Thursday, 29 November 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #6: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

 

My next eagerly anticipated book is:


Title:  Unravel Me

Series:  Shatter Me #2

Author: 

Publication Date:  February 5, 2012

Genre:  YA Fantasy/Paranormal
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.
  
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What's your "waiting on" pick this week? Find out how you can participate HERE!


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Teaser Tuesday #6


Title:  
Bitterblue

 

Series:  Graceling Realm #3


Author:  Kristin Cashore


Genre:  YA Fantasy


Published:  May 2012  






"Teddy grinned again. 'Truths are dangerous,' he said.
 

'Then why are you writing them in a book?'

'To catch them between the pages,' said Teddy, 'and trap them before they disappear.'

'If they're dangerous, why not let them disappear?'

'Because when truths disappear, they leave behind blank spaces, and that is also dangerous."          


 
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Should Be Reading! where you share two (2) “teaser” sentences from your current read to try to entice others to want to seek it out. Find out how you can participate Here!

Q & A with Faith McKay

Title:  Prophecy Girl 
 
Author:  Faith McKay
 
Series:   (Lacuna Valley #1)
 
Genre:  Young Adult
 
Published:  November 2012
 
Available:  Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

4.60

Ever since Samantha Winthrop's mother moved them to Lacuna Valley, supposedly in search of better weather, the list of strange questions she has no answers for has been growing out of control.

Does her little sister, Violet, have the ability to make things happen just by "praying" for them? Are Sam's dreams really predicting the future? Is she destined to marry the boy she just met, and what is the mysterious orb that he's guarding? Why does she get the impression that there are dangerous creatures watching from the woods?

While Sam should be focusing on answering those questions, there is one other that makes them seem almost irrelevant: Is her mother planning on killing her and Violet?
 


Q & A with Faith McKay

Q:  When did you first know you wanted to write?

A:  When I was three years old, maybe sooner. I didn't even know how to write letters, but I would scribble marks in lines on the page, bind them together, and hand them to people. I never really stopped doing this. Writing was always something I did.

Q:  Tell us a little about your lead characters.

A:  Samantha Winthrop is a sixteen year old girl with an abusive mother and an oddball little sister. She is just trying to survive until she turns eighteen years old. She loves music, antiques, and black t-shirts.

Her little sister, Violet, is nine years old. She has a pet named Penguin (it's a rat). She is adorkable and would very much like for you to play Littlest Pet Shop with her right now, please. She also happens to be able to make things happen, so you best play nice with her.

Nick is a guy with a lot on his shoulders. He also enjoys black t-shirts and music, and has a thing for sunglasses. He isn't very social, because his problems in life are a bit too heavy for other seventeen year old kids to relate to.

Q:  How would you describe your writing style?

A:  Honesty. I write young adult novels. I'm sure a lot of people take this to mean that I need to write simply and that I should censor myself more. From what I remember of being a teenager, and in my experiences talking with them now, they hate being talked down to and know when it's happening to them. I'm big on using content warnings on tough subjects so that everyone knows what they're reading and getting into, but I don't sugar coat anything. With teenagers in particular, honesty in writing is particularly important, I think. I rewrite scenes that don't feel honest until they ring true.

Q:  Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

A:  When I'm writing a first draft I let my characters do what they want. I can easily cut scenes and paste things together in revisions later on. I didn't even know who Nick was going to be when I started writing Prophecy Girl—he told me who he was as I got writing.

Q:  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

A:  I write by hand most of the time. When I start the day off, I type up what I wrote the previous day. This helps me get back into the story and gets that part done. Then I usually lay down for ten minutes with my eyes closed, pull out some paper, put on my headphones, and get writing. From there, it's hard to say what will happen.

Q:  What do you see as the influences on your writing?

A:  My life. My feelings. The books I read, the television I watch, the music I listen to. Definitely the music I listen to. I think everything I do influences my writing, and I try to be careful about what I do with that in mind.

