December 31, 2011

Best Seller in Religious Historical Fiction

The very last post of 2011, and it is an exciting one for me. Yesterday, I had one of the biggest surprises I’ve ever had in the five years I’ve been writing professionally. I checked my Amazon sales ranking and discovered that the Kindle version of The Pirate Daughter’s Promise was #92 on the Top 100 Paid Kindle books under Religious Historical Fiction for a while. Making an Amazon best seller list was completely unexpected and quite an excitement for me. It’s a huge thing for indie author like me.


I never would have made it without the sale I had for Christmas. I was going to let it run through the 1st and then put the price back up to $2.99, but in celebration of a month that was even more successful than I ever expected, I’ve decided to leave The Pirate Daughter’s Promise eBook at 99¢. :) I hope many more people will enjoy it.

December 21, 2011

The Hobbit Trailer is Here!

There’s no doubt about it, The Lord of the Rings movies were a turning point in my writing journey. They introduced me to epicness. I’m sure I never would have written my Makilien Trilogy, or my current and future fantasy projects had I not watched the movies and read the books. Yet, even before that, the first seeds of my love for epic fantasy were planted when my mom read The Hobbit to me and my brothers. It’s been ten years since the release of The Fellowship of the Ring, and now, at last, we get the first peek at the very beginning of what will always be to me the most epic of adventures. I can hardly wait so see Middle-earth come to life before my eyes once more.

December 09, 2011

The Pirate Daughter’s Promise Sale on iTunes and Barnes & Noble

Just alerting everyone that The Pirate Daughter’s Promise ebook is now showing up for only 99¢ on both iTunes and Barnes & Noble. Only 16 more days to take advantage of the sale! Here are all the links where it is available.

Other Formats

December 05, 2011

Book Review–The Hunger Games Trilogy


Book One:

Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

* * * * * * * * * *

I started noticing all the hype about The Hunger Games Trilogy a few months ago. I’ve never been one to jump at the latest and greatest fictional masterpiece (mostly because I rarely read secular fiction), but after I found out about the movie coming out this spring, I thought I should read the books and see what it was all about. After all, there haven’t been many times I’ve read the books before seeing the movies. So, after a very long wait (I think I was somewhere close to 20 on the waiting list), I finally got The Hunger Games from our local library. It seems I’m almost always pleasantly surprised when I have low expectations (although, thinking about it, “pleasant” isn’t the most ideal word to mix with this trilogy). Here are my thoughts on each of the books.

The Hunger Games was certainly interesting, if a bit disturbing since it involves children forced to fight to the death in a gladiatorial type of game for the amusement of those in the Capitol. Considering this, I thought the story was told well. It’s one of the few books I’ve ever read that is in first person. This took some getting used to for me, but it really worked well, especially in the following two books. This was probably my second favorite book of the series. It set everything up well, and was quite fascinating in a morbid sort of way. I wasn’t sure if I truly liked Katniss or Peeta, the two main characters of the story, although I could sympathize with them. I did, however, love Gale for what little he was in the story. All in all, a good book that I’d probably like even better reading it a second time now that I’ve read the whole trilogy.

Catching Fire was my favorite book of the trilogy. The growth of the plot was excellent. I could hardly put this book down. The characters really grew on me in this book. I found I cared much more about Katniss and Peeta, and I was delighted that Gale had a much bigger role. The direction the plot took about halfway through was completely unexpected. I’m sure my eyes got really big at that point. Definitely the best book of the series, in my opinion.

Mockingjay, the conclusion of the trilogy was just plain intense. It was a lot darker than the first two. By this point in the trilogy, we’re talking about full-out war. It was difficult because, by this time, you really became attached to certain characters and casualties are mounting. You never know when you’re going to turn a page and find out someone you’ve come to love has been killed. I read this book just about as fast as Catching Fire. With so much going on and wanting to know how this whole, huge thing is going to be resolved, it’s hard to stop reading. I thought the progression of things was natural and believable, but I will say this was probably my least favorite of the trilogy because it was so dark. The ending was fairly satisfying. It certainly wasn’t a series where you could expect a perfect happily ever after. The characters were far too scarred for that. There were a few things that irked me and character storylines I wish could have been tied up better, but I can live with it.

Overall, The Hunger Games Trilogy was a fascinating read. It probably had some of the most real characters I’ve ever followed in a book. Suzanne Collins wrote it in such a way that you were dragged right into the emotion with the characters, horrified, just as they were, with the atrocities around them. I think the most disturbing part about the whole series was how, in the world we live in now, it didn’t seem too far fetched. Another thing I became very aware of, being a Christian and hardly ever reading secular fiction, was the overall hopelessness of the story. There isn’t the slightest mention of God throughout the book, so when everything was crumbling and being destroyed, what did any of these characters really have to hold on to? It’s a sobering thing to think of having no God to trust in to take care of you no matter what happens.

Would I recommend these books? Well…yes and no. The story is good and exciting and relatively clean, but I would not recommend them to anyone who is really sensitive to reading pretty in depth accounts of death, killing, and torture. Some parts of the books are extremely depressing and very intense. But I can’t say don’t read them, especially if you plan on seeing the movies.


December 01, 2011

Christmas eBook Sale!


Today being the first of December, I’m excited to announce that from now until Christmas you can purchase the ebook version of The Pirate Daughter’s Promise, the first book of my Pirates & Faith series for only 99¢!

The ebook can be purchased for Kindle from:

And in other ebook formats from:

If you love ebooks or know someone who does, be sure to share this news.

November 30, 2011

Interview with The Norfolk Christian Fiction Examiner

Last week I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Erica Smith, The Norfolk Christian Fiction Examiner. To learn a bit about my inspiration for Pirates & Faith and my thoughts on independent publishing, follow this link:

November 21, 2011

Truth (Makilien Trilogy)–Book Trailer

Struggling with a strange lack of creativity and ambition over the summer, I tried to create a book trailer for Truth to coincide with its release. That never ended up happening, and I only managed to make myself frustrated when I tried. However, with things going a lot better lately as far as creativity, I finally sat down over the weekend and put together a trailer that I’m very excited about. So here it is, at last, a very late book trailer for Truth.


November 07, 2011

H is for Halandor

Of all the characters in Makilien, Halandor is one of people I love most. I love his story and just who he is. He is probably one of the very first characters I ever created for Makilien way back in the original, and he really hasn’t changed much. Unfortunately, it was so long ago, I don’t remember much about his creation process. At this point, he feels like an old friend who’s been around forever. When I really sit and think about it, he’s almost like the anchor for the whole story. The one unchanging, familiar thing in all the revisions the trilogy has gone through.

And, in a way, that is exactly what he is in the story as well. He is an anchor for Makilien as she grows and experiences a life she’s never known before. Through his gentle guiding, she is allowed to learn and discover things on her own, both the good and the evil, and at times, reap the consequences of that. You can obviously pin the mentor tag on Halandor in this story, but unlike a lot of others, he’s definitely not the tough love sort of mentor. He is a loving father, and having lost his own daughter so recently in the story, it was only natural for his fatherly instincts to take over with Makilien.

Halandor is also the second piece Elohim put into play in Makilien’s journey. After Torick’s unexpected arrival, which led to Makilien leaving her home, she was left facing something that was completely unknown. Where would she go? How would she survive? How would she find the truth she so desperately searched for? Then Halandor came along and undoubtedly saved her life. He not only protects her and takes care of her through her journey, but he lives his own life in such a way that influences her to be more, consider more, and make the right decisions. Even though Makilien’s life becomes filled with close friends, I think Halandor would have to be recognized as the one who made the most difference and impact.

October 22, 2011

The Pirate Daughter’s Promise - Review

I’m excited to share a new review of The Pirate Daughter’s Promise. I can’t say how much appreciate and am thankful for the kind words. Thank you, Lisa!

October 21, 2011

G is for God



God really is the center of the books I write. The characters, their struggles, their triumphs—they all display how God works in the lives of His people. I love to show how He can take trials and horrible situations and use them for good. I equally love showing how He can take weak, imperfect individuals and use them to accomplish amazing things. That’s really the main theme in Truth.


At the beginning of the book, there is Makilien, young, inexperienced, miserable, and entirely too bold for her own good. She wants freedom, and she wants to know the truth. She’ll do pretty much anything to find it, though she has no idea what the real truth actually is. Once outside of Reylaun, she wants to depend on what she can see and has no desire to trust anything that isn’t right in front of her. She continually shoves aside anything to do with Elohim (God) with the excuse that it’s too confusing and difficult to understand in the midst of all she is experiencing. For most of the book, she turns her back on Him.


But does Elohim give up on her? No. Just think, if God gave up on everyone who resisted Him and shoved Him aside, where would we be? Every one of us has ignored Him at some point in our lives. But He never gives up on us. And that is part of the message in Truth. Despite Makilien’s prideful stubbornness, Elohim continued to call to her, and when the time was right, when she came to realize she was completely and utterly helpless on her own, she turned to Him. And even though she was the weakest and most incapable person out of all those He could have chosen, He used her to show His power.


It is stories like that I love to tell. God can use any one of us, even the weakest, most imperfect, and incapable. Why? Because He loves us, even when we don’t love Him.


Photo by +) Revelations (+

October 17, 2011

Aaron Shust in Concert

Over the weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to see Aaron Shust in concert for the first time. It was quite an exciting thing for me because, not only do really I love his music, but it’s been very inspirational to me in my writing and being an author.


Back when I was finishing The Pirate Daughter’s Promise, Aaron’s song My Savior My God was on the radio a lot. My family loved the song right from the start, and something about it really had a big impact on me at that time in my life. For one thing, it always made me think about my characters in TPDP—about their faith through their trials. The lyrics encompassed so many of the things I wanted to tell in the story. None of my characters understood at first why they had to face such great trials, but they knew God was always there for them, and no matter what they would cling to Him. Not only that, but through the trials, they were able to share their faith with the most unlikely characters and lead them to the knowledge that Christ died for them to be their Savior. I remember when friends and family would tell me they would love to see TPDP as a move, I’d smile and think to myself if that miracle were to ever happen, the one song I’d want playing when the credits started rolling is My Savior My God. So it was special to me because it was so close to the story I wanted to tell, but it also meant a lot to me personally. Writing TPDP was such a huge moment in my life. It was with that book I started my writing career and ministry. My Savior My God reminded me as well that whatever direction my life took from there, my Savior was always there for me and would guide me through whatever came.


concert3So, this many years later, to have been able to meet Aaron and see him perform My Savior My God live was very special.










September 28, 2011

Book Review–The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice–Book 1)



They have always scared him in the past -- the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. What he doesn't yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied. . .


* * * * * * *


I’ve been thinking about reading this series for years, but always chose other books. The thing is, I almost never read non-Christian fantasy because I have no idea what might be in it. Well, after reading good reviews of a couple of the Ranger’s Apprentice books on Into the Book, I decided it was time to give them a try and picked up the first couple books from the library. You can usually gauge my reaction to a story by how fast I read it. I read The Ruins of Gorlan straight through in one afternoon. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was very pleasantly surprised. I was quickly hooked and reluctant whenever I had to put the book down.


The characters were awesome. I found them well developed and believable. I felt for Will and loved to cheer for him and watch his growth. Who doesn’t love to see someone deemed weak turn into a hero? I adored Halt from the instant he appeared in the story (those who know me well know I have a thing for Rangers). I just love those very capable, highly mysterious, rather grim and sarcastic mentor characters—and Halt was one of the best. And, of course, can’t forget about Horace. My heart ached for him many times, and I very much enjoyed watching his character growth as well.


While not Christian, as I mentioned, I found the book to have very good morals. Heavy emphasis was put on honesty, honor, and loyalty, while bullying was shown as horrible and cruel. The only drawback to the book were some instances of language. The word d**n was used several times in dialog, and h*** once. If you can overlook that, the story was exciting and kept me thoroughly engrossed in the adventure. I am anxiously looking forward to diving into book two. If the remaining 9 books are as excellent as this one, I have some very enjoyable reading ahead of me. It’s rare that a book makes it to the list of my all time favorites, but this one has. I highly recommend it, especially to fellow lovers of fantasy and those who love the idea of Rangers.


For more information about the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, check out:

September 23, 2011

F is for Friendship

4598283411_1dc6b56fba_oFriendship is one of the biggest themes in the whole Makilien Trilogy. So many of my characters would have been injured or worse if not for the aid of a friend. There is nothing like a friend who understands you and would do anything for you. It’s friendship like that I wanted at the center of Makilien. So for this post, I’m going to focus on a few of my favorite friendships from Truth.


Makilien and Aedan—I love their sibling-like bond and how Aedan is always there to sympathize with Makilien. I’m not sure how Makilien would have been able to bear the years of questions and frustration with life without him. Though Aedan hated their situation just as much as she did, he could always offer some encouragement and comfort.


