Explore the Castle:

The Ilyon & Acktar Blog Tour

Hello everyone, I've some super exciting news (which, to be honest, you probably already know)!!!  But there's been this SUPER BIG blog tour going around, for some exciting new releases!!!!

I got to ask the authors a few questions, but the small caveat was that I had to post the answers here, lol  Hope y'all enjoy!

Why did you make the decision to write non-magic fantasy?

Jaye: Magic was an iffy topic while I was growing up. Even now, I’m particular about what I read/watch if it has magic. I suppose, subconsciously, that influenced my decision to write non-magical fantasy. Another big factor is that I LOVE history, and I like writing fantasy that has a strong historical feel and is “realistic.”

Tricia: I grew up in a household that had very few restrictions on reading books/watching movies with magic. We had a few (like Harry Potter was banned for a while until my parents had a chance to read them), but for the most part reading fantasy with magic was a huge part of my childhood.

I stumbled into writing non-magical fantasy more because that’s what the world of The Blades of Acktar needed to be. The other series I’m writing right now, Beyond the Tales, has some fantastical elements that could be called “magic,” though the books will never use the words spell, magic, enchant, or anything like that. The magic in that series is like the magic in The Chronicles of Narnia, it is an allegorical manifestation of God’s power at work.

What are your favorite scenes (so far) out of anything you've published?

Tricia: One of my favorite scenes to write was actually Leith’s torture scene in Defy. Not that I enjoyed writing about torture, but because that moment was so powerful for Leith. Same thing for some of the really intense scenes at the end of Deliver. The true heart of the characters shine through when they are pushed to the brink in scenes like that.

But I think my current favorite scenes are chapters 19 through 21 of Dagger’s Sleep. The ideas for those scenes were what kept me writing that book in the early chapters when I was struggling with it.

Jaye: I have to second Tricia and say that really intense scenes that test characters are my favorite. A particular scene that comes to mind is the scene in The King’s Scrolls where Kyrin and Marcus are treating Jace for his injuries. I also loved writing the scene between Marcus and Liam in the barracks infirmary in TKS. I liked the heightened emotions of that scene. I could name many more, but I’ll stick with those two.

Tricia: Yes! That scene between Marcus and Liam in TKS is amazing! I love that one!

I know you both are plotting out other writing endeavors besides the two series spotlighted here.  Do you see yourselves eventually "finishing" writing and just sitting back, or do you think you will always have a story in the works?

Jaye: I can’t see myself ever finishing writing. I have way too many story ideas and not nearly enough time to write them all. Plus, more and more keep coming to me.

Tricia: I have been writing since I was two years old and first picked up a crayon. I honestly can’t see myself ever stopping entirely.

Did you ever want to just give up while drafting/editing (before publishing), and if so, what pushed you through it?

Jaye: I definitely felt like it at times with Bitter Winter. It wasn’t the story so much, it was just that my personal life is SO much crazier now than when I was younger. It takes so much away from my writing time and adds so much stress, which is hard to write through. What pushed me through it is that fact that I HAD to keep going. My readers would have hunted me down if I hadn’t.

Tricia: This most recent book, Decree, was actually one of my easiest books to write, so I never had that “give up moment” with this book.
One of my hardest books to write was my last release, Dagger’s Sleep. After I finished Deliver, I had a moment where I nearly didn’t write any more. For various reasons, I was so stressed I couldn’t write for months. When I did start writing Dagger’s Sleep, a lot of that stress made writing difficult, and I became more stressed worrying about reader reactions since Dagger’s Sleep was different than The Blades of Acktar and worrying about getting the allegorical parts right and worrying about world building and...well, you get the idea.
It finally took a lot of prayer and me setting aside the worry and pressure I was putting on myself before I could finish that book.

I love reading about the horses in both Acktar and Ilyon (though, there are more dragons in Ilyon...).  How much horse experience did you have prior to writing your books?

Tricia: I grew up reading A LOT of horse books, then moved into Westerns (which are also all about horses, along with a few gunfights, lol). I got my first pony at 12 and have owned horses ever since. I never did 4H or riding lessons or anything like that. My version of learning to ride was my dad putting me in the saddle and telling me to hang on.
My current horse is Shadow, a big, fat, white mustang who pretends he’s a tough western horse, yet he is really scared of everything and loves lazing around his pasture.

Jaye: I had two horses during my teen years and took two years of riding lessons. My brother currently has a little quarter horse mare who’s a sweetheart. So I’ve been around horses quite a bit and know my way around taking care of them. I’m not a very confident rider, but I do love horses.

About Bitter Winter

Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country.

Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

Available now on AmazonAdd to Goodreads

About Lacy

The last thing Aaron ever envisioned was falling for a prostitute. Everything about it spells trouble. However, he can’t help noticing the way her smile lights up when she sees him and how much brokenness she hides behind it. Neither can he ignore how desperately she needs rescue and protection.

When Lacy shares a life or death secret with him, Aaron is willing to risk everything to help her and to show her Elôm’s love. Yet, such a choice could destroy his reputation and maybe even cost him his freedom.

An Ilyon Chronicles Novella  Available now on AmazonAdd to Goodreads

 Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!

About the Author

Jaye 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, Twitter, and Etsy.

About Decree

The Adventure Continues.  Discover more of The Blades of Acktar in this collection of novellas and short stories.

The Blades as They Should’ve Been
A test and the Gathering of Nobles will decide Leith and Martyn’s futures. Can they fight to become more than the Blades they were? Will Keevan accept the man who attempted to kill him as family?

The First Mission
When Martyn visits Surgis, his past seems determined to haunt him. Can he figure out how to forgive, especially when confronted with an enemy in need of his help?

To the Far Great Mountains
A death sends Leith and Martyn far beyond the borders of Acktar. Will they be able to arrest their quarry before they are caught themselves?

From the story of how Leith and Martyn met to Ranson’s search for a life outside of the Blades, these stories will answer plaguing questions and expand the world of Acktar.  Available now on AmazonAdd to Goodreads

Haven’t discovered the The Blades of Acktar yet? Find out more at on the official Blades of Acktar page.

About the Author

Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn't writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.
You can connect with Tricia on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar!  (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

Be sure to stop by each of the character chats (links in the blog tour schedule) for additional giveaways throughout the tour!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday – December 14 – Release Day for Bitter Winter & Lacy!
·         Blog Tour Intro by Tricia Mingerink
·         Book Review at Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors
·         Author Interview & Book Reviews at Jessica Looks Again
·         Book Reviews at The Music of a Story
·         Book Spotlight & Review at Chosen by the Potter
·         Book Spotlight at Time of the Immortals
·         Character Chat #1 by the Ilyon Chronicles
Saturday – December 15
·         Book Reviews at Thriving Hope
·         Book Spotlight & Reviews at The Writer’s Song
·         Author Interview & Book Reviews at Perfectly Quirky In Every Way
·         Book Spotlight & Reviews at A Great God and Good Cocoa
·         Book Spotlight at The Book Sprite
Monday – December 17
·         Book Reviews by Morgan Huneke
·         Book Spotlight at Between the Pages of This Bookish Life
·         Book Reviews at Backing Books
·         Book Reviews at Honey Rock Hills
·         Book Reviews at TJ’s Musing
·         Character Chat #2 by Tricia Mingerink
Tuesday – December 18 – Release Day for Decree!
·         Book Spotlight at Ruffles and Grace
·         Book Spotlight & Reviews at Resting Life
·         Author Interview & Book Reviews at Knitted by God’s Plan
·         Book Reviews by S.G. Willoughby
·         Book Spotlight & Reviews at Sarah Plain & Average
Wednesday – December 19
·         Book Reviews at The Artful Author
·         Book Reviews by Meagan Davenport
·         Author Interview & Book Reviews by Brie Donning
·         Author Interview & Book Spotlight at Saver of Memories
·         Character Chat #3 by the Ilyon Chronicles
Thursday – December 20
·         Book Spotlight by Sutori no Hana
·         Book Reviews by Kaylee’s Kind of Writes
·         Book Spotlight by M.H. Elrich
·         Author Interview at The Ink Lizard
·         Book Spotlight & Review at A Great God and Good Cocoa
Friday – December 21
·         Book Reviews at Smyling Girl
·         Author Interview at Dreams and Dragons
·         Book Review by Faith Blum
·         Author Interview & Book Reviews at Allison Grace Writes
·         Book Spotlight by Hannah Gaudette
·         Character Chat #4 by Tricia Mingerink

Saturday – December 22
·         Blog Tour Wrap up post at Jaye L. Knight


  1. These books look SO GOOD! And that interview . . . *fangirls* Excellent post, Julian!

    1. Seriously, they are REALLY good. I like the Blades of Acktar just a tiny bit more, but both are highly recommended!

  2. I love this post so much! This interview was fantastic--nice job from both authors and with the questions (they're so unique i'm in awe lol)

    1. I try to think of questions that will be different from what everyone else will be asking. :) I really wanted to ask what the word count of their books is, so I can compare my own word count and their paper book size, lol

  3. Oooh, I'm hoping to get the whole set of the Ilyon Chronicles for Christmas!

    Also, I tagged you for my NEW blog tag, made for all bookworms who are fans of the Hobbit and LOTR!

    You can see the blog tag here: https://litaflame.blog/2018/12/23/forging-the-fellowship-a-blog-tag/

    1. I'm getting ready to buy these new books and then I'll have a whole set of both. (Personally, I like TBoA better than TIC, but just a SMIDGE and they're both EPIC!)

      Oy, I love your new tag, and I'll be posting my answers next year, lol