Monday, January 1, 2018

To Everything there is a Season

Um, okay, so, I'm siting here in the chair shaking my head and wondering how in the world another year has already passed. It seems like now all I have to do is blink and 365 days are . . .gone. Never again to be lived by any human on this earth.


This year was . . . full and insane and beautiful. Looking back now, it's probably been the busiest year I can remember. A lot of change happened. A lot of new experiences. A lot of new adventures. To sum it up, a lot of 'new' happened, and all the changes this year scared me nearly to death.(But not all the way because I'm obviously still alive. At least, I think I am. Maybe?) And just to warn y'all, this post is long. Proceed with caution.

This year, I couldn't decide which 'word' I wanted to be my word of the year. And so I ended up with two. I can't explain why I chose them, but I had a feeling that 2017 would challenge everything that was familiar and safe. And it did. The two words were Adventure, and Horizon. And goodness, did I ever have some adventures. Some I loved, others . . . not so much. And I definitely widened my horizons quite a bit, in many different ways. I went on a missions trip. I visited five new states. Had my eyes opened to life in another country. Friends of mine fell in love. Others made their way to college. And everyone I know was challenged in some way or another in their walk with Christ. God decided I needed to learn how to wait on Him, and trust that, in the end, He would work everything out for His glory.

2017 taught me a lot  And it changed me. For that I'm forever grateful.

Okay, um, yeah, so after that long introduction . . . let's get on with it, shall we?



Writing Update 



From Pinterest

In 2017, I managed to write roughly 155K words across several various projects. I also somehow published four different titles?! My two full length novels, A Question of Honor and A Question of Courage were published in March and December, and two shorter stories, A Place Called Lonesome and  As in Olden Days released in May and October. And I'm honestly not quite sure how that happened. I participated in all three NaNoWriMo events, and met my goal each time. In fact, in April and November, I went over my goal by around 15K words, ending with 65K length drafts. 
So . . . yeah. God was definitely working in this are in 2017, because, looking back, I have no idea where I found the time to work on all of these projects. Which brings me to the next point . . . 



Life: Circa 2017



From Pinterest
This year was crazy. And I'm not just saying that. I graduated, went on a missions trip to Mexico, Visited a friend in North Carolina, and had a friend from Washington come and visit me here. I started working as a teacher in our church's preschool class, published 4 books, started a job at a Homeschool Co-op . . . and decided what educational options I want to pursue in 2018. 
In the midst of that my family sold our home in July of this year, and since then we've been living in our RV on a farm alongside a river. Sooo ... yes. I think Adventure summed up the year quite nicely.

One of my good friends started a serious realtionship with a guy. Another, while not in a relationship yet, seems to be heading that direction. Those were two huge changes that rocked the last half of this year and made me reevaluate pretty much everything. Also, it made me forever thankful for one dear friend who doesn't live too far away. Her family opened up their home to be and I was over there with her several times this year and we'd just talk about everything. It was a special blessing that I know I'll never take forgranted. <3

2017 brought another huge change I wasn't quite expecting. Pretty much all my "younger" siblings aren't really young anymore. 
Okay, so, this didn't happen in a year . . . obviously. xD But this year I realized it. Like, wow, okay, everyone is doing their own activities and things now and . . . everyone's gotten older. Life in general has just changed a lot from the slow, easy days where we stayed and home and did school all day. (I mean, that was what it seemed like. xD) 

Also, help. My 'little' bro is almost taller then me. 
Anyway. A lot happened in 2017. A lot of new challenges, a lot of new opportunities and a lot of ways to grow. And guys, I struggled with that a lot. I'm . . . not a person who likes change. And If I had the choice, I probably never would have grown up. I want to still be the little girl who can crawl up onto Daddy's lap when something's wrong and he'll take care of it for me. 

But this year I learned that it's okay to grow up. Childhood will always hold the fondest memories, but there are some precious memories still to be made in the future. And even though it hurts to let go and realize, wow, I am an adult, It's good. Because this is life as God designed it. Seasons come and seasons go. And each one brings its own bursts of color. And with each new season, memories are made that will never be forgotten. So let go. Enjoy each and every moment. And while it's okay to look back . .. don't wish you were still there. Because God's plan isn't for your past. It's for your future. 



What God Taught me this year: 



From Pinterest

I could probably write a book on this. Or at least try. I feel like this year was a roller coaster of ups and downs in my walk with God. I learned a lot this year. Some of the lessons were ones I wish I wouldn't have had to learn, but I know they were put in my life for a reason. Accepting change, letting go of things I can't control, and learning to trust in God's plan. And y'all, those are some really, really hard lessons to learn.
But the hardest? Learning to wait. And for the past two months, that seems to be a theme in my life. Waiting. I am not a patient person, y'all. To say the least. And there's been one, or rather, two areas of my life where I've been begging God for a yes or no answer. But all He's told me is to wait. And hat's been hard.
But I've learned that even in a season of waiting, God bring unexpected blessings along the way to let you know that He's got it all under control. And I think that is the most important thing I've learned this year.




Word of 2018 


From Pinterest


You may have noticed that last year I used two words . . . and I plan to do the same this year. Trust and Treasure. I want to treasure each and every moment that comes along, no matter how small or large it may be. And throughout the year that if full of the unknown, I need to be reminded to trust that in it all, God has a plan. And He's there with me, holding my hand, through every step of life. And all I need to do is trust Him. 



2018 Goals


From Pinterest

I'm not going to have a crazy long list here, because I've learned that it's not always a good idea to make a lot of goals at the beginning of the year, when you have no idea what the year will hold. These are just a few things I hope to have completed by the time this year ends. 

-Read through the Old Testament I read through the New several times this year, but only read certain books from the Old Testament. 
-Grow Closer to God
-Make the friendships I have with the girls I know even stronger, no matter what the year may throw our way.  
-Publish A Question of Loyalty
-Enroll and complete the certification course at our local community college to be become an EMT (So excited about this one, y'all!)
-Spend time with my siblings more. This seems to be getting harder as we all get older
-Embrace the new experience life brings, and trust that in each of them, God is making me more into the person He wants me to be. 
-Live. Laugh. Love. It may sound slightly cliche, but I want to live life to the full and treasure every moment. To learn to laugh at myself, even when others may be watching. And to love. Because I've been commanded to show the love of Christ to a hurting world. And because love, in and of itself, is beautiful. 


The year of our Lord two thousand and seventeen is over, y'all. We stand on the threshold of a brand new year that has never before, in the history of the world, been lived. Will you join me in jumping headlong into the unknown world that we call 2018? 

From Pinterest

Monday, December 25, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Christmas Day

Well, y'all, it's here. Christmas Day. Merry Christmas, y'all! I hope y'all have an amazing day celebrating the birth of our Savior. Christmas eve yesterday was nothing short of amazing for my family. And guys, I just have to say . . . in my opinion, the candlelight service at church is one of the most special things about Christmas.

So yes. After an amazing Christmas eve, as we go on to celebrate Christmas, let's remember, even in the busyness of it all, the real meaning for this day. A baby born in a manger, who became the King who died on the cross to take away our sins. And he is also the Conqueror who rose again, triumphing over sin and death.


And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.



And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.


Merry Christmas 2017, Y'all. I hope y'all have a blessed and amazing day while we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Snowflake Reverie

Hello all! I'm back today with a super short Christmas story for y'all. It's a bit different from any story I've written, but one that's very close to my heart. So I hope y'all enjoy. And Merry Christmas eve! ;) 



Snowflake Reverie 


The cold seemed to close in around Janna as she walked along the bank of the river. The moon high in the sky glinted off the surface of the water, showing where bits of it had turned to ice.  Everything seemed still, and the snow crunched deliciously beneath her feet; the only sound in the otherwise silent night.
Turning, she could see the lights of the house on the hill above her, glimmering in the otherwise dark world. Her breath caught at the beauty of it all. It was Christmas eve, and everything seemed picture perfect.
So why, then did she feel this way?
With a sigh she turned back to the river. One constant thing in the world that seemed to be forever changing.
Making her way to a cluster of rocks, she found her usual seat on the top, flat rock that overlooked the area. Thank goodness she had thought to wear her heavier jacket. She hadn’t realized just how cold it was.
Taking the notebook from her pocket, she slipped the cap off the sharpie pen she always kept on hand, and opened the book to the next blank page. But what was there to write? A frustrated sigh escaped her lips, and she laid the book down. Why did life have to suddenly become so complicated?  
Sitting in the silence, she let her eyes drift close. She could feel the wind as it brushed her cheeks, and the tree branches above her creaking in protest. And below, the same sound she’d remembered hearing since she was a little girl.
The almost musical sound of the water tumbling across its charted course.
Christmas was going to be different this year. And she hated that. Maybe she shouldn't  hold traditions so dearly, but she did. They were such little things to everyone else, but to her . . . they were tangible reminders of Christmases past.
Why did life have to change so?
She didn’t want to be an adult, and she hated the busy, non-stop pace it seemed to bring. It had invaded every part of life. But she had held out a hope that Christmas would be the same. That it would be what it always had been.
But it wasn’t. And she was wrong to have thought it would.
Like the water rushing below her, life was full of twists and turns she hadn’t expected.
A tear escaped her eye, and she didn’t bother to brush it away. It seemed as if, unconsciously, her family had managed to skip most of the traditions she held dear. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to do them, but rather, they were too busy.
This wasn’t right. It shouldn’t be this way. It should be all of them, together. Not just whoever was home. After all, Christmas was about family and coming together to celebrate. Not everyone rushing around to try and finish up their sports activities of business before the holiday.
She opened her eyes, and to her surprise, the sky above her was littered with specks of white that glittered against the darkness of the horizon. It was so peaceful, so serene. A stark contrast to the turmoil she felt within. Why was it so hard for her to accept change?
Her mind wandered back to the first Christmas. And suddenly, she realized something. The night that so many referred to as the ‘Silent Night’ really would have been anything but silent. Bethlehem was crowded. To the point that there was no room in any inn for the expectant mother.  And she could testify from experience that the stable was not the most quiet place, either. Jesus didn’t come to a world of peace and special family traditions. No, He was born into a world of chaos. A world very much like the one she lived in.
And He as the reason for Christmas. Not family or traditions. And while everything else changed, He stayed the same.
As she sat there, feeling the icy kiss of the snowflakes tingle on her cheeks, she realized something.
Bending over the page in front of her, she scribbled out a few sentences. The black ink stood out in stark contrast to the soft white of the page.

The only One who can truly satisfy the human heart is the One who made it.

As long as she kept her eyes on the Baby in the manger and not on all the distractions the world provided, everything would be okay. He was the one thing that remained steadfast, unchanging, when every other thing around was unknown.

Friday, December 22, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - 5 reasons why Christmas is special this year

Each year, Christmas is different. There are still the same traditions and songs, same decorations and church services, but every year, something changes. I think this year has been one of the first times I've realized just how much one year can change things. Pretty much nothing in life right now is the same as it was last year. ;) (Well, I mean, I still have the same name, but . . . )



So, I've decided to do a post on five reasons Christmas is special this year.

1.) Daddy is here with us. I used to take this for granted. I mean, wasn't dad always supposed to be there every year? Four years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer. And that really put everything in a whole new light. Yes, he's in remission now and doing well . . . but it's still something that I treasure with each new Christmas. A new year with your family isn't promised, guys. Treasure it. And give your dad a hug and tell him you're glad he's there. ;)

2.) We're all still home together. Another thing I took for granted. As the oldest, I never was really worried about any of us leaving the house. I mean, I think it was always expected that I'd leave first. (And I'm not. At least not yet. xD) But this year has just really gotten crazy busy with all of us older now, and running in twenty different directions, it seems. So having all of us together on Christmas will be so much more special this year. Because times where the whole family is together now, except for church, are few and far in between.

3.) Dandelions. (Before y'all think I've gone crazy, just hold on a sec. xD) Ever had one of those summers where you knew it would be that last summer where everything was 'normal'? Where it was like it had always been? That was this past summer for me. So, so many things changed for my family this summer, as well as for so many of my friends and those I hold dear. This summer was like the end of the dandelion season. For years summer was . . . summer. Not much really changed. Like a dandelion that keeps growing in the same place, no matter how many times you cut it down.
This year was different. No longer was life the same. It was the bittersweet year where the dandelion that had been there for months went to seed, and the seeds blew away to the wind.
Summer will never be quite the same again. And while I sometimes wish I could go back to those carefree, childhood days, I'm still looking forward to a new summer. When the dandelions are gone . . . and a rose is planted in its place.

4.) God's been working in so many different ways. And goodness, He's still working. This year has felt like a non-stop blur of new experiences. I'm not the same person I was last year at this time. I've learned so much more this year, and God's till continuing to teach me as I trust Him. There came a point this year where I had to just let go of everything I'd been holding to and trying so hard to make work. It was hard y'll. I'm one of those people who likes to have everything under control. And this year, more then anything, God's been teaching me to wait.
I . . . hate waiting. I'm the person who has shortcuts to pretty much every recipe in the kitchen and has figured out ways to make things go faster, because waiting just isn't fun.
So guess what God decided it was time I learned? Mhm. Patience. And at times I still struggle with it so much. But I've learned that trust, as difficult as it is . . . it's still easier then what we put ourselves through when we worry about the future or try to control things around us.
I'm not sure what will happen next year. But I know I'll forever treasure the things God taught me this year for the rest of my life.

5.) Emmanuel, God is with us. This could be argued that it's the same every year. But I think it's not. Guys. the God of the universe came to earth as a baby to be a sacrifice for us. Because He loved us so much. Do you know how special that should make every Christmas? The God who formed the galaxies, the one who placed each star in place, and the one who keeps the oceans within their bounds wants to have a  relationship with you. And that's what makes each Christmas special.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Advent: A Time of Hope . . . and Waiting

So, I really didn't have a post planned for today. I knew I wanted to post, but I wasn't sure what to post about.  And then, God laid this subject on my heart. It's something I've been wanting to post about for a while, but never actually gotten around to doing. It's about when God answers . . . wait. 



I'd be willing to say that being told 'wait' by God is by far the hardest answer ever given. Even a 'no', when we don't like it, as at least a definite answer. But not so when we are told to wait. 

Wait. Stay where one is, or delay action until a particular time or something else happens. That's the definition from the dictionary. (Well, the dictionary according to google. It works. xD)

Praying for an answer and hearing 'wait' is something none of us enjoy. It requires something on our part as well. 

Trust.  

We have to trust that even when we don't understand, God has a reason. 

Lately I've been struggling with an area of my life where God keeps saying "Wait, trust me. And in time, I will show you." And y'all, it's hard. As the flawed human I am, I start asking more questions. Why, God? This request was not wrong. Nor sinful. Why are you telling me to wait? 

I don't know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future. And one day, I'll look back and see how 'wait' was a better answer then the simple 'yes' that I wanted. 

As I was having devotions yesterday, it hit me how this situation was very similar to the one the Israelites were facing between the times of Malachi and the New Testament. 

They had been promised a redeemer. A Saviour. 

But yet, God still said . . .'wait'. The time was not right. And it was with hope and expectation that they could look forward to a time in the future. And at that time, God would make things right. 

For four hundred years they waited. And then, one day, a small baby was born quietly in a stable, with shepherds attending His birth. No one would have thought of Him as the redeemer. As the promised Messiah. God had fulfilled His promise to His people in a way no one would have expected. 

Advent. A time where we look ahead with hope to the promised salvation. And a time of waiting. Because even as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we look forward with expectation to His return, when all the world will be right. 

If you're in a season of your life where God has called you to wait, you're in good company. ;) But while you're waiting, remember that doesn't mean God wants you to sit back and do nothing. Wait in that one area, but take the next right step in another area. God never leaves us without something to do while we wait. 

And trust. Just as God's word came true over 2,000 years ago when the Saviour was born, it will come true today. 

He has promised to direct the paths of those who trust in and acknowledge Him. And when someday the answer comes, praise God for the answer He's given you. Maybe it'll be yes. Maybe it'll be no. And maybe God will turn the situation around into something totally different. 

But no matter what happens, it's always the best answer for the season of life you are in. Even if we struggle to see how it can possibly be true. 


Monday, December 18, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Christmas Music

Hey y'all! I'm back! A bit late, since I forgot to schedule it ahead of time.


Today I'm talking about Christmas music.  But a bit different kind of Christmas music. There are so many songs that we associate with christmas.  Most of them are joyful and happy as we rejoice at the coming of our Saviour. And we should be celebrating that. But at the same time, these songs bring us awareness of a different kind of Christmas, for so many people. People who can't be home with family,  or who are suffering during this time.

Let's remember to pray for them and be there for them when they need it, while we rejoice and celebrate this Christmas.

One Last Christmas 

Christmas in Camaflouge 

Christmas Shoes

Y'all,  we have it so good.  But in our busyness,  let's not look past those who are hurting this year. Let's make it a special kind of Christmas for them this year.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Christmas shopping





Y'all, I'm back with a new post for The Twelve Days of Christmas! And today we're talking about Christmas Shopping! We all do it, right? (I mean, unless you're the Grinch. Pretty sure none of y'all fit that category. ;))
So here is a rather humerus take on what to do (and what not to do) when you go shopping. trust me, I've learned from experience.

Do . . . 

-Get a cup of coffee from Starbucks. This is so totally necessary. We all know you need that peppermint flavor and caffeine to get you through it.

-Make sure you have at least one shopping buddy. It's no fun to go alone.

-Get coupons. Because do people really spend $6 on a 5oz bottle of lotion?!

-Make a list before hand. Trust me, it'll make it so much easier.

-And while you're making your list, sketch out a budget. It's helpful.

-Make sure you walk past the food court so that even if you weren't hungry before, you will be by the time you leave.

-Get into conversations with a stranger. Even if it's nothing more then "What are your plans for Christmas?" Not only is it polite, it also shows others that there are people who care. And maybe they haven't' experienced that before.

-Go shopping with a friend at least once. Seriously, guys. It's so much fun.

-Have fun


Don't . . . 

-Do it all in one day. Not only will you exhaust yourself, you'll probably get stressed and that takes the fun out of it all.

-Have too much caffeine. That may do more harm then good.

-Take all your siblings to more then one store. Seriously, all eight of us going to more then one place threatens to be disastrous. Especially when we go without mom.

-Try and avoid a certain song. Because it's just the rule that the song you hate will be the one that plays in every. single. store.

-Get into a wreck on the way to the mall. Just, don't. Yes this happened to me. Yes I'm okay. Yes I probably totaled me vehicle.  Lesson learned. Don't take Kellogg at rush hour. (Also, could y'all pray for someone who was taken to the hospital in critical condition? I don't know them, but there were four wrecks on the same mile of  road last night.)

And there is a complete list for y'all of the dos and don't of Christmas shopping. They were all totally serious.  What are some things you would add to the list? 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Writing Update: It's finished

Okay, so y'all. As of 11:59 last night (yes, I literally cut it close) I finished the first draft of A Question of Loyalty. As of now it sits at 68,259 words, making it the longest book I've ever completed.
I can't even begin to tell y'all how much this book has impacted me, or how much I've learned from it. It seems kinda strange to be saying that about a book that I've written, but it's true. It seems that each time I begin a new writing project, God takes it and turns it into something I never expected, teaching me timeless lessons in the process.



This one ended up taking a complete 180 turn from what I had originally planned for it. And I'm still sitting here wondering exactly what happened. This story took me places I had never dreamed of going. Originally, the focus of the book was Normandy. But in reality, Normandy ended up being only a small part of it. This book took me inside concentration camps, and beneath the shadow that had fallen over Germany when Hitler was in power. Issues such as abortion came up, as well as the age old question of 'is it right to take a life, in order to save others?' And the writing of the book sent me back to the Bible, searching the scriptures for the answers to the questions. I'm not sure writing a book has ever challenged me so much. And I'm incredibly thankful that it did.

So now, the war is over. And to be honest, the ending was one of the hardest to write. Because I'll never write these character during WWII again. (Which is sad y'all. Just saying.)
The book is going to require several edits, and probably a few changes, but for now it's finished. (and hopefully y'all won't kill me when you read it.) It's a story of hope. beauty amid pain, and love. Salvation. Redemption. Sin. Depravity of human nature. And the grace and truth of God that brings light even into the darkens places in human history.

If y'all want a flavor for the story, listen to this song. It sums up the story so, so well. And then listen to the entire Band of Brother's soundtrack. Like, seriously. It's been weird how well the songs have fit this book. Almost as if they were written to accompany it.


Anyway. Yes, that's how writing has been as of late for me. I hope y'all have an amazing weekend, and I'll see you back here tomorrow. ;)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Introduction

Hey y'all! Okay, first off . . . CAN YOU BELIEVE IT'S ONLY TWELVE DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS?!
Jess legit hasn't wrapped or shipped anything yet. She still doesn't even have all the gifts. *coughs* I promise, I'm normally more prepared. And yes, I just spoke of myself in third person. I think I need a month in a cabin alone with nothing but a pen and paper to catch up on things. 
Actually, wait, nevermind, I'd find other things to do and still not get caught up as much as I want. *sighs* I need a stack of planners for Christmas. Then I think I need to plan the first six months in advance. That should help. I mean, unless things change, which they like to do . . .Pretty sure I need help. The professional kind. 
Like my friend sang to me last night . .  .On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....an appointment with the psychiatrist. (Wait . . . do you think that's maybe what she got me for real? *is suddenly worried*) 

*clear throat* Okay. Anyway. Moving on . . . 

Guess what today is?! It's the first day of the Twelve Days of Christmas blog link up, hosted by my dear friend, Faith Potts! (Who, incidentally, was the one who told me I needed a psychiatrist.) 



This is a blog 'party' with 12 days of Christmas fun! You may remember it from last year . . . I also participated in it then. And the year before. ;) They'll be book reviews, movie recommendations, short stories, freebies, and a ton of other fun stuff, so be sure and keep an eye out! I'll be posting every other day for the first six days, and after that . . . IDK. I'll probably try to post everyday. Because by then Jess should have all Christmas shopping finished and all packages mailed . . . right? *crickets chirp* Okay, well, we'll see.
*feels like I should say something else* Oh! Be sure and check out Faith's blog for her introductory post. I promise, it's gonna be ten times better then mine. Hers will actually make sense. (Shocking, right? I obviously didn't know they were *supposed* to make sense.)
Anyway. I hope y'all are excited for the party! My next post will be more coherent, I promise. ;) Have a wonderful Thursday! 


Monday, December 4, 2017

A Question of Courage Blog Tour Wrap up + Giveaway Winners

Hello peoples! Welcome to the first Monday of December! Christmas is only three weeks away! O.o *hasn't started buying presents yet* I think I need to get moving . . .

Anyway, in other news . .  .Okay, I know you're all here to find out about the winners, so I'll go ahead and announce them first. ;)

First Place: 
Emily Putzke

Second Place: 
Sarah Grace 

Congratulations, ladies! I shall be emailing you shortly with details and questions. ;) 

Thank you all to everyone who participated in the release of my book! I know this wouldn't have been half as much fun if it weren't for y'all coming alongside me. I so enjoyed reading all your comments throughout the blog tour. 

And . . . I think that's all. God bless, and I'll see y'all back here later this week!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Question of Courage Blog Tour- Day Four



Welcome, y'all, to the last day of the blog tour! Whew, we've actually gotten this far! I'm a little sad that it's the last day, but at the same time, I'm so happy to be finishing everything up. Y'all have been so amazing through this blog tour! I'm not sure it's actually sunk in yet that it's published. ;)
We have some other lively ladies posting today, so be sure and check out their posts! And leave them a comment. ;)

Jazzy//Thriving Hope - Review, Book spotlight
Angela Watts//The Peculiar Messenger - Review (Not able to post)
Rebekah Eddy//Rebekah’s Remarks - Review, Author Interview, Book spotlight
Karissa Norton//No Coffee, No Can Do - Author Interview, Review
Victoria Lynn//Ruffles and Grace

Random Fact: ..... In which Jesseca can't think of anything new because this book literally had the least plot changes of any book I've written. OH! Here's one that shocks everyone. The Wizard of Oz plays a huge part in the book, but . . . I've never seen the movie. 
*ducks* I know, I know. A Kansan not watching The Wizard of Oz. In fact, most of what I do know about the movie came from traveling and being called 'Dorthy' and getting teased about it. I promise you, anyone from any other state, when they learn you're from Kansas, will say something like, "Oh, well, you're not in Kansas anymore, Dorthy!" It can get slightly annoying. I'll answer to Dorthy, in case anyone was wondering. It's what I get called when people forget my name. Also, yes, we do have tornadoes. No, not as often as y'all think. You may remember there was only one in the movie. But I do agree that there is no place like home. That much, at least, is true. Just please, don't call me Dorthy. And don't tell me I'm not in Kansas anymore. I know. No one in Kansas tells me that. 
*coughs* Rant over. xD

Quote: He was learning that, perhaps, courage didn’t come in the way you would most expect. It wasn’t brave heroics, or pushing yourself to get through the hard times. 
No, courage was surrendering yourself to God and letting Him guide you.



