This week I am participating in a blog tour celebrating the release of J.L. Mbewe’s final book in the Hidden Dagger series, Curse Bound. Today, I have a guest post from the author herself sharing some of the challenges she faced in writing the final installment of the series. But before we jump into all the juicy behind-the-scenes stuff, here’s the book synopsis.
Kael’s worst fears have come true. Betrayal has shaken the Guardian Circle, the High Guardian is dead, and Ayianna and Prince Vian are in the hands of the Sorceress, but he and his companions must finish their quest before they can attempt a rescue mission. Unfortunately, Desmond’s parting gift left them stranded on the western cliffs of Nälu.
Jathil, once heir to the throne of Arashel, believes her father will aid them, but first, she must face the crimes of her past. When she does, she could never believe the outcome, nor the rippling effect it would have on the nations.
Meanwhile the Alliance braces for war, but division threatens to undermine their efforts. When Nerissa returns from Ganya with the dragon regiment, she discovers a bigger problem. The curse bound are waking.
As the quest nears completion, Kael is forced to choose between his heart and duty, and neither choice bodes well with him. Either way, he will face the Sorceress and her armies sooner or later. The battle for Nälu has begun and there can be only one victor.
About the Author
Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, wife, but not always in that order. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now braves the heat of Texas, but pines for the Northern Lights and the lakes of home every autumn. She loves trying to capture the abstract and make it concrete. She is currently living her second childhood with her wonderful husband and two precious children who don’t seem to mind her eclectic collections of rocks, shells, and swords, among other things. Here, between reality and dreams, you will find her busily creating worlds inhabited by all sorts of fantasy creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril.
Her debut novel, Secrets Kept, was nominated for the 2014 Clive Staples Award. Her second novel, Darkened Hope was a semi-finalist for the 2017 Alliance Award.
Social Media Links
Curse Bound is the third and final book in the Hidden Dagger trilogy, and writing it was one of the biggest challenges I have faced thus far on my writing journey.
First, a little history.
When I had finished writing Ayianna’s very rough story, the entire three books could be printed out and placed in a three prong folder. I had considered it to be only one book at the time, but it quickly grew into three books, with plans for a pre-trilogy and post-trilogy. Ha!
After I had finished writing that first draft, I rewrote it, and then divided it into three books. I spent YEARS on rewriting and polishing the first book, which came to be called Secrets Kept. During that time, I also rewrote Darkened Hope before my daughter was born in 2010 and received great feedback from my critique group at that time. Secrets Kept was first published with a small press in October, 2013, and then republished under my own imprint in 2015. During this time, I began applying the critiques (finally!) and polishing up Darkened Hope, which was published in early 2016.
Which brings us to Curse Bound.
I was staring at a blank page. I had no title. I had no rough draft that I could use. Since the story had changed so much since I first wrote it. I was starting from scratch.
In the previous two books, I had three storylines. Ayianna and her companions. The Guardians. And glimpses from the Villain’s perspective. At the end of Darkened Hope, the storylines divided. I now had four and soon would have five. UGH! I did not realize how hard it would be to write and balance all those storylines. Up until this point, Ayianna had been the main character along with Kael, but this time her situation would not allow for me to stay within her point of view too long, or the readers would get bored.
On top of those challenges, I began working full-time outside the home in January of 2017. To be honest, those were some dark times, and I **ALMOST** walked away from writing. Almost. But I was determined to finish what I had started. I would not leave my readers hanging. I began waking up at 5 am to write before I had to get the kids up at 6. I had to step away from social media and cut way back during that season. Little by little, Curse Bound was finished and here we are today, celebrating its release in 2019. A little later than I had hoped, but it is finished!
I really hope you enjoy the conclusion to the grand adventure we began in Secrets Kept. Thank you!
****Wow, thank you for sharing your writing journey with us, J.L.! I for one am very glad you were able to complete the trilogy. 🙂 I am currently about halfway through the book and eager to find out how it all ends!****
Facebook Book Launch Party
Curse Bound is coming soon! Join us as we celebrate its release on July 11th, 2019 at 7 pm- 10 pm CST. There will be plenty of bookish fun, games, and giveaways. AND we have special guests Kyle Robert Shultz, Lindsay A. Franklin, and Jenelle Leanne Schmidt who will be joining us and sharing about their books.
In the meantime, make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour (links below) and purchase your copy of Curse Bound on Amazon today! Thank you for joining us today!
Monday, July 8th
- Sparks of Ember: Spotlight & Book Excerpt
- Kathrese McKee: Author Interview
- Safe Return Doubtful: Character Interview
- Starlight Reviews: Book Review of Curse Bound
Tuesday, July 9th
- The Heart of a Scribe: Guest Post on Writing
- Imperial Scribis: Book Review of Secrets Kept
- The Artist Librarian: Guest Post on Music of Nalü
Wednesday, July 10th
Thursday, July 11th
- The Quirky Book Nerd: Book Review of The Hidden Dagger Trilogy
- The Genre of Imagination: Author Interview
- Unicorn Quester: Guest Post of Characters as My Little Pony
Friday, July 12th
Saturday, July 13th
Sunday, July 14th
- Unicorn Quester: Blog Tour Wrap-Up