Guest Post by {T.J. Akers}

I’m so happy to have T.J. Akers, author of The Final Paladin-The Key of Apollyon, with us today. I read The Final Paladin, and I must say I LOVED it! Peg was such an amazing character, and I loved the way the story worked within and added unique twists to historical mythology. Just look at the beauty below. You’ll love it! 

Take it away, T.J.!Final-Paladin-by-TJ-Akers

 

My name is T.J. Akers, and I’m the author of The Final Paladin–The Key of Apollyon. I enjoy myths and legends regardless of their origin, such as Greek, European, Norse, Hindu, African, American Colonial, Native American, Russian, and World History. It was when I went back to college that I started paying closer attention to mythologies when I took an Early British Literature class. My interest in myths is more related to my interests in language and culture. Understand a culture’s stories, and you can gain insight in how that culture thinks and what they value. Once you understand those things, it’s much easier to get along.

I do have a Christian worldview, and sometimes I get asked why I write stories with such characters, and I don’t mind that question a bit. I write to entertain people first and foremost, so I’m writing these things in hopes giving my readers a fun time, but the thing I believe was put best by Madeleine L’Engle: “Truth is what is true, and it’s not necessarily factual. Truth and fact are not the same thing. Truth does not contradict or deny facts, but it goes through and beyond facts. This is something that it is very difficult for some people to understand. Truth can be dangerous.”

To me, myths are all about truth, and because I believe that there is a thing such as Ultimate Truth, looking at myths and folklore become an exercise in looking at other worldviews. My hope is that The Final Paladin will become popular enough to write a lengthy series in which I use all the paranormal and supernatural tropes from Western Literature.

The first novel was intended to be a fairy tale, and I wanted to use the questing knight trope that goes back as far as the late thirteenth century and sprinkle all kinds of European myths into it. Some things I used were recent, others older, but most everything I used have their roots in Welsh, British, Germanic, and Irish tales. Of course, I like to shorten them all by calling them Germanic.

Allow me to start with the most obvious myth: Five Points in New York City. The infamous ghetto lasted for nearly a full century and is very iconic with history buffs. Of course, I play a little fast and loose with the time period. I start the series in 1870, and while it’s true the commercial use of mechanical sewing machines existed, the most infamous history of the sewing “sweat shops” is from the 1890s. I start Peg out working in sweatshop. Of course, the next book in the series, City of the Dead, will go back to Five Points. I’m so looking forward to it.

 

The Morrigu

1 Morrigu

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / Inantangliel

 

She is sometimes called Morrigan, she can be three women, or one. Most of the details about her depend on who was telling the story. That is something to consider when you study myths, because many cultures depended on oral tradition, and not a written tradition. The details can vary depending on who was telling the story, and what time period. In Celtic myth, the Morrigan was a goddess of war; in other myths, she was a harbinger of imminent death. Thought I’m not a fan of Wikipedia, the article there on the Morrigan is very thorough and well cited. Her role varied, but she appears the most in one of the four Irish cycles of myth known as the Ulster Cycle (8th-11th century oral tradition preserved in 12th century manuscripts). Probably, she would have actually been spoken about in poetic narrative, but how myths change from group to group, or time period to time period, is very interesting. The link below is one of the versions of the Morrigu myth.

 

 

 

The Black Dog

 

2 Black Dog

 

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / VAC

 

I love my character Jack, the black dog. His myth comes from the British Isles, but no one is quite sure if it was Germanic or Celtic. The legend went by many names like Hairy Jack, Padfoot, Churchyard Beast, Cu Sith, Galleytrot, Bogey Beast, and Grimm. For my story, Jack turns into a black dog, a dog the size of a cow. I don’t really get to do a lot of backstory on him, but Godfrey rescued him being mistreated in the Iberian Peninsula at the hands of the Caliphate’s troops. Jack is rescued, but not before they cut out his tongue. The fun thing about novels, if enough people are interested, I can always write about these other characters later. The following video covers some good information, but I warn you, the person doing this is a bit creepy.