And . . . that wraps it up for today! Be sure and come back on Monday to find out the winner for the Giveaway! ;) Thank you all so much for alllll your sweet comments and your excitement with me over the relief! Y'all are the best. <3

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Question of Courage - Day Three - PUBLICATION DAY!



Guys. So. Not only is today December 1st. Not only is it the day that my favorite christian radio station starts playing only Christmas music.
It's also . . . the day A Question of Courage  is published! *squeals* Y'all, I can't believe it. I'm actually releasing the 2nd book in a series the same year the first book was published.  Exactly nine months and two days ago, A Question of Honor was released. And you know what? A Question of Courage wasn't even written yet.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would be able to release both of these books this year. Especially with the crazy year we've had. God has blessed me so, so much, and I can't begin to imagine where I would be without Him. And you all have played such a huge role in this as well. Your encouragement has been a huge blessing and help to me as I've written both books, and am now working on the 3rd. <3
You can find the book on amazon (in kindle and paperback) and on createspace. (Can we just take a moment and marvel over the fact that I got both formats published on the same day?)

*coughs* So. Anyway. Enough of my talking and let's get the celebration underway, shall we? Today we have five lovely blog that are joining me in posting. Be sure to go and check them out!

Liv K. Fisher//Liv K. Fisher - Book Spotlight, Author Interview
Deborah C.// Reading in June - Book Spotlight  
Chloe W.//Purely by Faith Reviews - Review, Author Interview
Abigail//Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors - Book Spotlight


Random Fact: Rafe and Art's personalities were originally switched. Before I actually started writing, I had them as opposites. But when I sat down to plot (a week before Camp NaNo started *coughs*) I realized I didn't have them right and switched a few details. Thus, they became the amazing humans they are now. (Not that I'm biased or anything . . .)

Quote: “Rafe, so help me, I’m gonna kill you.” Darren’s voice hissed through clenched teeth. “And it’s gonna be a fate worse than the Japs could give.”


And the giveaway . . .


And now, y'all, I'm off to celebrate. And later on after work, I'm gonna ahead to the library and get Christmas movies because this is obviously the best way to celebrate. With pizza. *nods* Have a wonderful Friday! 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Question of Courage Blog Tour - Day Two



And . .. we're back for day two of the fabulous blog tour for A Question of Courage! Made fabulous because of all the wonderful people who are joining me in this, of course. ;) Today we have three more awesome ladies who are joining me in posting today! Be sure to check out each and every one of their posts! 

Kellyn Roth//Reveries Reviews - Review
Raechel//God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae - Book Spotlight  
Kate//Twin Thoughts - Author Interview

And . . . see, every time I do this random fact thing, I forget just how hard it is to remember something about the book that y'all don't already know. And all my notes are packed away, so I don't have them to refer to. Umm, let me think . . .Oh!

Random Fact: I had problems writing Lily. As strange as it sounds, I've written many more guy's POV's then I have girls. I was clueless on how to write an adult woman. *coughs* I know. I am one. So I had some dear writer friends who were willing to read the first few chapters and give me some pointers on how to improve her as a character. The final version of her story owes many thanks to them. Because on my own  ... Yeah, she would have been a female version of David. And that would not have been good. 

Quote: “Yeah. Makes me wonder if God cares, really cares.” 
God? Rafe sat still, saying nothing. Darren had never mentioned anything remotely close to Christianity since they had met months before. War seemed to bring that out in people. 
Something about looking at life from the end of a weapon changed the way you thought.
He ran a hand through the sand. It was cool to his touch, and he wondered how the coarse grains could feel so soothing. 
In the darkness, the sound of a chuckle met his ear. “Bet you’re surprised to hear me say that, aren’t you?”

And the giveaway. *nods* Be sure end enter. xD