5 Fun Facts to Make You Fall in Love with Author Laura L. Zimmerman

I’m thrilled to be the next stop on the Lament tour, the awesome second book to author Laura L. Zimmerman’s banshee trilogy. Laura and I caught up in a cyber-cafe where I asked her all about the story, the writing process, and other tidbits. We had a great chat, and I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did.

1. Caoine’s character is based on the Celtic folktales about banshees. What new information about banshees did you discover while writing the second book?

I actually discovered a bit of banshee lore that I hadn’t run across while researching Keen. This bit of info fit in perfectly with a plotline that goes through book two and into book three. Because the entire thing hasn’t been revealed yet (you’ll need to get book three!) I can’t say exactly what it is, yet. But this small thread of banshee lore fit in perfectly with what I had already set up for Caoine and her history, and the direction she was already headed. (I thank God for help with that! *woo-hoo*)

2. Keen was a fabulous debut novel. I adored it. What challenges did you face when writing the sequel?

Early on in the revision process, I realized one of the relationships I had created between two of the characters just wasn’t working. I needed them to interact with one another in an entirely different way. This meant going back and changing all the dialogue between the two. It also became evident during revision with my editor that the main plot I had originally intended for Lament wasn’t right for this book. It would work much better as a main thread in book three. I ended up taking a subplot of book two and enhancing it to become the main plot. This took a bit of work but was totally worth it. In the end, these changes made the story 100% better!

3. I’m anxiously awaiting my copy of Lament (eeep!), and I’m looking forward to a new setting, different characters, more of Caoine’s background etc. Give me a sneak peek of one of your favourite scenes and any inspiration behind it.

One of my favorite scenes that I had envisioned early on was the chase scene where Caoine and her partner need to hide inside a tree to escape a monster. I remember having a clear picture of exactly how it would go and I couldn’t wait to get it down on paper. The intensity of the moment of them running from the monster and realising there was no way to lose him; Then finding a large tree to hide inside (which, of course, grows magically smaller, once they’re inside. Because, Faerie!); And the fear Caoine experiences as they wait for the monster to pass. I honestly couldn’t get the TV show Lost out of my head. It reminded me of something that would’ve happened on that mysterious island!

4. I know coffee plays a biggggg role in a writer’s life, especially yours. 😉 If you could develop a signature coffee inspired by Caoine or even another element/character from the book, what would it be?

This has to be my favorite interview question yet! *squeals* I’d say an Iced White Chocolate Macchiato made with coconut milk. Iced to reflect the Winter Realm, white chocolate because chocolate is my favorite but it should be white since the Winter Realm has snow, and coconut milk because I think a macchiato always tastes better with that added flavor! Yum. I believe I might go order one of these the next time I hit the coffee shop!

5. Finally, let’s play a game of kiss, kill, and marry, shall we? Which character from Lament would you kiss, which one would you kill, and which one would you marry and why?

Oooh, fun! I would definitely kiss a new little friend you’re going to meet, named Nym. A kiss on the top of the head, of course, because he’s definitely much more of a child than adult! He’s a sweet faerie that I hope you’ll come to love just as much as I do!

Oh dear, do I have to kill someone? *wink* Okay, I suppose I’ll go with Aibell, simply because she is not the most enjoyable faerie to have around. *hides eyes* I believe at least one other character would agree with me!

And, who to marry? Hmmm…I think I’ll go with Killian because he so closely resembles Legolas from LOTR. Although, he has no sense of humor, so he’d probably drive me nuts!

Thank you so much for having me visit with you and your readers, Jebraun! This interview was a blast! I hope you enjoy reading Lament just as much as I had writing it. *heart*

Thanks so much for sharing the wonderful world of Lament with us, Laura!

Don’t forget to check out the next stop on the Lament Blog Tour!
“Themes of Lament” Laura L. Zimmerman, https://www.lauralzimmerman.com

Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, Jebraun lives smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island surrounded by thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. She writes about discovering identity, living without fear, and enjoys creating fantastic worlds. Her loves include coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and she harbours a secret penchant for British spelling. You can find her sci-fi short story “Beyond the Stars, Past the Moons” in Encircled, a collection of fairy tale retellings.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? You’ll get instant access to my short story, “The Watertamer’s Sister,” plus I give away good stuff in every one!

