Sunday, August 13, 2017

Exiles: Exclusive Excerpt

Ok, so it may or may not be an exclusive excerpt, but I love alliteration. How can you blame me? 

Keep reading, though. This is not a post you'll want to miss.



My friend Jaye L. Knight just released her newest novel! And it all happened on my birthday -- August 11th! How convenient, wouldn't you think? *winks* Exiles is the fourth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles, which is basically one of the best fantasy series EVER. I highly recommend to one and all. Read this series. You will not regret it.

Also: LINK TO GIVEAWAY BELOW!


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Cover. *drools* Each time Jaye releases the cover art for the next Ilyon book... wow. They just keep getting better. I can't wait to get my hands on this amazing novel.


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 ValcrĂ©, 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!

goodreads


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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A Rafflecopter Giveaway - Click Here


If you happen to be one of those people who have never heard of the Ilyon Chronicles, well, it's your lucky day! Jaye is holding a sale on the first three books on Kindle! The sale lasts until the 14th (tomorrow) so head over to Amazon and get your copies now! 


Well, there you are, folks! *waves goodbye*

*crickets*

Did I forget something?

Oh, right! You all came here for an excerpt. *grins* Ta-da!

Le excerpt:

Leetra crossed her arms and surveyed the gathering. She used to enjoy these parties . . . years ago. As a child, she’d raced around with Talas and their other family and friends getting into all sorts of mischief. Something about the nighttime air, bonfire, and music always put them in a rowdy mood. A smile tugged at her lips when she spotted a couple of her siblings dashing past just as she had once done. One of her little sisters let out a squeal, and she laughed.

But it caught in her throat when she spotted Timothy nearby. She narrowed her eyes. Two young crete women stood talking to him. One, a girl even more petite than Leetra, with the largest and most brilliant green eyes she had ever seen, giggled and gazed at Timothy adoringly. He smiled kindly at them but didn’t appear entirely comfortable. Leetra rolled her eyes with a huff and determined to ignore them, setting her attention on the nearby dancers. Five seconds later, her gaze shifted back to the trio.

She wasn’t jealous. No. Those girls just didn’t know half the man Timothy was. But who cared? She didn’t . . . she really didn’t. She stiffened, her blood zinging through her veins. What if he was doing this purposely to make her jealous? Yet, the thought died instantly, along with her ire. Timothy wouldn’t do that. Falcor might have, but Timothy? Never.

The musicians started a new song. One of her favorites, actually, before memories of Falcor had tainted it. She scowled. She’d sworn never to dance to it again . . . but . . .

She grumbled to herself. Fine. She would save Timothy from an uncomfortable situation and that was it. It wouldn’t mean anything. After this, he was on his own. If he didn’t avoid the girls, that was his problem.

About the Author
JayeAuthor2015
Jaye 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 websiteblogFacebookTwitter, and Etsy.



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Snow White Snippets

Let me tell you, honestly. My Little Writer is not happy with me. Not in the least. This summer has NOT gone the way it was supposed to. 

First off, I was supposed to be continuing edits on Secret of the Hazel Tree. And let me see... haven't touched it all summer. 

I was also supposed to be finishing up the rough draft for Spindle Dreams. Uhh... well, I opened up the doc a few times in the last couple of months.

And, I was planning on finishing the first draft of the second Dragon Tamer book by Christmas. Hmmm... oh! I did work on that one a little bit at the beginning of the summer.

What was NOT on the agenda was a Snow White retelling. 

Well, yes. You see this happened...



And then this happened... 



And then it was all downhill from there.

And so, while my Little Writer is fuming at me, I'm going to take this opportunity to share a few snippets. I may do an informational post about the story sometime soon (maybe a character post as well), but for now - here's snippets from Snow and Copper (title change very probable, since I don't have anything about snow in the actual story).

Ahem, anyway.


~*~*~*~

Gwen Weiss was the only child at Lohr Manor to grow up never having worked in the copper mines. It wasn’t that she couldn’t work; she was just the daughter of the late Lord Weiss, and such a privilege tended to hinder the need to work. No one would allow her to step into the mines anyway, much to her chagrin. Having the heir to the largest estate in Ebbenhout killed in a cave-in or other mining disaster was not a risk anyone wanted to take. 



Gwen, however, liked to keep busy. By seventeen, she’d already read all of the interesting books in her father’s old library, learned how to bake seven different kinds of cake, knitted thirty-nine and a half scarves, and basically run out of new things to do at home. So that’s why she was currently chasing little Adva out of the road. 


