I Buy Myself Chocolate

Love is in the air. Diamonds are on sale. Couples are making plans…. And the rest of us are over here cracking Singles’ Awareness jokes 😂

But this Valentines’, I’d like to take a moment to point out that singleness isn’t a curse. That love comes in many forms. And being single doesn’t have to translate as ‘Forever Alone,’ or ‘Incomplete,’ or even simply ‘Career Focused.’

I get the struggle that mindset brings! I get feeling lonely and unwanted. I get watching all your friends pair up and aching to have that too. I always thought I’d be in the stay-at-home-mom club by now.

But clearly God has another plan for my life. And I’ve been learning the past several years how to be ok with that. It really boils down to my focus. I can choose to sit on the couch binging rom-coms and feeling sorry for myself. Or I can spend my time investing in the relationships I do have. With friends. With family. And ultimately with God, the only one who can truly complete me.

And hey, if He entrusts me with a husband and kids somewhere down the road? I’ll take it and praise him! But I’m not going to wait for the blessing I expect or demand before doing so. I refuse to make my life a holding pattern while waiting for ‘something better.’

For now, I buy myself chocolate. And that’s OK.

Go with hope, friends 💛

Chronic Illness

I talk a lot about the mental health aspects of Giselle’s curse, but not enough about the closely related chronic illness. A topic just as important! And very personal to me.

See, I was born at 25 weeks and spent months in the NICU. But I grew into a healthy child. Sure a little thin and needed a fair amount of orthodontics. But nothing major.

Then puberty hit and it was like being a passenger in a slow motion train wreck. Hypothyroid, hypoglucose, scoliosis, a cycle that wouldn’t stabilize… By the time I started working on this book, I was juggling several medications, battling frequent fainting spells, and working through regular bouts of insomnia.

Enter another diagnosis: Hypotension. Another medication: take by mouth three times daily. And I remember thinking as I wrote “At least none of my symptoms include unceasing pain. Poor Giselle. She’s going to hate me 🤣 I sure hope I’m portraying this right!”

Well, Giselle got her revenge this year 😝 I now know what chronic headaches feel like. She still got the short end of the stick. But I’m very much not a fan.


For everyone who’s daily routine involves a minor freak out over “Did I take my medication and was it the right one?”

For everyone who cries when the alarm goes off because they’re already exhausted and don’t know how they’re possibly going to make it through the day.

For everyone who pops pills like candy and still can’t find relief.

For everyone who feels like a failure because the to do list keep growing but their capacity shrinking.

I SEE YOU. GISELLE SEES YOU. And I hope her story makes you feel a little less alone.

Go with hope, friends 💛

Autumn Snow

Do you handle surprises well? I sure don’t.

Well, some I don’t mind! I relish a good plot twist, and you’ll never hear me complain about a surprise chai 😉 I’m just not a fan of surprises disrupting my carefully laid plans 😅 Such as snow in November.

My first reaction to this scene was one of frustration. I had been looking forward to my annual leaf burn. The yard desperately needs it and I haven’t had a bonfire all season. Honestly, how did we go from drought to snowfall in the space of a week? Dang it, Missouri!

But then I noticed the beauty. The contrast of a white world framed by bright autumn flowers. So, I settled down on the couch with a steaming mug and watched the mosaic of snow and leaves dance in the wind. Let the first snow excitement seep in.

Turns out, I needed that surprise. Maybe disruption isn’t always a bad thing. Failed plans most often lead to something better. God knows what he’s doing. The hard part is learning to let go. I might be taking baby steps, but I’ll get there eventually! And so will you.

Go with hope, friends💛

Same Same, But Different

‘Same same, but different.’ ~A Thai colloquialism.

Often used in the market to sell you something not the same at all 🤣 But also used for subtle nuance and drawing connections cross-culturally.


Comp titles. As a reader, I love them! But as an author… let’s just say it’s complicated.

Maybe I overthink the process. Wouldn’t be the first time😉 But I always worry it’ll end up misleading. Especially for stories that are a bit more niche. Or comping very well known works.

🤔 Is some basic allegory and one chapter heavily inspired by the Lucy/Aslan dynamic really enough to compare my debut with one of the most beloved Christian Fantasy novels of all time? 🤔😅🙈

So, instead of sharing comps I’ve come up with, here are some connections my brilliant readers have felt strongly enough to comment on!


  • If you have read Margaret Rogerson’s ‘An Enchantment of Ravens’, then this book is right up your alley! It’s got the fairytale vibes, the unlikely heroine, and her struggle to love and accept herself as he is. ~Goodreads
  • Beautiful, lyrical writing with a creative storyline and intriguing characters. Sucks you into a world of magic, darkness, and light and helps you see the world differently. Reminiscent of the Tales of Goldstone Wood. ~Goodreads
  • This novel reminds me a bit of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress but with a more subtle allegory for our modern age. ~Amazon
  • It reminded me of a cross between Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengel and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. ~Amazon
  • A thrilling, imaginative quest story that reminded me of all my favorite old medieval quests with whispers of Narnia and a bit of a Christopher Nolan’s Inception thrown in. ~Amazon

ONE YEAR OLD!

Today is To Slay a Curse’s first birthday 🥳 Giselle asked me to make a wish for her when I blew out the candle. Any guesses what it was?

And it happens to be a beautifully cozy Sunday afternoon. So why not grab yourself a cupcake and curl up with this free e-book? Yes, you read that right! My book baby is FREE ON KINDLE for the next five days! Click the image below to get your free ebook. Happy reading everyone!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE EBOOK!

Welcoming 2022!

Can you believe we’re already a week into 2022?! How is your year shaping up? Got all your goals set or a focus word chosen? Share one in the comments!

Only a week in, and I’m already seeing a significant amount of negativity regarding this new adventure. Memes to the effect of ‘a new year is too risky’ and the general concept that things will only get worse abound.

And I get it! Especially after the week I’ve just had. It’s been a rough couple years for everyone. And so far, the coming year looks bleak. But it doesn’t have to be…if our focus is on the right things.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite Prince of Egypt songs, ‘When You Believe’. If you don’t know it, the song starts off with how bleak the world looked for the Hebrew slaves in Egypt. Decades of praying for deliverance with no answer. Generations of yearning for a land that had been promised. Then the refrain that goes: ‘There can be miracles/When you believe/Though hope is fail/It’s hard to kill’.

What’s always stood out to me here is that prayer and belief, specifically in the fact that God remembers his people, bring hope. It might take longer than we want. We might feel trapped in the desert. But God has not forgotten us. No matter how bleak our world gets, there is still hope to be found in him.

So this year, instead of writing out my usual overwhelming list of goals, I’m doing something I’ve never tried before. I’m focusing on one word: HOPE. And yes, I do still have a few goals I’m working towards. But no matter how those play out or what new projects present themselves in the coming year, I have hope. Hope and belief that God will guide me in the correct path for my life. And that’s far better than any goal I could set myself.

Here’s my challenge for you. As you go out into this new year, go with prayer. Go with belief. And go with hope.

Just BE

When is the last time you chucked the DO list and let yourself just BE?

I have to admit, as much as I’d like to claim the hygge lifestyle, I don’t take down time nearly as often as I should. But I’ve made a concentrated effort recently! Put off chores to hang out with my brother. Ditched socials in favor of books and walks. Avoided marketing stress with cookies and cross-stitch 😉 And you know what? It’s been so refreshing!

So as we go into the bustle of this holiday season, I’m encouraging you to take time off the schedule and just be.

Also, my Scorpio Races reread has made me nostalgic for my horse girl days. Hence the stable aesthetic with Owl Crate’s super comfy wrap ☺

Redefining Success

I’ve been telling everyone who asks that my signing this past weekend was a success. And it was! But, if they were to look at my stats, I doubt they would be impressed. Why? Because I define success in terms that are harder to quantify.

Instead of looking at follower count, I look at the quality of those relationships. Instead of word count, meaningful words. Instead of attendees, true connections. And did I have fun? Instead of sales…well to be honest, as an indie author living on a budget, sales are always in the back of my mind. But I’m training myself to focus here: Has it helped anyone? Are my readers enjoying it? But my ultimate level of success is whether or not people have seen Christ in me.

I’ve found looking at the world in these terms lessens the stress levels and discontent. Because as great as a large wordcount, readership, and royalties are; when your focus is placed there, you’re in constant comparison mode. There will always be someone out there with better stats than you. And so, you are left always needing more. Just one more follow to beat the algorithm. Just one more k to hit that ‘sweet spot’. Just one more sale to move up the list. Just one more, just one more… And y’all, it’s draining!

So today, I’m challenging you to take a hard look at how you define success. And if needed, make a mental shift to focus on the things that feed your soul rather than drain it. 💛

Also, just want to give a big shout out to my mom for all the help! She made such an impression one buyer asked her to sign the book too 😂 Tip for my fellow introverts: when doing events, bring an extrovert with you!

5 Mental Health Care Tips

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day! If you’ve been around here for a while, you know mental health is very important to me. So today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite ways to care for it.

1. Naps!

It sounds cheesy, but I firmly believe naps are magic. No matter how bad the day is, it looks a little bit better once I’m well rested.

2. Quality time with friends and family.

Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on now and then. Talking your troubles out, even if you don’t reach a solution, can give you a real moral boost. This includes prayer, btw. There’s a certain kind of peace that comes from handing off your worries to the one who loves you most and is always able to handle them.

3. Fresh air.

Never underestimate the power of fresh air and sunshine! I’m partial to hiking or a bonfire, but any outdoor activity will do. Even if it’s just sitting on your porch watching the leaves fall.

4. Be Cozy.

Clichés exist for a reason. And warm cookies with a glass of milk and a fluffy blanket has never failed to put me in a better mood. Soothing music and a good candle never hurt either 😉

5. Journaling

Obviously as an author, writing helps me process things. Whether its journaling about my troubles or creating fictional worlds in which to face them. Things just seem less scary and more manageable once I’ve unloaded them from my mind to a sturdy notebook (or more often, word doc).

So, what about you, friends? How have you cared for your mental health this weekend? Got any care tips to share with me?

Managing Stress

How do you deal when the world comes crashing down?

NGL, my first impulse is to curl up on the couch and bingewatch years of tv within a couple weeks 😅 But my more helpful tactics include time outside or with friends, baking, and focusing on one small accomplishable task at a time.


It’s been a particularly brutal month for me. I’ve been cleaning up one catastrophe after another on all fronts. As soon as I get one thing resolved, another shoe drops. And though my trials may not be large in the grand scheme of things, they feel gargantuan in the moment.

But when I take a step back, I notice all the small blessing’s God’s showered me with along the hard road. Mainly in the community that’s pulled around me. Co-workers took me hiking, good friends checked in on me at just the right time, I made new friends in a ladies’ group, and Sunday School is finally back on!

It’s so easy for the treacherous mountain path to overshadow the flowers along the road or obscure the pond on the far side. So, as we close out the month, I’m challenging us to focus on the good moments, no matter how small.


Also, this month’s binge was Once Upon A Time. Any other CaptainSwan shippers here?