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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Circle C Contest Winning Story

Good morning, everyone!

I had to get this post scheduled early, because we will be gone for a week, and I didn't want to have to worry about writing blog posts while on vacation. :) (In fact, if you're reading this, we are in SA right now!!)

Anyway, just thought I'd pop in with a little fanfiction story.

I think quite of a few of you know of the Circle C books and Susan K. Marlow. So, about a month ago, she hosted a contest in which you were charged with writing a work of flash fiction from a particular character's POV. The winners were decided by a reader's choice.

Here is the link to the contest page where the winners and their stories were posted: Circle C Contests

For anyone interested in reading the story I entered, here it is! :D Enjoy! (P.S. It helps to know a little bit about Circle C, but can still be read without!)

Surprise!

"Andi! Slow down!"
Riley Prescott’s concerned voice broke through the crisp autumn air. His frown deepened as he watched his young wife spur Shasta on harder. "I mean it, Andi!" he called out. She could be impossible sometimes.
Riley glanced down at the battered board of wood his gloved hands gripped. Just last week, Andi had been gallivanting around on Shasta and knocked into the new fence, splitting the top portion. He shook his head.
His bride of several months finally seemed to catch his warning, pulling back gently on the reins in response. Shasta whinnied in protest, raring to go.
Andi spurred her chocolate palomino over to where Riley stood, watching with disapproval.
“What’s been the matter with you, Riley?” she asked, curious. “You didn’t used to be this overprotective.” She tilted her head, her blue eyes twinkling inquisitively at her husband.
He sighed, ready to release his emotions. “Andi, when we got hitched, I became entirely responsible for your well-being.” He shrugged. “Before that, sure, I made sure you didn’t get hurt when we practiced trick riding—or at least tried,” —he cracked a grin— “and pulled you out of some scrapes, but now it’s different. Your brothers would kill me if I let anything happen to you.” He swallowed hard, and not only at the terrifying thought of all three Carter brothers after him.
From the look on Andi’s face, Riley knew she realized his struggle.
The young man cleared his throat. “What do you say we go for a ride together?” he asked, ready to change the subject.
Andi’s face lit up. “You already know my answer,” she responded with a grin.
Riley unwound Dakota’s reins from the nearby hitching post. He swung himself up into the saddle with ease.
Andi’s questioning gaze met his eyes, and before she even spoke, he knew what her request would be.
Instead of voicing the inevitable question, Andi only raised an eyebrow. “Please?”
Riley pretended to grumble, but with a mischievous glance in his wife’s direction, gave Dakota a gentle kick, spurring the Appaloosa into a gallop.
“Riley!” he heard Andi complain behind him, urging Shasta on. “That's not fair!”
He tossed a grin over his shoulder. Relenting, he pulled back ever so slightly on Dakota’s reins to let Andi catch up.
The young man chuckled when she and Shasta reached them.
“Sorry, Andi,” he apologized, still grinning.
Andi just shook her head. Taking advantage of Dakota’s short pause, she gave Shasta a kick and blew past horse and rider.
Riley let out a surprised shout and took off in hot pursuit of his dark-haired wife.
They reached their destination with Shasta just a nose ahead. Together, they came to a stop at Andi’s favorite spot by the creek. Riley slid off Dakota.
“Didn’t think you'd beat me this time,” he admitted, crooked smile evident on his tanned face.
Andi rolled her eyes. “Serves you right. You’re the one who cheated.”
Riley feigned surprise. “Me? Cheat?” He clapped a hand to his chest. “Never!”
Andi couldn't hold back a laugh at her husband’s antics.
Riley watched as she dismounted and settled herself against a wide-trunked tree, thick enough to fit both of them underneath.
He slipped to the ground next to Andi and wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
“I'm so glad Justin gave us the land here,” Andi said with a happy sigh. “And now it's only a short ride here from our home.”
Our home.
Riley’s chest swelled with pride. When he headed back to the Circle C Ranch those few years ago, he never imagined himself where he was today.
He glanced over at Andi, who had lapsed into silence, her blue gaze looking out over the creek. Loose strands of wavy dark hair were being blown back gently by a soft gust of wind.
Riley was hit with the realization of what a beautiful bride he'd managed to snatch.
Thank You, God, for Your many blessings.
The couple sat in silence for so long Riley felt his eyes begin to drift shut.
“I love you, Riley Prescott,” Andi murmured suddenly. Riley shifted and slid up the black Stetson that had tilted over his eyes. He smiled at Andi.
“All right, what trouble have you gotten into this time?” he teased.
Andi rolled her eyes; bright blue disappearing behind dark lashes for a fraction of a moment. “None,” she promised. “I was just thinking of all of the scrapes you've pulled me out of and this beautiful ranch we’re building together.”
She offered a bright smile, her eyes glowing with excitement. Placing a hand over her abdomen, she added, “And the family we’ll soon have together.”
Riley’s own stomach lurched. “Did I miss something?” he questioned suspiciously. “You're not—?”
She nodded.
Riley jumped to his feet. “Andi!” he exclaimed, joy filling his tanned face.
“You mean it? I'll be a father?” A grin split across his face when his wife answered with a second nod.
“Yahoo!”
Riley yanked his hat off. He raked a hand through his dark hair. “Andi,” he said again, “I’m so happy I could kiss you!”
Andi giggled, no doubt remembering the last time similar words had been spoken by Riley. Not long after her beloved mare, Taffy, had to be put down, Riley had helped her come to realize she was pushing away her family while she dwelt in bitterness.*
When she'd acknowledged the fact, Riley had been ecstatic.
That joyfulness didn't hold a candle to what he was feeling now.
“Well then, Mr. Prescott,” she teased, “what are you waiting for?”
Riley leaned over and planted a kiss on his wife’s forehead. She laughed and took the offered hand.
“What are we waiting for?” he asked, moving in the direction of the horses. “Let's go tell your family! We’ll need to get the house ready, and—”
“Riley!” his wife interrupted. “The baby isn't due for months yet,” she told him. “There's no need to get so riled up.” 
He grinned sheepishly. “Sorry. I'm a little excited.”
Andi’s blue eyes twinkled. “I can tell.”
“I promise I won't break,” she told him when he insisted on keeping Shasta still so she could mount.
He ignored her comment and made sure she was safely atop the palomino before he mounted his Appaloosa with a flying leap.
Riley was sure he'd never been happier. He chattered on as the two trotted back toward home.
“What about a name? I would suggest Andrea if it's a girl, but seeing as you already have a niece with your namesake, maybe we ought to choose something else.”
“We’ll think of a name soon enough, Riley.”
Andi’s smile faded when Riley fell silent moments later. “What's wrong?” she wanted to know.
He glanced up, and his grinning face met hers.
“I'm just thanking God,” he said. “He gave me a beautiful wife, a new home, and now a family. He is so good!”

