Thursday, June 28, 2018

Endearing Characters on a Quest for Truth | Review of The Story Peddler

About the Book

Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn't just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king's guard hunts her down...and they're not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she's not the only outlaw in the empire. There's a rebel group of weavers...and they're after her too.

My Rating


My Review

The main characters of The Story Peddler are so endearing. Tanwen is a farm girl with lots of ambition and hope for a life beyond all she's known...and all she's lost. Braith is a princess with a tender heart who finds herself in a very precarious position as she attempts to show mercy to those under her father's tyrannical rule. Both girls have at least one dear and loyal friend, as well as many more enemies.

The premise and plot for this story offer a lot of intrigue and include delightful descriptions. It was so neat to see how storytelling unfolds in this fantasy world and to have the characters experience art (including words) in exciting, tangible ways. I also loved the emphasis on truth being revealed through even when someone might not be intending to express something, truth speaks for itself. The book depicts this in such clever ways!

There's a great sense of tension and danger throughout most of The Story Peddler as Tanwen and Braith navigate new situations and revelations. There's even a bit of romantic tension in the form of a subtle love triangle for one of the girls...but mostly, romance takes a back seat to survival and the quest for truth (as well as freedom to express it). This is actually the first in a series, but this installment has a solid ending while promising a different quest to come that will show readers even more of this intriguing fantasy world.

For a well-imagined cast of characters and an amazing display of their talents set against a backdrop of unrest and uncertainty, The Story Peddler is grand storytelling!

*With thanks to Enclave Publishing through JustRead Publicity for providing me with a complimentary e-copy of this book.*

Friday, June 22, 2018

A Time for Adventure | Blog Tour + Author Interview + Giveaway

I have the pleasure of participating in the tour for my friend Miranda Atchley's new historical novel, A Time for Adventure! In this post, you can read the fun description for this book, join me for an enjoyable chat with the author, enter an ebook giveaway, and find out how to snag a free e-copy of another historical novel by the author. It all starts here...

About the Book

The year is 1921, and after years of dreaming, Abi Hensley has set out to travel through Europe. Along with her friend Meg Clery, Abi travels from the rich historical sites in England to the gorgeous green landscapes of Ireland, visits an abandoned castle in Scotland, and roams through the chic streets of Paris. Along the way, they meet a myriad of interesting people, encounter familiar faces, and see things they’ve only ever dreamed of.

Yet their time in Europe isn’t without its challenges. While in Ireland, Abi joins Meg in spending time at her family’s farm. There, they find that the Clerys are overwhelmed by the demands of their farm. In light of this, the family must make some hard decisions; choices that could change the course of their lives forever.

One thing is for certain: Abi’s tour of Europe will most definitely be a time for adventure.

Pre-order for $.99! (Releases June 26th)

About the Author

Miranda Atchley loves books of all sorts, but she has always had a special place in her heart for historical fiction. Writing is her favorite thing to do, and she has published four historical novels and three contemporary young adult novels. Her novel A Castle in the Sky was a finalist for Read’s The 50 Best Indie Books of 2016. She also writes the blog A Real Writer's Life. When she isn't writing, you can usually find Miranda with her head in a book, taking a walk, or watching Downton Abbey at her home in Arkansas. Read Miranda’s blog and subscribe to her mailing list at:

Author Interview

Amber: Welcome to Seasons of Humility, Miranda, and congratulations on your new release! :) If you could travel to any of the places Abi visits in Europe, where would you most want to go? What would you do while you were there?

Miranda: All the countries Abi visits in Europe (England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, and Switzerland) are on my list of countries I’d like to visit someday. But there is one place in particular that I knew nothing about before I wrote this book that really stands out to me: Bern, Switzerland. It sounds like a really interesting city and the pictures I looked at during the writing process are beautiful. (If you’d like to see some of those photos, you can visit my pin board at: I would love to visit this storybook city and see the medieval architecture and the Swiss Alps during the winter.

Amber: What a lovely board! Bern looks like a great place to visit.

What have you enjoyed most in writing about Abi’s adventures over the years in this four-book series? Has Abi’s journey mirrored your own as a writer or otherwise?

Miranda: There are many things I enjoy about writing Abi’s stories. For one thing, I admire her because she’s a very brave and interesting heroine. She wasn’t afraid to chase after her dreams and do things that weren’t expected of women in the late 1910s/early 1920s. She drove a car, moved across the country on her own, and marched with the suffragettes. Her journey as an author has been different from mine in many ways, mainly because she went the traditional route, whereas I self-publish. Yet I can relate to her because we’ve both struggled with writer’s block, yet we both love writing deeply and have a great appreciation for the written word.

Amber: You’ve written both contemporary and historical novels. What is the hardest part about switching to a historical genre? What is the most rewarding part of the process?

Miranda: The hardest part is definitely the research end of things. There is a lot more fact checking involved in writing historical fiction than I had ever considered before I started writing this series. The most rewarding part is that I get to write in a genre that I love and have enjoyed reading for a long time. There’s just something about historical fiction that I love so much; the style of the writing, reading about the way things were in the past, and, of course, those outfits!

Amber: I totally hear ya! I enjoy reading and writing historical fiction, but the research can be daunting. Speaking of reading... What are your favorite classic novels and why?

Miranda: That’s a tough one! It’s hard to choose, but I think I have it narrowed down to five:

  1. Anne of Green Gables–This book will always have a special place in my heart.
  2. Jane Eyre–There are so many lines that jump out at me in this book ("I am no bird; no net ensnares me") and I admire Jane greatly. She was a brave and noble heroine. 
  3. The Blue Castle–Valancy Stirling is one of the best heroines ever, and no one could spin a line like L.M. Montgomery. 
  4. Daddy-Long-Legs–It was one of those books that I couldn’t put down and has really stuck with me. Jean Webster was another author who was full of wit and wisdom! 
  5. Sense and Sensibility–I love Pride and Prejudice, but there’s just something about Elinor and Marianne Dashwood’s sister relationship that stands out to me and causes this book to nestle a special place in my heart. 

Amber: Love your choices and explanations! You picked some of my favorites too, like Anne of Green Gables and Daddy-Long-Legs. All such great stories!

How about your series? Will Abi’s journey continue? If so, can you give a hint at what she’ll be facing next?

Miranda: It certainly will! I have begun the fifth, and at this time final, book in The Abi Hensley Series. In this book, Lily House Press will be developing into a full-fledged publishing company as Abi and her business partner, Mr. Sanders, begin accepting manuscripts from potential authors. Also, the family of Abi’s former maid, now secretary and dear friend, Meg Clery, will play a big role in this book. I’m particularly excited for readers to meet Meg’s sister, Fiona. I think you’ll like her. ;)

Amber: Sounds like a grand finale for the series! Thank you so much for visiting today. :) It's been a pleasure to host you!

eBook Giveaway

To celebrate the release of A Time For Adventure, Miranda Atchley will be giving away three Kindle editions of the book! The giveaway is open internationally. Must be 18 or older to participate. Ends at 12:00 a.m. on June 26th.

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Free eBook!

Also in celebration of this release, the Kindle edition of Of Things To Come (The Abi Hensley Series, Book 3) will be free to download June 22-26. Grab your FREE copy HERE!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

An Enthralling and Satisfying Fantasy | Review of The Electrical Menagerie + Tour + Giveaway

About the Book

The Electrical Menagerie, one-of-a-kind robotic roadshow, is bankrupt.

Sylvester Carthage, illusionist and engineer, has the eccentric imagination the Menagerie needs to succeed creatively—but none of the people skills. Fast-talking Arbrook Huxley, meanwhile, has all the savvy the Menagerie needs to succeed commercially—but none of the scruples.

To save their show, Carthage and Huxley risk everything in a royal talent competition, vying for the chance to perform for the Future Celestial Queen. In this stardust-and-spark-powered empire of floating islands and flying trains, a shot at fame and fortune means weathering the glamorous and cutthroat world of critics, high society, and rival magicians—but with real conspiracy lurking beneath tabloid controversy, there’s more at stake in this contest than the prize.

Behind the glittery haze of flash paper and mirrors, every competitor has something to hide…and it’s the lies Carthage and Huxley tell each other that may cost them everything.

"Dazzles from start to finish. In Carthage and Huxley, Sherlock and Watson fans will find another dynamic duo whose ready wit and sizzling banter (and inevitable personality clashes) never fail to delight. You'll be calling for an encore performance."
Gillian Bronte Adams, author of The Songkeeper Chronicles

"The stuff that fandoms are built on."
Kyle Robert Shultz, author of Beaumont & Beasley

My Review

"I already love the writing! Pretty sure this is going to be delightful :)"
—My Goodreads status update at 5% through the book

How I felt upon starting the book is how I felt on ending it: delighted with the writing! While there are "romantic" moments showing up here and there through some of the story, this is not a romance...and yet, I still loved it. Imagine that!

The Electrical Menagerie has it all: imaginative performances, incredible robots, mystery and danger, a variety of fascinating settings in a familiar (but also unfamiliar) world, and two great heroes running the show. I loved the humor mixed in with poignant observations on being human. I enjoyed the adventure, following Carthage and Huxley's show and the subterfuge going on behind the scenes. The characters, with their issues and talents and unique personalities, keep you guessing and hoping, and there's so much to love about the stars of the book stage (with their mentoring sort of friendship) and their mechanical butler.

This story just feels so satisfying. The character growth, the enthralling descriptions, the brilliant reminders, the way the story ends with closure but plenty of room for more comes together beautifully. If you enjoy steampunk and fantasy that doesn't feel too far "out there" to grasp (and definitely hits home), The Electrical Menagerie is a winner! Complete with clever, relatable characters and a journey perfect for those with wide imaginations and creative hearts, this thought-provoking story will surely bring down the house.

*With thanks to the author and Unicorn Quester for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of this book.*

About the Author

Mollie’s first job was with a major theme park, where she operated a roller coaster, fixed parade floats, and helped Scooby-Doo put on his head. Now, Mollie is a movie producer and the author of character-driven science fiction/fantasy novels for adults who never outgrew imagination. Her favorite things include Jesus, dinosaurs, and telling cinematic stories that blend glitter and grit.

Book Giveaway

Explore the world of The Electrical Menagerie by entering to win this Celestial Isles prize pack, which includes: "High Victorian" playing cards by luxury playing card company Theory11, handmade galaxy mug by DeVita Designs, Science & Engineering Themed Pocket Notebook Set by CognitiveSurplus, and a tin of Electrical Menagerie themed tea (over a $50 value)! (US only.)

Click HERE to enter!

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 4th
Tuesday, June 5th
Wednesday, June 6th
Thursday, June 7th
Friday, June 8th
Saturday, June 9th
Monday, June 11th

Monday, June 4, 2018

Where the Train Took Us on My Birthday

My new novella's birthday (Where Trains Collide released yesterday!) was also my birthday...and how perfect is it that my husband, Josh, surprised me with train tickets to celebrate? :)

On Friday, Josh and I checked the mail, only to find an odd letter addressed to me from the "Glacier National Park Birthday Club." I opened it, was a little leery of the potential scam, and then discovered the letter was actually from Josh. :) Enclosed was a boarding pass for a train trip on Saturday to and from East Glacier. So sweet!!

It was such a delightful day! We boarded the train in Whitefish, Montana, and enjoyed the morning sunshine and gorgeous views during the two-hour trip to East Glacier. The train winds along the river during much of the journey and skirts the southern boundary of Glacier National Park. And now that it's spring (going on summer), the tree-lined path is green as can be and so lovely!

Josh had arranged for us to pick up a rental car in East Glacier when we arrived, and we spent most of the day enjoying the incredible sights in the Many Glacier and St. Mary areas of the park...

The Many Glacier Hotel is beautiful and has the most amazing backdrop!

We saw so much wildlife! 
Josh is scoping out a moose and her baby across the lake.

One of my favorite memories from the day was our hike to Apikuni Falls. It was quite steep, uphill almost the whole way there...but the views and the waterfall (and the cute critters!) were the best. Then we got to hike downhill the whole way back. ;)

Josh was able to get a pic of both of us at the falls. ♥

We actually saw a grizzly bear and her cub!! 
Thankfully, we were able to safely view them from the car. :)

In the St. Mary Lake area, we got a view of Wild Goose Island (above), Sunrift Gorge, and Baring Falls.

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday adventure, and I'm so grateful to my thoughtful husband for planning it out and making this a weekend to remember. ♥

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Blog Tour Begins... | Where Trains Collide

The day is here! It's been over two and a half years since I released a new book, but this little novella is finally available. :) Thank you so much for stopping by to celebrate the release of Where Trains Collide with me!

I'm honored and thrilled to have some wonderful bloggers helping to spread the word this week, and I hope you'll check out their posts (and maybe check out the novella, too, if you like sweet romance!). There's also a gift-card giveaway to add to the fun!

About the Book

Inspirational Contemporary Romance Novella 

Two hearts racing in different directions will meet where trains collide.

Burned out and disillusioned with her chosen career path, Trisha Knolane gives in to impulse and hops on a train bound for Oregon, eager to escape the stress of college for a few days. But what begins as a fun little adventure takes an unexpected turn when she discovers that her ex-boyfriend is also on board.

All her hopes and dreams had once centered on Paul Benson. Now, when Trisha doesn't know where her current track will lead, Paul’s reappearance in her life only complicates matters and sparks difficult questions.

Questions that could change the course of her life.

A heartfelt and thought-provoking contemporary romance novella, Where Trains Collide faces the uncertain season of new adulthood head on and shows that sometimes a path of broken dreams can lead to life’s best destination.

Purchase for $.99 on Amazon! | Add to Goodreads

Author Bio 

Amber Holcomb (Stokes) is an indie author and freelance editor living below the majestic mountains of Montana with her adventurous husband. Previously, she worked in marketing for a Christian publisher for nearly three years. Her passion for books compelled her to earn a bachelor’s degree in English and now fuels her work with words in this new season of life.

You can learn more about Amber’s books at

Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


In celebration of this new novella, enter for a chance to win a $15 gift card! Giveaway is open internationally (to anyone age 18 or older who can receive an Amazon gift card via email). Void where prohibited.

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Blog Tour Schedule

June 3
Book Spotlight | My Favorite Pastime
Book Spotlight | A Real Writer’s Life

June 4
Author Interview | My Favorite Pastime

June 5
Review + Travel Story | My Favorite Pastime
Review + Author Interview + Travel Story | Meagan Davenport

June 6
Review | Carissa’s Bookshelf
Review | The Green Mockingbird

June 7
Author Interview | Unicorn Quester
Review | Chosen Vessels
Review | Heidi Reads…
Review | Christian Bookshelf Reviews

June 8
Review + Deleted Scene | Flowers of Quiet Happiness
Review | Liv K. Fisher