Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas Plans

♫Christmastime is here. Happiness and cheer. Fun for all that children call their favorite time of year.♫

It always strikes me funny how melancholy the tune sounds even with lyrics like that.


The Christmas season is fun and busy and awesome...and usually each one is different. After all, "Things never happen the same way twice." But that's what makes it exciting.

One thing we always do, though, is decorate. Our Christmas tree is ridiculously crowded with ornaments. So many relatives have given us ornaments, and then we tend to buy more whenever we go to Disney World. The tree may be a bit cluttered, but that's what makes it our tree. We have several little churches, a Nutcracker, some snowmen, several music boxes, and a Nativity set. One year we made a stable out of sticks from the backyard, but, while it was really cool, it was insanely difficult to make. Now I fashion the stable out of Lincoln Logs. And we have two advent calendars. One has an appliqued Christmas tree and little embroidered ornaments hanging on it which we put in pouches for each day of advent. The other is a wooden box with a Nativity on the front...and it has a door for each day, behind which is a piece of candy. We also put lights on the front of our house.

Throughout the Christmas season, we watch lots of Christmas movies and specials. We always watch Charlie Brown, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, and usually Frosty the Snowman, and we sometimes end up watching random other ones that come on TV. As far as movies go, we always watch Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Story. We also fit in Scrooge because my mom and I like that adaptation best, Disney's A Christmas Carol because most of the family likes that version better, The Santa Clause because it's the only Santa Claus movie I've seen that actually attempts to make it all make sense, The Polar Express, Elf because apparently everyone but me enjoys it, and probably something else I'm forgetting. When we're staying home for Christmas, we watch It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve and make homemade doughnuts.

We give each other presents on Christmas morning...well, half the time. Sometimes we visit relatives in Indiana for Christmas, so those years we have our own Christmas a few days early. It's somehow just not the same as doing it on actual Christmas morning, but oh well. Somebody, well, most of us get books every year because we love them so much, and if you're the same way, I've still got some sales going on. ;)

What fills in the rest of the time, well, that's where things get different. For several years, it was stress and busyness due to Nativity Ballet rehearsals (and the Christmas season has never felt the same to me since, even though it's been nine years since my last Nativity). Many times, it's been a trip to Disney. This year, we have a number of things going on.

Some of them have to do with the library. Like the Christmas parade my sisters and I were in last Friday. It was fun except for having a cold. And I'll be helping out with my library's Santa and Polar Express programs too. 

My sisters and I went to a Christmas dance last weekend, which was fun in spite of being sick. I got to dance a lot more than I'd expected, and really enjoyed the evening. We also have a church Christmas party to look forward to.

Not sure if we really have any other big plans--my family is 100% introverted, so we tend to be more of the quiet evening at home sort--but it'll be a good Christmas.

What Christmas traditions does your family have? Anything special you're looking forward to this Christmas?

And before I forget, please take a few moments to fill out my blog content survey. I'm trying to adjust my blog to my readers' needs...partially because I'm constantly drawing blanks on blog post topics. ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

♫Because It's Christmas♫

*knock, knock, knock*

♫Could that be Santa? Could that be him? Could it be the one who brings presents for a cucumber like me? A good cucumber like meeeeeee?♫

I must be waxing nostalgic for childhood or something. You do know what I'm talking/singing about, don't you? ;)

So. You're a book lover, or you've got book lovers in your life. I'm sure one or both of those is true, or else you wouldn't be reading this blog. And Christmas is coming up fast. It's a time for giving gifts, and if you're anything like me, you consider books to be the very best kind of gift.

Aaaaand....you may have missed some Black Friday deals on books you wanted to give. Never fear! The book fairy is here! Okay, now I'm just being silly. I'll chalk it up to long days, stress in anticipation of busyness, and a cold. Just go with it.

In all seriousness, though, Christmas sales are not yet over. I'm still running deals on paperbacks through my own website. 20% off individual paperbacks, and if you buy the whole Time Captives set, you get 25% off! Kindle books are at an even better discount: 66% off. And yes, it is possible to gift someone an ebooks. Plus, I'm keeping them all on sale through New Year's, so when you've got Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket, you can still get discounts. Just visit the "My Books" page up there at the top.


Give someone the gift of a grand adventure this Christmas. Because as Emily Dickinson once said, "There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away."

And I just HAVE to finish with this:

"I'm from the IRS. And I've come to tax your--"

*door slam*


Monday, November 28, 2016

2016 Books I'm Thankful For


Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my "things I'm thankful for" list every year. It's hard to choose favorites, but I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2016 and am thankful for.
  1. Samara's Peril, by Jaye L. Knight: It's the Ilyon Chronicles...and I suppose I'll be picking Ilyon as books I'm thankful to have read until there aren't any more. They just keep getting better and better. And there's so much depth of meaning. Ilyon really impacts me.
  2. Lady Dragon, Tela Du, by Kendra E. Ardnek: Because like WPFP last year, it's brought people together and strengthened my friendship with Kendra. Plus it's just a great book. Reuben's the brother I never had.
  3. Before You Meet Prince Charming, by Sarah Mally: I've wanted to read this book since I was probably about 15 or 16, but I never tried very hard to get a copy. However, when I saw it for sale at the Creation Museum and realized I still had a Visa gift card from Christmas, I took the plunge and bought it. And I'm glad I did. While it pretty much fit with the beliefs I already held on relationships and purity, it helped solidify and explain them. I can better understand the "why" now. And I did learn things from it.
  4. Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen: Because it taught me that I'm now old enough to appreciate Jane Austen. And because I discovered I'm Elinor Dashwood. And because it was good to listen to while sewing, vacuuming, formatting, riding to Charleston, and to read on the beach.
  5. Princess Academy: Palace of Stone, by Shannon Hale: It was just so deep. I love deep children's books, and this one really made me think. About ethics, about politics, about friendship, about how difficult it can be to do the right thing--even to know what the right thing is--but how important it is. It, and the whole series, meant a lot to me.
I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to another great year of reading!

Speaking of more reading, here's one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 25-28. There's literally something for everyone. Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you. Don't know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!

What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?
A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as "Sold Out." This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks. Also, some of the authors this year chose to not sell their paperbacks directly through the site. Those books are also marked "Sold Out" but if you click them open, you'll find a link to the site where they are on sale and a discount code for you to use at check out.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Christmas Book Sale!


It’s that time of year. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year’s Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you, Indie Christian Authors has a perfect event for you.

From Nov 25 (that’s today!) through Nov 28th, more than 70 independent Christian books are on sale. You can find free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals, and more! And if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, they’ve got you covered with some freebies!

Think 70 books is overwhelming? Narrow it down and find the perfect books for you or someone on your Christmas list by using this quiz to generate a customized book list.
What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?
A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as "Sold Out." This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks. Also, some of the authors this year chose to not sell their paperbacks directly through the site. Those books are also marked "Sold Out" but if you click them open, you'll find a link to the site where they are on sale and a discount code for you to use at check out.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Give Thanks

I'm going to tell you about some Black Friday sales I'm participating in at the bottom of this post, but I don't want to make this post all about sales. "There's a lot of bad isms, but one of the worst is commercialism. Make a buck, make a buck." Bonus points if you can tell me what movie that's from. :)

Thanksgiving is this week. I'm sure everybody knows that. How do we view Thanksgiving these days? I'd say to most people it's a time to get together with family for a big feast. Is it wrong to have a good time with your family? Absolutely not. But that's not what Thanksgiving is really about.

A lot of people say it started because the pilgrims were thanking the Indians for helping them. It is traditionally linked to the pilgrims, but that's not really what it's about.

The first Thanksgiving at Plymouth wasn't to thank the Indians. It was to thank God. The pilgrims understood that God was responsible for their bounty. God was responsible for delivering them from religious persecution. God was responsible for the survival of those who did survive to see that first harvest.

Throughout American history, presidents declared national days of prayer and thanksgiving. The two were inseparable. To whom else could we possibly truly owe our blessings than to God? He is our Creator, our Sustainer, our Savior, the Author and Finisher of our faith. God is the One who provides us with air to breathe, food to eat, clothes to wear, houses to live in. He gave us our family and friends, our jobs, our hobbies, our...everything. I can't possibly even list all the blessings God gives to every one of us.

So when you're hanging out with family and/or friends this Thanksgiving, loading up on turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, watching football, doing whatever traditions you might have, don't forget who really provided this all for you. When you say "I'm thankful for _______," remember to give thanks to the One responsible for it all.

Give thanks to God.


Christmas will be here before we know it! So Christmas shopping will be upon us, and if you have any bookworms in your life, I've got the perfect solution for you.

Fourteen other authors and I are holding a Black Friday sale on our books again, both for paperbacks and kindle books! It's going to be awesome.

All of my books will be $0.99 on kindle and $7.50 each for paperbacks, plus some set discounts. Yes, I suppose this is me saying "wait till the weekend to buy my books." Oh well. I like to save money just as much as the rest of you. ;)

Curious about who the other authors are? I know most of them and have read a lot of their books, so I can personally say this sale is one you won't want to miss. Here's the list.

And if you're a blogger, you can sign up here to help us spread the word and get free ebooks out of it! How cool is that? Deadline to sign up is tomorrow.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Free eBooks for Bloggers!

It's that time of year again! Some of my fellow Christian indie authors and I are putting together a Black Friday sale, and we need your help to spread the word.

Those of you who volunteer your blog space will receive free eBooks! Is that awesome or what?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Crannig Castle Blog Tour Recap

And we come to the end. It's been quite a week, with all the typical blog tour stuff, plus the craziness of the election, plus staying up late watching Jane Austen movies while my dad was out of town, plus teaching music, plus library work including staff training...but it's been great. This has been my biggest blog tour--you guys are awesome for doing that for me. And now it's over and it's time to recap. Giveaway winners are at the bottom of the post. ;)


"This is a really great ending to the “Time Captives” trilogy. I like the parts where the story was written as if it were back in time. Instead of just hearing it explained, it is actually like I was there with the characters." --Sarah Allerding

"I enjoyed this book as much as the previous two in the series. Fans of the previous books will not be disappointed by this thrilling conclusion. Even though the Time Captives and their friends plan their moves thoroughly, they can’t predict the unexpected twists and turns that the story takes. One twist, in particular, led to an event which startled me very much." --Erika

"Anyways, I loved the characters and plot and stuff. Eleanor was probably my favorite; she’s pretty cool. I also liked Samantha and Abigail. And Jonathan, ’cause he’s the book nerd and compared a bunch of stuff to J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis’s books. And the ending was amazing for this series!" --Alyssa

"She masterfully ties the threads into a complex knot of a climax. Though I'd say that the biggest knot was in my stomach as I watched Eleanor accepted her past, Adriel risk everything, and Jonathan lead troops. Then it all came together to rip me apart emotionally. I loved it." --RhoXie Mans

"The plot’s somewhat complicated, but if you enjoy faith, fantasy, and a touch of politics, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this series. Each character plays a special role in fighting for the freedom and justice of the Calhortan people. And if you’re one of those people that enjoys an actual good, satisfying ending to a series, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!"--Amanda Beguerie

"I'll be honest - I did not want this series to end. I've grown to love the characters, the story, and the suspense. There were parts where I cried; there were scenes that made me laugh. The plot line is well written, and the dialogue flows naturally (a big thing for me)." --Katelyn Snell

"I enjoyed returning to the epic battle against the strytes.  Morgan created such a fascinating world with such intricate characters.  I loved getting so see how everything turned out....If you haven't read any of the Time Captives books, please do!" --Alea Harper

"Well, here it is, at last, the final volume of the Time Captives trilogy. Please pay no mind to the shattered pieces of my heart that are scattered over the floor. The Time Captives is one of the most unique portal fantasies that I've ever read. So much so that I have harped on the author for the "next book" since I read the first one....It's hard to believe that this series has come to an end already, and while I'm thrilled to finally know how it ends, there's a large part of my that's in denial that it's over. And I might be plotting a fanfic." --Kendra E. Ardnek

Author Interviews

Character Interviews

Character Spotlights

Bonus Features Posts

 Giveaway Winners

1st prize (signed copy of entire Time Captives trilogy): Amy
2nd prize (signed copy of Crannig Castle): Katelyn S.
3rd prize (ebook of Crannig Castle): Sarah G.

Congratulations! I'll be emailing you for the information I need to get you your prizes.

Thanks again to everyone who helped out with this release! I can't thank you enough.