Friday, June 15, 2018

LEVIATHAN BY AMANDA TERO BLOG TOUR // short story review




Greetings, O readers! I'm here today to participate in the blog tour for Amanda Tero's new short story, Quest for Leviathan! And it's a really cool story. I mean, it has a dragon. 'Nuff said.

Are sea monsters a real thing? What about fire-breathing dragons? According to the Bible, there is a fire-breathing sea creature who really existed: the leviathan. Amanda Tero brings this dragon to life in her newest short story, "Quest for Leviathan." Join Anath and his crew of ninety-nine rowers as they face the waves of the Mediterranean Sea and the power of Leviathan.


~ABOUT THE BOOK~


Leviathan  took  the  life  of  his  father.  Anath  has  spent  three  years  preparing  for  the  voyage  that  will  end  the  threat  of  Leviathan.  Yet  as  the  Valor  launches  into  the  depths  of  the  Mediterranean,  an  inward  quest  also  begins,  taking  Anath  to  depths  he  is  not  willing  to  face.

Purchase an e-copy on Amazon or order a paperback

Add to your Goodreads shelf


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~MY REVIEW~

What a strong short story!

Despite the sea-dwelling dragon, which is usually a fantasy creature and nothing more, Quest for Leviathan is historical fiction. The Bible clearly indicates that a creature called Leviathan once lived. It's really cool to me how Job 41 inspired this story, and I could almost feel the heart behind it. Inspiration from the Word of God is the best kind. It's beautiful, and it always shows.

The MC, Anath, had some... issues. I can say almost nothing about him without spoiling, but suffice it to say that his character arc was well-executed in spite of how little page time he had. And the ending was SO wonderful. <3

The writing style wasn't my favorite - like, it didn't fully SUCK ME IN - but it was still a pleasant, elegant style that flowed nicely. The story itself was so short that I didn't have time to fully settle into the setting or become fully attached to the characters, but I don't think that's the point of a short story anyway. I probably just haven't read enough of them to become accustomed to what they're like. XD

It was good, guys. There was action, an excellent twist or two, and a central focus on God. I loved that. While reading this story, I felt close to my Lord. It reminded me of how loving and caring and perfect He is. (I pray that there will never be a time when I'm tired of that reminder.)

Quest for Leviathan is a gem. A smol one, yes, but still a gem. :D



~4/5 stars~

**I received a free ARC of this story in exchange for my honest review**



~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her  hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and  continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels.  It is her  utmost  desire  to  write  that  which  not  only  pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the  reader  into  a  deeper  relationship  with Jesus Christ.    

Connect with Amanda by shooting her an email (amandaterobooks@gmail.com) or visiting her website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, blog, Goodreads, or Amazon.


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I hope you guys will consider checking out this short story! Don't forget to visit the other tour stops, and be sure to enter the giveaway for two print copies of Quest for Leviathan (visit the blogs with "Giveaway" below)!

June 8 – With a Joyful Noise (Release Day Post)
              Resting Life (Spotlight, Review)
             The World of the Writer (Review)
             Authoring Arrowheads (Review)
             Purely by Faith Review (Review, Interview)
June 9 – Victoria’s Book Nook (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
             Bekah’s Books (Spotlight, Review, Interview)
June 11 – Clothed with Scarlet (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
             Reveries Reviews (Review)
June 12 – Chosen Vessels (Spotlight, Review)
             My Purple Pen (Review)
             Read Another Page (Review)
June 13 – Once Upon an Ordinary (Review)
             Maidens for Modesty (Review)
             Yahweh Sisters (Review)
June 14 – Honey Rock Hills (Review)
             Life of Heritage Corner (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)
             Kaylee’s Kind of Writes (Review, Interview)
June 15 – The Red-Hooded Writer (Review)
             Blossoms and Blessings (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)
             Lit Aflame (Review, Interview)
June 16 – The Left-Handed Typist (Review)
             Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review, Interview, Giveaway)
June 18 – Great Books for God’s Girls (Review, Interview)
             Peculiar Miss Darcy (Character Interview)
June 19 – Done in Love (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)
             Creating Romance (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
June 20 – Keturah’s Korner (Review, Interview)
             Rock and Minerals 4 Him (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
June 21 – A Baker’s Perspective (Review, Giveaway, Character Spotlight)
             Christian Author: A.M. Heath (Review, Interview)
             Views from the Window Friend (Review)
             Hunting for Truth (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
June 23 – Reading on the Edge (Spotlight)
             Summer Snowflakes (Review, Giveaway)
June 25 – With a Joyful Noise (Giveaway Winner Announced)


The Lord's Truly,

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Why I Want to Trad Publish // A Collab With Ivie Brooks


I know this is yet another unusual posting day for me, and there are a few more unusual posting days to come, but don’t worry - it won’t last forever! By July I hope to be settling back into my consistent Monday schedule.


Today I am collabing with my lovely friend Ivie Brooks @ Ivie Writes to talk about the different publishing routes that we want to take! Ivie is pursuing self-publishing, so her post is all about why she’s chosen that winding road. I, on the other hand, am leaning toward traditional publishing, so my post here is all about that! And I’m excited about it, because I’ve been meaning for a while to talk a little more in-depth about why I’m not into indie publishing like so many of my blogger friends are. And don’t get me wrong - if you’re into indie publishing, I think that’s awesome! I’m cheering you on!


I’ve always wanted to trad publish, though. Always. Even after my twisted misconception that self-publishing is only for desperate, impatient writers with no respect for their craft got blown out of the water (when I started blogging, I came across other bloggers whose serious, professional pursuit of independent publishing made me realize I was wrong), it didn’t appeal to me personally. And it still doesn’t.


Traditional publishing is my dream and my plan - unless God starts guiding my heart in a new direction, of course. I would love love love to be traditionally published! And here is why:


- So much is out of my hands and in the hands of professionals who know what they’re doing. Usually. :/ Many of those seeking to self-pub probably consider this a con rather than a pro, haha. But I guess I’m one of those writers who likes the idea of a big ol’ team of experienced agents, and editors, and marketers, and etc. to back me up and guide me through some things that - if I were to self-publish - I would have to do pretty much all by myself.


Now, I’m perfectly aware that either way, being a published (or close to published) author is HARD WORK. Just because all these professionals would be working with me doesn’t mean it would be easy. It doesn’t mean it would be easier than self-publishing. That's not what I'm saying.


But still, the immense professional support appeals to me. :D




- Traditionally published books reach lots and lots of people. It probably sounds selfish, but it’s the truth. I ain’t gonna lie. This may be my biggest reason for wanting to publish traditionally.


You see, traditionally published books GET AROUND. They fall into hundreds upon hundreds - often thousands - of grabby reader hands. That’s just the way it is. Self-published authors can market their book like crazy and draw a considerably sized audience. It’s really cool when that happens. But traditionally published books… man, they really get around. To be completely honest with you, I LOVE the idea of my books ending up popular-ish. I feel like “popularity” (*winces at that annoying word*) has a different meaning for everyone, but suffice it to say that I dream about being at least a semi-popular author one day. I know my chances may be slim, but I still dream.


~~~


In case you don’t know much about traditional publishing, or are trying to decide whether you want to go the traditional or indie route, here are some things I know/have heard about traditional publishing. (And fyi, this isn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows.)


- Querying. I’ve learned enough about the agent-querying process to know that it’s not for the faint of heart. You need a thick skin to deal with all those rejections. Yes, feel free to cry. Feel free to headdesk about a million times. But get this… all a querying writer really needs is one “yes.” And if they keep at it, I truly believe - from the bottom of my inexperienced heart - that they will get that “yes.” Eventually.

If you don’t know what a query letter is, Google it. You will find better explanations in the search results than I could ever come up with. xD Besides, I don’t know a whole lot about querying myself, because I’m not at that stage in my writing journey yet.


- Title changes and cover design. It surprised me when I first learned that publishers will often change book titles and there’s essentially nothing the author can do about it. You see, publishing companies buy the rights to the manuscript. They will HAVE the rights to your precious story. Which may sound scary, but that’s just how it is. And the same for cover design. Authors may have a tiny little say, but so much is out of their hands.

A lot of times, though, those title changes are for the better. After all, the publisher wouldn't change it unless they thought it would be a better title, in some way. And have you seen the gorgeous covers gracing most traditionally published novels?? Especially YA?? SO BEAUTIFUL, I CAN'T. <333


- Rights to the manuscript. I’ve heard that if the editor proposes changes the author doesn’t like, that doesn’t necessarily mean those changes won’t happen. The author may not ultimately have a big enough say in the matter. I've also heard that contracts, in the worst of circumstances, can feel like prison chains.

As aforementioned, conflict can arise between editor and author, or agent and author. The publisher may make decisions that the author doesn’t agree with. Working with these people as a team is usually very rewarding (we see the evidence of this everywhere), but if the team is not all on the same page, problems can spring up. And the author isn't the boss.


In summary, it isn't smooth sailing. I do feel, however, that the less favorable circumstances I’ve listed above aren't very likely?? I don’t know all the ups and downs, but there are ways to be careful about it. There are ways to find a good agent who shares your vision for your stories. There are WAYS. Lol.


