With my third novel in my Annals of Alasia trilogy ready to publish by the middle of May, I decided to conduct a series of “interviews” with my characters.  This one is the first!  I stepped into the setting of the book so I could have conversations with about ten of my main characters.  Enjoy!


I have arranged to meet Ernth by a certain stream in the foothills of the Impassable Mountains.  When I arrive, he is spearfishing from the bank, a pile of three or four fish on the grass behind him.  A bay horse grazes nearby.  He joins me on a log and I pull out my list of questions.
Do you prefer cities or the countryside? Warm weather or cold?
Ernth adjusts the belt of his deerskin tunic.  “The countryside, of course.  Who wouldn’t like it here?  I hate cities.  And I prefer warm weather, because the colder it is, the lower in the foothills my family has to travel, and that means we encounter more Lowlanders.”
How would you most like to spend a day off?
“I’d like to go off riding with my cousin.”  He glances at the horse grazing a few yards away.  I love to ride, but there isn’t much time for that most days.  We could hunt deer or race our horses across the slopes.”
What object would you save if your home was on fire?
“You mean my tent?  Well, if I didn’t have it on already, I’d save my jacket that I made from snowcat skin.  Oh, and my necklace with the snowcat teeth.”
What is the one sentence you would never say?
He considers.  “I can’t wait to go to the Lowlands!”  His voice is scornful.
What makes you angry?
“When Lowlanders cheat us or take advantage of us because we don’t understand their ways.”  Ernth frowns and pokes at the ground with his spear.  “It happens almost every time we interact with them.”
What’s your favorite food?
“I love roast goat!  It’s all the more special because we usually only have it to celebrate something important, like when someone in the family gets Accepted.”
What do you think of Lowlander food?
He makes a face.  “It’s disgusting.  Well, most of it.  They have an orange vegetable that isn’t bad, and sometimes they serve something fruity after the meal; I like that.  But the only really good thing about meals in the Lowlands is coffee.  It’s an ugly-looking black liquid that you have to mix with lots of white stuff – it looks like goat milk but it’s not the same – and then you dump in lots of sweet powder.  After that it’s delicious.  It’s the only thing about Lowland life that’s better than what we have here in the mountains.”
Did you ever have a pet?  Describe it.
“Well, my family keeps goats, of course, for their milk and meat.  And there’s my horse.”  He smiles in the horse’s direction.  “Her name is Hungry, and she’s as close to me as a family member.  I struggled through the Rite of Acceptance and nearly died to get her, but it was worth it.”  As though she understands, the horse ambles closer and nuzzles him, and Ernth reaches up to stroke her neck.  It’s obvious the two of them share a special bond.
What did you have for breakfast?
“Lumjum cakes with berries, and of course goat milk.”
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever seen?
He chuckles.  “I suppose that would be Korram tumbling over the edge of a waterfall with a snowcat in his arms.  Of course, since I was almost directly underneath, I wasn’t exactly laughing at the time.  But it turned out all right, and that’s how we both got our jackets and necklaces.”
Have you ever been in love? How did that work out?
Ernth scowls, and when he finally answers, his voice is low.  “It was almost two years ago.  Her name was Jenth.  She was murdered by Lowlanders.  Why do you think I hate them so much?”  He looks away, but when he finally meets my gaze again, he sighs.  “Actually, we found out not long ago that it was an accident, a misunderstanding.  The man who did it said he was sorry and gave us gifts of food, and my whole family has agreed to go back to his village to trade whenever we’re in the area.  I suppose that’s a good thing.”  He fiddles with the shaft of his spear.  “But how am I supposed to change the way I’ve felt about them for so long?”
How many siblings do you have? Are they older or younger?
“I have one older sister, Charr.  She’s married and has two young children.  Her husband Thont is a good friend of mine.”
What were some things you liked to do when you were a child?
Ernth smiles.  “My cousins and friends and I used to pretend we were on the Rite of Acceptance.  We would make up situations for each other, like, ‘You haven’t eaten in two days, you just found a patch of berries, and there’s a hungry bear between you and them.  What do you do?’  Then we’d act out the situation and try to impress each other with how we’d solve the problem.  Sometimes it turned into a contest to see who could come up with the funniest solution.”
Of what are you proudest?
“That’s easy.  Of succeeding in the Rite of Acceptance and earning my horse.”
Have you ever killed anyone?
“No.  But supposedly we might have to when we all go to the Lowlands in this army of Korram’s.”
Do you have any scars you would be willing to show me?
Ernth pulls up the sleeve of his tunic to reveal a faint mark running straight across the side of his right shoulder.  “I got this the day Jenth was killed.  One of the Lowlander’s arrows grazed me as we were trying to get away.”  He pulls up his other sleeve, and he grins as he shows me his next scar.  “And this is my horse mark.”  Sure enough, the mark – which appears to be a burn – is shaped roughly like a horse.  “It’s the proof that I’ve been Accepted.  The best pain I ever felt!”
What do you hope to accomplish?  What keeps you from achieving your goal?
“I just want to live out my life here in the mountains with everything the same as it’s always been.  I don’t dream of anything more than that.”  He sighs.  “But ever since Korram showed up with his complicated plans and his need for an army, nothing’s been the same.  And now that I owe him a life debt, I have to go down with him to the Lowlands until I can fulfill it.  But as soon as I can, I’m coming back home to the mountains, and then I hope I’ll never have to leave again.”

Click here to find out about Prince of Malorn, the third book in the Annals of Alasia, and read more interviews with the characters in it.

The Grand Finale for Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate…
To post this Grand Finale and add your Social Media to the Rafflecopter, email Tressa at wishfulendings(at)outlook.com with “Wildwood Grand Finale” in the subject line!

There is a mystery in Wildwood Creek’s history, a mystery that affects Allie’s present…

Wildwood CreekWildwood Creek
by Lisa Wingate
Christian Romance
Paperback, 384 pages
February 4th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers

Allie Kirkland has never been one to take wild risks. But when she’s offered a costuming assistant’s job on a docudrama in the hills near Moses Lake, she jumps at the chance. She’s always dreamed of following in her director-father’s footsteps, and the reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step. The family expectations will have to wait.

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delevan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the folk songs of Chinquapin Peaks. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.
When strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, everyone in Wildwood, including Allie’s handsome neighbor on the film set, Blake Fulton, seems to be hiding secrets, and Allie doesn’t know who she can trust. If she can’t find the answers in time, history may repeat itself . . . with the most unthinkable results.

Bethany House

Bethany House *Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository

Lisa, the Writer
Part IV of IV:

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a writer?

Writing two novels per year for two different publishers these last several years has been very time-consuming, especially while raising a family, driving carpools, and shuttling forgotten sports equipment to stadiums all over a three-county area. I’m still a mom, and I don’t want to miss anything, which often means that I’m up late or up early to finish my writing. I think for me, the sacrifice has probably come in terms of giving up time for hobbies and other things I like to do outside of the writing business.

What keeps me going is the pure love of story and at times the letters from readers.  There is nothing more powerful than knowing that your words on a page affected a life, helped to inspire growth, or just walked through the dark night of the soul with someone. A few years ago, a reader wrote to tell me she’d couldn’t sleep on as the first anniversary of her young granddaughter’s death approached, so she picked up one of my stories.  The book took her away from that pain for a while. It made her laugh, and that was what she needed.  There’s an incredible sense of human connection in that.  A story can literally transport the mind, and body, and soul to another place. It never fails that when I’m having a “down” day, a note will come in from a reader and remind me that the human side of story is what matters most.

What advice would you give other writers?

It’s gauche to talk about money, but don’t do it for the money. Everybody seems to think that becoming a full-time writer is the measure of success, but I would urge writers coming along to really take their time about making the decision to give up another career and write full time. Being financially dependent on writing as your livelihood adds a new level of stress. I’ve seen the way too many young writers make that jump too quickly, and that always seems to be the question at conferences, “Are you a full-time writer?” I don’t think you’re any more legitimate because you write full time or don’t. In truth, it’s more important to find out how to preserve the magic and enthusiasm that kept you sitting down at the computer when no one was paying you to write, and you weren’t sure anyone ever would.

Did you miss the other three parts about Lisa, the other guest posts, or reviews?
Catch them now!
2/11: LDS and Lovin’ it – Review
“I quite enjoyed this book, the characters, the plot, the mystery, everything really.”

2/12: Mythical Books – Guest Post
“Well, to begin with, that our journeys, struggles, and challenges are never without purpose.”

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Excerpt
I imagine the words as he’s lookin’ at me, hear the echo as he spies Maggie outside the door. It troubles me not so much for myself, but for my sister. . . .

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer – Guest Post
“It’s impossible not to wonder, from the safer vantage point of a modern life, if I could have endured what those pioneer women endured. If I were in the shoes of my ancestors, would I have the metal to survive?”

2/13: Kelly P’s Blog – Excerpt
The man trails the steeple along his bottom lip. “Yes,” he says quite slowly, thinking the words in the speakin’. “Yes, you will do nicely, I believe.”

2/14: Mel’s Shelves – Review
“I love a good mystery and this book delivered!”

2/16: Brooke Blogs – Guest Post
“There is also, undoubtedly, a bit of my own hidden dream in Allie’s opportunity to join the historical reenactment — to go back in time.”

Tell Tale Book Reviews – Excerpt
I felt something . . . happening, but I didn’t know what.

Paulette’s Papers – Guest Post
“The story is a combination of folk legend, historical fact, and wild flight of fancy. I like to think of it as part historical, part contemporary, part romance, part adventure, and part drama.”

