Head Over Tails Cover Reveal

Is it really September already? Where has the year gone? I am just not ready for Summer to end yet. So today I’m helping reveal the cover for the most beachy, summer read I could find. Not only does it have a beautiful purple mermaid tail on the cover, it’s the newest release from one of my favorite publishers, Uncommon Universe Press.

Mermaids meet mental health in this light-hearted story of life, love, and learning to grow into who you were meant to be.

Their love is true…but is it real?

Fear of inheriting his father’s hallucinations and memory loss have brought Jacob’s life to a screeching halt at age nineteen. Now he spends his days alone on the beach behind his home, staring into the endless Hawaiian waves.

Mermaid Sevencea is eager to explore life above the water–and cheer up the handsome, lonely young man strolling on the shores. Forming a bond with him is as natural as swimming. All she needs are legs to walk beside him, so Sevencea disappears to trade for the necessary magic.

Yet when she returns, Jacob is gone, convinced she was a hallucination after all. And the more Sevencea searches for him, the more she doubts what they have will last.

Can love truly exist between land and sea?

A sweet YA mermaid-meets-human romance set within the lovely vistas of Hawaii.

Pre-order Links
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09DP6KZ8Y/
Other retailers: https://books2read.com/u/b5oj1A
Autographed paperback pre-order link: https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/head-over-tails-paperback-pre-order/

Brianna Tibbetts is running a special preorder campaign for this book! There is special digital swag for ebook preorders and special physical swag for paperback preorders.

Readers need to use this form to receive ebook swag:
https://forms.gle/uzrh7kSjgAb3L5sp6

For paperback preorder swag, ordering through the UUP website through the link provided above is enough

About the Author

Raised on a steady diet of rich fiction, novelist Brianna Tibbetts has been writing exciting, speculative worlds as long as she can remember. Currently based in the Pacific Northwest, she reads voraciously and writes extensively. In everything from short stories to series, Brianna demonstrates her passion for lively stories infused with faith. In addition to writing, her other superpowers include being ginger and yarn crafting. When she isn’t spending time in her own creations, she loves indulging in the fictional worlds of others.

Facebook: @thevaliantginger (https://www.facebook.com/thevaliantginger)

Instagram: @valiantginger (https://www.instagram.com/valiantginger)

Twitter: @GingerTimeLord (https://twitter.com/GingerTimeLord)
Website: www.briannatibbetts.com

Enola Holmes Blog Tour: Q&A with Nancy Springer.

● Link to pre-order/order links: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250822963

Last Tuesday I hosted a stop on the blog tour for the latest Enola Holmes book, Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche. In that stop I gave you my honest thoughts on the book as well as an excerpt provided by the publisher.

Read that post here.

As part of this tour I was given the opportunity to interview Nancy Springer, author of the Enola Holmes series.

I am ecstatic! Guys! She answered my questions!

Why am I doing a separate post for this interview? Well, Tuesday’s post was already quite long, and a Q&A this FANtastic, deserves its own post.

FANtastic Interview with Nancy Springer

Q: Which did you create first, the name Enola, or the idea of Sherlock Holmes little sister?

NS: First came the idea of giving Sherlock Holmes a kid sister, and then, within a nanosecond, I knew her name. I’d been interested in the name “Enola” for years because I lived not far from a railroad town of that name along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. Just curious, I found out the town was named after the founder’s wife, and that backwards it spelled “alone,” and that women in Victorian times were oddly given such names.

Q: The last book in the Enola Holmes series came out eleven years ago. The Movie came out last year. My question is: How long have you been sitting on The Black Barouche waiting for a publisher to be open to publishing more Enola Stories?

NS: You guess well! I don’t remember, exactly, because I don’t keep track of when I write what, but I think I wrote Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche eight or nine years ago.

Q: Each of your Enola novels highlights a different injustice that women had to overcome in Victorian society. How much research do you typically do before you start writing?

NS: I do a ton of research, and it’s not exactly “before” I start writing; it’s all the time. It’s constant.

Q: I loved that Sherlock played a bigger role in this book. It’s a different dynamic from the previous books where Sherlock serves as more of an antagonist. Was it more fun writing The Black Barouche where Sherlock is a help to Enola, or was it more fun writing a Sherlock that Enola needed to outsmart?

NS: I have to admit that, throughout writing the Enola Holmes novels, I had the most fun when Enola got to make a bit of a fool out of the famous Sherlock Holmes.

Q: Are there plans for more Enola Holmes novels?

NS: I’m working right now on another Enola Holmes novel. I don’t yet have a title for it, and who knows whether it will ever be published? There’s no way I can tell at this point whether it will be good enough.

A huge thank you to author Nancy Springer for answering my questions. I am very excited to hear that another Enola is in progress. Hopefully the publisher is smart and keeps the books coming out as long as you are willing to keep writing them.

NANCY SPRINGER is the author of the nationally bestselling Enola Holmes novels, including The Case of the Missing Marquess, which was made into the hit Netflix movie, Enola Holmes. She is the author of more than 50 other books for children and adults. She has won many awards, including two Edgar Awards, and has been published in more than thirty countries. She lives in Florida.

● Author’s Twitter: @NancySpringer

About the Book:

“A young girl who is empowered, capable, and smart…the Enola Holmes book series convey an impactful message that you can do anything if you set your mind to it, and it does so in an exciting and adventurous way.”–Millie Bobby Brown

Enola Holmes is back! Nancy Springer’s nationally bestselling series and breakout Netflix sensation returns to beguile readers young and old in Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche.

Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of her more famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. But she has all the wits, skills, and sleuthing inclinations of them both. At fifteen, she’s an independent young woman–after all, her name spelled backwards reads ‘alone’–and living on her own in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, shows up on Sherlock’s doorstep, desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister, it is Enola who steps up. It seems her sister, the former Felicity Glover, married the Earl of Dunhench and per a curt note from the Earl, has died. But Letitia Glover is convinced this isn’t the truth, that she’d know–she’d feel–if her twin had died.

The Earl’s note is suspiciously vague and the death certificate is even more dubious, signed it seems by a John H. Watson, M.D. (who denies any knowledge of such). The only way forward is for Enola to go undercover–or so Enola decides at the vehement objection of her brother. And she soon finds out that this is not the first of the Earl’s wives to die suddenly and vaguely–and that the secret to the fate of the missing Felicity is tied to a mysterious black barouche that arrived at the Earl’s home in the middle of the night. To uncover the secrets held tightly within the Earl’s hall, Enola is going to require help–from Sherlock, from the twin sister of the missing woman, and from an old friend, the young Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether!

Enola Holmes returns in her first adventure since the hit Netflix movie brought her back on the national bestseller lists, introducing a new generation to this beloved character and series.

● Link to pre-order/order links: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250822963

What did you think of Nancy’s answers?

Are you excited for more Enola?

Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche Blog Tour.

I am so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche. The Enola Holmes books were some of my favorites and I am beyond excited to help promote the newest installment.

This book is the seventh in the series and I had to wait so long for it. It’s been over ten years. Was it worth the wait? Keep reading for not only my review but also an excerpt from the upcoming book.

“A young girl who is empowered, capable, and smart…the Enola Holmes book series convey an impactful message that you can do anything if you set your mind to it, and it does so in an exciting and adventurous way.”–Millie Bobby Brown

Enola Holmes is back! Nancy Springer’s nationally bestselling series and breakout Netflix sensation returns to beguile readers young and old in Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche.

Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of her more famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. But she has all the wits, skills, and sleuthing inclinations of them both. At fifteen, she’s an independent young woman–after all, her name spelled backwards reads ‘alone’–and living on her own in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, shows up on Sherlock’s doorstep, desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister, it is Enola who steps up. It seems her sister, the former Felicity Glover, married the Earl of Dunhench and per a curt note from the Earl, has died. But Letitia Glover is convinced this isn’t the truth, that she’d know–she’d feel–if her twin had died.

The Earl’s note is suspiciously vague and the death certificate is even more dubious, signed it seems by a John H. Watson, M.D. (who denies any knowledge of such). The only way forward is for Enola to go undercover–or so Enola decides at the vehement objection of her brother. And she soon finds out that this is not the first of the Earl’s wives to die suddenly and vaguely–and that the secret to the fate of the missing Felicity is tied to a mysterious black barouche that arrived at the Earl’s home in the middle of the night. To uncover the secrets held tightly within the Earl’s hall, Enola is going to require help–from Sherlock, from the twin sister of the missing woman, and from an old friend, the young Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether!

Enola Holmes returns in her first adventure since the hit Netflix movie brought her back on the national bestseller lists, introducing a new generation to this beloved character and series.

● Link to a buy-this-book page: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250822963

● NANCY SPRINGER is the author of the nationally bestselling Enola Holmes novels, including The Case of the Missing Marquess, which was made into the hit Netflix movie, Enola Holmes. She is the author of more than 50 other books for children and adults. She has won many awards, including two Edgar Awards, and has been published in more than thirty countries. She lives in Florida.

● Author’s Twitter: @NancySpringer

On sale August 31st. Pre-order here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250822963

My Review:

*Thank you to Net Galley and Wednesday books for providing me with an advanced copy of this book. My opinions are my own and are provided willingly and honestly.*

Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche is the long awaited seventh novel in the Enola Holmes mystery series.

If you are a long time fan of this series then you will be most excited to know that this is truly book seven and not a Netflix tie in. The Movie was fine, but the books are better.

If you are just coming to the books, because you loved the Netflix movie, that’s fine, just be warned that this book has spoilers for the first six books in the series, which do have an over arching plotline. If you don’t care about spoilers the prologue to this novel includes a short summery of each of the previous Enola books. After a ten year break I admit I appreciated this refresher.

The Black Barouche is honestly the book in the series I most wanted while reading these books as a teenager. I was, and still am a big Sherlock Holmes fan, and this book finally sees Enola and Sherlock working on a case together. Well maybe not together. They are basically competing to see who solves it first. Seeing as they are sister and brother, this is the only natural outcome.

I just can’t get over how great this book was, Springer’s writing style is exactly the same and took me right back to when I binged the original six books in one month. Enola’s voice was just as confident and snarky as before. There is also the added bonus of revisiting Tewky from book one, and who Netflix viewers will recognize from the movie.

Each Enola Holmes book was centered around some aspect of Victorian society that related to women and most importantly to the injustices they faced at that time. The Black Barouche is no different, though this book may have the darkest injustice of all. It deals with the reality of how truly disposable women were.

A Nobleman writes his wife’s sister that she is dead. No explanation, no funeral, no body. Just, your sister is dead so sorry, don’t come round anymore. It’s up to Sherlock and Enola to discover what became of the late Lady Dunhench.

As is often the case in Victorian mysteries the true criminal is the law. The law that lets men, well men with money and power, do whatever they please without consequence. 

Excerpt:

“Is she fainted?”

Indignant, I wanted to sit up and say I was not so easily killed and I never fainted, but to my surprise my body would not obey me. I merely stirred and murmured.

“She’s moving.”

I saw the clodhopper boots of common men surrounding me and smelled alcohol on the breath of those leaning over me.

“Let’s get ’er inside.”

“Somebody go fer the doctor.”

Strong hands, not ungentle, seized me by the feet and shoulders. I could have kicked and yelled—I felt strong enough now—but my mind had started to function, realizing that I was about to be carried into a pub, for only in a public house, or pub, would workmen be drinking in the daytime. And normally no woman of good repute would enter a pub, or if she did, she would be jeered at until she retreated. But, my avid brain realized, fate in the form of Jezebel had given me opportunity to spend some time inside a pub—no, in the pub, most likely the only pub in Threefinches! So I closed my eyes and pretended to be rather more helpless than I was as the men hauled me inside and laid me down on a high-backed bench by the hearth.

Someone brought something pungent in lieu of smelling salts, but I shook my head, pushed the malodourous hand away, opened my eyes, and sat up, acting as if it were a great effort for me to do so. A burly, bearded man in an apron, undoubtedly the publican who kept the place, came running with a pillow for my back, and I thanked him with a gracious smile.

“Will ye have a nip of brandy, lydy?”

“No, thank you. Water, please.”

“Jack! Water for the lydy!” he bellowed to some underling, and he remained nearby as I managed, with hands that genuinely trembled, to remove my gloves. Their thin kidskin leather was ruined by the mauling it had taken from Jezebel’s reins, and my hands were red and sore; doubtless they would bruise. Grateful for the cool glass, I held it in both hands and sipped, looking around me. Half of the denizens of the place, like the owner, stood in a semicircle staring at me not unpleasantly, while the rest did the same from seats at the rustic tables—all but one. A tall man with beard stubble on his chin and quite a shock of coarse brownish-grey hair hiding his forehead had withdrawn to a table by the wall, where he devoted his attention to his mug of ale, or stout, or whatever noxious brew he might fancy. I said brightly to the tavern-keeper, “I believe I would like to stand up.”

“Now, why not wait for the doctor, lydy—”

But taking hold of his arm, as he stood within my reach, I got to my feet with reasonable steadiness. There were muted cheers from the onlookers. Nodding and simpering at the men all around me, I lilted, “Thank you so much. Do you suppose anyone could go out and fetch my bag, and my hat and parasol? I believe they fell along the—”

Already half a dozen would-be heroes were stampeding towards the door. Yet, if I had walked in here under my own power, any request for help would have been met with deepest suspicion. Such is life: odd.

Reminders:

The release date is August 31st.

You can read book seven even if you haven’t read the first six books but it will spoil those books for you.

Black Barouche pre-order/order links here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250822963

Have you read any of the Enola Holmes books?

How excited are you for the new installment?

Be Our Guest Post: Michele Israel Harper

Today I have the honor of kicking off the blog tour for Michele Israel Harper’s latest book, Silence the Siren.

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of dropping a sneak peek of the third book Quell the Nightingale. Silence the Siren is the second book. So I guess we’re going out of order a bit.

Silence the Siren follows the adventures of Ro, the beast hunter, as she travels to the Caribbean to deal with the deadly sirens that have been sinking ships.

Author Michele Israel Harper is joining us today to share about her inspirations for this exciting fairytale reimagining.

But first, here’s what the book is about:

Huntress Ro LeFèvre is hired to hunt the sirens who have been sinking the king of
Angleterre’s ships, and in turn, vast amounts of his wealth. All who have gone before her
have failed.


Fleeing heartbreak, Ro gladly accepts, but there’s just one problem. The king will credit the
Marquis de la Valère, and no other women are allowed on the voyage.


Ro will just see about that. Hiring an all-female pirate crew without the king’s knowledge,
Ro hopes they will follow her to the Caribbean, not take the gold and flee.


But when Ro is plunged deep into the ocean by the siren she’s being paid to kill, presented
the sirens’ side of the story at knife point, and pressed to join them or die, Ro must decide
whether to complete her mission, join the sirens, or something in between.


Before the sirens sink the ship full of men above.

The Official release date is tomorrow. You can order/preorder at the following Link: https://www.love2readlove2writepublishing.com/books/silence-the-siren/

Be Our Guest Post:

Inspirations for Silence the Siren

By Michele Israel Harper

Thank you so much, Cathrine, for hosting me on your blog today! I am so thrilled to be featured for this first stop of my blog tour.

Three things specifically inspired my latest book in the Beast Hunters series, Silence the Siren.

One, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.

