Saturday, December 27, 2014

Oleavine Facial Moisturizer: A Product Review

So, I meant to post this on my fashion blog, but accidentally signed up to review it here. Whoops. Anyway, if you're a girl (or maybe even a guy,) you might be interested in this product. Face moisturizer! Whoot!

When your a teen, or a young woman, or anyone really, face it... You need moisturizer of some kind. If you don't use it your face gets all dry and it's just bad. That's how it is for me anyway. I've tried several generic brands of moisturizers, but it is so hard to find a good kind for your skin. Often you stuck with a thick or slimy substance that goes on thick and just doesn't feel great at all.

 Enter Oleavine.

 When I had the opportunity to review this, I quickly snatched it up in my quest for the perfect moisturizer. I had been unsatisfied by competitors, and hoped that this would have something special.

 The product description says it is made from organic and natural ingredients. That is the first good sign for me. Anything natural makes me happy in this crazy chemical laden world. It also has anti-aging and rejuvenating ingredients. Apparently it was also made without heat. I guess a lot of companies use heat in the process, but it somehow damages the product.

 So here's my review. Firstly, I love the bottle. It's so cute and feminine. I really love butterflies. They are such beautiful creatures, and delicate pink butterflies flutter along the bottom of this graceful bottle.When you want to use the moisturizer, you simply twist the silver top, and a little dispenser pops up (see photo at right.) With a little pump you can get some moisturizer. You only need the smallest amount--less than a dime--and it will go over your entire face.

 This stuff smells great. I can't really describe the scent. It's pleasant and fresh smelling and a bit like earl grey tea. It just has a nice scent. Like I mentioned, it spreads easily over your face. One thing I love is that it goes on light. After I apply it my skin doesn't feel coated or heavy. I can't even tell it's there and my skin feels great. After using this for a while my skin was better than it had been for a while.

 Basically, I love this stuff. I hope I can buy more of it when I run out. It's the first moisturizer I've actually been satisfied with and that is awesome. It might seem a bit pricy at about $20, but since you only need a little bit at a time and it's such great quality, I think it's worth it. So it looks cute, smells lovely, and works great. What more can you ask for?

 Visit Oleavine here, and you can purchase this product here.

~ a rambling author

Friday, December 26, 2014

3rd Perfect 250mg FORSKOLIN Root Extract Review

Hi guys! I have a couple more product reviews for ya'll. Weird right? Maybe I should start doing these on a specific day and do book stuff on another day or... Do you guys even care about these? Well, here they are anyway. :)

Product description:

NutriRevolution Forskolin 250mg Coleus Forskolin Root
 Extract helps You:

Burn Pesky Body Fat

Increases Lean Muscle

No additional Dieting or Exercise Required

It stimulates the production of AMP (cAMP) - This is a molecule that actually creates the making of a thyroid hormone which a powerful body fat and calories burner. This sends your metabolism into overdrive and produces more energy which lasts you all day.

 More Beneftis of Forskolin 250mg Root Extract:
- Increase Weight Loss*
- Reduces High Blood Pressure*
- Helps with Insomnia*
- Reduces Chest Pains and Many More

 I'd say this is a pretty well made product. It comes in a nice bright bottle that will reach out to you, and the pills themselves are small, easily swallowed capsules. As you can see it offers many health benefits. Even if the weight loss doesn't work for you, the fact that it reduces high blood pressure, helps with insomnia, and does a lot more is a plus.

 I've been sleeping great since I've been taking it. In fact, I've barely lain awake at all, so I think it has definitely helped in that regard. I've never had high blood pressure so I don't check it on a regular basis, but I'm sure it has helped with that as well. I haven't had chest pains either, but don't normally so there's no telling about that one.

 Now to the big thing. The weight loss. If you look at this product on Amazon, you will see many great reviews praising the way it helps you drop pounds. The sad thing is, for me it just did not work. Since I received this product I've thought of the reasons why. I don't think it's the product because the company seems to really care about the quality of their items. It could be my scale is off. It could be because it is Christmas time. (Though I haven't eaten that much more than normal. :P) It could be that I have a condition where its really hard to lose weight. (We can pray it's not the latter.) But for some reason I didn't lose any weight while taking this. In fact I gained some. But I think that must be something to do with me because the many reviews seem to differ with my results.

 It's a well packaged, interesting weight loss supplement. I've never known what to think of the whole weight loss craze thing, but I figured it might be worth a try. If you would like to try it to, you can check it out here

~ A rambling author

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Azure Naturals: A Product Review Part 3 - Ultimate Emu



Lastly, I'm going to talk a bit about Ultimate Emu oil. Now, as dumb as this sounds, I didn't realize that this actually came from an animal. I don't mind it too much, though it is weird to think about rubbing an animal's fat on yourself. :P But my vegan friends might want to steer clear of this one. The Emu oils is in a similar bottle as the Argan and Rosehip, but the shade of the glass is significantly lighter. I'm not sure why, but I suppose the Emu oil doesn't require the same amount of darkness. The oil itself is a grayish white color. The first time I used it I rubbed it into my hands as a lotion of sorts and it worked great! I also tried it a bit as a facial moisturizer and that worked fine as well. It has lots of uses if you can ignore the fact it came from a giant bird. Hehe.

Here are some of them:

Anti-aging - Dramatically helps fight age effects.

Stretch marks and scars - Natural treatment for these.

Hair - Helps reduce split ends and restores natural shine.

Skin conditions - Great balm for healing and moisturizing those who suffer from skin conditions like eczema.

Burns - Helps relieve pain and heal the scars.

Scrapes/cuts - Helps with the pain, and the healing.

Injuries - If you hurt yourself playing sports or something similar, Emu oil can help with the healing process.

Arthritis - Helps stiff muscles and joints. Reduces swelling.

So I think emu oil is pretty awesome too, and another fantastic product. AzureNaturals did a great job. I am very pleased. Buy it here.

~ a rambling author




Azure Naturals: A Product Review Part 2 - Ultimate Rosehip


Let's talk about Ultimate Rosehip. It comes from a rose plant of some sort, in the Andes, I believe. As you can see, it is also in a dark glass bottle. The oil is an amber color, so you can actually see it show up. It has a peculiar scent and doesn't smell a thing like roses! It is not a bad smell, just not what you might expect. I've used it a bit. I've dabbed it on some acne places and whatnot, and tried it as a lip balm. When I put it on my lips, it made my lips feel nice and moisturized for a while. I also put a little bit in my scalp before showering and my hair felt pretty soft the rest of the day. Rosehip has some of the same benefits of Argan oil, but has it's additional charms as well. Here are just a few benefits of this neat oil.

Dry Hair - It helps moisturize your hair.

Dull Hair - Makes your hair shinier. Rich in vitamins that help your hair health.

Dry skin - Great for this as well, so works as a moisturizer too.

Scars - Helps treat acne, stretch marks, age spots, burns, and other scars.

Dandruff - Helps eliminate this with just a few drops massaged into the scalp.

Sunburn - Soothes and heals sunburn. Definitely will be trying this. I'm a poor fair person. Sunburns are almost unavoidable.

Make your skin glow - Gives your skin a healthy glow.

And there are many more uses. I really like this oil, and once again can tell it's quality. I love this company so much. Buy it here.





Azure Naturals: A Product Review: Part 1 - Argan Oil

Hey-o guys! It's me!. :D The other girls on the A Pinch of Classy blog I collaborate on have talked about essential oils many times before, and I've wanted to try some, but have never been able to. Well, the company AzureNaturals, partnered with Tomoson.com, gave me the opportunity to review three of their oils! Technically, these are three separate reviews, but since they're similar products from the same company I'd lump them into one blog post. So here we go! The three oils are Ultimate Argan, Ultimate Emu, and Ultimate Rosehip. Although I only did a bit of testing, I'm planning on using all three much more in the future. It's going to be in three parts for verification purposes, so here is part 1.


I should start by saying that these aren't all essential oils. In fact, I think Rosehip is an essential oil (though I'm not sure) but Emu isn't because it came from an animal (apparently essential oils come from plants) and I read that Argan wasn't either. So these are just some oils that have their uses, but might not necessarily be essential.


Let's start with the Ultimate Argan! This stuff is pretty cool. As you can see it is stored in a very dark bottle, perhaps a shade lighter than the Rosehip bottle, but perhaps the same. This is to keep the oil from breaking down, which light does. So it needs a dark glass bottle. It has a nice shiny paper label on it that proudly proclaims it is 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil. Which is awesome. The oil itself is somewhat clear and has a slight nutty scent because it was pressed from fruits of the argan tree. Another nice feature is the little pump top. You can just squirt a little bit and don't have to worry about pouring anything. It's great.

 I've used it as a moisturizer. It works really nicely. It's a light oil, so your skin takes it pretty well, and it doesn't get greasy if you rub a couple of drops, or a spritz in this case, since it's a spray bottle, on your face. I found my face stayed moisturized for a good length of time after using this oil. I also rubbed it into my cuticles. That felt nice! Argan oil has many uses that I didn't try yet, but plan on, because it is such an amazing product that I'll definitely be putting it to use again. Here are a few other uses of this awesome oil.

Hair conditioner - Argan oil can really make your hair soft and silky. I haven't actual tried it as a conditioner yet, but I've only heard good things about it from people who have, so I'm excited to try.

Styling - Apparently it works well as a hairstyling agent. I just tried it. Even if you have a little bit left on your hands from something else, if you just run your hand over your hair, it calms down the wisps. Being a girl with extremely wispy hair, this is awesome.

Anti-aging - Yep. Argan oil is known to give skin a healthy glow and restores that youthful feeling and appearance to the skin.

Dry Skin - Argan oil is extremely beneficial to those who suffer from dry skin issues. Because it's naturally a source of vitamin E it helps to heal and bring relief.

Acne - Helps clear up acne. Which is awesome.

Healing - Is just healing in general to damaged skin and whatnot. Very cool.

Nails and stuff - Can help brittle and damaged nails grow stronger, also just good for your hands and feet. 

Lip Balm - This explains itself. It works.

Anyway, I really like this product. I'm so excited to use it, especially on my hair. Apparently if you use it on split ends it helps heal those, and it is just beneficial in general. I'm convinced AzureNaturals is selling a quality product. The care taken with the dark glass bottle and 100% ingredient tells me that. You can purchase it here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Locum Tenens: A Book Review

 Hey guys. It's December now, school is finishing up, so that means a lot of reviews will be coming soon, as well as some other things I hope! Keep posted on that. I'm going to try to schedule out my next semester better so I can get everything I need done, including blog posts. Today I have a review for you! The first two volumes of Locum Tenens, a young adult sci fi story.

 I was unable to find an image of the story for some reason, so I'll just link you to the Amazon page here.

Info:  Mike wasn't meant for military training. He studied hard to get the scores needed for advanced schooling, only to be coerced by his community to take his brother's place, where military Inductees face life and death in the Agoga. Will he survive?

Okay, so I usually review only for Christian publishers, and after reading this story I'll probably be going back to that. But here is my full review to explain myself. This is difficult to write.

 The characters... I liked the characters pretty well. Mike was an adorable, nerdy character. Those are my favorite kind. If a story has a nerd in it, I'm hooked. I just love them to death. There were also some likable recruits and less likable ones. There were many military heads in the story, some I liked more than others. There wasn't a whole lot of character development in the first two installments, but more on that later. But I did like Mike's narration.

The story... The story was intriguing. The idea of some horrible accident happening that required a less than physically fit boy to take his brother's place at an intense and deadly military school was pretty riveting. I wanted to find out what was going to happen to Mike. The fact that all of the technology used actually exists in mind blowing. Like... that is so cool! I really liked the plot and wanted to read more when I finished.

The grammar was pretty good, but there were a couple places that words were omitted, and perhaps some typos placed. That's not a big deal to me. What a reader should know before purchasing is that Locum Tenems is in a serialized sort of format. The book is being released in volumes, and only two are currently out. They're extremely short books. If I focused I could probably read them from half an hour to an hour. That being said, if you're really busy, they're great for just a quick read. It was unfortunate that the stories had to end at climactic times, especially the second volume, but I think that must be the author's intention to keep people reading.

 What I disliked the most about this series are the moral issues. Many might think that sounds so stiff or whatever, but I am a Christian, and this is a Christian blog. Most of my readers are probably Christians, and since I review many YA Christian books, I have to be honest with my reviewers so that they don't read something they wouldn't want to. Once I started seeing some of the content of these books I didn't really want to review them, but I need to post it. There was too much implied sexual content for a book of this age range. It wasn't as if anything happened, but there was crude sexual humor implied. I don't want to go into details on it because it makes me uncomfortable. I suppose the author was making an attempt to show what young boys are like, but I think he could have chosen a better method. There were also a few cuss words scattered throughout, something else I'm not much of a fan of. The point is I can't recommend this to my readers. Because I rate my books half on quality and half on morals, I'll give this story two and a half stars. It would have been three or four without the extra that I had to take it a notch down on.

 Thanks for reading!

~ a rambling author

 I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Prelude For a Lord: A Book Review

Hello everyone! Today I'm reviewing Prelude For a Lord by Camille Elliot. I received this book free through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Back cover copy: Bath, England 1810

At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forté. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician.

In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal.

But when a thief 's interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument ... with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick.

Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul.

Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief's desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . .
 ~
 Okay, so I love the regency era. I love to read about all the rules, and protocols, and fascinating tidbits. I believe when I chose this book I wasn't planning on ordering many books (ha!) but the fact that it was regency, involved music, and the plot line drew me in and I wound of choosing it to review. The author was also named Camille Elliot, which seems perfect for a regency book. How could someone named Camille Elliot NOT write a good book? To my relief, I wasn't disappointed. I took a while to read this book, but that fact mustn't be blamed on the book or its author. The truth is, when I was reading this I was still trying to get into the college groove, so my reading was neglected for the important, but less interesting task of learning. I finally finished it, though.

 First, the characters. The characters were my favorite part of this book I think. From Alethea, to the tortured Dommick, to Dommick's serious friend Raven, and goofy friend Ian... to her severe aunt, and her mischievous cousin Margaret... well, I could go on. There were such a wide variety of interesting characters, each with something special to share. No two were alike, or similar, really, and I really appreciate that in a book. It impresses me greatly when an author creates unique characters.

 Next, the plot. I found the plot to be intriguing. With every attempt of thievery, kidnapping, and deception, the more I was interested. At times I could hardly put the book down. There was actually quite a bit of action in this book, which might seem strange for a regency story, but I think it just adds to the appeal. There is less time to find boredom as you read about arranged marriages, and men with guns. I want to say more about the plot and what it contains, but I'm afraid that would reveal too much.

 It's a good story. It has a thread winding throughout, and at the end, the thread is cinched tight, collapsing the story into a neat little package that makes perfect sense. I recommend it for any who enjoy regency era stories, historical fiction, and sweet romance.

Buy it here or any bookstore/site.

~ a rambling author

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Word Changers: A Book Review

Hi everyone! Two months. Wow. That is unacceptable. I have been focusing a lot of my time on college homework, but it's time to get this blog back to life, at least once a week. While I haven't been able to keep up my blogging in a way I would like, I've been trying to work on the books I need to review, so I have some books ready to review! Yay! Tonight, I'm reviewing The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis. I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.


From the back cover: Escaping from the turmoil of her home, fifteen-year-old Posy finds herself at her usual haunt ... the library. When she chooses an unfamiliar book from the shelf, she does not devour its words as she usually does...

Its words devour her.

Posy is pulled into the pages of a fairy tale in turmoil. Characters whisper of rebellion against their Plot. And Posy must find a lost princess whose role in the story is crucial, before her own role in the book comes to a horrible end.

With the haughty Prince Kyran as a reluctant companion, Posy ventures past the Borders of the Plot, into the depths of the treacherous Wild Land forest that lies beyond. Secrets are buried there, dangerous and deadly.

Yet the darkest secret of all is the one Posy carries within herself.

Soon it's clear that finding the lost princess is the least of Posy's concerns. The Author of the book must be found. His Plot must be put to rights again, his characters reminded of who they were first created to be. Only then will the True Story be written, both for Posy, and for the tale she has now become a part of.

 
  I really enjoyed this book. It was reminiscent of stories like Narnia with a journey into another world. I loved that the journey was through a book. The plot was great. I wasn't sure what to expect from it since I believe it is the author's debut novel, but I was pleasantly surprised. Miss Willis succeeded in drawing me into a world full of beauty, mystery, and the magic of a story. I love the idea of a person being drawn into a literary work and think it would be an interesting thing if it were to happen to myself. The plot had a good timeline, and everything was written in a way that made sense, though some romance stuff between characters I shall not name might have been a tiny bit quick for my taste, but it all worked out well in the end. There were some slight allegorical references like the Author. 

 As for the characters, well, I liked them very much! Posy was not your average heroine, and Kyran, well, there was more to Kyran than one might think, more that I liked. These two were basically the leads who pushed the story forward. Every other character from evil *shiver* to good had their place. The main villain was really creepy, and shows that you cannot trust things no matter how they might seem. 

 Overall this book was great for readers who like stories with tones like Narnia or something similar with a classic approach to fantasy many no longer attempt to write. I smiled, thinking of C.S. Lewis as I read. 

 You can buy the book here. Or almost every place books are sold online. Enjoy! :)

~ a rambling author





 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

And Another Audition

  Hi there. Long time no see, huh? My life is CRAZY right now. I basically have something happening every day of the week. Tomorrow I'm going to try to get a book review up. No promises though. I have a boatload of homework. UGH! :P So let's talk about the day that was my audition a couple weeks ago. It was bad people. Well, sort of.

 I auditioned for Shrek the musical. I had my song picked out. I was nervous about that because I was singing in a way I had never sung before. Instead of belting, I'd be using a lot of head voice. I'd been working with my music teacher on it and I hoped I was ready.

 No matter how many times I audition, the audition process is the worst for me. I get incredibly nervous and my gut clenches and my voice wavers. I usually do fine in other areas, but the audition often gets me, which is awful. But I hoped I was ready. (See a pattern here?)

 I was wearing a dress my parents had given me along with a couple others as a joint Birthday/graduation gift. It was pink and orange and white, very bright and very much my personality. I paired it with my favorite pair of heels: pinkish orange wedges.

 When it was my groups turn to come and sit down, my heart fluttered, but I tried to walk confidently. As I reached my seat I felt more than heard the rip. Glancing down at my foot I wanted to scream. The side of my heel had ripped out. There was no way I'd be able to walk in them. Feeling stupid, I dug around in my purse and pulled on my jazz shoes. They didn't match my outfit and I had brought them for the dance portion of the audition. Now I probably looked stupid in jazz shoes and a fancy dress.

 When it was my turn I thought I would die. I climbed the stage along with my pianist, a special girl who was kind enough to play for me. And I sang. And it so wasn't as good as when I practiced. My voice wavered but it sounded like vibrato I suppose. I belted a few notes I was supposed to sing in head voice, and I said the same line twice, but I had a pretty strong finish, so that made me feel a little less lame. Without God there to help me I would have flubbed it big time.

 After that it was time for the dance audition. It is no secret that I can't dance worth a lick. I had actually spent that morning practicing a few steps, some of which were used in the dance audition and I still totally failed. But I tried to smile and do what I could and I felt okay about it. I usually do better with individual instruction, so learning with a group takes me a bit longer, but I've always managed to accomplish it in other shows, thankfully.

 So then I went home, wondering if I'd get a callback and not being surprised if I didn't get one. I did get one. I went to callbacks, did a bit there, and they posted the cast list the next day. To my excitement, I will be playing Mama Bear, the maternal member of The Three Bears famous family. It's a good part, and I can't wait to get started.

 I guess the lesson on this is do your best, don't be too hard on yourself, everything will turn out best in the end. Thank the Lord He is in control of such things.

~ a rambling author

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Busy busy college life

 Hey everyone! I'm so sorry for not posting for the last couple of weeks. I've been incredibly busy with starting college and other things. Tomorrow I audition for a musical. College so far has been an interesting experience. I'm used to indenting paragraphs because you do that in novel writing, but in essay writing you are not supposed to indent, so I've had to get over that habit. I'm still working on a studying schedule to fit everything in, but I'm doing okay. It's Thursday, and would normally be a book day, but I'm not going to post a review today. However, next week, or sometime this week, I'll be posting a review to The Word Changers a really impressive fantasy that reminds me of Narnia. So we'll talk about that then. Hopefully I can figure out a way to schedule my blog posts into my new schedule!

~ a rambling author

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

You Ask Rathelm: The Answers

 Hey everyone! I'm late again... but I shall try to post Friday instead of yesterday. Of course... tomorrow I'm starting college, so hoping I'll get my blog post up. Here's hoping!

 Anyway, I think we have waited long enough for Rathelm's answers to the questions we asked a while back. I guess there is a reason he didn't get as many as Elric. (I see that glare, Mr.) But here they are. May he have mercy on your heads.

Your majesty is too kind to answer the questions of us mere peasants. I would ask if you two things: the first, how many people have you executed in your illustrious career, and what is your preferred method? (William Cloud)

 I see you have a smooth tongue. Many with smooth tongues have had a sharp blade beneath it. In my time of king, the execution rate could be varied. There are certain crimes which are punishable by death that could be done without my knowledge, and taken care of. For personal execution... perhaps less than fifty... perhaps more.

 For my preferred method, the method with a message is the most suitable to get the word across to others in the kingdom. Therefore, often the most violent way is the most practical. For example, leaving traitorous generals high on towers in the sky to be dehydrated, and eaten by our lovely death birds.

 How long has he reigned as king and did he ever want to do anything else besides be king? (Victoria Grace Howell)

 I have been king for almost twenty-five years. Why do you wish to know this information? I never wanted anything else. It was what I was groomed for. It was what I always wanted to be, whether it was my choice or not.  Me: That totally makes sense...

What is his highness' favorite color, meal, and, if he were to have free time, what would he do? (Anna Three)

Purple for royalty. Roast duck stuffed with green peppers and cheeses. I used to hunt, but no more. The hobby has lost its appeal. A game of fencing gets the blood flowing. But if you think I'll tell you my schedule so that you can attack, you are gravely mistaken.

Is there a particular reason his highness is such a grouch? (Anna Three)

Insolence! If we were in Linaeus you would be executed at once. A maid should not speak to her king in such a familiar and disrespectful manner!

Me: Eesh. Moving on...

What was your childhood like? (Athelas Hale)

 Like any other who is destined to be king. Tutors in all practical things such as swordplay and strategy and some less needed areas. I played alone, but that was how things had to be. When you are special, you are apart. You must stay special.

When you became King, what did you feel? (Athelas Hale)

 Like a king! The moment I had trained for twenty years for had arrived. I was excited, ready to make my kingdom the best.

 What do you consider an offense worth death? (Athelas Hale)

 Betrayal above all other things. This encompasses all things like speaking about the king in a derogatory manner, talking to the king in a disrespectful manner, etc.

What did you feel like when you first killed someone? (Athelas Hale)

I have never killed a person myself, but on my first ordered execution I felt in control. No one could undermine me.

What do you think of your son, Elric? (Athelas Hale)

 My weakling son? He wastes time. If he is to be king he must show more interest in the position. He must be more serious. Dreams are for the lower royalty to attain. Everyone wants to be king so I don't know why he resists it so. He needs a backbone.

Why does his highness not value book learning? (Imogen Elvis)

 There are a certain few books that can be advantageous, but there is only a degree of book learning that can help you rule. The rest must be learned with iron fist and attentive ears.

What does his highness value instead? (Imogen Elvis)

 I value decisiveness. Knowing your own mind. That is the thing about my son. He never shows he has strength of will. I value strength. My son Aren. He is a sight to behold. A talented, likely young lad. Unfortunately he was born last.

In his highness's opinion, are kings are allowed to have friends, and if so, does he have any? (Imogen Elvis)

 Friendship was a commodity I never was allowed. I have never needed it. 

 Who does his highness care about the most? (Imogen Elvis)

 Can I say myself? In this world you have to look out for yourself. But if not, my son Aren. He is no failure.

And finally, cats or dogs? (Imogen Elvis)

Cats. They are brooding and unpredictable. A somewhat intriguing match up.

 Me: Yes... I can see that... I wonder who that reminds me of...

 Well, I guess that wasn't actually a bad amount of questions. Thanks guys! I hope you enjoyed this interview! See ya later!

 ~ a rambling author


  











Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Novel Idea: Past Influences

 So I'm terrible. I haven't posted in over a week, and that's bad. But this is the life of a soon-to-be college freshman. GULP. Thankfully, my college is a car ride away from home so for at least the first two years I'll be here, but still, so much stuff is happening! Crazy crazy. So, I'm going to participate in the Novel Idea thing I did last time.


A Novel Idea 


 Today it is on past influences of a character. Once again I'm going to use Elric. 

 1. What do they consider the most important thing they’ve done so far in their life? That's the problem. He feels he hasn't done anything truly important. The most important would be spying for his father.

 2. What is their greatest regret? Spying for his father and betraying some people he cares about.

 3. When was the last time they were really, really frightened? When he was attacked by bearwolves and then bandits.

 4. What was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to them? Being ridiculed for who he is is a constant embarrassment. One thing would be difficult to pin point.

 5. If they could change one thing about their past – and only one thing – what would that be and why? That his brother hadn't died, and he hadn't become the heir to the throne. He would have more freedom and not be more scrutinized. And he would have his brother back. 

 ~ a rambling author

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Novel Idea Linkup: Character Background

 I didn't post yesterday because I was gone for most of the day, so I'm posting today. And since I don't have a book I want to talk about specifically today, I'm going to try this fun little linkup that Ashley set up. It was supposed to be done Saturday last week, but... So you may get another one tomorrow. :P


A Novel Idea 


 So the questions she posted this week have to do with character backgrounds. Because he's often my go-to, and his story is still in the works, I'm going to pick Elric Kingson from The Prince's Quest.

 
1. Where were they born? In a hospital, in their home, what city?
   
 Elric was born in his family's palace home in the city of Lorelin. 
 
2. Where do they live now? 
 
 He still lives in the palace at Lorelin. 
 
3. Who are the people they are closest to? Family, friends?
 
 He is closest to his mother, Queen Eloine, and his manservant, Winston. 
 
4. Where do they go when they’re angry and need to get away?
 
 He prefers the gardens and the safety of a good book. 
Okay, that was fun! I love these little linkups. :)


~ a rambling author

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Few Ways to Beat Writer's Block

 Writer's block is an interesting thing. A friend of mine insists it does not actually exist, and sometimes I agree. But I think there is such a thing as writer's fatigue. It's when you feel like you can't come up with what's going to happen next, or you are just tired of writing. Everyone has probably experienced writer's fatigue/block at least once in their lifetime. So here are a few ways you can combat this so that you can start writing fresh.

Take a break. This is a pretty simple solution. I don't mean don't look at your writing for three months, I mean separate yourself from the computer. Stop staring at the screen, and relax a little bit. Watch a movie, read a book. Come back and you might have a fresh view.

Do something active. Taking a walk, or riding your bike can clear your head up. You may even find yourself inspired in the fresh air.

 Remember. Think back to when the idea sprung, or when you were so excited to get started. What was it? Did a character jump out at you in vibrant life? Did a plot come from nowhere? Think about why you are writing the story, and find that again.

Talk it out. It is extremely helpful to talk to another writer about your frustrations. Or to work out a plot point that is stumping you. This method has been helpful to me many times. If you're a teen, check Go Teen Writers for other writers your age. I've found many friends through the Facebook group, who are great to rant at... or rather talk out the plot with.

Work on another story. Having more than one project can be a good thing. If you need a break from a story, working on another project can help get you motivated again.

Read other people's work. I'm not talking about published authors. I'm talking writers who aren't there yet. Read your friend's book you were supposed to critique three weeks ago, or look up some stories you might like on a fanfiction website. Whenever I read someone else's work, it makes me want to write.

Push through. Sometimes you're in the dry spot between the two rivers of words. If you can just climb past the dry land, you'll find yourself in the words again. If that makes sense. If you push through the tough parts, you'll probably find yourself in a part of the story you enjoy writing more. And you can always go fix those dry areas later during revision. Things that help with writing through the dry spots are Word Wars/sprints. You can find them on Twitter sometimes, on the GTW group on Facebook, on a Word Wars group on Facebook, or you can just get with someone else, choose a certain amount of time to write, and see who writes the most words. Incredibly helpful. There is also a website called Write or Die where you have to keep writing, or there are consequences. That will sure make the brain work!

Keep writing. Whatever you do, don't stop. If you're taking a break, fine. But remember to come back. Your story calls. It needs to be written. Because no one can write this story like you can. You are a unique individual with a unique take. And your story needs to be told.

10 Authors I Own the Most Of.

 I saw one of my fellow bloggers do this, and thought it was really neat. It originates here. The idea is to list the top ten authors who you own the most books of. So I'm going to try it. Be aware that I constantly seem to have a string of books out on loan to close friends and family, but I will try to make this as accurate as possible. Many of these are tied, so if they are tied, they aren't listed in particular order.

 1. Wayne Thomas Batson. I own ten of his novels... the first ten. (Door Within Trilogy, The Pirates books, The Berinfell Prophecies, first two Dark Sea Annals.) I also have lots of short stories he wrote on my Kindle app, and plan to buy his newer books as well. He was probably the first current fantasy author I liked.

2. Jill Williamson. I own ten of her books. (Blood of Kings, Replication, first two Mission League, First two Safe Lands trilogy.) And the numbers are rising. Or will be. Technically, I also own an ebook that I haven't gotten the hardback copy for, but I also have two copies of two of her books, so...

3. Laura Ingalls Wilder. Besides owning most of the Little House books, I have a diary and letters she wrote, coming up with a total of ten.

4. Martha Finley. I own eight. One Elsie book, and the entire Millie series. Though these are the A Life of Faith versions that I read at a young age.

5. Shannon Hale. I own seven of her lovely books. (Princess Academy/Palace of stone, the Books of Bayern, Book of a Thousand Days.)

6. Coleen Coble. I think I own the same amount--seven--but some are on loan.

7. C.S. Lewis. I own the seven Narnia books.

8. Wendy Lawton. I own seven of her Daughters of the Faith series. Great books! I'm trying to collect them all, though they are aimed at younger readers. (I started reading them young.)

9. Dave and Neta Jackson. I own six of their trail blazer books.

10. Lois Walfried Johnson. I own several sets of American Girl books that have six books each, but I'm just going to list this author of five books because... I own the her five Viking Quest books which are great.


 So there's my top ten, even if it is a little edited. :P What about you?

 ~ a rambling author
 





Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Reading List

 I have a bunch of books I want to read over the Summer... and though it's halfway through now, I still want to read these, even if I can't finish all of them. I just did not anticipate my Summer being this busy! So here are some of my "Summer Reading List" that will transition into the Fall.

 I wanted to read some classics, as well as some books I have on my shelf yet to be read.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is one. A friend was sweet enough to give me this and I've been wanting to read it.

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery I kind of want to re-read this if I have a chance.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott I need to actually read this.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Same with this one.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgston Burnett Need to read this.

The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers I want to re-read this. One of my favorite books.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis I want to re-read the entire series.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien I've already started 'Fellowship' but it somehow got sent back to the library so I shall be purchasing it.

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart A prequel to one of my favorite series.

Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury Another gift that I need to (and have been wanting to) read.

Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot A review book

The Merchant's Apprentice by C.F. Barrows Written by one of my friends, it needs reading.

Cascade by Lisa Tawn Bergren What I'm reading right now. 

And there are several others I may fill you in on later. But these are plenty I think to focus on right now.

 What are you reading? Any classics you recommend?

~ a rambling author

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Word War Challenge.

 So I've been writing a lot this week. I've been taking part in this...

I got this from Go Teen Writers.
  Come join us!!!

~ a rambling author

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Camp

 So I was at camp last week. It's our church camp. It's wonderful. Kids come from all over the state (and sometimes other states) to worship the Lord and fellowship. I arrived Thursday, got checked in, went to my cabin (I was Assistant Cabin Leader for the youngest age group of girls), and then went to the staff meeting after getting my bed made.

 After that, I went back to the cabin to meet up with the leader, Chelsey, and meet the girls. We quickly got acquainted and it was time for dinner. We had a delicious dinner, went to church that night, and while Chelsey went to bed with the girls, I spent a bit of time with some of the staff.

 Here is a basic understanding of how the next three days went. We got up early in the morning, went to devotions, then breakfast, then class, then crafts, then music, then lunch, then organized recreation, then swimming, then free time until dinner, and then we had cabin devotions and service, and after service we had fun time and more free time until bed. And there were breaks in there somewhere. And yeah. That was a long (possibly run on) sentence.

 But I just wanted to let you guys know a little bit about camp. It was great. I had fun. I remembered to wear sunscreen, so didn't get turned into a tomato like previous years. The air conditioner stole my voice on like the first night. I fell off a swing and got covered in reddish dirt. I also got smeared with peanut butter and had fish crackers thrown at me. Also, apparently my frog died. (I was in a skit.) I was also a little girl. (In another skit.) I convinced several boys to pick pink yard for a craft by telling them about the historical origin of the color pink. I FAILED at kickball. I mean, for real. I tripped while KICKING the ball. So I was basically caught before I even started running. This is why I do not like playing sports. Except volleyball and softball. Which reminds me, I played volleyball, but didn't do so well thanks to it being dark out. Yay. I also got bit by sweat bees. I had the sweetest little girl who seemed to really like me. I got to pray for all of my girls. I even shared a devotional with them. I ate so much good food. And dessert. Oh. My.Word. I also fell after hanging up something on the clothesline, which was witnessed by some little girls and a teenaged boy. IT was a mini landslide. The ground slipped out from under me, okay? I got attacked in the pool by many people. I got asked to the bonfire by an old friend, I ate too much, tried to stay hydrated, and had a pretty awesome time in general. I even got to have a couple of "girl talks." Mwahaha.

 So yeah. I'm probably forgetting something. Camp was pretty great.

 ~ a rambling author

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Grammy: Let's Learn some Grammar!

I've been writing a long time. Well... technically. I've been trying to write little stories for years. But I really got serious about it in the last five years or so, and even more serious within the last three. Even though I did language arts in school, I've learned that there are still some grammar things I need to learn. I think everyone does. So I'm learning. And with that thought, I've decided to introduce a new thing to the blog. Every so often, I'll share a bit of grammar I've learned, but I can't do it alone! You can suggest ideas for me to cover next time, and also, I'd like to introduce someone to you...


This is Grammy Grammar. She's wise and knowledgeable about grammar facts, and I think she'll keep me straight. (Also, I'm not much of an artist, but such is life.)

So Grammy is going to introduce our lesson today.

Grammy: We'll start with something simple for you youngins. Homophones. And before you ask, no I didn't say telephones. Homophones are words that sound the same but mean different things... and sometimes are spelled differently! If you want your grammar to be classic and stylish, you've got to use those homophones right!

Here are examples of some homophones:

 One of the most popular, as in often used wrong is... They're/their/there. They're meaning 'they are,' (They're pretty cool!) their meaning it belongs to someone (that's their notebook,) and there meaning a location (she sat there.)

 Some others are:

 Right/Write/Rite/Wright - The first meaning either the direction, or something is right, the second meaning to write something, the third meaning a ceremony or something of the sort, and the third meaning a certain kind of occupation.

Real/Reel - Something is the opposite of fake or a fishing instrument.

Sea/See - The big blue ocean or to use your eyes.

Pray/Prey - To talk to the Father or something that is hunted.

Waist/Waste - Between the stomach and the hips or to not use something for no reason. (Basically.)

 And there are lots more.

 Air/Heir
 Pair/Pear
 Deer/Dear
 Flee/Flea
 Heel/Heal
 Die/Dye 
 Morning/Mourning
 Principal/Principle 
 Prophet/Profit
 Sun/Son
 Toe/Tow
 Tail/Tale
 Sew/So

The list could continue. Homophones abound. Which I suppose is why the English language is so hard!   But I'm confident with some good ol' fashioned practice, you'll be using those homophones proper in no time!

 Thanks Granny! I hope you guys liked today's post. Did we miss a homophone you like? Share yours in the comments.

~ a rambling author



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Visible Threat: A Book Review

I took a break yesterday because I was, and still am exhausted from camp! I'll try to make it up to you and post Friday as well as tomorrow. Also, I'm mixing up today and tomorrow's days again because I realized I have a book that I haven't reviewed yet! So... that's what I'm doing today. So I am reviewing Visible Threat by Janice Cantore. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Back cover: Officer Brinna Caruso wants perfection—perfect justice and a perfect world. She wants to save and protect all the innocents in the world, no matter the cost.

Orphaned and struggling to get by, Ivana and her sister left Bulgaria for America with dreams of a better life. But since they arrived in Long Beach, everything they were promised has turned out to be a lie.

After a dead girl is found in the river with a mysterious tattoo on her hip, homicide detective Jack O’Reilly asks for Brinna’s help. Unaware of the depths of evil that will be uncovered, Brinna finds herself flung into a dangerous frontier—an organized human trafficking ring.




I liked the characters in this book. Brinna was a compelling protagonist who kept the pages turning with her crusade to protect children and the innocent... something that seemed to get her in trouble throughout the book. Jack was also a good character, sort of the moral compass of the story, and also the detective investigating a mysterious murder. My heart hurt for Ivana as I read about her struggles, and I even liked paramedic Dave. Hero the dog was also pretty great. Because, who doesn't like a good dog?

 The plot was really good. I enjoy suspense/thrillers every now and again, and this one was no disappointment. I read it pretty quick once I started it, constantly turning pages to see how the story would unravel, and how our characters would fare against the evils they faced.

 If you are looking for a tight suspense book with believable characters and action (It's written by a former member of law enforcement) that will keep you reading to find out what happens next, this book is for you. It deals a lot with one something that I want to help stop--human trafficking--and makes you think about what happens in that house with a lot of traffic. This one was really good.

Buy it here.

 ~ a rambling author


  


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Week break

Just a heads up. I probably won't be posting this week. I'm busy preparing to be staff at my church's youth camp, and preparing for my sister and niece and nephew to visit. See you guys next week!

 Love, Bethany.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Just Write

 When I'm not writing I wish I was. Which is what I'm doing a lot right now. Wishing I was. I guess that's what happens when you do a bunch of other stuff, and "run out of time to write." But I guess I haven't really run out, I just don't take the time. I should though. I may have excuses like "I need to finish this book I have to review!" or "I have to finish cleaning my room." But the fact is, I have to write. Because if I don't then I'll feel like something very important is missing. So when I get a random idea, I write it down. Because you never know when you might want to expand it. And when I get a scene in my head, I write it down. Because it might be the perfect thing later. So, all this is to say, even if you're writing something that is completely random and has nothing to do with your current WIP, write it if you get the inspiration. I mean... don't start another novel, but if you have a sentence, a quote, or a scene, write it down and store it to use later. You won't regret it in the future when you need a funny line and realize that quirky comment you wrote down six months ago fits perfectly. Because, who knows? It could happen.

 Recently, while cleaning my room I had an idea. Well, in actuality, I found an old notebook with old ideas in it. I read an old idea and BANG! I got a scene in my head. So I sat down and wrote most of that scene down right there. And I'm glad that I did. It may not be perfect, and it may not be a project I'm going to take up for a while, but it is something, and I feel like it has potential. Here is is.


Cassie gulped back the tears trying to escape her eyes. There wasn’t time for crying. She held her oldest and youngest brother hands. They, along with their other brother, created a link that was not meant to be broken.
 “This way,” Tom said, his sixteen-year-old voice full of authority. He led his younger siblings to what looked to be an abandoned barn at the edge of the trees. Once they reached it, they nodded and released each other’s hands.
 Tom looked at all of them. “You guys know the drill. Cassie, you and Terrence scout the building. Samuel, you scout the East perimeter, and I’ll take West. All of you remember: if you hear voices don’t let yourself be discovered. If you can, regroup, if not, stay hidden. Understand?”
 They all nodded, and twelve-year-old Samuel gave his older brother a mock salute. Tom pushed his curly head in one direction, and took off in the other.
 Cassie grasped her eight-year-old brother’s hand. “Come on Terrence. Inside.”
 She placed a finger over her lips, just in case there was someone inside the dilapidated building. They reached the doors. A broken chain hung to the ground. Maybe they weren’t the first to use this place. She pushed on the decaying wood, and the half door swung open easily.
 “I don’t hear anything,” Terrence whispered. She shushed him, and pulled him inside. It was dark, but darkness was good. If there were light she would be afraid.
 They waited, shadowed in the dark for several minutes. But they were used to waiting. When Cassie was satisfied that the silence was evidence of no one being there, she flicked on her flashlight.
 As expected, wooden beams, a ladder to the upper story, and dust met her eyes. There were a couple of draped lumps in the back corner, but she decided the only signs of life were the giant spider webs spanning the ceiling.
 Deciding it was safe enough, she smiled at Terrence. “Shall we take the loft?” He grinned, and turned on his own flashlight. As he scrambled away she shouted after him, “Make sure the ladder is safe!”
 She watched until he had made it to the top of the ladder, and then turned to the lumps in the back. She pulled the coverings off, realizing they were tarps. Beneath was an old tractor, and some other farming equipment, but she was more interested in the tarps. She folded them into two smaller squared, and secured them under her arm. She ascended the ladder in search of her younger brother.
 “Ter?”
 “Over here!” The boy waved his hand in excitement, and she found him sitting on a small stool. “I have my own chair!” He rocked back and forth, showing that one leg was shorter than the others.
 Cassie raised an eyebrow, setting the tarps down. “Well, be careful.” 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Place in His Heart: A Review

 Today I'm reviewing A Place in His Heart by Rebecca DeMarino. I received this book in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

Description: Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Puritan Barnabas Horton is still in love with his deceased wife and needs only a mother for his two young sons. And yet these two very different people with very different expectations will take a leap of faith, wed, and then embark on a life-changing journey across the ocean to the Colonies. Along the way, each must learn to live in harmony, to wait on God, and to recognize true love where they least expect to find it.

This heartfelt tale of love and devotion is based on debut author Rebecca DeMarino's own ancestors, who came to Long Island in the mid-1600s to establish a life--and a legacy--in the New World.


~



 I have mixed feelings about the review today. And you'll soon see why, I suppose.

 As far as characters go... I loved Mary. She was wonderful. She tried so hard to be a good wife and mother, and worked without complaint even as she was dragged around everywhere. I really cared about this character who loved deeply. Barnabas... was a different story. I mean, he lost his wife, and went through some pretty sad stuff, but I just didn't... care for him. And some of his behavior made me think he was a bit detestable. You'd have to read the book, but Barnabas did not leave a good impression on me, and some of his changes in character sometimes felt a bit too quick. I liked the character of Winnie, and Indian woman. She was a bit of a standout, and I liked Barnabas' sons, Ben and Jay.

 The plot and story were pretty good. I picked this book to review because the story intrigued me. I probably enjoyed the earlier chapters better than later chapters, but that was just me. It was interesting to read about old practices, like the village baker baking everyone's bread, and different things such as that. The story did tend to drag in several places. I intended to read this book in a week, but it took me three. There was a piece missing from the story for me. I can't quite say what it was. Some of my favorite parts were Mary interacting with the boys is various ways, and some of my least favorite were when Barnabas was being a meanie.

 All in all, this was a pretty good book. I'd probably rate it 3 to 3 1/2 stars. The author did an excellent job with looking up historical facts, but the love story that was advertized wasn't really there for me. One thing of interest is the fact that this is based on a true story, something I didn't realize until I completed the book. That added an extra ounce of interest, to be sure. If you would like to read the book (because you should judge it for yourself, you might like it a lot!) you can buy it from Amazon, or wherever books are sold.

UPDATESSSSSSSSSSSS

 Hey everyone! My days are going to be a bit mixed up this week. Here's a quick update on what's been happening in my life. Sunday I graduated from High School! What a weird feeling... I suppose I should do a more in depth post on it later, but for now... My parents and pastor's wife put together a wonderful party/graduation. The program went well, and the food was delicious. I even got to sing a little bit. I'll upload some pics later on. Today, we pulled up the carpet in our living room. It's been there for years... 18 years to be exact, just like me! That's weird too. There's wood flooring underneath, but I think we're going to put something over it since it isn't super nice. But it's much better than an old carpet! Tomorrow I'm going to be reviewing A Place in His Heart because the review is due, so expect my writing post on Thursday. Though... since Rathelm doesn't have enough questions asked of him yet, it may be a different type of writing. Remember to ask him here! I hope you enjoyed this quick post. I'm not reading Lord of the Rings and thinking about a devotion for youth camp. See you soon! (Like, tomorrow.) Bye!

~ a rambling author

Friday, June 27, 2014

You Ask: Rathelm

 It's been a while since I've done a "You Ask." So today, I'm going to introduce you to King Rathelm.

I don't own this image.
King Rathelm is the father of Elric, who you've already met. He is the King of Linaeus, and a bit of a grouch. And when I say he's a grouch, I mean he's sentenced a lot of people to death. Some think that his mind is going. But no one dares to speak their suspicions. He shows obvious favor to his youngest son, Aren, who is much like his oldest son who died. He thinks of Elric's book learning as rubbish, and doesn't have a very good opinion of his oldest surviving son. But it's your turn to ask the questions, because I don't want to spoil anything. Enjoy!

~ a rambling author

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lord of the Rings

 Since I missed yesterdays post again... ERGH... I'm going to post Friday as well. Today I'm just going to do a book showcase. Lord of the Rings! Which is one of the books I'm about to read for the summer. Whoot whoot.

Through the urgings of the enigmatic wizard Gandalf, young hobbit Frodo Baggins embarks on an urgent, incredibly treacherous journey to destroy the One Ring. This ring -- created and then lost by the Dark Lord, Sauron, centuries earlier -- is a weapon of evil, one that Sauron desperately wants returned to him. With the power of the ring once again his own, the Dark Lord will unleash his wrath upon all of Middle-earth. The only way to prevent this horrible fate from becoming reality is to return the Ring to Mordor, the only place it can be destroyed. Unfortunately for our heroes, Mordor is also Sauron's lair. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is essential reading not only for fans of fantasy but for lovers of classic literature as well...






~ a rambling author

Friday, June 20, 2014

Echoes of Mercy: A Book Review

 So, I have gotten a lot of review books lately, and in my rush to review them all, I just realized there are a couple I've read that I haven't reviewed yet. Wow! So tonight I'm going to review Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer.

Back cover: Sometimes a secret must be kept for the truth to be revealed.

When a suspicious accident occurs at the famous Dinsmore Chocolate Factory in Sinclair, Kansas, Caroline Lang goes undercover as a factory worker to investigate the circumstances surrounding the event and how the factory treats its youngest employees—the child workers. Caroline’s fervent faith, her difficult childhood, and compassionate heart drove her to her job as an investigator for the Labor Commission and she is compelled to see children freed from such heavy adult responsibilities, to allow them to pursue an education.  

Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore candy dynasty, has his own investigation to conduct. Posing as a common worker known as “Ollie Moore,” he aims to find out all he can about the family business before he takes over for his father. Caroline and Oliver become fast friends, but tension mounts when the two find themselves at odds about the roles of child workers. Hiding their identities becomes even more difficult when fate brings them together over three children in desperate need. When all is revealed, will the truth destroy the love starting to grow between them?
 
 
 
  First of all, I love the title. Second of all... I love chocolate. Third... I really like Kim Vogel Sawyer.

 I volunteered to read this book because of all of these reasons. I've been in two different shows of Willy Wonka the musical, so chocolate kind of has a special place in my heart. Also, mysteries, and children in trouble made me intrigued.

 The characters were awesome! I found something to love about all of them. Spunky Carrie was so cool, and Ollie so sweet, even if they disagreed. Then there were slightly smaller characters like Kesia that really livened up the cast. I loved each character, and the book would lack something without each of them.

 I enjoyed the plot. A possible murder always shakes things up and makes you wonder if the same is going to happen again. I enjoyed reading about the hiring methods, and how a factory works, and the subplot about the three children Carrie is trying to help out.

 This book is a fine excursion into pre child labor law history. Sawyer did not disappoint, and I really enjoyed reading this, and look forward to more books by this author.

~ a rambling author

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Five Enchanted Roses Sneak Peek

 I've decided to participate in the Five Enchanted Roses contest. I love Beauty and the Beast, so... Anyway, I've been working on a plot for my story. I have no name yet, but here is a little bit of what is to come...



Grace shoved her way through the briars scratching at her arms. The sounds of the forest surrounded her, making her push faster. How foolish. She shouldn’t have thought she could go into the forest alone after dark no matter the circumstances. She wished one of her sisters had come with her, or that she hadn’t shattered her lantern at the sound of a wolf’s howl.
 “Father!” she called, breaking through the briars. She looked around, paling. He was nowhere in sight. She gathered her cloak close around her and went over her options. She could push on, or head back home, and hope her father was home in the morning.
 With dread coiling in her stomach, she continued walking. “Father!”
 What would Dreslot do without its most prestigious citizen?
 As she passed a stand of oaks, a most peculiar feeling washed over her. She yawned. Perhaps she should rest. The trees looked safe enough. She could climb one and nap in a branch. Nobody would see the unladylike act.
 Feeling heavier by the second she found a toehold in the first oak, and began to climb, her tunic rubbing against her leggings. At last she reached a high enough branch, eyes drooping, and settled herself against the trunk.
 *****
 Swaying like the rocking of a baby’s cradle.  Grace cracked her eyelids. Was the tree… moving?
 “Is it dead?” The gruff voice came from below her.
 “Naw. Just sleeping.”
 “Well, wake it up!” Came the impatient command.
 Grace closed her eyes tighter. She didn’t know the intentions of these men, and it was always best to pretend unconsciousness in strange situations.
 Her body lurched in protest when icy liquid assaulted her. She screeched, sitting up and banging her head against a higher limb.
 “Don’t move!”

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Graduation Parties and Whatnot

Wow! God is good, and some exciting stuff has been happening lately. I'm in that exciting (and scary) time of change. I guess I won't really understand it completely till I'm standing on the steps of my college... or ever. The fact that I'm graduating... class of 2014... is surreal. I feel the same as I always did. People keep asking me, "How does it feel to be an adult, how does it feel to be graduated?" Etc. And really... I don't know. Things feel the same. And I'm dreading the entrance exam of my college even if it is only to see where I place on the learning scale.

A fraction of my graduation party attendees.




 And I even wonder about college. There are so many different voices trying to tell me what I need to do for me and for my future. Some encourage me to go to college, to have a career path ready... others say I should follow my dreams, or learn other valuable skills you won't learn in a college. But I don't know. I feel so uncertain. But I know God holds the answer, and I'm praying for His insight in this matter and all matters.

 I had a graduation party in May for my theater friends. We had such a fantastic time eating, singing karaoke (because we're theater kids. Duh.) and playing mafia. It was just a lot of fun to spend time with some of my favorite people on my special day. I'm so grateful for the friends God has placed in my life.

 I've been able to attend a couple of other graduation parties which were a blast. Like I said, I have the best friends.


Argh. I'm a pirate.


 I've also been in Tarzan, as you know. We opened last weekend to a smashing success, and have one weekend left. It is such a bittersweet feeling because this is my brother's last show probably. He's been with me since Joseph back in 2011, and it feels so weird to think we won't be in another show together. Well, with this particular theater program at least. I'll probably talk more about it next week, but I'm probably going to cry buckets. Ugh. Emotions.

Anyway... yes. My life is crazy. But it's good. God is so wonderful to me, and has blessed me so much. Without Him I would be nothing. Thank the Lord for His grace and mercy.

~ a rambling author




Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Heart's Pursuit: A Book Review (And Tarzan.)


  Hey ya’ll! I guess it’s obvious that I haven’t been posting this week. Know why? It’s tech week for Tarzan! In this show I get to walk around on my knuckles and make ape noises. It’s very physically challenging but super fun and I’m having a fantastic time. We open tomorrow night! WHOO! 
 So I’m going to review The Heart’s Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher. I received this book through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.
 
A jilted bride desperate to save her family from ruin.
A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past.
An arduous trek toward justice--or redemption.

Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea. Bad for Silver's already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town. Bad for bounty hunter Jared's secret, single-minded mission for revenge. But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father's fortune. And Jared's in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family--even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort.

The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn't theirs to take. Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicion leave Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most. To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the question they haven't dared voice: What happens next?
I liked this book. It was a Western, which I’ve only read a few of, and it was pretty good. The characters were cool. I love the name Silver. Silver herself was an opinionated woman with a strong desire to help her family not go into poverty. She had some admirable qualities even if she could be stubborn at times. Jared was also interesting. Imagine hunting for someone for years, and only having that on your mind… With a mission for revenge he soon finds that some other things might be more important. There was a good supporting cast as well, some appearing for a chapter, others many more.They all played their part well, and some I may have liked to see more of. 
 The plot was pretty good. There were times I wish more would have happened concerning certain situations, but over all it turned out pretty good. There were some things involving saloons I wasn't a big fan of, but such is a novel. Overall it was pretty good. I wish there were a little more to the plot and characters, but it was satisfactory. 
Mrs. Hatcher managed to write an intriguing Western that caused me to stay up a bit too late a couple of times. You can purchase the book on Amazon or many other places.
~ a rambling author

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Five Enchanted Roses

 Guys, I feel like such a failure. I just can't get it into my head to remember that I write blog posts on Tuesdays! Hello! Yikes. I suppose in my defense, yesterday was a crazy day and I didn't get home to near nine in the evening. But still. I shouldn't have an excuse. I'm going to have to post reminders for myself. Who knew it would be this hard to get back into the swing of things after not being able to post? Oh well. Today is for writing.

 And I'm going to announce something! Remember the "Five Glass Slippers" contest I entered earlier this year/late last year? Well, over on Anne Elisabeth Stengl's blog, she just announced a new contest! Five Enchanted Roses. It is a Beauty and the Beast retelling contest, and I love that story, so of course I must enter! The problem? I'm still working on figuring out a suitable plot. But hopefully it will come, and I will have a new story. It's pretty exciting!

 Are you entering?

~ a rambling author