Tag Archives: Fantasy

Shades of Doon

23433222Book Review: Shades of Doon

Authors: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Amazon’s website description of Shades of Doon:

After cheating death, Veronica Welling is determined to savor every moment in her idyllic kingdom with both her true love and best friend by her side at last. At the same time, Mackenna Reid is enthusiastically building her new life and a theater with her prince. But just as their dreams of happiness are within reach, the world Vee and Kenna have chosen is ripped away, leaving them to face their most horrific challenge yet—their old lives.

Thrust out of Doon, the best friends are confronted with tormentors from their past and no way to return to their adopted land. When the MacCrae brothers rush to their rescue, the girls’ situation turns from nightmare to modern-day fairy tale. But their happiness could be short lived: unbeknownst to them, someone in their closest circle is aiding the witch of Doon in her bid to destroy the kingdom once and for all.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            So at first I really wasn’t that in to Shades of Doon. Honestly, it felt like I was reading a rehashed version of the previous two books in the series. They think their problems are over, they’re angsting about whether or not to marry the two handsome princes because they’re still only teens, and then BAM, something bad happens and they have to save Doon yet again. Thankfully, the farther I got into the book, I could see some differences in plot from the other two books. But for a good portion of the book I could have sworn I was just reading text from Books 1 and 2. Another thing that I didn’t particularly like was the emphasis on the hormones experienced by these four teenagers. Yes, I understand that’s a thing. And yes, it’s relevant to the teens reading the books, but sometimes all it felt like was filler and an attempt to grab the attention of those teens.

            In all, I did enjoy some parts of Shades of Doon, but for the most part I wasn’t impressed.

About the Authors 

Biographies from the Doon Series website: Carey Corp wrote her first book, a brilliant retelling of Star Wars, at the prodigious age of seven. Since then, her love affair of reinvention has continued to run amuck. Writing both literary fiction and stories for young adults, she begins each morning consuming copious amounts of coffee while weaving stories that capture her exhaustive imagination. She harbors a voracious passion (in no consistent order) for mohawks, Italy, musical theater, chocolate, and Jane Austen. Her debut novel for teens, The Halo Chronicles: The Guardian, earned her national recognition as 2010 Golden Heart finalist for best young adult fiction.

A few years ago, Lorie Langdon left her thriving corporate career with a Fortune 500 company to satisfy the voices in her head. Now as a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, she spends her summers editing poolside while dodging automatic water-gun fire, and the rest of the year tucked into her cozy office, Havanese puppy by her side, working to translate her effusive imagination into the written word. Her co-written four-book series, DOON, a YA reimagining of the Scottish legend of Brigadoon, will release beginning in August 2013 from Zondervan/Harper Collins.

I was given a review copy of Shades of Doon from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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Five Enchanted Roses

FiveEnchantedRosesFinalCoverBook Review: Five Enchanted Roses

Authors: Kaycee Browning, Savannah Jezowski, Jenelle Schmidt, Dorian Tsukioka, and Hayden Wand

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Amazon’s website description of Five Enchanted Roses:

Rediscover the Enchantment!

A ship bearing the souls of sinful sailors drifts upon a ghostly sea. An abbey looms as the final defense between mortals and ghouls of the underworld. In the stillness of a throne room, statues stand forever frozen in a moment of terror. Monsters and men stalk their prey deep in the jungle’s shadows. A rose blooms in the dead of winter, sheltered in the ruins of an ancient Scottish castle.

And only true love can free the Beast from his prison.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I try to read two or three novella collections every year, simply because I love the flow of a shorter story and the creativity that can be used in such a collection. After reading the Five Glass Slippers collection from last year, I knew that Five Enchanted Roses would need to be on my to be read list. Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite fairy tale, though I know it is also one of the most debated. So, let’s get right into it and I’ll tell you what I thought of this collection.

Esprit De La Rose was fascinating and confusing as I scrambled to keep up with what was going on, just like Cecilia, the heroine had to do. I loved the element of pirates and the amazing creativity the author had to come up with to form the unique story world for the novella. It’s a great start to the collection, one that will press you to keep reading until the end.

Wither was…spell bounding. I couldn’t predict a single thing that would happen in this novella. The Beast of this tale was complicated and who he ends up being was a surprise for me. I liked the heroine’s spunk and the hero’s noble cause. It’s a story that will give you chills, yet also manages to attain the elements of Beauty and the Beast.

Stone Curse twists the original tale on its side and views the story from a new angle, one that kept me guessing and had me intrigued. Rather than have the ‘beauty’ come to the castle, we see that character already there and the beast is not entirely expected. Redemption would be the key word for this tale, for more than one character.

Rosara and the Jungle King was so much fun to read! The setting of the Amazon rainforest was awesome, the villain was truly terrible, and the beast intriguing. I wasn’t quite sure how a happy ending would be attained, or if it would be, but the ending is satisfying and definitely worth the read.

The Wulver’s Rose, the final novella in the collection, sticks closest to the original story yet still has its own unique elements to make it a good read. The use of the prologue and epilogue was excellent, and the motivation of Bonnie was well-done. I felt for the poor girl, as well as for the beast. In all, a good ending to the collection.

Rooglewood Press puts out another great fairy tale retelling collection, again bringing stories bursting with creativity that will keep the reader delighted and entertained, challenged and satisfied. I highly recommend this collection to lovers of fairy tales and the Beauty and the Beast story. In this collection, you’ll find the story as you’ve never read it before.

About the Authors

Biography from Rooglewood Press’s Website: Kaycee Browning is a homeschooled teenager living in North Carolina. She wrote her first novel when she was thirteen and published a novel at age fifteen. When not writing, she is most likely amusing herself by reading, fangirling, hanging out with friends, or (occasionally) doing her schoolwork. She resides with her two amazing parents, her three awesome siblings, and her two bossy dachshunds.To find out more about Kaycee and her work, visit: www.KayceeBrowning.com

Savannah Jezowski lives in a drafty farmhouse in Amish country with her Knight in Shining Armor, who is no less shiny after eight years of matrimony, and a loyal brigade of kitties, who may or may not sleep on the job. Her work has been published in Ray Gun Revival, Mindflights, and in the student publication of Fountains at Pensacola Christian College. She likes books, faeries, writing hats, and having tea with her imaginary friends. To learn more about Savannah and her work, visit: www.SavannahJaysWorkshop.blogspot.com

Jenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-midwest. She now resides with her husband and their three adorable children in North Carolina where the summers are too hot and there is never enough snow. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age during family storytimes. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.To learn more about Jenelle and her work, visit: www.JenelleSchmidt.com

Dorian Tsukioka writes fairy tale retellings, young adult fantasy, and science fiction with just a dash of romance thrown in to keep things spicy. When she’s not writing, Dorian teaches 5th graders in Kansas City, MO, or she can be found chasing after her two, pixie-esque daughters. She has a love of learning and teaching, and loves to talk about books with anyone who will listen, especially if the conversation includes cinnamon-chip scones and caramel lattes.To learn more about Dorian and her work, visit: www.DorianWrites.blogspot.com

Hayden Wand is a Christian and a homeschool graduate who has loved the classic story of Beauty and the Beast since the age of three, when she saw the Disney movie for the first time. When she’s not writing, reading, or bribing her siblings to read the classics, you can find her baking, crafting, practicing her archery skills, or watching her favorite shows on the BBC. She lives in South Carolina with her parents and four energetic younger siblings. To learn more about Hayden and her work, visit: www.everystory-storygirl.blogspot.com

I was given a review copy of Five Enchanted Roses from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Destined for Doon

18866743Book Review: Destined for Doon

Authors: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Book Look Bloggers’ website description of Destined for Doon:

In this sequel to Doon, Mackenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake – choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. To make everything worse, she’s received her Calling – proof she and Duncan are each other’s one true love – and it’s pure torment, especially when visions of the very alluring Scottish prince appear right before she goes on stage. So when Duncan tells her an ancient curse threatens to overtake Doon and the new queen needs her to return, Kenna doesn’t have to think twice. With darkness closing in on all sides, Kenna and Vee must battle a world of nightmares in order to protect the kingdom. But it will take the ultimate test of courage for Kenna to salvage her happily ever after.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you read the first book in the Doon Series, then you should remember that it ends on a cliff hanger. Destined for Doon picks up shortly after that, depending on which time you’re in, Doon or World time. Mackenna’s life isn’t exactly as she thought it would be. The theater world is not nearly as shiny—or as fulfilling—as she imagined it would be. Likewise, back in Dodge, or Doon rather, Veronica’s life isn’t all peachy-keen. Being a queen is no easy task, especially when her boyfriend and co-regent-to-be seems to regard her as incapable of handling the role by herself. That was one of the things I appreciated in this second book. Just like real life, this novel doesn’t portray everyone with a fantastical happily-ever-after.

