Edgy Christian Romance Author and Blogger

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Do it Brave

Brave.

This is not a word I would normally be quick to use when describing myself. For years I’ve allowed fear and timidity to hold me back from pursuing many opportunities and relationships.  Fear is paralyzing, stunting and controlling.

“I can’t do _________, it terrifies me.” How many times have I said that sentence?

The buzz phrase of late is “Do it afraid,” and it basically means, “You’re scared? Do it anyway.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about fear, bravery and vulnerability in the past year. I was challenged to read Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, and what a challenge it was. It’s an intense bookdesign-2 about the process of opening oneself up to being truly vulnerable (which is not the same thing as weakness) and shining a light on shame so that it can’t control us in the darkness anymore. It changed my life and spurred me forward into some things I’d been allowing fear and shame to keep me from. “Do it afraid” seems to fit well in this book.

The thing is, I don’t think that phrase sends the right message. From my perspective, doing it afraid looks a lot more like bravery than anything else.

I read through the story of David and Goliath this morning, looking for any kind of clue that David was ‘doing it afraid.’ There isn’t an ounce of fear communicated in that passage — at least not from David. Everyone around him was reacting in fear but David stood up with confidence and said, “I’ll take care of that Philistine.” I’m sure he had some moments of weakness, and God had to remind him whose strength would cause victory because David was human and not a superhero, but we don’t see any of those moments in the recounting of the story in the Bible.

David did it brave.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

I believe that the very movement of taking a step toward whatever it is we are striving for, is the act of shedding fear. It is the act of bravery.

“Fear is just a call to exercise courage.” — Ed Litton

Admitting your fear is where bravery begins. Shining a light on fear exposes it and gives us better perspective. Being vulnerable with our fears and sharing them with others helps us to see whether or not they are rational or not, and allows others to speak to the courage they see in us.

When I got the letter and gift from my friend a few months ago that spoke to my courage, I was in the midst of a fear meltdown. I struggle greatly with fear at the thought of pursuing a traditional writing career. It is debilitating some days and steals the words from my heart so that I can’t even write a blog post. Whenever I confess this fear to someone who loves me, they always tell me how ridiculous it is. This writing gigdesign is my dream job. Why in the world would I let fear stand in the way?

I have to say no to fear and instead yes to bravery on a regular basis. Am I still nervous and anxious about certain things? Sure. But as I continue to put one foot in front of the other toward my goal, the words that other people have spoken over me suddenly become true.

“I can do this. This isn’t so bad. A little nerve wracking, but not worth the sleepless nights and chewed off finger nails . . .”

The simple act of changing out one word in a buzz phrase completely changes the message. Instead of seeing a woman cowering in fear, hunched over with her head drooped, hair hanging in front of her face as she takes timid steps toward her dreams, I see a woman standing tall, with her head held high in spite of a shaking in her knees. She breathes deeply and plants each step firmly in front of the other. Her heart pounds in her chest because she knows she is moving forward courageously.  This is who I want to be.

The act of doing something that scares you is the definition of bravery, and lately, I’ve been stepping out into things that terrify me. Instead of looking at those steps and saying, “I’m just doing it afraid,” I now see the truth:

I’m doing it brave.

What are you scared of right this moment? What would it take for you to do it brave?

 

Pressure is the Thief of Words

I wish I hadn’t confessed that my absence on this blog is usually due to a spiritual dry spell. Now every day that goes by that I don’t have anything to say, I think to myself, they know the truth.

I’m not in a dry spell right now, I’m in more of a holding pattern and let me tell you, I’m okay with that if the alternative is upheaval and turmoil in my personal life. I am still trying to figure out the balance here and to release the pressure from myself when I feel like I don’t have a lot to say.

The expectations I put on myself last fall when I began platform-building caused me to shut down for a while and every time I thought about blogging, I cringed because 1.) I felt that I had nothing to say, and 2.) in my head everyone was standing around waiting for me to post (yes, I know this is dumb and incredibly self-centered). The pressures multiplied every time I thought along those lines.red-vintage-old-chair

I’ve vowed that while this blog is a safe space for all of us to come together and work through our junk, it’s not a place where I will come and dump, so I’m giving you one more reason for silence on this page, and I know it will shock you: sometimes I have nothing to say.

There is so much noise in our lives, even if it is mostly in what we are reading online. I don’t want to add to your noise. I would rather be silent than force words that no one needs to hear, and I’m giving myself permission to do so even though it is totally against what blogging culture dictates I should do. When I write it’s because there is something in it for someone else, not just me. From the feedback I received from a number of you on this post, that is what you value about this blog.

This may be a throw-away post to some of you, but for me it’s an important one to post. The past three months have been a total buzzkill on my writing process. Today I’m throwing off the shackles of pressure and expectation and allowing myself room to breathe and post when the urge hits, not because a schedule dictates that it’s time.

Aaaah, that feels so much better.

So now I’m going to ask you to join me: Take a minute and consider an area in your life where you are feeling pressured. What can you do to release yourself from it? If it’s something you can share in the comments, please do. As much as my process has been a help to some of you, your process will be a help to someone else!

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Why Does it Hurt to Lose a Celebrity?

Two in one week: David Bowie, who I admittedly have no emotional connections to, and Alan Rickman who played huge roles in some of my all-time favorite films.

When I read the news about Rickman this morning, tears flooded my vision and spilled down my cheeks for a lot longer than I thought was probably appropriate. My tears were for a man I’ve never met, and who never even knew I was alive.

Yet still I cried.

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Rickman as Colonel Brandon in 1995’s Sense and Sensibility

In Sense and Sensibility (*spoiler alert, but you should have already seen this by now), Rickman played Colonel Brandon, the older, distinguished and somewhat loner character that never gets the girl until his sweet gestures and calming demeanor finally win over the object of his affections, and she falls in love with him the way you’ve been through the whole film.

In the Harry Potter Series (*spoiler again . . . if you haven’t seen these, I can’t help you), he plays the well known, would-be villain, Professor Snape. Through the entire series you question his loyalty and are led to believe that his hatred for Harry and his loyalty to the Dark Lord have corrupted him to the fullest extent. But in the last movie, his true character is revealed in the most stunning twist in the entire series. Snape has devoted his life to protecting Harry because of his love for the boy’s mother, Lily, killed by the Dark Lord when Harry was just a baby. He had to perform despicable acts in order to maintain his cover, but he held fast to his commitment and saw it through to the very violent and heart-breaking end.

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As Professor Snape in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Pt 2.

Those are just characters Rickman played, but both of them, and a few others, etched his face into my heart in a way that may not make sense to others who aren’t blessed eye roll with the super-sensitive heart that I have.

He brought to life beloved characters, and I cannot think of those books or movies without seeing him. And so, today, I feel as though those characters that live in my heart have truly died.

I won’t grieve forever, in fact, I know that my grief is but a blip compared to those who actually knew him, or those who lose loved ones every day. But I still feel that grief, and because I believe in the power of our emotions, I am allowing myself the space to grieve a man that I never actually knew.

It hurts to lose celebrities like Rickman, Bowie, Heath Ledger, Robin Williams (and on and on I could go) because they represented something important to us, they brought magic and love, music and suspense to life on our screens and they made an imprint on our hearts. Though they may have only played roles, those roles taught us things about ourselves and others, and impacted our lives in the way only great entertainers can.

If you have found yourself weeping inexplicably over the loss of such great celebrities, don’t worry, you’re normal, or at least, as normal as I am. We can grieve together in our little introverted corner while the rest of the world moves on.

Help a Writer Out

Dear Readers,

I need your help, friends.

See, I’ve been doing some online blogging and writing courses, and while there have been plenty of useful nuggets that have helped me as a writer and a blogger, instead of feeling released and ready to write with gusto, I’m feeling completely blocked.

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               See? It’s painful!

I have completed some exercises that were designed to help me hone in on the theme of my blog, but I’m not sure it worked for me because I feel totally boxed in to writing about one certain theme, rather than expressing myself freely, which is more my style.

I’ve been considering the purpose of this blog over the past few months, what I want it to be, what I don’t want it to be, and now it’s time to put the ball in your court and hear from you, for whom I write!

I know many of you like to stay quiet, or post your comments on Facebook, but for the sake of organization and my need to hear from you, would you please answer the following questions, here in the comments of this post?

  1. Why do you keep reading this blog?
  2. What attracts you to this blog?
  3. Do you like/dislike the level of transparency shown here? Explain
  4. Does this blog add value to your life?
  5. How often would you like to see fresh content here?
  6. Do you have any suggestions or requests for me?

This may be an unconventional request in the Blog-verse, but I truly value your feedback and am excited to see what you have to say!

Thank you, so much!

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The Old Haunting and the Perfect Truth

December was hard, y’all. The biggest challenge was stepping into a new season of solo-parenting for half the month (single mom’s, you will have special rewards in Heaven, I just know it). I also had a minor surgery that took a lot out of me, add to that all the normal Christmas stresses and expectations, and I was just running on empty all month long.

Without fail, when we are the most vulnerable, the enemy attacks. I spent December hanging out with some old lies that continue to haunt me, and I watched the evidence pile up to prove that those words were true.

“I’m not enough. I don’t measure up. I’m not ready. I’m not wise enough or strong enough or vivacious enough . . .” The list goes on.

I’ve spent the last few months actively pursuing the call that the Lord gave me earlier this fall. Actively pursuing. Not actively fulfilling. What was that call?

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What did I do? Mostly some platform building, some education, some hard, exhausting work that offered little pay off. All of these things are good and necessary to be successful at what the Lord called me to do. But what I didn’t do was the one thing He told me to do.

Write.

Instead of writing, I did all the extra things that should make me a successful writer, and I saw very little success. I was shown a little box that could close over top of me, the word WRITER stamped on it and I struggled to fit myself into it.

If there’s anything that’s true about me, it’s that I’m not an in-the-box kind of person. “I love Jesus but I drink a little,” and all that.

I looked at the evidence around me and let it tell me that I was all of the things I feared about myself. Inadequate, unqualified, and lacking. I threw the message of Measuring Up out the door, grabbed on to the prickly pillow called, “I’m not good enough,” and cuddled with it for a little too long.

For the first time ever, inspired by some dear friends, I decided to seek the Lord about a word for 2016. Actually that’s not true. I didn’t really seek it at all. I just thought about seeking it and then without another moment passing, the word was there, in my head, on the TV, all around me.

My word doesn’t make a lot of sense to me when I look at the words other people get. Words like rest, peace, seek, focus, etc., they’re action words, and mine is not. What do I do with a word that asks nothing of me? My word confused me and, honestly, scared me. My word is a promise, not an action word. There are no classes that I can take, no blogs that I can read, there is nothing that I can do to fulfill this word’s purpose in my life in 2016. All I can do is hang on for the ride.

My word is beyond.

Can you see why it’s scary? Why I’m nervous? Because if it’s true that I don’t measure up, that I’m not enough, then what in the world can God do that is beyond?

I let the word hang out with me for a few days before I pressed into it. It hung like a banner over the lies that I’ve been considering this month, which unsettled me completely. These two things, promises and lies, do not belong in the same space together.

This morning I decided to wrap up the yeadesign-1r properly and deal with what’s been going on in my heart. I sat down with my Bible and my journal and began to let my heart bleed out onto the paper. The more I confessed, the closer to the truth I ended up.

I am enough because Christ is in me, and He is everything.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who by his power working in us is able to do far beyond anything we can ask or imagine. . .

It is only because of this perfect truth that I can let go and watch Him take me beyond all I could ever hope or imagine.

I’m starting to think that maybe in some seasons, the Lord is less concerned about what we are doing than He is about what we are allowing Him to do for us, which reminds me of this quote from one of my favorite authors:

“Maybe God doesn’t so much want things from us. Maybe God Actually wants things for us.” Sarah Bessey

selah

Feels like a big hug, doesn’t it? So my word for this year requires little of me, and a lot of Him, but there are two things that I can do to be an active participant in letting the Lord take me beyond.

  1.  Start agreeing with the perfect truth about who the Father says that I am (lather, rinse, repeat).
                                                                              I am enough
  2. Do what He has called me to do.
                                                                     For the love of all that is holy, WRITE.

No matter what your process is for the New Year, agreeing with truth is something we can do together, something we can keep each other accountable to. What is something the Father says is true about you that you struggle to believe? What does He want to do for you in 2016?

Father, in Jesus name, may we forsake the lies that haunt us and cling to your perfect truth in 2016, and beyond.

 

 

 

 

Back to Your Regular Scheduled Programming

Well, just a few more ‘business’ items to tend to before it’s back to blogging as usual! My Indiegogo campaign has come to a close and together we raised $2760 to put toward publishing Nor Forsake! Thank you so much! design

Next on my publishing agenda is seriously seeking the Lord as to what the next step is. Rocky and I have discussed a few different options as far as self-publishing verses traditional publishing and I’m waiting on a clear sense of direction. Many of you expressed the desire to give, but needed to wait until the new year to do so, and I understand that completely. There were moments when I toyed with scrapping the whole thing until Spring, but the Lord continued to press me forward, so I continued to move forward.

There is the possibility that we will do another fundraiser in February to see if we can’t knock the rest of this budget out. For now, I have enough funds to keep moving forward, so that’s what I’m doing!

I will say that I’m looking forward to taking a few days off from thinking about anything to do with publishing and enjoying some family time, and I hope you get to do the same! My prayer for you this Christmas is that your needs are met, your hearts are full and family is close.

Before I head out, I just wanted to share one last treat with you. Don’t forget about the excerpt from Nor Forsake, and the free No Greater Gift e-book I’m giving away to newsletter subscribers! The box to sign up for that is just to the right, at the top of the sidebar! Once you confirm your email subscription, the e-book will be delivered straight to your inbox.

Have you read either of those freebies yet? I’d love to hear what you thought! Tag me on Facebook or leave a comment!

Alright, that one last thing . . . here you go, designed by the gracious and ever patient, Sojoung Lee, the front cover of Nor Forsake!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Nor Forsake – An Excerpt

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Just a little teaser! Help me reach $3000 and I’ll release the entire cover! Link to the campaign in sidebar.

$1700! That’s the first goal in my campaign for Nor Forsake! Thank you so much for all your support! There are still six days left to give. If you like what you read here, hop on over to the campaign site and help me get as close to my goal as possible in these last few days, or just click on the box in the sidebar to the right.

Your reward for helping me hit $1700 is an excerpt from Nor Forsake! I hope you enjoy. Please note, this is raw and unedited.

One last thing: Have you heard that I’m giving away a free e-book copy of my Christmas short story collection? All you have to do to get it delivered straight to your email is to sign up for my newsletter in the box at the top of the sidebar to the right! Invite your friends to get their own copy too!

Without further ado . . . Enjoy, and please share this with your friends!

Nor Forsake Excerpt2

The Writer’s Life

I smiled when I saw the survey response asking me to talk about the life of a writer. I get asked questions often about my process in writing: how long it took me to write Stones of Remembrance, and where my inspirations come from. Someone once asked me if Stones of Remembrance was the story of my husband and I falling in love and I laughed out loud (the answer is no).

There is very little method to my madness here.

Stones of Remembrance was my reaction to the Twilight series. You can read about that story here. When I began typing, I knew absolutely nothing of Allaya — I didn’t even know that Finn existed yet. It was so abstract that “Allaya” is a name that I thought I had made up. I  saw a lake in my imagination, and so the scene was set and the story pretty much wrote itself.

Stones took a long time to finish; I had personal struggles that the Lord was working out in me as He worked them out in Allaya and I often had to walk away from her because I couldn’t tell her what she needed to hear. I don’t remember exactly but I want to say that that book took a year to write from start to finish.

Nor Forsake was a much different story. I woke up from a nap one day (I still had a toddler who blessed me with afternoon naps) with two names on my tongue and immediately began writing and I didn’t stop until the story was finished seven days later. Writing had become my addiction.

The next book was also written in a week, and was the result of one of the most intense dreams I have ever had; it is, in fact, my favorite story line. I’ve re-written it many times trying to make it perfect and it’s just not there yet.

I wrote non-stop for a few years, and then things began to slow on that front as our lives changed drastically from one month to the next. To date, including the first two, I have twelve manuscripts and 3 short stories in my “Books” folder. There are three series’ (each one still needs it’s final manuscript completed) and one more stand alone novel. I told you, it’s an addiction; I have years worth of publishing to keep me busy.

There are still stories inside of me that want to be written, though, including my own. Time is my enemy right now, and that is why I smiled at the request to write about this topic. I used to eat, sleep and breathe writing and now I have to purposefully  carve out the time to make it happen and these days that looks more like learning to be a better writer and building my social media platform than it does writing novels. In order to sell the novels though, those two things are pretty important.

What I know is true of most best-selling authors is that they make it a habit to write something every single day, even if it’s garbage, and they make time to read books in and outside of the genre they write in.

For this writer, however, I don’t always write every day and I have to force myself to carve out reading time — not because I don’t love it, but because I love it so much that everything else disappears into the background and nothing gets done until I finish the book. Life doesn’t allow for that very often these days.

I have a writing soundtrack on Spotify that I often turn on while I’m working on a novel. It’s full of songs that have served as inspiration for different story lines, as well as music that evokes emotion in me (which, admittedly, isn’t hard to do).

I love to write at night with a glass of wine and a couple pieces of dark chocolate, but now that my kids are in school, that is a rarity. Gone are the days of staying up late and mom-napping on the couch with one eye half-open while they watch Nick Jr. in the mornings.

I used to curl up in a corner of the couch or a love seat with my computer warming my lap and let my fingers fly across the keys and I couldn’t imagine my creativity flowing in any other setting. When my back problems started rearing up, though, it was time to make a change and now I sit at the same desk that I work at every day.

That used to be a problem because I would finish working and be so tired and sore that I didn’t have anything to give my writing, but with the help of the book The One Thing I learned the value of doing the most important thing first, so now I do my writing work before I do my ‘job’ work. It’s made a huge difference, and I can’t tell you how great it is to be writing regularly again.

My blogs are usually inspired by my quiet times, and I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret . . . if I’m not blogging often, it’s usually because I’m not being disciplined in my times with the Lord. Now I have a world wide web of accountability  wink wink.

To date I have attended exactly zero writing or blogging conferences because, hi, my name is Julie and I’m a classic introvert. This is an area where I should probably stretch myself as well. I did enroll in Jeff Goins’ Tribe Writers course this year though, and I’m learning and growing a lot from what I am absorbing there.

I can’t give you a schedule or a plan that explains the life of a writer; every writer is different and has a different process. Here’s the one cold, hard fact about writing that I do know: Writers have to write. There is no way around it and nothing makes us feel better about anything than getting our thoughts out into print, even if we are the only ones who ever see it.

Are you a writer? What’s your process? What does a day in your life look like?

Is He Still Good?

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via quotesgram.com

“The Lord likes showing off.”

“Prayer works.”

“God is so good!”

“I can’t believe how much He loves me.”

These are the kinds of phrases we throw around when things are going our way. These are the kinds of things we say when a huge storm fails to take any lives, or someone is healed from a disease.

What does that mean when the opposite is true though? What if the storm takes a hundred lives? What if a door slams in our face instead of opens wide? What if our loved ones lives are stolen by disease? Do any of those statements above stop being true?

No. The Father still likes showing off how much He loves us and how good He is. That will never ever change. He never changes, but circumstances do. The way He remains faithful does not always look the same, but He always makes a way, He always provides. He never leaves us nor forsakes us.

When I campaigned for Stones of Remembrance, I was absolutely blown away when we raised all of the money in a week flat. I cried and cried because I really doubted that it would ever happen. The best part of fundraising is watching people step up to give. I knew people loved me and believed in me that week.

This time around, things have been different. This campaign is going slowly, sometimes not moving for days. It’s been easy to give in to doubts, and to question everything. The hardest part of fundraising is the asking, and believe me, I know that this is a ridiculous time to be asking you to give, yet here I am asking.

The Lord is going to fund this book in the way He wants to, and it’s not going to look anything like it did last time. He keeps pressing me forward and so I keep trusting Him, and praying for the right people to step up. He is going to be faithful in a new way with this book and I am hanging on for the ride, and I’m inviting you to sit next to me.

Please take a look at the video below and consider what you can do to help spread the message of healing and freedom. Campaign information can be found here.

No matter what happens in the next 18 days, He is still good, and He still has a plan, and Nor Forsake will be published.

 

 

My Favorite Things

***This Giveaway is Now Closed! The Winner is Teresa Zeller!***

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One of the things that is the most challenging for me in this whole “let’s push worship leading to the side for now” thing is that when I hear a good song, all I want to do is share it with the world. As I was listening to one of my new faves today, I decided that not only am I going to share it with you, but I’m going to highlight a few of my very favorite things right now, just in case you need some ideas for anyone on your Christmas list!
There’s a big bundle giveaway and a whole lot of discounts for you, so take a minute and do some shopping!

This Glorious Grace (Live)

  1. This Glorious Grace -Austin Stone Worship This album is a beautiful
    offering of worship from a local fellowship here in Austin. Aaron Ivey and his band write and play in depth and heartfelt music that does such a brilliant job connecting our hearts to the Father’s. Track #3 is my current fave!Product Details
  2. A Table Full of Strangers Vol.1 – Jason Upton This is Jason Upton like you’ve never heard him before. Our friend Dave from Loud Harp and A Boy and His Kite worked on this project and we got a sneak peek of it last summer and were blown away. The fully finished product is just an incredible musical story of the Father’s love for us. I love this album and our friends who worked on it so much that I’m offering it in my giveaway! See details below!
    Product Details
  3. Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth Speaker I got this for Christmas two
    years ago and I use it almost every day to listen to the albums above. Probably the most useful gift I’ve gotten in years!Product Details
  4. Jesus Feminist – Sarah Bessey So many people look at this title and immediately walk away. I almost did, but thisbook is a lovely description of what the Bible actually says about women. It’s about redemption and finding the place you were always meant to have as a woman. Sarah has a new book out now, too, Out of Sorts, but I haven’t had the chance to dive into it yet. It’s next on my list!
  5. The Healing Path – Robin Pasley Surprise, surprise! If you hang out with me for longer than ten minutes, I’m going to tell you to buy this book. This book is the reason why I have been able to walk in such freedom in the past for years. Every believer in the world needs this step-by-step guide to healing so I’ve decided to give one away! See details below.
  6. This Bracelet from Debella.net I am not a typical Texas girl who loves her bling (likely because I am not really Texan), but this bracelet caught my eye the first time I saw it and then I searched for it for hours one night when I was finally ready to commit. What I love about it is that it doesn’t move or make noise on my arm (two things I can’t handle), and it also has a magnetic clasp so it’s easy to wear! Check out the rest of the store, too, there is a wide variety of jewelry and home decor choose from. Christina at Debella has graciously extended a discount offer to my readers! Enter the code FAVORITETHINGS at checkout and you’ll get 15% off your purchase! If that’s not enough, make sure to check her out on Dec. 5th for even more great deals! Order custom wall decor by Dec.6, everything else by Dec. 13 for Christmas shipping!
    Leafy Filigree Dangles
  7. These earrings (and a few others) from Love Street Boutique
    I am actually totally bummed to tell you that I lost these earrings this year, but they are absolutely my favorite, and I keep hoping they’ll turn up in the car, or under a couch cushion. Check out all that LSB has to offer. Great deals on great jewlery, and: just for you, if you enter the code Julie2015  at checkout, you’ll get a 30% discount! That’s an incredible deal! Order by Dec. 18th for Christmas shipping! 

  8. One of a kind Dauntless Cuffs (By Danielle Brower), which are not available for purchase right now BUT, I’ve got one to give away! See the details below, and when you get a chance, check out Dauntless Grace Ministries for awesome, encouraging and insightful content that explores what it looks like to live a wholehearted and vulnerable life.
     
  9. Natalie’s Custom Decor Natalie made signs for the boys’ rooms this year when we redecorated them and I absolutely love them. I gave her the general idea of what I wanted and she knocked the project ot of the park! Check out her website for all the different styles she can do!
  10. Designed By Regina I was gifted this beautiful jewelry holder in secret sister gift exchange this year and I love it so much. When you take a look at Rita’s other products I think you’ll be amazed! Check her out! She does some really cool things with frames that I’ve never seen before!Calvin Klein REVEAL Eau de Parfum, 1 fl. oz.
  11. Calvin Klein Reveal Eau de Parfum This may be the first bottle of perfume I’ve used until it’s gone ever in my whole life. It’s not too heavy or overwhelming and people will compliment you all day long! I’m definitely putting this on my list this year!
  12. Live.Simple Soap Seriously, who doesn’t love real, homemade soap? I love Emily’s process, her heart and her soap. It smells divine, and for someone who is highly allergic to store-bought, chemical filled soap, this stuff is perfect for me, plus I know exactly what’s in it and where it came from. Emily is offering my readers a 20% discount, using the code JP20, good ONLY through Thursday at midnight.  You’ll also want to check her site for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals!
  13. Herb Scissors I’m not kidding, these scissors are the best thing since freeze dried basil. I use them weekly (usually on cilantro because it’s one of my favorites and one of the most annoying to chop.), and they’re super easy to clean. If you have a cook in your life, this is the gift to give!
  14. Gingerbread Lattes Listen, I don’t care what color the cup is, it’s
    what is on the inside that counts, right? And I wait all year long for November 1st to roll around and bring with it my beloved grande, gingerbread, nonfat, with whip, latte (Did I do it right? I think they’ve changed things since I was a barista oh . . . 12 years ago). So guess what? This is the last and final thing on my favorites list (for today anyway) and I’m going to give it away too! Except, you can buy whatever drink you want under $5, though clearly, I’m making a recommendation ;). 

There you have it, my friends. Some amazing music, books and a bunch of other random stuff that I am loving for this holiday season.

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS*

This is what’s up for grabs:

A Table Full of Strangers Digital Download by Jason Upton
Dauntless Cuff  (selection will vary)
The Healing Path by Robin Pasley
$5 Starbucks Giftcard

That’s $55 worth of awesome swag, folks!

HOW TO ENTER:

  1. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite thing about the Christmas season. Please also leave your email address or a social media username so I can notify you!

BONUS ENTRIES (1 extra entry per option):

  1. Follow my blog and/or sign up for my email list (both links are on the sidebar to the right) and leave a comment here saying that you did.
  2. Like my author page on Facebook and leave a comment here saying that you did.
  3. Tweet about it or share on Facebook and tag my author page! Sample Tweet: I just entered this awesome Christmas giveaway by @jpresley48! Check it out here: http://bit.ly/1lBAh04 Then leave a comment here that you did!

Winner will be chosen and announced on Friday, November 27, 2015.

Don’t forget about all the great discounts offered above! Now go shopping, and Merry Christmas!

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