Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review—The Princess Spy

princess-spy

About the Book:

Margaretha has always been a romantic, and she hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha—one of the few who speaks his language—understands the wild story.

Unable to pass his message on to her father, the duke, Margaretha convinces herself “Lord Colin” is just an addled stranger. But when Colin asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment for retrieving a lost heirloom, Margaretha discovers that she might be very wrong about both Colin and her potential betrothed.

My Rating: 5 Stars

I am always eager to get my hands on a new Melanie Dickerson fairy tale retelling and The Princess Spy did not disappoint. I thought it was a very fun adventure and not quite as predictable as The Captive Maiden (which I still loved, it’s just the being captured over and over in the same book felt a bit monotonous). One of the things I love most in Melanie Dickerson’s books is how much I actually like her heroines. That’s quite a feat. It’s always hard for me to find girl characters I really like. That’s why I usually read books for the guys. ;)

Speaking of guys, her heroes are also awesome. I’ve loved all of them. Wilhelm will always be my favorite, but Colin was right up near the top. I really enjoyed his character, and he and Margaretha were so cute together. Also, the way this book tied in with The Merchant’s Daughter was fabulous. It was just an extra little detail that made me love the book even more. Plus the cover is just gorgeous. How could it not make you want to read it?

I highly recommend The Princess Spy as a well-told continuation of Melanie’s fairy tale retellings, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

I received this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

By the the way, The Princess Spy is currently only $1.99 for Kindle! I don’t know how long it will last, but it’s a great price for a great book!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Favorites of 2014

I see many of my blogging friends have been writing posts of their top 10 books of 2014. Honestly, I’m not sure I even read 10 books this year. I probably did, but it just wasn’t a great year for reading. I had too much else going on. So, I’ve decided to do a different kind of list. Instead of just books, I’m going to encompass a variety of favorites and highlights that have really stood out to me from this past year. :)

Top 3 Books

royalranger

3. The Royal Ranger by John Flanagan

I’m a big fan of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, so it was incredibly fun to revisit the world when I never expected there to be any more books.

cowboyunmatched

2. A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer

I was so excited to read this story of Neill. It completely lived up to my anticipation. Who doesn’t love Karen Witemeyer’s Archer men?

ChasingtheLion

1. Chasing the Lion by Nancy Kimball

This was definitely my top read of 2014. It quickly made its way into my top 3 favorite books/series of all time with The Lord of the Rings and Books of the Infinite. You can read my full review here. I can hardly wait to read book two. It’s at the top of my most highly anticipated future releases.

Top Movies

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

My brothers and I went to see this yesterday morning, and I thought it was spectacular. I pretty much loved everything about it . . . well, maybe not the sad parts. Yeah, I cried, like, five or six times. Basically on and off through the whole last half hour of the film. And I’ve never cried during a movie in the theater before. So that’s saying a lot. I thought it was a perfect end to The Hobbit Trilogy, and I absolutely loved how it so seamless connected with The Lord of the Rings. It’s definitely my favorite movie of 2014.

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Dawn of Planet of the Apes

I grew up watching the old Planet of the Apes movies, so it has been really fun to watch the new ones. I recently watched this second movie for the first time with my family and thought it was an incredibly well done movie. One of the best I’ve seen this year.

Top TV Show

scorpion

Scorpion

Oh my goodness, I cannot begin to tell you how much I adore this show. It’s amazing. I love everyone in it (which is unusual), though if I had to pick a favorite, I’d pick Toby. And I ship him and Happy so hard. ;) It’s a perfect show if you feel like you don’t quite fit in with “normal” people.

Top Writing Moments

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The release of Resistance was a huge moment for me this year. It was my first release as Jaye L. Knight as well as the beginning of the biggest adventure series I’ve ever worked on. It was definitely frightening right at the beginning wondering how readers would like it, but it’s been an amazing experience so far.

AwardCertificate

Winning a Readers’ Favorite award was absolutely incredible. I never imagined getting to that point in my writing.

bestseller

And, of course, there was the moment Resistance hit #1 in Christian Fantasy on Amazon. That was very exciting. I had no idea when I first published Resistance that I would hit all these milestones in the first several months.

Then there was finishing book 4 of Ilyon Chronicles, which had been giving me fits. I wrote 88,000 words in eight weeks between June and July. Definitely a big writing accomplishment.

And last, but certainly not least, one of the biggest highlights of the year was getting to know old friends better as well as gaining many new friends and fans. It has been an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to see how 2015 goes.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Resistance Sale Report + Bargain eBook Websites

I’m kind of late in posting this, but I’ve been busy lately with filling a bunch of Christmas orders from my Etsy shop and working on the surprise project I mentioned on Facebook the other day (my lips are totally sealed for now). But, as you probably know unless you’re just visiting my blog now, I had a 99 cent sale on Resistance from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. My final count was 110 sales. Could have been better, but it wasn’t the worst either. As part of the sale, I submitted to a bunch of bargain eBook websites. I’m not sure how much it actually helped, and I only know of a few who posted it for sure. Thanksgiving is the day I had the most sales: 37. It dropped then to about 20 sales a day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Monday I was listed on Choosy Bookworm and had my second highest day with 27 sales. I’m sure the listing helped. Either that or everyone was looking for deals being it was Cyber Monday. So I don’t have any really detailed reporting to do on my sale, but I thought I’d share my experience. Whenever I have another sale, it will be interesting to compare and see if having sales around Black Friday and Cyber Monday is actually worth the hype.

But one thing I wanted to do was share the bargain sites I submitted to since they’re all free (which is really hard to find). It took a really long time to submit to all of them. I’m not sure if it was really worth it, but I’d probably do it again just in case it does make a different. Hopefully it can be beneficial to someone else who’s looking for free sites to submit to. After all, I spent hours digging all these up.

I also submitted to eReader News Today (which isn’t free, but worth the price from what I’ve heard), but it was very last minute. I was declined because they didn’t have room to post it (my bad for not making up my mind sooner), but I definitely plan to submit again for my next sale.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Becoming Nikki Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Becoming Nikki Cover 8 Front

About a month ago I shared this cover with you for Ashley Elliott’s debut novel. Well, today that novel has released! As part of the celebration, I’m taking part in Ashley’s blog tour and sharing an interview with Ashley, plus a giveaway of a signed copy of Becoming Nikki. But first, about the book!

 

 

 

 

 

What would you do if you were given the opportunity to rebuild a broken relationship?

Alec and Nikki Scott are the perfect ice dancing duo, executing flawless technique and brilliant performance abilities each time they compete. No one doubts their camaraderie, not even their closest friends.

But looks can be deceiving. Off the ice, their relationship is in shambles. Ice dancing is the only thing they have in common anymore... and Alec wants to quit.

Just as Nikki feels like their relationship can't get any worse, an unexpected tragedy crashes into her life. She's left struggling with a difficult choice as her opinion of her brother slowly starts to change.

Whatever she decides, she knows her life will never be the same.

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Interview

1. What inspired you to write Becoming Nikki?

Well, it all started when I discovered ice dancing while watching it during the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Meryl Davis and Charlie White were instantly my favorite and I started thinking about how much it would take to get to the Olympics.  I also had come up with the idea of a broken sister-sister relationship (which slowly turned into a brother-sister relationship) around the same time, and, as I started developing the plot of that novel, the ice dancing part eventually fused with it.

2. Which of your characters would you most love to spend the day with?

I think I'd like to spend the day with Natalie. We'd watch period dramas and eat junk food and laugh and tell each other jokes and it'd be awesome.

3. Creating and working with characters is my favorite part of writing. What is yours?

Same here! I like to refer to what I do as “crafting a novel,” because that's what it feels like. You start out with the original idea, then slowly shape it into something amazing. I also love how the story changes when the characters take on a mind of their own. It's a really great thing to watch.

4. I love it when I can find just the right “casting” choice for my characters because it helps clarify them in my mind. Do you have any casting choices for your characters? If so, who are some of the main ones?

Me, too! I started casting Nikki when I first started writing it, and I'm pretty sure the original cast has stayed the same because I can't see them as anything else. I discovered Alexis Bledel after watching a few episodes of Gilmore Girls, and Jonathan Rhys Myers came after I watched August Rush (both of which I really liked, but can't really recommend because of Content.)

Nikki and Alec

5. For me, actually getting my stories written is the hardest part of writing. Planning, rewriting, and editing are much easier. What is your least favorite or hardest part of the writing process?

Heehee. I think my least favorite part is editing... and editing... and editing. That feeling in the back of your mind that you can never stop editing because it's not perfect yet! I feel this way, at least, because I'm partially a perfectionist. (Haha.) But I still enjoy it because I can listen to awesome music while I edit. ; )

6. Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress or what’s next for your writing and publishing plans?

Absolutely! I'm working on a new novel entitled The Art of Letting Go. (It's probably my eighty-fifth novel, but the second I'll actually finish.) It's about a teenage girl who loses her best friend in a horrific shooting at her school and has to learn to let go and move on, even though she's wrapped her entire life – including her future – around this guy. It's really depressing, sad (the first novel I've written that I've actually cried over), and has a grittier, more mature feel than Nikki that I love. I should be finished writing it sometime in the near future, and I'd really like to try the traditional route with that one.

7. What hobbies do you have outside of writing?

I love to sing, listen to Broadway musical soundtracks, play the violin and piano, read books (a LOT of them), swing dance, take walks, watch movies (a LOT of them), take pictures, and hang out with my friends and family.

8. What are some of your favorite books?

I have, like, a million favorite books... I've narrowed it down to (probably) the top five.

The Scarlet Pimpernel (and all books in the series) by Emmuska Orczy

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Eight Cousins / Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott

9. What are three random facts about you that most people probably wouldn’t know?

Heehee...

1. I used to have a stamp collection. Stamps, catalogs, three-ring-binders, the whole shebang.

2. I'm gluten- and dairy-free.

3. I've meet an Olympian and held her medal, which, if memory serves correctly, was gold. And it turns out she has the same birthday as me. What're the odds???

10. And finally, what advice would you give other authors seeking to publish?

Find people who can help you! You don't have to do it alone. I was stuck in the publishing/final editing stages of Nikki for over a year because I was overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. *music comes in* But then a heeeero comes aloooooong... aka Morgan came in and gave me the kick in the pants I needed, along with her amazing formatting SKILLZ that she lent to my novel. Moral of the story: Don't feel like you have to figure it out by yourself. Ask for help. The person who is exactly what you need might be right around the corner!

About Ashley

9801849Ashley Elliott is a writer, reader, musician, photographer, tree-climber, and Leaguette. She speaks fluently in movie quotes and spends most of her time fangirling over her latest obsession. In her free time, she enjoys laughing with her friends, laughing over Christian indie films (but secretly loving them), and laughing with her five crazy siblings. Ashley is a homeschool graduate and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Humanities through CollegePlus. She lives in Georgia with her parents and siblings, and doesn't have any pets.

You can find out more about Ashley on her blog.

Giveaway

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Jaye’s Resistance–Street Team

JayesResistance

It’s been on my to-do list for quite some time now, but I finally got an official page set up for my street team! Joining comes with some fun perks, such as being the first to know about any new books, and I'll be forever grateful for any help spreading the word about those books. So, if you're interested in joining, head on over and check it out! :) Don't worry, I won't bombard you with emails or demands. ;)

Jaye’s Resistance

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Holiday Sales!

First of all, happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I am incredibly thankful for all my old writing friends and readers who have followed me since back in my Molly Evangeline days as well as the amazing people I’ve met and heard from since the publication of Resistance. It’s been an amazing few months being an author and seeing how the interest in Ilyon Chronicles has grown.
Now, if you’ve known me for a while, you probably know this is not my favorite time of year. I hate the cold. I’m the type of person who would have a winter home down south (or somewhere on a Caribbean beach) if I could.
 
Still, the holidays are exciting. And while material things are definitely not the most important things in life, all the sales going on at this time of the year are fun. Especially if you’ve been waiting and hoping to get certain items when they’re more affordable. To add to the fun holiday sales, I’m offering two of my own and have joined up with several other authors offering their books for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. First of all, from today until Monday, December 1st, you can get the Kindle version of Resistance for only 99 cents! This is the lowest price I’ve had on the book so far. So if you haven’t read it yet, now is the perfect time to check it out in preparation for the upcoming release of The King’s Scrolls!
 
I’m also offering free U.S. shipping on everything in my Etsy store from now until Christmas. I have a bunch of writer themed jewelry that made very popular gifts at this time last year. So come check it out! Just click on the banners below to see my sales and make sure to look through the list of all the other great books! And be sure to share with your friends!

Click to see the sale!

Click to see the sale!

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Kendra E. Ardnek
The Ankuluen: Cyber Monday
Saffron's Big Plan and Other Stories: Cyber Monday
Do You Take This Quest?: Cyber Monday

Faith Blum
A Mighty Fortress: Black Friday [V4Y5K36D -- 10%] and Cyber Monday)
Be Thou My Vision: Black Friday [7626YZAK -- 20%] and Cyber Monday

Sarah Brown
The Prodigal Pup: Black Friday and Cyber Monday [SB14CP31 -- 25%]
Learning Lessons from Furry Friends: Black Friday and Cyber Monday [SB14CP31 -- 25%]

Kelsey Bryant
Family Reunion: Black Friday [YFY84GHU -- 20%]

Elizabeth Ender
Ransomed: Black Friday [GNE6VUXY -- 30%]

J.J. Francesco
Blood Chain: Cyber Monday

Julie Gilbert
Nadia's Tears: Cyber Monday

Leah Good
Counted Worthy: Black Friday [K7CVNEER -- 40%] and Cyber Monday

Melody Grubb
The Land of Calais: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Warmth of His Eyes: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Send Me, Lord Jesus: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Rachel Heffington
Anon, Sir, Anon: Black Friday [9MTYHSX3 -- 25%] and Cyber Monday

Rebekah Jones
Journeys of Four: Cyber Monday
Grandmother's Letters: Cyber Monday
A Year with the Potters: Cyber Monday

Jaye L. Knight
Resistance: Black Friday [Q45HN6G9 -- 25%] and Cyber Monday

Tina M. Neely
Diamond Hair Princess: Black Friday

Joel A. Parisi
Shadow Play: Cyber Monday

J. Grace Pennington
Radialloy: Black Friday [Y2XHGYDN -- 25%] and Cyber Monday
In His Image: Black Friday [KXNZ7PYN -- 25%] and Cyber Monday
Machiavellian: Black Friday [UFXGUYMM -- 25%] and Cyber Monday

Jennifer Sauer
Why Rodney Never Should've Gone to the NAPIC: Black Friday [F76DDR7S -- 45%] and Cyber Monday

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer
Touch My Tears: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Third Side of the Coin: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Cara Simmons
The Haven: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Leviathan: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Champion: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Jordan Smith
Finding the Core of Your Story: Black Friday [NL4NJXWS -- 30%]

Rachel Starr Thomson
Reap the Whirlwind: Cyber Monday
Lady Moon: Cyber Monday
Angel in the Woods: Cyber Monday

Therese Heckenkamp
Past Suspicion: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Frozen Footprints: Black Friday

Melika Dannese Lux
City of Lights: Black Friday [FNB98MY6 -- 35%] and Cyber Monday
Corcitura: Black Friday [GU46WHKT -- 55%] and Cyber Monday

T.R. Lykins
Last Heartbeat: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Life Gift: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Melanie D. Snitker
Calming the Storm: Cyber Monday

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Introducing New Sewing Themed Jewelry!

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I’ve spent a lot of time over the year crafting fun writer and book themed jewelry, which has been very popular. Then, the other day, I was looking at supplies and came across some adorable sewing themed charms. Since I’ve been doing a lot of sewing lately, it occurred to me that sewing themed jewelry might be just as popular as writer themed jewelry. So I have now added an entirely new section to my Etsy shop with the jewelry you see above! All the pieces are customizable with your choice of bead color. Which is your favorite piece? My personal favorites are the thimble and Singer sewing machine necklaces. :) I only have one of each necklace at the moment. I’m going to see which ones turn out to be the most popular before I put in bulk orders. So if you see one you especially like, you might want to snatch it up. ;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How a Star Falls Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Today I am taking part in another great blog tour! You may remember in August I was part of the cover reveal for How a Star Falls. Well, now the novella has been released! And it is a wonderful story! I’ll share my review in a moment, but first a little about the book. Also, don’t forget to visit the rest of the blogs on the tour!













About the Book

Sweet NA Contemporary Romance Novella

How does a star fall?

Quickly. Completely. Unexpectedly.

Derrick Knolane escapes to Trinidad Head most evenings, avoiding his apartment and planning for the day he'll break free of Humboldt County. Working in a music store might be fine for a while, but it's far from the goal he had in mind when he got his college degree. Not to mention the fact that his roommate is a jerk and his family won't stop trying to run his life.

Then Brielle falls into his world.

She claims to be a star. Not from Hollywood, but from heaven. He thinks she's crazy. Certainly delusional. Yet, he can't just leave her alone on the cliffs. So he takes her home.

And his whole world falls apart.

A heartfelt and fanciful contemporary romance novella, How a Star Falls explores the uncertain season of new adulthood and shows that sometimes the worst inconveniences make for the best miracles of all.


My Review: 5 Stars
I almost never read contemporary fiction. It just doesn’t interest me the way fantasy or historical do, but I was intrigued by the premise and mystery of Amber’s story. Once I started, it drew me right in, and I read the whole thing in one sitting. It is wonderfully written, and the romance is adorable. I loved that it was written almost all from the guy’s point-of-view. Derrick was a great character, and Amber did a great job fleshing him out. She also perfectly captured how, when you reach adulthood, things don’t always turn out the way you dreamed when you were young, but it can still lead to a bright and even better future. I highly recommend How a Star Falls. It’s both cute and real. I wish there was more clean new adult fiction like this. Don’t miss out on reading this lovely little story!

Endorsements
"Perfect for when you want a whimsical, heartwarming read, How a Star Falls is more than an inspirational romance...it's a wink and a smile." - Joanne Bischof, award winning author of This Quiet Sky

"Amber Stokes has perfectly expressed the challenges of twenty-something life in her sweet contemporary new adult novella, How a Star Falls. Brielle and Derrick's journey reminds us all of the search to find ourselves in the midst of young adulthood. Their story is charming and wistful with emotions we can all relate to experiencing at some point in our lives. It is a tale about letting go in order to find yourself once again while never losing the importance of who you are...and who you can be." - Cerella Sechrist, author of Gentle Persuasion and The Paris Connection

Author Bio
Amber Stokes works as a content writer (marketing services) for a Christian publisher. On the side, she self-publishes inspirational fiction depicting the seasons of life and love. Her passion for books compelled her to earn a bachelor's degree in English and to run her own freelance editing and publicity business for over a year. Happily, this new chapter of her career takes place in the Pacific Northwest—a part of the world she's always considered home. Learn more about Amber’s books at www.SeasonsofaStory.blogspot.com.


