CSFF Tour Day 2 – Rebels

 

 

 

Safe Lands Enforcer Jason here.SafeLandsTrilogyAd1

I would like to address the craziness described in the so-called “Safe Lands” series by this Jill Williamson. Who is this woman? Who dares spread such lies?

If you, dear Safe Lander, happen upon the latest book, Rebels, know that it is fiction. I do have to say very entertaining fiction. The imagination that creates such a tale of deceit and intrigue. I…guess I can confess that it was hard to put down. The people involved show a lot of faith in each other and stand up for what they believe in.

Even if what they believe in goes against everything the Safe Lands stands for.

Whatever you do, don’t go to these CSFF folks to find out more. Stay true, fellow Safe Landers, and find pleasure in life.

CSFF Tour Day 1 – Rebels

 

Listen up Safe Landers.

All you have been told is a lie.

You think you know what Liberation is. You don’t.

You think that the new Safe Lands Queens from the outlying villages are going to save our city. Wait until you hear the truth behind them. The truth behind the Rebels.

Your leaders are keeping you from the truth. There is more going on than you know.

This blog tour will help open your eyes. Read the posts here and the ones listed below, and you will learn the truth.

The Owl knows. The Owl speaks the truth. Trust the Owl.


rebels

Julie Bihn
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Vicky DealSharingAunt
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Jeremy Harder
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Writer Rani
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Elizabeth Williams

CSFF Tour Day 3 – The Warden And The Wolf King

This is the last day for the CSFF Tour for July and its featured book, The Warden And The Wolf King, by Andrew Peterson, and the last book of the toothy-20cow21-300x205Wingfeather Saga.

critter_fang_21-300x261

A Dastardly Fang of Dang

A note first of all: I participated in the Kickstarter campaign to help fund the publishing. Included in the perks were a high quality map of Aerwiar (The first people created woke up, looked around, and said, “Here we are.” How awesome.) and a Creaturepedia, a fully illustrated creature book used by Janner to identify some of the fearsome creatures in the land. If you can get your paws or hands on these items, there are very nice.

I had wanted to finish the tour by highlighting one or two of the themes of the series. Bravery. Love. Sacrifice. Family. The desire for an identity. Nobility.

For example, in the story world, the firstborn of the kingdom of Anniera was the Throne Warden, responsible for protecting the second born, the King or Queen. This arrangement used the natural responsibility of the oldest for good, and prevented the natural jealousy of the younger brother to resort to trickery to get the throne.

The idea of sacrifice was so powerfully demonstrated in the way Janner had to continually help his impulsive younger brother. But it showed all those other attributes I just listed as well. Attributes of another Firstborn who sacrificed for a family…

Ultimately, I couldn’t make up my mind with so many choices, so I’m taking the time in this blog to say this:

Thank you Andrew Peterson.

Thank you for sharing with us your gift of story.

Thank you for giving my family hours of entertainment. For giving us Podo the pirate, so I could use my pirate voice while reading aloud. For creating the Florid Sword, so I could be dramatic and silly. For envisioning strong male and female characters for the whole family.

Thank you for all the extra footnotes that refer to fictional books that you made up, enriching the book so. Thank you for the designs of creatures and maps that add that extra zing.

Thank you for the songs. Thank you for Armulyn the Bard and for troll poetry. Thank you for the laughs. And even the strange looks when I laughed out loud on a bus reading the series.

Thank you for the heart and soul you poured into these tales. For using story to share how boys and girls can be noble, brave, scared, and make mistakes, but still be used by the Maker.

Thank you for a classic series that deserves a much wider readership than it has. (Even if it sold like a billion copies, it would deserve more.)

Thank you for writing to my boys when they wrote to you. I got an excited phone call at work when Andrew Peterson wrote them back.

Finally, thank you for never giving up. Well done sir. I tip my hat to you, and I would love to buy you a sweetberry treat if one day we meet.

Sincerely,

Jason Joyner

What more can I say? If you haven’t purchased the books yet, do yourself a favor and go to the Rabbit Room and order the set (it also gives more money back to the author than certain A to Z stores…).

If you want to see what others on the tour are saying, see Becky Miller’s site where she updates all of the participants.

CSFF Day 2 – The Warden And The Wolf King

As Oskar M. Reteep might say, “In the words of Cal’eb the Inquisitive, ‘Here’s where the end starts’.”

The CSFF Tour is wardenfeaturing The Warden And The Wolf King, the final book in Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga.

Yesterday I gave a quick synopsis of the first three books in the series. After the events of The Monster In The Hollows, Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli along with their mother Nia and grandfather Podo (the ex-pirate with a wooden leg) are ready to lead the Green Hollows in battle against the fearsome Fangs of Dang (both the Green and Gray varieteis).

The plan was sound, except that the Fangs invaded first.

Now Janner’s family has been separated. Leeli does battle as the Song Maiden in Ban Rona. Janner is lost in the wilderness. And Kalmar rushes toward Throg, the headquarters of the nameless evil called Gnag the Nameless.

To say anymore would be courting serious spoilers, as well as the fury of Mr. Reteep, the Chief Librarian of Ban Rona. He might quote troll poetry at me if I continue.

As for my review:

Andrew Peterson is a songwriter and musician by trade. All through the series, this has been evident in the way he tells stories with lyrical prose and a dreamer’s heart.

I’ve read the other three books to my boys out loud. We’ve read them since they were 8 and 6. Now they’re 14 and 12 and they can’t wait until we can finish the story. (I had to read it early for the tour). I know they’ll be delighted. They’ll be stunned. And they may well be upset with Mr. Peterson with the ultimate cliffhanger. They’ve always lived for each chapter’s cliffhanger, dying when I wouldn’t read them anymore for the night. This is different.

The series is over.

The bittersweet conclusion continues with a fast pace and continues to deepen characters we know and love from the first three books. One constant trait for all of the heroic characters in the book is nobility. Even though all of the heroes show their flaws, they all have a central nobility which speaks about them having a deeper purpose in the midst of their failings.

The action is swifter in this book, and some of the details of world-building that were so delightful in the first books are necessarily sacrificed to move the story along to the conclusion. There are still touches (footnotes from fictional works in the story world), but the book has a specific target now.

I’ve read numerous fantasy and YA books. I enjoy most of what I read. The Wingfeather Saga holds a special place in my heart. It has enlivened the imagination of my boys. It has a character and artistic quality that speaks of its strong core and nature.

I’ve told the story before of how my boys wrote to Mr. Peterson for a school assignment, and they were so thrilled when they both received hand-written responses from him. That’s the type of man that Andrew is, and that wrote these books.

He did a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publishing of the final book (as he had been dropped from the publisher of the first two). His modest goal was topped three times over as fans poured in money to see the book done right.

I share those details to give an understanding of the character of Andrew Peterson and the way he’s touched fans.

So this is a series that I give my highest recommendation. It can inspire boys and girls to be heroic and noble. It speaks of family, love, and doing the right thing even when it hurts. There’s adventure, intrigue, and cliffhangers galore.

And there are toothy cows.

What more can I say? If you haven’t purchased the books yet, do yourself a favor and go to the Rabbit Room and order the set (it also gives more money back to the author than certain A to Z stores…).

If you want to see what others on the tour are saying, see Becky Miller’s site where she updates all of the participants.

I’ll have a final post tomorrow on the Wingfeather Saga and The Warden And The Wolf King.

CSFF Tour Day 1 – The Warden And The Wolf King

‘Tis a wonderful tour. ‘Tis a sad tour.

Welcome to the July 2014 Christian Sci-fi and Fantasy Tour. This has been one of my favorite blog things to do, and it has introduced me to some wonderful authors and books.

Which leads me to the wonderful/sad conundrum.

We are featuring Andrew Peterson and his fabulous Wingfeather Saga series. This has been a set of books that will be treasured in our house for years to come.

The bad part is that The Warden And The Wolf King is the 4th and final book in the series.

My family’s been waiting for this to finish for a long time. My boys have been patiently waiting for the conclusion. But I realize that the joy in the journey will come to an end as we wingfeatherclose the book on the Wingfeather Saga.

So what’s all the fuss about?

The first book, On The Edge Of The Dark Sea Of Darkness, we are introduced to the Igiby family: the oldest Janner, his middle brother Kalmar (Tink), and the youngest sister Leeli, who has a twisted leg and requires a crutch. They live happily in Skree with their mother Nia and ex-pirate grandfather Podo. Except for the nasty, lizardy Fangs of Dang who have taken over the land. The soldiers of Gnag the Nameless, the Fangs are looking for the lost jewels of Anniera, a fabled land. The Fangs think the Igibys have the jewels. The Igiby kids don’t even know what the jewels are, so that creates a problem…

In the second book, North! Or Be Eaten, the Igiby family must flee their town to head for the Ice Prairies of Skree, where the lizard Fangs can’t function. Of course, the way is blocked with treacherous dangers like Stranders, Woes, and the insidious Fork Factory. And there’s a secret that Gnag is ready to unleash on the unsuspecting people of Skree…

So that’s why in book three, The Monster In The Hollows, the Igiby family escapes from Skree and heads east across the Dark Sea to the Green Hollows, the former homeland of Nia and Podo. The Hollowsfolk are the one people to stand against and repel the Fangs of Dang, so it should be a safe refuge. Except for a funny condition that has overtaken Kalmar. It seems that he now resembles a new type of Fang…

And that leads us to The Warden And The Wolf King. I’ll discuss the book and give my review tomorrow. If you’re interested in the series, I encourage you to skip Amazon and purchase it directly from The Rabbit Room, an artist collective that Andrew belongs to. He gets more money than what Amazon or other corporate stores give back.

If you want to, you can check out my past coverage of the series here.

There’s also more information from my fellow travelers below. Check out their blogs for more on Andrew Peterson.

Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Rachel Starr Thomson
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler

Disclaimer: I helped fund the publication through a Kickstarter campaign, so the FCC can pass on by.

 

 

Christian Speculative Fiction Offer

If you’re a fan of Christian speculative fiction, I’ve got a deal for you.

Enclave Publishing (Formerly Marcher Lord Press) is doing a Kickstarter campaign to help fund their fall slate of books, five different books in all. There’s science fiction, superhero, dystopian, and fantasy among the offerings, including an updated version of the excellent classic sci-fi book Firebird by Kathy Tyers.

The cool thing is that the campaign has already met its goal. But it will continue until August 14.

Basically you can preorder any of these books at a great price. For as little as $6, you can get an ebook version of your choice of these books. Higher amounts will give access to more books and either print or ebook versions.

Don’t let this opportunity to show support for quality Christian speculative fiction pass you by. I’ve made my pledge. It’s a great deal.

Slavery At The World Cup

I’m sick.

I’ve caught the fever. Well, you won’t notice with a thermometer. But I have come down with World Cup fever.

As an American soccer fan, it doesn’t generate as much excitement here as other places. But when I was in Germany in 2006 when they hosted the Cup, it was incredible.

Super Bowl? World Series?

Nothing.

Not compared to the World Cup played in a soccer mad country like Germany then or Brazil starting today as they host the 2014 Cup.

But as excited as I am to see some amazing soccer, I’m also saddened. Because I know with all the spectators and chaos, there’s going to be something going on in the shadows.

Events like the World Cup are prime times for sexual abuse and child prostitution/sex trafficking.

Numbers are hard to come by since it is conducted in the dark places, but it is well-known phenomena at large events like this for an increase in human trafficking, forcing people into prostitution against their will.

Thankfully there is much more awareness about this issue all the time. According to Free the Slaves, Brazil has an innovative program to help stop forms of human slavery.

There has also been a major campaign to educate visitors that it is illegal to pay to have sex with anyone 17 and under in Brazil. It’s A Penalty has used media all over Brazil, and their videos have even been shown on flights to Brazil.

So what can we do at home to make a difference against human trafficking during the World Cup?

First of all, if you’re watching a game, take a moment to pray for the vulnerable street children and others who could be prey to a trafficker. Let’s enjoy the football but be mindful to intercede for those who could be in harm’s way.

If you want to be more educated about this or support a group fighting human slavery and child exploitation, check out my Twitter list of organizations and people involved in the fight.

Here’s to an exciting and safe World Cup for all the people of Brazil!

Keep The Readers Hooked

arrowAs I continue to write and revise, I am learning all the time. What a surprise – we don’t learn it all at once. I know all of us writers can say that.

When I hired a freelance editor this winter to help me with my manuscripts, one of the things he picked up on was my chapter endings. Early in the story I had a tendency to wrap up the scene at the end of a chapter instead of leaving people hanging for more. Toward the end of the book I did better with the cliffhangers, but I needed to stretch it all the way through the book.

I saw his point and worked on making sure I did more to make people want to read on. But then I started watching the show Arrow on the CW network.

Holy hanging by a thread, Batman.

The show is a modern version of the DC Comics superhero Green Arrow. They’ve made him gritty, realistic, and the show is a mix of adventure and adrenaline mixed in with some amazing story hooks.

And cliffhangers.

The bad guy shows that he’s got a new trick up his sleeve. The one person that was killed – are they really dead? On and on it went, never a dull ending.

There is not an episode that doesn’t end leaving the viewer crying, “More!”  That worked when we were catching up on Netflix, but now that my boys and I are caught up, we’re stuck waiting.

And we’re dying.

I thought I had the trick of keeping a reader hooked figured out, until I started watching Arrow. Now I know what it is really like. Of course the types of media are different and the type of episodic programming of TV doesn’t fully translate to writing a novel. I can’t have such major events happening each chapter.

But it doesn’t hurt to try.

So Ben Wolf, mr. freelance editor (who did a fantastic job BTW, I would highly recommend him), we’ll see what I can come up with now.

Check out this video for a slight hint on what Arrow is like each weekend.

Bring Back Our Girls

The tragedy is unthinkable.bbog

Three hundred girls – teenagers who are the hope of their villages and pride of their families – ripped from their school by terrorists posing as the soldiers who should protect them from the terrorists.

The horror that the girls and their families in Nigeria are dealing with is truly terrible. We complain in the West about so many things, but how often does something of this magnitude happen?

It is heartening to see the world shine a light on Nigeria and put pressure to get them back from the monsters known as Boko Haram. It shows the power of social media to amplify something until it is picked up by the wider world.

A key is to keep this in the spotlight so people can pray and continue to advocate until all the girls are home. Western media is so quick to move onto the next big outrage, so it is imperative that we keep bringing up these girls and not back down.

If you want to talk about this on social media, use the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Thanks for taking a moment to remember those who need deliverance in such a hard time.

There’s still time to get entered for my book giveaway of Jill Williamson’s Captives. Leave a  comment on this post before May 19th to be entered to win.

A New Home

What do you do for an encore?

Welcome to the new Spoiled For The Ordinary 2.0. I’ve been hanging out at my old location since ’06, but it was time for an upgrade. So here I am on WordPress, ready to go.

I’ve grown so much since I started to blog. I guess it is time for this to do so as well.

I will continue to talk about issues of faith as well as the ins and outs of fiction. Oh, and I like to have some fun in between. That’s the focus of the blog: faith, fiction, and fun.

As I looked back to my first post, this line stuck out to me:

 I serve a big God, a God of adventure and life. I serve in His kingdom, and because of that reason alone, I have been “spoiled for the ordinary”.

That still sums up what I want to do here.

To celebrate, I want to give something away.

I’ve got a brand new copy of Captives, the first book in the YA dystopian series by awesome author Jill Williamson. She’s crafted a great story, and I want people to know about it.

All you have to do is leave a comment on any post from now until May 19th. I’ll choose a random winner to receive Captives.

Thanks for stopping by. Let’s not be satisfied with ordinary. Let’s do this.