Saturday, March 23, 2019

A Question of Loyalty Blog Tour Signups

Hey y'all! I hope you're haveing a fabulous spring so far! I'm thoroughly enjoying our 60 degree weather, and having fun shopping for spring clothes - fun dresses, anyone? ;) 

I have the full completed cover, the book is formatted, and it's in the hands of an editor for one last edit before I print the proof copy.  So now it's time for the sigh ups! I almost opted out of a blog tour this time, just because April is so busy for so many people. But this book is arguably my favorite of the series (with AQoC as a realllyyyyy close second. XD) So obviously I need a blog tour to celebrate the release! Right? right. 

I've included two forms below. The first is for the blog tour, and i think it's pretty self explanatory. :) If you sign up for a review copy, you will get an ARC copy in PDF format. 
The second form is for those of you who don't have a blog, but want to review. The only catch is that I would really appreciate it if you could have your review up by the 26th of April. :)

To find out more about the book, you can read about it here on Goodreads!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Day 2018 - What Christmas means to me

Every year, Faith over at Stories by Firefly hosts a 12 day long Christmas blog party. While I wasn’t able to join in as much as I would have liked to this year, I still wanted to do at least one post. A post talking about what Christmas means to me.

Now, christmas means so many different things to different people. That’s what makes it special. For all the traditions and the common thread that is woven through this season, each and every person and family has their own special traditions and times that make is unique. To each person, Christmas means something just a little bit different. And no two years are the same. Yes, Christmas is always about celebrating the birth of our Saviour, but each year has its own memories that will never match another’s. This christmas wasn’t like last year’s, but it was amazing in its own way.

Christmas means ...

Outdoors that smell like pine
Picking out the perfect Christmas tree
Peppermint mocha while studying with friends
Study dates that turn into just hanging out
Seeing Christmas lights with family
Hot chocolate and raspberry coffee
Discovering Starbuck’s White Chocolate Mocha
Chilly nights spent discovering new places with good friends
Warming your hands by a fire and smiling over how perfect the night is
Cooking in a warm kitchen
Christmas songs and laughter floating through the house
Trips to the mall for Christmas shopping
Christmas is new adventures swirled with the familiar. It’s old traditions mixed with a new season of life. It’s family and friends, it’s laughter and shopping. It’s giving and receiving. But most of all, it’s remembering the gift that was given to us over two thousand years ago.

During this season, we so often focus on the joy of Jesus born to save us. And it’s a good thing, because we should focus on that. But let’s also remember, joy wasn’t the only emotion on that holy night. Heaven had lost its Master. God had sent His Son away into a sinful world. Because He loved us so very much.
So if you’re feeling a little off this year, if you’re missing someone who can’t be there, if you’re having a hard time being excited for Christmas, remember, you’re not alone. Jesus, above all, knows how to it hurts to be seperared from those you love.

But even then, even when it hurts, He can help us choose joy. Because on Christmas night, all those years ago, God gave us something to be joyful for. A Saviour, who understands our pain, who is with us in the happy times, and who can help us to choose Chrismtas joy - even when it’s difficult.

Christmas, above all, is choosing to be joyful for God’s gift of love, even while we’re in an imperfect world.

Merry Christmas, Y’all.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

A u t u m n ~ 2 0 1 8

Sometimes life brings you seasons that are so perfect and amazing you don’t even want to talk about them for fear that it will spoil it. That’s what this autumn has been. I can’t put into words just how full and happy I am. Back in August I had no idea what the coming months would bring, and I coudlln’t wait for Christmas because it would mean the end of the year. And now... now I wish we still had several months until 2019. Because I don’t want this season of life to end.
Words alone can’t describe how life has been. It’s been full and crazy busy. But it’s been blessed and oh so amazing. Yes, I just said words can’t describe what life has been as of late, but I’m going to try. Autumns isn’t just one thing. It’s so many little things all put into one.

To me, Autumn is ...

