Monday, October 31, 2016

My Top Seven Time Captives Characters

Seven days, people! I'm so excited, a little stressed, and a big part of me still doesn't believe it's really happening. Seven days and Crannig Castle will be here! I'm almost completely ready.

To keep in the mood for Crannig Castle, I'm going to share with you my top seven Time Captives characters. Note: These are not necessarily the characters with the biggest impact on the story. They're just the characters who did the best job of worming their way into my heart.

Via Pinterest
7. Jill Hubbard
Jill was supposed to be my POV character for Time Captives. I wanted her to be the POV character. She's important to me. She also got my girly side. So, yes, she's on my list. I couldn't leave her out.

6. Kyle Roland
Totally not cheating here. Espionage says Time Captives on the front and he plays a minor role in Crannig Castle. So. Have I mentioned I kind of have a thing for really great guy characters who have evil fathers? Luke Skywalker, Felix Walker, well, Teddy Kent just had a crazy mom, but same principle. Kyle's great, a perfect gentleman, but still a 3D character, and I love him.

5. Joey Hubbard
I hadn't really counted on him being that important to me. He was just the little brother character. But I ended by loving him. He's a fun kid and added a big personality to the story. Plus, he was an interesting challenge because he's not much of a reader. HOWEVER, he does like a lot of my favorite movies, and that was awesome.

4. Rae
Rae's so sweet and cute, how could I NOT love her? She endeared herself to me almost as quickly as her older brother did. She balances Adriel out perfectly, and have I mentioned she's super cute?

3. Vannie Cumberland
Not cheating. See Kyle. I think Vannie is kind of what I would be if I was an ENFP. She sprang to life with no effort on my part and told her story with so much flair and personality, she endeared herself to me immediately. She's just so much fun.

2. Eleanor Hubbard
Naturally I have to talk about Eleanor. I honestly had no idea she would become so important to me. She was just one of the random Time Captives whose backstory I decided to tell, and then she met Grant and it was like BAM. This girl and her story are so close to my heart.

1. Adriel
You had to have seen this one coming. I've talked about Adriel enough that I'm sure you're quite aware he's my favorite. He saved Time Captives. He was one of the easiest characters to write. His transformation over the course of the series was amazing to watch. And he's just so...special to me. I put him through so much, though. He deserves a truckload of chocolate and a week at Disney.

Who are your favorite Time Captives characters? Are you excited for the release of Crannig Castle next week?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ten Things You Should Know About Time Captives

The Crannig Castle release is just two weeks from yesterday. Two weeks, people? How did this happen? Well, since I posted my interview with Reuben for Kendra's tour yesterday and I have a book coming out in two weeks, I'm doing a regular post today. And I sat down to this post with a random premise and zero ideas, so let's see what I can come up with. ;)

1. Time Captives is the first actual fantasy story I've ever written. I'd done "historical" fiction, contemporary mysteries, animal stories, "silly monster" stories, and a good bit of science fiction (I even wrote aliens when I was under ten), but Time Captives is my first real venture into fantasy.

2. It's one story in three books. It was actually only supposed to be one book, but I kept finding things for them to do and it grew. However, it's still really one story in three parts, so start with one, then move onto two, then three (and I've got Night at the Museum quotes going through my head at that).

3. Like most of my books, Time Captives is about faith, family, and freedom. Growing up hearing a family friend who is now a congressman talk about those things all the time, you can hardly expect it to be otherwise, but faith, family, and freedom are very important to me.

4. It is Christian fantasy. Since being a Christian is a very important part of who I am as a person and as a writer, it's going to come naturally into my books. However, I haven't had anyone say the Christianity comes across as preachy. On the contrary, people say it fits in naturally.

5. Time Captives is clean and kid appropriate (after all, it's a middle-grade fantasy trilogy), but that doesn't mean it's boring fluff. It's actually quite deep and rather complicated, like many of my own favorite middle-grade books. I have readers who are children, teens, and adults.

6. There are several battles, but I try to keep it on a Narnia level. That is, Prince Caspian, The Horse and His Boy, and The Last Battle--there's rather more than is in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It's very hard to write a somewhat realistic PG battle, but that was my goal.

7. The world of Calhortea is a melting pot of different fantasy norms and historical eras. Basically, if I liked it and thought I could make it work, I threw it in. However, I was aware of the fact that I needed to take out things I couldn't make work, which is why talking animals had to go. I don't know why, but I can't seem to do talking animals without it being cheesy. Underground cities aren't officially out, but there was no place in Time Captives to explore the possibility.

