Saturday, January 31, 2015

Final Favorites | January 2015 *New*

Hello there, Thinking Thoughts friends. I've decided to do something even more new (um, I don't think that's grammatically OK) than New Novel News. I've decided to...*gasp*....*choke* my FACE on the blog.

Um... [crickets chirping]

I realize that's not so new. I mean, you see pictures of me all the time, right? But no...I'm not just talking about sharing a picture of me, I'm talking about sharing a video! That's right. I'm doing a vlog. But is it really a vlog if I'm still blogging about the vlog? Hum, I'm not sure.

Either way, today is the first installment of a new, once-a-month, post I'm affectionately calling, Final Favorites.

The idea for this actually started when I was skyping my dear friend Corrine the other day. I kept showing her the cover of a book (curious which one? you'll have to watch the vlog to find out >insert evil laughter<). And it hit me - I could literally talk about my favorite books all day. I mean, really. So why not do that? Talk about them, that is - not all day.

Well, after all of that introduction I may have ruined it for you all, but if I haven't, I'm excited to introduce the January edition of Final Favorites.

Ok, so what did you think? Was it totally annoying or fun? Should I do more posts like this in the future? 

*P.S. I'd love for you all to join the discussion on my favorite post from last week: "The Right to Write, Right?

Friday, January 30, 2015

A chat with...Cindy Loven + GIVEAWAY

Hey everyone, weclome to Thinking Thoughts. This morning I'm excited to introduce you to author Cindy Loven. So go ahead and sit down, grab a cup of coffee, and join the conversation. If you're lucky, maybe you've got this view >>>

Here's a little bit about Cindy...
A life long reader, it has always been my dream to write a book. It often seems surreal to realize this dream is materializing. I love to read and review books, and I love thinking of ideas for new stories. I greatly enjoy the fun of thinking up new ideas to write about.

Married for over 29 years to her husband, Dave, they are the parents to two sons, Jarrod who is 21 and John, who passed away in 2009 at age 14. Since his death I have tried to help educate parents against the dangers of the "choking game." I reside with my family in Arkansas which is my home state.
So, how did you get started with writing? 
I have been writing things down all my life, I kept a diary as a teenager, I have notebooks all over the place with “stuff” wrote down in them. I started more seriously writing the year my son died, it was very therapeutic. What keeps me writing, is all the stories crowding around in my head wanting to come out.

I completely get that! I find comfort in writing as well. Do you have a favorite book that you've written?
That one is hard to answer, because they are all my favorite “children” so to speak, but I love Dianna's Wings since it is the first published children story.

I know you self published, but what was the hardest thing about publishing for you? The easiest?
I did self publish it. The hardest thing was getting the story to the point I was sure it was ready to go. I worked on this story for over two years from the start to finish. The easiest was the actual publishing. Create Space was very easy to work with.

That's good to hear! I know a lot of people are interested in self publishing and I myself have thought about it. Glad to hear you and a good experience. 

So, tell us a little bit about Dianna's Wings. Why did you write it?
The book I am promoting today is a book about self acceptance. Learning that God creates us perfectly.

I started this story with a focus on Trevor Turtle. He is the problem solver, but I realized very quickly the star of the show, so to speak was Dianna. This is a concept all children and most adults need to know.

Ah ok, great premise! Do you have a favorite character in this work?
I love Trevor because he is a fixer, a lot like I try to be. :-) But as far as the artwork goes, I am over the moon in love with the pictures of Dianna, my illustrator was awesome.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
That God created us each wonderfully and marvelously. And He created us in His image. We are made how He wants us.

I love that, Cindy! How did you find inspiration for this story? For your characters? Is it strictly from your imagination or do things in real life play a part too?
Both, most of my places come from combined names of neat places here in Arkansas. I have a series of children stories that I have based on my cousin's children and their antics.

From Pinterest
What are you hoping to create when you write?
A fun, happy story with a strong ethical moral lesson, without being preachy.

What would you tell aspiring authors about writing and publishing?

For writing, WRITE! For publishing, especially self publishing, learn to use the tools available to you by the publisher, it will make your life much easier.

