Saturday, June 24, 2017

"The Sorceress and the Squid" Blog Tour

Hey everyone! Welcome to- yup, you got it!- The Sorceress and the Squid blog tour! :D The moment we've all been waiting for has finally come. My friend, Emily Mundell, has published her first book. How cool is that?! :D Super cool, I know. ;)

Now let's get this party started!

Blog Tour Schedule graphic.jpg 
casually inserting blog tour schedule

About the Book

In the magical land of Perth, divisions between the Old Kingdom and the New have waged for centuries. The humans have long harbored a mistrust of the spell-casting Fae and vice versa. In the midst of this conflict, Estrella the Sorceress lays waste to the Training Academy for Human Warriors, making an enemy in the soldier, Jalen. During their standoff, Jalen is turned into a squid and Estrella, unable to restore him to his original form, takes pity on him and travels west across the Sea to bring him to the Wizard in hope he can be saved. But is there more to the unrest in Perth than meets the eye?

About the Author

Emily Mundell is a 19 year old author, artist, horsewoman and lover of the wonders of the wide world. She hails from the Great White North of Canada and has spent her life growing up in the heart of rural Alberta in a close-knit farming community - though she has often entertained fantasies of inhabiting the Shire.

Writing is her true passion - though horses and art take a close second. With fantasy as her primary genre, Emily has been writing stories since the tender age of eight when she finished her first "book". She is currently working to complete her Creative Writing Certificate through the University of Calgary. An avid bookworm, true country-mouse, and unconventional tree-climber, Emily can usually be found on a horse, working on one of her half-dozen projects, chasing a loose cow, or being swept off her feet by the man she calls her own personal "hobbit".

The author sounds pretty cool, doesn't she? I thought you'd agree, so I have Emily here, all ready for an interview. :)

So Emily, my first question for you is, how did you discover your love for writing?

That is a tricky question. I'm not entirely sure? I've always loved stories and loved reading since I could read (and before that loved being read to), so that was certainly part of it. I wrote my first "book" when I was eight about myself, my friends and our horses so I guess I discovered this passion somewhere before then? I only wanted to write about horses back then, and I didn't spend nearly as much time on it, but I did to it so I guess that's something.

Wow you've been writing for a long time then. :) What inspired you to write The Sorceress and the Squid?

There is a long weird answer to this question! The inspiration for this story came from a late night Facebook conversation between myself and Jonathan (my then-not-yet-boyfriend-now-fiance). We were deep into the subject of his secret identity as a ninja squid who trained an academy of ninja squidlings to take over the world and yadayada. Now, clearly this isn't quite what I wrote down for my book, but the seed of the story was born from this conversation. Later, after I had become his girlfriend, it was decided that I was the sorceress who had turned him into a squid and later the next year I started writing this book. The rest is history.

Haha, what an interesting way to be inspired! :D So why did you choose to self-publish?

Good question. For most of my life I was not into the self-publishing scene at all. I had some preconceived notions about it - mainly that it was unprofessional. However, as I researched and was forced to study it for a class in college, I realized that there were actually some solid things about it, and that you could totally self-publish in a very professional manner. It just depends on who you are. Once I had that revelation, I also thought that even though I still wanted to be picked up by a publishing house one day, self-publishing my first book would help me create a platform from which to be recognized by a publishing house. These days that's basically a prerequisite for getting published anyways. So I decided to follow this through with my first novel and so far it's been a really rewarding experience. I would absolutely do it again (being traditionally published is even losing its appeal except for the wider audience reach possibilities).

Oh cool! Yeah, I used to feel the same way about self-publishing, but then I started "meeting" indie authors. :) What is your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the whole writing and publishing process?

I'm a very organized person, so I've enjoyed the marketing aspect of publishing a fair bit so far (except for all the socialization it involves). I also do enjoy writing the first draft most of the time - even if I end up ripping out my hair once in awhile. Holding my book in my hands was a great feeling as well. Some dislikes would be editing, mainly rereading the same things so much, and trying to figure out websites and their little things and being totally uncertain about what I'm doing at times. There were definitely some frustrating moments, but the rewards outshone them.

