Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Legacy's Impact | What We're Reading (Lauricia)

One of the benefits of being a writer is hanging out with other writers. This means all sorts of cool things, including the opportunity to indulge in Advance Reader/Reviewer Copies (ARC’s) of books that are not released yet. One such book I had the honor of reading is J. Anderson’s upcoming novel Legacy’s Impact, which will release in two days.

Legacy’s Impact is the third book in J. Andersen’s Destiny by Design series. This dystopian series is set in an alternate/future America divided into sectors. Katherine (Kate) Dennard, the series protagonist, lives in Sector 4, where the government maintains control through advances in science that have prolonged the human lifespan and eliminated all illness.

 In book one, titled The Breeding Tree, Kate is selected to become a Creation Specialist, a dream job for her. However, her culture demands human perfection, so her job to create life includes disposing of any creation who is less than perfect. Kate’s next discovery upsets everything she thought she knew about her way of living, forcing her to choose between an option that’s really, really bad, and another option that’s worse.


 The Gene Rift, book two in the series, shows Kate living with the results of her choices and forging unthinkable bargains with her enemy in order to make things right in her personal world.

 Legacy’s Impact follows the consequences of Kate’s bargains, showing how one person can impact a whole society. This action-filled finale to the series is packed with suspense. Believable yet unpredictable plot twists hold readers entranced, capturing them in their desire to discover what will happen next. This series will appeal most to readers who enjoyed the Divergent series and the Matched series. Although Legacy’s Impact doesn’t release for two more days, it’s available for pre-order, so you can reserve your copy on Amazon right now.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Top 3 Fantasy Swords

Welcome, adventurer. I hear you are in need a blade for your travels. Are you an heir seeking to claim your throne or protect your kingdom? Or are you on a quest to find great treasure? Or do you simply have a tendency to be pursued by terrible monsters in a world where such things are as commonplace as bread and jam? Whatever your adventure, we have a blade to suit. What that? You'd like to look at our most popular kinds? Of course. Here they are:

1. The Pedigree

This all-time favorite sword blends history, mystery, magic, AND status. With such famous examples as Orcist, Glamdring, and Sting, these previously-owned swords belonged only to the best of the best--men and elves immortalized for slaying orcs and goblins and more--and still retain their magic. Some even glow in the presence of enemies!

2. The Hidden

Whether hidden in a hat or stuck in a stone, this hard to find sword will give you prestige, always be there for you when you most need it, and just be an all-around great quality weapon.

3. The Living Hunted

This unusual sword contains the spirit of a mountain, giving it incredible strength, not to mention magical healing abilities to the one it choses to bear it. It will also make you the best swordsman on whatever planet you are on! Only for the true adventurer!
This particular sword is highly sought after, as is the status of greatest swordsman. You will likely both be hunted and challenged constantly by deadly adversaries. 

Which one would you like to try?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Stuck in the muck (Julie)

Have you ever gotten a creativity block while writing? I've been knee deep in one lately while trying to plan out the second book in my fantasy series. I have a very basic outline of the plot points but couldn't seem to get my creative juices flowing as to how the characters would get to each one. For weeks I've been trying to think creatively, but it's like I'm stuck in the unimaginative sludge pond. Until today.

Because I couldn't write anything, I decided to take a break and work on something I've been putting off-creating a map of my fantasy world. So with book one's manuscript, a copy of Tolkien's Middle Earth map as a guide, and the LOTR soundtrack playing in the background, I got to work.

The more I worked on my map, the more my creativity surfaced, and I soon found myself plotting places and ideas on the map for book two and then making a bunch of notes so I wouldn't forget. There's still a few murky areas,  but that can be where my panster side comes out.

Being in a creative/writer's block, I had to step away from writing and do something else that was creative. Writer's Digest discusses doing something else creative to help with writer's block in their article 7 Ways to Overcome Writer's Block.

This has really helped get my creative juices flowing, in fact I had to make myself stop to write this post.

What about you? I'd love to hear what you've found that works.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Top 3 Books Coming Out Later This Year (Laurie)

I glanced through my "Want to read" list on Goodreads earlier this week and realized how many amazing books will be releasing over the next few months! So, of course, the first thing that came to mind was how well these upcoming releases would fit in a Top 3s post :) I hardly touched any books in August, but here's hoping I get more reading time this fall and winter!

