Friday, October 28, 2016

Guide Me Home | Book Review


Follow the lives of Hardin sisters, tame Rebekah and wild Cissy, who are poor hills girls with a rich family heritage of faith in Christ Jesus. Add to the story city slicker Devlin with his mapping project and colored guide, Tolly, and there you have the ingredients for a rich story!

The characters all felt very real, their growth genuine and easy-paced. Because there were diverse characters, there were also diverse goals and subtle plots woven throughout the story, which I enjoyed.

I loved the setting too. I mean, poor communities and the Mammoth Cave... It felt very well represented.

Yes, there was romance in this book. It wasn't quite a, "girl loves lost guy, then guy gets saved so now she can marry him" story, but hinted at it. Also, Cissy's infatuation with flirting and making plans behind her parent's back made me cringe (it was resolved, yes). There were only two kisses that I remembered mentioned; it was more about the characters talking about the kisses in both situations.

There were some loose ends that I felt weren't tied. Who had taken their packs and why? Who had stolen the minerals? While a certain family was pointed out, I didn't feel satisfied that the questions were explicitly answered. And then Nick kind of just disappeared in the end. So for me personally, the story didn't quite feel complete, though I did enjoy it very much.

*I received this book in exchange of my honest review from Blogging for Books*

About the Book
Working in the massive cave might allow Rebekah the chance to bring joy back to her family. But will it claim more than it gives?

After tragedy leaves its mark on Rebekah Hardin s family, she plans to help her parents and six siblings honor her beloved brother s memory and alleviate their poverty by working as a guide in the dangerous cave system. Kentucky s renowned Mammoth Cave presents profitable opportunities in for hardworking, capable"men." But Rebekah is determined and if it means presenting herself as a"himself," then she s up to the job. 

Under the wing of experienced guide Tolly Sanford, Reb begins to learn the complexities of the cave and the two are joined by an aspiring young cartographer, Devlin Bale.
The university student has traveled to the hill country to map tunnels not to fall for a girl in disguise. Can the God who designed miles of underground astonishment shape Devlin s ambitious plans and free Reb from the weight from the past?

Purchase the book on Amazon

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Distracted Writer (and how to not be one)

We've all been there.

*Write, write, write, check email, check FaceBook, get a snack, reply to some texts, look at stats*
Oh yeah... where was I?
*Write, do some research, remember something else online unrelated to writing...*

I'll be the first to raise my hand. It happens here. Even when I know that I'm getting distracted, I still let it happen. In fact, as ironic as it sounds, as I'm writing this article I've already gotten distracted three times. The struggle is real, folks!

Some days, I write just fine without distraction. Other days, it seems like everything but writing is on the brain! And on these days, when I don't quite know what I'm supposed to do in my writing, my mind wanders. And distractions come up.

Not that I'm the queen of solving these problems (obviously), but here are some tips I've applied to my own life in fighting against these distractions.

If you've got text tones on, turn them off. If your FaceBook or email notifications come up on your screen or make a sound, turn them off. Do everything you can to make your writing time your writing time.

If you just can't stay focused, set a timer, then appoint an award (e.g. "I will do nothing but write for fifteen minutes, then I will spend five minutes working on emails.").

How many words are you going for? Do nothing until you've written 100 words (or 500 or 1,000), or finished the chapter, or completed a scene (whichever goal suits your style).

 Find a fellow writer or friend to keep you accountable. Tell them your goals at the beginning of the day, and report back to them at the end of the day.

Whatever tip you decide to apply, don't be scared to "award" yourself somehow. Whether it's chocolate or internet time, after you've accomplished your goals, give yourself some freedom and relax.

You've heard my tips, now... what are your tips? When you find yourself getting distracted, what do you do to prevent it? Ready... share!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

'Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus | Music Video

"O for grace to trust Him more!" -- I know I keep saying that these hymns rank at my top favorites, but seriously, there are so many good hymns out there. Here is just another one of them. ;)

Info about sheet music here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Journey of Choice | Quote Day 02

Before I share more quotes, I just have to say, y'all are an amazing encouragement! I've not really shared many WIP's as I go along... there is the pressure of people wanting me to finish this, and I'm just trusting in God to help me reach "the end." :) In the meantime, enjoy another glimpse of Nat's life, and thank you for your encouragement and excitement!!

Yeah, I'm liking Zeke and Nat's relationship. Kind of an antagonistic type of love. And then, let me introduce you to one of my top favorite characters. This guy is loosely inspired by my younger brother, Samuel. ;) 

And another character who "popped up" there is Gregory. He's not a favorite of mine, but he serves a purpose, so he needs some room to shine.

The following quote is between Grits and Camden. Those two... I envision their relationship and am hoping to get that idea clearly on paper.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Scripture Graphics 10

The journey of following Christ is a daily battle of saying "no" to self and "yes" to Christ.

Complete abandon. This was Christ's life for us. If He so freely have so that we could have life, should not we freely give of our time and lives for others?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Falling for Books - freebies and sales!

Trust me, yesterday ALL I wanted to do was forget all this "business stuff," find a swing, and read. The weather is gorgeous right now!! But... I used a little bit of self-control.

How many of you like to read when the weather gets cool and snuggly? I'm definitely there! Guess what? I've linked up with several authors from Clean Indie Reads and there's a pretty sweet sale going on right now. You can find all the info (you know, for freebies and discounted prices) HERE. I haven't read many of these books so I can't personally endorse them, but you can look through and decide what suits you. :)

Oh yeah, some of my books are there. ;) Coffee Cake Days and Letters from a Scatter-Brained Sister are free. Journey to Love is discounted $.99.

Other books to look out for at CIR are by my author-friend, Faith Blum. If you like Western romances, there ya go. ;) You're welcome! :D

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Sound of Silver Birthday and Giveaway!