~~~


As you can see, there are twists and turns to this whole thing, and I myself still have lots to learn. As scary and uncertain as it is, though, I believe it's worth it. I believe that traditional publishing is worth the blood, sweat, and tears. To hold ARC's, then final copies, in my hands. To receive fan art and fan emails. To see my stories sent out into the world, to see them fruitful... oh, how rewarding that must be! Book merch, hype for new books on the way, movie franchises, etc., etc., etc. The list of delicious possibilities goes on.



All right, it's now time for you to go read Ivie’s part of the collab HERE. I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited to read about her publishing journey and the information she has to offer about the independent publishing route! A big thank you to her for coming up with the epic idea to collab on this topic! <3 <3


What are your thoughts on traditional publishing?
Which route are you taking, or planning to take?
Let's chat in the comments!

The Lord's Truly,

Saturday, June 2, 2018

COVER REVEAL // Winter Cursed by Nicki Chapelway



It's Saturday, folks! And I know I don't usually post on Saturdays, but today I'm popping in for a couple of minutes to participate in the cover reveal for... drumroll, please...

... Winter Cursed by Nicki Chapelway!!!

Yes, yes, be excited. Be very excited.

So, without further ado, it's time to scroll. :)))

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AND HERE IT IS:




Mirror… Mirror…


Elisabeth is cursed. Her kingdom is locked in an eternal winter. And her stepmother Ismena has stolen her throne. When Ismena comes to kill her, Elisabeth is forced to flee to the only place her stepmother cannot reach her.


All must fall…


Deep in the heart of a dangerous forest, teeming with unbridled magic and fearsome beasts, Elisabeth is faced with a choice. She knows what she must do to end this winter. Kill her stepmother and reclaim the kingdom that should have been hers. But to do so, Elisabeth must either learn to control her powers over ice and snow- powers that she shares with her stepmother. Powers that are responsible for the eternal winter. Or she must put her life in the hands of the enemy.


Till I’m the fairest…


But can she truly trust the band of mercenary dwarfs who are offering to help her? And even if they don’t actually plan on killing her- can she trust their leader, the exiled Prince Cedric? A dark lord who also happens to be the son of the man she blames for her mother’s death.


Of them all.


With Ismena bent on killing her, and the dark prince bargaining for his freedom- the fate of a kingdom rests on Elisabeth’s choice. In this battle for love, power, beauty, and the right to rule- who will come out the victor?

~~~

*heart eyes* Isn't the cover lovely?? It's the kind you have to stare at for a good few seconds to make sure you don't miss any of the intriguing details. The different elements complement each other so well! And that blurb... Let me just say, fairy tale retellings are my FAVE. <3

As we wait for Winter Cursed's release, hop on over to Nicki Chapelway's Goodreads author page. Follow her, send a friend request, look into her amazing book A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses (Seriously, READ IT - it's sooooo good), and all that jazz. She's endlessly fun to chat with and a gifted writer, so... *much squealing over Winter Cursed*


What do you think of the cover, frens?! <3
Do you like fairy tale retellings? How about Snow White retellings?
Is Winter Cursed on your TBR??


The Lord's Truly,

Monday, May 28, 2018

DAGGER'S SLEEP AND DISSOCIATE BLOG TOUR // book reviews + giveaways!


Hey, friends! Today is a very special day because this is the first blog tour I have ever participated in. And not only that, but it's a joint tour for the upcoming releases of two stupendous books by two stupendous authors: Dagger's Sleep by Tricia Mingerink and Dissociate (Allegiance #3) by Sarah Addison-Fox!

I was thrilled to be able to read these books, and I'm excited to review them here on the blog today! So let's leap into it, shall we?

EEEEEEEP. << That is how I feel right now. ^_^


~~~


~ABOUT DAGGER'S SLEEP~


A prince cursed to sleep.
A princess destined to wake him.
A kingdom determined to stop them.
High Prince Alexander has been cursed to a sleep like unto death, a curse that will end the line of the high kings and send the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia into chaos. With his manservant to carry his luggage and his own superior intelligence to aid him, Alex sets off to find one of the Fae and end his curse one way or another.
A hundred years later, Princess Rosanna learns she is the princess destined by the Highest King to wake the legendary sleeping prince. With the help of the mysterious Daemyn Rand, can she find the courage to finish the quest as Tallahatchia wavers on the edge of war?
One curse connects them. A hundred years separate them. From the rushing rivers of Tallahatchia’s mountains to the hall of the Highest King himself, their quests will demand sacrifices neither of them could imagine.
Dagger’s Sleep is available for preorder on Amazon Kindle.



~MY REVIEW~


This is the best Sleeping Beauty retelling I have ever read. It has everything that makes a good retelling, plus so much more.

To be honest, as I started Dagger’s Sleep, I wasn't expecting to get my socks knocked off. I fully expected it to be good, but I wasn't sure it would be amazing.

Boy, was I in for a delightful surprise.

The first half of the book was REALLY good! The characters, the intrigue of the storyline, the beautiful and engaging writing style… Pretty much every aspect of the novel had me hooked. But from the 50% mark and onwards, that “really-good-ness” became UTTERLY BREATHTAKING AMAZINGNESS.

Wow, wow, wow. By the last page my heart felt battered by such emotion and epic-ness and… eeeeeep! I am honestly a major fangirl.


~ 5 TOP FAVORITES~


- Rosanna. This princess broke a lot of YA princess cliches I hadn't even truly realized were such big cliches. O_O It was suuuper nice and actually felt more realistic. And I just loved Rosanna - she was a strong but very likeable heroine. <3

- Prince Alexander. He had issues, but he was still a cinnamon roll. And his character arc… perfection.

- Daemyn Rand. A wonderful blend of mysteriousness, quietness, and overall INTRIGUINGNESS. (I don't think that's a word, but who cares? xD) As the story progressed, he only became more and more brilliantly complex.

- The romance. Slow-burning and tension-filled. Yes, yes, yesssss.

- The allegorical aspect of it. It was tastefully and beautifully done, subtle and epic like Narnia. The most epic part of the whole book, if you ask me.


~5/5 stars~

Yes, it was that good. It really was.




~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~

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Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn't writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.
You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.






~~~

~ABOUT DISSOCIATE~





Freedom begins with finding the truth.
Amidst the turmoil caused by Smyth’s arrest, Celeste is stuck in limbo, stripped of her citizenship, with no choice but to flee to a peaceful Kyraenean hideaway with the tumultuous Amaya Mason.
When bounty hunters threaten the local orphanage, Celeste and Amaya must work together and fight. Even if it means risking what they cherish the most.
His plans in tatters, his career in jeopardy, Mick Haynes is forced to leave Kyraenea with the enigmatic Torrance Kyle, the agent he still can’t trust.
Torrance is good at lying, and even better at hiding his pain, but is he strong enough to deal with the consequences of betraying his own father?
Can Celeste accept the truth, accept her place in the Haynes family or will lies chain her to the past and destroy her chance at a new life?

Dissociate is available for sale on Amazon here. The first two books in the series Disowned and Dissemble are also available on Amazon.



~MY REVIEW~

The Allegiance series has so far been a wild ride of action, heartbreak, and romance. Dissociate is no exception. Throughout the book, I was pretty much either fangirl-giggling uncontrollably or taking deep breaths to calm the painful ache of emotion in my chest.

These characters, tho. <3 They are the highlight of this series and the lifebreath of this book. I’m telling ya, character-driven stories are the ones I fall in love with. The Haynes family, the Kyle family, and all their darling friends are like one big, happy, broken family that I feel a part of somehow. They squeeeeeeze my heart.

~5 TOP FAVORITES~

- Celeste. Her arc for each book has just been so well-done. She’s changed A LOT since the beginning of Disowned, and I especially loved how Etra touched her life in this one. <3

- Torrance Kyle. Okay, so this guy has problems. I won't deny that he grated on my nerves a few times, and outright scared me at others. But at the same time he’s complex. Deep. Broken. Somehow you just have to root for him with every fiber of your being, you know??

- Mick. The precious boy is learning and growing. :’) I love him. Especially him + Celeste, not going to lie. Which leads me to...

- The romance. Swoon-worthy and wonderful, both Torraya and Mickeste. Like I said earlier, they had me giggling at times and aching at others.

- The twists and turns. The plot perhaps wasn’t as solid as Dissemble’s, but there were an abundance of excellent twists and jerks in the storyline nevertheless that had me on the edge of my seat. O_o It also had its very stabby moments, so points for that!

I can't wait for the next book, eeeeeeek! (For some reason I used to think it was a trilogy, but I recently realized I was wrong. No idea why I came to that assumption, but hey... I ain't complainin'. xD)

~4.5/5 stars~
CAN'T WAIT FOR BOOK FOUR!!



~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~


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Sarah Addison-Fox is a New Zealand-born home-schooling mother of two who loves action-packed fantasy with strong heroines. She has an astonishing amount of nail polish, has all her creative writing credentials shoved in a drawer somewhere, and has a husband who, after 27 years, can still make her blush. When she’s not working on her Christian YA fantasy series',  she can be found fangirling on Goodreads or sending GIFs on Twitter.


You can connect with her on her website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


~GIVEAWAYS~

Yep, that's right! Sarah Addison-Fox and Tricia Mingerink have set up some paperback giveaways!

Sarah Addison-Fox is giving away a paperback set of the first three books in the Allegiance Series. The giveaway is open internationally where such giveaways are permitted and where Createspace ships. The books may or may not be signed depending on where the winner lives.

If the embedded Rafflecopter thingamabob below doesn't show up for you, HERE is the link.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Tricia Mingerink is also giving away a paperback of Dagger’s Sleep! The giveaway is open internationally where such giveaways are permitted and where Createspace or the Book Depository ships. The book may or may not be signed depending on where the winner lives.

Again, if the thingie below decides it doesn't want to display, follow THIS LINK.




This is the last day of the blog tour, but be sure to check out the past tour stops. There are other reviews and some fun author interviews!



Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday – May 22
Laura Grace – Author Interview
Reading Anyone – Book Review
Jaye L Knight – Book Spotlight
Quirky Faith – Book Reviews and Author Interview

Wednesday – May 23
Allyson Kennedy – Author Interview
Sam H. – Book Review
Addyson Huneke - Book Review and Author Interview
Ivie Brooks - Book Reviews

Thursday – May 24
Shantelle Mary - Book Review and Book Spotlight
Brie Donning - Book Review and Multi-Character Interview
Blooming with Books - Book Review and Author Interview
Julian Daventry - Book Review and Author Interview

Friday – May 25
Faith Thompson - Book Reviews and Author Interview
Hannah Gaudette - Author Interview
CM Williams - Book Review
Chloe Parker - Book Reviews

Saturday – May 26
JM Christian - Book Review and Multi-Character Interview
Abigail McKenna - Book Reviews
Liv Fisher - Author Interview
Book Wolf - Book Reviews and Author Interview
Liz Koetsier – Book Spotlight

Monday – May 28
Jessica Dowell - Book Review and Author Interview
Lila Kims - Book Reviews
Marie Elrich - Book Reviews
Faith Potts - Book Review and Book Spotlight

Facebook Festival begins 5PM EST May 24th through 9PM EST May 25th with special guest Serena Chase


A big thank you to Tricia and Sarah for allowing me to read their AMAZING books and feature them here on my blog! :)))

The Lord's Truly,