Random

The Dreaded Question

I just read a great post by Nadine Brandes on The Dreaded Question:

The first fifteen years of your life are spent in blissful ignorance. All you have to do is grow up, do the homework, go adventuring, navigate friendships and awkward crushes and different sports. But then…you hit junior year of high school and it happens. For the lucky ones, it doesn’t happen until senior year of high school. But I can guarantee that….IT. WILL. HAPPEN.

The question.

“So, what are you going to do once you graduate?”

And the answer is…

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Read the rest of the post here.

This really speaks to me right now, during this crazy, post-highschool, everyone-assumes-you-should-be-in-college time of life I’m in right now. Because yes, I’m panicking, and no, I don’t really have any plans anymore. But sometimes that’s ok. Thank you, Nadine, for helping me realize that.

If you don’t know Nadine yet, you must. She’s the sweetest, most amazing human ever. And she’s a ninja, so watch out! 😉 Nadine Brandes

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Books · Cover Reveal

The Worth of a King cover reveal

Hello! I’ve got a lovely cover reveal for you today! Kendra E. Ardnek is releasing her newest book, The Worth of a King, on August 27th, and she asked me to help share the beautiful cover with you all.

So, without further ado…

Princess Obsidia’s father was killed the night she was born. Since there was no male heir, the crown went to the man who killed him, by Dialcian law. This never bothered her, growing up, and when it comes time for Obsidia to choose her husband, she chooses Prince Delaney, the son of that man, with little hesitation. Only then does her life start crumbling around her.

Adrian expected to live a normal life, taking his father’s place at the print shop when his father retired. But, on his eighteenth birthday, when the princess’ engagement is announced, his world is ripped out from under him when he learns that his life was a ruse, and he is the twin brother to the princess – and expected to take back his father’s throne.

Delaney knows that his country is hovering on the brink of war – and that his father may harbor murderous intentions towards his intended bride due to her Zovordian blood. He wants nothing more than to protect Obsidia and his people, but as merely prince, he has little power against his father.

The ancient war between the Dragons and the Immortal King and Queen is nearing its climax, and the three are already caught in it.

Check out this intriguing pin and excerpt.

“My conversation isn’t meaningless!” Nadilynn protested. “At least I don’t spend three hours discussing the nuances of a law about chickens, or four about whether some king’s death was natural or due to poison.”
“No,” said Obsidia, dryly. “You spend five hours talking about how sashes are so in style.”
“They are so not!” Nadilynn exclaimed. Then she lowered her voice “Not thick ones, anyways. Ribbons used as sashes are acceptable, belts, especially beaded belts, are best…”
“And there we go,” Delaney groaned. “You did have to get her started.”
Obsidia just shrugged and mouthed a “sorry.”

You can check out the entire first chapter here.

Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairytales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been or acting them on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years. “Finish your story, Kendra,” is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that glorify God and His Word.
Find her online at: 

Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Amazon 

 

Check out the other stops on the cover reveal tour:

Savannahjaysworkshop

Dreams and Dragons

Unicorn Quester

Kiri Liz

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke

Read, Write, Laugh, Dance

Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings

Books, Baking, and Cowgirl Boots

Jenelle Schmidt

Reality Reflected

Jessica Greyson

The Music of a Story

The Flowering Vales

The Rambling Rose

Written Rest

The Labyrinth

Bible and Books

Jaye L. Knight

Blog Tour · Books

The Pursued spotlight

new_release

I’m spotlighting a new book release for you to check out today. Author Willowy Whisper is releasing The Pursued, the third and final book in her Hills of Innocence Trilogy.

the_pursued_final_front_cover

Fawn Wendell has no choice but to flee. Her life depends on it. She has no where to go, but that doesn’t matter. She has to disappear. She has to get lost, never to be found again, before her pursuer attacks.

Adam Preston loves his children. They’re all he has left. But with the ranch to run, is there any way he can give them what they need, especially when he’s hurting himself?

Jake Sumner returns to an old house, a place that arouses too many memories. If he decides to stay, he may have trouble on his hands . . . trouble a whole lot bigger than him.

Sadie is an injured, silent bird, locked in a cage she can’t free herself from. Her nightmares are real. The fear kills her voice. Will she ever fly again?

Add to Goodreads
Available on Amazon

If you haven’t read The Innocent or The Letter, be sure to check those out too. You can find the whole trilogy on Goodreads and Amazon.

About the Author
IMG_9817_crispWillowy Whisper is a young, Christian fiction author. She lives in a beautiful place called West Virginia, nestled between mountain and field. She is the author of nine novels, eight of which are published, and numerous short stories. She is also a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, an incurable romantic, and a passionate dreamer. To follow her, visit her blog: www.willowywhisper.com

Books · Writing

New Year Goals 2018

It’s another new year. 2017 held a lot of changes for me, and I know that there are more to come during this time of my life, but it is nice to have a little stability back, and a little constancy, too. As I look forward to the coming year, I have a few goals I’d like to share with you.

2018_2

I’d like to read more this year. I did not get as many books read last year as I would have liked, and my TBR is only getting bigger… I’m shooting for 50 books this year. I’m not going to even try predicting which ones, because I’ve been terribly off in the past, but I would like to at least finish all the books I’ve already started. If you’d like to follow my reading progress you can find me on Goodreads.

I’d also like to get more writing done this year. I’m trying to be a lot more regular with my writing—aiming for 3k words a week. I need to push harder at the beginning to get Something More done sooner. I’m over 25k into the first set of rewrites, after which it will go to my alpha readers. I’m hoping to have it ready for beta readers by March or April.

I’m going to try to blog regularly, too—maybe even at the beginning of every month. If you have any suggestions for posts you’d like to see, I’d love to hear them!

And, last goal, I’m going to be better about sending out Newsletters. I’m going to make sure I do two to four a year, starting with one later this month. If you haven’t already, please do subscribe! There will be a few Something More teasers and some other fun writing related things coming up.

Never to old to dream quote

What are some of your goals for 2018? I’d love to hear your plans, and offer some encouragement!

Get exclusive content and exciting opportunities when you sign up for my newsletter! If you or anyone you know is interested in beta reading, this is the place to get more information!

Lena 6

Books

Am I High? NaNo 2017 Update

Only one week of NaNoWriMo left, and I am dismally behind. But I’m not even upset about my poor word count. You know why? Because I’m finally writing again! It’s been so long, and it just feels so good to be back! I imagine this is what it must be like to be high. I’ll be going about my day, doing normal activities, and suddenly, an intense happiness washes over my brain. It’s almost like writing gets me high on words. And I don’t even have to be currently writing. My brain is just so full of words and worlds right now. Even though I’m not winning (and, let’s be honest, probably never will), NaNo definitely motivates me and helps me crank out those few words a day. Slowly but surely, I’m working my way through my manuscript rewrites, and it’s such a wonderful feeling! 

How does writing make you feel? Excited? Stressed? Or, if you’re not a writer, what is an activity that gets you high?

Random

😍‼️🔥Black Friday Book Freebies!

Wow, check out all these free books, and an awesome giveaway!

Kaitlyn Deann

HAPPY (almost) THANKSGIVING, Y’ALL!

On November 23rd (WHOO! Thanksgiving!) through the 27th, both of my novels in The Witches’ Sleep Trilogy will be FREE for the Kindle! I’ll also be giving away a paperback copy of BOTH The Witches’ Sleep and World of the Beasts. (To enter, follow directions at the end of the post).

View original post 139 more words

Books

Black Friday sale!

ICB_FBAd

Wow, it’s already that time of year. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year’s Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you (which they should!), Indie Christian Books has a perfect event for you.

From Nov 24th through Nov 30th, a huge selection of independently published Christian books are on sale. You can find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, we have some freebies for you! Need even more of a reason to support indie authors and fill your shelf with good stories? When you purchase a paperback book through indiechristianbooks.com you’ll be eligible to enter an exclusive giveaway including free books and an Amazon gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can meet our authors by visiting the Author Database on the website. Want to get to know the authors better AND have the chance to win some fun prizes? We’d love to have you join our week long Facebook party which will feature 39 authors over 7 days.

You can also check out the other posts here: http://www.indiechristianbooks.com/supporters

What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

 

A note on the Ebooks Only page. Many of the books are listed as “Sold Out.” This is because we aren’t selling those directly through our site. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Books · Writing

Reading, Writing, and Goals

There have been a lot of changes for me over the past year, but I am finally finding some time to do the things I love: reading and writing. I recently started reading the Harry Potter series for the first time, and I’m loving it so far! I know, it’s crazy that I haven’t read it before this, but my parents thought it promoted witchcraft, so what can I say. (I may be blogging about my thoughts on this when I finish the series). What is one book or series that a lot of people are surprised you haven’t read yet?

I have been trying my hardest to catch up on the massive to-read pile I have, but I somehow keep buying books that I now need to read… It’s becoming a bit of a problem. Fortunately, I have started listening to some books, so that’s been helping. There’s a fantastic website called LibriVox where you can find most public domain books free on audiobook. They are read by volunteers so sometimes they’re poor quality, but I have found quite a few great ones there, and am slowly making my way through the classics on my list. 

And now on to writing news…

It has been a long-time goal of mine to be a published author before I turn twenty. I recently turned nineteen, so that deadline is now less than a year away. I finished the first draft of Something More over a year ago, but there is still a lot of work to be done. It is still very rough, and I anticipate several more drafts before it will come close to seeing the light of day. I am hoping to have the second and possibly third draft done by the end of 2017. If all goes as planned I will be looking for beta readers early in the new year, so if anyone is interested please sign up for my newsletter to stay updated on that. 

I am participating in NaNoWriMo next month, but I will be rewriting Something More instead of starting a new project. I’d like to get the second draft done, but I’ll be away for the first week of November, so we’ll see how that goes. If you’re doing NaNo and you’d like to add me, my username is Lena_Kk

In other news, I just set up a Facebook author page, so if you’re on Facebook please check it out and give it a like! Lena Karynn Tesla – Author 

Books · Cover Reveal

Cover reveal: Reintegration

Yay! Another cover reveal! I don’t know about you, but I love seeing all the covers that people come up with for their books, and it’s even more fun when I get to share it with others! Today, I’m participating in the cover reveal for Ashley Bogner’s new book, Reintegration.

 

A perfect citizen.
A captured rebel.
One decision could destroy them both.

As a Regulator, seventeen-year-old Katherine Holliday’s duty is to protect the people of the Federation from a group of violent rebels who have exiled themselves to the mysterious wilderness. When one of these rebels is captured within the Federation, the government leaders propose an alternative to execution, a procedure they call Reintegration. The procedure involves erasing the rebel’s memory and attempting to make him a member of society. The rebel, a young man named Matthew, is not the violent criminal Katherine expects, and she can’t help but befriend him. A few weeks after Matthew’s Reintegration, Katherine realizes the procedure failed and she is now presented with a choice no one else can help her make. Can she warn her superiors that Reintegration failed, which could mean death for Matthew? Or will she defy everything she knows to help him escape—and risk her own execution?

 


When Ashley Bogner was in third grade, she decided she would be a published author when she grew up. Ashley is a homeschool graduate and has lived in seven different states. She completed a year of Bible college and in the fall will begin pursuing a degree in Communication Studies. After college, her plan is to work in the Christian publishing industry. When not writing, she can be found baking, posting book reviews on her blog, and watching her favorite movies over and over to the point of memorization.

www.ashleybogner.com

Books · Cover Reveal

Cover reveal: Lightporter

Coming to you from C.B. Cook!

 

LightporterCoverRevealBanner

Hello, friends! I’m so excited to be sharing the cover of Lightporter with all of you today! This cover has been in the works for quite a while, but since I just finished writing the book, I decided it was time to show everyone the cover! So without further ado, here it is!

Lightporter1FINAL1

Lightporter on Goodreads

Twinepathy on Goodreads

Twinepathy on Amazon

C.B. Cook’s Blog

C.B. Cook on Pinterest

C.B. Cook on Goodreads

IDIA Group Board on Pinterest

Thanks so much for joining us today with this cover reveal! Don’t forget to add Lightporter on Goodreads and share the cover with all of your friends. What do you think of the cover?

Also, if you haven’t gotten a chance to buy Twinepathy, the first book in the IDIA series, the e-book is on sale for $0.99 today only! Go check it out on Amazon, or leave a review if you’ve already read it.

Random

Life Update

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here! I just wanted to pop in to say that, yes, I’m still alive, and will be returning to the blogging world soon! I have had a crazy past six months, with a lot of big changes in my life, and more to come. But I will be returning to social media in a few weeks, and I’m hoping to be more regular online.

I will also be getting back into writing. I will be working on revising the first draft of Something More and starting Book Two! I’m really excited for this, and I’ll keep you posted on my progress with both of those!

Have a lovely Spring!

Image result for spring

Get exclusive content and exciting opportunities when you sign up for my newsletter!

Blog Tour · Books · Interviews

Lady Dragon, Tela Du blog tour post #2: Character Interview: Amber

Hello everyone! It’s Narina here with another character interview. Joining us today is a character from Kendra E. Ardnek’s newest book, Lady Dragon, Tela Du. Her name is Amber, and I believe she is the “Lady Dragon” part of that title…

Here’s a little info about the book, before we dive right into the interview.

Lady Dragon Tela Du poem

Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you’ve lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent – the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber’s face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she’s not sure if he’s more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she’d much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family – including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can’t possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?

Buy the Book:

Lady Dragon, Tela Du cover

Kindle

Paperback

Add to Goodreads

 

 

And now for the interview. Let’s welcome Amber.

Hello Amber, please tell us a little about yourself.
Hello. I’m a queen who has seen the passing of over six thousand years, has ruled in three worlds, and has many powers – not the least of which is a dragon scale that not only shows me visions of the future but also grants me the power to turn into a dragon myself.

What are some things you enjoy doing?
Almost any form of academic study, though predominately the various methods of magic.

What is a typical day in your life like?
I wake up, have breakfast, then spend an hour in my study with my collection of magical items. Then I take my dragon form and spend a few hours in Klarand expending fire. After lunch, I spend the afternoon among the people of Rizkaland seeing what ways I can make their lives better. After supper, I record the events of the day for future reference, and perhaps do a few more things in my study and retire to bed.

What is the thing you love most?
It is silly to love things. The person I love most is my husband, Granite, however. Alas, but I fear that our relationship has grown strained over the last few thousand years.

If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
That Granite and I would see eye to eye again.

Are you aware of the existence of your author? If so, what is your relationship with her like?
I have met Kendra on occasion. She and I don’t see eye to eye, either.

What is one thing about you that you’d like us to know?
I really mean the best for Rizkaland. Klarand may receive my ire, but I have only goodwill for the mainland.

Thanks for joining us today Amber. It was nice to meet you!

 

And now you can go check out the lovely author of these books, Kendra E. Ardnek.

 

Kendra E. Ardnek

Author Bio:
Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.

Blog
Official Website

Check out the other stops on the tour!

Lady Dragon, Tela Du blog tour

Blog Tour · Books · Interviews

Lady Dragon, Tela Du blog tour post #1: Author Interview: Kendra E. Ardnek

Today I’m celebrating the release of a friend’s newest novel–Kendra E. Ardnek’s Lady Dragon, Tela Du. We’ve got some info about her books, and then an interview with the author herself!

Lady Dragon, Tela Du cover

 

Book Description: 

Lady Dragon Tela Du poem
Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you’ve lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent – the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber’s face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she’s not sure if he’s more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she’d much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family – including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can’t possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?

 

Add to Goodreads

Buy the Book:

Kindle

Paperback

 

 

Water Princess, Fire Prince will be free for the first five days of the tour (October 19-23).

Available on Amazon

 

And now for the interview! Please join me in welcoming Ms. Kendra E. Ardnek!

Hello Kendra! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! I’m the Arista, a girl who travels through worlds with the purpose of collecting stories and sharing them with the people of my own world. I’m also a certified dragon tamer.

What is your dream for your books? Do you want to become world famous?
I want everyone to read and love my books. If I become world famous in the process, that’d be awesome.

Would you like any of your books to be made into a movie? If so, who would you want involved in the making (actors, director, producer, etc.)?
I’m very interested in my books being adapted into movies. LDTD actually began life as a play and has three complete scripts somewhere in my desk. I have some cousins who are looking at getting into the film industry and we have discussed them adapting my first book, Sew, it’s a Quest. As for actors, I’m not terribly picky at the moment, though I’d like to play Petra and Amber myself.

Sounds cool! What have you found to be most difficult about writing?
Actually getting words onto the paper. I can come up with ideas all day long, and editing is fun, but first drafts are the bane of my existence.

What are your other hobbies/passions?
I dabble in a lot of things. Writing is my big passion, but I have an on-off relationship with knitting, crochet, and some other crafts. I’m kinda into gaming. Mostly RPGs, match-3’s, and hidden object adventures. I occasionally delude myself into thinking that I can draw. But writing’s the big one.

What are you currently reading?
I am currently glaring at my kindle because, despite having hundreds of books, none of them are what I want to read. It’s a mite bit frustrating. I was reading a good book, but then it proved to be a sample, and I was disappointed.

That’s terribly disappointing! Hopefully you’ll find something good! Is there a little-known fact about you or your books that you’d like to share with us?
I believe I’ve mentioned that Reuben is what we would have named my baby sister if she’d been born a boy, but I actually didn’t name the character for her (and, actually, I named him before she was born, and it was still a possibility that I’d get a baby brother named Reuben). My baby sister was named for my Grandmother, who had always wanted a son named Reuben, and so when I was thinking up names for the new love interests that I had created for the Rizkaland cast, naming the eldest of the brothers “Reuben” was a given. In fact, while I think we had settled on Joseph for the middle name for my potential sibling, I chose instead to give Reuben the middle name that my grandmother had picked out – Matthew, for the first book of the Bible.

Thanks for joining me, Kendra! Everyone, go check out this lovely lady!
We’ll be back on the 25th with a character interview!

 

Kendra A. Ardnek

Author Bio:
Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.

Blog
Official Website

 

Check out the other stops on the tour!

Lady Dragon, Tela Du blog tour

Blog Tour · Books

Book Spotlight: A Star-Reckoner’s Lot

A Star-Reckoner's Lot cover

 

Blurb

For some, loss merely deprives. For others, it consumes.

Ashtadukht is a star-reckoner. The worst there’s ever been. Witness her treacherous journey through Iranian legends and ancient history.

Only a brave few storytellers still relate cautionary glimpses into the life of Ashtadukht, a woman who commanded the might of the constellations—if only just, and often unpredictably. They’ll stir the imagination with tales of her path to retribution. How, fraught with bereavement and a dogged illness, she criss-crossed Sassanian Iran in pursuit of creatures now believed mythical. Then, in hushed tones, what she wrought on that path.

 

Praise for A Star-Reckoner’s Lot

 

“I think it has a few excellent twists that will leave every reader surprised. Personally, having read fantasy for more than 20 years, I welcomed what sets this book apart from typical fantasy” – Author Daniel E. Olesen

 

“Without a doubt, A Star-Reckoner’s Lot is a perfect read for fans of combat and adventure. The fight scenes are realistic, and the surprises Ashtandukht meets on her way would satisfy every adventure’s enthusiast.” – Patrisya M.

 

Excerpt

Ashtadukht was waiting patiently, one hand fiddling with her sleeve while she watched the exchange from afar. She felt relieved to no longer hoard anger like some sort of philosophical dragon despoiling hamlets and bringing home rage and fury to pad its halls. But she also felt like she’d been a dragon. It’s one thing to punish a person; it’s an entirely different affair to punish a person you care for.

She put on a stern face and folded her arms when they approached, careful to keep her doubts to herself. “Well?”

“Waray says there is a city nearby,” said Tirdad.

“Oh?” Ashtadukht turned a pointedly unsympathetic stare on the half-div. “Seems like a lie.”

“Already asserted your dominance,” Waray grumbled, averting her gaze. “Don’t have to be mean.”

“There aren’t any cities nearby,” Ashtadukht rebuffed. “Not being gullible isn’t the same as being mean.” Still, Waray was right: she’d made her point, and anything further was needless cruelty.

She softened her delivery considerably and decided to indulge the half-div. “So explain how you supposedly happened upon a city all the way out here?”

“The stars?” Waray ventured uncertainly. She canted her head and smacked her lips, which were tinged with blood. “Maybe. There was this šo-miffed bird. It was pecking me, and I was trying to talk things out. Civilly, I think. Had no business being home when it was anyway. Should’ve been out.”

“Waray,” said Ashtadukht. “Get to the point.”

“. . .”

“Waray.”

“I won.”

“And the city?”

“Oh, I found that šo-cheery place yesterday.” Waray shivered. “Felt like—wait. Not that. Šo-eerie. That. The walls were too long. Like they wanted to stop growing but the taskmaster wouldn’t have it. They kept going, and I couldn’t, I couldn’t—” She flexed her hands. “I couldn’t catch up. Everything just kept increasing, and it was too much. Like trying to snatch the air all at once when you can’t even get a fistful. It was too much.”

While neither cousin realized she was describing an anxiety attack, they did get the vague idea from her body language and pitch that the half-div had been genuinely unsettled by whatever she’d come across, city or no city.

“Where’s this place?” asked Ashtadukht.

“Around.”

“Take us there.”

“Maybe not?” Waray asked hopefully. “Maybe somewhere nice?”

“Your fault,” said Tirdad, all too familiar with what would happen next. “You should not have stirred her curiosity. Just do as she says.”

Waray surrendered with the type of defeated sigh a guide would give when well-meaning but plainly stupid adventurers insist on visiting the trap-ridden tombs of The One Most Slithered, or some other vengeful deity. “You’ll be chopped in half,” she warned, and plodded away.

She conducted them around the foot of the ridge they’d been following and into a clearing that was decidedly not a city. She came to a halt as abruptly as if she’d walked into a wall. “But.”

“Is this your city?” asked Tirdad.

Waray shook her head, at an utter loss for words.

“The Rostam Inscription,” Ashtadukht observed somewhat icily. She had a feeling Waray was up to something. “Well, inscriptions. Yeah, it’s a necropolis, but it isn’t very city-like. I thought we were farther away.”

Unlike Ashtadukht, who had visited this site twice already, and wouldn’t have appreciated it at this point in her life regardless, Tirdad awed at the monument.

Four giant inset crosses had been carved into the rock face by an empire that predated his by centuries unknown—and obscured in the time since; nevertheless, an empire that had surely laid the groundwork for the age-old nation he served. So impressive were the carvings that they appeared to Tirdad as if they’d been pressed into the stone by the stamp seal of Ohrmazd himself, which had applied embossed rock reliefs depicting kings of yore, and an entrance to a tomb too high for men to reach where those very kings were laid to rest.

Below those reliefs were more recent carvings, contemporary inscriptions that portrayed the investiture of Kings of Kings and their entourage. Some displayed triumphs over foreign powers, while others stressed the right to rule as sanctified by various divinities.

He strolled over to the rock face and ran his fingers admiringly over the nearest such relief.

“It’s all too horizontal,” Waray pondered aloud. She cocked her head and leaned to the side. “Too horizontal.”

Ashtadukht was in the process of asking what exactly Waray was getting at when the half-div swept her arm at an angle to designate what she believed to be the correct alignment, and in doing so sheared the rock relief as if her scrutiny were slicing through fabric.

The entire ridge fell away and heaped like a discarded dress around the foot of a vast wall that stretched to either side as far as the eye could see. Only patches of gypsum plaster remained, exposing the baked bricks at the core of the wall to the elements—where the bricks hadn’t left vacancies. In short, it was in disrepair.

Instead of the straight-facing gate used in many cities, the fortifications from one side reached around the other to create a funnel where invading forces could be neatly channeled into a lane. Ashtadukht nodded to herself. She wasn’t particularly military-minded, but living with a prominent general had imparted some small appreciation for these things.

“Told you so,” Waray said uneasily. She lowered her voice to a whisper and turned away from her victory. “Told you so.”

“What just happened?” asked Tirdad.

“If I were to venture a guess, Waray dispersed a powerful illusion with a mere wave of her hand,” Ashtadukht replied. “Every bit as impressive as it sounds.”

“And the Rostam Inscription?” Tirdad asked almost mournfully.

“Probably safe and sound. My initial reaction was that we’d lost our bearings, but the real thing should be farther out.”

“Good,” said Tirdad, thick with relief. “Good. Makes you wonder how many people have stumbled upon this pretender and thought they were standing in front of a national monument.”

Waray leered at the two of them, annoyed by how easily they’d written off her word, and were now going on like she hadn’t been right all along.

“There’s a šo-welcoming city here,” she hissed, though she was now beginning to wish she had been wrong. Something about her first visit had unsettled her greatly: something that was strumming her mind at this very moment. She tried to put it into words, and it came out as a muttered, “Welcoming.”

She frowned. She had not fumbled the word, yet it was nevertheless off-putting. As far as she was concerned, cities should not be welcoming. They should not wave you in. And they most definitely should not strum. “The wall,” she rambled. “Like a line of šo-desperate cheese. ‘Come in, come in,’ it’s saying. ‘Take a load off. Have a drink. The rams are out and rutting, but they’ll be back for dinner. You’ll stay, won’t you?’ And there’s a clap of horns in the distance. And the cheese is peering at you like a šo-lonely wheel. But you have to go because you’ve got a thing tomorrow. A thing. That’s what you say.”

Waray gave a brisk nod, certain she’d gotten the point across in clear terms.

Ashtadukht paid her no heed. She’d toned the half-div out the instant she’d started talking from the perspective of a wall.

“Let’s investigate,” she said.

 

A Star-Reckoner’s Lot releases on October 2nd, 2016.

Grab it now on: Amazon | Kobo

 

About the Author

Darrel DrakeDarrell Drake has published four books, with A Star-Reckoner’s Lot being the latest. He often finds himself inspired by his research to take on new hobbies. Birdwatching, archery, stargazing, and a heightened interest in history have all become a welcome part of his life thanks to this habit.

 

Get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, and Goodreads.

Books · Random · Writing

Exciting News

I’m alive!!
In case any of you were worried, I’m not dead or captured or otherwise in grave danger. Nope. I’ve just been doing other things. Writing, mostly. And that leads me to the exciting news I have to share with you guys.

I must scream it to the world, my excitement from the top of someplace very high!
I must scream it to the world, my excitement from the top of someplace very high!

I finished the first draft of Something More! It only came to 64,000 words, which is quite a bit less than I had been planning. I already know of several scenes that I will be adding in the second draft, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to bump the word count up. I’ve been working on this draft for about three years, so it is a huge relief to have it finished! I’m looking forward to editing, and starting book two with great excitement! 😀

Before that, however, I will be working on a few short stories: One is a submission for an anthology that I’d like to be included in, and the other two are just little shorts that I’ll be sharing with you on my blog. 🙂

And finally, my last bit of news is that I am starting college next week! This is an exciting (and slightly terrifying) new experience for me, so your prayers would be appreciated. And if I’m MIA for a while, you’ll know why (and hopefully pray harder 😉 ).

As always, follow my newsletter for exclusive, writing-related content.

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Random

Lady Dragon, Tela Du cover reveal

Hello everyone! I’m here with a cover reveal for the newest novel by Kendra A. Ardnek, and a short interview with the author. Without further ado, may I present:

Lady Dragon, Tela Du

image

Book Description:
Two girls with one face
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?

Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you’ve lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent – the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber’s face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she’s not sure if he’s more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she’d much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family – including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can’t possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?

 

We’ve got a short excerpt for you, and then the cover.

Why are you here, Amber?” asked the eldest of the kings, who was only twenty-four himself.
Amber drew herself to her full stature as she folded her arms at her waist and stared the man in the eye. “To negotiate terms of surrender.”
“You surrender?” asked one of the queens.
Amber shook her head and turned away. “Oh, no, that would be silly. You will be doing the surrendering. I’m giving you the opportunity to do it now, peaceably. Because otherwise, I’m not sure you’ll get another chance, at least not unless at great cost.”

Lady Dragon, Tela Du cover

 

Kendra A. ArdnekAuthor Bio:
Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.

Blog:
knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com

Official Website:
kendraeardnek.weebly.com

Add to Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25873539-lady-dragon-tela-du

Preorder Book:

Water Princess, Fire Prince, the first book in the series, is free today.

Cover Design Credit: Benjamin Ingalls – https://www.behance.net/BenjaminIngalls

And now we’ve got a few answers from Kendra:

Longest book you’ve ever read?
According to Goodreads, it’s David Copperfield, and I’m willing to agree with that. Unless you want to count the Lord of the Rings as one book, which my copy is.

Favorite sea creature?
Sea Dragons

Favorite flying animal?
Flying Dragons.
Dragons are just awesome all around you know? and can be tailor-made to anyone’s preferences. Like ’em big? Have ’em. Like ’em small? Take ’em by the doezen. Bright colors, dull colors. Evil or good. Fire, wings, you name it. If you want it, the dragon’s got it.

Here are all the other blogs who are also revealing today. Go check them out:
Knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com
liannetaimenlore.blogspot.com
https://clairembanschbach.wordpress.com
thefloweringvales.blogspot.com
https://authorhopeann.com/
http://elvishpensfantasticalwritings.blogspot.com
writtenrest.wordpress.com
http://www.morganhuneke.blogspot.com
Www.readwritelaughdance.wordpress.com
http://www.ReviewsbySoleil.blogspot.com
http://www.jayelknight.blogspot.com
http://BookishOrchestrations.blogspot.com
https://writinganyone.wordpress.com/
scatteredjournalpages.com
http://sutorinohana.blogspot.com/
http://wildroseleblonde.blogspot.com/
http://agwerff.blogspot.com/
thesplendorfalls.blogspot.com
http://annasbrie.blogspot.com.au/
Humoroushannah.blogspot.com

Random

The Redemption of Eustace Scrubb

This is why I love Narnia so much: because of the redemption!

Thimblerig's Ark

Art by Jonathan Mayer Art by Jonathan Mayer

I just took my fifth grade students for a voyage on the Dawn Treader, and I have to confess something that might be shocking to those who are familiar with what I consider to be the best book in the series.

I love Eustace Scrubb.

Yes, he is irritating, shrill, mean-spirited, spiteful, and if I had I had a student like Scrubb in my fifth grade class, I would likely duct-tape him to the wall even if it cost me my job. He might just be the most infuriating young character in all of children’s literature, but God help me, I love the kid, and have for a long time.

There. I’ve said it, and I feel better.

scan0003kk6There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. His parents called him Eustace Clarence and his masters called Scrubb. I can’t tell you…

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Books · Reviews

Reviews: Trading Knives and What Is Needed, by P.H. Solomon

I recently read two prequel short stories by P.H. Solomon, and since I haven’t posted in a while, I’m sharing both those reviews tonight.

 

Trading Knives: Prequel Short Story #1 to The Bow of Hart SagaTrading Knives: Prequel Short Story #1 to The Bow of Hart Saga by P.H. Solomon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I greatly enjoyed Trading Knives, a short story prequel to The Bow of Destiny. There are a few typos, but not enough to detract from the story. It’s fast-paced and well-written, revealing just enough to make me want to know more. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

 

What Is NeededWhat Is Needed by P.H. Solomon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found What is Needed to be a well-written and quite interesting short story. Although there are a few typos, they do not distract too much from the flow of the plot. I was especially fascinated by the Withlings and I look forward to reading more about their Order in The Bow of Destiny. I felt connected to the three main characters – hopefully they will make an appearance in future books of the Bow of Hart Saga. Although I did not find this story quite as intriguing as Trading Knives, it was quite interesting, and I look forward to continuing with this series.

Visit the author

View all my reviews on Goodreads
More reviews here

Random

Guide to Getting Your Book Published

Great post by Tialla Rising on publishing. This will definitely come in handy!

Tialla's Tellings

Guide to Getting Your Book Published

As an author, I’m often asked questions about how to publish a book.  Writers come to me, wondering about everything from the writing process to editing, formatting, cover design, and last but not least, finding a publisher.  Sometimes even a little marketing is thrown in there.  Considering writing and publishing books is my passion, I love answering these questions and talking about this subject.  It thrills me to share what I know and hope that it helps others who are looking to see their story printed and bound.

Due to the fact that I greatly enjoy discussing this topic, I’ve recently written an article with this exact subject over at HomeschoolLiterature.com.  It is a guide to getting your book published, and I basically poured nearly everything I know about the process into the article.  It is filled with tips, links, resources, and more.  For those of you who are…

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Blog Tour · Books · Interviews

Adela’s Curse blog tour & Interview

I had the privilege of helping out with the cover reveal for Claire Banschbach’s newest book, Adela’s Curse, last month, and here I am again, with an interview with Claire, celebrating its release. There’s also an awesome giveaway, so stay tuned! (You can find the complete blog tour schedule here.)

* * * * *

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a twenty-three year old graduate student, currently working on a degree in physical therapy. I’m a native west Texan and a former homeschool graduate. I love to read and write and watch superhero shows in my spare time.

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

I love reading fantasy, but I also really enjoy historical fiction particularly that set in the Medieval era. I love to write fantasy!

When did you start writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

I started my first book when I was about seventeen years old. I’d had the story in my head for years and finally decided to try and write it! The story itself was inspired by a deep and abiding love of Narnia and LOTR.

How did you come up with the titles for your books?

My first two books (The Rise of Aredor and The Wildcat of Braeton) were pretty easy to name. RoA is named after what basically happens in the book, and WoB is named after the main character. Adela’s Curse was a bit harder. It was originally just titled A Faery Tale, and I went back and forth on a few different variations before I settled on the current title. Recently though, I’ve had the hardest time coming up with titles! ​

Who is your favorite author? Favorite book?

Brian Jaques is one of my favorite authors of all time. Favorite book is called Shadow Hawk by Andre Norton. It’s an adventure book set in Ancient Egypt. I read it probably once a year.

Looks fascinating! Which author would you most like to meet in person (living or dead)?

G.K. Chesterton. I’d probably clam up and be really shy at first, but hopefully I’d work up the courage to ask a few questions. J Or any of the cool author friends I’ve connected with online.

What are you currently reading?

Speaking of cool author friends, I’m reading Vastian Lore by Steph Gregory. I’ve gotten the chance to work with her on a collaborative website and she’s also helping out with this blog tour!

What is your current WIP?

I have two right now! One is the second in the Faeries of Myrnius series, and I’m having a lot of fun with it. Plot – a prince gets turned into a wolf and he and his brother have to figure out how to change him back. The second is currently titled The Mountain Baron. Basic Plot – a disgraced member of a highland clan is called home to rescue his brother who has been captured by a usurping lord.

Random preference questions:
     Morning or night? Morning.
     Moon or stars? Moon.
     Favorite food? Pizza.
     Favorite movie? Gladiator.
     Favorite genre of:
          Movie? Action/adventure
          Music? Country. But I also listen to a lot of instrumental soundtrack music.

Soundtracks are the best! Is there a little known fact about you or your books that you’d like to share with us?

It’s kind of random, but all my books have horses in them! Even if it is just a passing reference. J

Thank you for having me, Lena!

Thanks for joining me!! This was a lot of fun! 

* * * * *

Now go check out the rest of the tour, and support Claire! You can read more about her and her newest book, and checkout the giveaway below!!

Giveaway!
3 winners! Prizes include 2 copies of Adela’s Curse, and a paperback version of The Rise of Aredor to celebrate its 2 year anniversary on March 11! Open to international entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

imageAbout the Author:
Claire Banschbach was born and raised in Midland, TX, the fourth of eight children. She was homeschooled through high school and is now a proud member of the Texas A&M University class of 2014. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She continues to write in her spare time (and often when she doesn’t have spare time). She hopes her strong foundation in God will help to guide her writing.

Contact Info:
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog

Adela's Curse coverAbout the Book:
A curse. A murderous scheme. A choice.
A witch and her master capture a young faery and command her to kill their enemy. Adela has no choice but to obey. If she does not, they will force the location of her people’s mountain home from her and kill her. To make matters even worse, the person she is to kill is only a man struggling to save his dying land and mend a broken heart.
Count Stefan is a man simply trying to forget the woman he loves and save a land crippled by drought. When a mysterious woman arrives at his castle claiming to be a seamstress, he knows she is more than she seems.
Adela enlists the help of Damian, another faery, to try and delay the inevitable. He insists she has a choice. But with the witch controlling her every move, does she?

Add to Goodreads

Books · Cover Reveal

Adela’s Curse cover reveal

I’m here today with a cover reveal for Claire Banschbach’s newest novel, Adela’s Curse.

A witch and her master capture a young faery and command her to kill their enemy. Adela has no choice but to obey. If she does not, they will force the location of her people’s mountain home from her and kill her. To make matters even worse, the person she is to kill is only a man struggling to save his dying land and mend a broken heart.
Count Stefan is a man simply trying to forget the woman he loves and save a land crippled by drought. When a mysterious woman arrives at his castle claiming to be a seamstress, he knows she is more than she seems.
Adela enlists the help of Damian, another faery, to try and delay the inevitable. He insists she has a choice. But with the witch controlling her every move, does she?

image

Add to Goodreads

imageClaire Banschbach was born and raised in Midland, TX, the fourth of eight children. She was homeschooled through high school and is now a proud member of the Texas A&M University class of 2014. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She continues to write in her spare time (and often when she doesn’t have spare time). She hopes her strong foundation in God will help to guide her writing.

Contact Info:
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog

Random

BLOG LAUNCH

IT’S HERE!! Zac’s blog is live!

Hello, one and all, and welcome to the official launch of my first blog, Of Bleeding and Pages! I’m glad you’ve made your way around. 🙂

To start us off, let me introduce myself. I’m Zac, a YA and MG writer of speculative fiction (i.e. fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural, steampunk, etc.). I’m an avid reader and traveler of worlds. I spend most of my time talking to imaginary people, riding my pet dragons, obsessing over all things weird, and adventuring into the unknown. I also love peanut butter and sometimes forget I’m not a kid anymore.

Now, don’t run off just yet. I don’t bite, and I’m usually friendly (but don’t mess with my dragons). And I have some fun planned for tonight, such as an interview with a very special author and two kindle eBooks being given away.

I’m going to share how I first came to be a writer, how…

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Books · Guest Posts

Guest Post by Zac Tyson

Today, I have a very special treat for you, for a very special reason. My lovely writerly friend, Zac, is launching his blog today! By way of celebrating (and getting the word out, because, he’s freaking awesome!), I have invited him to write a very special guest post for us, about his work-in-progress, These The Restorers. (Isn’t that a beautiful title? I’m in love with it! ❤ )
Before I lose all my dignity by openly fangirling, I’m going to turn it over to you, Zac! 😉

* * * * *

“Gray. All is gray. Never anything more. We are cursed for eternity.”

These are the opening lines of my YA epic fantasy, THESE THE RESTORERS. A story of hope amidst grief, compassion amidst cruelty, grace amidst condemnation, determination amidst indecisiveness.

A lot goes into this story, and even though its unfinished, it’s deep. I’ve struggled on how to tie it down to one guest post (that wasn’t novel-length). So I’m going to cover TTR (which is how we will refer it from here on out) in three points: Characters, Plot, and Backstory.

BACKSTORY: In the land of Tierlin, color is vital to life. Called Tones, every color (red, blue, green, yellow, black, and white) works together in harmony to keep balance in the land. Every generation, one person is elected as representative for each Tone. Each representative claims a seat in the Gathering Chamber.

One select generation of representatives were constantly at odds with each other, thus causing the Tones to affectively keep balance. Eventually, the representatives disbanded the Gathering Chamber, breaking off into their own separate kingdoms to rule over.

The Tones retreated with their representatives, leaving parts of Tierlin colorless and without balance. These places became known as the Graylands. The inhabitants of the Graylands lost color in their vision and true life within their souls. Each separate kingdom desired the most power, to claim all the Tones for themselves; wars were started. Soldiers were made.

The armies often used the Graylands for their battlegrounds. Years passed by. The wars would never end, it seemed. The Tones would never reunite, and balance would never be restored in Tierlin.

PLOT: A Graylands inhabitant, Kaelan Talshear, has watched the Tone Kingdoms war her whole life. She’s seen too much death, destruction, brutality. All she wants is peace. She’s heard stories of times past when the Tones worked together in harmony. She longs to see color, to have purpose in her life.

When two warring kingdoms rip her home to pieces, Kaelan decides she’s had enough. She and her brother Arec set off on an impossible quest: to reunite the Tones and restore balance to Tierlin.

The plot thus far has been so fun for me. I’m constantly thinking up new ideas and dialogue. It might be the most fun I’ve had crafting a story! There’s one particular plot point I know future readers will hate me for, but…ahh…I delight in it. wrings hands together despicably

CHARACTERS: This is my favorite part! I love discussing my wonderfully frustrating characters.

There’s five main characters in TTR: Kaelan, Arec, Teague, Sohl, and Jensen.

Kaelan, from which TTR is told, is fierce and unexperienced, with a heart that longs for more than just survival. She aches for what her ancestors had–harmony, happiness, color. She knows her quest to restore balance in Tierlin is impossible, but that drives her all the more. She’s not one to be told what she can or can’t do.

Throughout TTR, she learns that the Tone Kingdoms are all not what they seem. She grows and matures in her quest, she learns, she hurts, she rejoices. She succeeds, she fails…but through it all, she learns what love and compassion truly are.

Arec is Kaelan’s older brother. He’s witty, charming, sensitive, and protective. Despite how close he and his sister are, he learns much about her he didn’t know. His heart is broken to see the war and destruction from the Tone Kingdoms. He longs just as much as Kaelan to see balance restored.

Teague is the daughter of the baron of Kingdom White. A quiet book lover who’s never stepped foot outside of her kingdom, she longs for the adventures she reads about. When she meets Kaelan and Arec, she begs her father to join them. Their quest is what she’s been seeking. But when her father calls her foolish and rejects her wishes, she realizes sometimes you must take matters into your own hands. In TTR, Teague learns what bravery, courage, and adventure truly are.

Sohl is an old friend of Arec’s. He left the Graylands years ago to hunt down the people who took him from his family in hopes to find them. He’s silent, with a decent sense of humor, courteous, but a little rough around the edges. He’d rather speak with his sword than his tongue. He and Kaelan aren’t too sure about each other when they first meet, but something (something heated and touching) eventually develops between them.

Jensen might just be my favorite character. He’s an 11-year-old orphaned street thief from Kingdom Yellow who knows his way around a knife. When he’s first introduced into the story, he’s untrustworthy, mischievous, and closed, but still has the whimsical spirit of a child. In TTR, he learns what trust and compassion are.

So there you have it! Everything you can know about TTR without revealing the whole story! 😉 I hope that one day, when this story comes to light, you’ll give it a chance!

Happy reading, booknerds!

* * * * *

image

Zac Tyson is a YA and MG writer of speculative fiction. An avid reader and traveler of worlds, he spends most of his time talking to imaginary people, riding his pet dragons, obsessing over all things weird, and adventuring into the unknown. He also loves peanut butter and thinks he’s still a kid.

* * * * *

Yep, I’m amazed!! That was my first time hearing about it too, and wow, can we just take a moment to appreciate how amazing this is??? I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for this story!! 

Thank you, Zac!  

Books · Writing

Farewell, 2015; Welcome, 2016!

I can’t believe it’s been 2016 for over two weeks now! I guess time flies when you’re old… 😉 Anyway, I wanted to give you all a brief recap of 2015, and share some goals for 2016. I’m going to warn you, there will be many lists. That’s just how my mind works. Now let’s start with some 2015 stats:

  • I read fifty-eight books
  • I wrote over 25,000 words (I know that may not seem like a lot, especially to you 50,000-words-a-month writers, but it’s more than I’ve ever done before)
  • I reviewed fourteen books
  • I wrote forty-three blog posts
  • I gained sixty-three new followers
  • I sent out two newsletters

Alright, now that’s out of the way, on to the more fun stuff!

Of all the books I read, my favorite was probably, hmm… Ok, never mind. Let’s go with the top five.

  • Thy Kingdom Come, by Daniel Adorno
  • Holding the Future Hostage, by Tialla Rising
  • Richard III, by William Shakespeare
  • But Who Would Be Dumb Enough to Even Try It, by Enclave Publishing authors
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy, by Irving Stone

These were all great books and I highly recommend them! (Except maybe The Agony and the Ecstasy, unless you’re a mature reader and really into Michelangelo).

A few other highlights of 2015:

  • I was accepted to my top colleges. Now for the decision-making…
  • I survived a five-day backpacking trip through the mountains, which included hiking half the night down a steep trail in the pitch black, and clambering down wet, slippery rock beside a roaring gorge. Yeah, not repeating that experience.
  • I also survived nine days of intense, college-level honors classes, studying the Socratic method.
  • I participated in two NaNo Camps and the November NaNoWriMo.
  • On a less impressive note, I got Twitter. Yay; follow me! 😀

Looking ahead to 2016: 

Well, as you may have guessed, I did not finish the first draft of Something More in 2015, so that will be my top priority for early 2016. As soon as I’ve accomplished that, I will commence work on the first draft of Book Two. I’d ultimately like to have the entire trilogy drafted by the end of this year. We’ll see how that goes…

I will also be graduating from homeschool in the spring, and attending college this fall.
* cue hysterical screaming *
On a more serious note, this will be a huge change for me, so I could really use any prayers you send my way.

 

I’ll also be sending out a newsletter soon, recapping 2015 in more detail, and giving a few more exciting peeks into what I have planned for 2016 (including an awesome collage of Something More inspired pictures), so if you haven’t signed up for it yet, now would be the time. I will also be hosting a giveaway (most likely an Amazon gift card) when I reach 25 newsletter subscribers, so tell your friends too.

 

Get exclusive content and exciting opportunities when you sign up for my newsletter!

Books · Writing

Christian Fiction vs. Fiction Written by Christians

Amen! This perfectly describes my views on why I don’t write ‘Christian Fiction’.

Inkspelled Faery

I am a devout Christian writer, but I do not write Christian fiction.

Christ isn’t something in my life, He’s everything. This has been central to me for a long time, though I have undergone a kind of spiritual rediscovery lately, seeking to explore God and godliness in a deeper, more meaningful way.

20151014_181305 My Bible occupies the same shelf as some really bad@$$ fantasy because where else would it be?

Second only to Christianity and my immediate clan is—you guessed it—books. I take in words like air, each story another breath. Fantasy literature just fits something in me like nothing else (cheesy as it sounds) and I can’t imagine being without it. Whether reading or writing, epic fantasy in particular is almost as much a part of me as my faith.

If you’re looking for it, one can spot Christian themes in Janir and Haddie’s stories. The religious system…

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Books

Speculative Fiction

Faith & Fantasy Alliance

by Tosca Lee

The inherent “what if” at the heart of any story (What if a promising lawyer took a job with a law firm—only to learn it was run by the mob?) ventures beyond the everyday plausible with speculative fiction. What if the rapture happened to passengers riding on a commercial airplane? (Left Behind) What if a modern-day woman touched a magic stone and went back in time to 18th Century Scotland? (Outlander) What if a vampire had an existential crisis? (Interview With the Vampire).

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Books

Black Friday Book Sale – again!

Now that it’s actually Black Friday, I thought I’d share about the amazing Book Sale again.

ICB_FBAdBecause, seriously, who doesn’t want to be reminded about cheap (and FREE!) books! And it’s that time of year, you know. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year’s Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you (which they should!), Indie Christian Authors has a perfect event for you.
From Nov 27 (that’s today!) through Nov 30th, more than 70 independent Christian books are on sale. You can find free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals, and more! And if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, they’ve got you covered with some freebies!
Think 70 books is overwhelming? Narrow it down and find the perfect books for you or someone on your Christmas list by using this quiz to generate a customized book list.
What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016? And what great deals did you find during this sale? 😉

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good for her work organizing this sale, Gloria Repp for completing the time consuming job of uploading book info to the sale website, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.
Books

Black Friday Book Sale

I hope you all enjoyed Narina’s post. Well, I’m back, with an exciting post about BOOK SALES!!! 😀

ICB_FBAd.jpg
Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my “things I’m thankful for” list every year. It’s hard to choose favorites, but I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2015 and am thankful for.

  1. Thy Kingdom Come, by Daniel Adorno is a great post-apocalyptic novel, with some really deep insights (Check out my review)
  2. Holding the Future Hostage,  by Tialla Rising was another great read (Check out my review)
  3. But Who Would Be Dumb Enough To Even Try It, by several Enclave Publishing authors was a fantastic story by some fantastic writers!
  4. The Betrayal, by Douglas Bond is a great novel on the life of John Calvin (Check out my review)
  5. And finally, Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott. This classic took me right back to medieval England, into the action and intrigue.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here’s one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 27-30. There’s literally something for everyone.
Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you.
Don’t know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!
Book Quiz
What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good for her work organizing this sale, Gloria Repp for completing the time consuming job of uploading book info to the sale website, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.
Books · Writing

NaNoWriMo Writing Update #1, by Narina

Hello! Let me introduce myself! I’m Narina, one of Lekhaka’s Characters. (You would know her as Lena, I believe). I have the pleasure of being here instead of Lekhaka, since she is currently suffering from some disease called NaNoWriMo – I guess it’s something authors get…

Anyway, she asked me to write this blog post for her to let everyone know that she is still alive. No, wait. I was supposed to tell you how her writing is going. That was it!

She has just started week four of this NaNoWriMo thing (I think it stands for National Novel Writing Month, or something like that. It still sounds like an illness to me…). She is a little behind, having written only 5578 words so far this month, but she’s hoping to get a lot of writing in during her Thanksgiving break from school. She’s still less than a quarter done with the first book in her trilogy, Something More, but if she writes hard instead of watching The Beverly Hillbillies during the last week and a half of November, she may still finish this year. (I don’t think I was supposed to mention The Beverly Hillbillies. Hopefully she doesn’t see this… 😉 ).

As to her mental state, I’m not sure she’ll ever fully recover. She spends several hours a day with that glassy-eyed stare, mumbling to herself and making weird faces. Sometimes she’ll get up suddenly and pace back and forth, or she might wave her hands about and have conversations with herself while she types. I try to avoid her at times like that… Even when she’s going about her normal activities, she’ll sometimes stop dead and get that zoned-out look. And, without fail, she’ll eventually run upstairs and begin frantically typing. I declare, I don’t know what her problem is!

We do have cozy talks sometimes, when her mental state seems more stable. She’ll ask me to describe something I’ve seen in Kharsedon, or beg me to tell her some of the history. Sometimes she reads me what she’s written and I’ll help her change the things that aren’t quite right. We try to avoid editing, though, until she’s gotten the whole thing written. I’ll tell you one thing, though: I’m starting to fall in love with this book almost as much as she is!

 

 About the Author: 
 Narina is a native of Kharsedon. A time traveller and visitor of many different worlds, she chose to make Artha (earth) her new home. She provides information for Lena Karynn Tesla, the designated Lekhaka, or Scribe, who is writing the history of her world. Her job (and hobby) involves visiting other worlds and interviewing the characters featured in their books. She currently lives with Lekhaka full-time, only making quick trips to other worlds and different times on the weekends.

Contact her at character.narina [at] gmail [dot] com

Random

5 Reasons Why You Should Read This Blog Post

Read this article! It will change your life!

….. Sorry, I just had to! 😉

Thimblerig's Ark

This is probably my final blog post.

Once the information I disclose on this post goes out, it is quite likely that the forces arrayed against me will stop at nothing to destroy me. My reputation will be smothered under a feather pillow, my finances will be encased in carbonite, and my life will be harshly wiped out like a first grader aggressively obliterating his misspelling of “spaghetti” with one of those giant pink erasers.

b0ByrCyIn short, I am going to be the escape goat, because I dared speak the truth.

But the truth must be known, regardless of the impact it has on my life or my blog, because the implications of what is happening are bigger than any simple blogger.

As Skipper told Dusty in Planes, a movie that was not a cash grab at all…

Volo Pro Veritas”.

Or in this case, Blog Pro Veritas.

I Blog for Truth.

And…

View original post 1,569 more words

Blog Tour · Books · Reviews

Review: Silly Feeling & blog tour

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I have another lovely young writer friend who recently published a short story, and I had the privilege of reviewing it. Check it out!

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Silly FeelingSilly Feeling by Willowy Whisper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Silly Feeling

Church camp is one week. Five days. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing. She’s just being silly…
But Hannah can’t rid the feeling, and as the week unfolds, she wonders if perhaps it’s not such a silly feeling after all.
(Blurb from Goodreads)

Silly Feeling is a cute short story with just a touch of romance and suspense.
There was a whole slew of characters, and I found each of them interesting and unique. Even the minor supporting characters captured my interest.
The plot had some fun twists and side stories that kept me interested all throughout. Overall, I really enjoyed this fun little story. There were a few typos and grammatical errors, but nothing really major. A job well done, especially by such a young author. She has some real talent!

Would I recommend it? Yes
What age would I recommend it for? Any ages, really. It was quite clean!
Would I read the other books by this author? Yes

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Visit the author

View all my reviews on Goodreads
More reviews here

Books · Cover Reveal

Twinepathy cover reveal

Today, I’ve got a lovely friend joining us to show off the beautiful cover for her most recent novel. Without further ado…
round of applause

 

Hullo, everyone! C.B. Cook here! I am very pleased to announce that I am here to reveal the cover of Twinepathy! This wonderful blogger here has allowed me to infiltrate their blog (temporarily), and I greatly appreciate that. Thank you, person, for being a wonderfully dedicated follower of this blog.

Now, on to the cover reveal! Drum roll, please…

 

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Check out the first part here!

I’m so thrilled that you guys are celebrating this with me! If you’re on Goodreads, you can add Twinepathy to your Goodreads shelves – once we hit 100 people adding it, I’ll be posting an extra part. I’m so grateful for your support! Check out the cover reveal post on my blog for a bonus part. Keep on being awesome!
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Check out her other book:

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Books

Conflicted Loyalties: Villains vs. Heroes

As someone who likes a few villains myself, this interests me greatly. I’d love to see that follow-up post. Or two…

Inkspelled Faery

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3dafcYd9Y1qapy9o.gif

A soft spot for villains.

All too often, I find myself watching a movie or a series for the sake of the villain, because I care more about him/her than the “good guys.”  If you go on Tumblr or any other fan site, you’ll see that villains in pretty much every genre and media garner massive followings, sometimes even larger than those of their heroic counterparts.

This led me to the inevitable question—why? Are the heroes just too boring? Are the good guys too good? Is it that the villains are a means of expressing our frustrations and resentments by proxy? I’m sure there’s a psychology dissertation in that somewhere.

The double standard.

Firstly, I notice that villains get away with a lot more by virtue of being villains. If a hero abducted and poisoned children or slaughtered entire armies defending their homes, he would be condemned by the readership…

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Movies

What’s Wrong With Christian Filmmaking?

Amazingly true post on Christian movies. Now I want Mr. Fleming to review Beyond the Mask

Thimblerig's Ark

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This morning I read a review of the film God’s Not Dead over at Gospelspam.com, and was struck by the thesis of the review, which is found in the title, “God’s Not Dead but Christian Screenwriting Is.”

The review had plenty of good to say about the film, but also plenty to say about the problems currently found in Christian filmmaking – specifically the writing.  This issue brings up strong feelings and thoughts in me, as I am a Christian, and I have been a student of screenwriting since 2007.  I’ve written screenplays (both produced and un-produced), and have recently published my first novel, Thimblerig’s Ark.  I felt led to respond to the article in the comment section at Gospelspam, and then decided to reproduce the bulk of my comments here.

Let me say from the start that my intention with this article is not to attack my fellow Christian artists.  I…

View original post 1,466 more words

Books · Reviews

Review: 1001 Islands by K.T. Munson

1001 Islands1001 Islands by K.T. Munson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


1001 Islands

The sliver of moonlight cast eerie shadows across the deck of The Dark Revenge. The Silence at the helm stood embracing the obscurity. His foreboding presence matched the anticipation aboard the ship, and no one spoke for fear they would break the stillness that encompassed them.

Tonight, everything changed.

The Dark Revenge gained on the Regatta. The raiders said nothing but he could hear the shuffle of taut female clothing and the tension in the air. It hadn’t sensed their existence, and drifted like heedless prey. Princess Roxana slept, unsuspecting of what was hunting her in the inky blackness of the night.

There was only one thing on the minds of The Silence’s crew as they drew near; Hang the Kings, Crown the People.
(Blurb from Goodreads)

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a hard time rating a book as I did with 1001 Islands.

Characters

The characters were great. They each had very distinct personalities; even the supporting characters were well-done. It was nice to see their personal struggles and the way they understood things.

Plot

The general plot line was very interesting, but there were several themes to the book that went directly against what I believe. Otherwise, I would have liked it much better. For the most part it was unpredictable and even quite exciting at times.

Overall thoughts

I really wanted to see a map. I’m sure the map would be quite beautiful, and would really help with understanding the story. The writing would have been excellent with a polishing touch. There were stunningly beautiful metaphors and descriptions, but it could have used the eye of an editor before publication. The fight scenes could have been expanded, also; I found them almost too short to be interesting. And a graphically intimate scene between two of the main characters further lowered my rating.

Would I recommend it? It really depends on your worldview
What age would I recommend it for? Adults, 18+
Would I read the other books in the series? Probably not, but I might give them a shot

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Visit the author

View all my reviews on Goodreads
More reviews here

Books · Reviews

Review: Holding the Future Hostage by Tialla Rising

Holding the Future Hostage: The Legacy of the Ruby VialHolding the Future Hostage: The Legacy of the Ruby Vial by Tialla Rising
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Holding the Future Hostage

A Mystical Bottle… A Teenage Beauty… A Criminal… A Universe of Pursuit. When a teenage girl finds an enchanting perfume Vial, her world is thrown into chaos. Friends become enemies; enemies become friends. Trust is what she needs most – and what she can’t find. Through a series of deadly experiences, she discovers that this Vial plays a vital role in deciding the fate of many. Murder and betrayal surround her – hundreds try to claim her very life. A test of determination awaits…. Will she survive? Visions of the future, attacks, kidnappings, travel, explosions, and murder fill this page-turning novel with suspense and surprise.
(Blurb from Goodreads)

I’ve been meaning to read this for a few years now, and I’m so glad I finally did! Although it’s a self-published debut novel, Holding the Future Hostage was a well-wriiten, captivating book.

Characters

I liked pretty much all of the characters. Shawn was by far my favorite (I mean, come on? What’s not to like?), and I’m so excited to read more about him in the sequel! Virginia was a fun character, her friend felt very real, and I loved her brother! I really appreciated the way they grew throughout the novel. It felt fairly realistic and not forced.

Plot

The plot was pretty exciting! There were a few slow passages, but once I neared the end, there was no putting this book down! The last several chapters were pretty much non-stop action. I was enthralled by the premise, as well. I desperately wanted to hold the Ruby Vial: it seems so powerful! There were a few plot-holes, or things that weren’t explained well, but for the most part, I enjoyed it!

Overall thoughts

Overall, I thought this was a great book. I was shocked to find that the author’s writing style is very similar to my own! I’m sure it’ll improve in her next books, though. 😉 There were a few things concerning Shawn and his connection to the Vial that I thought were not handled well, but other than that, I’d say this book is very well done, especially for a teen author! Great job, Tialla! 🙂

Would I recommend it? Yes
What age would I recommend it for? Probably ages 10+, because of a few mildly violent scenes
Would I read the other books in the series? Oh yes!

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Visit the author

View all my reviews on Goodreads
More reviews here

Books · Interviews

Introducing… Narina! Character Interview

I’m very excited to be doing an interview with one of my very own characters, from a short story/novella sequel to the prequel of my fantasy trilogy. (It’s complicated, I know!). I’m introducing Narina to you, because from now on she will be doing all the character interviews on my blog for me.

And here she is now, so we can proceed.

(Photo from Pinterest)
(Photo from Pinterest)

Narina, it’s great to have you join us. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

As Lena said, my name is Narina, and I am featured in a short story she is planning to write. My grandfather was a human who lived on Artha, but moved to Kharsedon with his three children in his old age. I was born to his daughter in Kharsedon, but I moved to Artha when I was 24. I’ve lived here ever since, trying to blend in with the humans.

 

In what ways do you stand out from the humans of earth (Artha)?

Being half Kirf and half human, I have some characteristics of both. I’m a little stronger than most humans, but I still look like a human. I am a Comunicator – someone who can understand the language of a different species – so that’s easier to hide than if I were a Shifter. Also, the languages of animals here on Artha are slightly different from those on Kharsedon, so they’re a little harder to understand.
I also will live longer, which means I age differently: once I reached 20 years old, I stopped aging. I will not begin to age again until I’m 500 or so.
But for the moment, I just look like your average human!

 

This may seem like a silly question, but for the sake of the readers: are you aware of the existence of your author? If so, what is your relationship with her like?

Yes! We call Lena the Lekhaka, or Scribe. She was my first friend upon my arrival to Artha, and has remained very dear to me. We discuss all the different books she is chronicling, and I help her with the history and language of Kharsedon.

 

What is a special accomplishment of yours?

I am a worlds traveller. I have visited many different worlds through the Gateway (you can learn the fascinating history of the Gateway in the books Lekhaka is writing). I also have the ability to time travel, which I learned on one of my trips to a very technologically advanced world. 

 

That’s awesome! I would love to do that!
What was it like to move to another world?

It was difficult at first, but thanks to the help of Varldine and Lekhaka, I settled in relatively quickly.

 

Glad to hear it!! Thank you so much for joining me for this, Narina! I really enjoyed it.

 

If you have any other questions for Narina, ask them in the comments. She would be thrilled to answer them all!

Random

Why Writers are like Gandalf

This is beautiful!

The Overactive Imagination

Howdy!

I had this epiphany this morning on my way to an eye doctor’s appointment. I was driving along thinking about the writing I wanted to get done today, which somehow transitioned to debating how I would fare during an adventure, which somehow transitioned thinking about Gandalf and how he got Bilbo to join Thorin and Co. My mind is a strange place and apparently in a constant state of flux.

Of course thinking about Gandalf got me thinking about writing again and I realized there were a few similarities between writers and this great wizard.

  1. When we discover a new character what’s the first thing we do? Knock on his freshly painted door and tell them “I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure!” To which they probably reply “No thank you!” But we just look at them fondly, chuckle a bit, and reply

“Well that’s decided. It’ll…

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Blog Tour · Books · Interviews

Water Princess, Fire Prince blog tour, post #2: Interview

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When the Lady Dragon does come,
Hold fast, do not fear, do not run.
Your Water Princess will fight,
Fire Prince will set all to right.
Each shall come from a Fall,
Their union will save you all.

Despite the fact that she’s on track for competing in the Olympics, and he’s practically raised his younger brothers since they lost their mom in a car accident, Clara Mandras and Andrew Stevenson are pretty much normal teens. They have normal hopes, normal dreams, and they live in a normal world.
All this is torn away from them when they are thrust into another world and declared Water Princess and Fire Prince. With no experience ruling a country, meeting each other for the first time, and being expected to fight the Lady Dragon – an evil sorceress plaguing the world of Rizkaland – Clara and Andrew are underprepared and inexperienced. Unless they learn to work together despite their standing opposition, Rizkaland’s hope will be lost.

What is to come will change their lives forever.

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And now for an exciting interview with the author! 

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I’m a twenty-year-old author of seven books, I’ve been homeschooled my whole life, am the eldest of four, and I enjoy knitting.

 

Of all the books you’ve written, which is your favorite?

At the moment, that award goes to Water Princess, Fire Prince. I’m rather proud of that hefty collection of words.

 

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

Fantasy on both accounts, predominately Fairy Tale Retellings and Christian. 

 

How did you come up with the title for Water Princess, Fire Prince?

From the moment I came up with the idea, I knew I wanted the title of the main character as the book’s title. However, for the longest time, I was confused and thought it was Waterfall Princess. My mom set me straight, and I never looked back.

 

What is your current WIP?

I have three that I’m currently focusing on:
The Sequel: Which takes place about a thousand years after Water Princess, Fire Prince, and has a completely different cast. It was also one of the first books I ever wrote, so I’m rather excited about this one.

Poison Kiss: My entry for the Five Magic Spindles contest. Basically, I’m shaking it up with reversing the kiss and spinning wheel’s role and tossing in Puss in Boots.

And Sew We Take The Kingdom: An Anthology of Bookania. This involves revising Sew, and writing one and half short stories, and writing book 3.5.

 

When did you start writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve been making up stories since before I understood the concept, and so when I learned to write, it was the most natural thing in the world for me to begin pouring those stories onto the page. And since I was homeschooled, and I have a very smart mother, she put a lot of writing into my curriculum. I can’t say for certain what my first book was, but a genderswapped retelling of “Rumplestilskin” sticks out in my mind.

 

What authors/books have inspired you most?

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and L. Frank Baum.

 

Which author would you most like to meet in person (living or dead)?

Miss Jack Lewis Baillot. This is mostly because we’re working on writing a book together and it’d be really cool if we could sit down and talk about it in person.

 

Random preference questions:
     a) Morning or night? Depends on my mood. Some days I want to burn the midnight oil, other days I’m all system’s go by six in the morning.
     b) Moon or stars? Moon. I actually have a rocket ship and make regular trips.
     c) Favorite food? Spaghetti.
     d) Favorite movie? The Nutcracker ballet – almost any version.
     e) Favorite genre of:
          i) Movie? Fantasy
          ii) Music? Country, Classics, Christian

 

Is there a little known fact about you or your books that you’d like to share with us?

Um … Ooh – in Water Princess, Fire Prince, there’s a mildly important elf named Dular. In the first draft, it was Zindar. However, when I reached his character in the second draft, Dular was the name at the top of my head.

It wasn’t until a few months later that I realized where the name came from – it’s the name of a character’s missing father in one of the WIP’s I have sitting on my back burner, Half-Hidden.

 

Thank you so much, Kendra! I greatly enjoyed this! 

 

imageKendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, “Finish your story, Kendra”, is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog, knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com.

 

Part 1’s first chapter
Part 2’s first chapter

 

Free Books!
31st-4th
Sew, It’s a Quest 
Do You Take This Quest? 
31st ONLY
My Kingdom for a Quest
1st – 5th
The Ankulen
CinderEddy
Saffron’s Big Plan

 

And check out this exciting sneak peek! 

So Andrew picked the sword back up, but this time didn’t lift it over his head. He held it awkwardly at about waist-height.
“Always respect your sword,” Abraham said, solemnly. “For it is not only your weapon, but also your defense. You just committed the simplest and most dangerous mistakes a person can make – you left your whole body exposed.”
“I didn’t expect you to attack me,” Andrew countered.
“Ah! So there your mistake began,” said Abraham. “Never assume that a man won’t attack you, especially if you can see that he has a sword. And even if you cannot see that he is armed, still, do not relax. You never know who your enemy is.”
“So you’re telling me not to trust anyone?”
“I’m telling you to not let your guard down at any time.”
And then without warning, Abraham attacked Andrew again, and the sword was again knocked from Andrew’s hand and went flying clear across the clearing.
“But I wasn’t ready!” Andrew protested.
He noticed Abraham’s raised eyebrow and scampered over to get the sword again.
“And what did I just tell you?” asked Abraham. “Stay on guard at all times.”
Andrew picked the sword back up. “I’ve never held a sword before in my life, and you’re expecting me to know how to ‘stay on guard!’”

Blog Tour · Books · Title Reveal

Water Princess, Fire Prince blog tour, post #1: Book Two title reveal!!

Introducing …

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Lady Dragon,
Tela Du

Two girls with one face
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?
Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised fifty years ruling over Rizkaland, and it is time for her to claim it. Only one person stands in her way of ruling forever – the Tela Du, the girl who shall share her face.
The last thing Petra wants is to have to fight and kill the Lady Dragon. What she wants is to have a normal life, and to prove that she isn’t insane for remembering sisters that no one else can. Rizkaland has other ideas.

 

The Story Behind this Book:
Nearly ten years ago now, the first of the new Narnia movies released, and I got to see it in Theaters – actually, the last movie we got to see as a family. A friend of ours had also seen the movie, and had been converted to the Narnia fandom, and so as we were chatting about it, one of us had a brilliant idea – why don’t we make our own Narnia movie? We all loved acting, so it seemed like the most natural thing in the world.

As the eldest of that threesome, and the most adamant about the plot, I took on the responsibility of writing the script, then titled “The Giraffe, The Witch, and the Tunnel Tube.” At first it resembled Narnia fairly closely, the changes we made were for casting or prop reasons – we didn’t have a lion costume, we did have giraffe. We didn’t have a wardrobe, we did have a tunnel.

After several fits and starts, my mother told me that I needed to put it away and rehash it so it resembled Narnia less, perhaps make it summer instead of winter, a dragon instead of a witch. So, I followed her advice and managed to turn out my first finished work of any great length. It was quickly followed by a second draft, after I decided that I wanted to make some changes to the ending. A third draft quickly followed when I decided I wanted love interests.

As I finished this third script, I realized that it was far too complicated a story for me to hope to perform at that time. And since it had changed so radically from Narnia by that point, I decided to take the plunge back into novel writing. Shortly before NaNo of ’10, I finished this draft at twenty thousand words, and was terribly proud of myself – though I knew it needed work. However, I now had other story ideas on my plate that were demanding my attention – Bookania and the Ankulen – and I knew I needed to write and publish Water Princess, Fire Prince first.

So I set aside again. Oh I worked on it, here and there and in snippets – one or two scenes especially – but for the most part, it largely sat at the back of my mind festering and boiling.

It’s changed a lot since I started writing it, and this draft that I’m writing now has changed even more. It’s a powerful story that has come with me through some of my darkest years. I’m so thrilled to finally be at the verge of sharing it.

 

Sneak Peak:

At last Amber came to the men working this farm, a father and his two sons, she guessed, of human stock. They’d suit her purposes just fine.
“Oh, good gentlemen!” she cried, filling her voice with pathos. “I’m so glad to have found you. Do these fields never end?”
The father straightened and regarded Amber critically. “Well,” he said, after several long moments, “I reckon I can say that there are days I wonder the same, though with this drought, they aren’t nearly enough. Who may you be, Miss? It isn’t often we see strangers around here, especially not ones dressed as fine as you.”
“Nor as pretty,” one of the sons commented.
Amber shot the boy an imperious glance. “I am married.” She’d already noticed the way they’d been staring at her while trying to look like they weren’t. She turned her attention back to the father. “I have traveled rather far from home, I fear,” she admitted. “Where I come from, there aren’t nearly as many colors, and the rim of this world curls away from me strangely.”
It took the man several seconds to process Amber’s speech. At length, he asked, “Did the Doorkeeper bring you to us?”
This question took Amber by surprise, and for a moment, she was rendered speechless, as her conversation with Laura echoed through her head. She quickly recovered herself, however, and shook her head. “No, I cannot say that she did.”
And it was true, Amber admitted bitterly to herself. For all the travels she made and grand stories she produced, Laura had never taken Amber anywhere. Amber had been forced to make her own escape both times her world fell.
“Well, perhaps she did and you just didn’t see her, I hear that she can be mighty sneaky at times.” The man shook his head. “But from the looks of your dress and jewels, I’m willing to say you were someone mighty important where you come from. A princess, maybe?”
“Queen.” Amber drew herself to her full stature.
“I see.” The man nodded. “Well, after our last few hard winters and scorching summers, we scarcely have enough to call a fitting meal for royalty, but you’re welcome to come stay at least the night with us before we send you to Loray to meet our own kings and queens. You said you were married, didn’t you?”
She nodded, “I am.”
“So your husband?”
“Accompanied me, but he lacks my ambition.”
“I see,” said the man. “Welcome along then, my dear – I mean, your highness. I don’t think I quite caught your name.”
“I don’t think I gave it to you,” she replied.

Books · Reviews

Review: A Wish Made of Glass

A Wish Made Of GlassA Wish Made Of Glass by Ashlee Willis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A Wish Made of Glass

Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with a young human child. Their kinship is the fabric of Isidore’s childhood. But when her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.

The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.

Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.
(Blurb from Goodreads)

A Wish Made of Glass is a beautifully written novella that captured my heart!
The characters were very well-developed for such a short book. They each had a distinct personality, and they stayed true to that throughout the book. I loved them all!
The plot was also well done. It was a bit predictable, but I still enjoyed every moment of it! There were enough times that I was unsure how it was all going to play out, that it kept me interested and constantly wanting to know more.
Overall, I loved this book! I loved the mystical aspect of the fey, and the whole premise of the glass shoes was fascinating. I think I would have enjoyed reading it more if I hadn’t been expecting there to be more of a Cinderella feel to it. I wouldn’t even call it a Cinderella retelling. Inspired by, maybe, but not a retelling. I liked that it was original, and not just another Cinderella story. Very well done!

Would I recommend it? Yes
What age would I recommend it for? I’d say it’s appropriate for any age. Light romance, no swearing, and no violence. It’s written like a true fairytale!
Would I read the other books by this author? Yes!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
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Blog Tour · Books

Where Shadows Lie blog tour

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About three months ago, I was a part of the cover reveal for Where Shadows Lie by Tialla Rising, and now I’m excited to be helping out with the blog tour!

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Genre: Christian New Adult Suspense
Release Date: June 14th 2015
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

His dark past haunts him. His new life taunts him.
After twenty years in the gangs and a hefty prison sentence, an early release gives Shawn the opportunity to turn his life around.

But that isn’t so easy when gangs are involved.

Only a year into his fresh start, the gang catches on and makes Shawn’s life miserable. After all, once a gang member, always a gang member. His very blood belongs to them.

Threats become promises. Whispers become actions. Words become bullets. He must fight – not only for his life, but to save his honor, prove his integrity, and protect the woman he loves.

An ember of hope glows in the darkness, strengthening his resolve. Will her support and his determination be enough to dispel the shadows of his past?

A story of discovery and faith, love and perseverance.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
64205-kwp_0175Tialla Rising is a Christian young woman living with her family in the mountains of Arizona. She loves to write and will passionately spend hours long into the night developing her stories. Like most writers, Tialla fills her spare time with reading from her favorite fantasy and mystery genres. A good book, a stormy day, and an iced coffee comprise her favorite moments.
http://www.therubyvial.com | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

 

BOOK TRAILER:

 

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

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TOUR SCHEDULE:

August 10th –
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections Review & Favorite Quotes (blogger picks)
Seasons of Humility Spotlight
Fallen Over Book Reviews Review & Favorite Quotes (blogger picks)
Mythical Books Interview
promoting authors with read along with sue Spotlight
Kats Reading Corner Spotlight

August 11th –
Jaye L. Knight Guest Post
Read, Write, Laugh, DANCE Spotlight

August 12th –
A Writer’s Heart Interview
In the Character’s Shadow Guest Post
Around the World in Books Spotlight

August 13th –
Marissa Nicole Reads Review & Character Interview
Writer of Wrongs Review
deal sharing aunt Spotlight
Finding the True Fairy Tale Interview

August 14th –
Melody Jackson, Author Spotlight
The Overactive Imagination Spotlight
Kaitlyn Deann, author Guest Post
Rebekah’s Quill Review & Character Interview
A Fold in the Spine Review

 

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Books · Second Sunday Sales

Second Sunday Sales #1: Thy Kingdom Come (The Navitas Epidemic #1) by Daniel Adorno

For the first sale (I know I said I’d start this three months ago, but you know, life…), I’d like to share Thy Kindgom Come, on sale for 99¢ for a limited time! The price goes back up tomorrow (Monday, August 10th)!

So, I know it probably seems like I’m obsessed, but actually –

Ok, actually you’re right. I am obsessed. But I have reason to be, because Thy Kingdom Come is freaking awesome!!!

 

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An epidemic caused by a biotech virus has ravaged the population, turning the diseased into mindless electricity devourers. Dex Finnegan is one of the few survivors of the virus called Navitas. Orphaned and desperate for answers, Dex needs to find his uncle–the only man who may know why the outbreak occurred in the first place. But leaving his hometown may prove more difficult than he expects. Looting gangs stand in his way and the Mindless masses are an ever present threat. Can he escape the chaos before Navitas infects him too?

Thy Kingdom Come is the first entry into Daniel Adorno’s latest post-apocalyptic science fiction series.

(Blurb from Goodreads)

 

Download for only 99¢ on Amazon

Read my review

Add on Goodreads

Books · Interviews

Interview: Daniel Adorno

I’m very privileged to have the amazingly talented Daniel Adorno joining me for an interview to celebrate the release of his newest novel, Thy Kingdom Come.

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Daniel Adorno and I’m a self-published author who loves to write fantasy and science fiction. I was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Florida. In 4th grade, I wrote my first story out of construction paper and crayon. It was called “The Hot Rod” and it was terrible. Seeing my budding interest in writing, my father bought me a typewriter and my love of creating stories was born! Throughout my middle and high school years I wrote short stories and poetry, but I didn’t pen my first novel, The Blade Heir, until I was in college. After I wrote the manuscript for The Blade Heir, it took me eight years to get around to editing and publishing it.

 

How many books have you written, and what are the titles? What are they about?

I’ve written two novels: The Blade Heir and Thy Kingdom Come.

The Blade Heir is an epic fantasy novel which tells the story of Lucius Nostra, an orphan raised by elves who gets caught up in stopping an uprising of dragons that threaten to conquer his realm. In order to stop the dragons’ deceased leader, Kraegyn, from ascending, Lucius embarks on a quest to reforge an ancient sword that will defeat Kraegyn once and for all.

Thy Kingdom Come is a post-apocalyptic young adult novel that follows Dex Finnegan into a dismal future where a nanovirus outbreak has infected much of the population and turned them into mindless beings who devour electricity. Living in his neighbor’s basement, Dex tries to cope with the loss of his parents by talking over the radio with his best friend Cassidy. When Cassidy’s life is threatened, Dex decides to leave his home to rescue her and also seek out his uncle Richard, an expert on nanotechnology. But his journey to save Cassidy will be fraught with danger as the Mindless roam at every turn and looting gangs of survivors threaten Dex’s life.

 

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

My favorite genre to read is fantasy, but I’m also a fan of science fiction and young adult dystopian. With regard to writing, I’m very eclectic. I’d love to write an epic drama without any elves or robots in the story. But for the moment, I love writing fantasy and sci-fi. I get caught up in my imagination a lot, so naturally I prefer writing the more fantastical stories!

 

What is your dream for your books? Do you want to become world famous?

My dream for my books is just that they are read by a large audience. I’m not sure I want to be world famous because that sounds like a lot of pressure to deliver a book that everyone will love! So no aspirations to become the next Stephen King or anything like that. I’d be happy to have fifty people be super excited to pick up my next book.

 

You have one, at least! 😉

How did you come up with the titles for your books?

The title for The Blade Heir took me a really long time. I had so many title brainstorming sessions around that book it’s crazy! Tales of Azuleah and The Requiem Sword where both top contenders, but after asking several writer friends those just didn’t pan out and I eventually settled on “The Blade Heir” because it sounded more mysterious and intriguing.

With Thy Kingdom Come, I actually started out with the title before I had a story! I love the Lord’s Prayer and the line, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” resonates with me so much that I felt compelled to write a story featuring it. Plus the juxtaposition of a bleak, awful future with the glorious coming kingdom of heaven that the title creates just sounds cool!

 

Who is your favorite author? Favorite book?

My favorite is J.R.R. Tolkien hands down. I haven’t read all of his works, but The Lord of the Rings tops the list of my favorite books. C.S. Lewis comes in a close second with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe though.

 

I’ll definitely agree with you on that one!!

What authors/books have inspired you most?

I would say that Stephen Lawhead’s King Raven trilogy has definitely inspired me as well as Tolkien and Lewis. Michael J. Sullivan, J.K. Rowling, and Suzanne Collins’ books have also been quite formative to my growth as a writer and storyteller.

 

What inspired you to write your books?

Since my early days as a writer, I always wanted to write a book. I had multiple ideas for stories in my head and they played out in cinematic quality whenever I’d be driving, waiting at a doctor’s office, or just plain daydreaming. The desire became very strong after I watched the Lord of the Rings movies in college. I loved the books and seeing the story play out onscreen was very inspiring for me to finally sit down and write the first draft of The Blade Heir.

 

Which author would you most like to meet in person (living or dead)?

J.R.R. Tolkien, hands down. I’d love to pick the man’s brain about the complexity of Middle-Earth and how he kept it all straight! Preferably over tea and biscuits!

 

Sounds lovely! Am I invited? 😀

Who is your favorite famous person?

My favorite famous person would be Jesus. No one has shaped the whole world and human history in such a short time period and in such a profound way as he

 

Amen, brother!

Would you like your books to be made into movies? If so, who would you want involved in the making (actors, director, producer, etc.)?

Yes, I’d love that! But to be honest, I’d be frightened that it would flop under bad directing, casting, etc. That being said, I’d love Brad Bird to direct The Blade Heir and/or Thy Kingdom Come. And Richard Armitage must somehow be involved in either movie!

 

When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was eight years old in Mrs. Ducharme’s English class!

 

What have you found to be most difficult about writing?

The most difficult part is discipline. It takes a huge amount of effort to block everything out so I can sit down and write consistently every day.

 

What are your hobbies/passions?

Aside from writing, I love to spend time with my family at home, either watching a movie or playing outside. I’m also an amateur artist and I enjoy creating digital art on my computer ranging from fantasy art from my books to website design.

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan and three other books I can’t remember at the moment!

 

What is your current WIP?

My current WIP is the sequel to The Blade Heir. I haven’t started an outline for it yet, but I’ve jotted down a few ideas that I want to explore for Lucius’ new adventure.

 

How can we reach you? What is your prefered social media site?

I can be reached on my website: http://danieladorno.com/contact or on Twitter: @lucid_ghost. Preferred social media sites would be Twitter and Facebook, but I’m also on Tumblr and Google+.

 

Random preference questions:
  a) Morning or night? Morning
  b) Moon or stars? Moon
  c) Favorite food? Pistachio Torte
  d) Favorite movie? Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
  e) Favorite genre of:
        i) Movie? Superhero movies
        ii) Music? Christian Rock

 

Is there a little known fact about you or your books that you’d like to share with us?

I used to work at Walt Disney World as a character. Goofy, Captain Hook, and Baloo were my common roles!

 

That’s just awesome!! ;D

Thank you so much for joining me for this, Daniel, I really enjoyed it. And congratulations on your newest release!

 

imageDaniel Adorno is an author of novels based in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He began writing back in 4th grade when his teacher assigned everyone to craft a short book with construction paper. Daniel was up to the task and wrote a book on race cars worthy of a Pulitzer. Before he was a teenager, his father bought him a typewriter for his birthday and Daniel started writing a sequel to the original race car story, which he titled The Hot Rod. Unfortunately, the book was never published, but Daniel discovered a love for writing from that first story and he continued to write short stories throughout high school and into college. His first completed manuscript was a fantasy story that he finished during finals week of his sophomore year in college. For 8 years, the novel sat in limbo waiting to be edited and then Daniel placed in the top five of a local writing contest. Everything changed. He dusted off the novel and a year later his debut novel, The Blade Heir, was published on Amazon.

Daniel currently resides in Minnesota with his wife and two sons. Besides writing, Daniel enjoys reading speculative fiction, creating digital art, and teaching Sunday school students at his church.

Purchase his books on Amazon:
The Blade Heir
Thy Kingdom Come
Get Carpe Tempus FREE!

Stay in touch! 
Daniel’s website
Daniel’s blog
Like Daniel on Facebook
Follow Daniel on Twitter
Daniel’s pins on Pinterest

Books · Reviews

Review: Thy Kingdom Come by Daniel Adorno

I’ve got a review of another amazing book by Daniel Adorno. This book is fantastic!

 

Thy Kingdom Come (The Navitas Epidemic, #1)Thy Kingdom Come by Daniel Adorno

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Thy Kingdom Come

The biotech virus, Navitas, has infected everyone, turning them into mindless electricity devourers. Dex is one of the few survivors left. He needs to escape his hometown to find his uncle, the one man who knows why Navitas exists. But can he escape before the Mindless infect him?
(Blurb from Goodreads)

Thy Kingdom Come is a suspenseful page-turner. It will keep you on the edge of your seat, right through to the end.

Characters

I really liked the characters. Dex is an interesting protagonist with some very real and difficult struggles. I really enjoyed the interactions between Dex, Lela, and Bill. They’ve got a good chemistry going on.

Plot

The plot was amazing! Seriously actionpacked, and thoroughly entertaining. Not a dull moment. A few unexpected twists kept me guessing until the end. And oh, that ending. Seriously, Daniel, are you trying to make me die of suspense? All I’m saying is, there had better be a book two! SOON!!!!

Overall thoughts

I don’t usually like first person perspective, but this one was well done. It was very engaging, and I still managed to submerge myself in it, which is not usually the case for me with first person. But seriously, I felt like I was there. When I was reading it, I would hear a thump, and my first thought was Oh my gosh, it’s a Mindless. I’m going to die, and then I would remember that it’s just a book. I’m in my house, in 2015. Everything’s going to be fine.
Now that’s good writing!

Would I recommend it? Yes! EVERYONE, READ THIS!!!!!!!!
What age would I recommend it for? Age 13+: it deals with some pretty heavy stuff
Would I read the other books in the series? Yes!!!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
Visit the author

View all my reviews on Goodreads
More reviews here

Books

Exciting Book Release!

I’ve got exciting news! Thy Kingdom Come by Daniel Adorno is coming August 5th!

 

Thy Kingdom Come is a post-apocalyptic YA novel about a Dex, a teen who is struggling to survive in a world that is being taken over by Mindless, which are basically people who are turning into robots. Yeah, creepy.

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The biotech virus, Navitas, has infected everyone, turning them into mindless electricity devourers. Dex is one of the few survivors left. He needs to escape his hometown to find his uncle, the one man who knows why Navitas exists. But can he escape before the Mindless infect him?

(Blurb from Goodreads)

I was very privileged to have an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book, and you’ll all get to see my exuberant review of it on August 1st.

In the mean time, if you have Facebook or Twitter, you can help spread the word about it by joining Daniel’s Thunderclap campaign. You can also add it on Goodreads, or preorder it on Amazon.

 

Ah, this is so exciting! This is such an amazing book, I cannot even begin to describe it! Daniel Adorno is amazingly talented! Be sure to come back August 5th for an interview with this gifted man! I am absolutely thrilled to have him joining me. It’ll be great, I promise!

And now go support him on Thunderclap, buy all his books, and tell all your friends. He deserves it, trust me!

Books · Newsletters · Random · Writing

Updates, Newsletters, and Summer Reading

Alright, let’s start with the updates:

My blog will be undergoing renovations, so be sure to keep checking back. I’ll mostly be focusing on the Writing pages. I’m also focusing on writing one of my WIPs, Something More. It is book one of a fantasy trilogy, and I’m hoping to finish the first draft by the end of the year. I got quite a bit done this month by participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, which was a great experience. You can watch my progress in the sidebar. And I know I haven’t done the Second Sunday Sales like I said I would, but I promise I will start that in August. Pinky swear.

I’ve also been able to read quite a few books this summer, which I’m pretty excited about. I’ve reviewed most of them, which you can check out on the Reviews page. I’m currently reading an incredible dystopian novel, Thy Kingdom Come, by the ridiculously talented Daniel Adorno. Yeah, I’m pretty much obsessed with his books (if you couldn’t tell by my reviews… 😉 ). Aaaand, I’m planning to read (and hopefully review) Holding the Future Hostage by Tialla Rising and The Witches’ Sleep (fabulous, by the way; it’s a re-read) by Kaitlyn Deann. I’m also reading a brilliant biography of a brilliant man: Tolkien, by Humphrey Carpenter. That basically sums up my reading life lately… And now for the exciting news!

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I am starting to send out newsletters! You can keep up to date on all my blog-happenings, the progress of my WIPs, and here’s the exciting part: I will occasionally include exclusive excerpts from my books! Subscribe right now! I’ll be sending out the first one very soon! These certainly won’t be monthly, and they probably won’t even happen very regularly, but whenever I have something exciting to update you on, I’ll send one out, and you’ll be the first to know!

 

I love you all and I hope the rest of your summer is exquisite! Thank you for reading and following my blog! ❤

-Lena

Books · Reviews

Review: Conception by Jennifer Hartz

Conception (Future Savior, #1)Conception by Jennifer Hartz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Conception

“I do not think it is a question of where, but when.” were the words that Charis left my mother with thirty years ago when I disappeared from Meric . . . before I was born.

Shortly after being sent back I’ve been attacked by man-eating Vaipes. I’ve learned that my father was a power wielding Guardian. I’ve discovered that the silvery-blue eyes intriguing me my entire life belong to my Watcher, Shaw who is without a doubt the most handsome man I have ever seen. And somehow I need to stop a war mongering tyrant who can manipulate people’s thoughts.

So my question isn’t where or when. It is how? How can I help the people of Meric when I can’t stop myself from falling in love?
(Blurb from Goodreads)

Conception was an interesting read set in a beautiful fantasy world.

Characters

I thought the characters were pretty good. They were well developed and were all pretty lovable. There was one character that I didn’t care for, but the rest were portrayed well.

Plot

The plot was very exciting. There was a lot of foreshadowing, which really makes me want to read the next one. The action was relatively fast-paced, and I enjoyed the battle scenes.

Overall thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. It has an exciting storyline, and the descriptions were lovely. I was appalled, however, by the apparent lack of any editing whatsoever. There were so many typos and misuses of words that it really distracted from what would have otherwise been a good book. I would like to advise anyone who is writing a book, please edit!

Would I recommend it? Yes, if you can get over the grammatical errors
Would I let my kids read it? Yes
Would I read the other books in the series? Yes, if only to find out what happens!

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Visit the author

View all my reviews on Goodreads
More reviews here