Cover Reveal: Alara’s Call

Happy Friday!

Today, we have another cover reveal! Kristen Stieffel’s debut novel, Alara’s Call. So without further ado:


Tales are often told of heroes who fulfill ancient prophecies. Alara’s Call is the tale of a woman
who gives new ones.

Alara sees visions of other’s futures, but never her own.

A young clergywoman with a fiery passion for her Telshan faith, she has been assigned to a
mission abroad but longs to lead a congregation in her homeland. Her father, the prime
minister, jeopardizes her dream and her safety when he coerces her into what he calls a
diplomatic mission.

But it’s a ruse.

The trip is meant to end with her marriage to the crown prince of a foreign nation, where
members of Alara’s faith are persecuted and women oppressed. All for a trade agreement
her father is desperate to enact.

But her mentor intervenes and takes Alara to Dorrel, the suitor she left behind. They
believe they are safe, but foreign soldiers are under orders to bring Alara to the king’s
palace…by any means necessary.

Sounds exciting, eh?

About the Author

Kristen Stieffel is a freelance editor and writer who specializes in speculative fiction.
Although she edits projects in varied genres for both the general market and the Christian submarket, she is a novelist at heart. Member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and Christian Editor Connection, mentor with Word Weavers International, and on the planning committee for Realm Makers, Kristen stays busy doing what she loves most. She is also the associate editor of Havok, a flash-fiction magazine focused on science fiction and fantasy.
Visit to learn more about this many-faceted author.


Find her on Social Media

Amazon Author

Categories: Love of Reading | Tags: | 4 Comments

Cover Reveal: Children of the Forgotten

Hello adventurers!

Today I join in revealing the cover to a fellow Realm Makers author’s debut novel.


by Charles Franklin

In a post-apocalyptic world, most people by age thirty have succumbed to The Sickness, a mysterious deadly illness. But the Sickness is not the only enemy for Collin Mann’s city. Hordes of deranged killers live in the hills around it. With few trained protectors, the future of the little city looks bleak.

Collin, fifteen years old, buries those the Sickness consumes. Slight and awkward, he shuns warrior training, avoiding the example of his big brother and guardian.

When killers attack at the watering hole, he’s called to step forward and defend. Instead, he freezes.

He’s ashamed. His people need him to fight. Can he do it? Or would a clumsy person like himself make any difference in the battle for existence?


Sounds cool, right? If you’d like to delve into his world now, he has a short story prequel available on Amazon, or you can get it free by signing up to his newsletter.


In a secluded, post-apocalyptic city, a guardian is laid to rest. Upon his death, his pupil is named as his successor, but Arik Martin does not believe he is ready.

When a girl is taken by bloodthirsty killers in the hills, Arik must suppress his rage at his mentor’s death and lead a rescue party.

Can he save the girl and bring her home? Or will his recklessness result in more lives lost?

About the Author:

Charles was born and raised in Texas. From there, he joined the United States Army and has traveled the world. Along the way, he saw the most beautiful set of eyes he had ever seen. They belonged to a girl … and he married her right away. Twenty years later, they have three children and are finally headed back home to Texas for good.

Upon retiring from the Army after 23 years, Charles will continue to serve others as a teacher in the town he grew up in. When he’s not in the classroom, or spending time with his family, Charles writes stories about faith, love, hope, and adventure. 

His debut novel, Children of the Forgotten: The Anistemi Book I, will release in August and he has already begun work on the second book in the trilogy. Charles is also writing an action thriller, and has begun outlining another series set in the Anistemi world. 

Categories: Love of Reading | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Progress Report

Hello fellow adventurers!

Life has been quite a whirlwind the past two months. School is out for the summer! We’ve spent a weekend in a cabin with some awesome friends, slit my finger open trying to skip slate over a river, hiked, played putt-putt golf, and learned some new games while Catan sat forlorn in the corner. We’ll make it up to you, Settlers, we promise!

