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!

Advertisements
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 · 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!!!

 

image

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.

image

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!

drum roll

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