Tag Archives: fiction

Book Review: The Flaming Sword

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 Pre-order The Flaming Sword on Amazon! If you haven’t read book one in this fun series, the Kindle version is free on Amazon through 11/2! Click here to grab your copy.


I’m beyond excited for my friend Heather, as her second book-baby will be delivered on November 1! The second installment in her series The Tethered World, The Flaming Sword is fast-paced and keeps its claws in you until the very end!

Perhaps my favorite thing about The Flaming Sword is the breadth of growth for the main character, Sadie Larcen. In the first book, liking Sadie as a character was a real challenge for me. She was dragged along on an adventure, instead of reaching out and making her own adventure. I so deeply desired for Sadie to make strong, bold choices! And that’s precisely what happens in The Flaming Sword: The reader sees Sadie blossom from a hesitant, fearful girl who resented her family’s legacy, to a courageous, strong-minded young woman. Sadie’s faith has been tested, and she more fully understands her role in the family and the Tethered World.

This proves to happen in perfect timing, because the Larcens once again step into the world beneath our own — this time to find a darker political atmosphere. The factions and alliances that have formed, in the name of protecting The Flaming Sword of Cherubythe, have the Tethered World on the precipice of war. Unlike their first adventure down below, this time the Larcens are separated. This creates plenty of tension on its own; but the Larcens learn some unexpected things about some unexpected enemies, and these twists and turns keep you guessing!

I very much enjoyed this second installment. Heather has done a fabulous job of ratcheting up the tension for the third book. I can’t wait to read it!

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*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author.

 

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Author Interview + Kindle Giveaway!

Books & Beverages 2016 (1)

Welcome to the Books & Beverages Blog Tour hosted by Mountain Brook Ink publishing! We’re excited that you are joining us for these two weeks of fun. So far, we’ve met some new, talented authors. The tour began on February 15 and ends its course on March 1. Each stop (including this one!) includes an opportunity to enter for a FREE KINDLE FIRE as the grand prize, as well as three runner-up opportunities to win a $10 Starbucks gift card. (See the bottom of this post to enter. There are only two more days to do so!) The blog tour features the following authors:

Heather L.L. FitzGerald
Debut author of young adult fantasy series, The Tethered World Chronicles

Kimberly Rose Johnson
Multi-published author of sweet romance series, The Wildflower B&B Romance

Angela Ruth Strong
Multi-published author of Finding Love in Sun Valley, Idaho, book one in the Resort to Love series


Today, I’m beyond excited to introduce you to my sweet friend, Heather L.L. FitzGerald.
I can’t recall when this happened—personally, I think that’s the sign of a good friendship—but one dark, rainy evening I found myself sitting in a chair at Starbucks, across from a new friend. Our connections? Jesus and writing. We love them both, and I was thrilled to have the chance to share those things with Heather.

If you’ve paid any attention to my Facebook page, you’ve already been introduced to Heather. She is living the dream (publishing her first novel!), and I couldn’t be happier to promote her new series, The Tethered World Chronicles. Book one, The Tethered World, released on February 1.

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You’ll find my review of it here; it’s likely helpful to read it before you carry on with this post. Heather was kind enough to let me interview her, and I’d love to share what she has to say about life in the Tethered World. Let’s get started!


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Image © Heather L.L. FitzGerald

Q: To whom do you think The Tethered World series will appeal most readily?

It’s considered a Young Adult Fantasy but I wish there was a category for Family Fantasy. It’s one that can be read aloud and enjoyed by a span of ages. I’ve been blessed to have reviewers from age 13 up to grandma and grandpa status really enjoy the story. People that don’t normally enjoy fantasy have expressed surprise at how they’ve enjoyed the adventure. This brings me much joy!

Q: Pretend that you live in the Tethered World. (I suppose you kind of do!) What is your favorite thing about life there?

My favorite thing? Hmmm. It would be pretty cool to meet creatures that were considered myth. Whether it was Leprechauns that could turn invisible, or Nephilim that could fly. I also like the idea that these creatures recognize, overall, that God exists and has a plan for their secret world that is tied to our own world, here “topside”. As way of explanation, the Tethered World is said to exist in pockets of our own world. The creatures there once lived in the Garden of Eden and were moved below ground before Noah’s flood. They call people like you and me “Topsiders”.

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Q: What did you learn while writing The Tethered World (about writing, about life, anything!)?

The process of finishing the first draft of The Tethered World and the process of getting the manuscript ready to submit to a publisher was a huge learning experience. I learned many technical writing lessons that would be boring to explain. Of course, I learned much about the publishing process too, and the importance of social media in building a network of writing friends and an audience that cares about what you have to say. Though I wish I could hole up on my couch with my laptop and crank out books without a thought for blogging and Facebook, that’s just not the reality. No matter if you’re with a big publisher, a small one, or self-publishing, the burden of promoting one’s book is on the author.

Q: What are you currently reading?

A friend’s epic fantasy (a rough draft) called The Cost of Two Hands. I just finished the Inkheart Trilogy from Caroline Funke on audiobook. Absolutely LOVED that series!

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Be a willing student. Don’t think you can break all the rules and do it your way. Rule breaking is (mostly) reserved for the well-established authors. Find a good mentor and get in a writing group that is supportive and has a mixture of authors, from new writers to professionals. You can even find this sort of group online. Don’t be thin-skinned. There’s always more to learn and you need to be a willing student.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like potential readers to know?

Yes, actually, there is 🙂 Though there are some quirky things that pop up—such as the main character being homeschooled and the fact that she has an autistic brother—they are minor, background items. I did not set out with an agenda to convert anyone to homeschooling or to win over audiences with special needs children. Both things (homeschooling and autism) have come across everyone’s radar (and happen to be a part of my life). I wanted to treat them with the everyday normalcy other authors use for a character going to public school or being from a divorced family. Those are just “things” that help inform the main character’s personality. Anyone, from any walk of life, should be able to relate to the family in the story. They love each other, they struggle together, they have to overcome hard stuff. It’s just life.


I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know a bit about Heather! Before you go, be sure CLICK HERE to enter for your chance at a FREE KINDLE FIRE!

See you then!

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P.S.—Did you register to win the FREE KINDLE FIRE? No? CLICK HERE!


Heather L.L. FitzGerald lives in Texas with four someones that call her mom and one special someone that calls her his wife. She homeschooled her children—one of whom is autistic—and teaches ballet at a fine arts school in Fort Worth. Heather is a member of the North Texas Christian Writers, and helps to facilitate the Manet writer’s group in Fort Worth, Texas. She loves drinking iced lattes, cloud watching, and getting lost in a good book.

You can connect with Heather on her website/blogFacebook, Pinterest (belongs to her main character, Sadie), Character blog (Sadie’s mom has a blog about legendary creatures.), Twitter, Instagram, or Goodreads.


Be sure to visit the rest of the stops on the Books & Beverages Blog Tour!

2/15 – http://bluewater-publications.com/
2/16 – www.ghostryter.blogspot.com
2/17 – http://www.gingersolomon.com/blog/
2/18 – http://www.sandrarobbins.net
2/19 – http://www.jlmbewe.com/
2/20 – http://plentifulpursuits.com
2/21 – https://mdeshaies.wordpress.com/
2/22 – http://faithhopeandheartwarming.com/blog/
2/23 – https://agreateryes.wordpress.com/
2/24 – http://thegatheringfire.wordpress.com
2/25 – http://dianasbookit.blogspot.com/
2/26 – http://www.liztolsma.com/
2/27 – http://sarahruut.com/
2/29 – https://sparksofember.wordpress.com/
3/1 –  http://www.annaweaverbooks.com/giveaways

 

Book Review: The Tethered World

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** THE TETHERED WORLD RELEASED ON 1 FEBRUARY! CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY.**


 

Let’s get one thing straight: I am not a fantasy fan. This has been proven by my inability to muster any interest whatsoever in Harry Potter. (I know. This is akin to blasphemy in some reading circles. Let’s move on.)

The fact that my bent is not toward fantasy fiction makes my review of The Tethered World by Heather L.L. FitzGerald all the more meaningful. Do you know why? Because I loved this book! Not only it is family-friendly—Heather prefers the term “family fantasy” to “young adult fantasy”—but the setting is well-constructed and the characters come to life on the pages.

Accepting a surprising family history that leads to the adventure of a lifetime, the main character is forced to take the reigns as the oldest in her homeschooled family. As can happen when one is forced into a role she doesn’t want, she resents this life change and pushes against it. The Tethered World, told from the perspective of Sadie Larcen, is a whimsical (yet gripping) tale of sacrifice, growth, and, ultimately, love.

What makes The Tethered World so fun for adults is the trip to a land where the mythological creatures from our childhood have come to life! Plus, it is fun to consider (in a fictional sense) what happened to the creatures from the Garden of Eden.

I think this would be a fun family read-aloud. The book is written from a distinctly Christian worldview. There is plenty of fodder for discussion; the children in the book deal with a few weighty issues, as they attempt to rescue their parents. Also, this is the first book in a trilogy, so there is more adventure to be had down the road!

So, now that you’re finished reading this post, hop on over to Amazon and get your copy!

Soli Deo gloria,

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P.S.—Congrats, Heather, my dear friend, on your first publication!


The myths exist! Want to go deeper into the Tethered World? Keep in touch with Heather and the Larcen crew on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!