Tag Archives: YA Fantasy

Book Spotlight And Author Interview: Indebted

28 Jan

About The Book

Book: Indebted

Author: Charmayne Hafen

Genre: Young Adult, Adventure, Mythology

Release Date: August 25, 2019

When the abandoned princess discovers a friend, some muscle, and a passion for swords, she also acquires the crucible by which she uncovers the mysterious key to unlock her grief and win true freedom. Or will her strength confound her future in the kingdom to which she rides?
At the mythical edge of the Berkshire Forests, Wren finds herself rattling around in an austere castle, abandoned by the King and Queen. King Belodawn seems to blame his daughter for the mysterious disappearance of his wife, and he avoids his daughter at all costs in favor of conquests requiring his person away from the kingdom. But, things are about to change; the princess has matured. Wren’s spirit refuses to remain the lost bird she became at age twelve. With the aid of the cook and the cook’s son, Wren discovers her unknown dexterity in sword fighting. With it, she believes a new community in which to live will open up but is this young girl prepared to encounter deceptive ghosts, angels, and demons in the maze of the forest to attain her aim?

Click here for your copy.

About The Author

Charmayne Hafen is a graduate of John Brown University and has her masters in counseling from the Denver Seminary. Her love of Celtic mythology in Christian themes inspired her to write her debut Young Adult novel, Indebted: The Berkshire Dragon. She is a fan of the author, Stephen Lawhead.

She has written several short stories for children, teens, and adults, as well as the fantasy trilogy being published in 2020 by Capture Books, called, The Land of Twilight. She is currently working on the development of her sequel to The Berkshire Dragon.
Charmayne has a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and psychology as well as a Master of Arts degree in counseling. When she’s not writing, Charmayne is running counseling groups for adults and a therapeutic photography group for teens. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband John and her two chihuahuas, Pepe and Frida.

More from Charmayne

Hello, Readers, Educators, Book Reviewers and Celebrate Lit Bloggers!
Although I am new to a lot of social media, I have heard that your group is a fantastic resource to new authors. Being a little bit of an introvert, you might even call me reluctant or a slow starter, but I assure you that I can imagine strategies and battle in the heavenlies for readers’ minds with the best of ’em. I say, “Let’s go!”
Please feel free to connect with me on any social media platform, or to write to me directly. I have loved engaging with anyone who has read my book and has sent me a comment or question. Because Indebted was published, I was thrilled to be able to speak to a group of college students taking coursework in literature and writing at Texas Tech last year.
I love facilitating creative writing seminars especially speaking to authors about how to join a system of discipline and creativity to overcome writer’s block.
My hope, however, is to be able to engage more students in elementary school and junior high about the topics in my books because I write about the things facing young people with a certain perspective that the Lord sees them right where they are, that God actually cares deeply for them, and that He has answers for them. These answers include that Jesus paid the penalty for a kid’s lying, bullying, violence, disbelief, envy, and rebellion and that bringing them to back to God means that they get to be adopted into His kingdom as princes and princesses.
I hope that my books provide that suspension of disbelief needed for us all to see the possibility of walking in faith with others in traumatic times and to experience the wonders of God’s word to us.
Sincerely and Gratefully,
Charmayne

Author Q&A

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I have been writing since the age of 10, journaling about love and loss in my fourth-grade class. My mom and dad gave me a typewriter for Christmas that year and I went around pretending to be a reporter. I loved writing. I found that my writing was more clear and confident than when I spoke.

Why did you choose the fantasy genre?

I love to imagine what could be. This genre allows me to let my imagination run wild and free. I am fascinated by the mystical and mysterious.

What types of research do you pursue?

Books, on-site visits, etc. I primarily use historical or travel websites as well as on line encyclopedias. 

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

I’m so glad you asked this question because you gave me a way to discuss what I call the “Discipline Of Creativity,” the necessary steps to create a lifestyle of creativity. One of the points in my lecture is a discussion of the ritual I like to create before I write. This ritual includes five minutes of coloring before writing while listening, each time, to the same soundtrack. I continue to listen to the soundtrack while writing for 25 minutes. I sometimes write twice in one day but usually just 25 minutes a day. I write about one and a half books a year although this year I wrote two books in less than a year.

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

I want my readers to come away with a sense of hope from the fact that we are never alone when we belong to Jesus Christ. I also hope they get the message that we need each other on this dysfunctional planet. 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, January 22

For The Love Of Literature, January 23

Just the Write Escape, January 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 25

Mamma Loves Books, January 26

Wishful Endings, January 26 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 27

By The Book, January 28 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, January 29

Inklings and notions, January 30

A Baker’s Perspective, January 31 (Author Interview)

Seasons of Opportunities, February 1

Blogging With Carol, February 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 3

Artistic Nobody, February 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Charmayne is giving away the grand prize of a pillow made with one of the illustrations!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click HERE to enter.

 

Kingdom Come Blog Tour!

1 Aug

justread_kingdomcomeBlog

Welcome to Kingdom Come Series by Cecelia Earl Blog Tour with JustRead Publicity Tour. 

ABOUT THE SERIES

Title: Kingdom Come
Author: Cecelia Earl
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

When Ash Rain DownWhen Ash Rains Down, Book 1

Angels are real.
So are demons.

Shady Creek gets a whole lot scarier after Julia learns she’s part angel, especially since the only person she can trust is an angel who’s as infuriating as he is attractive.

Julia received a necklace containing the songs of the angels from her dad when she was four. When she was eleven, he abandoned her family and the necklace went silent. At seventeen, Julia’s doing everything she can to maintain security for her family, but now her necklace seems to have come to life once again. And that’s not all that’s changing.

When a robber attempts to steal from their diner, the necklace blazes and burns her chest. Pain in her back is nearly unbearable as the thief transforms before her eyes… into something demonic.

Demon after demon threaten Julia’s home, family, and friends, and she realizes there may have been something more behind her dad’s disappearance. And now there may be something–or someone–dangerous after her.

Julia has to accept that she is not quite human. Will her infuriating but attractive Guardian Angel be able to prepare her for the battle to come?

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | BAM!


When Smoke Rains DownWhen Smoke Rains Down, Book 2

If only humans knew the invisible danger lurking around them…

In the aftermath of an explosion and Homecoming battle, Julia tries to form some semblance of a routine: work, study, and visit her brother who remains hospitalized. Unable to confide in anyone about her double life of being both human and angel, and fearful she’ll bring more death and destruction to those she loves, she pulls away from her family and best friend.

When demons once again start to show up at every turn, seemingly bringing about her brother’s deepening depression, she demands her sword from Nicholas. Ever the stern Guardian Angel, he forbids her from using it. Isolated, she takes protecting her brother into her own hands. But when demons show they have evils hidden within their weapons in addition to their ability to siphon souls from the living, Julia’s not sure she knows the best way to handle saving him any longer. Especially when ash-colored lines begin to appear on humans, lines of demonic poison that travel through their veins toward their hearts and alter their moods.

Thrust into a dark world of conspiring demons, Julia is in more danger than she ever imagined possible. To stop evil from spreading and overtaking those she loves, she’ll have to seek out the one person she mistrusts most–especially when a line appears on her own arm, and her apathy toward doing much of anything, including saving anyone, grows.

Enter a complex world where humans, demons, and angels collide, all battling to rule the Earth.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | BAM!


When Fire Rains DownWhen Fire Rains Down, Book 3

Hell is nothing like Julia imagined and beyond everything she feared.

The little town of Shady Creek is under attack by Lucifer and his demons. To save the people she loves, human-angel Hybrid Julia must rescue their kidnapped Guardian Angels, even when it means defying her father.

Trouble is, he knows only too much about Hell’s perils. When a demon sucks Julia into a cosmic vacuum, the experience leaves an indelible blight she dares not mention for fear of losing her place on the angelic rescue team.

As a growing demon army surrounds Shady Creek, Julia’s feelings for her own Guardian become all too real and dangerous. But the cosmic imbalance fueled by Hybrid Angels, Rogue Guardians and Warriors is already depleting the strength of the rescue team. And there’s no room for distraction when the mission is to get into Hell—and out again.

For the sake of the mission, Julia must face the truth of the Hybrids’ existence. Because nobody will be safe unless she can trust the gift of free will—for others and for herself—in this end-of-the-world finale to The Legend of Shady Creek Trilogy.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Excerpt from When Fire Rains Down

Julia,” he says while walking away from me. My heart races, waiting to know what he’s thinking, what he’ll say next. I scramble after him, my plate flipping, grapes and bread littering the picnic blanket. He rests his hand on the trunk of a tree. His skin is pale in comparison to the rough, dark bark. The river never wavers. The sound of it rushing past grows louder. I have to strain to hear Nicholas from where I stand at his back, too afraid to face him. “I’m sorry,” he finishes.

“Sorry? For what? Protecting me? Caring?”

He lets out a short, humorless laugh. “Caring. I should be sorry for that.” He shakes his head. “But no, for being selfish.”

He pushes off the tree and faces me. I step toward him. We are inches away from one another. I look up into his face and he tilts his head down, locking eyes with mine. I can hardly breathe remembering the kiss we shared not so long ago. I want to kiss him again in this moment, but instead, I ask rather breathily, “What?”

He reaches for my hand. His touch is electric. “I never asked you, never asked anyone if you wanted to be on this mission. I chose, but never asked.”

“We wouldn’t have said no, any one of us. We knew we had the right to refuse. The asking was implied.”

“Was it?” He squeezes my hand.

I nod while inhaling and lick my lips.

“Would you have refused, been honest, if you’d wanted to?”

“Well, yes. Of course.” I can’t stop looking at his lips, so full and soft looking. I want to get lost in them, in this moment of honesty and openness. I want to act on what I’m feeling.

“You’re not… you’re not just doing this because your dad doesn’t want you to?”

At this, I stumble backward, ripping my hand out of his. “What? How could you— Do you really think that?”

He looks horrified by my reaction and reaches out for me. “No, Julia, I—”

“You what? Just had to check, because all this time, I seemed like some kid who does things, at highly improbably life and death moments, to spite my parents?”

I take off through the grass, following the river back toward the Training Ground. He doesn’t respond, but I can feel him racing after me. What is wrong with me? Giving in to my attraction for him? A ridiculous picnic at a time when all Hell is breaking loose? For what? To appease his nerves? “This was a bad idea,” I call over my shoulder. “And you’re right, it was selfish.”

He catches up to me and grabs my arm to hold me in place. “Julia, stop. You underestimate the power of free will. I had to know you were freely choosing this mission. It might not have a happy ending.”

“Well, you can rid yourself of your guilty conscience. My death, if it comes to that, won’t be on your shoulders. Rest assured, this is what I choose, because I have been training hard and I’m ready to fight. I’m not yours to protect anymore. I am a Warrior and I will save my brother and die trying to rescue the Guardians.” I shake him off me. “Leave me alone. I don’t need you to guard me anymore.”

He doesn’t let go. He turns me toward him, tips my chin up, forcing me to look him in the eye when I refuse. His green eyes are dark as emeralds, as he says, “It’s not just about guarding you anymore. You’re more to me than a simple charge. I think you know that.”

I lean into him and whisper, narrowing my eyes. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I shake him off and race toward home. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author-bio-pic-2Cecelia Earl graduated with a degree in education and has been teaching ever since. She’s a wife, a mom of three boys, and an owner of a magical laundry pile that never stops growing. She lives near enough to Green Bay, WI that her refrigerator is always stocked with cheese, and the first colors her children learned were green and gold.

She’s a first grade teacher in a Catholic school by day, a mom always, and a writer in her sleep, but that’s okay because being an author is a dream come true. She writes angel fantasy books for young and youngish adults. If you feel young, she writes for you–whether or not you feel particularly angelic.

TO CONNECT WITH CECELIA:  website,  facebook, twitterinstagrampinterest,  goodreads


GIVEAWAY

The author has graciously offered a lovely prize pack for (1) winner!

just read giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below.  Complete prize open to US mailing addresses only. Gift card open internationally.  For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


TOUR SCHEDULE

For the full tour schedule, click on either of the launch pages below.
(All stops expected to post by 11:00 AM EST)

Launch Page @JustReadTours
Launch Page @JustCommonly

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

Book Review: Prophet

22 Mar

Ela Roeh of Parne doesn’t understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She’s undignified and bad-tempered, and at age seventeen she’s much too young. In addition, no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as Parne’s elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite’s prophet, Ela knows she will die young.

Yet she can’t imagine living without Him. Determined to hear the Infinite’s voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite’s word to a nation torn apart by war. There she meets a young ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela battles how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.

R. J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals and is suspected of eating chocolate and potato chips for lunch while writing. She lives in Colorado with her husband and their two sons. The Books of the Infinite series marked her debut in the fantasy genre.

My Impressions:

I lead a Faith And Fiction Bible study/bookclub at my church and am always on the lookout for Christian fiction that will compliment what we are studying. As part of a survey of Old Testament prophets, I chose Prophet, a fantasy by R. J. Larson.  The author took her inspiration for main character Ela Roeh from Jeremiah 1 and Ezekiel 2, so I knew it would be a great addition to discussion. What I didn’t know, but soon found out, was that Prophet is an engaging read that appeals to all ages. I loved the unique, yet familiar, world that Larson has created in this first book in the Books of The Infinite series. If you like fantasy with a Christian influence, this one is for you.

The world in which Ela Roeh of Parne inhabits is filled with unusual and often deadly beasts, people with their own agendas, and the ever present voice of the Infinite. Ela is not only young, but the first girl the Infinite has chosen to speak for Him. His message is repent and return, which she dutifully shares. Yet Ela struggles with doubts, insecurities, and grief over an unresponding audience. Larson made me view OT prophets in a new way through Ela’s character. I looked beyond their stern warnings and pronouncements to the heart that they had for God and His people. The story is one adventure after another, but flows with the purpose given by the Infinite. There is plenty of action for those who like battles and intrigue, yet there is a sense of lightness and humor that help keep this one from being too heavy. I liked the subtle references to the Bible that Larson includes. You can hear the voice of God in the messages of the Infinite. There are a few hidden touches as well. I didn’t realize until deeper into my study of the Biblical record that Ela’s last name is inspired by the Hebrew word for vision. Pretty cool!

Prophet is a well-written fantasy, yet I believe has a wider appeal. Its themes also make it a great book for book clubs. It is also just the first book for Ela and other characters I came to love. I look forward to visiting Ela’s world again.

Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: YA and adults.

To purchase, click HERE. (It is currently free for Kindle Unlimited.)

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: The Golden Braid

3 Dec

Golden-BraidThe one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower…

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.

Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.

The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

MDickerson-339Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer’s Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

My Impressions:

I loved fairy tales as a child. I can remember the kids in the neighborhood acting out the stories that our parents read to us at bedtime. Nowadays (don’t I sound old!) children don’t know the old classics except through animated movies. That’s why think Melanie Dickerson’s retelling of old favorites is such a great idea — introduce a young adult audience to the fairy tale experience with a spiritual foundation. The Golden Braid brings to life the story of Rapunzel, she of the very long hair. Yet in this story more than just the damsel in distress needs saving. A fresh twist on a classic gets this book a recommended rating from me.

Rapunzel has moved from village to village with her adopted mother, never staying long in any one place. They are always viewed as outsiders, but Rapunzel has never questioned Mother’s actions until now. The rules are tightening on Rapunzel, and she dreams of a freedom she has never known. After meeting a handsome, yet irritating, knight, Rapunzel dares to live her life unfettered by restrictions.

Rapunzel is an interesting character: a bit naive, completely innocent to the dangers of the world, yet hungry for knowledge. Her desire to read the Holy Writ opens up new ideas for her, especially the nature of God as a loving Father, something she has never known. As she learns God’s truth, she yearns for the secrets in her own life to be exposed. The handsome and tough Sir Gerek is also a complex character who learns that man’s plans are not always the way God wants things to go. Both of these characters grow in their understanding and faith as the story progresses and provide valuable insights. In fact, I think The Golden Braid would make a great choice for a high school-aged book club. Dickerson creates a richly detailed medieval world full of superstitions and old wives tales that perfectly fits the fairy tale setting. Many characters from previous books make appearances too  — a real plus for her fans.

All in all, The Golden Braid is a great read and would make a fabulous Christmas gift for the YA girl in your life!

Recommended.

Audience: high school ages and up.

To purchase this book, click HERE

(Thanks to LitFuse and Thomas Nelson for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

Book Review: Merlin’s Nightmare

27 Aug

735093Haunted by the past, chased by the present.

Arthur is now eighteen, and Merlin, tired of hiding and running from his enemies, wants nothing more than to spend his days with his family and train Arthur for his rightful place as king. But when Arthur goes missing, a desperate Merlin must abandon all other quests to find him before a shadowy pursuer catches Arthur first.

Having everything to fight for, and almost nothing to fight with, Merlin and Arthur must rally Britain’s warriors against three overwhelming enemies: Saxenow hordes in the south, Picti raiders in the north, and a chilling new enemy that has arisen in the west.

At the same time, Mórgana brings Merlin’s deepest fear to life and sets a horde of werewolves loose to destroy Britain. But when the secret purpose of this nightmare is finally revealed, will Merlin and Arthur find a way to survive—without unleashing an even greater evil?

 

My Impressions:

Robert Treskillard‘s Merlin Spiral is an outstanding series featuring meticulous research of Britain in the 5th century AD — language, customs, warfare — as well as the traditions of the Arthurian legends he uses as its foundation. I am going to leave it to others on the tour to discuss the symbolic and spiritual aspects of the book. What impressed me the most is that Merlin’s Nightmare is a man’s book. Yes, there is a lot of warfare described in bloody, if not gory detail, but it is the strong male characters and their development that stand out the most. In this time of marginalization of men, when even TV commercials depict men as silly and weak, it is refreshing to see men acting like men, real men.

First there is Merlin, a now experienced leader and advisor. He is also a committed man — to family, country and king. He struggles with fears (don’t we all) and is reluctant to face them head on. But it is his commitment to God’s will and leadership in his life that causes Merlin to step beyond himself, his yearning for peace and comfort, and into the purposes and plans placed before him.

Arthur is now an eighteen year old — brash, reckless and a bit naive. His emotions spur him into action. But as the book progresses, Arthur learns the true costs of being a man. He has to make tough decisions and put others ahead of himself. Although he has a long way to go, this servant-king is committed to his people.

Commitment is the keyword for Merlin’s Nightmare. Loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness are on display, and what great lessons for the young men in our lives. There are some great female characters as well, but in this book the men shine. So go out and get all three books in The Merlin Spiral and make sure your sons and daughters read them. Girls need to know what real men look like too! 😉

Highly Recommended. 

Audience: Young adults and adults

(Thanks to Blink in conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour for a review copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

 

CSFF Blog Tour Participants:

Jeff Chapman
Vicky DealSharingAunt
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Emileigh Latham
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Robert Treskillard
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams

CSFF Blog Tour Day 2 — Merlin’s Blade and Merlin’s Shadow

26 Aug

The CSFF Blog Tour is featuring Merlin’s Nightmare by Robert Treskillard. The third book in the Merlin’s Spiral series, it could be read as a standalone. Robert does a good job catching the reader up on all the action from the previous 2 books. But . . . I really think you should start with book 1 first and then proceed to book 2 before reading Merlin’s Nightmare. Below you will find the blurbs on the books and links to my reviews.

 

73507xMerlin’s Blade. A strange meteorite. A deadly enchantment. And only Merlin can destroy it. A meteorite brings a mysterious black stone whose sinister power ensnares everyone except Merlin, the blind son of a swordsmith. Soon, all of Britain will be under its power, and he must destroy the stone—or die trying.

My Review

 

 

 

 

735083Merlin’s Shadow. After destroying the sinister Druid Stone and freeing his people from its dark control, Merlin finds himself to be a royal advisor without a king. Along with his friend Garth and Natalenya, his betrothed, Merlin treks north with the orphaned Arthur in hopes of keeping the young ruler safe from soldiers misled by their turncoat captain. Relentlessly pursued by his nemesis Vortigern, Merlin and his band make for the fortress of Dintaga.

But dangers multiply when Merlin realizes that Vortigern is not his only enemy. Even his own sister appears bent on Merlin’s destruction. As the threat on all their lives increases, Merlin discovers their only hope is sailing to the lands of eternal darkness and once again cleansing the world from an ancient and powerful evil.

My Review

 

CSFF Participants

Jeff Chapman
Vicky DealSharingAunt
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Emileigh Latham
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Robert Treskillard
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams

Christian Science Fiction And Fantasy Blog Tour — Merlin’s Nightmare

25 Aug

This month the folks at the CSFF Blog Tour are featuring Merlin’s Nightmare, the third and final installment in Robert Treskillard’s YA fantasy series, The Merlin Spiral.  Tomorrow I will highlight books 1 and 2, and then on Wednesday I will post my review. In the meantime, make sure to look at the book blurb and author info., and of course, all the participants on the tour.

735093Haunted by the past, chased by the present.

Arthur is now eighteen, and Merlin, tired of hiding and running from his enemies, wants nothing more than to spend his days with his family and train Arthur for his rightful place as king. But when Arthur goes missing, a desperate Merlin must abandon all other quests to find him before a shadowy pursuer catches Arthur first.

Having everything to fight for, and almost nothing to fight with, Merlin and Arthur must rally Britain’s warriors against three overwhelming enemies: Saxenow hordes in the south, Picti raiders in the north, and a chilling new enemy that has arisen in the west.

At the same time, Mórgana brings Merlin’s deepest fear to life and sets a horde of werewolves loose to destroy Britain. But when the secret purpose of this nightmare is finally revealed, will Merlin and Arthur find a way to survive—without unleashing an even greater evil?

 

 

1u5alhtqntqi0oujr6ggRobert Treskillard, a Celtic enthusiast who has been crafting stories from his early youth, is a software developer, graphic artist, and sometime bladesmith. He and his wife have three children and are still homeschooling their youngest. They live in the country outside St. Louis, Missouri. It all began when Robert’s son wanted to learn blacksmithing and sword-making. The two set out to learn the crafts and in the process were told by a relative that they were descended from a Cornish blacksmith. This lit the fire of Robert’s imagination, and so welding his Celtic research to his love of the legends of King Arthur, a book was forged—Merlin’s Blade, book one of The Merlin Spiral, now published by BLINK Young Adult Books and available wherever books are sold.

 

To purchase Merlin’s Nightmare, click on the image below.

 

CSFF Participants
Jeff Chapman
Vicky DealSharingAunt
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Emileigh Latham
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Robert Treskillard
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams

Book Review: The Word Changers

21 Aug

A place where words can change an entire world . . . 

Escaping from the turmoil of a broken family, fifteen-year-old Posy finds herself at her usual haunt … the library. This time, though, when she chooses an unfamiliar book from the shelf, she does not devour its words and pages as she usually does.

Its words devour her.

thewordchangerscoverartfinalPosy is pulled into the pages of a fairy tale, even mistaken for one of its characters. But all is far from perfect in this story’s Kingdom. Characters are whispering of rebellion against both their Plot and the deadly king who has seized control of it. And Posy must find a lost princess whose role in the story is crucial before her own story comes to a horrible end …

With the proud and haughty Prince Kyran as a reluctant companion, Posy ventures past the Borders of the Plot, into the depths of the gloomy and treacherous Wild Land forest that lies beyond. Secrets are buried there. Dark mysteries and shadowy creatures, dangerous and deadly.

Yet the deadliest danger of all is the one that Posy carries
within herself.

Soon it is clear that finding the lost princess is the least of Posy’s concerns. The Author of the book must be found. His Plot must be put to rights again, his characters reminded of who they were first created to be. Only then will the True Story be written, both for Posy, and for the tale she has now become a part of.

Courage and forgiveness are needed for Posy to find her way home again. But bitterness and shadows haunt her every step of the way.

 

7849640Ashlee Willis is the author of fantasy for young adults. She lives in the heart of Missouri with her husband and young son. While most of her days are balanced between writing, reading and homeschooling, she also finds time to enjoy tea with friends, forest walks, photography, and piano playing.

 

My Impressions:

Can a story be changed by its characters? Or does the author have the final say in how a story ends? These are some of the questions that Ashlee Willis poses in her debut YA fantasy/allegory, The Word Changers. An interesting concept wrapped in a fairytale setting, this novel should appeal especially to middle school and younger high school aged kids.

Posy is facing problems at home. Her parents are constantly fighting, and Posy and her younger sister are enduring the consequences. In an attempt to escape the turmoil at home, Posy flees to the library and the security found in a book. But Posy has no idea just what she’ll encounter within its pages. Finding herself literally in the midst of a story gone awry — missing and mutinous characters — Posy joins the Prince on a quest to restore order.

The Word Changers is filled with mythical beasts, talking owls, and characters determined to assert their own will on the Author’s Plot. There is a little bit of something for everyone — magic, battles, adventure and a little romance. It is also an allegorical look at life. Posy finds an Author that has not written a story and then left it alone, but an Author who loves his characters enough to let them make choices and impact the story. Posy also learns the power of love and mercy and how to apply it to her real world life. While the story bogged down a bit at the end and I would have liked a bit more emphasis on Posy’s real world, The Word Changers is, overall, a good debut.  Public school teachers: God is never mentioned by name in this book. An Author is, however. This one might be suitable for your classroom bookcase.

The Word Changers provides a lot to think about and is a good bet for your children ages 12 and up.

Recommended.

Audience: Ages 12+

Good for family reading.

(Thanks to the author for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

Christian Science Fiction And Fantasy Blog Tour — The Warden And The Wolf King by Andrew Peterson

22 Jul

The folks at The CSFF are touring Andrew Peterson’s latest offering in the Wingfeather Saga, The Warden And The Wolf King. I did not read this book, but want to make sure you find out all about it. Make sure to check out the book synopsis, author info and of course the links to other participants on the tour.

 

9c86dab387630aeaf362628bde976d194f7fd173All winter long, people in the Green Hollows have prepared for a final battle with Gnag the Nameless and the Fangs of Dang. Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli—Throne Warden, Wolf King, and Song Maiden of Anniera—are ready and willing to fight alongside the Hollowsfolk, but when the Fangs make the first move and invade Ban Rona, the children are separated. Janner is alone and lost in the hills; Leeli is fighting the Fangs from the rooftops of the city; and Kalmar, who carries a terrible secret, is on a course for the Deeps of Throg. Meanwhile in Skree, Sara Cobbler and Maraly Weaver care for the broken Artham Wingfeather as Fangs muster for battle across the Mighty River Blapp.

Sea dragons lurk in the waters. Wicked Stranders crawl through the burrows. Ridgerunners and trolls prowl the land. Cloven haunt the forest. Monsters and Fangs and villains lie between the children and their only hope of victory—in the epic conclusion of The Wingfeather Saga.

 

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

 

 

bioThe son of a pastor, Andrew Peterson spent his childhood in the rural farm town of Monticello, Illinois. Peterson’s family relocated to Florida when he was seven. His parents originated from that state. After living outside of Jacksonville for a few years, his family settled in Lake Butler. Peterson graduated from Florida Christian College in 1997. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Jamie, sons Aedan and Asher, and daughter Skye.

 

CSFF Blog Tour Participants

Keanan Brand
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Rachel Starr Thomson
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler

Book Review: Merlin’s Shadow

18 Dec

735083Betrayal. 

After destroying the sinister Druid Stone and freeing his people from its dark control, Merlin finds himself to be a royal advisor without a king. Along with his friend Garth and Natalenya, his betrothed, Merlin treks north with the orphaned Arthur in hopes of keeping the young ruler safe from soldiers misled by their turncoat captain. Relentlessly pursued by his nemesis Vortigern, Merlin and his band make for the fortress of Dintaga.

But dangers multiply when Merlin realizes that Vortigern is not his only enemy. Even his own sister appears bent on Merlin’s destruction. As the threat on all their lives increases, Merlin discovers their only hope is sailing to the lands of eternal darkness and once again cleansing the world from an ancient and powerful evil.

1u5alhtqntqi0oujr6ggRobert Treskillard (from his website) is a Celtic enthusiast who holds a B.A. in Biblical & Theological Studies from Bethel University, Minnesota.  He has been crafting stories from his early youth, is a software developer, graphic artist, and sometime bladesmith.  He and his wife have three children and are still homeschooling their youngest. They live in the country outside St. Louis, Missouri.

My Impressions:

Merlin’s Shadow is the second book in The Merlin Spiral series by Robert Treskillard. Using a framework of Arthurian legend and Druid mythology, the book presents a tale of Merlin’s early protection of the young King Arthur. Orphaned through the betrayal of his uncle, Arthur is rescued by Merlin and a diverse group (bards, Christians, druids, and warriors) all with Arthur’s survival as their focus. Forced from their home to a strange and dark land, the band meets with treachery and danger at every turn.

Merlin’s Shadow is a very dark book, not only in its setting, but in the evil that surrounds those seeking to kill Arthur. Faith in Christ is sorely tested and attacked. And while the character of Merlin is central to the story, it is his sister, Ganeida (Morgana) that I was drawn to. A young girl at the beginning of the story, she is lured into evil by her grandfather and a mysterious Voice that provides her with visions and power. I found her story very compelling, even as she sinks deeper and deeper under the thrall of evil.

If you like Arthurian legends and are looking for something that presents a new twist, then I recommend you try Merlin’s Shadow. But be sure to read book 1, Merlin’s Blade first.

(Thanks to the CSFF Blog Tour for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

For what others on the tour are saying, click on the links below.

Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Jeff Chapman
Pauline Creeden
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Jennette Mbewe
Amber McCallister
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Jalynn Patterson
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jacque Stengl
Jojo Sutis
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler
Deborah Wilson