Hot chocolate and walking in the leaves
Learning to dance and feeling as if you’re flying
Studying sessions with classmates that turn into coffee dates
Early mornings and late nights
New adventures and taking that leap of faith
Locking eyes with someone and laughing because you know you both thought the exact same thing
Getting a text message from a friend telling you that he has confidence in you even when you’re scared to death
Sipping coffee and laughing with a classmate over a joke that no one else will get
Finding someone who loves country music as much as you and singing along with the radio
Having a phone conversation with a friend about random subjects that woudln’t make sense to anyone else
Discussing politics and sharing opinions with no one getting offended
Laughing with a friend over a video assigned for school
Getting excited about something and having someone to share it with
Inside jokes that only your classmates get
Days where you think life is as perfect as it gets, and then the next day proving to be even more amazing
Feeling so happy you want to cry and soak it all in, hoping it never ends
Stopping and taking a moment to enjoy everything around you, because you know that all to soon this season will end and you’ll have to let go.

That’s what Autumn has been for me.

How have you been, friends? How is life? What has Autumn been for you this year?

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Life Changes

*tentativly steps into the room* Heh ... hi, y'all. It's been a while since I posted, to say the least. It wasn't my intention to take a blogging break, but at times life brings along seasons we weren't expecting.
I hope y'all's summer was wonderful. Mine was, and I'm still trying to figure out how it's already gone. It's seems like it was just a week or two ago that I was planning everything fun that was going to happen, and now fall is informing us that it's not too far away. 
It's kinda funny, isn't it. How the things that you look forward to the most are the things that seem to pass the quickest. And you're left just wondering where the time had gone to. 
A lot happened this summer. It was one of those times where, when you were in the midst of it, nothing felt like it changed. But looking back ... nothing is the same. 
For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you probably have a pretty good idea of what's been going on in my life. Seeing as how it's pretty much the only social media site I actually use somewhat frequently. XD
This summer I enrolled for EMT classes at a local community college, and I'm in the middle of my third week of classes. I'm not even sure if words alone can describe just how much this means to me. I've dreamed about college for years, but due to family health issues or such, I was never able to actually enroll and begin. I'm still trying to believe it has actually happened. (Though, the homework assignments are starting to make me realize that yeah, this is real. xD)  

In addition to that, I've spent the summer working on editing A Question of Loyualty, and sending it to beta-readers. My goal is for it to be released sometime mid-November, but we'll see. I've also decided that this will be the final book in the series. I'm not ruling out a companion novella or something in the future, but this will be the 3rd and final book in the Questions of War series. It took me a little while to come to that decision, and it wasn't an easy one to make. I've come to love my characters and their individual stories. However, when I started writing, I knew it would be temporary. I wasn't one of those people who wanted to write forever. It was a season. And it was a season I loved. Which is why the decisions to make this the final book in the series was so hard. I've been so blessed by all the amazing people I've met in the Indie writing community. I can't imagine life without y'all. <3 

Yes, I'll still write. I'll still read far too much. I may publish more books or novellas. But writing ... it's gonna be pretty low on the priority list. College, work, family ... and whetever else God brings into my life in the next year or so, they'll be my priority. Writing is going to be more of a hobby. 

College along with my other responsibilities, taking on more work, and volunteering at church as left me not a lot of time for much else. Including blogging. I still want to finish my 1 Corinthians 13 series. I mean, I still have a few weeks until the calender says summer is over, soo... xD I definitely want to finish it before then. 
And after that I'm not sure. I want to keep blogging, but we'll have to see. It'll be far from the consistent posting schedule I've tried to keep in the past. (And yes, I'll probably still blog about writing in some form or another. Because I still love to do it. xD) 
Hopefully, though, y'all won't mind some more random posts. Because if these past two and a half weeks have shown me anything, it's that an EMT class is far from boring. 

How about you? How was your summer? Has anything drastically changed in your life? Anything special happen?

Three of my favorite songs this summer have been Fast by Luke Bryan, Seasons Change, by Scotty McCreery, and Life Changes by Thomas Rhett. Because they kinda sum up what this summer has been about. 
Change. New beginings. A new season. 

I'm a summer person, through and through. But this year? I can't wait to see what Autumn brings. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Love - {A Summer Blog Series on 1st Corinthians 13} - Part 2

Hello all, I'm back! I did mention that I wasn't on a schedule this summer, didn't I? ;) Anyway, to make up for not posting the past week or two, there will more then likely be a couple posts this week. You've been warned.
Now onto Part 2 ...

(Read part 1 here)

1 Corinthians 13: 2, 5 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. 


And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Knowledge in and of itself is worth nothing. You can know a lot and be super smart, but without love, you've earned nothing. I personally like to debate people. I like it a lot. And while I don't believe there's anything wrong with it, I have to be careful. Because if I'm not lacing my arguments and speech with love, I'm coming across as knowledgeable and proud. I'm not showing Christ's love to the people I'm talking to. 
I can be right in everything I say. I can know my Bible inside and out. I can have every bit of theology perfected. But if I'm not letting everything I do be affected by Christ's love... I'm profiting nothing. 
Miracles and Faith are good ... but they're nothing without love. 

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil

Doth not behave itself unseemly. Love behaves as it should. It honors boundaries and doesn't push for more. It respects those who are over them in areas of authority, treats with kindness those who are under them, and acts with courtesy towards all. 

Seeketh not her own. It is not selfish. Though shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. It lives according to this verse, and always puts others ahead of themselves; always puts others first. It does not seek its own praise or profit, nor does it seek its own desires ahead of others. It's a selfless kind of love; the kind Christ showed when He died for us. That's the kind of love we should strive to have, with Christ's help. 

Is not easily provoked. Love restrains itself. It doesn't get angry without cause, and when there is cause, it still is slow to anger. I love this definition that the Matthew Henry Commentary uses; "Anger cannot rest in the bosom where love reigns." 

Thinketh no evil. Love carries no malice, and gives no through to revenge. It forgives, even before forgiveness is asked. Yes, it's hard. No, on our own, it's not possible. Love, the way it was designed by God, is only possible with God. In the same way a fountain or spring needs to have a source, so does our love. On our own, we can't love like Jesus, because we can't give what we don't have. Only when we have a close realtionship with Christ and are receiving His love can we hope to love others in the way that is pure and Christlike. 
This sort of love is not apt to accuse others unjustly, and it doesn't have the ability to be jealous or suspicious. It refuses to continue to hold onto past offenses without reservation. 
Love hurts. It's not the way we naturally want to act. We want to get even. We want to be able to have what other people have. I struggle with that. How come I have to continue to love and forgive when I'm seeing to visible repentance, or when I keep praying and loving, but get no response?
It hurts. But it's a good kind of pain. It's growing pain. It's bringing us closer to Christ, and helping us to be able to better understand His love for us. 


Anddd... that wraps up the 2nd post. I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence day + Short story

Hello people! Happy independence day! I hope you guys have a fabulous day as you celebrate with family and friends. I'm so very grateful for the freedom we have in this country, and I pray we never take it for granted. This nation has stood strong in freedom for 242 years. I only pray that it continues or many year to come.

I wrote a short story for the 4th of July - I hope y'all enjoy!


The rain that had stolen the sun from the early July day continued to hammer on the roof, each drop sounding like the ping of a BB gun pellet. Perfect, I thought. It matches how I feel. Goodness knew I had every reason in the world to be cheerful. I mean, it wasn’t like some sort of tragedy had happened, or someone I knew was in the hospital. 
No, from outside standards, my life looked nearly perfect. And it was. Except for one thing. 
This would be the first year that I watched the fireworks without him. I attempted to push the thought away, but to no avail. I was glad mom and my sister had decided to go on a spontaneous shopping trip.I was alone at the house. That way there was no one around to see me cry. 
It was funny how you could miss someone so much. 
The phone rang, interrupting my moody thoughts. Sniffing to get my tears under control, I swiped a hand across my cheeks before answering the phone. Not sure why; it wasn’t like anyone could see me through the phone. 
I slid across the screen to answer, hardly glancing at the number. The ringtone already informed me who was calling; I had a different one for each contact.
“Hey, Jana.”
“Lauren! Hey!” Jana’s perky voice sounded through the microphone. “How are you doing?”
I cleared my throat, willing my voice to sound clear. “Oh, I’m doing okay.”
There was a pause. And then, “Okay? What is it? Spill.”
I made a sound that was somewhere between a sigh and a laugh. My bestie knew me too well. Still, though. I didn’t need to make my problems become hers. I shrugged and lowered myself onto the sofa. “Nothing much. The rain is affecting me and not in the best way.”
Once again there was a pause, stretching longer this time. “Jana? You there?” This wouldn't be the first time the weather had messed with my cell phone reception. 
“It’s him, isn’t it?” 
Rats. She knew me too well. My eyes traveled out the window to the huge tree that graced our front lane. “Yeah.”
“I should have known.” the voice grew muffled, and I could almost see the frown in her next words. “You should have called me.” 
I smiled and twirled a strand of my straw colored hair around the finger of my free hand. I never could sit totally still. “Maybe.”
“But I already bother you enough as it is and I’m pretty sure you’re tired of hearing about the guy.” I knew that if the places were reversed, I’d probably have tired of it a while ago. 
Jana snorted. “Hogwash. Fred is deployed, honey. Maybe I don’t love a soldier, but I can imagine just how hard that would be on a person. It’s been months since you’ve seen him. And around this time of year…” Her voice trailed off and I could hear something jingling on the other end of the line. Something that sounded like keys. “Hey, Lauren, I’m gonna come by and see you, okay?”  
“Oh, no, Jana, you don’t--”
“Hush child. I’m on my way. Be there in twenty minutes or so.”
There was a click and the line went dead. I pulled the phone away from my ear with a smile. Jana was amazing. 
As I slid the phone back into my pocket, her words repeated themselves in my head Around this time of year… 
The tears I had managed to keep back threatened to come again. This time of year. July. Independence day. Summer. The million and one memories I had of us came alive without warning. The days we’d spent together, just enjoying our time. Talking by the creek. Watching corny movies I still couldn’t believe he’d talked me into watching. Playing games with his two siblings and my sister until we’d either gotten too tired to play, or his brother managed to win. 
All the happy memories.  Before his family moved three hours away. Before he joined the service, went off to training, and got deployed. 
I stood and walked to the kitchen, getting out two cups. One for Jana and one for me. Then I pulled out the pitcher of sweet tea and set it on the counter beside them. That was all she ever wanted when she came. Some of mama’s good, old fashioned sweet tea. I had to admit, it wa pretty amazing. And Fred had loved it, too. 
I hadn't heard from him in so long. Sometimes I felt I would give almost anything just to get a message from him. And it didn’t have to be long. A, “Hey, I've been thinking about you.” would be worth far more then its weight in gold. I sighed. I had known what I was getting into when we started dating. But it didn’t make it any easier. 


Jana's visit was everything I needed. She had a way of cheering me up and making me forget for a little while that Fred wasn’t here. Everyone needed a friend like her. 
“Hey, do you have any plans for the 4th?”
She had finished her tea and sat beside me on the sofa, twirling her empty glass in her hands. I shrugged. “We’re gonna have hamburgers and such.Dad’s gonna do them on the grill  Let off a few fireworks. Something small.” 
“I have an idea!” She reached over and put a hand on my knee, and I held back a smile. She was nearly bouncing with enthusiasm. 
 “You can come celebrate with us! We’re gonna have a bunch of people from our church over, and it’ll be an amazing time!”
I almost shook my head to dismiss the thought, but hesitated. What was there to keep me from going? We alway celebrated early, anyway. There would be plenty of time for me to get over to Jana’s house before the fireworks started. 
I felt a grin lifting the sides of my face. “Sure, that sounds fun.”
“Oh, yes!” Jana pumped her fist in the air as if she had just won an important argument, and tucked a loose strand of her brown hair behind her ear. “This is gonna be so much fun!” 
I laughed, and for the first time all day, I felt light. Maybe it would be fun. Fred wouldn't be there, but Jana was bound to make it a day I wouldn't forget. 
On impulse, I reached over and gave her a hug. “I love you, girl.” 
I felt her arms go around me and she gave me a squeeze. “Love you, bestie.” 


I felt as if I had stepped into a whole different world when I arrived at Jana’s house. Their place sat at the edge of town, and they had several acres around their house. Patriotic music played in the background, loud enough to be heard across the whole of their expansive yard. 
Jana must have seen me pull in, and she left the crown and hurried over, giving me a quick hug. “You came! I was half afraid you’d decide not to.”
I snickered as I locked the car behind me. “I’m not that much of an introvert. I do enjoy get togethers every once in a while.” 
“Mhm.” Jana didn’t seem convinced, and I lightly cuffed her shoulder. “Hush. I’m here.”
“I know.” She linked her arm in mine and gave me a smile. “And I couldn't be happier. Come on, we’re just about to start the fireworks!” 
She pulled me through the crowd of people, some I knew and some I didn’t. We attended different churches, but it seemed that somehow everyone in this town was connected. 
A moment later we’re standing near the front--A bit too close, in my opinion. But I knew Jana loved getting as close as possible. 
Moment’s after we arrived, her dad and a few other guys from the church let off the first round of fireworks. The bright colors light up the night sky, exploding in colors too vibrant for words. 
Behind me I can hear everyone exclaiming over the beauty, but different thoughts run through my head. I close my eyes and listen. Is this what it sounds like overseas, where Fred is? Are these the kinds of sounds he has to face every day, knowing that unlike our fun celebration, the sounds could kill him?
The thought seems to wrap its fingers around my chest and I take a deep breath. God, keep him safe.
“Did you start the party without me?”
The voice is close behind me, and my eyes fly open at the words. That voice...I turned and met Jana’s gaze, and her eyes are every bit as wide as mine. Hardly daring to let myself hope, I turn the rest of the way till I can see whos behind me. 
And for a moment, I can’t move. 
He’s standing there in his uniform, giving me a ridiculous smirk, his eyes alight with mischief.  “What? I can’t surprise my best girl on the 4th?” 
“Fred!” I throw my arms around his neck, and his own arms go around me. I hear him chuckle. “Happy Independence day, Lauren.”
I don’t answer, only hold him tighter, as if I’m never gonna let him go. This is where I feel safe. This is home. In his arms.
I suddenly remember that there are people around watching us, but at the moment I couldn't care less. “You’re home.”
I loosen my grip and step back, tears shimmering in my eyes. Against my will, they spill down my cheeks. 
The look on his face suddenly softens, and he reaches down to brush them away. “I am, baby girl. I am.”
Nothing could describe the way I felt. As the fireworks started I tucked my hand in his arm and rested my head against his shoulder.
This would be an Independence day I remembered forever. 


I hope y'all have a blessed 4th of July. May God bless America!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Love - { A Summer Blog Series on 1 Corinthians 13} - Part 1

I Corinthians 13: 1,4 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity [love] envieth not; charity [love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.

*waves* Hello people, and welcome to the first blog post in the blog series on 1 Corinthians 13. Yes, this should have been up on Saturday, but we were having technical difficulties with our computer. Thankfully they've been resolved, so here I am! 

I've divided the chapter up into six different sections, and each week we'll cover a different section. The first three weeks include one of the first three verses, as well as one of the middle ones. If that doesn't make sense, look up there ^ at the ones we're covering today and hopefully that will help explain it. ;) The reason being is because the first three verses talk about what we are without love, and the next four talk about what God defines love as. 

Also, I'm using the King James version of the bible. As many of you probably know, it translates the word love as charity. So keep that in mind. Without further ado, let's get started!


Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

The Matthew Henry commentary defines this as having the ability to speak in mulitple languages with eloquence. And while I'm quite aware that there are other views out there, this is what I personally believe it means. In chapter 12, Paul is dealing with divisions in the church, and many of them stem from the chaos in the church from speaking in tongues. Many of the people in the church in Corinth were claiming to do so, but having no translator, there was no way anyone could understand what was being said. 
(Just a quick side note, when I refer to speaking in tongues, I refer to the supernatural ability to speak in a known language that you previously did not know.) 

Here Paul is saying that if you have the ability to speak every language of man and angels with eloquence and beauty, but you don't have love, you have nothing. Without a love for the people you are ministering to, and a heart to reach them for Christ, we're nothing. Even if maybe we can speak a native language so beautifully that it makes others stand in awe. To God, that language, spoken without love, sounds like clanging brass. Ever heard a little kid grab some drumsticks and pound on a drum  without having any idea what they were doing?
That's how we sound to our heavenly Father when we try and speak to people about Him without love. 

Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity [love] envieth not; charity [love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.

Love, the true love that comes from Christ, has the ability to do things that we as human beings cannot do on our own. 
Charity Suffereth long. Have you ever had to forgive someone who didn't ask for it? Have you ever had a misunderstanding or been hurt by someone? I know I have. Love takes these and refuses to hold onto them with bitterness or resentment. It forgives without reservation. It takes the forgiveness we have in Christ and extends it to others. Yes, it hurts. And I think I can speak for everyone when I say it's hard. We want people to feel how they made us feel. We want them to have to suffer for how they made us suffer. 
But love doesn't do that. It forgives and lets go. It takes the hurt and gives it to Christ. And in the end we realize, letting go frees us more then if we would have held on. 

Another definition of suffering long is being patient. It will wait. In difficult circumstances, it keeps on praying, even when there's no visible answer in sight. It is content that, in God's good time, the answer will come. Love keeps on waiting, even when that waiting hurts more than anything. 

Charity is Kind. It looks to do good to others. It has compassion. When it sees a need, it does its best to meet it. 

Charity envieth not. Have you ever had a time where someone else's prayer were answered before your own? Or maybe someone else got that position you so desperately wanted. Love will rejoice with those we care for when they are blessed. It doesn't get upset or frustrated and wonder, "Why not me?" Because it can trust that God's timing is right, and God's plans are perfect. 

Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Love isn't prideful. It doesn't force its agenda forward. It doesn't treat anyone as lower, but instead realizes that at the foot of the cross, we're all equal. And with Christ to help us and His love to fill us, we will prefer others above ourselves. We're human, and it can be so easy to look at others and look down on them for some reason or another. But love doesn't do that. It realizes that we, too, have our own shortcomings. And instead it looks to help those who are struggling. 


Andddd... that's the end of this week's post. It ended up a bit longer then I had anticipated. ;) What are your thoughts on these two verses? Anything you agree/disagree with? I'd so love to hear your feedback! 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour - Giveaway Winners

Time goes by, the clock don't stop. I wish I had a few more drops of the good stuff, the good times, oh, but they just keep on flying right on by like it ain't nothing. I wish I had me a pause button. Moments like these, Lord knows I'd hit it. To give myself five more minutes. - Scotty McCreery, Five More Minutes 

Wow. This past week just flew past! It's hard to believe that the blog tour is over and my little novella has been released to the world! Thank you all SO much for all the comments and encouraging words about my book. And for participating in the blog tour. I know it wouldn't have been the same without you all! :)

And now, the news I know y'all have been waiting for... the giveaway winners!

1st Place: Paperback copy of I Don't Dance + Scotty McCreery's Clear as Day CD
Winner: Brooklyne

2nd Place: E-book copy of I Don't Dance + $5 Krispy Kreme Giftcard
Winner: Bethany R.

