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.


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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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Hang tight, friends!! MWAHAHA.

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It's an awesome cover, I promise! Keep scrolling!

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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?

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*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,