Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Songstone Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Kita can meld song into stone. In a world with no written word, storytelling—the ability to meld (or magically impress) song into stone—is greatly honored. The village honors her master as their medicine man, but Kita knows he's secretly a sorcerer who practices black magic using drops of her blood. She fears he’ll use her beautiful gift for a killing spell, so she conceals it from him. Each day, his magic tightens around her neck like a rope. His spells blind the villagers, so they can’t see him for what he really is.

Not that anyone would want to help her. She was found in the forest as a baby and would have died if a village girl hadn't brought her home. But the villagers saw Kita's unusual coloring and decided she belonged to the mysterious tribe who lives in the forests of the volcano, a people feared for their mystical powers. So they fear her too. Now seventeen, she can barely admit her deepest longing: to know who she really is and where she belongs.

Then Pono, a young journeyman, arrives from the other side of the island. He's come to fulfill a pact between their villages: to escort a storyteller back to his village—a storyteller who'll be chosen at the great assembly. Finally, in Pono, Kita sees her one slim chance at freedom and she'll risk her life to take it.

A dark, twisty tale of sorcery, tummy-tingling romance, and adventure, inspired by the folklore of New Zealand's Māori people.

Lena Goldfinch’s Songstone is a rare book. With beautiful words she describes an island adventure filled with misty mountains and crashing waves saddled with mystical shadows and the darkest of evils. I was enchanted with her tale.

I much enjoyed Kita and her almost “coming of age” style story. Becoming the woman she was born to be, embracing all the facets of herself, learning her story. Kita’s heart-cry is like every young girl’s – a longing and desire to be welcomed into friendship. But, her strange features and the legends that accompany them keep her acceptance at bay.

Then enters Pono, Kita’s ticket to escape the evil that entangles her. And, with that thought set in to motion, we see that Pono becomes her hero. At this moment, Lena could have easily played out the “knight in shining armor” fairytale. But, what I love about Songstone and Kita’s character is that, instead of seeking her identity in this mysterious journeyman, in Pono, she fights to find her place in the world alongside him.

A magical read filled with romance and adventure, Lena’s writing sing-songs like that of a true storyteller – told and retold, passing on tales of faraway lands, brave journeys, and bits wisdom as she goes.

A note about Songstone:
I very much enjoyed this read... it is magical and enchanting - just as I said above. 
But, it is MAGICAL. Keep that in mind when choosing this book. 
As a Christian, I struggled with a few of the fantasy elements and the darkness of the magic. 
From a faith perspective, young readers (and older alike) should mindfully consider these tales. 
That said, Songstone has not been claimed as Christian Fiction and I didn't read it thinking it was such.

Get your own copy of Songstone at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

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Find the Giveaway Info Below - Make sure to Enter to Win these Fabulous Prizes...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's a sneak peak at the Sea Glass Necklace - I am drooling over this one!

Want to know more about Lena??

Lena lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. She writes fiction for young adults, mostly light fantasy with a healthy dose of "sigh-worthy" romance. You can visit her online at

Check out the My Favorite Pastime and Tome Tender tomorrow for more on Songstone and the Raffle!
For the full BlogTour Schedule, stop by Seasons of Humility

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Hair: Taming Hot and Humid Tresses

A few weeks ago the hubby and I piled in to the backseat of a rather large pickup and set off on a roadtrip to visit family in Missouri. The back of the pickup, by the way, got really small really quick!

With a menagerie of books (I didn’t bring enough the last time), some rockin’ tunes, and my humidity proof hairstyle tutorials I was armed and ready for some time on the farm.

Of course, back in Wisconsin, its equally as humid and the whole Rosanna Rosanna Danna look is getting rather out of control. So, back to my humidity busting styles I go…

Kate from The Small Things Blog is my personal style hero – she is seriously the cutest thing – and she’s sweet as pie, too. Check out her Not Just a Ponytail tutorial {here} 
**Talk about jazzing up a pony – perfect for a casual weekend style – or, in my case – a day on the farm!

Looking for something more elegant? Check out Kate’s Pretty and Simple UpDo {here}!
**When she says this is great for thick hair, she’s not kidding – mine held like a charm and I have oodles of course frizzy curls!

The Glitter Guide has done it again… a few fabulous options for beating the heat. Find them {here} 
**More on that FABULOUS beach-y braid later...

And, last but not least, check out Self’s summer styles for a few simple, fun and flirty looks that help keep hair put! {here} 
**These are all super simple and great for the girl-on-the-go. (Quick style for yoga-to-work anyone???)

What are your favorite summer styles???

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Friday, July 19, 2013


Can we get real for just a second?

I just made the most delicious brownies… out of A BOX. And yes, I used the dreaded vegetable oil, too!

I know. I know. I must have to shut down my blog now since the girl-blogger-code clearly states that brownies must be baked from scratch with self-churched butter, fresh laid eggs, hand ground flour and self-fermented vanilla and then meticulously photographed to make your mouth water.

Seriously now, are you kidding me?
I started mixing the brownies before I’d even decided what to make for dinner.
And, as I sit here typing this I’m licking the bowl… really!

All that to say – we portray our best selves, don’t we? Facebook shouts our self-promotions, pinterest paints our personality without saying a single word and blogging is such an easy mask to hide behind – talk all you want about Jesus, if you’re not acting like Him, I’m not interested.

So, can we take down the brave faces and the perfectly matched clothes, the armor, the façade?

What would it look like if we, as women, took off the masks of got-it-all-together and let our hearts shine?

“…so the choice a woman makes is not to conjure beauty [or confidence or popularity or clout], but to let her defenses down. To choose to set aside her normal means of survival and just let her heart show up. Beauty comes with it…”  - Stasi Eldredge

Beauty. Yes, I think that’d be Beautiful indeed.

photo credit: mark sebastian via photopin cc

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Love Believes the Best


A few snippets from the Love Dare and my thoughts lately...
“In the deep corridors of your heart, there is a room. It’s called the Appreciation Room. It’s where your thoughts go when you encounter positive and encouraging things…”

Do you have a room like that? A room filled with things that are true, honorable, good?
I do! I used to spend a lot more time in that room but I fear its gotten a little dusty lately.

“down another dark corridor lies the Depreciation Room, and sadly  you visit there as well. On its walls are written the things that bother and irritate you most. You placed these words and opinions there out of frustration, hurt feelings, and the disappointment of unmet expectations.”

This is the room that’s causing the other to collect so much dust!
This room is built with walls covered in angry reds and blacks, graffitied letters of bitterness and scathing remarks.

This room in un-love.
I’ve been saying that a lot lately… “un-love”
I’m not certain it’s a real word, at least not by Webster’s standards, but it says a lot about our world about our hearts about our relationships.

But Love – but LOVE writes “COVERED” over all those walls. Love believes the best. Love lives in hope. Love sees the negativity, the hurt, the frustration and chooses encouragement, joy and patience.

 “Love knows about the Depreciation Room and does not live in denial that it exists. But LOVE CHOOSES NOT TO LIVE THERE… It’s time to move in to the Appreciation Room, to settle down and make it your home.”

I’m choosing to walk right in to that Appreciation Room, find myself a soft place to land and sit a spell. What would our relationships look like if we stopped banking all the negativity and un-love? 

What if we chose love?

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