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I have been an avid reader from as early as I can remember. Since becoming a Christian in my early 20s, my passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on this blog. I love reading debut author's novels or those author's who have not had many reviews thus providing them much needed encouragement 
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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

New Author Spotlight: Janet Ursel

As a reviewer of Christian fiction, I have developed a passion for new Christian authors who write in the genres that I like to read. Any new author needs as much exposure and encouragement as they can get, especially Christian authors. It can be a lonely existence spending months or years researching, brain storming, writing, editing, finding a publisher, more editing and revisions, cover design, then the all important launch! From what I have seen and experienced with some authors, after their launch, they can become anxious and despairing when reviews don't appear, and/or sales are slow to occur. They question whether it is worth all the effort they have just put in writing their first novel and this journey to becoming a published author.

It is from this angle that I wanted to help counteract this occurrence. This blog exists to not only promote Christian fiction, but to support authors and increase their exposure by giving them a review and an interview, especially if they are a new author.

I have decided to further develop my promotion of new authors by creating a New Author Spotlight to promote them before the launch of their debut novel. 

So without further ado, I would like to introduce to you, Janet Ursel

I came across Janet when I was browsing my Twitter feed and saw an advertisement for her debut novel, Disenchanted. I was attracted to this due to it being in the Christian fantasy genre which is one of the genres I love. I contacted her about the release date and offered her a review and interview. Of course she accepted! 

So lets look at Janet's Bio:

After raising five children and one husband, I came to the obvious conclusion that writing novels was an essential part of the recovery process. So I write. In whatever I write, I aim for a deep honesty and a respect for the complexity of all human beings, from the most virtuous to the most depraved. Except, of course, when I'm just having fun.

In addition to acquiring the husband and children, I also picked up a number of languages along the way, along with a rather diverse, some would say fragmented, resumé. I've waited tables, cleaned furnaces, taught English as a Second Language, been a pastor's wife in a small church (a job in and of itself), sold life insurance and mutual funds, developed market forecasting models, and spent some years homeschooling. I love music and gardening and animals and kids and food and travelling and life in general.

When I was seventeen, I spent the summer in Europe, studying German at the Goethe Institut, and travelling around, sometimes all by myself. A sweet suburban Canadian kid doesn't normally come to the table with a lot of street smarts, and I was no exception. But I learned. I came home much tougher, and with a list of penpals from all over the world, from Afghanistan to Colombia. I also had the unique opportunity of going to Istanbul with a Turkish family and spending a week with them.

That was a very formative summer for me, and probably had a lot to do with my fascination with different cultures and viewpoints. I'm always trying to put myself in the other's shoes and see things through someone else's eyes.

Now let's look at Janet's debut novel, Disenchanted. It is coming out on July 14 with Vox Dei Publishing. Here is its description:

In this Christian fantasy, one young wizard with a hunger for wisdom and some dangerous secrets finds himself pitted against another ready to reach for power with the darkest forces possible.

Wizards have never in the history of Coventree renounced Wizardry. But Blayn Goodwin finds himself growing detached from the practice of Wizardry, even as he rises through the ranks to become the youngest member of the Supreme Council. He has lost interest in the usual gods in favor of a god without a name, not that he makes that fact public.

Edgar Savile has his own traitorous secrets and kidnaps Blayn’s eldest son to prevent Blayn from probing into them. Meanwhile the Supreme Wizard, suspicious of Edgar, sends Blayn to retrieve an ancient book from the Other World, hoping it will arm them against Edgar’s treachery.

What Blayn finds is not what anyone expects, and threatens to tear Coventree’s fraying system apart at the seams.

There have been a few reviews already posted on Goodreads and give this novel and Janet some great encouragement: 

"It is beautifully woven.....The characters were uniquely fleshed out.....The writing is smooth and easy to read......Disenchanted shows us the the power of God and the love between God and humans which would always help to triumph over evil......If you love Christian fantasy, then you should go for it. Poulami (Daydreaming Books)
 
I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of this novel......This novel will keep you on your toes, trying to figure out how it will end, and it will show you the power of God in a world where God had been forgotten for hundreds of years. True love, between God and humans and humans and humans, will prevail, and so will the power of God....... If you love Christian fantasy novels, this one is for you!  Emerald Barnes

Ursel’s characterization is rich, integral to the plot working.....Her prose is crisp and light, even when the implications of the climax are presented, so that it doesn’t get bogged down with preachiness........In a time when fantasy has become popular again, Ursel’s novel is sure to do well: it is utterly charming and yet has the substance to make it a satisfying and thoughtful read. There is historical allusion, the theme of brokenness and the hope of conversion. This is a debut novel that gets a big checkmark from me, the fantasy-skeptic. Vanessa

So for those readers who love the fantasy genre and don't mind a spiritual, supernatural twist, this novel is for you!

I will be reviewing this novel before this release date of July 14 and an interview with Janet will follow my review. Please watch this blog for both these posts.

Readers and reviews are an author's best asset, so I encourage any reader of Christian fantasy to consider reading Disenchanted after its release date and helping to promote her book by adding a review on Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon, Barnes and Noble or where ever you bought the book and on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (or any other social media you subscribe to).

Janet can be found here: 






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