Friday, October 24, 2014

Just Finished Reading...Ruin and Rising

Yes, I realize this is not a pic of Ruin and Rising. :)
*This is more about my thoughts on the series as a whole, not just Ruin and Rising.*

There is something very comforting about reading books in a series. When you start the second and third books you are already familiar with the characters, the world, and the writer’s style. It’s like slipping into a favorite pair of jammie pants and cozying up under the snuggie. 

I just finished reading Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo and I have to say I am very pleased with how the YA Fantasy trilogy wrapped up. It has been at least a year since I read Seige and Storm but I easily slid back into the Grisha’s land of Ravka. Alina, our brave heroine, grew right in front of our eyes. She started out a mere orphan in a war torn land and progressed into powerful Sun Sommoner in a very believable way.


This well thought out story was written in a way that ties everything together and everything that happens is for a reason. As a writer this series is an excellent example of how back story and secondary characters, if done properly, enhance a story without bogging it down.

There was humor, joy, hilarious banter and even a fare share of sad; everything a good story should have. I would love to go into depth about the emotions I have over Alina, Mal, and Nikoli, but it would spoil the plot for those who have yet to read these fantastic novels. And for those of you who have already read it, you know what I’m talking about.

So as the story came to a close and the depression began to take hold I clicked through to the final pages of the book to find a note from the author about her next series. *joyously claps because now all is right in the world* It’s a story that takes place in the island country of Kerch, located west of Ravka in the True Sea. There we will meet Kaz Brekker, “thief and gang leader often called Dirtyhands”. I have no idea when we will be graced the upcoming release, but I can already tell you that I will be first in line to buy it.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Scandinavian Santa Book Blitz and $25 Amazon GC Giveaway

Thank you for stopping by The Scandinavian Santa book blitz. This yuletide tale was written by Victoria Lindstrom, and illustrated by her husband, Michael Lindstrom. Make sure to check out the giveaway below!

Publication date: Sept 16th 2014
Published by: Deeds Publishing
Genre: animal fantasy, Christmas.


Journey to the enchanted land of Scandinavia, where, nestled in the Nordic Forest, lives Santa Swanson. Each winter, this nephew of St. Nicholas has his own Christmas Eve delivery to make—but what that is and to whom has long been hidden. With the help of two mischievous flying polar bears, Gunnar and Ludvig; a rescued golden eagle, Lars; and a host of other whimsical creatures; Santa Swanson prepares for his annual sleigh ride down Viking Valley! Delight in this yuletide adventure complete with a fanciful ice skating party, a rustic holiday feast, and an unexpected reunion with Santa Swanson's famous uncle. In the midst of all this wonder, the forest friends learn a heartwarming secret from a Christmas angel revealing the magic of generosity.

Available to purchase from Amazon and Apple Ibooks.
You can add it to Goodreads.
Visit Victoria's website.


Victoria Lindstrom was born in Southern California and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. In 2014, her first book, The Scandinavian Santa, was published with artistic contributions by her husband and fine artist, Michael Lindstrom. Prior to becoming a full time writer, Victoria earned a degree in Dental Hygiene from Clark College in Vancouver, WA. She and her husband live in Washington State where they are active advocates for the arts in their community.







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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Soul To Take Blog Tour and Author Interview with Emily Taylor


Today at Words Escape I would like to introduce you to the soon the be released A Soul To Take, and the author, Emily Taylor. I was lucky enough to score an interview with Emily, so please, sit back and enjoy! (see below for book details)


Thank you for stopping by Words Escape Me, Emily! After reading the summary of A Soul To Take I immediately knew I wanted to read this book. Can you tell us where you got your inspiration to create this intriguing story with demons, government conspires, and Agent Elixia Albelin?

Hey, and it’s my pleasure!