Congrats, ladies! I will be sending you an email a bit later today with some more details and such. Thank you again so much for everyone who participated in any way during the tour - It was fabulous having you all here to release I Don't Dance with me! 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour - Day 4 - Music

Sweet tea, porch swings, supper on the stove... *grins* If that doesn't say summer I don't know what does.

I can hardly believe we've come to the last day of the blog tour! I've had so much fun and I hope you all have as well. :) Today we have 4 bloggers joining us for the final day--be sure and read their posts!

Angela Watts//Book Spotlight - The Peculiar Messenger
Kaylee H.//Book Spotlight - Keylee’s Kind of Writes
Kellyn Roth//Review - Reveries
Kate//Book Spotlight - Twin Thoughts
Today we're talking about music. Music has a certain ability that no other sort of written word does. Words and a tune can contain almost as much emotion as a full length novel. As such, I always try to somehow weave in songs in my books that bring out the feeling I'm attempting to achieve. Most of the time I go with hymns, because there is such a variety that there's always one to fit any story.
This time, however, I used country songs. Now, I'll be the first to admit that not all country songs are worth listening to. But around the time that I began to write "I Don't Dance", I discovered Scotty McCreery. A country singer with an amazing voice and some pretty epic songs. They just seemed to bubble over with summer and enchanted days and enjoying the little things in life. His songs and style fit the book perfectly, and thus, they became as much a part of "I Don't Dance" as ice cream and picnics on the tailgate.
Have you heard of Scotty McCrerry? If so, do you enjoy his music? Be sure and enter the giveaway; it's the last day you can do so! And come back tomorrow for the winners!

Friday, June 22, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour - Day 3 - Characters

Seasons change, I'm turning a new leaf, rolling up my sleeves. Because it's summmeerrrr! *is forever happy*

I had a wonderful release day yesterday. I ended up doing nothing at all except some basic chores around the house, started working on a formatting project, drank lots of coffee and sweet tea, video chatted with some dear friends, and watched wayyy too many episodes of Full House. The weather was gorgeous and so epicly wonderful. ^_^

All righty, the bloggers we have today...lots of wonderful stops to visit!

Laura//Review - Beautiful Things
Chloe//Review - Purely by Faith Reviews
Rebekah Eddy//Review, Author Interview, Book spotlight - Rebekah’s Remarks
Molly Anne//Review - Set Apart for Him
Abigail McKenna//Review - Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors

And the giveaway... 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All righty, today we're talking about characters! Those little elements that really make the story. Because it would be kind hard to write a story without that vital component.

I Don't Dance is written in one POV, but there are really three main characters. Ty, Jen, and Ty's best friend, Mike. It's always said that you write a little bit of yourself into each character you write, and  couldn't agree more. But the characters are also impacted by people around you, and I love seeing the similarities in my characters and the people I know.

Ty- He is probably the character who is a lot like me. In some ways he's outgoing, and in others he is hesitant. He has a strong sense of justice and values, but can occasionally need someone to push him out of his comfort zone.

Jen-She's quite, yet deep. She doesn't talk often, but when she does it's normally what needs to be said. She loves the little things in life, and finds pleasure in the smallest moments. She's a lot like a dear friend of mine in more ways then one. So yeah, she's a pretty special character.

Mike-Oh goodness gracious, Mike. Where do I even start? He's forever teasing and messing with Ty, but he never means any harm by it. He sees the humorous and bright side in everything, and is the life of the party. And he loves it. He isn't afraid to speak his mind, and he loves making other people laugh. Like, Jen, a lot of his personality came from another friend of mine. And oh goodness was it epic to write. xD

And yes. The three main precious people in my story. Which character (if you've read it) was your favorite? See y'all tomorrow for the last day of the blog tour!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour - Day 2 - Release Day

This is it. This is now. This is what I've been talking about.