8. There are a lot of characters. They gave me trouble at times, especially when they were in a big group together, but when I got to know them individually, they came to life. Hopefully they're all unique and well-defined enough for you to keep track of, but in case you suffer from poor memory and overwhelming-number-of-characters syndrome (like I do quite often, and yes, I did just make that up), I've provided character guides in each book.

9. The ending is rather bittersweet. I usually go for the happy ending, because I just like it better, but these characters have been through too much for things to just go back to the way they were. And maybe I've watched a few too many BBC shows...

10. The last book comes out November 7! There will be all kinds of fun posts and some awesome freebies to celebrate, so stay tuned!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Interview With Reuben

I got to interview Reuben! My interview is kinda long since Kendra and I did it by Google Hangouts, so I won't say much here. You can read my review here. And buy the book here. And one last thing, since I forgot to ask Reuben why there was a pile of pillows and blankets on the floor, he and Petra had just made a blanket fort. This takes place between parts 3 and 4 of Lady Dragon, Tela Du.


    I step out of a Door into the halls of the Kastle. This is where Clara and Andrew lived for so long, where their children grew up! That alone is exciting enough, but Laura has an even more exciting plan for my visit to Rizkaland.
    "Come along," says Laura, grinning. "Reuben’s expecting you."
    "Cool," I say. For Reuben to be expecting my visit, well, that's more than I could ever imagine.
    "Well, he had an interview with the Arista a week ago, so he knows to expect them."
    I follow Laura down the hall, trying not to skip or dance. Though what does it matter if the Klaranders think I'm strange? Laura does skip, but then, she's physically little more than a child.
    I'm not even trying to hold back an excited grin when Laura knocks on a door.
    "And here we are!" Laura announces, stopping and throwing open the door. Inside, Reuben is sitting on a pile of blankets and pillows, reading a book. He looks up with a grin. "Ah, hello! Come on in. Don't mind the mess. Petra won't let the servants pick this up because it's my job, apparently. I'll have it done by tonight, don't worry. I hear you have questions for me?"
    I laugh as I enter...this is so much like the Reuben I've read about. "I do. I'm so excited to be able to interview you. I feel like you're the brother I never had. Can I be your honorary sister? Or is that too weird? I don't mean to be weird."
    "How about honorary cousin? I already have a small number of those, so it wouldn’t be weird at all. I don’t mind, though."
    "That works." I grin widely as I grab a pillow from the pile and plop down on the floor on top of it. "We could have had a lot of fun together as kids playing that we went to a fantasy world if we really were related. And now you're basically in a fantasy story, which is super duper cool. What's it really like, though? Because I bet most fantasy books get it wrong."
    "It hasn't been quite as exciting as I had expected," he admits, closing the book. “Petra tells me that it's because the books always edit the boring parts out. Even if they acknowledge the long stretches of nothing happening, we never really feel it, you know. And we won’t talk about how painful it really is to learn how to use a weapon."
    I laugh. "I was actually planning to ask you how weapons training was going. But I guess you're right about the boring stretches of nothing. I know The Horse and His Boy just acknowledges that they journeyed on for weeks where nothing happened. That's actually how I figured out how to write journeys in my own books. But it's totally different to live them, I'm sure. Still, you're in a fantasy world. That has to count for something."
    "There are telepathic unicorns - I mean harandas, so I suppose it does. Petra gave me a nasty bruise on my leg this morning. That's how training's been going. No, I'm not going to show you. I don’t want you to faint."
    "Thanks. I'm not the fainting sort, but I'd rather not see your bruise. I am kind of squeamish." I scratch the edge of my front tooth with my thumbnail, the way I sometimes do when I'm thinking. Reuben's brought up a few things I want to ask him about, and I'm not sure where to go next. Finally, I just go for the next question on the list. "What's the weirdest thing that happened to you after coming to Rizkaland?"
    "Petra told me to kiss her," he answers without hesitation.
    I'm sure I'm grinning like a silly idiot, and squealing too. "I bet you've been waiting for that for a long time."
    "Um, perhaps?"
    I giggle. "She'd probably prefer you not to answer that question in an interview, yes?"
    "Probably not."
    "I guess I can understand that. It's sorta private. But you've never made your love for her a secret. When did you first decide you were going to marry Petra when you grew up?"
    "I think I was eight the first time I proposed."
    I'm really not surprised. This is Reuben after all. "That would make Petra six, right? I can't imagine getting a proposal at age six. What did she do?"
    "Told me that she was too young to make such a decision and to ask again when we were older."
    "And did that become her standard answer?"
    "Yeah. It did."
    "I guess she was never really opposed to marrying you, then."
    "She never told me no."
    "Of course not. Especially since you're Tied now." I bounce on the pillow in my own excitement. "How excited were you about finally getting Tied to Petra?"
    "Pretty excited. I hadn't expected it happen so quickly, but ... it was exciting."
    "That's very descriptive." I grin. "Was it everything you could have dreamed? Or completely different from what you dreamed?"
    "Well, seeing as how I had expected a marriage ceremony and not a Tying ceremony, I'd lean towards the latter."
    "I see. Well, I'm sure you can have more of what you were expecting once you go home." Petra would probably rather me stop talking about their relationship, but she's not here, and it's interesting to me. "What's your favorite memory of Petra?"
    "You do realize that I've known her for sixteen years - her whole life."
    "Yep. I do. But there has to be something that stands out."
    "Oh, I have memories that stand out ... but I can't pick a favorite. There are too many. Maybe the way she glares at me whenever I say something ridiculous. She enjoys doing that."
    "I bet she does. And I bet you give her plenty of opportunities."
    "I try squeeze in at least one or two every day." He grins broadly.
    I shake my head, but I'm grinning uncontrollably, so it probably completely ruins the effect. "You two are adorable."
    "Why thank you. Have you any more questions, dear honorary cousin?"
    "You're welcome. I did want to ask about your telepathy, dear honorary cousin. I've always thought it would be cool to be able to read minds. So could you tell me about your and Petra's power?"
    "Telepathy is a dangerous power not to be taken lightly, because with it, you can strip a person down to their deepest secrets, or even destroy their freedom of choice," he says, sobering. "Petra doesn't think I take it serious, but I do. But it's a very interesting power, at the same time. I thought I knew Petra before ... but now..."
    "Wow." I rest my chin on my hand. "I guess I didn't think too much about the implications. More about finding out what my dog is dreaming about when she starts twitching in her sleep. But that's true. It could be a very dangerous power in the wrong hands. I'm glad it's in yours. I'm sure you won't abuse it. And I'm sure you're glad to know Petra as well as you do now."
    "Our power is limited to Eliue, so it wouldn't help you with your dog, unfortunately,” Reuben answers. "Actually, it's Petra I worry about. She likes to think she knows best, and with this power in her hands..." He shakes his head. "She doesn't trust herself, either. That's actually the reason she's so adamant about rules. They're for her sake, not mine. Not that I don't need rules but ... prying is just wrong."
    "Well, at least she knows she can't trust herself and needs rules. That's a step in the right direction. Prying is wrong. I'm sure it can sometimes be hard not to, but if you know what's right, that should help you not to."
    "Yeah. It's a cool power, but scary, too."
    "Yup. My last question isn't super cheery either, you feel like you're ready to rule Rizkaland?"
    "If I thought I was ready, I wouldn't be ready, I've read the books," says Reuben. "I've always dreamed of ruling a country, but this ... I'm glad Petra's here with me. She'll make a great queen."
    "I was actually thinking of Prince Caspian just now," I admit. "I kind of thought you'd say something along those lines. You two will make great rulers, and you won't be alone. That's kind of against Rizkaland's customs."
    "No, and I thank Alphego that there will be others," he answers. "So that was your last question? I guess that means you have to go. Can't spend the long hours like I did with the Arista, after all, since this is only a short interview, and not study for her book."
    "Yeah, I was going to ask you if you felt like Peter Pevensie, but it didn't really fit in. I'd love to talk to you again sometime, but Laura's probably ready to take me home." I glance back at the girl who seems to have been hanging back in the corner all this time.
    "Peter didn't have a Petra, so no, I don't feel quite like him, but I don't think I'm far off, maybe we shall chat again, and you can certainly read my book," he answers.
    Laura jumps up. "Ready to go? Very well then, let's go!"
    "Oh, I've read your book many times, and being friends with the Arista does have its perks. Thanks for talking to me, Reuben, I've really enjoyed it. Say hi to Petra for me."
    "I shall!"
    "Come along!" says Laura, with a giggle.
    "Alright." I turn to follow Laura, but look back to say "Goodbye, Reuben!" over my shoulder.
    He waves, nose already back in the book.
    I follow Laura out into the hall. It's been great, but I am ready to go home. Then I can tell everyone I interviewed Reuben Eaglechaser in the Kastle.

