BHBR| The Chapel Car Bride

Howdy! (next time I’ll say ‘salutations’ 🙂 )

Here’s the newest one from Bethany House, and also my book review for April. Basically, if I’m quick at the draw…I’ll have one book from them a month. If I don’t want to review any of the options they have (which I’ve done before)…then I don’t 😀 .

Continue reading “BHBR| The Chapel Car Bride”

Writer’s Block// How to Escape the Scrape

A new writing post has emerged!

The last one that was similar to this was 5 Reasons You Should Keep Writing. 

Today we’ll be talking about writer’s block.

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Your inspiration is non-existent. You don’t feel like writing…or maybe you do and can’t think of anything to put on that blank page (or screen 😀 ). Congratulations!

You have writer’s block.

Now that I’ve diagnosed your writing problem (which you most likely have already diagnosed 😉 ) and also given you a deceptive blog post title…we may proceed!

What??! You gave us a deceptive blog post title?

Well, yes I did. You see…there’s no one way to fix this problem. I can’t just give you tips and say “This one will totally work for you!”. Because…every person is different and what works for me may not work for you. Yay, aren’t I encouraging?

While that may sound like bad news…guess what? It can also be very good news! Putting it positively- your solution may be right around the corner waiting to be discovered. So see, it’s not hopeless!

Ideas to destroy this beast…

  1. Remove anything and everything that’s distracting you from your presence. We have so many things in life that could potentially distract us from the one thing we want to do right now. I know for me personally- I go from writing a school assignment to just- not. Whether that means I’m checking my email or doing somethin’ else- It’s distracting me from writing. So. GET. RID. OF. THOSE. PESKY. DISTRACTIONS. ONE. BY. ONE. !
  2. Find a book to read that will get the imagination flowing. If you’re trying to write something in the fantasy genre, maybe read something in that genre. For instance, my current project is a retelling of The Little Mermaid. I keep on reading the original story to get the creative juices flowing. 
  3. Find a new angle. Were you telling the story first person? Try this out: tell the story in second person. Or you can take another character vital to the story and tell it in his/her perspective. If you’re struggling to put those first words on the paper…think about a way to make the story opening something totally different than what you’d intended. Was Willemina a princess once? Why not turn her into an ugly young woman afraid she’s never going to be realized for the princess she is? Now–true, this may just ruin the story. But there really are limitless possibilities. And it’s always possible you assigned the character the wrong role. 😀
  4. Make a pinterest storyboard. This may not be for everyone. But I can attest to loving this. Sometimes images inspire the mind when nothing else can. They visually transport you into the realm you’re writing about. They help you envision what you were trying to write. If you want an example of one you can check out mine for my dystopian story Watchful here. I love doing this, and it’s especially helpful to look back on when I’m stuck or uninspired. 
  5. Story Prompts. I’m not sure when this became a ‘thing’. But I just started getting into it. One thing I used to worry about was the possibility of plagiarism. Not anymore though. Because, I have discovered that different minds think differently. And while, yes, we sometimes tend to think similarly—you’d be surprised at what I come up with VS what others come up with. So don’t worry! Story prompts are an amazing way to help you step it up. Why not try angling what you have of your story into a prompt to enhance the plot? Or start your story with a prompt!
  6. Write. There is a way that may make you upset. It’s called writing. 😀 You’re not going to beat this writer’s block without doing some writing. Most of the things I’ve suggested up until now–have been ways to get the writing juices flowing. Because I don’t want you to think that the solution is NOT to write. True, you may need a little break. You may need to go outside where the air is clean to think about it. But the solution isn’t to quit writing indefinitely until you’re inspired. That’s a sure way to either never write, or when you do–to go back off it just as soon. 
  7. Try listening to epic music. I wouldn’t recommend pop or anything where the beat is louder than the words. If you’re writing a romance novel…imagine the scene while you’re playing some soft, sweet music. Try instrumental. If bigfoot is about to stomp on littlefoot…then play something tense. Will littlefoot be trod underfoot? 🙂 I personally love listening to movie soundtracks for epic fight scenes and the like. But you may need something smooth and calming. I do too, sometimes. 
  8. Make a writer’s schedule. This is one that I’m awful at, but really need to try. If you pace yourself so that you’re writing at a certain time for a certain amount of time- it may help. Put it in a place in that busy schedule where it’s not so likely to be loud. Make it fit at a ‘smooth’ part of the day where your work load isn’t there to bother you. 

 

I hope this was helpful to you! Keep writing!

Have you tried any of these?

Name a way not listed that’s helped you in the comments!

A you a writer, or more of a reader?

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A Few of my Favorite Things

Hello!

This post will be answering a few ‘about me’ questions. Most of it is just in regards to a few things I like or use. If y’all would like, answer the questions for yourselves in the comments! That would be fun…

Question #1. What is your favorite flower?

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Answer: Hydrangeas. 

 

Question #2. What is currently your favorite kind of tea (substitute for beverage if you don’t like tea)?

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Answer: Hibuscus Ginger Organic tea, by Tao of Life. 

Question #3. A favorite beauty product?

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Answer: Maybelline New York, The Colossal Volum Express mascara. 

 

Question #4. Apples or oranges?

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Answer: I love apples! Especially sweet, crunchy, organic ones 😀 . 

 

Question #5. One book you read recently that you would highly recommend?

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Answer: Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen. This book kept me on my toes. And frustrated! 😉

 

Question #6. What is something you baked recently that turned out?

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Answer: Gluten-free biscuits. Laugh all you like, people. I am gluten-free and thoroughly enjoy finding new things to try. They may not be those lovely fluffy southern thingys y’all are used to…but they still taste good!

 

Question #7. One book you read as a younger kid and still love?

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Answer: Keeping Holiday, by Starr Meade. I love this book so much! It’s a great read, and we read it when I as younger as an ‘out-loud’ family book. It’s clean, religious, and is a somewhat ‘allegory’ novel. 

 

Question #8. What are your favorite therapeutic products?

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Answer: Essential oils! I love Edens gardens for our diffuser, and Doterra for putting in mint chip ice cream 😀 . 

 

 

Question #9. Show one photo you recently took that you like?

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Dogwoods!

Little announcement~My next post will be a writing post, on…WRITER’S BLOCK! Because I haven’t done a post on writing in a little while. Also, my writing blog is going to be doing a fun little post. I will use two writing prompts to begin a fun little story. It’s not up yet, but when it is–you can check it out here: http://midnightwriter2000.blogspot.com/

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Kindle Paperwhite + 5 free books

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Hey guys!

I have been…not on this blog. If my stats bar serves me right…it’s been about four days?

Today I am going to share a product-ish review that has really impacted my reading life. It’s called…the Kindle Paperwhite!

You can get many different kindles off places (primarily Amazon). The main difference between this one and say, the kindle fire- is the intended usage. The paperwhite is intended almost exclusively for reading, whereas the fire- is mostly for internet, games, etc. Yes, you can read on it…but I think it’s much more painful on the eyes.

LoVeLy FeAtUrEs

*Changeable resolution (screen brightness adjustable). What’s really neat about this feature is that it was created to keep the eyes from having to adjust no matter where you’re reading at. 

*Many books can be carried and read on-the-go. I used to lug books around and devour them. Now, I can bring my kindle paperwhite along with me, stuffed with books and get away with it! It’s great. I also love how little it weighs compared to my stack of books 😀 . 

*Access to the kindle lending library. Library? What? You can borrow one book a month for free out of many great titles. The last book I borrowed is ‘Once’, which is a collection of fairy tale retellings by several gifted young ladies. It’s historically themed. My point? There are a lot of great titles out there that you may borrow. Only one a month though, so make it good 😉 . Some other great titles I’ve previously borrowed:

  • The Spinner and the Slipper- by Camryn Lockhart
  • A Branch of Silver, A Branch of Gold- By Anne Elisabeth Stengl

And there are a bunch of other nice books that you’d probably enjoy.

*Access to a bunch of classics. In the kindle store, there are so many amazing old classics. You can get the entire Oz series FREE. Literally anything in the public domain is free. 

5 fReE bOoKs

  1. Jane Eyre. This is a public domain book and is amazing. I know some people may not like it, but I love it. It is an amazing book. It’s a roller coaster of happy and sad all intermixed. It’s classic, and is by Charlotte Bronte. 
  2. Wives and Daughters. By Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell. It’s also public domain, and a classic. Interesting fact, the writer died before completing the book. The BBC series is really good, although they did have to guess the ending 😉 . 
  3. The Scarlet Pimpernel Books. I don’t know if any of y’all are familiar with the Scarlet Pimpernel or not. They’re a series of books set around the french revolution- and are about a daring Englishman and his brave comrades stealing french (destined-to-be-guillotined) victim’s from the clutches of the french tyrannous ‘government’. While not all of the books can be gotten free, you’d be well on your way to discovering a lovely British series. The books are written by Baroness Emmuska Orczy (that name, tho 😀 .). 
  4. Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I was in love with Grimm’s, especially when I was younger. They were my favorite when I was twelve or thirteen. Whether you want to read the original german-ish Ascenputtel (Cinderella), or you are dying to hear about Snow White…this book is for you. And it’s public domain. AND it’s by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm. 
  5. Books by many different Biblical authors. In the public domain, you can find books by Martin Luther, Isaac Watts, Charles Spurgeoun, and many others. 

 

To sum up…this product is very worth it!

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BHBR| Treasured Grace

Yay!

I am now reviewing my third book for Bethany House! The first one was Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette, the second was Quick Tips for Busy Families by Jay Payleitner, and this (the third) is…Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson. So let’s just run into this here review.

Treasured Grace

Heart of the Frontier Book #1.

By Tracie Peterson

My rating- 5 stars

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I loved this book! It was such an exciting novel to read. I love the cover (as a side note 😀 ), and the time period is one of great interest to me. This is the first Tracie Peterson book I have ever read, and I like it. The reason I haven’t read much of Tracie’s work is simply that I’m not much into western stuff. And a lot of her stuff seems to be western.  I don’t (so far) like western romances as much. I’m not into mail order brides. It’s just not my thing. But this…yep. This got me. Prairie days are much more thrilling for me.

Let’s go back to the days of Indians…

//I love the setting. Wagon trains, sickness, prairie dangers, and beautiful country. It all appeals to me.

//The main character. Grace is a neat person. She’s strong, and kind, and is a healer. She cares for people as a life calling. But she’s not perfect…and I love how she develops. 

//The pain. The story does a good job building tension and getting you excited. I started dreading what was probably coming. If you like…you can read the synopsis- and figure out what I was dreading happening. After THE event of the story there is so much hurt and scars, and it makes the reader feel sad 😦 .  

//Good story line. I felt that the plot was engaging, and it just kept going. The dialogue was delightful as well. 

//Age line. Because of several things that occur in the story which are suggestive, I would recommend this book for 13+ or the discretion of the parent. (It would be discretion of the parent or guardian regardless! 🙂 ) 

//Faith. This book is Christian Historical Fiction. I thought the faith was much better emphasized in this book than in most other books of its genre. And believe me…you would need a strong faith to survive such trials!

So…I will probably borrow some more Tracie Peterson from our local library soon. I think maybe not all of her stuff is Western? I know that a lot of it IS, but then- maybe someone else out there has read some of her westerny ones and liked them? I’m sure they’re good. 😉

*This book actually arrived earlier than I was expecting it to (thumbs up to Bethany House for promptness!). So I actually was able to finish reading it at the conference I attended the 14-16. And I finished it so fast…because it was amazing. It kept me under it’s power the entire time. I don’t think I experienced any boredom at all.

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BHBR|Quick Tips for Busy Families

 

My newest book review for Bethany House! As you may have noticed…this is only review #2. The reason for that is Bethany House has a limited number of books so it’s a first-come first-serve deal. And I hadn’t been quick enough up until this point. But here we are once again (and I just got a confirmation email that I’ll be receiving another book from BH sometime in April or May). Today, the book up for review is…Quick Tips for Busy Families.

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Quick Tips for Busy Families

Sneaky Strategies for Raising Great Kids

By Jay Payleitner

My rating- 4 stars

 

I may not generally be a non-fiction guru (except when it comes to spiritual books 😉 Still not a guru on that either!)–but I genuinely liked this book. It was interesting and I loved the layout. The book has 144 tips/strategies on raising kids. Here are a few bullet things I loved.

  1. The layout. (Brief ‘chapters’ which makes it easy to keep on reading!)
  2. The practical nature. The tips range from very practical to rather sneaky (as the front cover indicates).
  3. The fact that Bible verses were used in the book. Isn’t it just sad that I have to mention this? But seriously- so many ‘self-help’ books these days say they’re Christian and then have zero Bible verses in them.

 

Things I felt weren’t as helpful (to me)…

Now I realize that the majority of the stuff I’m about to say probably won’t have much bearing on the majority of parents today. Don’t let some of this necessarily discourage you from buying the book.

  1. As a young woman who wants to home school her children one day, I think that this book wouldn’t be quite as helpful to me. The book very obviously targets the public/private school crowd. So if you’re a parent doing either of those two things- then wonderful! Otherwise make your own judgement.
  2. Sometimes I felt like the author minimized sin. One thing that gives me pause is that he also had chapters where he very clearly said that sin is well, sin.
  3. I don’t agree with the spiritual gift part necessarily. Sorry guys. 😦 If you know anything about reformed people- you’ll know that most of them don’t believe tongues or prophesy continues. Like I said this doesn’t apply to all people. This is really just a note to the reformed crowd. Just to be clear though- I believe in spiritual gifts. I believe we all have God-given gifts. I just don’t buy the speaking in tongues or continued prophecy thing because I don’t believe they continue.

 

So anyways…just a note of explanation on why the book only got four stars from me: I feel like it was mostly just the fact that it didn’t really relate to me theologically- also the school kid thing. No fear though, I don’t believe it’s wrong to public/private school your child. 

Back to the book, though. Overall here’s a summary statement.

Quick Tips for Busy Families is a book with a lot of helpful tips/strategies for parents or guardians. There was a lot of practical advice and insight from the author- who’s raised 5 children along with his wife, Rita. There was also a sense of humor which was enjoyable + the well-loved parenting stories everyone loves to hear. If you’re looking for a book to help you with everyday life and give you practicality mixed with Biblical truths- you’re in the right place.

 

Thanks to Bethany House for another great book review! All opinions here expressed are my own and haven’t been otherwise influenced. This is an honest review. Thanks for reading.

~Emmaline