ETJ Writes

Archive for the tag “YA LIT”

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

Thorunn – Cover Reveal!

Hello Friends!

I’m so thrilled to be able to finally present the cover for my next book, Thorunn!

Loss, hope, forgiveness, betrayal – these are the defining themes that run deeply through Thorunn’s core, wrapped up in the closely twined stories of Kenton & Laine.

I was blessed to again be able to work with the same fantastic cover artist as I did for my first novel, my wonderful sibling Don Jones, who is also my long-suffering sounding board. He did an amazing job of capturing the most important elements of Thorunn and representing them on not only the front, but the back cover as well! (Keep an eye out for the post announcing physical arcs; you’ll be treated to a 360° display of Thorunn.)

A little explanation on the image presented below. It features both Kenton – hooded and holding a very important device called a “quirn” – and Laine, with his signature leather jacket, and a Cloud 47 at his hip. The blue represents the deep blue of Thorunn’s sky – alien yet beautiful – as well as the peculiar energy given off by frix, an enigmatic type of electricity that is Thorunn’s most distinguishing trait.

So as to not spoil some key plot points, I’ll let you all decide the significance of what details I haven’t mentioned, and without further ado, I present the gorgeous cover of my debut Young Adult Science Fiction novel, Thorunn:

Thorunn Cover


Nine years ago, Skytown soldiers brutally murdered Kenton’s family. Now those same men aim to return and destroy Kenton’s hard-won, idyllic life amongst the peaceful shifter people of the Hinnom Forest.

Meanwhile, Laine Riven – dragged from Earth to Thorunn against his will – is stuck navigating an unfamiliar school, his jerk of an uncle, and the rising threat posed by the Outpost Terrorist.

When their paths clash amidst tragedy and betrayal, Kenton realises he and his best friend Bo may have rushed headlong into a situation too impossible to fix.

Time is running out as frix season closes in, and their only shot at victory hinges on outrunning the seasoned bounty hunters, savage creatures, and unpredictably violent weather trying to kill them every step of the way. . .

Coming May 2020

Keep an eye on this blog for pre-order and launch party updates!

Tedenbarr of Have Lath: Hardcover Edition!

Hello Friends!

I alluded to this exciting piece of news about a month ago, but here it is, the official announcement that my medieval adventure novel for young adult and middle grade readers – Tedenbarr of Have Lath – is now available in hardcover!


.

The size of the book, how it feels in my hands, the stunning quality of the cover art – even the little creak that issues upon opening the novel – it’s everything I originally envisioned when I first dreamed about publishing.

This new edition features beautiful glossy case laminate with larger print for easier reading, and I was so happy to be able to get copies printed in time for the annual CHAP convention where the very first one found a home in the hands of an avid young reader!

In the evenings they all supped together, and Tedenbarr regaled them with stories from the Agon cycle, tales that [SPOILER] eagerly soaked up, having been deprived of such entertainment during his long imprisonment.

I’m so thrilled to be able to share this milestone with you all, and I hope that everyone who purchases a copy will love the hardcover version just as much as I do.

https://www.amazon.com/Tedenbarr-Have-Lath-Esther-Jones/dp/153730741XThis edition is available for order wherever books are sold and Paperback and Kindle versions of Tedenbarr of Have Lath are also available via Amazon.com.

Happy Reading!

ETJ

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

Dreamer Review

Hello Friends!

I’m so excited to see everyone here, and to present you with my review of Dreamer! (It’s also posted on Goodreads, so be sure to head over there and add the book to your “want-to-read” shelves.)

I first came across Ja-Mel Vinson because of his ARC unboxing video that popped up in my twitter feed, and his genuine excitement and enthusiasm about his story caught my interest.

I also thought the cover was really neat and conveyed an air of mystery and wonder, so when an opportunity came along to review Vinson’s novel, I jumped at the chance. I feel that reading this book has given me a better understanding of Vinson’s brand as an author, and re-introduced me to a genre I’d almost forgotten about.

You may have noticed the picture that accompanies this review – in one of my livetweets from my reading sessions, I said that I hoped people would be eager to cosplay Vinson’s characters, and since I dabble a bit in the art myself, I thought I might as well lead the charge on that one. I had a lot of fun putting this together, so without further ado, let’s get to my thoughts about Dreamer.

Dreamer Dreamer by Ja-Mel Vinson | Category: NA/YA
Genre: Urban Fantasy
(Age range 14–25)
3.5 stars out of 5.

ja-mel-vinson

**Note: I received an ARC for this blog tour that in no way influenced my honest review**

“Dreamer” tells the story of Maya, a young adult whose troubling dreams begin to unfold in reality just as she embarks on her college adventures. Soon she discovers long buried secrets and a host of dangers that affect the lives of everyone she cares about, and in the middle of it all is the mysterious Lucent, whom Maya feels strongly compelled toward, for reasons she doesn’t understand.

I did like this novel. The opening of the story definitely grabbed my attention, and though I’m not a huge fan of first person POV, in this case that actually helped me to sink into Maya’s perspective and really believe the story was being told by a young lady and not the male author.

For the first six or so chapters, I had a hard time connecting with the story, particularly because of the rather high stakes presented with very little build up, but when the corset dresses were introduced, things began to click into place for me, and I realised that with its large cast of strong female characters, sparkly transformative powers, and animal companions that are more than they seem that “Dreamer” falls into the same category as “Cardcaptor Sakura,” “Tokyo Mew Mew,” or “Sailor Moon.” I felt like I was reading an anime in novel form, and that was only reinforced more and more as the book went along. Once I was able to visualise the novel in that way, the rest of the book made a lot more sense, as the storytelling tropes and plot devices of the genre sometimes referred to as “magical girl anime” rely on a set of very different rules that are not typical to your average western YA novel.

I very much enjoyed all the strong friendships the characters have, and the underlying mystery surrounding Lucent helps drive the story and keep it interesting. There are a few big plot twists and key events that Vinson pulled off nicely, and the way “Dreamer” ended was quite well done. For a story that foreshadowed rather a lot, and explained even more, I still found myself pleasantly surprised that I hadn’t quite predicted how everything would turn out.

Another aspect I enjoyed was the writing. “Dreamer” has good, clear prose interspersed with more poetic lines that demand attention without tipping into purple prose. It’s very easy to imagine what the characters look like, and my favourite bit of description comes from Chapter 10:

“The moon moved with its star-servants but remained higher and closer and larger to the eye. Atop its stellar seat, it commanded attention while clouds grew and shrank like animals bound by a leash. The moon was the ringleader, wielding power over everything, presumably even the bestial and elongated vapors that drifted ahead of it.”

(As an aside, having read the story, the cover is very symbolic of quite a few different events that happen, and I can see why Vinson is so thrilled with it.)

The one thing I was curious about was how the Tri-Curve looked, and upon reaching out to the author, he kindly provided me with a graphic which greatly helped to visualise it properly, and I’ve included my stylised version of it in this review:

Now, the world of Dreamer is similar to ours, but also quite different, with a large set of internal rules and in-depth history, and because of this, there is a lot of exposition to explain how everything works. At times this really slowed the pace of the story, and dragged out scenes longer than they needed to be. At some points, explanations are included very organically in the story, through training sessions, or information presented in class through learning games, but at other times, the story would be progressing, a new element would be introduced, the plot would pause as Maya reflected on it, and then the story would resume. For me, this resulted in uneven pacing that lacked urgency, especially when new expositional information continued to be introduced near the end of the story.

Overall pacing was also a little stilted, and I felt like the story really began once we reached chapter 12, which made the preceding chapters feel like backstory, or at least story arcs that could have been told at a later point to preserve the forward motion of the narrative. (Not that the novel ever came to a standstill, but sometimes I felt as if it were in slow motion.) I often felt that I was waiting for the plot to really kick in. Because of this, my actual rating for “Dreamer” comes to a 3.5, although I am giving it 4 stars since I don’t believe the quality of the novel merits only a 3, and there’s no option for including half star ratings.

All in all, I think this book is something 14-16 year me would have loved, given my (somewhat concerning) obsession with anything anime at the time, and I don’t doubt that other teens and young adults will enjoy it and relate to the characters and their friendships and conflicts. I’m looking forward to what Vinson produces next, and believe that his storycrafting can only continue to advance.

See all my reviews


(So there you have it, my review of Dreamer by Ja-Mel Vinson. I wish him much success with the launch of his debut novel, and many thanks to Shealea for making this whole blog tour experience very smooth and easy to navigate. (Launch post and other bloggers on the tour here.)

Don’t forget to join in on twitter March 2nd, 2019 for a live chat regarding Dreamer, and a chance to win a signed ARC of the novel!

 

 

Happy reading!
ETJ

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

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

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