Two girls with one face
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?

Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you've lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent - the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber's face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she's not sure if he's more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she'd much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family - including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can't possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?

Author Bio:

Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.


Official Website:

Add to Goodreads:

Buy the Book:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lady Dragon, Tela Du Review

Lady Dragon, Tela Du is here! I'll be reviewing this awesome book in just a second, but first the description.

Kendra's content advisory:
"Romance: Pretty strong since I'm dealing with a married couple, but doesn't go past minimally-described kissing and sharing a bed.
Violence: Mild fantasy sort. I can't write gore to save my life.
Magic: Fairly strong. You can read a full description of how I use magic in this series here."

Two girls with one face
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?

Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you've lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent - the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber's face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she's not sure if he's more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she'd much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family - including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can't possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?


I wasn't terribly excited about this book to start with--I wanted book three so I could have more Clarand. But that sort of sentiment? Totally foolish. Because while I still can't wait for book three (and want it even more now), LDTD is AWESOME! Like, way better than WPFP. I didn't think that was possible, but wow. You find out so much about Amber and Granite, and there are Reuben and Petra!

First Reuben. I'll be interviewing him next week, so you'll get to meet him. Reuben is the brother I never had. Seriously, this guy is a total fantasy lover, the kind of kid who looked for Narnia in the back of his closet, a sweet puppy dog, very excitable, and just so much fun. But yet, he knows how to be serious when it counts. And he loves Petra so much (and is slightly obsessed with her hair). He's so sweet, so amusing, so adorable. Love that guy.

Petra. That girl. She's very much an introvert, very dependent on Reuben, very much against having a romantic relationship. After all, she's only sixteen. And she's very insistent that her sisters Sarah and Sylvia and Reuben's brother Richard are real, even though she and Reuben are the only ones who can remember them. Even though Petra can be--difficult--at times, I love her. And I love her relationship with Reuben. And their telepathy. They're just perfect for each other.

Then there are Summer and Tyler, Ashna and Noraeto, and Amber and Granite. They're all so different from each other, and they all add something unique to the story. I didn't think I'd enjoy Amber and Granite's story as much as I did, but it was quite...interesting.

The storyline contains a lot drama. But I can't say much because of spoilers. Still, it's a book that is all about family, and I loved it. Petra, as the Tela Du, is supposed to kill Amber, the Lady Dragon. And things happen.

Read Lady Dragon, Tela Du. Seriously. You won't regret it. And then book three is totally going to rip your heart out, but it'll be awesome. Because Clarand AND Reutra.

Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.  


Official Website:

October 19
Kendra: Party Kick-off
Thoughts of Anna S. Brie - Me
Elvish Pens, Fantastic Writings - Summer
Sutori no Hana
Ketura's Korner - Review and Author Interview

October 20
Kendra: Book 3 Title Reveal
One Sparrow Song - Me
Dreams and Dragons - Petra
Overactive Imagination - Me
Morgan Huneke
The Flowering Vales
Scattered Journal Pages

October 21

Kendra: Inspirations for LDTD
Read, Write, Laugh, DANCE - Me
The Rambling Rose - Noraeto
Whispers on the Wind - Me
Shire Reviews
Written Rest
Other - Facebook Party!

October 22

Kendra: Cut Plot Elements
The Flowering Vales: Laura
Written Rest - Granite
One Sparrow Song

October 23
Kendra: Petra and Clara
Writing in the Light: Me
Dreams and Dragons
Lianne Taimenlore - Colors of LDTD Guest Post

October 24
Kendra: Ships I Ship Because of Reutra
Morgan Huneke - Reuben
The Flowering Vales - Me
The Rambling Rose - Me
Writing Anyone?

October 25
One Sparrow Song - Ashna
Read, Write, Laugh, DANCE - Amber
Thoughts of Anna S. Brie
Tyrean Martinson - 5 Reasons to Write with Pinterest Guest post

Monday, October 17, 2016

Crannig Castle Book Trailer

Three weeks! Just three more weeks until Crannig Castle is here!

If you want to ask questions of any of my characters, you can do that here.

But my main point today is to share with you my brand new book trailer for Crannig Castle. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Firmament: Reversal Zone Review

J. Grace Pennington has published four science fiction novels. They each have a unique bent to them, but this one is very different. Each book is a standalone, but as with any series, you get more of the story if you read them all in order. In Reversal Zone, the main character, Andi Lloyd, becomes the only one who can save the ship and crew. Can she do it in time?

About the Book 

Nothing is as it should be.

After weeks of boredom, Andi is excited when the Surveyor is called upon to rescue a freighter that mysteriously vanished in uncharted space.  Excitement quickly turns to unease when the ship encounters an unknown phenomenon—a cloud that appears not to exist.  But with the freighter's crew in danger, the Surveyor has no choice but to venture into unknown territory.

As soon as they enter the cloud, its unstable effects wreak havoc on the ship.  They're flying blind.  Every piece of equipment is malfunctioning.  And every member of the crew is unable to think straight or act like themselves—except Andi.

Now she's expected to guide them through the predicament with no previous command experience and no one to turn to for support.  And with each passing hour, it becomes clear that if they don't escape the cloud soon—they won't escape it at all.


It's been too long since I've gotten to rave about a Firmament book -- far too long. Two years, Grace! How has it been two years? Sure we got the very awesome Implant in between, which I read in a single day in the middle of building a basement, but I've missed Andi and the gang. Finally I've gotten to see them again. I stayed up late reading....And there was the time, well.... I was on break at work and I was like "hey, I have a kindle app. I have wifi. I'm going to download it and read." Thankfully I had the self control to stop reading when my break was over, because even though I work at a library and we're all about books, I really don't think that would have gone over well. So the book.

Radialloy will always be special as my first encounter with Grace's work and In His Image is special because ELASSON! but Reversal Zone was awesome and a worthy continuation of the series. It never quite went in (bonus points if you know what I'm referencing) how the reversal zone worked scientifically, but compared to some of the stuff on Doctor Who, it was totally believable (and I'm a Whovian, so I can say that). Plus, Grace pulled it off well. She's too good a writer not to. I guess you could say it was just more sci-fi than previous installments.

My wonderful friends on the Surveyor hurt my heart. Only Andi is normal. Only Andi can save them. Only Andi can really do anything. Which means all the others aren't even acting like themselves. Which is so hard to see. I'm not one of those crazy August fangirls, but I do really like him as Andi's brother, and I hated to see sweet, gentle August act like that. And the Doctor. And Trent. Trent's behavior was strange. But Guilders was strangest. Especially now that I understand he was inspired by Spock, his development in this And Crash. I'd better not say too much about Crash.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Firmament book without some sort of mystery. Someone has been sabotaging things and with everyone acting so strange, it could be anyone for any reason. Of course, I can't say who it is because spoilers, but I wasn't really expecting it, and it hurt. And that. ending. How could that happen? They weren't prepared for that! And how are they going to deal with the aftermath of the outcome? Grace, I need to know what happens next! 

Don't think because it hurt my heart that that's a bad thing. That's actually a very, very good thing. I'm very invested in these characters and their stories, and I feel their pain when things don't go well. Of course things don't go well -- what kind of a book would it be if they did? I HAD to know what happened next. I HAD to know what was causing everyone to act so strange. I HAD to know if it would turn out all right in the end. And I loved it. I even loved the feels it caused. (because fangirls like feels, obviously.)

In short, Grace's books are always fantastic, and if you haven't read them yet, you're really missing out. So get yourself over to Amazon and start reading the Firmament series by J. Grace Pennington. And don't forget to read the bonus prologues and epilogues on

About the Author

J. Grace Pennington has been telling stories since she could talk, and writing them down since age five.  Now she lives in the great state of Texas, where she writes as much as adult life permits.  When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading good books, playing movie soundtracks on the piano, and looking up at the stars.

You can find out more about her writing at


Grace is generously offering three prizes. A signed copy of each of her three previous novels in the series. They are each standalone stories, but they are also connected. If you would like to read more about them, you can read about them here: Radialloy, In His Image, Machiavellian.

To enter the giveaway, please fill out this form.

Tour Schedule 
Friday, October 7
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
The Destiny of One-Guest Post
Rebekah Lyn Books-Author Interview

Saturday, October 8
Shout outs-Guest Post
Shire Reviews-Book Review

Sunday, October 9

Monday, October 10
Rachel Rossano's Words-Excerpt and Guest Post
In the Bookcase-Excerpt and Book Review

Tuesday, October 11

Wednesday, October 12
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner