Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Life

 //I started this post in April. Now it’s the end of July. What even. Time goes by too fast// Oh gosh it's been so long since I've done a post on here. Life has been going non-stop since the year started and I have a feeling it won't slow down anytime soon. But I decided it was time for some sort of update for all y'all who have stuck around this long. 😆


//Writing is almost nonexistent//work is my happy place//family is my life//summer is epic//oh and also I’m dating// 

//I took a break from school for the summer and it’s the best decision I’ve made. Two full months of no papers, no classes, no deadlines. Starting up again in the fall is going to be painful. With everything going on in life this year my brain just needed a break. And it’s been so worth it. 

//I met someone who is rly special. And honestly idk how else to put it other then he makes me rly happy. And I can’t imagine life without him. 

//I’ve been able to travel some more. From the salty spray of Florida’s gulf coast to the clear mountain lakes of Washington State to the rugged, raw beauty that is Yellowstone. I’ve found my heart’s happy place. Discovering new places, standing in awe of God’s creation. Realizing how small we are and how vast this universe is. 

//I’ve been focusing on enjoying the little things in life. The perfect song on the radio while driving down a county road. Inside jokes with your EMS partner. Making supper together with the people you love. A summer evening sunset. Fireflies on a warm night. Gentle rain during a long afternoon. I’ve been focusing on l i v i n g. 

//I’d like to say that someday I’ll get back to writing. I still have stories on my hear that need told. But rn that’s not the season of life I’m in. Someday I’ll be back. But rn if you need me you can find me making the most of every day somewhere in Kansas, USA. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

12 Days of Christmas - Short Story

 Hey guys! *waves* Merry Christmas!!! 10/10 had every intention of posting more then just once during this wonderful blog collaboration, but that clearly didn’t happen. Life + work + school all got the better of me. But hey I’m here now, and better late then never, yes? 



I’ve written a very short story for this year, but it’s one that’s very dear to my heart. I hope you all enjoy it and Merry Christmas! <3 


It didn’t feel like Christmas this year. 

Jay hunched his shoulders against the cold as he made his way down the sidewalk. How could everyone act like things were the same when that couldn’t be further from the truth?

The radio on his shoulder crackled, and out of habit he bent his head toward it to listen. Lift assist for station 2. Not his problem. Though he should probably get back to the station. He’d needed a walk to clear his head and grab some coffee. Whoever had decided to put the fire station next to the local coffee shop was a genius. On the days he worked at Station 1, he was convinced he was their main source of income.

 Cradling the hot coffee in his hands, he crossed the street and into the fire station parking lot. Outside the entrance there was a bench, and he lowered himself onto it. Raising the cup to his lips, he took a sip of the hot brew and winced as it touched his tongue. That was a bit hotter than normal. 

His breath swirled in the icy air around him, but he hardly noticed it. Like everything else it seemed surreal. There, but not really. Station 1 was nestled in the center of the town square. The coffee shop, historic courthouse, a slew of local shops, and the original Baptist church completed the arrangement. Above the church, the bell tolled 6 o’clock. The sun had long since disappeared beyond the horizon, and the moon was shining clear and bright. The shops were decorated to the hilt for the Christmas season, with sparkling lights and red and green tinsel lining every available space. Small bells rang out merrily as the Salvation Army guys stood outside the shops, wishing everyone a merry Christmas. In front of the church, the manager scene that had been there for longer than he could remember was brightly lit. Mary and Joseph sat beside baby Jesus, nestled on a bed of straw. Behind them, a brightly lit angel stood watch. Which was wrong, he reminded the pastor every year. The angel came to the shepherds. 

Everything seemed normal. Only this year, it was anything but. 

He took another sip of coffee and looked up at the stars. The stars are just holes in the floor of heaven, showing us a bit of the glory up yonder. Grandma’s voice played in his head, bringing a sad smile to his face. 

It was a good thing he was working this year. He wasn’t sure he could go and join the family for their first Christmas without her. 

Finishing his coffee, he stood and made his way inside. In their living area, a large tree had been erected and a number of gifts sat underneath its branches. Instead of a star at the top, a fireman’s hat had been chosen to top the tree. Trent, his overnight partner, looked up as he walked in. “Hey man. You feeling better?”

Jay shrugged and plopped down into one of the recliners. “Yeah. Coffee always does the trick.” 

Trent turned back to the game he’d been playing. “I’m sure the nip in the air out there helped some.” He paused and glanced up. “Did you hear about that call the other night? The one Shelly ran?”

“Which one?” The past few nights had been awful for their department. 

“Suicide. Eighteen year old home from college. Overdosed on Cocaine. He was long gone by the time they got there, but they still tried because mom was on scene and beside herself. Shelly was pretty shook up about it.”

“Oh wow. She’s got a kid that age doesn’t she?”

Trent nodded. “Yeah. Probably why it bothered her so much. She’s normally okay with stuff like that.”

“Yeah it’s been this year though. It’s been hard on everyone.” Even medical workers who were used to seeing and dealing with death on a daily basis. 

But there was something about this year that just hit harder around Christmas. 

Walking over to the counter, Jay grabbed a chocolate chip cookie from the stack of treats that seemed to grow by the hour. The people of the town sure did love their firefighters. And he’d never complain about having more food to eat. 

“Hey what do you say we head across the street and sit in on the Christmas Eve service?” Trent stood up and tossed his headset down onto his recliner. “Never know, they may end up starting a fire with all those candles.”

Jay considered it for a moment. It wasn’t likely they’d get a call. And even if they did, they’d be just across the street. He shrugged. “Sure, fine by me.” 

It’d been a while since he’d attended Christmas Eve service. As a kid, he’d gone all the time with family. Most years since he’d moved out though he’d been working, and simply wasn’t able to go. 

“Okay, it starts in ten minutes so let me grab my jacket and radio and we can head over there.” Trent ambled off down the hall toward their bunk room. 

Ten minutes? Jay scoffed. Leave it to Trent to leave things till the last minute. He made his way across the room and stepped outside. The same bitter cold greeted him but this time it was filled with white snowflakes that spiraled down around him. The sight made his heart hurt. Grandma had always loved White Christmases. “Is it snowing up in heaven, Grandma?”

The words were barely a whisper, whisked off into the darkness by the wind. He knew Christmas in heaven for her must be wonderful, but he sure missed her down here. Unwittingly a list of the people who didn’t make it through the year began running through his mind. So, so many would be without loved ones. And even more wouldn't have any idea where their loved ones were. 

At least he knew where Grandma was. He’d watched the life drain out of so many people. People he had no idea where they’d end up. 

It was hard to give family and friends hope and tell them their loved one was in a better place when you knew darn well it might be a lie. 

The door opened behind him and Trent stepped outside. “Come on, let’s go.”

“Hey, you’re the one we we’re waiting on. You took longer to get out here than my sister does.” Jay matched his step as they made their way to the church. 

“Bro, don’t ever compare me to a female or I swear I will throat punch you.”

Jay only snickered as they made their way on the church steps and into the sanctuary. 

The place was decorated the only way a small-town church could be decorated at Christmas. Lights and tinsel hugged the banisters and pillars, while poinsettias adorned both the piano and organ. In front of the pulpit a tiny manger scene topped the communion table. 

Trent nudged him as they stepped through the doors. “Hey in case we get a page, let's sit near the back so we won’t disturb the service as much.”

Jay gave a nod in agreement. “Sometimes you do have better ideas than my sister, I’ll give you that.”

His only response was an elbow to the ribs. 

The congregation sang a couple hymns together, then the Pastor stepped up to the pulpit. He stood quietly for a moment, his eyes resting on each person for a second before he spoke. 

“This is a Christmas like no other, and I don’t think any sort of pastoral training could have prepared me for what to say to you all tonight. So, I’m going to keep it short. A lot of us are missing loved ones this year.” He paused. “And it really doesn’t feel like Christmas.”

Jay bit his lip. Maybe this was a bad idea. He really didn’t feel like hearing this again. 

The pastor continued. “In light of that, it’s a really good thing that Christmas doesn’t depend on our feelings. Because Christmas isn’t about that. It’s about taking time to remember the greatest sacrifice and gift of love ever given to us. Christmas is not supposed to be a time to feel happy and content. It’s a time to remember. Think about this. Jesus coming to earth was a cause for rejoicing, yet He was also leaving the glory of heaven, He was leaving His Father to come to this sinful world. We rejoiced, but for Jesus and the Father, it was a time of great separation and loss.”