What’s one thing you are looking forward to in 2015?
More stories that are rattling around that need to come out, and great sales for the books out.

I think an important aspect of getting to know other writers is what they have found useful in their learning process. Can you recommend a craft book that you've found helpful?
I write children's stories, so it would have to be The Children's Writer's Word Book. This is my Bible for writing my stories. LOL.

Do you prefer New Years fireworks or a bonfire to celebrate with? Or something else?
I don't really celebrate New Years too much, usually by Christmas I am so worn out from all the work and busyness, I am just resting on New Years.

Oh, I understand that! I'm usually pretty tired by New Year's too! Well, thank you so much for sharing with us Cindy! I'm excited to offer your sweet giveaway to my readers as well. 

Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win this adorable pink and black hat (child size) and a copy of Dianna's Wings! 

*I'll announce the winner next Friday, February 6th!

How you can further connect with Cindy: 
Twitter: @cndloven
Amazon page:
Link to Dianna's Wings on Amazon

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jennifer Slattery {Writer Wednesday} + GIVEAWAY

A little bit about Jennifer...

Jennifer Slattery is an inspiring contemporary novelist whose stories of hope, love, and grace resonate with real people. She also writes Christian living articles for and devotions for her personal blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud; Internet Cafe Devotions; and Takin' It to the Streets, a ministry serving Omaha Metro's working poor and homeless. When not writing, she enjoys hanging out with her teenage daughter and real-life hero husband, as well as serving in her church. She is the author of Beyond I Do and When Dawn Breaks.
How to connect with Jennifer...
Purchase: When Dawn Breaks

Author Interview | Jennifer Slattery

**Leave a comment below for Jennifer to enter to win a copy of her novel, When Dawn Breaks.**
[Limited to Continental US only]

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...Although I’ve always pittered around with writing, journaling, that sort of thing, I started writing largely when I began to become involved in various church ministries. I saw it more as a tool to further ministry goals, and other times it was a hobby. I didn’t pursue it as a career until around 2009.

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...I do! It’s one I thought would never go to print, mainly because it was my first real, fully fiction adult novel, and you know what they say about a writer’s firsts. It’s my favorite because I sensed God’s presence so strongly, and I really feel the message of the book encapsulates the desire of my heart—to surrender fully to Christ. I’m excited to say, I recently signed a contract with New Hope Publishers for this novel, and it will release in winter of 2016!

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book. Why did you write it?

...I’d love to!

...When Dawn Breaks is about a middle aged woman who’s made some big mistakes in her life and is now paying the consequences, largely in terms of her relationships.

...As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution motivate her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?

You can read a free, 36-page excerpt here:

Care to share what you're working on right now?
...I’m writing the first draft of a sequel to Beyond I Do, my debut novel. In Beyond I Do, we catch a less than admirable image of my heroine’s mother. She’s non-Christian, irresponsible, and often loses sight of the important people in her life. But… she goes through a major change that becomes the catalyst for book two. I wanted to show this change and in so doing, show that everyone is redeemable. I also enjoy writing about new believers. I think sometimes, as we journey with Christ, we forget what it was like to be new in our faith. To struggle, to still have areas of deception in need of truth, to feel as if we don’t quite fit. 

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...I do, and that’d be the main character, Angela Meadows. I really love her heart and I can relate to her desire to fit in, to find authentic community, but feel like she’s “less than”. I think that’s something so many of us women struggle with, and I love the message God gives Angela. I think it’s something He’s saying to each of us. :)

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...That God can use everything—every tear and regret—to bring about His glorious purposes, and there’s peace and joy in that.


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...I’d say a bit of both, though I’m not sure I know where the line between the two is. Haha.

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...To glorify Christ. Other than that, I just enjoy getting lost in the telling of a story.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Keep writing! Never give up, and always seek to learn as much as you can. Pay attention to every critique, no matter how painful, and put your desire to grow above your personal feelings. And most importantly stay connected to Christ, pliable to His Spirit, and tuned to His voice.


What’s one thing you are looking forward to in 2015?
...Going to the Mt. Hermon conference! I’ve always wanted to go, and this year will be especially memorable as my husband and daughter will be joining me. And because she’s a senior in high school, this could be our last spring break with her. They’ll have some one-on-one time in the San Francisco area while I learn and hang out with other writers. Then my husband will pick me up and we’ll head to San Diego for the remainder of the week.

Can you recommend one book that you think every writer should read about the writing craft?

...One? There’s two I really like. The Moral Premise by Stanley D. Williams and Stein on Writing by Sol Stein. They’re both excellent; must haves.

Do you prefer New Years fireworks or a bonfire to celebrate with? Or something else?

...Bonfire, some board games with close friends, and hot tea. 
Great to have you on the blog Jennifer! You latest book sounds great and thanks for offering to give a copy away. I love you you mention to listen to the critiques even if they are painful. I also love how you will be celebrating your time in Mt. Hermon and San Diego. Sounds like a fantastic Spring Break to me!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Right to Write, Right?

From Pinterest
I've been thinking lately...

Uh-oh, you may be saying. What is she thinking about now? Well, writing, of course. But, in more general terms than that, I've been thinking about the right to write.

Before I say that one more time (because it's fun) I'll beg your understanding that these are only my thoughts, musings, and wrestlings about the subject. No fingers pointed, only thoughts directed to spur honest conversation :)

The right to write 

Told you I'd say it again. What does that mean? It's more a question than anything else. I've been thinking about the publishing process and listening to interesting stories from writer friends - both good and bad - about their publishing experiences. It's quite the ride they go through. The question of acceptance. The agony of edits. The joy of holding a newly-born/printed book in their hands. Seeing their tangible legacy covered in paper and baring their name for all to see. The nervousness of wondering if book two will be as good...

Then, in the corner, covered in dust and ashes are the authors who's hearts have been ripped out, much like zombies searching for...whatever it is that zombies search for. They struggle to be heard. They feel the bite of rejection. They cry a little, clutch their manuscript to their chest, and heave a great sigh thinking, "Maybe I'm just not good enough."

From Pinterest
Maybe they aren't.

That's not for me to say, nor is that really what this post is about. But I will say it's a scary thing to imagine. Which side of the divide will I fall on? How long will it take me to know which side I'm on? >Insert eerie shudder< I'm not sure that I want to know the answer to that.

But I have the right to write, right?

The overbearing question I'm finding myself asking is do I get to choose what I write? Do I get to be as creative as I want? Because, at the end of the day, if a reader isn't willing to take a chance and a ride with my wild imagination, then maybe it's best to tame it down. To change it. To imagine something else.

I'm sure if you're a writer who's considered publishing you've thought about this. How much do I write for me and how much do I write for them.

We all know who they are...the voracious, sometimes brutally critical, at other times loving and kind...READERS. But before we even reach them, we have to get through the other them. The publishers who decide to put money into our vision. Our imagination. Should our precious manuscript even make it that far.

I guess I don't really have a final say on this post. Like I said, it's more my thoughts about the matter, but it does beg the question:

From Pinterest
How much do you write for you, and how much do you write for them?

I'm not saying writing for the reader is a bad idea, or even a sell-out. We write so that others can enjoy--can read. But how much do we believe in what we are doing to do this well? Do we believe in our story enough to wait? To hear what others (the right people) say and put in the hard work to finish it? Do we strive to be the best we can be in craft and character development, or are we so focused on our own right to write that we ignore all but our own voices reminding us about that right.

I want to be a published author. I want to be good. And that's not because I want to sell a lot of books (though that would be quite fantastic). I want to be good so that I can take the barriers away for my readers. So that they can see why I deserve the right to write. So that they can experience the story as it should be.

What do you think? 

Readers: Have you read books that make you reconsider a writers "right to write"? Are you willing to take a risk on a story-journey that may be different than what you're used to? What's the pull for you?

Writers: Do you ever feel the weight of having to fit your story into a category instead of "just writing"? What sacrifices do you/have you made in order to "fit in" and was it better for your story?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Christy Barritt | New Novel News + GIVEAWAY

Announcing last week's winners of JoAnn Durgin's Prelude

Carol Smith & Olivia Roach

Congrats ladies, we'll be in contact with you!

*Just a fun little note from me: I'm currently reading this book and it's great so far! Make sure to leave a comment because you'll WANT to win this ;)

by Christy Barritt

Published January 13, 2015
Waterfall Press
Purchase: Dubiosity
Savannah Harris vowed to leave behind her old life as an intrepid investigative reporter. But when a friend raises suspicions about two migrant workers who’ve gone missing from the sleepy coastal town Savannah calls home, her curiosity spikes. As secrets emerge and danger closes in, Savannah must choose between faith and uncertainty. One wrong decision might spell the end…not just for her, but for everyone around her. Will she unravel the mystery in time, or will doubt get the best of her?
Get to know Christy...

What are the names of your pets?
I have three dogs. A standard Australian shepherd named Rusty (he’s a rescue and that was his name when we adopted him), a Maltese/Shihtzu named Molly, and a mini-Australian shepherd named Sparky (he’s actually my son’s dog, and I think he’s named after a Pokemon character.)

Do you have a nickname? Care to share?
Mo. My maiden name was Mohorn. When I was paired with another girl as my roommate in college, her name was Christy also. People began calling her by her last name, and they shortened my last name to Mo. To this day, when I hear someone call me that name, I know it’s an old, good friend.

What's one chore you hate doing?
Dusting. But really just housecleaning in general. I find it tedious, yet I don’t like to live in a messy house. It’s a conundrum. :)

***Christy is offering up a copy of Dubiosity (print -US only- or eBook)! Leave a comment below to enter to win. The winner will be announced next Monday.***

Friday, January 23, 2015

Flash Back To Childhood

I happened across a Facebook post from author Rachel Hauck asking about favorite book characters from childhood. It got me reminiscing about my childhood and all of books I read (or my parents read to me).

I though it would be fun to share some of my favorites here and then to see what you readers loved when you were young.

Enid Blyton | The Adventure Series

Dating back to 1944, this amazing series by British author Enid Blyton had more than enough to satisfy my adventurous, reading spirit. I remember my mom reading these to me and wondering... Why is there food in tins? What are biscuits? And then dreaming night and day about being on and adventure like Philip, Dinah, Lucy-Ann and Jack got to be. 

Purchase: Enid Blyton Adventure Series Set Collection

Nancy Drew

In keeping with the adventure, mystery theme, I loved the Nancy Drew books. And yes, you caught me, I still do :D I was given an almost complete set of them and can't wait to someday have the shelf space to display them (haha).

Purchase: Nancy Drew Complete Series Set, Books 1-64

The Hardy Boys

The Hardy Boys may have been boys, but that didn't stop me from enjoying their adventures. These were books my dad would read to me and I loved them just as much as Nancy Drew.

Also, did you know that they made a really fun (though slightly cheesey) TV series about Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys?

Check it out here: The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries - Season One
Purchase: The Hardy Boy Books

The Boxcar Children

Imagine this: a long road trip, the front cab of a truck (we're talking no back seats here), and a small child. What do you do? Well, you read of course?

Whenever we would take road trips I was insistent that we had enough books to make it to our destination. I'm so glad my mom never got car sick, though there were a few times we're pretty sure she fell asleep while reading to my dad and I.

Purchase: The Boxcar Children Bookshelf (The Boxcar Children Mysteries, Books 1-12)

Frank Peretti | The Cooper Kids Adventure Series

Hum, are you sensing a theme here? Yes, adventure was definitely what I wanted to read when I was a kid. Makes sense why I like it now as well, and why I write Romantic Suspense ;)

Cooper Adventure Series

Robin Jones Gunn | Christy Miller Series

I got into the Christy Miller Series in my early high school years - introduced by my dear friend Steffani. I picked up the first book and was hooked. I love that they took you through to the college years and now I hear there's a married years series too! Definitely going to check that out.

Christy Miller Sereis

J.K. Rowling | Harry Potter

What childhood reading experience could be complete without Harry Potter? I recognize there is a lot of debate around the books in Christian circles, but one of the things I appreciated about my parents was how they handled things like that. My mom is a various reader who loves Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I took my cues from her and she read Harry Potter as well. For me as a child it was never about anything more than letting my imagination go.  The world Rowling created is simply amazing and fostered a lot of creative thinking on my part while also pointing out the very real fight between good and evil.

Purchase: Harry Potter Series

So, what about you? What books did you read as a child? Did you have a favorite series? Did you parents ever read to you?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Winner of Do You See What I See by Delia Latham

Last week I hosted Delia Latham on the blog and she was gracious enough to offer up Do You See What I See? as a giveaway.

The winner is...

Cherie Kasper

Contact me so we can get you your copy, Cherie. Congrats!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Snow Day

Sometimes we all just need a snow day. Today, {Writer Wednesday} is going to be postponed due to...well, we'll call it snow ;)

So, in light of that, I'll share a little bit about my day. You see, it started off nice and early. Ok, some of you will laugh and say that 6AM isn't really early. But hey, if I'm waking up and the sun isn't up yet, I call that early.

I rolled out of bed, thankful the heat had come on because everyone knows how awful it is to get out of bed when it's freezing cold, and began my morning routine.

The difference in this particular morning was that I was going to see a friend! Yes, I have friends :D

Snow Selfie
Well, long story short, I met up with my friend Natalie and guess what we talked about for over four hours? Writing, of course. And you know what? It was great! We shared about frustration with our writing, excitement about possibilities, shared discouragement, encouragement to one another, and a lot of talk about fictional people (the best kind, in my opinion).

Sometimes you just need to talk about stuff with a friend who understands. It doesn't have to be about writing. It can be anything that you're passionate about, but the beauty is the shared experience.

Then I got to walk home in the snow, smelling overwhelmingly of coffee, and smiling to myself about the fresh sense of purpose I feel as a writer just for having talked about writing.

What or who inspires you? What are your passions? Do you like the snow?

Monday, January 19, 2015

New Novel News + GIVEAWAY

So, as promised, something *new* for the blog in 2015! I'm excited to introduce New Novel News. The idea behind this is to give you, my dear readers, a chance to try something new. Or at least hear about it!

Every Monday New Novel News will highlight new novels, blogs/websites, or ideas (or maybe a mixture of all three). I will give the particulars of whatever is being shared and then provide a little insight into the author or creator by having them answer 3 fun questions. My hope is that you'll see their personality and want to see more of their work.

If you're an author or writer and think New Novel News is something you'd like to be a part of, contact me. If you're a reader, then my HOPE is that I'll be able to introduce you to some new and amazing reads and the authors who create them. And don't worry, there will be the occasional giveaway too!


Prelude: Prequel to The Lewis Legacy Series 
by JoAnn Durgin

Published December 19, 2014
Purchase: Prelude: Prequel to The Lewis Legacy Series

“Give me a reason to stay, Sam.” Sarah’s eyes glistened in the dim light.

Lowering his head, he prayed for the strength to resist pulling her into his arms, this woman who held his heart. He couldn’t bear the thought of letting her go to Austin. Increasingly, it’s all he could think about and distracted him at work, at home, and even in church. Lifting his chin, with everything in him, Sam fought what he was about to say. “I can’t.”

“I see. My mistake. I thought. . .” Her shoulders heaved and, rising from the swing, she walked quickly to the front door.

“Sarah, wait—”

When she turned back to him, the heartbreak in her features shattered him. Crossing the space between them in seconds. . .
Get to know JoAnn...

If you were a superhero, what would your super power be?
I’d want to be Typo Girl. Able to detect and automatically correct typos (including grammatical errors) as they are made. Protecting authors worldwide from the humiliation of dangling participles and other shame inducing mistakes.

If you were stranded on an island what are three things you couldn’t live without?
-Toothpaste. I can brush with my finger, but I can’t sleep with myself if I don’t brush.
-Popcorn. Trying to figure out how to pop it would kill time until my rescue.
-A book I don’t like. Thinking up ways to rewrite it would keep my brain cells active.

Name one song/artist you’re embarrassed you like.
Donny Osmond. Funny thing how he’s popular again since proving middle-aged white guys can dance. Donny inspired one of the most vivid dreams of my life; we met at summer camp and . . . well, we called it puppy love and kissed under a tree. True story: I served his mother and brother ice cream during my very short-lived career at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor.

Visit her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

***JoAnn has graciously offered 2 eBook copies of Prelude!!! Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win one of the copies! Winner will be drawn and announced next Monday.***

by Elizabeth Goddard

Published January 1, 2015
Purchase: Buried (Mountain Cove)

Fleeing to Alaska is the only option for Leah Marks after witnessing a murder. Afraid for her life, the legal investigator hopes a remote cabin will be a safe shelter. But the killer has tracked her to Mountain Cove. As he chases her into snow-packed Dead Falls Canyon, an avalanche buries them both. Saved by daring search and rescue specialist Cade Warren, Leah longs to tell him the truth. But how can she, without bringing even more danger into Cade's life? Especially when they discover the killer is very much alive and waiting to take them both down.

Mountain Cove: In the Alaskan wilderness, love and danger collide.

Get to know Elizabeth...

If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?
Though it sounds kind of boring I think it would be awesome to have the super power of clean! I could instantly clean the house, instantly clean the world of all the clutter and war and ugliness.

What's one chore you hate doing?
I love to cook but hate cleaning up the dishes and the kitchen. So see, I need that super power of clean!

If you could live in a fantasy world, who’s would it be? I’m not sure if it’s fantasy or science fiction, but I’d love to live in Pandora, the world in Avatar because I’d love to ride one of those dragons.

Visit her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Year, New Thoughts

Hello dear Thinking Thoughts readers!

First off,  Happy New Year (though slightly belated). I'm not having too much trouble adjusting to 2015...though I haven't written it many times so that could be why?

I though I'd share some thoughts this morning about the new year, this blog, my writing, and life in general. You see, I'm a thinker and, given some alone time over Christmas, I did some thinking. Surprising, eh? Then again, this blog is called Thinking Thoughts so it shouldn't be that much of a surprise.

I had time to reflect over the last few years and I'm blown away. This little blog (which basically started off as me just sharing my thoughts about everything and anything) has grown into something I'm proud of. It's a place for people to talk about writing, reading, and life.

I love that.

I couldn't ask for more, and yet there is more! I've gotten to make friendships through my blog, connect with writers I admire and look up to, be introduced to amazing books, all while being really honest about things that God is doing in my life. And before I go any further I just have to say...


Without you, my dear readers, I'd be talking to myself...well, I do that anyway, but you know what I mean. And I wanted to make a few "resolutions" (though I shudder to call them that) for this blog for 2015:

1. I resolve to continue to seek out authors and books to share with you! 
Yep, simple but true. One of my favorite parts about this blog is the fact that I get to shout about authors and their books. Come here and I will guarantee that you will get to know authors better and be introduced to their books.

2. I resolve to post more frequently. 
I grimace even as I type this because sometimes I'm just terrible about consistency. It's not like I don't have 1 million and a half ideas floating around in my's just hard to make the time to get them out in a concise manner. But I will TRY!

3. I resolve to create opportunities for you to engage here more. 
Now this one takes your participation as well. One of the things I love about a blog is the chance to chat-it-up while living hundreds or thousands of miles apart! I want Thinking Thoughts to be a community where we can "talk" to one another. I'll do my part by leaving some questions at the end of most posts, but you have to do your part to chime in. No wrong answers here, just honest communication.

Me in the cold in nature <3 br="">
So...what do you think? Sound good? I think we have a good thing going here ;) I'll keep up the giveaways - trust me, I've got some great ideas for the future, and you keep visiting. Sounds like a win-win to me.

And, if you haven't already, feel free to connect with me in these other fun, social places:

Emilie's Author Facebook Page 
Emilie's Tiwtter
Emilie's Instagram{@eahendryx}
*Remember, I'm a photographer too so you'll get a lot of scenic pics here haha!
Emilie's Photography Facebook Page
*Since we're talking about photos I figured I'd include this too
Emilie's Photography Website

How has your New Year started off? Did you have any resolutions? How is it going so far?

