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!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Girl Who Could See BLOG TOUR

  Hello everyone! Today I'm here to introduce Kara Swanson's debut novella - The Girl Who Could See. As part of the book's Launch Team, I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy and am now able to pronounce a review of the story for you all, along with taking part in the blog tour and sharing the book on its way into the world. So exciting!! Let's get started! :D

  First, a bit about the book (and that gorgeous cover image <3)...

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?
Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that's what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.
Tristan was Fern's childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

  Sounds epic, right?? It is, it is. 

  Now, for a little about the author...

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre. At seven- teen, she released a fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. Her short story is included in Kathy Ide’s 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom. She has published many articles, including one in the Encounter magazine, and she received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer award in 2015.

  Now that introductions are out of the way, allow me to get to my review.

  I signed up for Kara's Launch Team after seeing a post about it on Facebook. First off, I am not being influenced by Kara in this review, these are my own words and thoughts. I was given a copy in order to bring an advanced review, which is what I shall now do.

  Initially, it was the book's cover that caught my attention. I know, I know, never judge a book by it's cover - but it was so beautiful!!! *ahem* In any case, I clicked on the Launch Team link and read up on the story and the premise absolutely caught my attention. A girl who could see things no one else could, written off as crazy with an imaginary friend she can't shake? Sounds pretty interesting to me.

  So I got my copy and dove in and soaked up the world. Kara set a great pace and introduced us to a very intriguing main character. I like how we were given a sense of her struggle with the very realistic "visions" she was having that everyone else had convinced her to believe was her mind playing tricks. Fern Johnson was likable for me from the start because of the difference that set her apart and how she was warring with herself over it. Tristan, her imaginary warrior friend from another dimension, was probably my favorite character though. I must say, his and Fern's relationship was super adorable. *He calls her "Plant-Girl" and it's the sweetest thing ever* *dies*

  The action really picked up fast, with a disease from Tristan's world poised to seep into Fern's own. The beginning struggle was her accepting belief in him, which I really enjoyed. I liked her hesitance, her desire to cling to what she had been told was real, yet the deeper knowledge that she wasn't crazy, that she was more right than they knew.

  I can't go into much more detail without giving away spoilers (which I don't want to do - you need to go read the book for yourself of course), so I'll wrap up with my one complaint: I wish there was more material to fill it to novel-length.

  While Kara paces her story very well, revealing crucial plot points and twists in a timely manner, I definitely feel that the story needed more space, more space to grow and expand the world. Granted, Kara did a wonderful job making me fall in love with her characters in such a short span of time - which is very impressive.

  Now all I need to do is come up with a ship name for Fern and Tristan...Tern? Ferstan? Hmm...

  Macintosh HD:Users:KaraSwanson:Documents:WRITING:THE GIRL WHO COULD SEE:MEMES/GRAPHICS:exceptional quote--Tabitha.jpg

  Now, the amazing Kara has planned a really cool scavenger hunt blog tour for you all. And I am the second stop for said blog tour, the first being over here. 

  Here is a clue for your collection from the week! :DD

  Keep on hunting onto the next blog! Here is a handy-dandy list of blog tour stops for you to preview on your quest to collect all the clues...

  And, finally, here are ALLLLL the links. Pay special attention to the "buy link", it's the best one, trust me. ;)



Find Kara online at
Facebook: Kara Swanson, Author
Twitter: @kara_author
Instagram: @karaswanson_author

  That about wraps things up for me. Thank you so much for swinging by this stop on the blog tour - Kara is an amazingly talented young writer and she deserves your full support! Get behind her and her book, it is well, well worth it.

  Congratulations on your release, Kara! Onto the next stop...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Highlights

  Honestly, I'm having trouble realizing that today is the last day of May?? What even. That's five whole months of 2017 gone just like that...wowza.

  May has definitely gone by the fastest of all the months this year, and it's only just starting to dip into that crazy time of year where life goes into hyper-drive. Am I falling behind? Yes. Am I still going at top-speed anyway? Also yes. Am I probably going to crash and burn by fall? Heck yes. But not before. I am determined in this.


  • The biggest and most exciting event of May was our trip out to the West Coast to see Quadra Island's Camp Homewood. I went with my fiance and his family (us four girls being the only ones who went to the camp) and really had a blast. I had never been to that side of the country before, so it was a super cool experience. I posted about it here.
Camp Homewood dock on Quadra Island, BC.
  • Australian horse jedi, Warwick Schiller, came and gave a clinic at my riding stable and that was special to watch. I learned so many new concepts about horses in just a couple hours of watching and listening to him. 
  • My family and some fellow homeschooling friends attended the March for Life rally in Edmonton, AB. I have never been to a rally, it was a neat experience. A few people seemed pretty upset with our march, but overall our walk was met mostly with people's cell phone cameras. 
Our "March Team" selfie
  • Since Kyrianna has been out of commission in terms of horses, I haven't been at the barn as much lately. So little jumping to show. However, I have done a lot of horsework at camp, including working with the sketchy new horse, Baxter. I decided I was going to make him quiet and safe to mount. Our first session took 30 minutes of me standing beside him/half-mounting him til he stood still for me to get completely on. Then it went down to 20. Last Saturday it was a solid 5 minutes. I am so proud of him, and myself, for accomplishing even that small thing. The main difference I am finding in him is that he is so much more relaxed and happy-looking, which is great to see from him as he is usually nervous and grumpy. I have also been working with Gus, Flash and Job who all have their own little issues to solve (though they are not so needy as Baxter).
  • My cousin Abby graduated high school! It was my second time only attending a public school grad and it was very, very long. She had 400+ students graduating with her and the ceremony was very boring but I thoroughly enjoyed the pre-ceremony photography that I had the privilege to do with her. :D
Abby is so pretty and Alberta got SO GREEN just overnight. Love it!
  • I threw a bit of a get-together for a camp staff friend of mine, Chance. Us girls ended up having quite a few pictures taken throughout the day. Please keep Chance in your prayers as she is going in for a brain surgery today because of a tumor behind her eye. Any and all prayer for her and her family/boyfriend, Josh, would be welcomed whole-heartedly.
Chance is pictured on the far right. Please pray for her!
  • I've found myself drawn to the lake quite a bit this year even though it's only May and in Canada the water is usually still cold. Trust me, it is still cold. 
But not too cold for pictures of handsome fiances
  • Seeding. Ugh. Spring is unfortunately the bearer of bad news for me when it comes to farming. The work triples and gets so long and hot and miserable. I just finished a 14 hour day as I type this and believe me, I am NOT looking forward to returning to the drudgery tomorrow. 
  • BABY ANIMALS. I think we're finally pretty much done calving, but we've also had some new kittens and that's pretty great. 


  In terms of strictly writing, this month hasn't been the greatest. I did not meet my goal of finishing up to chapter 20 in The Wandering, but I am okay with that. I have decided to save it for fall/winter and finish all of Part One before 2018. I have been steadily chipping away at Thin-Skinned (if only because it's my final project for school) and am starting chapter seven soon. It's been an interesting book to work on, but I'm slightly distracted from the process by the millions of other things that need doing. :P

  But, the most exciting writing news of the month is THE SORCERESS AND THE SQUID IS BEING PUBLISHED!!!

  I'm sure you've heard me go on and on about this, but honestly, I'm just absolutely thrilled and excited and astonished that this is actually happening!! I've got a Launch Team and Blog Tour planned and both an ebook and paperback version coming out. I just sent for my proof copy yesterday and I can't wait to receive it! To hold an actual book of mine completed, in my hands. This month I had a cover reveal as well as got the formatting finished so it's basically ready to go. Just waiting on release day... (June 18th)

Here is the cover again, in case I haven't shoved it in your face enough. XP


I did myself proud and read 6 books this month (my biggest haul in forever). And they were all really, really great.

