Category: Books (page 1 of 4)

The Worth of a King Cover Reveal

It is my pleasure today to participate in the reveal of a cover of a book I’m really looking forward to. It’s The Worth of a King by  Kendra E. Ardnek. Yes, the same Kendra I often do reveals and releases for. And I still complain about her books not coming faster.

I have read a large part of Worth already and quite enjoyed it. I don’t know how it’s going to end yet, but I suspect a mixture of triumphant and ominous. Both of which are awesome in their way. But enough of my speculations. You want to see the cover.

Cover in…

 

3…

 

2…

 

1…

 

Pinterest!

 

Okay, this isn’t the cover. It is coming though, it’s the next picture down. But I thought I would share an inspiration pic first and a dialogue snippet.

 

Not the cover. Just some smoky crown from Pinterest.

Kendra says: This is an aesthetic pin that screamed Worth to me for some reason. It ended up inspiring the titles of the book’s three parts.

“Oh, Sidi, it’s a crying shame how little time we’ve spent together of late,” Nadilynn declared, as Obsidia left her bedroom, Christa a step behind her. “And now there are only a few weeks before my birthday!”

“We are greeting our guests together today,” Obsidia pointed out.

Your guests,” Nadilynn corrected. “My suitors.”

Sighing, Obsidia slipped her arm through Nadilynn’s. “Come along.”

“And even now, one of your girls is trailing behind us.” Nadilynn gave a melodramatic sigh as they started walking. “I’m beginning to think that I’ve been replaced.”

“You are leaving me in a few months,” Obsidia pointed out, shaking her head. “I had to think ahead.”

 

And now we have the cover in all its glory.

. . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . .

 

Isn’t it pretty? It’s a little different to Kendra’s other covers, but Worth is just a little different. It’s not fairy tale or portal fantasy. It’s, well just read the description. I can’t explain it well enough.

 

Princess Obsidia’s father was killed the night she was born. Since there was no male heir, the crown went to the man who killed him, by Dialcian law. This never bothered her, growing up, and when it comes time for Obsidia to choose her husband, she chooses Prince Delaney, the son of that man, with little hesitation. Only then does her life start crumbling around her.

Adrian expected to live a normal life, taking his father’s place at the print shop when his father retired. But, on his eighteenth birthday, when the princess’ engagement is announced, his world is ripped out from under him when he learns that his life was a ruse, and he is the twin brother to the princess – and expected to take back his father’s throne.

Delaney knows that his country is hovering on the brink of war – and that his father may harbor murderous intentions towards his intended bride due to her Zovordian blood. He wants nothing more than to protect Obsidia and his people, but as merely prince, he has little power against his father.

The ancient war between the Dragons and the Immortal King and Queen is nearing its climax, and the three are already caught in it.

 

The Worth of a King will be coming out on the 27th of August.

(That seems ages away, but I know it will come all too quickly.)

You can add the book on Goodreads here and the first chapter is waiting for you to read it right here.

 

Kendra E. Ardnek, as always, loves fairytales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been or acting them on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years. “Finish your story, Kendra,” is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that glorify God and His Word.
Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Amazon 

 

You can find more snippets from  the book along with inspirational pins, more copies of the cover, and the comments of awesome people who are not me, at all these lovely places.

Savannahjaysworkshop

Dreams and Dragons

Unicorn Quester

Kiri Liz

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke

Read, Write, Laugh, Dance

Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings

Books, Baking, and Cowgirl Boots

Jenelle Schmidt

Jessica Greyson

The Music of a Story

The Flowering Vales

The Rambling Rose

Written Rest

The Labyrinth

Bible and Books

Jaye L. Knight

 

 

Top Ten Books on my To-Read List

Today I’m talking about the books I’ve been waiting to read the longest. Otherwise known in some cases as books that interested me an I forgot about.  I’m going by my Goodreads list here. I suspect there are some books I’ve wanted to read that are older than the list. I’m doing a combined fiction and non-fiction list because that’s what I have. I’m also dropping some books because I don’t really care about them any more.

1. When Every Month is NaNoWriMo by Larry Brooks.

Probably still something worth reading, though I have no intention of attempting 50,000 words every month.

2. Bitter Winter by Jaye L. Knight.

When I first put this on my to read list, it was nameless Book 5. I don’t even think Book 3, Samara’s Peril had a title yet. Bitter Winter still isn’t out, and though I’m not complaining, I will order the paperback the first day it is available.

3. Haphazardly Implausible by Jack Lewis Baillot.

It’s out of print and not cheap. But I love the title and I did love Brothers in Arms, also by Miss Jack.

4. Hebros by Nicole Sager.

I probably won’t read it. I didn’t love the Heart of Arcrea enough that I feel like reading more in the world. Just because there’s only so much time I can spend reading.

5. Orphan’s Song by Gillian Bronte Adams

I almost bought this at the Omega Writers Conference, but I thought I would wait for an opportunity to get one with the new cover. I wish I had bought it instead of the novel I did get for myself. Would have been more interesting. The rest of Gillian’s books are also early on my to read list, but I won’t duplicate them.

6. The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis

It takes place inside a book and the allegory sounds fresh. Still want to read.

7. The Shadow Things by  Jennifer Freitag.

I had no memory of this, but I want to read it. Realistic historical fiction in post-Roman Britain that’s centered around the arrival of Christianity? Yes! And there’s good reviews from people I respect.

