Friday, March 16, 2018

Cover Reveal - Tricia Mingerink's Latest Novel



I am so excited to announce the coming of Tricia Mingerink's upcoming novel. have been privileged to help promote Tricia's Blades of Acktar series in the past and have so enjoyed the opportunity to watch her grow as an author.  Her stories grab you by the collar and don't let go until the end, making it almost impossible to set the book down. She makes you feel for each of her characters, even her villains, and the way she brings about growth and change in each of them is truly beautiful. 

This new story is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty with a very interesting twist. I am a sucker for a good fairytale retelling, and I cannot wait to read this one!

And now for the big reveal.....


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Gorgeous isn't it?!?

I LOVE the blue mountainous backdrop and the castle illuminated by sunlight. And the dagger in the title adds a nice contrast to that peaceful scenery, don't you think? I am so excited about this book. Speaking of which, here's a little blurb to make you drool...

About the book: 
A prince cursed to sleep.
A princess destined to wake him.
A kingdom determined to stop them.
 High Prince Alexander has been cursed to a sleep like unto death, a curse that will end the line of the high kings and send the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia into chaos. With his manservant to carry his luggage and his own superior intelligence to aid him, Alex sets off to find one of the Fae and end his curse one way or another.
A hundred years later, Princess Rosanna learns she is the princess destined by the Highest King to wake the legendary sleeping prince. With the help of the mysterious Daemyn Rand, can she find the courage to finish the quest as Tallahatchia wavers on the edge of war?
One curse connects them. A hundred years separate them. From the rushing rivers of Tallahatchia’s mountains to the hall of the Highest king himself, their quests will demand greater sacrifice than either of them could imagine. 

Release Date: May 28, 2018

About the author: 
Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.
You can connect with her on FacebookPinterestGoodreadsTwitterInstagram, and her blog.
To make things even more exciting, Tricia Mingerink is going to be co-hosting a blog tour from May 22 to 28 with Sarah Addison-Fox to celebrate the release of both of their latest books. Her next book Dissociate releases May 22. More details about blog tour will be coming in April.  


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Giveaways, Cover Reveals, and Valentine's Day!

It's Valentine's Day!

In honor of Valentine's Day, I would like to highlight some awesome historical romances by one of my favorite authors and announce the cover reveal to the upcoming finale of her latest series, Shadows Over England. Make sure you read all the way to the end of this post for the cover reveal and giveaway!

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.







In the first book of The Shadows Over England series, A Name Unknown, we meet Peter Holstein and Rosemary Gresham.  Rosemary is sent by the mysterious Mr. V to steal family information about Peter's heritage for the government.  She enters his employ posing as a librarian, sent to help organize his family books and gets way more than she bargained for.

In the second book, A Song Unheard, we get to know Willa, Rosemary's adopted sister, as she is sent on a mission to steal a cipher from her favorite musician.  She is taken off guard when he becomes enamored with her musical talent.

My favorite aspect of Roseanna White's writing is the way she makes her characters work for their happy ending. Historical Fiction/Christian Romance is one of my favorite genres, but I always get annoyed when the characters "fall in love" too fast.  In a Roseanna White novel, even if the characters admit attraction early on, she makes them go through the ringer before allowing them to be together.  I LOVE this because in real life every relationship has obstacles to overcome that have to do with the people IN the relationship. What happens when that person hurts you? What happens when your happy life gets interrupted by their needs? What happens when their baggage rears it's ugly head and causes trust issues?

Roseanna's characters deal with all of these, and more, and today I would like to highlight seven ways true love is shown in The Shadows Over England series:


1. Love is selfless - Peter shows a general love for people by the way he goes out of his way to care for them.  When he first meets Rosemary, he welcomes her into his home and offers her the cottage to stay in.  Twice, he puts up money to care for a sick person he doesn't even know. 

2. Love is a choice - Though Rosemary and Willa grew up orphans, they choose to love their adopted family as their own.  Lukas and Peter choose to love in spite of being hurt by loved ones.

3. Love protects - Both Rosemary and Peter defend each other against people who speak against them. They also stand up for those who are suffering or in trouble, regardless of the benefit (or lack thereof) to themselves, even after they have been hurt by those people.

Willa risks her life to help a girl and her mother, knowing full well that she will not be thanked for her actions.

4. Love is patient  - Lukas makes it clear early on what his intentions are towards Willa, but he respects her limits and, while he prods gently, he never pushes.

5. Love is persistent - Lukas is also a very difficult man to dissuade, despite Willa's best efforts.  She puts up all kinds of barriers, and he continues to let her know that he is still there for her.

In Willa's and Lukas' respective faith journeys they both come to realize how God has been present throughout their lives, even when they did not recognize Him.

5. Love does the right thing, regardless of consequence. - Rosemary and Willa both come to a crossroad in their journey when they have to decide whether to do the right thing and sacrifice their personal goals, or do the right thing and sacrifice someone they love.

Which brings me to my final point...

6. Love forgives.  Lukas and Peter are lied to by the women they love (who, let's not forget, have also been hired to steal from them. Can we say, counseling?) Willa has been hurt by her parents, and that hurt holds her back from forming new relationships.  Peter has been threatened, shunned, and slandered by the people in his town because of his German ties.  Somehow, all of these people are (eventually) able to love in spite of their very real hurts. How? Forgiveness.  No relationship, no matter how strong or perfect it's beginning, can completely escape the necessity of forgiveness. We have all hurt and been hurt by someone we love.  Just like the characters in these books, we come to a point where we must ask ourselves: Do I care more about my hurt than I care about the relationship?


And now it is time (hehehe) to talk about Book Three: An Hour Unspent which is due to release in September of this year.

Book Description:

Once London's top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker's daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiance to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can't help being interested.  But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge - and Germany realizes it as well.  Evelina's father soon finds his whole family in danger - and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.


And now the moment you have all been waiting for....Drumroll, please.......
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First, the good stuff:

I LOVE the gorgeous image of the clock face in the background with the radiant light shining through, illuminating the room. The woman on the front is a red-head, which is exciting because red-headed heroines are always awesome (Anne Shirley may disagree, but I have always loved gingers). You can tell she's going to be a feisty one. She looks ready to engage in some witty banter, and probably take someone's ego down a notch or two. Based off of the character description, and what I have read in interviews with other bloggers, I would say there is a very good chance of this happening at least once in the book.  Looking forward to some awesome dialogue!

My ONE teeny tiny complaint with this cover is that it does not have Barclay on it.  I have enjoyed getting to know him as a secondary character in the other two books and am really looking forward to becoming better acquainted with him in An Hour Unspent. Because of this, I am slightly disappointed he is not on the cover, but I love what is on the cover enough to get over it. I am so excited about this book!



To celebrate this cover reveal, the author is giving away one copy of each of the first two books in the series, A Name Unknown and A Song Unheard. Click on the titles to read my reviews. They are both excellent and you will not be disappointed. If you would like to enter the giveaway, click here or on the link above. What a perfect opportunity to get caught up before Book 3 releases!

One final note: An Hour Unspent is now available for pre-order! Click on one of the  links below to reserve your copy!

Amazon:  http://a.co/3hBOMdu 


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36590922-an-hour-unspent 

Thank you for reading! If you would like to know more about Roseanna White and her books, visit her website and Goodreads page by clicking the links below.  Good luck with all your upcoming releases, Roseanna! Keep writing!


Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White



I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve on the launch team for Roseanna White's latest book, A Song Unheard. A few months ago, I wrote about the first book in the series, A Name Unknown, which followed Rosemary as she attempted to steal a name from a man whose ties to Germany have made him the object of suspicion in a pre-World War 1 England.

In this book, we get to know Willa Forsythe, Rosemary's adopted sister. She is tasked with stealing a cipher from her favorite musician, a Belgian violinist whose father had been working on an important machine that could be used against the Germans. 

Will she be able to complete her task and continue to support her family?

Find out when you purchase the book on Amazon, available in ebook or paperback form!  ;-) Or, you can order directly from the author's website and receive a signed copy! 

You can read my review and thoughts about the book below. I hope it inspires you to read it for yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I hope you will too.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone***

Synopsis:
Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he's won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn't—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

Review:
My must-have in any great story is multi-dimensional characters who undergo serious character development throughout the events of the story.  This book did not disappoint.  A Song Unheard was full of all the classic elements of a Roseanna White book: deep characters, beautiful descriptive language, humor, drama, and of course, characters and relationships who earn their happy ending after much character development.  Willa and Lukas both start out as flawed and hurt characters.  Willa, who was abandoned by both of her parents as a child, does not trust anyone outside of her adopted family of thieves. She has grown up poor, having to steal in order to survive.  Lukas, by contrast, comes from a loving family who has always supported him, but he has not fully appreciated their influence before.  He has lived the life of a famous musician socialite, going to parties, meeting beautiful women, and reveling in his fame.  He struggles with guilt over not being able to take care of his family, Willa struggles to trust anyone outside of her circle.  Both of them find refuge in music, and it was interesting to see the way it played into their personal journeys of faith.

This book had a great cast of supporting characters as well.  I enjoyed getting to read more about Barclay, the leader of Willa's family band of thieves.  He wore the roles of Big Brother and Protector very well and  I look forward to reading more of his story in Book 3!  Another character I hope to see more of is Margot.  I absolutely LOVED her character.  Some of the most hilarious and profound quotes in the book came from her and I hope she gets her own book someday.


The writing contains beautiful storytelling, intriguing characters, and a profound message of God's faithfulness and love.  Thank you, Roseanna White, for another great read!

Favorite quotes:
"Can a man compose a symphony without paying attention to each individual note? Can he put together an orchestra without caring about each musician in it? It's ridiculous to posit a Creator who stands back, unconcerned.  If we grant a God, we have to grant a complete God."

"But she heard music.  And for the first time in her life, she wondered if maybe...maybe this was what the Lord sounded like.  If He'd been whispering to her all along, all these years.  Little snippets of melodies she'd never quite caught."

"Peter said something before he left about God calling us, drawing us while we're still sinners.  And I wonder...I wonder if that's what He's been doing all along.  Calling us to Him.  To His work."

Final Thoughts:
I believe God finds ways of speaking to us in ways that are uniquely meaningful to us. I loved the way the author brought that out in the individual storylines of the characters. In Willa's and Lukas' storylines, He speaks to them through music. In Margot's story, He speaks to her through numbers and order. In my personal walk with God, I have heard His voice through stories and books. There have been times when I have been able to look back and make sense of events in my life by looking at them in the context of a story. His greater story. The question is not whether God speaks to us in any given moment. The question is whether or not we are willing to hear His voice, listen to His song, read His story. It brings to mind a quote from another great book, The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis:

" 'You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,' said the Lion."

May each of us be able to hear His voice calling to us, and be willing to answer back.

Discussion Questions:
Have you ever heard God speaking to you through your hobbies and passions?
What spiritual lessons have you learned, or can be drawn, by experiencing these different areas of interest?

Friday, January 5, 2018

First blog post of 2018

New Year's is always a time for reflection upon the previous year, and anticipation over the year to come. What will we accomplish in the new year? How will our lives change? Looking back on the old year, what did we accomplish, and how did our lives change? I ask these questions every year and I usually enjoy looking back on the old year and finding highlights. However, this year, I don't want to do that. While I have been ready for a new beginning before, I have never, in my memory, been so glad to be rid of an old year.


2017 was a beating.


It must be stated, for the sake of honesty, that there were plenty of good moments last year, that I will treasure forever. Plenty of defining moments that were significant and character developing.


In 2017:
Relationships were solidified
Bonds grew tighter
New life was made
Cities and organizations came together to help each other in a time of crisis
The impossible became reality
I experienced new places and experiences that both enriched my life and made me grow as a person.(Traveling to New York and Broadway, being in charge of auction and having to get it set up when my partner got sick, signing up for Medicaid and going to prenatal visits, seeing my son through an ultrasound, etc.)

I am (or will be) be grateful for 2017. For the good experiences as well as the trying times and the way I grew and am continuing to grow (albeit very reluctantly) as a result of them.

That said, I am SO glad 2017 is over with.

Also in 2017:
Dreams were crushed
Lives were turned upside down, shaken, not stirred, and set down to dizzily navigate a new path
Jobs were lost
Homes we lost
Locations were changed
Friends were separated
Goals were made and not met - both because I was unable to meet them and because I simply gave up
Matthew and I were separated for the better part of four months.

2017 was a yucky, yucky year and it has left me reeling and trying to find my bearings. I realize that, in perspective, my trials have been minor in comparison to those who lost their homes in Hurricane Harvey. I try to keep that in mind when I find myself wallowing in self-pity. I do not mean to downplay their trials, or make it seem as though mine are on the same par. This is my response and attempt to process my personal trials from last year.

Things are beginning to slow down now, but they will start spinning again in a month or less when my son is born. 2017 has forced me into a place where I have no choice but to take life one day at a time.

In 2018:
My son will be born.

That is both exciting and terrifying. That one event, in and of itself, is going to change my entire life...again. More about my feelings on that in another post.

Everything else new that may or may not happen seems to hinge on this one event, and it is the only thing I know for certain about this year. There are many changes ahead, most of which I cannot fully prepare for because each possibility hinges on another possibility that may or may not happen.

