Exiles Release Giveaway, Review, & Interview!

I am excited. It’s finally here! The wait is over and you can find out what happens next…

Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Exiles, has been released! Exiles is the fourth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles. Below you’ll find MY LENGTHY REVIEW as well as an INTERVIEW with a very special and fun character. Be sure to check out the other blog stops on the tour by visiting the official tour page, and don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book
Exiled after their defeat in Samara, the Resistance struggles to find allies in their quest to restore King Balen to his throne and put an end to the emperor’s tyranny. When the crete people refuse to lend their aid, Balen leads a group to Dorland to reason with them and win their support. However, enemies prove to be everywhere, and they find themselves in a fight to keep Dorland from becoming Daican’s latest conquest.

Back in Landale, the arrival of a new enemy forces Trask and Anne to tread more carefully than ever. Tensions are rising, and the enemy is determined to test Anne’s loyalty and root out the location of Trask and the Resistance once and for all.

Feeling trapped within the walls of Valcré, Prince Daniel must contend with an ever-eroding relationship with his father. As their clashes escalate, the situation becomes potentially life threatening when his loyalty is called into question. His sister seems bent on branding him a traitor and actively seeking to condemn him to the fate of those put to death in their father’s new arena. Daniel is certain his father would never execute his only son and heir, but with other forces at work, it might not be that simple.

One small misstep could prove fatal for all.

 

Available now on Amazon
(click here to view)!

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My Review

Exiles…unexpected in some ways, fulfilling in others, satisfying in still more. If I could sum up Exiles in one phrase, I would call it an “exciting bridge.” It’s truly a transition between the first three books of the series and the last two, and it both clears the stage and resets the stage in multiple ways.

But never fear. There are no boring info dumps or slow plot-setting sections here. This Bridge is exciting. Exiles offers the same depth of character, adventurous plot, breathtaking descriptions, and spiritual parallels as the rest of the series.

To me, Resistance was amazing. The King’s Scrolls was even better. Samara’s Peril was better yet. I was quite interested to see if Exiles would top them, but personally I found it more on a level with Resistance. Just as Resistance is setting the stage, Exiles is clearing the stage and resetting it. Personally, to reach the level of surpassing favorite, a book needs to touch a deep chord spiritually in me, and whereas The King’s Scrolls has Timothy, the Scrolls, sacrifice, and family, and Samara’s Peril has Elon, there wasn’t a particular element of Exiles that pushed it over the top for me. But if you know my passion for Resistance, you know I still absolutely LOVED Exiles, so never fear. Exiles is like Resistance magnified. The stakes are higher. We already know and love the characters, so we can jump directly into the fast-paced and action-packed plot. With so much happening in Exiles, I can’t wait to see what amazing things will take place in the next two books and I fully expect at least one of them to become my new favorite once they are written and published.

Exiles is the fastest-paced Ilyon book so far, and with three separate storylines, it’s easy to understand why. Large chunks of time are skipped; we see what’s happening, but not the details. Although I enjoy reading the details of daily life, I understand the need for a fast-paced story in this case. I loved following the different people in the various places of the three storylines, even though the necessarily shorter scenes don’t allow as much time to get into what’s happening and into the characters’ minds.

Content: Romance (discreetly portrayed), matchmaking talk, mild kissing, mentions of ryriks wanting to “have fun” with a girl (using those words), some injuries mentioned (mild description)

What I Liked Less:

  1. Timothy and Leetra. I don’t know why, but I really don’t get the right feeling during their scenes. Realistically, sometimes someone falls in love but the person doesn’t reciprocate. They just don’t feel right together to me, though I do appreciate what is happening with them. Aside from that, I do love Timothy and his mature character and actions.
  2. A very young crush. It wasn’t a big part of the story or dwelt on, but I still wasn’t comfortable with the message it might send to the youngsters reading this story.

What I Loved Most:

  1. Ryriks! Jace! Ryriks! To avoid spoilers, I will simply say that the emotional and spiritual impact of this element is excellently done—not to mention paired with beautiful and picturesque description that makes me want to leave Earth, hop to Ilyon, and hunker down there for a lifetime.
  2. CRETE COUNTRY! It’s so wonderfully described, and it’s beautiful. I felt as though I was actually visiting. All the hype about the cretes’ home in The King’s Scrolls and Samara’s Peril is satisfying fulfilled and surpassed in Exiles. It was magnificent. And I don’t even like heights. 🙂
  3. Anne and Trask! They are wonderful together.
  4. Jace and Kyrin’s relationship. I’m not big into romance (and most romance isn’t written well or as discreetly as I’d prefer), but I need so much more of Jace and Kyrin. They are realistic, loyal, loving, understanding, open, honest, raw, gentle, modest, chaste, patient, kind, and did I mention real? 🙂 Their ups and downs are portrayed so realistically. I can relate to all of it. I especially love Jace and Kyrin’s loving, gentle, chaste conversations. This is such a sweet time in their life and relationship, and I enjoy going along for the ride. Thanks to the author for writing such a beautiful relationship.
  5. Daniel! He hasn’t made the top of the list of what I’ve loved in any other book, but that changes here. 🙂
  6. JAMES?! I can’t wait to see more of him in a later book…
  7. Family life in Camp is the best! I love those little homey scenes!
  8. I love the scenes the book begins and ends with…that’s all I will say to avoid spoilers. 🙂
  9. Saul is amazing. You’ll have to read the book to find out why.
  10. Giant cabins…again, go read the book.