Makilien and Halandor—Their friendship is just about my favorite of the whole trilogy. It’s the one friendship that completely carried over and was perfected from my original version of the story. Makilien said it herself, she didn’t know where she would be if not for Halandor. She surely wouldn’t have survived those first few days outside of Reylaun without him. He was the one to teach her all of the most important things she had to learn. He helped her gain strength, confidence, and character. He helped her become a better person, and that is the greatest thing about their friendship. In return, Halandor was able to experience being a father again in a way, something he so tragically lost.


Torick, Elandir, and Elmorhirian—This one just makes me laugh. The fact is, Elandir and Elmorhirian drive Torick nuts. The older he gets, the less patience he has for their mischief. However, though he’ll happily watch them take some heat for their actions, he’d never just stand by if they were truly being harmed. He may deny it, but the two of them are like family to him. And despite all the pranks and teasing, Elandir and Elmorhirian love Torick. It may be hidden behind a whole lot of practical jokes and mischief, but their friendship is just as strong as anyone’s.


Makilien and Sirion—I love the friendship between these two. From the moment they meet, they’re looking out for each other. Sirion is the last close friend Makilien makes in Truth, and he’s a little different than all the rest. She admires him and is inspired by him. He always has an encouraging word for her, and something about him makes her want to be more. Though she really did nothing to try, Makilien is one of the not too many people who have won a special place in Sirion’s heart, a place he usually keeps guarded for fear of loss.


Makilien and Meniah—And last, but certainly not least, the most important friendship in the story. This was both the most difficult and the most fulfilling relationship to write. There are so many portrayals of Christ in fiction, and for mine I wanted to focus specifically on His love. I wanted to capture His tenderness and care toward someone who really had nothing to offer and who didn’t even fully return the love with faith until everything was falling apart. That is what I hope I accomplished in this friendship.


Photo by AJC1

September 20, 2011

E is for Elandir and Elmorhirian

Because, really, you can’t have one without the other. It’s the two of them together that makes them so entertaining at times.


Elandir and Elmorhirian are Elf brothers in Makilien—sons of an Elven lord. As I have mentioned before, I love writing about sibling relationships. These two were especially fun. They are the comic relief in the story, and they love that. They love mischief, yet at the same time, they can be very serious when the situation calls for it. They’re an interesting duo, much the same in many ways, but opposites in others. Take their appearance for instance. Elandir has their mother’s golden hair and deep blue eyes, while Elmorhirian is dark-haired and brown-eyed like their father. They’re typical brothers—highly competitive, quick to throw each other under the bus in less than serious situations, but when it comes to life and death, they’d die for each other.


Elandir is the oldest and more of a leader than Elmorhirian. He likes to think he is more mature than his brother, though Elmorhirian is quick to dispute that. Being the oldest, he will be the next Elven lord of Elimar so his father expects him to be a part of many of the decisions affecting their city. I don’t think he always likes being dragged into mischief with Elmorhirian, but in the end, he can’t help himself, though he will pin it on his brother if he gets the chance.


Elmorhirian is the middle child and youngest son. He’s all for adventure and a good practical joke. He loves to make people laugh. He’s more easygoing than Elandir, and is usually the mastermind behind many of their misadventures. But despite his impish behavior, he’s very kindhearted and quick to defend his family and friends. He’s a bit more caring and patient than Elandir can be. I have a real soft spot for Elmorhirian because of this.


Elandir and Elmorhirian have been a part of Makilien since the beginning so I really don’t remember much about their creation process. I’ve never been the best comedic writer, but these two always take over with their scenes, especially in this final version of Makilien. One of my favorite things to come out of writing them has been their interesting relationship with Torick. It was never in the original version and was never planned for this one. It just came to be in the first scene we see Torick and Elmorhirian in together and grew from there. Since then it has had me giggling delightfully on many occasions.

September 12, 2011

D is for Dolennar



The world of Dolennar has been growing and developing in my mind for almost ten years. I love epic medieval and fantasy landscapes. Depending on the area, Dolennar as a mix of English countryside, New Zealand, the Northwoods where I’m from, and just random bits put together in my imagination. It started out rather small scale at first, focused on only three or four places, but as the story expanded so did Dolennar. I wanted Dolennar to be a believable and kind of familiar feeling place once you get to know it, so I didn’t go with anything wildly fantasyish and foreign.


The greatest tool I had in the development of Dolennar was the map. Right after we saw The Fellowship of the Ring and I began writing fantasy, my brothers and I got really into drawing maps. We’d draw them all the time. The map of Dolennar is one of the maps that came from that. At the time I was just starting my original Makilien, and really had no idea where everything was going to be, but that one map ended up being perfect. I’ve made very few changes to it over the years. I can’t imagine what I would do without it. I wouldn’t even know where to start if I had to draw it now.


My favorite places in Dolennar are Elimar and the plains of Eldor. I love Elimar for two reasons. First, I love the idea of a small peaceful city where everyone knows each other and is welcoming to strangers. And secondly, I love the forest. I always imagine it as one of my favorite places on earth with huge maple trees and evergreens. As for the Eldorian plains, I just love the idea of rolling hills with lush green grass and mountains towering in the background.

August 06, 2011

Truth (Makilien Trilogy) available for Nook

Just a quick announcement for those who have a Nook rather than a Kindle or other e-reader that Truth is now available from Only $2.99!



August 05, 2011

C is for Carmine

CarmineToday’s A-Z post is about the stunning and majestic dragon named Carmine. I hardly know where to begin. In writing through Makilien, Carmine has become one of my most favorite characters, even more so than I ever expected when I first created him. He is one of those characters you begin writing with a fairly basic idea and before you know it, the more they grow in your mind and on paper (or computer screen) the bigger their role becomes in the story.


His name, his character, I love everything about him. I love the sense of deep wisdom about him and his nobility. Carmine is the oldest character in the story—around 300 years old (a dragon’s average lifespan is about 500)—so he’s seen a lot. He is a guardian, a protector to the people of Eldor. He knows this is the reason Elohim created dragons, to be helpers and companions to the Humans and Elves, and he takes this responsibility seriously. Despite his intimidating appearance and being a fierce warrior, he is also very kind.


Part of what makes Carmine so interesting is that he is from a very different era than you see in Makilien. He is only one of three known dragons who still live and fight for Eldor. Generations ago, evil men would hunt down dragons for their scales, teeth, claws, and spines. The dragons became so disgusted that all but five left Eldor. Carmine is the only one left of the original five, and the only one who still remembers that time. His steadfast loyalty to the people of Eldor proves not only his honor, but his faith.


And how can I not mention his name? Carmine is another word for “red.” I always planned for Carmine to be a red dragon and thought it would be interesting to name my dragons after the color of their scales. In looking up synonyms for red, I found the word carmine and it was an instantly perfect fit.


Though Carmine doesn’t have a big role in Truth, expect him to show up quite a bit more in Courage. :)



Carmine Painting:


August 03, 2011

B is for Baltar



Today’s A-Z post is about a character who is not an active part of Makilien, but you do hear mention of him scattered throughout the trilogy. As is touched on briefly in Truth, Baltar is very important to the history of Eldor, the main country in the trilogy. He was the leader of seven people who left an oppressed country in the south, journeying north to find a place to settle and serve Elohim (God) in peace.


That story has always been interesting for me to imagine—to think of a man living with his family in oppression and one day finally deciding he would rather face the unknown than conform to the standards of the rest of his people. And so with his family and a couple friends, he set out north toward countries he had no knowledge of. They passed through plains, deserts, mountains, and forests, and after months of travel, finally came upon beautiful and fertile plains unlike any they’d seen. I’m sure they felt the promise of this new country.


Through Baltar’s desire to remain steadfast and true to his faith came the country of Eldor. Founded on Baltar’s principles, it has remained a country of strength, courage, and faith. Always its leaders are reminded that their strength is not their own, but Elohim’s. And because of this, the country is blessed, and has, in a way, become a shield against evil, protecting the lesser countries it is allied with. It is important to the people of Eldor to pass down that sense of honor and nobility that started with Baltar.


Photo by flaivoloka

July 27, 2011

Book Review–DragonFire and DragonLight



Today I’m doing a double review post. I read these books so quickly that it felt more like one book than two.


DragonFire was an interesting sequel to the first three books of the DragonKeeper Chronicles. I can’t say it was quite as good as book 3, but I still loved following all the familiar characters. What made this book fun and different from the ones before is that Kale and Bardon are now married in the story. I loved reading about the two of them. Donita K. Paul has written their relationship splendidly. So definitely worth reading to continue the adventure.


DragonLight, the 5th and final book was amazing. I’d say every bit as good as book 3, which was my favorite. It was very different from the others and fascinating. I really enjoyed the rather twisting plot in this one. And, of course, how could I not love reading more about Kale and Bardon after they were apart for so much of book 4? The two of them were constantly making me giggle or grin. Just ask my mom. I was probably grinning every time she walked by me. The only complaint I have about the book is that it seemed to end a little abruptly, and the way in which everything was resolved seemed a bit odd and out of place, but that is just me. I still adored the book and am now having to deal with the sadness of not getting to follow the characters I’ve come to love and enjoy so much any farther. Donita K. Paul certainly crafted a cast of very interesting, loveable, and memorable characters, and already I look forward to reading the series again.


For more information about the DragonKeeper Chronicles and Donita K. Paul, visit:

July 25, 2011

A is for Aedan

Over the last few months, I’ve noticed the A-Z posts on other blogs and how fun they looked. I thought it would be an interesting way to promote the release of Truth by writing A-Z posts pertaining to Makilien. I won’t completely follow the rules because I will space my posts out instead of posting every day, but it will be an interesting way to share some “behind the scenes” information about the book.


So for this first post, I chose Aedan. I have a couple of A’s in Makilien, but none I love as much as I love Aedan. Though Aedan’s character is only in 4 out of the 27 chapters in Truth, he is one of my most favorite characters and has much more involvement in the next book. Actually, Courage is almost as much about him and his story as it is about Makilien. He has some very big things ahead of him as the trilogy progresses.


At the start of the trilogy, Aedan is Makilien’s closest and truest friend. They share the same questions and desires to know what is beyond the little village they call home. Though not truly family, they are as close as any brother and sister would be. Two years older than Makilien and very mature, Aedan has been looking out for her since they were small children. Aedan is the one who tended to caution and kept Makilien from doing anything too rash as a result of her rather spirited nature.


The majority of my characters in Makilien have carried over from the original version I wrote when I was 13, but Aedan is a new addition. Makilien needed someone to share her burdens with who completely understood how she felt. I love sibling or sibling-like bonds, and I’ve always thought it would be nice to have a protective older brother, so Aedan fit into that role for Makilien.


What I love about Aedan is his maturity and how he has fully stepped up to perform the role as protector and provider as a result of his father’s death even though he is still a young man. Though I hated to leave him behind in chapter 3 as much as Makilien did, his choice to stay and take care of his family rather than give in to his longing to escape with Makilien perfectly shows who Aedan is as a person, and that was important in developing his character.


Though it isn’t obvious in this first book, Aedan has a lot of questions, and there are a few mysteries surrounding him. Truth is only just the beginning of his journey.

July 22, 2011

Truth–Now available in paperback!

The paperback version of Truth (Makilien Trilogy – Book 1) is now available for order on Amazon for $12.99!

July 21, 2011

Truth eBook now available!

I’m excited to announce that my newest book, Truth (Makilien Trilogy – Book 1) is now available in eBook format for $2.99!


For some reason it is taking much longer than normal for the paperback to become available on Amazon, but it should only be a couple more days. I will announce it as soon as it is available. For those interested in the eBook, here are the links to purchase it:




Other eBook formats:

July 12, 2011

The Pirate Daughter’s Promise–New Review

The Pirate Daughter’s Promise was recently reviewed by Susan on her homeschooling blog, Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. Thanks, Susan!

July 11, 2011

Book Review – DragonKnight


Back Cover:


Trapped in an evil spell… can the knights of Paladin be rescued?

Before vowing his allegiance to Wulder as a knight, Bardon heads to the mountains for solitude. His life is suddenly complicated by a woman and her granddaughter, N’Rae, on a mission to rescue the woman’s son trapped in a chamber of sleep. Bardon learns that more of Paladin’s knights are imprisoned–and suspects one of them is Dragon Keeper Kale’s missing father.

The secret is in their hands–and hearts.

The band travels north, uncertain of their destination and encountering numerous perils. When they unlock the chamber, they discover a dozen knights–who cannot be awakened. The journal holding the secret to rousing them is in an unknown language. How can they find the help they need, and overcome even graver obstacles, to rescue the knights?

Return to the land of dragons and magic you discovered in Dragonspell and DragonQuest, in this finely crafted and memorable work of fantasy fiction with a core of eternal truth.

* * * * * *


DragonKnight, book 3 of the DragonKeeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul, is definitely the best book yet. The whole series started out a little slow for me, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how good it has become. I enjoyed every moment of DragonKnight and can say it is one of the most enjoyable fantasy books I’ve ever read.


This book was quite different from the first two because the focus switched from Kale to Bardon, and that was what made me enjoy it so much. I don’t dislike Kale, but I’m completely in love with Bardon’s character. It was wonderful to get to really delve into who he is and follow his adventures, or perhaps “misadventures'” would be a better word. Halfway through the book, I came to realize that the reason I loved him so much was I could see myself in him and some of his struggles. It was both amusing and encouraging.


There were so many twists and misadventures happening in this book that in any other it probably would have been too much, but they were so delightfully told that it wasn’t a bother to me at all. I loved the new character additions, and though most of the original characters didn’t show up until the last quarter of the book, it was fun to see how they changed in the three years that passed since book 2.


DragonKnight was quite a bit longer than the first two, and I found myself carried away by the adventure for hours at a time. This is definitely a book I’ll add to my collection, and that doesn’t happen very often.


To learn more about Donita K. Paul and the DragonKeeper Chronicles, visit:

July 05, 2011

The Pirate Daughter’s Promise - Review

Here is a new review I’ve received on The Pirate Daughter’s Promise from Generation Impact, an online magazine for young Christians. :)

June 30, 2011

Book Review – DragonQuest


Book Description:


A New Quest Begins

A dragon keeper of Paladin, Kale is summoned from the Hall to The Bogs by the Wizard Fenworth to serve as his apprentice and tend his newly hatched meech dragon, Regidor. But Kale isn’t going alone. The Hall is sending a student to monitor her performance and report back to the scholars. Worst of all, it’s Bardon–an older boy Kale finds irritating, but who at least can hold his own in a sword fight.

New Friendships Are Forged

Meanwhile, the Wizard Risto has seized another meech dragon, bringing him dangerously close to gaining the power he seeks. So with only a motley band of companions, Kale sets out on a desperate quest to rescue the second meech, to free those dragons already enslaved, and to thwart Risto’s devious plans. It’s up to Kale to lead the search and to embrace the role that’s rightfully hers. But will her efforts be enough to save the land of Amara from the dark future that awaits at Risto’s hands?


* * * *


DragonQuest is the second book in the DragonKeeper Chronicles and the second book I’ve now read by Donita K. Paul. I’ll start off by saying I enjoyed DragonQuest quite a bit more than DragonSpell, the first book. I could see things much more clearly in this book and felt a much stronger bond to the old characters as well as the new.


I think my favorite thing about this book were the new characters. They really added a lot. Toopka, a little doneel girl, was absolutely adorable and made me laugh many times. The meech dragon, Regidor, was fascinating and a very imaginative creature I thoroughly enjoyed. But my most favorite addition was Bardon. He’s wonderfully flawed. I just love characters with secrets and inner struggle, and I can’t wait to read on with his story. I also loved following many of the old characters, particularly Dar and the minor dragons (loved the new additions to them as well). I’m looking forward to seeing more of Kale’s growth. I wasn’t so sure about her in book one, but she is growing on me. :)


DragonQuest has a lot of action and interesting plot twists, and is a great sequel to the first book. A perfect read for any lover of Christian fantasy such as myself. I am now eagerly reading on in DragonKnight, book 3, which has already captured my interest.

June 28, 2011

Truth–Back Cover Text

Today, following the release of the cover of Truth, here is the official back cover text:


* * * * *


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00003]

“What are we living for? Just to live? What is the point? Don’t you think there should be a purpose?”


Trapped in a village no one is allowed to leave, Makilien yearns for the answers to her questions about life and the world outside the village walls. Yet no one but her closest friend seems to understand or share her desire. Despite her family’s fears and warnings of the consequences, she is determined to find answers.


The unexpected arrival of a stranger, and the knowledge he possesses, drives Makilien to drastic action. Confronted with a world she knows nothing about, she must choose carefully who to trust as both good and evil lurk in all places. As a battle looms, one in which will be determined the fate of all, she must decide whether to believe in the One who is truth or fall prey to the lies of the enemy.


The adventure begins here . . .


* * * * *


Are you ready for it? :)

June 27, 2011

The Cover of Truth

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00003]

Today I am excited to share the cover for Truth, book 1 of the Makilien Trilogy. I’ve been working on Makilien for so long, never quite knowing what the covers would look like. I had vague ideas, but it’s never the same when you actually do it. It took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with the photo, but after playing with it for a couple of hours one afternoon, it suddenly just all came together. I am very pleased with how it turned out. It has the fantasy feel I wanted, and I think it captures the mood of Truth.


Now I just have to finish getting through all the technical stuff, and it will soon be ready for print!

June 20, 2011

Makilien Website Update: Enemy Races

I’ve added a few new profiles to Enter Dolennar on my Makilien website. I now have profiles for the two enemy races in the Makilien Trilogy—goblins and Shaikes. I am very excited about how they developed during the planning process, especially the Shaikes. It was just recently that their history and appearance came together in my mind, an excellent result of sitting down to paint them. Seeing their appearance come together in front of me helped me determine exactly what type of history and lifestyle they have.


I’ve also added profiles for two new places—Eldor and Elimar.

June 17, 2011

Kindle Book Giveaway - The Pirate Daughter’s Promise




Today I am holding my first blog giveaway for a free copy of The Pirate Daughter’s Promise for Kindle. Perfect for a summer read. ;)  The drawing will close on July 1, 2011 and a winner will be drawn randomly.











Here is how to enter. You get 1 entry for each of these:


1. Comment and tell me why you would like to read The Pirate Daughter’s Promise or what interests you about it.


2. Like my Facebook page.


3. Follow this blog.


4. Follow me on Twitter.


Please leave a separate comment for each of these you complete, because each comment will count as entry. And make sure you leave a way for me to contact you and send you the book. You will need to have either an email address in your comment or on your profile. Thanks!


(Note: You don’t need a Kindle to enter. Kindle books can be read on your PC with Kindle for PC available for free download on Amazon.)

June 14, 2011

Every Tear Review

I wanted to share this review of Every Tear. It’s always so encouraging for me to read reviews like this. Thank you, Ashley!

June 09, 2011

End of the Makilien Trilogy

Yesterday was an amazing day for me. After coming home from work and sitting down to write almost nonstop since noon, I finished the first draft of Trust, the third and final book of the Makilien Trilogy. The trilogy is now complete. I finished Trust in 4 months and 4 days, quite an accomplishment for me. I thought for sure it would take at least a year. This is a huge moment. I’ve been working on Makilien in one form or another since I was thirteen years old (almost ten years now!), and to have the final version complete is incredible. I never imagined when I started it as a teenager that anything would ever come of it.


I think Makilien and the characters in the trilogy mean more to me than any of I've ever written. The characters are so dear to me, and I am beyond excited about how they’ve grown and where they’ve ended up since the beginning. In books I’ve written before this, no characters have gone through as much as these, and that’s probably why I love them so much.


As I’ve been writing this book the last couple weeks, I’ve also been working on the final edit of Truth, and it has been very interesting to compare the two. Truth’s storyline is pretty basic to set up the characters and lay the basis for the rest of the journey. By the time readers come to Trust, I think they will be shocked. It has the most twisted, unpredictable, involved plot I have ever written. It’s been incredibly fun, though at times it has made me cry. It definitely stays true to the verse I used for the theme of the plot:


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. - Proverbs 3:5 NASB

Throughout the book, my characters find themselves in situations where that is all they are able to do. The story really tested my writing ability. I think it’s the most emotional book I’ve ever written, even more so than Every Tear. At one point I told my mom that I don’t think I’ve ever had characters crying or near to tears so often. It was very intense at times, but I am very pleased with how it progressed and where it brought everyone. Not only did my characters grow, but I believe I did too.


Trust finished at 26 chapters, 27 if you include the epilogue, which is the same number of chapters as Truth. I have no idea yet of the word count since I have so much I have to type up on the computer and go back and add in. It should be around 70,000+ words.


Now, besides a lot of editing for both Courage and Trust, I’ll be on to my next project. It’s been years since Makilien hasn’t been my focus. So what is my next project? Well, it’s the historical/fantasy story I think I mentioned in a blog post a while ago. I won’t say too much yet, but here’s a little hint—the tentative title is Assassin. :) It’s another story I am extremely excited about.


Don’t forget to check for all my latest updates and information about the trilogy, especially with the release of Truth so close!

June 07, 2011

Book Review – Heartless

Heartless-Anne-Elisabeth-Stengl-Pap11-medBook Description:

Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon be married. She dreams of a handsome and charming prince, but when the first suitor arrives, she finds him stodgy and boring. Prince Aethelbald from the mysterious land of Farthestshore has traveled far to prove his love--and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be approaching Parumvir.

Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer--and ignores his warnings. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir, and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in grave danger. Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil.




As most of my book reviews and blog posts can attest to, I am huge fan of Christian fantasy so I’ve been looking forward to reading Heartless for a long time. At last I had a chance to get it and read it.


When I first started reading, Heartless didn’t grab me like some books. I had a difficult time liking Una. She’s pretty much a spoiled, whiny princess, which is actually great for the beginning of a book because it sets up for a lot of great character growth, but I need to feel something for the character at the start despite their flaws so I want to see the growth. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t like her as I would have liked. However, I did have compassion for her by the end.


For the first half of the book, the one thing that kept me interested was Prince Aethelbald. I adored him. I hated the name (lol), but I think that was kind of the point, that and his completely ordinary looks. I wasn’t drawn to him for any outward reasons, but because of his character. I couldn’t wait to keep reading about him. He was mysterious, yet kind and compassionate. He was the perfect illustration of true, Christ-like love. That was one of the best parts of this book, the sweet, pure romance. It was very well done.


Heartless didn’t turn out as I was expecting at all. It was a little darker and more intense than I thought it would be, but I like intense stories. I wasn’t sure about the whole fantasy world at first. Despite being a huge fan of fantasy, I’m not big on worlds with fairies and such (being more of a fan of truer to life realms like Middle-earth), but by the end I didn’t think about it so much.


To sum it all up, I read 310 of the 363 pages yesterday afternoon and evening, and I would have finished if I hadn’t needed to get to bed in preparation for work in the morning. I don’t read any book that fast if it doesn’t capture my attention. I even found myself thinking about it often while I was at work. So despite an uncertain beginning, I found I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and it certainly sparked my imagination. I highly recommend it to readers of Christian fantasy and look forward to reading the next in the series.


To find out more about Anne Elisabeth Stengl and her books, you can visit her blog:

May 31, 2011

The Life of a Writer


Had to share this video because it’s almost sad how completely true it is. About the only thing that doesn’t apply to me personally, is the editing stage. I love editing! ;)

Enjoy a creative look into the life of a writer.

May 28, 2011

Memorial Day E-book Sale

I’m having a Memorial Day sale on all my ebooks from Smashwords. From now through Monday, you can use the coupons codes below to get 25% off each book. The books are downloadable for a variety of e-readers (including Kindle and PC).


The Pirate Daughter’s Promise: SX28A

Every Tear: BD96J

A Captain’s Heart: WD53K

Finding Faith: EK99M

May 27, 2011

Tips for Editing



A few days ago, I started working on the final round of editing for Truth before I format the manuscript for print. I’ve been getting so much enjoyment out of it and keep finding myself surprised by how much I am discovering to change or add. Because of this, I wanted to share some of the editing tips and resources I’ve been using.


First, I printed the entire manuscript. On paper, it is entirely different, and it makes it much easier to spot things that should be changed. I definitely suggest doing this.


Also, read it out loud. I will have read all of Truth aloud to myself by the time I’m finished. Like reading it on paper, reading out loud really shows you where your flow might be off or if you’ve used the same word too often in a paragraph.


And finally, here is a very helpful website I recently discovered: Edit Minion. Paste in a selection of the story, and it will highlight things such as adverbs, weak words, and passive phrases. It will also give you a report on how well you’ve done with the chapter as a whole, showing you what areas could use work. I’ve found this website to be especially helpful in spotting too many adverbs in a chapter. Every time I finish editing a chapter, I check it with this site.



Photo by Nic's events

May 18, 2011

Makilien Website Update: Sirion, Half-Elves, and Places

I’ve been so busy lately, I haven’t had a chance to do much for new blog posts, but I added a few new things to my Makilien website. I’ve added a profile for Sirion, my third main character of the trilogy, a profile or his race, Half-Elves, and two new place profiles. To see them, visit my “Enter Dolennar” page.

May 10, 2011

Makilien Website Update: Aedan and Elves

I’ve added to new profiles to “Enter Dolennar” on my Makilien website. One is a profile for Aedan, my second primary character in the trilogy, as well as one of my favorite characters. The other profile is for Elves, one of the primary races in Dolennar.

May 02, 2011

Pirates & Faith Available for Nook

Just a heads up that my Pirates & Faith series is available on Barnes & Noble to download for Nook. Only $2.99!


Nook Books

April 29, 2011

Makilien Website Update: Free Stuff Page

I've now added the "Free Stuff" page to my Makilien Trilogy website. I will be adding new stuff to it in the next few weeks. Right now I have a desktop wallpaper of the map of Dolennar available for download.

I've also changed the link on the map in "Enter Dolennar." Now when you click on the map, you will be able to see a much larger version of it and not have difficulty reading the names of the villages and cities.

April 27, 2011

Sacrifice in Christian Fantasy: Cliché?


Today I thought I’d write a little about something that has been on my mind lately. Ever since C.S. Lewis’ wonderful illustration of sacrifice in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Christ-like sacrifices can be found all over in Christian fantasy. From a writing standpoint, it would seem this subject has become cliché. I’ve read so numerous times. However, I must respectfully disagree. Jesus’ death is the very center of what we believe, and the center of the message to tell through Christian fiction. To look at an illustration of His death as cliché, and to avoid it for being overdone, just doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe some of it depends on how well it is written and portrayed, but even if it doesn’t hold up to great telling’s like those of C.S. Lewis, I don’t think it should be looked down on. Christ’s sacrifice is our foundation. Shouldn’t we be reminded over and over again what He did for us?


Photo Copyright Billy Alexander

April 25, 2011

Official Makilien Website Launch

Today is the day! The launch of the website for my Makilien Trilogy. It is also the launch of the trilogy teaser book trailer and my Makilien Facebook page. You can find all the links and information about the trilogy by visiting the new website. :)




April 19, 2011

About My Homeschool Experience

Last week I was contacted by Lea Ann Garfias to do a profile on my homeschool experience for her website. I was very excited about the opportunity and am happy now to share the profile.


At the end of the profile I also have a special offer for The Pirate Daughter’s Promise ebook that runs until May 17,2011.

April 18, 2011

Upcoming Makilien Website Launch

I've been working long and hard on a new website for my Makilien Trilogy, and I am excited to announce the official launch date, April 25, 2011, a week from today. The website has come together wonderfully and is one of the most fun projects I've worked on for a book. I wanted create a website full of information and fun stuff for readers. Though I have not added everything yet, the website will include:


  • Trilogy book trailers
  • Trilogy information
  • Author information
  • Information on the fantasy world and characters in Makilien
  • Character paintings
  • Free stuff including desktop wallpapers, excerpts, bookmarks, and more
  • Buy links for the books and Makilien merchandise when it is available


Next Monday will also be the launch of my Makilien Facebook page and the official release of the trilogy's teaser trailer. I am so looking forward to sharing this information on a brand new adventure.

April 16, 2011

April Update

It’s been a while since my last post so I thought I’d write one about what’s been going on this month. April has been very busy and a very productive writing month. All winter I had trouble writing, but I’ve finally gotten back into it again. I’m working steadily on Trust. Just yesterday I wrote almost a chapter and a half. I’m very pleased with how it is going and hope things continue to go this well. If so, I could potentially finish the book in the next few months, which would be awesome. I’m so excited to focus on some of my other projects. I’ve also slowly been working through my first edit of Courage.


Besides writing, I’ve been doing all kinds of things this week to prepare for the release of Truth. It’s been so cool watching things come together. I can hardly wait to share everything. I have so many fun extra things planned for these books. Much more than with Pirates & Faith.


All that said, on Monday I am going have an announcement pertaining to my Makilien Trilogy. (Hint: You’ll soon get some more in depth details about the books.) So make sure to check back here Monday afternoon! :)

April 05, 2011

Pirates & Faith Book Poll

p&fI've added a poll to my blog. For those who have read my Pirates & Faith  series, I would love to know which of the four books was your favorite.


For me as the author, picking a favorite is a very difficult choice. Of course, I love them all, and had a unique experience writing each of them. But if I really had to pick, it would be between Every Tear and A Captain's Heart. I love the emotion and family relationships in Every Tear. In A Captain's Heart, I love the new, fresh characters that add something different to the series. And the relationship between Kyle Bryden and his mother was way too much fun to write. ;)

April 04, 2011

More Helpful Writing Websites

As always, I come across some very interesting websites as I'm doing research and marketing. Recently, I've come across a couple more I wanted to share.


Redwood's Medical Edge, a great blog that is devoted to offering medical information specifically for writers of fiction.


Here is a very helpful website for writers. You can paste in selections of your writing and it will tell you the most frequently used words. Great to find words you may be using too often.


And this is a good website for marketing. I try to do a lot of marketing on Twitter, and like to find people who have the same interests to follow. That's not the easiest thing to actually do on Twitter, but this website makes it easy. You can search specifically for the type of people you'd like to follow, such as authors or homeschoolers.

March 30, 2011

Free Photoshop Brushes: Rust 2

Another free brush pack from photos of rusty metal. Free for  commercial and non-commercial use. Photoshop 7 and higher.



March 28, 2011

The Pirate Daughter's Promise - Reviews

Two new reviews of The Pirate Daughter's Promise. Thank you, Ashley and Christine!

Christine is also holding a giveaway for The Pirate Daughter's Promise. Rules for entering are at the bottom of the review.

March 27, 2011

Book Review - A Man Called Outlaw

4154153124_b608a91b11 Book Description:

All his life Shane Lassiter revered the man who stood in place of the father he'd never known. Nathaniel Wilcock took Shane into his own home, loved him as a son, and placed within his grasp the largest ranch in the Wyoming Territory. But Shane had heard the stories. He knew the whispers about the fugitive gunman who stood against Wilcock during the land wars that rocked the valley thirty years ago. In Wilcock's eyes, the gunman was a vigilante and an outlaw and as such he had died. To the people of Hangtree, he was a hero-a martyr who stood against corruption and injustice. When Wilcock's greed endangers the only woman Shane has ever loved-a woman who holds the secret that could resurrect everything for which the outlaw fought-Shane finds himself a place not so very different from that of the outlaw. He must make a decision, the shadow of which will be cast over the lives of all those he loves. A decision between truth and power-between honor and life-between right and wrong.


* * * * * * * * *


I've mentioned K.M. Weiland many times and how her blog has helped my writing, so for a long time I've been very anxious to read her books. I finally had a chance to sit down last week and read her first book, A Man Called Outlaw. I love a good western. The 1850s-1880s are one of my favorite time periods in history, so I was very excited about the book. I read it in about three days, and didn't want to put it down. I'll say right off that it is one of the very few books that have ever made me cry. It was painfully true to life. I think that is what made it so good. A lot of it wasn't as I anticipated, but the characters felt so real. I really came to love them and feel for them in their struggles and pain. I love K.M. Weiland's style of writing, and could see everything so clearly as I was reading. I could feel the emotion and see the characters' expressions and actions. I finished the book with a definite bittersweet feeling, in a good way, and look forward to reading more from K.M. Weiland.


For more information you can visit K.M. Weiland's site: or her blog:

March 21, 2011

Pirates & Faith Reviews

Very nice reviews of Pirates & Faith by inspirational romance author, Stephanie Boles. Thanks Stephanie!


The Pirate Daughter's Promise

Every Tear

A Captain's Heart

Finding Faith


Remember, each book of Pirates & Faith is available from Kindle or Smashwords for only $2.99.


You can visit Stephanie's website here.

March 16, 2011

Free Photoshop Brushes: Antique

Here is a new free Photoshop brush pack. All taken from a photo of a piece of an old door. Free for commercial and non commercial use. Photoshop 7 and up.



March 14, 2011

Colonial Fiction Research


While I was writing Pirates & Faith, I probably spent just as many hours, if not more, researching the early 18th century as I did writing the books. I collected a huge number of links to research pages (many of which are sadly no longer available). Here are a few of my favorite, which I considered the most useful.


A very long list of occupations in Colonial America. Many I had never even heard of, so if you're looking for an interesting, out of the ordinary occupation from a colonial character, this is the place to find ideas.


I was tickled to find this site because it's one of those websites that is exactly what I needed. You can look up the calendar for any year. Here I looked up the calendar for 1726 while I was writing Finding Faith.


One of my favorite websites for colonial research. There is so much to look at.


This is an interesting page with the cost of living during the 18th century.


A good page with a timeline of all the important events of the 1700s.


Photo by Mr. G's Travels on Flickr

March 02, 2011

Free Photoshop Brushes: Rust

Here is this week's free Photoshop brush set. Taken from photos of an old piece of farm equipment. Photoshop 7 or higher. Commercial and non commercial use.




February 28, 2011

Epic Music to Write To

Music can be an author's best friend. I love to listen to a good movie soundtrack or epic music while I'm writing really intense or emotional scenes. Especially the emotional scenes (I've made myself cry listening to the end music from Gladiator on a loop while writing a sad part). For years all I had were my favorite movie soundtracks, but I've recently discovered other composers of epic score. My favorite is Two Steps from Hell. They compose trailer music that is absolutely incredible. YouTube is full of their music and you can get some of their tracks from Amazon and iTunes. Here is a YouTube playlist I've started of some of my favorites. The first one, Heart of Courage is (in my opinion) the greatest composition of epic music ever created. ;) Every time I hear it, I feel the need to write something epic.


February 25, 2011

Finding Faith Review

A wonderful review of Finding Faith by Angie who has now read and reviewed my entire Pirates & Faith series. Thanks, Angie!


Previous Reviews:

The Pirate Daughter's Promise

Every Tear and A Captain's Heart

February 23, 2011

Free Photoshop Brushes: Cracked Paint

This week's free Photoshop brushes are of cracked paint taken from photos of an old fire hydrant in our yard. Good for Photoshop 7 and up. Commercial and non commercial use.



February 21, 2011

Royalty Free Stock Music

One of the coolest things I like to do when a book is almost ready for publication is make a book trailer for it. The best part about the trailers is the music. Music really has a way of setting the mood for a story (imagine movies without it!). But affordable stock music that is any good is really hard to come by (especially if you're looking for something epic). I've spent so many frustrating hours searching and usually come out disappointed. However, in all that searching, I have found a couple gems. Here are a few links to the best royalty free stock music websites I've been able to dig up that won't make a struggling author broke.


First, my favorite. This guy has a very large collection of some really great music. And the best part is, the tracks are completely free to use, but make sure to credit him.


Not a huge number of tracks, but another very good site. Again, the tracks are completely free to use if you credit.


Here is some classical piano music that is entirely free to use for whatever purpose. Some very beautiful pieces if that's what you're looking for.


As far as paying for royalty free music, this seems like the best site I've come across as far as price. Some are pretty expensive, but I've found many to be within a decent price range.

February 16, 2011

Free Photoshop Brushes: Swirls

I have always loved Photoshop brushes and have finally started creating my own. They are so much fun to make and I'm sure I'll have more than I'll ever find a use for so I wanted to start sharing them here. I'll try to post a new brush pack at least once a week. They are free to use both commercially and non commercially. If you use them and have a website or blog, I would appreciate a link back to my blog ( to spread the word. All brushes should work in Photoshop 7 and higher. Enjoy!



February 10, 2011

Valentine's Day eBook Sale!

For Valentine's Day all my Pirates & Faith ebooks are available for only $2.99!


You can purchase them for Kindle:

The Pirate Daughter's Promise

Every Tear

A Captain's Heart

Finding Faith


Or in other ebook formats from Smashwords:

The Pirate Daughter's Promise

Every Tear

A Captain's Heart

Finding Faith

Best Websites for Fantasy Writing

I've been writing fantasy since I was thirteen and I first saw The Lord of the Rings movies. Since then I've started several fantasy stories and have many more in my head waiting to be written. I think I'd have to say that fantasy writing is my favorite because the possibilities of what can be written are so vast. I wanted to share a few websites I found helpful for fantasy writing.


Here is a huge list of questions for world building. Answer all these and your fantasy world will be truly epic.


There is so much information you can find on the Internet, but sometimes it seems you can't find the exact answer to your question. That is why this is one of my favorite articles I found. It couldn't have answered my question more perfectly: How far can a horse and rider travel in one day? That's a very important question considering horses are one of the main modes of transportation in fantasy fiction. Realistic Horse Travel


Here is an awesome site if you want to create your own fantasy language. It's a very comprehensive website for doing just that.


This is a website I found quite interesting (though extremely annoying with pop-ups). I has lists of names from pretty much any country you could think of. I've found some great names there to use in my fantasy writing, especially for fantasy cultures that are based on real cultures.