not so much. One of the scenes that I really want to turn out well, is kind of falling flat right now. But that can change. XD 

What do you like the most about your draft?
The whole thing? The fact that I wrote it in 25 days? Agghh, I don't know...it's my precious. I do really like chapter 2. And the end of chapter 6. And the epilogue. :P 

What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?
Beta-readers! And another edit. And then maybe self-publishing. Although...hiding it in a dark whole forever might not be such a bad idea now that ya mention it... ;) 

What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?
TAKE A BREAK!! Seriously. It helps. Put your masterpiece aside and don't let yourself so much as fix grammatical errors. Revel in your accomplishment. Shout it from the rooftops. Read, sleep, eat, just...don't edit until it's time. ;) 

Also, I sorta forgot to mention this before, but I'll be closing the 2017 Blog Survey on the 31st. So if you haven't filled it out already, now would be an awesome time to get on that. XD 

A supercalifragilisticexpialidocious weekend to you all!! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Left to Die // Blog Tour and Book Review

Hello everyone! Welcome to another stop of the Left to Die blog tour! :D I'm tickled to be sharing about this amazing book with you all today. 

Lindy Greene’s life is perfect. Too perfect. But living as a missionary nurse, serving in a small hospital in China, soon brings the disaster she fearfully anticipates. All of her well-thought-out plans for the future disintegrate after pulling a fatally ill, disfigured, abandoned child from a pile of trash. She doesn’t even like babies.
Nathan Thomas can’t find balance. College suited him just fine until his cash ran out, forcing him to the Chinese mission field with his parents. The chaotic atmosphere in China does little to relax his agitated mind, and the pretty blonde nurse at the hospital does nothing to help him focus.
The Chinese mission field isn’t for the faint of heart. Nathan wonders how he can survive his remaining time there, while Lindy struggles to help everyone she can. With different ideals pulling them in separate directions, there is one thing drawing them together: a tiny, sickly, crippled orphan who relies on them to stay alive.

Find on Goodreads ~ Find on Amazon

My Review: 
*clutches heart* *wipes away tears* 

Oh. My. Goodness. What a beautiful story. I sniffled until I was borderline-crying, I smiled until my face heart, and I laugh with joy at the happy moments. 

After reading Ivy Rose's first published work (The Old River Road) back last summer, I could hardly wait to read another and jumped at the chance to review Left to Die. I was not disappointed in the least. Although a vastly different storyline, this book was just as lovely – just as touching. Maybe even more so. 

The tale of abandonment is...absolutely heartbreaking. <3 Jia was such a sweet little thing, and reading of Lindy coming to care for her was so precious. 
Lindy was a wonderful main character, her struggles over loving or not loving Jia were shown in a way so real-to-life. 
And while we're talking characters...you don't even want to get me started on Nathan. XD He was an amazing guy. He certainly wasn't perfect, but he strove to do better and to serve God in the moment of time he was living. 

And then the ending... *happy sigh* A sweet and satisfying conclusion. <3 ((But... Can we have a sequel for this book? Please? Like, a story between the main book and the epilogue?? *smiles* I want to know more about sweet lil' Connor... B-)) 

All the way around, this was a fabulous book and I enjoyed it immensely. I look forward to reading more by this author. :D 

Favorite Quotes... 

No matter what happened, that little mite of a baby would forever impact him.

Maybe she was getting too stuck in yesterday’s dream, instead of being open to His whispers for today.

**I received an e-ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review.** 

About the Author:
Ivy Rose is an 18 year old history lover and literary enthusiast. Aside from writing, she enjoys being outdoors, eating chocolate, traveling, reading, and doing TaeKwonDo. She resides with her family of 9 on the banks of the Long Lake in eastern Washington.

She can be found at various places on the internet:


Follow the Tour: 

Becoming Lost – Review
Beyond the Amethyst – Review
Anika’s Avenue – Review
Once Upon an Ordinary – Interview

Whispers on the Wind – Interview
Read Another Page – Review

Counting Your Blessings – Review/Interview
Stories by Firefly – Review
Writing in the Light – Interview

Reveries Reviews – Review
Marrok Macintyre – Interview

Having a Heart Like His – Review/Interview
Whimsical Writings – Review

Rebekah’s Remarks - Interview