Category Archives: Book News

A Fun New Release

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A Fun New Release

Everyone knows I’m a sucker for fantasy, and strong female protagonists, and stories about overcoming adversity and bullies. That’s why I’m delighted to share Meg Welch Dendler’s new release, Bianca the Brave frail and Delicate Princess, with you!

Princess Bianca had never set foot outside the castle walls. Not once in her over-protected, pink, fluffy life. But when a dragon was spotted in the land and fear spread that the monster had conquered the king and his brave knights, Bianca realized that it was her duty to protect her kingdom. She will have to prove that she can be braver and stronger than anyone believed because the threat outside the protection of her castle tower was more dangerous and magical than she ever imagined possible, except in a fairy tale.

Here’s what reviewers are saying about Bianca:

“Princess Bianca rules, in every way! This tale of intrepid discovery and determination will delight young readers, and will dare those who deal with the dragons of self-doubt, frustration, and bullying to step out and challenge those menaces to a duel.”
Listed as a Favorite from New England Children’s Book Review

“This was such a cute little book. I just adored reading so I could review. It is absolutely a wonderful read for any young kids dealing with school bulleys, self doubt, self confidence.

Its also a wonderful fantasy world for anyone to delve right into and get lost into this cute story. A suggested book for anyone with kids. Your kids will adore it and its a completely wonderful book to read.” -Amazon Reviewer

I’m definitely adding this one to my to-read list!

To lean more about Meg Welch Dendler and her work, you can visit her all over the web:

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Website

Blog

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Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

LinkedIn

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

Books:

“Bianca: The Brave Frail and Delicate Princess”

 

“At the Corner of Magnetic and Main”

 

 

“Why Kimba Saved The World”

 

“Vacation Hiro”

 

“Miss Fatty Cat’s Revenge”

 

“Max’s Wild Night”

 

“Dottie’s Daring Day”

Autographed Book Copies:

http://megdendler.com/purchase-autographed-books/

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Spotlight: Annie Douglass Lima’s Krillonian Chronicles

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Take a look at this exciting new young adult action and adventure novel, The Student and the Slave, now available for purchase! This is the third book in the Krillonian Chronicles, after The Collar and the Cavvarach and The Gladiator and the Guard.

The series is set in an alternate world that is very much like our own, with just a few major differences.  One is that slavery is legal there.  Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone. Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil.  It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with “have a rack”), a weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge.  Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades.  You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

First, a Little Information about Books 1 and 2:

Book 1: The Collar and the Cavvarach

The Collar and the Cavvarach by Annie Douglass Lima

 

 

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire’s most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie’s escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time. With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

Click here to read chapter 1 of The Collar and the Cavvarach.

Click here to read about life in the Krillonian Empire, where the series is set.

Book 2: The Gladiator and the Guard

The Gladiator and the Guard by Annie Douglass Lima

 

 

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is just one victory away from freedom. But after he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he is condemned to the violent life and early death of a gladiator. While his loved ones seek desperately for a way to rescue him, Bensin struggles to stay alive and forge an identity in an environment designed to strip it from him. When he infuriates the authorities with his choices, he knows he is running out of time. Can he stand against the cruelty of the arena system and seize his freedom before that system crushes him?

Click here to read about life in the arena where Bensin and other gladiators are forced to live and train.

 

And now, The Student and the Slave, with another awesome cover by the talented Jack Lin!

Book 3: The Student and the Slave

Is this what freedom is supposed to be like? Desperate to provide for himself and his sister Ellie, Bensin searches fruitlessly for work like all the other former slaves in Tarnestra. He needs the money for an even more important purpose, though: to rescue Coach Steene, who sacrificed himself for Bensin’s freedom. When members of two rival street gangs express interest in Bensin’s martial arts skills, he realizes he may have a chance to save his father figure after all … at a cost.

Meanwhile, Steene struggles with his new life of slavery in far-away Neliria. Raymond, his young owner, seizes any opportunity to make his life miserable. But while Steene longs to escape and rejoin Bensin and Ellie, he starts to realize that Raymond needs him too. His choices will affect not only his own future, but that of everyone he cares about. Can he make the right ones … and live with the consequences?

 

In this excerpt, Steene receives a not-so-subtle reminder that his dreams of escape may not be easy to realize.

Samuel Silvestran stepped back to let Raymond and his dad walk ahead of him and then turned and faced Steene. “I’m so glad to hear that Raymond has been happy with your services.” There was no appreciation in his voice, just a veiled threat. “See that it continues.”

“I will. Sir.” Steene bent to pick up Raymond’s suitcase and the cavvara shil bag. But as he started to follow Nelson out, Mr. Silvestran stepped in front of him to block his way.

“I realize you’re returning to the city where you’ve lived your whole life. You’re familiar with the area, and you may see people you know. You have lots of contacts here, including the ones who helped you break the law a few months ago.”

The man’s voice turned menacing. “If you should be at all tempted to try something similarly stupid while you are here this time, keep two things in mind. One, I am not a forgiving man. If you do anything to hurt Raymond or make his father angry, I will hunt you down and I will personally make sure that you spend every moment of the rest of your life regretting it, along with anyone who tries to help you. And two, your collar has GPS.”

Click here to order The Student and the Slave from Amazon for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through November 31st!

 

About the Author:

68e0b-annie2bdouglass2blimaAnnie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published fifteen books (three YA action and adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, six anthologies of her students’ poetry, and a Bible verse coloring and activity book). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

Connect with the Author Online:

Email: AnnieDouglassLima@gmail.com

Blog: http://anniedouglasslima.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnieDouglassLimaAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/princeofalasia

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnGoodreads

Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/AnnieDouglassLimaOnAmazon

LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnLinkedIn

Google+: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnGooglePlus

It’s Finally Here! Release Day!

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It’s Finally Here! Release Day!

I’m so excited to announce that Call of Elespen, the fifth and final book of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, is now available on Amazon!

All of your favorites are back in the epic conclusion of the series, including:

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Flitt

 

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Azi and Rian

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Tib

 

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Celli

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Margy and more!

Check out all the illustrations from Call of Elespen here.

Today only, November 29, 2017, in celebration of the completion of the series, I’m offering books 1-4 for free!

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Click the pic to visit the series page on Amazon

When I wrote this series, my hope was to capture a world that would enchant my readers and bring them to a place they’ve never been before. To me, the joy of reading is the escape of it. Growing up, I had few friends. I imagined them in the forests where I wandered, as fairies, and I imagined them in the pages of books.

In the Keepers of the Wellsprings, my hope was to create friends that would capture my readers’ hearts, just as those in the books I’ve read have done for me. Finishing the series has been bittersweet. I’m relieved to have been able to tie up to so many strands of the story so neatly, but it’s sad to say goodbye to these characters who seem so real now.

Rest assured, though, I don’t think I’m finished with these folks just yet. I intend to take a break, but there are so many stories to write, yet, from the world of the Wellsprings.

Blog Tour

Special thanks to my friends who have agreed to participate in my blog tour! Please swing by and check out these fabulous authors:

Daniel Layfield, author of The Spellstone Legacy series
https://youlookconfused.blogspot.com/2017/11/call-of-elespen-epic-conclusion-to.html

Owen R. O’Neill, co-author of the Loralynn Kennakris Series
http://www.loralynnkennakris.com/keepers-of-the-wellsprings-new-release/

Joshua Blum, author of The Thirteenth Hour: A Retro 1980s Illustrated Fairytale Fantasy Novel
https://13thhr.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/the-thirteenth-hour-podcast-120/

Meg Welch Dendler, author of the Cats in the Mirror series and more
https://megdendler.blogspot.com

Jenelle Schmidt, author of The Minstrel’s Song series
http://jenelleschmidt.com

Joanne Van Leerdam, poet of The Passing of the Night
https://bookssquirrel.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/announcing-the-epic-conclusion-to-the-keepers-of-the-wellsprings-series/

Joshua Robertson, author of the Thrice Nine Legends Saga
https://robertsonwrites.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/featuring-keepers-of-the-wellsprings-call-of-elespen/

M. Ray Holloway, author of Let No Word Be Spoken

https://mrayhollowayjr.blogspot.com

I’ll be adding even more posts to the list as they go  up, so please make sure to check back!

 

Thankful!

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Thankful!

I’m so thankful for the excitement and support surrounding the release of Call of Elespen, I can’t contain myself! Last week, I snuck the first chapter to my faithful newsletter subscribers and the response was so much fun! If you weren’t in on the surprise, then you should definitely sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss out on my chapter two sneak-peek.

If you did miss out, don’t worry! I’m feeling so generous and thankful as I look forward to Thanksgiving tomorrow, I’m happy to share chapter one with the world! Here it is. Enjoy, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Call of Elespen: Excerpt

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Call of Elespen: Excerpt

 

Here’s a fun excerpt from Call of Elespen, book five of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, to whet your appetite! I’m still putting some polish on this epic finale, but I can say with confidence that it will be available by the end of the month! November 29 is the tentative release date. I really can’t wait for you to read it!


After a long day of meetings, planning, and preparing for the Dawn’s next steps, I fall into my bed and bury my face in my pillow. The sweet, familiar lavender and rose fragrance of Mouli’s laundering soap soothes me to sleep almost instantly. I dream of pleasant, fleeting things as I burrow deep into my soft, downy bed.

“Azi,” tiny hands pat the side of my nose and Flitt’s light dances behind my eyelids as she raps on my brow. “Azi,” she whispers again, this time a little more insistently.
I groan and burrow deeper into my bed in protest, and she tugs at the unraveling strands of my braid.

“Azi, wake up!” she squeaks just above a whisper. “It’s urgent!”

My eyes fly open. I bolt upright in my bed. My heart races. Across the room, Mercy jumps in its stand. “What is it?” I gasp, flinging my warm, downy blanket off of me. “Is it the Dusk? Are they attacking?”

One bare foot touches the cold floor as my sword lands in my outstretched hand. I’m halfway to my armor stand before Flitt darts into my face.

“Shh, shh, shh!” she hisses, pressing her surprisingly non-sticky hands to my lips. “It isn’t anything like that! You’re out of sugar cubes again! It’s like Mouli’s forgotten all about me!”

I stare in disbelief at the bright fairy, blinking the sleep from my eyes. Mercy slides from my loosening grasp and floats to set itself in place on its stand. With a groan, I fall back into bed and pull the blankets up over my head.

“You said it was urgent,” I say thickly through a yawn.

“Well, it is. I’m hungry!” Her squeaky voice, muffled by the comforter, drifts closer. I feel her feet on the side of my head and pull the blankets tighter around myself. “I can’t help it if I’ve been up dancing all night while you were being lazy. A fairy has things to do, you know. Important things.”

“Sure, important things,” I yawn again.

“You don’t believe me,” Flitt huffs. I feel her land by my arm. There’s the sound of a scuffle and a tug on the blanket. She manages to get an edge pulled out of my grasp, and she peeks inside. Light bursts from her face, blinding me with sudden, twinkling rainbows. I screw my eyes shut in protest.

“Of course I believe you,” I say, poking my head out into the cold in surrender. “Could you tone it down a little, maybe?”

“Sorry,” she whispers, giggling, and dims her glow. “But you’re awake now! Hurrah!”

“Hurrah,” I mumble, scooting back to prop myself against my pillow. I glance to my shuttered window as I reach for the cup on my bedside table to take a sip of water. The light of the waning moon spills through the slats, competing with Flitt’s colors as it stretches across the floorboards.

I set the mug back on the table and open the drawer, revealing the stash of sugar cubes I’d grabbed earlier on the way back to my room.

“There,” I say, utterly annoyed.

“Yes!” Flitt squeaks. “You’re the best, Azi. Really.” She dives into the drawer and shoves several cubes into her belt pouch. To my surprise, as hungry as she claimed to be, she doesn’t eat any.

“Do you want to know who I was dancing with?” she asks, now that she’s sure I’m fully awake. She keeps her voice much quieter than usual and glances over her shoulder toward the circle hatch. The ribbons of her skirt rise and fall as she sighs dreamily, twirling in place. “Bet you can’t guess.”
My mood shifts. Maybe it’s because I was just dreaming, or maybe it’s because I’m overly anxious over the looming battle, but something about her here in my room, dancing and glowing in the moonlight, makes my heart swell with love for the little fae. My irritation over being woken up in the middle of the night is easily pushed aside by my affection for her.

Just a few short years ago, I never would have imagined a scene like this could be real. If I’d told someone there was a fairy in my bedroom, Uncle most definitely would have had my head examined.

“Hey, Dreamy,” Flitt whispers, diving toward my face. She stops short of my nose and taps it with her finger. “You’re supposed to guess!”

“Oh,” I say. “Um, Twig?”

She shushes me again, clinging to my cheek, and glances toward Rian’s room.

“Not Twig,” she whispers. “And can you keep your voice down?”

“Why?” I ask.

“You can’t answer a question with a question!” she whispers.

“I didn’t know we were play—”

“Shh!”

“For the ever-loving—” I start to growl, and Flitt squeaks and darts to my ear.

“I don’t want to wake up Stinky,” she whispers. “When was the last time we had a talk, just you and me, huh? If he comes in here, he’ll stick himself to your face all the way ‘til morning, and I just want to talk to you without him around because you’re mine and I’m yours and just this once I don’t want to share!”

Slowly, I turn my head to face her. She hovers in the air, even with my eyes, her fists clenched at her sides, her cheeks red, her eyes narrowed.

“Flitt,” I whisper, trying hard to keep the bemusement out of my voice, “are you jealous of Rian?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” she huffs, crossing her arms. She purses her lips. Her nostrils flare out. This close, I can see the beautiful shift of color in her eyes: fuchsia, orange, violet.

“You are,” I say, biting my lip to keep myself from laughing.

“That’s not the point!” she squeaks, then claps her hands over her own mouth.


If you haven’t read the Keepers of the Wellsprings series yet, you should definitely get started before the final book comes out! You can grab your copy of all four books on Amazon.

I’ll be posting some more info and updates as release day nears, so make sure to check back often!

Call of Elespen Cover Reveal

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Call of Elespen Cover Reveal

The epic conclusion to the Keepers of the Wellsprings series is almost here, and you know what that means: It’s time for a cover reveal!

If you’re familiar with the series so far, you know that I have illustrated designed all of the covers myself. It has always been important to me to make sure each cover is unique enough to be attractive on its own, but consistent enough with the rest of the series that it looks like a series when all of the books are displayed together.

To do this, I  really thought about color, giving each book its own unique palette and tone. I knew Kythshire, for example, would be blue and gold, because those colors appear prominently in the book. They’re the colors of Azi’s guild, and the colors of the golden field she visits in Kythshire.

 

For Call of Sunteri, I chose red for the dye fields Tib escaped, and gold for the wings of a prominent fairy in the book. I won’t say who, just in case you haven’t read it yet!

 

For Call of Brindelier, it had to be purple for the mystery and majesty of the hidden kingdom of Brindelier, and gold, of course. This time, for Azi.

 

For Call of Hywilkin, I knew I wanted flame orange and yellow to represent the fiery mountain of Kerevorna, and the wings of its Keeper had to be very distinct. I also wanted it to feel quite ominous because of the dark, dramatic tone of this book.

Finally, here we are at Elespen! As the final book in the series, I hoped to make this cover really stand out. This book and its cover had to feel like a triumph. I wanted it to feel mysterious and creepy, but also bright and hopeful. I painted the wings to seem like they could be a butterfly in a rain forest jungle, and gave them eyes to make them curious and interesting. It was important that the green felt like a jungle, with all of the wonder and danger that the idea of a jungle invokes. I wanted it to feel ambiguously good and evil, beautiful, and unnerving. My favorite part about this cover is how the area beneath the wings feels like a portal into a strange blue sky or tropical water, which happened accidentally as I was painting it.

Without further delay, here it is, the cover reveal of Call of Elespen!

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books bannerI’m still planning on releasing the book in the later part of November. I promise to keep you updated! In the meantime, you can download Call of Kythshire for free today, in celebration of my cover release! Enjoy!

Cover Reveal Tomorrow!

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Cover Reveal Tomorrow!

The epic conclusion of the Keepers of the Wellsprings is coming soon! To celebrate, tomorrow, I’ll be revealing the cover of Call of Elespen, Keepers of the Wellsprings, Book Five and offering Call of Kythshire, Book One, for free! Keep an eye here for details and news!call_of_elespen_cover_reveal

Call of Elespen is On the Way!

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Call of Elespen is On the Way!

Quick update, and then I’m back to writing!

First, I’m excited to share the cover for my fellow indie author, Christina McMullen’s upcoming book, The Princess Rebellion, which she revealed this week! I had a lot of fun painting it, and I love the text treatment she used. To read more about the cover and her upcoming release on her blog, just click here.

Princess Rebellion Kindle Cover with xach


Call of Elespen is on the way.

Elespen Teaser

Release day might be the end of November, it might be the beginning of December, but I promise book five is coming. I could tell you all the reasons why it’s not quite ready yet, but I don’t want to bore you with the craziness that is my life, so instead I’ll offer you some fun little tidbits about my process as I get through this draft.

I use Scrivener to write my drafts. I love it because of its organizational capabilities and its high level of customization. I also love that I can easily switch between my PC and iPad to write.  Here’s a screenshot of the beginning of my manuscript. As you can see, I color code my chapters: sky blue for Azi, desert yellow for Tib, and Sorcerous red for Celli.

Elespen Draft

I listen to great music while I’m writing, too. Each of my main characters has an anthem, and there are certain artists who really speak to me when I’m trying to get into someone’s head.

For Azi, it’s Aurora:

For Tib, it’s usually Black Keys:

For Celli, it’s Sia:

Actually, that video is so Celli it gives me chills every time!

I have the cover for Call of Elespen ready to go, but I’m holding onto it so I can announce the release date and reveal the cover at the same time. I’m chomping at the bit, though, and as excited to share this conclusion with you as I hope you are to read it. It’s going to be epic! Check back for updates in the next week or so, or subscribe to my email list for all the latest news, and maybe a sneak peek! 

Enter your email address to join my mailing list!

I’m Still Writing!

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I just wanted to write a quick note to let everyone know I’m still here, and I’m still writing! The conclusion of the Keepers of the Wellsprings is taking up every bit of my time and energy, leaving little time for blog posts.

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The majority of the book is already in the hands of my trusted beta readers, and is so far very well received. This ending is going to be EPIC, and I’m really excited to get it out to the rest of you.

I’m still hoping to release in November. Keep an eye here for news, and as always, I’d love to hear from you. Post a comment here to say hello or ask a question, or send me an email if you’d like! See you soon!!

Quick Update

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Quick Update

The more I write, the more excited I am to share the next installment of the Keepers of the Wellsprings with all of you. Call of Elespen is currently up to 79,533 words and counting. I’m about to start chapter 24 this morning, and I thought I’d pop in quickly to say hello and let everyone know I’m still here and I’m definitely still writing!

Here’s my favorite tiny snippet from a recent chapter:

     “Rescue?” she whispers.
For a long stretch of silence, she looks me over. Her halfhearted gaze slowly drifts into the vast space above us. I follow, looking up into the chute as far as I can before the walls are swallowed into shadow. She doesn’t have to say a word. The hopelessness she feels hangs heavy in the air around us.
“Even if you could,” she sighs, “to what end?”

I won’t tell you who’s doing the rescue or who’s getting rescued, but I will share with you this sketch, which will definitely appear in the final version:

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Call of Elespen is the fifth and final book of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, due out this November. I’ll be announcing a release date and cover reveal soon, so keep checking back here for updates.

One last thing! Call of Kythshire, book one of the series, will be free to download on Amazon September 12, so if you want to dive into the series before the last book is released, be sure to grab your copy! See you soon!