Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fun with Flowers | Personality Quiz

Which Heart's Spring heroine are you?


You might remember this quiz from the time I first posted it in 2015. :) If so, it's possible your responses (and thus, your result) might be different this time around! Or perhaps you have yet to discover which heroine from The Heart's Spring series you are...

(via PollSnack)

Possible results:

Disclaimer: This quiz is just for fun! Results may vary and may or may not actually match your personality. :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fun with Flowers | Take Your Pic(k)!

As our celebration of all things flowers continues this week (don't forget to check out the ebook deals and fun book tag!), today's prompts are simple:

1. What's your favorite flower (AKA your top pick)?
2. Share some flower pics you took this year!

I think my favorite would have to be between three choices: forget-me-nots, bleeding hearts, and lupines. Since writing Forget Me Not and Bleeding Heart, I get excited to spot either of those first two flowers. :) And I love the wealth of meaning behind their names and their appearances. As for the lupine, it makes me think of my mom, the fingerprint artwork I made in first grade and gave to her, and our past day trips in late spring to see the lupines in bloom on the hillside.

To pick just one, though, I'll go with the bleeding hearts. (These flowers are so gorgeous!)



Aren't these white ones so beautiful? I didn't realize all-white bleeding hearts existed until I came across some on a walk with friends. 

And now, I present a visual garden, comprised of flowers I saw this past year, ranging from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska and Hawaii...


















* * *

Your turn! What's your favorite flower? And if you'd like to share, I'd love to see some flower pics on your blog, Instagram, or Twitter! :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fun with Flowers | The Heart's Spring Book Tag



Welcome to The Heart's Spring Book Tag! Feel free to continue this tag on your blog, or you can simply post your responses in the comments below. There are only five prompts, so it should be a quick way to share with other readers about some books that have stirred your emotions. :)

Note: The prompts are based on book titles/flower names and themes in The Heart's Spring series.

* * *

Bellflower: Name a book with beautiful writing or a profound plot that made you immediately fall in love.


The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton has both wonderful writing and an engaging plot. My friend Courtney at The Green Mockingbird recently posted about rereading this book...and I think it's one I ought to reread sometime too! 

Forget Me Not: Name a book you adored in your childhood and can't forget even now.


The Disney Girls series was a fave of mine in elementary school. I still have the collection of a dozen books, minus #11, which I sadly lost at some point. This one, Adventure at Walt Disney World (#7), is super fun, with the group of friends taking a trip together, and with certain chapters featuring a journal of their time. So cute!

Bleeding Heart: Name a book that made you cry with deep compassion for a character.


I would be remiss if I didn't feature Against the Tide. There are some scenes near the end that were gut-wrenching to read, making me feel so much compassion for the heroine of the story. You can read my full review HERE.

I should also include Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West, as that story affected me to the point of tears, as well. (My review can be found HERE.) Both are powerful reads!

Fairy Slippers: Name a fantasy book or fairy tale that utterly charmed you.


I absolutely enjoyed Entwined by Heather Dixon (a retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses"). This is another book quite deserving of a reread!

Morning Glory: Name a book that has not yet released but you just know you'll love.


Keturah sounds really good, and I love both the author and that gorgeous cover. :) This book is set to release February 2018.

I also have to mention The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep, another author I love with a promising story premise! (The book is scheduled to release June 2018.)

* * *

Your turn! How would you answer these prompts?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Fun with Flowers | Deals for the Week

Hello, friends!

We don't tend to see many flowers in autumn...although the tree's leaves often make up for that fact with their own variety of colors: red, gold, and burnt orange. Still, even though we've officially entered fall, I'm dedicating this week to all things flowers and spring. :)

I'm really excited to share a quick (and hopefully fun!) book tag with you all tomorrow! But first, I wanted to kick off the week by sharing some book deals. If you haven't read The Heart's Spring series, or if you wanted to gift any of the ebooks to someone else, here are some exclusive Amazon-only deals:


Bellflower + Fairy Slippers (Short Stories)


Forget Me Not (Book 1)


Bleeding Heart (Book 2)

These deals will last through Friday, September 29, 2017. See you tomorrow for some fun with books and flowers!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Bees Found Me

Once upon a time, my apartment was invaded by honeybees...

...and Rooglewood Press announced the theme for their next fairy-tale novella contest: Sleeping Beauty.

It seemed only right to connect the two events.

The latest WIP I've been working on sporadically? A project I've affectionately titled Sting Me to Sleep. (It's quite possible this title is as bad as The Shedding of a Star - the original title for How a Star Falls. It sounds quite epic and clever to me, but, um, you can see that I don't always have the best judgment when it comes to naming my work. So...let's just call this a working title for now and see what happens!)

What started as a terrifying experience has turned into story inspiration and an odd sort of fascination. I've even been collecting various bee paraphernalia (some items gifted by my mom): honeycomb-shaped bee dishes for my kitchen counter, bee pajamas, a bee notepad, and, from my most recent trip to the coast, a bee dishtowel, bee necklace, and a nonfiction book called The Beekeeper's Lament.

It's interesting how writing through your fears can be so freeing. A new perspective - a bit of distance to see the size and shape and solutions - can make a world of difference.

