Cover Reveal Party! {For my newest book, Where Dandelions Grow}

Y’all! Today has finally arrived, and I’m quite happy to share the excitement with you. Today is the day I get to share with y’all the cover for Where Dandelions Grow. This cover has me quite thrilled because it combines SO MANY elements of the story, as well as being the type of cover that I think is most beautiful.


Here Whimsy and I are this morning – so excited about the Cover Reveal. Actually Whimsy is like “This is so high and scary and I’m going to hold on tight and please don’t drop me cause I’m freaking out.” But anyway….

Not only am I going to show the cover in just a moment, but I also have a giveaway and games. Because what’s a party without games? And everyone likes giveaways, right? Besides, I’ve been having so much fun with this project and I’m so thankful for y’all who have been joining in with me, so I wanted to get you in on the celebration.

Now without further ado, let me introduce you to the delightful cover:

Where Dandelions Grow v1.21

Giveaway Time

Click Here to Enter the Giveaway 

 Game Time

How to play the game: Answer the questions in the comments, based on the cover. (If you’ve already read the book, you can still answer the questions, you’ll just have an advantage. 😉 ) Some of the questions have correct answers (like #1) and other questions are subjective (like #2).

At the end of this week, I’ll put the name of everyone who commented in a drawing and randomly choose a winner, then send them a $5 Amazon giftcard as the prize.


  1. How many faded items can you find on the front cover? (For example: Puppies, candles, leaves, etc…)
  2.  What season does the cover make you think of?
  3. Name two things you think are in the book, based off the front cover. (For example: Dandelions.)
  4. What is your favorite element of the cover?
  5. What genre does the cover make you think of? (Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, etc…)

Share the Joy!

Y’all, it would be incredibly helpful and make my authorly heart all joyful if you’d mark it as “To-Read” on Goodreads and pre-order it on Amazon. It’s only $0.99 and will deliver directly to your reading device on September 26th! (Which is totally cool! Where else can you get a couple of hours of good entertainment for less than a dollar?)

Another thing you can do is share the cover (and links to this blog post, or the pre-order page on Amazon) on social media. I’d be more than delighted if y’all wanted to use the hashtag #WhereDandelionsGrow or #WDG, or leave links in the comments to where you’ve shared about this cover. (Plus you’ll get more entries in the giveaway above!) I’ll be hanging out on social media throughout today to like and comment and keep the party going. 🙂

Ideas of where to share the cover and/or giveaway:
Emails and Texts to friends.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for celebrating with me! I’m excited about this and so happy I finally get to share the cover with you! I appreciate y’all so much and am thrilled that you’re helping me spread the word. As an author I can’t even tell you how amazing, encouraging, and helpful you are! Keep up the amazing work!

Pre-Order on Amazon Here

Mark “To-Read” on Goodreads Here

Backcover Blurb:


Writerly Happiness: When Book Reviews Make You Want to Cry

This morning I’m doing that whole “Twenty-first-century-author” type thing. I’m in the backseat of a car, typing away on my laptop while using my phone as a hotspot, and the phone is plugged into an external battery so I don’t have to rush to conserve the juice. Pretty crazy, right?

Today is a happy authorly day for me. Not only did four (!!!) more of you sign up to read Where Dandelions Grow since Saturday night *cue happy dance* but two people have posted reviews on Goodreads. And yes, I will happily admit to getting tears in my eyes when reading the reviews and thinking of how incredibly blessed I am to not only get to be an author but to have you AMAZING people as part of my community.

If you want to check out the reviews that are live, you can look at the Goodreads page for Where Dandelions Grow. I’m also blown away by how many of you have marked the book “To-Read” – Thank you, thank you, thank you! If you haven’t done that, I’d be thrilled if you’d take a moment to do so, and if you want to recommend it to your friends on Goodreads, too? Well, that would be totally amazing as well! 😉



Traveling office – and yes, that is a pile of clothes next to me cause I’m going to the Creation Museum for the week. Y’all should come visit! 😉 

I finally received the final front cover of the book from my designer, so that means I get to send that out in an email to everyone who has signed up to read WDG in exchange for review. Cause you know, they get the first sneak peeks. 🙂 (You want to get into the fun? It’s still not too late to sign up! Tomorrow is the Five-Weeks-Until-Release-Day! *cue yet another happy dance*)


This morning I’m also working on sending out info to everyone who has signed up to be part of the Cover Reveal team because the Cover Reveal is only eight days away! (If you’d like to take part in that, but don’t have time to read and review the book, you can email me at – We’re going to have lots of fun with Giveaways and all that.)

Among other writerly things that I’ve done recently, on Friday and Saturday I sent 38 emails, wrote 11 book reviews, scheduled two (book review) blog posts, and hung out on quite a few blogs. That’s in addition to having an already-busy weekend (which included packing for this week, having a bunch of company, and hanging out at my sister’s house).

And speaking of busy, we’re only about a half an hour away from the Creation Museum so I’d better sign off here so I can send out those emails. Have a delightful Monday, y’all! Thank you SO MUCH for being part of my journey as an author. Your support and community mean an incredible amount to me! 🙂

That Day I First Became A Published Author

Happy Monday, Y’all! Am I the only one who has like ten thousand things to do this week? I’m excited about seeing what I can accomplish, but also maybe a wee bit overwhelmed when I stop and think about all there is to do.

I’ve been working on getting my book Where Dandelions Grow ready to be released, which has been so rewarding. (And Hey! It’s not too late to sign up to be part of the release team! If you want to read the book for FREE in exchange for a review, you can sign up here.) With the release of a new book, I thought it would be fun to share with y’all part of the story regarding my first book release.


Cue the year 2013 and I was in the beautiful state of Hawaii with my family. Even though I was throughly enjoying my time there, I was also frantically trying to get everything in place with my book, Cave Secrets of the PterodactylI’d co-authored the book with my adopted parents, and there was a really good chance that it would be published, and the next couple of weeks were the determining factor.

I spent a lot of time on the phone and computer and texting working out small details (like who I wanted to dedicate the book to), without actually knowing if it would be published or not.

Then I awoke early one morning to see I’d received a text from my adopted parents telling me it was a go. I kinda totally flipped out, wondering if I was reading the text correctly. (With the time difference, I’d gotten into the habit of answering texts and then falling back to sleep.) Jumping out of bed I quickly threw some clothes on in the dark – not even knowing if they matched – then slipped out of the hotel room, through the lobby, and onto the path that led down to the beach.


I called my adopted parents, nearly shaking with excitement (they were the ones dealing with the publishers, so I got all my info from them). When they answered I probably had to ask about ten times before I finally let it sink in that my book was indeed going to be published.

Sitting out on the beach that morning, I talked to them, begging for all the details, and watched as the surf rolled in and out. (See the top picture.) When my adopted parents finally had to get off the phone to go to work, I snapped a selfie that clearly shows that I’d dragged my young-little-braces-self out of a deep sleep to hurry down to the beach. 😉 Really though, although I’m not generally a fan of selfies, this one will always hold a special place in my heart because it’s when and where I learned that my published-author-dream was coming true. (And, this also ended up being the first picture of myself I ever showed on Noveltea, because until that time I hadn’t posted any pictures of myself online.)


After we got home a few days later I signed the contact for the book, and the dream was underway.

My author-ish life didn’t explode after that like I thought it would, but it was a good beginning. I got to attend some conferences/hang out at the Creation Museum bookstore and do book signings. I’ve gone places and randomly seen the book in bookstores. I’ve met fans of the book, which still feels incredible.

And now I’m about to release my fourth book. (Two self-published, two traditionally published.) I’m still a bit in awe over the fact that I get to be a writer. It’s not always fun. It’s not always easy. It’s not always what I feel like doing at the moment. It’s hard. And discouraging at times. And quite crazy.

But it’s worthwhile. It’s a dream come true. And I’m so thankful that this is my dream – that this is what I get to do.

Where Kios Came From

Working on Echoes reminds me once again of the start of the world in which the series takes place.

I was sixteen that year, and for some very odd reason, I developed a fascination with the thought of being a slave in the medieval ages. Pretty much every time I did anything that year, in the back of my mind I narrated it from the viewpoint of a slave named Helena who was cheerful no matter what the circumstances, and a favorite among the other slaves. Of course she was also a princess in hiding (cause like, duh, what other kind of medieval slave is there?). Only, the plot twist was she didn’t know she was a princess, and it was the other main character’s job to find her and tell her the truth.

As you can imagine it was an extremely interesting summer for me. I remember one afternoon I was working in the garden and I wasn’t feeling the best, but I forced myself to continue because after all, as the slave Helena I didn’t have a choice. There was also a time when our neighbor invited us over, and I stayed home and worked at filling up the goat’s water buckets. Lugging the heavy buckets back and forth while everyone else took a break seemed like a very fitting task. Another time I was carrying firewood into the house and continued even when it began raining – rushing back and forth as if my life depended on it. It was fantastically fun, and one of my teenage summers that stands out the most in my life. My family kindly didn’t think I was too crazy.

By mid-summer I had developed a plot line, and worked steadily on the book until I finished the first one, Dusk, in October of that year. Of course I dug right in and over the next year or so completed Star Glow and The Coming Dawn, the rest of the trilogy.


Although I now realize those books have epic plot-fails and aren’t exactly destined to become bestselling novels, I still find the world I created to be delightful. The country the first book takes place in is Turglar, with the surrounding countries being Pyria, and Brock.

I was eighteen when I began plotting for the Echoes book (although it was originally titled The Guardian’s Secret – a title I might still use for another book in the future). It was exciting for me to realize that Kios (the country Echoes takes place in), was also a neighboring country to Turglar. And then to make it even cooler, the queen of Kios was originally from Turglar. Her name, Lena, came from a street child from Pyria who had done amazing and daring feats for the people of Turglar, and became one of their natural heroes.

As the years have passed other countries have developed in that world – like Isles Daya. Isles Daya is an island kingdom with happy, carefree people, and a castle that is so close to the ocean that the princess has an enclosed slide that goes from her chambers straight into the ocean.

There are multiple ideas swimming around in my brain for multiple different trilogies – each one taking place in a different country and different time period. It’s a glorious amount of fun.

What about you? If you could create a realistic literary country, what are some of the features it would have?


The Querying Dream

I know it’s trite and cliché to start a book out with a dream, but I’m guessing the same logic doesn’t apply toward blog posts. Even so, I’m gonna give y’all an introduction to my dream, just in case.

One of the query rejections I received recently amused me in a “Really?” sort of way. I’m sure the agent who wrote it was trying to be encouraging, and it probably has encouraged some reject-ees, but it came across as a vague form letter trying to masquerade as a good friend.

I read the rejection letter last night, just a little while before I went to bed. It must have still been in my subconscious thoughts as I drifted off to sleep, because I had my first ever dream about the querying process.


In the dream I received a rejection letter – which was fine with me. Until I went back and reread the query letter I had sent. Then I was horrified by the typos, grammar, and how the letter made a complete lack of sense. Instead of sounding professional and interesting, I sounded like a kid who was hurrying through a task simply so they could go out and play. In the dream I was actually rather relieved to know I had gotten a rejection because that meant I would never have to face the agent again.

Thankfully it was just a dream and in real life I’ve not only checked, re-checked, and multi-re-checked the query letter, but I’ve also had multiple other people help me with it. But, the dream did bring to mind the fact that I’m probably thinking about the querying process a bit more than I had realized I was.

Maybe next dream I’ll have a manuscript request….

Visiting The Ark Encounter

This last Friday I was thrilled to join my family to visit the Ark Encounter. I’ve heard so much about it, seen hundreds, possibly thousands of photos, heard my friends at the Creation Museum gush about it, but despite it having been opened for five months I hadn’t actually been there myself. (Much to my dismay, I might add.)

Friday dawned beautiful and freezing cold (possibly magnified by the fact I had just arrived back from Florida). The Ark is not only huge, but it’s also beautiful. I enjoyed getting to take my time wandering through it and trying to take in some of the many details.


One of my favorite displays was the one on Fairy Tales. This display showcased dozens of books that have been written over the years that depict the Ark and account of Noah as an unrealistic fairy tale (although in many cases they’re actually trying to tell the real story). It was rather ironic seeing all the covers with crowded tubs overflowing with animals, then realizing that this giant building we’ve been walking through is the size of the real ark.


The fairy tale poem in the middle of the display amused me and made me extremely thankful for how wise God is, and that He provided for Noah and his family much better than that:


When we were finished going through the Ark we ran across to the restaurant “Emzara’s Kitchen” (and ran is the correct word, cause it was cooolllllddddd), for supper. They served a delicious meal, including some wonderful creamy soups that I greatly enjoyed. The dinning area itself was pretty cool with a mounted animal display.

On our way back to the Ark it was such a cool sight that I braved the cold for several moments (even without my coat), to stare up at it in wonder.


I look forward to posting more about the Ark in the future, but that will have to wait for another day. I’ve been staying at the Creation Museum with my adopted parents since Friday, and we’re about ready to go do a photo shoot for my adopted dad’s newest DVD. But, before I go, I wanted to share one final highlight of my time at the Ark Encounter.

When we were down in the gift store I was totally delighted see my co-authored book, Cool Critters of the Ice Age. I might, possibly, have walked around the store the rest of the the time my family was shopping, hugging the book and just being happy.


Have y’all been to the Ark Encounter? If so, what was your favorite part?