Category: Books (page 2 of 3)

Promise’s Prayer by Erika Mathews

It’s another new book. One I could have gotten to read if I hadn’t bailed out on beta-reading it in 2015. I’ve seen enough to be excited for it though. I get to tell you about an interesting character. So read down to the character spotlight and don’t miss the giveaway at the end.

I love this cover.

About the Book 

Kaelan is restless for adventure and relentless in his efforts to bring the land of Taerna back to the blessings of Adon Olam and the prosperity of the days of his ancestors. Fueled by a solemn promise and his mother’s secret, he finds himself in the forefront of a desperate scheme that is crucial to Taerna’s future. Can he keep his promise? Can he save the people of Taerna from the corruption and rampant lawlessness that threaten them with extinction? Shy and quiet Carita knows she possesses what Taerna’s people so desperately need. But how can she help them when her own soul is simultaneously tormented by witnessing unmet needs and handicapped by her own paralyzing fears? When Kaelan and Carita come face to face with the true nature of Adon Olam’s call, will they each choose to embrace Adon Olam’s plan for Taerna—and for their own lives?

Available on Amazon!
Click here for purchase information!

Character Spotlight: Ellrick

Trustworthy and experienced, Ellrick is a lifetime friend of Kaelan’s family and a well-established citizen of Frydael. He’s kind and steady, and very little fazes him. Ellrick has a way of listening that engages anyone who is talking with him and encourages them to confide in him. He enjoys freely sharing the many nuggets of wisdom he has gathered in his seventy years. He’s lived through the reign of several pairs of lawless kings and seen many changes come upon the country of Taerna. One of the few who can remember better days, he’s devoted to Adon Olam and the specific call that Adon Olam has placed upon his life. Through Kaelan and Carita’s adventures, Ellrick proves an invaluable source of wisdom as well as a loyal, devoted friend.

Author’s Note
Even though Ellrick wasn’t mentioned in the very first rough outline I wrote for Promise’s Prayer, he quickly became one of my favorite characters. I love his gentle kindness, his compassionate wisdom, his grandfatherly manner, and his dedication to Adon Olam—as well as his subtle sense of humor. The inspiration for his character came from a Pinterest photo. As soon as I found the picture, I knew he needed to be a major character in the series, and he quickly and smoothly slid into his role. While much of the country is lawless and focused on pleasure or else confused about Adon Olam’s will, Ellrick stands as a strong contrast in his steadiness. While writing his character, he would sometimes surprise me with the bits of his past that he would reveal. With the intriguing taste of his past that he’s given so far, I hope to someday write a novella devoted to his backstory.

Snippet:

“I’m a failure. And I can’t serve Adon Olam. And I’m nobody.” She spoke bitterly. “No one will listen to me. No one will serve Him because I say so. I have no position of influence. And…” Her voice faltered. “I can’t be rejected.” The last words were a mere whisper, and the tears leaked.

Ellrick nodded compassionately, his eyes sober, yet twinkling with reassurance. When she was a measure calmer, he spoke gently. “What you are most afraid of is what will set you free.”

She considered that. “How can it? My fear is the prison. The prison can’t help me escape from itself.”

“True,” Ellrick agreed. “But Adon Olam can. He sent His Son to set the prisoners free, to break the chains that bind them, to loose them from who they are in themselves. He set us free to live in His perfect love, which casts out fear, because fear has torment.”

She looked at him, her eyes vacant and hopeless. “I know that. But it’s not real to me. I don’t feel it. All I feel is fear.”

“Trust Him, Carita,” Ellrick spoke again. “He has set you free. Receive it. Choose to live in it no matter what you feel. The fear is from the enemy, who desires you to be bound.”

Suddenly he sat up and spoke as though he were inspired. His steel-colored hair stood erect on his head. “Adon Olam is up to something, Carita! Adon Olam is at work. He has to be! Or why would the enemy be fighting so hard to bring you down? The enemy wants you to be afraid. He doesn’t want this key that you possess—your knowing of Him—to reach the Taernans. He knows his day is over. You know what that means? You’re going to win, Carita; you have won!”

She shook her head slowly, as if to try to clear it. Her mind seemed foggy. “I cannot escape. So I fight back?”

“You can choose how to respond to your fear,” Ellrick went on. “You can fight it, you can succumb to it, or you can choose to live outside of it no matter what claims it makes upon you. If you choose to succumb to it, you are imprisoned within it. If you try to fight it, you will find that it is stronger than you are. You will exhaust yourself, and you will lose. But if you choose to live apart from the fear, refusing to allow it to run your life, you will find yourself free from it.”

Carita listened carefully. It was difficult to wrap her mind around what Ellrick was saying; she had to deliberately concentrate to follow him. He continued.

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

Carita thought. “I—I don’t know. Change the world? Talk to people? Tell them of Adon Olam? Pray more? And—and go help the woman with the baby,” she added softly.

Ellrick smiled. “That’s excellent, to start with,” he approved. “As you do it, Adon Olam will help you. You will find yourself working past your feelings and receiving more and more of the love of Adon Olam. So why don’t you step out with that as He has called you to do? Talk to people. Help the woman. Share His love with them. Be bold in living Him through your life, and don’t worry about what people think or say.”

“But—that’s not who I am.”

“Then receive His change in you.”

Carita cast her eyes downwards. “I’m afraid—that I’m afraid of change.”

“Change often causes much pain. Growth also brings pain. However, what brings the most pain is remaining immobilized somewhere that you do not belong—in something to which Adon Olam has not called you.”                

About the Author

Erika is an internet friend of mine. We’re both in Kendra E. Ardnek’s inner circle of fan girls, so we interact fairly often. She’s a lovely, encouraging person.
She’s a homeschool graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications, a Master’s in Biblical Ministries, and a passion for sharing Jesus Christ and His truth. When she’s not working with books, she enjoys reading, outdoor activities, piano and violin, organizing, and using the Oxford comma. You can connect with Erika at restinglife.com, on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.

