Friday, February 10, 2017

Blog Tour: Racing for Time

Hello, my fine friends and writers. Today I am part of a blog tour for Olivia Nickerson's new book, Racing for Time!


 
About the book:

After a frightening car crash that lands Janefer and her best friend Melanie in the hospital, Janefer is set on bringing the culprit to justice. When Melanie is found to be missing, Janefer is even more determined to discover the person behind it all.

Through a maze of lies and deceit, spiritual questions arise, leaving her confused and troubled. As Janefer races to gather clues leading to Melanie, she gradually learns to trust God with her life, no matter what the outcome.

Can Janefer find out the truth before Melanie is hurt--or worse?

Time is ticking.

My review: Four stars

I LOVE crime shows and mystery novels. If you are anything like me, then this book will be a treat for you.

First and foremost, I found myself really connecting with the protagonist Janefer. While I am a Christian, as I have recently wound up in the hospital two times in less than a month, I also have found myself questioning the goodness of God much like the main character.

Plus, like Janefer, I also have a parent with cancer, so the ending was a real heart breaker for me.

I also have to take a step back here and applaud her best friend Mel for having the courage she did when faced with a seemingly hopeless situation. I can only hope that I can be as strong as she was whenever I am faced with daunting odds.

The only problem I had with this book was that I guessed who the culprits were early on. Sure, it is a short novella and a fast-paced mystery, but I felt like there could have been more twists and turns to make things not so obvious in the beginning.

Overall, this is a very well written Christan mystery novella that has a great theme of salvation, as well as trusting God even when bad things happen.

You can pick up your copy here!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Story Ideas

Hello everyone! Hope your first two days of 2017 went well! I go back to school today *sighs*. Oh well, such is life.

Today I will be giving a general overview on some of the story ideas I would like to have written by the end of the year.



First and foremost, is Saving Camelot. I know, I know, some of you might be thinking, was she not going to finish that story last month? Unfortunately, life happened, and that ended up not being the case. My goal is to finish it this month though, hopefully starting next week!

Then, there is my book from NaNo, Surviving the Odds. For details on that little project of mine, please click here to go back to my beautiful books post from October.

Now, you guys got a certain peek at a Finn and his sweetheart in A Finnish Christmas. Armo and Adeline are going to ride to tell more of their adventures! Some of their tales will include (feel free to guess what some of these stories will be about in the comments):

  • A Wacky Proposal
  • The World Series
  • Their Shadow
  • Science Fiction Nutcase
  • Hard Choices
  • The Frights of Life
  • True Beauty
This is my hopeful project for Camp NaNo in April. I may do another beautiful books post towards the end of March to go into detail about this set of stories.

My next project is tentatively titled the Councillor and the Cowgirl, which I believe I detailed in an earlier post but will go ahead and reiterate here, so that everything is in one place.

A young lawyer meets a young woman who just moved into a sort of backwards town to take a job train horses. He immediately gets caught up in shenanigans with his two brothers as he tries to woo this lady's affections. Later, shortly after they are married, the councillor is threatened for a case he took on, and begins to withdraw from his new wife and brothers because of it, fearing for his life and the lives of those he loves.

Then there is the case of my two sisters featured in Saving Camelot, Jasmine and Victoria. I really want to write a sort of thriller with both of these sisters at the center of the action. It will involve international abductions, shootings, mystery, and intrigue at every turn!

There you have it! Some of the writing ideas I have for 2017. Saving Camelot is a priority right now, along with finishing the first draft of Surviving the Odds. By the end of the year, my hope is to have at least the first  draft of all of these stories done, along with the SECOND draft of Surviving the Odds finished.

What are some of your writing goals for 2017? Feel free to comment below!

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Reading Challange

Below is a list of categories and books I will be reading as part of the 2017 reading challenge I am participating in!




       A new year. A new challenge.
  • A classic
    • Jane Austen: Seven Novels
    • The Story of King Arthur and His Knights
    • Star Trek: The Classic Episodes (I know it is not a classic but still)
  • A book with a main character whose name you really like.
    • Waning Moon (This has a lawyer named Jarrod in it! For those of you who like the Big Valley, you will understand!)
  • A trilogy
    • Lord of the Rings Trilogy
    • Amish County Crossroads
    • Inkheart Trilogy
    • Lee’s Lieutenants: A Lesson in Command
    • The Civil War Trilogy
    • The Civil War: A Narrative
  • A biography about a person you respect/admire/want to learn more about.
    • No Higher Honor: A Tribute to My Years in Washington
    • Lee Considered
  • A book about or including a Biblical figure you admire.
    • A Reluctant Queen
  • One of your favorite books in the Bible.
    • Psalms
    • Proverbs
  • A book over 400 pages long.
    • The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics
  • A reread.
    • Rescuing Hope
    • Ahsoka
    • Circles in the Snow
    • The Tamarack Murders
    • The Hobbit
    • Horses Never Lie About Love
    • The Mustang Who Loved Me


