Monday, November 12, 2018

Change and Surprises On the Way!

Hi friends! 
I am sorry that I have been so absent from blogging lately, I've been putting my time and efforts elsewhere in the past two months.
I encourage you to keep an eye on my Facebook page as it's easier for me to keep up over there right now. I am planning to share a live Facebook video sometime between now and the end of November to share what I have been up to, and I look forward to seeing you all there! 
Unfortunately, I do not have a date for when. I've tossed around the idea of something Thanksgiving week (Monday? Friday after?), but I'm not sure how that will all go just yet! In the mean time, I am asking for your help, if you'd be so kind. 
Please pray for me as I wrap up a few projects and get ready to share them with you, and please share the announcement when it is posted. If you have not already joined my newsletter, this would be great time to do so because I solemnly swear that I am up to no good. ;) I am also planning a special surprise for my newsletter subscribers as a thank your for all your encouragement and prayers this past year. 

I must run off, now, I've a small to-do list to tackle. See you soon! 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Summer Have-Read List

It's that time again! I'm so pleased with my reading progress this year (I surpassed my goal to read at least 12 books this year. *dances*) It's getting so much better!

The first summer book I picked up is, alas, not at all very summery.
Ilyon Chronicles #5: Bitter Winter, by Jaye L. Knight *Released date isTBD
Ahh, what a story. I love seeing these friends again. I'm looking forward to reading this book again when it is released! Jaye has been working very hard on it, and I can assure you that the wait will be worth it. There is definitely a little wrapping-up going on in here, which is bittersweet... and I absolutely can't expound on this. I can tell you that Jaye is also in the process of giving herself a new pen name, Jaye Elliot, and releasing a Christian contemporary romance novel called No Chance Meeting. If this is more your thing than Christian Fantasy, or if you like both, check it out!

Fawkes, by Nadine Brandes
The truth is, long and lengthy reviews are not really my thing. I don't enjoy writing them a whole lot, but on occasion I love to read other's reviews. I really, really loved Fawkes! But you should go and read author Schuyler's review if you'd like to read something a little more in-depth about it. It's a lovely story, with a simple but thoughtful message. (Stop judging this cliche review, okay? <- But really, Schuyler puts it so well.)

Ilyon Chronicles #5.5: Lacy, by Jaye L. Knight *Release date is TBD
This was another beta-read, and therefore, it's not released yet and I will have to read it again in it's fullness. It's a tale woven with tenderness and compassion. I loved getting to see Aaron and meeting Lacy, she's sweet and you feel much compassion for her. I would make note that while Jaye does classify her books as New Adult, there was nothing inappropriate in this story. If you have any concerns, I certainly wouldn't hold them against Lacy. Jaye handles the story with a carefulness and tenderness.

Singularity and Survival, by Talman Wagonmaker
I was surprised to learn that my church's new pastor wrote a science fiction novel! I really did enjoy this book, I thought it was very thoughtful and careful in its approach. The story moves very quickly due to a lot of telling instead of showing, which lends to an abrupt ending. This would be my strongest criticism of the book. More showing sprinkled through out would give it much more punch and flare, and tighten the message. The plot and message is very strong, and I was honestly impressed. I do believe Rev. Wagonmaker can spin a fine tale and I would suggest this book to anyone!

Evaporation of Sofi Snow, by Mary Weber
I met Mary at Realm Makers, and although I'd heard of her books quite a lot recently, I had yet to pick them up. After meeting her, however, they were bumped immediately up to the top of the list. Mary is warm and compassionate, and this shines through her story. I'm not going to lie, I mostly enjoyed the prose- guys, it made me starry-eyed. I love the complexity of the characters- their personalities shine, the development of each is incredible. I don't know where to begin in talking plot here, because I don't want to give anything away.
Another interesting note about Sofi is that I listened to it on audiobook while driving to and from work, and also on my way up north. I actually do not listen to a lot of audiobooks, I find it hard to pay attention to them. Yet I've discovered that if I am occupied with something else while listening, it is much easier. This one was very easy to listen to, the speaker is quite talented!

I am currently in the midst of Scarlet Moon, by S.D. Grimm, and, I'm excited to share with you that I will also be beta reading the first couple of chapters of....

dun dun dun


Folkestone Fellowship #2! (Sorry, I've got no Goodreads or Amazon links for you yet.)
I do enjoy a good mystery or historical fiction to interrupt my fantasy-book-devouring once in a while, and War of Loyalties by Schuyler McConkey just hit the spot last year. What this means is that there is more Folkestone Fellowship and spies and Terry and Jaeryn for all of us soon. Right?!

Happy reading, friends!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Romanov Cover Reveal

Today is the big day- cover reveal day! I am so thrilled for Nadine. This looks like it is going to be an amazing story. Historical YA fiction with a little magic, ah yes!
Nadine also mentioned I had the option of revealing it to you with interpretive dance. *Picture Russian nesting dolls dancing here* However, since I can’t dance, a blog post will suffice. Cha cha cha!

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

Isn't it something magical?! You can find Romanov at . Romanov will be released for your reading pleasure on May 7, 2019. *falls face down onto desk* It is so very far away. *In Gollum voice* We are famished! But you should know that you can indeed pre-order Romanov any time before then. Does that help at all? If you haven’t read any of Nadine’s books, I highly recommend the Out of Time series as well as Fawkes.

Nadine Brandes can be found at:

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Some Little Updates

Good morning, all!
This won't be a long blog post. Ember has made some progress but I'm not ready to share here. 
Mostly I have been doing a lot of thinking (which some people translate to be a lot of nothing, but thinking is a thing and it is an important thing). I have made some small steps forward with Ember lately, which I'd like to ask you all to pray for me about. I am getting to a place where, looking ahead, I can see that I will need to be more intentional in order to have options later. If you know me, you also know that I'm terrified of unknowns, and there are a lot of unknowns in how the publishing journey will unfold.
I've tweaked a few things on the blog recently. They are small changes, so maybe you won't notice them. "Subscribe to our mailing list" has changed to "Subscribe to the Ink Lizard Gazette." The reason for this is because I think this is more true to what it is, and, frankly, I thought the former sounded creeper. I also took out some clutter from the Menu page to tighten that up.
I am also considering moving towards a better balance between blogging and newsletters, meaning less blog posts, but more newsletters. In the end, it will even out and I won't be clogging up people's emails. I'm leaning more towards something quarterly. As usual, those of you who subscribe to the Ink Lizard Gazette will receive important information first, Ember fun facts, and always a photo of Jemma (because she's a star, didn't you know?). I already post on the blog at least twice a month or also quarterly on the blog.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this and if you like the idea or not. If not, please let me know why. (I dislike spam and multiple, useless emails that I don't have time to read, so if you honestly don't think you'd have time to read the newsletters, please let me know.) Or, if you've had experience in this arena and have advice to share, please me know. (Comment below, or PM me on Facebook.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Cover Reveal for Wolf Prince

Hello reader and writer friends!
Today is a good day to share with you Claire Banschbach's cover for Wolf Prince!

I met Claire at Realm Makers, and I was intrigued by her novel idea. Even though I have yet to read any of her books, I'm looking forward to reading this one.
Claire M. Banschbach is a native West Texan. She discovered a deep and abiding love for fantasy and science fiction at a young age, prompting her to begin exploring worlds armed only with an overactive imagination and a pen. She's an overall dork, pizza addict, and fangirl. She enjoys meshing stories of family and faith with healthy doses of action and adventure. She talks to fictional characters more than she should while trying to find time for all their stories. 
She currently resides in Arlington, TX where she works as a Pediatric Physical Therapist.

The Wolf Prince will be released on August 21, 2018. EEK! So close!

Are you ready?

What a lovely cover! 

One prince. Two brothers. Three companions to prevent a sorcerer from destroying the faeries.
Prince Killian has always known he’s different. It’d be impossible to miss the whispers of an age-old family curse, to ignore the call of the wolves on his birthnight and the barely-veiled hostility from his people. His family insists there’s no curse. If only they were right.
When an evil sorcerer bent on destroying the faeries turns Killian into a wolf to use in his diabolical spell, Killian must rely on the help of his playboy brother, Lars, and Rose, an aspiring ranger they meet on the road, to escape the sorcerer and find the faeries who can turn him human again.
There’s only one problem. Faeries haven’t been seen in over 50 years.
Together Killian and his companions must overcome their differences and prejudices to defeat malevolent creatures along the road, evade the sorcerer and his minions, and find the faeries before the sorcerer can kill them all.

If you share the cover of Wolf Prince on social media and tag Claire Banschbach, you can be entered to win a giveaway of an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) ebook copy of the book! Claire can be found at: 
Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog | Instagram

And don't forget to add The Wolf Prince on Goodreads. :) 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Realm Makers 2018

Ah! I only just realized the end of July is around the corner and I haven't posted even once! July flew by in such a hurry. (Really July, you needn't have done that.)

I attended my first Realm Makers Writer's Conference in St. Louis this month. It was fantastic! Realm Makers is a Christian Speculative Fiction writers conference. The cool thing about it is that a variety of genres are represented here, and while I enjoy the smallness and closeness of Breathe, my preferred genre (fantasy) is not terribly well-represented there. The keynotes, sessions and workshops were more genre-specific (but still broad enough) which was very helpful.
I traveled with writer friends Tricia Mingerink, Emily Hayse, and Schuyler McConkey, and I made new friends, too! I met Nadine Brandes and Jaye L. Knight face to face (totally fangirled) and left with signed books from many of them. (The book problem is only getting worse guys- I found my genre and my people and restraining myself from purchasing out the store was so. hard.) I met Mary Weber and S.D. Grimm and was convinced that I need to read their books post haste. Kathy Tyers was there, and we sang happy birthday to her. (I can't believe it never registered in my brain and I should have brought Truce and Bakura to be signed as well.)
I'm definitely praying about going back. My brain was so full (spinning, how do I put it all together?) and my heart so full.

Image may contain: 4 people, including Schuyler McConkey, Liz Koetsier and Tricia Mingerink, people smiling, people sitting

Then finally, finally, last night, a puzzle piece fell into place and Ember has an ending. It isn't complete yet, but with the ending came an understanding for the antagonist, and I think we can at least stand on mutual ground now. This opens so many deeper, fuller windows for writing the antagonist thanks to a small comment Sara Grimm made to me. (Yes, I just used "the antagonist" twice and no, I'm not sharing any details. If you would like to sign up for my newsletter where I occasionally spill small details and fun facts about Ember, there is a Subscribe To Our Mailing List box on the right hand side of the blog.)

One final note before I go, *whispers* I found the ninja in Fawkes. ;)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Interview with Emily Hayse

Good morning, friends! On this very hot day I am pleased to share with you a small interview I did with Emily Hayse, a speculative fiction author who just recently released her debut novel, Crowning Heaven. I met Emily through Schuyler McConkey, when she was still in the midst of writing her story. I can't tell you how fun it is to watch friends from the writing and brainstorming stage develop and release their novels! 

First off, Emily, please tell me the last thing you ate, and what you are wearing on your feet. ;)

The last thing I ate was a samoa cookie and I have nothing on my feet! :D

Lol, Samoas are delish!What can you tell me about who your MC (main character) is?

My main character is a twenty-year-old girl named Heaven Cassidae and living in the foster care system her entire life, she's learned simply to take care of herself.

What is the story about and is there something you would like people to take away from reading your story?

The short answer is that it's about a girl who becomes a queen and how doing the right thing is important even if it seems like a very little thing.
What I want my readers to take away from this book is a healthy dose of courage. Courage to do the right thing, courage in the face of loss, courage to face life because life is hard sometimes.

That's a good lesson to learn. Sometimes it is the most mundane of situations or the smallest of persons who can make the biggest difference. Where does it take place? 

This you will have to read the book to find out! Though the book begins in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This book is portal fantasy.

What influences are a part of your story? I'm wondering what cultures and people give shape to your story, to give us an idea of what inspires you. :) Can you share with us any fun facts sprinkled within the story?

The two main cultures in the book were very loosely based on Nordic and Greek cultures. As for people and experiences, take your pick. Everything I see and do filters into how I write.  
All the musician stuff in the book is 100% accurate. If not from personal experience, it's drawn from family or friends in the professional music world. Also, the songs she plays are fun to look up. Most or all of them can be found on YouTube. And last, the very first paragraph and the very last paragraph have not changed since the first draft when I wrote those words by hand in a notebook.

Do you have a character who was easiest for you to write, or who you related to them most?

Nic Thorsen was probably the easiest. I am not sure that I relate to him a ton (yet we do have some similarities in personality)  but he was just one of those characters that takes care of everything on the page and you don't have to do too much to the character. They just show up.

"They just show up,"- I so love it when that happens! It is a great and rare feeling and these characters are the most fun to work with. On the opposite side of the coin, which character was the most difficult to write or that you least related to, and why?

This may come as a surprise to those of you who have read the book, but Athen Stellanos was very hard. I don't think I got him right until the very last draft. He was too nice and because of that I simply couldn't make his character strong enough. But then I finally understood what made him tick.

Wow! That is a surprise. I enjoyed Athen in the story. Are you a plotter or a pantser? ;) (For those of you who don't write, a plotter is someone who plans very carefully every step and typically uses a strong outline before writing. Pantsers "fly by the seat of their pants" to write, using instinct or intuition first, and then editing the plot later. You would be surprised at how many authors do quite well on this second method, as wild as it may sound! Brian Jacques, author of the entire Redwall series and The Flying Dutchman was a true pantser.)

I call myself a solid plantser. I tend more towards the pantser side, but I usually have to have a vague idea of where I'm heading first.

Is there a verse that has encouraged you on this writing journey that you would like to share? 

There were many, but on thinking of it, Psalm 16:5-6 really spoke to me in the process because it helped me get my eyes off of the small picture and remember what was truly important.

"The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant plances; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance." (Psalm 16:5-6, ESV) What a beautiful reminder of His care for us! I can see why this was special to you.

Is a sequal planned or is this a standalone (for those who have not read your story, can they expect a closed ending or an open one?)

There is no sequel planned. This book is a standalone. However, I am already working on my next book to be published, so if you liked Crowning Heaven keep your eyes out!

Now for a fun question! Are you Castellani or Rodhacarian?

I am very Rodhacarian, though I have some Castellani qualities.
(Scroll down for a quiz to find out if you are Rodhacarian or Castellani!)

Is you could pick one dish from the books, which would it be?

Oh that is hard. I love food. There's a drink in it called Fraeth, and I've made a version of it before and it's really, really good.

We would love to hear how you made it sometime! Thanks so much for allowing me to do this interview with you, it was great fun!
If you would like to read Crowning Heaven (and I suggest you do!), you can purchase it from Amazon, and also leave a small review there when you're done, and on Goodreads, too. The best way to you support your favorite authors is to share and review. She can also be found on Facebook.

If you're interested, here is a little quiz to find out if you are Rodhacarian or Castellani. If you have more 1's, you are Rodhacarian, but if you have more 2's, you are a Castellani.