He Who Finds Mercy series

Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Laugh out loud fairytale fantasy!

The Book Dragon has finished The Beast of Talesend (Beaumont and Beasley #1) by Kyle Robert Shultz and gives it five claws!
My 5 star review: "I had no idea what to expect with this book, but the author's compelling voice sucked me into the story from the first page and didn't let go until the end. I admire those who can write humor, and though this story is often dark and deadly, the humor, from tongue-in-cheek to slapstick, takes the reader on a wild and crazy theme park ride! The main characters feel like real people, the cynical storybook/late Victorian setting is fascinating, and the situation unfolds like a complex origami steampunk piece. I was actually sad when I saw I was almost to the end. Though this first book wraps up at a nice stopping place, there is definitely MORE to this story, and I look forward to reading it!"

Monday, October 9, 2017

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Exciting second installment in this gaslamp fantasy!

The Book Dragon devoured H. L. Burke's Spellsmith & Carver: Magicians' Trial and gives it five claws!
My 5 star review: "Having read the first in this series, I had connected with the main characters and wanted to continue their story. This installment is even better than the first one! The characters are more loveable than ever, Jaspyr the mechanical fox has a much bigger role, and there are some great villains that make things nail-bitingly anxious for the good guys. Quirky and fun new characters have been introduced, and the world feels amazingly real! Things are not fully resolved, so there is definitely more coming. I can't wait! This is a must-read series for fantasy and steampunk fans!"

I recommend reading book one first, Spellsmith & Carver: Magicians' Rivalry. AND, book three, Spellsmith & Carver: Magicians' Reckoning is only 99 cents as a preorder!!!!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Blooming where I've been planted

I've survived cancer twice in the last thirteen years, but I think the last year has been even more stressful, soul-rending, and life-changing. It began on September 12, 2016 when my mother unexpectedly died one day before my husband, sister, and I were going to take her back to Hawaii, the place of her happiest memories when my Dad was stationed there in the sixties. From then until January I was immersed in the strange new world of probate law and estate matters as her executor. I had just closed on the family home when my husband unexpectedly lost his job after almost 24 years and we had to get past the shock to find another job.

Finding a job is not the same as it was 24 years ago. His profession did not require a bachelor's degree 35 years ago, and so 99% of online applications wouldn't even glance at his depth of knowledge and experience because he couldn't check that BA box! He was offered a job with the City of Fort Worth, and he accepted even though it would pay half what he was making before. So he moved here while I readied the house to sell, and unexpectedly it sold the FIRST DAY with a bidding war! Now we had to scramble to find a house that his Dad could live in (he'd been with us for almost 3 years and had his own "in-law apartment" attached to the house).

We found what we thought was a suitable house and paid a lot of $$ to make it safe and move-in-able for Dad only to discover the inspector missed the rat-infested attic and other nasty stuff. We also had to find a nearby nursing home for my husband's 95 year old aunt, for whom we have medical power of attorney too. TOO MUCH IN A VERY SHORT TIME!

We managed to get it done, but I was a wreck, physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. The stress of leaving our home and long-time friends in a small town which we dearly loved and in which we had planned to retire, die, and be buried coupled with the stress of moving to a totally unfamiliar place in a large city caused several weird health issues which I am still dealing with.

My precious sisters had a solution, the most touching gift I have ever received. Our yard was a disaster, the result of years of neglect, and I didn't have the energy to even think about a garden in the barren little corner that is my new "back yard" (leaving our beautifully landscaped one in our old town). Look what they did in one day:
 This is the "before" picture, which is actually after they raked up all the small branches and leaves and pulled up a rotted railroad tie.
 My youngest sister dug a trench to make a "dry creek bed" for drainage, since heavy rain causes a lake to form in that corner. They planted easy-to-care-for shrubs and flowering plants, added stepping stones to the gate, and moved our little table and chairs so we could actually use them!
 They took our Mom's little wagon she used for yard work, drilled holes for drainage, and planted a fairy garden in it!
Now Mom's old bird bath is a little planter, too. And there are little treasures to be found in all the corners and crannies, like a fairy door to the tree, fossils, crystals, and other pretty rocks my youngest sister found on her journeys to other states, a gourd bird house my middle sister made, and a planter her husband built.

To me, this whimsical, peaceful garden represents the journey this poor old shriveled plant has made, being uprooted after 24 years and transplanted, nearly succumbing to the stress of relocation but instead coming back to life.