Social Media
Twitter: @SeasonsHumility
Blog: www.seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com
Website: www.seasonsofastory.blogspot.com
Pinterest: pinterest.com/seasonshumility
Goodreads: Amber Stokes
Google +: +AmberStokes

Giveaway
Share in the excitement of Amber’s new release with a special starry giveaway! You can enter to win one of three prize packs using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to U.S. residents only.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

The King’s Scrolls Cover Reveal + Giveaway!

The day has arrived! Allow me to present to you the cover of
The King’s Scrolls (Ilyon Chronicles – Book Two)!

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I am absolutely ecstatic to be at this point in publishing again where I get to show you the next book in Ilyon Chronicles! As you can see, if follows Resistance in being simple, bold, and hopefully capturing the overall theme of the story. Here with the cover, I also have the official back cover text (though it may be subject to some slight tweaking between now and publication), as well as an excerpt from the book!

About the Book
Following the harrowing events that brought them to Landale Forest, Jace and Kyrin have settled comfortably into their new lives and the mission of protecting those under the emperor’s persecution. The fast approach of winter brings with it the anticipation of a quiet few months ahead. That is until the arrival of four mysterious, dragon-riding cretes who seek aid in a mission of great importance—not only to their own people, but to all followers of Elôm.

Hidden in the vast mining valley north of Valcré, a faithful crete has spent years sharing his knowledge with the destitute miners and their families and is known to possess what may be Arcacia’s last surviving copies of the King’s Scrolls—the Word of Elôm. Joining the cretes, those in Landale must find the crete teacher and bring him to safety, but it is a race against time. Should Daican’s men find him first, execution and the destruction of the Scrolls is certain.

When disaster strikes, all seems lost. Could Elôm have a plan even in the enemy’s triumph?



Excerpt
     The other younger crete took a swig of his coffee and set his eyes past her. Kyrin peeked over her shoulder at Kaden who, of course, was staring at the dragon. The female creature stared back in mutual interest.
     “Go ahead,” the crete said suddenly. “You can touch her. She loves attention, and she’ll only attack if I tell her to.” A sly glint sparkled in his spring-green eyes.
     Besides Jace, Kyrin had never seen anyone with such bright and colorful eyes as these cretes.
     Kaden looked at him, his brows rising. “You can do that?”
     The crete nodded. “Dragons are highly intelligent. You can teach them almost any command. Storm here is young, but she learns fast.”
     Kyrin smiled at the delight in her brother’s eyes as he stepped closer to the dragon and ran his hand over her bluish-gray neck scales. A grin split his face.
     “She’s so smooth. Kyrin, come and feel it.”
     Kyrin stepped to his side and laid her hand on the dragon. The scales were indeed very smooth, reminding her of the polished marble stair-railings in Auréa Palace, but they weren’t cold. Warmth radiated through them. The dragon, still watching them, let out a little rumble, almost like a giant cat’s purr.
     “I told you she liked attention,” the crete said, grinning.
     Kyrin chuckled and glanced at Jace to see if he wanted to touch the dragon, but he made no move to come closer. This certainly had more to do with the crete than the dragon. He was very fond of any type of animal. She faced the crete again.
     “So they can breathe fire?”
     “For short bursts, but that’s usually all it takes to deter any threat.”
     “That’s incredible,” Kaden breathed.
     While he continued admiring Storm, Kyrin observed the dragon’s rider. He appeared to be in his early to mid-twenties—about ten years younger than Captain Darq—though his exact age was impossible to guess. Cretes were said to mature faster than humans, so he could be anywhere from seventeen to twenty-five. He too wore a sleeveless jerkin. Brown tattoos, a little darker than his skin, marked both shoulders. Darq and the other cretes had them as well, but Kyrin hadn’t taken a good look at them until now. This man’s were a complicated pattern of spirals and dots, but the shape of a fox stood out in the center of his right shoulder.
     Though she tried to be discreet, he must have caught her studying him and suddenly extended his hand to her. “I’m Talas, by the way. Talas Folkan of the Fox Clan.”

Giveaway
QuillNecklaceTo celebrate the revealing of the cover, I’m giving away one of my handcrafted quill pen necklaces (which is so perfect in matching the cover!) and a $5 Amazon gift card! Enter for a chance to win using the form below! U.S. entries only please.



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Make sure you visit all these awesome blogs who have participated in my cover reveal and see what they are saying about it!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Golden Daughter Release Day

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Today marks the release of Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s newest novel, Golden Daughter! And as part of the celebration, she is offering a special 99 cent promo sale on her novella, Goddess Tithe! Be sure to check it out before the end of the week when the sale ends! Here is a bit about the stories.

eBookPromo

Golden Daughter: Sairu vowed to protect her mistress from all harm. But when assassins and deadly phantoms set out to hunt down Lady Hariawan, can one young bodyguard protect against enemies she can neither see nor touch? With only a Faerie cat and a handsome slave to help her, Sairu's skills and loyalty will be tested to the limit.

Goddess Tithe: When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. But Captain Sunan vows instead to protect the stowaway . . . and a curse falls upon the ship

Monday, November 3, 2014

Becoming Nikki Cover Reveal

Becoming Nikki Cover 8 Front

And today I bring you yet another cover reveal! (I’m meeting so many new authors this year! :D) Check out this lovely cover of Becoming Nikki by soon-to-be published author Ashley Elliott! Becoming Nikki is her debut novel. It is contemporary Christian fiction and will be published on December 8th (and will include a fun blog tour, of which I will also take part in). While I don’t read a whole lot of contemporary fiction, the story sounds great. Here is the synopsis:

What would you do if you were given the opportunity to rebuild a broken relationship?

Alec and Nikki Scott are the perfect ice dancing duo, executing flawless technique and brilliant performance abilities each time they compete. No one doubts their camaraderie, not even their closest friends.

But looks can be deceiving. Off the ice, their relationship is in shambles. Ice dancing is the only thing they have in common anymore... and Alec wants to quit.

Just as Nikki feels like their relationship can't get any worse, an unexpected tragedy crashes into her life. She's left struggling with a difficult choice as her opinion of her brother slowly starts to change.

Whatever she decides, she knows her life will never be the same.

Interesting, yes? :) You can find out more about Ashley on her blog. And make sure you add Becoming Nikki on Goodreads!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

The King’s Scrolls Cover Reveal Signup

I am happy to report that The King’s Scrolls is nearing its final phase of editing before publication. I sent it off to my beta readers on October 1st and am getting ready to go through their feedback starting next week. That will begin my rigorous final edit to iron out all the wrinkles. I’m hoping and praying I can have it done, or close to, by the end of the year.

Now, while the publication of the book may still be a few months away, I feel it’s time to finally reveal the cover. :) I’m very excited to let everyone see it and get it up on Goodreads. I am setting up the cover reveal day for Friday, November 14th. If you have a blog and would like to participate, I would be thrilled to have you join in. I will also be hosting a fun giveaway of one of my handcrafted necklaces that matches the cover as well as a $5 Amazon gift card. If you would like to be part of the reveal, just fill out the form below! And if you have any blogging friends who might like to join in the fun, be sure to let them know! The more the merrier. :)

Signups are now closed.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Be Thou My Vision Blog Tour

Be Thou My Vision by Faith Blum-jlk (1)

You may remember the cover reveal for Be Thou My Vision by my friend Faith Blum. (After all, it is only two posts down. Just shows how bad I am at updating my blog lately.) Well, today I get to be part of the fun blog tour to promote its release on October 26th. As part of the tour I get to share a couple interview questions and my thoughts on the book. First, however, a little about the story.

The church was empty when I dragged myself out of the pew and headed out the door. As I opened the door, the corner of my eye caught a flicker of movement which I chose to ignore. I walked down the steps and was nearly bowled over by two wild boys. With arms grown strong and quick from man-handling two brothers growing up, I grabbed the two boys before they had a chance to escape me.

Anna Stuart is comfortable with her life. She may be a 30 year old spinster, but she has her routine and enjoys taking care of her father and older brother. One letter shatters all her routines, comfort, and enjoyment. After learning of her brother’s death, Anna feels like her life will never be the same again.

Then she meets two motherless boys. Did God place them in her life to lead her to a new vision of life? Can she trust God to give her the desires of her heart before she even knows what they are?

My Review

I had the privilege of beta-reading Be Thou My Vision. Since that was a couple of months ago, I admit the story is a little foggy (I should know better than to not write reviews right away), but I did very much enjoy it. I enjoyed Anna’s journey of faith, and while I don’t mind a good fairytale romance, I appreciated Faith’s more realistic approach to the subject. It was also interesting to read a historical novel in first person. There aren’t many written that way, at least not many I’ve read. I look forward to seeing what comes next in Faith’s Hymns of the West series. (And I love how she incorporates hymns into each book’s theme!)

Interview Questions

Q7: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

God’s wisdom is so much greater than ours and we should lean on Him, not ourselves.

Q8: How much of the book is realistic?

I hope all of it is realistic since that is one of the reasons I wrote a romance novel the way I did. I wanted it to be realistic rather than an ushy-gushy, if-we’re-attracted-to-each-other-we-must-be-in-love romance.

Make sure you visit the other stops on the tour (which you can find here) to read the rest of the interview and see what others are saying about the book! Faith is also having a special 99 cent pre-order sale until the book’s release on the 26th, so be sure to take advantage of it!

And don’t forget to stop by the Be Thou My Vision Facebook Launch Party on November 1st at 7-8:30 PM (CST)! Not only will it be great fun, but there will be a bunch of book giveaways!

About Faith

An avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, moderating on the Holy Worlds Historical Fiction Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?).

As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have.

You can find Faith on her Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Assassins, Costumes, and Updates

I thought it was time for a bit of an update of sorts since my blog has been very quiet as of late. After my crazy busy writing schedule over the summer and then editing The King’s Scrolls, which I sent to my beta readers on October 1st, I’ve sort of taken a vacation the last couple of weeks. I’ve been really bad about doing any kind of updating or keeping up with emails. But I suppose I’ve needed the break. Especially since I’ll be diving back into editing TKS at the beginning of next month after I receive all my feedback. I keep telling myself every day that I should be working on book five. And a have . . . a little. But I keep procrastinating. It’s like when you go on vacation and then really hate going back to work afterwards . As much as I love writing, I kind of feel that way at the moment.

So what have I been doing in my downtime? Video games. I don’t really consider myself a big gamer because I just don’t have the time for it, but I do really like playing sometimes. I spent a couple of afternoons in the last couple weeks playing Minecraft with my brothers. We always have a great time doing that together and munching on gluten free chocolate chip cookies, which have become our official Minecraft snack. :)

I also played through Assassin’s Creed III, which I had purchased a while back but didn’t have a chance to truly play until now. (This is what happens when you grow up with only brothers and no sister. You get into all the action/adventure type games.) It’s probably my all-time favorite video game. I LOVE the historical aspect of it. As most probably know, colonial is one of my favorite time periods. And it actually filled my imagination with inspiration for the new trilogy I briefly mentioned on Facebook. The very first Assassin’s Creed game my brother played years ago was actually the first inspiration for this story that has been in my mind for years now. ACIII gave me all kinds of new ideas. I hope to work on it after I finish Ilyon Chronicles (which is why I should stop procrastinating and get to working on book 5 *sigh*).

l15770-connor-kenway-assassin39s-creed-iii-5173Not only did ACIII provide some excellent story inspiration, but I completely fell in love with the outfit worn by the game’s (totally awesome) protagonist, Connor Kenway, and I’ve decided to recreate it. It has been years since I’ve put together a new costume, and I’m terribly excited about this one. It’s completely different from my usual fantasy costumes. I love the fact that it’s colonial inspired. And since I’ve always had a thing for Native American culture, I love how those aspects are incorporated into the outfit. I’ve got my pattern all printed and put together and all the buttons (about 50 of them!) ordered. Now I just need to get the fabric so I can actually start putting it together. I hope to go shopping sometime this week. This is the first time besides my reenactment clothing that I will really go all-out on a costume. I intend to put it together from head to toe. So we’ll see how it goes. I’ll definitely post some pictures when I finish it. That will probably take a while, but hopefully not too long. It’s really fun to do something creative beyond writing and jewelry. Now if only I had a nearby Comic Con to wear it to once I’m finished. I will end this post with a video because the violin music is awesome and it’s really cool to see another female version of this costume. :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Be Thou My Vision Cover Reveal

Today I get to be part of the cover reveal for my friend Faith Blum's upcoming book Be Thou My Vision! And isn't it just lovely? I absolutely love the way the hymn is overlaid over the sky and the way the title fits with the church steeple. Be Thou My Vision is the second book of Faith's Hymns of the West series. I had the pleasure of beta reading it and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a sweet Western romance with a good spiritual message. As part of Faith's cover reveal tour, I have her here today for a fun interview as well as an excerpt from the book. There's also a fun giveaway Faith is hosting. You can find the information at the end of the post, but first, a little about the book.
 
The church was empty when I dragged myself out of the pew and headed out the door.  As I opened the door, the corner of my eye caught a flicker of movement which I chose to ignore.  I walked down the steps and was nearly bowled over by two wild boys.  With arms grown strong and quick from man-handling two brothers growing up, I grabbed the two boys before they had a chance to escape me.
 
Anna Stuart is comfortable with her life.  She may be a 30 year old spinster, but she has her routine and enjoys taking care of her father and older brother.  One letter shatters all her routines, comfort, and enjoyment.  After learning of her brother’s death, Anna feels like her life will never be the same again.
 
Then she meets two motherless boys.  Did God place them in her life to lead her to a new vision of life?  Can she trust God to give her the desires of her heart before she even knows what they are?
 
The Kindle version of Be Thou My Vision is currently available at a special preorder price of only 99 cents, so make sure you take advantage of that!
 
http://www.amazon.com/Thou-Vision-Hymns-West-Book-ebook/dp/B00NF3QV52/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1410619843&sr=8-2&keywords=faith+blum
 
Interview
 
1. What inspired you to write what you do?
 
Probably reading books about the time period. So far, I have mostly written Westerns and it was my love of Louis L’Amour’s books that really helped me write them. Since then, I have also found some other Western authors that I like, but Louis L’Amour will always be my Western author of choice.
 
2. Which of your characters would you most love to spend the day with?
 
In this book? Hmm… This is a hard question. I think I would most love to spend the day with Anna. We are very different, but her persistence and servant heart are inspiring.
 
3. Creating and working with characters is my favorite part of writing. What is yours?
 
The actual writing of the story and making the characters alive. I love creating the story that tells about people’s life struggles and how they get past those struggles.
 
4. I love it when I can find just the right “casting” choice for my characters because it helps clarify them in my mind. Do you have any casting choices for your characters? If so, who are some of the main ones?
 
I can’t say that I have. There have been a few characters who have similarities to me and I’ve written them that way, but otherwise, I don’t think that I have.
 
5. For me, actually getting my stories written is the hardest part of writing. Planning, rewriting, and editing are much easier. What is your least favorite or hardest part of the writing process?
 
As long as I can find the time, writing is my favorite (and the easiest) part. Rewriting and editing is my least favorite part of the writing process. Which is probably why I am procrastinating right now with my next book. :P
 
6. Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress or what’s next for your writing and publishing plans?
 
My next book follows close behind “Be Thou My Vision”. Lord willing, I hope to have “Amazing Grace” published in February. Here is my logline for it: “A doubting man agrees to wed a widowed mail-order bride, but he struggles with whether or not he can be a father to the woman's daughter who desperately wants a father's love.”
 
I have the rough draft written and now all I need to do is rewrite, edit, and edit some more. As I mentioned above, I have been procrastinating on that. Anybody want to get the whip out to help me move faster? 
 
7. What hobbies do you have outside of writing?
 
Reading (surprise, surprise), playing piano, and doing crafts. I love to play classical music and some soundtracks. My favorite crafts are knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, and sewing.
 
8. What are some of your favorite books?
 
The Bible, “To Win Her Heart” by Karen Witemeyer, “To Ride the River” by Louis L’Amour, “Red Rain” by Aubrey Hansen, The Shiloh Legacy trilogy by Bodie and Brock Thoene. Those are just a few I can think of right now.
 
9. What are three random facts about you that most people probably wouldn’t know?
 
Ooo! A list! Yay!
1. I live off of lists. If I don’t have something written on a list, I probably won’t remember to do it. I love making lists and crossing things off of them when they are done.
2. As much as I love historical fiction in books, I actually prefer watching science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary movies. Probably because most historical movies are about wars and get rather gory. Sci-fi and fantasy can also get gory, but it is different because that’s not real people.
3. We haven’t had a TV in our house for probably over 10 years now and I love it! The only thing I miss is watching the Green Bay Packer games. Dad did manage to get something to work, but it doesn’t always work and it is hard to watch on a computer monitor.
 
10. And finally, what advice would you give other authors seeking to publish?
 
Don’t rush through it. Set realistic goals and don’t be afraid to change those goals if you aren’t comfortable with what you have written so far.
 
 
 
Excerpt
 
       “Hello,” she said, sticking her hand out. “I am Wilma Gardner. I recently moved onto the neighboring farm with my husband. I heard there was a woman living here and thought we could possibly become friends. The ladies in town said not to pin my hopes up, but when have I ever listened to people like them?”
       In spite of myself, I found my lips curving up into a slight smile. First, this stranger was Southern. Second, this vivacious young woman might be my answer to getting me out of my...whatever it was I was in.
       “Anna Stuart,” I answered, returning her handshake and inviting her in. After seeing if she wanted something to drink, I continued, “I live here with my brother and father. They’re out in the fields.”
       “Maybe we could have you three over for dinner sometime this week,” Wilma offered. “I'm sure my husband would be glad for some advice from men who have farmed here for awhile.”
       I shook my head. “I doubt that would be possible. Da doesn't like visiting with people and he certainly does not like discussing farming with anybody, not even Caleb.”
 
About Faith
An avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, leading on the Holy Worlds Christian Writing Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?). As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have.
Find Faith on:
 
Giveaway
To enter the giveaway for an Advanced Reader copy of Be Thou My Vision and an ebook copy of Aundy by Shanna Hatfield go to Faith’s blog and leave a comment to either ask her a question, or make a comment about what you think about the article.