Q:  What do you do to unwind and relax?

A:  Umm, haha, people really do that? My mind seems to always be going a mile a minute. I suppose I read—though I don't know if it actually relaxes me. With a really good book, I tend to be found sitting up with one hand in my hair and actually gasping and tapping my husband on the shoulder to tell him what just happened. I get really into what I read.

Q:  Do you have any hidden talents?

A:  I can cook, without a recipe. I used to be really into quilling (with paper. It's a crafty thing). I think my real talent is patience. I can do a lot of things really well because I'm extremely patient. Quilling is a great example—I would take tiny strips of paper, wrap them into coils, bend them into shapes, and then put them together like puzzle pieces to create a design. I could spend ten to twenty hours on a project.

Q:  What book are you reading now?

A:  I'm finally reading Buffy Season 8! The graphic novels. I put it off for a long time because I wasn't sure my heart could take it :)


About the Author:

Faith McKay writes stories about characters with real world struggles in otherworldly settings. She is the author of PROPHECY GIRL, a story where characters struggle with the idea of having a destiny. In comparison, she feels really lucky that her destiny was to struggle with comma placement and be that awkward lady who points out puns at parties.
 
Other things to know about Faith… She wears two different colored shoes. She is a survivor of child abuse. She has lived with chronic illness for over a decade. A lot of people don't like her because she laughs too much. It's also the reason a lot of other people do like her, so go figure. She listens to more music than people are probably supposed to. She's a nomad. The word sounds really cool, so a lot of people say it, but she actually lives in an RV with her husband and their pet bunny rabbit, Dorian Gray.


Author Contact:  


http://faithmckay.net

http://www.facebook.com/faithmckaybooks

http://twitter.com/faithmckay

Monday, 26 November 2012

Think Out Loud #7



What is Think Out Loud?


Think Out Loud is a weekly meme created by
Thinks Books to break out of the blogging bubble. Consider your Think Out Loud posts a time to do WHATEVER YOU WANT!

You can find more information and how to participate on your blog
HERE!

I have been super busy lately and haven't been able to post my  weekly memes for a few weeks.  This is my first one in a while :)
 
 So, here is my Think Out Loud for this week!
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I love this because, let's face it, the English language is HARD!  Kudos to all the authors and editors who struggle with it every day!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Seven Day Loan by Tiffany Reisz

Seven Day Loan (The Original Sinners, #0.5)Seven Day Loan by Tiffany Reisz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this short story before reading The Siren, and now after reading some of the other reviews, I feel I am going to have to come back and re-read it after I have read The Siren. That being said, I enjoyed the short story anyway, even if, as the other reviews say, you should have read the other book first to fully understand the implications of what happened during the story.

A trained submissive, Eleanor will do whatever her master commands...even spend a week with a stranger. Eleanor was given to Daniel to 'keep him company' for a week while her master was away on business. Apparently Daniel and Eleanor's master are good friends, and the master thought Eleanor would be good for Daniel. Daniel, a former dom, takes to Eleanor and she to him.

The short story is well written and fun to read. Eleanor is a well-trained submissive with a bit of an attitude. I'm looking forward to reading more about her in The Siren.


View all my reviews

Wicked Weekend by Gillian Archer

Wicked Weekend (Pleasure Code, #1)Wicked Weekend by Gillian Archer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a quick, sexy story that was a lot of fun. Lauren was looking for a way out of her life for a short time; Jamie was looking for some fun. Lauren thinks she knows what she's getting into with Jamie, but ends up getting a whole lot more than she bargained for. Jamie opened her mind to a world she had only dreamed of before.

I loved this story enough to wish it had been longer. There was definitely enough hotness there for a full-length book. The characters were great and easily likable, and I could definitely see an interesting side story with Lauren's mother and sister. I would also love to have more of Sawyer! As there is a #1 behind this book, I will definitely be looking for more!


