How precious are Your thoughts to me, O LORD ... how vast is the sum of them!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Vintage Jane Austen Interviews

Most of you probably know about the Vintage Jane Austen project that I was able to be a part of. My contribution, Suit and Suitability, was published as an eBook back in May, and since then two more novels have come out! Paperbacks are planned in the near future.

One of the authors, Emily Ann Benedict, is interviewing each of the other authors on her blog. Since behind-the-scenes is always an interesting topic, I thought I'd share the links to each interview here. You can also find out more about each book through links on her blog.

Emmeline by Sarah Holman



Suit and Suitability by Kelsey Bryant
(Sense and Sensibility)

Perception by Emily Ann Benedict 
(Persuasion) (This interview is on Sarah Scheele's blog, another of the VJA authors.)

Bellevere House by Sarah Scheele
(Mansfield Park)

I'll post the link to the final interview once it is up!

Presumption and Partiality by Rebekah Jones
(Pride and Prejudice)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Where Have I Been? Visiting Other Planets?

For many people, summer is independent of all the other seasons, keeping its own schedule and playing by its own rules. So . . . I don’t know . . . is that a good enough excuse for my blogging silence for much of the summer? Hopefully maybe? I helped with a Bible camp for teens and a music day camp for kids (which finished up in August), and in the interim days was preparing for each one, on top of working my normal jobs. I’ve had a marvelous time!

But, confession: I’ve hardly done any serious writing. (Hence Camp NaNo in July was not an option for me.) However, now that life, from this vantage point at least, seems like it will settle into a straight line again, I hope to return to my writing routine. I started a new Marielle story and am tossing around a few other ideas as well.

Music Camp

Choir Practice
A Musical Game
Learning about the Planets and Decorating T-shirts

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with Gustav Holst and his orchestral suite The Planets, but that’s been a bit of an obsession with me lately, as I had the pleasure of introducing kids at the music camp to it since our theme was “Outer Space: The Music of the Spheres.” The Planets is one of my favorite pieces of classical music. Our solar system’s planets fascinate me, so I had a great time discussing both the music and the planets themselves with the kids. If you’ve never heard it, I highly recommend it! It’s made up of seven unique movements; you’re bound to like at least one of them. My favorites are Jupiter and Neptune; my least favorite is Mars.

I. Mars, the Bringer of War. Holst wrote The Planets during WWI, so this ominous piece reflects the destruction and senselessness of war underneath a triumphant veneer.
II. Venus, the Bringer of Peace. Gentle, melodious tones bring peace and healing, with a sense of sadness for what has passed, but hope for what lies ahead.
III. Mercury, the Winged Messenger. Speedy Mercury is represented by the shortest movement in the suite. The quick, darting theme remind us of a bird.
IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity. Jupiter is the “king” of the planets as it’s by far the largest. The music sounds like subjects celebrating their beloved king.
V. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age. This sad, wistful piece sounds like an old man remembering the glory days.
VI. Uranus, the Magician. One pictures a pompous magician (dressed in blue?) waving his wand around performing tricks.
VII. Neptune, the Mystic. Deep blue Neptune reminds us of the ocean. The quiet, changeful, siren-like music images an underwater journey.

What have you been doing this summer? On my second note, have you ever listened to Holst’s The Planets?

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Coronation Blog Tour

Looking for a unique and exciting debut novel with a beautiful message to read this summer? It’s my pleasure to tell you about The Coronation, by Livy Jarmusch, founder of Crown of Beauty magazine

About the Book

Prince Addison is only several weeks away from inheriting the Kingdom of Tarsurella. The entire Palace is ablaze with excitement, as the Royal Family prepares for the event of a lifetime. Despite the exciting event which is near at hand, Addison and his younger siblings (all seven of them!) must carry on with their daily activities. 

Addison’s sisters, Princesses Bridget, Chasity, and Hope, have their struggles with being iconic European starlets of a modern day monarchy. The teen heiresses grace magazine covers, smile for photoshoots, and gracefully glide through important interviews–until a certain American popstar arrives on the scene. Kennetic Energy, the wildly popular band from the United States, is chosen to play at Addison’s Coronation. David Carter, the band’s handsome lead singer, fumbles through awkward moments with Princess Hope–in front of the cameras. When an embarrassing rumor sparks that Princess Hope is dating the young fellow, she is determined to get the band fired from their Royal gig. 

Meanwhile, Princess Chasity is dealing with her own fragile affairs of the heart. Her new security guard, Hanson Fletcher, is completely captivating, yet entirely frustrating. She attempts to keep the entrance of her heart firmly protected, while following the wisdom of Proverbs 4:23. But can she be successful in guarding her heart, from her security guard? 

The Coronation is Book #1 in The Tales of Tarsurella Trilogy.

Check it out on Amazon and on Goodreads! 

About the Author
Livy Jarmusch is a dreamer, singer, songwriter and orphan advocate. She loves fairy-tales, the smell just after it rains, golden retriever puppies and peppermint ice-cream cones. If you really want to get to know her, follow her on Pinterest, and if you find yourself repinning everything, you're sure to be the best of friends! To join this princess on her pilgrimage through life, follow on instagram @livylynnglittergirl & Pinterest @livyglittergirl. 
Also, visit her at  

A Note from Me

I’ve just begun to read The Coronation, and it’s already pulled me in with its intriguing storyline. I’ll be getting a review up once I finish, so stay tuned to either my blog or my Goodreads account if you’re interested in what I think. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


You may or may not have missed my post last week, but I had a good reason for its absence . . . family vacation! We visited my mom’s side of the family. My grandmother’s birthday is in June, and this year she turned 99. She is doing so well for her age! She has always been a reader, and she still devours a quantity of library books every month. 

If any of you have read the dedication of my novel Suit and Suitability, you may possibly remember I dedicated it to my grandmother Irene. She has always been a special person in my life. She was born in 1918, putting her at about a year younger than the middle Dashiell sister, Marion; so the Great Depression overshadowed her youth. But like many of the solid-gold Americans who lived during that decade, she came out the stronger for it. Although Suit and Suitability is not released in paperback yet, I did give her an unofficial proof copy because she was eager to read it. I am so blessed to have her!

Happy birthday, Grandma! You always have and always will inspire me and your many other children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

3-2-1 Write! Party Day Three

 Welcome to day 3 of the party hosted by Read Another Page! Today we are answering the question of favorite writing tools . . . and we can pick only one. One! I always have a hard time picking a single favorite of anything (except for color – blue is an easy winner), so I was waffling about my favorite writing tool until the last minute.

I was going to say my laptop, but that’s a given. So, I shall broaden the definition of “tool” and say my writing friends. The best thing about these “tools” is that I can’t control them, so they aren’t really tools. They are infinitely better than that! They are supportive, independent, and so very smart and astute, giving me advice, feedback, encouragement, and inspiration. When I first started writing seriously, I was terrified of letting anyone read and honestly critique what I wrote. I’m a fairly private person, so it’s not always second nature to share something so close to me as my writing. (Publishing is hard!) But once I do, I’m always amazed at how much my writing companions help me. 

Most books or other pieces of writing aren’t meant to resonate with one solitary person, so it’s very important to get personalized advice from someone outside your brain, preferably several someones, at different stages of your writing. They can tell you to [cross out] what doesn’t add to the story; they can ask you to clarify your ideas; they can help you when you don’t know where to go next; they can give you the encouragement you need to carry on when you think your work is no good. Writing and especially publishing would be a whole lot harder without these understanding people. Join with one or more honest critique partners and/or mentors to help your writing really blossom!

What would you say has helped you with writing the most?

My role in the party is finished, but make sure you visit Read Another Page tomorrow to find all the last-day posts. And don’t forget to enter this outstanding giveaway (full of writing tools). There is now a second-place prize of a $10.00 Amazon gift card!

The next stop on the party blog tour...

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

3-2-1 Write Party! Day Two - Writing Advice

Main Party Page

 Welcome to day 2 of the 3-2-1 Write party, hosted by Read Another Page! Today’s focus is on writing advice. There’s a lot of great advice out there, and not all advice applies to every writer equally, but I think I’ve chosen the two principles that help me the most. I would pass them on to any Christian writer.

  1. Write What You Know. This doesn’t limit you to what you know right now – it urges you to write about a subject that grabs you, and to explore and research the information you need to write a good story about it. Learning everything you can about your subject enables you to give readers an enthralling, enriching experience that makes them feel as if they have lived it. Readers like it when they sense their imagination is in the hands [of an author] who is completely familiar with the story’s world.

  1. Pray About What You Write. Counting down to the most important piece of advice brings me to this one. Pray about what you write on many different levels. Dedicate your work to the Lord, pray as you start writing, pray as you keep writing, pray when you’re stuck, pray when you’re discouraged, praise Him when it’s going well, pray about publishing plans, seek the Lord’s direction wherever you can . . . all of it is so important to our work as Christian writers. Whatever we do with our lives should be for the glory of God – especially such a powerful expression as writing. Don’t you agree?

What are your favorite pieces of writing advice?

Have you entered the Rafflecopter giveaway yet? It’s a grand prize full of several things that can help you fulfill any publishing dreams you may have! Also, make sure you check out Read Another Page for more party particulars . . . including the Quote Search. (The explanation for why I typed certain words in neon purple.) Also, visiting the other authors involved will give you the full experience. :) 

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Monday, June 12, 2017

3-2-1 Write! Party Day One - Writing Books

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Welcome to day one of the 3-2-1 Write party! Today [we shall have] the spotlight shining on our favorite books about writing. I’m sharing with you my top three favorites, the books that influenced me the most when I became serious about writing fiction.

I don’t read a lot of reference books on writing anymore, though there was a time I devoured them. Nowadays I graze on blog posts and web articles. But I have various titles on my to-read shelf, so I’m certainly not done with gleaning the vast amount of wisdom that’s out there. Besides being great tutors, most how-to-write books inspire me and urge me on to write, whether or not I need to apply what I’ve read to my current novel at the moment.

So here’s my un-ordered list:


  1. Fiction Writer’s Handbook by Hallie and Whit Burnett. This was one of the first books on writing fiction I ever read. Thus, though it may not have a lot of unique information, it shaped my understanding of the craft of fiction, teaching me what does and does not work when telling a story of any length – short story, novel, novella. It’s very thorough and well organized, divided into seven sections which have their own chapters. Whit and Hallie Burnett were influential American writers, editors, and writing teachers of the mid-twentieth century.

  2. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King. I read this book right before I published my first novel, Family Reunion. Goodness, was it a book-saver! I tend to include way too much information in my works-in-progress; Self-Editing helped me realize what wasn’t needed in my manuscript, offering the valuable insight that less is often more when it comes to writing a story. For example, don’t use two words when one will do better, and don’t include scenes that provide information that’s already been given. This book also helped me refine my narration style, such as telling the story through what my POV character experiences. This is a book I definitely should reread, as first-draft writing habits are hard to break. (Note: I did not appreciate some of the language and examples used.)

  3. There was a mad scramble for this spot. I wish I could include several books here, but I’ll award it to Behind the Stories, compiled by Diane Eble. This book inspired me so much. Eble interviewed dozens of Christian fiction authors – including such greats as Janette Oke, Gilbert Morris, Randy Alcorn, and Jan Karon – and collected their honest stories of how they were called to start writing, how they got published, how they deal with fear and other emotions, and how they strive to honor God through their writing. This book doesn’t contain a lot of technical information, but it includes wonderful tidbits of advice for Christian writers, and for Christians in general as we all seek to please the Lord with our lives. My copy is particularly special to me because I had it signed by Bodie Thoene, my favorite author in the collection. 

What are your favorite books on writing?

Don’t go yet before you’ve entered the grand prize giveaway! Here is the link, and here’s what it contains:

    Paper copy of The Emotion Thesaurus 
    $5.00 Amazon Gift Card
    Free Cover Design by Victoria Lynn 
    $30 Blog Tour Orchestration by Faith Blum 
    Free Edit of up to 5000 words by Erika Mathews

The Emotion Thesaurus may very well become your favorite book on writing (I’m planning on getting a copy myself; it sounds amazingly helpful!).

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