Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Guest Post by Sarah Holman

The Power of Forgiveness
by Sarah Holman

When I started writing Brothers and Betrayal, I didn’t have a theme in mind, but then I rarely do when I start writing a book. It takes me a while of getting into the characters and story to find the lesson/theme. The theme quickly became one of forgiveness and its power.

I have struggled a lot with forgiving others and myself through my life. I easily take offence for others and harbor anger and unforgiveness. I remember a time not that long ago when I felt like there was rage always right beneath the surface, and I lashed out on a regular basis and then felt guilty. It took me a lot of time in prayer to realize that the anger was due to a grudge that I was holding against someone who had hurt my family. It had felt right at first to stay angry at them and recount their wrongs against us. After all, what they had done had hurt. However, it quickly became a burden to me.

In my favorite TV show, Sue Thomas FBEye, there is a quote about forgiveness that I love: “Forgiveness is for the one who forgives.” While it can be very healing to the one who is told they are forgiven, it is even more freeing to the person who lets go of the hurt and paint that they have been holding onto.
I know very well that to forgive is far easier said than done. Forgiveness is a process that can take days, months, or even years. The good thing is that we do not have to work it out on our own. God is ready and willing to help us to forgive.

Would you like to join me in exploring the theme of forgiveness in my newest book? You can pre-order a copy of Brothers and Betrayal here.

Sarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and author of three published books and counting. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

From a Sentence to a Book Series

As some of you know (perhaps all of you), February 23rd will bring the debut of Honor: Second Novel of Rhynan.

Amazon Preorder Link -

The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king’s order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin. When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him. 

Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother's massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process. 

As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction. 


The series began with a single opening sentence from a fan. The sentence spawned a short story idea. While writing out the idea, it became very evident that there was a novel's worth of material and the short story became Duty.

Right after I released Duty a reader and reviewer asked for more. She wanted me to write about the hero of Duty's best friend. Dentin's story was born, and Duty went from a standalone novel to the first novel in a series in that instant. The Novels of Rhynan series was born.

As typical of complicated characters (and Dentin is a complicated guy), Dentin's story has blossomed so that a single novel cannot contain it. Honor is only one piece of his journey and the timeline of the nation of Rhynan.

The Current Vision for the Novels of Rhynan series

Duty (published) - Tomas Dyrease (Earl of Irvaine) and Brielle Solarius' story
Honor (soon to be published) - Simon Cordale (Earl of Dentin) and Elsa Reeve's story
Faith (in plotting stage) - Wilard Noran and Constance's story
Courage (planned) - Darnay Dyrease (son of Tomas) and Magda's story
Loyalty (planned) - Linora Dyrease (son of Tomas and Brielle) and Lander Briaren's story

Linked Short Stories
Lisbeth's Redemption (a serial story currently appearing in InD'tale Magazine)
Passing the Mantle (written)
Forging Friendships (halfway written)
The Sword of Korma Monroe (written)
A Squire's Love (begun)
The Bittersweet Pear (written)

Stay tuned. 
There is much more to come in the story of Rhynan 
and the men and women that made her great.

Friday, February 20, 2015

(Guest Post) King Arthur: Bookania vs. the Legend

Please welcome my good friend Kendra E. Ardnek as she visits us to talk about her new release and the world of Bookania:

Greetings one and all, and thank-you, Rachel, for having me over to your lovely blog. As some of you may already know, the Bookania Quests are fairy tale retellings, and this newest volume, as you can probably guess from the cover, is a retelling of King Arthur.

However, while with the fairy tales I’ve used previously have suffered very little changes (the most drastic being the fact that I made Puss in Boots a chinaman), I actually took quite a few liberties with Arthur’s story. And since I’ve not actually sat down and wrote a post with what liberties I’ve taken, when Rachel suggested the topic to me, I jumped at the opportunity to share.

Arthur knows who he is. Unlike in the original legend where Arthur was taken from his parents at birth to be raised in ignorance by Sir Ector, my Arthur is perfectly aware that he is the rightful heir to the throne, he’s just powerless to take it. He’s also now an only child, with no older half-sisters to cause trouble for him.

Ector and Mordred are combined. And renamed Mordreth. Mordreth is Arthur’s uncle and regent, and despite the fact that he has no true claim to the throne, wants it anyways. You see, I also switched up which of Arthur’s parents was the one born royal – Ygrain was the young queen, and Uthur one of the lords. Mordreth is Uther’s younger brother.

Merlin doesn’t have magic. Indeed, his name isn’t even Merlin it’s … wait, no, that’s a plot spoiler. While there is magic in Bookania, Merlin himself is not a wizard. He’s … well, that’s a spoiler too.

Arthur gets Excalibur before the one in the stone. This one sneaked up on me, as did the identity of the Lady of the Lake. I’d already planted the sword in the stone (well, column, actually) in the previous book, but about halfway though Kingdom, I realized that Arthur would need a sword before we got to the scene with the stone, so his cousin took him aside and provided. One of my favorite chapters.

No Guinevere love triangle mess. Instead, we have Shira, who is the strongest person in the world, despite appears quite small and delicate. She did have another love interest other than Arthur, but she’s not going to tear apart the kingdom over him. And it’s not Lancelot.

Lancelot and Gawain are Arthur’s servants, not knights. Renamed Leo and Gavin, they were quite an interesting pair to work with. True to the legend, Leo does come from Fronce (Some of the countries have differently spelled names in Bookania), but his heart belongs to a girl back home. Also, I changed Kay’s name to Kew.

The Round Table isn’t round.

About the Author

 Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways.  She's been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, "Finish your story, Kendra", is frequently heard at family gatherings.  Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children's tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog:

My Kingdom for a Quest

Arthur is the rightful king of Briton, but his Uncle Mordreth refuses to give up the regency. Arthur and Grandfather are now returning with allies to wrestle the kingdom from his uncle's grasp. But not all is as it seems among his allies, and everyone has secrets. New loves, old loves, lost loves, kingdoms conquered and kingdoms stolen. Who is the real "rightful heir" and will the nearly forgotten sword in the stone finally answer this question?

Goodreads Page: 

Snippet from the Book

“Only twelve hours! Leo, there is no way to escape Briton Dungeons. No way!”

“That’s what they said in the dungeons of Fronce, too,” said Leo absentmindedly, taking a sip of his gruel. “Now be quiet while I think. And eat up. We’re going to need our strength!”

“Dungeons in Fronce!” Gavin squeaked.

“Yes, now those were dungeons! Now be quiet.”

Gavin fell silent and simply stared in the direction of his friend, the look on his face (had it been visible in that dark cell) a mixture of confusion, awe, and horror.

“You wouldn’t have happened to have fallen in love with any young lady who would be able to arrange for a soldier to play traitor and get us out of here, now would you?” Leo suddenly asked.


“Ah, well, I suppose that not every young lady can be so obliging. And now that I think about it, it’s as good a way into the dungeon as out. Now where was I … No, bribing the guards is out of the question. All we have is gruel to call our own, and I’m sure they have much better food in the soldier’s quarters.”

“We’ll never get out of here!” Gavin moaned.

“That’s what you think. That’s what everyone thinks,” said Leo. “But I tell you, there’s a way out of every sticky situation. You just have to be observant and look for it.” Leo frowned as he set his now-empty bowl to the side. “It’s too bad Mordreth doesn’t have any daughters for us to charm. Only that good-for-nothing Kew, and I really don’t see him helping. And Arthur’s gone, so that’s out of the question.”

“If Prince Arthur was here,” said Gavin, “we wouldn’t be in the dungeon.”

“Good point,” said Leo. “As I was saying, we could always try to steal a key and unlock the door, but that can be a very tricky business, and it’s very easy to get caught. And then where would we be? Probably talking about death sentences some more. Honestly, they don’t bother me, just all this talk about them. It’s enough to drive a man mad.”

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Release - Rising to the Challenge by Alicia A. Willis

On January 20th, another Alicia A. Willis novel debuted. The conclusion to her medieval trilogy appeared with a Rossano Designs cover. The whole trilogy is definitely worth checking out now or on your next book buying opportunity.

New difficulties arise for Sir Kenneth Dale in the exciting final installment in The Comrades of Honor Series. As a favorite of the Earl of Birmingham, his life appears tranquil – until the both beautiful Lady Clarissa and a headstrong orphan named Brion arrive in the castle. It is not long before Sir Kenneth finds himself not only in love, but also the master of the most difficult squire Birmingham has ever harbored.

Brion de Lantenac is nothing short of rebellious. Hatred for Sir Kenneth’s strict rules vents itself in constant disobedience, triggering continual clashes between himself and his new lord. But there is a reason behind his self-centered character. The murder of his family has caused heartbreak he may never recover from. Will he ever reveal his true identity to Sir Kenneth? And what about Guthrie, the man who sullied his father’s shire with treacherous hands and now seeks his demise?

Caught between a hopeless romance, a rebellious squire, and the enemies on all sides, Sir Kenneth finds himself challenged. Amidst battles, heartache, and dark mystery, he must somehow rise to meet the difficulties of his life with honor. Will he ever win his squire’s heart? Will he and Clarissa be forever separated?

Join Sir Kenneth, Brion, and all the comrades of honor in a tale of perseverance, chivalry, and unconditional love. Treachery abounds and evil seems insurmountable. Will rising to the challenge preserve honor and win the day?

Alicia A. Willis is a homeschool graduate and avid historian. From an early age, she has had the desire to write family-friendly, accurate books about the past. When not writing or doing endless historical research, she enjoys singing, being a church pianist, and teaching music. She and her family live in New Mexico.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Honor: Second Novel of Rhynan - Book Trailer

I can finally share the book trailer for Honor: Second Novel of Rhynan

Ebook is available for pre-order on Amazon