7 Things You Might Not Know About The Blades of Acktar

In case you didn’t know, Deliver released today! Yay! You can find it on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon.

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I can’t believe the final book in The Blades of Acktar has released. It hasn’t even been two years since Dare released. What a whirlwind two years it has been!

To celebrate, I thought I’d give 7 pieces of trivia that you may or may not know about The Blades of Acktar.

  1. Acktar is based on South Dakota, especially the western part. Acktar has miles of prairie, but it also borders the Sheered Rock Hills to the north, which are based off the Black Hills, including some of the waterfalls and caves. It was fun basing Acktar off a more unusual setting instead of the forests found in most fantasies.
  2. The Waste if based off the Badlands. Stands to reason, since Acktar IS based off South Dakota. My research on the Badlands actually played a part in the plot of Defy. I initially planned for Leith to stumble across a water hole. But when I did some research into the Badlands, I learned that there aren’t any water holes there. Plus the ground is so full of harmful minerals that even boiling can’t cleanse rainwater enough to drink. So of course I had to include that in the book.
  3. The one part of the geography of Acktar NOT based on South Dakota is the Spires Canyon. That was in part inspired by the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. The ground around that canyon is very flat, and in a lot of places, you can’t see the canyon until you are almost right up to it.
  4. Renna’s mother’s favorite verse (Be not afraid; only believe) is from Mark 5:36 and was one of my great-grandma’s favorite verses. My great-grandma lived in the Netherlands during WWII. My great-grandpa was in the Dutch Resistance, often on the run, and hunted by the Nazis. My great-grandma had a plaque with this verse on it hanging in her kitchen to give her courage when she worried about my great-grandpa. It seemed like a verse Renna would use to give herself courage.
  5. Believe it or not, Lady Lorraine WASN’T in the first draft of Dare. I hadn’t had any plans for her as a character, since, at first, I hadn’t even intended for Jolene or her mother to be in Dare. Shad wasn’t supposed to even meet her until book 2, but he decided to go and get a romance behind my back. I then had to add Jolene’s mother in when I added the meeting at Lydia’s birthday party, and Lady Paula Lorraine took over from there.
  6. *Spoiler Warning* Lord Alistair died in the original version of Deny and Defy. Walden was overrun within a few hours and everyone killed. Yeah. Lots of death. When re-writing Defy, I had started writing Deliver and knew Lord Alistair had work to do. So I resurrected Lord Alistair and added him back into Defy and Deliver. But, yes, in the original draft of the first about 20,000 words of Deliver, Shad was the new Lord Alistair.
  7. Before Martyn demanded a fourth book, my original plan was for Defy to have an epilogue that was set 10 years after the ending of the book. Leith’s identity remained a secret in this original outline all the way until then.

 

Ready for more celebration? This Friday, I’m hosting a Facebook party to celebrate Deliver‘s release. Follow this link to the party!

 

 


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Deliver Launch Team & Reviewer Sign Up

Who would like to help launch Deliver into the world? Show of hands?

Please fill out the below sign up form. Sign up will be open from now to midnight EST on April 8. You will receive more information about the launch if you are on the team the following Wednesday, April 12.


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Deliver Release Date

Sorry, guys. I have been beyond silent the last month or so. Too much busyness! All good reasons, I assure you.

But it’s about time you all got an update. I apologize if you’ve sent me an email or Facebook post in the last few weeks asking after Deliver. I was frantically finishing up a few things and haven’t had a chance to reply yet.

Now for the news you have all been waiting to hear:

Deliver will release April 25!

That is less than a month away! Eep!

Stay tuned this week for lots of more pre-release info, such as a cover reveal, preorder on Amazon, listed on Goodreads, launch team sign up, and more. But for now, I’m just going to leave you with this teaser of the cover:

 

Update: I’ve decided to re-brand the covers of Destroy and Deliver. So here is a new sneak peak for you guys!


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Lost at Sea Scavenger Hunt Stop #14

Welcome to the Lost At Sea Scavenger Hunt where we are helping the Kinsman people find a new home. If you’ve just found us, be sure to start the adventure at Stop #1, which is Jill Williamson’s blog. 

 Collect all the clue words in order so you can enter to win the Kindle. If you want to enter to win the second Kindle, you’ll have to take a quiz at the end, so take your time and read each post carefully. The main prizes in the hunt are open to international entries. Individual author contests, however, might have different rules, so please read the parameters on each site. You have until Sunday night, February 19, at midnight, Pacific time to finish.
 
If you need help, or get lost along the way, click here for assistance.
 

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There was something alive in that forest that Wilek didn’t trust. He led his people southwest, along a river, hoping at this point he might find the sea and his fleet waiting. They came upon a castle on a grassy plain, Stop #14, Acktar, from Tricia Mingerink’s novel Dare, the first volume in The Blades of Acktar series.


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Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country. Visit Tricia on her website at www.triciamingerink.com.

 Here’s a closer look at Dare, the first volume in The Blades of Acktar series. 
 
Dare Ebook CoverCourage could cost him everything. Third Blade Leith Torren never questions his orders or his loyalty to King Respen until an arrow wound and a prairie blizzard drive him to the doorstep of the girls whose family he once destroyed. Their forbidden faith and ties to the Resistance could devastate their family a second time. Survival depends on obedience, but freedom beckons. How far does he dare go to resist the king and his Blades? No matter what Leith chooses, one thing is certain. Someone will die.
 

Welcome to Acktar
 

Map of Acktar PictureIf you’re looking for the ocean, you won’t find it anywhere near Acktar. It’s a land-locked country of rolling prairie for hundreds of miles in nearly every direction. Its northern border is the Sheered Rock Hills, a stretch of mountains covered in scrub pine and juniper. The Spires Canyon, a deep trench with the Ondieda River at the bottom, marks the eastern border. Beyond the northeastern corner of Acktar, a desert known as the Waste stretches in miles of dusty earth where even the water is too contaminated to drink.

Acktar’s culture is a mix of American West meets Medieval. There are lords, ladies, and manor houses, but also western saddles, rattlesnakes, and mountain lions.

Nalgar Castle, the only castle in Acktar, rises from the prairie near the center of Acktar. King Respen, a usurper and murderer, rules here with his Blades, his group of highly-trained assassins.

Image from www.castlewales.com

Acktar is in the midst of a war between King Respen and the Resistance. If you’re looking to settle here, be prepared to pick a side and fight for it.


You can order Dare and the rest of The Blades of Acktar series in paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, or your favorite online retailer. They are also available on Kindle ebook and audio
CLUE! Write down this clue: sea
 
Before you move on, I am giving away your choice of a signed copy of one of the books in The Blades of Acktar to three lucky winners. This giveaway is open to international entries, but the books will not be able to be signed if international. Winners will be announced February 21. 
Three Book Set Picture
Follow the Rafflecopter link to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for visiting my blog. Enjoy the rest of the scavenger hunt!

 

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Bonus Short Story #3 Released!

I have decided 29 reviews is close enough to 30. And Deliver (The Blades of Acktar #4) is at the editor, so that calls for celebration!

This third short story is technically a cut scene…from Deliver. Yes, you read that right. You’re getting a sneak peak at something that used to be at the beginning of Deliver. In editing, I had to cut out the scene and, rather than let it languish forever unread, I changed the POV to Shad’s, added a few beginning scenes, and turned it into a short story.

Actually, this isn’t the first cut scene from Deliver that I’ve released. The coronation scene at the end of Destroy used to be in the beginning of Deliver and in Renna’s POV. I cut it from Deliver, knowing that it really belonged as part of Keevan’s story.

So here you have it, the third short story and a small taste of things to come in Deliver:

Taking out the Stitches (cut scene from Destroy) 4 pages: 10 Reviews: PDF Cut Scene

The Perfect Plan (backstory about Laurence & Annita Faythe) 25 pages: 20 Reviews: PDF The Perfect Plan

The Wedding (story about Shad & Jolene) 24 pages: 30 Reviews: PDF File The Wedding


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Bonus Short Story #2 Released!

Destroy has reached 20 reviews! Woot! Woot! Time to celebrate!

Of all the short stories to be released, this one is my favorite. It is a bit of backstory telling how Laurence and Annita met. Annita is just…she’s fun. She’s Brandi’s mom, so her voice is kind of similar, yet she’s even a bit more reckless, if you can imagine that.

It was also fun to write a few well known characters at a completely different time in their lives. Lord Alistair as a nervous young man before his wedding, anyone?

Without any more introduction, click the link below to read the free short story:

Taking out the Stitches (cut scene from Destroy) 4 pages: 10 Reviews: PDF Cut Scene

The Perfect Plan (backstory about Laurence & Annita Faythe) 25 pages: 20 Reviews: PDF The Perfect Plan

The Wedding (story about Shad & Jolene) 24 pages: 30 Reviews

 


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Bonus Short Story #1

Yay! Destroy has reached 10 reviews! That means I can release the first bonus short story/cut scene.

Technically this isn’t a cut scene. I had finished the novella and I wrote this scene thinking I might add it into the novella when I revised. In revision, I realized that adding this scene would throw off the flow and rhythm of the early chapters. So it was cut before ever getting added.

Click the link below to read the free cut scene:

 

Taking out the Stitches (cut scene from Destroy) 4 pages: 10 Reviews: PDF Cut Scene

The Perfect Plan (backstory about Laurence & Annita Faythe) 25 pages: 20 Reviews

The Wedding (story about Shad & Jolene) 24 pages: 30 Reviews


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Destroy Releases + Free Short Stories!

Ta da!

Today, Destroy (The Blades of Acktar 3.5) releases as a Kindle ebook on Amazon!

This companion novella gives a sneak peek at the backstory of the events of Dare as well as some of the aftermath of Defy. Actually, time wise, it covers the most time of any of the books (nearly 6 and a half years).

You can buy it here on Amazon.

So far, the early readers have enjoyed it, which was something I was biting my nails about. The main character in this one is a character that was nearly universally disliked in Defy (as he was supposed to be).

Yet, somehow, this new main character stole a corner of my heart, and hopefully does the same for a few readers.

I really enjoyed giving the backstory and messing with perceptions in this one, even my own. There were times, I’d catch myself writing something where a character struck back against the Blades and I’d start cheering…only to realize my poor darling Leith was in for a horrible time of it. That’s the nature of backstory, I guess.


Short Stories

I mentioned free short stories. Here’s how they are going to work. When Destroy reaches a certain number of honest reviews on Amazon, it will unlock a short story or cut scene that will be posted for free on my website. Kind of like we all get to celebrate together when Destroy hits a milestone.

Taking out the Stitches (cut scene from Destroy) 6 pages: 10 Reviews

The Perfect Plan (backstory about Laurence & Annita Faythe) 25 pages: 20 Reviews

The Wedding (story about Shad & Jolene) 24 pages: 30 Reviews


I’ve never done this kind of short story giveaway before. I’m excited to see what you guys think. 🙂

I hope you enjoy the book!


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Destroy Cover Reveal & Release Date

This is the moment you have all been waiting for. Information on the next Blades of Acktar release.

Destroy (The Blades of Acktar #3.5)

Release Date: 12/30/16 (Kindle only)

Yes, that’s two weeks from today.

Ready for the cover?

*drum roll*

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Back Cover:

Before the war, before the Blades, before the Leader…

There was a boy and a scullery maid and a secret shame.

One moonlit night of blood and knives destroyed their country and their lives forever.

The cost was hard, but forgiveness is harder.

The Leader failed to die, but will he also fail to lead?


I’m actually a little nervous for this one. It is the first Blades of Acktar release without Leith or Renna as a main character. And the new main character’s sins and struggles aren’t Leith’s sins or struggles. Everything is kept clean, but parents might want to read the first chapter before handing the book to their ten-year-olds just to make sure it isn’t anything their child isn’t ready for.

But plenty of your favorite characters still make an appearance. New characters will steal your heart. And I might have a new favorite cinnamon roll character to huggle.

What do you think? Are you excited for this one?

 

 


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Fandom Merchandise

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This Friday, I’ll post the cover reveal and release date for Destroy (The Blades of Acktar #3.5), but until then, I have another announcement.

I set aside the first week of December and put together a few designs for Blades of Acktar fandom merchandise. I’ve seen other authors do this (and I’ve bought several things as a result because, let’s face it, fandom merchandise is so much fun).

I thought about making the merchandise only available as part of a street team. I’ve seen other authors do this. But, I decided I don’t have the time right now to run a street team, not without taking away from the little writing and editing time I have. Besides, all of you essentially ARE my street team. You do such a great job of getting the word out. You all deserve a way to shout your love of the Blades of Acktar fandom.

Right now, I have two sites where you can get Blades of Acktar merchandise.

  • Zazzle.com – this one has more designs available since its rules on picture sizes are less strict and I had less trouble uploading designs. I believe I left most of the items as open as possible so you can customize colors and sizes. For the clothing, the women’s version is pictured, but they should all be available in youth and men’s sizes if you customize them.
  • Society 6 – this one has more options for housewares items (such as pillows and clocks), but fewer designs available at the moment since this site demands higher pixel counts than Zazzle. Currently I don’t have any apparel set up, but I will be working on that in the future.

Here’s what the Zazzle site looks like and a few of the options:

I have personally purchased items from both of these sites before and have been pleased both times. Currently, both sites are running a lot of promotions for the holidays, which is always nice for saving money if you would like anything (or you can convince a family member to get it for you for Christmas).

Have fun looking through the designs and options!


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