This wasn’t what he had expected. Jay sat up a little straighter and listened. He had never thought of the Christmas story that way before, but it made sense. Especially this year. Rejoicing mingled with sorrow. Heaven mingled with separation. All a part of the imperfect world they were made to live in as a light.

The Pastor continued. “This Christmas remember, Jesus understands. Christmas didn’t feel like Christmas for Him either.”

The words hit Jay in a way he wasn’t expecting. Sure, he knew Jesus understood. But he’d never thought of it that way before. Christmas wasn’t a time of rejoicing for Jesus. It was a time of sorrow, because He knew He would be taking the sin of the world on His shoulders. Because of love, He’d been willing to do it. 

But that didn’t mean it was supposed to feel okay. He didn’t have to feel alright. 

Their pager went off, startling him. Reaching down he adjusted the volume to a less-intrusive sound, while he and Trent both stepped out of the pew and went outside. Figured. He would have a call the one night he decided to go to church. 

But it was okay. He’d heard exactly what He’s needed to hear before they got the call, and that wasn’t an accident. Because for the first time in a long time, he felt okay about not being okay. God didn’t want him to have it all together. Jesus could handle him broken. 

Even on Christmas. 



If you'd like to see more posts from The 12 Days of Christmas, be sure and check out Faith's blog here. Merry Christmas, everyone. And a happy new year.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Writing Christian Fiction

Note: This was first posted as a guest post during Untitled's release. However, it deals with something very near and dear to my heart and I wanted to share it here as well. <3 



The genre “Christian fiction” covers a wide range of books. From romance to action to YA, Christian fiction has expanded to include quite a few sub-genres. 

I was curious what the definition for CF was, so I did a quick google search. 

A Christian novel is any novel that expounds and illustrates a Christian world view in its plot, its characters, or both. Or which deals with Christian themes in a positive way.” 

However, I feel like so many of the more recent Christian fiction books have become simply clean fiction books, where the characters pray over a meal or say they believe in God. But believing in God doesn’t make someone a Christian. And I don’t believe just including the vague theme of “trusting in God” should make a book Christian. I know many people who say they believe in and trust God and yet they’re not Christians. 


So what should Christian fiction look like? 


I believe it should be a reflection of Christ. I believe it should deal with harsh topics that most of us would generally shy away from talking about. I believe it should challenge others in their walk with Christ. If we’re going to take up the pen and write a book we want to be labeled as Christian, than we’d better take care to be sure our words are not lukewarm. 


As writers, we have the incredible responsibility of being able to reach others through our words. People who we otherwise would never have had the chance of speaking to. I want to make that count. 


Most of my books deal with difficult situations. Whether it be the death of a friend, trusting God when we don’t understand, family conflict, PTSD, etc. Most of them are also set during WWII, so they deal with issues specific to that time period. My latest book, Untitled, touches on the horrors of war, PTSD, and homosexuality. And to be honest, I was terrified of including the last in there at all. Because what I believe and what the Bible teaches goes against everything the world is teaching today. 


But we can’t stay quiet about real-world issues. Divorce, abortion, homosexuality, PTSD, depression, suicide, racial issues, these are all subjects I see so many authors shying away from. But don’t. Please don’t. We need Christian authors who are willing to rise up and take a firm stance on these issues. We need Christian fiction that portrays a better view of how God wants these things handled. If we want our books to reach those around us then we need to write about the issues our world is struggling with. 


Now I’m going to pause for a second and say there’s nothing wrong with a lighter book. Sometimes we all just need a happy, feel good story. But even then, those characters should reflect Christ in the way they act and respond to the situations they encounter. If I’m reading a Christian book I want to see more of their faith than the fact that they pray before they eat. 


Not everyone is called to write the same thing. But as Christians we’re all told that Whatsoever therefore yet eat, or drink, or whatsoever yet do, so all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31) We’re all called to bring glory to God. So let's do that in our writing as well. 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Untitled Blog Tour - Wrap up

 Andddd ... just like that, the blog tour is over. It hardly seems possible; this week has flow by in a whirlwind of craziness. (I just realized thanksgiving is less then two weeks away sooo... yeah.) Be sure and get all your giveaway entries in! The giveaway ends today and the winner will be announced tomorrow. 


Today I wanted to take the time and talk a little bit about Untitled and what it means to me. Any author will tell you that it's impossible to pick a favorite book they've written. And it's true. Each one has its own feelings and experiences and memories and there really isn't any way you can compare them all. And each and every author will tell you that each story has a little bit of them in it. 

Untitled has more of me in it then I'd care to admit. Probably more so then my other books combined. (Yes, I'm aware it's an all-male cast. For whatever reason I've always had a much easier time relating to guys then girls when it comes to how I deal with things. I'm weird. xD) Jess and Clay, the struggles they have, the way they deal with things —  it's as close as I've come to writing a character that's me. Which, combined with the fact that I was dealing with difficult subjects, made this a book I was hesitant to release. 

But it was also the book God gave me to write a release so I didn't have much of a choice. It's a book that's close to my heart. And if you asked me ... yes. This is my favorite of any book I've ever written. I wrote what I wanted to. I wrote what I felt I had to. I wrote what God gave me to write. And I didn't change anything for anyone. 

Five years ago I couldn't have written it. Two years ago I couldn't have written it. The situations and experiences that shaped the book had to first be taught to me in my life before I could use it in a story. But I've written it now. And I hope and pray it encourages and blesses you in some way. 

To finish off the week I wanted to just post some of my favorite pins from my pinterest board that I think sum up the story well. 












There are two stops on the blog tour today. Be sure and check them out and leave a comment. Angela has been amazing in organizing all this, so be sure and stop by her blog and show her some love. ;) 


Friday, November 13, 2020

Untitled Blog Tour - Day #7

 Only two days left of the blog tour! The Winner of the giveaway will be announced on Sunday so be sure and get your entries it! 


Today I wanted to talk about some of my favorite research books that I used for Untitled. I have a ton of WWII research books, but a couple years ago I realized most of them involved the war in Europe, not the pacific theatre. So I set about to remedy that. I now have a decent collection of WWII books and these are some of my favorites. 


D-days in the Pacific: 


Although most people associate the term D-Day with the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944, it is military code for the beginning of any offensive operation. In the Pacific theater during World War II there were more than one hundred D-Days. The largest—and last—was the invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, which brought together the biggest invasion fleet ever assembled, far larger than that engaged in the Normandy invasion.

D-Days in the Pacific tells the epic story of the campaign waged by American forces to win back the Pacific islands from Japan. Based on eyewitness accounts by the combatants, it covers the entire Pacific struggle from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Pacific war was largely a seaborne offensive fought over immense distances. Many of the amphibious assaults on Japanese-held islands were among the most savagely fought battles in American history: Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, New Guinea, Peleliu, Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, Okinawa.

Generously illustrated with photographs and maps, D-Days in the Pacific is the finest one-volume account of this titanic struggle.


Redemption at Hacksaw Ridge: 


"When we go into combat, Doss, you're not comin' back alive. I'm gonna shoot you myself!"

The men of the 77th Infantry Division couldn't fathom why Private Desmond T. Doss would venture into the horrors of World War II without a single weapon to defend himself.
"You're nothing but a coward!" they said. But the soft–spoken medic insisted that his mission was to heal, not kill.
This page–turner will keep you riveted to your seat as you discover how Desmond Doss became the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor.
Desmond's dramatic true story of integrity, redemption, and heroism will inspire you to live by the courage of your convictions.


War Letters:
(This one includes not only the pacific and WWII, but the Civil war - Bosnia.) 


Here are letters from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf war, Somalia, and Bosnia -- dramatic eyewitness accounts from the front lines, poignant expressions of love for family and country, insightful reflections on the nature of warfare. Amid the voices of common soldiers, marines, airmen, sailors, nurses, journalists, spies, and chaplains are letters by such legendary figures as Gen. William T. Sherman, Clara Barton, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernie Pyle, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Julia Child, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, and Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. Collected in War Letters, they are an astonishing historical record, a powerful tribute to those who fought, and a celebration of the enduring power of letters.


