Decree Pre-order Giveaway

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Only a little over a month until Decree releases! *hyperventilates at the size of my to-do list*

I’m so excited to share this book with you! So excited, in fact, that I decided to do one of those pre-order giveaway / author swag things that a number of authors have been doing lately.

I worked with the lovely artist H.S.J. Williams, the same artist who created the coloring book page for Dagger’s Sleep, to create six character sketches for characters from The Blades of Acktar. I’ve made character postcards that will be sent out as a pre-order swag giveaway (2 character cards per person for the first 100 people who email me to enter).

I’m going to be revealing the characters sketches one at a time for the next six Fridays here and on Instagram.

Pre-Order Swag Giveaway Details:
1) Pre-order Decree on Amazon Kindle OR purchase the paperback as soon as it is available
2). Email me at triciamingerink (at) gmail (dot) com with a screenshot of your pre-order receipt (with payment details blacked out or clipped out), your address where I can mail the character cards, and which 2 characters you would like with a third choice if your first two are unavailable. Characters available: Leith, Renna, Brandi, Martyn, Shad, Kayleigh.
3). I will mail your two signed character cards to you shortly after Decree’s release.

If you can’t pre-order or buy the paperback, I am planning to do a few giveaways with the character cards so there’s a chance you could win them that way too.

Other details:

  • this giveaway is open internationally, but there is a possibility I can only send you 1 card instead of two since I’ll have to keep the weight below 1oz
  • this giveaway is only available to the first 100 people who email me to sign up.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Now to reveal Leith’s character sketch…

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Ta-da! Isn’t it amazing?

BoA Leith

What do you think?

Do you like pre-order giveaways like this?

Ilyon and Acktar Blog Tour Sign Up

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The sign up for reviewers and the blog tour for Decree (by me) and Bitter Winter and Lacy (by Jaye L. Knight) is now open! You only have until November 23 to sign up for the blog tour, so don’t wait!

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A few other reminders first:

  • All of the books are available for Kindle Preorder! You can preorder here: Decree, Bitter Winter, Lacy.
  • Also, as part of the blog tour, Jaye L. Knight and I are going to be holding character Q&A chats with the combined cast of Ilyon and Acktar on our blogs. If you have a question you’d like to submit for that, you can go here to do so.
  • Finally, all of The Blades of Acktar books are going to be on sale on Kindle for Black Friday and I’ll be running a sale on the paperback books on my website, so please make sure you stop back here on Black Friday or Cyber Monday if you’re interested in those deals.

Now on to the blog tour sign up sheet!

Please use this form if you want to be reviewer or part of the blog tour. Reviewers do not need to have a blog.

Thanks so much in advance for your willingness to post about our books and to spread the word on the Internet! It means so much to see your excitement!

More Release Announcements

If you follow my blog, then you already know that Decree (The Blades of Acktar #5) releases in less than two months!

*cue me panic screaming*

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In all seriousness, it has been coming along well and the feedback I’ve been getting from beta-readers is positive, so that’s exciting!

I’m working on putting together some sort of giveaway for those who preorder Decree or buy it on the release date (since Amazon still won’t let indie authors set up a preorder for paperbacks) so keep a look out for that.

Preorder Decree

In the meantime, keep a look out for more release announcements. They are going to be coming fast and furious over the next month or so.

But Wait There's More Billy May

Many of you are also fans of Jaye L. Knight, and she just announced today that her next books Bitter Winter (The Ilyon Chronicles book #5) and Lacy (a companion novella) are going to be releasing December 14. That is four days before Decree releases!

Since we also happen to be good friends, we decided it would be awesome to do one massively epic co-release! As part of the blog tour, we’re going to be doing Q&A chats with both the characters from Ilyon and Acktar. TOGETHER. Able to talk to each other. In one virtual “room.”

Did I mention this blog tour is going to be epic?

But we need your help. Please submit your burning questions in the form below for the Ilyon and Acktar characters.

There will be more information and the sign up form for the actual blog tour and book reviewers in the next few weeks, so please watch for that.

Thanks so much for being such amazing, loyal fans!

Dissociate & Dagger’s Sleep Blog Tour

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Today kicks off the blog tour for Dissociate by Sarah Addison-Fox and Dagger’s Sleep by yours truly.

It’s going to be a super eventful week! In this post, you’ll find the links to an indie e-conference, voting for two different reader-voted book awards, links to a new release, two giveaways, a link to a really cool Facebook Festival with tons more giveaways, and the blog tour line-up.


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First of all, Indie E-Con is happening this week! You can find all the posts on the Facebook Party with this link or you can find the posts on the blog. Indie E-Con is a great place to connect with a lot of Christian indie authors and learn about a variety of genres.

Indie E-Con even has its own book awards. Voting is open now, and Deliver is up for a few of the awards (along with Disowned by Sarah Addison-Fox). You can click here to vote.

If you landed on my blog as part of the Indie E-Con Scavenger Hunt, my scavenger hunt post is the one right before this one.


Speaking of awards, the voting for the Alliance Award is still open. Deliver made the semi-final list and is eligible for voting, along with a whole bunch of other Christian Speculative Fiction books.

If you love Christian Speculative Fiction, this is a chance to have your voice heard and vote for your favorites, whether that is Deliver or many of the other of the amazing books on this semi-final list!

You can click this link to vote.


Dissociate CoverDissociate releases today! Yay!!!! So excited this book is in the world for all of its fans to love!

About the Book:

Freedom begins with finding the truth.

Amidst the turmoil caused by Smyth’s arrest, Celeste is stuck in limbo, stripped of her citizenship, with no choice but to flee to a peaceful Kyraenean hideaway with the tumultuous Amaya Mason.

When bounty hunters threaten the local orphanage, Celeste and Amaya must work together and fight. Even if it means risking what they cherish the most.

His plans in tatters, his career in jeopardy, Mick Haynes is forced to leave Kyraenea with the enigmatic Torrance Kyle, the agent he still can’t trust.

Torrance is good at lying, and even better at hiding his pain, but is he strong enough to deal with the consequences of betraying his own father?

Can Celeste accept the truth, accept her place in the Haynes family or will lies chain her to the past and destroy her chance at a new life?

Dissociate is available for sale on Amazon here. The first two books in the series Disowned and Dissemble are also available on Amazon.

About the Author:

Sarah Addison-Fox is a New Zealand-born home-schooling mother of two who loves action-packed fantasy with strong heroines. She has an astonishing amount of nail polish, has all her creative writing credentials shoved in a drawer somewhere, and has a husband who, after 27 years, can still make her blush. When she’s not working on her Christian YA fantasy series’,  she can be found fangirling on Goodreads or sending GIFs on Twitter.


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To celebrate the release of Dissociate and Dagger’s Sleep, Sarah Addison-Fox and I are hosting a day-long Facebook Festival. There will be plenty of games and giveaways, not to mention Serena Chase, author of the Eyes of E’veria series, will be the guest of honor. It’s a party you won’t want to miss! You’ll be able to stop by any time during the day to join the fun, no matter what time zone you live in!

Just a few of the prizes we’ll be giving away: A full set of ALL of Sarah’s and my books, swag from New Zealand, a Dagger’s Sleep inspired bookish candle, lots of ebooks of our books, paperbacks of Serena Chase’s books, and more.

Link to the Facebook Festival: https://www.facebook.com/events/244246872802075/


The blog tour starts today! Yay! So excited! Here’s the schedule of all the blogs that are hosting us this week:

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday – May 22

Laura Grace – Author Interview

Reading Anyone – Book Review

Jaye L Knight – Book Spotlight

Quirky Faith – Book Reviews and Author Interview

Wednesday – May 23

Allyson Kennedy – Author Interview

Sam H. – Book Review

Addyson Huneke – Book Review and Author Interview

Ivie Brooks – Book Reviews

Thursday – May 24

Shantelle Mary – Book Review and Book Spotlight

Brie Donning – Book Review and Multi-Character Interview

Blooming with Books – Book Review and Author Interview

Julian Daventry – Book Review and Author Interview

Friday – May 25

Faith Thompson – Book Reviews and Author Interview

Hannah Gaudette – Author Interview

CM Williams – Book Review

Chloe Parker – Book Reviews

Saturday – May 26

JM Christian – Book Review and Multi-Character Interview

Abigail McKenna – Book Reviews

Liv Fisher – Author Interview

Book Wolf – Book Reviews and Author Interview

Liz Koetsier – Book Spotlight

Monday – May 28

Jessica Dowell – Book Review and Author Interview

Lila Kims – Book Reviews

Marie Elrich – Book Reviews

Faith Potts – Book Review and Book Spotlight

 


And, finally, to wrap this post up, both Sarah Addison-Fox and I are hosting giveaways as part of the blog tour.

