Author Archives: Michele Israel Harper

Five Reasons Why I Love Linneah: An Editor’s Perspective

I can’t even tell you how excited I am to be a part of J.M. Hackman’s blog tour for her new release, Spark!

(And I must say, it’s such fun to put down the pen of being an editor and simply bask in reading a story I love! It’s so good, you guys. So good.)

When Spark first crossed my desk, I knew we had to publish that book. It was incredible. Vivid characters, beautiful imagery, a fun and light read…Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing needed that book in our line-up.

And I was never so thrilled when J.M. Hackman agreed!

Then came the months of editing, working with formatters and cover designers, marketers and publicists.

And then we had a finished product. And I got to sit back and simply enjoy the story.

Brenna is just a normal teen. Going to school, hanging out with friends, shooting fire from her bare hands…um, what? When her mother disappears, Brenna will do anything to find her. Even travel through a portal. But life on the other side involves intimidating griffins, cryptic prophecies, and elusive enemies. Brenna must choose wisely whom to trust or lose everything.

I love it so much! And here’s why.

Five Reasons Why I Love Linneah

  • Because starting fire with your bare hands (without getting burned) or pulling down a tornado from a cloud above is considered perfectly normal

I mean, Come. On. How cool is that? I’m ready to jump through a portal right now! (Okay, okay, I’m not exactly Linnean, which apparently I’d need to be in order to have those powers, but still.)

  • Because bonding with a griffin is now a new life goal of mine

They fly, they communicate without saying a word, and they’re handy in combat. I definitely want one of these on my side!

  • Because portals

I really don’t think anything else needs to be said here…

  • Because as terrifying as the Silvastamen forest is, it’s still freaking cool

Blade pines, Dragon Demons, Blood Spinners–on second thought, maybe I’ll just stay at the castle…

  • Because I’d get to meet Anna the shapeshifter

She’s wicked awesome, her slang is endearing, and she has a heart of gold. Plus, getting to see her change into wind? Where is this portal again?

From Spark:

Talus stepped forward, but I held up a hand. “Please don’t ask me who I think I am. I’m Brenna the Firebrand, fulfiller of the First Prophecy.” I drew a deep breath, praying for oxygen mixed with courage. “For better or for worse.”

There are so many more reasons why I love this story, but I need to go get ready for the Facebook Launch Party now.

I’ve got ebook codes to send, prizes to mail, and posts to get ready to go. So much fun!

But before I go, be sure to check out yesterday’s blog post, a lovely review of Spark by The Story Sanctuary.

Tomorrow’s post will be a behind-the-scenes peek on www.KatHeckenbach.com about Spark’s magical world.

And you can get your very own copy here! (I hear the ebook is $2.99 instead of $4.99 for this week only!)

And do not miss the Facebook Launch Party today! So many prizes, so much fun–I cannot wait.

Click this link to come to the party!

(Psst. Below is a sneak peek of one of the giveaways. Also a book I adore! There are many, many more prizes!)

See you there!

In Him,

Michele

About the author:

J.M. Hackman has held many positions: assistant librarian, office assistant, office manager, substitute teacher, writer, wife, and mother. She still holds the last three. And loves it. She received a degree in Elementary Education from Pennsylvania State University and now spends her days writing stories, consuming massive quantities of chocolate, and looking for portals to other worlds. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.JMHackman.com.

I am thrilled!

Author Laurie Lucking from Lands Uncharted made my year!

In her post titled “Top 3 Books That Exceeded My Expectations,” she includes Zombie Takeover! My book! She likes it! And she hates zombies, too!

Oh, I am positively giddy.

You simply must read this fabulous blog post.

See the post here.

She also reminded me of a guest post I wrote for Lands Uncharted last year titled, “My Top 3 Spec Fic Books.”

I adored these three books then, and I love them even more today! (Yes, they may possibly be the three pictured above…)

See my guest post here.

Isn’t that marvelous?

Thank you, Laurie Lucking, for loving my book as much as I do!

In Him,

Michele

Kill the Beast and Writer’s Block

As many of you know, Kill the Beast was supposed to release mid-March. Key word there being “supposed.”

Oh, by the way, hi! I haven’t posted anything about my writing for months and months, so I thought I should remedy that! ;)

Ahem. Back to Kill the Beast.

So here I am, plugging away at this incredible story in my head, exploring all the different threads, and I finish my story. Look at the word count. 35,000. No, no, no! This glorious book needs to be a full-length novel, not another novella!

(The prequel story to Kill the Beast, “Beast Hunter,” is in the anthology Hodgepodge. Let me just say, novellas are easy-peasy to write. Unless, you know, it’s the novella to Zombie Takeover that’s been sitting on my computer for two years. Unfinished. I digress.)

So in November 2016 I do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for those of you who may not have heard of it) and get the story up to 95,000 words.

Success!

Right…?

Not so much.

I’m thankful I did it. I am. I pulled so much depth and additional storyworld and motivation from this story, it makes my heart sing. I adore this story so much more than I did when I started writing it! It is glorious. Or will be. Someday.

For now it is a tangled mess that laughs at me. I cannot untangle it. The characters (who are also laughing at me, btw) are telling me this is how the story should be but giving me no clue how to jump from one scene to another. How to weave the story back together so it’s as glorious on paper as it is in my mind.

So there it sits, mocking me, and I want to cry every time I look at it.

So when will Kill the Beast come out? Once it untangles itself. Once I hack it to pieces. Once I have a draft my editor won’t look at as if it’s a piece of poo to be dropped in the nearest wastebasket.

Sob! (I will not wallow, I will not wallow…)

So, now that you have a peek into my world as it is in this moment in time, I am going back to editing other people’s works of art. You know, people who actually can write and aren’t stuck like a tractor in a sinkhole, sucked into misery and wallowing. No! I will not wallow!

What about you? Have you ever been stuck on a project, whether writing or something else? (FYI, we are not calling this writer’s block. Not at all. I refuse to believe that’s a thing.) :)

I hope your week is fabulous, your days full of hope, and your years full of joy.

Happy Writing!

In Him,

Michele

Spark’s Gorgeous Cover!

Hurray! I’m so excited I get to be a part of J.M. Hackman’s cover reveal for Spark!

This is the first book in the Firebrand Chronicles, a series that follows Brenna James, a normal teen who discovers she can shoot fire from her bare hands. And freaks out just the teeniest tiniest bit.

(I mean, come on. Wouldn’t you?)

It’s so good!

Here is the back cover copy:

Brenna James wants three things for her sixteenth birthday: to find her history notes before the test, to have her mother return from her business trip, and to stop creating fire with her bare hands.

Yeah, that’s so not happening. Unfortunately.

When Brenna learns her mother is missing in an alternate reality called Linneah, she travels through a portal to find her. Against her will. Who knew portals even existed? But Brenna’s arrival in Linneah begins the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, including a royal murder and the theft of Linneah’s most powerful relic: the Sacred Veil.

Hold up. Can everything just slow down for a sec?

Unwilling yet left with no other choice, Brenna and her new friend Baldwin (Um, hello, Hottie!) pursue the thief into the dangerous woods of Silvastamen and beyond. Exactly what Brenna wanted to do for her sixteenth birthday. Exactly. When they spy an army marching toward Linneah, Brenna is horrified. Can she find the veil, save her mother, and warn Linneah in time?

And more importantly, why on earth doesn’t this alternity have Belgian waffles?

And just to drag out this sweet torture just a smidgeon more, here is a little about the author herself. (Are you dying to see the cover? I’m dying to show it to you! But seriously, you’ve got to get to know J.M. Hackman first.)

J.M. Hackman has held many positions: assistant librarian, office assistant, office manager, substitute teacher, writer, wife, and mother. She still holds the last three. And loves it. She received a degree in Elementary Education from Pennsylvania State University and now spends her days writing stories, consuming massive quantities of chocolate, and looking for portals to other worlds. You can find her at www.JMHackman.com.

And now for the main event.

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It’s coming.

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I promise.

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Are you as excited as I am? Squeal!

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Ta-da!

Take a deep breath. Stare at it some more. Maybe drool a little…

In. Love.

Sara Helwe from Sara Helwe Digital Arts creates magic with her art and with her covers!

This incredible book releases May 16th, and the preorder link will be available soon. (Check out www.L2L2Publishing.com to stay updated on all that jazz.)

Hip, hip, hurray!

In Him,

Michele

Why I Love Reconciliation

Why I love Reconciliation. Hmm…how can I fit this all in one blog post?

  • The first reason I love Reconciliation is because of the author, Amy Brock McNew.

This author is so incredibly passionate about the words she writes, that they speak truth and change people’s lives for the better, I can’t help but admire her. She’s a hard worker, a fast writer, and I am beyond thrilled that her second book is out so soon! (But, ahem, now that I’ve read it, I’m ready for the next one…) ;)

Here is a little more about her:

Amy Brock McNew doesn’t just write speculative fiction, she lives and breathes it. Exploring the strange, the supernatural, and the wonderfully weird, Amy pours her guts onto the pages she writes, honestly and brutally revealing herself in the process. Nothing is off-limits. Her favorite question is “what if?” and she believes fiction can be truer than our sheltered and controlled realities. Visit AmyBrockMcNew.com to learn more about this intriguing author.

  • The second is the cover.

I know I’ve said this a thousand times, but I adore Sara Helwe’s covers. So much. She not only captures the intense emotions in the book, she knows how to make a character come to life where you can’t help but just pick up that cover! Happy sigh.

  • Third, what the book is about. I mean, read what the back cover says!

Some ghosts from the past refuse to stay dead.

Finally. Finally everything is coming together for Liz Brantley. She’s marrying Ryland Vaughn, the man of her dreams. She’s embraced her calling and battles the minions of hell bent on her destruction. And she’s left her dark past far behind her. Or so she thought. A secret she holds close, stuffed down deep, surfaces at the wrong time for everyone in Liz’s life, leaving a trail of devastation. Left reeling, Liz wonders if she made a mistake, putting her trust in God, her guardian Arie, and Ryland. And the demon Kade capitalizes on her shaken faith. With a vengeance. Torn between her tortured past and the future she craves, Liz is desperate to defeat every demon that stands in her way. Before all hell breaks loose and swallows her whole.

Amy got so many messages from me while I was reading the book as I was swept away in the story and experienced the devastation and triumph of the main character. Amy doesn’t pull punches! This is an intense, gripping read, and I cannot recommend it strongly enough. I loved every moment I was lost in Liz Brantley’s world!

  • And the final reason I am so excited about Reconciliation is Amy’s Facebook launch party! It is tonight!!! I am hosting it for her, and I cannot even tell you how many prizes and fun “get to know the author” and “get to know you” posts we brainstormed and put together for you all.

  

Join us at 7-10 p.m. EST, right on Facebook (this link right here) for a chance to win one of these prizes or many more.

I hope you love it!

And I hope you love Reconciliation!

(You can buy this lovely book right here!)

In Him,

Michele

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