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.

Author Blog Post: Day 10

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Describe your process for outlining your book. What do you do to stay organized? Do you use a software like Scrivener? Index cards? Sticky notes? Giant posterboards taped to the wall?

I know yesterday I said I wasn’t going to use the prompts this week, but this one seemed appropriate for some of what I am going through with my current wip.

palaceofthethreecrosses200x300Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two was a book I attempted to outline. I like to tell this story whenever I get in a discussion about outlining-vs- not outlining. with PTC I had already written the first book in the series and I thought the third book was written, so easy peasy. I know where the story was and where I thought the story was going, so I write an outline. A lot of people told me you have to write an outline, its the only way to write a story.

I’m one week into November NANO. The story is not going anywhere. The characters refuse to tell their story. That writer’s block that I talked about in an earlier post reared it’s ugly head. I couldn’t write.

I threw out the outline and let Joachim and Brandan take control of the story. And boy did they take off. The story that they told ended up even better than the one I outlined. Of course changes had to be made in what I thought was the third book. And that little book that I thought was the third book, ended up as an excerpt in the third book, because I also realized that the story I was trying to tell was about Brandan and Joachim and not Airyn, Joachim’s son.

So anyway back to my original point and my dilemma with my current wip. When I have things laid out in a neat little package I feel limited, confined, constricted. That is the case with one of my current wip’s. I have the idea for a plot and characters that I have to include and a predetermined theme and I am feeling constricted. The story is still reeling itself out like a film, but the road is rougher, filled with more potholes that I need to navigate. I will get through it, because I must, but for me it is not the best way for me to work.

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As for my organization: Each of my wip’s has a notebook with all research material and critiques if it has reached that phase as well as anything else that pertains to the project. For my personal wip’s I have timelines on a whiteboard so I can keep the story straight and I know what should happen when and that I don’t repeat an event or have it show up in the wrong place. I’ve developed family trees so I can see who is related to who and maps so I can see where things are happening. I currently do all my writing in Word. I have heard so much about Scrivener that I am going to check it out.

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Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two available at MuseItUp Publishing

and Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FAPW43G

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