Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Review: Prince Nacil by R. R. Goodwill

This was supposed to be up yesterday, but everything sorta happened at once and I didn't manage to get it up there. (Sorry, Kendra!)

From the moment Victor Greenwood sets foot in the old farmhouse of Willowmere, Mrs. Whitaker and her family take the friendless drifter under their wings as one of their own. Deeply touched by their kindness, Victor delights them with his stories about the Elven-king Othniel and Jael his queen, forming a special bond with Mrs. Whitaker’s nine-year-old granddaughter, Jane. But several odd occurrences indicate that Victor is more than he admits to. When the secret of his heritage threatens Jane’s safety, he sets out for the homeland he has long been banished from, to find Jane and return her home. Unbeknownst to his friends, Victor is doomed to die thirty days after setting foot on his native soil, with only one hope of breaking the curse. But surely thirty days is far too short a time to find True Love...



This book was incredible. At first, it was hard to get into. The first several chapters, maybe four or five, dragged, which might have been because I had just finished a six book series and wasn't mentally prepared for the change. However, this book is one that you can totally throw yourself in there and get invested in. Each character is captivating in his or her own way. In fact, I'm even interested in a few characters that weren't even actually in the book, just mentioned in passing. A few times I was jolted out of the world of the story by a sort of stilted/forced Biblical part. DON'T get me wrong, I'm glad there was a clear Christian worldview in the book, I enjoyed it immensely after the last series which had some crass language and other annoying things to deal with. It just was sometimes a little unnatural. The worldbuilding was exquisite! Super inspiring and makes me want to go work up my own story. For now, I'm happy reading loveliness like this, though. Just a touch of romance, children were main characters, it's super long and great for one of those days you just want to settle in and stay put. I can't wait for the next book. (How long do I have to wait again?) 4 Stars (And a heart... am I allowed to add hearts to my review?)

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. (It's honest, I promise)

Purchase Link: Amazon

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Author Interview: R.R. Goodwill

Today we have a very special guest for an interview! I'm so glad that RR Goodwill could be here today to tell us a little more about herself and her new book! Without further ado, let's jump in and see what she has for us today!




Greetings, Erica! I'm honored to be your interview subject today. You'll find my answers below in purple.

Do you have a favorite character in your story?

*Tsk, tsk* That's like asking a mother which is her favorite child. 😉 I think the ones I found most enjoyable to work with, though, were Victor/Nácil, Müriel, and Miss Prescott and Lady Cambria to some degree. Nácil and Müriel are the most like myself, personality-wise; but more than that, I love the chemistry they have with each other. I loved the Mind-speaking scenes, and the deep connection they have, even though it gave me Da Feelz in more than one place. Miss Prescott was fun, pairing practicality and common sense with a love of the fantastical and thirst for Adventure. And Cambria ... *chuckle* Cambria showed up in the middle of the final incarnation of the story, insisting she was important to the overarching plot, and that it was perfectly logical for her to be there. And boy, was she right!

What was the hardest part of the book to write?

The actual plot, LOL. My inspiration comes in detached scenes and random bits of dialogue, so stringing all my "snippets" together coherently, and figuring out an interesting way to get Our Heroes from Point A to Point Z, was quite the challenge.

How did you work on your worldbuilding for the story?

I basically "borrowed" bits and pieces of Middle-earth and Narnia, combined them with concepts and imagery from Faerie-tales and other stories I enjoyed, and molded them all together into my own little world. Essentially, anything I like that fits within the typical pseudo-Medieval fantasy theme (or can be altered to do so), or that I wish existed or happened in our world (temperate weather year-round, for example), I put in Ýdära and figure out how to integrate it into the story in a way that feel snatural. Still working on that one ....

Do you have plans for a sequel or a spinoff with one of the characters? 

My readers will be happy to know that I'm currently working on the sequel to Prince Nácil, and am hoping (Lord willing) to have it finished by the end of the year. I have ideas for at least one or two more books after that, as well as a prequel series and a spin-off saga involving one character mentioned briefly in PN (but who becomes mmore important later) and one who hasn't been born yet, cannonically. *Grin* Yes indeedy, I have plans ....