(Does this mean I won't freak out again next spring should I happen to hear buzzing in my stove vent? Mm, probably not. But still.)

Sting Me to Sleep has been quite fun to write so far. :) It's a contemporary romance with a slight fairy-tale flair. I don't know if I'm going to enter it into the Five Magic Spindles contest, as I feel it's more a modern "reimagining" of Sleeping Beauty than a retelling. More "inspired by" than strictly following the plot. I'm really not sure how exactly it's going to turn out, but I hope to finish it soon-ish and find out!

If you'd like to see my inspiration board for the story, hop on over to Pinterest. Below you'll find a snippet from the beginning of my WIP and some pictures of honeybees hard at work at a rose garden I visited with my mom and sister on Saturday...

* * *




Unedited Snippet from Sting Me to Sleep

There were two things I feared in life above all others. 

Bees, and inconveniencing another person. 

The latter dread resided deep within me—a calcification built layer by layer, glare by glare, reprimand by reprimand, and solidified with my mother’s disappointed tears. That’s why I didn’t ask for help when the bees came. 

It was just last spring. I lived in a small rental home on the edge of town, where the grass grew a little wild because I had never bought a lawn mower and the nearest neighbors weren’t near enough to care. 

I liked the solitude. Any freelance editor would. And I was proud to have my own space after several years of rooming with strangers while building up my business. 

But the bees found me after only several months of peace. 

I had known they would find me, eventually. The kind of knowing that friends mock but always proves true. Maybe a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Still, I wasn’t prepared for the battle that awaited me in my own home.




* * *

*Note: I haven't forgotten about Morning Glory (Book 3 in The Heart's Spring series) or Where Trains Collide (another NA novella)! I still plan to finish and publish both stories in time, Lord willing. Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Which Heart's Spring Heroine Are You?

Crazy4Fiction (Tyndale House Publishing) recently posted a quiz regarding their latest fiction heroines, and I guess that inspired me, as I found myself thinking today about what sorts of questions I might include in a quiz for my books. :) So I created a personality quiz for "The Heart's Spring" series. Thought it might be fun!


Find out which heroine you're most like...

(Possibilities: Annabelle from Bellflower, Elizabeth from Forget Me Not, Sally from Bleeding Heart, Margaret from Fairy Slippers, or Felicity from Morning Glory)

Disclaimer: This is just a for-fun sort of thing. If the description doesn't really fit you - or if it eerily matches you to a T - I hope you'll remember I'm not really a mind reader. :) Hehe.


I'd love to know which heroine you are and whether or not you agree with your result! Which heroine has resonated most with you from the "Heart's Spring" books you've read so far?

Monday, April 13, 2015

When an Author Gets Off Track... (With Consolation Giveaway)

Some seasons the words flow, and the story falls together as if everything you had previously experienced led to this collection of pages.

Some seasons the words won't come, or they feel all wrong, and the story closes itself tight within a bud not ready to be peeled open.

And some seasons...life happens. The words fit together if you force them, but you know there's a better way and a bigger picture if you would just stop rushing to see the puzzle completed.

* * * 

Here I am once again, asking for your forgiveness. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson with Morning Glory, but one can hope the lesson has at least sunk in deeper now.

(Note to self: Try not to announce target release dates until you have a first draft completed.)

I've come very close to finishing a first draft for Where Trains Collide, and there are some things I'm happy with, and others I'm not. I know for sure and for certain that there's no way I'll be publishing it on Earth Day, which was my goal - and for that I sincerely apologize. :( I think this story needs some work, and I still need to factor time in for editing by my proofreader and myself.

And it's quite possible that what this story needs, more than the energy that I don't currently have, is time and life. Perhaps I should factor that into my story process more often... That's what made all the difference with How a Star Falls. The story became something completely different and infinitely better when I let myself ponder it over the months and experienced life transitions in the meantime. When the time was right, the story flitting around in my head finally flew onto the page.

I know it won't always be easy. Sometimes the words will stop and start and eventually find the updraft they need to glide through to the end.

Sometimes life will plunge you into the sea, with words all around you but nothing to grasp onto yet.

My grandpa recently passed away, and between his loss and family turmoil and busyness at work and busyness after work, I've gotten off track (although I was already heading that way before his passing). And while I know it's not OK to make commitments and not keep them (and for that I'm truly sorry), I know it is OK to take time to ponder and feel and live. To readjust priorities. To rest. To remember.

* * * 

Lord willing, Where Trains Collide and Morning Glory, whenever they might finally be released, will be better for the wait. 

For now, I have a pair of extra paperbacks (Forget Me Not and Bleeding Heart) that I'd like to send one of you, which I'll be happy to sign to the winner. These are the updated matte/softcover versions. (The content is the same, but the covers are tweaked just a bit from the first batch, with the corresponding series number on the spines.) 


The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only due to shipping costs. But I'm also running a sale this week for the Kindle ebook versions:
  • Forget Me Not: FREE April 13-17
  • Bleeding Heart: Countdown Sale April 14-21 (starting at $.99 and increasing incrementally)
Thank you so much for your constant support and friendship! I hope that whatever season you're in, you'll ultimately be blessed by those times you get off track and experience life in new ways.