Saturday, December 31, 2011

LoaW's Month in Review - December 2011

Today is the last day of the last month of the year. Wow, how time flies sometimes! :-) I hope everyone is planning to have an awesome New Years Eve celebration. For me, that includes bringing in the new year with some very special, and awesome, friends. :-)

But for today's post, it's time for my "Month in Review" post. I got this idea from Crystal over at Just Another Book Lovin' Girl. Thank you bunches, Crystal, for letting me join in!

Many of the book titles or interviews are linked. If you see it highlighted, you can click on it to go and read the review, blog tour, or interview that I did, just in case you missed it when I originally posted.

Legacy of a Writer's Month in Review - December  ~

Books I Read:
Daughter of Helaman - Misty Moncur
F.A.I.R.I.E.S: Baptism of Fire - M.C. Pearson
Kingdom's Quest - Chuck Black (Reread!)
The Merchant's Daughter - Melanie Dickerson
Princess of Glass - Jessica George Day
Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland - Roseanna White
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Unlawfully Wedded Bride - Noelle Marchand
Kingdom's Reign - Chuck Black (Reread!)
The Mercenary's Marriage - Rachel Rossano
Race Against Time - Kimberly and Kayla Woodhouse
Don't Look Back - Lynette Eason (Reread!)
Holding Out for a Hero - Stacey Netzel
Wayward Son - Tom Pollack
Shadowed in Silk - Christine Lindsay
Daughter of Twin Oaks - Lauraine Snelling (Reread!)
Daughter of Time - Sarah Woodbury
Sisters of the Confederacy - Lauraine Snelling (Reread!)

Author Interviews Done:
Serena Miller - The Measure of Katie Calloway
Roseanna White - Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland
Rosslyn Elliott - Fairer Than Morning (Ends Tomorrow!!)
April Gardner - Warring Spirits (Still Open!)

Reviews Posted:

Blog Tours Participated In:
FIRST Blog Tour - F.A.I.R.I.E.S: Baptism by Fire
TNT - The Merchant's Daughter
GlassRoad Blog Tour - Wayward Son

Special Events/Posts:
- LoaW's 1st Bookswap
- Christian Fiction Book Club for She Walks in Beauty
- LoaW is hosting the Contentment Reading Challenge for 2012 (Sign up if you haven't!)
- I won 1st place in GTW's Writing Prompt Contest for 2011 (Read some of my favorite prompts!)
- Read my Top Ten favorite books I read in 2011
- I'm planning LoaW's 2nd Birthday Party. Help me spread the word!
- I published a Christian historical fiction novelette! Check out my post to find out where you can buy it!
- 7 stories, 7 authors....7 Hours. This book is gunna be awesome!

My Reading Goals for 2011:
1) Challenged myself to read 200 books this year......COMLETED!! (Read 208 Total :-)
2) For the Contentment Reading Challenge Amber hosted this year, I challenged myself to reread 20 books in 2011. And I.....completed this challenge last night!!

Favorite Book of the Month:
Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland by Roseanna White
Favorite Reread? Don't Look Back by Lynette Eason

                                                                    




Well, there you have it. That's what took place for me (book-wise) for the month of December. How about you? What books did you read this month?

Friday, December 30, 2011

7 Hours Can't Come Soon Enough!!

If you didn't see my "big news" announcement, follow this link to check it out. Yeah, yesterday was a very exciting day for me, and thanks to everyone who stopped by and left their thoughts. Your support is awesome!

And to top off the day, I was so excited and humbled to read the very first 'official' review for A Time to Remember on Faye's blog, Labor Not in Vain. If you were wondering about my novelette, check out her review to hear her thoughts. Thanks, Faye, for taking the time to write up a review. You made my day!


Today I really didn't have anything planned. But, since I haven't talk about my reading challenges I set for 2011, I figured it's time I do that! :-) But! Before I get into that, I have something really exciting to announce! See this guy below?


His name is James Wilson. And, to put it simply, he's pretty brilliant. Why? Well, he had this super awesome idea to bring six of the best Christian suspense writers together, to each write a novella on the same main idea, and publish it as one book called 7 Hours. What authors? Well, besides James Wilson, there's also Ronie Kendig, Mike Dellosso, Rene Gutteridge, Robin Parish, Tom Pawlik, and Travis Thrasher.

Pretty awesome group, eh? So, yep...7 stories written by 7 different authors will make 7 Hours, which is set to publish sometime in 2012 from Tyndale. It's gunna be awesome, I just know it!! :-)

Don't know what I'm talking about? Or just want more information? Check out the webpage, 7 Hours, to find out all the details. And if you are on Facebook, MAKE SURE you like their FB page!! Seriously! If they hit 500 likes, each of the authors will be giving away copies of their current books. Pretty sweet deal, no?? :-)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Big News!!!!

Sorry to keep upping the suspense. I had originally planned to post about this earlier today, but grocery shopping got in the way, and I ended up going with two of the younger ones (which made shopping take longer) and...yeah, I am just now getting the chance to sit down on my laptop. :-) Okay, so you ready for the big news?

I've published a novelette on Kindle!!!

Yep, I have! It's called A Time to Love and it's a historical fiction, set in the years after the War Between the States. Publishing a Kindle was a very interesting experience, especially since I had to do everything myself (format, book cover, etc.), but it was fun! And now see the results!!


Price: $2.99

About A Time to Love: Four years of war, two years of reconstruction…and still her husband is missing.

With the War Between the States over, Leah Williams waits for her husband’s return. But that never happens. With no word if he’s alive, dead, or simply abandoned her, she struggles to go on. With the mortgage payments due and people pressuring her to remarry, does she have the strength to hold on? Or should she even wait for a man who might never return to her?

With so many unanswered questions, Leah must learn to lean on God implicitly. But will her blind faith be enough? Will God provide a way?

Places to Purchase:

At Smashwords, you can buy and download my novelette in just about any format you want, including Kindle. Check it out. Their options are pretty sweet! And if you can spread the news of my novelette in your circles via your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc, that'd be pretty awesome!

Ohh, I'm so excited right now! :-D If you've got the time (and a spare three bucks!) I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. So if you do purchase it, feel free to leave a comment here, email me, or post a review of my novelette on Amazon, Smashwords, or Goodreads! :-)

Book Reviews - Warring Spirits

I have some exciting news to share with you....but not yet. Later today, hopefully. I just wanted to let you know so you'll keep your eyes peeled to this blog, so when I do post about my big news...you'll know! :-) I am SO excited about this 'big news'! Talk to you later today!!!


Fort Negro in Florida
About the Book: In 1816 Georgia, escaped slaves control the land just beyond the American border in Las Floridas. Lost somewhere between white and black worlds, Milly follows hope to the only place that can offer her refuge—the place Georgians are calling Negro Fort. The first, sweet taste of freedom convinces Milly that surrender is not an option. Death would be more welcome. 

Major Phillip Bailey has orders to subdue the uprising and return the runaways to their masters. Forced to fight alongside Creek warriors—the same who etched the scars into his mind and flesh—Phillip primes himself for battle. But inside, a war already rages—return for the woman he thought lost to him or concede her to the enemy she loves; follow orders or follow his heart.

My Review - 5 Stars: Warring Spirits completely swept me off my feet! Revisiting characters from Wounded Spirits and discovering new ones, this next book in the Creek Country Saga is sure to win April Gardner new fans everywhere! It’s always a wonderful surprise when the second book turns out even better than the first (which was awesome to begin with! ;-), and that’s exactly what I discovered in Warring Spirits. That first scene drew me into this fantastic adventure alongside two amazing characters—Phillip the soldier and Milly the slave.

For Phillip Bailey, shackled to his haunting past, he understands and quickly come to sympathize with Milly—the young slave girl who looks every bit like a white person except for her frizzy hair. Throughout Warring Spirits, both Phillip and Milly are taken on a wild adventure as each struggles to find peace in a war-torn land. The ultimate journey for freedom seems to be continually thwarted for Milly, and no amount of Phillips secret aid helps her. It isn't until these two give the prize they both long for—freedom—to the Lord, that He returns it to them ways they could never have imagine.

Everything about this book was delightful. From the very accurate, if gruesome, details of the history, to the believable characters. April isn’t a cliché author, that’s for sure—everything within this book is as close-to-life as possible for a book, and I love it even more for that. An issue that is present in this book is the use of beautiful slave girls for their masters. While April does an outstanding job of not going into too much detail, a slavegirl is raped within the book, though the actual incident takes place “off scene”. This isn’t an easy matter to write about, I am sure, but I commend April for not steering away from the reality of that time period—as slaves were often used for such depravity by their masters.

From cover to cover Warring Spirits is a powerful, action-packed, romantic, emotional book with a message that will remain with you for a long time to come. April Gardner is a gem of an author worth setting alongside the other amazing historical fiction writers on my shelf (Jody Hedlund, Kaye Dacus, and Laura Frantz, to name a few!). Loved every moment I spent in Warring Spirits and was sad to see it come to an end!

I reviewed this book for the author. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Help me Spread the Word!!

I've been pretty busy this past week, working on several different things. One of them is my blog party. Yep, in January, I will have been blogging for 2 years, and such an accomplishment needs a celebration, wouldn't you say?

Of course! :-D

I am not going to give you too many details about the party, as I am still making plans and--*shrug*--it's kinda fun keeping y'all in the dark until--bam!--the party is here! :-D Okay, so the party begins January 9th, and goes the entire week until the 14th.....which will make it two years to the day that I began posting. :-) There will be some great authors there with their books to giveaway...and some other people! But that's part of the surprise! *wink* So don't miss out! I promise to make it worth your while to stop by!

But before the party gets here, I need you! 
Can you help spread the word? 

Awesome!

Okay, so here's what you need to do. See this button below? Well, if you copy the code, take it over to your blog, and put it in the sidebar, come back here and let me know. I'll be sure to keep track of who puts my party button on their blog, and I'll give them an two extra entries into each giveaway I hold that week.





(And trust me, you will want the extra chances at winning these awesome books! ;-)

So, if you snag my button and stick it on your blog, be sure to come back here and let me know. Otherwise, I won't know to give you the extra entries! Thank you SO much for your help on spreading the word. This blog party is gunna be a blast!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Interview & Giveaway - April Gardner

I am SO sorry about being this late in posting my review. I got caught up in something all morning and haven't had time till now. What was I working on? Hopefully, soon, I'll be able to show you! *wink* Yeah, I know, I'm keeping you in suspense...but it's kinda fun! For me, at least.

Okay, before we get into today's interview with April Gardner, I have a winner to announce for Serena Miller's giveaway of The Measure of Katie Calloway. And that person is...

Diane (estrella8888@...)

Congratulations, Diane! :-) I will be sending you an email tonight to get your snailmail! :-) To everyone else, don't forget the giveaway that is still going on -- Rosslyn Elliott's debut, Fairer than Morning!!

Welcome back to Legacy of a Writer, April! I am so excited about your second release in the Creek County Saga, Warring Spirits. (Which is SO good, folks!) To get this interview going, can you tell us a little about yourself? When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?  Who or what inspired you?

Hi Katie! I’m thrilled to be back at Legacy of a Writer. It hardly seems like it’s been a year, but wow! It has, and I’m giddy with excitement to present the second book in my Creek Country Saga.

I first considered being a writer in Ms. Davy’s class my senior year of high school. She introduced me to the love of creative writing, but it was nearly a decade before I got the courage to give it a real try.

What was your journey to publication like? How long did you write before you were published? 

Don’t hate me, but my journey was rather short cared to most. I started writing in 2005 and had a contract with Vinspire Publishing by 2008. It’s all God’s doing.

Hate you? Never!! Simple, short stories to publication are awesome!! How many books have you published?  What are their names, and who are they published by?

Vinspire Publishing has published my adult romance series, the Creek Country Saga. So far, it has two books—Wounded Spirits and Warring Spirits.

Recently, Astraea Press took on the first book in my Channel Islands Resistance series. Lizzie and the Guernsey Gang released last month, just a week after Warring Spirits. My Lizzie book is middle grade historical adventure (ages 9+).

Wonderful! Folks, both of her adult romance books are awesome! Check out my review for Wounded Spirits if you want my opinion. :-) How did you get the inspiration for Warring Spirits?

History books are usually my inspiration, and for Warring, it was no different. After writing four chapters of the book, I ran across the account of Negro Fort and knew I had to write that story instead of the one I was working on. So I ditched my entire plot and started from scratch. I’m so glad I did!!

Ditched your entire plot after you started? Wow, that must've taken some courage! But I'm glad you did, as I loved learning about Negro Fort. What was the hardest part to write?

The ending!! I put it off for months then rewrote it four times. Ugh. But it was worth all the work. I’m happy with it and hope my readers are too.

The ending turned out to be absolutely beautiful! So, all the headache was worth it. ;-) Which scene or chapter do you just love to go back to and reread?

The first scene in the book, which happens to be the last one I wrote. LOL. I added it on as a special request from my beta readers. It freshens book one in the memory of those who read it and gives a peek into Phillip’s secret struggle with what today we call post traumatic stress disorder.

Haha, so the ending was the hardest to write and the beginning is your favorite. Too cool! What message(s) do you want to be clear to your readers? What do you hope your readers will get out of the story?

As in Wounded Spirits, Warring Spirits tackles the evils racism on various levels. Milly is white except for her kinky hair, which gives away her diluted African heritage, but it’s enough to condemn her to slavery. On a spiritual level, she must come to terms with herself and her value before God, regardless of what men call her and how they treat her. Just as we all must.

I got the message loud and clear...and loved it! Very powerful! If Warring Spirits was turned into a movie, which actors do you think would best portray what you imagined for your main characters, Phillip and Milly? Can you describe a few main physical features that they have?

Fun question! I imagine Milly to look like a slightly lighter skinned Halle Berry
Phillip is definitely Matt Damon. Just add a scar across half his face.

Matt Damon as Phillip (hero)
What are you writing right now? Any upcoming releases we should keep our eye out for? Any sneak-peaks on what it’s going to be about?

I’m not currently writing anything, but come January, I’m going to dive back into a book I’m co-authoring with Michelle Massaro. I’ll also be as brain-storming for book 3 in the Creek Country Saga, which will probably fast-forward twenty years to Creek Indian Removal.

Ohh, a book 3? YAY!!! I was wondering about that. :-) Here’s a fun question I wanted to throw in: If you could pick any historical figure from history to chat with, whom would it be and why? (Besides Jesus! ;-)

Fun?! This is tough! There are too many to pick from, but since we’re talking about my Creek Country Saga today, I’ll keep the focus on my books.  I’d choose to talk to Surgeon Marcus Buck. I’d ask him what Negro Fort was really like. Did I come even close?

Do you like to read as much as you like to write?  Who is your favorite author?

I LOVE to read, but since I usually put it off to get “just one more scene” written, I’d say writing wins out on this one.

Halle Berry as Milly (heroine)
Haha, yes, I can image it would. :-) What are two things that people wouldn't normally know about you as a writer and or person?

I have very bad penmanship, and it’s rather embarrassing. It’s a part of dyslexia I’ve never been able to straighten out. It keeps me humble! :-)

I abhor dirty feet and will often wash them before getting in bed and when I get up. And yes, I’m a weirdo.

You sound like my mom. Haha! She can't stand dirty feet, socks, or shoes anywhere in her house. Ever. :-P Anything else about writing, yourself, or your books you’d like to add? Where can people find you?

If you’re looking for a good family read-aloud, check out my children’s adventure series, Lizzie and the Guernsey Gang. http://www.amazon.com/Lizzie-Guernsey-Gang-ebook/dp/B00684MTU6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323711295&sr=8-1

Readers can find me here:


GIVEAWAY:

Alrighty, April has agreed to give away one copy of her newest release, Warring Spirits. While this is the second book in a series, you can read this one without having read Wounded Spirits first. April does a good job with that! 

I have already read this book, but have not posted my review yest. I will on Thursday, though! If you curious as to my thoughts right now, check out my Goodreads review. :-)

The rules are the same as they've always been -- you must be a follower to enter and you must leave your email address. If you don't, your entry can't be counted. USA only, please.

Mandatory Entry: 
Answer this question from April:
If you could choose your own Native American name, what would it be? I’d be Butterfly Woman, because my brain is easily distracted by the beautiful, colorful things of life and flitting from one thought to the next.

Extra Entries:
- Subscribe to this blog(+1)
- Tweet about this giveaway(+1 per tweet) Only one tweet per day. Leave a link.
- Post about this giveaway on your blog(+2)
- Comment on a review on Book Reviews by Lady Katy(+2 per comment) 2 reviews max, total of 4 extra entries

This giveaway closes on January 8th at midnight.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Top Ten in 2011

I did this last year, and thought it'd be fun to do it again. For me, this year I read a lot of books that made it onto my favorites bookshelf. And lots of other books that really left an impression with me that didn't. So, instead of listing my top ten favorites, per se, I listed the top 10 books I read in 2011 that made an impression on me. That make sense? After listing the book, I'll explain my reasons.

(And just because the other 5-star reviewed books--or those on my favorites shelf--idn't make it onto this list doesn't mean they weren't just as good. I'm serious when I say there were some AWESOME books published this year! The ones below just left a wee bit bigger impression on me then others. :-)

If any of y'all want to join, feel free to list your top ten favorites in the comment section. Or if you posted it on your blog, leave me the link so I can check it out!

Okay, lets get started! Starting from the top, as the number one...

Top 10 in 2011

River of Time series - Lisa Bergren

Okay, I know this is THREE books, and not just one...but to me, they are all clumped together as one book. Waterfall, Cascade, and Torrent all came out this year, and they were the most-looked-for-release. As soon as I read Waterfall, I knew I was going to LOVE the rest. And I did. Totally and completely! Why did it leave such a HUGE impression on me? Because it mixed so many of the things I love -- suspense, action, medieval, romance, sword-fighting, timetravel, and close sisters -- into one awesome series! This series will forever and always remain an all-time favorite!

~*~
The Bishop - Steven James

Where to begin with this one?? Well...to put it simply, I was blown away with this one. As y'all know by now, I am crazy about thriller/suspense novels. Really crazy. I'm, like, a suspense-aholic. So while The Bishop is a 500+ page book, I read it all in one day. I could NOT put it down! Impossible!! This book is not for the faint of heart, to be sure, and even I got grossed or creeped out in places. But what made the biggest impression on me was how real James kept it. He doesn't hid the gritty details of hunting down deranged, twisted serial killers. And even the more down-to-earth things like a father and step-daughters relationship, questions about God, and what happens after death. It all just had such a strong, gritty ring of reality...that it felt like I could flip on the news channel and hear about Patrick Bowers adventures to stop the sadistic killers.

~*~
Wolfsbane - Ronie Kendig

This book was my first try in the Military Suspense genre, and it still remains my favorite of all the MS I have read. The writing is crisp, bold, and takes you right into the scene. And the adventures that this secret, special ops team, Nightshade, gets into...is totally awesome!!! Just the thing for this thriller lover! If you read this series, I am sure you will fall in love with each member of the Nightshade team, just as I did. They are a one-of-a-kind group of heroic men! The reason it left such an impact with me was because of Dani's story in all this. Her struggle to overcome the weeks of rape and torture, and her determination to see them brought to justice, made for an intense, and memorable, read. Unforgettable!

The Doctor's Lady - Jody Hedlund

This book is my top favorite historical of the year. And the reason why is probably because of the edge of suspense and intensity that is woven into the historical. Yes, you heard me, suspense! This book is labeled as a Historical Fiction, so I wasn't expecting the adventure and suspense that filled nearly every page. But was completely delighted! And I just loved the way Jody handled Eli and Priscilla's 'business partners' relationship and showed how they slowly began to grow to love each other. It was beautiful! Stunningly beautiful. The book had just the right amount of two things I love -- suspense and history -- that I found it impossible to stop reading and finished the book in almost one sitting. Yes, I really loved this book! ;-)

~*~
Deliver Me from Evil - Kathi Macias

This one. Wow, what a heavy read. It was, in a word, heart-wrenching. Deliver Me from Evil told such a sad, but all too true, story--young girls forced to be prostitutes. The use of sex slaves is very real here in America, and this book really brings it to the forefront of your mind. I almost labeled this book as a "favorite" of mine...but after much thought, I didn't. This book was just so...different. I felt it would almost be a sin to call this book a favorite when it tells the story of so many young girls that are, right now, enduring a living hell. For those who have read this book by Macias, I'm sure you will agree with me that this book made a big impression on you. I dare you to read this and not be filled with a desire to help these girls. But be warned -- Deliver Me from Evil is not for the faint of heart.

~*~
Don't Look Back - Lynette Eason

I just finished rereading this book, and enjoyed it all over again. Kinda like Steven James' books, in that Jamie has a serial killer stalking her, this book grabbed me from page one and didn't let go. What about the book left such a big impression with me? Because of Jamie and her road to recovery after she escaped her serial killer so many years ago. Her journey was anything but easy, but I so loved seeing how she kept God as her rock of strength and trusted Him with blind faith, knowing that He did all things well and would be with her always. Even when she finds herself in the familiar surroundings of her killers lair once again. I just loved the strength she portrayed. An intense read, to be sure!

 ~*~

I think what left such a huge impression, for me, with this book is that it's the first Love Finds You book that was more than a "fluff read", as I call them. In Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland, White's character's have amazing depth and each of them go through hard trails, learn some gritty lessons, and come out changed. If you haven't been able to read any of White's books...you are really missing out! And I highly recommend you start with this one. The writing is bold and vivid, and there's even a threat of humor woven in, making me chuckle several times. But, even with all these great things about the book, my all-time favorite aspect of the book was Wiley. I LOVE seeing a strong brother-character in books. Watching how Wiley looked after Lark so protectively and loved her so devotedly....*sigh*...it's what ever girl wishes for in a brother! (And something I got in my two protective brothers!)

 ~*~
A Tailor-Made Bride - Karen Witemeyer


I read this on my kindle, but after finishing it had to get the book. It's just that good! As I read this debut book, I was really blown away by Witemeyer's talent. The writing was splendid! The plot and everything that takes place well thought out and seamlessly woven together. And not only that, but what left the biggest impression on me was the lesson the characters learn. Especially J.T. when he read Proverbs 31. That was one of my favorite parts! I loved the way that Witemeyer showed how a woman can be beautifully adorned without being immodest or vain. Great lessons!


~*~
Warring Spirits - April Gardner

I had the very special honors of reading this book pre-publication, and completely enjoyed the sweeping adventure that Gardner writes in Warring Spirits. The history is rich, the descriptions vivid, and the trails the characters endure heart wrenching at moments. Almost instantly, you are sympathetic toward Milly, a slave who has such light skin, she can be mistaken as a white...except for her kinky hair that gives her away. And for those who read the first book in this series, you will love seeing Phillip again and reading his story of redemption after all he's been through. And we even see Adela and Totka again! Loved that! What left the biggest impact on me was that Gardner kept things so...realistic. For example, there is one time when the hero, sadly, doesn't make it to the heroine on time. And, while my heart ached for Milly, I loved that she did it this way because, in real life, we can't always make it "just in the nick of time". But even if this is the case, God is always there and helps sustain us through everything we have to endure. :-) Great job, April!!

~*~
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

I waffled for a while on whether or not I should add this one to my list. I have a kinda mixed love/hate relationship with this series, if that makes any sense. But, since that thinking was more aimed to the rest of the series, and not the first book, The Hunger Games (which I totally enjoyed), here it is, bringing in the tail end of my top-ten books for this year. :-) What left such a big impression on me was the unique plot that had plenty of action and suspense. What's the plot? It has a gladiator-type of setting and the main character, is teenager Katniss who must go into an arena with 23 other teens and fight to the death. Only one person, the victor, leaves the arena alive. Talk about a neat story plot, eh?! I didn't like how the book ended -- with her at odds with Peeta -- but I am holding out for a happy ending for these two. We shall see, I suppose! :-)


There you have it! My top ten books that left the biggest impression on me in 2011. This year brought out a lot of awesome books, and (trust me!) picking out just 10 of my favorites was HARD! And something tells me that next year it will only be harder. ;-)

What are yours? List them below, or if you posted them in a blogpost, leave the link!
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