There are many things I would like to happen, but I have no way of knowing if they will at this point, and no way to make them happen. Honestly, last year has made me afraid to make plans, and the uncertainty of where (in any sense of the word) we will be in a year has made me hesitant to put down roots.

2018 is not without its difficulties, friends. But I know this:

I am ready to move past 2017 and let it stop defining my attitude on life.

I want this, but at the same time I feel crippled by this because I still have days when I am driving to work and I have to give myself a firm talking to in order to keep from crying at the unfairness of 2017. I would like to know for certain what will happen. What will happen with school? Jobs? Housing? Location? Also, Parenthood?! When will, how will, what will?

How can I move on with so many questions? I don't know that I fully can.

Regardless, my attitude needs to change.

There are many possible things that could happen in 2018, and just as many chances that something else will happen instead.

I have no way of knowing which combination of events will occur. But I know this, I need to give up my need to control the situation (because, let's face it, I have no control over my situation) and trust that God has a plan for me that will be way better than anything I can come up with.

In spite of all that has happened, He has not left me. He has made me uncomfortable and He has forced me to grow, and, I will be completely honest, I have not liked Him for it. I have been the angry teenager pouting in her room after losing an argument with her parents. Deep down I know they have my best interests in their heart, even though I don't see it right now. Eventually, I have to decide whether to continue fighting against them, accomplishing nothing but more misery, or relinquish my control and open myself up to the possibility that they know better than I do.

So here is my prayer for 2018:

Father, help me to give up control and open myself up to your will. Change my heart so that I will be happy to go wherever you lead me. Change my desires so that they line up with your will for my life. Take away my anxiety over the future, and replace it with hope and contentment. Thank you for always taking care of me and showing me in little and big ways how much you love me.

Amen




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Interview with Charles Franklin - Author of Children of the Forgotten



This Fall, I had the opportunity to serve on the launch team of Charles Franklin's debut novel, Children of the Forgotten, a post-apocalyptic story about a city of adolescents and new adults that is facing extinction.  Those of you who know me know that post-apocalyptic/dystopian genres are not my usual cup of tea. However, this one intrigued me for two reasons:

1. It included Knights.

2. It takes place several hundreds of years after the "apocalypse" had taken place. Most post-apocalyptic stories that I am aware of take place in the recent years after said apocalypse.

These two elements added some interesting dynamics to the Story World and I enjoyed watching them play out. If you are interested, you can read my entire review on Goodreads or Amazon, where you can also order your own copy!

In the mean time, and to whet your appetite, the author himself has allowed me to interview him about his book. Check out his bio and his website for more information about Charles, his writing, and his inspiration.

Charles was born and raised in Texas. From there, he joined the United States Army and has traveled the world. Along the way, he saw the most beautiful set of eyes he had ever seen. They belonged to a girl ... and he married her right away. Twenty years later, they have three children and are finally headed back home to Texas for good.
Upon retiring from the Army after 23 years, Charles will continue to serve others as a teacher in the town he grew up in. When he's not in the classroom, or spending time with his family, Charles writes stories about faith, love, hope, and adventure. 
His debut novel, Children of the Forgotten: The Anistemi Book I, will release in August and he has already begun work on the second book in the trilogy. Charles is also writing an action thriller, and has begun outlining another series set in the Anistemi world.  
You can get in touch with Charles on his websiteFacebook, or Twitter if you'd like to follow along with his journey.
(Taken from his website)


1. What was the inspiration for this story? Did the plot come first or the characters? 

The plot definitely came first. Post-apocalyptic stories are some of my favorites, and I always enjoy how the characters fight against whatever foe has caused this end-of-the-world scenario. As a fan of these stories, though, I found myself wanting to tell my own tale and fill it with faith. Plenty of authors have done it and done it well, but I hope I put a bit of a different twist on it!

2. Which is easier for you to write, plot or characters? 

It's funny that the plot came to me first, and now I'm going to say that characters are so much easier for me to write. I can't remember how many times I've had to go back and fix a timeline or completely alter a scene because I left out vital information, so I really struggle with plot! But with characters, I feel like my writing just flows and I--sadly--end up having to cut out a lot of stuff. There was a scene with a character named, Bliss, where something takes her back to a horrible time in her life and she lashes out. The intensity of that scene left me trembling for quite some time afterward. It was a quite sad, yet amazing experience!

3. Who was your most difficult character to write and why? 

I'd have to say, Felicia. When I got my first edits back from my publisher, they said that Felicia was too perfect. After reading back through, I agreed. I really wanted her to be an inspirational, strong female character, but I had to go back and give her some flaws and struggle to make her more relatable. I guess the difficult part was having to be a little mean to her at times ... I hope she forgives me!

4. If you can answer this without spoilers, what was your hardest problem to solve plot-wise? 

There were many, but I think the hardest was finding an appropriate climax. The story builds and builds (well, I hope it does) to something that I wanted to be a furious clash between opposing forces. And not only did I wanted it to be an epic clash, I also wanted to show each main character's growth throughout. I pray that I was able to do that.

5. Which character do you relate to the most and why? 

Collin and I have both lost our parents, so we share that right away. But, I also relate to his feelings of inadequacy and fear. It was once a great struggle of mine--even though I was a Soldier--of feeling like I just wasn't good enough. I guess you could say that I went through a bit of a wake-up, just like Collin, and I realized I have a strong, mighty God right next to me. In fact, God taught me so much as I wrote Collin's story, and I grew right along with him!

6. What surprised you while writing this story, either about the characters or the turn of the plot? 

There's a certain point in the story, where two characters are reunited, that I never saw coming! It's a pretty big twist, so I won't spoil it, but in the middle of them seeing each other for what I honestly thought was the first time, a line just came to me that altered the rest of the story. From that point on, a million ideas flooded my brain and I'm really excited for everyone to meet these two and follow their adventure through CotF and the next two books. It's going to be quite a ride!

7. What message do you hope your readers come away with? 

I want them to know that, even when it seems like the world is ending, it's not. Each of us is fighting a battle, and some days the enemy seems to be winning. But, this is not true. We serve an awesome, powerful God, Who only has good things in store for us. One of my favorite lines from the novel is, "All is lost. All is gone. But this one thing: hope." I hope my readers remember that when things sometimes seem too much to bear.

8. The concept of the society's government was super interesting to me (medieval knights, but also very democratic, etc.) What were your inspirations for setting up the government that way? 

Since the story is set a century after the fall of the modern world, I felt like firearms would have been extinct for a long time...I mean...they're extinct in this story, anyway! Once I started exploring the need for hand-forged weapons, I wanted to add some pride to being a defender of the city. So...the knights were born. There is also a lot of history with them and the symbols that some of them wear, too. I hope to explore that more in future stories. As far as the government, I didn't like the thought of some sort of dictator, or king, and I wanted the struggle that takes place between an elected leader and a council. There is so much potential for drama there! And so much more to come!

Thank you so much for joining me on my blog, Charles! I look forward to reading more about these wonderful characters and settings in your future books!



Monday, October 16, 2017

Skeleton and Ghost by Nathaniel James Dowell


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are a child at heart who loves Halloween but are not into the over-the-top creepy aspect of it, or if you are looking for a book to share with an important child in your life, this is the book for you. It is an adorable story of a skeleton who longs to walk around in the outside world, but cannot because he has no ghost. Along comes a ghost looking for his family and so begins a beautiful relationship!

The story is sweet and the writing is enchanting. The illustrations are gorgeous creations by the author himself! This is the perfect book for you to share with your child, little sibling, niece, nephew, or friend.

Happy Halloween!

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Go Teen Writer's Instagram Challenge Week 1

"I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." 
~ Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables

Everything seems magical in October. It could be because it is Halloween month, and everyone has their various decorations out. It could be because the weather is changing, if ever so slightly (in Texas anyway). Everything is transformed into a pumpkin! Coffee, cereal, soups, desserts.

Anyway, in the spirit of October and the magical season, I have decided to participate in Go Teen Writer's October '17 Instagram Challenge (even though I'm not a Teen).

I'm not a huge fan of hardcore Halloween stuff, but I like the slightly-mystical-not-too-serious-not-too-dark-fall-festival-pumpkin-carving-Legend-of-Sleepy-Hollow-Disney-version type of Halloween. I felt like this qualified.


As you can see, each day has a prompt for the participant to follow with a picture that somehow matches. Creativity is encouraged. This is the first time I've done something like this, so I'm excited to give it a try.

Rather than post once a day for 31 days (which, let's be realistic, wouldn't happen, and would be annoying if it did), I will be posting once a week with my findings. If you decide you would like to participate, feel free to post your favorites in the comments below!

Here is Week 1:

Day 1: Magic ⭐

Obviously, coffee is a magical drink. Especially first thing in the morning when everything is still dark outside.

You reluctantly make your way into the kitchen, not really wanting to start another day yet, but knowing you must. Then you hear the whisper of your favorite coffee brand beckoning you from the cabinet. You open the cabinet door and there it is. Glancing over your shoulder to make sure you are alone, you quietly pull it from the shelf and open the bag. As the scent of the yet-to-be-brewed concoction hits your nostrils you feel a twinge of excitement and inspiration. The day has possibilities you have yet to discover, and this drink holds the key! You glance at the clock. Time is growing short. Hurriedly, you fill the cauldron (coffee-maker) with water, grind the beans with your mortar and pestle (coffee-grinder), and soon the brewing has begun.
The cauldron grumbles and spurts, unhappy at being woken from its slumber. However, even this cranky machine is susceptible to the power of the brew and its grumbles become purrs as it eventually complies with your wishes. You pour the dark drink into your chalice (coffee mug), taking a moment to savor the beautiful aroma. Then you take your first sip, and the world around you begins to change.


Day 2: Ghost 👻


This picture could have a double meaning because it includes the appendix of the science textbook, which is like a ghost because my 7th graders SWORE  it wasn't there, and then it magically appeared when I looked for it...kind of like a ghost. But within the appendix, we also find a picture of an amoeba which I thought looked like a cute little ghost waving its ghost-like arm. The caption says that the amoeba is extending its pseudopods to engulf and digest some food. Sounds kinda creepy to me.

Day 3: Pumpkin 🎃


Like I said, EVERYTHING turns into a pumpkin! And you don't even have to wait till midnight. I tend to be skeptical about flavored cereals, but I LOVE pumpkin spice things, so I tried it. Honestly, my taste buds had to adapt at first, but I have decided this is a win. It's not overly sweet, which I appreciate, but it does have an addictive element to it. It works great as breakfast or a snack, and you get to feel festive while you eat it.

Day 4: Orange 📙


This one was easy because orange is one of my school's colors so it's everywhere, including my classroom. This is a picture of my back wall. I teach Science, Math, and Yearbook. Can you tell what the different items represent? On the far left I have our Yearbook Planning board, that helps us keep track of what pages we have worked on so far. Next to that, we have the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens which we talked about on the first day of school. These also kind of serve as my class rules (Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand and Then to be Understood, Synergize - work together, Sharpen the Saw - take care of yourself). Next to that is my clock, which is two minutes fast, much to the dismay of my students, and the steps of the Scientific Method. After that is the Periodic Table of Elements and the Roman Numerals. You may also notice some random folded pieces of paper along this wall. This was from a multiplication scavenger hunt I did a few weeks ago with the kids. Each paper has a famous mathematician and a multiplication problem that leads to a different paper. At the bottom of each paper is an answer to a different problem. The kids had a lot of fun with that one because they got to get out of their chairs.

Day 5: Black


Because I can....Sonograms are black (and white). This is a picture of my son...wow, that sounds weird coming from me. I've managed to wrap my head around the fact that I am pregnant and will have a baby this February, but when I think in terms of "Mom" and "Son" it adds a whole new level to it! Anyway....Look at that little thumb-sucker! Isn't he cute??? He gets increasingly more active with each day, usually when I am sitting down. 22 weeks and counting!


Day 6: Moon



Thursday night we had a full moon, and even though I don't have a fancy camera, I had to do my best to shoot it. There is something about gazing at a full moon that quiets your soul and begs you to stop everything and listen to the world around you. My in-laws live in a neighborhood in the city, but it is its own little woodland haven. Each of the houses has a huge yard surrounded by trees. In the morning and evenings, deer can be seen grazing on the grass, and some lucky residents have been able to coax them into eating out of their hands. It is a beautiful little retreat that allows you to forget you live in the middle of the city. Everything was quiet and still the other night, and the moonlight was gorgeous.  I was so excited that the rays showed up in the picture. I love the yellow houselight as well. I think it adds a little bit more October to the picture. ;-)




Day 7: Candy

In general, I am not a huge candy fan, but one must make allowances for chocolate. Especially when that chocolate is dark chocolate and combined with almonds. I'm not sure if this technically even counts as candy. It's more of a sophisticated snack.

These things are AMAZING and dangerous. Much more dangerous than candy. If you are thinking of purchasing some, be aware: They have addictive properties! Proceed with caution.

Okay, well that's all I've got for this week. Hopefully, I will be creative enough (and have enough time), to continue. We will see. Feel free to post your own finds in the comments. Either way, I hope you have a beautiful October!