Fawkes ~ Nadine Brandes

spoilers for Fawkes contained in this post

This is my favorite book of 2019.

I cannot imagine another book captivating, inspiring, and convicting me so much. I felt Thomas’ brokenness. I understood the plotters’ belief in what they thought was right and, at times, their desperation. I was inspired by Emma’s faith in the White Light. I felt my faith and understanding of the ‘White Light’ strengthen. Perhaps that is why this is my favorite book that I have read this year. It displayed the power of the White Light, a power that is separate from me and yet available to me; not to use as my own, but instead to let myself be used by it – to listen and obey, not to force it or use it to further my own desires and expectations.

Thank you, Nadine, for reminding us that the White Light speaks to all of us. It is only our fault if we do not listen.

White Light is not always stern or commanding, angry or condemning. It is kind, helpful, uplifting, and encouraging. It can be sassy at times. A lot of the time, actually.

Bonding with White Light is an adventure. One in which we can grow and become who we were created to be. Not because of ourselves or what we can do. But because of what it can do through us.

As I started this book, I wasn’t expecting such a theological lean to it. Perhaps I would never have noticed if I hadn’t accidentally stumbled upon a brief paragraph on Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, explaining his reasons and beliefs. It opened my eyes and I didn’t continue reading the book the same way that I had started it. Up to that point, I had sought to understand what allegorical meaning Nadine had put into her story … and embarrassingly enough, I couldn’t find it. Once my eyes were opened, however … it literally felt like I had been blind and then I saw. Kind of like … a lot like Thomas, actually. Except less radically life-changing.

And yet, my life has changed because of the White Light. Like Thomas’ life, and Emma’s, and even Guy’s. It may be less obvious than masks and color power make known, but no less powerful.

And these reasons are why Fawkes is my favorite book of 2019. For the truth contained in its pages.

alright, now for a more fun and flailing review 😛

  • so I thought I wouldn’t like Thomas that much. first-person narration can be difficult to relate to, especially if that narrator is of the opposite gender. AND YET. I liked Thomas. I was able to relate him and understand and be sympathetic towards him. nice.
  • Emma, y’all. stars above, she was absolutely incredible and so intelligent and capable and womanly and just ugh, I loved her. she and Thomas made such a good couple, even when they were just friends or whatever when he was escorting her all around London. and her TWIST?!? I didn’t see it coming until that same chapter and wow, so amazing. so fantastic, I am such a freaking fan.
  • just all the twists, okay?!? with the plague and everything, I was kept on the edge of my seat. and I’m also really proud of myself that I didn’t read ahead at any point. go me 😛 *pats myself on the back*
  • the man himself, Guy Fawkes. I thought he was amazing and I loved witnessing his love and care for Thomas, even though their relationship was strained most of the time. and THE ENDING?!?! WOW.
  • Catesby was a trip. I liked him and then I was like, oh, more recruits, huh. that doesn’t seem very smart. and then he kept doing it and I was like, yup, unstable, just as Thomas said. YOU HAD SO MUCH POTENTIAL, DUDE. WHY’D YOU SCREW IT UP.
  • don’t even get me started on Wintour </3
  • the whole color system was so intriguing and interesting. I loved the whole conflict with the White Light. and the White Light itself was so sassy and yet not rude or condemning. I felt filled with White Light myself when I read about its power.
  • the allegory and the inclusion of history was so well done! I didn’t know much about the history behind the Gunpowder Plot, so that was cool and the way Nadine included the allegory was very enlightening and helpful.

I loved this book. I generally don’t buy books, but this was worth the money and more. it will hold a place of honor on my bookshelf. now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy Romanov 😉

have you read Fawkes? talk to me in the comments!

also, yes, I know it’s been 6 months. it took this book for me to emerge from my dark hiding place. I may continue with this blog and I may not. but I probably will. I love you all, if any of you even stuck around XD

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december 2k18

last month of the year! I’ll have another wrap-up post for the entire year soon 😉

events

11/30 – 12/2

enjoyed a weekend in the mountains for a girl’s retreat. it snowed while we were there, but the ground wasn’t cold enough for the snow to stay. but it was okay, cause it’s been years since I enjoyed being outside with snow falling 🙂 we watched movies, made cookies, and ate waaay too much food.

12/4

looked at Christmas lights with one of my youth groups!

12/11

nutrition finals! I finished my test in about an hour, then went to treat myself with Starbucks and a trip to the library. I also bought some presents for people. then in the evening, I went ice skating for the first time this season. I fell right before we had to get off the ice and still have bruises on my knees. it was fun though 😀

12/15

I went to a ballet performance of the Snow Queen that my friend’s sister was in and then went to my friend’s house to make gingerbread houses and have cookies

12/18

enjoyed a Christmas party with one of my youth groups. we went caroling, played games, and had a white elephant gift exchange. I managed to get makeup somehow, which was arguably the nicest gift there, and I still don’t know how and why that happened XD

12/23

had a Christmas party for the high school group from my church. it was sooo much fun! we played pool and Catchphrase, decorated cookies, played a trivia game, ate pizza, and talked. it was the first of its kind, and judging by its success, we’ll be having more parties like it in the future 🙂

12/24

went to the Christmas Eve service at my church for the first time since I can remember. we always have family gatherings on Christmas Eve, which is why we usually don’t attend Christmas Eve services, but this year, the service was early enough that I could make it! there was an artist painting a picture during the message, which was really cool and the painting was beautiful. it was also my first time doing the ‘holding a burning candlewhiel singing Silent Night’ experience, so that was lovely. I totally cried, cause I’m a sucker for beautiful experiences.

then we had family over our house. I managed to light a bunch of candles without burning myself or setting anything other than the candle wick on fire.

my favorite gift that I opened this night was a pair of gloves. my hands get cold really easily, and even though it rarely drops below freezing here, even at night, gloves are appreciated.

overall, a very lovely Christmas Eve with family 🙂

12/25

Christmas Day! my family and I opened presents (I finally got a new phone!) and we watched a Doctor Who Christmas episode in the morning. later in the afternoon, we went on a walk with some friends. the sky was so beautiful that afternoon as the sun went down!

12/28

had a breakfast date with my cousin and ended spending the whole day with her. mostly lay around her house in front of the fireplace, but we managed to lug ourselves out the door and into the car to head to the library and downtown. we also went to the bookstore that’s closing 😥 and I bought two books on sale 🙂 I also bought some things for my car.

12/29

went on a long, beautiful bike ride for the first time in months

plans for the rest of the month

I’m babysitting tonight and I might go to our property in the country on New Years’ Eve with my cousin and aunt and uncle. if we don’t go, I’ll just have a sleepover with my cousin 🙂

entertainment

listened to: Underneath the Tree // Kelly Clarkson | When You Say Nothing At All // Alison Krauss & Union Station | Tomorrow // Chris Young | Noel – Live // Chris Tomlin, Lauren Daigle | Red Letters // Crowder | I Wonder // Leeland | Better Than I Used To Be – Acoustic // Mat Kearney | Bishops Knife Trick // Fall Out Boy | Anna Lee // firekid | Brother // Kodaline | A Man Named Job // Ryan Proudfoot | Burning Man // Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne | Happier // Marshmello, Bastille

read: Cress // Marissa Meyer {5/5} | The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfall // Edgar Alan Poe {2/5} | Winter // Marissa Meyer {5/5} | The Gold Bug // Edgar Alan Poe {2.5/5} | Live In Infamy // Caroline Tung Richmond {1.5/5} | My Lady Jane // Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows {5/5}

watched: A Christmas Prince {3/5} | A Few Good Men {4/5} | The Emperor’s New Groove {4/5}

blog posts

something’s happening

blank mastermind release day + short scene

learned

the Word became a person, to be followed, enjoyed, and loved

prayer is a partnership between us and God

having courage is better than being fearless

that’s all for December! stay tuned for a wrap-up post for 2018! and talk to me in the comments! what are some things you learned this month? and what was the best present you received?

blank mastermind release day + short scene

so if you were not already aware, today is kind of a special day. and I know what you might be thinking. ‘Tania, you always say something special is happening.’ well, yes … I’m just an excitable person. but today I’m celebrating something way cooler and more monumental than usual. today is the release day for Blank Mastermind! *trumpets sound, petals fall from the sky, the president declares a national holiday*

the wonderful Rosey has poured her heart and her soul into this story and it is 110% Write Owl-approved™! and the best part of all this? I get to give y’all a peek. how cool is that! so keep reading for a short scene from this amazing book and allll the links to get Blank Mastermind! but first, le synopsis:

Amnesia is annoying. The poor hero has to find out everything about his wonderful life again and re-meet all the lovely people he knew before, then go to stop the villain. But what if the life that starts showing itself isn’t wonderful, the people aren’t lovely and the villain is… yourself?

Rosey Mucklestone is the oldest of nine crazy kids and the daughter of two awesome parents. She lives with her family and two dogs in Missouri, spending her time writing, reading, baking and waitressing. Topics she’s passionate about include: the ocean, the Bible, mountains, fandoms, stories and characters in general. She’s never gotten amnesia and doesn’t plan on it, but life is full of surprises, so who knows.

now for the scene!

Chapter 5: The Gang’s All Here

There was a crunch of gravel and a car door slammed behind us.

I gave News and Dallas each a look that hopefully communicated both “don’t worry” and “shut up” at the same time, then looked back to see who was getting out.

More car doors slammed.

Okay, apparently everyone was getting out.

I’d better get this act right the first time, because I wasn’t getting another chance.

They think you’re an evil gang-leader guy . . . play the part.

I felt like it would be better to meet them standing up, so I popped my door open and stepped out, straightening my jacket. Hopefully my stance looked commanding enough for my position.