8. Our Accidental Adventure by Ness Kingsley

It sounds as fun as when I added it to the list. But I really ought to finish Our Intrepid Heroine before starting another of Ness’s books. And given that I was reading that book with my brothers, and we’re all busy, it’s gotten stuck. I’ll have to finish it alone, because I do want to know is she kills the dragon or not.

9. Honor by Rachel Rossano

It’s been a long time since I read Duty. I know I like it, but romance, even in this  medieval fantasy setting, isn’t something I go rushing after.

10. The Christian Imagination compiled by Leland Ryken

I really really want this. It’s actually on my Amazon wishlist, not good reads, but when I saw it I couldn’t leave it off.

Bonus: The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The Essential Guide to Fantasy Travel by Diana Wynne Jones

I’ve wanted this since I found it existed, but it’s not easy to find at a reasonable price. Oh well, It probably won’t help me write anyway.

 

Go check out the link up at thatartsygirl.com if you want to see what books a whole lot of other people haven’t read.

Alternatively you could stay here and leave a comment. What books have you wanted to read for a long time? Are any of them the same as mine?  Have you read any of mine?

Amber Eyes Review

About the Book

Destiny can be cruel
Darkness retreated from the light of the scarlet moon, but has since grown even stronger. The Mistress of Shadows has found a new pawn—one that may be the key to unlocking the door to her underground prison. Now evil threatens to escape its shackles and destroy the land.

In the aftermath of loss and betrayal, Jayden’s fight with the enemy still isn’t over. But while she isn’t sure she can stop the Mistress alone, leaving her friends might be the only way to keep them from being consumed by the darkness.

With lives hanging in the balance—and no time for error—can Jayden make the right choice?

AmazonBarnes & Noble Christianbook.com

 

 

My Review

I have mixed feeling on Amber Eyes. The first book, Scarlet Moon didn’t really grab me. There’s nothing particular I disliked, but neither did the concept intrigue me, or the characters grab at my heart. With Amber Eyes, I started out feeling the same, but as it went on, I found myself loving more of the situations and the characters.

It is a complex story, with many different threads and characters. Sometimes I didn’t fully follow everything, though that’s probably because I didn’t remember Scarlet Moon especially well. I probably should have re-read it first, but I couldn’t be bothered and it was a little late by the time my brother mentioned he’s had it checked out of the library for longer than I knew I was reviewing Amber Eyes

The whole Deliverer’s harnessing the power of the Creator to fight against the Mistress if Shadows things is part of what makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I think too much, you see, and try to classify the theology and worlds of the stories I read, and this one is hard to put in a box. It’s not the Christian semi-allegory type of story, and it’s not the type of story where there’s a Christ figure somewhere in its history, or a church at the current time. It’s something else and I don’t understand it. I think it’s taking after more popular fantasy in some ways, but from a Christ influenced angle. But I don’t read the more popular fantasy, so I have little idea what I’m talking about.

The other thing that makes me uncomfortable is the darkness in the story. Because it is dark and violent at points. I know there are reasons to write darker stories, and that the dark can make the light shine brighter, but I don’t have to like it. It’s more than human darkness and it’s not confined to just a small part of the story. It’s not made fun of or laughed over. So, if you can’t take dark stories, I don’t recommend it.

Yet despite all the darkness, there are beautiful moments. There is hope. There is love. There are moments of happiness and heroes rescuing people. There are even the rare humorous moments. There is dancing, and friendship. There is self-sacrifice. I loved this part of it.

As far as magic in this book, there is a few kinds. There are the talents of the Children of the Blood Moon. They’re simply specially abilities they are born with. There is the magic of the healers, Also a born magic, and a self-sacrificing one. There is the magic of various creatures, plants, and beasts. And finally, there is evil. The evil is clear and obvious. That is one thing I like about Amber Eyes. The characters are complex. Characters who are fighting for good don’t always do right. Yet there is always at least a hint that it is wrong. There might be plenty of characters who think the end justifies the means (or plain don’t care if either are good), but that’s certainly not what the book is presenting as true.

I always try to learn something when I read a book. I didn’t get anything big out of Amber Eyes. I can’t even say what the theme is. But I did learn a few little things: A guy can never have too many sisters.  Be honest with your friends. Appearances can be very deceiving. Sword fighting is like dancing. (Really!) Don’t trust evil people, and liars. If you are forced to choose between two dreadful options, don’t blame yourself for the result. You didn’t cause it to happen.

So that’s the book. Read it if it sounds like the kind of book you would like. I can’t deny that it’s well written with well-drawn characters. And it did hook me enough that I will likely read Book Three when it comes out. If I had it now, I know I would. I doubt I would read it a second time, but I do want to know where the story ends.

 

About the Author

S.D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency and author of SCARLET MOON. She currently has four books under contract, including the remainder of her YA fantasy series Children of the Blood Moon. When she’s not writing or editing, Sarah enjoys reading (of course!), practicing kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu, training dogs, and binge-watching shows with great characters. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog. You can learn more about her upcoming novels at www.sdgrimm.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads | Newsletter | Spotify

 

Facebook Launch Party

Calling all book readers! Join author S.D. Grimm as we chat about her fantasy novel Amber Eyes on January 30th from 8 PM to 11 PM EST (6 PM CDT and 5 PM PST).

