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

Of Iron, Engines & Insanity

Lovecraft, Massachusetts. A city where Proctors rule over the people with an iron cruel fist and an engine turns beneath the ground. Where Aoife Grayson has grown up and watched the people she loves most go mad. The place she cannot escape…but the place she must leave behind.

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge painted a fantastic picture of a world that mirrors the 1950s…only it’s not our 1950s. We are drawn into a world of iron, madness and engines, a world where ghouls, disgusting ugly creatures roam the darkest parts of the city and where magic is condemned, not even to be spoken of or read in books.

Aoife Grayson is a ward of the state. Ever since her mother was placed in one of the madhouses in Lovecraft, she and her brother Conrad became the state’s business. But then her dear brother, on his sixteenth birthday like their mother, succumbed to the necrovirus that Aoife, and everyone else, believes pulses in their blood from birth. Her brother escaped Lovecraft after he attempted to kill Aoife and she was left alone. So alone she visits her mother in the madhouse and listens to her speak of going to lily fields and seeing faeries. All Aoife wants is to remain normal passed her sixteenth birthday…which is only weeks away. She attends the School of Engines, one of the only girls in her class of future engineers, her best friend Cal is as loyal as a dog and she, like any ward of the state who is looked down upon because of her mad mother and brother, cannot bear to watch the burning of the people who supposedly ‘practice’ magic in the streets. There is no such thing as magic or faeries. Aoife knows this. She relies on science and facts.

But Aoife has not heard the last from her brother Conrad. He has managed to send her notes since his disappearance, notes with hidden messages behind the words. As Aoife uncovers his latest secret message she finds a cry for help from the brother she still loves. Her mind wars within her, wondering if this is just another rambling from a madman or if it’s possible that her brother has conquered the necrovirus and is finally sane once again. No matter what, he is her brother and she will not abandon him.

The Iron Thorn was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time! Caitlin Kittredge created a world of iron, madness and creepy creatures that enthralled me from the beginning. I fell in love with Aoife’s character immediately. You feel deeply the misfortune of this young woman and are just as anxious as she is to see if she will develop the madness that claimed her mother and brother when she turns sixteen. With her birthday looming just a few weeks away, she feels the eyes of everyone, including her best friend Cal, on her. Waiting for her to break. Waiting for the nightmares to claim her mind, the mad talk to spill from her lips. Yet, even with this dark fate shadowing her future, all Aoife can think or care about is helping her brother.

So, with her faithful friend Cal by her side, Aoife sets out to Arkham to find her brother. But two students, underage and leaving the city requires tact and speed. They know they will not be released easily, so the only way is to run. Aoife and Cal soon discover that their troubles are far from over. In the darkest part of the city of Lovecraft, they are nearly taken below ground and fed to the ghouls…but a mysterious boy who smokes cigarettes and has silver eyes saves them both from that. Aoife meets Dean, the young man she ends up hiring to guide her and Cal out of the city to Arkham where she may or may not confront her father, Archibald Grayson, at his home called Graystone. Everything in Conrad’s letter is leading her to that house and to the unknown.

There was a decent amount of everything in this book. From Cal’s loyalty to Aoife, even though he believes she will eventually go mad, to Aoife’s growing relationship with Dean. I found this book refreshing and exciting. But I would also say that it may not be for everyone. For those of you who don’t like seeing bad language, even a little bit, in a book, then this may not be for you. More than once, one of our characters curses. It doesn’t bother me, but if you’re the type who prefers not seeing that, then that could put a damper on the story for you. While there was some suggestive talk once or twice, you have nothing to worry about in the ‘steamy’ category where this book is concerned. The romance that begins to unfold between Aoife and Dean can only be described as sweet, and in my opinion that’s the best kind of romance for any book. 🙂

With danger lurking around every corner, a dash of romance between Aoife and Dean, and a cliffhanger ending, The Iron Thorn had everything I could ever want in a fantasy novel! I loved it and am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. So, I highly recommend The Iron Thorn to anyone who enjoys a good YA Fantasy novel.

the iron thorn

Coming Soon: The love of her life leaves her behind…her best friend turns on her…heart and soul broken, will Bella still run away to save the life of the boy who deserted her? Look for my review of New Moon by Stephenie Meyer, tomorrow!!