Contracts, Editing, and a Character Introduction!

Hello Readers!

No, I did not fall off the face of the earth. 😉 So much has been happening lately, I’ve been neglecting my monthly posts. With my mother’s recent surgery (just one week ago! She’s doing well!), work, writing and everything in-between I’ve struggled with finding the time to post updates on what’s been happening with me in my writing world. So, let’s see if I can catch you up!

First, I am SO excited to announce I recently signed a contract for the last 3 books of my fantasy series!! The Winter Queen Series has been in the making for a very long time, ELP Contract2and moving forward with the publication of all four books has been a dream come true! Having Book 1 published made me so nervous, as I wasn’t sure how it would be received, but I couldn’t be happier with the results!

Since its publication, Winter Queen (The Winter Queen Series, #1) has been selected as a finalist in the 2017 Grace Awards, as well as a cover design finalist for the Realm Makers Parable Awards! Along with these honors (I think I’ve been smiling for a full week straight!) Winter Queen has received some great reviews from readers, one in particular that made me smile. There’s something so wonderful about seeing a positive review where the reader says they’re putting your book on their favorites list. Lots of warm and fuzzy feelings abound. 🙂

Now, who’s ready for Book 2? There is more magic, more dragon people, more Book 2 Editingprophecies and … more romance!! And if you liked getting to know the Jandry family in Book 1, I am excited to say you’ll be seeing A LOT more of them in Book 2! So don’t waste a second! Add Book 2 to your list on Goodreads now!

I’m a little more than halfway through my first round of edits on Book 2 and am getting more excited as I come to the end of each chapter. While editing isn’t my favorite thing, it does give me the chance to look back on the work I’ve done. One thing I love about being a writer, is how much I surprise myself with the development of each story. Sometimes, my characters do the exact opposite of what I first intended, but it only makes each moment of each story so special. Reading through the book a second time to edit and improve only inspires more and more ideas for future books of the series. I’ve already started writing Book 3 and am very much enjoying the direction the story has taken!

My writing world has been consumed with all things fantasy, yes, but I have to admit my mind can never stay on one subject for too long. 😉 So with that, let me tell you I’ve been throwing around an idea for a series about a family in Montana during the late 19th century, into the early 20th century. I love all things fantasy, but I also love all things historical fiction! Dabbling in new ideas makes writing so exciting because the possibilities for future stories truly are endless.

Now, just to pique your interest further for Book 2, I’d like to introduce a new character! She’s sweet, gentle and considered average, but since her husband’s death she has been given a great power she must now put into practice as war comes to Nfaros.

I am so very pleased to introduce you to Afra Malaki! Formerly a Jandry, she is the Afrawidow of Brax Malaki and younger sister of Brecken, Lathan and Maxx Jandry. Afra’s part to play in the war between the Sundragon and the Kael King is significant and will gradually be revealed in the next three books of the series! I absolutely love Afra, as she has grown into a character who loves unconditionally, has incredible strength in adversity, and is loyal to her family no matter the cost. I certainly hope you will love her as much as I do and I look forward to sharing more teasers for Book 2 in the months to come!

Happy reading and I hope you all have a great weekend!! 🙂

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Christmas, Fantasy, & Cover Reveals!!

Baby it’s cold outside! Neighbors are putting up their decorations, shopping ensues, and carols are being sung. Can you believe it’s already December 1st? We are another day closer to the biggest celebration of the year. A time to remember the miraculous birth of Jesus and celebrate Him and the many blessings we’ve received by His coming.

Paperback & Kindle WQ2

Winter has always been my favorite time of year. Something so magical happens when December arrives. Among these warm and fuzzy feelings, for me, the best thing to do is curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. Oh, how I love my books! 😉

But, at this time of year, part of the magic is how my inspiration soars! In case any of you were in doubt, Winter Queen was inspired in December.

I wanted to create a winter wonderland. A magical place where winter was fast approaching and the world becoming covered in a blanket of sparkly white was imminent. Where winter was not only beautiful, but important to the land. This built into a fantasy novel like no other I ever thought I’d write. I’ve always found winter to be such a lovely time, full of kindness, grace, and love.

AstraWriting Winter Queen was a magical experience. Writing Book 2 has been equally amazing. Coming back to all the characters I came to love in Book 1 is so satisfying, whenever I begin work on the second book of a series. The characters from my fantasy series in particular, however, are so special. I can take them anywhere; they can do anything. And it all happens during the fiercest winter their world has ever seen. If you’ve read the first book, then you already know when the first snow of Winter falls upon Nfaros. Anticipating book 2? I hope you are! Because I have been working very hard to see it completed. But the story won’t end there, so make sure you keep following my progress.

If you have read Winter Queen, I hope you’ll let me know! Reviews are very important to the survival of a book, and the reviews I have received for this new release of mine have been very encouraging. It’s such a wonderful feeling to know people have read and loved your story. Especially when you put it all out there in a book like a fantasy! I think thoseDamariare particularly frightening for a writer. The entire story comes from the author’s imagination. No historical facts. To create a world and the people in it entirely from my own imagination was scary! I didn’t know if it would sound ridiculous, or even make sense. Thankfully, it seems to have received the reaction I was looking for. 🙂

In case you were wondering, you still have a chance to win a free, signed copy of Winter Queen (The Winter Queen series #1) on Goodreads! Follow this link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/260480-winter-queen and enter for your chance to win!!

Speaking of fantasy novels … there are so many authors out there who love to write in this genre! So many who enjoy it, too, even if they don’t write it. Which brings me to the cover reveal mentioned in the title. I am very happy to help promote this debut novel from Laurie Lucking.

Laurie is such a sweet person! She was the first to respond to my request for endorsements for Winter Queen and she gave me a beautiful review! I am so very thankful to have met her and very excited to be a part of her cover reveal team for her upcoming release, Common. So–drumroll please–here is the cover and description for Laurie Lucking’s soon-to-be-released novel:

One person knows of the plot against the royal family and cares enough to try to stop it—the servant girl they banished.Common

Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility. Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.

And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.

But Leah’s safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Unexpected feelings for Rafe surface just as his parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess. Then she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. Her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.

Harbored by a mysterious group of nuns, Leah must secure Rafe’s safety before it’s too late. But her quest reveals a villain far more sinister than an ambitious nobleman with his eye on the throne.

Can a common maidservant summon the courage to fight for her dearest friend?

Now, how GORGEOUS is that cover? I absolutely love the glow surrounding the young woman who takes front and center! I already know Miss Laurie is a beautiful writer based on her endorsement for Winter Queen and am very much looking forward to reading Common.

Thank you so much for stopping by today! I hope you all have a blessed and merry Christmas! Don’t forget, Winter Queen is available to purchase on Barnes & Noble and Amazon!

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

It’s Here!

I am so happy to announce that Winter Queen has officially released! It is now available to order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Winter QueenIf you missed the Facebook launch party on the 17th, I wanted to let you all know it was super fun! Lots of people checked in and participated, but I think the big success of the evening was the Rafflecopter contest! We had two winners come out of that and I look forward to doing another one soon!

Here’s a little description of Book 1 of The Winter Queen Series now available to order:

She will bring a storm like none they’ve ever seen … and change the world forever.

It’s been five years since Roderick Kael murdered King Vihaan Sundragon, claiming the throne of Sunkai and all of Nfaros for himself. Five years since the Princesses Adlae, Mirae, and Brae were forced to give up everything they’ve ever known. Five years since the Creator of All allowed winter’s snow to fall. But now the wind stirs with a familiar chill. Winter is coming down from the Ice Mountains, brought by the only one who can wield the storm. The Winter Queen herself.

In a faraway wood, one who survived watches and waits for her chance to reclaim what is hers by blood and birthright. Within the walls of the city, another bears the burden of survival and the consequences that came with it. Across the sea, from the distant mountains, two strangers come in search of one who can save them from the ice of winter. 

Within the palace of Sunkai, evil stirs. Loyalties are tried; love tested. And amidst these strange events, the Winter Queen prepares her storm … and Nfaros is not ready for her rage.

The Sundragon Sisters2

I am super excited to share these characters with you! This story blossomed into something I never expected and the three Sundragon sisters are very dear to my heart now. When I wrote this book, I knew I wanted to create strong sibling bonds, as well as fierce female characters to inspire readers. I truly hope I accomplished that!

I hope you will enjoy this story and these characters as much as I enjoyed writing about them! Don’t forget, Winter Queen is now available to order!

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

The Heart Within

One of the things I love about Karen Witemeyer’s books is the way she describes her characters. In each of her novels, the female lead is different. They’re all unique in their own way with their own opinions and outlook on life. In her latest novel To Win Her Heart we meet Eden, a young woman who is against violence of any kind…but who falls in love with Levi, a young man who spent two years in jail for killing his opponent in a fight.

Levi Grant completes his sentence for the unintentional crime he committed in his youth and pursues a blacksmith job in a new town. New people, new places…no one knows who he is or what he did. He can start over. But he soon discovers that it’s not so easy to win the trust of the pretty, young librarian Eden Spencer. And it’s not as easy to live around her, especially with the speech impediment that holds him back from saying her last name.

Eden Spencer isn’t sure if Levi Grant is just stupid or rude. Either way, she wants nothing to do with the new blacksmith who’s come to the town her father founded. She can see for herself that he must be uneducated. And despite her insistence that he call her Miss Spencer, he only addresses her as Eden or ma’am and that’s something she can’t stand. But when Levi walks into her library and asks to borrow a book, Eden’s first impression of Levi starts to change.

Levi doesn’t know if he can win over the young woman who is quickly stealing his heart, but he’s willing to try despite her obvious dislike of men with violence in their past. Levi is determined to prove to Eden that the heart beating in his chest is pure and free of all violence. He can only hope that with God’s help he’ll succeed.

To Win Her Heart was a beautiful story and one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It’s definitely my favorite of Karen Witemeyer’s books so far. We watch as Eden struggles with her desire to stay away from men with a violent past and we watch Levi’s undying faith that God will show Eden that he’s a changed man. That violence, while it was in his history, is no longer a part of him. That he lives for God alone, to please Him and live according to His Word.

Eden’s faith is tested when the truth comes out. Levi’s love for her drives him to reveal everything that was bad about him before he changed. Eden has fallen in love with him, but she doesn’t know who she fell in love with. Is it the sweet, kind and gentle man who came into her library? Or the ferocious monster that he claims he was before he went to jail? Eden’s trust for him is shaken, and Levi fears he will never get it back.

Will Eden ever see past Levi’s past actions to the heart within him now? Or will she reject him once and for all and lose the only man she’s ever truly loved? Well, if you want to know you’ll just have to read it for yourself. 😉

Coming Soon: She needed a change in scenery, and got more than she bargained for…he’s going to marry a woman he doesn’t love in order to fulfill his dreams…will Crystal and Luke soon find themselves on a rocky path to love? Look for my review of No Place for a Lady, by Maggie Brendan, soon!!