Cover Reveal For Time Captives

We have another cover reveal! Morgan Huneke has new covers for her Time Captives series and they are lovely! Check them out and don’t miss the giveaway at the end!

Morgan Huneke is a friend and fellow indie author of mine (I’m actually going to be rooming with her at Realm Makers this year! Yay!). I’ll admit, I have only read the first book in this series, Creighton Hill, and haven’t read the rest yet. *wince* They are fun, middle grade fantasy books perfect for younger readers looking for something a little more adventurous!

You can find out more about Morgan and her books at her website. 

 

In a perilous quest that spans two worlds, four siblings must team up with their long-lost ancestors and a rebellious slave to deliver an enslaved people from the cruel strytes who invaded their land.

Creighton Hill

“No one can mysteriously disappear leaving no trace. It isn’t realistic.”

“You’re right, Emily,” her grandfather said thoughtfully. “It isn’t realistic. However, a good many things happen in this world that are not realistic, things supernatural.”

Emily, Allan, Jill, Joey, and Anna have grown up on their grandfather’s tales of ancestors who mysteriously disappeared from Creighton Hill, the plantation home that has been in their family for centuries. When Grampa’s death forces them to move into Creighton Hill, the truth about the supposed disappearances is the first thing on their minds. Allan, Jill, Joey, and Anna’s, that is. As for Emily, why must they keep at their supernatural hogwash?

Could it be that their family really does just have an unusual history of early deaths? Most people seem to think so. But Grampa’s research has uncovered something different.

When mysterious writing matching descriptions found in ancient accounts begins appearing to the children, they know something’s up. They must find out what really happened to their ancestors, and work together to discover the reason behind the mysterious writings.

Creighton Hill is the first book of the Time Captives trilogy, a tale of faith, family, fantasy, and a fight for truth and freedom.

Buy now!

The Crossways

“M’lady, it has been fairly well confirmed that the Redona was hidden away by the merfolk at the conclusion of the Great War instead of destroyed as was commanded. My brother has confirmed to me Joseph’s belief that it was concealed at the Crossways.”

Toarna pressed her fingertips together in thought. “It must be recovered and destroyed as was at first intended.”

Emily, Allan, Jill, and Joey have been reunited with their long lost ancestors. But with that reunion comes the true beginning of their quest: free the rightful king of Calhortz so that he may be restored to his throne. The Redona, the only object that can free him from his long imprisonment, is rumored to be concealed in The Crossways, a mountain across the sea which cannot be entered.

A slave since birth, Adriel’s resentment and hatred towards the strytes only grows as his family is continually ripped from him. He longs for the freedom the Time Captives are prophesied to bring, but he doubts their existence, just as he doubts God’s love. Circumstances in Calhortz are so dire. How could they ever improve?

Who can enter The Crossways? Will the king ever be freed? Or will the slaves of Calhortz lose all hope of freedom before it is even offered to them?

The Crossways is the second book of the Time Captives trilogy, a tale of faith, family, fantasy, and a fight for truth and freedom.

Buy now!

Crannig Castle

God, please look after Adriel. Keep him safe and keep him from acting foolish. And please help him to be able to find me.

Rae knew she could trust God to look after both of them. It was all she had now.

The Time Captives have been reunited. The rightful king has been freed. Now all that remains is to defeat the strytes who still hold a tyrannical rule over the people of Calhortz. But with their lack of soldiers, it’s a task that is easier said than done. They need allies, but are they worth it when it requires facing ghosts from their pasts?

Returning to his home country only brings the loss of Adriel’s family to the forefront of his mind. His determination to find Rae has never ceased, but now that determination could potentially destroy all that he and the Time Captives have been working towards. And his new-found faith may not be able to withstand the challenge.

Will they be able to set aside their personal struggles for the sake of the freedom of all or will they allow their pasts to consume them? Will they manage to win back Crannig Castle from the rule of the strytes? The fate of Calhortz hangs in the balance.

Crannig Castle is the final book of the Time Captives trilogy, a tale of faith, family, fantasy, and a fight for truth and freedom.

Buy now!

Giveaway

Morgan will be giving away a complete set of brand new Time Captives books! Be sure to enter! Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Flight of the Raven Blog Tour


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Today I have the pleasure of spotlighting Morgan Busse’s The Ravenwood Saga. I loved both of the currently released books in the series, and I can’t wait for book 3!

Make sure you read all the way until the end for a giveaway and a sale.

Flight of the Raven
(The Ravenwood Saga #2)
By Morgan L. Busse
Christian Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
April 30th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

Selene Ravenwood, once the heir to House Ravenwood, is now an exile. On the run and free of her family’s destiny, Selene hopes to find the real reason her family was given the gift of dreamwalking. But first she must adapt to her new life as wife to Lord Damien Maris, the man she was originally assigned to kill.

While adjusting to her marriage and her home in the north, her power over dreams begins to grow. As the strongest dreamwalker to exist in ages, her expanding power attracts not only nightmares but the attention of the Dark Lady herself.

With a war looming on the horizon and a wicked being after her gift, Selene is faced with a choice: embrace the Dark Lady’s offer, or search out the one who gave her the gift of dreamwalking. One path offers power, the other offers freedom. But time is running out, and soon her choice will be made for her.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

My Review:

I pre-ordered the audiobook and literally set aside the audiobook I was listening to so I could jump into this one right away. After the sort of cliff hanger ending of the last book, I’ve been impatiently counting down to this book.

This book was a bit different than what I was expecting, yet in some ways it was exactly what I was expecting. It had less action than the last book. Really only the ending had anything like the danger and tense scenes of the first book. I was expecting a lot of Damien and Selene falling in love and growing as people, and that’s exactly what I got and it was really well done and sweet and adorable.

Even though this book was in many ways slower than the first book, I still couldn’t stop listening. The struggle inside Selene is very compelling and Amara’s struggles were a good parallel.

There were a few doctrinal things I didn’t agree with, but overall I appreciated the Christian aspect of the book.

The ending was the best part of the whole book. Tense and heart-wrenching and totally sets up a dramatic finale in the third book. I’m already starting a countdown to the release of book 3

Other Books in the Series

Mark of the Raven
(The Ravenwood Saga #1)
By Morgan L. Busse
Christian Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
November 6th 2018 by Bethany House Publishers

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy–a legacy that supports her people–or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

My Review:

This book is amazing! Of course, I knew it would be since I’ve adored every single novel this author has ever written!

This one started off slow. But the sort of slow where the plot and worldbuilding are unfolding like a flower, one petal at a time. Just at the moment when I wasn’t sure where this was going, stuff started happening, deceptions upon deceptions and betrayals and plots and planned assassinations, and everything just got tense and crazy.

The worldbuilding is well done. Each of the Houses had their own personalities, and the author does a great job of writing clearly during the scenes where multiple houses are together and a great number of characters are introduced so that even someone like me who struggles with names didn’t get confused.

Damien was my favorite character from the moment he stepped on the page. His introduction in this book is simply epic. Gave me chills. I still think one scene with him early on is my favorite in the whole book for how spine-chillingly awesome it is.

Selene was also a really, well-done character. It would’ve been too easy for her to feel whiny or too passive, but the author does a great job of making the reader root for her.

This is a great start to this new series, and now I am even more eager for book two!

Also, I read most of this book via audiobook, and the audiobook version is well done. The narrator does a really good job!

About the Author

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series and the steampunk series The Soul Chronicles. She is a Christy and INSPY Award finalist and won the Carol Award in 2018 for best in Christian speculative fiction. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.

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Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive print copies of Mark of the Raven, Flight of the Raven, and a $20 Amazon gift card
2 winner winners will receive print copies of Mark of the Raven and Flight of the Raven
– US only
– Ends June 7, 2019

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Midnight’s Curse Cover Reveal

Eltz castle in the morning fog

I am so excited to reveal the release date and cover reveal for my upcoming book Midnight’s Curse today!

For those of you who have been asking:

  • This is a sequel to last May’s release Dagger’s Sleep
  • It continues with the same characters as Dagger’s Sleep. So if you wanted to read more about Alex, Daemyn, Rosanna, and the rest, then you’ll want to get your hands on Midnight’s Curse
  • Yes, it is my first book whose title doesn’t start with D

Midnight’s Curse releases August 6, 2019!

I have already begun some of the brainstorming for the release, and it’s going to be epic with a blog tour, Instagram challenge, and, of course, lots of giveaways of Cinderella retellings.

Scroll down to see the cover!

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Midnight's Curse_Internet Use

Isn’t it stunning? The cover was designed by Savannah Jezowski at Dragonpen Designs. You can find more examples of her work here.

About the book

High King Alexander rules the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia—a divided nation on the brink of yet another war. When an invitation arrives from the king of Pohatomie, Alex knows it must be a trap, but could it also be his opportunity to unite the kingdoms?

Daemyn Rand has lived a hundred years, served an arrogant prince, fallen in love with a princess, and lost himself somewhere along the way. He has already died for his loyalty. Will he have to sacrifice his last chance to truly live?

Elara Ashen is a lowly, miserable servant. All she wants is to spend one night in a fancy dress, dancing with the high king. When she is offered a pair of glass slippers, it seems all her dreams have come true.

But dreams have a price, and gifts can be curses in disguise. What will it cost to stop this curse from tearing Tallahatchia apart yet again?

Fairy tales meet the Appalachian Mountains in this adventurous fantasy retelling of the classic Cinderella story.

Preorder the Kindle on Amazon.

Add to Goodreads.

Cover Story

I actually stumbled across this cover on a premade cover site when I was in the very early stages of brainstorming Midnight’s Curse. If you happen to frequent the same sites I do, you may have seen this cover before. Yep, I’m the person who snapped it up, lol.

As soon as I saw this cover, it was love at first sight. The girl on the cover was exactly as I had been picturing Elara, the Cinderella character. The castle in the background was the EXACT same castle I had decided to use as my base for my fictional castle in this book. The cover is a nighttime scene. Even the black and red dress was perfect. The designer was someone I’d had recommended to me from a fellow indie author, and I liked this designer’s work. The premade cover couldn’t have been more perfect for Midnight’s Curse if I had sat down with the cover designer and had it made specifically for the book.

Dagger's Sleep Cover - Updated 031118
Original cover

The only problem was that it didn’t fit what was then the current cover for Dagger’s Sleep, the first book in the series. If I bought this cover, then I would need to change the cover for Dagger’s Sleep as well, and it would involve a bit of re-branding for this series.

Dagger's Sleep_Internet Use
Current cover

After a few hours of agonizing over the decision, my gut was still telling me this cover was the right direction to go for Midnight’s Curse. I bought it and contacted Savannah about a cover for Dagger’s Sleep as well. She worked her magic, and created the new cover for Dagger’s Sleep that I adore!

So, yes. Not only did I have this cover for Midnight’s Curse before I’d even started writing the book, I also had it before the current cover for Dagger’s Sleep. Funny how things sometimes work like that when you’re an indie author, lol.

 

About the author:

DSC09450-2Tricia Mingerink is the author of the bestselling The Blades of Acktar series and the Beyond the Tales series. 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.

You can connect with Tricia on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

 

To celebrate the cover reveal, Dagger’s Sleep, a Sleeping Beauty retelling and book one in the series, is on sale in Kindle for $.99 this weekend!  Click here to purchase on Amazon.

Dreamy green color forest

Giveaway!

To celebrate even more, I’m holding a giveaway for a paperback copy of Dagger’s Sleep and a 2oz Plot Twist candle by Novelly Yours Candles.

To enter, share the above sale graphic for Dagger’s Sleep, the cover for Midnight’s Curse, or the below Midnight’s Curse promo graphic and make sure you use hashtag #MidnightsCurse and tag @triciamingerink on any social media site to enter.

The giveaway will end May 22 at midnight. Please note this giveaway is only open in the United States. It is not sponsored by Novelly Yours Candles.

Glass Slipper

What do you think? Are you excited for Midnight’s Curse?

Sign up for Cover Reveal, News, & More

This is going to be a rather eclectic blog post. It has been far too long since I’ve posted, and things have begun to pile up.

In April, I pushed really hard to finish the first draft of Midnight’s Curse, the sequel to Dagger’s Sleep. I’m happy to say I finished it! Even if it took writing 55k words in 32 days. Social media and posting on here took a back seat to writing all the words.

CampNaNoWriMo Stats

Since I finished the first draft and have been lining up all the stuff to release the book, it is time to do a cover reveal and announce a release date. Yay!

 Fill out the form below to join the cover reveal for Midnight’s Curse!

Why help with the cover reveal?

  • It helps an author launch a book on the right foot.
  • You get to see both the shiny new cover and the release date before anyone else.
  • You get this author’s sincere gratitude for being an awesome person. If I could give you all maple sugar cookies, I would.

The cover reveal is going to take place on May 17. That’s less than 2 weeks away. I know I’m cutting the time short, but life was too crazy for me to arrange this before now.

You don’t need to have a blog to participate. Any social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc). will work.

On that weekend, the preorder for Midnight’s Curse will go live on Amazon, and the Kindle version of Dagger’s Sleep is going to be on sale for $.99. So there will be a lot to celebrate!

Here’s the form for the Cover Reveal

I’m so excited to reveal this cover to all of you! Savannah Jezowski of Dragonpress Designs did this cover, and it’s amazing. She’s the same person who designed the new cover for Dagger’s Sleep, and as amazing as that cover is, I think the one for Midnight’s Curse is even more stunning.

RealmAward_2inchSpeaking of Dagger’s Sleep, it was announced a couple of weeks ago that Dagger’s Sleep is a finalist for a Realm Award for the Fantasy category. It is such an honor to see Dagger’s Sleep alongside all the other amazing finalists. You can see a full list of the finalists here.

 


Friend Features

Several books by author friends and acquaintances have released in the past couple of weeks, and I wanted to highlight a few here.

Flight of the RavenFlight of the Raven by Morgan Busse released on April 30. It is book 2 in her Ravenwood Saga and continues the story of Selene and Damien. It is Christian fantasy published by Bethany House.

I’m not going to say tons about it now since I’ll be posting about it (well, fangirling about it) as part of the blog tour at the end of May. But you can find my review here on Goodreads and here is the link to the book on Amazon.

I’ve enjoyed all of this author’s books and I can’t wait for book 3 in this series to release!

The Lady and the Wish by J.M. Stengl released on April 25. It is book 4 in the Faraway The Lady and the WishCastle series and is a retelling of the King Thrushbeard fairy tale. All of the Faraway Castle books are adorable fairy tale retellings, and I can’t wait for the next book in this series! If you have read Dagger’s Sleep or enjoy books like K.M. Shea’s Timeless Fairy Tale series, then you will want to pick up the Faraway Castle series.

Besides, isn’t that cover simply gorgeous?

Here is the link to find the book on Amazon and here is the link to my review on Goodreads.

RomanovFinally, today is the release day for Romanov by Nadine Brandes. It is a historical fantasy/retelling of Anastasia, and I’ve been dying to get my hands on it from the moment I knew she was writing this book. I haven’t started reading it yet, but I’m sure it is going to be as amazing as all her other books!

Here’s the link for the book on Amazon.

 

Congratulations to all of these authors on their recent releases!

Do you know of any other new releases that you would like to tell everyone about? Feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for the cover reveal and release date announcement for Midnight’s Curse. I’m really excited to share this book with you!

Introducing Fairy Tale Central

When I heard that several online friends were starting a website to highlight fairy tales and fairy tale retellings, I was super excited to feature their website’s launch on my blog.

Dagger's Sleep_Internet UseI LOVE fairy tale retellings. I grew up on Gail Carson Levine’s fairy tale retellings and have since discovered a whole wealth of traditionally published and indie published authors who write fairy tale retellings, including KM Shea and Melanie Cellier, who are among my favorites (both are indie authors who write funny, clean fairy tales).

Last year, I released my own fairy tale retelling Dagger’s Sleep, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty with a few hints of allegorical elements. I’m working on writing Midnight’s Curse, the sequel to Dagger’s Sleep and a Cinderella retelling.

So without further ado, here is Fairy Tale Central!


Once Upon a Time two girls had a dream. A dream of a fairy tale site, an internet library, if you will, for all the fairy tale lovers of the land to gather and converse. To learn, to read, to fangirl/boy, to bask in the goodness that is fairy tales.

As this dream blossomed, the two girls recruited a third. Because, after all, all good fairy tales come in themes of three.

With the third member in place, the girls got to work. The dream began to take shape, until it was no longer just a dream. But something real.

Introducing…

 

FAIRY TALE CENTRAL

This newly launched site run by Arielle Bailey, Faith White, and Christine Smith, is your source for all things fairy tales.

Every month a single fairy tale will be featured, and posts will include:

  • Reviews for retellings/shows/movies/etc.
  • Essay, origin, and discussion posts on the featured fairy tale
  • Interviews with fairy tale retelling authors
  • Galleries featuring fairy tale artists and artisans
  • And a whole lot more!

The FTC’s goal is to unlock the magic that is fairy tales and build a community of fellow fairy tale enthusiasts. Arielle, Faith, and Christine are thrilled to share this new fairy tale centric space and connect with all you epic fairy tale fans!

You can CLICK HERE to find the site and join the Fairy Ring! (Don’t worry, you won’t be enchanted or cursed.) And, if you want to connect even more, you can find the FTC on:

(If you’re inclined to share about the FTC in those places too, you may or may not be blessed by a fairy godmother. *smile, smile*)

Do tell a friend, or a dragon, or the fairy living in the hollow tree behind your house. All humans and mythological creatures alike are welcome!


Doesn’t it sound like a cool site? I know I’m excited to follow their posts!

In case you didn’t hear yet, last week the finalists for the Realm Award were announced, and Dagger’s Sleep is a finalist in the Fantasy category!

Realm Award Finalists!

I am really honored that Dagger’s Sleep made it this far, especially considering how many amazing fantasy books were released by Christian authors last year.

The winners of the Realm Awards will be announced at the Realm Makers Conference this year, and I’m going! Realm Makers is always an amazing experience, and I’m excited to be going again this year!


Are you excited for the launch of Fairy Tale Central? Do you read fairy tale retellings?

Alliance Award Nominations Open

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The nominations for the Alliance Award are now open! This is a reader voted award, which I personally think is the best kind of award. It is the readers that truly matter, right? 😉
Anyway, both Defy and Deliver were finalists for this award in 2017 and 2018. This year, both Dagger’s Sleep and Decree are eligible to be nominated.
Not that you have to nominate them. There are a lot of other good Christian spec fic published in 2018. A few others that are also eligible are Bitter Winter by Jaye L. Knight, Fawkes by Nadine Brandes, Song of Leira by Gillian Bronte Adams, and Mark of the Raven by Morgan Busse. And that just scratches the surface of all the great Christian spec fic novels published last year!
So please consider taking a few minutes out of your day to nominate your favorite spec fic novels published last year by a Christian author! Both indie and traditionally published are eligible!
Here is the link where you can nominate books. 

The nomination submission asks for the ISBN to make the nominations more accurate (not required, but highly encouraged and helpful).

The best place to find the ISBNs for the books you would like to nominate is to look up the paperback of that book on Amazon. The ISBN can be found in the product details.

Here is an example of the product details for the paperback of Dagger’s Sleep. The 13 digit ISBN is highlighted in blue:

Product Details

Live Without You Book Spotlight

lwy blog tour blog

Today I’m so excited to be featuring Live Without You, the debut release by Sarah Grace Grzy.

So, true story. I met Sarah Grace and her older sister Victoria Lynn (who is also a published author. Go check out her books London in the Dark and Bound here.) They visited a craft sale where I had my books back when I was a newbie author with only Dare out and before either of them were published. I was so excited that I actually had fans that I jumped up to hug them…and promptly stepped on Sarah’s foot. Yeah, I’m that author. Totally graceful.

We had a wonderful chat about indie publishing and being an author that day, and I’m so excited to see both of them living their dreams and publishing.

You can find the schedule for the rest of the blog tour here.

About the Book: 

lwy kindle cover jpgPiper Redding is a loner, but lonely. Everyone she loves has abandoned her and opening her heart to others is just asking for more pain. She can’t help but blame herself for her brother’s tragic death six years ago, and in her guilt, she shuts herself off from the world. No one could love her—not even the God who promised to be there for her but wasn’t.

For paramedic Ezra Bryant, failure is not an option. He’s had enough of it, and only by God’s grace is he able to put it behind him. But when a traumatic event brings Piper’s greatest fear and Ezra’s failures to light, can they use that event to allow God to mend their broken pieces? Can love triumph over fear, and grace over guilt?

Buy on Amazon

Add on Goodreads

About the Author: 

author imageSarah Grace Grzy is a voracious reader, and if it weren’t for this crazy thing called ‘Life,’ she’d be tempted to spend all her days in front of a wood stove, book in one hand, coffee mug in the other.

A lover of learning, she finds enjoyment in many things and has more hobbies than she knows what to do with. Sarah Grace is a freelance web and graphic designer, and when not working, spending time with her ever-growing family, or reading, she can be found painting, playing the piano, or fangirling with her sisters and friends. She inhabits the State of Great Lakes, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else—unless it meant she could have a baby penguin, in which case, she’d gladly move to the South Pole.

You can connect with her through her newsletter, Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram

Giveaway!

giveaway imageGrand Prize ~ $20 Amazon gift card, Signed Paperback of Live Without You, Specialty designed mug.

Second Prize ~ $5 Amazon gift card, ebook copy of Live Without You
3 Third Prize Winners ~ Ebook copy of Live Without You

Grand prize open to US entrants only, 2nd and 3rd prizes available internationally.

Giveaway runs from 12AM 1.21.19 – 12AM 1.23.19. Victoria Lynn Designs retains the right to disregard any entries that they deem bogus or spam. Good luck to the entrants!

Click here to Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

 

A Look Back; A Look Forward

This is the time of year when everyone gets bombarded with a host of Christmas posts and New Year’s posts and resolution posts and a year in books posts. Here’s one more. Kind of a look back at 2018 both in life and books and an unofficial wrap up for the Ilyon and Acktar blog tour since I never did one of those. Oops.


2018

Every year has its ups and downs. But 2018 is one year I’m personally glad is over. It was a year that started with blowing a tire on the highway and dealing with that mess and ended with having to say goodbye to my grandpa as he went to Heaven and saying goodbye to a place very dear to my heart all in one month, all while running a blog tour and releasing my seventh book. It was a year where I found out I was going to be an aunt again, only to grieve with my brother and sister-in-law as they suffered a miscarriage and clung to the hope of Heaven, a hope that now both my unborn niece or nephew and my grandpa are together with Jesus. This was a year of finding out just how amazing and supportive my friends are, both the ones in Michigan and far-flung across the United States and world.

The year had its amazing moments. Going to Realm Makers and meeting some friends for the first time and others for the third or fourth time was awesome. Realm Makers is always a blast, and this year was definitely so. I took a road trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and completely fell in love with the area. My critique partner came in September, and I had the privilege of showing her around west Michigan.

It was a year where I launched a new series and wrote a new book in my established series. Writing itself wasn’t as difficult as it was last year, but it wasn’t without its discouragements and joys. I had my worst release since my first book as a newbie author and also my best release ever. I tweaked or completely changed the covers of 4 of my books while working on the covers for two upcoming books all in the same month. I released my 5th Blades of Acktar book within four days of Jaye L. Knight, a really good author friend, releasing her 5th book in the Ilyon Chronicles, and the joint blog tour was amazingly fun, especially the combined character chats.

Over all, it was an amazing, exhausting, draining, strengthening year. I look forward to what God has in store for 2019!


Mini Blog Tour Wrap Up

Now that all the polls from the character chats have wrapped up, it’s about time we announced the results.

For those who might not know, at the end of each of the combined Ilyon and Acktar character chats from the recent blog tour, Jaye and I had a poll pitching two of our characters against each other in good fun.

Character Chat #1 Poll – Leetra vs. Martyn

Leetra came out swinging and gained an early lead, which probably made Martyn mad because he took the lead after that and never looked back.

Final result: Leetra (23) vs Martyn (26) (49 votes total)

Martyn wins! Barely, though. Leetra definitely put up a good fight!

Character Chat #2 Poll – Trask vs. Shad

This one really, really surprised me. After a few votes early on, Shad ended up the HUGE winner. Sorry, Trask.

Interestingly enough, it was this poll (not the Jace vs. Leith poll like we expected) that got the most response and the most votes.

Final result: Trask (19) vs. Shad (34) with 1 vote for a tie (54 votes total)

Character Chat #3 Poll – Jace vs. Leith

This was the most highly anticipated poll, and the Jace fangirls definitely brought it. In a practice fight (where Leith would be barred from using his assassin trickiness), Jace was the clear winner.

Final result: Jace (21) vs Leith (12) with 1 vote for a tie (34 votes total)

Character Chat #4 Poll – Kaden vs Kayleigh

This poll got somewhat the short end of the stick since it went up on the last day of the tour and only lasted for about 48 hours.

But of all the polls, this one was the friendliest fight. Kaden and Kayleigh stayed neck and neck for the whole time and tied in the end, with one person voting that Martyn would beat Kaden. So after a friendly bout where Kaden and Kayleigh tie, Martyn tips things in Kayleigh’s favor by getting annoyed with Kaden.

Final result: Kaden (14) vs Kayleigh (14) with 1 vote for Martyn as winner (29 votes total)

So there you have it. The fans have spoken!

Thanks so much for everyone’s participation in the tour and voting on the polls! All of the character chats are up and can still be enjoyed if you missed them. Just scroll down to the blog post before this one to find the 4th character chat and links to the rest.


2018 in Books

I read A LOT of books this year. Part of that was I deal with stress by reading, and usually reading light, non-demanding books, and I discovered several authors that fit that bill nicely.

I read 188 books in 2018. That doesn’t count the bazillion times I read Dagger’s Sleep and Decree before their releases.

Of the 188 books:

113 (60%) –  audiobooks. That is down from 70% last year, but that is kind of deceiving since a bunch of the books I physically read were short stories and shorter books while all the longer books I read were audiobooks.

86 (45%) – indie books. I honestly thought it would be more, but indie authors don’t have as many books on audiobooks. But of the 75 books I physically read, 62 (83%) of them were indie books, and another 3 of them were small presses.

103 (55%) – Christian books

  • 78 (41%) – Christian books for the Christian market
  • 25 (13%) – Books written by Christians for the general market

Genres: 

Fantasy: 80

  • Fairy Tale: 25
  • Kingdom Adventure: 12

Western: 24

Thriller: 12

Romance: 85

  • Christian contemporary romance: 20
  • Christian historical romance: 45

Graphic Novel: 1

Sci-Fi: 2

Time Travel: 3

Steampunk: 15

YA: 15

I knew I read widely and with a variety of genres, but it was fun breaking it down like this. No one genre was even 50% of my reading, though Fantasy and Romance were nearly tie at roughly 45% each, though there are a few more that were both fantasy and romance that I included under fantasy and not under romance. I also read surprisingly little YA this year.

Most-read authors:

  1. Louis L’amour (18) – all of these were re-reads. Western.
  2. Carol Moncado (17) – new-to-me author. Mostly new, but I re-read a few. Christian contemporary romance. Indie author. Reader Ages 14+
  3. Lindsay Buroker (14) – Some re-reads, some new. Adult steampunk. Indie author. Can get steamy. Reader Ages 18+
  4. Tamara Leigh (13) – Some re-reads, some new. Christian historical romance. Indie author. Can get steamy. Reader Ages 18+
  5. Tie between K.M. Shea and Melanie Cellier (12). KM. Shea is a longtime favorite author while Melanie Cellier was a new-to-me author this year. Both write fairy tale and fantasy. Both are indie authors. Reader Ages 10+

Except for Louis L’amour, all of my top, most-read authors are indie. Maybe because they put out more books per year and have more books out there to binge?

That’s my year in books. I love tracking my reading progress on Goodreads! It makes it so easy to look back and figure out what I read during a year!

What about you? Do you track your reading on Goodreads? Did you make your reading goal?


On to 2019

2019 is going to be a busy, crazy year. I’m currently working on writing Midnight’s Curse, and I’m super excited to see it come together. I already have the cover for it, and I’ll know more about a release date once I finish the first draft.

I’m also brainstorming Deceive (The Blades of Acktar #6). I think this book and book 7 are going to be worthy additions to the series!

 

 

Ilyon & Acktar Character Chat #4

Chat#4

You can find the previous chats here: Chat #1, Chat #2, Chat #3.

All of the giveaways at the end of these chats are still open through midnight tonight so make sure you enter if you haven’t already done so!


The Ilyon and Acktar characters gather in the kitchen and parlor of Leith and Renna’s cabin. After three previous character chats, the characters are becoming comfortable with each other.

Renna had baked several trays of maple sugar cookies, and everyone has one or two in their hands as they talk.

Kaden, Brandi, Jamie, and Kayleigh are gathered in the parlor and laughing and chatting loudly. Kyrin sits by the table with Renna and Ranson, and the three of them are talking much more quietly, but even Ranson has relaxed with Kyrin’s gentle manner.

Jaye and I are sitting on the opposite side of the table from Renna and Kyrin. I’m nibbling on my second maple sugar cookie while Jaye has some molasses toffee.

But, as I glance around, I notice Leith, Martyn, and Jace appear to be missing. I’m about to ask Renna where they are, when the door opens and the three of them stroll inside, laughing. Their hair is wet, as if they just rinsed off in the Ondieda River in the canyon nearby. Leith and Jace are grinning, and Martyn seems to be shaking his head at something Jace just said.

“Where have you been?” I ask as Leith snags a maple sugar cookie and slides onto the bench next to Renna.

“Sparring.”

I cross my arms as Jace takes the seat next to Kyrin. “You guys decided to go off and have that practice fight without telling me? The fangirls are going to be so disappointed we missed it.”

“Exactly.” Martyn huffs as he joins Kayleigh.

Leith shakes his head. “It wasn’t a fight to see who would win. We were showing each other different moves and skills with an occasional practice round in between. More like training than an actual fight.”

He says it nonchalantly, but I can tell. Whatever sparring match he and Jace had, it was the best match Leith has had in a while.

I turn to Jaye with a gesture in Jace’s direction. “Sorry if Jace starts showing assassin-y skills in the next book.”

Jaye shrugs. “I’m sure he appreciates picking up some new skills that might help him defend Kyrin should the need arise.” She looks at him. “Don’t you?”

Jace nods. “Of course.”

Now that everyone is here, I finish my last bite of cookie. “All right, everyone! Let’s find seats and get this final chat started.”

Kaden, Brandi, and Jamie find seats on the floor. Ranson squirms out from between Renna and Kyrin to retreat to the corner and find a seat on the floor near Jamie and Brandi.

Kayleigh and Martyn sit next to each other on the hearth.

“Welcome to the last Ilyon and Acktar chat, at least for now. Are you guys relieved or sad?”

Leith shifts and looks away from me. “Relieved.”

“But a little sad.” Brandi leans her chin on her knees. “I’m going to miss all my new Ilyon friends.”

“We’ll miss you too.” Kaden gives her a smile. “You’d make a great dragon rider. And you’d all make great additions to the Resistance.”

Jace and Kyrin agree.

“Jaye and I might have to do this again someday.” I grin at Jaye before turning back to the stack of questions in front of me. “Let’s start with an easy one. Martyn and Kayleigh, do you guys get married in this book?”

“Well, um,” Kayleigh lifts her hand, showing that she and Martyn are holding hands. “Isn’t that one of the spoilers we aren’t supposed to be telling as part of these chats?”

“The book has been out for a couple of days, so I think most people probably know the answer by now, so it is probably fine to spoil it.”

Martyn scowls at me. “Nope. I’m not telling. It is my business when I get married and to whom and all that.”

“All right then.” That was all the answer I would get out of Martyn. I had better ask a few more of the questions for Martyn before he goes fully grumpy on me. “Holly wants to know if you have any objections to fan art of you and Wanderer?”

“Fan art?” Martyn’s expression twists, as if he’s torn between a scowl and a smirk.

Kayleigh pats his shoulder. “I would love to see fan art of Martyn. But I’m rather biased.”

“Of course you are.” I try to suppress my grin. “One more question for you, Martyn. How tall are you?”

“5’10” or 5’11”. Something like that.”

“Taller than Leith, but shorter than Jace.” Looking at Martyn’s grouchy expression, I probably should move on to a question for someone else. “Ranson.”

He jumps and appears like he wants to shrink back into the woodwork.

“Don’t worry. This is a somewhat easy question. if you were stranded in the woods in the middle of the night, without any supplies, in the pouring rain, and you could only have one person with you, who would you choose? Why?”

Ranson looks down at his hands and mumbles.

“Sorry, I know you don’t like to be put in the spotlight, but could you say that loud enough for everyone to hear?”

Ranson sneaks a glance at Martyn and Kayleigh where they are perched on the hearth. “Kayleigh. Because she knows how to make snares and cook and stuff.”

Kayleigh smirks, and Martyn’s expression looks torn between offended and approving. Finally, he shrugs. “No, you’re right. I’d pick Kayleigh too.”

“Just a few more questions, Ranson, then you can relax.” I smile reassuringly. “Olivia wants to know how you met Blane? And how Respen found you and Blane?”

Ranson stares at the floor. “I met Blane on the streets after my Nana Harding died. Respen found the two us on the streets one day and took us both to train as Blades.”

Not the longest answer, but it was all the answer I was probably going to get out of Ranson. Time to move on to someone who wouldn’t mind answering questions. “Kaden, what was your first impression of Jace? Has it changed? Did you win most of the fights you got into at Tarvin Hall?”

Kaden laughs. “Well, I suppose my very first impression of Jace was ‘who’s this guy hanging out with my sister, and why is she spending so much time with him?’ He wasn’t the sort I expected Kyrin to become such close friends with. But once I got to know him, I understood. It helped to know he had such a strong desire to protect her. He’s my brother-in-law now, so my impression of him has obviously changed quite a bit.”

Kyrin gives him a warm smile.

“Now, as for those fights…” Kaden shakes he head. “I actually lost most of them. My opponents usually had backup, so most weren’t even fair.” He smirks. “It never stopped me though.”

“Speaking of fights. Jamie, in your opinion, would Leith or Martyn be scarier to face in a fight?”

“Leith.” Jamie doesn’t hesitate.

When Martyn doesn’t protest, I glance at him. He shrugs. “I fought at Leith’s side when he was a Blade, remember? There were times he scared me.”

“It isn’t something to be proud of.” Leith shakes his head.

“This is a question for all the characters. What would be your go-to passage(s) of Scripture (or King’s Scrolls in Ilyon) for when you are feeling discouraged?”

“Psalm 27 is my favorite.” Renna shrugs. “Though I think everyone already knew that.”

“I like Romans 8. And Psalm 46. And, well, a lot of passages.” Brandi grins. “And most of the book of Daniel, of course.”

“Daniel 3 is a favorite, of course.” Leith traces one of the twisting wood grains on the table. “But I haven’t really picked a favorite yet. It’s still all so new. Large chunks of the Bible I’ve only read once.”

“I like Isaiah 55:8-9,” Kyrin says. “It reminds me that God is in control and has a plan even when we can’t see what it is. I’ve had to rely on that a lot.”

Jace shrugs. “Like Leith, I haven’t had a chance to read the Scrolls as much as I would have liked since we don’t have many copies, but from what I have read, my favorite is probably Psalms 22:24.”

Kaden thinks about it for a moment. “I don’t really have a particular favorite, but I like Psalms 9:9-10. It’s definitely a passage to keep in mind with everything going on in Ilyon.”

“Here’s a random question also for everyone: have you ever eaten raccoon? The reader who asked this question has herself, so she was wondering if any of you had.” I glance over at Jace, Kyrin, and Kaden. “Are there raccoons in Ilyon?”

“There are, but I can’t say I’ve ever eaten one,” Jace says.

Kyrin and Kaden shake their heads.

Kayleigh nods. “I’ve eaten raccoon.”

Martyn’s eyes widen. “Wait. Does that mean I’ve had it?”

“Meat is meat.” Kayleigh huffs. “And raccoons are rather plentiful.”

Martyn starts looking a little green.

Leith glances at Renna. Renna shakes her head. “As lady of Stetterly, most of our meat comes from the town’s cattle herd. So no raccoon. So unless Respen fed you guys raccoon, I don’t think you’ve eaten it.”

“I wouldn’t put it past him. Raccoons were a nuisance in Blathe.” Leith grimaces.

“All right then. Jamie.” I glance over at where him and Ranson are doing their best to be invisible in the corner. “What is the most important thing in the world to you?”

“My Bible is very important to me.” Jamie has his head down, but I don’t miss the quick glance he shoots in Brandi’s direction, the tips of his ears going a tad pink.

I try to hide my grin. “The next question is kind of for me, but I guess, Brandi, you can give your opinion on the answer. Ava wants to know if there will be any romance for Brandi.”

Jamie’s ears turn even redder, and he shrinks farther into his corner.

Brandi’s nose crinkles as she grimaces. “Romance?”

“What, don’t you want romance?” I raise my eyes at her.

“Maybe. Eventually. But I don’t know anyone I like that way.” Brandi shrugs. “All the boys I know are like brothers to me.”

I’d better leave it at that and let the fangirls read into the interview what they want for hints about Brandi and Jamie in books 6 and 7. Instead, I grin. “After the earlier chats, someone mentioned they shipped you and Kaden.”

Kaden snorts.

Brandi rolls her eyes. “Seriously? He’s like a big brother.”

Leith puts on an exaggerated hurt expression. “And here I thought I was your big brother.”

“Your my favorite big brother and always will be.” Brandi leans forward from her seat on the floor so she can pat Leith’s shoulder. “But Kaden has a dragon so I’m adopting him for a brother.”

Kaden grins now. “Happy to be adopted.”

“Since we are talking about adopting brothers…Leith, you seem to have a habit of collecting brothers and family. Why do you think that is?”

Leith shrugs. “I was an only child and my family wasn’t…healthy. I would think most people who grow up in a situation like that would long for a real, good family. Maybe I take it a little far, but no one seems to mind. Most of them also need a family.” Leith glances at Jace. “Do you have a habit of adopting brothers or adopting your own sort of family?”

Kyrin leans into Jace’s shoulder. “He has a habit of adopting animals.”

Jace shrugs. “They’re kind of family. Animals were all I had growing up. But I’m more likely to be the one adopted–first with Rayad, Kalli, and Aldor, and now with the Altairs.”

“Kaden, Holly wants to know if you’d prefer fan art of you in a fist fight or riding Exisis?”

“Uh,” Kaden rubs his chin, “probably riding Exsis. Like I said, I lost most of my fist fights.”

“Also, which is faster? Exsis or Storm?”

“Storm. Female dragons are generally a bit faster since they’re smaller.”

“This question is for Renna, but I think I’ll ask it of both Renna and Kyrin. Who do you consider to be your hero/heroine?”

Renna glances at Kyrin, and they both seem to be looking to the other to answer first. Renna looks back to me. “Aunt Mara. I look back at how much she did for us, and it makes me miss her all the more. And, of course, my mother. She faced down First Blade Vane to buy us time to escape.”

“Definitely my father,” Kyrin said quietly. “He sacrificed everything for his faith.”

I swallow back a lump at my throat thinking about Kyrin’s father. I don’t cry often over books, but I cried then. I clear my throat. “I have a number of questions for both Leith and Martyn. How many knives does a Blade carry, and where? Did all the Blades wear black even when they weren’t on a mission? Are all a Blade’s knives the same size and style?”

Leith grimaces, as if he doesn’t like talking about his past in the Blades. “All of our knives were the same shape and style, though Vane carried a few extra that were better for throwing. Yes, we wore black all the time, except for times when we wore tan to blend in to the prairie on spying missions. I think Respen liked the intimidation of having us dressed in black. A Blade was immediately recognizable, and thus feared.”

“Even if black isn’t the most practical for sneaking around. The dark green and dark grays we tend to wear now as Blade Marshals are better.” Martyn pats the knife belted at his waist. “I have…” he pauses a moment to count in his head. “I’m wearing five knives. Two in my boots, two belted to my waist, and one hidden knife.”

“Hidden knife?” I cock my head at him. “We’ve talked about this. You need to give specific answers.”

Martyn glares back. “I’m not blurting out for the whole world where my hidden knife is. That defeats the point.”

Kayleigh taps his back between his shoulder blades. “It’s here. Though he doesn’t wear it all the time since it itches.”

“Kayleigh.” Martyn growls and swings his glare to her.

She doesn’t appear at all phased by his glare and instead cocks her head and gives him a look.

For a moment, his mouth twitches, like he is fighting to hold his scowl, until finally he sighs and looks away. “Fine. But Leith needs to answer too.”

Leith sighs. “Six. Two in my boots, two at my waist, and two across my chest. But I’m experimenting with hiding a few more knives since all of mine are currently visible.”

“Well, there’s mine.” Renna pats her leg where she has a knife hidden beneath her skirt.

“Yes, there is yours.” Leith gives her a smile that softens his eyes. “No one ever expects you to be armed.”

Leith and Renna and their mushy moments. I turn to Jace. “Jace, this isn’t actually a reader question, but I’m going to ask it because I’m curious. How many weapons do you normally carry?”

“Just two, normally. My sword and a hunting knife. If I think I’ll need it, I also carry a bow.”

“Leith and Jace, what was/is the greatest struggle of your life?”

Leith stares at the table top as he thinks. “A lot of my life has been a struggle, but for much of it I gave in instead of fighting to do what was right. And, now, my hardest struggle are the nights when the past seems too close, and I have to remind myself that I’ve been redeemed from it.”

Renna slips her hand into his and leans closer.

“Wondering if I had a soul was my greatest struggle. After all, it nearly killed me.” Jace shakes his head as if thinking back to his time in Samara and the dungeon. “My greatest struggle now is probably my fear of losing Kyrin. We’ve all lost so much, and it’s always so sudden. It’s difficult to balance knowing that I could lose Kyrin or someone else I love just as suddenly and trusting Elom.”

Kyrin squeezes his hand.

Time for a lighter question. I glance up at Martyn and grin. He huffs out a breath, already shaking his head as if that will stop me from asking. “Martyn, if you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?”

“Stubborn.” Kayleigh says at the same moment Brandi blurts, “Grumpy.”

Martyn shoots both of them an annoyed look, then shrugs. “What they said.”

“All right. Last question. Holly really, really wants Kaden and Martyn to arm wrestle.”

Kaden eyes Martyn. “Something tells me that’s not a good idea.”

Martyn crosses his arms. “Not that I don’t think I’d win, but wasn’t the whole fight with Leetra thing from the first chat bad enough?”

I laugh. “Probably.” I glance over at Jaye. “We actually had Kaden planned for the poll question today, but we didn’t pair him with you. We actually paired him with Kayleigh.”

“Me?” Kayleigh rests a hand on her sword, assessing Kaden.

“You’re both trained in sword fighting, and we figured, since Kaden spars with Kyrin, that he would have less of a problem fighting a girl.” I shrug.

Kaden laughs like he’s a bit nervous. “I wouldn’t turn down a friendly sparring session, but I’m not sure it would be fair.”

Jaye raises a brow at him. “You don’t think Kayleigh has a chance?”

“Oh, no, that’s not what I’m saying.” Kaden pauses and shoots another glance at Martyn. “I just think, if I did win, I might have another opponent to face, so I’d probably throw the fight.”

Martyn smirks and pats his knife while meeting Kaden’s gaze. He doesn’t say anything, but with the way Kaden shifts, Martyn doesn’t have to.

Kayleigh glares first at Martyn, then at Kaden. “Don’t you dare throw the fight. I’ll keep Martyn in line.”

“Will you?” Martyn’s smirk turns a bit gushy.

“Yes.” Kayleigh moves as if to lightly elbow him in the ribs, but he squirms out of elbow reach and avoids it.

I shake my head. Those two.


That’s the last of our character chats! Thanks so much for reading these, everyone! And don’t forget to comment on this post or answer the poll of whether you think Kayleigh or Kaden would win in a fight to be entered to win an Acktar-themed t-shirt.

Giveaway!

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Decree Released!

Decree released today! *cue author collapsing in relief*

Decree Cover 101518 Final

The Kindle version is available here while the paperback is available here.

Thanks so everyone who pre-ordered! There are still some of the pre-order swag cards left, so if you pre-ordered Decree or purchase it through the end of this week, please email me to claim your character cards. More details can be found here.

That’s all for today! I hope you enjoy Decree and thanks so much for all the excitement and good reviews so far!