Cover Reveal: Espionage by Morgan Elizabeth Huneke

Espionage Blog Tour

 

Happy Monday, everyone!

 

Today I have a cover reveal for a dear friend of mine’s newest book. Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a splendid author and a fantastic friend, and I’m thrilled to share the cover of Espionage with you all. Let’s start with what the book is about.

 

About the Book

“Sir Roland has invited us to visit for the Autumn Feast.”

 

“Do we have to go, Papa? I couldn’t feast with the most crooked politician in all of Briznom.”

 

As the daughter of a Briznomian vassal lord, Vannie Cumberland has spent her childhood immersed in the world of politics. Relations between Briznom and the neighboring country of Calhortz are strained due to the tyrannical rule of the strytes. A proposed alliance could calm relations between the two countries, but would come at the cost of Briznom’s freedom.

 

When her father’s political archenemy invites them to the Autumn Feast, Vannie uncovers an evil scheme endangering the life of someone close to her. Personal enmity comes to a dangerous head as Vannie struggles to expose the corruption and stop the alliance. Time is running out.

 

Events are becoming too big for her to handle. Will Sir Roland’s son help or will things finally spiral out of control?

 

Add to Goodreads

 

I was one of the lucky people who got to beta read and edit Espionage, and it’s my favorite of her books so far. I can’t wait for the release!

 

Release Date

Espionage, A Companion to Time Captives, will be released on May 16th, 2016. Stay tuned on Morgan’s blog and Facebook page for more information and sneak peeks.

Preorder on Kindle now!

 

Now,  let’s read a bit about Miss Huneke herself.

 About the Author

Morgan Huneke Profile 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 as well as the Time Captives fantasy trilogy.

 

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

Ready for the cover, y’all?

 

Espionage Cover

 

Yay! Be sure to buy the book and support Morgan when it comes out. It’s a great book, and while it is a companion to the Time Captives trilogy, it could be read as a standalone book too (with a little background information). I hope you all enjoy it!

See other participating blogs here.

*aj

Brothers-in-Arms Cover Reveal!

So…today is Wednesday, people, and I know I made up this whole thing about how I post bookish things on Thursdays, hence the name “Book Thursdays,” but apparently, all authors do not cater to my blogging schedule. Ah, well. Wednesdays are great too, therefore, I declare today Book Wednesday. 🙂

 

I have a cover reveal for an author today, Miss Jack Lewis Baillot. I have not read any of her books yet, due to them being currently edited and on their ways to be republished and me not having the time to review this new book just yet, but I hope to soon.

 

This is her new book, Brothers-in-Arms. It looks mighty intriguing, I’ll say, and with that, I’ll leave you with the synopsis.

 

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’m really excited to read it. Ever since I read The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, World War II Germany has really interested me. Everything that went on was so horrific, what with the Hitler and the Nazis and the brutality of persecution and concentration camps among other things. I can’t enjoy reading about the pain, but books set in that time period, whether fictional or true accounts, are so eye-opening and bring me back to that place in history.

 

Now I’m sure that you all would like to read about who Jack is before picking up her newest book. And ha, you’re all in luck, because I have a bio and picture right here.

JLB Author Picture 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.

Now, if you’d like to contact her, she’s on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and also has a blog. Click on the links below to find her in those online places. Her blog is lovely and amusing, and she taunts all of us with the fact that 99.9% of us don’t know her real name (because Jack is a pen name) or have seen a picture of her face. Quite clever, actually.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JackLBaillot

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JackLBaillot

Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5862775.Jack_Lewis_Baillot

Blog – http://www.jacklewisbaillot.com/

 

Hmm, am I forgetting something? Oh, right! The cover!

 

Brothers-in-Arms

 

Ta-da! Here it is. The long-awaited piece of artwork to represent a deep story. Interesting, isn’t it? It seems to tell two stories while still presenting just one. I’m looking forward to reading it. Keep your eyes peeled for the release of this book, coming soon!

 

How about you? Does this seem like a book you’d like to read? Let me know in the comments!

 

*aj

Book Review: The Insatiable Quest for Beauty

Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve done Book Thursdays. The lovely Tiffany Dawn emailed me at Christmastime and asked me to review this book. It looked good, so I agreed, and I found it to be a great book. Read on for the full review.

iqb-book

Title: The Insatiable Quest for Beauty

Author: Tiffany Dawn

My Rating: 4/5 Stars.

My Review:

The Insatiable Quest for Beauty was a worthwhile read for me. It addresses questions and problems we all face from time to time, regarding not feeling beautiful or valued and trying to find the answers to those questions in all different places, including in relationships, disordered eating, obsession with appearances, and more.

 

Cutting to the heart of the matter, Tiffany does not discredit wanting to look good at all. Looking good is a good thing, but only if it doesn’t become an obsession or addiction. If we go to destructive habits like dating toxic people for attention or trying to lose excessive weight when it’s totally unnecessary, it damages us.

 

Additionally, looking in the mirror and telling yourself “I’m beautiful” every day isn’t changing the problem. The issue is being so self-absorbed that you cannot think of anything else but yourself, whether positive or negative.

 

Tiffany makes the point that we must keep our eyes on God. We must look to Him to remind us that we are unconditionally loved, and not just physically attractive. We must take the focus off us ourselves and realize the One who truly matters – our Lord.

 

The Insatiable Quest for Beauty is about more than finding confidence within ourselves, but about being confident in how God sees us. He sees us as blameless and pure because of what Jesus did, and not because of what we do.

 

I don’t particularly struggle with my appearance, but it was a good read and I am glad that I read it.

 

The format and writing were not my favorite, but they did not take away from the content and impact of the book. If I were writing it, I would have done it differently. The “coffee date” style and the chapter organization, along with the broken-up format made it unique enough to stand out, and perhaps other people will like that aspect of it more than I did.

 

Lastly, I didn’t agree with completely everything that was said (more on a theological aspect than anything else), but the message of the book was definitely valuable enough for me to read the whole book and enjoy it.

 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way. Thank you, Tiffany!

 

Find my review on Goodreads and also on Amazon.

 

*aj

The Crossways BLOG TOUR – Author Interview + Giveaway!

The Crossways Blog Tour Header

Yesterday, I shared my review for The Crossways by Morgan Elizabeth Huneke. See that here, or scroll down if you’re on the Scattered Journal Pages home page.

Before I begin, I’ll share about the book, about Morgan, and then we’ll get on with the interview.

The Crossways Cover

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.

Buy Now

Kindle ~ Paperback ~ Signed Copy

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25990964-the-crossways

 

About the Author

Morgan Huneke Profile

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.

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest.

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.

Giveaway

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more stops on the blog tour, go to http://morganhuneke.blogspot.com/2015/10/release-day-for-crossways.html

*AJ

The Crossways BLOG TOUR – Book Review + Giveaway!

The Crossways Blog Tour Header

Remember the cover reveal I did for this book a few weeks ago? Well, the book is FINALLY HERE!!! Yay!! So. Without further adieu, let us take a look at what it’s about (if you don’t know already).

The Crossways Cover

 

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.

Buy Now

Kindle ~ Paperback ~ Signed Copy

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25990964-the-crossways

And about the author! Morgan! She’s a wonderful author that I get to be a fan of, and a wonderful person that I am blessed to call my friend. Tomorrow, I’ll be interviewing her, but for today, you get a little snippet of who she is and what she’s about. 😀

About the Author

Morgan Huneke Profile

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.

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest.

And here is my long-awaited review of The Crossways. Enjoy!

FIVE STARS: (5/5)

Ah, such a great book! Where do I even start?

(Maybe I should start with telling you all that my review for the first book, Creighton Hill,  is here on Goodreads, I just haven’t gotten around to posting it on my blog yet.)

Alright. I wouldn’t consider myself a terrible reader, I just got sidetracked with some other books (like, four) while reading this one. And I can’t focus well on more than one book at one time, so I pushed it aside.

The more I read of The Crossways, the more I was interested and wanted to keep reading it. It was great.

I finally finished it the day after the release, and two days before my review was supposed to be up…AND COME ON PEOPLE, I WANT MORE TIME CAPTIVES!

Seriously! It was so great! I just had to let myself get into it first.

The Crossways follows a few storylines. We have the Time Captives (the kids who are stuck as kids in the land of Calhortea), Adriel (he’s a slave and gladiator, and just so great!), and Eleanor (flashbacks to her life; she’s a Time Captive and a heart-wrenching 3-D character). Emily’s character got the most POV (point-of-view) out of all the rest of the Hubbards.

There’s something called the Redona at The Crossways. The Redona is an object that will be able to free the true king of Calhortz, who’s trapped on an island, but it’s virtually impossible to get to and then retrieve, and if anyone with royal blood tries to leave, they die. The journey of the book (because every good book just HAS to have a journey) isn’t just to get to The Crossways, or even get inside. It’s also made up of the personal journeys of Adriel, and Emily, and Eleanor. It’s just so good.

Pros:

-The Gospel Message! It’s a children’s book, but the Gospel message is very clear and still enjoyable of a book. It would be a great tool for middle-grade kids to 1) understand their faith more 2) see how faith works out in their lives and 3) make the most out of what they’ve been given, because they can know that God is with them through it all.

-The Plot! It’s so fresh and new and unique and exciting and terrifying! It’s awesome. Portal fantasy is a favorite genre of mine.

-The worldbuilding! Such fun. So cool. I still need to understand the map better, because I’m terrible at comprehending those kinds of things, but what we saw of Calhortea was GREAT.

-DRAGONS. Well, one dragon. She’s a really good dragon at that. (Hehehe.)

-Gladiators. It’s a sad concept, but has always intrigued me.

-Boats and pirates. Because. They’re cool. Boats are great and pirates are evil, so it evens out.

-Ships. (Yes, both meanings of the word…I just had to do that.) The Andaron is really cool, and for those of you who know what the term ‘shipping’ refers to when referring to characters, Weathersbard is heartbreaking and Jill/Adriel is adorable but they’re kids. So…PLEASE MORGAN, MAKE JILL COME BACK TO CALHORTEA WHEN SHE’S GROWN UP AND COME MARRY ADRIEL. Havilan/Adriana will be a great thing to look forward to. 😀

Cons:

-There were a ton of characters, so some of them didn’t have time to be properly developed. For example, I thought Draewin was a girl until I heard Havilan call him brother…oops. I’m sure it was just me, so whatever. It’s okay. The things I needed to understand were covered, there just seemed to be a few too many characters to really get to know well. And some of the Time Captives got a little lost in my head, because there are fourteen. Obviously you can’t follow them all.

That is okay, though. No book can be 100% perfect, and I forgive!

There weren’t really any other cons, so yaaaayyyyyy!

This book totally topped the first one, even though that one was really awesome.

Are you convinced to read it yet? Go buy it! And the first one, too. It’s really great, and I promise you’ll enjoy it.

AND A GIVEAWAY! Who doesn’t like winning free stuff? (I don’t know, but I love it!) So be sure to enter, pleasepleaseplease do.

Giveaway

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.

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

If the giveaway doesn’t embed, click here for the direct link. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/63d9bc8b5/

More Stops On The Tour!

Monday, October 19

Tuesday, October 20

Wednesday, October 21

Thursday, October 22

Friday, October 23

Saturday, October 24

Monday, October 26

*aj

The Crossways by Morgan Elizabeth Huneke: COVER REVEAL + FREE BOOK!

Hello world! Happy Tuesday. Today’s post is a cover reveal for my wonderful friend Morgan Elizabeth Huneke’s next book. It’s the second book in the Time Captives trilogy, written for middle grade and up. I just recently finished reading Creighton Hill, and I can tell you that it was lovely. As some have already said, it’s like Narnia meets historical fiction. Creighton Hill was a really enjoyable book and I’m really excited for more.

Let’s read what the book is about first, just to get acquainted with it all.

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.

Sounds interesting, right? Well, you won’t have to wait too long for it.

Release Date

The Crossways, Time Captives book 2, will be released on October 19th, 2015. Stay tuned on Morgan’s blog and Facebook page for more information and sneak peeks.

See? It comes out in a little under a month, which means that YOU WILL HAVE TIME TO READ THE FIRST BOOK IN THE SERIES! And you want to know what? It’s free on Kindle, TODAY ONL.

Free eBook

Haven’t yet begun your journey with the Time Captives? Book 1, Creighton Hill, is free on Kindle today only! Find it at Amazon.com!

Free Kindle Creighton Hill

I highly recommend this book. Why don’t you download it and try it?

And here’s the lovely Morgan. Let’s see who she is.

About the Author

Morgan Huneke Profile

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.

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest.

AND FINALLY, FOR THE COVER THAT YOU ALL HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!

The Crossways Cover

Woot woot! It’s here, guys. Be sure to be ready to read The Crossways when it comes out October 19th.

Want to see the list of other blogs participating? See them here. http://morganhuneke.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-crossways-cover-reveal.html

*AJ

Water Princess, Fire Prince BLOG TOUR – Interview With Clara!

I’m sorry, people. I miscalculated the blog tour dates in July. I thought this post was supposed to go up tomorrow, because I like posting bookish things on Thursdays.

So yes, I know it’s the middle of the day instead of 5:00 in the morning because I usually preschedule posts.

Just some proof I’m not perfect.

Anyway. Onto the post at hand.

Water and Fire

Book Description:

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.

Author Bio:

Kendra E. ArdnekKendra 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.

I interviewed Clara this week in Rizkaland. That trip was fun. Long, yes, but so much fun.

Disclaimer:

In bold are my questions, and her answers are directly after them. I did not change her answers, only added to some of them (and I added her actions and dialogue tags, by the way.) Some of her lines are written by me, but not her original responses to my questions.

Yes, I did take full advantage of my fangirl license. I apologize if it’s not 100% accurate to the book.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s a snippet of this week’s trek down to Klarand.

The Kastle

The Kastle

Clara

Clara, except her eyes should be blue.

***

I walk across a field of wild grass, my eyes and mind trying to take in the scenery. Mountains surround me, as do flowing waterfalls that are distinctly blue.

The tallest Mountain holds a castle, built so solidly and intricately that only the most skilled Architect could do such a thing. It’s breathtaking. I know this to be The Kastle, but the pictures I’ve seen do it no justice. I’m awed.

I can barely take it all in, being obsessed with mountains and all that, but I’d better hurry. I have someone that will be waiting on me if I take too much time.

I was told that there was a small café built into one of the smaller mountains (it’s connected to The Mountain that The Kastle sits in), and that’s where I’m going. I’m excited to be meeting someone special. She hasn’t met me yet, but I know her very well, and we are more alike than she probably thinks.

I’m a little nervous. I can be awkward with new people. But no matter. I’ve been looking forward to meeting Clara for a few months now.

Now I see the café. The sign is faded, but I can tell wood from rock. I’m glad to be somewhere I can sit, after walking a few hours.

I open the door and the bell on the door jingles. I’m greeted by a short and plump woman, with smooth, wavy brown hair to her waist. Her white apron is crisp and neat over her simple red dress.

“Hi there, darling, can I help you?”

“Um, yeah,” I say softly. I clear my throat. “Is the Water Princess here yet?”

She looks at me and smiles with sparkling eyes.

“Not yet, but she should be here soon. Why don’t I show you to a table in the corner where you two can talk in peace?”

Gratefully, I oblige, and I am shown to a little table with a window. We pass a dozen small tables with people chattering and drinking hot drinks.

The waitress gives me two mugs of hot water upon my request, and I thank her.

I sit down in the corner, right in front of a window. Pulling my backpack off, I sort through the things I brought. Hot chocolate mix, check. Three books, yes. And a clipboard full of questions. I hope Clara won’t hate me for this.

I pull out Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and start to read. Becoming engrossed, I feel as though I’m turning the pages faster than my eyes are reading the words. I love this sensation, and if I had the choice to live in a library, I would take it. I know I would.

I feel a shadow over me, and I quickly look up from my book. It’s the Water Princess. I have not even the slightest idea of how long I’ve been reading.

I instantly stand up to my feet, place a fist over my heart and start to curtsy, but she waves me off.

“Water Princess,” I breathe.

“I’m Clara to you, remember?”

“Right,” I reply feeling suddenly shy. My tongue is tied for a second and I blush slightly.

“I’m Amanda,” I say, looking into her face. She seems to resemble me in some ways, from our blonde hair and blue eyes to our build and stance. I’m not sure if she’s pleased or not about that. Clara keeps her emotions concealed for the most part.

“Thanks for meeting me here,” I offer with a smile.

“At least I’m here,” she replies. “I was on my way back from exercising in the fresh air this morning, when I remembered I was supposed to meet you. I quickly changed, and here I am.”

“It’s a good thing we both made it, then,” I interject.

Clara just shrugs.

“That’s a great book, by the way.” She motions to my book.

“Yes, it is.”

I’m afraid she’ll be weirded out if I tell her that I’m only reading it because of her, and because I love the references she makes to it. She doesn’t know that I know a lot more about her than Kendra has told her. I don’t say anything else on the topic.

Not knowing exactly where to start, I clear my throat slightly apprehensively.

“I have a few questions for you, so thank you for being willing to answer them.”

She rolls her eyes. “Whether I’m willing or not is not the issue. Kendra’s forcing me.”

“Right. I, uh, sorry about that. Authors can be quite forceful people. Regardless, you’re here now, and like I said, I do have some questions for you.”

“Well, get on with it.”

Before I start, I try to break the ice by grabbing her favorite drink out of my backpack.

“Want any hot chocolate?”

“Yes, thanks. I haven’t had it in a long while.”

I had a feeling she’d say that.

“But it isn’t a bribe, right? To get me to say things that Kendra wants me to?”

I snort.

“No, of course not. I know you like hot chocolate, and so do I, so I figured we should make this as pleasant as possible.”

I pour the mix into the two mugs of hot water, and try to continue with my questions.

I clear my throat and glance down at my clipboard.

“I happen to know that you have many athletic hobbies and your family and best friends do too. What do you consider your strong suit?”

