Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Blogging Break

Or I Don't Really Feel Like Posting Much, So I'm Giving Forewarning So I Don't Have to Feel Guilty

Yep, that pretty much says it all. I had been planning anyway not to post much from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, but I decided since I didn't really want to think up even new character posts for awhile, I would go ahead and start early. I'll still be posting important stuff, like Ashley Elliott's blog tour for Becoming Nikki (which is available for preorder on kindle!!!) and if I decide to do some sort of Christmas sale or coupon or something, but for the most part I'm just not going to worry about blogging until the new year. I want to be able to enjoy the Christmas season with my family and friends without blogging hanging over me. You should too. Your family is more important than the internet. And anyway, maybe I'll be able to devote more time to working on Time Captives so I can publish Creighton Hill fairly early next year. I'll be telling you a lot more about my Time Captives in the new year. So, ta ta for now, and I'll see you at the blog tour!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The King's Scrolls Cover Reveal

There are lots of cool covers being revealed lately, and I get to show you another one of them today. Ilyon Chronicles book 2: The King's Scrolls. Remember how much I raved about Resistance earlier this year? How incredibly awesome it is? Well, The King's Scrolls is even better. Way better. Seriously, with every new installment in Ilyon Chronicles, Jaye blows me away even more. Next year, I'll be telling you how much more awesome book 3 is. If this trend continues, and I see no signs of it stopping, I can't imagine how spectacular book 6 will be. But you want to see the cover, don't you? Here it is. Isn't it cool?
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About the Book

Following the harrowing events that brought them to Landale Forest, Jace and Kyrin have settled comfortably into their new lives and the mission of protecting those under the emperor’s persecution. The fast approach of winter brings with it the anticipation of a quiet few months ahead. That is until the arrival of four mysterious, dragon-riding cretes who seek aid in a mission of great importance—not only to their own people, but to all followers of Elôm.

Hidden in the vast mining valley north of Valcré, a faithful crete has spent years sharing his knowledge with the destitute miners and their families and is known to possess what may be Arcacia’s last surviving copies of the King’s Scrolls—the Word of Elôm. Joining the cretes, those in Landale must find the crete teacher and bring him to safety, but it is a race against time. Should Daican’s men find him first, execution and the destruction of the Scrolls is certain.

When disaster strikes, all seems lost. Could Elôm have a plan even in the enemy’s triumph?

Excited yet? There isn't an official release date yet, but it should be out sometime early next year. You won't want to miss it. Really. I'm serious. It's an amazing book. I know I say that about a lot of my friends' books, but I wouldn't get so fully behind them if I didn't believe what I'm saying. You can find all the other blogs participating in the reveal here, and see how they agree. Here, add it on Goodreads so you can show that you trust my judgement and Jaye's amazing writing. :)
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About the Author

Jaye L. Knight is a homeschool graduated indie author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean new adult fiction. 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 website, blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.


Giveaway

To celebrate her revealing of the cover, Jaye is giving away one of her handcrafted quill pen necklaces and a $5 Amazon gift card! Enter for a chance to win using the form below! U.S. entries only please.
And here's an excerpt from the book to get you even more interested, and super jealous of all the beta readers who have gotten to read the whole thing already. :D
Excerpt

     The other younger crete took a swig of his coffee and set his eyes past her. Kyrin peeked over her shoulder at Kaden who, of course, was staring at the dragon. The female creature stared back in mutual interest.
     “Go ahead,” the crete said suddenly. “You can touch her. She loves attention, and she’ll only attack if I tell her to.” A sly glint sparkled in his spring-green eyes.
     Besides Jace, Kyrin had never seen anyone with such bright and colorful eyes as these cretes.
     Kaden looked at him, his brows rising. “You can do that?”
     The crete nodded. “Dragons are highly intelligent. You can teach them almost any command. Storm here is young, but she learns fast.”
     Kyrin smiled at the delight in her brother’s eyes as he stepped closer to the dragon and ran his hand over her bluish-gray neck scales. A grin split his face.
     “She’s so smooth. Kyrin, come and feel it.”
     Kyrin stepped to his side and laid her hand on the dragon. The scales were indeed very smooth, reminding her of the polished marble stair-railings in Auréa Palace, but they weren’t cold. Warmth radiated through them. The dragon, still watching them, let out a little rumble, almost like a giant cat’s purr.
     “I told you she liked attention,” the crete said, grinning.
     Kyrin chuckled and glanced at Jace to see if he wanted to touch the dragon, but he made no move to come closer. This certainly had more to do with the crete than the dragon. He was very fond of any type of animal. She faced the crete again.
     “So they can breathe fire?”
     “For short bursts, but that’s usually all it takes to deter any threat.”
     “That’s incredible,” Kaden breathed.
     While he continued admiring Storm, Kyrin observed the dragon’s rider. He appeared to be in his early to mid-twenties—about ten years younger than Captain Darq—though his exact age was impossible to guess. Cretes were said to mature faster than humans, so he could be anywhere from seventeen to twenty-five. He too wore a sleeveless jerkin. Brown tattoos, a little darker than his skin, marked both shoulders. Darq and the other cretes had them as well, but Kyrin hadn’t taken a good look at them until now. This man’s were a complicated pattern of spirals and dots, but the shape of a fox stood out in the center of his right shoulder.
     Though she tried to be discreet, he must have caught her studying him and suddenly extended his hand to her. “I’m Talas, by the way. Talas Folkan of the Fox Clan.”
Look out for The King's Scrolls by Jaye L. Knight in early 2015!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Firmament: Machiavellian Review

Picture Recommended for: All ages

Rating: PG (violence and medical)

On their way back to Earth from the newly discovered world of Kainus Ge, the Surveyor rescues the personnel of a malfunctioning science station. Young medical assistant Andi quickly befriends the newcomers, particularly the charming captain, but things get complicated when the scientists offer the impossible--a way to improve the barren planet and the lives of all its inhabitants.

There's only one problem: their solution requires the
Surveyor to enter the one area of the galaxy which is off-limits to travel.

As the Captain struggles with his decisions, Andi and her father become suspicious of the “accidents” that keep happening on the ship. Could it be coincidence, or is someone trying to sabotage their mission? Can they uncover the truth in time to stop the Captain from wrecking his career and losing his ship forever?


I admit, ever since accidentally stumbling on Radialloy following "customers who bought this also bought" rabbit trails on my kindle, I have been a huge fan of the Firmament Series. I love science fiction, I have since I was a child whose knowledge of sci-fi came only from A Wrinkle in Time and E.T., the Extraterrestrial, but there's such a shortage of good, well-written, Christian science fiction. The Firmament Series works to fill in that gap, and I believe it is succeeding in an incredible way. Book 3, Machiavellian, is no exception. Of course, I do recommend reading the first two books, Radialloy and In His Image first, but don't worry about sequel failure. It won't happen. I also recommend reading the online prologues and epilogues. They aren't necessary to the story, but they add an extra layer of depth to it that makes it even better...despite the freak out some bits of it gave me where it hints at what eventually happens to some of the characters. But I'm here to talk about Machiavellian specifically.

Writing: 5/5

Grace's books are always well-written. Machiavellian is up to par with the other Firmament books, really pulling the reader into the story and Andi's thoughts and emotions. The narrative is tightly written, never wandering off into unnecessary plot lines. I'll get into it more in the plot section, but the way she writes really brings out the mystery. I don't guess endings as well as my sister, but I can still predict them some, and Machiavellian had me guessing almost until the end. She doesn't give out hints readily.

Setting: 5/5

Machiavellian takes place back on the Surveyor. After spending Radialloy there, it felt like coming home again. Spaceships and space travel fascinate me, so I love reading about the Surveyor. Naturally, such space travel is fiction only, so it's really only speculation how it would all work, but I felt like it's all very believable. Much more believable than my beloved Doctor Who. Firmament really feels like it could take place in a real future version of our universe. I love the setting.

Plot: 5/5

I'd give it 6 or 7 out of 5, but I'm not sure my sisters would like me to thus bend our rating system. Because this plot was so twisty and turny and gasping out loud and ranting about my confusion over what's really going on that it deserves extra points. Rabbit trails and red herrings make it so difficult to figure out who's behind the sabotage, and it's even harder to figure out what the saboteurs are trying to accomplish and why. And the message throughout. Helping Elasson and the other inhabitants of Kainus Ge is a worthy cause. Andi wants to help them. But helping them would require doing something that is illegal, though it's not technically against God's law. The Bible doesn't say "Thou shalt not enter the galactic center." Is it really wrong if it's for a good cause? These are the questions Andi struggles with, and in a realistic and relatable fashion. And her conclusion...spoilers.

Characters: 5/5

I love the Firmament cast of characters.They feel like old friends by now. I could really feel Andi's struggles, and I definitely sympathized with her missing Elasson. I miss Elasson too. Grace said we'll see him again, but seeing him again right now wouldn't be soon enough. He's mentioned quite often throughout Machiavellian, and I hope there's a good reason why Andi is so worried about the possibility of losing him. (Hint, hint. Andi and Elasson. It would be perfect. :) ) The Doctor is himself, and I loved seeing more of him. There's more of August than in previous books, which I liked (but no, I'm still not a crazy August fangirl), and Guilders's character emerges more. We get to see more of what Captain Trent is like, and new character Napoleon is another one of those who is difficult to figure out, definitely interesting. Crash is absent from this book, but the loss of his cocky personality didn't make too much of a difference. Firmament can survive without him.

Firmament: Machiavellian is a worthy continuation of the to be 18 book series that is an excellent, not to be missed Christian science fiction adventure. Firmament is awesome. Go read it. :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Becoming Nikki Cover Reveal

Today is a very special day. One of my good friends by the name of Ashley Elliott is going to be publishing her first book. It's called Becoming Nikki, and it's super good (yes, I've read it . . . I formatted it, too, so I know), and so I'm really excited about it. You can find out even more about it on Ashley's blog, www.inklingspress.wordpress.com. It will be released on December 8th. I know, that's about a month away, so why am I talking about it now? Well, I want to get you all hyped up about this amazing Christian Contemporary Fiction book . . . and you get to see something special today, too. The Cover! First, the book description.

What would you do if you were given the opportunity to rebuild a broken relationship?

Alec and Nikki Scott are the perfect ice dancing duo, executing flawless technique and brilliant performance abilities each time they compete. No one doubts their camaraderie, not even their friends.

But looks can be deceiving. Off the ice, their relationship is in shambles. Ice dancing is the only thing they have in common anymore… and Alec wants out.

Just as Nikki feels like their relationship can’t get any worse, an unexpected tragedy crashes into her life. She’s left struggling with a difficult choice as her opinion of her brother slowly starts to change.

Whatever she decides, she knows that her life will never be the same.

Doesn't it sound cool? Ashley is superb at writing the struggles of Alec and Nikki's relationship, and the difficulties surrounding the tragedy. And she tells me what she writes now is even better! But here's the real purpose of this post. The cover.
So, what do you think? Sound like a book you're interested in? Mark your calendars for December 8th. We're planning all sorts of fun blogging stuff to celebrate the release. You won't want to miss it.

Picture Ashley Elliott is a writer, reader, musician, photographer, tree-climber, and Leaguette. She speaks fluently in movie quotes and spends most of her time fangirling over her latest obsession. In her free time, she enjoys laughing with her friends, laughing over Christian indie films (but secretly loving them), and laughing with her five crazy siblings. Ashley is a homeschool graduate and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Humanities through CollegePlus. She lives in Georgia with her parents and siblings, and doesn't have any pets.