Sunday, August 24, 2014

Gunsmoke Giveaway!

        My dear friend, Trista, is hosting a giveaway over on her blog!

        Four winners will be drawn and a total of six books will be given away. 

First prize is a signed copy of Ranger and Quest for the Swords of Healing by Trista Vaporblade.
Second prize is a signed copy of Ranger and Battle of the Dragons by Trista Vaporblade.

Third prize is either a soft-cover form or an ebook form of The Dark Wolf by J.M.Christain (You get to decide when/if you win this fabulous prize).

Fourth prize is a copy of The Lost Princess by Kate Elizabeth Stoneacre.    Ranger is Trista's second published work, Quest for the Swords of Healing being her first, and Battle of the Dragons is a short story she wrote many years ago and thought might be fun to throw in here.

      “ Kimberly Ranger is daughter to the wealthy governor of a small, dry western town. Disaster befalls her and her family one night as they ride through the shadow cloaked forest paths and all of them are thought to be dead. Several years later a young stranger appears in the town’s saloon, asking questions about that night. But as time ticks on, respected members of the town disappear without a trace, animals are slaughtered in herds, and a tale as old as time is brought to light. The greatest adventures are not always the ones that are passed down in fables, sometimes the ones that really mean something are the ones that never get told…” - Ranger

     “ Actors for years, eight teenagers work alongside hundreds of others to create a medieval film full of astounding battle sequences, when unforeseen circumstances throw them into a real battle. Two opposing forces divide the teens and new, mind-blowing possibilities are presented to them about who they really are. Sent on a quest to find relics of years gone by, the young warriors encounter things that send them reeling, surpass the bounds of reality, and remove all doubt of their past. Adventures are not always what you make them out to be, sometimes they are so much more..." - Quest for the Swords of Healing

     Inspired by Redwall and a dream, this short story takes you on a journey with two adventurous otters who are searching for what has been lost. Giants, rats, and unfriendly ferrets are just a few of the things these two will have to overcome, but by far not the worst. How will they save their families from their captors, repair a falling castle, and find a way out of a forest that never sees the light of day?” - Battle of the dragons.

    The Dark Wolf is J.M.Christian's first published novel and the first book in the Heart of Light Trilogy.

      'Feared and hated, Darvir desires to escape the evil clutches of a malevolent sorcerer, who holds his mind in an iron grasp, and live a normal life instead of the one filled with darkness and death forced upon him. On one of his numerous missions, he encounters someone different that enforces his desire to finally resist the sorcerer's will, and a dangerous and life altering adventure begins. Elaine’s past has been continually marked by family conflict and struggles. Living most of her life alone and unloved, an outcast from her own people, she languishes in exile until circumstances force her into a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger. As a powerful evil stretches begins to rise across the war-torn realm of Elser, only two people stand in its path, and they alone hold the key to possibly saving the realm from the fire that comes.'- The Dark Wolf
   The Lost Princess is Kate's first published novel.
    Laurel is a fourteen year old homeschooler with a seemingly perfect life. However, when her grandmother goes delusional and starts speaking utter nonsense, Laurel’s world flip-flops. Questions are raised, and she finds herself thrown into Tranquility, to the kingdom of Calma where she must confront a tyrannical king. Samuel is the twelve year old prince of Calma. His father is the king, and tries to make Samuel into the same kind of prince as he is a king. However, Samuel’s mother Elizabeth taught him in the ways of Elohim, and to do the right thing. Can Laurel set right the kingdom of Calma? Can Samuel find the courage of Elohim to stand up to his father? Can a young elf named Soddriel find in his heart to forgive his enemies? With courage in their hearts, and the words of Elohim on their tongues, goodness is sure to triumph. Revolution is at hand.” - The Lost Princess

         Ya wanna enter, don't you? ;) Go hop over to Trista's blog and enter to win some of these great prizes!

~Ophelia - Marie

Friday, August 22, 2014

I Don't Want To Grow Up - Beyond Dreaming

      This is the first post of a blog series based on my poem  "I Don't Want To Grow Up"I don't want to become so "grown up", that I no longer dream, care, play, hope, or wonder anymore. 

I don't want to be so "grown up" that I no longer dream.

I don't want to stop dreaming
Because I care so much what others think
And I must follow them.

      I've been asked many times why I haven't decided to go to college (- Though I did go to community college for about a month to become certified as a nurse aid -) and get a degree in something. People give me funny looks when I say, "I wouldn't want to spend all that money unless I was sure I want to go into a profession, and what really want to do is be a homeschooling mom someday." Some people raise their eyebrows a bit when I tell them what a nurse's aid does, and how I feel I can best be a servant by caring for those who can't care for themselves. Some people wonder why the thought of raising children and homeschooling is so important to me. Not everyone understands, and that is okay.

        I am well aware not all of my dreams are easy, but there is a tug on my heart to do them. One step at a time I am going to seek to be an encouragement to others, and work to the best of my abilities to shine God's love. If that means being different than other nineteen year olds, so be it.  ;)

       I don't want to stop dreaming so I can run with everyone else. People can pick at my sometimes optimistic attitude, but I'm not afraid to stand out. Yes, dreams can change, God can open and close doors, and He doesn't always give us what we think we want, but I'm prayerfully trying to go forth in obedience. 

      Don't believe you can't do something, just because there are setbacks, or people who challenge your thought process. Do listen to reasonable objections, spend a lot of time in prayer and reading the Bible, and seek council from trustworthy people, but don't believe that, "Well almost everyone else does it this way," means that you have to do just the same. 

I don't want to push my dreams into a corner
And strive for level ground
Because that's what some are doing.

       "Just get by,"  - That seems to be the attitude so many people have. "Do what you have to, but no more or you're letting people use you." I wonder - how many opportunities we miss in life because we are too afraid or lazy to do things that are difficult, or don't seem to have easy reward? What if, when we felt God's calling, we answered with, "Here I am, send me!" (Isaiah 6:8) instead of telling God that wasn't what exactly we had in mind. God can send us blessings we didn't even think to dream about when we're willing to go where He wants us. 

     Don't be afraid to do what God impresses on your heart. You're never "too young" , "too old", "too inexperienced", to serve the Lord. You will have seasons of waiting, times of discouragement and questioning, and days that seem more than you can handle, but don't always look for the easy way out. Seek God in prayer and ask for His strength and peace to do the things He wants you to do, and for discernment as you go forward. If God places something on your heart, listen to His guidance. He may have you wait for a long time before He grants you the ability to follow it, but don't settle for less because you feel small. God is so much bigger than we can fathom.

      Dream dreams that will take work, time, and patience - and put your heart into them. We can all chase our small dreams - what about the dreams that take self sacrifice? 

I don't want to leave my goals
To die in the dust
Just because the world won't support them.

        I love to dream. I love crazy, hopeful, silly dreams that sometimes are only sorta based in reality. I love important, life changing, longing dreams that make me feel small, but remind me how much bigger God is. I love dreaming about the things I plan to do, and the creating and meeting goals to reach them. I love "plotting", planning, and wishing. I love dreams that seem a little crazy, but that I want enough to jump for - like visiting  J. Grace Pennington  for a week in Texas all by myself, though we'd never met face to face before, or taking on the seemingly daunting process of self publishing. I love seeing the outcome of so many of the dreams I've dared to reach for, as precious reminders that God listens.

        People may not understand  - "Why would you fly all the way to Texas to stay with a family you've never really met?" ... "Why would you self publish when you're so young and inexperienced?" ... "Why do you keep hoping for things that may never happen?" - but trying is sometimes half the battle. Yes, dreams don't always work out and plans fall through, but we'll never know if we don't try... and I don't think we'll try often, if we don't first dream... 

I don't want to grow out of dreaming-
High, bright, full of wonder-
The type of dreaming that makes my heart soar,
Wrapped in the knowledge
God is guiding me.

        I think too many dreams die before we even start because we don't put our hope in the One who can do all things. God is with us - why shouldn't we dream? Why shouldn't we continually ask for His blessing as we seek to live for Him? Why do we mentally limit what we think God can do? 

        He is in control, and though I must give my dreams over to Him time and again, I know they are safest in His hands. I love talking to God in almost childish delight about the things I'm dreaming of and watching Him work. He sometimes tells me 'no', or 'wait', but plenty of times in my short life I've seen how much wiser He is than I am. Even when it's difficult to let go, I want to rest all my dreams in Him. He is the reason I can dream.

This is one of my rings that I wear pretty much all the time.

Now my question for you is: How will you dream?

~Ophelia - Marie

Monday, August 18, 2014

Write Like The Sun - Shared Post

Photo From Flickr

My friend, J. Grace Pennington, wrote this great post on her blog. As writer, this idea was especially intruiging to me - I want to write like the sun too...

     Men say, practically, Begin where you are and such as you are, without aiming mainly to become of more worth, and with kindness aforethought go about doing good. If I were to preach at all in this strain, I should say rather, Set about being good.

~ Henry David Thoreau, Economy

         Mr. Thoreau and I would disagree on a great many things, but when I read this quote in his essay on Economy, I was struck by it, and by the illustration that follows. He uses the example of the sun, which he says does not rush around peeping in windows to light up each house and trying to do good, but rather makes its way through the sky, and just by virtue of being the sun and rising and setting, does good without really meaning to.

                                                                   Click to continue reading...