Looking Back on 2017

Well, it is now 2018.

And almost the end of January.

I know I’m a little bit late with the “2017 Recap” post, since I haven’t been as consistent with blogging lately. I planned a “book highlights of the year” post, but a different topic has been on my mind the last few weeks. With the start of a new year and the promise of new adventures, I’ve been reflecting back on how 2017 went. The changes that occurred. The fun memories. The things I accomplished. The ways God grew me between January 1st and December 31st.

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The Allegiance Blog Tour

Hi, everyone!

After several crazy-busy months, I’m finally back to blogging! 🙂 My first post of 2018 (which is crazy to write, by the way) is a review of Disowned by Sarah Addison-Fox for the blog tour. Disowned is the first book of the Allegiance series, and I offer many thanks to the author for providing me with the opportunity to read the book in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book

Two countries, two choices, one life. When Kyraenean slave Celeste risks her life to reach the free nation of Etraea, a country filled with technology and wealth, she unknowingly sets off a chain of events that will change her life forever.

After escaping her new owner, Celeste awakens in the home of an Etraean soldier, sworn

Isn’t the cover pretty?

to protect the fragile peace. For Corporal Mick Haynes, life is simple. Follow the rules, do your job and work your way up the ranks. Getting shot and finding a wanted slave at his family’s farm wasn’t part of the plan.

When a Kyraenean bounty hunter locates Celeste, Mick’s loyalty will be stretched to the limit. With war on the horizon, Celeste faces two impossible choices. Both securing her freedom, but both at a cost she could never have imagined. Will Etraea provide the freedom she’s longed for or shackle her to an entirely new master?

Amazon Purchase Link

My Review

First of all— I have to stop and say that cover is SO PRETTY.

Okay—on to the review! 🙂

I thought Disowned was a good read! It’s a sweet story of love and redemption, the story of a runaway slave and a soldier.

One of the things I particularly liked was how distinct Mick and Celeste’s character voices were. They come from different background, and their narratives were spot-on. Sometimes in books that switch between character perspectives they all sound the same. Not with Disowned—I always knew whose head we were in.

And I’m so grateful to find a book with nice parental figures. Too often all of the adult characters are evil or clueless, so I greatly appreciated the actively-involved, kind parents in Disowned.

Some mature topics were also handled delicately. I would caution younger readers due to some tough topics, but overall they were handled tastefully.

The negatives I saw were that the romance developed a little too quickly (in my opinion) and there were a couple uses of very mild language (nothing too harsh or frequent—just something I wasn’t expecting). Overall, though, I enjoyed this one a lot!

And after that cliffhanger, I’m eager for the next book!

About the Author

About The Author:

Sarah Addison-Fox is a New Zealand-born home-schooling mother of two who

loves action-packed, clean, fantasy with strong heroines. She has an astonishing

amount of nail polish, has all her creative writing credentials shoved in a drawer

somewhere, and has a husband who, after 27 years, can still make her blush.

When she’s not working on both her YA fantasy series’ she can be found

fangirling on Goodreads or sending GIFs on Twitter.

Sarah Addison’s Official Website:

http://www.sarahaddisonfox.com/

Amazon & Social Media Links:

Instagram: sarahaddisonfox/

Facebook: sarahaddisonfoxfantasyauthor/

Website: www.sarahaddisonfox.com

Twitter: @Saddisonfox

Goodreads: Sarah Addison-Fox

Have you read Disowned? What did you think?

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Underground Updates

At the end of Reintegration, I revealed the title of the Coming-Soon-Book-2.

Underground.

Really, I should retitle it Ashley Has No Clue What She’s Doing. Because writing a sequel is tough. Reintegration was one of the easiest things I’ve ever written. Underground is a problem child. A lot of this stems from the fact that writing a sequel is an entirely different process than writing a stand-alone or a first book.

Sequels are a bit harder than first books because it’s all about balance. Balancing consistency with Book 1 and creating something fresh. Balancing introducing new characters and continuing to develop old ones. Balancing giving readers what they expect and sticking with my original story plan. Balancing what feedback to use from positive reviews and what feedback to use from negative reviews. Balancing providing recap of previous events and keeping the current story moving.

Too much balancing for a clumsy person like me, in my opinion. 🙂

It is a nice challenge, though. Underground has really forced me to build a deeper story than Reintegration. As of right now, I’m almost 50,000 words in. Even though it’s giving me some troubles, I’m super excited about the story that’s unfolding for Katherine and the other characters. Underground is a little more exciting than Reintegration. The stakes are higher. There’s quite a few surprises. And I’m setting up for a twisty ending that leads into Book 3.

I’m hoping to share an official summary soon.

Sadly, my weekly writing time has drastically been reduced due to a lovely thing called homework. I’m dying to make progress on Underground, but speech outlines and algebra quizzes and lengthy textbook readings keep interfering. 😉

A sincere “thank you” to everyone who has read/reviewed Reintegration. Your kind and thoughtful comments always make me that much more excited to get back to work on Underground. 

I’ll continue to post updates on how Underground‘s progress is going.


Your turn:

Writers, what does your sequel-writing process look like?

Readers, what do you look for in a sequel? 

 

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Blog Tour+Review: Wanted by Bryan Davis

Hello, everyone!

I apologize for my infrequent posting schedule as of late. My life got extremely busy these last few weeks, but here I am today with a blog tour post!

I recently discovered how fun blog tours are and how great they are for authors to get the word out about new books. When one of my Goodreads friends informed me that Bryan Davis was doing a blog tour for his new book, I signed up to do a review (Bryan Davis is the author of Christian fantasy books like Starlighter and Dragons in our Midst). 

His newest book, Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World, is a middle-grade adventure story. Middle-grade means books written for an eight-to-twelve-years-old audience. So this book was definitely a bit of a change from my typical YA reads in terms of writing style and themes (and the lack of teenage drama). 😉 Think of it as a younger version of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. 

 


-About the Book-

Eddie Hertz is smart, real smart. He has to be. What other twelve-year-old patrols the streets of Nirvana alone, hoping to foil the schemes of the evil Mephisto? Since Eddie is small for his age, he trusts in his Batman-style gadgets belt and acrobatic skills as well as lots of experience, like knowing how to swing across dark alleys without being seen.

Eddie has a dream, to become like Damocles, Nirvana’s great superhero. To make that dream come true, Eddie invented a device that is supposed to give him superpowers, but using it on himself is dangerous, maybe even fatal. He doesn’t have the nerve to try it.

When Mephisto unleashes an earthquake machine on the city, Eddie gets a surprising teammate — his quirky eight-year-old sister, Samantha, who comes up with an unexpected way to help Eddie in the frantic battle to prevent the biggest earthquake of all.

Since Damocles has lost his ability to help in physical form, Eddie and Samantha are the only hope for Nirvana and the world.

Available on Amazon


-About the Author-

Bryan Davis is the author of several bestselling series, including Dragons in Our Midst and the Reapers Trilogy, speculative fiction for youth and adults. Bryan and his wife, Susie, work together as an author/editor team to create his imaginative tales.


-My Review-

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, most of what I read falls under the YA category–I didn’t read a whole lot of middle-grade books. So I wasn’t sure what to expect with Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World. By the time I finished, though, I decided this was a fun, light-hearted story that made for an enjoyable read.

I will admit that I am obviously not the target audience, so I did find the writing and themes to be a little simplistic. Some elements were extremely cheesy (much like in most superhero movies). In a way, though, the lack of drama and seriousness I usually find in books was refreshing. This was just an exciting, fun story with likable characters. Eddie and his sister, Sam, were an adorable duo of crime fighters and I loved how they stood up for each other.

I recommend this book for younger readers looking for a clever, exciting adventure story.

Thank you to Mr. Davis for providing me with a copy for review! 🙂


-The Other Bloggers-

Wednesday, September 20th

Tour Kickoff @ The Author’s Chair

Book Spotlight @ Backing Books

Book review and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Zerina Blossom’s Books

Book Spotlight and Review @ The Spooky Bookshelf

Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Scattered Scribblings

Book Review and Character Interview @ Light and Shadows

Thursday, September 21st

Book Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Red Lettering

Spotlight and Author Interview @ The Reader Addict

Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ target verified

Book Review and Character Interview @ Hidden Doorways

Book Review @ Ashley Bogner (ME!)

Book Review @ The Page Dreamer

Friday, September 22nd

Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Story of Fire

Book Review @ Inkwell

Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Liv K. Fisher

Book Review @ writinganyone

Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Superheroes @ Dreams and Dragons

Author Interview and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ March to a Different Drum

Book Spotlight @ Author Jaye L. Knight

Saturday, September 23rd

Author Interview @ Jessi L. Roberts, author

Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Book Lovers Life

Book Review and Character Interview @ Verbosity Reviews

Book Spotlight, Author Interview and YOU WRITE: Superheroes @ Creature of Graphite

Character Interview @ Wanderer’s Pen

Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Adventure Awaits


-The Giveaway-

The Giveaway Links:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a793459e2/

This second one is the grand prize giveaway, and my post number is 7. (Mr. Davis’ blog tour kickoff post explains this 😉 )

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a793459e1/


Thanks for reading, everyone! Congrats to Mr. Davis on his latest release! My next post will be some updates for Reintegration #2! 🙂

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Blog Tour: Conqueror by Mandy Fender

I know I haven’t posted in a while, but the past couple weeks have been a little hectic as I started the new school semester. Getting back into a routine with school is always a bit tough after summer break, but now I’m hoping to resume my normal blog posting schedule.

Which brings me to today’s post….

Another blog tour post! Today, I’m here to inform you about the recent release of Mandy Fender’s book, Conqueror. Conqueror is the third book of the Defier series. I read the first book about a year ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. This series is a teen dystopian trilogy about standing up for your faith in Christ even in difficult times. And the covers are gorgeous, by the way. 

Congrats to Mandy Fender for her newest release!


About Conqueror

-A Christian Dystopian Series-

The Final Battle is on the Horizon . . .

Still heartbroken over the loss of her best friend, Sky, Lennox must face her own demons as she continues to fight against Ahab and the Regime. She now serves as a combat medic, desperately searching for survivors in war-torn America. But as the Regime grows stronger and begins to genetically enhance both humans and animals, she questions whether she and her fellow Sparrows are doing enough. After an encounter with a Prowler changes everything, she must choose between vengeance and faith in God because the next mission she goes on could be her last. Secrets will be revealed. Pasts will be forgiven. Defiers will be strengthened. When all hope seems lost, who will be left standing?


Purchase Information

-Amazon (available on KU): http://a.co/jf2aA7p

-Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36002413-conqueror


About the Author

Mandy Fender is an award-winning author, speaker, and blogger who hopes to glorify God and uplift others. She guest blogs for Broken, Beautiful, and Bold and has a monthly inspirational article in a local newspaper. Her writing has been featured in Devozine magazine for teens and Epifiction.

It is her aim to live and love like Christ and her writing is just another avenue to do that. She’s a new homeschool mom and serves in full time ministry with her husband in the great state of Texas. If you’d like more info on her work visit: mandyfender.com

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Google Plus


Giveaway

LOOK AT THE PRETTY COVERS.

Oh, yeah. There’s a giveaway for the entire series. 🙂 How cool is that? 

Giveaway Link: http://giveawaytools2.com/giveaway.php?sk=80397075695


If you like dystopian novels, you should totally check out this series. I know I’ll definitely be reading the second and third books! 

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Reintegration Blog Tour Conclusion

Reintegration‘s release weekend was pretty fantastic.

Now that I’m starting to recover from the shock that my book is finally published, I’m also so incredibly grateful for how this last weekend went. At one point, the Kindle edition hit the #1 New Release list in it’s genre category (teen and young adult Christian science fiction <—that’s a mouthful). Yay!

A huge thank you to everyone who purchased a copy! Happy reading! <3

I also want to give a shout out to everyone who participated in the blog tour that ran from August 18th through August 22nd. Y’all are the best! It was amazing to see all of your posts about Reintegration.

Here’s a recap of the posts:

Girls’s Living for God’s Glory : book spotlight

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae : book spotlight

Stories by Firefly : book spotlight

Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors : book spotlight

Liv Fisher : interview

Kristin Spencer : interview and review

Gabrielle N. : review

World of the Writer : review

Library in My Room : review

Unicorn Quester:  a video and an interview.

Thanks again, guys! 🙂

Other updates:

  1. I recently started a Goodreads discussion group for Reintegration. I’m part of some groups like this and they’re a lot of fun! If you’re on Goodreads and want to join, feel free to send and invite request!
  2. Also, if you’re on Goodreads, starting September 1st there will be a giveaway!
  3. The sequel is in the works! Lots of exciting things coming for Katherine and Matthew. 😉

Have a great day!

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Reintegration Release+Blog Tour

TODAY IS REINTEGRATION‘S OFFICIAL RELEASE DAY!!!!

I am so excited that I finally get to share my book with you all. Publishing has been a dream of mine for several years, and it’s absolutely thrilling that it’s happening. Today I’m going to share with you some information about the release as well as announce the start of the blog tour!

…drumroll please…

~RELEASE DAY INFO~

(I’ve had header settings all this time?! Mind blown.)

Reintegration is available for purchase at the following outlets:

Amazon

CreateSpace

Barnes & Noble

Once you read it, would you mind leaving a review on Amazon as well as on Goodreads, if possible? Reviews are really important for authors! 🙂

~THE BLOG TOUR~

Today is also the start of the Reintegration blog tour! Some pretty awesome bloggers signed up, and here is the tour schedule:

August 18 (Release day!):

Gabrielle N. (Review)

Liv Fisher (Book Info + Interview)

Unicorn Quester (Review)

Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors (Book Info)

Stories by Firefly (Book Info)

Kristin Spencer (Review + Interview)

August 19:

World of the Writer (Book Info + Review)

August 21: 

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae (Book Info)

August 22:

Library in My Room (Review)

Thank y’all so much for the wonderful posts to help let readers know about Reintegration.    <3


Are you excited for Reintegration? 😀

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Why I Wrote Reintegration

EIGHT DAYS.

There’s just eight days until Reintegration is officially published.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some of the inspiration behind Reintegration. I love dystopian fiction and how powerful of a genre it can be (as I explained in this post). It can be used as a social commentary or moral warning while still being an exciting, will told story. There are three key factors that affected how I wrote Reintegration:

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