I usually have a bunch of posts planned ahead, but the posts I have ready cannot be posted yet for various reasons :)
Free From Guilt and Free From Sin
It has been quite awhile since I posted any music :) So for lack of anything else to post today, here is a beautiful Celtic song!
I usually have a bunch of posts planned ahead, but the posts I have ready cannot be posted yet for various reasons :)
I am so excited to be revealing the cover and announcing the publication of TCCAS #2-Hidden Treasure and Wedding Bells!!
TCCAS #2 was published on April 24th, approx. 56,000 words and 290 pages long!
I'm thrilled to now have books 1 and 2 of The Christian Cowgirl Adventure Series available!!
TCCAS #2 is available as a paperback and an eBook.
Click the button below to view on Amazon
Amy Kentworthy is ready to settle back into normal ranch life on the Bar Double Diamond after a six month long cattle drive to Texas. However, her father, Clint, invites a sweet Christian lady named Jessica, who they met on the cattle drive, to visit the ranch. Amy senses she may be getting a new mother and three new siblings in the near future and struggles with her emotions.
In the meantime, Amy's great uncle passes away, leaving his large estate to her. They are informed of a hidden treasure and are in a race against time and some unscrupulous men to locate it.
Will Amy and her friends be able to figure out the clues Uncle Nathan cleverly created and thwart the thieves plans? What are Clint's intentions toward Jessica and what will her arrival mean for the future of Amy and the ranch?
Join Amy and her friends as they embark on this new adventure!
I can't wait to receive my first hard copies! I have something special planned for you all when they arrive!
I want to thank my illustrator, Debbie, my editors, Alicia and Faith and my 3D cover designer Perry Elisabeth! You were all so helpful and encouraging!
It was so easy for me to choose a favorite this week. I absolutely love the first picture of the herb tray. The second picture is next and then the silly ones of Maple :)
I am so happy to be able to photograph lovely blossoms again! I can't wait for the apple trees to bloom.
Today I went to a small craft show at a church near us. Every year this church hosts a spring fling with a banquet and a bake sale, but this year they added crafters.
My aunt, Patty, suggested I try it, so I signed up.
I took both my books and my pictures. It was a lot of fun! There were supposed to be 12 vendors, but only 7 showed up. In spite of that, we had a good crowd. I sold several books and two pictures!
I'm excited to be heading to the annual INCH homeschool conference May 15th-16th. This show as good practice!
TCCAS #2 has been sent back to the publisher for a few changes, but we should see progress by the first of next week.
Adah's Quest--New Project!
This is Adah, the main character for my latest book project!
I wrote the first 6,000 words in one sitting, quite a feat for me. I normally only write in a couple hundred word spurts. The only other time I have written so much in one sitting was with Whisper, and even that light bulb moment was only 5,000 words long.
I kept track of how many words I wrote per day. I started this book on April 5th, so it's only been two weeks since the first lines were written and I'm already at 18,000 words!
I don't usually keep track of my word count per writing session, but I decided to keep my spirits up with some stats this time around :)
The river of words has slowed somewhat, but I am taking a break from working on it right now for two reasons. Number one, I am proofreading TCCAS #2 and hopefully it will be in production by the end of this week or the beginning of next. Number two, I thought my finger injury from Rio only involved soft tissue damage, but as time went on, it was not improving and there was an odd lump that swelled when I over used my finger. I did some research and found out that I had crushed the tendon. For that kind of injury, the finger must be kept immobile for at least six weeks. Soooo....I am wearing a finger splint and that makes typing a bit difficult! So I am attempting to type with one finger :) I'm trying to figure out how to type with my splint, but for now I'll have to take a break.
Anyway, here is a synopsis for Adah's Quest :)
Adah is living the perfect life. She has a good job, her own apartment, a comfortable lifestyle and a loving fiancé. She is going to marry her fiancé, David, in three weeks and plans to live happily ever after with the man of her dreams.
At twenty-four years old, she has everything to look forward too.
But when her fiancé is killed in a tragic car accident, Adah is devastated and finds it impossible to move on with her life. In an attempt to drown her grief, she goes out partying with her friends and her family is beginning to wonder if she truly loved David.
Adah needs to deal with her grief in her own way, but she feels misunderstood and is frustrated at the lack of support her family is showing. Feeling there is a puzzle piece missing from her life, she is desperate to figure out what it is.
