Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2 Pieces of Valuable Advice

Image result for busy highway at night
There once was a girl named Jaden, an enthusiastic young High School graduate. Her whole life lay ahead of her like a road in the Great Plains. The possibilities where endless, the sky was the limit to what she could do.
3 Months Later...
There once was a girl named Jaden, who was a wandering young High School graduate. Her whole life seemed empty and confusing like a road through the heart of Chicago. Every time she thought she had something figured out, a new turn came up, another stop light, another dead end, and always in the dark...

For some people, this may sound painfully familiar. It might be your own personal story. It's fun to dream big, but reality can often be cruel to imagination. I've certainly discovered that. That's when I learned the amazing value in two pieces of simple advice.

Just Take Things On Step At A Time



The teenage years can be some of the most complicated, and I believe that is when the most simple advice can be priceless.

Just Take Things One Step At A Time

Maybe for you that's something as simple as learning how to write your first resume. Maybe it's finishing that project that's been sitting in the garage for a couple months. Everything you do is adding to your set of skills. Crafts are art, hosting a party with friends is Organization and Management, Cooking is Yummy! If you feel like nothing is happening, make something happen! Be proactive with your life. And it doesn't have to be huge! It can be just one tiny step. But at least you'll be going somewhere.


No, don't roll your eyes at me! I know it sounds Christian-ese, but it's so true. In the King James version, prayer is mentioned 300 times. It's probably important if it's mentioned that many times! Even Jesus prayed. Sometimes talking to God can help us put into words what is truly bothering us. Maybe you're not stepping out because you're afraid.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace if give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Maybe you're worried about what the future has in store.
Matthew 6:43 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble if it's own.
God is looking after you in every circumstance. Prayer is an amazing way to connect with the God who can see around the corners that you can't. 

Have you ever had a time when you felt stuck, lost, or overwhelmed? What was it that helped pull you through it?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How To Write Female Characters

In my book, The Prince of Pirates, I started writing the entire story from my main characters point of view. He's a strong, blunt/sarcastic, adult who is a man in every sense of the word. Towards the end, though, I realized that I needed to add in a girl's point of view so it would appeal to a broader range of readers, and bring more depth to the story. 
(I can't divulge any more because a Spoiler Alert would go off)
The difficulty came in creating a sharp characteristic contrast between the male and female. Because I can only step into the mindset of a man so far, I felt that I needed to make the contrast really evident. I've seen this struggle played out in many other books as well, and it usually ends with the girl being the typical Damsel-in-distress. A total sissy, in a less elegant choice of words. I hated that! Chiefly because that's not how most girls are.

So I changed the way I wrote. Instead of going off of what a man would do and making the girl do the opposite, I decided to pick female characters I admired and see exactly which traits I wanted to use. And guess what? Writing from my new female character's point of view has been loads of fun!

One was Tauriel from The Hobbit.
Image result for tauriel
I know she's not in the Hobbit book. And I'm sorry for the fans out there, but she and Legolas needed to scram. But, she's there, and I liked her character.
Personalities used:

  • Fighting spirit
  • Slightly Stubborn when she thought she was right
  • Speaking her mind
  • Acting, with or without approval, when she knew what the right thing to do was

My second was Sonora from Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.
Image result
If you haven't seen this movie, you should! (Especially if you love horses)

Personalities used:

  • Knows what she wants and fights for it.
  • Commitment
  • Strength (both in physical situations and mental)
  • Is willing to work hard for what she wants

Third (and forth) was Lucy and Susan Pevensie

Image result for susan and lucy pevensie
You didn't think I would make this post without mentioning Narnia did you? For the sake of content, I'm going to roll these two up into a ball.
  • Faith
  • Courage 
  • Willingness to fight
  • Protective of those they love
By taking these characteristics, I was able to create a female character that was still a girl, but wasn't going to stand by and let the man be the all-saving hero. Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses, and there are certainly times when men need to take a stand to protect the women, but the girl doesn't have to faint, or get sick, every time somebody is hurt, or burst into tears when something the least bit sad happens. (unless you're writing a wimpy female character. Then by all means, crank up the water works.) 

I'm going to throw in one caution. Sarcasm doesn't signify strength. All too often I see female characters trying to show off how strong they are by throwing out a few undermining, or sarcastic, lines. This actually shows a lack of security if they have to use words instead of actions. 
Image result for actions speak louder than words

Which female characters do you admire? What is it about them that catches your attention? Feel free to share! Maybe I'll weave it into a new character for my book!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top Five Fall Treats

Image result for fall trees
Once the temperature drops to the 60's, and the leaves begin to change into incredible shades of red and orange, it's time to bring out the cozy sweaters and fuzzy slippers.

But most of all...

Bring on the fall treats!!

And, by fall, I pretty much mean anything pumpkin. Fall and winter are the only two times when I will forego my chocolate go-to's for pumpkin and eggnog yummies. 
(proper English gets ditched as well)

Since the Fall weather is definitely here, that means it's time for all the yummy pumpkin flavors.

These are my absolute favorite Fall recipes that I only make this time of year!

How to make a pumpkin latte that's better than Starbucks PSL at home.
I don't normally drink coffee, but I will make several cups of this a week because it is SO good! (And I make it decaf or I would be writing this at 2 a.m. 

Image result for molasses cookiesPumpkin Dip

This is kind of a secret family tradition that needs to be known by every person on earth! And, if you want a healthier option, you can dip apples in the pumpkin dip. (But cookies are better!)

Image result for pumpkin scones
Because everybody needs something for a quick breakfast, right?
(Can anybody guess what I'm going to do as soon as I finish writing this post?)

Related image
If you love to bake, you should invest in a Spritz cookie press. They are so much fun, and taste amazing!

OK, I have only made these once because they are kind of labor intensive. But they were probably the best cookie I have ever had! So, if you ever find yourself stuck inside on a rainy fall day, have fun and try your hand at these. You won't be disappointed!

What are some of your favorite Fall treats to make? Have you made any Fall yummies yet? I would love to hear about it, so please share in the comments!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Prince of Pirates: Revealed

Loriens navigating the Murkwater Forest

My book The Prince of Pirates had an interesting beginning. I had with the idea for a pirate book when we were on a road trip. I guess the combination of penned up energy from being stuck in a car for five hours, consuming way to much sugar in snack food, and my overly active imagination took control. I wasn't about to argue with it anyway. There wasn't much else to do at the moment besides play the alphabet game with my siblings for the 1,000th time. So, with a tattered notebook and a pen I scrounged from underneath the sea of scattered belongings on the bottom of our van, I began writing the outline for my book. 
Not exactly the most noble beginning. But, meh!
BONUS: Candid/Behind the Scenes Gifs! | Community Post: These Are Not The 130 "Star Wars" GIFs You Are Looking For

The Prince of Pirates certainly didn't look anything like what it is now. My characters have grown, the story has changed, and I've learned a lot. It has been as much of an adventure for me as it has been for my characters.

But why on earth am I telling you all this? You can now read it for yourself!
Astrid looks like a fangirl after HTTYD 2. i was so excited that i was in tears though. XD

The first chapter of The Prince of Pirates is now officially available to the public on Wattpad, and I will be releasing a new chapter every week! (OK, that's more of a goal that I strive diligently to meet)

Follow this link to read

 If you enjoy reading The Prince of Pirates, please leave a vote and/or comment! It would be greatly appreciated!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

What Should I Do When There's Nothing To Do?

Image result for bored pictures

Yeah, I'm sorry (sort of) but sometimes this cat is the perfect example of how I feel. 

Cause, let's face it, boredom is something every single one of us has faced at one point or another. For some people it only lasts a few hours, for others is stretches for years. You might get a break every now and then and have a project to work on, but for the most part you're stuck doing the same mundane things that never change. 

Stagnant would be a wonderful word to summarize that feeling.
and it's not that you're laying around doing absolutely nothing but eating potato chips and playing Mario Cart. (does anybody even play that anymore?) You're probably doing a fair amount of things that are just part of life. But something always seems to be missing.

 I've been going through this myself for a really long time. I've been doing all the things that are expected of a teenager/adult. I have a job working with amazing horses, I help a lot at home, I have friends I hang out with, I work on different hobbies, but it's the same every day. Nothing changes. I'm not making a difference in the world big enough for everybody to see. I'm not learning anything new.

Then I had a job interview.

Every question was something I had come to learn just by living my life. And I had perfected those attributes by being in the same situation for a really long time. 

The questions addressed things like handling conflict (learned from being in a big family), prioritizing projects (learned from juggling family activities with my own), knowing how to say No to new things that would overload my work schedule (learned from the job I was currently in), and other things that like.

All that time I spent thinking I was bored was really time that God was using to help me grow in the small areas I had never noticed. 

I used to always feel like I needed to have everything together and be busy doing things that the world recognized as making progressive steps towards success. I was a lot like Martha from Luke 10:38-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

I was the Martha in this passage. I felt like I needed to be busy, busy, busy making a difference, jumping through the hoops that the world has set up as being the criteria for a successful adult, and being aggressively proactive. So when I wasn't doing one, or more, of those things I felt bored, discontented, and irritated with my life.

But when I read this passage I felt convicted. While Martha was busy doing all of these things that were expected of her through the eyes of the world, what was Mary doing? She was sitting at Christ's feet just listening to what He had to say. When Martha called Christ's attention to her sister's lack of activity, Jesus gently and lovingly tells her that only one thing is needed, and Mary had chosen that.

