Saturday, May 30, 2015

Blog Tour for "A Dream Not Imagined"

Hey everyone!! Today I am super excited to bring you news of the release of A Dream Not Imagined, a Cinderella retelling by Shantelle Mary Hannu, along with my interview with her! I just bought a copy of her book, and I'll definitely be reading it over the next couple of days :D




About the Book

A MAID, a PRINCE, and a DUKE. A GARDENER, a STEPMOTHER, and a secret...

Ellie Abbington, a beautiful yet unassuming young woman, quietly longs for her life to change. Too privileged to associate with the servants— too underprivileged to associate with her own family; she dreams a dream of a prince and a happily ever after.

But it could be that her own stepsisters, conniving Dezmarie and easily-influenced Adelaide, are dreaming the same dream...of the same prince.

     In the end, are dreams even all they're made out to be? Especially with deep and long-hidden secrets about to be unearthed?

     A Dream Not Imagined is a non-magical fairytale novella based loosely on the classic tale of Cinderella.

Purchase as a kindle book on Amazon Now! 


And here's my interview with Shantelle Hannu, along with some very cool picture quotes! :)

1. What first inspired you to write A Dream Not Imagined?
I suppose I just love fairy tales, and had been toying around with the idea of writing some retellings for a while.


2. Why did you pick Cinderella to write a retelling of?
I’m not sure, it just seems the one to start with, ;) But one of the other reasons I did Cinderella, is because there was a Cinderella retelling writing contest going on.

3. Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
I just have lots of stories floating around in my head, waiting to be told, lol! Some ways I’m pushed to get writing, is by reading a really well-written book or watching a dramatic (in a good way), emotional movie.

4. Do you have a favorite place to write?
Hmm . . . I mostly write on my laptop in my room. Sometimes I like to take a notebook outside in the sun. I have quite a few younger siblings, so I try to go to the quietest place so I can concentrate! ;D



5. What other activities/hobbies do you enjoy, besides writing?
Love reading a good book, of course!! Playing Ultimate Frisbee. Blogging. Taking a walk through the woods. Watching a good movie. A day out with friends is always simply wonderful as well.

6. If you could be any character in any book, who would you be?
Ooh . . . let me think. Perhaps Imraldera/Starflower from Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. I can’t say I’d prefer every part of her life, but she gets to be a librarian and all this fae, neat stuff! :D Her story is one of my favorites!! <3

7. Are you a morning person, or a night owl?
Definitely a night owl. Um . . . it’s bad sometimes, :p When I start something, I want to finish it; so sometimes I’m up later than I intend!! Or I’m just reading a really, really good book and can’t stop! ;D

8. Favorite color?
Blue! Not the average dark blue though. I like pastels, baby blue, sky blue, sea blue . . . that kind, :)




About the Author
     Shantelle Mary Hannu was born in the mountainous west, spending her golden childhood years there. Since then, she has relocated time and again with her parents and seven siblings, making cherished memories in both the South and Central United States.
     A Christian homeschool graduate, Shantelle has a passion for writing and all things books. From a young age she’s been penning tales with a hope of sharing with the world adventurous and soul-stirring stories that bring glory to God.
     A Dream Not Imagined, a fairytale novella, is her first published book. She’s currently preparing a full-length fantasy novel for publication as well, and working on its sequel.
     Shantelle blogs at A Writer’s Heart: http://shantellemaryh.blogspot.com/ about her stories, favorite books and movies (with reviews), healthy wheat-free recipes, and hosts fellow authors, among other things. One of her joys is connecting with fellow writers and readers! You can also find her on:

Facebook: Shantelle Mary Hannu, Author
Twitter: @shantellemary
Goodreads: Shantelle Mary Hannu
Google+: Shantelle H.
Pinterest: Shantelle H.


Giveaway!
Enter the rafflecopter form for a chance to win a kindle copy of A Dream Not Imagined and a $5 Amazon giftcard!

One winner will be chosen May 31st, and the kindle book and gift card will be sent to their email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour Schedule:

Thursday, May 28th
Shantelle Hannu at A Writer’s Heart – It’s published!!!
Cookielover at The Story Forest – Author Interview
Laura Pol at Crafty Booksheeps – Character Introduction
Amanda Beguerie at Scattered Journal Pages – Book Review
Kendra Ardnek at Knitted by God’s Plan – Author Interview
Natasha at Through My Lens – Character Interview with Cinderella
Kaycee Browning at The Pink Cave – Author Interview

Friday, May 29th
Deborah O’Carroll at The Road of a Writer – Author ‘Cinderella-themed’ Interview
Claire Banschbach at The Overactive Imagination – Book Review
Ghost Ryter at Anything, Everything –  Author Interview
Skye Hoffert at Ink Castles – Character Interview with The Stepsisters
Natacha at Mi Baile Perfecto – Author Interview

Saturday, May 30th
Hannah Williams at The Writer’s Window – Author Interview
Raechel at God’s Peculiar Treasure – Book Review
C.B. Cook at The World of the Writer – Character Interview with The Stepmother
Lena K. at Read, Write, Laugh, DANCE – Character Spotlight (The Fairy Godmother)
Sierra at Flights from the Aerie – Author Interview

Sunday, May 31st
Shantelle Mary Hannu at A Writer’s Heart – Tour Wrap Up and Excerpt

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Character Encounter: Jessica

Hello everyone! I've got another Character Encounter today! :D
For the month of May, Kendra E. Ardnek, who hosts Character Encounters on her blog, decreed that we were to encounter our character at a Playground. This playground is a real place, it's made entirely out of wood and the time that we went there there weren't too many people.
Jessica is a character from my series which I'm tentatively calling "Peacekeepers" but I've also referred to as "Wanderer series". Book one, Chronicler, is from her POV.
I found the picture of Jessica on Pinterest.
Enjoy!

Jessica


     I'm stuck. I hate it when I know where I want the story to go, but I don't know how to get it there. I heave a deep, dramatic sigh and glare at a tree on the other side of the playground. Then I blink. Is someone hiding over there?
     My writer's brain kicks in, though the last thing I need is yet another new story to work on. Even so, I jot a few notes down in the margins. I love margins.
     "Whoo-WHOO!!" My little brother races by me, skids to a stop, and dashes back. "LOOK, Sierra! I'm a TRAIN!" He cries with all his five year-old enthusiasm. "Watch me go-go-GO!"
     He speeds off, waving his arms and running in big circles.
     I can't help but smile at him. Then that flicker of movement in the woods draws my eye again. It's not a person, I can see that now. It's blue and looks like it's flapping around. Probably a piece of trash or something. I get up, tucking my notebook under my arm. I'm clearly not going to get anything written today, I might as well do something productive. Even if it is just picking up a stray candy wrapper.
     It ends up being a small, blue plastic bag, but hey, trash is trash. I throw it away, but when I return to the bench I was sitting on before there's another girl there, looking uncomfortable and out of place. Her hair is dark brown, hanging in a long braid down her back. She's wearing a grey t-shirt, jeans, and an awesome pair of boots. The thing I notice the most, though, is a silver charm bracelet on her right wrist. More specifically, my eyes catch on the single charm hanging on it- a greenish white crystal.
     "I like your bracelet," I tell her as I sit down.
     She glances over at me. "Thank you. I don't hear that a lot. All my friends say that I should get more things to put on it."
     I shrug. "I kind of like it the way it is. I mean, more charms would look fine, but I think they'd have to be the right ones. Otherwise it'd just look cluttered."
     She smiles at me. “I agree completely. I’m Jessica Matthewson, by the way.”
     Another of my characters? What is going on? "I'm Sierra."
     Jessica notices the notebook under my arm. "What are you writing? An essay, homework or something?"
     "No..." Even though I know she'll understand, because she writes too, I feel a little self conscious saying it. "I write stories."
     Her eyes light up. "Me too! What are you working on?"
     I hesitate. "Well... I'm in the middle of a bunch of stories right now. I have a bad habit of working on too many at once."
     Jessica grins. "Same." Suddenly she seems to notice my own bracelet, the one I actually based hers off of. She glances around before asking hesitantly, "Are... are you a Chronicler too?"
     I chew on my bottom lip as I try to figure out an answer. Jessica is watching me with an expectant and slightly hopeful expression.
     "Sort of," I finally answer. "I'm what's called a Shadow. Instead of actually going to another world like a Chronicler, Peacekeeper, or Messenger would, I watch the story unfolding and write it all down. Often this is to translate the story into another language, or make it available in another world."
     Jessica nods slowly. "Who are you... Shadowing?" she asks at last.
     "Well, I'm actually Shadowing... you. And Isaac and David and Shawna, of course, since they're part of your story."
     Jessica is quiet for a long time, and I hope for the best. I’ve heard stories about authors whose characters find out who they are and blame them for all the bad things that happen in the book.
     “Can you tell me what happens next?” I ask, “I’ve seen up to the part where Kristan takes you to meet her cousin. Do the soldiers show up right away?”
     “No,” Jessica seems surprised. “How would they have known I was there? They came later.”
     “Oh, that makes sense. So how did they find out you were there?”
     Jessica narrows her eyes. “It was-”
     “Sierra!” My other brother runs towards us, calling my name. “Mama says it’s time to go!”
     “Oh,” I tell Jessica sadly. “I have to go now. Maybe I’ll see you again?”
     She shrugs. “Maybe. I guess I could message you or something like that.”
     “Uh-huh,” I reply, grabbing my notebook and pens from the bench. “I’m not sure if that’ll work, but you can try. Send it to Era.”
     I run to the car, stopping only once to look back and wave before clambering into the back seat to write down what I’ve learned.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Half-Blood Cover Reveal!

