Saturday, November 3, 2018

"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall." ~Isaiah 40:30

What's up, sweet Dragons?

I'VE BEEN GONE FOREVER. And for that, I'm sorry.

To be honest, the past year has been very... odd? Different? Strange? Confusing? But seemingly without sufficient reason??

There have been so many wonderful memories, from my first writers' conference last July to SoCalCWC this June (which I'll plan to tell you ALL ABOUT soon!) to soul-talks with da besties. I've grown stronger as a writer, more willing as a student, more confident as a person. But for some reason, growing has been hard... and there've been times I've felt entirely alone.

Then, this post from Julia @ The Barefoot Gal popped into my inbox. And you guys, I'm pretty sure it was a God moment. 💕

Busyness with school and learning how to drive and college prep and gearing up for job-hunting has just made me feel so tired, so drained. There's the constant fear of the unknown. As Julia put it: "Looking at yourself in the mirror and wondering who you are becoming is the hardest of all."

And sometimes, it feels like it's not my right to be so tired, to feel so empty. When I look at a college student with classes they adore, or a intern who's risen in the ranks, or a stay-at-home mom with a new baby, I remember that I'm young. That my adventure's just beginning. That I shouldn't be afraid, because I have no right to be.

Easier said then done.

And 100%. Not. True.

I was looking up a verse for Bible study the other day, when I stumbled upon Isaiah 40:30. It reads:
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall.

And I paused. Then I read the full passage. In verses 28-31, Isaiah writes:
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Then Julia's words rang even truer:
"The pressure to succeed is intense. The pressure to be the only you is intense. The pressure to follow your passion or not because that's just emotion that will change... So if you're walking around feeling rather lost and broken, that isn't insanity or something. You just need to thrust yourself into company with people who honestly care about you and are willing to help you refocus... less on yourself and more on God."

On a stormy evening in October, I cracked open Nadine Brandes's latest novel, Fawkes. Last night, I finished it.

Fawkes is a story of truth and healing -- and in so many ways, it felt like God closing the lid on my draining fear. Like a rising whisper in a heavy silence, opening shades in a darkened room, an unspoken question: why have you been afraid?

Now, it's getting easier. I'm learning to trade fear for trust. Trust that God will provide, God will sustain, God will breathe life. Trust that God is the master of the universe and all creation; that all things are under His graceful hand.

Now, I think I'm ready to try this blogging thing again.

I so enjoy connecting with you all, and I can't wait to see what the last two months (TWO MONTHS??!!) of 2018 will bring. Yahweh willing, there'll be many more beyond. 💖


*All scripture quoted above from the NIV Bible.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Language of Worlds Linkup // September-October 2018

HULLO, MY DRAGONS! First of all, I wanted to say that I'm SO SORRY it took me so long to get this edition of TLoW out! Life has been... insane?? For, like, the past year??? 🙈 Which I'll plan to explain in my next post, but for now, I've been keeping you lovelies waiting far too long. Thank you all for bearing with me; I hope you enjoy this edition of The Language of Worlds!

  • The Language of Worlds (TLoW) is a character linkup tailored to speculative Christian fiction (but other genres are more than welcome!).
  • It's bimonthly -- every two months, a new set of questions releases. This edition lasts from September 'til October, and the next begins in November and ends in December.
  • There are ten questions per linkup, and new ones every time!
  • Anyone can join! All I ask is that you use the graphic (above) and link back here, to my blog (click here for the official HTML).

Without further ado...

  1. What does your character fear the most?
  2. How would they handle it if they were to face their fear?
  3. Do they want to get married? Why or why not?
  4. What is their love language (i.e. words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, quality time, acts of service)?
  5. On a scale from 1 (messy) to 5 (organized), how do they rate?
  6. How do they feel about debates/disagreements?
  7. What do they bring to a battle (figurative or literal)?
  8. What's their favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
  9. How do they treat themself after a long day?
  10. What do you most want readers to glean from this story?

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the last linkup! And, again, thank you all so much for being so patient with me. 💖 Lord willing, the next edition of TLoW will be out next month (and much, much sooner)... a little dragonling tells me that it just might be NaNoWriMo-themed, too. 😉

Tell me, Dragons! What are you currently working on? Are you planning to participate in NaNo, this year?


Friday, August 10, 2018

The Language of Worlds Linkup // July-August 2018

I'M NOT DEAD! Huzzah!

I'm fully aware that it was rather ungallant of me to end my last post with (and I quote):
So I totally missed Wednesday's post (#oops), but I promise that (unless I die or get hit by a truck or mauled by a bear) it's coming! Just a little late. 😉 And, now that summer's finally here, I can happily say that BLOGGING WILL BE SO MUCH MORE EXCITING! Which means that my posts will be more exciting, too!

And then I vanished. From almost every aspect of the internet.* For basically most of summer.**

*Maybe that's an exaggeration?? 🤷


This is the point at which I'd like to apologize. I had a bajillion happy bloggy things planned, and then they just... didn't happen?? For no reason other than summer heat + laziness + I'm driving a car, now??? *hides forever*

Some exciting things have happened this summer, such as getting my driver's permit (AAAACK) and attending SoCalCWC (😍SQUEEEEE😍) and having one of my besties (LOVE YA, DOLL 💜💜💜) down in SD for a few days. The thing is that... more exciting things are happening (which I can't tell you about just yet, BUT I TOTALLY WILL), which means that I'm now taking a planned hiatus... and my next post won't be for a couple of weeks. Lord willing, that's as long as it'll be, and I'll have all the monthly highlights, upcoming editions of TLoW, and other such fun up a short time after I return! 😘

For now, here's the official (super late) July/August edition of The Language of Worlds...

  • The Language of Worlds (TLoW) is a character linkup tailored to speculative Christian fiction (but other genres are more than welcome!).
  • It's bimonthly -- every two months, a new set of questions releases. This edition lasts from July 'til August, and the next begins in September and ends in October.
  • There are ten questions per linkup, and new ones every time!
  • Anyone can join! All I ask is that you use the graphic (above) and link back here, to my blog (click here for the official HTML).

Without further ado...

  1. Where does your character live, and how does that impact them?
  2. If they could book a vacation to anywhere in the/their world, where would they go and why?
  3. On a scale from 1 (low) to 10 (high), how ambitious are they?
  4. What do they want to achieve long-term?
  5. Who inspires them?
  6. How would they handle seclusion?
  7. Are they a cat person, or a dog person?
  8. What's their favorite type of weather?
  9. When they're hungry, does it show? How?
  10. What's one Bible verse your character would identify with?

Thank you so much for all your TLoW-love, and your patience! Here's a shoutout to those who've participated!

If you wrote a post and I somehow missed mentioning you, feel free to let me know in the comments, and I'll be sure to update! 😘

Thank you so much for all your sweet love and support! Lord willing, I'll see y'all in a few weeks! 💖💖💖



Friday, June 8, 2018

WHERE TRAINS COLLIDE by Amber Stokes // Blog Tour, Book Review, & Giveaway

HELLO, MY DRAGONS! Today, I am beyond thrilled to share Amber Stokes's latest release, Where Trains Collide (WHICH IS TOTALLY AMAZING AND YOU SO NEED TO READ IT!!!!), as a part of her tour team! Without further ado, here's my review of Where Trains Collide --



Trisha had a dream, a painted masterpiece of what her future might be --
until all her hopes finally burnt out.

Ever since I read my first Amber Stokes book back in 2016, I knew I needed more! So when Amber announced the release of her latest novella, Where Trains Collide, a couple months ago, I signed up as a reviewer without a moment's hesitation! And oh, my friends, I'm so glad I did. 💖

Where Trains Collide tells the story of Trisha Knolane, a college student who has little hope of a happy ending. Haunted by the stress of homework and classes, she gives in to her impulsive side -- and ends up on a train to Oregon, longing to find renewed strength. If only her ex-boyfriend weren't on the train, too.

THIS BOOK!!!! Oh my word.

The characters were amazing. So human, so relatable. Trisha's pressure in college, the life she wants compared to the life she has. Paul's goodness and chivalry was charming, and the two's romance was absolutely darling!

The setting was sweet and adventurous. From the very start of the story, when Tricia anxiously awaits her train, I could just feel the anticipation, from the darkness of the night, grayed by the streetlamps, to the mounting thrill of a new experience. All the little nods to Humboldt County, and the immersive descriptions of Oregon, completely captured my heart.

But my favorite thing about this book was the message.

You see, this book came at such a perfect time for me. Trisha's internal battle over her student life and her future were SO. CRAZY. RELATABLE. Watching her journey (both emotionally and travel-wise) changed me. And I totally cried while reading it! (Which, for the record, I consider a plus. This book had a serious impact on me!)

Where Trains Collide changed my heart for the better. It taught me that God has a plan -- for your life, and for mine. He doesn't forget. He never changes. He knows our stories... and our stories aren't finished, yet.

On that note, GO READ THIS! I'm 110% certain you'll fall in love with it. 😊

NOTE: I received a free ebook copy of Where Trains Collide from the author, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Click here to read my Goodreads review.


Two hearts racing in different directions will meet where trains collide.

Burned out and disillusioned with her chosen career path, Trisha Knolane gives in to impulse and hops on a train bound for Oregon, eager to escape the stress of college for a few days. But what begins as a fun little adventure takes an unexpected turn when she discovers that her ex-boyfriend is also on board.

All her hopes and dreams had once centered on Paul Benson. Now, when Trisha doesn't know where her current track will lead, Paul’s reappearance in her life only complicates matters and sparks difficult questions.

Questions that could change the course of her life.

A heartfelt and thought-provoking contemporary romance novella, Where Trains Collide faces the uncertain season of new adulthood head on and shows that sometimes a path of broken dreams can lead to life's best destination.


Amber Holcomb (Stokes) is an indie author and freelance editor living below the majestic mountains of Montana with her adventurous husband. Previously, she worked in marketing for a Christian publisher for nearly three years. Her passion for books compelled her to earn a bachelor's degree in English and now fuels her work with words in this new season of life.

You can learn more about Amber's books, sign up for her author newsletter, join her street team, and learn more at


In celebration of this new novella, enter for a chance to win a $15 gift card! Giveaway is open internationally (to anyone age eighteen or older who can receive an Amazon gift card via email). Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


June 3

Book Spotlight | My Favorite Pastime

Book Spotlight | A Real Writer's Life

June 4

Author Interview | My Favorite Pastime

Review | Serenely Stacy

June 5

Review + Travel Story | My Favorite Pastime

Review + Author Interview + Travel Story | Meagan Davenport

June 6

Review | Carissa's Bookshelf

Review | The Green Mockingbird

June 7

Author Interview | Unicorn Quester

Review | Chosen Vessels

Review | Heidi Reads…

Review | Christian Bookshelf Reviews

June 8

Review + Deleted Scene | Flowers of Quiet Happiness

Review | Liv K. Fisher

Aaaaaack I JUST LOVED WHERE TRAINS COLLIDE SO, SO MUCH!!!! It's seriously got an amazing message, you guys. And characters, and romance, and plot, and setting, and-- you get the idea. 😉 Don't forget to grab your kindle copy today, for only $0.99!

Have you read any Amber Stokes books? (And have you ordered Where Trains Collide, yet?)


P.S. So I totally missed Wednesday's post (#oops), but I promise that (unless I die or get hit by a truck or mauled by a bear) it's coming! Just a little late. 😉 And, now that summer's finally here, I can happily say that BLOGGING WILL BE SO MUCH MORE EXCITING! Which means that my posts will be more exciting, too!

