Annual Indie Christian Books Sale

Four years ago, I contacted my small circle of authors friends to see if they wanted to discount their books for Black Friday and join forces to spread the word. It was supposed to be a one-time thing. This is our third year with a dedicated website for the one-week sale, our circle of authors keeps growing, we’re drawing close to having 1,000 unique visitors check out the sale, and since it’s become way to much work for little old me, Kendra E. Ardnek has joined me as a second coordinator. It’s safe to say, Indie Christian Books has a lot to be grateful for.

ICB Sale Blog

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Book Review & Blog Tour: Exiles

My Review

Reading Exiles jumped to the forefront of my priorities list as soon as I got the advanced reader’s copy from Jaye. Other books might get lost in my work schedule, buried under tasks I need to do for church, or lay temporarily forgotten while I visit friends … but not when that book contains characters as beloved and missed of Kyrin, Jace, and the others.

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Deliver: Don’t be a Stumbling Block

Do you borrow and buy more books than you can possibly read? Me to! For that reason, I rarely pre-order books. Why bother when there are five (or thirty!) books on my shelf that haven’t been read yet? I made an exception for Deliver and Exiles. After months of anticipating the final Blades of Acktar book, I wanted Deliver on my kindle as soon as possible!

It didn’t disappoint.

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Series Review: The Blades of Acktar

Last weekend I plunged into the world of Acktar and finally came up for air three books later. I’m not sure why I took so long to heed my friends’ raving reviews of this series! Since I read all three book in one week, I thought I’d do a series review instead of doing each book separately.

Acktar Series

Leith Torren knows much of the world’s darkness and little of the light. Since childhood, he’s been trained as an assassin. He’s good at his job. When a mission goes wrong because of a young teammate’s indiscretion, Leith’s life almost ends. Wounded and trapped in a blizzard, he stumbles upon Stetterly Manor and finds inexplicable compassion at the hands of girls he helped orphan. It’s his first taste of Christ’s love.

I loved so many things about the first three books in this series. In my reader’s heart, characters are king, so my first loves in these books are Leith, Brandi, Renna, Shad, and Jamie. Tricia does a great job of bringing them to life. Each character has a distinctive personality, struggles different from any of the others, and strengths that propel them to heroism. In fact, certain things about each character intrigued me enough that I’m planning a series of blog posts highlighting different members of the Blades of Acktar cast.

One word of caution. When you sit down to start this series (when, not if), choose a night you can start reading early. Otherwise you’ll stay up too late and be sleep deprived the following day!

Book Review & Giveaway: Samara’s Peril

BlogTour-SPBanner

Are you ready for an influx of posts about Samara’s Peril? I’m so excited to talk about this book because the more of the series I read, the more of a favorite it becomes. Dear readers, if the Ilyon Chronicles books aren’t on your read-as-soon-as-possible list, they should be.

Back Cover Blurb

When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen.

Armed with their newfound knowledge, they set out for Samara to warn the king. War is inevitable, and they must face two desperate battles—one on the walls of Samara’s great stronghold, and the other on the battlefield of Jace’s heart, where victory might only be achievable through great sacrifice.

Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks!

My Thoughts

Every once in a while, you meet a fictional character that completely captures your heart. When they’re part of the series, you find yourself grinning when you begin the next book because you’re happy to be “hanging out” with this character again. Jace is one of those characters. There is something about his dogged integrity despite a crippling past that makes him compelling.

While past books in this series have caused me to contemplate broad issues like faithfulness in the face of persecution, Samara’s Peril was a very personal story. The majority of the narrative clung to Jace’s perspective, struggles, and eventual … well, let’s not give that part away. 😉 The moments of joy are bountiful, relieving joy because they’ve been hoped for and anticipated for so long. (One scene had me stumbling around the house with a grin on my face for half-an-hour.) The stretches of pain and doubt are heart wringing.

The bottom line is: the storytelling is amazing, the story itself is meaningful, and the characters will make a home in your heart and never leave.

Stay Tuned! Next Wednesday we’ll be featuring an author interview with Jaye, and next Friday I’ll share some practical, real-life takeaways inspired by Samara’s Peril.

About the Author

JayeAuthor2015Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.

Giveaway!

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Samara’s Peril, a John 3:16 necklace by FaithWearDesigns, and a green wire dragon bookmark by Wirelings! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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Book Review: The Mystery of the Indian Carvings

Mystery of the Indian CarvingsYoung Julie is troubled by her mother’s death and her dislike for her new stepmother, who doesn’t want Julie around for the summer. Instead, Julie is being sent to live on an island with relatives she doesn’t know. To make matters worse, her first weeks don’t go well. Her uncle rarely shows his face, her aunt is plagued by anxiety, and her cousin seems to hate her. Julie begins to think her time on the island will be short lived.

I thoroughly enjoyed taking a step back from the intense, emotionally wringing tales of young adult, new adult, and adult fiction to enjoy the simple clarity of this middle grade story. The Mystery of the Indian Carvings is fast paced and perfect for it’s target audience. Tween readers will get a thrill of adventure and solid lessons about trusting God, just like I did when I read Repp’s Mik-Shrok series as a tween.

If you have younger siblings or are the parent of readers age 8-13, this is a great book to share with them.

Book Review: Resistance

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00026]After my brother’s review of The King’s Scrolls two weeks ago, I decided it was time I read the first book in the series. Resistance. As a result, you’re getting the reviews rather out of order, but now that you’re interest has been piqued for book two, you should know a little something about book one! (Reviews of Ilyon Chronicles books should be in order of release from now on. I’ll definitely be on top of reading future installments!)

“But, my friends, we must resist this evil. We must never be idle while it destroys the lives and hope around us. If we don’t stand, who will?”

The emperor of Arcacia has positioned himself as ruler appointed by the gods and has plans to eliminate all threats to his claim. With immorality spreading through the country, the emperor’s cruelty is tightening around followers of Elom, the one true God. The time has come when faith in Elom must be courageous unto death or abandoned.

I started this book with interest due to the enthusiasm my brother and various online acquaintances have shown for the series. The beginning drew me but didn’t immediately demand my undivided attention. That changed quickly. The magnetic draw increased as the story progressed.

Reading true stories of Christian courage in the face of persecution has convinced me that these stories, both real and fictional, are among the most gripping, heartbreaking, and beautiful when told well. Resistance is told well and it is inspiring. I can’t wait to see what happens to Jace, Kyrin, Kaden, Trask, Trev and Daniel next.

Bonus Tidbit: Jaye announced today that she plans to release a series prequel about Jace this summer.

Book Review: The King’s Scroll

The King's Scrolls Tour BannerWhen Jaye offered a review copy of The King’s Scrolls for the blog tour, I wanted to participate, but knew I probably wouldn’t have time to read it between the time I got it and now. So my brother volunteered to give it a read and share his thoughts. Here’s what he has to say.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00020]The King’s Scrolls continues the adventure of Kyrin, Jace and their friends. Arcacia is rapidly becoming a dangerous place for a follower of Elom to live. Kyrin and Jace struggle to protect their loved ones from the emperor and his men as they attempt to preserve the last complete copy of the King’s scrolls (aka, the Bible). The stakes raise as they are forced to choose between the two things they care about most.

This country mirrors, in a fantasy world, the path our own country is following. Just as the US was founded upon Christianity, Arcacia has been faithful to Elom, but in recent years leaders have plunged Arcacia into spiritual darkness. This book challenged me (Jon) to think about what my reaction would be if the US follows (or continues to follow) the same course. How much am I willing to give for my faith? This book is very clean, but due to intense situations would probably be best for young teenagers and up.

Thanks Jonathan for doing the review for us today! What do the rest of you think of this book? For those who have read it, what did you think of it? If you haven’t read it, does it sound like the sort of book you want to get your hands on?