  • A book set in your favorite time period.
    • Team of Rivals
    • Battle Cry for Freedom
    • For Cause and Comrades
    • The Civil War in the American West
    • Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
  • A history book.
    • Undaunted Courage
    • We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from the Band of Brothers
    • Parachute Infantry: An American Paratrooper's Memoir of D-Day and the Fall of the Third Reich
    • Crazy Horse and Custer
    • D Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II
    • Nothing Like It In the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869
    • Citizen Soldiers: The U. S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany
    • The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-45
    • The Supreme Commander: The War Years of Dwight D. Eisenhower
    • JFK and the Reagan Revolution
    • All Quiet on the Western Front
    • In Flanders Fields
    • Pearl Harbor
    • Undaunted Courage - Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, And The Opening Of The American West
    • Americans at War
  • A book about a hobby or career you want to pursue.
    • Confederates in the Attic
    • To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian
  • A book in your favorite genre.
    • A Home For My Hear
    • The Bluebird and the Sparrow
    • Carve The Mark
    • Underworld
  • A book by an author you’ve never read any other works by.
    • Adam
    • The McKinleys Trilogy
  • A book with a title you really like.
    • Fear Fighting
    • Chosen By a Horse
  • A book a family member or friend chooses for you. (No options!) P.S.-Two of these are books I borrowed upon recommendation from friends last year that I feel like I need to read XD
    • Agent 146
    • Big Valley
    • Cold Comfort Farm
  • A book that you buy at the bookstore – one that you haven’t had on your TBR list and haven’t decided on buying (a.k.a. spontaneous purchase!).
    • Three Rivers Ranch Romance Box Set
  • A book you’ve seen the movie-version of (but haven’t read before).
    • A Christmas Carol
    • Lonesome Dove

Sunday, January 1, 2017

In With The New

Happy 2017 one and all! Let's hope this year is better than the last one.



Now, for my New Years planning I do a combination of setting goals and picking out one word to be sort of my word of the year.

I suppose I shall start with the goals first, as that would help me to explain my overall reasoning for picking the word I did for this year.

1. Spend more time in the Bible and praying. This has been such a big thing I have struggled with since about halfway through high school. I really want to spend this year focusing on growing in my relationship with God and therefore, have a more fulfilling life living out His will and purpose for me. The more fulfilled you are in your walk with God, the more fulfilled by this life you will be.

2. Jornal more. Journaling, especially my prayers or thoughts and reflections during quiet time, helps me to be more calm and focused. I will actually have a post about the benefits journaling has had for me and the different ways you might be able to go about journaling in the coming days.

3. Read for FUN. Emphasis on the word FUN here. I used to read for fun all the time, and still like to do so. The trouble is, I lack the time and the motivation to do so as a college student. I am graduating this coming May though, and anticipate having quite a bit of free time during this summer. So, hopefully, I will succeed in this goal and complete a reading challenge I have decided to take part in, which I will describe at a later post.

4. Write more consistently. Doing NaNo this last November really
helped me in a sense to get a jump start on this goal. It also helped me to realize I could keep up with my schoolwork and write at the same time. Even if it is only a few hundred words a day, that is still making progress on a story, as well as making writing everyday a habit. A later post I have planned will also describe some of the story ideas I have that I want to potentially try and write this year.

5. Become more focused on my studies for my last semester of college and (eventually) grad school. I have been slacking in this area of my life in particular as I have been so beyond ready to be done with school. Due to this, I have been focusing on my future, and not on my studies here and now as they should be.

6. Manage my money better. I don't think this one in particular needs much elaboration. I am going to be graduating soon, so this is even more important of a skill for me to learn.

7. This goal is slightly more silly and more fun than the others. I want to rewatch the entire series of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Voyager. Part of the reasoning behind this is that I have not seen either of these series in a while. The other part of this is that I have an idea for a massive fanfiction that pretty much crosses Star Trek, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings, and I want to re-watch these two series in particular to come up with some ideas.

So there you have it, my goals for 2017. This leads me to the next part of the post, which is my word for the year.

