Hey everyone! As promised, here is my part of Hope Ann’s Blog Tour for her newest release Shadows of the Hersweald. I’m sorry for that early email that went out when it wasn’t supposed to. Don’t know what happened there. Sometimes technology thinks it knows what you want.
~ Interview ~
Do you write by hand or on the computer? The computer, almost all the time. I’ll jot down notes on paper and then transcribe them to idea documents and files. When it comes to my stories, I type them out straight away. The only thing I sometimes write by hand is the random piece of poetry that I keep for my eyes only.
Is your writing inspired by other authors? Well, I have a friend who isn’t published yet, but I’m reading one of her books right now as she writes it and I absolutely love it. The characters, descriptions, emotions, theme and plot… it’s lovely. It’s better than a number of published works I’ve read and I’ve been learning a lot just by reading her stuff. She is probably my greatest inspiration when it comes to writing.
What does your writing day look like? I get up around 6:00 and start writing around 7:00 in the morning. I get an hour of writing done before breakfast. After breakfast and school, around 10:00-10:30, I start writing again and work for another hour. After lunch, starting at 1:00ish or so, I sit down for another hour of writing. Then I’ve chores, work, blogging stuff… Sometimes I’ll get a fourth hour of writing in before supper, sometimes after supper. Then, around 8:30ish, I’ll generally word war with a friend for around an hour. On a good day, I’ll get around five hours of writing in, but sometimes it will only be around three or four.
Thanks for stopping by! Here are the other stops if you are interested!
Who can’t resist a good mystery? My mystery reading has been limited to Encyclopedia Brown when I was young, and now Agatha Christie, so when I signed up for an ARC of The Lost Girl of Astor Street, I was super excited.
This wasn’t an ordinary mystery. The story was set in 1920’s Chicago, a culture I was studying at the time (for the American History 2 CLEP test). I recognized things that I had learned, and at the same time, what was happening in the rest of the world was flying through my brain.
For the release, I am participating in a Clue Hunt. For details, visitStephanie’s blog.
“It should concern you that Al Capone is our measuring stick.”
-Detective Cassano, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, by Stephanie Morrill
From the back of the book:
When her best friend vanishes without so much as a good-bye, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail takes on the role of amateur sleuth in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. Given that Piper’s tendency has always been to butt heads with high-society’s expectations of her, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t give a second thought to searching for answers to Lydia’s abduction from their privileged neighborhood.
As Piper discovers that those answers might stem from the corruption strangling 1924 Chicago—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.
Perfect for fans of Libba Bray and Anna Godbersen, Stephanie Morrill’s atmospheric jazz-age mystery will take readers from the glitzy homes of the elite to the dark underbelly of 1920s Chicago.
I received a free copy of The Lost Girl of Astor Street via NetGalleyin exchange for an honest review.
~ Review ~
Characters: Good strong characters that I related to and enjoyed. I seriously loved Piper, who remained me of myself sometimes.
Plot: Fast paced and gripping, I read this book in two days, I just couldn’t put it down. I didn’t cry, but I came close to it once or twice.
Writing: The writing was beautiful. I loved it. I don’t know if melt is a good word, but it melted me. Stephanie has an amazing talent, and I hope we see more of Piper.
Bad Language: None
Inappropriate Content: A married man has a girlfriend; Piper goes to a speakeasy.
Over-all-rating: 5/5 I loved this book. Really, really loved it. Go buy yourself a copy of it here:
~ Interview ~
When did you first realize that you loved writing? I’ve wanted to be a writer since first grade. My elementary school encouraged writing time and we had freedom to write whatever kind of stories we desired. Then a parent volunteer would type our stories up for us, and we could pick the color for our cover and the binding. At the end we were supposed to illustrate it (I was awful) and then read it to the class. I loved it so much, and after that I always wanted to tell stories for a living.
When were you first published?My first book was Me, Just Different, which was the first in a contemporary YA series called The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt. It released in 2009, and then two more followed it. I have two other contemporary YA titles, the Ellie Sweet books, that came out in 2013. The Lost Girl of Astor Street is my first historical mystery.
Do you write by hand or on the computer?I write on the computer, unless I’m brainstorming. Then I find that nothing works as well as a notepad and pen.
Is your writing inspired by other authors? I’m sure every story I’ve ever enjoyed (or not enjoyed!) has found its way into my writing style in some sense, but there’s no one specific who I try to sound like.
Where did you first come up with the idea of The Lost Girl of Astor Street and what motivated and inspired you?My initial idea for The Lost Girl of Astor Street came while I was putting away laundry, of all things. My mind was wandering (as it often does during chores), and I started thinking about different stories I like. I thought about Veronica Mars for a while, and then something triggered a thought about Downton Abbey, and I thought, “I wish there was something out there that was like Veronica Mars but in a Downton Abbey kind of setting. Oh, maybe I could do that!”
How long did it take you to write The Lost Girl of Astor Street?After I spent about a month doing research, my first draft took me about three months. And then my edits seemed to take forever. I spent about a year trying to turn my lousy first draft into a book that I wanted to read. I had never written a historical or a mystery, so I had a lot to learn!
Do you have a favorite character?What is it that you like most about him/her? It’s probably a bit silly to pick Piper as my favorite character, but I loved writing her. The way she saw the world was really interesting and enjoyable for me to write.
I just love author’s inspiration boards on Pinterest. Check out Stephanie’s here and here.
Welcome to the launch of Song of the Sword, the second novella in the Legends of Light series. Today, I have an interview with author Hope Ann plus a spotlight for her soon to be released novella (soon as in tomorrow) retelling the fairy tale Rapunzel. There is also a giveaway! Enter for a chance to win a coffee mug (you can never have too many coffee mugs) and a Song of the Sword bookmark.
I have also added a list of the blog tour stops, so you can read more interviews, spotlights, and reviews.
And now, lets get this tour started. 🙂
A glittering sword.
An ancient oath.
A blackened rose.
And a melody which ties it all together.
Evrard and Roinette, twins separated at birth, are caught in a battle beyond their own limited powers. With their ability to walk in the melody realm, catching glimpses of the light and darkness underlying Aslaria, comes even more danger.
Deadly mistbenders. Writhing walls of blankness. Hateful drumbeats. As a warrior in the Melody, Evrard has seen it all. But his own ability in the melody realm pales in comparison to the Prince’s melody, the legendary prowess of past Wingmasters, and even the depth of his sister’s song.
To rescue Roinette and evade the trap almost certainly set for him by those who want his power, Evrard knows he’ll have to be careful. Even if he can find the Wingmaster’s sword, there’s no assurance he’ll be able to defeat a mistbender on his own. In the end, will his and Roinette’s efforts matter if the Prince brings an ancient oath to fulfillment, shaking the very foundation of Aslaria?
Where did you first come up with the idea of the Song of the Sword and what motivated and inspired you?
I was introduced to the idea of retelling fairy tales during the second Rooglewood contest. I’d never considered trying my hand at retellings before, but I quickly discovered it was pretty fun. Then I got the idea of coupling fairy tales with the fruit of the Spirit.
When it came time to write Song of the Sword, I knew I wanted it based off Rapunzel. I also thought having an alternate dimension where battles are fought with song would be cool, especially since song does play a part in the original fairy tale and couples well with the theme of joy. And I wanted the characters to be siblings, rather than have a romantic attachment. From those fragments of ideas, the story grew into what it is now.
How long did it take you to write the Song of the Sword?
One week. It was a bit insane, but I wanted to write the whole novella in one week, so I set aside everything else and wrote about 5000 words a day. The rough draft even turned out fairly well (something which doesn’t always happen). Of course, I spent several months after that, deepening the theme and characters, editing, and polishing. But the rough draft I finished in six days.
Are any of the characters based on you and/or your family?
Not in Song of the Sword. I do have a character based off me in another book, however. She’s great fun to write. *smirks*
Will there be any more books in the Legends of Light series?
Yes! There will be nine novellas in all, one for each aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. I’m already working on the third novella, a retelling of Hansel and Gretel.
Do you have a favorite character? What is it that you like most about him/her?
Officially, I probably shouldn’t answer that. But I suppose in confidence, if you promise not to tell anyone else (especially my characters)… Evrard is a favorite. Though I don’t share his struggles, I connected with him at a deeper level than many of the other characters I’ve written. Also, I enjoyed writing Grivina with her sarcasm and bluntness and practicality.
Is your writing inspired by other authors?
I don’t consciously base my writing off any particular style, but I do like reading a number of other fantasy books for inspirations. Some of my favorite authors include J. R. R. Tolkien, Wayne Thomas Batson, Gillian Adams, and Serena Chase.
Is there anything else you would like to say about this series?
Ummm *flounders for something to say* Oh, one fun milestone in this series that I’m looking forward to is that, once I’ve the first three novellas published on Kindle, I’m going to put them together in a hard copy. Since there will be nine novellas, I plan to have three hard copies in the Legends of light series, with three novellas in each one. The hard copy of the first three Legends of Light novellas will (hopefully) be release the summer of 2017.
Roinette was already at the window, stroking something that looked like a brown and white winged cat.
“Is that…?” Evrard narrowed his eyes. “You’ve a pet fen-hopper?”
The creature hissed, pinning him with a glare Evrard could feel from the bottom of the tower. “I’d have you know that Shadow-wing is our proper name, not the vulgar title of fen-hopper. And I’m not a pet. Also, we fly, we don’t hop around in the fens and we don’t get muddy. We’re cousins of the great ice griffins of the north and –”
“Hush now.” Roinette ran her fingers down the creature’s back. “He’s been duly notified, I believe. This is Punzel, by the way.”
The size of a large housecat, Punzel has been Roinette’s companion in the Shadowfen for over two years. Roinette found her, bedraggled and wounded, only days after moving to the fen island herself. After being healed with the Melody, Punzel has unreservedly made her home with Roinette, though she often comes and goes as she pleases.
Alone as she is, Roinette welcomes the company and even enjoys the fen-hopper’s sarcastic and bantering ways. But, despite being able to speak to Punzel, a gift coupled to her connection in the Melody, Roinette doesn’t know much about her friend’s past. And Punzel doesn’t speak of it. But the time is
About the Author
Hope Ann is a Christian authoress who lives on a small farm in northern Indiana. She was homeschooled and now helps teach several of her eight younger siblings.
She has been writing for over five years, and has so many story ideas that she doubts she will ever stop. Her favorite genre to write is high fantasy with a touch of the allegorical. A close second is futuristic suspense. Her goal is to not only entertain with her stories, but to provide inspirational fiction for young adults.
Predictably, she loves reading fantasy, fairy tales, mythology, and futuristic suspense. Her favorite authors include J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Dickens, Frank Peretti, Mark Twain, and Serena Chase.
Her hobbies include photography, movie making, knitting, tree climbing, writing e-mails to friends, listening to Celtic music, and collecting shiny trinkets for story inspiration.
Today, I am happy to be a stop on Ivy Rose’s blog tour for her novel, The Old River Road. The Old River Road Blog Tour will be going on from July 8 to July 15, so you have a whole week to learn more about Ivy Rose’s novel. Check out the other blogs that are participating in this tour. The full list is at the end of this post.
Meet Ivy Rose and her debut novel, The Old River Road. This book is the first in a series of a yet-to-be-determined number of books based on the lives of the author’s ancestors. Written in a style similar to that of Janette Oke and Laura Ingalls Wilder, this is a story you won’t want to miss
When seventeen-year-old Clara Boutwell married her dashing coworker, William McDonald, she was convinced her life was near perfect. The journey before them as newlyweds in the great city of Chicago was promising and exciting. But a frightening disease soon takes William in its grip, forcing them to the clean air of the western frontier in a desperate attempt to save his life. But pioneering doesn’t prove to be easy, with miles between neighbors instead of fences. On the eastern Washington prairies, the McDonalds face hardships and trials in a new world where everything is tested, from physical endurance to emotional strength—down to their relationship and faith in the Lord.
This novel tells the incredible true story of Clara and William, the great-great grandparents of the author, in a sweet narrative full of laughter, tears, and the struggles of an early pioneering family. Prepare yourself to share in their experience as you read this account of a pioneer family in Washington state, and see their lasting legacy that has endured into the fifth generation.
Ivy Rose is an 18 year old history lover and literary enthusiast. Aside from writing, she enjoys being outdoors, chocolate, travelling, reading, and ATVing (preferably if there is mud involved). She resides with her family of 9 on the banks of the Long Lake in eastern Washington.
Today, I am happy to be participating in a blog tour for Serena Chase’s Eyes of E’veria. Serena will be telling us how she came up with her names for her delightful series. It’s really fun to read the “behind the name” story of an author’s fantasy world. Be sure to check back here tomorrow for an interview of her.
If you have never read the Eyes of E’veria, enter the giveaway below for a chance to win all four books. These books are so good and Serena is my favorite author. Don’t believe me? I bought the first book, The Ryn, for a friend in college. She has since told me that people are fighting over who reads her copy of The Ryn next. So, if people are fighting over a book, you have to believe it’s that good!
Make sure you have hours to sit down and read, because you will be swept away in the fairy tale.
Names of E’veria series – The Remedy
Across genres, there are often interesting stories about how authors choose names for the characters in their books, but in speculative fiction (fantasy, sci fi, dystopian, steam punk, etc.) those behind-the-scenes naming stories extend to places, objects, processes, abilities, and terminology—sometimes entire languages are even created! In this series of posts, which will be spread over time, as well as several blogs, my Facebook page, my newsletter—and eventually videos in which I will share pronunciations, as well—I will attempt to unveil the stories behind the names populating the epic fantasy novels The Ryn, The Remedy, The Seahorse Legacy, and The Sunken Realm, a few at a time.
For this post, I am focusing on names from Eyes of E’veria, book 2: The Remedy. Shall we dive in?
Vayle: This is possibly the most literal name a character has in any of my books. Vayle literally serves as a veil, an imposter, used to hide the identity and whereabouts of Princess Rynnaia.
Taef: I heard the word “thief” pronounced with a lispy accent in a movie, and it sounded like “taef”—since this character nearly steals Kinley’s horse in The Remedy, I thought it fit.
Bryge: I had a whole storyline planned (and started) for this character and his family, but I don’t know if anything from it will ever see the light of day. His name was symbolic to that storyline, and also for the role he plays in his home province’s reconciliation with E’veria—a “bridge” of peace, as it were.
Regent: I needed a word that represented the fact that each of E’veria’s nine provinces is its own little “kingdom of sorts” within the larger Kingdom of E’veria. Governor wasn’t strong enough. Prince just seemed… wrong. Regent worked for me for that position within the structure of royalty and nobility I created for that world.
Eyes of E’veria: I have to credit my longtime mentor and friend, author Sandra Byrd, for helping come up with this series title almost a decade ago, because it was her suggestion—and it’s perfect, because eyes (and eye color) play a huge role in the series as a whole.
What names and words of E’veria are you curious about? Tell me in the comments, and make sure to watch my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter for news of when and where the next “Names of E’veria” post will appear!
SERENA CHASE lives in Iowa with her husband Dave, teen daughters Delaney and Ellerie, and a big white dog named Albus (yes, he was named after that Albus.) A frequent contributor to USA Today‘s Happy Ever After blog, Serena is an avid reader of young adult fiction and inspirational romance and has become a respected influencer within those communities. When not engaged in her varied roles within the publishing industry, Serena can be found watching action movies and dreaming about someday living in a cottage by the sea. Connect with Serena Chase on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (@Serena_Chase) and visit www.serenachase.com to subscribe to her newsletter and gain access to exclusive, subscriber-only content.