Friday, August 30, 2019

A Random Update Post

I feel like I never blog anymore. In fact, I missed my tenth blogoversary last month - and I'd had some pretty fun plans for it.

Life's just had me stretched thin, lately. Hair We Go Again marked my sixth official release within the space of a year, and I'd not had a nice July. My aunt (who'd lived in the upstairs trailer from me, helped with bills, and provided my rides to town), moved out at the end of June, and while I'd known this move was coming, I'd been expecting more fall-timing, so to suddenly have her GONE has added a lot to my plate that I wasn't prepared for. Especially as her air conditioner went out while they were unloading her house into the moving van. Air conditioner has not been fixed, and our houses are connected by a not-airtight door. In fact, I'd call it rather the opposite of airtight.

I also don't have running water in my own house, so I have to go up there to use the bathroom, take showers, and wash my dishes. I live in Texas. So, yeah, heat's been melting me. (Fortunately, the nights have been ... decent, so I leave the screen door open at night - though locked - so the house can breathe.)

In July, I had two back-to-back "vacations." Realm Maker's the third weekend, and then I was a Sponsor at a Church camp (Basically, I was the Responsible Adult who was brought to be in charge of my younger cousins and sister.) the following week. This required two weeks off from work, so I'd requested some extra days in the weeks previous to my vacations. What I'd not asked for was extra days in the weeks following, but that's what I've gotten. Including eating THREE out of the five days of the Golden Braid's blog tour, and I'd only planned to work the last day.

(Note on my work schedule - I work part-time at McDonald's, and it's supposed to be three nine-hour shifts a week. This is because I live thirty minutes from town and don't drive, and so, while working, have to crash at my parent's house, who live within walking distance from my work. They don't really have room for me at their apartment, so I like to minimize the time that I'm there. And, with my Aunt moved out, I've had to rely on my other aunt for rides, and her schedule's a lot more rigid, resulting in extra time at my parents' house.)

So, yeah, Hair We Go Again didn't get the launch I'd planned for it, and I'm utterly behind in everything and have no idea how to catch up.

You guys may remember some posts concerning my sister earlier this year. Yeah, that's still a continuing saga. I don't really want to say anything more on the subject, but it's been something on my plate that's been making life frustrating.

I don't want my writing to be about the numbers, I really don't. But, the frustrating thing about growing up and being an adult is that life costs money. And it'd be much nicer if that money didn't require me squatting at my parents' house. I want to give you guys great stories, but life is squeezing all of the time and energy I have for that. I mean, I have managed six releases in the space of a year (I'm insane), and my royalties for the first half of the year have been somewhere over $400 - nothing to sneeze at, as it's about what I made in the WHOLE of last year, and that'd been my best year yet. But it's still not enough to replace my minimum wage part-time paycheck.

I'm honestly not sure how I'm moving forward. I'm working my hardest to get Love and Memory out next year. Not sure how it's going to happen, but it's been three years already since LDTD released, and that's enough of a gap between books. Cost and Song are both too much of a mess to make progress on, but I do have a number of Bookania projects that are high-priority, including book 6, a couple short stories, and A-Parent Loss, the first book of a new series called the Bookania Misadventures. Also Misfortune and The Dancing Princess are both still on my plate, and I'm going to try to have the former out before the end of the year, and The Dancing Princess ready in advance of the Tattered Slippers release, rather than fifteen minutes before it's due to Amazon, as has been the case the last several releases. (Maaaaybe I should spread them out a bit more, but life's too short and I have too many books.)

But what's going to happen next, how I'm going to pay my bills AND keep up with writing, I don't know.

And to those of you waiting on your preorder bundles ... they are coming, but my schedule hasn't allowed me to really focus on any of them. Update on the audiobook - my Microphone has decided that it doesn't like me and won't talk to my computer. I'm hoping that it's an issue with the cord (it wasn't a cheap mic, but that was a cheap cord), but I haven't had a chance to chase down another cord that will fit it (it's picky).

So ... with all that said ... Kendra out, and maybe consider buying a book?

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Do You Like Free Books?

Don't lie to me. It's far more fun to NOT pay for something than it is to pay for it.

So, that's why I have not one, but THREE books free for you to download. Wait, no, make that four - Sew, it's a Quest is permanently free, after all. These other three, however, are free today and tomorrow only.

(And Sew, It's a Quest if you're interested in that)
(Oh, and you can always pick up the Tales of Ever After Anthology)

You may be wondering WHY I'm offering these books for free.
Well, first off, they were all three getting close to their turnovers, and it's been a while since I last offered free books, so I thought - why not? I just released a book, after all, and this could generate some buzz and push some sales.

But the big thing - I'm trying to gather a few more reviews on each of these books. 

I have goals, actually, and rewards that I'm going to shower on the internet once they're met.

Honor's the easiest. I just need five reviews (on either Amazon or Goodreads), and I'm going to reveal the cover for book 6 of the series once I hit that. And it's a gorgeous cover, so you guys will want to see it.

WPFP, for its part, I'm trying to bump up to the all-important 50 reviews on Amazon. It's been hovering 39 for the last couple weeks, but I want to push it over the edge. To celebrate when that happens, I'll be posting the first chapter of Love and Memory, the third book of the series, which returns to Clara and Andrew's story, here to this blog.

Worth is probably the most difficult. My goal is 25 Amazon reviews on this one, but it's only at 9 at the moment (was at ten yesterday, though. Don't know what happened.) When it gets there, I'll will post a very special bonus story to the AA blog about a certain couple that was hinted at the end of the book.

And, while we're at it, I would LOVE to see Sew reach 50 Amazon reviews as well. Bit of a long shot on this one, as it's been sitting at 18 reviews for the longest time, and it needs a bit more love. Still trying to decide what I'm going to do with this one, but we'll see!

Another thing I'd like to see? At least one of these books hit a #1 free in some category. I'm not picky which one, just please download the books and share to your friends when your done. Who knows? We might actually succeed.

And, yes, you can totally steal these images for sharing purposes. Just as long as you're sharing and downloading, and reviewing. I really want to share the surprise bonus features with all of you!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Five Reasons to Read The Dragon's Flower

I can't believe it, but here we are on the last day of the Golden Braids release!

In the wilds of the mountainous country of Akiyama, there stands a pagoda. When Shichiro, an exiled, honorless samurai stumbles across it one rainy morning, he expects to find it empty and abandoned. He was not expecting to find a lonely princess with near-mythical blue eyes dwelling in the top floors. 

Hanako has dwelt alone for all her life, with only her two silent handmaidens and the countless dragon effigies on her walls to keep her company; her only knowledge of the outside world gained from the books and scrolls she reads. When the wandering ronin stumbles onto her haven, she gains her first friend, never knowing how deeply this chance meeting would affect her. 

The threads of fate have tied these two together, and all the while turmoil boils in the midst of the Seven Countries of Azuma-no-Kuni. Rumors of alliances and armies sprout up, and whispers of the long-lost Imperial Line returning at last. Old prophecies ripen at last, and old myths prepare to show themselves once again in the hour of need. Amongst it all stand two new allies—an isolated princess and a near-friendless ronin, as the wheels of fate and destiny circle them and draw ever closer. Will peace at last return to the fractured realms, or will remnants of the once great Empire splinter beyond all redemption?

I'm honestly feeling like a proud Grandma here, with all of these book babies loose on internet that I helped see the light of day, and this one most of all. I'm so proud of Wyn with this story, and I want all of you to read and love it as well.

1. It's my faaaavorite romance trope. I can't spoil it, but I was grinning like an idiot when it happened. Seriously, authors, you can pull this plot twist on me and I will continue to love it every single time.

2. I cannot belive Wyn's talent in translating a fairy tale from one culture to another, and still retaining everything that makes the fairy tale awesome. I saw it before in But One Life, but here, OH MY FREAKIN' WORD, it was awesome. The Dragon's Flower is 100% Japan-esuqe, and it's also 100% Rapunzel and I just can't even with it.

3. BROTHERS!!!! I love how sibling stories were such a focus with these Golden Braids, and this one might be my favorite. Shichiro's relationship with his older brother and younger sister was gold, and can I also shout out that adorable overprotective toddler big brothers are adorable? Eeeeep.

4. The Worldbuilding!!! I mentioned that it's medieval Japan-esque, but I just love how it combined Japanese mythos into a Christian Worldview. And the Fox was so much fuuuuuun.

5. It's just plain epic and awesome, kay? Go read it. Now. NOOOOOOW.

Author Bio:
Wyn Estelle Owens is the penname of a young woman who’s still figuring out what this whole ‘adult’ thing is all about. She lives in a big, old house in Maryland by a Hundred Acre Wood (dubbed Neldoreth) with her parents, three occasionally obnoxious brothers, her dog Jackie, and her rabbit Joker. She is fond of reading, writing, drawing, speaking in dead or imaginary languages, playing videogames, quoting classic or obscure literature, being randomly dramatic, and generally making things out of yarn. Her dream is to write stories that inspire people to chase after the wonderful world of storytelling. Her favorite all-time authors are Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Christa Kinde, and above all, J.R.R. Tolkien, who first inspired her to pursuing novel writing when she read the Hobbit at the age of seven.
Find her online at: 
Goodreads || Facebook 

Also, one last reminder to go check out the rest of the tour and sign up for the giveaway!   (I Mean, we can't have Kiri winning by DEFAULT, now can we? Also congratulations to Kiri for the release of her second book today. I need to read it.)

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Five Reasons to Read Rebekah's Refuge

I can't believe we're already down to the last two of my precious Golden Braids.

Never allow a stranger to buy you anything. Never reveal what you truly are. Above all, never, ever allow your hair to be cut.

In a plague-ravaged world, people will stop at nothing to find a cure. Rebekah is a young norn who on the run for her life. Charles, a man desperate to heal his ailing wife, wants the life-giving magic contained in Rebekah's hair.

When Rebekah’s path crosses with Martha’s, a mother who has lost her daughter to the same man, secrets will be revealed. Buried fears will be resurrected, and the conflict between norns and humans may cause devastating havoc. Will Rebekah and Martha find a way to help both human and nornkind, or will Rebekah’s pursuer capture her? Will the plague be eradicated, or is a more sinister plan at work?

Things are not how they appear in this story of finding a place to belong. Rebekah’s Refuge is a tale of sacrifice, love and courage. You will meet many individuals, human and norn alike, who bear scars, scars that cannot be seen. A tenuous thread binds their destinies together, but threads, like hair, can easily be cut. Only those who listen can find the courage to fight. Rebekah’s Refuge is a tale of desperation and hope, a story of turmoil and healing.

Let's get into those reasons, shall we?

1. Meredith is the master of retelling a fairy tale in a way that is very definitely a retelling of said fairy tale, but at the same time, completely on its head and its own story. I wouldn't even call it a "twisted" tale. It's a story that's been dumped into a bag, and shaken out to form its own story. And while some retellings lose large pieces of itself when they do this, Meredith somehow manages to retain MOST of the story.

2. It's a tale of family. It's a sacrifice that a mother makes for a daughter, a daughter for her mother, a husband for his wife. And while not all decisions are the best, they're all sympathetic (or at least pitiable), because you can feel the motivation.

3. It's an #OwnVoices story. Rebekah, the titular heroine of the story is blind - and so is Meredith herself. And it was beautiful.

4. The setting is so unique. While clearly set in the same world as her previous book The Princess and the Invisible Apple Tree, it's no longer a medieval fantasy. Instead, we're in a town on the edge of the wild west, and you don't see that nearly enough in fantasy. And I loved the Norns. They were so fascinating!

5. The power of faith. One thing that can be said of Meredith is that she doesn't shy away from the power of her faith. It's absolutely beautiful.

Meredith Leigh Burton is a voracious devourer of fairy tales. She is a motivational speaker, teacher and writer. She attended the Tennessee School for the Blind and Middle Tennessee State University, where she received a degree in English and theater. Meredith hopes to convey through her writing that people with differences can contribute much to the world. "Snow White" has always been her favorite fairy tale. Meredith has written another fairy tale based on "Snow White" entitled Hart Spring, which can be found in her anthology, Blind Beauty and Other Tales of Redemption. She resides in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
Find her online at:  
Goodreads || Amazon 

Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour and the giveaway here!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Five Reasons to Read Mechanical Heart

And here's Sarah Pennington's outstanding book!

Can you save someone who doesn’t know if she’s alive?
Breen lives locked away, separated from the world by the walls of her clock tower and the machine of gems, gears, and magic that replaces her heart. That is, until an unexpected visitor appears in her tower, offering a dangerous gift: freedom. His promises awaken hope for a life unbound by the tower walls — but she knows that if he learns about her heart, it’s only a matter of time before he turns on her.
Josiah is powerless. Though he’s the crown prince of the mighty Chanian empire, he feels stifled by his inability to protect his people from the schemes of corrupt nobles. When he discovers a girl trapped in a locked clock tower, he thinks he’s finally found a problem he can solve . . . but more than just walls keep her captive.
From the royal palace to the streets of Rivenford to the tops of clock towers, secrets hide around every corner in this steampunk retelling of Rapunzel. Breen and Josiah hold the keys to each other's struggles — if they can break down the barriers that divide them.

Sarah's amazing Steampunk retelling of Rapunzel released today, and I'm here to tell you exactly why you need to stick your nose into it right now.

1. It's steampunk Rapunzel. AKA, instead of just ANY tower for our poor heroine, it's a clock tower. With gears. And alchemy. BLOOD ALCHEMY. I loved all of the inventions and everything. 

2. Political Intrigue. I love a good political intrigue, where battles are played in the courtroom, and not the field, and this was so amazing. Watching Josiah worry through the moral dilemma that blood alchemy presented, and then do everything in his power, and then some, to do what is right was amazing.

3. Disability Rep! I am seriously proud of my Braids authors in this department. This book stars a deaf Rapunzel. Seems that staying in a clocktower for extended periods has a tendency to destroy your hearing. ALSO, Josiah's sister is deaf as well. So it's just awesome, pure awesome. 

4. Sarah's just an amazing writer. This was the book that I had to give the least amount of feedback on, and that's just 'cause it's that amazing of a story. 

5. A focus on family and friendship. While I totally ship Breen and Josiah for the future, these characters aren't getting distracted by butterflies and kisses. And while I do love a good romance, they can be distracting, so it's nice to see them left out from time to time. 

And there we go. Read this book now - and it's already available in paperback, fwi, if you want to pick that up, too. 

Author Bio:
Sarah Pennington has been writing stories since before she actually knew how to write, and she has no intention of stopping anytime soon. She is perpetually in the middle of writing at least one or two novels, most of which are in the fantasy and fairy tale retelling genres. Sarah's first published work, Blood in the Snow, received a perfect score and Special Unicorn status in Rooglewood Press's Five Poisoned Apples contest. When she isn't writing, she enjoys knitting, photography, and trying to conquer her massive to-be-read list.
Find her online at: 
Website || Blog || Second Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Amazon 

Check out the rest of the tour + the Giveaway here!

Five Reasons to Read Molly Storm!

Aaaand, I lost my brain and didn't get it posted yesterday. Let me fix that.

A witch, a pirate, a lighthouse, and... seaweed? Molly Storm is a short story inspired by the tale of Rapunzel.

“You and I, lass, we’re both sides of the same coin. We’re both the heart of the ocean, but you’re more the kindness and goodness. I’m the storms that crush ships. Don’t cross me, Molly. I’ll crush all the sweetness out of you.”

So, let's get into those reasons, shall we?

1. It's Rapunzel in a LIGHTHOUSE. This had been my one, major request when it came to the Golden Braids - I needed a Rapunzel in a lighthouse. And Annie delivered with the sweetest, most heart-tugging story you've ever read.

2. Molly Storm is the witch. She's not the villain. She's a woman caught by superstition, and she's trying to do the right thing.

3. Disability rep! Ulva, the Rapunzel character, actually has Downs Syndrome, which is why her parents were so willing to give her up. One of the dearest girls I know IRL is Downs, and a family friend has a Downs son, so these children are incredibly are incredibly special to me, and I love seeing one in such a beautiful fairy tale.

4. Mattao is the sweetest. He's the "prince" character, and also the son of the real villain - the pirate king, and he's an adorable little boy and a dashing hero in turn.

5. Tug my heartstrings why don't you, but that ending! Absolutely gorgeous and gold. It's a short tale, and though I'd have liked it to be longer, it's absolutely beautiful for what it is.

So don't hesitate. Get thyself over to Amazon, and get this book.

Author Bio:
Annie Louise Twitchell is a homeschool graduate who is obsessed with dragons and fairy tales. She enjoys reading, writing, poetry, and many forms of art. When she's not writing, she can often be found reading out loud to her cat, rabbit, and houseplants, or wandering barefoot in the area around her Western Maine home.

Check out the rest of the tour here!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Hair We Release Again!

Once upon a time...

Yes, friends, that is right - the newest edition of the Bookania Quests has hit Amazon by storm. Was this post supposed to be up yesterday? Yes, yes it was. But I also wasn't supposed to WORK yesterday, but they apparently had a couple people quit the other week, and they scheduled me for a fourth day without asking first. It was a nasty mid-day shift, too, which meant that I didn't have time to do everything I wanted to in the morning OR when I got home that night.

Anywho. The Molly Storm post will follow this one up shortly, but I'm posting this one first, because it IS my book, and I wanna talk about my book. (Because I really love it.)

So, five reasons you need to read it, pronto and immediately:

1. Because Maryanne is adorable. Like, seriously. Barely a year old and she's already my favorite character. I mean, I've talked about her before and she was in Honor: A Quest In, but now you guys can ACTUALLY READ ABOUT HER. Because she's a doll, and a streak of trouble, and I'm sorry Robin and Eric, but this was exactly the child that the two of you deserved. 

2. See if you can spot the fairy tale references. I mean, Rapunzel's the big, obvious one, but another one has a bit to play and Solomon brings up a few others. Suuuch fun to finally work some of those in.

3. It's not a high-stakes adventure. Look, much as I love a good baddie, the truth of the matter is that my writing is at its best when I'm dealing with broken people finding healing, and that's what this book is. 

4. Because Jackalopes are awesome and they need to be featured in more fiction.

5. BECAUSE FAMILY. Faaaaamily. Family. 

Oh, and if you're a stubborn soul who wants to start the series at the beginning, book one is PERMAFREE. So go pick it up if you never have before.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Cover Reveal - Spindle's Dream

So ... this post is late. BUT, it is still the first, and Kiri said that I could post it at any time DURING the first. So if it's ten minutes before midnight, y'know, it's still the first, and it's still legal!

(goes and hides under a paper bag)

Anywho, my good friend, Kiri Liz, aka Kirsten Fitcher, is getting ready to publish her second book!!! And ... it's still not Secret of the Hazel Tree. I mean, I know, she desperately needs to publish that one so I'm not fangirling over it in a vacuum. KIRI!!! I NEED OTHERS TO KNOW THE AWESOME!!!!

(I also wanna say ... since publishing her first, she's had time to get married and be half-way through their second kid. Juuuust pointing this out.)

So, what's the book, since it's not SotHT? Let me let her tell you aaaaaall about it.

Spindle Dreams

Marita Kadlec is the only daughter of Rohesia's poorest – and laziest – weaver. Her father prefers to spend his days gambling in the tavern, leaving the spinning up to Marita. She hates the family business because she's constantly pricking her finger on the spindle. She'd much rather be tinkering on an invention that she hasn't had the courage to show anyone yet. A special invention that will rid her of spinning for the rest of her life.

Felix is a young nobleman plagued with the same nightmare – a giant machine, twisting and clanking, shrouded in fire, bent on pain and death. He's determined to find out what it means, no matter where the answers may lead him.

This is Sleeping Beauty with a twist like you've never seen it before.


Oh, and did I mention that this was a cover reveal? (I think I put it in the title, but at this point, I honestly don't remember...)



Now, be good little readers and run over to add the book on Goodreads, and then follow Kiri on Facebook.


Kirsten Fichter is a twenty-something Christian writer who loves being the wife to her favorite person ever, mommy to the most precious blessing, a piano enthusiast, a dragon buff, a serious bookworm, and an INFP synesthete. Fairytales have always fascinated her, and she has made it her goal to rewrite as many as possible and become known as the “Grimm Dickens” (i.e. mixing Grimm fairytales with a Dickens style). She is present in many online circles under the name “Kiri Liz” if you care about things like that. As you read this, she’ll be somewhere under a maple tree – trying very hard to finish the seventeen and half other stories she unwisely started all at once.


And, on the why that this post is up so late - today was my deadline to get Hair We Go Again up to Amazon. So this is just your friendly reminder that you can get a lovely basket of goodies if you preorder the book and email me your receipt! Just a couple days left to preorder!
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