happy halloween/all hallows eve/samhain...

A joint effort between my husband and me--not bad, eh?

longing to write

Sometimes, I feel an impossible, incurable longing to write, though I may have nothing to write about. I want simply to feel my pencil scroll across the page, to watch tiny scribbling letters ramble and flow.

Unfortunately, though, I am not blessed with the abounding creativity bestowed upon true writers. I am instead forced to remain content with the few lines of poetry that flit through my consciousness now and again. But never the satisfying length of an inspired novel--no, I will relish in and savor the few words my hand does convey.


words borrowed from Dorothea Grossman

In the Library

The library always smells like this:
an ancient stew of vinegar and wood.
It's autumn again,
and I can do anything.

-Dorothea Grossman


Blog Tour and Giveaway: Destiny (New Avalon #1)

Elena Baxter has spent her life desperately wanting to fit in. She’s used to being teased and taunted by the popular girls, but when she celebrates her sweet sixteen birthday and receives two amazing gifts—the power of telekinesis, and the truth about her heritage—she has high hopes that things will change. But her wish does not come true, and Elena is bullied just as she was before, only this time her hurt feelings and frustration boil into something even she cannot understand. When an explosion hits, chaos ensues and she learns that her new power just might be bigger than she is. 

She embarks on a journey to a secret island to learn how to control her powers, and she’s thrown into a different world, one where she just might be able to fit in. What Elena learns about her heritage forces her to face her past – and the demons it created – head on.



by Shusaku Endo

I'm not sure I have the words to describe this book, but I will try to dig some up. Raw, human, real, hardly begin to cover the depths of this short novel.

Silence is a work of historical fiction written from the perspective of Rodrigues, a young Jesuit priest who travels from his home in Portugal to Japan during the 17th century. Besides acting as a missionary, he also searches for his mentor, who is rumored to have apostatized in the face of persecution.


Maerlin's Storm (Storm-Bringer Saga #1)

Nav Logan

If The Eye of the World were written by an Irish author, it would look like this. Maerlin's Storm is a coming-of-age, Celtic fantasy about a young girl who's been labeled a witch among her small mountain village. And when a healer takes Maerlin away to cure her, Maerlin finds herself on a greater adventure than she could ever have imagined. (full synopsis available here)

Although the plot may not be all that creative, I rarely count that against a book. It was approached in a different way, and the characters are all new. For the most part, I enjoyed reading this book. I appreciated and was fascinated by the Celtic mythology woven in, and wish I knew more about it so as to better understand some of the connections. A lack of knowledge of this topic does not detract at all from the book, however.


book haul!

There appears to only be three books in this stack, but LoTR is three in itself, so... :) Anywho, the Book Fair, a giant warehouse of discounted books, is only open about a half dozen times a year. This is one of those times, and I hadn't been there for several years (gasp!).

LoTR is one of my (and my husband's) all-time favorite books/trilogies, and somehow we didn't have it on our bookshelf! Prophet, by R.J. Larson, has been on my Goodreads "to read" list, and Hay Fever, by Angela Miller, is a book I happened upon about a book-editor-turned-farmer. I want to be both of those things, so I bought it.



the flat grey sky hangs rigid overhead,
capping the world in muffled silence
where day melts into day and everything's
the same and nothing.
it is not the focal point of our
pointless lives--it's an afterthought--
but the color of happiness is blue



Hello, dear readers and authors! Unfortunately, I have to announce that I am absolutely swamped and cannot accept any more beta-reading until November. I've received numerous requests recently and apparently am unable to say "no," hence my current predicament.

If I were getting paid for all of this I would, of course, keep accepting requests and simply find more time to read, but since beta reading is, and should be, free, it must be done in my free time. Until I morph from aspiring copyeditor to actually copyediting, this is how I must operate. On the other hand, if you're willing to pay a beginner to proofread your work, feel free to contact me. ;)

A brief clarification: my blog will still be updated per its usual haphazard schedule!


Palace of the Twelve Pillars (Palace of the Twelve Pillars #1)

by Christina Weigand

I wasn't quite sure what to make of this book, as it had a very good, somewhat unique, plot, but was poorly executed. It's a coming-of-age story about twin princes, Joachim and Brandon, who are suddenly faced with decisions beyond their maturity when one of them is kidnapped and the kingdom faces war. (see full synopsis here)

It was a very choppy read. As a Christian allegory, the book focuses on the tension between good and evil, but it paints things as either black or white. There is no guessing as to where any of the characters' allegiances lie, because each of them is either good or bad (with the exception of one sketchy figure who drifts in and out of the story, only revealing his full identity towards the end. He is, perhaps, my favorite character). 


letter to a random acquaintance

I have been regularly attending a book study at my church every other Wednesday, and after the meeting yesterday I asked the leader if she had an extra copy of the next book that I could borrow. As she fished around for the paperback she told me regretfully that she wished she'd asked my opinion during the discussion, because she was sure I had something to say. Naturally, all intelligent thoughts flew from my mind and I only managed to respond with some offhand answer about not having enough context since we hadn't read the entire book.

This morning I woke up feeling the need to write her a message apologizing for my lack of participation and giving a brief explanation as to why, along with a link to my blog so she can gain some insight into my mess of a mind. This mental note turned into a lengthy letter, and I felt it was slightly awkward to randomly send someone a message like that. And then I decided that this was really something people needed to know, so I made a compromise with myself and decided to write something, as my gut told me to, but put it on my blog as an open letter of sorts rather than directing it to an individual.



as there is space enough
upon a narrow fence rail to sit
so is in-between a place
--that breath, sigh, indifference--
life begins when we realize that
we are not in-between
but here


Priceless Stones: 42 Days of Hebrew Promises for Kingdom Living

by James Revoir

I always wonder, as I read through the Bible, how the original text differed from the English version that I read--how well our inadequate language represents what the original Hebrew conveyed (or, in the NT, Greek). While learning Hebrew and translating the entire OT myself could prove to be a lifetime project, James Revoir makes it a bit more accessible through this devotional. It is not a comprehensive dictionary by any means, but rather a devotional meant for the average Joe. Or Josephine.

Each devotional focuses on a single OT passage and is concisely written, without sacrificing content. My reading time per chapter averaged about 10 minutes. Although each day spotlights one Hebrew word, Revoir often includes additional Hebrew words within a single devotional to better explain the passage. He also provides both historical and biblical context for the passage, rather than attempting to fully interpret it as an isolated message, as many other devotionals do. A Hebrew-English and English-Hebrew glossary are tucked into the back of the book for reference.


Blog Tour: Palace of the Three Crosses by Christina Weigand

This young adult fantasy is book two in the Palace of the Twelve Pillars series. It is part of a blog tour put on by BookwormBridgette's World.

Brandan and Joachim have returned from the brink of Hell, but everyone questions if they are truly healed and one with Asha.

As each prince tries to readjust to life, they must face the funeral of their father and their missing mother.

They each take on the responsibility of ruling a country with new wives by their sides, but can they and the countries survive the trials that will ensue because of their choices?

Brandan and Joachim survived the war, but can their relationship and their countries survive the aftermath?