It all began when my friend introduced me to an anime called Black Butler when I reached highschool, and yes, my Sebastian is a tribute for those familiar. But I also have to give credit to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Baccano which gave me the idea of homunculi and immortality.
These ideas sat in the back of my head for quite a while as I was working on other novels, so it wasn’t until late highschool that I started researching. There was so much to learn and it was all quite interesting. For an example, scientists at one point believed they had found the precise weight our ‘soul’. Turned out, the results were inconclusive and sloppy—but still. As a writer, we can ignore that bit.
After that, I started bringing certain events together that I wanted in my novel, including a serial killer that was based off a real French soldier back in the 1400s. Quite disturbing history there.

Then I graduated, and I had written half the first book by then, and I was just so excited by this demonic world I had created. I remember sitting with my friend on her bed during schoolies (Australian Graduating Holiday Thingy), just fan girling about the relationship between the two main characters.
I had been wanting to create this relationship type for a while. I didn’t want the gushy ‘love at first sight’ so many novels have now a days where the other main love interest is ‘so perfect’. The same went for my other stories, where the main love interests were still, well, boys or young adults.
Elixia’s “soul mate” isn’t a boy. He’s slightly older then her, mentally wise, and therefore more mature—or at least tries to be. He has a lot of responsibilities, and while he loves Elixia, she can’t be his priority. I found this dynamic fascinating, and apparently other people did too, which was awesome.

If you could have dinner with four of your favorite fictional characters, who would be at your table?

Oh wow. First four that come to mind: Howl, Kate Daniel, Tyrion, Will Graham, and Sabriel.
That’d make for an interesting dinner.

If you could spend a weekend at a writing retreat with any author, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Stephen King. I feel like I’d learn a lot from him.

Now I assume that your protagonist, Elixia is very skilled when it comes to slaying demons. What would be your favorite way to ward off a demon attack?

If you don’t want to be killed by a demon, the best way to save your skin is by not pissing them off to begin with. If by chance you missed that step, running is always a good option—or if you like Elixia—shooting them in the head. Good old decapitation is good too. I like exploding personally.


To help us get to know you better I have a few This or That’s. Here we go!

Sam Winchester or Dean Winchester
Dean.
Ask me that when the series first started, and I would have said Sam, but nope. Dean all the way.

Chose of weapon for impeding zombie apocalypse, gun or machete?

Machete!!
Guns too loud and need ammo.

Actually, does the person, Machete, count? I wouldn’t even need a weapon then, he’ll be the ultimate hahah.

Disneyland or The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Argh. Harry Potter!

Chocolate or Skittles

Chocolate, please.

Thank you Emily!

Thank you for having me :]

I absolutely love this cover!


ABOUT A SOUL TO TAKE

Dying is the least of Elixia’s worries.

The world has changed. Demons are no longer legend, but part of life, integrated into our society . . . or so the Government claims. Things are never that simple, though, and neither side favors the new union. Agent Elixia Albelin knows the dark nature of demons firsthand, and will do everything in her power to protect the innocent from their wrath.


But when a mission from the Agency goes sour, Elixia finds herself in a predicament. Murdered, with her last living family-member kidnapped, her only hope is an offer from the very thing she despises: a demon. It’s no ordinary demon offering the contract, though, and his motive for such a deal is unclear. But if she’s to discover the truth and save her sister, she must commit the greatest taboo for an Agent:

Sell her soul.

Now, Marked and shackled to the terms of the contract, she must try to uncover the mystery of her sister’s abduction before her new “owner” comes to claim what is his. Her past may hold answers, but what happens when her investigation finds something far more sinister? Something not even the demons can condone?

Besides writing, Emily Taylor currently studies Music Technology at her state’s Conservatorium and recently helped on Respect Cat Production’s feature film, In a Corner, as a Script Advisor.  After great success on InkPop and Figment, A Soul to Take is her first formally published work. You can see more from Emily on Facebook and Twitter


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #3

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by http://www.tyngasreviews.com. Anyone can join in!

This week I got two new books. First up I got Four by Veronica Roth. I must admit I have only read Divergent and Insurgent, and will NEVER read Allegiant. I know the ending and I do not want to waste my life on that book. That being said, I hope I can follow along with Four's stories. I am hoping that most of the scenes from his point of view are from the first two books.

Second I got The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo, from Audible. Over the years I have heard nothing but great things about this book and I finally decided to see what all the fuss is about. Of course I have seen the movie, but books are always better than the movie.

A side note for aspiring authors. When Kate was submitting to agents she received close to 400 rejections. She later went on to win a Newbery Award for The Tale of Despereaux and a Newbery Honor for Because of Winn Dixie.

What's new to your shelf?



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Forever Kind of Love Bog Tour and Givewaway

Today on Words Escape Me I'm excited the share Clara Stone's latest release, Forever Kind of Love. Before you go make sure enter the giveaway below.

Life’s. Little. Surprises.

The last thing seven-year-old Carrigan "Ace" Casper foresaw was an eight-year-old Heath Lovelly walking into her life the day her mother died. From that moment on, Heath sticks by her side, slowly becoming her strength, her confidant, and her entire world. What she doesn’t know is, she's his saving grace, too.

Ten years later, Ace is handed another crippling challenge that threatens everything in her almost perfect life. Only, this time, she doesn't turn to Heath, hiding the truth instead. But Heath knows Ace too well and won't back down easily. He's ready to do whatever it takes and will stay by her side until she accepts that their love is the kinda love worth fighting for.

Will he be her forever triumph or her unexpected downfall?

Two lives. One story. And an unexpected journey to falling in love.



*** Follow this book's Story board at: http://pinterest.com/pkanaparti/forev... ***
**Mature Content Warning** 17+ for language and sexual content.

GENRE: Mature YA Contemporary Romance.

My thoughts~

Forever Kind of Love is brought to us with the dual point of view between Ace and Heath. This story is about two people who struggle with there everyday life while trying to live with the inner turmoil of being in love with basically their best friend. Ace is a very likable character and one that I grew to deeply care about. I have to say my favorite point of view was Heath's. I loved being in his head and hearing all of his thoughts about Ace and how he wishes he could be her.   

If you are a fan on contemporary romance I suggest you add this to your TBR list.


Clara Stone lives in the beautiful city of Boise, ID.  Unlike what most believe about Idaho, it’s more than a sack full of potatoes. When she’s not writing, you’ll catch Clara reading YA and NA books, mostly romance, and enjoying time with her family. She is a proud CW TV addict.

She also writes YA paranormal romance under the name Priya Kanaparti. She is published through Reuts Publications.


Get in Touch with Author Clara Stone!

Email:
pkanaparti2004 @ gmail . com
Snail Mail:
P.O Box 2652
Eagle, ID 83616
Connect on Social Media with Author Clara Stone:


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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Just Finished Reading...The Cabinet of Couriosities

The Cabinet of Curiosities

Cabinet curator's~ Stefen Bachmann, Claire Legrand, Katherine Catmull, and Emma Trevayne.

Summary~

A collection of thirty-six eerie, mysterious, intriguing, and very short short stories presented by the cabinet’s esteemed curators, otherwise known as acclaimed authors Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire LeGrand, and Emma Trevayne. Perfect for fans of Alvin Schwartz and anyone who relishes a good creepy read-alone or read-aloud story. Features an introduction and commentary by the curators, and illustrations and decorations throughout.

Like the cover says, 36 Tales Brief & Sinister. There is so much I loved about this book.



First, several of the stories are either fantasy based or set in a cool old world setting. The settings really help create a fun and creepy mood. 

Second, there is some really great artwork through out the entire book. 

Third, the authors present themselves as curator's of a real cabinet of horrors. Throughout the book they leave letters for one another to serve as warnings of what to do and what not to do with certain artifacts. 

Fourth, the creativity is endless. 

I recommend this book for boys and girls of all ages. Well maybe not all ages, 8 and up. And adults. Oh heck, it's just good, plus it looks good on my shelf.


This photo was taken at Wordstock 2014 in Portland Oregon. This is my friend Victoria Lindstrom posing with Clair, Stefan, and Emma.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cover Reveal...Helia's Shadow by K.C. Neal

Thank you for stopping by Words Escape Me. Today I am sharing the cover for K.C. Neal's upcoming release, Helia's Shadow. The links to find this YA Sci fi are below.


BOOK & AUTHOR INFO:

Helia’s Shadow Part One by K.C. Neal
(The Starlight Age Series #1)
Publication date: Fall, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Nineteen years ago, aliens arrived on a dying Earth with advanced technology and the promise of ensuring human survival in exchange for a place to settle. They were hailed as the saviors of humans and Earth.
Today, 16-year-old Helia wants two things in life: to step out of her over-protective mother’s shadow and become an engineer, and to stop hiding her romance with alien boy Kalo. But the world definitely isn’t ready for a human-alien romance. And worse, the human-alien partnership is crumbling. Humans are being arrested without explanation. Some of them are never seen again.
When the alien leader imprisons her mother on a false charge, Helia discovers the aliens never intended to help humans at all. Now, she must join forces with alien rebels and convince the young rebel leader that humans aren’t expendable. If she succeeds, humans have a chance at survival and she has a chance at love. If she fails, the dwindling human race dies out in slavery.
--

Watch for the Helia’s Shadow ARC on NetGalley in September! If you’re not on NG, sign up for K.C. Neal’s newsletter for a chance at a limited number of ARCs for non-NG reviewers (and giveaways, sneak peeks, and other goodies!).



AUTHOR BIO
K.C. Neal works in publishing and writes YA books. She likes to surf and hang out on sandy beaches, where drinks are served adorned with tiny umbrellas. When she's not taking tropical vacations, she paddleboards, reads, writes, gardens, watches too many things on Netflix, and tells her dog, Oscar, how adorable he is.


Author links:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Review...Chase Tinker and the House of Destiny

Chase Tinker and the House of Destiny, by Malia Ann Haberman.

Add to Goodreads
Published May 28th, 2014 by Crossroads Press

Summary~

In Chase Tinker's world, magic, lies and secrets can be a lethal combination… 

For eight agonizing months Chase Tinker's guilt over the despicable act he committed on Halloween night has been eating away at his heart and mind. Chase's life gets even more complicated when secrets about the mysterious Relic in the attic are revealed on the eve of a visit from an unwelcome caller. It doesn't help that this all occurs on his fourteenth birthday! 

Despite his problems, his biggest concern is that his family's Dark Enemy, the Marlowe Family, is becoming more powerful with each passing day, fueled by the energy they continue to pillage from the many magical beings of the world. If Chase and his family are ever going to win, they will need a whole lot of magical help; they must destroy the most evil threat the world has ever known!

My thoughts~

Oh Chase…what have you gotten yourself into this time?

This installment in the Chase Tinker series brings us even more twists and turns than before. In the beginning Chase is plagued with the loss of someone very near to him and the hidden truth of the event has been eating him alive for months. It is not long until truths are revealed, and unfortunately for Chase things spiral out of his control from there.

This book has a great cast and they work well together. They are the perfect blend snark and fun but always willing to be there for one another. I like the character development we see while Chase deals with all of the obstacles thrown his way.

One thing I really like about this book is the magical world has expanded beyond Chase’s world, as he knew it. We get to travel to other realms and are introduced to the other magical beings. It is really neat to see other magical communities and how they relate to the magical world as a whole.

The House of Destiny is book three in a four book series. I could only imagine how hard it would be to write and plot an entire series. But I can tell you that Malia Ann Haberman has done a bang up job. This individual book moves along and a good pace, and the so far the series itself has been paced perfectly. With each book the stakes are raised and then ending keeps me wanting more.

I really look forward the reading the conclusion to this whimsical series. I recommend the read for boys and girls of all ages.



 
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