Monday, July 28, 2014

Blog Tour Update

Ærenden's First Blog Tour is almost over!

Only one more week left to enter for a chance to win

a $25 Amazon Gift Card


a copy of The Gildonae Alliance Audible Book
(10 available)

So be sure to check out this week's stop, as well as the other stops along the way (listed here).

Contest ends August 4, 2014 at midnight!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Child Returns Unofficial Soundtrack

Ever wondered what the Soundtrack for The Child Returns would sound like?

Well now's your chance to listen over at MAD Hoydenish!

Big Thanks to reader Trish Hanson for her Lifehouse addition to the list. For the recommendation, she won a complete set of autographed Aerenden bookmarks :).

And if you haven't been following my blog tour, please be sure to check out the stops now. Only three more weeks left for Leg 2 of the tour, which means only three more weeks to enter the drawing (prizes include Audible copies of The Gildonae Alliance and a $25 Amazon Gift Card).

Now get listening :).

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cool Bookstores: Atticus Coffee, Books & Teashop

Bookstores are my addiction. I know, a complete shock, right? Occasionally, as I have the opportunity to travel, I seek out cool new bookstores to enjoy. Going forward, I'll be sharing those with YOU!

The first featured bookstore comes from Park City, Utah, where I visited last week.

View from my hotel balcony
Known for it's gorgeous mountains, world-renowned skiing, and the Sundance Film Festival, this gorgeous town has a lot to offer for a relaxing vacation, including Atticus Coffee, Books & Teashop.

Technically, Atticus is a coffee/teashop, but it's a book lover's paradise at heart. Named after the father from To Kill a Mockingbird, it carries new books and merchandise related to its namesake.....

I was tempted to get the mockingbird cocktail book!
As well as used books at great prices....

And book-themed merchandise.

Who wouldn't want to wear a book cover?
Of course, what bookstore/coffee shop would be complete without comfortable seating areas and cool art?

And an umbrella, in case it rains inside, of course :-D

Those are broken mugs! Recycling at its best.
It's a great place to write, read, or just hang out with friends and enjoy a coffee. I had a Mexican Mocha (think mocha with a bite), but there are other book-themed drinks on hand (of course) and some wonderful food and smoothies to try, too...many of them also book-themed (of course; Wrap of the Mohicans, anyone?).

Be sure to stop by next time you're in Utah. They're at 738 Lower Main St., Park City, Utah.

If you have any cool bookstores you think I'd like to feature, please drop me an email with some shots! Independent stores are preferred :).

Monday, July 14, 2014

International Authors' Day Blog Hop

I've volunteered to be a part of the International Authors' Day Blog Hop, organized by b00kr3vi3ws blog, that celebrates Authors world-wide who've instilled in us a love for reading and who we've gladly allowed to absorb entire days of our lives, while we delve deep into the worlds they created.

I'd hate to think of a world without books, so I'd like to celebrate my top five favorite books of all time (in no particular order).

1. The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King - Although probably not considered one of King's best works, it's one of the first fantasy-style books I read and it stuck with me for many years after. It was also a departure for Mr. King, as his work had predominantly been from the horror/suspense genres previous to this book's release, and it helped me realize that authors can branch out from their known genres. Because of that, I feel free to write any story that captures me, whether it's fantasy (what I currently publish) or romance (what I wrote first and may still publish some day). The Eyes of the Dragon opened my eyes both to the creative power of fantasy and the magic of writing for the sake of writing.

2. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien - This is no surprise to anyone who knows me or has followed my blog tours. Although Stephen King introduced me to fantasy, Tolkien made me fall in love with it and directly influenced my desire to write epic fantasies. To this day, I have not found a book that mesmerized me so deeply, and perhaps I never will.

3. The Ruby Knight by David Eddings (later, David and Leigh Eddings) - Sometime during or after college (I've forgotten when exactly), while digging through the bargain bin at my local Barnes & Noble, I found this gem (no pun intended). I don't usually start series with the second book, but I was bored and broke, so I bought it. I couldn't put it down and I've found most of Mr. (and Mrs.) Eddings' work equally enthralling (note: it was not until some time later that David Eddings revealed Leigh, his wife, as a co-writer for his books, so proper credit DOES need to go to her for influencing me, even though my book copy only lists him as the author). As I've mentioned, King gets credit for introducing me to fantasy, Tolkien gets credit for making me fall in love with epic fantasy, but Eddings is the reason my fantasy worlds also have an underlying medieval theme. Sorcerers and sorceresses, knights and kingdoms, legends of defeating monsters and evil kings...I fell in love with these things through him.

4. Works of Edgar Allan Poe (published by Dorset) - A book with "sixty-seven tales, one complete novel, and thirty-one poems" penned by the master of mystery? Yes, please. Poe has mesmerized me from the first moment I laid eyes on "Once upon a midnight dreary", terrified me from the moment I chewed my nails off through The Tell-Tale Heart, and made me understand the true power of imagery from the first verse of "The Raven".  I can't pick one book of his to call my favorite, so I'll pick the entire collection. And I'll return to him year after year to soak up his brilliance.

5. The Pearl by John Steinbeck - Steinbeck's tale of a poor man who discovers the world's greatest pearl is fraught with darkness and moral warnings. Greed, materialism and the true value of human life are addressed in this novella, and ultimately, the main character (along with the reader) learns the cost of what matters most. Although the story is truly heartbreaking, it's message has commanded me since I read it in high school. It's the first book that truly made me think, and the first that made me understand that stories can both be entertaining and teaching tools at the same time.

What are your top 5 books? Comment below to let us know. And while you're at it, please take the time to join us in the blog hop by visiting the other stops along the way. The tour runs between July 14 and July 18. Also, don't miss the rafflecopter below for your chance to an e-book copy of The Child Returns in any format of your choice (five total prizes; ePub or Mobi/Kindle available).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day, America! Sale

Today in the United States, we celebrate our Independence Day with fireworks, backyard BBQs and, of course, SALES! 
(it wouldn't be a holiday in the US without a sale, would it?)

In honor of the holiday, The Child Returns will be discounted 75% to 99c through Sunday night. The price is good only on Amazon, but should work world-wide, so even if you aren't in the US, you can celebrate with us.

For the .com site, follow this link:

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pictured: Nick & Meaghan

As some of you may already know, I intentionally don't over describe my characters in the Ærenden series because I personally love to paint characters' faces my own way when I read books. That doesn't mean I don't have an image in mind of what they look like while I write (of which I do give clues throughout the books).

Artist Randall Lux was kind enough to paint these awesome portraits for me of Nick and Meaghan, based on how I described them to him.

Meaghan "Meg"
What do you think? How do YOU picture Nick and Meaghan?