(See what I did there ^ Now it's your turn...)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Emissary by Thomas Locke | RE:View

The first thing that caught my attention with Emissary was the beautiful cover! I know, I know...don't judge a book by it's cover, but how can you not? This stunning, colorful orb and shadowed horse immediately grabbed my attention. Moving past the cover though, I was caught up in the story world Thomas Locke (aka Davis Bunn) created.

Hyam, a seemingly ordinary boy, sets off on a journey Bilbo Baggins would be proud of. His strong character shines through in an unobtrusive way. Initially, I found it a little difficult to get accustomed to, but I soon discovered I could appreciate his steady character. Hyam is the type of main character burdened with great promise and armed with a genuine sense of duty and honor.

With a mixture of magic, danger, and epic battles, Emissary is perfect for those who enjoy a creative, fantasy story world rich with magical details and a weighty quest. I found that it started off slightly slow for me, but I was soon drawn in. This is most definitely a recommendation from me and I know that I'm personally looking forward to Book 2!

Purchase: Emissary (Legends of the Realm Book #1) 

Book Description
(from Davis Bunn's website)

Hyam is a likeable lad who will make a fine farmer someday. But he carries a burden few can fathom. As his mother slips toward death, she implores him to return to Long Hall, where he spent five years as an apprentice. It was there that Hyam's extraordinary capacity for mastering languages came to light--and soon cast him into the shadows of suspicion.

How could any human learn the forbidden tongues with such ease? When Hyam dares to seek out the Mistress of the Sorceries, her revelation tears his world asunder.

He has no choice but to set out on the foreboding path--which beckons him to either his destiny or his doom. An encounter with an enchanting stranger reminds him that he is part hero and part captive. As Hyam struggles to interpret the omens and symbols, he is swept up by a great current of possibilities--and dangers.

With lyrical prose that unveils a richly imaginative world, Thomas Locke takes readers on a journey into the Realm. There he invites them to awaken their sense of wonder. This cracking adventure moves like a contemporary thriller but harkens back to the enduring genre of classic fantasy.
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Delia Latham {Writer Wednesday} + GIVEAWAY

Last week's winner of one of Yvonne Anderson's novels from Gateway to Gannah is...

Sally Davidson

Congrats! Contact me and we'll arrange to get your book to you! 


A little bit about Delia...

Delia Latham is a born-and-bred California gal, raised in a place called Weedpatch and currently living in the lovely mountain town of Tehachapi with her husband, Johnny. She enjoys multiple roles as Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings. She has a "thing" for Dr. Pepper, and loves to hear from her readers. Contact her through her website or send an e-mail to
How to connect with Delia...

Living the Write Life (blog)
Amazon Author Page

Author RE:Interview - Getting to know you again 
| Delia Latham 

You and Writing

Who is one of your favorite authors and why?
...It’s hard to choose just one. :) Karen Kingsbury is a current favorite, but I also love Vickie McDonough, Mary Conneally, Cathy Hakes, and a whole slew of wonderful authors who share my publisher, Pelican Book Group.

What is one book or resource you would recommend to other writers? Why?
...Jill Elizabeth Nelson’s Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View. It’s short – in fact, Jill calls it a “handbook.” But it opened my eyes to Deep POV, and changed my writing.

How do you balance your time between writing and other actives? Any helpful tips, tricks, or suggestions?
...I keep trying different things, none of which have proven entirely successful just yet. If you have the perfect answer to this one, please please let me in on it! :)

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book:

...JINGLE BELLE is (in case anyone wondered…lol) a Christmas release. It’s actually the December offering from Pelican Book Group’s Pure Amore Romance: Annual Book of the Month Subscription Club. Pure Amore books promote chastity before marriage, without being preachy or employing literary “tunnel vision.” They’re highly entertaining, sweet romance novels that readers of any age will love, and which we pray will also make young people think before throwing away the precious gift of virginity too soon. They’re available exclusively through the book club, and subscribers receive not only the twelve books included in the subscription, but a bunch of great FREEBIES, whose value nearly matches the subscription price. It’s a great deal.

Here’s a blurb from JINGLE BELLE:
Jingle Belle Knowles is excited about the opportunity to write a Christmas jingle for a new restaurant in Pohono, Oklahoma—until she meets the company’s cocky PR man. Despite an immediate personality clash with much-too-handsome Italian Nick Santini, Belle finds herself irresistibly and unacceptably drawn to her insufferable client.

