ETJ Writes

Archive for the tag “Kindle”

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

Project Starfighter Review

Hello Friends!

Thought I’d share my review of the book I most recently finished, since I was so excited about it.

Dreamer Project Starfighter
by Stephen J. Sweeney
Category: NA/Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
4.5 stars out of 5.


 

“The story was
a whole new world
that never forgot
where it came from.”

 

 

 


I’ve been wanting to read “Project Starfighter” for a long time.

As a kid I played the game released by Parallel Realities over and over again. Even then I adored stories set in space and the idea of one man fighting against an entire corporation to save the universe. The game wasn’t easy either, as timed missions, heavy artillery from the WEAPCO ships, and literal minefields made completing it difficult at the best of times. But I loved the challenge, playing over and over and over, memorising the dialogue from the cut scenes, and falling in love with the characters – Chris, Phoebe, and Ursula.

I even had a soft spot for the villainous Kline Kethlan, despite the fact that I spent months trying to beat the final mission the first time I played through it. (I played the game so much that eventually I was able to complete the entire story in one day, sans any kinds of cheat codes).

You can imagine my excitement when I discovered that the creator of the game had decided to write a novel based on it. I read the sample chapters years ago, enjoyed them and knew I had to buy the book someday.

I was not disappointed. Yes, the writing and dialogue could have been stronger in parts, and there were some disturbing events that happened to the characters that I could have done without – though not described in explicit detail, which I am thankful for, but overall, the story was told well, every plot point being set up and executed nicely. The novel greatly expanded on the world I’d been introduced to in the “Project Starfighter” game, taking us down onto the planets and interacting with the characters at a personal level. I also loved the fact that Ursula got her own viewpoint chapters – even though we spend a lot of the story with Chris, the novel would not work half so well without Ursula, and I almost felt that she carried the main story at times. The second-to-last scene with her was extremely satisfying, and I had a big grin on my face throughout it.

Another aspect of the story that went in a completely different direction than I was expecting was the introduction of Athena. She was such a soft and lovely character, contrasting nicely with her…military profession, shall we say (to avoid spoilers), and I really started to get really attached to her, and was genuinely upset when one of the other characters didn’t accept her as readily. The imagery around her was gorgeous as well, and the moment when she was talking about her namesake and her shield, spear, and helmet stunned me with how meaningful it was.

The direct references to the “Project Starfighter” game delighted me. The story was a whole new world that never forgot where it came from, and I found myself saying the lines out loud – lines that, as I mentioned above – I’d long ago memorised. Lines that came from confrontations with WEAPCO, the mercenaries, or Kline Kethlan, and I had to laugh at the “Humans do it better,” phrase, which was a cheat code for the original game.

The ending was fantastic and didn’t let me down in the slightest, topped off with a short, well crafted epilogue that brought me to tears. I’m not quite ready to let go of this world just yet – and since I still have the game, I don’t have to. Now when I play through it, I’ll have a new version of the story to accompany all the scenes and battles, making it richer and more immersive.

This book took me back to my childhood, my teen years, and I got to relive some of my fondest memories while experiencing something new. I definitely recommend “Project Starfighter” to anyone who loves sci-fi, gaming, or both. 4.5 stars for this truly fantastic escape into a different world.

See all my reviews


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

Something Sweet for Valentine’s Day!

❤️Hello Friends, & Happy Valentine’s Day!❤️

Although Tedenbarr of Have Lath is an action packed adventure tale, you might be surprised to learn that love is Tedenbarr’s driving force throughout the story. Love for his friends, his home, and most importantly, for Keira, the girl he left behind on Have Lath and is (secretly!) betrothed to.

The story begins with this lovely poem:
_
Stormy winds blow hard
But to you I shall return
My love, wait for me.

_

And not much later we find Tedenbarr thinking of his love while tending to his duties on board “The Sailing Prison.”

“Dear one, I know that you are anxious to have word of my well being. Worry not, for I am quite safe and remain in good health.
_

Yesterday, the ship sailed past that peculiar rock formation known in legend as Slvyn Reigh, which marks the middle point of the Sheana sea. If all goes well, the captain anticipates that we shall reach the Eastern Kingdom in about a month. The return journey is predicted to catch the summer easterlies, and I shall be home much before the forest begins to turn gold.
_

Tell Myrc that I have not yet forgotten him. And my love, waiting is hard I know, but take comfort in the fact that three and a half months do not last forever. With love, your love,
Tedenbarr.”


_

As a boy, Tedenbarr had love on the brain when they met, (though he didn’t fall for Keira until his teenage years):

Tedenbarr thumped his head back against the cold walls of the pit. There was nothing he could do but wait and try to keep himself warm. He began to pace the confined space, singing to distract himself.

_
The song was a simple one that Myrc had taught him. The words were foreign and the cadence harsh, but he relished the feel of the ancient language gliding over his tongue, and though Tedenbarr was unsure of the exact meaning of the individual words, he held in his mind the translation that Myrc had provided, enjoying the sound of the sweet melody in the crisp forest air.

_
My love, true love
Abandon me not, if I thou lovest
Sayest not thou art improved
When in solitude thou art
Blue skies call thus,
Where birds sweetly sing,
And late summer’s harvest is grown and gold

_
“Oh, that’s bonny!” piped a voice, and Tedenbarr jumped in surprise, turning sharply in the direction of the newcomer.

_
“Who’s there?” he called. “Can you get me out of here?”

_
“I dinna ken,” replied the voice, and all of a sudden Tedenbarr saw a girl about his age peek over the edge. She smiled down at him. “Well yer in a right mess. Dinna ye worry though, I shall run an’ tell faither, an’ he’ll help ye.”

_
She skipped off, leaving Tedenbarr to wonder who she was and whether she would return.

Even in his most harrowing moments, Tedenbarr is strengthened by the thought of Keira waiting patiently for him, and though he knows their vastly different social classes will make the path to their happiness a struggle, he also knows that they can prove all the naysayers wrong – if he can survive the pirates, bandits, and other perils that face him on the treacherous journey back to Have Lath.


Written for middle grade audiences, “Tedenbarr of Have Lath” can be enjoyed by the whole family, read quietly in a secluded nook, or read aloud as a bedtime story (one half chapter at a time) to inspire adventure filled dreams.

It is my sincerest hope that as you read of Tedenbarr’s tales, no matter how old or young you are, that the deep love pervading the Tedenbarr’s hopes and wishes inspires you to hug the ones closest to you and tell them how special they are every single day.

So this Valentine’s day, to celebrate the love in my novel, my gift to you is the ability to freely download the kindle version of Tedenbarr of Have Lath, both today and tomorrow (the 14th & 15th), and dive into a fantastic story of adventure, love, and overcoming even the most challenging of hardships.

Happy Reading!

ETJ

Tedenbarr of Have Lath

Happy Birthday Tedenbarr!

Hello Friends!

Today is the winter solstice and Tedenbarr’s birthday!

Tedenbarr spends the day running and fighting, but he’d much rather be reading. So to celebrate, for the entire day, you can pick up the kindle version of Tedenbarr of Have Lath completely FREE. Now that’s a reason to break out the cake and candles!

Read on for a (slightly spoilery) mention of Tedenbarr’s birthday:

“Won’t the boats rot if we leave them in this filth?” Tedenbarr asked. The brisk pace set by the Alliance reduced the tingling numbness in his limbs.
_

“Not if we can spring Chester by Solstice,” Tiana replied.
_

“So soon? I’ll have seen twenty and one winters by then.”
_

“You as well? If we survive this, I’ll make a honey-cake for you.”
_

“Ah’d nae trust her cooking, if I were ye mate. Anne’s told me some horror stories about this one’s abilities wi’ food. Now Teddy, ye on t’ither hand,” Lach said, clapping a hand on his friend’s shoulder and addressing Tiana, “he used tae do anything tae avoid the galleys back on the Sailing Prison, but whitever his fingers touched tasted as if came from Lsai itself.”
_

“I thought telling fanciful tales was my talent, Lach?”
_

The young man looked outraged. “I never! Yer food’s ambrosia, fit fer Myrna’s pallet.”
_

“I’ll bake Teddy a honey-cake,” Tiana reiterated and glared at Lach, “and it will be delicious, and you won’t have any.”


Do yourself a favour and download this fantastic story of adventure, friendship, and overcoming even the most challenging of hardships.

Battle alongside Tedenbarr against bloodthirsty pirates, flee from nefarious bandits, and uncover the secret that might just change everything.

And if you know anybody looking for their next favourite read this holiday season, send them Tedenbarr’s way, and wish him the happiest of birthdays by immersing one more bookaholic in his epic tale!

Happy Reading!

ETJ

Tedenbarr of Have Lath

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