Friday, August 7, 2020

Weekend Reads: By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson (Heather)

Hey there Weekend Warriors Readers!

If you live in the south, like me, you might be avoiding the heat by staying indoors and reading your little heart out! Are you running out of material? Heaven forbid!

Well, to be on the safe side, I'm popping in to give you a fabulous, bookish recommendation. 😎 Award winning fantasy author Jill Williamson just released her book By Darkness Hid (Book 1 in her Blood of Kings series) as an audiobook! The only problem is, I am ready to start book 2, By Darkness Fled, but it's not on audio yet. 😒

Narrated by fellow fantasy author Gillian Bronte Adams, (author of The Songkeeper Chronicles), I enjoyed every moment of this story (which deservedly won a Christy Award). Bravo to Gillian for bringing it to life so vividly. Her grasp of accents was impressive and her narration made for an intriguing and easy listen. How can one person be so multi-talented?!

By Darkness Hid follows Achan, an orphaned "stray" who works in the kitchens of a lord in the land of  Er'Rets. He senses things about people, and, on occasion, can even hear the thoughts of others. When a knight in the Kingsguard takes notice of Achan and begins to train him as a squire, Achan is suddenly the target of other powerful people who mean to do him harm.

Like Achan, Vrell Sparrow can hear what others are thinking. Though the gift of "bloodvoicing" is common among royals, she must keep both her royal identity and her gift a secret. Disguised as a stray boy in order to avoid wedding an awful prince, she succeeds in her deception for a time. But when she senses the voice of a young man in peril, she is drawn to help him. The problem is, other, treacherous men with the bloodvoicing gift have heard and taken notice of her and the young man as well. Now they're both in danger!

As they both learn to control their newfound ability, while trying to protect one another and the kingdom, a different kind of voice calls them to Himself. Will they learn to trust and obey this other voice or will evil have its way in the kingdom?

To find out, snag your copy of By Darkness Hid and enjoy the adventure for yourself! Full of castles and sword fights, conspiracies and deceptions, and all the medieval feels that fantasy fans adore, Jill Williamson does not disappoint!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

A Story Snippet from Bell of the Night (Vanessa)

I recently read and reviewed and ARC of Bell of the Night by Allison Wells. Bell of the Night is a historical romance inspired by the Biblical story of Hosea. This book is an absolutely beautiful story that touched my heart and soul. Here's what it's about:

Bluebell was sold to Victoria Knight, a well-known Storyville madam, at the tender age of eleven. Now at nineteen, Bell is numbed to her life--until an optimistic preacher named Teddy Sullivan comes to New Orleans, intent on saving the sinful souls of the South.
Teddy is instantly drawn to the petite brunette with sad eyes and longs to rescue her. Bell, however, decides that saving her friends from selling themselves in the Storyville cribs is more important than saving herself. In a fit of selfless desperation, Bell convinces Teddy to marry her best friend, which Teddy agrees to do while cooking up plans of his own.
When a handsome and rich client offers to take Bell from the brothel, Bell thinks all her prayers are finally answered, until she is forced onto the street with nowhere to go.
If Bell isn't able to see that God loves her regardless of the path her life has taken, and Teddy can't help Bell get even more of her friends out of Storyville, both risk not only losing sight of God's plan ... but each other.
A compelling story of redemption, Bell of the Night is an unflinching reminder that no matter how troubled our past, we are never too far from the healing power of God's love.

For today's Story Snippet, I've invited the author, Allison Wells, to share with us her inspiration behind Bell's story!

The story of Bluebell came to me years ago after researching New Orleans and discovering the photos of EJ Bellocq (nudity warning if you look him up!). He photographed dozens of District Girls from the Storyville neighborhood. Storyville was the legal Red Light District in the Big Easy that was in operation until the end of WWI.
I was so intrigued by a particular girl in a fancy frock with long, flowing black hair. She looked so forlorn to me and I wondered what had led her to this life. I knew I had to write her story - and thus, Bluebell was born. 
This book wasn’t easy to write. How do you keep a story about a “soiled dove” clean of, well, filth? It took some creativity, but hopefully you’ll agree that this book tells a gripping tale without showing you all the dirty parts.
Here's a snippet:

“Mr. Sullivan, I would love to get out of here,” she said breathlessly, knowing she shouldn’t speak at all on the subject. But for some reason, she felt like she could open up to this man.
The man stood, dumbstruck. “Wait – you don’t want to be here? Truly?”
She choked back a chortle. “Who would choose this life? Madam Knight owns us. I hear slavery isn’t legal anymore, but she bought each of the girls here. I don’t know about the others, but I want to leave.”
“I’m baffled,” he said, scratching his head.
“That’s terribly sad,” he said. He looked as though he might cry, but perhaps it was just the moisture from the room.
“That’s my life, mister.”
“And you…you sleep with these men?”
“We don’t sleep much, Mr. Sullivan,” she said honestly.
Oh Jesus help her,” he exclaimed. “Since you were eleven?”
“Yes, sir.”
“And you had no say in the matter at all?”
“Of course not. None of us did,” she said. “Well, most of us at least. We were bought into it, or forced into it because of circumstances.”
“I’m sorry. I guess I had the wrong notion about these places,” he said. “I thought my mission was to come here and save all of you from this life. I thought you all had chosen it with gusto. Never did it enter my mind that you were forced to do…” He stopped talking and took a deep breath. “Well, I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay, Mr. Sullivan.She tried to reassure him. “We’re used to it. I’m used to it. This is my life. And I like most of the other girls here. We are family.”
He went into his dressing room without speaking. She waited for him outside the door, not bothering to change herself.
When Teddy came out, he pressed a coin into her hand. “Please take this,” he whispered.
“But I did nothing to earn it,” she said with a quizzical look on her face.
“You talked to me,” he said. “That is all I want. Goodnight, Miss—“ He stopped. “I didn’t catch your name.”
“I never told you. Most men don’t ask.”

Bell of the Night releases today! To purchase a copy, click here

Friday, July 31, 2020

Weekend Reads: Dust by Kara Swanson (Sarah)

Enclave Publishing has released some fantastic titles lately, and Dust by Kara Swanson is no exception. When I saw its striking cover, I immediately wanted to take a deeper look. And when I learned it explored the intriguing concept of Peter Pan trapped in London, bereft of magic and unable to return to his beloved Neverland, it jumped higher on my reading list—and I wasn't disappointed. While firmly rooted in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, Dust takes familiar characters deep into a new tale, one that’s fresh and satisfying.

In the original work, Peter refuses to surrender his perpetual youth, even when the Darling children and the Lost Boys return to London. While they choose to embrace the process of maturation and enjoy the rich bonds of familial love, Peter forsakes his friends and “family” to remain a carefree child, able to do whatever he pleases.

In Dust, we enter Peter’s life many years after the events recorded in Peter Pan, and Peter receives another opportunity to change—if only he will. Yet to the boy who won’t grow up, the prospect of growing older remains a horror to reject. I wanted to shake him at times, for the way he clung to his flaws, but despite them, he was a compelling character with a meaningful journey.

His tale is interwoven with that of Claire, a girl who is heart-broken over the loss of her twin brother and terrified of the dust emanating from her skin, which she believes to be a curse. In the six years since her the disappearance of her twin, Claire has clung to the belief that she’ll manage to track him down when all others have failed—and her mission puts her right in Peter’s path.

Both Claire and Peter desperately need each other, as each holds a key that the other requires. But   they also carry wounds that present great danger to themselves and to each other. If they cannot learn to move beyond their fears, they will fail. Faith themes are subtly woven into the tale, including the choices we must make between light and darkness and whether we will allow our pasts to define our futures.   

In Dust, you’ll find much that feels familiar—frequent allusions to the events found in Peter Pan and inclusion of favorite characters such as Tiger Lily, Hook, and the Lost Boys—yet the plot is lively and fresh, allowing for all sorts of new possibilities and developments. Without giving spoilers, I will say that I didn’t fully buy one of Claire’s major decisions, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and eagerly anticipate the next book Shadow, which will complete this duology.

Have you read any Peter Pan retellings or spin offs? Do they interest you? This was a first for me, but a memorable one!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Interview with Rachel Pellegrino, Owner of Little Lamb Books

We're thrilled to welcome Rachel Pellegrino to Lands Uncharted today! Rachel is the owner and publisher of Little Lamb Books, and she stopped by to answer some questions about herself and her publishing company. Enjoy!!

Hi, Rachel! Tell us about Little Lamb Books!

Little Lamb Books launched in 2015 and is a premiere publishing company focused on publishing faith-based stories for elementary, middle grade, and young adult readers. Our mission is to shepherd the next generation of faithful readers.

What prompted you to start your own children’s publishing company?

I was a teacher for 15 years and I love to read, so the ambition to be in the publishing industry has always been with me. However, I actually launched Little Lamb Books in 2015 after suffering a particularly traumatic miscarriage. I was at home with a two-year-old and asking the Lord what do I do now and how do I move forward. I struggled with going back into the classroom and I was spending time searching for faith-infused books for my daughter. I loved the general market books we were reading, but I wanted more substance and more encouragement of her relationship with God. What grew from this blend of events was a business plan for Little Lamb Books. I couldn’t have predicted this direction in my life, but when the idea for Little Lamb Books took root, it wouldn’t let go. I believe it was God’s answer to my prayers.

How incredible that God could bring a new dream out of such a tragic loss. We so appreciate your willingness to share about your journey! What is your favorite part of the publishing process? Which aspect is the most challenging?

What a great question! I have two favorites. The first is actually acquiring books that completely grab me. When I feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I talk with an author about representing them, I get so excited. Of course, the next part is releasing the actual book. Being a part of seeing the author’s dream come true and all our hard work come together is incredible. I still look at all of our books in awe!

The most challenging aspect is all the middle pieces. Editing takes time. Illustration takes time. Layout and design take time. And, they all take money. We all wish things could move faster and release sooner, but honestly, to have a beautiful and complete final product, it does take patience and time.

Publishing certainly requires a lot of patience through all its steps, but what fun to bring authors' dreams to life! What do you look for in taking on a new author or project?

It’s different for every project. Sometimes a story just tugs at my heartstrings. Sometimes I laugh out loud. Sometimes I look at the author and what they are bringing to the table. We get many queries, but usually it’s the ones who follow our guidelines and have something unique to bring to the table that grabs us.

Little Lamb Books is also the host of #FaithPitch! How does it work? Can you share any examples of success stories?

#FaithPitch is such a great group of writers and we are blessed to host this event three times a year. Basically, #FaithPitch is the Twitter pitch party specifically for writers of Christian fiction and non-fiction to pitch their most recent, completed, edited project to industry professionals with the CBA market. For 12 hours, writers can pitch their unrepresented manuscript and if an agent or editor heart it, the door opens for that writer to submit a query directly to the agent or editor. It’s also a great opportunity for our community to network and support one another. Knowing that there are other writers going through this process helps everyone not feel so isolated.

We have had numerous success stories! In fact, Little Lamb Books found our YA author and our chapter book author through #FaithPitch. And, just while we were doing this interview I received a post from an author that had signed a contract (Shout out to Terrie Todd!). But, each event varies, so sometimes we’ll get 5+ connections that turn into contracted books while other events it may only be 1-2.

It sounds like a fantastic opportunity for writers. What advice would you share with aspiring authors?

There’re so many recommendations already available to authors right now, but my number one piece of advice is to write your story and then edit it and be ready to query. So many times, we see authors jumping the gun, so to speak, and being worried about the trends or finding representation, but the best thing to do is write the best story you can write, edit it, tweak it, read it out loud, pray over it. THEN, begin building your platform, growing your network and seeking an agent or publishing house.

It's so helpful to hear from an industry professional, this is wonderful advice! Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Rachel! You can connect with Rachel on her websiteInstagram, and Facebook. And here's a little more about our special guest:

Rachel Pellegrino is the owner and publisher of Little Lamb Books, an award-winning publisher of children’s books. Launched in 2015, Little Lamb Books has produced almost a dozen titles, all of which have won over a dozen national awards. Rachel is passionate about collaborating with fellow publishers as well as empowering authors to be successful. Based in Texas, Rachel talks with her hands, offers individual author coaching, prefers Pepsi to coffee, and has a growing plush lamb collection much to her daughter’s delight.

Like so many businesses, Little Lamb Books has been hit hard by the pandemic. If you'd like to help support quality faith-based stories for children (and to see their list of amazing rewards for supporters!), make sure to check out their Kickstarter campaign HERE To find out more about Little Lamb Books, stop by their websiteInstagram, and Facebook page!

Thanks again for taking the time to visit us, Rachel!! We wish you all the best in your Kickstarter campaign and the future of Little Lamb Books!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Realm Makers Virtualcon 2020 Recap

Photo by Gretchen E.K. Engel
Two weeks ago I attended Realm Makers Virtualcon 2020 from the comfort of my own home. While I plan to be in St. Louis next year, I'm glad with the craziness that's 2020, Virtualcon happened. It was a much-needed event that was the perfect virtual version of an in-person conference. I'm an extrovert and was concerned there wouldn't be enough face-to-face audio/video interaction, but I found ways.

Normally, I'm Realm Makers' Friendly Neighborhood Volunteer Coordinator. This year that role looked a bit different. All new skill sets meant different volunteers and different duties. My main role was as tech support and as a Discord moderator. I did tech support, helped coordinate prayer on Discord, and helped with appointments.

I spent the weeks leading up to Realm Makers learning how to break Discord in every possible way, sometimes on purpose but mostly figuring out that my laptop didn't have a webcam and how to load Discord on different computers including my daughter's laptop since she was attending as a teen. Her first Realm Makers!

Making an at Home Event Special

To make Realm Makers an event, I bought special food including the ingredients for nonalcoholic strawberry daiquiris. We ended up drinking them later, but they were a hit. I bought special crackers and cheese. Most importantly, I knew I'd be busy and wanted an immersive experience, so I enlisted my husband and son on cooking duties.
Good thing. I was very busy Thursday and my son's shrimp tacos were amazing! Thursday night my husband brought home a takeout feast--great timing. We had some technical difficulties and had to pivot from Crowdcast to Zoom. I was supposed to moderate C.J. Redwine's Harry Potter Trivia and we had to make adjustments to switch it. All went well. Whew!

My home office is cluttered because it was designed as an open office space with four work stations, so my daughter's desk is behind mine and windows make it tricky with lighting. Because I had to moderate panels on camera, I moved downstairs and set up in our living room, the only "camera friendly" part of our house. Since we were going to be on different sessions at the same time, I let my daughter use her laptop in her room, a temporary arrangement that she appreciated.

We live out west, so I had to get up early to prepare for the day and sessions started at 8 a.m. my time. I decided to sleep in our guest room to keep from interrupting my husband's sleep. It was so nice because it was like staying in a hotel room. I had no idea being in my own home could feel so much like a vacation.

Friday and Saturday my husband and son fixed dinner. One of the meals was lasagna roll-ups, a family favorite that takes a bit of time to prepare.

Socializing Happened
Two things made Realm Makers for me, nightly gaming and video chatting. We gamed on Discord using video chat. All of the hilarity and inside jokes that make tabletop gaming one of my favorite parts of Realm Makers happened at Virtualcon. Those game conversations drifted into late night visiting where we joked around but also deepened friendships. Saturday, I attended the Havok after party where the anthology finalists and winners were announced. I loved hearing the authors discuss the story behind their winning stories. The party continued on and I loved hanging out with the Havok Hive who include longtime friends and new friends. We had a great time and as usual turned into some memorable moments. The evenings hijinks included a prank that involved a sock puppets and a hazmat mask.

Quality Content

From N. D. Wilson's mindblowing keynote to C.J. Redwine's closing one, it was a conference full of fantastic content. As conference staff, I don't usually get to attend much in the way of sessions, but with the Crowdcast and Discord format, I was able to attend some sessions. I learned a lot from C.J. Redwine's marketing session and can't wait to attend the other sessions over the next few weeks.

I moderated the Why Write Short Fiction Panel. It was so good. The conversation flowed, and I rediscovered my love for short stories and the impact they have on us. We had a great discussion on a story that hit two panelists very differently. It was a story that made one panelist uncomfortable because it was convicting but resonated with me on a deep, emotional level.

To sum it up, Realm Makers Virtualcon 2020 was the perfect event for this year! And for 2021, I hope you'll Meet Me in St. Louis!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Weekend Reads Book Feature: Still Small Voice by Allen Brokken (Katie)

Still Small Voice by Allen Brokken (Katie)

Today I'm featuring Still Small Voice by Allen Brokken. This is book 2 in the series, and it's a fantastical adventure aimed at Middle Grade readers and their families. The best news is that it's available for purchase as of today, July 24!

I first met Allen online through the Realm Makers organization. We were in the same critique group and that's where I was first introduced to his writing. We met in person at a RM writer's conference, and I was convinced of his desire to provide clean, inspirational fiction for kids and their families. When Allen approached me about endorsing the book and featuring it on Lands Uncharted, I was honored and happy to do so.

