Monday, December 29, 2014

Silver Rose ABC: Fighting Back

Decided to continue my Silver Rose ABCs! *smiles* Today we are on F and I have one concept, that of "fighting back", and a character (whose name begins with F), to discuss.

Fighting back. As I've already explained in a previous post, Silver Rose has a theme of darkness. Not darkness as in a natural thing, but darkness as in a dark being. Tempters. Taunters. The Father of Lies.
     I'm pretty sure we've all heard those dark whispers. I certainly have. And I guess that's why it made itself such a big issue in my story - such a struggle of my main character, Karalee's.

Throughout Silver Rose, Karalee is often surrounded by darkness, unintentionally hearing their clever, devastating words. And, like many of us, instead of realizing they're lies, Karalee takes them in as logic. She bows under their pressure; her heart is slowly breaking under their poison.
     And even after the moment, after the horrific scenario ends, and all seems normal again; she still holds a bit of that darkness deep in her soul, terrified that those lies might be true. She doesn't surrender it.

Now, you'll have to read Silver Rose to find out if Karalee conquers or breaks. But at one point, a dear friend points out that the Keeper of Darkness is the Enemy of the King of Kings. And since Karalee is a daughter of the true King, the Keeper of Darkness makes it his business to hate her.

Why can't we see? Why can't we realize that those dark fears, those feelings of worthlessness, those moments of seemingly utter hopelessness ... are lies?

At one point, Karalee sits in her bedchamber, passive, stagnant. Doing absolutely nothing when there is SO much to be done ... because she's afraid, she's hopeless; she doesn't see the light of the future because the darkness of the moment is smothering her.


We were not made to drown in fears, in depression, in anxiety, and hopelessness. We were given a sword, and we are called to fight. And what's more, we have a mighty, and absolutely alive and moving, Leader ahead of us!

"God's not dead, He's surely alive! He's living on the inside, roaring like a lion!" ~ Newsboys

So when those shadowy workers of the Keeper of Darkness creep into you life, take out your sword (which we do indeed have our own weapons(!): the Word of God, the awesome privilege to communicate with Him, and our identity as His children!) and silence them.

Remind them that they have no place here. And let's hope our dear Karalee can see the Truth to do the same.


Also, there may or may not be a magnificently lovely dragon named Feyeldra-Leena! ^_^ I can't find a picture for her, but she has amber-colored scales and sapphire blue eyes!

And that is all for Silver Rose today I believe. However, I probably will work on Diamond's Quest! Yes, I started writing it, and am pretty excited!!! Visit my Pinterest board for more details: Storyboard- A DIAMOND'S QUEST.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Book Review: Tried and True

Purchase HERE

Title: Tried & True

Author: Mary Connealy

Series: Wild at Heart #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

**3.5 stars**

Mary Connealy's novels tend to be humorous, romantic westerns ... and Tried and True was no different.

It follows the life of a young soldier from the Civil War, Kylie Wilde, who is homesteading in the rugged west. Because of her service during war (you may have gathered that Kylie is a woman), she only has to homestead three years instead of five in order to own the place. Her sisters Shannon and Bailey are doing to same, with their pa on his own claim as well. The only problem is ... Kylie doesn't want to be in the west. Dressed like a man. Doing man's work. She wants to be in the east, buying pretty bonnets, going to lovely tea parties.
    Another problem is that a nice man who happened upon her while she was dressed in skirts instead of her customary men's dress, is actually a land agent. -And obligated to add two more years to her time in the west.
    But Aaron and Kylie soon find that her deceiving during the war is the least of their problems ...

For the first part of Tried and True, I was quite interested in the story, and having a lovely time in the pages of this novel. But at some point, it got a little too focused on the romance and all. While I would be the first to say that romance and marriage are beautiful things (as long as used in the way God intended); I rather like my reads a balanced mix of romance, mystery, faith, historical facts, and all the other relationships and all. I mean, I don't really care to read once and then again how beautiful he thought her hair was and other such romance-y stuff. When my turn comes to be romanced, I'm sure I'll enjoy all that, *smiles*, but as for my books, I prefer the romances to be sweet, simple, and kind of subtle. I don't need to know everything they're thinking.

So that being said, Tried and True wasn't my favorite. But I did enjoy the overall story. And it had some poignant faith elements, especially near the end. Some important topics are explored in this novel ... and the Wilde sisters are pretty fun. *smiles* A nice read all in all.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

"For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." 
Luke 2:11

What an awesome, powerful day that must have been! A day that's so worth celebrating, even to this day and age! :) To quote David Crowder Band, "Oh Happiness, there is grace, enough for us, and the whole human race!"

Because of that wee Child of Light born in Bethlehem so long ago, we are saved.

Praise our amazing Savior, Jesus Christ!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Movie Review: When Calls the Heart, Lost & Found, A Telling Silence

My Review (4 stars):

     I’ve long looked forward to watching When Calls the Heart (2013), another rendition of one of Janette Oke’s book series. I adore her prairie-style tales of young teachers in one-room schoolhouses, sweet romances, and simple faith. (The Love Comes Softly movie series is an example of such).

     For the most part When Calls the Heart (2013) did not disappoint. It was delightful and touching.

     But the When Calls the Heart (2013) movie doesn’t actually tell the When Calls the Heart book’s story. When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke is about a blonde-haired, young woman named Elizabeth Thatcher who wants to be a teacher, moves to a more remote town, is relocated to an even more remote town by a disgruntled, spurned suitor, meets a handsome Mountie named Wynn Delaney, and all that. The When Calls the Heart (2013) movie does show lengthy flashes of this story, but it mainly focuses on a different Elizabeth Thatcher, dark-haired niece of the original. She also is from a rich family, yet wants to be a teacher, meets a Mountie… and so on. So it’s a different story, yet bears a lot of similarities to the original story. –Which can be weird; aunt and niece with the same name having stories quite similar. But it was fine overall.

     I was kind of sad not to get the full story of the first Elizabeth Thatcher (Delaney), but the second Elizabeth Thatcher also proved to be an interesting character. Along with her slightly spoiled and snooty younger sister, Julia; her proper mother, and sympathetic father. It was definitely entertaining to journey along with pampered young Elizabeth as she strived to follow the path she felt God putting on her heart.

     When Calls the Heart (2013) kind of ends just as Elizabeth is beginning her life as a school teacher. And I must say, the slightly romantic relationship between her and old-acquaintance, Mountie Edward, was not too pleasant for me… as you’ll see in the TV series that follows this movie, Edward vanishes from the scene, and a new Mountie takes his place. I never was one for unfinished, unnecessary romances.

     But overall, this movie was quite enjoyable and fun.

My Review (5 stars):
     The first of the When Calls the Heart TV series, Lost & Found (2014) takes off basically where the movie When Calls the Heart (2013) ends. There’s a different actress for young Elizabeth Thatcher and it does show her arrival at Coal Valley different than in the movie, but for the most part, it’s easily overlooked.
     From beginning to end, Lost & Found (2014) was thoroughly interesting, emotional, and just perfectly lovely. I am so happy that I didn’t stop at the movie, but went on to this delightful TV series! Even not considering that I got the complete first season for just $19, I am quite pleased with my purchase.
     A slight complaint would be that Lost & Found (2014) almost seemed to have a hidden agenda of women in competition with men. Not my thing. Let men be men, and women be women—and appreciate them both equally for their roles! But it wasn’t huge, so it’s a minor complaint.
     Also, both Elizabeth Thatcher and Jack Thornton seem a bit spoiled and prideful, and thus argued a lot. But it’s all part of the story, and understandable considering their backgrounds and former stations.
     So far, the movie (2013) and TV series (2014-) of When Calls the Heart, don’t exactly follow either the first Elizabeth Thatcher (Delaney)’s story (When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke) or the second Elizabeth Thatcher’s story (Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan); but it does a bit I suppose, and it’s still an old-fashioned, one-room schoolhouse, small town story…
     A little mining town. School in the saloon. Fires and other such mysteries. Drama with a certain, handsome Mountie... I love it! :)

My Review (5 stars):

     In this second installment of the When Calls the Heart TV series, Elizabeth Thatcher is settling more comfortably into her role as Coal Valley’s schoolteacher… even with her classroom being a saloon! Breaking up fistfights... coping with a little boy's admiration of her, and trying to solve the mystery of one little girl's silence. And she’s getting along better with Mountie Jack Thornton, who’s turning out to be quite the nice guy, with a sense of humor to boot.

     New mysteries and troubles turn up, and Elizabeth is determined to help out her new, dear friends of Coal Valley; as is Jack, who is the constable after all.

     I continue to very much enjoy this series. In A Telling Silence (2014), I was especially pleased at how well Jack and Elizabeth are getting along, and how they learned to work together in time of trouble. –And Elizabeth learning to just trust Jack.

     A Telling Silence (2014) was definitely more intense than Lost & Found (2014) but all ended well, and it seemed to be perfectly fine for my younger siblings to watch, :) We, as well as my mom, have all been enjoying it.

     I’m very impressed. Yay for Janette Oke’s books being made into movies! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Do you ever feel like...?

On my eighteenth birthday, I have a question to ask…

Do you ever feel like life is whirling by and leaving you behind?

I rather do sometimes.

Like, it seems almost all my childhood friends are either in a relationship, recently married, or expecting their first baby. It’s a joyful, yet slightly overwhelming season. I find myself thinking, When is it going to be my turn?

And as I realize, Goodness, you’re an adult now, Shantelle, I fret, What am I going to do with my life? Yes, I’m an author; I have a passion for penning tales; I’m on the road to publishing. But… it doesn’t feel like enough. I mean, most young adults my age have busy jobs, their own apartments, are in college for some spectacular career… I worry, Am I not “enough” in the world’s eyes?

I don’t own a car yet. No, I’ve never dated. Yep, I still live at home. Actually, I don’t believe college is in my future… Um, no, I don’t have a job at the present.

 Do you sometimes feel like a failure?


And I’m afraid people’s disapproving looks or even well-meaning comments have helped me feel so.

But after reading a splendid, heart-felt poem by lovely blogger, Michaela; I was inspired to take a good look at my life and reevaluate: What is truly important?

Perhaps life isn’t all about making money, independence, taking your place in the world… Perhaps it’s about touching the world. Loving your family. Being there for your friends. Using the gifts God has given you to make an impact on people’s (even just one person’s) heart and soul! Maybe it’s about being content where you are. Serving even when you feel impatient to move onto the next step in life.

I think about moving out. Moving out of the state actually, getting a job, and doing some minor ballet classes.

But I’m still seeking God’s plan on that. Perhaps I need to be here, serving my family for a bit longer. I love them all dearly—it would be hard to leave… especially considering the little siblings who have so much more growing to do!

But if I stay here, shouldn’t I get a job and a car already? You know, there’s clothing stores, dessert shops, or a library I could maybe work at.
     Well, I don’t know yet. My writing is very important to me; I feel like God has a plan for it. I don’t want it to get pushed aside. Why is it so stressed for me to get a job anyway? I don’t really need the money—have no friends to hang out with anyway. I’m serving my family right now. Always plenty of dishes and laundry to do, babies to hold, and toddlers to entertain, :). And plus I think it's good practice. If I want to be a wife and mommy someday, I’ll be home all day doing dishes and laundry, cooking and baking, taking care of children. I guess sometimes I just don't want a job, and car, and all this "teen-young adult" independence. I simply want the awesome job of being a home-keeper (which all of you wife&mothers out there know can be quite hard work, but absolutely rewarding!). Can you understand? Because truly I do understand the importance of learning how to support yourself and whatnot… but this is how my heart feels. I want to be a stay-at-home mom… I want to touch souls for God through my works of fiction.

So here’s the thing. I really have little idea of where my life is supposed to go and how it’s supposed to transpire. Maybe I should think less of my own grand schemes, and even less of the world’s ideas, and trust God to guide my feet onto the paths He would choose.

He sees the big picture. And He knows what’s best for me, His daughter.

Perhaps eighteen is the time to get married. Perhaps twenty-three. Perhaps thirty. I don’t know what's for me. I’m perfectly for getting married young as long as both are seeking God. I’m less excited about getting married older, ;), but I choose to trust that God knows best! He knows when my dear prince charming is ready, He knows when I’m ready, He knows the perfect time in which we should join lives. It’s all good. And if He plans to give me a passel of children, He will make it happen, no matter how old I am. :)

Maybe I will get a car and a job and all that soon here. Maybe I will focus solely on writing my Christian-allegory series a bit longer. Maybe I will move out of state. I’m still seeking God’s plan on all that. I know He will show me what He’s calling me to do.

In the meantime, I’m just going to keep helping out and loving on my family, writing my adventurous fantasy tales, and praising my incredible King! And enjoy being eighteen. Forget the world’s expectations. Forget being "mature" and “enough” in the world’s standards. I shall be joyful and zealous and trusting, and strive to please my God in all I do. What else could be more important?

Books I've enjoyed recently or are just timeless favorites for me, :)
*From my bookshelf, and photos taken by Tasha- Through My Lens*



Got this weapon in the mail yesterday!! :) Yay, Karalee shall have her sword! :) :)


Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen

Purchase HERE

Title: The Secret of Pembrooke Park

Author: Julie Klassen

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

**5 stars**

With unexpected romance, gentle faith, and a generous dash of mystery, The Secret of Pembrooke Park makes for another favorite by Julie Klassen. A thrilling, Regency tale, this one is sure to please.

Abigail Foster is the plain, practical older sister. Except her latest business advisory to her father has gone awry. Now burdened by guilt, she tries to help her family as much as possible as they move forward to stay in the old, abandoned Pembrooke Park. While her beautiful sister, Louisa, and their mother are in London for Louisa’s Season, and her father away figuring out more business issues, Abigail stays alone at Pembrooke Park…and can’t help but notice every creak and groan. Is it her imagination, or are there ghosts of the past skulking around the abruptly abandoned house?
      Between searching for treasure and trying to figure out her feelings for the man who rejected her in favor of her younger sister, Abigail meets a heartfelt and handsome preacher, a terribly nervous young woman, and a certain Mr. Pembrooke.
      Secrets abound. Will Abigail figure out what’s truly important? Or will she fall into a mess of muddled danger?

I enjoyed this new novel from Julie Klassen immensely. I find that I quite like the amount and depth of mystery/suspense that she threads through her stories. The Secret of Pembrooke Park gave me a spooky thrill now and then, but it wasn’t over the top disturbing or horror-like. It added an exciting element, and everything ended with grace, beauty, and new beginnings. I was really impressed how Julie Klassen wove it all together and worked everything to turn out so lovely.

I rather liked William Chapman, and especially enjoyed his sermons and strong faith. *smiles* What a priceless guy! Gilbert was harder to like for me; he seemed insincere or perhaps a bit selfish. Miles Pembrooke was too complex to like or dislike I think. I’m still not sure what to think about him and everything. Leah and Mrs. Webb added to the story. Louisa popped in occasionally as a rather spoiled, self-centered, little sister. Mac and Kitty were great though. *smiles* All in all, there was a nice array of characters.

The romance was so sweet overall. There was a scene here and there that I was a bit surprised at how fast things were going…in the physical aspect mainly. Especially considering the reputations and occupations of those involved. But yes, all in all, it was a simply lovely relationship, and I was ever so happy for the two! ^_^

So besides that, and a beginning that was a tad hard for me to get into, The Secret of Pembrooke Park was quite amazing! Romance, faith, and intrigue amidst the charming Regency era. Julie Klassen’s novels are not to be missed. I’m very much looking forward to her next release!

I received a free copy of The Secret of Pembrooke Park from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Too Many Pretty, New Book Covers! ;) :)

Had to share these. They're just too pretty and intriguing not to, :)

Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen

In the new novel by the three-time Christy Award-winning author of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, a woman’s startling secrets lead her into unexpected danger and romance in Regency England…
One final cry…“God almighty, help us!” and suddenly her world shifted violently, until a blinding collision scattered her mind and shook her bones. Then, the pain. The freezing water. And as all sensation drifted away, a hand reached for hers, before all faded into darkness…

Now she has awakened as though from some strange, suffocating dream in a warm and welcoming room she has never seen before, and tended to by kind, unfamiliar faces. But not all has been swept away. She recalls fragments of the accident. She remembers a baby. And a ring on her finger reminds her of a lie.

But most of all, there is a secret. And in this house of strangers she can trust no one but herself to keep it.

~Can I gush just a little? Julie Klassen's books are just so amazing, with romance, mystery, and intrigue; and so is the Regency era she places her stories in. And take a look at the covers!! Exquisite! :) So excited for Lady Maybe!~

The Reckoning by Marylu Tyndall

Legacy of the King's Pirates Book 5  -  Summer 2015

A Time Travel Romance! 

~Thrilled to see another pirate tale coming from Marylu Tyndall!! And time-travel! Ooh, even more exciting! :) Marylu's books are always out of the ordinary and intriguing~

Exiles by R. J. Larson

For daring to trust their Creator, Araine and Nikaros are swept from their homes into a foreign land…slaves to their enemies.

Araine Khalome of ToronSea follows the goddess Atea. But Araine secretly questions Atea’s power as a goddess. Wrestling with her spiritual doubts, Araine finds old scrolls containing verses that come alive, beckoning her soul. Within those words, Araine senses the presence of the Infinite, the despised Most Ancient God, enemy to all Ateans, and she’s captivated—secretly risking her life to read the Books of the Infinite.

You are forever in My sight…

Betrayed and condemned, Araine is swept away to the kingdom of Belaal, where she is swiftly apprehended and marked as a slave. Caught up in the lethal political and religious struggles within Balaal, Araine joins forces with another slave, Nikaros, a hostage and exiled son of an Eosyth Lord. As they fight to survive the antagonistic royal court, Nik and Araine soon realize that they must also protect the despotic god-king who has enslaved them.

But the god-king, Bel-Tygeon, has plans of his own.

Child of Dust, are you My servant?

~Eek!! Definitely have to gush over this one! R.J. Larson writes SUPERB fantasy/Christian allegories, and I am super excited to see that she has a new series coming out! A must-read, my friends!~

Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood.
Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge.
When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them.

~If you haven't read any of Sarah Sundin's books, you simply must pick one up. They're incredible. Historical romance set during World War II at its very best, I think! :) So looking forward to reading this! And what a lovely cover!~

Return to Exile by Lynne Gentry

A twenty-first-century doctor travels back in time to third-century Carthage to rescue her husband, but the arrival of a deadly epidemic forces her to make an impossible choice in this fast-paced second novel in The Carthage Chronicles series.
Dr. Lisbeth Hastings salvaged two things from her accidental trip to the third century: her mother's stethoscope and her child. Making a life for her daughter Maggie back in the present is difficult, but returning to ancient Carthage is impossible. However, when Lisbeth learns her husband is slated to die a martyr's death, she must find a way around the impossible to save him.
Cyprian Thascius returns from political exile a broken man. He's lost his faith, the love of his life, and his purpose. When Ruth, an old friend, proposes he marry her to restore his position and protect his estate, the disgraced nobleman accepts. But when Cyprian's true love suddenly reappears, his heart becomes as imperiled as the fledgling church.
As Lisbeth and Cyprian reunite to battle a new epidemic and save the oppressed community of Christians, the chasm between the two of them seems too wide to bridge. But when Maggie contracts typhoid, Lisbeth must choose: stay and save the man she loves, or return home and save her daughter?
Filled with gripping action and raw emotion, this incredibly compelling adventure of star-crossed lovers will keep you engrossed with every turn of the page

~I haven't read the first book in this series yet, or even at all by this author, I confess. But, Return to Exile sounds incredible. Time travel, romance, action, and faith. I very much look forward to this series.~

Lady of Fire by Tamara Leigh

DANGEROUS ~ Believing only death will prevent him from returning to England, Sir Lucien de Gautier answers his king’s call to arms. When he is captured and his family refuses the ransom demand, he finds himself bound to the oars of a galley. Enraged and embittered, he has no hope of escape—until a rich merchant’s wife offers him freedom. In exchange, he agrees to smuggle a virtuous young woman out of a harem and onto a ship bound for England, unaware the real danger lies in the bond forged between him and his fiery charge. But when he learns she is as much his enemy as those who enslaved him, can he forgive her? More, can he forget her?

IMPETUOUS ~ Determined to wed her childhood friend, a betrothal her English mother will go to any length to break, Alessandra refuses to abandon the only life she has known in Algiers—even if it means compromising her faith. But when she is entrusted to a new bodyguard whose scarred face and soul draw her to him, she soon discovers the bold Englishman is only playing a part, biding his time until he can fulfill his end of a treacherous bargain. Desperate to turn him from his course, she reveals her identity, but only succeeds in gaining his contempt. Now that he knows the truth, will he ever feel for her all she feels for him? And will it be enough for her to forsake her world to live in his?

~I haven't read anything by Tamara Leigh as of yet. But her stories sound interesting, and the covers are breathtaking!! :) I would love to try her writings out!~

So there's my lovely findings in the world of book covers. Any of these look of interest to you? 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review: The Remedy by Serena Chase

Purchase HERE

Title: The Remedy

Author: Serena Chase

Series: Eyes of E'veria #2

Genre: Fantasy/FairyTale

Audience: Young Adult

**5 stars**

A lovely sequel to The Ryn, The Remedy continues with adventure, excitement, drama, and love. It was easy to return to its pages and journey along with Princess Rynnaia. And what an incredible journey! Thrilling and mysterious to say some.

Now that Rose knows she's the crown princess, Rynnaia, and also the prophesied Ryn, she sets out with her "brother" Kinley, Knight Julien, his older brother, younger sister, Erielle, and a few other brave souls to seek the remedy to the Cobeld's curse. Many dangers assail them. Mysteries are undone, and important things are realized.

I'm left breathlessly wondering what will happen next! This is a great fantasy series, with a Christian allegory ever present, plenty of adventure, and a good amount of beautiful romance. I appreciate Serena Chase putting in little lessons about pride, especially since our main character is "The Ryn", quite a popular figure. Also, the romance was sweet, though a bit more mature than in The Ryn I believe. Erielle developed even more in this book, and I'm so excited to read more about her. Oh, and Cazian the pirate. I'm so intrigued by his strange behavior. And Erielle's green eyes!! The Seahorse Legacy is going to be epic I think! *grins*

A complaint ... A few times I felt that Rynnaia was revered a bit too much. She's only human after all. Appointed the Ryn by The First, able to do all this stuff because of Him, given all her gifts and abilities by Him. None of it she attained herself. And while this is said clearly in the book, I still felt she was revered too much at times. The pride scene did help me feel better about that. ***SPOILER ALERT*** But when she "defeats" Cobeld, who I assume represents Satan, I was left quite confused. Yes, she did it only through The First (God), but still, people said, "You defeated Cobeld". Which only God can do. Our only hope of "defeating" Satan, is through Christ living in us. Him. He's the only one who can destroy evil. So that's what happens to a certain extent, but ... I don't know. Read it and see what you think! ***SPOILER ALERT ENDS***

Anyway, overall it was an amazing read. I love the magical, whimsical, fae, fairy feel. Yes, lots of words that mean basically the same thing. But I just felt I had to use them all in order to convey how lovely this storyworld really is. I love fairytales!!! The Ryn, The Remedy, and The Seahorse Legacy are all supposed to have perhaps multiple fairytale retellings woven into their lines. So The Remedy was grand. I felt it portrayed a Christian allegory in a very good, beautiful way for the most part. Very lovely as well.

As I mentioned maybe a few times, I'm so excited to read The Seahorse Legacy. This series is enthralling, people. If you like fantasy, Christian allegories, fairytales, adventures ... you should really try it out! *smiles*

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Where to Find an Editor?!?

Alright, I'm getting quite serious about this all now, guys. As you perhaps know, I've recently finished writing my Christian allegory/fantasy novel, Silver Rose, and have been editing it. I've done a few edits, and am feeling really good about the things I fixed. My mom also went over it. But I've still been really nervous at the thought of publishing Silver Rose. I want it to be perfect, you know. What about all those little grammar mistakes that my mom and I missed? What if something doesn't flow but I just can't see it? What if it doesn't come together in a satisfactory way? So I was kind of at a stand-still.

However, I got a call from a lovely friend of mine, and she's been really encouraging, along with a lot of my other friends. Some of them have even proposed to raise some money to help me get this project going. I'm feeling so blessed!! :) :) Praise God!! :) I was really wanting a more professional editor, but just didn't feel I had the extra money. (Plus I'm needing an adequate cover-making program). So anyway, now I have some help, for which I'm extremely grateful.

Getting to the point of this post, I would like to know where to find a suitable editor. I'm looking for someone to do just basic editing (correcting grammar etc.) and then like writing down suggestions such as: "reword this because I felt it broke the flow of the story" or "This was hard to understand; explain better" or "this character felt a little flat..."
So not wild critiquing. It's my story. A story from my heart. I want it to stay that way. But I would appreciate someone pointing out little things I missed, to help me polish for publishing!!

So yes. If any of you seasoned authors out there have any suggestions, I would be very interested to hear them. I have no idea who would be a good choice, and what the process of sending your story to someone to be edited looks like.

Thanks!! :) Hoping everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving. Now looking forward to Christmas, :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Are You Excited ... :)

... For Book 8 in TALES OF GOLDSTONE WOOD by Anne Elisabeth Stengl? I certainly am! This series constantly leaves me looking forward to more! *smiles* Though Book 8 doesn't have a cover yet, a title was revealed some days back.

Are you excited now? *grins* Poison Crown sounds intriguing! Anyway, this series is a favorite of mine. And if you are into fantasy with Christian allegories woven throughout, deep and fascinating complexity, a whimsical touch, and a nice amount of sweet romance, TALES OF GOLDSTONE WOOD might be wonderful for you too! ^_^

So I would suggest looking into this series ...


I'm also really excited for Cinderella (2015). 

I love fairytales!! The first trailer for this upcoming movie just came out, and it looks like it sticks pretty close to the original story. Yay! I'm hoping that it will be clean and worthwhile! Check out the trailer:

 Cinderella (2015)


Last but not least, I'm excited for Thanksgiving! It's just kind of a fun, blessing-filled time to fellowship with family and friends. I don't know about  you, but I have so much to be thankful for!! Especially when I start reflecting on blessings. So as you're perhaps eating delicious, traditional Thanksgiving food, and laughing and enjoying family, take time to thank God for His care for you! <3


And then here's just some lovely pictures of things that I'm excited may come someday ... *smiles*

~Start up ballet again~

~Publish my story, Silver Rose (mock cover)~

~Marry my best friend (whenever he appears *smiles* )~

~Wear a pretty wedding dress~

~See if my story, A Beauty Unforgotten, becomes part of this collection~

~Go to an old-fashioned dance~

~Be a mommy <3~


So, what are you excited for? *smiles*

(Photos found on

Monday, November 17, 2014

How a Star Falls Spotlight & Interview with Amber Stokes

Today I get to do a little interview with author Amber Stokes, and spotlight her newest release, How a Star Falls!! I am so excited to read this new-adult, contemporary romance, because... well, the cover looks so pretty and the story sound intriguing; and two, I've really enjoyed Amber's other novels!

So, on to the interview, :)

ME: What's one thing that inspired you to write How a Star Falls?

AMBER: Dancing. I’m not a professional dancer by any stretch of the imagination, but I will claim to be a passionate dancer—be it around the house or at a square dance. :) One of my initial concepts of the story involved stars personified, dancing something like the polka as they sparkled in the sky. 
Well...the story grew and changed a bit from the first glimmers of ideas, but the dancing theme remained, taking center stage in several scenes throughout the novella. I love the freedom and emotion behind the activity. (In fact, readers of my historical romance stories have probably already caught on to my affinity for dancing, given the numerous times I include it in my plots!)

