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

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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

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Deliver Book Review

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This is Book Four in The Blades of Acktar, and it’s now available.

Can something broken ever heal?

Martyn is broken. After torturing his best friend, he doesn’t belong anywhere in Acktar. No matter how far he runs, he can’t lose his guilt.

Leith is broken. While healing from the torture he received at Nalgar Castle, he struggles to find his new role. But can a Blade ever outrun his past?

The country is broken. Bitterness divides town against town, neighbor against neighbor. What will it take to deliver Acktar from itself?

They face their hardest battle yet.
Peace.

Deliver was a beautiful ending to the series. After the climax and resolution in Defy, the storyline in Deliver was refreshing and satisfying. I enjoy reading about characters after the “big battle,” so an entire novel was wonderful. Furthermore, Martyn needed this book. I loved Martyn in Dare and vaulted between profound sadness and slight frustration with his choices in Deny and Defy. In Deliver, Martyn has the time, space, and circumstances to face life’s questions – not just dodge them. His self-proclaimed detestation for all things heroic stands in comic contrast to his continual heroic actions.

But Deliver isn’t just Martyn’s story. It’s Leith’s and Renna’s and Brandi’s as well – which I also appreciated. Since these books aren’t standalones, I was glad to find that the main characters from the previous books still retained the spotlight in this book, even though the spotlight was shared with Martyn.

Leith is recovering, and he has many struggles to face as he adjusts to his new life. Still hampered by his past, can he ever leave it behind and move forward in his new standing? Even though the amount of physical activity he attempted while still too injured to do anything but rest wasn’t believable to me, the portrayal of his gritty perseverance and loyalty was gripping.  Glimpsing the struggles that follow victory is invaluable – so often we focus on the victory in stories while struggling with post-victory depression or temptation in our own lives.

Renna’s also recovering from the events of Defy. Her emotional struggles after all she went through with Respen add realism to her character that’s so relatable. Her guilt and efforts to forgive herself and leave the past behind color her experiences, but she’s firm and heroic in her role as Lady Faythe.

Furthermore, a new character that I loved is introduced in this book. She’s sprightly, determined, practical, persevering, moral, matter-of-fact, hardworking – and plagued with rejection and fears. Learning her story and seeing it intertwine with the plot was a joy – she’s an invaluable addition to the series and an integral part of the plot. Her conversation and responses often made me smile.

The question of the rest of the Blades and Lords was answered well. Seeing firsthand glimpses of what they were doing added to the story. Overall, this was a satisfying ending to the series.

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Buy Deliver on Amazon!

And check out my Book Spotlight of Deliver for more information on the book!

 

Christ Arose! Book Review

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Faith Blum has a new book! She wrote, edited, and published a short story in just three short days and you can now get it for free! Read on to learn more about it.

My Review

Christ Arose: A Tomb’s Tale is a unique look at the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Writing from the perspective of an inanimate object can be a challenge, but Faith Blum has risen to the challenge masterfully, creating a quick read that provides a new perspective on an old and dear story.

I particularly appreciate the use of Scripture throughout this tale, as well as the fitting incorporation of the hymn Christ Arose. Reading this story reminds me of Jesus’ words – “if these should hold their peace, the rocks should cry out.” In this book, the tomb indeed bears witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I highly recommend this story to all audiences, and it’s free, so keep reading to find out how you can secure your own copy

About the Book

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And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

No longer could I say I was lonely. But oh, how I wish I could! Who could have done such a thing to the Creator of the world? Who had so much hatred for Him?

Available for free on all eBook vendor:

http://books2read.com/christ-arose

About the Author

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Faith Blum is a 20-something author of multiple books in various genres. She loves to write, read, play piano, knit, crochet, sew, watch movies, and play games with her family. She lives in Wisconsin with her family on a small family farm where they raise goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and have 2 dogs and a varying number of cats.