View all my reviews

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel, #1)Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the humor in this book. I seriously cannot think of a book that made me laugh so much. I love sexy and fun Diesel, and Wulf seemed interesting. I have a feeling he's going to be making some mischief later in the series. I think those two are going to be fun to have together. I really enjoyed the banter between Lizzy and Diesel, and Lizzy's friends were funny, too. For these reasons, I will definitely continue the series. Oh yeah, and how can you go wrong with a monkey? I love Carl!

The only thing I have to say negative about the book is that nothing really happened. It was all setup for the rest of the series, I guess, and never really went anywhere. Not much action in the book. It was a quirky, fun read. The basis of the story is the seven deadly sins, and the road the author took with it will be interesting.

As a side note, after reading some other reviews I realize that this is sort of a spinoff of the Stephanie Plum series, which I have not yet read but am planning on reading soon. Apparently Diesel and Carl the monkey first appeared in the Stephanie Plum series.


View all my reviews

Rape Girl by Alina Klein

Rape GirlRape Girl by Alina Klein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a relatively short story at just over 100 pages, but it really packed a punch. The story is about Valerie, your typical teenage girl who is looking for a good time just like everyone else. Her good time, however, ends with her being raped. We get to see very little of the events leading up to the rape, in fact, only a few hours. What this book deals with is the aftermath. You see rapes in books often, but never a book based specifically around the act.

Valerie's story, I suspect, is not that unusual. It was incredibly well written and very emotional. The author did not drag the story down with a lot of detail, but focused mainly on Valerie and her reactions to everything going on around her. It was heartbreaking reading about Valerie trying to 'get over it,' as the saying goes, and get back to her life. Because she chooses to face her attacker, she loses everything, including her reputation and her best friend.

I would have loved for this story to be longer so we could see where Valerie goes from here. She proves herself a strong individual and I would have loved to see a happy ending for her.


View all my reviews

Friday, 23 November 2012

Awakening the Mobster by Amy Rachiele

Awakening the MobsterAwakening the Mobster by Amy Rachiele
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The second book of the Mobster series picks up right where the first left off. I love Megan and Antonio! Their story is fun and romantic. I also loved getting to know Vito. He's a fun character and adds some laughs to the story.

This is a great series. The author does a great job of getting into mobster mode and making the thoughts, actions, and even the vocabulary seem real. There were many twists and turns in the story to keep me captivated. I just wish the books were longer! I am very much looking forward to see where this series goes.


View all my reviews

Seduced in the Dark by C.J. Roberts

Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2)Seduced in the Dark by C.J. Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I knew even before I picked up this book that it was going to mess with my mind. I had, after all, read the first book. Still, somehow I was not prepared. In the first book of The Dark Duet we were introduced to Livvie and Caleb, and I completely fell in love with them. Caleb, oh, Caleb. What are we going to do with you? In this second book, we see their "relationship" evolve into something dark, dangerous, and very unhealthy…for both of them. We learn about Caleb's past and why he is the way he is, and through everything, I cannot but help falling more and more for him. Yes, it's unhealthy. I get it. However, I completely understand Livvie and her way of thinking. We also find out in this book that Livvie is capable of doing what it takes to survive. She is a survivor.

Through flashbacks and bits and pieces of Livvie's present mind, a rather dark place to be, the author unfolds the rest of Livvie and Caleb's story. The author takes us on a journey through the world of sex slaves. The story is incredible, the writing is superb, and I cannot think of one negative thing to say about this book. The author has this knack of getting into her characters' heads that makes you, as the reader, live the story through the words on the page. Open your mind and give the story a chance. You will not regret it.


