Honor: A Quest In – A Bookania Tag

Kendra E. Ardnek is releasing Honor: A Quest In this month. In its honor (!), she’s having all sorts of fun challenges at her blog as well as a giveaway of a set of paperbacks – and this tag happens to be one of them.

And she says, “For the record, each and every one of these questions are RELEVANT.

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Ilyon & Acktar Blog Tour

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Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Bitter Winter, and companion novella Lacy have been released! Bitter Winter is the fifth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles.

Tricia Mingerink’s newest novel Decree is also releasing! Decree is the fifth book in the Christian fantasy/kingdom adventure series The Blades of Acktar.

Read about these books below and be sure to check out the other blog stops on the tour by visiting the official tour page. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

I’ve read all three of these books, and they are seriously amazing. Today I’m reviewing all three, and to avoid creating a monster post, I’ll be posting the reviews separately.

For information on the books and to enter the massive giveaway, keep reading. If you’re here just for my reviews, click the following links:

The Ilyon Chronicles

Bitter Winter

About Bitter Winter

Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country.

Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

Available now on Amazon!

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Lacy

About Lacy

The last thing Aaron ever envisioned was falling for a prostitute. Everything about it spells trouble. However, he can’t help noticing the way her smile lights up when she sees him and how much brokenness she hides behind it. Neither can he ignore how desperately she needs rescue and protection.

When Lacy shares a life or death secret with him, Aaron is willing to risk everything to help her and to show her Elôm’s love. Yet, such a choice could destroy his reputation and maybe even cost him his freedom.

An Ilyon Chronicles Novella

Available now on Amazon!

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Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!

About the Author

JayeLKnight Author PhotoJaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.

The Blades of Acktar

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About Decree

The Adventure Continues.

Discover more of The Blades of Acktar in this collection of novellas and short stories.

The Blades as They Should’ve Been

A test and the Gathering of Nobles will decide Leith and Martyn’s futures. Can they fight to become more than the Blades they were? Will Keevan accept the man who attempted to kill him as family?

The First Mission

When Martyn visits Surgis, his past seems determined to haunt him. Can he figure out how to forgive, especially when confronted with an enemy in need of his help?

To the Far Great Mountains

A death sends Leith and Martyn far beyond the borders of Acktar. Will they be able to arrest their quarry before they are caught themselves?

From the story of how Leith and Martyn met to Ranson’s search for a life outside of the Blades, these stories will answer plaguing questions and expand the world of Acktar.

Available now on Amazon!

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Haven’t discovered the The Blades of Acktar yet? Find out more at on the official Blades of Acktar page.

DSC09450-2About the Author

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 Tricia on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Giveaway!

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Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.) Click on this link to enter.

Be sure to stop by each of the character chats (links in the blog tour schedule) for additional giveaways throughout the tour!

A Royal Masquerade Blog Tour and Giveaway

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Author Allison Tebo is releasing a second book in her humorous fairy tale series! I’m not a fairy tale person, but I LOVED her first book, The Reluctant Godfather. I’m looking forward to enjoying A Royal Masquerade as well! Allison has such a quirky and witty way of communicating deep spiritual messages in a fun story!

BOOK SYNOPSIS

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Burndee can barely tolerate the mischievous Prince Colin, but the two of them are invariably thrown together in a way that keeps them at one another’s throats.

While attending a noblewoman’s wedding, Burndee and Colin’s private feud comes to a climax when Burndee loses his temper and does the unthinkable.  With Prince Colin unable to attend to his royal duties and Burndee bound by an inconvenient spell, can the two of them work together long enough to unsnarl the mysterious goings-on around them?

A madcap and magical retelling of The Goose Girl from a unique perspective.

Add to Goodreads

Buy on Amazon

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

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First prize is a paperback copy of A Royal Masquerade, a glass goose, a candle, and chocolate!

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Second prize is a paperback copy of A Royal Masquerade and an Amazon gift card!

Go enter this awesome GIVEAWAY here!

AUTHOR BIO

author photo2Allison Tebo is a Christian author in her mid-twenties. A sales associate for a major transportation company, she writes books in her spare time. A graduate of London Art College, Allison also pursues children’s illustration and cartooning. When she is not creating art with words or paint, she enjoys narration, singing, quilting, and, naturally, baking.  Allison blogs at www.allisonswell.com about the love of Christ, the joys of living, occasionally, all about  the wonder of gifs.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website:   http://allisonteboauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allisonteboauthor/

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/AllisonTebo

Goodreads:    https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16192992.Allison_Tebo

TOUR SCHEDULE

Click here for the full tour schedule, click here to go to today’s other book spotlight post, or click here to go back to yesterday’s post.

The Seven Drawers: Character Spotlight – Gwen

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Kendra E. Ardnek’s The Seven Drawers releases today, and I’m spotlighting Gwen, the main character.

I had the privilege of reading an early version of this book, and it was quite interesting and followed a unique and fascinating premise to a satisfying conclusion. I have the final book waiting for a free moment to reread it and from all I’ve heard, it’s even better.

Giveaway for five paperbacks here, as well as the full tour schedule.

Here’s Kendra, talking about Gwen:

Some characters I plan out in detail before sitting down to the paper to write them… 

Others, I have a situation, so I just throw a random blank slate into the mix and see what emerges. Such is what happened with Gwen in the Seven Drawers. Except that she wasn’t Gwen I first threw her in. Originally, I was going to call her “Blanche,” but I quickly changed it. To Jennifer, which it stayed through the first draft. However, when I plunged into the second draft after the Rooglewood winners were announced, I shifted the book to first person, and, since my only other book in first person was about a Jenifer, I knew I needed to change a name. Gwen also meant White, so I went with that.
Gwen proved to be a very different person than Jennifer had been. While both were recovering from losing everything, and both felt very lost in life, Gwen was taking charge of her situation almost as soon I dropped her into the story, where Jennifer had taken a couple chapters.
And maybe it was because I gave Gwen the tools to retake her life sooner than I gave them to Jennifer, but, honestly, Gwen had a backbone almost immediately. Yet, at the same time, she still fell apart multiple times through the book. Because grief isn’t something you conquer all at once. You take baby steps, and even take what seem like steps backward.
Now … wasn’t this supposed to be a spotlight … not a guest post about grief? Ah, well. Here we are!

Kendra E. Ardnek

But One Life – Guest Post

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Giveaway for five paperbacks here, as well as the full tour schedule.

Wyn Estelle Owens is releasing this book today. I haven’t yet read it, but it has been recommended to me as excellent historical fiction.

It’s also a fairy tale retelling, if you’re into those. They aren’t my thing, but I’ve heard there’s no magic or other fantastical elements in this story, so I’m interested in trying it for the historical side. If what I’ve heard is anything to judge by, it should be brilliant.

I have a guest post by Wyn Estelle Owens to share with you, and it’s a beautiful little piece touching on faith, hope, and love. Here she is.

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What does Snow White mean to me?

I feel like this should be a super easy question to answer. After all, I just wrote a Snow White retelling. This should be a piece of cake, right?

Apparently, if my half-an-hour of staring at a mirror has anything to say about it, ‘piece of cake’ was a lie. 

Girl is pretty. Evil step mom is jealous and tries to kill her. Girl proceeds to befriend and accept gifts from strangers until she keels over after eating a poisoned apple. But (spoiler!) she is saved by a clumsy servant, and the poison was knocked out of her. She marries the prince and they all live happily ever after. 

So what is the moral of the story?

I think I have an answer, or at least what my answer is. Everyone will look at this story differently, but this is what it means to me, at least. 

Snow White is a story about love.

I know, I know, that sounds cheesy, but hear me out. 

Snow White is and always will be fairer than her Stepmother, cause her heart is full of love. She is so sweet that the Huntsman cannot bear to kill her. She’s so kind that she wins over the hearts of seven curmudgeonly dwarves. She believes the best of people, no matter what, which leads to her being tricked by her Stepmother over and over again. Finally, the love her loyal dwarves hold for her lead them to preserve her body and keep it safe even in death.  

So as I said, I believe Snow White is about love. Not romantic love, but just love, plain and simple. Love so pure and bright that anyone who looks at Snow White can see how lovely her heart is. 

And now that I think about it, love is a large part of my own story. I feel a little silly now, thinking about it. I wasn’t even really aware of how big a part love had to play in my story. Again, not romantic love, per se (though romantic love does have its moments in the plot). But a large part of Ginny’s motivations are fueled by love. Love for her father, for her country, and for lots of other things that would be too spoilery if I talked about them.  

I also believe both the original Snow White tale and my own But One Life are also about Faith and Hope, but that almost goes without saying. When you’ve got a story about Love, Faith and Hope won’t be far behind.

———

Carrie Mouse Book Review

Morgan and Rebekah Huneke are releasing an adorable children’s book! Morgan wrote the story and Rebekah did the illustrations.

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About the Book

Martha Squirrel made her journey down the big hill seem like a grand adventure. But what happens when Carrie Mouse disobeys her mama and explores the giant garage?

Inspired by a true story, Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage tells the story of a young mouse who gets trapped in the garage of the human house at the bottom of the hill. Beautifully illustrated with clay sculptures, this is a book you won’t want to miss!

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IMG_4127 croppedAbout the Author

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Books have always been a big part of her life, never more so than when working at the local library. She is the author of several middle grade novels including the Time Captives fantasy trilogy and one YA fairy tale retelling novella entitled Twisted Dreams. Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage is her first picture book.

To learn more about Morgan and her work, visit www.morganhuneke.com or www.morganhuneke.blogspot.com

IMG_4522 - Copy croppedAbout the Illustrator

Rebekah Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia with her parents, sisters, and yellow Labrador named Sophie. She has been working with Sculpey since age nine, and sells her creations in the Klay Kottage Etsy shop. She also creates and sells stuffed animals and knitted goods. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing cello and piano. Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage is her first book.

To learn more about Rebekah and her work, visit www.etsy.com/shop/klaykottage or follow @klaykottage on Instagram

My Review!

carrie2Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage is a short moral tale of learning to listen to the wisdom of parents and those older and wiser than you. Throughout the book, we follow Carrie Mouse as she discovers the importance of this valuable lesson.

I read this book with my toddler and we both enjoyed the story. As a parent, I can be quick to testify that this book carries the values and character that I’m happy to model for my children through their reading material. While all books don’t have to be such strictly “moral tales,” I appreciate those that are – especially when my child finds the book fascinating as well.

I especially appreciated the respectful, loving way in which the parents spoke to Carrie. So often children’s books portray parents as – quite frankly – rude, yelling at their children, telling them “no” for no evident reason, and just downright being negatively-minded towards the child. Carrie’s parents speak out of true love: not giving in to Carrie’s wants and not relenting in their job as her protectors, but also showing through their words and manner how much they care about Carrie and how their words are only motivated from a desire for her well-being.

My toddler also loved the book. She still keeps asking to “read the Mr. Mouse book” (either he was the character that stuck with her most, or else she thought Carrie’s full name is Mr. Mouse). Her favorite page was near the beginning, when Mrs. Mouse and Carrie have their important conversation. (“Read the cat page, Mama!”)

As I was posting this review, my toddler and her five-year-old aunt came over wanting to read the book again. The five-year-old’s comment after we finished: “A story about a mouse. That’s cool!”

The illustrations are fabulous! So homey, quaint, and cute. The colors are vivid, and the style is consistent throughout. The attention to tiny details truly causes the pages to shine.

All in all, this is a fun little story I highly recommend.

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Morgan and Rebekah will be giving away a signed copy of Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage with a handmade Carrie Mouse doll! ISN’T THIS FANTASTIC? My toddler, for one, would love a stuffed animal that matches her favorite stories. 🙂 Second prize is a signed copy of the book only. Be sure to enter the giveaway! Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.