An Echo of the Fae Cover Reveal!

good morning, cyberspace!

Today, I have a very, very, very, very exciting post for you all! Recently, Jenelle Schmidt–author of The Minstrel’s Song series, ‘Twas an Evening in Bethlehem, and many other delightful books which you can find right here–sent out a call for bloggers to help spread the word about her newest release–an original fairytale titled An Echo Of The Fae. And I–being the very lucky bean that I am–was able to sign up to help out with the cover reveal!!

(and also the actual book release, but shhh. you’ll hear more about that later. . .!)

Obviously, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I absolutely adore Jenelle. She’s like the fairy godmother of indie publishing, and her Self-Publishing Summer School series is something that I think every aspiring author should read–especially if you, like me, are interested in learning more about the indie side of publishing. So when I discovered that I actually had the chance to help celebrate the release of her newest book baby, I was over the moon excited.

And I’m possibly even MORE excited for you guys to see this cover today!!! I don’t even know the right words to describe it. Whimsical? Enchanting? Absolute perfection in every way? I’m honestly squealing just looking at it in my email. Which DEFINITELY ISN’T WEIRD AT ALL, HOW DARE YOU.

Ahem. So I should probably share it with you all now, right? Right. I’m pretty sure that’s how a cover reveal works. . . *laughs nervously*

All right, folks! Without any further ado, allow me to introduce you to the absolutely stunning cover for An Echo of the Fae!

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THE BLURB

Echo enjoys the peace and solitude of the Faeorn forest, regardless of how strange spending time in the “haunted” wood seems to others.

But on the cusp of her thirteenth birthday, the discovery of a family secret reveals why Echo has never been drawn to the sea like her mother. This discovery shakes the foundations of her world and sends Echo on a quest, not merely into the forest, but into the heart of the fae-lands themselves, to rescue the sister she didn’t know existed.

Elves, dragons, and fairy courts will put Echo’s wit and resolve to the test. But with time running out for her sister, will Echo even be able to save herself?

A fairytale adventure perfect for fans of The Secret of Roan Innish and The Girl Who Drank the Moon.

PRAISE FOR AN ECHO OF THE FAE

“Enthralled by the terror, charm, riddles, and beauty of a richly depicted fae world, I devoured this marvelous book in two sittings! Readers of all ages will love Echo, a heroine strong in her weakness, clever and resolute amid her doubt and fear. An Echo of the Fae is sure to satisfy lovers of adventure and faery!” — J.M. Stengl, author of The Faraway Castle Series

OH. MY. GOODNESS. First of all, let’s talk about the cover, shall we? Because is this the most beautiful cover in the whole entire universe, or what? The font. The forest. The whole enchantment of it all. . . I am literally in love with this cover, okay? I’ve been squealing ever since I found it in my inbox.

BUT CAN WE ALSO TALK ABOUT THAT BLURB, THOUGH??? I don’t know about you guys, but this sounds like it’s going to become one of my all-time favorite books of ever. It has the makings of everything I absolutely adore in a book–a precious protagonist, mysterious fae, creepy forests, FAIRYTALES. Not only that, but it’s geared towards 12-to-13-year olds, and that’s kind of where I’m finding my reading tastes to be leaning towards lately???

(I’m not entirely sure what this means for my mental state, but it’s fine. I’m sure this is perfectly normal for a twenty-year-old.)

So yeah. Suffice to say, this is a book that I am very excited about. Later this month I’ll be back with my full–hopefully non-spoilery–review of this book, but until then, allow me to leave you with a beautiful snippet from this beautiful book!

A SNIPPET FROM AN ECHO OF THE FAE

My earliest memory returns often in my dreams. My mother’s soft smile caresses me as she bends down to kiss my forehead, my own tiny hand reaching up and trying to capture a lock of her long red-gold hair between clumsy fingers that refuse to obey my wish. A soft, sweet humming fills the memory, a tune that is both dear and yet unfamiliar. Eyes filled with love gaze down at me, and a gentle laugh, a man’s laugh, fills the room. Strong arms encircle us both, my mother and me, and I know I am perfectly safe. Perfectly loved.

Another sound permeates the memory: a rhythmic, rushing, liquid sound I do not recognize, but which fills me with a deep longing that threatens to burst out of my chest and leave me completely hollow. In the dream, it is merely a subtle noise in the background, but when I wake I feel a desperate need to find its source. Sometimes the longing clutches me so tightly that it leaves me gasping, desperately sucking in each breath as if through a narrow reed, my lungs screaming as though they have forgotten how to breathe the very air I need to survive.

It is rare to have a memory from such a tender age, especially one so vivid. And yet, that moment is locked in my thoughts with perfect clarity. During the day it grows distant and faded, but it has haunted my sleep in full, vibrant detail each night for nearly thirteen years.

So why is it that the face in my dreams is wholly unfamiliar to me? Why is the mother from my memory a stranger?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jenelle first fell in love with stories through her father’s voice reading books aloud each night. A relentless opener-of-doors in hopes of someday finding a passage to Narnia, it was only natural that she soon began making up fantastical realms of her own. Jenelle currently resides in the wintry tundra of Wisconsin—which she maintains is almost as good as Narnia—with her knight-in-shining armor and their four adorable hobbits. When she is not writing, she homeschools said hobbits and helps them along on their daily adventures… which she says makes her a wizard.

Follow Jenelle around the interwebs to get news about latest releases and her writing adventures:


WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

GOODREADS

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP

AMAZON AUTHOR CENTRAL

FIND THE DESIGNER!

This beautiful cover was designed by Savannah Jezowski from Dragonpen Press! You can find out more about Savannah at her website down below, as well as join the Dragonpen Press Facebook group!

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK GROUP

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talk to me, peasants!

  • is anyone else super excited about the arrival of this book? I have had SO MUCH FUN getting to be a part of this cover reveal, but I’ll be honest–it’s making me super impatient for this book to be released. XD Only 19 more days until it’s out in the universe and I can squeal about it without worrying about spoilers!!! MEEP!
  • what sorts of things compose your favorite kinds of books? For me it’s a mixture of the fantastical, the whimsical, and the strange. Fairytales are a wonderful example of this, which is probably why I love them so much. . .

and most important of all. . .

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS GORGEOUS COVER???

I’ve seen a lot of covers in my day, but my goodness. This probably has to be one of my personal favorites.

As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS! down in the comments below! And until next time. . .

The ‘You Made A Difference’ Tag! — Celebrating The Bloggers Who Brought Me Here

good morning, cyberspace!

Today, my dearest peasants, is a day of pure celebration. For today is the day in which I post Smudged Thoughts’ 200th blog post!

*internal screaming*

I honestly can’t believe we’ve made it this far, guys. Smudged Thoughts started out as just a smol little hobby of mine in 2016, but since then I feel as though it’s grown into so much more. It’s become my safe space, my tiny corner of the internet in which I can scream and rant and fangirl about all of the writerly/bookish things. And over the past 3+ years, I’ve found community here on the blogosphere. It’s been a wonderful, beautiful, magical ride, and I wouldn’t trade away these past three–almost four!–years for anything in the world.

So today, in honor of our 200th blog post and all the wonderful peeps I’ve met here on the blogosphere, I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to do a tag!

But not just ANY tag, however. This tag in particular was created by the ever mischievous, forever enchanting Jem Jones, who just so happens to be one of my favorite humans on this whole entire earth. (hint: this means you definitely need to go follow her blog, peasants.) Secondly, it’s a tag about other bloggers–specifically the blogs and bloggers that influenced us in our blogging/creative journeys. And if THAT doesn’t sound like the perfect way to honor my life here on the blogosphere, then I don’t even know what is.

Unfortunately, I cannot, however, don my spare ski mask and eye-patch and become the thieving pirate burglar that I’ve always dreamed of for this tag, because Jem was an absolute dear and ACTUALLY TAGGED ME FOR THIS. So alas. I’m doing this, not under the guise of piracy, but with a gentle pat on the head and a soft, “Hey, Kenzie, you should totally do this tag!”

Very disgruntling, I can assure you.

But I digress. If you are reading this and find I did not tag you, BY ALL MEANS please tag yourself and go for it! This tag actually takes your answers and turns them into the taggees, which I find a very delicious concept.

Let’s begin!

Read More »

Kenzie’s Chaotic Return To The Blogosphere!: Ft. Where I’ve Been & What’s To Come

good morning, cyberspace!

*crashes through brick wall*

*skids to a halt*

*whips pitchfork onto the sofa*

I’M BACK, PEASANTS! Didja miss me? Didja not even notice I was gone? Do you wish that I would stay away for the next three thousand years and ne’er return because I am an amorphic blob of a mess who needs continual emotional support?

actually, don’t answer that.

Anyway, anyway. I am officially back, and it feels so so so SO good to finally be posting again! I mean, I realize I was only gone for a total of two weeks, but this past two weeks has been interesting, my friends. I broke a ukulele string (the horror), had a pre-midlife-crisis, and also started drafting a super secret project which I’m super secretly excited about! (shhhhh. it’s a secret. [but also more on this in a moment.])

I’m also still in quarantine. Which–I’ll be honest–is kind of making me lose my mind at this point. I COULD go over to the calendar and count how many days I’ve been in quarantine–I vividly remember my last normal day outside–but I’m pretty sure in doing so I will literally lose my mind. SO. We shall refrain from counting the days and instead focus on the fact that–with any luck–quarantine for my state will soon be over.

Hopefully.

Probably.

Please get me out of here. . . .

. . .moving on.

Seeing as though we are now halfway through May (excuse me, yes, I would like a refund on the year 2020, please. . .), I thought it would be fun to not only look back and reflect on the past two weeks of my absence, but also on the past four months.

If y’all remember, I made a list at the beginning of the year of all my super mega awesome goals for 2020. This post–alongside a giant, totally-doable timetable, also outlined a step-by-step plan that I fondly called The Four Month Fandangle Fantastic.

i am also beginning to deeply regret this name, so let’s just ignore that for now. XD

This plan was to ensure that I kept my aforementioned “totally doable” goals within check all throughout the year, and since we’ve just stepped across that first four-month threshold, I think now is the perfect time to take a peek back at that list and see how we’re doing!

And also make some much-needed revisions, because goodness knows we’re gonna need it.Read More »

THE END OF CAMP NANOWRIMO: Episode VII – The Final Interview

This episode of LET’S CHAT! is sponsored by Miss Marple Syrup! When your pancakes and attitude could use some sweetening, pour on the Miss Marple! Guaranteed to be your family’s favorite since 1949!Read More »

THE END OF CAMP NANOWRIMO: Episode VI – Finish Your Sprint

GOOD MORNING, CYBERSPACE!

Today I have some very exciting news to share! And it is NOT, as you might have guessed, the fact that I’m actually posting on a Tuesday for once. Aha. No no. That would be far too short of a blog post. . .

. . .

Actually, now that you mention it. . .

*end credits start rolling*

OKAY OKAY, THAT ISN’T MY ANNOUNCEMENT. Ahem. It’s something a lot more exciting, of course, and–*adjusts invisible bow tie*–something I am very excited about. . .

My friends, on April 26, 2020, I won Camp NaNoWriMo with 60,292 words!!!

*insert intense flailing here*
Read More »

CAMP NANOWRIMO CONTINUES!: Episode V (and a half) – Wordcounts and Laptops

GOOD MORNING, CYBERSPACE!

Today I’m popping in to say that I really don’t have a blog post this week.

. . .which is kinda weird, since I’m technically posting this as a blog post, but . . . you know. Ignore that oxymoron.

Basically, I’ve been really enveloped in my Camp NaNoWriMo story, Project Sunset, and haven’t exactly made the effort to carve out any of my writing time for blogging. I could say that I deeply regret this decision, but honestly? The fact that I’m so in love with my book is a wave that I’m going to ride for as long as I possibly can, because soon enough I’ll be absolutely dreading even trying to write a single word. And at that point, I’ll probably bust back into the blogosphere with all the force of a thousand suns.

(oh, look at that. I’m finally beginning to understand my own brain! hallelujah.)

So instead of an actual blog post this week, I thought I’d just bullet-point a few highlights from the past week of NaNo!!! Because that’s both simple AND recap-ish! It’s a win-win situation, amiright?

*claps hands together* Let’s go!Read More »

CAMP NANOWRIMO CONTINUES!: Episode V – Weeks 1 & 2 (and LIVESREAM NEWS!)

First thing’s first, before we pop into the main topic of today’s blog–I HAVE SOME SUPER IMPORTANT LIVESTREAM NEWS!!!

Today (April 18th), Phoebe, Ally, and I are going live over on Ally’s Youtube channel (The Nature of Pages) for our second ever Plots & Plans livestream!!! We’re going to be talking about writing and Camp and hosting writing sprints, so if you want to come and join the fun, come join us at 3 pm EDT right HERE! (please come. I’ll give you cookies!!)

. . .and now back to your regularly scheduled programming. . .

Blog Divider

GOOD MORNING, CYBERSPACE!

This blog post is late. Obviously. You can probably tell that by the slapped together graphic and the fact that it was NOT released on Tuesday morning. Which, despite the fact that I pretty much never post on a Tuesday morning anymore, is actually my reserved posting time.

But I digress.

Truth is, this post is late in going up because I have been reading. And also writing. A lot. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve become so infused with fictional realms that I’m really quite astounded I haven’t dissolved into a flurry of paper and ink by now. (there’s still a potential this will happen soon, so if I spontaneously disappear from the internet, YA KNOW WHY.)

But all this writing and reading and very-much-not-being-here has a very simple explanation, and I’m sure you all know what it is.

CAMP NANOWRIMO. It’s in full-swing, folks. We’re officially two three? who even knows anymore weeks in. And holy guacamole, my friends, have I been writing a book.Read More »

CAMP NANOWRIMO CONTINUES!: Episode IV – Sam & Eugene

This episode of LET’S CHAT! is brought to you by Agatha Crispies! Start your little sleuth’s morning off right with Agatha Crispies–a breakfast they’ll never forget! (now available: Chocolate Agatha Crispies! Now with 50% less fat!)



KENZIE: Good morning, Cyberspace, and welcome back to another episode of LET’S CHAT! Today I am joined by special guests Sam and Eugene as we continue our journey through Camp NanoWriMo! Sam, Eugene, thank you both so much for being here today.

SAM: Thanks for having me.

EUGENE: She was talking to both of us, you idiot.

SAM: *waves him off* Eh.

KENZIE: So, as you both might already know, you’re here to answer some of our viewer submitted questions. We’ve been sitting on these for over a year now, so hopefully you guys feel up to answering them with the utmost respect and civility.

EUGENE: If you were hoping for civility, I have no clue why you forced me to be interviewed alongside him. That was a very poor choice on your part.

SAM: The shirt you’re wearing was a poor choice on your part, old man.

EUGENE: Oh, for the love of–

KENZIE: QUESTIONS! Who wants some questions?

SAM: Oh, I have some questions, all right. . .Read More »

CAMP NANOWRIMO BEGINS!: Day 1 – Freebies and Frenzies!

GOOD MORNING, CYBERSPACE!

I’ve been flipping and flopping over how to start this month off here on Smudged Thoughts. As you all know, April’s Camp NaNoWriMo is one of my absolute F A V O R I T E months of the year, which means that I naturally want this first post–this first step into the month of April–to be something truly special.

I debated character interviews, Camp NaNoWriMo blog tags, pep talks, writing prompts. . . But none of them felt right. During all of this mental brainstorming, however, I was working on a side project of my own–a simple little thing that I was planning on using to make this Camp NaNoWriMo the best NaNoWriMo I’ve had thus far. Spurred on by my constant failure at tracking my writing process, I decided to delve into the confusion that is Google Spreadsheets and create my own kind of progress tracker–a tracker which, instead of being filled with a bunch of useless information I had no desire of knowing, was filled with the kinds of things I was actually excited to track.Read More »

CAMP NANOWRIMO APPROACHES!: Episode III – Liam & Eleanor

This episode of LET’S CHAT! is brought to you by . . . Sir Arthur Conan Doilies! Now available in 221 different colors!



KENZIE: Good morning, everyone, and welcome back to another episode of LET’S CHAT! In our last interview, we got a sneak peek into the lives of Ed, Shelby, and Beau–three of the main characters within the universe of SK! Today, we’re going to be interviewing two new characters from that very same cast!

KENZIE: Ladies and gents, boys and girls, please give a big, warm welcome to Eleanor and Liam!Read More »