Here's what I had to say about Still Small Voice...

Still Small Voice by Allen Brokken is an adventure of a lifetime! Filled with mystery, action, family bonds, and a healthy dose of animal friends this second book in the Tower of Light Series is a fantastic continuation of the journey of siblings Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan. Their quest to spread the Light as Darkness creeps across the land is a faith-filled adventure worth joining.

More About Allen and Still Small Voice...

Back Cover:
Because of their faith, twelve-year-old Lauren and her younger brothers, Aiden and Ethan, prevailed in the battle for the Tower of Light. But their victory did not stop the Dark One. Darkness continues to spread across Zoura's frontier.
Now, in a vision, Mother tells them to light a second tower in Blooming Glen. Before they can set out on their journey with the Knight Protector, their Uncle arrives with a different set of instructions. He doesn't trust the Knight Protector or the Mighty Mercenaries and believes the children should go to grandma's house instead.
Unyielding in his belief, Uncle unknowingly leads the children off their path. And a misguided acolyte follows them. Lurking in the shadows, he strikes at every opportunity as the dark forces prepare to descend.

Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan are Zoura's last defense. Can they convince their Uncle of the truth—that he must listen to the still small voice—and make it to Blooming Glen before the Dark One's forces overtake them?
Fans of Little House on the Prairie will feel at home in the series' classic frontier setting, and the sincerity of the children's love for one another and desire to do the right thing will bring a smile to readers and listeners of all ages.

Read Still Small Voice aloud to your family or confidently give it to your middle grade reader, knowing he or she will be ensconced in a wholesome and riveting experience, beginning to end.

About the author:

Allen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband and father most of all. He's a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. Check out Allen's author page to find more resources where your children can grow their own faith and love of God by following the adventures of Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan (plus their pets!).

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Story Snippets: What is Your Favorite Fairy Tale by Special Guest Rachel Rossano

We're so excited to welcome Rachel Rossano to Lands Uncharted to share a special sneak peek of her upcoming fairy tale inspired series, Once Upon a Duchy, and the first book, Grace by Contract. I'll have more information about Rachel and her books below but first here's Rachel! Enjoy! :)

Favorite Fairy Tale

Rachel Rossano

What is your favorite fairy tale? I mean the one that you keep returning to again and again. Every time you encounter a retelling of it, you are tempted to buy it no matter the status of your budget. Yeah, Beauty and the Beast is that kind of fairy tale for me. I love the message of seeing the value of a person despite physical deformity or social status divide.

So, when I began plotting out a fairy tale-inspired series of novels, it was a natural choice for the first book. Here is a first look at the debut novel of Once Upon a Duchy, Grace by Contract. The hero, Silas, the Duke of Brackenhurst, is meeting the heroine, Grace, and her youngest sister, Beauty. The scene is from Silas’ perspective.


“Pardon, is this where tenants meet the bailiff?”

I lowered my cup to find two women had joined us beneath the pavilion roof. Rambler coughed on his wine. Our guard blinked back tears as he swallowed awkwardly. Only Terida answered them.

“Yes, it is. And who might you be?”

“I am Grace Eldon, and this is my sister, Beauty.”

Grace assessed us all with dark eyes far too keen and bright for my comfort. She was sturdily built despite her diminutive stature and slender build. Her second-most remarkable feature was her full head of dark hair. Bound as it was and tucked beneath her thin woolen cloak its texture remained a mystery, but the thickness of it made me wonder what it felt like. Her sister was as fair as Grace was dark, with a hungry look about her that made me fear she would fade before my eyes.

“We come on behalf of our grandmother, Harmony Faye.”

“Ah, Madam Faye.” Rambler opened his ledger and leafed through the pages.

“Would you like sustenance while you wait?” I indicated the mush that Terida had brought me.

The fair sister eagerly reached for the bowl, but her sister stopped her. “We are not here to accept charity, we are here to barter.” The dark-haired sister frowned as she eyed Rambler’s ledger. “Our grandmother owes five measures of barley meal and half the harvest of honey from her bees.”

“As well as a half measure of ground oats for each adult living on her land.” Rambler leveled an assessing gaze across the table at the sisters. “How many live in your grandmother’s house now?”

“We are seven.”

Rambler nodded to indicate she passed the test. “And how much of this payment do you bring with you?”

Grace straightened her shoulders and tightened her grip on her sister’s hand. “None, my lord.”

“I am not your master,” Rambler replied, as though he corrected people several times a day. “I am no nobleman, merely a servant.” He marked something in his ledger. “So, how do you wish to pay what is owed?”

Again the young woman stiffened her back. “We have no money. Is there a way to work off the debt? My sister and I are strong and hard workers.”

Rambler frowned. “The usual arrangement is financial compensation, not labor.”

Beauty reached again for the offered food.

“We have nothing to offer except labor.” Grace tugged on Beauty’s other hand, and the fairer sister hid her fingers in her skirts. “My father requires my remaining sisters’ help to care for our grandmother and keep the house while he works the land. We have hopes of being able to pay what we owe next year, but there is no chance of that this year.”

“Not even a small payment?” Rambler asked. His pale eyes assessed her with the narrowed intensity that brought rough and belligerent farmers all over the area to account. However, they had no effect on the diminutive pair before him.

Grace’s jaw clenched as though bracing for a blow, but her gaze never wavered. “As it is, we will starve with seven mouths to feed. Beauty and I need to find work even if Lord Brackenhurst forgives our debt.”

“Indenture.” The word passed my lips before I intended to speak. Rambler turned to regard me with a puzzled glare. The pair of girls looked up with matching expressions of surprise. However, their responses to my scarred features were completely different. Beauty turned away, hiding her face in horror. Grace, on the other hand, recovered quickly, meeting my gaze directly.

“I hope our difficulties will not become the latest topic for the gossip mill.” She glanced at Terida, who was clearing away the now-empty mugs. The tavernkeeper’s wife ignored her, leaving the shelter of the pavilion to dash for the tavern across the road.

“Are you sure you want to go that route, my lord?” Rambler asked with an emphasis on my title.

I inclined my head slightly and avoiding what was certain to be an awkward realization at who I was on the young women’s part. “Seems the best fit, considering the needs on both sides.”

“One or five years’ contract?” Rambler asked as the two of us turned our attention back to the young women.

The younger sister had maneuvered herself behind Grace, completely ignoring the awkward angle of her sister’s arm in her efforts. Grace regarded the pair of us with a mixture of horror and pain. I hoped the source of her discomfort was more her sister’s arm-wrestling than Rambler’s suggestion. Then she blinked and all emotion drained from her face.

“What benefit would a five-year contract be?”

“A greater length of reprieve from the yearly tributes,” Rambler suggested. “A wage, perhaps, could be negotiated, especially considering there are two of you.”

Grace’s already pale features turned almost white. For a moment, I feared she would faint. Was the prospect of being indentured to me that horrible? Or perhaps it was the thought of signing away five years of her life?

“Who would be required to sign the contract?” she asked.

“Your father.” Rambler sat and reached beneath the table into the strong box of documents he lugged to and from each assize. “Here.” He produced a thin piece of vellum and reached for the pen and ink. “I will list the terms.” He scratched a swift summary of the usual agreement before sliding it across the table. “If the length of the agreement is five as opposed to one year in length, a wage will be added to your earnings to offset the lack of debt.”

“So, one year and my grandmother’s account will be debt-free?” Grace asked as she stepped forward and picked up the contract.

Her sister squeaked and hurriedly hid behind her sister again.

After a few moments of Rambler spouting numbers and figures, Grace nodded. “Might I bring this home to my father? He will wish to consider the options.”

“Have your father bring the signed contract to the duke’s gate by the first of the month. Then we can discuss the details.” Rambler began packing up his strong box.

“If your father doesn’t appear, he will be held accountable for the sum in full come the fifteenth of the month,” I clarified.

Grace avoided my gaze as she tucked the contract beneath her layers of clothing. Taking her sister’s hand, she guided her out into the still pouring rain.


Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Rachel! I was fortunate enough to be an alpha reader for Grace by Contract and this is such a fun, exciting, and, yes, romantic reimagining of Beauty and the Beast! I cannot wait for this new series to begin launching. Until then however you can explore another part of this story world with the Novels of Rhynan (with some of my favorite heroes and heroines ever, especially Dentin and Elsa), which you can find here.

Here's a little more about Rachel: 

Rachel Rossano specializes in medieval fantasy with adventure and romance. As a homeschooling mother of three, she splits her time between wrestling through math problems with her kids, designing book covers, and writing more novels.

You can connect with Rachel on her website, Facebook, and Amazon.