It's the first day of summer, guys! Summerrrr! Oh, and it's also the release day of I Don't Dance. I may be slightly more excited for summer... though, the publication is close behind. xD
Sunny days, watermelon, corn on the cob, fireworks, open windows, messy hair, rain, trips to the lake, hiking, new adventures... *sighs in delight* Summer is so wonderful, y'all. <3

Today we have three lovely bloggers joining me, and they're all doing reviews! Also, fun fact, this is the only blog tour I've ever hosted where release day has the least amount of bloggers. I'm thinking it might have something to do with the fact that it's on a Thursday this time, and not a Friday. ;)

Soleil Bourdon//Review, Book Spotlight - Reviews By Soleil
Faith Potts//Review, Book Spotlight - Stories by Firefly
Janelle Martin//Review - The Ramblings of a Bookworm

And of course, the giveaway with a nice, summery CD and book... ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Seeing as how it's release day, I don't have anything really to talk about.

Well, okay, I guess I should be honest. I did. I had a great idea. It was epic. And... I didn't write it down and I forgot it. Sooo... better luck tomorrow? Hopefully? xD Maybe I can remember what aspect of the book I was gonna talk about today and write about it tomorrow.

All righty, I'm gonna go and grab some ice cream. Seems a fabulous way to start out the first day of summer, yes? That and a summery book...*nudges you toward Amazon* (Paperback) - (Kindle)  ;)

See y'all tomorrow! Happy first day of summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour - Day 1 - Setting

Sweet tea, y'all. It goes good with everything -- especially these hot summer days Kansas has been giving us. Not that I'm complaining. I adore summer. ;) Anyway, how about joining me? Grab a glass of sweet tea, kick up your feet, and I'll show you the stops for the first day of the blog tour! 

Libby May//Review - Geoturtle
Allyson Kennedy//Author Interview, Review  - Authoring Arrowheads
Liz//Author Interview, Review - Home with the Hummingbirds
Victoria Goodbrand//Author Interview - Victoria’s Book Nook

Be sure and check out these lady's lovely posts! And of course, there is a giveaway! Do you like country music? Doughnuts? Want a copy of the book? Well then ... go and enter! 

Each day of the blog tour, I'm going to be talking a bit about a different aspect of my little novella. Today is the setting. The book takes place in North Carolina, in a small town nestled in the mountains. Up to this point, most of my books and stories have taken place in Kansas, and that's for various reasons. The main one is that, since I live here, I can write it authentically, and I don't have to worry about getting details, weather patterns, crop and farming info and such wrong. 

However, I had visited Highlands, North Carolina last year and fallen in love with the little town. It was picturesque, it was adorable, and it had all the small town feeling that I wanted in the story. Plus, I had been there so I could write about it somewhat accurately, and if I had questions...well, a dear friend lives only about 40 min away. ;)

Also, during the time I was witting the book, I discovered Scotty McCreery's music. Many of his song fit into the book perfectly, and he sang about North Carolina, sooo... it was a win-win situation. 

And that's all for today! Be sure and come back tomorrow! It happens to be the first day of summer... and release day! 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Exciting Announcment

Hello all! I've got something exciting to share with y'all today! You may remember back a couple weeks ago when I said I had an announcement to share with y'all in the upcoming weeks. Well, this is it!

Many of you have asked where I get my covers designed, and I've always just said that a friend of mine did them. Which wasn't super helpful for you guys if you wanted to get a cover designed by her. Well, guess what?! That dear friend and I have started a graphic design/formatting business!  We've been playing around with the idea for a while, but for some reason or another always ended up putting it off. Part of it was the fact that I still had some things to learn with the interior formatting.

Well, thanks to a job I got earlier this year formatting a book for a friend, I've learned the last few ins and outs of using word document for formatting. Sooo... yeah. We decided to go ahead and just do it. ;)

You can view our website here (Inside Out Designs) , and see some examples of what we do, as well as pricing and such. We're so excited for it, and can't wait to help some Indie authors!