Monday, June 10, 2019

Happy Birthday, Dandelion Dust || Amazon Release + Bash

Happy Monday, lovely readers!

(I actually don't know whether it's a happy Monday or not, as I'm writing this up on Sunday night because I'll be at work by the time it goes live...but that's irrelevant, yes?)

I'm here today with a super-fabulous announcement. One that I've been wanting to make for awhile, even promised once or twice, but lack of time and some technical issues prolonged the process.

Nevertheless, we (me and my amazing cover designer, who deserves all the credit for the beauty you're about to feast your little eyeballs on) persevered. And today I get to divulge to you all my little bookish secret.

The slightly-updated, muchly-beautified, hold-in-your-hand-able paperback version of my debut novella, Dandelion Dust, is now available on Amazon!

It's been a crazy ride to get to this point—five proof copies ordered before a perfect one arrived, if that tells you anything. But it's here now, and I'm super thrilled. It's not really a second edition, because the actual story hasn't been altered at all, but the back cover has been updated. And I adore it! <3

pardon the ugly watermark, but... *heart eyes*

Annndd a clearer look. <33

Amazon: Paperback


Okay, okay, moving on. Announcement number two.

In celebration of the Amazon release which happened this week and the second anniversary of the original release in less than a month, I'm hosting a birthday bash!

What is a birthday bash? Good question. In this instance, it means three weeks of celebrating two years of Dandelion Dust. It means sharing and re-sharing anything and everything related to this book.

I'd been trying to come up with more ways to a) spread the word about my books, and b) gain more reviews, while c) connecting with my amazing readers. <3  And this is what I came up with, so hopefully it will be as much fun for you as it will be for me!

There's lots of opportunities to join in on the fun and win some great prizes. There are a number of things you can do to help me out and be earning "party points" toward prizes—from reviewing, to hosting author interviews, to sharing on social media. Prize options include book-related mail, access to unpublished books and stories, signed print copies, gift cards—and more!

Anyone and everyone is welcome to join. I won't be sharing all the specific information here on the blog (like how to obtain points and how many points you need to reach each prize bracket), so drop your name in the form and I'll get all the details out to you!

So, basically, it's an interactive celebration of my book baby's second birthday. Three weeks to collect points. Prizes awarded depending on the amount of points obtained.

(Points can be earned from the time you join the team through June 30th, 2019. Prizes will be mailed/emailed by July 12th.)

Any questions? Let me know! Let's explode the web with dandelion love!

Join the team!

do you celebrate bookish birthdays? thoughts on the new back cover? who else is excited for the bash? 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

If My Characters were Actors || The Broken Prince by Kara Linaburg || Guest Post

(I have a special treat today, a guest post from Kara of Beautifully Broken fame!) 

I was told to write about ANYTHING about The Broken Prince.
That's hard.
Really hard.
Basically that's like asking me my favorite Switchfoot song -- choosing just one thing is simply not going to happen without a lot of thought (hence why I am writing this a month in advance).

Oh, hi there. I'm Kara Lynn -- the author of my first published novel The Broken Prince, a YA (light) fantasy novel. I love to travel, spontaneous road trips, deep conversations, interacting with fellow humans, and helping people find beauty in their brokenness. I'm twenty years old but being an old soul, I feel at least twenty five.

This is my book -- I'm a bit in love with the cover honestly...a bit biased I'm sure, but I think every author should love her cover and not be ashamed of it.
The Broken Prince is based in a country where those with magical-like powers are outcasts and the king rules his folk with an iron fist. My heroine must choose whether to allow the labels of her birth and Gift to define her, or step out and fight the darkness threatening her and those she loves.
 If you will, please scroll to meet my characters that are more real than any fictional human should be and made this story possible...

Alexander Vlahos in Merlin BBC TV series (aka Milosh)
Alexander Vlahos is probably the character closest to my hero and prince, Milosh. He is what I imagined when writing over the last few years even before I had seen the show. He did an incredible job with Mordred in Merlin, showing both a deep vulnerability and longing to belong. However, those eyes could often turn to quick rage, not unlike my own hero.
BUT then, my sister ruined this image and showed me....

Henry Cavill.

He wins. Milosh, he is.
Holliday Grainger (the closest person I could get to Serena)

Serena is my heroine and the story stays based from her point of view. Most female characters tend to get the stereotype as kick-butt characters, and I didn't want that completely from Serena. I imagine her with a quiet soul that can become like the fire that can pour from her hands. She is dangerous (I'll grant you that!), but I do not think she can comprehend how dangerous or how much potential she has. She has spent her life hiding her Gift, living fear of who she is because of what society has told her.

Breton Thwaites as Hunter, Serena's brother
Hands down, a younger version of Brenton Thwaites. I enjoyed him in The Giver, and Hunter is around the age Jonas would have been in the movie. Hunter is Serena's young brother and they have become each other's protector in the dark times that have fallen in Sindaleer.

Lara Pulver as Enid, my villain 
Lara Pulver is my sorceress hands-down. I thought of her instantly when I created the character after watching Robin Hood BBC and again in Sherlock. My sorceress Enid, is out for revenge against the evil king who just so happens to be Milosh's father. She's a Gifted with born-powers that she's twisted to become dark and evil.

Presenting Stephan Baldwin as Elston
It took me a bit to imagine which actor would be my beloved and mischievous Elston, but basically I think I could say I see him as a much younger Stephan Baldwin -- think The Young Riders if you've had the fortune of seeing that western (I'm dorky, I know...).
Elston is...well...he's a lot of fun and I imagine he was a handful as a child. I want you to experience this human  character in person so I won't give too much away, but he loves to stir up a heck of a lot of trouble if he wants to.

In conclusion, you have officially met my beautiful creations. Putting a face with the name is always so fun, and I hope you have enjoyed reading these rambles by a stranger who has hacked borrowed Faith's blog for a day.
I would love to meet you -- I blog over at my own blog Beautifully Broken, where I write rambles weekly. You can also add The Broken Prince on Goodreads here, pre-order an e-book copy of my baby here, or just simply say hi in the comments below. Whichever way you choose, I am always up for making new friends. Next to watching the sun set, this is one of my favorite things to do.
Thank you for putting up with me intruding on the blog.
Have a blessed week, readers!

If you combined Lucy Ricardo, Jo March, and would have Kara. Queen of awkward, writer before she could properly spell, and maker of imaginary humans, she is passionate about creating characters that display beauty in brokenness.
Kara took to blogging as a teenager, words soon becoming one of her greatest passions. When she’s not being a mad scientist in the kitchen or daydreaming about her next adventure, she loves to connect with readers. She lives in West Virginia where country roads always take her home.
You can feel free to stalk her blog where she rambles weekly.

Social media: @karalynnauthor

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Freedom + Beloved || Cover Reveal

Y'all... Y'all...

It's here. The time has come. I get to share my A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. cover of my HOPEFULLY-AMAZING book with the world! *literal shrieking in the background because Faith is losing her grip on sanity* 

Okay, okay, I won't make y'all wait around forever. Here's the cover. Just feast yo' eyes on that heck of epic. :D 

Having just returned to American soil from the desert sands of the Middle East, James Greene is done with his life. 'Double amputee' doesn't seem like a strong enough phrase to label the physical and emotional pain he bears. Add the lack of love and communication with his family members, the demons that haunt him day and night, and he can find nothing worth living for. Ending it all is the only way out.  
Alexandria Lorance is a not-so-ordinary physical therapist, content with aiding in her patients' recoveries. Her work gives her fulfillment, but alone in the silence, she still endures the hidden scars of a past, unhealthy relationship. Reminding herself that true healing is found in Christ alone, she seeks to show kindness and love to everyone she meets. 

When these two broken ones' paths intersect, the spark of friendship is ignited, bringing hope and joy to both. Can they step out of the darkness of suffering and into the freedom of grace?  

A Marine, broken by war. A therapist, scarred by words. A chance meeting in a parking lot bonded them together. But can love grow in these two hurting hearts? Or are they truly too broken to ever find lasting happiness? 

As you all already know, I'm co-releasing this book in September with my friend Kaitlyn and her book, Beloved. Today is her cover reveal as well, so stick around to the end of the post for a link to see her beautifulness! Did I mention Kate designed both covers? *heart eyes*

Also... Because Kate and I are amazing human beings with ginormous bank accounts and plenty of free time on our hands (yes, both are lies, in case the sarcasm didn't translate), we ordered early proofs of the not-final books to test out the covers. So, not only is this a reveal of the front cover of the book, but you get to see the back cover, spine, and interior too. And we get to hold the books in our hands a few months early!

I'll be posting pics on social media throughout the day, and I'll add any new ones here as well. :D

*happy sigh* I love it so much. I'm literally at the point where, the more I look at it, the deeper I fall in love. 

(Also, I need to quit spending money on things like, ya know, book covers so that I can pay for counseling. But that's neither here nor there.) 

Head on over to Kaitlyn's blog to see the amazing cover of Beloved

So many amazing peeps—some who are fellow authors themselves—are joining us in this reveal. Be sure to check out their posts and share some love!

Kara  ~  Isabel  ~  Molly Anne  ~  Anita  ~  Kaylee
Lily  ~  Neey  ~  Victoria  ~  Rebekah Ashleigh  ~  Angela
Izzy  ~  Kaitlyn S.  ~  Shine  ~  Faith Blum  ~  Merie 

And follow the cover reveal hashtag on social media to see everyone's cover reveal flailings and the lovely quote graphics of each book! :D


coming in September! Sign-ups open next month. <3

opinions on the cover(s)? are you as hyped about the book release as we are? 

Friday, May 31, 2019

Summer Feels + Concert || May Recap

Recap of the month? Ohhh, right. That thing I wrote, like, three days ago for April. And it's already time to write May's. Makes perfect sense.

(Except not.)

|| Summer Feels

So, y'all, summer has found my Carolina mountains and I LOVE it. Between living the Jeep life (is there anything better than a drive on a curvy road with the top off??), flouncing around in a sundress, and attempting to get a tan...

*happy sigh*

Summer weather + summer clothes? #yesplease <3

|| Randomness

• At work, between lifting/toting/unstacking/restacking 62,964 cases of soft drinks and scooping some incredibly hard chocolate ice cream, this summer is gonna give me some dope arm muscles.

• I went to my first ever country music concert! And Trace Adkins was lit.

• Family friends who live a few hours away visited over Memorial Day weekend, so seeing this was as amazing as always, of course. <3

random picture because the youth group is in charge of the church sign
and I was pretty proud of this caption.... xD

• One week, on my day off, I went shopping with the Mom. Which meant weird bathroom selfies and buying summery clothes and crashing on the couch in World Market.

 • THIS conversation one night with the Dad and the Bro at a home improvement store...
Tucker: *changing his shirt in a parking lot to load fence posts*
Me: *watching from the truck* you’re probably on camera.
Tucker: Hey, this is ‘merica. We don’t wear clothes. Right, Dad?

Okay, so, umm... I honestly considered leaving this section out all together, but then I figured someone would ask, so here it is.

Why? Because I literally read no books this month. None. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Sadness. I just... haven't had much free time on my hands. I'm hoping to have some unoccupied time in my schedule the next few weeks, though, so hopefully... :D  Me needs a good book. 

Oh, and I did buy a book this month (A Question of Loyalty by Jesseca Wheaton) and grabbed another from the library one day. So I had good intentions!

|| Update 

*weeps because aside from not reading much I haven't written much either* Other than dabbling in a few short stories and, of course, Chasing a Dream, I hardly wrote at all this month. There's been plenty of other things going on, though, so maybe that excuses me...? ;)

But—I am doing the Go Teen Writer's 100-for-100 summer writing challenge which started on the 20th. Twelve days in and I've only missed one day (a grace day is allowed weekly), so going strong!

|| Freedom

Ahhh, so much going on in the lovely world of Freedom. :D

The next-to-last edit is going smoothly and I'm hoping to get the manuscript to my lovely editor by the beginning of next week. And the cover reveal for this baby is TOMORROW.  *cue shrieking*