 

 

 

Pixies Mounted on Corgis

3 Corgi

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / CaptureLight

 

I love corgis, and as dogs go, they are so adorable. They have a mythic origin from the country of Wales. In fact, one of my sources states that “gi” is Welsh for dog and “cor” is Welsh for dwarf. In Welsh traditions, corgis were rode into battle by fairies, or they pulled carts for elves. I’ve found other references where they are mentioned as the farm dogs of choice by Vikings. The inspiration for my wolfings were the Swedish Vallhund or sometimes called Wolf Corgis.

 

 

Paladins

4 Frankish Knight

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / marzolino

 

A lot of people love tales of knights, and I’m no different. For The Final Paladin, I didn’t choose a Templar (on the cover), a Teutonic Knight, or draw upon Arthurian legend. Instead, I used the Paladins of Charlemagne as my inspiration.

 

One of my main characters in The Final Paladin is Sir Godfrey. He was part of Charlemagne’s united Western Kingdom in the 8th century, but more specifically, of Germanic origin. Originally, the Paladins were comrades of Charlemagne’s vassal Roland. The literary character of Roland was based on Hruodland, a courtier mentioned by Charlemagne’s personal biographer. Roland stories were incredibly popular in the middle ages. Roland had twelve peers that made up the intrepid band of Paladins.

 

 

The Land of Fairy

5 Fairy

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / Goga

 

Like other novelists, I include the fairy courts of Winter and Summer. The Independent Fae (sometimes called Trooping Fairies, but that depends on who you ask) are present as well. Again, depending on who’s telling the story, the Unseelie court (Winter) is comprised of dark fairies, or the real mean ones. The Seelie court (Summer) is more benevolent, at least to a point. If you draw upon many of the Welsh tales, you would find that fairies were the last thing you wanted to bump into while walking through the forest at night. I have two queens borrowed from literature, Titania and Maab, which come from Shakespeare, but the concept of fairy courts go back a long way.

 

 

 

The Gray King and His Daughter

6 Gray King

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / marzolino

 

According to Das Kloster vol 9, Jacob Grimm believed the word ellekonge, or King of the elves, and the female spirit, elverkongens datter, originated from the Danish language. The daughter was responsible for ensnaring humans to satisfy her desires, jealousy, or lust for revenge. The New Oxford American Dictionary describes the Erlking as a “bearded giant or goblin who lures little children to the land of death.” Johann Wolfgang von Geothe wrote a version of the Erlking where the creature prays on children and not adults. Goethe’s portrayal relates the character to a force of death as opposed to a mere magical spirit.

 

For me, I enjoyed creating Auntie, based off the Gray King’s daughter, and she is probably my favorite character in the whole novel.

 

Chim, the Hobgoblin

7 Hobgoblin

Source: https://www.canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / DDniki

 

In Welsh accounts, hobgoblins were small, hairy little men found in human dwelling, doing odd jobs around the house while the family sleeps. Some legends have them living upstairs, while their close cousins, brownies, lived downstairs. Usually, the only thing the wee folk wanted in return for work was food. Brownies were a little more peaceful while hobgoblins were fond of practical jokes. The hobgoblins of Caledonia were seafaring and would sometimes turn into bogarts or bogey men. Sometimes hobgoblins were shapeshifters. Chim is probably my second favorite character in the novel.

 

I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse of the myths and legends behind The Final Paladin.

 

—T.J. Akers

 

T.J. Akers desires to be a multimillionaire when he grows up and give his wealth to his
favorite causes: churches, schools, and animal shelters. Since the millions have been slow in coming, he’s settled for working as a computer technician for a state university and volunteering at his church and local animal shelter. Whenever possible, he indulges his love of writing stories to entertain people, especially younger readers.

Akers holds a Masters of English from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and can often be found roaming the university’s library, especially the children’s and young adult
sections. Librarians have always been his heroes.He lives with his beloved wife of thirty years, his dog, and two cats. The dog is an excellent writing companion, but the cats have proven to be rather critical.

Learn more at http://www.tjakers.com.

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Purchase The Final Paladin

Kindle Giveaway + 15 Fantasy eBooks

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Enter to win a new Kindle eReader, PLUS fifteen (15) fantasy eBooks.

In addition to the awesome All-New Kindle E-reader – Black, 6” Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, one lucky winner will receive…

Echo of the High Kings by Kal Spriggs.

Fade by Daniel Humphreys

Doctor to Dragons by Scott G. Huggins

Who’s Afraid of the Dark? by Russell Newquist

Brotherly Envy by S.D. McPhail

Scales: A Mermaid Tale by Pauline Creeden

Honor by Rachel Rossano

Fallen Emrys: Niawen’s Story by Lisa Rector

Aerisia: Land Beyond the Sunset by Sarah Ashwood

Playing With Magic by Carrie L. Wells

Where Carpets Fly by Elise Edmonds

Toonopolis: Gemini by Jeremy Rodden

Got To Be a Hero by Paul Duffau

The Temptation of Dragons by Chrys Cymri

From the Stories of Old: A Collection of Fairy Tale Retellings by Heather Hayden

By entering this giveaway, you acknowledge that your email addresses will be added to the newsletter email lists of ALL FIFTEEN (15) participating authors. You will receive email from them, but never spam.

ENTER HERE

Entries accepted until September 18, 2017.

Spring Fling Mega Gift Card Giveaway

Spring flowers

We’re Treating Readers to a Spring Fling!
with a Mega Gift Card Giveaway April 2-24
and Facebook Hop April 21-24

Enter for the chance to win $1250 in Amazon Gift Cards!

Sponsored by the 77 authors listed below

Constance Phillips • Debbie White • Tamara Lush • Nancy Segovia • Helen Smith • Stella Marie Alden • Alyson Hale • Shirley Hailstock • Dena Garson • Ava Bradley • Tamara Ferguson • Lynda Haviland • Eva Chase • Ashlee Price • Allyson R Abbott • Phoebe Rose • Ysa Arcangel • Tee Garner • Jennifer Allis Provost • Rachel Woods • Amelia James • Jacqueline Diamond • Marsha A. Moore • Siera London • Emily Leigh • Aileen Harkwood • Jenna Barwin • Tara Lain • Christa Paige • Cynthia A Clement • Marie Booth • Hope Welsh • Sarah Fischer • Marie Johnston • Anne Renwick • Brea Viragh • Gayle Parness • Trish McCallan • Aubrey Wynne • JD Monroe • Sharon Kay • Elizabeth Rose • H. D. Thomson • Amy Brent • Caitlyn Blue • Margo Bond Collins • Bokerah Brumley • Felicia Beasley • Amy L Gale • Olivia Wildenstein • Tracie E. Christian • Patricia M Jackson • Kristy Tate • Astrid Arditi • Lisa Mondello • Cassie Alexander • Lori L. Robinett • Amanda Uhl • Melissa Belle • Josie Riviera • Layla Messner • Bree Dahlia • Cherie Claire • Barbara Barrett • M. Black • Lizbeth Selvig • Cailin Briste • Mia Ford • Bambi Lynn • Roxanne Snopek • Stacy Gold • Alex Gordon • Kristine Smith • Marianna Baker • Greta Boris • Oliver Chase • Allison Gatta

One entry signs you up to each of our newsletters. You can also earn extra entries by signing up for our newsletters early, before the giveaway ends on April 24 (don’t worry, you won’t be double subscribed).

Click Here to Enter the Giveaway

Be sure to also join us for our Facebook Hop April 21-24, when we will have 77 gift cards for you to enter to win. That’s a gift card at every stop! Plus a bonus giveaway for the winner’s choice of an Amazon Echo Dot or Kindle Fire. For more info, visit the Hop website https://megagiftcardhop.wordpress.com/ .

Spring flowers

“Give me [food] or give me death!”

“Give me [food] or give me death!”

What’s that you say? You need to consult with the others, but I’ve got the quote wrong?

I’ll wait.

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Fine. That’s not how the original went, but it’s the version that’s been rolling around my head for the last six months.

In a literal way, it’s a true thing; no food = death. Moreover, a lack of real food also equals death, albeit a slower one. Historically, though, food has been one of the ways the ruling government controls its populace is to control its food. Today is no different.

I touch on this idea of egregious, governmental food control in the CLFA anthology, Freedom’s Light, and my contribution, Dollars on the Nightstand.

Let’s pretend that I’m your neighbor. I’ve invited you over to dinner. We ate a delicious, crispy-skinned broiler chicken that was free-ranging on my grassy pasture yesterday. As a family, we processed it, slicked it with butter made from my cow’s milk, and then seasoned it with herbs from our herb garden. The green beans were canned from last year’s harvest, and the water is from our well.

Everything is delicious, and as we’re cleaning up, you notice that I have an excess of raw milk in my fridge.

“Can I buy some?” you ask. “Let me at least help pay for some of the feed and work you’ve put into it.” You know how I keep my animals. You see that they’re happy and healthy, and you’ve had the milk before. It’s creamy and delicious.

“Nope, sorry, it’s illegal. They might take all my animals and arrest me for selling you a little milk.”

Really? Yes. Really.

You know what’s insane? Minus the last one hundred years, the very thing I just described was a normal occurrence. AND WE SURVIVED IT! WITHOUT government invention. This was life. We bartered as a way to survive. We shared our excess of one thing with out neighbor, and we were the better for it.

In place of this, the government has institutionalized food that’s chemically mass produced and emptied of all goodness. Chickens are housed in miserable conditions. Cattle are kept in feedlots, living miserable lives, shot full of antibiotics and fed diets that are not meant to keep them healthy, but meant to make them gain weight. We eat obese food, and we’re shocked that the country is suffering from obesity. There have been two studies hinting at the link between these two things.”You are what you eat,” as grandma used to say.

The USDA manages all aspects of our food industry, based on recommended daily allowances. However, their RDAs are based on the *minimum* allowable of calories, vitamins, and minerals that will net a passably health human. Actual needs are usually much more and not often met by what is now the standard American diet.

But when it comes to the small farm, the USDA invades with oppressive regulations, fees, certifications, and laws that make it nearly impossible for a small farm to bring a livable wage to the small farmer. They can enter a farm without permission, run a single test, and euthanize entire flocks without explanation. Personal autonomy and liberty is ignored.

“In the 1930s, the United States was home to 6.3 million farms; today, there are approximately 2.2 million, and fewer every day. The average age of today’s farmer or rancher is 59 years old, and many are retiring without a successor, as their children don’t want — or can’t afford — to take over the family business. Thus, as farms’ inheritors increasingly abandon the farm, a vacuum of stewardship opens up, leaving many wondering who, or what, will take their place.” — From Down on the Farm by Gracy Olmstead, National Review, August 15, 2016

(Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/438983/small-farms-big-business-family-farms-struggle-against-industrial-agriculture)

Food shortages will be a real thing in our future world. Yet it will not be from a lack of individuals that would love to take on the task, but from the inability to enter the industry without millions in pocketbook capital.

DSC_1309As Patricia Foreman, one of the founders of the Chicken Underground, likes to say, “It is a constitutional right for people to feed themselves and their neighbors, if they choose. We lived this way for thousands of years.” The USDA allows unhealthy, over-crowding in chicken houses that require HAZMAT suits and protocol to walk through, but demand egg washing that removes the bloom (natural protective coating) from fresh eggs. She also likes to point out that Europeans usually do not wash or refrigerate eggs as it isn’t necessary for fresh-from-the-farm eggs. Indeed, if you compare a standard store-bought egg with an egg from a pasture-raised chicken, you will find significant differences in the color and consistency as well as the nutritional content.

DSC_1216According to Joel Salatin (a self-proclaimed “…Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic“), founder of Polyface Farms, Inc., author of Everything I Want to Do is Illegal, there is a prejudice against scale. Crop-insurance doesn’t benefit the health of the agricultural market or increase productivity. It insures that the current degenerative farming practices stay in place, depleting the soil and ruining the land for generations, while insuring that regenerative farming practice that use common sense over the “we can chemically engineer it so we will” attitude (example: Round Up and the plight of the honey bees and other natural pollinators).  “Innovation starts embryonically, creation starts small,” he says.

But, for us, for our family, it’s more than that. It’s a throw-back to a simpler time when kids were connected to the value of life and the value of hard work.

Or more simply…

“I reject your reality and substitute my own.” — Adam Savage

Farming is a way to be free and unplugged from a societal breakdown. They can riot in the cities when the government decides to face the music and stop printing money; we’re working our sustainable plan. Society can collapse. Permaculture farming is the ticket to a kind of freedom that has been in short supply since Big Gov took over the food industry (and schooling, but that that’s a story for a different day). We’ll still have food and food to share.

At least until we’re arrested for selling milk. But you didn’t hear that from me.

“Give me [food] liberty or give me death!”

Live and Let Bite {Declan Finn}

If you’re interested in signed copies of Declan’s books or looking for a discussion about the industry with A Pius Geek, Declan’s 2017 appearances include RavenCon, LibertyCon, and DragonCon.

live-and-let-biteCongratulations to Declan Finn on the release of Live and Let Bite (Love at First Bite Book 3). In honor of the feat, he’s agreed to share his thoughts on writing… and a question most writers face… Why?  

 

 


Usually, when people tell me “I want to be a writer,” I tell them, “Turn back now.” When people tell me “I have to be a writer,” I tell them to go on full speed ahead, because there’s really no other way to do it.


Why do we write?

Why not?

The honest answer to the question is that I have to write. I have to. Must. I am obligated to write. Call it compulsive. Call it obsessive. But I have annoying people in my head talking to me, urging me to write stuff down … if you don’t understand it, you must not be a writer. There’s a reason I call being a writer legalized schizophrenia.

Usually, when people tell me “I want to be a writer,” I tell them, “Turn back now.” When people tell me “I have to be a writer,” I tell them to go on full speed ahead because there’s really no other way to do it.

To be perfectly honest, people who want to be writers don’t know what they’re in for. People who have to be writers don’t have any other choice in the matter, so much as well lean into it and charge ahead at full speed.

On the one end, you could say that writer’s are playing God. Technically, we are. We’ve created worlds, people, history of a planet – even if it’s just the fictional background of characters. On the other hand, as Dorothy Lee Sayers brought up in The Mind of the Maker, being god of your own little world isn’t as easy as it’s cracked up to be. After a while, the characters will start making decisions on their own. Which helps me, because I’m lazy and I don’t outline, so I just let them run rampant all over the place.

Some people write to entertain, which is probably the best way to go about it. Some people want to slip a message in there to go along with it, which is fine, as long as they keep the story going. Personally, any message I slip in comes from my own point of view. I am a monotheist, Thomistic philosopher. I have certain ideas of how the world worlds. I see things from a certain point of view.

Take, for example, my Love at First Bite series. There’s one character who believes themselves a blood-thirsty monster, even though they’ve only ever killed someone in self-defense. We have another one who is a vampire, and working on redemption….Yes, a contrite vampire. Because why not?

What happens when “the blood-thirsty monster” enjoys killing … but only does it when the life of self or others is at stake? Is that person evil because they enjoyed doing what was necessary? Especially if the intent is to save lives, but the enjoyment was a side benefit?

If your answer is “Yes, X person is evil,” then you must also condemn Winston Churchill and George Washington who remarked on the thrill of “being shot at without effect.” Does that means every soldier who has ever done a victory party that they survived a shootout must be evil because they’re happy to have survived while the ones trying to kill them didn’t?

If your answer is “No, this person isn’t pure evil, because his actions were good, but his thoughts are impure,” then that might be closer to the truth.

The first person who is pure may step up and throw the first rock.

As a Catholic, our catechism tells us that God made us to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, so we can live with Him forever in Heaven in the next.

But we all know God in different ways. Thomas Aquinas knew God through reason. Francis of Assisi knew Him through nature.

And some people know God by dying for Him.

When a world consists of evil vampires trying to take over a city by slaughtering innocent people, sometimes knowing God means being a soldier for Him.

For He has died to make men Holy. Some will die to make men free.

Is it a message? Maybe. At most, I just figure it should be a conversation starter about the nature of redemption. Of what’s black, and what’s white, and what’s a shade of gray – and not a collection of bondage porn.

Being a writer is who I am. It’s what I do. It’s all I really know how to do well. I just try to write some fun stories and throw some ideas in there for the audience to chew on and let any “message” attend to itself.


14971387_10101562879084690_146218567_nDeclan Finn is the author of books ranging from thrillers to urban fantasy to SciFi. This most popular of these books includes the 2016 Dragon Award nominated novel for Best Horror, Honor at Stake: Welcome to New York City, where vampires don’t sparkle, they burn. The sequel, Murphy’s Law of Vampires and Live and Let Bite are already out.

Finn is one of a legion of writers over at The Catholic Geeks blog (a legion, for we are many). Other books he has written includes the comedy-thriller It Was Only on Stun! where he blows up a sci-fi convention (no, not this one). The sequel is Set to Kill, a novel that spun off of his parody, Sad Puppies Bite Back.

He co-authored the science fiction espionage novel Codename: Winterborn, and Codename: UnSub. However, he is most proud of his The Pius Trilogy – book one of which, A Pius Man, will be rereleased from Silver Empire Press in 2017. Finn also hosts the Catholic Geek Radio show and can be found wherever someone is starting trouble.

If you’re interested in signed copies of Declan’s books or looking for a discussion about the industry with A Pius Geek, Declan’s 2017 appearances include RavenCon, LibertyCon, and DragonCon.


haskindle-1

Honor at Stake

murphy-draft

Murphy’s Law of Vampires

live-and-let-bite

Live and Let Bite

The Reward of Anavrea {Rachel Rossano} + Giveaway

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We all like a reward, don’t we? But, not all rewards are what they appear. That’s the case in the latest installment of Rachel Rossano’s Theodoric Saga. Rachel created an intriguing Historical-like Christian Fantasy as she tells the tale of Jayne and Liam. Find out more and be sure to check out the giveaway (at the end of the post)!


 

I’m so pleased to have my guest, Rachel Rossano, today. She’s a spectacular lady, and I’ve already jumped into The Reward of Anavrea. I’m enjoying the world she’s created.

What Inspires me to Write

  1. A good book that I enjoyed immensely always gets me in the mood to try and create something of my own.
  2. A badly written book makes me want to prove that I can do better.
  3. A good movie gets me thinking about characters, situations, or other inspiring ideas for stories.
  4. Interacting with people in the general public always gets me thinking about individual’s lives and experiences.
  5. Talking to older people always gets me wondering about something that happened in the past. That leads to research, which leads to more ideas and then stories or characters.
  6. People watching and observing interpersonal interactions also inspire ideas.
  7. Talking about my books and characters with fellow writers or readers always gets me thinking.
  8. Going away into a quiet place where my kids aren’t clamoring for my attention or making noise also usually transitions into words written.
  9. Listening to other authors talk about their books gives me ideas.
  10. Listening to anyone talk about pretty much anything can spark an idea.

 


About the Book

web2-rossano-reward-finalShe couldn’t hide forever.

A hard life taught Jayne to avoid men, powerful men most of all. When a new nobleman arrives to take over the vargar, she takes her family and hides. But the new baron seeks her out and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: protection. However, once they were sheltered behind the dark stone walls of the vargar, who would protect her from the new master?

His reward isn’t what it seems.

King Ireic of Anavrea charges Liam, a former bodyguard, with the task of retaking and taming a corner of the northern wilds. Upon arrival at Ashwyn Vargar, Liam finds challenges beyond his military experience. The keys to the vargar are missing and so are the field hands who should be harvesting the fields. Once he finds the keeper of the keys, she raises more questions than answers.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N2JATTB/

 


About the Author

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Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.

Giveaway

anavrea-giveaway

Rachel is giving away one of her favorite CDs to listen to while she writes. If you’ve ever wondered what kind of music she likes to listen to, you can check out the CD on Amazon and then come back here and enter the giveaway. https://www.amazon.com/Piano-Guys/dp/B009EAO38C/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

January 2
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Intro and Book Review
Julie Coulter Bellon-Review
Bokerah-Guest Post

January 3
The Overactive Imagination-Guest Post
Queen of Random-Book Spotlight
Rachel Rossano’s Words-Book Spotlight

January 4
Stephany Tullis-Book Spotlight
Ember’s Reviews-Author Interview and Review

January 5
Frances Hoelsema-Book Spotlight
Laurel’s Leaves-Author Interview
Author Franky A Brown-Guest Post

January 6
Zerina Blossom’s Books-Review
Shout outs-Guest Post
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Book Spotlight
Rebekah Lyn Book-Character Spotlight

January 7
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner

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When Love Arrives {Johnnie Alexander}

Review of When Love Arrives by Johnnie Alexander

 

dsc_1469When Love Arrives is book two in the Misty Willow Series, the follow-up novel to Johnnie Alexander’s book, Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series #1).

In Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series #1), we were introduced to Shelby Kincaid and AJ Sullivan, two characters on opposite sides of a years-old family feud. By the end, AJ and Shelby discovered that a shared history can create a beautiful future. In Johnnie Alexander’s first installment, we also meet a supporting character, Brett Somers, as he learns some life-altering news.

In When Love Arrives, we follow Brett Somers as he copes with the reality that he has fathered a son, only learning of the child after unfortunate circumstances land the boy in a coma. As Brett’s heart changes and he seeks to make things right, he’s brought face-to-face with the damage that his selfish behavior has caused.

As Dani Prescott digs for dirt on the man who ruined her mother’s reputation, she inadvertently runs into Brett as she follows him to the hospital where Brett’s son resides. When Brett asks Dani on a date, she says yes, telling herself that it will be the quickest way to find a devastating secret to use against him. Shelby, AJ, and the whole Misty Willow cast welcome Dani with open arms, giving her the family that she so desperately wants. As time wears on, Dani’s bitterness is slowly dismantled by the new man Brett is trying to be. But the truth Dani keeps hidden has the power to destroy the burgeoning romance.

Johnnie Alexander’s story-telling skills shine again as she deftly weaves themes of abiding love through her characters’ search for peace and redemption.  Dani’s heartache is palpable, even as classic movies compliment Brett’s new-found chivalry. As a reader, I thoroughly enjoyed the by-play between the new characters and the appearance of some of my favorite characters from book one.

When Love Arrives was a wonderful addition to the Misty Willow series, and I’m eager to read book three. With believable characters, smooth writing, and light humor, this inspirational, Christian romance is a highly recommended read.

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Johnnie Alexander

When Love Arrives: A Novel

Misty Willow series

Revell Publishers

978-0800726409, paper, 368 pages, $14.29 (ebook also available)

September 2016

 

About the Author

61z-bdbii9l-_sy200_Johnnie Alexander imagines stories while raccoons and foxes occasionally pass by her window. Her debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, was a CBA bestseller and has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian.

Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series #1), her first contemporary romance, was a Library Journal Pick of the Month. Recent releases include The Healing Promise (Courageous Bride Collection) and When Love Arrives (Misty Willow Series #2).

In addition to winning the prestigious American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Contest (Historical), she was named a Bronze Medalist in the My Book Therapy Frasier Contest and has received several conference awards.

Johnnie is marketing director for the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference and president of the ACFW Memphis chapter.

A graduate of Rollins College (Orlando) with a Master of Liberal Studies degree, she lives near Memphis with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, the princely papillon who trees those pesky raccoons whenever he gets the chance.

Join Johnnie on her website at http://www.johnnie-alexander.com to experience the charm of country living, the love of random travel, and the joy of treasured memories.