I’ve teamed up with some FAB author friends and guess what?! You guys are getting some excellent deals December 8th through 12th. Check out these deals before they run out! Click on the title to be taken to the Amazon page for that book.
I have one more favor! At the end of this month, a contest opens up. There are two requirements for this contest: 1) that your book is reader-nominated, and 2) that you have a minimum of 50 written reviews on Goodreads.
I would love to meet that 50 reviews requirement! If you’ve read Count Me In but haven’t written a review–even just one sentence is great!–would you please consider writing one? You can click here to be taken straight to Count Me In: Goodreads. Thank you!!!
Every once in a while, you read a book that just blows your mind. I happen to have my mind blown a little more frequently than “once in a while,” but there is one author that does this with every.single.book she writes. Oh, you guys know who I’m talking about: Ronie Kendig.
Yeah, I know. You aren’t at all surprised. Good. It means I’ve done my job of touting her well.
Her latest novel, Crown of Souls, is INCREDIBLE. When I was reading it, I was drawn to the idea that the “legacies” in the story had such legends behind them. So I thought I would do a little digging and see what other legends or ideas might be behind these jewels!
Jasper was apparently a hot commodity way back when. Thousands of years ago, it was used to carve other minerals (including lapis lazuli, which we’ll get to in a few!). Who knew?! (If you knew, please don’t tell me…let me continue to think I’m teaching you guys something new.)
This mineral was also considered to be sacred, thought to bring healing and spiritual protection. Warriors would actually carry Red Jasper for protection. No wonder it would show up in a crown Tox is after. Fun fact: some jasper amulets found in Egypt had scripture engraved into it to protect the wearer from death.
Birthstone fact: Jasper is the “mystical” (Tibetan origin, dating back over 1,000 years) birthstone of October.
The name, Onyx, actually comes from the Greek word…well, “onyx,” meaning the nail of a finger or claw. A Greek myth says that Cupid cut Venus’s fingernails while she was sleeping. Those clippings fell to the ground; since no heavenly body part can die, the gods turned those clippings to stone—later known as onyx.
So we normally think of onyx as strictly black (well, I did), but it actually is found in white, reddish brown, and banded. There’s another form of onyx that is reddish brown with white and lighter red bands. Very cool.
Birthstone and fun facts: Onyx is the mystical birthstone of December (so I get to claim it as my birthstone!). It’s also given on the 7th and 10th wedding anniversary.
My husband owes me. 😉
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t know much about this gem outside of the fact that it’s often used for beads and cameos. But I was able to find a few interesting things about it.
Ancient Egyptians believed that wearing a carnelian ring would eliminate bad tempers, hatred, jealousy, and anger. During the Renaissance, it was believed to have the ability to offer protection…and prevent skin and blood diseases, nosebleeds, and insanity.
Fun fact: Carnelian is found in light to dark orange, pink, red, and…dark gray.
Okay. I think this one is my favorite. It’s so gorgeous!! I just might have to ask the hubby for some lapis lazuli jewelry. 😉
Lapis lazuli is actually not considered a mineral. It’s a straight-up rock. It is made up of various minerals, but includes calcite (the white), sodalite (the blue), and pyrite—also known as fool’s gold. In order to be considered a mineral, it would need to have only one component. Interesting!
This rock was often ground up for various uses, including medical and cosmetic. The Egyptians used it for seals, eyelid cosmetics, and even carved it into vases and figurines. It was often used as a powder mixed with milk to relieve ulcers and boils. And, uh…the Romans used it as an aphrodisiac.
Kinda ruins the moment, huh?
Birthstone fact: Lapis lazuli is actually the traditional birthstone of December, and is a modern alternative to today’s turquoise.
These jewels play an integral part of Crown of Souls. But to find out why, you have to read the story. No spoilers here!
When You Stare Into the Abyss It Also Stares Into You The bullet that rips into Cole “Tox” Russell was never meant to kill. It was meant to send a message. Only one man is skilled enough to have taken the shot, a rogue Special Forces operator who vanished months ago.
Alec King is perhaps the only person as skilled as Tox, and he’s out for justice. Furious with orders that got his men killed, he intends to make those responsible pay. And he insists Tox join him, believing they are the same breed of soldier.
Afraid his old friend could be right, Tox battles a growing darkness within himself as he and his team are forced into another deadly encounter with antiquity. It appears Alec is harnessing the power of a mysterious artifact, a crown that history has linked to some of the worst slaughters in humanity. Racing to stop Alec before his vengeance is unleashed, Tox must fight the monster without becoming one.
You guys! I’m thrilled to let you all know that I’m joining forces with THE Pepper Basham and THE Toni Shiloh to celebrate Toni’s new release, Finding Love! We’re going to get together this Friday night on Facebook to have some fun! And rumor has it that a few main characters will be showing up to get in on the fun. 😉
To make sure you don’t miss out (because there will be giveaways!), RSVP HERE! The party starts at 7pm Eastern (6pm Central, 5pm Mountain, 4pm Pacific, 3pm Alaskan, and 1pm Hawaiian–can’t forget about you guys!).
Oh friends, have I got a treat for you today! I’m so beyond excited for this out-of-the-norm Tuesday post. 🙂
Welcome to the Pinned in Time Blog Hop: a twelve day party celebrating Pepper Basham‘s Penned in Time series! There is a Pinterest scavenger hunt, exciting giveaway,
behind the scenes looks into the worlds of The Thorn Bearer and The Thorn Keeper–as well as a glimpse into the heart of their talented author.
Do you want to see a glimpse of the prize? Yes? Okay! You can win all this and a $25 Amazon gift card!! Hello!
Doesn’t that look fab??? But first things first. I need to tell you about my very sweet, lovable friend, Pepper Basham. I love this lady more than I can possibly even get into in one blog post. Because she’s fab. And today, I get to host a blog hop for her–and give you a clue to her giveaway! So be sure to read the entire post. 😉
So, about Pepper:
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and most recently a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. You can get to know Pepper on her website, pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.
Told you she was great. 😀
For today’s stop, I get to pick out a modern-day outfit for Pepper’s characters, Ashleigh and Catherine, in The Thorn Bearer and The Thorn Keeper. And by now, you might know I love doing this kind of thing.
But you guys need to get to know their stories! First up is Ashleigh in The Thorn Bearer.
Title:The Thorn Bearer Series:Penned in Time, Book 1 Author: Pepper D. Basham Publisher: Vinspire Publishing, LLC Release Date: May 7, 2015
When Ashleigh Dougall’s fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. In an attempt to escape her shame, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone.
Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help his childhood friend, Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and companionship as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in the love of his childhood friend.
Neither are prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship.
Purchase The Thorn Bearer on Amazon. You can read my five-star Amazon review of this book HERE.
So how would I dress Ashleigh today? Oh, this is going to be fun! I love how Ashleigh looks romantic and mysterious, and dressed so elegantly in the cover photo…like she’s keeping secrets. So, let’s go with this outfit for a formal event:
And this outfit for a fun Saturday out with friends (after all, one can’t always be secretive and mysterious, sometimes one needs to be romantic and playful!):
Now it’s Catherine’s turn! First, a bit about The Thorn Keeper.
Title:The Thorn Keeper Series: Penned in Time, Book 2 Author: Pepper D. Basham Publisher: Vinspire Publishing Release Date: February 28, 2016
With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope?
Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either. His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams. A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.
David Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pump fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands, but his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, unwinds the careful wall around his heart and offers an unexpected choice.
When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was lost or will tragedy steal away their hope forever.
From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who designs a masterpiece out of brokenness and fashions hope in the most unlikely places.
Purchase The Thorn Keeper on Amazon.Read my blog review HERE.
Catherine is the quintessential redeemed woman. She’s made some bad choices, but she’s on the right path and is full of love. And she’s a de…well, I can’t give that away. So let’s see what she might wear today.
For a formal event:
For a casual day with her newfound love, David:
See how fun that is?!
Now for the Scavenger Hunt!!
One winner will receive a basket filled with English goodies. Hello!! ❤
Here’s how to play:
Each blog hop stop contains an image clue, with a link to a Pinterest Board filled with pictures related to the Penned in Time series.
Using the image clue, find the corresponding answer image.
Create a Pinterest board, titled “Penned in Time,” and pinned the answer image to your board, and hashtag #pinnedintime.
Enter your pinned (answer) image link on the Rafflecopter entry form, correspond to the stop on the Blog Hop.
Check out the other blog hop stops for more entries!
Are you ready for your clue? Click on the image to be taken to Pepper’s Pinterest board. Make sure to come back here to click on the Rafflecopter link below!
So…here it is!
Carrie started the Pinned in Time Blog Hop off yesterday over at Reading Is My Superpower. Make sure you go over there to get the first clue!
To enter the Rafflecopter giveaway, click on the image below:
Follow the blog hop each day for more chances to win!
Sooo…I have no excuses. Actually, that’s not true. My mum came for a visit, and I only get to see her once a year because she’s from Canada and I so don’t live in Canada anymore. Anyway, this isn’t my usual posting date, but I have a very exciting reason to post today.
It’s the annual Pre-conference mix and mingle post!!!
It’s hosted by the lovely Laurie Tomlinson, and I am so excited to take part in it for the first time this year! Because I get to go to conference this year!!! All because of God and friends and strangers alike listening to His nudge. (Thank you!!)
If you’re going to the 2016 ACFW Conference in Nashville this year, stop by Laurie’s blog post to get the instructions on how this works! In order to participate, I have some questions to answer so us attendees can get to know one another before we arrive (pure brilliance, Laurie, pure brilliance!). So here I go!
Here are my answers!
Name: Mikal Dawn
Location: Omaha, NE
What you write/tagline/trademark: Contemporary romantic comedy / faith. fun. forever.
Place in the book world: I’m totally unpre-published right now, and still deciding whether to pursue traditional publishing or indie publishing. I see the benefits of both…especially indie when I’m an impatient sort.
On a scale of hugger to 10-foot-pole, please rate your personal space: All the hugs, all the time!
Something VERY serious: How do you take your Starbucks? Very serious indeed. A nice, foamy latte with a splash of vanilla and some thick chocolate sauce. Otherwise known to my friends as my “Kit Kat latte.” Mmm.
The unique talking points that will get you going for hours: Seattle Seahawks (Go Hawks!), books (duh), plot boards, and Colin O’Donoghue.
Loved ones at home you’ll be missing: My sweet and supportive (and very geeky) husband, 7-year-old daughter, 8-year-old son, and 21-year-old son (and since I hear it all the time, I am old enough for a 21-year-old…but you’re my best friend when you tell me I don’t look it). My cat, Leo, will also be highly missed. He’s so soft and fluffy. Serious.
Conference goals we can pray for? Before I even get to conference, I’m begging for prayers to finish my manuscript. Kids at home for summer break and family visits have obviously taken a priority, but I desperately want to finish this manuscript so I can confidently meet with editors or agents. Thank you!
Anything we can celebrate with you? I’ve had one editor interested in receiving a proposal when I’m finished!
Sooooo…yeah. I missed Forever Friday last week. But I promise I had a great reason!
This past Thursday, one of my super-sweet critique partners, Teresa Tysinger, flew into my city to attend the Wordsowers Christian Writers Conference. It was the first time we got to meet in person, and it was phenomenal! As Teresa kept saying, “You’re not two-dimensional!” Bahaha!! I love her to pieces.
It was like we’d known each other our whole lives. Pretty fab, if you ask me. The next day, our other two critique partners, Holly Michael and Shawna Robinson Young, drove in (well, Shawna flew to Holly’s city and together they drove to my house). It was the first time the four of us had met, and just as when Teresa and I met, it was like we’d all known one another our whole lives. God is pretty amazing.
Aren’t they beautiful???? I’m totally stealing a line from Teresa: “My critique partners are cuter than yours!”
When Holly and Shawna arrived, the four of us drove downtown and had lunch at Twisted Fork with the sweetest, most beautiful Jennifer Slattery and her incredible husband. And speaking of Jennifer’s husband…I’m sorry, S., for all you had to endure during our conversation. 😉 And thank you for lunch. ❤
Apparently I need my roots done. Whoops.
After Jennifer and her husband left, the four of us sat there for another hour-and-a-half just talking. (It was suggested Holly pick up a new pen name and write in a different genre, but I’ll let her make that decision.) Then we headed over a block to Aromas for some coffee and went to the first night of the writer’s conference. It was a great intro section. But the party animals the four of us are, we went for dinner–at Arby’s–and shut the place down. Awwww yeeeeaaaaah. You know you’re jealous.
The next morning, we woke up bright and early–oh-so-early–and went back to the church where the conference was held and spent a great day learning from published authors, like the ever-so-funny Mary Connealy.
And can I totally brag for a moment?? Along with Jennifer, I have two other friends I meet with once a month to brainstorm, and I adore all three ladies!! Sara, Stephanie, Jennifer, and I have a great time together, and they’ve helped me immensely!
Another fun part of the conference? Meeting another new friend! Chaka Heinze is pretty hilarious. I adore her already, and I’m so happy she lives here so I can get together with her!
And at the end of the conference, an announcement for next year’s conference was made. You wanna know who the keynote speaker will be??? New York Times bestselling author, Tosca Lee!!!!!!!! (You have no idea how excited I am!) I’ve had the honor of meeting her once and taking a workshop she taught, and she is so incredibly kind and fun, and such a phenomenal author!
It was such a fantastic weekend, seriously. So fantastic, I ran myself down and am sitting on my couch as I write this with no voice left. Literally.