Saturday, April 22, 2017

THE SOUND OF EMERALDS // Anniversary Blog Tour, Giveaway, & THE SOUND OF DIAMONDS Book Review

{Cover image source. Banner edited by yours truly.}

One year and one week ago, today, author Rachelle Rea Cobb released her book baby, The Sound of Emeralds -- the third and final novel in her Steadfast Love series -- into the world! And today, I have the pleasure of sharing with you Dragons a bit about the book, as well as a giveaway for signed copies of the entire series (!!), and my review of book one, The Sound of Diamonds.



What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God has brought together...

As the date of Dirk's trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth's parents' murders -- or be separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?



Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago -- her passions include the Reformation, revolutions, and romance. Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love series during college. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She's a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South. She is also the author of Write Well, a guide for writers, which released on March fourth!

You can connect with Rachelle via her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon page.


{Provided by Rachelle Rea Cobb.}

Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win signed copies of ALL THREE of Rachelle's novels. The whole series -- signed!

International friends, this giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do still enter, because one international winner will also be chosen to receive all three e-books.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



(4.5 stars)

Nay. Hatred would not bar my heart against pain. Hatred would only bar my heart against healing, redemption, love.
~Rachelle Rea Cobb, The Sound of Diamonds

I love a good rogue romance. Unfortunately, most of those romances I hold so dear rarely come true, so to put it (*coughs* I'm looking at you, Guy and Marian). But this... My dear friends, this was so good.

Gwyneth Barrington is on the path to becoming a nun. Living in a convent in Leiden, the Netherlands, she suffers from the memory of her parents' murders, and their promise for her happy future.

And then the assumed murder shows up, claiming that Leiden's convent is under attack, and he wishes to bring Gwyn to safety.

If only it were that simple.

I've been interested in The Sound of Diamonds for a while, now. That gorgeous title, that intriguing cover... As Prince Edward from Disney's Enchanted would say, what's not to like? So when a review opportunity came up, I pounced. 😉

The first chapter begins with action and adventure. Gwyneth, a young, headstrong noblewoman. Dirk Godfrey, a redeemed rogue with a scandalous past. Two of Dirks closest friends, a strict nun, and a sweet postulant.

The characters -- One of my biggest pet peeves in religious romance novels (and probably the main reason I don't read more romance, period) is the helpless (and very beautiful) Mary Sue and the slightly flawed (yet still very handsome) Gary Stu. I love how Rachelle took these stereotypical characters and tossed them out the window. 😄

We have a feisty daughter of nobility (with glasses! *cheers*), a God-pursuing son of a lord and lady, and a cast full of fun characters.

My only complaints in regards to the cast were Cade and Ian, both of whom seemed very similar (though the latter got much less "screen time"); and the villain, who, though his reasons seemed comprehensible enough, felt like he needed a little more motivation.

The romance -- I'll start by saying that the side-romance (between a certain friend and postulant *winks*) was super sweet. There was what was possibly an implication of sorts later on in their relationship that seemed a bit out of place, but it was left open to interpretation.

But the main romance. Our hero and our heroine. (*smiles*) Even though I know the answers, I'm still tempted to scream at them, "What took you so long?!" ♥

The writing -- I've yet to experience a novel so wonderfully historically accurate, yet so well written at the same time. Never in my life have I heard of the Dutch Revolution, but Rachelle brought it to life in wonderful ways, with her little phrases in late-Renaissance Dutch and Spanish.

The setting -- I'm not big on description; in fact, if there's more than one sentence of description in a book, that's the part I usually skip. However, I did feel as if this area could've done with a tad more development.

The plot -- Fantasy lovers, take your favourite fantasy quest -- journeys across seas, through forests, to castles, you name it... Now apply it to a historical romance, with an emotional murder mystery along the way. (*nods*) Remarkable, isn't it?

So, yes, my dear friend -- go read The Sound of Diamonds! Even if you're not big on historical romance, go do it. You won't regret it. ☺

You may want to know: There is violence (murder included) and kissing, as well as a few slight implications.

