Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the Lost at Sea Scavenger Hunt over the weekend! We had a great turn out, and based on the comments, everyone seemed to have a good time. Jill Williamson has announced the winners of the Grand prize and bonus prizes on her blog today.
The winners of the giveaway on my blog of their choice of a signed paperback of one of the books in The Blades of Acktar series are:
Congratulations to the winners! I’ve sent the emails with details on how to claim your prize. If you didn’t receive an email from me, please let me know.
Welcome to the Lost At Sea Scavenger Hunt where we are helping the Kinsman people find a new home. If you’ve just found us, be sure to start the adventure at Stop #1, which is Jill Williamson’s blog.
Collect all the clue words in order so you can enter to win the Kindle. If you want to enter to win the second Kindle, you’ll have to take a quiz at the end, so take your time and read each post carefully. The main prizes in the hunt are open to international entries. Individual author contests, however, might have different rules, so please read the parameters on each site. You have until Sunday night, February 19, at midnight, Pacific time to finish.
If you need help, or get lost along the way, click herefor assistance.
There was something alive in that forest that Wilek didn’t trust. He led his people southwest, along a river, hoping at this point he might find the sea and his fleet waiting. They came upon a castle on a grassy plain, Stop #14, Acktar, from Tricia Mingerink’s novel Dare, the first volume in The Blades of Acktar series.
Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country. Visit Tricia on her website at www.triciamingerink.com.
Here’s a closer look at Dare, the first volume in The Blades of Acktar series.
Courage could cost him everything.
Third Blade Leith Torren never questions his orders or his loyalty to King Respen until an arrow wound and a prairie blizzard drive him to the doorstep of the girls whose family he once destroyed. Their forbidden faith and ties to the Resistance could devastate their family a second time. Survival depends on obedience, but freedom beckons. How far does he dare go to resist the king and his Blades? No matter what Leith chooses, one thing is certain.
Someone will die.
Welcome to Acktar
If you’re looking for the ocean, you won’t find it anywhere near Acktar. It’s a land-locked country of rolling prairie for hundreds of miles in nearly every direction. Its northern border is the Sheered Rock Hills, a stretch of mountains covered in scrub pine and juniper. The Spires Canyon, a deep trench with the Ondieda River at the bottom, marks the eastern border. Beyond the northeastern corner of Acktar, a desert known as the Waste stretches in miles of dusty earth where even the water is too contaminated to drink.
Acktar’s culture is a mix of American West meets Medieval. There are lords, ladies, and manor houses, but also western saddles, rattlesnakes, and mountain lions.
Nalgar Castle, the only castle in Acktar, rises from the prairie near the center of Acktar. King Respen, a usurper and murderer, rules here with his Blades, his group of highly-trained assassins.
Acktar is in the midst of a war between King Respen and the Resistance. If you’re looking to settle here, be prepared to pick a side and fight for it.
Before you move on, I am giving away your choice of a signed copy of one of the books in The Blades of Acktar to three lucky winners. This giveaway is open to international entries, but the books will not be able to be signed if international. Winners will be announced February 21.
Authors do a lot of things to get their book out there. They write blogs, hang out on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other social media site they can think of. They host giveaways. They beg for reviews of their book. While a lot of those things help, the single best way to get the word out there still is…
Word of Mouth.
Yep. Something the author has no control over except for writing an awesome book that readers will want to talk about.
That puts the real power behind marketing a book on you, the readers. You are the ones who make or break an author’s career. If you love an author’s book, then you are the one who can support them so they can write more books. This doesn’t have to be hard. Reviews are super helpful. Emails to the author are nice to let them know how much you liked the book.
But, if you can’t do anything else, the best thing you can do is simply tell one person. Just one. But tell them and tell them until they read it. Tell them to pass the word along. Beg them to tell just one person.
I found Jill Williamson’s Safelands trilogy a while ago and loved it. I told my sister-in-law about them and kept telling her until she read them. She loved the books so much that she passed them along to her sister and mom. She was so excited about the books she posted about them on a mom group on Facebook.
All because I told one person.
What about you? Who is going to be your one person? Can we start a trend going? #telloneperson Let’s see how many people we can reach if we simply tell one person and they tell one person and they tell one person.
Got a favorite author? What book are you going to tell a friend about today?
If you’re like me, you are always searching for new books to read. When I was a teen, I couldn’t find much for Christian YA fiction. Now that I’ve been trolling blogs and following threads online, I’ve found a number of authors and books that I wish I’d known about years ago.
To help all of you along, I’ve added a YA Fiction Finder set of pages. All the books on these pages are ones that I’ve personally read since I don’t want to recommend a book to all my readers that I haven’t read myself. I’ve also added a few links to a few other places to find more Christian YA books. I’ve organized my pages by both genre and author so that you can look it up either way.
I plan to add to these pages as I discover and read more books so check back frequently!
By now, you’ve probably read plenty of blog posts about thanksgiving and what people are thankful for. This is a good time of year to pause, look back, and reflect, and I guess this blog post isn’t going to be any different.
I could go on and on about how I’m thankful for nice clothes, a car, my family, etc. Those are all good things to be thankful for, and I am thankful for them. But here I would like to focus on five writing related things that I’m thankful for this year:
1. I’m thankful I wasn’t published this year. That sounds like a strange thing to be thankful for, but I’ve learned so much that I wouldn’t have learned if publication had come when I’d thought it would.
2. I’m thankful for the community of writers that I’ve discovered. This year, I commented on a few authors’ blogs and discovered that published writers are people too. I’m so thankful for Nadine Brandes, Angie Brashear, Gillian Bronte Adams, Jill Williamson, and other authors who have replied to my comments and encouraged me even though they have never met me in person. I still squeal in excitement when I see an author replied to one of my emails or my comments.
3. I’m thankful for my critique partners, whether they are ones I just met this year or friends I’ve had since high school. You all are so amazing, and I wouldn’t know how to write without your encouragement every step of the way.
4. I’m thankful for Go Teen Writers even though I’m no longer a teen writer. I’ve met so many unpublished, young authors through that blog, and I look forward to getting to know everyone there better next year. The community there is wonderful.
5. Finally, I’m thankful for you, my readers. I don’t even have a book published, but I have 49 likes on my Facebook page and 74 followers on my blog. I never would have thought that possible when I started this blog a few months ago! Thank you so much!
I stumbled onto Nadine Brandes almost by accident. I had recently read Jill Williamson’s By Darkness Hid. It was both fantasy and Christian, a combination I hadn’t seen often. I looked up the publisher: Marcher Lord Press.
I quickly learned that Marcher Lord Press had recently changed its name to Enclave Publishing, a publisher focusing exclusively on Christian speculative fiction. I browsed their list of books, reading the blurbs about each of the books and visiting each of the author websites. I also read through Enclave Publishing’s blog and came across a guest post by Nadine Brandes. I followed the link to her blog, and I guess the rest is history.
After visiting her blog obsessively and waiting eagerly for her book to release, I finally gathered my courage to see if she would edit my book as part of her editing services. And she chose my book to fit into her busy schedule! Mine!
To celebrate both this opportunity and the release of Nadine’s book, I’m giving away either a paperback or ebook copy of her new book A Time to Die. Just follow the directions below! The winner will be announced on October 17!
Recently, I discovered a wonderful website called Go Teen Writers run by authors Jill Williamson and Stephanie Morrill. The blog is full of writing advice. They also have a book on writing also titled Go Teen Writers. It is the kind of website I wish I’d had as a teenage writer. I sometimes felt so lost at times with no one giving advice for young writers.
One of the things that Go Teen Writers does is host word count challenges to spur young writers into writing daily. Right now, they are hosting a 100/100 challenge. This is a challenge to write 100 words a day for 100 days. This is the last day to sign up.
I wish I’d had someone like Go Teen Writers to push me along at that age. I didn’t start a daily word goal until my final year in college when a college professor gave us an assignment to write 200 words a day for a week. From there, I worked my way up to the 1000 words a day that I write now.
If I’d done something like the 100/100 challenge years ago, would I have written more back then? Would I perhaps have finished my first manuscript long before this year? I’m not sure.
I encourage all of you to at least try a daily word count for a week or two to see if it is something you can sustain. You might surprise yourself! I certainly did the first time I tried it!