This week’s Summer Reads guest is…me!

This week, it’s my turn! I hope you’ve enjoyed everyone’s recommendations so far – this has been a whole lot of fun, and I’m tickled to share my summer book picks with you. Read on to find out what they are, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post! There’s lots of awesome prizes, including a copy of my poetry collection, Tuesday Daydreams!

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Eight

Kay Kauffman

Tick tock, tick tock, it’s week eight in our Summer Reads Blog Tour and I’ve come to welcome Kay Kauffman to our madness!  Kay is another lovely online friend from Authonomy who I’ve been chatting with now for a number of years.  She’s fun, has a gentle spirit that I simply adore, and will be the first to gather her popcorn bucket when Sam and I start our online battles!  Let’s hear it up for Kay!

As a girl, I dreamed of being swept off my feet by my one true love. At the age of 24, it finally happened…and he’s never let me forget it. A mild-mannered secretary by day and a determined word-wrangler by night, I battle the twin evils of distraction and procrastination in order to write fantastical tales of wuv…twue wuv…with a few bad haiku thrown in for good measure.
I reside in the midst of an Iowa corn field with my hopelessly devoted husband and his mighty red pen; four crazy, cute kids; and an assortment of adorable kitties, chicks, and bunnies.

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Five more fun facts!

Lipei serves as a source of much consternation to her beloved big brother Artwork by Hazel Butler

Lipei serves as a source of much consternation to her beloved big brother
Artwork by Hazel Butler

My good friend and fellow Worldbuilder, Andrea Baker, tagged me in the five facts game, and since I’d already considered doing this again for other characters, I was tickled to see I’d been tagged again. 🙂

With that in mind, let’s meet Vegin’s antagonist, shall we?

Fun Facts About Balil Tolhana

  1. Balil is Vegin’s brother-in-law.
  2. He’s a devout priest of the Tolathan order, dedicated to following the teachings of Kiala.
  3. He loathes the royal family and is infuriated when his sister (Lipei) marries the Crown Prince of Lokana (Vegin).
  4. He shares a desire to transform society with his brother-in-law, but goes about it in a much different way.
  5. A complex man, his character is shaped by the loss of his younger brother.

Once again, if you’d like to participate, have at it, and have fun!  Happy Friday!

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Another writing challenge

Lipei, the woman for whom Vegin defied his parents Artwork by Hazel Butler

Lipei, the woman for whom Vegin defied his parents
Artwork by Hazel Butler

Yes, I’m doing this on my blog again instead of on Facebook like I’m supposed to.  That’s just the way I roll.

I’m a rebel, see. 😉

Okay, no I’m not – this will make its way to Facebook, probably a couple times over, even.

I was tagged by the lovely AFE Smith for this challenge, which is to share five facts about the main character of your book.  Then, of course, you have to tag five more people, and so it goes.

Fun Facts About Vegin Martoka

  1. Despite all spelling similarities to the word “vegan,” his name is pronounced differently.  It rhymes with “bacon.”
  2. Vegin is an idealist, but feels powerless to fix anything in his kingdom.
  3. His love life, however, is another story.  He fights for the right to marry the woman he loves instead of the woman his parents have chosen, and learns in the process that he’s more capable than he thinks.
  4. He shares the same desire for change as his brother-in-law, but disagrees on how to accomplish that change.  While Balil wants revolution, Vegin hopes for peaceful progress.
  5. Though he counts himself a follower of Kiala (the deity worshipped in Lokana as the Great Mother), he remains skeptical of the truth he discovers in his father’s bequest.

I’m going to make this an open tag – if you’d like to participate, have at it!  Then let me know so that I can read all about your characters. 🙂

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Chasing Azrael

Hello!  Me again.  I’ve finished two books quite close together, so I’m back with another review for you.  Today, let’s take a look at Chasing Azrael by Hazel Butler, archaeologist, artist, and fellow member of the Alliance of Worldbuilders.  From Amazon:

When Andee Tilbrook’s husband died, her preoccupation with death turned to obsession. Thanks to her unique ability to commune with the dead, her husband remains all too close, yet never close enough. Mired in grief, she clings to James’s spirit, slowly losing touch with the world, her friends, and any desire to continue living.

But when her friend Josh becomes the target of Natalya, a jealous, capricious and violent Russian beauty, Andee somehow finds the strength to free herself from her misery long enough to help him. They soon discover that Natalya is wanted by the police for her involvement in a series of grisly murders, and Andee is dragged into the inquiry by the same man who investigated her own husband’s death.

Torn between new feelings for Josh, and fear that he might be involved in the murders that seem to threaten anyone who comes close, Andee must face the realities of her life, her past, and her very nature-and do it all in time to save her own life.

I could not put this book down.   I stayed up past the witching hour…

The Lokana Chronicles, an excerpt

Since I’ve finally managed to get things finished up with The Lokana Chronicles for the time being, I thought I’d share a couple of excerpts with all you lovely folks.  The first chapter is available here, but these tidbits come from a little further into the story.  Happy reading!

***

After months of siege, the royal army was exhausted; both supplies and morale were low and getting lower.  It was noon when the Zealot army broke through the city gates.

***

Anná
Artwork by Hazel Butler

Henry crouched next to the door, but all he could hear at first was the murmur of muffled voices.  He waved a hand at John to be quiet as he pressed his ear closer to the door.  Where’s a glass when you really need one? he wondered silently as he tried to make out what was being said.  Voices suddenly rose.  Henry recognized Vegin’s as the loudest.  “They’re talking about Anná,” he whispered.  It had taken both brothers a long time to acclimate their tongues to the change in pronunciation.  “Something about Ravenna…”  Henry’s breath caught in his throat as he realized what was happening.

John tapped his brother on the shoulder, worried.  “What is it?  What did you hear?”  But Henry didn’t move, didn’t respond.  He just sat there, stunned, the same way he’d done a hundred times before as a kid playing freeze tag.  Only this time, they weren’t kids.  And this was no game.

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.