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Monday, July 17, 2017

Brothers - A Pinterest Picture Prompt

Howdy, all! *waves*

I'm dropping in real quick today with a story I mentioned in my monthly recap. I found a picture scrolling through Pinterest, and next thing I knew, I had a 700+ word story!


So it started with this pic... 


And then this gif (hope it works on here! XD)

So without further ado, Brothers.

They say I'm a traitor. Maybe I am. All I know is that I did what I had to do.
I felt brave, valiant at the time I made the decision.
Now, sitting with my back pressed up against a cold, rock hard wall, my hands cuffed in irons behind me, I'm not so sure.
Bloodlines run deep, I argued back with myself. I did what was necessary.
I closed my eyes and winced. The left one was still swollen from the cut just inches to the side.
I never liked Asher. But I never knew how quickly he would be willing to turn on one of his own men.

Shifting in my prison, I glanced up toward the lone window up near the ceiling--far out of reach. Rays of sunlight drifted in, bouncing off the walls that held me captive in a cheery dance. I sighed. I had done what I truly thought to be right in the moment.
What is one to do when he is brought to the choice of whether or not to kill his own flesh and blood?
I let my head lean back against the cold dungeon wall. My eyes drift closed.
“You wouldn't.” The, deep, sure voice echoed in my memory. The hint of a smirk amidst the raw fear of the steel blade at his neck as he gave his full dark head a slight shake. “Not your own flesh and blood. Not your own brother.

That's what decided it. Friend or foe, I knew wouldn't--I couldn't--kill my older brother.

The slight hesitation on my behalf was all he needed to thrust my sword to the side and roll out of its path. He was on his feet and gone before I had a chance to blink.

It wasn't moments later that I was surrounded by the others, all demanding to know where the enemy prisoner was--and why I had let him go.

A rumor was spouted off of me being a spy, and that was all it took. I was apprehended and questioned. None of my short answers satisfied Asher. He did not put up with much of my “foolishness” before he threatened me with his own sword. Sealing my lips only earned a slice across the face with the sharp tip. Asher ordered me put in chains and imprisoned for the time being.

Why? After all these years, why my brother? We were never what either of us would call close, but the true bond of brotherhood always lurked somewhere under the surface. Just like my conscience. The reason I wouldn't dare kill my brother or an innocent civilian.

I swallowed. I knew the penalty for losing a captive and disregarding direct orders. It wouldn't be long.

A rustling caught me off guard, and I jerked my head up toward the window. Silence reigned for a moment. I squinted through the sunlight, a frown creasing my forehead.

There. A shadow appeared for a split second and was gone again.

Then a familiar face peered through the bars covering the prison window, searching.

My voice caught. “Peter?”

“You must keep silent.” His dark eyes darted back and forth, but there was a calm air about him. “We haven't much time.”

He came back? My mind whirled.

“But why--?”

“Did you think I would leave you once I realized?” He gave his dark head a jerk. “I had to trick you so I could get away. It was my only chance of both of us escaping.”

I stared, dumbfounded. “But--”

“No more senseless questions,” he barked gruffly, scanning the interior of the dungeon. Then his voice softened. “I'm mighty glad to see you again, Will.”

My heart fluttered with a feeling I hadn't known for a long time.

I had missed him. The first few years after our last meeting had passed painfully, but I quickly learned to ignore the pain in my heart, to replace it with bitterness and anger.

But now…

“Keep attentive, little brother!” Peter hissed. “We haven't much time,” he repeated.

How he expected to assist my escape was beyond me. But then, he always had his mysterious ways.

I nodded, knowing his words rang true. I listened to his instructions with attentive ears. Because any minute now, they would arrive. And then it would be too late.

*~*~*~*

 How'd you like it? I know, it's not any particular time period, really. More medieval-ish, but I suppose you could say it's a fantasy world-type story. But I enjoyed writing it, and I hope you enjoyed reading it! I'd love to hear any thoughts!

~Livi Jane 

Monday, July 10, 2017

July!!!

Seven months into the year! Crazy!

July is one of my favorite months, mainly because it contains one of my favorite holidays: The Fourth of July! (Go here to read my Fourth of July post(s).)

Sorry for the delay in my monthly post, but I had so many other posts going up in such a short period of time that I decided to take a break in between those and this post. :)

Recap!

June Highlights:


  • Two of my sisters had birthdays!
  • I went to Repticon. It was so awesome! I actually like snakes when they're non-venomous... XD
  • I trained four new people at work...in less than three weeks. Whew!
  • Our youth group/church is selling fireworks as a fundraiser. A couple of us girls had the most fun time the other night. We held signs by the road to advertise... and a couple of us got a little, uh, crazy. XD It was super fun!

Writing:

Writing went really well for me in June!! I jotted down a couple of stories based of picture prompts (planning to post some this month), and started a brand-new story! (Although I'm unfortunately a little stuck in that one already...)

Reading:

I didn't do so well with my 'Book a Week" challenge this month... :'( But I can always start it again any time! ;p


Music:

  • Woke Up in America - Matt Maher
  • Tongue-Tied - Paul Ruark
  • 100 x Better with You - The Willis Clan
  • My Lighthouse - Rend Collective
  • Desert Song - Hillsong United
I just discovered this song by Matt Maher yesterday...and haven't stopped listening to it since! XD

Woke up in America...

*~*~*~*

Movies:

I don't normally do this topic, but I really wanna mention that the other night, my sister and I watched Faith of our Fathers, and oh. My. Goodness. Y'all need to see this movie!!!!!!!! If you're like me and enjoy brotherhood, soldiers, and don't mind crying, WATCH THIS MOVIE!

Faith of Our Fathers: A Story of Fatherhood, A Journey of Brotherhood | #FaithofOurFathers #FlyBy

I'm not usually a crier during movies, but wow. My sister kept dozing off, and she woke up at the climax and I'm just sobbing in a puddle of tears and she's like, "Uh...you okay?"

No.

No. I was not okay. I was a train wreck.

But yes, go check this movie out! I loved it!


*~*~*~*

Verse of the Month:

"Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite."
Psalm 147.5 (KJV)

I love this reminder that our Father's understanding is infinite... He feels every pain, every hurt that we experience, and He does understand us, even if no one else does! <3

*~*~*~*


Time to check out goals!



Goals:

  • Write at least 3,000 words. Thanks to a couple of my friends, I have a new story idea (possibly a sequel to S&S), so I'm hoping I will meet this goal amidst the craziness of work and school this month. :) YESSSS!!! I'm really happy with how writing turned out! I got about 5k words written!
  • Finish planning and start writing my new story (no title at the moment). Eh, halfway... I did get several thousand written, but I'm kind of stuck now...help... XD
  • Keep up with Book a Week Challenge. Ha...haha...hahaha... no.
  • Survive month one of summer at work XD Barely, but yes! I got yelled at by customers a couple times, though... *grimace*
  • Continue reading the Bible every day. Keeping up with the One Year Bible!! :D
*~*~*~*

July Goals:

  • Write at least 2,500 words. (I'm dropping this down a bit because I'm starting school this month and not sure if I'll have much time aside to write...hopefully I can still beat this goal, though!
  • Start my senior year of school! (pray for me, y'all XD)
  • Get moved into my new/own room! (Two sisters moved out, so for the first time in my life, I'll be getting my own room! Just have to repaint it!)
  • Celebrate the Fourth of July! (Shouldn't be too difficult...it's one of my favorite holidays!!)
  • Continue reading the Bible every day.
*~*~*~*

I think that's it for today, everyone! Hope you enjoyed!

Let me know how your July looks! Any vacations? Plans for the Fourth? Camp Nanoers?

~Livi Jane

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!!!!

Guys.

It's one of my very favorite days of the whole year.

4Th Of July #Card Free #Printable #4thOfJuly


I love the Fourth of July so much!!!!!!  (Check out last year's FoJ post here!!)


For us Americans (and even many non-Americans), today is a very, very important day. A special day for us to remember what happened all those years ago on July 4, 1776.

So what actually happened on that day that was such a momentous occasion?

:D

It wasn't the day the Continental Congress decided to declare independence from Great Britain (that happened on July 2, 1776).

And it wasn't the day the American Revolution started (that happened back in April 1775).

And it wasn't even the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed.
(Although there are many disputes about whether or not that is true, the majority of historians believe it was signed on August 2, 1776. Several members, however, did not sign it until a later date, and two others never signed it at all.)

So what is so special about July 4, 1776?

Well, that was the day the Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence.

Fifty-six men eventually signed their names at the bottom, knowing as they did so, they were putting their lives at risk. But they were willing to do that, willing to die for the sake of America. That America, their country, would be a free and independent nation.

Happy 4th of July


I am so thankful that I live in America... Even though sometimes it seems as if all is lost, we are still a blessed nation, and if we turn back to God, he will forgive our nation's sins and heal our land!

Love this song!!

I shared this poem last year, but it's gone through several edits and even won a contest since then!

*~*~*~*

If My People

~A Poem by Livi Jane~

The war may be over, the Revolution won,

But now, centuries later, it seems the battle’s just begun.

What happened to our rights, our liberty, our freedom?

Many think they are gone, that we’ll never again reach them.

Everything seems hopeless, our government a mess,

In my sorrow I wail, “Will anything turn out for the best?”

I lift my eyes upward, gaze out at endless sky,

I see an eagle soaring, gracefully flying high.

It suddenly hit me, my mind was cleared,

I recall a verse in my Bible held dear.

I know right at once what we need to do,

Fall on our faces and cry out to You.

For so many years we’ve ignored Your Name,

Promoted ourselves, we wanted the fame.

Turned away from our fathers’ beliefs and their ways,

Expecting to make it on our own, we swayed.

Wicked and evil as our nation is now,

Revival can come if we’re willing to bow.

Pray for the Lord to restore our great land,

Beg for His mercy, guidance by His hand.

Then the Star-Spangled Banner can continue to fly,

As the people beneath it lift the Lord high!

*~*~*~*

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)


*~*~*~*

And now, I have a story I jotted down last month based off of these picture prompts:


My apologies if the second pic doesn't show up!


Special shout out to Kaitlyn K., who was so generous as to beta this for me! <3

The Choice:

By Olivia Jane

“I don't think I can do it.”
Those were the last words Carter Drechsel ever expected to hear himself utter. He was always sure. It didn't matter how impossible a mission seemed. He was in the Air Force, and did what needed to be done. The word “can't” wasn't in his vocabulary.
“You have to think about what's best for Saylee,” the calm voice of Dr. David Manning, the vet, told him.
“Doc, she's been with me for years. She's saved my life more times than I can count, and even though we don't work together anymore, she's still my best friend.”
Carter tightened his jaw to keep it from quivering. He glanced down at the German Shepherd lying at his side. Just as he’d told the doc, Saylee had been with him from nearly the beginning of his time in the Air Force. She was a bomb-sniffer, and did her job excellently. Saylee and Carter had seen and done just about everything, from jumping out of planes to performing dangerous missions on the ground. The bond between them was fierce. So much, in fact, that Carter had adopted the dog when the time came for her to retire. She'd lived a relaxing life back at home in Texas. Carter hung out with her as much as his busy military schedule allowed.
“I know it's a hard decision, Carter.” The old vet smiled sadly, sympathy glimmering in his silvery-blue eyes. “But it's a necessary one.”

Carter rubbed a hand over his face. “I mean, isn't there some sort of treatment or surgery she can have to remove the tumor?”

“Yes, but at her age, it would be risky. Besides that,” Dr. Manning continued, adjusting his glasses, “the cancer isn’t the only issue at hand here.”

Carter knew what he meant. Poor Saylee was nearly blind and hard of hearing. Her legs were stiff; they didn't work as well as they used to. Moving around much was a chore for the dog.

The white-haired vet gave Carter’s shoulder a squeeze. “At least think about it. It's the humane thing to do.”

Carter swallowed. “Thanks, doc.” He gave his dog’s leash a gentle tug and clicked his tongue. “C’mon, girlie.”

Saylee moaned and clambered to her feet. Her tail waved back and forth as she hobbled after her owner out to his sleek black truck.

Carter hoisted the dog up and into the passenger seat of the truck before climbing in the driver’s side and starting it up.

He sighed and shifted the gear. The vet was right, he knew. Saylee had lived a long, exciting life. She deserved to not have to suffer through her last days.

Out of all of the difficulties Carter had faced before in life, none of them compared to this. “Never leave a man behind,” they said in the Air Force. He felt that's what he would be doing if he put Saylee down.

Carter took his eyes off the road to cast a glance at his dog. The German Shepherd was watching out the window, seemingly content.

This is not going to be easy.

*~*~*~*

The day dawned bright and sunny. Birds sang joyful songs, squirrels chittered and the breeze blew gently.

Carter noticed none of it. All his focus was on Saylee as they headed into the vet clinic for the last time.

“It's gonna be okay, man.” Jourdan Gorsuch, a fellow airman and one of Carter’s best friends, appeared at his side. “We’re prayin’ for you.” He smiled and clapped the man on the back.

The smile was forced, Carter could tell. Nonetheless, he was grateful for his friends and their immediate offers to come with him to the clinic.

The morning had been spent stuffing Saylee up with as many treats as she could eat. One of the guys had even brought a hunk of steak for her to gobble up.

“You ready?” The gentle voice of Dr. Manning greeted Carter’s ears when they entered the room.

“Ready as I'll ever be,” he responded. He knew it was what he needed to do, but he didn't have to like doing it.

A blanket was laid out on the floor, and the German Shepherd was laid down on it. Each of the guys gave her a pat and whispered in her ear before backing away, allowing Carter to move in close.

Dr. Manning appeared, a syringe in his hand. “You know I hate being a vet at times like these,” he told the young airman.

Carter turned one corner of his mouth upward in an attempted smile, but his attention was all on Saylee. He closed his eyes as the vet administered the shot, injecting the needle into the German Shepherd.

Silence followed. Carter hugged Saylee, holding her halfway in his lap. She glanced up at his face and kissed him on the nose with her pink tongue, as if trying to say, “don't be sad.”

A sudden peace fell across Carter. He would miss his dog like crazy, but he knew had made the right decision by not letting her suffer any longer.

The minutes ticked by in a somber silence. Carter could tell the end was drawing near. He was vaguely aware of his comrades’ comforting hands on his shoulders.

With a final, shuddering sigh, Saylee’s eyes dropped closed, and she lay still. It was over. She was gone.

Suddenly, Carter couldn't contain himself. Tears streamed down his face, dripping down his cheeks and onto his dog’s still form. He felt someone slide Saylee out of his arms.

“Hey, bro, it's gonna be all right,” Hunter Webster promised, giving his friend a tight hug.

The embarrassment of sobbing uncontrollably in front of his fellow airmen was the furthest thing from Carter’s mind.

Memories of Saylee flew through his head, one after the other. The times she saved him and his friends’ lives. When they skydived together. The days they simply messed around and played tug-of-war.

He felt pats on the shoulder and back. The others knew what he was going through. They were losing one of their own.

When Carter’s cries had quieted to silent tears and he lifted his head from Hunter’s shoulder, one of the men turned him around.

Saylee had been moved to the nearby table. Jourdan held a folded American flag in his hands. Together, he and Lane--another one of the airmen--draped it over the form of Saylee.

Carter stepped forward, moving up to the table. He leaned over and put his arms around his dog one last time.

“I love you, Saylee,” he whispered in her ear. “I'll never forget you. Not ever.”

With one final squeeze, he turned away.

Hunter threw a comforting arm around his shoulders. “You okay?”

Carter looked up and met his friends eyes. Through his tear-filled vision, he whispered, “Yeah, I think so.” He smiled. “Thanks for coming.”

