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The World of A WISH MADE OF GLASS

Instead of simply introducing the characters in A Wish Made of Glass, I thought I’d go a little further and give you a peek into some of the enchanting places and settings in my story as well. I saw them all so clearly as I wrote them, people and places and props alike, it was such a pleasure to find images that mirrored what was in my imagination already, and now show and describe them to you.

Welcome to the world of A Wish Made of Glass.

Isidore child

Isidore

Isidore

She is the one who tells this story. She is the stepsister, the outsider, the stormy and dark protagonist who is, in fact, her own worst enemy. Yet I’ve always found that, in both books and real life, people who have known the greatest pain and heartbreak have the largest capacity for joy and love.

Blessing1

Blessing

Blessing

Here is the girl on whom the actual Cinderella character is based. Although soft-hearted and soft-spoken, don’t be fooled. Blessing has real struggles of her own, too.

Anthony

Anthony2

Anthony

Isidore’s father’s heart has a huge amount of love for everyone, his daughter most of all. It’s a love that means so much to Isidore that she doesn’t want to share it with anyone – not even her beloved new stepsister, Blessing, much to her father’s heartbreak.

Hazel

Hazel

Hazel

After Isidore’s mother dies, her father hires a nursemaid: Hazel. Isidore wouldn’t have been the same without her dear maid, who becomes more of a mother and friend to her than anything else. This tale-weaving, long-suffering, opinionated lady supports Isidore through every heartache and joy.

The fey man

fey prince

Fey man

He’s ageless, as are all the fey folk. He’s completely unfamiliar, yet Isidore feels she knows him somehow. He’s one of the fey creatures who live hidden in the forest. I saw him clearly in my mind as I wrote him, although finding an image that looks like him was extremely difficult! I suppose this picture will have to suffice . . .

lord auren1

Lord Auren

Lord Auren

The mysterious young lord who holds a ball, rumored to be searching for a wife. He is young and kind-hearted and rather shy, but most assuredly knows his own mind and is a true lord of the manor.

Midland forest

Midland Forest

Midland forest

This is the place Isidore grew up, the place she first met and danced with the fey folk as a little girl. The trees here are, “squat, woven-trunked, whispering things” which make up much of the fabric of Isidore’s childhood, just as the fey themselves do. Green and moss-covered and full to the brim with whimsy and magic and memories, the Midland forest is a true fairy tale wood.

Northern forest

Northern forest

Northern forest

Different entirely from the Midland forest, the trees in the North are “straight and proud and tall. They wear their leaves like a gathering of giant kings donning their crowns.” Isidore soon learns the invisible paths in this wood, which lays just beyond the garden hedge of her new home. She wanders here often, seeking comfort when heartache starts to haunt her. The forest’s cold stillness echoes her own heart.

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Stepmother’s gardens

Stepmother’s gardens

Although Isidore may not be enchanted with her new home in the North, the gardens surrounding it are another story, especially after all the memories she and Blessing make together there, playing tag and whispering sisterly secrets.

Masquerade

masquerade2Oh, the masquerade. How fun, honestly? I’ve always wanted to go to one. Second best: writing about one. Lord Auren throws a masquerade in an attempt to find a bride. Does he succeed in finding the woman he could love among the masked attendees? You’ll have to read the story to find out . . .  In the meantime, check out the Pinterest board of masks I created, some of which inspired descriptions in my novella.

 

 

 

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Enter to win this fairy tale package giveaway (Aug 24-30) which includes a masquerade mask, a signed paperback copy of A Wish Made of Glass, and a set of 5 custom-painted enchanted forest greeting cards.

*Only US addressees may enter*

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CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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A Wish Made of Glass: RELEASE DAY!

A FAIRY TALE

A Wish Made of Glass is a story that has been through many changes. When I first began writing it, I wanted nothing more than a simple fairy tale told from an alternate point of view from the original Cinderella version I was loosely basing it upon. That’s what I got with the first draft. But, more than a year later, when I returned to the story, I saw the potential for an even deeper meaning. The changes I wanted to make were so extensive that, instead of revising the original version, I started from scratch, though I kept the main points of the original intact.

