Exiles Weekend Release Blitz (and Review)

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Today Exiles (The Ilyon Chronicles #4) releases!!!!! Yay!!!!

Since many of you are also Ilyon fans, you have probably been counting down the days, and I really don’t need to tell you this news. If you aren’t a fan of the Ilyon Chronicles yes, well, you should be. They are amazing.


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00028]About the Book

Exiled after their defeat in Samara, the Resistance struggles to find allies in their quest to restore King Balen to his throne and put an end to the emperor’s tyranny. When the crete people refuse to lend their aid, Balen leads a group to Dorland to reason with them and win their support. However, enemies prove to be everywhere, and they find themselves in a fight to keep Dorland from becoming Daican’s latest conquest.

Back in Landale, the arrival of a new enemy forces Trask and Anne to tread more carefully than ever. Tensions are rising, and the enemy is determined to test Anne’s loyalty and root out the location of Trask and the Resistance once and for all.

Feeling trapped within the walls of Valcré, Prince Daniel must contend with an ever-eroding relationship with his father. As their clashes escalate, the situation becomes potentially life threatening when his loyalty is called into question. His sister seems bent on branding him a traitor and actively seeking to condemn him to the fate of those put to death in their father’s new arena. Daniel is certain his father would never execute his only son and heir but, with other forces at work, it might not be that simple.

One small misstep could prove fatal for all.

Available now on Amazon!

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Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? The first three Kindle books are on sale August 11th – 14th! You can find them on Amazon.

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JayeAuthor2015(5)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.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.


My Review

This book is amazing!!! I think it is my favorite of the entire series so far! It has a lot of the same elements that made me fall in love with the Ilyon Chronicles in the first book Resistance and many of the characters from that book make a reappearance in this book after not having as big a part in books 2 & 3. The Resistance in Landale plays a big role once again in this book with Trask and Anne taking center stage. The politics in Valcre are heating up and Prince Daniel is at the center of it. And Kyrin and Jace are off on another adventure discovering the various cultures of Ilyon.

The author does such a great job of developing the different cultures across Ilyon, and I especially love the cretes!

And the plot twist in this book…wow! Few other authors I know of could pull off the twist Jaye does in this book, and especially couldn’t do it and heighten the tension for the rest of the series. The evil was scary before, but controlled. Now? Now I’m downright terrified for what my favorite characters are going to face in books 5 & 6! I’m bracing myself for a lot of tears.


Giveaway

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Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Exiles, a pewter dragon necklace by treasurecast, and a sword letter opener! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

Click on this link to enter.


If you’d like to find more blog posts in this weekend blitz, here’s the schedule for all the craziness:

Thursday, August 10

Friday, August 11

Saturday, August 12

Sunday, August 13

Monday, August 14

 Tuesday, August 15

 

Thanks for reading!

Release Day!!!!!

Defy releases today!!!!! Eeep! I can’t believe it is here already!

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The blog tour is in full swing. You can check out what has been posted already and upcoming posts here.

Today is the last day of the giveaways on Goodreads for Dare and Deny. Be sure to check them out here and here and enter before it is too late!

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!

Defy Blog Tour Begins!

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. 🙂

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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:

Dare: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/183881-dare

Deny: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/183883-deny-the-blades-of-acktar

Blog Tour Schedule

 

May 26

May 27

May 30

May 31 – Release Day!

June 1

June 2

June 3

Hope you all enjoy the blog tour!

Fan Art Contest Extended!

Hi, Everybody! It’s been a crazy couple of months!

After some consideration, I’m decided to extend the end date of the fan art contest to March 12. Things just didn’t work out to be ready by March 4. The good news is, all of you have an extra week to finish up your fan art projects.

Haven’t heard of the fan art contest yet? This blog post explains all the rules and how to enter: https://triciamingerink.com/2016/02/04/contests/

And, in case the blog post wasn’t enough to convince you to participate, I’ve finally decided on prizes. There will be two winners: one winner via fan voting and one of my choice. Both of these winners will receive an ebook version of Defy when it releases. If things are going especially well, they might even get an early copy.

Don’t worry if you aren’t much of an artist. Any form of art works. Drawing, painting, photography, fiction, quilting, knitting. If you can argue its connection with The Blades of Acktar series, it’s in. 🙂

I can’t wait to see all your fan art!


This month, I’m going to participate in the #WIPjoy hashtag on Twitter and Facebook. This hashtag was started by fellow Christian fiction author Bethany Jennings and encourages authors to share about their current work in progress. I’m going to be sharing bits about Defy. If you’re looking for tidbits to get you excited for Defy‘s release, watch for my posts each day in March!

#WIPjohy

Black Friday Book Sale!!!

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Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my “things I’m thankful for” list every year. It’s hard to choose favorites, but I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2015 and am thankful for.

  1. A Time to Speak, by Nadine Brandes: Nadine happens to be my editor for The Blades of Acktar, and along the way she’s also become a friend and mentor. Dare and Deny wouldn’t be what they are without her. Not only that, but she’s an amazing writer whose books also encourage me to live each day pursuing God’s purpose in my life.
  2. The King’s Scrolls, by Jaye L. Knight: I actually stumbled upon The Ilyon Chronicles in the build up for the release of The King’s Scrolls. I’d heard a lot of good things about them, so I signed up for the blog tour, bought Resistance, and read it and The King’s Scrolls in a matter of days. Jaye has been an awesome friend online.
  3. Of the Coldblooded, by Angie Brashear: Another awesome author friend and prayer warrior. I leaned on her prayers a lot while editing Deny. Her books also make my list of top Christian fantasy
  4. Leaving Nelson, by Kim Moss: I had written off Christian contemporary YA as a genre I’d never read and enjoy until Kim and I ended up on a launch team together, and she asked if I’d be willing to review her books. I said yes, and I never regretted it. 🙂
  5. Mardan’s Mark, by Kathleen McKee: I love the unique characters in this book and that the setting in this book is also based on American geography instead of the standard medieval Europe.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here’s one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 27-30. There’s literally something for everyone.

Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you.

Don’t know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!

Book Quiz

What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good for her work organizing this sale, Gloria Repp for completing the time consuming job of uploading book info to the sale website, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Why I’m Glad I Went to College for Writing

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I see a lot in advice for young writers something along the lines of “You don’t have to go to college for writing.”

This is true. You don’t have to. You can just as easily get the same knowledge through going to conferences, reading writing books, following writers’ blogs, and, most of all, writing. All of those things are excellent things to do, and maybe for you as a writer, it’s the path you need to take.

But don’t discount going to college for writing too quickly.

It’s the path I decided to take, and I don’t regret it. As a teen, I knew I wanted to pursue writing, and I knew I wanted to go to college. Since I didn’t have the money to go to college and attend writer’s conferences, I chose college.

I was blessed that my local university (Grand Valley State University) has an actual writing department and B.A. program that is separate from the English department. Only about 30 colleges in the United States have a program like it. All of the professors have to be actively writing and either publishing or pursuing publication. The classes are writing classes and workshops, not English classes. The difference? An English class looks at a metaphor and interprets what it means. A Writing class looks at a metaphor and asks what it does, how it works, and how to use it. The Writing Center, where writing students help other students work on their papers and writing due for classes, is so well-known that Harvard (yes, Harvard!) patterned their writing center after it.

Yeah, pretty cool.

Better yet, I pushed my writing in a way that I don’t think I would have any other way. So here are seven reasons why I’m glad I went to college for writing:

1. I learned how to write when I didn’t feel like it. I’ve always been motivated by grades, so when I had a story due and I didn’t feel like writing, the thought of that failing grade pushed me to write anyway. Once I built up that discipline, it was easier to keep it up after college.

2. I learned how to take a critique. There’s nothing like offering up a story to thirty people plus your professor, then having to sit there silently while all 31 of them pick your story apart in front of you. It’s pure torture the first couple of times, but usually everyone is respectful and only gives constructive criticism.

3. I learned how to give a critique. Once again, grades are a good motivation. At GVSU, we were graded on the quality of our critique. I learned how to read another student’s work with an eye to helping them improve.

4. I learned how to distance myself from my writing. The classes, especially the upper level writing classes, could be intense. I didn’t always get a lot of time between writing a story, having it critiqued, and editing to turn in. I didn’t have the luxury to set it aside until I was ready to tear it apart. I had to make myself ready and dive in.

5. I learned how to write tight. I’m still working on this, but I’m much better than I used to be. Since we had limited amount of time, we learned and wrote short stories in our writing classes. It was tough learning to tell a story in such a short form, but I learned to cut a lot of unnecessary stuff to give me more room for plot and character.

6. I learned to develop characters. Anyone who has read my work knows I struggle with this. It is still a struggle, but I had almost no character development before going to college. Since GVSU teaches literary writing, character is king. It pushed me to think about characters in a way I hadn’t before.

7. I learned how to be a part of a writing community. There is something special about walking into a room and knowing everyone in that room gets writing. I’m sure a conference is even more amazing, but I liked starting small.

Like I said, there are other ways to get all of these things. But for me, this is the way I was pushed. I needed the accountability and discipline that college demands. A writing partner might let lack of discipline slide, but a college professor doesn’t.

And I got a degree that was worthwhile. A Writing degree is surprisingly versatile. A variety of businesses look for good writers, not just publishing companies.

So what is your path? Do you think going to college for writing is for you or is something else?

“Prove” your Manuscript

Proving bread

On a baking show I was watching recently, the contestants had to make a certain kind of bread. For the bread to turn out, they had to “prove” their dough, a professional baking term for letting the dough rise before baking.

And, being the writer I am, it reminded me of writing. As writers, we also need to “prove” our manuscripts. Once we finish assembling our ingredients of plot, character, theme, and setting into the dough of our first draft, we need to give our manuscript time to sit. If you try to edit right away, either you will be so in love with your words how they are that you won’t edit enough or you will be so wiped by the first draft that you’ll hate your words and be tempted to throw them all away.

Instead, be willing to give it time.

It is amazing the change of perspective that comes about by not touching a manuscript for a few weeks or a few months. Sometimes, I have a manuscript that I absolutely adore. When I take it out again, I start to see all the places that it isn’t actually as great as I thought it was. Sometimes, I have a manuscript that I toss into a drawer in frustration because it fought me every step of the way while drafting. When I take it out again, I see the places where it isn’t actually as bad as I thought. There might even be something worth saving in it.

Like proving bread, proving your manuscript takes patience. It is very tempting to take it out too early and start fiddling with it even though you know it needs to sit longer.

What about you? How much time do you give yourself between writing a first draft and editing it?