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!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

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

Hello readers. Today's post is going to be short and to the point... and, as the title says, announcing a summer blog series.

I mentioned in my last post that I wasn't planning on sticking to a posting schedule, and that I wasn't sure what I would post about over the summer. Then later this week as I was having devotions, I was struck by how often we are commanded to love one another in the body of Christ. And it got me to thinking about how our culture today has redefined love and what it means. The word is tossed around and used in such trivial ways, that it's hard to know or understand what exactly love is. And that thought led to yet another...what about a blog series where we explore that God has to say about love?

So yes. I'm still praying and planning the posts and working on them, but I wanna say right off that I'm far from an expert on the subject. I'm simply writing what I have found God's word to be teaching us as I've been studying the new testament this year. I'm looking forward to it, and the discussions I hope we can have on the subject. My goal in the series is to focus our eyes on a pure and godly love. The Christlike kind of love that is so lacking in the world we live in.

I hope y'all will feel free to add some thoughts and such in the comments of each post, and I will reply to them. I so enjoy discussions on spiritual things - especially subjects I'm passionate about.

More details to come later, after the release of I Don't Dance (this week!) For now, I wanna hear your thoughts. Does this sound like something you'd enjoy/be interested in?

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Hello June//Summer

Hello all. How is your June coming so far?

 June is one of my very favorite months of the year. It's finally gotten to the point where it's nearly always sunny, the thunderstorms are amazing , and summer has begun to whisper its arrival.
I love summer. There's just something about summertime that makes everything and anything seem possible. Summertime feels free in a glorious way that no other season can echo . It's everything I love about life wrapped up in a magical three months that come once a year.
Yes, I love summer. Can you tell?

May was a crazy, busy, full month. It was good, but to be honest, I'm more then ready to move into June and leave May behind. It had its struggles and challenges...But God was good, lessons were learned,  and the sun rose on yet another month.
There is a lot that I have planned for June, here on the blog as well as just life in general.  I Don't Dance will be published in a little less then two weeks, which Is still kinda surreal. I also have an exciting announcement coming up sometime next week, so stay tuned!

Anyway, seeing as how it is summer and summer is supposed to be fun, I've decided to not attempt to stick to my posting schedule. So y'all can look forward to a summer of random posts. ;)

And since I didn't have anything really planned to post about this week, I thought it'd be fun to hear a bit from y'all.  What's your favorite thing about summer? Do you have anything exciting going on? Is summer the season that captures your heart, or is there another you love more? ;)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour Sign-ups!

I think the title pretty much sums it up, but I'm so excited to announce blog tour sign ups for I Don't Dance!  The book will be published three weeks from today, and I can't wait for y'all to join me! If you'd like to know a bit more about the book, you can read about it here. 

Well, that's all I got for today, folks. I'll see you Saturday! *gently nudges you toward the signup* 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

To those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, may we be forever grateful. 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends
John 15:13 

The sun had sunk halfway below the water that crashed against the rocks dotting the shoreline. Stretching as far as the eyes could see, Lake Michigan was stunning as the waters sparkled in the enchanted light. Yet, the scene unfolding made no impression on the young woman that sat atop the rocks, her gaze locked on an item held in her hands.
A light breeze stirred the air, making the evening comfortable; a welcome reprieve from the humidity of the June day. Strands of hair played around her face, but she made no move to push them back. At last, she looked up and let her eyes sweep the view in front of her. And as she did so, two tears escaped her eyes and worked their way down her face.
There had been many dreams in her lifetime. She could still remember so many of them. Like that dream of being his. It was a dream she had secretly treasured for years before he had finally realized that she was the only one for him. She remembered how she felt when he asked her. He’d looked so handsome in the uniform with his eyes smiling down at her.  
In that moment, her dream had burst forth into glorious reality. She’d never forget what it felt like to be with him. To feel safe and treasured. She’d never forget what it felt like for a dream to become real.
The problem was, this was different. This was reality now. And oh, how she wished with every piece of her broken heart that it was just a dream.
But the folded flag that lay in her hands told her it wasn’t so. Why was it always the dreams that you wished could become reality, and the reality you wished were only a dream?
The ceremony had been today, but it was all a blur in her mind. All she could see was the casket that held the body of the man she had loved her whole life. A man who she was sure she would never stop loving.
And oh, it hurt. It hurt so much more than she had expected. She had known it was possible. And she had tried to prepare herself for the news, if it came one day. But looking back now, she realized it had been in vain. No matter what, she’d hoped that it wouldn’t happen. Sure, maybe it would happen to other families. But her and Peter . . . They’d be okay. Or at least, that’s what she told herself.
But not anymore.
Maybe, one day, the pain would fade. Everyone said it would. But right now, she couldn't imagine it ever getting easier.
Freedom wasn’t free. And never in her life had those words felt as true as they did today. Her Peter had paid the price. And with all her heart, she prayed that his sacrifice was not in vain.


“I don't have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world.” — President Ronald Reagan

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Little Things

The little things. The wind rippling across fields of grain. New flowers, opening their petals to the sun. Dirt roads. Sunshine filled days. Little siblings bringing you handfuls of dandelions. A friend that is always there to listen. The fact that we're alive today.

Picture from pinterest
Sometimes it's the little things that we overlook in this busy life. But if we take a moment to stop and notice them, we realize...they aren't so little after all.