As in Doon, this sequel has a good deal of suspense as Mackenna and Veronica have to save the kingdom yet again. The novel felt like a YA fantasy (yeah, it is) with a potential zombie apocalypse. It also reminded me of the Chronicles of Narnia movie, Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Interesting combo, I know.

I wouldn’t categorize this book as Christian fantasy. More like general YA fantasy with some Christian elements and themes. Whether or not the authors develop that plot line more in the next two books will be interesting to see.

Again, the romance level of this book is a bit more than what I prefer to read, with a couple kissing scenes (for lack of a better way to put it) that were uncomfortable for me to read.

As with every book, Destined for Doon needs to be read with discretion, and I would say this book is aimed for the older teen reader and adult reader. I enjoyed Destined for Doon and was sucked into the story line just as I was with Doon. The authors do a fantastic job of creating compelling characters and conflicts that had me thinking of them whenever I had to put the book down.

Oh, and guess what? There is another cliff hanger at the end of this book, which is frustrating, and compelling at the same time. They did a good job, though, because it left me thinking bring on Book 3!

About the Authors

Biographies from the Doon Series website: Carey Corp wrote her first book, a brilliant retelling of Star Wars, at the prodigious age of seven. Since then, her love affair of reinvention has continued to run amuck. Writing both literary fiction and stories for young adults, she begins each morning consuming copious amounts of coffee while weaving stories that capture her exhaustive imagination. She harbors a voracious passion (in no consistent order) for mohawks, Italy, musical theater, chocolate, and Jane Austen. Her debut novel for teens, The Halo Chronicles: The Guardian, earned her national recognition as 2010 Golden Heart finalist for best young adult fiction.

A few years ago, Lorie Langdon left her thriving corporate career with a Fortune 500 company to satisfy the voices in her head. Now as a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, she spends her summers editing poolside while dodging automatic water-gun fire, and the rest of the year tucked into her cozy office, Havanese puppy by her side, working to translate her effusive imagination into the written word. Her co-written four-book series, DOON, a YA reimagining of the Scottish legend of Brigadoon, will release beginning in August 2013 from Zondervan/Harper Collins.

I was given a review copy of Destined for Doon from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Shadow Hand

 

ShadowHand_complete

Book Review: Shadow Hand

 

Author: Anne Elisabeth Stengl

 

Review by Grace Olson

 

 

The Story

 

Taken from Bethany House’s website description of Shadow Hand:

This is a story about blood.
And love.
And the many things that lie between.

By her father’s wish, Lady Daylily is betrothed to the Prince of Southlands. Not the prince she loves, handsome and dispossessed Lionheart, but his cousin, the awkward and foolish Prince Foxbrush. As her wedding day dawns, Daylily flees into the dangerous Wilderlands, her only desire to vanish from living memory.

But Foxbrush, determined to rescue his betrothed, pursues Daylily into a new world of magic and peril, a world where vicious Faerie beasts hold sway, a world invaded by a lethal parasite.

A world that is hauntingly familiar.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As you all should know by now, I love Anne Elisabeth’s books. As I read Shadow Hand, I was unsure at first as to whether I would feel the same about this book. I had a bit of trouble getting into this story world, a world made darker by the villain of this tale. By the time I finished, however, I realized this too was a book that I would gladly return to in the future, but maybe not for the reason you might think.

I was reminded, yet again, why I love Anne Elisabeth’s writing. It is the underlying themes that catch at my heart and beg me to return again and again. Redemption. New life. Hope eternal in the One who created us, and molds those who will let Him into the people we were designed to be. Shadow Hand was entertaining, the characters unique and memorable, but it is this element of mercy and unfathomable love that thrills my heart and revives in me the desire to become closer to and truly know my Savior. This is what I look for in the various novels I read. What resonates with me is that underlying tone that goes beyond entertainment or even creating an emotional experience, to what truly matters.

I would highly recommend this book. For those of you who have read the other Tales of Goldstone Wood, you’ll find some familiar faces and some altogether new. The characters in Shadow Hand are all flawed, and some can be difficult to like, but be on your guard against prejudging them, for none are beyond redemption.

About the Author

Biography from Bethany House’s website: Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, Dragonwitch, and Shadow Hand. Heartless, Veiled Rose, and Moonblood have each been honored with a Christy Award. ~ To learn more about Anne and her other books, visit her web page: http://anneelisabethstengl.blogspot.com/

I was given a review copy of Shadow Hand from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.

 

Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

_240_360_Book.1044.coverBook Review: Doon

Authors: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Doon synopsis provided by Book Look Bloggers:

Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes?

When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months. But the Scottish countryside holds other plans. Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation.

Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for… or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hadn’t originally intended to review this book. Not really. But when I signed up to participate in the Book Look Blogger program, it was the only book that caught my attention at the time. I had heard/seen a lot of hype for this book, so I thought, “Hey, why not?” Since my expectations were at Level: Curious, the book could go either way. So what did I think?

What I liked: Well, first of all, I received a hardcover copy. Dust jacket, shiny letters, and all. I mean, how cool is that? Already I liked this book, and I hadn’t even cracked the cover! I have a system of what books I read when, so that I meet all my deadlines, but I finished A Match Made In Texas earlier than expected, so I had a book lull and picked up Doon. As if I thought I could ever put it down again. I tell you, this book was responsible for several late nights and distracted days. The writing truly drew me in. It’s written in first person, alternating between Veronica and Mackenna’s view points, so I felt as if I truly knew these two girls. I loved how Doon was not the average teen novel (excuse the stereotype) consisting, mainly, of romance where the characters are (can be) flat and the love story (or triangle) is superficial. I felt for Veronica and Mackenna and their respective hurts from their pasts. And the heroes were fantastic. Or eventually became fantastic, because, I’ll be honest, a certain prince wasn’t acting so princely at first, but then he got straightened out.

What I didn’t like: So there was some language in this book, not much, perhaps three or four swear words, but it took me by surprise. Also, the book was a bit higher on the sexual tension-o-meter, making me feel uncomfortable at times. Another thing was the lack of Christian message. The relationship between the kingdom of Doon and its Protector was symbolic of a Christian’s relationship with Christ, but aside from that, I couldn’t find much in the way of a Christian message, aside from a few other references to God.

In all, this was a highly entertaining read. Like I mentioned, there were some things in it that I didn’t like, and that would, sadly, cause me to think carefully before I recommended this book to a friend. The same for any books, discernment needs to be used, and Doon is not an exception.

What is truly exciting is that this book is the first in the Doon Series, so if you’d like to find out more info, you can go to a website created specifically for the series! Check it out: http://www.doonseries.com/

About the Authors

Carey Corp lives in the metropolitan Midwest with her loveable yet out-of-control family. Carey wrote her first book at the age of seven, and currently begins each morning consuming copious amounts of coffee while weaving stories that capture her exhaustive imagination. She harbors a voracious passion (in no consistent order) for mohawks, Italy, musical theater, chocolate, and Jane Austen. Carey’s debut novel for teens, The Halo Chronicles: The Guardian, earned her national recognition as 2010 Golden Heart finalist for best young adult fiction and was recently featured at the 2012 RT Booklovers Convention in Chicago in YA Alley.

Lorie Langdon has over ten years of experience writing online and print advertising for a Fortune 500 company, and left her thriving corporate career to satisfy the voices in her head. Now as a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, she spends her summers editing poolside while dodging automatic water-gun fire, and the rest of the year tucked into her cozy office, Havanese puppy by her side, working to translate her effusive imagination into the written word and continue to build the young-adult-focused blog, HonestlyYA. Find out more about her here: http://www.lorielangdon.com/

I was given a review copy of Doon from Zondervan via Book Look Bloggers, in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.

Becoming the Chateran~Blog Tour, Interview, and Giveaway!

I am really excited to participate in the unveiling of S.J. Aisling’s cover for her debut novel, Becoming the Chateran, and I can’t wait to introduce this new author to you. Stacia and I have been good friends since we were munchkins, and I’m elated that I’ve been able to tag along with her on this journey to publication. In this post, you’re going to get to see the beautiful cover of the novel, get to learn a little about Stacia, read a snippet of the book, and view one of the many illustrations within! I hope by now you’re excited, but that’s not all! You can also participate in a fantastic giveaway.

Back-of-the-book blurb:

When Princess Rhea’s actions inadvertently condemn two innocent knights to death, she wakes to the hard reality that not even nobility is above the law. All her attempts to remedy the situation only complicate it, until she finds herself a fugitive in her own kingdom, having dragged her best friend into the trouble as well. Their only hope for pardon? To accompany Sir Paladin and Sir Zephen in serving their sentence:

Slay, or be slain by, the Dragons of Sama-Ael-Fen.