Nick isn’t pleased about working with the dangerously lovely jingle writer. But with a grand opening date just two weeks before Christmas, he and his brother need something to draw shoppers off the streets and into their Tuscan-themed restaurant. Given Belle's sterling reputation, Nick makes up his mind to grit his teeth and get through the project.

They’re both adults. They’re both Christians. They’re both determined to make the project a success. But when a passionate, self-assured, hard-headed Italian butts heads with a stubborn, auburn-haired, confident Irish spit-fire…the results could make for a highly chaotic Christmas season.

Who is your favorite character and why?
...Well, I always love the hero and heroine, so how about I skip them, since the blurb gives a pretty good idea of who they are?

...Belle’s mom was a fun character to write. She didn’t have a huge “part” in the story, but she had a huge impact on Belle’s actions and reactions. She’s a real prayer warrior, and Belle depends on her mother’s spiritual wisdom more than even she realizes at first.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...Very simply, that prayer changes things. But in order to pray with any kind of confidence, you have to trust that God is in control and He knows what He’s doing in your life.


Favorite writing snack:
...Dr. Pepper. Favorite writing drink? Dr. Pepper. :) I really don’t do a lot of snacking while I write. I never understood how people do that…aren’t your fingers busy on the keyboard? Mine are! But I don’t do much of anything without a Dr. Pepper at hand.

Book you’re reading right now:
...I just finished Karen Kingsbury’s Even Now and Everafter. Wonderful!

If you could go anywhere in the world for one month (for free) where would it be and why?
...Ireland and/or New Zealand. My mother had Irish roots, and I’ve always wanted to go there. But I fell in love with the opening scene in Lord of the Rings, and now New Zealand is also a travel goal. Everybody needs a dream, right? :)

**Leave a comment below for Delia and be entered in to a drawing 
to win a copy of  
Do You See What I See!


Just realized you live in Tehachapi when I read your bio again! One of my best friends lives there with her husband - it's such a small world :) And I love that you're honest about the struggle to balance the writing life and...real life! I face the same challenges. And great choice for your destination - I think both places sound amazing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Motherless by Erin Healy | RE:View

If I had to pick three words to describe my feelings while reading Erin Healy's Motherless, they would be:

Introspective. Detailed. Mysterious.

Erin's descriptions come off the page and swirl into filmy existence like smoke from wet wood. They create a "presence" that is as eery as her plot.

I will leave discussion of most of the plot to the description below and instead focus on my thoughts on the book as a whole without many specifics. It's one of those books you need to experience in order to understand.

I will say her approach was very interesting, taking the viewpoint that she does and telling the story as she has. From the plot arise questions about life, death, truth, lies, and a sense of the intricacies of life seen from an unusual perspective.

I enjoyed this book, however it wasn't what I was expecting. Then again, I'm not sure I knew what to expect. Expectations aside, it's well written, beautiful descriptive, slightly haunting, very intriguing, and has a touch of light suspense. If you've enjoyed Erin's previous novels I'm sure you will enjoy this.

I will give it four stars and would recommend it to someone willing to be mentally involved with an issue and happy to be led on a slower paced, intriguing mission in pursuit of truth. You will be surprised, if not content with what you discover.

Purchase: Motherless

Book Description
(from Amazon)
A whispering voice at the back of my mind reminds me that I’ve been this way for some time. Dead, that is.

The dead have a very broad view of the living, of actions performed out of sight, of thoughts believed to be private. I would know. Losing both parents is a trial no child should endure, and Marina and Dylan have endured enough. They deserve the one thing I could never give them: a mother’s love.

A mother’s love, and the truth.

My children have believed a lie about me for years and years. After all this time I can still feel their hurt in my heart. But the tether holding me to them is frayed from years of neglect . . . and I have to find a way to make my confession before it snaps.

But when the truth comes out, what other beasts will I unleash?

“Why do we lie to the children?” someone asked me once.

“To protect them,” I answered.

How terrible it is that they need protection from me.
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.