Faith’s goal in her writing is to encourage Christians in their walk with Christ. If you enjoyed this book, go to her website to sign up for her Monthly Newsletter so you can get an email with fun facts, giveaways, and so much more every month. You will also find links to her other Social Media sites on her website. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to contact her.

Giveaway

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Faith is offering a really neat giveaway for this tour. The ParLaGrace etsy seller has an April special right now for a really beautifully made block that says He Lives. Isn’t it pretty? You can enter the giveaway here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

April 22
Bookish Orchestrations-Intro Post
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima-Book Spotlight
Written Rest-Book Spotlight and Review

April 24
Leila Tualla-Book Spotlight
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Book Spotlight

April 25
With a Joyful Noise-Book Spotlight and Review
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Book Spotlight

April 26
Frances Hoelsma-Book Spotlight
Perpetual Indie Perspective-Book Spotlight and Review

April 27
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner

Excerpt

I am empty. Bereft. No one visits, no one comes near. The garden is a comfort in some ways. The beauty of the flowers, the trees, and the sky above. But I am lonely. Not like my brothers and sisters nearby. They have been used. They are filled with the bodies of their masters’ loved ones.
Yes, I am a tomb. The rock I am made from was created by God the Creator long ago. Sometime later, Joseph of Arimathea bought me and had men work on me until a beautiful place became hollowed out for my master’s body and for his loved ones when they went to be forever with their Creator.

 

Crannig Castle Book Review

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Crannig Castle is here, and it’s time to celebrate with a Blog Tour! For all the fun, visit Morgan Huneke’s blog.

Today, I’m reviewing the book.

Crannig Castle is Book 3 in the Time Captives series. In this book, we find out one of the reasons so many Time Captives are needed: it’s time to find allies, and the Time Captives and their friends split up to convince them to join them. Meanwhile, Adriel is having struggles of his own.

I enjoyed this book as much as the previous two in the series. Fans of the previous books will not be disappointed by this thrilling conclusion. Even though the Time Captives and their friends plan their moves thoroughly, they can’t predict the unexpected twists and turns that the story takes. One twist, in particular, led to an event which startled me very much.  The author did a great job of weaving the plot and the missions together. The characters were relatable.

While the writing may be in a slightly simplistic style, the thrilling complexity of the plot and the characters was superb. I enjoyed the many flashbacks to the lives of the older Time Captives. The ending wrapped up the plot excellently; no one’s stories are left hanging. Personally I found the ending quite creative and perhaps the most memorable part of the entire series. Also, the development of each character throughout the series portrays a realistic and intriguing insight into their personalities. Overall, characters are a strength of this series.

If you enjoy realistic portal fantasy, pick up the Time Captives trilogy today! Books 1 and 2 are free until Friday, so be sure to grab them from the links below.

About the Book

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God, please look after Adriel. Keep him safe and keep him from acting foolish. And please help him to be able to find me.
Rae knew she could trust God to look after both of them. It was all she had now.

The Time Captives have been reunited. The rightful king has been freed. Now all that remains is to defeat the strytes who still hold a tyrannical rule over the people of Calhortz. But with their lack of soldiers, it’s a task that is easier said than done. They need allies, but are they worth it when it requires facing ghosts from their pasts?

Returning to his home country only brings the loss of Adriel’s family to the forefront of his mind. His determination to find Rae has never ceased, but now that determination could potentially destroy all that he and the Time Captives have been working towards. And his new-found faith may not be able to withstand the challenge.

Will they be able to set aside their personal struggles for the sake of the freedom of all or will they allow their pasts to consume them? Will they manage to win back Crannig Castle from the rule of the strytes? The fate of Calhortz hangs in the balance.

Crannig Castle is the final book of the Time Captives trilogy, a tale of faith, family, fantasy, and a fight for truth and freedom.

Buy Now!

Kindle ~ Paperback ~ Signed Copy ~ Add to Goodreads

Creighton Hill and The Crossways are free on Kindle until Friday!

Creighton Hill: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XV5R5XG

The Crossways: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015OTSCJ2

About the Author

morgan.jpgMorgan 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. Her other interests include reading, playing the piano and violin, and politics.

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest.

Giveaway

Join in the excitement of Crannig Castle and enter to win a special prize! The first prize winner will receive signed copies of the entire Time Captives trilogy. The second prize winner will receive a signed copy of Crannig Castle. The third prize winner will receive an eCopy of Crannig Castle in the eBook format of his/her choice. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. 

Enter Here!

Lady Dragon Tela Du: Review

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In this Blog Tour post, you’ll find:

A Review
Book Synopsis
Author Bio
A Free Book
A Special Excerpt 

Come back tomorrow for a special interview with Granite!

Review

First comes the review. If you’re here from one of the other blog tour stops, you probably already know what book we’re talking about, who wrote it, and what it’s about, and you’re only here to see what I thought of it. If so, great news! To find my review, you don’t have to scroll through the same info you’ve already read several times.

Lady Dragon, Tela Du is an epic. It’s set in the colorful and imaginative world of Rizkaland – a world plagued with its own problems, not the least of them being Amber, the Lady Dragon. Intriguing characters and stunning plot twists fill the pages of this tale. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you read.

Writing: Good
This story has undergone countless rewrites and revisions, and it shows in the final product. Since I had the privilege of being an alpha reader for this story, I read the last three versions. Even in that short amount of time, I saw tremendous improvement in the tightness of the story and the writing style itself. LDTD is written almost in the tone of a lighthearted fairy tale, but the conflicts and depth of the plot and characters lend dead seriousness to the tone of much of the story. Still, despite the dangers and uncertainties faced by the characters, the overall mood is fairly light and easy to read. It won’t drag you down, but it’s complex enough that you won’t be able to put it down.

Plot: Excellent
So seamlessly are the plot twists and foreshadowing woven together into the story that you’ll probably want to start the book over again the moment you finish. The best part of that element is that the second read will be just as exciting as the first. You’ll pick up hints you totally skimmed over, ignored, or misinterpreted the first time. Personally, I loved how the author crafted the plot so skillfully. Even though I guessed at some of the resolutions and ending, the story was so craftily put together that up until the last moment I had no clue if my desired outcome would happen or not. At the same time, the ending and everything leading up to it were extremely satisfying – so much better than I even could have hoped for or imagined. The points of view of various characters are put together in a clear way that’s easily to follow and, for the most part, easy to keep track of.

Characters: Extremely excellent
While the plot makes the story, the characters make the connection with the reader. All of the characters are vividly pictured through their dialogue, point of view, actions, and the style in which they are written. Petra and Reuben’s relationship is real and deep; Petra and Ashna’s relationship is real and strained; Petra and Amber’s relationship is real and business-like; in short, the author does an excellent job of creating true-to-life characters. And we can’t forget Amber and Granite—their relationship as a married couple is both sweet and endearing despite one of them being the villain. Throughout the course of the book, I found myself sympathizing with them more and more despite the evil that Amber continued on wreaking throughout Rizkaland. It truly take a masterful author to incite such kinship with the clearly-marked antagonist.

Content: Mild violence (nothing to be concerned about); romance (married couple and soon-to-be-married couples). Also one “dream sequence” scene (it’s not a dream sequence, but that’s the best way I can think of to describe the scene’s tone without giving spoilers) featuring dead animals coming to life. For a younger or more sensitive audience, I recommend skipping the scene – though it is as tastefully handled as possible under the circumstances.

A Few Elements I Liked:
The ending. Wow. There’s not much I can say without giving spoilers, but I will say the ending was well worth the entire book. I loved everything about it.
The message. This isn’t just entertainment; there’s truth here.
Granite and Amber’s relationship – a sweet picture of married love complete with deep struggles and heartaches. Such loyalty.
Petra and Reuben’s gift/power. It adds a new and interesting depth to their relationship.
The plot twists! I’ve never seen plot twists done in such a satisfying manner.

If you liked Water Princess, Fire Prince, you’ll absolutely love Lady Dragon, Tela Du. While the plot, characters, and message of the first were excellent, those of the second are even better.

/End of Review. Readers from other tour stops, you’re welcome. And now, you may scroll quickly through the rest of this post until you reach the last header—because I know you want to know what the Snippet from the book that I’ve included is. 😉

All other readers, keep reading to learn more about this wonderful book!

Synopsis

Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you’ve lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent – the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber’s face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she’s not sure if he’s more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she’d much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family – including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can’t possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?

Author Bio47-IMG_5944

Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.

 

Lady Dragon, Tela Du Final

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Official Website

Add to Goodreads

Buy the Book:

Kindle

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Read Chapter 1 free!

Water Princess, Fire Prince (Book 1 in Rizkaland Legends): free through October 23!

A Special Excerpt!

Dusk was gathering as she stepped through the gates, and found Granite lying on his back in the middle of the courtyard staring at the sky.

She sighed. “I see you’ve been making use of yourself while I was away.”

He seemed not to hear her, so she walked over and crouched by his side. “Just what are you doing?”

A smile spread across his face as he sat up. “Oh, I was just observing the Rizkan sky and reminiscing. Would you care to join me?”

She sighed and started to stand up, but he reached forward and grabbed her arm, preventing her.

“I have more important things to do with my time,” she protested.

“After six thousand years, you can make time for the little things,” Granite replied, simply.

She sighed again. He wasn’t going to give up, was he? She lay down beside him.

“I always marvel at how empty the Rizkan sky is, even at the dead of night,” he said at length. “Especially after staring at the stars of Lintooalintae for four thousand years. Do you ever miss the stars?”

“No, I can’t say I do. I find them more useful now that they have fallen.”

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Samara’s Peril Book Review & Excerpt!

If you’ve read my multiple posts on Resistance, The King’s Scrolls, and Half-Blood, you know my passion for Jaye L. Knight’s Christian fantasy series Ilyon Chronicles. 

Book Three in the series, Samara’s Peril, is the best installment yet.

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We get to revisit all of our favorite characters from previous books, following them on new adventures and through new hardships, struggles, daily life, and joys. We get to walk beside them as they learn and grow, make mistakes and repent, struggle and rise, face danger and experience joys.

Jace’s character, in particular, grows tremendously in this book. From the first chapter, Jaye L. Knight sets the stage for a complex and involved plotline that takes us through some of the darkest and brightest times in Jace’s life so far.

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Advisory/Content Warning: There’s a very short scene that involves torture, but nothing too descriptive and it’s kept quite brief. It also proves to be essential to plot development. There’s also an impulsive kiss.

What I Liked:

Elon. This part of the story was so deep, meaningful, rich, and personal. Without giving away the story, I will simply say that I have seldom or never seen this aspect of an allegory done so well. This storyline alone caused Samara’s Peril to shine above and beyond other books of its type.

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Jace. His character growth, personal growth, and social growth all expanded tremendously in this book, and it was a delight and a joy to read.

Rachel and Elanor. Looking for sweet, delightful (yet very human and realistic) female role models? Look no further. I can’t wait to see more of these two in future books.

Jace and Kyrin. Need I say anything more? I appreciated how the two of them had equally important yet different roles in the first part of the book – and how they worked together after that. Despite one impulsive mistake on Jace’s part, I sincerely enjoyed how the two of them developed throughout this book. It’s sweet, touching, uplifting, and exciting to see them walk forward step by step in Elom’s plan for them.

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King Balen. Now this is what a true king should be like. His behavior, attitude, and outlook on life are refreshing.

The professional, descriptive, and highly-polished writing style. Even the beta reader copy I received originally showed marked evidences of highly-refined grammar, style, and content. As an editor, I find this refreshing to read and it adds significant quality to the book. This is a well-crafted story in all respects.

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Daily life in camp. The glimpses and scenes of life in camp were a joy and delight to read. With the constant perils of Resistance and The King’s Scrolls, we don’t get to see much ordinary life in camp, but in Samara’s Peril, several delightful glimpses of camp life provide a refreshing change to the dangers. I also enjoyed the Altair family interactions.

Realistic actions, reactions, emotions, thoughts, and feelings. It was easy to identify with the various characters.

Kyrin’s birthday. 🙂

Warin and Lenae.

Jace and Elon!

Timothy preaching.

Jace with Kyrin and Rayad towards the end – and Jace speaking truth and life.

Emotions. There’s joy and delight in simple pleasures, as well as excitement, tender moments, thrills, love, and peace. There’s depth of spiritual relationship. There’s danger, suspense, tension, fear, hopelessness, doubt, despair, stress, anger, and hatred – all portrayed and handled excellently.

Prayer. I mention this last on this list, but it was very important to me. There is more of an urgency of fervent prayer in this book than previous books. The relationship with Elom is becoming very real and personal.

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What I Liked Less:

While I didn’t dislike anything about this book, I didn’t care for a certain torture scene. I also was disappointed with Jace in making an impulsive mistake near the end of the book at a pivotal point, but at the same time, I did enjoy seeing his character increase as he realized his error, apologized, and moved forward with true kindness, consideration, wisdom, and gentlemanliness. I also found one of the plot endings to be a bit bewildering, but there were enough “good endings” to wrap it up and leave me with a sense of satisfaction. And despite these few things, Samara’s Peril remains my favorite of the entire series and ranks near the top of my all-time favorite books.

What Else You Might Like:

Dragons
Epic battles
Intense suspense during the mission
Emotions
New characters
Surprises and plot twists

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Overall, I highly recommend this book. Hop on over to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks and pick it up to celebrate release day! If you haven’t discovered Ilyon yet, pick up Resistance on Amazon. I assure you that the series is well worth it.

Samara’s Peril Excerpt!

A couple of hours later, Kyrin set one of the finished loaves on the table to cool. She had just turned to get another when the door opened again, letting in a string of excited male voices.

“—see that?”

Kaden walked in first, laughing a breathless chuckle fueled by adrenaline, and flashed a grin at Talas.

The crete shook his head. “I thought for sure you were going down!”

Kyrin could tell by their windblown hair that they had just come from flying, likely another training session for their group of dragon riders. They worked with them nearly every day. The laughter and conversation died, however, when Kaden met their mother’s probing gaze.

“What’s this about going down?”

Kaden’s gaze shifted to Kyrin, looking for support. She lifted her brows. If he was being daring and foolhardy, he wasn’t going to get any support from her.

His attention returned to their mother. “Ah . . .” A sheepish grin came to his face that Kyrin remembered him using as a child to cover up wrongdoing. “It’s nothing… I was just practicing a new maneuver and there was a little incident. That’s all.”

“Right.” Their mother nodded at Talas. “If he thought you were going down, that sounds serious.”

Kaden looked over his shoulder at Talas, probably hoping he would downplay the whole thing, but the crete merely shrugged, a mischievous twinkle in his bright green eyes. Turning back to his mother, Kaden insisted, “Really, I was fine. Exsis wasn’t going to let me fall.”

Scroll down or click “previous post” for the Samara’s Peril giveaway and other blog tour goodies! Scroll up or click “next post” for an author interview with Jaye L. Knight!

Image source credit: Pinterest

Water Princess, Fire Prince Book Review

DesktopWater Princess, Fire Prince.

It starts slow.

But it quickly becomes an engrossing and intriguing tale of two ordinary teenagers thrust into a non-ordinary life.

Kendra E. Ardnek has been working on this story for seven years, and the depth of her work shows in her characters. She has infused life into Clara, Andrew, Laura, and their friends. Each one has a true-to-life personality that it’s easy to befriend while poring over the pages of their story.

The entire concept of the story is intriguing. It answers a fundamental question that everyone has wondered: “What if I stepped in the shower and it was really a waterfall and I stepped out as a Water Princess?”

Okay, so maybe most people never have that thought. But the idea touches a chord inside of us – the thrilling realm of the imaginative “what-ifs” that adulthood never truly loses. And when Kendra had that thought, pursuing the trail of where it led her resulted in a complex and deep story that reveals the workings of Alphego (God) in the lives of those whom He has called.

Following Clara, Andrew, and their friends as they find themselves caught in His plan is an adventure of trusting Him, no matter what personal preferences might be or how crazy the situation looks.

As for the plot and content, it’s masterfully done. Some parts are predictable and the action is slower, but so many unique elements fill the sequence that the story is indeed a page-turner. There’s a bit of romance. And thumbs-up to Kendra for how her characters don’t rush into things but are willing to step back, wait, and take things slowly.

The world-traveling element of the story is also a unique plot element that adds interest to the story with the twists and turns of time, connections, and how past, present, and future mix themselves up. It keeps the readers as well as the characters on their toes.

This book has a very large cast of characters that can be slightly difficult to keep straight. However, the story is long enough that the major characters are clear and the minor characters are mentioned in such a way that they can be kept track of, even if their personalities and roles might not always be developed thoroughly.

Watching Clara and Andrew work through their struggles, both individually and together, was inspiring. Both of them are normal teens with normal feelings and issues, but both of them seek Alphego and learn to submit to Him instead of running their own lives. As they learn to put the needs of others above their own, both grow and mature throughout the book. Cause/effect is strong and clear in this story.

Dialogue is realistic and believable. The backstories are hinted at just enough to support the main story with their own unique strength. Elements of the story in the beginning tie in very well throughout the book and in the end. Overall, Rizkaland is a fresh and believable world with interesting geography, science, and history that are revealed in small snippets in natural ways interspersed throughout the story.

I recommend it for all ages. There is very minimal violence (some creatures are killed and on occasion, characters are injured by animals), there is minimal romance, and there is a very clean feel to the story.

This is not a light read – it is a thick book with five parts. However, it is well worth the time, both in entertainment and, more importantly, on an inspirational level. Kendra’s goal in her writings is to glorify God, and this theme is clear in Water Princess, Fire Prince.

Water and Fire

 

“Forgive me if this sounds like a strange question, but what do you know of the various arts of combat?”

Clara narrowed her eyes. “Could you be more specific?” Sure, her dad taught Tae Kwon Do, her mom taught fencing, and Kath’s dad taught archery, and thus she was well-trained in all three. However, she wasn’t ready to put her weapons on the table until she knew what weapons were needed and for what.

“Well,” said Lord Erik, “have you done any training with a bow and arrow, perhaps with a knife? I know this may seem like a strange question, you being a girl and all.”

Oh, please. “Do you really expect me, a young girl, to know how to use a weapon?” she asked. “Besides, where I come from, we barely even use those sorts of weapons anymore.” She paused a moment, then added, “I can throw my shoe at mouse kings, but that’s probably about it.”

“Unfortunately, our problem is a bit bigger than a mouse king,” said Lord Erik, sounding a trifle confused as he narrowed his eyes.

“Really? Because mouse kings can be huge problems, eating all of the sweets and chewing holes in dresses,” said Clara in her best shocked voice, layering in plenty of concern. “What could be worse than that?”

Lord Erik took a deep breath, while the dark-haired young man on Clara’s right whispered something under his breath. Clara shot this young man a conspiratorial smile, because she felt like it.

 

Don’t forget to check out Water Princess, Fire Prince on Amazon!

 

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