Tag: Young Adult

Fragmented by Madeline Dyer

Posted June 17, 2017

My review:

Fragmented is the second book in Madeline Dyer’s Untamed series. It picks up where the first left off, and charts the progress of Seven and Corin, amongst others.

I have to say, while I ‘liked’ Untamed, the first book in the series, I absolutely loved Fragmented. Not only do the stakes introduced in the first book continue, but Seven (and Corin) have a whole new set of problems to deal with, and it’s hard to see how they can beat any of them. Madeline Dyer, in my opinion, has a definite skill in keeping a reader on their toes. Just when I thought the book was heading in one direction, it went in another, though not without warning. The foreshadowing is very skillfully done.

I think one of the strengths of this book, is that it is ‘next’ in a series. The characters, setting, and the main conflict has already been established, which allows Dyer to build and develop on already introduced themes and relationships (which throwing more into the mix).

There are several new characters in Fragmented, a couple of whom I really didn’t like (which, I believe, was the intention), but necessary for the overall story arc. I enjoyed learning more about Seven and watching her relationship with Corin develop, though the odds were very much against them.

I would highly – highly – recommend this book (although I would advise reading Untamed so you can appreciate the depth of this world), and cannot wait to read book three.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01NAUNSE6″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Untamed by Madeline Dyer

Posted January 10, 2017

As one of the last Untamed humans left in the world, Seven’s life has always been controlled by tight rules. Stay away from the Enhanced. Don’t question your leader. And, most importantly, never switch sides–because once you’re Enhanced there’s no going back. Even if you have become the perfect human being.

But after a disastrous raid on an Enhanced city, Seven soon finds herself in her enemy’s power. Realizing it’s only a matter of time before she too develops a taste for the chemical augmenters responsible for the erosion of humanity, Seven knows she must act quickly if she’s to escape and save her family from the same fate.

Yet, as one of the most powerful Seers that the Untamed and Enhanced have ever known, Seven quickly discovers that she alone holds the key to the survival of only one race. But things aren’t clear-cut anymore, and with Seven now questioning the very beliefs she was raised on, she knows she has an important choice to make. One that has two very different outcomes.

Seven must choose wisely whose side she joins, for the War of Humanity is underway, and Death never takes kindly to traitors.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01MS5264O” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


The Path to Dawn (Opal Charm) by Miri Castor

Posted July 21, 2016

Opal is a young girl living in Dewdrop, a bustling suburb southeast of New York. Life is a constant struggle for her, until she befriends newcomer, Hope Adaire. With the girls’ friendship slowly beginning to grow, Opal’s life begins to change in mysterious ways, as the secrets of Hope’s enigmatic life begins to unfold. In the process of taking new paths and unveiling truths, a new world is discovered and with it, the discovery of a Gift a power that can make Opal stronger than she ever imagined. Yet with every truth, lies must be shattered. Now, when Dewdrop and the new world is threatened, this temperamental teen with too much emotional baggage, must learn how to control her Gift, and protect everyone living in her world and the new one—or face the consequences of unmasked truths.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01CN7HOWY” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


A Facet for the Gem (The Tale of Eaglefriend Book One) by C. L. Murray

Posted May 7, 2016

In a land of eagle-riding knights, bloodthirsty beasts, and a ruthless prince, no border is safe for long. And as smoke billows from the only blockade standing between the great city of Korindelf and certain doom, young Morlen races to escape the inevitable siege. Thrust from the chaos with thousands of snapping jaws on his trail, he discovers that the abilities he’s buried all his life are awakening—and it could not have happened at a worse time.
War has come, and he doesn’t dare rely on his untested talents after stealing the coveted Goldshard, which makes strength and invincibility just a panicked whisper away. His dependency on it carries him through many dangers, until it becomes an enemy far worse than those he must fight hand-to-hand. And the allies he meets on his quest are just as troubled: a legendary warrior too afraid to leave his sheltered paradise, a wizard tormented by his past, and a disgraced king who has lost any hope of saving his people.
A FACET FOR THE GEM is a coming of age fantasy that brings Morlen from distant kingdoms to sprawling airborne battles, into the fiery breath of a stony dragon and side-by-side with a lady knight who is the last person in need of rescue. Follow him as his epic adventures culminate in a final showdown against swords, fangs, and greatest of all: his own fear.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01C9JT5BY” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Author Interview: D.R.Perry

Posted April 2, 2016

Barely AwakeD.R. Perry lives in Rhode Island, where all her books are set. Although she’s not a native New Englander, once up north she got so inspired she couldn’t leave.


  • When did you first discover your love for writing?

I’ve been writing since I could read. At first, I made scripts of books I loved for me and my friends to act out. At one point, I wrote a story about a Star Trek food fight. The evidence of these is lost forever. I put them in a wardrobe when I was fourteen and haven’t seen them since.

  • Do you have a favourite place to write?

I write wherever I can. Anywhere with space for my laptop will do. In particular, I like anyplace that smells like coffee or tea.

  • Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?

The only rule of my Write Club is: write something every day. Sometimes it’s a grocery list in limerick form or a parody of my latest earworm’s lyrics. More often it’s part of one of my series or a poem.

  • Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?

I prefer admiration over aspiration. There are too many to list. Here are some in no particular order: Robin McKinley, L. Frank Baum, Peter S. Beagle, Mario Puzo, Ursula K. Leguin, Robert Aspirin, Jane Yolen.

  • What inspired you to write Barely Awake?

I read through some Paranormal Romance books a friend of mine recommended. A bunch of these were about bear shifters, taking place in winter with no mention of hibernation. I’d already thought of writing about a magic college in Rhode Island. The snow we had last winter made me wonder how a bear shifter who’d never been up north might react to 30 inches of snow. It also draws on my own experience seeing show for the first time after growing up in South Florida.

  • Can you tell us a little about your book?

Sure! Barely Awake takes place just a few years after the only Ivy League school for Magic and psychic education opened its doors to anyone. This is part of the world’s adjustment to The Big Reveal, when Extrahumans like magi, shifters, and vampires came out to the rest of the world. The main female character in Barely Awake, Lynn Frampton, is the first human to attend. The fact she’s the only human makes her feel isolated. And the main male character Bobby is completely out of his element once it snows. As the plot progresses, they start to suspect they’ve been singled out and targeted on purpose. We get some clues about that at the end of the book.

  • Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?

That’s the toughest question you’ve asked me. I like all of them in this series, even the antagonists. In this particular book, though, I have to go with Bobby’s dragon shifter roommate, Blaine Harcourt. Not only is he fun to write, but the way the other characters interact with him makes me laugh out loud. I can’t wait to write his book, which will be the fourth one in the series.

  • Does your book contain a message for readers to consider?

One phrase kept going through my head while working on this book. You’re never as alone as you think you are.

  • What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing Barely Awake?

Time. I’ve got such piecemeal timeframes to write in. That’s challenging. Going for a couple of hours at zero dark thirty in the morning before everyone else wakes up helps. Also, I have almost three whole hours in a row when my husband gets together with his friends to slay Internet Dragons twice a week. Thanks, Jim! And I have the best Mother-In-Law ever. She brings my daughter to the library once or twice a week so I can get more writing in. Thanks, Patty! I couldn’t crunch through this series without you.

  • What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing Barely Awake?

I’ve learned that I love getting my humor in my fantasy. It’s better than getting chocolate in my peanut butter. Reeses, eat your heart out. Writing has way less calories than candy. But seriously, I worked a few years on a darker Historical Urban Fantasy series. It took me longer to write the same amount of words in that project. I take to the fun stuff more readily, I guess.

  • Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

Keep writing. I’m not alone in saying that, of course, but writing something every day is the only way writers get to practice. Don’t be afraid to grab an idea and run with it either. If I hadn’t, I’d still be figuring out how to start the Provdence Paranormal College series.

  • Anything else you would like to say?

I’ve prepared a few words. Elephant. Sloth. Riesling. Thanks!

  • And finally, do you have any future works planned?

Lots! There’s ten books outlined in Providence Paranormal and I will write them all. My Historical Urban Fantasy series is tentatively called Tree of Life and that’s got four books planned. I’ve also been slowly adding to a project I call the Poeticalendar. It’s a 365 day geek-culture influenced collection of poems and flash fiction under 100 words. Thanks so much for the interview!


 

FB: https://www.facebook.com/drpperry/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DRPerry22

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8588997.D_R_Perry

Website: http://www.drperryauthor.com/


DAUGHTER OF THE WOLF BY CAT BRUNO

Posted March 21, 2016

Daughter of the Wolf

How far must one travel to escape the gaze of a dark-shadowed god? After fleeing the Healer’s Academy, Caryss struggles against becoming little more than a plaything of the gods. Pregnant with a child who will be born of shadows and stars, Caryss searches for an army to protect her unborn daughter. Along the way, she finds help from a fallenmage, an exiled prince, a blood-stained shaman, and a boy who commands the skies. Yet, even with their assistance, Caryss cannot run far from the High Lord Conri, whose love for her is profaned and damaged.

Mysterious and dark fantasy filled with epic adventure and magic. Find the first book in the critically acclaimed Pathway of the Chosen series, The Girl from the North.

[book-info]

amazon

[goodreviews isbn=”B019WJUH20″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]



…Before You Leap by Les Lynam

Posted March 5, 2016

Two teens from two centuries apart, one the direct descendant of the other. Einstein’s Theory didn’t cover THIS relativity.

Sean Kelly considered himself an average 16-year-old, living in an average neighborhood in a small University town. Nothing too exciting ever happened in Grover’s Corners, Missouri; some might even label it boring. His ordinary life was disrupted when a distant relative dropped by at the beginning of his Junior year in high school. A distant relative from the 23rd Century.

Two 16-year-olds in a time machine. What could possibly go wrong?

[goodreviews isbn=”B00OZ136YC” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Forestium by Christopher D. Morgan

Posted March 4, 2016

Joshua, a young woodsman, is approaching the age of decision. Despite the tales of his father having died in a skirmish with another tribe, Joshua’s dreams are telling him otherwise. The young man yearns for the truth and decides to enlist the help of his village elder to guide him. Armed with little more than the cryptic musing from the ailing elder, Joshua sets off to find the Oracle with his best friend and an imp, who is travelling the land to find others of his kind. It isn’t long before they stumble into a beautiful and ingenious young woman who is herself on a journey of discovery.

On the way to the Oracle, Joshua comes by some curious magical artefacts. Can these help him to find his father? An evil and malevolent creature of the underworld known only as the Goat learns that Joshua has possession of some of the magical orbs needed to open the Portallas, a permanent gateway that links worlds together. Enraged, the Goat sends his dark forces to thwart Joshua and to prevent him from fulfilling his destiny.

Travelling through fantastic landscapes, the four travelling companions meet strange people and creatures alike, and must use all their cunning and ingenuity to find the remaining magical orbs. Will Joshua find all the magical artefacts needed to open the Portallas and free his father?

PORTALLAS – FORESTIUM is full of twists and turns, as Joshua goes on a veritable roller-coaster ride of challenges that will test his courage and emotional strength.

http://portallas.com

[goodreviews isbn=”9780994525703″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

 


Rhuna, Keeper of Wisdom by Barbara Underwood

Posted February 19, 2016

In the distant past, when a utopian civilization built the pyramids and other megalithic structures using magical powers, a young girl named Rhuna learns the truth about her father and the enemy that caused his demise. The idyllic civilization in which she flourishes and finds love is threatened by this old nemesis and only Rhuna possesses the special inherited skills to stop him.

[goodreviews isbn=”B008YN2QMK” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


The Sabbath by Arthur Nsenga

Posted February 11, 2016

Would you rather suffer for eternity, or die peacefully?

What if you had no choice?

The morning after witnessing a spectacular meteorite shower, Cory and his girlfriend Lana didn’t expect to wake up immortal.

News bulletins claim the meteorites have released a chemical compound called ATHENS which has caused mutations in the human race. The twisted outcome has left people unable to die but with an increased sensitivity to pain.

Now with the majority of food supplies contaminated, and the rich controlling what little is left, the desperate young couple are forced to go on merciless food raids just to stave off the pain.

During which they accidentally discover a secret government device and find themselves caught up in a diabolical plot to control the future of humanity.

Realizing that there is more to ATHENS than what they were led to believe; Cory and Lana set out on a crusade to uncover the truth. Their journey will lead them into the darkest depths of humanity. If they can follow the trail, they may be able to find some answers.

But will the cost of knowing the truth be too much?

[goodreviews isbn=”B019JZMJFU” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Jubilee Year: A Novel by Gerard O’Neill

Posted December 17, 2015

What if the world were about to end, but they weren’t going to tell you? Eighteen-year-old Storm lives in a small country town in Australia, next to one of the most famous telescopes in the world. When he falls for Penny, the daughter of the chief scientist at the observatory, he discovers a global conspiracy of silence. He learns a mini-star system approaches Earth, and the penalty for any scientist who talks about it is death.

If Storm and his companions are to survive they must stay out of the way of the government’s security forces, assassination squads working for powerful hidden entities, and the internment camps for dissenters. Even his special ability is not going to be enough. He must accept help when it’s offered. But others are not who they seem to be and neither is the reality of a world Storm thought he knew.

[goodreviews isbn=”B013ANZ508″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


My Name is not Alice by Angelika Rust

Posted November 18, 2015

Alice is a high school princess. Blonde. Beautiful. Shallow. Until she meets a little white rabbit, and her world turns upside down. The line between reality and fantasy blurs, then vanishes altogether. And Alice becomes a girl who attracts Trouble. Trouble with a capital T.

[goodreviews isbn=”B015CNYJB0″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


The Knight’s Apprentice (Knights of the Immortals) by Catrina Taylor

Posted November 12, 2015

Meet Cerita Guzman. Typical teen with all the responsibilities of an oldest child, in a struggling single parent household. After stumbling across a final rite performed by a man in a suit of armor, Cerita finds herself questioning everything she’s ever known.

Is Atlantis real? Are the creatures of myth? Could she be one of them?

With her best friend, a classmate, and the mysterious knight, Cerita begins an adventure to find the truth that’s been hidden in plain sight.

Pick up book two today!
amazon.com/gp/product/B00YN5RE52

[goodreviews isbn=”B00Y7E6B4E” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

 


Bound to Survive by Sharon Gibbs

Posted November 11, 2015

~~~~Bound To Survive is a Finalist for Action/Adventure~~~
~~~In the 2015 IAN Book of the Year Awards ~~~

Welcome to Solencia, a realm where the people live in peace and Wizards govern…

Until that fateful day, treachery swept across the land to slaughter the magic upon the mountain.
Told of in prophecy, a boy is torn from the love of his family and is ‘Bound’ with magic to survive. He is hidden from those who seek to destroy him as the people struggle to survive under the rule of a tyrant Lord and his evil Sorceress, and magic becomes a hidden art.
Over the years, the young boy grows discontent…
Until the day, a secret is revealed… a journey begins… and a choice is made.
A choice, which will be for all in the realm.
Join Christopher and his friends as they begin a journey of discovery, a coming of age tale, which will see them face danger more than once and have them hatch a daring escape. Race with them across the country in a bid to save his love from certain death and find out how a secret will change the world they live in. Bound to Survive is a coming of age story of sword and sorcery, wizardly love, war and intrigue steeped in a mystical age of magic.

***For a limited time, you can get the Prequel, of the Magic Within Series, Beginnings, Part 1 for free – click here to find out more > sharonagibbs.wix.com/author-sharongibbs ***
[goodreviews isbn=”B00S6FAU6A” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


The Quantum Door by Jonathan Ballagh

Posted October 21, 2015

Discover what lies beyond the Quantum Door. The mysterious woods behind Brady and Felix’s house have been deserted for years. But things change when a fence goes up and the brothers notice strange things happening at night. From the moment they dare cross the fence, the brothers enter a world of dark technological secrets that will rock the foundation of everything they know to be true. And once they enter, there’s no turning back. Some places are better left alone…

[goodreviews isbn=”B013XWCINS” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


The Blacksmith and The Apprentice by Stone Marshall

Posted October 19, 2015

Ever wonder what life is like in Minecraft? Read Legends and Heroes to find out!
Created by Stone Marshall, the author of the popular Flynn’s Log series.
The Stone Marshall Studio is developing a new series: Legends & Heroes
A hybrid of comic-book style illustrations and short stories. Each issue is fun, challenging, and engaging.
These interrelated  stories follow a series of characters on a journey through life in Minecraft. Relatable characters, thrilling action, and colorful illustrations will suck in readers and leave them excited to read the next adventure!
Secrets await!
Solve the puzzle, uncover secrets!
The Blacksmith and The Apprentice: Issue 1
The ancient art of blacksmithing is a thing of beauty. A lot of hard work goes into the process. It’s very complicated, really. Stoking the flames to many small, contained fires—making lumps of metal into differently shaped items of metal—hitting said lumps of metal with hammers to turn them into different weapons. You can shape metals into whatever item you want.
Okay, it might not be a very interesting job, but apprenticing with the best blacksmith in the kingdom is a huge opportunity. Blacksmiths make the tools everyone needs to get about in their day-to-day lives. It’s a very prestigious and impressive position, although this honor is lost when the position is held by Dane, a youthful boy who dreams of greater adventure!
Luckily, Dane has a skilled master to reign in his daydreaming. Viegar has quite an interesting past. From his years on the Royal Guard to his close relationship with the previous king, he’s quite a friend to have on your side.
There is one other apprentice, Snip, who is much more passionate about his duties than Dane. Between the three of them, they churn out powerful weapons and protective armor, usually with no thanks to Dane.
Of course, no cast of characters would be complete without the big man in charge—in this case, a king. By almost anyone’s account, he’s a good and fair ruler, but there is no one in power without enemies. Though Viegar and his workers only want to help their wonderful king, there are still plenty who wish to do him harm. But Dane can only imagine such things. It’s not as if he’d ever be in the position to really make any sort of difference or be in any place of power.
Right?
And though his apprenticeship is mundane and boring, the young man gets a few moments of excitement. Every once in a while, his master Viegar lets him venture out past the village to visit the caravan, where he can trade and buy supplies. It’s the most excitement Dane ever gets in his line of work.
Sometimes, he gets to meet interesting people.
Sometimes, he hears interesting things.
And maybe, just maybe, he sometimes hears of a new opportunity for himself.
But who would want to give up such a life as an esteemed apprentice?

But of course, destiny and desire are not always what you expect . . .Ever wonder what life is like in Minecraft? Read Legends and Heroes to find out!
Created by Stone Marshall, the author of the popular Flynn’s Log series.
The Stone Marshall Studio is developing a new series: Legends & Heroes
A hybrid of comic-book style illustrations and short stories. Each issue is fun, challenging, and engaging.
These interrelated  stories follow a series of characters on a journey through life in Minecraft. Relatable characters, thrilling action, and colorful illustrations will suck in readers and leave them excited to read the next adventure!
Secrets await!
Solve the puzzle, uncover secrets!
The Blacksmith and The Apprentice: Issue 1
The ancient art of blacksmithing is a thing of beauty. A lot of hard work goes into the process. It’s very complicated, really. Stoking the flames to many small, contained fires—making lumps of metal into differently shaped items of metal—hitting said lumps of metal with hammers to turn them into different weapons. You can shape metals into whatever item you want.
Okay, it might not be a very interesting job, but apprenticing with the best blacksmith in the kingdom is a huge opportunity. Blacksmiths make the tools everyone needs to get about in their day-to-day lives. It’s a very prestigious and impressive position, although this honor is lost when the position is held by Dane, a youthful boy who dreams of greater adventure!
Luckily, Dane has a skilled master to reign in his daydreaming. Viegar has quite an interesting past. From his years on the Royal Guard to his close relationship with the previous king, he’s quite a friend to have on your side.
There is one other apprentice, Snip, who is much more passionate about his duties than Dane. Between the three of them, they churn out powerful weapons and protective armor, usually with no thanks to Dane.
Of course, no cast of characters would be complete without the big man in charge—in this case, a king. By almost anyone’s account, he’s a good and fair ruler, but there is no one in power without enemies. Though Viegar and his workers only want to help their wonderful king, there are still plenty who wish to do him harm. But Dane can only imagine such things. It’s not as if he’d ever be in the position to really make any sort of difference or be in any place of power.
Right?
And though his apprenticeship is mundane and boring, the young man gets a few moments of excitement. Every once in a while, his master Viegar lets him venture out past the village to visit the caravan, where he can trade and buy supplies. It’s the most excitement Dane ever gets in his line of work.
Sometimes, he gets to meet interesting people.
Sometimes, he hears interesting things.
And maybe, just maybe, he sometimes hears of a new opportunity for himself.
But who would want to give up such a life as an esteemed apprentice?

But of course, destiny and desire are not always what you expect . . .

[goodreviews isbn=”B00YLRP210″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian by William L Stuart

Posted September 10, 2015

When Aidan and Maggie find a fairy cross while rock-hunting with their grandfather, it’s just an oddity. But when they discover there is an elf imprisoned in the stone and set him free, they and their grandparents, Nana and Beebop, are attacked by Dark Elves and forced to flee to the magical world of Celahir.

In Celahir, Findecano – the elf the children freed from the fairy cross – leads them on a quest to recover gemstones stolen from the Elven Bow by the Dark Elves. Without the restoration of the gemstones to the Elven Bow, the balance between good and evil in Celahir – and the human world – could tip toward evil.

[goodreviews isbn=”B008WV90JQ” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Author Interview: Esther Dalseno

Posted September 10, 2015

EstherDalsenoMy name is Esther Dalseno and I’m an Australian living in Berlin.  I’m about to publish my debut novel, Drown, a YA crossover fantasy that I wrote entirely in Laos, South East Asia.  I’m a big traveler, I left Sydney alone nearly ten years ago and worked my way across the world, teaching and writing.  In three totally different countries, I acquired a husband, a daughter and a Pekingese dog (not necessarily in that order).   


When did you first discover your love for writing?I discovered my love for writing, I would say, when I first began to read.  I was so entranced by my childish picture books that I immediately attempted to create my own.

  • Do you have a favourite place to write?

Yes, and it’s boring as anything: I like to be at home, in silence, and completely alone.  Impossible with an infant daughter!  I find music influences the tone and pacing of my writing, so I can’t have any of that.

  • Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?

I always edit any work I have done previously before I can write anything fresh.  Then I procrastinate for maybe 2-3 hours, faffing about on social media and texting people.  I tell myself, “I’ll just make another cup of coffee before I start” and then three cups later, I’ll write one sentence.

  • Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?

Absolutely.  I’m in love with Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende.  My idea of the “perfect” novel is Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.  Other epic books I am in awe of include Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber, and The Wind Up Bird Chronicles by Murakami.

  • What inspired you to write Drown?

I was sick and tired of waiting for someone else to do it.

  • Can you tell us a little about your book?

Drown is a dark and twisted retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.

  • Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?

I love a good villain.  That’s all I’ll say.  (Also: Voldemort was misunderstood, and Harry Potter overreacted.)

  • Does your book contain a message for readers to consider?

Cliche, sure, but true: treasure each day.  Our lives are short, we only get one.  The power of free will.  On a related note, perhaps after readers finish the novel, they will assume that I personally have certain ethics/religious beliefs.  I assure you, I do not.  I wanted to stay true to Andersen’s original intent for his story, and that’s all I will say in case I ruin it any further!

  • What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing Drown?

Publishing.  I am being published by a micro press, 3 Little Birds, and it’s very much a partnership where I exercise a lot of control and give my opinion very fearlessly!  However, my journey to this point was long and arduous.  My little writer’s heart was absolutely broken by the Big 6 back in 2010.  I scored a very big agent with Drown Drownon my first round of query emails, and even then, I had other offers of representation before I decided to sign with this wonderful soul.  The results that followed were heartbreaking in the sense that I was so close to a substantial
book deal I could practically smell it.  However, there were issues with censorship, and I had to delete words like “sperm” from the manuscript.  Then there was a problem
with placement, as my writing was deemed too “literary” for YA audiences, and my themes far too dark, too adult.  I think what it all boiled down to was the economic crisis at the time, and how the Big 6 were not about to risk plonking down cold, hard cash on such an indefinable manuscript and no-name author.  We came very, very close.  Mere inches away, really.  But in 2015, the face of YA has changed.  There is more “risky” subject matter, more adult content, more sex.  Very real issues are being discussed.  The writing is less frothy, more substantial.  YA authors are finally being taken seriously as writers.

  • What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing Drown?

That I am a quitter!  Seriously.  After all that heartbreak, I absolutely gave up.  I buried myself in a dark cave and hibernated.  I couldn’t write another word.  I refused to tell anyone about it, and certainly never mentioned I was a writer!  Then when it became apparent I was going to be a mother, I knew I had to try again.  That I couldn’t teach my daughter to go for her dreams and never give up if I was a quitter.

  • Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

Never, ever, ever give up.  And when you are not writing, read.

  • Anything else you would like to say?

Just that I am overwhelmed by the response to Drown already, on premise alone, as it hasn’t yet been released.  Social media is full of wise, creative, supportive and accepting souls.

  • And finally, do you have any future works planned?

My second novel, Gabriel and the Swallows, is due for release in early 2016.  It is a coming-of-age story set in Italy during the 1960’s:  mysterious winged creatures, a beautiful Turkish boy followed by an unexplained swarm of swallows, feverish Roman nights, murder most foul, vineyard escapades, everlasting love.


Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/drownbydalseno

Website: www.estherdalseno.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26115647-drown

Twitter: @EstherDalseno


Heartbound by P.I. Alltraine

Posted September 1, 2015

Petyr has never found it necessary to consider the humans as anything more than distant, inferior beings–until now. They are the cause of the fatal disease that has plagued his realm, taking the lives of too many of his kind. As a future leader of a realm in peril, Petyr must find a way to resist and cure the affliction. He must enter the unfamiliar realm, appear to be an ordinary eighteen-year-old human, observe, and learn.

However, things don’t exactly go according to plan. Instead of embarking single-mindedly on his sober mission, Petyr meets an 18-year-old girl who does things to his emotions that he can’t quite fathom or control. Petyr is falling in love, and he almost forgets the gravity his choices have on his entire world. Despite the risk it poses to his life and hers, he wants to know her, and he wants her to know him–and his world.

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AL CLARK by Jonathan G. Meyer

Posted August 31, 2015

A thousand specially selected people leave a troubled Earth for a new start on a virgin world many years away. Their starship is state-of-the-art and entirely automatic; its passengers safely sleeping through the long journey. All possible scenarios have been taken into account except one. There is no way to predict sabotage.

Al Clark wakes to begin a new life, alone on a crippled starship with no memory of what transpired to place him there.

It is the beginning of a quest that will take him places he could not have imagined, manage feats he would not have thought possible, and teach him the true meaning of friendship.

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ReAwaken by Autumn Seigel

Posted August 19, 2015

Arianna Montgomery has no recollection of her past life when she discovers she has a part to play in the new human race. As much as she tries to fight the cause, it may turn out she has a much bigger role to play than she realized. But can Arianna handle the responsibility that’s been thrust upon her when she regains those lost memories?

The end is coming…will they be ready?


ReAwaken

ReAwaken is Autumn Seigel’s début novel and a great introduction to her New Earth series. Suitable for young adults, and a few years ahead of the present time, it incorporates themes such as control, manipulation, friendship and loyalty. Arianna has no recollection of her past, but to save the future, she has to uncover the truth.

[goodreviews isbn=”B013LAPD48″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Excerpt: Blood in the Fire

Posted June 30, 2015

 

Liz scurried toward the backyard faster than a cockroach caught in a flashlight beam. Luke didn’t move a muscle as she left. He just stared off into the distance. Then, once she was gone, the hand he was resting on the dining table curled into a single trembling fist.

“It’s not easy parenting two teenagers, is it?” I asked. “Especially when one of them is me, and the other one can turn you into a rabbit.”

“Can she really do that?” Luke asked quietly. I walked around and took the seat Liz had occupied.

“I have no idea,” I replied. Finally, his gaze refocused, and he turned to me. His eyes glistened. They were fighting back tears.

My brother’s not soft. He’s the toughest guy I know. Tough enough to hold it together at our parents’ funeral because he thought we needed him to hide his fear. Did he think Liz and I didn’t know that his heart was breaking? And at the age of twenty, he abandoned his plans to go to college, got a job and took guardianship of my sister and me. That’s courage. But his face right now reflected the overwhelming burden that he bore on his shoulders. Liz nearly died and she was acting like the whole thing was no big deal.

“What am I doing?” he asked at last. “Aliens tried to kill Liz. They almost killed all three of us, and I just agreed to go along with her on some mission.”

I let out a long sigh. “She’s stubborn,” I said. “If you tell her she can’t use her magic, she’s just going to do it behind your back.”

Luke glared at me. “So my role as her guardian is to just go along with it?” he asked, tossing his arms into the air in frustration. “She makes the decision to fight in some kind of war, and I’m just supposed to say okay?”

He waited for an answer. Reassurances buzzed on the tip of my tongue, but I kept them to myself. My gaze fell on the kitchen faucet as I considered my response. I hadn’t tightened the knob and water dripped slowly into the sink.

Maybe if Luke pleaded with Liz long enough, she would see what she was doing to both of us and give in. But I knew better. Her obsession with magic consumed her. Enough to make her blind to Luke’s pain. The only thing I could do to improve the situation was reassure him.

I was about to remind Luke just how bad-ass our sister was. This was a girl who was feared by the thugs and bullies at her school. Real thugs, with blades and criminal records. She had a developed a reputation for being able to kick butt.

He chimed in before I could start. “When I was holding her and she fell unconscious. Her blood was all over the floor and my hands and shirt. I thought—”

“I know what you thought,” I interrupted. “I was there.” Neither one of us needed to relive the moments before my two fingers on her neck felt her weak pulse.

But Luke didn’t stop talking. “Then yesterday, you came home and asked me if she was here, then told me she wasn’t at the hospital, and I swear to God, Mark, for the first few moments, I thought it was another dream.” Why would Luke think he was dreaming? Then, I realized: he must have been having nightmares that resembled that exact scenario. We’d both shared the unspoken fear that the wizards would come back for her.

“Mark, there was a chance magical aliens had my sister,” he continued, “and what did I do? I cleaned dishes.”

“Well, those dishes had been piling up for a while,” I offered. Luke shot me an irritated glare. He was right; it wasn’t funny. It wasn’t like I had come up with any bright ideas last night either. I searched the hospital. Then I came home to see if she had found a way back here. When I learned she was still at large, all I did was plant my behind on the couch and stare at the damn wooden door. If she hadn’t walked through, I don’t know how long I would have sat there, hoping for good news.

“There was nothing you could do,” I said.

“No, you’re right!” Luke exclaimed. “Because I couldn’t call the cops and tell them aliens might be trying to kill my sister. Child services would have revoked my guardianship so fast, Liz would already be in a foster house.”

“She is sorry,” I said. “You know how scared she is of hospitals. She just wasn’t thinking straight.” I wondered if Luke could hear the steady drip of water too. It was out of sync with the ticking clock and the noise was driving me mad. Still, I didn’t move to fix it.

“Yeah, I know she’s sorry,” Luke said, softening his tone. “Sometimes she acts so mature, I forget she’s a fourteen-year-old teenager. I expect her to be an adult. Then she goes off, pulls a stunt like the one from last night, and I remember she’s still a kid.”

“Nah, she’s not a kid. She’s more mature than I am,” I countered. “Which is why I think we should give her a chance. It might even be fun.”

Luke smiled. “It’s not hard to be more mature than a college student who still watches Tom and Jerry cartoons between classes,” he ribbed. I smiled too. I knew Luke couldn’t pass up an opening to tease me, and I’d purposefully handed him that one on a silver platter.

“Hey, don’t you go knocking the genius that is cartoon physics,” I said. Even though Luke had smiled, his eyes were still sad.

“Look, Liz acts like this world of hers is no-big deal,” I continued. “Maybe it’s not. Maybe what happened was some freak act of nature and once you and I get a chance to look into it, it won’t seem so scary anymore.” Luke picked up the glass Liz had been drinking from and took it to the sink to rinse out. He turned the faucet on and finally the dripping was replaced by a steady stream of water. I kept talking. “I mean she’s been doing this for years and she’s never come home hurt before. Mom and Dad got her started for goodness sake. Would they have done that if she was in real danger?”

Luke nodded. He placed the clean cup on the towel by the sink and turned toward me. “Thanks bro,” he said, rustling my hair as he walked by.

“We’ll go with her and then we’re both gonna feel better about this whole thing,” I replied. Luke was already half way to his bedroom, but I kept talking. “And in the meantime, if we get to kick some alien wizard butt along the way, well how cool would that be?”

 

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Blood in the Fire

Posted June 15, 2015

Click to read an excerpt


My initial thoughts

Blood in the Fire is written in the first person, and the standard of writing is very high. It begins at a point close to media res and the writing style (and story) was quick to entice me. It begins with feel of a mainstream fiction novel, but soon changes its tone, and through the course of a conversation, back story is established with ease.

I’ve only read a few pages of the book so far, but this is one I intend to take a further read of. There’s no other reviews as yet, but this book does have two five star ratings on Goodreads (and I’ve added it to my ‘to read’ list).

This book is marketed as being suitable for young adults with magic and fantasy, and from what I’ve read so far, it looks like it might be an enticing read.

 

[goodreviews isbn=”B00W343PQW” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Roderick Roach

Posted June 14, 2015

[goodreviews isbn=”1625160186″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


The Extraction List

Posted June 12, 2015

[goodreviews isbn=”B00V8KADEY” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Equivocal Destines by Raymond Clarke

Posted April 7, 2015

The first page of this book made me laugh, in just one paragraph and a sentence, Taal’s character jumped off the page. Sixteen years old and employed to tend a field full of crops, he’s doing what anyone would do in a dreary, dead-end job – he’s daydreaming. What made me laugh, however, was the way he scolded himself for doing it and then heads straight back to his thoughts.

Equivocal Destines is told in the third person, and the standard of writing is exceptional. You can really ‘hear’ Taal’s voice as his thoughts battle on between dreams and responsibility.

Turning the page brings an introduction to the landscape, but the story doesn’t stop while this information is provided. Taal’s perception of facts, an introduction to his friend and a brief hint to events that feature later in the book makes it interesting reading.  The writing is descriptive, but every sentence moves the story forward as action, backstory and characterisations are revealed at a balanced pace.

Despite intending to only read a few pages to assess it, I found myself at the end of the sample before I realised it, and have since gone on to buy the book to read in full.

[goodreviews isbn=”B00SZ63XY6″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Emperors of Time by J.W.Penn

Posted January 6, 2015

;Tim is a shy history nerd, Julie is popular and smart, Billy is athletic and confident, and Rose is clever and quirky. But what none of them understand is why Steven Hopkins, a Time Traveler from the 24th century, has chosen them to take on the Emperors of Time. The four teens must travel back to 1916 San Francisco to stop the past from being changed. If they fail, the self-proclaimed Emperors of Time will control the future. Their adventure takes them from a bridge over the Susquehanna River in the days before the Battle of Gettysburg to a settlement of outcasts from the Emperors’ futuristic paradise and from the seediest to the swankiest parts of 1916 San Francisco.

[goodreviews isbn=”B00N2Y2Y1E” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]