Happy August first, my friends!
I hope y’all have a delightful beginning to this lovely month.
YAY! I finished this vlog before heading out to the dig site, so here y’all go! I hope you enjoy “going along” on the adventure with us!
Hey y’all! I’ve come to the conclusion that when you’re digging for fossils in Montana and not finding anything, time passes rather slowly. But, when you’re digging for fossils in Montana and you do find something, well? Then time seems to move along quite rapidly. I’ve been putting together a vlog of the trip, and plan to post part one either later on today or tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ve got a special post for y’all.
Do you remember me talking about Alana Terry’s books? I think the first time I mentioned her on Noveltea was during my “Top 5 Book Releases from 2017” vlog. (I might have gushed about her writing a bit on the vlog because her writing is amazing and you should totally buy her books….)
Miss Alana is currently doing a special sale for a very special reason on some of her books, and therefore graciously agreed to guest post on Noveltea. So, without further ado, I’ll hand the post over to Miss Alana.
We all have different passions. Maybe yours is spending time with your family or working on a craft you love or encouraging others or growing your business.
One of my passions is prayer — growing in my own prayer life and hopefully encouraging others to deepen theirs. That calling and desire comes through in the prayer guides I’ve made, the blog posts I write, and the Prevailing Prayer Podcast I put out with my co-host Jaime.
Part of this “prayer passion” of mine is interceding for persecuted believers. This prayer burden began back when I was a teen. At that point, I started studying Christian persecution around the globe, and one country stood out the most — North Korea, which has been ranked the worst persecutor of Christians for over a decade in the Open Doors
One of the most exciting things that’s ever happened to me is when God took my prayer burden for persecuted believers and my love for writing fiction and allowed me to publish my first novel about Christian persecution in North Korea. Since then, in addition to my multi-award-winning North Korea series, I’ve published seven books so far in the Kennedy Stern Christian suspense series, and the exciting news is the first three are on sale in a 3-in-1 book bundle. You can get one convenient ebook with all three novels for just 99 cents, available for the low price on all platforms, not just amazon.
If that wasn’t exciting enough, the entire 99-cent sale revolves around a fundraiser with Liberty in North Korea, an organization that runs an underground railroad for North Korean refugees. A portion of all book sales from the bundle will be donated to LiNK. Our goal (and I’d love your prayers that we could hit it!) is to sell 10,000 copies of this ebook, which would lead to $3,000 for LiNK (the amount it costs to rescue one refugee on their underground railroad).
How can you help a North Korean refugee find freedom and safety?
In addition to raising money for LiNK, you’ll receive 3 full-length novels that tell the story of Kennedy Stern, a missionary kid who arrives back in the States completely unprepared for her first year at Harvard University.
Confronted with questions of underage abortion, plagued by a stalker and paralyzing PTSD flashbacks, and eventually caught in the center of a police brutality scandal, Kennedy has experienced it all …
And you can too with 3-books-in-1 box set … on sale for 99 cents through Sunday night.
Happy reading to you!
Alana Terry, Women of Faith Award-Winning Novelist
The special price and the chance to raise $3,000 to rescue a North Korean refugee ends Sunday at midnight, so grab your copy today and ask your reading friends to do the same!
In all probability if you’ve been around Noveltea long you’ve heard me talk about my adopted parents. Well, I’m going to be talking about them an extra-lot this week because I happen to be on a grand adventure with them out in Montana. *Cue excitement, happiness, and all sorts of dreams coming true* Therefore, I thought it might be helpful if I clarified my relationship with them a bit.
So, what exactly am I talking about when I say “adopted parents”? That’s a great question, and one that I find rather confusing to answer. First of all, I’m not actually legally adopted. Second of all, I have a perfectly wonderful biological family who I live and work with. Why don’t I really talk about my biological family, you might wonder? Quite simply because they like privacy, and we talked about it long ago and decided that just because I choose to be a writer and make my life somewhat public, that doesn’t mean that they need their lives to be public as well. By the same token, my adopted parents already live public-ish lives, and therefore are totally fine with me talking about them on Noveltea.
I met my adopted parents years ago at a conference (my adopted dad, Buddy Davis, is a singer, songwriter, dinosaur sculptor, speaker, actor, and author who works for Answers in Genesis). It’s a looonnnnggggg story that I don’t have time to go into today, but eventually over the years my future adopted parents and I developed a close friendship, which in time turned into them becoming my second set of parents.
I call them “Dad and Mom” (or “Papa and Mama” – which is how I’ll be referring to them this week on Noveltea), and they call me their daughter. In fact, if you’re familiar with them and have ever heard them talking about their daughter, that would be me they’re referring to.
Some people wonder how it can actually really work out for us to have “adopted” each other, but they really totally are my second family. I treat them just like a second set of parents, and they treat me just like their child – a very spoiled child, my siblings from my other family always point out…. Although they get spoiled by my adopted parents too; just not nearly as much as I do. 😉
Papa, Mama, and I have had lots of grand adventures together. I’ve gotten to help them build a life-size model of a dinosaur, watched them record a new CD in the studio, “helped” with the last half a dozen DVDs they’ve made, and co-authored books with them. We’ve spent weeks together at the Creation Museum, traveled throughout the United States, and spent many happy quiet evenings together at their cabin. Papa wrote a song for me which is on his Songs of Life, Love, and Faith CD, they celebrate all the “big moments” of life with me, we’re together during hard times, and the list goes on.
I feel so incredibly blessed to have a whole second family and all the love and joy and blessings that goes along with that. Speaking of that today is Papa’s birthday, and it’s nearly time for me to join them for breakfast though here in Montana, so I’ll leave it at that and say good-bye for now. If there are any questions I can answer, just let me know and I’ll do my best. Have a great Monday, y’all!
My intentions to vlog yesterday morning were superseded by the need to go shopping and pack for my up coming trip to Montana. (I’m leaving tomorrow! *cue happy dance*) The shopping list wasn’t incredibly long, and included elemental elements of traveling like candy, because the ability to buy candy has yet to get old. I chose three different kinds, and then like a mature child put two of them back and came away with a package of Jolly Ranchers – a hard candy which will forever hold a special place in my heart.
There was a kid my age at the church I grew up in, his name was Eli and he always had Jolly Ranchers and sometimes gave them out to the other kids. I still feel a delightful burst of summer and nostalgia whenever I pop one of those tasty treats into my mouth.
Of course there were actual needed things on my list – like a hat for protection from the sun, and sunscreen in 3-ounce-or-under containers so I could take them as carry-on (it hurt to spend so much money on sunscreen, but I figured it would hurt a lot more than $5 if I didn’t get any protection from the burning rays).
The most important item on my list were jeans – long pants are required for the dig and since I don’t own any pants, I was off to Goodwill. (If any of y’all are curious, I’m planning on wearing a skirt over the pants, although I don’t have a problem wearing pants when needed – like when caving.) On my way to the store I realized I’ve never actually boughten pants before, so I had no clue how to go shopping for them. Well, I did buy coveralls several years ago for caving, but that was before I could drive so my brother took me to the store and I was like “David, what coveralls should I get?!?” and like the precious brother that he is, he helped me out.
After praying that I’d actually find the right kind of jeans, I headed into Goodwill and started grabbing jeans off the rack. Thankfully it took me far less time than I’d imagined to find two pairs that fit well and were comfortable.
The idea of vlogging was present when I arrived home from the store, but instead I packed, then I did some work for my non-writing job, then I took a nap with the little girl I’m babysitting (who family members had graciously watched when I went shopping). By the time evening arrived I was finally ready to vlog.
After prepping my vlogging set-up, changing into clean clothes, and making sure the camera had enough memory and battery, I was just about ready to start and…. the darling little girl I’m babysitting decided enough was enough. She’d had a long day and was ready to go to bed. I had a delightful time of reading her bedtime stories, and that was that.
I’m enthusiastically excited about going to Montana. I was working on finishing up all except the last-minute packing this morning, and of course packing for something makes it feel so much more real. Montana has always been one of my dream destinations, and to have it so close? Wow, it’s nearly surreal.
Have y’all ever been to Montana? I’d be delighted to hear about it if you have been.
Today I’m hanging out at a coffee shop in Mexico, working on Echoes, and drinking a frappè de caveat y chocolate blanco. I’m not exactly sure what it means, except for being an exceptionally delicious and extremely, extremely sweet cold coffee drink with carmel and white chocolate. (And, in case anyone doesn’t know this, white chocolate is the best.)
I’ve finally reached a place with When Life Hands You Lymes where I can’t do any more on it until I receive feedback from the (hopefully) last round of beta reading. That means I can turn my focus nearly solely to Echoes, which is a crazy feeling, and rather exciting. (Just for the record, I’m chomping at the bit to send WLHYL off again so I can focus 100% on Echoes. When that day arrives, I will probably be found dancing around and yelling happy comments to the world.)
For now though, I’m happy to have snagged a round table by the window that includes a nice little ledge where I can put my drinks. There’s AC (a rarity around here!), internet for blogging, Spotify, and maybe allowing myself to be distracted by texting. Twenty-eight other people are moving or sitting around me, all completely intent on accomplishing their own set of tasks. It’s the perfect environment for a writer.
Do y’all remember how last year near the end of my time in Mexico the swing I’d been delightedly swinging on all month gave way and broke, depositing me into the sand?
Well, I was hoping and praying that they’d have a new swing up before I came back this year, and excitedly they did.
The swing hang there, suspended above the sand from the arm of a gnarly-looking, grandpa of a tree with wispy pine needles. Small roots poke out from the sand next to the swing, and a baby coconut tree is just out of reach from my toes when I’m swinging vigorously. The ocean is maybe two hundred yards away, its placid beauty in several shades of blue and green.
If swinging was an Olympic sport, I think I could probably be a gold medalist.
Swinging is my muse. Swinging makes my thoughts come clearer, my brainstorming more productive, my tiredness go away, and solves problems without me even consciously trying.
I am incredibly thankful for this swing. For this peacefulness. For these memories.