I’ve finished coloring a second graphic novel for a publisher. It was amazing and bittersweet. I loved doing it, but I don’t see how I can continue while working full-time at the school and write.

Speaking of writing, book three is coming along nicely! I’ve printed it out and have started reading through it and making notes. I’ve been a bit slower with it, since the graphic novel had my entire attention. But my goal is to be done reading through it and applying the revisions by the end of summer. A lofty goal? Possibly.


Because Realm Makers!

I am so excited to be able to go to Realm Makers this year, a writer’s conference for those of us who write about the fantastical, if you haven’t heard of it. We are busily getting ready for that. So many things to do before we leave. Eighteen hours of staff development, purging the kids’ rooms (and the entire house!), which is what I am working on right now, plus back-to-school shopping, and finishing my costume!

The list just keeps going.

Not to mention, revising book three. Which still needs a title! I have a working title, but I’m not sold on it yet.

So how about you? Do you have any plans for the summer?

Whatever you have planned or don’t, I do hope you have a great summer!


Categories: Life's Adventures | Tags: , | 6 Comments

The FINAL Fairy Tale Contest!

Greetings fellow adventurers!

I’ve dug myself from under the crazy mess of what was May to share with you this exciting opportunity. If you’re a writer or ever thought of writing or know someone who loves to write, this post is for you. Anne Elisabeth Stengl is doing her fourth and final creative writing contest. Are you ready for it?


Yep, Snow White. So dust off your laptops, get your thinking caps on, and get thee to writing! For more information on how to enter, click here to visit the contest page.

And now for a close up of that lovely cover! What do you think?

Cover design was done by JULIA POPOVA, whose website is here.

So, are you gonna go for it?

Categories: Contests, Creative Expressions, Love of Reading | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Typing THE END

Happy Monday!

If you follow me on other social media sites or if you have signed up for my newsletter, you will know what I’m talking about. Last Thursday I typed THE END for book three of the Hidden Dagger trilogy. It’s a second first draft, if that makes any sense. I was doing a complete rewrite from the original story, and I am done. Now I’m diving into revisions. It should go quicker, but I definitely have my work cut out for me. Ha!

Other newsy things…

Darkened Hope is one of the semi-finalists for the Alliance Award, Realm Maker’s reader’s choice award. Eep! Thank you all for nominating it! I am honored to be listed among such awesome books. Now it’s time to rate them and see which ones become a finalist. So readers, let your voices be heard! Head on over to Realm Makers and learn how. 

Again, thank you!!!

Hope you have a great week!



Categories: Nälu, Writer's Journey | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Songkeeper Blog Tour: S

Happy Monday!

I am excited to share this continuing adventure with you all! Gillian Bronte Adams is celebrating a book anniversary with an awesome book tour where each day we learn a bit more about the world of the Songkeeper Chronicles and there’s a giveaway!

So without further ado, please welcome Ms. Adams!

Explore Leira Blog Tour: S is for Songkeepers, Songlings, and the Shantren

Thanks, Jennette, for hosting me here and helping me celebrate the (almost) one year book birthday for Songkeeper! It is the second book in the Songkeeper Chronicles, which tells the story of a girl who can hear the song that created the world. If this is your first encounter with the blog tour, we are continuing a series of alphabet posts looking at the world and characters and magical creatures of the Songkeeper Chronicles (follow the tour at and find a list of all the stops at #exploreleira tour). And we have an awesome giveaway that you can enter below!

Today, we’re looking at the letter …

S is for Songkeepers, Songlings, and the Shantren

I am feverishly excited about this post because I get to tell you all a little more about the “magical” system in the world of the Songkeeper Chronicles. Whether it was reading the creation of the worlds in Tolkien’s Silmarillion and Lewis’s Magician’s Nephew, or reading spellbound about the contest between Felagund and Sauron, or listening to epic soundtracks from my favorite movies, the idea of powerful music has always intrigued me.

So much so that it bled into my writing. In the world of Leira, the Song of Emhran, the Master Singer, brought the world into existence at the beginning of time. Afterwards, the Song flowed through a river than ran throughout the entire land. It was tended by Keepers who granted access to those who wished to immerse themselves in the presence of the Song. Within the waters of the river, Leirans found life and healing and lifted their voices in harmony with the master melody.

[Gundhrold’s] eyes closed and his voice assumed a rhythmic cadence until Birdie could scare tell if he were speaking or singing. “It is said that long ago, before the stars burned or the sun awakened, the Master Singer wove the fabric of the world through the threads of a Song and bound the melody within a river that flowed throughout the entire land of Leira. It became a source of life and of healing to all the people and creatures who lived here, and the music sang in every fiber of their being.”


But eventually the river was lost. The flow ceased. The Song fell silent.

And only five broken notes of the master melody remained, coursing through the hearts and individual voices of every living thing in Leira.

Soon after, the first Songkeepers appeared, tasked with keeping the memory of the Song alive.


Those who have received the full gifting of a Songkeeper are able to hear three different types of melody—the broken five-noted individual melodies, the grand sweeping Song of the Master Singer, and a discordant melody that marks those who have turned their backs upon the master melody.

In the Song of the Master Singer, Songkeepers hear the voice of Emhran calling to them, summoning them to himself. The Song is not controlled by the Songkeepers. They cannot unleash its power at will. Rather, when summoned by the Song, a Songkeeper yields to the prompting, and the power of the Master Singer pours through them.

The power of the Song manifests itself in different ways, depending on the Songkeeper, empowering him or her as Emhran deems fit. The melody brings healing. It is life-giving, and yet it rains terror upon the hearts of those bound to the cursed bloodstone of the Shantren. Because the Song once flowed through a river, water bears the strongest memory of the melody and responds in might to its summons.

The storm swallowed her voice, but the Song rose from the depths in answer. Strong. Rich. Powerful. It swept over her, and for once, it did not draw back. She raised her chained hands as the music welled within her chest and then burst from her open mouth.

The released melody swirled around her, and she felt its touch like that of a friend long missed. Thicker than amassing storm clouds, it gathered at her fingertips and grew. Building. Summoning force.


Ordinarily, only one with the full gifting of a Songkeeper is raised up at a time, and yet, there may be many who possess a partial gifting. In Songkeeper, we learn that the council of griffins was formed to protect the Songkeepers and determine between full and partial giftings. Those with partial giftings were called Songlings.

Gundhrold’s gaze flickered to the opposite wall, but one glance at his eyes told her that he was seeing something more than gray, splintered wood. “For centuries, my kind have served as Protectors for the Songkeepers and for anyone who showed promise of possessing their abilities—Songlings, we called them.”



Songlings may possess any number of hints of the full gifting. They might be gifted to hear the individual melodies or to discern the discordant melody. They might be gifted to understand the speech of animals and converse with all living creatures. A few might even be gifted with the skill of healing. But Songlings are rarely gifted to hear the voice of Emhran or grasp the full grandeur of the Song.

Oftentimes, one who seems to possess the gifting of a Songling will come into their full gifting in time to be trained by the previous Songkeeper before his or her passing. Birdie’s grandmother, Auna, came into the full gifting during the time of the Songkeeper Artair and was trained by him before he was taken by the Khelari at the massacre of Drengreth.


“Know this though, little Songkeeper, there are others with powers in this world, who are sworn to the Takhran’s service. It is his hand that bestows their powers, his hand that maneuvers them like playthings. They are called the Shantren … and they are dangerous.”


The order of the Shantren were formed to serve the Takhran and oppose the Songkeepers and Songlings. They wear the talav, or bloodstone, a necklace with a scarlet teardrop shaped crystal, through which they are gifted abilities that the Takhran twists to his own ends. He promises them freedom and control, and so they willingly accept the chain of their slavery. For once the talav is set in place, no knife or act of human will can remove it, save only the Songkeeper’s blade.

So there you have it, a little glimpse into the magical system of the world of Leira!

Can you picture a world where music is powerful?

About the Books

Orphan’s Song

Her solo is a death sentence.

Deep within the world of Leira flows a melody that was sung at the beginning of time by Emhran, the Master Singer. Now it is broken, buried, forgotten. But in each generation, a Songkeeper arises to uphold the memory of the Song against those who want it silenced forever.

When Birdie first hears the Song coming from her own mouth, her world shatters. She is no longer simply an orphan but the last of a hunted people. Forced to flee for her life, she must decide whom to trust—a traveling peddler, a streetwise thief, or a mysterious creature who claims to know her past.

With enemies at her heels and war threatening to tear her homeland apart, Birdie soon discovers an overwhelming truth: the fate of Leira may hinge on one orphan’s Song.


War ravages Leira and the Song has fallen silent.

Freed from the hold of a slave ship, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, and Ky, a street-wise thief, emerge to a world at war. Hordes of dark soldiers march across Leira, shadowed by whispers of plague and massacres, prompting Ky to return to his besieged home city in hopes of leading his fellow runners to safety.

Desperate to end the fighting, Birdie embarks on a dangerous mission into the heart of the Takhran’s fortress. Legend speaks of a mythical spring buried within and the Songkeeper who will one day unleash it to achieve victory. Everyone believes Birdie is the one, but the elusive nature of the Song and rumors of other gifted individuals lead her to doubt her role. Unleashing the spring could defeat the Takhran once and for all, but can she truly be the Songkeeper when the Song no longer answers her call?

Check out the links below for a place to purchase the books.

Amazon: Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper

Barnes and Nobles: Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper

And before you leave, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! One lucky winner will take home a copy of Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper, and a gorgeous handmade mug. Two lucky winners will take home copies of Songkeeper! Enter through the Rafflecopter below and be sure to visit to continue following the blog tour. You can earn new entries for each post that you visit along the way. Winners will be announced after April 15th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

GILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. She is the author of Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper, and Out of Darkness Rising. Visit Gillian online at her blog, Twitter, or Facebook page.


Categories: Giveaway & More, Guest Posts, Love of Reading | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

Cover Reveal: Willoughby

Happy Monday!

One of our own fellow adventurers has a book coming out! Pam Halter. Today she reveals the cover of her lovely children’s book. I’m sure you all have a youngin in your life that might enjoy this book, or if you’re young at heart–like me!

Of course, I have a 6 and 8 year old, so I can’t wait to share it with them.

So here is the cover! Isn’t it gorgeous?
And the back cover!

You can find the book on Amazon or visit Willoughby’s Facebook page. Pam Halter will be throwing an awesome Facebook Party March 16th. So mark you calendar! You don’t want to miss it. The event details should be posted soon. She will share it on Willoughby’s Facebook Page

Have a great rest of the week!


Categories: Love of Reading | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Happy 2017 & A Progress Report

Happy 2017 fellow adventurers!

I had really wanted the next time I posted on here to be able to share with you that I had finished book three, but I realize that probably was a bad goal and so 2016 left us with no goodbyes or reading check-lists or Christmas wishes.

That said, I am soooooo close to finishing book three. I am writing the final GREAT BIG BATTLE scenes. So I checked this book out for a bit of light reading. 😛

Might take me a while at my pace.

As 2016 marched to the end, I had yet to think about my vision board like I have done in times past. So guess what I did December 31st? Yep. Even though I had limited time putting it together, I am pretty pleased with it. Of course, some of it was a carry over from 2016. I added a few items since taking this picture like Twilight Sparkle to help me remind me to take time for friendships because they are so important!

Despite all my goal planning and vision-boarding (that’s a word, right?), 2017 has already blown me out of the water. I got a message on January 2nd about a possible job opportunity and by January 3rd, I had an interview and was offered the job. I will begin working as PPCD aid at my daughter’s school. The teachers and staff there have been awesome since I first entered the whole public school scene when my son began preschool three years ago. I am excited to join their team and look forward to working with them to make a difference in the lives of the students.

I will continue to work on book three and keep you posted! So that’s where I’m at.

How did you say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in 2017? Anything exciting planned for this year?

Categories: Life's Journey, Writer's Journey | Tags: , , | 25 Comments

Book Tour: Bellanok

Happy Monday y’all!

Today I am celebrating with Ralene Burke on the release of her novel, Bellanok: A Reluctant Savior. And she is giving away TWO copies!! You might remember last year that I shared about the serial she was releasing on Amazon and I know many of you were waiting for the whole story in one book. Well, it is finally here!

And this one is extra special to me, because I had the privilege of designing the cover. Here is the complete wraparound cover for the paperback. 🙂


About the book:

With evil darkening the mountains to the north, the fairy queen, Fauna, must journey from the island realm of Bellanok to the modern world to find the man the Creator appointed to save their kingdom. A man she has been dreaming of her whole life.

Brian is a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up on God. He’s tired and frustrated–a failure. No sooner does he make a decision that jeopardizes his career than an unusual blonde woman shows up and tries to convince him he is some kind of savior.

Fauna must open Brian’s eyes to a different reality, and Brian needs to embrace the haven’s secrets. If neither of them succeeds, Bellanok will succumb to evil and the world will lose all trace of innocence.

Find it on Amazon.

add to goodreads

About the author:

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She spins fantastical tales to encourage people to SHINE BEYOND. She has worked for a variety of groups/companies, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients.

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

Don’t forget to check out the rest the blog tour over at Ralene’s website! The tour ends on Dec. 1st.

Now time for the GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Categories: Giveaway & More, Love of Reading | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Spotlight: Flaming Sword

Greetings fellow adventurers!

I am joining Heather L. L. FitzGerald in celebrating the release of Flaming Sword, the sequel to Tethered World. Last year, I shared about Tethered World and had invited Ms. FitzGerald to share about one of her characters who has autism in her guest post titled, Autism, A Different Kind of Normal.

Tonight, she is throwing a Facebook Party with a ton of awesome prizes. Go!!! I will be popping in and out between word sprints. 😀


AND if you haven’t read Tethered World yet, now is a great time to pick it up. For FREE. 

Flaming Sword

32057755Sadie Larcen and her family are slowly recovering from their life-altering trek to the Tethered World. That is until their aunt arrives clutching a mysterious letter and sporting a black eye. The letter that Aunt Jules shares with the family writhes with sinister implications. A new and menacing enemy has slunk from the shadows and is conspiring to seize the most powerful piece of weaponry in the land: The Flaming Sword of Cherubythe. The sword must—at all costs—be kept from the enemies who lust for its power.

The threat extends to Sadie’s autistic brother Brock. As High King in training, he now resides in the Tethered World, within close proximity to the sword. It’s apparent that drastic measures will be required by all in order to protect what’s most important. Can Sadie once again confront her disabling fear, stare evil in the face, and walk away whole—let alone alive? How can one teenage girl and her family save a sword with the potential to start a world war? Will lines be crossed even as Sadie’s faith is tested? Sadie knows it’s going to take a lot more than strength, grit, and courage to survive.

Find it on Amazon

add to goodreads



About the author

Heather L.L. FitzGerald lives in Texas with four someones that call her mom and one special someone that calls her his wife. She homeschooled her now grown children–one of whom is autistic–and teaches ballet and creative writing at a fine arts school in Forth Worth. Heather is a member of the North Texas Christian Writers, ACFW, and helps to facilitate the Manet writer’s group in Fort Worth, Texas. She loves drinking ice lattes, cloud watching, and getting lost in a good book.

 You can connect with Heather on her website/blogFacebook, Pintrest: (Belongs to her main character, Sadie), Character blog: (Sadie’s mom has a blog about legendary creatures.), Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads.

Categories: Giveaway & More, Love of Reading | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments