See Ya, 2018 / Hello, 2019!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Sooo 2018 was insanely busy from start to finish.  I'm incredibly thankful for my family and all of you guys for the support and for keeping up with the madness! 

Things I did this year:

  • Published 2 novels and a short poetry book
  • Hosted my first giveaway
  • Was involved in several AWESOME blog tours, beta/alpha reads, and even had my first editing client - which was so exciting I can't even elaborate.  As I write this, several of the books I beta-ed are sitting on my Kindle and physical bookshelves, all of which I hope to savor in 2019! 
  • Wrote/acted/helped direct a church play, which was both intense and fantastic
  • Started my senior year of college, got on the Dean's List twice, and got into two honor societies
  • Wrote many articles for my college's newspaper
  • Started being more involved on social media/blogging
  • Ummm, probably a ton of other stuff that I forgot about and will recall later...
This year had some negatives too.  I am a perfectionist by nature and enjoy predictability in my school habits so that I have time to do other things (ie work, horseback riding, hobbies, developing a business, actually taking a breaK TO BREATHE...) but several of my professors did not get that memo.  Lots of fun "I forgot to post this massive assignment, it's due in two days" emails.  Lots of stress there. In addition to that, I started off the new year of 2018 with high levels of panic over my career choice.

Credit: Super Mario Odyssey (?) // Tenor

Perfect GIF.  Kid you not. 
When I began college, I intended to become a secondary-ed teacher.  Through a series of events, researching student teaching, and speaking with teachers I know in real life, I quickly learned that teaching wasn't in my blood, at least not in a traditional format.  You see, I enjoy some level of structure, but I like to be my own person; do my own thing.  You can't do that with your teaching curriculums.  Duh.  

 Thus began my fun new experience with anxiety.  Not every day that your entire life plan crumbles as if Thanos just snapped his fingers.

Credit: Avengers: Infinity War// Tenor

Thanks to that -- I strongly recommend Sadie Robertson's Live Fearless because it helped me straighten myself out.  

For now, I'm hoping to stay with my current job and begin my own editing/marketing business, which will carry the same name as this blog. That should be opening up after May, once I've been flung off the crazy Tilt-A-Whirl called college.  I am also excited about some related news I'll be posting about on Thursday, so keep your eyes peeled!  

I feel...weird, though.  I feel like I have to have everything figured out, including my entire life plan, by May -- but I don't have to.  I know I don't, I just feel like I do.  Whew.  We'll see what 2019 brings.  

While I'm not planning on teaching in a school, I'm hoping to write how-to articles/books/videos or something and open up mentoring for young writers, which will combine my independence (*cough* Tony Stark-ism maybe) with my passion for helping others learn the trade.  

Here's to 2019 and learning to step out in faith boldly, knowing that God's got this.  Definitely more than I do!  

Next year, I hope to...
  • Write at least 2 books
  • Launch my business and start taking on clients
  • Get on the Dean's List one last time, since I've been on it every semester.  At this point, it'd drive me crazy if I only got 7 out of 8.  No pressure.
  • Participate in more blog tours/alphas/betas because I seriously enjoy doing it 
  • NOT FREAK OUT over life
  • Credit: Tangled //gyfcat

    What are your plans for 2019 or reflections from 2018?  I hope you all have a great, fun, and blessed New Year!

Week In Review + G I V E A W A Y !

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Hey everyone!
I'm baaack -- I hope!  With school on hiatus and the yearly Christmas play finished, I'm ready to annoy y'all again.  But I have some fun announcements to compensate for that, so continue on, dear readers!

The play went surprisingly well this year, although it was one that we did 4 years ago...which meant that everyone was quoting someone else's lines.  We had a couple of young kiddos in their debut performance, too, and they did well too.

I had the role of this angel-in-disguise who has to talk sense into a youth group -- and unnerve them a little bit, because why not.  Except I had to "disappear" constantly, meaning I'd duck into a box at stage-right and stay hidden.  And man, it was probably divine intervention that I didn't fall down backwards trying to get into my hidey-hole during the play, because that's exactly what I did at EVERY. SINGLE. PRACTICE. 


Make sure to tune in on...Monday or Tuesday, when I'll review 2018 and look forward to 2019. I have a lot of news in the works for that one.  I'll also have a super-special post on Thursday, which I'm excited about.  Make sure to tune in!

Currently Reading: a Debbie Macomber book pertaining to angels, the title of which escapes me.  Funny because I just got done playing one of those.

Currently Writing: I got about 5k written this week for test-chapters for Keeping Cassie and Guide Me Home.

Current Bible verse: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me."
(Psalm 51:10-11 NIV)

Now for the announcements:

If you're interested in Kindle books, all of mine will be FREE tomorrow -- December 30th -- for that day only.  Make sure to snag some fresh reading!  I also have my paperbacks on Amazon knocked back to their Black Friday prices, so if you missed that sale, here's your chance.  Prices go back up Jan. 1!

Also.... I have some overstock of books and I'm currently moving stuff around in an attempt to clean for the new year, so I'd like to get a couple books out of my hair.

Want to help me with that?  It won't cost you a dime...

...because I'm hosting a giveaway!

The rules are as follows:
If you live in the U.S., you can enter to win two signed books of your choice.  That's right - you can choose whichever ones you'd like to have!

If you live across the pond but still want to participate, you can enter to win two PDF copies of the 2018 releases of your choice- Something New, My Compass Home, or Everything And Nothing (and if you sign up for the newsletter, you'll end up with Everything And Nothing as well, so you're really getting all three).  I wish I could ship signed books to you guys as well, but shipping is super expensive. (I say that as USPS shipping rates are set to go up too...hmm.  Maybe I should blame my reluctance to ship internationally on customs instead.)

Basically, there are two separate grand prizes in this case.  Make sure to enter the correct giveaway - there's one for the signed books and one for the PDF copies.  For the PDFs, I might hand-write and sign a little note to email to you so it's like a signed book...ish.  Anyway.

The giveaway runs from New Year's Day until January 8th, so you have a week to enter.  Make sure to spread the word!

Enter below!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

How are you guys spending New Year's?  Any goals for 2019?  

Music Review: "Deep" by Chaylyn!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Hey everyone!  Today I have a special post reviewing Chaylyn's debut EP, "Deep"!  This is a great trio of songs and after listening to them, I can't wait to hear more songs by this artist in the future! 

The EP was released this September and has three songs: "Deep," "Butterflies," and "Tired."  Chaylyn is a young Christian artist who has been passionate about music from a very early age.  Her music is what I would consider contemporary/pop with a softer sort of tone mixed in.  Her music style is wonderful, with gentle instrumental backing for each song that just captures each mood perfectly.  Her voice is very sweet and clear. 

Credit: Chaylyn // 
The titular song is one that, when listening to it, I absolutely cannot be distracted from.  It's the type of song that just grabs your attention and holds it.  It's also one that you'll be humming for the rest of the day (or the week...).  Chaylyn captures a serious yet passionate message in her voice as well as the lyrics - God's love runs deep for us and will save us from anything.  I love the softness of the song, and I'll update you all when I stop humming it.  There is a YouTube lyric video of this one, which you can view HERE.  Let me know if you can't stop humming it either. 

I immediately had to smile at this song - the simple guitar picking at the beginning was sweet.  Of course, I'll immediately put a song on repeat if it combines a guitar and cello, and that's exactly what this one does, with a sprinkling of piano.  This song seems to showcase Chaylyn's range nicely, as both the music and the lyrics are upbeat and bouncy. This one is a sweet love song and the lyrics paint such a nice picture.  


"Tired" seems to ask the question - does God see us when we're in our darkest place?  It's a slow, somber song that somehow encapsulates the mood, again, perfectly.  I haven't heard a lot of songs with this message that weren't in the rock/metal genre, so this was interesting to listen to.  This is probably my favorite song out of the EP, although I enjoyed all three of them; it's very relatable and - like I mentioned earlier, it seems to perfectly capture the mood, from her voice to the piano and (I think) cello in the back. 

Overall, if you're looking for fresh Christian music to listen to in the new year, I'd definitely recommend this EP in its entirety.  It has a nice blend of unique songs. 

While I was listening to them, all three of these songs instantly reminded me of some themes I want to include in some writing projects of my own, so they'll find their way into my writing playlists pretty soon.  That's some For King & Country-level inspiration here, guys.  Go pick up a copy of this EP! 

You can buy a digital copy of her EP from Amazon HERE, or you can stream it on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Pandora, Tidal, and Napster.  You can also follow Chaylyn on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or you can check out her website HERE.  You can snag a CD copy of "Deep"  from her website- which I would definitely recommend! 

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas, guys!  Hoping you all have a safe and blessed Christmas.  Remember that, amongst all the plans and dinners and parties (and last-minute shopping), that Jesus is the reason why we celebrate Christmas.  What better gift to give the Savior than some of your time and all of your heart?  And it doesn't cost a dime. 

Review: Kind by Kellyn Roth!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Hey everyone!  Today I have a review of Kellyn Roth's new Christmas short story.  It's coming out tomorrow -- Dec. 22 -- so make sure to head on over to Amazon and snag a copy! 
I absolutely loved this short story.  It was very compelling -- I am very interested in the WWII era (as well as most wars) and was excited to read this story, which is situated in post-war Germany.  It deals with the dynamics between one American Lieutenant and a German family, the Slades.  I loved the banter between soldiers -- very realistic and well-written.  The story as a whole transports you across the decades -- and across the ocean, for some -- to imagine a very unique, sweet, and kind dynamic between Neil and the Slade family.  A great, clean Christmas story with great lessons interwoven.  Perhaps it's also a testament to how folks can get along if we just try to.  Overall, I'm glad to give this one a 5 star rating.  Make sure you buy a copy just in time for Christmas break!  

Find it on Goodreads HERE and Amazon HERE.   You can also check it out on Kellyn Roth's website HERE

1K Story Challenge: Burdens

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Hey everyone!  This is a short story I've written for Kellyn Roth's 1K Contest.  If you want to enter, check out the details and deadline HERE. And congratulations for hitting 1K followers, Kellyn!!



(c) 2018 by Michaela Bush
            "Mind if I sit?" 
            Kelsey looked up to see the owner of the thickly-muffled voice.  A young man stood in front of the bus stop bench she was on.  All she could see of him were his twinkling eyes; their color indecipherable in the dark winter night.  The rest of him was layered in scarves, hats, and gloves.  He shrugged his shoulders up to his ears as a stiff breeze hit him. 
            "Sure," she gestured vaguely at the spot beside her, then scooted over to make room.  She leaned against the glass side, trying to get as far away from the stranger as possible.  She just wanted to be alone tonight. 

            Actually, that was wrong.  She didn't want to be alone, but it felt like so many things had gone wrong in her life that she deserved it.  And here she was, waiting two hours for the next bus on Christmas Eve because she'd been a few minutes late for the six o'clock one.  I've even screwed that up, she thought.  She grabbed a thick lock of curly black hair and clumsily twisted it around her frozen fingers. 

            The stranger beside her cleared his throat.  "The name's Clyde."
            She snorted without even thinking.  Scrambling to cover it up, she stammered, "Sorry.  That' original name."
            The stranger chuckled.  "No, it's fine.  You just seem about a thousand miles away right now, and I thought I could probably shock you out of whatever you're thinking about."

            Kelsey felt her lips shift into a cracked sort of grin – her lips were so chapped they were probably bleeding, too.  "Well, mission accomplished, I guess.  Good one."

            A few cars passed by, their headlights flashing and temporarily blinding them.  Slush on the cold asphalt splashed lazily beneath the tires.  The wind picked up again, silently grasping Kelsey's already chilled torso and digging into it.  She shivered slightly and yanked her thin coat tighter around her.  She sniffled from the cold.

            A few minutes later, the stranger piped up.  "So...where are you headed on this silent night?"
            "South 6th street," she said.   "You?"
            "Uh...home to my parents,"  he seemed confused by her answer.  "Any plans for tonight?"
            "Going somewhere to defrost my fingers," she answered vaguely. 
            "You're a tough nut to crack, you know," he observed.  "Street smarts, I suppose."
            Kelsey hummed in agreement.  No way was she going to blurt her life story to some nosy freak sitting at a bus stop. 

