Saturday, March 10, 2018

Minstrel's Call Blog Tour - Interview with the Author

Happy Thursday everyone!

And of course it's Thursday, because Thursday is the day that I'm supposed to share this lovely interview with Jenelle Leanne Schmidt.


Book Blurb:
War threatens. The game board is set. But the Minstrel is missing...

Advancing his growing power, the Dread Prince breaks free of his prison and brings a faction of dragons under his control, stirring unrest and hatred in the newly united kingdoms of Tellurae Aquaous.

When the dragon wards of Kallayohm are targeted in a ruthless attack, the High King travels there to administer justice. But the trial results in a crippling blow that leaves him reeling.

On the heels of defeat, an unexpected message from the erstwhile Minstrel arrives, pleading with his friends for rescue. Together, the High King and his companions must follow the fragile trail, braving peril and darkness that will test the measure of them all...

Book Links:

Tell me three fun facts about yourself.

I am a compulsive opener-of-doors. Ever since my dad read me The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was little, I’ve been looking for a way into Narnia. The “grown-up” part of me fears I may never find it, but the part of me that will never grow up still likes to look behind doors, insides closets and cabinets, and around corners... hoping to find a magical land filled with grand adventures.

I have this amazing superpower that causes people around me to get lost on road trips. I don’t even have to be the one driving or navigating... I just have to be in the car. Thankfully, the wide-spread availability of GPS has helped to negate this somewhat dubiously useful superpower.

I don’t fit neatly in any of those personality tests. No matter what it is, I always end up pretty close to the exact middle on any spectrum. In college, when I had to take the actual Meyers-Briggs test, my scores were all within 48%-51% on every result except Introvert-Extravert (I am an introvert... though the people I love/feel comfortable with would never guess that)

Tell me a bit about your book, Minstrel's Call, and why my readers need to rush to their nearest Amazon and read it RIGHT NOW.

Minstrel’s Call is the fourth and final book in my YA fantasy series and it has all the amazing things, which is obviously why everyone should rush off and get their hands on a copy right now! (And the rest of the series, if you haven’t read it yet...)


Did you want more specifics?

Well, it has awesome dragons, an epic fantasy ship and ocean voyage, a high-stakes battle for the fate of the world, an evil villain bent on destroying everything, magical weapons, and is filled with themes of friendship, loyalty, courage, and the importance of family. It also reveals much of the mystery behind Kiernan Kane... this is his story, more than anything else.

What is your biggest piece of writing advice?

If you want to be a writer, you should be writing. It is, to this day, the best and biggest piece of writing advice I’ve ever received, and now I’ve passed it on to you! It seems fairly simple, but that is where most of its beauty lies. You can read about writing, you can hone your craft, you can listen to music, you can debate outlines versus discovery writing, you can contemplate the best way to hook a reader and argue about the use of tropes, but until you begin putting words down on the page, that story in your heart will remain untold, unshared with others.

Describe your writing process in seven words.

Chaotic. Tedious. Thrilling. Terrifying. Cathartic. Emotional. Analytical.

Author Links:

Also, there's a giveaway.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Minstrel's Call Blog Tour - Interview with Kamarie

Greetings and solutions!

Yes, I'm aware that this post is way late, but I erased Monday from my memory and thought that yesterday was Tuesday. Even though I knew it was Wednesday. I'm sure you've never had a week like that.

Anywho, I'm participating in a blog tour for the final book of Jenelle LeAnne Schmidt's final book in the Minstrel's Song series, Minstrel's Call.

I love this series, everyone should go read it.

Book Blurb:
War threatens. The game board is set. But the Minstrel is missing...

Advancing his growing power, the Dread Prince breaks free of his prison and brings a faction of dragons under his control, stirring unrest and hatred in the newly united kingdoms of Tellurae Aquaous.

When the dragon wards of Kallayohm are targeted in a ruthless attack, the High King travels there to administer justice. But the trial results in a crippling blow that leaves him reeling.

On the heels of defeat, an unexpected message from the erstwhile Minstrel arrives, pleading with his friends for rescue. Together, the High King and his companions must follow the fragile trail, braving peril and darkness that will test the measure of them all...

Book Links:

Oh, and I get to interview Kamarie, who is my favorite character in the series.

So. You and Oraeyn? Would you kindly tell me a bit about your courtship and the three things you love most about him? (Yes, I'm slightly miffed that their relationship 90% happened during the time skip between books 1 and 3.)

Kamarie laughs and crosses her arms. “Well, Oraeyn and I didn’t start out on the best of terms. He really annoyed me at first, mostly because I figured he would get in the way of us having any exciting adventures. In all honesty, I aggravated him rather a lot, as well... he threw me in a river shortly after we started getting to know each other. But after that... well... we sort of gained a lot of respect for each other as our journey continued. That respect turned into friendship, and somehow, somewhere along the way, I realized that he was my best friend, and that I never wanted to go through life without him.” She gazes off across the room for a minute. “What are the three things I love most about him? I enjoy his sense of fun. He’s always surprising me with different idea of things to do. Picnics on the beach, rock-climbing in the Mountains of Dusk, exploring the Aura Wood, racing our horses, unexpected bouquets of wildflowers. I can’t believe I ever thought he might be the sort of person who didn’t love adventure! I also love that he listens to me. I mean, he really listens, and he is always there to help me if I need it, but he’s also willing to just listen and then let me try to solve the problem on my own if that’s what I say I want. And third, I just love how much he cares about everyone. He is always kind and respectful to everyone he meets, from the poorest farmer to the youngest servant to the highest noble to the king of the dragons... he treats everyone the same.” Kamarie laughs and continues, "Also, my author wishes to apologize for the fact that most of our romance happens between books! She says that romance is not her favorite thing to read or write, and that when she originally wrote us, she'd never been in love herself, and felt inadequate to the task. She actually left out our entire wedding except as a mention in the original draft of Yorien's Hand, but wrote it in later after a beta reader yelled at her about it!"

You're good friends with the young Yole. Care to tell me a bit about him?

Kamarie grins and leans forward. “Yole is like the brother I never had. He used to be like my little brother. He was someone I felt I needed to watch out for and protect. But he’s grown so much in the past eight years, and now he has really come into his own and seems to be finding his place in the world. I think he believes he’s sort of become my big brother, and thinks he needs to help protect me... I let him believe that... but just because he’s a dragon doesn’t mean I don’t still remember him as a scared little boy lost and wandering through the Mountains of Dusk!”

What would be your biggest piece of advice to any princess who wants to learn the sword?

“Ooh, that’s a good question. Well, I’m no expert, though I can definitely handle them. I would say that it would be good to get your parents’ approval. I should have done that... though I found out later that my father gave his approval to Sir Garen without my knowing it.” She shrugs, and gives a tiny, rueful grin. “And then I would say that you have to have patience, with yourself and your teacher. You can’t go into anything and just expect to be perfect at it - or even good at it - right from the start. We’re not all blessed that way by our fairy godmothers, after all. It takes a lot of practice, sore muscles, and getting knocked to the ground. But it isn’t about falling down... learning the sword, like most other things in life, is about whether or not you choose to get back up.”

Author Links:

Also, there's a giveaway.

Tune in next time and maybe Kendra will feel a bit more chatty.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The What if? Tag

Hi, I'm just over here, linking up for Jenelle's tag for "February is Fantasy" month.

1. Your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. The cast of the most recent fantasy book you read comes to your assistance… who are they? Will they be helpful?
That would be the characters of Kendra Kandlestar and the Secret of Arazeen. Given that they're all wee folk, and largely unused to technology, they are probably unhelpful. I mean, Kendra's and her uncle Griffinstitch are powerful wizards, and the raccoon would have a heyday trying to mess with the machinery ... but I think they'd all do more harm than good.
2. You go to bed one evening and wake up in the lair of the villain of the last fairy tale you read, where are you and how do you plan to get out?
I am in Rapunzel's tower. And, unfortunately, as my hair is not yet even to my knees (though it is long enough to sit on), its use as a ladder is out of the question. But I find that the tower isn't as bad as I feared and has excellent wifi and free food, so I think I'm going to stay here.
3. You are transported into a fantasy realm and given a mythical creature as a companion and best friend… which mythical creature do you get?
Probably a dragon. Dragons are awesome.
4. In a strange series of coincidences, you end up needing to take the place of your favorite fantasy hero or heroine. Who are you? 
Imma gonna go with Kyrin from Ilyon. 
5. To go along with question #4, now that you are that character, is there anything you would do differently than that character, now that you are running the show?
... I really don't know. Because I like her because she's smart and makes good decisions. (Also has an awesome memory, and I'm just fascinated with memories.) I mean, the only thing I probably wouldn't do is get into a relationship with Jace, but that's because I personally don't feel that way about him. I do TOTALLY ship the two of them, though, so I wouldn't want to not have them in a relationship.
6. If you were yourself in a fantasy novel, what role do you think you would play in the story?
Probably the comic relief sidekick who keeps things from getting too solemn and dreary. 
7. One morning, as you are going about your daily business, you pick up an everyday item and a voice booms in your head with prophetic words about your future. What object is it, and what is your prophecy?
I pick up my phone to turn off my alarm for the fifteenth time that morning.
Verily and forsooth, thou shalt be late for work again. 
8. You are transported into a magical realm and turned into a mythical beast… what beast/fantasy creature do you want to be?
I'm a dragon!
9. If you could read your way into any fantasy realm, but the catch is that you can never leave, would you? Which realm would you choose?
I'd probably go to my own Rizkaland, because they know that people wander in from other worlds and they'd welcome me with open arms. It'd be awesome. 
10.  As you are going about your normal day, you discover that you have a magical power. What is it?
The power to make my imagination visual. That'd be awesome.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Do you like getting good books at better prices? Well, today's your lucky day because a number of other authors and I are offering books on SALE. And some of them are free.

Also, before you go pick up all of these goodies, please head over to the GiraffeCrafts blog for a very special Fairy Tale-themed announcement that I don't think that you guys are going to want to miss.

But basically...

eBook sale! February 14-15, 2018

Free eBooks
Poison Kiss by Kendra E. Ardnek
Forget Not by Rebekah A. Morris
The Dressmaker's Secret by Kellyn Roth
The Lady of the Vineyard by Kellyn Roth 
Coffee Cake Days by Amanda Tero

$0.99 eBooks
Water Princess, Fire Princess by Kendra E. Ardnek 
Finding Joy by Rebekah Morris
Gift from the Storm by Rebekah A. Morris
The Fragrance of Geraniums by Alicia Ruggieri
Befriending the Beast by Amanda Tero
Journey to Love by Amanda Tero  
A Question of Honor by Jesseca Wheaton
Beyond the Horizon by Jesseca Wheaton        

$1.99 eBooks
Lady Dragon, Tela Du by Kendra E. Ardnek
All Our Empty Places by Alicia Ruggieri 
A Love to Come Home To by Alicia Ruggieri
The House of Mercy by Alicia Ruggieri
The Secret Slipper by Amanda Tero

$2.99 eBooks
Finding Mera by Elizabeth D. Marie

$3.99 eBooks
A Time of Grace 3-in-1 by Alicia Ruggieri 

25% off paperback

Dandelion Dust by Faith Potts 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Worth of a Cover

Happy Birthday to me! I'm 23 now. 23. Can't believe it.

And happy cover reveal day to all of you. You guys get to see the ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS cover that Alea Harper made me for The Worth of a King, and let me tell you, this cover was a bear and a HALF for us to get right.

Seel, I really didn't know what I wanted, other than a different style than the Rizkaland Legends. I had a few pins on Pinterest that I felt would be a good starting place ... but getting art of the sort would have been tricky ... and I didn't want it to look like Obsidia was the focus of a Love Triangle.

I also had half a dozen motifs of the book that I felt were important - crown, stars, dragon, winged horse, perhaps some others that I can't remember off the top of my head ... but I when Alea sent me the first concept ... I really wasn't feeling it. Or the second or third ... and I really hated that I was being picky ...

She's a saint, though, and put up with me.

I even made my own mocks, trying to help find what the story needed, but ... well, they weren't hitting the nail on the head, either.

And, for the record, I'm completely in love with both of the fonts that I used on these covers, and I will find a use for them. someday

But we still just weren't feeling it. I was despairing of finding the perfect cover ... when suddenly, a concept came to me, quite radically different from what we were trying to create - and spinning our wheels on.

I drew a quick mock of it and sent it to Alea, along with the color scheme I was envisioning.

Please excuse my art skills. I can't draw dragons, apparently.
And while what Alea sent back to me wasn't the minimalistic line-drawn thing that I was envisioning, I fell immediately fell in love. Here, FINALLY, was the cover I was searching for.

We had to do a few more tweaks to the layout and lighting, but, here it is, in all its glory. You guys have waited long enough:

Oh. Oh. Just isn't it the most gorgeous thing ever? I love the minimalistic nature of it, the slight Game of Thrones feel that it has. (Though this story is worlds different from that saga. And MUCH cleaner.)

And I canNOT wait to hold this baby. Trying to decide if it'll look better in gloss or matte. Might order it in both to see.

Now, I have a number of other lovely bloggers who are participating in the cover reveal - and I encourage you to click through to every single one. Each has a unique snippet from the book that they'll be featuring, some have a mini interview, and most are also featuring one of my inspiration pins for the story.

And I have a special prize for anyone who comments on EVERY post. Have at.

Jaye L. Knight

This story has come a long way from the idea that Jack and I started together. I do miss her, but it's come together so beautifully... 

Now just to finish writing the last three chapters...
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