Speaking Of…

Speaking Of…

Hello again! I think I needed a little break after all the excitement of the cover reveal (you all are amazing), but I’m back again. 😉

I’ve been reading a lot more this year than in the past two, so much so that I’m ahead on my Goodreads challenge for once. *happy dance* Challenge aside, though, it’s been delightful to be experiencing new worlds again. My picks have been ranging from new indie releases to adorable middle-grades (currently reading a cupcake-themed one and yes, child Kate would have been obsessed) to even a highly clever, adult mystery.

Such a wild mix 😂 #moodreader

Speaking of books, I got some delightful new ones for my birthday. 😍 My siblings gave me the latest two Kate’s Case Files in paperback (eep, thanks!), and Joshua took me on a trip to Barnes and Noble. It was so much fun browsing new releases and iconic classics that I ended up with quite the hefty “maybe” stack. I ended up getting The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen and The List by Patricia Forde (will report back). And my shopping buddy was the best ever. 😉 (Thanks, J! ❤️)

My pre-bookstore happy face 😁
My favorite ❤️

Speaking of birthday, I experimented with flavors and made a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and raspberry filling. It was absolutely delicious. 🤤 I just got to make another cake with the same flavors (I have three cake orders in four days, send help) and this time I went all out on the classy decorating. 😉 Such brilliant fun, and after I finish this post, I’ll be mixing up more batches for the next order…

(I promise I fixed that weird flat spot.)

Speaking of “send help”, editing gives me anxiety, y’all. Not a ton usually, since I know my professional editor and proofreading rounds will catch what I missed, but this time is a little different. I’m making *minor* changes to an already edited, formatted book and the terror of “what if I add new typos to this?” is real. 😂😂 I eventually came up with a system to run the new material through Grammarly just to double-check and that eased my mind enough that I could finish it up this weekend. I sent the files to my formatter, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. 😍

Time to make some more cake. Talk with you all again soon!

So Merry, Merry Christmas! (Giveaway, Shhhh)

So Merry, Merry Christmas! (Giveaway, Shhhh)

UPDATE: Congratulations to Martha Abilene, our randomly chosen winner!

Are you counting down to Christmas? I know I am!

Sitting by our cute little Christmas tree, enjoying the bowties I taped to our squirrel salt and pepper shakers, lighting our eggnog latte candle (and drinking real eggnog because I discovered I like it 😍), listening through Joshua’s copious amounts of Christmas music…

I have Christmas presents hidden in the closet that I am so totally going to wrap while he’s at work, mwahaha. 😎😎

To celebrate Christmas, you all, and this year with you, I’m hosting a giveaway!

Behold the pretties…

The prize includes…

Open to the contiguous US only. Entries close Saturday, December 18 at 11pm MST. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email before another winner is chosen.


I hope you enjoy, and have a merry, merry Christmas! ❤

So Thankful for Forever <3

So Thankful for Forever <3


Our wedding day. ❤️

A day of celebration, joy, and deep knowledge of God’s goodness that we were standing there together, surrounded by our family and friends.

I thank God for healing me and giving me the energy to enjoy our special day.

I praise Him for the family and friends who pulled together to help finish decorations, set up, tear down, serve food, do hair and makeup, and celebrate with us. Also, our officiant and photographers for being the most amazing.

I thank Him for the super cool passel of guys and gals who agreed to be our wedding party and made the day so special.

And I bless Him for bringing Joshua, the man who stood before me and pledged his heart to mine, into my life. ❤️

It was truly the best day. 😌😭😍

(I’ll share more professional photos later, but for now, here are just a few of my favorite candids.)

My mom doing my makeup. ❤️

Sister picture! 😍 Yep, that’s all of us.

Our vows under the chuppah (a Jewish wedding canopy) my dad built.

Mr. and Mrs.! 😭😭❤️

Happy on our honeymoon!

Since we got back, we’ve been setting up house, routines, going through stuff, putting away the lovely gifts from people, and enjoying our new life together. ❤️

Which has already included celebrating Thanksgiving and Chanukah and decorating for Christmas together.