End

*The Last Ride

***
Thanks for reading! Let me know how you liked it! 

Hope you are all having a marvelous week! 

~Livi Jane

P.S. - Since we won't be home until April 1st, my monthly post probably won't be up on time! But I promise I'll get it up sometime during the first week of April.) ;)





Friday, March 24, 2017

Beautiful People - March 2017

Well, y'all.

I had this entire post written and was trying to preview it when (after clicking SAVE), I closed the Blogger tab and it disappeared into thin air. Needless to say, I'm really upset. *tearsss* Hopefully you'll still enjoy the post... 

Today, I'll be doing a  Beautiful People post, hosted by Cait and Sky! :D (Check their blogs out!)


I  think this is only the second time I've participated in this linkup. As some of you may remember, the last one was actually the Beautiful Books linkup on my story Sunlight and Shadows. (Click here to read that post.) 
I plan to again use this story today, only this time, I am focusing on my main character.

Everyone, please welcome...

Aubrey Irene Mathis
*Tremendous applause*

I really like this for Aubrey!:
*Photos taken from Pinterest


Before we dive into the questions, here's a little descriptive introduction to Aub:

Aubrey Mathis is fourteen years old and the youngest member of the Mathis family. She resembles her older sister, Jeanette, in hair color, but her bleach-blonde strands are long, wispy curls (unless she takes the time to straighten them). Deep, sapphire blue eyes and a slightly turned up nose bring her plenty of compliments. She has a love for animals, especially dogs, and swing dancing. She is often seen with a book in her hand. While she may seem quiet and shy at first, she is really a firecracker and will speak her mind if she feels the need.



When Michael and I first started dating we went to a concert. We danced all night-a really good memory.:

Anddd, now on to the questions for this month:

1. What’s their favourite book/movie/play/etc.? Hm... Well, there's none in particular; any book will do! But she does like historical fiction, especially any relating to wars (since her brothers have all served in the Marines), and she enjoys biographies.

2. Is there anything they regret doing? Oh, yes. There's this one time in particular, only it would spoil the story to say, so it'll have to keep for now! Sorry! ;P

3. If they were sick or wounded, who would take care of them and how? Well, all of her family, really, but most likely her older brother Cass. He is protective and cares deeply about all of his younger siblings. How? I suppose it depends on her ailment. Like, if she was sick, he'd be the one to make sure she was taking medicine and staying in bed resting. :)

4. Is there an object they can’t bear to part with and why? Yep. Her pocket-sized family photograph. Why? Because it's a picture of her whole family. (No more hints, sorry! xD)

5. What are 5 ways to win their heart (or friendship)? I always have a hard time with this type of question for some reason...

1. Loving her because of who she is.
2. Being kind to others (and animals!). 
3. Having respect and honor for the military (she has three brothers who were in the Marines, so)...
4. Loving to swing dance! ;P 
5. Being willing to stand up for her.

6. Describe a typical outfit for them from top to bottom. Okay, let's see... She prefers her hair straightened or in a braid (preferably French). Her closet of tops usually consists of graphic tees and plaid button-up shirts (with the sleeves rolled up), and she prefers pants to skirts. Light-colored denim jeans are her favorite, although in the summer (I mean, it is Texas, after all) she is often seen in jean shorts. Her most favorite type of shoe is boots, and any kind'll do (so long as the heel isn't too big. :)

7. What’s their favorite type of weather? Warm and sunny with a gentle breeze. Rainy days are also nice; she can curl up with a book and read. 

8. What’s the worst fight they’ve ever been in? Um, well, aside from the petty arguments with her siblings that came to shouts when she was little, none.

9. What names or nicknames have they been called throughout their life? Quite a few! Aub, Sunshine, Kiddo, Tiger, Re, etc...

10. What makes their heart feel alive? I guess having her family at home all at once. (Since her brothers are overseas a lot, it doesn't happen much.) <3

***
All righty, that's it!

Thanks for joining me! Did you enjoy learning about Aubrey? Do you think I should do more Beautiful People posts in the future? Let me know!!

~Livi Jane

Friday, March 17, 2017

Saint Patrick - Who Was He Really?

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody!


It's again that day where all those annoying "you get pinched if you're not wearing green" people appear. XD

A lot of people view St. Patrick's Day as just any other day. Some use it as an excuse to party. But how many people actually know who Saint Patrick was and what it was about him that made him so important?

Patrick is speculated to have been born in the late 300s in what is now Northeast England. He was raised in a family of Christians, but it didn't seem that their faith had much impression upon him.
Then, at the age of sixteen, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders. *gasp*

He was taken back to Ireland and served as a slave there for six whole years. During his time there, God opened his eyes and turned his heart to Him. Patrick escaped from his captivity a changed man. He studied theology and ministry for over twenty years.

That could have been the end of his story. But then, at the age of about forty-eight, he had a dream of someone with an Irish accent calling out to him, "We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us."

Having known the language and the customs from his time in Irish captivity, Patrick now answered the call to return to the place spent in slavery with the message of joy. The slave returned to his captors with the wonderful news of true freedom.

It wasn't as easy as it sounded, however. The Irish Celtics were considered "barbarians". They had few Christians and no thriving church or movement.

An interesting part of his strategy was that Patrick didn’t go to Ireland alone. He went with a team of about a dozen others. Just like Jesus sent out his disciples together, Patrick assembled a close-knit crew that would tackle the work together before moving on together to the next place. The group would minister for weeks and months among them, eventually pursuing baptisms and the founding of a church. Then they would leave behind a team member or two to provide leadership for the new church and move on, sometimes with a convert or two.

According to tradition, Saint Patrick died on March 17. 

Although many now have forgotten the true meaning of this holiday, Patrick's story is certainly one worth remembering!


This is a fun little short on St. Patrick's Day from a Veggietales episode. ;P

~Livi Jane









Saturday, March 4, 2017

A Question of Honor - Review

Good morning, everyone!

Today, I'm here with a book review! Yippee!!

As most of you know, Jesseca @WhimsicalWritings has just released the first book in her Questions of War series. I am beyond excited for her!!!

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Displaying A Question of Honor Final Front Cover.jpg

I was blessed to have been able to beta-read this story. It was so much fun, and I enjoyed watching Jesseca go through the process of getting it published!

Okay, now that this incredible story is finally published, I get to talk about it!!

~Synopsis~

A man. A child. A war. 

When German soldiers invade France during World War II, young Joyanna's perfect world is shattered.

In the hands of those who hate her, she battles to comprehend why people can be so ruthless and cold toward those whom they have never met. 

David Sullivan, pilot in the Royal Air Force, was certain he would never hate, but a painful loss forces him to either reconsider or do the inconceivable—forgive. He is suddenly challenged by the realization that

doing God's will is not easy, but most important. With the lives of freedom-fighters relying on him, he must learn the difficult lesson that he is not in control, but merely one who must surrender his heart of obedience to One greater.

A sudden turn of events lands Joyanna and David in the same country—but for far different reasons.

When their paths cross, David finds he must make a decision that will affect them both for the rest of their lives. 

Will he chose vengeance, or will he let his life be ruled by a higher standard? A standard of Honor.

Find on Amazon and Goodreads


***

~My Review~

A Question of Honor

A Question of Honor was an amazing read!!! I loved the plot, the characters, and everything about it!!!!
First of all, let me just say that I absolutely fell in love with David and Gil from the beginning. They are the most amazing book characters. ;P
I could totally feel David's emotions; felt as if I was right in the room with him throughout his struggles.

You can tell how thoroughly-researched this book was. So many little details! It may not seem like much, but details such as those make a book a hundred times better, even if you may not particularly notice each individual detail. ;)

The way the two separate plots combined was very interesting and well done, and I must say there were a couple of twists I was not expecting!

The theme of the book and message that God is in control was evident throughout, but it didn't seem 'forced' or thrown in as an afterthought.

This is a wonderful story, complete with excitement, adventure, and tragedy. It had me crying more than once, and those that know me well know it usually takes a bit to make me cry over a story/movie!

The few romance-y parts to the story were cute and sweet, not mushy or prolonged (I can't stand that). Those scenes were well done, in my opinion.

There were quite a few grammatical errors and inconsistencies that did go unnoticed, but a self-published book is bound to have some (even some professionally edited books are laced with typos). I also noticed there happened to be some run-on sentences. That being said, I think those sort of things bother me more than most because I am, well, a grammar Nazi. *Grins proudly at pun*

In addition, I did feel as if there were scenes that could have done with some more 'showing' rather than 'telling'.

All-in-all, however, I have to say that A Question of Honor was a MUCH enjoyed story, and it will be reread for a long time to come!

The plot is what brought this up to five stars for me. It was intriguing, full of adventure, and the characters kept me turning the page. *huggles them* ILOVEDTHISSTORYARGGG
Don't mind me. *Grin*

Jesseca is a blossoming young author continually gaining experience, and I can't wait to see her future works!

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About the Author:

Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano. And writing, of course! At an early age, words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.
***

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for A Question of Honor here!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you all so much for joining me today! Below is listed the other bloggers who are also a part of this wonderful tour! Be sure to check them out!

Blog Tour Schedule:


Wednesday: March 1st
Angela Watt -- Review/Author Interview @ The Peculiar Messenger
Faith Potts -- Author Interview @ Stories by Firefly


Thursday: March 2nd
Kellyn Roth -- Review @ Reveries Reviews
Faith Potts -- Review @ Stories by Firefly
Kaitlyn K.--Book spotlight/Author interview @ Twin Thoughts


Friday: March 3rd
Deborah C.--Book Spotlight @ Reading in June
Soleil B.-- Book Spotlight @ Reviews by Soleil
Victoria Lynn: Book Spotlight/Review @ Ruffles and Grace
Brianna Henderson -- Review/Author Interview @ Ramblings of a Pilgrim on the Way
Anika -- Review/Author Interview/Book Spotlight @ Anika's Avenue
Rebekah Ashleigh -- Review @ Rebekah Ashleigh


Saturday: March 4th
Livi Jane--Review @ Living for the Other Side
Victoria Lynn -- Author Interview @ Ruffles and Grace
Emily Putzke -- Author Interview @ Taking Dictation
Julia Ryan -- Review @ The Barefoot Gal
Rebekah Eddy -- Book Spotlight/Author interview @ Rebekah's Remarks

Have a wonderful Saturday, everyone!!

~Livi Jane


*Please take note that I try to be as unbiased as possible in my book reviews (however few there are at this point in time). I want to be as honest as possible in every review, however good or bad it may be. :)






Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March Has Arrived!


Hello yello! *Has no idea what I just said*

Ahem. Good morning!! Hope you are doing well today!

Guess what?

It's March!!!!

I can't believe how quickly 2017 is sailing by! We're already a quarter of the way through the year! :D


I have so many things to which I'm looking forward this month, but first let's have a look back on February. :)

February Highlights:
  • Don't remember if I mentioned this previously, but I was promoted at work. I am now a Team Trainer! :)
  • I had my first trainees at work! :D I was pretty nervous at first, but it was a lot of fun, and the two girls I trained are so sweet! 
  • More crocheting... I made another pair of little Converse shoes. They came out much nicer than the first, in my opinion. I'm so excited to give them to our worship leader's baby (due in the middle of March)!
  • Went to a college baseball game with my dad. That was a super fun (although very chilly) day!
  • Something super exciting happened... More on that further down!
  • The past few days (especially yesterday) were super busy at work because of Mardi Gras. (The only sad thing is it means king cake season is over. But that's okay, because it's officially crawfish season now!!!) Louisiana thangs, y'all.
February Goals:

Start editing S&S - Check! I actually just finished the first actual edit yesterday!! Yippee!
Write at least 3,000 words - Not quite! I think I managed around 2,000, give or take. I've mostly worked on editing again this month.
Post one of my stories here on my blog - Check! See this post.
Comment more often on other bloggers' posts (I see them, I promise!) - Ehh, sorta. Not as much as I wanted to.
Be more active in the blogging sphere - Again, sorta kinda not really... I ended up taking a short break.
Read Susan K. Marlow's newest book, Courageous Love - Check! It was so amazing!! 
Continue reading the bible every day - Yep!! I'm happy to say I am still on track!

Music:

Normally, I don't have a section for this, but I've been listening to a lot more music recently, so I wanted to share some of the songs I've listened to this past month (not necessarily new music, just more listened to by me ;P):

  • I rediscovered the soundtrack for Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. The movie is a childhood favorite of mine, so you can imagine my delight when I found the playlist on Youtube. :)
  • Breath - Jonny Diaz
  • Your Love Never Fails - Newsboys
  • There is Power in the Blood - Alan Jackson (I discovered this version of the old hymn. Love it!)
  • I'll Fly Away - Alan Jackson (And another! I've always loved this song!)
  • I've also been a bit nostalgic this February (if you haven't noticed yet). I found a bunch of songs we sang and did motions to in kid's church/Sunday school when I was little. (Let's just say I was a little excited!) Tell the World, One Way Jesus, Spin...
March:

Okay, before you go any further, watch this video:
I still can't get over how cute Emmie is <3

This, as some of you already know, is our family's favorite tv show. We don't watch much tv, but when we do, it's this show. We've made a bunch of friends through this 'ninja' community!

Anyway, there's a gym about an hour away from us that is for training to be a ninja warrior. We went a couple of times for fun, and it was an incredible experience.

Last year, we were able to attend the filming of the one of the cities for the show, and that was even more fun! It was probably one of the best trips of my life. We got to meet a bunch of the competitors and all of that good stuff.

All right, so, now for the real news:
My sister is going to be on the show!!!!!!

She became inspired and interested in training for the show (she's already a gymnast), and decided to go ahead and send in an application. She got the news about a week ago that she was chosen to compete! We are so ecstatic! (She was freaking out. lol) We're hoping she makes the tv cut, but we won't know until the episode airs.

Anyway, so now the whole family is planning a road trip for the end of the month! We'll get to watch my sister and the other ninjas compete, do some sightseeing, and hang out. I love vacations!! :D

(Okay, blurt over.) XD

March Goals:
  • Write at least 3,000 words (I plan to make this happen. After all, I'll have an entire road trip later this month to write. Of course I'll get stuff done, right? Isn't that how it always goes?)
  • Read books! (So specific, I know... I plan to read a couple of biographies and an Uncle Eric book for school, plus there's like, a bunch of books I want to read...)
  • Actually comment on other blogs. XD
  • Finish my Chemistry (and very last high school science) course for school.
  • Has lots of funs on the road trip (I'm sure I will)! ;)
  • Continue reading the bible every day. 
Okay, I think that wraps things up for today's post. Saturday I'll be back with a book review, so stay tuned!!

How was everyone's February? What sort of things are you looking for to for March 2017?

Have a wonderful March 1st, everyone!

~Livi Jane