Saturday, June 30, 2018

DISCERNED BY SARAH ADDISON-FOX // cover reveal!


Hey, friends! I bring to you today a cover reveal for a book I am INCREDIBLY excited to read - Discerned by Sarah Addison-Fox! This is the fourth book in the Allegiance series, and it comes out in August, if I'm not mistaken. SO MANY EXCITING UPCOMING RELEASES. :D

(Note: I realize this was supposed to go up by 10:00 AM, so my apologies for being so late with this post. To both the author and my readers. This weekend has been hectic. :P)

Without further delay, let the scrolling begin!

Actually, scratch that. We have one more delay, ladies and gents. An important delay. After all, we MUST know more about the epic writer behind this fantastic YA fantasy series!
~~~
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.
Connect with her:

Now let the scrolling begin! XD

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You may have already seen the cover today, but whatever.

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It's my FAVORITE Allegiance cover!! No joke!

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The war may be over, but the battle for peace has just begun.

When newlyweds Mick and Celeste Haynes accept the offer to search for rogue agents inside Kyraenea, what should have been one final adventure becomes Torrance Kyle’s worst nightmare.


Amaya Mason may no longer be an agent, but there is no way she’ll allow a mistake from Torrance’s past to wreck their happy ending. No matter the cost. No matter what she might lose.


For Mick Haynes, marriage isn’t the simple solution he thought it would be. Torn between wanting to shelter the woman he loves and accepting she is no longer a frightened slave, he’s struggling with his own expectations and with every secret she reveals.


Celeste’s confidence and her faith are growing, but when she confronts the father who abandoned her as a child, he threatens to destroy the happiness and acceptance she’s only just found.


Can Torrance let go of the past and embrace his future?


Is peace even possible for those who’ve spent their lives in constant battle?

~~~

FEAST YOUR EYES ON THAT COVER. I mean, it's blue-ish purple-ish. And it has sparkly water. And look - the Words of Etra! Yes, this is definitely my favorite of the Allegiance series covers! I LOVE IT. And I can't wait to read the story inside. That synopsis is making me rather desperate. XD

If you haven't read Disowned, Dissemble, and Dissociate (gotta love that alliteration), YOU SHOULD!! There's also a short story called Discover, which I have yet to read. I know, what am I doing with my life?? So be sure to check that all out. :D


What do you guys think of the cover? Comment below with your thoughts!

The Lord's Truly,

Monday, June 25, 2018

R.I.P. IT OR SHIP IT // shipping characters from different books!


Hey, everyone! I'm back with another bookish post! The "R.I.P It or Ship It" tag is something you may or may not have heard of. I was recently watching BookTube and came across several videos of this challenge, and I've also seen it on some blogs. Since it looked like a lot of fun, I'm here today to do it myself! It was created by emmabooks.

So here's what going down. I've written some character names from various books on slips of paper and put these slips into two jars - one for female characters and one for male characters. For each round, I'll blindly pull one slip of paper from each jar and will then have to decide whether I ship these two characters or absolutely hate the idea of them being together. In other words, do I ship that ship or RIP THAT SHIP??


Without further ado, let's get this party started!



~ROUND 1~


And the first potential ship is...

OKAY, OKAY, OKAY. The thoughts are reeling in my mind!

For those of you who don't know, Sean Kendrick is one of the main characters from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and Annabeth Chase is a character from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Sean is one of those quiet, serious cinnamon roll boys. Annabeth is stubborn, determined, and very brave. She can come off as harsh at first, but one you've won her over, she's the most loyal, trustworthy friend ever.

JUST IMAGINE THESE TWO TOGETHER. Would Sean Kendrick and Annabeth Chase work as a couple?? In real (literary) life, Annabeth is dating the ultimate sass-master. That guy is a LOT different from our silent, solemn Sean. But you know what? I think I can see this happening! Yes, I can totally see Annabeth becoming fast friends with Sean and then becoming loyal to him for life - standing up for him and with him, listening to what he has to say because he's such a great listener himself, exchanging advise with him (maybe rubbing shoulders every now and then, but still), and so on.

I ship it!!!


~ROUND 2~



OH MY. I don't know what to think. O_O

Alex Rider is the main character of the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, and Sabrina Grimm is the main character of the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley.

Alex is a boy spy who doesn't want to be a spy. He wants to live a calm, normal life, which (fyi) is exactly what he does NOT get. Sabrina's life goal is similar - she wants to be reunited with her parents and get away from the fairy tale craziness crashing into her life. Basically, he wants things to be normal for him, and she wants things to be normal for her.

But despite this similarity, I'm afraid that I can't see Alex and Sabrina together. It's sooooo hard to explain, but although I can maybe see them getting along in the middle of an intense action scene, I simply can't imagine them as a couple, maybe not even as "just friends." Alex would find her annoying, I think.

Therefore, I rip this ship!



~ROUND 3~


NO.

NO, NO, NO.

NO WAY.

This would never, ever work. Not in my mind, at least. I'm actually laughing SO hard right now, because it's that hilariously painful to imagine.

Leo Valdez is from the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, and Hawk is from a book I read recently called The Blood Race by K.A. Emmons. Leo teases everybody; he never stops cracking jokes; he once called himself "super-sized McShizzle" and "bad boy supreme," all as a joke. And I feel like Hawk leans more toward the "no-nonsense" type of girl? I mean, she's patient, but she must have a line. And I feel like Leo would dance over that line like nobody's business.

You see, Leo makes light of e v e r y t h i n g, and I suspect that Hawk wouldn't tolerate that for long in the first place, let alone in a romantic relationship. EW, no, I can't see it. I can't see them together at all!

I definitely rip this ship.


~ROUND 4~


I. Have. No. Idea.

Carswell Thorne is from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Imogen is from The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Thorne is sarcastic, considers himself God's gift to women, can be very sweet, and is protective of his friends. Imogen is the embodiment of seriousness and no-nonsense. I don't think she ever laughed throughout the series. Not once (though I could be wrong).

These two personalities clash, if you ask me. However, Imogen has been around sarcasm. She's used to it, I think. So that aspect of it might work...

ACK, what do I think of this??? Do I ship them? Do I not? I DON'T KNOW.

I loooooove the Cresswell ship, so I may as well just rip this one, in light of the fact that nothing beats Cresswell. I honestly can't decide whether Thorne + Imogen would work or not. :P

Ship has been RIPPED.


~ROUND 5~


Okay, so this is interesting.

Zachary Goode is from the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter, and Amaya Mason is from the Allegiance series by Sarah Addison-Fox. Zach is charming, handsome, and humorous. He gets more grim-faced as the series goes on, but he's generally a smirk-er.

Amaya is a strong female character done right, meaning that she actually has feelings. YAY! She's kick-butt and is all around a super cool character.

Do I ship them?? After some thought, I have decided that YES, I DO. I mean, think about it!! They have a lot in common. They both know how to fight. They know to be dead-serious when the circumstances call for it and yet they let themselves loosen up sometimes (maybe in different ways and in different-sized doses, but still). I can see it in my mind, and it's really cute, which is most important here. ;P

I think Zach + Amaya could work. I CAN SEE IT, FOLKS. This could happen.

Zachaya is a ship that I ship! :D


~ROUND 6~


Oh my goodness gracious.

The king of sass + the girl who was on fire??? WHAT IS THIS.

Percy Jackson is from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan (duh). He's sarcastic and brave and... need I say more? He's kind of famous. XD

Katniss Everdeen is from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. She's caring, smart, relatively serious, aaaaand everybody knows her name too.

It's so difficult to imagine them together that I think I'm going to have to rip this ship. I've sat and thought about it, even called up scenarios in my mind, but it's just SO HARD to imagine them together! Is it just me? XP

I suppose it's not a very good sign. Let's leave these two with their actual romantic interests and go ahead and tear this ship in half. We can't be bothered trying to stick two of the same magnetic ends together. Because that's what Perniss feels like to me (ew, disgusting ship name).

Rip it right down the middle, hon. Right. Down. The middle.


~~~

Originally, I was going to have ten rounds. But as you can see, the post got long. :D Maybe I'll do a part 2 later on? What say you?

ANYWAY, I had soooooo much fun with this tag - pulling slips of paper from my two favorite mugs and freaking out over the ships that resulted - that I think a lot of my blogger friends would have fun too. So Imma tag some of them. No pressure about doing it if you don't want to!


If anyone else wants to do it, feel free to steal it!

Rest in peace, ripped ships.


The Lord's Truly,

What do you think of the ships in my post? Do you agree or disagree? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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,