Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Three Cover Reveals - Sleeping Beauty Retellings

All three books release on August 7th

Stay tuned on Kendra’s Blog,, for details.

Poison Kiss

About the Book

Everyone knows that Sleeping Beauty's curse is triggered when she pricks her finger on a spindle and that she is awakened by true love's kiss ... but what happens when the wicked fairy decides to switch things up?

Edmund didn't mean to put Auralea to sleep, but now it's up to him and the famous Puss in Boots to figure out how, exactly, a spinning wheel is supposed to awaken her.

About the Author

Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers. 

You can connect with Kendra on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Twisted Dreams

About the Book

“I, Calandra, of the Wingans, do bestow upon you, the Princess of Hanover, a gift. You have been given long life. I cannot interfere with that, but when you are sixteen years of age, you will prick your finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into an everlasting sleep.” She stepped closer so that she could be heard only by Liesel and her parents. “Then you will at last see the truth. Be wary. Be wise. Your fate rests upon yourself.”

On her sixteenth birthday, Princess Liesel Rosanna falls victim to a sleeping curse—but wakens in another world, a prisoner of war. As the bait in a trap for her fiancĂ©, the crown prince of Hanover, Liesel longs to escape back to the fairy tale world. The world where she is only wanting a true love’s kiss to set everything to rights.

As situations quickly grow dire, Liesel must choose which story to live, which life is real. The fate of her country rests on her decision.

About the Author

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Books have always been a big part of her life, never more so than when working at the local library. Her other interests include reading, playing and teaching piano and violin, and politics. She is the author of Across the Stars and The Experiment as well as the Time Captives fantasy trilogy.

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Rosetta Thornbriar

About the Book

Once upon a time, way out west...
Back when they were young'uns, Fleur Guardstone proposed to Rosette Thornbriar with a cigar band ring. However, not long after, she disappeared back into the forest and hadn't been heard from since. However, when Fleur hears reports of smoke coming from that woods, he's determined to find out if it is, indeed, his dear Rosette. If he can get past all of the briars.

About the Author

Rachel Roden is a natural story teller, capable of weaving the most hilarious of fairy tales. She fell in love with the Lone Ranger in her teens, but ended up with a basketball referee instead. Together, she and the Ref homeschool their four children in the Piney Woods of East Texas, as well as any other odd kid who ends up in their house. She might also be the sole human who still uses math after college.

You can connect with Rachel on her blog, twitter, and Pinterest.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Five Poisoned Apples! The Latest Rooglewood Press anthology contest is kicking off!

is now accepting entries for


Rooglewood Press invites you to join the adventure of the Five Poisoned Apples creative writing contest!

The cover model/photographer is WYNTER CLARK. If you'd like to link to her photography website, here it is.

And, as always, our gorgeous cover design was done by the amazing JULIA POPOVAwhose website is here.

Let the writing commence!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Blog Tour - All the Way my Savior Leads by Faith Blum

 About the Book

 Caroline and I walked out the back door and went into the barn.
“What are we going to do?” Caroline asked.
“Head out on our own. Saddle Whitey, please.”
Caroline’s mouth gaped open. “They’ll find us.”
“I know.”
Caroline sighed. “What can we do then?”
I shook my head. “We can stick together. Always.”

Tragedy stole everything from him … except her …

Three years ago, an illness orphaned Henry and Caroline Sullivan. The harsh years at the orphanage have forged a strong bond between the pair.

But Henry’s about to age out.

He must choose whether to leave his only family behind in relative safety, or take her with him as he pursues dreams of owning a farm. Henry trusts that God has a plan for him, but little does he know that others have plans for him and his younger sister as well. He will need all his faith to find the right path.

Although this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone.

Note: 50% of my income from this series will go to the World Orphans organization.

How I Pick the Titles

Guest Post by Faith Blum

If you’ve seen my books at all, you have probably noticed that I use hymn titles for my book titles. I often get asked how I decided to do that, but have never been asked how I pick the hymn to use until I was trying to figure out what to write for this guest post.

Do you pick the theme or hymn first?
I always pick the theme first. Well, almost anyway. I think I picked the hymn once. That’s about it. I usually know the theme of the book and then find a hymn that goes along with it, is public domain, and could have been known during the time period I write the book in.

How do you pick the hymn?
Sometimes it’s because I like the hymn and want to use it. Be Thou My Vision was that way, actually. That was one that I picked the hymn first and then the theme. I knew the hymn had Irish roots and the main character was Irish, so I wanted to incorporate it.
Other times, I flip through one of the hymn books we have and try to find one that will work.
For the Orphans of the West series, I knew they would all have the basic theme of God’s leading/God being a shepherd and I found a set of three hymns that fit that theme perfectly. When I decided to add a fourth book to my series, I found another hymn in that section to fit the story.

So that’s how I do it. If you are an author, I would love to hear how you pick your titles. If you aren’t an author, what would you choose for a book title for your biography?

About the Author

Faith Blum is a 20-something author of multiple books in various genres. She loves to write, read, play piano, knit, crochet, sew, watch movies, and play games with her family.  She lives in Wisconsin with her family on a small family farm where they raise goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and have 2 dogs and a varying number of cats.
Faith’s goal in her writing is to encourage Christians in their walk with Christ. If you enjoyed this book, go to her website to sign up for her Monthly Newsletter so you can get an email with fun facts, giveaways, and so much more every month. You will also find links to her other Social Media sites on her website. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to contact her.

Double Sale

For May 26-31 only, get both books in the Orphans of the West series for just $0.99 each! They are both available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and more.


Three prizes, three winners! The grand prize is a Savior, Like a Shepherd notebook and paperback. Sorry, but the lantern isn’t mine to giveaway. In second and third prize, the winners will receive a free eBook of All the Way My Savior Leads.

Note: The grand prize is open only to those in the continental US, but the other two are open to all.

Tour Schedule

May 26

May 27

May 28
God's Peculiar Treasure Rae-Guest Post: Why Henry?

May 29
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Character Q&A with Henry

May 30
Frances Hoelsma-Book Spotlight

May 31
Rachel Rossano’s Words-Guest Post: How I Pick Hymns
Written Rest-Review

June 1
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Beautiful People Link Up - White Bear's Characters Talk Parents

My guests for the interview are from my current WIP, White Bear, which is a (ready for it?) contemporary inspirational retelling of the fairy tale East of the Sun West of the Moon. Willow Aure and Orson Kent are an unlikely pair when it comes to parents. This is bound to be interesting. :)
  1. Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?
Willow’s relationship with her parents is good, but complicated. As the surprise fourth child born when the three elders were in their teens, Willow grew up in limbo between being the baby of the family and being treated like an only child. Willow’s mother died of cancer a handful of years before the beginning of White Bear and the memories of her passing still resonate deeply in Willow’s consciousness. Willow’s relationship with her aging father is much closer. When his world fell apart, she was the one to step in to pick up the pieces and try to put him back together again, at the cost of her own life being put on hold.

Orson’s relationship with his parents is complex and contentious. He never knew his mother. His father, a self-centered egotist, has withheld any information about her from him. Even in adulthood, Orson is constrained from finding out more about her because his father threatens to cut off Orson’s contact with his half-sister if Orson tries. No matter what Orson does, he cannot seem to please his father. The two of them have been at odds for as long as Orson remembers. Despite his best attempts at establishing peace, his father refuses to have anything to do with it. Most discussions end up in a yelling match and threats of one form or another.
  1. Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life?
Willow’s biological family has been a part of her life since she was born.

Orson keenly feels the lack of a relationship with his mother. He yearns for some connection with the woman who bore him. It is one of his motivations for keeping up his side of the twisted arrangements with his father. He hopes to someday know the truth.
  1. How did their parents meet?
Willow’s met as young adults and dated and married in the usual way. She doesn’t know much more than that.

Orson’s parental story is a mystery.
  1. How would they feel if they were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?
Willow would be delighted to be compared to her parents since she loves them deeply and admires them.

Orson would be horrified to be compared to his father. He regularly goes out of his way to point out how they are different despite their obvious physical similarities.
  1. What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?
Willow’s parents were getting married and starting a family at about the age that Willow is in the story.

Orson’s father was womanizing, drinking, and well on his way to building a business empire at Orson’s age.
  1. Is there something they adamantly disagree on?
Willow has never understood her parent’s lack of concern over the over animosity shown her by her older sisters. She struggles to understand why they never intervened during the early years when her sisters would gang up on her and attack her with words.

Orson adamantly disagrees with his father on so many things that he struggles to find something they even sort of agree on. It makes for a hard relationship.
  1. What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?
Willow was the surprise. Going back to babyhood while raising teens was a struggle for the couple, but they managed with love.

Orson was a thing, someone to be fed, groomed, disciplined, and educated with as little personal oversight as possible. Hard to not feel like one is an inconvenience when treated so.
  1. What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?
Willow remembers her father comforting her after falling from her bike. He listened to her worries and concerns with patience and quiet advice.

Orson recalls confronting his father over the identity of his mother when he was ten. It is not a pleasant recollection.
  1. What was your character like as a baby/toddler?
Willow remembers being called a happy baby, content and eager to please. Her sisters complained that she cried too much and cost too much, but they aren’t reliable resources.

Orson doesn’t know what he was like because his nanny from that time period was fired.
  1. Why and how did the parents choose your character’s name?
Willow’s parents had a penchant for strange names. They hoped it would be an indicator of her nature and her ability to weather life’s storms like her namesake.

Orson, which means bear, was chosen because it was a variation on his father’s name, Ursa. Also, both men resemble bears in size and appearance.

Sooo.... What do you think?
Want to know more?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Creating a Unique Cover Design

Welcome to Day 3 of Indie eCon 2017! There are a lot of other resources on a wide variety of topics on the blog of our awesome coordinator Kendra E. Ardnek. I also have another post over there today so don't forget to check it out too! :)

By Rachel Rossano

The first key to creating a unique cover design is to focus on your story. Know its genre, characters, themes, and feel. Your book will be different than anything anyone else has ever written because you wrote it. Figure out those differences and make sure they’re expressed in your cover.

The second step, although it might feel like a step backward from originality, is to spend time browsing covers of similar books in your genre. You need to get a feel for the general look readers are going to expect. Your readers should to know the genre of the book almost immediately when they first see your cover. Learning what will work and what won’t is a good starting point, but keep your mind open to the possibility that the design, like your story, might turn out slightly different than planned.

Next, you’ll need to look for a starting place. My first step as a designer, after getting to know my client and their book, is to go looking for an image as a starting place. Browse stock image sites. Whether it’s a character, a setting, a color scheme, or an atmosphere, you need to find a piece of visual inspiration to get you going and an anchor around which to build your cover.

Once you have your inspiration piece selected, it’s time to build the rest of the cover. Use elements that enhance and add to the visual storytelling, but don’t overdo it. Overly crowded covers can be eyesores and could give the wrong expectations of the book inside. Remember, this is going to be your readers’ first impression of your book. You want it to be professional and appealing.

After finding all of your elements, I suggest you assemble them in a rough layout so you can get a feel for how everything is going to work together.

Now, it’s time to play with fonts. Keep it unique, but readable. Legibility is key. Also, the title needs to take up about a third to a fifth of the cover image for it to be visible when the cover is on Amazon and other websites that shrink it down to a thumbnail size for their listings. Also, try to keep the number of fonts down to one or two. Too many will give the cover a sloppy or overdone look. Balance simplicity and detail. Typography is a challenge all its own.

Last of all, tweak the cover to the point of perfection. Clean up the edges and double check color, spelling, and other aspects. Sometimes the tiny nudge of an element can do wonders for the overall appearance.
Once you’re finished with your first draft, I recommend running your cover by a designer and a reader you trust to give you honest feedback. Don’t present it to a committee unless you’re clear on your vision and not easily swayed by highly personalized advice. Listen and evaluate the input before letting the cover sit for a day. Then, if you’re still in love with it, and confident that it will do your book justice, I think you have a winner that’s ready for use.

* The cover used in this article is not finished completely and for demonstration only. If you are interested in it or something similar, contact me.

About the Rachel Rossano
When Rachel Rossano isn't absorbed in writing and publishing books, she designs covers and other art for herself and other authors under the business name Rossano Designs. With over fifteen years of experience in the indie publishing business, she has seen and learned a lot. Always eager to help other authors, she loves talking shop, whether it is writing or design. 

Author Rachel Rossano
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