In desperation, she goes to her uncle's secluded hunting cabin, hoping that a few days away from the noise and commotion of the city will help her find the missing piece and heal her broken heart.
She is on an emotional rollercoaster and finds her emotions swinging from one extreme to the other. In a fit of anger, she leaves the cabin and goes back to the city, but within one day, she is back, determined to stay until she finds some answers.
When a half frozen, injured brother and sister appear on the cabin porch during a late spring blizzard, Adah uses her limited medical knowledge to care for their injuries.
The man, whose name she learns is Ethan, is badly injured, but Adah is able to keep him comfortable. Stuck in the cabin with Ethan and his sister, Erica, while the storm rages outside, Adah talks to them. She senses that there is something different about this brother and sister, and she finds herself longing for what they have.
When she finally works up the courage to ask Ethan and Erica what makes them different, they are only too glad to share their secret--which she finds is no secret at all
What do you think? Any ideas for the plot? Any thoughts on the title, Adah's Quest?
When I got to about 3,000 words, I realized that this story does not have a horse in it!! I never thought I would write a book without a horse somewhere in the story, but it seems I am doing just that! I have never even started a story without a horse in it. I almost decided to write one in, just because, but then it doesn't really fit the story anywhere. What do you all think? :)
I'm really excited about writing Adah's story.
Trying to pick a favorite this week was nearly impossible! I loved so many of the photos.
Last Saturday we went hiking with our friends, Myles and Marilyn Willard, my aunt, Patty, and a family from the Grand Rapids area.
It was a beautiful day for a hike and we had the unexpected pleasure of spotting a Golden Eagle!
We were also privileged to see snow Trilliums in bloom. They were so beautiful and delicate.
We saw many varieties of ducks, a turtle, pileated wood peckers and a variety of Hawks. My camera was working overtime! I believe I took around 830 pictures.
If I really had to pick a favorite, it would have to be the white rock surrounded by the blue river water.
What are your favorites this week? I'm enjoying seeing the signs of springs!
Natural Hair Products
I have struggled to find something that would work for my finicky hair for years. I used a lot of natural shampoos and conditioners, but each brand would only work for a couple months, and then I would have to change to something else.
I was very excited when I found Burt's Bees Gud Shampoo and Conditioners. There are several different scents and though they all work equally on my hair, I prefer the vanilla.
I have been using Gud for around a year and a half and it works so well!
But, though it is a natural hair product, I wanted to really get down to the basics.
As I said, my hair is extremely finicky. I even have to be careful how I dry it, as using the wrong process with cause all sorts of problems and tons of split ends.
Keeping my hair happy and healthy has been a real challenge, so when I found the Gud hair products, I didn't want to ever use anything else as long as they were still working.
However, I recently came across an article that encouraged me to branch out and try something different.
The first thing I did was use honey as a conditioner. I thought, seriously, how am I supposed to get it out of my hair?? But I bravely decided to try it anyway.
I mixed the honey half and half with my regular conditioner. I used about two tablespoons of each and that proved to be about twice the amount I needed. It does store well, so you can mix up a larger batch.
After washing my hair, I applied the honey/conditioner mix to it. I usually only use conditioner bottom part of my hair, but this time I used it all the way through.
The post I read said it is more effective if you leave it in over night and wear a shower cap or something, but I just left it in for about fifteen minutes.
When I went to rinse it out, I kept rinsing and rinsing because my hair was so soft and smooth, I thought the honey was still in it! You can feel the difference even when it is wet (and the smell is amazing!!)
After about two hours, my hair was dry enough to brush and I could really tell a big difference. Once my hair dried all the way, the results were even better. My hair was smooth and shiny and the ends did not frizz. It will take awhile to really get my ends healthy, but the honey definitely helped a lot.
This probably wouldn't be something I would do every time I wash my hair...many once a week or so as maintenance, but it really works!
Another thing I tried was washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar. I had heard of this method before, but I just couldn't quite see washing my hair in something like that!
But I was in a experimenting mood, so I gave it a try.
I mixed two tablespoons baking soda with about half a cup of water and in a separate cup, I mixed two tablespoons vinegar with approx. half a cup of water and two-three drops lavender essential oil.
You can use the baking soda mixture on wet or dry hair, according to what I read online, but I wet my hair first, then rubbed the mixture in thoroughly. It feels strange at first, but you get used to the sensation.
The article I read said not to wash your ends with it because it will dry them out and since most of the oils in your hair are on the top of your head, the ends do not actually need washed as much.
I scrubbed it into my hair well, then rinsed it out. Then I used the vinegar mixture. I really did not like this part. #1 Vinegar smells and even with the lavender oil, I didn't like it. #2 I could not get it out of my hair. It took forever to rinse out, even though I rinsed it with cold water like the article said too. I tried it with warm water as well, and it still wouldn't come out. It took a long time and lots of water before I was satisfied it was all out.
I did love the results of the baking soda though, so I think in the future, I will forgo the vinegar and use the honey/conditioner instead.
I remember reading about the Indians using some plant/herb to wash their hair with, so I want to do more research on natural hair products. Perhaps that will result in more hair care posts :)
Do you have any natural hair products you use or hair care tips to share?
'Ain't We Got Fun' Cover Reveal!
Today I am excited to join authors Emily Chapman and Emily Ann Putzke and other bloggers in the cover reveal for Ain't We Got Fun.
Generally I do not promote books which I haven't read, but having read Emily Ann Putzke's book, It Took A War, I feel I can safely join them for the cover reveal. The cover and synopsis have peaked my interest and I will be back with a review once it is published on May 25th!
So without further ado, here is their beautiful cover and a synopsis!
1935: It was never much of an issue for Bess: living contentedly on her family's farm, despite the Depression which loomed around them. But when her older sister Georgiana takes off to New York City to make a fortune and help Papa out, feelings of adventure and wanderlust strike Bess at home. Through their lively letter correspondence, the sisters recount to one another their adventures, surprises, and heartaches, leaving little room for depression. For in a world of such wonder, ain't we got fun?
EMILY CHAPMAN, also known as Bess Rowland, is a young hobbit living in the dear old South, and she is entirely bonkers. She's a dreamer, an optimistic pessimist, and an introverted people person. Blue skies, dancing, Disney, and whipped cream make her happy, and she swears she's been to Narnia. She's been a reader all her life, became a writer because of that, and published her first novel, Cry of Hope, in March of 2014. But without her Savior, all of this would mean nothing. It is in Him that she puts her hope. “And hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out His love into hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” – Romans 5: 5
EMILY ANN PUTZKE and Gi Rowland have two big things in common – their love for God and coffee. Besides writing historical fiction, Emily enjoys being an aunty, photography, Irish dancing, spending time with family, attempting to play the guitar, reenacting, and reading. She loves polka dots, war movies, and all things vintage. Her first novella, It Took a War, was published in December of 2014.
Due to a fun two days with my best friend, Kristina and two of her sisters last week, I totally forgot to post Photo Friday!! So these pictures were supposed to be last week's post :) Now that spring is coming and the green is starting to come back, I should have some better pictures on the way.
This week is a combination of goat baby cuteness and *Scream* snakes!
For a quick update on the babies, Chayton and Chaska, we unfortunately lost Chaska a week ago Wednesday. He went steadily downhill since his birth on Monday night and when we wen to check on him on Wednesday, he was already gone. We think it was either a heart defect, or lack of oxygen at birth, which caused internal problems. Sad as it is, such is the way of farm life.
Chayton however, is a little Dennis the Menace. He never sits still unless he is sleeping and he even had the audacity to head-butt our dog, Shep, not once, but twice! Shep actually ran away from him! He is quite the stinker and isn't afraid of anything. He is unusually brave for a goat his age. He even butted our cat, Lilly...and if you've been in the barn for any length of time, you would know that that isn't a smart thing to do. But even she seemed cowed by his relentless energy. He is going to be quite the handful when he gets a little bigger. I have a feeling it will take his mama, me and his two auntie goats to keep track of him :) Somehow I always end up with those kinds of goats...much to my mother's chagrin.
So my favorite photo this week is of that little tiny snake that is almost cute! (according to Lydia, he is a very scary snake, as demonstrated by the last photo)
Though the top photo is my favorite in terms of quality, I laugh heartily every time I look at the last photo. I tried to get a picture of her holding it, but she would have none of it!!
Any favorites this week?
Thunder is progressing slowly, but surely. I am at 5,500 words right now, so approx. 30,000 more to go!
I am attempting to be a bit more regular in my writing habits, setting goals and deadlines for myself, so hopefully that will improve my production.
I submitted my files for TCCAS #2 to my publisher on Monday, so I should be seeing some progress very soon!
I have another very exciting project that I am working on and so far it is going super well. Even better than Whisper and I didn't think I would ever beat that! I am keeping the details under wraps for now...but hopefully I will be able to share it with you soon.
For now, here is a short excerpt from Thunder.
Isn't he just beautiful!? This is one of my favorite pictures of him, but I have so many favorites that doesn't say much! This was taken nearly two years ago. I went out to spend some time with the horses and ended up laying on the ground just enjoying the beautiful weather. Bannie came to visit and just hang out. :) He's such a loving horse. He is one of the most emotional horses I've ever seen....his facial expressions and his overall personality is so human its scary sometimes! But I love that about him.
Two hours later, Rachel came in. "What are you still doing up?"
I shrugged. "I couldn't sleep."
"Was it because of what happened earlier?"
I nodded. "Rachel, what happened with Thunder today just confirmed everything I believe about horses. They are dangerous and unpredictable. I will not have anything more to do with them and you can't make me."
I had looked back down at my book, but at Rachel's words, I jerked my head up and looked at her curiously.
"What did you just say?"
Rachel sat down on the only chair in the room. "I said, you're right. I can't force you to have anything to do with horse and even though you are so adamant about your point, I can't and I won't believe that you will never work with horses again. They are too much a part of you. And no matter what you say, you were drawn to Thunder."
"Maybe I was, but I can't risk getting hurt again." I interrupted her to say. "There is no way I'm going get near another horse if I can help it. Especially Thunder. He's unpredictable."
"Okay, so you don't want to get near Thunder because you think he's unpredictable. That doesn't explain why you won't have anything to do with Star. She's never hurt you so why won't you even go visit her?"
I shrugged. "All horses are capable of hurting people. Star could hurt me, even if she doesn't mean too."
"Ugh." Rachel threw up her hands. "I hope eventually you will see how selfish you are being. Do you really think you can just walk away from horses, from Star, and not cause issues? You should see Star. She's depressed! She hardly eats and just mopes around in her stall all day. Just like you, actually. She misses you! And no matter what you say, I know you miss her too. She was too important for you to just walk away. Even if you don't want to work with horses anymore, you should at least consider the fact that you are making Star unhappy. Doesn't it make you the least bit sad to know how Star is taking it?"
I shook my head. "No, I'm past feeling. My mind is numb and I can't feel. I like it that way. I let myself feel something with Thunder and that was a mistake. It's safer not to feel."
Rachel stared at me for a moment before silently getting up and walking out of the room.
eBook sale for Whisper!
From now until April 11th, the eBook version of Whisper is on sale! It will be $.99 until this evening, then it will jump to $1.99. It will continue to rise in price until the 11th, when it will return to its normal price of $3.99 so get your copy now!
Click here to view this promotion.
Here's a short excerpt!
Startled, Star leapt forward and headed home, Bethany clinging to the saddle horn for the second time that day.
I started to turn Jasmine, but Ralph was too fast and, before I could even get her to take a step, he had the reins in his hand.
"Oh no, Rachel," he said, with a grim smile. "This time you will stay and talk to me, like it or not."
I shuddered. Ralph was not a man I wanted to be left alone with. I hoped Bethany would have the sense to ride straight to the farm and get Dad or Ben.
Ralph flashed his sickeningly bright smile. "Well, Rachel. I get the feeling you aren't exactly happy to see me."
I bit my lip and said nothing.
"Not talking to me?" Ralph grinned provokingly.
"Please let go of the reins," I said stiffly.
Ralph laughed. "Now why would I do that? You have cost me a whole lot of time and money, Rachel, and I'm not too happy about it."
I shrugged. "You should have known better than to try to steal a horse in the first place. My dad warned you not to bother us again and he's not going to be happy to find you here with me."
Ralph gave the reins a tug and chuckled maliciously. "I think I can handle your dad."
I had been afraid before, but now I was angry. "Let go of my horse," I demanded.
Ralph shook his head. "No."
The look in his eyes made me tremble inside, but I tried to look confident. "Please leave me alone."
Ralph started toward me and I pulled back. I couldn't pretend not to be afraid any longer.
He still had his hands on the reins so there was no way I could ride off. I knew I was no match for him on foot, but that seemed to be my only option.
I was just about to jump off when a hand grabbed Ralph's shoulder and yanked him away from me.
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