Monday, June 24, 2024

Resurgence of Dawn By Brett Armstrong Interview + GIVE AWAY

Resurgence of Dawn JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Resurgence of Dawn by Brett Armstrong hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Resurgence of Dawn

Title: Resurgence of Dawn
Series:
Quest of Fire #5
Author:
Brett Armstrong
Publisher:
Expanse Books
Release Date:
December 12, 2023
Genre:
Christian, Epic/High Fantasy, Young Adult

Haunted by tragedies and failures, Anargen and Jason each struggle to find their way. Night has fallen in the Lowlands and neither teen has an easy road ahead. In Anargen’s Era, Monarch Ilyron’s powers and influence grow, forcing Anargen and his dwindling list of allies to travel the length of the Lowlands in a desperate attempt to keep the Quest and all they hold dear from falling into ruin. 

Jason meanwhile must find Aria and her grandfather to help unite the Knights of Light from across the Lowlands against his brother, Dorian. But agents of darkness and painful vestiges of his past mix with vindictive new enemies to make the hope of seeing the dawn of the longed-for King’s Day ever so faint. If either teen gives in and surrenders, doom will come swiftly on their world.  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | BookBub

More Books in This Series

    Shadows at Nightfall  Quest of Fire: Desperation


Author Interview

1. What do you find is the hardest part of writing a story like this: the setting, the culture, the characters,
etc?

I think for me the most difficult part of writing Quest of Fire books, Resurgence of Dawn included, is
keeping all of the character's reactions to events and developments in the story authentic. Making
sure they don't overlook something that would be startling to them, because I know what's
happening next or I know what it means in the long-term. Allowing them to process emotions,
particularly negative ones in a way that is realistic is also tricky. The characters are facing things that
are truly heartbreaking at times and experience disappointments and doubts and just letting those
things play out without trying to cut them off too early because I care about the characters is difficult
some times. There's a conflict between two characters in Resurgence of Dawn that I desperately
wanted to end or avoid but knew I couldn't. There’s also another character who makes choices that
put him on a path to destruction that I kept trying to find a way out of for him, but altering things in
either situation would've been too intrusive and diminished the story. Portraying every emotion
rightly and accepting them as they need to be for the story and series is definitely the roughest part
for me and what I stress over most.

2. What's your process of including a thread of faith into your stories? Do you pull from Scripture or do
you decide on a faith topic and let it work its way into your story?

There have been a few times where I started with a passage of Scripture and wrote a story from there,
my first published novel Destitutio Quod Remissio is 100% a meditation on Colossians 3:12-13. Almost
all of the others have been more along the lines of getting a general idea of the plot and then
following the path from point to point I see certain themes naturally weave in. Characters experience
things that lend themselves to introducing a particular scriptural truth. Though overall, the entire
Quest of Fire series features a consistent exhortation to keep true to what the Apostle Paul said: “I
have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up
for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day,
and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”*
Seeing the Lord Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords is so key too. And “For the word of God is
living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of
joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”**

Not to mention, “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus
let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”***
* 2 Timothy 4:7-9, ESV
** Hebrews 4:12, ESV
*** Hebrews 12:28, ESV

3. Do you read your story to your wife before it's published or do you let her read it during the process?

Early in my publishing career she read my manuscripts before they were published, but I tend to write
in genres that aren't my wife's favorites (or even on the same map as her favorites). She doesn’t tend to read them anymore. Though somewhat recently she did read and enjoy my novella in The Near Distant collection. More often when something is particularly tricky, I'll pass the premise of a scene or story by her to get her feelings on it. She's also a big help with reviewing cover art and I basically can't
do my social media without her. But until I finish the contemporary romance I have squirreled away in
my story folders, I don't know that I'm going to pique her interest.

4. Where do you find the names for your characters such as Monarch and Anargen? Is there a book with
made up fantasy names?

I get ideas for names from a pretty diverse array of sources. Anargen is one I made up (heavily
influenced by the name Aragorn from Lord of the Rings). There are a few names out there that come
from the phonetic sounds evoking a particular feel that I want based on who the character is as well.
Others are real-world names that carry some significance to the respective character like Cinaed and
Seren. Some are composites of words in other languages that carry a particular meaning, like Monarch
Maldes Ilyron. Though he's a special case, because I actually put his name out to a vote for readers to
pick from a list of options the best name for the Middle Era villain. Among my favorites are some I've
gotten from my son while we're playing together like Professor Goulder and in place names the town
of Cattingsford. Anytime I'm picking names for people and places in stories it's a really personal
experience, because that name becomes a part of who the character is and starts to shape how they
fit in the story world.

5. When you begin a series, do you typically know how many books will be in it or do you let it play out
naturally and you allow it to be as long as needed?

Most of the time I have an idea at the start and then revise my expectations as I go. For Quest of Fire, I
started very early on thinking it would be three books and then four. Then I got the idea to intersperse
the more personal and smaller scale supporting stories in the three novellas/short novels. That way I
could add more depth to the cultures and some of the characters that I couldn't put into the main arc
novels because of word count and pacing concerns. Quest of Fire has been a seven-book series in my
mind (and with my publisher) since at least 2018 and I've had the names for every release and a
general arc (including the final chapter of the series) since 2019. I’m currently writing the final book in
the series and seeing what I’ve been imagining for years coming to its conclusion is so surreal.

6. Do you find inspiration for your stories in your day-to-day life? If you have a conversation with
someone or see a situation, do you ever think, "Oh, that would fit great into my story"

Oh, definitely. It was more so for my Tomorrow's Edge series than Quest of Fire. In Quest of Fire I try
to capture some normal moments or a facsimile of them in the stories to ground them some. The
more fantastical a setting and plot is the more the reader needs some moments that remind us of the
real world and day-to-day life. So, there;s a dinner date scene of sorts in Resurgence of Dawn and a
scene where a character goes through a marketplace low key looking for a gift for another character.
In Tomorrow's Edge, which is a near future dystopian story, everything was fair game in that series,
from mall trips to ordering fast food to a hospital stay. All with a slight futuristic twist. The first book
in that series is probably the best example of me pulling real life into fiction, because the opening
scene and the entire premise for the series came from me standing alone on the steps to the English
hall at my undergrad university and looking across the campus in the rain at the library in the
distance. That moment and the motifs it inspired and questions of what would happen to that library
if all the books were digital only all came together to launch that series for me.

About the Author

Brett Armstrong

Brett Armstrong has been exploring other worlds as a writer since age nine. Years later, he still writes, but now invites others along on his excursions. He’s shown readers haunting, deep historical fiction (Destitutio Quod Remissio), scary-real dystopian sci-fi (Tomorrow's Edge), and dark, sweeping epic fantasy (Quest of Fire). Every story is a journey of discovery and an attempt to be a brush in the Master Artist’s hand. Through dark, despair, light, joy, and everything in between, the end is always meant to leave his fellow literary explorers with wonder and hope. Always busy with a new story, he also enjoys drawing, gardening, and spending time with his wife and son.

Connect with Brett at brettarmstrong.net to follow him on social media and sign up for email updates.


Tour Giveaway

(2) winners will each win a $25 Amazon gift card, a print copy of Resurgence of Dawn, and a digital poster of the Lowlands!

Resurgence of Dawn JustRead Tours blog giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight June 24, 2024 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on July 1, 2024. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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Monday, June 17, 2024

Coal Black Lies By Cindy K. Sproles + GIVE AWAY

Coal Black Lies JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Coal Black Lies by Cindy K. Sproles, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Cindy has become one of my favorite authors in the past couple of years. I feel like she's one of those authors more of us need to be talking about. Check out the excerpt from the story below and enter the giveaway!

About the Book

Coal Black Lies

Title: Coal Black Lies
Author:
Cindy K. Sproles
Publisher:
Kregel Publications
Release Date:
June 18, 2024
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Believing the bitter lies you tell yourself leaves little room for the sweetness of truth 

Coal miner Joshua Morgan managed to do the impossible--he broke away from the stranglehold of the iron-fisted Barton family and the Company Store, to whom all the miners in the Appalachian Mountains are indebted. But it cost him the life of his young daughter, who was run down by a posse led by Thomas Barton while coming to collect Joshua's payment to the store. 

Five years later, a sweet but slow-witted young girl lands on his doorstep, and Joshua's desire to protect her from the clutches of the Bartons increases his thirst for vengeance. Joshua sets out to discover where the girl came from in order to take down the Barton family once and for all. 

His journey leads him to the truth about the day his daughter died, a reality he finds hard to accept. But when confronted by Thomas Barton himself, Joshua is forced to rethink the dark lies brewing in his heart. If he broke away, could Thomas have also? Despite his misgivings, can Joshua join forces with a man he once despised to free the miners from the tyrannical Barton family and forge a future of peace for both the young girl and himself?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook | Bookshop

Also Available

 


Book Excerpt

The music left Raney’s soul when Anna died, and her mouth grew parched and tight. She rarely spoke unless she had to, and she’d smile from time to time. But when she turned away, the smile left and her face returned to pinched and painful. Raney never recovered, and I could never give her another child—the one thing she lived to have. 

I wanted my life back. I wanted my wife back, and I wanted my daughter. If a body could have a wish, I’d wish that day away. 

All me and Raney had done was bury the pain. Instead of us grieving together, we hid the pain deep to protect each other. It was senseless because we still wallowed in the sadness—only alone. When you suffer alone, things fall apart. You draw away from one another, and that’s what we’d done. We’d grown apart instead of looking to each other for comfort. 

I slid the coin between my fingers. The longer I held it in my hand, the more determined I was to make a change. 

“It ends today, Anna. I’m gonna do my best to let this guilt go.”

About the Author

Cindy Sproles

Cindy K. Sproles is the author of devotions published in newspapers across the country and a teacher at Christian writers conferences. She spent her formative years showing off her beloved Appalachian Mountains to others, and she and her family still live in the mountains of East Tennessee.

Connect with Cindy at cindysproles.com to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will win a print copy of Coal Black Lies plus book-related swag!

Coal Black Lies JustRead Tours blog giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight June 17, 2024 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on June 24, 2024. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Love For A Lifetime By Mandi Blake

Love for a Lifetime
by Mandi Blake
Publisher: Independent
Series: Love in Blackwater
ISBN: 978-1953372505

It was incredibly easy and quick to become a fan of Mandi Blake's writing. If I want a story that's filled with romance, I'm definitely turning to her stories! They're ones that will give you butterflies for the characters and get your heart racing as they start to fall in love! I want to thank Mandi for sending me a copy of her book for review.

Summary:

They’ll always be friends, but they can never be more. 

Dawson Keller has held a torch for his best friend’s little sister for as long as he can remember. He might be a flirt, but his heart will always belong to Olivia.

Olivia Lawrence lives to serve others and work on the family farm. Helping people and tending animals keep her mind off the one thing she wants but can’t have—a family.

Her brother’s best friend might joke that they’re meant to be, but he doesn’t know how little she has to offer a husband. Especially a man like Dawson who loves kids and makes everyone laugh.

On top of that, Olivia’s best friend is head over heels for Dawson, and hurting her friend is out of the question.

Dawson keeps showing up to save her at all the wrong times. From a disastrous wedding date to an unfortunate camping incident, Dawson is always there when Olivia needs him.

When Dawson finds out her secret, and her friend feels betrayed, Olivia is at risk of losing them both.

If you loved the Blackwater Ranch series and the Wolf Creek Ranch series, get ready to fall in love all over again in Blackwater, Wyoming.


My Review:

Where are all my lovers of romance? You will want to put Love for a Lifetime at the top of your tbr list!

We meet Dawson in Love in the Storm (book one) and he was a fun character. To see him as the main character in this one was fantastic! He can charm the socks off of anyone... except it seems his best friend's sister, Olivia. Olivia on the other hand has had heart eyes for Dawson for as long as she can remember. I just love these storylines where they go from lifelong friends to more! Of course there's more. Who are we kidding?

Dawson is the police officer we all want to be pulled over by. He's kind and caring which makes him the perfect match for Nurse Olivia. I appreciated how the author tackled the difficult topic of Liv's secret. Very well done! How the two of them were able to keep their feelings for each other secret was beyond me! HA! I suppose when you're bff's with someone, it can be difficult to see that the other one might want more. But as they warm up to the idea of the possibility of "Dalivia" (what could be their couple name) the secrets come to the surface! Their romance though... don't go into this story without having a fan around so you don't swoon! I will admit that I got a bit twitchy with how often he called her "my queen." hahaha I'm not a "nickname" kind of gal, but I do love romantic fellas like Dawson.

I thought it was fun for them to have their wildly popular social channel. I mean, who doesn't want to watch a super cute guy with goats and a beautiful woman with chickens? It makes sense for contemporary fiction to include these relevant topics.

And who doesn't like revisiting a town that has familiar friends? That's what you get when you head back to Blackwater. It's the kind of town where people feel known and protected. I would say that it's important to read the previous story (goodness, the previous Blackwater Ranch series for the full emersion into the town)!

We can't forget about the incredibly strong thread of faith throughout the story! The prayers that are said, the imploring of the Lord, reminders of trusting Him, etc are everywhere and it's perfect! You want a faith-filled story, here it is in spades. Just the way I like them.

I'm very interested in the next story. Got ourselves a "bad" guy who has GOT to have a good redemptive arc, right? I would love a story for Anna, Olivia's best friend. I'm sure there are others that "need" their own story, too. The way the author writes these little towns, she could have us all champing at the bit for one more story!

About the Author:

Mandi Blake was born and raised in Alabama where she lives with her husband and daughter, but her southern heart loves to travel. Reading has been her favorite hobby for as long as she can remember, but writing is her passion. She loves a good happily ever after in her sweet Christian romance books and loves to see her characters' relationships grow closer to God and each other.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

JustRead Rendezvous + GIVE AWAY!!

RDV '24 JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for JustRead Rendezvous 2024, hosted, sponsored, and organized by JustRead Publicity Tours! I'm so excited to head to this author/reader event, especially since The Christy Awards are in person this year and we'll be able to hobnob with the cool kids aka authors (separate tickets required).

You are Invited

JustRead Rendezvous
November 15, 2024

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel & Conference Center Chicago-Downers Grove

Join fellow readers and authors at the JustRead Rendezvous to celebrate Christian fiction and sweet reads. This event, modeled after the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat, aims to sweeten reading and storytelling experiences with fellowship and encouragement. Activities will include corporate worship, speaker sessions, author panels, small group discussions, games, giveaways, a pop-up book shop, and author signings. 

Baker Publishing Group fiction imprints (Bethany House and Revell), Enclave Publishing, and Kregel Publications have joined JustRead Publicity Tours as event sponsors.

Learn more about the 2024 JustRead Rendezvous


Participating Authors

JustRead Rendezvous 2024 first 27 participating authors

first row: Amanda Barratt, Amanda Cox, Amanda Dykes, Angela Ruth Strong, Becky Wade, Elizabeth Goddard, Elizabeth Musser, Emily Conrad, Gabrielle Meyer. second row: Janilise Lloyd, Kate Breslin, Katie Powner, Kimberley Woodhouse, Kristi Ann Hunter, Laura Frantz, Linda MacKillop, Lisa Phillips, Lynn Austin. third row: Mesu Andrews, Nancy Mehl, Nicole Deese, Robin W. Pearson, Ronie Kendig, Sara Brunsvold, Sara Davison, Sara Ella, Sara Watterson

Keynote speakers include Amanda Dykes, Becky Wade, and Ronie Kendig. Kimberley Woodhouse and Lisa Phillips will lead worship. More authors will be added to the event as reader registration increases!  

Check out recent releases by participating authors in the JustRead Amazon Storefront.


Register

The registration fee (including a book tote, lunch, afternoon snack, and more) is $124 for readers. We’re nearing the reader registration mark to add more best-selling, debut, and indie authors to the 2024 event. Tell your friends and register today to pave the way by August 1! 

Subscribe to email updates and learn more about each author on the JustRead Rendezvous website. Connect with other attendees and hopefuls in the Rendezvous Roomies & Logistics ’24 private Facebook group to arrange shared experiences or cost-sharing opportunities

Register Now

P.S. Join us on Thursday at the same location for the Art of Writing conference and The Christy Award Winners Gala. The Christy Award honors and promotes excellence in Christian fiction and is a program of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Visit christyawards.com for more information and registration.

Giveaway

(1) winner will receive one paid registration to JustRead Rendezvous 2024 courtesy of '23 Rendezvous author Tamara Leigh
(1) winner will receive a canvas tote bag, an A6 journal notebook with a ballpoint pen, a 12 oz enamel mug, a scented candle, and a reading blanket
(5) winners will receive a $10 egift card (Baker Book House, Christianbook, or Amazon)

JustRead Rendezvous 2024 Blog Tour Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight June 4, 2024 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on June 11, 2024. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only for physical prizes. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Friday, May 31, 2024

Chain Of Mercy By Brenda S. Anderson + GIVE AWAY

Chain of Mercy JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Chain of Mercy by Brenda S. Anderson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Be sure to check out my fun guest post below from Brenda!

About the Book

Chain of Mercy

Title: Chain of Mercy
Series:
Coming Home
Author:
Brenda Anderson
Publisher:
Independently published through The Mosaic Collection (2nd ed.)
Release Date:
April 22, 2014 (1st ed.)
Genre:
Contemporary Romance (Christian)

A devastating argument
One reckless decision

An unforgivable sin
 

Successful Manhattan businessman Richard Brooks is living the dream, drunk with success and all its trappings, until one reckless decision turns his dream life into a living nightmare. 

Richard flees to Minneapolis where he repairs ancient boilers instead of solving corporate problems, and he's determined to live the solitary life he now deserves. 

Executive Sheila Peterson has other plans for the handsome custodian. Richard appears to be the perfect match for the no-strings-attached romance she's after, but she soon discovers that he's hiding more than the designer clothes in his closet. 

Richard can't deny the allure of a relationship with Sheila. The closer they get, though, the greater the risk that she will discover not only who he used to be but also the unforgivable sin he committed that reckless night. 

 PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | BookBub

Guest Post:

What do you like best about starting a new series? Do you like getting to know the characters as they're fleshed out as you write, making a new "world" come to life from your imagination, watching as the story in your mind comes to life on the page, or...?

Personally, I appreciate Christian fiction that tackles the grittier side of life. How do you determine the level of "grit" you use in a story and what that topic will be?

I’m always glad to meet readers who appreciate stories with some “grit” in them. Personally, that’s what I love to read, and when I put my fingers to the keyboard, that’s what comes out. I prefer stories that deal with real life, and that have imperfect, relatable characters. Think Nancy Drew vs. Trixie Belden. Even when I was young, I preferred Trixie over Nancy because Nancy was too perfect, and I couldn’t relate to her whereas Trixie was always messing up.

As for determining which lines to cross, that varies with each book.

In Chain of Mercy, a story that includes abortion, you have to allude to sex. One character is a prodigal and another never believed, so that determines the author’s first step. Those characters aren’t going to believe or behave as Christians would. Another book of mine, A Beautiful Mess, is about a couple who divorced after he had an affair. As far as what to include, I never go behind closed doors, but I will not ignore that something is going on behind that door.

The topics I choose often come from the news. I’ll hear a news story and wonder, what happened afterward? Or what made those people act that way? And I’ll have to “finish” their story from my perspective and ask God to show me the heart that He sees, often in very broken people.

Years ago, I’d watched an interview with a woman who’d fought for years for her husband’s release from prison, and she finally won that battle. The interviewer asked how they were doing now, and she replied that they were divorced. My first thought was, you loved him enough to fight hard for him but couldn’t stay married?

Well, that story needed to be explored, which meant including scenes inside a prison. I couldn’t have prisoners speak on the page as they would in real life, so I had to come up with creative ways to allude to the course language without putting it in print. Sometimes it was as simple as “he cursed” and other times it might be something like, “the language that poured from his mouth was worse than the water in a cesspool.” It shows reality without sharing every detail.

In a way, the allusion creates an illusion for the readers. The story is still gritty, it still deals with real life situations, without having to create an exact replica of the scene.

Thank you for hosting me!


About the Author

Brenda S. Anderson

Brenda S. Anderson writes authentic and gritty life-affirming fiction that shows God at work in people’s messy lives. She enjoys live sports and theater, walking along the shores of Lake Superior, and sharing hot cocoa with friends and family. She lives near Minneapolis with her newly retired husband and their mischievous twin kitties.

Connect with Brenda at brendaandersonbooks.com to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will win a book box which includes a paperback copy of Chain of Mercy and locally crafted, book-related items like a Booktrovert glass tumbler, bath balls, a bookish tote, bookmarks, and much more!

Chain of Mercy JustRead Tours blog giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight May 28, 2024 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on June 4, 2024. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only for book box. Winner outside the US will receive a $30 Amazon gift card and ebook. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


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JustRead Publicity Tours

 
Creative Commons License
Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.