Allegiance Series GiveawaySarah Addison-Fox is giving away a paperback set of the first three books in the Allegiance Series. The giveaway is open internationally where such giveaways are permitted and where Createspace ships. The books may or may not be signed depending on where the winner lives.

To enter this giveaway, follow this Rafflecopter link.

 


Dagger's Sleep GiveawayTricia Mingerink is giving away a paperback of Dagger’s Sleep. The giveaway is open internationally where such giveaways are permitted and where Createspace or the Book Depository ships. The book may or may not be signed depending on where the winner lives.

To enter this giveaway, follow this Rafflecopter link.

 

 

Thanks so much for reading all the way to the end of this post!

Blog Tour Sign Up

This post is going to be jammed packed with announcements. So much has been coming together, it’s hard to find time to breathe sometimes!


Destroy audiobook cover artDestroy (The Blades of Acktar 3.5) is now available in audiobook. While I’m excited about the release, that excitement was dampened by the news the narrator Jesse Dornan died unexpectedly shortly after he finished production on this audiobook, and it has released posthumously.

I won’t be doing a big giveaway for this one. If you love listening to audiobooks and would be willing to give this one (or the first three books) a listen and leave a review, please send me an email. I have a few free audiobook codes I can give away.

For now, Deliver won’t be available on audiobook for the foreseeable future.


Dagger’s Sleep is available for preorder for Kindle on Amazon! After the release, I’ll be raising the price from $2.99 to $3.99, so if you want the cheaper price, you’ll want to make sure you preorder.Dagger's Sleep Cover - Updated 031118

I have also set up a preorder in my website’s store if you would like to preorder a signed paperback from me. I will be shipping the books the last week of May as soon as I receive my copies of the books.

You can add Dagger’s Sleep to your want to read list on Goodreads.


As many of you know, I’m going to be hosting a joint blog tour with Sarah Addison-Fox to celebrate our two new releases. Her book Dissociate (book 3 in the Allegiance series) releases on May 22 and Dagger’s Sleep releases May 28, so it made sense to combine our efforts, not to mention she has become a dear friend.

We wanted to make the blog tour as flexible as possible, so the sign up sheet below has lots of options for promoting one or both of the books. If you don’t have a blog (or otherwise can’t be a part of the blog tour), we also have options to be a reviewer only to post reviews of one or both of the books on Goodreads and Amazon. You can sign up for this in the tour sign up below as well.

Since her books are upper young adult Christian fantasy (with an older audience) and mine are mid-level young adult Christian fantasy (with a younger audience), we have listed in the blog tour sign up page a small content advisory so no one is caught off guard. We’ll also have a content advisory picture that blog tour participants can share during the tour as well. As authors, we want to be completely honest about the content of our books so that they can find their way to the right audience of readers who will love them and have their hearts touched by them.

If you have any questions about the tour or reviewing the books, please contact me at triciamingerink (at) gmail (dot) com.

I’m so excited to start planning this blog tour and share these books with you!

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!

Samara’s Peril Review & Interview

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In case you live in a hole like a hobbit and haven’t gotten the word yet that Samara’s Peril (Ilyon Chronicles book 3) released 6 days ago, it’s here. *fangirl screams go off in the background* I’m so excited! I’ve been waiting for this book for over a year!

Anyway, I probably should tell you a little about it, in case you missed seeing it plastered all over the rest of the blog tour (links for all the posts in the tour can be found here).

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About the Book

When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen.

Armed with their newfound knowledge, they set out for Samara to warn the king. War is inevitable, and they must face two desperate battles—one on the walls of Samara’s great stronghold, and the other on the battlefield of Jace’s heart, where victory might only be achievable through great sacrifice.

 

Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks!

Add to Goodreads

Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!

My thoughts

It’s the Ilyon Chronicles! Of course I spent most of this book as a puddle of fangirl mushiness!

The beginning of this book was my favorite. I loved seeing the whole Altair clan together. Minus one important character. *sniff* I still can’t read that part in The King’s Scrolls without bawling. I guessed the big reveal in the beginning of this book before it happened, but that didn’t stop me from squealing and walking around with a dazed grin on my face for hours afterwards.

There are some darker themes in the book, such as abusive marriage, a past rape, and a young man following in the abusive ways of his father. It is all handled very well, and highlights the manner a Christian deals with the consequences of those things rather than focusing too much on the darkness itself.

And just saying, Rothas has to die. Somehow. Once you read the book, you’ll understand.

This is a book that definitely has a switch in plotline and tone partway through. The two halves work together, but I’ll admit, I didn’t love the second half nearly as much as the first. It was still really, really good, and the twist at the end totally caught me off guard.

And one certain romance-y part at the end. *swoony sigh* Yes, I love impulsive kisses in books. Especially when it is two characters that I’ve been waiting forever for them to wake up and realize they liked each other.

This book also brings in the Christian parallels more distinctly than some of the other books. It is written more like Biblical fiction than allegory in some parts. It was handled very well, but it wasn’t my favorite part of the book. Probably because Biblical fiction isn’t my thing. So that is personal preference on my part.

Once again, this book delivers the emotional impact, hug-worthy and awesome characters, and adventure I’ve come to expect when I dive into the Ilyon Chronicles.

When does book 4 release? Please?

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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, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.

Jaye will also be joining me during the Facebook party to celebrate Defy‘s release on June 2.

Interview with the Author

Hi, Jaye! Welcome back to my blog! I think this is the third time I’ve interviewed you here. 🙂

  1. Samara’s Peril is such a pivotal book for the series. A lot of things happen both plot-wise and character-wise (Jayrin!). Was it a hard or easy book to write? Edit?

I wouldn’t say any of my books are easy to write, but Samara’s Peril was one of the easier ones. Editing, on the other hand, not so much. It took a lot of time and effort, probably because it is such a pivotal book, and I wanted to get the emotions just right.

Well, I think you succeeded! All of your books tend to have such emotional impact!

  1. Portraying Christ in fiction is a tricky thing to do, and not everyone agrees on the approach. How did you go about writing Elon in Samara’s Peril?

Definitely tricky. It’s never something I’ve set out wanting to do. More like called to do. It’s hard to feel qualified to attempt such a thing. Basically I went about it with a lot of prayer. The one thing I always focus on when attempting to portray Christ is Jesus’s love. That was an especially big part of this story. I know some readers will wish I had added more scenes with Elon, but everything major in this book is approached from Jace’s point of view. Jace longs for a relationship with Elon, but is afraid. One of the biggest questions I asked myself was how we would feel if we found ourselves in Jesus’s presence and were as keenly aware of our sins and shortcomings as Jace is. Questions like that are what shaped how I wrote Samara’s Peril.

That makes sense! I’m glad you didn’t add more scenes with Elon. I liked the way it was handled.

  1. You now have 12 books out between your two pennames. Twelve! What is the biggest thing you learned through writing and publishing all those books? Any things you’ve learned about writing recently?

I think the biggest thing is just the growth in the actual writing. The books I wrote as Molly Evangeline really needed more work. However, I had to start somewhere, and publishing those books taught me so much about the publishing process that I was able to use when starting over as Jaye L. Knight. I can’t think of anything specific just recently except that I really should give myself more time to get things ready before I publish. 😉 My schedule got kind of crazy this time and there was a little panic involved before this release. More so than usual.

*sigh* Don’t we all struggle with that? The panic before publication? And there’s never enough time. Never.

  1. Are there any specific places that influenced the setting of Ilyon?

I pick little bits of inspiration from a variety of places. Usually it’s a picture here and a picture there that I come across. Nowhere that I’ve been to or wanted to visit personally. Probably the biggest influence for a setting in Ilyon is Ancient Rome. That is really what I based the country of Arcacia on even though it has more of a medieval feel to it.

I love the mix of Ancient Rome and medieval in Ilyon! And the other cultures like the cretes.

  1. Your characters do a lot of travelling. Do you like to travel? What is your favorite trip you’ve ever taken or favorite place you’ve ever visited?

I do love to travel. I have so many places I would love to visit (the Rocky Mountains, the East Coast, England, the Caribbean), but, unfortunately, I can’t afford those kinds of trips on my author income. Someday I hope to though. I think my favorite trip memories are from day trips with my family. We did a lot of fun day trips when I was young, and now my brother and I do a lot of that as well. One of these days, we’re going to plan a more exciting and adventurous road trip.

What? Michigan’s not on that list? 😛

Thanks for stopping by once again! Can’t wait to chat with you again at Defy‘s Facebook party in a couple of weeks!

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 Samara’s Peril, a John 3:16 necklace by FaithWearDesigns, and a green wire dragon bookmark by Wirelings! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Defy Blog Tour Sign up

*Edited: Thanks to everyone’s enthusiastic response, all spots are now full. Thanks!*

It’s that time again! Defy releases in a little bit over a month and a half. Eeek! My cover designer is furiously working on the cover, so I should have that by the time I send out the blog tour information in the first week of May.

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I have two sign ups this time around. One is the standard blog tour sign up. The other is for those who don’t have a blog and would like to review Defy on Amazon and other places.

Thanks in advance for your willingness to help out once again! I know this is a crazy couple of months with lots of releases, so I definitely appreciate it!

Character Interviews #2

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After Leith, Renna, and Brandi file into Lord Alistair’s study, I stroll over to the window, bolt it shut, and jam a bobby pin into the lock. Crossing the room, I turn the key in the door’s lock and drop the key into my pocket.

When I turn, Leith is staring at me, a hand on the hilt of one of his knives. He had reason to worry. I’d locked the door and window to keep him from bolting once I started asking this next round of questions.

I settle into the huge leather chair behind the desk. My feet dangle several inches above the ground. Seriously, if I’m going to keep doing these character interviews, I was going to have to write a footstool into the room.

“All right, you three. This round of questions is to satisfy the curiosity of the Goodreads fangirls.”

“Fangirls?” Brandi’s forehead scrunches. “What are fangirls?”

“A fan girl is a girl who obsesses over something or, more often, someone with a whole lot of overexcited squealing. They sound a lot like Brandi would if she were given a whole stable of horses for her very own.”

Leith’s knees bounce like he is debating jumping from his chair and making a run for it. Renna scoots down lower as if to make herself invisible.

Brandi cocks her head. “They sound like girls I’d like to meet. Whose fangirls are they?”

“Leith’s, mostly.”

Leith’s grip tightens on his knife. “I’m not going to like these questions, am I?”

“Nope. Sorry, that’s the price you pay for having fangirls, especially ones who are excessively shipping you and Renna.”

“Shipping?” Leith’s forehead wrinkles.

“Believe me, you don’t want to know.” I pick up the first notecard. Considering the line of questioning on these, he’d figure out soon enough. “Just a reminder, you all have to be completely honest. Don’t worry, you’ll forget this conversation as soon as the story launches.”

By this point, Renna’s face has taken on a decidedly green color while Leith keeps glancing at the door. Brandi still bounces in her seat.

“Let’s start with an easy one. Leith, when you’re free, what will be the first thing you’ll want to do?”

“When? Don’t you mean if?” Leith shakes his head. “It’s highly unlikely I’ll ever be free.”

“We were over this last time. Assuming you don’t die and don’t stay bound to Respen forever, what would you want to do?” I grit my teeth. If he was stalling already, then the rest of the questions were going to be like pulling teeth. With a monkey wrench. In the mountains with no painkiller.

“I’m not sure.” He meets my gaze. “Honest. I’ve been a Blade for half my life. I don’t really know a whole lot about being someone else.”

“Okay, that is a valid answer, I guess. Though, I doubt your fangirls are going to like how vague it is.” I let a little bit of my grin to show on my face. “Leith, when you’re free, do you intend to marry?”

“What?” He shoots to his feet, the tips of his ears going red. His eyes flick towards Renna before going back to me.

Renna squeaks and slides lower in her chair. Brandi presses her hand over her mouth, but even that does nothing to hide her grin and giggles.

“Like I said, you have fangirls.” I point my stack of notecards at him. “Now answer the question.”

“I don’t know? Maybe. No. I don’t think so. I mean, I’m a Blade. Who’d want to marry me?” His shoulders sag. “I watched my father destroy my mother’s heart bit by bit. I don’t want to do that to anyone.”

“You’re not your father.” I heave a sigh. It always comes back to that with him. “But let’s assume you did decide to marry. If you did have a wedding, who would be your best man?”

Leith looks relieved that I’d asked him that question instead of who he would marry if he could. Then he frowns. “Shad, I guess. I’d ask Martyn to stand with me too, but if I were free, then Martyn…”

“Martyn might not be your friend anymore.” I finish for him. “Wish I could tell you what happens with that, but that’d be a spoiler. Last question before we move on to the others: have you had a crush on any girl besides Renna?”

His ears go red again, but he answers quickly. “No.”

“All right. Renna.” When I turn to her, she hunches her shoulders as if to make herself smaller. “Your turn for questions. What’s your opinion of Leith?”

She swallows, glances at Leith, then stares down at her lap. “I don’t know. He’s safe, I guess.”

I decide it isn’t worth it to push her farther on that subject. Getting information from her is worse than from Leith, and that is saying something. “If you were to have a wedding, who would be your maid of honor?”

“Brandi.” She glances at her sister and smiles.

Brandi grins back.

“Okay, now for the most important, burning fangirl question of them all.” I pause, and both Leith and Renna tense. Brandi leans forward. My grin widens. “Brandi, would you like to see Leith and Renna get together as a couple?”

Renna makes a choking sound in the back of her throat and stares at Brandi. Leith crosses his arms, but his foot makes scuffing motions against the rug.

Brandi grins and rolls her eyes. “Duh. Of course. Leith is already like my brother, but it’d be nice if it were official.”

Leith and Renna gape at her. It is probably a good thing they are all going to forget this conversation otherwise Brandi might be in for a stern talking to from Renna.

 

 

Character Interviews #1

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I settle into the large, leather chair behind Lord Alistair’s desk in Walden Manor. I tap my pile of questions into a neat stack. On the other side of the desk, Renna, Brandi, Uncle Abel and Aunt Mara sit in the chairs Lord Alistair helpfully provided for this interview. Shad leans against the book cases to my right while Leith paces behind the chairs.

“All right, everyone. Let’s get this interview started. I know a few of you want to get it over with.” I hold up my stack of notecards. “We’re going to do this in several sessions over the next little bit. I have a lot of questions from some of the people who’ve read your story so far. You have to answer honestly, but without spoilers. We’re going to start with questions that relate to the first part of your story, called Dare.” I make a note to warn everyone who would read this interview that the below questions and answers might contain a few spoilers for Dare.

Renna laces her fingers together. Brandi bounces on her seat. Leith shoots a worried glance in my direction. Then again, he has good reason to be worried.

“Brandi, let’s start with you.” I pick up my first notecard. “Hannah wants to know what made you choose the story of Daniel to tell to Leith?”

She cocks her head. “I guess I’ve always loved those stories. They all have happy endings. It’s why it’s my favorite book in the Bible, well up until the confusing prophecy stuff at the end.”

“Renna, what’s your favorite book of the Bible?”

Renna doesn’t even raise her head. “Psalms.”

“I’ve got a question for Shad this time.” I meet his gaze. He raises his eyebrows at me. “What was your first thought when you caught Leith reading the Bible the first time?”

Leith’s head jerks up and he glances between me and Shad. The corners of Shad’s mouth quirk like he is trying to hide a grin. “I didn’t see what he was reading at first, so my first thought was that I had an opportunity to sneak up on him. Probably not the wisest thing to do with a Blade, but I wanted to see how he’d react. When I saw what he was reading, I wasn’t too surprised. He’d gone to all the trouble to steal the Bible, and Father had let him borrow it. It wasn’t until later than I realized he was reading for more reasons than just curiosity.”

“While we’re on the topic of how you and Leith became friends, I’ve got a question for Leith from Claire.” I suppress a grin of my own as his eyes widen. “When did you decide you could trust Shad?”

Leith rests a hand on one of the knives strapped across his chest. “I guess I knew I could trust him when he let me keep my weapons. If he trusted me that much, then surely I could trust him too. Turned out to be a wise choice.”

“Yes. The two of you make a great team.” I shuffle the notecards to the next question. “While we’re on the topic of trust, Abel and Mara Lachlan, how did you know you could trust Leith? How did you feel about Leith recovering at Stetterly Manor?”

Abel and Mara share a look before Abel turns to me. “We didn’t. Not entirely. But his general politeness helped ease some of our fears. And there’s a certain…history that also swayed our opinion.”

Renna, Brandi, and Leith all stare at the Lachlans.

Mara pats Abel’s arm. “I’m afraid we can’t say any more than that without spoilers.”

“Nope, you can’t. You’ll all figure out why in Deny.” I tap the notecards on the desk to claim everyone’s attention again. “Brandi, the last three questions are for you. How were you so optimistic about having a Blade recovering at Stetterly? Everyone else was worried.”

Brandi shrugs. “I don’t know. His horse was nice, so I guess I figured he had to be nice too.”

“What’s your favorite thing about Walden Manor?”

Brandi rolls her eyes. “The stables, duh. At Stetterly, we only had Stubborn, our mule. Walden has a whole stable full of horses.”

That’s your typical, horse-crazy thirteen-year old girl. I grin. “Final question: when is your birthday, Brandi?”

“That’s kind of a spoiler, isn’t it?” Brandi wrinkles her nose. “So I guess everyone will just have to read the story and find out, won’t they?”

“Yep.” I make a note on the next notecard. “That’s all for today. Thanks to everyone for coming.”