I had the privilege of reading The Sound of Silver when it first released -- and now it's Silver's birthday! Read my review of it here, and read on for the fun stuff Rachelle has planned for her book's "birthday party." :)

The Sound of Silver is Rachelle Rea Cobb’s second installment in the Steadfast Love series, an inspirational historical romance set during the 16th century! Rachelle is also the author of The Sound of Diamonds, the first book in the series, and a newlywed! This summer, she married a man with the same first name as the hero of the series! I’m joining in this blog tour to tell you a little more about Silver and spread the news about the rocking giveaway Rachelle is hosting—make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter form to win the lovely necklace pictured and your choice of any of the Steadfast Love titles!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter using the Rafflecopter form above to win a beautiful necklace created by Baubles, Beads, and Stuff and your choice of any one of Rachelle’s three books (the series begins in Book One, of course, but in case you have one or two of her books already, Rachelle will gladly send you the next one to read!).

International friends, the paperback & necklace giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do still enter, because one international winner will also be chosen to receive an e-book.

ABOUT The Steadfast Love SERIES
In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics. Gwyneth, half-Dutch, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her, will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love erode?

ABOUT The Sound of Silver

The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One fights for faith, the other for honor…

After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.

Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth’s searching hearts ever sing the same song?

Find The Sound of Silver on…
Amazon Paperback:
Barnes & Noble:
Books a Million:

>> And if you want to learn more ABOUT BOOK ONE, The Sound of Diamonds

Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.

With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle's castle. She doesn't dare to trust him...and yet doesn't dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.
Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her, but what is he to do when those goals clash?
The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope...or be overcome.

Find The Sound of Diamonds on…
Barnes & Noble:
Books a Million:


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 her 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.


Instagram: @RachelleReaCobb

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Journey of Choice | Quote Day 01

Because I like making graphics, and because I like sharing quotes, here are a few more from my WIP, Journey of Choice. I wish I could promise that I'll do these every week, but... I know me. ;) And I have a hard time with consistency. So enjoy them today. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing | Music Video

Piano duet!! I love duets... and Christmas music. ;) So, why not mix the two?

Sheet music info here.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Scripture Designs 09

"It is is is written..." (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10)
We are reminded that Jesus used Scripture to combat satan's temptations, but does this knowledge affect our daily life? How can we use Scripture in the face of temptation of we are not actively reading, memorizing, and studying God's Word? The weapon is there for us to use -- but have we picked it up and trained with it?

"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." Matthew 6:7-8
It is easy to think, "the more I pray, the more God hears." And though there is the parable of the widow and the unjust judge, in which her incessant begging was answered (Luke 18:1-8), we also get a glimpse of how, at the beginning of Daniel's supplication, God sent Gabriel with the answer (Daniel 9:22-23). If our hearts are clean before God (Psalm 66:18-19), He hears when we first call on Him -- and He knows the perfect answer to our need. But do we trust that He hears us?

Parents, in their wisdom, do not give their child everything he asks -- and often, children see that as parents withholding good from them. So our Father withholds things from us -- because, in His wisdom, He knows what is best for us. "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." (Psalm 84:11) It's just that we do not always know what is good for us.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Daniel and Cassie | Engagement Pictures

Well this is a post WAY overdue. My brother, Daniel, got married in August. Beforehand, however, I got to do their engagement photos. Because of situations such as using his camera (Daniel has way better equipment than I), him having the pictures, needing to sort through them, them being on a honeymoon, etc.... I am just now getting the pictures here and ready to share them!

First of all, they're one of the cutest couples I know. ;) I may or may not be a bit biased. ;)

Second, doing their engagement session was a fun challenge because, during engagement, they didn't touch. So there was no "huggy" pictures, yet we didn't want the pictures to look stiff like, "I'm going to marry this person, but I'll just keep my distance." ;)

These are their top picks. :)

Friday, October 14, 2016

"Journey of Choice" | WIP

Now that Befriending the Beast is out there, my focus has turned to my WIP, Journey of Choice. I have shared snippets of it off-and-on, here and there... I'm really bad at keeping track what I've shared here on this blog, and what I've shared here or here or here. So bear with me. ;)

So, I'm going to pretend you know nothing about Journey of Choice. Let's get a few things straight.

1) Journey of Choice is part of the Orphan Journeys collection. But let me explain this collection.

     a) There are stand-alone novellas (like Journey to Love).

     b) There are spin-off short stories, when I can't leave a character alone (like "Letter of Love").

     c) There is going to be a connected novel series, Lord willing (the two I know of now are Journey of Choice and its sequel, Journey of Purpose).

     d) Journey of Choice is NOT connected to Journey to Love in any way except that Marie and Nat both traveled on the orphan train.

2) Journey of Choice takes place in 1861-1865. That's right, you history buffs: Choice spans the Civil War! :) I am having a B-L-A-S-T digging into the history of this war. I'm now officially a CW fan for life!

3) This is my first time to really write from a guy's perspective (I tried a little with "Debt of Mercy" and "Peace, Be Still" but short stories aren't near the caliber as novels). It has been challenging and super, duper fun! I mean, I get to let my character do things that wouldn't be seemly for a young lady to do -- especially in that era. Oh, there's so much versatility!! :)

4) I have no clue what my "goal" is for word-count or chapter length. It definitely won't be a novella, though. For example, Journey to Love is around 25,000 words in completed form. The first third of Journey of Choice reaches 24,000 words. There is SO much more territory to cover! So, with your prayers and God's help, I will finally unearth a full-length novel. ;)

Okay! Enough about me and my project. What about you? Are you a writer? If so, what are you working on? If you're not a writer, what other projects do you have that you're working on (is it music? crafts? baking?)? I'd love to hear about it!

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