Cover Reveal for Deny

Yes, as you can see from the title, I have a cover for Deny! Whooohoo! My cover designer worked her magic once again, and I think this cover is even better than the one for Dare.

A few reminders before I get to the big reveal.

I’ll be at the Covenant Christian Craft sale this Saturday in Walker, MI selling signed copies of Dare. Since Deny releases 1 month from today (Eeep!) I’ve decided to also offer pre-orders for signed copies of Deny, which will be available for pick up the Saturday after Deny‘s release. More information will be available at the craft sale if you wish to place a pre-order.

I also still have a few spots left in my launch team for Deny. If you wish to sign up, please follow this link and fill out the Google form.

Okay, okay. You’re impatient to see the cover. I’m getting to that. 😉

Like with Dare, I emailed Deny to my cover designer Ashley and pointed her to a few scenes that I thought would work best for the cover. We both picked out the same scene that we thought would work best, and she drew up a concept for it and put it all together.

Into this: the cover for Deny (The Blades of Acktar #2)

Deny_cover_resize; regular

Isn’t it spectacular? I can’t wait until I get my first proof book so I can hug it. 🙂

What do you guys think?

Another Round of Fun Announcements

So I have a bunch more announcements to share with everybody.

Announcement #1: Dare is going to be an audiobook! 

Dare Ebook CoverYep, you read that right. I’ve found a narrator and gone through all the paperwork and it is well on its way to production. The narrator is named Jesse Dornan. It’s his first big project like this, but he’s very talented, and his voice is perfect for Dare.

I’ll be sure to keep all of you posted. Currently, he believes the initial recording will be done by the end of November, and after proofing and any changes, the audiobook could be ready as early as December.

Announcement #2: Deny is on Goodreads! 

I’ve added Deny to Goodreads. It doesn’t have a cover yet, but my cover designer is currently making the final tweaks to the front cover. I’ll have that to share with you soon.

Click here to add Deny on Goodreads.

Announcement #3: I’m putting together a launch team for Deny

Launch Team Graphic

But first, about the launch team. The members of the launch team will be expected to post reviews of the book, promote it frequently across whatever social media platforms they have, and invite people to the Facebook party. Having a blog isn’t necessary, though I’d like a few of the launch team to have blogs. Right now, my target launch team size is around 20 members.

In exchange for all this hard work, the launch team will get an eARC copy of Deny, a copy of the final ebook when it releases, their names in the acknowledgements section in the back of the book, and launch team member only giveaways (as well as a cool, members only Facebook page).

If you don’t think you have time to commit to being part of the launch team but would still like an eARC copy to review the book, post about it on your blog, or do other limited promotion, please contact me through Facebook, Goodreads, or my contact page on my blog and we’ll work something out.

If you’d like to sign up to be considered for the launch team, please fill out this form. Or you can go to the Launch Team tab on my website to also find the form.

Reminder: I have a booth at the Covenant Christian Craft Sale a week from today where I’ll be selling signed copies of Dare. If you live in the west Michigan area and are interested in going, you can visit their Facebook page for hours and information.

Whew! Lots of fun stuff going on! Now to get back to putting the finishing touches on Deny so it can release on time.

Fun with Book Selfies

Okay, so I wasn’t actually planning to write this post, but I had so much fun last night taking pictures that I thought I’d share a few of them with you.

I decided to take a few selfies of me with my horse with Nadine Brandes’s book A Time to Die to celebrate the release of it’s sequel A Time to Speak (which released today! Yay! Though, only the ebook version is available. Click here for Nadine’s full explanation of why).

Anyway, I marched over to the horse pasture with book and camera in hand.

My horse refused to cooperate until I bribed him with treats.
My horse: “Can I eat it?” Me: “Um, no. That’s my super special paperback that I got signed IN PERSON. You are not allowed to so much as breathe on it too deeply.”
I’m making a sneaky ninja face while my horse still refuses to cooperate. Not enough bribes yet.
I finally convinced him to read the book with me. 😉
Another ninja face while my horse makes a stealthy sneak attack looking for more treats.
And, finally, a good one. 🙂
My horse: “Can I eat it?” Me: “No, that’s my camera.”

If you couldn’t tell by the great lengths I went to, I really, really love this series. And, if you enjoyed the characters in Dare, it is in part because Nadine was my gracious editor to point out things where “this decision doesn’t make sense” or “this character is really flat” or “this character doesn’t do anything but sit around and cower the entire book.”

Her books are available here:

Book 1 (A Time to Die) – bit.ly/AmazonATtDpaperback
Book 2 (A Time to Speak) – bit.ly/AmazonATtSPaperback

Have you ever done a selfie with a book before? How about a selfie with an animal? Ever tried doing both at once?

An Interview with Adventuring Author Nadine Brandes

Today, I’m interviewing author Nadine Brandes about adventures, writing, and other awesome randomness. 🙂

Nadine 2

You can connect with Nadine on her website, blog, NEWSLETTERGoodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google plus.

Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway and join the Facebook party to celebrate A Time to Speak‘s release.
//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hi, Nadine! I can’t believe I haven’t interviewed you on my blog yet. Time for that to change! 

I happen to know you really like tea. What’s your favorite kind? Do you have any special way you make tea? (rituals, tips, special teapot, etc)

Ooh! My favorite kind of tea is Yorkshire Tea – I discovered it when living in York, England and I drink it with milk and sugar. When I have a long day of writing ahead of me, I’ll usually make an entire pot of it. I have a couple cool teapots I’ve collected from around the world. One looks like a globe with a lid and has pirate ships on it. That’s my favorite, haha.

A globe teapot with pirate ships on it? That does sound epic for a teapot! And living in England? That sounds like an adventure! 

Parvin Quote - ATtS

You live in Idaho not far from Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons (I’m a little jealous. I love that area!). What’s your favorite part about living where you do?

I love being able to go on adventures! In just the past two years I’ve done so many exciting things like dogsledding, rock climbing, and walking in nature for inspiration. Hubby and I got married here and even got to ride away from our wedding in a one-horse open sleigh. *Hums Jingle Bells* You just don’t get to do that in other places.

That does sound amazing! The one time I’ve been to that area, we had a blizzard in June and we had to hike through knee-high snow in our tennis shoes. It sounds like it is just as adventurous to live there! 

Unity Village, Parvin’s home town, is in a dystopian Missouri. What made you pick that state for her village?

I was living in Missouri at the time and completely adored that state. I prefer writing from experience, so I set it in Missouri simply because I’d be able to tackle the descriptions much better while living through them – down to the time of year, weather, etc.

Missouri is very beautiful. My friends and I took a road trip there this past summer. 🙂 

You take Parvin on quite an adventure in A Time to Speak. How much research did you do for the book? What was your favorite part of researching? Least favorite?

So much research! My goodness! Without giving too much away, I spent days and weeks and months watching videos, reading books, and interviewing travelers about Antarctica. I also traveled with my dad to Panama and rode a sailboat through the canal. I chased a boxcar train and ate a raw potato. If you couldn’t tell…I go all out. 😛 My favorite part of researching is probably getting to go on adventures…with a notebook. [grin] My least favorite part of research is when it’s something I can’t experience. Like…Antarctica. (Trust me, I looked up costs to visit. Um…NO.) Because no matter how much I research, there’s nothing like first-hand experience.

Even if you didn’t get to go to Antarctica, you had me convinced! Then again, you’ve had first had experience with ice and snow where you live. 

Parvin Quote - ATtS 2

What is one thing on your bucket list of adventures/things to try (besides travel to Antarctica some day)?

I want to go skydiving! Yes, because it will help me with a certain scene in a future book, but also because I really want to imagine I’m flying. And I hope that my many adventures will inspire my children to have adventurous spirits. (I’ll probably force them into adventures whether they like them or not.

Now you have me really curious for this next book!

My parents dragged my brothers and me through many adventures when we were growing up, and I’m glad they did. 

Thanks, Nadine, for stopping by my blog!

Now, Nadine has a question for all of you:

What’s an adventure on your bucket list?

Fun Fiction Friday – A Time to Speak

For today’s Fun Fiction Friday, I’m spotlighting A Time to Speak, which releases in ONE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Any one else excited for this yet? Because I’m beyond geeked for this book!

Lucky for me, I got to read an ARC version. 🙂

About the author

Nadine

You can connect with Nadine here:

About the book

A-Time-to-Speak-Nadine-Brandes


What happens when you live longer than you wanted to? 

Parvin Blackwater wanted to die, but now she’s being called to be a leader. The only problem is, no one wants to follow.

The Council uses Jude’s Clock-matching invention to force “new-and-improved” Clocks on the public. Those who can’t afford one are packed into boxcars like cattle and used for the Council’s purposes.

Parvin and Hawke find themselves on a cargo ship of Radicals headed out to sea. What will the Council do to them? And why are people suddenly dying before their Clocks have zeroed-out?

My Recommendation

Sounds amazing, right? Well, it is. In my opinion, it’s even better than book 1 A Time to Die. While A Time to Die is a sucker punch in the gut that keeps aching in your heart long after you’ve finished it, A Time to Speak is a stirring marching song that straightens your spine and sends you out into the world determined to do something. 

After the events of A Time to Die, Parvin has to come to grips with the fact that she’s still alive. Not only is she still alive, but her friends Willow and Elm are in trouble and her family is in shambles. Parvin is determined to help her friends, help her family, and help her village.

I adored Parvin’s determination, and I think it is the main reason I enjoyed this book better. While Parvin had to search for her path in book 1, she has found it in book 2. While her determination sometimes get her into trouble and makes her a tad reckless, I could connect with her need to accomplish something. Her courage and faith is inspiring.

I thoroughly enjoyed A Time to Speak (though that ending!), and I can’t wait for book 3!

If you haven’t checked it out yet, Nadine is hosting a Facebook party to celebrate the release. Nadine does Facebook parties exceptionally well, so you won’t want to miss it!

A-Time-to-Speak-FB-Party-Blog-Hop-Pic

Nadine is also having a giveaway for signed copies of both A Time to Die and A Time to Speak. a Rafflecopter giveaway
//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

.

Announcements! Release Date and Other News

I’m going to interrupt my series of posts for A Time to Speak because I have a bunch of announcements to make. I think you’re going to be excited. 🙂

Announcement #1

For all those who live in the Michigan area, I’m going to have a booth at a local craft sale October 31. I’m going to be selling signed copies of Dare. 

Announcement #2

I finally have a newsletter set up! It took a little bit to figure out how to get my free WordPress account to like Mailchimp, but I got it working (I think).

Click here to sign up for my newsletter!

To reward those who sign up, I’ve put together a short story titled Deal. Deal is part of Leith’s backstory. Warning: it isn’t pleasant, but it will answer some questions (and add a few more).

Deal Cover Image

Announcement #3

The day you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived (almost). I finally have a release date for Deny (The Blades of Acktar Book 2). It is 11/30!

Deny Mock Cover
This is just a stand in cover until my wonderful cover designer finishes her awesome cover for this book.

If you’re paying attention, you’ll realize that 11/30 is less than two months away. Please keep me in your prayers that the final edits go well.

Called to Speak Blog Hop

I’m proud to be part of the Blog Hop promoting A Time to Speak. Not only is this book amazing, but Nadine Brandes is a great friend who I was blessed to meet in person a few weeks ago. This hop is to spread the word about her new dystopian novel, A Time to Speak, releasing October 16th. It is also to encourage myself and others to speak out for things we are passionate about.

Hashtag-Called2Speak-5

I will speak out about Christian Young Adult speculative fiction.

I was that girl who read The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings and then…couldn’t find any other Christian fantasy to read. Because there wasn’t much available when I was growing up.

I read a lot of secular fantasy and science fiction. Some of it was really good. Some of it was junk. I stumbled into stuff that, looking back, I wish I hadn’t read. Because it wasn’t edifying. And it’s only gotten worse. Two of what were my favorite Young Adult fantasy authors went downhill with some of their recent books. I was so disappointed with one I didn’t even finish it and promptly returned it.

It took me years to pick up mainstream Christian fiction. The little I had picked up was boring to me. I’m the person who looks for action and adventure in a book. I’m the girl who didn’t read Pride and Prejudice until I forced myself to listen to a book on tape version a few years ago. I cheered when Lydia ran away with Mr. Wickham because FINALLY something happened.

The books by Dee Henderson and Marylu Tyndall finally showed me that not all Christian fiction was boring.

Then I got a free book by Jill Williamson and learned that Christian fantasy did exist. And it was a growing.

I’d found a new passion. I began writing my own Christian fantasy series. I began tracking down Christian fantasy authors to read. And when I started this blog, I added a fiction finder to tell other readers about all the Christian YA books I was discovering.

I’m not going to argue why fantasy. Many other people have argued that point much better than I can. And I understand that fantasy, science fiction, and other speculative genres are everybody’s thing. Then again, neither is romance. There’s a place for both.

I’m speaking about Christian fantasy, science fiction, dystopian, etc. While secular books in those genres can be very well written and a Christian can sometimes see things like good vs evil, no book can touch a Christian’s heart like a Christian book.

A secular dystopian like The Hunger Games ends without hope. A Christian dystopian like A Time to Die breathes hope. That’s the difference.

Yes, I can read secular works. I’m not saying Christians must only read Christian books. I believe in being widely read.

But, the older I get and the less time I have, the pickier I become with the books I read. Since I have limited time, I look for books that edify as well as entertain. I look for books that help me grow in my faith, not detract from it.

For me, the speculative genres, especially fantasy, are the ones that touch my heart the most.

I’m calling for my fellow readers to wake up and support the growing Christian speculative market. Not just because I’m one of those authors. But because I know a lot of teenagers, young adults, and adults who are reading secular speculative works, but not Christian speculative fiction. Perhaps they don’t know there are Christian speculative fiction books out there.

I’m going to do all I can to change that. If you want a book recommendation, I have it. I have a whole list.

And here’s one recommendation to start: the Out of Time series.

ATimetoDieCov

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system. 

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.

A-Time-to-Speak-Nadine-Brandes

What happens when you live longer than you wanted to? 

Parvin Blackwater wanted to die, but now she’s being called to be a leader. The only problem is, no one wants to follow.

The Council uses Jude’s Clock-matching invention to force “new-and-improved” Clocks on the public. Those who can’t afford one are packed into boxcars like cattle and used for the Council’s purposes.

Parvin and Hawke find themselves on a cargo ship of Radicals headed out to sea. What will the Council do to them? And why are people suddenly dying before their Clocks have zeroed-out?

A-Time-to-Speak-FB-Party-Blog-Hop-Pic

To celebrate the release of A Time to Speak, Nadine is hosting a Facebook party!

And a Rafflecopter giveaway!

If you want to see what other bloggers are speaking out about, here is the list of the rest of the bloggers:

9.28.15 – Gretchen Engel
9.30.15 – Nadine Brandes
10.01.15 – Jason Joyner
10.05.15 – Gretchen Engel (part 2)
10.06.15 – Tricia Mingerink
10.08.15 – Gretchen Engel (Scriblerians)
10.09.15 – Emilie Hendryx
10.11.15 – Janeen Ippolito
10.12.15 – Zachary D Totah
10.14.15 – Brittany Valentine
10.15.15 – Andrew Swearingen
10.17.15 – Megan Besing
10.19.15 – Angel Roman
10.20.15 – Charles Franklin
10.21.15 – Lisa Godfrees
10.23.15 – Shantelle Hannu
10.27.15 – Natalie Walters
10.29.15 – The Artist Librarian
11.02.15 – Rosalie Valentine
11.17.15 – Amanda Fender

//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js