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CURRENTLY HAPPENING: Anne of Green Gables Read With Me || #AnneOfGreenGablesReadalong

Hey!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! In 2020, I’m hosting a read through of the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery, and YOU’RE INVITED!!!!

Here’s how it’s going to work: every month I will put out a reading plan, and we’ll all just read along together! It’s super lowkey, and if you arrive a month or two behind, you can still join! We have a year to read 9 books, so take your time. 🙂

You ready to hop in? Grab your Anne of Green Gables plans here!

Anne of Green Gables Reading Plan
Anne of Avonlea Reading Plan
Anne of the Island Reading Plan
Anne of Windy Poplars Reading Plan

Book Review: The Killing Tide by Dani Pettery || Spotlight, Review, and Giveaway || Celebrate Lit Blog Tour

Hello and happy Wednesday! There have been a TON of new books that have been releasing lately and a ton of blog tours on their way, and I’m super excited! I’m kicking it off with The Killing Tide by Dani Pettery, which actually released last year but whose SEQUEL is coming out later this month! Because this is a blog tour from Celebrate Lit, there is also a giveaway involved, so stay tuned for that!

About the Book

Book: The Killing Tide
Author: Dani Pettrey
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 2019

When one Coast Guard officer is found dead and another goes missing, Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent Finn Walker faces his most dangerous crime yet. His only clues are what little evidence remains aboard the dead officer’s boat, and the direction the clues point to will test Finn and the Guard to their limits.

When investigative reporter–and Finn’s boss’s sister–Gabby Rowley arrives, her unrelenting questions complicate an already volatile situation. Now that she’s back, the tug on Finn’s heart is strong, but with the risks she’s taking for her next big story, he fears she might not live through it.

Thrown together by the heinous crime, Finn and Gabby can’t ignore the sparks or judgments flying between them. But will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough to track down an elusive killer, or will they become his next mark?

Goodreads || Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Book Depository || Christian Book

My Review-

This was such a fun book! I’m always down for a Christian suspense novel, and this one was definitely one that I enjoyed! I had heard good things, so I was really looking forwards to reading it, and it delivered!

The storyline was fastpaced and interesting, and I got really wrapped up in the story really quickly. The suspense and mystery started off pretty much on the first page, and continued like that all the way until the very end (I literally did not expect the last thing that happened!). The antagonist was also a HUGE surprise that I didn’t expect AT ALL. The whole story was very well developed and I enjoyed reading it a lot.

(Although I’m not 100% sure about the believably of it all?? a. it seems like there were way less people than should be involved in a crime as big as the one that happens in the story, and also b. I’m not sure how some of the reality is for some of the investigative parts, so there was a little bit of suspense of disbelief that had to happen for me, but it really fun suspenseful read)

On the other hand, a piece of criticism that I have is that there are a lot of characters to keep track of: it’s a weak point in my reading comprehension, but all the characters together were quite easily confused, and at times made the story less clear. In addition, there was a fair bit of backstory that each of the characters had, and it was a lot to keep track of at the beginning. Because of that, it felt pretty hard to accurately form a mental image of what each character’s personality is like. However, once I got the hang of each of the characters, I really enjoyed following along in their lives.

Also, there was quite a bit of ~attraction~ going on: compared to a lot of other Christian fiction books I’ve read, the two main characters were pretty much making out at times during the book. While we did get that they had already developed a relationship before the book started, that dynamic was kind of weird??? From the reader’s perspective, they kissed, then said I love you, then immediately began calling each other baby, then got engaged? So that was a little jarring, and would also probably not be okay with some of my more conservative Christian friends.

Overall, it was a really fun book that I enjoyed! The story was engaging, fast-paced, and exciting, and the suspense was really fun. The character development left something to be desired, but for a exciting suspense book, this was a book that I really liked!

My Rating-

7/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author-

Dani Pettrey

Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance.

Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today).

She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland. For more information visit www.danipettrey.com

Giveaway

The Killing Tide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dani is giving away the grand prize package of a Kindle, $20 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of The Crushing Depths!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Enter Here

For more information about this blog tour, and exclusive content from the author about The Killing Tide, as well as more stops from the blog tour, click here.

 

5 Easy Ways to Spice Up a Pen Pal Letter! || Pen Pal With Me + Announcement!

Hi friends! Happy Friday! One of my favorite things that I have done in quarantine so far is writing letters to friends. The whole process is so fun: connecting with people outside of the internet, being creative, and receiving letters! The other day, I filmed a bit of when I was writing a set of letters to send out, so there is a video at the end of this post that is a “Write Happy Mail With Me” video! I love watching these kinds of videos when I write letters, and it was super fun to make as well, so I hope you enjoy it!

As I’ve been writing letters and decorating envelopes, there are 5 things I use to make a standard looking letter look super cute and aesthetic, and I thought I would share them with you today.

  1. Stickers. They are the easiest way to add some color and a cute design to any piece of mail. Generally I use stickers on envelopes, but they also do well as the seal for a tissue paper wrapped package or as extra decoration on the letter itself. They are so fun and there are so many designs! They are also generally pretty cheap and are also easy to DIY (so I’ve heard: I haven’t actually tried myself).
  2. A bookmark or other little trinket. I read a lot of books, and a lot of my friends that I send letters to also read a lot, so a bookmark is always a nifty thing to include in a letter. I have also sent washi tape swatches, postcards, stickers, or photos. A little something in a letter makes it that much more fun to open!
  3. A tea bag. This is kind of along the lines of a little trinket, but this one is special to me, because I always drink whatever tea I receive in letters while I’m writing them. It just makes that tea and letter writing time more special and it’s one of my favorite little habits.
  4. Washi tape! I LOVE washi tape: there are just so many designs that are all so cute and add so much color and aesthetic and just. I LOVE washi tape, if you couldn’t tell. My friend Hailey (who I actually introduced to the world of washi, hehe #sorrynotsorry), makes GORGEOUS envelopes out of washi tape, if you want some inspo ideas.
  5. A piece of handmade art! This is my personal favorite (though a VERY close tie with washi tape ;). I love doing handlettered art pieces, and it is SO FUN to include one in the letters I write! It’s just a little tangible keepsake that can be kept around, and is just so fun! It doesn’t have to be hand lettered art, though; it can be a handmade bookmark, or a drawing, or just about anything that you made yourself. Having that extra hand-made touch just makes a letter more special, in my option. 🙂

Speaking of handmade art, I have a super exciting announcement! (Yes, this is my second big announcement in two weeks, hehe). I just opened an “Instagram shop,” called Coffee With a Side of Art! It’s not /really/ an Instagram shop, but it’s pretty much going to function as one. It works in conjunction with my Ko-Fi link, and basically, you get a hand-lettered art piece in exchange for the price of a cup of coffee ($3)!

It’ll be a fun way to get my art out into the world, and I’m really looking forwards to seeing what I can do with that space in the future as well! I’m so excited about Coffee With a Side of Art, and I hope you are too!

As an extra bonus, there is a giveaway happening on the instagram right now, where you’ll get a chance to win four custom hand-lettered quotes! Head to @coffeewithasideofart to enter!


Finally, like I promised, here is the “Pen Pal With Me” video I made! It was super fun to edit, and I loved learning more editing tricks as I made it! I hope you enjoy!


Do you like sending letters? Do you like receiving letters? What is your favorite thing to receive in a letter? THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: DO YOU LIKE WASHI TAPE? Leave a comment and let me know!

 

June 2020 Plan With Me (+ Big Announcement!) || Bullet Journaling

Happy June, everyone! Today I am going to share what my June bullet journal spread looks like, which is something I don’t usually do, but I’m especially proud of how this month’s spreads look like, so I decided to share it! (Stick around to the end for a special announcement! 😉)

This month I decided to do a scrapbook style in my bullet journal, and I LOVE how it looks! Although it definitely took a lot longer to do, I have lots of free time right now, and I loved the process of making these spreads, so I decided to share it here!

To start off, I have the monthly spread! On the right side, I have a monthly overview. Usually I would make that calendar bigger, but because I don’t have any commitments right now (lol), it’s just a really small one for reference. I also have boxes for my goals, things to do, books to read, blogposts to write, events, art, cleaning, and happy mail to send for the month. Basically, this spread is just a huge to-do list of things I want to get done this month.

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Next is my detailed habit tracker. I find that these habit trackers that are also kind of like a daily “ideal” routine work best for me. I have more structure for my day, and it also helps me remember to fill it out throughout the day! On the left side, I have a box for filling in my goal task for the day: my main focus task of the day. This helps me prioritize what I want to do with my day.

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Lastly, I have a weekly spread. This is just a really simple weekly spread, with spaces for a to-do list for each day of the week, as well as an overall one for the whole week. It’s really simple and really cute!!

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Overall I LOVE what the spreads I made for this month look like!

Now, it’s time for my big announcement! I made a YouTube channel!! I’ve been looking for a new form of art to learn for a while, and I thought this would be a fun way to do it! I don’t plan on making videos regularly, but I wanted to have a space to make relaxing content. The first video I have up is my set up for this month’s bullet journal! Although it’s not much, I’m still really excited about it and to see where it goes!


Let’s talk! How has your bullet journal changed since social distancing/quarantine started? Do you have any ideas for what I should do for my YouTube channel? Leave a comment and let me know!
P. S. Make sure you subscribe to my channel to see my new videos!

Book Review: Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano || Spotlight, Review, and Giveaway || Celebrate Lit Blog Tour

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m super excited to share with you all one of my favorite books of the year: Jen Turano’s latest release, Storing Up Trouble! Not only that, I’m a part of the blog tour hosted by Celebrate Lit Tours, which means there is a giveaway involved!

About the Book-

Book: Storing Up Trouble
Series: American Heiresses #3
Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: May 6, 2020

When Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s Chicago-bound train ride is interrupted by a heist, Mr. Norman Nesbit, a man of science who believes his research was the target of the heist, comes to her aid. Despite the fact that they immediately butt heads, they join forces to make a quick escape.

Upon her arrival in Chicago, Beatrix is surprised to discover her supposedly querulous Aunt Gladys shares her own suffragette passions. Encouraged by Gladys to leave her sheltered world, Beatrix begins working as a salesclerk at the Marshall Field and Company department store. When she again encounters Norman on a shopping expedition, he is quickly swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract.

But when another attempt is made to part Norman from his research papers, and it becomes clear Beatrix’s safety is also at risk, they soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

GoodReads || Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Book Depository || Christianbook

My Review-

Similar Reviews:

First of all, this book was HILARIOUS!! The two main characters, Beatrix Waterbury and Norman Nesbit, bantered SO MUCH, and it was hilarious! I enjoyed that so much. Jen Turano’s books are always witty and fun, but this one is definitely on top of the pile in regards to humor.

Beatrix was absolutely the BEST character, as was her family, especially her aunt and her parents! She was thoughtful, straightforward, and spontaneous, and didn’t pause to stand up for what she stood for. She also wasn’t entitled or snobby, despite being rich. Norman is an inventor who is primarily concerned about his work, until he meets Beatrix, who doesn’t hesitate to tell him his character flaws, whereupon he begins to learn how to become a functioning member of society. The two of them together are hilarious! There is a touch of light romance (a couple mentions of kisses), but nothing very detailed. There are several wonderful mentions of married couples still liking each other and enjoying each others presence after many years of marriage, which I really liked seeing!

The secondary characters are also really great: from, as aforementioned, Beatrix’s family, to Norman’s family (especially Gemma and Oscar! they were adorable) to Aunt Gladys’ band of women, to the animals. It was all a fun time. I also enjoyed seeing the characters from previous books in the series pop up again (if you’ve read any of my reviews, continuity between books in a series is my favorite thing).

The time period was also super interesting: Beatrix was a suffragette, although since she was wealthy, she didn’t have the same experience as other suffragettes had (at least, according to the books I’ve read).. The whole time period was super interesting, as well as the fact that she was an heiress.

Aside from the romance part and the historical part, the suspense aspect to the book was also really interesting! A train heist occurs at the beginning of the book, and throughout, the question of what the heist was about propagates, especially as other attacks occur.

There wasn’t a ton of Christian content in the book, which I actually enjoyed. Although faith could have been more explicit, such as praying, the times where bible verses were included in the book felt genuine and not forced, which I really like in a Christian fiction book (sometimes there are just . . . pieces of ‘Christian content’ inserted into Christian fiction books that just don’t belong and are super awkward to read. This book wasn’t like that at all!).

Overall, if you couldn’t tell by my effusive praise, I loved this book! It was clean and witty and was overall a delight. I definitely recommend this book, even if you haven’t read the first two books in the series: it’s a great time!

My Rating-

5/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author-Turano_Jen1

Jen Turano, a USA Today bestselling author, has written four historical romance series. She is a member of ACFW and RWA and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.


Giveaway-

Storing Up Trouble Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the the grand prize package of all three books in the American Heiresses series and a $25 Barnes & Noble eGift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Enter Here

For more information about this blog tour, and to visit an interview from the author about Storing Up Trouble, as well as more stops from the blog tour, click here.


Have you read Storing Up Trouble yet? Did you enjoy it? Are you a fan of historical fiction? If so, what is your favorite era for a book to be set in? If you don’t like historical fiction, what’s your favorite genre?

 

Blog Tour: Never Say Goodbye by Sarah Grace Grzy || Spotlight, Review, and Giveaway!

Hi everyone! It’s been a couple of weeks of pretty crazy finals, but I’m back! Today I have a super exciting blogpost: it’s a part of Sarah Grace Grzy’s blog tour for her new book, Never Say Goodbye!

About the Book-

They say time heals all wounds. But he was finding it a poor painkiller.

Cover

Tyler Collens has seen grief and loss in his years of experience as a paramedic—but he never expected it to touch his life in such a personal way. The death of his wife eighteen months ago shook his steady world and changed him in more ways than he can count. Time and routine have steadied his feet, and he looks toward the future as he raises his infant daughter—but the past has a tighter grip on him than he knows.

Alyvia Emmerson has never been certain of who she is or where she belongs. Her dad’s abandonment as a teen broke a fragile piece of her heart, but ten years later, she has moved on. Living on her own, she at last has a project to devote herself to: revitalizing a shabby bookstore. But she didn’t count on her dream job revealing the shattered pieces of herself she thought mended long ago.

In this sophomore novel featuring beloved characters from Live Without You, Sarah Grace Grzy explores themes of grief, hope, and second chances in a story that touches both the heart and spirit. 

Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Indie Bound || Book Depository || GoodReads

My Review-

This was such a sweet book! It’s technically a standalone book, but it is a sister book to Live Without You, and several characters from Live Without You also appear in Never Say Goodbye.

I loved the main characters, Tyler and Alyvia! I didn’t feel as connected to Tyler as I did to Ezra (from Live Without You) but he was still a really good lead character. On the other hand, I related to Alyvia so much more! She has her own bookstore (😍) and was just more relatable and was such a good protagonist! I loved following her story. I really enjoyed seeing how neither of them was portrayed as “perfect,” but rather with their own set of struggles and opportunities to grow.

As for side characters, I really enjoyed seeing Ezra and Piper from Live Without You making a reappearance, this time with kids! Their friendship with Tyler and Alyvia was the best, and I aspire to have friends like that someday. Speaking of kids, Tyler’s baby, Murrae, was absolutely the CUTEST and I loooooooove her!! The other side characters, such as Alyvia’s family, were also well done and I enjoyed their appearances too.

The romance was really well done: I appreciated that it wasn’t an insta-love situation, but a friendship that developed farther along into an ADORABLE romance, complete with bookshop and baby! The faith elements were also really well done: there wasn’t a lot of down-your-throat God talk, but it was there and prominent. The overall message about giving your desires up to God was also a really good one and one that I always love seeing in Christian fiction: it’s just always a good reminder!

The only complaint I have about Never Say Goodbye was the writing style. Although it came through in Live Without You as well, there was just a lot of explicit action in Never Say Goodbye? Things like “he rubbed his hand down his face,” or “he leaned forward, with his forearms resting on the table and resting his body weight on them” (paraphrased, not quotes). This happened often enough that it felt a little awkward to read, and often I had to stop and think about how exactly that action would have been done in order to be able to picture it in my head.

Overall, it was a really sweet springtime contemporary! I really liked the Christian themes in the book, as well as the friendships and character development.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

My Rating-

4/5

About the Author-

authorpic

Sarah Grace Grzy is a voracious reader, and if it weren’t for this crazy thing called ‘Life,’ she’d be tempted to spend all her days in front of a wood stove, book in one hand, coffee mug in the other.

A lover of learning, she finds enjoyment in many things and has more hobbies than she knows what to do with. Sarah Grace is a freelance web and graphic designer, and when not working, spending time with her ever-growing family, or reading, she can be found painting, playing the piano, or fangirling with her sisters and friends. She inhabits the State of Great Lakes, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else—unless it meant she could have a baby penguin, in which case, she’d gladly move to the South Pole.

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Pinterest

Giveaway-

Enter Here

For more information about this blog tour, and to visit more stops, click here.


Do you like contemporary books? What is your favorite season to read (both in the book, as well as in real life)? Have you seen/read Never Say Goodbye yet?

A Day in the Life of a College Sophomore in Quarantine || Studying, Baking, and Letter Writing || Spring 2020

Happy quarantine, friends!! I hope you are doing well, and that you’ve been finding joy in this strange season.

Today I’m going to share a day in my life as a college student in quarantine! I always love seeing these kinds of posts, and they are always so motivating for me, so I hope that this post does the same thing for you! I did one of these posts last year, and it was a lot of fun, so I wanted to do the same thing again this year! Naturally my routine is a little different right now, and I thought it would be a good way to document this time.


My mornings start off with class: my 8am chemistry class still meets at the same time, so I wake up, make breakfast, and a cup of coffee, and sit down for class! I usually plan out my day in my bullet journal during my first class, so I know what homework is due that day and what else I want to do that day.Processed with VSCO with g3 presetAfter class, I have my quiet time. I prefer to do it first thing in the morning, but having an 8am really isn’t very conducive for that, haha! I finish up my (now cold) coffee and read a couple passages in the Bible: my favorite plans are the Little Bible Plans made by Jenny: they are exactly the right length, and they are all such good passages! Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

After my quiet time is done, I have another online class, biology this time, and then I eat lunch! Usually I read a book while reading: this day in particular I’m reading Anne of Windy Poplars for my readalong that is happening! I’m eating a chicken salad melt with cheddar cheese on top: so yummy!Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

After lunch, I have yet another online class: this time it is orchestra! Obviously, my orchestra cannot meet right now (our last concert was actually cancelled😭), but my directors have been leading us through some orchestral pieces and showing us a more behind-the-scenes look of conducting and leading an orchestra, which is super interesting!

During class, I make apple crisp. Obviously this isn’t an everyday thing, but this day we had apples that were going bad, so I decided to cut them up and make apple crisp! It turned out really good, and it was really fun to make too! Being able to do things like this is my favorite part of online class: you get to do things that aren’t possible during live classes! My webcam was on, but no one could tell 🤫.

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After that, I did some studying. My statistics professor records his lectures and puts them online, so I watched that and took notes. I’ve really enjoyed being able to pause and rewind lectures, especially since math is nooooooooot my strong suit. 😂Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

After I finished studying, my family ate dinner, and then I broke out the stationary to write some letters! I’ve really enjoyed being able to write more letters during this time: snail mail is just so fun! I lit a candle, put on a YouTube video (this one is by Lindsey from BFCG), and wrote several letters! I’m a big fan of making time to do things that you like and want, even if it’s not the most practical it’s finals szn, bb!! so I made time to write some letters! Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

After that, I get ready for bed, and listen to a podcast as a way to help me unwind, and then go to sleep!

Obviously my everyday isn’t like that, and as exams start piling up, I’m less able to both bake apple crisp and write letters in the same day, but I still try to not work all day. It’s not the most exciting day-in-the-life, but that’s just how this season is. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to continue taking college classes, which gives my days a structure that wouldn’t be there otherwise.


What does a typical day in your life look like? What is your go-to breakfast? Do you like writing letters? What is one thing you’re grateful for because of quarantine? Leave me a comment and let me know!

A Day in the Life of an Author in College: Guest Post by Olivia Smit || Seeing Voices Blog Tour

Hey friends! Today I have a super exciting blog post, as part of the blog tour for the release of my friend Olivia Smit‘s new book, Seeing Voices, out now! I asked her to share a day in her life, because they are my personal favorite types of posts to read, and she is here today to tell us what a day in her life looks like!


Hi friends! I’m Olivia (author of “Seeing Voices”) and it is my honour and joy to be hopping on Hanne’s blog today to get to know all of you! I’ve loved to write pretty much as long as I can remember, but I never really thought about publishing until I finished “Seeing Voices.” In a lot of ways, it was the book that changed everything for me: it was the first time I’d written a story I loved SO MUCH that I didn’t want to keep it to myself. I wanted to share Skylar and Mike with the whole wide world. It’s been the WILDEST, most beautiful, sometimes stressful journey since I signed the contract with WhiteFire a year ago, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. “Seeing Voices” is out now, and I’m so, SO excited to finally share my special story with all of you.DSC_0888

In the meantime … here’s a little peek into what a sort-of typical day looks like for me, buried deep in school and publishing and writing forever. Just the way I like it. (although I could totally get along without the essay assignments … just saying.) I’ve never done a “day in the life” challenge before, but I’ve seen them done before and it was an absolute THRILL when Hanne reached out and suggested that I put one together for this post!

DISCLAIMER: Because I’m still in school (about to graduate though! woo!) each one of my days has a different rhythm and schedule. I picked a day when I had time to focus on writing and querying, because I thought that would be the most interesting for this post!! But please know that there are many days where I’m just driving from school to work and then spending my evening studying (bo-ring).

Okay! Now that that’s out of the way – on to “a day in my life!”

7:05am – Woke up before my alarm!! (This never happens lol but today I got lucky!) This means I have more time for some Bible reading (I’m reading through 1 Corinthians right now, and sloowwwly making my way through “Life of the Beloved” by Henri Nouwen) and my Fitness Blender workout!

8:50am – At this point, I’ve finished cleaning up after my workout and realized that I made a scheduling error for next week. It takes me approximately fifteen minutes to resolve the minor crisis this creates (!)

9:05am – Getting back on track … with meal prep! I made a smoothie for breakfast (my sister Hannah and I are dog/house-sitting right now, and the place we’re staying has coconut milk!!! Yum.) and then Hannah and I started chopping ingredients for tonight’s soup.

10:00am – Driving to school! (We realized halfway down the street that we left the soup sitting on the counter, so we had to turn around 2 seconds after these pictures were taken and put it in the fridge. Oopsie.)

morning

10:30am – Poetry class!

11:45am – Checked my phone and found an agent rejection waiting for me. Boo.

1:30pm – English class on Romanticism

2:30pm – Time to drop Hannah off at home – and our car started making a terrible noise, so that’s great.

3:00pm – Today I met a friend at a local coffee shop to chat about our writing projects and get some work done! My plan was to post in the Seeing Voices launch team Facebook group, and then send out another query on the project that got rejected this morning. (But first … I called the auto shop.)

4:30pm – After my writing date, I stopped by the grocery store to buy pizza for tomorrow’s dinner.

5:00pm – Home!! I sprawled out on the couch to look into a few more agent profiles. At this point, the discouragement hit me all at once, which was NOT FUN. (Also, I made another scheduling error. This time it was with the auto shop that I called a few hours ago. I REALLY need to start writing things down in my calendar.)

5:45pmSOUP. This was definitely a highlight (AND, in a completely weird twist of events, another agent emailed back and requested a full manuscript!! This is the first positive response I’ve had on this project and I went from being discouraged to happy so fast it was actually confusing.)afternoon

6:30pm – After dinner, I freaked out a little and sent the full MS to the agent! And then I did some homework (essays). Also, I procrastinated a lot on Twitter (to be honest, I really didn’t do that much homework. It was mostly Twitter.)

8:00pm – Getting ready for a podcast interview with Tara K. Ross and Rebekah Black on the Hope Prose Podcast! I’ve been listening to these ladies talk about books and writing (with a million amazing author guests) since the podcast started, and I’ve been looking forward to this for months!

8:40pmINTERVIEW TIME!! I lost my train of thought a ton, but Tara and Bekah were super nice and assured me they could cut the awkward parts out later, hehe.

10:00pm – Interview done! I came downstairs and devoured some crackers and peanut butter, curled up on the couch with the dog for a bit, and generally procrastinated going to bed by refreshing my email inbox six billion times.

evening 11:00pm– Finally, bedtime.

Monday ended up being a really interesting day … way more interesting than most of my life, I promise! But it was really fun to track the adventure … and I hope it made for an interesting post!


Olivia-Smit-headshot-400x600Olivia Smit loves baking, visiting small towns, and writing stories that face hard truth with hope and encouragement. Olivia will graduate (in April!) with an Honours Specialization in Creative Writing, English Language, and Literature and lives in Canada with her family. Seeing Voices is her first novel.

Website || Newsletter || Instagram || Twitter
Seeing Voices: Amazon || GoodReads


Thank you so much, Olivia, for coming on the blog today!! Olivia is absolutely the SWEETEST soul and I have LOVED getting to know her better throughout the release of Seeing Voices! I got to read an early copy of the book, and it was SO good!! It was one of my favorite reads so far this year. Find my review here.


Are you a fan of soup too? What is your favorite study snack? Have you checked out (or read) Seeing Voices yet? Make sure you go check it out!

Book Review: The Traitor’s Pawn by Lisa Harris

About the Book-

When FBI agent Jack Shannon arrives in Corpus Christi, Texas, he is focused on one thing: find the man who has been selling encrypted government secrets to the Chinese. But when a senator is shot during a hunting trip and the woman he was with is abducted, Jack agrees to join the search–especially when he discovers that the kidnapping victim is Aubrey Grayson, a woman he was one in love with.

As the search continues, it becomes clear the senator may not have been the intended victim–and Aubrey may be connected to the other case Jack is supposed to be working on. Can Jack untangle the knots before it’s too late? And when he learns the truth, will it be too painful to get past?

My Review-

This was the first book I’ve read by Lisa Harris!! I have heard a lot of good things about the books that she writes, but I have never gotten a chance to try out one of her books for myself until now.

It was a very well written story: it didn’t move too fast or too slow and the storyline fit together cohesively. As simple as that may sound, it doesn’t often happen in suspense books: I have read way too many where sixteen characters were introduced early on and then it was either a TON of action or a bunch of terminology . . . and those books are never fun. The Traitor’s Pawn wasn’t like that though, and I really liked the pacing of the book.

I really liked seeing a different side of law enforcement/FBI work: there are plenty of books on espionage, but this storyline was a little bit more different somehow? The criminals in the book are really smart and they actually shine out more than other suspense books that I’ve read.

We, as readers, don’t get to see much into the minds of Aubrey and Jack, which was interesting. This was very much a third person limited point of view, where nothing was revealed at all until action was taken. I’m not sure about how I feel about it, but it worked well for this story, especially with how much action was in it. However, I never really felt connected to either character, so there is also that.

Another issue I have with the story is the realism of it: although I am not well versed in the criminal justice technology, somehow I don’t think it’s possible to slow cars down based on their GPS systems??? and the easy at which calls are traced in the book was a little bit suspicious. Again, not well versed at all, but the ease at which these people were being traced was a little bit odd to me. (The IT people were able to trace something almost immediately in several places in the book and I don’t think it just makes sense?)

Overall, this was a book I really enjoyed, and I will definitely be picking up more books by Lisa Harris in the future. The storytelling was well done, but the connection to characters and the realism may be lacking a little bit.

My Rating-

7/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.