How precious are Your thoughts to me, O LORD ... how vast is the sum of them!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Carnival of the Animals

Some of you may know I’m a classical music nut. I love music in general, so I’m thrilled every summer to teach at a music day camp for kids. This year’s theme just so happened to fit in with the story I’m preparing for publication (a retelling of the fairy tale “The Bremen Town Musicians”) as it was Animals, specifically the “Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saëns. This lighthearted orchestral suite, written in 1886, is comprised of fourteen entertaining movements, each depicting a different animal taking part in a carnival. I’ve loved it since I was a kid, but teaching about it at the music camp was the first time I actually studied it.

If you haven’t heard this fun, fast-paced piece, give it a listen and let me know which movement is your favorite! Mine are 1) Aquarium (which sounds similar to the prologue from The Beauty and the Beast); 2) Fossils (that iconic xylophone piece that sounds like dancing bones); and 3) Swan (probably the most recognizable movement from the suite).

What music have you been listening to and loving recently?

Photos of Music Camp

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Return . . . of Me and the 777 Writing Challenge

Hey, everyone! I hope your summer has been full of good times and free from heatstroke. Maybe you’re one of those fortunate individuals who live where summer is actually the weather highlight of the year. If so, make the most of it for me!

Like many of you, I’ve had a busy summer. Writing had to go on the back-burner in May, June, and July, but I’m finally back and feeling a bit of a fresh, north Atlantic wind in my sails. I’ve missed this blog. And with the advent of a new book, it’s time for an earnest return.

 Thank you to Deborah O’Carroll of The Road of a Writer for tagging me in the 777 Writing Challenge! She gave me the impetus to update you on my retelling of “The Bremen Town Musicians” and share a snippet.

For the update, the story is moving forward nicely, praise God. The tentative title is The Road to Bremen, and it’s topped out at about 19,000 words. Illustrations are being planned and I’m working on a next-to-final edit and formatting. November 2018 is my projected publication date, though it may slide into December. I’ll share more as I begin the publishing process.

And now for the snippet. Here are the rules for the 777 Challenge:
1. Open your WIP to the seventh page.
2. Scroll past the seventh line.
3. Copy the next seven paragraphs and paste them on your blog for THE WORLD to read.
4. Tag seven people. (I’m going to forgo this last one and tag whoever wants to do it.)
Photo Credit: Ivana Ebel

 “Those robbers have been terrorizing people for months. The forest must be where they live,” the flutist protested. “Now let’s go before . . . before . . .”
Before we get stuck in the forest at nightfall!” the violinist chuckled.
And with that, they were off without so much as an Auf Wiedersehen.
Etzel was offended at first, but when the musicians struck up a tune down the road, his thoughts turned. Bremen musicians were paid well and in great demand? Why, he could eat all the hay in the field and more! He’d never have to carry a heavy load again! All he’d have to do was sing; he probably didn’t even need to sing very often if musicians were paid well.
He had a fine voice: loud, deep, and natural. It would drown out all the music humans could make with their meager voices and instruments. Their instruments had a nice, tinkling sound, but they were mere twitters compared to a donkey’s voice.
So why shouldn’t Etzel go to Bremen, too? He was condemned to death here at this thankless farm, so why not leave and become a musician? It certainly seemed his true calling, the more he thought about it; perhaps he ought to have become a musician long ago and not spent all his life in farm drudgery!
Turning away from the fence, he looked this way and that. On the other side of the pasture, the draft horses’ noses were planted in the grass, backs facing him. Herr Hofmann was probably inside the large clay-and-timber barn or the house behind, both under the same long, sweeping thatched roof. Etzel didn’t like how the empty black doorway gaped at him, but at least it showed no one was watching.

 What do you think will happen next?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Overrun By Your Love Blog Tour + Poem Spotlight

Blog Tour - Overrun

Overrun By Your Love, a collection of inspirational poetry by Erika Mathews, has been released! Join in the excitement with the giveaway below, and don't forget to check out the other blog tour stops here. Keep reading for a spotlight on one of the poems.

About the Book

2 Cor 4

kindle cover overrun
Immerse yourself in a lyrical, artistic story older than time: the story of the kingdom of God.

Receive encouragement and refreshment in your spiritual walk with a collection of poems on our awesome God, trusting God, family, God’s creation, special occasions, and ministering Christ.

Inspirational and joyful poetry hones in on Biblical truth in a meditative manner.  

Purchase on Amazon

 About the Author

Erika Mathews Author

Erika Mathews is the author of Promise’s Prayer and an editor who lives in the farm country of Minnesota with her husband and young children. She’s a homeschool graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications, a Master’s in Biblical Ministries, and a passion for sharing Jesus Christ and His truth. When she’s writing, she enjoys letting God’s message shine through her, crafting pleasing sentences, and using the Oxford comma. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, outdoor activities, music, and organizing. She's been writing poems since she was four years old. Swings, hammocks, fields, waterfalls, and lakes near her Minnesota home are her favorite places for Scripture meditation. You can connect with Erika at



Click here to enter to win Overrun By Your Love in paperback or ebook!

overrun quote 2nd verse

Poem Spotlight: April, When Bluebonnets Grow

From the Author: Although one might suppose this poem would have been written in April, it was actually penned during the last week of March: March 23, 2013, to be exact. It was during my fifth semester - my third and final spring - at IMI, a small Bible school in Texas Hill Country with an intense focus on seeking God, spending time with Him, and meditating on Scripture. Throughout my time at IMI, I enjoyed walking in the “Horse Pasture” mornings, afternoons, and evenings - particularly during bluebonnet season. From the first spring, the bluebonnets captured my fancy with their deep blue hues, their star-shaped leaves, and their symmetrical composition - not to mention the beauty of field after field painted in that beautiful color. This poem grew out of imagining lifetime’s key events centered around the bluebonnet - from learning to know and trust God deeply on earth to an eternity of resting and enjoying forever that of which earthly bluebonnets are but a mere shadow.

April, When Bluebonnets Grow

I love to muse, and pray, and sigh
Through rolling, gentle, sunlit fields,
But, better still, I love to spy
Star-leaves, with deepest true blue yields.
All fear upends and worry flees.
God loves this azure bud, I know—
How fields turn into waving seas
In April, when bluebonnets grow.
I want a pure white veil to wear
Of ethereal cloud-mists gently soft;
A flower-carpet wide and fair
With true blue clusters waved aloft;
An emerald gem to match the blue
That’s echoed in the sprig I throw;
To stand with me, God’s man and true—
In April, when bluebonnets grow.
And when at last I close my eyes
To life’s brief breath upon this earth,
And when my feeble body lies
Within the dust that gave it birth,
I want that mortal frame to rest
Within the earth that kept it so,
And o’er the top, with blossoms dressed—
In April, when bluebonnets grow.
When resurrection’s song they raise
That year, I pray to God I will
With greater resurrection praise
Be singing it yet louder still.
I think I’ll find a blue expanse
Bright, endless, waving to and fro,
And think of earth days and earth plants
In April, when bluebonnets grow.
When morning breaks in endless dawn
And I shall see with heaven’s sight,
I’ll find there, as I wander on
Blue waving, breathtakingly bright;
For, when untouched by man’s controls,
The Master paints all fields blue so,
I’ll smile, remembering earthly strolls
And April, when bluebonnets grow.

© Erika Mathews 2018. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Second Impressions Sale for Christmas in July

Today, the short story collection e-book published along with the Vintage Jane Austen series is on sale for $0.99! Edited by Hannah Scheele and written by six authors, these short stories based on Jane Austen's novels represent a variety of genres and styles, and I really enjoyed them all. If you'd like to read more about each story and author, visit my post HERE.

(Psst! If you missed the days for Emmeline and Suit and Suitability, books 1 and 2 in the Vintage Jane Austen series, they're still marked down from their regular price! Also, stay tuned because another e-book in the series will be on sale next week.)

Don't forget to follow the rest of the Christmas in July blog party and enter the giveaway.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Suit and Suitability Sale for Christmas in July

Last week you may remember I posted about the month-long Christmas in July Blog Party. Today it's Suit and Suitability's turn to be featured and discounted. You can find it on Amazon HERE for $0.99. 

A retelling of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Canton, Ohio, 1935. Ellen and Marion Dashiell's world crumbles when their father is sent to prison. Forced to relocate to a small town, what is left of their family faces a new reality where survival overshadows dreams. 

Emmeline, book 1 of the Vintage Jane Austen series, is also on sale, so don't miss out!

To follow the rest of the party, enter giveaways, and find free and discounted e-books, travel HERE for the schedule and HERE for the grand prize giveaway.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Christmas in July Blog Party

The month of July is full of opportunities for you to get free and discounted e-books. Just follow the blog tour schedule to discover giveaways, sales, and authors you may not have met before. Have fun!

I'm happy to be participating. The Suit and Suitability e-book will be 99 cents on July 9 and Second Impressions will be 99 cents on July 10, but you can still find them at a discount throughout next week before they're back up to their regular price.

Be sure to enter the grand-prize giveaway and/or the international giveaway below!

Blogger List and Schedule

July 1, 2018
Author Sarah Holman
Free: “Distorted Glass”

July 2, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
Giveaway: Where Can I Flee?

July 3, 2018
Author Faith Blum
Giveaway: Audiobook redemption code

July 4, 2018
Author  E. Kaiser Writes
Spotlight: new cover

July 5, 2018
Author- Amanda Tero
Free: Noelle’s Gift

July 6, 2018
Author Ryanna Lynn
Discount: Free shipping for Coffee Shop Christmas

July 7, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
Discount: The House of Mercy e-book

July 8, 2018
Author Sarah Holman
Discount: Emmeline

July 9, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
Giveaway: In the Shadow of Thy Wings

Author Kelsey Bryant
Discount: Suit and Suitability ebook

July 10, 2018
Author Kelsey Bryant
Discount: Second Impressions ebook

July 11, 2018
Author Rachel Rossano
Discount: The King of Anavrea ebook

July 12, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
Free eBook: Hartly Manor

July 13, 2018
Author Kate Willis
Free eBook: Enjoy the Poodle Skirt

July 14, 2018
Author Kendra E. Ardnek
Vlog and Giveaway: The most romantic fairy tales

July 16, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
Giveaway: Out of the Ashes

July 17, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
Discount: The Unexpected Request
Free: Choices for Max

July 18, 2018
Author Emily Ann Benedict
Discount: Perception, a Vintage Jane Austen Novel

July 19, 2018
Author Erika Mathews
Discount: Promise’s Prayer ebook, Overrun By His Love
Free: Gather ‘Round The Fables

July 20, 2018
Author Ryana Lynn
Blog post: character interview.

July 21, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
Sale: to be announced

July 23, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
Discount: Journey to Love, Befriending the Beast, The Secret Slipper

July 24, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
Blog: Special upcoming release announcement

July 25, 2018
Author Emily Ann Benedict
Giveaway: The Father Christmas Confessions.

July 26, 2018
Author Faith Blum
Blog: Special upcoming release announcement and book sale

July 27, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
Discount: A Time of Grace: The Complete Series
Blog: Spotlight on new book

July 28, 2018
Author Abigayle Claire
Giveaway and discount: Andora’s Folly

July 30, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
Discount: The Mystery of the Missing Cufflinks

July 31, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
Giveaway and new release: “Finding Christmas Joy”

Enter the Giveaway HERE.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

My Grandma the Centanarian

Five months before Armistice Day, the official end of World War One, my grandmother Irene was born in Chicago—on June 11, 1918.

It’s hard to imagine seeing a whole century of life, and even my grandma says she can’t believe she’s one hundred years old. But here she is today, physically and mentally healthy, and soon to celebrate with children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other relatives.

She’s spent her life taking care of people, loving and serving them, and even now she keeps up with what everyone in the family is doing. She blesses everyone she meets. We're so grateful that she's been with us this long! From her faith in God to her many years of wisdom and experience, she is an inspiration to me. I’m honored for her name to be my middle name.

Happy birthday to one of the best women I know!