Hullo I’m Back! What Have You Been Up To?

Why hello friends! Look who’s still alive over here! Due to the craziness of school, the last few months I’ve definitely slacked on this blog. So now I return for the summer (and hopefully the rest of the year, too)! I thought I’d update you guys on a few happenings and what to expect soon.

First, I have a stash of short stories from a class I took this semester, so I should be posting those soon. Some of them are outside of my normal genre (superhero), like historical fiction and aliens, but I hope you’ll still enjoy them!

Second, I’ve been making some (slow) progress on IDIA #3, but I’m not sure when that will be released. I have another big novella-novel writing project that I’m super excited about, and that will probably be taking precedence since it’s for school. I’m definitely still working on book 3, though!

Finally, voting for the TCK Reader’s Choice Awards is still open, and Twinepathy is on the list! If you haven’t voted yet, you can read more about how to do so here.

Most importantly: I want to know what you’ve been up to! I’ve been out of the loop for a while, so let me know in the comments below about any awesome books you’ve been reading. I love talking with you guys!

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The Mermaid and The Shell – A Fairy Tale Fable

Hullo, friends! So I’ve been trying to figure out some things to post recently, and I realized that I have stories saved up from my creative writing and fiction classes that I can post! So today I’m sharing the first story I wrote this year for my fiction class. It’s a cross between a fairytale and a fable, and I had a lot of fun writing it. Hope you enjoy!

The Mermaid and the Shell

In a far-off land, or sea, I should say, there lived a young mermaid named Nahla. She loved living with her family and playing among the coral reef. Her people were a joyful group, and she couldn’t imagine life without them. The king of the merfolk was a good merman at that time, and under his rule, the merpeople lived in harmony.

For every mermaid’s sixteenth birthday, they were required to decorate a shell to bring before the king. This symbolized their loyalty to the throne and made them a part of the tribe forever. The only requirement was that they make the shells themselves.

“I can’t wait, Mom!” Nahla exclaimed, spinning in a circle next to her mother. “Tomorrow I get to decorate my shell! It’s going to be the most beautiful shell anyone’s ever made.”

Her mother smiled at her. “I know it will, darling. I think you should paint it the colors of the ocean. That’s what I did for my shell, and everyone loved it.”

Nahla tilted her head sideways. “I hadn’t thought of that.” Secretly, she had imagined a swirl of colors, yellow, orange, pink, and purple, the colors of the coral.

Her mother nodded. “I think it would be beautiful. And it would match your eyes.”

Nahla smiled, shifting the picture in her mind. She could put some ocean colors on the shell, she was sure.

Her mother sent her off to find her younger brother, and she found him at the edge of the reef, watching the sharks swimming through the cool blue waters. His eyes lit up as she approached. “Nahla! You need to put a shark on your shell! That would the coolest thing ever.”

Nahla frowned. “Why would I do that?”

Her brother’s face melted into sadness. “For me. I won’t get to make a shell since I’m a merman. If I could make one, I would want a shark on it.”

Nahla put an arm around her brother’s shoulders. “Don’t worry. I’ll definitely find room for a shark on there.”

A little while later, Nahla ran into her best friend, Ara. “I can’t believe you get to decorate your shell tomorrow!” Ara exclaimed, twirling around. “You’re going to put a starfish on there for me, aren’t you?”

Nahla looked sideways at her friend. “A starfish?”

Ara nodded. “It’s our favorite animal, that’s why I put one on mine. It’ll be like a piece of me with you.”

“Of course!” Nahla hugged her friend. “I wouldn’t forget to do that.”

The next day, Nahla was released to find a shell and decorate it. She looked for hours, seeking the perfect shell, and finally, she found it. She struggled as she made it, trying to tie in all of the ideas she had been given. Before long, she finished, a sinking feeling in her stomach. It was nothing like she had imagined, and she couldn’t help but think about how ugly the shell was.

Eventually, the water grew darker, and she knew the day was nearly over. It was time to present her shell to the king, beautiful or not. She entered his throne room, knowing her family and friends would be there watching. Head hanging, she placed the shell before the king.

“What is this, Nahla?” The king asked, his voice stern.

Her mother approached and peered at the shell. “Those aren’t ocean colors, darling. Why are they smeared with yellow?”

“Where’s the shark?” Nahla’s brother asked. “I thought you were going to put a shark on it.”

“That doesn’t look like a starfish,” Ara added, tilting her head.

Nahla felt disappointment welling up inside of her. The king gazed at her. “What do you have to say, Nahla?”

She bowed her head, her cheeks flushed with embarrassment. “I wanted to make my shell coral colors, but everyone kept asking me to add something else. I didn’t want to disappoint my mom by not doing what she wanted, and since my brother doesn’t get to make a shell I wanted to put a shark on it for him. And since Ara put a starfish on hers for me, I wanted to put one on mine for her, too. I tried to include everything, but it turned into a big mess.”

The king nodded. “I will give you a chance to redo your shell, Nahla. Don’t try to please anyone, just yourself. Remember, the one who tries to please everyone pleases no one.”

And there you go! What did you think? I hope you enjoyed the story! Comment below if you have any thoughts or any ideas for future short stories you think I should write. And don’t forget to vote for Twinepathy in the TCK Reader’s Choice Awards!

The Villain Who Saved Christmas Release Day (Eeek!!)

GUYS! The Villain Who Saved Christmas is now up on Amazon!!! I’m so excited for you guys to read this short story. If you have a chance, you should definitely check it out. I’m also looking for more reviewers, so if you’d be interested in that, let me know!

The Villain Who Saved Christmas is only $0.99, and Twinepathy is now free, for only a few days. So be sure to check that out, and let your friends know, too! If you’ve already read Twinepathy, I would love for you to review it on Amazon. It only takes a few minutes, and it really helps out a lot!

And speaking of reviews, here are a few for The Villain Who Saved Christmas! These guys are awesome, so make sure to go ahead and check out their blogs, and you can see more reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, too.

The Page Dreamer – Deborah O’Carroll

Lit Aflame – Julia

Pause for Tales – Jes Drew

More to be added soon!

Are you excited about the release? What’s your favorite Christmas book or movie? Comment below! I’d love to talk to you!

A Christmas Short Story and Release Tour Sign-Ups!

Hello, everyone! I apologize once again for disappearing for so long. It seems like just yesterday that the school semester started, and now it’s pretty much over. Where did the time go???

But in spite of the craziness of this semester, I’ve still been able to get some things done… like getting my Christmas short story, The Villain Who Saved Christmas, ready for publishing! There’s still a lot left to do, but I’ve set an official release date: December 24th. That’s only 10 days away, but I can’t wait for it to be out!

I posted about this story when I did the 777 Challenge, and I’m very excited to finally be sharing this with all of you. So here are the cover and the blurb!

This may be Becca’s last Christmas, and all she wants is a white Christmas. But with no snow in the forecast, her brother and sister know that might not happen… until they get the idea to track down supervillain Hypothermia for help. With his ice powers, he could create a white Christmas for their sister. There’s only one problem—they have to find him first. Can they discover where Hypothermia is hiding and convince him to make it snow?

So here’s where I need your help…

I’m not planning on doing official dates for a release tour, because I know how crazy this time of year is for everyone, and how last minute this is! Instead, if you want to help out, you can post whenever you want. The book will be releasing on December 24th, and I’m looking to have as many reviews then as I can, so feel free to share this post or the form below with anyone who may be interested!

Also, for the release, Twinepathy will be free on Kindle from December 24th-28th! If you haven’t gotten a copy of Twinepathy yet, that’s the perfect time to get a copy on Kindle.

I’m so excited to be sharing this book with all of you! Are you excited? Share any thoughts, comments, and questions you have below!

The 777 Challenge | The Villain Who Saved Christmas

Well, look who’s posting two weeks in a row! Earlier this week, Claire posted her snippets for the 777 Challenge, and today, Deborah tagged me for the challenge! Unfortunately, IDIA book 3 is still in the brainstorming stage… but I just got over 7 pages on my Christmas superhero short story, which also now has a title: The Villain Who Saved Christmas! I’m very excited about this story, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. For now, you can add it on Goodreads. First, the rules:

Rules

  1. Open your WIP to the seventh page
  2. Scroll past the seventh line
  3. Copy the next seven paragraphs and paste them on your blog for THE WORLD to read
  4. Tag seven people

And here’s my snippet! (For reference, Scott is a supervillain with ice powers named Hypothermia, and Reflex is a superhero, Scott’s archnemesis.)

Continue reading

Quest For Leviathan Blog Tour – Book Review

Hullo, everyone! I’m so excited to be participating in the release tour for Amanda Tero’s new short story, Quest For Leviathan. It was such a fun historical fiction adventure! You can check out the book on Amazon and see more release tour happenings on Amanda Tero’s blog, along with a fun giveaway. I’ll be posting the full schedule down below! But first, my review.

This was such a good short story! I usually don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but I was really able to enjoy this story in spite of that. Quest for Leviathan was based on Job 41, which provided a great basis for the story. The characters had great story arcs, there was plenty of action, and the story itself had a great message. Since it was a short story, it’s hard to say much without spoiling anything, but it was definitely a fun, fast-paced read. Along with that, the story had great themes and was completely clean. I definitely recommend reading it!

About the Book

Leviathan took the life of his father.

Anath has spent three years preparing for the voyage that will end the threat of Leviathan. Yet as the Valor launches into the depths of the Mediterranean, an inward quest also begins, taking Anath to depths he is not willing to face.

Purchase an e-copy on Amazon or order a paperback.

Add to your Goodreads shelf.

 

About the Author

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

Connect with Amanda

Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com

Website: http://amandatero.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amandateroauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandateroauthor/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amandaruthtero/

Blog: www.withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AmandaTero

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/amandatero

 

Tour Schedule

June 8

With a Joyful Noise (Release Day Post)

Resting Life (Spotlight, Review)

The World of the Writer (Review)

Authoring Arrowheads (Review)

Purely by Faith Review (Review, Interview)

June 9

Victoria’s Book Nook (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

Bekah’s Books (Spotlight, Review, Interview)

June 11

Clothed with Scarlet (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

Reveries Reviews (Review)

June 12

Chosen Vessels (Spotlight, Review)

My Purple Pen (Review)

Read Another Page (Review)

June 13

Once Upon an Ordinary (Review)

Maidens for Modesty (Review)

Yahweh Sisters (Review)

June 14

Honey Rock Hills (Review)

Life of Heritage Corner (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)

Kaylee’s Kind of Writes (Review, Interview)

June 15

The Red-Hooded Writer (Review)

Blossoms and Blessings (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)

Lit Aflame (Review, Interview)

June 16

The Left-Handed Typist (Review)

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review, Interview, Giveaway)

June 18

Great Books for God’s Girls (Review, Interview)

Peculiar Miss Darcy (Character Interview)

June 19

Done in Love (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)

Creating Romance (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

June 20

Keturah’s Korner (Review, Interview)

Rock and Minerals 4 Him (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

June 21

A Baker’s Perspective (Review, Giveaway, Character Spotlight)

Christian Author: A.M. Heath (Review, Interview)

June 22

Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections (Review)

Views from the Window Friend (Review)

Hunting for Truth (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

June 23

Reading on the Edge (Spotlight)

Summer Snowflakes (Review, Giveaway)

June 25

With a Joyful Noise (Giveaway Winner Announced)

 

A Few Updates And A New Project

Hullo, everyone! I haven’t gotten a chance to write any of the posts that you all voted on in that poll a while back, but I did have a few updates to share with you. Most of you probably saw the cover reveal for Lightporter, of course, but several other cool things have happened.

First, I got to do an awesome author interview over at Books and Teacup Reviews! I had a lot of fun answering Yesha’s questions. You can also check out her review of Twinepathy here.

Second, I’ve been getting feedback from betas on Lightporter, and I’m super excited about how close I’m getting to editing. Editing may not be fun, but it means it’s one step closer to being in your hands, so that’s worth celebrating! I’m excited to see how this book turns out.

I also have a post planned for a few days from now with a review of a new Christian dystopian novel that I got an eARC of, and I really enjoyed, so stay tuned for that!

I’m also super excited to tell you about my new project! I’m actually not working on book 3 of the IDIA series yet. I’ve worked on some plotting for it, but I chose to start a different project first–a superhero retelling of Snow White for the Rooglewood Press short story contest! I’m really excited about this story, and even if it doesn’t win the contest, I hope to be able to share it with all of you. It’s definitely been an exciting change from the IDIA universe, and I’m enjoying it quite a bit.

And a final announcement that I’m hoping you can all help me with. Twinepathy‘s one-year birthday is July 4th! Because of that, I’m going to be holding the first IDIA Fan Contest. In this contest, you’ll be able to submit any fanart, fanfiction, or other fan-created material to win a prize (which is yet to be determined). I also haven’t decided if I’ll be picking my favorite or if you guys will be voting for your favorites. The contest will open July 4th and run through the end of July. I’m announcing it now so that you’ll have plenty of time to think of ideas! There may be prizes for different categories, depending on the number of submissions. You will be able to submit anything IDIA-related: quote pictures, drawings, fan fiction, costumes, pictures of the book, your own mask, recipes, anything! (If you’re looking for ideas, you can check out the IDIA group board on Pinterest!) Comment below with any suggestions or ideas you have for the contest, and if you’re excited about it or plan on participating!

Thanks so much for reading through these updates! You guys are awesome, and thanks for sticking with me even with the irregular blogging schedule! 🙂

Musings of Avarice

I wrote this story for a Faithwriters.com challenge with the topic of Greed. It got third place in my category! I’d love to hear what you think! 😀 Read some of my other stories on Faithwriters here.

My name is Avarice. I was born greedy, my daddy said. Took my momma’s life when I came out. My name was my momma’s dyin’ wish after she gave birth to me. My daddy said, years ago, that she’d probably heard it somewhere and didn’t know that it meant greed. I must say, over the years it’s become fittin’. Everyone says I’m the greediest person they’ve ever met.

How can I not be greedy? Greed defines my life.

Greed defines everyone’s life.

Sometimes I’ll laugh in people’s faces when they say that I’m nothin’ but a greedy, miserly old woman. They judge me, but they don’t see how greedy they themselves have been. I’ve lived long on this lousy earth, and I know for a fact that greed don’t just control my life, it controls everyone’s life.

I’ve seen people ruinin’ other people’s lives, eliminatin’ other people’s lives, just for greed. And I’ve seen –

Put down those cookies. They’re mine.

Now, where was I… I know what you’re thinkin’. You’re thinkin’ that some people ain’t quite so bad. I’ve heard you say those Christian do-gooders ain’t greedy. Listen here, I’ve seen Christians doin’ their greedy things right along with the rest of us. I’ve even seen some murder people. There are a few good ones; they’re the ones I admire. Resistin’ greed is one of the toughest things out there, hon. But mostly, they pretend they’re all high and mighty, actin’ better than the rest of us, even though they ain’t. They’re doin’ the same things we are, bein’ greedy for more just like we are.

Greed can make even the best of people evil. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. You may be thinkin’ of a greedy person you know, and let me tell you you’re just as bad as that person. Greed can make even a perfectly innocent person like myself and turn them into someone like Fred in the room next door. He stole my green beans at lunch. Greed leads to worse sins. Somethin’ I remember from the one time I went to church – a mighty long time ago, let me tell you – was something about how if you broke one commandment, you was breakin’ them all. Let me tell you, greed can sure do that.

Wait, you’re leavin’ so soon? Ah, yes, I’m sure you have much better things to do than visit grumpy old ladies like me that are stuck in a nursin’ home… what? No, you can’t have a cookie! Get out of here you greedy little…

Well, that got rid of him quick.

The Holdup

Did you know that Hershey’s Bars were first invented in 1900?!?! The things you learn from writing research! This is a short story I wrote for an English assignment based off a news story I wrote for Creative Writing. If you’re nerdy like me, you might recognize these names right off the bat. If not, don’t worry. You’ll find out at the end. Enjoy, and I’d love to hear your opinions!

“That’ll be ten dollars and ninety five cents,” the young girl behind the counter told him. Timothy Dugan slid the money to her, and picked up his snacks. Most truck stops along the route he and James Montgomery Falsworth, better known as Montgomery or Major, were taking had reasonable prices. This one, not so much. Timothy settled his portly frame down on a bench near the door, waiting for Montgomery to join him. The sky outside the front windows was black, pitch black, with dark clouds covering the moon. The harsh lights from inside the convenience glinted off the shiny silver 1951 Mercedes-Benz he and Montgomery had rented. It was only a couple years old.

Timothy opened his Hershey bar, smoothing his mustache away from his mouth. He wasn’t a big fan of chocolate, but it was one of the cheapest things in the store. The wrapper cheerily proclaimed the fiftieth anniversary of Hershey bars. The bell on the front door jingled and Timothy just caught a glimpse of the two darkly-dressed men as they walked past him. He looked outside and saw their car parked next to the rental. He couldn’t help admiring the dark lines of their small car, but he couldn’t see the make of the car or the license plate number.

He heard Montgomery whistling as the bathroom door slammed shut, and then the whistling stopped abruptly. Timothy looked up to see the taller of the two men pointing a gun at Montgomery’s back. A cold hand yanked Timothy off the bench and the short, fat man pointed a gun at Timothy. A holdup. Hope this doesn’t become the last day of the road trip.

“Give us the money from the cash register,” the taller man ordered. Both men had their faces covered, and were wearing long sleeves and gloves. Timothy pitied the frightened girl, who looked like she was only in her twenties. Timothy glanced at Montgomery. Here they were, two World War II veterans, and not only that, but two who had served next to the best captain in the army, and they were unable to do anything to help stop a robbery.

The girl opened the cash register and handed off the money to them. “This one’s for you, Rogers,” Timothy whispered. He shoved his elbow into his captor’s stomach. The man doubled over, letting go of Timothy and the gun, but he recovered quick enough to race outside, his partner covering for him and picking up the dropped gun. The tall man studied them. “Stay at the back of the room and don’t try anything, or you’ll regret it.” Then he disappeared out the door and into the car outside, which roared to life and sped down the road.

Timothy immediately reached for the phone and called the police, alerting them to what happened. Montgomery patted his shoulder. “Well done, Dugan. Rogers would’ve been proud.”

Timothy smiles at his friend, rubbing his red moustache. He missed his old nickname. Montgomery hadn’t called him Dum Dum since the plane crash. “He would’ve done better. But I’m not a super soldier.” The police filed into the building, getting their testimonies and contact information. Then they let them go, and the two veterans headed back onto the open road.

Still don’t know who our World War II veterans are? Dum Dum and the Major, two members of Captain America’s “barbershop quartet”! Surprise!

Eric – Behind the Names

For those of you who have been guessing about the significance of the names of Eric and Joseph, the big moment is here!

The names are actually simply hints to a lesson found in the story. A simple sentence.

Jesus died for Everyone.

Jeremiah died for Eric.

Hope you enjoyed this story, and I’d love to hear what you have to say! 🙂 Did you enjoy the parallel, and did you figure out the names?