Saturday, January 28, 2017

Left to Die: Blog Tour

Just to warn you all, there's going to be a LOT of book sharing going on here at this girl's blog. I guess everyone's New Year's resolution (like mine *cough*) was "publish book asap". At least, a lot of MY friends seem to have made that resolution. ;)


Anyways, I bring you today a fabulous book that I really want to read by the wonderful, talented Ivy Rose from Lakeside Publications. Guys, if you don't follow her delightful blog, GO. AND. FOLLOW. IT. (Seriously. I'm not kidding. In fact, just stop reading my post and go subscribe. Then come back and finish reading it. ;)
She's hosting a giveaway with some pretty fabulous prizes...just saying. ;)


The Beautiful Cover:


About the Book:
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

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:
Blog

Pinterest

Goodreads

Instagram


 
A Short, Exclusive Interview with the Author:
(yes, you're allowed to feel special)


What was it like to finish your FIRST book and see it published?
It was pretty amazing! The excitement was through the roof! And the feeling didn’t change much this second time around—there is nothing comparable to holding a finished book in your hands!

What inspired "Left to Die"?
Left to Die was inspired by my sister, whom we adopted from China almost ten years ago. She had a rough start to life and almost didn’t live to see her first birthday, but because of some fantastic people in China who made sure she could have her lifesaving heart surgery, she is now a bubbly bouncing 11 year old! The orphan crisis is such a huge burden on my heart, as four of my six siblings have been adopted. I hope Left to Die will help raise awareness and maybe even encourage others to adopt.

What was the biggest encouragement and boost that kept you writing all this time?
There are so many things that I draw encouragement from, but I think the overarching encouragement comes from my amazing parents. They’re always ready to listen, brainstorm, or tell me when I need to slow down a little.



Hope you all enjoyed this glimpse at Ivy Rose's spectacular book. Now, go buy it. ;) *shoos*

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Martin Hospitality: Book Cover Reveal

My blogger/writing friend Abi is finally releasing her beloved story to the world. Well, not QUITE yet...but very soon. (February 4th to be exact.)
She invited me (as an AVID fan of her book "Martin Hospitality") to participate in both a cover reveal AND a blog tour for her fantastic novel. So here I am.
And here is the beautiful cover:

Now you all REALLY want to buy it, right? I mean, who wouldn't after seeing the cover in all its glory? Such beautiousness. 
Well, stay tuned for the blog tour, because I'm going to give you all the necessary information you need in order to add this awesome story to YOUR bookshelf in just a couple weeks. (Which we ALL know you want to do...) 
You may have noticed a surprising lack of fangirling in this post and wondered why...well, I'm saving up for the blog tour. So if you are curious what I look like fangirling in written form, come back for the blog tour and you will. Just some extra incentive. B-)

Monday, January 16, 2017

21 Answers to the Question: What are You Planning on Doing In Your Future?



THIS QUESTION. I have lost count of the hundreds of times I've been asked this...all within the last couple years of my life. Since most of you all are high school age, you might actually find some of this post helpful as well as entertaining. For that reason, I tried to sprinkle a few honest answers among the what-we-WISH-we-could-say answers. ;) Hope you enjoy!

1: "Nothing. Obviously."

2: "LEAVING IT ALONE."


3: "Lots of big, important things." (If they ask you to be more specific, see answer 6, 8, and 13.)


4: "I'm really hoping God comes back before I have to worry about that."


5: "Define planning."


6: "Doing college, getting married, having kids, and then dying at a ripe old age."


7: "Wouldn't you like know..."


8: "Cool stuff. Like sleeping."


9: "I don't really want to talk about it right now."


10: "Probably something...at some point."


11: *internal screaming* Or external screaming for that matter. Your choice.


12: "Still thinking about that one." 


13: "Becoming a rich and famous _____________."


14: "I have NO IDEA." 


15: "How old are you and how much do you weigh? You don't have to answer my questions if I don't have to answer yours."


16: "WHY DOES EVERYBODY ASK ME THIS QUESTION?" 


17: "Reading, writing, and 'rithmatic."


18: "Uh...."


19: "COOKIES!" (If you can say it in Cookie Monster's voice, all the better)


20: "I want to become a better person."

21: "Whatever God leads me to do." 


 

Out of curiosity (and since I'll eventually run out of questions to answer if I'm going to keep this up every month) what are some FAQs you've been asked during your life that you want me to answer? Let me know in your comment and you might see them answered 21 times in a future post. ;) 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Both a Farewell and a Welcome: 2016 Reflections

Don't look at me like that. I know this post is rediculously late. HOWEVER. Due to a nagging feeling of duty, I decided to still write one last post about the year of life I spent during 2016. After all, it's never coming back. There is only one 2016 (A.D.) in all of time. I think it deserves some reflection. So here I am. :) 


For me, 2016 was a year of milestones. Despite not reaching some of my goals (to be completely honest, I forgot all about my goals about half-way through the year) I accomplished some things that were very unexpected. Here are just a few of the biggest ones that made 2016 go by so fast for me.

-My older sister began courting (because he didn't live in our state, this meant a lot of traveling for different people in our family...and, coincidentally, babysitting jobs for me. ;)

-I preformed in a Senior Recotal with my bestie (this took a LOT of piano, flute, and voice practice. Both by myself and getting together with her for certain songs we did together.) 

-I completed and graduated from high school at the top of my class. B-) #homeschoolingisawesome (My parents handed me my diploma at our church as part of a homeschool graduation ceremony.)

-I participated in Camp NaNo and wrote almost 40,000 words in one month. (Don't laugh all ye who participated in NaNoWriMo. That was a big deal for me.)

-I completed my first novel-length book at over 75,000 words (and it keeps growing, thanks to my editors!! :) 

-I finished the writing part of two complete stories ("The Princess & I" and "Ocean Mist")

-I had my 18th birthday in August (WHAAAT?? I'm an ADULT?? How did that happen?) 

-My sister got married (!!!) and moved to Georgia with her new husband :( 

-I got my driver's license (FINALLY. Although, I still seem have trouble typing the word "license" correctly. XD) 

-I voted for the first time as a citizen of the United States (which gave me both a scary and excited [?] feeling)

-My blog reached its third birthday, I wrote a grand total of ONE HUNDRED POSTS LAST YEAR, and I have almost 50 fabulous followers O.O  (I'm not counting email followers) Which is utterly EPIC. I don't deserve your fabulousness.

-I strengthened my old friendships and made a ton more friends, both online and "real" (You all are awesome. Just saying. <3) 

-I became a deaconess at my church (this sounds a lot more important than it actually is. XD) as well as being the substitute secretary for a week. 

-And last, but CERTAINLY not least, I have grown closer to my beloved God and Savior. 

So, as you can see, 2016 was pretty fantastic for me. ;) I'm not going to bother giving you the goals I wrote for 2016 in this post because I've already mentioned the important goals as part of my list of milestones. :) 

However, because no New Years Day post (even the ones that are embarrassingly late) are complete without new goals, I'll make a list. *gulps* 

Goals for 2017: 
-Read through the Bible 
-Read 100 books
-Make new friends who help me grow closer to God
-Have stronger relationships with siblings
-Finish writing "A New Name", "Alone", and "Beyond the Galaxy"
-Publish "The Princess & I" and "Alice & Alyssa"
-Complete a year of college
-Have a closer relationship with God

I know, adult goals, right? ;P I'm slowly learning how to do this adult thing. Well, *cough* we'll see if I can manage to complete any of these. 