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with SD, games, and giveaways.

Special guests Nadine Brandes, Lindsay A. Franklin, and Sara Baysinger will also be sharing their books and joining in the fun.

RSVP Today

 

Giveaway

Want to dive into a new world? Enter to win a signed copy of both Amber Eyes and Scarlet Moon, a grimmlie dragon of the dragon on the cover (made by the author), a charm bracelet (made by her Captain America), and a $10 amazon gift card. (US only. Sorry!)

>>> Entry-Form <<<

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 22nd

Tuesday, January 23rd

Wednesday, January 24th

Thursday, January 25th

Friday, January 26th

Saturday, January 27th

Monday, January 29th

Tuesday, January 30th

Wednesday, January 31st

Thursday, February 1st

Friday, February 2nd

Saturday, February 3rd

Monday, February 5th

Top Ten Reading Goals for 2018

Hello my friends,

Today I decided to take part in the Top Ten Tuesdays Link up. I do have a few other ideas for blog posts, but they’re more or less stuck. I lost the notes for one and I haven’t come up with the core element for another. So resolutions it is.

I’m not always much of a New Years resolutions person. I’ve heard enough stories about people giving up on them while it is still January, so sometimes I don’t feel it’s worth doing. That’s probably to my loss because plans have to be made sometime and the beginning of the year isn’t a bad time. So my reading goals:

  1. Read less books. Yes, this sounds like a strange one, but over the last couple of years, I’ve been stuffing my mind with so many stories that they’ve just become a muddle.
  2. ​Read slowly and deliberately. The only reason I’m able to read so many books is because I skim and don’t leave time to absorb them. I don’t take the book in properly. It’s a bad habit I’ve had for many years, and it only got worse with digital books.
  3. Only read when I’m done with other work. This is probably the biggest one. Reading has been the bane of my productivity. It’s been taking up time belonging to other things. It’s the reason I didn’t write this post earlier in the day. The only exceptions to this is reading the Bible and listening to audio books. Depending on the work I’m doing listen can help me along.
  4. Read more blogs. I used to follow quite a few other writers, but I’ve got busy and not kept up with them. It’s more for networking than learning that I need to do this, but I know there’s a lot of things worth reading out there.
  5. Write more reviews. This isn’t a new goal, but it’s a common failing. I know reviews are worth a lot to authors, but it’s so easy not to write them. Yet it’s isn’t difficult to write a very short review for the majority of books. I like giving my whole multi-sided opinion and recommendation for a book, but I don’t always have to. I’ll likely not do review for the books I could care less about, but I should attempt the ones I’m not sure how to feel about. Writing makes the thoughts clearer.
  6. Read a SpecFaith article at least once a week. There’s a lot of good in here.
  7. Read a Creation.com article at least once a week. I can always do with some science or apologetics to keep my mind active. I ought to read the Creation magazine more too.
  8. Finish all the non-fiction books I’m partway through. I can’t skim books on theology or any detailed topic. They require concentration and focus. That also means they take quite a bit longer and I do have a very long non-fiction list. (Thirty-six on Goodreads, not counting books on writing, and there’s more than that on our bookshelves that could be listed.) So this year i am going to focus on getting through at leas the ones I’ve begun. The possible exception is Augustine’s City of God which I got half for the purpose of getting the really long book achievement on Audible. It is fascinating at points, but thirty hours, is thirty hours, and there’s a bit more than that left.
  9. Take notes when I read. I think a lot while reading, but there are so many thoughts and brilliant lines that escape me later. I need to find a way of making notes without constantly distracting from my reading, and then it’ll be good. I do have a journal I’ve used for that purpose already, so that’s not a problem.
  10. Get to the point in my Greek studies that I can read sentences not just one word in ten (and that is only due words we use in English and a few extremely frequent words).

Now all I have to do is remember and do these things and everything will be, well not perfect, but likely better. Remember the signs.

Why You Should Read The Wanderer’s Daughter – Review

The Wanderer’s Daughter is the first book in the Georgie Tanner Series by Justyn Walker. It’s hilarious and you really should read it.

The book is middle-grade and is full of quirkiness, humour, and bit of grossness and comic violence. The stuff kids are supposed to enjoy. I first read it quite a few years back. I know it was in the last ten years, it might have been in the last seven. I still love it today. It was one of the first fantasy books I read outside of Narnia and the second book is one of my favourite allegories ever.

The characters are brilliant. Georgie Tanner is an orphan and a misfit. Her best friend (and only, but who’s counting) Thomas Finnigan isn’t an orphan (though he might as well be for the attention his parents give him), but he is also a misfit and not very brave. And when I say misfit I mean Georgie has been expelled from many schools (she’s currently at St. Mary’s School for Very Difficult Children), and trouble just is drawn to her. She can’t help it. And Thomas gets his lunch stolen everyday. And then they meet and quickly fall through a puddle into the magical land of Allegoria.

Not everything about Allegoria is nice though. They still have to go to school and as neither Georgie nor Thomas know anything about acting like the princess and knight they’re supposed to be, that does not go well. There’s also people being killed in the forest, impending doom, and suspicious characters.

There are certain aspects in common between all books in the series. They always attend school (it’s peasant school where they learn to rake dung in Book 2). There is always a game of Combat Croquet which is a lethal sport with golden armadillos for balls. And there are always monsters and at least on nasty member of the Royal family (and sometimes they’re one and the same).

There’s also a contrary magical book that only opens to riddles, has a time limit and tries to bite off Thomas’s hand more than once. It can however be quite useful. A bat named Max Mousewing or Agent MM is a recurring character as is Smokey the Terrible (a dragon) and Lydian, the great Magician or Wanderer (the book was originally titled The Magician’s Daughter and I have no idea why it was changed for Kindle). Lydian is also Georgie’s father by adoption.

Other characters include a nutty wizard who makes cockroaches into stools and sandwiches, changes people’s hair colour and usually pretends to be a ghost. He found it inconvenient to be around after giving the Duke of Osterik ostrich legs. He also has secrets.  For example he’s the one person who knows where to find the wizard stone that can defeat the dark lord Morlock. Unfortunately he’s forgotten the riddles that explain where to find the keys to unlock the wizard stone.

Despite the presence of a wizard, a magician and a dark lord, the book doesn’t have a lot of magic. It’s mostly silly fairytale type stuff. Or monsters. Anything kids might think of as monsters appears. Bogie men, pirates, ogres, vampires, trolls, and giants. They’re all very much just monsters though and are mostly scary by ugliness or size. They’re not creepy.

The whole Georgie Tanner series is unapologetically allegorical, but I don’t think it’s preachy or overdone. But then, I’m not sure I’m good at telling when a book is preachy and when it’s subtle. However I’m not sure a book with this amount of silliness could be preachy. It’s just too fun. There’s certainly things that can be learned from the story, but it comes naturally.

Now why do I love these books? I’m not sure I can explain it simply. But inside all the silliness is a tale of learning to become brave, and of accepting your identity. The series is also one of the few that my older brothers read and talked about. I had heard quite a bit, so when the third book was published and they got it from the library, I read it too. And then one of them got book two out to read again, so I read it. Finally I helpfully got the first book out for him and was able to read it. So I read them in reverse order. Twice actually.

The second book, The Ancient Machine is my favourite, so I’ll share its description. It’s rather cruel of me, because all but the first book are near impossible to get outside of Australia. I need to contact Justyn Walker and see if I can get him to put them on Kindle too.

The Ancient Machine

When an accident causes Georgie’s orphanage to be drowned in 10,000 gallons of gluggy, grey gruel, Georgie and Thomas sink through a bottomless puddle of gruel into Allegoria once more. There, Lydian the Great Magician charges them with a quest to find a machine that is ticking down to the end of the world – when an ancient curse will be unleashed upon mankind!

In this funny and daring pursuit, Georgie and Thomas team up with a troupe of traveling daredevils, discover a hidden fortress of forest animals, meet some colorful underground grunks, and have several near-painful encounters with a well-meaning torture master.

 

Giveaway

My editing launch giveaway is still running and The Wanderer’s Daughter is one of the prizes.
The deadline is getting close so make sure you share it around.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beautiful New Covers and a Crossover Ficlet

They’re here. Six beautiful new covers for the books I love to talk about here. Well at least I love talkihng about Rizkaland, and can’t avoid talking about Rizkaland. I cannot recal if I’ve ever talked about The Ankulen. I should have mentioned it because it makes me laugh and I love it.

Kendra’s sneak peeks had given me an idea of what some of the covers looked like. She also had shared a cover she was working on which was nothing like the final product and nowhere near as awesome. Unexpected plot twist there.

The books are also being edited to make them all shinier and add extra special content. Kendra’s first book, Sew, It’s a Quest has already been re-released, and the others are on their way. And if you want a copy of all the new books, Kendra currently is running a give-away of the full set. Head over to her blog to check it out. Any comments on this post count towards the giveaway.

But enough of me yammering. You want to see the covers and then you want to read the mini fanfic I wrote which crosses over with my own stories. (Don’t ask me how I know what you want. I just do. It’s a blogging skill.)

