Saturday, August 23, 2014

Storm Siren Blog Tour - Interview + Giveaway!

9781401690342_JKT.inddToday is so exciting! I’ve been looking forward to this post for quite a while. When I first saw the cover of Storm Siren, I nearly started drooling. I mean, it’s blue! And one look and my blog and website and it’s obvious how obsessed I am with blue. I jumped at the chance to join the blog tour based primarily on this lovely cover. Seriously, this is one of my top two favorite covers ever along with Judge by R.J. Larson. I want it as a poster for my room. Of course, the back cover drew me in as well, and I can say it’s a fascinating story that’s quite different from a lot of fantasy I’ve read before. The characters are very intriguing, but I’ll save the rest of my thoughts for my review that I’ll be working on soon.

Now, as part of the tour, I get to share a totally awesome interview with Mary Weber. This is one of the most fun interviews I’ve had on my blog so far. But first, a little about the book and author.

About the Book:

Storm Siren Teaser #1"I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don't want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you."

In a world at war, a slave girl's lethal curse could become one kingdom's weapon of salvation. If the curse - and the girl - can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn't merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth - meaning, she shouldn't even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she's being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn't want to be the weapon they've all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Books A Million

Book Trailer:

About the Author:

Mary Weber bio pic

Mary Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives.

In her spare time, she feeds unicorns, sings 80's hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California, which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Joss Whedon, and the ocean.

Twitter * Facebook * Website



And now for the interview! Mary’s answers are in blue while any of my input will be in purple.

1. What inspired you to write Storm Siren? 

It was a couple of things actually. :0) (1) My obsession for all things superhero and Last Airbender. (2) My absolute love for the teen girls I work with. It seems like so often our culture is shouting mixed messages at them regarding what power and beauty are. They’re told to “just be themselves” but then heaped with shallow expectations and made to feel not quite good enough. It can be disrespectful and devaluing. Thus, the idea for Storm Siren is based on my belief that each of us is born with unique value and destiny. And when we embrace that? We truly ARE powerful.

2. Which of your characters would you most love to spend the day with?

Okay, so I’m tempted to say Eogan (because HELLO) but I’m going to have to go with Lord Myles! The banter with (and taunting of) that disturbing man would be fantastic.

3. Creating and working with characters is my favorite part of writing. What is yours?

Oh I love that characters are your favorite part!! They’re definitely mine too. I think perhaps it’s the weirder side of our brains letting loose to shout, “I’m free! I’m free!”

4. I love it when I can find just the right “casting” choice for my characters because it helps clarify them in my mind. Do you have any casting choices for your characters? If so, who are some of the main ones?

*laughs* I’m going to be honest - as much as I adore building characters, I’d never really thought of casting them until someone asked me this last week! And I’m not going to lie - I totally had to hit up Google for names. So, for Nym, I think maybe Willa Holland (I love her spunk!), for Eogan – Michael Ealy (because those EYES!), and for Adora – I’m thinking Anne Hathaway or Sarah Jessica Parker. As far as Colin goes…can anyone really measure up to that sweet boy? Sigh.

Michael Ealy does have gorgeous eyes. ;)

5. For me, actually getting my stories written is the hardest part of writing. Planning, rewriting, and editing are much easier. What is your least favorite or hardest part of the writing process?

Yes, yes, all the YES. (Are you and I twins? Because aside from casting our characters I’m beginning to think we share the same writing brain.) I love the other aspects of the process, but the actual sitting down writing kicks my rear.

So now I have to ask – do you like honey lattes? Because if you do, you might in fact be my long-lost sister-from-another-mother.

Lol, no, actually I don’t. I do love my tea though . . . like, a lot.

6. Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress or what’s next for your writing and publishing plans?

Sure! I recently turned in book 2 of the Storm Siren Trilogy, and now I’m working on plotting out book 3. Fingers crossed for where Nym takes us!

But I want to know about YOUR current project, Jaye!! What are you working on?

Well, I for one, can’t wait for the next Storm Siren book! But anyway, I’m right in the middle of editing book 2 of Ilyon Chronicles for publication and just started writing book 5 of the series. It’s kind of odd going back and forth between the two because my characters are in such different places, but that’s the sort of weird things we writers have to deal with. :P

7. What hobbies do you have outside of writing?

Hmm. Let’s see. Well…I’m fairly good at making a decent cookie. I’m also quite well-known for my sweet vacuuming skills and classy “tripping-over-random-objects” hobby. Also? Sometimes I wear a whoopee cushion costume WHILE tripping over random objects. Yeah…

8. What are some of your favorite books?

Oh man, I absolutely adore Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races for the prose, atmosphere, and concept. There’s also Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, which is super creative and fun. Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel rocks my world (mainly because I wanted to marry Sir Percy for a good ten years of my life). And, of course, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ender’s Game are permanently glued to my shelf. :0)

What are some of YOUR favorites, Jaye?!!

The Lord of the Rings has to go right up at the top. I probably wouldn’t be a fantasy author if my teen years wouldn’t have been filled with fangirling over Middle-earth and everything in it. In very close second is the Books of the Infinite series by R.J. Larson. I want to marry Kien, like, yesterday, lol! ;) But seriously, I love her characters and their bantering. I do love historical fiction too. Anything by Karen Witemeyer has a good chance of making it onto my favorites list.

9. What are three random facts about you that most people probably wouldn’t know?

(1) As a kid, I once wrote on my parents’ family room wall and then blamed my older brother for it. Even though it was clearly signed “Mary.” I’ve never told him. (Are you reading this, Dave?)
(2) I used to be a lounge singer on Mos Eisley. Except Luke (Skywalker) stole my gig with his whiny rendition of “Let it Go.”
(3) I get serious motion-sickness. Like, I get nauseous in ROCKING CHAIRS. I am not proud of this.

I can totally sympathize with the motion-sickness! I can handle rocking chairs, but I can barely spend ten minutes in a car without the risk of getting sick.
10. And finally, what advice would you give other authors seeking to publish?

Oh fun! Well, my advice is simply totally stolen from my own writing mentors. Mainly: Keep reading. Keep writing! And find mentors who can critique and guide your work. Also, don’t be afraid to reach deep inside your soul until you find your voice – the one that’s the most scared to be heard, because it’s also usually the one with the most heart. And that heart is what the world needs.

Thanks very much for the fun, Jaye!!! It was lovely to meet you!!!!!

And thank you for such an awesome interview! Now I shall always consider you my writing twin. :D

Make sure you check out the rest of the stops on the tour here!

offical Storm Siren


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Wednesday, August 13, 2014


This isn’t at all one of my usual blog posts since it has nothing to do with writing. I don’t usually share things like this, but it really started weighing on me this morning. I take that as a prompting from God. In the last couple of days, my Facebook feed has been flooded with all the sadness surrounding Robin Williams’ death. Along with that have come a barrage of depression awareness posts. Almost all of these contain encouragement to those suffering depression that they are not alone. Now, this has nothing to do with God. I know I am never alone because I always have Him. But that’s not the point of this post. This has to do with people, since all these depression awareness posts on FB seem to be encouraging sufferers that there are people out there for them. This is all well and good except for one thing—in my personal experience, most people do not back up these words.

I have suffered with depression. Actually, I am currently struggling with it. I’ve never been suicidal, but I know what it’s like to want things to just end. I’m extremely thankful I have an understanding family and a couple close friends to help me when things get tough because I haven’t found much help or understanding from others.

There are two major problems I’ve come across when dealing with depression. Unfortunately, one of these problems comes specifically from fellow Christians. Many Christians seem to believe there is no such thing as depression—that if you’re being the faithful Christian you should be, God’s grace and love should be more than enough to make you happy and if you aren’t, you’re not trusting Him enough or focusing on the right things. All right, in ways, that’s true. As Christians we could be thrown into the deepest, darkest dungeon and still rejoice because of what Jesus has done for us. I completely believe that. But here’s where things go wrong. People seem to forget that, yes, we’re Christians, but we’re also human. We still struggle. Life. Is. Hard.

Even faithful Christians fall. When trials add up, it weighs you down. Things get bleak. It can be hard to see any light. Trust me, you can feel alone even when you know with all your heart God is still there. As a sufferer of depression, I can tell you this doesn’t mean we’ve given up or we’re just wallowing in our pain. I fight. I fight hard to battle my depression. But that doesn’t mean I’m instantly victorious. It can take a long time to reach the other side of the fight.

It is a real fight. And I can’t tell you how much it hurts and tears you down when other Christians act like it’s not or that you’re sinful or just not trusting enough or not focusing on what you should be. I’ve sat in on a very real conversation and listened to this kind of talk between Christians. Looking back, I can only shake my head. No wonder some people feel so alone. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we should be the most compassionate, uplifting, and encouraging when we see each other struggle. And because of this, we can also be the quickest to tear each other down because it hurts more not to receive help from those you’d most expect it from. Just because someone might struggle in a way different from your struggles, doesn’t mean their struggle is any less real or their faith any weaker.

Then there are the people who look at you from the outside and have the reaction of, “What could you possibly have to be depressed about?” Talk about a knife right to the heart. I’m the kind of person who will wear a big smile on the outside and be falling apart inside. My life looks pretty good. I love my family, my parents welcome me still living at home, which is awesome because we have a great house in the country, I’m pursuing my passion in writing. And it truly is a great life. I love it all. But whose life is ever perfect? No one’s. We life in a fallen world, after all. Everyone has struggles. I have deep, aching things inside of me. I have dreams that haven’t been fulfilled. I’ve had to watch my family go through some very painful trials. Many of these I’m still waiting for God to show me an answer to. Just because a life looks perfect on the outside, doesn’t mean that inside the heart and mind of that person, things are going well.

So please, consider what a person may be going through privately before passing judgment or jumping to conclusions. It is these sorts of attitudes and reactions from others that can make people who are struggling feel alone and without hope. I can’t put into words how thankful I am for my faith. It will always be the number one thing that gets me through my hard times. But there are people out there who do not know God and do not have His power in their lives. In that case, it is up to us to shine His light. How can we do that if our first response is to judge or dismiss the struggles of others?


Monday, August 11, 2014

Book four has reached its end!

*throws confetti and does a happy dance* Yes I have finally, FINALLY finished writing book four of Ilyon Chronicles! Technically, I finished it last Thursday (August 7th), but since I was without internet all last week (torture!), I didn’t get to do a celebration post until today. I don’t think I can adequately describe just how insanely relieved I am to have this book finished. I began writing it on July 23, 2013. Over a year ago. I don’t think I’ve taken a whole year to write a book since Every Tear. And that was a long time ago. It seriously fought me every single step of the way. Every time I thought I had gotten past a difficult part and hoped things would go more smoothly, I’d hit another snag, and another, and another. I got to the point where I sort of hated the book and even contemplated what it would take to just scrap it. Of course, every time I did that, I was faced with the undeniable truth that the story was necessary for the progression of the series. So I pressed on. And now I can finally shove it away for a good long while and not have to look at it again until it comes time to edit it. I’m kind of scared for that time to come, but then, I’m sure in a few months I’ll feel much more charitable toward it.

Not only was this the hardest book of the series to write so far, it also turned out to be the longest. It was the book that never wanted to end. This first draft weighs in at a hefty 137,000 words. I was not expecting that. All this time I thought book three would be the longest. But nope, this book has turned into the longest book I’ve ever written. And considering this first draft is only the bare bones of the story, I’m expecting the word count to rise to at least 150,000 words by the time it’s ready for publication. I almost can’t imagine that. But like I’ve always said, I love long books, so the word count can rise all it wants in order for the story to be satisfactory.

What boggles my mind even more is that 88,000 of those words I wrote in the last eight weeks. Up until June 16th, I had only written a total of 49,000 words in the book! O_o  Yeah, that makes my eyes bug. But it actually wasn’t that hard. Mid-June was when I implemented my new strategy of writing at least 1,500 words a day, five days a week. Many of those days I wrote even more. I’ll definitely be using this writing strategy as I go on to write book five. I’m even hoping that maybe, possibly I could even finish the book or come close by the end of December.

I gave myself a much needed break from writing over the weekend and now hope to get a start on book five today. I’m quite excited about it. I’ve been looking forward to this book for a very long time. And it’s always fun to start a new book no matter what it is. I’ve added a word count meter to my side bar to track my progress. This will probably be the shortest book of the series. It doesn’t have this huge, epic plot, but it digs deep into a very weighty personal dilemma for one of the characters. I can’t wait to delve into it. HOPEFULLY this book will progress much more smoothly than book four. *winces and prays it will be so* If I can finish it by the end of the year, I could be looking at the potential to finish the entire series by the middle of next year. That would be so awesome.

However, as much as I’m looking forward to writing book five, my main focus for the next couple of months will have to shift to editing book two so I can send it to my beta readers. Instead of writing in the mornings as I have been the last several weeks, I’m going to be editing instead. I’m actually about a quarter of the way through editing. Praying that goes smoothly as well. I’m so looking forward to sharing more of this adventure!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

How a Star Falls Cover Reveal + Giveaway

Today I am thrilled to be a part of the unveiling for this lovely cover. How a Star Falls is an upcoming novella by my friend Amber Stokes. It sounds like a wonderful romantic story. I, for one, can't wait to read it when it is hopefully released this fall. But don't just take my word for it. Check out the blurb below. Also, to celebrate the cover reveal, Amber is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card, so make sure you enter using the form at the end of the post!
About the Book
How does a star fall?
Quickly. Completely. Unexpectedly.
Derrick Knolane escapes to Trinidad Head most evenings, avoiding his apartment and planning for the day he’ll break free of Humboldt County. Working in a music store might be fine for a while, but it’s far from the goal he had in mind when he got his college degree. Not to mention the fact that his roommate is a jerk and his family won’t stop trying to run his life.
Then Brielle falls into his world.
She claims to be a star. Not from Hollywood, but from heaven. He thinks she’s crazy. Certainly delusional. Yet, he can’t just leave her alone on the cliffs. So he takes her home.
And his whole world falls apart.
A heartfelt and fanciful contemporary romance novella, How a Star Falls explores the uncertain season of new adulthood and shows that sometimes the worst inconveniences make for the best miracles of all.
About the Author
Amber Stokes works as a content writer for Harvest House Publishers and writes inspirational fiction depicting the seasons of life and love. Her passion for books compelled her to earn a bachelor's degree in English and to run her own freelance editing and publicity business for over a year. Happily, the next step in her career lies in the Pacific Northwest—a part of the world she's always considered home. Learn more about her indie-author adventure at
About the Cover Designer
Lena Goldfinch writes fantasy and romance for teens and adults. She's a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it's a novel, novella, or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Elements of romance, fantasy, and mystery have a way of creeping into her writing, even when she's writing something light and contemporary. Learn more about Lena, her books, and her cover designs at
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Monday, August 4, 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour

I've seen these blog tour post going around for a while. It's so fun to see how everyone approaches their writing. I'm very excited to have been tagged to participate by Amber Stokes from Seasons of Humility. Amber was my proofreader for Resistance and put together the blog tour for it, so I've had a great time getting to know her over the last few months. You can check out her writing process post here.
Now for my writing process.
1) What am I working on?

I’m currently working on writing book four of Ilyon Chronicles. That has been my focus for the last month and a half. I actually wrote over 62,000 words in it just since mid-June. Now I only have about 4-6 chapters left to write. I can hardly wait to be finished. This has been the most difficult book to write of the series so far. It pretty much fought me every step of the way. As soon as I finish, my focus will have to shift to seriously editing The King’s Scrolls, although I am really excited to get started on book five.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, for one, I don’t write fantasy that contains magic. Not that I’m completely opposed to magic in fantasy novels if it’s done a certain way. I just don’t have any reason or desire to include magic in my novels. I like my fantasy to have a more historical feel and be more “real.” I think the biggest difference in Ilyon Chronicles is how many different genres I dipped into with it. It’s obviously fantasy, but I was heavily influenced by Ancient Rome, as well as the Middle Ages, so it definitely has a historical feel. But parts of the society I created are also very modern and it leans toward having a dystopian novel feel to it too.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Because I adore fantasy. :) I love the freedom it gives me and being able to create completely new worlds. As much as I love historical fiction, I don’t think I’m cut out for the research it takes. Fantasy allows me to satisfy the parts of me that love history while still being able to do anything I want for the story. Plus, I think fantasy is a very powerful tool to share the message of God’s love and how He works in our lives. Of all the books I’ve read in my life, the ones that have most touched and impacted me have been fantasy.

4) How does my writing process work?

I’m mostly a pantser, so I don’t do too much planning before I begin working on a project. I have my main plot points in mind and the ending so at least I know where the story is going. Then I just start writing. I’ve written seventeen books (not all published, obviously) that way, so I guess it works for me. When I write my first draft, it is very rough. I don’t do any real editing until I’m done with it. My goal is just to get it written as soon as possible. I don’t do any laboring over word choice. Actually, if I can’t think of a good word right away, I just put a pair of parentheses and move on. Pretty much every page of my first draft is dotted with them. My approach is to get it all written no matter how horrible it is in the beginning, and trust me, some of it is horrible. So horrible it makes me groan, but I just push on. Once I finish, I move on to many, many rounds of rewriting and editing. I actually prefer editing to writing. I like perfecting the story as opposed to the struggle of actually creating it.
* * *
Next Monday (August 11) the tour will continue with these writers I've tagged!
Kendra E. Ardnek is the homeschooled author of The Ankulen and The Bookania Quests. She's been a Christian since she was three and a half, and a lover a literature for longer than that. She also loves to knit and crochet.
Melody Jackson lives in the unbearably hot state of Arizona, (well, at least it's a dry heat) and enjoys writing, singing, playing guitar, and, well, more writing. She lives with her crazy family, as well as a menagerie of animals, including her four siblings, cats, and one grumpy chinchilla.

Friday, August 1, 2014

One Year Pen Name Anniversary + Giveaway!

Yes, that’s right, today is a special day for me. Exactly one year ago, I officially took on the name of Jaye L. Knight. I’m not sure I realized what a significant decision it would be at the time, but it was definitely the start of a new chapter and new direction in my writing career. Also, August 5th will be my one year blogiversary, so I’ve got some fun things planned including a giveaway with two prizes at the end of this post.

Being this is the one year anniversary of my pen name, I thought it would be fun to share a little more of the story behind it. After all, the name Jaye isn’t all that common. So where did it come from? Have any of you wondered if it came from G.I. Joe? Well, if you have, you would actually be right. As funny and unlikely as it is, that is where I got the name. When I watched G.I. Joe: Retaliation with my family one night last summer and saw Lady Jaye’s name, I immediately thought, “Hey, that is a really cool way to spell that.” At first, it didn’t even enter my mind to use it as a pen name. I was automatically thinking it was a cool character name to use sometime.

Then, as I was getting ready for bed, I somehow ended up pairing the name with Knight. That was actually one of the last names I had in mind the first time I ever contemplated pen names years ago. Adding it to Jaye was how I first started thinking it would be a really awesome pen name. It needed a little something though, so I went through the alphabet and decided L sounded good stuck in there. I just kept thinking about it as I was falling asleep and lamenting the fact I already had a pen name because I really, really wanted to use it.

Skip ahead to morning. Still thinking about it. I really didn’t know if it would be a good idea to change pen names, but I told my mom about it and after a good discussion in the kitchen, I decided to go for it. Now, looking back over the last year, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. At first, it was a little scary because it was like starting over, and I felt like I needed to build a whole new author platform, but the progress and things God has enabled me to accomplish in the last twelve months of being Jaye L. Knight have been amazing. I’ve met tons of new people and feel like I already have a much more solid platform than I did as Molly Evangeline.

Now that you have the backstory on the name and know that it is, in fact, tied to G.I. Joe, I’ll address another question some may be asking. What does the L stand for? Well, for the first week, it didn’t stand for anything. It just sounded good. :) But then I figured I had better come up with a good name in case someone were to ask me. I thought about it for a couple of days, going through a bunch of L names to find one that both fit and I liked. Easier said than done. But, as God has a way of doing when it comes to my writing career, He dropped in the perfect thing at just the right time. Now I can tell you the L stands for Lee. I’ve always really liked that name, and it fits perfectly. So my full author name is Jaye Lee Knight. Will I ever use it on a book cover? Probably. I know I’d like to. It just depends on which one I think it fits in the future.

So there it is, all the mysteries of my pen name unlocked. ;) Isn’t funny how God works? If I had never watched that movie that night, I would certainly still be using the name Molly Evangeline. But it was the perfect time in my life and writing career for a new start. God knew that, and I look forward to the next year in my life as Jaye L. Knight and seeing where it goes.

As part of my little pen name anniversary and blogiversary, I’m giving away an autographed copy of Resistance and my favorite necklace from my Etsy shop. There will be two winners—one for the book and one for the necklace. (U.S. entries only. Sorry, international shipping is just too high.) I will draw the winners on August 15th. The winner of the necklace with get their choice of color and word charm. (Options can be seen on the Etsy listing.)


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