Life is so busy nowadays. Well, at least for my family it is. And it is so easy to get caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle and get so focused on the big events in life, that the little blessings are overlooked. When you're worrying about college and a job and trying to plan the summer and wondering what it will bring, it's hard to make yourself take the time to pause each day and be thankful for the little blessings around you. So often it's not that we aren't thankful for them or don't want to be thankful for them. Instead, it's that our focus is off kilter. We think that each new season of life will hold what we are looking for. And maybe it will. But looking back, we'll always miss the part of our life we're in now. We'll wonder why we didn't treasure those days where in all honesty... we really didn't have that much to worry about.

So instead of looking at the future and worrying about what may happen, pause and look around you. Take some time today to look at the little blessings God has placed in your life. Make a point to enjoy them. To live each day to the fullest. Because you'll never get this day back.

Picture from pinterest

Today I'm thankful for: Sunshine. Country. The whisper in the wind that summer is on the way. The field of corn across from our house that makes for some epic pictures. A friend who stayed up till nearly midnight to talk. A new day full of possibilities. What little things are you thankful for? 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Writing Historical Fiction Authentically

Historical fiction. Since it's one of my favorite genres to both read and write, of course I had to write a blog post about it. ;)

Today I'm going to be talking about writing historical fiction authentically. Which I guess you could also call, “researching for historical fiction.” *shrugs* Whichever angle you prefer. XD
One of my very favorite things about reading historical fiction is all the little details I get to learn about whatever time period the book is set in. There's just something exciting about opening a fictional book and knowing you'll come away with actual facts about the past.
But it can be hard to try and research those details. I mean, it's not like we can time travel back and find out what we need to know. (Oh that would be amazing, though!)
So how do you manage to find out all those little facts and details you must know to write historical fiction?

  1. Use firsthand accounts. This works really well for WWII onwards, because there are still people who lived during that time who you can find and interview. Letters that have been preserved and published in books are an invaluable tool for facts. This works well for a variety of time periods, because corresponding often includes small details about life that aren't included in history books.
  2. Museums. I know, I know, maybe not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about researching. But really, these provide hands on research for so many different time periods. World wars, the middle ages, revolutionary war...Museums are filled with info that other people have put together for you. It's a win-win situation. ;)
  3. Another way to be sure you're writing authentically is yo be careful of the themes you're trying to bring across. Make sure they fit with the time period you're writing. More the likely, a girl during the crusades is going have a lot more struggles then trying to figure out her self worth. Not that it couldn't work, but that is a theme that would fit a contemporary novel much better. The same goes for trying to write feminism in any time period before the 1900s. Not that it can't ever be done, but because it wasn't a large part if the culture, it's hard to pull it off well without it coming across as forced and unnatural. So instead of trying to be the one author in a thousand who managed to pull something like that off, try and find another angle or write about a struggle that was authentic to the time period. Your readers will appreciate it.

So yes. Three tips that I've found works well for writing historical fiction authentically . ;) Have you used any of these methods?

Monday, May 21, 2018

Writing Romance

Anddd...the Indie E-can is in full swing! Today's genre is romance, and there's a lot of fun things going on.

never thought I’d be writing a blog post about writing romance. Why? Because in my mind, I never really wrote romance. Maybe I’d include it as a side plot or some such thing, but I’d never write anything that could be classified as romance.

All that changed this past February when God put a story idea on my heart that wouldn't leave me alone. The result was my novella I Don’t Dance which will be released June 21st. I’d like to share a little here about why I decided to go ahead and write a romance, and maybe I can convince you to do the same. (Even if maybe the thought makes you gag right now. ;))

My idea of romance isn’t falling passionately in love the first time you meet someone. It’s not scandals and love triangles and wondering who the girl will end up with. Romance, in my mind, is two people who are attracted to each other  working together and letting God lead them to see what their future may hold. It’s not easy, and it’s not looking through rose-colored glasses. It’s life. It’s precious. And when God guides, it’s beautiful.
So anyway. That definition might be nice to keep in mind as we go on. ;)

The first reason I decided to write a ‘romance’ is because I was really getting annoyed at reading love stories at seemed to superficial. The characters were obsessed with the attraction to each other, and it made me cringe to read it. I knew enough people who had experienced sweet, innocent love stories to know that such a thing was possible. I just couldn't seem and find any books where that example was followed.

Secondly, I wanted a romance book that I felt I could hand to girls without warning them of the content. I hate having those books are are amazing but you have to be like, “skip this page and this chapter because there were some things in there that were a bit unnecessary.” That kinda defeats the whole point of reading the book when you’re already training your eyes to watch for things. You can’t simply just sit back and enjoy it.

Thirdly, I wanted a book where the family was involved. I’m not even going to get into the whole ‘whether or not the parents should be involved’ debate. I’m pretty certain most of you know where I stand on that. But regardless, I feel like so few books have the siblings involved. Coming from a family of ten, it was always assumed that any guy who was interested in any of us girls would have to get along with our siblings. Because they’re kind a huge part of life. So I wanted to write a story about a guy and girl who’s families already were great friends and got along. Because the romance just just include two people; it’s includes their families, too.

And last but definitely not least, I wanted to read a romance where God was a huge part of it. I didn’t just want the characters to believe in God, or to refuse to date if the other wasn’t a christian. Those are good, but I wanted more then that. I wanted Christ to be a part of the romance story. Because after all, He is the author of our love stories.

So yes. the four reasons I decided to write a romance. Have I convinced anyone else to join me? ;)