Category Archives: Reading

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.

Reconciliation Cover Reveal!

I’m so excited to be a part of Amy Brock McNew’s cover reveal for Reconciliation! :D

This is the second book of the Reluctant Warrior Chronicles, and (dare I say it?) it may even be better than the first! (Gasp!) I know, I know, the first book was ah-mazing. But can you imagine how awesome this book is if the first is that wonderful?

You can find out for yourself on January 24th when this book releases.

And now for the back cover:

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.

Ooh…happy shiver! Such a good book!

Follow Amy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or her website to stay updated on this book and the rest of the Reluctant Warrior Chronicles.

Can’t wait to hear what you think!

In Him,

Michele

A Day in the Life of Ralene Burke

I am so excited to have Ralene Burke with me today! Author of Bellanok: The Reluctant Savior, Ralene is a powerhouse, helping organize Realm Makers, volunteering at ACFW’s national conference, and leading her state chapter of ACFW.

How does she manage it all? I’m so glad you asked!

Here is a peek into a day in the life of Ralene Burke:

I’m an author. I’m also an editor and a social media manager. I also homeschool my three kids. And volunteer. And on rare occasions when there’s a blood moon, I enjoy reading or cooking or cuddling with my husband.

People often ask me how I do it all. I have a confession to make. I don’t. Ever.

Now, that’s not to say things don’t ever get done. Obviously, since I managed to self-publish an entire fantasy serial and then turn it into a whole book. And my kids can read. And do math. Most of the time.

I am one of those people who totally believes there’s no such thing as balance, something always falls to the wayside. But there is such thing as good time management when you make use of priorities.

I typically get up about 6:00 in the morning. I’ve tried to get up earlier than that in the past, but my body just refuses to believe that life can be sustained before 6:00. I try to kick off each day with some Bible study and quiet time. This often gives my mind time to wake up and focus, plus lets me fill my cup, so to speak. The days always seem to be easier if I start by giving it to God.

Then the family starts waking up, and we all get around to breakfast and morning chores.

School starts around 8:30. From then until about 3:00 p.m., it’s a mix of cleaning and school. We do a lot of reading and projects together. My kids have individualized programs for reading, spelling, and math; but the rest we do together. On different days, we also have homeschool co-op, therapy, gymnastics, and Tae Kwon Do.

If all goes well and we’re done by 3:00, then I have time to do some writing before dinner. I feel so much better when I get to write during this time, instead of feeling crunched later.

Dinner is often a family affair, including the making of and the cleaning up afterward. We can be so hurried throughout the day, whether to our various activities or just in homeschooling, it’s nice to sit down and catch up.

After dinner, I’m off to work. Granted “going to work” means my little office two feet from the kitchen, a room without a door. But still, it’s all mine. On good nights, I hide out in there until 10:00 at night. But sometimes I’m tired and it only lasts till 8:30 or 9:00. Here, I often jump between freelance editing and social media work. Then if there’s time, I add some words to my own WIP.

Then it’s reading time! I put on my PJs (assuming I changed out of them in the first place), snuggle up under the covers, and pull out a good book (okay, sometimes it’s a TV show instead). I try to keep my reading time to about 30 minutes with lights out around 11:00. Or 12:00. 1:00? Which is why 5:30 a.m. does not exist in my world.

Now, this is an ideal day. On any given day, I can wake up to any number of things that throws wrenches into my best laid plans. And I have to be okay with that. I have to be flexible and go with the flow, rearrange my expectations, adapt. In the end, I can only do my best and give the rest to God. He is the only one who is ever really in control.

On a side note, I am really excited about the release of Bellanok. This is the culmination of many years of work. You can find out more about Bellanok on my website, including the fabulous video Amy Brock McNew at Amaeris Designs Productions created, as well as the many amazing posts on the rest of this blog tour and my Rafflecopter giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much, Ralene!

Now, a little more about her delicious book, Bellanok.

A haven for myths and legends…until evil discovers a way in.

With evil darkening the mountains to the north, the fairy queen, Fauna, must journey from the island realm of Bellanok to the modern world to find the man the Creator appointed to save their kingdom. A man she has been dreaming of her whole life.

Brian is a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up on God. He’s tired and frustrated–a failure. No sooner does he make a decision that jeopardizes his career than an unusual blonde woman shows up and tries to convince him he is some kind of savior.

Fauna must open Brian’s eyes to a different reality, and Brian needs to embrace the haven’s secrets. If neither of them succeeds, Bellanok will succumb to evil and the world will lose all trace of innocence.

Isn’t that cover beautiful? And I absolutely love the range of mythical creatures Ralene includes in her story world.

Check out the book trailer by Amaeris Designs Productions!

Isn’t that gorgeous?

Thank you so much for joining me today. I’m so excited about this new book!

In Him,

Michele

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for several freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is available on Amazon!

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time…

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

Scarlet Moon by S.D. Grimm

Oh, I love books. So much. And I am dying to read this book especially.

And isn’t that cover incredible? In. Love.

Today I have the lovely S.D. Grimm as my guest, telling us about her main character, Jayden, who stars in Scarlet Moon.

(By the way, there’s a giveaway for a signed copy of Scarlet Moon waaaaay down at the bottom of this post. So excited!)

Let’s get to it!

Hello, S.D. Grimm! I’m so pleased to have you on my blog today. Welcome!

Hey! S.D. Grimm here. I am really excited for this guest blog post today. Not only do I get to talk about my novel Scarlet Moon, but I also get to do something really fun, and that is talk about my main character: Jayden Jorah.

A little bit about Jayden’s appearance first.

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Medium brown with some red highlights.

Height: 5’ 3”

Distinguishing features: A birthmark that looks just like the moon only it’s blood red.

Now there is more than one main character in the Children of the Blood Moon series (of which Scarlet Moon is the first book), but Jayden’s story really takes the lead in this book for a number of reasons. I wanted a really awesome heroine, but I also wanted someone real. Someone relatable.

Jayden is those things. She has honest fears and doubts, and overcoming them is a big part of her story.

What Jayden likes most about herself: Her ability to spar with daggers and a sword and to throw knives. I’m not going to lie; she’s really good at it.

What she likes least about herself: Her emotional side. She’s an empath, and sometimes feeling all those emotions get in the way. Also, she has a big problem with fear. She fears stepping out of her comfort zone and leaving what she knows.

I have some questions for you about Jayden. What does she want to do with her life?

Become a wise woman and eventually a doctor.

What’s her biggest fear?

Moving away from her home and family and the things that she believes define her.

Who are the people she’s closest to?

Her brothers and her best friend/betrothed Ryan. She’s kind of a tomboy and doesn’t have that many close female friends.

I can relate! What is her deepest secret?

Children of the Blood Moon like Jayden have special talents and abilities given to them—they’re all marked by the Blood Moon birthmark. Jayden’s biggest secret is some of her talents. No one knows she can actually feel other people’s emotions and make them her own.

Has she ever been in love?

Well, she loves Ryan, her betrothed, but she’s not ready to marry him. Some of it is the fear of leaving her comfort zone—that includes her friendship with him. She’s not sure how much things will change when she moves from friend to wife. And she’s not sure she’s ready.

Tell us more fun facts about Jayden!

Favorite color: Green. Specifically the green the sky gets right before a storm.

Myers Briggs Personality Type: ISFJ

Theme song: “Shatter Me” by Lindsey Stirling

Hobbies: Sparring, horseback riding, cooking, and archery.

Favorite animal: Horse. She wears a necklace that used to be her mother’s, and the white, wooden charm is a horse.

I hope you have as much fun getting to know Jayden as I had writing her story!

Oh, most definitely! Thank you, S.D.! I have adored getting to know you and your character better!

In Him,

Michele

S. D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult speculative fiction. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency and her debut novel, Scarlet Moon, is slated to be published in October 2016. When she’s not writing or editing, Sarah enjoys reading (of course!), making clay dragons for her Grimmlies store on Etsy, practicing kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu, training dogs, and doing anything outdoorsy with the family. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog.

Don’t forget to visit S.D. Grimm’s website, sign up for her newsletter, and enjoy her fun social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

And most definitely order Scarlet Moon on Amazon!

Oh, yes! And what you’ve been waiting for … enter the RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY for one signed copy of Scarlet Moon! (Can I enter? Can I?) I’m so excited about this book! (Giveaway starts today and ends November 2nd.)

Comment below and let me know if you entered!

Ending Fear’s Cover Reveal! Yay!

I’m so excited I can hardly stand it.

Cover reveals quite possibly are my favorite authorly posts to be a part of.

I mean, first I get to be one of the first people to see a cover, then I get to post gorgeous art on my website, and to top it off I learn about a brand-spanking-new book–what’s there not to love about a reveal?

So, without further ado, here it is.

Wait for it.

It’s coming.

Are you hyperventilating yet? (No? Only I get that excited? I knew it.) ;)

Ta-da! Deanna Fugett’s cover for her debut novel, Ending Fear!

Isn’t it lovely?

The first time I saw it, I just about died. In love!

There is such wistfulness, such longing, such wanting to be free of fear, the girl can’t help but match the title.

I have a feeling this book is going to be awesome. I just know it. ;) (Okay, okay, so I’ve already read it. It is amazing!!! I can’t wait till you get to read it too!)

Here is a synopsis of this YA Dystopian:

Fourteen-year-old Fear learns she was a parachute baby, dumped over the edge of the Gliding Lands as an infant. Running from her abusive Downer family, Fear discovers a new family. One who knows how to love. But then her new little sister is kidnapped and sold to a harem. Fear must go against her namesake and journey to the dreaded Gliding Lands before the little girl’s innocence is ripped from her forever. Can she save Happy in time?

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today. I pray you have a wonderful day and read lots of marvelous books!

In Him,

Michele

A little more about the author:

Deanna Fugett’s heart belongs to writing. Author of edgy YA Dystopian fiction with an underlying message of hope, this stay-at-home mom of four focuses on writing as much as humanly possible. She was published at the young age of six in a local newspaper and is excited to be published again. It only took twenty-six years. She enjoys the thrill of writing fiction that deals with intense topics and prays it will impact people for the better. Visit www.quillsandinkblotts.blogspot.com to learn more about her.

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