Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Label Me {identity game}


Hey, People! I have a game for you.

Now, you gotta make sure to do it just right . . . or it won't work ;)

We are going to talk about identity. In three easy steps I am going to help you help yourself know who you are!!! How fun!? Right?

Because after all, you can't live life not knowing who you are.

You MUST discover your identity. And never stray from it. Grow in who you are, but never change once you know who you are.

Life is that simple - or will be once you know you :D 


Step 1.

Time to know who you are. Write down your label words - more specifically, key words to define you!

We are going to put you into a box. Your own special box. That way you know who the unique you is ;) 

I recommend taking many tests. Myers Briggs, extroverism-introverism, and even all those facebook playbuzz tests.

Take as many as you can so that way you have lots of knowledge about yourself at your disposable.  

You can just write down the words that define and detail you.

Or  if you want, go to picmonkey.com and make a fun little box like I did.

See that box? That's who I am.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Pretty neat? 

I am already feeling complete. You should be, too.



Do that?

Good. Now it's time for 



Step 2.

WAIT. 

Hold on a second...

Why are we doing this???

"To know who I am."

Oh.

Oh....

So, I need to know who I am? I need to know me???

Wow. 

What a crazy world we live in. Like  - I didn't' even know I didn't know me until all this crazy identity talk started happening.

"Who are you?"

"Uhhhhhh...."

"You need to find, you, honey."

Well, then. 

I've actually realized that most people think they don't know who they are. 

Most people are on a self-identity search journey.

(I've actually met a couple idiots that had the nerve to say they knew themselves better than they knew anyone else. Oh, they also said that you had to know yourself - they spent a lot of time learning who they were. And the process was soooo worth it. Know what kind of people these self-proclaimed self-identity knowers were? A know-it-all that had life figured out soooo much that there was no longer room left for growing.)

Most people are searching for words to label themselves. 

"I must have a label. I must have keywords to describe me - so that way I can make me and make others think I know myself super well."

Whether it's being funny, white, straight, female, or christian. Labels are just thrown at me from all around.

Either I start labeling me or someone else will...

Fellow believers - we aren't meant to search for our identity. Never does the Bible tell us to know ourselves (past the fact we are to search out our wickedness to CHANGE). 

WE AREN'T SUPPOSED TO SEARCH FOR IDENTITY. 

But strive to become one with God and man.



Identity is stupid.


Step 3.


Destroy the record of words that define you. And know you are more than a bunch of words and labels and identity garbage. 

Take it all away - and realize you are more than all of those words combined. 

You are more than you. 

You are God's.

Stop being you, or finding you. Stop thinking about you. Stop it with the labels and the tests. 

And start loving - others rather than self.

Be like the Messiah - forget yourself.



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Heirs Of Tirragyl {Tour, Review, and Giveaway}







About Heirs of Tirragyl
Long live the queen . . . ?



Since birth, Nyla has shared everything with her twin brother – royal tutors, the right to the throne of Tirragyl... even their soul. Many believe it wholly belongs to Alexor and should be returned to him regardless of the sacrifice – Nyla's death. However, her future isn't the only one in question.



A threat looms over the kingdom. The influential Lord Lucian intends to seize the Grotto, an underworld settlement known for harboring fugitives. And if legend is to be believed, it is also the hiding place of the most powerful of objects, the Guardian Rock. As Nyla fights for her life, she realizes she's not only a soul heir but also the sole hope for the kingdom's survival.



Purchase Links







About the Author
Joan Campbell is notoriously bad at finishing things but, ever since she found the key to the portal, she’s been escaping into worlds far more intriguing than her own. In her word-spun worlds, magic can be harnessed, kings and queens rule supreme and ancient books contain coveted secrets. Her characters face division, danger, their own fallible natures and—ultimately—grace. While her husband and two daughters have learned to fend for themselves, a hungry whine or meow inevitably breaks the spell and brings Joan back to her everyday life in Johannesburg, South Africa. Here Joan wields a tennis racket instead of a longbow and trains writers instead of warriors, knowing full well that the pen is mightier than the sword. Chains of Gwyndorr was a gold medallist in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.



Social Media Links


Want to dive into a new world of fantasy? Enter to win an e-copy of Joan Campbell’s Heirs of Tirragyl! (Open internationally.)











Calling all book readers! Join  on Facebook us as we celebrate Joan Campbell's release of HEIRS OF TIRRAGYL, book two in The Poison Tree Path Chronicles, on October 14th from 10AM to 12PM EST (4PM South Africa Time, 9AM CDT, and 6AM PST).

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with the author, games, and giveaways.

Special guests Morgan Busse and Jill Williamson will also be sharing their books and joining in the fun. 




Note: I was given a free e-copy of this book in exchange of this review :) 


Twins, Nyla and Alexor, are crowned joint rulers. It seems all will be good now that they are ruling together. After all they both have always been close, and have good hearts. 

But Nyla's mysterious maid servant is still on edge. There are yet many people that would love to put Nyla away and control her brother. 

Meanwhile Shara and her new love Nicho have reached safety in Guardian Grotto's. Yet even in the safest place danger may still be too close for comfort... hidden in the form of something beautiful. Nicho must leave to help old friends, sending Shara in a whirlwind of loneliness. 

The apparent peace is starting to vanish... and with it all hope of good. Legends start springing up, and many wonder if they may hold truth: the gold-breasted bird and a mysterious group of assassins. Who will survive as a path of greed and lust is trod by evil?



Also read my goodreads review.


I enjoyed reading this book. I loved many characters... though both Shara and Nicho frustrated me. Shara a lot. To such a point I at times did not enjoy the book. 

The legends were interesting. I loved the part about a bird... and assassins... and certain characters I can't tell you about ;) 

It had a satisfactory story plot and ending. Just wouldn't have minded Shara's personality being different are gone altogether (maybe she's just one of those people who in real life I would give this long lecture on how to stop being a stupid idiot).

One this of interest: I did not read the first book to the series. I'm sure I'd get a lot more back story if I had done so, but the story held itself on it's own :) I do still want to read the first book, though.

Make sure to take part in the Facebook party if you have Facebook! 



Monday, October 9, 2017

The Lawrence Children: Chapter 1


Father Tells a Story




At one point in history Alex Norris' little town of Norris was a thriving gold mining town. It had a population of over 1,500 and was highly respected for the standards set by and enforced through the beliefs of Alex Norris. It was a town of wealth, of propriety, of neighborliness.
Seven miles south and outside of Norris was a small cabin, surrounded by its allotted 20 acres, surrounded by mountains and a forest of evergreens. This was the Lawrence's mining claim, a small family with six children.
A long day had just ended – Frederic Lawrence had just returned from his gold mines with his eldest son. Julia busied herself with a basket of mending. A warm smell produced by baking bread drifted from the kitchen proving she was still tying up her long day. All the children sat about the living room on benches or the hardwood floor finishing up their homework or playing respectively according to their ages.
There was Vern, the eldest. He was seventeen and had graduated from the small Norris school three years ago. He was glad to be done with that dreaded part of his life – he and school never did get along well. He already worked as much as he could with his father, helping in the mines and trapping. He loved every opportunity he had to be with his father. Julia had moved from a place where school was more of a priority than the small town of Norris thought practical. And, so she would make Vern study a little every night, even if it were only reading from the Bible and writing a small essay – which he was doing at the moment.
Lucy was next in birth, being fifteen. She had already finished her homework – she was in her last year of school. At this moment in time, she was sitting on the bench reading a novel her teacher had loaned her. It could be argued that she wasn't reading, though, as she hadn't turned a page in some time. Ann liked to tease that Lucy spent most of her free time (and more) dreaming of boys…
Julia Lawrence would always hush Ann, of course, but not before Lucy's cheeks were heated.
Ann had just had her fourteenth birthday. She loved to talk. Right now she studied only because she had to. There were always so many tales of her day that she knew everyone must know. Some of her stories happened with friends, some happened in her head. Both ways it was obvious that Ann was full of imaginative life, giving all an introduction to excitement. It would take her longer than the rest to finish her school, it seemed, as she always had more to say and so it was Mother's rule she remain quiet until she completed her school.
Noah was the eleven-year old genius of the family and even of the Norris school. He was still studying books along with Vern and Ann at this moment, but he had finished his homework long before even Lucy had. What he studied consisted of extra research – just to ease his curiosity and make sure his teacher wasn't mistaken, as he was occasionally. Noah had to be thoughtful in the way he approached Mr Farrows' to not hurt his pride. His caution was not much needed though, as he had a very likeable character that countered his brains perfectly, and Mr Farrows' was always impressed with his work.
Young Frederic (or Fred-O as he was called often, after a folk song his father would sing to the children) was just starting school. Julia had held him back a year as she felt her young adventurous boy's spirit would have been stifled in a school room. She would have liked to keep him at home one more year, but Frederic insisted his son not be held back too much as it would be hard on the young boy having to attend school with children two years younger. And so when he turned eight Fred-O found himself also coming home at night with a pile homework – a pride soon erased away with reality. School was indeed stifling for his childish spirit, but Fred-O was still thankful to his father for not having to wait an extra year.
Julie was the baby of the family. Even called baby, though she was three years old. She still contained much of her baby chubbiness, and was spoiled equally by every member of the family. Julie sat at her mother's feet playing with her little blocks of wood and cloth doll.
As all the children studied, read, and played father quietly sang a family favorite. The sound of his voice muted into the children's thoughts, making the atmosphere pleasant despite the tasks some were occupied with.

Oh, Fred-O, the brave man,
Had a plan one day.
To town he made his stand
All in God's own way.


Oh, Fred-O,
Don't Go!
That fateful day away.
Oh, Fred-O,
Come home!
Back to loved ones to stay.



Fred-O smiled as he stood
Long ago that day.
All his words sounded good -
What more could he say?

Despite poor Fred-O's words
None would know justice.
And all the men drew swords,
Inviting chaos.

Even as they killed him
His words would not go.
It was God who filled him
And said, “Speak, Fred-O!”

They buried him in autumn
Yet couldn't hide their guilt.
Fred-O spoke what was so -
Who lives half as good?



Frederic stopped singing, and there was silence for a few moments.
Noah dropped his book and let out a loud yawn, “Father, will you tell us a story?”
Vern snapped, “I am trying to concentrate on this paper.”
Frederic ignored Vern's words and replied to Noah with a smile, “What story should I tell – one where a rattlesnake almost ate my pouch of gold, but then I strangled it and made it show me the way to unimaginable treasure?”
Ann looked up from her books and joined in the laughter that erupted in the room.
“That never happened did it?” Fred-O asked.
“Of course not, silly.” Lucy said, laying her novel down – she still hadn't turned a single page since opening it.
“Naw,” Noah said to his father. “I want to hear about Grandpa's treasure.”
Vern and Lucy groaned.
“I've told that story so many times,” Frederic laughed. “You could probably tell it better to me at this point.”
Noah and Ann laughed – Ann was allowed to laugh, just not speak about things until her school was done.
Lucy said, “I'd rather hear something new, even if it were false.”
“Even if it were false? I've always thought you prefer what's not real to what is,” Noah jabbed at Lucy's book.
She stuck her tongue out. “Still, I'd rather hear something new.”
“You have anything to say on this, Vern?” Frederic asked his eldest.
Vern shrugged, “I have to finish this assignment from Mother, so I probably won't listen anyways.”
“So, no insight on the story of the night?”
“Whatever Lucy doesn't want,” Vern turned back to his Bible, ignoring the glare from Lucy.
“Well, it would seem the majority are in favor of Grandpa's Treasure.”
Several cheers sounded as books snapped shut. Even Julia set down her work and picked up the baby, snuggling her into her lap for the story.
Ann looked to her mother, silently asking if she might close her books to listen.
Julia nodded toward her daughter.
Ann smiled, hiding her books behind her back.
Frederic's stories were something that they all loved and looked forward to each night. He was an enthusiastic story teller who could bring words to life simply by opening his mouth.
“It was back in 1865 when our small town of Norris was first founded that my father first came to this land and claimed one of the first mines. He would tell me stories, just as I tell all my children stories. He would tell me how he was friends with Alex Norris – he even had to beat sense into the man several times.”
“Was the man not smart?” Fred-O interrupted.
Lucy snapped, “Don't you know? He was the man that founded Norris. How can an idiot create a town?”
Fred-O acted as if he had not heard Lucy, keeping his face and question directed toward his father.
“Yes, Alex was a smart man. But he and your grandpa did not always see eye to eye.”
“Why not?” Fred-O asked.
“Because they were two different people?” Noah suggested.
“Exactly,” Frederic smiled.
Fred-O still looked perplexed, “But, Father, you and I are two different people and we don't fight.”
Frederic laughed, “Very true. Let's hope it stays that way.” Frederic messed Fred-O's hair into a swirl of chaos.
“To continue the story, Alex was a worthy man. And a good friend to Grandpa. Just as Grandpa beat sense into Alex, Alex would have to give Grandpa a licking time to time.”
“Grown men don't do that,” Ann said shocked.
Frederic winked.
The children smiled, settling back for the story. Just as details always expanded and grew, they never knew what was true or pure imagination. But they chose to believe most to all of it. Even Vern and Lucy.
“Alex Norris did not want any saloons in his town – sadly that didn't work out. In the short time he lived there five were built.”
“How were they built if he did not want them?” Ann and Fred-O asked.
“Men would lie to him, telling him they intended the land for other purposes. One man even said he was going to use the land to build a church. Not many truthful men lived, much like today I'm afraid.”
“We do not have that many saloons now.” Vern said. “But we don't really have a good church either,” Vern added, laughing.
Frederic did not comment on Vern's words about the church. It was well-known that Frederic and the pastor of the Norris church did not get along. Their family would occasionally attend church for social events, or even go further away to Harrison. For the most part Frederic said the church was full of do-gooders who were more interested in controlling others' lives instead of perfecting their own. “No, thankfully my father was able to oversee several of the saloons shutting down in his days – there is a good story or two. Anyways after Alex Norris was murdered my father changed. I can barely remember what he was like before Alex. I have vague memories of his smile – I imagine it was like yours, Noah.”
Noah smiled, a charming twist of the lips that guaranteed an immediate friendship from anyone.
“Who killed Grandpa's friend?” Ann asked.
“It isn't known – just that he was robbed of his wallet and left alongside the railroad tracks leading to Bozeman. Such a poor end as the man was rich yet had nothing worth being robbed in his pockets. I hardly remember – I was very young when my father told me Uncle Alex was killed.”
“That is sad he died,” Ann said.
“It is,” Frederic's tone grew serious.
“Did you know him well?” Fred-O asked.
“Yes – but I do not remember him.”
“I think he must have been a great man to be good friends with Grandpa.” Fred-O said, even though he had never met his Grandpa.
“Yes, I agree, Fred-O.” Frederic paused. “After Alex died Grandpa drew into himself. He tried to cleanse the town that had started out with high ideals of Alex's. He mostly succeeded. Many of the saloons were shut down. And he was better at detecting liars than Alex had been. The town was full of greedy people that liked to hurt others – and as my father drew into himself it seemed he found more strength to cultivate a difference and not mind the nasty things people said about him.
“But even as the town's reputation of morale and wealth spread, so my father continued to pull away from society. For being as an involved man as he was he was terribly close to being a hermit.
“Not a man knew him apart from his work in the gold mines and in the town, and as an old friend of Alex's. Of course many thought we was also a crazy old-hermit that just barely managed to help reform the town. But I think part of the reason he was so withdrawn was because he was secretly investigating the murder of Uncle Alex.”
“Did he tell you?” Fred-O's eyes popped wide.
“No,” Frederic shook his head. “But he did tell me this -”
All the children, even Vern and Lucy drew close for this part of the story. For family secrets intrigued each and everyone of them.
“To never sell the land. And to study the map, for there were great secrets that would impact my future.”
At this Fred-O stood up and ran to a cabinet and grabbed his father's Bible. For this part of the story had been told many times and he knew just what his father needed.
Frederic opened his Bible and took out a piece of folded paper. He unfolded the paper and held it up in the dim light for all the children to see. “This was the map your Grandpa gave me before he died.”
“How old were you when he died?” Fred-O interrupted once more.
Frederic looked to his wife, “Let's see...we had Vern. And Lucy. Ann was a baby – I was in my twenties?”
“You were twenty-three,” Julia answered, her arms tight around the baby.
Frederic nodded, pleased with the answer.
“Did you find the treasure?” Fred-O asked.
Vern, Lucy, and even Ann and Noah laughed mockingly at Fred-O. For they all knew the answer to Fred-O's latest question. As did he.
“No,” Frederic answered as if it were the first time he had been asked. “I looked, but could never understand the map. I searched many times, but finally gave up years ago.”
“Why would Grandpa make it so hard to understand?” Ann asked.
“And why did he make a map instead of telling you where to go?” Noah added.
“Good questions – all ones that have played through my mind several times. As to the first, my father was not an educated man. Thus is makes sense he would draw up a map that only he could comprehend. As to the second? I have often wondered if the map even lead somewhere – perhaps Grandpa only meant to create a mystery so I'd never want to sell the place? Or maybe in his old age, he thought it would be a fun idea to leave a treasure map for his son? As I have said before, he was strange and none knew his mind, if he even did.”
Vern said, “He possibly could have left no treasure, just a map to tease you.”
“I am afraid at times that is the only reasonable conclusion. And too much like him. He was a very interesting man with quite a sense of humor.”
Fred-O's and Ann's eyes showed despair at this conclusion. Non-existent treasure was not exciting.
Noah said, “I think he truly hid something. But it's just hasn't been time to find out what or why yet.”
Frederic smiled, “You could be correct, Noah. And as you remind me most of my father, maybe your mind is most like his? Maybe the treasure is waiting for one of you children?”
Vern looked up suddenly, “We never have looked for it.”
Lucy laughed, “Yet we have heard the story so many times.”
Frederic joined in the laughter, “How strange. When spring comes maybe it will be time for you all to prove your hunting skills better than mine.”
Fred-O jumped up excitedly, “Ooooohhh! I will find it!”
Frederic laughed, “I'm sure you will.”
Julia rose from her rocker, a sleeping Julie in her arms, “But now it is time for bed. Thank your father for the story and tell him good night,” Julia commanded the younger children.
Sighs rose around the room.
Vern and Ann resumed their studies while Lucy opened her unread book once more. The rest of the children went around to say good-night, and the house became silent.
All were eager for the months to slip away into spring. But had they known what lay in the close weeks ahead they would have forgotten about treasure and wished for something else entirely.

Make sure to return the second Monday of next month for the next installment of the Lawrence Children! 

Father Tells a Story posted 10/9/17
No More Good-nights posted 11/13/17
Lucy Learns to Live posted 12/11/17
Never Know, Noah posted 1/8/18
Grandpa's Mystery  posted 2/12/18
Ann Finds Answers posted 3/12/18
Vern Lead's An Adventure posted 4/9/18
A Friendly Visit posted 5/14/18
A Real Clue? posted 6/11/18
Fred-O is Frightened  posted 7/9/18
Good Job, Julie! posted 8/13/18
Hello, Life posted 9/10/18

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Behind the Scenes of Burning Rose

Today I am featuring special details about Hope Schmidt's new book on my blog :D Enjoy!

Burning Rose and How I Wrote a Novella in One Week

I wrote Song of the Sword in one week. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t insanely hard either.
Preparation
First, I made sure I had everything ready. I looked up names, planned out characters, and outlined the story. It wasn’t perfect; there was a character who appeared halfway through and I didn’t figure out the climax until the day before writing it. But at least I had something to write from. Then I cleared my schedule for that week. No extra writing. No extra reading. Just chores and writing. Finally, resolution. I was determined to get the novella done in a week and I prepared my mind accordingly. I wanted to do it and I would if I died trying. There was no room for backing off halfway through.
Progress
I had a final word count goal in the 20,000s so I set myself to write 5000 words a day. To do this, I had a few tools and tricks to help me.
The first item was headphones and music. The music helped keep me focused and blocked out noise from the rest of house—at least some of it.
Secondly, I only wrote in 500-word sections. 500 words was a natural break for me. I’d get 500 done before breakfast, then another 500 during cleanup and another later on. After each section, I’d look on social media sites or go walk around or read a chapter in a book; something to give my mind a break. I also had minor goals during the day, such as writing 2500 words before lunch.
Also, I kept in mind that it was a rough draft. Though I wrote as well as I could, I didn’t worry about going back and polishing up unless something important needed to be changed. And, at the end of each day, I rewarded myself, be it with chocolate or by simply relaxing and letting myself forget about all writing for the rest of the evening.
Though it was a week of hard work, it was well worth the effort, both in terms of having the novella finished and stretching my own abilities to see what I could accomplish. Since then, Song of the Sword has undergone some changes, but you can read the novella in Burning Rose.



A war, founded in ancient legends, changes the lives of those it touches forever.
Elissa, a villager from the northern mountains, attempts to save her brother and ends up trapped in a hidden valley with a strange host and a treacherous enemy.
Evrard, the Wingmaster of the Prince’s army, races against his own weakening powers to discover the location of his twin and save her from deadly mistbenders.
Haydn, a pardoned rebel from Tauscher’s army, confronts shadows of myth and former comrades in his struggle to keep his sister safe and find the stolen Stormestone.






Before the war, before the legends, before the Separation, there was a man who started it all. There was a curse, a promise, and a sacrifice. There was the Oathkeeper.
Fairy tales retold as you have never heard them before.
ROSE OF THE OATH: Beauty and the Beast
SONG OF THE SWORD: Rapunzel
SHADOWS OF THE HERSWEALD: Hansel and Gretel
and
ROSE OF THE NIGHT: a Rose of the Oath prequel



Hope Ann is a Christian wordsmith, avid reader, and dedicated author. Her time is taken up with writing, reading, playing with inspirational photos, blogging, helping care for the house and eight younger siblings, and generally enjoying the adventures of life on a small farm at the crossroads of America. She is the author of Legends of Light is currently working on several projects including a fantasy novel and futuristic trilogy. You can find out more about her at authorhopeann.com













Hey, y'all, Keturah back :D 

Ok - so first off writing a novella in a week is a crazy idea. I think that's great Hope was able to do that! Especially as she has the amazing talent of being able to write long stories with complex plots.  Speaking of crazy, though... during NaNo this year I am hoping to write a whole novella series. Five novellas totaling about 100k words. I may be crazy, too ;) 

I had the honor of beta-reading most of these novellas. If you like political high fantasies these will be just for you as they are deeply set in that genre ;) Plus, as an added fun twist - they are all fairy tale retellings! Now if that isn't epic I don't know what is :D 

Have you read one of these stories already? Or wanted to? Or is this your first time hearing about these books? 

Let me know what's on your mind :) 


Monday, October 2, 2017

Announcement

Hello, all you people. :D

"Wait…" *rubs eyes* "It's Monday…"

Yeah, I'm posting today, despite my faithful schedule, to let you all know about something awesome…

It can't wait till Wednesday ;)

Something new is coming to the blog!!!!!!

I think I mentioned it to you all back in this post. In fact I promised it to you… and I said I'd do it on Saturdays, I think. But I changed my mind (I think that's OK).

I believe I also promised a series of life posts. Again, I kinda changed my mind. I will still be doing the posts - and I have done one of them. The reason I changed my mind is I have realized this isn't really series material, but what my blog normally is like ;p So, you will still see all the posts - just not as a series ;)

Here are the details for the serial story:

I have a serial story for you! Every second Monday of each month you will get to read an installment of The Lawrence Children. And the first installment comes next week – here!

What is the Lawrence children?

It is a story about six orphans surviving life in 1899, Montana. They must learn to take care of each other and their mining homestead. And as the winter progresses they also uncover a mystery their Grandfather left them… questions of a past before their time help ease the grief of their own present. Will the answers they discover both solve the mystery of another time and the pain of their own?

I would love to have you all share this adventure with me – enjoy my story! And if you know anyone that loves a good historical mystery (think boxcar children) send them on over! More the merrier :D

See you all every second Monday.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Where Dandelions Grow {Book Review/ Author Interview} and Giveaway!




1. Hey! Welcome to Keturah's Korner. I'm so glad you could join us today and tell us about your book "Where Dandelions Grow."
Thank you! It’s good to be here. I’ve read various blog posts of yours over the years, but never imagined I’d one day be featured on here. It’s an honor to be invited! 


2. What was the inspiration for this book? 
Growing up my sister and two of our girl cousins did everything together. At my cousin’s high school graduation party I was sitting there musing over all our shared adventures and it hit me that I should write a book focusing on the bond between cousins. 


3. In one line - what is your book about?
The horrible consequences of bitterness, and how important family and forgiveness is. 


4. How do you handle caffeine? Or what was the inspiration for how Destiny reacts to too much caffeine? 
Oh, dear! You’re asking me that question as I sit next to a large iced coffee that I had meant to order as a decaf and then forgot to. ;)  #oops And, yes, I react in much the same way as Destiny - crazy and hyper. Thankfully I’m getting a bit better at that. Still, whenever I mention having more than a small dose of caffeine I get the look from family members. 


5. What does every writer need (materialistically)?
A computer or laptop to type on. Even if you handwrite your first drafts, if you’re gonna want to get published, you’ll eventually have to type it out. I also like to think of music as an essential for writing, but apparently, not everyone agrees.
I don't understand how any person could live without music - I think it's essential for life ;p  


6. What does every writer need (mentally)? 
The fortitude to keep going even when it’s incredibly tough and no fun. 


7. What is your favorite sort of music to listen to? From Where Dandelions Grow it would seem you have a passion for musical instruments- can you expand on this?
Oh! Such a good question. I listen to a wide range of music. I’m currently booming Christmas music in my earbuds. (Shh! Yes, I know it’s technically still summer as I’m writing this on September 19th, but no need to let that stop me.) 

The inspiration for the music playing cousin in my book - Teal - is one of my real-life cousins. Her name is Aubrey and her dedication and talent on the cello has long been one of the greatest creative inspirations. While planning and plotting Where Dandelions Grow I spent a lot of time listening to and watching her play. 
I listen to Christmas music all year around, too - it's great stuff ;) 


8. Have you ever been to a town like Swallow Ridge? What was it like?
Swallow Ridge was purely made up, but a couple years after I wrote it (I wrote Where Dandelions Grow about five years ago and then just filed it for a while), I stumbled upon a little college town complete with brick roads and maple trees. It was somewhere in Ohio but I’m not sure where. When I was there I just kept thinking, “This is it! This is Swallow Ridge!” and so that was pretty cool. 


9. Who is your favorite character in "Where Dandelions Grow"?
Mrs. Reed although I really like all four of the cousins. The most fun character to write though? That would be Felicity Moor. She only has a couple of scenes in the entire book, but they make me giggle. 


10. Do you ever decide to just go traveling to visit someplace on your heart? Expand if so. 
Traveling has been a huge part of my life for the last while - averaging over four months each year. But, for the most part, I don’t just randomly go someplace, although I really do think it would be fun to get to the point where I could just dash off on an adventure. 


11. Have you ever ridden on a private plane? 
Nope. I don’t think I’ve ever even had the desire to. I’ve flown in commercial planes a fair amount though and greatly enjoy that type of travel.


12. Thank you so much for joining me and taking the time to answer my questions! I hope your book does well and that everyone loves it as much as I do!
Aww, that’s sweet of you! I hope so, too. ;) 









Lydia Howe (aka Aidyl Ewoh) is a twenty-something adventurous author who is partial to hiking in the mountains of Asia and South America, building life-size models of dinosaurs, taking road trips across Europe, visiting friends in Africa, growing up in a barn and everything in-between. She currently works in a coffee shop during the day and concocts stories by night. 
Find her online at her 

















Back Cover: 
What happens when your world falls apart and your dreams are mocked by those closest to you? 

Destiny’s idyllic childhood full of laughter and cousins abruptly ended when her mom uprooted the family to move them across the country with strict instructions to never talk about Swallow Ridge again. Eleven years later Destiny moves back to her hometown, determined to find her cousins… and answers. 

Plagued by generations of bitterness and manipulation, Destiny hides her life-long goal - unwilling to let anyone else trample her fragile dreams. But living in the cozy town full of dandelions teaches Destiny there’s more to life than what she’s been taught. 

Is it possible Swallow Ridge not only holds the answers Destiny so intensely searches for, but also the hope?





Buy:







My review:
(I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All thoughts are 100% my own ;b)


Destiny isn't sure what to do with her life - she has a passion, but she hasn't told anyone about it for fear they won't understand as her mother doesn't.

She knows college isn't for her - but what is? She knows she wants nothing to do with success; her mother's life long idol.

Against her mother's wishes, Destiny returns to her childhood hometown Swallow Ridge. Maybe as she remembers who she was as a young child she will also be able to discover who she is NOW. 

And so starts a beautiful journey of learning the true meaning of success and life purpose.


I enjoyed reading Where Dandelions Grow - it is a simple story that deals with so many complex issues beautifully.


Destiny knows one thing: she does not want to be like her mother. And success is not for her. But even this certainty blurs as Destiny learns more about what success really means…

But that isn't all...

Her cousin shows Destiny that her life may be missing even more than lost memories - peace. 

I really loved an article in the book written by Destiny's cousin Lexie, who was based off Lydia's cousin Alexa - and the real Alexa actually wrote this article, too! Here's a snippet:



The cry of desperation is one that we all know too well. The frustration with God, the weeping alone, the confusion, things that deplete our energy and empty our souls. When we can’t take anymore, and when it seems like there’s nothing else left to lose, loss pounces from the tall grass, dragging us into an even deeper pit of confusion and pain… No more can we see the beauty in life. The flowers look grey, and the sun never shines. Laughter is for those who know happiness. Love is for the lucky. Smiles for those who know no pain… We’re not the only ones who beg for pain to go away. We aren’t the only ones who fill our pillows with tears… we all feel pain, we all despair, yet we all forget to comfort, to heal, to listen… We are broken selfish beings… We expect others to complete us. We expect others to reach out and help us. We expect others to make us feel better… Yet even we cannot fill these voids. Even we cannot restore the empty soul. Even we cannot give laughter and smiles back. Even we cannot provide a way out… But there is One that can fill our voids… He is ready, but we refuse to accept… We still feel desperate. Our void grows larger and larger… Yet we remain stubborn… Yet in the midst of the chaos that we’ve put ourselves in, we hear a shout. A far off cry, repeating our names, over and over and over again. “You! Yes, you! You are loved! You! I haven’t stopped trying! You! I will save you!”… We are made new… We have accepted the confusion, because Someone knows how it will end.



I ABSOLUTELY love the messages portrayed in this book.  Success, peace, bitterness, choosing a different path - just some of the issues dealt with in Lydia's novel. 

Does this sound like a book you'd like? If so - make sure to add it to your to-read list!

And for the giveaway!!!


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

When the World's Truths Are Really Lies (And Other Thoughts)




As you can see this world is full of lies. Contradictory lies, too - it's not too hard to pull them apart, either. Here are some:



It takes two to fight.
- Then there would never be a victim. Or slaughter.

Just love yourself.
- If this were so easy then suicide wouldn't be a thing.

You are beautiful.
- Sometimes you aren't. Just being honest.

Skinny is healthy.
-It's just not. It's really not even beautiful. This sex-craved world just keeps changing it's mind on what's healthy{beautiful} and tries to drag the rest of us down in death.

Work hard and your dreams will come true.
- Sometimes they won't. We can't control life.

Good things happen to good people
- They happen to bad people, too. And bad things happen to both good and bad people.

If your heart is good people will see.
- No matter what you do there will always be people appearing to be good that will treat you like trash. Wanna know why? Because we all make mistakes and need God. Plus no one has a good heart. Jeremiah 17:9

There is always a villain
- Sometimes there are two {or none}.

Forgive but don't forget
- I'm sorry, but this is not normally good advice if you want to recreate a good relationship. Forgiving is choosing to forget (not holding past actions against the one that hurt you). You have to forget if you the one that hurt you is to be forgiven.

You are only young/ this age once or you only live life once
- While this is true, it's also false. Let me expand. You are only everything once. True, I may be 16 or 18 or 21 only once. But I'm also only 3 or 27 or 55 or 72 once. Every age is special. Thus every day is special. And they all lead to the next one. So being young or 16 or 21 is not license to be stupid - because it will affect the next day you live only once.

Forgiveness granted, trust denied.
- Is it just me, or do you also see how wrong this is? This is not forgiveness, but bitterness trying to give it's own form of justice. Trust isn't about being stupid, true. But forgiveness is not interchangeable with selfishness.  

Never accept anything less than you deserve.
- While in theory this is good and you should strive after a good and pure life, it's also full of deception, because in reality we deserve nothing. So, the life you deserve is really less than what God would have you live - isn't that ironic???

Your flaws are perfect for the one that is meant to love you.
- This is no excuse to remain as is, void of growth or change.

Never put another first if you always come last. Never give your all when you only receive half.
- I'm sorry, but this is pure selfishness and not at all how we should be if we honestly follow Yeshuah's (Jesus') example. 


I could seriously keep up with these forever.

Not that I mean to be depressing - but realistically, these quotes and ideas aren't helping our lives. A lot of them are completely contrary to what the Bible says and teaches. 


Yet many churches will even say words similar to these????

And, if this post is a little too depressing for you, here's an old post I wrote a long the same lines, just happier :D 


I'd love to hear some other things the world tells you that you know to be lies! Please share :D