I totally agree with you. I feel the same way about all of that. Except the publishing parts since I'm not published yet. :P So what is your favorite genre to write in?

Definitely fantasy, hands down. I have been working on my own fantasy epic for eight years, almost nine and I love it. Of course The Sorceress and the Squid is also fantasy and I have a couple of other story ideas that are fantasy as well. My favorite writers are JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis and they are my biggest inspirations/mentors. CS Lewis is quoted saying, "If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world." I love this quote because I think it really reflects the heart of a good fantasy story, but also - mostly importantly - reflects the Kingdom of God and the Heaven He has created for us to belong to. I think that's just so cool.

I also enjoy writing sci-fi, contemporary, and dystopian fiction - just not as much. ;)

That is really cool! C.S Lewis is one of my favorite writers too, and I love that quote. I find him to be very quotable. :) What do you do when you're not writing?

So. Many. Things. XD I'm a farmkid so I am often out feeding cows, driving tractors, moving cows, getting back a loose cow, etc. I love horses to death and spend a lot of time riding. Whether it be at home, at my barn over jumps, at my summer camp working with camp horses or working horses for friends. I can usually be located in a saddle. I'm an artist as well and I love to draw and paint (though time for that is minimal these days), and I also enjoy photography. I like being outdoors. I live in Alberta, Canada near the Rocky Mountains and love going out there for a hike with friends/family. I like to climb trees. I like to hang out with my homeschool friends and my camp friends when I can. I love being with Jonathan as much as possible. I do a lot of stuff - too much stuff!

No kidding! You must not get much sleep. My last question is, do you have any advice to give aspiring indie authors?

Advice! I am so not good at advice! :P I think the main thing is to realize that even though it's called "self-publishing" you don't have to do it completely, totally by yourself. It's okay to ask for help, to hire people to help, to ask questions of those who have gone through the process. It's a daunting task to just write a book, nevermind trying to publish it. Don't be scared to ask questions! Also, realizing that it's an awful lot of work and you really have to make your project a priority in order for it to come to fruition. And if it takes a long time, don't sweat it! My entire writing and publishing process was nearly two years, it's okay to move slowly. Be brave!

Ah, that's great advice! :D Well, that's it! Thank you so much Emily for being with us today. :)

Thank you so much for having me, Karyssa! I really enjoyed your questions! :D

And that's a wrap, people! Here are the links again, where you can check out the book for yourself. Go buy it! You know you want to. :)

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week! :)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Summer TBR + Update

Yeah yeah yeah. I know. You guys have probably had enough of the summer TBR posts that have been going around. There have been quite a few, but you're going to get another one! I know I've said in a few comments on other blogs that I don't have a TBR for the summer because I'm going to be too busy, but I noticed the other day that I actually do have one that I. . . didn't know I had? Clearly, I'm on top of this. And, no, I'm not late, because technically it's not summer until the 21st.

So here are the ten books I hope to read this summer (the first three are ones that I've started already):

1. Samara's Peril by Jaye L. Knight

Samara's Peril (Ilyon Chronicles #3)

There was a lot of excitement on GR about this series, so figured I would read it. Also, it's fantasy. I've been reading more in this genre lately, and I'm finding that I like it. This is the third book in the Ilyon Chronicles, and I started it the second week of this month (I think). But I haven't had a lot of reading time so far this month, so that's why I'm only at about 13%. It's pretty good so far.

2. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)

I started reading this about this time last year, but I got 150 pages in and then stopped. I got busy and then forgot about it. Oops. :P So I picked it up again and I'm starting over. I know a lot of people don't really like The Da Vinci Code, but my dad likes the books so I thought I'd try them. If you've read this one, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet #1)

Ah, yes, the book I started back in January, got halfway through, and then stopped. I feel like a lot of people really liked this book, and I was liking it, but then it got. . . kind of hard to understand? But, I did start this when I began slipping into a reading slump, so I'm thinking that may have something to do with it. :P

4. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders

This book here, was recommended by Jonathan. Quite a few times actually. *whispers* I'm assuming he really likes it. I bought it back in February I think, but I still haven't picked it up. I don't know why though, because it sounds really good. This one will probably be the next one I read, right after I finish some of the ones I've already started.

5. The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, #1)

I had never heard of the Ranger's Apprentice series until about two(?) months ago, and I was told I might like it. When I looked it up, I noticed that a few of my Goodreads friends really liked the book/series, so I bought the first one. I can't wait to start it!

6. London in the Dark by Victoria Lynn

London In The Dark (Light of London #1)

Oh my word, I've wanted to read this since it was published! I've only heard good things about it. It sounds like it might have some mystery in it, which is one of the reasons I'm really excited to read it. I do kinda have high expectations when it comes to mysteries though. I've seen a lot of crime shows and have read quite a few books. I've always loved mysteries, but yeah, high expectations.
Victoria Lynn also wrote Bound which I reviewed back in April (you can find that post here).  

7. Exiles by Jaye L. Knight

Exiles (Ilyon Chronicles #4)

This is the fourth book in the Ilyon Chronicles, which actually isn't published yet. A lot of my GR friends are excited about this book's release. (I think the release date is July 14th. So, yes, I'll be able to read it this summer.) And they've told me that I need to hurry up and read the first books before this one comes out. I think I'm doing pretty good since I'm currently reading the third book. ;P

8. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity

Yes, I know! I actually have a non-fiction book in my TBR! Quick thing about me: I don't really like non-fiction. And I tend to avoid it, unless it's like Christianity non-fiction or writing related.
The first time I read this one was about six years ago (yeah, I know. Long time ago :P), and I had to read it for school. I remember really liking it, and I've wanted to read it again for a long time now.

9. Storming by K.M. Weiland


And another one that was recommended by Jonathan. This book sounds super cool! I've heard quite a few good things about it, and I can't wait to read it. :D I also have a couple writing books by K.M. Weiland that I might read this summer if I have time.

10. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1)

So, when it comes to the Divergent series, it seems like people either love it or hate it. I was kind of in the middle, so I decided to give this one a shot. I'm hoping it will be better than Divergent, but I'm not going to get my hopes up. :P

And that's my summer TBR! :) Now, on to the other things I wanted to say. I have three.

1) Last week, Faith over at Chosen Vessels did her Sisters in Christ post for the month of June. And I was the guest for that. :) Here's the link so you can hop on over there if you want to know more about me. In that post, I answer questions such as, what is my favorite book of the Bible and why, what are some books that impacted my young life, and what are some of my pet peeves.

2) This past Tuesday, I participated in my first blog tour, which was for the book "The Reluctant Godfather" by Allison Tebo. Here's the link for that if you want to check it out.

3) Lastly, I wanted to let you all know that when July finally rolls around, I probably won't post every week, since I'm going to have very little free time. And no, it's not because I'll be doing Camp NaNo. Although I will be doing that, the main reason I'm going to be so busy is because I work at an overnight summer camp. And I'll be there for all of July and half of August. So right now, I'm thinking I'll post every two weeks while I'm there, but if I can, I'll post more. Either way, you'll all know when I post since it'll show up in your reading list. ;P

So what about you? What's on your TBR this summer? Are you planning on reading any of these books?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"The Reluctant Godfather" Blog Tour

Hey everyone! Welcome to the Reluctant Godfather blog tour! :D (Now, this is my first time participating in a blog tour I totally know what I'm doing so bare with me.) This novella is a amazing, and everyone needs to read it!!

. . .

What, that's not good enough for you? Okay, well, how about this then!

About the Book

A humorous and magical re-telling of Cinderella from a unique perspective.

Burndee is a young and cantankerous fairy godfather, who would rather bake cakes than help humans. A disgrace to the fairy order, Burndee has only two wards entrusted to his care... a cinder girl and a charming prince.

A royal ball presents Burndee with the brilliant solution of how to make his wards happy with the least amount of effort. He'll arrange a meeting and hope the two fall in love.                                                                
My Review

5 stars

This was such an amazing book! I totally would have read it in a day but, you know, life kinda got in the way. I haven't read many fairy tale re-tellings, but I can say that this is unlike any Cinderella re-telling that I've ever read.

For one, it's told from the fairy godfather's POV! Yes, you heard me correctly. I said godfather. How cool is that! And to make things even better, he doesn't want to be a fairy godfather!

And second, those plot twists! A lot of re-tellings tend to be kinda cliche, but not this one. There were quite a few times where I was like, "That's not how it was in the original Cinderella story."

Is there anything that you should know about before you read this novella? Nope! It's totally clean, and I would recommend this for all ages. So if you like snarky characters, and you like fairy tale re-tellings, then you should definitely consider reading this novella.

About the Author

Allison Tebo is a Christian homeschool graduate in her mid-twenties, who works part time as a sales associate for a major transportation company. A graduate of London Art College, Allison pursues avenues in cartooning and illustrating as well as singing and voice acting.

In her spare time she writes and blogs at It is her goal to write fiction that appeals to many different kinds of people, by writing clean, classic fun.

Her faith in Christ directly influences all she writes about - or does not write about. Whether the story possesses a strong message or is simply fun and imaginative fiction - her desire is to bring honor to God - and to provide quality stories for everyone to enjoy.    

I have the opportunity to interview this beautiful girl, and she is more than willing to answers all my questions. What? . . . No, of course I didn't kidnap her. What kind of person do you think I am? *nervous laughter*

So, Allison, my first question may be kind of hard. I put a lot of time and thought into how I was going to word this, so, you know, everyone will understand what I'm asking. Are you ready? Here it is. Why do you write?

I write because I must - the stories are inside of me and they must come out!

Ah, yes, I can totally understand that. Actually, I'm sure all of us writers can understand that. :P So what is your favorite part of the whole writing and publishing process?

'flustered - then laughing' There are many times when I feel like I hate the whole process! (but I can't stop, despite all obstacles) Let's see. . . definitely drafting - especially when I'm either inspired or writing off of a very detailed outline. Those are wonderful moments.

There have been times when I feel like I hate the writing process too. But, speaking of being inspired, what inspired you to write The Reluctant Godfather?

I had just returned from a vacation and I think my mind was really relaxed and I was trying to sleep (all good combinations for sudden explosions of creativity) and the whole idea suddenly popped into my head - most of the details, including dialogue for the end finale was suddenly there, rolling around in my head. The whole story was there, I just had to write it down.

Oh, doesn't inspiration just have the most wonderful timing ever? It's like, "Hey, I'm gonna go to sleep now- okay, never mind!" That's great though, that everything came to you all at once. Maybe a little overwhelming, but still great! Who was your favorite character to write/work with?

Burndee. 'coughs' - rude characters just flow out of my fingers and they are so much fun to write.

Yes!! I love rude characters! Some of my all time favorite characters are rude. And I agree, they are fun to write. :) What is your favorite genre to write in?

Definitely fantasy (including the sub-genres, such as fairy tale retellings) and science fiction (including sub-genres such as steampunk).

I've been reading more books in both of those genres, but mostly fantasy, and now it's one of my favorite genres. :) And, just for fun, what is your favorite genre of music? Do you have a favorite singer?

A-ha! This is an easy one! Oldies/vintage music is my absolute favorite - 1940s through the 1960s - that music is the greatest! As for my favorite singer - that's a tougher one. I'm going to have to list the first ten that come to mind. Josh Groban, Mark Vincent, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Trini Lopez, Anne Murray, Deanna Durbin, Bing Crosby, LeAnn Rimes, Connie Francis.

Oldies are so good! I'm actually familiar with more than half of those names (kinda surprised myself there :P). Thank you so much for stopping by, Allison! It's been a pleasure having you here. :)

Before you all go, I want to let you know that Allison is hosting a giveaway and everyone should enter. There's a lot of cool stuff! Here I'll show you:

I know that all of you want to enter now, so here's the link to the giveaway.

Have a nice day everyone! And thanks for stopping by! :)         

What about you? Have you read The Reluctant Godfather?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Stay Strong and Trust

Fun fact: The flower in this picture is a gladiolus, and it symbolizes strength. :)

Have you ever wondered why your life is so hard? Everyone's got it easy. No one knows what you go through. It's very likely you've thought that at some point in your life. (If not, don't worry, your time will come. :P)

You've been doing so well. You come out of the woods, and you're on top of the world because of what you've just accomplished. It was the hardest thing you've ever had to do.

Now, you come to a body of water. Smiling to yourself, you notice how calm and glassy the surface is. So wrinkle free that you can see your reflection. It's gonna be smooth sailing from here on out.

Setting your eyes on your destination, you take a step and plunge into the water, eager to continue your journey. The water is so calm you propel yourself forward, slicing through it quickly and effortlessly. You think, "This is great! I've totally got this!"

When you think you're almost there, all of a sudden you hear a low rumble. You stop swimming, and look up at the sky just in time to see dark clouds appear out of nowhere, blocking out the sun. Thinking nothing of it, you continue swimming. You'll reach your destination before anything happens.

If only that were true.

With a loud crack, rain pours from the sky. The wind picks up, and before you know it, waves have formed and you find that you can use them to move forward, you're going faster. That is, until they become massive- almost separate bodies of water. The next thing you know, you're being violently tossed around. These waves are crashing over your head.

Lightning. Thunder. Wind. Rain.

You're just barely staying above water.

Finally, the storm passes, but you don't even notice because you're so tired. You're not even really moving forward, you're just floating there, trying gather what strength you have left, if any.

Surely, you must be very close to your destination now. You look ahead to see how much farther it is but. . . you don't see anything. What? It was there before! Why can't I see it now? 

Deep down you're beginning to get discouraged, but unwilling to admit it, you forge ahead, determined to reach the other side.

It doesn't take long though, for trouble to find you once again. Although you don't see anything, something latches onto your leg. Before you know what's going on, water closes over your head. Your mind registers what's happening, and you struggle to get away. Managing to break the surface, you gasp for air. You take a deep breath only for it to be knocked out again by a blow to the side.

All you know is that you have to get away, but you're still so weak. You can't go on. Maybe you should give in. Just give up.

So you cease struggling.

Then, you hear it. A voice. As it gets louder, you realize that you recognize it. You've heard it before, it's familiar. You remember that it helped you once, surely it will help you now.

With renewed strength, you fight. You push through. You overcome. Your destination is unknown, but you forge ahead anyway. You trust that voice, even though you don't know what will happen, or if you'll reach your destination at all.

We don't know why God lets things happen sometimes. We may find out later, and we may not. When God does that, we have a tendency to say, "Why? Why me? What did I do wrong? Why are You punishing me?"

But stop and think about it for a minute. Maybe God's not punishing you for something that you did, but preparing you for something that you will do. God is never going to give us more than we can handle. I mean, why would He? He wants us to succeed, not fail!

If we fail, that's not God's fault. That's on us. If we try to do things ourselves, we'll fall. But God is always there to help us back up. . . if we ask Him.

In order for us to grow, our limits have to be pushed. Don't be content to stay where you are. Live for God! And if that means life gets rough, then so be it.

Stay strong and trust that God has everything under control.

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us." Romans 8:18 (NKJV)

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

Pics are from Pinterest and Google

Saturday, June 3, 2017

May Wrap-up

May is here! May is here! May- What? ... May is already over? ... But that can't be true. It- it just started! Right? ... No? *crosses arms* Well that went by fast! And here we thought February came and went quickly. Let's see if I managed to get anything done this month. *rifles through a small stack of papers* Mm, nuttin'. What? Oh you want to know what that big stack of paper in the trash is? I'll tell you what happened, but you may want to sit down...


You may remember I said in my last wrap up that I was going to work on the second draft of Strangers. My plan was to have that all ready to give to my alpha readers by June 1st. The month started out great... and then it started going downhill. Yeah, as I was writing the second draft, I kept finding more and more problems. It's horrible guys! I have plot holes, things that just don't make sense, and I don't feel like my characters change enough throughout the story. But it wasn't until the last week of May that I realized that I'm going to have to rewrite my whole. novel. 

At first, I was like, "Well, isn't this just fantastic." :P But it's okay now! I actually don't think I'll mind having to rewrite it, because just yesterday, I got some really great ideas that I think will make the whole story better and more exciting. :D (Half of them came to me while I was on a walk. Go figure.) More than likely, I'll keep some of the more important scenes. I know that I will be keeping my prologue though. For sure.

I have no idea how long it will take me to do this rewrite, but I'm hoping to have it ready for alpha readers by... actually, I just had a great idea! I'll have it finished by the end of October, so that they can be reading it while I'm doing NaNoWriMo in November. I know, that's quite a while from now, but summer is my busiest time of the year. Now that we have that all sorted out...


Dare by Tricia Mingerink        Deny by Tricia Mingerink        Defy by Tricia Mingerink        Destroy by Tricia Mingerink                                                                                                                 
Deliver by Tricia Mingerink        Resistance by Jaye L. Knight        The King's Scrolls by Jaye L. Knight        Andora's Folly by Abigayle Claire                                                                                       
Deal by Tricia Mingerink

I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty happy with the amount of reading I was able to get done this month. :) This is twice as much as April. I had planned on reading more, but the week I was on vacation, I did like no reading. Destroy and Andora's Folly are novellas. Andora's Folly was actually a beta read, and it's soo good. All of you need to read it when it's gets released on July 29th! Deal (that link under the rest of the books) was a short story, but it still counted towards my reading goal on Goodreads. The other six books weren't exactly short though. Those ranged from roughly 340-450 pages.

Trying to choose a favorite is really hard, because all but two of these got five stars. The other two got 4. Well, technically, 3.5 stars, but if you paid any attention in math, you'll know that .5 always rounds up, never down. Thus, 4 stars. So, my favorite was probably Deliver, and my least favorite was either Resistance or The King's Scrolls. I can't decide.


My posts for May:
The Liebster Award

My Firsts!

Homeschooling- Part 3

The Sunshine Blogger Tag

Other bloggers' posts that you should check out:

Audrey's post- Why Every Writer Should Be A Beta Reader The reasons she gives are really good. 

Jonathan's post- 5 FAQs the Writers/Bloggers Get and How to Answer Them Without Panicking This is really funny, and I found it helpful.

Marrok's post- Let's Talk: Protagonist He describes four kinds of protagonists perfectly


So May wasn't quite a busy as I thought it was going to be. But it was still crazy. I went on vacation, and if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw some pictures. That was a lot of fun. I got to see some family and friends that I only get to see when I go down there. 

Aand... I got my license!! :D I'm so happy, and now it's done so I don't have to worry about it anymore. But get this, guys. I sent in my driving hours with a note asking them not to schedule my road test for the time that I would be on vacation (yes, I gave them the dates). Finally, I got the date, and you know what? They scheduled it for the day that I was leaving to go on vacation. The audacity! So we called them to reschedule and got it for the very next day. 

I was actually really surprised that I passed. You know how people are always like, "I hate parallel parking! It's soo hard!" Well, I can parallel park better than I can like regular park. Isn't that weird? What I mean by "regular parking" is when you gotta do that 90 degree turn... yeah, I'm not the best at that. :P By anyway, that's my May! :)

So how was your May? Anything exciting happen? What do you think of the changes I made to my blog?