All in all, I enjoyed Exiles – Five Stars! I am looking forward to the next book!

Interview With… Meredith!

Meredith walks in and sits down, looking around timidly. “I’ve never done an interview by myself before, but Kyrin said I could do it.”
“Of course you can,” I reply with an affirming smile. “Kyrin is right. I’m glad you’re here. I’ll just be asking you a few questions, and they aren’t hard. Not like the interviews Jace has to do sometimes…” I glance away from her and wrinkle my nose a bit before returning my attention to Meredith.
“First, what is your favorite memory and why is it special to you?”
Meredith smiles a bit, and I can tell she’s searching my face carefully before answering. She seems satisfied since she answers without further hesitation. “I like to remember my birthday before I had to go to Tarvin Hall. My mommy and daddy took me out for a picnic by the river, and my daddy helped me try to swim. It’s my favorite because we were happy and it was just before the emperor’s men came.”
“That’s wonderful!” I exclaim. “That sounds like a fun day. I’m glad you have a good memory like that with your parents. So what might you like to be or do when you grow older?”
“I don’t know what I want to do. I hope I’m brave like Kyrin. And maybe I’ll be a mommy like Lenae or my mommy. I would like that.”
I can’t keep the smile off my face as I watch the light in her eyes. “I’m sure you’ll be a wonderful mommy. I hope you get to sometime. And I hope you get to spend time helping younger children even if you’re not a mommy yet. Next question: what do you like to spend time doing?”
“I like to play with my kitten, Violet. She’s fun. And I like to play with dolls, especially if Kyrin can play with me. If she’s busy, I like to play outside with Ronny. Sometimes we pretend I’m a princess and he has to rescue me from evil bandits.”
“That sounds fun. I didn’t know you liked dolls. I suppose you help with the chores and cooking around camp, too. So what do you think of Jace?”
“I like Jace. Some people think he’s scary, but I don’t, and we both like animals. I like when I get to play with Tyra when he’s gone so she won’t get lonely.”
“Aw…that’s so sweet of you. What do you think of Kaden?”
“I like Kaden too. He’s like my big brother. No one wants to mess with him.”
I grin. “Always good to have someone like that around. Last question – do you have a favorite passage from the Scrolls?”
“I like the verses that talk about how Elôm takes care of us and won’t ever leave us alone, even if bad things happen.”
She pauses and appears to be thinking, so I wait in silence for a moment. When she doesn’t add anything more, I speak. “So do I. He will never leave us nor forsake us, so that we may boldly say He is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.”
We share smiles. “Thank you so much for coming, Meredith. I’ve enjoyed having you here. Come visit again sometime, and keep an eye on Kyrin, all right?”
“All right,” she grins again. “Thanks.”


About the Author
JayeAuthor2015Jaye 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.

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Exiles, a pewter dragon necklace by treasurecast, and a sword letter opener! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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Go enter, and then go visit Jaye’s Blog to find all the other release tour stops. Over forty other bloggers are posting reviews, author interviews, character interviews, excerpts, or other fun things this weekend about Exiles, so check them out!

Did anything in my review make you want to read Exiles? 🙂 Or start the Ilyon Chronicles from the beginning?

Jaye L. Knight: Author Interview

JayeAuthorJaye 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, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.

 

Once upon a time I met an author named Jaye. We had a conversation, and today, in celebration of the release of Samara’s Peril, book three of Ilyon Chronicles, you get to listen in!

“Hi Jaye! Congratulations on the release of Samara’s Peril! What an exciting day! This is a significant milestone in your long writing career. Speaking of which, what was the first story you ever wrote, and how old were you when you wrote it?”

“My very first story was about a girl named April, if I remember correctly. It was actually a little collection of one page stories about her and her friends and pets. I honestly can’t remember what each of them were about. I was eight years old when I wrote them.”

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“How fun! I love reading and hearing about authors’ childish works! During your writing career, what’s the most unique, interesting, or unusual thing you’ve ever done in the name of book research?”

“I bought and had my brother lock me in a pair of shackles. Uh yeah, that was interesting. I guess it wasn’t purely for research, but rather for a cover photoshoot, but it still gave me a good idea of what it’s like.”

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“Wow, you certainly trust your brother! I’m not sure I’d let my brother do that to me… On another note, you have quite a number of excited readers and fans. What do your fans mean to you?”

“My fans mean everything to me! Without such dedicated readers, my mom would probably be one of the only people reading my work. Without the interaction and encouragement, I don’t think I would even attempt to keep publishing my books. It can be a long, hard, discouraging process at times, but it’s the fangirly comments or sweet, encouraging emails I get that really help make it feel worth it.”

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“I can assure you that your writing is much to valuable to be confined to such a limited audience. 🙂 And as long as it remains so encouraging, we’ll be sure to keep up the fanclub. Actually, we’ll keep it up anyway, because we can’t help it with a series like this… Here’s a random question: if you were a tree, which one would you be and why?”

“What are those huge, gorgeous, spreading trees over in England that you always see on Pride & Prejudice movies and Downton Abbey? I’m not even sure, but that’s the kind of tree I would want to be. I love those trees.”

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“Nice. I’m not sure what they are either, but they are grand. Back on topic, Samara’s Peril gets deeply into conflicts in Jace’s heart. What were some of the challenges of writing at this level?”

“Well, when you’re writing a character, you really try to put yourself in their position and feel what they feel so that it’s real and accurate. It obviously can be difficult to get into the mind of someone who is so deeply depressed, though I do have experience with depression to draw on. Honestly, I think the biggest challenge of writing such deep and sometimes dark emotions is just the unknown of how readers will react. A lot of what goes into the series and Jace in particular is deeply personal to me, so it’s like baring your heart to the world. That’s a scary thing.”

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“That’s interesting that readers’ reactions play such a large role in the challenge of writing. Readers, too, then, have a weighty job. Thanks so much for pouring your heart and soul into your books so that such light and truth comes out! It’s a blessing to be able to read. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers and fans?”

“I just want to say how thankful I am for everyone who has been a part of this adventure so far. It has been two years since Resistance was published (May 20, 2014). Those two years have been the most exciting time of my writing career so far. Everything that has happened with this series has been incredible, and that wouldn’t be without such wonderfully dedicated readers.”

“Congratulations on this two-year milestone for Ilyon! I can honestly say it is the best series I’ve ever read. I look forward to where God will take you with it in the next two years!”

Don’t forget to scroll down and check out the posts containing my review of Samara’s Peril and many other Blog Tour goodies – including a giveaway! And if you’d like to truly enter the celebration, click one of the links below to purchase your very own copy of Samara’s Peril. You’ll be blessed through reading this book.

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Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks!

Image source credit: Pinterest

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

Ilyon Chronicles: Half Blood Cover Reveal!

Gladiators, bluebirds, soul struggles, slavery, and sheer willpower… it’s another enthralling story. Today, check out this epic book cover. But don’t look too long or too hard, or it might hurt. It’s the cover of Jaye L. Knight’s upcoming novella, Half-Blood, the prequel story to Ilyon Chronicles. Make sure you also enter the giveaway at the bottom!

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Here is Jace. Although he is forced to the spotlight on the cover of a book, he’s trying to hide. This speaks worlds about the conflict in his soul. Even his pointed ears, the symbol of his status as a half-blood, are hidden as though he is ashamed of them. And behind him looms the symbol of what his blood has brought him to due to the cruelty of those who force him to call them master. On top of this, the textured clouds in the sky above bring a token of normalcy to the scene.

He is Half Blood. Can he tolerate that, accept that, embrace that? More, can anyone in his world look upon his created identity without loathing, disgust, hatred, or distrust?

About the Book

The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?

See where Jace’s story all began . . .

Coming This Summer

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About the Author

JayeAuthorPhotoJaye 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, Google+, and Twitter.

Giveaway

As part of a month long celebration for the one year publication anniversary of Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles – Book 1), Jaye is giving away several fun prizes! Enter for a chance to win using the form below! U.S. entries only please.

Participating Bloggers
A Writer’s Faith
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke
A Writer’s Heart
Thoughts and Rants
Written Rest
To Be A Person
Tialla’s Tellings
The American Anglophile
Knitted By God’s Plan
Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings
Pencils Can Change The World
Crafty Booksheeps
Zerina Blossom’s Books
Ryebrynn’s Random Ramblings
Through the Realm of Dreams
Red Lettering
Leah’s Bookshelf
The Official Website of Brent King
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections
Shattered Fractals
Flights from the Aerie
E. Rawls
The Pen of a Ready Writer
Scattered Journal Pages
Sutori no Hana
The Art of Storytelling
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How I Discovered Ilyon

“Kaelan, where are you going?”

“Off to Ilyon to find adventures!”

“Hey! Come back here! I’m supposed to be editing your story. Don’t disappear on me.”

“I can if I want. Besides, I’m tired of home. Nothing’s happened for what? Four weeks now? I tell you, I’m wasting away here.”

“No such thing! As soon as I get this edited, I’ll be happy to send you on further adventures. But the editing comes first. Now, where were we? Oh yes, you were in Syorien’s Lower District meeting Caeleb.”

“Not Caeleb… I want to meet Kaden. He has an adventurous life.”

“He lives stuck in Tarvin Hall,” I remarked dryly, leaning back in my chair.

“I don’t care. Ilyon is way better than Taerna, and you know it.”

“I’m sorry. I can’t help it that I can’t create a world as interesting as Jaye’s world. But it’s the one you happen to live in, young man. Are you getting back on this page for me or not?”

“NOT!” His taunting smile is all I can see as he retreats further from Chapter 6.

I sigh. “Fine. Go visit Ilyon. But you have to take me with you. I’m your Author, after all. And Editor,” I couldn’t resist adding.

“Yeh-hee!” He whooped, “Come on!”

 

I close my eyes and reach out into nothingness. Kaelan’s hand catches mine, pulling me along with him. My stomach lurches, but I ignore the sensation. I know that I’m flying right through the place where my computer screen just was. My eyes slit open. I recognize my bookshelf, but it’s much larger than normal. No, wait. I’m smaller. He pulls me directly towards the cover of a huge green book with a giant sword in the center. The top cover whooshes open in the breeze to welcome us. Kaelan leaps onto the title page, and the cover closes over our heads in a mass of soft blackness.

 

The darkness that engulfs us gradually turns light. The sun is peeking from the clouds over a bustling marketplace. I’m squished in between two rundown buildings, their rough stone exteriors alive with moss and lichen. All around, buzzes and hums of bartering, trading, selling, and haggling fill the warm summer air – and more smells than I can distinguish all mixed up together. I raise up on one arm to peek around the corner – directly at a stout merchant displaying a variety of clay pitchers, delicate vases, earthenware cups, and gaily painted bowls beneath a showy red and gold banner.

My attention jerks down to the opposite end of the shadowed space between the two buildings. A man has squeezed into my hideout. Does he even see me here? I shrink down as small as possible. His entire attention is earnestly focused on his surroundings. I can tell that little escapes him. His eyes warily scan the crowded market, and he ducks back before the pitcher merchant can spot him.

Then he turns to me. His dark eyes pierce directly into mine. Worry is etched across his features, but his eyes are gentle and friendly. All at once, he abruptly swings back around as footsteps yank his attention.

It is a second man. “Rayad,” he breathes in a low tone, “Thank the King you made it.”

 

Kaelan nudges me. “I’m going to follow him.”

“Do,” I reply, “You just might encounter something worth experiencing.”

 

How I Discovered Ilyon

If you arrived here from Jaye L. Knight’s blog or book blog, then you are already familiar with Ilyon.

If you’ve read my blog before, you probably know what Ilyon is.

If this is your first time here, you’re probably wondering, “What’s Ilyon?”

Ilyon is a fictional world created by author Jaye L. Knight.

“So?” you might be thinking. Many authors have created fictional worlds. This is nothing new.

But Ilyon is one of those fictional worlds that the reader thinks is real.

“So?” you might still be thinking. That’s what everyone says. Lots of stories draw readers in.

Still, Ilyon is a cut above the rest. If you don’t believe me, check out Resistance and The King’s Scrolls, books one and two in The Ilyon Chronicles, for yourself. Today just might be the day you begin your story of How You Discovered Ilyon.   

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My Story

I have tried to retrace the complicated trail of How I Discovered Ilyon and Jaye’s books. Sadly, the precise trail is lost in the dust of antiquity, for at the beginning I had no idea how monumental the discovery would prove to be.

Nevertheless, my story begins, so far as I can retrace it, in the passion I developed for books and reading at age four. During my childhood, I spent every afternoon reading books. At age seven, I began my own writing career in a large spiral-bound notebook with poems and short stories. As I progressed through high school, I began noticing a passion for editing.

Fast forward to February of 2013. By this time, I’ve been following for several years the blogs of my fellow-writer friends Jessica Greyson (whom I have known since we were toddlers) and Katherine Sophia (whom I met as a young child). Through these two friends, I was indirectly introduced to a plethora of other homeschooled writers.

Thus, it must have been through their blogs (likely Jessica’s) that I came across Molly Evangeline. Possibly Homeschooled Authors was also a factor in this introduction. As nearly as I can trace it, it probably happened this way:

Reads Jessica’s latest blog post which links to Homeschooled Authors.

Clicks the link.

Browses through the list of Homeschooled Authors, always on the lookout for good books from sources I can trust. 

“Hmm, books by fellow homeschoolers are likely to be good.”

Sees the name Molly Evangeline and her books.

Clicks the book link for Truth, Makilien Book #1, which goes to the Amazon page.

Reads the Amazon reviews. 

“Hey, almost every review says that these books are just like Narnia and Tolkien, except more deeply Christian.”

My fascination with the reviews was likely due to the fact that I had just recently read Lewis and Tolkien for the first time and loved the allegories and analogies in a medieval/ancient setting.The Makilien books immediately became my next “to-read” books.

Authors and readers, never underestimate the power of Amazon reviews.

Ilyon’s superb scenery (Source: Pinterest)

 

Pursuing Molly’s work further, I came across her website. Of course, I clicked the link for free stuff and discovered that I could apply for a digital copy of the Makilien books in exchange for reviewing them.

Without delay, I applied.

Late in the afternoon of February 18, 2013, Molly sent me TruthWithin 20 hours, I finished Truth, posted reviews on my blog, Goodreads, and Barnes and Nobles, gave editor’s feedback on the book, and requested to review Couragewhich she promptly sent. Just as promptly, I read, reviewed, and gave feedback on it, and she sent me Trust the next morning, which I also dove into, completing the series in just two days.

To say I enjoyed the series is an understatement. And what is more, it laid the foundation for me discovering Ilyon – a foundation both for me and for the author. Over the next several months, I reviewed the series in other places, recommended it to friends and family, and reread parts of it.

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Eleven months later, Molly (now Jaye L. Knight), contacted me about beta-reading her new fantasy series: Ilyon Chronicles! My answer, of course, was an enthusiastic yes. Within a week, I sent back the first part of Resistance with feedback, and four days later, I’d finished the story.

I was riveted. Ilyon captivated me entirely. The writing style was immensely improved from the Makilien books; the characters were real, deep, and enthralling; the plot was unique and interesting; the spiritual themes carried the story on a strong, steady path. I loved Ilyon from the first moment. I knew it was a masterpiece. In many ways, I didn’t discover Ilyon. It raced out to meet me.

In the following months, I participated in Resistance’s and The King’s Scrolls’ cover reveals and blog tours, celebrated the release dates, joined Jaye’s Goodreads group and street team, purchased Resistance for various friends as a gift, beta read The King’s Scrolls and Half Blood, followed all of the latest developments and posts, participated in character interviews, schemed about the big screen for the series, and remained a firm fan.

And in the Resistance Personality QuizI got Kyrin.

Young Kyrin

The King’s Scrolls: Meeting Timothy!

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Timothy inspiration - via Pinterest

Timothy inspiration – via Pinterest

Appearance: Chin length, slightly wavy brown hair, warm brown eyes, youthful, 5’7” tall.

Age: 20

Race: Half human/half crete

History: Timothy is the youngest son of a crete miner and a human woman. He and his older brother have lived in the Graylin Valley north of Valcré their entire lives. His mother died shortly after giving birth to him while his father died in a mine collapse when Timothy was in his teens. Timothy works for a mining supply warehouse, one of the only businesses that will hire him due to his mixed blood. In his little free time, he enjoys teaching the children and citizens of his town who could never afford formal teaching. He has a deep faith in Elôm.

Author Notes: Timothy was not one of my long established characters. I did not know he existed until I actually started working on The King’s Scrolls, but he quickly become one of my favorites. As his name and love for God hints at, he was heavily inspired by Timothy in the Bible, who I’ve long held a deep interest for.

Timothy was actually the result of several ‘what if’ questions I asked myself during a brainstorming session for TKS. I’m afraid I can’t share those questions without spoilers, but it was really cool how it came together. It was all very complicated at first, but through a lot of note taking, I managed to untangle the web and come out with a story for his character.

What I’ve always loved most about Timothy is how difficult his life is, yet he remains incredibly dedicated to his faith. He’s had to face so much sorrow and backbreaking labor, but no matter how exhausted he gets, he always makes time to read Scripture. He thirsts and craves it more than food, rest, or anything else in his life. And he’s so humble. There is something very special about him, but he does not see it. It’s his quiet humility and underlying strength that really makes me admire him as a character. He’s exactly how I want to be in my life, and I hope he is a character who will both inspire and encourage readers. [Amen, Jaye! You summed up exactly how I as a reader view Timothy; I couldn’t have put it better. You have definitely succeeded.]

As with many of my favorite characters, I have a theme song that is dedicated to Timothy and helped develop his characters. It’s Enduring by Non-Stop Music, which I think is very appropriate for his character.

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This is who Timothy is! May it be so in my life, and in yours!

There’s Timothy! I can’t believe I get to meet him personally. I look up to him and admire him—and now I get to meet him. My hands grow slightly moist as I pull out a chair for him to sit on. He sits. We don’t say a word. And somehow, it’s not awkward.

I’m a little scared of Timothy. He seems so apart—quietly bold for truth—but I would like very much to get to know him better. It looks to me as though he’s not quite at ease, but he probably is despite appearances. I’m a little nervous as it’s always a challenge for me to make conversation with quiet people. But his dark eyes sparkle a little, and though his manner is quiet, it does reassure me. He isn’t exactly what I expected.

I glance down at my notes that I prepared in case my mind went blank. He waits. My mind jumps to his brother—a logical place to begin.

Tell me about your relationship with Aaron. You two seem close. What was it like growing up with him? Do you have a favorite childhood memory?

Timothy crosses his hands. He seems quite at ease now. He doesn’t hesitate. Aaron and I are very close, which I am deeply thankful for. He could hate me since it was my birth that led to our mother’s death, but that’s not Aaron.

I nod. Praise Elom for that. 

Timothy motions agreement. In a way, being so much older than me, he’s almost been like both a brother and a father. Since our father died when I was twelve, he, along with our friend Josan, took on the responsibility of raising me. I think some of my favorite childhood memories were when he would teach me things like wrestling and climbing. He worked so often that we really didn’t have much time to do those sorts of things, but when we did, I cherished every moment of it.

I nod again. I’m sure you did—especially since you don’t have much time for that anymore either. And you’d rather use your free time for other things now. 

A gentle smile breaks over his face. Yes. There are great needs to be met…and great blessing to be derived from walking with Elom.

So you love the words of Elom. What is your favorite Scripture and why?

It is difficult to choose only one of so many, but I like, The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble; And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.* He pauses in quiet meditation. Life has been difficult, not just for my own family, but for most of those around us. The mining valley I come from is full of oppression and trouble. I often turn to this verse to remind myself that I can find strength and shelter in Elôm no matter what trouble is around me and that, even when trying times come, He won’t leave me to face it alone.

That’s a beautiful Scripture. I love that one as well. He IS a stronghold, and He has a strong hold upon us. We rest in his hand, no matter what, just as you were saying. And that ties right in to the next question: what Scripture passage do you believe Ilyon needs most right now? What would bring them the most hope, comfort, and strength?

This answer comes almost instantly. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.*

I smile. Maybe Timothy and I have more in common than I thought. Now that has been one of my favorite Scripture passages for many years. It’s so freeing to rest in the Lord no matter what.

Timothy smiles and then grows serious. Everywhere you look, evil seems to be prospering—from the emperor to the unscrupulous mine owners were I live. It’s easy to get discouraged and wonder why Elôm would allow that, especially when His children are suffering so. He leans forward in his chair. But we must learn and remember to rest in and wait on Him. He is not blind or uncaring. His timing may not align with our own, but it is always perfect. Trouble comes, but waiting and resting in Him always brings the best outcome.

Amen. It’s evident that this is what He has been teaching you—and I know He will continue to teach you this throughout your life. His rest speaks through you to others. In fact, along those lines, I understand that you enjoy teaching others—especially of Elom and the words of the Scrolls, but also in practical life skills. What drew you to teaching? Did you have any teachers or mentors growing up other than Josan and Aaron and what from their examples has made its way into your teaching?

Now he seems slightly lost in thought. The fingers of his right hand clench around his left thumb–fingers that have seen hard manual labor, but are still slender and agile. A writer’s fingers. I jerk my attention to his words as he speaks at last. My father was my primary teacher. There isn’t much in the way of formal teaching in the Graylin Valley, at least not for the average person. My father always had a desire to teach and help people better themselves through it. That’s not a typical crete trait, but my father had a real heart for people. I always admired him for that, and I guess, after he died, I felt compelled to continue his work and have developed the same love for it.

Your father sounds like a wonderful man.

He was. Timothy’s eyes are thoughtful. I wonder if he is missing his father. Of course he must be. I drop my eyes for a moment, then catch sight of the notes in my hand. When— I pause and clear my throat just slightly. His eyes shift quickly and alertly to mine—When and how did you first feel Elom’s call upon your life?

My father started teaching me from the King’s Scrolls before I was even old enough to truly understand any of it, and continued this every day as I was growing up. His passion and faith, I believe, is what initially inspired my own love for it. But, as strange as it might sound to some, I think his death is what changed me from loving to learn about Elôm and my faith to truly living my faith. It was one of the hardest times in my life and taught me how to cling to Elôm and put into practice what I believe. It was easy to follow my father’s example and feel sheltered under his faith, but once he was gone, even though I still had Josan and Aaron, I felt as if Elôm were calling me to trust Him fully with my own faith and not rely so heavily on others.  

That is an incredible call. So Elom used your loss to reveal more of Himself to you.

Timothy nods and leans back in his chair. I’m still young, but the longer I live, the more proofs I see of how Elom does indeed work all things together for good for those He has called.

And that change you mentioned from the love of learning to real life is so essential. Without the life, the head knowledge is useless.

Without His love flowing inside of me, I am nothing.

Both of us fall silent for a few moments. I am contemplating the vastness of what our Lord is doing in our lives. Then I look up. Timothy’s gaze is serious, yet there is a questioning, almost playful quirking of an eyebrow and lifting of a lip. I raise an eyebrow slightly in response, then, having totally derailed from my notes, glance back at the paper in my hand. On seeing the next question, a grin breaks out, but I quickly replace it with a partly serious face.

How do you feel about archery? 

Timothy laughs, and I can’t help but join in. Archery and I have been battling each other since I was a boy. Both my father and Aaron tried to teach me, but I just could never get the hang of it. Aaron likes to tease me about it sometimes.

I’m sure. But do you ever wish you could learn?

I do wish I could get better at it. Having two capable hunters would certainly help when food is scarce, but Aaron more than makes up for my lack of skill.

Elom has a purpose in that too. But moving along…You have a wonderful heritage—the loyalty and quickness of the cretes on one side and the friendliness and patience of the humans on the other. Do you feel more closely connected to your crete heritage or your human/Arcacian heritage? 

Was that a slight sigh? I can’t quite tell. He answers without hesitation, though.

My father and Josan taught me much about the crete culture growing up, but since they are the only two cretes I’ve ever known, I’d say I feel more connected with my human heritage. I wouldn’t say it’s a very close connection, though.

Would you like this to be different?

Growing up being half crete in Arcacia is not a very easy thing to do. Most Arcacians don’t have a very high opinion of cretes since the cretes turned away and left Arcacia. So, in many ways, Aaron and I have grown up feeling more like outsiders—not completely a part of either of our heritages. It would be nice to be equally accepted by both.

I hope one day you can experience that. I glance back at my notes, ready to move on, but Timothy’s quiet voice interrupts me.

So do I. But regardless, I am accepted by Elom, and He is what matters.

I look up and catch his encouraging gaze. Yes. I pause. Your Arcacian heritage does show through in your eyes… they’re the same color as mine. Growing up around humans, that’s probably normal for you, but Ilyon eye colors vary much more than they do in my world. Since I don’t have the chance to see the bright colors that you do, what’s your favorite?

Probably blue, like my father’s eyes. They were like sapphires. That’s where Aaron gets his blue eyes. I remember wishing I had blue eyes too, but now I like knowing that my brown ones are a piece of my mother. I never got to meet her, but it’s nice knowing I share some things in common with her.

That’s very special. I can’t help but think that it’s amazing how he has come to accept even the small aspects of who Elom created him to be, despite the difficulties he has faced throughout his life. His time with Elom accomplished that, of course. You seem to have a lot of Scripture committed to memory. Tell me about how you memorized the writings of the Scrolls—from what age, and did you have any particular method of doing so?

My father started me on memorization quite young. One of his methods was to have me copy verses down. It was also a good way to work on my writing skills, which is something not many people have where I live. Beyond that, it is the daily repeated readings that help keep the words in my mind. I’ve read through the Scrolls several times since I was a child, and some passages far more than that. 

That is a treasure that will bless you and others around you all your life. You are a blessing, Timothy, and it’s been a privilege and honor to meet you. Keep living for Elom, no matter what. Can you leave me with another passage from the Scrolls?

Timothy smiles and stands. Shaking my hand and gazing intently at me, he quotes:

This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.* The blessing of the Lord be upon you.

As he departs, I reach for my Bible. Thank you, Timothy.

Click for source

*Psalms 9:9-10

*Psalms 37:7-9

*Joshua 1:8

For more information on The King’s Scrolls, see my Blog Tour and Introduction post.

The King’s Scrolls Cover Reveal!

In the spring of 2014, I participated in a cover reveal, and a blog tour that included a book review and an interview with Kaden for ResistanceBook One in the Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight. Today I’m thrilled to participate in a cover reveal for The King’s Scrolls – Book Two of the Ilyon Chronicles! It includes an excerpt from the book as well as a fun giveaway.

Plenty of other blogs are joining the fun, so be sure to check out the grand center of operations at the cover reveal on Jaye’s blog. Or join by adding The King’s Scrolls on Goodreads.

This autumn I had the privilege of beta-reading The King’s Scrolls. It is a book well worthy of being a sequel to Resistance. Stay tuned, because you’ll be able to read this amazingly powerful story with not only adventure, well-developed characters, and an intriguing plot but also depth, meaning, and exquisitely crafted beauty very soon: The King’s Scrolls’ release date will be early in 2015.

The Thrilling Summary

Following the harrowing events that brought them to Landale Forest, Jace and Kyrin have settled comfortably into their new lives and the mission of protecting those under the emperor’s persecution. The fast approach of winter brings with it the anticipation of a quiet few months ahead. That is until the arrival of four mysterious, dragon-riding cretes who seek aid in a mission of great importance—not only to their own people, but to all followers of Elôm.

Hidden in the vast mining valley north of Valcré, a faithful crete has spent years sharing his knowledge with the destitute miners and their families and is known to possess what may be Arcacia’s last surviving copies of the King’s Scrolls—the Word of Elôm. Joining the cretes, those in Landale must find the crete teacher and bring him to safety, but it is a race against time. Should Daican’s men find him first, execution and the destruction of the Scrolls is certain.

When disaster strikes, all seems lost. Could Elôm have a plan even in the enemy’s triumph?

The Talented Author

JJayeAuthorPhotoaye L. Knight is a homeschool graduated indie author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean new adult fiction. 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, Google+, and Twitter.

The Delightful Giveaway

To celebrate her revealing of the cover, Jaye is giving away one of her handcrafted quill pen necklaces and a $5 Amazon gift card! Enter here for a chance to win! U.S. entries only please.

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And now….

Presenting…

The Magnificent Cover!

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Isn’t it excellent? It ties in perfectly with Resistance while setting an entirely different tone and mood. I love the black/brown color scheme. It gives the feel of being in a study and also in a secretive place. I like how there are only muted colors, tones, and shades. I love how the feather pen fades into the background near the top of the page. The colors are crisp and clear. There is a cozy, peaceful feel somehow as well as a business-like feel. The line are clean and simple without anything to distract from the main focus.

And what wondrous adventures of Kyrin, Jace, and their friends lie within the pages concealed under the cover? Here is a sneak peek into The King’s Scrolls!

The Exciting Excerpt

The other younger crete took a swig of his coffee and set his eyes past her. Kyrin peeked over her shoulder at Kaden who, of course, was staring at the dragon. The female creature stared back in mutual interest.

“Go ahead,” the crete said suddenly. “You can touch her. She loves attention, and she’ll only attack if I tell her to.” A sly glint sparkled in his spring-green eyes.

Besides Jace, Kyrin had never seen anyone with such bright and colorful eyes as these cretes.

Kaden looked at him, his brows rising. “You can do that?”

The crete nodded. “Dragons are highly intelligent. You can teach them almost any command. Storm here is young, but she learns fast.”

Kyrin smiled at the delight in her brother’s eyes as he stepped closer to the dragon and ran his hand over her bluish-gray neck scales. A grin split his face.

“She’s so smooth. Kyrin, come and feel it.”

Kyrin stepped to his side and laid her hand on the dragon. The scales were indeed very smooth, reminding her of the polished marble stair-railings in Auréa Palace, but they weren’t cold. Warmth radiated through them. The dragon, still watching them, let out a little rumble, almost like a giant cat’s purr.

“I told you she liked attention,” the crete said, grinning.

Kyrin chuckled and glanced at Jace to see if he wanted to touch the dragon, but he made no move to come closer. This certainly had more to do with the crete than the dragon. He was very fond of any type of animal. She faced the crete again.

“So they can breathe fire?”

“For short bursts, but that’s usually all it takes to deter any threat.”

“That’s incredible,” Kaden breathed.

While he continued admiring Storm, Kyrin observed the dragon’s rider. He appeared to be in his early to mid-twenties—about ten years younger than Captain Darq—though his exact age was impossible to guess. Cretes were said to mature faster than humans, so he could be anywhere from seventeen to twenty-five. He too wore a sleeveless jerkin. Brown tattoos, a little darker than his skin, marked both shoulders. Darq and the other cretes had them as well, but Kyrin hadn’t taken a good look at them until now. This man’s were a complicated pattern of spirals and dots, but the shape of a fox stood out in the center of his right shoulder.

Though she tried to be discreet, he must have caught her studying him and suddenly extended his hand to her. “I’m Talas, by the way. Talas Folkan of the Fox Clan.”

Now turn off your computer or mobile device and spend some well-invested time in the Scrolls of Your King–His Holy Bible that He has given to us.

Cover and author images used by permission of Jaye L. Knight. All other images from Pinterest.