Cover Reveal for “Common”

Don’t think I can contain my excitement!

 

I may actually faint.

 

Because I get to share with you…

 

Something really spectacular!

 

That’s right. It’s the cover for Laurie Lucking’s debut YA fantasy, Common!

So without further ado…

 

Here it is!

 

Is it amazing or what?!?

 

And if you think the cover is beautiful, wait until you read what it’s about:

One person knows of the plot against the royal family and cares enough to try to stop it—the servant girl they banished.

Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility. Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.

And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.

But Leah’s safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Unexpected feelings for Rafe surface just as his parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess. Then she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. Her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.

Harbored by a mysterious group of nuns, Leah must secure Rafe’s safety before it’s too late. But her quest reveals a villain far more sinister than an ambitious nobleman with his eye on the throne.

Can a common maidservant summon the courage to fight for her dearest friend?

An avid reader since birth (her parents claim she often kept them up late begging to hear just one more story), Laurie Lucking discovered her passion for writing after leaving her career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom. She writes young adult fantasy with a strong thread of romance, and her debut novel, Common, releases in 2018 from Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing. Laurie is the secretary of her local ACFW chapter and a co-founder of www.landsuncharted.com, a blog for fans of clean young adult speculative fiction. A Midwestern girl through and through, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and two young sons. Find out more about Laurie and her writing by visiting www.laurielucking.com.


Now comes the challenge…waiting for its release!

Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity,
stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

Sign up for my newsletter. I give away an e-book in each one!

 

Getting to Know Author Kimberly McNeil

Interviewing authors is always fun. You get a behind-the-scenes peek at a creative brain at work.

I sat down (virtually, of course. Oh, the Internet. Bless) with Amy Williams, who writes under the pen name Kimberly McNeil, about her Young Adult Fantasy, Meg Mitchell & the Secret of the Journal, for a leg of her blog tour celebrating this new release.

Meg Mitchell Blog Tour Banner.jpg

Jebraun: Hi Amy…erm…Kimberly…erm…

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Kimberly: People usually give me really funny looks when I promote Meg Mitchell & The Secret of the Journal. They look at the cover and then at me and say, “But your name isn’t Kimberly McNeil!” No, it’s not. But Kimberly McNeil is the name I use for writing the Lightkeepers series.

J: Then I’ll stick with Kimberly, okay? Let’s jump right in, shall we? What’s your favourite though often under-appreciated novel?

K: I love Ishmael by Barbara Hambly. It’s an old original-series Star Trek novel where Spock travels back in time and forgets who he is, and he has to fit in with humans in 1800s era Seattle. It’s absolutely brilliant storytelling, but it’s often sidelined because it’s just “a Star Trek” book. But those kinds of genre stories are what first introduced me to writing and made me love the art of storytelling.

J: I love it! I remember as a teenager devouring a novel based on the screenplay of The Empire Strikes Back, and I was thoroughly entertained.

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A good story is a good story, amiright? You’re a storyteller. What’s the best thing you’ve found to overcome writer’s block?

K: Taking a walk and talking to myself. Well, technically, I’m taking a walk and talking to my characters. Whenever I hit a wall in my writing, generally it’s because I’m trying to force my characters to do something they don’t want to do. So I step away from my work and ask them why they’re behaving like stubborn children, and most of the them I get an answer back. Then, I redesign the scene or—this just happened recently—completely start over and let them tell me what they want to do. I know that sounds insane, but that’s my process.

J: No, actually it makes a lot of sense. Our characters sure can have a mind of their own. So, if you could visit any imaginary literary world, which one would it be?

K: Maybe I should pick someone else’s literary world (like Hogwarts or Camp Half-Blood), but if I had to choose an imaginary world to visit, I’d absolutely want to visit my own. The Andarian Dimension from the Lightkeepers series is the one place I’m not sure I’d ever want to leave. The pure natural beauty, the quirky cultures who live there, the ancient history and ruins? Golly, it would be the most awesome adventure ever, as long as you stay away from the Centaurs.

J: Ooooh…ruins are always adventurous to explore. I like your loyalty to your world. And I’ll keep your warning about Centaurs in mind as I read. You’ve got quite the cast of characters which can be tricky to give them all unique personalities. Any real-life quirky habits or traits (yours or someone you know) that you’ve given a character?

K: I started writing the Legend of the Lightkeepers series when I was 11 years old, and without really meaning to, I actually wrote in characters based on people I knew. It wasn’t intentional. I think as a child I just saw qualities and characteristics in the people around me that I liked, and I used those things when I created some of my favorite characters.

The best example is probably Jim Taylor, the brilliant nerdy teenage detective who can’t walk three steps without tripping over his own feet. He’s scary smart, super clumsy, and really protective of his big sister Barb, even though he really can’t do anything to protect her. Without really meaning to, I based Jim on my little brother Andy. A friend actually had to point it out to me because I didn’t even realize it, but Andy and Jim are basically the same person. So whenever I am at a loss for what Jim would do in a scene, I just think about how my brother would act or what my brother would do. It’s really handy.

J: Eleven year old? Wow! So this has been a dream for a long time. And now it’s out in print. Very exciting. Every author would love to see their story on the big screen. Who’s your ‘dream cast’ for a few of your characters from Meg Mitchell & the Secret of the Journal if it were made into a movie?

K: Oh my goodness, there are so many. The trouble, though, with choosing a dream cast for a series that’s this old? Well, most of the original people I picked to represent my characters are now way too old for the roles, so I’ve had to go back and pick some new ones.

The best actress I have ever found to represent Meg Mitchell is Ayla Kell. She has the look and face shape and the general bearing I’ve always seen for Meg.

AylaKell-MegMitchell

The best choice in my mind for Barb Taylor is Katherine McNamara. Again, she’s got the face shape and attitude I’ve always attributed to Barb.

KatherineMcNamara-BarbTaylor(1)

That being said, the original actress I used to represent Barb was Annie Wersching, and to this day, I still think she’s the best choice. So maybe in future books, I could use her as an adult Barb?

AnnieWersching-BarbTaylor(2) (1)

And, just because he’s so important, the actor I have always seen playing Ronnie Akkard is a guy named Thomas Dekker. Obviously, he doesn’t have blue hair and silver eyes like Ronnie does, but he’s got the punk feel down.

ThomasDekker-RonnieAkkard

I have tons of others. Folders and folders and folders full of reference images. Someday soon I’ll be doing character profiles on my website, and I’ll put them all up for people to see.

J: I love your choices. It’s fun to see who you think your characters look like! Okay, time to move away from the novel and ask a really personal question. Fill in the blank: I could eat *favourite food* every day.

K: Here’s the deal. I love food. The only food item I don’t love is turnips. I could eat pizza every day. I could eat tacos every day. I could eat Indian food every day. Sushi too. And ice cream. And chocolate. I love ethnic cuisine and love trying new things. So as long as it doesn’t have turnips in it, I’m game. (Just kidding. I’ll even try turnips again. Maybe. If you pay me.)

J: Okay. Now I’m hungry! Think I’ll grab a snack before we finish this up…

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And I don’t think I’ve ever eaten turnips. They are a funny looking vegetable, aren’t they? Thanks so much, Kimberly, for chatting with me. Best of luck with your new book!

If your interest is piqued, here’s a little blurb about Meg Mitchell & the Secret of the Journal. Plus an intriguing cover that reminds me how much I love the Golden Gate Bridge.

Stories never end. They just get bigger.

You only have to turn the page.

MegMitchell_Journal

Meg Mitchell lives in a castle, but she’s no wilting princess. Raised in an alien world by adoptive parents, she spends her time fighting Centaurs, training as an Andai warrior, and chilling in her favorite willow tree.

But when Meg uncovers her birth father’s journal, she discovers a cousin she didn’t know existed. Meg and her little brother and sister travel through an inter-dimensional rip to San Francisco to search for their cousin, setting off a chain of events no one could have foreseen.

When her sister is kidnapped, Meg enlists the help of teenage detective Barb Taylor and her genius little brother Jim. Following clues dropped by a mysterious benefactor, they embark on a cross-country adventure to rescue her sister and find Meg’s cousin.

Family is everything to Meg, but not all is as it seems. In her quest to reunite her family, she may lose more than she ever imagined.


You can find Meg Mitchell & the Secret of the Journal at:

AmazonBarnes & Noble, or at Crosshair Press

Check out the reviews on Goodreads.


A.C. WilliamsAmy Williams is a novelist, freelance writer, founding member of Crosshair Press LLC, and professional nerd. You can find most of her work under the name A.C. Williams, but she also writes young adult fantasy (The Legend of the Lightkeepers) under the pen name Kimberly McNeil. Amy is single and lives in her family’s 100-year-old farmhouse on five acres in the middle of the Kansas prairie. She loves cats and drinks far too much coffee.

Connect with Amy!

Website |Facebook |Twitter|Instagram|Google Plus

Want to dive into a new world? Enter to win an e-copy of Kimberly McNeil’s Meg Mitchell & The Secret of the Journal as well as get a preview of her upcoming short story Stan Hawthorne & The Broken Sword. (Open internationally.

Don’t miss the rest of the blog tour!

Wednesday, November 1st   

Thursday, November 2nd  

Friday, November 3rd  

Saturday, November 4th  

Monday, November 6th  

Tuesday, November 7th    

Wednesday, November 8th

Thursday, November 9th

Friday, November 10th


Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity,
stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

Have you signed up for my newsletter? I give away an e-book in every one!

Alara’s Call: Royal Palace Inspirations

It’s blog tour time again!

I’m part of the team introducing the world to Kristen Stieffel’s debut fantasy Alara’s Call.

Pardon me if I hyperventilate a little because have you seen the cover?!?

Rhetorical question, of course, because I revealed it on this very blog a few weeks ago.

So.

Have you seen the updated cover?

No? Well…here you go. And you’re welcome.

Alara’s Call

Only a little tweak, but instantly it’s waaaay more fantasy-ish. Dontcha love it?!?

I got to chat with Kristen (who made it through Hurricane Irma just fine, thank you very much), and she asked if she could share six pictures of the palaces that inspired the settings in Alara’s Call. 

And I said, please do! I love behind the scenes sneak-peeks, so without further ado, take it away, Kristen:


The story world of The Prophet’s Chronicle is loosely based on nineteenth-century Europe: lots of small countries with interrelated noble families and cultural conflicts.

The heroine, Alara, is a young clergywoman who is called to prophesy to world leaders about how the people of her faith are to be governed. At first she doesn’t understand why she should be given such an immense task. But her father is the prime minister of their country, Glynrell. Through her mother she’s related to the royal family of the neighboring country of Redíque. So she is already at the upper echelons of society.

The story ranges across three countries and visits several noble homes. I looked to the real world for a lot of inspiration about these places.

The story begins in the Glynrellan capital, Ayenni, where Alara’s family has their ancient estate, Ravendyn. It is very loosely modeled on Arlington House at the national cemetery. What struck me about the house is its position atop a hill. According to the National Park Service, the house “was purposefully set in a prominent position overlooking the growing capital city.” Ravendyn is much larger, but occupies a similar overlook.

Arlington House
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, 2007, courtesy of the National Parks Service, npa.gov

The villains’ home base is the royal palace in Tarvag, the capital city of Makut, a country to the east of Glynrell and their historic enemy. It’s described as being over five stories, surrounded by a high wall. It has two wings enclosing a courtyard, kind of like the Palais de l’Élysée photo below, only bigger. Cross the Élysée with Burg Hohenzollern, a castle in central Germany, and drop it in the middle of a city instead of the forest, and it comes pretty close.

Burg_Hohenzollern_SW.jpg
Aerial view of Hohenzollern castle in Bisingen-Zimmern, view from the southwest. © MFSG / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0.

Much of the story takes place in Redíque, where Alara’s family has two royal residences. Dorváir is in the capital city, and it’s sort of a cross between Buckingham Palace in London and Palais de l’Élysée (the French president’s residence) in Paris.

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Buckingham Palace. Photo courtesy royal.uk
Palais de l'Élysée.jpg
The Palais de l’Élysée is the official residence of the French president. Photo courtesy elysee.fr

 

The courtyard in the background of the cover of Alara’s Call is basically the courtyard at Dorváir. Just so you know.

The final chapters of the book take place at Shandór, a palace in the Redíquan countryside, and there was only ever one model for this location.

Chambord_Castle_Northwest_facade.jpg
Northwest façade of Chambord castle. Photo by Benh Lieu Song / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0.

 

The Château de Chambord is a sixteenth-century palace in the Loire Valley. Legend has it that Leonardo da Vinci contributed to its design.

I confess I may be exaggerating when I say Chambord is the only inspiration for Shandór—although that’s certainly where it gets its name. Those who’ve read the book will catch the detail that Shandór’s roofs are conical and blue. So yes, there is of course one more inspiration.

Cinderella_Castle_at_Magic_Kingdom_Walt_Disney_World.jpg
Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World. Photo by Ivan Curra / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0.

I am an Orlandoan, you know.


Ooooh wow! Thanks so much, Kristen. What a gorgeous selection of castles. Now I’m going to be dreaming all day about which one I’d like to live in.

 

If these photos have inspired you to dive into the world of Alara’s Call, I’ve got you covered. There’s a great preorder sale going on right now, so grab your copy of this fantastical read to enjoy when it releases September 19.

–> preorder here <–

Also, as I’ve mentioned before, L2L2 Publishing knows how to throw a party. There are great prizes to be won, and anyone can join in. The best part is we get to party in our pajamas!

 

You can RSVP here

Image may contain: text

 

Connect with Kristen. I know she’d love to hear from you.

WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | GoodreadsPinterest

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!


Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3

Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

 

 

Have you signed up for my newsletter? I give away an e-book in every one!

Cover Reveal of ‘Alara’s Call’

It’s time again to reveal the cover of a soon-to-be-published book!

This one is a fantasy…um…my favourite…by Kristen Stieffel titled Alara’s Call. 

Here it is in all its gorgeousness:

Alaras-Call-Kindle.jpg

Love the dress, love the hair, love the opulent background! What could this amazing looking book be about? Well, I’m glad you asked because I’ve got a back cover blurb to keep you drooling:

Tales are often told of heroes who fulfill ancient prophecies. Alara’s Call is the tale of a woman who gives new ones.

Alara sees visions of other’s futures, but never her own.

A young clergywoman with a fiery passion for her Telshan faith, she has been assigned to a mission abroad but longs to lead a congregation in her homeland. Her father, the prime minister, jeopardizes her dream and her safety when he coerces her into what he calls a diplomatic mission.

But it’s a ruse.

The trip is meant to end with her marriage to the crown prince of a foreign nation, where members of Alara’s faith are persecuted and women oppressed. All for a trade agreement her father is desperate to enact.

But her mentor intervenes and takes Alara to Dorrel, the suitor she left behind. They
believe they are safe, but foreign soldiers are under orders to bring Alara to the king’s
palace…by any means necessary.

 

 

I’m not sure if we can wait for its release date of September 19, 2017, but we’re just going to have to!!


Kristen Stieffel is a freelance editor and writer who specializes in speculative fiction. Although she edits projects in varied genres for both the general market and the Christian submarket, she is a novelist at heart. Member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and Christian Editor Connection, mentor with Word Weavers International, and on the planning committee for Realm Makers, Kristen stays busy doing what she loves most. She is also the associate editor of Havok, a flash-fiction magazine focused on science fiction and fantasy.

 
Website|Blog|Amazon|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads|Pinterest


 

Thanks for joining me in admiring the cover of Alara’s Call!

Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3

Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity,
stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

Sign up for my newsletter!

My Flash Fiction Story is Published!

A few months ago, I entered a fantasy flash fiction story called The Stone Veil to Splickety Publishing, hoping to final in their mythical mash-up short fiction contest.

My story was selected (yay!) and then came the nail-biting wait for publication.

That wait is over.

You can find the July issue of HAVOK at magcloud or on Kindle at Amazon.

Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!


Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3

Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity,
stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.


Have you signed up for my newsletter? I give away an e-book in each one!

What Happens When a Sneaky Snek Takes Over My Blog? Coiled Blog Tour #9

It started innocently enough. I volunteered to be part of H.L. Burke’s Coiled Blog Tour. I love celebrating new books, and one that’s a retelling of the Eros and Psyche myth caught my attention.

blog tour banner.jpg

Then I got the email.

Would I be interested in a guest post?

Well, sure! Why not? Little did I know that a…ahem…snek…would be the guest! I tried to protest. This is a happy blog! No scary creatures allowed! But before I could say ophidiophobia, this sneaky little critter wrestled for control of the blog.

And won.

Without further ado, here’s the result *hides eyes*


A sneaky snek takeover ahead

Warning, if you have Ophidiophobia  this is not the post for you.

Why?

Because this post includes snakes.

Actually it includes sneks but that’s mostly semantics. For the ssssake of thissss post should we ssssay sssemanticsssss? Maybe? No, I’m not going to do that. That’s just annoying. (or issssssssssss it?)

So why sneks?

I think the questions should be, why not?

After all, sneks are charming.

On a scale of one to ten, sneks are at least an 8 (because 8 is the snakiest number. Just look at it and tell me it isn’t).

And also because in Coiled, Prince Calen has a problem, and that problem is snek related. In fact, he’s literally related to a snek because his brother, Volen, turns into a snek any time he’s alone or in darkness. This would be a big problem, a snek brother, but for the most part it is easy to fix (just never let Volen be alone or in darkness), so it’s not the biggest snek related problem in Calen’s life. Nope, that would be his own snek-hood. You see, Calen has the other half of Volen’s half. The half the turns you into a snek whenever someone looks at you, so unless Calen is alone (or in darkness) POOF! Snek!

1BP.jpg

You’d think Calen would be okay with this, but no, you see, there are a lot of things one can’t do as a Snek, and looking adorable and all sleek and scaly will only get you so far. For instance, sneks are messy eaters.

2bp.jpg

Sneks can’t play most instruments. Sneks can’t write. Sneks can’t fly on planes, no matter what misleading movie posters would have you believe (you just try to get a snek through security). Snek life is adorable, but limiting.

What’s worse is that Calen isn’t in control of his snek-instincts when in his snek form. Calen really doesn’t want to hurt anybody, but the inner snek wants what the inner snek wants, and that is often to bite and squeeze.

3bpsnek.jpg

But Calen is not a killer. He’s protector! Especially when Laidra, a princess with her own curse, comes into his life.

4bpsnek.jpg

Calen just wants to keep Laidra safe, especially from his own snekky self, but that might be harder than anticipated.

If you want to the full story of how Calen struggles with his inner snek, and whether he can break his curse to become a prince once more, you’ll have to read Coiled.

Because … sneks.

5snek.jpg


Phew! We made it to the other side! Now that the snek is contained (for now!), check out the other posts on the tour:

Seven stops on this blog tour contain special Scavenger Hunt Clues, presented by #TheodoretheDragon and #PistachioSnek. Look for a photo of either or both of those little guys holding up a note. Each note is part of our secret phrase. When you have all seven pieces of our secret phrase, click here to share your clues. All correct entries will be put into a random drawing for a signed paperback of Coiled. The winner will be drawn at the Facebook launch party June 23.

Look out! There might be sneks!

facebook party ad.jpg


In the vein of Eros and Psyche, two cursed souls find each other on a forsaken isle and together must shed the darkness inflicted upon them–or else live as monsters forever.

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A healing touch. A hideous face. A looming curse.

As the ugly twin to a perfect sister, Princess Laidra lives her life in the shadows—until her parents offer her as bait for a giant serpent.

Her escape attempt leaves her shipwrecked on a secluded island with only one inhabitant: Prince Calen, who lives under a curse. If anyone looks upon him, he turns into a giant serpent. Speaking to him in the darkness, Laidra sees past the monster to Calen’s lonely soul, and she determines to free him from the magic’s hold.

But if Laidra can’t break the curse in time, Calen will become a mindless creature of scales and fangs forever.

Buy it now! –> –> –> on Amazon or Kobo, Nook, and iBooks 


AUTHORPhotolego

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

BlogFacebook | Twitter |Instagram | Website


Thanks for joining me for this fun look at Coiled! Any questions for the author?

Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3

Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her California heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.


Sign up for my newsletterI give away an e-book in each one!

The Irresistible & Amazing World of Illusionary

One of the best things about writing and blogging is all the fantastic people I meet along the way.

And all the amazing books I get to read.

The Amazing Illusionary

Desiree Williams’s Illusionary is no exception. Her YA fantasy was released into the wild a wee while ago, and I get to be part of the blog tour introducing it to the world.

Illusionary Blog Tour Banner.jpg

First of all, the cover is gorgeous. All pink, and glow-y, and, well, gorgeous!

Illusionary cover.jpg

So what’s this story about? Well…here’s a little description to wet your reading appetite 🙂

Dorothy got sucked into a tornado.

Alice fell down a hole.

Wendy flew to Neverland.

Kamryn? She tripped down the stairs.

Dorothy got sucked into a tornado. Alice fell down a hole. Wendy flew to Neverland. Kamryn- She tripped down the stairs.

Now, Kamryn Kensington finds herself in a strange new world. Within minutes of her arrival, she dodges an archer’s arrow and avoids getting sliced up by a cosplay reject holding a dagger to her throat. And that’s before the storyteller’s breath brings stories to life.

Home is the mission—to return to her family and pursue her life’s dream of art and travel. Yet the longer she’s in the Land of Ur, the harder it is not to feel for the people she meets. Even her artistic side can’t help but breathe in the beautiful wonder and magic of this new world. So when the Oracle hands her a different quest, she takes it on the condition he sends her home afterward.

No one thought to warn her of a jealous queen and her dragon minions. Or that, by helping her, the cute storyteller would go crazy. Or that her heart would rip in two when she left. Those would’ve been great facts to know ahead of time.

Considering that nothing in Ur is what it seems, the mission proves to be more than she ever imagined. But more than her own future will be in jeopardy if Kamryn doesn’t succeed.

What did I think about this irresistible story?

I loved it!  Kamryn is such a fun heroine. Even though she’s been thrown into a strange land, she rises to the occasion with determination and a saving sense of humour. And I enjoyed her artistic bent that sees the beauty in everything around her. And Reese? What a swoon-worthy hero. The romance was satisfying without being too sentimental or mushy.

The imaginary Land of Ur was also well-developed. I had no problem imagining it’s forests, castles, Jolly Harbor, and other places (don’t want to give away too much!) because of all the descriptions that kept my mind spinning.

Beautiful truths like sacrifice, bravery, and true love just add to this wonderful story.

If you love fantasy, romance, and adventure, then you will enjoy this book!


Desiree has put together an amazing prize package to celebrate the release of Illusionary. Look at all this swag!

  • “Make everyday an adventure” pillow
  • “Don’t Grow Up! It’s a Trap!” metal sign
  • book cozy
  • signed paperback of Illusionary
  • notebook with pens
  • sketch book with colored pencils
  • “Eat Cake for Breakfast” travel cup

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Enter to win right here —> —> —> Illusionary giveaway

winner will be selected Monday, Jun 12th at approx. 9 AM (EST).


Don’t forget to check the other blog tour stops!

June 5th

June 6th

June 7th

June 8th

June 9th

June 10th


Desiree WilliamsDesiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.com

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Put Illusionary on your TBR pile today!

Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity,
stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.


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