My word for 2017 is *drumroll*...

DEDICATE 




Which is defined as to devote (time, effort, or oneself) to a particular task or purpose.

I suppose I chose this word as I wanted to show more dedication in the activities in my life, starting most importantly in my relationship with God, and trailing down from there. I feel as though I need to be more focused and dedicated here and now to the task currently assigned to me by God, and not always be wishing for the next stage in life thinking it will be better.

So there you have it my fellow readers! My 2017 goals and word of the year. Comment below on what some of your goals are for the coming year. I would love to hear from you.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Out With the Old


This is it people! As of the publishing time of this post there is officially only 24 hours left of 2016 *cheers*.

I think I can agree with social media's general consensus when I say that this year really was not a great one. It was a year of growth, to be sure, but also a year full of many ups and downs.

I dealt with some growing pains when it comes to learning to be grateful where I am at, no matter how bored I get of something and how much I desire to move on to the next level. This is going to be something I will probably continue to struggle with into the New Year, as I am very tired of school and my job right now.

My family and I were also forced to move AGAIN! We have moved around the same city four times now. This is all because we either rent from missionaries, or in the last scenario, rent from a retired pastor who had to have his house back due to unforeseeable circumstances. God is good though, and we ended up finding a house both closer to the college my brother and I attend (like, within walking distance) as well as almost within walking distance of my dad's work as well. We even had help from a dear friend of mine and her family, when my dad was "lucky" enough to sprain his ankle during the move. We never would have gotten it done without their help, which just goes to show that God is always a provider when things seem bleak.

I also have a bigger bedroom, and a new full size bed, (not new per se, but new to me at least). Sometime this coming month I will be sure to take you on the long-promised bedroom tour.

Do I dare even mention the election on here? With me being a political science minor, and with as much of a drama and upset as this last, I feel as if I sort of have to. I just want to say though, that if you could vote, or whatever preference you had, our country needs to have a time of peace during this transition. Pray for President-Elect Trump and Governor Pence as they and their advisors take office, and pray that all this strife, division, and turmoil in our country can be healed.

Christmas was a fun time. It was great getting together to celebrate the Savior's birth, and to spend time with friends and family. My Uncle and Aunt got a new dog named Spencer (seen sitting on my lap in the image below). The crazy thing is, he liked to bark and growl at me for like the first half hour we were at my Uncle and Aunt's. Then, he suddenly hopped up on my lap, tail wagging, and refused to really move for the rest of the afternoon as he kept licking my hands to death. He was super sweet, and that probably ended up being the highlight of my Christmas.



However, around the Monday before Christmas, things ended up being not so fun. I had my first hospital stay, as I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my right arm. Pretty scary to go through, especially if you hate Doctors and hospitals to begin with.  I am fine now though. The clot is gone and I am on blood thinners until further notice. Thank you to all who prayed for me during this time!

I also have started to write more consistently, all thanks to NaNoWriMo. My goal is to hit 45-50k before I go back to school on the third of the month. I still have NOT quite gotten to the point where I am writing consistently on a daily basis, but that is something to work on. I am hoping to have my first book TOTALLY finished by the time Camp NaNo rolls around in April. *Crosses fingers*

Well, there you have it guys, a kinda sorta recap to my year! Stay tuned, as in 24 hours my New Years Goals post is going live!

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Bookish Recap Tag


I was nominated by my new friend Micaiah over at Adventures Beyond the Horizon for the 2016 Bookish Recap Tag!

 Rules:
1) Include the above button in your post.
2) Answer the 11 questions.
3) Use as many book covers as you like.
4) Tag 5-10 people and notify them that they have been tagged. (Probably not gonna tag THAT many, but I will get to a fe ;)

Questions:

1. How many books did you read in 2016?

I would have to approximate between 15-20. I AM a college student, so some of those were required reading.

2. What's five of your favorite books from 2016?

Image result for ahsoka novelImage result for band of brothers bookImage result for why we can't wait martin luther kingImage result for lincoln's greatest speechImage result for heaven in conflict

Star Wars: Ahsoka- Only people who have seen The Clone Wars tv series will really get this book. Yet, being a Star Wars fan since I was eight years old, and basically having The Clone Wars show to watch through middle school and I school, I LOVE the fact that there is a female Jedi character out there in the Star Wars universe (by the way, RIP Carrie Fisher).

Band of Brothers- This is a book about the unit who parachuted into France on D-Day. It is so good with how accurate it depicts the attack on D-day, and the brotherly comradeship felt among the unit. Word of warning though, it does depict war for what it is, which is why I think it was so good to begin with.

Why We Can't Wait- With all the turmoil and unrest going on today, it was helpful to see, or rather, read an explanation about the push for Civil Rights and why it happened the way it did.

Lincoln's Greatest Speech- This whole book is about Lincoln's second inaugural address. Being a Civil War buff and a writing nerd, this book does an excellent job at breaking down his speech and putting it into more of an overall historical contrast, which I found to be fascinating.

Heaven in Conflict- I know they professor who wrote this, and all I can say is if you know nothing and want to know something about Chinese history, Chinese religious history in particular, then you should read this book.

3. What's five of your least favorite books form 2016? I could only really come up with four, so here they are.

Image result for mickey mouse history bookImage result for surprised by joyImage result for upon the altar of a nationImage result for allegiant

Mickey Mouse History- Overall just a collection of essays on how well certain organizations "did" history, including Walt Disney. Overall very dry, and not that great.

Surprised By Joy- This is basically an autobiography of Lewis's early years to when he turned from atheism to become a Christian. I have read better biographies about Lewis, and this was filled with unneeded detail that made the book boring.

Upon the Altar of a Nation- Very repetitive reading. You can honestly get the general theme of the book by reading the first section alone.

Allegiant- I LOVE Veronica Roth and LOVED Divergent and InsurgentAllegiant is all right, and I would re-read it again for the sake of reading the first two, but aside from a major spoiler, it is not the best book of the trilogy. I really do not like the dueling perspectives Roth presents between the two main characters. The movie in my own opinion offered more of an exciting thrill than this book, and I even READ the book before seeing the movie.

4. What favorite author did you discover?

Steven Ambrose would be a new favorite author of mine. He has so much more written on the soldiers of WW2 that I have on my to be read list for next year. Again, I warn you that he can get graphic in his writings since it is of course warfare, so approach his books with that in mind.

5. What are your five favorite book covers this year?

This is slightly redundant, and I only have four, but here ya go.

Image result for star wars ahsoka book

A slightly older Ahsoka from the show is depicted here, with her new AWESOME WHITE LIGHTSABERS! This is also a good book if you want to learn about lightsaber lore and why there are different colors of lightsabers. Ahh I just love Ahsoka.

Image result for band of brothers book

The cover really gives a good visual image of the brotherly comradeship depicted in the book.

Image result for upon the altar of a nation

I did not like the book, but I think the cover is an excellent example of how horrible the war was. It gets a really close up depiction that gives you chills.



Image result for the voyage of the dawn treader book

I had to read this for C.S. lewis, and I love the cover! It really shows quite the contrast, with Aslan being the bigger "Jesus figure" and the Dawn Treader in his eye.

6. How many books did you purchase for yourself in 2016?

That I kept? Five, I believe.

7. What was the longest book you read in 2016?

Upon the Altar of A Nation at 576 pages.

8. What is the shortest book you read in 2016?

That would be The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe at 208 pages.

9. What is your reading goal for 2017?

The answer to THAT, my dear readers, is coming up in a future post :D

Now I tag EMILY MCCONNELL! You're it!!!

Hope you guys enjoyed this. Feel free to comment!



Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Finnish Christmas Part Three


Aiden glanced at his sister, who was busy studying the list of arrivals displayed on the screen in the terminal at the airport.

"They will make it Del. Just relax why don't you".

Adeline glanced over at him. "That is easy for you to say when your boyfriend's family, whom he has not seen in a year and a half I may add, is coming over to America to visit".

"May I remind you that you were the one to invite them over to begin with?" Aiden raised his eyebrows.

"I did it to surprise Armo!" Del protested. "He has not been acting himself lately, and I think homesickness for his family may be the reason why, even though he would never admit it to me".

"Okay, okay, you win," Aiden said with a brotherly smile. "Just don't start complaining when eleven people in our tiny house gets to be too much".

Adeline rolled her eyes good naturedly. Sure, she was an introvert who tended to tire of company after extended periods of time. As far as she was concerned though, this would be one big sleepover, with her sister and Armo's sisters staying in her room, Armo and his brother staying with Aiden in his room, and his parents taking her little sister Avana's room. Sure, it was a tight squeeze, but it was all worth it if it would put a smile on her blond Finn's face.

Adeline smiled at the thought, and did not notice when the Takala's plane had landed and started to disembark until her brother pointed it out to her.