Covers are incoming!!!!

~~~

~~~~~

~~~~~~~

~~~~~

~~~~~~~

~~~~~

~~~

 

Sew, It’s a Quest

It’s lovely, and shiny and pink!

Two twins in a fairy tale world must find their Fairy Godmother before their eighteenth birthday, lest they forever be stuck with the other’s gift. (Cause that would be bad, you know, when your gifts are sewing and swordplay.)

Kendra’s Revison notes: I sent this book to my kindle, tore it to shreds, then retyped the whole thing, making every word fight to stay in the book. I completely rewrote one chapter, and added/expanded several scenes, focusing on character development and pacing, in particular Robin’s character.

She did an awesome job too. It’s changed from being a nice story, to a great book.

GoodreadsPaperback – FREE ebook

 

Do You Take This Quest

You know I love the colour purple, right? And incorporating the old cover is awesome.

A prince’s quest for allies against his misery uncle and a madcap race to get home for a wedding. (Also an odd girl looking for a paintbox, and some funny family resemblances.)

Kendra’s Revision notes: This book has one added chapter, a few (potentially) added scenes, and a severe edit. Again, focus is going to Robin’s character development. I hadn’t the maturity to completely handle her emotional situation when I wrote this book, and now I intend to fix that.

I’ve seen the extra chapter and it’s amazing. A lot of emotional depth to it.

Goodreads

 

My Kingdom for a Quest

Prince Arthur’s quest to take back his kingdom, and Casperl’s quest to find out how, exactly, he’s a prince.

Kendra’s notes: This book was mostly clean … but it’s getting a part two. AKA, book 3.5, The Quest for a Quince, AKA, Casperl’s story. There will be a edit to part one, though.

I’m not the biggest Bookania fan out there, but I’ve enjoyed every snippet from The Quest for a Quince that I’ve seen so far. I think something big is going on, but I don’t know what. (common trait of Kendra’s books)

Goodreads

Those first three covers were made by Kendra. The next three are designed by Alea Harper, an excellent aspiring designer. Go over to her website Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings and have a look at the covers she’s made for her own writing. (She made me a rough one when I mentioned the elements I’d like. She’s awesome.)

 

The Ankulen

Jen knows she had an imagination once – how far will she go to get it back?

This is especially a great book for writers. It takes place in an intersection of imagination and reality, makes fun of a few of Kendra’s writing tendencies, and explores the purpose of imagination. It’s also thoroughly fun and has chapter titles like: In Which I Discover that My Imagination is Gray.

Goodreads

 

Water Princess, Fire Prince

When two teens are pulled into another world, fire and water must work together to defeat a dragon.

I absolutely love this cover. The colours fit so well with the book. It give it a much more dignified look than the original cover. It might also help me get over my mental image of Rizkaland as white. There is snow when the book begins, and even when it’s gone, I still picture it. Snow and coloured trees.

Goodreads

 

Lady Dragon, Tela Du

Purple – Red – Beautiful

Only the Tela Du stands in Amber’s way for ruling Rizkaland forever. Petra would much rather find her long-lost sisters than fight a Lady Dragon.

I just dicovered I have a slight attachment to the old cover for this book. Yes, this one is better. Yes, I complained a little about the other not matching my standards. But its gold, and its vibrancy made me love it anyway. The one bit of my mind that wants things to stay the same is fighting with rest over how excited I should be.

 

Check out what everyone says about the covers and comment over there too. Then read my fanfic.

 

As part of the giveaway on her blog, Kendra is asking for crossover fanfics. There’s a number of options, but I choose to pull a few of my characters into Rizkaland. I have Demetrio from Lady of Courage and Cassia from SubM. Demetrio is supposed to be a villain, but doesn’t act like it, while Cassia remains anonymous and is a nuisance. I hope you like it.

 

Just Get Off the Mat

It was still early summer, but there was a patch of red leaves showing through the trees ahead. Demetrio pushed ahead. If the trees were suffering from some blight, he ought to know about it.

Further on were still more red trees. He stepped from the path to see how far the trees extended. They vanished again. Puzzled, he stepped back to the path. The trees appeared again. Demetrio hurried on. There was a loud click behind him and he whirled around.

Impossible. Red trees surrounded him. Yellow grass too. Was he going mad?

“Excuse me sir, What way would I walk to find a town?”

Demetrio scanned the trees and spotted a small golden-haired girl under one of the trees. He strode forward and grabbed her wrist.

“What have you done to the trees?” he demanded.

“I? The trees? They were red when I arrived here. Where they different before?” the girl asked.

“There were green trees here, just a minute ago. And green grass. Not this atrocity. Don’t pretend you know nothing about it.”

The girl’s eyes grew big. “You’re not from here either, I see. And you don’t know what happened.”

Demetrio loosened his grip on the girl. “Where is this then? Because last time I checked, I was very much from Doranto.”

The girl sighed. “It seems there was some reason for me to be here then. You’re not in Doranto anymore. You’re in another world. She said it was called Rizkaland before she disappeared.”

“Rizkaland? World? She?” Demetrio pulled his hat off and rubbed at his head. “What on earth do you mean?”

“I mean you’ve been transported to a place completely disconnected from where ever you’ve come from. Unfortunately, that means you can’t get back all on your own. Neither can I. So, we’re stuck here. And there is magic which just makes it all worse.”

Demetrio raised his eyebrows. He still had no idea what was going on, but his senses said this was real. So presumably the magic was real and could be useful. “What is this magic? I’m not sure I believe you.”

The girl twisted her had from his grip and stepped away. “You really don’t need to know.”

Demetrio took a step after the girl and grabbed her by both wrists. “Tell me. Please.”

She stared back at him for a long moment. “Fine. But I’ll advise you to avoid all of it. Magic is not something to be meddled with and there could be all kinds in this place. Take this for example.” She pointed at a purple mat under their feet. “If you say a special word, it transports you somewhere else.”

“Do you know what the word is?”

“Yes, but I’m not using it. I don’t do magic. That’s why I asked which way the nearest town was.”

Demetrio stared at her. “I don’t suppose you could tell me the word.”

“Nope. I wouldn’t want to have someone else’s use of magic on my mind. We’ll just have to wait for someone else to turn up.”

“You said there was a woman here?”

The girl nodded. “Yep, she went off on the mat to find someone else when I refused to use it. She’ll probably be trying to come back about now.”

Demetrio tugged at the girl. “Look here. I don’t know how these things work, but I’d imagine it’s not a good idea to stand on them when someone else wants to use them.”

She pulled back. “Oh, they just won’t work. But I don’t want her using magic either.”

~The End~

Rosette Thornbriar review + Interview with Rachel Roden

Last day of my blog streak. Nothing more until next week if only to not overload people.

Today we have this sweet little story.

Once upon a time, way out west…

Back when they were young’uns, Fleur Guardstone proposed to Rosette Thornbriar with a cigar band ring. However, not long after, she disappeared back into the forest and hadn’t been heard from since. However, when Fleur hears reports of smoke coming from that woods, he’s determined to find out if it is, indeed, his dear Rosette. If he can get past all of the briars.

~Review~

I don’t tend to read children’s stories much, but I like this one.

Rosette Thornbriar is not overly simple and fits very well in its setting. I have read stories in which something is skewed or just sounds plain odd in a different setting. This isn’t one of those. Granted westerns, especially bedtime story western aren’t my area of expertise, but it feels right.

There’s a cute little town and a devoted hero. He doesn’t just ride out, hack through a few briars and rescue the girl. It’s much more complex than that. We’ve also got Cindy who I look forward to seeing the next story.

As a children’s story, Rosette Thornbriar is very short. I think I’ve just begun, then realizes I’m half way though. It’s well paced though. The ending ties up almost too neatly, but that’s common to both fairytales and childrens stories.

If you have children, or simply like fairytales, this is a great book.

~Interview~

I got to interview Rachel and found she likes nice long answers.

What is your favourite color? Least favorite?

Yellow … but not lemon yellow, a nice rich golden yellow that is tending toward orange.
I also really like purples all the way into the indigo range, but not the maroon range.

I don’t like dark colors. Especially like dark blues and blacks. But maybe the color that appeals to me the least is that dusty blue – cornflower blue ….

I like my colors bright and full of life.

What is a book that changed your life?

Other than the Bible …. probably the Hobbit. When I was about 7, we went to a play in the park where we watched “the Hobbit”. The story intrigued me, but I could never remember the name of it later. I already liked reading, but mostly read biography’s and picture books at that time. By the time I was 9, I had begun an all out search for the book from the play, and soon realized that it was only going to found in a longer book. I spent the next 5-7 years searching for that book. Along the way, I tripped on fairy tales, science fiction, fantasy, and hundreds of authors and series of books.

Finally, in my mid teen years, I was telling someone about the play, and they recognized the story and soon I held my first copy of “The Hobbit”. I read a lot of books over the years while searching for that book, fell in love with the genre, and never looked back. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings remain one of the few books that I have read a second time – on purpose.

I love your story. It’s amazing that it took you years to rediscover the book. I admit to being a frequent re-reader.

What do you love most about fairytales?

How much variety there is … yet the different cultures all have a cores set of stories that are the same. Every culture has a Cinderella tale. They all have a trickster tale and a fools tale as well, and overall, there is a lot of similarity between those. And yet, each culture and it’s values can be glimpsed within each story set.

It makes me wonder about the origin of the Cinderella tale. Some stories might all tie back to a single event no one remembers well, but I highly doubt it’s one of them.

Which fairytale might you tell after Cindy Ellen?

I have a Frogdrick Pierce about half written. And once I think of a name, I have a Snow White partially fleshed out. I’m also considering points for Rumpelstiltskin and Rapunzel. I even have a Hansel and Gretel tale bouncing around on the edges of my brain.

There are so many tales out there that could be told. I love the name Frodrick Pierce.

What do you think has had the biggest impact on your writing?

My huge imagination combined with the vast number of books and stories that I’ve read. I also have a gift for taking any situation and randomly coming up with a story to fit it. The biggest negative impact though, is that I can’t spell half of the words that I want to use, so I end up putting in synonyms for them. Spell check has improved my ability to churn out material though.

Random odd fact: I once won a spelling bee and once received the only 100 on a spelling test in my 5th grade classroom. Both time my teacher was speechless.

Rachel Roden is a natural story teller, capable of weaving the most hilarious of fairy tales. She fell in love with the Lone Ranger in her teens, but ended up with a basketball referee instead. Together, she and the Ref homeschool their four children in the Piney Woods of East Texas, as well as any other odd kid who ends up in their house. She might also be the sole human who still uses math after college.

You can connect with Rachel on her blog, twitter, and Pinterest.

 

~Giveaway~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other blog stops today:

Knitted By God’s Plan – Twisted Dreams Feature

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke – Rosette Thornbriar Feature

Interviews:

The Destiny of One – Kendra

Reviews:

Reflections of the Heart – Twisted Dreams

The Flowering Vales – Twisted Dreams

Twisted Dreams Mini Review + Interview with Morgan Huneke

Free piece of advice: Write posts for blog tours at least three days in advance. Especially  when you have multiple post or the last possible day you can write it is a Monday.  It’s probably only the beginning of Monday for most you, but it’s quite late here and I’m only just starting this post.

So hello everyone! This is the beginning of the three Sleeping Beauties blog tour. I have posts the next two days as well, so be prepared. There will be much mentioning of fairytales and possibly more late night posts.

Today I have the pleasure of Interviewing Morgan Elizabeth Huneke and reviewing her book Twisted Dreams. Which is a great book. If you like your sci-fi and fantasy mixed, you should read it. If you like funny characters or surprises you should read it. If you like fantasy adventures with political elements you should read all her books.

“I, Calandra, of the Wingans, do bestow upon you, the Princess of Hanover, a gift. You have been given long life. I cannot interfere with that, but when you are sixteen years of age, you will prick your finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into an everlasting sleep.” She stepped closer so that she could be heard only by Liesel and her parents. “Then you will at last see the truth. Be wary. Be wise. Your fate rests upon yourself.”

On her sixteenth birthday, Princess Liesel Rosanna falls victim to a sleeping curse—but wakens in another world, a prisoner of war. As the bait in a trap for her fiancé, the crown prince of Hanover, Liesel longs to escape back to the fairy tale world. The world where she is only wanting a true love’s kiss to set everything to rights.

As situations quickly grow dire, Liesel must choose which story to live, which life is real. The fate of her country rests on her decision.

See I told you it was interesting. Now onto the interview. I asked Morgan a series questions about her favourite things. It’s turned out quite fun.

Welcome to my blog, Morgan. Let’s start this off with a question that fits the tour. What’s your favourite fairytale?

Morgan: I’ve always had this strange fascination for Rumpelstiltskin. I’m really not sure why. Maybe it has something to do with my obsession with spinning and weaving. There’s so much that’s intriguing about Rumpelstiltskin, so much that’s unexplained. Like, why did the miller insist his daughter could spin straw into gold? Why did Rumpelstiltskin want the baby? Why was guessing his name the way she could get out of giving up her child? I feel like you could do so much with that story.

It is fascinating. you just made me wonder why I hadn’t tried mixing Rumpelstiltskin with Rapunzel since Spinning and weaving once were significant in what has become Girl of the Rumours.

Of all your published books, which is your favourite?

Can a parent have a favorite child? Every book is special to me in a different way. I try to choose, and, well, I can’t. I love all seven of them.

I would probably have to say the same. Except I don’t have seven books and none are published.

Favourite food?

That’s a tough one, but I think I’ll go with baked potato soup. Potatoes + milk + cheese + bacon = awesome. I’m a bit of a dairy addict, and I love potatoes. When I cook, potatoes and cheese are almost always involved.

I can never answer that one one either. But that sounds delicious.

Favourite board game?

I’m going with Balderdash, even though these days we usually play with too many people to use the board and just keep score on a sheet of paper instead. It’s a lot of fun, good for a laugh, you find out about some really strange laws and weird movies, and you learn a lot about people and how they think. I always have a good time when we play.

I’ve played that game out of the box only a couple of times. At home we just do it with a dictionary. It is fun.

Favourite book you’ve read in the last few months?

Exiles by Jaye L. Knight. It’s such a good book. Quite an emotional roller coaster, but so good. Every storyline was gripping, there were some twists I didn’t expect, moments that made me sad, moments that made me mad, moments that made me tense, moments that made me extremely happy. Everybody should read Ilyon Chronicles.

Yes, yes, yes! I haven’t read Exiles yet, but I am so looking forward to it. Emotional roller coaster and all.

Favourite character in Twisted Dreams?

Matthew. He’s the crazy one, and he’s just so much fun to write. He’s cast as Matt Smith and inspired by the Eleventh Doctor. He’s also the only one of the main trio who isn’t twitterpated. He’s a great character.

I’m not surprised my that answer. I think Matthew is my favourite as well.

And because I really do want to know, What was the first inspiration for Twisted Dreams?


Well, Rooglewood Press announced that their fairy tale retelling contest was to be Sleeping Beauty and I wanted to enter. I started brainstorming ideas for a twist, one of which was “what if the enchanted sleep is actually a good thing?” From there, it merged with the Doctor Who episode “Amy’s Choice” where the characters keep flipping back and forth between two places and have to figure out what’s real and what’s a dream. I took that concept and ran with it, throwing in BBC Merlin, Star Wars, and Michael Vey for good measure. It’s certainly been quite interesting.

That’s a great premise and I really like where you’ve taken it.

Morgan: Thanks for having me!

It was a pleasure.

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Books have always been a big part of her life, never more so than when working at the local library. Her other interests include reading, playing and teaching piano and violin, and politics. She is the author of Across the Stars and The Experiment as well as the Time Captives fantasy trilogy.

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. And do. I’ve got to know Morgan over the last few years, and I’m really glad to have her as a friend.

~Mini Review~

I have a confession to make. I have a tendency to rush through books and skim them a bit. I catch what I missed on the second pass. However, I’ve not done my second read of Twisted Dreams. So this will be short and a bit spotty.

 

It’s a sound story with fun characters and strong themes.

I love the beginning. It’s told from Leisel’s point of view when she’s a baby. The confusion when she falls asleep only to awaken in another world is very realistic.

The theme of trusting God, not in a prince to rescue is beautiful.

I recommend it.

Add on  Goodreads. Preorder on Kindle so you can get it when it releases in a couple of days.

 

 

Now I must go get my beauty sleep.

A-Z Bookish Tag

I borrowed this tag from Kendra E. Ardnek who stole it from Rachel Rossano.

1. Author You’ve Read the Most Books from:

Definitely Martha Finley. There’s 28 Elsie books and another 7 Mildred books which I own. There’s also a handful of obscure standalones that I can still highly recommend. Wanted: A Pedigree, Signing the Contract and What it Cost, and The Thorn in the Nest are the best of them. The last of those has a male lead and a complex secret. None of them have a perfect child for the MC.

(After writing this I realized, that the correct answer is Enid Blyton. I read 60 – 80 books by here back in the day. It’s almost scary.)

2. Best Sequel Ever:
I’ve got to say the same as Kendra. The King’s Scrolls by Jaye L. Knight.  It’s my favourite book of one of my favourite series. I’ll add in a second of The First Traitor by Laura Campbell. It did everything I hoped for, and both of these sequels almost broke my heart.
3. Currently Reading:
Our Intrepid Heroine by Ness Kingsley. I need to finish it, but I was getting my brothers to read it aloud in the car and I haven’t taken them anywhere for a few weeks.4. Drink of Choice While Reading:
I don’t really drink while reading. But water is my primary drink.

5. E-reader or Physical Book:

Physical book. Though I don’t actually have an e-reader, so I use my phone instead. Price means I read a lot more e-books.

6. Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School:
I didn’t go to highschool and I didn’t date. (Attention from boys made me avoid them) But I would have like to be friends with Reuben from Kendra’s Lady Dragon Tela Du. (or maybe not). Also Hank Coolidge from the Starlight Animal Rescue series by Dandi Daley Mackall. Her books were my favourite for a time.

7. Glad You Gave This Book a Chance:

I could list so many books here. Yet, I rarely read a book I really doubt I’ll enjoy. But I almost never got around to reading Ellie Burton and the Reflective Portals which I won in a giveaway, and found it a decent book. It was aimed at a slightly younger audience, so it’s not my favourite, but that wasn’t why I almost didn’t read it.
8. Hidden Gem Book:
The Magician’s Daughter by Justyn Walker. It’s portal fantasy, very quirky, very good allegory.  Unfortunately, being self published in Australia, it’s really had to come by physical copies in the rest of the world. It’s available on Kindle, (as The Wanderer’s Daughter) but the sequels aren’t. If they were I’d try to promote them more, but as it is, it’s kind of pointless.
9. Important Moment in Your Reading Life:
I was somewhere between 7 and 9 when I first started reading a chapter book on my own. It was The Prodigal Cat by Janette Oke. I started reading it aloud to Mum. Next morning I was reading it before breakfast. I haven’t been able to stop since.10. Just Finished:
Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn. It’s Indian inspired steampunk and I’m writing steampunk that might have a little element of Indian culture. I like it, but probably not enough the buy the other books. (It was free)

11. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
Erotica or anything heading that way. Anything with romance as the sole plot. Terribly written books. Anything that glorifies evil.

12. Longest Book You’ve Read:
I’m not at all sure, but Queechy by Susan Warner is near the top of the list. It’s over 25 hours in audio. If I can count nonfiction, I’ve got a lot of possible options.  Macauley’s History of England winning at 100+ hours of audio. It’s five books though.

13. Major Book Hangover Because Of:
I don’t really get book hangovers. But I walked around smiling for a week after reading Samara’s Peril by Jaye L. Knight.14. Number of Bookcases You Own:
Two. Though one’s only partly full and I have a bunch of books on another shelf in the house.  I borrow the libararies shelves and money too.

15. One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

One book?!? What is this one book? I used to often read a book twice in a row because I would miss things the first time. I still do frequently. But I’ll pick Water Princess, Fire Prince. I read that again straight after beta reading and gave Kendra more feedback. And then read it again just before she sent me an updated version to read before the release.
16. Preferred Place to Read:
Anywhere is fine. Bedroom is common. Outdoors is great given sutable weather.17. Quote that Inspires You/Gives You the Feels from a Book You’ve Read:

“We will stand for what is right, and good, and true. We will protect and aid each other and all those Elôm brings into our path. We will remain faithful to Him, even when it may cost us our lives, and we will stand firm against the evil that will soon surround us. We will not back down. Each of us, right here, right now—we are the resistance.”
Last paragraph from Resistance by Jaye L. Knight.

18. Reading Regret:

I once read a sequel to The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnet. It was unfortunately not a childrens book at all. And The Secret Garden doesn’t even need a sequel. I don’t remember the name, but don’t ever read it. It’s the book that makes me wish books had clearer ratings. I didn’t realize because it was filed as ‘Large Print’, not adult. Not that I didn’t read any books that were aimed more at adults at that age, but I might have been wary. ( clarification: this book was by another author)

19. Series You’ve Started and Need to Finish (All books are out in the series):

I’d like to finish the Follower of the Word Series by Morgan Busse someday. And the Dark Trench Saga by Kerry Neitz.

20. Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books:

Lady Dragon, Tela Du by Kendra E. Ardnek, The Ryn by Serena Chase, Deliver by Trica Mingerink.

21. Unapologetic Fangirl For:
The Ilyon Chronicles, The Rizkaland Legends, The  27th Protector Series, and various other books as the occasion arises.22. Very Excited for This Release More than All the Others:
Exiles by Jaye L. Knight.  I’m making myself wait to get a physical copy though.

23. Worst Bookish Habit:

Getting all the free books. Also skimming to get though books faster.
24. X Marks the Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Trouble in a Fur Coat by Janette Oke. It’s also the last book on the top shelf. Next shelf has writing books.
25. Your Latest Book Purchase:
I just preordered Spellsmith and Carver 2 by H. L. Burke26. ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

 I stayed up pretty late the last two night writing. So I’ll say Girl of the Rumours.
And that’s that. Feel free to take this tag. After all, I did.

White Dawn: Review and Giveaway

Continue reading

Older posts

© 2018 Reality Reflected

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