Travelling incognito, they meet with more malicious Phoenixes than could be coincidental, discover the mysterious disappearance of numerous citizens, and come face to face with a reawakened evil power. With the kingdom of Gemworthy oblivious to the connection of these dangers, it’s up to Rhea and her outlaw companions to stop the rising threat and redeem their names – if they can survive their quest.

My interview with Stacia:

When will Becoming the Chateran be available for purchase, and where can I get it?

~ Becoming the Chateran will be available this December as an ebook and a paperback, and you can buy it via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the website of my publisher, Life Sentence/Aniko Press. In fact, you can preorder your own paperback copy now from the latter location – preordering it will up your chances of getting it in time for Christmas!

Where did you find inspiration to write Becoming the Chateran?

Years ago while studying medieval history in school, a friend of mine and I pretended we were knightesses (prince/princess, knight/knightess, right?). I was Rhea, and my friend was Hiylienea. We had so much fun with our fantastical adventures that I decided to write everything down so we could remember it all, and so doing created the first draft of Becoming the Chateran. The story has expanded and matured a lot since then, but all the major elements and characters of the original make-believe are still there.

Any hints as to what awaits in the rest of The Chateran Series?

~ Most of the characters from Becoming the Chateran will reappear throughout the rest of the series, as well as many new ones. I’m personally really excited for this second book of the series to come out, as it will tie up a several loose ends/foreshadowed events from Becoming the Chateran… as well as introducing new conundrums to tease you with. This second book features a shy minstrel girl, an awkward archer, a talking White Stag, revengeful Sídhe, enchained jewelry, and a civil war.

The Chateran Series is medieval fantasy. Have you been doing much research for writing it?

~ For the past seven years and counting I have lived half in this world, and half in that of this series. I’ve been walking around with a notebook all but attached to me, stuffed with notes about food, geography, clothing, character sketches, scene descriptions, and snatches of poetry and ballads. Tailoring myself costumes based off those my characters wear was one of the most amusing and insightful things I did, as I’d dress up in full rig to act scenes out in my back yard or parks before I wrote them, to make the action and descriptions as accurate as possible. I also tried my hand at archery and horseback riding, proudly became the owner of several encyclopedias on world costume and armor, and studied heraldry and the cultures of multiple medieval cultures. My father is a research scientist. I think it rubbed off on me.

Do you have any tips for fellow writers on staying focused on a story?

~ To me, staying driven to write a book depends on finding the happy medium between planning out what will happen and what they characters are like so you start out with good solid ground under you, and leaving enough out so that even you, the writer, is chaffing at the bit to find out what happens next.

Also, I feel too many writers start out by trying to write what they don’t know about, and their lack of knowledge and interest is crippling. But do more than simply write what you know. Write what you are passionate about – readers are smart people, and they’ll notice the conviction ringing through your story, and it will touch them as only fervent honesty can. And as a side perk, you’re more likely to actually WANT to write, as it will be something you feel/believe strongly about. This automatically makes the whole process a lot easier.

Do you like to write from an outline, or do you go by the seat of your pants?

~ I’m somewhere in between. I like to have a general structure of the major plot line down before I start writing, but the real planning I do is in the construction of my characters. As I broaden their personalities, life experiences, and quirks, they tell me the story they want to have told. I’ve always been a big fan of character-driven stories. And whenever I do take a lot of time to plan out the plot, my characters pretty much trash it and do whatever they want, anyway.

What did you enjoy most about writing Becoming the Chateran?

~ As Becoming the Chateran was the first book I ever wrote, the whole discovery of creating and entire fictional world is what delighted me the most. I’m the daughter of an artist and a research scientist, and I like to joke that I’ve got the best of both worlds from each of them – I love to push my creativity, and discover the facts and reasons behind why it would work. I’ll actually be sharing a lot of how I plan and construct the worlds for my books in an intensive miniseries about world building on my blog pretty soon.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do for writing this book?

~ That’s actually a really hard question to answer. I’ve done a lot of weird things. Googling how to inflict and treat wounds Medieval-style was probably the one that would get me the most odd looks from anyone reading my search history.

Isn’t that cover fantastic? And just so you know, there are 40+ illustrations/visuals in this book–all created by Stacia, including the cover. Now for a sneak peak of Chapter One’s illustration and a bit of the story:

Outside, the sky was flushed with pink and faint gold over the white-flecked sea far below the castle, and a ray of sunlight foraged through the window into the darkness of the staircases and halls. A glimpse of steel caught the light under the figure’s cloak but was swept out of sight again as the figure adjusted the hood to hide its face more effectively. All around, the sounds of disturbance in the castle grew louder, shouted commands echoed down the hallways themselves, and the castle bell in the northern tower rang out the hour of five in ripples of silver music. At the sound, the shadow jumped, heart leaping, and ran up the staircase, only to stop short. Footsteps were coming. Footsteps and the merry sound of a few bars of whistled music. Across the eager face, half-hidden by the dark hood, a smile flashed for a moment, before the cloaked one leapt forward to disappear into the shadow of another flight of stairs just ahead.

He is coming!

 

Stacia Joy has always loved to tell stories and invent fictional lands and characters. But she never considered becoming a writer herself until age thirteen, when, inspired by a pretend play she invented with a friend, she wrote the first draft of Becoming the Chateran. The story has since expanded into what will become The Chateran Series. Stacia Joy also writes in several other genres, including steampunk and paranormal/science fiction, and occasionally writes poems about buffalo.
Wanting to show others what her imagined universe looks like, Stacia Joy taught herself to draw by studying the work of illustrators like Alphonse Mucha, Arthur Rackham, Kate Seredy, and Jan Brett. She also received training in illustration and graphic design at Madison Area Technical College, and plans to become a full-fledged freelance illustrator.
When not immersed in writing or art, Stacia Joy spends her time playing the piano and folk harp, composing music, Irish dancing, singing at the top of her lungs, and learning new things. She also enjoys helping with children’s ministry at her church, and currently resides in the Madison, Wisconsin area with a kitten named Lord Peter Whimsey.

Here’s how you can connect with Stacia:

Blog: sjaisling.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SJAislingAuthor
Twitter: twitter.com/sjaisling
Tumblr: sjaisling.tumblr.com
Wattpad: wattpad.com/user/sjaisling
DeviantART: theynamedherrheulea.deviantart.com
Life Sentence/Aniko Press: lifesentencepublishing.com
Preordering: http://www.shop.lifesentencepublishing.com/Becoming-The-Chateran-6320.htm?categoryId=-1
Now I’m sure you’re all wondering about the giveaway, so here it is. Follow all the directions and you’ll be entered to win one of those prizes!

Goddess Tithe Cover Reveal~Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I’ve really enjoyed participating in the various cover reveals, giveaways, and blog tours that Anne Elisabeth has been putting on lately. I am super excited to read Shadow Hand, due to release in February. If you’d care to see my review of Dragonwitch, her latest release, click here.

Now for the cover reveal!

GoddessTitheThe Vengeful Goddess

Demands Her Tithe

When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya‘s only hope to return safely home.

Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown’s garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.

Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?

Excited yet? For those who have read some of The Tales of Goldstone Wood before, there may be some characters in here that you’re familiar with.

And guess what? There are illustrations in the novella too! Here’s a sample photo and what Anne Elisabeth has to say about them:

Illustration1 (1)

There are eight full-page illustrations in Goddess Tithe featuring various characters and events from the story. This is the first one in the book. I decided to share it with all of you since it depicts my young hero, Munny the cabin boy, under the watchful eye of his mentor, the old sailor Tu Pich. Munny is on his first voyage, and he is determined to learn all there is to know about a life at sea as quickly as possible. Thus we see him utterly intent upon the knot he is learning to tie. Tu Pich is old enough to know that no sailor will ever learn all there is to know about the sea. Thus he looks on, grave, caring, and perhaps a little sad. He might be looking upon his own younger self of many years ago, fumbling through the hundreds of difficult knots his fingers must learn to tie with unconscious ease.

I enjoyed creating all the illustrations for Goddess Tithe, but this one was my favorite. I love the contrasts of light and dark, the contrasts of young and old . . . youthful intensity versus the perspective of age.

For those of you who don’t know Anne Elisabeth…

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Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, including Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, and Dragonwitch. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award, and Starflower was voted winner of the 2013 Clive Staples Award.

But we ain’t finished yet, folks! Anne Elisabeth is also putting on a giveaway of two proof copies of Goddess Tithe!

*U.S. and Canada only.

Click on the link to the Rafflecopter link below to enter in the giveaway.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MGNkNTI0NzYyMGZiNjAwZjNmMTRhNTUxOTQ2MTQyOjE2/

To learn more about Goddess Tithe, click on the blog button below. The first chapter is available there for your reading pleasure.

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