Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review of Breeding Ground by Joquena Lomelino

Lenora was just a normal teenage girl who never really cared much about her parents’ work as scientists. Everything changed the day they died in a mysterious explosion. Now Lenora is alone with no time to grieve because her own life is being threatened. Whatever her parents were working on there are people willing to kill for it, and they don’t believe that Lenora has no idea what it is.

Shot up and facing certain death, Lenora is rescued by a strange seductive man who explains her parents’ top secret research to expose aliens living on Earth. An elixir reveals snake-like aliens disguised as humans are taking over the planet, and Lenora must decide if she can depend upon the stranger who violated her trust. Armed with sarcasm, her parents’ research, and an ally she loathes, Lenora must continue her parents’ work to expose the alien threat and save the Earth before it’s too late.

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

This book was a roller coaster ride!  Very intense and full of action! This story moved along really well and was a quick read. There were some typos but since the story moved along so well I didn't really pay much attention to them. 

There is a lot going on in this book. Thankfully, with so much going on it's written well enough to keep track of everything. It was kind of hard to relate to Lenora at first, she seemed like a stuck up teenager, but as the story progressed I started to worry about what would happen to her. I wish there was more of her with her parents in the beginning to help the reader understand her strong relationship with them. I wasn't really sure what part her friend Rachel played as she was there in the beginning but then just leaves and we don't really see her again. 

I feel like more could be added to the ending because Earth doesn't really feel saved to me at the end. Perhaps that happens in the next book though. Overall, I enjoyed this book and found it an enjoyable read. I love anything sci-fi and I like the fact this story had that teenage aspect to it as well. 


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Author Interview with Katrina Archer

I love interviewing authors! Katrina Archer author is Untalented was wonderful enough to answer a few questions for me! 

1. How did the idea for this story come to you?

I was talking to a senior colleague one day at work, and he advised me that I should seriously consider specializing if I didn't want my career to founder, because the company needed people with depth more than it needed people with breadth. And while I seriously considered it, because I respected that person, ultimately, it just didn't feel right. I like being good at what I do, but I don't like being locked in to doing just one thing. I'm a fairly confident person though, and can stand up for what I want and not let myself get boxed in. But I started to wonder: what would have happened if I simply didn't have a choice? What would happen to someone in a society that didn't offer them that choice, that forced them to specialize? That society turned into Veyle, and that person my main character, Saroya.

2. Have you always loved to write?

Yes. I've always told myself stories in my head, or daydreamed them, to help me fall asleep. I've got notebooks from elementary school stashed away somewhere, with old stories and zany ideas. I wrote my first novel at the age of 14 when I made a deal with the English teacher at my French high school: I'd work on the novel in the library during class, instead of taking Beginner English. Since I was already bilingual, this saved me from the boredom of being taught how to count to ten again.

3. What books/authors influence you the most?

I'm a big Roger Zelazny fan (Nine Princes in Amber). I also grew up loving Anne McCaffrey, who wrote Dragonsong and Dragonsinger. Recently, I greatly enjoyed Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman, who also happens to be a Vancouver-based writer, though I haven't met her. Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series blew my mind when I read it. Erin Bow's Plain Kate is probably the book I've read most recently that has the most heart.

4. What's the hardest part of the writing process for you and how do you overcome it?

Finishing a story properly. I have a tendency to forget that all first drafts are crap, so when a story bogs down or I bog down while writing it, I have a tendency to want to simply chuck it, instead of seeing beyond its initial roughness to something that can be polished. Not finishing is the lazy way out of a story. Being able to distance myself from my work, look at it with a critical eye and then put in the work to edit it and make it better is hard. The actual writing of a first draft is actually quite easy for me, because I get that high from the act of creating something new. But going over it again and again to correct its flaws is something I really have to chivvy myself to do.

5. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Learn how to distance yourself from your work. While a big part of you is in your stories—and has to be for them to be any good—you are not your stories. If you can't separate yourself from your art, you can't accept criticism and thus can't learn how to improve. If you find yourself feeling incredibly insulted when someone doesn't like your story, but is genuinely trying to tell you help you make it better, you're wasting an opportunity to become a better writer. Now, granted, not every piece of critical feedback is valid. But readers are very good at figuring out when a story's not working. Their proffered solutions often don't fit with a writer's vision, but if they tell you when they got bored, or what they didn't like, then pay close attention to the what. It's then up to you to figure out HOW to fix it, but fix it, you need to willing to do.
About the Author:
Katrina Archer lives and writes on her sailboat in Vancouver, BC, Canada. She has worked in aerospace, video games and film, and has been known to copy edit for fun.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book Review of Untalented by Katrina Archer

Saroya: Untalented, a stain on her family's honor. Orphaned and barred from the Guilds, she has nowhere to go when her Talent fails to emerge.

Loric: Brother-in-law to the king. Thwarted in his ambitions, he'd do anything to usurp the throne. And he finds just the scandal he needs when he unearths Saroya's hidden pedigree.

The Kingdom of Veyle: Where all power flows to the Talented, and where the Guilds and the Order of Adepts control the destinies of Talented and Untalented alike.

When calamity strikes the capital city, with Untalents blamed and on trial, Saroya knows that proving her Talent and parentage means saving more than just her own life. A tangle of lies hides secrets that force Saroya to choose between her future and Veyle's.

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*  

I was very excited to read this book. I love stories like this! Thankfully, it did not disappoint! There was so much I enjoyed about this book. I loved the character Saroya, she was very relatable because she made good and bad choices. She always seemed to mean well and kept her head up even when everything (and I mean everything) didn't go her way. 

I enjoyed the world this story takes place in. It is well created and comes across as a vibrant world with complexities. The structure of having to be assigned a talent and what happens if your not brought many ideas of how this story could compare to our own world. 

The pace of the story is perfect and moves along with perfect ease. The plot develops at a great pace as well and makes this story a fast read. Fantasy readers are going to love this book and want to keep reading more in this series. 

Goodreads / Amazon 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Book Review of The Lycan Hunter by Kelsey Jordan and GIVEAWAY!!!

When Alexis James arrives at her first assignment in months, she anticipates the danger and violence rife in her calling as a Lycan Hunter. What she doesn’t expect is a handsome, blue-eyed wolf saving her life and kidnapping her. Surrounded by the enemy, Alexis must not only survive her prisoners but the bonds of a different sort that begin to form against her will.
Mikko Kyran was chosen by the gods to lead his pack, and he has made it his mission to end the eight thousand years of war plaguing his people. The Alpha never suspected that the key to the prophecy ending the Forever War would be held by a smart-mouthed, sexy Hunter determined to kill him.
Can two people from different worlds set aside everything they know about one another long enough to survive retribution from the Hunters, the pack, and the gods? Or will their differences start a war that neither can win?

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

There were more things I liked about this book than disliked about it. I loved the flow of the story, as well as seeing things from Alexis and Mikko's point of views. I felt each character was well developed and easy to follow, if not fully relate too. I didn't quite understand all of the gods and things that go along with this book, although it is somewhat explained, I was still able to follow what was going on. The other thing that bothered me was sometimes it felt like the story jumped from one scene to another.  This would throw me off a little but I was always able to figure out what was going on. 

I liked a lot of the concepts in the book and I felt it had  a lot of original ideas compared to other werewolf books. Even though I might not of understood fully the  gods that set the lycan's and lycan hunter's in motion, the idea of them being created that way was really neat and added extra depth to the story. 

I also liked the tension that built between Alexis and Mikko. It was captured wonderful and crafted very well. I loved reading scenes where they were together and talking, hoping they would get together. 

Overall this book had a few things that might have thrown me off but overall I enjoyed it greatly. Anyone who is a fan of supernatural stories would enjoy this book.  

Goodreads / Amazon

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blog Tour for Perception and Giveaway!!!

Excerpt: The Outlaw by Scott C. Davis:

Out on the winding Carolina back road where I lived, I had just one neighbor. I only ever saw him twice. He borrowed my lawn mower once when he first dragged his double wide into the abandoned trailer park, the one on the far side of the hill my own house slumped up against. He wanted to start out with a nice yard, he told me. Took him two weeks to return it. The other time I saw him? He robbed me. Came into my home and took everything I had left. Then he took all my stuff, too.

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

This collection of short stories are deep and thought provoking. Davis did a great job with the Outlaw story in setting the tone and setting for it. I could feel the sadness and depression feelings the character was going through. This isn't always so easy in a short story to do but Davis does it well.

There are several themes going on in this story and lessons I feel a reader can gain from it. You have a broken marriage, a man who has lost his direction in life and the outlaw who inadvertently helps him find himself again. These layers of themes give the story a depth that makes it easy to read and get involved in.

If you like stories that make you think then you will enjoy this book for sure!!

GoodreadsAmazon US  / Amazon UKBarns and NobleiTunes Smashwords

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Author Intervirew with Aaron Galvin!!!

1. At the end of the book you list a lot of the places where you got your research for the book. How long did you spend doing research?

I spent around two to three months immersing myself in Salem history, reading and re-reading, watching documentaries, etc. For anyone interested in non-fiction regarding the trials, I highly recommend Mary Beth Norton’s In The Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witch Crisis of 1692. Fascinating read.

2. What was the most surprising thing you learned while writing this book?

That’s a great question because the Salem trials have always intrigued me, but I was amazed at how much I didn’t know and how, to my mind at least, obviously corrupt the trials were. For example, there were other towns who had villagers cry witch against their neighbors, but their claims easily fell apart upon closer inspection so nothing happened. Salem was different in that adults jumped into the fray too. To me, it begged the question why and offered numerous opportunities for a fictional take.

3. Are you currently working on any writing projects?

I am. Thanks for asking!

Currently, I’m finishing up Taken With A Grain of Salt, the sequel to my novel, debut Salted. Critics continued to laud the series for its unique perspective on mermaids and selkies, as well as not shying away from difficult subjects.

Afterward, I’m jumping back into the Vengeance trilogy to write the Salem’s Vengeance sequel. I can’t wait!

4. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

When I go back and reread a paragraph or line that I don’t remember writing. It might sound odd to say I’m channeling the voices in my head, but sometimes it feels that way. I love it when I’m writing a character and they throw me for a loop by going a direction I didn’t initially intend.

5. Advice for aspiring authors?

No excuses, write like a champion. I think one of the hardest things is forcing yourself to stare at the screen and then start typing, especially when you’re not feeling the words. You have to turn off your social media, quit scouting the fantasy football waiver wire, and just focus. Lock in. That’s my process, at least. I’ve found once I’ve typed a few sentences the wheels start churning and I’m off to the races. So my advice would be do whatever you need to get in your writing zone, then force yourself not to leave it until you hit your goal. 

About Aaron:
Salem’s Vengeance is Aaron Galvin’s second novel.
His debut, Salted, a YA urban fantasy, continues to receive critical acclaim for its unique take on mermaids and selkies.
Aaron is also an accomplished actor, screenwriter, and film producer. He has worked on Hollywood blockbusters (The Dark Knight, Flags of Our Fathers), starred in dozens of indie films, and he co-wrote/executive produced the 2013 award-winning comedic feature film, Wedding Bells & Shotgun Shells.
Aaron is a proud member of SCBWI and currently lives in Southern California with his wife and daughter.

Learn more about Aaron and Salem’s Vengeance


Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review of Salem's Vengence by Aaron Galvin and Giveaway!!

 Sixteen-year-old Sarah Kelly never expected to meet the Devil’s daughter. She only sought innocent dancing in the moonlight, not a coven entranced by their dark priestess. When her friends partake of a powder meant to conjure spirits - and the results go horribly awry - Sarah is forced to make a choice. To keep their secret risks her own damnation, but to condemn them may invoke the accusing remnants of Salem to rise again.

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

I've reviewed quite a few books on my blog and this one would totally be added to the well written list. The pacing of this book was perfect. The plot kept the story going well and kept me interested as a reader. I loved reading this book and would totally read other works by Galvin. 

While this book isn't overly scary, it would be a great book to read to satisfy any horror itch you might have when finding a book to read. The characters are well developed and Sarah is a wonderful character to follow. You really can't go wrong with this book. 

Goodreads  / AmazonSmashwordsSigned/Personalized print copies

Don't forget to enter the giveaway here!!! 


Learn more about Aaron and Salem’s Vengeance