            A sudden rush of traffic passed by, pushing even colder air into the three-sided glass shelter.  She tucked her chin towards her chest and squeezed her eyes shut.  She should've just paid her rent last month instead of bailing her deadbeat roommate out of jail.  The drug charges were bad enough that the girl should've just stayed in the cell.  And today, she'd just been arrested again.  Kelsey snorted as she thought about it.  Seems like a pretty sweet deal.  She gets a warm place to sleep and three square meals.  What do I have?  

            The stranger's hand nudged Kelsey's shoulder.  She jerked back, sucking in a deep, frozen breath in surprise.  When she whirled around to look at him, he was holding out a spare set of gloves. 
            "I always keep an extra pair," he explained.  She nodded and put them on hurriedly, though her fingers trembled.  Whether it was from the cold or from fear, she didn't know.
            "Thanks," she cleared her throat and welcomed the burning that indicated her fingers still had feeling in them after all. 

            "The bus should be coming in fifteen minutes or so," the stranger observed, looking at his watch.  Kelsey's heart tripped as a car swept by and she caught a glimpse of the watch.  It looked so much like her brother's...but that had been years ago.  At least four.  The last time she'd seen him had been just before he left for the Navy at the age of eighteen.  After her brother had left, she'd had no reason to stay with her adoptive family.  Sixteen-year-old Kelsey had run away from home.  The family hadn't done anything was just in her blood to run.  That fact of life had been driven into her skull by all the beatings she'd taken by her drunk dad.  Her brother had tried to protect her, but...why bother?

            She felt a hot lump rise in her throat thanks to the onslaught of memories.  This wasn't the first time she'd been homeless; she'd make it.  But part of her didn't want to.  Part of her just wanted to lay down on the salted sidewalk and never wake up.    

            The stranger cleared his throat again, and spoke up with his scarf-muffled voice.  "I can practically hear you thinking over there.  Again.  Pensive, huh?"
            "Hmm," she shrugged her shoulders.  "I guess." 
            "First Peter five-seven."
            "What?"  Kelsey's eyebrows furrowed.  When the stranger repeated it, she blinked a few times.  1 Peter 5:7.  A Bible verse.  Great, now I'll get a sermon, too...she thought to herself.  It wasn't that she didn't believe...not exactly.  It just felt like she'd reached the limits of all forgiveness and didn't want to think about that either.  When was the last time she'd been in a church or even prayed?
            "'Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you.  He shall never permit the righteous to be moved,'" the stranger recited. 
            "You have to be righteous first," Kelsey muttered.  "I don't think I fit the bill."
            "Doesn't mean you can't start."

            Kelsey shook her head, letting her messy hair fall into her eyes.  "My brother always talked about that.  That verse, rather.  And that's a pretty touchy subject for me, so I'd prefer it if you just shut up."

            The stranger did. 

            There was no way God would ever forgive her for messing up her entire life.  Sure, she hadn't done any of the things that her roommate had – taking and dealing drugs were the least offensive acts – but she'd still lived with it; she'd let it happen.  And she'd lost her Bible sometime when she was sixteen and on her own. 

            She hated the stranger for making her think about it – all the ways she was probably destined for a lifetime of suffering and an eternity after that.  Hot anger worked through her torso, and she practically welcomed it – it was warmth, after all. 

            It doesn't have to be this way.  Kelsey looked around, almost expecting the random thought to have been spoken by the stranger or someone else.  But the man was just sitting there silently, and no one else was insane enough to be outside in the cold.  She sniffled and wondered at the whisper of a thought.  Maybe this was some communication, some idea planted by God – that she could always start turning her life around for the better. 

            She took in a deep breath, surprised at how reasonable that idea sounded.  Well, God, if You're still there – if that was me that I can.  Even if I just have a warm place to sleep tonight.  She surprised herself by praying. 

            The stranger cleared his throat, and his leg started bouncing so hard it jarred the bench.  "I said I was going home to my parents.  My parents are Ben and Elissa Howards."

            It would've hurt less if Kelsey had actually been gut-punched by the stranger.  She gaped at the man.  The Howards.  My adoptive parents.  The ones who loved me...the ones I abandoned.  She swallowed hard as she heard the bus approaching.  The headlights caught his face and she finally looked at him in the light.  Mischievous blue eyes glinted at her, and she suddenly reached over and ripped the scarf away from his face. 

            "Luke," she said breathlessly.  Questions flooded her head, but she couldn't say a word for the lump in her throat.  Her brother grabbed her into a tight hug.  

            "I'm home for good.  I came home a few months ago and the Howards said you still hadn't come home.  They told me when you ran away. You remember Kev?  He's in the police force and he told me he had seen you awhile back," he explained quickly.  Too quickly for Kelsey, because she still couldn't believe any of it.   Luke chuckled as he tried to pry her arms from around him.  "Come on, we can't miss this bus!"

            He took her by the arm and led her onto the warm bus.  As he did, he explained that he was going to take her home.  The Howards had her old bedroom ready and were ecstatic.
            She balked.  "No.  Luke, I can't.  I...I really messed up–"
            "How bad?"  Luke asked.  His eyes flickered with concern.  "Kev told me you'd bailed out a druggie."
            "No...not like that.  I never took any."
            "I mean...that's kind of hard to believe, but how did you mess up if you didn't?" 
            "I hurt them, Luke.  I know I did because they tried to contact me and I threw my cell phone away and they were even on the news begging for me to come home–" she sobbed.  "They have to be angry with me."
            "Kels, I've been with them since I got back.  They just want you home.  You should've seen Mom's face when I said you'd been found.  But...before I get their hopes up, I want you to tell me everything.  If you're in any trouble–"
            "I'm not.  I'm homeless now, but...I'm not in any kind of trouble you're thinking about."   She swallowed and then spilled the whole story.  Why she'd left her family, when she advertised for a roommate to help pay rent and how she'd learned, way too late, that she was sharing an apartment with a dealer, how she'd messed up by helping her roommate out...everything.  To his credit, Luke stayed silent the whole time, his arm around her shoulders.  She welcomed the warmth. 

            He was quiet for a long time before speaking up again.  "Kelsey, you're an idiot.  Sorry – but you are.  I know our biological parents really messed you up, but didn't you ever see how much our adoptive ones loved you?  Truly, honestly, loved you?"
            She squeezed her eyes shut.  "I always felt like I didn't deserve it.  Or like the shoe was going to drop sometime."
            "Well, knock it off – ya dingbat," he teased.  "They understand.  But now it's all up to you – whether you accept that love or not.  And I'm not just talking about the Howards, you know."
            It's up to me to accept their's up to me to accept God's love, too.  She finally took a deep breath.  Maybe she could repair all that was broken.  Her tight chest finally unfurled, and she buried her face into her brother's broad shoulder, suddenly feeling the urge to laugh as she thought of something. 

            She'd have that warm place to sleep tonight, too. 

Week In Review: Still Alive (Somewhat)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

My dudes, having five headaches -- three of which being migraines -- in a week and a half during finals is NOT.  FUN.  I do not recommend trying it at home.  Or anywhere.  

Related image
Credit: Star Wars//GIPHY

But I managed to get everything taken care of, and surprisingly, I didn't fail any of them.  At least, not yet.  I mean, there's still time to...a few haven't been graded yet and the class grades aren't due until the 19th.  In January, I'll start my last semester of college.

We also have one week and a day until the youth group at my church has our Christmas play, which has been pretty rocky so far, thanks to some unforeseen issues with scripts.  We only have ONE WEEK AND A DAY LEFT. 
Image result for panicking gif
Credit: A movie I can't recall and Gifer....oops
So there's that.  I always enjoy the youth plays, and I'm sure it'll pull together at the last minute, but until then -- full panic mode. 

Currently Reading: The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron and Life Without Lack by Dallas Willard.  I finished reading The Reluctant Godfather by Alison Tebo and I have to say it was very enjoyable.  I love how Ella's love story turned out!

Current Bible Verse:  "His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation." (Luke 1:50, NIV, part of Mary's Song). 

