December 07, 2013

Excerpt from A Mighty Fortress by Faith Blum

A-Mighty-Fortress-frontcover-700x1050Today is a special blog post. It’s the first blog tour I’ve ever taken part in! I’m excited to share with you a excerpt from A Mighty Fortress by fellow indie author Faith Blum. A Mighty Fortress is the first book of Hymns of the West, a series of Christian Westerns. Doesn’t it have a lovely cover? :) Make sure you check it out and visit Faith’s blog to see the rest of the posts on the tour: 

Enjoy the excerpt!

* * *

     Joshua left the coroner's office and trudged to the Leland residence.  He hesitated before knocking on the door.
     The door opened and Mrs. Leland stared at Joshua.  “You look exhausted, Joshua!”  She looked behind Joshua.  “Where’s Neil?”
     Joshua held up a hand to stop her question.  “May I come in and sit down, ma'am?” 
     “Of course.”  Her voice was more hesitant and Joshua knew she was figuring things out.  “Come on in.  I'll get you a cup of coffee.”
     “No, thank you, ma'am.  I'll just say what needs saying and leave.”  Joshua sank into a kitchen chair and stared at his boots.  “Your husband...”
     “He's dead, isn't he?” Mrs. Leland whispered.  Her eyes filled with tears and her lower lip trembled.  “I had a feeling...I had a feeling something would happen.”
     “Yes, Ma'am.  We were ambushed.  He was in the lead and took a bullet right in the heart.”
     Mrs. Leland swallowed her tears.  “And the prisoners?”
     “In Helena under the Marshall's custody.”
     Mrs. Leland lips turned up a slight smile.  “You've done my husband proud, Joshua.  Thank you.”
     Joshua nodded.  “You're welcome, ma'am.  I wish...”
     “God has a reason for this.”  She laughed hoarsely.  “I don't know what, but I know He does.”
     Joshua looked down at the floor again.  “Yes, Ma'am.  I'm sure He does.  I'd best be going.  I'll see you tomorrow at the funeral, ‘less you want me to stay?”
     Mrs. Leland shook her head.  “No, but perhaps you could send Ruth or your mother here?”  She gave Joshua a forced smile.  “I don’t want to be here alone right now.”
     Joshua tried to interrupt her, but she held up a hand.  “Joshua, you are exhausted and need some rest.  The best way you can help me right now is to get home, send your mother or sister over here, and then get some rest.”
     Joshua closed his eyes and took a deep breath.  “Thank you, Ma’am.”  He turned slowly and found his way to the front door letting himself out of the house.
Joshua allowed his horse, Poseidon, to choose his own pace on the way home.  Home.  That had a nice ring to it.  If only he could go home and sleep for two or three days.  But, no.  He had a funeral to attend the next morning and he would be filling in as sheriff until a new sheriff was appointed or elected.
     The voice seemed to float somewhere in his brain.  Who had said it?  He tried to look around, but his eyes and head would not cooperate.
     “Is he hurt?” A male voice this time.  Then someone touched him and he jerked awake.  Ruth stood by his horse, William and his parents nearby. 
     William was the first to speak.  “I'll take care of Poseidon, Joshua.  You look beat.”
     “Thanks.”  Joshua tried to smile, but all he could do was slide his exhausted body off his horse and try to stay steady as he stood.  “I am beat.  I drove pretty much straight from Helena here.”
     Joshua looked up and saw concern on his father's face. 
     “Only you?” Daniel asked.
     Joshua closed his eyes against the pain in his chest.  Why did his new best friend have to die like that?  “Yes.  We were ambushed and the sheriff was killed.  His funeral is first thing in the morning.”
     “Oh, poor Mrs. Leland.  Mother?”  Ruth breathed and turned to Harriet.
     “Yes, Ruth, if your father is agreeable, you may go do your best to comfort the woman.”
     The words rang a bell in Joshua’s head.  “Oh, yeah, Mrs. Leland did ask if Ruth or Mother could go stay with her for a little while.”
     Daniel nodded his consent.  As Ruth walked to the stable to saddle her horse, Joshua realized that William seemed to want to ask him something.
     “What is it, William?”
     “What happened?  You don't seem to be hurt, and yet the sheriff is dead.”
     Joshua sighed.  “Sheriff Leland was in the lead and I was in the rear.  He took the first bullet and I shot the rest of the men.”  He laughed bitterly as he recalled the day.  “They weren't very smart about their choices.  The sun was directly overhead and glinted off their rifle barrels.  After shooting 'em all, I got the prisoners to Helena.”
     William nodded before walking Poseidon to the barn.
     “Good for you, Son.”  Daniel's voice was husky with emotion.  “You did the right thing.  Now go in and get some rest.  We'll wake you in time for the funeral.”
     Joshua nodded his thanks and dragged himself into the house and to the bed that had been beckoning his name all day.

December 05, 2013

Book Review--Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund


In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.

I was very anxious to read Rebellious Heart when I saw I could get it from Bethany House free for a review. It took quite a bit longer to receive the book than I expected and then I was sick and not able to read for a while, but it was worth the wait. Since I reenact the colonial period, I just love reading about the 1700s to 1770s. Most books of this time period seem to be set during the Revolutionary War, but this one takes place shortly before and gives a good look at what life was like at that time. It took a little bit for me to like Ben and Susanna. I’m used to liking the guy right away, but he did grow on me quickly. A fantastic historical read. I look forward to checking out other books by Jody Hedlund and recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction, especially ones set in colonial times.

I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

December 04, 2013

Extended Holiday Sales

I went on to remove my sales buttons for my 20% autographed books this morning and then thought, why not just leave them until Christmas? :) So if anyone’s been contemplating getting them as gifts, you have more time now to consider it.

And if you didn’t get any jewelry during my Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale, don’t worry! From now until Christmas, you can get free shipping on any order over $10 using the code HOLIDAYSHIP at checkout.

Also, all of my ebooks are still 99 cents until December 31st. To see the details of all my current holiday sales, visit my sales page.

December 03, 2013

Handmade Necklace Giveaway

I've decided to hold my first giveaway just in time for Christmas! Two winners will be drawn to receive their choice of one of my handmade necklaces. The giveaway will run through December 11th. Winners will choose from the list of necklaces below. Enter now for your chance to win one!

Ship Charm Necklace
Copper Flower Lariat Necklace
"Create" (or "Imagine") Charm Necklace
Copper Bow and Arrow Necklace
Compass Lariat Necklace
Aqua (or Purple) Lariat Necklace
Lavender and Copper Lariat Necklace
Writer Pen Nib Necklace with "Imagine" (or "Create) Charm
Aqua (or Purple) Ship's Wheel Lariat Necklace

Congratulations to Aubrey and Marion!

Note: Most of the entries involve following "Jaye L. Knight." For anyone who missed the announcement, that is my new pen name that I will be using from here on out. :)

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November 29, 2013

Holiday Book & Jewelry Sales Are Here!

Black Friday is here, and that means all kinds of good sales going on. I have three sales starting today--20% off autographed paperbacks of all my books, all my eBooks are available for only 99 cents, and 20% off all my Etsy jewelry. You can see all of my sales on my page here.

But I'm not the only one with sales. Check out these awesome books by other indie authors, all on sale from Black Friday through the day after Cyber Monday! And make sure to enter the fun giveaway at the bottom of this post!

Melody Valadez
            DQTR44VX (20% off)
    Those Who Trespass:

Faith Blum
            93LQLRJ8 (10% off)
    A Mighty Fortress:

Marilynn Dawson
2MU73RQR (10% off)
Mom's Little Black Book: Godly Advice for the High School Graduate:
Becoming the Bride of Christ: A Personal Journey:

Molly Evangeline

Kelsey Bryant
            YFY84GHU (20% off)
    Family Reunion:

Christina & Melody Grubb

Aubrey Hansen
            D6PH5HAT (20% off)

Morgan Huneke
            BX6RV6SK (20% off)
    Across the Stars:

Vicki Lucas
    Toxic: (Discounted to $10 through Paypal)

J. Grace Pennington
            9L3ES8RT (20% off)
    Firmament: Radialloy:
    Firmament: In His Image:

Jordan Smith
            5PC4QW6S (20% off)
    Finding the Core of Your Story:

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November 18, 2013

“New Adult” Fiction

I just posted this on my Jaye L. Knight blog and thought I should put it up here too.

* * *

Recently I posted on Facebook about my frustration with the young adult category for books. There's such a varying opinion on just what age range this is. I've always considered it 15-25 year olds. On another blog, I saw it classified as 12-17. YA and Teen seem to be used interchangeably. That presents a problem for me. Since I started writing Ilyon Chronicles, I've been calling it a YA series, but I consider it upper YA. I don’t want anyone to come along randomly and think it’s just another teen series, because it isn’t. Not that teens can’t read it, but only two of my quite a few point of view characters are in their teens at the start of the series. Everyone else is between 20 and late fifties. They’re all adults, or will be by the end of the series.

Now, I have read YA books with older characters, but I still balk at sticking Ilyon in the category. So what choice does that leave me? Let me introduce you to the “New Adult” (NA) category of fiction. I only just discovered this in the last few weeks. This category covers readers 18-25+ who are newly into adulthood. Definitely more what I was thinking for Ilyon. The category had me intrigued right away. However, after some research, I discovered that the vast majority of NA fiction is full of inappropriate material. It seems to be an excuse to write YA fiction and add all the R rated material that isn’t allowed in YA. With a stigma like this, I initially shied away from using the NA label. However, with a bit more thought and an email from a reader, I’ve given it more consideration. The fact that NA is filled with such books just presents the huge need for a clean, Godly alternative. That has been one of my biggest goals since I started publishing—to offer alternatives to what the world produces. The more I’ve thought about this, the more excited I’ve become. I feel like I’ve been given a mission to be a sort of pioneer in Christian NA fiction.

Some people wonder at the need for a category between YA and adult. If we’re in our twenties, why not just read adult fiction, right? We are adults after all. But I’ve always felt a need for something in between. I think it has to do with book style. I’ve always loved to read and write YA. It’s just different from adult fiction. I feel like NA presents a YA style book with older, more mature characters that we who are in our late teens and twenties can identify with better than, say, a 15 year old protagonist.
Another reason I love this new trend toward NA is it perfectly fits my growth as an author. As I’ve said, I love to write YA, but as I get older and mature, I naturally want to write about older, more mature characters. Yet, I don’t want to make the switch over to adult fiction. NA is the perfect middle ground for where I’m at. I can write more mature fiction, but still do it with a YA feel.

It will be interesting to see where NA goes in the future and whether or not it will be adopted by the Christian market. Either way, I’m quite excited about this new direction my writing is taking. After all, I’ve always gravitated toward doing things different from the norm.

November 12, 2013

Lose the Spaces—and Other Book Formatting Tips

As authors, especially published authors, we all know that, number one, we must have a good story, and number two, a good cover. These are imperative. That brings us to what I consider the third most important thing—the actual book formatting. As a reader, I can attest to how annoying poor formatting can be. As authors, if we succeed in hooking a reader with our cover and premise, the last thing we want to do is annoy them with poor formatting. After all, they’ll be spending the next few hours or days in this book. Trust me, glaring formatting issues can bump you out of a story world just as fast as glaring writing issues. This applies to both paperbacks and ebooks. I’ve come across these issues enough times that it’s prompted me to share what I feel are the most critical areas of book formatting for indie authors.

First, we’ll look at important things to consider when formatting a paperback.

  1. Lose the spaces. Wide spaces between words or sentences strips the book of professional appearance. Just take a good look at a traditionally published book. Everything looks neat and tidy. There are no big gaps. What you will want to do, in whatever word processing software you format in, is learn how to condense the character spacing. In Word, this is in the Font options menu. In sentences with large gaps, this will condense the words and allow you to bring up a word from the line below that originally didn’t fit. This takes care of the ugly spaces and saves you from having to use a gazillion hyphens, which doesn’t look great either.  I use the condense tool all the time. It’s probably one of the most important things to know. A note of caution on that, don’t overdo with condensing. You don’t want your text so squished its hard to read anymore than you want the gaps. Sometimes a word just plain won’t fit on the line so hyphens will still be necessary to get rid of some gaps. Also, don’t use double spaces between sentences, i.e. you only need to use the spacebar once. We learned in school to do a double space, but that just doesn’t work in book publishing.
  2. Not only should you lose the spaces between words and sentences, but also between paragraphs. There should not be a noticeable gap between every paragraph in the same scene. This is wasted space and makes it difficult to read without the story sounding stilted in your head because you automatically have a slight pause when you reach the space.
  3. Another area that you risk having too much space is your indents. Don’t just use the Tab key’s default settings. This creates an indent that is way too big. It must be smaller to look professional. Learn how to reduce the space to match most traditionally published books.
  4. Always, ALWAYS justify your text. Never, ever have ragged right edges. Just don’t. This applies to both paperbacks and ebooks.
  5. Make sure all the formatting is consistent throughout the book. You don’t want anything to suddenly change halfway through.

Now for a few tips on formatting ebooks. They are much less complicated than paperbacks, but surprisingly, this is where I find the most formatting issues. And not just in indie books, but big name traditional publishers' too! Actually, most of these tips are the same as paperbacks and just as important.

  1. Spacing. You have no control over the gaps that will appear between words in a sentence. This is just the way ebooks are since they’re read on so many different devices, but you can help by again not using double spaces between sentences and making sure there are no gaps between paragraphs. Always preview your book before you publish it to make sure it doesn’t have these issues.
  2. Same as a paperback, always justify your text. I can’t believe how many ebooks I’ve read that have ragged right edges, and the majority have come from traditional publishers. Why this is, I’ll never understand. Please don’t fall into this category. Justified text looks so much more professional.
  3. Make sure your indents are small in ebooks as well. Large indents look just as bad in ebooks (even worse if you try to read it on a small device like an iPod) as in paperbacks.
  4. Again, consistency. I’ve read ebooks were the formatting goes from justified text to ragged right edges, and then back again within a few paragraphs. Not cool.

Sometimes I think we get so focused on a good story and cover that we forget the importance of proper formatting. This is how your story is being presented to the world. Each page is how a reader is going to dive into the story. You want to make these pages as eye pleasing and smooth to read as possible. I hope these tips can help in accomplishing that.

For more indie publishing tips, you can check out my publishing booklet, Where Do I Start? An Overview of Indie Publishing.

November 05, 2013

Book Review—True Love Dates by Debra Fileta


In True Love Dates, Debra Fileta encourages singles not to “kiss dating goodbye” but instead to experience a season of dating as a way to find real love. Through reading powerful, real-life stories (including the author’s personal journey) and gaining insights from Fileta’s experience as a professional counselor, Christians searching for answers to finding true love need look no further.

True Love Dates provides honest help for dating by guiding readers through the relationship essentials that lead to healthy couples—and true love. Debra is a young, professional Christian counselor, and True Love Dates offer sound advice grounded in Christian spirituality. It delivers insight, direction, and counsel when it comes to entering the world of dating and learning to do it right the first time around. Drawing on the stories and struggles of hundreds of young men and women who have pursued finding true love, Fileta helps readers bypass unnecessary pain while focusing on the things that really matter in the world of dating.

* * *

As a single girl in my mid-twenties praying someday to soon meet my future husband, I’m always interested in finding good Christian books on dating and relationships. So I jumped at the chance to read and review True Love Dates. There are so many anti-dating books and opinions that make it sound like courting is the only right way, and if you date, then you’re carnal and headed for disaster (as if what you call it means the same thing to everyone). It can be confusing and frustrating for anyone trying to figure out the best way to pursue a Godly relationship. While I agree with purpose for courting, maintaining a pure relationship, I don’t think there’s a “one size fits all” method for relationships, so I was curious to read something a bit different this time.

I thought the book was well written and had good, practical advice that can be applied to all relationships instead of setting up a rigid formula. We are, after all, individuals and every relationship is going to reflect different personalities. Debra Fileta did a good job at presenting a Christ-centered relationship and the consequences of compromise without limiting it to her personal opinions on the subject. If you’re like me and interested in preparing for a future relationship or to help in a current relationship, I recommend it as a good source of information and advice to add to your collection.

I received this book free from BookSneeze® in exchange for my honest review.

October 17, 2013

Book Review—Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta

978-1-4143-7555-7The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

The description of Born of Persuasion interested me immediately, and I’d never read any Victorian fiction before. I was surprised when I first started reading it to find that it is in first person. I think this is the first time I’ve read a historical fiction book that isn’t third person. I came to realize the story is being told from an older Julia as she recaps this period of her life. I can’t say I especially liked this method of story telling. You’d think, being first person, you’d really get into Julia’s head, but I felt sort of distanced, especially times where she’d “interrupt” and say how something would effect her in the future, instead it just staying in the present. Part of the problem may have been that I just never liked Julia. She starts out as a staunch atheist and pretty much makes all the wrong choices. This would be fine in most circumstances—after all, it would lead to some great character growth—but I’m not sure it’s the best in first person since you are always seeing everything from her point of view and don’t get a break by switching to a different character once in a while. With a character like Julia (I found this same problem with Katniss in The Hunger Games), you get so bogged down in their thoughts and emotions that it can become tedious, or even depressing.

Characters are a huge part of fiction to me, and there just weren’t many I had any feelings for, except for Edward. I really liked him and felt so sorry for the poor man. And the briefly mentioned Isaac Dalry has me intrigued.

Overall, this book just wasn’t my cup of tea. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a fan of Regency or Victorian fiction. However, someone else, especially anyone who enjoys those eras, would probably find this a good read, so don’t just go by my word. The storyline is quite fascinating and intriguing. I found it well written, despite my personal opinions of it. I definitely could see the surroundings and felt like I was in it with the characters. I plan to read the rest of the series when it is released to see what happens. It would be best for more mature readers because it is rather dark and has some mature themes. Sensitive readers would probably want to skim certain parts.

I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

October 03, 2013

Announcing Jaye L. Knight Etsy Shop


  The time has finally come to announce the opening of my new Etsy shop! I have always been interested in making jewelry, but I never pursued it until I recently had the idea to make and sell jewelry inspired by my books. So, for the last couple of months, I've been gathering supplies and creating designs to capture the essence of different characters or books. You can see a few of these designs below. Or click here to visit my shop and see them all.
   I've only just begun in this new endeavor, and hope to add new designs regularly. Especially if I can get a few sales to cover the cost of more supplies. I also have plenty more ideas for jewelry and accessories inspired by Ilyon Chronicles that I look forward to making once Resistance is published. Right now, I've got pieces inspired by both my Pirates & Faith series and Makilien.
   Have fun exploring my shop! And if you know anyone who loves jewelry, I'd love it if you send them my way. I hope my designs will appeal to a wide variety of people, not only fans of my books.

September 27, 2013

Book Review–City On Fire by Tracy L. Higley


As Vesuvius churns, a slave girl-turned-gladiator joins forces with an unlikely source to seek justice.

In the coastal town of Pompeii, a new gladiator prepares to fight. But this gladiator hides a deadly secret: she’s a runaway Jewish slave girl named Ariella, disguised as a young boy. A savvy fighter, Ariella determines to triumph in the arena, knowing her life will be forfeit should anyone uncover the truth.

Cato, a wealthy politician, moved to Pompeii after tiring of the corruption in Rome. But he soon learns that Pompeii is just as corrupt, and if he doesn’t play the game, his family could pay the price. Determined to bring about justice for the citizens of Pompeii, Cato searches for allies. But what he discovers instead is a confounding group of Christians . . . and a young female gladiator whose fame is growing daily.

Political unrest reaches a boiling point as Christians are jailed and executed, and the mountain in the distance threatens to destroy the city with its river of fire. Cato and Ariella must act quickly and courageously to save their loved ones before all is lost.

What first caught my interest in City On Fire was the gladiator storyline. Since I’m drawing a lot of inspiration from ancient Rome and have gladiators in my latest series, I jumped at the chance to read and review this book for both enjoyment and research. I’ve also never read any historical fiction set this far back. What I didn’t expect was just how much I would enjoy it. This is the first I’ve read of any of Tracy L. Higley’s books, and she has a fantastic way of drawing you right into the setting and situations. I really felt like I was in Pompeii. A few areas of description felt a bit long, but overall, the details were perfect and vivid. I also loved the characters. Now, I’ll admit, I didn’t love Ariella in the beginning, but that’s typical for me. The male characters are usually much more interesting. But she did really grow on me in the last bit of the book. Speaking of male characters, I loved Cato. Like, really loved Cato. I thought he was superbly written, and I could feel all his emotions so well.

A word of caution, while Higley does not go into extreme detail, she doesn’t shy away from how corrupt and openly depraved Roman society was. I had no trouble reading it. I thought she was very tactful, but more sensitive readers might have a problem. Definitely for mature readers.

I give City On Fire five stars. It was one of those books I would reluctantly put down and be back five minutes later to read again. I highly recommend it for someone looking for an immersive and exciting historical read.

I received this book free from BookSneeze® in exchange for my honest review.

September 13, 2013

Clean Authors eBook Sale—99 cents and free!


Today I am participating in a big eBook sale for clean fiction. All books are either 99 cents or free. You can get all of my books, including my indie publishing guide for only 99 cents! Follow the links to them below and make sure to visit to check out the rest! Lots of great books at a great price!

Pirates & Faith Series
The Pirate Daughter’s Promise (Book 1)
Every Tear (Book 2)
A Captain’s Heart (Book 3)
Finding Faith (Book 4)

Makilien Trilogy
Truth (Book 1)
Courage (Book 2)
Trust (Book 3)

Indie Publishing Guide

And make sure you check out my mom’s book as well! 99 cents!

Wooing Sam Walker’s Widow

August 23, 2013

Why all the hating on prologues?

I rarely ever go off on rants about things, well, not online anyway. That’s what my wonderful mom is around for. ;) But this has been bugging me for a while, and this blog post by Wayne Thomas Batson reminded me that I wanted to write my own post on all the dos and don’ts and overall criticism in writing.

First, I need to address the title of this post. It is the main reason I wanted to write this in the first place as it was really bugging me last week. I don’t understand. Why do people hate prologues? Okay, I totally understand if it reads like a history book, tedious, boring, no action, info dump. I get that. Even I skim those. But what about prologues with action? Prologues that read just like the rest of the book? I have been shocked by the number of people who say they always skip the prologue. In fact, it sort of frightens me. Why? Well, I use prologues. I like good prologues. Resistance, the first book of Ilyon Chronicles, starts with a prologue. A long one, actually, which I know is another supposed no-no. This prologue happens to be what is probably my favorite chapter of the entire series. It puts you into the action right off and introduces the main characters. The information you gain from it is vital. Anyone who skips it will come to these characters later and will have no idea where they come from or why they are what they are. That seriously bothers me. I suppose I could have tried to scatter the information in throughout the story, but wouldn’t that be “telling”? Isn’t better to see it play out firsthand so you really get what drives these characters? Especially in a highly emotional book like Resistance. I want my readers to feel what the characters feel by having experienced the events that shaped them. The crazy thing is, if you took these hated prologues and titled them Chapter One, no one would even think about it. I could do that, but wouldn’t that be odd since it takes place three years before the rest of the story? You have to have some distinction between something that happened in the past and the rest of the story. In this way, I believe prologues are very useful, providing they are done well. I don’t know where all the hating on prologues came from. Maybe there are an over abundance of bad prologues, but if that’s the case, it’s highly frustrating that it has colored the overall outlook on prologues. I’m not going to stop using them if they are needed like in Resistance. I guess if someone gets confused later on in the story because they skipped it, I don’t feel it’s any mistake on my part, but on the rather unwarranted critical view of prologues.

That brings me to my second subject. Dream sequences. Almost everywhere I’ve read not to have dreams in your books. Why not? I have a WIP that begins with a dream of the protagonist’s childhood. It’s a memory more than a dream and gives the reader insight into his character, sort of a like a prologue. It sets up who and why he is who he is. In instances like this, dreams can be very useful. They can also do a lot of foreshadowing and set a particular mood. In Resistance, my main guy, Jace, suffers from nightmares. I have at least one scene where I actually write out the dream. This gives you insight into the turmoil inside him, revealing his deepest doubts and fears. Later on in the series, his dreams also foreshadow something to come. Somewhere I read that dreams shouldn’t be written because it can never be done realistically. Maybe, but this is fiction. Fiction doesn’t have to be perfectly realistic 100% of the time. I’ve never read a dream sequence and thought, “This is unrealistic. My dreams aren’t like this.” How can you say what other people's dreams are like anyway? I can’t come up with any good reason dreams should be forbidden in fiction. Some may be badly written, but that pertains to everything in writing fiction. As with prologues, I say if you can do it well, then do it.

What this all comes down to is, we have a lot of rules and a lot of people trying to enforce those rules. Of course, certain rules are important. If you don’t follow grammatical rules, then you’re in trouble. Rules like that are good. But I think many “rules” are more opinions. Writing is art, is it not? Artists each have their individual ways of creating their art. If you try to force them to work under a very specific and daunting set of rules, of course it’s going to kill creativity and make them question everything they do. One thing I’m noticing is that the majority of those who are so determined to enforce rules are writers. We writers have very specific ideas about how things should be done, but I think we forget everyone is an individual with their own styles. Not everyone will write the same way, or at least they shouldn’t. People are supposed to be unique and we’re all at different stages of our writing journey. The thing is, I don’t think many readers are nearly as conscientious or caring about the rules as writers are. People read to enjoy a good story, not pick apart how it’s told. I’ve always said, as a reader, I’ll forgive a whole slew of broken rules if I love the characters and the story. And I’m very thankful for my own readers who have done this with my books. I’m currently in the middle of reading through Makilien, and after being away from it for a couple years, I’m a little shocked. I keep thinking, “Wow, I published it like this?” Every book I write gets better, as it should be. My point is, it may not be the best written story out there, but I’ve received nothing but excellent reviews and kind words about it. People enjoy the story and the characters, so despite any flaws, I feel I’ve done my job as a writer. Someone could sit and point out the flaws and “broken rules” all day long, but what really matters is what the readers think. I think we all need to lighten up a bit and have fun. We’re human. Every book out there will have something that someone else thinks is done wrong. Let’s all just do our best to learn our craft and provide well-written fiction that may have some flaws, but tells a good story. Especially us Christian writers. God gave us this gift as a way to share Him with the world. There’s no sense in getting so bogged down by the “rules” that we either get overly critical of others or afraid to share our own work because of how it will be received.

August 22, 2013

A Brand New Cover for Truth

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00003]

That’s right, this is the unveiling for an updated cover for Truth, the first book in my Makilien Trilogy. As sudden as this may seem, I’ve actually been trying to get this done for over a year. It went through a couple changes and gave me a lot of frustration at first. Then, about a month or so ago, I tried a different background photo, one I’d actually had for a while, and it all came together perfectly. I’m just thrilled with it. I think it captures the mood of Truth perfectly. Now, why have I done this? Well, my original cover, as much as I loved it at the time, did not match the last two of the trilogy. This is a tip for all writers—if you’re working on a series, know what all the covers will look like before you publish.



So there it is. What do you think? Do you feel it captures the essence of Truth better than the old one? Look better as a trilogy now?


The new cover is showing up on Kindle, and I’ve uploaded the new files to CreateSpace. The new paperback should will be available in the next couple weeks providing I don’t have to order too many proofs to get the colors right.

Now, on Facebook, I promised two announcements, didn’t I? As if I don’t have enough projects going, I’ve decided to create a Makilien Trilogy 3-in-1 book. At first, I was only going to do it for Kindle, but I think, if I’m really creative with formatting, I can actually make it into a paperback too. (Fingers crossed on that.) It will be between 600-700 pages, but how could I resist making a giant Makilien Trilogy book like the 3-in-1 Lord of the Rings books? The most exciting thing about this is that I get to create a whole new cover! I’m very excited about that. Want to be part of the fun? If you have a blog and would like to be part of the cover reveal, just send me an email. (Postcard in the far right sidebar.) As part of the cover reveal, it means you get to see the cover at least a day before everyone else. ;) It will probably be a few weeks though. I don’t even have the photos for it yet, but I hope to get around to it soon. I also plan to hold my first giveaway once the book is finished, so this should be a lot of fun.

I have one more announcement pertaining to Makilien, but I can’t reveal that just yet. It will be sometime in the next couple months, I expect. No, it’s not a whole new book (sorry), but I think fans will like it. :)

August 05, 2013

Introducing Jaye L. Knight


Here it is, the first of various announcements that will be coming in the next couple months. This is something I never, ever imagined myself doing. It came completely out of the blue one night and would not leave me alone. I have decided to write fantasy fiction under a new pen name. That’s right, besides being Molly Evangeline, I am also fantasy author Jaye L. Knight. It hasn’t been long since the name first came to me, but I’m already so absolutely in love with it that I don’t think I could get rid of it if I tried. I have no idea how it happened, but I’m pretty sure God is behind it. I’m just not sure of the reason yet. It was actually a lot like how I got the name Molly Evangeline. It was just there in my head and it stuck, feeling quite comfortable and fitting right from the start, which is crazy because it’s not a name I would have imagined using before.

I was quite iffy right at first whether or not this was a good idea, but I have a few reasons for deciding to go with it. For one, the fact that it just wouldn’t go away even after I tried to dismiss it is usually a sign to me that I should take something seriously. Like I said, I don’t know the reason, but it definitely seems that God was working behind it. It also feels like a fitting change. I published my first book at 18. I’m almost 25 now, and a lot has changed. That was seven years ago. I’ve matured, and my writing has matured. My stories have become much more serious since then. I didn’t even think about it until this new name showed up, but the name Molly Evangeline doesn’t seem to completely suit my writing anymore. At least not my fantasy writing. Jaye L. Knight, on the other hand, is delightfully suited to fantasy.

So, from this point forward, I intend to publish all my fantasy writing as Jaye L. Knight. This includes Ilyon Chronicles. Should I ever get around to writing more historical, I will probably still publish as Molly Evangeline, which has a more historical ring to it.

I’ve had a ridiculously fun time getting everything set up to use and establish this new name, including purchasing a new domain name and setting up a new website. I think one of the most incredibly awesome things about this, besides having a really cool name to use, is that I pretty much got to go nuts with the color blue, my favorite color. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do at first, but then I randomly pulled out the forest image that is actually for the cover of Resistance, changed the hue to blue, and everything started coming together. I think this just might be the most fun I’ve ever had on a website. So, without further ado, allow me to unveil it to you. Just click on the picture and have fun exploring my new space. :)

I have also set up a new Facebook and Pinterest page under the new name.

July 03, 2013

Indie Guide Now in Paperback

This sort of got lost in the whole Ilyon Chronicles party I had last weekend, but my indie publishing guide, Where Do I Start? is now available in paperback! And I have to say it’s such a cute little booklet! :) I’ve only ever done novels, so this was a fun project. I’m glad I decided to do a paperback and not just an eBook. You can purchase the book from Amazon and CreateSpace, as well as order an autographed copy directly from me if you’d like.


June 27, 2013

Ilyon Chronicles Inspiration Anniversary

I was looking in my journal yesterday and realized, today is a big deal. Today marks the two year anniversary of the first spark of inspiration that became Ilyon Chronicles. Crazy how far it has come since then. Just this morning I wrote the first kiss scene of the series, something I’ve been waiting almost three whole books for! ;) I'll always look back at that moment of inspiration as a milestone in my life, because this is seriously the coolest project I've ever worked on. In honor of that moment and how far I’ve come, I've decided to have a little weekend long party where I share bits of information and story snippets on the Ilyon Chronicles Facebook page. Also, if you have any questions about the series, I'd be happy to answer without giving away too much information. So, to join in and check out what I’ve posted so far, just head over to the page. It’s going to be all kinds of fun. :)

Ilyon Chronicles Page

June 21, 2013

Where Do I Start?–eBook Now Available!

kindlefireOkay, this is a little late in the day thanks to bad weather keeping my computer off and then having to make a last minute correction, but the eBook version of my indie publishing overview is now available! It’s really kind of crazy having published something non-fiction. Everything to do with publishing has become so much of a habit to me that I didn’t think about how much there is to it until I went to write it down. It turned out to be so much more work than I thought, but I think I’ve covered all the basics and really hope it can help someone just getting started in the realm of indie publishing.

Here are the links to the Kindle version and the Smashwords page where you can get it in any other eBook format. It will start to show up on other eBook retailers within the next few weeks. The paperback will be available in the next couple of weeks as well.

eBook – $2.99

June 13, 2013

Indie Publishing Guide

About two and a half months ago, I announced on Facebook that I was taking a big step and writing my first non-fiction book about indie publishing. I never thought I’d ever write anything non-fiction, but in the last year I’ve been approached by multiple to-be indie authors asking for advice. I really love to help with publishing since I’m very passionate about it, but there is SO much information to cover and emails can get really long. My mom suggested an email to use that covered all the basics or have a page on my website. So I sat down to do this one afternoon and realized it was just too much for a  website. That’s when I decided I should just try to write a short book about it. I worked on it on and off since then and now have it finished at about 9,500 words. It’s not a comprehensive guide detailing every little part of publishing, but it will give you an overview of how I approach publishing and answers all the questions I’ve been asked in the last year. With working really hard on Ilyon Chronicles, this project has been at the back of my mind so I’ve neglected a lot of pre-release marketing of any sort, but I’m quite excited to share the cover.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00003]

I’m working on the final edits for the book and plan to have it available in eBook form for $1.99 in the next week or so. I wasn’t sure if I’d make it available in paperback, but then I thought, why not? :) So I’ll be working on that as well. Looks like it will come to be about $4.99. Here is the table of contents so you can get an idea of the topics I cover.

1. Why choose indie publishing?
     —Indie Publishing Pros & Cons
2. Publishing
     —Book Printing
3. Book Creation
     —Cover Creation
     —Interior Formatting
     —Converting to PDF
     —eBook Formatting
4. Copyright
5. ISBN Numbers
6. Marketing Tips
     —Word of Mouth
     —Pre-Release Marketing
     —Blog & Website
     —Social Networking
     —Marketing Materials
     —Book Trailers
7. Taxes & Business Expenses
8. Resources
9. Conclusion

I’ve really had a lot of fun putting this book together, more so than I thought I would, and I really hope it can help anyone who might be wondering where to start in indie publishing.

June 05, 2013

99¢ Indie eBook Sale and Giveaway

I'm participating in a big indie book sale! 39 books, including Every Tear, A Captain's Heart, Finding Faith, Courage, and Trust, are all on sale for 99¢ from June 5-12! Also, be sure to enter the $100 Amazon gift card giveaway at the bottom of this post!

Here are the books in the sale:
By Luke Alistar
By Kendra E. Ardnek
By Katie Lynn Daniels
By Molly Evangeline
By Ophelia - Marie Flowers
By Elisabeth Grace Foley
By Jennifer Freitag
By Jessica Greyson
By Aubrey Hansen
By Sarah Holman
By Abigail J. Hartman
By Holy Worlds
By Rebekah Jones
By Elizabeth Kaiser
By Jacob Lauser
By J. Grace Pennington
By Jordan Smith

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