Oh my goodness, we haven’t done a Book Thursdays post in much too long. Fabulously enough, today is Thursday, and I have a special surprise – the cover of Lady Dragon, Tela Du by Kendra E. Ardnek. Yay!
Oh my goodness, we haven’t done a Book Thursdays post in much too long. Fabulously enough, today is Thursday, and I have a special surprise – the cover of Lady Dragon, Tela Du by Kendra E. Ardnek. Yay!
The blog tour is finally here for Brothers-in-Arms! Today, I have a review for it – yay! – and an interview with Jack herself.
Release Date: May 31st
Can a Jew and a Nazi survive Hitler’s Germany?
Franz Kappel and Japhet Buchanan never expected their friendship to be tested by the Third Reich. Friends from early childhood, the boys form an inseparable, brotherly bond. Growing up in a little German village, they escape most of the struggles of war until the day Japhet is banished from school for being a Jew, and later has a rib broken when other village boys beat him up. Franz learns he is putting himself in danger for spending so much time with Japhet but continues to stand up for his Jewish friend even at the risk to himself. Then one day their lives are shattered when they see first-hand that the price of being a Jew is dangerously high.
With the war now on their doorsteps, Franz and Japhet come up with a desperate plan to save their families and get them out of Germany alive. Leaving behind the lives they’ve always known, they move into Berlin with nothing to protect them but forged papers and each other. Convinced their friendship can keep them going, the boys try and make a new life for themselves while trying to keep their true identities and Japhet’s heritage a secret. Taking his best friend’s safety upon himself, Franz joins the Nazis in an attempt to get valuable information. At the same time, Japhet joins the Jewish Resistance, neither friend telling the other of their new occupations.
With everyone in their world telling them a Nazi and a Jew can’t be friends, it is only a matter of time before they believe all the lies themselves, until neither is certain if they are fighting against a race of people or fighting for their homeland. Somehow they have to survive the horrors of World War II, even when all of Germany seems to be against them.
I read Brothers-in-Arms a few months ago.
All I can say is…WOW.
Some books are good books. Four-star books that make you say, “Oh, that’s nice,” as you read them once and decide they were pleasant.
There are also some books that are great books, ones that make you want to read them sometime again probably, or at least put them on your bookshelf and pet them as you walk by, remembering the fond memories that went along with reading them.
Other books are ones that make your stomach hurt from laughing so hard, shake with sobs until your eyes are dripping and puffy, and demand that all the attention in your mind be given to that book. The ones that are so clever and excruciating and real that you physically feel pain and are distraught over the lives of the characters.
Yeah, that was one of those stories.
It was heartbreaking – so much death and torture and heartache and agony – and it was beautiful. Oh, so beautiful.
I read all four-hundred-ish pages in about three or four days, which is fast for me, seeing as I like to soak in every word and I don’t have much spare time anyway.
It’s hard to say that this was a “wonderful” book – it was, and it wasn’t.
The dialogue was witty and hilarious and clever and fantastic. The writing was spectacular, and portrayed the story ridiculously well.
The characters were four-dimensional, and even though there were many of them, they were executed quite well. (Get it? Executed? Ha ha…never mind.)
The worldbuilding was done well too, though not completely what I expected from reading other WWII books, but still, I enjoyed it immensely.
But the story killed me. I have no words to describe the way it made me feel. It wasn’t a “God is good, everything’s gonna be alright,” kind of story, by any stretch.
It was more of a “I have no idea if we’ll even survive this,” kind of story. It’s about real pain and even getting to the point of seriously doubting God when it gets too hard to breathe. It’s about friendship, brotherly love, coming to a place of learning to trust God, even when life’s a nightmare, and about not giving up hope.
The story hurt my heart. It drew me in and I couldn’t put it down. Many parts were hard to read; not that they were really gory, but that they touched my emotions quite deeply, both happy ones and depressed ones.
This book has made it onto my favorites list. It’s beautiful, poignant historical fiction, and a book that really opened my eyes to what happened during WWII, from both the Jewish side and the Nazi side.
Thank you, Jack, for writing this story.
Jack is one of those strange people who calls herself an Author. She spends a lot of her time writing and even less time editing. She likes to write about friendships which is partly how Brothers-in-Arms came to be. More than ten years in the making, this is the book she dreaded the most writing, but which also has the most meaning for her.
When Jack isn’t writing, which doesn’t happen too often, she keeps busy with various other hobbies – such as reading, playing the bagpipes to the dread of her neighbors, and drinking tea – which might not be considered a hobby by most but which should be.
She lives in a cabin in the woods with her dog and a library which isn’t quite equal to Prince Adam’s but will be given enough time and a secret doorway.
I had the wonderful chance to interview her, so here are my questions (in bold) and her responses. She’s a very sweet person, and one I’ve been absolutely blessed to converse with.
Hello, Jack! Welcome to Scattered Journal Pages. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself and about your name?
Thanks for letting me invade! I mean…visit. Not invade. I don’t invade places…. *Puts away the siege engines* Ahem… A little bit about me. Hm. I’m sometimes called Jack by people who know me online or know the reason behind the name and think it is cute. (And since you asked, the short version of my name is a result of an online writing club I started where everyone who joined picked the name of their favorite Author. I picked C.S. Lewis, who was called Jack by his friends. Hence, Jack Lewis. Baillot was shamelessly stolen from one of my all time favorite history heroes.) I’m what can be called an Author. Which means I sit locked up in my room and drink lots of tea while hanging out with people no one else can see – at least until said someone’s read my books.
How long ago did you get the inspiration for Brothers-in-Arms, and how old were you?
About ten years ago…or longer. I was about sixteen I think. I was wittle…but not really. I stopped growing when I was about fifteen. ANYWAYS….let’s say sixteen, which is more than ten years. Twelve to be exact. You may do the math to get my now age.
What has been the best experience for you so far as you work with a publisher (as opposed to self-publishing)?
I got an editor. And I didn’t have to do the cover on my own, which meant no wielding weapons in the middle of the street while my family stood watch to shout when to get out of the road before a car hit us. (I have an obliging family.)
But mostly the editor. With my dyslexia I have a long running battle with editing. It was nice to let someone else fight it for me.
How has your faith affected your books, namely, this new one?
This needs a serious answer.
My faith affects all my books, but not nearly as much as this one. I don’t write “Christian” books per se. I write a story and let God do the rest. But this story has a very clear message. All of my books have messages, but none as clear as this one.
I’ve been struggling with a lot lately, especially the past two years. In a way, a lot of my struggles went into this book, and my belief which kept me going. It is kind of hard to explain and I might have to do a post on it someday.
This story isn’t mine. It is far from being my story, but in a way it is my story. It’s complicated, but this book means a lot to me. More than any of my other books do or ever will.
What is your target audience for Brothers-in-Arms, and what message do you hope to share through it?
Everyone. Well, an older age group, but I didn’t want to write a book just for Christians. I also didn’t want to write a book which tried to slyly witness to non-believers without them knowing it. I wanted to write a story about the struggle of the German people in WWII. The message in it is there because I felt it fit with the story and it just worked. As I wrote the message just came out, but I didn’t set out to write a message about trust for God in the darkest times in our lives.
So, while it isn’t written for just a certain group, I do hope that message might encourage those who read it.
What is your biggest dream right now? (It doesn’t have to be realistic!)
I actually have a lot. I’m a dreamer of impossible dreams, to steal another Doctor Who line. I get these rash ideas in my head, almost impossible ideas, and chase them down. Like writing with dyslexia. Once I get an idea I don’t like to let things stop me, probably a result of stubbornness.
But my top dreams…
Go on an adventure. I’m plotting one for this summer. I haven’t decided what it will be yet, but it will be glorious and hopefully won’t involve awkward nude beaches like my last adventure. (For this interested in that adventure which also involved Owl City, the post is on my blog if you wish to hunt it down.)
Who has inspired you, whether in writing or otherwise?
C.S. Lewis. I think he had an understanding of children most don’t have and don’t understand.
Louis Zamperini, who is a man I consider my hero. A WWII POW who survived the near impossible, came home and struggled with PTSD, and then gave his life to God. He also had a remarkable sense of humor and did crazy things like skateboard in his eighties. He inspires me in life, Lewis in my writing.
What advice would you give to people wanting to achieve their dreams?
This is going to sound silly, but don’t let things get in your way. I don’t mean go rushing off in rebellion to those in authority over you, but I mean don’t give up. It will be hard to accomplish your dreams, but I believe people can do things which could be considered impossible.
After all, I’m a dyslexic Author.
Don’t give up because things are hard. You can do quite a number of impossible things if you work hard enough.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! My readers and I are privileged to know a little more about you.
Before I begin, I’ll share about the book, about Morgan, and then we’ll get on with the interview.
About the Book
“M’lady, it has been fairly well confirmed that the Redona was hidden away by the merfolk at the conclusion of the Great War instead of destroyed as was commanded. My brother has confirmed to me Joseph’s belief that it was concealed at the Crossways.”
Toarna pressed her fingertips together in thought. “It must be recovered and destroyed as was at first intended.”
Emily, Allan, Jill, and Joey have been reunited with their long lost ancestors. But with that reunion comes the true beginning of their quest: free the rightful king of Calhortz so that he may be restored to his throne. The Redona, the only object that can free him from his long imprisonment, is rumored to be concealed in The Crossways, a mountain across the sea which cannot be entered.
A slave since birth, Adriel’s resentment and hatred towards the strytes only grows as his family is continually ripped from him. He longs for the freedom the Time Captives are prophesied to bring, but he doubts their existence, just as he doubts God’s love. Circumstances in Calhortz are so dire. How could they ever improve?
Who can enter The Crossways? Will the king ever be freed? Or will the slaves of Calhortz lose all hope of freedom before it is even offered to them?
The Crossways is the second book of the Time Captives trilogy, a tale of faith, family, fantasy, and a fight for truth and freedom.
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25990964-the-crossways
About the Author
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Her other interests include reading, playing the piano and violin, and politics. She is the author of Across the Stars and The Experiment.
And finally, the interview. 😀
Hi Morgan! Thanks for joining me here at Scattered Journal Pages. Tell me a few things that most people won’t easily guess about yourself.
*racks brain for something that’s not obvious* I have a hard time hiding things, and I’m super easy to read, but I’ll try. I don’t really like to watch TV just for the sake of watching TV. I like watching it when there’s something I want to watch. Which does happen a lot, but sometimes I don’t feel like watching anything. I’ve gotten “why did you do that?” from my sister for turning the TV off after the news. Hmm, I have an irrational fear of the wheels falling off our minivan while I’m driving. Not really sure where that came from. I don’t like to sit around and do nothing. It bores me and I feel like I’m wasting time, even if the reason I’m sitting around doing nothing is because I’m sick or I have a migraine or something. I’m really bad at foreign language. I’m pretty good at English, and it’s so easy. But when it comes to foreign language, forget it. I’m not really the best at geography either. I prefer to focus on things I like, like history and literature and music and writing and sewing (when I feel like it) and watching kids.
When did the idea first come to you for the Time Captives trilogy, and how long was it before you started writing and developing the books?
I can’t exactly remember, I didn’t start putting dates on things until a few years later, but I think sometime in 2011. I came up with some things then, but I finished Across the Stars and The Experiment before starting it, so a lot of things got thrown out. I mean, a lot. I started actually writing it at Disney World on December 10, 2012, so it was probably about a year and a half between the idea and actually getting the prologue down on paper.
How long does it usually take on average for you to write and publish a new book?
About 2½ to 3 years, which flies right in the face of my thinking I’m a slow writer. My ideas do usually sit in my brain and simmer for a while before I actually start putting them down on paper, though, so that adds a good bit of uncounted time. And there are little snippets of stories sitting on my computer that I won’t count towards writing time until I actually get serious about working on them. So from the time I get serious about a project to when I publish it is 2½ to 3 years. Except The Experiment. That was a year and a half.
Which character in any of the Time Captives books do you most relate to, and why?
Probably Jill, because we have the same personality type. I swear, I gave her a personality type before I even knew my own! But she’s sweeter than I am and more willing to step outside of her comfort zone when need be. But there’s some of me in all of them. I can relate to Emily and George and Abigail and Adriel and Jonathan…okay, yeah, I relate to Jonathan because I channeled all my Narnia love into him. Is that a problem? 😉
What was the hardest aspect of this book and trilogy to write?
The Time Captives. They were really difficult characters to work with. While other characters like Adriel and Grant jumped onto the page with full personality, the Time Captives didn’t want to let me in. And they were always dragging their feet about their quest. Plus there’s so many of them. I’m never writing a story with that big of a main group again. My poor brain just can’t handle it all.
Do you plot out and plan your stories before or while you write?
A little bit of both. I always have a general idea of what’s going to happen before I start a story. At least, with the stories I’ve been able to finish. Basically, I start with a beginning, an end goal, main characters, and a few scenes from the middle that may or may not end up in the book. For some stories, like my outer space dystopian, I had the full storyline written out. But with that, I ended up scrapping it and just writing down the major plot points. For Time Captives, I restructured it so many times that the plot points weren’t written down until I was halfway through. I like having plot points beforehand, so I know where I’m going. However, I rarely plan any deeper than that, I like to figure it out as I go along, unless I run across a point where I’m stuck, and then I stop and plan it before continuing.
What do you hope that readers will take away from The Crossways?
Primarily the Gospel. This is actually my first book with an explicit Gospel message. But also that God uses everything, even the worst of circumstances, for good. And that being dishonest is never worth it, even if it seems so at the time.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! I wish you the best with your release of The Crossways.
Thanks for having me! I enjoyed it.
Join in the excitement of Time Captives and enter to win a special prize! The first prize winner will receive a signed copy of The Crossways. The second prize winner will receive an eCopy of The Crossways in the eBook format of his/her choice. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.
For more stops on the blog tour, go to http://morganhuneke.blogspot.com/2015/10/release-day-for-crossways.html
Yay!!!! The day I have been waiting for has finally arrived!!!!
*throws confetti in air*
Half-Blood by Jaye L. Knight has been officially released to the big, wide, and wonderful world! I’m so excited for this release, because all of us Ilyon fans have been pleading for Jace’s backstory. (Think of it like a never-before-read prologue. A prologue that you REALLY appreciate once you’ve read such an amazing story.)
In this post, I’m reviewing Half-Blood and interviewing Jaye herself. But first, about the book!
Learn more about this prequel story to Ilyon Chronicles and make sure you also enter the tour giveaway at the bottom!
About the Book
The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.
For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.
Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?
See where Jace’s story all began . . .
Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website
All his life, Jace has been a slave. He has been forced to become a gladiator, and treated so harshly, lower than an animal. Little does anyone know, Jace – as half ryrik and half human – has a heart, a soul, and he is not truly defined by his ryrik blood. He is not an angry killer; he is only thought to be one. And he is treated for the first 17-20 (or so) years of his life as though he is less than worthless.
Oh my. I can’t really in good conscience say that I loved or enjoyed this book. I can say, however, that I’m glad that I read it. I’m glad that I know Jace’s backstory, even though it tore my soul to shreds.
Jace’s life broke me. For real. He had but two things that made him happy, and both those things were torn away from him. (Such injustice! Are you kidding me?!)
It shredded my heart into a million tiny fractals.
It tore my soul to unrepairable shreds.
It emptied my being of hope.
It made my heart scream, and cry, and panic out of desperation.
I was Jace.
I was treated lower than an animal.
I was abused for the love of money.
I was alone. Forsaken. Rejected. Forgotten. Betrayed. Sold. Broken. Hopeless.
And I never believed I could ever be loved, or even treated like I was even half-human. I never believed I could ever have a soul.
*cries* Oh yes, I cried. Out of anger, pain, and more injustice.
(And, um, yeah, I finished it in one day. The day it was sent to me.)
Throughout this book, we dig deep into Jace’s past. We see his loneliness, heartbreak, struggle, and his (yes) humanity. We see that he is not heartless, and isn’t completely overcome by his ryrik blood. Though he has many challenges, he does not give up.
The thing I admire most about Jace is that he refuses to kill in cold blood. He struggles with fiery anger, coming from his ryrik blood, but he doesn’t let it overcome him easily. He fights for justice, and I love that. He pays attention to his conscience even when he does not know Elôm. (More proof that you have a soul, Jace.) He’s such a respectable character, and my favorite (of course!). *happy sigh*
Seriously though, Half-Blood is really hard to read. I cried a few times over the intense cruelty of Jace’s treatment. It’s not a fluffy, snuggle-up-by-the-fire kind of book. It’s one of those books that makes you want to throw it out the window, but it’s still so good that you can’t bring yourself to do it. (Jaye’s writing is amazing. That’s not the problem at all. The problem is that she writes so well that you’re there, and you feel every little ounce of pain and agony. And so I felt it, and was actually depressed for a few days.)
My favorite part of the book was the second half, of course. It was so amazingly full of hope. The horrible hopelessness of Jace’s life of slavery made hope – when it came – so much brighter, in contrast. It was so beautiful. I won’t give too much away, but the end of the book overlaps with the beginning of Resistance, from Jace’s point of view. It’s like reading an awesome book for the first time – twice. Because even though I knew what would happen, it was totally new, with the same dialogue and scenery. That was amazing.
So yeah, I’m glad I read it. Was it hard to read? Oh, you’d better believe it. But seeing Jace’s past helped to give me a glimpse of who Jace is and who he is becoming.
Though this is a prequel novella, I don’t think I would recommend it as a starting point for the series. Although it is written extremely well, it’s tough to read and perhaps not as enjoyable until you’ve read Resistance. It is heartbreaking, and not as “lovely” as the other books, but it is definitely a worthwhile read when wanting to know even more about Jace’s past.
It’s a Five-Star book.
I received an eARC for my honest and unbiased review. Thank you, Jaye!
About the Author
Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
As I promised, I got to interview the author, Jaye L. Knight, and share her answers with all of you.
Jaye, did you find Half-Blood to be hard to write? I know that for me, it was difficult to read at a lot of points. The entire first half, actually.
Surprisingly, this story was one of the easiest I’ve written, not because of subject matter, but it just flowed really well. I’m glad of that. I wouldn’t have wanted to labor over it for a long period of time. I was able to write the whole thing in just a couple of weeks.
Ah, I see. Only a couple of weeks, wow! That’s great. 🙂
Do you enjoy writing about just Jace, or would you rather work with multiple storylines (as you do in the rest of the Ilyon books)?
I love writing about Jace. While I do enjoy working with multiple storylines, Jace is my favorite to work with. Though, there are a few others I particularly love writing as well, like Trask and Prince Daniel.
And I love reading about Jace. He’s such a relatable character, especially to me. Trask and Prince Daniel are such fun to read about too, with their great witty and strong personalities.
Where did your ideas for Jace’s story come from, especially the details of his life as a gladiator and slave?
Originally, Jace was inspired by a half-blooded character in Donita K. Paul’s DragonKeeper Chronicles books. I didn’t discover that Jace was a gladiator, though, until I was quite far into writing Resistance. I always knew he was a slave and struggled with his ryrik blood, but the gladiator idea came from a History Channel documentary on gladiators that I randomly watched with my brother. I found it so fascinating that my imagination took over, and next thing I knew, Jace’s entire backstory changed.
That is so interesting! Thank you for sharing with us, Jaye.
Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Half-Blood, a blue feather bookmark hand crafted by Jaye, a bronze sword pendant, and a $5 Amazon gift card! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)
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I am so excited for today everyone! It is the cover reveal for a spectacular book coming in August.
Drum roll please!
Today’s cover reveal is for Water Princess, Fire Prince, written by Kendra E. Ardnek!
Let’s just talk about that cover for a minute. Oh goodness…it’s beautiful. Don’t those people look REAL?! So, if you’re the kind of person that judges a book by its cover – that is, if you’re like me – well…if you want to judge it by its cover, I suppose you may. However, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Because as beautiful as the cover is, the inside is SO GOOD (and even more beautiful, literarily). Like, even better than it looks, or as it is described. *eyes glaze over*
This book is…oh my word, absolutely fantastic. Spectacular. I’m speechless, guys. *dies* It’s t.o.t.a.l.l.y. up there with my favorites. I’ll review it in August, so I can’t say any more now. But oh…how lovely of a story this is. Why don’t you read the description and previews for yourself and whet your appetite a little bit?
When the Lady Dragon does come,
Hold fast, do not fear, do not run
Your Water Princess will fight,
Fire Prince will set all to right
Each shall come from a Fall,
Their union will save you all.
