Tuesday, June 26, 2018

If You Need a Refresh on Devotions

cover photo via Goodreads 
Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson have a fun mother/daughter presence on Twitter. Sometimes interacting with each other with a humorous repartee, but also maintaining their own ministries, their main focus is to bring Christians back to the heart of our faith: the Gospel. In doing that, they remind readers again and again that Christ loves us all, not for what we have done, but for what he has done. Their reminders always feel full of comfort and grace.

I met both of them at the National Bible Bee a few years ago, for a mother/daughter breakfast. I had just read the book they co-authored together, Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions, which offers age-appropriate answers for hard things to talk about. I think it was Elyse that day who mentioned her granddaughter's name was Eowyn (We got onto that because I was telling her about my name origin: an actress on Anne of Green Gables.)

A few months ago I noticed a new book of hers on Amazon, and I was excited that it might be one of my options in the Bethany House review program. Sure enough, it was. Finding the Love of Jesus From Genesis to Revelation is well worth adding to your TBR. It will help you rediscover the Scripture with a whole new appreciation.

Elyse starts with a Biblical framework, exploring some faulty reasons Christians have for reading their Bibles, (morality studies, daily fire insurance from problems, etc.) Instead, she points out that the Bible is about Christ. Using the example of Jesus walking on the Emmaus road in Luke 24, she says that since he found himself in all the Scriptures, we should look for him in the Old Testament too.

As a side note, something she said blew my mind: Jesus read the Scriptures growing up knowing he was the central figure. They were all about him. That left me in awe because any normal human facing that would collapse under the pride, but Jesus was able to read something that was entirely about himself while maintaining his sinlessness.

Elyse spends the majority of the rest of the book demonstrating how to take on a Christ-centered mindset in reading the Old Testament. Because she's writing to women, she explores some biblical accounts about women, including Esther and Deborah. But she also goes into men, including Job and Moses. At the end of each chapter, she offers questions which encourage readers to respond to the chapter and to dig into Scripture for themselves. While I couldn't do them in the initial read-through, I'd really like to come back to them. This book is a great choice to jumpstart morning devotions, to study with a group, or even to gift someone who likes studying the Scriptures. Its primary focus is to point us all to what Christ did and how he loves his people.

I'm still working through a couple of points in the book that my heart isn't quite with yet. I understand the point about the Bible not being about us (and Elyse does a really good job explaining what is still about us, especially in the chapter about the law) but there's something about my understanding of that perspective that still bothers me, and I haven't worked through it yet. That's not the fault of the book. It's just where I'm at in my spiritual maturing. Also, another point she made about the law was frustrating at first, but let to a really neat lightbulb moment this morning. She said, "What this third use [of the law] should not do, however, is cause us to think that our grateful obedience earns God's love for us. So, should we strive to love in response to his love? Yes, of course. But whatever we accomplish in our striving, none of it merits God's love or care for us. We can't be good enough, but he loves us anyway." Initially, I felt frustrated since I was hearing, "Nothing you can do earns God's favor, but still do good anyway." I didn't really see the point of doing that just in itself. But I had more to learn. 

A missing piece of my understanding fell into place listening to Michael Card this weekend. He's talking about hesed: God's extravagant favors to us, and how he wants his children to ask for favors even though we know we don't deserve them. The extravagant love of hesed, he said, hopes for and wants a response from us in like kind. An example of that would be the sinful woman, whom Jesus has forgiven much, and who washes his feet with her tears, anointing them with oil. That's extravagant hesed in return for extravagant hesed. It's not about earning grace. It's about responding to grace with extravagant love. Obedience is Jesus' love language--and so it's an extravagant and heartfelt response to what he's done for us.

That's what Elyse was saying as well. I just couldn't hear her saying it until this morning. "Remember that the primary law is to love, and love is always responsive in nature. He loves us, therefore we love him and want to please him. Only as you remember how much he has loved you will you be motivated to love and obey in return" (Finding the Love of Jesus, pg. 128-129).

I obey so much out of obligation and fear and anxiety. These teachings are good truths for me to hear.

I read the Bible once a year for a while using a couple of different plans for daily devotions. Two years ago I felt in the need of breaking the routine, and have spent the time since in various study methods, study books, and BSF. But I'm starting to feel the hunger to return again, and reading Elyse's book gave me something fresh to hunt for when I start up a plan again. I want to look for Jesus and his love as I read through it. I'm so glad I read Finding the Love of Jesus From Genesis to Revelation, and I would definitely recommend it to love and know Jesus more.

Find it on Amazon or Goodreads.

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, June 22, 2018

1 Year Ago {100% on Kickstarter}

I wasn't quite sure when the date was for the end of the War of Loyalties Kickstarter campaign; so I checked recently--and when I found out it was this Friday, I set a reminder on my phone. 

A year ago today, sometime around 9:30, we hit 100% funding. 

That opened up the door to so many dreams--to paying an editor. Choosing the cover designer I really wanted to work with. Creating beautiful posters for characters (including one of Jaeryn's iconic vow). A year later I have a book of my own in print--that has been loved so kindly in its maiden voyage. 

It was a dream that started with a lined piece of paper, a pen, and an old orange folder seven years ago. 

That Kickstarter money covered costs and then some. It covered font licenses that I hadn't planned on, in order to reimburse other creatives for their work. It covered shipping (those were crazy days standing while postal workers slapped stickers on many boxes.) It covered necklaces and shipping boxes. But more than that: your investment in the project fueled me in those last edits to try to make it the very best the story could be. I wanted to honor your investment--and that helped me in that final re-write it really needed. I had a tribe. A waiting audience. That was an incredible gift in itself. 

While there were a couple of learning-curve rough spots, overall the journey of publication was a dream come true. It was a journey of enough. Enough money. Enough time. Enough joy and knowledge. Enough help. It was a gift from God that I hope I will still be looking back on and remembering when I am old. 

Perhaps I should make the reminder on my phone a yearly one: an Ebenezer stone to mark the way. 

Your 100% made it possible to hold my book in print 100 years from the time the story took place. It made it so I could sell books at our homeschool convention. It's brought across my path fans of characters I love. Next weekend I'll even be bringing copies to a World War One tea. And as I sit and write, there are several boxes of books across the room from me that will find their way to homes. 

Thank you to all of you who poured out. Because of you, I get to use the long-dreamed-of title, "Author".

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

In Which Mrs. Lynde Discovers Anne With an E

After watching the trailer for Anne with an E, Season 2, I thought it would be hilarious fun to have Mrs. Lynde's commentary on it. No disparagement to the series intended--I haven't seen it yet! A link to the trailer is found under "Trailer comes on", which may help with the context of the article.  I hope you all enjoy. :) ~Schuyler 
via Pixabay
It has long been known in the annals of time that strong personalities must possess their own territory. Every bird must have its thicket, every lion must have its pride, and every woman must have her own kitchen. Such is the law of humanity, and this law is kept inviolate in Avonlea...

Mrs. Rachel Lynde reaches for a pair of spectacles and furtively glances towards the shut kitchen door. Jerry Buote sits at the table with a fresh jam and bread. All the curtains are closely drawn.

Mrs. Lynde: At my age I don't hold to modern laptops, but there comes a time for everything. I simply must know what the minister was talking about. I won't have a moment's peace until I do. Anne all over Netflix? What is this Netflix?

She pulls a laptop from under the kitchen table and sets the cord on top of it.

Mrs. Lynde: Mind you, the church has come to a pretty pass when ministers are mentioning movies in sermons. When I was a girl, such a thing was never heard of. Did they exhaust the Holy Scriptures, that they have to fall back to pagan entertainment? It's a disgrace, that's what. Jerry, how does this thing turn on?

Jerry Buote obligingly plugs in the cord and turns on the laptop. Mrs. Lynde puts on her spectacles and watches over his shoulder.

Mrs. Lynde: YouTube? What's YouTube? The minister said it was on Netflix.

Jerry: You'd have to pay for Netflix. YouTube is free.

Mrs. Lynde: Well, go to YouTube then. I'm certainly not paying hard-earned money until I know if it's worth something.

Jerry pulls up Netflix. Mrs. Lynde stares open-mouthed at the array of videos offered.

Mrs. Lynde: How did you learn about computers, Jerry? It's not natural in my opinion. And do you watch YouTube?

Jerry mumbles something under his breath.

Mrs. Lynde: Speak up. I can't understand you.

Jerry, hastily: Sometimes. Here's the trailer the minister was talking about.

Trailer comes on:

Anne: "Isn't the world a remarkable place?" 

Mrs. Lynde: She'd say that. Marilla never could get that girl to settle down to anything like a normal child.

Matthew and Marilla sit on the sand eating a picnic. 

Mrs. Lynde: Lawful heart, is that Marilla Cuthbert? And Matthew? Having a picnic? I can tell you, that never happened. All of Avonlea would have heard of it.

Gilbert appears walking with a friend along the road.

Mrs. Lynde squints at the screen: Is that his father?

Jerry: He's an orphan in this season.

Mrs. Lynde: An orphan? Gilbert Blythe's no orphan. His father was alive to see his grandchildren, that's what. He would turn over in his grave to hear it--I only hope Gilbert doesn't see it mentioned after the funeral.

Jerry: Gilbert worked at the docks in Charlottetown in this show.

Mrs. Lynde, outraged gasp: Gilbert Blythe lived in a respectable family until he went to a respectable school and became a respectable doctor. To think I lived to see the day when the truth was as over-rated as this--and I've heard some lies in my time, believe me. I once heard of a man in White Sands who lied to his wife about what he'd done with the crop money. Died in his bed that very night. Now people are being paid for such tales.

The teacher appears in a pageant costume.

Mrs. Lynde: Well, that's the best he ever looked, that's what. He never did benefit the school. Making girls sit with the boys was a disgrace to Avonlea.

Gilbert Blythe stands on the deck of a boat. 

Mrs. Lynde: They probably have him traipsing off to Las Vegas now. Pretty soon Anne will be in boy's clothes going with him.

Anne: have you ever heard anything more romantical? 

Mrs. Lynde: Well, she would say that too. Far be it from me to withhold credit where credit is due. And she did sleep with Diana and Minnie May. But lawful heart, what are they thinking of? And why are they mixing up Anne with this nonsense? There must be a Yankee involved with it somewhere. No, Jerry, don't touch any more of those videos. It's a nonsense and a waste of time.

Jerry: But the minister watched it.

Mrs. Lynde: Next time the minister comes I'll give him an earful. Endorsing a pack of lies like that from the pulpit? I tried to tell the committee. A young seminary graduate barely two years out of college, and he's been to Washington D.C. Why, a minister the exact same age over in Charlottetown embezzled the church funds--right out of the offering plates, that's what.

Jerry: I can take the computer off your hands, Mrs. Lynde.

Mrs. Lynde: Certainly not. I will personally take my kitchen ax to this terror of a machine tomorrow morning. It isn't even fit to give to the Pyes.

Jerry: They already have one. They watch it every night after dinner.

Mrs. Lynde: If Mr. Pye wants his children to grow up with heads stuffed full of deceit, that is certainly no business of mine. I'll go over tomorrow afternoon and tell him my opinion of it, make no mistake. It's high time you were in bed, Jerry. Have you seen to the cows?

Jerry: Yes, ma'am.

Jerry disappears. Mrs. Lynde looks at the computer, which has now fallen into sleep mode. Slowly, she closes the lid half-way. Then she pauses.

Mrs. Lynde: Oh, I'll never have a minute's peace until I know more.

She opens the lid again and clicks on the screen. But Jerry has exited the internet browser, and Mrs. Lynde stares blankly at a desktop of confusing icons. After a few fruitless clicks of the mouse, she closes the lid again.

Mrs. Lynde: I'll take the ax to it tonight, that's what.

Enjoy this? Check out The Olympics Come to Avonlea for more Mrs. Lynde commentary!

Friday, June 15, 2018

In Which I Commence A Stack of Improving Reading

via Pixabay
Marianne Dashwood started a stack of improving reading by the end of Sense and Sensibility. I wonder if she finished it; somehow I think she did. Her book stack was a result of a heart change, and I don't think it met with the fate of Emma's 101 titles.

I'm starting a list of my own--twelve titles that I'd like to read this summer in company with a summer reading program I'm taking part in. This reading program is from the Holy Grail of bookstores--the place with good deals, one that invites you to linger and breathe in the scent of it all and find some introverted soul peace.

This reading program has specific categories to choose from, so Wednesday morning I was busily looking at my TBR stack and seeing which categories I can fit the books into. And with great success--I've even got a couple of books to spare past the ten book requirement! (silent screaming how is this going to happen) Here's what I'm looking at so far:

(These categories were created by Baker Book House.)

Biography: Martin Luther, by Eric Metaxas
I got this book for Christmas; I'm really excited to read it and would like to finish it in this calendar year, HALP.

A Problem in Society Today: The Gospel Comes With a House Key, by Rosaria Butterfield
I'd heard of this book before, but it was also mentioned in our church newsletter and the subject coincides with an initiative our church started where they're encouraging households to reach out to someone with the Gospel in the next week or so.

Published in 2018: Speak Truth in Your Heart, by Sarah Mally
This is such an important book for girls, equipping them to address spiritual lies and battles with the truth of God's Word. I'm looking forward to digging into it this summer to prepare my own heart for discussing it with my Bright Lights group this fall.

Teen Novel: Fawkes, by Nadine Brandes
Not only is Nadine Brandes the Queen Ninja of connecting with her fans, but I'm hoping to meet her this year at Realm Maker's, and I really want to get a copy of Fawkes to have her sign it (as well as bring my whole Out of Time series, who are we kidding.)

Recommended to You: Culture Care, by Makoto Fujimura
This book I think would have some good thoughts on art and Christianity to tuck away in my brain for the fiction class I'll be teaching later this year. It's a book my sister likes and recommended to me!

Book You've Waited Too Long To Read: Flame of Resistance, by Tracy Groot
My friend Amanda Barratt recommended this book to me, and we're going to read it together soon. I'm SO EXCITED!!

One-word Title: Hamlet, by Shakespeare
A friend is working on a Hamlet re-telling, and I really want to read this story, not only because she likes it, but so I can understand the original to better understand the retelling when it comes out!

Kid's Chapter Title: The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis
And thus will finish my Chronicles of Narnia re-read.

Author I've Never Read Before: A Higher Loyalty, by James Comey
I just picked this up from the library. The committee questioning with Comey last year was fascinating to watch, and I'm looking forward to reading his book for myself.

Made Into a Movie: A Light Between Oceans, by M. L. Steadman
It's gonna rip my heart out. A story about a husband and wife who tend a lighthouse and decide to keep a shipwrecked baby when they can't have kids of their own--even though they know who the mother is.

A Country I'd Like to Visit: Victoria: The Queen, by Julia Baird
When Suzannah Rowntree shared about the 1.99 Kindle deal, I picked this book up because I had a biography about Queen Victoria on my TBR for this year. First I flipped through it, then I started to read it in earnest. I'm geeking out, and it's already fascinating.

I only have until August 25th. Wish me luck. 

Are any of these books on your summer list? What are you hoping to read this summer?

also, half of these are nonfiction, who kidnapped schuyler 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Halfway Into Memory

via Pixabay
This year has slipped almost halfway into memory.

It's always startling to think that a year is half-way gone. Don't laugh; but twenty-three feels older than I've felt before, not just because I am, but maybe because I have passed an invisible inner curtain. In some ways it has felt like a season of spiritual heart-searching and uncomfortable questions; in other ways it has felt like a season of selling books and housesitting and enjoying those things.

Half the year is almost gone. I told my mom the other day that I'd read more children's books this year. They are easy; fast; beloved. A lot of them are books I hadn't read in my childhood, new worlds of wonder (A Wrinkle in Time, Boys of Blur). Some (Narnia, Gone-Away Lake) are remembered books I'm returning to.

Last month the sis and I spent the most time we've ever spent away from our parents, house-sitting by ourselves. It was another milestone; a passing of something. On those days I propped open my eyes well after midnight to read a bit of Henry V and feel impressed with myself--or to read The Borrowers, with their clash of whimsy and bittersweetness. A book like The Borrowers leaves you with a gentle ache afterward.

And there are more memories still--memories of reading about a sweet-souled girl fighting for right and justice after she is pulled out of Earth into a new kingdom of responsibilities. (Crowning Heaven) That book was read on a Saturday with drizzle in the air, as we traveled to an open house. And it was read again the following day on the way to church--cramming in a tense scene as we pulled into the parking lot. Another memory.

I won't remember all these memories. Life moves fast--sometimes it's hard to remember what I did a few days ago. But those memories are becoming me--heart and soul layered with the richness of living, whether I can call them to mind or not.

It's really a wonderful world--sitting with a warm breakfast plate and an open Bible, looking out our back window at the chipmunk who likes to sit on our step of a morning. Eating a warm British muffin with jam and then cracking open Psalm 119 for another round of working at getting its words into my mind. Deciding at random to open The Valley of Vision and start the day with a prayer. Sometimes I forget life is wonderful when there are things to stress and wonder at--niggling sins in my own soul that can lead to a cess-pit of naval-gazing. But it is, after all, the remembrance of the small things that helps us stay steady--something a friend's quote on Instagram reminded me of:
Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. ~The Hobbit
 If my heart while writing this post could be summed up in a piece of music (and I am so not the person to draw these sorts of comparisons) it would probably be John Debney's Elephant Waterfall. The frailty--the love--the change--they all ache in a terrible, wonderful way which the music perfectly captures.

So here's to new memories this summer--a cascade of them, found in turning book pages and coffee shop visits--in my first all-girl road trip and maybe, at long last, conquering Psalm 119. In dreaming of the next teaching year. In nights of gladness and tears.

I am eager for more layers in my soul.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

7 Stories:1 Week {what I read and watched on staycation}

do i want to post this expression of me....hmmm....
A couple of weeks ago after selling War of Loyalties at our state homeschool convention, I retreated with a pile of books and movies and the aspiration of taking a staycation. My teaching was finished for the year, I had a couple weeks off another job, and it was time to recharge the batteries. So I read and watched, constantly taking in stories both new and familiar. It felt like a steady stream of good nutrients filling up my mental compost heap--not a firehose of stories crammed in without the time to chew them; just a constant stream of goodness. Here's what I took in.

Little Women
We caught this as it aired on PBS on Sunday night. While I wasn't quite sure after the first episode, I was crying by the third. While I don't think Beth's personality was correctly portrayed, and Laurie's first scenes felt awkward, I loved Meg's sweet face and grew to love Jo's tempestuous and emotional experience of life. The fight scene where Amy burns Jo's book and the way they hurl hurtful words in that scene was a particularly vivid fight--and as an author, I understand the hurt. I loved the scene where John Brooke goes off to war with the girls singing Land of the Leal over the clips. And Episodes 2 and 3 hit me because they capture the bittersweet pain of growing up--a pain our family is experiencing as we all go on life adventures.

Monday morning I curled up on my bed with the Paddington movie, which I had gotten the previous week from the library. I had timed it all carefully so I got it before our busy weekend, especially because the library is closed on Monday--just when I wanted it. There is no greater luxury than watching a movie on a Monday morning. And to be honest, kids' movies are a great choice for vacation, because they're a little less drama than anything schuyler picks   Dickens and whatnot.  Paddington is a bear who comes to London from Darkest Peru and is adopted by the Brown family. In the movie, Mr. Brown is a hyper-vigilant accident analyst played by Hugh Bonneville (who I like to imagine as Peters in WoL.) and Mrs. Brown is Sally Hawkins (2007 Persuasion, 2016 Great Expectations.) The theme of family in this movie, and family defending Paddington from an evil taxidermist curls up in my heart and stays there, along with the perfect actor performances. Sally Hawkins' sweet, adventuresome spirit in contrast with her husband's cautious reserve makes this her best role yet--and Mr. Brown's character arc is simply perfect.

The Promise of Jesse Woods
This book. I am convinced Chris Fabry has a talent for storytelling--weaving memory and personalities, conflict and hurts, nature and travel and the painful growth of the human soul. His book has a dual timeline as a grownup Matt travels home to stop his childhood friend from breaking a promise for the first time--by marrying someone other than him. That might sound cliche, but it's not. Along with that, we have chapters that flashback to the 70s and their experience of becoming friends. This book deals with the church shunning outcasts, with a boy's practical witness of Christian behavior, with baseball, and with the sin of hiding sexual abuse. I'd put it at a definite PG-13--a year ago the heavy themes would have sidelined me, but somehow I was able to take them in this time and appreciate the beauty. If I could describe his writing in one word, it would be craftsmanship. I definitely want to get my hands on a copy. 

Gone Away Lake
I planned to read this book last year. It didn't happen, but this year I picked it up again. My mom would read one of the Gone-Away books out loud every summer, so it was a classic part of our childhood. The lines were so familiar--Julian telling Portia her braces looked like the front end of a Buick. The A.P. Decoction. Baby-Belle Tuckertown. Mrs. Cheever's chocolate cake. ("I believe fudge cakes should be built.") And tons of fun cousin adventures. Not only does this book not have romance and crushes in it, which is a little unique today, but it also represents 11- and 12-year-old kids being best of friends with a senior brother and sister. Books like that are important. They normalize cross-generational friendships and dramatize how fun it is to be outdoors and enjoy stories about the past. I'm reading Return-to-Goneaway right now and loving it even more.

Far From the Madding Crowd 
Actually, this was the only strike-out this week. I started reading the book and didn't get very far, so I thought, "why not? I've always wanted to see the movie, and it's at our library, let's check it out." I watched it, but it wasn't what I was expecting, and when a movie doesn't line up with your expectations, sometimes even the best of stories end up not jiving with you. I think I was expecting Bathsheba Everdeen to be like Ada Claire in Bleak House--sweet and naive instead of a capable farm mistress. Plus, I really, really wanted another *spoilers* Gabriel/Bathsheba riding scene at the end, *end of spoilers* and it wasn't there like I expected it to be--nor was the beautiful quote on this Pinterest pin, I think? It was well done, just different than I thought.

But it's cool to hear British people pronounce Bathsheba because I always pronounced it quite differently.

How to Train Your Dragon 
This was an absolute for sure winner this week. I've listened to the soundtrack several times while writing. I mentioned it in Homeschool Diaries (one of the guardian angels has a weakness for Poptarts and How to Train Your Dragon).

schuyler, that's just weird 

I even had a student turn in a paragraph about HTTYD in a writing class a year ago. So I put that on hold at the library along with Paddington. When I was younger, you couldn't catch me dead watching many animated movies--for some weird reason they offended my cherished sense of dignity. After Inside Out in March, I don't care anymore. They can grab emotions and be just as beautiful, and I've learned my lesson. How to Train Your Dragon has some goofy teenage crush talk/sibling rivalry moments among Hiccup's fellow consorts, but it's an easily skipped element, and the whole theme of Hiccup's journey is so over-all worth it. Hiccup's friendship with the most dangerous dragon known to Vikings is enough to melt your heart. Hiccup isn't a brawny or strong Viking--but as he struggles with his smallness, he learns to use his strengths--his mind and inventive abilities--and finds satisfaction in that. And Toothless is the absolutely cutest, melt-your-heart buddy on the planet. I don't know how I'd pick a favorite between them. Toothless basically has a kitten heart in a dragon's body, and if that's not a recipe for success, I don't know what is.

Mirriam Neal summed up several aspects of my and sis's opinion of Solo. Sis and I had so much fun going to see it with our dad on his birthday, and man, that villain's double-bladed red knife was cool in the climax. But as far as canon goes, I think it would have worked better as a film with independent characters. Let's face it: seeing him with a girlfriend besides Leia sort of tastes sour at first. Also, I am concerned that Star Wars is staying too angsty, and I'm normally someone who likes angst. I feel like Rogue One and Solo are changing the flavor to a bleaker tone. In Rogue One the angst was very appropriate, and The Last Jedi was awesome, but Solo didn't hit the right notes for me. Give me some scenery with color. Give me some joy-ride adventure. Would I watch it again, though? Yeah. I always like to see a movie twice to get a good feel for it, and even if it's not quite Han, I don't mind having it in the collection. I think people who grew up with a deep love for Han might not like his representation, though.

Out of seven stories I experienced that week, five of them were new, and four of them were fun. Three were home runs. There was an eighth story I can't talk about yet, but that was super fun too--and you know, just a week of listening to The Greatest Showman and wearing my TinyKittens t-shirt and having nothing going was one of the best things ever. Soul-restoring. Mind-renewing.

I count that a pretty successful staycation. Even if I did accidentally put our mail on hold for a few days. ;)

Do you love any of these stories? Or hate them? Flail or wail with me in the comments! ;)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Camp NaNo Snippets {containing War of Loyalties sequel quotes}

via Pixabay
Guys--we just hit ten reviews on War of Loyalties! And so, it's time to unveil the first sneak-peek at book two. These are a smattering conglomeration of snippets from editing the sequel for War of Loyalties in April. I edited 50,000 words and could not touch it again after for a few weeks (not good timing, but we're getting there.) After catching a fresh wind, I'm back at it again....so it is a joy to share some of the first labors with you. Not all snippets are guaranteed to appear in the final draft. Also, if you haven't read book one, some specific characters are mentioned here, so you may want to avoid spoilers!  Tell me your favorites below?

“Got any food, mister?” the boy asked hopefully.
Nathan glanced up. Brown curly hair and brown eyes flashed through the halls of painful memory.  A stab of pity went through him. “I wish I did.”
“Got any money, mister?” the boy asked, even more hopefully.
Nathan’s hand went instinctively to the euros in his pocket. There weren’t very many of them.
“Got a good reason to use it?” he asked.
“Well, it’s that or pinch something. Wolf doesn’t mind pinching.”


“I’ve agreed to this whole idea of fatherhood. But I’m not about to take on the fatherhood of the human race. Jaeryn Graham can look after himself.”


“I thought you were finally able to say no when you needed to.”
“I said no to you.”
“I’m not the person you should be saying no to.”


If you were alive, mother, your worry would be a terrible weight to bear. I hope Heaven has no window to earth tonight.


“Who’s Webster?”
Evesham shook his head. “Absolutely confidential. Webster is preparing to drop behind enemy lines for the 1919 offensive. I want that identity protected.”
“But the war won’t last that long, will it?”
Evesham’s face looked a bit strained in the bright morning sunshine. “The Americans continue to stall and France is fraying at the edges. We barely have enough manpower when the weather turns.”
“Don’t waste what you have, then,” Jaeryn said dryly.


Then the door opened.
The chat continued. The quiet thunk of glasses carried on. Jaeryn looked up and locked eyes with Fenton crossing the threshold of the bar room. He glanced down at his watch. The hands pointed to eight precisely. His face froze into rigid lines as Fenton wove through the tables and took a seat across from him.


You’re sending him to get killed. 
I never promised you safety in this job. Just better ethics. 
Please want to grow old with me.
Dark pressed in.
If we lose the notebook, we will lose everything.


“Gina, isn’t it? I haven’t seen you since the Gavin Lewis business. What happened to the poor little innocents in Nottingham?”
The shoulders under the deep red dress stiffened. She turned around, revealing the same brunette curls and crimson lips he had remembered. He flexed his fingers, and something cold teased at the center of his chest. Cold and hurting and very much unforgotten.


“I don’t like the idea of a kid being mixed up in this business.” Terry brought his boots down to the floor with a bang and pushed his chair back. “Child leaders and angels make for a strange business if you ask me.”


“We’d heard his son was coming months ago with inside British connections, but when no son came, we thought you were dead. And behold, you are here. Just when we were praying for you. Just when we needed you.”


He got out and let her slip past him, a lithe little figure in the slim-waisted dress. Gina looked back. “Good night, you old scoundrel.” She laughed over her shoulder and ran up the steps.


Vital delivery interception. 12am. Fatal methods forbidden. 
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