Note: I received a free ebook copy of The Sound of Diamonds from the author, in exchange for my honest review.

Read my review on Goodreads and Merikthorne Library!


Saturday, April 15th:

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Have you ever read any of Rachelle's books, before? (If not, go do so. Now.) Have you ever heard of the Dutch Revolution?


Saturday, April 15, 2017

How to Write a Thank You Card

Writing thank you cards is the bane of my existence. They always end up in the mail a couple weeks late, and though the card's front may seem pretty, the inside is filled with inadequate wording representing my attempts to express sincere gratitude.

One of my earliest memories of suffering through writing a thank you card is when I was eleven. Some young adults from church were going to a gospel meeting a day's drive away, and were kind enough to let me tag along. On the way home, I got sick, and thus, a thank you card seemed all the more appropriate.

So, sitting on the couch the next day, a kleenex in hand as I coughed every now and then, I stared at a bright green, blank card. And oh, my dear Dragons, writing a thank you card was pure misery. How was I supposed to start it? Was a one sentence, "Hey, thanks for driving me to that gospel meeting," alright? How many sentences should it even be?

In my five years since then, I've (thankfully!) learned some of the little tricks to writing a decent letter of appreciation.


This can be just a little mental note of how you want the card to go, or even a sticky note with a few bullet points jotted down. But keep in mind why you're writing the card.


True, it doesn't have to be pretty. But why not? Even a sheet of college-ruled notebook paper can be dolled up a bit, with some spare ink. ☺


A majority of my current cards begin with the names of those involved, followed by a cute, squiggly line (You know, the ~? What is it really called, anyway?). If one person's act of service (for example, a birthday card) included signing off the names off the names of other people, be sure to address the card to them, as well.


Did they tend to your garden while you were on vacation? Did they give you a gift? Did they come to your dance recital?


Monday? Tuesday? National Unicorn Day?


Grateful, right? Uhg, writing can be so hard (and, unfortunately, there's no exact science to putting words on a page), but consider your wording and your relationship with the person. Was this a "thank you so very much" moment, or an "oh my stars, you are the coolest person in the world" experience?


Did you go over to their house for tea? Was it a pleasure to spend time with them?


True, you don't need to thank them again. But why not? Thank yous are awesome. 😉


"Love," "your friend," "sincerely," "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" -- whatever works.


Maybe with a little heart at the end, maybe without. 😏

11. SEND IT.

This one's kind of important (and one I can fully admit to forgetting to do, seeing as I forget everything).


Do you ever struggle with expressing written thanks? What was one of your first thank you card experiences?


Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Last month, Tracey at Adventure Awaits was so kind as to tag me in the Sunshine Blogger Award! (Thanks, Tracey! I can't wait to get started on your questions! ☺ )

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Copy and answer the eleven questions provided.
  • Tag up to eleven new bloggers to complete the challenge.
  • Write eleven new questions for them to answer.

1. What's the most addicting app on your phone?

Well, I have a dumb phone, so no apps on there. ☺ On my tablet, though, I'd have to say Spotify? Or Twitter. Or Goodreads. (You can tell I'm a total gamer. 😜 )

2. What's a song that speaks to your life, right now?

Hmm... Possibly Idols by Jessa Anderson? Idols can very much be hidden in plain sight, drawing us away from God, and that song's been quite the thought-provoker, addressing all the "pretty things" we surround ourselves with.

3. Do you have a book or movie that's your "happy place" -- a fictional world into which you retreat when you need a breather?

I haven't reread any books in a long while, so I suppose I'd have to go with a movie -- the 2015 Cinderella. I love that movie! It's so inspiring, so encouraging, so romantic, and so beautiful! Oh, that film is just the best! ❤

4. What's a book you are (or were) looking forward to so much that you're scared to read it, for fear it will/would not live up to your expectations?

Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice! I'm a huge fan of the 1995 miniseries (and kind of a fan of the 2005 film), as well as the sequel series Death Comes to Pemberley, but I was rather disappointed when I read the book. I have the Death Comes to Pemberley novel, though, so I'm really hoping I'll enjoy that!

5. If you had to have all your past memories wiped, save for one day, which day would you choose to remember?

Oh, oh... (*shuffles through memory file cabinet*) Hmm... Well... If I had plenty of time in advance before this procedure were to occur, I would probably spend a day leaving a trail of clues for myself to regain my memories. If it was a spontaneous decision, however, I think I'd go with one of the performances of The Magic Flute.

6. What question would you like to ask one of your favourite authors?

WANNA COME STAY AT MY HOUSE?! (Yes, I would be that creepy fan. 😉 ) I love having company over, so hanging with one of my favourite authors for a week or two sounds awesome. 😄

7. If you had to describe yourself as one of the four seasons, which would it be?

(*cracks knuckles*) Um, maybe autumn or winter? I'm a bit shy, at times, but I also have a reputation for being rather feisty. 😏

8. What's your personality type?


9. An envelope containing $500 shows up on your doorstep. On what do you spend it?

Books, naturally.

10. Would you rather be trapped in a lamp, a tower, or an enchanted sleep?

If I had a kitten, books, paper, and a fountain pen, the tower, for sure. If not, then definitely the enchanted sleep. 😉

11. Which Disney villain/villainess do you find to be the scariest?

Maleficent, because she is totally awesomesauce! Scariest? I suppose I'd go with either Dr. Falicier from The Princess & the Frog, or Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Falicier because he's just plain creepy, and Frollo 'cause... (*coughs*) well, he has issues. 😐


I tag...


Since I'm feeling rather bookish, today (*coughs* I'm pretty sure I always feel bookish?), I present to you Chosen Ones the Sunshine Blogger Award, Bookish Edition! 😉
  1. Which book on your shelf has the prettiest cover?
  2. What is one of your all-time favourite fantasy novels?
  3. Who is one author whose writing is SO GOOD that it makes you want to sit down and up your word count?
  4. What is one of your favourite fairytales?
  5. What is one of your favourite fairytale retellings, book or movie?
  6. Is there a protagonist you just totally connect with? Who is it, and which book are they from?
  7. Who are your top three to five favourite authors? Have you met any of them? Conducted interviews with them?
  8. You just learned that you are to inherit your very own ginormous library -- and it comes with a castle, too! Oh, and one more thing -- you get a magical creature (of your own choosing) to be your librarian/bookkeeper! What sort of creature is it?
  9. You are holding a very pretty book in your hands. Describe it.
  10. (And now, I'm stealing one of Tracey's questions!) You're a princess (well done!), but there's a catch: You have to be (kind of) cursed for two years. To make up for the fact that you have an evil(ish) stepmother, your fairy godmother has sweetened the deal -- you get to choose just how you get cursed: Locked in a tower with a pet, books, and your very own room full of food and paper and fountain pens and other such wonders; trapped in a magic lamp, where you have the ability to be a mischievous li'l Faerie queen with an unlimited supply of (healthy!) cake; or sent into an enchanted slumber, from which you will awake to find your true love smiling back at you! Which do you choose?
  11. (Last one, guys!) You just found out that you fell out of a book. Which book was it, and from which world have you come?

Enjoy, girls! I can't wait to read your answers! 😃


Well, dear Dragon, what's one of your favourite books? Which would you choose: A tower, a lamp, or an enchanted sleep? 


Sunday, April 2, 2017

March Wrap-Up

Howdy, Dragons! As those of you who've been around awhile may recall, I took a blogging hiatus for the month of March. And though I love blogging, (*breathes*) I'm SO glad I did. The month was certainly easier than February (which is basically my least favourite month in the entirety of the year... plus I got sick, so my brain = fried), but whew, was it a whirlwind!