Current Projects: A professor of mine alerted me to a literary journal that is taking submissions (one of Sigma Tau Delta's) so I'm working on some ideas for that as well as the literary journal for my college, Tobeco.  You've probably read some of my works from Tobeco before; they've been included in Everything I've Never Said (and if you haven't, message me and I'll send you a few of them!) Wish me luck - I always overthink when I'm submitting to a journal...

I also have a couple of announcements.  I have several ideas about things I can do for you guys and some new products.  Since I tend to be indecisive and, overall, awful at choosing and eliminating my own ideas,  I'd really appreciate it if you would take a look at the survey I've whipped up; feel free to answer whichever questions you'd like.  Click HERE to take the survey.  And thank you x 10000. 

ALSO, my next newsletter is going out on Monday (the 17th)!  I'll be announcing some small things exclusively to the subscribers then, so make sure to sign up HERE -- and when you do, I'll send you a complementary copy of Everything And Nothing.  Hey: free reads for Christmas break.  Why not? 

What are you guys working on right now?  What's one Christmas tradition you're looking forward to? 

Blog Tour: Review of "Silent Days, Holy Night" by Phyllis Clark Nichols + Giveaway!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Silent Days Holy Night blog tour

Let's all get in the mood for Christmas with this blog tour and giveaway for Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols, hosted by JustRead Tours.


silent days, holy night Title: Silent Days, Holy Night  
Author: Phyllis Clark Nichols  
Publisher: Gilead Publishing  
Release Date: October 30, 2018  
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Christmas  

The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house...  

Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .

When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository

I have to give this book a 4/5 star rating.  It was absolutely a darling read and I love how young Julia was portrayed.  She's a very intelligent and perpetually curious soul, and Nichols wrote her character perfectly from the 1st person perspective.  I've read a lot of books (and seen a Hallmark movie or two) where preteen children are either written as entirely too old or entirely too childish, but the author balanced Julia very well.  I also appreciated that disabilities were portrayed in a positive and accurate setting.  Mr. Lafferty wasn't seen as scary; Julia just wanted to learn more about him and befriend him.  We seriously need more of this in fiction (and real life).

This book is also a very clean read, which I appreciated, and isn't a run-of-the-mill Christmas story.  There are mysteries to unravel and even a bit of suspense involving some troublemakers that decide to harass Mr. Lafferty.  The story is a great reminder of what we should be doing around Christmastime (and all the time, I suppose) : helping folks who might be passed over by others, setting aside time to bring joy to someone, and learning about someone with an open mind and heart.  

The only reason I've docked a star from the rating -- the prologue and epilogue.  While I don't want to get into details and spoil anything in case anyone wants to read the book, I will say that they seemed to kind of stick out away from the story.  I had trouble getting through the prologue, despite the beautiful prose, because I found it somewhat vague and I just couldn't connect with the characters (and was worried that the whole book would be like that). The epilogue was similar.  After I read the book in its entirety and thought about it, I did see the reasoning behind including the prologue and epilogue, and it is a neat little way of wrapping the story up, but I perhaps would have included the material from both in the epilogue.  

I truly did enjoy reading this book - it's a cozy read for anyone who's looking for a Christmas book this season; it's heartwarming and innocent, refreshing, and it'll get you into the holiday spirit pretty quickly!  If you keep reading through this post, you'll also have the opportunity to enter a giveaway for Silent Days, Holy Night!  



Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.

Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling.

She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman.

Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.  

CONNECT WITH PHYLLIS: website | Facebook | Twitter

silent days, holy night giveaway


(1) winner will receive (US only):
  • a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
  • a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 10, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 17, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

Blog Tour: "Seek" by Angela R. Watts Author Interview + Book Spotlight!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Hey everyone!  I'm so excited to be sharing this post with you guys!  Seek by Angela R. Watts is officially published, and I had the opportunity to interview the authoress herself!  Once you're done reading the interview, you'll want to scroll down and check out the book spotlight as well.  There's a giveaway that you won't want to miss, and you can find even more information about Ms. Watts and her books by following her on social media, or keeping up with the blog tour this week!  