“We wouldn't have missed being here for anything,” Lane jumped in, appearing from behind.

“And we’re always here if you need anything, man,” Jourdan added, giving his dark head a firm toss.

“Thanks.” Carter feared that if he said much more, he'd start crying again. He looked around at his buddies. “I'll be all right.”

And for the first time since he’d made the decision to put Saylee down, he believed the words.

*~*~*~*

Thoughts? :)

I think that's about it for today! Just remember what the Fourth of July is really all about! 

And remember...
Let us not forget this Memorial Day. Thank you to all who have served and are currently serving!

They sacrifice so much for our freedom....we can never repay them. <3


~Livi Jane

Saturday, July 1, 2017

A Question of Courage - Cover Reveal!

Good morning, everyone!

IT. IS. JULYYYYYYY!

Crazy! Another month slipped right on by!

Normally, the first of each month is reserved for monthly recaps, but we're going to push that back a few days, because have something special planned for today!

A COVER REVEAL!!!! YIPPEE!

(Yes, I know, this is the third book-related post I've had in one week, but how could you NOT like books??)

Before I reveal the cover of this lovely book to you, you probably want to know who wrote this book and what exactly it's about. ;)

Jesseca Wheaton, a fellow blogger and friend of mine, is back with her second book in the Questions of War series, and I couldn't be more excited! If you haven't checked out her first book, A Question of Honor, do it. :D You won't regret it!

I had the privilege of beta reading the first book and alpha reading this one. It's amazing. Seriously.

Ahem.

By now, I'm sure you're ready to scroll all the way down to see the cover. But first, take a peek at the synopsis! 

About the Book:

A man. A decision. A destiny. 

Rafe Sullivan never imagined the war would come to his doorstep. But when Pearl Harbor is attacked and America's focus suddenly shifts to the pacific, he finds he can't ignore the problem anymore. 
Leaving the life he loves behind, he joins up to do what he does best. Fly. 
Yet, nothing could have prepared him for the horrors of war, and the struggle that is going on in his own heart. As an outstanding navy pilot, he is stationed on one of the few Pacific carriers. But could God be calling him to step out in faith, and go beyond the call of duty? 

Lily Wilson gives her all to help the hurting community around her. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the war is brought home to many American families. And as a nurse, she longs to be able to relive some of the suffering. Yet, her own grief is still fresh in her heart, and though she's made the decision to get on with her life, she can't seem to leave the past behind. When healing at last comes, the guard she placed around her heart slowly begins to crumble. 
But when she receives the news she hoped she would never again hear, can she trust that God’s plan is always right?

Arthur Warrington saw the Navy as an escape from the life he left behind. And it seems good for him. He is able to forge new friendships and distance himself from his past. But when his best friend makes a decision that rocks his world, he is left grappling with the question: what is true courage? 

Three lives. One War. And a search for the Courage to go on.

*~*~*~*

Add it on Goodreads

*~*~*~*

Okay, I won't make you wait any longer...

Without further ado, I present the awesome cover for A Question of Courage!!!

*Squeals* Isn't it just gorgeous?? I love it so much! 

*~*~*~*

About the Author: 


Jesseca is a 19-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. 
Though being in the sky is pretty awesome, too. Website~Blog~Amazon~Goodreads~GooglePlus~Pinterest~Instagram


*~*~*~*

Stay tuned for more information on AQOC and when it will be published!


~Livi Jane

Friday, June 30, 2017

Dandelion Dust - Release Day + Review

DANDELION DUST HAS BEEN SET FORTH INTO THE WORLD. GO FIND IT!

Ahem.

Today, Faith P. releases her book Dandelion Dust. I'm so excited for you, Faith!


You might remember seeing the book spotlight I did on DD just the other day. Well, today I'm back with a review of this story! (Check out Faith's blog for a list of other bloggers participating in this tour!)



~My Review~


*Five stars*


Wow. That's about the only word I have. This story was amazing. Like, awesome.

So, I'll start off with the point that I normally am not a fan of romance. I can handle some here or there, but usually I dislike when it's more of the main focus of a story. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Dandelion Dust, however. The romance involved was clean and sweet. (Have I mentioned I can't stand most sappy romance books?)

Anyway, I absolutely loved Dandelion Dust. The "showing" aspect was great. I definitely felt as if I was watching the characters actions.

It's also one of those stories you can read more than once and not get bored of it. (Trust me, I've come across a lot of those.)

I loved Hannah. And Drew. Like, I need a story solely based on him. (Okay, Faith?) He was so sweet and worried about his brother and AHHH.

Ahem.

Charity was pretty awesome, too. (That's also saying something for me, because I'm usually not a fan of the girl in romance stories. While I've read plenty that do have amazing female leading role characters, there are some that just...ugh. I find many of them sappy, annoying, and just want the guy. xD)
But Charity was sweet and considerate of everyone around her. (Plus, while the story was based on her relationship, it still sorta wasn't. Not in a sappy way, anyway.) <3

And of course, Ryder. Besides the fact that he has such an awesome name, he was an all-around awesome character. :D

Also, how could I leave out Katydid? She was the cutest little thing.

Aside from the few grammatical errors (which is expected in a self-published book), my only negative comment would be that I felt like Charity didn't have many character flaws. She wasn't perfect by any means, but I personally also thought she was a very mature believer for her age. She didn't do a whole lot of questioning why God let bad things happen, or why it was happening to her/her family. I feel like there should have been a little more of a struggle for her. (Toward the latter half of the story, there was, but considering the circumstances, I think it could've come into play a little bit sooner.)
There was a lot of praying for Ryder (I hate to say "too much", because when can you pray too much, especially considering they were Christians in such a situation, but I do think it became a little too repetitive).

But yes, this story was amazing. GO READ IT.

*~*~*~*


~About the Author~


Faith Potts is a teenage writer, living with her family and beloved yellow labs in the southeastern US. When she's not writing stories, consuming large amounts of coffee, reading books, or creating pottery, she can be found laughing harder than is healthy, daydreaming, and – of course – blowing dandelions.
Writing blog: Stories by Firefly // Faith blog: Chosen Vessels // Social media: Goodreads // Pinterest // Instagram
*~*~*~*

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for... *drum roll*


Enter here:
~Livi Jane

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Dandelion Dust - Book Spotlight

Morning, readers!

How is everyone doing?

A wonderful friend of mine, Faith P., is releasing her beautiful book, Dandelion Dust, into the world in just a couple of days!

Displaying image1.JPG

I'll be back on release day with a review, but today, just a quick book spotlight!

Displaying image2.PNG
Isn't this cover gorgeous??

*~*~*~*

~Synopsis~ 

Like a speck of dandelion dust riding the tides of a prairie wind, life is fleeting. Though I never realized just how fragile it was until that day . . .

Charity always had a dream. It was simple, really. Find a guy, fall in love, and get married.
The day she met Ryder, Charity knew he was the man God had chosen for her. But she never expected their relationship to be tested and tried through the fires of a freak accident. Suddenly, her world is thrown into chaos, and the bleak, white walls and sterile smells of a city hospital fill every spare minute. And then there comes the dreaded news. It was likely Ryder would never make it out of the hospital bed.
As her carefully laid plans for the future come crashing down around her and the sun seems to set on her dreams, can Charity still find hope in the dark of night?

*~*~*~*

Doesn't it sound amazing? 

Be sure to check back on Friday for my review of this book and a giveaway! Why would you want to pass up a chance to win a copy of this book? :D

~Livi Jane

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day - Dad

Happy Father's Day to tall the dads out there, and a special shout out to my own dad! I love you!

Dad

~A Poem by Livi Jane~
One of the greatest gifts I’ve ever had, came from God, and I call him Dad.
Before we even met, you loved me from the start,
No love is more special, than the kind that comes from the heart.
You always love, you're always there,
You show how much you really care.
Though I might not always say it, I appreciate all you do,
And I cannot believe how blessed I am to have a dad like you!


~Livi Jane