View all my reviews

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Q & A with C.J. Redwine

Title:   Defiance

Author:   C.J. Redwine

Series:  Defiance #1

Genre:   YA Fantasy

Pages:  403

Publication:   August 2012

Available From:  
Indie Bound ~ Books a Million ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Amazon

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

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Q & A with C.J. Redwine

Q:  When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
A:  When I was in second grade, I read THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, and it changed my life. I became addicted to fairy tales and fantasy books, and I realized that I could make up stories and write them down, too. I never looked back. :)

Q:  Tell us a little about your main characters, Rachel and Logan.
A:  Rachel is fierce, loyal, impulsive, and stubbornly dedicated to doing what she believes is right. She is unapologetic about who she is even though she's out of step with the rest of her world. Her emotions and beliefs dictate her actions and you usually know exactly where you stand with her. She loves and hates with equal measure. 


Logan is steadfast, courageous, and incredibly smart. If Sherlock Holmes and McGuyver had a love child, it would be Logan. He's a self-taught inventor who plans everything out five steps ahead of everyone else before he acts. He secretly fears that he doesn't measure up, and so he's constantly trying to prove himself worthy of respect and love. It takes a lot for him to show his emotions, but once he does, there's no going back.

Q:  How did you come up with the idea behind Defiance? 
A:  I'd had the idea of a Leviathon-like creature living beneath the surface of the earth for a long time. One day I saw a picture of a fortress, and it reminded me of a city-state. I've always been fascinated with medieval times, so I asked myself "What if we reverted to living in city-states again? Why would we do that?" And the Leviathon dragon creature collided with the city-state, and Defiance was born.

Q:  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
A:  I have four kids, including a toddler, so I write when I can. I write during her nap time each afternoon, and again once the kids are all in bed (which means I stay up super late almost every night to work!). A couple days a week I go to my local bookstore and write at the corner table in the coffee shop so I can find a longer stretch of uninterrupted time.

Q:  Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?
A:  I'm influenced by a lot of authors. I read voraciously, and I'm always looking for things I love so I can study the way an author did something. For example, I'm a huge fan of JK Rowling's world building, Myra McEntire's kissing scenes, Stephen King's ability to zero in on exactly what scares us, Dean Koontz's gorgeous, lyrical prose, Stephanie Perkins' attention to details in fleshing out her characters ... the list goes on and on!

Q:  What do you like to do when you're not writing?
A:  I love watching movies in the theater. I try to go twice a month. More if there are a lot of amazing movies out. I gravitate toward fantasy, comic book, and fairy tale with a healthy dose of spy/thriller thrown in. Basically, as long as it isn't a chick flick, I'll give it a chance. 

Q:  What are you working on now?
A:  I am co-writing a middle grade and getting ready to write the final book in the Defiance trilogy.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
A:  I just finished reading ROOTLESS by Chris Howard, which is a compelling dystopia/post-apoc told from a boy's perspective. I seriously loved that book. Incredible world building, fascinating premise, and a narrator with a refreshingly different voice.


About the Author: 

C.J. Redwine loves stilettos, lemon bars, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She is the author of Defiance, the first in a post-apocalyptic fantasy trilogy from Balzer + Bray/Harper Collins. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband, four kids, two cats, and one long-suffering dog. To learn more about C.J., visit her website at http://cjredwine.blogspot.com/Facebook page, or follow on Twitter. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Love Unscripted by Tina Reber

Love Unscripted (Love, #1)Love Unscripted by Tina Reber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I absolutely loved the first half, so I'll start there. Taryn is a fantastic character. She is a small-town girl who is tough, self-sufficient, and level headed. She is fun, not a Tom-boy but not girly-girly either. I love, love, love Ryan. He is a big shot movie star who does not like the fame. He has groupies following him everywhere, but deep down he's a quiet romantic who would like some privacy. When the two meet, it's just awesome. The two together are super fun. They have a playful, friendly relationship. Add in Taryn's friends, and we have a super fun story. Taryn and Ryan's getting to know each other phase was sweet and romantic. I loved getting to know them.

About halfway through the book things changed. Taryn went from tough, self-sufficient, and level headed to having this whole 'I'm not good enough for him" attitude that really got on my nerves. I get it. If I were dating a mega hot movie star (hmmm...daydreaming) I'd be jealous of him being in pictures with other girls or whatever. But she was getting jealous and/or upset over every little thing. It was way more annoying than sweet or romantic. The other thing I did not like was that this book was super long. The story was good and the writing was superb, but I felt there was a lot of filler that could have been left out and the book would have been just as good.

The story was maybe a bit predictable at times, but there was still enough unknown to keep me reading. As for the next book in the series...I can't decide whether or not I want to read it. Normally when I give a book 4 stars the next book is a must, but after reading the book description for Love Unrehearsed, it just sounds like a lot more of the same. If it's just going to be more of Taryn's insecurities, people trying to break them up, etc., I really am not interested. I guess we will see.


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Sunday, 18 November 2012

If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones

If I Were You (Inside Out Trilogy, #1)If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After inheriting a storage unit from a friend, Sara becomes obsessed with some journals she finds in the unit and decides she needs to find the owner. During her search, she meets the man she thinks may be the subject of the journals as well as another incredibly sexy man she cannot seem to stop thinking about.

I really like the characters in this story. We do not really know much about Sara, and I like how the author, rather than telling us her whole past right up front, made her past part of the secrets being unveiled through the story. She seems the shy, quiet "good girl" type, but as the story unfolds we find out she is able to stand up for herself and is not pushed easily. Chris is freaking awesome. I love him. He is Mr. Mysterious, sexy as hell, and carries a sexual tension with him everywhere he goes. The chemistry between him and Sara is fantastically erotic, but he has a way of putting her off balance that makes us as the reader never quite know where their story is going to go next. The rest of the characters at this point are rather remote thus far, but I'm sure hoping we will get to know more about them as the story goes on, particularly Mark.

This book gives us a glimpse into the world of BDSM, but really it's just a tease. The excerpts from the diaries are a great addition to the book. They show a world of danger, pleasure, pain, love, confusion that Sara just has to find. They make her feel like something is missing in her own life and she will not stop until she finds out exactly what it is. I am very much looking forward to the continuation of this series.


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Straight by the Rules by Michelle Scott

Straight by the RulesStraight by the Rules by Michelle Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Straight by the Rules is the third installment in the Lilith Straight series and is as great as the first two. The story follows Lilith as she desperately tries to balance her "normal" life with her succubus life. However, as she is sent on her crazy assignments she is finding this balance harder to find. I don't think I'll ever look at sushi the same way.

After her latest set of assignments, Lilith is more desperate than ever to get out of her contract as a succubus and will go to any lengths to find a way. As she tests the limits of her contract, she tries to stay true to herself as much as possible.

Oh yes, and we got some more William in this book. Who would not love to be seduced by him?

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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Furthermore: An Anthology - Cover Reveal!

It's Cover Reveal week! Thanks to the talent of so many wonderful authors, our anthology is nearly complete and will be released on December 11th. But today, we are excited to share the cover with you and won't make you wait any longer!



A first date, a lottery, treachery and deceit. Sometimes fate has other plans. Sometimes there's more to tell.
 
In Furthermore: An Anthology, eighteen original stories take you on a journey through worlds here and beyond. From the depths of the earth to the embrace of the sea, your favorite series continue. Prequels, alternative views, and new scenes give readers a chance to experience more than originally told.
 
Including stories from Rebekah Campbell, Amber Garr, David Estes, Leigh Michael, Karen Amanda Hooper, Stephanie Judice, and Mayandree Michael. And most importantly, in honor of those who lost the battle and those who continue to fight, all proceeds from this anthology will be donated to cancer research and support.
 
