Tag Archives: New Release

My Favorite Part of Common by Laurie Lucking

Well, okay, let’s be honest here: I can’t tell you my favorite favorite part, because it’s at the end, and I don’t do spoilers.

(It’s sooooo good, you guys.)

But my second favorite part is near the beginning of the book, when Rafe, or Prince Raphael, and Leah are beginning to realize their feelings for each other.

You see, Leah is about to reach her Maturity–her sixteenth birthday–and Rafe makes it unforgettable by giving her a special present…well, why don’t I just show you? ;)

An excerpt from Common by Laurie Lucking:

My breath caught when I spied the glimmer of a candle in the window of Rafe’s chambers that evening. Though I’d tried to tell myself a servant’s birthday was of no consequence to a prince, I couldn’t help wishing he might remember. I struggled to keep my steps measured as I made my way to our closet. Did Rafe have something planned?
I pulled open the door.
Rafe jumped to his feet and produced a small box from his pocket. Approaching where I stood just inside the door, he presented it to me with a gallant bow. “I’ve been waiting all day to see you. Happy birthday.”
Gooseflesh crawled up my arms, and my pulse quickened. This was just the warm reception I’d hoped for, but now the reality of accepting a gift from Rafe made me want to turn and escape back down the hall. “You’re sweet, but this really isn’t necessary.”
He took a step closer. “Of course it is. Even if it’s only marked by your mother and myself, I think your reaching your Maturity is of the highest importance.”
My fingertips brushed his as I took the box from his hand. The brief touch produced a rush of warmth in my cheeks. Keeping my head down, I gently lifted the lid. The sight of an emerald pendant strung on a delicate silver chain propelled a rush of air from my lungs.
“Rafe! I…” I gulped. If anything, I’d expected a pastry or ribbon. Nothing like this. Few of the courtiers around the palace possessed a jewel so exquisite, and he was giving it to me? “I’m not sure I can accept this.”
His mouth fell open. “What’s the matter? You don’t like it?”
How could I explain my reservations without hurting his feelings? “It’s beautiful. Stunning. But it’s too much.”
A trace of his smile returned. “When I saw it in the marketplace last week, it reminded me so strongly of the color of your eyes, I knew you had to have it.”
That Rafe had been thinking of me in the middle of the marketplace—reflecting on my eyes, no less—sent a new surge of heat into my face. “But you must’ve had to barter something substantial for it.”
“I’m the prince, remember?” He leaned on the wall next to him, propped up by his hand. “I’m not required to barter.”
I backed against the door. “You mean you took this from the vendor without giving him anything in exchange?”
Rafe’s brows knit. “That’s always how it’s done in the royal family. We provide food, shelter, and protection for our citizens, and in turn, they offer their services without expecting any additional reward.”
Though it didn’t seem right, it should’ve come as no surprise. The queen never offered anything for Ma’s work on her gowns. “But even if it didn’t cost you anything…when would I wear it? None of the other maids own anything half as fine.”
“I guess I hadn’t thought of that.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “But still, you must keep it. Surely someday an opportunity will arise for you to wear it. In the meantime, you can hide it here and simply enjoy viewing it once in a while.”
He knew me too well. In spite of my protests, I was having trouble tearing my gaze away from the rich emerald as its various facets caught the moonlight. I steeled myself to argue further.
He put out a hand to stop me. “It’s yours. I’ll make it an official order if I have to. I can’t return it without causing the jeweler offense, and what would I do with a necklace? If it makes you feel better, I promise I’ll recommend him to every noblewoman in the kingdom so that his business ought to thrive. Please, just accept it. As a token of my friendship.”
I shook my head, my smile refusing to hide. “Thank you, Rafe. You will be happy to know this is the most momentous birthday I’ve ever had.”
His deep gray eyes brightened with pleasure. “Good, that’s exactly what I was hoping for. And you’re welcome.”
I crossed the room to sit on one of the barrels, still clutching the open box.
Rafe took a seat on an adjoining barrel. “Even if you won’t be able to wear it out there anytime soon, would you like to try it on?”
“I would, but…” Embarrassment clenched my stomach. “I don’t even know how to unfasten the clasp.”
He chuckled, taking the box from my hands. “Who would’ve guessed I’d end up teaching a young lady about jewelry?” He lifted the pendant off its small satin pillow, letting it dangle as he took the clasp between each thumb and index finger. “Here, it’s really quite simple.”
My mind still reeled from the enormity of the gift, making it impossible to concentrate as he demonstrated the workings of the catch mechanism.
He paused and held the ends apart. “Now turn around and lift your hair.”
I obeyed, holding my breath as he brought the pendant to lie at the base of my throat. His warm fingers grazed my neck as he secured the clasp, sending a tingle through my shoulders. Thank the new moon he couldn’t read my expression.
Rafe cleared his throat. “There.”
I lowered my braid to rest on my back once more and turned toward him. Reluctant to meet his eye, I glanced down at the gleaming jewel that produced such a stark contrast to the patched, faded bodice of my dress.
His gaze flitted to the pendant before returning to my face. “Perfect.”

{Get your own copy of Common right here!}

Happy sigh.

Isn’t that incredible?

And the best part?

Author Laurie Lucking is giving away an emerald necklace at her Facebook Launch party tonight, in honor of this breathtaking scene from her book!

Anyone is welcome to come (in fact, you can RSVP right here), and anyone in the U.S. can enter to win this beauty by showing up and commenting on the post.

Will I see you there?

And just because I love you, here are a few sneak peeks of other giveaways this evening.

See you in just a few hours!

In Him,

Michele

Want to know more about Common or perhaps order your own copy?

Check out the book description and order here!

Want to learn more behind-the-scenes facts about Common?

Check out the rest of the blog tour here!

And do not miss the Facebook Release Party tonight! It will be awesome!

About the Author:

An avid reader since birth (her parents claim she often kept them up late begging to hear just one more story), Laurie Lucking discovered her passion for writing after leaving her career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom. She writes young adult fantasy with a strong thread of romance, and her debut novel, Common, releases in 2018 from Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing. Laurie is the secretary of her local ACFW chapter and a co-founder of www.landsuncharted.com, a blog for fans of clean young adult speculative fiction. A Midwestern girl through and through, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and two young sons. Find out more about Laurie and her writing by visiting www.laurielucking.com.

A Celebration of The Final Paladin

I am so excited to be chatting about this book today.

But first, let’s get the most important order of business out of the way.

Tonight, on Facebook, there is this party. The party. You should be there.

Not only did I just get 28 giveaways ready to be mailed in preparation, I happen to know there are quite a few more. (I’ve been working on it for ages; I should know.) ;)

And get this: The author is giving away a Mac Mini. A Mac Mini! Wow!!!

So, um, you should be there. Really.

Here is the link to join me tonight. (Or just click on the picture below.) RSVP away! I’ll wait.

Did you do it? Will I see you there! Yay! :)

Okay, so let’s talk more about this book we’re celebrating.

From the back cover:

Life for Peg Bowman is rough in the infamous slums of Five Points, New York, but her brother’s murder changes everything.

Thrust into incredible worlds beyond any story she’s ever heard, Peg meets Sir Godfrey, an eleven-hundred-year-old knight from Charlemagne’s court, trainer of Paladins. He reveals to Peg her family’s ancient obligation to protect the Key of Apollyon, a relic of immense power. She is the last descendant of the Paladins and his only hope for keeping it safe.

When Godfrey confides her brother was murdered because of the Key, Peg rejects her calling and demands revenge, a luxury she can ill afford as otherworldly creatures seek her death to claim the Key’s power for themselves.

Can Godfrey and his faithful retinue—Chim the Hobgoblin, Rebecca the Jewish Maven and healer, and Jack the sometimes human and sometimes seven-foot Black Dog—keep her safe and convince her that her calling is worth pursuing? Or will she succumb to the Key’s lure and wield it for revenge?

Um, wow! Good, right? Even better than good? I thought so!

This books takes a plethora of myths and legends and fairy tales and tangles them all together into this mass of literary goodness.

I was captivated from the first page, and I’m certain you will be as well.

So join me tonight to celebrate! And tell me what you think of the book.

See you there!

In Him,

Michele

P.S. Before I go, let me introduce you to the author of this incredible book.

T.J. Akers desires to be a multimillionaire when he grows up and give his wealth to his favorite causes: churches, schools, and animal shelters. Since the millions have been slow in coming, he’s settled for working as a computer technician for a state university and volunteering at his church and local animal shelter. Whenever possible, he indulges his love of writing stories to entertain people, especially younger readers.

Akers holds a Masters of English from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and can often be found roaming the university’s library, especially the children’s and young adult sections. Librarians have always been his heroes.

He lives with his beloved wife of thirty years, his dog, and two cats. The dog is an excellent writing companion, but the cats have proven to be rather critical. Learn more at www.tjakers.com.

You can buy his new release right here! :)

Why I Love Ending Fear’s Coloring Book

Today’s book review is a tad on the unconventional side. I’m reviewing a coloring book! :)

Hurray!

And this coloring book in particular is a companion to the debut novel by Deanna Fugett, Ending Fear.

Now, you must understand that most coloring books drive me crazy. I cannot stand the eclectic patterns, the teeny-tiny spaces I have to try to figure out how to fit my colored pencil without getting out of the lines, or the pages and pages of weird designs only to be rewarded with a setting, character, castle, or mythical beast every 12 pages.

Like I said, not a fan.

Until one time I was at a convention and ran across a YA coloring book. This one in particular was character-driven, had a scene from the book every other page, and the designs that made no sense whatsoever were far and few between. Everything had a purpose and directly related to the book. (And made me want to read the book. Right away.) Not to mention it was beautifully drawn.

I loved it.

And promptly colored it. (After buying it, of course!)

And ordered the novel.

It was awesome!

Fast forward many years later, when companion coloring books to YA books, movies, and tv shows have become the norm.

Deanna Fugett sent me this email. “Hey, Michele! Check out these character sketches Keighley Kendig drew for me. Aren’t they awesome?” (Okay, that is very loosely paraphrased. I don’t remember her exact words, but she was excited and loved them. Fair enough? Lol!)

Here’s what I saw:

Oh my word, I LOVED them!!!

Each was a perfect representation of the characters I’d seen in my mind while reading her book!

(Not sure who the characters are? Find out by reading Ending Fear! Or, you know, snatching up your very own copy of the coloring book…) ;)

I immediately contacted Keighley and begged her to create a companion coloring book for Deanna’s new release.

And she did! Squeal! Happy dance! (throws confetti)

Deanna wrote up a summary of each character to go with the sketches, and the coloring book was formatted and rushed to production in order to release the same time as the novel.

And I am so pleased with the result!

Get your very own copy here and see what all the fuss is about!

Oh, I hope you love it as much as I do!

In Him,

Michele

Ready for your scavenger hunt clue? Here it is:

Missing the rest of the clues? (Hint: There are 14 in all…) Check out the rest of the blog tour here!

If you have gathered all of the clues, then here is the link to enter them into the drawing.

The prize? One paperback of Ending Fear and one copy of the Coloring Book. Isn’t that great?

Oh, yes! TODAY IS THE FACEBOOK LAUNCH PARTY! Join us to win tons–and I do mean tons–of prizes and get to know this incredible author. She’s a rockstar!

Now, about the author and illustrator:

Deanna Fugett:

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.DeannaFugett.com to learn more about her.

Keighley Kendig:

Artist Keighley Kendig began drawing when she could barely walk and hasn’t stopped since. She landed her dream job at Disney World, where she sees dreams come true every day. She adores bringing book characters to life with her many artistic endeavors.
You can contact her at keighleychristina [at] yahoo [dot] com to book her for your own coloring book or project, or you can follow her on Instagram at @keighleyk to learn more about her.

About the Coloring Book:

A companion coloring book to the YA dystopian novel Ending Fear by Deanna Fugett.

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?

Bring the characters of Deanna Fugett’s debut novel to life with lovely illustrations by the talented artist Keighley Kendig!

Buy now and tell me if you love it as much as I do!

Cover Reveal for One of My Favorite Series Ever

So, if you follow me, you most likely know I rave about the Creepy Hollow Series by Rachel Morgan.

Rave. About. Them.

Constantly.

They have won a place in my most treasured and favorite collection of books of all time, and I simply cannot wait to devour more of them.

I’ve even given away the entire series (that was out at that time) at my launch party for Zombie Takeover.

See? I love them!

The world of Creepy Hollow, home to the Fae and the school for Faerie Guardians, is one of the most magical and breathtaking places I have ever escaped to. You should join me!

Now there is another book out (Glass Faerie), two more planned (one of which is the cover I get to show you today), and two short stories available (Scarlett and Raven). Excuse me while I fangirl over these awesome books!

Shadow Faerie, book eight of the Creepy Hollow series, continues Emerson’s story, while the first three told Violet’s story, and the next three Calla’s story.

And. You. Guys.

The first book, The Faerie Guardian, is free for Kindle right now on Amazon! What are you waiting for? Go download this delicious awesomeness right now and join me in drooling over these characters and stalking–er, I mean–following Rachel Morgan to snatch up the very next book she writes as fast as humanly possible! Go! Right now! They’re so goooood!

I’ll make it easy on you. Here is the link! ;)

And now that you know what one of my top series in the entire world is (And I’ve gushed far too much. But I mean every word.), here is the cover for book eight.

.

.

.

Are you ready for it?

.

.

.

Is the waiting driving you crazy?

.

.

.

It’s driving me crazy. I want to read this book right now.

.

.

.

This very second.

.

.

.

And here it is! The cover for Shadow Faerie!

Isn’t that wonderful?

I can’t stop staring.

I love Rachel Morgan’s covers, and I am dying for this book.

Thank you for joining me for today’s cover reveal, and I hope you love this series as much as I do! It is one of the best ever!

In Him,

Michele

~

About the Author:

Rachel Morgan spent a good deal of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making, crafting endless stories of make-believe and occasionally writing some of them down. After completing a degree in genetics and discovering she still wasn’t grown-up enough for a ‘real’ job, she decided to return to those story worlds still spinning around her imagination. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults and those young at heart.

Rachel lives in Cape Town with her husband and three miniature dachshunds. She is the author of the bestselling Creepy Hollow series, and also writes sweet contemporary romance under the name Rochelle Morgan.

Get a free ebook and access to exclusive bonus content if you’re on Rachel’s email newsletter list. Sign up by copying and pasting the link into your browser: www.subscribepage.com/RMnewsletterFreeBook

Amazon Author PageFacebookTwitter

Interview with Carrie Anne Noble

You guys, I can’t even tell you how excited I am for this new book, The Gold-Son by Carrie Anne Noble.

I listened to The Mermaid’s Sister on Audible on the way home from PENCON, and Oh. My. Freaking. Goodness.

So good.

Then Carrie Anne Noble asked if anyone would be willing to host her for The Gold-Son’s release. Can I help it if I knocked everyone else over to get my hands on an ARC of this book?

(Okay, I wasn’t that brutal, but still…)

I’ve read it, I love it, and I’m beyond excited to have the author on my blog today.

(You guys should totally be freaking out with me. Eep!)

Hi Carrie! Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog today! I’ve got so many questions for you about your brilliant books, I hope you don’t mind my fangirling just the teeniest-tiniest bit. I love your stories!

  • What fairy tales did you borrow from, or did you make The Gold-Son entirely your own tale?

For The Gold-Son, I researched Irish leprechaun folklore, and then I took some of the traditional beliefs and wove them together with my own ideas. For example, according to legend, leprechauns live underground, so I went with that—and then added that leprechauns have a network of towns below ground, with shops and roads and pubs just like humans have. I also decided that leprechauns eat mostly mushrooms (because what else can you grow in the dark for food?).

Well, of course! And I loved learning more about them.

  • Why did you choose first person for The Mermaid’s Sister and third person for The Gold-Son?

The Mermaid’s Sister was written in first person because it was a very personal story for me, a fictionalized journey through my real-life grief at the loss of my sister. The Gold-Son was written more as a return to the joy and fun of writing. To me, third person seemed like the best way to convey both Tommin’s and Eve’s experiences.

Oh, how achingly beautiful! I am so sorry, Carrie. I loved the way you conveyed each story.

  • Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It really depends on the day.

When the words are flowing, it can be quite exhilarating. When I’m stuck revising a pesky scene for hours, it can suck the life right out of me. Thank heaven for the rejuvenating qualities of chocolate!

Amen! Chocolate wins everything.

  • I recently listened to the audiobook of The Mermaid’s Sister, and it was stunning. Will we see any of the same characters in your new book, The Gold-Son?

The Gold-Son contains a whole new cast of characters: a kindhearted shoemaker’s apprentice addicted to stealing, a mute young woman held hostage by magic, a wicked leprechaun bent on dominating fairy-kind, a shape shifting bat-boy, and more! By the way, I’m completely thrilled to report that Irish actor Gerard Doyle narrated the audiobook for The Gold-Son. It’s just enchanting!

Excuse me while I pause everything and go preorder that too. Swoon!

  • Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

So far I’ve only written stand-alone books with characters unique to each one. The thought of writing a series is rather daunting to me, but I might try someday! What my books have in common (my “brand”) is the blending of historical fiction and fairy tale elements, with a little dash of whimsy. It’s what I like to read, and what I most enjoy creating.

And that whimsy is enchanting! Each story is truly a unique blend of history and fairy tale woven together.

  • What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I do some online and library research before I start writing the first draft, and then as I write I stop to check the odd historical fact now and then. Readers are pretty savvy and will call you out for giving a character a pocket watch before they were invented, or for having characters eat foods unavailable in their region. I enjoy the trivia of history, so fact checking is a fun distraction sometimes.

Ahem. This may be the reason I love writing fantasy… Pocket watch wasn’t invented yet? Bam! Alternate history. Lol! But in all seriousness, your attention to detail amazes me. Well done!

  • What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

The best money I’ve spent as a writer has been the money spent attending writers’ conferences such as St. Davids and Realm Makers. I heartily believe that taking classes to improve your craft and networking with others in the business are essential stepping stones to becoming a successful writer—especially for introverts like me. Writing is such a solitary art; it’s refreshing to come out of your lair and meet people who understand the weirdness of a writer’s brain! To anyone who thinks they can’t afford to attend conferences: check conference websites for scholarship opportunities and take the plunge!

Woohoo! Realm Makers is the best! (Only my favorite writers’ conference ever…)

  • What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I don’t know what I’d do without the feedback and encouragement I receive from writers in my local NaNoWriMo group (including my prized beta-reader, the talented, multi-published short story writer Amanda C. Davis) and the members of my local critique group! Also, Rysa Walker, who won the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, gave me loads of helpful advice and support throughout the publishing process for The Mermaid’s Sister when it won the ABNA for the YA category in 2014. I’ve made quite a few writer friends at conferences—too many to name here, for sure! Having peers to cheer you on and steer you toward growth is priceless, especially on days you’re struggling with doubt or nasty reviews.

Absolutely! Oh, I’m so glad you have such a wonderful group of supportive writers!

  • What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

For English class in fifth grade, I had to write a story based on an interview with an older family member. I wrote about my great grandmother’s childhood summers at a farm. It taught me how powerfully words work to preserve memories and sensory experiences that would otherwise be forgotten. Maybe that’s why I’m still drawn to historical fiction; it keeps parts of the past alive, allowing us to experience in our imaginations the world as it was for our predecessors.

That is lovely.

  • What does literary success look like to you?

To me, literary success means having readers enjoy my stories, and also being able to help pay the bills—while honoring God who gave me the gift of words.

I do believe I need to frame this for my office. So well said!

  • If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t stop writing just because some people fail to appreciate your passion. Do it for yourself, and for the joy of it, and eventually all your practice will pay off!

Thank you, Carrie! I have loved getting to know you better, and I adore your new book!

What do you think, dearest readers? Are you ready to immerse yourself in The Gold-Son’s world?

Get thyself to the nearest bookstore (or, you know, Amazon) forthwith!

In Him,

Michele

*Photo Credit: Tonya Wilhelm Photography

About the Author:

In the wake of her checkered past as a theatre student, restaurant hostess, certified nurse aide, and newspaper writer, Carrie Anne now writes novels and short stories–mostly for a Young Adult audience. She lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with her tolerant husband, four charming children, two naughty cats, a not-so-bright dog, and some really-not-so-bright chickens. The chickens do not live in the house.

Her favorite authors include Mervyn Peake, Neil Gaiman, Maggie Stiefvater, Ardyth Kennelly, Catherine Cookson, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

When not reading or writing, Carrie Anne enjoys sewing, attempting to garden, and having tea parties with friends (preferably Mad Hatter style!).

WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreads

The Mermaid’s Sister:

2014 Winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award winner for Young Adult Fiction

2016 Winner of the Realm Award for Speculative Novel of the Year

%d bloggers like this: