Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee ||| A Deep Book About Spiritual Warfare and the Love of God

Recently divorced and mired in a meaningless existence, Clay drifts from his drab apartment to his equally lusterless job as an editor for a small Boston press--until the night Lucian finds him and everything changes with the simple words, "I'm going to tell you my story, and you're going to write it down and publish it."What begins as a mystery soon spirals into chaotic obsession as Clay struggles to piece together Lucian's dark tale of love, ambition, and grace--only to discover that the demon's story has become his own. And then only one thing matters: learning how the story ends.

This is one of the most well written, deep books I have ever read.

I started reading this on the plane back from Realm Makers. I started crying right there on the plane. This book has SO MANY FEELS. (The poor man next to me on the plane...)

The character development is amazing. Right off the bat, I am in Clay's head. Throughout the story we witness and feel his downward spiral into (spoiler inserted here). Lucian is developed as well. I haven't thought about spiritual warfare very much, but I certainly do after reading this. I never thought about why demons are evil. (I mean, I know why they are evil, but what are their motives? Why did they never turn back to God?)

The setting, though not really a major plot element, really came alive during this story. I got a feel for the surroundings, but in a natural way that really made the story come alive. It seemed to almost play a character in the story, if that makes sense.

Overall, I highly recommend this to older teens and adults
. It's a pretty heavy book and does deal with some mature elements like adultery, death (if you think this book isn't going to involve death, you are DEAD WRONG) and spiritual warfare.

Disclaimer: Since this is Biblical fiction, please read using your own discernment.  There are some fictionalizations. Tosca Lee provides a note at the back of the book on the Biblical elements, fictionalizations, why she wrote the book, and things like that.

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of ISCARIOT; THE LEGEND OF SHEBA; DEMON: A MEMOIR; HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE; and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (FORBIDDEN, MORTAL, SOVEREIGN). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing Call of Duty and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

You can find Tosca at ToscaLee.com, on social media, or hanging around the snack table.

Have you ever read Demon: A Memoir?  What did you think of it?  I would love to hear your thoughts!


5 Reasons You Should Read the Out of Time Trilogy Right Now

1. They are super cool dystopian books without all of the tropes.

How many of you ended a dystopian series feeling depressed?  I know that The Hunger Games movies (no, I haven't read the books yet) sure left me depressed.  The Out of Time Trilogy is different.  It's about finding Shalom (peace) even in the hardest circumstance.  Even though A Time to Die has a morbid-sounding name, it's really a story of hope!

They are also dystopian books that don't revolve around the heroine and her dark and brooding boyfriend.  Romance has a part in these books, but a. he isn't dark and brooding, b. they don't fall in love instantly, and c. it isn't the main focus of the story.

Also, a society obsessed with when they are going to die is definitely unique.

2. Solomon Hawke. (A.K.A. Perfect human being.)

All of the characters are amazing, but Solomon Hawke is one of the best, just so you know.

Parvin is also great!  She's basically me.  Nadine does such a good job in writing it that you start to think like the character.  You view the storyworld through her eyes, instead of having your own filter there too.

3. You won't be able to put the books down.

During school two years ago, we watched Mockingjay pt. 1.  (I know, I used to go to a very unproductive school.) And I read A Time to Die while the other people watched it.  The music actually set a perfect tone to the book.  (Also, I had not seen Catching Fire yet because the first movie freaked me out.)  Message to those who have read this book in white: I was reading the part where Parvin gets her job in Ivanhoe.

Another school story: I read most of A Time to Speak in one day at school.  I hope I didn't freak the teacher out with my feels and Intense Reading Face.  (It's a thing, ninjas-to-be.)

4. Nadine's Ninjas are awesome people (and secretly actual ninjas, but shhhh.  Don't tell anyone.)

Nadine has a really cool street team.  She likes to call us her ninjas.  Basically, our job is to shove her books in the faces of ninjas-to-be.  We also encourage each other and complete fun missions like writing reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.  And Nadine is the sweetest person you will ever meet.

5. The books are very well-written.

Her books have greatly influenced mine.  It was actually A Time to Die that gave me the idea to write The Clockshifter in present tense.

If you aren't convinced, you can read a bit of the first book on Amazon.

Bonus Reason: The covers are beautiful and will look great on Bookstagram.

Look at these amazing covers!


Have you ever read the Out of Time Trilogy?  If now, will you read it now?  I would love to hear your thoughts!


No Post this Week

Hello, everyone!
It's been a crazy week, so I'm taking a break from posting this week.  I hope you all enjoy your week and I will see you back here next Monday!



Your Characters Are Your Story

There is something I didn't quite understand until very recently.  That is that your characters are your story.

My process for writing has always been that everything revolves around the plot.  You know what?  It shouldn't.  It  should revolve around your characters.  The character arcs shouldn't be bent around doing this random thing to defeat Mr. Evil.  They should do something to defeat Mr. Evil based on where they are in their life.  Their past.  Their present.  Their beliefs.  Their mental state.

Characters are the reason we sign up to go on the rest of the journey with them.  Therefore it should feel like their actions are what make the next things happen.

Sorry for the rant-like short post.  It's just something I felt I should say.


Does your story revolve around your characters?  What do you do to make sure of this?  I would love to hear your thoughts!


What to Expect During a Pitch Appointment

So you have to do this scary thing called "pitching".  No, I'm not talking about pitching a baseball.  I'm talking about presenting your book idea to a publisher.  It sounds absolutely terrifying, but it actually isn't.  (Well, it's sort of scary, but not as scary as you might think.)

1. It's a conversation.

Before thoroughly researching how to pitch, I thought it went down something like this.

"So...here's my pitch.  (Blah blah blah insert pitch here.)"

It's more conversational.  You shake their hand, introduce yourself and wait for them to ask you what your book is about.  Then, you answer their questions and even ask questions of your own.

2. They're people too.

Yes, yes, I know they could further your career, but they are still created in the image of God!

3. Be prepared to answer questions.

This is kind of like a job interview.  They aren't just taking on a book, they are taking on you as well.  (If they choose to publish your book, obviously.)

4. Have questions for them.

You definitely want to have a good relationship with your publisher, so if you have questions, ask them!

5. Bring more than what they ask for.

If they ask you to bring the first three pages, bring the entire first chapter as well, just in case they ask for it.  Also, it is great to have more copies just in case something happens to your others.

6. Practice before you go.

This could be by yourself or with a friend.  Come up with questions the agent/publisher might ask and ask a friend (or your mirror?) to ask them.  Practice the conversation.  Make sure you know your pitch by heart.


Have you ever pitched your book before?  What was your experience like?  Any tips to add to the list?


It's Okay to Make Mistakes

So...my book is currently being torn apart by beta readers.


It embarrasses me that I thought my book was good enough.  That it was finished.

You know what?  That's okay.  I'm still learning my craft.  The Clockshifter isn't finished.  It's not about being good enough, it's about growing.  I don't have to be as good of a writer as Nadine Brandes or Tosca Lee.  I don't have to have the same excellence in writing as other people who started writing at the same time as me.  I don't have to be published anytime soon.

I just have to be willing to grow.

We should stop comparing ourselves to other writers.  That's not a healthy way to grow because people will always be ahead of you.

I know that's easy to say and to read.  But it's hard to truly take it to heart.  I once thought I knew this...but it's so easy to know things without knowing them, you know?

Sorry for my rambling.  Keep learning about your craft.  Keep writing.  Never give up.  Keep chasing God.

- Alea, just another writer trying to hone her craft.

Lady Dragon, Tela Du COVER REVEAL

Hello everyone!  Today I am participating in the cover reveal for a book series I enjoy, The Rizkaland Legends.

Without further ado...here is the official cover!

About the Book

Two girls with one face
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?

Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you've lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent - the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber's face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she's not sure if he's more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she'd much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family - including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can't possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?


I highly recommend Rizkaland to anyone who loves being immersed in a unique world.  Kendra does a fabulous job with world-building!  Her storylines are also very unique.  I really enjoy her books and witty style of writing.  And today, Water Princess, Fire Prince is free on Kindle!

If you would like to pre-order Lady Dragon, Tela Du, you can click right here!

Add to Goodreads

Cover Design by Benjamin Ingalls

About the Author

Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers. 


Realm Makers 2016 Recap (A.K.A. The best weekend of my life)


For one weekend, I was surrounded by writers and learned about my craft.  It.  Was.  Incredible.

I pitched my book.

It was terrifying the first time. (I do apologize if you were the one who had to listen to me stumble over my words.  I did practice, I promise.)  The second time, it was easier and I sounded like I actually knew what I was talking about.

I learned a ton about world-building from the fabulous Kathy Tyers!

She is one of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to building realistic worlds.  She even printed each person 20 pages of notes.  I can't wait to read her book!

I learned about character development from Tosca Lee.

Oh. My.  Goodness.  I learned so much from her.  She took us through exercises and different things to help us learn as much about ourselves as about our characters.

I'm reading Demon now, and it's awesome.

I learned some cover design from the Master, Kirk DouPonce.

He is kind of my book cover designer hero, so I was thrilled to meet him and learn more about graphic design stuff.  And he signed my copy of a book he designed?!

I learned stuff about hand to hand combat.

Ben Wolf looked terrified the entire time.

This workshop was one of my favorites.  My fellow Realmies agree it should have gone on all night long.


Nadine Brandes is one of the sweetest people I know.  I
miss her a ton.

We had a costume dinner!

I cosplayed as Agent Carter.

Photo Credit: Hannah

I have a bunch of new best friends.

Photo Credit: Ashley Townsend (Right to left: Hannah, Zac, Katie, Ashley, Me)
This isn't all of by new friends, but it's some.

And this happened.

Moral of the story: Go to a writer's conference.  It is worth every penny.


Have you ever been to a writer's conference?  What were your experiences?  Did you come to Realm Makers this year?  What was your favorite part?