I also saw this on FoxNews which sounds like an amazing outreach to struggling vets. <3

|| Snippet 

Brian sprints ahead and knocks on the door while I follow Lester up the ramp. Ducking past the swing and crossing the nicely furnished front porch, a gentle voice drifts out the door and meets my ears. “Good to see you, Brian! Come on in and make yourself at home. We’ll eat as soon as Kellon’s gang of tardies show up.”  
I smile, surprising myself. Mrs. Gloria truly loves everyone she meets and actively seeks to make sure you know it.  
As we’re ushered into the house, in the space between the kitchen and open living room, another voice meets my ears. I cast a sidelong look into the kitchen to my left and find myself smiling yet again.  
Sashaying around the kitchen, Miss Lorance manages to toss together a fresh salad while waving a knife and singing along to Lee Ann Womack’s finest at the top of her lungs. 

|| Favorite Posts

Qadash >> Let Him Heal You

The Peculiar Messenger >> Rest in the Lord

|| My Posts

|| May Goals

• Write something.       Technically, yes.

• Get Freedom ready to go to my editor.        Close! Should be done this weekend.

• Blog weekly.        Yup, surprisingly.

• Read 3 books.        *cries and shakes head*

• Resume staying alive.      Another surprise...

|| June Goals

• Send Freedom to my editor.

• Celebrate the 2nd book-birthday of Dandelion Dust.  (Details coming next week!)

• Go on our annual in-country missions trip with the church gang.  #hyped

• Blog weekly.

• Read 4 books. (Why am I so darn optimistic?)

• Resume staying alive.

how was your May? ready for summer? 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Fire Starter Facebook Party { May 25th }

Hello, lovelies!

This week has been slightly crazy and I haven't had time for a "real" blog post, but I wanted to let y'all know about a super cool Facebook party that's happening this weekend. This is the first time I've hosted/co-hosted an online event, so I'm interested to see how it will go. :D

The lovely, lovely blurb ~

Come meet an incredible line up of inspiring authors, bloggers, and entrepreneur's who are taking the dreams God has placed inside their heart, and actually doing something with them! Whether you're a reader, writer, aspiring author or blogger, or just looking for something fun to do on Saturday, THIS is the party for you! We'll be giving away some super fun prizes, hosting Q&A's, party games, and so much more! Come connect, get inspired, and get pumped to change your corner of the world! 

The party runs from 1:00pm until after 8:00. I’ll be on from 7:00pm to 7:30, in the midst of various dream-chasers who will be hosting all afternoon and evening. We're greatly looking forward to it and would love to see you there. Who knows...there may even be free books... *smiles innocently*

Hop over to Facebook to find the event!

can I count on seeing you tomorrow night? are you a fan of Facebook parties? 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

A Soldier's Freedom vs. Freedom || Title Change Explanation

As promised, I'm here today to explain the reason behind the title change of Freedom (formerly, A Soldier's Freedom).

It's really not too big of a deal, but I want to explain everything to y'all so there's no confusion as we move on toward the cover reveal (signups close in 7 days!) and then the blog tour in a few months.

I have several "reasons" for the change—one being that I was never totally sold on the original title—and I could ramble about it all day. But the cut and dry of it is this...

Marine vs. Soldier

James is a Marine. Not a soldier.

Yes, there is a difference. Marine are, well, Marines. Soldiers are Army. Airmen are Air Force....and so on. Don't feel bad if you didn't know there was a difference—I didn't for the longest time. But there is, and because I want this book to be as true and right as I can make it, "soldier" in the title has got to go. 

Yes, yes, some of y'all already pointed this out to me. Yes, I was aware of it then. But I was hesitant to mess with the title when I wasn't sure how I was going to change it. (Nothing is quite as confusing as when an author changes the title of their book a half-dozen times. A time or two doesn't bother me so much. But when it's continuous? Make up your mind, people!)

I considered A Marine's Freedom, but I've never been a fan of how that sounds. I didn't realize the title I wanted was staring me in the face the whole time...

Freedom IS This Book

...but it was.

Y'all, freedom is this book. It's the word, the theme, the meaning that has been stuck in my head concerning this book for, like, ever and ever amen. It's the essence of all this book is.

I even kept saying I wanted "freedom" to be in the title. (What a droolin' idiot!**) It was literally slapping me in the face until one day (or night—I honestly don't remember) I went, "wait, what if Freedom is the title?" And the rest, as they say, is history.

And one word titles? So much #yassss.

** Pardon the grossness, peeps. It's a joke. One which approximately 0.07% of the people reading this will understand. xD 

Correlating Series Titles

Speaking of one word titles, something else I dealt with while configuring a new title for this book was that I wanted the title of each book in the trilogy to correlate in some way.

Freedom is, or will be, the first book in the Liberty's Battlegrounds series. Book #2 is in the works at an on-and-off sort of stage, while the only attention book #3 has received is a bit of brainstorming here and there.

I wanted each of these books to have titles that make it somewhat obvious that they're connected. At first I was thinking, A Soldier's Freedom, A Soldier's Future, and A Soldier's Faith. But, not only is that a bit redundant, it's easy to confuse.

Right now, I'm thinking each book will have a one-word title, beginning with F. Future and Faith are examples and possibilities that may or may not stick around. ;)

so there's that! 

thoughts on the new title? how do YOU choose titles for your WIPs?

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Freedom's Release + Cover Reveal Signups || I.Am.Screaming.

Good morning, lovely people!

As I promised yesterday—and as you've probably gleaned by the title—I have supercalifragalisticexpialidocos things to talk about with y'all.

Let's jump in, shall we?

|| A Soldier's Freedom / Freedom's Release

First off, Freedom—formerly titled A Soldier's Freedom. (If anyone is interested in hearing why I changed the title, drop a comment. I could literally write an entire post on that. xD)

This is something that I don't think I've talked about on #TheBlog yet, and certainly not in detail. I'd previously mentioned that I might be interested in pursuing the possibility of traditional publishing with this particular WIP. I'd been tossing around that idea for awhile, wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with it, and went ahead and called upon some fabulous beta-readers to give it a read.

Last fall, while Hurricane Florence was ravaging the east coast, I was perusing beta-reader comments when a thought struck me. What better time to release a book that deals with the darkness of suicide than during the month and week that's devoted to spreading awareness?

Knowing it was a year away, I knew I'd have plenty of time—which I liked. I talked it over with a friend (Kaitlyn from Twin Thoughts, who also happens to be the author of a book that also deals with suicide) who was toying with the idea of self-publishing for the first time. "You should," I encouraged. "Actually, you should dual-release with me during National Suicide Prevention Week."

Even from a thousand miles away, I could see her eyes widen at the thought. We both liked the thought. A lot. We agreed to pray about it for awhile, and make sure it was what He wanted.

A few weeks later, we talked about it again. I asked how she felt about it, after prayerfully considering the possibility. She said "I think we should go for it." (Or something like that. Don't sue me, child. I'm quoting from memory.)

Guess what, folks?

We're going for it. We've been praying about it since last September. We've been making plans since January. We're co-hosting a blog tour that will run during early September. And we're dual releasing these two books—Beloved by Kaitlyn Krispense and Freedom by Faith Potts—on September 10th.

Here's the basics: I'm releasing Freedom in September. I'm co-releasing/co-hosting the blog tour with my bestie. And we're opening signups for the cover reveal RIGHT NOW.

Oh,  did I mention we're crazy excited?! <33

|| Cover Reveal

Because half the fun of something is the anticipation, we're upping the hype with a cover reveal! On June 1st, both Kate and I will be releasing the covers of these darling books to the world. And we'd love to have you help us out. Need more incentive? You'll get to see the covers before anyone else (besides, ya know, us) and you'll get shoutouts on our blogs!

Don't have a blog? No problem! We're also offering a social media option.

Scurry on down and sign-up! :D Form closes May 25th.

are you as excited as we are? have you signed up yet? *nudges you*