Now, don't get me wrong, Martha was doing really good things. She was preparing a meal for those in her house and being proactive with her life. She was doing exactly what the world would expect of somebody hosting a meal at their home.
Jesus didn't care about all of that. He didn't, and still doesn't, care about what the world says is the requirement for your life. He should always be the first in all that you do. All He wants is for you to sit at His feet and listen to His words. Because it's when we listen to Him that His will is revealed to us, and our life bears fruit that will bring satisfaction for all of eternity.

So, when your life feels stagnant, boring, and fruitless, it will only be like that if you try to live it for yourself, or strive to meet the World's standards. Take this wonderful break in the whirlwind of the world's crazy schedule to sit back and listen to God's Word. He wants your heart more than anything else you can offer.

Have you ever had a moment where you can look back and see how God used a period that for you seemed completely empty, but He used for good? I would love to hear about it! It's stories like those that bring encouragement to others who are in a similar situation.

God has NOT placed most of us in the place we are. Our bad decisions and choices have landed us here. However, if we're truly Christians and give our life to God while confessing our sins, He will act and guide us where we need to be. He may not 'fix everything' as most of our current situations took some time to create.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

September's Writing Challenge: The Winner Announced

And the Winner is.......

Adaline Griffiths

Another guy I need!

The bearded stranger propped himself against the wooden gate, two knives peeking between his fingers. The soldiers around he corner lifted their lanterns higher, the flames barely peeking out of the mist.
"No," the stout man gasped as his brow clenched in fierce determination. "It shall not beat me. It shall not be my ruler." But even as he spoke, his body shook. His eyes became blank and he straightened, his demeanor transforming.

He twirled the steel blades between his hands and stepped out of the shadows to confront the guards, a cocky grin dominating his face.
One of the soldiers pointed his spear at the intruder. "The castle isn't the place for the likes of you," he warned. "All you do is cause trouble for us all."
The bearded man's eyebrows rose, his chin lifted high. He was in front of the man in mere seconds and pushed him to the ground.
"No," he whispered as his eyes swirled inky black. He slid his knife into the guard's side.
"What I create is chaos."

Thank you, Adaline, for joining in the action! I really liked the way you portrayed the bearded man as being cocky - almost likable - but also a dangerous killer. You did a fantastic job using the prompt!

But Adaline isn't the only one who wrote a fantastic story! It was actually a really hard choice because everybody did such an amazing job! A big thanks to all the people who joined! (If you want to see their entries you can click HERE)

You all did an amazing job and it was so much fun to have you all join in! 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September's Writing Challenge

Greetings Faithful writers! 

Welcome to the second Writer's Challenge! This time we're going to shake things up a bit. 

Here is your Quest: In 100-250 words, create a story that captures what is happening in the Picture and utilizes one or both of the Prompt options! 

First: The Picture
Another guy I need!

Second: The Prompt

Option #1
“You said we would be safe here!” I screamed, stumbling as another tremor seized the ground with tremendous force. “I didn't say we would be safe,” Ryder yelled over the chaos, swiftly kicking a door above the knob. It swung open hard, adding another bang to the already chaotic sounds. “I said we would be safer. Follow me!” @Calathiel0114

Option #2
Pretty much Reynold's theme after everything he does.

As before, you can submit your story, with your name, in the comment section below and I will announce the winner next week! Whether you are a writer or not, feel free to enter. Just keep everything clean. (no swearing, gore, or sensuality)

I will be announcing the winner on October 11th!

Let your imagination run free!

P.S Feel free to include your blog address (if you have one) alongside your name. If you win, I'll make sure to post your blog address with your entry. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Writer's Life According to Hiccup and Toothless

How to train a dragon

So, let's just say I've been a bit busy. (Hence my disappearance from the internet world)

A list of my activities include:

  • Hunting (I'm an archer)
  • Trying to get another job
  • Riding horses
  • Being the oldest of a huge family
  • Planning end-of-summer vacations
Couple every bullet point with random/sporadic me and suddenly my day is a perfect routine of Craziness. 

But hey! I'm finally here and I have a really fun post for you all!

A Writers Life According to Hiccup and Toothless

When you finally solve that Plot Hole that has been torturing you
-Dragons- Gift of the Night Fury..toothless

You have just finished banging out the lights on your keyboard and your friend asks you how your book is coming along.
Hey! There's that old smile! I fell in love with his awkward smile in the first movie and it seems to have disappeared in the second. It's nice to have this show to make that transition.

Coming back to the real world
I think I'm crying....this is hilarious xD love Toothless so much ^^

When people say writing is a waste of time
It actually sounded like he was trying to imitate the words "baby boo" to me.<----- I think he's saying "blah blah blah" to me. <== I don't even care I just think its the best thing ever XD

When you read a scene in another book that's almost identical to one that you wrote in yours.
I want a dragon so I can do this! This would sooooo be me!!!