  • The Magic Flute tech week and performances happened. I've been having nightmares about something going terribly wrong during the shows, ever since. 😉 Still, I can't believe it's over...
  • My grandparents came to town! Which technically happened before the performances for The Magic Flute, but they were able to see a show, which was awesome!
  • I turned sixteen! It's still kind of crazy and unbelievable. The fact that I'll be a legal adult in two years makes me want to run and hide is insane.
  • One of my best friends flew in! We were born a year and four days apart, so we got to celebrate both our birthdays!
  • I have a new fountain pen, courtesy of da bestie! With twenty-five ink cartridges, twelve of which are all different colours. O.O  (Can you tell I'm geeking out?)
  • We went to Universal Studios (or, more importantly, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter)! (*drools*) And it was magical, guys. Particularly the Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey ride. I was even able to snap some pictures of Hogsmeade Village!

Hogsmeade Village.

Street signs.

Hogwarts Castle, plus a slight view of the Weasleys' car, crashed in the Forbidden Forest.

Inside Professor Sprout's greenhouse, in line for The Forbidden Journey.

There was also a Hogwarts choir (which, unfortunately, I didn't get great pictures of), and butterbeer (BUTTERBEER, folks. Oh my goodness, it was wonderful! I'm pretty sure it was just vanilla ice cream mixed with cream soda, but still, it was fantastic. I can totally see why it's such a big deal in the books, now).

My dinner. Just because.
(BTW, pizza is an excellent restart after having been up for nineteen hours, with just a couple short naps hither and thither...
JUST KIDDING. We actually fell asleep as soon as we were finished. 😝 )

Other life things:
  • Only sixty-eight days 'til summer! (*coughs*) Not that I've been counting down since day one-hundred-sixteen, or anything.
  • Speaking of one-hundred-sixteen days, only that much until Realm Makers! (*squeals*) I am so, SO excited!! As of right now, I'm scheduled to take a class for teens from Jill Williamson (!!!!), as well as four classes on worldbuilding, plotting a bestselling series, developing character motivation and goals, and successfully self-publishing books. (Have I already mentioned that I'm excited?)
  • Also, I'll be working with the MEA Theatre Company, again! Lord willing, we'll be delivering a musical piece in the school's talent show. 😄

Ivy Rose's novella Left to Die was on sale for Indie e-Con, and since, a) she is at the top of my most fantabulous authors ever list, and b) I've been drooling over the book since its release was first announced, I snagged it as soon as possible. 😉

I also received a few books for my birthday! Waking Beauty by Sarah E. Morin, The Hive by John W. Otte, Paper Crowns by Miriam Neal, and A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn. ☺


Uuum... I think the only books I finished this month were Kate Willis's Enjoy the Poodle Skirt, and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the latter of which was for my English class. Only two. (*blushes*) Yeah, and I'm also (still) reading way too many books, right now. There's The Sound of Diamonds by Rachelle Rea Cobb (which is totally awesomesauce, for the record), the When God Doesn't Fix It memoir and study guide by Laura Story and Jennifer Schuchmann, The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie, Scarlet Moon by S.D. Grimm, Bellanok by Ralene Burke, and I Don't Wait Anymore by Grace Thornton. (*cues Mr. Darcy's voice*) "I shall conquer this, I shall!"


Aaaah, I don't even know how I had time to watch anything, especially six whole movies over the course of spring break, alone (two of which I watched twice, *cringe*, *shriek*, *gasp*).
  • Beauty & the Beast (2017). We almost didn't see it due to the politics surrounding it, but when friends invited my parents and I to join them at a drive-in theatre on my birthday, we decided to give it a go. The, ahem, "stuff" was really subtle. Had I been a couple years younger and oblivious to the situation, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have noticed it. There was a ballroom scene at the end, but it was literally blink-and-you'll-miss-it.
  • Zootopia (2016). I first saw this movie last November, and it's so great. For one, Mary Margaret from Once Upon a Time. Need I say more? But the way it managed to address real-life issues while still being a fun kids' movie was amazing.
  • Arrival (2016). I need to read the book that this movie is based off of. The movie seemed to have a slow start, but when everything fell into place... WOW. Just wow.
  • Doctor Strange (2016). This story was pretty wack, and I was kind of uncomfortable with the atheistic view regarding multiverses and whatnot. Also, Benedict Cumberbatch as a bratty neurosurgeon with a US accent is totally weird (what has happened to you, Sherlock?). Still, the movie was well made.
  • Moana (2016). Not my favourite Disney princess movie, but it was still pretty great. I find it really cool that a teenager did the title character's voice. ☺
  • Pete's Dragon (2016). My dad and I stayed up late watching this, last night, after my mom went to bed. I think he liked it more than I did. The setting was cool, but my dad and I both agreed that the plotline was predictable. Nonetheless, I'm sure a younger audience would enjoy it.