"It that them?" he asked as a family of five who all looked similar enough to Armo stepped into the terminal and started to glance about.

"Del!" the youngest girl, roughly about 12, shouted as she ran into the arms of who she considered to be an honorary big sister, especially since her and Armo started seeing each other.

"Janeka!" Adeline laughed in delight at the younger girl's greeting. She had of course met Armo's entire family over skype before, but this was the very first time they were getting to meet in person.

"Adeline!" Mrs. Takala greeted her enthusiastically, stepping in to hug her once Janeka let go of her grasp. "It is so nice to finally meet my son's future wife in person!"

Adeline blushed, and locked eyes with her brother over Mrs. Takala's shoulder. The smirk on his face told her that he was clearly finding her discomfort amusing.

"Now, now my dear, there you go embarrassing the poor girl," Mr. Takala gently admonished his wife, before turning to Adeline and extending his hand to her. "All in good time my girl, no?"

"Um, yeah," Del shook his hand, unsure of what to make of that statement. It was then she spotted two other of Armo's smiling watching the whole exchange behind their parents with no small degree of amusement.

"Kielo? Reijo?" she addressed the 15 and the 17-year-olds respectively.

"Nice to finally meet big brother's girl," Reijo said teasingly with a smile.

"To be honest," Kielo said, grinning. "He is so quiet most of the time that we did not think he would meet someone here in America".

"Kielo!" Mrs. Takala admonished, clearly embarrassed for her daughter's loose tongue. "Don't speak of your brother in that way".

"Well," for the first time, Aiden spoke up. "My sister here is pretty quiet herself. It is no wonder those two were able to catch each other".

Adeline glared daggers at her older brother, while he just shrugged good-naturedly. "It's the truth," he defended, causing everyone around her to laugh.

"Anyway," Del said, turning back to the Takalas. "We should collect your bags and head back to the house. No doubt Armo is already there by now, and he thinks my brother and I are out shopping for groceries.

"Well then, lead the way to the baggage claim!" Mr. Takala said flamboyantly. Del smiled back at him as she prepared to make way to be sure all their guests left home with their essential travel items.

______________________________________________________

Armo glanced outside for what seemed like the billionth time to the snow covered medical clinic in front of the Frakes' home. If Delly and her brother REALLY had gone out to get groceries, they certainly had been gone for a long time.

"Hey Armo," a young voice behind him said. "Can you please help me fold these towels?"

Armo smiled ruefully as he turned and faced Del's youngest sister, Ava. Ava was a diehard gymnast, top in her high school's division, and was set to go to Seattle Pacific University next year on a full ride athletic scholarship.

"Sure, Ava," he smiled. He did not mind helping out around the Frakes house. In fact, he demanded no special treatment as a condition of him staying over for break.

His mind was just currently otherwise occupied.

After what seemed like an eternity, after all the towels had been folded and put into their proper places, Armo finally heard Aiden's car pull up into the driveway.

"Oh good, they are back". Armo was curious as to why Mr. Frakes went rushing outside to greet them with his wife right at his heels.

"What going on?" he turned to Ava, who was carrying the laundry basket back down to the basement.

Ava shrugged. "They are probably just going to see if they are okay and got everything we will be needing for the next few days," she responded a bit too nonchalantly.

Armo narrowed his eyes at her retreating back as she scurried off down into the basement. Something was up. The question was, what?

He got his answer moments later when a set of familiar faces entered the front door.

"Aiti! Isa!" he exclaimed, bolting over to embrace his parents with tears in his eyes.

"Poikani!" his mother exclaimed, hugging him back as she openly embraced him.

"How are you my son?" his father asked as he pulled away.

"Fine, hyva, now that you all are here," Armo grinned as he embraced his younger sibilings.

"How are you here?" he asked.

"Well, your girl could not help notice you feeling down. She guss this may be reason why," his youngest sister stated factually.

Armo turned to Adeline, who was grinning like a cheshire cat. "Your welcome," she said as he hugged her.

"Oh, pupu," he said, calling her by her pet name. "I cannot tell you how much this mean to me".

"Your expression speaks volumes to me already".

"So," her older brother remarked nonchalantly after an awkward pause. "When's dinner?"

This brought a round of laughter from the entire group. Now, that both families were together, the Christmas festivities could truly start in earnest.

After all, that was the way it was supposed to be, was it not?

A/N: Thank you all for reading my blog during this 12 days of Christmas Linkup. I would like to thank Faith for hosting. I hope you all will continue to follow my blog and have a Merry Christmas!