You see, I had been raised with Disney’s versions of fairy tales, not so much Brothers Grimm. So the first time I read Andersen’s Little Mermaid, I threw the book across the room.

(Okay, so I threw my Kindle, so I immediately had to cradle it and apologize.)

The mermaid didn’t get her prince? She died? And turned to sea foam?

Oh, heck no.

So I had to right certain injustices in Silence the Siren, though my characters totally took over and changed a few things from what I had originally planned.

Two, “The Ballad of Mulan.”

So I thought this would totally be my Mulan story! (Hint: it’s not.)

Mulan is easily in my top-five Disney animated princesses (Belle, Ariel, Moana, Mulan, and Tiana, in that order. Gah! Love Jasmine too. Anyway.), and although I try to pull story elements from the original fairy tale, there isn’t much to Mulan’s ballad.

(Read a lovely version of it here: https://mulanbook.com/pages/northern-wei/ballad-of-mulan)

(Also, can you tell I’m totally obsessed with parentheses right now? I will do my best to refrain for the rest of this post. We shall see if I succeed . . .)

Anyway (can you tell I also get easily distracted?), the main elements I could retell from the ballad are that Mulan dresses as a male soldier to take her father’s place, the men have no idea, and she travels with them for twelve years before she returns home and reveals who she is to her soldiers.

They’re all like, “Wow! We had no idea!”

And that’s it.

(Disney did a smashing job retelling this, if I do say so myself.)

So in Silence the Siren, someone dresses as a boy, sneaks aboard the ship the huntress is on—and none of that plus the many other things happen to her are Mulan-esque.

BUT. Mulan seamlessly moved into my next book, Quell the Nightingale, as herself, and it is glorious. I mean, I’m retelling Andersen’s Nightingale in that one, so it’s even more perfect!

(She is such a cool warrior chick, you guys.)

And three, the story of Snow White and Rose Red.

I have to tread delicately here, because this story thread contains some major spoilers, and these sisters’ full story is revealed in book four, Slay the Wolf.

(Yes, I have the full series outlined and mostly drafted—we’re just in the revising and revising and revising phase.)

Once Quell the Nightingale goes to my editor (next month, I hope?), I shall begin revising what I’ve written for Slay the Wolf. And then I can tell you all you want to know about my Rose Red and Snow White and more!

Whew! This series has taken on a life of its own! And it’s somewhat difficult to focus on Silence the Siren once again when I’m so close to finishing Quell.

But I hope you will love following French huntress Ro LeFèvre on this latest adventure, where she faces off with the English king, travels across the Seven Seas, and faces the Sirens of the Caribbean.

Thank you so much for having me today, Cathrine! I thoroughly enjoyed every moment.

Michele

Giveaway, photo challenge, and party oh my!

Author Michele Israel Harper is hosting a giveaway through Kingsumo. There will be extra entries for joining in the Instagram challenge on the 15th-21st.

Silence the Siren Newsletter Giveaway: https://kingsumo.com/g/2owetc/silence-the-siren-newsletter-giveaway

Want more giveaways?

The Facebook release parties from L2L2 publishing are always a tone of fun and chock full of giveaways.

Online Silence the Siren Release Party, Thursday, August 19th, 8–10 PM EST.

RSVP at this Party Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/l2l2bookreleaseparties

About the Author:

Michele Israel Harper spends her days as an acquisitions editor for L2L2 Publishing and
her nights spinning her own tales. Sleep? Sometimes . . . She has her Bachelor of Arts in
history, is slightly obsessed with all things French—including Jeanne d’Arc and La Belle et
la Bête—and loves curling up with a good book more than just about anything else.

Author of nine published novels as well as an award-winning freelance editor in her spare
time, Michele prays her involvement in writing, editing, and publishing creates many
enjoyable books in the years to come. Visit http://www.micheleisraelharper.com to keep in touch
or sign up for her newsletter.


Social Media Links:
Website: www.micheleisraelharper.com
Amazon Author: www.amazon.com/Michele-Israel-Harper/e/B016YW4Q6Q
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/14554353.Michele_Israel_Harper
BookBub: www.bookbub.com/profile/michele-israel-harper
Instagram: www.instagram.com/michele_israel_harper
Twitter: www.twitter.com/micheleiharper
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MicheleIsraelHarper
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/micheleisraelharper

More Blog Tour Links:

• Tuesday, August 17th, “Random Interview with Author Michele Israel Harper” H.L. Burke,
https://www.hlburkeauthor.com/blog
• Wednesday, August 18th, “Review of Silence the Siren” Kelly Bridgewater, https://kellybridgewater.blogspot.com
• Thursday, August 19th, “Guest Post: Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and Silence the Siren” Jaye L. Knight,
https://www.blog.jayelknight.com
• Friday, August 20th, “A Visual Sneak Peek of the Characters in Silence the Siren” Laura A. Grace,
https://www.lauraagrace.com/blog

Weird Writing Prompts Review and Questions Answered

So you know that phrase about saving the best for last? well the last post of June is going to be a big one. Not only am I spot lighting a new book from Janeen Ippolito, I get to plug my upcoming novel at the same time. Yes I am actually publishing this one. I have a release date. I’m committed But first here’s a little about Janeen’s book.

Get more out of your writing prompts!

Weird Writing Prompts is a short book loaded with questions to jumpstart your creativity, dive deeper into your characters, and rev up your book marketing.

Oh yeah, and some questions are weird. Like “trap your characters in an elevator with an emu” weird. Because everyone needs a little weirdness to refresh their writing lives!

Grab this book to:

-Get Deep & Random – Expanded prompts with ideas to make your characters epic, plus absurd situations to unlock your creativity with play

-Get Sharing & Marketing – Author-centric questions to fuel your marketing brain and help with social media content creation

It’s time to refresh your brain, supercharge your story, and have fun with your marketing!

“Having fun is vital to goo writing, good marketing, and good sales.” – Janeen ippolito

My review

Weird Writing prompts is a great writing prompt book. Instead of just offering you more story ideas to add to your “to write” list, this prompt book actually helps you develop the story you are already working on.

The book is divided into two parts, character questions and marketing questions. The character questions may seem random and silly, but each one is formulated to help you learn something about your characters.

The marketing questions are also fun and are great for helping you decide what kind of giveaway items you want on hand for when you your book releases. The author also includes ideas for how to adapt the questions for a classroom setting which is great for English teachers and homeschoolers.

I really enjoyed all of the odd little questions and having to think about how they would apply to my story.

If you are stuck on your current project and would like a prompt book to help you move forward then check out Weird Writing Prompts.

To see sample questions and how I used them for my story, keep reading to the end.

Weird Writing Prompts releases July 13.

But you can pre order the ebook now for only 99 cents.

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B096YVQGWX

Other Online Ebook Retailers: https://books2read.com/u/bORvng

Autographed paperback: https://next.waveapps.com/checkouts/71222c16c26b4637b48cddca3c46d25c

All-in-One (book page on my website): http://www.janeenippolito.com/weird

Janeen Ippolito believes you should own your unique words. She’s a multi-published author of bestselling fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She’s also an experienced editor, marketing strategist, and businesswoman, plus the CEO of Uncommon Universes Press. When not writing, she explores random hobbies or posts cute animal memes. Connect at janeenippolito.com


Janeen Ippolito – Social Media Links (use whatever you wish)
Website: https://janeenippolito.com/  

Email Newsletter for Authors:  https://www.subscribepage.com/creativenewsletter 

Email Newsletter for Readers: https://www.subscribepage.com/booknewslettersignup

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/janeenippolitounique/

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/168444147251310

Facebook Writing Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1435958919779131/  

Instagram: 

For authors – @ownyouruniquewords

For readers – @janeen_ippolito
For poetry/art – @janeen_ippolito_creations

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbOMGXV7E_Df8Dko1W9Tt5Q

Three Random Questions About Runaway Lyrics:

So first a bit of back ground:

Runaway Lyrics is a retelling of the Snow White and Rose Red fairytale, with a light steampunk aesthetic. The main characters are Snow and Rose, identical twin sisters who are both talented at music. There are also Bayare (the oldest) and Wickham, half brothers and princes. Placed under a curse that causes Bayare to turn into a great brown bear every night and for Wickham to become a great golden owl every day.

So let’s start with the ultimate random question:

What would each of your characters do if a bird pooped on them?

Bayare would look around to see where Wickham, in owl form, was. Then when he found him he would instantly accuse him of doing it. Wickham would deny everything. Honestly he knows that Wickham would never deficate on anyone but he loves teasing his little brother.

If Snow was pooped on she would flinch, but then wipe it off and keep going, hopefully to someplace where she could take a bath.

Rose is a bit different. She would complain. Long and loud, about how gross it was and why, of all the places for a bird to poop, did it have to be on her.

Wickham, as a part time owl, knows the bird that did it. He knows that bird did it on purpose. And Wickham is already planning his revenge.

“Writing is hard. Marketing is hard. We can use all the fun that we can get.” – Janeen Ippolito

Would each of your characters rather: sort 1,000 pieces of paper OR stand on a public stage for an hour to entertain a crowd of young children?

This is easy. Rose, Snow and Bayare would take the stage for an hour. Rose and Snow love playing music and that’s how they would entertain the kids. Bayare doesn’t know what he would do on stage, but he hates repetitive tasks like sorting. Besides who doesn’t like kids?

Wickham that’s who. Oh he loves attention and it’s not that he hates kids, he just doesn’t know what to do with them. They find the crudest things hilarious. They require so much talking down too. Nope give Wickham the stack of paper and lock him in the library.

“They say you have to go deep or have silly fun. I say you can do both.” – Janeen Ippolito

You can hire anyone to compose music for your story. Who do you choose and why?

It would be Lindsey Stirling. I listened to her music on a loop while writing this novel. Even though Snow and Rose can play multiple instruments, Linsey Stirling is the reason that they prefer the violin. Her Music videos also inspired the way the magic system in my world works.

If you aren’t familiar with Lindsey Stirling then check out her music on youtube, her videos are amazing. Start with this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfTknZt2DHA

Runaway Lyrics will have an official cover reveal and release date soon. So I hope you’re ready to hear me talk more about myself in the next couple month. But don’t worry I’ll still keep doing book reviews for others as well.

What was your favorite question I answered?

Are you excited to hear more about Runaway Lyrics?

Amok a Dive-In Review

This is a bit early, a few weeks back I help with a cover reveal for a book titled Amok. I said in the reveal that the release date was June 24th, but that date was moved up to June 1st. So I decided to move my review up accordingly Good news tough, the pre-order pricing stays in effect until the 24th. So grab it now before the price goes up.

Surprise lockdown launch!

In light of Malaysia’s not-so-surprising Total Lockdown, Teaspoon Publishing has pushed up the release date of Amok for a surprise lockdown launch! 

Yes, Amok ebooks drop on 1 June* as Malaysians hunker down at home—and you get to benefit! We’ll still honour our launch prices, so our ebook preorder prices of USD2.99 will remain until the 23rd of June and will rise to USD4.99 on 24 June. 

We’re currently in the process of approving paperback editions via Amazon’s POD and IngramSpark, so you’ll be able to get that once the book goes live at totally random times during the month! (You can tell we’re just winging it right now, can’t you?)

And while we’re at it, send a screenshot of your Amok purchase receipt (whether ebook or paperback) to admin@teaspoonpublishing.com.my by 24 June to claim a free ebook copy of The Painted Hall Collection

Happy reading!

Ebook Order Links:

Amazon: http://getbook.at/Amok

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=BAIvEAAAQBAJ 

Other retailers: https://books2read.com/amok 

Teaspoon Publishing: https://teaspoonpublishing.com.my/shop/amok-ebook 

Ebook sale price (until 23 June): USD2.99  

Full price (24 June): USD4.99 

Amok

What is faith, except hope in desperation?

All Putera Mikal wants is to gain the Amok Strength, the supernatural power granted by Kudus to the Mahan royal family. No matter how religiously Mikal keeps his vows, Kudus still denies him the Strength—whilst his father, Sultan Simson, flaunts the Strength despite his blatant defiance of the Temple and the priests’ visions of coming doom.

Then the prophecies come true.

Taken captive, Mikal must find a way to liberate his people and restore his throne in Maha—and the key to this is the Amok Strength. But what does it take to gain Kudus’ favour?

Dive-In Review of Amok

Amok by Anna Tan is a fantasy reimagining of the story of Sampson from the Bible. But this isn’t a straight retelling, Sampson is more of a frame work to tell the story of Mikal the son of the Sampson stand-in.

The story has a wonderful message about what it means to have faith. Mikal has none of his fathers amazing strength, leading him to question time and again what Kudos (God) wants from him. Why is his faith not enough? A question that I’m sure many people of faith struggle with. (I know I do.)

I really loved Mikal’s character. He has great motivation and his story, is compelling. He goes from being a prince to a slave, and I just couldn’t help feeling for him. He goes on such an inner journey throughout this story that Mikal really does feel like a different character by the end.

The secondary character of Yoshua was just as compelling. He goes from being Mikal’s servant to his new master. He is not the POV character so his arc feels more static, but even second hand you can still see how the plot shapes who he becomes.

Seeing their relationship flipped on its head gives the story a nice sense of symmetry.

The world building is a stand out feature of this book. Set in an Asian inspired fantasy world, the kingdoms of Maha and Bayangan are really fleshed out and I feel like I could crack open a history book and learn about them.

The part of this book that stands out the most is that it has no romance at all. It was super refreshing to read a story without a will they won’t they subplot. The character’s in this story literally had much bigger problems.

If you’re looking for something different from the typical medieval European fantasy then I highly recommend checking out Amok.

*Many thanks to the author who let me read an advanced copy of this book. This review is my own honest evaluation of the material.*

About the Author:

Anna Tan grew up in Malaysia, the country that is not Singapore. She is interested in Malay/Nusantara and Chinese legends and folklore in exploring the intersection of language, culture, and faith.
Anna has an MA in Creative Writing: The Novel under a Chevening scholarship and is the President of the Malaysian Writers Society. She can be found tweeting as @natzers and forgetting to update annatsp.com.

Discernment: Dive-in Review

A couple weeks ago I hosted a cover reveal for Discernment, the newest book in the Legacy Chronicles by Lauren H. Salisbury. The book is out now and I can’t wait to share my review with you. But first a reminder about the book.

Also this is an official stop on the Discernment blog tour so stay until the end for your secret word to use as entry into the grand prize drawing.

A misfit, a fugitive, and a sacred destiny. Everything changes when all three collide.

In Jiya’s world, the only choice a woman has is who she will marry. When she meets a mysterious off-worlder, she must decide how far she is willing to push the boundaries of Teraburan culture to gain her freedom, and whether that is truly what she wants.

Mahsan has never been accepted for who he is. The sole human raised on an Esarelian cruiser, his attempts to belong led only to disaster and him becoming a fugitive. When he is invited into the home of a Teraburan clan leader, he finds a place where he could finally put down roots. But his past haunts him, and he will need to make peace with it if he wants any kind of future in his new home.

Not everyone approves of Jiya and Mahsan’s friendship, and some will stop at nothing to keep them apart. As the unlikely pair discover their true calling, they will have to confront everything they thought they knew and learn to see themselves as they never have before.

Purchase links:

Discernment – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B093WWJ5HY 

Universal link – mybook.to/Discernment 

Check out the first two books in the series at the link below:

Series page (US) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/series/B07QGK7TZY

My Dive-in Review:

Discernment is the third book in Lauren H. Salisbury’s The Legacy Chronicles. This series is a science fiction reimagining of the life of Moses from the Bible.

Discernment specifically focuses on the period of Moses’s story where he flees Egypt and goes to live with the Midianites. This is his wife’s story; here renamed Jiya.

I really loved this new character. Jiya is a strong independent woman stuck living in a patriarchal society that doesn’t value her as a person. Time and again, people try to put her in a box, and she continually thinks her way out of it. She is the perfect match to Mahsan (the Moses stand in) as she can relate to his feelings of not belonging.

Discernment reads very much like a romance. Very clean, with very interesting sci-fi elements, and a Biblical twist, but still romance. For this reason I feel like this book stands very well on it’s own.

As book three of a four book saga, I was afraid that it would suffer from middle book syndrome. Thankfully, it does not. You should of course start at the beginning with book one, Courage, but if you somehow, found yourself starting here, with book three, then rest assured, there is enough backstory that you won’t be lost. The ending is also pretty nicely tied off, with a gentle, slope rather than a sudden drop off a long cliff.

The aesthetic of this particular instalment is what I would call space western. Think Firefly where old ideas meet high tech. For the most part it takes place on a cattle ranch on the planet Terabu, there is quite a bit of mechanical tech as well as space craft, but for every microchip there are just as many low tech scenes.

An all around solid instalment in an interesting series and a great book in it’s own right. I’m looking forward to this fourth book to see how Salisbury handles the ten plagues.

*I was given an advanced copy of this book to review. The opinions provided here are my own honest evaluation of the provided work.*

Word 12. what

For those of you with screen readers. The above graphic has your word for the blog tour.

Word 12. what.

Follow the blog tour to get all the words in the secret sentence:

All the links to the posts can be found here: https://www.laurenhsalisbury.com/

Giveaway:

Discernment Swag Bag

  • Necklace
  • Character art (Jiya, Reemah, Gilla)
  • Recipe cards
  • Quote fridge magnet
  • Handmade greeting card(s)
  • Note from the author
  • Signed bookplate
  • (digital) companion story

Digital Swag Packs

  • Companion story 
  • Character art with notes from the characters
  • Recipe cards
  • Note from the author

Enter the Giveaway Here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ebe7708e2/

Or see if I embedded this widget right (I probably didn’t):

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

About the Author:

Lauren H Salisbury is a lover of all things science fiction/fantasy, creative, and edible, but not always in that order. An English teacher for sixteen years, she now tutors part-time while trying to figure out how to use an MA in Education as an author. She lives in Yorkshire with her husband and a room full of books but likes to winter abroad, following the sunshine. Her favourite stories include faith, hope, and courage.

Website – https://www.laurenhsalisbury.com

@gillascourage on Facebook and Twitter

@laurenhsalisbury on Instagram

Pray for your Demons: An Anime Devotion

You may remember last week when I did two posts in a row because of a release getting moved up. That release was for the devotional, Finding God in Anime: A devotional for Otakus. You can find that original post here.

The devotional is available on amazon and other retailers as a free ebook. It was hard to come up with a compelling blog post for this tour. How would you even review a multi author devotional anyway? So then I thought about featuring a devotional. But it’s a free ebook. You can just download it for $0.00.

Then it struck me, the perfect way to show you what an anime devotion was like, without spoiling any of the ones in the book.

Write an entirely new devotion that isn’t featured in the book. Scroll down for an exclusive devotion based on the anime Demon slayer.

Otakus have found the God of Wonders within the pages of manga and the twists of anime. These are their reflections on how truth can intersect with animated fiction.

I repeat this is not part of the Finding God in Anime devotional this is just for my readers.

Pray for your Demons

A Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba devotion

By C.O. Bonham

Demon Slayer is a show easiest understood if you replace Demon with Vampire. Demons, in this show, have eternal life, but will die in sunlight. Humans can become demons by being given demon blood, they then must feed on human blood to sustain their new existence. So yeah, basically vampires.

Tanjiro Kamado returns home one day to find his entire family slaughtered by a demon. Save for one, his younger sister Nezuko is not dead but turned. He sets out to both find a way to return his sister’s humanity and to learn how to prevent others from ending up like his family.

Tanjiro is a talented student and learns to become a powerful demon slayer. That the demons used to be human, never quite sits right with him. He will spare those who do not kill humans. But those who take human life, he sees it as his duty to destroy them.

The weird thing is, even after killing a murdering demon, Tanjiro prays for their soul to find peace in the next life. This show uses Japanese Shinto religion, so the next life is reincarnation. He’s not praying that they go to heaven. After telling a demon that he can never forgive his murder of another human, he still wishes him to live a good life on the next go.

It seems counterintuitive to us. Why would you wish peace on a demon? Let me reiterate, these demons are not fallen angels who have no hope. These demons are twisted humans. Tanjiro is just doing what he does best, caring for others.

This is an authentic example of loving your enemy to me. Yes, he kills the demons, but only to preserve the lives of others. He does not hunt the demons out of revenge for his family.

In fact, the demon who killed them, the one who turned his sister Nezuko, Muzan Kibutsuji, Tanjiro hunts him, only hoping to restore his sister’s humanity. Not for revenge.

Take heed of Tanjiro’s lesson, do nothing out of revenge, but only for the good of others. Pray for the demons in your life, even the ones you have to slay.

 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

 — Matthew 5:44 (New International version.)

So that’s what an anime devotion is like.

If you enjoyed it then download Finding God in Anime: a devotional for otakus.

My other anime devotion is available inside and it’s based on My Hero Academia. Read it to discover Deku’s True Quirk.

About Finding God in Anime

Being a Christian can be tough. Being an otaku can be tough. But being both at once?

Sometimes it seems easier to become Hokage rather than explaining your faith and passions to others. That is why we otaku have united in this devotional: To encourage otaku like you spiritually and through a medium we all cherish.

In this devotional, you will find God in the animes you know and love. Each devotional presents spiritual lessons found in animes ranging from the world-famous Attack on Titan to fan-favorite Haikyu!! to beloved classics like Cowboy Bebop. Each piece will feature a different theme such as:

  • Human Will vs. The Holy Spirit in Yona of the Dawn
  • Choosing to be Free in Free! Swim Club
  • Not by My Might in My Hero Academia

…and many others! We believe that God can be seen throughout His creation—even in places where people might not intend! So pull out your cosplay and snuggle close with your plushies as you join us in Finding God in Anime.

Purchase Links

AmazonOther Book Retailers

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58045420-finding-god-in-anime

About the Organizers

Laura and Moriah’s life consists of giving each other manga recommendations until they see whose TBR pile will fall on them first. Rest assured they’re both still safe…until another manga releases. In the meantime, they enjoy sharing beautiful pictures of Japan and trying to make each other laugh with anime memes. They both have an appreciation for cute stickers, samurai, and pins. If they’re not chatting about all things otaku, you can find them trying to write their next story or surviving on ramen and pocky after their latest manga order. 

Finding God in Anime Webpage Link: https://www.lauraagrace.com/findinggodinanime

Manga Photo Challenge on Instagram

Link: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPBFyKmLApY/

Celebrate the release of Finding God in Anime by participating in the manga photo challenge on Instagram! During the month of June, the organizers will be spotlighting a variety of manga that have had an anime adaptation by showcasing them using  #MangaFestival in their posts. Each title prompt is an anime that is featured in the devotional. Grab your favorite manga and get ready to celebrate!

If you would like to follow the blog tour you can start by checking out Laura’s kick off post here: https://www.lauraagrace.com/blog

Finding God in Anime: a devotional for otakus.

I know I literally just posted something yesterday. But this one is important. This book was originally meant to come out the first of June, but now it’s coming out today!

I couldn’t postpone telling you about it because I wrote a piece for this one.

Being a Christian can be tough. Being an otaku can be tough. But being both at once?

Sometimes it seems easier to become Hokage rather than explaining your faith and passions to others. That is why we otaku have united in this devotional: To encourage otaku like you spiritually and through a medium we all cherish.

In this devotional, you will find God in the animes you know and love. Each devotional presents spiritual lessons found in animes ranging from the world-famous Attack on Titan to fan-favorite Haikyu!! to beloved classics like Cowboy Bebop. Each piece will feature a different theme such as:

  • Human Will vs. The Holy Spirit in Yona of the Dawn
  • Choosing to be Free in Free! Swim Club
  • Not by My Might in My Hero Academia

…and many others! We believe that God can be seen throughout His creation—even in places where people might not intend! So pull out your cosplay and snuggle close with your plushies as you join us in Finding God in Anime.

“What is an otaku,” you ask. The short answer is that it’s Nerd in Japanese. The long answer is that English speakers have adopted it as a way of defining a westerner who is obsessed with Japanese pop culture, products, and trends. Things like: anime, manga, and video games.

So I wrote an anime devotion. Does that make me an otaku? I guess. I mean, maybe, not really. I don’t follow anime because it’s Japanese. Most of it’s just really good writing. In fact, I will only watch it if it’s dubbed in English. I don’t read manga because the right to left formatting drives me nuts. And I’m just not very good at video games. (Still stuck on chapter 3 of Bendy and the Ink Machine.)

But I do love good stories. And Anime’s have some of the most compelling storylines that I’ve ever seen. Honestly, achieving the level of plot twist that I’ve seen on some of these shows, are my writing goals.

That said, there is a very strong opinion that good Christians shouldn’t watch anime, (or any fantasy for that matter). This idea is sad because, anime is only a medium. There are good and bad ones, just like there are good and bad sitcoms. A good Christian should use discernment to decide what entertainment is in keeping with their beliefs.

This devotional was made to help you with that. It isn’t meant to push you to watch anime is you don’t want to. It isn’t made to justify anime to those who still feel that it’s wrong. Instead it’s for the Christian Otaku to read, and grow closer to God through the entertainment they love. And to know that they are not alone in loving that entertainment.

The best part is that this book is free as an E-book. The paperback will cost you about eight bucks.

Finding God in Anime: a devotional for otakus is available now as a free Ebook. https://books2read.com/u/3GvLxK

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B094Q1PX7P

Other Book Retailers: https://books2read.com/u/3GvLxK

Add it to your Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58045420-finding-god-in-anime

I hope you check it out and let me know in the comments:

What is your favorite anime?.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: