A Smol Christmas Giveaway

A Smol Christmas Giveaway

Christmas just keeps getting closer, my jollies, and to celebrate I’m giving away a very cute bundle. 😉

Prize includes: Sincerely, Jem paperback, a book sleeve from Needle X Stitch Co., a (very) small illustrated copy of The Nutcracker, and chocollllllate

International alternate prize: 2 author-written ebooks of your choice

Entry options:

  1. Comment your favorite Christmas tradition
  2. Comment whether you love or hate snow
  3. Blog your Christmas book recs (link back to this post)
  4. Follow this blog (comment “done!”)
  5. Share this giveaway (link back or comment)

(For more entry options, go to my IG post)

Prize ships to US only. International winner will be awarded alternate prize and another winner drawn. Giveaway also runs on Instagram. Giveaway runs 12/12 through 12/17.

Merry entering. 😉

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! ❤

Upcoming and Exciting

Upcoming and Exciting

I’m excited about two word-related things right now…

#1? The other day, I printed off draft one of “Imperfect”. You probably heard me cackling in excitement. 😆 Then I stapled it together in segments of a chapter or two, located my red pen, and got to work. 😉

I haven’t had a lot of time to devote to it, but I’m already to chapter six and suuuppppper excited.

Aesthetically messy ^^

I posted this on Facebook, and it’s painfully true…

#2 on word-related things I’m excited about…

Paperbacks will be available this upcoming weekend in connection with a very special blog party. 😍😍

My fellow A Very Bookish Christmas authors and I are releasing our books separately, and I can’t wait for you to see the full amazingness. 😀

Stay tuned for a giveaway and some pretty fun blog posts! See you then. 😀

Plate Update: Weary and Blessed

Plate Update: Weary and Blessed

This year is rushing by like a puppy who stole something. I’m pretty sure I just did one of these updates last week, right? *laughs and cries because quarantine has made time meaningless*

I’ve spent this quarter both world and injustice weary and exceedingly blessed and surprised by what God is doing. I can’t wait to see what happens next. 😉 

(Note: I’ve been in a quarantine-world for this entire quarter except when my state opened up for a couple weeks.)

What have I been READING?

Quiet Power (five stars)

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (five stars)

Firmament: No Man (four stars)

Life, the Universe, and Everything (five stars, filtered)

Monument Maker (four stars)

Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto (five stars)

The First Fowler (four stars)

Guitar Notes (four stars)

Dollhouse Magic (five stars)

Doctor Who: I Am a Dalek (five stars)

A Mother in the Making (three stars)

The Trouble With Love (FIVE STARS)

Byrd’s Eye View (four stars)

Pumpkinheads (three stars)

Broken Strings (FIVE STARS)

What have I been WATCHING?

Doctor Who Lockdown rewatches. It was SO. MUCH. FUN. and the community that grew up around it was very lovely. 😉 I’m sad it’s over!

Andy Griffith (new lunchtime tradition!)

Minority Report (with edits). WOW that was trippy.

The Book Thief rewatch… *bawls all over again*

The Emporer’s New Groove (laughed. my. head. off.)

Doctor Who, series 8 and 9

Agents of Shield, season 7 (It’s still airing which is awesome. 😀 )

What have I been WRITING?

Blog posts (and I’m sorry I haven’t been keeping to schedule…)



A few false starts of stories (send help)

What have I been LISTENING to?

Searching for Us (the whole album) by Skye Peterson

Joy and Deep Dark Well, both by Scott Mulvahill

Lost in the Thick of It by Gabrielle Aplin

One Together by Charlie Peacock

Movie soundtracks! It’s pretty fun. 😉

Yes by Ben and Tan (I accidentally added it to a playlist three times, so it’s quite my jam 😀 )

What have I been MAKING?

Mint chocolate chip cupcakes

A microwaved s’more

Scrapbooked cards

Mac and CHEESE


Drawing a little fanart 

Baking long-distance with a bestie

Watching movies long-distance

Welcoming home new books ❤

Formatting Sincerely, Jem for paperback ❤ ❤

Re-publishing The Treasure Hunt!


Visiting the library ❤

I’ve also been hanging out with family, enjoying (safely) a new local coffeeshop, and preparing for an upcoming blog party. (More on that later!)

What have you been doing?

My Bookish World

My Bookish World

Last week I posted about the strange writing stasis I find myself in. No big projects, half-ideas, and maybe a little bit of rest needed. 😉 I’ve still had the insane bug to write, write, write, and I recently found a very fun and restful way to satisfy that while waiting for the big, important stories to come. 

I wrote my first piece of fanfiction, guys. 

I’m weirdly over the moon in love with it. XD It wasn’t easy to write per se, but because it’s set in an established world with established characters that I could just play with and maybe because the idea has been living in my brain for over a year… I just wrote and wrote. 😀 There wasn’t any pressure except to keep people in character, and I think maybe I should do this again sometime when writer’s block is attacking me. 😉 

Another exciting writerly thing… I GOT PROOF COPIES! ❤ Yes, multiples. I received a copy of my first book and the proof for my most recent book in the same weekend, and if that’s not poetic I don’t know what is. Behold…

(Didn’t Perry do a brilliant job on that cover?!)

Also, my brain has been insaaannnnneeee with ideas right now. More than I could probably ever write actually. I came up with a spy network concept one day and then the next day two twists on the classic mermaid tropes. I’ve got problems, y’all. 😉

Oh, and for another problem, one of my sisters pulled out an old manuscript of mine. It’s one of my absolute favorites, and it’s in need of a good bit of love before publishing. Just seeing those pages brought the story rushing back and a billion ideas of what I could do to work with it. Definitely not in the publishing/writing plan for now, so I’m trying to avoid it. XD We’ll see how successful I am. 😛

I’ve been really tired lately, and it’s seemed like all the books I’ve had available to read next are either really serious or complicated fantasy. Not cutting it for this mood reader. 😉 I decided to splurge and buy some full-price ebooks, and I snagged a light sci-fi and a sweet-looking romance. Brilliant fun. 😀

What has your bookish life been like lately? How do you combat writer’s or reader’s block? 😀

Formatting Time!

Formatting Time!

Today I’ve been formatting the Sincerely, Jem paperback edition! ❤

It’s my first time every formatting a paperback, and I gotta say people who do this regularly are NINJAS. I called in my sister Perry for back-up, and she found me the right fonts (and helped install them XD ), helped me fix some weird formatting, and taught me some really cool tips to make it faster. Thanks, Perry!

(Next time should be easier, right? 😉 )

Here’s a sneak peek at the interior…

I am sooo excited, y’all, and I can’t wait to share it with you soon. 😉

Plate Update: It’s Been Crazy and Good

Plate Update: It’s Been Crazy and Good

I can barely believe we’re already three months into this year and three days into April. And yet, it can almost feel like it’s been three years since Christmas and New Years’ just because of how full and crazy this year has been already. 😉

My own personal full plate has been a mixture of good and bad, exciting and worrying, and through it all, God has been with me.

So if you’d like, picture this “full plate” as a Thanksgiving platter with a problematic laptop, a cake cookbook, headphones, wedding programs, a choir folder, a library book, a Kindle, and sixty-million post-it notes representing my ideas all stacked up on it. 😉

What have I been READING?

Miracle at Higher Grounds Cafe (five stars)

My Name Is River (four stars)

Hope Girl (two stars)

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages (four stars)

A Name Unknown (four stars)

The Princess in Black and the Bathtime Battle (five stars)

Not Write Now: A How-Not-To Guide for Writing Fiction (five stars)

The Silence Between Us (four stars)

Speak Your Mind (three stars)

The Bookwanderers (two stars)

Five Star Spy (five stars)

To Sing Another Day (three stars)

Firmament: Gestern (four stars)

What have I been WATCHING?

(Please note, some of these have mild content issues or I watched them on a filter. Feel free to comment with questions, and I’ll be sure to answer.)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered movies with my family. ❤ It’s been lovely. I love all the movies except one or two, and we’re waiting for the next one.

Newsies (1992), twice. SQUEEEEE! Jack Kelly is my child.

The Last Jedi–perfect for snapping green beans to. I’ve missed all the characters, and Rose is the queen.

Karate Kid (1983) with my family. Boy, do I love that movie. ❤ I was really surprised and delighted with it.

Danger Man (1961-1968) with my younger sisters. It’s our lunch time tradition. I know we’re going to run out soon, and I’m sad. 😉

A Bear Named Winnie. Oh, I cried! Great historical movie. 😉

A rewatch of “Rose” with the Doctor Who Lockdown crew. Such fun!

What have I been WRITING?

Reviews, and until I finished a book last night I was almost caught up. 😉 #oops This quarantine has me busier than before for some reason.

39,632 words on “Awake” finishing out the first draft! 😀

Blog posts, wahoo! 😉

Textses, yay

Story notes, and there is literally no system to which notebook they go in.

What have I been LISTENING to?

Dear Happy by Gabrielle Aplin. I love her music (most anyway) so much, so I was super excited when her album dropped. 😀

Zion by Aaron Shust. (Thanks so much to the blog follower who sent it to me! You know who you are, and all the scenes of Aliyah in it make me so happy and homesick.)

Say I Love You by Scott Mulvahill + all the livestream concerts he’s been putting on. Follow him if you don’t already. He’s the best.

The Generous Mr. Lovewell by MercyMe. I love God so much… He’s using this album, the soundtrack to some of the most hurtful times in my life, to heal me now, and the words have been speaking to me so much more than they ever did before.

Searching for Us by Skye Peterson. Guys, this whole album!! It just brings all the tears and joy. ❤

What have I PUBLISHED?

Sincerely, Jem! XD Woooohhhhooooo! ❤

What have I been MAKING?

Homemade pins as part of a library craft

Coffee cake… I found the ultimate recipe and someday when I can find it again I will share it here and yes.

Pandemic masks… Nuff said.

Orange Julius, lowkey, no ice cream. I figured out I like orange juice more with the acid toned down, so milk and vanilla added is amazing.

MINI DOUGHNUTS. Two of my siblings got me pans for my birthday, and I am so happy and I could bake for a billion years. Now that we found flour (my mom is a shopping ninja), I’m going to make some really, really good ones.


(Please note, any activities outside of the house happened waaaay earlier this year. I haven’t left the house in almost three weeks…)

When you’re baking and listening to a concert…

Started a job as a virtual assisant (basically a secretary through online and phone calls)

Spoke at a book club with the most welcoming, fun girls ever. ❤

Obsessed over The Oscars. HAIR LOVE WON! 😉

Volunteered at my church in child care and the choir. These are honestly huge highlights of my life, and I can’t wait to get back to them. ❤

Attended two weddings. It was cool to see some friends I haven’t seen in forever.

Packing food with a huge group of friends before everything shut down. It was lovely to volunteer with them.

Celebrated my birthday. It was really the most lovely day I could have asked for, and there were some big surprises I would never have dreamed of. ❤ One of them was my rural neighbors randomly setting off fireworks. We decided they were celebrating me. 😛

I’m continuing to work, write, bake, and hang out with my family. I’m looking forward to participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month, reading a new Bible study book my parents gave me, and having more virtual movie watches with my besties. 😉

What are some of your first-quarter highlights? What are you looking forward to in the next few months?

Batteries and a Book Club

Batteries and a Book Club

I got batteries for Chanukah (eight nights x one gift per night = eight traditionally practical gifts), and it’s been so amazing. 😉 My Dana Alphasmart electronic typewriter is delightfully ancient and completely useless without batteries, so I’m super happy to have it back in comission. I’ve already writen 5,000 new words (distraction free!) on my fantasy story these past two weeks alone. ❤ It’s been going really well so far, and I’ve been loving fleshing out these characters and their motivations. (More needed on draft two, of course.) I just finished part one this weekend, so now there’s going to be a completely new setting and character dynamic to figure out which is SO. MUCH. FUN.

Also, I really, really love this dog side character that decided to be more important in the story than originally planned. *shrugs happily* And I’m really, really sad about what I’m about to do to some characters in just a couple hundred words. 😦 The life of an author is a complicated mess… (Especially when you accidentally lose two scenes. 😛 Don’t worry, it’s all good now.)

I get to go to a book club this week! *grins hugely* As a guest speaker! *smile falters* Which is honestly so cool, and I can’t wait to meet the girls and answer their questions about my writing and Kiera. 😉 (Don’t tell, but I’ve also put together a few minibook copies of my Kiera short story to share with them. Thanks to a Staples run and Perry’s legendary stapler. ❤ ) The book they’re discussing this month is Resistance by Jennifer Nielsen, so I’m gonna get up to speed so I can follow the discussion. Pray for me that I won’t get too tongue-tied and am able to bless the girls. 😀

Last week, I spent a ton of time* trying to write a synopsis for Sincerely, Jem. The anthology was limited edition, so I needed an individual synopsis for releasing it on its own. Skimming, an hour phone call with back up, and a gazillion drafts later, I posted it on Goodreads. With a release date. And much happiness. 😀

Dear Reader,
My name is Jessie. I’m an expert at introversion and cheesecake eating. (#skillz) I’m trying to become a writer, but gathering inspiration = social interaction, so… no.

The world’s best mail carrier suggested I get a pen pal, so this is the story of that pen pal experiment and the beautiful way it opened my eyes.

Merry Christmas and much cheesecake to you!

This lighthearted novella is inspired by Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster and originally appeared in the anthology A Very Bookish Christmas.” (from Goodreads)

And then it was time for FORMATTING! It’s not as scary as it looks, and I was actually able to do it all on my own this time. My sister Perry has helped me with it multiple times (#ninja), and Draft2Digital is really intuitive and easy to use, so yep. 😀

It’s releasing NEXT MONDAY, a.k.a. 1/20. 😀 (I really can’t wait.)

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?

Christmas Cards for My Characters

Christmas Cards for My Characters

My characters mean a lot to me. I love creating them and I love sharing them with you all. 😉 Just for fun, I decided to “write” Christmas cards to my characters. 😉 Most of them are from published stories, except the last one…


Dear Kiera

Merry Christmas to you and yours! I hope you and the baby are doing well, and give Jade a hug for me, please. I think of you all often! ❤



Dear Drewin and Ryla,

Happy Christmastide! I hope you all have a lovely holiday! Enjoy the absolutely decked castle and some fantastic pies.



Dear Gavynn

Happy Christmastide! Enjoy being together with your family, and send my greetings to Farren. 😉



(Card made by Emma)

Dear Jem,

Meeerrrrry CHRISTMAS!!! ❤ We just met this year, but it’s been so fun and I feel like I’ve known you forever. Eat some cheesecake for me. 😀



(Card made by Pearl)

Dear Kylee, 

Merry Christmas, friend! Also, happy painting and Happy New Year! 😉



And dear readers of my blog and my books, Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas to you! ❤ I’ll be back here for New Years… 😉