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

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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

Why Do Reviews Matter?

Good Morning everyone!

Can you believe April is almost over? A few more days and we’ll be entering May; almost halfway through the year already! This made me realize that my debut novel, The Lost Generation: A Novel of World War I is almost SIX MONTHS OLD!!!!

Yet I also realized how little feedback I’ve gotten from readers. The feedback I have gotten is wonderful! I’m pleased with how well-received my book has been so far. But it truly hit me how difficult it is to get reviews on your book when you’re a new author. Your name isn’t out there the way you want it to be; people have heard of you, but because you’re so new, they’re not in much of a rush to read your book. They don’t know you; have never read anything else by you because this is your first book baby.

So why do reviews matter? Why is it so important for you, as a reader, to write a review on a book you liked? Maybe even on a book that wasn’t exactly your cup of tea, but that you think someone else might enjoy?

One very important thing is exposure.

Authors, especially new authors, desperately need exposure. We’re not authors because it pays well. Usually–especially for self-published authors–it doesn’t. We’re authors because we love to write. Stories are a part of us, and we can’t rest until they’re on the page. Reviews can break an author’s heart sometimes, but the amount of reviews is what matters more sometimes.

One thing I discovered when I became an author was that if I received 50 reviews on Amazon, my book would be listed in their newsletter, as well as other promotions. I was so excited about that! Then I realized that actually getting 50 reviews was going to be the hard part. An author’s job doesn’t stop when the book is finished and in print. Even when we think we’ve run out of promotional ideas, we don’t give up. We want our books to be a success. We worked so hard to write this story so we could share it and its lessons with the world.

Another thing I learned about reviews is they don’t have to be long and elaborate. I think that’s a common misconception about reviews. A lot of readers think that if they really, really liked a book, they need to write a long review to let people know exactly what it is they liked about it. I know that this opinion has made me put off writing a review on books I liked because, at the moment, I didn’t have the time for it. But putting it off means that I’m probably going to forget about it.

Reviews don’t need to be long. They can be as short as ‘I liked it’. This helps! It’s the amount of reviews that matter most, not necessarily the content. It also makes an author a better writer. Even if you didn’t care for my book, if you write your honest opinion, it can make me a better writer. 🙂

A lot of you have probably seen my call for reviews on my novel The Lost Generation. A lot of you may have even found it annoying how often I ask. But there is a reason, and promoting my book is also very hard. I do my best with my limited resources. Did you know there is more I could do? But promoting the way I’d like to costs money. So, basically, it’s up to me to grab every opportunity that comes my way for interviews, social media posts, etc. that don’t cost me.

But one way I can get my book promoted is if you help me out! The more reviews I get, the more my book will start popping up on websites. The more it will be recommended and seen.

So now, I’m going to make another request … 😉

If you’ve read my book, liked it (or even didn’t like it all that much but think someone else might), I’d love to hear your opinion!

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Coming Soon…

…from Elk Lake Publishing!

 

Three couples. Three countries. One War…

On August 5th 1914, the world changed forever. For John and Beth Young, it meant the happiness they finally achieved was snatched out from under them. For Emma Cote, it meant that her husband Jared would do his duty, despite her feelings. For Christy Simmons it meant an uncertain future with the boy she loved. The lives of six people, spread across the British Empire to America were changed forever.

When John, Jared and Will find themselves thrust together in France and Emma and Christy decide to seek out their missing husbands, the lives of these three families intertwine in ways that none of them could possibly have imagined. Working together in a field hospital, Emma and Christy learn to rely on and protect each other. Lost together in a strange forest and cut off from their unit, the three soldiers run and hide.

But the further they go, the more they realize that the chances of all of them making it out unscathed are nonexistent and Emma and Christy find that blood is not easy to wash off, but no friendship is stronger than that made during times of war, sacrifice and healing.

The Lost Generation

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I am so happy to reveal the cover for my soon-to-be released novel, The Lost Generation! This journey has been long and hard, but I’ve had such amazing support from everyone around me from my agent to my publisher to my friends and family. Being so new to the process was difficult and stressful, but with the right encouragement from those with more experience, I’ve finally reached my goals. Seeing this cover has made all of the hard work worth it as it has made what’s about to happen real.

I started writing The Lost Generation two years ago. I finished it within three months and then, I let it sit. I knew I’d have plenty of time to go back and edit it later. But even after two years, I wasn’t prepared for the work that needed to be done. When you put your heart into something, it’s very hard to change anything, even if you know it needs work. But after working for months with a wonderfully patient editor, we shaped The Lost Generation into a story that I still love with all my heart it makes me nervous to share it! Not because I don’t want my friends to enjoy it, but because I want them to love it as much as I do.

I am preparing myself to step onto a whole new path on this journey. The one where my book is shared not just with a few people close to me, but with everyone. It’s huge and exciting and utterly frightening. But I know that God has brought me to this moment and I believe that my stories are meant to be shared.

