Tag: Kendra E. Ardnek (page 1 of 2)

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!!!!

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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~

The Bookshelf Overhaul Tag

My friend Kendra E. Ardnek is in the middle of updating the covers on all her books and she’s running a giveaway. I’m super excited about the whole things because though I love her books, especially the Rizkaland ones, I was a little disappointed by the covers. The peeks of the new ones are great.  Anyway she create this tag for people to do and it look quite fun.

1. How long have you been following Knitted By God’s Plan and how did you find me?

I think I first found your blog through Homeschooled Authors. I didn’t follow you immediately, but I did sign up to beta read Water Princess, Fire Prince. That was May 2015. I’ve been hooked since than.

2. If you’ve read any of my books, which? And which are your favorites? If you haven’t read any, which are you most interested in?

I’ve read all your published books except possibly one short story. Lady Dragon, Tela Du is marginally my favourite.

3. If you could redesign any of my covers, how would it look? Feel free to photoshop something, or just describe it.

Despite complaining about your covers, I I never had any great idea for making them better. But I make Water Princess, Fire Prince. more colourful. Not grey background. And know my own taste I’d probably go photo realistic. Possibly a photo of  their rings linked, or their swords crossed.

4. Of my WIP’s, which are you most eager for me to finish and publish?

Hard question. I want more Rizkaland, and The Worth of a King seems next in that line, and is a great story. Outside of that Half-Hidden sounds cool.

5. Which of my Pinterest Storyboards do you find the most intriguing? 

The Dragon Song board. It’s got so many unicorns. Though if I remember correctly, that book was going to be called Dragon Song, Unicorn Sword at one point, so I suppose that makes sense.

 

6. Pick a fairy tale and tell me how you would like to rewrite it.

Other than what I’m already doing… I really don’t know. I have a vague idea which involves some Cinderella moments, but no prince. In fact the girl si all ready married. Refugees might be involved, and she might get kidnapped. That  really doesn’t sound like Cinderella, but the connection is there somewhere. It’s just hard to explain at the nebulous stage.

 

7. Recommend a book for me to read. 

This is hard.  I’ve got one though. The Dragon the Scholar sereis by H.L. Burke. Something about there tone reminds me of your books.

 

8. If you and I were stranded together on a desert island, how long do you think that we would survive?

Unless you have survival skills I don’t know about probably not very long. Unless we had supplies. We would probably die of thirst of hunger before driving each other crazy.

 

9. What is a project that you’re working on that you can’t wait to release into the world?

All of them?  I have had Lady of Courage on my mind a lot lately. Not enough to settle on a new name for it, but enough that I”d like to  work on it soon.

 

10. What is a burning question that you have for me?

If I had a burning question, I would have already asked it. Though you should be asleep as I’m writing this. So I do have a question: Does the new bookshelf fit?

 

Thanks for the fun tag.

Poison Kiss Review and Interview with Edmund

Hey people, I’ve avoided a repeat of yesterday and not left this post until late at night. And I’ve got the titles straight as well. Not that there’s anything wrong now. If you did notice something off before, please just ignore it.

Today’s book is Poison Kiss by Kendra E. Ardnek. It’s a beautifully mixed up retelling with super fun characters.

Everyone knows that Sleeping Beauty’s curse is triggered when she pricks her finger on a spindle and that she is awakened by true love’s kiss … but what happens when the wicked fairy decides to switch things up?

Edmund didn’t mean to put Auralea to sleep, but now it’s up to him and the famous Puss in Boots to figure out how, exactly, a spinning wheel is supposed to awaken her.

 

~My Review~

Poison Kiss is very fun and complex for its length. It’s overflowing with copious references to other fairytales. Puss in Boots is in it. (Not that he wears boots, they’re silly looking and hurt his feet)

The other characters are equally well done. Auralea spends less of the book asleep than some sleeping beauties, so she has a personalty. But the one who really shines is Edmund. He’s not your typical fairytale prince, partly because he’s not a prince at all, and also because there’s time for his character to develop. We also have an enchanter, Auralea’s nurse, and Katrina. The relationship between Katrina and the Enchanter is very fun. And before I forget him there’s also Edmund’s very odd cousin, Dan or Dandelion. He loves potatoes and calls Puss in Boots ‘Kitty’.

The plot is more complex than the basic Sleepy Beauty. At it’s core, the gifts are given, she pricks her finger on her sixteenth birthday, and falls into a sleep until a prince cuts through the briers and wakes her with a kiss. But when it’s the kiss that puts her to sleep, there’s not such a simple solution. The way Kendra lays the story out is masterful. I first read Poison Kiss at the end of last year before it was finished, and the cut off point was quite annoying. I wanted to know what happened next.

The other things that makes me love this book is the theme. I’m not going to tell you what it is, because that’s not how themes work, but it’s got one of my favourite quotes, and is something about true love.

You can add Poison Kiss on Goodreads and preorder on Kindle.

 

~Interview with Edmund~

I’ve interviewed Kendra a couple of times, so when she offered her characters to interview I jumped at that. Then I proceeded to be uninspired and took forever to come up with my questions. But here they are.

Please welcome Edmund, the hero of Poison Kiss.

What’s your favorite type of weather?

Edmund: I like any sort of weather as long as there’s not too much of it. 

What’s the worst fight you’ve ever been in?

I have some pretty … rough cousins, and I was always smaller and weaker than all of them, so I early learned how to stay out of that sort of trouble, and how to use my head when I couldn’t avoid it. None of them are the smartest of people, so I could usually outwit them.

What names or nicknames have you been called throughout your life?

I’m called “Mundy” by the cousins who like me, “Mousy” by those who don’t. My mother used to call me her little mouse or little sparrow, but it’s different when it’s coming from your mother.

What are you great at?

I … really don’t know if there’s anything that I’d strictly say that I’m great at. I’m apprentice to the court physician, though, so I must be doing something right there.

List 3 things that would make you lose your temper.

When I was younger, I’d fly off at the slightest thing, but I’ve worked hard to get my temper into check. At this point, there isn’t much that would get a rise out of me. 

What is your weapon of choice?

I’m a healer, not a fighter. I prefer to outwit the situation and be there to patch people up when it’s done. 

Same here. Fighting is not my thing. Aydel on the other hand is quite different. She’ll fight, then afterwards she’ll patch up the people she likes enough. And she’s better at that than I am.
Are you organized or messy?

I’m organized. Drives my mother nuts, which is one reason that I don’t live with her anymore. 

I’m messy. My mother is tidier. I still live with her.

~About Kendra~

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 connect with Kendra on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

~Giveaway~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There’s also an extra giveaway. The person who leaves the most comments during the blog tour will get an early read of The Seven Drawers, Kendra’s retelling of Snow White for the Rooglewood contest, and Cindy Ellen, which is Rosette Thornbriar’s sequel.

So get commenting. Below are the other tour stops of today.

Knitted By God’s Plan – Favorite SB Retellings

Interviews:

Bookish Orchestrations – Rachel

Georgia Politics – Morgan

Books, Braids, and Born Again – Matthew (TD Character)

Reviews:

Shire Reviews – Rosette Thornbriar

Sleeping Beauty Tales Thrice Revealed

 

After missing a weeks post, here I am again with a second post this week and a third may be coming. I have it pretty much written, but had to put it off to tell you about other people’s books. This time It’s a cover reveal. For three books. Three Sleeping Beauty retellings, all by people I know. They’re all coming out on August 7th. You can look out for more updates here.

And now on with the covers. After that, I’m sharing a few of my favourite Sleeping Beauty retellings.

 

~Poison Kiss~

 

Everyone knows that Sleeping Beauty’s curse is triggered when she pricks her finger on a spindle and that she is awakened by true love’s kiss … but what happens when the wicked fairy decides to switch things up?

Edmund didn’t mean to put Auralea to sleep, but now it’s up to him and the famous Puss in Boots to figure out how, exactly, a spinning wheel is supposed to awaken her.

~

I’ve was privileged to read some of Poison Kiss even before the story was finished and wished I had the whole things. Later when Kendra had the whole book done, I read the whole thing and loved it. It’s fun, quirky and surprisingly deep.

You can add Poison Kiss on Goodreads and preorder it on Amazon.

 

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.  She’s also a generally fun person to know.

You can and should connect with Kendra on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. She has a lot of pictures pinned for future books and I always enjoy trying to puzzle them out. But she makes it tricky.

~Twisted Dreams~

 

“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.

~

I don’t know much about this story, but it’s enough that I’m very intrigued. I think it’s going to become my favourite of Morgan’s books.

Add Twisted Dreams on Goodreads. Preorder it on Amazon.

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.

 

~Rosetta Thornbriar~

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.

~

This is a western. As I read westerns on odd occasions, and fairytale retellings reasonably often. I think I’ll check this out. Or at least stick it on my list.

You can add Rosette Thornbriar on Goodreads and preorder it on Amazon.

 

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. She also happens to be Kendra’s mom.

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

~My Favourites~

It’s been a while since I’ve read Waking Beauty, but it’s beautifully written, thought provoking, and a bit terrifying (maybe an oxymoron, but it fits). Recommended if you can handle reading about nightmares and the less nice types of fairytale magic.

The Healer’s Apprentice is historical romance and doesn’t have the iconic elements of Sleeping Beauty stories, but it’s a sweet story.

 

This book of Kendra’s is more tha a Sleeping Beauty story, but that what it started as. Since it’s the first book of a series, Kendra has it free many times. But it is now permamatly free on Smashwords. Check it out here.

And that’s that. Don’t forget that there’s three new books coming out on August 7th.

Introducing GiraffeCrafts

Hey,

My friend Kendra has just launched a new website for Indie authors. She’s offering a range of service’s there and will also host future Indie E-cons through GiraffeCrafts. I’m quite excited by this. (Though I admit sometimes I wish she’d just focus on writing her books.)

What Kendra says about GiraffeCrafts:

GiraffeCrafts is a company dedicated to the promotion of good, clean Indie Fiction. The main site isn’t up yet – stay tuned for that later this month, but for now you can check out the blog where I’ll be posting writing advice (because half the battle in marketing is having a book WORTHY of reading) as well as advice for editing, publishing, and marketing. Do stop by and have a visit – and consider becoming a contributor or joining my blogger and reviewer teams.

Happy writing!

The GiraffeCrafts blog can be found here.

Kendra says a whole lot more on her main blog, Knitted By God’s Plan.

She’s also giving away one free blog tour which can be redeemed at a later date. (In case you don’t have a book coming out in the next couple of months.)

A RaffleCopter Giveaway

You can follow GiraffeCrafts on FacebookTwitter,  and Pinterest.

Kendra also started a weekly writing podcast called The Rough Giraffe Show. You can find it on Eagle’s Nest Broadcasting which she shares with her dad.

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.

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.

Lady Dragon, Tela Du Cover Reveal

Yes, we’ve finally come to the end of Bookania. There will not be any more until the next time. And I don’t know when the next time will be. Instead I’m showing you the other thing Kendra had been working on: the cover for Lady Dragon, Tela Du, Book 2 of The Rizkaland Legends. The book I’ve been beta reading, the twisty book. I believe I’ve mentioned it before. It’s good. Well what I’ve read so far has been and I’m pretty certain it will continue.



~About the book~


~~~
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 it seems that Rizkaland does ask it. And that matters are even more twisted than hinted at there. At three fifths through the book I have no idea how it’s going to play out. But I’m sure she couldn’t do it without Reuben. She needs his optimism to balance her and his love to calm her down. Even when he’s the cause of the annoyance. Besides it would have been awkward if he hadn’t been there. How could she explain that she went to a fantasy world without him, when he’s the one who reads books about them?

And now we have another picture Kendra has a huge collection of pictures for the series. 
Let’s see what she has to say about this one.

~~~
One of my blogging friends has a link-up known as “Quote Queste” where you write a bit of flash fiction based on a quote of her choice. I had already pinned this particular quote when she chose it one month, so I knew I had to write one with Laura and Petra. The scene did get into the book, though it played out a little bit differently.

~~~


~Interview~

I got to do a mini interview with Kendra, Petra and Amber. This was the question I put to them: If you could change one thing in your past what would it be?

Kendra: I’m not really sure. While there are a lot of things in my life that I regret, I’m not sure what elements I could change that wouldn’t take away the things I don’t regret. Maybe my dad not losing his job so many times… or no. I made a small business mistake in the early days of my publication that has cost me very dearly financially, and I wish very much that I could go back and fix it. 

Petra: Not have my sisters disappear and everyone else forget about them. And Reuben’s brother, while I’m at it.

Amber: When you live six thousand years, you gain many regrets. There is no one thing that I wish I could change … but in six thousand years, you also learn that it’s pointless to worry over those changes. Instead you must learn to make the best of them for a better tomorrow.

             Or a worse tomorrow. Amber’s view of better isn’t the same as mine. What’s better for her isn’t always good for other people. She is an extremely interesting nuanced villain. And slightly insane. Also very dangerous. Among many other things, she has the ability to turn people into statues of ice. And it’s summer time so they melt. But if that isn’t quick enough she can always turn into a dragon and use fire. Yes, the Lady Dragon.


~The Cover~





Isn’t it lovely? All purple and red and amber. Or is the background gold? I’m not completely certain myself. I think amber is a slightly darker, richer colour. On the other hand Amber’s colour is red. And Petra’s is purple as you can see below.



Actually that’s Kendra and it’s more of a blue. But Petra and Amber both look a bit like that, so it will work well enough. Except in my mind Petra looks like this pin. But she should have glasses. Reuben has glasses too. And so do I, despite the lack of them in my picture.

And just in case you were still unaware of exactly who Kendra is, we have this lovely bit of writing:

~~~
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. 
~~~

From what I understand the giraffes are in general, no bigger than the nutcrackers.

You can find Kendra at her blog and she also has an official website.

Lady Dragon, Tela Du will be coming in out in October I believe. That’s two months. Which might sound like a while to wait but it will go very quickly. 

Meanwhile you can add it on Goodreads, preorder it on Amazon and if you haven’t read Water Princess, Fire Prince yet, check it out. The ebook is free today. 

Also read the snippet below and the first chapter here.

The cover design was done by Kendra’s cousin Benjamin Ingalls 
https://www.behance.net/BenjaminIngalls



~Snippet~

“We shall see if your words are true,” said Laura, taking a step backward. The Hall rumbled, and from the floor where the Doorkeeper had stood rose a red table. Its top opened to reveal two knives, one with a blade of jade, the other of jasper.

“These are the only weapons that can pierce the immortality that shields your parents,” Laura explained. “Step forth and take them up.”

Amber let go of Granite’s hand as they both instinctively stepped to opposite sides of the table, and did as Laura bid. Amber took the jade knife, Granite, the jasper.

“But before they can claim your parents lives, they must taste your blood, that your bond may be formed,” Laura continued.

Amber gave a small gasp and glanced at Laura in a slight panic. “Blood magic? But you forbid my experimentation with this foul art!”

“Experimentation, yes, but this is no experiment,” Laura answered, her voice suddenly heavy.


This is a very interesting snippet. It’s actually from back thousands of years before when Amber was once good. Now she is immortal and is going to be killed. There’s a connection there. I’m looking forward to finding out exactly how it ties together.

Bookania Interview with Robert

So today I have another Bookania interview for you. No I didn’t get to do two. My brother who prefers not to disclose his name, is interviewing Prince Robert of Locksley. So he has a story. Enjoy.

Today I shall tell you all the tale of a time I met with with a prince named Robert, and what he told me that day.
‘Once upon a time in a land called Bookania, in the country named Locksely, two men sat before the hearth in a small cabin. I, Aposhipolepo, traveller of a thousand lands, turned from staring at the mantel piece to the young man who had just sat down across the table, “Welcome Prince Robert, ” I greeted him, “what is your opinion of your position as the heir to the Locksely throne?”

“Government is a responsibility not to be taken lightly,” the prince replied, “Locksley is a larger country in Bookania, which means that I will someday hold a lot of power and sway. No sane person desires power, but I have every intention of doing my best with what is given to me and ruling my people to the best of my abilities.”

“Prince Robert, is there anything you see as in need of improving in Locksely?”

“My father, and great-grandfather before him, have been good kings who have governed our people well. I’m sure there’s always room for improvement, but really, I just hope that I can live up to them.”

“Are there any changes you foresee in the politics of Bookania? I would think the awakened royals from a century ago must effect the situation?”

“It has been interesting. The biggest change, so far, has been Briton, Fronce and Englund, though Kendra tells me that I can’t tell you what happened in Fronce and Englund. Kendra also says that we can expect some changes in Normandy and parts of Winthrop soon, but she won’t give me details on what.”

“That sounds very intriguing, authors are very secretive people. What is your opinion on whether your sister will make a good queen when it comes time for her and Eric to take Winthrop’s throne?”

“I don’t think she’d make a bad queen, but … they’re hoping that Lukas can be found before that time comes so he can take the throne instead.”

“If I understand correctly you are the best tapestry maker in Bookania as well as being gifted in the organic, what skills does that give you that you know of?”

“Um, archery for one, and handwriting, apparently, if I’m using a quill. Also, and I’m not sure on this one, falconry. I could also probably do gardening, but I’ve never attempted that.”

“I heard that Robin Hood was not completely impressed at your skill with archery. What is one of your greatest regrets about your past choices?”

“Robin Hood was impressed with my archery, he was just joking because of how fast I had picked it up. Uh, biggest regret… I don’t really have any regrets, I’ve lived a good life, but I guess, if I have to name something, the fact that I spent so much of life trying to organize Robin. I mean, yes, she’s disorganized, but she also had servants to attend to her, and I could have spent all of that time on things that I wanted to pursue.”

“May you continue without regrets all your days. Robert, would you please tell me your full name and title? I am not certain that I have heard it all together.”

“Prince Robert Michael of Locksley, and that’s all. I’m told that names and titles tended to be more pretentious before the Change.”

“I personally think that simple names are best. Thank you for your time, I am sure you have useful things to occupy your time other than talking to me”

“Thank you for having me. It was no problem. Rulers should devote time talking to the common people.”

And with that we rose and I saluted him before escorting him out the door.
And that is all I shall at this time tell you about the occasion the prince of Locksely came to my house.’

And that was that. I found it quite entertaining and informative. Robert is one of Kendra’s quieter characters. Quite the opposite of his twin sister Robin.

Head over to Kendra’s blog to see the most recent posts for the party.Also Tears, Frogs and Laughter and  CinderEddy are still free for a few more days. Even though neither of them have  Robert they’re still fun. I especially recommend CinderEddy.

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