Saturday, May 30, 2015

Celebration End, Giveaway and Contest Winners, and a Special Announcement!

Well, today marks the last of the Resistance Anniversary Celebration (along with the Q&A over at the Ilyon blog). But, before I get to any of that, I have an exciting announcement. Half-Blood now has a release date! July 14th! Not only that, but the Kindle version is available for pre-order on Amazon for $1.99!

I'm so excited to soon be able to share it with all of you. And, of course, since I now have a release date, that means planning release day activities. I am going to hold a blog tour. Since this is a novella and July is going to be a busy month, it's going to be smaller than my other blog tours. I won't be doing as many different kinds of posts and interviews will be limited to three questions, but I would love to have you join in and help me share the news of the release! If you want to participate, you can do so by filling out the form here.

Now, back to the original point of this post. I just want to thank you all for making this month so much fun! It was a lot of work, but I hope you enjoyed all the posts and activities. I still can't believe Resistance has been out for a full year.

So you're probably wondering about the giveaway winners right? Okay, here they are:

Autographed copy of Resistance: Hope B.
Autographed copy of The King's Scrolls: Kimberly H.
Autographed copy of Half-Blood: Emily K.
e-ARC copy of Half-Blood: Amanda F.
Jewelry: Laura E.
Jewelry: Alea H.

Congratulations, everyone! I will be contacting you for your information!

As for the photo contest, my goodness, it was a tough decision. You all sent in so many awesome photos! I was absolutely delighted to see them all. But, since I had to narrow it down to one winner, I chose...

This photo by Grace and her siblings. It's of her and her sister as Kyrin and Meredith, and it made me go "Aww!" So congratulations to Grace and her siblings! And thank you to everyone else who sent in photos. They were all so amazing!

Once again, thank you all for participating in the festivities this month! I shall now get back to focusing on writing and editing so I can get you more books! :D

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Special Thank You

Can you believe May is just about over? I knew it would go fast with everything I had planned, but I can’t believe we’ve reached the end already. This means, sadly, that the Resistance Anniversary Celebration is just about over. This will be one of my last posts for it. I wasn’t sure what to write about today. Originally I was going to find some fun Ilyon Chronicles facts to share on the Ilyon blog like I usually do on Wednesdays, but I decided on something else. I decided to say thank you.

Being an author is a tough job. I was 14 or 15 when I first decided I wanted to be one. I knew nothing about it or what it would entail, I just knew I wanted to be like Tolkien. The thing about dreams is, when they first come to you, they seem so possible yet so unobtainable at the same time. I dreamed about what it would be like to have people read my stories, what it would be like to sign books (yes, I did practice my signature, though it ended up not meaning anything since I ended up using a pen name). Silly little daydreams you want to come true but never really believe will come true.

Well, it did come true a few years later. I was eighteen when published my first book, The Pirate Daughter’s Promise. I still had no idea what I was doing, but you have to start somewhere, right? I published several more books following that. But you know what? The dream wasn’t everything I thought it would be. Sure, it was fun and exciting. I was actually an author! But it was really discouraging too. That’s kind of what happens when you first start something and don’t know what you’re doing. You feel like you’re getting nowhere. I had high times and low times. One of those low times was around the time I started Ilyon Chronicles. I knew there was something different about it, but I had no idea the extent of what God was going to do with it. After almost eight years of being an author, I finally feel as though I’m getting somewhere. I finally feel like I have even a small grasp on what I am doing. Have the discouraging times disappeared? No, this job is still very hard, but the blessings that come through it outweigh the hard parts.

This is where my thank you comes in. I owe my ultimate thanks to my Savior who redeemed me and gave me a gift I love and can use to serve Him. I thank my mom who taught me and passed on her love for writing. I wouldn’t have made it far without her. And I thank you, all of my readers, because, without you, I wouldn’t be where I am. The enthusiasm I’ve gotten for Ilyon Chronicles is exactly what I dreamed about in my teens, but never imagined actually happening. Your notes of encouragement, the discussions over at Goodreads that make me laugh, the way you love my characters—it means SO much to me. I’ve received so many messages thanking me for writing my books, but I have to say thank YOU. You’re the ones helping to fulfill my dreams. You’re the ones showing me that all things are possible with God—that a highly introverted, imperfect, small town girl can actually touch the lives of people she has never met. So thank you for being part of this adventure with me. I look forward to journeying on with all of you!

P.S. Check out Katie’s awesome “How I Discovered Ilyon” post today! These are the sort of things that make me love being an author. :)

Also, there are only a couple of days to enter the anniversary giveaway! (US entries only please.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Collar and the Cavvarach—Blog Tour

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Annie Douglass Lima’s new book! It sounds very intriguing.

109466807About the Story:

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire's most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie's escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?

The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences.  One is that slavery is legal there.  Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone.  Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).  

Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil.  It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with "have a rack"), an unsharpened weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge.  Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades.  You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

Want to Find out a Little More?

Click here to read a description of the setting and what life is like for slaves and others in that world.

Click here to read chapter 1 for free!

Click here to download The Collar and the Cavvarach from Amazon.

Click here to download The Collar and the Cavvarach from Smashwords (for Nook or in other digital formats).

About the Author:

Annie Douglass LimaAnnie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published ten books (one YA action and adventure novel, four fantasies, a puppet script, and four anthologies of her students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

Connect with the Author Online:
Amazon Author Page:
Google Plus:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Half-Blood Cover Reveal

The day has finally come to reveal the cover of my upcoming Ilyon Chronicles novella, Half-Blood!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00026]

As you can see, it’s a bit different from Resistance and The King’s Scrolls, though once you see the rest of the books in the series, it’s not quite so different. Half-Blood takes you back quite a few years to look deeper into Jace’s life leading up to Resistance. It even includes his meeting with Rayad from his point-of-view, which was really fun to write. Though this is technically a prequel to the series, it’s best read after Resistance as a way to learn Jace’s backstory. I was hoping to announce an official release date today, but with the craziness of this month surrounding the Resistance Anniversary Celebration, I haven’t had a chance to really get into my beta reader edits, so I’m not sure just how close it is to being finished. But it will be this summer. :) That I can tell you.

So, what do you think of the cover? I knew right away when I came across the picture (it was pretty much on the very last page of my search and I was starting to get frustrated) that it was the one. With a little tweaking, it fit Jace’s pre-Resistance life perfectly. And, of course, I love the gladiator aspect of it, considering my strong interest in gladiators.

Now, instead of rambling on, I’ll get to sharing about the actual story.

About the Book

The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?

See where Jace’s story all began . . .

Coming This Summer



My month long anniversary giveaway is still going on! If you haven’t entered yet, just use the form below. U.S. entries only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to stop by the other blogs participating in the cover reveal and see what they have to say!

Participating Bloggers
A Writer's Faith
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke
A Writer's Heart
Thoughts and Rants
Written Rest
To Be A Person
Tialla's Tellings
A Vintage Girl in the Modern World
Knitted By God's Plan
Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings
Pencils Can Change The World
Zerina Blossom's Books
Ryebrynn's Random Ramblings
Through the Realm of Dreams
Red Lettering
Leah's Bookshelf
The Official Website of Brent King
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections
Shattered Fractals
Flights from the Aerie
E. Rawls
The Pen of a Ready Writer
Scattered Journal Pages
Sutori no Hana
The Art of Storytelling
The Writer’s Window

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Resistance One Year Anniversary


Today is the day! Resistance has officially been out for one full year. And what a year it has been, thanks to everyone who has read and enjoyed it! I never knew when I first hit “publish” how well it would do. I was quite scared about it, actually, because it meant so much to me. But, one year later, it has done very well, won a couple of awards, and is even in the process of becoming an audiobook! If this is just the first year, I look forward to seeing what God has in store for the next few years.

To celebrate today, I have a couple of fun things to share. First, I’ve had several readers sharing on their blogs how they discovered Ilyon. Perhaps you’re wondering how I discovered Ilyon. I’ve mentioned it in interviews I’ve done over the last year, but today I’ll share my story here.

You can thank Donita K. Paul for the existence of Ilyon. You see, it was her book DragonQuest that sparked the initial inspiration for the series. It was June 27, 2011 that I was reading a scene where it was revealed that my favorite character was half-blooded. I remember just pausing there as the creative gears in my head started turning. Now, I’ve written about half-blooded characters before (half Elves in my Makilien Trilogy), but it was never someone that was frowned upon. In DragonQuest, however, it was. So, I started thinking, what if I wrote about a character who’s mixed blood was something people looked down on. What if one side of his blood was a race people feared and thought were no better than animals? To give a better picture of what I was thinking, here are the notes I wrote down the next day—the very first notes I would write for the series.

So I was reading DragonQuest last night and it sparked a very interesting idea. I have sort of a basic plot, but mainly I have two great character ideas. I guess I'll start there.

First there's the main guy because that is where these ideas started. What I'm thinking is in this new fantasy world there is a race of people who are really evil. They can pass as humans if they want to, but have non-human attributes like pointed ears, able to see in the dark, etc. They are cunning, devious, and easily enraged. I'm thinking that even though they appear human, they almost have some animal-like tendencies. Everyone fears and hates them because they are always raiding villages and out for blood. Now, what if my main guy is half human, half one of these people? Think of the inner turmoil that would cause. He would constantly struggle with his mixed blood. Plus, I'm thinking that most people don't believe this race has souls, so my guy will always have this doubt gnawing at him, wondering if God truly can love and save him.

And that is how Jace came to be and where Ilyon started. He is at the core of it all. Every other character and plot evolved around him and his storyline. I started writing Resistance the very day I wrote down those first notes. Next month it will be four years since I first discovered Jace and Ilyon. Four of the books and a novella are written, two are published, and the last two books and (hopefully) a short story are in the process of being written. I never imagined at the beginning what a huge thing it would turn into. When I first started, the series was only supposed to have three books. But that’s how writing goes. You never know exactly what is going to happen until you reach the end.

Now,  my second fun thing to share. If you haven’t had a chance to check Ilyon Chronicles out yet, for the next week I have both Resistance and The King’s Scrolls (for Kindle) on sale for 50% off! That’s $1.99 a piece. Basically, you can get both for the price of one. :) This offer is good through May 26th.


And, just for fun, I also have a 20% off code for my Etsy store. You can go grab yourself some Ilyon inspired jewelry or choose from my other categories. I have lots of jewelry for writers and for other fandoms.

20%Off copy

Also, don’t forget to enter my anniversary giveaway. There are several different prizes. (U.S. entries only please.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Again, thank you all so much for making Resistance's first year amazing!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Where Shadows Lie–Cover Reveal + Giveaway!

Today I’m helping to reveal the book cover and trailer reveal for Tialla Rising's upcoming release, Where Shadows Lie! Make sure you also enter the giveaway at the end!

Release date: June 2015

Synopsis via Goodreads:

His dark past haunts him. His new life taunts him.

After twenty years in the gangs and a hefty prison sentence, an early release gives Shawn the opportunity to turn his life around.

But that isn’t so easy when gangs are involved.

Only a year into his fresh start, the gang catches on and makes Shawn’s life miserable. After all, once a gang member, always a gang member. His very blood belongs to them.

Threats become promises. Whispers become actions. Words become bullets. He must fight – not only for his life, but to save his honor, prove his integrity, and protect the woman he loves.

An ember of hope glows in the darkness, strengthening his resolve. Will her support and his determination be enough to dispel the shadows of his past?

A story of discovery and faith, love and perseverance.


Tialla Rising is a Christian young woman living with her family in the mountains of Arizona. She loves to write and will passionately spend hours long into the night developing her stories. Like most writers, Tialla fills her spare time with reading from her favorite fantasy and mystery genres. A good book, a stormy day, and an iced coffee comprise her favorite moments.


Also, don’t forget that this evening is the Resistance Anniversary Ball over on Facebook! I’ll be giving away several of my favorite books as well as a couple more fun prizes. Stop by any time between 4-8pm CST and join in on the fun! All are welcome! Even if you haven’t read Resistance, there’s still plenty of fun to be had and prizes to win.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Let the Celebration Begin!


It seems I’ve been doing nothing but planning this for months (actually, it’s only been about a month), but the Resistance Anniversary Celebration has officially begun! I feel like this little clip of Rhino from Bolt is much too appropriate not to include.

I can’t wait to share all the fun activities that are scheduled, and I thank all who are celebrating this exciting time with me. I published several other books in my early years of writing, but none of them have been nearly as exciting as Resistance, and the fact that it has only now been out for a year means there is sure to be much more excitement to come.

Before I get to the schedule for the month, I do have an exciting announcement to share concerning Resistance. Back in March, I announced on Facebook that I was going to pursue an audiobook version of Resistance, so I uploaded it to ACX (Amazon’s audiobook creation service). I waited and WAITED to see if I’d get any auditions for it. Well, finally I did, but I just couldn’t quite find that perfect narrator. I mean, Jace is the heart of these stories. I needed to be happy with how he was portrayed, right? Originally I wanted to male narrator but, in the last week or so, with a lot of prayer, I came to realize that perhaps that was what wasn’t working for me. Perhaps trying to find a male narrator for Jace’s voice was just impossible because I’d never find anyone who fit him perfectly. That’s when I started thinking that, maybe, a female narrator would be more “neutral.” Long story short, I contacted a female narrator, got her audition, and my mom and I both really liked it. Now I can tell you today that I’ve hired an author many of you may know, Miss J. Grace Pennington, as the narrator for Resistance! I’m very excited to be working with someone I “know.” This is a completely new adventure for me, being my first audiobook. I can’t wait to share more in the coming months.

Now, on to the celebration! Below you’ll find the schedule of all the coming activities. It may shift a little as the month goes, but this will give you an idea of what’s to come. And make sure you enter the giveaway at the end! I’m giving away several different prizes!

Friday, May 1

  • Celebration Begins! Yay! ;)

Saturday, May 2

  • Character Q&A

Monday, May 4

Wednesday, May 6

  • Random Facts

Thursday, May 7

  • How I Discovered Ilyon post by Amanda

Friday, May 8

  • How I Discovered Ilyon post by Emily
  • How I Discovered Ilyon post by Sierra

Saturday, May 9

  • Character Q&A

Monday, May 11

  • Sneak Peek

Tuesday, May 12

  • How I Discovered Ilyon post by Erika

Wednesday, May 13

  • Random Facts

Friday, May 15

Saturday, May 16

  • Character Q&A
  • How I Discovered Ilyon post by Anna

Monday, May 18

  • Sneak Peek

Wednesday, May 20

  • Anniversary Day

Friday, May 22

  • Half-Blood Cover Reveal

Saturday, May 23

  • Character Q&A

Monday, May 25

  • Sneak Peek

Wednesday, May 27

  • How I Discovered Ilyon post by Katie
  • Random Facts

Thursday, May 28

Saturday, May 30

  • Character Q&A
  • Photo Contest Winner Announced
  • Giveaway Winners Announced

Monday, June 1

  • Fan Art Voting Begins

Wednesday June 10

  • Fan Art Winners Announced

And now, last but not least, the giveaway! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway