Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Camp NaNo Starts Tomorrow!

Almost ever since I joined the online world about two years ago (has it really only been two years?!) I've heard about National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo, or NaNo. In case you don't know, it's basically writing a 50,000 word novel in a month, the month of November. I thought it looked fun and wanted to try, despite knowing that I'm a slow writer and have yet to reach 50,000 in any project. It never worked out to do regular NaNo (yet), but I'm doing Camp NaNo in July.

I think I might be crazy to try. We're finishing our basement right now too, on top of my being a slow writer, but I still aim to try.

My goal is to finish my outer space dystopian, which amounts to a little under 30,000 words. You can do goals like that in Camp. I'm really eager to finish this book. I feel like it's important. I'm not sure exactly why. It's nothing like anything I've ever written before. For one thing, the characters' ages make it more YA than Middle Grade. (Still appropriate for middle grade readers, though.) But the bigger things are that it's really all about Christianity. My characters have always been Christians, and it's been a big part of the story to trust God, but this is about discovering Christianity for the first time. It's also not as much of an action book. Rather than non stop action it's more...introspective...and...deep. It's hard to figure out what words to use to describe it, but I think deep fits very well. My sister likes it best.

I intend to give weekly NaNo updates, but we'll see how that goes. If my posting only consists of pre-scheduled promo posts for my friends' awesome books, that'll be enough. And I can't wait to share more of my stories with you!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Interview with Faith Blum

Today I have Faith Blum on my blog for an interview. Faith recently published Amazing Grace, book 3 of the Hymns of the West series, which I really enjoyed. You can read my full review over at Shire Reviews. If you like good, Christian historical fiction, you'll love Amazing Grace. But without further ado, here's Faith.

Hi, Faith! Welcome to my blog. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, Morgan! Thanks for having me. Sure! I’m a twenty-something author of three books (so far). I live at home with my family and currently write full time. I love to play games with my family, read, write, do crafts, and play piano.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the Hymns of the West series is a series of Christian Westerns. Could you tell us a little more about it?

The Hymns of the West series is the story about two families and how God’s providence leads them together in a way only He can.

What gave you the idea for the Hymns of the West series, and what made you decide to title the books after hymns?

I’ll answer the last half of the question first. When I was editing A Mighty Fortress, the first book, I didn’t have a really good title. Then I started to notice that the characters quoted, mentioned, or sang the hymn a lot. So the title was born. When I decided to make it into a series, I thought the title Hymns of the West would be unique for a series and also promote some of my favorite hymns that are so rich with good theology.

Do you ever base your characters on real people?

My sister asked me that question just a few weeks ago. She’s one of my beta-readers and had just finished my novellas. Anyway, the answer is no. Not on purpose anyway. I might put elements of different people in my characters, but that’s pretty hard to avoid unless you go with super unrealistic characters.

Which of the Amazing Grace characters would you most like to spend the day with?

Ooo! That is hard! I think Rachel. She might only be ten, but I think she would be a lot of fun to be around for a whole day.

Let’s talk about writing. I get writer’s block quite a bit. What do you do when you get stuck?

I haven’t had writer’s block much, but I did for two horrible weeks the end of last year. I didn’t end up doing any writing or editing. Since then, I have tried something new. When I get stuck, if I know something I want to write about a few scenes (or half the book) ahead, I’ll skip ahead to that and come back when I figure out how to get unstuck. That has helped a lot!

I really like to drink tea while I write. Do you have any special drinks or snacks for writing?

Water. When I get hungry, I like to have smoothies if someone makes them. Otherwise, I just write without or scrounge around for something.

What is your favorite part of writing?

The first draft. After that the writing and editing and rewriting and more editing just gets monotonous. But not always. Sometimes writing the first draft is the hardest and the rewriting and editing is the best part. That was the case for Amazing Grace. The writing was hard. The editing was, too, but it didn’t seem as bad as with A Mighty Fortress and Be Thou My Vision.

On a final note, do you have any advice for someone who would love to write a Western, but doesn’t know where to start?

Read. If you haven’t read a Western, don’t try to write one. Also, remember that not everything in the Old West was shootouts and Indian fights. Try a little variety.
About the Book
Caleb hurried to the post office. He had to get in and out before his sister finished at the general store. “Any mail for the Stuarts?” he asked the postmaster.

The postmaster took a lazy look at him over the top of his eyeglasses and gave a heaving sigh as he turned around to check. “Yep. Somethin’ from Ohio and somethin’ from Montana.”

Tapping his foot, Caleb waited until the large man put the letters lazily in his hand. As he left he wondered why Anna had written someone in Montana and who she knew in Montana. It was really none of his business, but he was still curious. He folded the Ohio letter in half and stashed it in his back pocket. It would get wrinkled, but at least Anna wouldn’t know about it.

As Caleb struggles through some inner battles, he secretly starts a correspondence with a widow and her daughter. Their unabashed faith in God convicts him and increases his inner struggles.

Unable to find a steady job, Maggie places an advertisement to become a mail-order bride. Her daughter, Rachel, is her motivation and encouragement, but if Maggie doesn’t find a job or husband soon, Rachel might not survive through the next year.

Can Caleb learn to trust God despite his past? Can Maggie and Rachel hold onto their faith despite all their trials? What will happen when they meet in person?

About the Author

An avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, Captaining on the Holy Worlds Historical Fiction Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?).

As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have.

You can find Faith on her Website, Blog, Facebook, and Twitter


Find the other blog tour posts here!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tag Week Pt. 2: Favorite Screen Characters Tag

So I promised two tag posts this week. Here's the second one.

I was tagged by Jaye L. Knight for the Favorite Screen Characters tag. As hard as it is to choose just ten, I still have to do it, because how could I not? Permission to talk about my favorite TV show and movie characters? Of course! So here they are.

The Doctor ~ Doctor Who

There was absolutely no doubt the Doctor would be on this list. Who doesn't like a several hundred year old alien who travels through time and space in a blue box and saves the universe with a screwdriver? My favorite is Ten, because he's just awesome, but I love the Doctor no matter which one he is. To quote the Brigadier, "He can wear whatever face he likes." He's a hero. He's funny. He can sometimes be kind of rude. He's clever. He's tortured by his past, specifically the Time War. He loves adventure. He saves people on a regular basis. He's the Doctor.


Arthur ~ BBC Merlin

King Arthur, the Once and Future King. King Arthur stories never really interested me much, but after catching up with Netflix on Doctor Who and Sherlock, we decided to try Merlin. Oh, my goodness, I love it, and Arthur is my favorite character. He has a tremendous character arc. He goes from being a spoiled brat to being the best king Camelot could have. He can still be sort of thoughtless, but he proves time and time again that he would give his life for anyone in the kingdom, particularly Gwen and even Merlin. I do enjoy his relationship with Merlin. They're like brothers who pick on each other all the time, but are really loyal to each other when it comes to the point. Only with one exception. Arthur has the authority to make Merlin do his work. :) Arthur's a great character, and just look at his faces. They crack me up.


Rose Tyler ~ Doctor Who

Now, I could do an entire top ten list entirely on Doctor Who characters, but I've whittled it down to just the Doctor and Rose. Rose is my first companion and will always be my favorite. Funny, since I didn't think I'd like her at all at first. She's just an average nineteen year old girl, lives with her widowed mom (she's Jackie Tyler, not what you'd think of as a widow), doesn't get the "don't wander off" thing, works in a shop...and then the autons attack London and the Doctor barges into her life. And Rose shows herself to be just as brave and adventurous as he is. She's kind and wants to help people, even when they're daleks, and, though it takes regeneration to get her to fully realize it, she loves the Doctor and is just as devoted to him as he is to her. They're just so happy together. Now excuse me while I go cry over "Doomsday."

(this is actually from "Journey's End," but anyway)


Peeta Mellark ~ The Hunger Games Trilogy

Peeta Mellark. The boy with the bread. The nicest character in The Hunger Games Trilogy. He's kind. He sees the best in people. He loves Katniss unconditionally. He would give his life for her. He's not a warrior, but that doesn't mean he's not brave. It doesn't mean he wouldn't fight for those he loves. Because he will. He won't fight just to fight. He won't kill just to kill. He's better than that. He'll do the right thing. And, yeah, he does know how to play a crowd. He can get them riled. He knows how to get sponsors to sympathize. Yet, at the same time, he's so genuine. Nothing in the way he acts towards Katniss is an act. Hers may be an act, but his isn't. And he's so...Peeta. And I hate what happens to him in Mockingjay. But still, the old Peeta, the boy with the bread, is in there, fighting to get back.


Kristoff ~ Frozen

Sorry Flynn Ryder lovers, I like Kristoff better. I like Flynn, but, um, Kristoff is way awesomer. He's an all round great guy. He's brave. He fought off wolves, journeyed to the north mountain, faced a snow monster, ran back through a blizzard to get to Anna. He's honest and sensible. He's not afraid to tell Anna it wasn't a smart idea to get herself engaged to someone she just met that day, but he respects her engagement all the same. When the trolls tease him about her, he even brings up that she's engaged to someone else. He helps Anna search for Elsa, even though she is going without a plan and without any clue as to what she's doing. He lets her do her thing, but is there to help when she fails. Like when he caught her as she jumped off the cliff. He's kind of awkward, but in an adorable sort of way. He doesn't lose his head in emergencies, but knows just what to do. And then at the end, he even asked permission before kissing Anna. (Now, I personally believe in saving one's first kiss for one's wedding, but he asked! How many times do Disney princes do that?) And here's a pin with all sorts of reasons why Kristoff is the best. He is. Because he's Kristoff.


Anna ~ Frozen

It's super difficult to choose between Anna and Rapunzel for my favorite Disney princess, and maybe I should have talked about Rapunzel since I just talked about Kristoff, but I'm sticking with a Frozen theme. And perhaps I like Anna a teensy bit better than Rapunzel, if only because of the sister theme, since, while Frozen isn't the first Disney movie to feature a sibling relationship, it is one of the few. And, despite being the less outgoing older sister, I feel like I can relate to Anna in a lot of ways. We have quirky personalities, can be very stubborn and determined, love chocolate, don't usually think before speaking or acting, sing a lot, have reddish hair, and our relationship with our sister(s) is extremely important to us. I would never agree to marry a man I just met that day, though. I'm not that much like Anna. Though, you know, "what if I meet the one?" "For the first time in forever, nothing's in my way!"


Sam Gamgee ~ The Lord of the Rings

"I'm glad you're with me, Sam, here at the end of all things." No one is a braver, more loyal friend than Samwise Gamgee. He is, without a doubt, my favorite LOTR character. Frodo never could have gotten to Mount Doom without Sam. Sam was there from the very beginning, helping out in any way he could, keeping the quest going, despite his longings for home, discerning right from wrong, determining who was a help and who would only betray them (um, Gollum), encouraging Frodo when things got hard, putting aside his own despair when it appeared Frodo had been killed and continuing towards Mount Doom with the Ring, carrying Frodo towards their destination when he could no longer walk himself. "I want to hear more about Sam. Frodo wouldn't have gotten very far without Sam." Because he's Samwise the Brave.


Anne Shirley ~ Anne of Green Gables

"Won't you please...call me Cordelia?" Anne is another one of those characters I love because I can relate to her. We're always making stupid mistakes because we live in our imaginations, we're always imagining things (while I never created a Haunted Wood, I have scared myself with my imagination), we like to imagine we have different names, write stories, we have tempers to struggle with, friendship is extremely important. The orphan aspect of her story just appeals to me because of a long fascination with orphans due to Annie. I like Anne mostly from the books, but Megan Follows did an excellent job portraying her. And it wasn't her fault the second and particularly third movies just aren't really that good. I blame that on the writers.

Doesn't every girl break a slate over her future husband's head?


Steve Rogers/Captain America ~ Marvel Cinematic Universe

So, it wasn't too long ago that I actually got interested in Marvel superheroes, but I quickly came to love Captain America. (I had loved the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferigno version of the Hulk before, but that's a little different.) Cap is honorable. He's a true hero. He wants to defend his country, but he'll do the right thing, even if it means disobeying orders. He's loyal to his friends. He's got some great comebacks, too. And, hey, he even got Thor's hammer to wiggle. He didn't go through with actually picking it up, but what does that say about him? And I feel sorry for him for losing Peggy. It's so sad. Cap's just such a great guy. And even though I love Hawkeye very much, Captain America is my favorite Avenger. I can't wait to see more of him in Captain America: Civil War. Him and Bucky. They have to fix Bucky. Cap needs his honorary brother back.


Lucy Pevensie ~ The Chronicles of Narnia

This post couldn't possibly be complete without someone from Narnia. It was a bit difficult to choose, but I decided (obviously) to go with Lucy Pevensie. I love Lucy because of her faithfulness. No one believes in Aslan so firmly and steadfastly no matter what as Lucy. She's a great inspiration. And yet, unlike Elsie Dinsmore, she's also very human. She makes mistakes (maybe more in the books than in the movies, but it's still Lucy). She's kind and loves to help people. She's friendly. She's brave. If she were any braver, she would be a lioness. She's a good queen, a good sister, and a good friend. And Georgie Henley does a fantastic job of portraying her. Despite the flaws in the dialogue writing in Dawn Treader, she's still the perfect Lucy.

They were all so young! Look how cute Georgie was!


So that's a top ten. I can't say the top ten definitively, because there are so many others, these are just the ones I chose to share. So many great characters! I kind of noticed a theme, though: girls I can relate to and guys who are honorable heroes. I wonder what that says about me?

And for those who I tag to share your top ten favorites: Katelyn, Moriah, Savannah, Destiny, Brianna, Ashley, Kendra, Maddy, Melani, Faith

So this is your permission to rave about your favorite screen characters. :) You don't have to if you don't want to, but trust me, it's fun. (Unless your internet is tied up with uploading a YouTube video when you're trying to search Pinterest for pictures of said characters. Then it's a little frustrating.)

If you're not tagged or don't have a blog, what are some of your favorite screen characters? Which of mine do you like?

*All pictures come from Pinterest

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tag Week Pt. 1: Liebster Award

I've been tagged in two things recently, so, now that blog tour stuff is over, I'm posting them both this week.

A few weeks ago, Katie Grace was tagged in the Liebster Award. I saw hers, enjoyed reading it and commented as such, adding that I love tags, and she very graciously added me to her tags. So, thank you, Katie!

And post writing this up, J. Grace Pennington tagged me in her Liebster award, so I'm adding her questions to the mix. Thanks for thinking of me, Grace!

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions from the blog who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers to receive this award.
  4. Come up with 11 questions for your nominees!

Katie's Questions

- Why do you write? Because God gave me the ability to write, stories to tell, and a desire to share them, and share Him through them. Plus, I just love books and have all these people in my head demanding their stories be told.

- If any fictional character could be your best friend, who would it be? Do you know how hard of a question that is? Just one? My first instinct is to say the Doctor from Doctor Who. He could take me so many places in time and space and I could meet so many famous people. It's also dangerous, though, and I know it doesn't last forever. I think I'd be better off having Kyrin Altair from Ilyon Chronicles as a best friend. Still dangerous circumstances, but she'd do so much more to build my faith than the Doctor ever could.

- What's one really weird dream you've had? *racks brain to determine which of all weird dreams is the weirdest, but not too weird to share* Once I dreamed that I was in some sort of hotel thing and we were being attacked by cartoon sharks. At one point, we were folding laundry, this was in the lobby/sitting room of a hotel, mind you, and the sharks were sort of in a parade. And there was one float that had an oven and as it went past an announcer voice said something like "a shark in a mama's oven." Craziest part is that at the time, this was a nightmare and I woke up totally freaked out.

- If you found a portal that could transport you to any fictional world of your choice, where would you go? Hard choices. Probably Ilyon, because then I could meet Jace and Kyrin. :)

- Paperback or Kindle? Why? Paperback for books I love, kindle for books I'm too poor to get as a paperback. See, I use my kindle to get free and cheap books that aren't at the library, but if I like it, it immediately goes on the "buy from Goodwill, ask for at birthdays and Christmas" list. Because I really do like paperbacks better. They're just more solid, it's easier to find your favorite parts, and you don't have to make sure they're on and charged. Besides, they just look more impressive.

- What's one post you've written that you're most proud of? I like "Should Christians Be Involved in Politics" and "The Separation of Church and State" because I feel like they're important topics and they're close to my politically involved heart. (and yes, I know that's two posts, I'm a vile rule-breaker. ;) )

- What's an interesting quirk that you have? Do you really want to know my quirks? I'll try to think of one that's not too embarrassing to post online. I almost always wear socks. If I'm barefoot, my feet feel dry and it drives me insane.

- Can you share a picture of your bookshelf? (More commonly known as: a #shelfie.) I technically have two bookshelves and the shelves over my desk, but I'm not showing you the mixed up/shared-with-sister mess that is two of them, since I just moved and am staying in what will be my sister's room, as the basement, and thus my room, is yet unfinished. However, I did organize my favorites and to-reads over my desk, so I can share that. Favorites are on top, to-reads on bottom.

- What are three things on your bucketlist? Or do you even have a bucketlist? I don't technically have a bucketlist, but if I did, visiting some of my internet friends would be on it. Probably also visiting the UK, and being in a movie. :)

- How old were you when you started writing? Erm. When I could talk. I dictated my first story to my mom before I could write. I was probably about five or six when I wrote loads about "the Silly Monster," so that's when I started really writing. And I started writing my first good book when I was about fourteen.

- Share the last sentence of your WIP with us! Hopefully I'll be farther along when this post goes up, but at the moment of writing, it's this: "Ariana said it probably threatened Standardization." (This is my outer space dystopian known as The Cassie Story because it's actually nameless.)

Grace's Questions

1. What book are you reading right now? At the time of writing this, I'm actually reading The House at Pooh Corner. Yes, I'm reading Winnie the Pooh books. I picked the easy books off my shelf to read since I just moved and I'm behind on my reading goal. Not sure what I'll be reading when this actually goes up, but if you want to know, you can pop over to my Goodreads shelf and see.

2. What’s your favorite TV show? Doctor Who. Of course. Because it's the best show ever created.

3. What’s your favorite place to go on a day out? The library. The book section at Goodwill. A good play. A good movie. I'm not really much of a day out kind of person, and I hate shopping, but if it involves stories of some kind, I'm good.

4. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I'm not entirely sure. I'm quite shy around strangers and I value my alone time, but I also value being around family and friends. I need time with people I care about just as much as I need time alone. And when I'm comfortable with a person I don't stop talking. So maybe some of both?

5. What does a typical lunch look like for you? A salad with whatever that could possibly go on a salad that I can find in the house on it (but always ranch dressing, must be ranch), an apple if that's the only fruit we have, but strawberries and blueberries if we have them, and potato chips, if we have some. I guess this is more my ideal lunch, but I do manage to have it most of the time.

6. Do you have any siblings? How many and what are their names and ages (if you’re comfortable sharing said information)? I have two sisters, Rebekah, age 16, and Addyson, age 14.

7. Do you work? If so, what is your job? I do more of odd jobs. I'm an author, which doesn't pay hardly at all, but takes up a lot of time. I babysat all the time before the family I babysat for moved away. I've taught a few music students short term and I've done quite a few sewing jobs. I just worked at a Classical Conversations Parent Practicum with the three to five year olds for the second year in a row. And then there's the matter of helping keep the house running. I'm honestly not very good at making money. I offer my goods and services ridiculously cheap or free far too often.

8. Are you in a romantic relationship? If so, how long have you been together? Nope. That hasn't happened to me yet.

9. Are you right- or left-handed? Right-handed.

10. Do you care about style and fashion at all? If so, how would you describe your style? Not really. I mean, I try to dress nice, but I'm not really a fashion person. I have to dress practically. If I can't wear it to scrub the bathtub or play on the floor with a toddler, it's not for me.

11. If you have a wall calendar for this year, what is its theme? I do. I wish it was Doctor Who, but it's the Great Outdoors.

I tag: Jaye L. Knight, Destiny, Ashley Elliott, Katelyn, Moriah, Brianna, Savannah, Kendra E. Ardnek, Maddy, Leah E. Good, Sarah Holman

Woot! I actually found 11 people to tag! I don't think any of you have posted this yet, but if you have, sorry. :P You don't have to participate if you don't want to, but it's fun. :)

And here are my questions for you:

- What's your favorite color?
- If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
- What is your favorite place to buy books?
- If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you choose?
- Do you prefer cake or brownies?
- What's one thing you really want to learn to do?
- Do you like notebooks?
- What's your favorite TV show?
- Have you ever wanted a treehouse?
- Who was your favorite American Girl? Or do you even have one?
- Why did you start your blog?

Happy tagging!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cover Reveal: Water Princess, Fire Prince

Are you ready to hear me rave about yet another book? Well, it doesn't matter if you're ready or not, because I will. I have a reason, because it's cover reveal time for this amazing book. First, let me introduce to you the author of said awesome book: Kendra E. Ardnek. You may remember her from when she visited promoting the latest Bookania book.

Author Bio:
Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She's been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, "Finish your story, Kendra", is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children's tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog, knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com.

I have a bit of an interview with Kendra and the two main characters of Water Princess, Fire Prince, Clara and Andrew. I beta read the book, and I can tell you it's fantastic. Like, I pull it out several times a week to reread my favorite parts. Like, my sister's tired of me saying how awesome it is. Like, I have to get the paperback when it comes out.

So here's the interview:

Clara: What do you think makes your friend think you like redheads?

I wish I knew. To my knowledge, I have said - done nothing that would indicate that I like redheads over other hair colors. I think she does it just to get me annoyed, because that's Kath for you. My current guess is that she dreamed it, because it started right after she survived a really bad accident last year.

Andrew: Do you enjoy helping to raise your brothers?
Well, that's complicated. On one hand, I enjoy seeing them grow up, being there for them, but the truth is, I'm still just a teenage boy myself. I've been pretty much the adult in the house since I we lost our mother when I was twelve, since my dad's the absentminded professor. I love them, but there are days I wish I could just leave it behind and be myself, be a kid and do normal teenage things.

Kendra: What inspired Clara and Andrew's personalities and the way they get along (or, well, often don't get along)?
That was ... five years ago, and I don't remember all of the nuances and little details that grew into the Clara and Andrew I know today. I know a lot of it was my mom - I had brought the story idea to her, and, as is her wont, she ran with the idea and helped me turn into into a story.

I think a lot of it started from the question "what would they least expect?" and it just grew from there.

And now the cover:

Isn't it cool? I think it looks cool. The story that will be inside is even cooler, though. :D

Book Description:

When the Lady Dragon does come,
Hold fast, do not fear, do not run.
Your Water Princess will fight,
Fire Prince will set all to right.
Each shall come from a Fall,
Their union will save you all.

Despite the fact that she's on track for competing in the Olympics, and he's practically raised his younger brothers since they lost their mom in a car accident, Clara Mandras and Andrew Stevenson are pretty much normal teens. They have normal hopes, normal dreams, and they live in a normal world.

All this is torn away from them when they are thrust into another world and declared Water Princess and Fire Prince. With no experience ruling a country, meeting each other for the first time, and being expected to fight the Lady Dragon – an evil sorceress plaguing the world of Rizkaland – Clara and Andrew are underprepared and inexperienced. Unless they learn to work together despite their standing opposition, Rizkaland's hope will be lost.
What is to come will change their lives forever.

It's already available for pre-order on kindle!

And you can read chapter one of Part One and chapter one of Part Two already and meet Clara and Andrew!

Excited yet? I certainly am. Water Princess, Fire Prince comes out August 31!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Creighton Hill Blog Tour Recap

Wow. This has been an amazing blog tour. Thank you to all who participated! It was wonderful to come away from the stress of moving (because I moved the weekend directly prior to release) to see you all saying such amazing things about my books. You were all so kind. It made my week. Thank you so much!

Here's a recap of the tour, in case you missed anything. 


"I actually enjoyed this story more than The Chronicles of Narnia. *ducks for cover from flying objects and gasps of horror*"--Jaye L. Knight

"I personally can’t wait for the next two books so that I can find out what happens to the characters I came to know and love." --Kyla Spell

"I enjoyed the bits of history displayed in the “flashbacks” and you can see the research Ms. Huneke has put in to make each time period believable. This was a good book and I think we’re in for a wonderful new series." --Claire M. Banschbach

"The world itself was delightfully unique and well-built. We mostly get to know the Strytes and Kalicans in this book, but I'm looking forward to meeting more interesting creatures in the sequels." --Kendra E. Ardnek

"The antagonists and heroes have been well cast and play their parts extremely well. The story is well rounded, the switches from character to character is smooth, and they are completely believable." --Katelyn 

"It was full of excitement and I always wanted to hurry up and turn the next page." --Maddy

Author Interviews

Character Interviews

Character Spotlights

Guest Posts

 Bonus Features Posts

Giveaway Winners

The 1st prize winner (signed copies of Across the Stars and Creighton Hill) is: Jaye L. Knight
The 2nd prize winner (signed copy of Creighton Hill) is: Odette K.
The 3rd prize winner (eCopy of Creighton Hill) is: Elinor F.

Congratulations! I'll email you this evening to get the information I need to give you your prizes.

Thanks again to everyone who made this release so awesome!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The End of the Tour

It's almost over, there's just a few more amazing posts to visit, and this fantastic blog tour will draw to a close. Here are the last few posts, and don't forget to enter the giveaway before it ends tonight!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Across the Stars to Time Captives: A Writing Journey

Has it really only been two years since I published Across the Stars? It seems like longer, considering the difficult journey that was Time Captives. It has been longer since I began AtS. I began writing it when I was fourteen, which would make the year 2010.

That book was a series of firsts for me. It was my third chapter book, but it was the first to top eight chapters. It was the first not to be a mystery. It was my first story with purposeful era mixing. It was actually, now that I think about it, my first story about fighting an evil government. Funny, since that is an important theme in my writing. It became the first not to feature solely a female protagonist. It was the first time I ever truly shipped my characters. (It wasn't until a year or two ago I came across that term. For those of you unfamiliar with fangirl terms, it basically means you think they should be in a relationship.) Across the Stars was my first serious writing, and, as I'm sure you know, my first published book.

Time Captives has claimed many firsts as well. It is my first fantasy. It is my first trilogy. Actually, I've very seldom written more than one story about the same characters. When I was little, I wrote loads of stories about "the Silly Monster" and when I was nine I wrote a sequel to Margville's Aliens, a book I had written when I was eight. Other than that, everything I've written prior to Time Captives was standalone. They were going to be the first books I split into parts, but I dropped that idea. It's my first time pulling kids out of various points in history. That probably won't become regular, but anyway. It's my saddest so far, my mom cried through the end twice. It is my first story to have parts written while at Disney World. Not the last, either. It's my first book with a ridiculously large cast. (It doesn't help numbers that when I count up the cast, I even count characters who were mentioned all of once.) It's my first story that contains an actual conversion scene.

There are many similarities between the two stories. Both feature children pulled from their homes to free a people from an oppressive government. Both feature worldbuilding that is a combination of eras. Both feature strong sibling relationships. Both have been compared favorably to Narnia. But there are many differences as well. Time Captives is longer and more in depth. It has characters on the good side in much greater need of redemption. It has story concepts I've never used before. I've learned much that I was able to put into practice, at least to some extent, in Time Captives: understanding of story structure, deep character development, character point of view, the elimination of unnecessary dialog tags, I've learned to create and share storyboards on Pinterest... I've come far in other ways, too. I've gotten to know a lot more people, both online and off. I've learned a tremendous amount about book formatting and cover design.

I've also realized in this time how much I love Felix and the Watsons, and how I miss writing about them. They'll always have a special place in my writer's heart. I've realized how ready I am to write about characters who are old enough for a little romance. I've learned that writing isn't always easy, but if God wants me to write it, it'll get done and be even better than I could have imagined.

Sometimes I long for the days of Across the Stars. I long for the late nights sprawled on my bed scribbling in a little pink notebook while The Voyage of the Dawn Treader soundtrack comes softly out of my CD player. But I wouldn't really go back. Time Captives has been a long and arduous journey, but I've learned so much. The products of that journey have been hard in coming, and I finally get to share them with you.

Visit today's other stops on the blog tour at these amazing blogs:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Time Captives Trivia

Another Bonus Feature post is coming your way! I'm sharing some random trivia about Time Captives. Some of it you may already know, especially if you know me, but some of it should be new.

  • When I started writing, Jill was the sole point of view character. That changed when I was about halfway through the trilogy. She only has a few point of view scenes now.
  • One of the reasons I decided to write Time Captives rather than any of the other possibilities in my book of plots was because I wanted to write a true fantasy story. I also didn't feel like doing the necessary research for the others.
  • Jonathan Hubbard's name was originally also Joey. Luckily, I decided before writing that it would be too complicated to have two Joeys.
  • At first, Hubbards didn't periodically disappear, one child of 12 years old, every 20 years. Their uncle, grandma, and cousin were supposed to be gone, and so was a random hobo from the 1930s.
  • For a long time, Allan didn't exist, and the family actually had 11 girls and 1 boy.
  • I actually like the name Emily. I know many people I like with that name, and L. M. Montgomery's Emily Byrd Starr is one of my favorite characters, but somehow I have made up two bratty teenagers named Emily.
  • I did a research paper on medieval warfare my last year of school so that I could write fantasy battles more accurately.
  • Many of the Time Captives are named after presidents and First Ladies. I did that so I didn't have to research in order to give them period names. I also used those presidents as jumping off points for developing some of the characters, which is why George wanted to go to sea, Thomas is detail-oriented, and Calvin is quiet.
  • I wrote Time Captives in a variety of odd places including, but not limited to, Walt Disney World, Saint George Island, a hotel in Kentucky where we were staying during a family reunion, a bus on a bus trip to Washington D. C. for Barry Loudermilk's swearing in, beside a classic car waiting for the Independence Day Parade I was in to start, the page bench outside the Senate chamber in the Georgia State Capitol, the house of the family I babysat for, and naturally my own bedroom. I didn't actually write at the Republican Party District Convention. I read through it, because I was struggling.
  • A certain dog attack in book 3 is an extrapolation of a personal experience I had while campaigning door to door. I got a scratch on my left shoulder blade. I'm not going to tell you how bad it is in the book.
  • Jill got her name from Jill Pole in The Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Dragons of Starlight made me feel like I could never write fantasy because my book wasn't nearly as epic and complicated, but The Silver Chair reminded me that straightforward storylines can be just as beautiful and beloved, if not more.
  • Eleanor's hair is inspired by a friend's very curly, pretty, dark red hair, which is why I had to put that her hair should be more curly on the caption of the Pinterest picture of her.
  • Time Captives was originally supposed to be one book called Creighton Hill. I kept finding more and more things they had to do, so expanded it into two books with three parts each. It still kept expanding, and I split it into three books, and ditched the idea of splitting them into parts. 
  • I started keeping track of my word count halfway through Time Captives, due to Month of the Novel. Now I always count up the words when I reach the bottom of a page.
  • I have probably complained more about writing this series than any book I've ever written before. It was just so hard. I'm glad I can finally like it again.
  • Book 2 of Time Captives contains the first conversion scene I have ever written.
  • The world of Calhortea got a major makeover during the writing of Time Captives, losing talking animals, for one, and gaining other species like strytes and elves and merfolk.
  • It is by far the hardest story I've ever written, but also by far the longest, when you put it all together, and I'm so glad it turned out well for all the struggle.

The blog tour continues with these new posts!

a Rafflecopter giveaway