What is your writing routine like? Are you snuggled up with a mug of tea and a furry muse or furiously typing away in a vortex or somewhere in between? 

When I'm in the groove, I'm usually plumped down at my desk, staring at my laptop screen, and struggling to find the right words to express the images and emotions of the scenes playing out in my head, and/or write down all that loverly dialogue before it evaporates from my brain. I generally don't encourage our puss-cat to sit in on my writing sessions because he's three feet long and 18-20 pounds of fluff and muscle, and consequently hard to reach over. 🙃 
I do sometimes sip on a mug of cocoa or a bottle of root beer (if we have them) while I'm working. Once in a while I might make myself a snack. Most of the time, I'm too focused on the story to bother about food and drink.😋

What do you hope will resonate most with your readers?

Mainly, I pray that my faith will shine through the Faerie-tale elements, and point my future readers to Christ, without sounding forced or preachy. I also hope some of the themes in the story will spark some serious thought, touch their hearts ... and maybe even tickle their funny-bone. Themes such as forgiveness, moving past grief, waiting to form opinions until one has all the information, and that faith and love are more powerful than fear.

What was your favorite book growing up?

Oh, I had several! Just off the top of my head, I'd say our books of nursery rhymes and fairytales (including a beautifully illustrated adaptaion of Hansel and Gretel), the first six books of the Anne of Green Gables Series, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen by Lloyd Alexander, and Howard Pyle's complilation of Robin Hood lore were perenial favorites throughout my childhood and growing-up years. Also C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and Tolkien's The Hobbit and partf of Lord of the Rings, of course. 🤓


Thank you so much for coming by today! I can't wait to review Prince Nacil in a few days! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Character Interview: Prince Nacil

Todday's guest is Prince Nacil, royalty from another world! I'm so excited he is here! To meet him yourself, at the bottom of the post I'll include an amazon link to his book!

Welcome, Your Highness.

(Victor/Nácil) *Bows* Hail and well-met, Lady Erica. It is an honor to meet you. I shall endeavor to answer your questions to the best of my ability. You shall find my answers in green.

What is your favorite memory?
 
Ah, me! I have so many happy memories of my childhood and youth, it's difficult to choose just one. What comes immediately to mind, however, is the day my mother announced that she was expecting my youngest sister, Solána. We we had recently lost my two youngest siblings to the Red Dragon and were still grieving their deaths at the time. It was as if Elyon had sent us another to ease our loss. I shall never forget the smile on my father's face, nor the joy I felt from him, despite his pain.
 
What is one thing you wish you could go back and change?
 
*Grimmace* I'd have bitten my tongue when Lady Müriel spoke with me ere I left Ýdära. I said some rather nasty things and hurled serious accusations at her--based on erronious assumptions and fueled by my own pain and hatred. Had I been willing to hear her side of the story ... it would have spared us both, and our people, a great deal of suffering.
 

Are there things you prefer about the World of Men?
 
I must confess to a kind of casual fascination with automobiles and other modes of transportation there. I wouldn't say I prefer them to Winged Horses, however, for one can't form a bond of trust with a heap of metal powered by a loud, smoke-billowing motor. *Smirk* I've also become quite fond of Mrs. Whitaker's biscuits and sausage gravy, for there's nothing like them in Ýdära, to my knowledge.
 
Who is your best friend, and what do you love most about them?
 
Oddly enough, I never felt the need to seek out companionship beyond my own family circle growing up--although I was well-loved among our people and had several familiar acquaintances. Prior to the Revolution, I'd say I felt closest to my parents (especially my father), my brothers Phælon and Nathániel, and my sister Solána. It wasn't until I met Mrs. Whitaker and her family that I understood what friendship was. Of those dear folk, I'm most fond of little Jane Foster, Mrs. Whitaker's granddaughter. She reminds me so of Solána, although Jane isn't so merry. There's something about her that warms and cheers the hearts of all who know her. And then I met Müriel ... but that's an entire topic in itself.
 

What is your favorite time of day?
 
Do you know, it never occurred to me to have a favorite time of day? I enjoy the early morning hours, when the world is hushed and still but for a few bird-songs (and in my homeland, the tinkling chatter of the wee Forrest Faeries), and all Creation feels fresh and new. I enjoy midday, when I can pause in my labors and enjoy a good meal (which wasn't always the case during my exile). Afternoon and eventide are exciting times for me, filled with the activity of finishing the day's work and the promise of the evening meal to reward one's labor. I love the twilight hours, when the last ray of sunset is faded, and the sky shimmers with half-veiled stars, until one by one they appear. And I love the night, when the heavens inspire a sense of awe that the God Who calls all those stars by name ... is pleased to allow His creations to call Him Father.
*Sheepish half-smile* I wax poetic, but I daresay you know what I'm driving at 



Thank you, Prince Nacil, for gracing us with your presence here today! I'm so very glad you were able to share these special tidbits with us! Here's to biscuits and gravy! Until we meet again.

Author Interview: Jenelle L Schmidt

Today, as my last post in this amazing blog tour, I get to interview Jenelle and dig a little deeper into the fabulous story she wrote. I'm beyond excited, and I'm sure you are too, so we'll skip all the gushing and fan-girling and just get on with it ;)



What is your favorite part of your story? 


I really enjoy all the action-y bits of the story, and any time Ritioghra is on the page everything is really fun. But my favorite part would have to be the conversations between Echo and Branna, when Echo is being all socially awkward and trying to come up with things to say and failing miserably at presenting herself as a “whole human,” as my family is fond of saying. These moments were pulled directly from my own experiences as a fairly shy individual who often finds talking to people to be extremely difficult.


What was the most challenging part to write? 


The ending! It took a long time and many drafts to get that right. I think I rewrote the ending at least twelve times before I hit the one that made my editor say, “I think you’ve got it!”


But like all challenging things, I have to say, I’m glad I didn’t just go with my first draft. The story is far stronger with the ending it has, and I’m grateful to my beta readers and my editors for not letting me settle for anything less than my very best. Echo needed an ending worthy of her story, and I love where this ended up.


Who is your favorite character and why?


Every character in this book has a special place in my heart. I don’t know if I can choose between them. 


Echo and her neurotic social awkwardness and huge heart is of course the main character and I loved going on this adventure with her. 


But Jana’s irrepressible, jump-first-ask-questions-later nature is so fun and I love her to pieces. 


Runa and Gareth, though not as major characters are extremely dear to me as I identify with parts of their story and ache with them through their loss.


I love the tragedy of Malilia and her grit and determination to atone for the wrongs she has done.


Eirloch kind of stole my heart unexpectedly. I intended for him to be a minor villain, but he surprised me by refusing to be a villain. He’s a bit of a trickster, but it doesn’t come naturally to him... he tries to play the cunning game, but he does it because he feels it’s expected, not because he enjoys it (and he’s not very good at it, either). In truth, he’s a dear, sweet boy with a heart of pure gold.


And Ritioghra, the Winter King. Well, if he isn’t my favorite character, then he was definitely the most fun character to write! (He probably is my favorite character).


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Guest Post: Jenelle L Schmidt



                                                        The Building of Ennis Rosliath

by

Jenelle Leanne Schmidt



When I began writing An Echo of the Fae, I had a very clear picture of Echo’s home in my head. I knew this story would be a little bit smaller in scope than most of the other books I’ve written, and so the world-building was much smaller in scale as well. Because the book deals strongly in selkie mythology, I knew that I wanted to weave a lot of threads through the story that would look and feel like Scotland, where many of the selkie legends originate.


The entire story takes place on a single tiny island that I modeled after the Outer Hebrides (small islands off the west coast of mainland Scotland). Both the island and the main village share the same name: Ennis Rosliath.


Because the story revolves around the two important settings of the ocean and the forest, I wanted the name of the island to reflect this, so I went searching for Gaelic words to see what I could come up with. I found that “inis” means “island” in Gaelic, so I took that and changed it a bit, and then, I took the word “foraoise,” which means “forest” and played with it until I had turned it into “Rosliath” so that “Ennis Rosliath” basically means “forested island.”


Even though this is a fictional island, I wanted it to feel grounded in the reality of Scotland, so I did a lot of research on what plants and birds are indigenous to Scotland, as well as a lot of research into their traditional foods and seasons so that I could give the mortal side of the world in the story a more realistic and somewhat familiar feel to it. It helped a lot that I have actually visited Scotland, and was able to pull some of the images from my own memories, even though this story is set in a much earlier time period than our own.


Another thing I did to help me with the world-building of Ennis Rosliath was that I I did draw a map of the island fairly early during the rough draft, which I am not going to share here because... well... I drew it. And I can’t draw. But I do find that having even the most basic of maps helps me keep my story consistent so that I always know where my character is in relation to other locations in the story. I don’t want to say that Echo left her house and traveled west to the forest and then later have her head home from the forest by heading south. That sort of inconsistency gives my dear editors headaches!


I hope that this has given you a glimpse of the world you can visit in An Echo of the Fae. If you’d like to hear more about the world building for the fae realm in this story, please visit THIS POST in the tour to learn about the fae-realm where Echo must venture in order to save her sister.


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Review: An Echo of the Fae by Jenelle L Schmidt

Guys, I'm so pumped for this post. Having to wait almost two months to rave about something this good is killer. The first thing that caught my eye in An Echo of the Fae was the descriptive language. The craft of the writing (Which I normally try not to analyze) was perfect. Jenelle painted this splendid picture in my head. I can't even describe how much I loved the style. And then the story... I'll admit, the prologue had me a tiny bit nervous because the narration switched with chapter one and I was afraid it would switch back. Normally, I enjoy a good multi-POV, but with this one I was going to scream if I was forced to leave Echo's POV. (Thankfully, I wasn't!) There was so much that went into worldbuilding this. And connections were made in ways that blew my mind. I literally couldn't put this book down. I was completely submerged in the world there. Every character had my attention, and small things became significant things like bread crumbs you didn't know were there. And with just a slight twist of Rapunzel, how much cooler can you get? Gorgeous cover, amazing characters (although the selkies part took some getting used to... it was a little weird but totally worked), great plot, and beautiful wording, this book deserves five bright shining stars. The only thing that still gets me is (Without spoilers) how in this world did the parents explain the ending to the villagers?

I received an ARC of this book from the author, but the gushing is 100% honest from me.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Character Interview: Echo and Jana from An Echo of the Fae

Today, we have two very honored guests, Echo and Jana, the main characters and beautiful wonders of An Echo of the Fae! I hope you're following along on this blog tour, because there are all sorts of guest posts, interviews, and reviews floating around like balloons at a fair! You don't want to miss any of it. I so enjoyed getting to know these characters better, and I'm sure you will, too! Don't forget to grab your copy from Amazon today! Now let's get going!

                                                                          {Echo}

                                                                            {Jana}

What is one skill you wish you had, why? 

Echo: I wish I could talk to people more easily. I always end up just sort of silently screaming at myself to say something, but by the time I think of something to say, the person I was talking to has already walked away.

Jana: Seriously? Talking to people is super easy. What I wish I could do is wield magic like my mother, Queen Titania. She and my father rule all of Faerthain and can do some wicked powerful stuff. When I got sick, they built me this magical tower to keep me safe while they search for a cure... I mean, they’re powerful, but my illness has even them baffled. I guess... well... I guess right now I wish I were a healer so I could cure myself and get back to normal life.

Who has shaped your life the most? 

Echo: My parents! Mamai and Dadai have always provided me with everything I need, but they’ve also taught me how to work hard. I’ve learned so much about baking and healing from Mamai, and Dadai has taught me about sacrificing my own wants for the good of others.

Jana: Oh... probably Drayeth. I mean, my parents are great, but they’re usually busy running the Summer Court. They’ve taught me a lot, but they also don’t always have time for me. Drayeth here *indicates the tiny, orange-scaled dragon on her shoulder* is my best friend. He’s been with me my whole life. He’s my best friend. And he doesn’t even care that I don’t seem to have any powers like my parents... I know some of the Court is a little worried about that, but I don’t know why. It’s not like Titania or Oberon could die or anything.


What is your most prized possession? 

Echo: Well... they’re not really mine, per se, but Dadai’s books. We don’t have many, just a dozen or so, but it’s more books than anyone else on Ennis Rosliath owns, more than most people have ever seen. Dadai has read them to me ever since I was little and they are so precious to me.

Jana: The fae don’t really care about possessions like mortals do. I mean, the forest and our magic provides us with all we need.

What is something you’ve always wanted to do? 

Echo: I’ve always wanted to explore deeper into the Faorn, the great old forest that covers the heart of Ennis Rosliath, the island where I live. But everyone says it’s haunted, and even Mamai and Dadai seem to be a little afraid of it. They don’t mind me playing and exploring around the edges, but they’ve both told me never to go deep into the forest. I want to, though.

Jana: I’ve always wanted to have a real adventure! I’d like to leave Faerthain and explore some of the other realms. And I’d like to figure out what my dreams mean. In my dreams, the face of my mother is unfamiliar to me, and there’s this rhythmic pounding that calls to me but I don’t know what it is. I’d like to find out, though.


What is your happiest memory?

Echo: Oh, any time Dadai reads stories to Mamai and me. Especially if he uses his little stick puppets to act out the story! Those are always my favorite times.

Jana: Drayeth and I played a prank on the Summer Court once. Drayeth used his magic to turn me into a toad. He flew me up to the table where my parents and their court were feasting and I started jumping all over the table and into the food. They were all shrieking and trying to catch me! It was so funny! Drayeth eventually got me out of there and nobody ever knew it had been us!


Thank you so much, Echo and Jana, for gracing us with your presence today. I hope you have fun at your other tour stops as well!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Cover Reveal: An Echo of the Fae by Jenelle L Schmidt

 I can't wait to share my review of this book, because it was amazing. BUT... since I do have to wait, I'll just pop in here with the absolutely gorgeous cover, the blurb, and even an excerpt for all of you who want to read this [and for those of you who are going to want to read it after the except ;)]

About An Echo of the Fae:

Echo enjoys the peace and solitude of the Faeorn forest, regardless of how strange spending time in the “haunted” wood seems to others.

But on the cusp of her thirteenth birthday, the discovery of a family secret reveals why Echo has never been drawn to the sea like her mother. This discovery shakes the foundations of her world and sends Echo on a quest, not merely into the forest, but into the heart of the fae-lands themselves, to rescue the sister she didn’t know existed.

Elves, dragons, and fairy courts will put Echo’s wit and resolve to the test. But with time running out for her sister, will Echo even be able to save herself?

A fairytale adventure perfect for fans of The Secret of Roan Innish and The Girl Who Drank the Moon.

Endorsements:
“Enthralled by the terror, charm, riddles, and beauty of a richly depicted fae world, I devoured this marvelous book in two sittings! Readers of all ages will love Echo, a heroine strong in her weakness, clever and resolute amid her doubt and fear. An Echo of the Fae is sure to satisfy lovers of adventure and faery!” -- J.M. Stengl, author of The Faraway Castle Series




Isn't this cover gorgeous? I'm so in love! Feel free to share and get the word out. There are going to be links to pre-order at the bottom of the post, below the excerpt. And if you check around on other blogs, you might be able to find a different excerpt, since I know there are several floating out there.

EXCERPT

   “You dare steal from the King of the Winter Court?” The voice reverberated through the air, its sheer, palpable power pushing Echo to her knees. The lantern dropped from her nerveless hand and clattered on the ground.
    Echo bowed her head respectfully, racking her memory for every snatch of folk-tale she had ever heard about the Winter Fae or the Dark Host. “Forgive me, my lord,” she whispered. “I did not intend to steal from you. I merely seek to save the life of my sister.”
    She heard soft footfalls approach across the sable ground but she did not dare raise her eyes, not even when she felt the touch of hot breath on the back of her head.
    “You smell of truth.” The voice sounded puzzled. “Rise, seeker.”
    Echo stood, wincing at the pain in her feet. But that thought fled with the rest as she came face to face with the largest tiger she had ever seen.
    Upon reflection, it was the only tiger she had ever seen. But she was reasonably certain that, should she ever see another, it would be quite different from the monstrous beast that confronted her now.
    Her eyes were even with his shoulders, and he stared down at her from his impressive height, his long whiskers twitching inches above her face. His fur was utterly black, the color of coal. Instead of stripes, Ritioghra’s—for it could only be Ritioghra—body was covered in swirls and whorls of gleaming blue, the same color as the Everflame. His eyes gleamed like two massive stars of an identical shade, and he gazed down at her with an expression of ferocious curiosity. He was utterly terrifying and utterly beautiful.
    Terror coursed through her veins like ice, but the light of intelligence in his eyes gave her courage.     “For-forgive me, my lord.” Echo gave a wobbly curtsy.
    The tiger stretched with a lazy nonchalance. Every line of his long body rippled with power and strength, like the unstoppable force of a river about to burst its banks.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenelle first fell in love with stories through her father’s voice reading books aloud each night. A relentless opener-of-doors in hopes of someday finding a passage to Narnia, it was only natural that she soon began making up fantastical realms of her own. Jenelle currently resides in the wintry tundra of Wisconsin—which she maintains is almost as good as Narnia—with her knight-in-shining armor and their four adorable hobbits. When she is not writing, she homeschools said hobbits and helps them along on their daily adventures... which she says makes her a wizard.

Follow Jenelle around the interwebs to get news about latest releases and her writing adventures:
WEBSITE


The cover art/design was done by the amazing Savannah Jezowski with Dragonpen Designs. 


PRE-ORDER LINKS AND GOODREADS (That's a hint to add it to your shelf :P)








Saturday, May 23, 2020

Author Interview: Cara Putman

Today there's a very special guest on the blog, author Cara Putman. (She's totally amazinggggg!) Over Christmas break I read one of her books for the first time and I was hooked. I'm oddly attracted by suspense books that focus more on the lawyer/court side of things than the police side, although I enjoy both. Today, Cara's going to tell us more about her latest release and her upcoming release.



Cara, thanks so much for agreeing to this interview! I'm so excited for today!

What do you love most about your newest release?

Flight Risk allowed me to explore a slightly older heroine (she’s turning 40), which allowed her to have a series of competencies while still being a growing and evolving character. The hero also had a slightly Gibbs (from NCIS) feel even though he’s a reporter rather than a crime investigator. I was also able to marry my love of journalism with the law, which made for a strong clash of independent characters. Add in my favorite city (Washington, DC), and it was just plain fun.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Savannah Daniel was originally modeled off my mentor in law school. Victoria was about five years older than me, but because she’d gone straight to law school was further along in that career. So in earlier books Savannah is the woman with the sage, steady advice. Then as I started fleshing her out for her book, she got traces of me. Since I’m in my mid forties, I added some of the questions my friends and I wrestle with. Yes we know who we are, but sometimes there are disappointments and regrets that we can allow to trap us. I wanted to give Savannah a choice on whether to move forward or stay trapped. You’ll have to read the book to see which she does ;-)

What do you hope readers take away from the story?

The theme in a nutshell is how do we find truth in a fake news world? Truth matters. Even more today. But why does it matter? The Bible couldn't be clearer that the truth sets us free, so it is worth the hard work of confronting it and mining for it.

What is your next book going to be, and what can you tell us about it?

I’m in the second round of edits for Lethal Intent right now. In Lethal Intent, the heroine Caroline Bragg has started a new job with a start-up that works in pharmaceutical/oncology research. There’s suspense, romance, and a bit of tension, plus a passel of cute kids because her boyfriend runs a foster group home. I LOVE the interactions he has with the kids. As a former NFL football player, the kids show his teddy bear side.

What is the absolute best thing about being an author?

Getting to partner with God in creativity. I don’t mean for that to sound all woo-woo. But we are created in God’s image. The first part of his image that’s displayed in the Bible is Creation. I think we get the idea you have to have a special call to be creative: be an Einstein or Van Gogh or Dickens. But we all have pieces of that in us. When I’m writing, I get to actively partner with God in that part of my personality.

Do you have any pets who are your muses while writing? 

As I’m answering this, our new puppy is running around the patio next to me. Our cat Simba is the inspiration for Jaime’s cat in Delayed Justice. The pets actually become active representations of their owners in that one. As the pets move closer to each other (a dog and cat), you see the owners take steps toward each other. Brandon has a cat, Frodo, in Lethal Intent, but I need to give him a bit more screen time. Note to self as I work through the edits :-)



Biography
Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently writing book 33 and dreaming up future books, not hard when she sees what-ifs everywhere.
Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW and gives back to the writing community through her service on Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.
Cara is also an attorney, full-time lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women's ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!), George Mason Law School, and Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at www.caraputman.com 



Thank you, Cara, for giving us a peek into your world today!



Thursday, May 21, 2020

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: Oliver's Moving Day by Vicky Sluiter

It’s moving day, and five-year-old Oliver is excited for the adventure ahead. He is full of questions as, along with big sister Edith, Mommy, and Daddy, Oliver moves from The Big City to The Country.
He has never been to The Country and has only seen pictures in his books. What will it be like? Where will they live? Will there be lots of people and tall buildings? Join Oliver and his family as they wave goodbye to The Big City and journey through the suburbs and into The Country. Will Oliver have his questions answered? Read along and find out!
Click here for your copy!
REVIEW:
Oliver's Moving Day is a sweet little story that won't take long to read. If you're about to move, I think your children would be really excited to learn what it will be like. Oliver's Moving Day answers many questions that children have when going through a big transition like moving. The characters of Oliver and his family are sweet and lovable. Pre-schoolers and kindergartners especially will be attracted to the story. Although the illustrations aren't my favorite, I still think children will enjoy this book, and I'll be putting it on my shelf when I get my own classroom. 4 Stars! 
I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest and fair review.

About the Author

Vicky Sluiter has had a passion for reading since she was four years old. She started with the back of cereal boxes and moved on to everything else, including books, magazines, and t shirts. As a wife and mom, gramma to five boys, and the proud owner of a bearded dragon named Elliott, she has learned what boys like Oliver want to read. You can follow Vicky’s blog and book reviews at vickysluiter.com.


More from Vicky

I love writing children’s fiction because children are so much fun. So lively and expressive. You never really know what will happen when a child is involved but usually it will involve laughter. I have five grandsons so have experienced this many times over the years. The boys are ages 5 yrs to 14 yrs. Being at different stages the house is full of fun when they are all together. The youngest adores the oldest, and it’s reciprocated even if he won’t admit it. The middle three enjoy hanging together and getting into mischief. This Gramma loves every second of it!
The idea for a little guy on a farm was birthed when I was taking classes in writing fiction for children 30 years ago. I grew up on a hobby farm in farm country so the setting was pretty natural for me. And all the neighbors were boys so that’s what I’m used to. I could drive a tractor and bale hay right along with them. Having Oliver move from The Big City to The Country was inspired by my three youngest grandsons. That’s what they did and when they come to visit me they get excited to see the tall buildings in The Big City. And yes, they actually use that phrase. They are thoroughly convinced that Oliver’s Moving Day was written about them. In a way it was!
I’m so glad I didn’t give up on my dream. It was temporarily set aside, but in the right season it bubbled to the top again. Never let go of your dreams!

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Vicky is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book and toy truck!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

A Twist of Rapunzel Blog Tour: Review: Misfortune by Kendra E Ardnek

The day she was born, her kingdom fell, and so she was branded the daughter of blood and misfortune and locked away. Now a dragon plagues the land and her curse may be the only thing that stops it.
But is she really cursed?

This is the first time I've read one of Kendra's books and I can tell you, it's not gonna be the last. In a very short amount of time (Really, it won't take you long to read, and you might be a tiny bit put out that it isn't longer since you'll get to love the characters) Kendra brings you into a world that puts a little bit of the fantasy into reality. There are some very specific similarities to the book of Daniel, too. The characters didn't have long to catch my heart, but do it, they did! From the sweet prince to the dear Daughter of Blood and Misfortune, there was so much personality. My favorite by far was Misha, though. You'll probably find at least one or two parts that really stick it to you (I may have sent a picture of one of the paragraphs to a friend with the caption "Called out")  I loved how well Kendra made me run the gamut of emotions- from outrage to teary eyes to laughter. This is a definite recommend from me!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0872QTZ4N/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

I received a copy of this book from the author, but the opinions are wholly and honestly my own.

Check out the rest of today's blog tour:
May 17 
Kendra E. Ardnek - Rapunzel and the Story of Daniel 
Interviews: 
Books, Life, and Christ – Kirsten Fichter 
Reviews: 
Live. Love. Read – Misfortune 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

A Twist of Rapunzel Blog Tour: Review: Diamond by Kirsten Fichter

Diamond leads a quiet life with the woman she calls Mother. There isn’t much to pass the time save for excursions in the forest and one-sided conversations with her pet rabbit, Hobie. Men are cruel beings who care only for themselves and must be avoided at any cost. After all, Diamond’s own father gambled her away once. What other terrible fates might await her if people knew she existed?

Seth Stendahl is an alchemist with a middling proficiency in the Rohesian tongue. After growing up with and surviving six sisters, there shouldn’t be anything too difficult for him to master – except maybe breaking his leg and being locked in the top of a ruined watchtower.

This is Rapunzel with a twist like you’ve never seen it before.

Guys, you have no clue how much I love these Once Upon a Twist Tales. Details from the original fairy tale, a few Disney nods, and so much Kirsten magic combine to make stories that capture the heart and imagination. In Diamond, there was so much to wonder at... I've only been dying to read it since I read Spindle Dreams (BTW Awesome book! You should read that one too, and it'll help a little with this one since they sorta got intertwined...) I love how Kirsten gave actual plausible explanations for everything that happens to Diamond/Rapunzel and Seth, her tower-bound friend. Kirsten has a way of taking the magic out and replacing it with her own wordy brilliance. The plot was great, of course, and even had a nice little subplot bunny hopping around, but what really gets me are the characters. Every one of them had me asking for more. Motives and desires and just a real-life-person-ness brought Diamond, Seth, Dalv, and even Mother drew me in and trapped me. It was one of those one-sitting reads, and I can't wait to read it with my sisters. (We're currently reading The Rose and the Balloon out loud together, but we hope to read Spindle Dreams and Diamond too before the end of the summer. Julie especially is very invested... who knew 7-year-olds were so ensnarable?) I do hope that I don't speak French like poor Seth speaks Rohesian... Oi! (Although, he didn't do poorly for learning such a difficult language!)
Bottom line: If you're looking for a magically non-magical twist on one of the most beloved fairy tales of all time... Stop looking and start reading! With a cute cover, a great plot, and so many characters to love (or love hating), Diamond has it all!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08838M2YD?searchxofy=true&ref_=dbs_s_aps_series_rwt
I received a copy of this book from the author, but all opinions expressed are my own honest views.

Check out the other awesome posts happening today on the blog tour!
May 16 
Kendra E. Ardnek – Top 10 Rapunzel Retellings. 
Interviews: 
Dreams and Dragons – The Daughter of Blood and Misfortune 
Rambling Rose – Kendra 
Reviews: 
Live. Love. Read – Diamond