Giveaway

Celebrate the exciting release by entering to win Promise’s Prayer! One winner will receive a paperback and a second winner will receive an ebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Party Special Stops!

Check out each of these stops today for special highlights, snippets, features on Promise’s Prayer characters, interviews, and more! Also, keep an eye on social media for Promise’s Prayer posts by special guests!

Author Interview at Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings (Alea Harper)

Carita Character Spotlight at God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae (Raechel)

Author Interview at Seek Him First (Katherine Sophia)

Kaelan Character Interview and Spotlight at Random Reflections (Gabriella)

Release Party Central at Resting Life (Erika Mathews)

Ashen City by Sara Baysinger – Cover Reveal

 Why another post so soon after the last one? Well I’m glad you asked. This is an even more special announcement. There’s a book coming out soon and it’s going to have a cover.
Well that didn’t sound that exciting. Let’s try again. 
Ashen City, the sequel to Sara Baysinger’s fabulous book, Black Tiger, will be released on April 6th! But you don’t have to wait until then for everything. Today, you will see the cover of the book in all its glory.
But first I’m going to tell you about Black Tiger.
It’s dystopian, set in a future where disease has eliminated most of the world’s population. There is just one large city.
Ember Carter is a farmer’s daughter and wants to be a farmer herself. That seems impossible as all farming careers are given to boys and for several years everyone has been recruited to the Line of Defenders, even though there isn’t a hint of war around. 
Amazingly, she is assigned the career of farmer, but that hope quickly disappears when she tries to save her best friend from the Defenders.
She is sent off to the city, charged with murdering a defender and being a rebel. The sentence is death. A horrible death at the Rebels circle. Only petty criminals get a quick death by a Black Tiger.
But we all know she can’t die. Not in this part of the story. She gets out, she’s only an ‘guest’ now. A guest with a lot of power. But she’s also suspected by the chief and she can’t leave.

This is where things get fun. There’s two young men in the city. And they’re both rather contradictory. One is a nice person, the kind of person it’s easy to trust. Yet, he’s the chief’s best friend and thinks they can work with him to fix the problems in Ky.

The other is a thoroughly despicable person, then a somewhat nice, and almost too friendly person. He keeps Ember entertained and even talks about the religion that is long gone from the city. I start to think he’s a Christian of sorts ,but then he’s urging her to rebel. One minute he’s a hero, the next despicable again. I love having my emotions jerked around like that.
Any way I love this books. It has some amazing dilemmas, terrifying moments, great themes and an answer to why God gives us free will. Also there’s the exploration of a society where religion is gone. It’s  not entirely gone though, some traces will always remain and people will always have a heart to look for purpose and something bigger than them. Always. And there is also mind control. 
Now onto Ashen City.

Make your choice, Ember Carter. And make it count.
Ember Carter has escaped the flames of death. But will she ever be free from Chief Titus? When the orchard goes up in smoke and her family turns up missing, Ember returns to Frankfort hoping to find her brother and father, and to get Titus to drop the death wish he has against her.
But Titus is always one step ahead. When Ember faces him head-on, she’s captured, only to receive another death sentence. But on her way to her execution, plans go a little askew, and Ember finds herself traveling to the one place no one dares travel: Louisville. If the outskirts of Ky were a ghost town, the ashen city is the borderline of hell itself, but it’s the one place Ember can find refuge from the people who want her dead. 
In the ashen city, Ember must learn that being a hero is more than doing what is right because she can, but doing it for the good of the people. And when plans take a turn for the worst, she must decide if it’s worth risking her life to save her country.


It sounds good to me. More avoidance of death.
And now the cover!!!
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Isn’t that lovely. In a rather haunting way.
And Black Tiger as well.
And if I convinced you to read Black tiger it’s on Amazon.
And if you want to be part of the book launch blog tour in April, there’s a sign up form here. I heard there will be prizes.
And be sure to check out Sara’s website.
I just found out a cool fact about Sara today. She grew up in the Andes Mountains in Equador. How cool is that?

Smashing & Dashing Characters of 2016 Awards #BookTag


So Cait @ Paper Fury has a character award book tag and I thought I’d try to do it despite being bad at remembering half of what I’ve read.

1. Most Relatable Character

Renna Faythe in Dare and Deny by Tricia Mingerink. In fact most quiet caring characters who get stuck in dangerous situations. The ones that start falling for ‘the guy who thinks he isn’t worthy’ without realizing it. Kyrin Altair also fits this.


2. Most Pure and Precious Animal Companion

I wouldn’t call her pure and precious, but I’m going with Punzel from Song of the Sword by Hope Ann. She’s a fen-hopper, which is a winged cat that lives in the Shadowfen. She’s a bit feisty and prefers the name of Shadow-wing. Anyway she does a good job of keeping Roinette company.

In the same book, the hero Evrard has a Messenger Falcon for a side kick. So two animal companions for the price of one.


3. Fiercest Fighter

Trap Merodach from The Light of Eidon by Karen Hancock. He might not be the fiercest, but he’s certainly skilled.

4. Most Amazing Sidekick

Solomon Hawke in A Time to Speak by Nadine Brades. Or Shad Alistaar in Deny. Or the other person I’ll remember tomorrow.

5. One You’re Surprised You Loved (Book or Character???)

A Star Curiously Singing
by Kerry Neitz. I don’t read Sci-Fi. But I liked this. The main character Sandfly and the world were so far removed from what I know, that it was a little hard to get into, but once I did, it was fascinating. A~A2


6. Best Sassmaster
Knife, from Knife by R. J Andersen.

7. Best Anti-Hero
I’m not sure if he’s technically an anti-hero but Rain Walker from Black Tiger by Sara Baysinger. I’m not quite sure what I think of him. At first he appears a total jerk and then he starts acting nicer, and just as I start o think he might be a good person he does something dreadful again. I like characters that jerk my emotions around like that.


8. Best Worst Villain to Hate
Pathetic villains usually mean pathetic heroes, which means forgettable books. That said there’s a villain who isn’t even worth hating in Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti by Trish Mercer. At one point I hoped he’d be redeemed, but he just got worse. He’s miserable and has a terribly skewed worldview.


9. Truly Astounding Worst Ya Parents


I don’t really read much YA and can’t think of any.

10. Truly Astounding Best Ya Parents

Parvin’s parents in a Time to Speak.

11. Toot Toot Best Ship of Them All

Best? There is no single best. But Amber and Granite in Lady Dragon, Tela Du by Kendra E. Ardnek. This is a very sad ship, because Amber has been the evil Lady Dragon for 3,000 years while Granite stayed good. He loves her, but hates what she does, and she pushed him away and won’t listen to his advice. And they were so happy for the first 3,000 years. #Amberite (I almost choose the other main couple of this book #Reutra)

12. The Most in Need of Protection

Temperance, or Marie from the Virtues and Valor Series by Hallee Bridgeman. She gets tortured by Nazi’s and almost dies of pneumonia. Also the series is fascinating. Eight overlapping novellas, each telling the story of a different person. And since they all go by code names and don’t give personal details out, there’s a lot to guess at through the books.

13. Most Boring As a Barnacle

Can’t remember. I’ve come across a number of boring character, but they don’t stick in my head. Why should they?

14. Best Little Royal

Not sure what this is supposed to mean, but Princess Lily in The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doue. A wonderful princess who does take her responsibilities seriously. And with 11 younger sisters there’s a lot going on.


15. Very Surprised You’re Still Alive

Aislyn from the 27th Protector series by Laura Campbell. This girl has many narrow escapes. Not that I actually thought she would die, but it’s a miracle she hasn’t. A very dangerous miracle in fact. A traitor. That’s why she one of the few 27th protectors who’s beaten the odds and lived.



16. Best at Horrible Decision Making (makes bad decisions)

Vrell in From Darkness Won by Jill Williamson. And Achan.

17. Cutest Dork 

Reuben Eaglechaser of Lady Dragon, Tela Du. He’s the guy who alway checked in his wardrobe for Narnia, thinks he knows exactly what’s going on when he ends up in a fantasy world, and rarely takes anything seriously. And the way he loves Petra is kind of dorky. 


18. Cleverest Little Hellion
Eva from The 27th Protector series. And  several other characters. They need to be clever. But Eva is younger, so ‘little’ fits her.
19. Most in Need of A Nap

I’m too tired to think of an answer.

20. Want to Read More About You


Most of the people I’ve just mentioned. Lady Firebird in Firebird by Kathy Tyers.


And that is that. I hope you all have a merry Christmas. God bless you.

Five books I’m thankful for: Black Friday Book Sale!

Smiley

So it’s the time of the year that people talk about giving thanks, we don’t celebrate thanksgiving Day in Australia, it’s not part of our history, but there is something to be thankful for everyday.
Among those things, great books make their way onto my list of blessings every year. It’s hard to choose favorites and sometimes I have trouble remembering what I read when, but I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2016 or the end of 2015 and am thankful for.

  1. The Bible: Yes, not a knew book, and it’s an easy answer. But it’s true. This is the book I am forever thankful for. Without God’s guidance in my my life I would be so lost. It’s hard to even think about what I could be like if not for God’s grace.
  2. Finding the Core of Your Story, by Jordan Smith: Non fiction, but as an author I’m really grateful for this little book.
  3. Captive of Raven Castle, by Jessica Greyson: This book help me understand what it would be like to discover you’d been lied to all your life.
  4. Deny (also Dare), by Tricia Mingerink: A wonderful faith affirming book. Made me rethink my priorities and reminded me that the death of believers, isn’t a tragedy for them.
  5. Lady Dragon Tela Du, by Kendra E. Ardnek: I’m thankful for the friends ships I made while beta reading it. Especially my friendship wiht Kendra. Shes’s a great, encouraging author friend.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to another great year of reading!

Speaking of more reading, here’s one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 25-28. There’s literally something for everyone. Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you. Don’t know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!

What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks. Also, some of the authors this year chose to not sell their paperbacks directly through the site. Those books are also marked “Sold Out” but if you click them open, you’ll find a link to the site where they are on sale and a discount code for you to use at check out.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Birthday Bash: Interview with Faith Blum

It’s a birthday party! November 19th was the third birthday of Faith Blums debut novel, A Mighty Fortress. To celebrate, she has all sorts of fun going on. First, she’s released a newly revised version of A Mighty Fortress. Second, she has most of her published books on sale. Third, she’s releasing the box set of all five of her novels for a special discounted price. And fourth, but not least, she now has the audiobook of A Mighty Fortress! I’m not sure exactly when it will be available, but if you sign up for her New Releases newsletter, you will get an email with the announcement.


“Stay back!” Joshua ordered. He kept his eyes on the scene below while waving his arm in Ruth’s direction. “Get deeper into the woods and stay down low to the ground.”Joshua hazarded a glance behind him. He could no longer see Ruth and breathed a sigh of relief. In one swift move, he grabbed his rifle and lay flat to the ground. Extending the rifle, he aimed at the shorter man whose gun was pointed at Bradshaw.

Joshua and Ruth Brookings are traveling by stagecoach to finally join their parents in Montana. Attacked by murderous outlaws, the teens barely escape with their lives and must survive in the barren Wyoming and Montana territories and escape the man who’s hunting them.

Seven years ago, Jed Stuart ran away from home and joined Tom’s gang. Jed is tired of the lawlessness and wants out. The only problem? He is the boss’s right-hand man and will never be able to leave. And what’s one more stagecoach robbery, anyway?

Can Joshua lean on God’s strength to keep himself and his sister alive until they find a town? Will Jed be able to face his anger or will it consume him completely? All three are running–the hunter and hunted. What will happen when they meet?

About the Author 

Faith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she could write better than Dr. Seuss. (The picture doesn’t show it well, but there are scribblings on the page of Green Eggs and Ham). Now that she has grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.
When she isn’t writing, Faith enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, playing piano, and playing games with her family. One of her dreams is to visit Castle City, Montana, someday to see the ghost town she chose for her characters to live in. She currently lives on a hobby farm with her family in Wisconsin.