1. What was your inspiration for writing Seek?
God gave me a crazy dream [that] gave me the idea for Seek. After two years or so of writing, rewriting, and editing, the novel has changed, but the original idea has remained. I must admit, dreaming about a villain really helps you write them...

2.  What are some things you hope readers gain from reading your novel?
Whatever God needs them to gain! I pray that Seek touches whoever picks it up. I hope that my readers find how important it is to seek God, and that seeking the Lord doesn't mean we have a perfect plan. It means we trust God and look to Him instead of things we can see.

3. Who was your favorite character to write and why?
All of them? Haha! I really enjoyed my entire cast. Well, besides Michelle. Angel and Eli were great, Asher is the one I want to hug, and... ah! I can't choose.

4. Any details you want to reveal about the future of the characters/series?
I was blown away by the enthusiasm from readers when I told them the series would continue! I don't want to give too many spoilers, but I can say this... Asher bites off more than he can chew to try and save another character. Wanna guess who that character is? 

I can only imagine what Asher's getting himself into next time!  If this interview piqued your interest, you'll definitely want to scroll below to see where you can buy Seek.  

Angel Cutler's routine life is overturned when local ganglord Viktor Marino tries to kidnap her.  When she finds out her adopted sister is back in town and working with Viktor, Angel has to run away with the protection of two total strangers.  Can Angel have faith in God to protect her family when she can't?

Elijah Davis has seen Viktor bleed once, and to save his family, he'll make it happen again.  But who is the One Eli can turn to when he realizes he can't protect his loved ones alone?

Hiding from gangsters and gunfire, the trio struggle to seek God above all else and trust that His plan is greater than their own.  Or Viktor Marino's.

Buy it from Amazon or add it to your Goodreads shelf! The paperback is coming soon, but it's already available for Kindle! 

This book is absolutely fantastic.  I had the honor of beta-reading for it and absolutely couldn't put it down.  It's one of those books that perfectly blends humor with more serious instances, keeping a good balance between lightheartedness and the depth of what the characters are experiencing as they complete their mission.  
I also loved the Scripture references and the Christian discussion points that this book offers.  Some of Angel's struggles (as well as Eli's) really struck home.  They're very relatable characters, which is awesome.  But their mission isn't always dead-serious....

The humor is absolutely perfect.  It had me in tears with laughter from time to time.  


Angela R. Watts is a Christian fiction author who strives to glorify the Lord in all she does.  She's a homeschooled highschooler living at Step By Step Sanctuary, Tennessee, though with Gypsy and Norwegian in her blood, she tends to travel.  She's been writing stories since she was little, but also enjoys chores, painting, and watching sunsets.  

You can find her on these platforms:
Website | Reveries Co.
Facebook | AngelaRWattsauthor
Twitter | PeculiarAngela
Instagram | angiewatts


1st place: a signed paperback of Seek and a mug with a Scripture verse on it!
2nd place: an ebook copy of Seek!
Enter the giveaway below!

Make sure to stop by these blogs during the week for more fun!
Saturday, December 1st

Book Spotlight | Gracelyn Buckner, Literatura

Guest Post | Abigail Harder, Books, Life, And Christ

Book Review | Loretta, Just Writing

Sunday, December 2nd

Book Review + Author Interview | Molly Anne, Qadash - Set Apart, For Him

Author Interview | Shine, HauntingGhostTown

Monday, December 3rd

Guest Post + Book Spotlight | Liz, Home With The Hummingbirds

Book Spotlight + Author Interview | Michaela Bush, Tangled Up In Writing

Tuesday, December 4th

Book Spotlight | Faith Potts, Stories By Firefly

Guest Post | Grace Maples, Proclaiming His Excellencies

Wednesday, December 5th

Book Review | Kellyn Roth, Reveries

Book Spotlight + Guest Post | John-Clement Gallo, JC’s ShadowBlog

Guest Post | Medomfo, Writings From A God Girl

Thursday, December 6th

Book Review + Author Interview | A. Kaylee Harrison, Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes

Book Review + Guest Post | Parker Hankins, Pencils And Pianos

Guest Post | Sara, R535

Friday, December 7th

Book Review | Hannah Gridley, Heart Of The Rose

Book Review | Chloe, Purely By Faith