ETJ Writes

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Author Interview/Book Review – E.S. Barrison, “The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice”

Hello Friends!

Today I’m so excited to be sharing an exclusive interview with dark fantasy author E.S. Barrison, as well as my review of Barrison’s debut novel The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice.

I first stumbled across Barrison on Tumblr, during an event focused on character backstories, and almost instantly fell in love with Brent, one of her main characters. Since then, I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with this talented fellow author, and I’ve eagerly followed along on her journey to publication, looking excitedly forward to the day when I would be able to read her work in full.

Following is the interview, and then my review of the novel below that. (I will note that, as this is an adult fantasy book, there is rather a bit of language sprinkled throughout, as well as allusions to sensitive topics, so younger readers (teens) are advised to read with caution.)


The Mist Keeper's ApprenticeThe Mist Keeper’s Apprentice by E. S. Barrison
🌟🌟🌟🌟

I definitely enjoyed reading this book. It’s always exciting to follow along on a debut author’s journey, and I’ve eagerly soaked up the excerpts and illustrations Barrison has been generous enough to share as part of her pre-publication process.

Funnily enough, while I initially fell for Brent from the snippets posted on tumblr, when I actually started reading, I found I really connected with Rho. She’s quite intriguing, and has both an inner and outer strength that is perfectly tempered with her gentle and kind character. Rho was really the highlight of this novel for me, and she is a wonderful complement to Brent, who is determined to give up on himself from the very first chapter.

The prose was easy reading, which sucked me right into the world of the book, and I was never bored at any point. The novel moves along at quite a fast clip, allowing some down time here and there, but never lingering in any one place for too long, moving the reader along with the characters through each next adventure (some rather more bizarre than others!)

I did find the worldbuilding to be a bit confusing at first, but the more I read, the more was revealed, until I felt—for a time—that I also lived in Rosada, and understand this strange, and yet oddly familiar, world. There are a lot of characters and places, but the only ones I really struggled to remember were the Council—and I think that’s because of how sinister most of them seemed, blending together as a sort of faceless “bad.”

And speaking of the Council—while the Order were ostensibly the “villains” of the novel, lurking in the background, and pulling the shady strings of Brent and Rho’s lives, I found the Council—with their contradictory and obsfucatory ways—to be just as, if not more, unsettling. I felt terribly for Brent through much of the book, running from one bad situation headlong into another, all the while surrounded by people who professed a desire to help him, and never quite sure who to trust.

Brent’s powers were pretty cool, his abilities regarding stories something I think any storyteller can relate to, and the way the novel ended—wow! I’m highly intrigued about where his path will take him next.

Overall, I had quite the entertaining time reading this novel, and I think other fans of fantasy will have a wonderful lark indeed in this strange little world Barrison has created.


View all my goodreads reviews

So there you have it, my review of “The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice.” But don’t just take my word for it, pick up a copy for yourself, and be swept away by the mists of adventure!

You can find E.S. Barrison here:
headshot

 

And her debut novel can be purchased through Amazon (among other major online book retailers).

Happy Reading,
~ETJ

Author Interview Announcement – E.S. Barrison

Hello Friends!

One of the greatest things about being an indie author is the sense of community. We don’t have the big 5 backing us, so we’ve got to stick together.

I met E.S. Barrison on writeblr – Tumblr’s writing community – a few years ago, and it’s been a wonderful experience. Barrison was an invaluable member (along with some other fantastic writers) of my Beta reading team for Thorunn, and I’ve eagerly followed along on her journey to publication.

Barrison’s debut novel, The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice, was released on June 14th, and is available as an e-book or in paperback & hardback versions. Of course I picked up a copy, and I’ve been reading in my scraps of spare time and really enjoying the novel so far.

With that in mind, I’m honoured and pleased to announce that this Saturday (June 20th) I’ll be interviewing Barrison live on Instagram.

Join us as we peek behind the scenes and uncover what went into the making of this intriguing fantasy novel, as well as chatting about all things MKA. (Why do lemons feature so heavily?)

You can find E.S. Barrison here:

And her debut novel can be purchased through Amazon (among other major online book retailers).

esbarrisonAs I mentioned, I’m avidly reading the book right now, and I’m super excited to find out even more about this fascinating world on Saturday.

Be sure to pick up a copy, and get your questions ready; for now, I’ll leave you all with a quote from the The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice, featuring Rho, the mysterious girl that Brent finds hidden in the tunnels . . .

 

 

P.S. I’ve recently come across the Light and Fire series by Ginger Li, and it’s definitely going on my TBR list! The third book comes out July 13th, so check out the first two books in the series while you’re waiting for Saturday, and I’ll see you all at 2:00 sharp, on Instagram live – don’t miss it!

 

 

Happy Reading!

~ETJ

Official ⚡️THORUNN⚡️ Spotify Playlist

Here it is, friends, the official ⚡️THORUNN⚡️ Spotify playlist, all 85 mins of it!

I listened to these songs quite a bit while drafting, revising, and putting the finishing touches on my novel, and it’s carefully curated (if listening from the desktop, or premium on the app) to give y’all the perfect ⚡️THORUNN⚡️ listening experience. A good bit of these songs could apply to either Laine or Kenton, (though some are specific to each – kudos to you if you can accurately guess which!) but some also center around other characters – both friend and foe – and around themes from the novel: family, loss, forgiveness, hope.

The playlist starts off rather melancholy (given what happens to Kenton’s family in the beginning of the book), and bounces back and forth between anger and grief – with some encouragement slipped in between here and there – before leading to a defiant, hopeful ending. I’ve included some relevant lyrics from each song and there’s a mix of styles and genres from a wide variety of artists, though it does trend in the alt/rock direction. Music from the 70’s all the way to recent years has made the list, and there’s even a South African song gracing this collection!

⚡️THORUNN⚡️ releases May 20, 2020, everywhere books are sold, and I would be utterly delighted if y’all gave this playlist a listen while reading. It’ll definitely enhance your experience, and give you a peek into my state of mind while writing.

See y’all at the virtual booklaunch party on my Insta Live, Wednesday, starting at 1:00 pm EST!


1. Fix You – Coldplay

2. Umama – Sjava  

English Translation:

3. O-oh Child – The Five Stairsteps

4. Wolves – Down Like Silver


5. Drifting – Adelitas Way

6. Gone Away –  Five Finger Death Punch

7. Nothing Makes Sense Anymore – Mike Shinoda

8. Faint – Linkin Park

9. Talking to the Moon – Bruno Mars

10. Still Here – Digital Daggers

11. Speak to Me – Amy Lee

12. Running From My Shadow – Mike Shinoda

13. Somewhere I Belong – Linkin Park

14. Waiting for the End – Linkin Park

15. Legends Never Die – League of Legends

16. Paint it, Black – Ciara

17. Robot Boy – Linkin Park

18. Dear Agony – Breaking Ben

19. Soldier – Fleurie

20. Gallows – Katie Garfield

21. Here I Am – Tommee Profitt

22. Love Hurts – Incubus

Can you tell I’m a Linkin Park fan?😉


Happy Reading!

~ETJ

Thorunn Giveaway & Pre-Order Announcement!

Hello Friends!

Today is a very exciting day! For the last few years, I’ve been feverishly working on finishing my sophomore novel – my debut Young Adult Science Fiction novel to be exact – and I’m so pleased to announce that Thorunn (releasing May 20th, 2020) – is currently available for pre-order!

Many thrilling adventures await within the action packed pages of the novel, enhanced by cool futuristic tech, mysterious shape-shifting aliens, and heart-stopping (literally!) escapades, all underscored by themes of loss and forgiveness, hope and heartbreak, and greed and sacrifice.

The shadow of the Hexagon looms large over Laine, Kenton, and Bo, and they have no idea whether they’ll escape alive. . .

Me and BookYou can pre-order paperback copies through Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, or your favourite local indie book store, (paperbacks will be available through Amazon for US costumers shortly), and ebook copies through Amazon, Apple Books, and other major online e-retailers. Additionally, Thorunn will be added to the Overdrive and Hoopla catalogues, so don’t forget to check out those sources as well.

Speaking of libraries, I’m inviting you to be a part of my street team, and help make Thorunn a smashing success in its debut year!

Even if you plan to purchase a copy, one of the best ways you can help out is to request a copy from your local library. That way the novel can be enjoyed by hundreds of teens who might not be not able to purchase a copy themselves. (It also makes the libraries very happy that their services are being used to further the love of reading.)

Another thing you can do right now is to head over to Goodreads, and add Thorunn to your “want to read” shelf. Don’t forget to go back and leave a review once you’ve finished reading the novel! (And if possible, a review on Amazon would be highly appreciated from me.)

The last bit of exciting news today is that I’m hosting a giveaway! Two special winners will receive a signed paperback ARC, and five lucky people can get their hands on an exclusive eARC before the book releases in May!

To enter, simply follow me on Twitter (@etjwrites), retweet my pinned tweet, and tag me and two friends telling me how much you’d love to win a copy! This giveaway will be open until the end of March. Winners will be notified publicly and by DM.

I am planning a launch party, and the details of that will be announced very soon, so be sure to subscribe to the ETJ Writes Newsletter to be informed of when and where that will take place.

In the meantime, you can whet your appetite by checking out some sneak peeks of the novel over on Wattpad (and hurry, once the book comes out, many of those chapters will disappear!) or dive into Bo’s backstory, and his time as a kit living in the Hinnom Forest after the terrible events of chapter one.

I’m inexpressibly excited to go on this book launch journey with you all, so check that pre-order box, mark your calendars for May 20th, and get ready to join the fight to save Thorunn!

Happy Reading!
~ETJ⚡

THORUNN

2019 CHAP Convention!

Hello Friends!

books on con tableThis past weekend I went to my second CHAP convention (check out last year’s blog post to see what the 2018 convention was like!) with my wonderful mother – again featuring her memoir, Four Jewels in My Crown, a lovely tribute to biblical focused home education and an encouragement for other homeschooling familes.

Last year was tons of fun, and this year was even better! Naturally I was there with my medieval themed novel Tedenbarr of Have Lath, discussing the uplifting themes presented within, and connecting with other homeschool families at all different stages in their homeschool journeys.

I had so many more goodies to offer this year – crossword & word search puzzles (available for download right here) and two different colouring pages that were perfect for the little kids to attack with crayons while the parents and older siblings chatted.

Jones with reader Jones with Fan

Additionally, this year I debuted the hardcover editions of novel – beautiful glossy case laminate with larger print for easier reading – and sold my very first one to an avid young reader and an overall fan of books. I also got to meet a fan of Tedenbarr of Have Lath who told me told me she loves it so much it’s going on her extra-special bookshelf. Every author’s dream, and I couldn’t be happier!

Moments like these make every single minute of work worth it as I’m always so excited to meet young readers, and it’s my sincerest desire that each person who reads my novel comes away even more enthused about literature.

Of course this being
a homeschool convention,
I would be remiss if I
didn’t include a picture
of my mother again this
year, as her hard work
and dedication helped
mold myself and my
siblings into the people
we are today.
marann Jones with book chick fil a mascot

(It was also pretty fun meeting the Chick-Fil-A mascot on the first day of the convention. Eat more chicken!
New this year to CHAP were the Interactive Corners.

The one I hosted was called “acting out the story,” featuring short, one act plays based on scenes adapted from my novel wherein we read through the plays, discussed their meaning, and then, scripts in hand, acted them out using assorted props to really bring the story to life!

Doing so was such a fun experience, and one I hope to repeat over and over again, bringing the art of storytelling to young readers through play(s).

Don’t forget to check out my mother’s article on “Gardening with Children” in the CHAP 2019 Spring Magazine, and for those of you who weren’t able to make the convention this year, the kindle edition of Tedenbarr of Have Lath is on a countdown deal until the end of the week!

Many Blessings, & Happy Reading!

ETJ

College Park Book Fest 2019

Hello Friends!

On Saturday, Four Jewels in My Crown author Marann H. Jones and I attended the 7th Annual Book Festival co-hosted by the College Park Lions and the College Park Community Library.Marann and Esther Jones with their books

It was a bit farther afield than we’d ventured before, so we didn’t quite know what to expect, although the beautiful spring flowers blooming outside the event venue gave us a good feeling before we even went inside.

Straight away we met some amazing authors who had engaging, thoughtful, and interesting books, and every author we spoke to had a friendly smile to give and a kind word to say.


Here’s a few neat authors with poetry and prose of all kinds:

 

Esther Smiling with bookThe attendees were also great, and it was so much fun to watch the kids with their balloons animals and painted faces while munching on some free popcorn. Laughter and excitement filled the air, and we got to listen to some fascinating stories from people who have seen and experienced everything life can throw someone’s way.

Special thanks to all who bought copies Tedenbarr of Have Lath for themselves or friends and family; you’re in for a grand adventure!

I look forward to returning to the College Park Area for future events, and wish the Community Library much success in continuing to connect and grow with the College Park community.

And if you didn’t get the chance to attend the book festival and get a personally signed copy, I still have some online bonuses available. On the Games & Quizzes page Tedenbarr of Have Lath themed crossword and word search puzzles can be freely downloaded, and the kindle countdown deal is still running for a few more days, so be sure to snag a copy before the novel returns to full price!

Happy Reading!

ETJ

Tedenbarr of Have Lath

Brand New ETJ Writes Author Feature. (At addisoncarmichael.com)

HELLO FRIENDS!!!

I’m super excited to be sharing my first ever online author feature with you all! The lovely Addison Carmichael has graciously taken the time to feature me this month on her website:

I absolutely adore this pretty header Addison chose that goes so well with the content of the feature.

All the details are here, so go check it out!

And while you’re at it, add her newest upcoming book “Knight” from the “Sons of the Alpha” series to your to-be-read pile. I had a chance to read it in advance, and you can check out my goodreads review here.

Happy reading!
ETJ

Tedenbarr of Have Lath

Indian Echo Caverns November 2018

Hello Friends!

indian echo with books

Many thanks to the lovely ladies at Indian Echo Caverns for inviting my wonderful mother and I to their homeschool day at the caverns alongside CHAP: Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania. (Find Marann Jones’ book on the joys of Christian home education here: Four Jewels in My Crown).

We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and the caverns were a delight to explore. I could just see all the scenes from “Tedenbarr of Have Lath” coming to life:

The convoy rounded a corner and Tedenbarr caught his breath. Unlike the dim, sombre chamber the Alliance had first passed through, torches flung their light from every corner of the enormous cavern the longboats had just entered.
_

An ancient stone city was carved into the rock of the cavern, its grandeur like something out of the old tales. Free standing houses sat along the canal’s walkways, and some of the windows had curtains hung from them that glowed from the presence of light within. Lar Jahaal let go of his oar to gesture to the broken yet magnificent city that stretched out before Tedenbarr.
_

“Welcome to old A’an.”


Meeting all the homeschool families was really fantastic, and thanks to all who bought books – your support is much appreciated.

Looking forward to seeing everybody at the next book signing – until then, happy reading!

ETJ

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