~*~*~*~

Isaak and Katrin hurried away, leaving Gwen alone with a spoon, a boiling pot of potato stew, and two shouting children. Thankfully, Rochen and Adva were content to resume their chase around the maze of tables and chairs. The problems of grownups were hardly worth fussing over at their age, but Gwen couldn’t hold down the irritation rising in her heart. With one last glance to ascertain Rochen and Adva were fine, she stomped back to the kitchen and plunged the spoon into the heart of the stew. The mines technically were hers. It wasn’t fair that she was the only person on the entire manor not to have even seen them. 


She sloshed the spoon violently around in the pot, sending splashes of stew into the fire below with each turn. Turning eighteen would do a lot more for her than simply getting her inheritance. She was going to enjoy her new title and the new power it came with as much as she could. 


“One more month,” she muttered to herself. “And then they can’t deny me anymore.” 

~*~*~*~

Gwen woke the next morning to the unpleasing sound of rain beating against the window. Isaak had been right. She scowled. 

Of course, he’s always right. 


~*~*~*~

Gwen leaned back in her chair, wondering what to do next. That was the problem with being rich; there were often too many things to do and look at in one’s house that it became very boring very quickly. Guess it’s back to the library, then.

~*~*~*~

A soft laugh came from the closet. “Then it is Gwen. Do come in, and let me see you.”

Gwen reached for the closet door and slowly swung it open. She wasn’t sure exactly what to expect and, truthfully, what she saw was the last thing she had ever dreamed to expect.

The closet was empty save for a large mirror standing upright against the far wall. It was taller than Gwen and looked old - very old. Thick, gold trim encased the edges and delicate designs had been carved into the metal, making it even more beautiful. If it had been a normal mirror, Gwen should have been easily able to see her entire body in the glass; but this was not a normal mirror. Instead of her own reflection looking back at her, when she looked into the mirror she saw the face and form of a strange woman.

~*~*~*~

God bless!


Monday, June 5, 2017

The Adventure Continues...

This is the (long overdue) story of how I lost my boyfriend. 

But don't worry! This is actually a very fun story, and the truth is - it's not all mine. It's only half mine.

After coming through a rather long and complicated process which brought me to dating the most wonderful guy on the planet, I spent 15 happy months calling him my boyfriend (In case you forgot, I'm talking about Jed/Jonathon). It was a busy time, considering we were both still in school, but it was tons of fun. We double-dated a few times with some friends and also attended a few events on campus together, but we never had an official, just-us-off-campus date. Not one real date in 15 months. Jed's work and the importance of homework made it difficult for us to go off-campus together, so we'd allowed 15 months to slip by before we realized we'd never really had a first date together. 

Jed decided to fix this. "Let's have lunch some Saturday," he suggested. "We'll go off-campus, just the two of us, and bring a picnic to the park." 

I liked the idea. After a long and stressful week of school, I needed a break. In one of my classes, I had a group project the size of Chicago looming over me, and while I had amazing team members (astonishing, yes, for a group project), we were presenting a month's worth of research, collaboration, and brain power the following Tuesday. Was I nervous?

You bet. A lunch date was just the thing to get my brain to relax... if only for a little bit. 

Jed picked the Saturday, and we began to make simple lunch plans. I warned him that I had a project meeting with my group at 12:30pm, but I didn't think it would be too much of an issue to get back by that time. 

I should have suspected something fishy was up when Jed picked me up wearing a blue shirt. Most of his t-shirts (for whatever reason) are bright red, and (outside of his work uniform) he doesn't typically wear any other color. He's just a guy who likes red. Several weeks previous to this particular Saturday, he had put on a dark blue shirt and I had commented that I really liked him in blue. And apparently he had remembered that. Well, in addition to the blue shirt, he'd shaved (which he never does on a Saturday) and was wearing his good sneakers (the ones without the holes). I was impressed, but I figured he wanted to look good for our first real date. 

Me, on the other hand... well, I didn't dress up. I'd stumbled out of bed that morning and didn't feel like doing anything extravagant. So, I stuck on a comfy blue t-shirt and a pair of jean capris. It was rather warm outside, so I had a pair of flip-flops complete the ensemble. 

I was probably more interested in the food Jed had picked up for our date lunch more than the clothes we were wearing. If there is any truth that is more universally acknowledged than that of a single man in want of a wife, it is that hungry men should never go shopping. Hello, proud new owner of aisle 4. 

"I got some meat and a jar of pickles for you," Jed told me. 

Pickles are amazing. Seriously. Pick up one of those big jars of whole dill pickles from Walmart and my brother and I could down it in one day. Needless to say, I was rather excited about that. A whole, big wonderful jar of dill pickles. I had the best boyfriend ever.

But the meat? Jed's "some meat" turned out to be a bag of pepperonis, a summer sausage, and a package of black forest ham lunch meat. If that isn't the definition of a hungry man going shopping, I don't know what is. 

So, armed with our pickles and "some meat" we drove off to the park. To be honest, I had quite a few curious stares as I walked through park carrying a gigantic jar of pickles, but I just smiled back. 

Jed picked a spot by a small waterfall, and we set up the blanket and got the lunch out. I ate a small handful of pepperonis before Jed offered me a pickle. Boy howdy, was that thing good! Even though there was a full jar sitting beside me, I was determined to enjoy that pickle as long as possible. 

I ate it very slowly. 

Jed, on the other hand, ate pepperonis and pickles so quickly I thought he might get indigestion. I'm not sure how much he'd eaten when he finally stopped and looked at me. I was still munching on my pickle, content to savor it. It was the first time in about three weeks that I had gotten to just sit with him and talk and have fun. Forget the meeting I had at 12:30. I wanted to make this moment last as long as possible.

Jed, however, did not want it to last as long as possible. 

"Aren't you almost done yet?" he asked. "You eat pickles really slowly."

I only grinned and took another small nibble. Yes, I am a rebel at heart. 

"I wanted to give you something," he continued, and I must confess my heart jumped at that point. My first thought was, Is it a ring? But I quickly stomped down on that. 

Of course it wasn't a ring. He couldn't give me a ring yet. Neither one of us wanted to be engaged for longer than six months, and the earliest possibility for a wedding that we had discussed was in December of this year. It was still April. April 22nd, as a matter of fact. Do the math, folks. April to December isn't 6 months - no matter how you stretch it. Did I want a ring? I'd known for a solid 10 months that this was the guy I wanted to marry. Duh. But there was no way I was getting a ring until at least June. 

Calming my racing heart by taking another bite of pickle, I watched him reach into his backpack. Then I started laughing. 

My freshman year of college I had begun an odd collection of lost bobby pins. See, the poor fellows were abandoned and lost in every place conceivable. I used to watch for them on the sidewalks and try to see how many lost bobby pins I could spot in one day until I gave that up and began picking them up instead. A few of my friends caught the excitement, and they began collecting them for me. Three years later, we'd collected over 1,000 bobby pins from everywhere on campus (and off campus). Jed works on the custodial crew here at the university, so he'd come across zillions of bobby pins every day. Before he told me that he liked me, he would pick up bobby pins and stow them in his wallet. Then he'd give me one or two at a time, using them as an excuse to come over and see me at almost every meal. Bobby pins, since then, have become a natural part of our relationship. 

Now, Jed was pulling a small Starbucks frappuccino jar from the dark depths of his backpack - and the jar was full of bobby pins. 

(Sidenote: I don't wear the lost bobby pins we pick up. Bobby pins have never EVER stayed in my hair, so I've never truly ever bothered with them. I just call myself the bobby pin kleptomaniac, and it's a race to see how many I can find before I graduate college.) 

I admired the newest additions to my collection, and we talked for a bit about former bobby pins we'd picked up. Sweet reminiscence. And before I knew it, I had finished my pickle. 

Abruptly, he stood up. 

I looked up at him, confused. "Where are you going? We're not done eating yet." 

"I need you to do something for me."

"Sure. As long as it doesn't involve moving."

"Stand up."

I grimaced. Standing involved moving. "Do I have to?"

"Yes."

With some grumblings, I stood. "Now what?"

"Look at the falls," he said. "And don't turn around."

Ladies and gents, everything in me started going nuts all at once. What in the world is going on? There were way too many thoughts all at once, and I think my brain almost exploded. 

Then Jed walked up behind me and began whistling. 

The world stopped, but my heart was beating so hard I couldn't hear the roar of the falls over top of it. 

Now, a normal girl probably wouldn't react that way to a song being whistled. Jed often whistled as he walked, and I loved hearing it. It wasn't the fact that he was whistling that got me in a tizzy.

It was what he was whistling. 

Near the beginning of the year, I had mentioned to him that I loved the song "For the Dancing and the Dreaming" from HTTYD 2. It was just a really sweet song, and the lyrics absolutely made it. For those of you unfamiliar with this song, please click here. It's worth the 3 minutes. 

And because the lyrics are so beautiful, I'm going to post the last refrain here:


I’ll swim and sail on savage seas
With ne'er a fear of drowning,
And gladly ride the waves of life,
If you will marry me.

Jed was whistling that song. And then he jumped right into singing it to me - just as Stoick did to Valka. 

I couldn't believe it. No matter that Jed abruptly forgot the second word of the song as soon as he started singing. I sang with him, inside going mad the whole time. And somehow between the two of us, we managed it all right. 

But it was perfect. The first date, the pickles, the "some meat," the waterfall, the song. If I had picked out how I wanted to be proposed to, this would have been it. The song literally ends with a proposal!

I was so mad at him.

Did I need to remind him that it was still April?? December wasn't 6 months away yet! Outwardly, I was thoroughly enjoying the entire afternoon, but internally I was a mess. 

How can you do this to me? I fumed. It's too perfect a set-up. Jed, don't you dare propose and make me say no! I won't say how tempted I was to push him over the falls. I wanted so badly to turn around, face him, and tell him to stop. 

Jed finished the song. "Kirsten..." 

I couldn't help it. I turned around.

And he was on one knee with a box in his hand. 

"Will you marry me?"

My mind barely registered the silver glint in the box before I yelped out, "You don't have a date yet! What's the date?"

He only smiled. "June 24th." 

If the world had stopped before, now it simply exploded. June 24th??? As in NOT December?? As in JUNE?? 

I was thoroughly speechless, but I managed to squeak a little bit of voice out. I don't know if Jed heard it or not, but I think he could read the answer in my over-enthusiastic smile. 

"Yes."


And that's how I lost my boyfriend. But I gained a fiancĂ©. And I think that's so much better in so many ways. 


God bless!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

In Which the Royal Twins Answer Your Questions

We're back!

Greetings, friends. 

Nicoline, that sounds really stiff and pompous. 

Nicolas, it's nice to be proper sometimes.

But "sometimes" doesn't have to be this time.

*huffs* Anyway, Kiri is letting us borrow her computer...

Supervised.

... To write this blog post. A few weeks ago...

Weeks? It was like months ago!

... we asked for a few questions from you readers that my brother Nicolas and I could answer. 

And now we're answering them. Christine sent us a few, so we're going to jump right into those.

Already?

Sure. No sense in wasting time!




~*~ 

If you could do anything in the world, what would it be? (Other than flying in a balloon. *wink*)

I would journey all over Rohesia, and then take a grand tour and have adventures all over the world. 

If you're doing that, then I have to go with you.

Um, no.

Yes!

I have adventures with you here at home, and that's enough if you ask me.

Fine. Then I want to go to an isolated school in a foreign country and learn how to be an assassin. With a black cloak, daggers in my boots, and a lethal sword with a curved blade.


If you were allowed to name yourselves, would you change your names to something else?


Something dashing and daring. Like Redblade.

That sounds like a pirate name. I like my name now, but I wish people didn't have to call me "princess." I'd change that and have everyone call me "captain." Captain Nicoline Wolfking, heroine and adventurer extraordinaire. 

Why can't you make anything simple?


I know the whole kingdom is obsessed with roses, but what are YOUR opinions on them?


No.

I don't mind them, as they are kind of pretty...

No.

I don't like the way they smell.

No.

The thorns are fun to -- well, do stuff with.

NO.


If you could have a pet of any kind, what would you have?


A dragon.

No fair, Nicoline! That's what I wanted to say.

Need to answer faster next time, dear brother.

Fine. Then I'll say a walking and talking candelabra.

That's not an animal.

She said "pet" not "animal." And I can have a walking and talking candelabra if I want to.


What's your least favorite thing to do?


Formal dinners of state. Stiff and boring. Waste of time.

Sleeping.

What?

Sleeping's a waste of time, too. I wish we didn't have to sleep so there'd be more time to go out and have adventures.

You're weird, Nicoline.


What's your FAVORITE thing to do?


One-up Nicolas with a prank.

One-up Nicoline with a prank.

I'm better at it, though.

No you're not.

Sure I am, meatloaf.

... 

...

...

Hello, folks! Kiri here. The twins had a lot of fun answering these questions, but I'm afraid I had to edit a bit out there at the end before I posted this. Nicoline and Nicolas were... very energetic in typing out their last answer above. 

Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed this. The twins are asking me to promote their book again, so I'll offer a link to Amazon

And yes, it's available as a paperback and on the Kindle. 

And you should read it.

And share it with all your friends.

And family.

And your enemies, as well.

And yes, I'm also working on the sequel, Spindle Dreams

Sufferin' cats, I'd forgotten how bossy and demanding twins can be. 

God bless!