Quest For Leviathan – Spotlight & Review

Blog Tour banner

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 Story

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.

My Review
Though little is known about this time period, I greatly enjoyed the immersive and accurate historical feel of this Biblical fiction story. I could see the ship, feel the waves, and understand the characters’ motivations.

For such a short story, the backstory was well-developed and thoroughly presented. The reader fully understands Anath’s thought processes and feelings before the action begins. The action sequences were then portrayed well, and Anath’s spiritual struggle was gripping: I was on edge to know what he would decide. However, because of the complete backstory, I felt that the story ended a bit too soon – because Anath’s entire life purpose up to that point had been “quest for Leviathan,” I wanted to know what became of him – what did he do for the rest of his life and how did he handle any lingering negative feelings after the climax.

The Biblically accurate way in which Leviathan was portrayed was refreshing. The wise counsel and spiritual truth shared in the story was excellent. It did seem like Leviathan was too easily found when it was convenient, but perhaps that’s not inaccurate. Also, I loved the illustrations that set apart each individual section of the story.

Overall, this is an excellent short story I’d highly recommend.

Giveaway!

Amanda is giving away TWO print copies of “Quest for Leviathan” to one winner — one for you, and one for your friend!
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.
Release 01.jpg
Connect with Amanda
Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com
Advertisements

Plotting Kingdom Adventure Fiction


Today my genre, Kingdom Adventure, is featured at Indie e-Con, and I’m here as a guest speaker to discuss the unique flexibilities of plotting this genre. Watch below!

Links mentioned in the video:

Comprehensive definition of Kingdom Adventure: https://intuitivewritingguide.wordpress.com/2017/10/13/genre-101-not-fantasy-part-3-we-have-a-name/

List of Kingdom Adventure books: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/116627.Kingdom_Adventure_Books

My book, Promise’s Prayer: http://restinglife.com/books

Current status of future Truth from Taerna books: http://restinglife.com/books/on-my-desk

Indie e-Con: http://kendrasgiraffecrafts.blogspot.com/

 

Leave a comment: what intrigues you most about Kingdom Adventure? Have you ever tried plotting this genre? What sort of Kingdom Adventure world would you want to create?

London in the Dark by Victoria Lynn – Book Review

Check out London In The Dark by Victoria Lynn

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32832281

Plot: very good! I enjoyed the emphasis on personal interactions, character growth, and relationships – internal conflict and growth as well as the outer conflict with the “mystery.” Because villain POV snippets were interspersed in the story from the beginning, I figured out most of the plot twists and what was going on well ahead of time – so there wasn’t the suspense aspect present in some mysteries – but this didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book. It felt fresh and interesting.

Writing quality and style: I felt that this detracted just a bit from the story for me, as there were some grammatical errors, some instances of showing where telling could have been better as well as instances where I felt the narration was too detached from the characters. Still, I’ve read a later work by this author where none of these issues were present – so I’m definitely hoping that was unique to this book.

Characters: I loved the everyday mannerisms that set apart the characters – all but Olivia’s habit of touching her neck. I’m sure it’s just me, but it seemed cliche. I loved how the details of daily life were described – the little happy things especially. For most of the book, I felt the characters weren’t deep enough – I didn’t relate to or sympathize with them. In the first several pages, Cyril was a shrewd detective, but then he seemed to lose all distinct personality and become a grump who kept acting and reacting the same way, over and over, throughout most of the rest of the book – I found myself wishing for more variation in his character rather than the same basic scene repeated in every circumstance. (If you must be a grump, be an interesting one!) The same with Dudley: he was so sweet and lovable, but almost too predictably so for the first portion of the book – but then there was just enough variation and depth to make him refreshingly interesting. Olivia took a bit to understand: she seemed quite relatable at first, then uncharacteristically emotionally demonstrative at the drop of a hat (I get she had good reason; it just didn’t seem in line with her previous character to me) – and finally, naive. It was the naive stage that garnered my sympathy again, though – it seemed much more understandable and natural that the previous emotional outbursts. In retrospect, however, I don’t believe she was as demonstrative as I had the impression she was while reading; she was still at least ladylike about it.

The message: amazing! I loved how God and faith appeared naturally in the characters and their lifestyles. So well done, relatable, natural, and touching.

The ending: I loved the epilogue! So sweet. It did, however, confuse me a bit because it occurs AFTER the events in book 2 of this series – so since it’s a series, I may not have wanted to know these events this soon. 🙂 Still, it was so wonderful and wrapped up the characters.

Content: some violence, not described

Overall – if you enjoy mystery, England, or the 1910s era, read this book! Highly recommended. 🙂

Indie e-Con Scavenger Hunt 2018 – Stop #20

Welcome to Stop #20 on the Indie eCon scavenger hunt! I’m Erika Mathews, and I’m hosting Sarah Allerding. Read through to find your Clue, then hop on over to the next stop linked at the bottom of this post.

If you just jumped in now, you can start at the beginning of the hunt here: Kandi J Wyatt. Meet Indie Authors and Collect Clues for a Chance to win the fabulous prize package listed at the bottom!

indie econ scavenger hunt SARAH

I am Sarah Allerding, the author of Rainland, which is a story about a fantasy kingdom of raindrops in the clouds. I am happy to be a part of the Indie e-Con this year. To help everyone get to know me better, I am going to talk about how I plot my books.

I don’t plot my books in any of the ways typically talked about among writers. I use an outline, but not in the way you probably think of an outline. I don’t use paper or a pen. Sometimes I may write down a few ideas, but most of my story is mapped out in my head.

I can see my story unfolding in my head like a movie, complete with color images. I can zoom in at different parts along the way and watch what is going on in a particular scene. If I need to change something, I put the necessary images right where they belong. For me this is a lot easier and quicker than typing or writing my ideas. I can form basically an entire plot for a story in my head in about half an hour. Then I store the story in my head while I write it out. As I write, I tell the story that I am watching in my head.

While this has a lot of benefits, it does have its drawbacks. I have to make sure that all the details I am seeing in my head make it onto the paper. Otherwise, the readers will miss something that I just knew in my head. That’s where the help of my beta-readers is very helpful. They are good at helping me find those spots that need a little more explanation to make sense.

I really enjoy coming up with the plots for my stories because I can use my imagination. I have enjoyed using my imagination since as long as I can remember. Now, I can combine it with writing and share the adventures I have with my readers.

Did you Catch the Clue? If not, here’s your final hint.

Scavenger Hunt Giveaway Package

Ace Carroway 2-Book Set (US only)
3 random ebooks from Indie e-Con authors
Cover Design by Alea Harper
Bookshelf Necklace donated by Rachel Rossano (US only)

Next scavenger hunt stop! Jonathan Francesco

Full list of scavenger hunt stops here.

There Was Always Laughter in Our House

There Was Always Laughter In Our HouseThere Was Always Laughter In Our House by Sarah Holman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Relatable, fun, mildly humorous throughout, packed with nuggets of wisdom and truth, and overflowing with the enjoyable and meaningful experiences of twenty-some years of growing up in a large homeschooled family, easy to read and difficult to put down – this book was a treat. I read large portions of it aloud in order to share the enjoyment – chuckling over the one-liners and discussing the deeper sentences with my family contributed to some memory-making of our own.

I enjoyed:

– The introduction with the backstory behind how the book came to be

– The humorous anecdotes about the little things in life – the funny mistakes that could be embarrassing but Sarah Holman and her family choose to laugh about instead – and the way they turn into inside jokes, memories to be shared and chuckled over repeatedly throughout a lifetime

– The homeschooling Q&A chapter and the “why do you have so many siblings” chapter – both how Sarah shares the humorous answers she wishes she could give to common questions, and how she also shares the kind, gentle, and wise answers she does give. So many times I’ve thought of a few of those same answers! Even though Sarah’s perspective wasn’t new to me, I appreciated having her beliefs on these issues laid out in a logical form – the simple yet clear format resonated with me and enabled me to more clearly articulate my own beliefs.

– The chapters about each of the Holman children – I enjoyed getting a little glimpse into each varied personality and the little tidbits that make each sibling unique. Sarah did an excellent job of presenting their quirks and yet entirely honoring each one as a beloved person and friend. Her relationship with each one shone through the pages and it was uplifting.

– The chapters describing unit studies – Sarah’s mother was a very creative teacher, and Sarah’s vivid and fun descriptions of some of their schooling adventures inspired me for possibilities in teaching my own children

– The reminder to challenge the know-it-all. I was one of those, and being challenged both by myself and by others around me was excellent in forming my character. This is something I need to remember and practice even now to combat boredom – there’s so much to learn that we haven’t even touched on yet!

– Sarah’s analysis of and response to homeschooling trends. What’s perfect for one family may not be the right fit for another, and she explains why and how in such clear, yet gracious, terms.

– The skirt chapter – when Sarah creates a t-shirt answering the skirt questions, I want one. Read the book to see what’s included on that shirt. 🙂 I related to every word in this chapter, and I’ll be referring back to it in future. Sarah has a gentle yet profound way of expressing exactly my own thoughts on this issue in an even clearer way than I can express them.

– Country kids and city parents – so relatable and hilarious, especially the city life elements Sarah points out that are new to her. I can relate. Country life is wonderful!

– The way the Holman parents dealt with and related to their children. So much love, gentleness, understanding, compassion, and graciousness shines through the pages of this book. Sarah’s parents truly sought to understand and empathize with each of their children, never downplaying any feeling or emotion, and treating the petty concerns of a child as real issues (because they are truly real issues to the child). This manner of child rearing is one of my own personal goals.

– The modesty chapter – again, I was reading my own thoughts transcribed in a clear and logical manner. The emphasis on the message stuck out to me. The tone is so light, so kind, so matter-of-fact, so utterly free of any traces of judgment upon others or on differing personal choices, so abhorrent of the idea of shaming anyone for any reason, and so filled with beautiful truth.

– The Rubber Duck War – the importance of communication in relationships can’t be over-emphasized, and I was happy to see this topic included and covered in such a memorable way.

– A Christmas Tree in March – reading the Holmans’ Easter traditions inspired me to begin similar traditions in our own family. Truly the resurrection is the pinnacle of our faith, and I love how Sarah’s parents chose to emphasize that by their celebrations.

– Sarah’s journey towards learning the Biblical response to tough issues and not just her political or social answer. I had a similar journey of learning how Christ in me responds to people and to issues instead of simply giving the logical answer, and it’s so encouraging to read the journeys of others in this area. Yes, a “debate-perfect” answer has its place, but the Person and Kingdom of Christ must motivate all we do and say. That’s most important.

– The matching outfit stories! I too love matching outfits and found Sarah’s stories hilarious!

– The Holman quirks mentioned in the chapter on I Know How to Play the Radio.

– The writing chapter. It inspired and encouraged me in my own writing career, as well as offered practical insight into how Sarah manages to publish three books each year. I loved her beautiful analysis of why she is a writer. Amen!

– The chapter detailing what the siblings do when the parents are gone! Read it; it’s hilarious and sounds like so much fun. 🙂

– The “Twenty Years from Now” chapter – another sweet and funny glimpse into the siblings’ interactions and personalities and an excellent way to wrap up the book.

I highly recommend this book for truth, laughs, and refreshing insight into the lives of a large homeschooled country family with quirks and a multitude of happy personalities.

View all my reviews

Christmas Comes Early! Blog Tour – Book Reviews

Christmas tour

In our house, the Christmas season gears up right around this time of year. Since it’s our favorite holiday, we enjoy extending the preparations throughout the month and a half before Christmas Day – and in this part of the country it also helps transition between the vibrant colors of fall through the gray November days before Christmas arrives. So today, we’re celebrating the release of not one, but eight new Christmas books, all written by Rebekah A. Morris. I’ll be spotlighting two of her books today and you can find out more about the others as you follow the tour.

About the Books

Christmas Lodge Cover At the Christmas Lodge

When Desirae Richey agrees to go home with some college friends for Christmas, she expects a small family gathering. Instead she is taken to the Christmas Lodge in the snowy mountains of Canada to a noisy, fun loving, adventurous group of family and friends who welcome her as one of their own. Everything seems to be going as planned until an unexpected snowfall occurs.

My Review: At the Christmas Lodge is a whimsical story of a Christmas adventure – snow, fun and games, laughter and new friends, dangers and excitement, and perhaps even a hint of romance. I enjoyed the vivid personalities, the lively games invented by the young people during the Christmas celebration, and the deep, realistic emotions portrayed. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light Christmas read. Four of five stars.

The Christmas She WantedThe Christmas She Wanted Cover

Christmas had lost its charm and wonder. Mrs. Rush hated the feeling but was powerless to fix things. Traveling to visit relatives for the holidays, the Rush children pass the time with their eyes glued to the screens of their devices. That is, until the flashing lights of a State Highway Patrol car bring their trip to a sudden and unplanned-for stop.

My Review: The Christmas She Wanted was a satisfying tale of learning to enjoy a special Christmas complete with the simplest things of life. In a world often overwhelmed with busyness, gadgets, and distractions, where are the things that matter – family, friends, love, joy, fellowship, relationship, memories, laughter, and above all, a focus on our Savior Jesus Christ? This book shows how circumstances bring this sort of Christmas to the Rush family. I found the story satisfying and inspiring – the book could be written about me – thoughts I had, feelings I’ve felt. I highly recommend this story to anyone who cares about the things that truly matter. Five of five stars.

About the Author

Author PictureRebekah A. Morris is a homeschool graduate, an enthusiastic freelance author and a passionate writing teacher. Her books include, among others, Home Fires of the Great War, The Unexpected Request, Gift from the Storm, and her bestselling Triple Creek Ranch series. Some of her favorite pastimes, when she isn’t’ writing, include reading and coming up with dramatic and original things to do. The Show-Me state is where she calls home.

 

Excerpts

Christmas Collage

Des plunged into the glittering white mass and laughed with pure joy. This was snow! ~ At the Christmas Lodge

She gave a sigh. “You know, I wish we could have a real Christmas for a change. ~ The Christmas She Wanted

Tour Schedule

November 13
Bookish Orchestrations – Introductory Post
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Kaylee’s Kind of Writes – Book Spotlight
Resting Life – Review and Excerpt
Perry Elisabeth – Excerpt
Rachel Rossano’s Words – Book Spotlight and Excerpt

November 14
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Odelia’s Blog – Author Interview and Book spotlight
Bryce’s Creative Writing Corner – Author Interview, Review, and Excerpt
Counting Your Blessings One by One – Review and Excerpt
Perpetual Indie Perspective – Book Spotlight

November 15
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Whimsical Writings for His Glory – Author, Review, and Excerpt
Maidens for Modesty – Author Interview and Review
The Destiny of One – Book Spotlight
Rebekah Ashleigh – Book Spotlight
Once Upon an Ordinary – Review
Stephany’s BLOG Snippets – Book Spotlight and Excerpt

November 16
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Laurel’s Leaves – Author Interview
Stories by Firefly – Review
Claire Banschbach – Author Interview
Kelsey’s Notebook – Review and Excerpt
Jaye L. Knight – Book Spotlight and Excerpt

November 17
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Ruffles and Grace – Book Spotlight
With a Joyful Noise – Book Spotlight
Ordinary Girl Extraordinary Father – Review
Bookish Orchestrations – Closing Post

3-2-1 … WRITE!

3-2-1 WRITE! party

It’s been an enjoyable week at the 3-2-1 Write! blog party hosted by Read Another Page. On Monday we discussed 3 favorite books on writing, and on Tuesday we shared 2 favorite pieces of writing advice. Yesterday we talked about a favorite writing tool, and each day we’ve had a fun quote game.

Today it’s time to wrap the party up and find out the three special giveaway winners! These three days have been informative and motivational, and as the party draws to a close, I’d like to encourage you to not let it end here. A whole world of writing continues to stretch ahead of you, and you can continue to walk forward upon it.

We all encounter obstacles on our writing journey. There’s not enough time to write, or the ideas aren’t coming, or our draft is stuck halfway through. (I’m presently dealing with all three of these issues on various levels.)

I’m here today to tell you that these obstacles are not insurmountable. Not enough time to write? Carve out a tiny slice of time somewhere in your routine. (One paragraph before breakfast! 100 words right after lunch! 500 words after work!) Make it a habit, and stick with it. If you miss a day, don’t get hung up on it – simply get back on track the next day. Little bits of time taken regularly truly do add up.

Ideas aren’t coming? Maybe it’s time to step away from your project and view it from a new angle. Or maybe it’s time to sit down and let your pen move across the paper or your fingers move across the keyboard, writing nonsense or something outside your normal genre. Maybe it’s time to brainstorm crazy “what if”s. Maybe it’s time to take a break from writing and simply observe the world, letting real life soak into you and inspire you for future projects.

Stuck halfway through your draft? Maybe it’s time to revise your outline – or time to create an outline! Maybe the last several chapters need to be rewritten. Maybe you need a new character. Throw something into your story to get the plot moving again . . . you can always revise or delete it later.

Above all – pray. Seek your Father’s face regarding your writings. He knows the words He would have you pen. Your writing is nothing apart from Him. Abide in Him and meditate upon His word day and night. He is the Perfect Author, and He loves you so much that He wants your stories told even more than you do. Delight in intimate relationship and fellowship with Him, and He will direct your writing steps.

What writing project are you currently working on or hope to begin soon? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to chat!

Last but not least . . . hop on over to Read Another Page to find out if you’re a winner!

May God bless your writing!