I’ve been thinking a lot about turning points lately. It has been about two months since I posted on this blog, and most of that is due to stumbling across and purchasing a fixer upper house, moving, and making do without internet. A new house, a new turning point.
As I’ve posted about before, I’ve been into listening to history courses through the Great Courses lately. If you get them through Audible, they are pretty affordable. Recently, I listened to one on Turning Points in Medieval History, done by an English professor, not a history professor. Her perspective took on history as one big story, showing how each turning point isn’t a separate event standing all by itself, but interconnected with all the past turning points and influencing all the future ones. As a Christian, I could appreciate this even more because I believe the reason history is so interconnected and seems to be one story is BECAUSE it is one story. Christ’s story. God’s story.
Our own lives are also filled with turning points. Days and events that stick out to us as the moment something changed and set us on a new course. Often, these turning points are tragedy. But not always.
And sometimes, someone else’s turning point affects your own turning point.
Nadine Brandes has talked about several times how a turning point in her life started her on the path to writing her debut novel A Time to Die. In this novel, the main character Parvin experiences her own turning points when, with only a year left to live, she realizes she’s wasted her life, and she sets out to change that.
This was all a good three years before I even knew Nadine Brandes existed. I was partway through college, getting my degree in writing and dreaming about being a published author.
Fast forward a few years. I graduated college, was a year into a full time job, and was submitting a nonfiction manuscript I’d written and getting nowhere with it. I was frustrated that my dream of graduating college and having the time to write books hadn’t worked out. I felt like I had no time and would never have the time I wanted.
Honestly, I don’t remember what made me sit down and give myself a good shake from my pity party. One day, I realized that the reason I wasn’t a writer and wasn’t finishing books was that I was wasting time whining about my lack of time.
This was March 2014. That same month, I started writing Dare. Three months later, I had a completed book. I set it aside and started Deny.
During this time, I also turned my attention away from researching nonfiction publishing toward fiction publishing. I read blogs, books, articles. Traditional publishing. Self Publishing. All of it.
And this is where the turning point thing starts getting cool. I stumbled across Jill Williamson’s Replication as a free ebook. It was the first time I’d discovered the whole Christian speculative fiction world out there. I then went on to read her other books, and the Blood of Kings trilogy showed me that there was still such a thing as Christian fantasy besides Lewis and Tolkien.
Since I was researching publishing, I tracked down the publisher. It was Marcher Lord, right when it was transitioning to Enclave Publishing. I explored every inch of that website, and of course read the blog. Guess who had posted on the blog promoting the release of her debut book?
Yep, Nadine Brandes.
The book sounded really cool, so I stalked her site. Learned she was an editor. Submitted Dare to her for editing. I was too late to officially join the blog tour for A Time to Die, but I unofficially joined it with a post of my own. It had to have been one of the first two or three posts I did on my blog, since I started my blog in August of that year, and that post is from September.
When I was finally able to read A Time to Die in October, Parvin’s realization of wasting time mirrored my own realization from a few months before. Wasting time. Waiting for something to plop out of the sky instead of actively pursuing God’s will.
That idea of being active in pursing God’s will and glorifying Him stuck with me. It still resonated when, early in 2015, I sat down and had to decide how I should publish Dare. Traditional or indie? Through all my research, the indie route had tugged at me, but I wasn’t sure I dared do it. What did I really know? What if I messed all this up and Dare flopped and…and…
It was all my fear talking, and finally God made it clear indie was the route to go with these books. That moment I hit the publish button, I gave it all to Him. I’d sown the seed. The increase was His, no matter how large or small or whatever it might be.
But I wasn’t wasting time anymore. I was doing my best to actively pursue His will in a way I hadn’t before.
And He did bless the increase way beyond anything I had dreamed for that book.
Then the fall of 2015 came around. I was drained from the rewrites of Deny. Wondering if it would ever measure up to everyone’s expectations. Scared because everyone HAD expectations now, when they hadn’t with Dare.
Then A Time to Speak, Nadine’s next book, released. It was Parvin’s time to speak, to draw on the confidence of the lessons she’d learned in the first book.
But it also pushed me to speak. To stop stuttering and stammering and hoping someone would change the topic when they asked about my books. To figure out how to keep giving it all to God now that this crazy ride was set in motion.
It’s strange to look back now and see how much a year and a half can change a person. In the year since publishing Dare and reading A Time to Die, I’ve become much more confident in how I interact with people. I’ve signed books at a craft sale. I spoke at a small Christian school. I’ve gone to two writer’s conferences and was able to relax instead of remain a bundle of introverted nerves in the corner. All of that confidence, those turning points, led to the turning point I started this whole post with: buying a house, moving. It wasn’t something I would’ve been ready to handle a year ago.
Looking back, I’m amazed at the way God used the turning points in my life to bring me to this point.
If I hadn’t gotten Replication as an ebook…
If A Time to Die hadn’t been releasing…
If I hadn’t stumbled across Nadine and found an editor and friend…
If A Time to Die and A Time to Speak hadn’t given me pushes when I needed them…
Would I have published Dare? Would I have gone to the writer’s conferences and made a whole bunch of writer friends?
And now, another turning point. A Time to Rise, the third and final book in the Out of Time series releases officially in 10 days, though Amazon is shipping it early if you want to order it now. You can read my review (also known as flailing fangirling) of the book here.
Yes, you all totally have the Out of Time series to thank, in part, for the fact that I ever published The Blades of Acktar.
Have you experienced turning points in your life? How have they affected you?
Want to connect with Nadine yourself? Because, after all, she’s an awesome human being.
- Website: http://nadinebrandes.com
- Newsletter: http://nadinebrandes.com/my-newsletter
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/NadineBrandesAuthor
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/NadineBrandes
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/NadineBrandes
Nadine is also the queen of Facebook parties, so you won’t want to miss the one she is hosting on October 18
Want to check out the Out of Time series for yourself?
A Time to Die
A Time to Speak
A Time to Rise
Posted in Book Recommendations, Christianity, The Blades of Acktar, Writing Blogs, Writing Life, YA Authors and tagged #ATime2Die, #ATime2Rise, #ATime2Speak, #OutofTimeSeries, A Time to Die, A Time to Rise, A Time to Speak, author, dystopian, Enclave Publishing, Nadine Brandes, Out of Time Series, publishing, The Blades of Acktar by TriciaMingerink with 3 comments.
I know, it has been over a week since Realm Makers and everyone else and their brother-in-law has already written their Realm Makers post. I’m a little behind. More news on that later.
All I really have to say is IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!! That would pretty much sum it up, but that would be a sorry excuse for a blog post, especially after I haven’t posted anything in four weeks.
Realm Makers is a writer’s conference for Christian writers in the speculative (fantasy, science fiction, horror, steampunk, etc) genres. It is kind of like a four day retreat with 150 of your closest friends (even if you didn’t know they were your friends until you arrived). This year, it was at Villanova University outside of Philadelphia. Me being crazy me, I drove the 11 hour drive all by myself. Who wouldn’t want to drive themselves with views like this?
I did the drive in two days, one long day and one morning so that I had time to stop at the Valley Forge National Monument. Valley Forge is where George Washington and his men spent the winter of 1777-1778 and started being better organized as an army. While most of t
heir huts and entrenchments are no longer visible, the farmhouse where George Washington spent the winter is still there. It is about 80% original, down to much of the interior floorboards, railings, and paneling in the rooms.
Finally, I arrived at Villanova. The campus was beautiful, all stone buildings and brick paths. Lots of scope for a fantasy writer’s imagination there!
I roomed with Nadine, Katie, and Ashley. Of the three, I’d only known Nadine before the conference, but that didn’t stop all of us from bonding. Katie is super perky and amazingly dedicated to her blog fans. Ashley and I swapped curly hair horror stories and product tips. Seriously great Realmie Roomies! I could go on and on about how amazing our three AM chats were! Ashley and Nadine both have books available, and I adore both of their series! There was a rather hilarious moment when I wore a Nadine’s Ninjas shirt all day, but Nadine didn’t notice it until nearly midnight. She screamed incredibly loudly and totally freaked out. Katie and I got a good laugh about it, because Katie asked in the morning how long I thought it would take Nadine to notice. Apparently it took her all day.
Ashley and I got each others books at the conference. So excited to read the rest of her series now that I have them!
The sessions were amazing, especially Steve Laube’s. He focused on building our own faith since, as writers, we pour out what we take in. If we aren’t taking in God’s Word, we can’t pour it into our writing.
The costume night was also a highlight. I dressed as a Blade, but I struggled to be intimidating.
