Monday, August 31, 2015

Water Princess, Fire Prince release, and Interview with Kendra E. Ardnek!

Guess what!
Water Princess, Fire Prince releases today! *cue cheers, confetti, and other fanfare*

When the Lady Dragon does come,
Hold fast, do not fear, do not run.
Your Water Princess will fight,
Fire Prince will set all to right.
Each shall come from a Fall,
Their union will save you all.

      Despite the fact that she's on track for competing in the Olympics, and he's practically raised his younger brothers since they lost their mom in a car accident, Clara Mandras and Andrew Stevenson are pretty much normal teens. They have normal hopes, normal dreams, and they live in a normal world.
      All this is torn away from them when they are thrust into another world and declared Water Princess and Fire Prince. With no experience ruling a country, meeting each other for the first time, and being expected to fight the Lady Dragon – an evil sorceress plaguing the world of Rizkaland – Clara and Andrew are underprepared and inexperienced. Unless they learn to work together despite their standing opposition, Rizkaland's hope will be lost.
      What is to come will change their lives forever.

Available on Kindle
Add it to your shelves on Goodreads

Read the first chapter of Part 1 here: http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com/2014/12/water-princess-chapter-1.html
And the first chapter of Part 2 here: http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com/2014/12/fire-prince-chapter-1.html



Ok, I'll back up here, for those of you who haven't had to listen to me fangirl about it (Sorry, Firefly!). So. A few months ago, I saw on Kendra's blog that she was looking for these people called "beta-readers"- basically, people who read & critique a book before it comes out. I'd already read a few of her books, and I loved them, so I signed up.
And I loved WPFP. Loved it.
I'll stop here, since I'll be reviewing it in just a few days, but seriously. Read this book!
Anyway, today I have an interview with Kendra E. Ardnek!

Author Bio:
Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways.  She's been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, "Finish your story, Kendra", is frequently heard at family gatherings.  Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children's tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog, knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com.

1. What was the first story you wrote/remember writing?
I believe it was a retelling of the Ugly Duckling that I dictated to my mother and then traced for preschool.

2. When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
When I realized that books were written by people and it was a viable career option for me. I did get distracted by screenwriting for a while, though.

3. Where do you get the names for your characters?
Just about anywhere. Books I read, people I know and respect, baby name books, my own head… I love names. If I hear a great name, my immediate thought is “what sort of character could I give this name to?”

4. What element would you be? (Or would you be a bookdaughter?)
Actually, I’m known as the translator, or the Arista, in Rizkaland. Basically, my task is to translate the legends of Rizkaland not only from their official Rizkan, but in such a way that they’re understandable by our culture. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

5. Do you have a favorite place to write in?
No, not really. Most of my writing is done on my laptop at my desk under my loft bed at home, but that’s merely because that’s where my desk is, and my laptop contains most of my story documents. I also love notebooks and I usually have three or four notebooks on me at any given time and I’ll work on them literally anywhere.

6. Favorite color?
Purple! It’s also the color of my birthstone, amethyst.

7. Are there any hidden “Easter eggs” that we should look for while reading Water Princess, Fire Prince?
There are a few – I love Easter Eggs, so of course I was going to include them. Basically, if you’ve read Sew, It’s a Quest, keep an eye out for something you may find familiar. 

And I also have a snippet to share with you!

      “Forgive me if this sounds like a strange question, but what do you know of the various arts of combat?”
      Clara narrowed her eyes. “Could you be more specific?” Sure, her dad taught Tae Kwon Do, her mom taught fencing, and Kath’s dad taught archery, and thus she was well-trained in all three. However, she wasn’t ready to put her weapons on the table until she knew what weapons were needed and for what.
      “Well,” said Lord Erik, “have you done any training with a bow and arrow, perhaps with a knife? I know this may seem like a strange question, you being a girl and all.”
      Oh, please. “Do you really expect me, a young girl, to know how to use a weapon?” she asked. “Besides, where I come from, we barely even use those sorts of weapons anymore.” She paused a moment, then added, “I can throw my shoe at mouse kings, but that’s probably about it.”
      “Unfortunately, our problem is a bit bigger than a mouse king,” said Lord Erik, sounding a trifle confused as he narrowed his eyes.
      “Really? Because mouse kings can be huge problems, eating all of the sweets and chewing holes in dresses,” said Clara in her best shocked voice, layering in plenty of concern. “What could be worse than that?”
      Lord Erik took a deep breath, while the dark-haired young man on Clara’s right whispered something under his breath. Clara shot this young man a conspiratorial smile, because she felt like it.


Be sure to check out the other books by Kendra E. Ardnek, they'll be on sale for free during the tour!
August 31st- September 4th:
Sew, It’s a Quest: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005G3ZFKG
Do You Take This Quest? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CFDHFT4/
August 31st ONLY:
My Kingdom for a Quest: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RN7T004
September 1st – 5th:
The Ankulen: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EZAXWYM/
CinderEddy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KZNW2TO
Saffron’s Big Plan: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HYS9W2/

And check out the other blogs on the tour as well!
http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com/p/blog-tour-sign-up_18.html

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pass Me Not Book Review and Author Interview!

Hello again, everyone!
I'm back with another post for the Hymns of the West novellas blog tour! Scroll down for a book review, interview, giveaway, and sales!

Let me at Thy throne of mercy/Find a sweet relief/Kneeling there in deep contrition/Help my unbelief
Timothy is at his wit's end. His twelve year old half-sister has run off five housekeepers in almost a year. Since their parents died, she has grown wilder than ever. What can he do? As he looks for a new housekeeper, his eye catches sight of a mail order bride advertisement. One young lady has a younger sister and sounds like a God-fearing woman. Could this be the answer to his dilemma or will Louise run her off, too?
Approximately 18,000 words


My Review:
 (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)
I think I enjoyed this novella best out of the two that I read. Again, the romance aspect was really sweet, and I liked how kind and thoughtful Timothy was to Abigail. (Seriously, the two of them are my favorite couple from a specifically romance book-ever :) 
The characters were well developed, and I felt like I could connect to Abigail. Louise was an interesting character, and I enjoyed watching her and Abigail get to know each other. Abigail's sister was really cute too :) 


I give Pass Me Not five stars, and recommend it to anyone who likes western stories, romance, mail order bride stories, quick-but-good reads, and Christian fiction.


About the Author

Faith Blum is a 24 year old home school graduate who enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, writing, and playing piano. Her favorite genre to read and write is Historical Fiction, more specifically, Westerns. In the Hymns of the West series, she has endeavored to create clean, fun, and challenging Western stories for the whole family.  She currently has three novels and one novella published or available for preorder.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

And I also got to interview Faith Blum!

1. Where is your favorite place to get inspiration? (It can be an actual place or somewhere online)
Honestly, most of my inspiration comes from my books. The ideas for all of my novels came from wanting to know more about some of the minor characters from one of the previous novels. And all of my novella ideas came about the same way. The ideas for some other novels I may eventually publish came from either a movie that disappointed me or some other outside influence.

2. Have you based any characters in your novels after people that you know in real life?
Not completely and usually not intentionally. My family claims I did with a few characters, but if I did, it was all subconscious.

3. What’s your favorite color?
Light blue. Although yellowish orange is a close second favorite.

4. Where did you get the idea to write western novels based off of hymns?
It all started when I wrote A Mighty Fortress. I unintentionally put the hymn in the book multiple times. When I realized that, I decided to name the book after the hymn. Then I decided to write a series. Since I love hymns and hymns were a big part of music back then, I decided to name my series Hymns of the West.

Giveaway

First Prize:

The first prize winner will receive:
~A paperback of the novel that started the novellas, Amazing Grace (or novel of choice)
~One handpainted bookmark (painted by the author’s sister)
~A silver pen nib bookmark

Second Prize:

The second prize winner will receive:
~An ebook copy of Amazing Grace (or ebook of choice by Faith Blum)
~Two handpainted bookmarks (painted by the author’s sister)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Also, on sale during the blog tour are A Mighty Fortress, which will be $0.99 from August 23-30, and Be Thou My Vision, which will be $0.99 from August 30-September 6!

Tour Schedule:
Monday, August 24
Tuesday, August 25
Wednesday, August 26-RELEASE DAY!
Thursday, August 27
Friday, August 28
Saturday, August 29
Sunday, August 30
Monday, August 31

Saturday, August 29, 2015

I Love Thee Book Review and Character Interview!

Hello All!
Today I'm participating in the blog tour for the Hymns of the West Novellas by Faith Blum.
Scroll down for a review of I Love Thee, a character interview, a giveaway, and sales!
 


Mom and Dad dead STOP Please come STOP Gage
When his sister dies, leaving him with four children ages 8 and under, Cole Baxter gets desperate. He decides he needs a wife. He writes to a mail order bride before realizing he almost threw away the best woman he could have.
Approximately 18,000 words





My Review:
 (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)
 
I loved this sweet novella! Having already read the Hymns of the West series, I really enjoyed this glimpse into the lives of a few minor characters. And speaking of characters, I especially loved Cole's nieces and nephews. Some of my favorite scenes were the ones where Rhoda is talking to, and taking care of them.
And of course, the romance! It was really nice to watch the friendship between Rhoda and Cole develop into something more, and the scenes with the two of them were really sweet :)
My only complaint is that I wish it were longer- and yet, the 71 pages felt like a good length at the same time. Just enough pages to tell the story without rushing it or unnecessarily drawing it out.
I give it five full stars, and recommend it to anyone who likes western stories, romance, quick-but-good reads, and Christian fiction.


About the Author

Faith Blum is a 24 year old home school graduate who enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, writing, and playing piano. Her favorite genre to read and write is Historical Fiction, more specifically, Westerns. In the Hymns of the West series, she has endeavored to create clean, fun, and challenging Western stories for the whole family.  She currently has three novels and one novella published or available for preorder.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

I also had the pleasure of interviewing Abigail Simmons from the second novella, Pass Me Not (book review of that coming tomorrow!).

1. What was your first impression upon meeting Timothy? Louise?
I was exhausted from the long train ride, but my first impression was that he looked to be as nice as he sounded in the letters. Then when he spoke and offered to allow Tessa and me to stay in a hotel for the night before we were married, he proved that he really was as nice as he sounded.
As for Louise… Well, she appeared to be as rebellious as Timothy made her out to be. At first, I thought she was, too. Until God broke down her defenses.

2. It seems like you don’t let your disability get in the way of what you want/need to do, but is there one thing you just can’t do because of your limp?
Catching a runaway horse would be nearly impossible without another horse I could ride. The same could go for children if they are faster than I am, but I have Louise and Tessa, so hopefully it won’t be if Timothy and I ever have children. 

3. What is your favorite color?
Yellow. It’s so bright and cheery.

4. Do you have any favorite memories from being a governess?
Oh, lots of them. I think my favorite is when Tommy came up to me one day and gave me a big hug and said, “I love you, Miss Simmons. When I get big, I want to marry you.” I laughed and told him he would have to find someone else, but it was still sweet of him.

Giveaway

First Prize:

The first prize winner will receive:
~A paperback of the novel that started the novellas, Amazing Grace (or novel of choice)
~One handpainted bookmark (painted by the author’s sister)
~A silver pen nib bookmark

Second Prize:

The second prize winner will receive:
~An ebook copy of Amazing Grace (or ebook of choice by Faith Blum)
~Two handpainted bookmarks (painted by the author’s sister)
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Also, on sale during the blog tour are A Mighty Fortress, which will be $0.99 from August 23-30, and Be Thou My Vision, which will be $0.99 from August 30-September 6!

Tour Schedule:
Monday, August 24
Tuesday, August 25
Wednesday, August 26-RELEASE DAY!
Thursday, August 27
Friday, August 28
Saturday, August 29
Sunday, August 30
Monday, August 31

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ilyon themed contest announcement!

Hey all!
I've got some exciting news today, guess what! :o)
Rayray over at Bookends is hosting a trailer contest for the book Resistance by Jaye L. Knight!
You can check it out and find more details here:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday and Auto-Buy Authors

Aliteration is absolutely awesome- anyone agree?
:)
Anyway, today I'm doing (for the first time) a Top Ten Tuesday, hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.
Today's prompt is: "Top Ten Of Your Auto-buy Authors (no matter the genre or what it's about...you'll buy it from these authors!)"
And here, in no particular order, are my 10!


Jaye L. Knight

Melanie Dickerson

Kendra E. Ardnek

Shantelle Mary Hannu

Faith Blum

Krista McGee

Andrew Peterson

John Flanagan

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke

Margaret Peterson Haddix


Are any of these authors on your list? What are your Top 10 Auto-Buy Authors