To end this post, I'm going to give you my absolute favorite fiction and non-fiction book of ALL OF 2016. (To be honest, deciding this was what took me so long to get this post up. I mean, I'm terrible at deciding favorites. TERRIBLE. But, for you, I spent a good hour looking through the books I read last year and slowly bringing the numbers down to a single favorite. Be impressed. I was. ;) 

MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE FICTION BOOK OF 2016: 
Image result for navigating early



MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE NON-FICTION BOOK OF 2016:
Image result for When God writes your love story



A note from the Editor:
On a more serious note, you may or may not have heard a prayer request circling my social media, so I'm also posting it here:

On Thursday, one-year-old Lemuel Houston (part of a pastor's family we're very close to), while being babysat by some older siblings, fell into a five gallon bucket of water and was later found not breathing. One of the older kids applied CPR right away and they called 911.
His dad was away on a missions trip with another one of his older siblings and booked a flight home as soon as possible.  
My parents went to the hospital where he's being kept right now yesterday afternoon between church services. Lemuel is doing surprisingly well after what happened, but is still in a comatose state and has to have help to be able to breathe. His 
heart rate was elevated, but calmed down when his daddy held 
him and talked to him. <3 He stared at my dad the entire time he was praying for him there 
Thank you all again for your support. This means a lot to our family, the Houston family, and everyone who knows and loves this little guy. <3

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Life of an Author: Part One

In this "Life of an Author" blog post series, I am going to dig into my life and other author friends of mine and divulge some of our greatest secrets as well as answer some commonly wondered questions and hand out tips that I have found immensely helpful. Your job? To sit back, read my post, and enjoy! (Also, I'd love to hear your thoughts on each post in a comment. But no pressure. ;) 




Ever hit a wall in your writing? Ever feel like you JUST DON'T KNOW HOW TO CONTINUE? Ever have a great scene in mind...but no idea which story to put it in?

Welcome, my friend, to the life of an author. 

Sometimes inspiration hits us in waves that overwhelm. Sometimes our brain feels about as useful as an empty candy wrapper. Sometimes life gets busy and our poor book takes about three times as long to finish as it should. Sometimes our characters, plot, AND outline all gang up on us and somehow twist OUR beloved story into something THAT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE. 

Such are the problems we writers face on a daily basis. Such is our life. And yet...somehow we decide to continue writing. 

Why? 

I was hoping someone would ask that. *rubs hands together* The answer to that question is what this entire blog post is about. So thank you for asking. If you hadn't...well, this post would fall flat on its face and die a gruesome death. 

So why? Why do we writers continue writing when the very thing we pour our time and effort into seems to turn on us at every corner? 

Well, I went on a social media spree and asked some of my fellow authors "Why do you write?" The following answers (compiled and edited by yours truly) are what their responses were. 

It is our passion:
Nothing is as thrilling to an author as the feeling of holding their own published work in their hands. The knowledge that every hour spent getting cramps in our wrists from typing, crying into our pillow late at night because we feel overwhelmed with deadlines, or killing a character because...honestly, you needed to take out your stress on SOMEBODY...it was all worth it because now you can hold your story in your hands and say to yourself, "I created this. I brought these characters to life. I made this world." 
It is one of THE best feelings in the world. Trust me, I speak from my whopping eighteen years of experience...ten of which I've spent writing. 

It is relaxing:
Believe it or not...writing actually helps calm our minds. When we sit down to write, everything happening in our crazy hectic lives melts away and we sink into the spiderweb of plot twists, changing characters and surprise endings. That may not sound relaxing to you...but it is. In a really weird way, it is relaxing. Not all the time, for sure, but sometimes. 

It is addictive:
Yes, creating books is addictive. When you start...it's hard to stop. All those characters waiting for you to create the perfect (although very dangerous and exciting) world for them, the genius plots (which ALWAYS sound better in dreams), and the amazing message (which is USUALLY figured out by the end of the story) they pile up until we have a mountain of ideas that would take a lifetime to complete. So...we become authors so we can spend a lifetime making them. 

It is a way we can create the books WE love:
Ever get tired of picking up a book and falling in love with the cover and description...only to find that it has swear words or inappropriate scenes inside? Well, writers do to. But instead of sitting at home with our cat and cup of tea moping about it, we decided to do something about it. So we picked up our pen/pencil/keyboard and notebook/computer and began writing. Because what better way is there to make a story that's perfect for your tastes than to create it yourself? 

It is way to connect with other writers:
There's a whole community of fellow authors out there. I didn't even know about them until I was fourteen or so, but they have been the biggest blessing and encouragement to me throughout my writing journey. Nothing gets you involved with this wonderful group of people who are going through the ups and downs of an author's life then being one of them. 

It is a ministry:
You might not think that writing fictional stories is a ministry, but it is. A couple different writer friends mentioned this as part of their answer. Really though, I can only agree. Writing stories is so much more than merely writing stories. Our stories are often encouraging, relatable, and contain godly messages that some people might pick up one day and read. If God used the writing abilities of people like Martin Luther, John Bunyan, Harriot Beecher Stowe, and our founding fathers to change the world, why not us? Often, our goal in life is having our book be a small beacon of light in a dark world. 

It is a way to get a point across:
Sometimes, the best way to express yourself is through a written work. Nothing says, "I believe in this" or "I don't believe in this" like writing a whole book about it. I mean, take a look at the world-wide major works of lituature. Each of those literary giants who created them, penned them because of something they believed in. And their outspoken stand changed their time whether for good or for evil. Writing can be a dangerous weapon or an amazing tool depending on who holds the author's quill pen (or pencil...or computer...based on which century we're talking about). The Bible was written over a thousand years ago...and it still impacts and changes lives today and will continue doing so until God returns. 

It is a duty we feel called to fulfill:
As with other ministries, some people feel called to write. That might sound strange...especially to people who don't write at all. Sometimes though, a writer can feel strongly burdened about something and put it in written form to fulfill the sense of duty they had over that particular subject. 

It is a way we can become someone we could never be, and go places we could never go:
Through our characters and setting, we can create for ourselves places most people only dream of. We can see the world through a shy bookworm who never fits in anywhere or an outgoing celebrity that is trying to understand the meaning of life. 
We can become spies or detectives, adventurers or aliens, elves or dwarves, kings or queens, princes or princesses, an all-powerful monarch or the poorest guttersnipe. 
We can travel to unknown worlds or planets, to the British Isles (because who wouldn't want to go there?? ;) or to Antartica, and even to the moon and beyond
All because we write. Yep. It's awesome.

It is a way to learn more about ourselves:
While creating characters in our stories, each one we make is, in part, a piece of ourselves. Bits of our personalities work their way into the main character and all the lesser characters. (Yes, even the villain. Read THAT and be frightened.) 
While our protagonist works their way out of a sticky situation or deals with stress, so we cope with real life issues. I find myself amazed at how many reactions of characters echo things I've done myself (or wish I had during a sleepless night after-the-fact). 
In addition to all of that, nothing pulls out your true self than running on too much coffee, restless nights when your brain won't calm down, the excitement of finishing a story, or the stress of countless deadlines. 
For example, I am a generally laid-back person. I roll with the punches. I take the lemons life hands me and stare at them with a puzzled, blank expression on my face until someone hisses into my ear "You're supposed to make lemonade with them!" However, writing a book forces me to focus on one thing and see it through to the end (something I don't do a lot). 

It is the only way to silence those voices in our heads:
You fellow writers know what I mean. Inspiration has a way of bugging us until we're FORCED to write it down. Character dialogue, plot ideas, a sudden setting pops into our mind...and the voices start. And they won't STOP until you get them down on paper or document somewhere, anywhere. 

It is a part of us:
Just like composers and musicians can't stop the music flowing through their veins, so we writers can't stop the flow of character and plot ideas. Every day, every moment, things happen that stoke the creative fires that burn within us. It flows out through our minds, down through our fingertips, and into the words we write or type.

It is what we love to do:
Ah...the truth comes at out at last. After putting all the other reasons through a filter, this would be the true reason behind all the other ones. Writers love to write. We just do. This is the reason we go through near torture to create a story which might never be read by more then family members. 

And there you have it. The reasons we authors write. Did it shock you? Or did you go through the reasons nodding your head and agreeing with me? Hopefully you had fun reading this post whatever your thought process. ;)