Monday, May 30, 2016

Writers Unite Writing Contest Winners!

Well everyone,  the contest has come to a close and now for the winners. ( I want to first thank everyone who entered. You all did a great job, and your stories were amazing )

And now *drumroll please*
1st Place: In Honor by Rebekah!
2nd Place: I Did it for You by Blessing!
And 3rd Place is: Katie's War by Kaitlyn! 

 Winners: If you haven't already recieved an email you should get one shortly.  Congratulations, and thank you to everyone who submitted an entry! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Defy Blog Tour: Author Interview + Book Review

Defy Blog Tour Header

DSC09450-2   INTERVIEW :
Would you tell us a bit of your journey writing the Blades of Acktar series?
It’s been a crazy ride from the first moment I got the idea to now. Flash back two years ago to March of 2014. I’d been writing for years and years and years (at least, that’s what it felt like) and I’d been out of college for a year. I had a moment where I sat myself down and told myself I wasn’t going to get anywhere if I kept moping and waiting for the time to write and never actually finishing anything.
Right after that, the idea for the first three books in The Blades of Acktar smacked into me, and I knew this was an idea I could write and finish. Starting in March, I wrote an average of 1,500 words a day until by December, I’d finished the first drafts of the first three books. It was a rather euphoric feeling.
That August, I applied for a Shalom edit from Nadine Brandes, and I learned in September that she’d picked my application for the edit. In February of 2015, I got her edit back, which taught me an astronomical amount about writing.
In March of 2015, I made the decision to indie publish, and Dare released in June. I was able to release Deny and now Defy within six months of each other because I’d already finished their first drafts back in 2014. The wait between Defy and book 4 will probably be a little longer because I still have to finish writing the book.

Who helps you in your writing life?
So many people! My parents are very supportive, as is my entire family. I have two friends who read everything as I write it, and their encouragement helps me push through the first draft. I’ve made a number of friends among the author community online who are also amazing! If you want a complete list, you’ll have to check out the acknowledgements page of one of my books. I tend to go on and on listing everyone.

How many drafts do you normally write before you complete your manuscripts?
Lots and lots! I tend to be a messy draft writer, which means my first drafts is barely readable. It takes several passes through the manuscript, often with significant re-writes, before it is ready for publication.

Do you have a detailed outline for your books when writing, or just a simple outline? Do you have any tips?
I’m still working on my own process. For Dare and Deny, I didn’t have an outline at all beyond the one in my head. I wrote a very simple outline for Defy and book 4, and then proceeded to only partially follow it. I’d feel bad about it, but I’ve heard authors like Jill Williamson tend to write outlines, then don’t follow them, so I’m not the only non-outliner out there.
I guess, my tips for outlines is try a few things until you figure out what works best for you. That might change as you become a better writer, but you don’t have to follow all the advice out there. There are books and books on writing and outlines, and for me, most of that just makes my eyes glaze over and doesn’t work. But it might for you.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
This seems like a really, really popular question to ask. Like people think I’m wise or something. Hmmm…that’s a weird thought since I still sometimes feel like I flailed and stumbled into being where I am now.
So here goes my mostly standard reply:
Read. Duh.
Write a lot. Also duh.
Don’t publish until you’re ready. I look at some of the teens and high schoolers publishing nowadays, and I’m blown away. Personally, I wasn’t ready for publication back in high school. I didn’t know half of what I know now. I would’ve been overwhelmed figuring out KDP or Photoshop. Doing all the taxes and paperwork being an author and publishing requires would’ve probably broke me down into tears.
If you’re ready to publish in high school, then great. You’re amazing! But don’t feel like your author life will be over if you don’t or you decide it is best to wait. I still have to remind myself of that occasionally.



The war for Acktar has begun.
With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades.
Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected.
Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands.
War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen?
Acktar rests on one hope:
The Leader is ready.

Book Review:
Can I just say how much I enjoyed Defy? It was really, really good.  :D
Oh the feels in this book. I loved getting to join back up with the characters and continue on the journey. Defy picks up where Deny leaves off -Renna in the hands of the enemy, and Leith, Brandi, and the runaway Blade/trainee's are escaping.
It was all so very exciting, I couldn't stop reading it and basically breathed the book in. (read it in a day people. All 359 pages) With Renna captured by King Respen, she is constantly under guard by Martyn, and Leith knows it. But with the resistance soon to attack the castle he fears he cannot save both of them. He makes a choice that in the end will either save his two friends, or they will all die. Turning himself over to Respen to save Renna, Leith undergoes torture at the hands of his friend and fellow Blade members.

Characters: I love Leith, Martyn, Ranson, and Renna. (the others are great to, but in Defy these were my favorite.) I love how Renna loves and gives to others, even those who hurt her. How Leith selflessly gives himself up to save others, and how strong both of their faith grows. How Ranson and Martyn learn what compassion is, and how they both are freed from their prison of death and darkness.
One of my favorite quotes was from Leith: I don't Fear You Quote

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I received this book free from the author for an honest review

May 27th -June 3rd books Dare and Deny will be on sale on Amazon!

Tricia M. will also be holding a Facebook party on June 2nd. Don't miss it as she will have giveaways, character Q&A, guest authors, and more!Facebook Party Announcement

Monday, May 16, 2016

Writers Unite Writing Contest -extended

We've extended the deadline to the 21st. So if you haven't finished your story yet you have a little longer. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Samara's Peril Blog Tour: Book Review + Author Interview + Giveaway

I'm going to switch things up and start with the interview.  Enjoy!

Hello Jaye!
Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.

Thanks for having me!

Would you first share how you first came up with the Ilyon Chronicles, and what your hopes are for the series?

Ilyon Chronicles came from a seed of inspiration that popped into my mind while I was reading DragonQuest by Donita K. Paul. My favorite character in her series happens to be half-blooded. When I found that out, the creative wheels in my mind just started turning, and that’s how my main character, Jace, was born. The entire series then grew around him. Even though I’ve only published the third book so far, the series has already exceeded all the hopes I had for it in the beginning. My hope now is that it will really touch the lives of my readers.

Who are some of your favorite characters?

Oh my, that’s like asking who are my favorite children (if I had any children, that is). Well, Jace will always be my favorite. He’s very special to me since he came from some very hard moments in my life. I don’t think anyone will ever top him. As for the others, I kind of go through moments of “obsession” with each of them, depending on which book I’m writing and how big a part they play. My current character obsession is Timothy’s brother, Aaron. I’ve been working with him a lot lately.

What do you like most about writing?

The characters. :) I adore working with characters, especially when they take on lives of their own and I feel like I’m just along for the ride.

What kind of books do you read? Do they help inspire ideas for your writing?

I mostly read fantasy books, though I also love good historical novels. Books definitely inspire me. After all, if not for DragonQuest, there would be no Ilyon Chronicles.

What do you think of your fan club?

I love my fan club! You guys are all so awesome. You make me laugh, cry (good tears), and area  huge encouragement when I go through those “I’m a horrible writer” moments.

Personally, I'd love to see more of Prince Daniel. Will you possibly write a novel (like you did with Half Blood, one that is in-between or showing events already written from a different perspective) so we can get to know him more?

While I don’t have any extra novellas planned for Daniel, you’ll be happy to know that he gets an entire storyline devoted to him in book four. That is one of my favorite parts of that book, and I can’t wait to share his story.


When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen.

Armed with their newfound knowledge, they set out for Samara to warn the king. War is inevitable, and they must face two desperate battles—one on the walls of Samara’s great stronghold, and the other on the battlefield of Jace’s heart, where victory might only be achievable through great sacrifice.

Book Review:
So where do I begin?  So much happened in Samara's Peril, a lot of good things that many readers of the Ilyon Chronicles have been hoping for.  I'm not sure how much I can say without spoiling the book,  but if you enjoy Jaye Knight's other books then you'll love this one.
  Jace finds out more about his past,  and is struggling to believe in Elom. Kyrin and her family are finally together,   but rumor of war sends her into the heart of the enemy to discover their plans.
King Daican plans to attack Samara so the resistance send some of their group to help with the upcoming battle.  Greatly outnumbered,  they will have to trust in Elom if they are to survive.

I really enjoyed this book,  though there were a few things that could have been written better in a few places. Some of it wasn't as realistic as I'd like, but overall it is a great book.

 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
I received this book free from the author for an honest review.


Don't forget to check out Jaye L. Knight's website for her giveaway! Click the picture below

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Salt Mine Mystery

Twelve year-old Gabe Zanadu, his brother, Alex, and dogs Thunder and Lightning face Team Test #2 in Germany’s Berchtesgaden Salt Mines. Fighting a human-trafficking ring, they must successfully negotiate the Egyptian Path of Death to free themselves, the victims and bring their captors to justice. THE SALT MINES MYSTERY Threatened in the streets of Goeppingen, Germany, Gabe and Alex Zanadu make a disastrous decision that plummets them, their dogs Thunder and Lightning, and international friends into the clutches of an evil human trafficking ring. Who sent thugs to attack twelve-year-old Gabe in an alley? What secret does Gabe and Alex, his fourteen-year-old brother, learn at the War Council? Can the boys remember the sailor song clues given by the mysterious ‘G’ and survive? How do Thunder and Lightning keep their masters alive? Will Gabe and Alex’s brotherly ties withstand the onslaught of danger? Who will finish the race through the Egyptian Path of Death? Find the answers to these questions and more in this heart-pumping, action-packed adventure/mystery story. And the Thunder and Lightning saga is just beginning!


This is the first book I've read buy Aaron Zook, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed his writing.  The Thunder and Lightening Series is great for anyone middle school reader and above thlo enjoy.   The second book in the series,  The Salt Mine Mystery continues the adventures of two brothers and their dogs.  As they are living in Germany,  they are threatened by a group led by  the Machete, and their parents take them on a vacation to get away from danger.  But unknown to the parents, they've led their children right where the terrorist wants them.
A mysterious G, unexplained packages,  a riddle,  a maze,  and a key come together to create a great story.

I really liked the author's writing,  and he did a great job keeping me intrigued.  It is a great book that younger readers can read as well without unneeded drama, and was pretty realistic for the situation the two were going through.  When I first requested this book I didn't think I'd enjoy it much,  but I look forward to reading more of the series, and seeing where it leads.

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I recieved this book free for an honest review.


Only one week left for the writing contest!  Check out the page on the right for more info!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May 4th


  I've gotten way behind on my reviews, sorry about that, but I'll try to get back on track. This upcoming month I'll have some cool posts (author interview, a tag, guest post, and others).
  May is already here, how crazy is that? For book related stuff I started writing with a friend, and my reading has slowed down a bit. (but my Goodreads account is currently at 76 books this year.) Anyway, thought I'd pop in to tell everyone that it's Star Wars day, and that I am working on finishing my book for the next review, so that shouldn't be too long.
May the force be with you!   ;)