3. A Dance of Shadows by Erica Marie Hogan

I absolutely adored Winter Queen, so I can't wait to see what Erica has in store for the sequel! No cover image yet, but doesn't the title alone make you want to read the book? I can't wait to revisit the author's intriguing world, beautiful prose, and complex characters. A Dance of Shadows releases in October, so you have just enough time to read Winter Queen before it comes out :) 

In case I haven't sold you on it yet, here's the back cover blurb:

The Winter Queen has brought the storm … and the Abyss roams the halls of the Blood Keep. 
Ten days have passed since Sundragon blood was shed for a sacrifice by Raphaela Kael. Ten days since Lathan and Maxx Jandry fled the city in search of Princess Damari Kael and their niece, Noelle. Brecken Jandry, Brae’s loyal husband, remains a tortured prisoner in the Kael dungeons and no one in Sunkai is safe from Roderick and Raphaela’s wrath. 
Damari Kael flees Sunkai with little Noelle Jandry, determined to deliver the child to the safety of the Shadow Lands, even as her own power emerges within her. The Eventide Sisters embark on a mission to join the Winter Queen. Across the land, Clea Jandry arrives in her birthplace of Molderëin where she is met with a savagery she thought long dead. Afra Malaki seeks the Creator’s will and the Queen of the Woodlands prepares for battle. 
In the peaceful city of Quintaria, the Winter Queen grieves. But the shadows are coming for her. They carry a message for Adlae Sundragon, and they will not rest until all is revealed.

Eeeeek, I can't wait!

2. Fairyeater by Pam Halter

I've been curious about Fairyeater ever since I had the opportunity to meet Pam Halter at a conference several years ago, and it's coming out next month!! The cover reveal happened last week, and wow! Between that and the back cover blurb, I'm more excited to read it than ever! Pam has incredible creativity and a fabulous sense of humor, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what she's come up with :) Here's the blurb:

All fifteen-year-old Akeela has ever wanted is an ordinary family who will love her. But the only mother she has ever known is the old hag, Krezma, who berates her night and day. Why did the old woman even take her in? 
But Krezma knows her charge is no ordinary child. She can see the auras surrounding living things and communicates with fairies. And the birthmark on her palm reveals a secret Krezma must hold close for the child’s safety. 
A secret that the witch, Tzmet, hunts for night and day, drying and eating fairies for the power they contain. When Akeela discovers her fate lies in being the next Fairy Guardian, all hope for an ordinary life dissipates like the dreams they were. She must protect the fairies from the witch and an even darker power that threatens them all. 
Akeela is unwillingly thrust into an adventure that throws her into the hands of friends, strangers, and enemies masquerading as allies, and it will not end until she decides to accept her fate and give up her dream. 
Maybe even her life.

Isn't that cover amazing??

1. Mark of the Raven by Morgan Busse

Have you ever taken one glance at a book and knew you had to have it? That was totally me with this book.  I've had great experience with Bethany House Publishers' books in the past, I've heard great things about Morgan's writing, and that cover!! *happy sigh* Mark of the Raven releases in November, so I don't have to wait too much longer! Here's the back cover blurb:

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person's dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate. 
As she discovers her family's dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family's legacy--a legacy that supports her people--or seeking the true reason behind her family's gift. 
Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house. 
One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

Can you see why I'm looking forward to this book?!

Honorable mention goes to Kill the Beast by Michele Israel Harper, which releases in just a few weeks!! I'm SO excited about this book, but I decided to leave it off since it made my top 3 list back in 2017 when it was originally scheduled to be published :)

At the risk of turning my TBR pile into an even larger mountain, what upcoming releases are you looking forward to? Will you be reading any of the books I mentioned?

Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Priceless by Janeen Ippolito (KaLyn)

Priceless is book one and half in the Ironfire Legacy, an inventive steampunk series that combines fantasy creatures, super powers, and espionage with a thread of romance. The series is aimed at New Adult readers.

Enchanted by the first book, Lawless, I was eager to return to the world of Sekastra. Priceless draws the reader into the complicated and challenging life of Nula Threadsing, an ambitious double-agent from the first book. Nula now seeks a position on the grand council as the Liason of Dragon Affairs to futher her agenda. But things go awry when she meets the dragon diplomat, Tiers Sunscaler.

Priceless’ gripping plot and bold voice kept the pages turning. Action, intrigue, deception, and a snarky romance between two spies revealed a trove of secrets. A couple of new species in the world of Sekastra were even intoduced.

Priceless is spicer than it’s predecessor and includes a moment of situational humor - a product of the personalities featured in this story. But there’s nothing graphic. It’s borderline PG/PG-13.

What I enjoyed most about Priceless was the opportunity to get to know Nula better. The ambitious and cunning double agent closely guards more than information, so it was a thrill to see her heart and vulnerability. There’s more I could say, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Overall, I really enjoyed Priceless and look forward to returning to Sekastra when book two releases this fall.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

We're taking a break to enjoy the long weekend :) Have a wonderful start to your September, and we'll see you on Tuesday!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Interview with Kendra E. Ardnek (The Worth of a King Blog Tour)

Today we're excited to welcome Kendra E. Ardnek to Lands Uncharted as part of the blog tour celebrating her release of The Worth of a King! I'll share more about the book below, but first, the author answered some interview questions for us :) Enjoy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! I'm a dragon fairy! Who writes books! Awesome fantasy books that are frequently fairy tale retellings. And, also, despiting owning a desk, I'm currently sitting on the floor on a pile of blankets to answer this interview...

Sounds comfy! What prompted you to start writing? Are you one of those authors who knew you were meant to write since childhood, or did it come as a discovery later in life?

I've known ever since I understood that it was what you were supposed to do with pencils - as opposed to acting out stories with them. I wasn't serious about it until the first of the new Narnia movies came out and I thought I could write a better version of it. That script became my baby and I proceeded to rewrite it over and over until it didn't resemble Narnia at all. And then I put it on hold and wrote some fairy tale mash-ups, the first of which I published at just sixteen.

Impressive! Which authors have had the most significant impact on your writing?

J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Gail Carson Levine.

Those are some of my favorites, too :) Please share your favorite writing tip.

Don't wait for the muse to show up. Sit down and write.

Do you have any go-to foods or beverages while writing?

Water and coffee. And random weird snacks that I find in my drawers.

Yay for random snacks! Since we're all about exploring new worlds here at Lands Uncharted, if you could choose one place to visit, real or fictional, where would you go?

I want to go to Germany and tour the castles.

Ooh, good choice. Now, let’s talk about your new release! What inspired you to write it?

The desire to cowrite a book with my friend, Jack Lewis Baillot. The story evolved out of a search for themed we both loved writing about, which involved twins, king stories, and general awesomeness.

Sounds like fun! The cover is gorgeous! Can you share a bit about the design process?

The cover was designed by Alea Harper, and it took several tries before we sprung upon the exact combination of elements that embodied the heart of the book. If you want to see the process, we Alea and I both posted our sides of it during the cover reveal.

What do you have planned next for the Fall of a Star series?

It's going to be a trilogy, and I have the second book about 60% plotted and the third book actually has a first draft that needs to be completely rewritten. Actually, I had some debate back and forth as to which one was going to be #2 and which would be #3, as there are two timelines involved. Therefore, I'm going to try to release them back-to-back, within the same year. But, first, I have to write them.

How exciting! And finally, no visit to Lands Uncharted is complete without Top 3s! Give us a top 3 list in the category of your choice.

I'm going to go with my top three representations of Snow White, 'cause Worth proved to be an accidental retelling of that tale.
1. Winter by Marissa Meyer
2. Hero's Guide Series by Christopher Healy
3. Ever After High by Shannon Hale

Find out more about Kendra by connecting with her her website, blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, or Amazon! And here's a little more about the book:

Princess Obsidia’s father was killed the night she was born. Since there was no male heir, the crown went to the man who killed him, by Dialcian law. This never bothered her, growing up, and when it comes time for Obsidia to choose her husband, she chooses Prince Delaney, the son of that man, with little hesitation. Only then does her life start crumbling around her.

Adrian expected to live a normal life, taking his father’s place at the print shop when his father retired. But, on his eighteenth birthday, when the princess’ engagement is announced, his world is ripped out from under him when he learns that his life was a ruse, and he is the twin brother to the princess – and expected to take back his father’s throne.

Delaney knows that his country is hovering on the brink of war – and that his father may harbor murderous intentions towards his intended bride due to her Zovordian blood. He wants nothing more than to protect Obsidia and his people, but as merely prince, he has little power against his father.

The ancient war between the Dragons and the Immortal King and Queen is nearing its climax, and the three are already caught in it.

The Worth of a King released on August 27th! The author has a giveaway going on her blog, which you can check out here. And check out this post to see a full schedule of the blog tour! Congratulations on your new release, Kendra - thank you so much for stopping by!