Many blissful, agonized, bleary-eyed, contented hours went into this little book, and though I enjoyed nearly every moment with these characters, I can’t say that I’m sad it is finally out of my hands and into yours!

You can find it at these locations now:

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Kobo     Smashwords

RELEASE EVENTS

So what can you expect around here now that my novella has officially released? Well, here are a few things I’ve got planned.

Fun posts. Quite soon I plan on introducing you to not only the characters from A Wish Made of Glass, but the places, etc. of my story as well. Come back next week to see pictures and hear descriptions of my little fairy tale world.

Blog tour. This will run from August 24 – 30. I’ll be posting a link to it in my sidebar as soon as the final schedule of stops comes in. Keep your eyes open!

Giveaway. Beginning on the week of the blog tour, I’ll be giving away the items pictured below. If you’ve had a chance to read the book already, you’ll understand the meaning of each of them 🙂 One lucky winner will claim all of them at the end of the blog tour!

Giveaway item1

Set of 4 custom-painted fairy tale forest cards

Giveaway item2

Butterfly masquerade mask

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Paperback copy of A Wish Made of Glass

WANT TO HELP SUPPORT MY LAUNCH?

  • Purchase a copy of my book (of course!). Right now, both the eBook and the paperback are at a special discounted price which will run until around the first week of September. After that it will return to normal price. If you’ve already got a copy, consider purchasing one for a friend who may enjoy it, or even your local library.
  • After you read A Wish Made of Glass, leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.
  • Share about this novella with your friends through Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, your blog, or just plain word-of-mouth.

Thanks so much, friends, for the help you’ve already given up to now. You mean so much to me and I’m so excited to share my little book with you. Blessings.

Daniel and the Sun Sword

I had the privilege of reading and reviewing this great book before its official release. You’ll find my review below, but first I’d like to show you some other fun stuff . . . such as the awesome cover art and the spectacular book trailer!

Note: Barnes and Noble and Amazon both say that the official release date for Daniel and the Sun Sword is November 3. But don’t let that fool you. The book will be available as of July, and if you pre-order the paperback now you’ll get your copy by the end of July or early August.

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daniel and the sun sword

Thirteen-year-old Daniel is about to be adopted. But when he learns his new family wants him as a slave, he runs away with the help of his new neighbors, the naïve and cowardly Ben, and Raylin, a mysterious girl with a shady past.

He begins to second-guess his decision when the cave they hide in transports them to the ruins of Machu Picchu, where they find themselves embroiled in a battle between ancient gods of Life and Death. To top things off, the God of Life draws Daniel into the fray by adopting him as his son and setting him on a quest to complete a broken, mystical sword, a task that will pit him against the god of the underworld.

Now, Daniel and his friends have just one weekend to find the shards before a hoard of supernatural enemies catch up. But that’s not all they face. A trap has been set that even Daniel wouldn’t expect, and he just took the bait.

Will the power of his Heavenly Father be enough to save them?

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MY REVIEW

Looking for a brave, spunky hero and a refreshing, meaningful adventure? Look no further. Formidable enemies, engaging characters, and a heartfelt and powerful message. Daniel and the Sun Sword has it all.

At first glance this story put me in mind of the Percy Jackson series (which, by the way, is a very good thing!). It has a rapid pace, loads of action and adventure, and a young male protagonist who has to take on a world of dangerous and deadly gods and demons. But this book does something Percy Jackson never did. It goes deeper. It has lasting meaning. It gives hope. And that makes all the difference.

Daniel is a relatable and realistic protagonist. I felt connected to him from the start. He is an orphan who feels that he controls nothing in his own life. He has no sense of his own importance or purpose. But when danger literally comes creeping to his doorstep, he has to start making decisions fast. He has to choose between remaining the same and growing, between cowardice and bravery. Daniel begins a journey that forces him to not only be brave in body, but courageous of heart.

The secondary characters were all extremely fun to read, too, with personalities that set each of them apart. From quirky Ben, to doubtful Raylin, to the disgusting Gurges, to quietly strong Gabriela – I enjoyed watching them all play their parts in the greater scheme of the story, and I hope to see more of them in future books (well, perhaps not the Gurges…*shudder*). The gods, monsters and other creatures were written with descriptions that truly brought them to life. Even when reading about the most evil of creatures, I had to smile in admiration at lines like this one: “The voice was deep and horrible, like the very foundations of the earth were grinding together to make speech.” The author has a great way with imagery and metaphors.

In short, this book is full of all the things tween boys love: action, adventure, danger, and monsters. Yet at its core, this story is an allegory. Its meaning is deep and true. We are all born orphans, just like Daniel, but we have the awesome choice to become a part of the greatest family that ever was, with the greatest Father who ever lived. I was blown away by the smooth combination of both the physical and spiritual elements woven together in this story.

Daniel and the Sun Sword is the type of book I’ve hoped to see for a long time, for all the boys out there like my own son who long to read about adventures and heroes, but need to understand that their hope does not come from themselves, but from Someone higher. This book is a powerful testimony to that truth. I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone between the ages of 10 and 110! I loved it from start to finish.

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COVER REVEAL: A Wish Made of Glass

I am absolutely delighted to present the gorgeous cover for my fairy tale novella which will be releasing this summer. I’m not even going to waste any time introducing it….I’ll let its beauty speak for itself 🙂

Ready?

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Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.

The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.

Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.

RELEASING SUMMER 2015

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The mysteriously snowy forest…the cape billowing in the wind…Isidore’s brooding expression…the beautiful color scheme. Ok, I love it all, can you tell? It’s just so perfectly what I saw in my imagination as I wrote this story!!

A Wish Made of Glass has had a strange journey from beginning to end. I first wrote it almost two years ago as simply an entertaining fairy tale retelling of Cinderella. But when I decided a few months ago to Indie publish it, and began revisions on it, it began to take a different form, with a much deeper meaning than I had ever planned. The revision process became more of a complete re-write. I can only think God had different plans for this story than I originally did, and I was more than happy to follow His will 🙂

The cover design creation itself was a whirlwind of brainstorming and inspiration between myself and the lovely designer herself (A.E. Stengl). I’ll be interviewing her here on my blog on Friday, so be sure to stop by and listen as she shares some insight into her creative process!

As of now there is no official release date for A Wish Made of Glass, but if all goes as planned it will be available sometime this summer. That’s sooo close!! I’m pretty thrilled.

So what do you think? Do you love my new cover as much as I do?! Do you plan to read it when it releases this summer?

Cinderella, Edits and Assassins

So what do Cinderella, edits and assassins have in common? It’s not a riddle, I promise 🙂 They’re all the things that have been driving me bonkers lately, that’s what! (Don’t worry – the assassin isn’t after me…)

CINDERELLA

I have been working on several things. First and foremost has been the Cinderella retelling I’ve been chattering on about glass-slipperfor the past several weeks. Yes, I realize I promised a cover reveal quite soon for this story (the cover is finished and absolutely beautiful!!) – and I’m still planning on that. I’ll be putting out a request for anyone wanting to be involved with the reveal through my newsletter, probably within the next week or so. So be on the lookout!

EDITS

At the behest of my agent, I officially hired a professional editor who will be giving my story the finishing polish it needs. This was a first for me, and rather exciting. Can’t wait (i.e. panicked/scared) to see what she’s got to say. I am confident she’ll help me make this story the best it can be.

After the edit is finished, I estimate that it will be approximately 6-8 weeks until I release the novella. That will put the release date somewhere in July. We’ll see. Again, as a first-timer I’m very unsure of an exact date at this point, so I’m making no promises! I’ll keep updating you with my progress, of course 🙂

ASSASSINS

When I get moments between preparing for publication of my Cinderella story, I’ve been working on my novel (the one with daggerdragons and assassins and mysterious identities, among other things). After hearing from my beta readers, I’ve decided this story needs a couple of scene rewrites. A simple thing – that is, if these scenes were simple scenes…which they’re decidedly not. Try climax scene and ending scene. Yikes. Daunting. Lots of prayer will be happening, let’s put it that way.

SUMMERTIME

My son will be out of school in 6 days. Mini-vacations and friend play-dates and lots of tree-climbing and swimming are planned for this summer, too. We’ve already caught a dozen toads and two turtles – talk about starting the summer right! Having my Bug’s sweet little face to look at every day and spending time playing with him will help make the writing and editing less intense and stressful – at least, that’s my hope! Either way, I’m looking forward to summertime.

What does your summer look like?

A Love Letter – Out of Darkness Rising

OODR Blog Tour Header

This is a guest post by Gillian Bronte Adams.

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Brevity may not be my strength, but if you were to ask me to describe Out of Darkness Rising in only a few words, I would say that at its heart, it is a love letter.

To whom, you ask?

I suppose it could be written to everyone who believed in me when I scarce believed in myself. Publishing this book has taken me along such strange and twisting paths that I was tempted to throw up my hands and admit defeat more than once.

Just as “Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam,” I wouldn’t have “got far” without my stalwart companions encouraging me along each step of the way.

It could be written to writing itself, a wild compilation of all the things I love about fantasy and fairytales.

It could even be written to you.

If you are anything like me, you can easily lose yourself in a storyworld for hours at a time. Far too frequently when I was growing up, my younger siblings would get frustrated when they tried to talk to me because once my nose was buried in a book, I would smile and nod but not hear a word they were saying.

Reading my own books is a bit different. Once the final edit has been finished and the final proof completed, there is no element of surprise left in the story for its writer. I have planned the action down the second, dreamed up the dialogue in my own noggin, tweaked each word to sound “just so,” and have the plot fixed as firmly as a road map before my eyes.

Every now and then, there remains a battle scene that sets my blood pumping, a section of prose that makes me sigh in contentment, or a piece of witty banter that brings a chuckle to my lips. I can still shed a tear or two over the death of this character or the sorrow of that one over there.

But I am rarely deeply stirred by the things I write after the initial writing, simply because I wrote them.

Not so with Out of Darkness Rising.

Even now, six years after the imagining and four major rewrites later, something about this novella still manages to grip me by the throat and sink its teeth into my heart.

Perhaps because there is so much of me written into this novella. So much of my hopes and fears, my struggles, my doubts, my dreams.

This book grew from the wild imaginings of a girl who dreamed an impossible dream. It was tempered by a girl who faced theOODR Front Cover difficulties of impossibility, set her teeth against the challenges, and braved her fears to see success … only to watch that success shatter in her hands. It was made anew by a girl who had learned enough to know she had so much more to learn.

It was edited in pain and handed to you now with the air of a knight returning from battle with the enemy’s standard in hand.

And yet, this book was not written for you.

It was not even written for me.

It was written as a love letter to my Savior.

In Out of Darkness Rising, you catch a glimpse—only a glimpse, mind you—of my heart. For I am Hadriel, wild to be free. And I am Marya, too ashamed to stand. Like Hadriel, I have marched out boldly on a course of my own choosing … only to find myself bound by chains of my own making. Like Marya, I have cried out into the storm and the night that I am abandoned, not knowing and not caring that it is I who have wandered.

Like the villagers, I have stood upon the Stone and felt the heat of the Serpent’s breath, and when my craven knees could not bear me up, I have knelt in shame, only to have my head lifted by the One who bore my pain.

By my Redeemer.

Though Out of Darkness Rising was not written to you, it was written for you and me and all of the Maryas, Hadriels, Maddrells, and Bjorns in this world. It is my hope that it will serve as a reminder of who you are, where you have come from, and what the Lord has done for you. That it may rekindle your first love and awaken in you a hope everlasting.

And that the final words will set your heart to throbbing and pounding, overcome with a wild desire to stand upon the shores of the Kingdom, and to know that it is not the end, just the beginning.

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Gillian Bronte AdamsGILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. She is the author of Orphan’s Song, book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles, and Out of Darkness Rising. Visit Gillian online at her blog, Twitter, or Facebook page.

An Allegorical God

God in allegory. Even though I’m an allegorical writer myself, I often have issues with this one. Well, maybe not issues. Let’s just say I approach it carefully.

God is sovereign. God is almighty and all-knowing. His ways are not our ways. How, then, can any writer really do wood thrushHim justice in an allegory? We seek to know Him, but we’ll never know Him completely. Not on this side of death, anyway. If we did, He wouldn’t be God, right? But if we don’t understand Him, how can we write about Him in a way that will satisfy readers who want to see Him in all His wonderful, awe-inspiring glory?

I don’t have a cut and dried answer for this, really. I only know what I prefer when I read allegory, and the rules I personally follow when I write God into an allegorical story of my own.

MYSTERY

An allegorical representation of God should be as mysterious as the true God. So we don’t understand all the facets of this God-character we write about. So our readers don’t. That’s ok. Use the mystery to good effect. Let the unknown deepen the reader’s experience of this God whose ways are not ours, and thus deepen their awe of Him.

EXTREME

Large or tiny. Roaring or whispering. God is anything but a lukewarm, mediocre Being. C.S. Lewis uses a great lion to represent God in his Chronicles of Narnia. In one scene of my book I represented God as a field mouse, whispering encouraging directions in the ear of the protagonist before a battle. Anne Elisabeth Stengl represents the holy spirit with a wood thrush, which I absolutely love. Whether it be intriguing, awe-inspiring, or even quirky, the character a writer chooses to represent God has to be worthy of the reader’s attention and respect.

aslan roar

FEARED

God is to be feared. We fear His wrath, His judgment, His anger when we have chosen to disregard His Word. But take away that fear and you’re left with little love and no respect at all. That’s not a the type of ruler I’d want to follow. Whatever creature or person a writer chooses to use as her representation of God within her story, it should be one whose actions and power inspire a healthy fear. God has the power over life and death and time and all the earth. Fiction shouldn’t show Him as anything less.

LOVING

Yet beyond the fear, a writer must be sure to show the deep and unconditional love God has for His creation. Fear alone can perhaps turn our heads and keep in our minds what will happen if we stray. But it’s love that binds us to Him, heart and soul. It’s God’s mercy and forgiveness and sacrifice that give us the passion to follow Him to the ends of the earth. So why should an allegorical God be any different?

Do you have any preferences when reading Christian allegory? What are the things you like to see in a symbolic fictional God figure?

The Word Changers Has a NEW COVER!!

Oh, yes … but you can’t see it on my site! At least, not today.

The cover reveal is being hosted by the talented and lovely authoress, Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Head over to her blog to see the new cover for The Word Changers, and to enter your name into the giveaway for a signed paperback of the book … one sporting its new cover, of course!

The entire process was a new and thrilling and somewhat daunting one, truth be told. Working so closely with the artist who designed it was an eye-opening experience. What a wonderful thing to watch the concept in my head brought to life by someone else in a way even more lovely than I imagined!

You can leave comments over on Anne Elisabeth’s blog, or you can head back over here to let me know what you think of it. To be honest, I’m pretty giddy about it, myself 🙂

A Thing or Two About Unicorns

Unicorn httpwww.reddit.comrunicorns

  1. There are very few mythical creatures considered to be “good” in all different stories, cultures/traditions. But the unicorn is one of them.
  2. The unicorn itself represents many things in different stories. Most commonly, the unicorn is a symbol of purity and virtue.
  3. In the Middle Ages, the unicorn became a religious symbol, especially in art. A beautiful woman (who represented the Virgin Mary) captured a unicorn, and when it was tame it laid its head in her lap. Through the years, this story grew. The unicorn began to represent Christ, the death of a unicorn was likened to the Passion of Christ.
  4. A group of unicorns together is called a “blessing” of unicorns.
  5. A unicorn’s single horn can be meant to represent many different things. Among them: heraldry, unity, the cycles of time, endlessness, and the sword.
  6. Unicorns’ horns are said to be magic. They are harder than diamonds, and have the ability to neutralize poisons.
  7. If you are fortunate enough to see a unicorn, you may be granted a wish.
  8. The tears of a unicorn have the ability to heal both physical ailments and sorrows of the heart.
  9. In the early 1600s, the Dutch theologian, Petrus Plancius, included the unicorn constellation, “monoceros,” on his celestial globe.
  10. Unicorns in real life? Alexander the Great claimed to have rode a unicorn into battle, the famous explorer Marco Polo claimed to have Unicorn www.fanpop.com (12757987)encountered a unicorn (although his description fits that of a rhinoceros rather closely …), Julius Caesar said he saw a unicorn in a forest in Germany, a unicorn “appeared” to Confucius’ mother, foretelling his birth, and later “appeared” to Confucius himself, foretelling his own death.
  11. Unicorns are said to be able to tell the truth from lies. When confronted with a liar, the unicorn will pierce the liar through the heart with its horn.
  12. For many years, unicorn horns were sold for their medicinal properties, although most of these turned out to be the horns of goats, cows, or even narwhals.
  13. Queen Elizabeth I is said to have owned a unicorn horn. And the throne of Denmark was supposed to have been made from unicorn horns.
  14. Legend says that Noah would not allow unicorns onto the ark, and that is why they are extinct today.
  15. There are quite a few references to unicorns in the King James version of the Bible, although more modern versions translate “unicorn” into “bull” or “oryx.” (Numbers 23:22, Job 39:9, Psalm 22:21, Isaiah 34:7, among others).

Being a reader and writer of Christian allegory, I can’t help but imagine some of the ways unicorns could be used symbolically in stories. Can you? I may have to keep that in mind for my next book …

What’s your favorite mythical creature? Does it lend itself to a deeper meaning in a story you might like to read or write?

The Word Changers is 99 Cents, Plus a Great Giveaway!

THE DEAL

My publisher is reducing the cost of The Word Changers eBook for two weeks, beginning today. It will be just 99 cents (marked down from $3.99), from August 8th – 22nd.

Here are the links where you can find this special deal for The Word Changers:

Amazon        Barnes and Noble

If you’re new to my site, and unfamiliar with The Word Changers, you can click here to read the back-cover blurb.

THE GIVEAWAY

In honor of this promotional price, and to help spread the word, I’m hosting a giveaway!  It’s super easy to enter your name, and you can come back every day it’s going on and enter again.  So, lots of chances to put your name in the hat!

All you’ve got to do to enter is share about the promo price of The Word Changers on one (or several!) of your social media.

Below are a couple of pictures that may come in helpful when sharing.  Feel free to use either of them, or both.

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99 cent promoA

A word about Rafflecopter … my site won’t allow the actual giveaway widget to show up here on this page, but you can click on the link at the foot of this post and it will take you directly to where you can enter your name. No problem.

THE PRIZES

And without further ado, here are the super fun items I’m giving away to one lucky winner!

ONE BRASS MERMAID BOOKMARK

Mermaid Bookmark (Giveaway)

I’m giving away one of these because they bring to mind the mermaid sisters from The Word Changers: Seraphine, Limnoreia and Adamaris.

  ONE “LIBRARY CARD” NOTEPAD

Library Card Notepad (Giveaway)

Some retro inspiration for when you want to jot down story ideas of your own!

 

**CLICK HERE TO ENTER YOUR NAME IN THE GIVEAWAY**

In advance, thanks so much for your support, my friends! I couldn’t do it without you!  

The giveaway doesn’t end until August 22, at the same time the promo ends. So until then, keep coming back to enter your name daily for more chances to win!

Happy sharing!!