Friday, June 30, 2017

Dandelion Dust: Blog Tour

I'm back with another blog tour! Faith Potts, a friend of mine who has followed my blog for years and I've followed hers since the beginning, is releasing her debut novella today, Dandelion Dust! I thought that this post was good timing considering my previous post about writing clean books.

For those of you who enjoy sweet, clean Christian romances, I highly recommend this. I had the privilege of reading it previous to its release—and read it I did! I finished this delightful tale in a single day.

I'm truly amazed by the writing talent Faith possesses. For being her debut, Dandelion Dust is a work of art. Her characters are real to the point of being just as good as the best characters I've read from more experienced authors. The plot is logical, entertaining, and captivating, while also at times heartbreaking. *Warning: Spoiler Ahead*
But if you only want to spend your time on stories with happy endings, Dandelion Dust will still appeal to your fancies! For the record, I only like (and thus only recommend) books with good endings. *end spoiler*

From first to last word, I fell in love with Faith's story. I know that I say that for many books, but the way I see it, there are a multitude that I don't say that about. Faith takes her characters through trials that test their faith and help them come back stronger. As they are forced to rely on God and trust His plan, they find that He takes care of them even in the midst of seemingly hopeless situations. This modern-day novella is truly an enjoyable read as it inspires and encourages. While tugging on the emotions of any reader, Dandelion Dust expertly weaves simple threads into a well-designed masterpiece. Marvelous job, Faith!

Here is the synopsis for Dandelion Dust:
Like a speck of dandelion dust riding the tides of a prairie wind, life is fleeting. Though I never realized just how fragile it was until that day . . .
Charity always had a dream. It was simple, really. Find a guy, fall in love, and get married.
The day she met Ryder, Charity knew he was the man God had chosen for her. But she never expected their relationship to be tested and tried through the fires of a freak accident. Suddenly, her world is thrown into chaos, and the bleak, white walls and sterile smells of a city hospital fill every spare minute. And then there comes the dreaded news. It was likely Ryder would never make it out of the hospital bed.
As her carefully laid plans for the future come crashing down around her and the sun seems to set on her dreams, can Charity still find hope in the dark of night?
Like a dandelion, life is beautiful. But treasure every moment. . . for one day, the flower will be gone.
*sniff, sniff* Isn't it beautiful? It is a very accurate description of the story, so if this sounds intriguing, you will certainly enjoy it!

Here is Faith's author bio. You can find her writing blog, Stories By Firefly, by clicking on the name, and her "faith" blog, Chosen Vessels, by doing the same. She's also on Goodreads, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Faith Potts is a teenage writer, living with her family and beloved yellow labs in the southeastern US. When she's not writing stories, consuming large amounts of coffee, reading books, or creating pottery, she can be found laughing harder than is healthy, daydreaming, and – of course – blowing dandelions.
Now, to purchase your copy of Dandelion Dust, click HERE. There is also a giveaway for two paperback copies going on until tonight. You can enter below, or by clicking on THIS LINK.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for reading, my friends! Be sure to support Faith in her venture to write clean Christian fiction! You won't be disappointed with Dandelion Dust! Great work, Faith! So proud of you!

I'll be back tomorrow with a cover reveal for another author friend, Jesseca Wheaton, whose books I've featured before on here. Stay tuned! :)

Monday, June 26, 2017


If you are a writer, you'll love this post.
If you are a reader, you'll be ecstatic.
If you are a Christian, you'll be cheering.
If you are a friend, then I'm pretty sure you are at least one of the three above and will enjoy this. :)

No matter who you are, today I'm giving you a chance to take a stand. I'm putting before you a call to action. The background of this post goes something like this:

A few months back, I'd started thinking about all the junk in books, movies, etc. Then, a fellow blogger started the #RebelliousWriting movement. Many bloggers are joining. For writers, it's a plea to stop writing bad language, gruesome or inappropriate scenes, and to keep books clean. I'm also inviting readers to join by not supporting books with such unnecessary items, but to promote good books and warn people from the bad ones.

Who wants to sit down with the expectation of a good read and find their minds filled with unwanted things? I don't, and I'd reckon you don't either. So stand up and do your part. Whether you are an adult or teen, this applies to YOU. Don't sit back any longer and allow this.

I know that rebellion is often frowned upon, but this is one revolution that I have wholeheartedly dived into. I believe that rebellion can be used as my fundamental right for positive change in America. The United States Constitution guarantees my right to let my voice be heard.

The core of this is not against books in general; I'm personally rebelling against any and all books/movies/television/advertising/social media/news reports/cartoons/packaging/etc. that don't honor God. The Bible says in Philippians to keep your mind focused on things that are lovely, pure, praiseworthy, true, just, honorable, and of good report. That's the rebellion I'm joining. As Christians we shouldn't be allowing our minds to focus on unpleasantness. I also encourage you who have friends that engage in this sort of expression to show them another path. Let them see that they don't need this in order to enjoy themselves.

Come writers!
Come readers!
Come Christians!

Rebel with me today against entertainment and promotions that don't comply with Philippians 4:8 (above). Won't you join me?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Blogging Anniversary // Q&A

July 16 is A Great God and Good Cocoa's fourth birthday! I've thrown around multiple ideas to celebrate, and settled on doing a Q&A session. I considered making it into a vlog (a post in the form of a video), but due to limited internet I'm going to keep it all text. Maybe next time. :) Thank you everyone who gave me suggestions for celebrating four happy years!

Now, your part in this is to ask questions! In the comments you may ask up to six questions. (No more than that please.) They can be about anything from my blogging to my writing to my personal life to my thoughts on certain spiritual topics. I don't think I need to say this, but of course, all questions need to be kept “rated G”. Nothing beyond that. Thanks. Whether you know me in person or we've just recently met through our blogs, you can learn a few new things about me.

So what have you been wondering about me? Now's your chance to ask and I'll answer in a post on July 16! (Please ask all questions by July 13.) I'm looking forward to answering your queries!

Note: I reserve the right to not answer any specific question without giving a reason.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Dear God, Where Have You Been?

I was recently talking with a friend who expressed that she didn't “feel” God. I've felt that way before. I've wondered why at times I don't feel His presence or have the desire to know Him more. I've questioned everything about Him. But the truth is that even when we don't “feel” God, He's still there. Better yet, He's not just somewhere in heaven—for Christians, He's inside of us! It's a shockingly amazing reality.

So why don't we always feel Him if He truly is so close? If our best friend was standing beside us, we would be aware that s(he) was there. Even further, we would be excited that s(he) was present! Why isn't it the same with God?

If you are feeling this way, my first question is “Have you been reading your Bible lately?” God wrote each of us (Christians and non-Christians) an awesome love note. But are we taking the time to read it? The analogy I used with my friend is as follows:

If your boyfriend wrote you a letter, but you didn't read it, and he if sent you texts but you never replied, and if he left you messages on your phone but you never listened to them, and if he tried to talk to you but you didn't listen, how much of a relationship would that be?

Friendships go both ways. God has written you a letter, have you read it? He's constantly around you, are you looking for Him? In creation? In every breath you take? Every good and perfect gift is from God who never changes. (James 1:17) Even if we entirely turn our backs on Him, He still gives us breath. He blesses us with beauty around us and people who love us. He takes care of us.

He's always there. Are you looking?

I'm not saying that there aren't times when strong Christians who are looking for God and reading their Bibles don't struggle with this question. It's a daily fight to remember the reality that Immanuel—God is with us. There are times when the battle is stronger than others. Every Christian has seasons in their life. Times when everything is going well, and times when it feels the world is crashing down around us. It's easier to say “don't doubt God” than it is to live out, but it is nonetheless still true. God is still God—even in our trials. He is still with us, and that's the biggest blessing of all. Doesn't it take faith to trust this? Yes. But the Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

I recently read a quote in Outrageous Courage: What God Can Do with Raw Obedience and Radial Faith that further explains this. After quoting Psalm 23, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me," the author writes:

Even Jesus, in his perfect obedience, cried, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" But then you discover that it is in the dark valley that the God of the impossible shows up to protect you, break the prison chains, make you fireproof and even raise you from the dead. Nothing fuels your passion for trusting and obeying God like a walk through the dark. (Vallotton, 2013)*

Join me in remembering this. Tack up a paper on your wall that reads “Immanuel—God with us”. Take time to look at the beauty in creation and remember that He made it all. The God who created all things is living inside of you! Fill your lungs with air and thank Him. Count your blessings—there are always some. Don't forget the marvelous truth that GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US. Nothing will ever change that. And He will always walk with you through the difficulties that you are facing.

*Vallotton, Kris and J. Vallotton. 2013. Outrageous Courage: What God Can Do with Raw Obedience and Radial Faith, Bloomington, MN: Chosen Books, 61.