Book Review / / London in the Dark and Author Interview

Today I have the very lovely Victoria Lynn on my blog! Victoria is such a sweetheart and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her over the past year and watch her write amazing novels. She just published her very first one, London in the Dark. If you enjoy historical mysteries, you’re in for a treat!!!! CLICK HERE to buy.



~My Review~


First of all, can we just drool over that cover for a minute? It’s just so…so London-y. SOOOOO pretty and beautiful and I need it on my shelf.

London in the Dark is a story full of family values, a little romance, and, of course, mystery. The single aspect of this book that made my heart happy is the historical accuracy. I couldn’t find anything that seemed out of place so kudos to Victoria for doing her research! Another thing I absolutely loved about this story is there the sub plots. The whole book isn’t just focused on the mystery, it’s also about family relationships. Something else about this book is the CHARACTERS!!!! (Especially Dudley. Definitely Dudley.) Cyril made me frustrated sometimes, but I really did like him. :)

Anyone who enjoys historical mysteries and stories set in London, this is your book.

(Side note: this book is best read in conjunction with Downton Abbey. ;-) )


~The Interview~


Welcome to my blog, Victoria! I’m so happy you’re here!!!

Thanks so much Ivy! I am so happy to be here!


  1. Is London in the Dark a character-inspired story or a plot-inspired story? (Meaning…did the characters come to you first, or did the plot idea come first?)That is such an awesome question. I would have to say more character inspired. Though there was a tiny bit of plot involved. The idea came when I had the thought of what it would be like to be the sister to someone like Sherlock Holmes. Granted, Cyril is very different, but it was that idea that sparked the story and then Olivia and Cyril sprang to my mind.


  1. What scene/part was your favorite to write? Why?

Ooh, my favorite scene. . . It was probably the scene in the middle of the book where Olivia Hartwell gets into some pretty serious trouble and is held captive. The reason it is my favorite is because it was probably the most vivid in my head and it was one of the first scenes that I actually “saw” in my head.


  1. What made you want to write a mystery?

I love them. I read quite a few of them and I think that influenced what I wanted to write about, but it was also that the whole feel and direction of the story wouldn’t have been the same without it. Plus, I really wanted to break some cliches with this book. It feels like most of the mysteries out there are murder mysteries (which aren’t my favorite) So I really wanted to change that and make something more like what I would want to read.


  1. What tips would you give someone who wants to write mysteries?

Outlining and Plotting ahead of time are paramount to writing a good mystery. Having those plans laid ahead of time is such a time saver and removes a lot of the stress for me. I write the entire storyline down before I write the book so that I don’t miss anything. You need to have the answer to the mystery before you can write it. So I detail all of the ins and outs of the mystery itself, so now all I have to think about is the characters and actual story while I write.


  1. What is the number one thing/tip/strategy that helps you write?

My motto has always been “Just Write.” One will never get anything done until they actually work at it. I really needed to say this to myself a lot because I would come up with a million excuses to wait on writing, but if I always waited, I would never have a book. So “Just write” would be my number one tip and strategy! :D



Victoria also has a giveaway for London going on Goodreads, so check it out HERE.


Victoria and I did a post swap, so head on over to her blog and read her sweet review of Left to Die, as well as an exclusive interview! (Mkay, exclusive might be pushing it, but it sounds so cool!!)


What are some of your favorite mysteries?


HELLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOO, everyone!!!!!!! :)


I have returned to the world of blogging. The month-long break was exactly what I needed. So amazing. Seriously, everyone should take a blogging break.


*ahem ahem*

Back to business. First and foremost is my VAVC #1 vlog!


VAVC #1 from Ivy Rose on Vimeo.


(Wondering what VAVC is? Click here to learn more!)


By the way, thank you amazing people who have participated in the challenge already. I’ve loved watching your videos! Keep them coming!


I have a few announcements. *drumroll*


Firstly, I WILL NOT be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. *sobbing* It’s so sad. I can’t believe it. I really want to do it, but unfortunately, it just isn’t going to happen. Even so, I wish all of you the best as you peruse your NaNoish writing endeavors. Have some fun for me. *sniff*


Secondly, in a few weeks, I will be publishing my very first short story, Even Through Rain. And guess what the best part is? It’s going to be FREE!!! That’s right, F-R-E-E free.

Want to see the cover?



*Squeals* Isn’t it awesome!?! I’m so excited.


And thirdly: You must wait. I can’t wait to tell you. It’s super big and exciting.


How’s that for a teaser? (Mwa hahahahaha!)


Over the past few weeks, my family went on an epic vacation. I was gonna post a bunch of pics, but that isn’t happening right now. But here is a short video for you to see of how I write when traveling.

RV writing from Ivy Rose on Vimeo.


Well, now that I’ve been absent for the past few weeks, you must tell me what YOU’VE been up to. How’s life treating you? Any new story news? Can’t wait to hear from all you lovelies!

Samara’s Peril by Jaye L. Knight Release


Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Samara’s Peril, has been released! Samara’s Peril is the third book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles. Read about it below and be sure to check out the other blog stops on the tour by visiting the official tour page. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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About the Book
When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen.
Armed with their newfound knowledge, they set out for Samara to warn the king. War is inevitable, and they must face two desperate battles—one on the walls of Samara’s great stronghold, and the other on the battlefield of Jace’s heart, where victory might only be achievable through great sacrifice.

Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks!

And now, for my interview with Jaye.


Welcome, Jaye! I’m so happy to have you here on my blog!


Thank you so much for having me! :)


  1. What is something that writing has taught you?


Patience. :P It definitely takes a lot of patience. And dedication. It would be really easy to give up if I didn’t love it so much.


  1. Has writing brought you closer to the Lord? If so, how?


Yes, I believe it has. Life is so crazy, and sometimes you just can’t imagine what is going in. When I write, I can see how everything works together for the best. It’s a constant reminder that, just like the stories I write, there is an Author who sees how it all works together.


  1. How do you get through the ‘low points’ in writing?


I have had a tendency toward bad writer’s block. I have found that the best way to get past it is to just write, no matter how terrible it might be. You can always fix it later. Then there’s the times when you just feel like you’re not a good writer at all. No matter how many books I write and publish, I always have times, usually right before I publish, that I wonder if the book is really any good. I think every writer feels that at times. At that point, you have to remember that if you love it, that’s the most important. We writers write because we have to. We’d go a little crazy if we couldn’t.


  1. What was the hardest thing about writing Samara’s Peril?


Well, this book has a Savior figure in it, and that is never easy to write. For one, I never feel qualified to try to portray Christ in fiction. It involves a lot of second-guessing and wondering if you’re doing it well enough. Then, you start to wonder how others will react. That was definitely the hardest part of this book.


  1. What is your advice to aspiring authors?


Read, research, and study. Read lots of books. This really helps you develop your style. Also do a lot of research about writing and publishing in general. The more you know about the process, the better. And, of course, study the craft. Learn the “rules.” It doesn’t mean you have to always follow them (I don’t), but you need to know them anyway. Then it’s just a lot of practice and learning from experience.

My review of Samara’s Peril:

Ooooohhhhhhh, Samara’s Peril.  The much awaited sequel to The King’s Scrolls. This book was absolutely incredible. So many things about it were just… *squeals giddily*


Plot/Storyline: 5/5

Absolutely fantastic. I thought nothing could be better than Resistance, but obviously I was wrong.


Characters: 5/5

The character development was so well played out. I wanted to jump into the story and wring a few character’s necks (and others needed some hugs).


Writing: 5/5

Stayed true to Jaye L. Knight style. I loved it.


Dialogue: 5/5

Better than the last two books. If such a thing is even possible.


Want-to-read-ability: 5/5

I actually had to practice some self control when reading this book, as I sadly had to work it into my “young adult” duties. Even so, I read it in just a couple of days. It was absolutely impossible to put down.

This book was so good that I actually locked my keys in the car. How you ask? I was in the chapter 14-15 area (those who have read it know what an intense spot that is). I arrived about fifteen minutes early for my class, so I whipped out the Kindle and frantically read. When it came time to go inside, my brain was still far away in Ilyon, so I tucked the Kindle in my purse, locked the car with the on-the-driver’s-door button, and sprinted indoors.

Four hours later, I dig in my purse for the keys so we can get home. They have vanished. I dumped out the contents of my purse. There were keys for the other 3 cars my family owns, but no keys for the car I drove here.

* sigh *

My mind flitted back to the ONE TIME I locked the keys in the car (last year). But no, surely I’m not that clumsy. (Well…yes I am, but I had come up with a pretty good system and it hadn’t happened since that first time.) Then again, I’m not really in my right mind (half of my brain is still in Ilyon). Hanging my head, I make my way into the parking lot. My brother managed to open the car with the fancy little keypad unlocker. I climb into the driver’s seat, trying very hard not to panic. How in the world should I tell my mom that I’ve lost the car keys and she needs to come pick us up? (Note we’re an hour away from home.)

Lo and behold, there, dangling from the ignition, are the keys.

End of story.

About the Author
JayeAuthor2015Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Samara’s Peril, a John 3:16 necklace by FaithWearDesigns, and a green wire dragon bookmark by Wirelings! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)



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Saturday, May 21


Interview with Leah E. Good

Today, we have a special guest on the blog. Please welcome Leah E. Good, the author of Counted Worthy and Stories for God’s Glory.


When you were ten years old, did you ever think that you would be an author?
Yes! I was not a fan of the technical aspects of writing, but I enjoyed making up stories as a ten year old. My grandfather gave my brother and I his old Windows 98 computer, so I would sit in my room and type up terribly written tales for my brother’s eyes alone.

What is something that writing has taught you?
Writing has taught me the value of discipline. While working full time has knocked me out of my writing routine, writing taught me the power of doing something daily even when I don’t feel like it. It also taught me that I work well under the pressure of a deadline, and all that stress of an impeding deadline is actually my friend!

Has writing brought you closer to the Lord? If so, how?
Absolutely! Writing is a way for me to process my thoughts and feelings. My writer friends and I often say that we think best on paper. Since my goal is to use story to bring people closer to the Lord, I often have to learn and study and pray in order to figure out how to organically infuse a story with important themes. Outside of novel writing, I often pray through poetry and process lessons the Lord is teaching me in my journal (I like to think I’m mimicking Jim Elliot’s journal).

How do you get through the ‘low points’ in writing?
Deadlines! The number one way to force myself to push through a low point is to find something I care about (a contest or something) and go for it. The more impossible the goal is when I set it, the more excited I get about trying to meet it. (Yes, I know that I’m weird!) Brainstorming with writing friends is another good way to get out of a rut. Sometimes going back to the drawing board and outlining helps too.

counted_worthyWhat is one of your favorite writing-related memories?
Oh goodness! I’ve been writing for almost a decade now, and writing has been such an integral part of my life that many of my best memories are linked to it. Getting my first reviews back from people who were not my friends and relatives was certainly the high point of my writing career thus far. These two reviews in particular still gives me chills–Brett Harris’s because having a best selling author believe in my book was incredible and Amanda Beguerie’s because she’s a normal person who was really enthusiastic and impacted by what I had written (she and I are now great friends).

Coffee or tea? :)
Tough choice! I’d choose coffee every time, but I try to limit my consumption of it because of the caffeine content. I’m learning to really enjoy herbal tea when I want something hot and have already had a cup of coffee.

What was the hardest thing about writing your newest book?
The uncertainty. As a learning author (and probably as an experienced one too) there is always that concern that you’re doing everything wrong and no one will want to read your novel.

What is your advice to aspiring authors?
Have fun. Be willing to learn. Take every opportunity to learn. Give and seek critiques. Find writing buddies. Save up and attend a writing conference or two. Be serious enough to grow, but don’t loose the joy you find in creating a story.


Thank you, Leah, for sharing your time with us!

(Come back on Saturday for my review of Counted Worthy.)

Interview with Emily Ann Putzke

Today, we have an interview with Emily Ann Putzke, who has just released her third novel, RESIST.


Welcome, Emily! I’m so glad to have you here!

1. When you were ten years old, did you ever think that you would be an author?picture1

Actually, yes! I’ve wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first hardcover bound book in 2005 when I was nine, and I thought it was pretty awesome. Then, when I was twelve, my older siblings helped turn one of my stories into a book as a Christmas present for my parents. My writing has come a looong way since then and I’m sure it will come a long way in the next 10 years! I didn’t start pursuing publication until I was in my teens.


2. What is something that writing has taught you?

Perseverance. “Writing a first novel takes so much effort, with such little promise of result or reward that it must necessarily be a labor of love bordering on madness.” – Steven Saylor

I’ve learned to keep working, to keep creating even when everything seems to be against me.


3. Has writing brought you closer to the Lord?  If so, how?

Yes, definitely. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with writing, editing, and publishing that I start to think that everything’s on my shoulders when really God is trying to teach me to lean on Him and trust fully. I’ve had to learn that over and over again.


4. How do you get through the ‘low points’ in writing?

picture3I read books. Good literature inspires me to create and fine tune my craft. I read writing blogs, journal, listen to music, watch movies, drink lots of coffee … getting away from my writing for a little while can help me clear my head.


5. What is one of your favorite writing-related memories?

I remember writing the first 20,000 words of Resist at my older sister’s house shortly after my nephew was born. I was flanked by cats and children and coffee. Good times.


6. Coffee or tea?  

Coffee! Although, I’m a big fan of tea as well.


7. What was the hardest thing about writing your newest book?

Emotionally, the hardest part was the research and the ending. I think I cried the most while doing the research because the story was still new and fresh to me. Maybe the writing didn’t make me cry as much because I put myself in Hans’ place for the entire novel … maybe some of his courage was passed on to me. “I knew what I took upon myself and I was prepared to lose my life by doing so …. please don’t be too grieved that I have to leave this earth so soon …. please know that Sophie and I couldn’t have acted in any other way.” But I can’t deny that the ending was hard and I had tears burning in my eyes as I wrote the final words.picture2


Historically, the hardest part were the chapters on the Eastern Front. Hans was a German medic serving in Russia in 1942, and although I had his diary entries from this time, I wanted an even deeper understanding of everyday life as a medic so I could make the front come alive. Between Hans’ diaries and another first-hand account of a German doctor, I was able to understand it better.


8. What is your advice to aspiring authors?

If you believe God has given you the gift of words, then you need to use that gift. Don’t hide it. Don’t give up.

Thanks so much for being here!

Purchase your copy of Resist:

authorpictureAbout the Author:

Emily Ann Putzke is a young novelist, historical reenactor, and history lover. You can learn more about Emily and her books on her blog, Goodreads, TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. 






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Interview with Author Rebekah Morris

Give a warm welcome to Rebekah Morris, the author of the Triple Creek Ranch series, The Unexpected Request (review coming soon), Gift of the Storm, and many more!

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When you were fifteen years old, did you ever think that you would eventually write a series of five (and counting!) books?

NO! When I was fifteen, I was involved in a children’s ministry in several cities, taught a few 5-Day Clubs, and was still doing school. I had no thought at all for writing. (Except to cry my way through any writing assignments.) I never dreamed I would one day be an author of a series of books, so this is no “dream come true” for me. :)

What is something that writing has taught you?

To depend on the Lord. To never say, “I’m not going to work on writing any book for a while.” :) To be willing to accept honest feedback and not try to justify my writing. (I’m still working on this one. :) ) To realize that, though every writer has their own way of doing things and many think or act like it’s the only way, I should do what works best for me.

Has writing brought you closer to the Lord? If so, how?

Yes! There are so many ways. It’s taught me a new dependence on Him when I’m completely stuck in a story or am writing a difficult scene, He is always ready to give me the words to write when I ask. I’ve learned that it’s okay to not write “what sells” if He says “no.” Several times I’ve been tempted to fret because my books weren’t the “popular” type that everyone wants to read, but each time a still small Voice whispers, “I wasn’t popular. Write the stories you won’t be ashamed to read with Me.” The entire “writer’s life” has given me a new perspective on relying on the Lord and an overwhelming sense of gratitude that Jesus Christ is not just the Author of my faith, but the Finisher as well. He will complete my story even if I can’t see the end. (Yes, we human authors don’t always finish the stories we start, but God does!)

How do you get through the ‘low points’ in writing?

Praying is a must! Sometimes I’ll go play the piano, or lie on my bed with my feet on the sloping ceiling (this won’t work if you don’t have a sloping ceiling), or get a bit of exercise in and then go back to writing. Sometimes I’ll go write a sentence in each story I have started. The last time I was stuck, I grabbed a calendar off the wall and flipped through the pictures. One caught my eye and I started writing a description of it. It sure got me unstuck, but not in the way I was expecting! Instead of being able to return to my original story, I kept writing about the snow and the girl named “Lissa.” In fact, I’m still writing that story. So be careful what tricks you use to get going. :)

What is one of your favorite writing-related memories?

Waking up in the middle of the night still half asleep and thinking, “Wow! That dream could be a part of the book I’m writing!” (Yes, it did end up in my second book with a little revision. :) )

Coffee or tea?

:) Can I say neither? :)  I do NOT like coffee, and tea is only acceptable if I have to drink it. I’d rather have hot apple cider or hot chocolate. :)

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book, Set Free?

When I wrote this book, I wrote it in record time. This was great except . . . that I hadn’t had enough time to figure some things out as I went along and had to do some rearranging of scenes which I’ve almost never had to do before. It was a bit of a challenge.

What is your advice to aspiring authors?

Writing is an adventure not to be taken lightly. Even if your book is just going to be for your family, you, as the author, have a responsibility to make sure what you write is worth reading. Don’t write just for praise, money or fame because that’s not what makes a good book. Write from the heart, write for God’s glory and let Him be your guide.

And don’t expect the writer’s life to be all fun and pleasure. :) If you are serious about writing and are willing to work at it, then get ready for a life of constant learning, a never ending swirl of stories spinning in your brain, times of exhaustion after you’ve been writing almost non-stop for hours (because that story must be written!), finger tapping times when you have stories, words and sentences even, but nothing will come out, story ideas coming to you at the strangest times when you have no way to write them down, and generally, a bed of roses (ouch!) with the thorns. :)


Thank you so much, Rebekah!