Faith can be found on parts of the internet. The best place to go is her website: http://FaithBlum.com There you can find links to her various social media sites and both of her blogs.

Interview

Hello Faith and welcome to my blog. As is customary, I’ll dive straight into the question without any further introductions.
What made you decide to become a writer? And what drew you to writing westerns?

I loved writing, so it was an easy decision once I heard about self-publishing. Ever since finding Dad’s stash of Louis L’Amour books, I’ve been in love with Westerns. Before that, my favorite time period was the Civil War, so the jump to the Old West wasn’t hard. I also liked to read Janette Oke books, but hers were a bit too mushy and Louis L’Amour’s were too gritty, so I tried to even them out a little.

I can see that in them. Westerns aren’t really my things, but I’ve always had the impression that Janette Oke’s books were on the mushy side.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you growing up?

The Bible was the biggest influence in my life growing up. Without the Bible and the teaching in it, I would not be the person I am today.

Great answer. That’s the best book for certain.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?

That depends on the story. I usually have a little bit of an outline or at least an idea of where I want the story to go, but I don’t always have everything figured out before I write. My last project, a novella I wrote as part of my NaNoWriMo project, I did actually have the most full outline I’ve ever had. And I loved it! I’ll probably be doing it for my next book.

In between is about where I’m at. Sometimes I wish I had things more planned out, but it never happens.
What is your favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

I love writing the rough draft of the story. Well, with the novella I just finished, I think my favorite part was actually doing the character backstories, interviews, and then the outline.

Mmm, the stage where everything looks perfect in your head. Then you get to writing it down the execution doesn’t always do your wonderful story justice.
Of all your books, which was the most fun to write?

Probably The Solid Rock (Hymns of the West #5). I wrote the whole novel in 32 days by hand. It was intense, but fun.

That is intense. Extremely rewarding too, I would think.
What fictional character is most like you?

Probably Ruth Brookings from my own books. She’s very similar in a lot of ways, but not all.

What is something big you want to accomplish in your life?

I want to get married, have kids, maybe adopt and/or foster some kids, and homeschool my children. I think those are pretty big things to accomplish. Now I just have to wait for Prince Charming to come around. 🙂

That sounds rather like me. And good on you for saying it straight out. Us young ladies often have a tendency to hedge around that question.
It was great to have you here, Faith.

Giveaway

Faith is offering three prizes!
Grand Prize:
·         Audiobook of A Mighty Fortress (MP3 download)—Could be a short delay
·         The Solid Rock Notebook
1st Prize:
·         Feather Quill Necklace
2nd Prize:
·         eBook set of Hymns of the West: The Complete Series

Faith also just released her first box set, the complete Hymns of the West series. It’s available for a special discounted pre-order price until November 26th and will stay at that price until November 30th.

About the Series

Two Families…
The Brookings family move from Illinois to Montana to start a horse ranch. Their journey to Montana has hazards of its own, as does their life in Castle City, affecting each of them in various ways.
The Stuarts have been living a secluded life in Tennessee since the matriarch of the family died. When Jed runs away, they seclude themselves even more until a letter arrives that changes their lives—one at a time—forever.
Two Worldviews…
One family has believes in God with their whole hearts, living out their lives to the glory of God. The other family believes in God in a general sense, but they have no commitment toward Him or His ways.


One Providential God.

A stagecoach robbery instigates their meeting. Two years later, they meet again. Another year and their lives cross paths again. What happens when God’s providence brings two families with two different worldviews together in ways only He could have planned?

Mega-Sale

Every eBook in the Hymns of the West series is on sale. A Mighty Fortress is permafree, and the other eBooks in the series are $0.99. In addition, the spin-off novella series has a book on sale as well.
And they’re good books. I haven’t read the latest ones, but I’ve enjoyed what I have read. Not my favourite books, but I’m not into westerns very much.
Links:
Life and Salvation: Hymns of the West Novellas 1-3
Faith also has the paperbacks on sale if you buy them from Createspace with the discount codes.
$2.00 off (8.99) with code: MBJB3XSY
$2.00 off (6.99) with code: GQ3KTJYY
$1.50 off (9.49) with code:93LQLRJ8
$2.00 off (11.99) with code: TJXAYXD2
$1.50 off (10.49) with code: 7626YZAK
$2.00 (6.99) with code: V4Y5K46D

Tour Schedule

November 19
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
Author Franky A Brown-Book Spotlight

November 21
Writing Dreams-Author Interview
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Character Spotlight-Joshua
Zerina Blossom’s Books-Author Interview

November 22
The Overactive Imagination-Review of Be Thou My Vision

November 23
Frances Hoelsema– Book Spotlight
Thought of Anna S. Brie-Author Interview

November 25
Bookish Orchestrations-Candid Author Interview
Firethorn Blog-Author Spotlight

November 26
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Character Interview with Ruth

November 28
Once Upon an Ordinary– Author Interview
Written Rest-Character Spotlight -Anna

November 29
The Overactive Imagination-Review of A Mighty Fortress
Jaye L. Knight– Character Spotlight-Caleb

November 30

Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Wrap-up and winner

11 Things I love about Lady Dragon, Tela Du : Book Review

I’m back again with a review of Lady Dragon, Tela Du. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, head over to this post. Otherwise keep reading.

You may wonder why I have eleven thing in my list. There’s no particular reason, I could easily group into more or less. In fact I did have nine.

It’s as good as the first book

Or better. It doesn’t suffer from any common second book problems. But then it’s not exactly a second book, since Kendra has been working on it much longer. 
It touched on many of the same things, but in a fresh way. The relationships were handled differently, the pace was different and many locations were different. The world building wasn’t repetitive of the first book. In fact it worked better because Kendra wasn’t trying to explain everything. Anything necessary just came up naturally.
I certainly wasn’t disappointed by the different characters. I may have liked a few in book one better than their counterparts, but overall they were better.
The Plot Twists

This book had at least 6 plot twist of significance and numerous smaller ones. I saw less than half of them coming. And I like that. I felt smart for what I did figure out, but the ones I didn’t is what made it really brilliant. Because they are telegraphed way back, in very subtle ways. Kendra is brilliant at this.

I also made the mistake of trying to make guesses based of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Yes, this book was inspired by that. But I knew there had been many major changes. Yet still I tried to use it as a pattern. Take my advice, don’t bother making too many predictions. You will never figure it out.

The Emotional Depth

You know how some books seem to change how you feel and you get so full of emotions that you almost burst. The books that you must talk about in some form. This is one of those books. I felt the situations almost as if I was there. It got me pondering deep things. What would it be like if someone else knew what I was thinking, what I have locked away in my heart? What would it be like to have great things asked of me? Things I almost certainly couldn’t do, but felt I couldn’t avoid. What if my life spun completely out of control? Would I still be able to trust God to help me through each day? Am I really trusting him to help me through life now?

Reuben

This is actually a kind of odd one, because though I can’t help liking him, the intensity of his feelings for Petra makes me a bit uncomfortable. an enthusiastic, irrepressible optimist. This often annoys Petra which makes me either annoyed or amused. He can be ridiculous at times, but under it he has his serious moments. I love those serious moments. They’re usually when Petra is worked up and needs sense talked into her.

Petra

She’s an uncommon protagonist. Not at all interested in risking her life to kill Amber. Well not until she has a personal reason to hate her. But people who are willing to risk their lives to make things better for others probably aren’t as common as books would make you think.

She’s also very smart and logical, has a very matter of fact way of speaking and won’t put up with nonsense.

The World

Different colours of water; crazily coloured everything; telepathic, teleporting unicorns; doormats that also teleport you; three different castles; what more could you want? Well there is more, Ambers magical items for example. She has pocket sized stars that do everything from invisibility to changing winds and lots in between: a table that makes its own food; touch activated lights and doors, and much more. And we get a little peek into another world.

Ashna

Every book needs a sweet elf girl doesn’t it? Well maybe not, but we have one here. Ashna goes through a lot of hard things, and though she gets scared she’s not weepy. She’s very quiet and would never intentionally hurt anyone. She’s a contrast to other female characters who easily explode or and least get annoyed. But I think gentleness is common in Kendra’s elves since they are weaker. Her gift is colour change and though it might seem a bit trivial she finds both valuable and caring uses for it.


Family

This isn’t quite a book about family, but it’s got a good bit in it. Parents appear a few times, and are referred to at others. There’s lots of siblings and though they are actually not together for most of the book (instead we get pairs, one from each family), there is a certain closeness and loyalty shown. And in the end of the book, when they are together. It’s very good. I can’t say more than that.

Amber

The villain is always a valid reason for liking a book. I’d met Amber in the previous book, but now I get to see her side of the story. She’s not just some crazy lady who can turn into a dragon. She’s obsessed with the idea of ruling Rizkaland and won’t see what stands in her way. She thinks she knows exactly what she’s doing, but she can’t avoid her destiny. And under her callousness, there’s a slight sense of humour. Characters need a sense of humour.

I hated Amber in the first book, was glad she was going to die and didn’t care how. But somehow Kendra twisted be around so that I actually pitied her. I wished for her to change. Doing that with a villain is masterful

Granite

Amber’s husband. I feel so sorry for him. How could a good man still love his wife when she had been evil for so long? Yet he does. He tries to make her see what she is doing wrong.

He’s also at times quite a fun character. He and Reuben would make quite a pair.

The Themes

Trusting in God to make everything turn out all right. God has a plan even in the things that don’t make the least sense. Sometimes we wonder why he let things happen how they have. Wouldn’t it be so much better if Amber had never come to Rizkaland? Or sometimes we worry about the consequences of our choices. What if the thing we thought was right messed everything up?

But we need not worry. God is in control. If he puts us in a position he will guide us in filling it. I’ll share a couple of favourite lines that express this.

“If that is what You ask of us, then we shall take it one day at a time, as You guide us,” answered Reuben. “Stringing those days together, we’ll end up at the end eventually.”

It also deals with the balance between free will and predestination.

“But if the result is already determined, is it a choice?”

“Yes, it’s still a choice,” Laura answered. “Day after day, I choose to do the tasks set before me. Yes, even I have a choice.”


And once again, the important of commitment in relationships. I like to see love shown in it’s best for rather than the selfish love we often see.


What I didn’t like so much

The structure just didn’t quite feel right. The point of highest tension was at the three quarter mark. After that it slowly dropped, getting down to almost nothing before jumping up pretty high just before the end. It’s not a big problem and my love of the character and a knowledge that something had to happen kept me reading, but it was a little slow.

There wasn’t enough room in the book for all of the characters to be fully developed. There was one couple in particular I would have like to see a little more of. But since that would have had to happen in the end part of the book it would have made the previous problem worse.

Summer disappointed me by being a better person that I’d expected. Which is an odd thing to complain about, but true. 

Content warning

This book was about at the edge of what I can stand as far as romance goes. That was partly because I was reading it aloud to my brothers and have a lower tolerance with them. There’s young married couples doing about what you would expect, kissing, falling asleep together, nothing more than that. And the description tends more towards the character’s emotions than physical sensations.

There’s a bit of violence, with people getting stabbed or turned into ice. I’d say it’s got less than Water Princess, Fire Prince. There’s a bit of blood, but no gore.
So overall, I highly recommend this book for anyone with a taste for fantasy, tales of adventure and high callings, of sacrifice and love.

You can buy Lady Dragon, Tela Du as Kindle or paperback and Goodreads and find Kendra on her blog.  

Lady Dragon, Tela Du Launch: Interview with Kendra

It’s here! The book I started reading half a year ago and have mentioned many times on my blog. I present to you, Kendra E. Ardnek’s latest book Lady Dragon, Tela Du!
I’m not going to fangirl much right now as I have a review coming next week, but this book surprised me a lot. Since I knew the inspiration, I thought I knew where it would go. But it didn’t, Kendra went far above and beyond my expectations. This book doesn’t exactly sound like Narnia does it?
Two girls with one face
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?

Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you’ve lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent – the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber’s face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she’s not sure if he’s more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she’d much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family – including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can’t possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?

Well maybe it is a bit like Narnia, but it delves more into character interactions. The depth of emotion is stunning. But I’m getting sidetracked, this isn’t supposed to be a review, I’m actually interviewing Kendra. Since I know her reasonably well I tried to ask deeper questions. Mostly.
So questions:

Me: What is your name, what is your quest and what is your favourite colour? (Umm, I’d been listening binge listening to Lasers, Dragons and Keyboards. That is their intro question.) But what is your quest?

Kendra: My Quest is to find interesting ideas, turn them into stories, and get them into the hands of people who will enjoy the story.

My name is Kendra E. Ardnek and my favorite color is purple.

What is your favourite place to write?

I will write just about anywhere, and I don’t really have a favorite. Most of my writing is done at my desk in my writing cave, though. (I call it a cave because it’s under my loft bed. Which is awesome.)

What is your definition of success in writing?

Writing stories that connect with people. I write for myself, first and foremost, but if the story I write doesn’t connect with people, I feel like I failed. And if my story brings people together, that’s even better.

If you didn’t write what would you do?

Go crazy? Flip hamburgers at McDonalds? Make more hats? I really don’t know.

If you were offered an expenses paid trip to one place in the world, where would you go?

Germany. I do not know why, but I’m a bit obsessed with the country, and they have some cool castles over there that I’d like to explore.

Castles are cool. Personally I want to visit South America for story research.
Kendra, you’ve written a lot of drafts of Lady Dragon, Tela Du. Was there anything big that surprised you about this one?

Laura’s Voice did rather come out of nowhere, as did some of the final details. I also wasn’t aware how connected she was to Amber and Granite’s immortality until I wrote this final draft. And while previous drafts had focused more on Petra’s sisterly relationship with Ashna, Petra’s romantic relationship with Reuben played far more of a role. Also, Noraeto surprised me by already knowing a plot twist ahead of time.

Fascinating. I’ve always wondered what came up in what draft. I love those details that seem to come out of nowhere.
Did you do any interesting or odd research for this book?

I do not remember all of the research I did for the book, for it was done over the course of nearly eleven years. There was the six months of “Read as many non-Narnia fantasy books as I can while avoiding Narnia like the plague,” though. I read some interesting books during that time. 
And during the last draft, I did look up Cherokee marriage proposals.

Ah, yes. *grins*
Is any part of the book inspired directly by personal experience? Or any of your other books?

While I can’t say that it’s a direct inspiration, this book is the story where I poured a lot of my pain after losing my Grammy seven years ago. Also, Reuben’s reaction to arriving in Rizkaland is what I’m pretty sure my reaction would be if I were to actually end up in another world.
As for other books? Well, there is a pie scene in Do You Take This Quest? inspired by an actual argument between two of my cousins a few Thanksgivings ago.

That scene is fun. I never would have guessed.
What is something you want people to take away from Lady Dragon, Tela Du?

The knowledge that God is in control and has a plan, no matter how impossible things might seem, and the power of forgiveness, even when it’s difficult.

What is an overarching theme for the series?

It seems to be the fact that God is in control, though that’s a theme that is common with almost all of my writing. Sacrificial love and commitment is another theme.

And that’s just what I thought. Sometimes I wonder if I’m understanding books the way the author intends. It’s so easy to jump at one thing and decided that’s the theme. It was great to have you, Kendra.

Thank you Anna


And just in case you don’t already know everything about Kendra, I have the official bio.

Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.


You can find her on her blog and website. Add the book on Goodreads, and if I’ve managed to convince you to buy it you can get it on Kindle and as a paperback. A wonderfully thick paperback.
Also Water Princess, Fire Prince,  Book 1 of the Rizkaland Legends, will be free until the 23rd.
To finish Kendra is letting me share a delightful little snippet.

Ashley didn’t hesitate. She ran back out of the house and then walked across the street to Queen Michelle’s house. Summer answered the door when she knocked. 
“Did Petra change her mind and chase you off?” Summer asked, narrowing her eyes as she leaned against the doorframe. 
Ashley took a step backward and hastily shook her head. “I – I need to talk to your mother.” 
“Why?” 
“Because…” It was sometimes so difficult to not mention Rizkaland to people who didn’t know about it. “Because Mum wants to talk to her.” 
Summer rolled her eyes. “You do know that you really don’t have to call her that just because Petra does. In fact, it annoys Petra when you do. Unless you enjoy annoying Petra, and last time I checked, you didn’t.” 
“Mum suits her,” Ashley quickly answered, glancing down. “It sounds more respectful than ‘mom,’ and I can’t call her ‘Mother.’” 
Summer raised an eyebrow, but instead of questioning Ashley’s statement, she straightened with a toss of her hair. “Well, why are we standing in the doorway wasting cold air? If you want to talk to my mom, come in and find her. Last time I checked, she was home.”

There will be more fun stuff about the book in these places today.

Mid-year Book Freak Out 2016

I grabbed the Mid-year Book Freak Out tag from Shantelle H. The first half of the year has gone so quickly. The heading for finished handwritten first draft of Girl of the Rumours had turned into 30,000 words at about halfway. The other loose idea I had has become bigger and has the beginning of a draft. But this post is supposed to be about reading, not writing. So here it is.

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2016:

I can’t answer this question. There;s so many good books. But Waking Beauty by Sarah E. Morin was a very deep thought provoking book. There’s a lot about reality and escapism in there. And an unexpected allegory. It was certainly quite out of the ordinary. And the cover is beautiful.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2016:

Deny by Tricia Mingerink. Despite the fact I didn’t listen to it almost in one go like with the first book, I was not at all disappointed. It continued in the same high stakes, high faith, encouraging story.

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To:

Defy by Tricia Mingerink. I’m waiting for it to come out in audio though. and then I’ll probably wait some more, because I don’t tend to buy books. But I do want to hear the next part of the story.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year:

Lady Dragon, Tela Du, by Kendra E. Ardnek. Though I ought not care about the release so much since I’m a beta reader. What I’ really waiting for is Kendra having the next part for us. And the cover reveal.

Biggest Disappointment This Year:

I really have nothing here. There have been books I haven’t really liked, but they’ve been random books I picked up with no particular expectations.

Biggest Surprise:

Captive of Raven Castle by Jessica Greyson. I had hardly read the blurb.  So the beginning was very unexpected. The whole story had little bits I wasn’t expecting. But it certainly was good. Quite thought provoking. It made me reconsider some things in my own story.

Favourite New Author of 2016:

Probably Tricia Mingerink. I didn’t really read many books by new authors this year. At least not ones that stood out to me. But I did finally get to read a book by Nicole Sager. She was the first home-schooled author I heard about and probably the reason I’m writing now. But I hadn’t actually read any of her book till recently. It wasn’t as good some, but It was her first book and I was expecting that.

Newest Favourite Character:

Lady Rachel from Samara’s Peril. And Elanor and King Balen. Also a lot of characters in Lady Dragon, Tela Du. And Shad and Jamie in Dare and Deny.

Book That Made You Cry This Year: 

I don’t tend to cry while reading. I expect I have this year, but I don’t remember what book caused it. I think Lady Dragon, Tela Du may have. It’s an amazingly complex, emotional, unpredictable book. From what I’ve read so far I recommend it when it come out.

This really seems to fit that book. Not that it’s got nonsense in it.

Book That Made You Happy:

Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti by Trish Mercer. Yes that is really the name. It’s the fifth book in a series, that though I enjoy I’m not going to wholeheartedly recommend. I need to write a post about that. Anyway characters get a lot of the good and bad they deserve. And some of it is really fun. It almost overcomes the annoyance of the previous book leaving the characters in mortal danger.

Favourite Book To Film Adaption You Saw This Year:

Well, Risen is a very loose adaptation of a small portion of the Bible. Other than that I haven’t seen anything.

Favourite Post You Have Done So Far This Year:

13 Things I’ve Learnt in a Year of Writing

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year:

Samara’s Peril. The emotion and character trait thesaurus I got at the same time are extreme useful, but though they are somewhat pretty, I could not call them beautiful.

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of This Year:

Well I need to read Song of the Sword by Hope Ann so I can review it. Other than that fiction isn’t necessary. I want to finish The Conservative Revolution by Cori Bernardi. That will involve starting over because I’ve forgotten the little bit I have read. But it’s only got seven chapters. Also I’d like to get as far as I can through The Institutes of Biblical Law by R. J. Rushdoony. It is thick and much denser than most of what I’ve read. But it’s worthwhile.

Overall this year I’ve not read as much non-fiction as I intended. But I just grabbed a couple of history books from LibriVox.

And that is that. I’m not going to tag anyone in particular, but if you want to grab this feel free. Let me know in the comments.

The Old River Road, review, interview and giveway



Today I have, debut author, Ivy Rose, and her novel The Old River Road on my blog. This book is the first in a series of a yet-to-be-determined number of books based on the lives of Ivy’s ancestors. 

About Ivy and an Interview

Ivy Rose is an 18 year old history lover and literary enthusiast. Aside from writing, she enjoys being outdoors, chocolate, travelling, reading, and ATVing (preferably if there is mud involved). She resides with her family of 9 on the banks of the Long Lake in eastern Washington. 

Me: Welcome Ivy, It’s nice to have you here. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way growing up?

Ivy: I really enjoyed the Elsie Dinsmore books (all 28 of them!) as a child. Even through there is a lot of controversy about those books, they were instrumental in forming my vocabulary and love of old(ish) English.

Me: I liked them too.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

Ivy: It depends on the book. Generally speaking, I will have a very, very skeletal outline that has the main events/scenes I want to cover. As I’m writing, I add a lot of other little events in between the main stuff. So I’m kind of a mix of a plotter and panster, leaning more toward panster. 🙂

It’s a bit like that for me.
What is your least favourite part of the publishing / writing process?


Ivy: Least favorite would be first stages of editing. That’s when I do big plot changes, fix big problems—basically all the BIG stuff.

That’s what I’m in the middle of right now.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?


Ivy: High-tension scenes are not my strength. I need to work on them. 🙂

I think I’m probably worst at high action. It comes out all jerky.
What fictional character is most like you?

Ivy: I think I’m the most similar to Belinda in Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly series, and somewhat like Clara in Kendra E. Ardnek’s Water Princess, Fire Prince.

I’m afraid I don’t know Belinda, but Clara is a very familiar character.
If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

Ivy: Oooh, that’s a tough one. I absolutely love Irish and Australian accents. I don’t think I could pick between those two, though. 🙂

Choose Irish. Australian isn’t really that awesome. There are those people who’s voices are particularly distinctive, but they’re actually slightly annoying. If you want an Australian accent, choose a subtle one. I listen to those all day long without noticing.


You can connect with Ivy via her blog, Goodreads, and Pinterest.


About the Book

1885

When seventeen-year- old Clara Boutwell married her dashing coworker, William McDonald, she was convinced her life was near perfect. The journey before them as newlyweds in the great city of Chicago was promising and exciting. But a frightening disease soon takes William in its grip, forcing them to the clean air of the western frontier in a desperate attempt to save his life.
But pioneering doesn’t prove to be easy, with miles between neighbors instead of fences. On the eastern Washington prairies, the McDonalds face hardships and trials in a new world where everything is tested, from physical endurance to emotional strength—down to their relationship and faith in the Lord.

This novel tells the incredible true story of Clara and William, the great-great grandparents of the author, in a sweet narrative full of laughter, tears, and the struggles of an early pioneering family. Prepare yourself to share in their experience as you read this account of a pioneer family in Washington state, and see their lasting legacy that has endured into the fifth generation.

Available now in paperback and ebook on Amazon
Add on Goodreads

My Review

I don’t read a lot of historicals these days, my taste tends more towards fantasy generally, But as soon as I read that this book was a true story I was interested. I adore true stories, and particularly enjoy, one’s from the pioneer period.

The Old River Road (my mind keeps trying to type Rose, instead of Road) is a sweet story. Not the most engaging or exciting book, but a relaxing book for those day you just want something quiet.

The story paints a clear picture of a life in Chicago and later out on the frontier. Life is not always easy but it is generally happy.

Clara and William were a lovely couple, and I loved their families. So many books leave out anyone who isn’t necessary to the plot, or make sure characters bring more conflict or tension. This was a loving, peaceful family, a great example.

On the writing quality side, there is some room for improvement, which is to be expected from a debut book. Ivy leans a bit much towards telling and summarization on a few occasions and the writing doesn’t have the sparkling wittiness or immediacy that draws me to some personal accounts. This might just be personal style though. The characters feel real, but for the most part are not distinctive.

Summing it up, this is a lovely book, much better than anything I have produced myself so far, and I look forward to Ivy continuing the series.

(I was given a e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.)

A Pair of Giveaways


Ivy has been very kind and is doing both a US and an international giveaway. Make sure you enter the right one.


The Old River Road Prize Pack
International Prize


~Blog Tour Schedule~

Friday, July 8th (release day!)

Emily — Review, Spotlight

Jesseca Wheaton — Review, Interview

Saturday, July 9th

Olivia K. Fisher — Interview, Spotlight

Faith Blum — Review, Interview, Spotlight

Hannah E. — Review, Interview

Monday, July 11th

Faith Potts – Review

Rebecca Morgan — Review, Interview

Tuesday, July 12th

Abigayle Ellison — Review, Spotlight

Kenzi Knapp – Review, Interview

Hosanna Emily — Review, Interview

Wednesday, July 13th

Blessing Counter — Interview

Victoria Minks — Review, Spotlight

Thursday, July 14th

Deborah C. — Review, Spotlight

Anna S. Brie — Review

Leona G. — Review, Interview

Friday, July 15th

Hope Ann — Review, Interview

Amanda Tero — Review, Interview

Anika Joy – Review, Interview

10 Book Series I Read as a Child

Hello readers,

I though I’d tell you about the book series that influenced me growing up. I did tend to read in series a lot. Also I would read the same authors over and over again. I was always hesitant to read something knew nothing about.

  1. Little House on the Prairie
  2. I believe my mother first read these to us. I’ve always like any kind of pioneer story and this may have contributed to that. Later on I read the Rose years, and whichever of the Caroline years I was able to get from the library or borrow from friends.

  3. Sugar Creek Gang
  4. These would probably be called ‘ boys books’. There are very few girls who appear. It’s all boys having adventures and getting into trouble. But the first one or two were required reading for school work. After that I didn’t stop. I suspect some of my scenery and action is unintentionally inspired by these books. And in theory it would be a good resource for writing male characters. And they’re good Christian books.

  5. Swallows and Amazons

  6. These books were written by Arthur Ransome. They have lots of sailing and children having imaginative adventures. And of course real adventures. I still like them. The children are resourceful, and mostly responsible. They respect their parents even though they’re not around a lot.

  7. The Famous Five
  8. You’re probably starting to see that I read a lot of adventure books. I like the simplicity of older books and the way children make their own fun. I realized pretty quickly that it was unrealistic for the same kids to all be having adventures, but I still liked them. I would like to imagine that if I found myself in a similar situation, I would know what to do.

  9. Sisters in Time
  10. Historical fiction about different girls through time. In the past a lot of my knowledge of American history came from these. The series is written by a lot of different authors and each book covers a year. I especially like how in most of the books the girl have a brother or a male cousin who was a main character. In a couple of books I think it was more his book than hers. Many of the characters are great role models, and many of them are more mature than kids these day. Even though I’m older than the 12 or 13 of the main characters I can still relate to their situations.

  11. The Secret Seven

  12. Yes, more Enid Blyton. I read a lot of her books back in the day. I have fond memories of some of the silly passwords of the Seven, the trouble they kept bumping into and the word ‘delumptious’. And I liked how this series fitted in with their ever day lives. It wasn’t just about things that happened in the school holidays. Or like some other series of hers, a boarding school story. I actually like her boarding school storied though.

  13. The Chronicles of Narnia
  14. We read these as a family. Then we listen to the audio dramas as a family and watched the movies as a family. It’s a series we all know and love and can reference. Narnia was the only fantasy I read when I was younger.

  15. The Borrowers

  16. This series is about the little people who live secretly in parts of old country houses. They are why you always loose small items, such as bobby pins paper clips. Those items have been borrowed. I think my imagination was stimulated by these books. For a time I was even friend with a few imaginary borrowers. And just think of the possibilities. If you were only a few inches tall how would you cook, what would you eat, what would you wear, how would you protect yourself? The questions are endless and one you have to ask in constructing any imaginary world.

  17. The complete Elsie Dinsmore Classics
  18. I used to love these books and the accompanying Mildred Keith books. They were a huge part of my life. I read them so many times and made a very detailed and complex family tree. (I could give a link to anyone who is interested.) Though I could still tell you exactly what the family connection between Lulu Raymond and Percy Landreth is, I’m rather tired of them now. I see some of the faults in the series that I didn’t see when I was younger. And I’ve realized that her view of history isn’t the only one out there. I still love a couple of Martha Finley’s other little known books though.

  19. The Silver Brumby Books

  20. These are Australian classics about brumbies,wild horses. There are very few humans in these books, so it gives a picture of a completely different society, Families work differently with horses. Instead of the term father and mother, you have sire and dam. I made a bit of a family tree for this too. These books along with some others by Elyne Mitchell that do have humans, were one of the main things that made me consider writing Australian historical fiction instead of fantasy. The terrain is so amazing. There is lots of hiding from other horses and from the brumby hunters going on. And that would fit well with Girl of the Rumours.

So that’s what I read. I also read a lot of standalone books, and probably a few other series that I’ve forgotten to mention. Is there anything here other people have loved? Or something you’re surprised that I didn’t read? Tell me.

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