Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review: In the Forests of the Night

Media Type: Print Book
Title: In The Forests of the Night (Goblin Wars #2)
Author: Kersten Hamilton
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pages: Hardcover; 288
Release Date: Oct 3, 2011
Source: Publisher
------------------------------
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild violence
------------------------------
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Lovers of a good fantasy story with lovable, memorable characters.
Other books in the series: Tyger, Tyger (Goblin Wars #1)


The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will Teagan be on? Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends.

Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich. And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.

I fell in love with Tyger, Tyger (review here) back when I first started this blog. Kersten Hamilton approached me to review her book and I was swept away into a world that I really really didn't want to come back from.

Time went by, and I patiently waited to hear news about the second book so I could have more Teagan, Finn and Aiden in my life. Imagine my excitement when I opened a mysterious package, only to find that In the Forests of the Night was sent to me to review! I won't lie, I did a happy dance. Then I sat down, opened the book, and was swept away once again. Even after all that waiting, it was worth it.

All the characters are back in this second book. Aiden's big heart shines through even more than it did before. Abby's opinionated self is back, along with her mafia-esque siblings. Finn, the self named sexy beast, is back and even sexier than ever! Finally, and of course my favorite, Teagan is the star of this book and in all honesty it made me love her even more. See, Teagan has a tough decision to make. Honor her blood and become the killing machine that she is bred to be. Or fight instinct and do what she thinks is right? That is...if there is a "right". Teagan came alive to me in a big way during my read of this book.

In fact, all the characters really come to life so much more in this installment. There is a lot more time spent in the "real world" than in Tyger, Tyger. This allows the reader to get to know every character on a much deeper level. What I loved most is that Kersten Hamilton places all of them under one roof in this book. Yup, every single one! Their interactions range between completely random, to utterly sarcastic, down to beautifully sweet. Getting to see them as a family really struck me right in the heart. I loved it! After this, I'm not sure I have the willpower to wait for the next book. I am totally committed to these characters.

Lest you think that the book is all sarcastic comments and sunshine interactions, let me set you straight. There is action packed into In the Forests of the Night as well. Besides Teagan's inner battle, there is a goblin war brewing, and each character is trying to find their place. Darkness is coming, it's just not quite there yet. Under the surface is the tension filled relationship (or non-relationship) between Teagan and Finn. Then ever further under the surface is so much more. This is a deep book, and I adored it for that. The more you read, the more you see. It's fantastic.

Reading this story, as odd as it may sound, put a big smile on my face. Yes, I was frustrated as all get out when I got to the end and realized that there is a cliffhanger. Then again, what more could I expect? All I know is that I want more Teagan, more Finn, more goblins, and lots more from Kersten Hamilton. Her books fill the void of fantasy with a purpose. I'm hooked and I think, if you give these books a chance, you will be too.


Other books in the series:
Tyger Tyger (Goblin Wars #1)



FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Review: Spellbound

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Schultz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: Paperback; 324
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Source: NetGalley
---------------------------------
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Nothing of note.
---------------------------------
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Those looking for a sweet, simple, story.


Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Librarything / B&N / Amazon
Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Connor, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.

But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

Going in to Spellbound I truly had no idea what I was in store for. I rather like going into a book with little to no knowledge about what's inside. I feel like it makes the book that much more of an experience. So, when I opened up to the first page I had no expectations other than to read a good story.

As a character, Emma is a sweetheart. Really and truly. She wants to blend into the background, but her bubbly personality just won't let her. As a result she attracts a lot of attention, both good and bad. Emma is spunky, outspoken, and just a lovable character. The fact that she isn't afraid to stand up for herself made me dance around the room. A female character who isn't a shrinking violet? Yes please! Add in her friendship with her younger cousin, and you have a character that I really fell in love with.

Sadly, that's where the love affair ended for me. Emma's interactions with the characters around her were fun, but those characters were kind of one-dimensional to me. Even Brendan, who she is inexplicably drawn to, didn't really come to life. In fact I sometimes found myself annoyed with him. I won't spoil, but the way he reacts to their attraction rather bothered me. I just felt like their story was so contrived. Girl meets boy, is inexplicably drawn to boy, unforseen circumstances keep them apart, cue ending that I won't spoil. That's it.

To be honest, I think I was just expecting a little bit more from these characters, and so Spellbound was a "just so" book for me. I liked it, but I didn't fall in love with it. Like all books that fall into this category for me, it just didn't have that spark that will keep me coming back. I'm fully willing to admit I might be a bit jaded due to all the books in this genre I've read lately. I can see a lot of people falling in love with Emma and Brendan's story.







FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Talking teenage years with J.L. Powers


I'm proud to welcome J.L. Powers to the blog today! On tour with her new book, This Thing Called the Future, she is stopping by to share a bit about her teenage years!

In this post we ask the author to share what we might find in a garage sale, if things from their teenage years were being cleaned out. Old shoes? Skates? Cassette tapes? Let's find out what we might find in J.L. Powers' teenage garage sale!

I lived my teenage years very badly. It wasn’t that I was a bad teen. And it wasn’t just that I wasn’t a “cool” teen. I just wasn’t much of a teenager. That came later, a delayed adolescence that occurred in my early twenties. When I was actually a teenager, I was simultaneously an innocent little girl and a responsible adult. As just an example, I was still desperately in love with Gilbert Blythe (from Anne of Green Gables) when I was sixteen, which was also the same year I moved out of my house and into a college dorm room to start college.

You see what I mean.

So if someone were to dig through my teen years for items to sell at a garage sale, here are some of the things they might find (not all of them would be items you could actually sell!):

1) All of L.M. Montgomery’s books, from Anne of Green Gables to Emily’s Quest to A Tangled Web. She was my favorite writer and I wished, oh, how I wished, I was Canadian. It seemed so romantic and so much more interesting than where I lived—the dusty, west Texas town of El Paso.

2) Opal earrings. My dad brought them back from Australia when I was twelve and I wore them to every special occasion and to church on Sundays. I still have them, though I haven’t worn them in years.

3) A Bible. I was hopelessly religious until I was twenty-three, an obnoxious “I should pray at least an hour a day and know the Bible backwards and forwards so I can quote it whenever the occasion arises” version of Christianity. Now I am just hopelessly muddled about spiritual issues, a condition I find intoxicating. I like that I can be open and respect others’ spiritual beliefs without having to define (or defend) my own.

4)  A poster of the Seychelles Islands. One of my dad’s graduate students gave it to me as a birthday present when I was thirteen and it followed me when I went to college. I loved the beauty of the ocean and white sands beach. In my hometown of El Paso, we had plenty of beach…just no water.

5) Notebooks filled with finished novels, written by hand. Pretty much all of them were cheesy romance novels for teens.

6) Clothes of different sizes—from size four to size ten. As a teenager, I didn’t know how to dress or even what size I was. I wore different sizes, depending on the day, and some clothes fit better than others. Most of my clothes were hand-me-downs, so if something fit, I wore it—even if it was baggy. I remember that I rolled down the waist of a skirt I loved to wear—not to make it shorter but so it wouldn’t fall off. I learned how to dress after college—not before.

7) A retainer. My braces were removed when I was twelve. But I faithfully wore my retainer for years afterward, all through my teen years. I carried that retainer with me whenever I traveled—it even went with me to Kenya when I was eighteen and spent the summer there working with street children. I took it to Australia and India and Uzbekistan and Mexico and Nicaragua. It broke when I was twenty-five and that’s when I finally stopped wearing it. Yeah, okay. I was a dork. Tell me something I don’t know.

8) A variety of mixed tapes. Of course I made mixed tapes for guys I secretly liked. I was too shy to flirt or let them know I liked them. So instead, I hoped that if they thought my taste in music was cool, maybe they’d fall in love with me. Ha! Yeah, it worked. Once.

9) A small opal ring with diamond chips, a “promise” ring given to me by my first boyfriend when I was sixteen. What ever happened to promise rings anyway? Does anybody do that anymore? I guess it’s kind of a weird idea to begin with: “We’re not engaged…but we’re ‘promised’ to be engaged someday if we’re still dating in a few years….” That didn’t work out so well for me.




Monday, September 26, 2011

A random post.




I had to share this because it made me giggle like mad. It isn't important, it may not even be funny to you, but it made me crack up!


If you like Jersey Shore..... well, I apologize.


New post going up tomorrow! I'm working on getting things scheduled now so there won't be anymore random bouts of radio silence. Hello to my new followers! Welcome and you rock in advance! Also, don't forget about the Spooky Swap my friends. It's gonna be a blast.

Until tomorrow, love, hugs and books.



Saturday, September 24, 2011

A hilarious interview with the one and only Scott Tracey!

OH are you in for a treat today dear readers! The amazing, stupendous (and in my opinion hilariously funny) Scott Tracey is here today!

I challenged him to answer a set of increasingly ridiculous questions, inspired by those terrible and/or questions you find on forms. We at The {Teen} Book Scene call this a "Situational Interview".

Scott definitely not only answered the questions, he delivered laugh-out-loud inducing answers. So enjoy. Don't drink anything while you read this. I can't be held responsible if you choke. It's for your own safety, really.





1) Have you ever driven over 80 miles an hour in a car, or time traveled into the future in a car?

There was that one time I was on a bus that couldn't go slower than 80 miles per hour, but this guy came on and was all like "Whoa" and we were all like "whoa" and then the bus was like whoa.


2) Do you eat meat, or have you ever committed cannibalism?

That's between me and my court appointed therapist.


3) Are you a fan of working out, and/or do you bench press small children?

I treat sarcasm as a muscle all on its own, and just like any other muscle, it needs conditioning. Mild insults during the week, and then strenuous mocking on the weekends. I file it on once a week to keep it razor sharp.


4) Do you ever go to the zoo, or find yourself staring hungrily at the zebras?

I like to encounter the zebras in their natural habitat. That's why I get someone to spray paint me black and white, and then I try to sneak up on them.


5) Have you ever eaten a lot of candy, or ended up becoming Willy Wonka?

Actually, Scott Tracey is my pen name. My birth name was Willy Wonka, but I obviously had to change it, because I'm diabetic.


6) Have you ever flown, and/or are you Superman? 

I'm Batman.


7) Are you afraid of the dark, or do you glow in the dark?

I actually glitter in the dark. I'm like a disco ball of supernatural mystique.


8) Do you write vivid characters, and/or have your characters ever come to life and started a random dance party?

I don't think my characters are excessively vivid. Sometimes I will only answer to their names, and I act out the things that they would be doing. Which is all well and good, until I start working on the shapeshifter scenes, and I start humping the furniture.


9) Are you a writer, dancer, chef, or goblin?

I'm a 3rd level Arch-goblin in the Goblin Liberation Army. My callsign is Bawk-bawk.


10) Does this interview make you want to laugh, and/or break out in song complete with choreographed moves? 

I'm actually in the process of choreographing the new Justin Bieber world tour, which is a mashup with Twilight. They're calling it Bieblight.



Thanks Scott for playing along so fabulously!
Also for the record, I'd absolutely want to see a sparkly author who also happened to be in a version of Bieblight. How could it get any better?

If you love Scott Tracey as much as we at TBS do, go add his book to your Goodreads!


Braden was born with witch eyes: the ability to see the world as it truly is: a blinding explosion of memories, darkness, and magic. The power enables Braden to see through spells and lies, but at the cost of horrible pain.

After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden retreats to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. As rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe desperately try to use Braden's powers to unlock Belle Dam's secrets, Braden vows never to become their sacrificial pawn. But everything changes when Braden learns that Jason is his father--and Trey, the enigmatic guy he's falling for, is Catherine's son.

To stop an insidious dark magic from consuming the town, Braden must master his gift—and risk losing the one he loves.




 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Book Review: A Beautiful Dark


Media Type: Print Book
Title: A Beautiful Dark
Author: Jocelyn Davies
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: Hardcover; 320
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Source: NetGalley
=======================
Intended Reading Group:
Young Adult

Content Screening:
Mild violence

HDB Rating:
4 Keys to My Heart

On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites--like fire and ice--Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move--only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can't help falling for, and Devin, who she can't stay away from, the consequences of Skye's choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Librarything / Amazon / B&N 



Jocelyn Davies has written what I lovingly call "book candy". So easy and delicious to devour, that it might just be a sin. Books like this may or may not knock my socks off, but they'll keep me reading on and on until I'm finished. A Beautiful Dark was just that for me. Nothing too heavy, nothing mind blowing, but a sweeping and enjoyable read nonetheless.

Skye is a wonderfully vivid character. The reader is treated to a view of Skye's entire life, including her tough past and her bright present with her friends. She is funny, smart, sweet, and a loyal friend. It was honestly hard not to appreciate Skye, even when I felt a little bit frustrated by her choices (or lack thereof). She's a real person. It just so happens that she has an extraordinary side to her as well.

If that wasn't enough, Joceyln Davies offers up two very different boys for the reader to choose between. One light, one dark. One cocky and charismatic and the other stoic and at peace. Devin and Asher are like night and day, but this works very well for the story. The tension that exists between these two crackles off the pages. Their existence makes Skye's story so much more intriguing.

As I mentioned above, the story line tends to fall into a pattern that ends up a little easy to anticipate at times. A Beautiful Dark is, at it's core, an angel book. It follows a lot of the same rules that books in this category often do. Light and dark. Good and evil. Skye's future is hinged on which she chooses. What kept me immersed in the story though was the unique set of rules that each side had in place. Davies doesn't just allow her boys free reign over their lives, there are rules that must be followed. I won't spoil, but it does make things much more interesting.

The bottom line? This is a great read. I didn't find it to be anything absolutely unique or groundbreaking, but it was a great read nonetheless. I was looking for something a little less serious and a little more fun, and I found that in A Beautiful Dark. I'm not one to compare books, but I will say that if you enjoy paranormal romance this will be a book you are sure to fall in love with. Good luck choosing sides!








FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Spooky Swap....it's baaaack!


YUP IT'S BACK!

We had a great turnout last year, and I'm looking forward to an even better one this year. Spread the word, it's time to do some swapping!

Give a package, get a package. That's the way it works! Think early holiday gifts, or better yet a pick me up for a dreary time of year. No matter what, it's sure to put a smile on your face!


To start, if this is your first swap please make sure to read the General Guidelines for answers to any and all questions you might have. If you get to the end of the document and still have a burning question, email me! I'm always happy to help.



NOW DOWN TO THE DETAILS:

This swap is Halloween themed, or Fall if you please. I understand not everyone celebrates Halloween and so please don't be worried that I'll run you off if you don't. The theme is open to interpretation! We're just celebrating the changing seasons.

The following items are required in your package:
* One Fall/Halloween themed item of your choice (think pumpkins, leaves, etc.)
* One Fall/Halloween item that is wearable (socks, gloves, beanies)
* One Fall/Halloween item that is edible (CANDY! Ahem...or something less sugary)
* One Fall/Halloween book or DVD
* A note to your swap partner! 

Money Limit: 
Your box must contain items that add up to at least $10. Anything beyond that is your own personal choice, if you'd like to add extras. You may add items that are not on the theme list if you so choose!
        * Some helpful hints:
                 - Check out dollar stores. You can get lots of fantastic and fun items there!
                 - Shop the dollar spot at local stores like Target or Walmart.
                 - Go thrift store hunting. This is perfectly okay! Just make sure the item is in good condition.
                    (A good rule of thumb is to think, "Would I want to receive this?")
                 - Re-gift something of yours (in good condition of course) that you think fits the box.
                 - Make something. It's cool to include something handmade. Again, just make sure it's something     
                    you'd like to receive yourself.

Shipping Information:
This swap is open to residents in the U.S., or those who have a U.S. mailing address. All delivery confirmation numbers must be in no later than October 22nd. This also means your box should be shipped no later than this date. You must procure a delivery confirmation number when sending your package, and email it to me.




INTERESTED?

Fill out THIS FORM completely to sign up. 

I'll match you with a swapping buddy and send out information as to who you will be mailing to. Please know I try to keep this a surprise, so you won't know who is mailing to you unless you specifically ask.

***Sign ups will be open until October 10th***

Late sign ups will not be accepted. I need that time to match people up and still give you ample time to go and do some shopping!


REMEMBER:
If you sign up, your are promising to send a package. Please make sure you can follow through! I never want anyone to end up without a box. Thanks!





Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A hello from the trenches.




Hi all!

I know you haven't seen me around here a lot lately. Blogging has become a bit lower on my priority list, as I finally (FINALLY) picked up an extra job to help with bills. Bright side? More money! Downside? Lots more time spent going back and forth and actually working. I can't complain, I'm just being honest.

Things are finally settling down now that I'm on day 5 of doing both. I'm finding a happy medium between working, chores (include napping here), work related paperwork, and blogging. I think I'm going to go to the old standby of prescheduling posts. Lots of smart people out there do it! Why not me?

This is not me apologizing for being gone. I promised myself I wouldn't do that anymore. This is simply me saying I'M HERE! And yes, it might be a bit intermittent for a while.

Bear with me.

If you were looking for the Spooky Swap don't worry, it's coming! I should have the post up sometime tomorrow. Yes, I heard your pleas. I'll make sure we have another fantastic swap!

Big hugs,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mythic Heroines with Laura Bickle

Please welcome to the blog Laura Bickle! She's here during a promo tour for her Anya Kalinczyk series, which includes Embers and Sparks. Laura is a lover of all things nerdy and fantasy. That alone makes her a win in my book! Below she's written a guest post all about powerful heroines, which are also my cup of tea. Please enjoy, and remember to check out her books and add them to your TBR! 


Mythic Heroines: Ishtar's Uneasy Balance
by Laura Bickle



I've always loved reading about powerful heroines, women who are in charge of their own story. I grew up reading Robin McKinley's heroines, like Aerin in THE HERO AND THE CROWN, who slew their own dragons. I was even sympathetic to the legend of Medusa - in my eyes, she was a tragic figure who turned all her lovers to stone. Myths are rich in stories of women who have attempted to balance power and love. I quickly learned that writing a powerful heroine is a whole different kettle of fish than reading about one.

One of the myths I was drawn to was the myth of Ishtar. Ishtar is the Babylonian goddess of love, war, and sex. Her love was known to be fatal. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh tells her:

“Listen to me while I tell the tale of your lovers. There was Tammuz, the lover of your youth, for him you decreed wailing, year after year. You loved the many-coloured roller, but still you struck and broke his wing… You have loved the lion tremendous in strength: seven pits you dug for him, and seven. You have loved the stallion magnificent in battle, and for him you decreed the whip and spur and a thong... You have loved the shepherd of the flock; he made meal-cake for you day after day, he killed kids for your sake. You struck and turned him into a wolf; now his own herd-boys chase him away, his own hounds worry his flanks."

One of the most famous myths about Ishtar involves her descent to the Underworld, in pursuit of the soul a lost lover. She descends through the gates of hell, shedding her weapons and clothing as offerings, until she reaches Ereshkigel, Queen of the Underworld. Ereshkigel poisons Ishtar, dooming her to the Underworld. She can only be freed if someone will take her place.

Ishtar returns to the surface of the earth, in the company of demons, to find someone to take her place. She finds that her husband, Tammuz, has not mourned her. In a fit of rage, she sends him back to the underworld in her place, with the demons.

The myth fascinated me, the idea of a mythic heroine who was a love goddess, who could also be so ruthless. She wasn't like any of the other love goddesses I'd studied. Ishtar didn't recline prettily on a fainting couch, twirling her hair and awaiting her destiny; she picked up her sword and fought for who and what she wanted. I was eager to recast a bit of her in a modern image.

“You have the eyes of Ishtar.” 

This is what the heroine, Anya, of EMBERS, is told. She doesn’t want to believe it. She’s got enough on her plate: by day, she’s an arson investigator on the trail of a serial firebug. By night, she works with a group of ghost hunters as a Lantern, a medium capable of seeing and devouring spirits. Anya’s responsible for keeping her fire salamander familiar, Sparky, from chewing on electrical cords. And she’s confused by her feelings for a fellow ghost-hunter, Brian, attempting to keep her distance.

A serial arsonist, Drake, tells Anya that she has the Babylonian goddess’s terrible gaze. He should know -- he’s a fellow Lantern, the only other one she’s encountered. And he tells her that she has much more than Ishtar’s gaze… 

A character patterned after the Ishtar archetype was a challenging one to write. She’s not the usual heroine who always makes the morally-correct choices. She has a dark side, and she must struggle with it. She’s somber, angry, and is confused about her feelings.

Though she’s emotionally armored, she’s very human. She loves, and aches to be a part of something larger than herself. But she’s an outsider: she’s apart from the world of humans, and even the ghost-hunters don’t fully trust her powers. Like many of us, she wants to be understood. And the only person who fully knows what she is, what she’s capable of, is another Lantern: Drake, the man determined to burn a city to the ground.

As Ishtar did long ago, Anya finds herself in the company of demons. While attempting an exorcism, Anya absorbs an ancient Babylonian demon, who works to possess Anya. The demon manages to gain a toehold in Anya’s own darker impulses, driving her into the arms of evil.

Like Ishtar, Anya must surface from the Underworld victorious, rescuing the souls she’s descended to rescue. And she must decide which sacrifices to make, who will remain in the Underworld behind her.

Anya is more human than Ishtar. She's reluctant to use her power, and tangled in her own feelings of guilt. But, still, she has some of the imprint of Ishtar upon her, the desire and the power to act on it. I think that there's something inherently interesting about how people deal with power and love that gives them a story, something to struggle against.


 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review: Everblue

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Everblue
Author: Brenda Pandos
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Pages: Paperback; 304
Release Date: July 30, 2011
Source: Author
--------------------------------
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Nothing of note
--------------------------------
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Mermaid enthusiasts, readers looking for a new twist on mermaids, romance lovers


Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Librarything / Amazon / B&N
Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.

Ashlyn is about to discover what she'd thought to be true her whole life, wasn't, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.


What would you do if you found out your best friend, and coincidentally the boy you were crushing on, happened to be mermaids? Full fledged, tail possessing, swimming, mermaids. I don't know what I'd do personally, but Brenda Pandos takes us through Ashlyn's story as she discovers this world in Everblue. I'm pleased to say that this is a mermaid book that I honestly did love. Pandos takes a lore that we all know, and puts her own delicious spin on it. Hold on, you're in for a ride.

I have to confess that Tatiana and Fin are officially my new favorite brother/sister duo. Their sweet banter, the love they have for one another, and the way they take care of each other, is just wonderful. I knew I'd love Fin from the moment he walked into Ashlyn's view and she described him. He's a gorgeous, kind hearted boy. Who doesn't love those? Then we learn more about Tatiana and her spitfire attitude, and I was just smitten. The two of them scream sibling bond. Which, and I won't spoil anything big, makes the ending that much more difficult. (Insert dramatic music here.)

Ashlyn was a great character too, although I didn't fall in love with her as much as I would have liked to. I admired her ability to adapt and to fight for what she wanted. However there were times when she just felt slightly flat to me. Sometimes it felt as though she was going through the motions just to do things while she was waiting for something more important to happen. Compared to Fin, I just didn't feel she was as developed. As the story progressed, she definitely grew into her own though. By the time the ending came I appreciated her much more than the beginning. I know that in the second book I'll be right on board with her!

The relationship between Fin and Ashlyn is downright adorable. I'll tell you that right now! Again, no spoilers. Basically it's just too cute for words anyway. What I will say is that even though you hear a lot about Tatiana in the blurb, you won't really see too much of her in the story. It's not a bad thing, just letting you know. Everblue very much focuses on Fin and Ashlyn, even going so far as to alternate between their points of view in each chapter. Truth be told, I loved that. Seeing the story from both sides made it all the more engrossing and wonderful.

If you're a fan of worldbuilding in your stories, you'll love Everblue. As I mentioned above, Pandos takes what we know about mermaids (and mermen) and adds her own amazing spin to it. These aren't your run of the mill merpeople. They are so much more than that. The story that is built around them and their rich history is really what blew me away. When the ending came, with that darn cliffhanger, I was so ready for more. I cannot wait to see what happens next! I'm hoping for more Fin, more Ashlyn, and more romance.

Long story short? Get a copy of Everblue. Mermaids, romance, twists, it's all there. This book is well worth your time.








FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Review: Shattered Souls

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Shattered Souls
Author: Mary Lindsey
Publisher: Philomel/Penguin
Pages: Hardcover; 336
Release Date: December 8, 2011
Source: Publisher
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Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild violence
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HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: EVERYONE!


Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Librarything / Amazon / B&N

A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.


Shattered Souls isn't just a book that you read, it's a book that you experience. I'm going to start out with that. Honestly, from page one I was completely hooked into Lenzi's struggle, her world, and everything going on. This is a haunting tale, with so much suspense that it sinks it's teeth into you and carries you along as things develop. What I'm saying is that this is a book that you need to read. It's addictive.

We meet Lenzi, a troubled girl who isn't quite sure what is going on in her life. She keeps hearing voices, seeing visions, and the pills just aren't working. However Lenzi isn't the type to back down. I loved that her character was so deep and realistic. No matter how much fear she feels, she is willing to admit it and move forward anyway. It helps, of course, that she has Zak, her sweet and broken boyfriend, to keep her grounded. I fell in love with him almost instantly, despite his cracked interior. The two of them are really sweet together, until cocky and charming Alden comes along. In fact, the more time Lenzi spends around Alden the tougher things get. Do you sense a love triangle? If you do, you are correct. I'm generally not a huge fan of them but honestly? This one is done perfectly and it's delicious (and addictive) to read!

This is a book that will really keep you on your toes as you read. All the emotions in this book are palpable, and I found it so easy to feel what Lenzi was feeling. The emotional aspect of the writing in this book is done so gorgeously, that it just bleeds off the page and into your heart. Although the basic plot of Shattered  Souls is rather simple, Mary Lindsey adds in her own twists that will keep you reading well into the night. There are so many beautifully executed clues peppered into the story. By the time I was halfway through I was completely enamored and engaged with the book. There is something for everyone in here. Wit, twists, anger, a slight creep factor. It's all here.

What killed me (and I loved) at the same time, was the ending. I won't spoil it one bit. This is a story you'll need to experience for yourself. I will say that the climax to this book leaves nothing wanting. Except perhaps that you'll want another book. A wonderfully written debut, Shattered Souls is a book that I would (and will once I get my own copy) read a hundred times over.





FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

An Interview with J.G. McKenney and a giveaway!

I'm happy to welcome J.G. McKenney to my blog for an author interview! His book, Eon's Door was actually just recently reviewed by me and I absolutely adored it. Definitely one of my favorite Fantasy books so far.

Lucky for you, he's brought along a giveaway of said book just for you! 

1) Eon's Door has deep roots into being surrounded by nature. Is that what you set out to write, or did it come organically once you started writing?

An interesting choice of words, since Eon is a tree. And, yes, I intended to write a book in which Nature was a key element. I wanted the characters to have a special connection to the natural world, to be tied to it in a very fundamental way. I did this through the creation of three clans, each possessing a specific affinity to the environment (the animals, the plants, and water). It was a way of contrasting how humanity has severed its ties with the natural world and the repercussions of that disconnection. It sounds philosophical and preachy, but I don’t think it comes across as such in the book. The story is a fantasy adventure first, but the message is there to be found if you look for it.


2) I read in your bio that you have taught every grade! What is it about working with youth that you enjoy?

Almost every grade. I’ve taught everything but Kindergarten, and grades four and five. The best thing about working with young people is they keep you feeling young and in a permanent state of intellectual discovery. You are given the great privilege and pleasure of witnessing those Aha! moments with them. There’s nothing better than seeing their faces light up when they experience something that changes the way they see the world, or gives them an insight they hadn’t had before. This is especially true with literature. Many of my most treasured moments as a teacher came when students found something in a book that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.

By the way, if there are any grade 7, 8, or 9 Language Arts/English teachers reading this, I’ve created a free novel study for Eon’s Door that can be downloaded from my website. I think your students would really enjoy the unit.


3) If you could take a vacation in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?

It would have to be Tolkien’s Middle-earth. There are so many places in that world that I want to see. I’d love to visit Lothlorien. In fact, my wife and I gave our home that name and we have a carved sign in our great room with a quotation from The Lord of the Rings. Are we nerds, or what?


4) Do you have a favorite book that has transcended the years from childhood to now?

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are two that spring to mind. But, rather than a specific book, I’d say the kind of story I love has stayed with me since I was a kid. I love stepping into new worlds, discovering what waits for me there. That’s why I love fantasy so much. In every case, there’s that incredibly powerful moment when the character leaves home. It’s an archetype for growing up, accepting what life has to offer—good and bad. The main characters in Eon’s Door experience it, and we get to go along for the ride.


5) What would you like to say to potential readers of Eon's Door?

If you or your kids enjoy fantasy and are looking for something different, give this book a try; I think it will be time well spent. As Eon says, “Hmmm…You will feel a strange sensation, but do not fear it. You’ll be passing between the worlds. The other awaits you.”


And now, for a giveaway!


Up for grabs is a paperback copy of Eon's Door, just for you! A HUGE thank you goes out to J.G. McKenney!

To enter, please be in the U.S. or Canada or have a mailing address therein.




Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Review: Half-Blood

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Half-Blood
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Pages: Paperback; 281
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Source: Publisher
-----------------------------------
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Teen Drinking, Sexual Undertones, Mild Violence
-----------------------------------
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: People who adore butt-kicking heroines and are tired of love triangles!


Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Librarything / Amazon / B&N
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

I finished Half-Blood about fifteen minutes ago and my heart is still beating like mad. This book, wow this book, is a roller coaster ride in it's own right. Twists, turns, smoldering attraction, it's all there in vivid black and white! When the very beginning of a story automatically takes my breath away, I know I'm in for a treat. Expect rambling beyond this sentence.

First off let me profess my love for Alex, the main character. She is strong, she is fiery, she knows what she wants and she'll be damned if she's going to let you keep her from getting it. Not afraid to break the rules, Alex is a rebel and driven by her need for revenge. Despite everything else in her life, including what she could become, she keeps fighting forward towards her ultimate goal. However she's not all big and bad. There are parts of her that come through that are sensitive and struggling. It is this very real personality that brought her to life and made me one hundred percent behind her the entire time.

Then there's Aiden. I'll admit that he stole my heart. This boy is stubborn and strong, but also sensitive in the best way possible. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he's easy on the eyes as well. There are moments between Aiden and Alex that just ooze tension, and then others that are so sweet that they will melt your heart. Add in an expressly forbidden romance, and you have a recipe for a fantastic story. What I really really enjoyed about Half-Blood though is that the romance doesn't steal the story line. It's there, it's charged, and there is even another smoldering hot boy who comes into the picture. Still, not once does a heart-wrenching love triangle fully develop. At least not yet. Perhaps it will come in the next installment, but for now I'm very happy with the fact that Alex gets to be her butt-kicking self, without falling into the love triangle trap.

As I mentioned above, the plot itself drives forward like a performance car! (Terrible similie I know.) I'm completely serious though. Interspersed between calm, loving, moments of reflection and growth are intense fight scenes and twists that will make your head spin. There was more than one time while reading that I literally yelled out "What are you DOING?" to the dismay of my napping boyfriend. Half-Blood is a book that drew me so far in, made me feel so much for the characters, that I felt I would be doing them a disservice if I didn't read ravenously to the end.

I'll stop rambling now. This book is fantastic. If you are in the market for a story with a butt-kicking heroine and a strong (gorgeous) male character, this is for you. Half-Blood took my breath away. I wait eagerly for more of Alex's story!







FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Book Review: Eon's Door

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Eon's Door
Author: J.G. McKenney
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: Ebook; 316
Release Date: July 10, 2011
Source: Author
-------------------------------
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Fantasy Violence
-------------------------------
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommend for: Lovers of Fantasy


Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Librarything / Amazon / B&N
Eon's Door should not be open.

Two thousand years after three clans flee the world of humans through Eon's Door to find sanctuary in a realm called Erla, a prophecy left to them by the ancient race that created the tree portal is coming true. A trusted sage has stolen the portal's key and is using the awesome power that separated the worlds to tear apart the very soul of Nature. The key must be taken back and Eon's Door closed--before it's too late.

Hope lies with a "child of doubt" from the world the clans left behind and the courageous young Erlan who's been sent to find him. Together they must retrieve the key and close Eon's Door. It won't be easy. Abominations of beasts and trees stand between them and their goal. Even worse, the sage knows the prophecy and is expecting them.

Lovers of Fantasy should be well aware that we are awash in a world of clones. Despite my deep love of this genre, it's true that a lot of times every story is like the one before, and so I become a bit jaded when it comes to starting a new book. However, lucky for me, J.G. McKenney approached me with Eon's Door. From the moment I opened it on my ereader I was swept away into a beautifully crafted world. With deep ties to nature, and a distinct lack of complicated character names or races, this book stole my heart.

Miann, the young protagonist in this book, was an extremely dynamic and well-written character. His love for his people, for his family, and for the connection he had to the Nature around him, was beautifully done. I fell in love with his persistence and compassion. However what really brought the book home for me was McKenney's ingenious tie to the world that we , the reader, live in. He brings a character from the outside world, from a place where Nature is stagnant and flat, into this gorgeous world of his. The dynamic between Miann and Bobby truly, in my opinion, is what makes this book. Each from a separate home, yet fighting for the same end goal. I adored them.

As I've already mentioned, the world that is built in Eon's Door is utterly breathtaking. I'll admit the fact that there were times when I found myself wanting to know more. One thing that you won't find in this book is over explanation or an overload of imagery. Instead, there is a generally flowing and descriptive sense to the writing that pulls you just far enough into the world to understand what is going on, without being confusing. There is a depth to Miann and Bobby's story that builds up slowly, adding and adding, until it all fits together in the end and you're left breathless at the thought that it all worked out so wonderfully. In my opinion, the story line is executed perfectly.

If there is one thing I honestly did miss in this book, it was the lack of forward motion that occurred at times. Although Miann and Bobby are on an epic quest to save Erla, there are times where things just seem to stop. At certain points I felt a void of emotion coming out of the characters. It was almost as if they were just moving where they needed to go, and not really thinking about it. I also felt that there were scenes whose brevity was unnecessary, especially as they were important to the overall story. Certain events were just brushed over in a matter of pages. It wasn't often enough to hamper my overall enjoyment of Eon's Door, but it did cause me to knock off one star in my rating.

Still, I'll be the first to admit that this is the first book in a long time that stood out to me in this genre. It's ties to Nature, the depth of the story line, and the wonderfully written characters, all mesh together to create something that is wholly immersive and enchanting. I may have had my slight qualms, yes, but overall I fully believe that J.G. McKenney has written a gem. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more of his work, and I highly suggest that you do the same.







FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Book Review: Wherever You Go

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Wherever You Go
Author: Joan Leegant
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Pages: Paperback; 272
Release Date: July 25, 2011
Source: TLC Book Tours
--------------------------------
Intended Reading Group: Adult
Genre: Fiction/Religious Fiction
--------------------------------
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended for: Those who enjoy religious based stories full of trials, tribulations and redemption.




Yona Stern has traveled from New York to Israel to make amends with her estranged sister, a stoic ideologue and mother of five who has dedicated herself to the radical West Bank settlement cause. Yona’s personal life resembles nothing of her sister’s, but it isn’t politics that drove the two apart.

Now a respected Jerusalem Talmud teacher, Mark Greenglass was once a drug dealer saved by an eleventh-hour turn to Orthodox Judaism. But for reasons he can’t understand, he’s lost his once fervent religious passion. Is he through with God? Is God through with him?

Enter Aaron Blinder, a year-abroad dropout with a history of failure whose famous father endlessly—some say obsessively—mines the Holocaust for his best-selling, melodramatic novels. Desperate for approval, Aaron finds a home on the violent fringe of Israeli society, with unforeseen and devastating consequences.

In a sweeping, beautifully written story, Joan Leegant, winner of the PEN New England Book Award and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, weaves together three lives caught in the grip of a volatile and demanding faith. Emotionally wrenching and unmistakably timely, Wherever You Go shines a light on one of the most disturbing elements in Israeli society: Jewish extremist groups and their threat to the modern, democratic state. This is a stunningly prescient novel.

I feel I need to begin this review by mentioning the fact that Wherever You Go is not a light read. Not in the least. I was mistakenly under the impression that this relatively short read would be something light and introspective. While the book definitely raises some amazing discussion points and questions, it is by no means an easy read. It took me a lot longer to read this than anything else I've read this month. Mainly because I'd find something I wanted to mull over and have to stop reading. That being said, I also need to state that my review is entirely based on my current state of mind. This book was something that I enjoyed reading, but I didn't fall completely in love with it. Mainly because my mindset right now is just not ready to deal with such deep reading.

Yona, Mark and Aaron are all at a point in their lives where they are looking for something more. After floating, trying to figure out where they belong, they end up back at their roots looking for answers. These three lives are different, but similar enough to tie together beautifully. The questions of faith and commitment are deeply ingrained in this book, along with both personal and external reflections. Although this book revolves around Jewish faith, there is a lot here that expands beyond that other religions. It is definitely a reflective read that will cause you to mull over the bigger picture.

What really hampered my enjoyment of this book though was the pivotal event that ties all of these people together. I won't spoil it, but it really felt rather convenient and forced to me. After that I felt like the characters were just rushed into the ending. All the growing, learning and introspection that they had accomplished just seemed to fade, as the ending loomed. It's not that I didn't understand why the book had this turn, I did. I just felt like the first half of the book was so much more fascinating and deep than the second half.

Unlike anything else I've read lately, this story was laden with insights about Israeli and American culture, as well as humanity as a whole. These characters are deep and well portrayed, but their lives seemed to never come to a nice closure for me. Overall I enjoyed Wherever You Go enough to finish it and keep thinking about it even after. I quite honestly would have loved it even more if the climax hadn't been so rushed.







FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hades Giveaway



Thanks to the kind people at Zeitghost Media and MacMillan Children's Publishing Group, I have a great giveaway for you! Alexandra Adornetto's highly anticipated sequel to Halo, aptly titled Hades, is being offered up to one lucky winner. Huzzah!




If you haven't already seen the trailer, allow me to give you some eye candy....




Alexandra will actually be on tour this Fall, and you can find the dates and places she will be at THIS LINK. If you're a fan, make sure you check it out!

To enter the giveaway, FILL OUT THIS FORM.

You must have a U.S. or Canada mailing address to enter.

Giveaway ends September 11, 2011.


Book Review: Vanish

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Vanish
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: Hardcover; 304
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Source: Publisher
------------------------------------
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
------------------------------------
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended for: Lovers of Firelight, Dragons and Paranormal Romance




To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

In bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s dramatic follow-up to Firelight, forbidden love burns brighter than ever.

What do I say about Vanish that hasn't already been said on every other blog? It's amazing, it's well-written, it's one of the best books I've read so far this year. Sometimes I have a phobia of reading the next book in a series, worried that it won't be as good as it's predecessor. This one? Better. Hands down.

Jacinda is back and she's just as stubborn and passionate as ever. In fact, I really felt closer to Jacinda in this story because her emotions are so much stronger. She knows what she wants, and she's not afraid to break the rules if that's what it takes. As always, it doesn't exactly make her a popular character, but this time... well I won't spoil it but let's just say she takes some others along for the ride. I have always loved Jacinda's fire. That's why I was so happy that it is present and accounted for. One pleasant surprise for me though was that Cassian's personality is a lot more fleshed out in Vanish. I got to know so much more about him, and I really loved it. If I was having a hard time choosing a side before, now I'm even more lost.

Readers will get a much better idea of the day to day life of the pride, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The plot is quick, but easy to follow, and the action sequences abound without taking the spotlight from the bigger picture. The relationships between Jacinda and the people in her pride are so much more vivid in this book. Characters that were previously hidden in the shadows emerge, develop, and become so essential to the story. Vanish gave me a new appreciation for the world that Sophie Jordan had so meticulously built. I simply cannot wait for the next book!

If you fell in love with Firelight, I'm going to personally guarantee that you'll eat Vanish up. Whether you are on the side of Will, or the side of Cassian, this installment has a great fiery love triangle that burns up the page. Pair that with a great story line and you have a book that I devoured. Start to finish in one night. Sophie Jordan fans rejoice! There is one more book left in this fabulous trilogy. Just be warned, the ending of this one will leave you wanting more.






FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Release Day for The Last Rising

HAPPY RELEASE DAY!




After paying two millennia’s penance to Osiris, world-weary Phoenix Ice has had enough. Saving souls without any hope for her own redemption isn’t how she imagined spending eternity. Fed up, she decides her next death will be her last. But when she sacrifices her own life for a sexy Texan in a catastrophic plane crash, she has no idea the consequences will be so great…or that she’ll end up back in his life for her next assignment. 

Now that Turner Alcott has survived the worst, finding a wife and mother for his son matters more than ever before. When the mysterious Ice comes into his life, Turner knows she’s the one—but love is the last thing Ice wants. If he wants to win her heart, Turner must teach Ice how to forgive herself, and prove that love is the ultimate sacrifice.



You could win one of three copies of The Last Rising or a goddess pendant!




Interviewing Amber Argyle, author of Witch Song

Please welcome Amber Argyle to the blog! Author of Witch Song, she's here today to share a little bit about herself. I asked questions, she gave fabulous answers!

Make sure to leave her a comment below to let her know you stopped by, and look out for my review of Witch Song later this week!





1. Welcome to the blog Amber! First off, a challenge. If you had to choose only one genre of book to read for the rest of your life, which one would you choose and why?

*whines* Just one? Okay, fine—fantasy. But don’t force me to choose between subgenres!


2. I read in your bio that you grew up on a cattle ranch! How did that fuel your love for writing?

Perhaps if I grew up in a crumbling city, I’d write dystopian. Or if I grew up in a town,
I’d write urban fantasy. But I didn’t. I grew up on a cattle ranch. And I write high fantasy about ancient people with magic who have to save the world.


3. What would you say you miss most about your hometown?

Well, obviously the people—my parents the most. Beyond that, my access to horses. I live in a
suburb now. Land is too expensive to have a lot big enough for horses.


4. Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than the others in Witch Song?

Joshen was one of my favorite characters to write. He’s loyal, easy-going, positive—basically
the guy you want as a friend . . . or to date your daughter.


5. What would you like readers to know before they open the pages of your book?

I truly hope you enjoy it.


6. Finally, we end with another challenge. If your book was about to made into a movie, whatwould the tagline for the poster be?

As the seasons crumble, the last Witch must fight to save a world that hates her.

 

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