Thank you everyone for your love and support! I hope you enjoy The Lost Generation when it’s released.

Angel on My Shoulder

Brielle returns home to Stratus, Oregon after a tragedy at school. Her dreams put on a shelf, she tries to go on with her life at home even though she’s weighed down each day with grief and guilt and a cold inside her that she can’t shake. But when she meets Jake, her life changes forever…

Angel Eyes, by Shannon Dittemore, was one of my most favorite angel stories. It warmed my heart and put a smile on my face. I have always loved books about angels and Shannon Dittemore gave a whole new, unique perspective on the heavenly realm. Brielle will never be the same after she sees the world through angel eyes.

Brielle comes home with a secret. She left the small town of Stratus, chasing her dreams and comes home defeated and changed. We don’t know what drives Brielle to this dark place, but the presence of her best friend who doesn’t return home with her is felt deeply throughout the book. But then Jake comes into the picture. Her new neighbor and the new boy in school, Jake has burning hands and an unbelievable gift that Brielle soon discovers. But there is something else waiting for her and Jake in the shadows. An evil that Brielle doesn’t anticipate.

Jake was mysterious and–lets just say it–hot…in more ways than one. 😉 He deals with his own issues while also being there for Brielle, who he, of course, falls in love with. But Brielle is going to find out his secrets, as stories usually go, and that opens up a whole new world to her. A world that she can now perceive…but in doing so brings a great evil down upon her and the boy she loves.

Angel Eyes was beautiful and compelling. Shannon Dittemore draws us in, first with Brielle and her mysterious past away from home and then with Jake and his secrets. There was so much about this book to soak in. I first picked up Angel Eyes because I remembered how much I enjoyed Frank Peretti’s angel novels (Piercing the Darkness & This Present Darkness) and was hoping for a different kind of angel novel. I got what I wanted, in every way! Shannon Dittemore created characters that you can love. They jump out from the page to you. She let you know them, their faults and their perfections alike. That is one of the most important things I look for in any book, love of the characters. I like to feel like I know them. Shannon Dittemore made me believe that it is possible that angels are all around us, watching over us and protecting us. I’d like to think there’s an angel on my shoulder, guiding me through life, wouldn’t you? 😉

Angels, demons…everything comes to a climax close to the end of this book and for a moment, we don’t know if Brielle and Jake are going to make it out alive. This was an epic angel-romance novel with spiritual elements woven throughout the story. I highly recommend Angel Eyes to anyone looking for a good Young Adult Christian Supernatural story.

angel eyes

Coming Soon: A girl whose fate is to go mad on her sixteenth birthday…the brother she loved, missing and asking for help far away…in a world of madness, iron and engines will Aoife risk everything to save the mad brother who almost killed her? Look for my review of The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge, soon!!

There Were Leeches!!

I once asked an author what I should do if I ever wanted to become a better writer. The author told me to ‘read, read and read some more’! I’ve never received better advice because, with that advice, my writing has become stronger. That author was Julie Klassen, author of The Apothecary’s Daughter.

The Apothecary’s Daughter is one of the best Christian Fiction books I have ever read. You get a taste of Austen and Bronte combined and the story is so intricately woven into mystery and scandal.

We are introduced in the beginning of the book to Lilly, a young girl who, in the prologue, must trespass onto someone else’s property in order to save the life of her best friend. She is the loyal apothecary’s daughter, whose mother abandoned her and her mentally ill brother. Lilly wants desperately to find out what happened to her mother and if the scandalous rumors are true. Her father tells her nothing, but little does Lilly know that he holds a secret of his own.

Lilly is swept away by an aunt and uncle into London society where she meets a young doctor, Adam Graves, and comes upon an old acquaintance Roderick Marlow. Both men intrigue her and certain clues of her mother are popping up all around her.

This book was beautifully put together and held true to the times. Set in the early 1800’s (Jane Austen times as I like to call them), we see a glimpse into the life of an apothecary and his family. The struggle for Lilly with her little brother is heartrending. Because of his disabilities, Lilly is afraid of his being sent away. He lives in a time when people with such disabilities were put away because they were not thought of as intelligent, simply because they had the mind of a child.

I will say that the faith aspect of the story wasn’t as strong as I would’ve hoped. Lilly prays a few times and it’s mentioned that she goes to church, but other than that her faith isn’t really expounded upon.

And yes, readers, there were leeches! Those slimy little things are an example of the creatures apothecary’s kept in jars in their shops to bleed people who were sick. And reading about it was almost enough to make me feel ill! 😉 The book wasn’t just entertaining, it was also educational! I never thought I’d be interested in reading about an apothecary, but I learned a few things about them in this book.

All in all, The Apothecary’s Daughter was an excellent book with an incredibly woven mystery! If you like Christian Fiction, then you’re sure to like this book!

Coming Soon: From the Shire to Mordor…Look for the first installment of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy tomorrow!!