Tag Archives: YA fiction

Book Spotlight And Author Interview: Indebted

28 Jan

About The Book

Book: Indebted

Author: Charmayne Hafen

Genre: Young Adult, Adventure, Mythology

Release Date: August 25, 2019

When the abandoned princess discovers a friend, some muscle, and a passion for swords, she also acquires the crucible by which she uncovers the mysterious key to unlock her grief and win true freedom. Or will her strength confound her future in the kingdom to which she rides?
At the mythical edge of the Berkshire Forests, Wren finds herself rattling around in an austere castle, abandoned by the King and Queen. King Belodawn seems to blame his daughter for the mysterious disappearance of his wife, and he avoids his daughter at all costs in favor of conquests requiring his person away from the kingdom. But, things are about to change; the princess has matured. Wren’s spirit refuses to remain the lost bird she became at age twelve. With the aid of the cook and the cook’s son, Wren discovers her unknown dexterity in sword fighting. With it, she believes a new community in which to live will open up but is this young girl prepared to encounter deceptive ghosts, angels, and demons in the maze of the forest to attain her aim?

Click here for your copy.

About The Author

Charmayne Hafen is a graduate of John Brown University and has her masters in counseling from the Denver Seminary. Her love of Celtic mythology in Christian themes inspired her to write her debut Young Adult novel, Indebted: The Berkshire Dragon. She is a fan of the author, Stephen Lawhead.

She has written several short stories for children, teens, and adults, as well as the fantasy trilogy being published in 2020 by Capture Books, called, The Land of Twilight. She is currently working on the development of her sequel to The Berkshire Dragon.
Charmayne has a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and psychology as well as a Master of Arts degree in counseling. When she’s not writing, Charmayne is running counseling groups for adults and a therapeutic photography group for teens. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband John and her two chihuahuas, Pepe and Frida.

More from Charmayne

Hello, Readers, Educators, Book Reviewers and Celebrate Lit Bloggers!
Although I am new to a lot of social media, I have heard that your group is a fantastic resource to new authors. Being a little bit of an introvert, you might even call me reluctant or a slow starter, but I assure you that I can imagine strategies and battle in the heavenlies for readers’ minds with the best of ’em. I say, “Let’s go!”
Please feel free to connect with me on any social media platform, or to write to me directly. I have loved engaging with anyone who has read my book and has sent me a comment or question. Because Indebted was published, I was thrilled to be able to speak to a group of college students taking coursework in literature and writing at Texas Tech last year.
I love facilitating creative writing seminars especially speaking to authors about how to join a system of discipline and creativity to overcome writer’s block.
My hope, however, is to be able to engage more students in elementary school and junior high about the topics in my books because I write about the things facing young people with a certain perspective that the Lord sees them right where they are, that God actually cares deeply for them, and that He has answers for them. These answers include that Jesus paid the penalty for a kid’s lying, bullying, violence, disbelief, envy, and rebellion and that bringing them to back to God means that they get to be adopted into His kingdom as princes and princesses.
I hope that my books provide that suspension of disbelief needed for us all to see the possibility of walking in faith with others in traumatic times and to experience the wonders of God’s word to us.
Sincerely and Gratefully,
Charmayne

Author Q&A

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I have been writing since the age of 10, journaling about love and loss in my fourth-grade class. My mom and dad gave me a typewriter for Christmas that year and I went around pretending to be a reporter. I loved writing. I found that my writing was more clear and confident than when I spoke.

Why did you choose the fantasy genre?

I love to imagine what could be. This genre allows me to let my imagination run wild and free. I am fascinated by the mystical and mysterious.

What types of research do you pursue?

Books, on-site visits, etc. I primarily use historical or travel websites as well as on line encyclopedias. 

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

I’m so glad you asked this question because you gave me a way to discuss what I call the “Discipline Of Creativity,” the necessary steps to create a lifestyle of creativity. One of the points in my lecture is a discussion of the ritual I like to create before I write. This ritual includes five minutes of coloring before writing while listening, each time, to the same soundtrack. I continue to listen to the soundtrack while writing for 25 minutes. I sometimes write twice in one day but usually just 25 minutes a day. I write about one and a half books a year although this year I wrote two books in less than a year.

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

I want my readers to come away with a sense of hope from the fact that we are never alone when we belong to Jesus Christ. I also hope they get the message that we need each other on this dysfunctional planet. 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, January 22

For The Love Of Literature, January 23

Just the Write Escape, January 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 25

Mamma Loves Books, January 26

Wishful Endings, January 26 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 27

By The Book, January 28 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, January 29

Inklings and notions, January 30

A Baker’s Perspective, January 31 (Author Interview)

Seasons of Opportunities, February 1

Blogging With Carol, February 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 3

Artistic Nobody, February 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Charmayne is giving away the grand prize of a pillow made with one of the illustrations!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click HERE to enter.

 

Top 10 Tuesday — New to Me Authors

14 Jan

2019 was a great year for reading! I discovered a number of new and exciting authors. Discovered, as in I read them for the first time. Some of the authors had been published before and some had debut releases. (Some I met in person last year — squee!) You may be familiar with some or all of them, but in case you aren’t, they are all recommended by me. I look forward to more great books to discover from these authors.

 Hope you discover a new author too!

 

For more bookish discoveries across the blogosphere, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Amanda Barratt — My Dearest Dietrich

Erin Bartels — We Hope for Better Things

Victoria Bylin — When He Found Me

Cathy Gohlke — The Medallion

Janet Ferguson — The Art of Rivers

Lindsay Franklin — The Story Peddler

James Hannibal — The Gryphon Heist

Kristi Ann Hunter — A Defense of Honor

Tara Johnson — Engraved on The Heart

David Rawlings — The Baggage Handler

Linda Thompson — The Plum Blooms in Winter

Abigail Wilson — In The Shadows of Croft Towers

 

What new author did you discover last year?

 

Book Review: The Story Peddler

26 Nov

Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories — she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down . . . and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers . . . and they’re after her too.

 

Lindsay A. Franklin would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. Lindsay lives in her native San Diego with her scruffy-looking nerf-herder husband, their three geeklings, three demanding thunder pillows (a.k.a. cats), and a stuffed wombat with his own Instagram following. You can find Lindsay on social media, too, if Wombatman hasn’t hijacked all her accounts. She’s @LinzyAFranklin on Instagram and Twitter, and she Facebooks at www.facebook.com/LindsayAFranklin.

 

My Impressions: 

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin is the best kind of fantasy — one in which the author masterfully creates a new world that is different enough to engage and intrigue the reader, yet has a touch of the familiar to allow the reader to enter effortlessly into its world and story. I can hardly believe that this YA/Adult novel is a debut — it is one of the best of the fantasy genre I have read and one of the best books overall from my reading this year. It is a very highly recommended read.

The country of Tir is the setting of this highly imaginative novel. It has a medieval feel which I love. The country is ruled by a tyrannt king who suppresses his people’s thoughts and expressions. After taking the throne years before, he systematically changed the history and mythology of the country by limiting what artisans, including storytellers, could share. Entering into this scenario is the story peddler, Tanwen, whose heart will not allow her to stay on the proscribed narratives. Part of the story is told from her 1st person perspective, while the other half is told through the 3rd person perspective of Braith, the princess and heir.

Franklin’s descriptions made me feel a part of the story. The characterization is very strong as well, as she introduces us to a varied cast of characters. The story is part adventure, part romance, part coming-of-age, and all so very, very good. The most unique aspect of the book is the way Tanwen tells her stories. My words won’t do it justice — just know that you will be as mesmerized and enchanted as Tanwen’s audiences. The theme of art, whether painting, song, or story, as a means to reveal truth is beautifully depicted.

I really loved The Story Peddler! Perfect for YA and adult readers alike, it is a must-read for fans of fantasy,

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: YA to adult.

(I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Congratulations 2019 Carol Award Winners!

29 Sep

The winners of the 2019 Carol Awards have been announced. Congratulations to all the talented authors!

 

Contemporary

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

 

Historical

The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts

 

Historical Romance

A Light on A Hill by Connilyn Cossette

 

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

 

Novella

MissTaken Identity from The MissAdventure Brides Collection by Kimberley Woodhouse

 

Romance

Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh

 

Romantic Suspense

Hidden Peril by Irene Hannon

 

Short Novel

The Rancher’s Surprise Daughter by Jill Lynn

 

Speculative

The Mark of The Raven by Morgan L. Busse

 

Young Adult

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

 

Debut

The Story Peddler by Lindsay Franklin

 

 

2019 Carol Award Finalists!

29 Jun

Congratulations to the talented authors who are finalists for the 2019 Carol Awards. Sponsored by ACFW, the winners will be announced at the annual conference in San Antonio. Your summer TBR stack just got taller!

Contemporary

The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli

Miles From Where We Started by Cynthia Ruchti

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

 

Historical 

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Melody of The Soul by Liz Tolsma

The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts

 

Historical Romance

Where The Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

A Light on The Hill by Connilyn Cossette

Across The Blue by Carrie Turansky

 

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Cascade by Janice Boekhoff

Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

 

Novella

In Sheep’s Clothing from A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas

Her Redcoat from The Backcountry Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas

MissTaken Identity from The MissAdventure Brides Collection by Kimberley Woodhouse

 

Romance

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

Freedom’s Kiss by Sarah Monzon

Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh

 

Romantic Suspense

Lethal Target by Janice Cantore

Called to Protect by Lynette Eason

Hidden Peril by Irene Hannon

 

Short Novel

A Widow’s Hope by Vanetta Chapman

The Rancher’s Surprise Daughter by Jill Lynn

Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe

 

Speculative

Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart

 

Young Adult

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

A Worthy Rebel by Jody Hedlund

Common by Laurie Lucking

 

Debut

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson

2019 Inspy Award Winners!

29 Jun

Congratulations to the 2019 Inspy Award Winners! What a talented group. The Inspys are a blogger-based awards program, so you know that these books are definitely reader-approved. I hope you find your next great read!

 

Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

Falling for You by Becky Wade

Debut Fiction

Among The Poppies by J’nell Ciesielski

General Fiction

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

Historical Romance

The Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

Literature for Young Adults

The Edge of Over There by Shawn Smucker

Mystery/Thriller

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

Speculative Fiction

Mark of The Raven by Morgan L. Busse

 

2019 Inspy Awards Shortlists!

4 May

A big congratulations to all the talented authors whose books are represented on the 2019 Inspy Award Shortlists! So many great books Now you have your summer reading list! 😉

 

Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

All Made Up by Kara Isaac

Falling for You by Becky Wade

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

Debut Fiction

Among The Poppies by J’Nell Ciesielski

Engraved on The Heart by Tara Johnson

The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

General Fiction

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

Things Left Unsaid by Courtney Walsh

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

Historical Romance

Romancing The Bride by Melissa Jagears

The Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

The Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

Literature for Young Adults

The Edge Over There by Shawn Smucker

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

A Worthy Rebel by Jody Hedlund

Mystery/Thriller

Delayed Justice by Cara Putman

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

Thirst of Steel by Ronie Kendig

Speculative Fiction

Fierian by Ronie Kendig

Mark of The Raven by Morgan L. Busse

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin