Monday, October 26, 2009

Behold the Dawn Winner!

The contest for a signed copy of K.M. Weiland's new book, Behold the Dawn, has come to a close. Thanks for entering everyone! And thank you Ms. Weiland for being so active in the comments section. That always makes it more fun.

The lucky winner is... (via .... Lynnae! Congratulations Lynnae! To claim your prize, email me at Yodelingdwarf (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address. Thanks again for entering everyone. And remember, you can still get your hands on a copy. Head over to Amazon or, to name a couple of ways.

(Double click to view trailer in its original format)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Author Interview and Book Giveaway!!! K.M. Weiland's Behold the Dawn

It is my pleasure to welcome novelist K.M. Weiland to the Yodeling Dwarf. She has agreed to endure an interrogation--er, interview. And if that wasn't kind enough, she's giving away a signed copy of her new book, Behold the Dawn, to one of you lucky Yodeling Dwarf readers! I'm reading it right now and loving both the intriguing plot and the entrancing writing style

I met K.M. Weiland through a mutual friend who told me to add her on Facebook. In fact, this guy, Sterling Woomert, is mentioned in the acknowledgments of Behold the Dawn as a valued critique-er. Pretty cool, huh? And now the interview...

Jacob: First, why don’t you tell us a bit about your latest book. What’s the premise?

K.M.:Behold the Dawn is a medieval epic, set against the backdrop of the Third Crusade at the end of the 12th century. It tells the story of Marcus Annan, a renowned competitor in the brutal tourneys—the huge mock battles that remained wildly despite being banned by more than one pope. Annan, haunted by the secrets of his past, is confronted by a mysterious monk who demands that Annan help him seek vengeance for a wrong committed sixteen years earlier. Against his will, Annan is drawn into the conflict, and he journeys to the Crusade in the Holy Land, where he rescues the widow of an old friend and attempts to deliver her to safety in Constantinople. But he soon discovers that the past he’s been running from is finally catching up, and if he hopes to survive, he has no chance but to face it.

Jacob: You live in the sand hills of western Nebraska. What drew your imagination all the way to the Third Crusade?

K.M.: That’s the magnificent thing about imagination: It knows no bounds! I’m really a pretty eclectic person. I’m interested in so many historical eras, and I want to explore them all. But the Middle Ages has always held a special allure for me. I grew up with stories of Robin Hood and William Wallace, Ivanhoe and King Arthur. I’ve always been fascinated by the dichotomy of brutality and romance that the era presents to the historical tableau. So when I read a snippet about William Marshal (“the greatest knight who ever lived”), his conquests on the tourney fields, and his eventual pilgrimage to the Holy Land, my imagination immediately grabbed hold of it.

How do you view your relationship with your characters? Are they real people that apparently only you can see, a collection of characteristics designed for you story's purposes, or something in between?

K.M.: Something in between, I suppose. They start out as a very wispy idea, with only a few concrete elements, and then slowly solidify as I get to know them better. The progression of the plot and the development of character is inextricable. You can’t have one without the other. So, in a sense, I design my characters specifically to fit my story’s purposes—but the story’s purposes also mold themselves to the characters.

Writing is a strange dance between characters and creator. Of course, my characters are all products of me, of my imagination, but they are also very real, very independent—even rebellious sometimes! However, I’m not one of those writers who complain about their characters not cooperating. It’s their story more than mine, so if they want to take it in a direction that I hadn’t intended, then I just let them fly! That’s what good characters do; they just take over.

Jacob: What’s the coolest bit of information you discovered in your research?

K.M.: The tourneys and the Crusades were, of course, what initially interested me. But I also found myself endlessly fascinated (and sometimes shocked) by the social mores. In many ways, the Middle Ages might just as well have been a different planet. For instance, the legal marriageable ages were ridiculously young, and even that legality was sometimes broken by ambitious noble families, who married their children off at ages as young as seven! The general corruption and ignorance of the church was also a bottomless well of interesting facts. I’d highly recommend the book The Age of Pilgrimage by Jonathan Sumption for hours of absorbing reading on the subject.

Jacob: Tell us about the novels you're cooking up for us next!

K.M.: My fantasy novel Dreamers Come (about a man who discovers that his dreams are really memories of another world) is taking a breather at the moment, waiting for me to revisit it for some more editing. In the meantime, I’m outlining another historical project, The Deepest Breath, this one set in London, Kenya, and France during World War I. And I’m also having fun with a co-writing venture that asks the question, “What if Robin Hood met Sleeping Beauty?”

Jacob: Very cool. Thanks for a great interview. Everyone, you can find out more about K.M. Weiland at her website, She also blogs at Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors, and AuthorCulture. Both Behold the Dawn and A Man Called Outlaw, her first book, are available on Amazon.

And now, the giveaway! Simply leave a comment in the comment section to be entered in the drawing for a signed copy of Behold the Dawn. Entries will stop being accepted at 12:00 Midnight PST on Sunday, October 25th. Lord willing, I will announce the winner here on Monday, October 26th.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Signed the Publishing Contract!

Note: If you're looking for the totally awesome 3 book giveaway, either CLICK HERE, or scroll down to the next post.

I'm very pleased to announce that today I signed the publishing contract for Kestrel's Midnight Song and shipped it to the publisher, Flaming Pen Press.

Needless to say, I'm excited! Now comes professional editing, cover design, marketing, etc. Thanks to everyone who has followed my novel publication journey this far, and stay tuned because things are just heating up.

Again, if you're looking for the giveaway, 3 copies of Curse of the Spider King, scroll down or CLICK HERE!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Heads up! I'm giving away a brand-spanking-new, hardcover copy of Curse of the Spider King to three winners! What's that? It's a new young adult fantasy book coming out very soon by best-selling author Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper. In the vein of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Eragon, Inkheart, etc.

What's it about?

The Seven succeeding Elven Lords of Allyra were dead, lost in the Siege of Berinfell as babes. At least that's what everyone thought until tremors from a distant world known as Earth, revealed strange signs that Elven blood lived among its peoples. With a glimmer of hope in their hearts, sentinels are sent to see if the signs are true. But theirs is not a lone errand. The ruling warlord of Allyra, the Spider King, has sent his own scouts to hunt down the Seven and finish the job they failed to complete many ages ago.

Now 13-year-olds on the brink of the Age of Reckoning when their Elven gifts will be manifest, discover the unthinkable truth that their adoptive families are not their only kin. With mysterious Sentinels revealing breathtaking secrets of the past, and dark strangers haunting their every move, will the young Elf Lords find the way back to the home of their birth? Worlds and races collide as the forces of good and evil battle. Will anyone escape the Curse of the Spider King?

Pretty cool, huh? But how do you enter the giveaway? Simple. Just join my email newsletter by entering your email in the box below. (I respect your privacy; I won't share, rent, or sell your email address.) You can earn a second entry for posting about this giveaway on your blog (Be sure to include a link on that post that sends readers here)

Your Email:
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Note: Prizes can only be shipped to anywhere
within the contiguous United States.

Review: Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart


Sir Dalton, a knight in training, seems to have everything going for him. Young, well-liked, and a natural leader, he has earned the respect and admiration of his fellow knights, and especially the beautiful Lady Brynn.

But something is amiss at the training camp. Their new trainer is popular but lacks the passion to inspire them to true service to the King and the Prince. Besides this, the knights are too busy enjoying a season of good times to be concerned with a disturbing report that many of their fellow Knights have mysteriously vanished.

When Sir Dalton is sent on a mission, he encounters strange attacks, especially when he is alone. As his commitment wanes, the attacks grow in intensity until he is captured by Lord Drox, a massive Shadow Warrior. Bruised and beaten, Dalton refuses to submit to evil and initiates a daring escape with only one of two outcomes—life or death. But what will become of the hundreds of knights he’ll leave behind? In a kingdom of peril, Dalton thinks he is on his own, but two faithful friends have not abandoned him, and neither has a strange old hermit who seems to know much about the Prince. But can Dalton face the evil Shadow Warrior again and survive?

Young adults will be inspired to strengthen their faith along with Sir Dalton, as they follow his exciting and action-packed journey to overcome his doubts and renew his commitment to the King and the Prince in this third installment of Chuck Black’s popular Knights of Arrethtrae series.

Author bio.:

Chuck Black traveled with the Air Force as a communications engineer and F-16 fighter pilot and began a career as a product design engineer. Chuck and his wife, Andrea, homeschool their six children and have a family music ministry that travels throughout the region. He is the author of nine novels, has been published in The Old Schoolhouse e-zine, and has received praise from parents across the country for his unique approach to telling biblical truths. Chuck and his family live in Williston, North Dakota.

My Thoughts:

The book's strongest suit was the allegory. I enjoyed seeing the allegorical elements portrayed throughout the book. The writing, in my opinion, was pretty basic. It was mostly a narrative. "By midmorning of the third day, Dalton arrived home." However, perhaps this simpler style works better for the younger readers the book targets. If I had kids, it's certainly a book I'd like to read aloud to them and then discuss the spiritual truths portrayed.