 TUCK EVERLASTING by Natalie Babbit

I read this on the way to Abby's grad in about an hour. I had been meaning to read it for awhile and wish I had sooner. It was a great story, short and obviously written for a younger demographic, yet one that totally resonates with you when you're older as well. Honestly, it got me thinking so much and made me really feel for the main characters. It was a very good book. 4.5/5
 LILITH by George MacDonald

It's easy to see where CS Lewis drew much of his inspiration, calling George MacDonald a mentor to him. This book was amazing. Very psychedelic and a little hard to get into and understand at first, but it definitely drew me in despite that. I have a thing for strange new worlds in which an unsuspecting character is dumped. I especially like it when you get a ton of very deep and interesting philosophical thoughts dumped in your lap at the same time. Read it. 5/5

This was a quick book, probably for the 12-13 age range, but it was thoroughly enjoyable, chronicling the experience of a mute boy as he follows a dragon-slaying knight who doesn't believe dragons exist...or do they?
Short but sweet. 3.5/5

Since I watched the show I felt it was only right to read the book. I was quite surprised. I discovered that the show, while not taking away or changing things from the book, really really added onto the book with the secondary characters and their own struggles. While this adds a lot of depth to the show, I am glad the book focuses only on Clay and Hannah - specifically Clay. The book is about him learning to reach out to those in need, and the message is brought home beautifully. I read it in one sitting. Definitely recommend. 4/5


I got to be part of the Launch Team for this yet-to-be-released book (coming out tomorrow!) and am so glad I did! Kara painted a beautiful story with a really interesting plot and characters to go with it. I fell in love with them and got very wrapped up in the story as a whole. Much praise for Kara and her book (especially that beautiful cover, wow!) My only complaint is that I wish it was longer, so as to experience more of the world and flesh it out. 4/5


I've never read any HG Wells, so this was a new experience. I wasn't sure what to expect from a 19th century man travelling into the future - I was quite surprised by the results. It was very well-crafted and interesting and presented some very unique ideas, which I appreciate. 4/5


  Even my blogging went pretty well this month I'd say...

  I posted about my #WestCoast2017 trip, the big reveal of The Sorceress and the Squid's impending publishing and got tagged by Andrea for The Writer's Tag. I had to miss a week due to my trip, but on the whole I've kept up my weekly blogging well. Quite a few cool things coming in the future...

  Blogging stats:

  • Followers: 23 (up from 17, wow! Thank you guys so much!!)
  • Pageviews: 6,797
  • Posts: 67


Goals for May
  • One more chapter in The Wandering (I *think* this is a realistic goal). // It *was* realistic but, as I am wont to do, I changed my mind about it due to time constraints. Saving it for fall when I have ALL the time (jk, lol). 
  • Get The Sorceress and the Squid ready to send for formatting and prep for release (more info on this stuff COMING SOON). // Definitely did this and am well on my way to publishing! *squeals*
  • Definitely get as much done in Thin-Skinned as I can since I have to have a certain amount of pages finished for the end of my course next month. // I guess one chapter counts as "as much as I can?"
  • Read 2 books // I went above and beyond that one for sure. Yesss. 
Goals for June 

  • Get published! 
  • 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!)
  • Keep plugging away at Thin-Skinned
  • Read 2 books
  • Finish betas/ARC's 
Probably should stop there since I have a billion non-writing-related things to do as well. :P 

  Well, thanks for joining me on another monthly highlight reel. This month was pretty cool and so many things happened and there's so much going on. I'm feeling both overwhelmed and elated (jumping from both back and forth). This is going to be an awesome summer, I think. 

  How was your May? Are you wrapping up school now? Are you graduating? Do you have any cool summer vacations planned? Let me know!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Writer's Tag

Today I am answering Andrea's tagging call! Are you utterly thrilled to hear about my writing life? No? Well, stick around anyway and I'll give you a cute picture of my ponies at the bottom, kay?

1. What genres, styles and topics do you write about?

I am first and foremost a fantasy writer. I have a large an ongoing fantasy series in the works and have written other, shorter fantasy pieces. It is my favorite genre as I feel there is so much you can capture in it. And building new worlds is one of my favorite things to do. However, I love to write in many genres: contemporary, dystopian, sci-fi, thriller, etc. 

2. How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first "book" when I was eight years old (so eleven years ago). I've been pretty consistently writing things since then, but the last few years is when I've really been getting things accomplished and writing things that I believe were worth finishing. 

3. Why do you write?

I'd like to quote Joss Whedon for this answer: 

"I write to give myself strength, I write to be the characters I am not, I write to explore all of the things I am afraid of."

4. When is the best time to write?

Definitely in the morning for me. Definitely. By the time afternoon rolls around I get busy with other things, and in the evening I like to just relax. So the morning is my best work space for sure. I used to write an hour in the morning every day, back when I didn't have a life and was more disciplined. XD

5. What parts of writing do you love and hate?

Something I love about writing is the creativity and crafting of new things and new places and new situations. I love that I can learn to understand people better because of how I seek to portray people legitimately. I love that writing is something I can do well.

Some things I don't like are the discipline it takes, the time it takes to make something really polished and worthwhile, and the fact that it's a hard field to break in to well. 

6. How do you overcome writer's block?

I don't believe in writer's block. If I sit down and don't write it's because I chose not to, not because I couldn't do it. I am bad for procrastinating and/or getting distracted by the Internet, so I totally blame "writer's block" on my own laziness and inability to apply myself. 

7. Are you working on something at the moment?

I'm always working on something. XD Right now I have a final project for school, a dystopian novel I'm writing called Thin-Skinned. I am also occasionally working on the second book in my fantasy series, The Wandering and working on marketing The Sorceress and the Squid. So yes, a lot of projects on the go, granted I haven't touched The Wandering for quite awhile now, which is probably better at this stage. :P

8. What are your writing goals this year?

Get published! I really want to get The Sorceress and the Squid published in June and that will be my main goal achieved! After that, when the craziness of summer and wedding and camp dies down, I hope to edit my messy first draft called Faithless and eventually get it beta-ready and then during this fall/winter, finish part one of The Wandering. I feel like that's not too terribly ambitious of me? Maybe???

Here are three people I want to hear answers from:

Abigayle Ellison

Jonathan Trout

Hannah Rodriguez

(totally do it guys!!)

As promised, a totally cute picture of my ponies...

  Well, that's all I got for today, guys! Thanks for checking out the post, and thank you for the tag, Andrea. It was a lovely tagging game of self-discovery.

  Keep in mind that applications for The Sorceress and the Squid are still open and available. I'm in desperate need of bloggers for my blog tour from June 18-24th. If I don't get enough for a full week I'll cut it down, but that's my goal, please please help if you can! Thank you!

Blog Tour Application:

Launch Team Application:

Sunday, May 21, 2017


  The day has come, guys. The Sorceress and the Squid finally has its cover, and finally said cover will be revealed to the entire world! What an awfully exciting day! Or at least, I'm excited anyway, you should be too - you get to see some fantastic art and hear the special release date news, firsthand!

nope, this is not the cover, just my aesthetic collage

  But firsttttt....a synopsis. Again. XD I'm sure you're sick to death of hearing it, but just in case someone new is lurking about, here it is:

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?

  I'm sure this is all sounding quite strange to you, the story I mean, and I'll grant you, it's a weird one. But I do have faith that it will be thoroughly enjoyed by readers of all shapes and sizes - at least I sincerely hope so. 

  Now, for the reason you're here. The cover reveal. 

  Are you ready?


  Here it is....

  Isn't it beautiful?? I love the scene and the color scheme and it's so absolutely cool seeing a piece on my story in art. I love it! I hope you guys do too. 

  Credit for this beautiful work goes to Micah Jonsson, a fellow homeschooler/artist from my area. You can see more of his amazing talents on his deviantART page.

  Now for the fun stuff. Announcements. 

  First of all, my new (hopefully more realistic) release date for TSatS is JUNE 18th 2017. Mark your calendars and be on the lookout! I have a crazy busy next couple months ahead of me but I'm determined to make this work, but I will need some help...

  That's where the rest of these announcements come in. I have both Launch Team and Blog Tour applications for those who want to get involved with this crazy publishing journey. I am totally new to all this so you should follow along to watch me stumble awkwardly and violently through this whole process. At the very least it will be entertaining. ;)

  Here is the Launch Team application:

And here is the Blog Tour application:

Thank you everyone for sharing in this journey with me, today my novel is also headed off to be properly formatted and that is a huge thing as well. I am so, so excited and I can't wait to see just how messy and wonderful this all gets. Thanks for sharing in the excitement with me!

Sunday, May 14, 2017


  Hey everybody! Wow, it feels like I've been gone for ages and have SO much to catch up on. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with said catch-up but I am so incredibly thankful that I got to take a long weekend to journey out to the West Coast of Canada and see a new (to me) and beautiful piece of my country. I thought that I would share some of my photos and stories from the trip with y'all cause it was super inspiring and this blog is just me venting about my various inspirations!

  So, last Thursday I left my central Alberta habitat with my future in-laws (Andrew, Iris, Kyrianna, Trina and Josh) and fiance (Jonathan) and set out on a journey to the West Coast of Vancouver, BC. Here is a chronicle of my western Canada adventure.

  DAY ONE: We headed out early in the morning for Armstrong, BC to spend the first night with friends. About a 6-7 hour drive. Our first stop was beside a beautiful river whose name escapes me with a gorgeous mountain view. We had lunch in the mountain town of Revelstoke and met this adorable puppy.

  At the end of the drive we arrived in Armstrong mid-afternoon and proceeded to explore the gorgeous property, petting horses, kittens and lambs along the way. The house is situated in a little valley with a large creek, up the hill you can hike to a nice flat field. It's beautiful. They have a cabin in which we spent the night.

  DAY TWO: Us four girls (myself, Iris, Kyrianna and Trina) got up early and made our way westward to catch the afternoon ferry from the mainland of Vancouver to Vancouver Island. That was quite the drive, but beautiful. A soft, somber drizzle accompanied us through the whole morning until we boarded the ferry (we arrived just in time to be the third last car on).

  The ferry across to the island was an hour and a half. It was my first time cruising over the ocean and I loved it. The wind was nasty but I thoroughly enjoyed standing at the front of the boat and feeling the wind through my hair. I enjoyed it less having my back to the wind and it blowing into my eyes.

  We had another pretty long drive down the main island to our next ferry, making our travel total that day about 12 hours. But we stopped at a beach on the way to stretch our legs and then caught a much smaller ferry to Quadra Island - our end destination being Camp Homewood.

  Our first evening we explored Camp Homewood and had a wonderful meal and a decent sleep on real(ish) beds.

  DAY THREE: Involved waking up early and Kyrianna and I heading right back down to the dock for a morning tree climb above the water. Then breakfast and then the both of us and Trina took a canoe out into the cove and saw some seals playing in the water from a little distance. After that we split up to go to our activities. Trina and I went hiking to Homewood Bluff and saw a really cool view. After that I skipped activities to wander around the dock and take photos of things. Then it was lunch and all four of us went to the horse barn for a trail ride (much more relaxing to ride horses at other camps). The head of the horse program there is a 20 year old girl named Meagan and I was so impressed by her and her bravery in heading something like that. After our ride Trina and I had to rush back down to the dock to catch our sailboat (I had never been on a proper sailboat). That was pretty awesome. We then had some time throughout the day to explore the camp and canoe twice more. Once we canoed around a smaller island and came across a spotted seal sitting on a rock, just a couple feet away. He didn't even move, just let us canoe past and then pull up a little ways away to watch him on the island. That was pretty neat. We ended the day with the camp director's wife (who's a fantastic lady) playing with homemade sparklers by the campfire.

