Showing posts from May, 2013

Author Interview at Pen Over Sword

Hello, lovely readers!  I know today is a blog-post day on my schedule, but I've actually got something a little different going on.  Caitlin Hensley, a writer friend of mine from Go Teen Writers, does author interviews.  Today I'm her special guest, talking about my soon-to-be-released ebook Sixteen as well as my writing life in general.  Go check it out!

Blog Tour: Captives {Bonus Stuff!}

There were so many fun extras available for this blog tour, I decided to do a separate post to share them all with you!  So, my lovely readers, enjoy!

Click on any image to be directed to a related website, page, or Safe Lands article.

Blog Tour: Captives {Book Review + Giveaway!}

Captives by Jill Williamson

Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ façade before it’s too late?
{Giveaway after the review}

Amazon Page
GoodReads Page
LibraryThing Page
Author Website

Amazon Summary:
One choice could destroy them all.

When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many—including his fiancée, Jem—taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.

Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Lands has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.

Meanwhile, their brother Mason has bee…

DIY Party Diva: Boys' Piñata Party {Food + Favors}

Boys' Piñata Party {Food + Favors} Theme: Piñatas and candy; Guest list: Boys, ages 6-10
The lollipop ice cream cone centerpiece counted as food, and the candy from the mini piñatas doubled as favors, as did the prize candy from the punch box.  But we also had special piñata favor bags and some very special...
Piñata Cookies!

This is probably one of the most involved projects I've tried off Pinterest.  It was a lot harder than I expected, too!  For this project, I'm going to sort of break the DIY Party Diva 'rules' and send you over the original tutorial.  It's much better for such an involved project:
But I'll still post my photos! :)

...And the Mountain Top

After reading Tuesday's post, you, my lovely readers, might be wondering... what's the point of chasing our dreams if we just end up discouraged, defeated, or in my case, overwhelmed?

That's where examples of others' success comes in handy.  When we feel like we just can't do this, we look up to those who already did.

I'd share the stories of these people, but there's so many of them, I decided to just give you the names and a short tidbit.  If you want to see the specific stories, just do an internet search or find a book about them at the library.  You're sure to be inspired!

The Valley of Dreams...

Today, I'm just going to be real with you.  No glossy photos.  No smiley, happy, bouncy Emily today.  Right now, my life is crazy and messy.  If I want to be real with my lovely readers - and I do - then my blog has to reflect my life, messy and all.

One of my biggest dreams is to be published.  As many of you know, I've been working on self-publishing my novella Sixteen.  This month, my friend and editor Rachelle Rea and I are working on editing.  With my focus on this book, I decided to look at everything I need to do between now and the launch date (the day my book comes out) and make a timeline for me.

I ended up going to bed very late and very discouraged.

DIY Party Diva: Boys' Piñata Party {Activities}

Boys' Piñata Party {Activities} Theme: Piñatas and candy; Guest list: Boys, ages 6-10
Scavenger Hunt
I don't have any photos of this activity, but basically any scavenger hunt will work.  For my brother's birthday, all his guests were his Sunday School classmates, so I wrote down names of Bible characters.  The boys had to figure out what object or place would go with that character and then their next name would be hidden there.  For example, a paper reading "Mary, Mother of Jesus" led to a baby doll, while "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego" led to the oven.  (Our version of a 'fiery furnace.'  A fireplace would work, too.)
I don't know how to make a free printable, or I'd share my scavenger hunt here.  Sorry!  So, if you'd like the Bible characters scavenger hunt, email me!  I'd be glad to send it to you. :)
At the end of the scavenger hunt, instead of a prize, we had a...


Hello, my lovely readers!  Apologies for my no-show on Tuesday.  With moving, school, the INSPY awards, and a lot of summer plans starting to pick up, I've been swamped.  But I'm back today, with a new Taylor Swift fanfiction for you to enjoy!  If you'd like to go back and read it, I've also written a fanfiction piece based on Taylor Swift's "Love Story."

The pounding in your chest throbs up through your head and drowns out the drums currently playing on stage.  Too soon the sophomore twin brothers are finished.  You know you're next.  Sucking in deep breaths, you wipe the palms of your hands on your soft purple sundress.  A tiny bit of feedback echoes through the gym as the principal calls out your name on the microphone.  Clutching the neck of your guitar for dear life, you scuffle across the stage.
It takes a moment to see anything through the glaring spotlights.  You blink rapidly, straining to see your best friend in the third row.  She's gri…

DIY Party Diva: Boys' Piñata Party {Decor}

Boys' Piñata Party {Decor} Theme: Piñatas and candy; Guest list: Boys, ages 6-10

What you'll need: Love vs. Design's printable invitation, computer with a word processing program, printer, printer paper, cardstock or construction paper in your party colors, scrapbooking or edging scissors, regular scissors, ruler (optional), double-sided tape or glue

Assassinate: A Short Story

This story might disturb a few readers.  I don't remember what prompted me to write it, but be forewarned, and know that this is from my (mentally unstable) character's POV, not my own.

Death is such a beautiful thing.  Such peace, such calm, such quiet.  No more worries.  No more fighting.  No more pain.

I decided when I was young that I would seek out the best way to make others' lives better, and then devote my life to that work.  No one could be more successful in meeting a goal than I have been in this.

Of course, it took work.  Study.  Dedication.  I had to research and learn.  I had to be careful, because my work is unique.  It is one of those things that must be done unseen, because there are those who do not understand the beauty and kindness in my job.  These people must never know of me, or the people I help would go on suffering.  I could not live with myself if I neglected my task, thankless as it is.

But I succeeded.  I pushed myself through years of study an…


From Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd:


n., v. dreameddreamt, dream•ing,n.
1. a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep. 2. a particular sequence of such images, thoughts, or feelings... 3. an involuntary vision occurring to a person when awake. 4. a daydream or reverie. 5. an aspiration; goal; aim. 6. a wild or vain fancy. 7. something of unreal or striking beauty, charm, or excellence. v.i.
8. to have a dream. 9. to indulge in daydreams or reveries. 10. to conceive of something in a very remote way... v.t.
11. to see or imagine in sleep or in a vision. 12. to imagine as possible; fancy; conceive. 13. to pass or spend (time) in dreaming... 14. dream up, to form in the imagination; devise. adj.
15. most desirable; ideal...

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." ~ C. S. Lewis

"If you have a dream deep inside your heart, no matter how big or scary it might be, just k…

DIY Party Diva: Rapunzel Slumber Part {Wrap-Up}

Rapunzel Slumber Party {Wrap-Up} Theme: Disney's Tangled; Guest list: Girls, ages 2-8

Writing Notebooks, Advice, and Productivity

One blog post I've read, pinned, and reread is this one about writing notebooks.  While I agree with some of the things the blogger says and I do love her list - both the notebooks she discusses and the later list of other possibilities - I don't agree with the necessity of those three notebooks.  I find my computer a more practical place for the things she discusses under "A Writer's Notebook."  Writing stream-of-consciousness style never did much good for me. The few times I managed to keep it up, all I ended up with was writing fatigue and vague depression.  (I do keep her "A Pocket Notebook," though, and I'm not sure what I'd do without it!)

Every writer's method of getting ideas, planning out stories/worlds/characters, writing, editing, blogging, researching, note-taking - it's all different.  When a writer tells his readers that you must do X to be successful or doing B will ruin you forever... well, I don't like hearing that. …