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.

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


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!



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.

“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.


   “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.

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:

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)