I can’t wait for every next day of forever. ❤️

The Masked Baker

The Masked Baker

Last year brought about a lot of changes, and one of my favorites (besides my relationship status 😉) is the shift in my creativity.

I don’t just have to be a writer, y’all, and though that hurts a little to recognize, it’s also been fun and incredibly healthy to explore other areas of creativity.

The main one I’ve been focusing on is…

Baking! 👩‍🍳

I’ve always loved to bake and was already trying my hand at a few recipes when I began the wondrous show Great British Bake-Off. (Raise your hand if you’re eagerly waiting the next season!) It started off as my peaceful “comfort show” perfect for ending some pretty strange days, but the more I watched, the more inspired I was and it has grown exponentially from there. Just look at my pan collection. 😂

I find inspiration in so many places–pretty Pinterest pictures, tempting Google suggestions, my longtime favorite YouTube channel Chelsweets… Even watching YouTube baking fails with Joshua. 😂 Right now it’s mainly two shows in the theme of GBBO, and I couldn’t be happier.

Dame Mary Berry says it best. ❤️

Back to my pan collection… It’s getting happily out of hand. I’ve picked up a few at thrift stores (Joshua is a supportive and great fun shopping buddy), bought seconds and thirds of favorites to make baking large quantities easier. You might even say the pans that started it all are my doughnut tins I recieved for my pandemic birthday.

This past birthday, my supportive family bought me some icing bags and cake boards (essentials I run out of quickly!), an adorable yellow cake plate, delightful sprinkles, and a rotating cake plate which is a LIFESAVER.

Besides my cake cabinet, I also have drawers full of supplies and tools and a cabinet of cake stands/plates. 😉

One of my favorite tools–my KitchenAid flex edge beater–gets the job done.

I’m a researcher by nature (or nurture?? I was homeschooled… 🤔😉), so one of my absolute favorite things has been watching copious amounts of YouTube videos and reading recipes. It’s seriously good fun.

I can research as much as I want to, but there’s still nothing that beats the trial and error of hands on practice. My example below just shocks me when I realize how far I’ve come.

My first ever attempt at pink lemonade mini drip cakes, October 2020. 😬😬🤭 They, um, at least tasted good.

February 2021, same idea with much more skills gained. Also, raspberries make everything prettier. 😍😎 (And my sister is the sweetest!)

Quite a few cakes in, and I’ve finally discovered my favorite way to transport cake. No melting or sliding! Phew. (And please admire the tiny chocolate bars. The mold for them was an impulse buy I do not regret. 😁)

I laugh every time someone on a baking show says “food brings people together”, but it really does. Some of my favorite things I’ve done these past 17 months were baking related.

My long-distance friend Mikayla is so good at coming up with things for us to do together, and video calling while baking the same thing might be my favorite. ❤️

We made mint chocolate chip cupcakes. 😋😋

One of my highlights last Christmas was decorating cookies with this Favorite of Mine. ❤️

I baked with my nephews while they were staying with us for a visit, and I loved their creativity! Candy eyeballs for the win!

Sharing what I bake is a huge percentage of the fun. (Especially the peppering my family with questions about the flavors part. I just tested a frosting experiment on them last night, mwaha.)

I’ve baked mainly for my church’s college group, masked up and sanitizing of course, though I have shared some with my ladies group at church and shipped some off to Joshua while we were long distance. ❤️

I don’t just make cakes, as much as I’m obsessed with them. 😂

Lemon frosting is 🤤🤤.

It’s always a sheer delight when I revisit a favorite or try something new and it turns out just as I’d imagined.

Like this Mexican chocolate cheesecake for date night.

Or these darling truffles for a Valentine’s Day party.

Of course, I didn’t show you the cheese colored cake or the MASSIVELY oversized truffles or my very first attempt at bread just recently that ended up looking like the Sydney Opera House.

I’ll keep those mistakes to help me try again better next time. 😉

Now what should I make next? 🤔👩‍🍳

Pre-Orders Will Be the Death of Me

Pre-Orders Will Be the Death of Me

Just a short time ago, my income steadied enough to where I could seriously consider buying an ebook right when I heard of it. (As long as it was still pretty inexpensive. Let’s not go crazy. 😉)

And then I tried my first pre-order and experienced the magic of it just appearing on the Kindle. It’s even more magical when you forget the release date so a random Tuesday becomes a new favorite book day. 😉

Unfortunately (but really quite fortunately), my authors spent their quarantine well and the closer it gets to Christmas, the more new releases there are. 😬😬😉

A Very Bookish Thanksgiving (by various authors) is the next installment in the anthology series I was part of last year. I’m so excited to read it, especially since quite a few of my favorite indie authors have contributed something. 😉

This one is being delivered in just under a week. 😁👏

YES, YES, YES! More Bremily, I mean, mystery. 😁😁 I’ve been reading Fair in War in installments as she posted it for Patrons, but I’ve saved the end for when I can inhale it in one sitting with my Kindle. 

*does some quick math* That’s only three weeks from now… Ahhhh! 😊

An Unlikely Proposal is actually pretty far out (alllll the way in next February 😱), but when my new favorite author gets such a cool book deal, I gotta support. 😁 Really can’t wait to read this one. ❤️

While I was thinking about this post, one of my pre-orders slid into my Kindle, but I thought I’d include it anyway. 

Isn’t the cover gorgeous?! 😍 Two authors whose work I know and love + two authors I get to try for the first time? Sign me up. 👏

We’ll see how well I do at ignoring all the other amazing releases that come up, but for now these are the ones I’m super excited about. 😉

You Are So Loved

You Are So Loved

Happy Chocolate (and Love!) Day! 😀

Because I’m single, today doesn’t mean a lot to me personally, but it’s been really sweet to see everyone else’s celebrations. To my sister who shared the story of her relationship with her husband, to the fellow church member who posted pictures of her sweet baby valentine, and to the social media page who shared an adorable video compilation of military proposals–thank you. I love seeing all the love. ❤

And don’t worry, I’m not a lonely fish with no love to celebrate in my life. 😂 I’ve been feeling the love from my family (Aimee got us all chocolate, and Dad just brought home a cheesecake ❤ ) and the love from my God. ❤

To pass on some of that love, I’m giving away two books (+some cool goodies) that are technically romances but also remind me of God’s love in a big way. (And yes, I wrote one of them, but honestly it’s got some stuff I need to hear too. 😂 )

In this giveaway…

  • A signed copy of Kiera
  • A paperback copy of Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (a.k.a. the book Kiera returned to Brennan on her birthday ❤ )
  • A really cute gray crate
  • “you are so loved” sign
  • Faux plant
  • Unmeltable candy (type TBD 😂 )


Have a great day, and know that you are loved! ❤

2019 in Review ;)

2019 in Review ;)

A long time ago in 2016, some friends and I were commenting on a sci-fi looking outfit. “Woah, that looks like it’s from 2020 or something.” Seconds later, we all freaked out when we realized that sci-fi-sounding date was only four years away.

And now 2020 is today. O.o.

Start practicing writing it on papers now, y’all. 😀

At the very beginning of this year, I want to take a few moments to share some of my highlights from the last one. 😉

(Such a silly Kate)

In the blogging sphere…

2019 felt a little bit different for me as far as blogging goes. With all the writing/publishing deadlines I had this year, there were some rough patches with fatigue and a lack of inspiration, but I’m excited to see that fading. 😉 Thanks for sticking with me through it! I also did my first vlog with My Face in it and got to reveal a ton of really pretty book covers. 😀

I looked up my stats for the top five posts of last year (minus giveaways/collabs cause those naturally get more hits), and here’s what the numbers show…

  1. Shipping Is the Best is actually one I posted in late November 2018. It was super fun sharing memes about shipping (as in wanting two characters to get in a relationship) and sharing my tips for shipping books in the mail. XD
  2. Do I Have That Book? Challenge was super fun. I enjoyed searching through my books to find ones that answered the questions.
  3. The End of the Line: My Thoughts on Avengers Endgame. Okay, this one took so much work to write and put together, and I loved every moment of it. The movie was definitely a highlight of my year. ❤
  4. I Love Book Thrifting (and You Can Too) was disguised as a thrifting tutorial, but it was really just an excuse to get to go book shopping. 😛 😉 (Also another one that was posted late 2018 and took off the next year.)
  5. A Smorgasbord of Writing Music is a collection of some of my favorite songs to write to. (Obvious from the title, but this needed a description to match the others, right? XD)

And if I had to choose two favorites, they’d probably be #3 and My Shoes Have Bows. 😉

(Books, books, books…)

In the reading sphere…

Last year (it feels so weird to type that!), I found soooo many good books! Some really fun experiences this year were my very first buddy reads with my friend Mikayla, getting to finish reading some serieses (wooohooo!), and trying Kindle Unlimited for the first time. 😉 Goodreads put together a fun summary of my reading year (you can view it here), but I’m gonna go ahead and choose five keep-these-in-my-heart-forever books to highlight. 😉

  1. Legends by Denver Evans was something I was absolutely not expecting, and I still struggle to review it properly. Is it too cliche to say that it broke my heart and put it back together? Knocked my socks off? Asdfjkl; and other random gibbering? It’s full of ordinaryness and identity and identity found in Christ. 
  2. The Mysterious Benedict and the Prisoner’s Dilemma by Trention Lee Stewart is one of my favorite books out of the trilogy (I haven’t read the new book or the prequel yet), and it’s here happily representing all of them. Guys, I love the feel of these books and the characters and the themes so much. ❤
  3. Red Rover, Red Rover by Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick. So, I already warned you all that I read a lot of series this year, right? 😀 My summer was full of this book and the other five that followed in quick succession. So satisfying and brilliant and hilarious.
  4. In 27 Days by Alison Gervais gave me so much to think about and I absolutely love the cover. Also, it is reaaaallly heartbreaking. 
  5. Remarkables by Margaret Peterson Haddix… How do I explain it? It messed with my classic sci-fi expectations and have me a big dose of hope. 😉

And because I read quite a few picture books this year, I want you all to know that Hair Love and How to Bake a Book are amazing. 

(That moment when you upload the book!)

In the writing sphere…

My writing year in one word: surprising. I’m so grateful for all the writing that I’ve gotten to do this year, and the places God has taken it that I could never have imagined. Some favorites…

  1. Completing the first draft of my novella “Imperfect”. I love this book soooo much, y’all. 😉
  2. Finally publishing The Night Archers, sequel to The Twin Arrows, and taking it to the homeschool convention with some fellow writing friends. ❤ I’m so happy to have this book out in the world, and I’m so grateful for everyone who has cheered me on (and given me the hard truth XD) as I revamped and edited it.
  3. Brainstorming, drafting, redrafting, and finishing a brand new novella in just eight months. I’m so excited to have been published in A Very Bookish Christmas with some of my favorite authors, and I’m so grateful to Sarah Holman for inviting me. ❤
  4. Getting to write some spur of the moment essays to process and/or enjoy some things I was thinking about.
  5. Writing ¼ of my fantasy novel. I AM SO EXCITED about this one! I didn’t expect to be able to get this far on it so soon, so it’s been a nice surprise. 😉
(I went to a cookie decorating party at a local coffee shop this year. So much fun!)

Besides the things I regularly talk about on this blog, life has been full of new experiences. A mixed bag for sure, but I’m sooo grateful for it. We joined a new church, and I’ve been loving the healing/convicting sermons, getting to sing in the choir, and doing volunteer childcare. I also started another online job (which has been a stretching and wonderful gift) and discovered gluten-free flour which is pretty fun. XD 

I’m sure that’s a pretty incomplete sketch of all the gifts I’ve been given last year, but God has blessed me so much, and I feel very loved. ❤ Here’s to the rest of this year! 😀

How was your 2019? And what are you grateful for?

Plate Update: Fanfiction, Nephews, and Painting

Plate Update: Fanfiction, Nephews, and Painting

November was a very unusual but very fun month full of celebration and beautiful rain.

Last month’s full plate included some snacks with my nephews. 😀

Here’s an update on my full plate…

Pleasure read:

Remarkables (five stars)

Supertruck (five stars), Noodle Man (four stars), and Baby Cakes (five stars) as read-alouds

Hair Love (five stars)

The Hug (five stars)

Literally (four stars)

Red Rover, Red Rover; Plan to Fail; and Bad Things, Small Packages (re-reads, five stars)

How to Bake a Book (five stars)

Kate’s Christmas (five stars)

Read for review:

Martin and Marco (five stars)


Emails and texts


Meeting minutes for my transcription job (lots and tons)

Notes for fanfiction 😉

Additional notes for a project my brother was doing

4,181 words on my new project

Schedules for a summer camp-like event for my nephews ❤

Blog posts (the top three being Oops, Books Are on Sale, More Words! and My Shoes Have Bows.)

Published (eeeek!):

A Very Bookish Christmas with Sarah Holman, J. Grace Pennington, and Rebekah Jones


Celebrated my oldest nephew’s birthday

Read some pretty great fanfiction 😉

Unsuccessfully painted a project XD

Made cards

Celebrated one of my sister’s birthdays

Loved “The Princess and the Frog” 😉

I also hung out with my nephews a lot, baked TONS for our church picnic and Thanksgiving, and watched “Harriet”. (It was amazing. ❤ ) I also got to use watercolor paint for the first time (thanks for teaching me, Emma!) and finished my rewatch of BBC Sherlock (on a filter). 

This month, I’m looking forward to celebrating Advent and Christmas with my family and continuing to write more of this story I’m really loving. 😉

How was your November? What are you looking forward to this month?

O, Christmas Tree!

O, Christmas Tree!

I just ate an ice cream sandwich in December, yes. But I put crushed peppermint on it, so I think it counts as Christmas food, right? 

Speaking of Christmas food, there have already been a few rounds of hot chocolate and some cookies for our nightly celebration of Advent. Advent is my favorite part of Christmas. I love how it helps us focus on Christ as we countdown to Christmas, draws the whole family together, and stretches out the celebration. (Also, the candles and cookies and carols are so lovely and fun.) 😉 Our church is celebrating Advent as well which is a special treat.

Choir practice is getting even more intense and challenging as we learn and polish Christmas songs. And I love it. 😀 Last Sunday we sang “The Journey”, a beautiful Christmas song I’d never heard before, and this upcoming one is “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. (You can pray for us. It’s complicated. XD) 

I went Christmas shopping today, and it was so overwhelming! Everything is at double speed and there are so many things to keep track of. xD I did find some good things though, and I’m excited to put some presents under our tree soon. 😉

Our TREE! This is the earliest we’ve ever put it up, I think, and right now it only has white lights on it. It’s so lovely and shiny, and I can’t wait to put our special ornaments on it. 

I read Sarah Holman’s new Christmas book Kate’s Christmas in like a day and a half and loved it so much. It is definitely full of Christmas spirit (when it’s not sobering and exciting), and with some Christmas songs and our cooler weather, I think I’m really starting to feel Christmas coming. ❤

It looks like we’re going to make some Christmas cards this evening, so… 😉

Merry Christmas season!

In Further Celebration…

In Further Celebration…

Guys, I just did my first autumn baking today. ❤ I’ve been dying to make these muffins (since late summer) and promised myself I’d do it as soon as September happened. It took me a little longer to get to than I had hoped, but I think they were worth the wait. 😉

Mini gluten-free pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting!

Oh, and there are mini chocolate chips inside, because. 😀

For those of you who are curious, I used this recipe for the muffin bit (without streusel) and this recipe for the cream cheese frosting. (And I followed advice in the comments to make it even stiffer because I wanted to be able to pipe it. Eeek.)

Also, I had decorative sugar crystals on hand and couldn’t resist.

So yeah, I’m still celebrating autumn. 😀

Sorry the picture lighting isn’t the best–it’s suuuuper rainy right now. 😉 (Thanks for taking the pictures, Anna!)

Don’t forget to check out the giveaway I have going right now. 😉