Her answer doesn’t hesitate.

“Fencing, closely followed by Tae Kwon Do.”

“Talented girl,” I say to her. Clara shrugs again. It’s not like she hasn’t practiced her whole life.

“Do you have any aspirations or life goals?”

“To compete in the Olympics. Probably in fencing.” Her answers are confident. This girl knows what she wants.

“Well, I’m sure you will,” I reply. “Go for the gold, sister.”

I ask her another question, hoping she’s not getting bored.

“According to the Myers-Briggs personality test, what kind of personality do you have?”

Clara stirs her hot chocolate, and looks into my eyes to answer.

“Kendra says I’m ENFP, which is the same thing she is, so I don’t know how I feel about that one.”

“Ah, a free spirit. Lionhearted girl. That’ll come in handy, you know.”

I bite my lip, not knowing how she’s going to respond to my next questions.

“I know of course that you are much too young to be married, but what will you be looking for (or not looking for) in a future husband?”

Clara blinks, and then answers quickly.

“My mom and I have discussed this one. He has to be able to cook. That I know for certain.”

I barely hold back an impish smirk.

“That makes sense. I like to think myself a chef, but I burn tea water. I guess we all have our gifts.”

“You burn tea water?” She asks me.

“I…okay, it happened once. Apparently science and cooking just don’t like me.”

“And I thought I was a terrible cook.”

We both laugh, then after a moment, I clear my throat for the next question.

I take a sip of my own hot chocolate before asking the next question.

“What is your opinion on romance?”

She looks at me thoughtfully, like she already prepared to answer this.

“I have nothing at all against it, as long as it’s between MATURE adults. Honestly, I am looking forward to one day falling in love and getting married, though finding a guy who measures up to my dad might be a problem. My parents have set a good example for me. I intend to follow it.”

I like her answer. Sounds like something I would say.

“Maturity is quite important. I’m sure it’ll be the right time when you finally do marry, for we both know that Alphego (God) knows best.”

“I hope so,” she replies.

“Tell us about what it feels like to be the Water Princess, with all that insane responsibility of holding the weight of an entire country on your shoulders.”

Clara sarcastically flickers her eyebrows.

“Like there’s an elephant sitting on me. The sword they gave me is cool, though.”

I grin. “Hey, swords are always a plus. Elephants are heavy.”

By this time, our hot chocolates are almost gone. I tell her that I’m close to being finished with my questions, and she looks relieved. I don’t think I’m annoying her, but who likes being interrogated by someone who could be your twin? Or anyone, for that matter.

 

I flip over the sheet on my clipboard to ask her the last two questions.

“What is the most difficult difference to get used to between the world of Rizkaland and our world?”

“The way they talk. I mean, the colors and the food are easy to accept, but it’s almost like learning a new language. They don’t like the letter c, and they have words that we don’t.”

“I know, right?” I passionately respond. “Rizkan spelling and speech is confusing. I was mispronouncing a bunch of your friends’ names and names of places until Kendra told me the right way to, and I never doubted my reading skills more in my life. I guess you just have to live with the differences.”

Clara nods in agreement, and I can tell she’s trying not to laugh at me. Still, she keeps her composure quite well.

“And now for the last question,” I tell her.

“What feelings do you have toward your author, seeing that she puts you through so much in this book?”

Taking one last sip of her hot chocolate, I can hear Clara laugh quietly. She puts down her drink at meets my gaze.

“I’d answer your question, but my mother taught me to be polite, so I think I’d better not. There is some resentment involved, however.”

I knew she’d say something like that. I try not to laugh, but I fail.

“That’s okay. Most characters don’t like their authors, because like I said, authors can be quite forceful people. Though, you can always do things and surprise Kendra once in a while. Have fun.”

“Oh, you know I will.”

And I’m sure of it.

“Thanks for meeting me here, Clara. I enjoyed getting to know you better.”

“Glad I could answer your questions.”

“I guess you didn’t really get to know me, though,” I say to her.

“We’ll have to meet for hot chocolate another time. But I should go now. Have fun reading Alice, Amanda. See ya.”

“Goodbye, Water Princess.”

As she walks out, I smile. I hope I’ll get to meet with her again soon.

***

Free Books! Currently, the following books by Kendra E. Ardnek are free:

Sew, It’s a Quest: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005G3ZFKG

Do You Take This Quest? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CFDHFT4/

The Ankulen: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EZAXWYM/

CinderEddy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KZNW2TO

Saffron’s Big Plan: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HYS9W2/

And Water Princess, Fire Prince is now on sale for just $1.99! Get it while it’s hot!