Then there was the lack of sleep. The last night I got about 20 minutes of actual sleep before I had to be up to drive a carload of faculty to the airport. I’m really surprised none of them refused to ride with me when they realized I’d had pretty much no sleep, I was driving in the dark in an unfamiliar area, and it was a torrential downpour. Thankfully, they all arrived safely, and I was able to doze in bed for a few more hours before I had to start my drive home.
In case you hadn’t noticed, no one at Realm Makers sleeps. For four days, people should get about 32 hours of sleep. I haven’t seen any Realmie report anything more than 20 hours of sleep. I think I got about 10 hours of deep sleep and a lot of catnaps and dozing. Good thing everyone at the conference is too buzzed on hanging out and caffeine to care how little sleep they got!
The best thing about Realm Makers I think is the whole atmosphere. It is very relaxed, very friendly. Like I said, it feels like a several day retreat with 150 of your friends more than a stuffy conference. I made so many new writer friends it would take pages to list them all here. I miss them all so much already!
Seriously, if you are a Christian speculative fiction writer, you should go to Realm Makers if at all possible! I can see now why people go back to it every year!
Posted in Writing Life, YA Authors and tagged Ashley Townsend, Katie Grace, Nadine Brandes, Realm Makers, Villanova University, writers conference by TriciaMingerink with 2 comments.
I have a super special treat for you guys today. A cover reveal! But not just any cover reveal. This is a cover reveal for A Time to Rise, book three in the Out of Time series by the extraordinary Nadine Brandes. Yes, the same Nadine Brandes who happens to be the freelance editor for The Blades of Acktar.
I was super excited when I got the chance to sign up for the cover reveal and see the cover a day earlier than the reveal. The benefits of being on Nadine’s street team. If that sounds good to you, you can find the sign up here.
Now, the cover reveal…
Isn’t it gorgeous? Then again, I didn’t expect anything less. All of the covers for the Out of Time series have been amazing, done by Kirk DouPonce, DogEaredDesign! I can’t wait to have this book on my shelf!
About the Book
What more can you sacrifice than your life?
Parvin Blackwater is dead.
At least…that’s what the Council—and the world—thinks. But her sacrifice tore down part of the Wall long enough to stir up hope and rebellion in the people. Now she will rise again. Strong, free, and fearless.
Parvin and Solomon must uncover the mysterious clues that Jude left behind in order to destroy the projected Wall once and for all. Meanwhile, the Council schemes to new levels of technology in its attempts to keep the people contained. Can a one-handed Radical and a scarred ex-Enforcer really bring shalom to the world?
Release Date: October 14, 2016
How am I ever going to survive until October? Ah!!!!
If you want to add a countdown timer to your blog (because you’re an excited fangirl like me), then here’s the link for one: https://countdownsbyerin.com/cd/time/
Sadly, the preorder isn’t available at this time. But if you haven’t picked up the first two books, you can find them here:
A Time to Die
A Time to Speak
To top off all the fun, Nadine is hosting a giveaway for Happy Hello Out of Time character bookmarks. Follow this link to enter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7c244e3122/?
What do you think? Isn’t the cover amazing?
Posted in Book Recommendations, YA Authors and tagged A Time to Die, A Time to Rise, A Time to Speak, author, Christian YA Fiction, Nadine Brandes by TriciaMingerink with 5 comments.
I happen to really love history, especially military history. When on vacation, I drag my less-than-enthusiastic friends to obscure Civil War battle sites and get WAY too thrilled by accidentally stumbling across a house that was once used as a Civil War hospital.
Recently, I got my hands on a series of lectures about great military disasters. I’m talking about battles that went so horribly wrong that entire armies were wiped out and empires fell because of it. The losing side in some of the battles in the lectures had something like 80-100% casualties.
Interestingly enough, the SAME problems kept popping up in almost every battle that went horribly wrong. And, as a writer, I started paying attention. If I wanted to write a battle scene where the villain lost a battle in a horrific, defining way (or the hero, though this is more rare because battles that are lost this spectacularly are hard to recover from) , history gives LOTS of examples on exactly how that should be done.
Here it goes. A set of instructions on how to Horribly, Epically Lose a Battle.
- Be as Overconfident as possible.
If you want to lose a battle as disastrously as possible, this is the number one thing to keep in mind. Almost every horrible, tragic defeat stems from this.
Overconfidence leads to a host of other errors such as underestimating the enemy’s intelligence and numbers (preferably coupled with a healthy dose of prejudice that the other side can NEVER be as awesome as your own men), ignoring basic military tenants (such as scouting the land and the enemy’s position before engaging in battle), not knowing when to retreat, pouring more resources into an already lost battle and thereby making the loss even worse than it would’ve been, and even ignoring your own orders (such as ignoring your own order to fortify your position when encamped in enemy territory and instead letting your camp sprawl out in all disorganized directions).
This number one error will ultimately cause a compounding of several errors and lead to an epically horrible defeat that will probably end your life or at the very least bring down whatever empire you were hoping to build.
2. Put People in Leadership Positions who Hate Each Other.
If your commanders, especially your top commanders, cannot work together, you will be well on your way to a massive military disaster, especially if you’ve stuck to advice #1 and cling to overconfidence.
If your commanders hate each other, they won’t communicate on the battlefield, leading to mismanaged charges, missed opportunities, and strife within the ranks. They might even get so caught up in verbally fighting each other that they forget about actually fighting the enemy, or they will actually hinder each others ability to fight the enemy.
Better yet, make sure one or both of these commanders are incompetent as well as argumentative. Epic military disaster will ensue.
3. Make as Many Tactical Errors as Possible
Usually, these tactical errors will automatically arise from overconfidence, and that overconfidence will also prevent you from correcting them when they do occur.
Best blunders to make:
- Not scouting the land or enemy position. This sets you up for getting your entire army trapped in an ambush and wiped out.
- Fighting the current war with the tactics of the last war. This always has horrible consequences, especially when advances in technology have occurred. Even if no technological advances have happened, always using the EXACT SAME tactics in every battle usually gives the enemy a chance to figure out a way to counter them.
- Having advances in technology, but not using it to its best effect.
- Not sending in enough men to turn the tide of battle at the crucial moment.
- Not retreating when the battle has already been lost. Even better, keep sending in men into a losing battle. This maximizes casualties and guarantees the worst possible outcome.
- Sending out unclear orders to your commanders. This will send them into chaos and confusion, especially if they are arguing with each other.
- Having unclear reasons for even engaging in that battle in the first place so that the cost of the battle, even if you won, would outweigh the benefit (such as using a whole army to capture an outpost that a small group of commandos could capture just as easily).
If you follow these three instructions and compound all of these errors one on top of another, you will lead you, your men, and your empire into a disastrous military defeat that will probably lead to your death.
All joking aside, while this list seems like a rather hyperbolic list, in the lectures I listened to on military disasters, this is exactly what happened through 23 major military disasters across thousands of years of history all over the world. Some of the mistakes that were made were so foolish, a writer would hardly dare have a villain make that mistake because they would appear too foolish to live (and that is usually exactly what happened in history). Some of the battles were hard to listen to knowing that much of the bloodshed was unnecessary.
Anything else you would add to this list?
Posted in Fun History Facts, Writing Advice, You Know You're a Writer If... and tagged assassin, author, battle scenes, fantasy, The Blades of Acktar by TriciaMingerink with 5 comments.
All the previous titles in The Blades of Acktar are four-letter D words. Dare. Deny. Defy. All of them have a punchy, raw feel to them.
And then there’s Book 4. Deliver. It’s a longer word. A little weird and outdated. Why would I pick it for the title of Book 4?
To be honest, when I came up with the titles for the first three, I wasn’t planning a book 4. I only needed titles for three books.
But I chose those titles very carefully. They are all commands. In some way, shape, or form, the characters are commanded to dare, deny, or defy throughout each of those books. They are also the theme of the books, both each individual book and all the books in the series. Finally, all three of those words can have dual meaning. Leith daring to stand up to King Respen is a good thing, but Respen daring to stand against God isn’t. Denying self is good. Denying Christ isn’t. See what I mean?
Trying to find a word that started with D, was a command, captured the theme, was present in the earlier books, and had dual meaning was a bit of a challenge.
Finally, I settled on Deliver.
Criteria #1: Starts with D. Check.
Criteria #2: A command. Check.
Deliver isn’t a word we use often, even though it is used a lot in the Bible (or at least, in the KJV that I use), especially in the Psalms where the writers routinely beg for God’s deliverance from enemies. In this context, it means save.
Even though the word deliver wasn’t used often in the books, it is essentially the prayer Renna prays A LOT. She wants God to save her (read: deliver) her from her enemies. Leith needs deliverance from his sins and his enemies. Pretty much any time the word save is used, you could substitute deliver.
I also noticed that the word deliver was used in a few of the verses from Daniel that I choose to begin the books with. Another tie in.
Criteria #4: Present in all three books. Check.
Remember I mentioned the word deliver is used in the Psalms? Especially in the Psalms written by David. The Bible stories about David continue to play a role in the theme and shaping the characters in book 4.
Criteria #3: Captures the theme. Check.
Now to the tough one. Dual meaning. The cool thing is, the word deliver has the most complicated dual meaning of all of them. Dare, deny, and defy have the same meaning that can be directed in two different ways. Deliver as a word has two different, and in many ways, opposite meanings.
On the one hand, it means to save or to be taken out of. Saved from enemies or sin or bitterness, etc.
On the other hand, it means to surrender or to be handed over. (like delivering a package or delivering oneself to the enemy).
See what I mean by opposite? This one word means both to take away from and also to hand over.
But in a way, these two definitions work together. To be delivered from bitterness, we need to surrender our own pride and hurt. To be delivered from our enemies, we surrender our need to rescue ourselves. Because of God’s deliverance from our sins, we surrender our lives to Him. There’s also the negative. There are those who surrender their lives to their bitterness and hatred. They are delivered into the hands of their enemies.
I’m already having fun using this duality in the book so far, and I’m brainstorming ways it will come out into the ending. The word deliver might not be as noticeably used in the book the way dare, deny, and defy were, but any time you see the words save or surrender, that’s what I’m thinking about when I write it.
What do you think about the title? Love it? Not so sold on it yet?
Posted in Sequels, The Blades of Acktar and tagged assassin, author, Christian fantasy, Christian YA Fiction, Dare, Defy, Deny, fantasy, speculative fiction, The Blades of Acktar, Tricia Mingerink by TriciaMingerink with 6 comments.
*Warning: This Post Contains MAJOR Spoilers for the end of Defy. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*
DO NOT KEEP READING IF YOUR HAVEN’T READ DEFY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, you’re still here? Either you’ve read Defy or you are ignoring all the warnings.
As many of you have heard already, I’m currently writing The Blades of Acktar book 4. Some of you might be a little confused. After all, the big bad guy got defeated at the end of Defy. What more is there left do to?
Well, here’s my four reasons for why I decided to write a book 4:
- Martyn didn’t die. In my original plan for Defy, he was supposed to die in the end battle saving Leith. But when it came time to write that scene, Leith realized what was going to happen and shoved Martyn out of the way. So I now had a live Martyn on my hands that I had to deal with.
- After thinking about it for a while, I realized my characters were smarter than me. After all, the whole, ex-best friend makes a last minute decision to turn good and saves his friend before dying is a little cliche. (See Harry’s death in Spiderman 3)
- Besides, an alive ex-best friend is a whole lot more complicated than a dead one. Having Martyn die would’ve been the easy way out. He and Leith wouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of their decisions throughout the first three books. Leith could simply move on. But with Martyn alive? Let’s just say the tension between everyone is SO much fun to write!
- Leith needs to figure out what happens AFTER. One of the main questions throughout the series has been “Can Leith move on from the Blades? Can he do anything else? What does he do after the war? Where does he fit in a peaceful Acktar?”
- I could’ve ended it with Defy. You know he’s going to figure something out, but it would leave that question unanswered. I know some readers love unanswered questions like that in an ending. Personally, I’m one of the ones who wants to know the answers to things like that, especially if the author has made a big deal about it.
- Leith and Renna’s relationship still has a long way to go. If you add up the time they actually spend together during Dare, Deny, and Defy, you’ll realize that that week in the dungeon counts as their first real, quality time together. Due to the circumstances of thinking one or both of them would die, their relationship progresses quickly in that week. BUT, they are just BEGINNING their relationship. They have pretty much agreed to finally start dating at the end of Defy.
- Once again, I could’ve left it as is. You know where they are headed. But, they are the main couple of the book. Defy ends with more obstacles in their path than they even realize (she’s still a lady and Leith doesn’t fit with that world. He’s still an ex-Blade. They both have no clue what they are doing when it comes to a relationship). I felt their time building a relationship also needed to be told.
- Acktar is a mess. Most of the time, books don’t show what happens after a major war tears the country apart. We don’t see the rebuilding of Hogwarts. We don’t see Panem trying to build a new government. There’s so much hurt and bitterness in Acktar and in its new king. I wanted to explore what it takes for Acktar to either begin healing or tear itself apart, whichever comes first.
Healing and restoration is really the theme of book 4. All of the characters (Martyn, Keevan, Leith, Renna, Brandi) have some healing to do. The whole country needs healing.
Over all, my planned ending for Book 4 will bring the characters and the country to a place where they are truly ready to begin the next chapter, even if the series comes to a close.
What do you think? Are you excited for Book 4? Or do you honestly think Defy should’ve been the end? Don’t worry, I won’t get mad if you do. 😉
Posted in Sequels, The Blades of Acktar and tagged assassin, author, Christian fantasy, Christian Fiction, Christian YA Fiction, Dare, Defy, Deny, fantasy, publication, speculative fiction, The Blades of Acktar, Tricia Mingerink by TriciaMingerink with 31 comments.
I can’t believe Defy has officially released and all the blog tour and party stuff is all over! As you can probably tell, I’m still playing catch up since the blog tour ended five days ago, and I’m just now getting around to posting a conclusion. *sigh* That’s the way things go. It’s Wednesday, and I’m still trying to finish my to-do list from last Saturday.
So here’s a recap. You’ll want to keep reading to the bottom of the post where I have a bit of an update/news for all of you guys. 😉
All good stuff, though. The launch went amazing! You all were so enthusiastic! A big thank you to everyone who participated! A big thank you also to Jaye L. Knight for being a guest author at the Facebook party!
The live character chat at the Facebook party went really, really well. So well, in fact, that I’m leaving the Facebook accounts I set up for my characters open. A few of you have even had Facebook recommend them as friends, which is cool. You might see them pop onto my Facebook page occasionally, and I might set up a live character chat again down the road.
I’m glad it went well, since it was a total experiment. I half expected to have it fizzle out after the first half hour. Instead, the whole hour and a half flew by. A live chat has a much different dynamic than the blog post character chats I’ve done before. Shorter sentences, more small talk, little conversations going all over the place.
Defy is currently available in both kindle and paperback on Amazon. The paperback is still in the process of being uploaded on Barnes & Noble, but I do have my personal copies in stock in you want to buy a signed copy directly from me.
“I couldn’t stop reading it and basically breathed the book in. (read it in a day people. All 359 pages)” – Soleil from Reviews by Soleil
“There were some dark moments, but there’s always hope, always the promise that God is in control. It’s a simple message and nicely woven in.”- Claire Banschbach from The Overactive Imagination
“Plus, our favorite villainous king is plotting something villainous (go figure).” – Hope Brockway from Stitches of Freedom
“Come on peoples! It’s a book series about assassins, why aren’t you reading this?” – Rachael Steele
“If you like heartfelt adventure with deep-rooted characters in a meaningful, well written story then this entire series is for you!”- Mandy Fender
“Finding out who “The Leader” is was just … ahhh!!!! I was so not prepared for that!” – Jesseca Wheaton
“Leith went through so much, I mean, so much just to protect Renna. It was very torturous to read, but I think it was vital to the story. He is no longer afraid to defy Respen.”- Gabriella Paige from A Heart Redeemed
“Guys, I’m serious when I say this, I can’t pick a favorite book in this series!” – Alyssa Van Fossen
“It is one thing to profess faith, it is another to need it.”- Jessica Dowell
“Renna, a healer, is one of my absolute favorite characters of all time! AHH, I just love her so much!”- Hannah Rodes from My Bookcase and I
“Lots of twists and turns in the book that I wasn’t expecting—I was glued to the Kindle. It was sogood! Lots of fangirl squealing happened while reading.”- Ivy Rose from Lakeside Publications
“Tricia clearly knows the way of a good story” – Hannah Williams
“You know, those all time favorite characters you want to hug and place in bubble wrap and take them away from their author until said author learns to play nice? Leith is one of them. And it’s terribly ironic considering Tricia and I are basically evil author twins.”- Jaye L. Knight
“Third in the series, peaking with an intense climax, and full of…well, everything, Defy most certainly didn’t disappoint!”- Abby Cashen
“It was fantastic. It was also daunting and heavy. Made me giggle hysterically. Melted my heart. Strengthened my soul. In short, it’s a thought-provoking novel exploring perilous and even terrifying times; yet there are lovely moments of humor and sweetness – and the characters that experience them have quite captured my heart. I loved this book!”- Shantelle Hannu
“I. LOVED. IT. SO. MUCH. You have to read this series!!!” – Bethany Reinstedt
“Also more battles = more action = more awesome.” – Jonathan Trout
Oh, you’re still here reading and waiting for your update? Some of you may have seen in the back of your Kindle or paperback copy of Defy that yes, there will be a book 4. I know Defy really seems like the end. It was originally planned to be. But things didn’t turn out that way. I’m about 60,000 words into book 4 and I’m hoping it’ll be published sometime this coming winter.
Posted in Sequels, The Blades of Acktar and tagged assassin, author, Christian YA Fiction, Dare, Defy, Deny, fantasy, The Blades of Acktar, Tricia Mingerink by TriciaMingerink with 20 comments.
Defy releases today!!!!! Eeep! I can’t believe it is here already!
The blog tour is in full swing. You can check out what has been posted already and upcoming posts here.
One final bit of housekeeping. The Kindle versions of Dare and Deny were both supposed to be on sale this weekend. You may have noticed that the sale on the Kindle version of Deny suddenly cut out. Never try to schedule a sale on one of your Kindle books right when your Kindle Select membership is set to renew. It makes it difficult, just saying. Due to this, the sale won’t go back up until June 2 and will continue to run to June 4. This is only on Deny. The sale for Dare went off without a hitch and will be running through June 3.
Enjoy Defy and the rest of the blog tour! Don’t miss the Facebook party on June 2. It’s going to be a blast!
Posted in Announcements, The Blades of Acktar, Uncategorized and tagged assassin, Blog Tour, Christian YA Fiction, Dare, Defy, Deny, fantasy, The Blades of Acktar, Tricia Mingerink by TriciaMingerink with 7 comments.
Can you believe it? Defy releases in less than a week! And the Facebook party is a week from today! Right now, it still feels VERY unreal.
But, the blog tour starts today, so that’ll make it feel a bit more real. 🙂
A few reminders:
There are Goodreads giveaways going on for Dare and Deny. The giveaways end on May 31, the day Defy releases.
Here are the links for the giveaways:
Blog Tour Schedule
- Author Interview & Book Review – Soleil Bourdon
- Book Review – Claire Banschbach
- Author Interview & Book Review – Hope Brockway
- Book Spotlight – Gabrielle Nadig
- Book Review – Rachael Steele
- Book Spotlight – Mandy Fender
- Book Spotlight & Review – Jesseca Wheaton
- Book Spotlight – Micailah Cialella
May 31 – Release Day!
- Book Release Announcement – Tricia Mingerink
- Author Interview & Book Review – Jessica Dowell
- Book Review – Hannah M. Rodes
- Author Interview & Book Review – Ivy Rose
- Book Review – Hannah Williams
- Book Review – Shantelle Hannu
- Book Review – Bethany Reinstedt
- Book Review & Spotlight – Jonathan Trout
Hope you all enjoy the blog tour!
Posted in Uncategorized by TriciaMingerink with 4 comments.
In case you live in a hole like a hobbit and haven’t gotten the word yet that Samara’s Peril (Ilyon Chronicles book 3) released 6 days ago, it’s here. *fangirl screams go off in the background* I’m so excited! I’ve been waiting for this book for over a year!
Anyway, I probably should tell you a little about it, in case you missed seeing it plastered all over the rest of the blog tour (links for all the posts in the tour can be found here).
About the Book
When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen.
Armed with their newfound knowledge, they set out for Samara to warn the king. War is inevitable, and they must face two desperate battles—one on the walls of Samara’s great stronghold, and the other on the battlefield of Jace’s heart, where victory might only be achievable through great sacrifice.
Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!
It’s the Ilyon Chronicles! Of course I spent most of this book as a puddle of fangirl mushiness!
The beginning of this book was my favorite. I loved seeing the whole Altair clan together. Minus one important character. *sniff* I still can’t read that part in The King’s Scrolls without bawling. I guessed the big reveal in the beginning of this book before it happened, but that didn’t stop me from squealing and walking around with a dazed grin on my face for hours afterwards.
There are some darker themes in the book, such as abusive marriage, a past rape, and a young man following in the abusive ways of his father. It is all handled very well, and highlights the manner a Christian deals with the consequences of those things rather than focusing too much on the darkness itself.
And just saying, Rothas has to die. Somehow. Once you read the book, you’ll understand.
This is a book that definitely has a switch in plotline and tone partway through. The two halves work together, but I’ll admit, I didn’t love the second half nearly as much as the first. It was still really, really good, and the twist at the end totally caught me off guard.
And one certain romance-y part at the end. *swoony sigh* Yes, I love impulsive kisses in books. Especially when it is two characters that I’ve been waiting forever for them to wake up and realize they liked each other.
This book also brings in the Christian parallels more distinctly than some of the other books. It is written more like Biblical fiction than allegory in some parts. It was handled very well, but it wasn’t my favorite part of the book. Probably because Biblical fiction isn’t my thing. So that is personal preference on my part.
Once again, this book delivers the emotional impact, hug-worthy and awesome characters, and adventure I’ve come to expect when I dive into the Ilyon Chronicles.
When does book 4 release? Please?
About the Author
Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
Jaye will also be joining me during the Facebook party to celebrate Defy‘s release on June 2.
Interview with the Author
Hi, Jaye! Welcome back to my blog! I think this is the third time I’ve interviewed you here. 🙂
- Samara’s Peril is such a pivotal book for the series. A lot of things happen both plot-wise and character-wise (Jayrin!). Was it a hard or easy book to write? Edit?
I wouldn’t say any of my books are easy to write, but Samara’s Peril was one of the easier ones. Editing, on the other hand, not so much. It took a lot of time and effort, probably because it is such a pivotal book, and I wanted to get the emotions just right.
Well, I think you succeeded! All of your books tend to have such emotional impact!
- Portraying Christ in fiction is a tricky thing to do, and not everyone agrees on the approach. How did you go about writing Elon in Samara’s Peril?
Definitely tricky. It’s never something I’ve set out wanting to do. More like called to do. It’s hard to feel qualified to attempt such a thing. Basically I went about it with a lot of prayer. The one thing I always focus on when attempting to portray Christ is Jesus’s love. That was an especially big part of this story. I know some readers will wish I had added more scenes with Elon, but everything major in this book is approached from Jace’s point of view. Jace longs for a relationship with Elon, but is afraid. One of the biggest questions I asked myself was how we would feel if we found ourselves in Jesus’s presence and were as keenly aware of our sins and shortcomings as Jace is. Questions like that are what shaped how I wrote Samara’s Peril.
That makes sense! I’m glad you didn’t add more scenes with Elon. I liked the way it was handled.
- You now have 12 books out between your two pennames. Twelve! What is the biggest thing you learned through writing and publishing all those books? Any things you’ve learned about writing recently?
I think the biggest thing is just the growth in the actual writing. The books I wrote as Molly Evangeline really needed more work. However, I had to start somewhere, and publishing those books taught me so much about the publishing process that I was able to use when starting over as Jaye L. Knight. I can’t think of anything specific just recently except that I really should give myself more time to get things ready before I publish. 😉 My schedule got kind of crazy this time and there was a little panic involved before this release. More so than usual.
*sigh* Don’t we all struggle with that? The panic before publication? And there’s never enough time. Never.
- Are there any specific places that influenced the setting of Ilyon?
I pick little bits of inspiration from a variety of places. Usually it’s a picture here and a picture there that I come across. Nowhere that I’ve been to or wanted to visit personally. Probably the biggest influence for a setting in Ilyon is Ancient Rome. That is really what I based the country of Arcacia on even though it has more of a medieval feel to it.
I love the mix of Ancient Rome and medieval in Ilyon! And the other cultures like the cretes.
- Your characters do a lot of travelling. Do you like to travel? What is your favorite trip you’ve ever taken or favorite place you’ve ever visited?
I do love to travel. I have so many places I would love to visit (the Rocky Mountains, the East Coast, England, the Caribbean), but, unfortunately, I can’t afford those kinds of trips on my author income. Someday I hope to though. I think my favorite trip memories are from day trips with my family. We did a lot of fun day trips when I was young, and now my brother and I do a lot of that as well. One of these days, we’re going to plan a more exciting and adventurous road trip.
What? Michigan’s not on that list? 😛
Thanks for stopping by once again! Can’t wait to chat with you again at Defy‘s Facebook party in a couple of weeks!
Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Samara’s Peril, a John 3:16 necklace by FaithWearDesigns, and a green wire dragon bookmark by Wirelings! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)
Posted in Book Recommendations, YA Authors and tagged author, Blog Tour, book release, Christian fantasy, Christian YA Fiction, fantasy, Jaye L. Knight, Samara's Peril, The Ilyon Chronicles by TriciaMingerink with 12 comments.