Sunday, February 19, 2017

When Calls the Heart Tag // Seaon 4 in ONE HOUR




















(I apologize for the formatting issue above! I could not get rid of the space! Why?! ALSO SPOILERS AHEAD for people who have not watched ALL episodes! There's a minor spoiler in question #6, but I give extra warning beforehand. ;))

Hey there, guys! My friend, Faith, who blogs at Stories by Firefly, and her friend, Rebekah, put together this fun tag in honor of When Calls the Heart! Speaking of, this is perfect timing, because season four beings in ONE hour! Check out Faith's post here, and Rebekah's here! Now, let's get the party started, shall we?

1. What's your favorite season of When Calls the Heart?

 Definitely season three. Season one comes in second place, and season two takes third.

 2. Who is your favorite character, and why?

*thinks* Hmm...it's between Bill Avery, Lee Coulter, and Rosemary LeVeaux (now Mrs. Coulter). When Bill first came in the show, I liked him...and then they made him seem rather suspicious and "bad guy-ish," so I became rather unsure about him. But now-a-days I like him again. I liked Lee almost immediately - after I got over the fact that he was "new" and therefore "suspicious" (also the fact that he actually liked Rosemary...um, sir, I think you just played a bad card and turned most of the Hearties against you?). Well, now? Now he's one of my favorite characters! And Rosemary. Oh, Rosemary! When she first came on the show, I disliked her so much, so very much. But she's really changed, and she's perfect for Lee, so - what more can I say? 

3. Who is your least favorite character, and why?

I'm gonna say Nora and the Hamilton swindler guy in season one. I also don't care for Elizabeth's dad (though he's MUCH better in the books) or mom, and I don't like Frank Hogan very much anymore. *coughs loudly* What?! I much prefer Abigail with Bill.

4. When did you first start watching When Calls the Heart?

Around April/May-ish of 2014. Not even sure how I heard about it. XD
 
Image result for when calls the heart lee and rosemary

5. Do you have a favorite couple from the show? If so, who, and why are they your favorites?
 
Lee and Rosemary. That is all.
 
Just kidding! They're kinda...adorable? To be completely honest...I much prefer them over Jack and Elizabeth. *runs from angry Hearties* What I like so much about their relationship is that they're truly there for each other, and they show it by the things they do. GUYS, I'm givin' ya some examples of their supportive-ness and overall fantastic qualities:
 
Lee had an elaborate construction plan to build Rosemary that theater. 
Lee encouraged Rosemary to go to California for that acting job because he wanted her to follow her dreams.
And she stayed. Because she loved him. *melts*
(Can we talk about that proposal? Probably my favorite moment of When Calls the Heart...ever.)
Rosemary tried to downsize Lee's spending because she thought his business was going under.
And then she did the sweetest thing...told him that he didn't need to build her that theater. At least not now. Because his business was more important.

Also, they're such opposites that they kinda bring out good in the other person. 

  
Oh, Jack! XD
 IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE CHRISTMAS MOVIE CLOSE YOUR EYES AND DON'T LOOK AT THE PICTURE BELOW.

 
6. Do you have a favorite quote from the show?
 
Woah! I don't know? I liked the scene in season one when Jack goes to Abigail...for her advice about Elizabeth, who was being rather stubborn when it came to the Hamilton dude (I can't remember his first name, okay), and she does the "honey not vinegar" thing - but I guess that's not a quote? (Spoilers ahead for those who haven't watch the Christmas movie yet!) I really liked the scene in the new Christmas movie where Bill Avery is cooking in Abigail's cafe, and someone complains about their eggs. So he whips out a rolling pin and charges out to see who the guy was. (see above picture)

AND THEN
 
Bill: *starts back toward the kitchen* *spots Jack sitting there* "How's your food, Constable?"
Jack, with an amused smile: "Nothing to complain about."

Bill was literally hilarious. 
 
7. What are your thoughts on Rosemary LeVeaux? Did you like her right away or did she grow on you?

Rosemary is one of my favorite characters. *points back to question two* She brings humor to the show. And she's incredibly generous. Giving up her bridesmaids' dress material and all of her food to help the settlers? I would've...never seen that coming when she showed up so unexpectedly - and horrifyingly - in season one. And no, I certainly did not like her at first! I really wanted her leave. XD She was very forward and was forcing her way back into Jack's life in the most annoying of ways... But she grew on me. I like her character now! And she's perfect for Lee - and so caring. 

8. Have you read the When Calls the Heart book series?

Well, there's two book series - of  the original, I have read the first four novels. Of the companion novels to the T.V. series, I've also read the first two books in that trilogy!
 
9. Was there anything in season 3 that surprised you? (characters, plots, etc...)

Yes! I was surprised to have Jack's mom show up! And she's different than expected. XD Also, I was kind of surprised when Jack almost....died. I knew they wouldn't dare kill him, but it was still a little shocking! It's actually surprising in itself that Jack lived through all that! Overall, the flood surprised me. And the mine explosion. And things with Gowen. And Frank's past and the whole gang showing up! I didn't see a lot of the season coming! Which is nice. ;) OOH AND THE WEDDING AND PROPOSAL. I loved that! 

Related image
 
10. What do you foresee happening in season 4? (Be creative and as detailed as you like :))

I was hoping Lee and Rosemary were going to have a little Coulter baby, but I read an interview with Pascalle Hutton, and I guess not? Hopefully, Jack finally proposes to Elizabeth. *looks at him* Ya know we know that you still have that ring? ;) And I hope Abigail gets back together with Bill! *grins* I like Bill quite a bit now, and think he's a good match for her! She kinda needs him. ;) 
 
That was fun! Huge shout out to Faith and Rebekah for creating the tag! Also, Faith is currently having people sign-up to beta-read her new novella, SO GO CHECK IT OUT
 
Until next time,
 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Bookish Recap Tag



GUYS, I'M HERE WITH AN END OF THE YEAR BOOK TAG. (because what else?!)

Faith, my friend and the writer at Stories by Firefly, created this tag (super cool, yes?), and she tagged me - huge shout out and thank you to her!

BUT can you believe it's actually the end of the year? *shakes head*

>> Rules:
1) Include the above button in your post. << check
2) Answer the 11 questions. << will get to that in a sec
3) Use as many book covers as you like. (The correct answer to this question would be ALOT. B-)) << check again
4) Tag 5-10 people and notify them that they have been tagged. << definitely will do


>> QUESTION TIME <<

// How many books did you read in 2016? (Exact if you know, or approximate if not.) 

According to my Goodreads count (which is accurate), fifty-three (but I'm hopin' to make that fifty-four and finish up a book my little bro and I are currently reading).

// Did you set a reading challenge for yourself and, if so, did you meet it?  

I did, actually! I've used the yearly Goodreads reading challenge for the last..three years now, including 2016. It is a super fun way to keep motivated - and I really like that it tracks your progress throughout the year. AND THEN THEY SEND YOU AN EMAIL WITH YOUR COMPLETE LIST OF BOOKS and that is just...legit fun. So, I completed that one, and I also completed another challenge I did with my sister and some friends. (War and Peace was the last hurdle -- BUT I MADE IT.)

// What was your most read genre this year? Least read? 

(I like this question, btw) I read a total of 29 historical fiction books. *nods* That is indeed my favorite genre. XD Least read? Hmm... *checks* biographies and theology-type books. (hehe yeah...but I'm planning on reading more non-fiction this coming year, so...)

// What's five of your favorite books from 2016? 

WAIT I must narrow it down to only five?! (good thinking though, because I had a whole list...)

Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker << GUYS he's amazing and that's all there is to it

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof << Joanne is sooooo good at what she does. there's so much emotion and so much faith and love and hope. it's beautiful. (see my review here)

The Young Fur Traders by R.M. Ballantyne << Ballantyne's stories tend to be adventurous, and funny, with interesting characters. This one? No exception.

Take This Cup by Bodie and Brock Theone << such a good story! There were so many things in this that connected the Old Testament to Jesus' coming.

One Enchanted Eve by Melissa Tagg << a great novella by Miss Tagg - plus it's about two bakers (see my review here)

*blinks* That was super hard to choose. I AM STILL NOT EVEN SURE. (good luck to the peeps I tag ;))

// What's five of your least favorite books from 2016? 



Captives and Kings by Craig and Janet Parshall << There wasn't much character growth in this one. There could've been a lot more excitement than there was, and a few characters died for no reason. Also, it was kinda boring and dry. (see my review here)

A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot << I feel bad putting this one on here...but I didn't enjoy it. 

End of the Spear by Steve Saint << this one was slightly enjoyable, even interesting for a part of it, but I was really disappointed in the end and for the most part disinterested

War and Peace << I FINISHED IT THOUGH. (see my review here - warning: IT'S A LONG ONE)

Courageous by Dina L. Sleiman << there was really great faith elements in this, but for the first 200 pages I was uncomfortable. *grimaces* (see my review here)

Even choosing my least favorites was hard. XD

// What new favorite author did you discover? (Not necessarily that the author is 'new', but that they became new to you this year.) 

Hmmm...I think Melissa Tagg. Her books are cute and funny and honestly? remind me of Hallmark movies. Funny thing is my favorites of her books are two novellas...and then in third it's a full-length novel. Maybe because there's less drama in novellas, because everything has to be condensed. Imma go with that. XD
  
// What's five of your favorite book covers from the year? 

SO PRETTY. even the fonts. and oh the circus tent behind Ella. and her dress. and guys she's holding Charlie's hat. Didja know Joanne created this cover?! She's amazin'.



 YES I REREAD BROTHERS AT ARMS FOR LIKE THE SEVENTH TIME. *cough* Is that excessive? *shrugs because i don't really care* Adventure is dripping from this cover. *nods*





















She's carrying a parasol and is wearing a fancy Victorian dress, 'kay?

 



















There is snow on the trees behind them. Also she's wearing red lipstick. And that blanket was literally in the book. *laughs because that logic might not make sense*





















IT'S KATE AND COLTON.





















// How many books did you purchase for yourself in 2016? (Exact if you know, approximate if not.) 

Out of the 53 books I read this year, I bought 16 of them myself. I was actually surprised, since many of the books I read I either a) already owned, b) someone in my family owned, or c) were bought for me.

// What's the longest book you read in 2016? 

MWAHAHAAHAA WAR AND PEACE BY LEO TOLSTOY. except I started this a few years ago. Nonetheless, it's the longest book I read this year, my copy coming in at 1,421 pages. The second longest was Small-Town Brides, a novella collection, which totaled 448.

// What's the shortest book you read in 2016? 

Love in the Details by Becky Wade with 132 pages. (super cute)

(it's so helpful that Goodreads already has these things laid out for you... XD)

// What's your reading goal for 2017?

I'm gonna aim for 52 - one for every week. Also, I'm doing another reading challenge with a bunch of online friends - it's gonna be great! (post on that forthcoming)

THIS WAS FUN (although it was really hard picking things out. seriously was.) Thanks again to Faith for tagging me! Now...
  
Who I'm tagging:

Sarah   
Abi


    How was YOUR year in books?
Do you have a hard time picking favorites?   

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Would You Rather (Book Tag Edition)

I found this tag sitting on my Blogger dashboard a long time ago from Plottinger Twist. I wasn't tagged, but I thought it looked fun, and I thought I should do it, and I can tag others and spread this around... So here I am, doin' it (regardless of being tag-less).

#1 Would you rather read only trilogies or stand-alones?
...:

Oh... Stand-alones wrap up nicely, but trilogies give you more of a story for the adored characters. So, if the characters are fantastic and the plots are good, I'm going to go with trilogies. (I like series, actually, quite a bit.) 

