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:


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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 www.makilien.com 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: http://anneelisabethstengl.blogspot.com/