Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Interfiction Gazette Interview with Maid Marian

Hey all! Popping in with my participation with Jenelle's February is Fantasy Month party!
Normally, she hosts these Interfiction Gazette Interviews on her own blog, but since things are going so crazy over there, I'm posting it here for her instead.

(Illustration from Paul Chesswick's "The Adventures of Robin Hood," my favorite version of Robin Hood.)

Over to Jenelle!

As I stare about the forest, I almost miss spotting the character I was sent to interview, her forest green clothing blending so well with her surroundings. Thankfully, I was told what to look for. I wave, feeling slightly out of place in my jeans and t-shirt, but I didn't have time to change before this assignment. "Maid Marian? Hi, I'm Jenelle with the InterFiction Gazette? Can I ask you a few questions?"

Maid Marian looks up from the arrow she has drawn and breaks into a broad grin. "Greetings," she says, in a vaguely British accent. "What would you like to know?"

I grin at her, happy that she seems open to chatting. "I was hoping you could tell me a little bit about this forest and why you're here?"

"This is Skewwood, formerly Sherwood, and it used to be a regular forest until magic returned. Now it's downright strange." Maid Marian shook her head. "And I'm here because this is my home."

I jot down her answer and then give her a curious look. "The magic returned? Can you explain that a little more? And can you tell my readers a little bit about yourself, as well?"

"Our land is magical, but for the last hundred years, most of the magic was locked in a few very large enchantments," Maid Marian explained. "However, those enchantments are now broken, so the magic is free to do whatever it used to do, such as make this forest strange. As for myself, I am the wife of Robin Hood, leader of the Merry Men, thorn in Prince John's side. There was a time when I walked in other circles, but those days are behind me, and I have carved a new identity for myself."

"Thank you for explaining all that. Can you tell me about this new identity you have carved for yourself? And... if I may... what is it like being married to the notorious Robin Hood?"

"My new identity is that of the notorious Maid Marian," Maid Marian answered. "And being married to Rob? I can't say that it's terribly different than being married to any man, save for our chosen lifestyle and how he generally allows me to do as I please."

I grin at her. "Sounds adventurous." I decide to change tack on her. "Is there anything you wish were different about your life?"

Maid Marian sobers as she considers. "I would have liked to have known my mother," she answered. "I might not have been so scared of being a woman, had she been there to guide me through it."

"I'm sorry to hear that," I reply sincerely. "So... you are friends with another Robin, right? Princess Robin of Locksley? Have you heard from her lately? I was wondering if you could tell me what she and her brother are up to these days?"

"Aye, that I am," Maid Marian agreed. "Robin's a dear thing, always has been - my only regret when I ran from my old life was leaving her behind. But now that she's grown, she found me again. I'm quite proud of the woman she's become, even if her own mother will never quite know what to make of her - ah, dear Charlotte. Robin's currently here at camp, along with her little girl, Maryanne, who they deny naming after me, and her husband is with mine, investigating some rumors. As for Robert, I hear that he's settling into life as crown prince of Locksley."

I write furiously, jotting down notes, then look up. "Thank you! Just a few more questions: Can you tell me about this camp? And I'd love to hear more about those rumors Eric and Robin Hood are investigating."

"I'm afraid that I can't tell you the location of camp - my husband is very strict about keeping that a secret - but I can tell you that it's quite a civilized little village these days," Maid Marian answered. "Though I can't say that it was true before Ellen and I got there. As for the rumors - it's just a routine check, nothing interesting. Some scouts say that they saw some men prowling a little too close to camp for Robin Hood's liking, and so he wanted to see what that was about. Most likely nothing, once all is said and done."

Her frown belied her carefree tone, however.

"Hmm..." I eye her for a moment, wondering if I should press this any further, but then I grow aware of a faint vibration coming from my badge. "One final question," I blurt out in a rush, "if you could ask the Author one question what would you ask?"

Maid Marian tilted her head to the side, fidgeting with her bow as she considered. "You know, in my youth, I had a lot of questions for Him. Why hadn't my mother survived my birth? Why couldn't I have been born a boy? Why did only boys get to learn all of the interesting things, and what gave them the right to be all insufferable about it? Then, later, why did my father have to die? Why did his brother cast me aside as a troublesome nuisance, forcing me to serve as a companion to a pansy of a princess? Why did he think that he had a right to marry me off to the awfullest man I ever knew, forcing me flee to seek sanctuary from the last man on earth I wanted to be indebted to .... but," here she gave a small smile. "I'm older now, and I can look back and see things more clearly than I ever could, then. Right now, I don't have questions - just faith."

Her response warms me to the core and I give her a smile and try out a curtsy... it... doesn't go super well, but she is gracious enough to pretend not to notice. Or maybe she really doesn't... she seems distracted suddenly. "Well, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I, for one, can't wait to hear more about your adventures!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Find out about what becomes of those rumors in Honor: A Quest In, the fourth book in the Bookania Quests. Just a reminder, but preordering the novel on Kindle could win you a full set of the series in paperback! Just email me your receipt at Kendraeardnek@gmail.com.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Jane Austen Sale!



Jane Austen. There's nothing quite like her. She continues to inspire us all these years later. This Valentines Day, myself and a few authors came together to bring a special sale and giveaway.

Twelve books are on sale for $2.99 or less. Books like Tracking Ruby and Water Princess and Fire Prince, feature characters who adore and quote Jane Austen's stories. Most of the books take the beloved classics and retell them in a new setting. Each book is perfect for those who want a little touch of Jane Austen and romance for this Valentines Day.









An author's participation in this giveaway does not mean they endorse all the books included. While all books are considered clean, they may not reflect the values of the other authors.
That said, the four books in this sale that I have read, I adore and highly recommend.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Honor: A Bookania Tag


This tag is part of Honor's release giveaway and is worth three points if you fill it out on your blog. If you don't have a blog, though, you are allowed to fill it out in the comments below for two points. When your post is live, make sure that you leave a link to it in the comments below so that I can find it.

Don't forget to check out the main post for all of the other awesome ways that you can earn entries, including:

Preorder the book and email me your receipt to receive ten whole points!


Now to the tag:
For the record, each and every one of these questions are RELEVANT.

1. Have you read any of the Bookania Quests yet? If so, what is your favorite thing about them? If not, why are you excited to read them?

2. What is your favorite fairy tale that no one else seems to know about?

3. Sword or Bow?

4. What is your favorite Fairy Tale mash-up universe?

5. What is your favorite fictional sword?

6. Name a Rebellious Princess that you felt to be particularly well-developed and compelling.

7. What is your favorite representation of Robin Hood?

8. Who is your favorite fictional mother?

9. If you could learn any language in the world instantaneously, which would you choose?

10. Who is someone in your life that you couldn't bear to lose?


And remember, you can also gain points by writing blog posts that review the other Bookania Quests or Robin Hood retellings - just make sure that you are shouting out the release and linking back here to my blog.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Honor: A First Chapter

Hey there! Decided that I'd pop in with the first chapter of Honor: A Quest In, for all of you to enjoy. I shared it a couple months back in a newsletter, but now you lovely readers of my blog can enjoy it.

(Also, for those of you who haven't read the previous books, the spoilers in this first chapter are minimal, so feel free to read ahead and enjoy.)

And if you missed it - I'm running a giveaway, so snatch up your chance to win a set of all four Bookanias in paperback! (You can start by commenting on this post.)

1 – Wherein a Routine Mission Doesn’t Go as Planned



Once upon a time, in a land called Bookania, there lived a young boy who was the son of Robin Hood himself. As a result, he lived in the heart of Skewwood with the band of Merry Men.
  The young boy was quite proud of this fact, especially since, unlike his younger brother and sisters, who were all babies – or practically babies at any rate – he had his own pony, bow, and small sword. Most importantly, he got to go with his father on important missions.
  And so he was doing at the start of my story. Scouts had reported strange men prowling through the woods, and Robin Hood had taken the boy and a few of the men to investigate. However, after three days’ travel with no sight of the strange men, things were starting to get a bit dull. Did they even exist?
  “There’s something up ahead,” Prince Eric suddenly announced.
  The young boy wasn’t actually sure if Prince Eric was officially one of his father’s men. He knew that the man’s wife was – or was at least pretty sure that she was, but he wasn’t so sure about Eric. Nevertheless, his father did trust the man with the top-secret location of the camp and on incredibly important missions like this one.
  “What is it?” Robin Hood asked.
  “I’m not sure,” Prince Eric admitted, tilting his head to the side even as his hand went to his sword’s hilt. “It might be nothing, but—”
  He was cut off by a scream, and the moment after that, a giant dog burst out of the woods, dragging woman by the arm.
  Prince Eric drew his sword and spurred his horse to follow after the dog, which turned and darted back into the woods.
  The rest of the men rushed after him. The young boy was last of all, hesitating after a stern glance from his father. He caught up with the men just in time to see a net fall over Prince Eric and scary-looking men pour out of the woods and attack the rest of the men.
  The boy drew his own sword but held back from rushing into the fray. His was but a very small blade, and it didn’t look like his father’s men were faring very well. What good could he do? He’d probably just get himself killed, and his mother would be very cross with him if that happened. She hadn’t wanted him to go with the men, yet, after all.
  And then was all over. Before the boy had a chance to pull together his courage and decide what to do, the scary men had disarmed and subdued all of his father’s men – had them all tied up with rope and everything!
  “You there, boy, are you with these men? Or did you just happen by and think that a skirmish is something nice to gawk at?”
  The boy’s eyes widened as one of the scary men noticed him. He opened his mouth but found he couldn’t speak.
  “Come now,” said the man. “We’ve no reason to harm a mere boy such as yourself, even if you might be tangled up with these desperate ruffians. Indeed, if you’d like, we can take you back with us. I’m sure that Prince John would be happy to provide opportunities for your betterment.”
  Prince John? This was growing worse by the moment.
  The boy leaned back. “I – I need to get back to my mother.”
  The man gave a single, barking laugh. “Do you now? Aye, that would be a fine idea. Yes, stay home with your mother and don’t get tangled up with criminals bent on defying the crown.”
  The boy sat up straight. “Prince John isn’t king yet. King Richard will return one day, just you wait and see.”
  The man laughed. “But who knows if Richard is even still alive? Prince John will be crowned king quick enough. And, for that insolence…” He strode towards the boy, pulled him from his pony’s back, and threw him roughly to the ground. “This is too fine a beast to belong to a peasant who refuses to give respect to his betters. Now, run home to your mother and perhaps she’ll teach you some manners.”
  The boy swallowed hard, hastily picked himself up off the ground, and ran. He cast one glance over his shoulder at his father to see him give a small, yet reassuring smile. Then he gave a glance to his pony only to see that the man had thrown the “girl” across its back.
  She’d been a mere doll. All this trouble for a doll.
]
  He had to return to camp and let his mother know of the attack. She’d know what to do. She’d be able to fix this.
  But he was three days from camp, and that was on horseback. It’d take forever on foot – if he even made it back at all. Skewwood was dangerous, and he was alone with only a bow and a small sword to defend himself. He didn’t even have any food on him. Would he starve?
  Night was descending. The boy could hear the howling of wolves. He didn’t want to be alone out here.
  “I wish … I wish that there was a way for me to get home quicker,” he said aloud, stopping to lean against a tree. “I wish I had someone with me.”
  He stood there a moment more, closing his eyes and trying hard not to cry. He was a big boy, and he had the very important task of making sure that his mother knew what had happened. His father and all the men were counting on him.
  “William Hood, I have need of a brave knight to guard me in these woods.”
  The boy started at his name, and he turned to see a woman riding a horse. She was very, very white, and the horse was very, very black.
  “You … know my name?” he asked, drawing back in alarm. “Who are you?”
  “A maiden in need of a brave knight,” she answered, “and in possession of a horse that is sure and swift. You, young William, are a valiant young man in possession of a message that must be delivered with all haste. I think that we can help each other, won’t you agree?”
  William shifted from one foot to the other. Her offer of a horse was tempting, very tempting, but his father had a very strict policy against strangers in the camp, unless they were blindfolded and well-guarded … and this woman was very strange indeed, white as she was and especially since she had as yet to actually look at William.
  “I already know the location of your Father’s camp,” the woman continued, running her hand through the horse’s mane. “Three hundred years ago, it was where—” She broke off with a shake of her head. “I know everything that happens in this forest. I hear every wish.”
  “Are – are you a fairy?” William asked. He didn’t know much about fairies, except that Prince Eric said that they could generally be trusted and that sometimes his wife would rant about them being meddlesome.
  The woman shook her head again. “I am not a fairy, no, not in the slightest. Still, I can help you, and you can help me.”
  William narrowed his eyes. Prince Eric had also warned him that if magical people wanted to barter their services, he should immediately run the other direction because they never meant well. “What do you want of me?” he asked.
  “As I said, I need you to be my brave knight in these woods, and that is all,” she answered. “Once I deliver you to your mother, you need never concern yourself about me again.”
  William considered, and he finally nodded. After all, he didn’t want to be alone in these woods and a horse would speed his message greately. “You won’t tell anyone where my father’s camp is, will you?”
  “I have no motive to betray you and every reason to keep your confidence,” she answered. She gave a small smile. “Well, shall we be off, young William?”
  He nodded, and in a blink, she had lifted him onto her horse’s back, taken her seat behind him, and prompted the steed into motion.
  William meant to stay awake, but it had been a long day, and his eyelids were heavy. He closed them, for a mere moment, he thought, but when he opened them again, they stood still, and light shone through the trees above him.
  “We have arrived,” the woman announced. “Just beyond these trees, you’ll find your cousin Scarlett, whom your mother set to keep watch.”
  “But…” William was still trying to blink away sleep. “We were three days from camp. How can we be here already?”
  “My horse is swift, as I told you,” said the woman, giving a quiet laugh. “Come now, William. Your mother needs the message you carry. I have bought you precious time. Don’t waste it.”
  With her help, William slid down from the horse’s back, still wobbly with sleep. He frowned up at the white woman. “You never did tell me your name.”
  Her lip curled in a sad smile, even as she stared straight ahead. “No, I did not.”
  “What is it?” he asked. “I think my mother would like to know.”
  But the woman just shook her head. “My name has not been spoken in three centuries. Your mother need only know that I bear no ill intention and that I saw you safely home. She also needs to know what happened yesterday.”
  William knew this, and yet he still couldn’t bear to let her leave. “Does your horse have a name?”
  She gave another quiet laugh. “He is my Shadow.”
  William nodded. “That’s a good name. He looks like a shadow.”
  There was her smile. “Farewell, young William, and may you never need my aid again.”
  And, with a blur, she and her horse were gone. The moment after that, William realized that he couldn’t remember what she’d looked like, beyond how she was so very, very white, and her horse so very, very black.

  He sighed and turned to the trees. 

Don't forget to preorder your kindle edition now!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Honor: A Book Release

It's been four years (well, ish, there was the rerelease of Kingdom containing book 3.5), but I'm excited to finally announce the next official release in the Bookania Quests.



Honor: A Quest In, hitting the shelves of your nearest Amazon this February 26th. And if you think that soon, I quite agree. Please ignore the noise of me screaming over here.



So, you may be expecting me to be announcing the sign-up for the blog tour. I mean, I'm the queen of the blog tour - don't even breath without setting one up, but...

I decided to do things a bit differently this go-round. See, I've given myself a very tight time-crunch for this release, and I've not found blog tours to be strictly successful with Bookania in the past.


Instead, starting now, I'm running a promotion party/giveaway here on my blog, to be culminated on February 26th, the day of the release, and the winner will be announced March 1st(ish.)

And the winner? Oh, they'll just be receiving a stack of all four Bookania Quests in the mail. Autographed copies, if they're in the U.S. (Yes, I'm opening this up international. Not sure at the moment how to do international shipping, but if someone international wins the stack, I will figure it out, I promise.)

But if you already have the previous three books in paperback? I'll let you substitute them out for WPFP+LDTD or The Seven Drawers+The Ankulen+The Worth of a King. Or you can wait until August, when I plan to realease Hair We Go Again. Sound good?


So, how are you going to earn entries to win this lovely stack of books? I'm thrilled that you asked.



First off, and a no brainer on this one - SHARE THE NEWS. Make sure that you're following me on Twitter and Facebook, and whenever I post something on either site, share/retweet it. You can create your own posts as well - sharing either the preorder link or this blog post. Make sure that you are tagging me (@Kendraeardnek on Twitter, or just mention Kendra E. Ardnek on Facebook) so that I get notified of your post. Each share is one entry.



POST THE COVER TO INSTAGRAM. You can grab any of the pics that I've put in this post (just click them to get them at full size, and then download them), or you can do something of your own using photoshop. Just have fun with this one, and make sure that you use the hashtag #honoraquestin so that I can find it. Conversely, you can also share your excitement by dressing up as any of the characters. Any picture posted - and you can do this up to once per day - is three points. 



BLOG POSTS. As I said, I'm not doing a blog tour, but I would love to see you blog about my latest release! I have three blog types that I will accept:
~Robin Hood Shoutouts - Basically, review any Robin Hood-themed book or movie that you have read/seen and loved (Except the Disney one - I saw that about thirty times too many a few years back, and I DO NOT want the songs stuck in my head again. I just got them out.) Make sure that you have it clear in your post that it is for promotion of Honor: A Quest In. This can be done as many times as you would like.
~Fill out the tag that I will be posting in a few days
~Interview any of the Bookania cast - just send me an email with questions for your character of choice, and I will shoot you back the answers for you to post on the day of release, Feb 26th. 
Any blog post is worth three points. Make sure you email me a link to your post as soon as it goes up, and I will be sharing the posts in a master list during the party.



REVIEWS. Existing reviews count - as long as it's for one of the Bookania Quests, including the two short stories. The initial review is worth 3 points, and any subsequent postings of it is worth another point (ie, if a review is on a blog AND Goodreads.) Let me know that the review was for the NEW editions (ie, the edited stories with their shiny covers), and that's worth yet another point. 

My email: kendraeardnek (at) gmail (dot) com.



LEAVE A COMMENT. Be it here on my blog, on my Facebook, on Instagram, YouTube, respond to my tweets - just as long as the post mentions Honor in some form or fashion. This DOES apply to back posts, so if you want to click on the "Honor A Quest In" tag on my blog, go through, and comment on EVERY single post - all the power to you. One point per comment. 


Bring me a baby...  Okay, that one's unrealistic, but I've been in a serious need of a baby fix, so if you haaaaaappen to have a squishy little one, and can manage to get to my area, well ... we can work out a deal???? (HEY, THIS IS RELEVANT. THERE'S A BABY IN HONOR.) (Three babies, actually) (Why is it that all of the babies in my life grew up and no one nearby has had any in forever? I mean, people that I feel confident enough to steal ask to hold their offspring?) (aaaaaaaanywho) 


INTERACT IN THE GOODREADS GROUP. That thing is deaaaad. So go revive it, and any comment you leave in any of the topics (provided that it is at least 30% on topic), is worth a point. 


MAKE SURE THAT HONOR IS ON YOUR GOODREADS TO-READ LIST. Just email me with the link to the shelf listing, and it's a point. While you're at it, add Hair as well, and I'll give you another TWO points. (Oh, and yes, you can Instagram Hair's cover as well, I'm not going to stop you. Yes, I know it's gorgeous.)

My email: kendraeardnek (at) gmail (dot) com.


PIN TO THE GROUP BOARD. Not a member of the group board? Just let me know that you want in, and I'll get you in so you can pin away. Each pin is a point.


PREORDER THE BOOK. Finally, but most importantly, run over to your nearest amazon and preorder a kindle copy. Then you can sit tight and wait for it to appear in your inbox. Email me the receipt, and I'll give you TEN WHOLE POINTS towards the giveaway. It's gonna be awesome. 

My email: kendraeardnek (at) gmail (dot) com.


My notebook is open and ready to receive the tallymarks to represent your points. I can't wait to see who wins. 

More posts are to come, including one with the tag and a chance for a review ARC, so hold on to your hats!

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