#2 Would you rather read only male or female authors?

Can I just say both? Male and female authors bring different things to their stories, and both are amazing. I just would't want to live without either. (Especially Joanne Bischof. Or Ted Dekker. They. Are. Fantastic.)


#3 Would you rather shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?

Barnes and Noble, hands down. (I mean, I've got their membership... So COUPONS + FREE SHIPPING = BOOK LOVERS DREAM.) Besides, Barnes and Noble has physical stores! And cafes! Though the coffee is usually bad... But, on the upside, they have some pretty good blueberry muffins.


#4 Would you rather have books become T.V. shows or movies?

Movies, generally. But shows would be good too... (One chapter = one episode) It probably depends on the book.


#5 Would you rather read five pages a day or five books a week?

Five books a week - because five pages a day would be reader-misery, especially if the book was gripping. But I couldn't read five books a week for an extended period of time! No, siree. #bookcoma


#6 Would you rather be a professional reviewer or an author?

Author. No question about it. I want to write my own stories!


#7 Would you rather read your top 20 favorite books over and over again, or always read new ones you've never read before?

I choose new books. I really enjoy rereads of favorite books (I actually have reread Brothers at Arms six times now. Um. Yeah. *cough*), but new books bring a fresh excitement!


#8 Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?

Bookseller, definitely. Totally. And own my own bookstore? Yes, please. With a cafe (that has good coffee). <3


#9 Would you rather read only your favorite genre(s) or anything but your favorite? 

It would be my favorite genre (or genres) for a reason, so I'd rather read only my favorites. ;)

 
#10 Would you rather read only physical books or e-books?

  :

Physical books all the way. Now, don't get me wrong, I own a Nook, but e-books don't have the special something that physical books do. Turning pages, finding space for them on your bookshelves, having a huge library one day... All those things would never happen with my poor Nook. (Though the Nook is great, because it slips soooo easily into my purse for road trips. Oh, and the edges don't turn up...or down? That's the only downside about physical books - that they can get worn or damaged. And the room they take up...if you have no room left. Which is me currently. :O)

 
That was fun. Because I like talking about books! It's just so enjoyable, for some reason. Ya know?

I am officially tagging: Michaila from Mic's Room, Mikayla from The Bubblegum Ballerina, Sarah from Trusting in the Lord, Julia from The Barefoot Gal, and Abigayle from The Left-Handed Typist. Enjoy, guys! And if anybody else thinks this looks like fun: go for it.

(Totally just reminded myself of that Sidewalk Prophet's song...)

What is your favorite thing about reading? Have YOU ever had a super-crumbly blueberry muffin from Barnes and Noble's cafe? ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Courageous (Book Review)

Courageous
By: Dina Sleiman
Rating: 2 stars (It was okay)
Age range: 16 and up

For starters, I'll just say I haven't read the first two books in the series! (I heard that person in the back gasping...) I think it probably detracted from my enjoyment slightly, just because I didn't have the backstory of the characters. I mean, I could piece together the characters simply because I've read the synopsis of the first two novels in this series, and because there are some slight explanations, but it most likely would've been more fun if I knew the characters already and could say 'Hey! There they are!'. However, that's completely my own fault, and hopefully doesn't appear very negative. I simply would recommend reading them in order.

Okay! So we've got that down, now to the actual review...

The first 200 pages were a bit rough for me. Not because I wasn't really interested, but because some circumstances felt a tad inappropriate and uncomfortable. I did think it read more as a Christian Romance for older readers, instead of Teen Fiction. There was quite a bit of mentioning of things like girl's curves, women's virtue, Saracen harems, and then there's Rumsford and Jocelyn and what happened in Rosalind's past. Now, I know that's one of the main points of the story, because she must come to accept God's grace and stop trying to earn it, but it just isn't what I'm used to reading and it made me kinda uncomfortable. These above-mentioned points were my biggest struggle with the book, but it improved, and I ended up enjoying it more. Something shifted around page 200, and I felt more comfortable. However, those points lessened my enjoyment of the book quite a bit.

Though I didn't love the characters, I did like them. Rosalind and Randel made a cute couple, and I liked their relationship. It had a depth that sometimes doesn't make it into romances. They were in no way shallow, and I especially liked how they were good friends first, and then they started to fall in love. That they were there for each other when it mattered most and that they could share their deepest hurts with each other - because that's completely how it is supposed to be. That is one of my favorite parts of the book! I was pleasantly surprised by their relationship. It was sweet, and they genuinely cared for each other in a really special way. And the epilogue was cute.

The other thing I liked about this book was the accurate and deep portrayal of faith and trust in God. The prayer, the singing, the character that came to Christ, the visions, the small voice of the Holy Spirit leading the way, Sapphira's amazingly in-tune relationship with Jesus - it all had a surprising (in a good way!) amount of deepness and reality to it. Dina Sleiman did not shy away from the faith message, which is definitely worth an applaud from my corner.

Another thing is the history. The Crusades are an interesting time in history, and this book felt well-researched and realistic - realistic not just in the historical aspect, but the character's emotions and the trials they went through and the redemption in the end.

AND I ACTUALLY FIGURED OUT WHO THAT BAD GUY WAS. YES. I was kinda happy. I mean, at first I thought it was this person, and then OH! maybe that person, and then maybe that third person over there, and then things started becoming clearer and I was just like YUP. It's them. But, on that note, part of the villainous character's previous attitude toward Randel didn't necessarily add up for me, but, hey, maybe it was a facade the whole time.

Overall, I somewhat enjoyed it at times, it just felt significantly uncomfortable and inappropriate at points, maybe even dark, the writing was a bit dry, and definitely seemed like more of an adult romance than a teen romance. I probably wouldn't recommend it for people under the age of 16, or possibly even 17 or 18. It really depends on the person.

Big thanks to Bethany House for sending me this for my honest review!

View all my reviews

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Favorite Adventure Books + Giveaway Winners! (Two Year Anniversay #3)

Hello, blog readers! Guess what today is? Yup. It's my official blogiversary. *cheers* Two years of craziness talking and rambling about life, books, and other such things. Here's to more years of adventuring.

And, I know, I didn't post yesterday, but to make up for it, today I've got my top five adventure books, and the WINNERS OF THE GIVEAWAY

Ready for the winners!?

Julia Ryan wins Hundred More Years and Allie D. wins When Calls the Heart!!! Congratulations, guys!!! I'll email you shortly! 

And, as promised, I've got my top five adventure books. (I'm sure my fellow readers can sympathize with how tough it was to make this list.) Now, adventure books are some of my favorites - Historical Adventure Fiction if one of my favorite genres, but I was surprised to see that, on reflection, quite a few of the books I've read haven't been adventure, necessarily. And, actually, four of the five books I've chosen for this list I read this year. I mean, Brothers at Arms was a reread, but rereads count. ;) Adventure may be my favorite type of book to read, but I also enjoy a wide range of other types of books, which is fun. Diversity is good, don't you think?

Without further ado, here they are (and in no particular order, 'cause, ya know, I have a hard time picking favorites anymore...):

#1 Facing Up by Bear Grylls





















You guys, it's BEAR GRYLLS. He is basically adventure in a person. ;) I was a bit of a fan of Bear before I read this book, so I enjoyed getting to watch (or read...) his journey before, on, and briefly after Everest. It was fun, it was informative, and it kept my interest. I was also happy to read the glimpses he gives of his faith and his family.

#2 Brothers at Arms: Treasure and Treachery in the Amazon by John J. Horn






















Guns, treasure, British twins, evil, undercover villains, Peru, the Victorian era, crazy natives. Yep. This book combines all that, and in a fun, edge-of-your-seat kind of way. Chester and Lawrence are such opposites, so they work through situations incredibly well together - Law comes up with the plans, but he couldn't very well execute them without Chester's brawn and knowledge of weaponry. Plus, their bantering and slight arguments are funny.

#3 Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker






















Blink of an Eye captured me almost immediately. With an unconventional heroine and an unlikely hero, this thriller shines with on-the-edge-of-your-seat chases, near captures, and the hero's sudden bout of clairvoyance. Seth, the hero, was the best character, just because of his backstory and who he was on the inside - really sweet and caring and protective because of what had happened to him. I didn't want to put this down. Yup. Not recommended for the faint of heart. ;)

 #4 The Young Fur Traders by R.M. Ballantyne


Any of Ballantyne's books are adventurous - it's just how and what he wrote. There are always bad guys versus good guys, a little bit of a message, dangerous situations, some type of wilderness (be it forest or city or jungle), some action scenes... But this one, on top of being filled with the adventures and maybe impetuousness of two boys setting out on their first trip as voyagers in the dense forests of Canada, also included cute, humorous moments and fun characters. (I mean, Fighting the Flames, too! That and The Young Fur Traders are my two favorite Ballantyne books.) And that ending? So funny. I laughed, I smiled, and I enjoyed myself.

#5 God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew





















Yes, another adventurous autobiography. Because this book gripped me and touched me and made me tear up. I loved it. And it's on my to-read-again-sometime list. ;) Andrew goes through crazy situations, always pulling through and showing up on the other side. God intervenes in his life in amazing ways, and it was really cool to see.

I did really have a hard time picking the last one! Because there were other candidates up for the job. I mean, Secret of the Lost Settlement by John J. Horn was full of action and intense adventure; the Arcrean Conquest series was riddled with fun characters, interesting plot arcs, faith, mystery, and it's fantasy - which is fun; Take This Cup was an interesting, unique story of a young boy destined by God to be the bearer of Jesus' cup at His last Passover, and it brought to my attention connections and things in the Bible that I'd never noticed before...and that is always fun. But I decided, and I *whisper* hope I made the right decision. ;)

What is your favorite genre (or genres!) to read? Do you like adventure novels? Have you read any of the above books (even the ones I mentioned but didn't include)? Let me know in the comments! 

And to the winners of my giveaway: another huge congrats! I hope you enjoy. <3


 





Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WIP Snippet (Two Year Anniversary #2)


 :

I mentioned in my anniversary-announcement post that I'd be sharing a snippet from my book. Here it is!

The name of my mysterious WIP (short for work-in-progress)? So far I'm calling it Trapped on the Islands of Panama, or Trapped for short.  

(And, actually, in a matter of days I'll be doing my first ever Camp NaNoWriMo! This novel is what I'll be working on. My word count goal? 12,000 words. It's not too much, but it's a start!)

I feel like the heroine is kinda seeming like me. I guess that's okay. I mean, we are suppose to infuse pieces of ourselves into our characters, right? Makes 'em more realistic. But her and I seem to be similar - just a bit, at least. The hair color, the eye color, the interests... Maybe it's just me. I don't know. If she seems like me, tell me so in the comment section. ;) (Though I'm not sure you can get a feel for her completely from this rather *cough* long snippet, but...) Either way, though, I think I am going to try to make a conscious effort to make her unique. (ahem. Not so much like me, if you get my drift. ;))

The set up? Madeline Williams, sixteen-years-old, lives in Civil War America. It's 1861 and the war is on the horizon (See? I guess I kinda do like the word horizon.). Her brother, Theodore, has been conscripted into the Confederate army, and she's being sent to her cousin's in England for the duration of the war. This is her, well, getting embarrassed on the days she's leaving. Happens to all of us sometimes, eh? ;) Also, just to let you know, some things in this aren't necessarily concrete for my novel. So, if you ever getta read the finished product, you've been forewarned.

I hope you enjoy. <3

__________________________________________________________________________________
 

           I stood on the dock, my insides quivering. Here I was, about to take a weeks-long journey aboard an old-looking ship with an uncle I’d barely met once, and all I could think about was that I desperately wished I was staying home, was home, sitting atop my chestnut mare with Teddy by my side on his stallion.

          My eyes drifted to the deck of the ship I knew was my uncle’s, sailors running about, putting things in place for the voyage. The Atlantica was painted on her side. I tried to imagine my room within her bowels, what it would be like to sail on her for days on end. I couldn’t. I’d never sailed before, and, quite honestly, was nervous about doing so now. 

          But there was also a bit of excitement stirring within me that I couldn't place my finger on. Maybe it was the idea of wide open seas and the wind billowing the sail. Maybe it was the idea of something new and possibly... 

          My eyebrows pinched. What if I was prone to seasickness? What if I never developed ‘sea legs’, as I’d heard them called? I shook my head decidedly. It sounded ridiculous, that term seamen used. 
         
         My gaze fell to the water The Atlantica was anchored in. It looked filmy and green. I scrunched my nose and scanned the horizon. No dark clouds rested there. Only blue skies and a shining sun.
          
          I looked over my shoulder. Where was Tucker? Shouldn’t he have been here by now? I reassured myself with a shake of the head and the thought that he’d be along shortly, surely. I let my attention drift back towards the skyline.

         I heard the rolling of wheels on wood and suspected it was a cart laden with stores for the hold of an out-bound ship. Before I could turn to see, it had rammed into my back and I flew into the water, arms flailing and a scream erupting from my throat. Into the water I had thought so green and dirty just seconds before.

         I struggled when my legs caught in my skirts, clawing my way to the surface using my arms. I gasped in air and tried to open my eyes. Something solid grasped my arm and hauled me towards the dock. At least, I presumed it was towards the dock.

          I was on the wood in moments. But I couldn’t see. My face felt wet and slimy. I pulled stringy, green seaweed from my eyes. My stomach churned. That is disgusting, I thought.

          I must’ve said it out loud, because a laugh resonated from my rescuer.

          Turning, I saw a young man that looked no older than eighteen. He had golden brown hair and ocean blue eyes.

          I choked.

         “Um, hello, Miss…Williams, is it?”

          I managed to smile. Barely. “That’s me." 

         He nodded and helped me to my feet.

         “Thank you, Mr….um…”

         Carter. Wynn Carter, Miss Williams.”

         This was Andrew Carter’s adventurous younger brother who couldn’t attend the New Year’s Eve ball at the Anderson’s? And I would be forced to see him every day of the coming voyage? After this meeting? I would never live this down.

        “You’re Wynn?” I said. 

        A slightly confused, almost guarded look overtook the young man’s face. “I am. Why?”

       “I’ve just…I met your brother. At a ball. He mentioned you would be here. On the ship, I mean.” I closed my eyes briefly and mentally kicked myself. Of all the times…

       Water trickled down my back from my hair and I shivered. Why was nothing going right these days?

        “You’ve met Andrew?”

        Oh, right, Wynn Carter.

        “I have.”

        “What ball?”

        “The Andersons'."

        Wynn snapped his fingers. “I remember. I was busy that night. Couldn’t attend.”

        I nodded. 

       Wynn glanced at my hair, a small grin dimpling his cheeks. But he just as quickly looked away, back down to my eyes.

       Self-consciousness clawed at me. I desperately wanted to make some escape…

       “How was Andy at the dance, Miss Williams?”

       A gusty wind blew over me and goosebumps rose on my skin. “Andrew was well.” I cleared my throat, tried again. “I mean, Andrew…he’s a wonderful dancer.

       “So he actually danced?”

        I laughed at the surprise on Wynn's face. It was a nice feeling, laughter, after having felt so solemn the past few weeks. Months, even. “Yes, he did.”

       Wynn grinned at me.  “I would’ve made him if I’d been there anyway. Found him a partner and everything.”

       “He said much of the same sort of thing. I have to tell you, though, that he only ever danced once, with me.”

       “He did?” Wynn shook his head, almost gravely. “Well, it’s a start at least. I’ve been trying to get him to dance. Never know when you might need to.”

       Wynn’s attention was captured by something behind me. He nodded that way. “Your uncle’s coming.”

       “Oh." I whipped around, saw my uncle threading through rough looking sailors and loaded carts and dashing servants. I turned quickly back to Wynn. "Thank you again, Mr. Carter, for helping me.”

        "It was no problem. Least I could do."

        Right. I nodded, attention grabbed by movement in my peripheral. I turned.

        Uncle Terry came to a halt in front of me, all six feet two inches of him, eyes roving from my dripping hem to my matted hair. His eyes remained on my drooping bun. 

        “Hello, Uncle,” I said, smiling awkwardly, secretly hoping there was no chance of seaweed in my teeth, though it was unlikely. Probably. Probably unlikely.

        But then my uncle did the most unexpected thing. He smiled broadly, laughed, even, and hugged me, wet clothes and all.

        After a few startled seconds, I wrapped my arms around his waist and propped my chin atop his shoulder.

       “Hello, Maddie, my girl.” He squeezed me gently and then drew away.

       “My appearance is…well, it’s…explainable…” I said, looking down at my slimy garments.

       Uncle Terry laughed again, and I joined in. A little. “You are a sight. What in the world happened to you?” His eyes shifted to Wynn, still standing behind me. “You’ve met my niece, Wynn?”

       I glanced back at Wynn, and a huge grin overspread his features. He winked at me. “I have, Captain. Pulled her from the water a few minutes ago. She was knocked in by a mad servant with a cart-load of bags. The brute didn’t even look back when she screamed.”

      “Well, Maddie, that’s unfortunate. Are you hurt?”

      “I believe I’m fine, Uncle. Just wet. And a little embarrassed, is all.” I frowned at Wynn’s ever-broadening smile. Apparently he found it humorous. I probably would too, had I not been the one getting the soaking.

      “Well, Captain, by your leave, I think I’ll check on the preparations for setting sail.”

      “’Course, Wynn. Make sure everyone’s aboard. Madeline and I will be along shortly.”

      Wynn bowed. A quick glance at my hair and he was gone. 

      Oh, no. There was something in my hair, wasn’t there?

      “You’ve some seaweed in your...” Uncle Terry said this solemnly, eyes directed at my hair. “I’ll remove it for you.”

      He pulled out a green mess, dropping it back in the water, and I cringed. “Thank you, Uncle." I smiled sarcastically. "I should probably be more careful when standing on the edge of a dock.”

      Uncle’s eyes twinkled. “Probably,” he said. He nodded in the direction of his ship. “Let’s get going, shall we?”

      “Of course.”

       Uncle Terry offered me his arm and I gently took it. Something about him was warm…kind. Like he’d seen a lot and been through much but come out a different, better person. He seemed someone I could warm to being around every day. I felt myself liking him already, having barely been around him.

       Sure, there was the time a few years back when he’d come to visit us at the plantation. But he was so subdued then… So broken. I could see it in his eyes, even when he was attempting to be happy. In some weird way, I thought I understood. But I couldn’t have. Losing your wife… That was a hard thing to have to go through.

       Uncle’s voice dislodged my thoughts. “How is everyone back home?” he asked. 

       Home. I sighed, but determined to be as cheerful sounding as I could. “Everyone is as well as can be expected, I think. Mama and Father are determined and holding up. Theodore… Well, he writes as often as he can, and says he’s in good spirits. He said that army life is much different than expected, and that he’s been posted in the division one of our cousins is in.”

       I breathed a prayer for the boys. I couldn’t imagine losing Lee and Teddy. Not now. Not ever.

       Uncle Terry seemed to understand. Clearly there would be no need for sugar-coating with him. “That’s good, Maddie. And…you? How are you doing these days?”

        I looked down, smiled briefly. “I am doing okay. Just okay, though.”

        Uncle Terry was smiling at me, very gently. “I wouldn’t expect anything more.”

Copyright Micaiah K. 2016
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