And, at the suggestion of a friend, I have a new home for my blog tour stops, cover reveal posts, book reviews, etc. Starting tomorrow (with a special look at Mollie E. Reeder's debut novel, The Electrical Menagerie), you can find those new posts at my bookish blog, The Book Sprite! Of course, there'll still be plenty of bookish fun here, from time-to-time, as well. 😊

Have a fantastic day, Dragons! And happy adventuring! 😘

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Language of Worlds: Kelpie O'Brien, the Twelfth Dancing Princess

HAPPY WEDNESDAY, M'DEAR DRAGONS! Today, I'm delighted to take part in my very own The Language of Worlds challenge 😉, and share a little sneak peek my current WIP!

A quick recap: The Language of Worlds is a character linkup -- think Beautiful People, but tailored to speculative Christian fiction. Anyone (writing Christian spec fic or not) can join in at any time! Click here to learn more.

A couple months ago, Spring Song Press announced its latest writing contest -- a fae-themed anthology, called Oath & Iron. And because (a) it's a writing contest, and (b) FAERIES!!!!, of course I have to enter! Thus, the past several weeks have been spent toiling away at happily conceiving a story... Fjord Phantom: pirates, pumpkins, apples, Norway-inspired, faerie-mortal romance, and a hint of Greek mythology.

This linkup, I'm focusing on the star of Fjord Phantom -- Kelpie O'Brien, my protagonist and the youngest (now all grown up) of the Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Without further ado, my responses to the latest edition of The Language of Worlds...


How about a synopsis, instead? (Le gasp, I WROTE A SYNOPSIS!) 💜

Princess Kelpie O’Brien has known the legends of the fey courts her entire life. Still an infant when her eleven elder sisters danced for the fey folk, the closest she’s ever come to a Faerie is through the stories her family tells her.

But when her last unmarried sister finally weds, Kelpie is sent to the kingdom of Norland to explore ship-building… and a deadly accident flings her into the arms of a fey man -- if only he weren’t on the run.

Suddenly, Kelpie’s world is overturned and she is thrust in the fey realms, where she becomes entrapped in Faerie circus, must compete against the compassionate Moon Queen, and fights to survive the darkness of autumn. The only one who can help is the fey man who rescued her. But when Fire consumes him, she is cast into the depths of the Underworld -- and this time, her only hope is herself.


Strength and compassion -- two things of which Kelpie finds herself rather lacking. She's never considered herself strong (mentally or physically), and relating to others' sorrows is not her specialty.


Elvish! (Pray disregard the fact that I've yet to read Lord of the Rings! 🙈) It's a romantic language and Kelpie likes romance. 😏


King David. I'd like to think he was terrified of Goliath, but we know that, with God's help, he overcame his fear and saved his people. Kelpie's story is about finding her inner strength (and compassion) and overcoming her fears -- something that, as a cynical girl in search of stability, she does not learn easily. 💕


We'd go to Seaworld! Because honestly, I think Kelpie would adore marine life. 😁


Image result for mawwiage gif

LOL! 😂 Kinda? At the start of the story, she's determined it's marriage -- that finding a good-hearted nobleman will solve all her problems. But as the story progresses, she learns that such is not the case. 😉


Reading! Lots and loooots of reading. 😊

  • Chocolate
  • A magical-creatures-themed coloring book
  • Colored pencils
  • The Moon Master's Ball by Clara Diane Thompson
  • The Harry Potter heptalogy
  • Every Ashlee Willis book in existence
  • Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst
  • A brown, fuzzy, plush dove 💞


Almost every single one of my characters has at least one song that could be applied to their journey. But for some reason I can't think of a way to limit Kelpie to just one?? 😅 So here's a whole playlist, instead 😜:


Heroine! Of course, there's a hero, too (it's a joint effort 😉). 💝

Dragons! Are you writing an entry for Oath & Iron? Have you done The Language of Worlds, yet? (Maybe I'm biased, but I totally think you should do BOTH! 😉)


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

DANCING & DOUGHNUTS by Rachel Kovaciny // Cover Reveal


Today, I am absolutely E C S T A T I C  to bring you the cover reveal for Rachel Kovaciny's upcoming novella, Dancing & Doughnuts! When I read her first indie release, Cloaked, last year, I instantly fell in love with Rachel's words. Curious heroines, brave heroes, dangerous criminals, and swoon-worthy love interests, all set in the old west... I CAN'T WAIT to read Rachel's next story! 💕

Without further ado, here's Dancing & Doughnuts...

(Psst! Scroll down! 😉)




Just a little bit further!



Someone's been spiking the apple cider at a Kansas dance hall owned by a family with twelve daughters. No one in the small town has been able to find the culprit.

A hungry Civil War veteran drifts into town and decides he's going to solve this mystery for them and earn the reward the family is offering.



Born only a few miles from where Jesse James robbed his first train, Rachel Kovaciny has loved the Old West all her life. She now lives in Virginia with her husband and their three homeschooled children. In her free time, Rachel writes for the online magazine Femnista, reads, bakes, blogs, watches movies, and daydreams.

Aaaaack I'M SO EXCITED ðŸ˜ðŸ˜ðŸ˜ I can't wait to read the next Once Upon a Western story! 💖

Dragons, have you read any Rachel Kovaciny books? Are you looking forward to Dancing & Doughnuts?


Saturday, May 26, 2018

DAGGER'S SLEEP by Tricia Mingerink & DISSOCIATE by Sarah Addison-Fox // Blog Tour, Multi-Author Interview, & Giveaway


Today, I'm delighted to present Tricia Mingerink and Sarah Addison-Fox, in the duo-tour for their latest releases, Dagger's Sleep and Dissociate! I've got an exciting interview with both of them for you, and Tricia and Sarah are kindly giving away paperback copies of their books! Without further ado, let's jump in! 😄




A prince cursed to sleep. 

A princess destined to wake him. 

A kingdom determined to stop them. 

High Prince Alexander has been cursed to a sleep like unto death, a curse that will end the line of the high kings and send the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia into chaos. With his manservant to carry his luggage and his own superior intelligence to aid him, Alex sets off to find one of the Fae and end his curse one way or another.

A hundred years later, Princess Rosanna learns she is the princess destined by the Highest King to wake the legendary sleeping prince. With the help of the mysterious Daemyn Rand, can she find the courage to finish the quest as Tallahatchia wavers on the edge of war?

One curse connects them. A hundred years separate them. From the rushing rivers of Tallahatchia's mountains to the hall of the Highest King himself, their quests will demand sacrifices neither of them could imagine.



Freedom begins with finding the truth.

Amidst the turmoil caused by Smyth's arrest, Celeste is stuck in limbo, stripped of her citizenship, with no choice but to flee to a peaceful Kyraenean hideaway with the tumultuous Amaya Mason.

When bounty hunters threaten the local orphanage, Celeste and Amaya must work together and fight. Even if it means risking what they cherish the most.

His plans in tatters, his career in jeopardy, Mick Haynes is forced to leave Kyraenea with the enigmatic Torrance Kyle, the agent he still can’t trust.

Torrance is good at lying, and even better at hiding his pain, but is he strong enough to deal with the consequences of betraying his own father?

Can Celeste accept the truth, accept her place in the Haynes family or will lies chain her to the past and destroy her chance at a new life?




Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn't writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.

Sarah Addison-Fox is a New-Zealand-born homeschooling mother of two, and loves action-packed fantasy with strong heroines. She has an astonishing amount of nail polish, has all her creative writing credentials shoved in a drawer somewhere, and has a husband who, after twenty-seven years, can still make her blush. When she's not working on her Christian YA fantasy series, she can be found fangirling on Goodreads or sending GIFs on Twitter.


Welcome, ladies! I'm so thrilled to have you here! First off, would you mind introducing yourselves and your books?

I'm Tricia Mingerink. I live in Michigan in the US and I'm the author of The Blades of Acktar series. My newest release, Dagger's Sleep, is the first in a new series of fairy tale retellings / Christian fantasy.

Hey there, I'm Sarah Addison-Fox, a homeschooling mum who lives at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand. I write action-packed fantasy with a strong dose of romance and family values. I'm the author of the Allegiance series, which includes Disowned, Dissemble, and the book this blog tour is promoting, Dissociate. May I just say, I'm a huuuuge fan of Tricia's so this is insanely exciting for me to be working alongside her. *grins*

Awwww... Honestly, it's been so much fun planning this blog tour with you too, Sarah. So much more fun doing a blog tour together instead of trying to do all the work yourself!

How did the ideas for Dagger's Sleep and Dissociate first come about?

I first wrote a version of Dagger's Sleep (then called The Quest for the Sleeping Prince) back in fifth or sixth grade. It was a straight fantasy back then, not allegorical at all. I had the idea to rewrite it in its present version about two years ago, and it took that long for the book to come together.

Dissociate is the third in a series, so it was a natural progression to continue writing Mick and Celeste's (and a few new characters) journey towards finding... well you'll just have to read... 😉

Did you have a favorite moment while writing Dagger's Sleep and Dissociate?

My favorite moment was when I hit about Chapter 17 and the book finally started flowing. I nearly gave up writing the book many, many times before Chapter 17, but after that, I wrote the rest of the book in about a week. It was the end of November's NaNoWriMo and I was way behind.

That's funny because I remember saying that to you. Something like, "Halfway through you hit your stride and everything flowed." As far as my favourite part of Dissociate, I could tell you... buuut spoilers. I will say that anytime Torrance and Mick share the page I had an enormous amount of fun.

Um, yes. Torrance and Mick together are my favorite parts of Dissociate, except possibly the ending. There's just so much "I really want to beat-up" tension between Torrance and Mick. They'd be brothers, if they stopped wanting to punch each other long enough to get along. 😛

What does your publishing process typically (or ideally 😉) look like?

Lots of flailing and panicking? More seriously, once I have the book written and I've cleaned it up a bit, it goes to my editor, my critique partner, and a few early readers. Once I have their edits, I make a large edit with lots of changes. I then go through it two or three more times before it finally goes to a proofreader and I begin formatting both the Kindle and paperback versions. I also make the cover right around that time. Then it all gets uploaded on Kindle and Createspace and into the hands of readers.

I concur with Tricia. Flailing and panicking are an instrumental part of the publishing process. Jk. The first draft is the easy bit. After that's done (Dissociate was written around nine months ago), I choose my photo and I send to my lovely cover genius. Once I've tinkered with it, I send out the polished draft to beta readers, get their feedback and make the first round of changes. Then I start agonizing over every single word, re-writing, editing out superfluous words, repeats of words, and read approximately 12,876 times before sending away to be formatted. Even when I think it's all ready to go, a pesky typo slips by, or I'll find something dumb like "The grin slid off Mick's face. His face fell." And it's already been formatted! That's when I get close to throwing things. Thank goodness for Tricia. I whined a lot to Tricia during this process. She kept me sane...ish. Then when you think it's as good as possible, you bite the bullet, upload to Createspace, Kindle Direct, and start to hyperventilate until everything is approved. Then, you read through another 12,876 ½ times... and hope and pray for the best.

Whining to author friends is definitely a big part of the process. Sarah and I bonded over listening to each other venting about the trials of publishing.

Thank you so much for your time, ladies! It's been a pleasure chatting with you! Last question, before you go: if you could each choose one message for your readers to gain from your books, what would it be?

The message I think all my books have is that all things work together for good to those that love God. This is a phrase we hear often, but it is true even in the depths of great darkness.

I love that, Tricia. I would like readers to come away knowing that every single person has a purpose and a reason for being here. And that every life is important to God.


Tricia Mingerink is giving away a paperback of Dagger's Sleep! The giveaway is open internationally where such giveaways are permitted and where Createspace or the Book Depository ships. The book may or may not be signed, depending on where the winner lives.

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Sarah Addison-Fox is giving away a paperback set of the first three books in the Allegiance series! The giveaway is open internationally where such giveaways are permitted and where Createspace ships. The books may or may not be signed, depending on where the winner lives.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks again for chatting with me, ladies! And congratulations on your new releases!

What-ho, Dragons! Have you read any books in The Blades of Acktar or the Allegiance series? Have you added Dagger's Sleep and Disowned to your TBR, yet?