Thanks, Christine and Allison! I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Goodreads giveaway of Mercy's Prince

I wish Goodreads would let me give away a set of the entire series, but at least Mercy's Prince can stand alone!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Mercy's Prince by Katy Huth Jones

Mercy's Prince

by Katy Huth Jones

Giveaway ends October 01, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Lovely historical fiction about an Italian family

The Book Dragon has read Rosa, Sola by Carmela A. Martino and gives it five claws!
My 5 star review: "This is a lovely story of a young girl from an Italian immigrant family in the 1960's. I love how Rosa grows during the story, and my heart aches for her and her family. I really liked how the author included so many Italian words to immerse the reader in the culture. The best thing about the story is how true it is to family and how that glue holds everyone together through tragedy. Highly recommended!"
This book is featured at Catholic Teen Books.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A beautiful and powerful Native American fairytale come to life!

The Book Dragon devoured White Wolf and the Ash Princess by Tammy Lash and gives it five claws!
Here's my 5 star review: "Out of the thousands of books I've read in my lifetime, there have been a handful that affected me profoundly and forever changed my heart. This is one of those books. It is not only a beautiful, powerful story, but it spoke to the deepest part of my soul with its gentle wisdom, the wisdom that comes from above, demonstrating God's love and the power of forgiveness in an amazing way. It made me cry, but good tears, cleansing tears. Ms. Lash has created characters who will live in my heart until the end of my days. I highly recommend this book, especially those who are hurting!"

Monday, August 28, 2017

Cover reveal! The end of an epic fantasy series!

This gorgeous cover by Perry Elisabeth represents the culmination of six and a half years, five books, and 650,000 words to tell an epic fantasy story. The journey of this tale is almost as fantastic as the tale itself!

The original version of He Who Finds Mercy was not publishable, as detailed in this article. Being a pack rat, I did keep the manuscript for several years, since there were elements of the story I really liked.

When my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in January 2011, I pulled the manuscript out of a drawer, tossed everything but the opening scene, and asked Prince Valerian and Mercy to tell me their story. I only meant it as a writing exercise to distract me in the grief of watching my hero, my larger-than-life father slowly and painfully die over the next eleven months.

Once I reached chapter 80, I realized this was more than one book and might take at least three to tell the whole story!

I honestly wasn't thinking "for publication" but after taking several chapters to my critique group, they encouraged me to query publishers and agents. I was still writing on the story and had the first book, Mercy's Prince edited when my non-Hodgkin's lymphoma suddenly and painfully came back late in May 2015. The pain was so excruciating my husband and I thought the doctor would say it was stage 4 and nothing to be done but pain control, so I found a pre-made cover, asked the designer to tweak it a bit, and self-published Mercy's Prince, dedicated to my father, as a good-bye to family and friends in early July 2015.

Thankfully the cancer was "only" stage 3 and chemo put it back in remission. So book 2 Mercy's Gift was published in September 2015. I dedicated that one to my cancer doctor, since Mercy is a Healer. When I gave her an autographed copy, she got tears in her eyes, saying it was the nicest thing anyone had done for her.

Chemo brain messed with the writing of the third book, Mercy's Battle. I originally planned to call it Mercy's Children, but the antagonist became such a horrible person and the Vandals were so bloodthirsty I didn't think that would reflect what was happening. My editor Alex McGilvery came up with that great title. I know there is some gruesome stuff in that book. I think it was partly the chemo and the pain mixed with research I'd done years ago for a magazine article on Apaches. I have worried ever since that it was too gruesome to bill as a "clean read."

Once Mercy's Battle was published in May 2016, I breathed a sigh of relief. Even though it wasn't the whole story, it was a reasonable stopping place, in case I couldn't finish the story. But God was merciful and I've been able to survive not only the cancer recurrence but two painful, unexpected moves, becoming a caregiver, having to give up several things that I loved, and the sudden, unexpected death of my mother the day before we were taking her to Hawaii. Mom gave me the opportunity to dedicate book 4 Mercy's King to her. I'd worried about that, since it's by far the saddest of all the books. It was VERY difficult to write, and somehow I managed to release it in May 2017 in the middle of packing for this last, most difficult move.

Now Mercy's Joy is about to be released, and I'm feeling sad because I've lived with and suffered with these beloved characters for so long, I'm going to miss them! I have a feeling I'm not finished writing about them, though. I'll just have to see what the future holds. I know no matter what, I am in good hands: God's.