Monthly Highlights - May

Saturday, May 30, 2015

- I kinda, maybe, sorta signed up for Realm Makers and am freaking out with nerves and excitement!! Are any of you going?

- I started learning how to play the guitar. I'm excited, but my fingers aren't. xD

- Along with the fact above, my last piano recital is today! It's rather odd, actually. I've been playing for nine years, and now it's just going to end. I'm playing a really epic piece, though, which makes happy. :D

- I went to the dentist and didn't have any cavities. (I've actually never had any cavities, but I couldn't think of anything else to put down for my highlights and that's what my mom came up with. :p)

- I got sick, but then I got better. (That's a highlight, right? Not the getting sick part, but getting better?) 
(... I'll stop with the odd highlights.)

- And I'll end it with this picture from Pinterest, because it is both equally funny and true. 

Hahaha so true!
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Books I Read This Month:

188506809743801   17983740   17182126  


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Mindwar - [3.5/5] I liked it, but didn't love it. There was one page where I counted ten exclamation marks in a matter of eleven sentences. A little too excessive, I think. 

The Forgotten Sisters - [4/5] This was a good end to the trilogy. I remember loving the first one, Princess Academy, but the second just dragged. It seemed more like a MG story than YA, (maybe it was, though?) but it was good.

Steelheart - [5/5] I usually don't read action/superhero story type stories, but this one was awesome. Especially the main character, David. He was just hilarious. 

Gathering Blue - [4/5] This is the next book in The Giver quartet, and apparently it does not follow Jonas's story. Oops. I probably should've read the back of the book. Regardless of that disappointment, I enjoyed it, and have the next two books on hold at the library!

Bridge to Terabithia - [5/5] Let's see if I can write this without breaking down -- *sobs* Yeah. This was a heartbreaking book. Despite the fact that this was a reread, I was crying really hard by the end of this. And then in the evening we watched the movie. (Which was very good.) It turned into a rather tearful day. 
Buuut, it was a good book! :p

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Book Things on the Internet:

- Jaye's newest novella, Half Blood, is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER! (Mhmm. It was needed to be said in all caps. Because you must read it. xD)

- The next five something something fairytale will be revealed TOMORROW (!) on Anne Elisabeth Stengl's blog! (And a bunch of others.) I am flipping out with excitement. :D

Shantelle is published! Check out the blog tour here, and her book: A Dream Not Imagined.

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((Picture leads to link))

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Yeah. It was an empty month posting-wise. So, to make up for it, I'm going to share a snippet from my WIP, Song of the Desert. (Originally titled The Music Master, but I changed my mind. :p)
It might turn up pretty small, so click on the image to enlarge it.

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Cait @ Paper Fury is celebrating her four year blogoversary! Go celebrate and enter the giveaways!

Aimee @ To the Barricade! posted about killing allll the characters.

Emily @ For the Bookish asked if you "really read books cover to cover?"

Chloe @ Curious Ramblings has this genius idea about giving someone an "un-birthday" gift. I'm in love.

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- Katie Grace

What were your highlights of this month? How many books did you read? Favorite and least favorite book? 

How I Discovered Ilyon

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How I Discovered Ilyon
A Documented Adventure by Katie Grace

     Before I start this story, to those who many not know, Ilyon is the fantasy world that appears in The Ilyon Chronicles (hence the name) by Jaye L. Knight. If you have not read them, they follow a tortured gladiator and a girl who can remember anything, both living in a land where believers of Elom are persecuted because of their faith. 

     My grandma first introduced the tales to me by borrowing Jaye's first two books by her previously published pen name, Molly Evangeline.

     I gobbled up half of the first book during Church (I was younger. I promise.) and finished it later that afternoon. Wanting more of Jaye's writing, I read her Makilien Trilogy. That's how I discovered fantasy and my own love for weaving together stories of epic adventures. 
     Finally, after a long awaited couple of years, Jaye came out with Resistance. 

(Just stop and let your eyes rest on the gorgeousness of this cover for a few moments. Done? Okay. I'll move on.) 

     I read it in one night. And then immediately started it again the next day. There are few words to describe out awesome it was. At last I was immersed in another wonderful fantasy world of Jaye's.
     That's how I discovered the books of Ilyon.
     But the country itself? That's a different story.
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     It started with a journal. 

     It was an old, leather bound journal. It's pages were worn and yellowed, and was wrapped tightly with thick pieces of leather. On the top lay a simple key, the once shining bronze coating now rusted and chipped. 
    It was this journal that appeared in my nightstand drawer. It was night when I found it. My family was asleep, and I should have been, too. But my mind was wandering and I felt the need to journal. 
    But the journal I pulled out was not my blue journal. It felt... leathery. I wrinkled my nose as I turned on my lamp. 

Shakespeare Leather Journal with Key in Vintage by MedievalJourney
     No, definitely not my journal. But then... what was it? And how did it get here? 
     I unwrapped the tie and tried to open it. 
     The book wouldn't budge. 
     I overlooked an important detail (Sleep deprivation tends to do that to you): There was a lock on the journal. 
     Key... Lock... My mind connected the two objects rather quickly despite my sleepless state. I grabbed the key and jabbed it into the lock, successfully opening it after only a couple tries. 
     Carefully, I opened the book to the middle, and shivered. I glanced around the room. It wasn't cold in here. Or, at least it hadn't been just moments before. I wrapped my arms around myself and turned back to the book.
     I blinked. 
     My nightstand was gone and replaced by a stump. 
     The grey carpet beneath my feet now crackled with dried up leaves. 
     The confined walls of my room were now endless, and instead trees dotted the landscape.
     I heard voices instead of the quiet music from my radio. My eyes widened.

Very much like the road through the forest.
 With all the adventure novels I have read in my life, I knew immediately that hearing voices when suddenly transported to a foreign land meant one of two things: 

     1. Their intentions were good. We were about to become lifelong friends and set off on an epic quest to save the world together. 
     2. Their intentions were bad. It is very likely that they are about to kill you. 

     My mind immediately assumed the latter option. Holding my breath, (unintentionally) I shot away from the voices, only to find myself on the ground a few seconds later after tripping on my to-long pajama pants. I rolled over and slowly sat up.
     Two faces were above me.
     My breath continued to hold as I stared at both of them. One looked a few years older than me, a lady, with short brown hair. There was a man standing next to her. His eyes stuck mine, clear and blue. The small, pointing tips of ears protruded from his black hair. A wolf padded up behind them.
     I released my breath, blinking quickly. That wasn't... Tyra, was it?
     "Jace," the young woman said softly, her eyes darting over to his.
     If I were the screaming type, this would have been the perfect time to let out a startled scream. My favorite fictional characters were standing right above me.
    But, instead, (as far as I know. It was hard to keep a clear train of thought in that moment) I looked up at the girl and said, "Kyrin?"
    She took a step back, eyes wide. Jace moved in front of her. 
     I got to my feet (despite my dizziness from the surprising turn of events) and brushed off most of the dirt and leaves from my pajamas (they were, in fact, purple, which looked rather out of place in the forest) "I'm Katie," I said and smiled shakily, trying not to let my reader craziness show through.
     Kyrin stepped out to the side from behind Jace. She smiled back, but warily, eyeing me closely. "I'm Kyrin," she nodded slowly. 
     Both she and Jace shared a look. 
     "Come with us." Jace jerked his head back further into the forest. 
    They led me back to their camp. I'm afraid, in fear of spoiling the series and letting unauthorized information slip through, that's all I can report. I may or may not be back in my home. Otherwise, I'm typing in Lenae's cabin, somehow able to find a faint Wi-Fi signal to share all this with you.
     That's how I discovered Ilyon. 
     And don't worry -- I gave Jace countless amounts of cookies for all of you.
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This post is part of the one year anniversary celebration Jaye is having for Resistance! Check out her blog for more details and fun. :) 

And if you want the chance to win Resistance plus some other fun prizes, there's a giveaway running at Jaye's blog and the Half Blood cover reveal post I participated in a few days ago. 

By the way, if you haven't read Resistance yet, you should. Here's the link to Amazon: buy it now! xD

- Katie Grace

Have you gotten the hint yet? Read the Ilyon Chronicles. You won't regret it. 
And for a fun question -- if you could immerse yourself in any world, which world would you choose?

Half Blood Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

Friday, May 22, 2015
"Today's the day!" I squeal to you reading this blog.

You all stare blankly. 

"The post! The cover! I get to share it!"

"The cover of what?" You question. 

I point to the image below. "The cover of that book. Half Blood." *grins widely*

You glance at the cover. "The cover looks rather epic. But, it's just another cover reveal in the blogosphere. I have some writing to get done..." You are about to close out the tab. 

"Wait!" I yell. "There's more than just the cover. Look, waaaay below in the post. Yup. There's a giveaway. Several in fact. You should enter, and read more about the book." I urge you to do so.

And so you do.

(Psst! Spoiler alert -- you'll be glad you did. The book is fantastic.)

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The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?

See where Jace’s story all began . . .

Coming This Summer

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JayeAuthorPhotoJaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

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And since Jaye is so awesome, she's giving away several amazing prizes as part of a month long celebration for the one year publication anniversary of Resistance. (Ilyon Chronicles - Book 1) Enter for a chance to win using the form below. U.S. entries only please. 

Participating Bloggers

poetree -

So I've been a terrible blogger this month, but we won't talk about that. Let's talk about this book. Does it look like something you'd read? Have you read the Ilyon Chronicles? GLADIATORS, people. Any other books that I should know featuring them?