YA Christian Author, Karen Ullo Visits

 

Myrria and I had a chance to read Karen Ullo’s new book Cinder Allia. We thoroughly enjoyed the book. With its fascinating characters and unexpected twists it turns the original Cinderella on it’s head. Definitely a must read for young adults. Also a good read for us closet young adults, who are a little bit older. Here is a preview of what you will find when you read Cinder Allia by Karen Ullo.

 

 

Cinder Allia has spent eight years living under her stepmother’s brutal thumb, wrongly punished for having caused her mother’s death. She lives for the day when the prince will grant her justice; but her fairy godmother shatters her hope with the news that the prince has died in battle. Allia escapes in search of her own happy ending, but her journey draws her into the turbulent waters of war and politics in a kingdom where the prince’s death has left chaos and division. Cinder Allia turns a traditional fairy tale upside down and weaves it into an epic filled with espionage, treason, magic, and romance. What happens when the damsel in distress must save not only herself, but her kingdom? What price is she willing to pay for justice? And can a woman who has lost her prince ever find true love? Surrounded by a cast that includes gallant knights, turncoat revolutionaries, a crippled prince who lives in hiding, a priest who is also a spy, and the man whose love Allia longs for most—her father—Cinder Allia is an unforgettable story about hope, courage, and the healing power of pain.

 

Selected Excerpts 

 

“Allia,” the creature breathed, its timbre of birdsong and silver bells dampened by its grief. “Weep with me. Your prince is dead.”

“My prince? What prince would ever deign to call himself mine?” She tugged without thinking at the skirt of her rough gray kirtle. She had washed it just that morning in the stream. It clung to her, still stained with ash.

The creature placed its tiny golden hands upon the maiden’s eyes. “The one whose body you see lying with the arrow through his breast.”

***

 

As soon as the door to the queen’s apartments shut behind them, Prince Lennard turned to face his charge. “My mother has it in mind that I should show you a lot of stuffy portraits and gilded frescoes. Is that what you want to see?”

The glint in his eye made her dizzy, but Allia managed to answer, “No.”

“Good. What, then?”

“Well, to begin… Your Highness, may I see your sword?”

He smiled with almost paternal pride as he drew the blade. The steel gleamed more brightly than the diamond hilt in the sunlit hall. “I call her Griffin’s Claw.”

Allia dared to trace a finger across its shining beauty. “Lagunde steel,” she said, and the prince’s eyes widened with respect. “My father has one, but not as fine as this. This wouldn’t be one of Master Rellan’s?”

“It is. You know his work?”

“Only by reputation. I’ve never seen one before. Why do you call her Griffin’s Claw?”

“Because people call me the Lion, but I’d rather be able to fly.” He winked, and a thrill quivered down Allia’s spine.

“May I hold it?”

Prince Lennard offered her the glittering hilt. Her fingers closed with reverence.

 

***

 

Allia tightened her grip on the sword. Her scabbed palms burned with the wounds of hate while her heart drummed against the cross-shaped scar of love. No matter which she chose, it would leave her bleeding.

 

***

Where to buy the book:

In print: https://www.amazon.com/Cinder-Allia-Karen-Ullo/dp/0999022105/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1498762424&sr=8-2&keywords=cinder+allia

In all major eBook formats: https://books.pronoun.com/cinder-allia/

In the shadow of the hazel tree, nothing but grief would ever harm her—though grief left more enduring scars than any sword. But the rain that dribbled down her cheeks would sustain the grass and the doves and the flowers for ages yet to come. In the shadow of the hazel tree, Allia knew that grief had been given to her to nourish her joy.

 

Here’s a little bit about the author:

Author Bio:

Karen Ullo is the author of the novels Jennifer the Damned (Wiseblood Books 2015) and Cinder Allia. She is a regular contributor to Dappled Things journal and also writes recipes for Catholicmom.com. She holds an MFA in screenwriting from the University of Southern California. She is also a classically trained soprano who works as the music director at a church in Baton Rouge, LA, where she lives with her husband and two young sons.

 

Author Platforms:

Website: www.karenullo.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/karenulloauthor

Blog: https://karenullo.wordpress.com/

Thank you Karen for sharing your book with us.

News and Updates

11203056_1444953639148763_2136705268170045855_n (1)Women of the Bible: A Study

I released the print as well as the e-version through Create Space a little over a year ago and have consistently been selling one or two copies a month.

What can women who lived over 2000 years ago teach us about living in today’s hectic world? The answer to that question is; Lots, especially if you are looking to God for the answers. Through Eve, the Mother of all and of original sin. Sarah and Hagar tried to take matters into their own hands. Rachel and Leah are two sisters fighting for the love of one man. Delilah is an example of how we shouldn’t behave. Naomi and Ruth, a mother and her daughter-in-law, we see self sacrifice. Michal and Bathsheba show us the positive and negative side of forgiveness and tolerance. With Elizabeth, we see the willingness to look past her own triumphs while she seeks to help someone whose triumphs will eclipse her own. Mary, the mother of Jesus besides being an example for all mothers, gives us an example of totally giving oneself to God. Mary Magdalene will show us about finding love and satisfaction with God.
Through these women we can learn how to keep our faith and follow God’s path in even the most trying of times. They prove that God is always with us no matter how far we fall as long as we look to Him for forgiveness and love.
The lessons span the eons and these women still have lessons to teach us.

 

 

Palace of the Twelve Pillars Trilogy

TheTwelvePillarsbundle

 

Not much new to report here. Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One celebrated it’s three year anniversary in April 2016. Here is a new review of it:

Palace of the Twelve Pillars
4 Stars

Palace of the Twelve Pillars by Christina Weigand is a good fantasy fiction story for young adults that kept me enthralled.  Though it is listed as a Christian story, I didn’t really see why.  In fact, the claim of it being a Christian story is confusing as monotheism does not appear within the plot.  There are dragons, magic, gods, healers, and even dream manipulation, which all lead to interesting plot concepts, but modern views of Christianity are lacking in my opinion.  Twin brothers, Brandan and Joachim, are princes in their kingdom.  Ultimately, the Palace of Twelve Pillars is a story of the battle between good and evil.  Weigand explores the balance of the dark and the light between the brothers as well as within themselves.  There is a lot of family drama at the core of this story.  It’s certainly held my interest, but I wanted more – more depth overall.

Christina Weigand focuses almost solely on the constant struggle between the two brothers.  In fact, it almost seemed like they never left the castle.  I wanted to know about the kindom and the delicate balance of light and dark that was happening outside the walls of the family castle.  The author does a good job of describing the story and the main characters, but I was confused at times by the supporting characters.  It was often too hard to tell if they were good or evil – what was their actual intent.  Palace of the Twelve Pillars also felt like a coming of age story alongside the delicate balance and sometimes the fullblown war between the dark side and the light side everyone has within.  An interesting story, it leaves you ready for Book Two, Palace of the Three Crosses.

Originally reviewed by Rob Alex of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.

Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two will celebrate its third anniversary in September 2016. Here is a recent review of it:

Palace of the Three Crosses

4 Stars

Palace of the Three Crosses, written by Christina Weigand, is Book Two following up on Palace of the Twelve Pillars.  Again, I’m confused by the perception that this is a strongly Christian focused book.  In fact, the three crosses on the cover led me to believe it would have something to do with the crucifixtion, but the gods or spiritual beings mentioned included Ishtar and Asha not Jesus or God. Here’s the thing, I don’t want the that to stop you from reading Palace of the Three Crosses or on the other hand, perhaps, you’ll be more open to reading it knowing it isn’t heavily Christian focused.  So, is it medival fantasy for young adults?  Yes!

The battle between good and evil continue in the Palace of the Three Crosses.  Joachim and Brandan both marry and rule kingdoms, but Brandan’s castle is so filled with negative energy that when Joachim’s wife suffers complications during her first pregnancy the healers aren’t able to help her.  As time moves on, both Joachim and Brandan sire children, and the gods inform the dragons that all three children must be kept safe as one of them is the chosen one.  Weigand doesn’t go into what the chosen one is meant to do though.  Eventually, Brandan is banished from Joachim’s kingdom and is sent away in exile.  In fact, most of his powers have been stripped from him.  Christina Weigand does a nice job of leaving the reader anxiously anticipating the third book, Sanctuary of Nine Dragons.  Though I can’t say it was a page turner for me, Palace of the Three Crosses is quite an interesting story and held my interest.

Originally reviewed by Rob Alex of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.

 

Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three will celebrate its third anniversary in February 2017. Here is a recent review for it.

4 Stars

Christina Weigand’s Sanctuary of Nine Dragons, the third book in the Palace of The Twelve Pillars series, was the best book of the three.  The story continued around the two brothers, King Joachim and Brandan, and their families including King Joachim’s wife, Queen Maeve.  However, it had a strong focus on their children, two boys and a girl.  Joachim’s son was kidnapped right out of the cradle, and had not been found as of yet even though he was actually being raised by a close family friend.  At the same time, his twin sister, encountered struggles due to their father persistently searching for his heir to the throne.  Eventually, the king’s son was found though. There was a coming of age aspect to the story around Joachim and Brandan’s children as well as the continued battle of good and evil.  Even the dragons engaged in a battle of good and evil within themselves.

A good story, Sanctuary of Nine Dragons, had much more depth to the story than Palace of the Twelve Pillars or Palace of the Three Crosses.  It was well written, and author Christina Weigand did a nice job progressing the characters through the book.  She did a nice job of interweaving the story of the family as well as guardian dragons and the gods.  We all know there is a delicate balance of good and evil in the world, and Weigand’s mystical land was no different.  With all of the typical pieces in place, kings, queens, dragons, and a kidnapped heir to the throne, Sanctuary of Nine Dragons will take readers to another place and time while keeping their curiosity alit.  Weigand does not disappoint in this third book.  Well done.

Originally reviewed by Rob Alex of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.

ATAI Book Award 4 Stars

Last week I recorded a podcast with Rob and Janelle Alex where we talked about the books and other fun stuff. Stay tuned and I will post the air date for the podcast.

Myrria and the twins will be visiting Don Massenzio’s Blog on July 6 so you’ll want to be sure and check that out.

They will also be visiting the Catholic Underground over the next few months. Dates are TBA and I will let you know when they are going to happen.

 

Finally,  Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Galactic Safety Council series. I am in the process of finishing up the fourth book in the six book series. Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully is under contract and set to release at the end of the year.SIRESCHOOLBULLY (1)

 

Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Lost Detective is under contract with a projected release date of end of 2016.

Sir E. Robert Smythe Goes Shopping is under contract  with a projected release date of Fall 2017.

Sir E. Robert Smythe Goes Back to School will be submitted to the publisher by the June 4.

The other two titles; Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Substitute Teacher and Sir E. Robert Smythe: Be a Good Sport are in progress and will be submitted to MuseItUp Publishing by the end of September, 2016.

Stay tuned for updates on all these projects.