11 Awesome Characters and Creatures: a Visual Post from Burn

I’m thrilled to turn my blog over to author J.M. Hackman who’s celebrating the conclusion to her fabulous Firebrand Chronicles with YA portal fantasy Burn.

She’s sharing today about the imaginative characters and creatures that populate this series.

Take it away, Jill!


Many of Burn’s characters have been with the series since Spark. We still have the lovable main characters, Brenna, Baldwin, and Arvandus. But allow me to introduce a few new characters.

1. and 2. Gari (Baldwin’s ex) and Taurin Trennen (Rune’s henchman)

These two have been with the Firebrand Chronicles since the beginning, but I never shared the pictures. Here they are, in their different levels of “evil.”

3. and 4. Dr. Winward and Ahmik

Both these men work in the Syeiran infirmary. Syeiran men shave their head when they turn eighteen, hence the prevalent baldness.

5. Camlo Sorsha

Baldwin and Brenna (or should we call her “Bob?”) meet the Camlo Sorsha at Undertown Valley. More than what she seems, Sorsha becomes significantly instrumental in a plan they develop to help the residents.

Sorsha

6. Skeleton King

A person called the Skeleton King arrives in Burn, intent on repression, destruction, and death. Is he working with Rune? And how can he be stopped?

Skeleton King

7. Life Shades

Life Shades are shells of the people they used to be. With no will, no memories, and completely at Rune’s disposal, he uses them to augment his army. They’re pale like vampires but move like zombies. The good news? They aren’t interested in either blood or brains. The bad news? They’re intent on capturing their prey and turning the individual over to their ruthless, evil leader.

Baldwin as a Night Shade

Part of the fun in writing fantasy is adding mythical creatures or crafting completely made-up beasts. Old favorites and brand new beasts show up in Burn.

1. Griffins:

No Firebrand Chronicles story would be complete without Arvandus, Brenna’s trusty sidekick (although never call him that in his presence. He thinks the stories are all about him.) While most griffins are half lion/half eagle, Arvandus is a mutant—a black panther whose silver-tipped black wings throw sparks when he’s upset or angry.

2. Light wolves (AKA foslykos):

Light wolves look much like either regular or white wolves, but both have an aurora borealis affect in their fur. While these creatures showed up briefly in Flare, they play a bigger role in Burn. Brenna gets to meet Luna, a regular light wolf who has pups.

3. Mermaids (from Mermaid Cove):

While I wasn’t sure whether mermaids could be classified as beasts or not, I put them here due to their predatory nature. While Brenna would love to avoid interacting with them at all, she’ll have to if she plans to find the Caelestis Key before Rune does.

4. Phoenixes:

Along with centaurs, fauns, and mermaids, did you know phoenixes exist in the Jasper Territory as well? When the entire territory is threatened, will they help or escape while they can?

Phoenix

Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Burn’s cast of characters and creatures!


You can pre-order Burn on L2L2’s website and don’t forget to join us for the Facebook release party!

J. M. Hackman loves thunderstorms, bookstores, and happy endings. She’s never met a reading nook she didn’t like and prefers soul talk to small talk. When she’s not writing, she spends time with her two munchkins and her handsome husband who supports her in this crazy profession. Her days are filled with writing stories, consuming massive quantities of dark chocolate, and looking for portals to other worlds. You can find her on her website,
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Goodreads.


Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, Jebraun lives smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island surrounded by thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. She writes about discovering identity, living without fear, and enjoys creating fantastic worlds. Her loves include coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and she harbours a secret penchant for British spelling. You can find her sci-fi short story “Beyond the Stars, Past the Moons” in Encircled, a collection of fairy tale retellings.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? You’ll get instant access to my short story, “The Watertamer’s Sister,” plus I give away good stuff in every one!

6 Fun Facts You Need to Know About Laura L. Zimmerman

I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for Keen, a YA banshee novel by Laura L. Zimmerman and published by L2L2 Publishing that’s coming out July 9th.

Here’s a sneak peek:

You must walk the darkness to find the light. Half-faerie Caoine has no control over the banshee lament she sings each night, predicting the death of others. A senior in a brand new high school, she expects the same response she’s received at every other school: judgment from fellow students over her unusual eyes and unnaturally white skin and hair. However, when Caoine arrives at West Lincoln High, for the first time in her life she finds friends. Real friends.

But being a teenager is never easy, especially when the star soccer player, Oliver, sets his sights on her. Allowing him to get close means revealing her curse to the human world. She can’t let that happen. Life spins further out of control when her lament comes out during the day, those whose death she predicts die right in front of her, and a dark faerie known only as the Unseelie prince blames Caoine by leaving her the creepiest notes ever. Her curse is not supposed to work like that.

In a race against time, Caoine must uncover the Unseelie prince’s identity and stop a spell before it unleashes hell on earth, all while trying to control her banshee song and finding a place among her peers.

Senior year just got real.


I cornered Laura in a coffee shop (where she was innocently sipping on coffee with a splash of skim milk) and was rewarded with some surprising and fun facts about this talented author.

1. She has eclectic tastes

Jebraun: you mentioned that the TV series Teen Wolf gave you some inspiration for Keen. What are some other TV shows/series/movies you enjoy?

Laura: I’ll watch some shows, like Teen Wolf or Pretty Little Liars, because it’s a good chance for me to connect with my teenagers. But if left solely to my own discretion, I’ll binge watch Friends, The Office or Parks and Rec, Psych…I’m currently rewatching Downton Abbey with my girls (for the third time!) But my favorite TV show is Supernatural! My oldest daughter and I never miss an episode!! Movies almost always center around the Marvel Universe, Star Wars, or a kids movie, since my youngest is just eight. Although, my teens have roped me into watching a few horror with them recently! (Against my will. *hides eyes. literally*)

2. She yearns for the simple life

Jebraun: This sounds similar to what I like to watch. Except the horror, lol. I’m with you on that one! Suppose you were a character from Lord of the Rings. Who would you be and why?

Laura: I’m not sure which specific character, but I think I’d like to be a hobbit! They lead such simple lives in the beautiful countryside, and they love to celebrate! *heart* Their relationships revolve around good food and good conversation. It’s so opposite of Western culture. I swoon every time Gandalf’s cart rolls into the Shire at the beginning of the movie.

3. She also dreams big

Jebraun: the Shire is certainly inspiring. And speaking of inspiration, where would you go on a writing retreat? Would you bring anyone with you? Give me all the details!

Laura: Dream retreat, you say? *little bubble forms overhead* An open coffee bar that never closes with a barista who knows ALL the drinks, all my favorite writing community friends would be there, it would be in Ireland (naturally because we would totally all be able to afford to go there and stay a whole week), our families would function perfectly without us and there would be no problems with any flights. *bubble pops* But in reality…if I can ever connect with any of my writing friends, no matter where, I’ll be there!

4. She loves to read

Jebraun: Sounds heavenly! What about reading. Any favourite authors?Mine would be CJ Redwine. I LOVE her Ravenspire series!

Laura: Oh wow. I think anything written by Kristen Ciccarelli. *swoon* Her writing is gorgeous, I adore her world building and the way she weaves her plots is amazing!

5. She’s up for an adventure

Jebraun: Let’s step outside of fiction for a moment. You have the chance to go colonize the moon. It’s perfectly safe. You can bring your family if you wish. Would you go? Why or why not?

Laura: YES. I’m always on-board for an adventure. I mean, yeah, I’d be terrified for that flight, but the view would be crazy beautiful! I’d bring my whole family and would love every minute getting to experience something new and exciting! Besides, how fun would it be to get to walk on the moon?

6. She’s practical when it comes to sustenance

Jebraun: What favorite snack food would you bring along on your mission to the moon?

Laura: Chocolate. And Kind bars. Or nuts. Okay, let’s be honest, if I’m in a coffee shop, it’s basically any carb-loaded yumminess they have to offer!!

Jebraun: Thank you soooo much for sharing your thoughts with me! I seriously can’t wait for KEEN!!


Laura L. Zimmerman lives in a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband, three daughters, and three furbaby felines. Besides writing, she’s passionate about loving Jesus, anything Star Wars, and singing loudly. She takes her coffee black and spends her days pretending to do yoga. Keen is her debut novel.

Connect with Laura on Facebook Twitter Instagram Goodreads Pinterest or her website.

You can purchase Keen at L2L2 Publishing.

And don’t forget to join the fun at the Keen Facebook party on Thursday, July 11th.


Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, Jebraun lives smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island surrounded by thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. She writes about discovering identity, living without fear, and enjoys creating fantastic worlds. Her loves include coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and she harbours a secret penchant for British spelling. You can find her sci-fi short story “Beyond the Stars, Past the Moons” in Encircled, a collection of fairy tale retellings.

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Common’s Blog Tour: Book Review and a Giveaway!

One of the perks of participating in blog tours is the books I get to read ahead of the rest of the world. I love getting a sneak peek at the latest fun stories.

So when the opportunity came to be a part of Laurie Lucking’s blog tour for her YA fantasy, Common (and, ahem, an ARC of said YA fantasy), of course I said YESSS!

I mean, who doesn’t love diving into a brand new story full of memorable characters, a fascinating new kingdom, and a slow-burn romance?

Um.

No one.

And I’m giving YOU get a chance to own your own Kindle copy…

But first…my review!

First of all. Can I say how much I loved Leah? She is sweet and spunky. Fun and fearless. And while she may be a servant, she possesses a fine character many of the royals would do well to emulate.

A sweet fairy-tale romance with a handsome prince, a cunning villain, and a plucky heroine who saves the day.

I enjoyed her friendship with Rafe, the prince. It felt natural and not forced. She’s such a lovely young lady, I don’t blame Rafe for seeking out her company and caring what her opinions are.

Her loyalty to Rafe is what gets her into trouble, but I admired her for the courage she displayed.

There was just enough gorgeous descriptions to transport me to Imperia, the dialogue gave me a real sense of everyone with distinct voices for each character, and I loved Leah’s adventures as she deals with the fallout of her from her decisions.

Get ready for nuns who I’m sure have the most interesting back story ever (rumour has it that one of them may feature in the next Tales of the Mystics), some court intrigue, and enough adventure and romance to keep you turning the pages.

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and all thoughts and opinions are my own. And I loved the book so much, I pre-ordered it too ❤


Only 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. Rafe’s parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess, and she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. When she reports it without proof, her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason. Harbored by an unusual 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?


Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, textDon’t forget to go to Common’s Facebook party. That’s right! On Thursday, February 15 at 8pm Central, you have an opportunity to chat with author Laurie Lucking along with Laura Pol, Michele Israel Harper, and yours truly, as well as have a chance to win some fabulous prizes.

RSVP right here –> –> here


Laurie Lucking Author HeadshotAn 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 http://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.

Connect with Laurie!
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest
You can also purchase Common here!


I love this story SOOOOO much (have I said that yet?!?), that I’m giving you a chance to win a Kindle copy of it. All ya gotta do is enter my giveaway via this portal to the magical kingdom of Imperia (jk…it’s a link to Rafflecopter) and follow the instructions. I’m drawing the winner in ONE WEEK so hurry!
Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favour 😉

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.

 

 

Cover Reveal for The Chronicle of the Three: Eden Sword by Tabitha Caplinger

I got a sneak peek of the cover of Tabitha Caplinger’s final book in The Chronicle of the Three trilogy just before Christmas.

Then I had to sit on it.

For.

Two.

Whole.

Weeks.

Now I can FINALLY share.

 

.

.

.

Here it is!

edensword coffee

Isn’t it it awesome?!?

Here’s what it’s about:

The final showdown is fast approaching, and a grief-stricken Zoe is forced to count the cost of her destiny. As the losses mount, her strength wanes.

Even if the Chosen find the Eden Sword in time, will Zoe be strong enough to wield it? Will she be able to stand against the darkness as the promised Daughter of the ancient prophecy? Or will she be consumed by the fear of her nightmares becoming real?

Fear or faith?

Even the Chosen must choose.

In this final installment of The Chronicle of the Three, light and darkness collide as Zoe discovers there is more than one battlefield in this war.

Eeep! That sounds so exciting! To make it even better, the author is hosting a giveaway featuring the first two books in the trilogy, some book swag and Amazon gift cards, so follow the link to enter.4.jpg

You can also go to her website and subscribe to her newsletter to get a free sample of book 1, Bloodline, as well as be among the first to find out more Eden Sword release news and updates. And if you want to purchase the first two books or contact Tabitha about a speaking engagement, that’s the place to go, too.


Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, indoor

Tabitha Caplinger is a wife, mom, youth pastor and professed TV addict. It’s seriously a problem but she doesn’t plan on getting help anytime soon. Mostly because she loves the stories. She can’t help but get lost in the worlds created and invested in the lives of the characters. She brings that same passion for the story to her own writing. Aside from writing and watching TV, Tabitha can be found singing off key and dancing in the kitchen or car with her two adorably sassy daughters and awesome husband who she thinks is kind of cute.

Connect with her on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter


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!