Despite the fact that she’s on track for competing in the Olympics, and he’s practically raised his younger brothers since they lost their mom in a car accident, Clara Mandras and Andrew Stevenson are pretty much normal teens. They have normal hopes, normal dreams, and they live in a normal world.
All this is torn away from them when they are thrust into another world and declared Water Princess and Fire Prince. With no experience ruling a country, meeting each other for the first time, and being expected to fight the Lady Dragon – an evil sorceress plaguing the world of Rizkaland – Clara and Andrew are underprepared and inexperienced. Unless they learn to work together despite their standing opposition, Rizkaland’s hope will be lost.
What is to come will change their lives forever.
Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, “Finish your story, Kendra”, is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that also glorify God and His Word. You can read more about her on her blog, knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com.
Available for Kindle preorder: http://www.amazon.com/Water-Princess-Prince-Rizkaland-Legends-ebook/dp/B00YTQBTDI/ $2.99 the 19th and 20th ONLY (at which point I’ll put it up to its official price of 3.99)
Add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24022364-water-princess-fire-prince
Part 1’s first chapter: http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com/2014/12/water-princess-chapter-1.html
Part 2’s first chapter: http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com/2014/12/fire-prince-chapter-1.html
And now, Miss Kendra E. Ardnek has graciously allowed me to interview her! Yay! 🙂
Kendra, what was your favorite part about writing this book?
Ooh … that’s a difficult question, because this was such a fun book to write, any angle you look at it. The characters sparkled with such wit, and each bounced of each other perfectly. The plot twisted and turned with some of the best plot twists I’ve ever written. Clara and Andrew are one of my favorite romances that I’ve ever written.
However, I think the world of Rizkaland itself wins out as my favorite part of the story. I’ve been building Rizkaland for several years, and it’s gone through many changes (Even down to it’s name – it was originally Arcaland), but of all my worlds, it’s the richest, and I know it best.
I agree. Every part of the book is amazing – plot, characters, dialogue, romance *dreamy sigh* – but it’s so true, Rizkaland is so real and magnificent! 🙂
What authors have you found the most inspiration from in your writing?
Laura Ingalls Wilder: Because it was while reading her books that I realized that stories were written by people, and that it was a viable option for my own life. (And, fun fact: My cousin and cover artist is her cousin a couple generations removed)
Tolkien: He was my first big introduction to fantasy (and fanfiction…) and for that, I’m eternally grateful.
C.S. Lewis: Rizkaland would probably not exist if it weren’t for Narnia. I’d been playing around in my Shire-inspired Rowa for a couple years when the LWW movie came out and I, dissatisfied with how it came out, purposed in my heart to write a better, “more accurate” version.
Gail Carson Levine: When I’m not writing intense portal fantasy like Rizkaland, you can usually find me working on my fairy tale retelling series, The Bookania Quests. Levine’s Ella Enchanted helped me through a difficult period of my life, and it taught me the magic of retellings.
Frank Baum: Because Oz.
I can definitely see those influences in Water Princess, Fire Prince. I love those books/series.
Who do you think the ideal reader for Water Princess, Fire Prince would be?
A girl whose favorite color is blue, loved the Nutcracker so much she wanted to change her name to Clara, did gymnastics for a while, and has blonde hair … and whose name happens to be Amanda … wait, that’s you …
Okay, I’ll get serious here. WPFP was written for girls (and perhaps boys?) who grew up on Narnia, but now want a more mature story. It’s for those who want a clean, but deep romance. It’s for those who want to explore new worlds, and know that the dragons can be beaten, because God is still in control.
Sounds like you wrote Water Princess, Fire Prince specifically for me! 🙂 Okay, perhaps not, but I know that the story resonated with me deeply. It is such a fun and yet mature story, and I’m so glad I get to be a part of the reveal!
Thank you, Kendra, for being with all of us here today and answering my questions!
Please, please, PLEASE check out this book. It’s one of those books that cries out, “I-could-have-my-own-display-at-Barnes-and-Noble” kind of books. Still not convinced? Well then, preorder it today for less than $3 and experience the fantastical world of Rizkaland for yourself!