There was a sliding of fabric on leather in the back seat and the top of Dallas’s head disappeared from my view. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to hide or if he’d passed out again. I didn’t blame him either way.

Roy was the first one who’d gotten out so he was the first one who got to my side of the car. The tiny bit of fluff named Cardboard skipped along at his heels.

Roy stopped and plucked the toothpick out from in between his teeth, giving me a slightly confused frown. “Man, where were you going?”

“Just . . .” I shrugged. “ . . . for a drive.”

He glanced behind me and down the road. “Pretty slow drive.”

Because fifteen miles over the speed limit was pathetic, apparently. I had to recall what News had said about Roy and speed limits.

Cardboard peeked over into the car, standing on her tiptoes. She grinned at Bad News. “I like this song.”

Bad News grinned. Roy frowned. I took note that Schoolhouse Rock was a point of contention.

The other footsteps crunching on the gravel came closer and in a few seconds, Liza and Chris had joined us.

Chris gave me a withering look out from under the brim of his hat. “This is cutting it a bit close for what we’re doing tomorrow, don’t you think?”

Oh fantastic, we had something going on tomorrow? I glanced over at News. He was turning up the music, which was pretty much the opposite of helping at the moment.

Just stay vague . . . stay vague . . .

My hand unconsciously went up to tug at my hair as I opened my mouth to respond. Liza cut my response off.

“Give him a break, Chris,” she soothed. “News said the other night went sideways. He couldn’t have predicted that.” Her voice was an even, medium-pitched tone. And she had an accent that it took me a few seconds to categorize. British, maybe? Slightly different tone. It could be Australian.

She turned to me, tipping her head like a curious, turquoise-headed bird. “What happened to your head, Wolfy?” She took a few steps closer, trying to get a look at it.

I took a step back. “Ah . . . not much. Just . . . there was a scuffle and that other guy . . . knocked me out.”

Liza didn’t seem deterred by my step back and came to my side. Reaching up a hand, she put it on my hair and turned my head to get a better look. Her fingers were small, thin and cold.

She winced and sucked in a breath. “Oh, that’s nasty . . .” I felt her fingers brush against the side of the gash not covered by News’s band-aid.

My muscles all clenched tight as I waited for her to finish her inspection.

Stop touching me . . . please, stop touching me . . .

Liza stepped back, finally. “No wonder Bad didn’t bring you back right away.”

Chris had his arms folded across his chest. He raised an eyebrow. “You’ve had worse, Wolfgang.”

I resisted the urge to shudder at my name and nodded. “Yeah, I know.” At least now.

That fact was both reassuring and frightening at the same time. So I’d be fine . . . but how many other deadly shootouts had I been involved in?

“So,” Chris brushed a hand over his close-shaven beard. “Did you kill him?”

The image of the dead man backstage vividly reappeared in my mind. My stomach twisted and I swallowed back the urge to gag. My headache pounded worse for a couple of seconds, making my vision swim.

“Mm-hmm.” I nodded, gripping the edge of the car door to steady myself.

“Then what’s he doing in the backseat?” asked Roy.

Chris and Liza stiffened at the same time.

What?”

And suddenly all attention was on the slouched form in the back of my car.

So Chris had meant Dallas. That was the whole point of what I’d gone to do. Kill Dallas.

“I . . . I meant . . .” I stammered for a second, then clamped my mouth shut again and focused on not losing my breakfast.

“You . . . brought him along with you?” Liza tore her gaze off Dallas and stared at me.

Chris narrowed his eyes. “Wolfgang, what’s going on?”

I’m doomed.

“He knows what he’s doing. Chill out,” News’s voice came from the front. He turned around, pushing his hat back. “It’s for tomorrow, isn’t it, Wolf?”

Bad News was the only one here who knew both sides of this conversation. And he was helping me.

I took a second before I noticed that I was just staring at him.

“Oh . . . um . . . yeah. He’s here for . . . tomorrow.” I nodded, swallowing. “For a . . . hostage. We need a hostage.”

Dallas’s eyes widened.

Blank, disbelieving stares from the gang met my statement.

Oh please let it not be an unrelated gang rumble . . .

Bad News cleared his throat, nudging Chris’s arm. “You’ll have to give him some slack, guys.” His voice was low and he cupped one giant hand on the side of his mouth like he expected me to not hear. “Conk on the head, y’know? He’s still a little . . .” he spun a finger at the side of his head. “ . . . out of it. A few marbles loose at the moment. Just go along. It’ll be fine.”

I suppressed the knee-jerk reaction to tell News to shut up and defend my sanity. He was saving my skin. If saying I was a bit out of it kept a mutiny at bay and kept Dallas alive . . . so be it.

All eyes went to me again.

I forced a wobbly grin, unsure of what else to do.

For some reason, that seemed to cement News’s statement as true.

Liza relaxed and smiled back at me, amusement dancing in her blue eyes. “Well, probably best to get going back, then?”

Roy needed no further prompting. He sprang up and started back for the car, stopping only a second to pat my shoulder.

“A hostage though?” Chris hissed back toNews. “We don’t need a hostage, News. This is . . .” his voice dropped lower and I heard a few muttered obscenities.

Dallas shrunk back down in his seat.

Bad News waved a hand dismissively. “It’s fine, man. Trust me. Wolf knows what he’s doing. Just a little mixed up about explaining things at the moment.”

Chris shot another look over in my direction.

“Just head back to the car.” News gave him a small shove in that direction.

“Fine,” Chris pushed off the car, with one final look at Dallas and an eyebrow raise at me, and headed back to take his seat in the red car. Roy had already started the engine.

I let out my breath in a whoosh as I pulled my door back open. My legs gave out as I sat down behind the wheel.

Wow. How many near-death experiences was this in the space of twenty-four hours now?

News buckled up again, turning down the radio so it was singing slightly quieter about the number eleven. “We need to pop back by Wendover to get my truck before heading up to the Den. So if you’ll just swing around . . .”

I frowned at him. “The . . . Den?”

“Your base of operations,” supplied Dallas quietly. News nodded. He held up his hands, gesturing a little. “You know . . . ‘cause you’re the Wolf. We’re your Pack. Where we hang out is the Den. Get it?” He grinned and chuckled.

I nodded slowly as I turned the keys in the ignition. “Clever.” And creepy.

You’re the Wolf.

That dangerous criminal who’d just gotten out of prison . . . the one that policeman was talking about at the opera . . . that was me. All the blood and gore . . . my signature, apparently.

I pulled the Mustang out onto the empty road and got it turned around back facing towards Utah, pushing back that sick feeling in my stomach again. The other car was already speeding off down the highway like a red bullet.

The song on the radio changed and Bad News reached over with his enormous hand to turn up the volume again. “This one’s good.”

Now, if man had been born with six fingers on each hand . . . he’d also have twelve toes, or so the theory goes . . .”

He looked over at me with an expression that seemed to demand my admitting the awesomeness of this particular multiplication song.

“ . . . well he would have added two more digits when he invented his number system . . .”

This counted as . . . music?

Well . . . counted.

Of course it counts. It’s math.

I fought the crazy urge to burst into hysterical laughter. It came out as more of a half snicker, half snort. The lingering panic from a few minutes before only served to make it funnier. I turned away from News, leaning partly over the steering wheel and hoping he couldn’t see me laughing.

Get it together, idiot. You’re acting drunk.

Bad News didn’t say anything. The song played on.

I finally got myself under control and went back to focusing on driving.

“Hey, little Twelvetoes, I hope you’re well . . . must be some far-flung planet where you dwell . . .”

Well, getting myself back under control was relative. I hoped News didn’t find anything wrong with my sudden coughing fit.

Bad News just watched me with a crooked smile on his face. He reached over, patted my shoulder and leaned back in his seat.

“Everything happens for a reason, you know,” he observed philosophically. “And with you?” Giving me another grin, he nodded. “Amnesia’s an improvement. I’m cool with this.”

An improvement . . . from what?

I nodded back cautiously. “Um . . . thanks.”

“ . . . little Twelvetoes . . . please come back soon . . .”

I pulled my mind away from Schoolhouse Rock and focused it on how to stay alive through whatever was coming next.

#

The Den actually didn’t have heads on spikes all around it. No paintings of my hideous name in blood. No crocodiles in the moat. In fact, no moat at all. All it ended up being was just an old grocery store with graffiti on the walls and faded shadows of sign letters torn off the front.

I don’t think it even counted as being in town. It was backed up against a patch of woods by the mountains along a torn up old strip of road. Vines crawled up the sides of the building and the paint over the parking spots was barely visible anymore. A lone lamppost bent sideways stood to the side of the parking lot. Long abandoned. By everyone but us criminals, of course.

I’d followed News’s truck for the drive back, since I obviously didn’t know where we were going, despite his directions. He left me in the dust near the end of the drive, but I could tell I was in the right place by the big truck and red car poking out from the other side of the building.

I slowed down and turned.

It really wasn’t all that creepy of a place. I could call it lots of things, but creepy wasn’t at the top of my mind.

Didn’t make much difference to Dallas, though. He shivered like we’d driven into anarctic fortress.

The conversation on the drive had been very sparse. I got a sense that Dallas wasn’t the most talkative kid to begin with. The fact that up to this point I’d been trying to kill him and had just pinned him as a hostage probably didn’t help matters.

“So . . .” I coasted up in front of the store and put the car into park. “We’re here, I guess. Everyone else looks like they’re inside already.” I turned my head to look back at him. “Ever been here before?”

Dallas swallowed, “Yes sir.” He looked down at his shoes, like he was trying to unsee something bad. “And in the same car, too.”

I’d pretty much gotten used to the ice-water bursts through my veins by now, but I still flinched a little. “Well . . .” I coughed in the back of my throat and tried to think of something to say, since I was sure WolfMart probably wasn’t renowned for its five-star accommodations.

I’m sorry? Did the car run smoother back then? Should I take my shoes off inside my lair?

I settled on just opening my door and getting out.

Dallas followed suit, clicking open his own door a few seconds behind me. He swung his feet out and shot up into a standing position.

Not the best idea with a hole through your middle.

He wavered on his feet for a couple seconds, his face going white, then toppled back over into the backseat. That was just what I needed. We couldn’t even walk to a building that was a stupid twenty feet away without me hauling him.

Extra chance for me to redeem myself. Fantastic.

Mustering up my pathetic lack of strength, I bent over and pulled him up with me, throwing one of his arms across my shoulders. Nope, that wasn’t working.

Like it wasn’t taking enough of my strength to just keep me upright at this point . . .

I glared at the top of Dallas’s head. “You did this on purpose, didn’t you?” Biting my lip, I pulled him around so I could get my arms under his legs and back.

His head flopped back against my arm as I stood.

Nursemaid Dankworth, at your service.

I limped us both towards the door, lecturing Dallas under my breath on how passing out was no way to face life’s problems.

“It would have been easier for me to just conk myself on the head back there instead of talking to the gang and sounding knowledgeable about my own stupid life.” I propped his legs up on one of mine as I pushed open the door. “But did I cop out like that? No, I bucked up and stayed conscious . . .”

My voice trailed off into a low growl as I pushed inside to the noises of people talking. I just about fell over as I tried to get my arm back under my protégé’s legs.

The air around us was only slightly warmer than the air outside. I took in a breath, trying to place the smell. Cigarette smoke, definitely. Something like beer or some other sort of alcohol. And then something homey and sweet smelling . . . vanilla?

Evil smells like vanilla? I frowned in confusion, adjusting my grip on Dallas again.

“You knock him out?” Roy’s voice came from somewhere nearby.

Yeah, like I’d put myself through this on purpose. “No,” I grunted. “He just stood up a little too fast.”

“Well at least he’s not zapping all over the place this time,” the disembodied Roy-voice observed. “That was a pain to deal with. Teleportation junk . . .”

Now I was starting to doubt my hearing. Dallas . . . teleporting? What in the name of . . .?

I swiveled around, trying to locate Roy. He was sitting on top of a stack of shipping pallets, swinging his legs and chewing on his toothpick. Pushing off with his hands, he vaulted to the ground, his red sneakers landing with a loud smack on the cement floor next to me.

He nodded to Dallas. “Want me to put ‘im somewhere?”

“Th-that would be great, yeah.” I handed Dallas off to him and resisted my own urge to collapse right there.

“Your head any better?” Roy effortlessly pulled Dallas into a piggyback position as he spoke.

I shrugged. “A little . . . I guess.”

He shrugged back and turned, giving a little whistle. Cardboard came popping out from around the corner of one of the old grocery aisles and saluted both of us with a grin.

“Wolf’s here so you can head back now,” Roy informed her. Then, to me: “They’re just hanging out back there right now. News was hungry.”

And that probably doomed any pantry store we had . . .

Roy started back towards a corner with a few doors. Cardboard glanced briefly at me, then skipped off down the aisle without bothering to wait up.

I took a couple of deep breaths to try and clear my head and walked slowly down the same aisle, following the sound of voices. Sound bounced off the bare, metal shelves and echoed through the dimly lit building. It was a lot more sinister inside the store than outside. What a way to make creepy work on a budget.

My eyes adjusted to the dark and I saw a few bits of machinery and wire sitting at the back of the shelves at intervals. News had said Liza and I were mechanics on something . . .

I peeked around the end of the row and saw Bad News, Liza and Chris all sitting in different chairs by a shabby old lamp. Liza and News were passing a tub of chocolate ice cream back and forth while they talked.

I was getting the impression that News had a thing for ice cream.

Chris sat frowning from under his hat and drumming his fingers on his chair arm. I wasn’t sure if he disapproved of the ice cream’s presence or the fact that he wasn’t getting any.

Cardboard jumped into an old, flower patterned camp chair next to him, her wide smile providing a huge contrast for Chris and making me once again marvel at how both of them could be in the same gang.

I stepped out and walked towards the small circle. Bad News somehow spotted me in the dark with sunglasses on and waved with his spoon, gesturing towards the biggest chair.

I took the directed seat: a giant, leather, wing-backed chair. Very mastermind-esque. Went with my leather jacket, too. News handed me a spoon and I got myself a scoop of ice cream out of the tub.

“Despite all distractions . . .” Chris cuffed up one sleeve of his flannel shirt and shot me a look, “Are we still on for tomorrow?”

Clearly my hostage decision still wasn’t a hit with him.

I swallowed my bite with effort. “We should be . . .” I stopped and thought of something ambiguous, “ . . . that is, if everything else is ready.” Liza and News’s conversation stopped and I hoped desperately they’d say something that would clue me in to my evil schemes, since News seemed to forget how much I didn’t know.

Liza licked daintily at the ice cream on her enormous spoon. “So, I did get the bomb finished earlier . . .” Her tone of voice was what any other girl would have used to say she got her hair cut.  She smiled over at me like I should be proud.

That was the kind of mechanic she was?

I choked on my ice cream but coughed into my elbow and managed to avert most of the attention.

“Finally got that one circuit worked out?” asked Roy as he walked up and boosted onto an old barstool.

Liza sucked the rest of the chocolate off the spoon and then spun it around her small fingers. “Yep. Finally. It’s a big old thing now that everything’s hooked up, but Bad’s truck should get it there alright.”

News nodded and smiled.

“That thing takes forever to get moving.” Roy groaned.  “What about my ride?”

Liza snorted. “If ‘your ride’ had more than a square foot of trunk space, I’d consider it.”

She dug out another spoonful of chocolate ice cream and resumed her dainty licking, “After all, no pillbox is gonna blow up a baseball stadium.”

— 

*ominous music plays* poor Wolfy, not much better off than when the scene started.

okay, now I’m going to throw a bunch of links at you, so you can learn more about this awesome story:

get the paperback
get the Kindle version

Rosey’s:
blog
instagram
pinterest
goodreads

what are you waiting for, exactly? you’d best get yourself a copy (and some for your friends too) before I buy all of them! 

psst, also, if you really want to know what happens after this chapter I just shared, check out Julia’s post


blog tour schedule

December 9th
A Story Detective – Short scene
Books by S.R. – Author interview

December 10th
Novels, Dragons & Wardrobe Doors – Book review
Laurel Wreath – Cover reveal

December 11th
ReadingAnyone – Book review
Romantic Typewriter Gardens – Book review and character quiz

December 12th
Kinsey @ Over the Withers – Author interview
The Artful Author – Book review
Julia Witmer – Short scene

December 13th
Jane Maree – Author interview and book review
Kate Flournoy – Liza Allister character interview
Write Owl (that’s me!) – Short scene

something’s happening…

guess what, my minions?

I’ve got something very special coming your way next week.

like, really special.

and it’s not mine, so that should give you a hint into how special it really is.

one of my blogger friends, Rosey, is releasing a book!!!! *shoots confetti and glitter and shoves slices of cake and bowls of ice cream into everyone’s hands*

so that’s the best part, but the other really cool part is that I get to be a part of her release tour!! I’m so excited for this, since I’ve never done anything like it before, and I absolutely loved her story and now I get to share it with y’all 🙂

I will be posting a short scene from the book, which is called Blank Mastermind, on Thursday, December 13, which is also release day! I will also include the link to order it. the preorder link and the goodreads link are right here:

Blank Mastermind on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43090076-blank-mastermind
Ebook preorder: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KQNB889

here’s the rest of the blog tour, so you can check out all the rest of these awesome people:

December 9th
A Story Detective – Short scene
Books by S.R. – Author interview

December 10th
Novels, Dragons & Wardrobe Doors – Book review
Laurel Wreath – Cover reveal

December 11th
ReadingAnyone – Book review
Romantic Typewriter Gardens – Book review and character quiz

December 12th
Kinsey @ Over the Withers – Author interview
The Artful Author – Book review
Julia Witmer – Short scene

December 13th
Jane Maree – Author interview and book review
Kate Flournoy – Liza Allister character interview
Write Owl [that’s me!!] – Short scene

keep up with the blog tour, preorder Rosey’s book, and I’ll see you all back here next Thursday for the short scene! allons-y!

november 2k18

one of my favorite months of the year is still one of my favorite months of the year. things were good this month. I celebrated one of the best holidays with my family, made new friends, listened to awe-inspiring music…

events

11/08

two different friends asked if I wanted a ticket to the twenty one pilots concert that weekend and I had to say no both times for a myriad of reasons. and yeah, I’m still kind of upset about that.

11/11

missed out on the twenty one pilots concert (r.i.p. me), but went to a going-away party for some friends instead. I had fun, defending my family name from one who would attempt to deface it (long story), ate a lot of food, sang songs with some friends that I grew up with but haven’t seen in a long time … it was nice.

11/16

had a Starbucks meet-up with a new friend. she showed me all the videos she took from the twenty one pilots concert and we talked about the band almost the whole time. I also discovered my love for a drink called London Fog.

11/21

the first rain of the season! I was so happy, since we had been inundated with smoke for two weeks. most days the smoke looked like really dense fog. but the rain cleared the sky and the air and I was happy as a duck ^-^ I baked a cake for Thanksgiving and then went to the library to study with my friends. I didn’t get as much studying done as I would have liked, but I got more done than if I had been at home. and I bought Wuthering Heights by Emily Brönte for $1. so that was cool.

11/22

Thanksgiving! one of my favorite holidays! we celebrated at my uncle and aunt’s house, only 11 of us with my grandparents. my cousin L made the best stuffing I have ever had. we watched some Little Dorritt, played the Game of Life, and then when L’s boyfriend came over, I helped them continue to build L’s Lego rocket that she got for her birthday while we listened to Christmas music. all in all, a very relaxing, lovely Thanksgiving. and it continued to rain that day, which made my day really cozy.

11/23

had plans to hang out with L, but ended up going to the mall with my aunt and L’s boyfriend and his family instead. there were so many people, but I managed to buy a sweater and a cardigan for myself at Hollister. I also popped into Hot Topic (t-shirts were only $10!!), but I didn’t buy anything, since none of the t-shirts I wanted were my size or looked like they would fit me 😦 they also had Lord of the Rings Funko Pops and some Doctor Who and Hufflepuff merch, but I wasn’t really interested in buying anything else for myself. I’ll probably go back to look for presents for friends.

11/25

went out to lunch after church with a friend and her family at a really cute café. then I went over her house for a little bit. we sang a few worship songs, played two songs from La La Land, but we spent most of our time figuring out how to play twenty one pilots songs on the piano. most of our conversations since we’ve known each other have been made up of that topic. no, I’m not obsessed. how dare you suggest…

11/28

drove in the rain for the first time. and survived. that’s the important part 😛

entertainment

listened: all links lead to spotify The Greatest Show // Panic! At The Disco | Cancer // Twenty One Pilots | Origins (Deluxe) // Imagine Dragons | JT // Jon Bellion | Stupid Deep // Jon Bellion | Take Me Home, Country Roads – Rerecorded // John Denver | Ghost Of You // 5 Seconds of Summer | Sad Songs // Kyd the Band | Alive // VAN HØF | When Christmas Comes To Town // Clark Anthony
both links lead to soundcloud Regional At Best // Twenty One Pilots | No Phun Intended // Tyler Joseph (do yourself a favor and go listen to these two albums. they have made such an impression on me. they are absolutely incredible.)

read: The Selection // Kiera Cass {2.5/5} | Cinder // Marissa Meyer {3.5/5} | Paradise Lost // John Milton {3.5/5} | Scarlet // Marissa Meyer {4/5}

watched: Cliffhanger {2/5} | The BFG {3/5} | Pete’s Dragon {3/5}

blog posts

october 2k18

*clears throat* *taps microphone* I have a thing to say

and that’s about all I have for now! I’ll be going on a girls retreat tomorrow and I’m very excited. hopefully there will be snow, but rain is forecasted, which is also nice and cozy. I’ll be in touch with y’all when I get back! oh and don’t forget to comment about how your November was!

*clears throat* *taps microphone* I have a thing to say

hi, yes, hello. I’ve gone for a while, but I’ve been hard at work preparing this … post. it talks about something that I feel very strongly about and I’m still not sure my post addresses it well enough, but I’m having a go at it anyways. I’m especially interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

so I’ve seen this tumblr post quite a few times on Pinterest lately and I have something to say about it. something very important too, I think, because a lot of people who don’t take the time to actually investigate for themselves might take this as fact. before I say too much, here’s the post:

I HAVE A THING TO SAY ABOUT THIS.jpg

okay. first of all, I am not doing this to debate the topic of homosexuality. that is a more specific topic that I wouldn’t mind talking about some other time if anyone is interested, but for now, I’m going to focus on the more general thought that the person stated above, that ‘your god and his son[‘s]…plan for your salvation wasn’t good enough for you.’

alright.

this person was correct about some things. yes, we are now free from the Law set forth in the Pentateuch, we are beholden to it anymore,
it does not dictate whether we are saved.
only Jesus can do that now.
so far, so good.

however.
Jesus HIMSELF says in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5, verse 17:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
(italics added).

so Jesus is the only person who ever lived who can be that perfect sacrifice for us.
that means that we don’t have to sacrifice a perfect lamb at the temple (or anywhere),
because Jesus was the Lamb.
in that way, He fulfilled the Law.

okay, here’s the big shocker:
the Law (and the Prophets) are still relevant and important in our lives!
I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how the Bible is an old, archaic document that shouldn’t be taken seriously anymore because it’s so antiquated and doesn’t apply to our modern lives.
that is not true.

the Law does not now exist to condemn us, but rather to make us aware of our shortcomings and sins.
we don’t follow it because it gets us into heaven, but because we see it as God’s will for us living on earth until the perfect world comes,
because we love God and want to do what He tells us.
and He tells us these things (‘do not murder’ ‘do not commit adultery’ ‘do not steal’ etc.)
because He loves us and wants what’s best for us.

another important note:
Jesus may not have addressed the topic of homosexuality specifically anywhere in the gospels,
but being one with God, He makes ‘what He says’ very clear in the Law (a post for another time) and through Paul in Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11,
to name a few passages.

some verses from the Bible on this topic:

Romans 3:28,31 – “For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law…. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.” (italics added)

Luke 16:17 – “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.” (Jesus’ words)

John 14:15 – “If you love Me, then you will keep My commandments.” (again, Jesus’ words. Jesus and God being the same person, and God having instated the Law, here Jesus is referring to that, as well as what He spoke through the prophets.)

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (italics added; by ‘All Scripture’, the apostle Paul means the Old Testament)

this is just a sampling of many verses in the Bible that point back to the Law and how it is still relevant in both our faith and our lives.

I would like to reiterate the fact that the person in the thread at the beginning of this post was right about some things (specifically that we are not dependent on the Law for salvation anymore),
but not all.

I also want to encourage you to do your own research and really investigate claims that others make, especially when it comes to the Bible.
we should take claims like this seriously and make every effort to eradicate lies and false claims about the Word, since we as Christians believe that it is the infallible, unerring,
eternal Word of God and should be treated as such.
and just as Jesus did when He was being tempted, we have the ability
– I would say the obligation –
to know the Scriptures well enough to defend the truth.
Ephesians refers to the Bible as a sword (part of our spiritual armor)
and that being the case, we need to be well trained in the Scriptures in order to fight lies with the truth that is God’s Word.

let this verse be our motto and let us ‘understand… what [we] are saying [and] the things about which [we] make confident assertions’:

1 Timothy 1:5-7 – “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they made confident assertions.”

all Scripture quotations taken from the English Standard Version Bible, unless otherwise stated

I hope this all made sense and that I was able to correctly address the issue and make the Bible’s stance on this clear. tell me what you think in the comments, along with any additional Bible verses to support (or even refute – I’m open to healthy debates [emphasis on healthy]!) my statements. I can’t wait to engage in meaningful conversations with you all! 🙂

october 2k18

I had such a nice month and I think the little break I had from blogging (with the exception of this) was good for me. I’m ready to come back though haha.

some big things happened this month! keep reading to find out what they were:

lace.jpg

events

10/7 – lunch and afternoon with friends

I went out for lunch after church with a friend and tried a new restaurant that I’ve been wanting to try for a while. then we went back downtown later with two other girls and I made the mistake of getting gelato right before dinner, but it was alright. we had fun 🙂

10/11 – got my driver’s license

haha I was so freaked out, but I did it 😛

10/14 – hay maze

traffic was crazy since the pumpkin festival was the same weekend that we went, but we had fun. my cousin and I went through the maze four times. we went out to dinner after that.

10/16 – senior night

we won! I got to play the whole game (something I haven’t done yet this season!) and I think I did really well! I was glad that some of friends and my little brother came to watch, since they hadn’t seen me play yet.

some of my teammates made a poster for me and I’m definitely biased, but I think it was the nicest one of all the seniors’. I also got a small bouquet of flowers 🙂 after the game, we had dinner in one of the school buildings. I sat at a table with the other three seniors and we got to wear feather boas and butterfly wings. we played some games and had a nice time. then my cousin drove me and another friend home … in my car, which she had never driven before, and which is a little … not temperamental exactly. maybe finicky? but it was fine haha.

october street.jpg

10/18 – another senior night

our next game was an away game at another school on their senior night. and they gave me and my fellow senior teammates a bigger bouquet of flowers than our school gave us! we ended up winning that game 3-0, which was great since the last time we played them, they beat us 3-2. I felt a little bad for beating them on their senior night, but I was also really happy to have won haha.

10/23 – last game

we lost, but I had fun and I almost cried at the end. it was a good end to the season.

10/24 – team dinner

we all went out for dinner as a last hurrah as a team. our coach talked about each of us (he called it ‘roasting’, but it was very nice) and he gave certificates for MVP and other awards. some girls gave out little gifts, we signed cards for our coaches, and I got to take home balloons! so now I have all this little visual reminders of my wonderful team. from posters to balloons to flowers, they’re scattered all over my room 🙂

10/29 – joined Story Embers!

I’m so excited to be a part of this writing community and grow my craft!

candles.jpg

entertainment

listened: trench // twenty one pilots | 22 // taylor swift | we are never ever getting back together // taylor swift | I knew you were trouble. // taylor swift | divine/sailing/time/hymn – acoustic // phil wickham | twenty one pilots // twenty one pilots | vessel // twenty one pilots | blurryface // twenty one pilots | wake up // eden | impossible year // panic! at the disco

read: the faerie queene // edmund spenser {3.5/5} (I had to move my goodreads goal down again, since I haven’t read much lately :P)

watched: a couple new doctor who episodes 🙂

read.jpg

blog posts

september 2k18

trench

caramel apples

I hope y’all had a nice October too. I had such a wonderful month, but I’m glad I have a little more leisure time now. at least until finals haha.

what was the best thing about this month for you? let me know in the comments!