Time Life series - WWII: 


World War II is a series of books published by Time-Life that chronicles the Second World War. Each book focused on a different topic, such as the resistance, spies, the home front but mainly the battles and campaigns of the conflict.
They are each 208 pages in length, heavily illustrated and with pictorial essays on specific topics within the volume. 
(Honestly y'all this is my favorite series to get started no matter where I'm writing during WWII. It gives you enough information to begin working on things, and also points you in the right direction for further research.) 


Stops on the Tour: 

NOVEMBER 13th

Joshua Reid | Guest Post


And be sure and Enter the giveaway! 



Thursday, November 12, 2020

Untitled Blog Tour - Day #6

 Hey guys! So today to celebrate our books that both released yesterday, Kassie and I are swapping reviews! I’ll be reviewing her book Stop the Rain and she’ll be reviewing Untitled over on her blog! 


It made me so happy that we were able to share a release day, and you should really check out her blog. She writes contemporary war fiction without romance, which just makes me really happy. 

Stop the Rain - About the book


He left his entire world in Iraq. So why did the war follow him home?



Harley Keane and his best friend Nigel were just kids when 9/11 rocked their world and changed their lives forever. When they're finally old enough to join the Army, all their childhood dreams seem about to come true. But war wasn't supposed to be like this. A kid's dream isn't supposed to become a living nightmare. Fellow soldiers aren't supposed to bleed out in front of your eyes.


Back home, safe and unwounded, Harley feels anything but. Why would God spare him when so many others were taken? Why won't the nightmares stop, even when he's awake? And how long can he hide the truth that threatens everything he has left? When Harley's invisible scars refuse to stay hidden, will he let anyone close enough to help? And how do you go on with life when "okay" isn't okay at all?



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 unexpectedly 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 SoldierGirlStories.com.



My review:


When I heard Kassie was releasing a book about PTSD I was excited for the chance to be able to read and review it! “Stop the Rain” is a book that isn’t for the faint of heart. Reading about Harley’s struggle was heartbreaking, yet so well done. I absolutely loved the cast of characters. Dallas is my absolute favorite and I need him to be real so I can meet him. Paul and Nigel and Savannah and the rest were awesome, but Dallas ... that man has my heart. I need a book about him. 

The plot line was very well done and I so appreciated how it showed that PTSD isn’t just something you can “get over”. It’s a real and horrific struggle that so many go through every day. And it can feel so hopeless. But there’s always hope. Because every storm runs out of rain. 

It’s a bit of a slower book, but I think it worked well that way to tell the story. And the look at the future we get at the end of the book made me smile. 

This book showed PTSD for what it is. An hourly struggle that is fought by those who made it home, but are forever changed. It does an amazing job at opening your eyes to the reality behind the many preconceived notions of PTSD that are out there. 

Also a final note on just how much I loved Dallas. I need more of him in my life. 


Author interview:


1| What was the easiest part about writing the book? 

My theme this week has lowkey been, the writing itself was easy, so I’m gonna make that more specific and say I will never get tired of writing banter between characters. Stop the Rain doesn’t have the comic relief the other two have, but it still has its fair share of craziness, and I adore it.


2| What was the most difficult part of writing the book?

I feel like I’ve said this a million times this week, but I’m gonna keep saying it because apparently it needs to be said. I was terrified of messing my story up. Writing it wasn’t hard; trusting I was doing the best I could was. I didn’t want it to be just another poorly-written portrayal of PTSD.


3| What was one thing you learned during the writing of this book? 

PTSD wasn’t recognized a “thing” as we know it now until 1980. I looked that up on a whim one day to back up what I had a character saying, and then I just kinda sat there staring at that date. Yeah, of course it existed before that. Yeah, there were efforts to treat it before that. But it’s still badly misunderstood; imagine what it was like beforehand. I guess I’d always thought that kind of research was done on it closer to Vietnam… it’s kind of heartbreaking when you think about it.


4| What was one of the most surprising things you learned once you started writing? 

That it wasn’t so hard to just come out and say what I felt I needed to say. Like I said, I was terrified of messing this story up. There’s so many misconceptions about PTSD out there, and I was messing up a ton of them. But there’s one scene where Harley snaps at Trey—“haven’t you ever heard of soldiers coming back with PTSD?!”—and somehow as soon as I wrote that, I realized I could write his PTSD exactly as I felt best. I was still worried till long after I finished the story, but after that chapter, I knew I could say what I needed to, even if I was worried.


5| How do you research? 

(I appreciate the assumption I’m not a typical researcher 😅) I read books and watch movies pertaining to what I’m writing and totally lose myself in their stories so it feels more natural to picture my own, if that makes any sense. I’ll specifically research something if I realize I have gaps in my story (like, say, the weather in Iraq…), but as a general rule, I stick to “write what you know” in a weird way. I’ve grown up around the Army. It didn’t take any research for me to know some of this stuff.


6| If you could only pick one of your books for someone to remember you by, which would it be? 

This makes me sound so disloyal to the other two, I promise I’m not… O to be Like Thee. Yeah, Tattered Wings is really special, and in some ways I feel like Stop the Rain is the most important of the three. But O to be Like Thee is *mine* in a way none other will ever be. I feel like, somehow, it still covers the messages of the other two in only one book. If I only get one chance to make a difference, I’d want to do it through O to be Like Thee


Stops on Today's Tour: 


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Untitled Blog Tour - Day #5 - Veterans/Release Day

Guys, today is Veterans Day. Before you read anymore of this post, before you buy a book, before any of that, I want you to go and thank a veteran or active duty service member. They’re the reason we have the freedom to write and publish books, they’re the reason we have the freedom to worship, they’re the reason we have freedom to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I cannot emphasize enough how much we owe these brave men and women. Too often in our culture today they’re not show the respect they deserve. Let’s change that today, if only in a small way. 


 Okay, now that you’ve done that … It’s release day! I wanted to release Untitled on a day where it would mean something. And I could think of no better day then Veteran’s day. The book doesn’t just end with a happy homecoming. No, it hopes to show, in some small way, what our Veterans face when they come back home. Because no one comes home the same. Just because you can’t see what they’re going through doesn’t mean the struggle isn’t there. 


the world will never know
just how much they gave
as overseas they served
our freedoms dear to save 

they didn't ask for glory
they didn't seek any fame 
they simply gave their service
freedom their only aim

but we seem to forget
the sacrifice they made 
we go on with our lives 
we forget the price they paid 

let's take a moment and remember
what they gave for you and me
 each one who made it home 
remembers freedom isn't free

Today also marks 102 years since WWI ended. Fun fact, WWI was the beginning of realization that PTSD as an actual mental illness and not simply something caused by trauma. Extensive research was done between WWI and WWII, but PTSD didn't start being widely recognized and diagnosed as such until after the Vietnam War.

Untitled — E-book
Untitled — Paperback 

We've got a number of stops on the blog tour today, so be sure and check out all the awesome posts!

NOVEMBER 11th

Libby May | Book Review + Author Interview

Abigail Harris | Book Review

Faith Potts | Book Review

Esther Jackson | Book Review



Also, Kassie Angle is also releasing a book today that deals with PTSD (My review for it will be up tomorrow!) So be sure and check out her blog here!


And of course, enter the giveaway!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Untitled Blog Tour - Day #4

 Welcome to day #4! We’re over halfway through the tour and Untitled releases tomorrow! 


Today I thought I’d share some of my favorite songs that go along with Untitled. These are either songs that remind me of the book, or songs I listened to while I was writing. 

Airborne Ranger Infantry

I Just Came Back from a War

Till the Last Shots Fired 

Mr. Soldier 

In Color 

Freedom Sure Ain't free
 
I tend to adopt movie soundtracks for my books. Band of Brothers was 
100% this book. And no matter how many times I listen to the songs I still 
get the same feelings. <3 



So that do y'all think? Do these songs fit the book? What's one song that reminds you of Untitled? 

Today we have a book review! Be sure to swing by Katja's blog and read it! 

NOVEMBER 10th

Katja Labonté | Book Review


And of course, be sure to enter the giveaway

Monday, November 9, 2020

Untitled Bog Tour - Day #3

Thank a veteran. Stand for the flag. Take up the fight for freedom. 


If there’s one thing that I’m pretty outspoken about, it’s the fact that I love my country and freedom. And I want to do everything in my power to show our veterans just how incredibly grateful we are for what they’ve done. They’ve faced things we never will. They’ve seen things we can only try and imagine. Some didn’t make it back. And those who did aren’t the same as before they left. They deserve our gratitude and respect. But instead of honoring them, it seems we’re more willing to honor football players who refuse to stand for the flag so many have died for. 



If there’s one thing I hope readers get from Untitled, it’s a new understanding of what our men and women in uniform have gone through. I know I’ve not done it justice, but I hope that in some small way I’m able to open the eyes of this generation. We’re far too apt to forget what has been sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy.



Today Angela, the amazing gal who's hosting this blog tour, is posting a review for Untitled

NOVEMBER 9th

Angela Watts | Book Review


And be sure to enter the giveaway! Some of the options are daily, so there's always another chance to get more entries! 


Giveaway

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Untitled Blog Tour - Day #2

 Welcome to day #2! I hope y'all are having a quiet, relaxing Sunday. I'm going to spend the afternoon finishing up last minute things for the release. Can you believe it's only three days away?! 


Today I thought I'd share some trivia about the book.  I always find it fun to learn new things about my favorite books and I thought you guys might as well!


-In the first scene of chapter 1, a character takes a drink of coffee from a disposable cup. It took me nearly three hours of research to make sure disposable cups were actually used during the time period.

-This is the first book I've written where I've included an interaction with a real-life person. 

-While it's one of the shorter books I've written, it's the one that's taken me the longest to write. 

-Clay Walker is one of my favorite country artists, and while I didn't originally intend for a character to share his name ... I can't say I'm mad about it. XD

-Flying and medical are my two favorite things ever. (Big surprise there, ehh?) But while it's fairly easy for me to write medical characters, pilots are difficult because I have no experience flying a plane. And in Clay's case there's not much info on Marine aviators during WWII, so that made research extra difficult. 


Also, remember to check today's post! As a part of the tour, Kate is posting her review of Untitled. 

NOVEMBER 8th

Kaitlyn Krispense | Book Review


And the giveaway! Be sure and enter it here

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Untitled blog tour - Day #1!

 Guys, it's here! *squeals* I'm so, so excited for the next week! Angela has done a fabulous job with the tour and eleven, wonderful people have signed up to help spread the word. 


I don't have the kindle up for pre-order quite yet (hopefully by this evening!) And I'm working on getting the final copy of the book submitted to KDP and published. I can't believe it releases this week. Like ... wow. It's always felt like so far away and now its here. Anyhow. Be sure and check out the posts that are happening today! Angela is hosting the blog tour and she has the Intro post, and Michaela interviewed me over on her blog! 


NOVEMBER 7th

Angela Watts | Blog Tour Introduction

Michaela Bush | Author Interview 


And there's a giveaway! Due to shipping costs, it is U.S. only. (So sorry to my international friends!) I had a lot of fun picking out goodies and making the whole thing very Untitled themed.



One winner of the giveaway will receive…


  • Paperback copy of Untitled 

  • Box of compass cards

  • God Bless America Wooden Sign

  • Bookmark 

  • USMC keychain 

  • U.S. Navy Medallion


And you can enter the giveaway here!

Are y'all excited? I know I am!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Blog Tour Signups!

 Hey guys! 

Yup, you read that right! Blog Tour Signups are open for Untitled, releasing November 11th! 

I'm so super excited for this! Angela has done an amazing job with the blog tour so far and I'm excited!! Depending on what you'd like to post, there are several options. And if you don't have a blog but would like to join in, there an option for that as well! Oh also there may or may not be a giveaway exclusively for blog tour participants... ;) 

You can sign up here! If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask either Angela or myself! 



Friday, September 18, 2020

How are you feeling?

*Just a slight warning. This post has been on my heart for the past couple weeks and is kinda all over the place so I apologize in advance* 

 I hate that question more then anything in the world. 

Emotions. Feelings.

I don't like them. I never have. They're so abstract and confusing. They're not tangible. You can't touch them and fix the problem. You have to put a word to a feeling, and those feelings are different for everyone. And just when you think you've finally gotten it figured out, you realize you haven't even scratched the surface. 

Anger: a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. So in order to feel anger you are also feeling annoyance and displeasure. 

Happy: feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. So if you're happy, you're also feeling pleasure and contentment. 

One feeling is wrapped up in a thousand others, and to find the right words to try and pinpoint the exact feeling or emotions you're experiencing is exhausting. 

Each definition and feeling has within itself yet another emotion. It's like a tangled strand that cannot be unwound. One leads to another and yet another, and you've still not figured out exactly that one feeling you're struggling to put into words. It's the most frustrating thing in the world. And if you can't even understand what you're feeling, how the heck are you going to be able to tell someone else? 

I think one of the most difficult things in the world is trying to get someone to understand how you feel, but not being able to convey the depth of what your feeling. And the second most difficult is trying, desperately trying, to understand how someone feels, but being unable to. 

I have a Pinterest board I've titled Feelings with No Words. It's for everything you can feel and relate to, but just can't seem to find the word for. It's full of the kind of pins where you read the sentence and you feel something. But you don't know what to call it because there isn't a single word that properly sums it up. 


And as I've been thinking about and pondering all this, it hit me how blessed we are that we don't have to limit our emotions and feelings to a word. We can use whole chapters and books to describe and paint a picture for others, using the beautiful gift of language to convey what a single word fails to. (Yup, ended my sentence in a proposition. Don't point it out. xD) 

If you're anything like me, feelings are terrifying. Because you feel so deeply that the very act of feeling seems to crush you. So you push them aside. You don't sort through your emotions. You pretend you don't feel. It's easier. People ask and you say "fine". They are used to it and don't press. Life seems great. Until some small, insignificant thing tips the balance and suddenly the feelings you shoved aside become a wave that threatens to drown you. It topples over you until you feel as if you can hardly breathe because of their raw intensity and strength. 

"I'm Fine" I'm not. Please see that I'm not...

"I don't want to talk about it" I do but I'm terrified of what might happen... 

"Don't touch me." If you do I'll shatter into a thousand pieces...

"Leave me alone." Please don't. Please care enough to stay...

Sometimes I wonder why people feel differently from each other. Why the way we deal with emotions is so vastly varied. And I can't find an answer. Instead I only wonder that the same God created each and every one of us, and each and every one is unique. 

In all this I started to wonder what the Bible said about feelings and emotions. 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

There's a time for everything. A time for crying and a time for laughter. A time to hold someone and a time to sit back and just let them be. A time to keep hold of things and a time to let them go. A time to speak up, and a time to just let silence rest in the air for a while. A time to love, and a time to hate. 

And not a one of those is condemned. 

There is a time for every single feeling under the sun. Because feelings in and of themselves aren't wrong. It's what we decide to do with them that makes the difference. It's okay to feel. And it's okay to feel deeply. 

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

God has made everything beautiful. Everything. And that includes feelings and emotions. For whatever reason I may never be able to comprehend, God created our feelings and emotions for good. 

That includes the times when we can't do anything but cry. The times when the world seems perfect and we can't stop smiling. And the times when we don't know what or how to feel, and we end up crying and laughing at the same time as our mind scrambles to determine exactly what emotions are vying for mastery. 

Feelings and emotions are God given, but if not brought under control they can do far more harm then good. Someone once described the battle of emotions inside someone like a storm out at sea, and I can't think of a more apt description. They're a thing of beauty and strength, but they can also be incredibly dangerous. They cause us to stand in awe of them, while also warning us to tread carefully. 

Emotions are beautiful. I'm ... still not at the point where I can say I wholeheartedly agree with that statement but I know, it's true. I know I'll never fully understand them, and that will always frustrate me. But I'm getting to the point where I can accept them and see their good. They add a color and flavor, a depth to life that we wouldn't have apart from them. 

He hath made everything beautiful in his time. 

And that includes our feelings. Don't push them aside. Don't try and ignore them. Don't write them off as unimportant. Instead, embrace them. Remember, they're God given. Let yourself get lost in trying to understand them. It's a journey you'll never be able to complete, but it'll be worth every stop along the way. <3 

So. How are you feeling today?