Monday, August 19, 2019

Excerpt | Blog Tour Stop at Drop in the Ocean


Who remembers Barat from "The Secret Slipper?" Well, he's back in "Protecting the Poor" in full force and today I'm sharing an excerpt of the first scene between him and Dumphey. It begins...

“Ah, there you are, my good lad.” Barat’s tone belied his congenial words.

For the rest of the excerpt, hop over to Drop in the Ocean blog!




7 Days!


// EXCERPT //

Noel turned to his back and stared up at the darkness. He and Dumphey had lived in this room since before Mother passed—and she was a distant memory. Yet Noel could remember her stroking his head at nighttime when he was afraid in this small, dark room above the cooper’s shop. She had often placed her fingers under his chin and tilted his face up to look at hers, and together they would count up the blessings of this place.

“’Tis a roof over our head,” Noel whispered, “Shelter from the wind, protection from the snow, provision from God, a place to—”

Sunday, August 18, 2019

8 Days!


One of the biggest lessons God taught me while writing “Protecting the Poor” is seasons (a lesson I’ve technically “learned” before, but needed a reminder). I had finally finished a full draft after several months’ of hard work… only to put it aside and dive into full-time college work for the first time (I’m considered a “non-traditional student” – aka, old ;) ). In December, I did a brush-up edit (but wasn’t able to fully focus on writing, as I had two siblings get married in December and January), then had to push it aside again for my second semester of school. It wasn’t until May that I finally got to focus on writing. I am totally not used to letting a project rest, but for right now, in this season of life, it’s not a fully-focused writing season. It’s a season to focus on music (my major and job, as I teach). It wasn’t an easy pill to swallow, but it has been a beneficial lesson, realizing that God holds my time in His hands and that He knows exactly when this or that needs to be done. Surrendering my schedule to Him isn’t easy, but it’s needful. 

What lesson has God been teaching you lately?


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Writing Retellings | Blog Stop at Tangled Up in Writing


I've already shared some rewriting tips in today's count-down post... but I go into a little more detail on Tangled Up in Writing Blog. What did I do specifically in writing my retelling of Robin Hood? How did I get the specific ideas for all three in the Tales of Faith trilogy? Read the article here.



9 Days!



What are your top tips for writing retellings? 

After writing three retellings, I definitely have my opinions on retellings. I won’t claim to have it mastered, but I have definitely learned some things. 

Tip One
Make sure it’s a retelling, not a rewrite. I have read some retellings where, if you compared it to the original, all they did was change the setting, era, and character names (and… maybe not even those). The conversations were almost verbatim. There wasn’t much originality to it. 

Tip Two
Give a unique twist. In light of the first tip, be sure that yours has a very you flavor. For instance, the unique twist for “Befriending the Beast” was that the beast was Belle’s father. Ironically, my twist for “Protecting the Poor” is that Dumphey has a disagreement with some of his team about stealing from the rich to feed the poor. Oh, and not to mention that none of my stories have magic in them. That in and of itself violates the backbone of most fairytales. ;)  

Tip Three
Make the retelling recognizable. This seems contrary to the first two points, but it’s just that fine line to balance. If you’re going to market it as a retelling, your readers need to actually be able to recognize the original. I read a story that I realized after the fact was a retelling—and then it was just because another reviewer mentioned the original tale (either I didn’t know the original fairytale well enough, or it just wasn’t strong enough to have that retelling flavor). 

Have you read some retellings that you absolutely loved? Why? Or did you hate it? If so, why?



Friday, August 16, 2019

An Early Review! | Blog Stop at Maidens for Modesty


One of my first reviews for "Protecting the Poor" is up!! For me as an author, I always have a bit of apprehension when a book is about to release. Did the readers glean the message I was striving to share? Did I just butcher something completely? Did enough of my Amanda-isms get edited out? (inside joke between me and Mom, my main editor)

And then I read a review like this one, and I almost want to cry. God is so good. The message was relayed and a valuable lesson seen clearly by the reader. Praise the Lord!!!

One thing I have always loved about Amanda’s books is that they are unapologetically Christian in nature, and this is no exception. The way biblical themes are woven into the very essence of the story is delightful, and watching the characters grow more like Christ throughout the story is precious! I loved how the characters each had their own individual struggle and sought to overcome it with the help of the Lord. The way that Dumphey and Noel and their friends learn truths about forgiveness, vengeance, and fear was beautifully shared!
Read her full review here.


Sneak Peek | Blog Tour Stop at A.M. Heath's blog


Do you want to read a little more of "Protecting the Poor" before it releases? Sneak-peek over at A.M. Heath's blog!!


Remember, you can order a signed paperback copy here!


10 Days!



Are you a pantser or planner? The Tales of Faith series is a testament to my very-pantsery-pantsering. In my teen years, Mom had me go through a writing course where I planned every detail of my book and it totally *killed* me. I felt restrained. Uncreative. I think that was when I really learned that I was a pantser (though I didn’t know what the term was until years later—and yes, I realize that I’m probably making up different tenses of pantser that might not exist). 

But, my pantsering has shifted over the years. I’ve found myself putting in way more thought into my *entire* story than when I first began. Now, I usually still don’t know exactly how the story ends, but I know at which point the story ends—what has to happen in order for it to end. And I’m getting to the point where I almost need to know that before I start writing my story. Who know? I might end up still being a planner one day (ha…).



Thursday, August 15, 2019

Historical Names--or Not | Blog Tour Stop at We've Got Pockets


Dumphey, Betin, Stephan, Arther, Patey, Dickie, Noel, Feroci, Barat, Lydda, Zuzene… I was going to look into each of these names and share some history behind them. Then, I decided to try to find definitions. Yeah. Turns out, I didn't choose very historically accurate names--or names that have a given meaning to them at all. So I'm asking: what would you define these names as? Read the full post and list of undefined names over on We've Got Pockets blog.


11 Days!



Who else was raised on a bushy-tailed Robin Hood? Yeah… that Disney cartoon… ;) It’s been years since I’ve watched it, but that and Disney Richard Todd movie were the foundation of my Robin Hood knowledge. 

In more recent years, I’ve become hooked on BBC’s Robin Hood series (note: I’ve only watched the first two seasons because I’ve heard details of the third season that I didn’t want to watch; added to that, a few episodes in the first two seasons contain details I’ll not plan on re-watching). 

Who else has watched any of these? How has your Robin Hood education been?



Wednesday, August 14, 2019

12 Days!


// First Paragraph // 

Lord Feroci slammed the desk with his fists. “I didn’t send you on a fool’s errand, Barat.” He clenched his teeth as he glared at the missive opened before him.     “Aye, sir. I cannot help that others are the fools.”     Feroci released his anger in a growl. Barat stood patiently, his arms crossed. 

(Protecting the Poor, Tales of Faith, book 3)


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

13 Days!


// First Paragraph // 

Another grave. This time, a short one. Nes tossed the spade onto a patch of unturned earth and stood straight. Mayhap the plague would take him next and spare him from seeing body after body plunge from healthy to dead. He was old enough. His aching back provoked the reminder. He looked at the hole in front of him. He’d rather die himself than bury another child—let alone the lord’s child. 

(TheSecret Slipper, Tales of Faith, book 2)




Monday, August 12, 2019

Robin Hood and History | Blog Stop at Blossoms and Blessings


How Much of Robin Hood is History?
As a kid, I thought Robin Hood was a historical figure. Well… then I grew up. And got much wiser. And crushed my childhood fantasies...

View the rest of my thoughts on Blossoms and Blessings.



14 Days!



// First Paragraph // 

Belle wasn't sure she was ready to return. But she knew it was time. She sank back into the plush red cushions of the carriage and took a deep breath to steady her nerves. The next second, she leaned forward to stare out the window. The scenery should look familiar by now, yet it didn't. But then, didn't things change with time? 

(Befriending theBeast, Tales of Faith, book 1)



Sunday, August 11, 2019

15 Days!



It is always interesting to see the theme of a story unfold. When I started “Protectingthe Poor,” I wasn’t fully sure where Noel’s and Dumphey’s journeys would take them. They are two very different characters—and one thing that I find unique is they both have strengths that the other person envies. 

Noel is the shy, quiet type, but he is grounded firm in what he believes is right and wrong Biblically. Dumphey tends to be more headstrong, leaning on his own understanding, but one of the first to take action when he feels it’s needed. 

In "Protecting the Poor," they both have to learn to do something that God is leading them to do, but they are scared to do it. Have you been there before? What helped you to follow God regardless of your fears?



Saturday, August 10, 2019

16 Days!



The whole kingdom around these three books is something I didn’t actually plan about until… well… book three. 

Ouch. Yeah. 

In “Befriending the Beast,” I just needed where Belle had lived and where she was living now. In “The SecretSlipper,” I needed a little more, so I added a few towns. Then, when it came to “Protecting the Poor,” I needed to know more intricate details of Abtshire. So finally—belatedly—I drew a map. 



And now you see why I’m not an artist. ;P 

So I sat down to plan. What was north, south, west, east of Abtshire? I’m visual, so I needed to see the layout. Oh the woes of pantsering. But I think I learned a lesson. Next time I worldbuild, I’ll start at the beginning of the series (though in my defense, I didn’t know this was going to be a series). 

Have you done any world-building? What things helped you? What would you recommend to other world builders?



Friday, August 9, 2019

17 Days!



Now that the Tales of Faith series is wrapping up, my brain is going to other projects. Will I write anything similar? Another series of retellings? 

The answer: I don’t know. 

Currently, all of the ideas on my desk are original, no retellings. But I do have a soft spot in my heart for a retelling. If I were to predict another retelling, it would likely be a Jane Austen retelling. But we’ll see. 

What about you? Do you prefer retellings or original stories best? If you were to write a retelling, what would it be?



Thursday, August 8, 2019

Review and Giveaway | Blog Stop at Author Abigail Harris


Author Abigail Harris reviewed all three of the Tales of Faith books AND has a giveaway for all three eBooks on her blog! This is the first ever giveaway for "Protecting the Poor" -- and there are many more to come! :D

Visit her blog (and enter the giveaway!) HERE.

18 Days!


Reading old literature isn’t for the faint of heart (who all has dug into bookish treasures of auld?). I only had time to read one Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle, but I did like it! Here is a quote from it:


At this a great roar went up, those of the yeomen who sat upon the grass rolling over and over and shouting with laughter, for never before had they seen their master so miss his mark; but Robin flung his bow upon the ground with vexation. “Now, out upon it!” cried he. “That shaft had an ill feather to it, for I felt it as it left my fingers. Give me a clean arrow, and I will engage to split the wand with it.”



Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Occupations in Abtshire | 3 Month Tour Post at Wildflower Acres


“Protecting the Poor” is all about the villagers in Abtshire. Every individual was occupied in some way or another. This not only fits the history, it fits the turmoil of Abtshire very well.

To find out a little more about the occupations I feature in Abtshire and the history behind them, visit Wildflower Acres blog



What medieval occupation do you know about? Have you ever read a book where it was featured?


19 Days!




Robin Hood is a legend. While some believe it to be rooted in several real men, centuries have shrouded the truth with larger-than-life stories. Someone asked me how much of Robin Hood *I* thought was true. Hmm… I’ll stand by the opinion that it was likely there were a few heroes in England of old that inspired these legends, but the stories we hear today (especially the Hollywood versions) are probably 99.99% fictional. I’ll stand corrected, though, so give your opinions!



Tuesday, August 6, 2019

20 Days!



After two “princess” books, it was so much fun to work on a story from a guy’s POV. And then… just… Robin Hood (am I the only one SO really fascinated with Robin Hood?). 

But for real. 

I love reading stories from a guy’s perspective (I also get really annoyed when they act girlish because of a woman author… ahem…). 

Who else is on board with me?



Monday, August 5, 2019

Titles for Librarians of Willow Hollow

Are you ready to know the titles of FOUR upcoming books? My author pals and I are super excited to leak this bit of info out to the general public!!


Okay, yeah. You didn't think I'd just hand them to you... did you? ;) But it's easy. Just fill in the blanks. :)


Or if it's easier, here they are in text.
HEARTS     HOPE     LONELY     LOVE     MOUNTAIN     PLACE     SECRET     STORY     STRAND     TELL     THUNDER

Don't worry... I'll give you the answers... at the very bottom of this post. But I love puzzles. And I'd love to hear what titles you came up with--even if they're wrong (especially if they're wrong? You never know what other awesome titles are in this mix!).

A.M. Heath, Alicia Ruggieri, Faith Blum, and I are in various points in our drafts. I'm loving the stories I'm hearing from their characters and can't wait until we can share more about our four librarians!

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Now for the answers!

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I Love to Tell the Story
by Faith Blum

Hearts on Lonely Mountain
by A.M. Heath

The Secret Place of Thunder
by Alicia Ruggieri

A Strand of Hope
by Amanda Tero




21 Days!



Have you read books 1 and 2 in the Tales of Faith series? If so, who is your favorite character? Then, do this author a favor and share about it with two friends you think would enjoy the series.


Sunday, August 4, 2019

22 Days!


// EXCERPT //

"If you have not lived for God and have cared nothing of what the Scriptures say, maybe ’tis because you said the words only—but didn’t truly believe in your heart. Aye, ’tis with our mouths that we can tell others we believe, but ’tis with the heart that man believes unto righteousness. It requires repentance—changing our minds to agree with God. Is this what you believe?”


Saturday, August 3, 2019

On History and Friendship | 3-Month Tour Posts at Tangled Up in Writing and Honey Rock Hills


With being on vacation, I'm falling behind in sharing my 3-month tour bloggers! But the last two July posts were pretty unique. 



First, the historical post about WHY "The Secret Slipper" HAD to be historical. Have you ever considered why a certain idea HAS to be in a certain era? It's really fascinating to think about!! I'd love to hear your spin-offs of why _______ story had to be told in ________ era.
You can read the full article HERE.



Another belated July 3-month-tour post. One of the things I love including in my books is friendship. Strong friends. Godly friends. Those that encourage ME to be a better friend. As I got to thinking about the friendships I portrayed in my books, I realized that the reason I can portray them is because I've experienced them. I've had some friends stick with me through some pretty tough situations--friends who have encouraged me in my walk with God, uplifted me, rebuked me, prayed for me, and unconditionally loved me. If you have a friend like that, thank them today for being a godly friend!
Read the article HERE.




23 Days!



When the pages closed on “The Secret Slipper,” I knew there had to be at least one more story from these people. Robin Hood has pretty much always been a favorite classic tale of mine. As soon as I realized Dumphey could fill the role of a Robin Hood type of guy, I knew exactly how the series would end. It was, at times, brutal to write because I felt I couldn’t truly do a retelling of Robin Hood justice. There were so many plot bunnies that begged me to follow them, but I had to narrow it down to keep it within the realm of a novella, thanks to the shortness of the previous two books.



Friday, August 2, 2019

24 Days!



A YEARAGO TODAY I shared on my blog… 
I just finished my first complete draft of ‘Protecting the Poor!’ I am so excited, but I also realize that there is still a lot of work to be done! I'm hoping to polish up this draft in the next week or two and send it off to some beta readers. Then, Lord willing in December I'll have some steady writing time again where I can finalize the edits and get it ready for publication!! It’s been a long eight months waiting for the draft to reach a solid foundation, so I'm very, very grateful to be at this point right now!”

Ah… and TODAY I’m glad to be at this point! Do you know what you were doing a year ago today? What did you blog about? Post about on FB?


Thursday, August 1, 2019

25 Days!



Happy August! 

And… 

IT’S RELEASE MONTH!!!

Just a few weeks more, then Dumphey’s and Noel’s story will be in your hands! I’m so excited to share their journey with you!

Where am I today, 25 days from publication? Well, "Protecting the Poor" is currently being read by my final editor (Mom). Then, I need to brush up the final copy, format it, submit it to be printed, and get the week-long release tour scheduled (speaking of, if you'd like to be a part, I still have some openings!). What's on your to-do list for this month?


It's Release Month! | Final month of the 3-month tour



It’s release month!! 

Wow… this day has come about a year and three brutal rewrites later than I had hoped (okay, okay, creative license here on the description). The twosome is finally becoming a threesome--and I am finally able to tuck a completed series under my belt!


I have to give another huge shout-out to the lovely ladies joining me for a huge 3-month tour celebrating the release of "Protecting the Poor" as well as the two books that came before it. 


These blogs will all have another special post this month--this time, featuring the book we've all been waiting for! So be sure to keep up on my blog or just sign up for their blogs to see what comes up! I'll be giving sneak-peeks, sharing historical tidbits (which will probably have some sneak-peeks as well) and host several giveaways!

Have you added "Protecting the Poor" to your Goodreads' list yet?

What are you looking forward to this month?



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