Saturday, June 25, 2016

2016 Fan Art Contest Winners

It’s here! The moment many of you have been anxiously awaiting. And I know I’m really late in posting this. I confess that it completely slipped my mind this morning. :P But I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Here are the winners of the 2016 fan art contest!

3rd Place
Exsis & Ivoris
by Journey


2nd Place
Kyrin and Tyra
by August Buehrer


1st Place
by Natasha H.


Congratulations Journey, August, and Natasha! There were over 200 votes cast in this contest, and like last year, the voting was VERY close. You all did amazing! Because the voting was so close, I want to share a few runners-up that were only a couple of votes behind.



Gem by Michaela Cason

Ilyon Fan Art by Anna Ray

I will Never let them have you by Adri Ray

Huneke (1)

Tyra by Morgan and Rebekah Huneke


Kaden, Dragon Leader by Hannah Rogers
(Due to unfortunate internet issues with Hannah and me leaving to go camping the morning the contest voting began, I didn’t get Hannah’s entries until a few days later, but isn’t this drawing of Kaden awesome?!)

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the contest and those who voted! I can’t wait to do it again! If you want to see the other entries in the contest, head over to the Ilyon Chronicles fan art page.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

2016 Ilyon Chronicles Fan Art Contest–Voting

The voting for the 2016 Ilyon fan art contest is now open! I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who entered this year’s contest! I always love seeing your wonderful artwork. :) Voting will be open through June 24th and I will announce the winners on June 25th. So go check out the entries and cast your votes!


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Book Review–A Daring Sacrifice


About the Book

In a reverse twist on the Robin Hood story, a young medieval maiden stands up for the rights of the mistreated, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. All the while, she fights against her cruel uncle who has taken over the land that is rightfully hers. Forced to live in the woods and hide with the poor people she's grown to love, she works to save and protect them, but she never anticipates falling in love with the wealthy knight who represents all she's come to despise.

My Rating: 4

Of the three Robin Hood retellings that I have read in the last year, A Daring Sacrifice, was by far my favorite. Since the first book in this series, An Uncertain Choice, ended with a bit of a cliffhanger foreshadowing this book, I was very anxious to find out what happened. I very muc enjoyed getting to know Collin after meeting him in the first book and getting to see him find a girl. And while it takes a lot for me to really like a fictional heroine, Jody Hedlund has so far managed to endear me to both of hers in these books. A Daring Sacrifice, like the first book, is a sweet romance, but with enough reality to make it interesting. Like poor Collin! The end had me a little nervous to be sure. And like the last book, it ended with a little cliffhanger to set up the next book. I am greatly looking forward to reading on in this series.

I received a copy of this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hymns of the West Novella Cover Scavenger Hunt

Who doesn't like a scavenger hunt? I suppose it depends on the kind of scavenger hunt, but Faith Blum is with us today to reveal the covers for her three upcoming novellas.

Each novella will be published this summer. One on June 26th, one on July 26th, and the last one on August 26th. To reveal the covers, I have a scavenger hunt set up. I have a few clues for you and then once you find the covers, you can fill out the form below to enter a giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Each cover you find will get you four extra entries. Entries will be closed on June 10th and the winner announced on June 11th.

First, here are the descriptions of each book:

Just a Closer Walk

Katie and Joanna meet on a train headed to Cheyenne, Wyoming. They start talking and find out they are both headed there to become mail order brides. They quickly become good friends. When they get on a stagecoach with three other young women, Katie becomes suspicious. What is going to happen to them? Or is it really possible that nothing untoward is happening?

Just As I Am

Eve and Evangeline Collins are adventurous twins who decide to take a risk and head west as mail order brides. Their parents are less than pleased, but do nothing to stop them. Eve and Eva don’t realize their danger until they stop just outside Cheyenne. Will they ever see their family again?

Blessed Assurance

Adelaide lost her parents a year before and now a rich man in town is making unwanted advances toward her. Desperate, she writes to two men and quickly accepts the one from Cheyenne, Wyoming. On the final leg of her journey, in a stagecoach with four other mail order brides, her suspicions are confirmed. Will she ever find a man she can truly trust?


Each cover is hidden in a blog post on Faith's blog. Here are some clues to help you find the posts:

Clue #1: Agencies, mysteries, and westerns. Where might this cover be?

Clue #2: The ides of March. A holiday, a bird, or perhaps a plane. Can the cover be there?

Clue #3: A light or six and you may find the third and final cover.

In case the form below doesn't show up for some reason, please use this link to enter the giveaway.

Tour Schedule

June 6
June 7
June 8
June 9
June 10
June 11

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Red Rain Blog Tour–Excerpt

Good morning, Ladies and Gents! Welcome aboard Flight 74 heading for the Red Planet, Mars. Please strap on your seat belts because this promises to be one wild ride. We've got free books galore, three fun giveaways, author interviews, and more. Let's get this adventure started!

About the Book

17-year-old Philadelphia has been imprisoned most of her life because of her Christian beliefs. When her father is sent to Mars against his will to work on a mysterious science project and a benevolent official allows her to accompany him, Philadelphia knows she must keep her head down or be sent back to prison on Earth. But when she stumbles into the wrong hallway and accidentally learns too much, Philadelphia is faced with a question she doesn’t want to answer: the choice between returning to Earth—or destroying it.

Free Offer

Aubrey is such a generous gal. She's not only offering Red Rain for free this week, but if you sign up for her newsletter, you can also get the prequel short story for free! What are you waiting for?

About the Author

Aubrey Hansen is a pink-haired, caffeine-fueled twenty-something. She's a writer (obviously), barista, dog trainer, and the co-founder of Penoaks Publishing. She shares her house in Kansas City with three cats, a pit bull, a snake, a ferret, and a husband.

What Reviewers are Saying

One day while I was busy mindlessly entering data into the computer at work, I put on my head phones and started listening to the book. I was hooked from the first few sentences. In fact, I stayed up late when I got home (even though I had to get up early the next morning) to finish the book.”-Amazon Reviewer
With solid craft and poignant world building, Aubrey Hansen has outlined a future both horrifying and realistic. I appreciated Hansen's character building skills.”-Amazon Reviewer
I loved this book! I didn't realize it was a short novella, and I wished it would have been longer.”-Goodreads Reviewer
“The story was fascinating. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but everything came together in the end and it made sense.”-Goodreads Reviewer


Aubrey is offering three paperback copies of her book, Red Rain. This book will have the new cover on it. And the grand prize offering will also have the paperback of Faith Blum's book, Heaven's Jubilee, a Christian futuristic collection of short stories. To enter the giveaway, please fill out this Google form (you do not need a Google account to enter). The only required entries are your name and email address, but the more you do, the more chances you have to win.


“Daddy, you’re home early,” I declared as I walked in the door.

He pushed his computer away from him. “I’ve been home almost all day. I had a special meeting at the lab—that’s it.”

I sat down next to him at the table. “They had ‘special meetings’ today at school, too.”

He noted my frown. “What is it, Phil?”

He stared at me quietly while I told him about Mrs. Nolan.

When I was done, he shook his head. “I’m sorry, Phil.”

“I love you, Daddy.”

“My meeting wasn’t much more pleasant. I was told that I’ve received a commission to work on a special project—requested by name, they tell me.”

I tipped my head. It sounded like good news.

Daddy got up and started to pace.

It wasn’t good news.

“The assignment… is for a base on Mars.”

I wasn’t sure what to make of that.

“And you would not be permitted to come with me.”

I looked up at his face. He was already looking at me.

“The commander says. ‘Regulations.’ The assignment is for me, not you.”

“Where… would I go?”

“Nowhere.” Daddy gripped his arms behind his back. “I will not go, I will not take the commission. Philadelphia, I will not leave you.” He drew a breath and added, “Not if I have a choice.”

I looked away. My eyes fell on the picture frame hanging on the wall across the room. I got up and walked over to it. The image displayed a picture of Daddy and I; Daddy usually left that one up, because it didn’t hurt to look at it.

I waved my hand in front of the sensor several times. The digital pictures scrolled slowly, dancing through a time lapse. I stopped when I reached the picture I was looking for.

I stepped away, crossed my arms behind my back, and regarded it. In the plain metal frame sat a young man, not quite 19. His thick dark hair stuck up in the front, and his lab coat was pulled around his shoulders. He stared calmly at the camera, not smiling—the smile was in his eyes. I knew; I had grown up with my older brother’s eyes smiling on me.

“They sent Ephesus to Mars,” I said aloud.

“Yes,” my father replied.

“They didn’t give him a choice.”


I stared hard at the image of my brother’s face, wishing the pixels could move. Finally I finished my thought.

“And he never came back.”

It was several minutes before my father replied. “No,” he said finally. And again, “No, he didn’t.”




Tour Schedule

June 2
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction and Excerpt
Laurel’s Leaves-Author Interview
June 3
Gabriellyn-Excerpt and Author Interview
Joyful Peacock-Author Interview
June 4
Another OtherWorld-Character Interview with Philadelphia
June 5
Mary’s Writing World-Book Spotlight
Rachel Rossano’s Words-Excerpt and Author Interview
June 6
Tale Weaver-Author Interview
June 7
BookishOrchestrations-Tour Wrap-up and Giveaway Announcement

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Defy Blog Tour–Review


If you follow me on Goodreads, you’ve probably seen me raving about Tricia Mingerink’s books. Seriously, they are AWESOME. I had the privilage of beta reading Defy, but now it has been released to the public! If you haven’t read any of Tricia’s books yet, DO IT. NOW. Ahem, yes, I’m a rather rabid fan. Be warned as you scroll down and read my fangirly review. ;)


About the Book

The war for Acktar has begun.

With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades.

Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected.

Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands.

War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen?

Acktar rests on one hope:

The Leader is ready.

(You know you want to.)

My Review: 5 (Can I just give it 10 stars instead?)

Oh, where to start? It takes a special kind of author to drag me into a story and make me feel all the emotions. Tricia is just such an author. Seriously, The Blades of Acktar are some of the few books that have stressed me out. Ask my mom. I was intensely stressed while reading Defy. The characters. Oh my goodness. Or maybe I should say the character. Yes, I’m talking about Leith. I adore Leith. Leith is a precious cinnamon roll. Apparently that’s now what we call sweet, adorable, precious characters who face terrible struggles (e.g. Bucky Barnes). *shrugs* Works for me. But yes, Leith is one of my preciouses. You know, those all time favorite characters you want to hug and place in bubble wrap and take them away from their author until said author learns to play nice? Leith is one of them. And it’s terribly ironic considering Tricia and I are basically evil author twins. I’m sure my readers want to take my characters away from me. But that’s what I find so great about Tricia’s books. I don’t think I’ve ever read books that are quite so good at giving me a taste of my own medicine. It’s awesome.

All that flail-y fangirly-ness is to say, read this book. If you love tortured, but precious cinnamon roll characters, you will fall in love with Leith. And he isn’t the only great character in there, and all of them grow so much. Then there are a few you want to smack upside the head (or worse). Like a certain someone I wanted to smack because of his distrust for Leith. Then again, I suppose I’d feel the same way in his position.

I know this isn’t your typical analytical review (I’m terrible at those), but in all seriousness, I highly recommend Defy and all of Tricia’s books. While some of it might be a bit intense for very sensitive readers, I also found them very encouraging. The faith element of the story is very strong and very real. And these are especially great books if you are looking for non-magical fantasy.


If you haven’t read any of Tricia’s books yet, you’re in luck! Both of her first books, Dare and Deny, are on sale for Kindle! The sale runs until June 4th, so make sure to grab them quick!

About the Author

dsc09450-2Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.

You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.






Facebook Party!


To celebrate Defy’s release and the one year anniversary of her first book, Dare, Tricia his hosting a Facebook party! And I happen to be the guest author. :D Tricia will be giving away copies of books by me, as well as Nadine Brandes and Angie Brashear. There’ll also be giveaways for the audiobooks of Dare and Deny, and, of course, paperbacks of the whole series.

To top it all off, there will be a live character chat with the characters of The Blades of Acktar. What does this mean? It means that for 1.5 hours on June 2, several of the characters will have Facebook accounts and know how to use them. They’ll be there to answer questions and chat. Have you ever wanted to ask Leith a question? This will be your chance. Want to have a chat with Brandi? You’ll be able to do that too. It’s going to be grand chaos.

Make sure you check it out and invite your friends!

And don’t forget to check out all the other blogs that were part of the blog tour!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A New Month and a Couple of Updates

It’s June already? Where did May go?!! Oh, that’s right. It was full of book release craziness, trying to catch up on things that were neglected in preparation for Samara’s release, and actively avoiding catching the stomach virus making its way through my family. Such fun. :P I did manage to squeeze in some sewing as well. I’ll have to share some photos of my new historical outfits when I’ve finished. I’m going for a completely new look than I’ve been doing for the past several years of reenacting.

Since it’s June 1st, I wanted to share a couple of updates.

  1. There are 2 weeks left to enter the 2016 Ilyon Chronicles fan art contest! Three winners will recieve an Amazon gift card. If you’re thinking about entering, don’t let time get away from you (as it has a habit of doing)!
  2. A couple of months ago, I decided to test the waters and expand distribution of my ebooks to ebook retailers other than Amazon. Turns out not to be the best business decision for me. While I would still love to have wider distribution, I have chosen to go back to selling Kindle books exclusively on Amazon. This means that they are now back on Kindle Unlimited! So if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can read all the current Ilyon Chronicles books for free!
  3. I’m on Tumblr! I was always on the fence about Tumblr. I already have a blog (obviously) and I don’t need yet another social media site to maintain. However, since Tumblr is like the home of fandoms, I’m giving it a go. Because I love fandoms and fangirling. Everyone needs a place for that, right? So my Tumblr will be a combination of writing/book stuff and my favorite fandomness.
  4. Now that Samara’s Peril is out, what’s next? Good question. Of course, I am going to start seriously editing Exiles. And no, I don’t have a timeline for its release yet. Whenever I make tentative guesses, I always get myself in trouble because I never seem to finish when I intend to. :P On the actual writing front, I have about a half a chapter left to finish in the Ilyon bonus “short” story I’ve been working on. After that, it’s on to writing book six! Yay!