SURPRISE VISITOR -Emily has never been a fan of surprises but Eric has something up his sleeve to change her mind. (The Darkness Through The Light Series)
 
GETTING TO KNOW THE HEAVIES - The two Sullivan bodyguards are still human beings underneath it all. And everyone has a weakness. (The Darkness Through The Light Series)
 
PEOPLE CHANGE - When Eric asks his dad a question about his mother, it's time to go back to where it all began and then went so badly wrong. (The Darkness Through The Light Series)
 
COLD FEET - Kain witnesses Eviana's deceit on their wedding day and is forced to deal with the consequences of her behavior. (The Syrenka Series)
 
RIFT - Daniel encourages the group to make a detour to the Grand Canyon, as the distance between the friends begins to rival the great ravine. (The Syrenka Series)
 
DISCOVERY - Leila's first encounter with her psychic mentor is nothing short of memorable. (The Leila Marx Novels)
 
HUMAN RESOURCES - Blake finds a new job while Mac finds a friend who reminds him of home. (The Leila Marx Novels)
 
THE RUNAWAY- TAWNI'S STORY - After learning of her parents' treachery, Tawni leaves home seeking to make amends for their transgressions. (The Dwellers Saga)
 
THE LIFE LOTTERY- A STORY FROM YEAR ZERO - With the survival of the human race on the brink, there's only one way to decide who will be saved in the underground caves: The Lottery. (The Dwellers Saga)
 
FATE: Experience Annabelle's struggle to fulfill the ABA Prophecy in a new light through the parting words of Adrian, Aurelia, Blake, and Lady Katherine. (Annabelle's Story)
 
The Sound of Love - Glimpse into one of Nathaniel's previous lives and see how his soul mate reacts when tragedy strikes. (The Kindrily Series)
 
MUIRNE'S MELODY--To escape her master's vile desires, Muirne flees into the snow-swept night, finding a green-eyed stranger and a mystical destiny. (Saga of the Setti Series)
 
JEREMY'S HEART: Calm, cool, and complete scoundrel, Jeremy realizes the loss he's suffered means nothing compared to true love. (Saga of the Setti Series)
 
FALL FROM GRACE: Warped by centuries of darkness, the creature Sveigja plots to capture Clara as his queen. (Saga of the Setti Series)
 
Plus two original stories by Mayandree Michel.
 
We would like to extend a HUGE thanks to Claudia at PhatPuppyArt for donating the artwork and to Alexandra Shostak for donating her time for the cover design. You ladies are amazing and we are all so grateful for your contribution!

If you are interested in promoting the release or reviewing an ARC, please visit HERE to sign up.

To find out more about the authors and their stories, please check out THIS POST.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Q & A with Frog and Esther Jones

Title:   Grace Under Fire

Author:   Frog and Esther Jones

Series:   The Gift of Grace

Genre:   Fantasy

Pages:   Approx. 240

Publication:   October 2012


Available:   Amazon


It's the 21st Century, and magic users are outlaws. The public considers summoners evil and in league with the Devil. So when someone or something wipes out the entire Spokane Grove, police are baffled and wary. After all, what is more powerful than a group of summoners?

Grace Moore is a foodie--and a mid-level Seattle summoner--sent to investigate the murders. Robert is a love-sick teenager who accidentally discovers his talent for summoning. The Demon that's been unleashed upon Spokane targets Robert as its next meal.

Grace must save Robert, then train him to fight at her side if she has a hope of living through this. The only problem? Robert may not want anything to do with Grace or his new powers.

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Q & A with Frog and Esther Jones

Q:  When and why did you two decide to start writing together? Have either of you written/published anything on your own?
A:  Frog and I have always been scribblers. He published several short stories and articles while he was in school, and since he works as an attorney during the day, he does legal writing everyday.

I was published in several poetry anthologies during school, and more recently won the 2011 SpoCon League of Extraordinary Writers Short Fiction contest. Frog helped me create the world for that story, and it eventually became the world for Grace Under Fire. 

We really started writing together because we had such a long commute to work each day. We’d create worlds and stories to fill the time. From there it snowballed from a short story, into a novel, and finally to a trilogy.

 
Q:  Do you think it is more challenging writing as a team?
A:  Yes and no. So far, we’ve really used the “Divide and Conquer,” approach, so in that respect I think it makes writing easier. I write one POV and Frog writes the other. That means we each write half the novel, and it's done twice as fast! 

On the other hand, you do have to coordinate with the other person extensively to make sure everything lines up for the finished work. When talking to other authors, it sounds like we plan more of our novel before we even sit down than most folks.

For example, someone working by themselves might just wing it and end up in an entirely different place than they originally thought. While that creative process still happens within a chapter, Frog and I both know we have to start our chapter at point A and end it at point B in order to fit it in with everything else we’ve planned. We’re usually writing at least two chapters at once, so if one of us veered off to do something completely different, it would cause the other person to have to re-write whatever came after that point.


Q:  Where did you come up with the idea behind Grace Under Fire?
A:  This is a tough one. We originally came up with the idea of summoning because of a funny question posed by our friend’s kids. From there though, the magic system, and the underground magic scene were really created during Frog and I’s daily work commutes. We basically brainstormed on what the world would look like if it contained these people who were literally able to bring any object they wanted to their fingertips. Not create the object-- just pull something to them from anywhere in the world. What would the consequences really be? And what would the reactions from world leaders be like?

To me, that's where the idea really started coming together.


Q:  Tell us a little about your lead characters.
A:  Grace is a mid-rank summoner from Seattle. She loves food & bright colors and has a tendency to be a little obsessive about both. When asked to describe herself, she would say she’s a number cruncher or a researcher-type. She has an extensive knowledge of runes (which form the basis of our summoning system), and she’s worked very hard to get that knowledge. She’s also impulsive, and as a consequence, gets herself into more trouble than a normal person on a regular basis. Even though she would deny it, I see her as a bit of an adrenaline junkie.

Robert is a foster kid who’s had a hard time in the system, and as a result, has difficulty trusting people. That said, he loves very deeply and has a strong sense of loyalty and justice. He’s smart, but has a tendency to let his temper and impatience override his better judgment in a pinch. He loves music, especially Jazz, and he usually has some kind of soundtrack running through his head. He also has the potential to become a very powerful summoner, but believes (along with the rest of the world) that the very act of summoning makes you evil and corrupt.

Q:  Do you see yourself in your characters and if so, what qualities?
A:  There’s definitely a lot of us in these characters, but we borrowed a lot as well. 

Grace has our love of amazing food, taken to a bit of an extreme.

Robert has our love of Jazz, and many of our insecurities from being a high school student. I don’t think anyone can get out of high school without feeling completely alone at some point.

Q:  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
A:  We generally do most of our writing on the weekend, since we both work eight to five jobs Monday through Friday. During the week, we discuss certain scenes or things we would like to set up for the next book. Saturday and Sunday turns into a writing spree, and we usually write somewhere around 3,000-4,000 words each. 

 
Q:  What do you see as the influences on your writing?
A:  We’re fantasy and scifi fans first, and so I think that has had a huge impact on our writing. The authors who have had the most influence on our writing have to be Jim Butcher, Robin Hobb, and George RR Martin.


Q:  What do you do to keep busy when you're not writing?
A:  I’m not sure we know what it’s like to have spare time anymore! Seriously though, mostly we read other fantasy and scifi books, or watch TV shows like Castle, How I Met Your Mother, and Warehouse 13.



About the Authors:

Frog and Esther Jones are a husband and wife fantasy writing team who live in Eastern Washington. They currently have a short story entitled The Curse of Khenti-Amentiu included in the Zombiefied! Anthology by Sky Warrior Books, and expect to have several more short stories coming out in the next year.

The Gift of Grace, their first modern fantasy novels, is also being published by Sky Warrior Books.


Contact:


Blog

Website

Frog on Twitter

Esther on Twitter

Facebook

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Q & A with Jennifer Armentrout

Obsidian (Lux #1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get
along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.


Get your copy:  Amazon Barnes & Noble

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Q & A with Jennifer Armentrout

Q:  Tell us a little about your main characters, Katy and Daemon.
A:  Kat is an ordinary book lover who ends up living next to Daemon, who's as arrogant as he is good looking, who turns out to be an alien with a lot of secrets, some even bigger than the fact he's an alien.

Q:  Where did you come up with the idea behind Obsidian?
A:  It's a pretty well known story, I think. I had turned in my adult novel to my editor who had asked if I ever considered writing about aliens in high school. My first response was to laugh and say no, because seriously, aliens in high school? But then I thought about it and came up with the characters of Daemon and Katy. The rest happened from there.


Q:  In terms of your writing, where do you hope to see yourself in five years?
A:  Hopefully I'm still writing and it's evolving.


Q:  How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
A:  I grew up reading and I started writing when I was in the 8th and 9th grade. My first book was written in long hand in algebra class. While my parents weren't so happy with my sucktastic math grades, they were really supportive of me writing.


Q:  What do you do to unwind and relax?
A:  This is going to sound really boring, but I usually play solitaire or free cell on the iPad before I go to bed. Yep. During the day I usually work out, do some gardening (which I suck at) or read.


Author Contact:


Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JenniferLArmentrout

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JLArmentrout

Website:  http://www.jenniferarmentrout.com/


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Traffic Jam by Melissa Groeling

Traffic JamTraffic Jam by Melissa Groeling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Traffic Jam is one of those books where you are not quite sure how it is going to end. Though the book was relatively short, there was plenty of drama and suspense to keep you interested. The book followed Val, a teenage girl who is a bit of a loner. I think a lot of teenage girls could understand Val. She fought with her sister, fought with her best friend, was too shy to tell a guy she liked him, and she kept secrets. However, she proves to everyone that, though at a shy and awkward age, when it comes to the important things like her family, she is determined to do the right thing and can hold her own when things get tough.
In addition to being a quick, entertaining read, Traffic Jam had life lessons implanted into it. Val learned throughout the story about family, trusting, and telling the truth, even if it hurts. The only thing that really bothered me about the book was the use of "dude." Once or twice would have been fine, but used at least once a page it really got annoying.


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Life of the Party by Christine Anderson

Life of the PartyLife of the Party by Christine Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Life of the Party is one of those books. You know the type…it makes you think, and I mean really think; it sticks with you long after you have finished because you have become invested in the characters; it makes you cry. I hate it when books make me cry.

Mac and Riley are best friends. Their favorite pastime is to get drunk and high. Hey, they're young, why not? Everything is great until Riley decided he needs to get clean. Mac, feeling abandoned by her best friend, delves deeper into the world of drugs, trying to forget Riley and everything that is wrong with her life.

I loved, loved, loved the characters in this book (which I guess is why I felt so much for them that I was bawling my eyes out by the end). The author let us get into Mac's head and really enjoy being there. Mac, though young and stupid and obviously making mistake after mistake, was real. She had real problems and real choices and real feelings. And Grey…I so love Grey. It is obvious from the way he treats her that he loves Mac, but he is young and free and has the world ahead of him, so of course he makes mistakes, too. When he realizes, however, that things have gone too far he does the only thing he can think of to fix it, even if it is the wrong thing. We do not see much of Riley for most of the story and mostly get to know him through Mac's feelings and memories of him. Though Mac feels he abandoned her, he had always been there just waiting for the right time.

I think the thing I really loved about this story was about how realistic it is. From Mac's mom and dad (just ignore the problem, it will go away) to her sister and Mac's feelings of inferiority around her (which I can relate to having two perfect older sisters myself) to the drug use. The author did an exceptional job (in my humble opinion) of detailing and describing Mac's drug use and feelings. I did find myself thinking a few times, can someone really use that much cocaine and still be alive/walking/standing/coherent? But, I have absolutely no first-hand knowledge of the subject so it could be true. Even if it's not accurate, the author did a great job faking it and making me believe it was real.

I sincerely hope this author writes more books in the future. I loved everything about this story from the characters to the story to the writing style. She is an amazing storyteller and I thank her for sharing her story with us.  

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