     Woo-hoo! Today is the cover reveal for Jaye L. Knight's upcoming novella, Half-Blood, the prequel story to Ilyon Chronicles! *cheers and throws confetti everywhere*
     And after you're done looking at the cover and counting (and recounting... and recounting) the days until the book comes out, don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom!
     So, without further ado... here's the cover!




About the Book

The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?

See where Jace’s story all began . . .


Coming This Summer
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25085211-half-blood



About the Author

Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.


Giveaway
As part of a month long celebration for the one year publication anniversary of Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles - Book 1), Jaye is giving away several fun prizes! Enter for a chance to win using the form below! U.S. entries only please.


Participating Bloggers
A Writer's Faith
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke
A Writer's Heart
Thoughts and Rants
Written Rest
To Be A Person
Tialla's Tellings
The American Anglophile
Knitted By God's Plan
Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings
Pencils Can Change The World
Crafty Booksheeps
Zerina Blossom's Books
Ryebrynn's Random Ramblings
Through the Realm of Dreams
Red Lettering
Leah's Bookshelf
The Official Website of Brent King
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections
Shattered Fractals
Flights from the Aerie
E. Rawls
The Pen of a Ready Writer
Scattered Journal Pages
Sutori no Hana
The Art of Storytelling
poetree

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Monday's Minute Challenge 5/11

     My Monday's Minute entry for this week (woohoo!)
     I managed to get this one down to 300 words exactly, and I used the picture prompt submitted by Maddie.
     Here it is!

Serena smiled and leaned back in her chair. From her seat on the porch she watched the fireflies dance. Owls hooted and stars twinkled brightly overhead. It was hot outside, but there was a cool breeze. It was nice here in the middle of nowhere.
As she leaned over to retrieve the glass of water next to her chair, a movement in the woods caught her eye. Star’s probably out again, Serena thought, rolling her eyes. That dog had escaped more times than she could count. No doubt chasing fireflies, though she usually isn’t this quiet.
She stood, stretched, and reached through the screen door to get her dad’s flashlight. “Aunt Kira, I think Star’s loose again. I’m gonna go get her.” she called, before remembering that she was at a meeting.
She slipped on her sandals and made her way across the lawn.
“Star...” Serena called softly. “Here, girl...”
She stopped at the spot where she had seen the movement. A large manilla envelope was lying on the ground. On the front, her name was written in her best friend’s handwriting. Puzzled, Serena picked it up and opened it. Something shiny slid out and tumbled to the ground, landing in the puddle of light from her flashlight.
“‘This is everything I didn’t say’?” Serena read. Despite the heat, she felt a shiver go through her at the words on the CD.
She bent to pick it up, but just as her fingers closed around the edge, she heard Dylan shout “Serena! Run! Take the disc and-”
He never finished. There was a yell, and Serena clutched the disc, running as if her life depended on it. Maybe it did. The thought ran through her head, propelling her faster.
Finally she stopped, out of breath and completely lost.
Now what?

Friday, May 8, 2015

How I Discovered Ilyon Chronicles

     Hey Everyone! It's May, which means there's a month long celebration going on for one of the best book series ever! (If you haven't read Resistance or The Kings Scrolls by Jaye L. Knight yet, I suggest that you go look them up- they're awesome.) As part of the Resistance Anniversary Celebration, I'm writing about how I first discovered the Ilyon Chronicles.
     For those of you who don't know me, I am a MAJOR bookworm. So when I got a kindle paperwhite for my birthday back in September, I was blown away by the tons and tons of books that I had never heard of. (Before September, my reading pile consisted of whatever our library network had, and a few books that I got as gifts.)
     Anyway, I'm not sure when Resistance popped up in the list of "recommended titles" on the kindle store, but I looked at it and sort of wavered back and forth about whether or not to read it. I read the sample and was still indecisive. I'm picky when it comes to fantasy, though ironically it is one of my favorite genres. So, I did what I do to samples that I wasn't sure about: I put it in a folder on my kindle to collect virtual dust. *hangs head in shame*
     It must've been a month or so later, and Resistance had sort of stayed in the back of my mind. I heard some good things about it on Goodreads.com, and started thinking about it again. I went back and reread the sample of it and, I don't know why, but for some reason the sample grabbed me this time. And then one of my best friends started telling me about this book that she had just read and loved.
    So, hesitantly, I bought Resistance, sat down with it... and finished it in a couple of days. It was AMAZING. I loved Kyrin, and Jace, *little fangirl squeal* and Meredith, and Kaden, and Daniel *another little fangirl squeal*- right from the start. 5 stars. (10 if I could :o))
     Since then, I have read The Kings Scrolls (it's just as good as the first book *happy sigh*), reread all of Resistance, and I'm awaiting Half-Blood and Samara's Peril with bated breath. Only two weeks until we get to see the Half-Blood cover! :D
     To see all the other fun events (including a photo contest, sneak peeks, Q&A posts, fan art contest, cover reveal, more "how I discovered Ilyon" posts, and a ball at AurĂ©a Palace!) go to jayelknight.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Flash Fiction Story

     Hey everybody! Today I've got a flash fiction story for you.
     It was originally for the Monday's Minutes Challenge on christiswrite.blogspot.com,  but after two failed attempts at writing something short enough, I've decided not to participate this week. Both of my stories ended up being about fifty to sixty words too long, and when I tried cutting words to get it down to 300, it felt as though the story lost something.
     Anyway, I'm going to post them both on here (one today, the other... soon).
     Tell me what you think!


     Liyann crept along the dark tunnel. A spark up ahead made her freeze and press herself against the wall. She didn't breathe until she heard the signal- three low whistles. Then she crept forward again.
     The boy she knew only as Hawk was waiting at the tunnel’s end with a burning torch.
     "Change of plans," he said quietly, handing her a backpack. "Jade's out of the picture. So's Snake."
     Liyann sucked in a sharp breath. Snake was her brother's code name. "What happened to them?"
     "Don't know. Won't until the mission's over. It’s just us now."
     Liyann nodded, only half listening. Her thoughts centered around her brother. Was he all right? "Out of the picture" could mean anything from dead, to captured, to unable to run because of a broken toe.
     Hawk's snapped his fingers in front of her face. "Falcon? Earth to Falcon," he waved his hand across her line of vision. Liyann brushed it away.
     "Sorry. What did you say?"
     "I said, you need to change into the clothes in that backpack," Hawk repeated, "There's an alcove over there, just pull the curtain over the entryway."
     Liyann changed quickly. Within three minutes she was walking back to where Hawk sat, leaning against the wall.
     "Did you check the pockets?" he asked.
     Liyann's face burned. What a dangerous slip on her part.
     "I- I forgot," she mumbled.
     Liyann crouched down and proceeded to check each pocket. They were all empty except the last. She reached her hand in and withdrew her brother's necklace, the one that matched hers. He wore it almost everywhere.
     Hawk paled as she wordlessly held it up. "Snake's," he whispered.
     Liyann felt tears spill down her cheeks. Hawk reached over and gripped her shoulder tightly.
     "Hey," his voice was rough, "It's okay. If he's alive, they'll find him."
     Liyann choked on a sob as she nodded and slipped the necklace over her head.
     Hawk pushed himself to his feet and offered his hand to help her up.
     "Thanks," she whispered, and placed her hand in his. Meeting his gaze, she saw understanding in his brown eyes. Nothing more needed to be said.