Monday, February 24, 2020

Coming Soon . . . Freedom's Captive

The official release date for my first historical fiction book, Freedom's Captive, is March 1st!!! It will be available as a print book, or kindle book on Amazon, as well as available at the ND homeschool convention March 5-7 for $12. For all you locals, I'm still working on getting a book signing lined up for April where I'll have it available for sale! 



A father’s debt . . .
    A brother’s failure . . .
        And the wrong sister . . .

     Lord DeWilt already had everything. Everything but his name. And he’s back for that. On the run, and fighting painful memories, James Wakefield doesn’t know where to turn. Is it possible that freedom can offer peace?
     George Wakefield knows the life of cultured England, but in the wilderness of the Americas, finding answers to DeWilt’s pursuit seems impossible.
       Can years of deceit and pain bring the Wakefield brothers together? Or will it just distance them more? Can they find freedom in Christ while captives? Can God’s freedom shine in even the darkest of nights?
Can two brothers be united after years of betrayal?

Monday, February 17, 2020

No Chance Meeting - Author Interview

I had the opportunity to read Jaye Elliot's new release, No Chance Meeting, as well as the opportunity to interview her, in exchange for being a part of her blog tour release, so here's an interview with the author!



Priscilla here, and I'd like to start the interview by letting my readers get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Jaye - I’m a 31-year-old (who still likes to believe she’s 21) Wisconsin country girl. I’m very
much a hopeless romantic, though I have yet to meet my future husband. I was
homeschooled K-12, which I’m thankful for to this day. I don’t think I would have had the
time to develop my love for writing if I hadn’t been. I currently rent a house from my
brother and live with my three cats, Arthur, Timothy, and Lucy. That number may go up
this year. I’m starting to get “kitten fever.” So I may find myself at the local animal
shelter this spring looking for a new addition to the family.

Priscilla -  Did you always want to be a writer when you grew up?

Jaye - I didn’t actually. Though I started writing young and loved it, it wasn’t until I was fifteen
that I decided it was the path I wanted to pursue in life.

Priscilla -  So, Jaye, you've just released a book. Would you tell us a little bit about it and what
your hopes are for it?

Jaye - No Chance Meeting is my first ever contemporary romance. Aside from writing horse
stories when I was young, the only genres I had ever written before this were historical
and fantasy. For a long time I believed I couldn’t write a contemporary romance to save
my life. I didn’t even have any interest in it. Never say never, I guess. The book idea
popped into my head just over a week before NaNoWriMo 2016 and demanded to be
written. The book deals with some rather difficult topics like depression and suicide, but
the theme is that God never gives up on us and is always working in our lives even
when we can’t see it. Since this is an entirely new genre and audience for me, I have no
idea what to expect, but I’m very excited (and nervous!) about it.

Priscilla -  Did you have any one author, or book that really inspired you when you first started
writing?

Jaye - My mom. :) My mom is a writer, and she is the one who inspired me to start writing. My
very first stories were heavily inspired by my favorite books at the time, the Pony Pals
series. I was very horse crazy then.

Priscilla - If you had just one piece of advice for a beginning writer, what would it be?

Jaye - Read. My whole life, both in writing and just who I am have been impacted and shaped
by books. Reading is the best way to help develop your writing style and learn to write
well.

Priscilla - Are you a tea or a coffee drinker?

Jaye - Tea. I have a mug (a big mug) of Irish Breakfast Tea almost every day. I occasionally
can enjoy a cup of coffee, but I don’t have much of a taste for it. Except for McDonald’s
mocha frappes. I LOVE those. Do those even count as coffee?

Priscilla - How old were you when you first knew you loved to write?

Jaye - I was eight when I started writing and fell in love with it immediately. I’ve had some
extended periods where I didn’t write anything, but for the majority of my life I’ve had at
least one book project in the works.

Priscilla - What kind of things do you like to do for fun when you need a break from writing?

Jaye - I love movies and TV shows. I’m a very visual person, so not only is it fun for me, it’s a
great source of inspiration. In the summer time, I like to spend as much time as I can
outdoors and doing summer activities. Once winter hits, I tend to become something of
a hermit. I also enjoy various creative projects like crocheting and sewing historical
outfits since I’m also a historical reenactor.

Priscilla - How has your relationship with God influenced your writing?

Jaye - It pretty much colors everything. I’m not even sure I know how to write a story that
doesn’t have a strong theme of faith.

Priscilla - Where can people find you and your books on the internet?

Jaye - You can find me on various social media platforms and on www.jayeelliot.com and
www.jayelknight.com. All of my books are on Amazon, and No Chance Meeting can
also be found through a variety of other eBook retailers.

Priscilla - Thank you so much for sharing with us! It was a real blessing to get to interview a fellow author. And to all of you readers out there, Jaye has two giveaways that she's holding. Check them out!

Giveaway #1
To celebrate the release of No Chance Meeting, Jaye is giving away a reader bundle that
includes a signed copy of NCM, a hand-painted watercolor bookmark, a coffee mug, and a bag
of Dove chocolates! Enter using the form below. U.S. entries only. Not open internationally.

Click here to enter the contest!

Giveaway #2
For her second giveaway, Jaye is offering 3 ebook copies of No Chance Meeting. Open
internationally!

Click here to enter the contest!

If you're interested in learning more about Jaye's new release, check out the blog tour schedule!

Here's the schedule for the rest of the book tour!

Monday, February 10, 2020

14 Ways to Get a Valentine Date

 In the past, I've done a humorous blog post about Valentine's Day. With 16 Ways to Avoid Getting a Valentine Date and 18 Excuses for Not Having a Valentine Date, I wasn't sure what to do this year, and then, someone suggested Ways to Get a Valentine Date.

   Now, like my other Valentine posts, I feel like I need a disclaimer. Maybe a few. For several reasons. One. I don't actually approve of trying to find a Valentine date. Relationships are not something to play with, they're a beautiful thing designed by God, and we shouldn't be out chasing guys trying to get a date for a night just to tell people we have one. So, by my posting this, I'm NOT saying I approve of any of the suggestions, and I do NOT recommend you try any of them! The story I shared about my friend, Why She's Glad She Didn't Flirt, really is true. Trusting God, following HIS leading, is the best way. I realize that looks different for everyone, but if God's at the center, it's right.

All that being said, why am I posting something about trying to get a Valentine date when I don't approve of any of my own suggestions? Well, if you're a single young adult, chances are, people are always trying to get you match made. Always trying to ask about your love-life, or lack thereof. These Valentine posts, are meant to be funny. Something to make you laugh, and maybe, if you're struggling to come up with good answers when people ask you how you're going to get a Valentine date, you can use one of these answers as a way to lighten the mood, and bring a smile to their faces.

 So, here it is. You need to do something with someone on Valentines so that you can tell people you had a date.

1.  Find a homeless guy and offer to buy him a meal.

2. Blackmail your brother. Or Clean his truck to get him to take you out.

3. Run your car battery dead and ask random guys to jump it. Then offer to buy him dinner.

4. Get hurt, call an ambulance, and hope there's a single paramedic.

5.  Run into guys in stores with shopping carts. Then apologize profusely.

6. Make friends with older ladies who have grandsons.

7. Get a job at a mechanic shop.

8.  Reserve a table for two at a nice restaurant, show up alone, and cry. Hopefully, some guy will be having a hard day too, and join you.

9. Go shopping at a sporting goods store looking for a gift for your dad for Valentines, and get a nice worker to help you out. Hopefully, he'll want to spend Valentines with someone who believes in buying sporting goods for Valentine presents.

10. Visit a gym, and ask all the guys for advice.

11. Text every guy in your contacts, surely one of them doesn't have plans.

12.  Put an ad in the paper. You'd be surprised how many other people are desperately searching for a date too. Only, use a fake name. If everyone knows you advertised for a date, it kind of defeats the purpose.

13. Go on a dating website and explain your predicament. Someone will help you out.

14. Go golfing on Valentines, and hire a caddie, then invite him out for dinner.




Tuesday, February 4, 2020

This day in History . . .

It's been a while since I've done one of these history posts, so here are some of the things that happened in history on February 4th.

  1789 - George Washington was elected as the first president of the United States of America.
 
 1847 - The first U.S. telegraph company was established in Maryland.

 1861 - The Confederate States of America were established.

 1902 - Charles Lindbergh was born.

 1932 - The first Winter Olympics were held in the United States at Lake Placid, NY.

 2004 - Facebook was founded.


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Why She's Glad She Didn't Flirt

  I had the awesome privilege of spending a couple of days with a married friend of mine that I hadn’t had much contact with since she’d married, and we talked a lot about a lot of things, including her relationship. I’d like to share her story, and the lessons we can draw from it.

     She met this guy when she was eleven, and liked him. For years, she battled with a crush towards this guy, and all the doubts that come with a crush. Does he know I exist? Would he ever consider me? Will I ever be good enough for him?
        The natural thing to do in a case like this, is to want to make sure the guy knows you exist. We don’t call it flirting typically, but in a sense, that’s what it is. We make ourselves known to him. We might not bat our eye-lashes or giggle excessively, but we behave in a way that will draw his attention to ourselves. We subtly place ourselves in conversations just to ensure that he can’t miss us. We find excuses to text him, to end up sitting by him, to hold conversations near him, in the hopes that he’ll overhear and get to know us.
       But my friend, she didn’t do these natural things. Instead, she took her natural desires, and channeled them in the right direction. She prayed for him, she sought God, and she strove to become a godly woman that a man like him would want. She didn’t know if he would ever look at her, but she knew that she wanted what was best for him, and she asked God to guide him. She knew she wanted to marry a man with character like him, so she strove to become the kind of woman that a godly man would want.
        Did she want him to notice her? Absolutely, but she knew that if she tried to make sure he knew she was there, and he decided to go for her, then she’d always wonder if she’d been the one to win him. But by seeking God instead of this guy’s attention, she knew that if he ever went for her, it would be God. She trusted God so much, that she was willing to ignore any natural desires to encourage a relationship, and to believe that if it was God’s will, He would make it happen, and if it wasn’t, she wanted to be close enough to God that she’d be content with that.
       Today, she’s happily married to that man and she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was God’s will. She trusted God enough to leave it completely in His hands, and He blessed it.
         Her husband told her later that one of the reasons he noticed her, was because she wasn’t a flirt. He noticed that she wasn’t seeking attention from guys, or trying to make him notice her, and he knew, that if she wasn’t flirting with guys now, then she wouldn’t be flirting with men after they were married. He knew that if a young woman is constantly seeking the company of young men, then when she’s a married woman, she’s going to be seeking the attention of other men.
     Today, they have a Christ-centered, God-honoring, and love-filled relationship. It’s not about them, it’s all about glorifying God, and it shows.

After seeing the fruit of her patience and seeing how God blessed her actions, I made a list of a few things we can learn from her relationship.

1. Trust God. We don’t see it this way normally, but when we strive to get a guy’s attention, we’re really saying that we don’t trust God to do it for us. If a man is attracted to you because of something you do to get his attention, then you probably don’t want him. Because there will always be a woman who can flirt better than you. If you win him with your own actions, other woman will be able to distract him later. Let God be the one to convince your future husband to notice you.

2. Use your natural God-given female desires and attractions to drive you towards God. When you’re tempted to dress a certain way to please a guy, or talk a certain way, or behave a certain way, channel those towards God. Dress, talk, and act in such a way to please God. We are the bride of Christ, and as His bride, there is no greater joy, than to live in such a way to please and bring pleasure to God.

3. Look for a man that doesn’t flirt with other girls. If you see a guy who’s always at the center of a group of girls, or always seems to be visiting with girls, remember that he’ll probably be talking with other women, and be the center of other women’s attention after he’s married as well.

4. Be patient. Maybe, the reason God hasn’t brought a man into your life yet, is because you’re not ready, or maybe, the man God has for you is going through something that God knows will make him a better husband and spiritual leader. Maybe by making you wait, God is making your future much better. Do you trust His timing?

5. A truly lovely marriage, is worth waiting for. Yes, there are lots of men you could marry, and if you’re both Christians, you can make it work, but waiting for God’s BEST for you, is worth the wait. If my friend had flirted with this guy, and won him herself, or scared him away, and ended up with someone else, she wouldn’t be enjoying the fruit of a godly marriage. And I know she’d say this over and over, “It’s worth the wait.”



Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Freedom's Captive - Coming Soon

 I've mentioned multiple times that I'm working on a new book . . . well, truthfully, I'm working on several new books . . . but only one of them is going to be published in the near future.
    It's my historical fiction book, and my first book with an official flashback, and prologue. Hopefully, it'll be released in early March in time for the North Dakota Homeschool Convention where I'll be doing a workshop.
   So, without further ado, I present to you, Freedom's Captive.



A father’s debt . . .
    A brother’s failure . . . 
        And the wrong sister . . .

     Lord DeWilt already had everything. Everything but his name. And he’s back for that. On the run, and fighting painful memories, James Wakefield doesn’t know where to turn. Is it possible that freedom can offer peace?
     George Wakefield knows the life of cultured England, but in the wilderness of the Americas, finding answers to DeWilt’s pursuit seems impossible.
       Can years of deceit and pain bring the Wakefield brothers together? Or will it just distance them more? Can they find freedom in Christ while captives? Can God’s freedom shine in even the darkest of nights? 
Can two brothers be united after years of betrayal?



Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2019 Firsts.

So, I wanted to do a brief re-cap of 2019, but I do a lot of the same things every year and didn't want to bore you with redundant year end posts . . . So, instead, I've put together a list of 19 things I did for the first time in 2019.

1. Bought Furniture.


I bought this chair for my room.

2. Ate Sushi . . . Okay, so I didn't like go-out-for-sushi, but Sam's Club was giving sushi samples by their meat department when I was there one day and I've always wanted to try it! So, if just a sample counts, I ate sushi. And yes, I liked it!!

3. I was summoned for jury duty. I'd have loved the experience of actually serving on the jury, but unfortunately, both of the days that I'd have had to go in, I was out of state and didn't have to go in. :(

4. Went to the Ark!


5. Went to Ontario. With practically living on the Canadian border, and having relatives in Canada, I've been to Manitoba plenty of times! But somehow, I'd never been east enough in Canada to hit Ontario till this year.

6. Bridal dress shopping! Until 2019, I'd never stepped foot in a bridal shop. Hosanna did end up ordering a dress online, but we enjoyed visiting some bridal shops and trying on some dresses.


7. Ate at Steak N' Shake, and Cracker barrel for the first time.




8. Shopped at Ross's Dress For Less. Thank you Rachel for introducing this store to me!

9. Visited the Terry Redlin art center museum. I wish we'd have had more time! It was really neat.


10. Had my first audio book published! 


11. I tied a camp director up for the first time . . . 


12. I played the game 'Chronology' for the first time.

13. I had someone stand on my shoulders for the first time . . .


14. Crawled through an abandoned airplane.


15. Made my first time-lapse movie.

16. Scrubbed grout for the first time.


17. Planted a strawberry for the first time . . . and many more than one. :) 

18. Made eggnog for the first time.

19. Have my own room for the first time.


And there were many more firsts, but that's all I'm going to share for now. Hopefully, 2020 will have many more firsts. While some years end, and I'd be perfectly happy to re-live them, 2019 was definitely one of those years that I'm glad to have done with. 
   So, what are my plans for 2020? Well, many of them are still up in the air, but I can tell you that a new book is coming soon. I'm scheduled to attend the ND Homeschool convention, and I'm hoping to have my new book released by then. A post about that book will be coming soon . . . 

     So, what new things did you do in 2019? 



Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Snacks From Around the World

For Christmas, I was given a Yum box of Christmas snacks from around the world!
It's kind of strange thinking of all these foods that we don't eat here in America. Some of them were really great!!! And others . . . I know why they're not popular here!


I didn't get a picture of the full box before I started taking things out, but here's a bunch of the stuff.


This is a Christmas shortbread from the Philippines. 


This was probably my least favorite one so far. It's a gingerbread cookie with black-current frosting. While I love the heart shape, and they're super cute, I'm not a huge fan of the black current and gingerbread mix... I guess I'm not a huge gingerbread fan to start with.


This walnut filled cake from Switzerland reminded me of some of the Christmas cookies my grandma makes.



I lost the paper with the details about each item, but whatever this Japanese cookie is called, it was one of my favorites! It had a hint of caramel, and nuts, giving it a hint of sweet and salty.


I don't remember what country this came from . . . but it was somewhere in the Middle East I think. 

I've still got a few more to try, but overall, they've been awesome! A great experience. And the chocolate. American chocolate isn't the same as European chocolate. It's AMAZING!!




Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Sisters at Christmas

So, every year for . . . a long time, we've been taking a sister picture sometime at Christmas. Usually, the night of the Christmas program, but sometimes, we'd do the Christmas ladies' tea, or another day around Christmas. I don't have all the pictures . . . and no idea where to find them, but here is a glimpse into the years I have.


This one is 2009, our last Christmas with all four of us girls home.


I think this was 2010.


This is either 2011, or 2012 . . . I'm not sure.


2013


2014


And 1914.

JK! This is actually from our 2014 house party. Our house was built in 1914, and in 2014, we did a 100 years party and did house tours, and served 1914 foods.



2015


2018, our last Christmas with Hosanna home. 



And 2019.

I'm SO thankful for these AWESOME sisters, and all the Christmases we've had together and I look forward to all the ones to come. :)



Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Music

I looooooove Christmas music. From the first snowfall and on, I pull out a giant stack of Christmas CDs. (Yes, I still listen to CD's.) And play it almost non-stop.
   Now, I do have some digital playlists of Christmas music I like. I do listen to my share of Bing Crosby, Gene Autry, and other odd assortments of Christmas music. But if we're going off of CD's, these are some of my favorites.


I have different Christmas music I like for different occasions. This is one I love for background music. It just kinda . . . sets the mood. :)



If I'm in the mood for a CD to sing along with, I love this one. I don't know, maybe I just like it because it's sung by six sisters, but whatever the reason, it's one of my favorites.



This one I like when I'm in a cleaning or busy work mode. It's guitar and banjo, slightly upbeat, but still very traditional Christmas.



I've always like some classical music, and this mix of classical and Christmas is totally one of my favorites!



This one is a new one we got this year. Our friends the Mieczkowskis, did an amazing job on this awesome Christmas CD!!!!



Of course, the traditional highlights from Handel's Messiah.



This girls trio from the Bill Rice Ranch is another great sing along one.



And another traditional favorite of mine, is the Nutcracker. One of my favorite sections is the Waltz of the Sugar Plum Fairy. 
And there, you have some of my favorite Christmas music. Do you have any favorite Christmas CD's? Or Christmas music traditions of some kind?