Saturday, July 30, 2016

Why I Love Snail Mail

There's something enchanting about receiving a letter in the mail. It's one of my favorite things in the world and I shall do my best to convince you of its transcendence in this post.


I hope you all know that at one point, mail was the only possible form of communication. Other than speaking in person, of course. I am struck by this every time I watch a Jane Austen-era film. They had to write letters to know anything about people that didn't live within five miles of them. I would have loved living in that era!

If you go really, really far back, letters were delivered by messengers on foot. Ancient and early church eras all relied on hand delivery. What if your letter was going all the way across the known world? Then you or your best friend took it yourself. Think about the letters from the Bible. Half of the trouble the apostles met was on journeys to deliver letters to churches. Stamps have simplified things, yes?

After that, people got smarter and began delivering on horseback: the Pony Express. This is where the snazzy vintage mail bags come in. This method was much faster, obviously, and worked out of a post office, so that no messenger was riding all across the world. This did include the likelihood of losing a letter in the mail, but it was still rare. If you had to mail a letter far, it could still take weeks or months to reach its destination.

Then came stagecoach. Still horses, but room for much larger packages. People got to the point where they didn't only want to mail letters! They wanted to mail things. Like books. Yes, book mail was a thing, even back then and it makes me happy.

And then came the development of government run postal offices in every town and city to streamline mail delivery. Address the letter, stick the proper postage on it, and voila. I can get a letter from Texas to California in two days when I'm lucky. Services like United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx came into existence to help deliver large packages. You see a lot of them around the beginning of school and Christmas time.

So now you know . . . not that you didn't already :)


There are benefits to being one of those letter writers, you know. I came up with three.

First, it helps your handwriting. Penmanship has really fallen by the wayside in recent decades of public education and it's sad. It used to be one of the necessary skills of life to write in scrolling cursive with ink and nib. No longer. Many schools don't even see the point in teaching both print and cursive. Regardless, everyone has their own style of writing and you develop it through use. Legibility also comes through practice, so this is a great thing to do! No skimping by typing, please.

Second, I love that it not only lets me keep up with long distance friends (because I despise phone calls!!!), but it also makes me take note of what's happening in my life. Kind of like the wrap-up posts we all write. You notice big events throughout the month so you can tell people. And because writing things down is supposed to help you remember them, think about how much better you will remember your own life details just because you wrote a letter! Of course, if you journal, that's the best way. But I've never gotten into that discipline.

Third, it's an enjoyable responsibility. When you have a pen pal that actually writes back timely and you enjoy hearing what the other has to say, it builds excitement! You want another letter in the mail with all the answers to your questions. So what do you do? You write a letter to them with answers to all their questions. The pressure comes from knowing that someone is interested and waiting on you. It's really quite fun!

~Do It~

I've had numerous pen pals over the years. At the moment, I have two girls my age that I write. I started because our parents are friends and we hardly get to be around each other. While we write less and less frequently as we get older, it's so fun to get a letter from one of the two girls. I believe I've been pen pals with one for over 5 years and the other for about 3 years. I would have no relationship with these girls and have no idea how much we do or don't have in common without our letters! And our parents enjoy it, too, because they get to find out about each other's families vicariously.

This is where I tell you to go and write a letter. I don't care if you have a pen pal or not. Write a letter. Right now. And I mean get a nice flowing pen and a piece of notebook paper. Then stick a stamp on it and put it in your mailbox with the flag up.

It doesn't have to be 8 pages long (I have been known to do this...). It doesn't even matter what you decide to include. One of my pen pals tells me all about her activities and life happenings that excite her, what her plans are, and what God is doing in her life. The other tells keeps me updated on her life events which mostly include farm animals: which ones they've sold, kept, bought, and when they're moving closer to us. Those two girls write very different letters. But I still enjoy both of them because they're so uniquely them.

So write away! Be you. Ask your parents if they know any old friends of theirs who have a child around your age and hunt down their address. You never know what could happen. And if nothing happens? You still wrote that letter and they still read it. You'll never know how much it made their day :)

So there you have it. An entire post on snail mail, just as promised :) I hope this was somewhat inspiring! Forgive the rambling. I could look at pictures like this all day, couldn't you? Go write that letter!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Power of Words Tag

Another fun tag comes to rescue you all from my laziness. This is very similar to the Text Tag I did back in June, and all my answers are completely different this time! Thanks, Anna, for tagging me.


Thank the person who nominated you and give a link to their blog 
Answer the original 6 text-themed questions
Add a typography/word related question of your own for those you tagged to answer
Tag 6+ bloggers and let them know (via their blogs, social media, whatever)
Include these rules in your post


What Is Your Favorite Letter Of The Alphabet?
Hm. Besides I and Z that I chose last time, I enjoy A, F, and W. I like them in print, cursive, lowercase, and capital.
What Are Three Words You Love?
What Are Three Words You Hate?
If You Were To Create A Word, What Would It Be?
Once again, I remind you have I created the word "tirspuchi" (tur-SPOO-chee) which means cow.
If I were to create yet another it would be "emiliant" (uh-MEEL-ee-uhnt) which means feeling happy and content for an unknown reason.
What Are Your Three Favorite Punctuation Marks?
What Are Your Three Favorite Fonts?
What's One Word That Means A Lot To You?
Duty. What came to your mind? Yeah, all of that's important to me.

Anna's question :If You Could Change the Spelling of Any Word (for whatever reason) What Word Would it Be?
Good question! I would use only the British spellings for words such as honour, colour, favour. They're so much prettier that way. And I would include the foreign look of every word that comes from a different language, so that we might remember that: dankë and café.


I tag those who have recently followed me. Blessings Counter, Krista Marie, and Ashley Nicole to name a few :) My question for any of you that choose to do this is:

Which presidential signature do you like the look of the most?
Mine's a tie between John Adams and Ronald Reagan.

I hope this was fun! What are your favorite/least favorite words? Did you know the meanings of all my favorite words? If not, you should look them up. They're all winners! Have a great weekend, everyone :)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Silent Blade ~ Blog Tour

Yay, another blog tour! I loved being able to help Jesseca with her book as well and I can assure you that this young lady has a promising future with Christian fiction!

The Book

Meet Jesseca Wheaton's The Silent Blade. If you are any fan of the medieval era, revenge, carefully laid traps, or strong sibling relationships, look no further because this book contains all of those! It will draw you in immediately and not let you go until you know how the plight of this family will end.

Dromiskin, Ireland. 925 A.D.

Eira has no greater desire than to see her life returned to what it once was—before her older brother Kevin's sudden disappearance four years earlier. But the simple life she hoped for seems unattainable; on the contrary, her life is about to get all the more complicated. When she suddenly finds herself and Willem, her twin brother, taken captive by someone who claims to be Kevin’s enemy, things go from bad to worse. It soon becomes clear that she and Willem are to become bait in a trap set for Kevin, and Eira knows she must try to warn him. But how, when she herself is a captive?

As mysteries of the past are unveiled, and loyalties are revealed, Eira realizes how precious her friends truly are. And when mortal danger threatens those nearest to her, will she be able to trust God with the lives of her friends and family?

Jesseca's book is for sale in paperback and e-book on Amazon and can also be found on Goodreads. My 4-star review can be found on Goodreads.

About the Author

Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano. And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Isn't it great to see all these girls our age publishing books?! I think it's super thrilling. Please be sure to check out Jesseca's book and her blogs, Whimsical Writings and A Kansas Wind! See you all on Saturday! :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

5 Writing Conference Lessons

You guys!!! I have now been to my first ever writing conference! It was not huge, nor mind-blowing, and I did not get an agent, editor, publisher, or contract. However, it proved to be exactly what I wanted needed and I'm so grateful I went! Here's what I learned.

#1 ~ Networking is Hard

Oh my goodness. Have I ever mentioned that I'm not great at talking to people? Like the starting conversations sort of talking to people? Yeah. It was not the easiest experience ever to have to walk up to a total stranger, three times my age, and say "Hi, I'm Abigayle." I mean, can you even believe I did it? Guess what? I even did it multiple times. Isn't that awesome?!?! I am still very proud of myself. Did I make any connections that are going to make me world famous? Probably not. But I did hear some really cool stories, meet some really cool people, and get a better handle on how much I need to practice networking.

#2 ~ People are Supportive

Even in the middle of all the scary networking, though, I found that people are so supportive! It's not like I expected anyone to tell me my dream stinks at a writing conference, but you never know. I was from out of town, easily the youngest person in the room, by myself, and had to give my spiel multiple times. But it was because I was 17, not 57, and working on my first novel that people's jaws dropped and they gave me a hug. That was pretty cool (even though I am not a fan of hugs). People were so proud of me for being prepared and not going to college for doing what I love. Was I surprised by that? Yeah, a little bit.

#3 ~ Speakers are Human

This was not a huge conference by any means. Maybe 100 people there, including vendors and staff? There were four speakers who spoke on Character Development, Dialogue, World Building, and Conflict. (Great topics, right?!) I manage to speak to every single one of them by accident and I realized somewhere along the way that they were just as human as me. They had struggled with writing but had managed to become published along the journey. And that journey was still in the works for them. That was so encouraging to me. Good gracious, they even got hungry like I did, so I got to have lunch with one of them :)

#4 ~ Writing is Subjective

This is probably the biggest thing I realized from the sessions themselves (which were all excellent!). Because every time any of the speakers emphasized something that was not fundamental know-how, they would give a disclaimer. That golden standard of no adverbs? Subjective. Do what you want. Paragraphs? Yeah, you need those. But still. Do them however you want, really. I was surprised to realize that for little rule-following me, probably the best "rule" I could remember, is not to follow every rule! Writing is an art, and that means taking the basics and making them yours.

#5 ~ Goodies are Awesome

So we were given this awesome blue canvas bag stuffed with handouts, ads, business cards, coupons, chocolate, and a Writer's Digest magazine. On first glance I figured most of the bits of paper I wouldn't need to keep. Yet I haven't managed to throw away a single one yet. Whether it was an editor, a bookstore, an author, or restaurant that paper was advertising, I could pretty easily find a use for any of them! Free stuff is awesome, guys.

And speaking of free stuff, here's where I go off on a random tangent and give you the details you really want to know about my trip. Like my book haul at Barnes & Noble. 

Oh yes!! The little town of Tyler, Texas was actually much bigger than I thought. And I want to live there, but that's beside the point. I stayed with my pen pal of 5+ years, who I haven't really met that often. We caught up by staying up late talking and sleeping on air mattresses in their schoolroom. Ah, it was awesome!

Besides our B&N trip, we also went to DSW Shoes, because I remembered that I needed navy or brown shoes. Two pairs of shoes and five jewelry items later . . .

Yeah. It was bad. But what can I say? I got the books free, thanks to graduation gift cards and I wasn't having to pay for hotel, flight, or gas. So of course I went on a shopping spree with my long lost best friend! 

Who is this girl you ask? Our mothers have known each other longer than they've known our fathers and we took up writing letters to one another years ago. Let's suffice it to say that she has the best smile and writes the most awesome snail mail ever. :)

Have you ever attended a writing conference? They're pretty great, aren't they? 

Do you have a pen pal that you send hand-written, mail-stamped letters to? I'm thinking snail mail deserves it's own post, how about you?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Sharing My Story ~ Chapter 1

*inhale* *exhale* I have decided to share the first chapter of Martin Hospitality with you all.

For those of you who don't know me that well, this is a big step for me. But now I have had my fantastic 5 alphas give me feedback and I have edited this first chapter to the best of my ability. So I feel like it's time to reward you for hanging around and listening to me blab about my story for so long :)

I would love to hear any feedback you have, negative or positive, as I was not very happy with the first drafts of this chapter. Firsts are so important for hooking your readers and making them stay for the entire book. I don't want to lose a single one of you, so please critique away! I promise you will not hurt my feelings. However, I can't promise that I will integrate all suggestions, so I don't want you to be offended if your wording change doesn't make it to publishing :)

If you'd like to know a little more about this story, I have some details on My Writings page. Thanks for your time. I hope you enjoy!!

Chapter 1
The tip of a young woman's shoe caught on a protruding nail. Gemma battled gravity until her hands and knees slapped the concrete. Her stomach lurched. A whimper escaped her lips and she straightened, cursing the flight of rickety stairs. She shuffled into the adjoining room and took a seat in its dilapidated chair. Relieved to find it held her, she glanced around the greasy room. The stained and peeling floral wallpaper, dim lighting, and bare furnishings did not provide a welcoming ambiance.
I don’t care if I go. No one deserves a place like this.
A sigh broke free as she ventured a look at her watch. He was never on time.
Huffing and puffing and then an outcry of surprise met her ears as someone else took a tumble. No doubt it was the same nail. Gemma fought back a smile; already he was proving her point.
There was a moment’s pause and then the small man entered the room, chasing his glasses back up his nose in an agitated manner.
“Ah, Miss Ebworthy.”
Gemma offered an expectant smile as Mr. Winkle struggle with various facial contractions. He appeared to be digesting her knowledge of his mishap.
“I have reviewed your file. You are a s-sloppy and insensitive tenant. I ask that you leave.”
The young woman blinked. His decision did not surprise her, only the brief and formal means of communication. An all-too-familiar weight settled in the pit of her stomach.
“You work s-strange hours, are frequently s-sick, thus disturbing other residents, and are irregular on your payments.”
Why do you think I work strange hours? She bit her tongue to keep her thoughts to herself, something she had gotten very good at around her landlord.
“How long do I have, sir?” Her voice sounded helpless, even to her, and she hated herself for it.
“Don’t you s-start none of that s-sir business with me!” He shook a finger and backed away as if she were a rabid animal about to lunge. Politeness always struck this mousy pessimist as a conspiracy.
“How long?” she repeated, growing testy.
“Um . . .” He glanced over his piece of paper with fluttering hands. “An hour.”
Her heart sank further. There was no possible way she could find new lodgings with notice that short. Oh well, so be it. She stood to go, a great weariness settling upon her. Her hand went to her midriff out of instinct.
“I’m very sorry,” Winkle mumbled. His pity must have overcome him. Even his nervous stutter had the grace to disappear for a moment.
Gemma swallowed the replies that came to mind and nodded. “Goodbye.”
She shut the door with haste so he could not delay her further.
Gemma trudged back up the stairs and hastily gathered her few belongings. Within minutes, she lugged a moth-eaten backpack out of the building for the last time. She took one last glance at its grim exterior before marching down the sidewalk. The shoddy apartment, under perpetual construction, held little sentimental value, but several hours ago where she would sleep tonight had not been an issue.
Now she only had a backpack that tugged at her shoulders.
Coming to the first intersection on the country road, she looked about her. What are you gonna do now, Miss Ebworthy? A squat building with a blue sign caught her attention: a postal office. She begged a piece of paper and jotted a quick note that she postmarked to Austin, Texas.
Gemma never could recall with clarity what she did after that. How long did she walk? The first time she looked up, she was no longer on the excuse for a sidewalk in the dingy part of town, but had reached a bus stop in the middle of nowhere. She smiled at her luck; her swollen ankles had begun throbbing. Perched on the small green bench, she retrieved her jar of savings from the backpack and counted it out. Eighty-seven dollars and three cents. She could not afford to waste a penny.
How much did a bus ticket even cost? Where did she even want to go? Wichita was nearby, but the cost of living would be out of her present means.
The intense summer heat caused her to fidget as she tried to make a decision. Why couldn’t this bus stop be covered?
Gemma tucked the jar back into her bag and plunged into the tall cornfield behind her. It would be at least another half hour before a bus would arrive. The least she could do was find some shade and rest a while.
After keeping a straight path for several minutes, worry began to plague her since she hadn’t encountered any trees. Her eyelids were heavy and her head throbbed. If only she had thought to bring water; her tongue was sticking to the roof of her mouth.
Bravely she tromped for what seemed like the normal length of a cornfield in one direction and then another. She began to doubt her decisionmany of the stalks towered over her, obscuring her sense of direction.
Finally, she sat right where she stood and tucked herself against the row of tall, green stalks. They provided some shade, at least. Gemma tried tasting the under-ripe kernels, but found them tart, firm, and dry. She threw the ear into the field with a grumble and rested her head on the palms of her hands.
When Gemma awoke, the differences in her surroundings startled her. The sun had almost set and crickets had begun to chirp. She had undoubtedly missed the bus. She shrugged her backpack onto her shoulders and pushed herself to her feet. Fear gripped her heart; she had no inkling which direction she came from. Her heart raced and her stomach twisted. She had watched too many horror movies to want to stay out in the dark alone. Nothing carnivorous will be in a field of vegetables. Just pick a path and stick to it. There was a good chance she could find the road again since the cornfield bordered an intersection.
She gripped her backpack and steeled her nerves. The corn rustled, growing in noise as she increased her speed. Holding her breath helped keep her imagination from going places she forbade.
Minutes passed and she grew more and more afraid. It was pitch black now. She couldn’t hear cars; she couldn’t see lights. No hope was in sight. She swatted mosquitoes with mounting frustration and wiped the humidity from her brow. Someone help me!
As the first tears began to slide down her cheeks, suddenly stalks no longer clawed her arms and face. Gemma stumbled to a stop in the openness that enveloped her. The cornfield began again a few feet in front of her, but a sliver of open dirt stretched to her right and left.
“A road!” She hung her head and exhaled a shaky laugh. At long last, a shred of hope. She slipped her backpack off her shoulders and rested it at her feet. Her shoulders pulsed in relief.
An owl hooted, making her start. Without further delay, she hefted her backpack and followed the road to her right at a brisk pace. She clutched her bulky backpack closer. Her stomach was beginning to cramp. The uneven road made her feet cry louder and she felt lightheaded from exhaustion and hunger.
“Please, please, please.” She heard the owl again, this time beside her. “Please be almost there. Please!” Something soft brushed her arm and she stumbled to the side. It’s just a bird. Keep going! Her stomach turned to lead at the thought. Going where?
The owl was determined to deter her, however, for it dived again, its talons sticking in her tangled hair.
She screamed and freed her hands to swat at it. The fluttering of large wings and raucous cries said the nocturnal creature was just as surprised. Long seconds passed before it liberated itself and swooped back to its hollow.
Gemma shook and fought to regain even breathing as she watched its large eyes blink in the distance. It had only been trying to frighten her away from its home. If she kept going, it would leave her alone.
Terrified and disoriented, she turned back to her path in the heavy moonlight. A childish laugh of glee escaped her as she spied a structure mere yards away. Lifting her backpack off the ground once more, she forced her feet forward a few more paces. She tugged on the wooden door, relieved she possessed the ability to heave it open. Several horses pricked their ears and peered back at her with sleep in their eyes.
Gemma cringed as she splashed handfuls of water into her mouth from the nearby trough. It was lukewarm but wet, and her body thanked her. She pushed passed the stalls that lined the walls until she came to one piled with straw. She breathed out a sigh and collapsed into the loose pile of prickly hay, her backpack sufficing as a pillow. Sleep could not claim her fast enough.


A young man buried his head in his feather pillow with a groan. Any minute his mother would remind him he had chores before breakfast. He could already hear pots clanging in the kitchen and smell bacon frying.
Several more minutes of sacred silence and then, “Josiah, get to your chores, please.”
Josiah dragged himself out from under the covers and peered out the window. The sun was just beginning to tint the morning air pink. He dressed with haste and stumbled down the stairs, trying to shake his grogginess. Tugging on his boots, he stepped out into the dim light. The morning almost felt cool, but still the air was thick with moisture. He could almost swat it away like he did mosquitoes.
He jaunted to the barn just a short way off to the left and wondered why the door sat slightly ajar. He shrugged it off, stepping inside and inhaling the dank smell of hay, oats, and horses. His scoop plunged into the bag that held their breakfast and he stroked each velvety nose in turn before offering them the oats. They were too hungry to want attention this time of day.
He passed the stall that held loose hay and what his peripheral relayed caused oats to patter onto the floor in his surprise. How on earth had she gotten there? He quickly surveyed the barn for any signs of vandalism or theftnothing. Josiah stooped to look at the strange girl and consider what to do.
The girl’s long blonde hair was strewn in front of her face, much as his fair-haired sisters appeared when they slept. But what caught his attention was how thin and frail she looked in contrast to her defined stomach. A large cut on her face made his brow crease. She was doubtless in need of assistance and could use a good breakfast. His brain reasoned through the best way to wake her up without frightening her.
One of his younger sister popped her head into the barn. “Josiah, Momma says to–”
Perfect! He held up a finger and motioned for her to be silent.
Little girls, this one in particular, found it hard to leave a sentence dangling, but Josiah smiled as her curiosity overcame her. Her brown eyes grew wide as she tiptoed to her brother’s side and saw the pale face amidst the hay.
“Mariah, go get Momma,” Josiah whispered, shooing her out.
She scampered to obey with a large grin, always delighted to be the bearer of unusual news.
He studied the sleeping stranger again, trying to discern her circumstance. Due to the size of her bag, she didn’t own much, but was headed somewhere. How in the world had she ended up here, an easy mile from anything?
Mariah’s shouts could be heard across the farm and only a few moments passed before a woman, the very picture of maternal kindness, hurried into the barn.
“Josiah, what in the world?” Mrs. Martin sank to her knees to peer at the girl’s face. “The poor dear,” she whispered. “And expecting a baby, too. I wonder what kind of trouble she’s in?”
“Mom, you won’t have her stay, will you?” He could see where this was headed. It was even more vital they not make a hasty decision like this without Dad back.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she muttered. She passed a gentle and experienced hand over the stowaway’s knotted hair.
The girl’s eyelids fluttered and then her hollow eyes stared bewildered into the faces around her. She scuttled back into the pile of hay and clutched her backpack close. “W-where am I? Please don’t call the police!” she said when she had found her voice.
“We won’t, dear. You’ve managed to find your way to our farm.”
Her brown eyes whipped to Mrs. Martin’s face, distrustful.
“Look, we’re not going to hurt you. You just surprised us, that’s all.” Josiah did his best to sound reassuring.
“I’m sorry I intruded. I’ll be going now.” She took the offered hand and started for the door.
“Are you sure there’s nothing we can do for you?” Mrs. Martin asked.
Josiah watched her stop brushing herself off and study the sympathetic eyes. “Like what?”
“A hot meal and shower, maybe? Just tell us your name and we’ll help you.”
Resolve replaced the indecision on the wan face. “I can’t. Please just don’t . . . do anything. I need to go.”
Mrs. Martin opened her mouth to protest as the girl scurried outside, but Josiah placed his hand on her arm. “Mom, you can’t force charity on someone. This is probably for the best, don’t you think?”
“No, I do not think.” She displaced his hand and followed the waif out of the barn. “Please come in—just for a few minutes. We’ve got pancakes on. Aren’t you hungry?” The soft, brown eyes pleaded with her.
Josiah tried not to smile at his mother’s well-played manipulation as the last of the girl’s resolve melted away.
“All right. Just for a few minutes.”
Josiah strengthened his convictions on the matter. Wonderful. Let’s see how long this one stays. He considered the girl as she followed them into the house, glancing around her. How could such an innocent and youthful face have gotten into so much trouble? She was probably younger than him, which would put her right out of highschool.
“Do you have a name?” he asked.
Her doe eyes met his without wavering. “Gemma.”
“Well, Gemma, just for today, everything’s going to be all right.”
One glance at her and he knew they led vastly different lives. And yet, as he looked into her face, there was a glimmer of trust. He grinned as a small smile alighted her lips. Maybe this one won’t be so bad after all.

*cringes* Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Old River Road ~ Blog Tour

Today I am part of a blog tour for the lovely Ivy Rose. I have had the privilege to help her with her  book and I can promise it is one you will want to read over and over again!

The Book

Meet Ivy Rose and her debut novel, The Old River Road. This book is the first in a series of a yet-to-be-determined number of books based on the lives of the author’s ancestors. Written in a style similar to that of Janette Oke and Laura Ingalls Wilder, this is a story you won’t want to miss.


When seventeen-year-old Clara Boutwell married her dashing coworker, William McDonald, she was convinced her life was near perfect. The journey before them as newlyweds in the great city of Chicago was promising and exciting. But a frightening disease soon takes William in its grip, forcing them to the clean air of the western frontier in a desperate attempt to save his life. But pioneering doesn’t prove to be easy, with miles between neighbors instead of fences. On the eastern Washington prairies, the McDonalds face hardships and trials in a new world where everything is tested, from physical endurance to emotional strength—down to their relationship and faith in the Lord.
This novel tells the incredible true story of Clara and William, the great-great grandparents of the author, in a sweet narrative full of laughter, tears, and the struggles of an early pioneering family. Prepare yourself to share in their experience as you read this account of a pioneer family in Washington state, and see their lasting legacy that has endured into the fifth generation.

Available now in paperback and ebook on Amazon
Add on Goodreads
(You can find my scathing, 5-star reviews there, also)

About the Author

Ivy Rose is an 18 year old history lover and literary enthusiast. Aside from writing, she enjoys being outdoors, chocolate, travelling, reading, and ATVing (preferably if there is mud involved). She resides with her family of 9 on the banks of the Long Lake in eastern Washington.

You can connect with Ivy via her blog, Goodreads, and Pinterest.


The Old River Road Prize Pack

International Prize


Sorry I've been rather vacant. I hope you all enjoyed this post. If you haven't had the chance to interact with Ivy and her awesome debut novel, you are missing out! Go stalk her and buy her book! :)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Purposeful Pages Link-Up

I'm doing another link-up! This is Amanda and Hannah's first one to host, and I think it's amazing. Enjoy!

First, what is this link-up all about?

Purposeful Pages is a monthly link-up designed to unite bloggers on answering questions about life, blogging, the Bible, writing, and books.

You're intrigued aren't you? Good! Now for my answers to the July questions.

Question One // What verse and chapter of the Bible inspired you the most this past month, and why?

Isaiah 60:19-22. I actually read this passage in the book Purple Moon by Tessa Emily Hall. I'm sure I'd read it before, but it was like reading it for the first time and I was struck with how beautiful the passage is. Besides the fact that it speaks of hope in God, I love the imagery!

The sun will no more be your light by day,
    nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
    and your God will be your glory.
Your sun will never set again,
    and your moon will wane no more;
the Lord will be your everlasting light,
    and your days of sorrow will end.
Then all your people will be righteous
    and they will possess the land forever.
They are the shoot I have planted,
    the work of my hands,
    for the display of my splendor.
The least of you will become a thousand,
    the smallest a mighty nation.
I am the Lord;
    in its time I will do this swiftly.

Question Two // What’s a book (fiction or nonfiction) that you read or continued reading this past month that reminded you of an important truth?

Again, reading Purple Moon (which is an excellent book for teens, by the way!) I was reminded how easy it is to be led astray and that God is the only one that can truly rescue me from my temptations. My good intentions aren't enough; I have to take the step and accept His forgiveness all over again. Only by communion with Him will I be more able to withstand Satan's attacks.

Question Three // Do you have any goals for yourself this month? If so, what are they?

Yes! I am preparing for a writing conference (two days! eek!!!) that I really hope goes well I have no idea what I'm doing. This means much editing must happen if I am going to take chapters to show people *cringe* I am also trying to win Camp NaNoWriMo which is boding well so far and is a TON of fun (more on that later). And I am reading more, thank heaven!

Question Four // Have you discovered anything new or changed your blog around this past month?

Yep, I redid my blog design not too long ago and I'm very pleased with how it turned out! But I've yet to get my button and Pinterest widget fixed :P Also, I think I may have succeeded in getting the questions to be larger than the rest of the font in this post, yes? Because that's a first :)

Question Five // What is your favorite blog post that you wrote in June?

I love all of my posts from June! :P But my favorite was either Alternatives to Writing in Your Books or The Thing About Followers.

Question Six // Can you share one quotable thing from your novel/book (if applicable) that you recently wrote?

Well, you guys did ask from Camp NaNo excerpts, so I'll do my best D:

From the Prologue:
And all the while Zeph’s little girl, whose blue eyes had grown so large at the sight of the brawl, played happily in her meadow. Her one instruction was that she was never, on any circumstance, to enter the wood.
From Chapter 1:
Why couldn’t he understand that she just wanted to satisfy her curiosity? Once was all she needed—then she’d be content
Everyone had grown to love her presence, for her cheerfulness could bring a smile to the grimmest of faces.
From Chapter 2:
She folded her hands, waiting for the verdict on this peasant. Her mother must have relayed her tale and now he was to suffer for his insolence.

Question Seven // What biblical character would you get along with the most, and why?

Hmm. While I'd love to meet virtually any of them, I think Abigail, David, and Jonathan would all have been my friends had I known them. They were all friendly people even when it was treason to be so and they all did great things in their own small way. Abigail is my Biblical role model. Convenient that we share a name, huh?

Question Eight // Favorite new word unearthed from the dictionary?

Defenestrate: verb. throw (someone) out of a window; remove or dismiss (someone) from a position of power or authority.

Question Nine // In the blogging world, what’s one thing you have learned about yourself?

That I can more openly talk to strangers on the internet much easier than in real life :P Seriously, all you people are awesome, and I might not have ever talked to you to learn all the neat things about you in real life :(

Question Ten // What fictional character would you spend the day with, and what would you do?

Exchange books and take a walk with Fanny Price (and meet Edmund). Go to a party with Marguerite Blakeney. Go shopping with the Bennett sisters. Go to Narnia with the Pevensies (and meet Aslan). The list goes on and on ^.^


Ah! I have so many posts I want to be doing right now, but life is crazy. Hopefully I can give you all a full report on Camp NaNo and my writing conference, a book review, and a post about my book journaling all before too long. So much good stuff, so little time!! 

I hope you all had an excellent Independence Day and enjoyed the link-up. If you'd like to participate, check out either Amanda or Hannah's blogs (at the beginning) for information on how to join. It's super easy and SO much fun :) Forgive all the weird font changes throughout the post. Copying and pasting does me in sometimes :P

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Take Another Tag

I got this tag a long time ago, but they come in so handy when I have failed to brainstorm and am leaving town right nowFaith tagged me for the Liebster Award and she has some great questions!


Link back to the person who tagged you
Answer their 11 questions
Tag 11 bloggers
Ask them 11 questions
Let them know you've tagged them


1. What is your personality type?
INTJ. Introvert, Intuitive, Thinker, Judger. This basically means I think more than talk, come across worse than I am, and don't like to be touched. I will smack you.

2. What part of writing a blog post takes the longest for you?
Just like Faith, I think linking to people, doing tags, inserting pictures, and all that jazz that I save for the final step of blogging takes me longer than anything else.

3. Would you rather smell fresh-cut grass or campfire smoke?
I guess fresh-cut grass. But I don't like either of these smells very much D:

4. What's the last song you listened to? (And did you like it?)
Shenandoah by Peter Hollens. YES! Oh my goodness, go check out his amazing a capella tenor right now!

5. What's the last movie you watched? (And did you like it?)
Tomorrowland. Not really. It was surprisingly violent (I thought), even though it wasn't graphic. And it was pretty drawn out and a little random? And there wasn't actually that much time in Tomorrowland. It was a neat concept, though. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't planning for Camp NaNo on top of it all :P

6. What's the last book you finished? (And did you like it?) 
1776 by David McCullough. I liked it, but I didn't love it. It was really well-done and incredibly detailed, but I have no need to know the strategies of every battle from 1776. I would prefer the big picture. But all the quotes and character development of General Washington made it worth the long read :)

7. Do you have a reading goal for this year? 
Well, I didn't. But then I joined Goodreads, so now my goal is 50. And I've read . . . 20? Oops.

8. Would you rather use a pen or a pencil? If you chose pen, what color of ink?
In general, a pen. I like black ink the best, but blue is fine, too. I'm very particular about using the same color of ink throughout a notebook, so it really depends on which color I start with. I reserve red ink for marking things up :D

9. What's your favorite historical time period?
SO MANY!!! My favorites are ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt for other parts of the world. And for America, I really like the "Pilgrim era" (pre-1750s) and the Industrial Revolution. So if you have any really good Historical Fiction books from these eras, do recommend them and I'll love you forever. :D

10. Describe yourself in one sentence. (It's almost a question.) 
O.O  A budding novelist and aspiring editor with a love for God, chocolate, period pieces, and mushrooms. (Yes, I know it sounds like a lame social media tagline.)

11. Do you enjoy tags? (Or are you only filling this out because you feel obligated? B-))
I do enjoy tags. I just hope my readers enjoy reading all of my tags. Thankfully, I procrastinated so long on this one that it should be refreshing :P


Gonna bend the rules again. If you want to do it, do it!


1. What is the most epic summer you've ever had (and why)?
2. What is your favorite sort of weather (not temperature)?
3. Would you rather live in a treehouse or an underwater cave?
4. Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
5. What is the furthest you have ever been from home?
6. If you could be a color, which one would you be?
7. If you could choose one thing to bring into this world, what would it be (invention, cure, solution, feeling)?
8. What is an instrument you would like to play (but don't)?
9. If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?
10. What do you notice first about a stranger?
11.  Have you ever fallen asleep reading?


Feel free to answer the questions (any or all) in the comments if you don't want to do a blog post. As a bonus, I promise to truthfully answer any question you can think of to ask me! Have a great Independence Day (those of you who are American)! :)