“It was mysterious, and interesting, and exciting to read.”

The Written Adventure – Excerpt
“One final thing,” she added. “Are you familiar with the name Bonnie Rose?”
The interview had taken another hairpin turn. “No, not that I know of . . .”

2/19: Getting Your Read On – Review
“Like I said, the ending was my favorite part. The mystery climaxed, the action picked up, the romance finally entered and I got a Happily Ever After.”

Bookworm Lisa – Guest Post
“There were two special challenges in writing Wildwood Creek. The first was definitely the research…
The second challenge in writing Wildwood Creek involved the actual threading together of Allie and Bonnie’s stories.”

2/20: The Wonderings of One Person – Interview
“I think we all have mysteries that linger in our family histories or in our hometowns. Those tales are told at family gatherings, in the corners of local cafés, and around cook fires at Scout campouts. It’s impossible not to wonder, when hearing the retellings of things that have been passed down by word-of-mouth for generations, how much is true?”

Platypire Reviews – Review
“Wildwood Creek is the sort of book that drew me in from the first page, and I had to keep on reading to find out what was going to happen.”

My Devotional Thoughts – Review
“If you are a fan of romance, historical fiction, and/or cozy mysteries, this story is for you. The author has created a completely scintillating story written in exquisite style.”

“The way the characters and storyline were woven together was brilliant!”

Reviews By Molly – Review
“I try to remind myself of the things that really matter and to stay focused on what will be significant in a year, five years, ten years, and so on.”
Lisa Wingate Author PictureLisa Wingate is a journalist, inspirational speaker, reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, and the author of over twenty novels.  Her novels combine elements of history, romance, mystery, and women’s fiction with nuggets of Southern culture, from the sublime to the humorous. She is a seven-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, a Christianity Today Book Award nominee, an Inspy Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her works have been selected for Booklist’s Top Ten List in 2012 and in 2013. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.

Website * Southern BelleView Daily Blog 
Goodreads * Facebook * YouTube * Pinterest

Tour-Wide Giveaway
February 10 – March 2nd  US Only
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1 Winner, 1 Amazing Prize Pack from Bethany House and Lisa Wingate:
   $50 Amazon Gift Card
   Print copy of Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate
   Handmade-by-author Prayer Box with notepads 

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We left off at All That’s Written with the first part of Tallent and Lowery’s Valentine Adventure. Here’s the special conclusion of our tour with Tallent and Lowery in honor of Valentine’s Day:

A Tallent & Lowery Valentine Adventure

“Seriously. Where is everybody?” Leah asked, staring at the vacant rooms of the NYPL.
Finally, Gareth understood the strange reaction. “Hey…it’s okay. I swear. The library’s just closed.”
“How is it closed?”
Taking her by the hand, Gareth led her into the Rose Main Reading Room. “You would be amazed how easy it is to get what you want when you have a ton of money to blow.” He laughed. “Besides, it’s snowing like crazy out there. Everyone was grateful to go home to their warm living rooms, and pretend a polar vortex was something that Spielberg made up.”
“You shut down the library so I could follow a treasure map? What are you, five?” Leah offered a smirk.
“I would make a heck of a father, wouldn’t I?” he asked. “Seeing as that, mentally, I would be the same age as the kid.”
Leah cringed. “If there’s an adopted infant hidden in this library I’m gonna run for the hills.”
“No. I figured I had to wait for you to get used to that idea.” 
Leah muttered, “You may be as old as St. Valentine when that happens.” 
“Well,” he began, offering a wide grin, “just make sure not to take too much time. If I’m at the point where I’m gumming my food, I might scare the kid to death.” He pointed down at the small piece of paper. “Shall we begin?”
Shaking her head, Leah remained silent, secretly loving the man’s imagination. Looking down at the first clue – a heart to represent the holiday – Leah felt the trusty card catalogue open in her mind as she thought of all the things that could be related to the first clue. Deciding to go with the simplest answer, Leah turned around and began to walk away from Gareth’s side. 
“Where are you going?” he asked, sprinting to catch up.
“The section on literature of the Middle Ages.”
“Why is that?”
Leah looked up at him, knowing she would never find any clue lurking in the stunning eyes. Gareth was, after all, a man who loved a challenge. “The heart meaning ‘love’ didn’t come about until the end of the Middle Ages. Before that, the heart was just seen as a shape, usually drawn to represent a fig leaf in the medieval era.”
“That reference could be in hundreds of books, which one do you pick?”
Leah grinned. “Hagiography represents the biographies of all different saints and leaders of the Church written over time. But, seeing as that no one has really come to terms with who St. Valentine was, I know there’s no specific bio I could reference.” Reaching out, she took a small book of writings off the shelf that were based on Pope Gelasius.
“Why that guy?” Gareth asked.
“He was the one who made the day civil, so to speak.” She winked. “You see, the Romans celebrated the day as a festival of fertility, not love.”
“Boy, those dudes were into —, weren’t they?”
“Why do you think the Empire fell?” Leah snorted. “The chicks should have been in charge. What happened was, Roman boys drew names of girls out of an urn, then the couple exchanged…gifts.”
“At least they were happy when they fell,” he said, leaning back against the bookcase. “But, why the Pope?”
“Pope Gelasius was the one who changed the Pagan celebration and put a Christian spin on it, birthing the holiday of St. Valentine.”
“So he was real?”
“There’s some debate,” Leah answered. “There are actually a ton of St. Valentine’s if you read through history. But the most accepted one is a young Roman who died on February 14th, martyred by Emperor Claudius II for the simple fact that the boy refused to give up Christianity.”
Flipping through the pages, Leah discovered another small piece of paper with the drawing of two birds sitting side-by-side.” She smiled at the handsome face. “You knew this, huh?” 
“After being with you, I know it’s important to study up.” Lifting her hand, he brushed Leah’s skin with his lips. “So…what do you make of clue number two?”
Turning, Leah immediately walked toward the poet’s corner with Gareth right behind her. Reaching out, she pulled Chaucer from the shelf. 
“Why him?” Gareth nodded at the small book of poems. “There were a ton of romantic bards.” 
“Before the whole ‘romance’ theme was adopted by humans, Chaucer mentioned it in a poem, The Parlement of Foules.” Looking down, she translated the small type and read aloud: “ ‘For this was Saint Valentine’s day, when every bird of every kind comes to this place to choose his mate.’ ”
Gareth grinned as Leah flipped over the page and found yet another clue; a hand-drawn bumblebee stared up at her with a tiny smile. She laughed.
“I suppose you know what that’s all about?” Gareth grinned. “O’ Wise One.”
“Well,” Leah tool a step forward and kissed him on the cheek. “In the original text edition, Chaucer did not use birds as the metaphor in this poem, he used bees. No one knows why it was changed.”
He nodded. “So we head to some insect reference book now?”
Leah stood still, watching the man who was, quite obviously, pretending to be confused. “Apiology, the study of bees, should be there. But zoology is where I would head.”
Walking through the quiet museum to literary beauty Gareth remained silent, waiting for Leah to continue.
Reaching the reference she wanted, Leah picked up the book and turned to the section on a man named Charles Butler. “This is the guy referred to as the ‘Father of English Beekeeping’. He was the genius who figured out there was one Queen surrounded by male drones. And he also first noted that bees created wax honeycombs.”
Flipping the page, Leah looked down at the familiar drawing of a small honeycomb. The words beside it read; ‘The End’. Her brain went into overdrive. “Hmmm…let’s see here. This could reference  mummy masks that were found made of honeycomb; skulls unearthed in ancient times with gemstones stuck to them with beeswax; fabrics or fashion, considering it was used for waterproofing and, of course, the easiest one – candles.”
Gareth smiled wide.
“We don’t have a candle section, per se.”
“What will you do, then?”
An image of the stunning landscape that she and Gareth had visited in the recent past appeared in her mind. “Beeswax candles were seen as high-end and only used by royalty to light their mighty palaces. 18th century England was the most common place to find them.”
Without another word, Leah headed slowly to the Map Room, one of her favorite nooks in the NYPL. Entering, she saw the hundreds of candles illuminating a small table set for two. 
Walking to the table, Leah raised the golden dome and looked down at the lasagna – her favorite – gracing the dish. 
Pulling out her chair, she sat, watching the man she loved take his place across from her. “Good job.”
“You too,” he said. “We make a good team.”
As the slight burst of metal hit her gaze, Leah stared at the beautiful beeswax sculpture in the familiar shape of a heart decorating the side of the table. Barely noticeable among the intricate combs of the brilliant material was a locket made of amber. Picking it up carefully, Leah stared at the small clock on the inside. On the adjoining face, the words Tallent & Lowery had been inscribed.
“Time is so special with you,” Gareth said, his voice a soft, deep whisper in the romantic setting. “I’m greedy. I want at least, oh…seventy more years with you. I hope I can have that.”
Studying the face of the man who struck her with awe every time she gazed at him, Leah reached across the table and took his hand. “I hope so too. I can’t wait to tease you when our kid comes to visit us at the home so he can watch Dad gum his food.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Did you miss any of the other stops? 
Go back and catch them now!

2/3: Tome Tender – Amy’s Writing
A great many times I’m asked what needs to be in place before I begin writing…

2/4: The Wonderings of One Person – Amy’s Journey as a Writer
In the end, I always feel so privileged that these characters have become my friends…and I will always owe my entire journey to a kitty that had to go “nightsie.”

+ Coffee and Books and Art – The Sapphire Stone Excerpt
And as sleep overtook him, Emmanuel begged the ‘powers that be’ to lead Leah Tallent safely through the sapphire storm.

2/5: Kelly P’s Blog – The Tallent and Lowery Duo
The duo of Tallent & Lowery cast aside petty differences to join together in work, friendship and romance, and I believe have been true ‘voices’ that educate people on how to be strong without harming others.

+ Savings in Seconds – Review
“Lignor creates this tantalizing blend of Indiana Jones, The Mummy, DaVinci Code, and even National Treasure with her characters.”

2/6: Cherry Mischievous – Creating a Famous Duo
…When it comes down to duo’s, the literary world has offered more than its fair share. ‘Tallent & Lowery’, hopefully, will become one of those teams that will never be forgotten.

+ Deal Sharing Aunt – 13 Excerpt
Leah began, “Aleister Crowley bought this house in 1899, and stayed here on and off until 1913. He told his followers that he was working on a ceremony that would bring forth an army to do his bidding.”

2/7: Brooke Blogs – Tallent and Lowery Interview, Part I
“Maybe we should practice together before going out there,” he suggested. “You know…curb that sarcasm of yours a bit before revealing it on T.V.”

2/9: Mythical Books – Tallent and Lowery Interview, Part II
“You don’t get air sick.”
“Not true. Those blonde stewardesses who constantly hit on you make me sick.” She winked.

2/10: Fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s Ramblins and Reviews – The Hero’s Companion Excerpt
Leah dropped her head in her hands as tears of frustration and fear ran down her cold cheeks. She had no idea what she and Gareth would be walking into when they pulled up in front of her childhood home…

2/11: Dividing by Zero – Review
“If you’re looking for mystery, intrigue, and epic quests (along with a bit of romantic tension), make sure to pick up this series!”

2/12: Platypire Reviews – Review
“First and foremost, I just want to say I absolutely loved this book!”

2/13: Books With Bree – Tallent and Lowery Interview, Part III
“Okay…lightning round.” Leah sat up straighter, as she watched Gareth’s stunning smile appear.

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing – Bennett & Darcy vs. Tallent and Lowery
Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy will always be my favorite romantic couple, but when it comes to a couple that shares that kind of passion and must rely on each other’s minds and strength to survive extremely frightening experiences, then Leah & Gareth are the ones who fill my mind…

All That’s Written – Valentine’s, Part I
Leah couldn’t find her smile; the busy haven she knew now looked like a place where the world had come to an abrupt end…

The Hero’s Companion

Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery have seen it all, utilizing everything they have to survive. But now, Leah’s father has gone missing and they have only seven days before he’ll be killed. The only clue to follow is a picture of one of the most famous icons of all time, and a strange map hidden in her father’s desk. This new mystery will take them from the pinnacle of the Acropolis to the depths of Cleopatra’s caves in order to unmask the man who has a score to settle.

In a location that’s been buried under rock for centuries the battle will begin, and the team will have to face the one foe that will expose secrets and unleash unheard of power in order to get what he wants. ‘The Hero’s Companion’—the one woman who will do anything to make sure the right side wins, will fight the good fight; but without Gareth, her time may just run out.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository
The Sapphire Storm (Tallent & Lowery, #2)
The Sapphire Storm

After going up against a man who believed he was the Devil, himself, the beloved characters of Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery are exhausted. But a terrifying journey awaits…

When Leah arrives home her sarcasm burns even brighter, but a frightening call from Gareth’s sister changes the course of their holiday event. A new puzzle from the past has come to life, and involves a world of liars, killers and greed.

The heart-stopping suspense takes them from Coptic Cairo to the magical world of Petra in search of a cave that once housed a true ‘Illuminator’. They must find the answers to one of the biggest mysteries while staying one step ahead of villains who are determined to make sure that, this time, Tallent & Lowery do not survive.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository * Smashwords
There are two choices for Book I of the Tallent & Lowery adventure series to be released by Suspense Publishing on December 1st! Here's the 'Vibrant' choice!13

In 1902, thirteen people came together to continue a tradition that’d been set in stone thousands of years before.

In 2012, Leah Tallent, Head of Research at the New York Public Library, is about to unearth the secrets left behind by this crew by joining a crazy man on a fanatical quest. Gareth Lowery has spent his life searching for the ultimate artifact; twelve keys hidden by men whose job it was to protect the single biggest secret ever kept.

The fantastic duo is soon immersed in a whirlwind treasure hunt with historical and passionate repercussions. From the eerie Winchester House to the darkness of Loch Ness, they quickly learn that the theory of duality is correct: For every bad there is a good and, for Heaven, there most assuredly exists…Hell.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository * Smashwords


Tallent & Lowery Book #4: The Charlatan’s Crown

From defeating the worst of mankind to solving puzzles that have eluded others for centuries, Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery must now follow a new trail to stop a madman from resurrecting a mighty Reich.

Although dead men supposedly tell no tales, the duo continue to follow clues left behind by true powerbrokers from Hell, and now they stand on the precipice of an infamous castle used by those who thrived on hate and terror.

Fighting for their lives from deep inside a labyrinth, they’ll stand atop a stage where an angel of death spoke to the masses, and climb to an ‘Eagle’s Nest’ to come face-to-face with a new enigma; a master puppeteer who’s pulling the strings on a monumental scheme they never saw coming.

Amy Lignor began her career in publishing as the Editor-in-Chief of Grey House Publishing in New England. Working in the publishing industry for decades, she is now the Owner/Operator of The Write Companion which offers full editing, ghostwriting and proofreading services.

Not only is Amy a bestselling author, she has been inducted into the ITW – International Thriller Writers Org. and is a writer/contributor for many companies, including: Authorlink; Humor Outcasts; The Feathered Quill; Bookpleasures; Suspense Magazine, as well as a variety of literary periodicals. She has been the head writer for Be First, Inc., and has just become the Editor-in-Chief of a new imprint: Hallowed Ink Press

Tallent & Lowery * The Write Companion * Facebook * Twitter * Linked In * Goodreads * The Angel Chronicles

Other books by Amy Lignor:
Click the covers to go to Goodreads
Until Next Time (The Angel Chronicles, #1) Gilded Wings (The Angel Chronicles, #2) A Privilege (The Angel Chronicles, #3)

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3 Winners – eCopies of 13, The Sapphire Storm & The Hero’s Companion by Amy Lignor
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1 Winner – eCopy of the new release, The Charlatan’s Crown, when it comes available!!

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Floyd and I celebrated Valentine’s Day at a very unusual restaurant here in Taichung, Taiwan.  

It’s called The Modern Toilet, and the decor and some of the food are bathroom-themed.

This is what greeted us when we walked in.  Only in Taiwan!

The container by the front counter where the chopsticks are kept:

The glass tabletops were supported from underneath by these washbasins.

This was the table across from ours.  For some reason, our seats were regular chairs instead of the padded toilet lids that they got.

The booths came with these comfortable seat cushions.

Note the washbasin sticking out from the flower design on the wall.  And do you see the shape of the light fixtures?

Some menu items were relatively “normal”.  Others called attention to themselves by their shape or the dish they were served in.

I ended up ordering the toilet curry chicken mentioned below.  I just couldn’t see myself going to a restaurant like this and not ordering something in a toilet-shaped dish!

Here it is: my dinner!  And yes, it was delicious.
 Who wants dessert?  This is what they serve their ice cream in.
Extra seating near the exit:
What a fun experience!  I’m not sure I’d go back, but it was definitely worth it to go once.  You can’t live in Taiwan and not try things like this!

Timothy Phillips

Timothy PhillipsBy Cliff Ball

About the Book:

Can a nineteen year old stay true to the faith he was brought up on when he’s under the spotlight?Timothy Phillips’ dreams come true when he’s discovered by the producer of a national talent show. So what’s the problem? The recording contract is not in the Southern Gospel he would prefer to sing. As he begins recording and performing the music, he encounters increasing hostility towards Christians. Can he stay true to his faith, or will he end up compromising his beliefs little by little the more famous he becomes? When his world comes crashing down, will he have anything left to help him stand as the end times approach?
Cliff Ball lives in Texas, born in Arizona, is a Christian and is Baptist. Has two BA’s, and a Certificate in Technical Communications from the University of North Texas. Has published ten novels and four short stories in multiple genres, but is currently writing a Christian fiction series called “The End Times Saga.” Cliff’s first taste of being published was when he won third in high school for a short story written in Creative Writing class for a young adult magazine.

Follow Cliff Ball
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Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 Amazon gift card, sponsored by author Cliff Ball! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by CrossReads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

I’ve been teaching a unit on poetry to my fifth grade class here at Morrison Academy, and my students have enjoyed writing poems in a number of different styles.  Now that we’re finished, I’ve chosen some of the best (at least one from each student) to put together into a poetry anthology.  The class is very excited that this has now been published as a Kindle eBook and is available for sale on Amazon.com!

The book only costs US$2.99, and the class voted to donate all proceeds to a nonprofit organization called Taiwan Sunshine (more information below).  This is a great ministry that our students have worked with on several occasions.

I chose a few possible titles from lines in various poems that I felt presented vivid and interesting word pictures: “Once in a Blue Moon”, “Gleaming Goodies”, “The Most Beautiful Blanket in the World”, “Like a Piece of Gold”, and of course “Better than Cotton Candy”.  The final title was chosen in a vote by my fifth graders and others.

Then I held an optional cover-designing contest among my students.  There were six different entries, some created individually and others in pairs or groups.  I showed the students all the entries on the big screen, and once again they voted for their favorites.  (Sorry, these aren’t the best quality photographs; they’re just pictures I took of the artwork lying on the carpet.) 

Below is the final version of the winning cover design.  I scanned it on the school’s color scanner, and then our computer teacher graciously volunteered to touch up the colors a little in Photoshop and add the black border.  You can see the difference!

Here’s the “product description” (like the blurb on the back of a paper book) that I wrote about our anthology.  I tried to use tidbits from as many students’ poems as possible:

Are you ready for a world tour?  Within these pages you can watch a Chinese New Year dragon dance, go snowboarding at Mountain High in California, experience Christmas in the Philippines, spend money on fun in a video game center in Odaiba, Japan; catch shrimp in Australia, and play soccer at Sacramento’s Don Nottoli Park.  Step into the Amazon rainforest to hear a croaking frog as loud as a car engine and onto the streets of Taiwan to be serenaded by a putrid-smelling trash truck that plays Beethoven’s “Für Elise”. 

You’ll have the opportunity to sample such delicacies as spiky giant crabs, milk tea, tiramisu, spicy curry, dried squid, and fizzy melon soda.  Here you can visit a garden to meet zombie-fighting plants and see for yourself how war can be like a broken ATM.  Take a break by an icy lake that reflects the stars’ smiles like a sheet of glass.  While you’re waiting for the morning sun, wrap yourself in the night, the most beautiful blanket in the world; but don’t let your dad’s raucous snoring ruin your sleep.  Finally, beware of insubordinate monkeys, the horrors that lurk in a messy desk, and that house-crushing hailstorm.  See the journey through to the end and you’ll discover the one substance on earth that is better than cotton candy!

Proceeds from the sale of Better than Cotton Candy will benefit Taiwan Sunshine, a nonprofit organization that provides support and encouragement for families of disabled children in Taiwan.  Learn more at http://taiwansunshine.org.
Better than Cotton Candy has been available less than 48 hours and already has four 5-star reviews!  In addition, as of earlier this morning it was ranked twelfth on Amazon’s bestseller list for children’s poetry!

The book is available on your Kindle or any device with a Kindle application.  The app can be downloaded for free from Amazon for the iPad, iTouch, iPhone, Android, PC or Mac, Windows 7 Phone, etc.  

Click here to view or purchase our poetry anthology on Amazon or download the Kindle application.  Morrison’s fifth grade students and Taiwan Sunshine appreciate your support!

Click here to read about Sunshine Leaking, the anthology written by my last year’s class.

Click here to read about A Boom in the Room, the anthology written by my class two years ago.

Interested in putting together your own anthology (or other eBook)?  Click here to see the step-by-step instructions I put together on how to go through the process.  It isn’t what I’d call a simple process, but it’s free and very doable for those willing to put in the time and effort.

To post this Grand Finale and add your Social Media to the Rafflecopter, email Tressa at wishfulendings(at)outlook.com with “Fantastical Grand Finale” in the subject line!

Did you miss any of these fantastic stops on the tour? 
Check them out now!
January 26 Launch

January 27 @ Mythical Books

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by Bethany Cassel 
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Weaving a Fairy Tale Tapestry
Once upon a time, there was a poison apple. This poison apple never wanted to hurt the princess with skin as white as snow, but evil dwarves made her do it. 
In the very earliest stages of Shadowskin, the book was meant to be a straight retelling of the Snow White fairy tale. It was inspired by the question and subsequent answer of, “Why would the evil queen really want to kill Snow White? The poison apple is more than that . . . it’s really the queen’s daughter, cursed with a deadly touch.” This is where my main character, Pomona, originated. She was the personification of the poison apple in the story. At first, I was content to develop just this part of her identity and retell just one fairy tale, but, as things go with writing, things quickly got out of hand. I realized that Pomona was far more than just a poisoned apple, but that required some more development…
Read more at Mythical Books.
January 28 @  Wonderings of One Person:
Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent (Beyond #1)
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Beyond the Hollow (Beyond #2)

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by Kristy Tate
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The Inspiration for Writing the Beyond Series

I thought I knew how the Twilight series would end. While I, and half the reading world, waited for the release of Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn, I concocted what I thought was the perfect happily ever after for Bella and Edward. After a year of impatiently waiting for the final conclusion, I was hugely disappointed in Meyer’s ending.

But then—wait! Why not use my own happily ever after? Why not create my own series? And so I did. No vampires, no werewolves, but lots of obscure legends and an ending I can’t wait to write. Two of the three planned Beyond books are now published, and I’m not sure if I want the series to end…yet. I love Petra and Emory. I’m not sure I’m ready to let them go. So, at the moment, I can’t say whether the Beyond series will be a trilogy or something much larger. But I do know the ending, and I love it. I hope it will be worth waiting for…

Read the rest of the guest post and an excerpt from Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent at the Wonderings of One Person.

January 29 @ I Am a Reader, Not a Writer

Enchanted Fairytales
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by Cindy C Bennett 
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Who Doesn’t Love Fairytales?

Who doesn’t love fairytales? Princes and princesses, magic, villains, obstacles to overcome to achieve true love—fairytales have it all. They’re an easy escape into an enchanted world. I think that has a lot to do with the current trend in retelling these fantastical stories.

I’d already decided to write some retellings when I was approached by my publisher to write a full length retelling of the fairytale of my choice. I chose Rapunzel for the full-length, leaving me the option of all the other fairytales for my short stories…

…With all of my fairytales, I studied and read all of the old versions, and a few of the new, using names and settings from the traditional tales. Some of the names might seem a little strange, but with all of my main characters, there’s a meaning behind their name.

I enjoy reading fairytale retellings almost as much as I like writing them. I hope you like the way I’ve retold these classic stories, and have fun immersing yourself into every fairytale you read, both traditional and the retellings. As always, happy reading!

Read more at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer.

January 30 @ A Backwards Story

Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1)
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Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)
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by Alethea Kontis

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The Real Peter Woodcutter

My maternal grandmother passed away last February. It was the first time in seven years that my siblings and I were together in the same place.

I see my little sister Soteria the most often and talk to her almost every day. I speak to my older sister Cherie less frequently, but I’m trying to remedy that. Our brother West, however, seems to enjoy falling off the planet. So traveling to Vermont in the driving snow was made extra special for all of us because we got to see him.
I made sure he didn’t leave without a signed copy of ENCHANTED. Instead of defacing the title page, like I normally do, I took up almost all of the blank space on the page before that, thanking West profusely for being both my real-life brother and the inspiration for Peter Woodcutter…

Read more at A Backwards Story.

January 31 @ Bookworm Lisa

The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen
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Read the first part of the novel for FREE:
by Andrea Cefalo

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The Inspiration for Writing The Fairytale Keeper

Did you know that nearly all cultures have their own version of the Cinderella story? Neither did I until attending a children’s literature lecture in 2007. I don’t know about you, but my mind tends to wander when I have to sit through two hour lectures. So I started wondering. If most cultures have a Cinderella story, was it based on one girl, a real Cinderella? Was Cinderella a girl who lived hundreds, or even thousands, of years ago? Or is there is just something so compelling about the Cinderella story that most cultures make up their own?

I didn’t want to write another Cinderella story. My story presumes that all of Grimm’s fairy tales are based on a real person, and that that person is the real Snow White. During her adventures, she compiled these tales through the people she’d met, the stories she’d been told, and the events she’d experienced.

Read more at Bookworm Lisa.

Tour-Wide Giveaway!!

January 26 – February 10
There are FIVE chances to WIN!!
Winners will be drawn randomly, entries will be validated and the IP Addresses checked for shipping qualifications to award winnings in order of preference, if indicated. See Rafflecopter entry. Additional restrictions on Rafflecopter apply.

1 – Signed print copy of Shadowskin by Bethany Cassel plus a signed sketch of the Main Character by the author! (US Only)

2 – eCopies of both books in the Beyond series by Kristy Tate: Beyond the Fortune Teller’s Tent & Beyond the Hollow!  (International)

3 – eCopy of Enchanted Fairytales by Cindy C Bennett! (International)

4 – FIVE Signed paperbacks of Enchanted by Alethea Kontis plus swag! (US Only) (That’s five winners. Woop!)

5 – eCopy of The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen by Andrea Cefalo! (International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Ant by Janis Cox
  Ant by Janis Cox

Kickstarter Campaign for Adam’s Animals

Kickstarter is a way to bring a creative project to life with the direct support of friends, colleagues and family. My book project, “Adam’s Animals”, is one of the endeavours found on Kickstarter. Adam’s Animals is a children’s activity book that features more than 40 animals mentioned in the Bible and little-known facts about each. It’s ideal for 6 to 9 year olds, for home or school use and classroom sharing in grades 1-3 to supplement the Life Sciences Curriculum on Animal Life. It is the second book in the Science and Faith Matters series. The first book, “Trees of the Book – Learning from God’s Creation”, is a colourful introduction to trees, leaves and their corresponding Bible stories.

As the book creator, I have set a funding goal of $3500, with a deadline of February 28th, 2014. If you like my book idea, you can pledge any amount of money to make it happen. As the book backer, you choose from a number of rewards based on the amount of financial support you pledge. For example, backers who pledge a minimum of $5, will receive a choice of one of two of my e-books: 1) Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health, OR 2) Women of Strength – a devotional to improve spiritual and physical health. Backers who pledge a minimum of $15 will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals”. Backers who pledge a minimum of $175 will be listed on the “Dedication” page at the back of the book PLUS will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals”.

Backing “Adam’s Animals” is more than just giving money. Writers need encouragement and you would be supporting my dream of creating a valuable resource for children and parents. To support the creation of “Adam’s Animals” please visit Kickstarter.