Writer's Block
This is hiccup

Trying to socialize with real people
What we all do in awkard situations ... the hand tap and cheek puff

When you're working through a complicated story idea at a random/bad time (a.k.a when somebody is talking to you) and you just hope nobody asks you a question.
When someone is talking and you're not listening at all.

Realizing you completely messed up an entire story line and have to back and fix it.
Hiccup looks like me when I try not to cry or I'm around Mom...and DON'T want to be!

When people try to talk to you while you're writing
toothless side profile - Google Search

A great idea getting smashed by logic
How to train your dragon birthday party. Power point presentation ideas. hiccup and toothless ... httyd2

And there you have it! Hopefully I'll have something a bit more substantial next time!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

In God's Image

A good book...

Have you ever considered yourself to be a wizard? or perhaps an elven noble traveling through the forest. Maybe you're the villian plotting in a castle to rule the world. You have lived many lives and gone of dozens of adventures. And the best part, you can decide to go whenever you want.

So is the life of a Fantasy Author

 We create worlds in our minds that are unique from anything else and live a different life with each character we create.

But where does this imagenation stem from and how should be use it?

I believe it began one upon a time.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God Created the Heaven and the Earth.

The greatest Story of all time began because our God wanted it to. He created a world, time, and space - the building blocks of everything we hold dear. As the well-known chapter continues we read how God created plants, the oceans, and the creatures that share our world. It's a pretty amazing and unique story.

Then God decides to create the main character. God creates a man in His image and in His likeness. We are made in the image of God, and He said 'it is very good'. But if God is a spirit, and has no flesh or bones, how are we made in His image?

Think about when you first get an idea for a book.
You have a new idea for a magical world where the trees grow taller than sky scrapers and everybody lives in tree houses. There are three moons that make the night almost as bright as the day and the water droplets stick to the leaves for the people to drink. 

You have just created a world.

Then you come up with a strange animal that will live in your world - sort of a cat/deer/flying squirrle that can glide from one massive branch to the other.

You have just created a creature to share your world.

And then you create a person - an elf or something totally different - to rule over your world. Because you created him/her, they're kind of like you in their personality and tendencies. This person goes on grand quests through your world where the future is unknown, and in the end they live happily ever after.

You have just created the main character - a life - just as God created you.

With our likeness to God comes our ability to create and find satisfaction in that creation. In our own limited fashion we have the ability to create a world just as He did. We can create animals just as He did. We can create a life just as God created ours because we are made in His image.

Now you have a magic power, the ability to create, and can use it to touch lives.

How will you use it?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Writer's Challenge: The Winner Announced

And the winner is...
(Drum roll, please!)

Lindsi McIntyre

"I would expect you to know of an easier way," Brodgen muttered. "I don't particularly enjoy crawling through the toilet as an option." Reynold hissed back

The rope bit deep into Aaron's palm as he dangled high above the ballroom floor. 
Below, the Lords and Ladies of the land went about their daily lives, too busy looking down on everyone around them to notice him dangling from the ceiling rafters.
A herald cried out for attention from where he stood by the door.
"Her Highness, the Crown Princess Gisselle."
The massive doors opened. The princess entered the room.
Show time.
Aaron's grip tightened around the razor sharp blade he held in his right hand as the Princess made her way up the center of the room. His focus shifted to those gathered on the sidelines, alert to any suspicious movement. He had not been a big fan of the plan to use the Princess as bait to catch her would be assassin. His opinion hadn't mattered though. All he could hope for was to stop the killer in time.

Thank you, Lindsi, for your amazing story! The ending was what sealed it for me. I had a perfect idea of the moment for this picture, what needed to happen, but not of what was going to happen! I also loved your line, "Too busy looking down on everyone around them to notice him dangling from the ceiling rafters."  It perfectly shows the arrogance of the nobles.
Readers, if you wish to expand your knowledge with some great posts related to writing, fun facts, and other useful information, I would highly encourage you check out Lindsi's Blog.

I would also like to thank the other people who entered! (If you want to see their entries you can click HERE in the comments)

All your stories were amazing, and I was thrilled to have you participate! I will certainly be doing this again, and I hope you will join in with your riveting stories!!!

Until next time!
 I just want these people in my books I just do. I swear they will be in every book I ever write

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Writer's Challenge

Welcome mighty Pens of Valor!

I'm so excited to host my first ever Writer's Challenge!

Here is your Quest: In 100-250 words, create a story that captures what might be happening in this picture!

"I would expect you to know of an easier way," Brodgen muttered. "I don't particularly enjoy crawling through the toilet as an option." Reynold hissed back

You can submit your story, with your name, in the comment section below and I will announce the winner next week! Whether you are a writer or not, feel free to enter. Just keep everything clean. (no swearing, gore, or sensuality) 
Let your imagination run free!

P.S Feel free to include your blog address (if you have one) alongside your name. If you win, I'll make sure to post your blog address with your entry. 

P.P. S Also!! I am guest posting on an amazing blog called Heather's Ambitions! You should click over there and check it out!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Liebster Award


I was tossing around the idea of starting my own tag when I received a nomination for the Liebster Award! Now, the first thing I did was google what in the world Liebster means. (It's German for Dearest. Now you know.)
Thanks Heather for tagging me! (btw, I lover her blog) I encourage you to check out the blogs of the people I'm tagging, and Heather's as well, down below. They have some really great posts!

Rules for the Award

  • Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  • Answer eleven questions that the blogger gives you.
  • List eleven random facts about yourself
  • Nominate up to 11 other Bloggers that you think are deserving of this award (with less than 200 followers)  {I am not 100% certain that every blog I nominated has less than 200 followers. Most of them don’t display the number of followers they have.}
  • Let the bloggers know you nominated them
  • Give them 11 questions to answer

  • My 11 Questions

    1) What is the story behind your blog: Your mission and name?
    Answer: I've always wished that I could find a simple blog where the blogger just writes what is on their hearts and what they are pursuing. This is especially true when it comes to writing. It's easy to hear the 'happily ever after' of a great author, but have important details about the 'once upon a time' skipped. I figured that I wasn't the only one, so I started blogging just One Word At A Time. My mission is to live a full life pleasing to God, write adventure/christian/fantasy books that point to Him, and share my knowledge and life with the world through my blog!

    2) Who is your favorite band/musician? 
    Answer: I could probably listen to Taylor Davis all day long.

    3) What is your favorite quote?
    Answer: Oh goodness, that's like asking me what my favorite book is! Um... Here are some. (I literally have a whole book full of quotes that I add to, so picking one is impossible)
    Quotes, Life Quotes, Love Quotes, Best Life Quote , Quotes about Moving On, Inspirational Quotes and more. Follow rickysturn/quotesRomans 5:8
    Image result for c s lewis quotes

    4) Iced coffee or Hot coffee? Or no coffee? 
    Answer: I try to avoid coffee because caffeine does weird things to my emotions after it wears off. But on Sunday I'll usually have a tiny bit of hot coffee because I wake up early to get to worship practice before church starts.

    5)  What is your favorite ethnicity of food? 
    Answer: Mexican

    6) Ice cream or frozen yogurt?
    Answer: Ice cream, hands down!

    7) What is your favorite bible verse and what does it mean to you? 
    Answer: Unlike most people, I have never really found that one verse that some call their Life Verse. I go through so many different struggles I have an address book so I know where to turn when a particular trial comes up. But for the most part, I really love Hebrews 12: 1-2 "Let us run with endurance the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Because, though all the trials, I have to keep running!

    8) Do you like exercise? If yes, what type is your favorite? 
    Answer: Yes! I love hiking! There is nothing that compares to the feeling of victory when you reach the top of a mountain and get to look down on the whole world! Cross country running is also really fun. 

    9) What is your favorite thing about Blogging?
    Answer: Being able to share the things that I've learned with other people and hearing from them.

    10) Do you prefer writing on a computer or using pen and paper? 
    Answer: I have the worst penmanship that is only made worse when I try to write fast. I prefer writing on the computer because my fingers can hardly keep up with the pace that my brain works at. If I were using a pen I would have the ending scene playing through my mind while my pen was trying to write out the beginning.

    11) If you could travel to one place in the world and money wasn't a problem, where would you go? 
    Answer: I'm being pretty silly, but Hawaii would be the place for me. (But not the main island.) I would probably rent a small house on a distant island so I could enjoy the beauty without being crowded out by hundreds of people.

    Whew! I did it! Now for:

    Eleven Random Facts About Me
    1. I like riding horses without a saddle. Even if I fall off.
    2. I love re-reading random parts of books to capture the same feelings I got when I first read it.
    3. I tend to be a bit blunt.
    4. I love eating chocolate chips straight from the bag.
    5. I've never broken a bone or had stitches and the only cut that required a trip to the hospital I ended up taping together myself to avoid going.
    6. I love Christmas so much I start singing Christmas songs in September.
    7. My leg shakes when I'm nervous. (seriously) It got so bad once while I was playing guitar with my church that I started shaking my music stand.
    8. I don't like getting wet unless I'm swimming in a deep river or at the ocean.
    9. I like smelling old books. (And new books) 
    10. I hate letting people down.
    11. I can quote many lines from Shakespeare's play Hamlet, but can't get through the first two lines of his famous part "to be, or not to be." 
    Who I'm Awarding

    Here Are Your Questions
    1. If you had a whole day with nothing to do and nothing that needed to be done in the future, how would you spend it?
    2. What is your favorite book and author?
    3. Ice cream or cake?
    4. What is your favorite mythical creature?
    5. What is the one chore that you absolutely hate doing?
    6. Which is your favorite season?
    7. What is your favorite breakfast food?
    8. Why did you decide to become a blogger and what do you hope to accomplish by it?
    9. Would you rather fly or be able to breath underwater?
    10. What is your favorite genre of music?
    11. What is the most recent crazy thing you have done?

    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    !!Exiles Release!!

    It's here! It's here, it's here, it's finally here!!!

    Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Exiles, has been released! Exiles is the fourth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles, and I am absolutely ecstatic about it!!!! I only just discovered this series and the books have quickly climbed my Favorite Books list to Narnia level. This is one of the most fantastic Christian Fantasy series I have ever read and I have dubbed it re-readable! If you want to know more you can check out the official tour page where there will be links to tons of different bloggers posting different things from book excerpts to character interviews.

    Today, I am going to introduce you to the amazing author herself: Jaye L. Knight

    Question #1: What is the most important message you want people to hear through reading your book?

    "I think the biggest theme and message in all my Ilyon Chronicles books is that no matter how bad things get, God has a plan and is in control. My characters face so many hardships and tragedies, but it’s all for a purpose in the end, even if they can’t see it at the time."

    Question #2: What are some of your favorite hobbies? (Besides writing)

    I’m really big into historical reenactment. I reenact either the French and Indian War or the Revolutionary War, depending on what I’m in the mood to wear. I have a group I’ve camped with for several years now, and they are like family. It’s something I always look forward to every year. Besides that, I just really enjoy outdoor activities.

    Question #3: Why did you choose to write Christian Fantasy?

    I got hooked on Christian fantasy when I first discovered The Lord of the Rings. Before that, I had been writing the usual stories about girls and their horses (yeah, I was a horse crazy teen). While I’ve done some historical fiction, I love the freedom of fantasy and being able to create my own worlds and civilizations.

    Question #4: What would you say was the hardest part of writing the Ilyon Chronicles?

    I’d say the hardest part is just that it’s such a long series. It’s the longest I’ve ever written. I’ve been working on it for a full six years now, and am still working on the last book. While I did get one other book written in the meantime, six years is a long time to devote to only one story. It’s a big commitment. I’m glad I didn’t know when I started what it was going to take to finish.

    Question #5: Do you do all the editing, cover designs, formatting, and advertising yourself? Or do you have other people who come along side you and help?

    I do my own cover design, formatting, and advertising myself. For editing, I have fantastic help from my group of beta readers. They’ve been invaluable to me. In the past, I have hired a proofreader, but since money has been tight, this time my mom skipped being a beta reader for me and was my proofreader instead.

    Question #6: Is Jaye L. Knight your real name, or a pen name?

    It’s a pen name. My real name is Molly. I originally chose to use pen names to keep some anonymity, but now it’s more about branding. I consider Jaye L. Knight to be my business name and have worked hard to build a platform and brand for it.

    Jaye L Knight has truly inspired me to be a better writer and to pursue my goal wholeheartedly!

    Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00028]

    About the Book
    Exiled after their defeat in Samara, the Resistance struggles to find allies in their quest to restore King Balen to his throne and put an end to the emperor’s tyranny. When the crete people refuse to lend their aid, Balen leads a group to Dorland to reason with them and win their support. However, enemies prove to be everywhere, and they find themselves in a fight to keep Dorland from becoming Daican’s latest conquest.

    Back in Landale, the arrival of a new enemy forces Trask and Anne to tread more carefully than ever. Tensions are rising, and the enemy is determined to test Anne’s loyalty and root out the location of Trask and the Resistance once and for all.

    Feeling trapped within the walls of Valcré, Prince Daniel must contend with an ever-eroding relationship with his father. As their clashes escalate, the situation becomes potentially life threatening when his loyalty is called into question. His sister seems bent on branding him a traitor and actively seeking to condemn him to the fate of those put to death in their father’s new arena. Daniel is certain his father would never execute his only son and heir, but with other forces at work, it might not be that simple.

    One small misstep could prove fatal for all.


    The only thing that made me put this book down was the fact that my eyes were burning from reading so fast and for so long! This is an absolutely fantastic book that I can't wait to add to my library. I'm usually a skeptic of long series because a person can only come up with so many ideas right? But not in this case. Somehow, Jaye made an edge-of-your-seat thriller with plenty of romance and enough adventure to keep me up until midnight, while still building the tension for the books to come! (I'm honestly a bit scared to find out! I'm getting my tissue box just in case!)

    I would say that most of the focus in this book was on the character's relationships with each other and their arcs, which is fantastic because she writes characters that are deep and feel like real people, and less on taking back the kingdom. (Although they do their fare share) The story moves through multiple Points of View as it did with the preceding books, and I would definitely say that Prince Daniel's part was what pushed me to read just "one more chapter." So much happened with Prince Daniel that I was left completely stunned! I'm already chomping at the bit for the book 5&6 to come out!
    But Daniel isn't the only one who has his life changed. Leetra and Timothy have their differences to overcome while Anne's resolve to refuse Trask's proposal is beginning to weaken, especially with the increasing pressure of the disgusting Goler. The many adventures will take you on a journey through the various cultures, from Cretes to Ryricks, with something unexpected at every turn! I never knew what was coming next.

    Little Warning: Just beware, although the book is clean and nothing actually happens, there are some scenes were some Ryricks have evil intentions are desired upon Karyn.

    All in all - this book deserves and exceeds Five Stars! If you have never read the series - or have read them and are thinking about reading Exiles - I can not recommend them enough! Everything about the books are amazing and I am so happy I found them and am able to spread the word so more people will hear about them as well!

    Available now on Amazon!


    Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? The first three Kindle books are on sale August 11th - 14th!
    You can find them on Amazon.


    About the Author
    JayeAuthor2015Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

    You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.

    Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Exiles, a pewter dragon necklace by treasurecast, and a sword letter opener! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)


    Friday, August 4, 2017

    Best Things To Eat While Reading

    Image result for cs lewis quote about tea
    I know I'm not the only one who enjoys eating while reading. (or drinking tea for that matter) Some people I've met can't seem to read a book without a snack.
    I've tried to eat just about everything while reading, and that includes things that a decent person would use two hands for. There are certainly some foods that are more manageable than others. Unless you are the Ninja of Food&Books, pizza can be a test that would certainly earn you a black belt. But there's also a bit of science behind which snacks you choose to eat. You don't want to eat something to yummy or else it will distract you from the book, or the book will distract you from enjoying the food.
    So, if you happen to have a good book but no snack-ies, here's a nice little list to help you out.

    Item 1: Chips/crackers
    These are great because they don't make a mess. (As long as you leave out the dip. That can be a fun balancing game, but terribly distracting for you and probably the people around you as well.) There are many different kinds to satisfy your preferred taste - salty, sweet, nacho, or ranch. I mean, seriously, who can't eat an entire box of Wheat Thins at one sitting. I always laugh at the box that says, "Family Size."  Apparently I'm a family of one!

    Item 2: Popcorn
    It's like chips, but with butter! (Butter = Better. Right?) If you want to indulge a tad more, sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top to make a simple version of Kettle Corn.

    Item 3: Dried Fruit/Nuts
    This one you have to be a little careful with. It is way too easy to eat an entire bag of dried bananas and realize that it was probably the equivalent of eating 12 full-size bananas. But it's a healthy alternative to chips. If you're brave, try eating raisins and cheese together. It's one of my favorites!

    Item 4: Smoothie/Tea
    OK, so smoothie might sound a little weird to some people. But it's actually not bad! Especially if it's too hot for tea (I mourn the day when that happens) nothing beats an ice cold Key Lime smoothie.
    But when the evening comes and things cool down, there's nothing like a nice cup a tea. Preferably  a very large one.

    Item 5: Chocolate
    Hands down, there is no argument that can deny the fact that Chocolate is amazing, rain or shine. But if you don't feel like gnawing on a chocolate bar, go for something simpler and get chocolate chips! It is a rare and special day in our house when a bag of chocolate chips remains unopened until the day it is placed inside a batch of cookies.

    What is your favorite food to snack on while reading? I would love to hear about it because I have a good book to read and nothing to eat with it! (I ate all my snacks during my last book)

    Friday, July 28, 2017

    How To Get Widsom For Life

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    Can anybody sympathize with me in this scenario?

    It's a happy day and you wake up feeling great - the birds are singing and the sun is shining. You lay in bed contemplating the many wonderful things you can do when ... it hits you. Life comes and grabs you by the throat with a death grip. A thousand thoughts and questions swirl through your mind in a matter of 3 milliseconds.

    Should I go to college?

    What should I do in college?
    What if I don't want to go to college?
    What should I do for a living?
    What are my future plans?
    How should I manage my time?
    Ah! You forgot to call that car seller! What if it's sold already?
    Should I start looking for a better job?
    Am I doing this whole Life-thing right?!?

     Somebody please raise their hand with me. *raises hand* 

    Insecurity is a common struggle for many people. And for most, it can be linked with fear. The unknown can be a scary place. 
    Whenever insecurity raises its ugly head, along with the overwhelming amount of decisions as its weapon, it can get really easy to start beating yourself up about everything and feel like a total failure. This life is way to much for us to handle on our own!
    That's why it is so important to turn to the One who is outside of the present, and knows the future. And there is one thing that can help us more than any other - Something that is so valuable, it deserves the acute attention of every Christian.

    Proverbs 1:7a

    “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,”
    Here is where our journey begins. Without a fear of the Lord there is no desire to pursue
    His will. Our lives should be filled, centered, saturated, guided, and molded by God. But this
    isn’t the same fear that we get when we watch a frightening movie. This is a fear of His supreme
    power compared to our insignificance. Our finite lives compared to His Omnipotence; Our broken
    love for His ultimate Sacrifice. Without God, our lives are nothing. This should be our fear.

    Proverbs 9:10b
    “And knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
    The next clue is Knowledge. Our fear of the Lord should prompt us to know His will,
    which can be found in the Bible, and keep it in our hearts; although it is possible for someone to
    have the facts, but not know what they mean or what to do next. (otherwise known as head
    knowledge.) This leads to the next clue:

    Proverbs 2:9
    Then you will understand what is right and just and fair-- every good path.

    Understanding is a lens which brings our Knowledge into crisp focus and produces
    principles. Like any classroom setting, you can know what the teacher is saying, but not
    understand. It’s accepting what we learn as Truth. This is especially hard when it comes to the
    bible and oftentimes, understanding doesn’t come until later. Occasionally God calls us to action
    before we understand the reasons. Sometimes He calls for Faith before Facts.
    Once all these clues fall into place, we get the key to living succesfully. When you fear the
    Lord, seek His will, (understanding is more of a lucky bonus) than you get the prize.

    Proverbs 16:16
    How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!

    Wisdom is when you put the Knowledge that’s in your head into your actions. It’s living
    in the Spirit instead of the flesh. Knowing God’s will and putting it into action produces
    The Hebrew translation of the word Wisdom is 'The ability to live life skillfully.' God
    desires what is best for our lives. He wants to see our lives used to the fullest. But that can’t be
    done outside of His plan. When we are in tune with His desires, and put them into action, than
    we shall live a life that is truly skillful and we will be satisfied to hear God one day say, “Well
    done, good and faithful servant.”

    So when those big decisions come hammering against your door, you can politely invite them in for tea because your God has all the games for the party figured out.

    Have you ever had a time when you were overwhelmed with Life and God helped you through it? Feel free to share in the comments!

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

    How To Write Accurately

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    If anybody were to look at my google search engine they would probably lock me away and take my laptop. I could be googling anything from the meaning of a word to figuring out how long a dagger wound takes to heal.(Or where you can get stabbed and still live) It's really important that authors know what they are talking about, right?
    Here are a few questions and random things I've had to google this last week.

    1) The order of military ranks.
    • Lieutenant. A seasoned lieutenant with 18 to 24 months service. Leads more specialized weapons platoons and indirect fire computation centers. As a senior Lieutenant, they are often selected to be the Executive Officer of a company-sized unit (110 to 140 personnel).
    • Captain. Commands and controls company-sized units (62 to 190 Soldiers)
    • Major. Serves as primary Staff Officer for brigade and task force command regarding personnel, logistical and operational missions.
    • Lieutenant Colonel. Addressed as "Lieutenant Colonel" or "Colonel." Typically commands battalion-sized units (300 to 1,000 Soldiers),
    • Colonel. Typically commands brigade-sized units (3,000 to 5,000 Soldiers)
    • Major General. Addressed as "General." Typically commands division-sized units (10,000 to 15,000 Soldiers).
     2) What color can cats see at night?
    Answer:  It's a common misconception that cats can't see any colors, only shades of gray. Humans are known as trichromats, meaning they have three kinds of cones that allow them to see red, green, and blue. Cats are also thought to be trichromats, but not in the same way that humans are. A cat's vision is similar to a human who is color blind. They can see shades of blue and green, but reds and pinks can be confusing. These may appear more green, while purple can look like another shade of blue.

    3) What is a suede jacket?
    Answer: Suede -  leather with the flesh side rubbed to make a velvety nap.
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    4) What is a foray?
    Answer:  A sudden attack or incursion into enemy territory, especially to obtain something; a raid.

    5) How long does it take for a fractured rib to heal?
    Answer:  A fractured rib usually takes at least 6 weeks to heal.

    Making your book realistic requires research. It's time to own up to it: You don't actually know everything. (as nice as that would be) I have found that a really great way to learn more is to keep a notebook with me while I'm reading. The moment I come across something I don't know, a question pops into my mind, or I want to see if something is accurate I write it down so I can google it later. (That way I can finish the chapter!) It only takes a moment and your book and your IQ will be better because of it. 
    Readers depend upon authors to know what they are writing about. We, as authors, are communicating to readers and helping them learn - even if they don't know it.

    What is one of the strangest things you've had to google for your book or just something you wanted to know? I would love to hear it! Please share in the comments below!