ME: That's so neat! I love dancing too; from square-dancing to ballet. I think I'm even more excited to read How a Star Falls now! :)

One great book you've read this year, and what made it great?

AMBER: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. (You can read my review HERE.) It’s a really sweet YA contemporary romance, with a great small-town setting, a whimsical boy-meets-girl plot, and some deeper thoughts about life and relationships. 
A bit like How a Star Falls, if I may presume to compare my style to Jennifer’s lovely writing! If readers enjoy my novella, I definitely recommend Jennifer’s stories, as they’re in pretty much the same genre (just featuring high-schoolers instead of new adults). I’ve read her first two books, and I’m looking forward to finishing her third sometime.

ME: Sounds sweet, :) I'll have to add Jennifer's books to my to-read shelf! 

What's something you love about being an author?

AMBER: I love the opportunity to express my heart and to work through my thoughts in story format. To fall a little more in love with graces and places, and to burrow truths deeper within myself and hopefully help others who read the stories to do the same.

ME: Well said! :) I think that would sum up what I feel as a writer too, :) Thanks for sharing, Amber!!

Now let's take a look at Amber's lovely, new novella.

About the Book

Sweet NA Contemporary Romance Novella

How does a star fall?
Quickly. Completely. Unexpectedly.

Derrick Knolane escapes to Trinidad Head most evenings, avoiding his apartment and planning for the day he'll break free of Humboldt County. Working in a music store might be fine for a while, but it's far from the goal he had in mind when he got his college degree. Not to mention the fact that his roommate is a jerk and his family won't stop trying to run his life.

Then Brielle falls into his world.

She claims to be a star. Not from Hollywood, but from heaven. He thinks she's crazy. Certainly delusional. Yet, he can't just leave her alone on the cliffs. So he takes her home.

And his whole world falls apart.

A heartfelt and fanciful contemporary romance novella, How a Star Falls explores the uncertain season of new adulthood and shows that sometimes the worst inconveniences make for the best miracles of all.

Author Bio

Amber Stokes works as a content writer (marketing services) for a Christian publisher. On the side, she self-publishes inspirational fiction depicting the seasons of life and love. Her passion for books compelled her to earn a bachelor's degree in English and to run her own freelance editing and publicity business for over a year. Happily, this new chapter of her career takes place in the Pacific Northwest—a part of the world she's always considered home. Learn more about Amber’s books at

Social Media Links

Goodreads: Amber Stokes

Google +: +AmberStokes


"Perfect for when you want a whimsical, heartwarming read, How a Star Falls is more than an inspirational's a wink and a smile." - Joanne Bischof, award winning author of This Quiet Sky

"Amber Stokes has perfectly expressed the challenges of twenty-something life in her sweet contemporary new adult novella, How a Star Falls. Brielle and Derrick's journey reminds us all of the search to find ourselves in the midst of young adulthood. Their story is charming and wistful with emotions we can all relate to experiencing at some point in our lives. It is a tale about letting go in order to find yourself once again while never losing the importance of who you are...and who you can be." - Cerella Sechrist, author of Gentle Persuasion and The Paris Connection

"Though not typically a reader of contemporary fiction, I found How a Star Falls to be a wonderfully told story of both sweet romance and coming to terms with the fact that even though life doesn't always turn out exactly as we dreamed it would, even our undesirable circumstances can lead to a bright future." - Jaye L. Knight, author of Ilyon Chronicles

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Share in the excitement of Amber’s new release with a special starry giveaway! You can enter to win one of three prize packs using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to U.S. residents only.

(Please use the link above to get to the rafflecopter form; or visit one of the blogs below)

Tuesday, November 18th

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Tuesday, November 25th

Wednesday, November 26th

During the tour, you'll also find fun behind-the-scenes posts at The Heart's Spring.

Hope all enjoyed this post, :) Add How a Star Falls to your to-read list, and be sure to pick it up soon!! :) :)