DAY FOUR: Our final day at the camp started with another tree climb/big rock climb, a hearty breakfast, a drive out to Rebecca Spit on the island, and then a speedy exit to catch the ferry back to the main island. We then proceeded to take the long drive back to catch a ferry to the mainland where we visited Iris' sister and family and then drove to Surrey to stay with a very kind old friend of Iris' named Ursula. By that point the tiredness was beginning to catch up.

DAY FIVE: After breakfasting and exploring Ursula's garden, we started the long drive back to Armstrong. Along the way stopping at Bridal Falls where I was made to pose under the big, gorgeous waterfall, cause symbolism I guess? :P It was a cool little hike into the most mossy woods I've ever seen. We got back to Armstrong mid-afternoon and Kyrianna and I spent a large portion of the day working with their two young horses and got the little guy to take a saddle for the first time, which was pretty cool.

DAY SIX: The final stretch! In Armstrong we picked up Josh, who had stayed behind after Jonathan and Andrew headed home. Thus our car ride back to Alberta was squishier, to say the least. We went through multiple avalanche zones and were stopped for them a couple times, saw two mountain goats and ate lunch at the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk, which was pretty cool.

  When we got back home I pretty much flew into Jonathan's arms and didn't leave until I had to go back to my house. I was so tired but so happy and inspired and in awe.

  There you have it! My roadtrip of 2017 documented in pictures, supplemented with stories. I had an amazing week away and am so happy I got the chance to go and enjoy the west coast. If you ever get the chance to see British Columbia, Canada, I implore you - GO.

  One of the things that definitely stood out to me about this trip was the phrase "valuing experiences rather than possessions." I've never really realized the depth and truth there is to that - as a bit of a homebody who likes her creature comforts. But experiences truly are far more valuable than possessions, and I am so fortunate to be able to collect so many. I'm so excited to see what others I get to add to my life story in years to come.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

April Highlights

  And another month bites the dust...

  It does not need repeating, but man, the year is going by so fast. Wow.

  I'm partially freaking out cause at the time of posting this I'm getting married in 111 days...that's scary. In three months I'll be an old married lady. Super weird.

  Well, what did this almost-old-married-lady accomplish this month you ask?


  • My friend MacKenzie came home from seven months overseas at European Bible school. It's definitely been good to have her back as she is one of my best friends and was dearly missed. We threw her a surprise party with root beer floats and the two of us took a trail ride as friends who love horses do (especially when one said friend hasn't ridden in seven months). 
  • Another friend Lisa and her little boy Obsidian (Sid) came over and stayed with us for a few days, so that was interesting and kinda neat having a baby in the house again - it's been awhile since that was a thing around here. :P
My brother holding Sid.
  • Crazy stupid Alberta weather literally went from the top picture to the bottom picture in a day and back and forth for pretty much all of this month. There is so much mud here right now...
Literally a day apart.
  • I started working on wedding decorations, my last sort of part of things to do besides logistics. Ironically that was the part I thought would be the worst, but so far it's just made me more excited. Maybe because it's getting closer...
  • Lots of jumping this month. I even got brave enough to raise them quite significantly, now that my lower leg is properly positioned to hold me on. 
  • I was in charge of an art display at our local homeschool convention which involved sitting around a booth and reading Ender's Game while eating junk food most of the day.
  • The farm is filling up with baby animals, especially new calves and also some new kittens. What I really want is a puppy!
This one has the coolest leaf marking on its cheek
  • Wrangler Training has officially begun out at camp which involves training new wranglers and working with all the lazy horses, also all the new slightly crazier ones. We are having to put down one of our horses, Spec, due to him having lost most of his teeth. It's very sad as he has been with us a long time, but I'm glad he's getting laid nicely to rest.
Spec's last picture. :(
  • We had a Potential Staff camp weekend as well for all the new guys wanting to be staff this summer, those are always pretty wild. I got to hang out with two of my favorite staff members in our cabin, break a jaw-breaker with a trailer hitch, eat some larva and a whole host of other weird and wonderful things. 
  • Jonathan and I got to hike again today! Finally! I took a lot of pictures cause it was super pretty but unfortunately I forgot my camera in his car. Le sigh. 


  I don't know if I can say I got much "writing" specifically done this month. I wrote one chapter from The Wandering and have been working slowly and steadily on Thin-Skinned as my school project. Speaking of, I am so excited to be able to finish that next month and have my certificate - and no school ever again unless I feel like it!

  I also have pretty much completely finished my edits on The Sorceress and the Squid. I am just reading through it once more while I wait for my cover art to be completed, then on to formatting! This has been such an exciting process. I loved working with my editor Erin Lodes and seeing how my book changed and grew and got better over this past month. I've been planning out a launch for the book (tentatively June 4th) and am super stoked to get this story into more hands. So far I've had some pretty amazing readers, but I'm always always eager for more - and of course eager to be a published author!


Still sicking to my goal of two books a month. This month's picks were both very excellent choices.

ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card
Once upon a time, a younger me picked up this book and tried to read it but found it way too dry and slow-moving. I'm not sure what younger me was thinking. This time around it was AMAZING and I was racing through to finish. The characters were very interesting and the world-building was great and the plot engaging and all around it was just great. Space battles, guys. Space battles. 5/5

THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND by Elizabeth George Speare
I picked this up at the homeschool convention in the used book section for a couple dollars (while reading Ender's Game). I have been looking for it for awhile and was super excited to come across it in the mosh pit that is the used book stall. I began reading as soon as I'd finished Ender's Game and loved it as well. To be honest, one of the most satisfying parts was that the main character's romance played out exactly as I wanted it to. So nice. 5/5


  I've more or less been able to keep up a regular Sunday once a week blogging schedule (surprise surprise). This month I talked about my favorite fictional friendshipsthe worst things people say when you get married young, and some thoughts on 13 Reasons Why and suicide.

  Blogging stats:

  • Followers: 17
  • Pageviews: 5,845
  • Posts: 63


Goals for April:

  • Get to chapter 20 in The Wandering? // This didn't happen as I expected. :P But I did write one new chapter, putting me onto chapter 18. 
  • Read 2 books // Yup! See above. 
  • Finish my read-through of The Sorceress and the Squid (hopefully before the end of the month) so I can send it back for the proof-read // Not only did I finish the copy edit review, I also finished the proof-read review. Huzzah!
  • I'm working on Thin-Skinned for school starting this month, so we'll see what happens there I guess...hopefully some new chapters? // I do indeed have almost a whole new chapter...I have been rather busy unfortunately and done less actual writing than editing and rereads. 
Goals for May:

  • One more chapter in The Wandering (I *think* this is a realistic goal).
  • Get The Sorceress and the Squid ready to send for formatting and prep for release (more info on this stuff COMING SOON).
  • Definitely get as much done in Thin-Skinned as I can since I have to have a certain amount of pages finished for the end of my course next month. 
  • Read 2 books 
I think that will be all...I think. Better keep stuff short and sweet - so much else in my life to do! 

  Anyway, before I wrap-up here, I just want to let you know that yes, The Sorceress and the Squid is headed down the publishing road and will hopefully available for purchase on Amazon by June 4th. This is me being optimistic and determined, lol. Hopefully y'all will go an check it out when it's ready! :D Also, if you're interested in being part of the launch team and/or blog tour, keep an eye out for sign up info coming soon. 

  Super excited for this, guys!!

  How was your April? Are you in shock like me that it's already May? Yeah, it's nuts. What sort of things did you get up to this month? Let me know below!