Thursday, May 24, 2012

Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop!

I would like to thank I Am A Reader, Not a Writer,  and Page Turners Blog for hosting this great giveaway hop!  I would also like to thank author Elizabeth Isaacs for graciously donating TWO  Kindle copies of The Light of Asteria and TWO Kindle copies of The Secret of the Keepers.  On to the giveaway!  To enter is simple!  One:  follow me publicly through Google Friend Connect (I do check so this is a must!)  and two:  leave a comment with your email address and a preference (if you have one) on the book you would like to win.  If you do not have a Kindle, do not despair!  You can download the Kindle app to your phone or computer for free and still read one of these great books if you win!  This is open international!!! Good luck and Happy Reading!!!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Interview with author Elizabeth Isaacs of The Kailmeyra Series!


 I want to first thank author Elizabeth Isaacs for being so gracious to answer my questions.  I love her series of books, The Light of Asteria and The Secret of the Keepers!  I am a HUGE fan and am anxiously awaiting her third book in the series, The Heart of the Ancients, Kailmeyra's Redemption!  I highly recommend this series to anyone who likes YA fantasy novels!  On to the interview!




1.      Where did the idea come for the pure intent of Nora's thoughts?
Asteria was originally written as a gift for my daughter. I wanted her to understand that why we do what we do is more important than the action itself.

2.      Is there significance or inspiration for the name Asteria?
Asteria is from Greek mythology. Trying to escape Zeus’s advances, Asteria disguised herself as a bird, flew from Olympus, and plunged into the Aegean Sea to form an island. What originally caught my eye about her story was the fact that she left one world for another, and so I thought she’d be a good fit for the storyline. 

3.      What inspired you to write about elves, fairies and unicorns?
I knew Gavin was something more than human, but it wasn’t until I was well into the first draft that I started exploring what that might be. When I researched various myths and legends, the Alfar just seemed natural. The sprites and unicorns showed up when the world building began. I can see Kailmeyra in my mind’s eye, clear as glass. I only hope I’ve found words that do it justice. 

4.      Was there an inspiration for Edna and Malachi who played the roles of Nora's parents?
Edna is a compilation of three of the best women I’ve ever known. She has my mother’s name, my grandmother’s personality, and my great-grandmother’s physical appearance. As for Malachi, I have no clue. I knew he obviously had to be old, but his physique, his voice, and his mannerisms showed up in my head, diamond eyes and all. I’m sure the answer lies somewhere deep within my subconscious.

5.      Will Nora ever see Kate and Holly again?
I had originally planned to include them in the third book, but the storyline has taken a new twist and so, as of now, we will not see them again. I’ve been amazed at how many people ask about Kate and Hol, so much so that I’m thinking of writing a contemporary piece centered on them.

6.      Where did the idea come for the spider webs to be a protection on the windows?
Spiders fascinate me. Their webs are extremely strong, can actually help stop bleeding wounds, and some webs are practically heat resistant. It’s even said that spiders have no natural cause of death, and so theoretically if one kept a spider safe from harm they’d live indefinitely.  It only makes sense to me that if regular everyday spiders can do all that, Kailmeyra’s spiders could protect Nora and Gavin. 
    
7.      Is there a real giant tree house somewhere that you used for inspiration for the one in the book?
Wouldn’t that be incredible? No, the Mighty Oak just appeared in my head.

8.      Where did the idea come for the soul stones?
I grow weary of the popular message that sex is no big deal. It is. It’s intimate. It requires vulnerability and trust. Allowing someone literally to share your body is giving them a gift, a piece of your heart. I wanted a way to represent that in the story, and the stone developed from there.

9.  Do you have plans or would you consider writing a prequel about Edna and Michael?
After the Kailmeyra series, I do plan on writing a novella about Edna’s one perfect day.

10.  Will the third book end the series?
Yes, I’ve always known the series will end with The Heart of the Ancients, Kailmeyra’s Redemption. But I’ve had so many emails about certain characters in The Secret of the Keepers, I’ve decided not to close the door on future projects.  



You can check out more about author Elizabeth Isaacs and The Kailmeyra Series on her website:  


 Or her blog:


Or on her Goodreads page:


Be sure to check back here at my blog between May 25 and May 31st to enter for a chance to win one of Elizabeth Isaacs books! 



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Forgotten Isle by L.E. Engler






About the book:

Even Legends Were Kids Once. Before Arthur was King, the legendary Ruler of Britain, before the Round Table, before Lancelot and Guineverea] Arthur finds himself magically transported back to 2200 BC, the Bronze Age. An evil power has entered the realm and Finias is under attack. The people are being hurt and killed, and the villagers flee from the demon power. Kaylee, the Earth Mother, is sworn to protect her people, but she has run out of ideas. So she reaches 2700 years into the future and transports young Arthur of the Britons to her. Someday Arthur will unite all of England and be King, but right now heas only 12. Does he have the knowledge and power needed to save her people?

My Review:

I was so lucky to win this in a goodreads first reads giveaway! The Forgotten Isle is a middle grade book about King Arthur before he was king, when he was just a boy of twelve. He is swept back in time to try to help the people of Finias from the Bronze Age defeat the evil Kulluck creatures. I appreciated how two boys, Arthur and Taran, from two completely different time periods, worked together and became friends. Reading about their friendship was wonderful. I loved this book and read it quickly! A great book full of action appropriate for this age-group, The Forgotten Isle will be a book you will not soon forget! Five stars!  

Bryson's Review (he is 10):

I liked the book a lot.  I think that The Forgotten Isle was a great book. It was great because it had a lot of action and adventure in it. If I were to rate this book I would give it 5 stars.

You can pick the Kindle version up here.  

You can pick up the ebook version here.


You can pick the paperback version here and here.


Happy Reading!!!


Source:  Author

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dark Passage (Chosen #1) by M. L. Woolley






About the book:

"Jen hides in a rundown mansion when her life falls apart, has vivid experiences with a beautiful male entity who longs to be her soulmate, and must choose reality of living or dead. Her childhood friend Ivy 19, from a rough past, can communicate with the dead, and other supernatural gifts emerge. Ivy will resist the evil that would separate the lovers.

“With one final glance behind her, Jen urged her horse forward, and toward the safety of the mountains. Her heart was heavy and she immediately thought of the other realm. Her hope was that they were aware of what had happened and would help. Chaos was already breaking out; and the world was in danger of slipping back to a time of great darkness, reminiscent of the Middle Ages."


My Review:

Dark Passage is a gripping story and I finished it in one day!  The story felt magnetic and I could not stop reading it!  It is told from several different point of views and that was confusing to me at first, because I didn't know we had changed to a different character's POV.  For future books, I think putting the character's name at the top of the page would help clear up that confusion.  I really appreciated the different views from each character though, it really helped to round out the story.  


Dark Passage is ultimately about good versus evil.  A great battle is looming between the two sides.  Which side will each character choose?   This gripping story will have you uptight and maybe a bit anxious, until you finish the book!  Will Jen be united with her soul mate and will good ultimately win over evil?  The dark parts of this book were a bit dark for my taste.  Reading about certain ritual sacrifices for the evil side were  hard for me to stomach.  However, they were not too descriptive, I am just more sensitive to violence than some people.  That said, I was totally dumbfounded when the author dropped the "f-bomb" in the middle of the book.  I felt it was completely out of place and not necessary to the story.  For a book that discusses angels, God and the ultimate good, it seemed uncalled for.  For those reasons I gave it four stars out of five.  An overall great read, Dark Passage will not disappoint!  I am anxious to see how things work out in the next book in the series!

UPDATE:  Since posting my review the author has contacted me and informed me that the "f-bomb" has been taken out of both the Kindle version and the paperback version of the book!


You can pick up the Kindle version here.


You can pick up the paperback version here.


Happy Reading!!!


I received this book for free.
Source:  Author

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Storybound by Marissa Burt







About the book:

"In the land of Story, children go to school to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them.

In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible. But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story.

But Story is not a perfect fairy tale. Una’s new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity. The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move. And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself....

With the timeless appeal of books like A Wrinkle in Time and the breathtaking action of Inkheart, Storybound has all the makings of a new classic. Brimming with fantastical creatures, magical adventure, and heart-stopping twists, Storybound will leave readers wishing they too could jump through the pages into this enchanting fairy-tale world.
"


My Review:


I loved this middle grade book!  The story swept me away to another world right from the beginning!  Una finds a book and opens it.  Inside it says The Tale of Una Fairchild.  That is her!  She begins to read the book and soon she finds herself in the story!  I love the land of Story and all of the characters who live there!  The element of mystery was wonderful and I found myself reading and reading!  For a 400 plus page book, it went by so fast!  There was a twist that I never saw coming and endearing characters that I can’t wait to read more about!  I hope that Marissa Burt is writing fast because I need to find out what happens in book two!  An awesome read that will leave you wanting more, Storybound is a must read for a kid or adult of any age!


You can pick up the hardback version via Amazon here.

You can pick up the Kindle version via Amazon here.

You can pick up the back or Nook version via Barnes and Noble here.

You can pick up the hardback or ebook version via Harper Collins here.

Happy Reading!!!

Source:  Publisher


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame by L.L. Samson







About the book:

A hidden attic. A classic story. A very unexpected twist. Twin twelve-year-old bookworms Ophelia and Linus Easterday discover a hidden attic that once belonged to a mad scientist. While relaxing in the attic and enjoying her latest book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ophelia dozes off, and within moments finds herself facing a fully alive and completely bewildered Quasimodo. Ophelia and Linus team up with a clever neighbor, a hippy priest, and a college custodian, learning Quasimodo's story while searching for some way to get him back home-if he can survive long enough in the modern world.



My Review:

Let me start by saying that I love middle grade books! This book is written well and I enjoyed that it was told from an outsider’s point of view, a janitor.  It was nice how the narrator explained words that a middle grader normally wouldn’t have understood and the way he did it was quite entertaining!  The narrator is my favorite character in the story and he isn’t actually in the story, he just tells it. The story itself is interesting with Quasimodo appearing right before Ophelia’s eyes and she has to figure out how to get him back to his “world” safely. 
I liked the premise of the book but I felt that the story lacked some excitement to keep me wanting to read it.  I could put the book down and walk away from the story without the pull to read more.  I wanted more information from the ending; I think the author leaves it this way intentionally so that there can be another story to tell.   My one big issue; the story summary says the twins are 12 and in the book they are 14.  So is this a typo in the summary or are they trying to market to middle graders and YA readers?  This is definitely something that should be addressed.  Overall it is a nice read but it just didn’t “wow” me.

I received this book as an e-arc from netgalley.  I was under no obligation to review it.

You can pick up the paperback or ebook version via Zondervan here.

You can pick up the paperback  via version here. 

You can pick up the Kindle version here.

You can pick up the paperback via Barnes and Noble here.  

You can pick up the Nook version here. 

Happy Reading!!!





Monday, May 14, 2012

Winners of Azure!!!

The three winners of Azure by Cheree Alsop are:

sweety

Gale Nelson

shari.e

The winners have been e-mailed!  Congratulations!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Children's Book Week Hop Giveaway!





I would like to thank, I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, KidLitFrenzy, Classic Children's Books, and Mymebooks for putting together this giveaway hop!  I would also like to thank Cheree Aslop for donating three ebooks of her newest release YA novel, Azure!!  The three winners will receive a smashwords coupon for Azure!  On to the giveaway!  All you have to do is 1) become a follower of my blog, (old followers still count) and 2) leave a comment telling me how you follow and include your email address.  If you fail to do either of these things you will not be eligible to win.  I will draw three random winners.  I will contact each winner via email.  Failure to respond within 48 hrs of email will result in you forfeiting your book.  You must reply to my original email to ensure that I actually receive the email in my inbox.  No instant messaging or alerting will count as a response.  This is open international!  Good luck!

Be sure to hop to these other blogs for more great giveaways!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Guest Post by Cheree Alsop and Giveaway!!!






“Werewolves hide among you; it’s a secret we have fought for centuries to keep.  We were almost wiped out once, and know better than to let the secret out again.  But just like humans, werewolves are impulsive and sometimes uncontrollable.  That’s where I come in.  My job is to protect the werewolves and help them live full and happy lives.  There are Hunters and others who don’t believe werewolves have rights and should be hunted and exterminated like animals.  I’ve done what I can to smooth Hunter-werewolf relations, but extremists, fighting rings, and covert agencies feel that the fate of werewolves should be to die, be forced to fight for the entertainment of humans who watch the mutilation and bloodshed like it’s a sport, or be experimented upon to unlock the secrets of our superior strength and increased healing capabilities.

I have seen things that would break me if I didn’t remember what I was fighting for.  I found my father hacked apart by Hunters, and have rescued friends and comrades from fates worse than death.  I feel a noose closing in as though those I care about are in danger, but I can’t find the source of it quickly enough to save them.  There are so many werewolves in trouble, and though my team and the Hunters and werewolves that make up what some consider my private army work night and day to rescue them, it’s not enough.  We need to do more, and so I am creating a team strong enough and smart enough to stop the threats hurled against us by ignorant humans who fear what they don’t understand.

I am a high school student, and my attempt to live a normal life is shadowed by the werewolves who need my help.  Charts of recent werewolf activity hang from my bedroom walls in place of posters.  A computer tracking the rogue packs that intimidate the local wolves and endanger innocent humans sits by my bed.  In place of text books, pens, and paper, my backpack is filled with guns, knives, and the occasional bag of beef jerky (you don’t want to mess with a hungry werewolf).  Instead of studying for classes, my friends spend their days creating high-tech monitoring devices and tracking down the locations of fighting rings, torture chambers, and laboratories.

I have loved with all of my heart, which is the way of the wolf.  I have tracked through fields lit by the light of the full moon as it rested upon my shoulders like a cloak of strength.  I have suffered to see the pains other werewolves have gone through, and almost died saving a human girl who stole my heart and gave me my life back.  I live in the hopes of avenging my father’s death by saving those in pain, and I give every day-”

A sound reverberated through the room.  Jaze Carso set down his pen and a smile spread across his face.  The curtains to either side of the open window swayed gently in the breeze to create dancing trails of moonlight across the page.  Jaze opened his hand and let it play across his palm.  A welcome shudder ran through his body.  He stood as the howl sounded again, more persistent this time.  He took off his clothes and didn’t fight the phase.  His joints shifted, pulling him onto his hands and knees.  His ears elongated and moved to higher points on his head while his muzzle grew and sharp canines lengthened.  Jet black fur ran up his arms and down his body, covering his shoulders and back in a soft undercoat followed by the thick, longer guard hairs.  It felt good to be in wolf form again, like putting on a pair of worn shoes molded by time to fit only the wearer’s feet.  Jaze shook to settle into his wolf form, then stretched.
Another howl rose and other voices joined it.  The notes took on the warm, rounded tones of his pack ready for a night run beneath the welcome embrace of the full moon.  Jaze pushed aside the curtain with his muzzle and the moonlight cast his brown eyes with a golden glow.  Stars glittered within the inky blanket of night and the full orb above washed the city in an other-worldly glow.  Eyes watched him from below, one pair dark blue, another deep crimson red, one set violet, and the last golden and deep with the secrets of the wild.  Jaze gave a wolfish grin and leaped from the window.


Azure is book five of the Silver Series.  Vance’s story is about an alpha werewolf who is torn between his duty to those who look to him for safety or assisting an injured human girl.  Something draws him to save her against his instincts and the need to protect his home after an attack by extremist hunters leaves some of his werewolves dead and the rest vulnerable.  Vance has been in charge of the werewolf hideout known as Two since he was ten years old and sent into hiding to save his life.  When he rescues the injured hunter before she can be killed by the others, he finds his motives questioned everyone, including himself.  Nora is the only person who is not afraid of Vance’s size or strength, and in return she gains his respect.  Through circumstances related to Nora’s past, Vance is pushed to the edge of strength and survival.  Alone in a cell and beaten to the edge of endurance, Vance is befriended by another werewolf who has endured more than anyone should and remain sane.  Vance’s heart is torn through the experience and he suffers between loving Nora and a werewolf who befriends him with the kindness that is greatly lacking in his life.

Azure is a story of strength beyond the endurance of the body.  In a world turned upside down by violence, the choice between what the heart wants and the safest solution can be the most important decision of all.

Find Azure and the rest of the Silver Series at Cheree’s website, www.chereealsop.com.  Cheree can be found at Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5395602.Cheree_Alsop
The Silver Series and Cheree’s other books can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords in ebook and paperback formats.  Links for purchase can be found on her website here: http://www.chereealsop.com/purchase/

Thank you for participating in the release of Azure, book five of the Silver Series.  I hope you will step into the world of Jaze and his team and experience what it means to love, to survive, to dream, and to live in a world that’s both more beautiful and dangerous for being seen through the eyes of a werewolf.

GIVEAWAY!!!

Cheree has graciously offered to giveaway three ebooks of Azure!  To enter all you have to do is come back to my blog any time between May 7th and May 13th!  You will have to be or become a follower of my blog and leave your email address.  The winners will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond or new winners will be drawn.  Thank you again to Cheree Alsop and good luck!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Master of Roads by Amy Keeley

About this short story:


A desperate woman. An awful bargain. "Master of Roads" is a tale of duty fighting love; of the judgment of gods, and the hope of mortals. Which will win?

My Review:

This is a beautifully written short romantic fantasy story! I loved Leani and her determination to find a way out of a forced marriage and there is a bit of a twist which I really enjoyed.  A great read overall and don't discount it because it is short, it is full of emotion and depth.  I would love it if Amy Keeley decided to turn it into a full length novel, I felt like I didn't get enough of this world she has created!  I look forward to reading more from Amy Keeley in the future!

You can pick up the Kindle version here.

You can pick up the ebook version here.

You can pick up the Nook version here.

Happy Reading!!!

I received this book for free.  This is my honest review.
Source:  Author

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Shelter of His Arms by J. Adams






About this novelette:

Lani and Chrispin have hidden their feelings for one another for years, but when they are finally free to express their love, both are afraid to cross the line that has always been there.
Lani's battered heart needs to heal. Will Chrispin's love be strong enough to heal it? And will Lani have the courage to embrace the passion she has longed for now that it is hers for the taking?
The Shelter of His Arms is the first emotion-driven romance in the Passionate Hearts Novelette series.


 My Review:


For a short story, J. Adams spares no amount of emotion! You will feel sadness, pain, happiness, longing and love!  A great pick me up, this novelette does not disappoint! A short story that packs a big emotional punch, The Shelter of His Arms is a read you don't want to miss!  (This book is completely clean!)


You can pick the Kindle version up here.

Happy Reading!!!

I received this book for free, this is my honest review
Source:  Author