I have been writing on this blog for FIVE YEARS now. Like WHAAAAAAAAT????!!?! Where did THAT time go? I couldn't pass up this special milestone without making a special post just for this moment. <3 So here I am.
My blog has taken me through some of the happiest and saddest moments in my life. I went through my tumultuous middle-teen years on it, and have been blessed beyond measure with an incredible community of followers. Seriously, y'all are the BEST. <3 <3 <3
I have written and published my first book, my first novel, and my first poetry collection during those five years, not to mention several short stories and songs.
I have met some amazing friends on here, and been introduced to some pretty fabulous authors, cover designers, editors, and writing mentors on here that I would never have met in person.
I know this post is bound to sound sentimental and mushy, but I really don't think I would be the author I am today without every single one of you amazing people. <3 You all mean the world to me, and I look forward to spending another five years (and more!) getting to know you better and hopefully meeting more and more of you face-to-face. (Trust me, I'm already planning a trip across the United States! :P)
In honor of this, I'm letting you fill out THIS FORM with as many questions as you want, (writing related, book related, person related, curiosity related, ANYTHING) which I will then write on pieces of paper and answer in my monthly wrap-up post at the end of this month. I'll only be accepting questions through the next couple weeks though, so hurry and submit as many as you can! ;) The only thing I ask is that you refrain from asking math problems. That's all I ask. Please. For the sake of my sanity. XD
Another amazing thing happened a couple months ago...it marked the one year anniversary of the publication and release of my baby, my very first novel I've ever written! :D That's right, The Princess and I is OFFICIALLY a year old, as of March 5th of this year! In that time, I have sold hundreds of copies to friends and family, seen my book placed in libraries and bookstores, and even hosted my first book-signing!
I'm overwhelmed by the incredible support I've been shown by you, my online community, and my friends and family here in Washington. You have all made this last year incredible. <3
Because of these two HUUUUGE milestones, I'm going to be hosting the BIGGEST giveaway I have EVER hosted. Guys, I'm going to be giving out a total of TEN books. Five copies of "The Princess and I", three copies of "Sleeping Handsome", and one copy of "The Silver Flower" and "Alice and Alyssa".
AND THAT'S NOT ALL. I'm also giving away four scripture bracelets (for if a guy wins), and a pair of silver earrings (if a girl wins) as a grand prize to the person who gets first place. That means a grand total of TEN people are walking away from this post with a prize...
And, good news for my lovely Canadian followers, I will be sending you guys an Amazon gift card if you win (due to my pocketbook not wanting to send books across the border) so you can still enter and buy my book with your card. ;) You're welcome. ;) The only downer on that is that it won't be signed...but I promise that when I become a rich and famous author I will fly to your house in my private helicopter and sign it for you in person. :P
Before I give you the giveaway link, I have one more amazing thing to share with you:
I've been low-key working on the sequel to my novel The Princess and I, called, The King's Cousin. The main character is Susan, Megan's cousin, and the hope right now is to finish the first draft by the end of the year. I already have a lovely cover to share with you all thanks to the amazing Jessica Greyson. ;)
Yes, I know. SO LOVELY. What's even better? I came to deliver a snippet to you all. :) Can't get much better than that, right? :P Enjoy. :)
My cousin was getting married. The letter that had brought me the news lay open upon my dress, its words still fresh in my memory. I pondered them now, as I sat by the edge of the cliff, letting the salty wind I loved so much blow the wisps of hair away from my line of vision. My eyes focused on the horizon where sea met sky, but my mind was much farther away than that.
I welcomed news of any kind. As a small girl, I had longed to go on adventures like heroes from the songs of bards. My heart ached with an indescribable longing to go somewhere, to discover something, to experience something no one in my acquaintance had before me. However, as a daughter and only child, my options were limited. My parents needed me at home.
With an almost inaudible sigh, I stood up, dusting the pieces of grass and rock from my skirts before turning around. The invitation to my cousin’s wedding had been addressed to my parents as well; it was time they read it for themselves. Perhaps hearing the good news would bring them some joy and lighten the depressing mood that seemed to have hung over our heads for the past few weeks.
Placing my fingers to my lips, I uttered a shrill whistle that would have made my mother’s delicate ears shrivel in horror. A joyful bark answered my call and a brown ball of excitement bolted toward me through the long grass. As he jumped around me, trying in vain to lick my face, I stroked his soft fur and laughed; his happiness was contagious. Named Beowulf after the famed hero of old, the hound held a very special place in my heart. He was my almost constant companion, though at times distracted by the many scents which led him on scattered trails throughout the tall, waving grass.
With an added skip to my step, I walked back down the beaten path which would lead me to my home. My smile was damped only a small amount when the dismal castle came into sight. The mossy and vine-covered stonework seemed to shout to everyone who passed our home that the money we used to have was lacking. All lords’ castles are much smaller and more simple compared to our king’s castle, but our castle and the surrounding countryside used to dwarf the other lord’s estates. Alas, due to difficult circumstances, my father had to sell much of our land and let go of many of the household servants. Despite the sunshine, it was always dark and dank inside our home, which did little to help my mother’s many aches and pains. However, this place was home. And though it was no longer a place of power and prestige, I loved it.
Giving a quiet grunt, I pulled open the door, which required all my strength. The wooden boards creaked in ancient protest, but gave way to my heaving with an eventual sigh. The air inside was a far cry from the fresh breezes lifting off the ocean, but with one experimental sniff, my grin returned and I followed my nose to the kitchen.
“Must be dinner time,” came the dry remark in thick Scottish brogue as soon as my feet crossed the cook’s threshold.
I came over to where my oldest friend was bent over by the fireplace. “Ah, you know my ways only too well, Dubbs.”
The Scottish woman gave an expressive sniff. “That’s Mrs. MacDubbs to you, lass.” Her words were harsh, but as she said them, she shoved a plate of freshly baked biscuits in my direction and pointed to the cupboard with her knife. “You’ll find butter and jam over there.”
I hugged her around her plumping waist and prepared my biscuit with haste. The heavenly morsel was exactly what I needed after the long hike to the cliffs and back. My eyes rolled back and I gave an ecstatic sigh of contentment. “I swear, Dubbs, your biscuits can work miracles on an empty stomach.”
“Most food does,” was the curt reply. However, I could tell that I had pleased the woman by the twitch of her mouth and the lightening of her steps as she busied herself around the kitchen.
“When is your little one expected?” I asked, eyeing her expanding stomach with interest. “You’ll let me help with the birthing this time, won’t you?”
The woman paused for a moment, and laid a hand on her bump. For a moment, a ghost of a smile danced across her work-worn face. Almost immediately it vanished and she turned her back to me before replying, “She’s bound to want to come at the most inconvenient time, which means she’s probably going to arrive right at the beginning of harvest.”
“Will you let me assist with your birthing this time?” I repeated when it looked like she wasn’t going to answer.
Without pausing in her preparation for our dinner, she answered, “Births aren’t a pretty sight, lass.”
“I know,” I answered, “but I feel like I should have the experience before I start having a family of my own.”
Mrs. MacDubbs looked thoughtful. “Maybe so, lass…but you’ll have to gain your mother and father’s consent. It’s not my place to order you around.”
Having her mention my parents, I suddenly remembered my original reason for returning to the castle. “Oh!” I exclaimed, dusting the biscuit crumbs off my hands and standing up abruptly.
The cook regarded me with a raised eyebrow. “What was that for?”
“I received a letter this morning from Megan and Malcolm, and it contains some important information that Mum and Father need to hear about as soon as possible!” All the information came out in a rush as I tried to explain while dashing from the room and across front hall. I lifted up my long skirts in order to make short work of our flight of stairs into the upper level where my parents spent the majority of their time.
Well, friends...what do you think? I've been enjoying creating a few new characters and heavily shipping some old ones. B-) I can't wait to share more about my book with you all when it starts coming together more, but this is all I can do for now since...you know, spoilers. :P
Now...for the last item of business. THE GIVEAWAY. *waves invitingly at link*
THIS IS THE LINK YOU HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR!!!!!!
So what are you waiting for? Go enter the giveaway already! :) Looking forward to finding out who wins!!! :D The best of luck to you all. ;)
Until next time, let everything you do be done for the glory of God!