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. 


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

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 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

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Question of Courage Blog Tour - Day One

*waves* Hello all, and Happy Wednesday! Can you believe it?! The first day of the blog tour is here! *coughs* I may have a hard time believing it myself. The good news is that this time I'm actually managing to be a bit ahead of things, and I have the kindle pre-order up and running! You can pre-order your copy here

We have three stops on the blog tour today! so be sure and click over and take a look. ;) 

Faith Potts//Stories by Firefly - Review, Book spotlight
Libby May//Geoturtle - Author Interview

Some of you may remember back in March when A Question of Honor was published, I shared 3 facts about the book each day. But since I didn't want to do the same thing again, I decided I'd share 1 fact about the book, and 1 quote each day. Sounds like fun? Here goes!

Random Fact:  The first draft of A Question of Courage ended at 65K words. And I wrote the entire thing in a month. It was the most I've ever written in that short of a time period. Not much of the actual story changed during the edits, and the final version ended up just a bit over 70k. 

Quote: Art tilted his head toward the flight deck. “You a pilot?”
Rafe was pretty sure his uniform made that clear, but he nodded. “Yeah. You?”
He’d meant the question to be sarcastic, but obviously Art either didn’t notice the sarcasm, or ignored it. Waving a dismissive hand, he shook his head. “No. I’m just your normal, ordinary, run-of-the-mill sailor. I specialize in having a peculiar sense of humor, dressing smart, and being handy with the ladies.” He paused, and then put up a finger. “Oh, did I mention sarcasm?” 
Rafe shook his head. “No, no, I don’t think you did. Quite the résumé.” 

And . . . that's all for today! Oh, wait, am I forgetting something? *thinks* Right, the giveaway! 

And . .  I'll see you all back here tomorrow! ;) 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Indie Christian Book Sale!

Hey y'all! Just popping in to let y'all know about this amazing book sale going on right now! And they're all Indie books! Amazing, right? Normally I'd try to add a bit more to the post . . . but I'm still rather exhausted from yesterday (whcih was amazing;)) so I'll just be quiet and let you read blow where you can find all the amazing links to books! :D

It’s that time of year. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year’s Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you, Indie Christian Books has a perfect event for you.

From Nov 24th through Nov 30th, a huge selection of independently published Christian books are on sale. You can find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, we have some freebies for you! Need even more of a reason to support indie authors and fill your shelf with good stories? When you purchase a paperback book through you’ll be eligible to enter an exclusive giveaway including free books and an Amazon gift card!

You can meet our authors by visiting the Author Database on the website. Want to get to know the authors better AND have the chance to win some fun prizes? We’d love to have you join our week long Facebook party which will feature 39 authors over 7 days.

What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. Many of the books are listed as "Sold Out." This is because we aren’t selling those directly through our site. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Writing Update

Well, lookie here, I'm actually getting a Friday post up. And on time! Will miracles never cease. xD

Anyway, I'm here because I realized that it has been wayyy too long since I've done an update on how my writing is going. Like, I was checking the posts, and I haven't done a writing update since . .  .May?! I honestly have no idea how that happened. *coughs* Sorry, guys.

So. Anyway. I'm here to make up for that. ;) And give you an update on how writing has been going these past . . . 6 months.

Questions of War Series

 Well, the 2nd book is about to be published on the 1st (sign-ups for the blog tour are here!), and the third book is right around halfway done, thanks to NaNo. ;)

A Question of Loyalty is the third book, and the one I'm currently writing for NaNo. It's the first book I've ever attempted with 4 POVs. And I'm quite enjoying it! It's already at around 33K words, I'm not even quite at the climax yet. So I'm thinking it'll end up at around at least 65K. If not a bit longer.
And since the whole point of doing a post with a NaNo update is snippets .  . . I've included a few below for you. (Below meaning, at the end of the post. ;))

For those of you who have been following my blog for any length of time, you may have remembered that this was originally going to be a three book series.
Butttt . . . I realized there was no way I was going to fit everything that I needed to into three books. So, there will be a fourth one. The tentative timeline for the 4th and final book is 1946-1948.  Some of the characters introduce in the 2nd book will make another appearance, and it will focus on the 4th Sullivan child, Jamie.  I'm really looking forward to this one, because, first of all, it's going to need so much less research! And secondly, I think it'll be nice to take a break from writing about the war. Like someone told me, I need to focus on writing a happy story.

So yes. That's how the series is coming. ;)

In other writing . . . *crickets chirp* Yeah, I've pretty much been focusing on Questions of War. But! That's hasn't stopped me from getting ideas! Ask my critique partner; I've got enough 'future story ideas' to last me until . . . 2020? Yeah, it's pretty bad. But I am planning on writing a Christmas story for the blog this year. And then  I'd like to start work on a book that I've been toying around with for a long time. Think brothers, war, adoption, redemption, and all that fun sort of stuff. *nods* I'm excited about it. ;)

Well, yeah, that's about all. Writing has slowed a bit these past few months, but I've learned to be okay with that. After all, while writing is a huge part of my life, it's not my main focus. But I'm hoping ot get back into it more soon! I have to. These ideas are driving me insane. xD And .  . . I'll stop talking and give y'all some snippets.


The latch on the door clicked, and the rhythmic tapping of boots across the floor startled him from his reverie. 
“Arnold, get up, let’s go.” Captain Essler, his cap drawn low over his brows and the familiar frown settled on his face, slapped his riding whip on the desk.
Arnold didn’t make move to get up, nor did the sting of the whip across the dark oak startle him. He’d seen Erich like this before. 
Reaching up, he pushed back his cap and ran a finger through his thick, black hair. “Well, now, is there something the matter, Erich?”
Erich’s eyes blazed, and the look his shot Arnold would have scared many a younger officer. “Why must you always persist in acting like this? Why can’t you simply follow orders?”
Arnold chuckled, and pushed back his chair. Taking his time, he stood. “Because, I’m the only one who gets to see you act like this without getting a reprimand. Why would I want to spoil that?”


As soon as they left the hall, he felt a hand clamp down on his shoulder, and Erich spun him around. “Arnold, so help me, I’m going to kill you!” Erich’s voice came out in a hiss between his clenched teeth. “No, wait, I’m going to demote you to private, then I’m going to send you to the Russian front and put you on the front line. And if the Russians don’t get the job done, I’m going to personally take a trip there and finish you myself.”
With the last word, he shoved Arnold up against the wall, as if to emphasize his point. 
Arnold chuckled as he reached up and brushed off what appeared to be flour on the front of Erich’s uniform. “And once I’m gone, how are you going to explain that you were found fraternizing with the cook, ehh? It’s not allowed, you know. “He cocked an eyebrow and met Erich’s gaze with a smile. “Even for an officer.” 


Did women seriously like flowers and chocolate? Micah wanted to shake himself. He was insane. But then again, when had he ever been anything but? The bar of chocolate was going to melt in his pocket, but there really wasn’t much more to do about it. 
Making his way out of the hospital, he tried to appear as inconspicuous as possible. However, that wasn’t very easy to manage when you were dressed in your uniform and holding a large bouquet of flowers in your hands.
He grimaced as he saw two of the nurses watching him from, the hospital lobby. In his three years working on staff at the hospital, he had never gone out with a woman. 


Micah didn’t reply, and Ann wondered if she’d touched on a difficult subject. Despite his teasing and his smile, she could tell the war had taken a toll on him. His eyes, even when he smiled, were shadowed. And a dusting of grey brushed his temples. It almost looked as if snow had drifted down and landed there, leaving the rest of his head untouched. 
The silence stretched easily between them. The sights and sounds of London still amazed Ann. They were so similar, yet so different from America. She paused for a moment and looked up at Big Ben. She’d seen pictures, but they hadn’t done it justice. 
“You’re not in Oz anymore, Dorothy.” Micah’s voice held a smile. “A lot different from Kansas, ehh?”
Rafe would have said that. The sudden realization shot a pain of homesickness through her, but she pushed it aside. “Yes, very different. For one, our landmarks . . . “ Her Voice trailed off. What Landmarks did Kansas have? The sky. The fields. Nothing that could ever compare to the massive clock tower that was a symbol of London. 
But she loved them all the same. “Our landmarks are nature.” She smiled, as images flashed through her head. “Sunsets, that seem to never end. Going on till the colors seem to turn the entire sky into a canvas of lava. Fields that go till they touch the end of the horizon Such small things. But I still love them.” Her voice came out in a whisper. 


Across the table, Ann looked up from her food, concern written on her face. “First, you seem so solemn that I’m sure something must be wrong. Then, you don’t say anything, which only reinforces that conclusion. Now, out of the blue, you’re laughing.” She frowned and pointed her spoon at him. “Were you not already a doctor I’d have you taken to the infirmary to be checked.”
The image of her sitting there and lecturing him with a spoon was so comical, he shook his head and chuckled. “Well, let it never be said that Micah Wilson was normal.”
She only glared at him. “I’m quite sure you’ve never been accused of that.”
“Oh, well actually, there was that one time I actually sat down and practiced piano like I was supposed to. Mother came in and remarked that for the moment, I looked every bit the normal child. But other then that, you’re right. I never was what you might call a model human.”
Ann took a drink of her water, and then nodded in agreement. “How could you be? You’re not German. And from what I hear, they’re the epitome of the model human race.”
It was all Micah could do to keep from laughing, which would have been disastrous seeing as to how he’d just put a bite of food in his mouth. Ann’s comebacks were second to none, and he hadn’t had as much fun since David was there. 


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Christmas Blog Tour!

Hello all! I'm here as a part of Rebekah Morris's blog tour! And guess what? It's all Christmas books! So let's get on with it, shall we? ;)

Home for Christmas

Feeling that life is unfair when her father is killed in the front lines of France and she has to live with her relatives on a western farm, twelve-year-old Susanna Stanson runs away to the city. She decides that all will be well when she reaches her old home, but a severe snowstorm interrupts her trip.

I really enjoyed this story! The backdrop was WWII, so how could I not? ;) It seemed to be a bit slow in the middle, but the ending made up for it! It was a very sweet story! My only complaint was that . . . well, it seemed like it could have been changed to a Civil War setting without much being changed at all. There wasn't much of a 40's feel at all.
But the ending . . . <3 Like I said, it made up for it. It was so sweet!
“Well, that ain’t my concern, though I say it’s a shame to send a young girl like you off with no bag an’ baggage. An’ right before Christmas too.” ~ Home for Christmas

Three Christmas Stories from WWII

Christmas Delays

A doctor, called up for duty in the army, spends one more Christmas with his wife in an unexpected way after God's Christmas delays strand them in a small house with another family.

Peter's Christmas
Very mild weather might not feel like Christmas, but young, orphaned Peter and his older sister find the peace and love of the season with the Hampton family in spite of the sadness of war.

I'll be Home for Christmas
Grandpa recounts the memories of his first Christmas away from home during WWII.

These stories were all amazing! The first two were sweet, and I enjoyed them, but . . . The third was my favorite by far. I need an entire novel about these guys, 'kay? Like, it had brothers, it had a long-distance Christmas, it had the song "I'll be Home for Christmas" and it had a hosptial. Need I say anything else about how amazing it was?! *hugs it* So yes. I loved it. Probably one of my favorite stories Rebekah Morris has ever written. And like I said, now I just need a book about these guys . . . ;)

The voice went on singing those tender words that brought the folks at home into clear focus for many a lonely G.I. away from home.“I’ll be home for Christmas, If only in my dreams. If only in my dreams.” ~ Christmas Delays

Rebekah was also kind enough to do an interview for the blog! So, let's here about some of her favorite things about Christmas, shall we?

1.) Favorite Christmas carol? Secular and christian. ;)
Oh, Christmas carols! There are so many that I like, but my top favorite in the Christian genre are “O Holly Night” and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” At least those are my favorite right now. (Is it perhaps because they are both included in the Christmas story I’m currently writing? Maybe.) As for a favorite secular Christmas song, I’m going to say “Winter Wonderland” and “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” (And no, those aren’t in any story I’m writing right now.) :)
I'll be home for Christmas! *coughs* It's not like I have any special attachment to that song at all . . .

2.) Favorite Christmas tradition? 
We don’t have many traditions, but there are two that I can think of that I hope keep going on. One is that on Christmas morning we always have Cinnamon Bread and Nut Bread. My grandma (Dad’s mom) used to always send us a box at Christmas time with those special breads in it and we’d eat them on Christmas morning. Now that Grandma has passed away, my sister makes the same bread for Christmas mornings, and every time I eat it, I can taste Grandma’s love.
The other tradition is our Christmas rug. My mom’s grandma made us a latch-hook rug that is a Christmas wreath. It aways comes out and sits on the floor before the Christmas tree, and on Christmas morning that is where I always sit. But when we do Christmas with my brother’s family, the kids know that whoever child is opening their gift, they get to sit on the rug. It’s so sweet watching them scramble to get on the rug so they can open their present.
Oh, those sounds so neat! I always love hearing about traditions others have. 

3.) Favorite Christmas story?  Other then the one of the first Christmas.  
My favorite-est of favorite Christmas stories is “The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas” by Madeleine L’Engle. My mom read that story every year to us for as long as I can remember, then I started reading it, and there have been a few years when I’ve read it more than once because I read it to others. Even though I have the story practically memorized and can quote lines and phrases, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without reading that book.
That's one Christmas book I haven't read yet. I can't wait to break out the stash of Christmas books I've been saving for December. I'll have to add this to it. 

4.) When you write a Christmas book, what is your favorite time period to write?
Oh, I don’t know. I’ve written stories from so many different eras that it’s hard to choose. I think I like them all equally well because what makes a Christmas story isn’t the time period it is set in, it is the warmth, the love, the joy of the season that matters most. Writing Christmas stories from different eras also brings Christmas alive no matter where it takes place, or when.
So true! I love when you read books and even though they may be set 100 years apart, many of the same traditions are cherished by families. 

5.) Random question.  ;) What part of the Christmas meal are you in charge of?
I would say none! but it depends. We don’t have a usual “Christmas meal” per say at our house. Most of that came from the fact that for thirty years we would always head up to my Grandparents on Christmas afternoon for a week with family. Grandma almost always had lasagna. But now that we are home on Christmas day, we might have snacks and do something fun. But, if we were having a “traditional meal” I make the rolls. 
Oh, fun! Cooking is so much fun . . . I almost love cooking on Christmas as much as opening the presents.;)  

Thank you so much for coming on the blog, Rebekah! I loved hearing your answers! 

Thank you so much for letting me come and chat, Jesseca. I enjoyed it!

About the Author

Rebekah A. Morris is a homeschool graduate, an enthusiastic freelance author and a passionate writing teacher. Her books include, among others, Home Fires of the Great War, The Unexpected Request, Gift from the Storm, and her bestselling Triple Creek Ranch series. Some of her favorite pastimes, when she isn't’ writing, include reading and coming up with dramatic and original things to do. The Show-Me state is where she calls home.

November 13
Bookish Orchestrations – Introductory Post
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Kaylee's Kind of Writes – Book Spotlight
Resting Life – Review and Excerpt
Perry Elisabeth – Excerpt
Rachel Rossano's Words – Book Spotlight and Excerpt

November 14
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Odelia's Blog – Author Interview and Book spotlight
Bryce’s Creative Writing Corner – Author Interview, Review, and Excerpt
Counting Your Blessings One by One – Review and Excerpt
Perpetual Indie Perspective – Book Spotlight

November 15
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Whimsical Writings for His Glory – Author, Review, and Excerpt
Maidens for Modesty – Author Interview and Review
The Destiny of One – Book Spotlight
Rebekah Ashleigh – Book Spotlight
Stephany's BLOG Snippets – Book Spotlight and Excerpt

November 16
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Laurel's Leaves – Author Interview
Stories by Firefly – Review
Claire Banschbach – Author Interview
Kelsey's Notebook – Review and Excerpt
Jaye L. Knight – Book Spotlight and Excerpt

November 17
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Ruffles and Grace – Book Spotlight
With a Joyful Noise – Book Spotlight
Bookish Orchestrations – Closing Post