I've joined Camp NaNoWriMo! I know that I won't be able to write an entire novel at any given point during the school year, so I've set a goal of ten-thousand words in progress on And Did the Waters Tremble. I'm hoping (*crosses fingers*) to have the first draft all finished by the end of the summer.


Book-wise, I reviewed:


I haven't spent a ton of time in the blogosphere this March, to be honest. But from what I have read, there's the annual fan art contest for Anne Elisabeth Stengl fans, as well as a lovely post from Hannah Williams concerning why Beauty & the Beast is not a beastly tale. ☺

Hopefully I can catch up on the rest of my post-reading, soon!

  1. Survive my third-to-last month of my sophomore year.
  2. Make a map for And Did the Waters Tremble.
  3. Add ten-thousand words to the story, itself.
  4. Finish reading The Sound of Diamonds, When God Doesn't Fix It, and maaaybe The Guardian Duke?
  5. Actually do some of the When God Doesn't Fix It workbook.
  6. Bake something sweet.

So! How has your March been? Have you ever been to Universal Studios? What are you currently reading? How about some of your goals for April?


Saturday, April 1, 2017


Hello, friend! My name is Liv K. Fisher, and I'm a Christian, author, actress, homeschool student, and that girl who's still in love with princesses and still believes in unicorns.

When I was twelve, I wrote my first novels -- SOUL, a ninety-page dystopian set in 2015 (yup, too soon), and Heart, a medieval fantasy about an Irish queen. At fourteen, I wrote and edited (with the help of my awesome dad) a thirty-some-page Sleeping Beauty retelling, called I Once Dreamed. Between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, I wrote the first draft of another medieval fantasy novel, titled When the Sky Cries. Due to the novel's lack of regard for my desire to start draft two (pesky novel!), I've set it aside for a while, with plans to return to it soon. In the meantime, at sixteen, I'm writing a futuristic sci-fi novel set in outer space. Though I'm keeping this work-in-progress somewhat secret for now, it has a working title of And Did the Waters Tremble, as inspired by Psalm 77:16.

In the eighth, ninth, and tenth grades, I wrote Skyglow, a twenty-five-page essay on light pollution; Building a Tool for Identifying DNA, a twenty-two-page essay on studying DNA; and Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder: Which Produces a Better Muffin?, a thirty-four-page essay on substitutes for baking powder in baked goods.

During my first two years of high school, I've worked with the MEA Theatre Company, performing as Rikka (and several extras) in their 2015 production of The Snow Queen, and starring as Princess Pamina in their 2017 production of The Magic Flute.

In those small increments of spare time that I somehow manage to stumble upon, I enjoy reading, gardening, baking, listening to (and sometimes attempting to sing) Celtic music, and studying Greek mythology.

I first began my blogging adventure at Whispers on the Wind, but have since moved on to this little abode, where I'm ecstatic to hang out with all you people, friends old and new! (You don't mind if I refer to you as my Dragons, do you? Dragons are wonderful creatures...)

If you care to, you can subscribe via email at the handy dandy li'l button above, or click on those three horizontal lines in the top, left-hand corner, where you can subscribe via Blogger feed.

I'm excited to start this new chapter with ya'll, and I can't wait to get to know you better!

Tell me: What's your favourite thing to do? Are/were you homeschooled? I'd love to hear all about you!