Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Hobbit Day! (And Why Frodo Baggins is My Fav)

  Today my blog is celebrating the fictional birthday of probably my most favorite character in all of fiction to ever grace the earth (and his uncle)...

  If you haven't guessed it yet, I'm sorry to say you don't know me very well. 

  Here's a hint...

that is the face of an angel if i ever saw one
  It's September 22nd, the day LotR fans the world over celebrate the birthdays of the MC's in two of the most pivotal books of the 20th century: Bilbo and Frodo Baggins (of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings respectively). If you're not a crazy LotR lunatic like myself, you probably weren't aware. That's okay, I forgive you. 

  But I mean, come on guys, it's an excuse to re-watch LotR for the 10003030300222777th time and eat cake and defend Frodo from the haters because he is a precious cinnamon roll, too good, too pure for this world.*

  Now, as much as I enjoy and appreciate Bilbo Baggins - he is the greatest eccentric uncle ever - I have a very special place in my heart for his nephew, Frodo.** I was first sucked into the beautiful black hole of fandom back when I was about 13. I watched The Fellowship of the Ring with some fellow nerd friends and, like a crack addict, I was hooked. I read the books, finished the movies. Read the books again. Watched the movies again. Basically I became a LotR-psycho. 


*That's probably not still a relevant meme but whatevs.
**And no, it's NOT just because Elijah Wood has the window to the universe trapped in his gorgeous eyeballs, good grief. 

  Frodo pretty much immediately became my Ultimate Favorite Character Ever upon first viewing, almost like love at first sight except not actually because DESPITE the beauty of Elijah Wood's ethereal face, my love for Frodo is very very far from romantic. Frodo is not a romantic character, at least, not in that sense of the word. He is brave, selfless, honorable and kind, but he is far from the contemporary view of a romantic. Frodo is one of few characters I could never peg in a romantic relationship. It's just...not part of him, y'know? He's a person who exists more than that, it's a piece that could just never rest easily in him. I think that's some of what sets him apart for me. 


  Another thing I have always been drawn to about Frodo is how Tolkien describes him throughout the series. There's just something about him that is so different than other hobbits, he's often said to be "more elvish" than the others. Just take a look at some of the things Tolkien said about him:

“And here he was, a little halfling from the Shire, a simple hobbit of the quiet countryside, expected to find a way where the great ones could not go, or dared not go. It was an evil fate.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

“And there was Frodo, pale and worn, and yet himself again; and in his eyes there was peace now, neither strain of will, nor madness, nor any fear. His burden was taken away.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

“Then as he had kept watch Sam had noticed that at times a light seemed to be shining faintly within; but now the light was even clearer and stronger. Frodo's face was peaceful, the marks of fear and care had left it; but it looked old, old and beautiful, as if the chiseling of the shaping years was now revealed in many fine lines that had before been hidden, though the identity of the face was not changed. Not that Sam Gamgee put it that way to himself. He shook his head, as if finding words useless, and murmured: "I love him. He's like that, and sometimes it shines through, somehow. But I love him, whether or no.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

“He is not half through yet, and to what he will come in the end not even Elrond can foretell. Not to evil, I think. He may become like a glass filled with a clear light for eyes to see that can.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien

  That last one is my favorite. I think it describes Frodo absolutely perfectly. Honestly, I have a hard time describing what exactly I see in this character. I think maybe there's a lot of myself reflected in him, the sense of feeling like there's more I should be striving for than just what's right in front of me perhaps? It's hard to pinpoint. All I know is that Frodo represents a part of my soul in a tangible, personable way that I have not experienced with any other character. This is what I believe really attracts me to him. 


  A lot of people like to hate on Frodo. This, as you can probably imagine, rankles me a bit.* I've heard various different stupid things said about him: "whiny, useless, not special, etc." The absolute worst is when people put him down to lift up his companion, Sam. Now, don't get me wrong, Sam is a fantastic character, who was totally a hero and Frodo definitely needed and relied on him, but do I think that takes away from Frodo as a character, or makes Sam the hero in his place? DEFINITELY not. They were both heroes, they both needed the other. But it was Frodo that bore the burden of the Ring, and Frodo alone. 

*Or like, a heck ton of a lot. Fight me, Frodo-haters.

  I've never personally been able to convey a proper defense of Frodo's characterization, but I have read plenty from other Frodo-lovers like myself. Below I have included a screenshot of what I think is one of the best ones I've come across. Please read it, enjoy it, and maybe it will help you understand just what I see in this beautiful character, Frodo Baggins.

  Well, now that I've spammed you with my Frodo-love and wished you a Happy Hobbit Day! you should probably be logging off to make yourself a cake and go re-watch/re-read your favorite parts of the LotR trilogy. That's just the proper thing to do on a celebratory day like today, amirite? Run along, young hobbit, enjoy this momentous occasion! 

  And don't forget to leave a comment! Are you a LotR junkie like me? Who's your favorite character from the trilogy? Or do you have an entirely different fictional character who inspires you like Frodo does me? Let's talk!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

6 Struggles of Moving Out for the First Time

  Since I had a totally busy weekend and have not had the time to put together a decent post, I am here tonight, throwing this together at the last minute to continue my good posting streak. Also, now that I have done the unthinkable and actually left home forever I do have things to rant/talk about. I'm curious to share some of my thoughts, feelings and experiences in this area and see if anyone else has felt the same way, or maybe prepare you for some of the weird sensations that come when you step out completely on your own for the first time. So, here we go.


  To be honest, this one is fairly straightforward for me. My old house, my parent's place, my farm is my home. I'll probably always think of it that way. But it's SUPER weird to have another place that you live in that's supposed to technically be your home, but it's not really your home, y'know? It's not the place that holds all the memories. That can't be replaced very easily after twenty years. All of it just becomes confusing. 


  This is difficult. Mocking siblings is the pinnacle of my existence and now there's none to tease? It just isn't right, or fair. What am I supposed to do with myself now? All this extra time to spare...


  If you were lucky, like I was, you had a really awesome mom with a really high standard of cleanliness....that really just can't be met when you yourself are super lazy but still don't like feeling like you're walking around in dirt and grime all the time. So you've gotta do something about it, but ugh, work. It's a vicious cycle where it's mentally damaging to sit in the filth but so, so hard to do anything about it. 

   **My house isn't that bad, my mom just has crazy high standards that I'm used to. 


  We might as well state right now that I'm probably the least domestic person in the history of ever and I can't cook or bake to save my life. I love food, but the act of making food is so slow and boring and time-consuming and I could be doing literally anything else and be much, much happier and more productive. So, naturally, moving away from said-amazing-mother is a bit difficult in this regard. Since I have to not only do the cleaning, but the cooking too. And I have high standards for food as well. Thanks mom and grandma. 


  Of course this is not a struggle that applies to everyone, but for me, it is hard. I have only ever lived in one town of 100 people and spent most of my time at the farm anyway, so moving into the city has been...well, unpleasant. Tap water is disgusting. The roads are noisy. I don't hear coyotes anymore. I can't see the stars so well. Le sigh. I don't like it.


  This one is the worst. Renting a place often means no animals allowed. I miss my dogs and my cats a lot, and my horses as well (though of course they couldn't exist here at all). I've always had pets in my life and not having them is definitely a hard thing to give up. 

  There you have it, 6 Struggles of Moving Out. Perhaps a few can relate, for some it may serve as a future warning. :P In all seriousness though, moving out is pretty cool. It's a whole new, thrilling adventure and another chapter started in your life. It's pretty neat to see all the different things that begin to unfold when your life takes such a drastic turn. I won't pretend there aren't some hard things too (as mentioned above), and those take a bit of getting used to/getting through. Change can be cool, but it can be difficult too. And that's totally fine. I'm learning that all I really need to do is trust in God, sit back and enjoy the ride. Cherishing memories and living moment by moment and looking forward to the future with hope. Doing that, the change is not quite so hard or bad, in fact, it's pretty cool. 

  How did you cope with big changes in your life like moving out? Did I encourage or discourage you with my little rants? XD Let me know below!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Summer Highlight Reel '17 // Whereupon I Return from the Dead

Wowza. In the time since I ran away in June my life went into warp speed and completely exploded in the loveliest and most awesome ways. Summer is nearly over and the boring things of the fall season such as going back to work and school will be upon us shortly. However, there are so many exciting things to come in the next few months and I'm really looking forward to them all. However, today's post is a highlight reel/wrap-up/trip-down-memory-lane of summertime! Allow me a moment to reminisce...


In July...

  • Started off the month with celebrations of Canada's 150th year on July 1st. My hometown typically has a parade, barn dance event, and fireworks in the evening that are all impressive for the hamlet-size my town is. Unfortunately, I missed the parade due to still being at staff camp but was able to make both the dance and fireworks. Both of which were great as per usual. 
Waiting for fireworks
  • The following day was a birthday date out in the Rockies near Abraham Lake with Jonathan, whose birthday was two days prior and mine was to be the following day. We both turned twenty this year and had a great time out in the beautiful Albertan backyard. 
  • Then it was my 20th birthday, I had some friends out to the lake for a swim as is tradition and then went back to my house for cake. Seeing the 2 and 0 on my cake was slightly frightening and a little sad, but there was excitement in it too. I am probably the world's youngest looking twenty-year old but that's okay, I'm beginning to come to terms with my ancient age.

  • As camp weeks went on and off throughout the month, my sister and I came home after a week of work one evening to find a new puppy at home - to our great delight. A border collie female we eventually named Jess who is super cute and funny and not all that bright but adorable nonetheless. I haven't seen her in weeks now and I imagine she's gotten giant. 

  • One of my best friends, Kenzie, returned from her year long mission trip to Cameroon, Africa in the midst of the crazy July, and that was awesome. I had missed her so much while she was gone and it was so great to have her home for the celebrations, thrills and new experiences the summer had to offer. She was dearly missed!
  • My dear friend and once camp counselor, Sarah, married her husband Jesse in July and I got to be there to enjoy the event. I thought her wedding was so beautiful and the location was amazing. I could gush about it forever. 
All of the camp people who attended their wedding!
  • Jonathan and I went with his parents to the city to shop for camping supplies and furniture and let me say, mine and Jonathan's first trip as almost-married-adults to IKEA together went just about exactly how you'd expect. 
  • Nearing the end of the month my family hosted the third annual Princess Party where homeschooling families and friends from the area get dressed up in their best medieval attire and go gallavanting about for the afternoon. Us older girls always take the horses out for a ride in our dresses and of course did that again this year. We also made a trip into town to watch the new Spiderman movie which was EPIC. 
  • Jonathan and I began renting our first house together and moved stuff in and later moved ourselves in as well. It's a three story townhouse that's actually pretty darn nice for a college student and writer to have hoped to accomadate and I'm quite liking it. 
It is slightly nicer looking now...
  • I participated in a jumping clinic at my barn with a green jumper prospect named Link who thought that it was his job to get over every jump AS FAST AS POSSIBLE so that was an interesting time. It was a good experience though, and I learned a ton. 
  • I was at camp pretty much the entire month, working one week as a counselor and the rest as a wrangler in charge of the younger junior staff. This was a summer of learning and growth and my camp experiences were all so much more uplifting than usual. In past years I have had periods of crippling depression hit hard in the camp summer, but this was the first year where this did not happen. An act of God I guess? It was a great summer though, so so many cool highlights and new adventures with such good friends.

In August...
  • There was MORE camp in August, one time in this month Jonathan and I were thrown into the ice cold pool as a wedding gift. There were lots of other fun times like that, all adding up to make it a great summer. 
  • Between the last two camps I had my bachelorette party which was basically two days of swimming and frolicking with my friends. Probably among the biggest of summer highlights. At one point while we were at the lake, Elise drug out a large fallen tree and we all began climbing up on it and jumping off. Doing flips and dives and all sorts of things, it was super fun.
  • My lovely Australian family came out for the wedding, including my best cousin Rebecca, whose beautiful voice opened our wedding ceremony a week after her arrival. I really enjoyed a week of catching up with her and sharing the Spiderman series with her. We got through them all (and I only sort of fell asleep from exhaustion in parts)!
  • The day before the wedding was the decorating, rehearsal and sleepover at camp for the bridal party (since the ceremony took place at mine and Jonathan's summer camp). That was an absolute blast, despite the bit of stress that had begun to settle in for me. I had so much fun eating great food, trying to organize some of the least organized people in the Northern Hemisphere, playing handball, watching Tim Hawkins videos and reading Song of Songs in the cabin with the girls late into the night. It was a great last day of singlehood.

  • And then it was our wedding! Wow. I know it sounds cheesy, but it was definitely the best day of my life. I can't describe how it feels to be surrounded by all the people who love and support you as you step into an incredible new adventure with the love of your life and your best friend. It was a day of total bliss and I felt so at peace about it, there was practically zero stress through the entire day and that was such a blessing. I don't have any of my official photos yet, but the ones friends and family took have their own charm and beauty. It was an amazing day.
  • Ever since that day I have been road-tripping through the country with Jonathan. From Waterton, Alberta, to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to Seattle, Washington, to Vancouver, BC, to Kelowna, BC and home again. It's been a fantastic trip. Highlights include: hiking Crypt Lake, downtown Seattle (even if we were there with no map or GPS), cheesecake with friends on the beach in Vancouver, hanging out with family on Quadra Island, backpacking Juan de Fuca, and raiding all the Kelowna bookstores. It's been an incredible three weeks. I would not change it for the world.


I don't really regret saying that I literally wrote nothing these two months. I was living life and had some amazing experiences that I wouldn't trade for anything, and that is more important to me. However, I am itching to get back to work and can't wait to continue my projects and share stuff with you guys once more. Faithless is next on the list for rewrites in preparation for beta-readers later this year, so stay tuned for that! Also have to decide on a NaNo project...


I actually got some reading done!! :DD Part of my honeymoon was literally three days of lying out in the woods reading books and that was so so nice. 

BRAVE NEW WORLD//Aldous Huxley
Very thought-provoking, mildly disturbing, and highly engaging. This book reminded me a lot of 1984 by George Orwell in tone but the plot and characters are very different. Hugely recommended if you like adult dystopias and classics.

A lovely book, warm and heartfelt and close to home, I thoroughly enjoyed Abigayle Claire's Christian contemporary novel. There were twists and turns that drew me in and loving moments between the characters. I love the portrayal of Gemma - not as an angsty, rebellious teen who won't allow anyone to come close to her, but as someone genuinely frightened and broken looking for love. I love her character arc, and how the romance is not love at first sight, but something that grows out of compassion and kindness. Great story for those who enjoy heart-warming tales about family, hospitality (hence the title), and love.

THE NAME OF THE WIND//Patrick Rothfuss
Jonathan encouraged me to start this series and I was not disappointed by his taste. Patrick Rothfuss weaves an intricate web of mystery, adventure, and bravado that all fantasy books should boast. 
What I enjoy and find unique about this series as opposed to many other fantasy books is:
a) That the author focuses on only one character, allowing him to really hone said character and write so descriptively and thoroughly about everything. 
b) The portrayal of female characters is varied and on the whole, interesting and unique.
c) That magic is portrayed as mostly a scientific venture. 

Some criticism is the portrayal of the main character Kvothe, who - since he is the singular main protagonist - suffers from a bit of Mary-Sue syndrome, simply because the author has limited himself to placing all the characteristics/abilities he wants to include into only one character. However, Kvothe is still completely likable as a character and the book is extremely well-written, humorous and interesting. Highly recommended.

Great graphic novel. Incredible artwork, writing and plot. The concept was super interesting and played out very well among the Suicide Squad cast of characters.


Well, obviously nonexistent since, y'know, hiatus and all that. But never fear! I have returned with a bit of a blogging schedule and plans to continue my consistent posting that was happening before summer began. I promise! However, I did get up to 30 followers this summer, which is a super cool nice, satisfying, round number for me. XD


Goals for July/August

  • Sell 50 copies of The Sorceress and the Squid // I have sold quite a few copies, probably not 50 unfortunately, but close. And I am proud of that. Now that I'm home I can try to get back into marketing again.
  • Read 2 books // This was totally completed (only on my honeymoon, lol) and I am proud of that. I'm hoping for more reading time once I settle into some sort of routine in my new environment. 

Goals for September

  • Start rewrites of Faithless // I'm hoping to have this up and ready for beta-readers in the next few months, so stay tuned for that. The book is a mess right now but I think that I can really make it great. I'm excited to get back to it. 
  • Read 2 books // My monthly goal til year's end. I think I can do this fairly easily. 
  • Blog consistently // Now that I'm home and back to regular life this shouldn't be hard. 
  • Pick a NaNo project // I'm trying to decide if I should finish the last 12 chapters of the first part of my second fantasy novel (The Wandering), or if I should finish The Snow Dragon. Do you have an opinion? Let me know!

  Well guys, that was, again, a crazy awesome summer. Definitely one of the best of my life. There are so so many great moments and memories caught up in it. And while I am sad to put it and so many other things behind me, I am super excited to look ahead to the coming year, particularly where writing is concerned. I have a lot of plans, guys! Yeah, yeah, I always have a lot of plans. :P We'll see which ones *actually* happen I guess. For now, I want to hear all about your summer! Did you have any cool adventures? Events? Trips? Campfire nights? Beach days? Tell me all about it! :DD

  Happy Almost Fall, Everyone!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Andora's Folly BLOG TOUR

  I know, I know. I said I wasn't coming back til the end of August - and that is still true! But today I have briefly broken my blogging hiatus to bring you a review of Andora's Folly by my good friend (Abi)gayle Claire. I had the privilege of being a beta-reader for this book and can honestly say I enjoyed it so much! I am so pumped to help push this book out into the world on it's second day!


  I was super pumped to read this story and was not disappointed. The premise was great - a medieval retelling of Pandora's Box - and the execution was excellent. Abi really knows how to spin a tale. I'm here today to share about the story on its release, including a detailed review for you guys to pick through. Of course my aim is to get you to pick up your copy, so get your Kindle ready. ;)


Andora's Folly Cover 7.jpg

Andora is a beautiful young woman with insatiable curiosity. Raised in splendor, she is spoiled by her privileged life. When a love letter is slid under her door, her life takes a drastically unromantic turn. Nothing makes sense—her arranged marriage, the gifts her parents bestow on her wedding day, or her new husband’s temperament.

As Andora begins to unravel the mysteries around her, she ignites a chain of events that have the power to sabotage her entire village forever. Only her new-found wisdom as a desperate peasant's wife can save her from her folly.



Abigayle has been a writer ever since her mother taught her how to hold a pencil. However, she devoted more time to reading words with her green eyes than writing them with her left hand. Inspired by a crazy dream at the age of seventeen, she set off on a journey to self-publish her first novel, Martin Hospitality. Since then, Abigayle has devoted herself to sharing what she has learned through the mediums of freelance editing, and her blog ... when period drama films are not calling more loudly. None of her successes would be possible without the support of her Savior, large family, and online community.



Now that the formalities are out of the way and I've hooked you with that great synopsis, allow me to get right into my review. As a beta-reader, I got a sneak-preview of this story and count myself super lucky. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and could not hardly stop reading once I got into it. And I usually have a hard time making myself read on the computer! So there, that's saying a lot about this story right off the bat. I even went back to read it at 1 am after ten plus hours of driving the tractor (unfortunately the internet was not working).

BE WARNED: The below contains some spoilers, nothing too major, but if you want to go into the book blind, don't read this next section!

I really enjoyed Andora, the main character. She was spoiled, entitled, and airheaded, but still genuinely likable and I pitied her on more than one occasion. She was definitely thrown for a big curve through the novella and I couldn't help but feel sorry for her as her life was turned around and she was forced to muddle through it. She had a really great character arc and I super appreciate that Abi was able to pull it off, writing about a spoiled and whiny princess-type and managing to make her interesting, likable, and redeemable is no easy task. Abi's character development is definitely spot-on.

The mystery and pacing combined kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. I supremely enjoyed the revelation of events and the scheming that was going on behind the scenes. Abi did great work with how she paced everything and brought things out into the open in a timely fashion.

Varos was another fav. He was the funny, charming, younger brother who was kind and decent and good all-around. I enjoyed him a lot as a secondary character. His brother, Andora's husband, Theus, was a wholly other matter.

I can't say I liked Theus as a person at all, as a character he was interesting, but he really frustrated me. I suppose we can credit this to Abi's skillful character-building once more, as my strong dislike for him proves that she crafted someone well-rounded. I know that some readers ended up liking him by the book's end, so maybe that will be you? He personally did not grow on me, but that did not detract from the book at all.

I enjoyed the villain a lot as well - even if he was quite a creep! Ah, writing reviews is so hard without spoiling everything and I don't want to do that, so I guess I'll wrap up...

Andora's Folly definitely gets a Five Star Rating in my books and I highly highly recommend it. If you've got some spare change to add to your Kindle library, make this book your next choice! I guarantee you won't be disappointed! :DD

You must read simply for THIS quote XD

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June Highlights + Hiatus Announcement

  Hey guys! So, June was crazy and the summer ahead will be crazier still. I'm so pumped for it all though - just pray I don't crash and burn!


  • I've been at camp with the horses so much this month. Since the fifteenth I've been house/horse sitting while the usual horse-minder is off on vacation. It's been really great, though busy and I've hardly been at home except to work with cows (ew). I've had to take care of a horse and his fungal infection which has been lovely. But I've also gotten to ride and fool around, watch a lot of Netflix and just enjoy some alone time. 
Watching Kyrianna splash horses from atop Duke
  • Earlier this month our local homeschool circle had a fun barn dance party for the birthday of one of said circle members, which was pretty fun. Jonathan and I practiced dancing for our wedding which went okay I think. XD
  • I've had two bridal showers this month - one from friends and one from my church. Both were very nice and now I am swamped with kitchen items (five different sets of measuring spoons) but hey, free stuff! ;) Also people encouraging you and sharing in your excitement, so that's pretty nice.
Bicycling Bridesmaids

People listening to me talking for some reason...
  • I finished my courses for my Creative Writing Certificate this month!! I am so excited that this two year process is now complete. All I need is to get my certificate...
  • I attended my former homeschool association's Homeschooling through High School meeting and had the privilege to speak to the audience of parents and teens about my experience homeschooling in high school along with my writing/publishing venture. That was a great little bit of marketing/sharing. 
  • We went to Heritage Park in Calgary for the day and I hung out with my sister and enjoyed the old-fashioned vistas of the town. 
  • New Imagine Dragons album!!! Also, Jonathan and I have tickets to see them in October, which I am so looking forward to.
  • This last week of June was devoted to my sixth staff training camp which was full of hilarity and great times. One of the highlights was going to see Canada Day fireworks in town on the eve of Canada Day. All 50+ of us got on a school bus, raided an Esso (as pictured) and went to the arena to watch the fireworks go off. We did it last year too and it's become a pretty cool tradition. 
  • While at staff camp, I got baptized! I decided that I wanted to commit fully to God before committing to Jonathan when I get married next month, so that's what I set out to do. It was a little scary getting up there and sharing things I had not shared with hardly anyone else, but really good too. It was a very cool moment. 


  Basically all the writing I did this month was: editing Thin-Skinned to submit for my final school project, and writing a couple thousand words of The Wandering one afternoon while house-sitting because I was bored and thought I should be productive (cause apparently I can't NOT do something anymore). So needless to say, not much excitement in that aspect of my month, but I am totally okay with that. Wedding plans, camp, moving, farming, etc took up my time and now that summer is upon me, I don't expect there will be much more writing happening until September rolls around and the craziness abates - kind of. I mean, I will be just moved out and newly married so that might be kinda crazy too, but hopefully I will have more free time. XD We'll see I guess.

  Of course, another reason I'm not going to be too hard on myself is...I PUBLISHED A BOOK! AND WENT ON A BLOG TOUR! AND HAVE SOLD A BUNCH OF BOOKS! AND IT WAS AWESOME AND I LOVED IT!


  Anyway, I'm sure y'all have heard enough about The Sorceress and the Squid's release. I certainly don't want to make you sick of it, so I won't blab too much more. XD But for those who managed to slip by without knowing about it, here are some links for you to check out...


Reading pretty much did not happen this month. I am also okay with that as, again, there was so much else to be done. However, I did have the privilege of beta-reading Abigayle's newest novella: Andora's Folly (a Pandora's Box retelling). It was super cool, very original and it really pulled me in and had me totally engrossed in the characters. Abi is a great writer and I was so happy to finally get my hands on some of her work (I've finally ordered Martin Hospitality now too, so I'm excited to read that sometime this summer - maybe on my honeymoon/vacation/finally-a-break-from-the-crazy).

ANDORA'S FOLLY by Abigayle Claire

5/5 "Andora is a beautiful young woman with insatiable curiosity. Raised in splendor, she is spoiled by her privileged life. When a love letter is slid under her door, Andora’s father seizes his chance to settle a score with the lover’s family. His plan rests on one thing: Andora’s folly. 

As Andora begins to fall into her parents' trap for revenge, she has only her new-found wisdom as a peasant's wife to right the chain of events that have the power to sabotage her entire village forever."


Blogging went really well this month I think! Of course I hosted my own blog tour for TSatS, but I also participated in Kara Swanson's tour for The Girl Who Could See. I posted a list of books you should read for me this summer and the 5 stages of self-publishing. And of course I had my book release post and blog tour wrap-up. I think it was a good month for blogging. I had several cool new interactions and just really enjoyed the experience my whole month. It probably helped that I've now made myself a blogging schedule. :P

Followers: 29 (up from 23, which is super cool)
Pageviews: 8091
Posts: 74


Goals for June 

  • Get published! // YES! THIS HAPPENED AND IT'S SO COOL!!
  • Get more bloggers to join my blog tour (as of now, I am very low on numbers so if you would like to join my blog tour, running from the 18-24th, that would be amazing and I will love you forever!) // Legit blown away by how this need was met, I had more than enough people for my week-long tour and I couldn't be more thankful for them all and their willingness to participate. Love you guys!
  • Keep plugging away at Thin-Skinned // I'll call this done. XD I'm putting away the manuscript for a little while but I definitely have a better idea for my future direction with it from my course. 
  • Read 2 books // Didn't read two, but I DID read one so I'm glad of that. 
  • Finish betas/ARC's // Did this one, YAY! #AndorasFolly

Goals for July/August

(I'm combining the summer months for reasons I will list below...)

  • Sell 50 copies of The Sorceress and the Squid // We'll see how this goes, if I can do that, I will have actually MADE money of my book, so that's my hopeful goal. :P
  • Read 2 books // Due to summer camp and wedding stuff, this may or may not happen, however I DO have my honeymoon roadtrip to read, so that might be a good time to catch up...

  And that's it! I'm being generous to myself over this tumultuous summer. XD

  Well, now that I've wrapped up my June, let's look forward a little bit to the coming summer...

  As most of you know, I'm getting married this August (the 19th) and will be working at summer camp all throughout the summer. Between these two things, plus other stuff like moving, birthdays, and other summer events I will have very limited time for blogging (and limited internet access as well). Rather than rushing and trying to stuff things in, I've decided to give myself a two month hiatus to fully enjoy my summer and devote my attention to the really big things in my life. I am so so excited for the next two months and all they will hold - it's going to be truly fantastic. I will still be around, checking up on the blogs I follow, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when I am not at camp, so I won't have fallen off the face of the earth. XD I just won't be posting on here. Don't worry, I will be back early September with tons of cool content including a new book to start on the editing/publishing process. Keep your eye out for that and more things to come this fall! I will also have a giant summer wrap-up to share with you guys some of the cool adventures that July and August have in store.

  So, wish me luck and keep me in your prayers as big things are happening and I'm still a tad nervous (but mostly excited)! 2017 has been such an amazing year so far and I have a feeling it'll only get better. Thank you for your part in making the first half of it so awesome. ^_^

  How was your first month of summer? Are you also blown away by the fact that 2017 is half gone? What plans do you have for the rest of the summer months? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Sorceress and the Squid BLOG TOUR WRAP-UP + GIVEAWAY WINNER


 In the magical land of Perth, divisions between the Old Kingdom and the New have waged for centuries. The humans have long harbored a mistrust of the spell-casting Fae and vice versa. In the midst of this conflict, Estrella the Sorceress lays waste to the Training Academy for Human Warriors, making an enemy in the soldier, Jalen. During their standoff, Jalen is turned into a squid and Estrella, unable to restore him to his original form, takes pity on him and travels west across the Sea to bring him to the Wizard in hope he can be saved. But is there more to the unrest in Perth than meets the eye?

  Wow, can't believe it's the end of the week already! This release has flown by and it's been so much fun interacting with people from all over the blogosphere. The response to The Sorceress and the Squid has been incredible and so encouraging! I was honestly a little nervous about all of this whole process - and even a little embarrassed - but it's been so great (because of people like YOU) and I can't wait to do it again.

  If you're interested in checking out all the blog posts from this week (and I encourage you to do so cause they're great), here are the links to all of them below:

  I had a great time with all these guys, they left great reviews, came up with great questions and were overall just lovely people helping to shed some light on my week-old novel! Go over and check them all out because they're awesome.

  At this point, I've gotta say if you haven't decided to pick up my book yet YOU TOTALLY NEED TO. Listen to all these guys tell you so and just DO IT. xD The links to purchase are below, along with the Goodreads link just one more time cause I'm super excited okay

  Now, before I finally finish spamming you and let you get on with your life, I have one last announcement to make. Those who joined my Launch Team or took part in the Blog Tour were entered in a draw for a signed paperback copy of The Sorceress and the Squid, along with a copy of The Abolition of Man by CS Lewis (fantastic book, fantastic author). I did the draw today and have come up with a fabulous winner to share with you all and shout CONGRATULATIONS from the hilltops, ready?

The Fabulous Prize!!

  Drum-roll please....

  The Giveaway winner is....


  Lisa was an incredible member of both Launch Team and Blog Tour. She got a digital ARC to read and left me one of the coolest reviews ever and just got me super excited about the whole thing even more than I was already. She was fantastic and I'm so happy to be able to give these books to her as a big "thank-you!"

  But, I do want to take the time now to also thank everyone else, team members or not, for their enthusiasm, interest, and encouragement. Honestly, this was such a smooth and easy process for the most part, and SO SO FUN! You guys are all incredible. Thank you for making my first publishing experience an absolute blast!

  At the end of the month I'll be doing my usual monthly wrap-up with a few announcements for what you can expect over here on the blog in the coming months, be sure to check that out later this week!

  Now I guess I'll just leave you with a commission: GO READ THE SORCERESS AND THE SQUID (and let me know what you think)!! XD

  Happy Summer, everyone and thanks again!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Sorceress and the Squid RELEASE DAY + BLOG TOUR KICKOFF


This is it.

My debut novel is debuting into the wide world. Today.

I am so excited I will probably be squealing on and off throughout the day. And throughout the week as we head on this incredibly cool blog tour for my very own book! Ahhh...I'm so, so thrilled guys.

*flails totally unprofessionally*

Let's get this thing started, shall we? First, let's take a look at the book in question.


  In the magical land of Perth, divisions between the Old Kingdom and the New have waged for centuries. The humans have long harbored a mistrust of the spell-casting Fae and vice versa. In the midst of this conflict, Estrella the Sorceress lays waste to the Training Academy for Human Warriors, making an enemy in the soldier, Jalen. During their standoff, Jalen is turned into a squid and Estrella, unable to restore him to his original form, takes pity on him and travels west across the Sea to bring him to the Wizard in hope he can be saved. But is there more to the unrest in Perth than meets the eye?

  This is my debut novel and I am super excited to get it out into the world. It's beyond thrilling to know that it can be in YOUR hands today, that's so awesome! If you are interested in purchasing my first book, please check out the following links.

  If you perhaps still need some convincing or are wanting to know more about the book before you buy it, do not fret! I am running a blog tour for the next seven days across several different blog pages where I will be reviewed, interviewed, and spotlighted. There may even be an interview with a main character in there somewhere. ;) If you would like to follow along, below is the list of participating blogs for you to check out over the next few days. Please do, all these guys are great and have really helped me out by doing this! While you are at their blogs, have a look at the rest of their site and start a conversation with them, they are truly wonderful people.

  The first stop (aside from here of course) is over at my gorgeous and amazing friend Abi's Wonderful Blog. She was one of the first to read this book and she's leaving me a review over there, so go check it out! Be sure to hang around after you've read as well, as she's got some fantastic books of her own that you should also definitely read. *coughcoughshamelessAndora'sFollyplugcough*

June 18th - RELEASE DAY, Kickoff Post by Emily Mundell // Review/Spotlight by Abigayle Ellison
June 19th - Spotlight by Hanne T
June 20th - Spotlight/Review/Character Interview by Jem Jones
June 21st - Spotlight by Liv Fisher
June 22nd - Interview by Anna
June 23rd - Interview by Lisa
June 24th - Interview by Karyssa Norton // Spotlight/Interview by Marrok MacIntyre
June 25th - Wrap-Up Post by Emily Mundell 

  If you would like the chance to win a free, first edition signed copy of The Sorceress and the Squid, you can enter my Goodreads Giveaway right here. I mean, who doesn't like winning free signed copies? ;)

  Well, I think I've covered everything more or less. I'll be vigorously promoting the book throughout the week as well as sharing the links from the blog tour stops. Be sure to keep checking back for more throughout this exciting week of the release! Also feel free to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter to keep up with it all. 

  Thanks for stopping by, see you at the end of the week! :DD

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The 5 Stages of Self-Publishing

  Since the release date of my debut novel is fast approaching (1 week away!!!) I thought I would sit down and try to collect some of my thoughts regarding the self-publishing process - for your enjoyment. Because I am kind and generous like that.


  You've finished all your drafts. You've got you manuscript back from the editor and are quickly revising in order to send it for formatting. You're thinking of a release date, your blog tour, your cute instagram posts where you'll hold your very own paperback in your very own hands. Not to mention, the thrill of releasing this masterpiece into the world for everyone to fawn over! The prospect of being a really and truly published author fills your little writer heart with unspeakable joy and happiness.

  But then...


  Comes out and hits you square in the face. And you're down for the count emotionally (maybe also physically if you're weak and pathetic like me). What have you done? You've created a monster that you don't know the first thing about controlling??? There's no one to help you, you're totally alone on an ocean of self-doubt and terror and social media marketing. *cue internal screaming*


  Because wait a does Amazon work? How does Goodreads work? How will you get enough people to sign up for this blog tour? HOW much money did I pay for formatting??? All of this may or may not drive you over the edge of despair, depending on the solidity of your heart and soul. At this point you will be tempted to give up, throw in the towel, telling yourself "I'm just not ready for this, I'll try again when I figure it out more."

  *chuckles* Oh, but you've forgotten something very important, my dear.

  Care to guess?

  ACCOUNTABILITY. *shudders* You put out a release date for this thing and everyone's expecting something grand.


This stage may last for a long time or a little while, depending on how easily you are paralyzed by fear and how much you hate public attention basically how much you are like me. When you realize you're holding this ENTIRE thing on your shoulders and people might NOT EVEN LIKE it after you've poured your heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears and terror into it, well, HOW DARE THEY? And HOW DARE YOU EVER ASSUME THEY WOULD. Look at the mess you've made for yourself? All for a bunch of ingrates who won't even appreciate it - they might even hate it. What will happen to your self-esteem then!!?


  And then, you finally figure something out. You've got your Amazon page set-up. You get your cover back from the illustrator. People start sharing your book's release around and talking about it. Things start MOVING and the excitement builds and you

  And EVEN BETTER than all of that, the day comes when you're holding your very own book in your very own hands and it's the most magical thing you've ever felt or experienced. It's totally surreal, you can't believe it's actually happening to you. From then on out you know, it's all gonna be okay.

(here is my experience with that feeling from this past Monday)

  There you have it, my 5 *personal* Stages of Self-Publishing. Can my fellow indie authors relate to any of this? Or am I the only one who had multiple breakdowns about the process? :P Commiserate with me!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Books You Should Be Reading (for me) This Summer

  Since my summer will be filled with summer camp, parties, planning and weddings, I decided that I should impress upon my dear readers a list of all the books I wish I could be reading this summer and make them do it for me instead. Savvy? Great! Let's get into it.

CARVE THE MARK by Veronica Roth

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.
The Akos is thrust into Cyra's world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth's stunning portrayal of the power of friendship — and love — in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.

I have heard...mixed things about this book? Ms. Roth (who used to run a wonderful blogger blog but now is too famous for that *sighs*) is a favorite of mine (mostly for said blog). Her first book was Divergent and then the following sequels. It seems you either like or hate Divergent, I am not the hugest fan, but I did enjoy the story and I was looking forward to Veronica's sci-fi venture. I bought it like, two months ago but haven't gotten around to actually reading it yet. I keep starting the first couple pages and then putting it down and not touching it for forever. I want to read it though, it sounds super interesting to me? Has anyone else read it yet? What are your thoughts?

THE SHADOW THRONE by Jennifer A. Nielsen 

War has come to Carthya. It knocks at every door and window in the land. And when Jaron learns that King Vargan of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen in a plot to bring Carthya to its knees, Jaron knows it is up to him to embark on a daring rescue mission. But everything that can go wrong does.

His friends are flung far and wide across Carthya and its neighbouring lands. In a last-ditch effort to stave off what looks to be a devastating loss for the kingdom, Jaron undertakes what may be his last journey to save everything and everyone he loves. But even with his lightning-quick wit, Jaron cannot forestall the terrible danger that descends on him and his country. Along the way, will he lose what matters most? And in the end, who will sit on Carthya's throne? 

This is the final book of a juvenile fantasy trilogy that I read awhile back. It's a very good series, very funny and interesting, and I have the last book up on my shelf and STILL haven't read it. What is wrong with me?? Ugh.

NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman

Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.

Since getting into Neil Gaiman's books last year, I have had a craving, and since I purchased Neverwhere a couple months back as well and STILL haven't read it, this one is on my list too. Neil Gaiman is so great at the speculative genre, and just at writing in general. I have an increasing desire to read his books.


This extraordinary historical novel, set in Medieval Paris under the twin towers of its greatest structure and supreme symbol, the cathedral of Notre-Dame, is the haunting drama of Quasimodo, the hunchback; Esmeralda, the gypsy dancer; and Claude Frollo, the priest tortured by the specter of his own damnation. Shaped by a profound sense of tragic irony, it is a work that gives full play to Victor Hugo's brilliant historical imagination and his remarkable powers of description.

I love the Disney movie version of this story, so it stands to reason that I would love the original with its darker and more tragic end. Cause I like that stuff. Cause I'm a writer. Also, I need a good solid classic on this list, and I've been wanting to read this all year and I might as well be sad that I have to put it off ALL SUMMER. Sigh.

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeline L'Engle

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. 

"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract".

Meg's father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

My mom bought me this book literally years ago and I still have not picked it up, even though I'm absolutely sure I will love it. Why have I not? Good question, very good question. I do not have an answer. Hence why it's here, on my Not-Summer TBR. Surely some of you have read this? Am I in desperate need to get this book in my hands? TELL MEEEE


Anywayyyy, I'm sure you can sense my lack-of-reading-time frustration through this blog post. Please pity me and if you can, read one of these titles and tell me about it. Perhaps invent a way to read books through osmosis? That would be really helpful.

What's on your Summer TBR? Or are you like me and unable to have one? *pouts* Have you read any of these titles? Did you like it? Let me know below!