What I Learned At 23

Hi everyone! I did a post like this last year around my birthday called “What I Learned at 22” and I wanted to do one this year sharing about what the Lord has taught me!

My 23rd year was filled with some ups and downs, but I’m so thankful that the Lord is constant and so faithful, even though I do not deserve Him. One thing that He taught me this past year is that He alone is enough for me. I can often people please and try to find my satisfaction in other people or even things, such as my job, but the Lord really showed me this year that those things do not define me, but He alone does. The pandemic was isolating for me and often made me feel like I was alone, but God showed me that because I have Him, I am never alone. He is so amazing!

On July 4th, 2020, my family and I got together with my grandparents, uncle, aunt, and cousins all together for the first time since before the pandemic. It was so great getting to be all together again.

In August of 2020, I went back to work for the first time since before the pandemic. It was definitely a learning experience for me as I had to learn to adjust to different procedures that were in place. I am grateful that God was with me every step of the way because I couldn’t have done it without Him. I worked through November of 2020, before saying goodbye to my first job in preparation for us to move. It was definitely sad for me leaving my first job, but I am thankful that God had be there for a season.

In September, we started exploring our future new home town due to the fact that my uncle, aunt, and cousins moved there! We didn’t know quite yet that we would be living there!

On New Year’s Eve, my family got together again with my grandparents, uncle, aunt, and cousins to celebrate our Christmas. It was so great being able to celebrate with them, especially after the hard year.

January of 2021 my family moved into a rental house about 3 hours away from Houston for a few months. My brother started college in a new area, and so for a few months we went back and forth between Houston and the rental house. It was definitely an adjustment being in a new place and not knowing many people, and I had some hard days, but there were also so many good times! I’m so thankful for the Lord’s unfailing love and His faithfulness!

I saw snow 2 times within a month which basically never happens in TX! The snow part was really fun, especially during the first snow, but during the second snow, the ice and low temperatures in the teens that I had not seen before in TX affected a lot of people. I am thankful that my family and my house was okay but I know that so many people’s houses weren’t.

In March, I got to meet up with my editor and beta reader for the first time! It was so much fun getting to see them!

In April, my family sold our Houston house. It was very bittersweet, as I had lived in that house since I was 2. It was my childhood home and I have so many memories from there!

In May, we officially moved 3 hours away to our new city. We’ve really been enjoying being a bit more out in the country, it’s so peaceful here. I also published my first novel, Hope in the Dark, in May! I’m so thankful that God had me meet so many amazing people through the process, He is so good! It was so surreal on release day having it out and people have been so sweet and supportive and I am so thankful!

My 23rd year was filled with some hard days but also some great memories and I am so thankful that through everything, the Lord is constant. Without Him, I have nothing. In Him, I lack no good thing and I am so in awe of His love. God has grown me in the last year, and each and every day I want to become more like Him.

How has your year been so far? What are some of your favorite memories this year?

-Hannah

My Favorite Fiction Books

I’ve loved reading since I was young. I always enjoyed finding a good book and stepping into the story! I wanted to share about some of my favorite fiction books! I plan on doing a part two soon about my favorite nonfiction books so stay tuned for that!

  1. The Tales of Tarsurella books by Livy Jarmusch.

This is my favorite series! There are three books in this series, The Coronation, The Rebellion, and The Wedding and they are all so good! The series is about a modern day royal family in the *fictional* country of Tarsurella. The royals have to navigate life bombarded by media while also learning how to grow closer to the Lord and each other. I definitely plan on going to Tarsurella one day! 😀

2. Men of Grit series by John J. Horn.

This series is a new favorite! There are four books, Brothers At Arms, The Boy Colonel, Secret of the Lost Settlement, and Escape to the Mountain Fortress. I’m currently reading the fourth and final book in the series and I’m so sad that it’s almost over! The series revolves around two twin brothers who are complete opposites of each other as well as a colonel in the army called Nobody! The books are about their adventures and obstacles that they face.

3. Regal Hearts by Livy Jarmusch.

This series is written in a TV show format, with episodes, which is really unique! It’s about four sisters who are separated at birth and find out years later that they actually are royalty! There are three seasons and each one left me excited for the next one!

4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.

This book is a classic and y’all have probably heard about it already haha. This book was one of my favorite reads in school! The Lord of the Rings is also a really good series!

5. Winnie The Horse Gentler by Dandi Daley Mackall.

This series is geared toward middle grade readers, but I actually went back and reread the books over quarantine because I love them so much! I love horses and I loved reading about Winnie and how she grew in her character and closer to God throughout the series.

6. A Light for Christ series by Aleigha C. Israel.

This series is such a good series about characters who are faced with so many obstacles to their faith in Christ, and they have to decide if they’re going to remain steadfast in their faith or if they’re going to give in to pressure of the world and people around them.

7. Martin Hospitality by Abigayle Claire.

This book was such a sweet and uplifting story about a girl named Gemma having to navigate life as a single mom while also discovering how much God loves her.

8. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis.

This series is also a classic and such a good and entertaining series with a great message. My favorite books in this series are probably The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and The Magician’s Nephew but they are all really good!

Those are some of my favorite fiction books! What are some of your favorites?

I hope you are having a wonderful day!

-Hannah

P.S. The links in this post are affiliate links which means that I get a commission if you purchase the books in the links in my post. This is at no extra cost to you!

Hope in the Dark is Here!

Hi everyone! I am so excited to announce that my first novel, Hope in the Dark, is officially out on Amazon today!!

Moving into the great unknown of Featherlight, Idaho, was a huge change for Elizabeth Matthews. But while Asheville, North Carolina was comfortingly familiar, it had left her with a broken heart and a determination to never trust a man again.

Hard working Samuel Bryson is honor bound to provide for his widowed mother and siblings. Determined to live up to his own expectations of being just like his father, he will let nothing get in his way. And that includes marriage.

Serene and cozy Featherlight has taken a turn into something much darker. Newly hired school teacher Elizabeth and Samuel find themselves desperately searching for answers to the suspicious criminal activity around them. They find themselves thrown into facing their worst fears… and each other. In the midst of many unknowns, will they find the courage to do what God is calling them to?

I can’t believe that this day is finally here. 3 years ago when I started writing this book I would have never guessed what God would do through this book. I started writing this book when I was in the midst of a hard season of my OCD and eventually I had to stop writing it for a couple months because I couldn’t write without rewriting sentences.

As God brought me out of that hard season of OCD in the summer of 2018, I was able to begin working on my writing again and I worked on it on and off until March 2021 when during quarantine the Lord really laid it on my heart to finish this book and I was able to spend my extra time I had finishing up writing Hope in the Dark.

This past year the Lord brought the most amazing cover designer, Victoria Lynn, and editor, Micaiah Keough, into my life and it was so awesome getting to work with them! They are so sweet and I definitely recommend them if you are looking to self-publish a book!

God’s hands have been on this entire book process. He has blessed me so much even though I don’t deserve Him. He gets all the glory and I can’t wait to see what He does with this book! It’s all His!

I am so excited to finally be able to share Hope in the Dark with all of you! Thank all of you so much for all of y’all’s support for my book, it means so much to me and I am so grateful!

Love,

Hannah

Happy Easter!

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.” Luke 24:1-8.

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you all know just how loved you are by the King of kings who died for us so we could be forgiven of our sins. In Him, we have eternal life. He is our Hope, Peace, and our Joy forever. If you have any questions about salvation, I’d love to talk to you.

I hope everyone has a great Easter Sunday!

Love,

Hannah

An Interview with Livy Jarmusch!

Hi everyone! Today I am so excited to be interviewing Livy Jarmusch, the author of The Tales of Tarsurella and Regal Hearts. She is one of my favorite authors and her books are some of my favorites! Season 3 of her series, Regal Hearts, is coming out on April 1st!

Back of Book Summary: Lena Bodner has never been in such desperate circumstances. With her sister Elizabeth still captive, her nation falling apart, and her beloved childhood friend, Peter, behaving as if she’s a stranger, Lena must find strength to press forward and overcome the odds.

But how will she regain the trust of her nation, mend broken relationships, and live in such a way that honors the Crown resting upon her head? Will she live up to the expectations of her people? Or will Bella Adar begin to crumble beneath her leadership? 

Regal Hearts Season 3 is the continuation of an exciting story written in a unique TV show format. Livy has been releasing these “episodes” on a weekly basis, but now you can read Season 3 (10 Episodes) all at once!

I can’t wait to read it! I got to ask Livy some questions about Regal Hearts and her new book in the series!

1. What inspired you to write Regal Hearts?

As a young teen, I really struggled to find books that I truly enjoyed. I mean, I loved your average Princess-Hallmark-Movie story just as much as the next girl, but I was aching to read something a little more original. I’ve always enjoyed creating extremely unusual scenarios in my mind, while using familiar cliches or tropes then mixing them up and making everything super intense and slightly chaotic! Haha.
So, the idea for Regal Hearts literally came from me asking myself, “What would happen if four, long lost sisters, all grew up in completely different worlds, then had to find a way to come together in the end?” And that got the creative wheels spinning! Haha.

2. Do you have a favorite character in the series?

I do! I actually just did an Instagram post about this, haha! But yes, my favorite Regal Hearts character is definitely Arden. I mean, if I was a fifteen year old girl…um, swoon! Haha. Arden is very lively and fun-loving, and even though he’s far from perfect, he always brings an element of fun to everything he does, and he’s constantly challenging Emma to get out of her comfort zone, which I love!

3. I think it’s really cool that you decided to write the series in a TV Show format! What made you decide to do that?

I’ve dreamed of someday creating film and television shows, for as long as I can remember! When I was five years old I started dreaming of someday having my own channel or network, and have been brainstorming movie and television show ideas ever since then!

I wrote my debut novel, “The Coronation”, before starting Regal Hearts, so I was in the mood to do something a little different than another novel.
I thought it would be fun to release a story in an episodical, TV show format, where readers would have to wait week by week, and get a new installment every Friday! It really wasn’t in the plan to publish it in paperback, but there were a lot of people asking for it, so eventually I decided to offer it in the traditional “book” format, even though it’s meant to be enjoyed like a TV show playing on the big screen of your imagination!

4. I love how the sisters are all so different and yet they have similarities too! How did you come up with the backstories for all of the characters?

I honestly don’t remember the first time I started developing each character. Some of these characters have just been hanging around in the back of my head since I was like 12 or 13. I don’t really know where they came from or how they got there, haha, but it wasn’t at all abnormal for me to dream up a world full of characters as a young teen and not know what stories they should be placed in until years later. One of those classic examples would be Jonathan Napp, a middle-aged man who works for the URIA (Underground Royal Imperial Army), and gets assigned a variety of missions from his boss. I think I placed Jonathan in three or four stories ahead of this one (unfinished, of course!) and once I started developing Regal Hearts, I knew he would be perfect for it! And I think that’s the case with a lot of my characters. I’ve spent years playing around with them (or a version of them, anyway, haha!) in various stories and scenarios, so when it came time to find a “cast” for these stories, I knew just who to choose!

5. Is there anything that readers should know about going into Regal Hearts Season 3? No Spoilers, haha! 😀

Hmm…I would say, things are about to get very action packed, so mentally prepare yourself for that! There will of course be more character growth, maybe a few new characters as well *wink wink*, and lots of traveling! Get your passport ready!

If you’re looking for a good book series to get into, I definitely recommend Regal Hearts! Here is the link to the first season:  https://www.amazon.com/Regal-Hearts-Unlikely-Princess-Popstar-ebook/dp/B06XH3XR6Q/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=regal+hearts+livy+jarmusch&qid=1616599187&sr=8-3 

And here is the link to the third season if you’ve already read the first two!  https://www.amazon.com/Regal-Hearts-Season-Livy-Jarmusch/dp/B08WYG54GB/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=regal+hearts+livy+jarmusch&qid=1616599187&sr=8-1 

I hope you all have a great day!

-Hannah

Livy Lynn is a twenty-something author, singer, and songwriter. Her debut novel, The Coronation, came several years after establishing Crown of Beauty Magazine while connecting with teens and women all across the globe. 

She enjoy’s crafting YA Christian fiction that is pure, lovely, inspirational, and of course, entertaining! When she’s not writing, you can find her playing guitar, traveling, vlogging, laughing with friends, and planning something new and exciting.  

I’m Releasing My First Novel!

Hi everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful start to your week! I am so excited to finally let you know that my first novel, Hope in the Dark, will be releasing very soon!! It is a Christian historical fiction novel with a bit of mystery and pure romance! I was really discouraged by the lack of pure, God honoring romance novels on the market and so I decided to write one. The Lord gave me this dream and I’m so thankful for all of the characters and ideas He put on my heart.

I started writing this book when I was in the midst of a really hard season of anxiety and OCD. It got to the point where I couldn’t even type anymore without having to retype words multiple times. God brought me through that season and brought me freedom from my OCD to be able to write again. Since then, I have been working on this book on and off for about two years and finally finished the first draft last year during quarantine. This book is a huge testament of His faithfulness and I am so happy to finally be sharing it with you! God gets all the glory! All of the events that have led up to this point with this book has His fingerprints all over it. I’m so thankful for all He has done and I can’t wait to tell you more about my book over the next few weeks.  

If you are interested in posting about my book on your blog, being one of the first people to read Hope in the Dark, talking about my book on social media, and being entered into a giveaway, I would love to have you be a part of Hope in the Dark’s launch team! It’s going to be so much fun! If you’d like to join, you can just click the link to fill out the form below! I am so excited! 

https://forms.gle/HU5e8CGpAfLxHfF9A

So many people have supported me on my writing journey and I am so thankful for all of you! I hope you are having a great day! 

-Hannah 

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17.

Righteous Through Christ

“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” Philippians 3:8-9.

I’ve been struggling lately with righteousness. I think for a while I felt like being righteous depended on me. And as broken and sinful as I am, I knew there was nothing good about me. I knew that I would never be good enough. I read this verse the other morning and God really comforted me with the truth that righteousness doesn’t come from me, it comes through Christ.

Knowing that I don’t have to do things in my own strength is so comforting because I know I can’t be anything close to righteous on my own. I’m so thankful for Christ’s sacrifice for me and the fact that I can rest in Him and His righteousness. Righteousness is by faith, not works.

“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, i through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:22-26.

When we start getting into the mindset of striving and trying to earn God’s love, let’s remember that while we will never be able to earn God’s love, He freely gives it to us. Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins, we are made righteous. We can rest in this comforting truth always. I’m so thankful for that.

-Hannah

This or That Book Tag

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well! I saw this book tag on my friend, Hailey Hudson’s blog and thought it looked fun! Feel free to do this if you want to as well!

Read in bed or on the couch?

Definitely I would say in bed more, though sometimes I do read on the coach. I usually read a couple chapters before bed!

Read at night or in the morning?

At night! Sometimes on a Saturday I’ll read some in the mornings but usually I just read at night!

Male main character or female main character?

I would say a female main character, because I feel like I can relate to her more! Though I do like books with male main characters as well! Both can be great!

First person POV or third person POV?

I think it depends for me. I like both! Usually I feel like I can relate more with the character though if it’s in first person POV, and I also like first person POV in my writing!

Trilogies or quartets?

I think if the books are good, I want as many as possible to read, so I’d say quartets!

Libraries or bookstores?

I like both! I used to spend more time in libraries when I was younger but over the past few years I’ve been in bookstores more! I love used bookstores and thinking about how far a book may have traveled and all the people who’s lives the books have impacted.

Books that make you laugh or make you cry?

Both if the crying is happy tears! I don’t prefer super sad books.

Black book covers or white book covers?

I would say white! I like book colors that are light and bright!

Character-driven or plot-driven?

Character-driven for me! I love reading about characters that feel like could be your friends in real life if they were real!

Thanks for reading!

-Hannah

A Year In Review: 2020

Hello everyone! I cannot believe it is almost a new year! This year was definitely full of hardship. So many people were impacted by the COVID pandemic, the racial injustice in our world, and other hard things in 2020. It’s definetly been a difficult year, and I can tend to focus on the negatives. But even in this heavy year, God has given me so many blessings. I want to highlight a good moment from each month as we go into 2021!

On New Year’s Day, we had our Christmas celebration with my grandparents, uncle, aunt, and cousins. It was a great day!

In February, my mom and I took my cousin to go paint pottery. It was a fun day!

In March, my sister came home for Spring Break, and right before quarantine started, we got some delicious cookies!

In April during the official quarantine period, we took many walks, played board games, and came up with ideas to fill our time. Here is a picture of my sister, mom, and I on one of our walks!

April was also the month of Easter. It was so different watching church online, but it was so comforting to know that Jesus is still on the throne and He is always in control. He is risen!

One of the things I got into over quarantine was puzzles. This puzzle looks good enough to eat, haha!

In May, we celebrated my brother’s birthday quarantine style!

In June, I celebrated my birthday from home! My sister made me a homemade ice cream cake! It was a great day!

In July, my family and I got to travel to visit my grandparents for the first time since before quarantine. It was so much fun seeing them and their cute goats!

In July, I got to see one of my friends from college a couple times. We got to ride horses together one day. It was so great being back in the saddle!

In August, I got to return back to work. It was great getting to see my friends again! Also, not pictured, but we got to move my sister back into college. It was sad seeing her go but glad she had a great semester!

In September, we traveled to my uncle, aunt and cousin’s house to celebrate my sister’s birthday. It was a great day!

In October, apple cinnamon muffins sounded so good to me so I decided to make some. I’m not a baker, haha, so thankfully they turned out pretty good!

Our Thanksgiving was different than usual, but we still had a good day and a delicious meal just my siblings, parents, and I!

This month we celebrated Christmas! It’s so amazing to think of our Savior coming to earth as a baby. He is Immanuel, God With Us! Also got to attend a friend’s wedding, it was such a beautiful day! And went to see a Drive In For King & Country concert, which was so awesome!

This year,

I’m grateful to have met three new friends this year, one pen pal and two online friends.

I’m thankful to have been able to work when so many were facing job loss.

I was so excited to finally finish writing my book after two and a half years!

I’m thankful for all the virtual game nights I had with my cousins!

2020 was a hard year, but also a year that God reminded me that He is enough. I’m so thankful for the Lord’s grace, mercy, and unfailing love that I will never deserve. I hope everyone is doing well and has a great start to their New Year! Never forget that the Lord is on the throne and He loves you so much!

-Hannah

What College Taught Me

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well! Can you believe it is December? Time feels so different this year. On one hand it feels like time went by so slow, but on the other hand, it feels like I blinked and it’s almost Christmas.

I wanted to do a post on college. I graduated in December of 2019, and the Lord definitely taught me a lot of things during that time of my life. I wanted to talk about three here. If you are about to go to college or maybe you’re in college right now, I hope these things can encourage you.

1. Don’t Have Expectations.

Going into college, I feel like I had these expectations of how these four years of my life would go. I thought I would be engaged by the time I graduated and would be married soon after. I was so focused on that for so long that I think I missed what God was trying to teach me in my life. Instead of having expectations of how things will go in college, trust God. Know that His plans are perfect and for your good. Surrender to Him and let Him direct your steps. In the hard times and good times, He is constant.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

2. Get Involved and Stay Involved.

I can’t emphasize how important it is to surround yourself with friends who uplift you, encourage you, and point you to Christ. Find a campus ministry if your college has one and get involved in a local church. I was involved in one my freshman year, but sophomore and junior year I wasn’t. Senior year I got involved again and I am so thankful I did, but I wish I had stayed plugged in every year of college. It’s so important to do so.

“If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:10.

3. Do Your Best, But Don’t Stress.

Doing well in school is important, but it isn’t your identity. I definitely placed my identity in grades at points and would often stress out if I wasn’t doing well. Work hard at all of your schoolwork, but know that your grades do not define you. Christ does. If you studied hard for a test and still failed, know that it’s going to be okay. You will get through it. Don’t stress yourself out over worrying about grades. Do your best and then trust the Lord with the results.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24.

I hope these tips encourage you no matter where you are in your college journey. Never forget how much God loves you! Thanks so much for reading!

-Hannah