Saturday, June 29, 2019

Field Meals + Blog Updates

Wheat harvest is in full swing! I don't know about you, but I'm kinda in denial that summer is officially here already, and that the longest day of the year is past. I mean, seriously, didn't we just have Easter? And Mother's Day? Like, yesterday?

Okay, I'll stop talking about how time has flown. One of these days, I'll cut it out of my posts completely.


ANYWAY. If your family is like mine, meals eaten in the house occur less and less frequently. With the guys constantly outside, more and more of the meals we make need to be taken outside. If the guys were to come in for every meal, it would cut quite a bit of time out of their work schedule. So pretty much every day during the summer, we pack their suppers, and during harvest, we pack lunches as well.

It can be super hard to take meals to the field; the guys eat on the go, so we can't exactly throw some spaghetti into a container, hand them a fork, and send them on their way, can we?

So if you're ever in this predicament, never fear! Here's some short tips that can go a long way when it comes to packing meals to eat on the go.

Pockets. Probably nearly half of the meals we take to the field are pockets. Cross Schwan's hot pockets with bierocks, and you've got pockets! Make bread dough, roll it out on your countertop (or cutting mat, in my case . . . ), cut it into squares, add the stuffing you like, fold the corners together, and bake! These are perfect because not only are they one-handed and practically mess-free, but you can add so many combinations of stuffings! BBQ, pizza, Alfredo, etc., with any kind of meat you like—just don't forget the cheese. Cheese really makes these babies amazing.

Pizza. Now, this isn't ideal. But if you're desperate for something different, take two pieces of pizza and put them together in a baggie, topsides together. This tends to be a bit messier, but making a sandwich out of it helps.

Wraps. No, don't just slap some cheese & ham on a slab of bread. I mean, you could. We've done it ourselves. But you want some really good wraps? Cheese, cream cheese, ham, lettuce, onion (bleck—I'm the only one in our family that doesn't like onions), and tomato. Can't forget the tomato—just ask my brothers. But you don't only have to use ham! Turkey, chicken and roast beef work great too. Or, if you wanted a variation of wraps (because, c'mon, wraps can get really old really fast), make quesadillas! If you make them with two whole tortillas and cut them into quarters, they fit into sandwich baggies really well.

Burgers. There's . . . nothing special that you can really do with these, I guess . . . but I thought they were worth mentioning. Because, I mean, burgerssssss. What's not to like?? (One thing that we tried though that was a smashing success with the guys was to caramelize the onions with barbecue sauce before putting them on the burgers. They loved it.) I will say, though, that wrapping them in paper towels makes them taste better. I'm not kidding. It's weird, but true! Maybe just the way it keeps the moisture inside.

Leftovers. If we have enough meat, we like to make extras of ^^aforementioned stuff. Pockets, especially. They freeze epically and are so easy to take out of the freezer and pop in the oven if you're ever short on time.

If you've got hungry guys in the field, or your summer is just super busy and you have to eat on the run, I hope this is a help to you!
Now, for the blog updates.

I've created an author blog! You can find it here. If you're following me because of all my bookish posts and writing updates, you'll want to follow me there. Why? Well, after much thought, I've decided to make my new blog my book blog, and Twin Thoughts will remain solely a lifestyle blog. (But, I mean, books are a huge part of my life, so that might bleed into these posts a liiiiiitle bit . . . ) So if you're following me for the posts other than the bookish stuff, then you'll want to stay here. ;) So, yeah, no more updates here for Beloved. If you want to continue following my publishing journey, follow my author blog.

I'm excited to see where this leads! Thank you, my loyal followers, for all your support!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Cover Reveal {The Divided Nation by Angela Watts}

I'm back with another cover reveal! This time, though, it's not for a book of my own, but for the lovely Miss Angela Watts. And my, is it a beauty!

I'm currently reading Seek by Miss Watts, and she has a knack for writing both endearing characters, and suspense. (I mean, car chases! And Asher! Need I say more?)

Anyway, this August she's planning to release the first book in her brand-new dystopian series, The Infidel Books!

About The Divided Nation:
The United States has fallen. Three years after the 2024 presidential election and the declaration of martial law, the nation is at war against itself. Gangs battle, civilians struggle for survival, and United Nations officials thrive. George Johnston is a powerful ganglord of his own rising empire, but his son, West, refuses to continue the family legacy. Unable to run, West must become his father to defeat him.

One of the last remaining townships in America, Springtown fights to survive the nation’s destruction. The Fisher family begins an alliances with gangsters Nate Savage and Simon Bucks in exchange for town supplies. When Mr. Fisher’s daughter, Rene’, is kidnapped and her Union officer brother leaves her for dead, Nate and Simon must risk all to save her.

Told in a bold, abrasive narrative, THE DIVIDED NATION steps into a future where brotherhood bonds must be stronger than iron to survive a broken world and faith without courage is revealed to be dust in the wind.

I'm so excited to read this book when it's released!

And now, the moment for which we've all been waiting! (Ha, notice the proper grammar I used? #likeaboss)


*All the heart eyes*

Now I can't wait to see the cover for book two . . . XD

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The 10 Book Questions Tag {Feat. Kara}

Yep, another tag. And a bookish one, too. Doesn't get much better than that, right??

So, anyway, I was tagged by Brooklyne at Showers of Blessings for this tag (actually I thought it looked really cool so I commented on her post and she tagged me . . . minor details) for what's originally called the 20 Book Questions Tag, buuuut there's only 10 questions. So, without further ado, I present . . .

The Rules:
-Thank the person who nominated you. (Thank you, Brooklyne!)
-Answer the questions you were asked.
-Nominate at least 5 bloggers.
-Give them 10 questions to answer! 

So, before we get to the questions, here is where I will allow Kara to pop in and say hello!

Hey guyssssss!

Okay, now that formalities are over, the questions!

1. What genre do you read the most?
Originally I'd say historical fiction, but recently I've branched into contemporary quite a bit. I'm finding it hard to pick between the two anymore. ;)

I read mostly historical fiction, but I have read several contemporary series that I loved. I'll read pretty much anything with horses! ;P

2. Do you prefer books that are in a series?
Oh, yes. Especially if I love the first book. I mean, who doesn't want to read more books about the characters they fall in love with? I especially love it when the main character in one series becomes a side character in a different series by the same author, or vice versa.

Definitely. Absolutely. Completely. I love series, because you can get to know the characters better. Honestly, I'll be in the middle of a series, and I'll just start lecturing one of the characters for something they do or say in the book. Like fighting with a sibling, or complaining about something one of the other characters did— I'll just be like, "They did that to help you, ya know! Just stuff it!"... Yeah..... I have problems.

Yes, you have many problems.

3. On average, how many books do you read a month?
Ummmm . . . I used to read probably 7 or 8 books in a month . . . but lately it's probably been closer to 4 or 5. Or less. Which is a very, very sad fact. But I just joined NetGalley last month (it's amaze, y'all), and I've been reading a bit more since then.

Probably around 4 to 6, depending on how much I like the book. Once I read a series that I  totally loved, I ended up reading about 1 a day... but the books were pretty short!

. . . pfft, you never read that much. I read more than you; how do you read more books than me?!

Your books are about twice as long as mine, and I had a lot of extra time during that week, and you've been writing more than me. Satisfied? :D

Mmm . . . for now.

4. What is the last book you rated 5 stars?
*Checks Goodreads* Guyssss *cries* I haven't rated a book 5 stars since February! The closest I've come is 4.5 stars. Hide and Seek by Jeff Strueker and Alton Gansky was soooo amazing. I don't give many books 5 stars. ;)

I have never physically rated anything, but in my mind... I would have to say Price of Truth by Susan K. Marlow! *Heart eyes with drool running down my chin* This book is SOOO amazing! Guys, I just can't describe!

5. First person or third person? Past or present narrative?
Ohh man . . . I don't know! I think my favorite to read is 3rd person, past tense. But Beloved is 1st person, present tense, so I obviously love writing it. So, I mean, that's pretty close up there. ;)

3rd person, past tense. But then again, I haven't read much 1st person, or present tense.

6. What book do you relate to the main character the most?
I honestly can't think of anyone right off the top of my head except Andi from the Circle C series. Our likes/preferences are pretty much opposite, but our personalities are so similar it's almost scary. ;)

Definitely I would say Sadie from the Sadie Rose Adventures by Hilda Stahl. I'm also a lot like Andi, but I would almost say I'm more Chad. 

*Smirks* Most definitely. Pretty sure you talk more than Chad, though. Probably more than Chad and Sadie combined.


7. What is the most over-used plot twist that drives you crazy?
Ughh, when two characters who hate each other and end up falling in love. Can't stand it.

Same. Especially when they fall into a life-or-death situation and realize that they can't live without each other. *Shudders*

8. Name three books that you absolutely love the cover design.
Chosen by a horse by Susan Richards, is my favorite cover. SO BEAUTIFUL! I started the book, and didn't care for it, but then again I didn't get very far into it.

From Ashes to Honor by Loree Lough. I've never read it, but I fell in love with the cover when I saw it!

I actually read From Ashes to Honor . . . not really recommended. ;P

Seek by Angela R. Watts is just... WOW!! It's simple but SO AMAZING! 

Yessss, I'm currently reading Seek and it's so good so far!!

It was hard for me to choose between Seek, As in Olden Days by Jesseca Wheaton, Dandelion Dust by Faith Potts, and Beloved by Kaitlyn Krispense... Yes Kaitlyn, your cover is beautiful.

Dawwww, thanks ^-^

Don't let it go to your head. ;P

Mmkay, sure. Anyway, now for my three favorites! (This is my favorite question of the whole tag ^-^)
First of all, we've got Fawkes by Nadine Brandes. It's so, so gorgeous, y'all. Liiiiike . . . *alllll the heart eyes*

Next up—Gunner's Run by Rick Barry! Like, seriously, what's not to like??

If they have 1. American flags 2. horses or 3. bullets or guns... they have to be beautiful!

As evidenced in your favorite covers, of course.
Now, for my third cover . . . so hard to pick! But I choose Unblemished by Sara Ella. It's so . . . well, for lack of a better word . . . beautiful. You, Squirt, might call it too frilly. I mean, it doesn't have guns or flags on it. But it's still super pretty. ;)

Or horses. Can't forget the horses.

Mmm, yeah, sure. Can't forget them.

There is just one thing that all the covers are missing that would totally blow them off the chart though. It would make them bestsellers all over the world!


My face. :D

No comment.

9. What book series would you recommend to your best friend?
That is like asking a mother which of her kids is her favorite! I could narrow it down to—in no particular order—Horses and Friends by Miralee Ferrel, Sadie Rose Adventures by Hilda Stahl, Winnie the Horse Gentler by Dandi Daley Mackall, Circle C Adventures by Susan K. Marlow, and last but not least, Phantom Stallion by Terri Farley!

I agree with Kara. It's awful to pick just one! But, since her too long list has the series I would've said (Circle C Adventures/Milestones), I'll say the Sgt. Major Eric Moyer series by Jeff Strueker & Alton Gansky. If you follow me on Goodreads, you've heard me talk about this series more than once, and you'll hear me talk about it again. Intense. Clean. Faaaabulousnesssss.

10. A book that you liked a side character better then the main character.
Tyler from Live Without You by Sarah Grace Grzy. Seriously, y'all, I liked Ezra and all, but Tyler needs love. And I shall give it to him. XD

I'm only on my second book, but from the one I'm currently reading and the one I already read, in Sisters in Time I like side characters way better.

I hope y'all enjoyed the tag fullllll of books. Books make me happy. *grins*

I tag:

Kara has helped me come up with questions for you:

1. What are three of your favorite book covers?
2. What is one of your favorite book series?
3. Do you prefer new books or the classics?
4. What is your least favorite book cover?
5. On your physical bookshelf, what is the 17th book in line (if you have that many)?
6. What is your favorite genre to read? If historical, which era?
7. Do you prefer paperbacks or ebooks?
8. Do you prefer matte or glossy covers?
9. What is a book on your shelf that you'll probably never read?
10. In your opinion, what object or color just really improves a cover?

If this tag looks fun, drop me a comment and consider yourself tagged, too! ;)

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Summer Vibes

I don't know about where you live, but here, summer seems to be making an early arrival. (Oh, who am I kidding? It's nearly mid-June already. I'm in denial.)

What makes it feel like summer?

>>Putting my hair on top of my head, rolling up my sleeves, and sweating to death out in the garden<<

>>Late nights<<

>>Farm equipment driving by<<

>>Screaming (not literally) down the highway in the bro's truck, music blaring (bass all the way up of course)<<

>>80-90 degree weather<<

>>Lawn mower roaring<<

>>Picking mulberries with lil' munchkins and watching them cover their faces with juice<<

>>Shedding puppy<<

>>Bucket calves<<

>>Goatlets shouting and playing king of the hill<<

>>Sno cones<<

There's so much more that I could say . . . but that's the gist of it. (Also I'm kinda writing this last minute so I don't have a lot of things right off the top of my head so yeah)

What kind of summer vibes have you been getting?

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Cover Reveal {Beloved + Freedom}



Nah, I'm not excited. It just seems that way.


I've made so many covers for this baby that I loved, and thought that would be the final, but then realized that no, it wasn't the right one. But y'all, I've finally got one I'm utterly in love with.

You're chomping at the bit to see this baby, yes? Well, don't let me hold you back any longer! *drum roll* I now present to you . . .


About the book:

Life hurts.

Cara Richards just doesn’t care anymore. Alone and unloved, she decides that there’s only one response to the nightmare that has become her life.

When an unwelcome intervention disrupts Cara’s plans, her life is changed in a way that she never imagined. Regardless of how tough she believes herself to be, she’s unprepared for another foster family. She’s even less prepared for five foster brothers, one of whom is convinced that God is the answer to all of her problems. Though she prides herself on a resilient heart, her life continues to spiral into a world full of questions.

Is death really the answer? Does God actually care? Can everyone truly be loved, no matter what?

Nope, not excited at all . . .

So, as something super fun, Faith and I each ordered a copy of our books just for this special occasion! In case, ya know, you'd like to see the spine, back, and a bit of the inside. ;)

Prepare to be bombarded with pics because I'm kinda in love with this and I did a photo shoot on a GORGEOUS evening.

*allllll the heart eyes*

'Cause, I mean, ya gotta see the back. It's almost more beautiful than the front, in my opinion
Shouldn't put the author name in black . . . oh well
*More heart eyes*
My first attempt at formatting! I'm pretty pleased with it, myself. ;) If only this were the final draft...

And of course, what authoress would I be if I didn't take a selfie with my book, messy hair and all?

*squeals* *screams* Isn't it so beautiful??

If you'd like to see Faith's equally-beautiful cover (well, I mean, I'm kinda in love with mine, but I mean, hers is amazing too), visit her post! Seriously, y'all. It's g o r g e o u s.

There are also a good number of people helping us spread the news—and the covers!
Thank you to Rebekah M.VictoriaFaith B., KaraIsabel, KassieMollyAnitaA. KayleeLilyNeeyRebekah A.AngelaIzzyKaitlyn S.ShineMerieRoseAbigail, and Elizabeth, for sharing the covers on your blogs! And another huge thank you to Kara, Raechel, Julia, Libby, A. Kaylee, Brooklyne, Neey, Victoria, Angela, Faith L., Faith B., Rosalyn, Karissa, Rose, and Joshua, the people who shared them on both Facebook and Instagram! To find their posts, look up this hashtag: 


One more thing before you go—as I've mentioned before, Faith and I are co-releasing late this summer. We've got a date for the blog tour, as well as a graphic! Be on the lookout for the sign-ups this summer.

Thanks for stopping by, y'all!
What's your opinion on the cover(s)? Which of my (epic) pictures is your favorite?
What's one of your favorite indie (self-published) covers?